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  #31  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Twan Twan is offline
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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

It's a straw man because I critic an (insanely big in my opinion) advantage given to the defender and you answer like if it was a critic of the power of magic in endgame in general.

With an initiative system making round one casting not so absolutely reliable for the defender I would have nothing against extremely powerful battlefield offensive instant effect. I just think these spells are not good for the game due to the actual initiative system.

I also know there are some champions of theoryminion here, who have counters for anything in thought, I even seen theories countering the Mist of Deception + BE combo, so I tend to prefer to consider real games experiences to things supposed to work (or even "working" if you forget to compare the costs, like forging armors for 60 mages to counter a 1 gem rain of stones) .

I'm totally fine with about 90% of the (endgame or not) spells and game mechanics, except they are not actually balanced against offensive battlewide instant (cast by a defender in round one). Why bothering to cast niefel flames, shimmering fields etc... or use mass elemental resist spells if the ultimate defensive tactic is to kill attackers in round one with chained mundane dammages or to enslave them ? What's the point of all expensive continuous dammage BE like fire storm, wrathfull skies, etc, and all mass +/- fatigue spells, if instants should decide the outcome of big battles in round one and allow to destroy/enslave everything but a bunch of SCs ? Why the placement and script system if no matter how the attacker position his troops/mages all is decided by spells touching them everywhere before they have done anything ; and no matter how the defender use this tool too, the only way to destroy him is with rituals ? What's the point of havink 1K+ different units in this game, if all become useless except a dozen of SC chassis and mages-in-defense-only ?

Now I must admit I'm a little biased because I like to watch the replays before looking at the result, and see interesting battles with some suspense and brillant tactics involving thought for the two sides, in both army position and 5 full rounds of scripting, rather than being sure that I've won when I see that my ennemy attacked a defended province, or seing wars decided in a text saying a lucky spell has gone through a dome, without even something to watch.

And in my opinion, allowing one round of buffing, if not the perfect solution (= a good individual initiative system with only small defensive advantage, and/or the most powerful spells needing several rounds to be cast), would allow to see as interesting battles in endgame as they already are in midgame, with more varied combos involving all kinds of elemental dammages / resists, fatigue management, importance of troops, mages and SCs placement, eventual ping pong control of low MR units via astral spells, etc... Nothing reducing the power of magic, but making massive endgame battles the pinnacle of the game they should IMO be.
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  #32  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:18 AM

LDiCesare LDiCesare is offline
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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

The problem with this defensive advantage only occurs if you can't outmaneuver strongly defended provinces. Which means it's mostly a VP game problem. Can such a situation reasonably happen in late game for a provinces victory for instance?
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  #33  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

On a map with choke points (like most), or everytime you know where the ennemy will attack, a big yes.

People tend to see these tactics as only possible with static forces but it's ignoring mages have not to start the turn in the province (nor end it there).

If I know your big army is going to one of my provinces I can teleport 7 S mages, enslave half your troops before you can do anything, and use a vortex of returning to bring my mages and slaves back to my capitol lab if I want. As well the fog warriors / rain of stones combo involve air mages probably able to cloud trapeze where you are going to attack.

And, as moves to friendly provinces occur before ennemy moves (another big advantage for the defender), even mages not able to use a movement ritual, can with flying boots be sent to any friendly province in a 3 provinces radius where they will cast first in defence, except if you attack in magic phase.

There is one turn of vulnerability against assassination rituals if you send mages to a non domed province (only if you have not used vortex of returning because you wanted to keep that province), but if your rain of stones killed 50 ennemy casters, or your enslavers took control of half ennemy soldiers, who destroyed the other half, it's usually worth the eventual sacrifice of the 6 or 7 needed mages.

ps : of course some provinces victory conditions may mean the game never reach endgame, or someone can win just fighting indies or sending small forces to a lot of provinces at the same time, making mass spells not worth the effort, but I think this kind of game is an exception more than common rule
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  #34  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 03:32 PM

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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

Quote:
Twan said:
It's a straw man because I critic an (insanely big in my opinion) advantage given to the defender and you answer like if it was a critic of the power of magic in endgame in general.

It seems like you are critiquing the power of magic in the endgame.

For example, you complain that armoring your mages is a huge cost.... I don't see it as that. Sixty mages is a giant force which it is unlikely that you are bringing to a battle, but if you were it is 300 gems for amror for them all (180 if you use hammers, which is the same cost as three or four summoned mages). Armor will actually prevent a ton or AoE and battlefield spells, but also arrows, flyers on attack rear, and a host of other ills.

You are also ignoring the fact that your opponent has spent more than 1 gem for Rain of Stones. He has either expensive summoned mages who can survive several Rains of Stones(like Air Empowered Troll Kings), or he's armored all his mages(spending the same amount of gems as you should have), or he's one the few nations who can do this specific tactic (Vanheim). Whatever the reason, your enemy has invested heavily in this one tactic and it is proper that they should profit from it.

On the same note, an enemy who can cast Master Enslave on round 1 has either invested in a powerful Astral pretender or Crystal Matrixes and Slave Matrixes for all his communioned mages.

And all of those considerations still are still small considering that you could have attacked with an SC or thug army (which is the only real way to fight masses of mages).

All of these factors are part of the late game and the way that magic and gem expenditure take a greater importance and recruitable troops become simple chaff.
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  #35  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

I agree with K. Late game is very, very complex. But as the number of factors to take into account multiplies so does your resources - if you lead a good mid game. I say use to resources to actually kit out your army, it helps - alot.
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  #36  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

You don't need slave matrixes to cast in round one in a communion, just one crystal matrix for the master, and him to be after his slaves (but of course to efficiently enslave, he probably need penetration gear).

And defender can protect all his mages and troops against rain of stones for 3 or 4 gems (army of gold or fog warriors), he don't have to make armors for each.

Then I agree SCs/thugs are the only thing usable to take a province against teams of mages able to cast endgame spells (no need of an army of mages, as explained above 10-12 are sufficient to cast all the spells in the example). But considering the defender can use some SCs too, and has no problem to have his normal troops surviving first round, you really need a thug *army*.
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  #37  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:44 PM

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Default Re: Casting first in defence + endgame spells

Quote:
Twan said:
You don't need slave matrixes to cast in round one in a communion, just one crystal matrix for the master, and him to be after his slaves (but of course to efficiently enslave, he probably need penetration gear).

And defender can protect all his mages and troops against rain of stones for 3 or 4 gems (army of gold or fog warriors), he don't have to make armors for each.
If a guy is lucky enough to have all his mages in that kind of caster order, then he deserves the ability to use this trick.

Quote:
Twan said:
Then I agree SCs/thugs are the only thing usable to take a province against teams of mages able to cast endgame spells (no need of an army of mages, as explained above 10-12 are sufficient to cast all the spells in the example). But considering the defender can use some SCs too, and has no problem to have his normal troops surviving first round, you really need a thug *army*.
Yeh, its the endgame. Thug armies are the norm.
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