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Old June 17th, 2009, 06:26 AM

P3D P3D is offline
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YET ANOTHER HINNOM GUIDE

Baalz had written an excellent Hinnom guide, but when I played in a game as a noob relying on it I noticed that I could not rely on it fully, especially regarding pretender design (then I was on the receiving end in another game). Hinnom received some nerf after the guide was published, and those changes were (IMHO) not stressed adequately in the later discussion. With them the game is a much less straightforward and it also forces the Hinnom player to exploit one's strength to balance these (mainly economics) shortcomings, i.e. one cannot really afford to go with other than a Bless strategy. But Pretender design starts at a ~120-160 point design disadvantage compared to Niefelheim, as Hinnom must take Growth-3 and cannot take Sloth-3. This is somewhat compensated by having the Sphinx pretender available (CBM).


ECONOMY


Be careful, your largest giants devour population and increase unrest. If you have only one Kohen in a province, dissent remains zero, if more it will definitely increase. This means that you cannot keep your big magi in your capital, and need a second castle in order to let them research and forge, and eat the pop down to zero – then you will need N mages or items to keep them from eating up your smaller commanders. As recruiting such units has this effect the turn they are available, you will not tax your capital much over 80%, and lose one turn of research/forging moving your units around. Patrolling with summons or indies is an option. To make this worse you are forced to build Tel Cities in most terrains, which have OK administration (40) and GREAT defense (500) but are the most expensive fort in the game taking 6 turns to build. Appreciate forests and mountains with the 800gp Ramparts and Hillforts. And your troops are resource intensive. This also affect your blood hunting. It was not that efficient to begin with, but your pop-eating/unrest limits you to two hunters per province. Your other main concern is opportunity cost - great giants but letting them eat 100+ population a turn doing nothing will add up in the end. If you manage it correctly, the effect would be like having,say, Order2 instead of O3. Early on this is more pronounced with most of your income from the capital.
If done correctly, the Growth 3 scale should offset the loss except the most extreme cases - like the 20 Ba'al+Kohenim sitting in your forge castle, optimally built on the Steel Oven. And all your giants (not the puny 21HP midgets) are glutton, and in the +5-15 range, so forge Summer Swords and Cauldrons, not if you won't have enough to do with your N gems, wasteland survival just won't make that much difference.

SCALES

So one needs decent scales and bless, with decent enough dominion as you cannot afford the opportunity cost. One have to notice that Hinnom can recruit a SC from turn 3 or so, calling for the standard E9+N4+. You need O3 for money, neutral production scales to afford your resource-hungry troops - 32 for your best swordsman, and the SC mentioned has the largest resource cost (124) in the game. As economy is neutral in H2, H3 is default, plus you have fire resistance on your best units. G3 is necessary due to pop eating, and the synergy with O3 is great. This, however, won't allow you E10N6 bless – you need to take slot scales for that, and reduce order. You can afford to take Sloth-1 (even 2 if you feel lucky), however. Strictly speaking, only 124 resources are needed in the capital - to recruit one Melqart each turn.
Luck-turmoil is not that great, as your mages are expensive, and it would not leave you with a lot of money to spend, even with lucky events.
Luck is nice given the Pretender-level supercombatant heroes, but they are even more hungry and you can recruit SCs anyways, and they won't help that much in magic diversity either. So take Misfortune 1-2, your main research mage has a fortune-telling of 10(!), and recruitable everywhere, to reduce the effect of bad events - 10 of them in a province provide full protection AIUI. Then we arrive at M1 to help your abysmal research.

As mentioned before, one needs EN bless. You might add W4, having great defense on the giants, and it is the only path you don't have access to. This is about the only consideration that should be given to magic diversity in the pretender design. OTOH you have lvl3 access to FSEB. This means you will be forced to site-search remotely, and will be forced to empowerment once or twice.

SUGGESTED PRETENDER DESIGN
Imprisoned Sphynx (CBM) - to afford a major bless and decent dom/scales, for the cost of a completely immobile pretender with only a single misc slot and without addressing your lack of Water magic
Dom 7 - your good scales need spreading, and for a considerable time your only H2+ caster would be your prophet.
O3P0H3G3Mf1M1
E9S4N4 - The minimal bless mentioned, with 8 points for the 4S. This should leave you 30 points to play with - add another 40 from Misfortune 2. Dom 6 to allow E10S5N4.
E9(10)N6 bless is great but possible only with worse scales.
Besides the Sphynx, other chassis candidates for EN bless are the Lord of Rebirth, the Cyclops and the Master Druid.

TROOPS

Your PD is good - Avvite Swordsman and Light infantry, plus your archers over 20. Definitely better than Niefel, even if not numerous. Not Mictlan with triple-blessed Jags though.

Horites: Cold resistance and nets might come handy against Niefelheim, but they are inferior to shamblers.
Avvite light infantry and Spearman: your javelin troops with attack of 11 and 18 damage, 30g and 14/23r, they are your "massable" troops. Pick the latter if you have resources.
Avvite Swordsman: the Dawn Guard makes this unit superfluous.
Avvite Heavy Archer: Expensive both in money and resource - and archery needs mass even with 15 damage bows, and Fire Arrows won't affect it. Strat move 1. Great in the PD though.
Avvite Hornblower, 35g25r: Hinnom's solution for cost-efficient sieges (bonus 5) , more cost effective than massed militia. Standard effect, good to enhance your morale 13 Dawn Guards against awe/fear SCs.
Charioteer: The best trampler that one can purchase early game. Size 5 so still effective against cavalry and unlike Troglodytes/Elephants/Chariots they do not lack Protection, Morale, MR or HP. Expensive at 75g 31r and to maintain, great for initial expansion and against chaff/ Glamour troops. Barbarians will eat them, however.
Dawn Guard, 45g32r: one of the best non-blessed recruitables in the whole game. Magic weapon for 24 damage, attack of 14(!) and 16 defense. Has no fire resistance in your heat scales, and 13 protection is not that high, so buff them.
Rephaite Warrior, 120g, 53r: Upkeep-wise better choice to recruit as opposed to the Dawn Guard with 5 Encumbrance. They eat pop and gluttons, however, you don't want to keep them inside sieges and in large-income provinces - like your capital, but conquering enemy territory. No excuse not to buy them if money and resources are available, though.

All in all, you cannot afford to maintain huge armies - otherwise your research would lag behind even more. So have to rely on elite troops and SCs.

COMMANDERS

You have one scout, a plain commander and two demigiant H1 priests that are not worth recruiting. Well, you might want to recruit one priest that eats no pop to build your second temple, cheaper than the alternatives.
Horite Shaman, 120g2r: crucial mage for Hinnom. Manual EDN and remote D site seach and forging. They have research penalty, but they should be used for site searching or forging anyways. Empower one with F, and another with B.
Acha, 125g2r: you have not only SCs but healers (50) to remove affliction. Comes with N2.
Ammi, 125g2r: 200%FAES random pick. Your only A access, recruitable without lab, which allows you to build lab without a mage, no need to send any to a new castle. No cross-path. Their great fortune-telling (10) asks for Misfortune scales. They can cast the relevant battlefield evocations and buffs with boosters. Thug potential in selected cases, kitting out necessary. Your only A2 access.
[b]Kohen[/B 150g8r: B1H1+100%FES. Expensive blood-hunters and everywhere recruitable thug, but for the latter he needs equipment. At least sacred for bless+upkeep. Pop eating and some unrest, so you want your research done with the magi mentioned just above. Leadership of 80. As a note all your big giants have a low base encumbrance - 2 instead of 3. For thugging, give them bracers, weapon, shield, Ring of the Warrior and self-buff (bless, stoneskin, Body Ethereal, Personal Luck). Armor/helm is not needed at least (With bless and bracers, prot 17), for MR rely on spells. More expensive items should go to real SCs, see next entry.
Melqart 500g 124r, B3H1+200%FES, fear, gore. They are not only SCs out the gate, E2 ones can forge Blood Stones without empowerment (if available), and access to high-end blood summons without further cost. Great stats with Fear aura a gore attack and FR. High attack skill and two attacks (one magical) makes Brands not that necessary weapon. Also starts with a shield and 20 protection against arrows. Add some minimal equipment to make them more effective: a good helm, an AM amulet, Pendant of Luck, but can take indies or PD even without them. Brands are not necessary, as they have a second attack. Eats pop, a lot. Can forge Soul Contracts for upkeep-free troops (after 120+ slave investment in boosters and empowerment) but Se'irim should be a faster option. Against Sauromatia, don't forget some poison immune items. They have dousing and sacrifice bonus (3), so with pop eating and generating extra unrest, they are better blood hunters than the Kohenim, and they are great at blood sacrificing. Strictly for fun, a prophet Melqart with the Jade Knife and the Sword of Injustice can generate 17 temple checks. Try to recruit one every turn.
Ba'al,600g4r, B2H1+200%FES+10%FESB - 7.5% chance for lvl 4 or a cross-path. Fear aura, FR and additional gore attack. They'd need full kit to go to melee, and have worse stats that Melqarts. You'd recruit a few for their magic - and one cannot recruit Rephaite troops concurrently with a Melqart. With limited numbers recruited don't count on the 10% randoms. Eats pop and increases unrest.

HEROES

Sons of the Grigori: Six badass 81HP titans, total providing you with lvl 4 access to FAESN, H2, lvl 5 Blood and Heal(100). The Air one is really useful, add boosters and could make the Robe of the Magi without empowerment. They devour population (50) at an incredible rate. They come out naked with a thematic weapon like Staff of Storms, Moon lance, plus a magical gore attack. With Misfortune you won't see them much, with Luck-3 one would appear every 17 turns in average.

SUMMONS

Se'irim, wasteland-only summon sacred demon, with berserk +4. They need the E9/10 for reinvigoration, S4 and N4/6 also helps them to survive. 3 attacks at 17, for 20 damage after berserk is, well, nice. Buff their protection and MR. Unlike devils, they cannot fly. Massable devil-alternative at ~4slaves/each.
Shedim: wasteland-only summon lighting-immune stormflying demons, 3 for 25 slaves, B3A1, so castable without too punitive empowerment cost.

Grigori (aka Lords of Civilization. For them the Blood 9 research and casting requirements are totally justified - no Shattered Soul or pop eating. Stealthy flying Mapmove 5 seducer-assassins (“Corrupt Commander”), Blood Vengeance, Fear, and at least S4B4H3 besides further magic.

Longdead Rephaite: Not strictly a summon. 17HP National longdead with varying equipment for Hinnom and Ashdod (but not Gath). You get the in skellispam mixed with the smaller kind (rather an Ashdod thing, with Hinnom limited at D1), or reanimating with an undead/demon priest. So prophetize a Mound King for the fun value of it. Mound fiends are an alternative to mass some - you should have better things to do for your prophet and Grigori.


STRATEGY

Early expansion
For early expansion use starting troops, recruit Chariots, two or three parties of 5-6 led by indie commanders, then Melqarts. Your first expansion target should be human-populated, in order to recruit an indie commander after taking it, otherwise you would have to lead expansion parties with a mage/shaman.
Barbarians are a big problem, they will defeat chariots, and afflict the Melqarts (though they can be healed). Get a forest ASAP and build Ammi there without a lab. Do not recruit Rephaite warriors early, you'd want to minimize money loss from the 70-80% tax rate in the capital.
With expensive troop maintenance, one has to rely on thugs/SCs instead of massed armies, and Hornblowers/Gate Cleavers/Indies for sieges. You are the nation to switch to SCs/thugs the earliest, about after your third fort is built to recruit researchers elsewhere.
Send out an A2 with a Shaman for manual site-searching, then switch to remotes after you have an initial A, D and N income - you need it for all the equipment.

Research:
Const 4, Remote Site Search, Alt for buffs, Blood3 for Se'irim, Thau3 for Teleport, Const6 (lanterns and stuff) and Ench5 (to protect your capital). You will lose the research race, but you are one of the few who can still function properly without affliction-free Tartarians, and do not rely mainly on battlefield evocations or or unique summons.

Battlefield Magic
Your lack of cross-path magi limits BF spells available, and you don't have direct access to Flaming Skulls either. So Phoenix power is your main go-to F booster, as Flame Helmets and air boosters are expensive. Blade Wind is effective against lightly armored troops, but as it it high fatique, you need both Boots and Earthpower to cast it. Earthquake is also great for cleaning up chaffs and enemy battle magi.
You also have access to Communion/Sabbath for high-end battlefield evocs/enhancements, and the Kohenim can take punishment with their hit points. This is also great facing undead/demon hordes - 4 Kohen Slaves, several Masters. NTM being your only relevant access to Divine Bless besides the Prophet or the Grigori.

Teleporting SCs and thugs. Besides the Melqarts and Ba'als, the S2/A2 Ammi can teleport/cloud trapeze - strictly not for soloing but for additional support when necessary.

Linebacker Communions
Hinnom are by far the best suited to utilize linebacker communions. You have blood access for cheap equipment. Each of your Kohen have great HP, MR (16) and sabbath-capability. Use Crystal matrices/blood empowerment on other commanders to cast N and A self-buffs. Only equipment really necessary is a cheap weapon or two, Xbows for the communion masters, shield/armor can be skipped.
10+ Kohenim at 25+ protection, doing 30+ AP/vs. undead/magical damage, elemental resistance/immunity as needed, mistform, luck, regenerating 8HP/turn, with 9-10 reinvigoration are bad news for anyone who thought shutting down your capital with remotes would deny you SCs.

Blood
The blood hunting options are either Melqarts alone, or Kohenim in pairs due to unrest generation, later Vampire Lords. Blood is mostly for cheap thug equipment and summoning the Grigori - The number of thugs/SCs will depend on the amount equipment you can forge.

Forging
Your Sphinx can make make Crystal Coin (put it on an S3 Ba'al with Cap, forge RoS, etc...). Otherwise your pretenders forge capability is limited by the lack item slots: space for a single misc item (RoW) and that's it. This means that (unless you have luck with site search) you will spend 30 gems to empower a Shaman to D2, most probably you can afford it (and the skull mentors too). They can also make Shadow Brands (with Skullface/RoS).
If you haven't found indie mages (or haven't been extremely lucky with the Ba'als), you need empowerment to get the important FE combination. Empower a Horite Shaman, which also gives access Flaming Skulls.
Empower a shaman to B1. This gives access to the Armor of Thorns [s]and Jade Knifes[/s].
You cannot make elemental staffs either, so try to trade for one if you need it.

Last edited by P3D; January 20th, 2011 at 09:50 PM..
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  #2  
Old June 17th, 2009, 06:42 AM

Sombre Sombre is offline
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

Do you really need to summon Serrim in a wasteland? I thought that was just flavour.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

The two low level blood summons need to be cast in wasteland, how practical.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

Melqart also has blood sacrifice and dousing bonuses.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 01:29 PM

Alpine Joe Alpine Joe is offline
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

How much is their dousing bonus? Might it ever be worthwhile to use them for bloodhunting instead of Kohen?
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Old June 17th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

So question, what specifically was nerfed? Let me fully qualify this by saying I haven't played Hinnom post-nerf, and am curious as I had written them off as being too overpowered to be fun playing in general pick up games. I'm wondering at the choice to go with a blessing over good scales, it seemed like the nerfs made better scales even more important. Looks like you're sacrificing 3 production scales, one order scale, 4 luck scales and some dominion in order to gain a blessing for commanders who, frankly, don't need it. Don't get me wrong, obviously it's a nice bonus, but you're adding it to a unit who can quite capably kick most stuff's butt barehanded and can easily be fully kitted out with magic items at the same rate you're recruiting them. I guess it might let you thug out Kohen, but it seems like a steep opportunity cost to gain light thugs when you've got heavy duty SCs coming out the ears. 45% less dawn guard (because of production), 20+% less gold (figuring some gold loss from the luck swing), hard to estimate loss from lower dominion and luck (gems, items, heroes, etc.).
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Old June 17th, 2009, 03:44 PM

P3D P3D is offline
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

Average blood hunting yield for a Kohen with SDRs is 5. For a Melqart (B3, dousing bonus of 3) with SDR it is 10, and I'd rather have that Melqart in combat. See further
http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showp...2&postcount=34

The sacrifice bonus is also 3, will update my guide accordingly.

Baalz,

the main nerfs were cut down starting army to 12, size 5 (instead of 6) tramplers and eating 30 pop per giant present (Rephaite, Kohen, Melqart and Ba'al), and 50 for the heroes. The dissent increase appears to be in the order of 1-8 per unit per turn, increasing in the order listed, with some randomness. This means recruiting your giants will force you set tax in the capital at 80 (-70 gold/turn) or assume a pop loss of 430 a turn with patrolling.
This also means that patrolling while blood hunting will quickly exhaust your population even with G3, thus one can afford only 2 Kohen a province with 0 tax, i.e. a 33% decrease of blood income per province.

About Bless vs. ultimate scales:
In the game Betelgeuse I had an O3P0L1 build
with minor blesses. My initial expansion rate was on the same level as EA Mictlan (top two) with mainly Chariots and Dawn Guards. In that game I had problems recruiting research magi because my army had just damned too big upkeep.
So P3 will be superfluous after the first 10 turns, as you have to limit your army upkeep cost (non-sacred 30-45g troops) and it won't speed up you expansion noticably. So to offset it you need cost-efficient troops, that means sacreds with the best bless for them. Your best sacred is the Melqart, and for soloing they can really use that extra reinvigoration. 22 protection with bless, equip with amulets for cold/lightning/poison immunity according to whom you face. I was at the receiving end of such.

Late gem with your Blood Stone factory there are the Construction summons as a complement - but one will have to get there.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 01:19 AM

Dragar Dragar is offline
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

I agree with Baalz as to scales over bless.. remember, having higher production and luck result in higher income, and the Repahite Warrior has a very high gold to resource ratio - relying on Dawn Guards and Chariots you need far less cash to build your army

In terms of the pop eating and unrest, I'd look to find a second fort spot as quickly as possible, forest with low population. Accept that the population will drop to zero very quickly and use it as your research and holding spot for all of your troublesome commanders. They don't need supplies so as long as you keep no troops there you have no problems.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:10 AM

P3D P3D is offline
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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

The higher income and luck scale won't allow significantly larger armies that you won't be able to afford. Also, the Rephaite are much stronger with Bless than without.

With the Sphynx build above, one can get P1Mf1 or P2Mf2 with Dom6, if you want more Rephaites in the capital.

Be careful with zero population provinces and no supplies, however. The Melqarts and Ba'als might start eating troops then other commanders. In that case you have to make Cauldrons to keep them in supply.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:52 PM

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Default Re: Yet Another Hinnom Guide

P3D is exactly right in a lot of his comments.
As prep for fighting him in Betelgeuse, I gamed a lot of scenarios.

IMO, Hinnom requires a fast transition to thug/sc. Neifle can use a Jarl+4popsicles to expand - hinnom doesn't quite have that option - but it can *almost* pull it off.

Its a question of resources/design points. Your gluttony / high upkeep are challenging.

I have to confess I never considered a melqart for blood hunting - so possibly I over looked something. But in my analysis, unless one uses an FoB, or finds independendent blood hunters I think hinnom should ignore blood. Which is too bad,
as its so thematic.

Let me put it this way: Blood hunters diminish your income +/or your population. And they are expensive. Ignore them and kit out thugs.

Theoretically wolven winter et.al would be killer against hinnom, but I never had the requirement to actually try it.

I think that you underused their fire resistance however.
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