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Old September 13th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Post Beginner's guide to Lanka

This is more of a guide by a beginner than for beginners, but what the heck. It may provide insights for some of you lovely readers. Just don't expect it to save you from Baalz...

Lanka: Demon monkeys for the masses

Overview:

Lanka is a nation of monkeys, like Patala etc., but instead of silly Gandharvas and stuff they get bushels of demons. Kewl.


Troops:

First off, Lanka get three sizes of monkeys. Each size comes in two flavours: archer or infantry. They all count as animals, making them useless at sieging enemy forts. Baalz' guide to Bandar Log has more ideas about the best things to do with monkey troops, by the way.

Marketa: These guys are usable against large units with little or no armour, but that's about it. They're too weak to get through even medium armour, even though their good defence means they're survivable in melee and their small size means they'll get hits in. They'll crumble against archery of any quality.

Atavi: Think of Atavi infantry as a slight improvement on militia and the archers as slightly cheaper indy archers. They have stealth, which could make them raiders, but they're less effective than many nations' PD.

Bandar: Great big apes with some strong points - the archers get longbows, which is pretty darn good for EA even with 9 precision. The infantry are heavy infantry with no helmets and bucklers. They have Str 15 and 18 HP, which may make up for their vulnerability to archers. Problem is, Bandar cost a hefty 20 gold each.

All monkey infantry get an interesting secondary weapon: Sticks and Stones. These have a damage and precision penalty, but... they also have 2 attacks and 30 ammunition! In the hands of the Bandar infantry, they're probably better than shortbows and I'd rate them well above javelins.

Next up are the sacreds.

Kala-Mukha Warriors are elite sacred heavy infantry. High strength and a Falchion mean they'll punch through any armour and frequently kill the armour's occupant. They have good EA armour and a helmet, which helps when arrows get past their measly buckler. 50% darkvision means you won't mind using them in the late game, and they're not demons - this is actually rather useful in Lanka sacreds. And they're recruitable anywhere, to boot. 65 gold and 20 resources are a heavy price to pay for these guys, but you may well end up biting the bullet.

You also get 3 capital-only sacred demon recruitables:

Asara are unarmoured demons with a apear and javelins. With 20 range and 8 precision, the javelins have pretty negligible effect unless you mass silly numbers of Asara together. Don't bother to do this. The spear they use isn't exactly the world's best weapon either, by the way.

Anusara (heh-heh, you said 'anus', dude ) are also unarmoured, but have a nice chunky mace to complement their high strength. These are safer than you might think against archers, because they have 20 AP (melee range is reached quickly) and a buckler that will take the edge off arrow salvoes.

Palankasha, the third capital sacred, are very nice. Strong, heavy armour, falchion... shame about the buckler and no helmet, but these guys are still very survivable. They can one-hit kill humans through most EA armour, and take a good deal of punishment on the way. With a couple of stars under their belt, you'd be hard-pushed to find a better sacred troop in the EA.


Leaders:

Marketa scouts are pretty funky, with a massive +40 stealth to help them along.

Atavi chieftains have stealth +0, which is their only benefit over indy commanders.

You're unlikely to recruit the other two pure commanders, to be honest.

Raktapata are a nice B1H1 priest, making them your blood hunter of choice. That's about the limit of their abilities, though.

Yogini should be your primary researchers. They're about as efficient as anything else you can recruit, and they have good paths too. The D1 lets you spam Dark Knowledge to find Death sites and N2 lets you do the same with Nature. This may be important, as you don't have reliable access to D2+ or N3+ for manual site searching. A booster or two lets these guys do the grunt work of Blood summoning instead of a Raksharaja or Rakshasi, too. And the final reason you should hire lots of these is that once you're done researching every single Yogini you've ever hired can be put to work spamming Storm of Thorns on the battlefield.

Kala-Mukha are a workhorse priest. H2 lets them summon Longdead, and 1 in 4 get B2 and can cast Bowl of Blood. They can blood hunt in a pinch, and of course they'll spread your Dominion as and when you need it. The rest of the time they'll be reanimating corpses, and for this reason you'll be wanting quite a few of them.

You get two capital-only sacred commanders, too:

Rakshasi have nice magical diversity, but in-depth access to any path is unlikely. They have a second shape which can use the Seduce command, letting them act as assassins if you need that function. Sadly, being a jack of all trades means they aren't very good at any of these functions. And they cost 350 gold, too. You'll end up buying these if you want N3 or D3, because they're the only way you'll see that on a national unit.

Rakharaja are likely to be your preferred capital purchase. A2D1B2?1(ADB) means they'll all have a useful spell or two to cast. Their 10% chance of an ANDB random means you might get an A4 or B4 mage in time to be useful, too.

Summons:

Lanka get a host of national Blood summons. Most of them are pretty useful, too.

Rakshasa are like slow Anusara, and there are normally better uses of Blood Slaves.

Praghasa (Feast of Flesh) are only a little superior to the likes of the Anusara. However, you get to summon them in groups of 15. If you need numbers in a hurry, these can be very handy.

Asrapas are only a bit better than humans, stat-wise, and don't seem to gel well with your other sacred units. Their partial life drain athame helps a little, but probably not enough to make them look worthwhile. However, they are berserkers. Put a few in a squad of other troops, and you won't have nearly so many morale problems.

Rakshasa warriors are likely to be a staple. Good stats, body armour and a great big maul make them a force to be reckoned with in combat. By the time you have these, their vulnerability to arrows (no shield or helmet) may not be much of a problem anyway.

Sandhyabala are lovely. Armour, buckler, great in a fight, and Dark Power to boot. Dark Power is a big deal, by the way, for reasons you'll see later.

Davanas. Giants with 4 arms and 92 hp. I need hardly say more. These guys are the business, really. They are a bit costly though, at 75 slaves for 3. It's a price worth paying, as they GoR up to make a nice SC chassis.

Most Lanka summons have fire vulnerability, which can upset you against some nations. It's worth planning ahead to deal with this, so that Abysia and the other fire powers don't give you a reaming.

National Summon Commanders:

Dakini are going to be a staple. At A3D1B3, they've got better magic than Raksharajahs - they can all cast Thunder Strike and the like. They're also zero upkeep, which will be a benefit.

Samanishada are nicely equipped assassins, but that's all they are. You have other options for thuggery, so there's not much reason to summon them.

Mandaha on the other hand are going to be popular. They auto-cast Darkness, which is pretty nifty to start with. Any of your undead and demonic hordes with one of these guys in the area is going to have a huge advantage over mundane troops. They are at least a thug quality chassis (flight, nearby enemies get fatigued), and have A3D3B2 for casting buffs on themselves. Soul Vortex is a nice starter, for example. They have 100% fire vulnerability, so you will want several booster items. NB: Mandaha have an upkeep of 20. Summon a lot and you'll want to make sure you have a decent income.

NB: It appears that Solar Brilliance doesn't work near Mandaha, which is just icing on the cake if it's true. It certainly fits with the flavour text.

Undead:
All priests you recruit as Lanka will be able to animate and lead undead. Even the indy priests can (each point of holy you have lets you lead 15 undead, by the way). Since H1 priests aren't great reanimators and any H3 priests you have will normally be wanted for other duties, most of your reanimating is likely to be done by Kala-Mukha.

You don't get to reanimate undead horsemen as Lanka, but you do get to animate undead monkeys. Perhaps 1/2 of your longdead and soulless will be monkeys of various sorts. Dead Marketa and Vanara aren't better than normal undead, but dead Bandars get lots more strength and hit points than you'd expect of corpse. Some Bandar and Vanara corpses get armour, and are a nice heavy infantry type of undead.

That said, Longdead and Soulless of any type are going to end up as chaff. You'll be able to generate hundreds of them, and probably want to. In the early and mid game, these guys will help minimise demon casualties by drawing some missile and Banish firepower.

You can also summon Ghouls, which aren't mindless and so can defend against sieges. The bad news is that making ghouls reduces population, which isn't really compatible with blood hunting. The good news is that some of your ghouls will be Pisacha, who are stronger and tougher than your average ghoul. A good way to make ghouls is to find a province with under 2000 population and a gold mine or similar. Make ghouls until the province is depopulated, then put the taxes to 200% and watch the gold rolling in.


Pretender Design:

You're likely to want a bless for Lanka. Earth, Nature and Water are the usual candidates, and splashing Astral might be worthwhile to protect against Banish. Your sacreds are good enough to warrant a strong bless, and most choices will be pretty effective. I like to go with E9W9, for a variety of reasons. N9 is risky in the late game, when a Rain of Stones could send all your lovely sacred battle mages haring off into the teeth of the enemy. N9W9 is IMHO bad news, with berserk hasted demons hitting 50 fatigue after 6 rounds of combat. E9N9 is okay (barring unexpectedly berserk mages), but I think you get better combat power with E9W9. Also, it diversifies you into two useful magic paths you wouldn't have otherwise.

W9E6N6(and maybe even S6) might be an option, too. It can be done with a rainbow pretender, but isn't eactly cheap.

As for scales, something like Order, Sloth, Heat, Growth, Misfortune, Drain. Order is a definite benefit in the early and mid game, possibly even late game because you need slightly less provinces to keep your income up (and can therefore blood hunt more). Heat is a requirement, and Growth is a big boost for sustainable long-term blood hunting. The other negative scales are survivable - even Drain, since you don't need as much research as other nations in the early game. You have a bless instead...

You'll want a minimum of 6 dominion, and a maximum of whatever you think you can afford.


Magic:

Lanka has access to only one elemental path: Air. Fortunately, that's the path any nation who's largest shield is a buckler really wants. You will generally have mages who can cast Arrow Fend available where you want them - after all, you can Cloud Trapeze. Buffs are limited in Air, but the ones you get are stonking - Arrow Fend I've already mentioned, Wind Guide is great for your archers, and Fog Warriors is just wonderful. Mass Flight has its place, as does Storm.

In sorcery, you get great access to Blood and good access to Nature, with enough access to Death to get you ramping up to cast Lichcraft. Nature can get you nice things like Mass Regeneration - don't go relying on Wooden Warriors etc., because you don't really want to give your troops an extra 25% fire vulnerability on top of what they have already. It's just asking for trouble.

Research goals are always going to depend on circumstance, but...

Blood 4 gets you Rakshasa Warriors and therefore a big supply of quality sacreds.

Blood 8 gets you Mandaahas and Davanas.

Con 4 gets you Skull Mentors, Skull Staffs, and Air and Blood boosters. Importantly, it gets you Sanguins Dowsing Rods.

Con 6 gets you Robes of the Magi, which are powerful trade fodder and important boosters. Also, if you have any fire income at this point it can turn into Lightless Lanterns and boost your research.

Evo 4 gives you Thunder Strike.

Ench 6 provides Arrow Fend.

Alt 4 supplies Wind Guide.

Goals:

You'll have goals and strategies in the short and long-term. Here are some suggested ones.

Early Game:
Buy squads of Anusara with Kala-Mukha leaders - script the Anusara to Hold and Attack and the Kala-Mukha to (bless)(bless)Cast Spells. You can put out one of these every turn or two initially, and they should take most regular indie forces. Your starting forces can be put on patrol orders to get you more taxes if you want - they won't do you much good if you send them to attack indies.

Get a second castle ASAP. If you're taxing and patrolling, that'll be easier. Otherwise, sacrifice a turn or two's troop production.

Once you can afford it, shift to making Palankasha as you may need them against a neighbour. Be careful about all-out wars though, as taking enemy forts can be tricky.

Mid-game:

Once you're established, you'll want to diversify your magic paths. This isn't too difficult, as what you'll need is Earth, Water, Fire and Astral. The elemental paths can all be found on Enchantresses, who live in Nature sites. Therefore, make sure to do thorough site searching in Nature early on. Use Yogini and Haruspex, and you'll find all the level 3 and 4 sites as you go.
Getting Astral is as easy as finding a Crystal Amazon or Lizard province. Hire a couple of S1 mages, start site searching and then once you have an Astral income start with the Arcane Probings to find all the interesting stuff.

When possible, do a complete search for Blood sites. The sites that give you a 40% or 60% discount off Blood spells will repay your investment within a couple of turn's use even if you've spent over 100 slaves on Bowl of Blood castings.

If you have an E9 pretender, get into searching for Earth sites ASAP. You might not find a use for the gems... until you cast a great big global, that is. If you can get a Forge up with a few hundred gems in it because you couldn't do much else with them, so much the better.

Assuming you've found Enchantresses, start clamming. You'll find a use for the pearls sooner or later.

You can blood hunt with 3 Raktapata (each with a Dowsing Rod) in a province at 0% taxation indefinitely, without running out of population. It may even grow.

Late Game:

Start slaughtering Blood Slaves in their hundreds. You'll want lots of demons. Try to be the first to Heliophagii - you can't summon Arch Demons and Ice Demons easily. One of the Heliophagii will get you a chance at Arch Devils if no-one else took them, which is nice.
You can cast Infernal Tempest with only a couple of boosters. Storm Demons are among the best archers in the game, and can fire straight through storms, Air Shields and other obstacles. Get lots of them.

In fact, get lots of all the demons. Eventually, swamp the world with your demonic hordes. Then you've won.

Maybe I should have called this guide 'Monkeys? What monkeys?'

Last edited by Gregstrom; December 9th, 2008 at 01:42 PM.. Reason: Minor correction
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  #2  
Old September 13th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

This is a very good beginner's guide.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Thanks, Edi.

If anyone has comments or suggestions, I'll be happy to incorporate them (well, as long as I agree with them of course).
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Old September 15th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Great guide Greg. I think you've inspired me to write a Bandar Log guide so my beloved monkeys can have some spotlight to!
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:28 PM

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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Baalz:

Next guide? Huh, we can surely see some increase in Bandar popularity

I will write surely LA Agartha guide after I finish my Kingmaker game.

Gregstrom:

I am playing Lanka now, but just turn14, so hard to say anything yet.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Maybe one day I'll write my own guide about what I think about Lanka. I won a nice game with them and liked them a lot. Lanka is a real powerhouse that in many aspects is better than other blood nations.
First, if you want to use sacred demons, you need Astral bless. It may be not too good for you thugs but it is awesome for your troops. Palankashas are very good soldiers but they have low basic MR and can be banished easily. Even with MR boost from bless they can be banished very well and that's why I like Kala-Mukhas more in later stages.
Second, you have fantastic teleporting and VERY CHEAP thugs/scs. Raksharaja with proper bless even without equipment can conquer indy provinces easily and with some equipment he is very, very hard to kill. His cost is 270 gp which is very low cost even for a simple mage of such quality. And he is a warrior and a priest warrior!
Third, taking on account all this I went with imprisoned S9W6F4N4 Oracle with rather good scales. And I still think that it is a perfect pretender for Lanka. S9 helps your troops much and gives twist fate to your troops and thugs (which may be very important). You may use Asaras early on (I took sloth 2 and didn't regret it) because with S9 and many HP they kill the enemies fast and die rarely. Then you should switch to Palankashas and use Asaras as flankers and archers (they hurl javelins over really long distances). W6, N4 and F4 boost your thugs greatly and are very good for your troops. Also my oracle immediately forged Staff of Elemental Mastery and cast Gift of Health once he awoke.
And of your blood summons nearly only thing you need are Dakinis. They are awesome and VERY cost effective. Even lightly equipped they may raid enemy provinces and easily conquer them. I have no words to describe how cool Dakinis really are. They are just splendid and have a lot of uses.
I don't know why you could need Raksasas or other demon summons. Maybe for late game when heavily enchanted armies meet each other but they are absolutely useless in the mid and early-late game.
Also I was very unlucky with indy mages in that game (site frequency 55), the only luck being finding enchantress site (very cool for lanka as it gives you 3 elemental paths you lack) and ended up with a HUGE fetish, clam and blood stone economy.

Last edited by ano; September 15th, 2008 at 12:49 PM..
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Also I would never take drain with Lanka because blood nations obviously need more research than other nations. There are very few nations that should or even could take drain, I think
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Old September 15th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

Also, minor correction. Mass protection(barkskin effect) adds 25% fire vulnerability, not 50.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 02:49 PM

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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

I'm not a very experienced bloodnation player Ano but I usually think that blood nations get quite a lot of options only researching in blood.. some globals, strong summons etc. They certainly have less reason to research conjuration for example so them needing more research isn't that clear to me. Then again I'd never take drain if I can prevent it anyway.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Beginner's guide to Lanka

I added this thread to the Strategy Index.
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