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  #11  
Old June 15th, 2009, 12:11 PM

Sombre Sombre is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

I thought rain of stones hit the head especially, largely bypassing body armour? This may just be my imagination though.

Conscription to my mind makes order turmoil slightly less painful, because your core provinces which you hold for quite a while can build up enough pd to see off the small barbarain attacks. It's not a really big deal, but there's some synergy there.

I also want to reinforce that MA TC really does have very nice troops in the early game. Sure they aren't going to pose a massive challenge to some crazy MA Van bless rush, but they pretty specialised and you've got all the ingredients that make other nations troops awesome, just not all in one or two places. Imperial Guard I find really solid (under cbm), almost as good as the heavy infantry from the roman nations and let us not forget troops with patrol bonus to go with eunuchs - you can crank significantly more gold right when you need it using tax patrolling. Couple this with the spies you send out and I think winning an economic grind war is totally doable.

They really, really need to get forts up though and I think patrol taxing early is a good way to get those going.
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  #12  
Old June 15th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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Baalz Baalz is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

Yeah, another thing that I wanted to mention was the lack of 800 gold forts. You do get them in swamps (and you'd be foolish not to plop one up in every swamp to crank out ministers), but when your choices are between a 1000 gold fort or a 1200 gold fort I find it's usually worthwhile to go ahead and spend the extra gold to put up that nice 50 admin fortified city on the (hypothetical) farmland bordering two mountains and a forest. You get a nice permanent income boost and you actually pull in more resources (because of the admin) than you would plunking up a dinky fort on a mountain province. With the suggested scales you really should have a really good early troop output.
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  #13  
Old June 15th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombre View Post
I thought rain of stones hit the head especially, largely bypassing body armour? This may just be my imagination though.

Conscription to my mind makes order turmoil slightly less painful, because your core provinces which you hold for quite a while can build up enough pd to see off the small barbarain attacks. It's not a really big deal, but there's some synergy there.
I think conscription is tied to an order scale.

I won't swear to it, but I think somebody ran a test a while back and concluded body armor helps against rain of stones.
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  #14  
Old June 15th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

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Originally Posted by Dragar View Post
This strategy sounds awesome for SP, but I have concerns with that strategy in a MP game…

TC troops are fine for early expansion, but won’t stand up well without magic against an early bless rush. Sending 3 cap only mages out site searching early will slow research a lot and make you look very tasty if charts are on. I think hitting a few key levels of research first is critical, Alt 4 in particular for wind guide. If you’re sending out your first 3 mages, and then going with ministers in order to save money for castles, your research output in the first year will be pitiful – sure it will catch up nicely once the forts are all churning out ministers, and your gem income will be huge, but survival to that point would be very chancy

One key benefit TC has is healing on several mages. To a large extent that’s wasted with no recruitable thugs or individually powerful units, so my opinion is an SC pretender is warranted to take advantage and to deter in early to mid game rushes. A dormant nataraja or deva or other fits the bill nicely. Awake is unnecessary as you can expand ok and I don’t think an awake pretender would risk hitting you early until they have some decent equipment. Once your pretender is out, levels 3-4 in alteration, conjuration and construction will kit him out as a powerful SC – may take a few turns after he awakens, can research or site search in the meantime. With healing readily available the risk in using your pretender as an SC is a lot lower, and you are now a very uninviting target until such time as your gem income and research give you a lot more options. You can focus heavily on site searching once you have your pretender, I’d recommend only having one out site searching in the first year.

To pay for the pretender I feel Prod 3 can be done away with. It is certainly useful, but with none of your good units cap only, and the intention to build a lot of forts, production shouldn’t be limiting as long as you don’t take sloth. The production would certainly be useful, and let you recruit your troops exactly where you want them rather than have to move them around, but I can’t see it being worth the design points

The late game is where I have my big concern with TC due to low path levels on mages. The communion using matrices would certainly be powerful, but a large number of cap only mages each with those items? Opponents would be twitching to hit you with earthquakes and the like in battle, or big evoc remotes once available. And protection from good assassins (summoned and normal) would be tough. That investment in matrices I think would be better off invested in summoning thugs or path boosters. Ensure you have S3 or 4 on your pretender so you can get to the rings, at which point other path boosters become a lot easier to obtain. It shouldn’t be too hard to get a few mages in a big army to cast the buffs you need.
Ah, sorry, missed this post while I was replying to other things. I think I've addressed part of this (or at least given my opinion FWIW). I think a production-3 scale with a couple extra forts up gives you a stronger position than a combat pretender, not only does it let you get more troops where you need them, it also lets you respond much quicker to whatever your opponent is fielding. I just really don't see the threat of an early rush against this nation assuming it's played by someone willing to match the right troops to the right job. Several people have mentioned this rush-threat, and I think its based on a real underestimation of what these troops can do when properly deployed. Can you give me a specific nation and troop you feel would give TC's troops a lot of trouble supported by nothing but a couple early construction items? Wind guide is great to be sure, but what exactly is rushing you that is susceptible to your massed archers only after you add wind guide? 100 point blank x-bows is still plenty effective before wind guide...

Sure, you're going to be at a slight disadvantage in some matchups against nations really geared to immidiate, out-the-gate power (triple blessed sacreds, etc) but certainly not to the level they're gonna steamroll you before you can get any research done. Most of the best MA sacreds are vulnerable to massed archery (x-bows in particular), right? Eagle warriors, woodsmen, vans...elephants to. I can't off the top of my head think of any rush that would be really difficult to put up a good fight to with no battlemages at all.

As to the healing, I think this falls into the same category as their sacred cavalry, at least in context of the angle I'm writing this guide - taking advantage of this capability has too much of an opportunity cost, you're better off ignoring it. Don't worry about cranking out thugs, play the nation with it's strengths. You've got great anti-thug/anti-SC capabilities and great powerful armies - you can play a game perfectly effectively without having many thugs.

As to the enemy trying to kill your mages, yeah that's a pretty standard tactic that every nation will have to deal with. It's not hard to drop some armor, a booster or two, and a lucky pendant on each alchemist as you're only getting one per turn and have a solid gem income, and I tried to illustrate that your non-cap mages can also be very effective when supported by your nice troops. All in all it's usually easier said than done to kill off all the good enemy mages, even when they're 10 hp humans.
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  #15  
Old June 15th, 2009, 03:20 PM

rdonj rdonj is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

In noobs vs vets 1 I had to fight triple blessed mictlan (9w/6or8n/4or6b) as la tien chi (o3/p3 at that). I was massing light cavalry, had an awake celestial general producing blockers and had fordo boggit's elite warriors. The map was pretty cramped so we both had only 1 fort. When the battle ensued, I had 140 units altogether and he had... maybe 80? With 40 jaguar warriors and some eagle warriors set to attack rear, plus a bunch of normal warriors with slings. My army was pretty well deployed for the battle, with the unfortunate error of having some of my light cavalry on one flank set to attack rear to try to kill his commander, which unfortunately ran straight into a group of jaguars which butchered them. Long story short I killed 20 of the jaguar warriors and probably about as much of his chaff infantry, losing 100 of my units. Probably about 2/3 of my archers survived, with everything else demolished. I attacked him instead of being on defense, trying to spare my ally losses as I had seen a rather unfortunate looking battle result the previous turn or so which made his chances look pretty bad if he tried to take on that army.

The turn after the demolition of my army, he ran into 30 pd and died a horrible, horrible death. Anyway, my suggestion for this is mictlan jaguar warriors.



Regarding Rain of Stones: Llamabeast demonstrated to me rather effectively that communions can survive rain of stones fairly easily if you have fog warriors/iron skin/luck cast on them.

Last edited by rdonj; June 15th, 2009 at 03:42 PM..
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  #16  
Old June 15th, 2009, 03:33 PM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

I agree with most of your guide, but I believe you've overlooked some aspects.

I believe TienChi should use a hit and run strategy. Use consorts to over throw key provinces. Use remote summons to take others. Drive the province defense sky high (you'll have the money) so that it takes him 2-3 attempts to retake a province.

Also, your eunuchs and city guard have patrol bonuses, so that one eunuch and 10 guards can easily maintain tax rates of 140 or so. Take growth.

Build at lease one alchemist fairly early for those odd turns you need to alchemize gems.

Rdonj has it exacty right. Attack strategically, defend copiously, *using PD*.
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  #17  
Old June 15th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

LA TC has a different troop makeup if I recall correctly, more emphasis on the cavalry. Cavalry seems like a sub-optimal deployment against Mictlan in particular. Against a mixed group of jaguar and eagle warriors plus some chaff I'd think you'd just want arrows, arrows and more arrows with a couple of blockers (who can shoot arrows). If you've got the production for it (production-3 scales and a couple early castles) I'd say mostly Imperial Archers are the way to go here (supplement with regular archers to the back if you're short on production). Those 100 horse archers would be more like 200 foot archers for the same gold. With the assumption you had a good idea of your enemy's troop makeup (spies) split them into about 3 blocks in your back row scripted to fire flyers. My guess is you'd take a few casualties in the eagle warrior's first attack (though your scale mail will help a good deal), inflict enough casualties in your first volley to route the eagle warriors, then spend a couple turns decimating the jaguars as they closed. If I'm wrong and it takes a couple turns to kill the eagles and the jaguars close without significant casualties, they still will likely engage one block of your (scalemail and short sword wielding) archers while the other two blocks hammer them. Meanwhile any slingers the opponent is using will probably inflict more friendly casualties than do anything useful. It'd probably also be worthwhile to put some small clumps of tower shield blockers out front just to tangle up your opponents and probably gain another turn of archery.

There is such a large difference in effectiveness against different troops across MA TC's varied lineup. You really have to bring the right tool to the fight.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispedersen View Post
I agree with most of your guide, but I believe you've overlooked some aspects.

I believe TienChi should use a hit and run strategy. Use consorts to over throw key provinces. Use remote summons to take others. Drive the province defense sky high (you'll have the money) so that it takes him 2-3 attempts to retake a province.

Also, your eunuchs and city guard have patrol bonuses, so that one eunuch and 10 guards can easily maintain tax rates of 140 or so. Take growth.

Build at lease one alchemist fairly early for those odd turns you need to alchemize gems.

Rdonj has it exacty right. Attack strategically, defend copiously, *using PD*.
Eh, I don't know, I suppose you could though that seems pretty situational to me. MA TC's PD is decent, but it's not awesome (LA TC's sure is though!) and you don't really have any good remote attack spells which will conquer much more than 1PD (and sometimes not even that). I'm not sure what you mean about consorts overthrowing a province, as far as I know all they can do is raise unrest which reduces your opponents income and if you can get it over 100 shuts down production in that province. Raiding can and should be part of every nation's playbook, but I don't really see MA TC as being a particularly effective blitzer in this fashion. I think you run a very real risk of losing more money than your opponent if you're counting on PD to stop him much.

Patrolling with a higher tax rate and growth scales are a personal preference which can work with this strategy. I tend to dislike the extra micro, lost mage recruitment, opportunity cost of taking growth scales, and long term damage to the economy, but I can imagine it could be effective enough if it's your cup of tea.
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  #19  
Old June 15th, 2009, 04:21 PM

rdonj rdonj is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

Hmm. Well, in that game I literally could not have had any more arrows flying, since light cavalry and archers cost exactly the same amount of resources and I was being fed gold by some of my teammates. However you are absolutely right, in a normal game with more than one fort per person I could have had quite a few more archers than horsemen (no one had more than one fort at that point in the game). I also apparently only had about 75 archers altogether, so I had a slightly excessive number of blockers from my mercenary group plus the heavy infantry freespawn.

I only had that insane of a pd because there was literally no way for anyone who attacked me to not go through that province. Otherwise that just would have been crazy. Anyway, thanks for your input. The further away from that game I get the more I see things I did wrong....
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  #20  
Old June 16th, 2009, 11:39 AM

LumenPlacidum LumenPlacidum is offline
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Default Re: MA T'ien Ch'i - a little of this, a little of that and BAM!

It's worth mentioning that the Noobs Vs Vets 1 game in which rdonj killed all those jaguar warriors with PD was a late era game, which Baalz mentions has awesome PD.
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