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Old November 1st, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Default a difficult Pangaean strategy

One of the biggest parts of the Pangaean theme is natural units relying on stealth over the use of standard armored armies. Probably seeking to use more guerrila warfare and avoiding conventional head-to-head conflicts. Hit and Run tactics, strikes of opportunity, spreading their strikes to make it difficult to pinpoint their center or operations (at least early in the game). Any effort to try and use Pangaea as a head-to-head army doesnt seem to work very well except possibly for late era.

Lord of the Wild
----------------
Death 3
Nature 4
Blood 3

These allow for casting some important national spells. Also for forging some level boosting items for later on.


Turmoil 3
Same as Order -3. This raises the number of events, and increases the the number of maenads which will appear. A hit on money but thats a trade-off.

Sloth 1
Mostly these are purchase points since I dont tend to purchase heavily armored units.

Heat/Cold 0
For now I have it unchanged but it can be purchase points since Pangaea can easily take hits on income and supplies. Usually when I do I take heat since personally I hate cold. But its a topic of consideration of whether Pangaea can best stand up to cold or heat nations, and you should take the opposite scale.

Growth 0
No change but thats up to individuals.

Luck 3
Another way to cash in on the high turmoil. Increase the number of events even further (up to +30% now) and the chance of them being good (+39%). It can help offset the loss of money from Turmoil.

Magic 3
Pushing the research since there are spells that I really need to make heavy use of.

Dominion Strength of 3. Strong enough to make sure that I get the scale effects at home but not so strong that it spreads ahead of me. I want to be able to purchase troops outside of the dominion so I can get money and resource benefits.

-------------------
For the first turn I put everyone who isnt a mage on patrol and I turn taxes to 200%. Be sure to turn it back down on the turn that you move your armies out. Getting Mercs is of course very useful. Later using local units can be your front line for moving outward.
-------------------

It might be possible to use a bit of Dormancy. The large armies of maenads are more needed later on.

Initially I research Evocation, then Enchantment, then Alteration, then Evocation. This gives basic combat spells which work for the levels that most mages will operate on. The Enchantment level 1 gives access to Carrion Centaur which can create free units.

Then I pursue Conjuration, Conjuration, Conjuration. Vine men, Vine Ogres, Revive bane, and Call of the Wild.

Then Construction, Construction. By now I will need some food cauldrons and wine skins to move my large maenad armies out of my home province.

--------------------

Two types of armies are being built. Non-stealth armies just for taking and holding the local provinces. And stealth armies for deeper expansion. The maenads will help create the first one. So recruiting can concentrate on the second one. Usually its a choice between creating another Pan, or an army. The army usually consists of a Centaur Hierophant, as many Centaur archers as I can get and then I remove one to allow for, as many Harpy as I have space for. I send out scouts to find the other nations. Then I move my stealth armies in that direction.

I put my Hierophont on Bless, then fire at rearmost. I put my archers on fire at archers, and my harpys off to the right flank (low on the positioning image) with orders to Hold and Attack rearward. I find that archers tend to be assigned high on the battlefield (their right) which allows better access to the commanders from the low flanking unit (my right).

The stealth army is moving quickly to find targets of opportunity. Nations who do not put up Province Defense. Or battlegrounds between two nations where the winner might be damaged enough for you to take a province before PD goes up.

There are two choices for what to do with a province once taken.
A) Raze
B) Beachhead

With Raze you expect it to be taken back. You set the taxes to 200%, purchase minimal PD, any units which can help hold it or at least make it a problem to take back.

With Beachhead you turn taxes to 0%, put lots of money into PD, purchase as many local units as possible.

Either way, your stealth army should disappear into the wilderness. If you noticed enemy armies nearby you might want to move to the opposite side of your opponents area and attack the other side. If you are approaching that nation with your non-stealth armies then definetly attack the provinces on the far side from there in order to draw their armies that direction to handle your attacks and retake the provinces you have grabbed.

Try not to connect your provinces to theirs until you are sure that you can withstand their armies. Maintain the ability to do "free damage" for as long as possible. Hit them, ignore them for awhile, hit them again. They cant reach you without expensive battles thru indept nations until later in the game when there are no more indepts or the use of magic allows for far strikes.

You also might save your stealth army some wear and tear when you can use Call of the Wild. The stealth army or scouts can find likely weak points. Drop wolves on it to take it. Then do the recommended actions and sneak off the wolves as another stealth army in that area.

Obviously these tactics would work on a human player only as a surprise action. Their ability to change tactics to respond to it varies from person to person. It also has great benefits when used in alliance with someone who has more standard armies. They also work better vs AI's. And larger maps help it. All in all its a difficult strategy to use unless you just really like playing stealth surprise tactics.

Gandalf Parker
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Last edited by Gandalf Parker; August 26th, 2008 at 01:42 PM..
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Thank you for sharing this Gandalf.
If I ever finish my current epic game, I may have to give Pan a go with some of these techniques just for fun. Pangaea was one of my favorite nations in Dom2, but I never took full advantage of their stealth.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Ive never done any good with them except by using their stealth. Trying to use them in most other strategy makes them seem very out of balance. But since stealth seems to be at least half of their structure Im guessing that this is normal for them.

Except for late era Pangaea which does seem able to do better as regular armies (tho Im not sure if anyone is winning with them). But I havent really tried that one yet so I have no strategies for them.

In Dom2, originally, they were the obvious choice for strictly a stealth strategy. But in Dom3 there seems to be many that I should try.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 10:31 PM

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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Ah finally some good Pan discussion, time to return from hiatus. Thanks, that was an interesting read. I don't think the basic strategies will change too much from Dom2, so I'll focus on some changes in gameplay (mostly talking about EA/MA), sorry in advance for going bit OT. I've only played SP tesbeds in Dom3 so far, but here goes:

About the pretender. How do you cope with the lack of air magic? I've found it essential for some items and later Domes and Queens (with Pan research speed someone already has Wish before that, though ). Mind you, I've mainly used order/misfortune since Dom2, I found order builds with lots of CWs better, so you might actually get Arcopythera in time with Luck3. I need to run a Turmoil/Luck -testbed first, though.

Scales truly are a matter of preference, but I agree that Magic 3 is pretty much mandatory for Pan now that Sages are very rare.

Interesting unit choices. I've always felt Centaur Archers aren't worth the cost as you pay a lot for "unnecessary" stats (heck, I only used them for stealth armies in Dom1 and only because CWs didn't exist then ). I buy map move 2 indep. archers instead.

Besides, every PD seems to be loaded with missile weapons now, so light troops will go down fast. Couple of CWs on 'Fire closest' seem to be much more reliable at taking out PDs. I find CWs more useful when you need to partake in traditional warfare, too. Matter of preference and tactics, I suppose. I'll give the archers an another chance, though.

Same goes for Harpies, I find them more useful as patrollers even though they work against "soft" PD commanders. They rout far too easily, cause little damage and are a pain logistically, imo.

Now that Vine Ogres are 2gems per cast and Lamia Queens went up both in casting reqs and gem cost (25 gems, ouch), I find the carrion guys/gals (I absolutely loved the theme back in Dom2 too!) by far the best nature summon for Pan. They pay for themselves in about 10 turns or less and you get a nice commander on top of that (Carrion Lord is a 53hp 3N3H(!), 10% chance for 1D). The Carrion Beasts are also more powerful (Sagittarian Carcass, mmm) and actually keep up with your armies in forests.

I still believe the Mass Protection is a key spell for Pan and try to research it fast - especially since the Alteration school has a lot of other good stuff for Earth. Having that 10+ prot on Maenads/Manikin helps a lot as you'll eventually end up fighting properly .

I like the 1N Vine Arrow too - now your every Dryad is a sniper, why bother with Hierophants . Actually, since it's now easier to get good blessings, the Hierophant might be a very good thug/assassin chassis. They might actually work decently with just a Stinger, Weightless Kite and some mage buffs.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Keep in mind that my choices are totally based on being able to move the army fast and stealthy. Its true that other choices make sense for local expansion.

However my Pangaea and my Caelum strategies (among others) rely on skipping the more difficult indept provinces and covering the map in a dotted pattern with unconnected provinces. I find that Pangaea does badly if they do the usual march thru the provinces. As soon as they connect to someone, that nation simply marches back thru the provinces Ive taken. Pangaea's PD and purchase power doesnt hold up well altho maybe others can hadle it more efficiently than I can. But putting PD and purchase power into every 3rd province (thats mostly a Caelum rule to allow travel) allows me to stand up fairly well since they are fighting indepts twice for each time they meet me. Of course this is a large map and early game tactic to fight the rush expansion used by others.

Air magic is a good question. I have some Pangaean plans that use air. Especially putting flying boots on Pans. I can quickly put them into someones territory and all they have to do is move around. Its much faster that way. The maenads automatically attack the province each turn even if you moved him that turn. Just moving a pan around forces a nation to invest in PD or maintain multiple moving armies.

But in a choice I prefer being able to give them Black Hearts. Making Pan assassins. That works so cool. I dont have to check to see if I assassinated the last commander so I can attack. Each turn he assassinates, and then tosses maenads that attack the province. On the last commander I automatically take it.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:54 PM

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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Quote:
Gandalf Parker said:
Keep in mind that my choices are totally based on being able to move the army fast and stealthy. Its true that other choices make sense for local expansion.

Yes, I remember we had a similar discussion couple of years ago. I usually try to find Woodsmen or Villains, cheap and stealthy. I'm kind of interested to know why you prefer Centaur Archers over Centaur Warriors.

I've found I eventually end up fighting some decisive battles and CWs really shine on the flanks - especially if you back them up with some archers to pepper nmy missile troops with arrows.

Good point about the provinces. Btw, Illwinter seems to have done something about the random events, I just started a testbed and get a lot more gold rewards than in Dom2 (or maybe I'm just imagining things). I can understand why one doesn't need to take every single knight/hvy cav (bah, I don't touch those anyway) province with rewards like that.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Good point on the warriors. I probably should make more use of the centaur warriors. I should push myself out of my usual purchasing patterns to include it. I think I developed it that way because I was purchasing the things that werent covered by having a maenad frontline during the early expansion, and then I just sent the armies onward on their own. Also I was operating on low money and low resource scales.

I also should make a strong effort to develop a blessed strategy since the white centaur unit is stealth and blessable. Along with white centaur leaders and dryads it could be quite formidable if I can pay for it by taking harsh scales.

There is also the taking harsh scales so that you can stealth-pray them onto others. Pangaea can handle some harsh scales in temperature, lack of food, death, low resource, turmoil, low money and even low magic (though Im not sure if it could survive low luck at the same time) in order to use stealthy priests and shove it at other players. Im not sure if it could be used to win, but it might be used to make sure that cocky "I have the perfect formula" players DONT win. Good for an alliance. Of course the only place to use the points you gain by it would be in a rainbow (many magicked) pretender. That might work nicely into a mega-blessed strategy. Hmmmmmm I might have to explore that concept.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Quote:
Gandalf Parker said:

Growth 0
No change but thats up to individuals.

Sounds like it would help greatly with maenad hordes. You could postpone researching Construction, perhaps.

Quote:

Dominion Strength of 3. Strong enough to make sure that I get the scale effects at home but not so strong that it spreads ahead of me. I want to be able to purchase troops outside of the dominion so I can get money and resource benefits.

Strong dominion would probably be terribly annoying for all the Order lovers. Good synergy with cheap temples and Turmoil. Just thinking aloud.

Quote:

There are two choices for what to do with a province once taken.
A) Raze
B) Beachhead

With Raze you expect it to be taken back. You set the taxes to 200%, purchase minimal PD, any units which can help hold it or at least make it a problem to take back.

With Beachhead you turn taxes to 0%, put lots of money into PD, purchase as many local units as possible.

Either way, your stealth army should disappear into the wilderness.

Just wondering... does anyone EVER bother to pillage ? I'm a long-time forum lurker, and I can't seem to find anyone considering Pillage order. Is it so much unplayable ? I know it slows you down because you need an additional month, which makes you easy target for artillery spells. But still..
How about units with Pillage bonus ? Does it make the situation better ? And in general, how much (gold, I assume) do you get for pillaging ?
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Pillage kills people. You also get a little gold. Usually, when you wage war, you want to have your raiders survive, and while momentarily crippling your enemy is nice, getting to enjoy from his 30000+ pop capital's income is even better. 200% taxes rises unrest quite fast, doesn't risk your own men, and gives you more gold than pillage would.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Then something is seriously wrong, don't you agree ? I guess both developers should've spent more time making sure that existing options are viable and interesting. Why keep an order that is, esentially, unnecessary clutter ? It's like these spells no one ever bothers with. For example, I searched both Dom2 and Dom3 forums for hellpower and found only several results. No one ever commented on hellpower, either. Which is a shame, because it looks like a great fun on paper.
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