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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:02 PM

ttomm46 ttomm46 is offline
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Default Next Steps help?

Well..after the tutorial i'm kind of left on my own...Hey look I'm older and dumber and need some help...

still trying to figure out what to do each turn..so any help appreciated.....It seems like there is probably a logical sequence to do each turn..Sorry for being a pain so any help appreciated
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:35 PM

Archonsod Archonsod is offline
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Default Re: Next Steps help?

Heh, depends what you're looking to do, though a master plan of some description helps (even if only to blame your underlings when it inevitably goes wrong )

I suspect everyone would have a different sequence they run through depending on playstyle. Generally, I respond to anything urgent arising from last turn first (i.e. any messages which need action, newly recruited troops or forged items, that kind of thing). Then I issue the orders for the current turn.

I try to plan a good three or four turns ahead, so most of the time I've got a plan for each army or commander (i.e. I want this guy to attack that province once he has an army, that guy is going to site search those provinces etc) and it's a simple case of working through each commander and taking the next step towards their eventual goal and my inevitable defeat.

It helps to have a rough idea of what you want for the 'next stage' of your empire. For instance, my initial 'stage 1' empire involves capturing all of the surrounding territories of my starting castle, and establishing a small core of research mages. I'll therefore take steps to do this - recruiting a decent army or mercenaries and a bunch of mages. Once that's complete, stage 2 would be moving out three territories or so from my castle to build another castle, and sending out site searching spells or mages into my fresh territories, so I work towards that and so forth. It generally means you can remember why your recruiting a certain commander, and what they should be doing at any one time.

Don't be afraid to experiment though. Forgetting to do something is no big deal, happens to pretty much everyone, especially once you have a large empire with a few hundred commanders.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 03:49 AM

Lazy_Perfectionist Lazy_Perfectionist is offline
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Default Re: Next Steps help?

Grand Master Plan
Step 1: Scout
Step 2: Scout
Step 3: Scout
Step 4: Scout
Step 5: Scout

Somewhat redundant and smart-aleck, but worth repeating. Several of my multiplayer defeats could have been avoided by staying true to Sun-Tzu.

Always have indie provinces with scouts churning them out. If you can't find indie scouts by the end of your first year, consider building the cheapest fortress you can and recruiting there. If you haven't found indies nor have national scouts, then summon Black Servants - you can adapt them for other roles once you do have a source of mundane scouts.

On a turn by turn basis I do this, roughly. I don't have a checklist, and I'm not consistent, but a pattern does show up.
1). Glance over all my messages
a). Read diplomatic messages and events.
b). Read the summaries of any battles and site scans.
2). Check out any new provinces (PD 0, F1 empire overview).
a). What can I recruit here?
b). Any automatic sites?
c). Buy 1 PD.
3). Check out the results of manual site searches
a). Check for new recruits
b). Buy PD up to 2
c). Send searcher to site with PD1
d). Manual searching varies on nation, more later
e). May repeat with higher level searcher.
4). Check out the results of remote site search spells
a). Check for new recruits
b). ignore automatic cast to manually target new sites
5). Watch battles
6). Consider diplomacy
7). Consider war and expansion
8). Set research goal
9). Set recruit, build orders
10). Set movement orders
11). Fiddle with my equipment, summons, forging
12). Reset movement and cast orders that were invariably wiped out by my fiddling- esp. equip changes.
13). Set my battle orders.
14). Check movement- it's a real pain in the *** when you didn't realize that this brigade/battalion/army you were depending on was move 1, not 2 like the rest, and don't show up to the big fight. If you've moved some troops between squads, this may happen.
15). Compensate for 14.
16). Assign necessary gems to my mages/gem carriers.
17). Cancel rituals/forging when and if necessary.
18). Respond to diplomacy.
19). Update bare-bone notes. When did I sign that 10 turn NAP?
20). Once or twice a year- check for significant afflictions (fearful? disease?
21). Do a little food arithmetic- will I be good, or starving? How long? Do I care? (Answer = no when I expect the task force to die anyways.)
22). Take note of unrest.

I'm not nearly so methodical when I play my turns, but a composite of several turns looks more or less like this. There's a reason diplomacy is both step 6 and 18 - I often use the time to negotiate via Private Messaging. I become much more methodical when a wars about to start up- and then I focus heavily on what my scouts tell me in addition to being careful.

As to a strategic plan of action- best to ask someone who's won a game or two.

Manual site searching versus remote site searching.
Are you simply summoning/forging on opportunity, or because somethings part of your strategy that your depending on having?

I send a few cheap mages out to find the most common sites- in all the adjacent provinces, at least. After I scout that area, I decide my site finding plan.

As EA Ctis, I _need_ those Black Servants to scout for me. I'll cast the site searching spells for any path I can EXCEPT death. I'll send Reborn out physically searching for the rest. Or Sauromancers, depending on my mood.

As EA Yomi, I've got variety, but expenses. So I send out my midlevel mages (200 gold) to search out adjacent only, and then wait until I can see my initial gem income leanings. If I've got a lot of fire or death gems coming my way, I hit the remote spells for a turn or two in that path, then store up for conjuration to pad my ranks on the inexpensive side, doing further site searchs at around one or two a turn. If death, then I remote for a small amount, 10-15 gems at most, then store up for later summoning/necromancy. All other paths I dedicate to forging, site-searching, or empowerment.

As Late Atlantis, I have few good mages, and lots of mediocre ones. Early on, I have a pair poking around, and research isn't a huge priority, especially since my crappy mages are Amphibious, lead undead and 40 regular troops, and are sacred. I don't recruit any martial commanders until I start putting forts up or run out of money. I use them in initial expansion and reinforcements, then site searching (once they suffer enough casulties), then research (after they've searched sites between them and the capital. I can't afford to cast Dark Knowledge because I may NEED to raise the dead. All my puny mages can reanimate, and I at least have enough leadership for my puny mages to lead any undead my more powerful capital mages may summon. I am pretty free with my water gems, however, because I don't have a lot of options there until I put forth a massive research effort.

Also worth considering is whether there's a level six/seven or less global you need to get up. Playing Agartha with an E9 Cyclops for global-dispel-resist bonus? Can't risk your earth gems until you're certain you'll have over 10 gems coming in a turn. Otherwise, you might not have Earth Blood Deep Well up when you need it.

If you're abysia with a powerful bless, however, all this stuff about gem conservation is a little less important. If you've got a drain dominion, then you need to set aside something for the research boosters.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 12:08 PM

ttomm46 ttomm46 is offline
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Default Re: Next Steps help?

Great help..thanks for the great posts...
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:10 PM

Lazy_Perfectionist Lazy_Perfectionist is offline
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Default Re: Next Steps help?

Oh, a bit of simple advice, learning from my mistakes, if you will.

Don't go half-assed in multiplayer. With all the options available, it may be tempting to have Black Servants with Rods of the Leper King and Bane Venom Charms leading Shades, while summoning Wights or Bane Lords as well. But in reality, you're better off going just for as many wights as possible, or as many Black Servants leading Shades (Rod of Leper King=undead leadership), or Black Servants with Bane Venom Charms.

There's danger in not diversifying, but gems are a scarce enough resource that doing too many things will cripple you.

In singleplayer, you can afford to play around. However, I recommend a). practice expanding as fast as possible- there's several threads on the subject and b). play around only once you've won the war, or at least starved them of\f most of their income/sieged all their fortresses.

Alternatively, for singleplayer experimentation (hardcore mode is more fun for a _full_ game, but no-save is a bit tougher on the learning) make a 'save' of your game by either a). Copying mid_nation.trn to mid_nation.bak.# where # is the turn number or b). Zipping up the games save folder.

The location of the save folder varies on operating system, but a file search for .trn should turn it up, pun not intended.

For multiplayer:
Join a newbie game. They start up frequently, though you may need to ask someone to organize it. Llamabeast often organizes some, but he's away from the net right now. You'll make a mistake, but don't worry about it, have fun.
People can be trustworthy, but you'll be happier in mp if you go the trust, but verify route, instead of assuming a NAP is inviolate. Leave a few scouts in allied territory, and realize that you get out of a NAP what you put in it. Try to look at it from the other players perspective, considering their wars, trade possibilities, cost/gain they'd get by breaking that pact. Kept to a proper level, paranoia can be fun and satisfying- it also keeps you prepared for worst case scenarios.

Before engaging in war, load up that other nation in a temporary game (I usually name my disposables 'a'). Take a quick glance over them. They'll have picked up some indies along the way, but its helpful nonetheless. Check if they have assassins, weaknesses like cold-blooded, ethereal troops, etc. Don't spend too much time on this, but make sure you know roughly what troops they have and where they can recruit them. Late Atlantis, for instance, is severely hampered by the loss of their capital and has sailing, while Shinuyama has no capital-only troops and stealthy mages and assassins.
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