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Old October 26th, 2007, 06:37 AM

Wolftrap Wolftrap is offline
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Default Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

Okay, I LOVE the atmosphere of this game...it's got a charming quality to it - and the graphics are beautifully done. But when I started the demo (I can't print out the tutorial because my printer's broken) it was like putting together a complex puzzle...so many choices! Where to start? What does what, how, and when? I said before that I'm a FPS and RPG gamer...but I sense something here. I'm actually looking forward to learning this.

But..how long does it take to finish an average human vs. computer game?
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Old October 26th, 2007, 07:38 AM
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Meglobob Meglobob is offline
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

Wolftrap said:But..how long does it take to finish an average human vs. computer game?
Depends how quick you play.

Try silent seas map with 4 nations, you can complete games on that in just a few hrs, a day and is a good way to begin.

Well a MP could last 3-9 months depending on size. Of course turns are usually once every 24hrs then 48hrs then 72hrs as your empire gets bigger.

Its really very simple at the beginning, press F1 and this will show you your entire empire.

Simply go through each province giving your orders to your leaders, select a research school, recruit more leaders and more army. Clicking on a leader and the defend order will show you all the orders available to him.

As you grow your empire and research it gets more and more complex/fun.

At the start you are probably best concentrating on your national army units/leaders and using limited magic.

The magic system is probably the hardest/most complex part of the game to learn.

Play an awake dragon is a good way to start, the dragon can conquer most indies on is own.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 07:53 AM

RobO RobO is offline
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

Thanks, Meglobob. That's good advice. I'm new to this as well, and a bit overwhelmed. Trying out nations one at a time using the demo while I wait for the full game to appear in my mailbox.

I do find, however, that I tend to use the map to give orders first, as I need the map to come up with a plan for the next few turns. I then use the overview (F1) to check up on things - typically looking for heroes that I forgot.

And while we're at the basic stuff - How do I get into the water with a landbased nation? Water nations tend to have amphibs, but the reverse does not seem to be the case. I presume it's a question of making a magic item which may not be available in the demo (it stops after 3 or 4 years). Is that so?
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Old October 26th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

RobO said:
And while we're at the basic stuff - How do I get into the water with a landbased nation? Water nations tend to have amphibs, but the reverse does not seem to be the case. I presume it's a question of making a magic item which may not be available in the demo (it stops after 3 or 4 years). Is that so?
Yes there are items in water and air magic, that allow water breathing (non amphibious troops to enter the sea) some of them are avilable in the demo. Later you can also summon troops that are amphibious like living statues or various undead.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 08:18 AM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

You can also recruit amphibious independents. Icthyids, mostly.
Or an amphibious pretender. A Wyrm can take most underwater indies from turn one. Once you've got a foothold, you can recruit underwater troops.

It's hard to fight actual water nations that way, but it's a start.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

As for the commnders that you have missed, hit the "n" key. It will scroll through the commanders that have not been issued orders. It is easy and very necessary.

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Old October 26th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

Wolftrap said:
But..how long does it take to finish an average human vs. computer game?
In answering your question this depends on the size of the map, skill/knowledge of the game, the nation you play, the strength achieved by AI opponents via middle/late game and whether or not you've setup the game with some type of victory conditions.

The game takes about 30mins to learn all the basics, but the game has great depth so even after several months you'll recognize new strategies. And as more months pass you'll feel confident enough to provide the AI opponents with great advantages such as setting them up as allies or providing them a strong set of scales.
There can be only one.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Whoa...talk about Duck Soup!

Keep the same nation for yourself, and keep (most of the) enemies the same as you are still learning. A surprise is nice, but not when you don't know ANYTHING yet.

Rise independent strength a bit. 9 is too high, but adding just a few steps slows everyone's expansion down, and thus gives you more time to get the hang of things.

Silent Seas and four nations is a good start. If you want more space or time to learn the basics, cut the number of enemies down. If you want more action, increase it a bit.

Choose what you want to learn. What can my mages do? Open research screen, browse the list of spells and use quick-keys to see spells your mages can cast ('a' for air, 'f' for fire... but 's' for astral because 'a' is already for air). Choose a school that gives good spells EARLY. Then build your strategy around that. What can my pretender do, once I know what my mages do? If I'm going for Evocation, do I want a pretender than can be used as a basis of a shock squad of tough troops and a mage/mages casting flames and lighting on my enemies? Or will I rather take a Wyrm that eats everything the independents can throw at him, and can be called back if he dies, with no magic to lose? And what about a bless?

Some things to consider:
- How can I use my mages? Ex: I am Kailasa, and have Astral mages, Earth mages and Water mages, and lots of Nature thrown in. I go through the different schools, and use 's', 'e', 'w' and 'n' to browse just the relevant spells. Alteration had lots of buff/indirect damage spells: Stone/Iron Skin, Protection, Marble Warriors, Destruction... and also Personal Luck, Body Ethereal, Luck, Personal and AoE 1 Quickness. If you choose to go for heavy Alteration, you then choose what you want to buff. Your pretender? What will he cast himself, what will the mages cast on him? Your tough Bandars? Your sacred, naked warriors? If so, see next question.

- Should I use a bless? Ex: Kailasa, with your sacred warriors and archers? Your sacred summons? Apsaras are cheap, unarmoured and unarmed. Gandharvas are death incarnate, with protection 18 and insane weapons. Most have low protection, all have several attacks and good defense. So, Fire 9 to ensure that all attacks hit AND deal more damage? Or Death, minor or major, to make your sacred archers cripple and mute and disembowel your enemies? Or Water, to increase defense/to add Quickness and double their ability to maim and destroy? Or something else. Air and Astral offer some protection. Minor Blood is so-so, Major useless, and if you'd want to play with evil monkeys you should patch and try Lanka. Earth gets rid of fatigue and increases armor protection value, which is useless except on Gandharvas, who aren't worth such a heavy investment. But that's still at least three paths to choose from.

- Should I focus on my pretender's personal power, or on his scales? What scales are good? General answer:

Short answer: Order 3, Production as per your strategy, Temperature as per you nation, Growth 0, Misfortune 0 or 1 (order helps a bit), Magic 1 or 0 (depending on what you can afford). Take at least dominion 5, more would help. If all your mages are old, and get afflictions at Late Winter, take Growth 3 the next time you play them.

Short answer for Kailasa:
Order 3, Sloth 1, Heat 2, Death 1, Fortune 0, Magic 1.

That was the SHORT answer. Now, for the LONG one...

Order: money is ALWAYS good. Turmoil is rarely worth it. Order is always worth it. However, Luck is very fun, and once you know what you can do you can survive without Order (which makes Fortune less effective) or even Turmoil (which helps it).
Production: What are you going to focus on. Unarmoured archers, stealthy monkeys and sacred troops? Take neutral or negative Sloth. Bandar Warriors? About even in gold/resources, so neutral scale might work. 10 gp/20+ res infantries of Middle Era Ulm? Production 3 all the way.
Temperature: Take the one your nation prefers. If you want the points, you can go one higher without major hit on your economy - seasonal variance will even most of it out.
Growth: it will make old mages stay alive. It will also help in a long game. Are you going to use either? Do you have need for lots of supplies, and can you use Nature to help there? Remember Growth only works in your own dominion. Ex. 1: Kailasa has no old mages (thanks to nature magic), and you don't PLAN to stay alive long when you're still grasping the ropes. You can make huge armies quickly, so you might come short on supplies, though. If you want to focus on smaller armies of elite units (sacreds, armored bandar, commanders kitted out as thugs, vanaras (not markatas) as archer support), you might even want to take Death.
Fortune: Luck is good. Bad luck is bad. Neither is guaranteed to pay off. I'd suggest not taking Misfortune early on, just to avoid independent armies from taking your hard-earned provinces from you. After that, remember that big Order goes with small Misfortune, and big Fortune with small Turmoil, with both at max if you are really testing your luck. Misfortune 3 can be really bad, but Turmoil 3 is VERY poor when compared to Order 3.
Magic: Magic 1 is good, Magic 3 is good. Magic 2 isn't worth much. Comparatively, Drain 2 isn't that much worse than Drain 1, but Drain 3 is lot worse than Drain 2. The bonus is research points per mage, and you should have lots of mages researching once you have started conquering provinces.

Kill spells: For Evocation, Fire has Fire Darts, then Fireball/Flare, then Falling Fires; Water has Falling Frost, which scales with caster's power very well; Earth has Blade Wind and Earthquake, and multipath spells based on earth give Magma Eruption, Rain of Stones and Gifts from Heaven; Air has Lightning Bolt, Thunder Strike and such, and always ignores armor. Astral has kill-spells in Thaumaturgy, Death is more about summoning (Conjuration) or creating (Enchantment) undead but does have few tricks (Evocation spells Shadow Blast and Shadow Eruption are nasty) and Nature is hard to define.

As for a monster god, Wyrm with no magic always works, and in general regeneration, rejuvenation and/or good protection are the most important things to remember. If you want to learn more, ask about super combatants. They don't have to be gods, summons often make the best supercombatants. The idea is to give them as many protective abilities as possible, and one or few ways of killing lots of things effectively. Protection, regeneration, luck (from spell, or items Pendant of Luck (misc), Lucky Coin (shield) or Faithful (sword)), lots of hitpoints and one or more of: high Fear (inherent and/or Horror Helmet), area-of-effect attack (items like Fire Brand, Cold Brand), damaging aura (fire shield from spell or item Charcoal Shield, Breath of Winter from spell or item Rime Hauberk, very strong inherent chill or heat aura, inherent poison aura)...

As for blessing... depends on the troop. Good defence (Vanheims, Kailasa)? Water, and Water 9 is doubly good with multiple attacks. Good armor? Earth 9 helps them stay alive. Many attacks, or good at surviving but bad at killing? Fire 9. Others are often only supportive blesses. Minor Air helps numerous, deadly but unshielded sacreds against missiles (Kailasa, Marignon). Air 9 is too situational. Minor Death is good when Fire 9 works, but maims instead of destroying. Death 9 is like Fire 9, only better against very heavy armor or Abysians, and without the attack bonus. Minor Nature is good for tough units with lots of hp. Nature 9 is for the biggest, nastiest, toughest units with boatloads of hp, or to make natural berserk better (in somewhat tough units). Minor Earth helps heavily armored troops, and Earth 9 helps armored troops further. It's always good, but turtling in battle won't usually kill your enemies. Earth 9 is expensive if all you're going to do with it is to let mages kill stuff; now Abysian Burning Ones with their Fire Shield... they kill people when they are hit! Minor Astral is always good, but only worth it to protect an investment; i.e. a support bless. Astral 9 is even more so. Blood 4 is so-so, and higher than that is very weak for bless puroses. Water 9 Fire 9 is doubly good, because quickness increases number of attacks, and all attacks benefit from fire, see Kailasa, Vanheims. Fire 9 Astral 9 makes cheap, easily massed units deadly and lets them survive for a while, see Middle Era Ermor's ethereal spearmaidens and Middle/Late Marignon's cheap-as-dirt Flagellants. Nature 4-9 Earth 9 makes tough units very hard to kill, see Pangaea's Centaur Warriors, Niefelheim/Jotunheim giants, Fomoria Giants.
Remember that when going for a 9, starting from 3 is MUCH better than starting from 2. Always try out different options. 1 fire/1 nature pretender is MORE expensive than a 2 fire pretender when you're going for Fire 9 Nature 4.
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