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  #11  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Gandalf Parker Gandalf Parker is offline
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

B0rsuk you seem very quick to take one opinion as an extreme fact. he didnt say it was worthless, just that it had drawbacks.

But to answer the question, there are times that I recommend pillage. Also blood search. Both can be part of a "salting the earth" tactic. Such as any of these:
A) Im far away from my home territories
B) Im unlikely to get long-term use of the province I took
C) he is likely to take it back and use it against me
D) he is exceptionally stronger than I am and makes strong use of local units
E) he is the last enemy

Then using "burning the fields and salting the earth" tactics can be very useful. If you drive the unrest over 100 then he cant recruit there even if he gets it back. Forcing him to chase you with his one original army or stop to patrol is handy.

And doing it to his capital can be devastating. Even if he gets it back, he cant recuit for long enough to let you return with another army? And his taxes dont yield much? Very useful. And if you gain his castle for a short time, raze his lab so he cant even summon for awhile.
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  #12  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Quote:
B0rsuk said:
Then something is seriously wrong, don't you agree ? I guess both developers should've spent more time making sure that existing options are viable and interesting. Why keep an order that is, esentially, unnecessary clutter ? It's like these spells no one ever bothers with. For example, I searched both Dom2 and Dom3 forums for hellpower and found only several results. No one ever commented on hellpower, either. Which is a shame, because it looks like a great fun on paper.
Pillage is useful. Only for killing population fast, when you can afford a turn or two, but for that it works very well. It's situational, but some nations and strategies benefit more from it than others. Good raiders and death nations come to mind.


Re: Hellpower.
It was used. I've seen few HUGE battles, with dozens of tartarians and other nasty things against huge force of demons, big battlefield-wide spells being cast on both sides - and Hellpower used to power up.

Hellpower comes with a risk. There are many situations in which casting it could be worth the risk. LA Ulm with few communicants comes to mind. +2 Astral VERY nice, especially as it allows the casting of Light of the Northern Star. Mictlan could also use it to get access to some nice spells. Mass Protection, perhaps. Of course, it might also be possible to have some mages casting Horror Mark, and hope that the appearing horrors will attack the ENEMY first, and the Hellpowered mage only after that.

There are lots of other spells that haven't seen much use, and perhaps won't see much use in Dom3 either, but are still good. Hand of Death is deadly; you can't really script or plan for it, but when your mages decide to cast it, it can be devastating.
Then there are those that aren't worth the mage-time or cost. There's been some discussion about Eater of the Dead. He might be one such creature. Of course, it has been mentioned that he is currently slightly bugged.
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  #13  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Interesting discussion Gandalf .

Quote:
Gandalf Parker said:
I also should make a strong effort to develop a blessed strategy since the white centaur unit is stealth and blessable. Along with white centaur leaders and dryads it could be quite formidable if I can pay for it by taking harsh scales.

In blitzes dual blessed white centaurs are very popular.
They usually stealthraid in a similiar way you described above in your strategies and eventually they unite and defeat the enemy main army.

Centaurs and white centaurs are imho very formidable als normal armies too, they are only expensive.

In dom2 Turin and Jeffr very often played Pan in longterm games too, usually with a dualbless.

Because of the higher gold income and some other changes like summonable carrion wood units i think Pan is even a bit better in dom3 than it was in dom2.

I find Pan to be a very interesting nation because they are flexible, but need to be played very differently to other nations because of their rather unique national troops + commanders.

Some vague thoughts for a bless strat, many parts are old Dom2 strats that should work as well or even better in Dom3:

Mother Oak is only Alteration 5, so if you research it asap you can usually keep it a while before it gets dispelled.

Destruction, Iron Warriors, Invulnerability and Wooden Warriors are also Alteration 1-5 spells.

Turmoil 3 is a bit more attractive because of Maenads.

I personally would invest most of my nature gems then in Carrion Reanimators.

A combination of Carrion Beasts with Maenads and centaurs/centaur warriors, all enchanced with some spells like Iron Warriors/Weapons of Sharpness/Regneration etc. etc. casted by Pans sounds imho scary in Midgame.

But the main problem i have with Pan is money. Centaurs cost a lot, Pans cost a lot, White Centaurs long for a strong bless, Maenads make Turmoil 3 somewhat attractive ... .

So i have always severe Research- and Moneyproblems as Pan compared to a nation like late era Argatha or Pythium .
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  #14  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Gandalf Parker Gandalf Parker is offline
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

I greatly appreciate the comments that show Im not alone in my thinking here. Other threads had me beginning to wonder.

Boron: thanks for the comments on Pangaea in blitz games. Very appreciated. I particularly like this..
Quote:
I find Pan to be a very interesting nation because they are flexible, but need to be played very differently to other nations because of their rather unique national troops + commanders.
Thats exactly how I feel about it. Too often when people put down Pangaea (not always, but often enough) I see that they are trying to play it like Ulm. Obviously they would suck at that. Im bugged when people rate a nation like Jotunheim, Caelum, Arcoscephale, Tien Chi without trying to use what is obviously a central theme to their design.
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  #15  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:37 PM

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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

I'm a big fan of Pangaea, and there's many interesting points in your strategy Gandalf.

With maenads I think alteration is a priority (mass protection et Mother oak). Swarm and ants could be fun I think with a Pan assassin (or in a deathmatch).

I think there is many ways to play Pangaea:

1 - High bless white centaurs: centaur warriors are awesome, white centaurs are even better. Many high bless (not nature) suit them well. They can even fight in a more classical way against other nations (not using stealth, expanding around capital).

2 - Death woods: take a Carrion dragon, reasearch enchantment, spwan carrions, cast Haunted forest and/or carrion woods... Use Banes with items as thugs. Very nice thematic, reminds me Princess Mononoke I prefer to use this strategy with late era, as undead-boosting holy spells are available and D2 Pans.

3 - Blood nation : Lord of the wild, many *cheap* temples with sacrifices, mix of nature summons with blood leaders. Take turmoil so your blood slaves hunters will spawn free maenads while searching. Access to blood magic also gives you interesting items to use leaders (pans, minotaurs, pretender, blood summons, firbolgs) more offensively.

4 - Lamias! I use a N7W2D2 Mother of monsters. W2 allow her to summon bog beast before lamias (to have a poisoned battlefield). Put poison ring on firbolgs and/or pans. Take high dominion, cast Gift of Health, Haunted forest, research mass protection.

I also use kithaironic lions in games with Demo players. On the first turn I like to recruit just minotaurs to power up my firts army. The trample skill gives an edge over non-cavarly indies.

I think I dont use enough the stealth abitity of Pangaea. I like the idea to have a strong dominion to use the Globals spells (haunted forest, GOH, etc) with high growth to cast tune of growth in battle.

I dont use entaur archers with turmoil 3 as they are gold intensive. I prefer minotaurs or centaur warriors. I should try fire and flee tactics with centaur archers... I got the idea to put air magic on my pretender to create many flying minotaurs. These trampling flyers could be fun (backed with harpies) with the Hold and attack rearmost ennemies order.

I have some questions about your strategy:

- With set tne taxes to 0 in the beachhead option?
- Do you use minotaurs? I find them very useful mixed with maenads.
- Do you use Charm? Is this spell very useful in late game MP? can it be easily countered?
- How do you use Blood magic?
- What evocation spells do you use? why use vine arrow instead of tangle vines?
- Do you use tune of growth?
- How do you use maenads in late game? How can they face larges armies of archers? the blade wind spell?

Thank you
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  #16  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Harpies are also extraordinary patrollers if you just get an indie commander and set your capital to 200x tax while patrolling if you're doing a dual bless. You get a huge gold boost which makes up any poor scales you'll have to take for the strat. Most people dislike the population loss from such strats but the extra provinces you'll conquer from the extra troops generally makes up for it.
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  #17  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Quote:
Gandalf Parker said:
Boron: thanks for the comments on Pangaea in blitz games. Very appreciated. I particularly like this..
Quote:
I find Pan to be a very interesting nation because they are flexible, but need to be played very differently to other nations because of their rather unique national troops + commanders.
Thats exactly how I feel about it. Too often when people put down Pangaea (not always, but often enough) I see that they are trying to play it like Ulm. Obviously they would suck at that. Im bugged when people rate a nation like Jotunheim, Caelum, Arcoscephale, Tien Chi without trying to use what is obviously a central theme to their design.
Yeah this makes Dominions so great imho .

Dominions is very deep. I think the famous magic the gathering card game is most similiar to dominions.

In both games there are nearly endless options and most units(cards in MTG) are at least in a certain situation/strategy great. So there are almost no useless units at all (and those few units/spells that seem useless can be fixed via creative modding imho).

But because the game is so deep most players will focus on parts of the game only and develop certain specific stragies and specialise on some nations. This is okay of course .

But in this specialization the problem is that potentially there is the rub:
After you have discovered a playstyle you love and "mastered" one or a few nations you might think that you have mastered dominions. But you are too focused on some nations/strats and this can then hamper you more than you think when you try to play other nations that need very different approachs.
If you are used to blue counter/control/combo decks in MTG you might have difficulties making a good green/white rush deck.

Dominions goes even a step further than MTG imho, because MTG is a card game, so it has to be kept simple in some aspects to be playable at all. But Dominions is a PC game, so the PC does the dull work like calculating battles.
And thus Dominions is imho even deeper than MTG.
Many nations have unique national troops that require different approaches, and god design and national mages/spells make every nation unique.

But humans often think in schemes. But Dominions you have to try to play as open minded as possible. Nothing is completely useless, instead everything is useful in some situations and not so useful in other situations.
But these situations can change every turn.

This is imho the most important factor (in a no-diplomacy game) in a Dom MP game. The player who sums up the situation best during the whole game and then reacts accordingly usually wins. This is true for most strategy games, but in no pc-strategy game i know as hard to do as in Dominions, especially because the situation needs to be revaluated every turn and you have to try to be as open minded as possible.

This makes Dominions so unique and great, but everything has it's pros and cons, so occasionally this deepness can also be frustrating or leads to the situation that you say nation XYZ sucks, but it sucks probably only with the approach with which you tried to play this nation.
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  #18  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

Heh Boron, this is a complete 180 from what I would expect you to say. You're possibly more powergamey than me!
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  #19  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy

A Pan Strategy i have been fantasized about, but never used successfully so far in MP (iirc i have never played Pan in a Longterm MP at all because always when i wanted to try them i was already in too many games and when a new MP started i rather tried another nation then with another strat ...):

Pan: Carrion Doom

Keyspells: Haunted forest and creeping doom/swarm

Dominion is very important for this spell too.
If you buy lots of PD in your provinces, because of the manikins you get your provinces are much harder to raid.

IF you manage to spread your dominion into enemy territory too, and with the help of dryads stealth preaching this should be somehow possible, you could then use Pans and Dryads offensively who cast creeping doom and swarm.

Those manikin hordes are then a big problem for many enemy strats. The sleepvines can be even dangerous for SCs.

And because most of your stuff is stealthy you can combine this with your usual stealth strats too.

You could also try to massproduce Harpies.


Main Problem: DISPEL

Astral gems are unfortunately easier to get than nature gems. And there are other promising globals, mainly GoH and Gift of Nature's Bounty, and the ants+dragonflies need lots of nature gems too.

But hoarding is harder in Dom3, and you could get lots of extra nature gems via trading and via rushing to mother oak.

So my casting idea for haunted forest would be to cast the first haunted forest with a really high, but weird number of gems, like 583 extra nature gems.
Such an unorthodox number makes your opponents likely waste lots of pearls i think.
How would you try to dispel such a haunted forest?
Eventually it will get dispelled nontheless probably, but you can try to fool your opponents then by recasting haunted forest, sometimes with no extra gems, sometimes with like 2xx extra gems. This way they likely waste many more pearls for dispelling than usually.

If you only use nature gems for searching but save up all of them otherwise i think we can assume that we would get about 15 nature gems per turn from turn 20 on at least usually.
Till turn 20 you can at least save 100 nature gems too i think.
So at turn 60 you would then theoretically have at least 100+40x15=700 nature gems.

The 3 main questions are then:
1. How much did this slow down your progress till turn 60 if you would have used the nature gems for short-term gain investments like Ivy King Vine Ogre factories, Lamia Queens, Faery Queens, Firbolgs, Carrions etc. etc.?
2. Would you probably profit even more if you decided to save up your nature gems by casting GoH instead?
3. How many astral gems will your opponents have around turn 60? And how soon will they be able to dispel?

They might have used their astral income for short term investments, and thus have to save up for dispelling. But there might also have been someone who hoarded or has arcane nexus running.

So what do you think? Is it worth to try to include trying to "abuse" haunted forest in a pan strat?
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  #20  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: a difficult Pangaean strategy


I agree with KissBlade. Boron you surprise me. I thought you were one of the "mp blitz is the whole game" people. I apologize for that.

Quote:
Boron said:
But because the game is so deep most players will focus on parts of the game only and develop certain specific stragies and specialise on some nations. This is okay of course .

I totally have no problem with that. I recommend people find their niche. As long as they dont declare that to define the game and start talking in hard "facts" about what is broken and absolutely must be fixed. Im old, and diplomatic in the way I word things. The closest to an absolute I will let myself get in this game is "in my opinion", or maybe "for the way I play" something seems less than useful. If something works, I dont declare it broken just because it doesnt work the way I want. (there are some map commands and command-line switches I consider broken though)

Quote:
But in this specialization the problem is that potentially there is the rub:
After you have discovered a playstyle you love and "mastered" one or a few nations you might think that you have mastered dominions. But you are too focused on some nations/strats and this can then hamper you more than you think when you try to play other nations that need very different approachs.
Yeah I try to warn about that. Find the nation that matches your style and you will kick tail. But dont be surprised when you go into multiplayer games to discover that other people settled just as comfortably into nations you thought were weak.

Quote:
This is imho the most important factor (in a no-diplomacy game) in a Dom MP game. The player who sums up the situation best during the whole game and then reacts accordingly usually wins. This is true for most strategy games, but in no pc-strategy game i know as hard to do as in Dominions, especially because the situation needs to be revaluated every turn and you have to try to be as open minded as possible.
Ive had mixed results with that. Some people have so memorized the formulas and perfected their strategies that they simply HATE surprises. And others start out with no strategy at all but a large toolbox of tactics based on what shows up. Of course, abit of both is probably best, but I admit that Im more tactics than strategy.

Quote:
This makes Dominions so unique and great, but everything has it's pros and cons, so occasionally this deepness can also be frustrating or leads to the situation that you say nation XYZ sucks, but it sucks probably only with the approach with which you tried to play this nation.
THANK YOU
I admit that some things "break" MP blitz games abit. And Im not against fixing those if its possible as long as it doesnt improve that game by poisoning others. Im also all for settings and map commands that can help balance MP games. I know that some prefer to KNOW that their game was won by strategy and not luck so something to turn down or remove events, maybe heroes, and then create chessboard-balanced maps for those games. (that way it wont affect my playing)
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