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  #1  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 01:17 AM

AlgaeNymph AlgaeNymph is offline
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Default Advice for MA Man

Not from me so much as for me. How should I make my pretender? How should I manage my army? What spells should I use? I know that nature magic and Seeking Arrow really helps when being besieged, but not much more than that.

...Oh, and bards. How could I've forgotten that?
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  #2  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

Longbowmen are exceptional. You can make your longbowmen even better by casting Wind Guide, or protect your front row by casting Arrow Fend.

You have stealthy spies (Bards), priests (Monks) and mages (Mothers of Avalon), as well as stealthy sacreds in the Wardens. If you find a druid province or a Brigands' Lair site, which are quite common, you can also recruit stealthy shortbowmen. You can also cast Call of the Wild and Call of the Winds, although a single casting won't do much against even mediocre PD. The werewolves from the first one can summon more wolves, so that's one way of getting stealthy meat-shields to keep your Wardens alive; just pay attention to the routing rules so that your stealthy force doesn't retreat.
Even if you don't want to bother with stealthy armies, Bards are exceptional in many ways. They can tell what sites your enemy has, increase unrest in his rich provinces, and when you siege an enemy castle a Bard can tell you who he has inside the castle waiting for your forces.

EDIT: had confused Mothers and Daughters.
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  #3  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

I think that MA Man desperately needs magic diversity and has a hard time getting it. They also need a pretender with A4. You can not count on other people to give you air boosters.

Considering that A4 seems like a necessity so that you can craft boosters and ultimately summon air queens, cast fog warriors, craft staffs of storm, and turn your crones into thunder striking machines, a rainbow pretender seems like the best choice.

I would probably take a build like this.

Great Enchantress
Dormant
Dom 5
O 3
P 0
H 0
G 1
Misfortune 2
Magic 1

MAGIC PICKS
F1
A4
W3
E3
S3
D3
F1

Growth is important because your crones will get diseased very quickly without. Especially if you have death scales. By taking growth you're saving yourself a lot of headaches later on when your capital only mages start to die of disease.

Production is nice, but IMO unnecessary as in the early game you're going to spam longbowmen and cheap infantry to finish off what stragglers make it past. Later on you can build knights at multiple castles, and rally them together.

On the magic picks you need A4. For the other paths, since she's mainly a site searcher, and later on used to diversify your magic pool, level 3 of a given magic type will find 95% of those sites when you search. Having the 1 in N/F allows you to use rings of wizardy, which are easy to build since you can go Starshine skullcap, astral coin, ring of sorcery, ring of wizardy. Once you have those built you'll have access to every spell/item in the game off your pretender. Summon up some magic diversity and go from there.

I like recruiting lots of bards. They make great researchers, and in battle they can spam Protection. I've actually found that Protection, if you cast it on the heavy infantry, gives them something like 21 protection total. This makes them *hugely* effective when backed up by longbow men. 5-6 bards spamming protection can hit 15-18 units per round. By the time that the enemy closes the gap on your hold-attack units they'll be fully buffed. They can also cast Swarm, which is highly effective against early game SCs as they do 1 point of AN damage. 5-6 units casting swam for 2 turns creates a huge amount of the suckers, who will happily soak up enemy's flankers, and their units, delaying their advance and giving your archers more time to work.

The daughters are not so hot in the early game, but they can be an okay SC counter if the SC has no lightning protection. Once you have a staff of the storms you can have them cast storm power, then spam lightning bolts.

Never forget that your bards are absolutely ridiculous spies. When you want to invade someone, send them out first. Begin to sow confusion or unrest. If you have 10 or so on an enemy capital, the unrest will be so high the person will be unable to find the spies. If they don't move a large army back to patrol, then you will deny them tons of income, and all their production for the early game. Use this tactic so that you can fight a war of attrition, taking as many territories as possible, and avoiding a straight confrontation for as long as possible. Each turn that they can't produce from their capital is another turn that /you can/.

Also, if you can invade a territory nearby the enemy's main castle, and keep it open ,you can set your spies to retreat. When they're discovered by patrollers they will be able to easily run away. If there are no open provinces they will die.

For the long game, make sure you use auspex instead of relying completely on your pretender. You will want lots, and lots of air gems to pump out expensive boosters. Use your earth income to summon a earth troll with E3 to sit around and forge dwarven hammers all game. Use your research to get to fog warriors when you can, it's a house if your opponent has no counters. Air queens make great SCs. You can summon naidas to use up the water gems you get forging a clam economy, which can help you compete with more astral heavy nations.

I hope this helps.

Jazzepi
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  #4  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:22 AM

AlgaeNymph AlgaeNymph is offline
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

Quote:
Jazzepi said:
I would probably take a build like this.

Great Enchantress
Dormant
Dom 5
O 3
P 0
H 0
G 1
Misfortune 2
Magic 1

MAGIC PICKS
F1
A4
W3
E3
S3
D3
F1
Mine differs somewhat:

Great Enchantress
Dormant
Dom 4
O 3
P 0
H 0
G 1
Misfortune 0
Magic 0

MAGIC PICKS
F2
A4
W2
E4
S2
D2
N2

How's that?
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  #5  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

I would avoid the N2/F2 pick. I don't think it's terribly important. It's very difficult to diversify into F, so all you really want from it is the ability to forge some choice items like firebrands, rings of fire resistance, rune smashers, etc.

Your crones can easily random into N4, and you will have an N4 crone by the time you want to cast stuff like mother oak, or mass regen. I would use the daughters of avalon to cast the green site searching spell instead of trying to tack it onto your pretender.

By lowering, or even getting rid of the F/N picks, you can knock up the other ones. Astral and Death are, IMO, the best gems, and the most important gems for the late game.

I just really think that it's more important to be able to reliably find a high percentage, read 95% with level 3 in a path, of a small variety of sites, then to find a smaller percentage of a larger variety of sites. Sites that require higher path levels also tend to produce more gems, and gems of multiple types.

You definitely need to pickup Misfortune 2. Also, spend one tilt of that scale on Magic 1. Magic 1 makes your bards research 5 points, instead of 4. That means that relative to their original research value, if you have only bards researching, you're getting a +25% bonus to research. Now, obviously you're going to recruit crones too, and they research twice as well as bards, so the bonus is reduced on them, but bards/daughters of avalon will make the bulk of your research production.

Misfortune 2 is really 2 free scale-ticks when combined with O3. You're doing yourself a disservice to be afraid of taking Misfortune in a situation like this. It's really not bad at all.

Jazzepi
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  #6  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Horst F. JENS Horst F. JENS is offline
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

You have lots of different troop types and access to stealth armys.

Longbowmen are good against barbarians and other indys, but can't handle units with shields on their own.
You can produce knights in every castle and sacred elite knights (with magic weapons) in your capital.
Knights cost gold and resources, so take good scales (order, and no sloth).

You have no national access to fire magic (for flaming arrows) so if you want to use this spell, make sure your pretender has fire magic skill.

You have no access to death magic. If you want to use your national summons (stealthy, sacred dogs) make sure your pretender has death magic skill.

Your magic is very limited, only Bards (N1, stealth 30, spy, prec 11, banner) and the Mother of Avalon (A1N2, stealth 0, prec 12, sacred) is recruitable in every castle.
Study the possible spells those units can cast (like the infantry buffs in the previous posting) and make battle plans.

Heavy patrolling will detect even bards, so produce masses of bards and send them toward your foes before the war.

use creative tactics like cloud-trapezing crones with rings of the serpent and cast foul vapor.
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  #7  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

Well, I don't think that A4 is as important as you describe. Definitely it is but I find building the whole strategy around it a bit lacking.
MA Man can expand rather quickly using longbowmen so they don't really need an awake sc. I would suggest the following build:
Earth mother N4E4, dormant, Dom 6
Order 3
Prod 1
Growth 2
Misfortune 2
Magic 3
Earth mother may not be very great as it is, but it can be a very potent fighter when you give her winged shoes and enough reinvigoration and casting invulnerability at alt5 (which is your first main goal due to wind guide and mother oak). Your second goal will be gift of health and foul vapors at Ench5. Both these goals (including thau2 and const4) can easily be reached with magic 3, rich dominion and rather fast castle building or researching with tribal shamans. Bless effects are perfect to keep you sacred old mages alive (when a crone becomes diseased, just use her as a battlemage) and for extra reinvigoration in battle (in addition to soothing songs for which tribal shamans are perfect).
Wardens, IMO, are not worth using heavily due to strategic movement 1. They may be completely useless if you start in the corner - bringing them to front will take ages (you may use faery trod, but I'm not sure it is worth doing). You have perfect archers and very good cavalry. If you expand quickly and keep that advantage, I'm sure, you'll be able to find the way into air boosters (either being lucky to have A4 crone or using trade). Btw, with such build and being lucky to find some nature sites, it is definitely possible to have mother oak and gift of health active at the end of year 2.
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  #8  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 08:54 AM

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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

I played a 4-player game as MA Man once, and won with Fog Warriors being my super-weapon. It takes some serious researching, but once you have it your knights are ridiculously tough (almost unkillable by mundane things, and have at least two lives even against spells). So I think keeping that in mind as a target is a good idea. Also on Alteration you get Mother Oak, which is always handy. Actually I've just remembered the other main part of my strategy, which came in before Fog Warriors, was mass-producing Vine Ogres. Man can do that very well, and they're good value (with the vine circlet thing).
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  #9  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 11:26 AM

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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

Crones can have A4, so you don't need it on pretender. Though they are really really old and they die fast so you do not want globals with them, unless you can make them young.
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  #10  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 11:55 AM

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Default Re: Advice for MA Man

Yes Zeldor, you're right about the crones. I'd forgotten but my pretender in that winning game was just a no-magic wyrm.
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