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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Anaconda Anaconda is offline
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Default communion mechanics

Can some1 explain in detail how communions work, and open the mechanics with examples and numbers.

Also, it would be nice to hear what they are good for and some war stories from the past?
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Old September 27th, 2011, 02:25 PM

shatner shatner is offline
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Default Re: communion mechanics

99% of what you are looking for can be found in Baalz's excellent communion guide (http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/showthread.php?t=37499). He does a very thorough job of explaining the raw mechanics, weird edge cases as well as most of the main strategic uses for communions (normal, reverse, line-backer, etc.).
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2011, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: communion mechanics

Why, thank you!
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Old September 27th, 2011, 03:07 PM

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Default Re: communion mechanics

While this is mentioned in the guide, one thing I had to realize for myself was how an 8+ communion-slave communion is exponentially better than a 4-7 communion-slave communion. I have seen the difference and it is staggering; something which I want to emphasize here.


While most people would think the point of an 8+ communion is to get the masters a +3 in all their paths, the real advantage is that all the slaves are treated as though they have a +3 in all their paths for the purpose of determining their fatigue from the masters' castings.

For example, if you have 4x A1S1 masters spamming Thunder Strike (A3, evoc 4, 50 fatigue) and 8x A1S1 slaves, each slave is treated as having A4 for determining their fatigue from each of the masters' castings. Each master generates 25 fatigue (50/2 because their air magic is one level higher than is needed) which is divided evenly between the 8 slaves (so roughly 3 fatigue each). Also, each slave receives fatigue as though they had cast the spell (also 25 since they are each considered an A4), again divided by the number of slaves (once again, roughly 3 fatigue each). Therefore 4 masters spamming an expensive but potent air evocation will cause roughly (3+3)*4 = 24 fatigue per slave per round... which the slaves can endure for 8-9 rounds before they start suffering damage from fatigue > 200.

Now, assume you have the same scenario but only 2 masters and 7 slaves. Each master is an A3 generating the full 50 fatigue, which turns into roughly 7 fatigue given to each slave. Each slave also receives fatigue as though they had cast the spell getting them another 7 per slave per casting. That's (7+7)*2 = 28 fatigue per slave per round... which the slaves can endure for 7-8 rounds before they break 200 fatigue.

In the 8 slave example you had a 2-1 slave-to-master ratio which allowed for 4 heightened-damage Thunder Strikes (an A4 strike does more damage than an A3) per round for 8-9 rounds. In the 7 slave example allowed for 7-8 rounds of 2 lesser-damaging thunder strikes even though the communion had better than a 3-1 slave-to-master ratio.



With a little proper care, you can get a LOT of mileage out of a communion. Don't skimp on communion slaves if you don't have to. Also, giving them path boosts cast by one or more of the communion masters will get you another order of magnitude improvement in their performance. These are spells like power of the spheres, storm power, phoenix power, earth power (which also grants sweet, sweet reinvig-4) and strength of gaia (which also gives your slaves +4 strength, barkskin and regen... a fine suite of buffs).
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Old September 27th, 2011, 03:27 PM

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Default Re: communion mechanics

What the heck, just to really drive this last point home, let's look at a gratuitous communion: 8x A1S1 masters and 8x A1S1 slaves. Assume two of the masters each have a Crystal Matrix (auto-casts communion master on them at the start of battle).

Round 1: 6 of the masters cast Communion Master, 8 slaves cast Communion Slave, the 2nd-to-last caster (with a crystal matrix) casts Power of the Spheres and the last caster (also with a crystal matrix) casts Storm Power. If we only pay attention to their air paths, 6 masters have A4, two masters have A5 and each slave is an A3 but counted as an A6 for communion-fatigue purposes.

Round 2: Each master casts Thunder Strike. 6 are A4s, giving (50/2 )/8=3 fatigue per slave per casting. Two are A5s, giving (50/3)/8=2 fatigue per slave per casting. Each slave is considered an A6 giving them (50/4)/8=1.5 fatigue per slave per casting. That's 3*6 + 2*2 + 1.5*8 = 18 + 4 + 12 = 34 fatigue per slave per turn from 6 A4 and 2 A5 Thunder Strikes per turn. That communion can last for 6 rounds before the slaves start taking damage.

The first example got us 36x A4 Thunder Strikes over the course of 9 rounds before we started damaging slaves. This last example got us 48 Thunder Strikes over the course of 6 rounds, 12 of which were A5 strikes. Not only did it get us more damage, it got us faster damage. With path buffs, we microwaved the battlefield in record time. Without path buffs, that 1-1 master-to-slave ratio would microwaved our slaves even sooner.
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  #6  
Old September 27th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: communion mechanics

Also, having slaves with natural regen, or throwing in a master that casts personal regeneration upps the survivability of your slaves a lot. If they get over 200 fatigue, the hp damage gets healed away.

Also, if you summon earthpower, the slaves will get the reinvigoration even without having earth magic themselves.

Of course mistform, air shield and mirror image raise the survivability of your slaves a great deal.
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  #7  
Old September 27th, 2011, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: communion mechanics

Quote:
Originally Posted by shatner View Post
What the heck, just to really drive this last point home, let's look at a gratuitous communion: 8x A1S1 masters and 8x A1S1 slaves. Assume two of the masters each have a Crystal Matrix (auto-casts communion master on them at the start of battle).

Round 1: 6 of the masters cast Communion Master, 8 slaves cast Communion Slave, the 2nd-to-last caster (with a crystal matrix) casts Power of the Spheres and the last caster (also with a crystal matrix) casts Storm Power. If we only pay attention to their air paths, 6 masters have A4, two masters have A5 and each slave is an A3 but counted as an A6 for communion-fatigue purposes.

Round 2: Each master casts Thunder Strike. 6 are A4s, giving (50/2 )/8=3 fatigue per slave per casting. Two are A5s, giving (50/3)/8=2 fatigue per slave per casting. Each slave is considered an A6 giving them (50/4)/8=1.5 fatigue per slave per casting. That's 3*6 + 2*2 + 1.5*8 = 18 + 4 + 12 = 34 fatigue per slave per turn from 6 A4 and 2 A5 Thunder Strikes per turn. That communion can last for 6 rounds before the slaves start taking damage.

The first example got us 36x A4 Thunder Strikes over the course of 9 rounds before we started damaging slaves. This last example got us 48 Thunder Strikes over the course of 6 rounds, 12 of which were A5 strikes. Not only did it get us more damage, it got us faster damage. With path buffs, we microwaved the battlefield in record time. Without path buffs, that 1-1 master-to-slave ratio would microwaved our slaves even sooner.
Don't forget about the masters. Fatigue for one spell cast by a master with eight slaves is split nine ways, with each mage's fatigue figured individually. A small five member communion with 4 1E1S mages and 1 1S mage, all enc3, scripted so that 1 of the 1E1S is the master, then 4x Gifts from Heaven (3E1S). The other 4 are slaves doing nothing else.

Turn 1
1E1S casts communion master 23 fatigue (20+3)
4 slaves cast communion slave 23 fatigue (20+3)
Turn 2
1E1S casts Gifts from Heaven (50 fatigue spell/5 members=10+3enc) + 23 = 36 total fatigue
first 3 slaves 36 fatigue (same calculation)
last slave (no E to start) 10*2 + enc*2 or 26 + 23 = 49 total fatigue
Turn 3
master and first 3 slaves +13=49 total fatigue
last slave +26 = 75 total fatigue
Turn 4
master and first 3 slaves - 62 total fatigue
last slave - 101 total fatigue
Turn 5
master and first 3 slaves - 75 total fatigue
last slave - 122 total fatigue (I think units w/over 100 fatigue recover 5pts automatically)

I don't believe the master's level affects the slave's fatigue. Just whether or not he can cast the spell.
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Old September 28th, 2011, 09:56 AM

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Default Re: communion mechanics

Quote:
Originally Posted by shatner View Post
What the heck, just to really drive this last point home, let's look at a gratuitous communion: 8x A1S1 masters and 8x A1S1 slaves. Assume two of the masters each have a Crystal Matrix (auto-casts communion master on them at the start of battle).
Lets talk gratuitous communion. Every slave receives all buffs cast by any master. Say we are looking at Vanheim or similar, and Air-Earth-Nature (indie mage for the last bit) is in play. One Strength of Gaia and Personal Regeneration later, the slaves are now regenerating both fatigue and health, and can probably last another three turns, which is huge. Outside of a few edge cases, you will burn out eventually (edge case examples: Surround your communion slaves with trolls set to guard commander. Anything with regeneration can work here, but trolls are probably the easiest to come by. Now, have a communion master case Soul Vortex. The slaves will last as long as they need to), and reinvig counts for a lot.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: communion mechanics

On the other forum, this was posted recently.

PROVING a Communion Fatigue Formula

I had done some testing a while back, and my simple formula fit my test cases well enough, but I did not do what could be called extensive testing. This formula also explains my test results, where mine fails to explain his.

Oh heck, I usually just ballpark it anyway.

Thanks to theDemon and friends.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 05:52 PM

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Default Re: communion mechanics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyweiser View Post
Also, having slaves with natural regen, or throwing in a master that casts personal regeneration upps the survivability of your slaves a lot. If they get over 200 fatigue, the hp damage gets healed away.

Also, if you summon earthpower, the slaves will get the reinvigoration even without having earth magic themselves.

Of course mistform, air shield and mirror image raise the survivability of your slaves a great deal.
You're forgetting the most important spell for communion, Reinvigoration. Removes all fatigue from a communion, all fatigue, which is absolutely awesome. It's a blood spell, however, so remember that (so if you have a blood mage that can enter a communion via sabbath, do it).

Works especially well with reverse communions, where the goal is buffing your slaves with PotS and other spells so they can all cast evocations. If you're say Bogsrus, form a reverse communion with as many A2S1 guys that you can (since it's Bogarus, 30+ mage communions are fairly easy to make), have couple masters (at the end of the turn order, since if a master casts before a slave, the slave won't cast [I learned this the hard way, hahah]) cast buffs from Mistform to PotS to Earthpower to whatever battlefield spells you need (Flaming Arrows, whatever), and script reinvigoration in alternation on Diabloists or Starets (because reinvig needs master fatigue to cast). Watch as you rain dozens of thunderstrikes, Gifts, Falling Fire, Magma Eruptions, Astral Fires, whatever you desire, and decimate the enemy army, all with pretty much nonexistent fatigue.
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