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  #1  
Old January 16th, 2007, 09:24 PM

Gevaudan Gevaudan is offline
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Default Newbie help with EA marverni

Howdy all,

I've been reading the forum for the past few hours and am ready now to post!

I'm a long time strategy gamer who is completely new to dominions; 3 is my first game.

I'm currently trying to win as EA Maverni on the map Aran against 5 Impossible AI's set randomly. I want to achieve this victory at default map settings with a rainbow commander (usually 2/2/2/S3/E3/2/N5/2). I've tried both the arch druid and the master druid.

The computer players seem more than willing to focus on me aggressively, which usually leads to me having to face off 300-600 unit armies on multiple fronts. I loose these battles badly.

Upon reading threads, I will now be using blade wind spell. Mostly, I have been trying to cast mother oak and building a massive gem supply to purchase summons. I've been playing a heavy research strategy. I tend to expand with nationals through neutrals.

specific questions:
1.) what's the general deal with the marverni? I'm having trouble getting a feel for their nation specific strategies. their units seem expensive and weak in the sense that they die often. They don't have any obvious ones to me like LA Ermor undead or Van rush. What are their general whomp approaches?
2.) I'm having trouble balancing max research and node searching. finding nodes with the rainbow is awesome, but he's also a super researcher. advice?
3.) Its a small map and I'm often pinched between 3 comps. general advice for escaping attrition doom?
4.) this SC/thug thing has me puzzled. Why are low hp death creatures so good and huge hp other creatures not as good? I'm looking for a numerical explanation here.
5.) I’m suffering from newbie syndrome badly. I’m not familiar with most of the races, or their unit stats and abilities or the hundreds of spells. How does one ease into this? If the answer is getting pounded repeatedly…I’m achieving that gloriously.
6.) What is wrong with mage AI?! I recently sent a master communer with 8 slaves into a battle with the astral assassination plan: give everyone on the battlefield 1 rank in astral and then duel the comps dead. The mage did not comply…repeatedly. There were 5 enemy mages present. Has anyone ever pulled this off?

Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old January 16th, 2007, 09:31 PM

Wick Wick is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Did the targets have astral magic and was your mage carrying the gems to cast the spell?

Also, in Dom2 Communion didn't count toward Magic Duel and probably still doesn't.
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  #3  
Old January 16th, 2007, 09:56 PM

llamabeast llamabeast is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Hi,

I've never played Marverni, so can't answer many of your questions. I'll try some of them though!

(Written after everything else: I seem to have rambled endlessly, and almost not at all about Marverni - hope it's still helpful though!)

1) Hmm, don't know.

2) This is a very difficult one, and I don't think there's a right answer. Personally I like to go site searching as early as possible, to get things going. The amount of research the pretender will generate in the game compared to all the mages you're going to build (1 a turn, at least) is fairly small, but he can make a huge contribution to site searching. On the other hand, his research might be critical if there's some early research targets you want to get to. If I have death (which Marverni don't, I think?) I often rush to Construction 4 to get Skull Mentors, which can make a huge difference.

3) No ideas here really.

4) Black servant is good because he's ethereal, so 75% of normal attacks miss him straight away. All the undead are good because they don't ever get tired no matter what armour you put on them, so you can give them super heavy stuff and they'll just keep on fighting for ever. I think maybe they benefit from immunity to some spells by not being alive, but I'm not sure about that.

The general plan with thugs and SCs, as I understand it, is to not let them die. Being ethereal, lucky, with high defense and high protection should all be priorities. If your thug is not dying (and not getting tired - give them reinvigoration items if they're not undead), they can hang around long enough to cause some damage. If you don't have some kind of anti-dying plan, they tend to die straight away in my experience.

5) I found the entire game largely inexplicable for a while I must say. The single best thing to do is play a multiplayer game. Really, I can't recommend it enough. I don't usually play multiplayer games, and only ended up in one half by accident. In single player, dominions is just a pretty good game. In multiplayer it's the Best Game Ever, just because your opponents are so much more interesting, and the depth of the game has a chance to become important.

I learnt hugely more from my first MP game than I did from a couple of weeks of playing lots of SP. Watching other people play is very interesting. Also reading the forum is very educational, just learning how people think about things. The main pattern of thinking for success in dominions is, I think, defining your weaknesses and strengths and trying to find ways to fix/improve them. e.g. Abysia thrashing you with fire magic? Cast rain so he gets tired, and storm and mist so he can't see. Want to make your hordes of weak skeletons an advantage? Cast Darkness to give them an advantage. Of course you might not have known that any of those spells existed, but you could look through the manual for spells that adversely affected fire magic or precision, and then see what there was.

Being effective takes quite a bit of plotting. That's one big reason I like MP, I get about 24 hours of plotting and scheming time for every turn. In SP I find I just can't help myself hitting the turn button all the time, and I do things carelessly and don't plan enough.

6. I don't really understand what you mean by "give everyone on the battlefield 1 rank in astral". How? Spells like Power of the Spheres and Light of the Northern Star (and all other boosting spells and items) only boost paths you already have.

Also communion slaves won't cast spells once they're slaved. And as Wick says, magic duel only attacks enemy astral mages.

Hope some of that's useful!
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  #4  
Old January 16th, 2007, 10:34 PM

alexti alexti is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Rainbow mage is a good idea, but don't use druids as a chassis. Ghost king is much better choice. You don't want astral on him and you don't need earth or blod either - that will save you some points. Your national mages can search for earth/astral and they can forge some good armour for GK almost immediately. After that rainbow GK can capture indy province, search it, capture another, search it etc. If you research to Blade wind quickly you can throw a lot of mages to cast it, just forge something for them (probably shield in the beginning to minimize casualitites). With your mages you should be able to establish good astral income, so a bit later you can summon golems to act as thugs.
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  #5  
Old January 16th, 2007, 11:37 PM

Gevaudan Gevaudan is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

with respect to astral magic...the manual says that Light of the Northern star gives all mages on the battlefield, including enemies, one bonus rank in astral magic. would this not facilitate an astral assasination?
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Old January 16th, 2007, 11:38 PM

Gevaudan Gevaudan is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

also, does anyone play marverni regularly who can offer some tips?
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  #7  
Old January 17th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Jack_Trowell Jack_Trowell is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Quote:
Gevaudan said:
with respect to astral magic...the manual says that Light of the Northern star gives all mages on the battlefield, including enemies, one bonus rank in astral magic. would this not facilitate an astral assasination?
It only give a rank for units that have already at least one.

Non astral mages won't get any bonus.

Same for communion : only known path are boosted (included holy)
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Old January 17th, 2007, 10:05 AM

Halancar Halancar is offline
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Well, I played Marveni a little in the past, so I'll try to answer :

1) Marveni units are well-rounded, and slightly above average. Unfortunately, they are slightly above average in every stat (hp, strength, attack, defense), which makes them expensive (in gold) and also mean they do not have any super unit around which to build a strategy. So you need to plan for a high turnover of troops, and you need a good cash flow. And they are so well rounded that you cannot really build a specific strategy around them.
I would recommend looking for boosting spells (Legion of Steel, to start with) while working on battlefield strategy (a strong center of noble warriors, javeliners around them, and eponi knights on the flanks on attack rearmost).
Magic research : I would go with alteration (boosting spells) and construction (for middle and late game summoning spells). Of course, another strategy would be to go for thaum 1 (communion) then evocation, and start blasting away.

2) That's a hard question. I would recommend starting with research for a few turns (say, 10 or 12) to get the first useful spells. By that time you should have recruited enough mages to keep on the research while your pretender can go site-searching. But it is a hard call to make

3) Build a paper tiger army. You need to get and stay on top of the army size graph, even if it means parking 500 marverni slingers in your capital. As long as you stay there, the AI will not gang on you. Then you can build a real army and pick them off one by one.
Upkeep-free units are particulary valuables for your paper army. Summon animals (Conjuration 2) would fit a druidic theme perfectly. But if you are rich enough, any unit will do.

4) I would say because dead units do not get tired and recover from afflictions.

5) There is only one way to get a feel for each race's stat, it's to play them. And make sure to watch the battles when facing a race you don't know, click on their troops, take note of the spells used...

6) As has been mentioned, you cannot give one rank in astral to someone who does not start with it.
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  #9  
Old January 17th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Marverni are hard because they are (imo) slightly underpowered compared to the common national units in the Early Eras.

They are competitive vs. Ermor, Ulm, Tien Chi and similiar human themed nations. They are rather weak against the more mythical nations like Vanheim, Neifelheim, Caelum, Bandar Log, Ctis and the others.


Eponi Cavalry make your best "tanks". They can't dish out that much damage, but they can stand and take hits while your infantry close. Always make some Sacred Carnutes, mainly for their morale buffing ability, although they add some decent +attack capacity.

Try to tech up to Gifts of Heaven/Blade Winds. Marverni has easy access to Seeing Stones/Astral Windows, so keep an eye on your opponenents. They have a good gem variety and can make mechanical men.

Their trouble is just surviving long enough to be able to use their Druids' potential.
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  #10  
Old January 17th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Default Re: Newbie help with EA marverni

Try Alexander's Ever-Expanding Tome of Knowledge, one of the first dozen posts I believe has a reference to a "flaming dwarf of death" tactic for Marverni.

Nature bless 9 can be nice for your Boar Lords since berserk accumulates. If I remember right, that gives your Boar Lords a berserk of +7. The regeneration isn't that great though, since you don't have a lot of Hp, so no reason to go to bless 10 with Nature. I also couldn't find any magic items that add further to berserk.
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