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Old September 10th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Default Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

I enjoyed the "Better know a pretender" format as I always enjoyed reading a breakdown of a certain pretenders . So I finally I decided to participate by writing my own guide. I have chosen to discuss the mighty Ageless Olm (CBM 1.6) because of his obvious coolness, and because CBM added many new benefits. I have faith somewhere hidden inside the Ageless Olm there is some really cool and overlooked strategy which I think I have it on the tip of my tongue…but cannot figure it out completely so here is what I got.

First things first, his stats:

Cost: 25
Base Dominion: 1
HP: 130
Size: 6
Strength: 14
Attack: 8
Defense: 9
Precision: 13
Base Protection: 6
Starting Magic: Water-1, Earth-1, and 30 points for new path
Slots: 2 Hands, 2 Miscellaneous. No Chest, No Head. No Feet
Movement: 2
Base Encumbrance: 4
Starting Weapons:
1) Lifedrain
2) Mind Blast
Max age: 2000
Availability: Agartha
Miscellaneous: He spawns between 1-5 Olm Spawn each turn based on dominion. Amphibian, blind cant loose a eye, darkness has no effect =good, 50% CR, 100% PR, need not eat.

Pros: high HP, size 6, cheap chassis to buy, almost cheap paths, unique position somewhere in between SC, rainbow and bless chassis.

Cons: poor strength, attack, defense, protection, dominion. No chest, no head, no feet.

Summary: At this point it is time to define his role in the game and he is an SC-rainbow-bless hybrid. He needs 30 points for new paths and this is not a good start for a rainbow and there is no good reason to choose the Olm over the Enchantress or Master Druid for this purpose. He has low strength, protection, attack and defense. These weaknesses mean the Ageless Olm cannot perform conventional Super Combatant duties, or at least make it very hard at the first glance. Well, he has good HP and in fact he can be an outright good SC, but needs some tiny adjustments in order to be effective.

The Olm Who Has No Age can be a good SC:

There is an SC inside the Ageless Olm, the player just needs to make the right adjustments. As already mentioned he has low strength poor protection, attack and defense. So to give him a sword and a shield is a fast way to violently end the life of this creature. He just does not have the martial prowess to fight like a soldier. The point is to concentrate on his innate strengths and to exclude his major weaknesses.

Key 1:

The first key is his Life drain attack. It is melee, magic damage 20 and adds +5 Attack (this raises Attack to 14). It heals HP by half the damage done, restores fatigue by twice the damage done. This is the poor man's regeneration and reinvigoration (or the Ageless Olm's). It is the reason why encumbrance is pointless for the Olm as he recovers health and reduces fatigue every attack. Pretty cool, but by itself does not keep the Olm alive due to his crappy protection and defense. To raise his protection due to earth magic is not cost effective, ditto with defense and water magic. To be clear additional protection and defense due to magic paths are nice, but not sufficient.

Key 2:

So the Olm's second key to being an effective SC is his two hand slots in combination with the fact that his Lifedrain attack needs no hands. Just forge and equip him two shields. Its all he needs. With two shields he is very unconventional early killing machine (no additional path necessary, no awe+no fear), unstoppable by most indies and superior to most other SC. With this gear he can beat dragons, titans, Cyclops (full equipped with early gear) and even the Wyrm. Just script him “attack closest” he will slowly advance and laugh at any arrow shot in his direction. Once engaged in melee he will slowly eat one after another soldier recover both fatigue and HP lost from some occasional blows. You can script him to blast minds but haven’t found the usefulness of this yet. Undead can be a little problematic because of they have no life force which can be drained, but few early SC do so well against undead anyway so no big loss. Agartha does better to send one of its H3 oracles. Heavy cavalry can be dangerous as well (but they are dangerous for all early SC).

Please note that this all applies for an Ageless Olm with his initial starting magic, you can raise and customize his effectiveness by raising magic and later equipment. Enemies with chill and heat auras are dangerous, but Argatha can very easily forge some frost rings or fire rings which completely nullify the effect of these auras once equipped. This is also true for the shields (best choose 2 black steel tower shield) as you have 4 Earth gems per turn starting income, which means you can forge two shields in 3 turns which means you can start expanding with your olm in turn 4. From this turn on you can capture the provinces neighboring your capital while your oracles research some extra buffs (quickness is extra nice for the olm, as it doubles the regeneration and reinvigoration) or Construction-2.

But even before Cons-2 your oracles can forge the Burning Pearl (attack+4) and Bracers of Protection which both increase the effectiveness of the Olm. To start expanding on turn 4 is not as desirable as turn 1 or 2 like other SC's such as the Wyrm. However, the Wyrm has no native magic paths, and new ones cost 50 points. Thus, the Wyrm cannot have as many or as high magic paths as the Ageless Olm. In general, all other SC pretender chassis are at least twice as expensive to buy with about double the cost for new magic paths. This makes the Olm a rather unique chassis. And this somehow leads to the questions of magic paths.

When you have no age, you can get more magic:

Because all of Argatha's mages and the larger Pale Ones are sacred it is good to follow a bless strategy. Additionally, in CBM the Ageless Olm gets freespawn (1-5 per turn depending on dominion). The player receives the non-commander version of the Olm which is a decent unit with good HP, attack , defense, and its sacred. While not game breaking it makes a bless strategy even more viable, especially on smaller maps. For the above reasons I say if one can have more magic than other Scs, one should get more. This means getting a multiple bless. The Ageless Olm has initially Eath-1 and Water-1. I think also buying Fire and Nature is a great investment. It is possible to swap Fire or Nature for fear, but this is situational. Awe is just to expensive. It should be possible to reach a 9,4,4,4 bless, awake (SC), with following scales Dominion-4, Order-2, Sloth-3, Heat-3, Death-3, Magic-1, Misfortune-0. If one choose one of your starting paths (E or W) for the big bless then Dominion4, Order3, Sloth3, Heat3, Death3, , Misfortune 1, Magic 0 is possible. Well one can also choose a weaker bless in exchange for better scales, but the player should have at least 4 paths each with a minor bless. I choose Sloth, Heat and Death because other Agartha guides suggested in them.

Conclusion:
The Ageless Olm can be a great SC, but not always is the best choice. His strength lies somewhere in between SC and rainbow and bless chassis. He does not get paths readily as real rainbows, but he has easier access than any other SC available to Agartha.
Please note: In vanilla, the Ageless Olm can be used as a SC too but its not as cost effective as in CBM as his chassis and paths are more expensive to buy (both 50 points). However this guide is may be also applicable to other pretender chassis who have a strong hand independent attack like for example the Drakaina.

Last edited by adder83; September 11th, 2010 at 06:49 AM..
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Old September 10th, 2010, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

Thank you for contributing, you are the first beside myself to help the BKaP project.

I have also tested your central theory (that an AO with 2 shields makes a fine SC) and it holds up very well. It is a little odd to watch the Olm slowly pick away at an army while taking very little damage until they flee, but still effective.

That being said, I think your write up could use some improvements. So, I copied your post into Open Office and did some editing and added comments. I do hope you take these into account as I feel they will strengthen your contribution to the BKaP project.

Thanks again for your valuable contribution.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

I always wanted the Ageless Olm to be more interesting, too.

It seems to me that it ought to fulfill some kind of mental "mobile artillery platform", a sortof intellectual's SC, to give you a ranged combat boost. Something with the ability to deal out serious stopping power, so that, atleast if you connect it to your starting army, it should function as a powerful thug, and give you some dividends, in return for protecting it on the battlefield.

And it's got the rare and precious "mud bless" down pat. Earth plus Water should equal Gold, for a ton of Nations. Sadly, the Oldest Olm never seems to get matched up with Nations that can really harness the gifts it brings.

Another possibility would be to hand it over to some underwater Nations. Let it give Nations like EA Aboleths a leg up on making landfall... Again, nothing materializes, even when clearly, it makes sense for there to be a synergy between mud dwellers, and the Mudhole God.

If it were me, I'd certainly give the Olm some major Stealth (if anyone knows how to hide, it's a critter that's spent almost a thousand years in a cave), increased Defense (13+) and maybe 50% fire resistance (slippery when wet!) with maybe the ability to fire multiple Mind Blasts at a time. A bare minimum of 3 seems reasonable for such an "artillery SC". That would make it reasonably tough, on land or in water--and be enough to give EA Agartha a decent chance, in the ocean.
And since it's a size 6 beasty, maybe the ability to trample? Lacking real melee ability, trample would atleast give it a strong defensive weapon, and allow you to occasionally take advantage of an enemy's weak position, with a stealthy stampeder. This would negate the Life Drain in a lot of situations, but that would serve as a balance against giving the Olm a more unique character, and one perhaps more interesting than slow shielded squishy death.
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Last edited by HoneyBadger; September 11th, 2010 at 07:00 AM..
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Old September 11th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

Thank you for reviewing my work...it should be obvious that i m not an english native speaker or writter...so i have no problem accepting corrections. I already edited my post, accepting your corrections...so now it should be more easy to read. Enjoy

Last edited by adder83; September 11th, 2010 at 07:19 AM..
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:52 AM

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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

I would suggest getting higher dominion score and getting either nature or/and air mana on the olm, which will make it far more valid later in the game.

If I remember correctly Agartha lacks both nature and air. Both give good buffs in combat and air gives it the possibility to teleport.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

Why not take W9E6 imprisoned bless Olm with better scales instead?
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Better Know a Pretender: The Ageless Olm

Better take the Olm awake if one want to benefit from his SC abiltity. To add nature can be a great for argartha anyway as they giant sacreds benefit a lot of it...N4 is almost a must.

Also noteworthy the Olms starting paths W1 anD E1 offer some good access to battle buffs once researched. For example alteration 1 offers all elemental protection spells, most important "Cold resistence" (W1) and "Resist Fire" (W1,E1) both of them nullify the effect from chill/heat. This can be crucial when facing abysia or a niefelheim early on...battle deciding! Its adds a lot to the Olms flexibility once researched...no need to forge any of the rings. If one want to be shure one can sript both "Cold resistence" and "Resist Fire" as fatigue can be very easily re-drained.

Alteration is a goood way to go as Alteration 2 gives one "quicken self" (W1) which doubles the effectivness of the olm. Alteration 3 offers "mossbody" (N1,W1) another spell with good synergy with th olm as it offers some extra protection and puffs into a poison cloud, remember the 100% poision resistance of the olm.
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