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  #1  
Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:00 PM

Renegade 13 Renegade 13 is offline
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Default Request for assistance

Hey, I have a few questions about DomII. First off, I've owned it and played it off and on for about a year and a half or so, but have never really aquired a whole lot of skill in the process Anyways, if anyone can help with my questions, please feel free to do so

Recently I've been playing a few games with lots of players and a large map. Usually roughly 10-12 players ("Normal" AI's) plus myself. Recently, I've played as Man and Ulm, yet the same thing has happened to me both times. I start out well, conquer the independents in the immediate area without trouble, and usually wipe out the closest AI as quickly as possible. Both times I've ended up with roughly 20 provinces, a few moderately sized armies, and all provinces explored for magical sites using the Acashic Record spell. It's notable to mention that I'm not skilled in the use of magic, and usually relegate it to the back burner, focussing on conventional armies.

My armies are usually mixes of fast, heavy troops and supporting missile troops. My mix is usually a ratio of about 2:1, missiles to heavy troops. Often archers in the back and the toughest cavalry I can recruit up front. With this mix, I wipe the floor with the AI in almost all battles, but can have trouble with large (100+) armies of weaker AI troops. So here comes my problem...

I always seem to hit an AI empire that has absolutely massive armies, and lots of them. This is usually around turn 40-50. I expand as much as I can, recruit what forces I can, but eventually they declare war on me and wipe me out without thinking twice about it. I just don't understand it; I'm recruiting as much as possible, using quality troops, yet the AI seems to be able to annihilate me with 6 or more 80+ troop armies. So, essentially, my question is how to avoid this, how to avoid the pitfall at this point in the game.

Pretty much, is there a detailed strategy guide for this stage of the game, something to teach me what I'm obviously missing?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:21 PM

Arker Arker is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

I know how you feel, sounds like most of my experiences with large-map games

There will probably be some advice coming from more experienced players, but what I can say is you'll have to work on the magic strategy a little. Taking down armies that have you massively outnumbered with poor troops can seem just about impossible, but a little of the right magic, properly applied, makes it easy.

With Ulm, the most important spell will be blade wind. It's an earth spell, and L6 Evocation I think. So you need the research to cast it, and boosted master smiths... I think you only need one booster level to cast it, but it's an exhausting spell to cast, so antifatigue items and even more earth boosters will help immensely. You want the spell summon earth power, that's IIRC conjuration 3, cast that the first round and it boosts your mages earth level 1 point for the rest of the battle. With summon earth power alone, they should be able to cast it, add some earth boots and they can do it without passing out It's not very good against anything with heavy armour, but will cut a nice huge swath of lightly armoured troops down with each cast.

If you're playing Ulm you also want to really work on construction. You need construction 4 for your master smiths to make dwarven hammers. Between their natural forge bonus and the hammers, you can churn out a huge number of useful items for the gems. All your battle-smiths should have earth boots and the anti-fatigue girdles ASAP, for reasons above. Once that's accomplished there are all sorts of other wonderful things your forges can churn out too. So basically what you want to research is construction 4, evocation 6, conjuration 3, not necessarily in that order, but all three of them as soon as possible. That gives you the tools to swat down enourmous hordes of crap troops like the insects they are

Ulmish arbalesters are powerful missile troops against heavily armoured enemies, but they just aren't cost effective facing hordes of cheap crap. For that you have to rely on your mages.
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  #3  
Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:39 PM
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KissBlade KissBlade is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

MAGNA ERUPTION for Ulm. For Man, just summon some Air Queen's or vine ogres, etc. Learn to use the magical spells instead of relying on recruitable troops once it's past turn 10 (if not even earlier), the bulk of your gold should be spent on mages. Also your pretender design/scales would be nice to see as well. A combat pretender is tricky at first to learn (to know what indies you can take and what not) but they definitely help.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:40 PM

Arker Arker is offline
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Oh, the other nice thing about summon earth power is it gives a little antifatigue too. And the other nice thing about boosting your battle-smiths up higher than just enough to cast the spell - blade wind has extra effects. It's, like, 42 blades? or close to that, but with a +, meaning that there are more blades if the mage casting is higher than the minimum level. With Ulm I generally have more earth gems than I know what to do with, between a substantial income of them and a huge forge bonus (the smiths forge bonus plus plenty of dwarven hammers) so about the time in the game you're talking about, I'll even start empowering the battle mages. One properly boosted battle smith that can stand there and cast back-to-back blade winds through the battle can cut down literally hundreds of lightly-armoured enemies.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:33 AM

Saxon Saxon is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

Magic. You have to go with magic. It is where the real power is and it is the way you are going to win. Ulm is the only one of the many races that has limited magic and even it needs to take it into account if it is going to win.

If memory serves, Man has cheap temples, so you might want to explore a dominion based approach. I think they also have nature spells, so explore powering up mages with the thistle mace. Gift of Health is a nice global, which boosts the hit points of all your troops in friendly dominion. Sounds like that would go well with your strategy/style of using lots of regular troops.

I had the same challenges you did when I first started. My problem was that I was treating the game like a regular wargame. I had to change my way of thinking radically and approaching things very differently. It is hard to describe, but let me try. Most games are the real world put onto the computer. This game is a fantasy world, with special laws of physics which you can change. You have to learn a new way to think to handle the new laws of nature.

I can only recommend what worked for me. Pick one nation and read up on it in the forums. Learn how it works and you will learn a lot of mechanics of the game. Try that nation out a few times, don’t be afraid to experiment. The learning curve on this game is very high, but it is worth it.

I would also suggest asking questions on the forums, but I suspect most of the activity is going to be over on Dom 3, now that it has been released.
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  #6  
Old August 24th, 2006, 04:07 AM

curtadams curtadams is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

I disagree about magic as I rely heavily on regular troops well into the game. It's not at all unusual for me to end a single-player game with my regulars still providing most of the force of my assault. Magic is killer but the AI can be beat with regular troops.

First off, I think cavalry is probably an error. My experience is that cavalry is distinctly less efficient than medium or heavy infantry both in recruitment costs and support requirements. You can generally buy and support 4 infantry for the cost of 1 cavalry and infantry will win 4 on 1. I suspect this is what's happening to you. Your 15 cavalry will just get totally squished facing 60 medium infanty.

The only unboosted cavalry I've ever thought makes a good backbone is the Tien Chi Barbarian Kings heavy bow cavalry which is cheap and has great combat stats - but it's a bear to use well and it took me a dozen games to get it right. Black Knights and Knights of Avalon are both very much on my "not worth it" list. The exception is that sacred cavalry can be worth it with a good bless effect.

If you do use cavalry, you need to set up your troops precisely for each battle so that your cavalry hits the enemy at full charge, which is tricky and requires moving them around on the battlemap depending on the speed of your opponent. A good shock will frequently break the enemy, meaning you have no losses. With your huge numerical disadvantage once melee starts, only good use of the shock can make cavalry worthwhile.

My normal army is about 50/50 medium infantry/archers with mage artillery support. I set infantry on hold and attack in front of the archers. I make sure I have at least as large an army as the AI with fortress supplies and the nature supply boosters. This will totally wipe any normal army the AI fields and most magical ones. I do supplement my armies with summoned troops as the game goes on.

I'm also skeptical on Akashic record. It's a very expensive spell, and I prefer to search with either rainbow pretenders or groups of mages with suitable random picks. Searching to 1 gets you about half the sites; you don't need perfect coverage to win. Akashic record on 20 provinces is what, 500 pearls? You can get a LOT of angels and lucky coins for that. Even worse if you have to alchemize other gems, as I suspect you do. For that price you could have huge armies of Fall Bears as Ulm or lamia/Vine Ogres as Man that would annihilate an endless series of chaff armies.
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  #7  
Old August 24th, 2006, 04:09 AM
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Graeme Dice Graeme Dice is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

Quote:
Renegade 13 said:
Both times I've ended up with roughly 20 provinces, a few moderately sized armies, and all provinces explored for magical sites using the Acashic Record spell.
Acashic record is usually not worth the gem cost. If you find one gem producing site, it will only pay off 25 turns later for an astral site, and 50 turns later for any other site. Use the individual school searching spells or level 1 mages for those schools that you can't cast the searching spells in.

Quote:
So, essentially, my question is how to avoid this, how to avoid the pitfall at this point in the game.
Recruit a mage at every castle every single turn. Use the spells that target large numbers of troops such as blade wind to destroy unarmoured AI troops.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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Graeme Dice Graeme Dice is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

Quote:
Arker said:
With Ulm, the most important spell will be blade wind. It's an earth spell, and L6 Evocation I think.
Blade wind is level 4 evocation.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 06:10 AM

Arker Arker is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

I've had some moderate success with cavalry. I like to keep a good strike force of all cavalry available, set them as far forward on the field as possible and attack immediately, they can move quickly to cover unexpected threats, make good patrollers, and can quickly crush a relatively weak army that pops up making trouble in an unexpected place, which can save a lot of trouble when the only other way to deal with it would mean pulling a large, powerful army away from an urgent task and wasting several months getting them into position.

The large, powerful army, however, is going to have a lot of heavy infantry. Possibly archers too, depending on the race, but heavy infantry without fail.

The cavalry army and the main army can combine. When they do, the cavalry gets set back a bit and set to outflank. They do pretty well in that role, but honestly, the ability to split them off into an independent force that can move much more quickly is the only reason I build them at all. Infantry flankers work, and they're much less expensive.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 11:14 AM

curtadams curtadams is offline
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Default Re: Request for assistance

Well, in your original post you implied cavalry was your main strike force and that could make you fall behind. Even as fill-in I usually prefer move 2 foot armies because of the cost advantage, although cavalry does have that strat move advantage. Why do you lose? Do your actual main armies get overwhelmed or do you just have too many armies to squish?
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