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  #1  
Old May 8th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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Amhazair Amhazair is offline
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Default Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

I'll be playing LA Pangaea in a MP game soon, and I have a few questions about the Manikins and how to use them.

First off, what (if anything) influences the type (& number) of Manikins you get when reanimating? corpses? temples? luck scales? growth? magic? I've run a quick test, and apparently you seem to get 1 manikin of some kind per priest level of the reanimator, regardless of other factors. Unless I missed something at least. In my test the vast majority were 'regular' chaffy humanoid or small animal types, with a few rare more useful bear, elephant, and centaur archers. I did not notice any influence from the presence of temples or corpses, though the sample size was really too small to prove anything. I only ran it with one set of scales so far. (growth 1 misfortune 2 magic 1)

Apart from those I mentioned, are there any other kinds of 'better' manikins available through reanimation that I didn't get so far? I seem to remember people mentioning using an ogre manikin or something like it as a SC chassis? I might misrember though, I definitely never saw anything like it myself.

You can get reanimators by using Pan's national spells in the enchantment tree, there are H1, H2 and H3 versions. Any prophetised undead can reanimate them, and any exotic trick you use to produce undead priests will presumably also allow manikin reanimation. The Carrion Woods global will produce manikins, and there are manikin and mandragora summoning spells in the construction tree. Did I miss any other means of acquiring manikins?

And then, finally - but most importantly - how useful do you rate them? Their sleep vines attacks definitely are nice, and lifts them above regular undead, but their stats are absolutely crapastic and they are of course vulnerable to all the usual undead counters. The national holy spells aren't bad, but it's not like Pangaea is swimming in holy magic, so basically it'll be the same national summons you want to use for reanimation who'll have to do the buffing. Meaning they'll no longer be reanimating. Bottom line: I have my doubts about paying 25 gems for a summon who will then be able to reanimate the grand total of three chaff units per turn. Not to mention the research necessary. So what's the opinion of people who have used them already? Am I missing something? How have you made use of the Manikin spell line with Pangaea?
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  #2  
Old May 8th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

I'm trying to think, I tested this myself. I think the H2-H3 can randomly summon some undead units that are above and beyond the norm like elephants and such. I figured it out before, and I can't quite remember.

In terms of raw troop numbers, the H1 priests give you the best bang for your death gem bucks.

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Old May 8th, 2008, 10:25 AM

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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

They have always seemed ****ty to me in basegame - they are certainly expensive for what you get.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

Quote:
Sombre said:
They have always seemed ****ty to me in basegame - they are certainly expensive for what you get.
Personally I think the manikins serve only one purpose; fatigue SCs to death. For a relatively large investment you get an army based alternative to the normal La Pangea Charm spam. Since the sleep vines don't care about protection, and any SC can have their defense reduced by swarming, they're quite powerful.

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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

They are MR negates though. So while I can definitely see them swarming and fatiguing MR ~20 guys, I fear they'll fail to harm SC with heavy MR equipment except in the longest of battles. (Or is the sheer number of attacks enough to overwhelm even massive MR?) Of course, a SC with heavy investment in MR might be more vulnerable to physical or elemental damage.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:19 AM

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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

mr does not matter in the end. I have tested powerful scs against manikens, and though it takes a bit longer the result is inevitable-dead sc. Too many attacks, and some always get through. but you do need to have literally hundreds of them.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

I just ran a few tests to see if scales and presence of temple had an influence. In each scenario I reanimated 200 manikins.

With growth 3 luck 3 magic 3 and a temple: 20 'stronger' types (6 sagittarii, 6 minotaurs, 3 mandragoras, 1 elephant, 4 bears) The rest was regular chaffy stuff.

With the above scales but no temple: 14 'stronger' ones (1 sagittarii, 1 minotaur, 2 mandragoras, 7 elephants, 3 bears)

With death 3 misfortune 3 drain 3 and a temple: 13 stronger ones (3 sagittarii, 3 minos, 1 mandragora, 3 elephants, 3 bears)

And with those scales but no temple 24 strong ones (2 Sagitarii, 6 minotaurs, 4 mandragoras, 4 elephants, 8 bears)

So I'm guessing it's pretty random. The highest number of specials actually came from the 'bad scales no temple' test, but the 'good scales with temple' scenario had almost as many, and the two 'in betweens' had the least.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

I'm currently playing LA Pan in MP, though it's a CBM game, so LA Pan is really a completely different nation: in CBM, Carrion Woods is level zero, so I put it up as soon as I could and relied on the manikin/undead animal freespawn to expand.

But, that makes me uniquely qualified to comment on a Pangaean undead strategy, which I've been using now for ~40 turns. I don't want to tip my hand (DonCorazon stop reading now!) but I can give you some thoughts.

First, to answer a few of your questions:
"Are there any other kinds of 'better' manikins available through reanimation that I didn't get so far?"
Sounds like you've seen them all, though it's worth mentioning you'll occasionally get Mangradoras, which have 2 sleep vines + claw, 25hp, respectable att & def (9), and 13MR.

I seem to remember people mentioning using an ogre manikin or something like it as a SC chassis?
LA Pan has an undead "Ettin Mandragora" hero, so you'll only get it through the "Suddenly this guy appeared at your gates...!" event. It's an excellent chassis, with 3 hand slots, 2 head slots, and an L1 priest (self bless). Vine Shield + Boots of Behemoth + Regrowth and you've got an early game quasi-SC.

Did I miss any other means of acquiring manikins?
You can cast the Const3 spell Construct Manikin, though I don't recommend it.

Now the big question:
How useful do you rate them?
They frankly aren't very useful on their own, BUT are very useful to LA Pangaea.

Why? (implied)
1) Manikins (and here I'm referring to all the undead stuff Pan gets) are completely different from everything else in Pan's arsenal. To counter them effectively, your opponent will need to field banish-spam priests, which diverts funds/attention from more cost-effective counters to your Minotaurs, Centaur Warriors, Dryad Hoplites, and Harpies. If he decides your manikins aren't a threat...

2) Massed manikins are surprisingly effective. The sleep vines attack, when it hits, is devastating to fatigue; it only takes ~3 hits to knock an opponent unconscious, after which death is certain. This is an excellent counter to small groups of elite troops, and to lone SCs.

3) Manikins have surprisingly high magic resistance. They're still vulnerable to banish-spam, obviously, but L1 priests will only connect ~30% of the time against the standard manikin (MR=12); some of the undead animals are lower, while some are higher.

4) Pan gets several undead-only national spells. Most notably Regrowth, which gives undead the ability to regenerate. Not terribly useful for a manikin, but very nice on an undead Elephant, very very nice on a Wraith Lord, and very very very nice on a Tartarian. Puppet Mastery is also good, particularly when faced by those pesky archers or when storming a castle.

5) They're 100% poison resistant. Pan is notably lacking in battlefield damage spells for the LA. Blade wind is an option against, say, Mictlan, but most troops will be wearing too much armor for BW to be of use without Destruction. But every one of your Pans can cast Poison Cloud.

6) Pan is the Buff Master. What it lacks in direct damage spells, it more than makes up for in troop buffs. First Wooden Warriors, then Mass Protection (or Marble Warriors), then Army of Lead (or Gold). Throw on some Weapons of Sharpness & Strength of Giants, and all of a sudden the mighty Tartarians of Tien Chi are crying out to the rest of the world for help.against your shambling horde of rotting orange peels. Maybe even summon a Lamia Queen or 2 with a Panic Apostate and drop some Darkness for good measure.

7) As Pan, you'll be awash with nature gems. You'll be trying to think of ways to use them, least you feel like a total dope for having 1000 N just sitting there. Carrion Ladies are your best reanimaters/cost (2 manikins/turn @ 16N gem cost). It may not seem like much, but you can easily have 10 by turn 30...by turn 100, those 10 will have generated over 1400 free, need-not-eat, upkeep-free troops.

Your 2 best reanimations are are the undead elephants & centaurs. The elephants are just like normal elephants, except they don't rout (with morale 50) & can't be soul-slayed (mindless). The centaurs are armed with a vine bow that entangles enemies, which can be surprisingly effective against small groups of elite troops.

Got to go to work, maybe I'll add more later.
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  #9  
Old May 8th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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Amhazair Amhazair is offline
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

Quote:
cleveland said:
I seem to remember people mentioning using an ogre manikin or something like it as a SC chassis?
LA Pan has an undead "Ettin Mandragora" hero, so you'll only get it through the "Suddenly this guy appeared at your gates...!" event. It's an excellent chassis, with 3 hand slots, 2 head slots, and an L1 priest (self bless). Vine Shield + Boots of Behemoth + Regrowth and you've got an early game quasi-SC.
Aha! This will be the one then. Note to self: Don't take misfortune 3.

Thanks for the extensive answer. Some of the things you mentioned I thought of before, but some I didn't (I especially hadn't made the connection yet of being able to use the national holy spells on any undead. Me likes. ) and it certainly gives some food for thought.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Questions about LA Pangaea manikins

Heh, stop helping Amhazair, he is playing LA Pangaea in the Megagame and with ammunition like this (especially cleveland) we will be all doomed...doomed I tell ya...

Btw... I have not read Baalz's guide on Ea Mictlan 3 times now, nope wasn't me, was my twin...
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