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Old May 25th, 2008, 11:16 PM
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Default MA Mictlan - An Introduction

Introduction:

Middle-age Mictlan is very different from early and late. Many aspects will appear the same. All three ages have national only level three priests and cheap recruitable sacred units everywhere. All ages have the same national spells. The non-sacred recruitable units are also the same with exception to a lack of moon warriors in late-age. You can even recruit the Nahualli (mages who shape-change into turkeys) in all three ages. This aside, their are some fundamental differences.

The other two ages have an overwhelming amount of blood magic compared to middle's rare random on a single mage. The two also have a dominion that only spreads with blood sacrifice, while middle can't sacrifice at all. Pretender selection is also vastly different as all blood gods are removed in the middle age. Ultimately, these few differences greatly effect how the two are played. Early and late age get to use their dominion as a precise weapon at the cost of having to perform constant maintenance on their dominion. They also get to explode with zero-upkeep sacred demon hordes. This makes both ages more suitable to overwhelming nations with a stronger dominion directed on their borders and with armies of higher quality troops. Lacking these major aspects does not make middle-age Mictlan a weaker faction, though most would claim so. It simply makes a it a different faction, which is more then a match for the other nations of the same age.

The first hint I can give you is to not compare middle-age to the others. (Granted, I just did that.) It is much better to simply look at what they do have. Second, middle-age will need neutral to positive scales. They don't need to be great, but you don't want to be killing your population. (More about scales is covered in pretender design below.) I've determined that there is two ways one could play Mictlan. The first is to, of course, leverage your sacred power. The second is to actually play the nation like it were any other. Most people, I feel, underestimate Mictlan's regular troops and their access to free non-mindless chaff. Making the sacred aspect of your strategy a second to good scales and a thought out pretender allows a more solid late-game position in my opinion. I'll do my best to cover strategies for both.

Pretender Design:

As mentioned above, you'll want to avoid a damaging set of scales. Your dominion spreads on it's own like any other nation and taking death will hurt your chances of winning. I would also swear against taking drain. Increased battle magic diversity and a more powerful astral mage is what sets this age from the others. If you cripple that advantage then you will surely never outshine the other two ages.

If your looking for design points for a bless strategy, sloth 3 is the place to start as your recruit-anywhere sacred is only 3 resources each. Heat 1 is absolutely free and helps the cold-blooded couatl. Imprisoning your god after all that should leave you enough points for a dual bless and a high dominion with points left over in some cases. Taking more heat for order also won't be a bad trade as you won't need the food supply (nature mages and small elite armies) and it will net you more gold overall. It's really up to you after that. Personally, I favor taking at least magic 1. As for which bless combination to take, I suggest giving your eagle warriors increased attack and damage, which a fire bless can do on it's own. My preference after that is an astral bless as it provides a level of protection that is enough to get them to at least round two.

Example Pretender for Dual-Bless: Imprisoned Oracle, Fire 9, Astral 9, Dominion 8, Sloth 3, Heat 1, and 130 points left. 95 with dominion 9 and 53 with dominion 10. Great for eagle warrior effectiveness with well-rounded attack and defense, mildly weak against missile damage.

If your going for a good scales strategy then I'd suggest trading out sloth for some production. Your armored warriors are cheap enough and good enough that you'll want to spam a lot of them. I'm confident that Mictlan, even without a dual-bless, doesn't need an awakened god in order to survive. I say you should keep the god imprisoned and reap the design points. Really, this approach is all about the long-term strategy in the first place. Focusing on a little earth, death, or blood magic will expand their options. Mictlan really benefits from a rainbow god and magic scales in my opinion.

Example Pretender for Good Scales: Imprisoned Master Lich, Earth 4, Astral 4, Death 5, Dominion 6, Heat 1 and 290 points left, enough for 7 positive increases to your scales. Production is highly suggested. This will open up the world of death magic and be a reliable source of astral five mages for 21 gems using the dwarven hammers and crystal coins you can now craft.

Regulars:

Most nations have a racial advantage which is templated to just about all their units. Examples would be Machaka's unusually low base encumbrance and Marignon's above average moral. Mictlan's racial advantage seems to be their forest survival and below average gold cost, a solidly average unit will cost 9 gold rather then 10.

Warrior (Spear and Sling): Mictlan has slingers in two varieties. They all have spears, slings, hide shields, and a map move of 2. Though slings are less effective in the middle-age then in early-age, they still have their uses. They also double as regular troops as they have average stats across the board, including morale. The unarmored version is easy to spam in high numbers, which is ideal for Fire Arrows, which Mictlan can naturally cast with a little effort.

Warrior (Spear and Javelin): This warrior along with the heavy slinger is the heaviest regular available to you that still has a move of 2. It's a solid spear chucker for a cheap cost, not much else to say. The shield could be better, but it's better then nothing at all.

Warrior (Mace and Javelin): This unit gives up a little battlefield movement and a point of map movement for additional protection and a shorter weapon that does only a bit more damage. The real advantage of this unit is that it is roughly the same as the feathered warrior, meaning a group of warriors mixed in with the feathered warriors will move along the field as one, maximizing the effect of the standards.

Feathered Warrior: This unit has the same armor and weapons as the mace and javelin warrior. However, it is more experienced with a higher attack, defense, and moral score. It also has a standard of 4 which is a real boon to your non-sacred warriors. They cost twice as much as a regular warrior, but are worth every penny in my opinion when going for a good scales strategy.

Moon Warrior: This is an amazing cost-effective regular. For 3 gold more then a warrior you get a better attack, defense, hit point maximum, moral, and magic resistance. On top of all that you also get 50 dark vision. Its heavy obsidian sword packs the punch needed to get past heavy armored soldiers. This unit helps supplement a few of the draw backs to avoiding a bless strategy. Unlike other warriors it lacks even a hide shield. Leveraging your limited access to air magic can solve this minor problem.

Sacreds

Eagle Warriors: The first of the sacred warriors and the only one middle-age can make everywhere they set up shop. The eagle warrior is an ambidextrous spear and dagger warrior that flies when blessed. They've got a good moral score and map move. They are very lightly armored and have no shield. There is virtually no bless you can give them that will make them tanks. Human HP, low protection, and moderate defense gives them little survivability. However, with two attacks and the ability to fly the eagle warrior is an effective blitz unit. As the game progresses into late-game the eagle warrior will begin to outshine the other sacred units. Their ability to fly allows them to hide in the corners of the battlefield and close with the enemy before they are wiped out by mages. Therefore, a strongly offensive bless (fire, blood, and/or death) is ideal for this unit. Their best defense is an already dead opponent.

Sun Warrior: These are the heaviest sacred warriors available and you can only make them at your capitol. They are practically the same as the feathered warrior stat-wise except there Hatchet does a bit more damage then a mace and the Mictlan copper scale they wear has a higher encumbrance. I do find it strange that armor special to Mictlan's sacred units are slightly worse then the armor they give to their run-of-the-mill warriors. Anyhow, these sacreds are best for when the enemy starts to throw lots of mundane damage at you, such a mass of archers or rain of stones. However, since they are hard to amass and since the faster hit point machine known as the Jaguar warrior is available instead, you'll find these warriors rarely employed.

Jaguar Warriors: The most expensive warrior Mictlan has to offer, and some would argue as equally being the most effective. The rather hardy sacred unit is, like the eagle warrior, lightly armored and has no shield. Unlike the eagle warrior, it can't fly. Instead it has an extra life as a sacred Were Jaguar. Once killed it is replaced by a stronger and faster unit with a lot of hit points and three attacks. This feature makes the unit impossible to destroy with a single evocation spell. In warrior form the unit carries an obsidian sword which deals barbarian style damage. This unit can only be recruited in your capitol.

Commanders

Scout: It is indeed a scout.

Tribal King: 80 leadership, sacred, forest survival, and the ability to gather slaves for 40 gold. Furthermore the king isn't too bad of a warrior himself. I wouldn't send him to the front lines as he's not much more effective then any other sacred unit, but it might matter to your other commanders when the enemy breaks past your lines.

Mictlan Priest: Unlike the priests of other ages, this version's magic level is completely random. The priests of other ages supplied a reliable blood income while this one supplies you with a mage-priest you can make without a laboratory. There random path in my opinion isn't all that helpful in combat. Their role is best limited to cheap research.

Nahualli: This sorcerer is the only caster Mictlan has that isn't sacred. However, the Nahualli make up for it in a number of ways. The first is by being reliable communion slaves. Each one is guaranteed one level of astral. They also have two levels of nature, which for me becomes the breaking point where nature magic become worth it. Nature 2 allows for sleep, sleep cloud, panic, berserkers, storm of thorns, wooden warriors, and more. It also is what you need to make the cheapest nature booster, the thistle mace. Let's not forget that astral + nature also grants curse, a great spell when used on thugs. Furthermore, astral 1 and nature 2 is exactly all you need to site search both paths. They have blood and death randoms, which are rare, but worth looking out for as Mictlan normally don't have access to these paths. The Nahualli also have the ability to turn into a turkey, which doesn't seem great until you notice that they don't lose any magic paths and that they now can fly. This allows your communion slaves to keep up with your communion masters, the couatl and your high priests of the sky, who also fly. In regards to cost, 110 gold for a mage with 5 base research is good for any nation. Surely I agree that a Mictlan priest of more cost efficient, but there isn't much to do with them after researching. My suggestion is to hire these mages whenever you can. When your army needs a push they can respond almost instantly because of their ability to fly. There spell selection, particularly after communion, makes sending them worth this minor effort.

Sky Priest: The alternative to the Mictlan priest. For 10 more gold you get a consistent path in air, a patrol bonus, and slim chance at a random magic level.

The following commanders can only be recruited in your capitol.

Moon Priest: I can see a number of uses for this commander. Though they have a higher initial cost, the upkeep is cheaper then that of a nahualli. The real unfortunate thing is that their are just too many capitol only commanders that I think are worth more to Mictlan. Still if your looking for an effective caster to spam solar rays against a Prince of Death, this is your guy. A minor note, between the moon, sun, and rain priests, the moon priest has a point higher MR.

Sun Priest: Effectively the same caster as the moon priest with two fire instead of two astral. If your planning on a good scales strategy, I would look to recruiting a few of these. (See strategies below as to why.) Out of the moon, sun, and rain priests, the sun priest gets a higher leadership of 50 over the usual 10. Also, they are good site searcher for fire.

Rain Priest: Probably not as effective as the sun priest in battle. It does give you a reliable water mage and water 2 can always craft it's own boosters all the way to water 4. They are also all you need to cast your national water spells. Water site search to boot. They yield no stat advantage over the sun and moon priests.

Sky Priest: Your most reliable source of air magic and one of two holy 3 priests available. The sky priest comes with an innate ability to fly, lead a regular sized army, and has a nifty patrol bonus. One out of four will be able to communion. One out of four will not be old. This is also the caster you look to site search air sites. My favorite aspect of these casters are their ability to cast cloud trapeze.

Priest King: This is my personal favorite among the priests. The priest king can lead a massive number of troops, is a holy 3 and nature 2 caster, and can summon free chaff. Many times I've used this commander to drop a divine blessing while another casts wooden warriors on a batch of eagle warriors, all while the cheap chaff take the initial arrow fire. I probably only like them more then the Sky Priest because I've been playing Mictlan before the sky priest was even around. Still a good buy in my opinion, but limit your investment.

Couatl: This is the most powerful caster Mictlan has. It's a lizard that flies, has only a head slot and two miscellaneous slots. It has Astral 3 and nature 1 as a given and can potentially get to astral 4. I think people dislike them because they lack the slots to make them effective super combatants. I've tried never to see them as combatants and that's probably why I'm okay with them. The truth is that as an astral mage, it has all the slots it really needs. Sure I can think of a dozen uses for the missing slots, but if your goal is to boost an astral mage in the cheapest way possible, then you only need a head slot for a starshine skullcap, and miscellaneous slots for penetration items or the other astral boosters. The only astral boosters that don't fall under head or miscellaneous slots are unique and belong on something better, like your heroes or pretender. Still 400 gold for this unit is a lot, even if you factor in that it's holy. Still, it's worth the occasional investment, and they have considerable access to nature and air magic as well. A couple of coualt's and a team of turkey mages can fly into any province and dominate a battle field when done right.

Magic:

Mictlan has the advantage of having access to a lot of magic paths. They have reliable access to fire, water, air, nature, and astral magic. They can site search for all these paths and have the starting gem income to support such searching. In regards to death and blood, the nahualli have a slight chance at either and they have an undead hero with 3 death, 3 blood, and 3 holy. Also, water magic will lead to blood magic if you summon the Tlaloque, a Mictlan national demon summon (Conjuration 7). Each of the four has strong magic paths, including 3 blood and 4 water each. Earth is really the only magic completely unavailable to them.

Strategies:

Teleportation: One advantage Mictlan has is that, with a little luck or preparation, you can instantly send your best priest, your best mage, and whole armies to locations far away and before the enemy can move. The high priest of the sky can naturally use Cloud Trapeze (Enchantment 4). Thecouatl can naturally use Teleport (Thaumaturgy 3). If you get a Priest King or a Nahualli with nature 3, or if you manage to get a couatl with nature 4 then using non-unique nature boosters, the Thistle Mace (Construction 4) and the Moonvine Bracelet (Construction 6), will allow you to use Faery Trod (Enchantment 5). If you equip a couatl with a Starshine Skullcap (Construction 6) then you can use Gateway (Thaumaturgy 5). Also, if you manage a couatl with astral 4 then you can equip him with a Starshine Skullcap and cast Astral Travel (Thaumaturgy 9). If you have an astral five mage , ether with luck or with a pretender, then you can exclude further reliance on luck and forge Rings of Sorcery, however, I'm opposed to this as it isn't an economical use of gems, even with a forge bonus. If you would rather prepare then rely on luck (or drop an additional 30-40 astral gems on a commander before you even move) then I would suggest putting astral and earth on a pretender to forge Crystal Coins and/or nature and blood to forge Armors of Twisting Thorns (both Construction 4). Using non-unique boosters allows you to, theoretically, make an endless supply of teleporting armies. I'm also particular to the earth and astral solution as that allows your to make Dwarven Hammers (Construction 2), which will economize your gem usage even further.

Flaming Arrows (Enchantment 5): Sun Priest + 2 fire gems + Phoenix Power (Conjuration 3) + cheap national slingers and lion tribe independents = barbecue. You can boost the effectiveness of this strategy by casting Wind Guide as well (Alteration 4). This is a strategy is better employed by a non-bless Mictlan, as it works better with larger armies. Acquiring a more powerful fire mage or finding a way to make Fever Fetishes (read below) makes this a more viable tactic.

Using Negative Precision Spells: Mictlan can benefit from the use of spells that decrease the effectiveness of precision or of projectiles. The Moon Warriors and Jaguar Warriors deal a good amount of damage at the cost of not wielding a shield. (Their shields aren't that great anyhow.) The moon warriors are also your most elite non-sacred unit, and most would argue that the jaguar warrior is their best unit period. By using spells like Mist (Evocation 3), Storm (Evocation 5), and Arrow Fend (Enchantment 6) you can eliminate their greatest weakness. Eagle warriors also benefit greatly from these spells, with exception to storm as that prohibits their ability to fly. The storm spell is more difficult to cast, but isn't out of Mictlan's reach. A High Priest of the Sky with Astral can commune or you can be lucky enough to get a high priest of the sky or a couatl with air 3. The best approach in my opinion is to create a Staff of Storms (Construction 6). However, you can't do so without an air 4 caster, which Mictlan doesn't naturally have access to. Air 4 is also the requirement for the the two common air boosters, the Winged Helmet and the Bag of Winds (both Construction 4). Having a pretender or some other caster with air 4 will open up the world of serious air magic to Mictlan.

Alternating Recruitment: If you decide to take advantage of Mictlan's spear chucking units and in doing so use the standard bearers, then I find it most effective to alternate your recruitment. So buying 2 mace and javelin warriors followed by a feathered warrior will keep a standard bearer in each square. This is more important with Mictlan then it is with Ermor or Pythium as their standard is weaker. Buying one feathered warrior for every 2 warriors isn't all that bad as the feathered warrior is also an experienced soldier. The cheap cost of Mictlan's troops also helps. The real drawback is that this can become a tedious recruitment process.

Weaknesses and Solutions:

Size 4 Couatls: Being size 4 with 20 hp has its draw backs when the rest of the units are size two. The enemy, can and will at times set their archers to attack large monsters. This is particularly effective when used by Ry'leh's mind blasters. It is also possible that the enemy's AI will target your couatl with their spells. Their are a few solutions to this problem. Casting resist magic and/or wearing an antimagic amulet will mostly solve the illithid mindblast and most 100 precision spell problems. If you keep your couatl in the back row, which I highly suggest, then I wouldn't worry about most arrows and spells like drain life. Summon or recruit larger creatures with more HP should solve the problem completely.

Mictlan Makes Cities: Almost everywhere Mictlan goes they set up a city. If your playing a bless strategy, this becomes harmful to your expansion in a really big way. Cities require a lot of time and money to build. 1200 gold in addition to the 400 gold you need for a temple plus a 5 turn investment can really slow you down. This is less harmful when playing a scales strategy as cities have great administration, but when going for a great bless you want lots of forts and not a lot of resources for any of them. What you want to look out for are mountains. Mountain provinces yield hill forts. Their cheap, fast to build, and gather more then enough resource for your eagle warrior gear. Aside from that their really isn't much more you can do.

Things to look for:

A High Priest of the Sky with Fire and Nature or a Priest King with Fire: If you manage one of these two then keep them by your side and use them to forge Fever Fetishes (Construction 2).

A Priest King with Water: Water is the easiest thing to boost. Once boosted to 3 with a Water Bracelet (Construction 6) and a Robe of the Sea (Construction 4) this priest can start making Clams of Pearls (Construction 2). I would also argue that middle-age Mictlan needs astral gems a little more then it needs nature or water.

Independents with flying units: Middle-age Mictlan has a wide variety of flying commanders but doesn't have any flying units that it can recruit to back them up. (The eagle warriors fly, but only in battle, which isn't helpful on the map.) I tend to see middle-age as the Mictlan with more finesse. Combining instantaneous travel via teleportation spells and flying armies will keep Mictlan competitive. The most useful flying units are of course those from amazon independents, the griffin and pegasus riders, as they are also sacred.

A Priest King or Nahualli with Nature 3, a Couatl with Nature 4, or a Couatl with Astral 4. Read Teleportation in the above strategies for details.
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Strategy Guide: LA Man - Death and Taxes
Strategy Guide: MA Mictlan - An Introduction
Guide Supplement: LA Man - Castle Warfare
Referance: Prophet Transformations

Last edited by AreaOfEffect; January 4th, 2009 at 07:48 PM..
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  #2  
Old May 25th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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AreaOfEffect AreaOfEffect is offline
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

My first guide for this game. Feel free to comment constructively and I'll adjust as new information is brought to my attention. Thank you in advance.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 11:40 PM

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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

reap the benefits of a neighbors dominion --> I thought you only got the bad things from neighbours, not the good.

Am I wrongly informed?
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Old May 25th, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

It wouldn't matter if that were true, if your dominion is bad enough then any dominion would be preferable to yours.

Also, I know for a fact that I can take advantage of the research bonus from an enemies magic scales. Further testing revealed that my provinces benefit from the population growth from an enemies growth scales. Clearly you have been led astray.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:10 AM

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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

Odd. I have a Svartalf sitting in a Magic-3 enemy dominion right now, and he's still Research-7. No bonus from the enemy magic dominion. AreaOfEffect, are you sure you're not mixing this up with the research bonus from experience or something?

-Max
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Old May 26th, 2008, 03:48 AM

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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

I am doing really well in one game as MA Mictlan. Some comments:

- single S9 bless makes initial expansion a bit too slow and scales are just too good to make use of them
- S9 pretender rulz end game
- don't rely on randoms on Nahualli, I never got blood random with over 100 of them recruited
- best way to get into blood would be to summon Tlalocs [yeah, a bit late]
- you could think about flying/teleporting communion casting Master Enslave later
- you really need to site search for earth, alchemists are great if you can find them as they can summon golems, which can teleport together with your mages
- hordes of chaff are wonderful
- I would try to cast Maelstrom so you can get water gem income for clams
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Old May 26th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

Enemy scales on your dominion work just fine. Your scale under enemy dominion don't benefit you.

If your dominion has spread to a province which used to have enemy dominion, as long as the Magic or Luck or whatever stays around, it works. Your dominion will reinstate its own scales, even if they are worse, given enough time.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

Why not have your cake and eat it as Ma Mictlan?

Ma Mictlan has still got the unique Ea summons, so how about a F9 B9 bless? This is still a fierce double bless for your eagle warriors all the way through the game and you can use your pretender to get into blood.

When you get your pretender blood hunt to get 25 blood slaves, cast Tiahuelpuchi a few times and you will quickly move in a big way into blood.

You then have advantages of normal dominion spread, recruitable everywhere eagle warriors (which are better than jags), strong'ish air magic and the blood of Ea and La Mictlan.

So you can argue Ma Mictlan is now the strongest of the 3 ages of Mictlan to play.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 08:17 AM

Zeldor Zeldor is offline
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

Give some pretender design example

Twist Fate is really great both for sacreds and mages. It works against trampling and later, when you add fog warriors and mass luck, you can have really nice armies. Though storm spoils the fun with eagle warriors later.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Guide to Middle-Age Mictlan

It seems the example I was using was where I once used drain 3. I simply calculated the difference between similar mages as if it were drain 2, a subtle but important difference. Thanks for clearing that up.

However, a population of mine that has been under enemy candles the entire time I've owned it is still experiencing population growth. It seems the game is picky about what counts as a benefit.
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