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  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2007, 03:40 PM
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DrPraetorious DrPraetorious is offline
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Default The Art of Placement

This is based on advice I gave to Llamabeast after I killed a bunch of his magi with blade wind.

When fighting against another player, your chief concerns in placing magi are:
* You want to be able to hit the enemy with your zap spells (or your own units with buffs, whichever).
* You want your enemy's zap spells and archery not to hit your magi.

This is somewhat similar to the dillemma faced when placing regular units, who gain bonuses for outnumbering enemies, but are very vulnerable to spells like Falling Fires when deployed in tight formation.

AFAICT, the following considerations are applied when the AI targets a damaging evocation. I'm prepared to be told that I'm wrong:
* Potential damage dealt. Thus, a caster shooting blade wind will prefer low Prot targets, someone casting falling foo will avoid targets resistant or immune to the elemental damage, and so forth.
* Number of anticipated hits. Thus, a low precision caster will tend towards closer/more tightly packed foes while a high precision caster will take other factors into consideration - and AoE attacks will tend to avoid small skirmishers and hit tightly packed enemy ranks (if they expect to hit at all.)
* Quality. I've only really noticed this with a few single target spells, but hitting a better-quality target does seem to enter into the calculus. It might just be a function of damage dealt - don't know enough to say.

Finallly, if everything else is a wash, the AI seems to prefer targets in the *middle* of the enemy ranks. These are often the targets of choice for archers set on "fire" with no specified target, as well - making this often a good choice.

This means that leaving your magi in the default position is the worst thing you could possibly do!

In addition to spreading your magi out - which is also a good idea in case enemies break through to melee or anything else untoward happens - place some actual skirmishers (low prot, no elemental resistances) in front of *each* individual mage, so that they'll be targeted instead, if it comes to that.

Spreading out is a must, since that way, even if you mess up and place a mage in harms way, at least you won't lose all of them at once.
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Last edited by Edi; August 21st, 2008 at 05:39 AM..
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  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:03 PM

Ironhawk Ironhawk is offline
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Default Re: The Art of Placement

I'm not sure that precision effects choice of target. Otherwise I agree with you on all your points

Another point, which follows from your advice but was not explicitly stated is: Do not ever put two mages in the same square. Especially if one of those mages is an astral mage.

One thing that I like to do when placing mages is give each mage two bodygaurds (assuming the mage is size 2). They will stay near him in the same square and drop the probability of an arrow striking him to 1/3.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: The Art of Placement

If you have a big nasty guy you may bring elephant bodyguards assigned to a closer-to-enemy commander.
Elephants will be targeted by single unit attack spells that often choose biggest enemy (and closer I assume).
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: The Art of Placement

I'm not 100% sure of this, but it seems to me that when I cast blade-wind + wind guide, my svartalf tend to shoot over the heads of enemy heavy infantry at whatever is behind them.

When wind guide is *not* up, they just shot at the closer targets.

So I do think that precision plays some rule in target prioritization, but I could easily be mistaken.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:20 PM

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Default Re: The Art of Placement

Hmmm? I thought the formula for an arrow striking was dependent upon how tightly-packed the square was. Something like (12 + Shield*2 - Fatigue/10) vs. (10 + 2 if magic + total size in square). Placing bodyguards in his square might reduce risk a little but it's clearly not 1/3 because if the mage is selected as the target the chance of him actually getting hit goes up to a near-certainty.

Incidentally, are astral mages more likely to be targetted or something? If anything, I would have thought putting other mages in his square would make them more likely to be under Body Ethereal and Luck.

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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:34 PM

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Default Re: The Art of Placement

Magic duel has an AE of 1 Max, so the loser's buddies get 'sploded too.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:27 PM

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Default Re: The Art of Placement

I believe that arrows target squares, not individual units. And if they contact with the square it randomly chooses a target from those available there. If there is only one, he will be shot. If there are three, it is 1/3.

Thats just what I recall from dom2. Could be anecdotal or changed in dom3, but I havent had any trouble with my bodyguard placements yet?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 05:47 PM

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Default Re: The Art of Placement

Yes, but even after it chooses a target it's not guaranteed to hit it. There's an opposed roll to determine if the target is hit, and if so of course there is another opposed roll vs. Protection to see if he takes damage. My point is that having extra bodyguards appears (from the formula in the manual) to increase your chances of being "hit," which partially offsets the gain from having bodyguards.

-Max
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: The Art of Placement

I guess the game determines "quality" of a unit by its gold cost or something?
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:34 PM

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Default Re: The Art of Placement

If you don't mind me asking...
How big is the placement grid?
When I get back home, maybe I can try putting a mage in each corner, getting in a battle, and turning on the grid. But if anyone knows offhand, or can tell me I'm overlooking something in the manual and what section, I'd appreciate it.

I suppose, I might as well ask how big the battlefield is, also.

Thanks in advance.
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