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  #1  
Old December 14th, 2010, 05:34 PM

earwicker7 earwicker7 is offline
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Default Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

I'm starting to get my butt kicked in my first MP game; while I will still fight to the death (I'm not one of those people who say, "Well, I've lost, no point in putting any more effort into it!"), I am starting to consider how I can improve my pretender design for my next game, and I was hoping to get some tips from people with more experience than I have (pretty much everyone else on the forum lol).

So, as the title suggests, I'm looking for some hints on better pretender design for MA Abyssia (I think it's better to stick with one nation for a while, just to learn the basics of the game). I've certainly learned some stuff from the first game... my design was pretty awful.

The first thing I'd like to know is what people typically do to deal with the fact that all of Abyssia's recruits (with the exception of the Humanbred) have heat that radiates from them and eventually catches your indy troops (and summons) on fire. Do people generally have separate armies, where, for example, some armies are Abyssian mixed with a few heat-resistant units, and then there are separate armies made of non-heat resistant units? Or do people tend to go towards mixing them up, but using some method of protection? Is there a spell that I could eventually get which will provide fire protection for the entire army?
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  #2  
Old December 14th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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OmikronWarrior OmikronWarrior is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Eh, don't beat yourself up to much, MA Abysia comes with a lot of hurdles that make them one of the weakest nations in the Middle Era.

And I was just messing around with MA Abysia to get a feel for them for a game I will be hosting soon.

So, I'd say the major challenge to overcome with Abysia is suboptimal mages. Your non-capital mages offer terrible Research Points for the gold they cost, and all come with old age meaning a lot will get diseased every winter and die soon after. This is agravted by non-capital mages being Fire and Holy and no other paths, meaning capital mages must provide diversity.

That being said, their national troops are pretty good, albeit resource intensive. A positive scales, production-3 pretender design will be fine for expansion.

So, I can recommend (off the top my head and with my limited experience), two approaches for pretender design. The first is to go for broke and pick up a Awake SC Pretender (such as a pathless Dominion-9/10 Wyrm) alongside the best scales you can afford and try to rush as much as expansion as you can. If you are lucky, you might accumulate a large of territory lead to be competitive until you research Fire Storm and Heat from Hell, which will make most nations hesitant to attack you in force, fire-immune troops are hard to come-by.

Another approach is a sleeping Rainbow, such as a crone with Air-3, Nature-3, Earth-3, Water-3, and Death-3. Buy positive scales again, and expand with your national infantry. When the crone/Rainbow awakens, start site searching. If you are lucky, you may find a site that provides worthwhile independent mages.

As for fire-immunity, I believe the spells in questions such as Army of Gold only provide 50% fire resistance, which is not resistant enough.

Hope that gave you some ideas.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:20 PM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

The situation with old age isn't quite that bad after the first year or so. Boots of Youth are Abysia's friend.

As far as mixed troops, my general approach is not to use indies with Abysia. At least not for front line troops. Archers can be segregated in most armies and will usually stay put pretty well. Indy mages can be carefully placed or given FR through items or personal spells. Never let Nature mages on the field once you've researched Protection!

Many of the Blood summons are fire resistant, the others can work well on their own, with Humanbreds/indies or other summons.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:35 PM

Nightfall Nightfall is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

While others may disagree, I've found an awake rainbow to be usefull as abysia, using early manual site searching gives you a good chance to open up air/nature/death gem incomes and greatly increses your chances of finding a viable independant mage to diversify into. A properly built a rainbow also gives you access to a lot of forging that abysia normally doesn't have access to.

By the way, humanbred should be your core recruit, as they have awesome cost efficiency. The heavier abyssian infantry are nice, but difficult to field in big enough numbers and are more suited to specialist roles.

If you use humanbred for your core force, you then have the option of whether or not to add heat aura to them by mixing salamanders into the humanbred formation.

Most independants aren't worth recruiting by the way, between the fact that your humanbred are immune to fire arrows and carry tower shield, the lack of national archers doesn't hurt much. And firestorm is a much better alternative to fielding your own archers once you research it.

As far as mages go, DO NOT recruit warlocks until you have the ability to rejuvenate them or put boots of youth or regeneration on them, they die from old age way too quick. Early on you should be recruiting mostly demonbred instead, as they are awesome once you have pheonix pyre and fire shield researched, particularly if you have a minor nature/earth bless. Switch to warlocks once you have the ability to keep them alive.

Also very important is that your PD is probably the best in MA, learn when, where and how much to build against different opponents. Your PD can easily kill armies when you support it with well scripted mages.

Last edited by Nightfall; December 14th, 2010 at 06:43 PM..
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Did you read this thread?

http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=43824
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

While I haven't played ma abysia competitively in mp my thoughts on their troops in sp were how nicely varied they were in terms of movement.

humanbreds + indie troops (archers) together (map move 2)
pure abysians shuffling along by themselves (map move 1)
demonbred+devils (?) flying support (map move 3)

So my thought process was to have MM1 corps spearheading attacks, with MM2 corps in the back sort of bouncing around where needed, and finally MM3 flying in to support the other 2. I recall I had demonbreds as bloodhunters and devil summoners in the blood hunted province and then those forces flying out when needed. Quite a nice zone of control set up.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 12:31 AM

CthulhuDreams CthulhuDreams is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Don't take death scales. It's a total disaster with a nation reliant on old age mages.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 08:16 PM

earwicker7 earwicker7 is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Am I alone in thinking that, although it would seem like a natural match (Fireball, anyone?), Evocation is not where you want to put your research points? The mages are blind as bats! My daughter will say, "Daddy, why are you jumping up and down?" to which I'll say, "My mages finally hit someone!"
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Old December 15th, 2010, 08:19 PM

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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by CthulhuDreams View Post
Don't take death scales. It's a total disaster with a nation reliant on old age mages.
Yeah, I didn't know about the whole "Death scales have an indirect effect on old age" thing when I designed my pretender... all I knew was that Abyssia's income wasn't affected by Death scales, so I was thinking I would take advantage of it and grab an easy 120 points.

This brings up an interesting question... is there a list somewhere of ALL the effects scales have? Because it sure as hell isn't in the manual.
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Old December 15th, 2010, 09:14 PM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: Trying to improve my MA Abyssia Pretender Design

Evocation is still good for Abysia if you expect to be facing large armies. A big enough target even your mages can hit and you don't have to worry about friendly fire. Fire Clouds can be quite effective.

Against smaller, but tougher groups, they're less effective. Hard to say what else the Salamanders are good at though.
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