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  #21  
Old January 5th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

I'm going to have to go with qm on this one, you can easily squeeze an e9, n4, s4 dormant druid with order 3, sloth 3, cold 3, magic 1 while maintaining dom 7. You can splash on extra magic to your liking if you want death scales or even awaken it. As others have mentioned, niefel jarls suddenly becomes SC's out of the box which vets would use as the REAL strength of niefelheim (most vets tend to get skinshifters anyway till income allows some niefels to be fielded as cheap indie stomping forces since they're still more durable than shifters with e9/n4) rather than the niefel giants. The only real advantage to the awaken master lich is the possibility of earth gems which your e9 wizzie will put to better use anyway. Two gygja's with d2,s2,n2 spread among them will already cover the wide majority of the other sites with a skratti anyway. Even assuming very generously that you get a hammer before the first year (dormancy), you're basically weighing an extra hammer versus a bless to make jarls beastly as well as shrouds on your later skratti's. I just don't see it. Having your awake pretender out site searching means you're not even getting the research opportunity cost but rather banking on earlier earth gems? Also assuming you're using crystal coins to power your gygja's as thugs, they have /abysmal/ attack defence ratings much like the master lich chassis. Aside from being able to cast a few spells before encumberance eats them up (assuming farstrike doesn't), how does it beat just spamming some jotun jarls with blesses to raid some pd's?
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  #22  
Old January 5th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

To me s4 seems a little low, not very safe for magic duels. While on a lich you can somewhat count on immortality in friendly dom (but you can still lose your equip), the druid doesn't have this advantage. Nothing game-destroying for course (after the first one the wise druid will probably stay more on stealthy anyway)...

@Kissblade - I'm not a vet but I think you are a little underestimating the Gygja for the role Baalz has in mind. If I understood correctly the kitted ones are intended only to be teleporting thugs to squish the province defense cutting the retreat of the enemy armies which will run away with the morale shattered by fear auras, blood rains etc, thus condemning them to a rather pointless death A 40HP 20str equipped Gygja seems to me perfectly capable of killing some PD The Jotun Jarl can't teleport...

Last edited by Tifone; January 5th, 2009 at 08:03 AM..
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  #23  
Old January 5th, 2009, 08:01 AM

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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

The druid isn't designed to go out there partying though, so I'm not sure how much of an issue it is.
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  #24  
Old January 5th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Druids and other human pretenders aren't made for fighting IMO. Stick them in your lab, or if they are out site searching, script them with returning.

There's other stuff besides Magic Duel that will get them killed in battle really fast.

The worst thing that can happen is your home castle gets taken and stormed, and your opponent brings some S mages to Magic Duel your god. If that's going on you're probably not in great shape anyway.

Edit: Doh! Ninja'd by Sombre.
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  #25  
Old January 5th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

OMG. Another excellent guide from the Baalz factory.
Man, you're making them faster than I have time to play with

Last edited by WraithLord; January 5th, 2009 at 09:18 AM..
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  #26  
Old January 5th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Tifone makes the first of my points, the gygjas are PD squishers - body ethereal, personal luck, personal regeneration, etc. kitted with boots of the messenger, some armor, frost brand, vine shield...something like that tweaked for what you expect to encounter. Not just for cutting off enemy retreats, but they basically can be used as if they're golems to stomp all over the lightly held back lands or counter raiders while your heavier hitters take the front line. This is an immense strategic advantage which is a large leg up from how Niefelheim is usually played. S2 gygjas are drastically rarer than S1, and they greatly benefit from the crystal coins as well (will of the fates, enslave mind, gateway, etc).

The next is that there's not *that* much difference between a Jarl with an E4 S4 bless and one with an E9 N4. An E4 will give you enough reinvig to fight 90% of the fights you could with the E9/E4. If you're talking without equipment you're talking about fighting in a cold environment with no enemy mages, and nothing too extremely tough. You're not suddenly having to shelve the Jarls because they have a weaker bless, I didn't really talk about them much because I figured they were already very well known but they're a very nice compliment to the cold immune skratti & ghosts and there's not many fights 2 reinvig won't carry you through. Yes, you're giving up a little of the strength concentration in the Jarls, my thesis is this is more than made up by your other gains.

As I pointed out earlier, I think the opportunity cost of going with an imprisoned cyclops is larger than QM presented it. Likewise the opportunity cost of the sleeping druid needs to be considered next to its benefits. You lose 2 points of dominion - not huge but that's a noticeable drop if you plan on making a dominion push one of your primary strategies, and likewise the early dominion spread from being awake goes a long way towards putting your neighbors on the defensive in the dominion pushing war. You're sleeping which is obviously better than being imprisoned, but also obviously not as fast as being awake for all the things you want your pretender to do. The thing to me is, there comes a point where you can't afford to have your pretender out site searching much, you want him forging stuff, summoning stuff, and laying buffs your nationals can't. I find, very roughly, that starting awake about doubles the time my pretender can just research or site search vs being asleep. The impact this makes (specifically in this case to your astral and earth income) is significant. There is no other reasonable way to get an earth income. For astral income you can either count on being pretty lucky and landing a double astral random gygja early (and still settle for a meager S2 site search), or plan on cranking out a lot of gygjas and thus *not* cranking out a bunch of skratti's initially (opportunity cost). Not cranking out the skrattis means you're going to be light on the B3 ones, and your blood economy is going to be slower to get off the floor. Regardless your astral and earth income is going to be much lighter than if a E4/S4/D5 is site searching from turn 2. Finally, the lich is an immortal air drop army killer who doesn't need any equipment, while the druid will likely never see combat even to lay down buffs.

All this to get tougher Jarls, who are immensely tough anyway. I think it's a REAL mistake to have the mindset that the jarls are the REAL strength of Niefelheim and everything else is just a stopgap until you use nothing but jarls. Everything is always a balancing act of opportunity costs. Focusing on the jarls gains you a benefit, but focusing on the gygjas and skratti as I outline here gains you several different ones. What's the benefit of having teleporting gygja thugs and 5 castles all pumping out SCs inside of year 2 with your cold dominion pushed further and a master lich ready to drop every turn in a kamikaze attack? Is it better than 4 extra armor on your jarls and a touch of regen? I think so, but of course nobody is arguing that the "classical" way to play Niefelheim has no teeth, and I'm certainly never going to claim that there's only one good way to play a nation.

Last edited by Baalz; January 5th, 2009 at 10:14 AM..
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  #27  
Old January 5th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

@ Maxwell - What you need to understand about relief is that it doesn't give reinvigoration, but reinvigorates, which is a big difference. Relief reinvigorates each unit using a separate open-ended die roll. You can expect at least 1 point of fatigue to be recovered, but I average it much higher. Because its open-ended I've seen recovery as high as 17 points of fatigue.

@ Kissblade - Your thesis is based on the idea that a jarl without a E9-N4/6 bless is nothing. That isn't remotely close to the truth as that bless provides only a meager boost. A boost that is completely reproducible with magical items or battlefield spells. Jarls start out scary and their bless just makes them slightly scarier. The bless is just an add-on to an amazing unit. Take it away and they are still jarls. Also, you highly underestimate what 3 years of additional earth income amounts to. It isn't one or two extra hammers, but an income to actually do something with your pretender. As for being able to cast anything worth while, a pair of earth boots and the blood stone you picked up after empowering your god in blood lets you cast every earth spell in the game! Even with just the boots you lack the ability to cast Earth Blood Deep Well and that is all. A real earth pretender has skill in other paths so that he can do things like summon Golems, rain down meteors in combat, forge swords that deal non-resistible AoE damage with each swing, and make astral boosters for all his fellow astral mages. In my estimation, the real earth pretender is the master lich described, not some stupid one-eyed monster who got caught!
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Last edited by AreaOfEffect; January 5th, 2009 at 12:51 PM..
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  #28  
Old January 5th, 2009, 01:03 PM

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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Oh! I've never really bothered with relief because it claimed to be only 1 fatigue. If it gets a die roll, then that changes everything.
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  #29  
Old January 5th, 2009, 01:07 PM

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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baalz View Post
All this to get tougher Jarls, who are immensely tough anyway.
Alternately, all this to get Skratti who can use cheap shrouds instead of Hydra Skin Armor (which you yourself suggest as the "best" armor for Skrattis), or who are about as lethal as the Blood Thorn variant using only the axes (still zero-enc even after quickness). It helps the Jarls too but that's not the only benefit.

-Max
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  #30  
Old January 5th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Niefelheim - Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

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Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baalz View Post
All this to get tougher Jarls, who are immensely tough anyway.
Alternately, all this to get Skratti who can use cheap shrouds instead of Hydra Skin Armor (which you yourself suggest as the "best" armor for Skrattis), or who are about as lethal as the Blood Thorn variant using only the axes (still zero-enc even after quickness). It helps the Jarls too but that's not the only benefit.

-Max
The blessing really is just for the Jarl...ok, it benefits the Niefel giant units as well but that's not a significant factor. You have a darn hard time justifying it with shrouds of the battle saint while simultaneously axing your astral income. All your astral income is going into starshine caps, crystal coins, lucky pendants, amulets of MR, teleports, battlefield spells.... or empowering your pretender as you suggest. The really important factor in my thesis is that practically any 3 gems you scrape up = armor = another SC. Trying to focus more on your pearls is introducing a serious bottleneck.
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