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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:27 AM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

I noticed there was only one real guide for playing LA R'lyeh, and it was an MA/LA guide (see here) whose LA advice was basically: "Play LA R'lyeh like MA R'lyeh, and take growth to mitigate your dominion's dreamlands effect." Its a good MA guide, and some parts of it (like the early game synopsis, and Baalz post in the thread about R'lyeh as a submarine, for examples) are still relevant, at least to degrees, to LA R'lyeh, but burning 120 design points to mitigate the dreamlands seems wasteful, and otherwise trying to play LA R'lyeh like MA R'lyeh is probably not optimal.

Table of Contents
1. The Dreamlands as a strategic asset
2. Scales
3. Pretender Design
4. Units: Micromanagement Hell
5. Commanders
6. Research
7. Some Additional Strategy Notes

1 - The Dreamlands as a strategic asset
As LA R'lyeh, your dominion is toxic. You will kill off your population amazingly quickly. While this will impact your income and supplies, it will also make taking lands that you have held for any length of time a poor proposition because they simply aren't worthwhile for other nations anymore. This is an advantage - fighting LA R'lyeh is like fighting an opponent with a scorched earth defensive policy, leaving nothing for the invaders. Furthermore, enemy armies that enter your dominion will see their commanders slowly go mad and begin behaving erratically. Pushing your dominion into your opponents' lands will reduce their assets and drive commanders even outside of your borders to madness. The dreamlands is your first line of defense against invasion and an offensive weapon against your neighbors.

2 - Scales

Since spreading your dominion will also spread your scales, you want to choose scales that maximize the toxicity of your dominion.

Death 3 is an obvious first step - since you've already accepted that your population is going to die, they might as well die faster. Its 120 basically free points. (And its not like your starspawn have to worry about old age).

Sloth 3 is even more obvious for LA than MA R'lyeh. Most turns you will only ever purchase a commander in any given territory.

Cold 3 is another obvious choice. You will be mostly unaffected underwater, and your water evocations will benefit on land.

Turmoil 3 and Luck 3 are an advantageous combination for you. On the one hand, your income from holding provinces is going to be poor. There are, however, a large number of events which will give you additional cash. These include the relatively common 100-300 tax, temple donation, and similar events, and scale up to the 1000-3000 gold events. This is an important source of income that doesn't care what your population is, just how many provinces you have (more chances at events).

Good events will also supplement your gem income, which is even more important to you than your cash income in a lot of ways.

Magic 0 is perfectly acceptable - you'll be buying a large number of mage commanders. Anything higher than Magic 1 is unnecessary.

3 - Pretender Design

So, our preferred scales are Tu3 Sl3 De3 Co3 Lk3 Mg0 for the reasons given above. This nets us a massive 360 extra points for our pretender.

Regardless of what chassis you ultimately decide on, the first thing you're going to do is increase your Dominion to 10. Spreading the dreamlands as far and as fast as possible is to your advantage.

R'lyeh has no early bless strategy. Our only purchaseable sacred unit is the priestly Starspawn, who is not immune to insanity and therefore of limited use to us (for the void gate, generally). All our void creatures are sacred, but their availability is unpredictable at best and as such they won't be able to be fielded in any numbers until the mid or late game. At best, a moderate rainbow bless is all we're going to want out of our pretender for this.

We are going to care immensely about our gem income though, which suggests an Awake Rainbow pretender for manual site searching. Despite being aquatic only, I prefer the archmage. With a little bit of air he'll be able to forge himself an amulet of the fish to get onto land later, and has easy access to new paths of magic while having a low chassis cost. A lich or master lich could also work, but the chassis will eat a substantial number of points.

You should definitely prioritize at least N1 so you can find underwater fortifications - they're common and will multiply the number of Starspawn mages you can buy, given cash. A1 will let you make an amulet of the fish if you need it. While you can send out some of your mages to help with site searching, i find having water and astral on your pretender makes your site searching more efficient (although forgoing astral and doing that remotely is certainly an option). Ultimately, having every (non-blood) type of magic in the 1-4 range will help you find a large number of sites quickly and ramp your gem income up. Since Blood is really hard to get into underwater (can't bloodhunt in sea and ocean provinces), it may be best to skip it (although having blood on your pretender can allow you to use bloodhunting for crafting purposes in the midgame - for example, making Robes of the Magi is certainly not a bad idea).

4 - Units: Micromanagement Hell
This is usually the place where a guide writer reviews all your units available for purchase and makes recommendations. Instead, I have a simple analysis: ignore every single non-commander unit you have for purchase. Ok, you'll buy some in the first few turns for early expansion, and the MA/LA guide is perfectly adequate at covering that. But after your second army is out the gates, don't bother.

Reason number 1 is the freespawn. You will get ridiculously large numbers of them. You will need commander units to ferry all these freespawn around and get them to the front so you can sacrifice them en masse. Armies of 500+ units are not implausible. This is, however, micromanagement hell. But you will need to manage the freespawn because they do cost upkeep, and the more of them you can get killed the less of them you have to pay for.

Reason number 2 is you need every available penny for commanders and upkeep. Your battles will be hordes of freespawn backed up by mages and summoned creatures. Having sufficient mages to maintain research and run your armies is critical.

Your freespawn come in a few varieties. Underwater they can use multiple chassises (merman, deep one, triton), and on land they tend to be human or hybrids. They can be Dreamers (regular troop) with good morale and daggers, or Mad Ones (magic troop) with no weapon and unbreakable morale (50!). Additionally, creatures MA R'lyeh can only void gate summon will sometimes appear as freespawn in your provinces, possibly effected by high luck and local dominion strength. These can include such gems as Formless Spawn and Greater Otherness, but I have not observed a Vastness that freespawned yet.

Yes, i know illithids are good. No, you can't afford to keep 50 gold troops around. Get over it (or go play MA R'lyeh where you can enjoy your illithids).

5 - Commanders

Starspawn Mage: 280/1 W1S3 +2 @100% WESD +1 @10% WESD
This is almost where discussion about purchased commanders stops and ends. As your only commander unit (other than your god) who is immune to insanity, these are immensely valuable not only for their spellcasting ability, but for their ability to be able to act every turn as you desire. Many of your freespawn are also magical creatures, so your mages will make decent battlefield commanders as well. They come in a number of distinct flavors, so lets review the most useful ones.

W1E2S3: Your best dry land battle mages, they can cast Summon Earth's Power -> Gift from the Heavens without boosters, and slapping crystal shields and/or rings of wizardry on them will make them even more efficient. Empowering to 1N will give them Eagle Eye, and 1F will give them Magma Eruption.

You'll also want to empower one of these to E3 (can't wear boots, but you'll have the earth gems) so you can make early hammers to help reduce forging costs, especially for astral crafts. This same mage can later be boosted into casting Forge of the Ancients with a RoWizardry and an Elemental Staff.

W1S3D2: Capable of Skelly Spam and some value as artillery support with nether darts. Not the most useful, but useful enough. If you want undead chaffe summons they can provide, although given how much chaffe you have available this is only useful on the front lines to replace losses if you're having logistics issues getting your freespawn there in time, so if/when you capture a laboratory you might make use of this capability.

W1E1S3D1: good as a communion slave to a mixed master pool, or with a crystal shield capable of being versatile between the previous two set ups. You'll put many of these on research duty, but a few as additional support mages scattered across your armies won't go too far wrong.

W3S3: Good summoner early on with pretty decent battlefield evocations once you get spells like ice strike.

W1S5: Good forgers for high level astral crafts (like RoW) and Mindhunters.

Starspawn Priest: 150/1 S1H2 +1 @100% WESD
Unlike their Mage brethren, they are not immune to insanity. However they do come with some Summoner skill, and so are useful for entering the void gate and calling creatures. You probably won't want to buy one until you get Thaum 1 for Returning so you can save him from attacks and getting lost in time and space. (S2 can cast it naturally, S1X1 can cast Power of the Spheres first). Since insanity and getting Lost in T+S will make them inactive for various time periods, eventually having 2 to keep the void gate active is probably a good idea, but this is not a priority.

Starchild: 85/1 S1 stealthy
Despite being prone to insanity, they're a cheap communion slave option and available for purchase at coastal fortresses. You might buy some.

Illithid Lord: 80/39
With 40/40 magical/normal leadership, they're a good chassis for moving troops around. Unfortunately, they do go insane. But they're cheaper than designating mages for ferrying duty.

Slave Mage: 175/1 W2S1 +1 @100%WESN
They can go insane, they aren't that much more efficient than your starspawn at researching (certainly not once you factor in turns lost to insanity), and they lose power on land. However, they do get a chance at nature. Empowering a W2S1N1 to W3 will let them forge clams and summon a Naiad, so you might consider trying for one with a nature pick (although empowering a 3W3S starspawn to 1N will allow the same and is superior, but you're less likely to see a 3W starspawn early. Alternately, if you can spare your pretender from site searching he may be able to summon a Naiad with the right magic paths).

Cultist: H1 +1 @?% S
Freespawn commanders (also available for purchase in coastal forts), they come in two flavors. The underwater one is amphibious and looks like a deepspawn. The land one is human-looking. Both are priests and can have astral magic. Only the land version is purchaseable, although you're unlikely to want to do so. They start insane, and will often take actions like become prophet (even if you have one), allowing you to have many H3 priests. Useful against nations like Ermor who rely on their undead, and for blessing your void troops. Since they can freespawn just about anywhere, they're also useful for ferrying troops around (admittedly without the best magical leadership).

None of the other commanders are even worth considering, and most of the ones discussed above have primarily niche uses. The backbone of your nation is your starspawn mages.

6 - Research
Conjuration 2 is a good early priority because it will let you start eating your water gems summoning a few early sea serpents to quickly dominate any nearby ocean.

Thaum 1 will give you returning for your void gate summoner.

After those Evocation 4 provides Gift from the Heavens (among other useful spells), Enchant 2 allows for skelly spam, Construction 2+ will allow you to start forging things like clams and hammers (with a little empowerment here and there), and Alteration 3 will open up Ethereal Body and the like. More Conjuration is also desirable because your only real access to good troops is summoning them, and you'll have the gem income to do so. Enough Thaumaturgy to get spells like teleport and gateway is also an excellent idea. How you prioritize these is subject to personal preference and what your local opposition looks like - evocation is less useful in an underwater war (with say a nearby Atlantis), whereas it will be critical for any serious land expansion.

Your emphasis on purchasing lots of high quality mages puts you in good position to dominate the research game, so you have a good shot at getting unique summons like the elemental rulers first, or getting your choice of global enchantments - and you'll have the gem income to do either. Once you get the necessary early research done, you may consider focusing your efforts on one of these two goals.

You have a unique commander summon at Conj 6: Contact Void Spectre. Absolutely any Starspawn Mage can cast this spell, and it gives you an ethereal undead starspawn commander who is stealthy, has S4, and causes insanity in the province he's in. Summoning and infiltrating large numbers of these can be a great way to get a dreamlands-like effect deep in enemy territory, improve your information advantage, and possibly quickly capture lightly defended territories. Sitting one or more of these on your opponents' research centers will eventually cause him to lose a lot of research/crafting/ritual casting time, and he may not even think to check and see if they've gained an insanity score. And between astral buffs and some half-way decent gear they can solo typical levels of PD.

7 - Some Additional Strategy Notes
The first thing to note is that LA R'lyeh retains all the magical strength of MA R'lyeh, so the MA/LA guide is a good place to start for this. Mindhunting, information advantage via scrying, using R'lyeh as a 'submarine' (see Baalz response in the MA/LA guide), and more are still excellent ideas. In fact, you're likely to have even more mages than an MA R'lyeh player would.

The challenge with LA R'lyeh will be capitalizing on your two strengths, both of which will require lots of micromanagement. You will have a large number of powerful mages to use, and a large number of weak but steadfast troops scattered across your provinces.

You will have exceptional gem income, especially in N, W, and S with decent E and D. Don't be afraid to use your N gems to empower some battle mages - Eagle Eyes will be quite useful in getting the most out of your evocation spells. Churning out 10-20 mages worth of summons (like Wolves of Winter) in one turn is also a fairly effective way to build a decent midgame upkeep-free army from scratch.

Do put some mages on forge duty. Crystal Shields, Robes of Invulnerability, Rings of Wizardry, and other gear to protect and enhance your mages are all excellent ideas, and you can afford them in numbers to kit out your battlemages.

I like to turn my initial scout into a prophet and use him to search for holy sites - underwater temples are a common feature with S gem income.

Steer clear of summons which will cost you gold in upkeep. You will need to support a heavy upkeep burden without willfully taking on Troll summons or the like, don't make it worse than it already is.
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  #2  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 08:45 AM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

I have seen Vastnesses freespawn.
It can happen pretty early on, when they are really hard to counter.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Why would I empower a W2 slave mage to reach W3 ? A simple ring can do the trick (costing 5 gems without hammer), avoiding the 50 gems empowerment if you go the starspawn way.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 10:44 AM

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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Seeing as how you will most likely get a pretty decent F and E income, I think that the Alchemist stone would probably be a surprisingly useful artifact for R'yleh. It will probably take some effort to get the paths, but after that you won't need to worry nearly as much about money in the late game.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 11:19 AM

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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Some thoughts:

1st) I agree on the scales mostly.
However take Magic 3 - this has a good synergy with Luck for Magic Gem/Item events (and I think the 3000 gold + item event).
Additionaly with your income going to below zero sooner or later this will help keeping your research up. And, what's more all the nasty things that you can unleash on someone rushing you is mr negates, while m3 decreases mr.

2nd) Your crappy scales afford you a "rainbow SC" (especially if you take dom 10). I'd say take air and earth (since you'll have a hard time into that), the rest is up to you.
I'd definitely take something combat oriented, as your armies are even worse than the worst crap sane minds can imagine. The main problem is that they can't damage anything. Someone to use the offensive earth buffs might be worth it, although with some gems some of the illithids can do it, and for most of the time it's to dangerous to have your god hang around only protected by dreamers.

3rd) Your illithids can be thugged out to some extend and can all teleport. Your S2 illithid priests can even be blessed and teleport with a starshine cap.
Neat trick - get to the artifacts before anyone and forge the pocket lich and the pocket knight. Give it to an illithid scripted to (returning).
Teleport him into a province, the illithid will return taking the items with him, but the pocket creatures will stick around and fight the defenders.

4th) Make use of your national spells.
The illithid spectre is stealthy, flying and turns people insane.
Dreams of R'lyeh is about the coolest assassination spell ever.
Especially when someone attacks you uw - his troops will just drown.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 11:30 AM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humakty View Post
Why would I empower a W2 slave mage to reach W3 ? A simple ring can do the trick (costing 5 gems without hammer), avoiding the 50 gems empowerment if you go the starspawn way.
Tempo. You can't afford that much construction before you want to start pumping out the clams, and you can use all the astral pearls you can get your grubby little tentacles on.

Its not just a question of 'can i get to W3N1 eventually?' Its 'Can i get to W3N1 before the end of year 2?' And you'll have a lot of water and nature gems, don't be shy about spending them.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 04:40 PM

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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Yes, dreams of R'lyeh is frustratingly effective and almost free for 4S. Penetration items and Soul Slay will kill almost any commanders without MR items (MR getting halved).
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 01:23 AM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

No, no no no no!

Take a void lurker with W2+N4+S7+D3+. Only positive scale to consider: Luck +3. Magic +3.

You will get tons o free spawn mages. Useful in communion or researchers with +2 magic.

Research priorities: Conjuration, (voice of tiamat). Thaumaturgy (teleport, gateway, telistic animation, ritual of returning).
Construction: Whip of command, Sceptre of authority, crown of command. CLAMS. Starshine skullcaps.
Evocation: Astral projection to scout. If you're the cautious type.

Make your start build all mindblasters. Last troops you will ever buy.

Forget sea serpents. You need your water gems for water boosters (to let your slaves make clams), clams, shark attack.

Voice + tiamat + your pretender search will let you find any mage sites.

After you have shark attack, teleport, and gateway: Teleport into a possibly hostile water. Build a lab, PD, troops, and a commander (so have cash). Gate troops in, cast telistic animation to get a temple and spread dominion.

Speaking of gating:

sure you can gate with 15+50 or so troops. Or you can tag on all those equipment I named, and gate with around 200 troops - and have awe. You need to spend the gems on cmd items in order to save astral gems - which you *will* be short of.

your voices of tiamats are going to run you tons of extra earth, fire. I suggest you empower a mage with fire for the scepters of authority.

get one foot on land fairly soon. Cast a couple of black servents. Soon they will go crazy and prophetize themselves. Use them to raise undead - which your dominion is going to be killing off like crazy.

Body guard an S2 void summoner until you get returning.

You will also want nature items to make cauldrons etc to prevent starvation. Huge double bonus- makes your underwater provinces even more difficult for your opponents to storm.

Regarding mages: you fairly quickly have to make some choices.
Go with the priests that are 150ish with 6 rp, or the go with the pure mages that are around 280 for 8 rp.

With the +2 rp from magic scale, your $/rp upkeep is WAY lower on your sacreds. They are your go to guys for research.

But your mages recruitable everywhere are your goto guys for D2. Plus your S4, S5 etc.

Sooner or later you will get a visitor. Save your air gems to empower him for arrowfend.

Another reason for land: Your slave mages have feet. Soooo you can give em earth boots for a dwarf hammer.

***Pay attention**** to your first prophet. Its your last chance to actually know who is spreading dominion. Only your real prophet will. However, the battalions of fake prophets are worthwhile for preaching, smiting, and communions.

Many nations have astral mages. None of them are as good as you. Magic duel is your friend.

Lastly: Cold 3 is preferable to Heat 3. However, if the temperature scales strongly favor your competitors reverse the field.

So, abysia, mictlan, machaka in the game: go cold:

Caelum, Niefle, vanheim: go heat.

I *never* search with an intial prophet unless he *truly* has nothing to do. (hard to imagine). You have crazy guys that will holy search, without your input. let em.

Star children: Some of the *best* assassins in the game. What are you going to do: Mind hunt them?

Lastly: Be slightly aware that sea nations need to have a slightly elevated dominion compared to land nations due to the ratio of land to water. Usually I play 7-10 dominion with LA-R, but I would consider 5 the minimum. I would dare 4 with some land nations.

Last edited by chrispedersen; June 23rd, 2009 at 01:36 AM..
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 02:37 AM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

Maybe I have a very different idea of what LA R'lyeh is doing, but I think you are actively wrong on a number of points. I've tried to cover what I consider the vital differences of opinion below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispedersen View Post
No, no no no no!

Take a void lurker with W2+N4+S7+D3+. Only positive scale to consider: Luck +3. Magic +3.
I really dislike a pretender who is immobile for this. Manual site searching will net more gem income and not waste gems doing so, and the only way remote site searching can even compare to a rainbow pretender manually searching is by casting Acashic Record, which requires a whopping 25 astral gems and researching Conj 5.

Which isn't to say you can't make a Void Lurker work for you, but its hardly optimal.

Edit: What the heck does your pretender need S7 for anyway? You can get S9 on a W1S5 Starspawn mage with boosters (coin, RoW, cap to S8, Blood allows Robe of the Magi and there are also artifacts you could use). Its not like your pretender needs to make up for an astral deficiency. Astral is probably your pretenders *least* important magical path.

Quote:
You will get tons o free spawn mages. Useful in communion or researchers with +2 magic.
Is that an effect of scales? So magic 3 improves the number of free spawn mages you get? I'm pretty sure this is actively untrue.

I did a little more looking at the freespawn commanders. They are either Cultist or Mad Cultist (Mad Cultists have S1). Based on the purchaseable variety, that's just a flat 20% chance. Now, someone else has already provided a more plausible argument for taking better magic scales (better chance at the 3000 gold + magic item + gems event), and a more relevant one, since your caster freespawn are actually less useful than your non-caster freespawn. The reason is that freespawn units come in magical and non-magical varieties, and you already have a lot of magical leadership in your starspawn mages, so what you are short on is normal leadership. Mad Cultists only have 10 leadership, Cultists have 40. The difference between picking up 10 and 40 is huge for your micromanagement woes, and while you can forge scepters of authority if your pretender has fire... he honestly has better things to be doing.

Quote:
Research priorities: Conjuration, (voice of tiamat). Thaumaturgy (teleport, gateway, telistic animation, ritual of returning).
Construction: Whip of command, Sceptre of authority, crown of command. CLAMS. Starshine skullcaps.
Evocation: Astral projection to scout. If you're the cautious type.

Make your start build all mindblasters. Last troops you will ever buy.
This is incredibly stupid for LA R'lyeh. You cannot afford the upkeep on them. Would you rather have 5.5 illithid troops or another starspawn mage? I'd rather have the starspawn mage - he'll be far better in combat than 5.5 illithids. And that's the real trade off, both in terms of initial purchase and in terms of upkeep. And that starspawn mage can be forging or researching while he's not off providing tactical casting support - what are those illithid troops doing other than eating your money when they aren't fighting?

Quote:
Forget sea serpents. You need your water gems for water boosters (to let your slaves make clams), clams, shark attack.

Voice + tiamat + your pretender search will let you find any mage sites.
Ok, first I just have to point out that it's hilarious you're against a few sea serpents in year 1 or early 2 at 8 water gems each, but you're in favor of many many castings of Tiamat's instead of manual site searching, also at 8 water gems each. Trust me, 4-5 sea serpents (40 water gems for 5) isn't going to restrict your forging capability nearly as much as 80-160 water gems burnt on site searching.

Second, that water booster requires Construction *6*. How soon do you expect to have that online? Better to empower someone so they can start making clams at construction 2, and can summon a Naiad (also possible earlier than Conj 6) who can summon more naiads and make clams herself. By the time you actually get those water boosters online you'll have so many water gems in my proposed method of doing things that you could spend 100 in a turn and not even notice.

Finally, your pretender search? Didn't you just advocate a Void Lurker? You know, immobile. Will need to build a lab to cast teleport. Pain in the *** and will cost you 500 cash every 3rd turn? And will cost you gems to move. I've even tried this. It sucked. A lot. I can't believe anyone advocating this has actually tried it in practice.

(snipped teleporting stuff)

Remote attacking is good. I left that as an exercise to the reader. (Or you could just read Baalz wonderful post in the other guide on the subject).

Quote:
get one foot on land fairly soon. Cast a couple of black servents. Soon they will go crazy and prophetize themselves. Use them to raise undead - which your dominion is going to be killing off like crazy.
While utilizing insane commanders for troop ferrying is a necessity (just because so much ferrying needs to be done, and insane commanders are there and might as well do something), having strategies which involve getting to actively use insane commanders leads to disappointment. This will become a theme below.

Quote:
Body guard an S2 void summoner until you get returning.
Alternative: Get returning month 2 (your pretender is doing research for the first two months - get Thaum 1 right away). Then buy your starspawn priest. Problem solved.

Quote:
You will also want nature items to make cauldrons etc to prevent starvation. Huge double bonus- makes your underwater provinces even more difficult for your opponents to storm.
Cauldrons are nice, but at some point I just stopped caring. Who cares if they starve? You're just going to get them massacred by the thousands. Starving will not make them notably worse in combat. And every cauldron you make is a clam you didn't make. I'm going to side with Marie Antoinette on this one: "Laissez-les mange le gateau."

Quote:
Regarding mages: you fairly quickly have to make some choices.
Go with the priests that are 150ish with 6 rp, or the go with the pure mages that are around 280 for 8 rp.

With the +2 rp from magic scale, your $/rp upkeep is WAY lower on your sacreds. They are your go to guys for research.

But your mages recruitable everywhere are your goto guys for D2. Plus your S4, S5 etc.
Sure, rp/$ is way lower. Until you realize that *only* the starspawn mages are immune to insanity. So eventually your starspawn priests go insane and start losing research turns. Eventually they become so insane you never get to give them an order again. So their average rp/$ is actually worse than the starspawn mages. And that's just considering their value for research.

Starspawn mages are also far better for combat and crafting purposes. So if you go with the priestly starspawn you'll have to build all your mages for those other purposes from scratch whereas you'll have a ready pool of workers who can be diversified into all your vital projects. Acquiring a mage task force early will also start generating various magic path combinations on your mages so you'll have the mages you want on-hand for particular crafting or combat applications. Basically, you pay more for them, but you get a lot more out of them and will have the capabilities you need as soon as you need them, not 5 months down the road.

Starspawn priests are a trap. Just get two for playing in the void gate and then forget about them.

Quote:
Another reason for land: Your slave mages have feet. Soooo you can give em earth boots for a dwarf hammer.
I don't understand how this helps. At best a slave mage has E1. Boots -> E2, Hammer requires E3. Your Starspawn mages can have E2. Both will need empowering to make a hammer. Your starspawn mage won't ever go insane. Winner: Starspawn.

The only use for a slave mage is the Nature pick, and even then its pretty marginal because you're buying a commander who can go insane. Despite the lower likelihood, trying for a W3S3 starspawn and empowering to N1 is probably better for you. Especially since you're going to buy a lot of starspawns anyway.

I can't emphasize enough how bad commanders other than the starspawn mages are for you. It won't seem bad early on, but as they get increasingly insane you'll find yourself losing months of time waiting for them to become sane again. Making your research dependent on characters who could all decide to start calling god instead of researching is a recipe for disaster.

Quote:
I *never* search with an intial prophet unless he *truly* has nothing to do. (hard to imagine). You have crazy guys that will holy search, without your input. let em.
What does your prophet have to do in the early game again? Oh right, nothing. He should join a main army with a good number of void summons so he can divine bless them with whatever rainbow bless benefits you have.

Quote:
Star children: Some of the *best* assassins in the game. What are you going to do: Mind hunt them?
Star children are *also* prone to insanity. And Every ~3 of them could have been another starspawn mage. That starspawn mage can simply mindhunt or dreams of r'lyeh a province (with higher success rate against more targets) without having to move there first, making a single starspawn mage vastly more effective at killing enemy commanders than three star children at the cost of a pittance of astral pearls. They have a niche use as slaves in communions, nothing more (and i'm even starting to regret buying some for that in my current game).

Summary:
Your conception lacks understanding of some basic principles.

Tempo. You realize you can get something eventually, but you never think about how long it will take you to get it. Getting things early is important.

Relative gem throughput. You criticize ~40 gems spent in the first 2 years on summons, and advocate spending 4x as many in that period on remote site searching.

Insanity. Only one (living) commander unit type is immune - the Starspawn mage. This is such an advantage over every other option that it trumps virtually any considerations of efficiency, because insanity is a hidden efficiency cost of those other options. And he does absolutely everything you need a commander to do, including lead large numbers of troops (higher than Illithid Lords out of the box, admittedly biased strongly towards magical troops). Basically, the Starspawn mage is hugely efficient by any metric except gold cost, and once you figure insanity into the equation, he's at least equal in efficiency with the other options.

Last edited by Squirrelloid; June 23rd, 2009 at 02:49 AM..
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 04:13 AM

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Default Re: LA R'lyeh or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dreamlands

That's some very nice work indeed Squirrelloid. Many thanks for your time and effort.
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