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  #1  
Old January 12th, 2009, 10:27 PM
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Default MA Aby CBM Strategy

Want to try something new with MA Abysia in CBM1.3? This strategy makes use of early Call Horror and Salamanders. Call Horror is a level-1 spell in CBM, but it's powerful enough to clear out an indy province. Salamanders have an AoE-1 20AP fire attack, and they can pull off five of these before they hit 100 fatigue.

I am currently using this strategy in a small MP game and it is working nicely at around turn 50. There were six nations to start, and now there are three.

This strategy guide uses these advantages of MA Abysia:
- Call Lesser Horror at Blood 1 (only in CBM)
- Cheap B2S1 mages
- No income loss from death scales
- Resource-cheap Salamanders
- Lots of Fire Gems for Lanterns

To expand using Call Lesser Horror, you need an awake researching pretender. I think only the Great Sage gives you at least 40RP on the first turn, but you might be able to find something else that works.

SCALES

The scales this strategy employs are:
Order 3: You need gold for your mages and salamanders
Sloth 3: You won't be hiring many troops
Heat 3: Yay, free scales
Death 3: This lacks synergy with Order-3. But if you don't take Order-3, then you won't have enough gold at the start of the game.
Luck 3: Once all your peasants are dead, you'll appreciate the free income, temples, and forts. Lacks synergy with Order-3, but you'll still get 2 or 3 events a month in the midgame if you have 45 provinces. Also it's a bad plan to take Misfortune with Death. And Aby has a Fire-Death hero, perfect for summoning spectral infantry, but I think you can only get him in SP. (Joke :P)
Drain 2: Oh no! Drain with Aby? 160 gold for 3 RP? This works because your non-capitol mages are just vessels for Lanterns.

EXPANSION

Your starting army is strong enough to take indies on its own. I like to make a warlord prophet just because they are cool.

Hire just one Warlock to start, he will help your research and occasionally blood hunt. Don't be afraid to Blood Hunt in your capitol a couple of times, but try not to make it a habit. To get my initial slaves, the first province I hunted in was my capitol, with my Warlock.

Besides your initial army, your expansion is fueled by Warlock Apprentices with 3 slaves. Place them at the back of the battlefield and script with:
- Call Lesser Horror (he'll use 2 slaves)
- Call Lesser Horror (he'll use the last slave)
- Retreat

The Lesser Horrors empty out the province, so it can be taken the next turn by a single indy commander or your starting assassin. The Apprentices can blood hunt in appropriate provinces, and you can send indy commanders with replacement slaves to the province you anticipate your Apprentices will retreat to.

I usually throw my assassin at 1-commander or 2-commander indies without bodyguards, like Horse Tribes. And he usually dies. Unless it's SP, then he does just fine and gets some heroic attribute like Awesome Presence.

The double Call Lesser Horror is weak to indy armies containing elephants, barbarians, undead, or dark vines. You can double up the Apprentices for barbarians. Your initial army can handle undead. For dark vines, hire a few indy archers. Elephants must wait until you've built a new castle, and hired some Beast Trainers. Beast Trainers have animal awe, so a few of them can hold the line against elephants while you lay down some damage with evocation. Add rat tails to rout elephants even faster.

Hire some Humanbred units every turn since you don't have many resources and it's good to accumulate some shield chaff. Once you are about to hit Alt-3, hire a bunch of Salamanders. You can use Apprentices to cast Body Ethereal on the Salamanders, which prevents them from dying as quickly.

I don't hire many Demonbred with this strategy in the expansion phase, because I need lots of Apprentices.

You can pop up another castle at the end of the first year, or just build a lab and temple in an indy province that can give you nature mages. Your god can site search N, but he'll be at home researching for a while. It's nice if you can poke around in the forests with an N1, and later your indy mage is a cheap chassis for a lantern. Also, I like to empower an N1 in blood to make some jade knives and cast Cross Breeding.

Wolf tribes or Jade amazons are the best, because you can get a random D mage. It's good to empower a D mage in fire so you can summon spectral infantry.


RESEARCH

Blood-1 This must be your first research target, for Call Lesser Horror.
Evo-2 Emergency army boost with Fire Blast, which is really effective when you've got a high-mobility Demonbred to cast it from just behind your fire-immune infantry line. Infantry being your PD or your starting army at this stage.
Alt-3 Gives you Body Ethereal to cast on Salamanders.
Const-4 Gives you shrouds to keep your diseased mages alive.
Const-6 Don't delay this any more ... you need lanterns if you're not going to fall behind in research. Lots of lanterns. Make a few Boots of Youth for your Warlocks.
Thau-1 For your God to script returning while site searching.
Conj-2 Actually, if you get the Fire-Death hero, research this before Const-6, since he can cast Summon Spectral Infantry every month. Just 1D in CBM! Or if you got a lucky Death indy mage, empower him in Fire, so he can cast Summon Spectral Infantry.
Conj-3 Summon Earthpower, Phoenix Power.
Blood-2 Bowl of Blood to exhaustively search for blood discount sites.
Ench-3 For a Revenant to cast Summon Spectral Infantry, if you didn't get an indy D mage or a DF hero.

What you research next totally depends on your situation. If you're at war you might need more Evo for Falling Fires. The Chalice is really nice for healing your sick mages, so you could head to Const-8 to try to get it first. Otherwise Blood-6 gives you Five Gates and Ice Devils. Blood-7 gives you Leech to handle pesky enemy SCs, except Golems, which you can Magic Duel. Conj-3 for Banes to lead your demons. You could find lion tribes and decide to build a castle there and go to Ench-5 for flaming arrows. Enchant is also needed for your god to dome up your capitol.

Watch your mages who are carrying lanterns. Every single turn I review all lantern mages using the F1 screen, and take the lanterns off mages with horror marks. Yucky micro, but they last a lot longer if you do this, and you don't lose the lantern.


DOMINION

Every new temple in a fort you build should get an H3 to preach it up to max dominion (7). You can simultaneously sacrifice with another priest, and if you empowered an N indy mage in blood, wield a jade knife. You won't get a dom kill with this strategy because your starting dominion is too low, but you can spread a little influence onto your negihbors.


SITE SEARCHING

Once you've researched Const-6, your god is free to wander about site searching. Script him for returning just in case something unlucky happens. I've only ever managed to spend about a year and a half manually site-searching, because there's so much else for your god to do, like summon (a Revenant to empower in fire if you never got a death mage) or forge (hammers, thorns armor, S rings, etc). So use rituals when you give up on having your god search.

I alchemise fire into pearls and have a Apprentice casting Arcane Probing. It's important to get some pearl income so you can make shrouds to put on your diseased Warlocks. And there are some really great astral sites that can help you diversify more.

Your power will increase immensely if you can get a blood discount site, so search everywhere (except water) up to B3. If you manually searched with a Demonbred, and you don't see 4 sites in the province, it needs a Bowl of Blood too. But you will only find a good blood discount site if you are playing SP.

If you find a couple of Great Gold Mines or Gems in a province with low (2000) population, I find it useful to just kill everyone and tax at 200%.


BLOOD HUNTING

See Baalz's blood hunting guide. I prefer 2 B2's, no rods, using indies to shuttle the slaves, tax at 20% or lower, no patrolling. Hunting at 5K pop provinces, but you'll still get results even at 3500 pop lands.


FIGHTING

The Call Lesser Horror strategy also works against enemy armies/PD that does not include fliers (so no Caelum or Pan) or long-range archers (R'lyeh, Ashdod) or mindless/undead.

Otherwise in the early game use a front line of Humanbreds, screening Salamaders buffed with Body Ethereal, teamed with a few Demonbred casting evocations. If you run into Ashdod or a Cyclops, you may need to try Magma Bolts (from a Warlock), Destruction (a Warlock with Earth Boots casting Summon Earthpower), or Stellar Cascades. Horrors can work here too, they have an AN attack. But you'll need about 6 Apprentices to summon a bunch of Lesser Horrors all at once.

Shut down capitol production of Ashdod with Rains of Toads from your god and your NB (thorns & staff-wielding) indy mage. Your god should Dome your own capitol.

Around the start of the third year I've switched from Apprentices to Demonbreds, and the occasional new Warlock. B4 Warlocks only need one booster for Five Gates.

Later you'll bring in Smoulderghosts and creatures from Cross Breeding, and in the mid-game you'll start adding Frost Fiends, Storm Demons, and Demon Knights from the Five Gates, and an Ice Devil or two. Save your regualar Devils until you get a big mass of them because they don't have a ranged attack and are more fragile than Demon Knights. In the mid-game you'll also have Leech to handle enemy SCs.

You can easily decimate many PDs with Send Lessor Horror, which most Warlocks can cast (you might need to give them a starshine cap).

In the end stages of the mid-game, you've got a great chance at grabbing the Arch Devils and Helios. Arch Devils can be used as SCs, and the Helios can do more Five Gates work.

For the late game, gear up your Devils, summon more Five Gates, have Pazuzu bring in the Storm Demons and Pedoseion embark on his Infernal Crusades. Apply Send Lesser Horror liberally. If it looks like the end of the world is nigh, then it's probably time to fire off AC with your god.
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  #2  
Old January 12th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Now that's a pretty damn innovative idea. Though I'm going to have to speak to qm about whether send lesser horror really should be level 1!
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Thanks, but it's Call Lesser Horror (the battle summon) that is at level 1 at a reduced price.

Send Lesser Horror (the remote ritual) is the same price/level as in vanilla.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

oooh my mistake.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Interesting strategy! I am playing MA Aby in 2 MP games but went for more traditional ways I'll give this a shot (in SP first of course ), seems something very worth trying... Blood apocalypse!

That's definitively the season of the guides btw. How much dom3 played you gurus in the holidays???
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Old January 13th, 2009, 10:21 AM

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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

I'ved used the same call lessor horror trick it works beautifully with EA-Vanheim. As I recall, I'm doing it from *your* province, with a stealthy unit.

usually pop a hole. Then have all the hidden units around the hole, clh the following turn. Gives them a place to retreat to.

Tactic also works well with LA-ULM vampires.
And Pangaiea.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:35 PM

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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Very nice strat, I’ve now tested the horrors and they are an awesome tool for abysia, which struggles to field multiple expansion parties early.

I have a question regarding the early usage of your rainbow pretender, I'm uncertain how best to use him. Going for Blood 1 immediately is obvious, as is alt 3 for body ethereal if using salamanders, but is it preferable to then hit the research or first do some manual site searching?

My first thought was to get the research to constr 6 first for lanterns, however:

• The rainbow pretender you’ll have is about as good as an acashic for site searching
• Researching first Excepting fire you’ll have no gems to spend quite a way into the game, and for abysia to diversify effectively it really needs to be pulling in gems early
• Finding earth sites early in particular lets you get into hammer and bloodstone production early, improving lantern production on top of everything else, including the sanguine rods you’ll produce once you hit C4

Given that a lot of what you want to do with your research requires gems anyway, is it worth priming your gem economy before hitting the hard research? The only major downside I can see here is that your mages will be left without decent spells in an early conflict, but presumably abysia with D3 scales isn’t much of an early target anyway..
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Even with your god researching you won't have anything but Evo-2 for combat, since he's on Const.

It's really nice to get Const-4 by the end of year-1. Then if your Warlock or two is diseased, you can stick the shroud on them and make them last longer.

Nearly all your capitol mages are going to be out expanding, with this strat. So there's no-one to research at all if your god doesn't do it. I suppose you could take 6 months and search 3 provinces bordering your capitol. It's just a chance you're taking with old age disease.

I didn't bother with rods since I don't want to patrol with death scales, and except for all the Mutes everyone is a B2 at least.

And I wouldn't bother with hammers for the lanterns, they are only F5. I made a few Wands of Wild Fire but regretted it, because it's just as easy to fly in a Demonbred. I probably should have empowered another D mage in fire, for more Smoulderghosts.

I hate falling behind in the research race, that's why I want to hit Const-6 ASAP.

You're right though, once I hit Const-8, I was looking at all the stuff my god could forge, if only he had some gems.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:13 PM

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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

Yeah, I was thinking of just the surrounding provinces. Combined with luck gems might be enough to get some indie's remote site searching, as well as the earth benefits. Oh, and naturally a death site early provide smoulderghost potential. Depends on the magic site setting for the game I suppose as to how worthwhile it is.

The shroud for warlocks is a good point - how were you planning to get the astral gems though? manual searching, events? Unless you take the enchantress of course, but she is a fair way behind the sage for research. Dunno, I'd probably sacrifice a warlock or two for a reasonable early gem income and possible good indie mages
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:42 PM

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Default Re: MA Aby CBM Strategy

I think I'd go with hammers for lanterns as soon as I could get them.

Sure, it's only 5 gems, but it's only 3 with a hammer, which is a 40% discount not 20%. 3 Lanterns for 9 gems instead of 2 for 10. That research adds up fast.
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