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  #31  
Old April 29th, 2010, 06:59 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

[quote=rdonj;742583]Have you tried thugging? That sounds like something you'd feel is way too inefficient, but it works very well, and is really the best way to fight the AI. If you haven't and want to get a good idea of how effective thugging can be, try the following: Play Tir na N'og with an e9n4 bless. Try making armies that consist of 2 sidhe thugs, and 3 mages with air magic to at least level 3. Thugs should be equipped with a vine shield, a frost brand, and possibly rainbow armor to help with fatigue. Nothing else. [quote]

I have tried thugging. Normally to keep my thugs alive, I have to put a ridiculous amount (50+gems) of equipment on them, making them not cost effective. In the example you describe the equipment is minimal, so maybe I should give that a try. I'm not convinced it is going to work -- against 100+ troops, mistform never seems to last long enough. Once it fails, my thugs die quickly.
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  #32  
Old April 29th, 2010, 07:09 AM

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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

It sounds like you're trying to thug the wrong stuff.

And even if a thug does cost 50 gems (which it never should) if it then defeats army after army of the AIs, that isn't cost inefficient at all.
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  #33  
Old April 29th, 2010, 07:41 AM

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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of advice is geared towards MP, because that's what most of the experienced posters play. Small numbers of elite units is the efficient way to go, so that's what the standard strategies counter.
SP is easier to beat, because the AI only has only has one real strategy and doesn't try to counter yours. You have to figure out how to effectively kill large numbers of troops.
Cheap raiding thugs work in MP, because no one invests in PD or has large armies wandering around in their backfield. And there's no point investing more gems into them, since if they run into a real army with mages, they'll die anyway unless they're a full-fledged SC. Or they'll get hit by something designed specifically to take them out.
In SP, you don't have that problem, but you'll generally be hitting stronger PD and larger armies so the thugs will need to be tougher. Which is OK since they won't be targeted by anti-SC forces.
You were playing C'tis? Have you tried Banelords? (Or Banes for a lesser verion) Maybe, Fire/Frost Brand, Vine Shield, Horror Helm, Luck Pendant, Antimagic Ammy or regen if it works on them. Flying shoes if you can get them. The default armor is good protection, Forge something if you need specific resistance or a special ability.
Wraithlords, with similar gear and casting Soul Vortex are better, but more expensive.
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  #34  
Old April 29th, 2010, 10:40 AM

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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

The thing about thunderstrike is, used en masse, it can defeat ridiculous amounts of units as long as they aren't immune. Nine e9 tuatha sorceresses, for example, should kill about 27 units per turn, even before accounting for the splash damage (which also causes fatigue, which can allow your normal troops to defeat them more easily and even cause them to pass out altogether) which should allow them to kill significantly more. And because they have e9 in this example, the extra reinvigoration will help them to keep throwing off these thunderstrikes. Aim is not critical, per say, but it does help make each thunderstrike more efficient. Thunderstrike is also more efficient under storms, when you cast summon stormpower. Which can then allow your a2 recruitables to also spam thunderstrike. So a nation like TNN can mass a lot of thunderstrikers if it needs some chaff clearing. Of course, at 6 evo, you get wrathful skies... which will eventually kill any army that's not completely immune to lightning, and would not be hard for just one mage to cast behind a handful of lightning immune thugs.

Here are a few spells to try if you still find magic too inefficient: curse of the desert, stellar cascades, strength of giants, legions of steel, flaming arrows, wailing winds.

Curse and stellar cascades can weaken troops enormously, and even outright kill them with enough casters, but only require a few to have a pretty significant effect on tough troops. Strength of giants through flaming arrows are good army strength multipliers, and will make your own troops even more effective on a unit per unit basis. Wailing winds, well, used appropriately it will let you rout armies with much fewer casualties, which will have the side effect of giving you lots of easy kills in battles.

Also I agree with thejeff with regards to banelord kitting, but if you're using them with skellyspam as I've suggested you can drop the air boots and horror helm, and they'll still work. Banelords are NOT as durable as they might seem though, and should not try to take on large armies by themselves. They work better as raiders and army support. Taking on 100+ man armies single-handedly is the domain of real SCs and upper end thugs like sidhe :P And a final note on thugging: one of the biggest killers of thugs vs conventional armies is fatigue. Having more than a net +1 or 2 fatigue per turn is pretty much suicide.


Edit: Oh yes, I forgot. I was going to say that I once won a game against full on impossible AIs using unequipped sidhe lords as though they were troops I won the significant majority of my battles with those, and only started using real thugs in the end because it was taking too long to finish the enemy off. I lost probably less than 10 sidhe lords that game.
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  #35  
Old April 29th, 2010, 11:38 PM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

OK, so I tried thugging with Sidhe Lords, just to see how it would work out. First, I never got a chance to apply vine shields and frost swords to them -- I got sucked into an early war against Ashdod. But I did have alt-3 researched, so with mistform, barkskin, and a E9N4 bless they held up very well against chaff. 4 of them could easily take out an army of 100 light infantry, which is about par for cost effectiveness.

But once I got to Ashdod's capital, the tables got turned. His mages stepped outside, summoned earth elementals, and my Sidhe Lords turned into Sidhe Roadkill.

So... I'm not convinced an army of 80 Firbolg javelineers would have fared worse. I would have had more casualties against his regular troops but roughly the same number of wins, and I don't think I would have gotten pasted so badly at the end. Lots of small troops with throwing weapons is just the thing to kill tramplers.

Seeing how painful that was to me, though, gives me an idea, maybe I need to fling some elementals at the AI and see what happens
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  #36  
Old April 30th, 2010, 12:21 AM

Rookierookie Rookierookie is offline
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Two or three battles will attrition 80 Fir Bolgs to nothing. And typically by year 5 I face armies of 500+, against which thugs work much better.

There are also somethings against which combat thugs don't work well, and tramplers are one of them. The spell Swarm kills life drain thug chasis. Nobody said they are invincible.
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  #37  
Old April 30th, 2010, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

If you're facing mage-supported armies or mage-supported PD, a few thugs are not going to cut it. You could just as easily been killed by a few fireballs, or skelly spam, etc. To take an enemy cap, you'll need some real SCs, or a mage-supported army of your own (which of course would still do well to include some thugs).
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  #38  
Old April 30th, 2010, 07:16 AM

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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Well the point is you take advantage of when the thugs are extremely efficient and avoid situations where they won't be efficient. If you're saying 4 took out an army of 100 light infantry with no casualties, that's not "about par". It would be "about par" for gold-efficiency if you lost 3 of them and the last one was crippled. Sidhe Lords are stealth and cloud trapeze capable and so can pick their fights fairly well.
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  #39  
Old May 2nd, 2010, 08:20 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymity View Post
Well the point is you take advantage of when the thugs are extremely efficient and avoid situations where they won't be efficient. If you're saying 4 took out an army of 100 light infantry with no casualties, that's not "about par". It would be "about par" for gold-efficiency if you lost 3 of them and the last one was crippled. Sidhe Lords are stealth and cloud trapeze capable and so can pick their fights fairly well.
Typically AI troops are poor quality, starving, etc., so if I come at an AI army of 100 troops with my 60 Principes I'll lose about 10. With the Sidhe Lords, I was losing about 1 every 2-3 battles. They're not indestructable until you give them the shield and sword combo, which pumps up their cost a bit.

As long as you attack where the enemy is weak and run away where he is strong, you really don't suffer too many casualties. The trouble is that when you're surrounded by 6 AI opponents all gunning for you there's few places to run and hide from his strength. Maybe I really should take up raiding.
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  #40  
Old May 2nd, 2010, 08:27 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

OK, so I found a convoluted way of getting some serious firepower at seriously low cost with magic. Is this sort of result typical, or am I taking advantage of an exploit that's likely to get nerfed?

1) EA Ermor
2) Principe meat shield
3) 5 Augurs. No, not Auger Eldurs (250 Au apiece, expensive! 80 Au Augers -- cheap!)
4) 3 astral pearls on the 5th Augur.

Lead Augurs are scripted to Communion Slave, Hold, Hold, Astral Fires, Astral Fires.

Tail Augur is scripted to cast Communion Master, Power of the Spheres, Light of the Northern Star, Astral Fires, Astral Fires.

Cost: 400 Au, 3 pearls
Result: 10x Astral Fires.
Efficiency: Medium. If an Astral Fires does 50hp damage average (depends on if I'm up against good MR troops or not), then it works out about even.

Smashing the AI with a pile of Principes is a whole lot easier, though
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