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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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AreaOfEffect AreaOfEffect is offline
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Default LA Man - Castle Warfare

This is a little add-on to the guide I wrote for Man previously called Death and Taxes. That guide primarily covered where to start with LA Man. In my humble opinion, that has always been the hardest part to figure out with this nation. This guide takes you the rest of the way by pointing out tactics, spells, and units you'll want to employ.

If you don't want to read the other guide, the basic idea is that Man has a superior advantage in accumulating castles and in defending them with minimal resources. This is thanks primarily to the Judge and the basic Magister. The whole of the guide covers a lot of the machanics and details. That said, a lot of the tactics below revolve around using your castles as a part of your fighting force.

If we are going to talk tactics then I'm going to suggest a build for our god. The most appealing to me is the dormant master lich with S4D5N4. This leaves us with enough for dominion 7, order 3, growth 3, misfortune 2, and drain 2. There are actually 42 points left after all that which can go anywhere. Production 1 is a good choice for jump starting our expansion. You can also go for a stronger dominion or for more magic. In truth, there are many more viable builds, but this one works for me and my play style.

This build gets us all the money we need in a very reliable flow. Our dominion should also be enough to help keep nations like Ry'leh and Ermor from ruining our population. We will also have a powerful caster who is both reusable and can get around with teleportation. The Death and Taxes guide covers expansion and will easily get you through the first year. If things are going well, you should have about four castles by now and 3 on the way. You've likely started researching for real and your magister output should allow you to overcome the difference in no time. Now your god comes out. The best thing your god can do at this point is site-searching. Your goal is to be a late-game power and thats not going to happen if you don't have the most important gems for that purpose.

The advantage here is that you have everything you need to obtain tartarians, the chalice, cast Gift of Health, build S4 mages, and so much more with minimal resources. Concentrate on your research, especially during war time. Your advantage is that you can choose to ignore most threats. Place a castle on every magic site because you can. Between your god, magisters, magister arcanas, judges, and a Skull of Fire, you can site-search everything to its fullest with exception to water magic. Even then, 42 points is enough to obtain water 2 on your god, though I don't think its going to be all that useful.

For warfare my go-to guy tends to be defenders and/or tower guards. These units have good protection, good defense, kite shields, broad swords, and crossbows. In large numbers these units can output a lot of damage and hold a line. These units make you a viable threat to many of the human nations. Longbowmen are ideal against soft targets without shields and are also easy to make on demand. That said, until you have a target for them, I suggest you hold off on them and stick to the crossbowmen. Spearman also work as a fast reacting unit, though they are less then ideal for holding any sort of line. I save tower knights for when I need a strong offensive push on the battlefield. Otherwise the tactic of Man tends to let the enemy cross the field of battle.

LA Man is an archery machine. This is so true that they have access to all but one of the magic bows. It does seem appealing to want to use some of these items in combat. My suggestion is to look no further then the forester. Aside from an A3 magister arcana, he is the only unit you have with 12 precision or better. Honestly, being magic archers is the only real use I've found for them. Indy scouts scout for cheaper, magisters scout better, and judges patrol better. Yet they are ideal for using a banefire crossbow, bow of war, piercer, or (my favorite) black bow of botulf. Their stealth and mobility is just a nice bonus.

Against the undead you should have a number of death mages to start with. Indy priests are a nice addition, but you should have lots of castles, meaning you could instead recruit bishops. They provide more damage to more undead per every casting. The bishop is a cheap H2 priest and is useful as a moral booster as well. The magister of theology is nice, but with the bishop being as cheap as he is, and with the small protection that growth 3 provides against old age, I say he's not worth your time.

If you've established a strong defensive wall and you know there is little your opponent can take from you by charging into your lands, I suggest you let them. Try your best to get your main force to sidestep their main force. Use that army of yours as a purely offensive tool. Use your magisters to hold up the walls and use wardens to take back lands without a castle. Dodge your opponent and make them frustrated. You don't need to fight battles you can't win, so don't.

There will come a point where your opponent will try to take down one of your castles by moving all their units to just one of them. This can work to your advantage and is a sign that your opponent is getting desperate. Have a magister and company roll in and cast Rain of Stones or perhaps your god can show up to cast Bone Grinding or Soul Drain. For the early game you can create a bane venom charm and stock it in your lab for such an occasion. Though usually used offensively, it works just as well as a defensive weapon when your willing to sacrifice a little population to see an army die of disease. Later on leprosy can easily fill its shoes. There is a little friendly fire in both cases, but you stand to lose less in my opinion. I think of it as an opportunity to clear house and rid myself of magisters without magic paths. One thing I like about the bane venom charm is that the common reaction from your opponent is to move away or disperse. It also makes them wary about ever consolidating like that again.

Your going to want to dip your hands in blood magic either by using a mass of scouts or by trading with a blood nation. What you really want out of blood are boots of youth and black hearts. The boots of youth I'm sure makes sense. The black hearts might confuse you. Wardens aren't that good and neither are magisters. What you need to remember is that we are conducting castle warfare. Stealth is only good for getting you in and out of a province controlled by the enemy. Assassination doesn't actually care how you get there though. When an opponent sits outside your castle, the enemy controls the province yet your units are inside it as well. Any commander with assassination, regardless of being stealthy or not, can conduct assassinations against the commanders outside. Now you can teleport in a real mage and thunderstrike the opposing commander. Though personally I find orb lightning works better at close range. If that isn't appealing enough, you can use any unit you desire. How about your common bane or bane lord? How about your immortal god? For the purpose of defending a castle, the options become endless.

There is no reason not to invest in winged shoes. Keep them stocked in your lab. You might need to air drop magisters in order to defend a castle. The added mobility will allow you to call in support from far away. That said its also important to know how many magisters it will take to reverse damage done to your walls. Just in case it wasn't obvious, I double checked and each magister will reverse 16 points of damage. Also keep in mind that it takes a turn to sneak into a castle and another to set the unit to defend. The shoes will also help you transport all sorts of magical support too.

Eventually your going to want to swarm your enemy and go for the kill. Force multipliers like wind guide, flaming arrows, fog warriors, twist of fate, arrow fend, and antimagic are all at your disposal with a boost coming from either spells or items. Your god can lay out mass protection, mass regeneration, and relief to name a few extras. If you can't bring a lot of numbers for one reason or another, your going to want to stick with evocation instead. Learn to utilize gems in combat. My favorite thing to do is have a lowly magister or judge cast level three earth and fire spells after casting summon earthpower and phoenix power respectively. Bladewind, Falling Fires followed by Fireballs, Gifts from Heaven, or even Destruction and Prison of Fire when a situation calls for it. Have a problem with giants? A fire and death judge with a skull staff and gems equals banefire. That plus your other tricks will generally solve the problem. Use what you have.

Keep spells like Send Horror, Phantasmal Atack, and Ghost Riders in mind when defending a castle. They always attack the owner of the province and ignore the people inside. Avoid Manifestation as that should be allowed to attack either side.

I can't think of anything else to add that isn't already standard. The strength of Man is having the flexibility of choosing when and where to fight in my opinion. Good luck.
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Strategy Guide: MA Caelum - Fear of Flying
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 8th, 2009 at 05:22 PM..
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  #2  
Old January 8th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Hey, any reason why drain 2 over 3 due to man's immunity?
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Old January 8th, 2009, 08:20 AM

Agema Agema is offline
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Agreed, is there a reason why not to take the extra 40 points from Drain 3?
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Old January 8th, 2009, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Wow, you can really use a Black Heart on a non-stealthy commander and use him for assassination if e's being sieged? That's a great tip

That aside, very nice and detailed guide, interesting to read. Pity I'm just starting to put my head in MA after much much time in EA, so LA seems far from me now
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Old January 8th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tifone View Post
Wow, you can really use a Black Heart on a non-stealthy commander and use him for assassination if e's being sieged? That's a great tip
...or a great bug. Doesn't the description of the item indicates it should only work for already stealthy units?

Still, all in all, seems like such an edge case, with enough of a downside (chest wound) that it's not something that I'd argue for proscribing in a MP game.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:08 PM

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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Quote:
you can really use a Black Heart on a non-stealthy commander and use him for assassination if e's being sieged
Wow, really? So, for example, I can give the Black Heart to some Arch Devil, and use him to assassinate the commanders of sieging army? This looks powerful.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:36 PM

Redeyes Redeyes is offline
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

By the same logic, shouldn't blackheart work offensively when sieging castles?
Try it with Bane Lords for a thug-chassis.
They are reasonably cheap, have great base stats and (most importantly) are unaffected by the encumbrance from the chest wound.

Though I imagine a Black Servant would be great as well.
Truth be told, I haven't tried the heart with undead so I don't know if it will work. Heading out to do it now.

Edit: tried it on a Vampire Count of Ulm and a Black Servant and it worked with both

Last edited by Redeyes; January 8th, 2009 at 02:43 PM..
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Old January 8th, 2009, 02:58 PM

Festin Festin is offline
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Vampire Count and Black Servant have stealth, so it's not the best example, I think. Still, I didn't know that Hearts work on undead.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:06 PM

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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redeyes View Post
By the same logic, shouldn't blackheart work offensively when sieging castles?
Try it with Bane Lords for a thug-chassis.
They are reasonably cheap, have great base stats and (most importantly) are unaffected by the encumbrance from the chest wound.

Though I imagine a Black Servant would be great as well.
Truth be told, I haven't tried the heart with undead so I don't know if it will work. Heading out to do it now.

Edit: tried it on a Vampire Count of Ulm and a Black Servant and it worked with both

Damn one of my secrets are out.
I did say LA-Ulm Vampire counts were one of my favorite assassins = ).
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Old January 8th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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AreaOfEffect AreaOfEffect is offline
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Default Re: LA Man - Castle Warefare

Quote:
Originally Posted by KissBlade View Post
Hey, any reason why drain 2 over 3 due to man's immunity?
The differance between darin 2 and drain 3 is the "magic fading" event. You could use drain 3 with luck rather then misfortune, but that costs more points and doesn't actually stop the event from occuring, just lessens the chance in my understanding. The event is nasty and stunts your ability to get into the late-game effectively.

As a side benefit of avoiding those last 40 points you increase the research value of indy mages and lessen fatigue from spell casting. You still get the MR bonus.
__________________
Strategy Guide: MA Caelum - Fear of Flying
Strategy Guide: LA Man - Death and Taxes
Strategy Guide: MA Mictlan - An Introduction
Guide Supplement: LA Man - Castle Warfare
Referance: Prophet Transformations
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