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  #1  
Old January 29th, 2007, 12:11 AM

Aleph Aleph is offline
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Default Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

So I've gotten to the point where I've effectively won my first Lanka game, and I'm stunned by how powerful they are. Their heavily armored sacreds, both capital and non-capital, and many of their heavy demon infantry are absolutely vicious with a N9 bless, and having that kind of melee punch backed up with longbows is sweet. The Dakini and Mandaha (let me apologize for my spelling, I'm doing it from memory) are both powerful SC bases with the right gear/spells. And their capital only warrior/mage unique is ready to Cloud Trapeze the minute he walks out the door.

So while I enjoyed the brute power of Lanka, it got me thinking that Lanka might actually be more powerful in blood than is Mictlan, which bothered me a bit since Mictlan is supposed to be blood incarnate since they give up so much to be that. I like Mictlan's unique summons as utility (they tend to be cheaper and more useful in a variety of roles vs. raw Lanka's combat power summons), Mictlan has broader magical options and the ability to choose what you're getting rather than relying on the right random picks, and their basic bloodhunter is cheaper, but Lanka's summons are exceptionally powerful, they don't have age problems, and they can use all their blood for spells and forging rather than spending a sizeable portion on dominion maintenance. And the Mandaha...

What about it - has Lanka gone too far into blood territory? Should Mictlan raid them until they back off? I'm not so worried about LA Mictlan, because they don't share the same age, LA Mictlan has more commanders for whom age isn't an issue, and LA Mictlan can clam spam. But I could easily see Lanka outblooding Mictlan, and that irks me.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 01:49 PM

Shovah32 Shovah32 is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Mictlans troops summons(and possibly commander summons, especially the one who generates free beast bats) are far superior to lankas imo, with jaguar fiends being flying, 3 attack, good stat sacreds with a reasonable cost. Mictlan is far better for a bless strategy due to its cheap and effective sacred troops and, while lanka is good(i personally like it) i dont think it can knock the blood crown off mictlans head.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Baalz Baalz is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Hmmm, I'm coming at it from the other angle having played Mictlan extensively and just picking up Lanka. Just starting out with Lanka, but here are a couple things that I seem to be missing coming from Miclan.
1) Bloodhunters are 50% more expensive
2) Everybody complains, but I like dominion pushes through blood sacrifices with level 3 priests and easily forgable jade daggers.
3) No easy way to spam "rain of toads". Priest king + armor of twisted thorns = very scalable ability to shut down enemy fortresses.
4) Mictlan national summons ROCK. Haven't got the Lanka ones yet so can't really comment, but the Mictlan ones are hard to beat.
5) No recruitable blood-3 mage (without hoping for lucky randoms). This is important because you need blood-4 to forge brazen vessles, and one empowerment is much more palletable than two. Plus, once you've got a brazen vessel with Mictlan, you can give it to a priest king, who forges an armor of twisted thorns, who gives that to another priest king, who forges an armor of twisted thorns, now the original forger gets an armor of twisted thorns in addition to the brazen vessel and can forge brazen vessels, etc. etc., so it is relatively cheap to get as many blood-5 mages as you care to (priest of the sun + 2 path boosters), and there are several very good blood-5 spells which are very suitable to spam casting (ritual of the five gates and infernal disease come to mind). Plus, your blood-5 mages can rejuvinate themselves so the old age issue isn't that bad.
6) Flying sacreds. Eagle warriors have saved my bacon on numerous occasions.
7) No easy way to summon Ice Devils (priest of rain + water braclet + brazen vessel)
8) No easy way to send horrors (priest of moon + astral cap + brazen vessel)
9) Less reliance on random pics. With Mictlan, I can adjust my strategy to what my opponent is doing. With Lanka, I'm more stuck using whatever happen to have with my random magic paths.

Don't get me wrong, Lanka has plenty of advantages, I'm just listing the ways Miclan seems to be better to me.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 03:22 PM

Dragonlord Dragonlord is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Aha, a thread about Mictlan and blood! Cool I hope I can get some questions answered here.. I just played my first SP game with a blood nation (LA Mictlan) and so far I like it. One thing about dominion: It seems as if, when I set a priest to sacrifice blood every turn to boost Dom, it will boost the dom to the max level in the province with the temple, and a little bit in a few surrounding provinces, then stop...I tracked it for a few turns and saw no more extra white candles appear even though sacrificing 4 slaves a turn.. how come ?

Another odd bit, the Mictlan priest, when recruited, has a variable number of research points? Between 1 and 4, something I havent seen on any other unit before ?!

The best summons is the level 4 ozelotl (flying demon), all the others I am not so sure about... same for items, though I like that death brand or such (single handed sword, const 6, needs fire and blood.. or was it fire and death?)

Anyway, what other units/rituals/items do other Mictlan players like? Soul Contract is nice. I also liked Father Illearth, makes a nice SC, but by the time I get him there are no more indies, he can kill PD and take provinces but not hold it against big armies...
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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:50 PM

Nick_K Nick_K is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

AFAIK research points should be fixed for all units. The formula is something like:
Base value (2, I think) + sum of magic paths + experience + any special +/- the unit gets (e.g. sages & wizards get a bonus) + magic/drain scale effects + effects of magic items.

I don't think you should get less than 3 RP unless you have a drain scale or the unit has some innate penalty. RP do vary between units of the same type if one has more random picks or experience.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Arch Devils and Soul Contracts all the way. Not Mictlan specific as such, since it's best to have a pretender that can summon/forge them, Mictlan just is the best for hunting loads of slaves.

I like Infernal Disease a lot. Kind of like my old favourite, Manifestation, but lower research level. Somewhat hard to cast though, since a mage will need 2 empowering items to get to Blood 5.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 05:23 PM

Shovah32 Shovah32 is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Dragonlord, if you have a decent bless with mictlan(which you should) then jaguar fiends and maybe beast bats should be good national summons for you. As for non-nationals ice devils, arch devils and heliophagi all make fine thugs/SCs(as does father illearth). For your SCs/Thugs(such as father illearth) luck, ethereality, reinvigoration, fear, fireshield(or another way to kill alot of enemies), high defence, high prot, regeneration and quickness(and many other things from items or buffs cast by the commander) are all helpful things that may help them take on larger enemy forces. Also consider using them in groups or with your armies if they arent doing well alone.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 11:55 AM

Aleph Aleph is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

I'm definitely not extensively experienced in Mictlan, but I like them as much as I like any nation in the game (most enjoyment thus far - Yomi, EA/LA Mictlan, MA/LA Ermor, LA Rl'yeh).

1. I tried to cover this above in the "bloodhunters of mictlan are cheaper but mictlan needs to spend blood in dominion maintenance" point. Not saying that mictlan spends 1/3 of its blood in dominion maintenance, but I've often spent 30+ slaves in sacrifice a round in 150 province games.
2. Lanka can easily forge knives, and if they want to sacrifice then level 2 priests with jade knives in temples that do spread dominion are pretty much the same as level 3 priests in non-functional temples.
3. See point 5.
4. Mictlan national summons do rock - I love the Tlahuelpuchi and Civeteto as assassins and leader/reanimators respective, and the Onaqui is great. So do Lanka's summons, however, albeit benefitting more from defensive than offensive blesses. And Lankan high end summons are remarkably good SCs, able to cast Mistform and Mirror Image, being sacred, and one possessing Blood Vengeance while the other automatically shrouds the battlefield in Darkness while possessing a fatiguing aura. I've taken out 100+ unit armies with a single Dakini with a snake ring, snake bladder stick, horned helm, and vine shield (funded by an early game mother oak, in turn funded by an early game push to skull mentors - an option that Mictlan generally lacks unless they get lucky with their national hero, since your pretender will likely be imprisoned for the best bless).
5. I made a similar point above re: Mictlan's magic being in general more predictable, but this particular example doesn't hold water. Armor of Thorns requires a little more luck, but it's definitely doable. All it takes is a bramble mace (forged by a Yogini, guaranteed nature 2) and either a lucky BBB Rakshasi or an empowered BB Rakshasi (not particularly rare, roughly 50% of all Rakshasi are at least BB), which is the same thing you do with Priest Kings. Then your assembly line is up and rolling, and the random picks which were annoying in fact now potentially give you anywhere from N4 to B4 with Armor of Thorns alone, without empowering or further items.
6-8. Lanka's national rank and file summons are pretty heavy brawlers and can do quite well all the way up, and their B6 national is a flying AAABBBDHH with Blood Vengeance for 50 blood. I'm not saying that Ice Devils wouldn't be nice on top of that, but I didn't really miss them and wouldn't use many of them in preference to the Dakini.
9. I think you're overestimating the difficulty this causes - it has pros and cons, like everything. But since they can get past the Armor of Thorns/Brazen Vessel/Blood Thorn horizon without any real difficulty, it's not a stumbling block on their road to blood dominance.

I want Mictlan to be the best at blood, and I'm certainly not super experienced in either nation. Initially, however, Lanka seems like it has too much blood power for the other things it has.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 12:28 PM

Huzurdaddi Huzurdaddi is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

I don't know what Mictlan "gives up" to be the best blood nation. They have the most cost effective sacred troop in the game ( jaguar warror ) and it is recruitable everywhere. It is totally broken. Most people who play Mictlan build this one troop almost to the exclusion of all others so the argument that their conventional army is bad does not hold water.

The only thing that Mictlan does "give up" is automatic dominion spread. However, considering the very heavy bless that is commonly taken with Mictlan ( and the associated very bad scales ) this is not necessarily a bad thing. Mictlan can easily control when and where their dominion lies. The cost for this is very heavy micromanagement. But that is the cost of playing a MP game.

PS: The Jauguar warrior *may* not be as cost effective as the Van, although in the CB mod I think that the Van was correctly nerfed. Also in some cases Nifel Giants may be more cost effective, but they are not recruitable everywhere which somewhat limits them ( not a huge limit considering that they rarely die, but still limits them ).
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:24 PM

NickW NickW is offline
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Default Re: Blood Kings: Lanka vs. Mictlan

Quote:
Huzurdaddi said:
I don't know what Mictlan "gives up" to be the best blood nation. They have the most cost effective sacred troop in the game ( jaguar warror ) and it is recruitable everywhere. It is totally broken. Most people who play Mictlan build this one troop almost to the exclusion of all others so the argument that their conventional army is bad does not hold water.

Mictlan has no high protection troops, no effective ranged troops, no cavalry for fast attacks, etc. Jaguar warriors are very predictable and predictable is bad. I can count the number of times as Mictlan I've watched my hordes of Jaguar warriors get hung on cheap summon trash from castings of Summon Sprites or Howl while ranged units shred them.

Quote:
Huzurdaddi said:
The only thing that Mictlan does "give up" is automatic dominion spread. However, considering the very heavy bless that is commonly taken with Mictlan ( and the associated very bad scales ) this is not necessarily a bad thing. Mictlan can easily control when and where their dominion lies. The cost for this is very heavy micromanagement. But that is the cost of playing a MP game.

Giving up normal dominion spread can be really bad news, especially if one starts out neighboring, oh, say, Ermor or Rlyeh in late era.

The whole idea of micromanaging spread of one's own bad dominion is quite frankly a bad idea and I wish people would stop suggesting this as a reasonable way to play Mictlan. It's do-able but not a good idea. Mictlan needs the dominion spread in order to get free summons out of Onanqui (A great late game Mictlan trick) plus of course Mictlan can't benefit from their neighbors good dominion.

No, Mictlan needs dominion spread and is forced to spend blood to get it.

Quote:
Huzurdaddi said:
PS: The Jauguar warrior *may* not be as cost effective as the Van, although in the CB mod I think that the Van was correctly nerfed. Also in some cases Nifel Giants may be more cost effective, but they are not recruitable everywhere which somewhat limits them ( not a huge limit considering that they rarely die, but still limits them ).
Giants and Vans don't have an easy obvious counter like Jags do. Jags are low protection and low HP compared to Vans and Giants and have no shields or other special defensive abilities so archers just shred them.
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