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

This Month's Specials

Air Assault Task Force- Save $7.00
Bronze- Save $9.00

   







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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:10 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 564
Thanks: 1
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
krpeters is on a distinguished road
Unhappy Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

OK, this has been bugging me for a while, and I can't seem to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

I typically play SP against several Difficult AI opponents. No matter what I do, it seems like troop strength seems to matter way more than magic, at least up to level-6 research. At what research level is magic really relevant?

For example, I was recently trying EA C'tis. I thought a good easy strategy to use magic would be to hand a few Reborn some death gems and let them cast Shadow Blast. But when I do the math, it doesn't add up:

Reborn: 100 gold
Death gem: equivalent to 25 gold
Shadow Blast: hits 7 squares, I estimate smacks a net 15 gold worth of enemy troops per square (between misses, hitting my troops, and similar effects)
7 * 15 = 105, < 125 gold.

For 125 gold I can field 9 Elite Warriors which are going to do a lot more damage.

Only other thing I can see to do is hand the Reborn three gems, to get a fatigue reduction on the first casting so they can cast it a second time. But that's equivalent to 175gold cost, which is still not that efficient against 210 damage.

Seems like I should skip recruiting mages altogether, take the extra cash and build castles, and just build a swarm of Elite Warriors. I've tried this, and it works really well. What am I missing in my attempts to use magic effectively?

Karl
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:36 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: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

well, your math is fine, its your strategy thats wrong.
with ctis try spamming skeletons, avoiding the gem cost.

even so, you do have a high opportunity cost - those mages could be site searching etc. Research is the way to increase the effective value of a mage, ie, as you research more and more
the value of mages increases vis-a-vis normal troops.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:37 AM
WingedDog's Avatar

WingedDog WingedDog is offline
First Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Russia, GMT +3
Posts: 623
Thanks: 117
Thanked 57 Times in 45 Posts
WingedDog is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Magic matters more then anything else in this game, you just need to learn choosing right spells. Evocation school isn't just the best choice if you are using death mages. Try researching some Enchantment instead for a start, and make your mages cast Rise Skeletons five times - you'll see they are much more effective this way.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:40 AM
Stavis_L's Avatar

Stavis_L Stavis_L is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 466
Thanks: 35
Thanked 95 Times in 60 Posts
Stavis_L is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

If, for whatever reason, you really *do* want to have Reborn cast shadow blast (vs. just recruiting more Sauromancers instead), you might want to invest in some Skull Staves. At 7D w/hammer, you're going to come out ahead vs. using gems to cast very shortly. I'd recommend just going with the Sauromancers, though, and, as recommended above, doing skellispam.
__________________
A nation mod I created:
Mistica: A Magocratic Police State
Micro-mods by me you might find useful:
Brainless Soulless - a fix for Life after Death/Ankh "exploit", Bogarus Scout Fix
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:46 AM
AdmiralZhao's Avatar

AdmiralZhao AdmiralZhao is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 411
Thanks: 69
Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
AdmiralZhao is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

In general, magic is used to create combos that national troops cannot handle and to counter combos that your national troops cannot handle. In your question you describe the first case, where at research level 7 you start to see battle winning spells (Mass Protection, Fog Warriors, Darkness, etc.) that let you massacre unsupported national troops. And so long as your opponents just use human-level troops against you, you can get away with not using magic, or in waiting until you've invested enough use the high level spells.
However, if you are facing the second case where your opponent has something your national troops cannot handle (elephants, combat pretender, blessed sacreds, etc), magic is needed to counter their advantage. You see this primarily in MP, since in SP the AI isn't smart enough to put together vicious combos.


For the particular case you gave with EA C'tis, I'd recommend that old stand by of skelespam. While your casters are initially expensive, they do not take any casualties so long as they win the battle. With a normal army, you lose a portion of your troops after each battle, but the casters can keep fighting indefinitely without losses. And once you reach Evo 7, you can combine the skeletons with Cloud of Death, and then things become really fun.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old April 24th, 2010, 10:46 AM
AdmiralZhao's Avatar

AdmiralZhao AdmiralZhao is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 411
Thanks: 69
Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
AdmiralZhao is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Nevermind, I was ninja'd by like 3 other people.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old April 24th, 2010, 11:01 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 564
Thanks: 1
Thanked 10 Times in 7 Posts
krpeters is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralZhao View Post
In general, magic is used to create combos that national troops cannot handle, and to counter combos that your national troops cannot handle. In your question you describe the first case, where at research level 7 you start to see battle winning spells (Mass Protection, Fog Warriors, Darkness, etc.) that will let you massacre unsupported national troops. And so long as your opponents just use human-level troops against you, you can get away with not using magic, or in waiting until you've invested enough to start using the high level, battle winning spells.
However, if you are facing the second case where your opponent has something your national troops cannot handle (elephants, combat pretender, blessed sacreds, etc), magic is needed to counter their advantage. You see this primarily in MP, since in SP the isn't smart enough to put together vicious combos.


For the particular case you gave with EA C'tis, I'd recommend that old stand by of skelespam. While your casters are initially expensive, they do not take any casualties so long as they win the battle. With a normal army, you lose a portion of your troops after each battle, but the casters can keep fighting indefinitely without losses. And once you reach Evo 7, you can combine the skeletons with Cloud of Death, and then things become really fun.
Right, I can see at high level research there's a mess of battlefield spells that look effective, provided you can cast them against the enemy's army and not his PD. I seem to have a hard time intersecting his armies with mine... only thing that works reliably is to park my army on his capital and make his armies come to me And yeah, the AI rarely throws anything at me that my national troops can't handle other than "too much" which is what I was hoping mid level magic could help with. It seems like to vaporize his 300-soldier hordes, I have to have those L7+ spells. Skelspam really isn't going to stop an army of that size... nor is falling fires or thunderstrike or any other mid-level spell cast by a similar gold-worth of mages.

I guess the trouble is trying to figure out how to balance the game right in AI. Any AI that is weak enough for me to survive against while spending lots of gold to research high-level spells is also weak enough for me to skip the research and just crush with troops, it seems.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old April 24th, 2010, 12:18 PM

thejeff thejeff is offline
General
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,327
Thanks: 4
Thanked 133 Times in 117 Posts
thejeff is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Against the big AI armies, you need to use a lot of mages to have an effect.

The key is that you may have to use a similar gold cost of mages to destroy a good sized AI army, and you could also beat them with the same gold cost of troops, but you'd lose a lot of troops and the mages will all survive. (You may lose some of the troops you use to keep the AI hordes away from your mages, but they're replaceable.)

It may take 3000 gold worth of mages & 500 gold worth of meatshield troops to beat that 300 unit AI army, but you'll still have the mages and he'll have lost the army.

The other approach is buffing your troops, but I don't think C'tis works well for that. Quickened, lucky troops with strength and protection bonuses work quite nicely.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old April 24th, 2010, 12:34 PM

Sombre Sombre is offline
BANNED USER
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,463
Thanks: 165
Thanked 324 Times in 190 Posts
Sombre is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Speaking just of SP and facing down the AI, the most dramatic way to see the power of spells is to take EA Abysia and expand and hire mages to research as normal until your mages have researched both phoenix power and falling fires. Then take a huge chunk of your research mages and join them up with a reltively small army. Script them to PP then FFx4. If you have a critical mass of them, it doesn't matter what the enemy is throwing at you, they'll burn it to a crisp in a few rounds.

The difference between this and an army, again speaking purely in SP terms, is that an army will take casualties against the AI. A critical mass of mages with some blockers will not.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old April 24th, 2010, 12:51 PM
sector24's Avatar
sector24 sector24 is offline
Second Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 509
Thanks: 84
Thanked 44 Times in 14 Posts
sector24 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Troops vs magic, what am I doing wrong?

Skellispam is definitely the most cost efficient move for C'tis. You're going to get much more than 5 casts of Raise Dead per Sauromancer because as you flood the battlefield with skeletons, your mages have time for their fatigue to dip below 100 and cast it again. Also, your opponent's fatigue starts to build and as the battle drags on they start taking more hits.

Shadow Blast is much more useful for removing difficult units from the battlefield than it is for just general destruction. For instance fighting double blessed troops that could kill 10+ Elite Warriors before going down would be a good time to use Shadow Blast. But the computer obviously doesn't do that so I don't think there's ever really a need for that spell against the AI.

To take your argument to extremes, it's much more cost effective to put 125 PD into every province than it is to recruit Elite Warriors. For a one time investment of 8,000 gold your province becomes impregnable for the rest of the game. The AI almost never builds the right troops in the right numbers to defeat a free army like that.

The problem with Elite Warriors and PD is that they aren't time efficient. It's going to take years and years to conquer the enemy a few provinces at a time. With magic, once you get the spells you need you can teleport in raiders, wipe out huge armies with just a couple spells, basically redraw the map in a couple turns. It's not cost effective for a long time, but it is efficient.

PD: Cost Effective, not efficient
Elite Warriors: Somewhat cost effective, somewhat efficient
Mages: Not cost effective, very efficient (becomes moreso at higher research levels)
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 07:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1999 - 2021, Shrapnel Games, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.