.com.unity Forums
  The Official e-Store of Shrapnel Games

This Month's Specials

The Falklands War - Save $7.00
War Plan Pacific - Save $5.00

   







Go Back   .com.unity Forums > Illwinter Game Design > Dominions 3: The Awakening

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:25 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

There are some guides and threads written about early Agartha already, and all honour to the authors, but they seem to dwell a bit much on Agarthas percieved "crappiness". Various posts refer to them as "tragic" and "I love them thematically but..." and other less flattering sentences. (There are also many good ideas and creative discussions, from which I will steal shamelessly)

I thought it was time someone stood up to their defence!

First of all we need to understand the nature of the nation. Agartha as I see them is NOT one of those nations where one single "uber" unit type fights the same way in every fight. Agartha is a steam tank, a big rumbling engine of death far greater than the sum of it´s parts. This is true for many nations, of course, but for agartha it is true from turn 1. Now before we start the driving lessons, lets take a look at the blueprints.

Overall highlights:
  • Agarthas units are all cold blooded and tires fast in cold scales. This is something we must be aware of at all times.
  • All Agarthas units are one eyed and have low precision, attack and defence. meaning they initially don´t do much of the damage through melee.
  • no regular archers
  • Agarthans are strong and can take a lot of beating, as well as hitting hard once they hit something.
  • Lots of sacreds recruitable everywhere.
  • All units have 100% darkvision.
  • Units are generally very cheap, both regulars and sacreds are very massable.
  • super powerful earth mages, up to earth 5 w/o boosters
  • Whole nation fully amphibious, you will be as competitive under the waves as on land.
  • Seige bonus on *all* units, you´ll usually take forts in one or two turns.


The driver.

I have in mind a very specific race, requireing a very specific man behind the wheel. My pretender is a dormant F4 E4 S4 D4 forge lord. And our scales will be order 3, production 2, heat 3, misfortune 2, magic 1 and a dominion of 6. There is room for tweaking of course, but not much. Hold your protests and cries for earth and nature blesses for now, I will explain my choices later. This guy is going to be the heart of our machinery, the high tech lithium battery that never runs out of power.

The hull

Any good tank needs a hull to protect the machinery, and Agarthas have all the thickness you could ask for. And there are some nasty spikes on that hull as well. First out are the pale one infantry, these have been lambasted a lot for their low attack score but I think that is the wrong perspective. They have 18 hp, a choice of light and fast or slow and sturdy. And last on the rooster is a tough little bugger called Cavern guard who is going to be our staple for this job. Then we have the sacred Ancient one and Seal guard. These are our heavy armour for special missions. Overall you have great opportunities to adjust your hull for slow or fast movement, traded off by level of protection and damage output.

The guns

The Agarthans have a primitive and ferocious ally in the troglodyte. I think of those as grenades, they do a lot of damage and are quick to recruit, but will die pretty fast and are expensive. Always have a couple ready in your belt, but don´t blow them in vain. Then we have the Boulder throwers, these guys are going to be our main damage dealers early on. These are our gatling guns that will keep firing relentlessly at everything that comes close enough to threaten the hulls integrity while the big cannon locks on target. In CBM these guys are just gold with their AOE 1 boulders. I´ve heard a lot about their low range, but these guys don´t need long range. Actually longer range wouldn´t be good at all for them as they need to get close to aim properly. Rightly deployed there is few troops that can hold a line to these guns early on, we´ll talk about that deployment later.

The Cannon

You have one hell of an arsenal here. Your obvious gunners are of course the Oracles loading the heavy earth shells, varied through water, fire and death. You´ll almost always have an appropriate missile to put in that big barrel. The Earth readers also fill a role here with lighter support fire. A less obvious artillery platform from early on is the Ancient lord, more on that later.

The engine

Again the Oracles are the main recruit for the job. Heavy earth buffs and darkness are going to be a staple ingredients in your armies, it starts out in year one with legions of steel and upgrades from there. This is the oil that will keep your vehicle shiny and up to date.

The workshop

Finally there is those guys on the floor, earth readers and indy mages relentlessly crafting the parts and upgrades to your machine. Always in the background, they carry you empire on their shoulders.

Basically every Agarthan army, big or small, should incorporate the functions of hull, guns, cannon and engine.

Ok, time for our guided tour from isolated caveman to world domination.

Last edited by Fantomen; November 23rd, 2009 at 07:52 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #2  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:26 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

First gear

Agartha can have a good early expansion with a bit of luck and if you are careful and thorough with the composition of your armies. There are some different variants to try that all can work pretty good. You won´t have the blazing start that some of the bless rushers have, but it won´t be that bad either. You can try these three variants and see what works best for you:

1: Shield and axe: This is basically a squad of warriors or Ancient ones set to hold and attack and a bunch of troglodytes on the flank set to attack rear or hold attack closest. The plus of using warriors is you don´t need a priest mage to bless. This is good against heavy armour/low damage units like heavy infantry with spears or short swords. With an archer decoy they can handle tribes as well. Not good against cavalry, barbarians or javelins. You can put one of these together on turn one if you don´t recruit a mage.

2: Death from above: The principle is to combine a frontline of cavern guards, Ancient ones or heavy warriors with boulder throwers. You need to practice the placement a bit. We want the boulder throwers to arrive behind your frontline just after it has engaged the enemy. The frontline troops takes the beating while boulders do the damage. This creates a shock effect where many enemy squads will rout after the first rain of boulders. Requires critical mass of about 12 boulder throwers and 20-30 warriors or 12 Ancient ones. The advantage of ancient ones is they have the same AP as armoured boulders so will almost always sync well and both have map move 2, downside is you need more turns recruiting due to sacred cap. Gets much more powerful with an oracle to cast legions of steel and divine blessing but work without it too. This setup handle most indies depending on how big you make it. Surprisingly good against Cavalry.

3: Bonus force: I also tried making a troglodyte lord prophet with blacksteel plate and shield. I put him in the front on divine bless attack rear and a group of boulder throwers running behind, it worked quite well but I don´t like that it takes two mage turns. Still very effective "bonus" expansion squad for the price so might be worth it. Only for low damage indies. Good against javelins.

Usually I make a type 1 squad initially and decide what to make of the second one after looking carefully at the indies.

You have a few important goals during the first year.

First is a decent expansion rate.

Second is starting a secondary fort before turn 7, earlier if possible. To do this look for a forest nearby, that is your cheapest forts. Send your scout there to check the poptype and judge if it can be taken or what kind of squad to build to do so. Remember that you can scry in your capital site if you want to check different forests quickly. Put a temple first if you cannot afford both and crank out some Ancient lords and sacreds until you can get the lab.

Third is to get a fire oracle out site searching and if possible a death oracle too, but second fort is more important. You need just a little bit more fire gems than 1 per turn. If you get to three or four it´s ok for now. Hopefully you also get some death and astral (from those priest levels). Save those pearls for later if you get them.

Fourth is to research construction 2 before your pretender wakes up.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #3  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:27 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Second gear

When your pretender wakes it is time to shift into second gear. You should now have 10 -15 provinces, two forts and preferably a third under construction, a pile of earth gems, a trickle of fire and death and a couple of expansion parties still alive.

His first task is to forge hammers. In fact he will forge hammers until we reach construction 4. This should get you 5-7 hammers to play with. The first hammer costs 7 gems and the rest 3 each. Without a forge lord 6 hammers would have cost us 15 + 11x5 = 81 gems = more than we could afford. Now we get them early year 2 for 22 gems. On top of that it means you will never forge anything without one, and this is going to change the way we can play the nation.

In the meantime intensify death searching.

While doing this you´ll also want to flesh out your armies. Each army should now include an oracle, and that oracle should be standing in the middle of you front line dropping legions of steel *before* divine blessing. This is important since you want to avoid hold and attack orders which will cause your boulder throwers to end up in melee, but still need that legions of steel to target correctly. You want to compose that frontline mostly of Cavern guards or Ancient ones depending on your gold supply and need for speed.

A Cavern guard now has 16 protection, 21 hp and deals 23 damage. Thats not bad for a 13 gp unit under production scales, even with a net 8 attack score. Your boulder batteries should swell to 20 - 30 per army at this point.

Now there´s something missing here and what´s missing is some long range artillery. Luckily we have some Ancient lords sitting idle in the basement. Now use those hammers to forge some fire bolas and boots of giant strength. Consider that fire bolas have two attacks each and has range AND damage = strength. So each lord gets two bolas and a pair of boots pushing strenght to 24.

Each lord will fire 4 bolas each turn with a range and damage of 24 and 10 precicion(bolas are +3 prec and soon you´ll see stars racking up). First rounds this will break up the enemy formations when the imprisoned units fall behind and when melee starts the fire bonds will allow your cavern guards to dish out that 23 damage even with their low attack.

Add a couple of these to each army and there will be few units you can´t kill at this stage of the game. Glaives kill high prot/low defence units, boulders ignore defence for high def/low prot units and bolas will strip defence of those rare high prot/high def elites and slow down thugs. And you can always call in your special force of Seal guards if you encounter ethereal units.

Also try smaller forces of 1-2 bola lords, 5-10 Seal guards, an oracle and a couple trogs or trog lords with armour.

Another niche (very niche) tool at constr 2 is trog lords with medallion of vengance. Now this is a true grenade. Let them run before your army trampling their way deep in enemy ranks before blowing up those jaguars or whatever small size super elites rushed you in large numbers. This is expensive use of fort turns and fire gems but it is also very effective and utterly hilarious.

Somewhere in summer or fall year two depending on your situation you reach construction 4, prepare to change gears again.

Last edited by Fantomen; September 20th, 2009 at 11:43 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #4  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:27 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Third gear

Somewhere in middle of year two your pretender got a new mission along with one of your death 2 oracles. You guessed it, mentors. You havent used any death gems and should have a death income of 4-10 something. This will let you forge two mentors per turn for a good while. Total cost of 9 gems per turn. If your gems run out your forge who...errr lord keeps forging one per turn for 2 gems. If you have really lucked out in death searching you start with 3 per turn. Now this is where your forge lord starts flirting with the duracell rabbit.

The implications of this is simply going to be huge, and it won´t be a temporary boost either. This is going to give you a progressively increasing research that will catch up with and pass any other nation barring maybe Baalz helheim. Let me just say you may be looking at constr 7 alt 9 by winter year three and you start seeing the proportions, but I´m getting ahead of myself.

After construction 4 you pick up conj 3 for Dark knowledge, voice of apsu, Banes, Rhuax pact and Barathrus pact. Now those are nice summons that cost next to nothing and go well together. The magma children are still pretty niche but later on when we have ench 4 (fire ward) and heavy buffs these will be pure gold. The earth elementals are good right from the start and will now phase out the trogs for most situations. Use those remotes but do it with care, you want to target carefully with Dark knowledge and combine with manual search, every death gem is precious.

At this point you´ll want to start funneling some of your good scale income into high PD all over, I know Agarthas PD isn´t that good but just trust me ok. You´re aiming at 25+ all over. To do this you can stop recruiting your more expensive sacreds in favour of cavern guards. The more cavern guards you mass, the happier you will be later on.

Construction 4 also opens up for some new thugs to flesh out your front ranks. Banes with frost brands and golden shields are cool, and a trog lord with armour and golden shield can be pretty devastating. Also consider fear helmet on trog lords for fear awe combo trampling right through the enemy ranks. Give them some girdles if they get tired, but they are only enc 2 so might not need it. And watch out for that low mr. The very same old brand/gold shield combo works with ancient lords too. If you find indy air mages and get some air gems then give a couple Ancient lords stars of thraldom and mix with your other frontline regulars, who cares about low attack score now?

Cold dominion pushes might start to become a problem now and I see few alternatives other than pushing back. Fortunately you are well suited to do so and shouldn´t be rushing any cold nations yourself at this point of the game. Keep track of it, preach when neccessary and don´t follow any bait into the avalanche and you should be fine.

After Conj 3 you go for Thau 2 or possibly 4. Site searching fire and earth and possibly prison of fire and terror if you feel that you need them to further mitigate your low attack and complement your boulder shocks and tramplers with low morale scores. If you found indy astral mages pick up evo 2 or 4 for site searching and fire cloud, cleansing water and blade wind. But consider that every turn spent above the 2:nd level in these schools will slow you down in the long run, so only if you need it. Might be worth pulling your pretender for a flaming helmet here to let an earth reader cast augury.

Now as soon as possible switch back to construction. From now on avoid using earth and fire gems exept for carefully remote searching those provinces your oracles don´t have time to visit. Pile em up.

Now before you know it we´re hitting the bar for construction 6, time to switch gears again.

Last edited by Fantomen; September 20th, 2009 at 11:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #5  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:29 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Fourth gear

Now you have to break into that smithy and convince your forge lord to stop popping out mentors for a few turns and crank out a ring of sorcery, a skullcap and a ring of wizardry (courtesy of that holy searching) At this point your pretender has married the duracell rabbit and made a couple babies who needs a new toy. Your supercharged reseach engine will now be upgraded further by fire random Earth readers cranking out a many lightless lanterns as possible as fast as possible. Burn through that pile of fire gems. You should reach construction 7 before your forge lord finished those items, but when he does we have another job for him.

The rings for now circulates and helps you break into nature and possibly air and blood if you were lucky with indy mages.

At construction 7 either find a e5 oracle if you got one or pass out a pair of earth boots to a e4, make sure he´s not old. This guy will now use that pile of earth gems to drop mechanical militia with any extra gems you have scraped up. Remember that PD we invested in? Now this is early year 3 so some other nations might be thinking about launching a bitzkrieg with teleporting thugs and whatnot. Think again.

Construction 7 also gives us mechanical men if we need to combine with some lightning rods on mages and thugs (look at those trog lords again) against any lightning spams. And last but not least it gives us golems.

You probably don´t have any other choice but to pull your forge lord from forging to do this but a couple kitted golems is exactly what we need to perfect that fancy new defence system we´ve got. There are many ways to equip golems but you are uniquely well suited to forge stymphalian wings which gives fear, flying and trample on that enc 0 size 6 unit. Add a golden shield to that for awe+fear and you´re...well, golden. Have it forge itself a cap and give it boots of stone and you have a fearsome teleporting deterrent to any heavy raiders. And you still have a hand and two misc slots to play with for resistances or mr or whatever you need. Elemental armour + boots of quickness and a set of appropriate weapons should be sitting in your lab in case any tartarians or other big bad guys show up. Remember that you can swap gear and teleport the same turn, any raider should meet your golem perfectly equipped for the job.

We also got weapons of sharpness in the same neat package, spammable by your oracles. Your armies start looking pretty massive by now. Esoecially those cavern guards we´ve been massing really starts to shine.

Still early year 3, we switch to alteration. And this is the school that will transform our tank into a juggernaut.

Last edited by Fantomen; September 20th, 2009 at 11:45 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #6  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Fifth gear

As you are blazing up the alteration tree faster than your enemies can say slartibartfast your armies are multiplied in power. Your pretender now forges a bunch of skullfaces and any other death gems goes into skull staffs. Every army is thusly complemented with a d4 oracle by the time you reach darkness and petrify, which should be something like early fall year 3. After that most of your death gems will be sitting on scouts sneaking along your frontiers.

Darkness is just crazy with Agartha. Those cavern guards are now leveraging their 23 AP damage against halved defense in most cases. Backed up by petrify spam on top of boulders, bolas, thugs, sacred elites, destruction spam, earth meld etc etc... All the while blights become a monthly occurrence in your enemies forts.

EVERYTHING IN YOUR ARSENAL SHINES IN DARKNESS! All summons, all recruits, all thugs, all mages, everything.

Now don´t come dragging with undead to counter this. Agartha can handle undead like no tomorrow. First we have a host of holy3 priests with our armies. Cleansing water are less than a turn away. Dust to dust and finally petrify will have you covered. And if that wasn´t enough wither bones is two or three turns away if you so chose.

Your pretender cranks out rings of wizardry and crystal shields mostly now when not summoning golems. you´ll be looking at effectively earth 7-8 on your oracles in combat, And pretty heavy fire, death and water too.

From here you can go in different directions. Either stay on target for army of lead/gold which also opens up a new staple in iron bane, just go another notch for marble warriors then umbrals. Evocation for magma eruption and other elemental shells for your cannons, Back to construction for forge, artifacts and poison golems or enchantment for deep well+hidden in sand factory. Conjuration for well of misery, earth attack and tartarians etc etc.

Whichever way you go it´s going to be one hell of a high tech tank to drive into the fray.

Last edited by Fantomen; September 20th, 2009 at 11:55 PM..
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Fantomen For This Useful Post:
  #7  
Old September 20th, 2009, 11:46 PM

Trumanator Trumanator is offline
BANNED USER
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tacoma WA, USA
Posts: 1,314
Thanks: 103
Thanked 72 Times in 50 Posts
Trumanator is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Wow, whats with the agartha fetish lately?

Interesting guide, and newly relevant now that you can no longer count on bloodstones. Whether it works... Well, I don't feel qualified to comment, so I won't.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old September 21st, 2009, 12:04 AM

Frozen Lama Frozen Lama is offline
BANNED USER
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 868
Thanks: 56
Thanked 42 Times in 33 Posts
Frozen Lama is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

the only thing that jumps out to me is the amount of S gems you use. in my personal experience, finding holy sites is *very* rare, and unless your really lucky, you won't have more than 5 or so S income. other wise, i love the guide
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old September 21st, 2009, 12:31 AM

chrispedersen chrispedersen is offline
BANNED USER
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,075
Thanks: 203
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
chrispedersen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Trogs are *not* cold blooded. (your first point). Emphasize them in cold terrains.

A blood blessing increases the strength of your boulder throwers, and hence the range.

I think, more than any other nation, that your choice of pretender is dependent on starting position. Adjacent or near to water, or a map with a lot of water consider an olm. Otherwise I agree with a forge lord.

Earth meld (alt2) lets your troops *hit*.

Also, you have not justified your pd 25 all over. I do agree with High PD (tho not all over) but no justification is given for it.

Still, a good job, and a good guide. Lots of points that others have missed - bolas, medallions. Consider Giant strength for your bolder throwers.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old September 21st, 2009, 01:00 AM
Fantomen's Avatar

Fantomen Fantomen is offline
Major
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Me a viking
Posts: 1,012
Thanks: 78
Thanked 122 Times in 73 Posts
Fantomen is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Agartha, Pale ones - a study in darkness (CBM)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispedersen View Post
Trogs are *not* cold blooded. (your first point). Emphasize them in cold terrains.
Yes thats right, good point. However I don´t find the trogs very competetive on their own. I think that in general you´ll want to use dom pushing or summons if you have to go into cold dominion.

Quote:
A blood blessing increases the strength of your boulder throwers, and hence the range.
Oh yes, I beleive you even thanked me for that idea in the CBM thread. I was playing around a lot with nature and blood, but after extensive testing I came to the conclution that extra range don´t make much difference, that cavern guards beat Ancient ones in the long run even given nature and blood and that those paths are not what the nation needs, especially without blood stones. One thing I ralised is that you´ll have lots of earth gems anyway, more than enough to pull the stuff in this this guide off usually.

Quote:
I think, more than any other nation, that your choice of pretender is dependent on starting position. Adjacent or near to water, or a map with a lot of water consider an olm. Otherwise I agree with a forge lord.
Ahem... Your *whole nation* are fully amphibious, getting into water is no problem at all. Would you really sacrifice the hammers, mentors, rings and golems to get... what? Nature searching for forts can easily be done by giving breath rings or shambler skins to indy shamans. Water you have on your oracles.

Quote:
Earth meld (alt2) lets your troops *hit*.
I mentioned it I beleive. But yeah, thats right.

Quote:
Also, you have not justified your pd 25 all over. I do agree with High PD (tho not all over) but no justification is given for it.
It is justified many times over when you drop mechanical militia as described in the section "Gear four", try it.

Quote:
Still, a good job, and a good guide. Lots of points that others have missed - bolas, medallions.
Thanks for that, but I feel you are missing my point a bit (no offense) The bolas and medallions are minor details, the core of this strategy is to build your armies a certain way to circumvent low attack values, create the foundation for outstanding research without getting dry on gems, launch a solid defence system and finally to multiply your strenght through darkness and heavy buffs.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1999 - 2017, Shrapnel Games, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.