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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:30 PM

Warhammer Warhammer is offline
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Default EA Caelum

I have been looking to expand my nation knowledge of Dominions nations. Next on my list is EA Caelum.

EA Caelum has some great things going for is, easy access to high level air magic. Flying units which can hit at the rear of the enemy both on the tactical battlefield and on the strategic level. Finally, they have cheap, high precision archers which can wreak havoc on opposing armies in the EA.

However, EA Caelum does have some weaknesses. First, they have very poor line troops. You cannot hope to stand toe to toe against other nation's line troops. The big problem is that your troop size is 3, so you wind up outnumbered when going against human sized opponents. This is your big disadvantage in melee combat since your stats are on par with human nations in attack and defense. You have level 1 access to death, water, and earth magic, but unless you get lucky with randoms you'll only have a handful of mages with 2 levels of magic in these paths. That makes it difficult to really make a magic plan using any of these paths. However, you do have access to low level boosters in each of these paths if you get the randoms so it isn't a total loss. One more interesting tidbit, your national spells are both astral spells, something which none of your mages can get without empowerment.

What then do we need to do with EA Caelum to unlock the potential of the nation? We will look at pretender design, troop strategies, and magic.

Pretenders: The decision to make here is which type of pretender do you want. Do you want an awake pretender for quick expansion, or do you want to go with an imprisoned or dormant pretender for better bless or magic?

The first thing to look at are the scales that you will need. EA Caelum needs cold hard gold pieces to really get going. That means you will need Order and lots of it. With mammoths at 120 gp a pop and Eagle Kings at 400 gp a pop, Order 3 is the way to go. So that means that we need to dump at least 3 scales to stay even. Caelum wants Cold 2, but I suggest Cold 3. My reasoning for this is twofold, first your dominion rarely matches up exactly with your scales and you are more likely to have most of your provinces at Cold 2, if you go for Cold 3. Also, at cold 3, it hurts you less than it hurts your enemies. The other item with this is that I believe I read somewhere (although I can't find it now) that your armor is better in colder climes. Still, even if this isn't true, the first reason is enough to justify Cold 3. This also makes your scales cost 0 at this point.

From here, you can go a couple of different ways. You can go with fortune to help gather gems and gold. For many nations I like to pick up some points by taking misfortune. I don't like to do this with Caelum due to the nature of their troops. They are too expensive and fragile Production I leave as is, with Caelum's troops and their resource cost, I have found little reason to increase this scale at all, but others may prefer to take one scale here. That said, I have little desire to lower it because you want to be able to spam archers. Magic/Drain is another place where you can go either way, the MR of Caelum's troops aren't great which drain can help, but Caelum is also very dependent upon magic for battlefield magic. Magic will help research as well as make spells easier to cast. Growth and death scales you can leave as is. While growth isn't required, it is preferable to death as you will need plenty of supplies for your size 3 troops.

So we are looking at either even or 40 points down on the scales. That leaves 310 points for an awake pretender or 460 or 560 for a dormant/imprisoned pretender.

Caelum is a little slow to get started. The reason for this is the lack of melee troops. They have great archers, but the lack of quality melee troops means that you need to constantly replenish these guys. An awake dragon can really help your expansion in the early game. Alternatively, you can take a Cyclops as well who will have the strong earth magic to still be relevant later in the game. A Virtue or Arch Seraph with additional paths in air magic can be a boon early in the game and be a beast magically late in the game.

The problem with an awake pretender is that the magic path cost to increase your magic versatility is so high that you don't really add much to the nation in the late game. My preferance for Caelum is to go with a dormant pretender. You get additional points for scales as well as magic paths. If you go this route, I suggest a rainbow mage with F4A4W2E2S4N2D2. This does not give you a great bless, but what it does is give you a powerful mage who can search for magic sites and locate most of them relatively early in the game and get some gem income flowing in. The fire gives you the ability to create some fire boosters for any Eagle King that gets a Fire random. With W2E2D2N2 you can make all the low level magic boosters. Astral 4 allows you to go down the path of skullshine cap -> ring of sorcery -> ring of wizardry to help your pretender really get his magic going. Once you have the ring of wizardry and either earth boots or a water bracelet you can start making Staffs of Elemental Mastery for your Eagle Kings (A5E2W2 sounds so much better than A4EW). Imprisoned pretenders can take even better magic paths or scales, but at a cost of time. I'm not sure that is something EA Caelum can afford.

Forging items: Since I started talking about it, let's talk about forging. What really makes Caelum shine is their air magic. Any air boosters you can get are very welcome. I especially love the Bag of Winds because you get the boost as well as another unit on the battlefield. With Caelum's troops this is doubly important. With other nations the Air Elemental is a nice addition, with Caelum it becomes a no brainer. Plus, an Eagle King with the Bag of Winds can cast Storm, or cast other spells like lightning bolt, thunder strike, etc., for low fatigue. Spells like Orb Lighting become deadly with 4 bolts of lighting from it.

The Staff of Storms merits its own paragraph here. The Staff of Storms automatically creates a storm on the battlefield. The problem is that in a storm your archers are useless and you can't fly (without tempest warriors). But storms allow you to cast a very effective wrathful skies. With shock resistance on many of your troops this is a very good spell for Caelum. Summon storm power can only be cast when a storm is in effect so this is necessary to boost your Eagle Kings during battle. The good news about losing your archers effectiveness is that your mages are much more powerful and more effective against troops that your archers will have a tough time hitting anyway.

Depending on pretender design some other magic items become important. As I mentioned before, with S4, the skullshine cap -> ring of sorcery -> ring of wizardry helps your pretender out quite a bit. Rings of Wizardry are nice on your Eagle Kings as it boosts their magic up quite a bit. I would go so far as to say that every Eagle King with a random should have a Ring of Wizardry as well as a Staff of Elemental Mastery. Earth boots, water bracelets, and death rods help your mages of the appropriate paths. Additionally, death rods can enable death mage to start producing skull mentors which will greatly boost magic as well as use any death gems you have little use for.

Picking this up:
Troops: Your national troops are pretty weak. Its not so much the stats, which are average, but your size.

Archers: The choice here is simple. The difference between Blizzard Warriors and Spire Horn Archers is 2 protection, 1 encumberance, 1 defense, and 4 resources (which is an 80% increase). My choice here is take the Spire Horn Archers. With gold cost not a factor, you can nearly get 2 Spire Horns for every Blizzard Warrior. Since I don't like my archers mixing it up anyway, protection is a very small factor in this equation.

Grunts: This is a little different. Again, your size 3 units hurt you here. The big question is what do you plan on doing with your magic, and how essential is melee to your combat skills?

The two primary competitors here are the Iron Crows and your Iceclads. Iceclads are more expensive costing nearly 60% more resources than the Iron Crows. However, if fighting in a cold region, their protection is far higher than the Iron Crows. If fighting in a warm dominion, I would opt in favor of the Iron Crows. One other item to keep in mind is that the Iceclads are considered to have magic weapons with their ice blades.

The other ground unit worth mentioning is the Temple Guard. They are the same resource cost as Iceclads and cost 5 more gold. The issue with them is that they only move one province at a time on the strategic map. However, they do fight better than either the Iceclads or the Iron Crows due to their size factor. This allows more of them to bring weapons to bear than their larger breathren. It also keeps your guys from getting ganged up upon. The fact that they are sacred makes them cheaper to maintain as well.

The final grunt to consider is the Tempest Warrior. These guys are slightly worse than the Iceclads when it comes to defense, but they make up for this in three ways. They are significantly cheaper, 15 gold and 12 resources, they are 75% shock resistant and they can fly in storms.

So, if you are fighting in your own dominion, which you better have made cold, your grunt of choice should be the iceclad. If you are fighting in someone else's domain and do not have a lot of mages, or just have low level mages, than Iron Crows are the grunts of choice. I would always build a few Temple Guards, but keep them out of the battles where you cast a lot of indiscriminate lightning. If you are going the storm/wrathful skies combo, then you need a lot of Tempest Warriors. These guys will resist the lightning well and can fly and attack the rearmost guys if you would like.

Mammoths: That leaves the big dog for last, or rather the big wooly elephant for last! Every non-storm AND wrathful skies army should have at least 3 mammoths in the army. This is the minimum safe level for expansion early in the game. Forego buying and Eagle Kings early so you can get plenty of Mammoths to expand with. As the game goes on, your Mammoth force will need to get larger to stay competitive, but once you reach the Storm/Wrathful Skies combo, their utility decreases quite a bit. At that point, your armies will be more dependant upon mages and meat shields.

I will try and post mages and gems, etc. later.
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  #2  
Old July 6th, 2007, 01:40 PM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

Every Eagle King should have a ring of wizardry?

With no national mages with Astral, where are you planning on getting the hundreds of pearls for this? Just from your pretenders early site searching? And to risk losing the rings on the battlefield?
Is that really worth the investment?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:52 PM

Folket Folket is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

He meant that Eagle kings with an extra random should have a ring of wizardry. That is 10% of them.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 02:21 PM

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Default Re: EA Caelum

Yes, only the 10% with randoms. Otherwise they are too expensive. My belief with Caelum is that they really lack magic paths outside of air. An Eagle King with earth boots, elemental staff, and ring of wizardry is suddenly an A6E4W3 which is pretty nice. Army of gold, destruction, rust mist, and army of lead (need one more boost) all come into play and can enhance the effectiveness of your archers. You put one of these guys with each major army and suddenly your national forces aren't that bad.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: EA Caelum

Ya, Eagle Kings can do a lot of different things. They can even be pretty deadly/near-invulnerable thug/SC's with the right items.

Quote:
You cannot hope to stand toe to toe against other nation's line troops.
Ok, but maybe you prefer to stand ON TOP OF them instead (with armored mammoths).
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Old July 6th, 2007, 07:19 PM

Shovah32 Shovah32 is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

E9N4 cyclops ftw . Good SC(great prot and health, can buff with regeneration and reinvigoration), helpful solo or with armies(great to go out infront of your archers as a meatshield) and fairly cheap to boot.
The bless this cyclops gives(extra protection, reinvigoration and regeneration) is extremely useful on your eagle kings(and priests for banishing undead) as it can keep them casting longer, help them avoid afflictions(battlefield effect spells such as earthquake can be a problem) and allows them to be very capable thugs(bless, buff protection, attack one turn, cast shockwave) very early on.
I suggest taking the cyclops dormant with average dominon and decent scales but you can change this is prefered.


As a final note: Mammoths+flight is very fun(1 seraph casting flight per 2 mammoths on hold and attack X)
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Old July 7th, 2007, 12:30 AM

Ironhawk Ironhawk is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

Quote:
Warhammer said:
Yes, only the 10% with randoms. Otherwise they are too expensive. My belief with Caelum is that they really lack magic paths outside of air. An Eagle King with earth boots, elemental staff, and ring of wizardry is suddenly an A6E4W3 which is pretty nice. Army of gold, destruction, rust mist, and army of lead (need one more boost) all come into play and can enhance the effectiveness of your archers. You put one of these guys with each major army and suddenly your national forces aren't that bad.
Why are you going through all this effort to buff your troops? Just turn your Eagle Kings into Wrath-ers and be done with it.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 08:53 PM

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Default Re: EA Caelum

Wrathers, I assume you mean wrathful skies? Yes, that is part of the plan as well. However, in my SP games, I haven't gotten them to that point yet. I was having a bunch of problems with the early game, but I think I have those licked now. That was part of the reason for delaying the other parts of this.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 09:18 PM

Shovah32 Shovah32 is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

Mammoths+slow infantry(preferably with good morale) are all you really need for expanding. Caelian archers with raptor meat shields are great for shotgun expansion(provinces not connected to one another) and later on in the early game/early on in the midgame eagle king thugs(see my previous post) can make great expanders/conventional army killers.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 07:04 AM

Renojustin Renojustin is offline
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Default Re: EA Caelum

I've been playing an EA Caelum SP game for a few days now, and I really enjoy them. I went up against only Saroumatia at the start of the game, 8 Impossible AI on random medium map. Here's some thoughts.

The problem with Eagle Kings being good thugs is that they have very high encumbrance with their Fire Plate. After they're done buffing themselves, their fatigue is really starting to get up there. You'd need either priests and an earth bless or a good magic item economy to counter that, so it seems that your best bet here is to leave the Kings as casters unless and until your opponents start using lightning counters.

Your PD is atrocious... you might not even bother past 10 points to try to catch scouts.

Archers are useful against chaff, but mammoths, Wrathful Skies, or Thunder Strike are just as useful, and can be used against high protection units as well.

I just... don't like Caelum's army very much at all. Mammoths are pretty nice for early expansion, and that's about it. I simply pick up more Iceclads every turn as archer bait for my Eagle Kings. Unfortunately, that means you limit yourself to strategic movement 2, hm.

Probably Tempest Warriors are the way to go, set to hold and attack archers, with limited amounts of Iceclads as the aforementioned arrow soakers.

Important: once you research Thunder Strike, there's pretty much no reason to keep your Eagle Kings around the nest anymore. SEND THEM OUT. You need very little magic research to be a very powerful magic nation with Thunder Strike spam. This is what will make EA Caelum an absolute terror from turn 10 onwards.
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