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  #1  
Old August 2nd, 2007, 06:26 AM

GameExtremist GameExtremist is offline
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Default A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Hi there,

So I've been playing MA Arco almost to exclusion in about 4 MP and a few SP games here and there.

*DISCLAIMER*

This is a light heated guide and by no means have I explored all the strategies and possibilities with this race and I'm pretty much useless at crunching numbers etc.

But I'll share a few things that have worked for me and what I think might be MA Arco's prime strengths and weaknesses.

Pretender selection -

Right now I'm favouring two distinct types of pretender -

Dragons or even a wyrm simply because they allow for quick expansion in the early game, your neighbours who don't have early game SC pretenders tend to be quick to offer/accept NAP's but more importantly that quick expansion allows you to develop a strong economy for Arco's greatest unit...but we'll come to that soon. Your Dragon/Wyrm will probably gain quite a few afflictions the more fights they get into ...try to keep them away from Heavy Cavalry...pick and choose your indy fights, anything to tough bypass and hit with your ele*cough...mumble* legions later on.

The Rainbow guy, yeah grab a sage or other low cost pretender....this guy does one thing...follow your early armies around and site search, try to give him at least one path preferably two paths in all magic discliplines except blood. Gives you those magical gems you'll need in the mid-late game, which you'll be in desperate need of if you want to remain competitive when Summoned SC's start appearing.

Dominion selection

Your going to need cash and resources.....So....how about -
Order +3 Plenty of gold, Negates misfortune scale a little
Prod +1 Extra resources and supply help with you ele*cough* legions.
Heat 0
Growth 0
Misfortune -3 The odd curse and barbarian invasion, annoying but manageable
Magic +1 Gives your Astrologers a bit more of a research lead....they'll need it Mid - Late game.

Yeah the scales can be messed around with a bit..depends on choice of pretender I guess....mainly I like good income and resources with a little extra magic mojo.

Bless Strategy?

I love bless strategies as much as the next Vanheim vanboy, but I'd rather paint my scrotum with napalm then use a bless strategy with MA Arco...EA Arco yes....but not MA.

Heart Companions are a good unit...good but not great. Nice Morale (14) Long spear reach (5) and great protection (17) but their movement? (1/7) urgh! Sure you could for a W9 bless..but why bother. Maybe if they were like Mictlans jaguar warriors where they could be mass produced in every city it might be worth having a huge phalanx of these incredibly slow but heavily armoured guys until then....no.

MUAHAHA! ELEPHANTS THE SECRET REVEALED!!!

Thats right...as soon as possible start producing elephants. Tough (64), big (6) and quick (3/18)...and they trample!!! Yes they there is nothing quite like the sight of 50+ elephants trampling an enemy army into dust. Early game 2 15+ mobs of elehpants roaming around will fix most indies.....if your neighbour gets cheeky just crush him under the weight of your elephants.

Cost - 100 Gold 20 resources mean that you won't be pumping much more then 5 - 10 at the very most in your early game...don't worry though, as mentioned above they are pretty hardy and you don't need hundreds of them to get the job done (though it would be nice to have a few hundred )

Morale...yeah elephant morale could be better...and if they break theres the added factor that they will turn tail and trample any units behind them....so leave the path of retreat clear in the event the trunked ones flee.

Improving Morale - Strategos have banners for a reason...yes stick a strategos or three in the middle of your elephant wedge...it boosts their morale incredibly and very rarely will they flee unless you come up against something really worthy.


Commanders

I only bother with Strategos...120 Leadership and a morale boosting standard..good command unit...I don't normally kit them out, rather save the gems for mid-late game summons/globals etc.

Casters

Priestess....Great unit....you want at least 2 or 3 to heal all your mind hunters from feeblemind..its remarkable how quickly they do it too if they are scripted to heal every turn. Oh these are your only priest types too....so don't forget to build the odd temple here and there too. Nice to have following your elephant leigons around too....as the trunked ones tend to accumulate afflictions via combat but also starvation tends to rear its ugly head often too.

Can be empowered to cast high end nature spells etc.

Astrologers
Powerful capital only astral mages....you really want to research soul slay and mind burn...then mind hunt ASAP. Probably 1/3 tp 1/2 your astrologers will be A4 right off the bat meaning you can be doing a lot of mind hunting in the right circumstances (ie. enemy doesn't also have astral mages) as mentioned above keep some priestesses handy to heal the feebleminded ones ASAP. I like to slowly upgrade one or even better two up to A8 or A9 so that spells like Arcane Nexus and Wish are able to cast....mmmm....Wish = SC of your choice. I like Seraphs with nice gear....others like Doom horrors (can backfire though....not nice)

Another tactic that works is while your elephant legions are off conquering....or whatever and need some magical backup, teleport as many of these guys as you can spare...20 is nice....sit them at the edge of the battlefield and script them to soul slay. It whittles down the enemy nicely.

In a big fight, casting Doom ( curse the entire enemy army) followed by Will of the fates (Luck for your whole army)...nice when you have a giant elephant legion with luck.

Mystics
Recruitable from any city, they also give more magical diversity if needed. I tend to use them where needed...I like Astrologers better.

Other Units
Well the other units are okay....they really are just fodder compared to the ELELPHANTS PHWAHAHER! ahem...anyway use them where needed to fill out your armies etc but they ain't that special. I've never used the chariots, I figure why bother with a size 4 trampler when I can have more ELEPHANTSS!!!!

One parting thought...

I've heard people say the sound of a 300 Maenads in battle can set your teeth on edge after a 50 turn SP session.....you ain't heard nothin yet....100 elephants is a sound for sore ears indeed.

Thanks for reading and any discussion is welcome : )
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  #2  
Old August 2nd, 2007, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

How do you deal with terror/frighten/panic spell spam? Elephants have poor morale and low magic resistance. Not a good combination...
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 06:48 AM

GameExtremist GameExtremist is offline
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Multiple Strategos seem to work wonders their Morale boosting banners are worth (10) though I've got no idea how much the mechanics of that figure work. Another thing you can do is add some Cardaces or hoplites to the unit to boost the avg morale value up. But I tend too avoid that as although the elephants are twice as quick if its a good stand up fight the cardaces and hoplites start to drop like flies causing more morale checks.

But yes the morale and low MR is an inherent weakness. Though not everyone seems to take advantage of this for whatever reason e.g. nation choice, circumstance, experience etc.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Yes, that is also my impression; most people tend to forget the obvious counters to masses of elephants when they meet them. Some even tried stopping them with hordes of heavy infantry, and that is about the worst thing you can do.

I will start a thread for discussing this so not to disturb yours.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:15 AM

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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Another thought....say for example you know you are about to face a large enemy army that has a fair number of death mages....hopefully you can scout the army before it gets to you....I don't see why not as Arcoscephale gets the scry ability which allows for accurate intelligence reports inside your dominion. But anyway if the enemy army is free of astral mages you can pretty ,much go to town on them with your A4 mindhunting astrologers. Try and take them down before they hurtesses your precious elephantses.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Yes the scry ability goes hand in hand with elephants. Two questions though: are there any summonable death mages that are stealthy? And can stealthy units be seen by scry?
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Spectral mages are stealthy. They also can't be seen by scrying, I think. But it may be they need to be hiding for that.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

FWIW, I find Mystics to be quite underrated. They're recruitable anywhere and communions of them can rain down falling frost/fire, gifts from heaven, magma eruption, blade wind, astral fires, enslave mind, and cleansing water depending on what the situation merits plus most any buff (legions of steel/strength of giants/weapons of sharpness turn their quite respectable heavy infantry into a major threat). You can also use them to forge slave matrixes for thugs, then buff them with every earth/fire/water/astral buff through a communion (invulnerability, fire shield & breath of winter turns most anybody into a thug, toss in quicken self, personal luck, and ). They make an awesome defensive force while you're building up your research base and a damn effective offensive force when you collect critical mass.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 05:48 PM

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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

I think Arco priestesses are under-used in communions. Make a handfull of crystal and slave matrices and setup the communion as normal, and use slave mx on some more cheap priestesses to enlarge the communion. Instant flexibility -- you can switch them to masters with the crystal mx instead and turn the communion upside down so it can lead with multiple H5+ casters for a surprise Banish/Smite/Maggots party vs undead. Even one H4+ master in communion for Fanaticism and Divine bless can be worth including full time in the team, plus the nature path buffs for slaves such as Eagle Eyes, Elemental Fortitude, Personal Regen, etc. At higher research levels, simple priestess masters have pretty big guns like Charm, Relief, Mass Regen/Protection, Howl.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:41 PM

Eximius Sus Eximius Sus is offline
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Default Re: A few thoughts on MA Arcoscephale

Now that's thread necro.
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