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Old February 18th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrana View Post
One word - Spectres. They will boost any Death nation into Astral, with other types just contributing to research or raiding enemies.
Meh, in theory yes, but:

1. At Conj 6 and D3, Spectres can take a while to get - I usually don't go so far down the Conj path til I have a number of other paths researched. Usually find the need for combat spells 1st (I like to exercise my mages), site searching, then Const for boosters to be able to make use of Conj. So by the time you get them it can be pretty late to be trying to fire up a decent S economy.

2. In line with that, some of the coolest sites I find are Astral and I'd rather get them early on as that will compound your leads in gems and research.

3. At 20D, I don't find Spectres especially cost effective. Lot of valuable death gems to summon them, not all will be Astral, then takes a while to site search with them, etc. Plus they won't get you any Astral boosters - you are still stuck without access to RoS and ROW.

I am not saying I won't summon them, mostly they are useful to intimidate by feebleminding unsuspecting Mind Hunters but I don't find them to be as simple as a solution as portrayed.

And, not relevant to this thread, but I was referring to playing Pan with a Gorgon, and Death magic is not so easy for them, again luck is a factor. In my case, I have a single D1 Pan out of # Pans. Wtf! Its been a pretty unlucky game w/r to sites/randoms, but it happens and I have had other games where I have been amazingly lucky. You never know but as I play more I'd rather minimize dependence on good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrana View Post
He got E4.
I read it as mainly W9 bless (a minor E bless appears in 1 out of 3 builds). W9 feels good when you see things getting motored down but is only beneficial when you use sacreds to fight whereas an E9 bless is useful in battle and magery. Fomoria seems to have such powerful combat mages with Death and Air, getting some reinvigoration / protection on them seems like it would be pretty effective. I admit I haven't messed around with Morrigans though and that sounds fun...

But the other consideration I had was making sure your nation has access to E magic and being able to cast / forge some of the big E ticket items later on. A pure W bless leaves you without easy / near-term access to E or S. That would scare me.
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  #22  
Old February 18th, 2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Ahh, another beautiful day on the forums, and another chance for point-by-point multi-quoting. <3


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aezeal View Post
hmmm and wouldn't the standard giant bless of E9N6 be nice too?
Well there is a reason that it is considered the "standard", and it is easier to use in the early-mid game. It's my personal feeling that with Fomoria, an E9 based bless wanes in overall usefulness as the game progresses, whereas, as Baalz mentions, the W9 gains new usefulness in the late game.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorazon
I think a national strategy should prepare you for the endgame, not rely on luck or indies to cover a nation's weakness. I think magical diversity is critical as there are so many permutations of who you might end up fighting in the endgame of a competitive MP game, you had better be prepared for anything.

Also, interesting that a big W bless is chosen here. I would have thought an E bless would have been optimal for enhanced evocatory devastation and more late game usage. I'd think having at least E4 would be almost mandatory as otherwise you are really lacking in 2 critical paths. That seems like really rolling the dice on your strategy.
I get so lost in my own train of thought sometimes, I should have mentioned the Specter in my original body (thank you Wrana!). But also, I really have to say, it is exceedingly unlikely that you have to fall back to summons to get into Astral (but if you do, your Death superiority can handle it nicely). As far as Earth, honestly there is nothing that you can't get by without. The only thing you -really- desire from Earth, is Hammers, which you might find a chance to trade for early on, before people are scared of you. Otherwise, Girdles of Might for your casters, and access to the artifacts would be nice, but the nation as a whole can thrive without those things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pyg
In SP I usually take a E9/10 bless and sometimes N. Even with an E10 bless unmarked will still accumulate fatigue. Anyway I was wondering how you fight battles w/unmarked when you are vastly outnumbered or will otherwise have a long battle? Isn't the success of the W9 bless dependent on short battles where the numbers are more evenly matched?
Well the key is swift brutality. The combination of Quickened giants, and heavy Air evocation - and the eventual inclusion of Morale damaging spells, and/or a couple Horror Helms if needed, can cause most battles to be far shorter than your opponent would desire. And of course, for the huge late-game army vs army clashes, deploying and scripting as I described will seriously devastate almost anyone. As Baalz (thank you, btw) clarified, Morrigans are Enc0 and have Life Drain anyway, so once they are contributing heavily to your larger battles, your Fatigue issues in melee are largely ameliorated. Also never forget to throw in Firbolgs, when in doubt. They really are surprisingly good at mitigating damage, and boosting the overall staying power of your Blessed troops.


[quote=Baalz]Even if the reinvig doesn't match the encumbrance, you can still comfortably chew up scores of PD singlehandledly and hang in big battles for the first dozen turns. True, you're not going to be able to go into those situations which drag into turn 40 of combat, but this doesn't limit you as much as you might think - you just have to make sure your damage outlay is sufficient to keep things from dragging on.[quote]

I think it's important to note here, that even though you will likely maintain one LARGE army to intimidate the enemy, and to support the use of massive battlefield magics - part of the key is also to have numerous smaller task forces as backup. Do not be afraid to play cat-and-mouse with your main army, while your raiders chop away at your foe's lands, and you organize your reinforcements. Remember, you want a LOT of castles, and of course they are not just for recruiting your cheap Sacred thugs - they are also ubiquitous speed bumps. You can fall back before his main army, and bind him up in your tangled wall of castles, and lose very little of your control over the war. Just as in chess, a war can easily be won by making one option appear to be significantly better to your enemy than all others - and then arranging the rest of your pieces to exploit the inherent weaknesses of that choice. Fomoria has excellent tools for creating just those sorts of situations - and should rarely, if ever, feel forced to engage in "iffy" battles, past the end of the second year. After that, dance around your opponent, and force him to take the risks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraithlord
My tests and experience indicate that W9 bless on high (say >4) encumb. sacreds is sub optimal at best. Its worse when they auto buff -- even two-three rounds of the usual buffing will have it start the battle at fatigue anywhere between 30-50, and its down hill from there. This means the tougher indies may kill you or afflict you. This means that a human opponent in MP will use the fatigue weakness against you in many a ways.

I have found the W9E4N4 or W9E6 to perform better in cases where high def and double speed on sacred is critical (which is usually not the case for the giant sacreds).
W9 can indeed cause you many problems if misapplied, which is one reason I performed a concerted test of the W9/E4/N4 variant before writing this guide, to offer the option to take the edge off. Bear in mind, you have little that you need your Nature gems for, other than gear. An optimal gearset for a King in the late game can easily contain both a Rainbow Armor, and a Boots of the Messenger. Also, while many prefer Vine Shields, with your incredibly high defense you can just use Weightless shields, for the 0Enc on them. Beyond that, as I pointed out, late game you have 2 basic variants of Kings as SCs, the 3A/1W/2D which you will use as surgical strikers against weak points or anti-thug/SC duty, and the A3/D3 variant who will buff with Soul Vortex, and will laugh at Fatigue issues. Just to clarify, while the W9 is in part chosen specifically for the Morrigans, it merely means adjusting your tactics with your other forces - you build your fights around speed and power, not on endurance - your forte is not outlasting your opponent like Fomoria, it's breaking them in two, and scattering them to the winds before they can effectively blunt your charge. As I stated in the guide, Fomorians are physically the least durable of the 3 real giant races (sorry Agartha, you know I love you <3), so you leverage high Defense, with your capacity to deal damage. Played in this way, I feel it gets you further with Fomoria, than the typical "soak the damage and take your time" strategy of an E9++ Blessing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Baalz
I have to say I'm not generally a big fan of a major W bless, but I do think it fits well with this strategy. It's justified in no small part by the Morrigans - high defense, glamour, 0 enc, life drain...they're pretty much the ideal candidate for a W bless (and hella nasty if you haven't seen them in action). In this case you're trying to balance a bless against 3 totally different goals - Morrigans, unmarked, and thugs/casters. Sure an E bless helps the thugs/casters and to a lesser extent the unmarked but it doesn't help the Morrigans at all. W blessing is at the other end of the spectrum, though it's far from useless to anti-thugs. I've no doubt a classic E/N giant bless would also be effective (and probably moreso if you only consider the sacred giants), but wouldn't really do much at all for the Morrigans.
I just have to say, with your eye for synergy, that it pleases me greatly that you can clearly see what I've been aiming for. In the game I won with Fomoria, I had never even experimented with Morrigans, until I summoned my first one during that game (I really love W9 Bless, and I will admit, choosing it without knowledge of the Morrigan's capabilities, was a somewhat newbie move). I was very impressed with their stats, but when I first used Dance of the Morrigans in combat, I seriously nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I had brought 50 Morrigans with the army (I was moving to finally destroy the Niefel army that had devastated many of my unprepared troops - see my notes about NOT engaging in risky combats if you don't absolutely have to ), so I was already prepared to to provide Darkness, and scripted the Divine Bless to go off after the Dance was cast. They will continue to spawn as long as combat continues (I think more spawn the more "blood is shed", it seems to be more than flavor text, but it's hard to say), so they won't all be Blessed, but they are virtually indestructible with a W9 Bless, except -maybe- to Abysia, who in 99% of all cases will simply be obliterated anyway due to sheer numbers, and your heavy Lightning support. Remember, the Morrigans come from all edges of the battlefield, so unprotected mages in the back will just dissolve, and even a few bodyguards are just not likely to be enough to buy more than a couple of rounds of combat.

And I really can't say this enough - 1 Nemedian Champion + Winged Shoes + 10 Morrigans > 5 Nemedian Champions + 50 Nemedians on foot. There simply is no comparison. Sure it costs you some gems, but like I said, you can get by on short (and in some cases, no) supplies of just about anything, except Air and Death. They are your lifeblood.
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  #23  
Old February 18th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Sneaky Don.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorazon View Post
1. At Conj 6 and D3, Spectres can take a while to get - I usually don't go so far down the Conj path til I have a number of other paths researched. Usually find the need for combat spells 1st (I like to exercise my mages), site searching, then Const for boosters to be able to make use of Conj. So by the time you get them it can be pretty late to be trying to fire up a decent S economy.
Conj is one of your most vital tertiary Research objectives. Conj6 is certainly no stretch for early-mid or mid-mid game. As Fomoria, the only things you really need from Astral are your quintessential Luck Item™ and Antimagic Ammy. And only some of your Kings need the Ammy, your casting Kings should all have Rainbow Armor on, and not be the focus of enemy mages, so you only need one big angry guy in front to soak the Astral spam, and then any Kings out on their own need one. Mostly you just want as many Luck Pendants as you can get your hands on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorazon View Post
2. In line with that, some of the coolest sites I find are Astral and I'd rather get them early on as that will compound your leads in gems and research.
There are excellent Astral sites with recruitables. But this is where arguing about Astral breaks down. You lose all of the bite of your giants if you do not have an Imprisoned pretender, to get the Bless you need without -3/all scales. So Astral on your pretender isn't going to expedite things, and so this is why my suggestion was to suck it up, and take fringe options like the Specter as your last resort, if nothing else pans out. You absolutely want your Astral searching ASAP, but remember, the "P" stands for "Possible", not "You Can If You Are Willing To Sacrifice Everything Else".


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorazon View Post
3. At 20D, I don't find Spectres especially cost effective. Lot of valuable death gems to summon them, not all will be Astral, then takes a while to site search with them, etc. Plus they won't get you any Astral boosters - you are still stuck without access to RoS and ROW.
Well they aren't "particularly" cost effective, sure. But in a pinch, they will do the job - and seriously, you are in no great need of a RoW as Fomoria. Certainly not every nation in the game has to insure access to high level Astral, and this is a sterling example, IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCorazon View Post
I read it as mainly W9 bless (a minor E bless appears in 1 out of 3 builds). W9 feels good when you see things getting motored down but is only beneficial when you use sacreds to fight whereas an E9 bless is useful in battle and magery. Fomoria seems to have such powerful combat mages with Death and Air, getting some reinvigoration / protection on them seems like it would be pretty effective. I admit I haven't messed around with Morrigans though and that sounds fun...

But the other consideration I had was making sure your nation has access to E magic and being able to cast / forge some of the big E ticket items later on. A pure W bless leaves you without easy / near-term access to E or S. That would scare me.
Again, you really do not -need- those things on the scale that you are talking about. You -need- minor access to Astral, and the rest really is just gravy. If you can allow yourself to focus on the overt strengths (and some hidden strengths) of Fomoria, without getting too caught up trying to shore up their weaknesses, you will do very well.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

EA has pretty good indy diversity, so the chances of getting S from lizards or crystal amazons are pretty good. Also site frequency is higher in EA, giving you a better chance of getting Astral through Wizards of the Crescent Moon or whatever.

One thing the guide does not mention is Air Domes. It really really sucks to have a disabled capitol as Fomoria, and Kings can get an Air Dome up pretty easily. A contingent of Firbolg slingers should patrol your capitol if you are in a mixed-age game. (Are there national recruitable spies in EA? I can't think of any.)
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Alright, I am sold. I am just bitter about no Astral in one of my games
And I am kind of infatuated with the enchantress...
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vfb View Post
One thing the guide does not mention is Air Domes. It really really sucks to have a disabled capitol as Fomoria, and Kings can get an Air Dome up pretty easily. A contingent of Firbolg slingers should patrol your capitol if you are in a mixed-age game. (Are there national recruitable spies in EA? I can't think of any.)
Good point, though I tend to keep some "reserves" at my capital anyways, whether it be the last few turns of Unmarked production waiting for assignment, or just some summons intentionally held on the back burner. If you throw some of these on an Umarked Champion (you should always have a number in "reserve" as well, they are potent defensively and in quick deployment), then you can forgo paying for Firbolgs to do the job.

As far as Air domes go, I guess I shouldn't have cut corners, as I tried to make this guide as friendly to new players as possible, while still appealing to the more experienced.

I have a few edits planned, I will include mention of Air Domes, certainly. <3
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:45 PM

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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

I recall being disappointed by Morrigan when they were unable to even faze a generic marble armor thug. Is there an effective way in the Fomoria arsenal to make them competitive against foes with decent protection?
Their baseline damage is just 19.

I haven't tried them in the CBM though.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

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Originally Posted by Redeyes View Post
I recall being disappointed by Morrigan when they were unable to even faze a generic marble armor thug. Is there an effective way in the Fomoria arsenal to make them competitive against foes with decent protection?
Their baseline damage is just 19.

I haven't tried them in the CBM though.
Well bear in mind, this isn't really their intended application. Obviously someone can always toss a few well geared thugs in with their larger armies. This will do them no good as if it's a "large vs large" confrontation, a few thugs won't be able to bind up enough Morrigans to keep them from ravaging the rest of the army. It's highly unlikely that we could consider it a "large" enemy force, with those thugs making up more than 25% of the HP of the force, meaning you will force them to route by destroying the rest.

If it IS more than 25% of the HP of the force, either it's not a "large" army, in which case you deploy your own anti-thug squads, whether Unmarked Champions, or Kings as applicable - or he has essentially placed all of his eggs in one basket, in which case your strategy is to lead him around and play tag while your raiding forces ravage the landscape. Tactically in that scenario, it's very much going to come down to a game specific plan where you're really going to need to analyze your exact capabilities, and his exact gearbuilds. If he can't manage to get 100% Shock Resist for example, a couple casts of Living Clouds will likely do the trick. If he has the SR, he likely will be vulnerable to Poison, or to Frozen Heart from your N and W randoms. And when all else fails, push MR by spamming Disintegrate.

Again, if he wants to build his meat so as to be relatively impervious to your national capabilities, say a Tartarian with a Ring of Tamed Lightning, Antimagic Ammy and whatever to get to MR 25+, this is when your W random Kings are the weapon of choice. 2 Kings can Cloud Trapeze onto a Tartarian, in such an anti-SC scenario, the -only- buff that they will need is Personal Quickness. Give them both a Flambeau, or 2 Swords of Swiftness, or 2 Dusk Daggers, etc, and that Tart should be dead by the end of round 3 (assuming you also wear Flying Shoes so you are on him on the second round).

Obviously your opponent will try to counter what you are showing him that you are capable of. For this reason I tend to suggest that you keep secrets. For example if you get Enchantresses, don't spread around Fire forged items unless you feel it doesn't matter. When out of nowhere you are wielding Flambeaus, or you have FR gear, it can cripple what your opponent thought of as his "best weapon" against you. But I still feel that with a little creativity, the key is that anything that Fomoria cannot do with magic (and they certainly can do almost anything with it, even lacking 4! paths), they can do with swift application of brute force.

Also remember that you should always have Unmarked Champions just hanging around your empire. When a Tart drops into your territory and you Cloud Trapeze an anti-SC unit onto it, plant a trap for your opponent. Move several Unmarked into the province that turn as well, and perhaps a few scripted Druids for backup. This will spread out any retaliatory Mind Hunt attempts (oh no, you Mind Hunted a 70g, expendable random guy!), but if he chooses to Teleport in an anti-SC-SC, the extra forces can easily throw a wrench in his intended scripts. Also of course, if you have more than minimal Astral magic, a couple mages tossed in will totally shield you from Mind Hunts altogether.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:51 PM

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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Hi Jim! Nice guide.

I have a few concerns: When you describe Formoria as a strong contender for Death, you're exaggerating there. They aren't even close to some others in EA. Sauromatia and C'tis both have the non-capital mages to drown the world in bones. Fomoria doesn't. They're competent in Death and must certainly include it in any winning strategy, but to ascribe them more power than that I think would be misleading.

The Water bless seems like a clever thing for the Morrigans but I think the low-Attack, high-Encumbrance Unmarked are just asking to be stymied by anything with high Defense. Maybe something like 9E/4N/4F to leverage your Unmarked to the point that you have a chance at researching up to the Morrigans to begin with.

I mean... I shudder to think of those waterbless Unmarked going up against just your standard dual-blessed Jaguar Warriors. You have to have run into some problems with them; it's just such a glaring weakness that if anything is exacerbated by the Water bless. Even with E4 you're picking up 10! Encumbrance a turn... the song Candle in the Wind comes to mind.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Fomoria - Where is your God now? (AKA - The Other Giant Meat)

Yep, what Jim said. I don't think "how can I make the morrigans do enough damage to punch through serious armor", I tend to think "what gems do I have laying around to forge cheap magic weapons for my very strong quickened giants." Slap almost anything armor piercing (preferably two one handed weapons) on an unmarked champion and he'll chew up most anything while the morrigans keep them tied up. If thugs are a pretty regular problem, just make it a habit of equipping those Nemedian champions with something nasty, set the morrigans to guard commander and him to attack large enemies. If you give him the right weapon his 13 strength is plenty to lay some hurt down. Demon bane, moon blade, and serpent kryss are darn cost effective if you've got a good idea what you're facing, while a frost brand lays out plenty enough damage to chop up anybody even if they're frost immune.
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