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  #81  
Old June 12th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

I'm testing them now. I have played with them before, but not frequently. I like the Colossal Fetish, Machaka's unique pretender, so I took this:

Colossal Fetish (Body 1346, 120 hits)
Magic: Earth 6 Astral 4 Death 3 Nature 4
Dominion 4
Scales: Order 3 Sloth 3 Heat 3 Growth 3
Dormant

I know that my basic units either (a) suck or (b) are too expensive to be truly useful, but I also know that I have these things:

1: Hunter Lord: This little thug has a base protection of 20 without making gear, 14 hp, and 13/13 attack/defense which seems like a good thug chassis.

2: Bane Spider: Another thug chassis, but stealthy and has magic weapons to start. 14 hp, 18 protection, attack 13, but has awful defense skill, 9.

1: Black Sorcerer: 2f2ed +110 fedn. Fire/Earth mages are offensive battle mages. 1/4 can spam undead.

2: Sorcerer: fd2n + fedn. This would be our defensive battle mage casting nature buffs. Like the Black Sorcerer, 1/4 can spam undead.

Why I took these scales:

Order-3: I always take Order-3 unless I'm working with a nation that gets lots of free units or doesn't need money or that uses scales to attack (LA Ermor for example).

Sloth-3: I'm not planning on using the natives extensively except as cannon fodder.

Heat-3: 40 Extra points for pretender over my preferred heat scale and further boosts the power of my evocation magic.

Growth-3: Keeps my old mages alive longer. They have fire magic.

What I see immediately as far as research targets:

I have Earth, Nature, Fire, and Death magic and my units suck, so I want to get thugs and summoned units on the floor ASAP. I don't have any death gem income.

What is the obvious solution?

Construction-5: Mandragora and Manikin can be summoned by Sorcerers and I get level 4 magic items to equip my thugs.

Alteration-5: If I have stronger nature magic opposition to taking the Mother Oak, I can't go for it, so if I have Man, Pangaea or Oceania on the map, I am unlikely to be able to take it. If, however, none of these 3 nations are present, then I will have an even shot at taking the Oak, and Alteration-5 gives us Wooden/Iron Warriors as well.

Enchantment-3: Skelespam, Regeneration, Heal.

Evocation-3: Magma Bolts, Sleep cloud.

Those are the 4 immediate targets I can see, but I don't early evocation for Machaka. Which one should I start with? Let's see....

Alteration-5: If I have an even shot against the other nations (i.e. no nations with 3N or more basic income), I can take a pretender with Nature-5, to start, but in MP, taking the Oak that early is going to make me a target for destruction, and I will have nothing to protect myself other than Wooden/Iron warriors and my crappy units which I cannot produce because of the Sloth.

Construction-5: I get 5 different things to summon, 3 mass summons: Clockwork Horrors, Manikin, Mandragora, and two non-healing lifeless, mindless thugs: Wooden Construct and Crusher, all of which I am sure to be able to field depending on how my site searching goes. I also get Level 4 magic items to equip thugs. The non-heals are only useful defensively since I need to keep them in range of a lab preferably at the lab site, or begrudgingly within 1 turn-step.

Enchantment-3/Evocation-3: This one is an easy target and I won't have a problem hitting it, but I don't want to go for it first because it means taking my mages off of research to go into the field, but of these two, I tend to favor Enchantment-3 because of the big bonuses I get Regeneration and Heal in addition to my Skelespam for my recruit-anywhere Sorcerers which I much prefer to attack magic for my cap-only Black Sorcerers. Because I'm using thugs, short range, small aoe external buff spells have heightened usefulness.

So, I'm probably going to do this as my opening:

Construction-5
Alteration-3
Enchantment-3


Now I have well-buffed thugs which is what I'm going to need to survive, and I'll be able to equip my fetish well so that no one will be able to survive very long in my dominion under his 0-Enc SC feet.

My next target will be to get a thug chassis that I don't have to recruit--the Sleeper, or:

Conjuration-3

which also nets me Summon Earthpower and Phoenix Power which brings my Black Sorcerers into their element, so our next target can now be:

Evocation-6

Falling Fire, Magma Eruption, Bane Fire, Earthquake, Stream of Life, Poison Cloud, Blade Wind, etc... Evocation has now become useful, and now that I have Sleepers and Black Servants, there is no reason for me to hire any recruitable thugs, so it's Black Sorcerer every turn instead of just most turns. By this time I should have a modest death gem income at least unless I was very unlucky on my site searches.

Now I will start shifting my thugs from Hunter Lord/Bane Spider to Sleeper/Black Servant, and if no one else has taken it yet, I can push the Mother Oak with confidence in my defenses, otherwise, I'm going to try for Construction 7 to 9 and the Earth Blood Deep Well (Enchantment 7) and Forge of Ancients and the associated benefits of high construction (Mechanical Men which I can summon lots of and Golems that my pretender can make), and once I get 9, Iron Dragons should be easy to find with my 3E Black Sorcerers and Poison Golems with the 2D versions. If I have enough death gems, I can go for Spectre, Mound Fiend, and Wraith Lord chassis as an alternative (Conjuration 6/7), but Lichcraft and Ritual of Rebirth are in Enchantment, and since I'm in the business of making thugs, I should have at least a couple on the leader board.


Keep in mind that all of this is untested and theoretical.
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Last edited by Verjigorm; June 12th, 2010 at 12:05 PM..
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  #82  
Old June 12th, 2010, 12:39 PM

Rookierookie Rookierookie is offline
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Spider riders cost that much for a good reason.
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  #83  
Old June 12th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samulus View Post
PD is atrocious.
I have seen Machaka PD commit mass suicide and rout before the enemy did deal a single point of damage.

The enemy thug was buffing up. Machaka PD rushes forwards to contact. The second wave of the PD rush forwards, chucks the javelins at the backs of the first wave. Machaka troops rout. The enemy thug was still buffing up when the PD had legged off from the field...
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  #84  
Old June 12th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rookierookie View Post
Spider riders cost that much for a good reason.
Well, the "Kill rider, free spider" mantra works well, too.

When another nation spends 30 gold on a unit they get:

Arcoscephale: Chariot (40g) (trample)
Ermor: Shadow Vestal (35g) (ethereal)
Pythium: Emerald Guard (23g) 17 pro 13hp 13atk 15def
Marignon: Royal Guard (30g)
Mictlan: Jaguar Warrior (25g) magic weapon sacreds
TC: Imperial Horseman (32g)
C'Tis: Sacred Serpent (30g)
Vanheim: Skinshifter (25g)
Jotunheim: Most of Jotunheim's units are around 30g
Bandar Log: White One (23g) sacred
Shinuyama: Dai Bakemono (30g)
Eriu: Daoine Sidhe (35g)

Really?

30g and more expensive units eat upkeep quickly. However, the reason that I can take a Dormant SC pretender is that, for the short term, I can use the spider riders (which, as you say, are nice) for the early game until I can get my thug farm operational. As the game progresses, my spiders will become less and less viable since the upkeep will start to limit both their population and cramp my magical expansion. Since regular spider riders don't have a high resource cost, I can hire lots of them even with my Sloth scales.

Now if I wanted to do Hunters, even with Sloth-3 I can still hire about 4 of them per turn from my capitol once I've captured my neighbors.

I'm not hiring any of the high resource spider knights, though... they have a lot of attacks, sure, but I'd need production scales to get them and they cost more resources than the hunters and for just 1gp more upkeep (3.33 vs 4.16).
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Last edited by Verjigorm; June 12th, 2010 at 01:56 PM..
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  #85  
Old June 12th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samulus View Post
PD is atrocious.
I have seen Machaka PD commit mass suicide and rout before the enemy did deal a single point of damage.

The enemy thug was buffing up. Machaka PD rushes forwards to contact. The second wave of the PD rush forwards, chucks the javelins at the backs of the first wave. Machaka troops rout. The enemy thug was still buffing up when the PD had legged off from the field...
All the more reason to go for Mechanical Militia, another Construction benefit (not that I would necessarily go that route). Defense with many castles might be better, but unfortunately, Machaka is a Fortress/Fortified City nation so they don't get cheap castles like Man.

Machaka also gets the Eye of the lord, so I can boost tax revenues by patrolling by 10-20% (again as much Order-3 scales), and they're almost as good as the judges of LA Man, so money shouldn't be a problem. This also has the added benefit of making it very difficult to spy on me... Something I very much like. 10 PD and an Eye and you've got a nice counter-intelligence operation in every province worth gold farming. Putting a few spider riders, free spiders, or even just some indie heavy infantry would shore up the defenses.


Which actually brings up a point that I missed....

Machaka is a patroller nation which means that it should have massive tax revenues. This means that I can hire lots of high-gold units which means that Spider Riders (still not Knights) are viable basic forces and I can still take Sloth-3. I still think that Machaka will need to use Fortresses for primary defense without a mod to their PD.

If PD was modded to be primarily hoplites and spiders, they would be more viable.

The problem with a castling strategy is that since I actually like my recruitable sacred, unlike LA Man, I can't castle every square surrounding my capitol without harming my Hunter production.
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Last edited by Verjigorm; June 12th, 2010 at 02:23 PM..
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  #86  
Old June 12th, 2010, 04:09 PM

kianduatha kianduatha is offline
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
30g and more expensive units eat upkeep quickly. However, the reason that I can take a Dormant SC pretender is that, for the short term, I can use the spider riders (which, as you say, are nice) for the early game until I can get my thug farm operational. As the game progresses, my spiders will become less and less viable since the upkeep will start to limit both their population and cramp my magical expansion.
Ah, spiders without the rider have no upkeep. Spam the everloving daylights out of them.
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  #87  
Old June 12th, 2010, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

Ok, I just ran two tests, and the spider's riders die very, very easily leaving a much better and no upkeep spider behind afterward, so what you end up with is a bunch of upkeep free spiders and a whole crapload of money to keep hiring them so there is no upkeep curve on spiders as long as you keep them on the offensive. Obviously, though, if you try to save them up it won't do you very much good.

I did find a use for Machaka's infantry, too... It's hard to breach castles with a spider horde, so I hired a ton of the cheap *** infantry and had them sit in the back. That way, when I get to a fortress, I can breach it quickly.

Machaka makes formidable thugs as well having access to Charcoal shields, fire brands, regeneration and rejuvenation items. Only thing they're missing is Boots of Quickness which isn't too difficult to manage and of course items to enter the water. Both tests I got their 2S1N ape commander on hero draw as well giving me access to astral items without using my pretender. Random, I know, but still.

The Colossal Fetish is an excellent pretender chassis as well. I was thinking giving him 2 Air would provide access to both Air magic's lovely Alteration spells and a method to enter the water. However, I wasn't sure what I'd exchange for it because the 6E4N is for blessing the Hunter spiders (and the Bane Spider prophet thug that I tested and was still unsure of). I suppose sacrificing the 3D for 3A would be ok since we can get that on our regular mages and it doesn't affect the bless while making the pretender a significantly stronger SC. His immunity to most astral and death magic is pretty cool, too, btw.

That makes my next pretender:


Colossal Fetish (Body 1346, 120 hits)
Magic: Air 3 Earth 6 Astral 4 Nature 4
Dominion 4
Scales: Order 3 Sloth 3 Heat 3 Growth 3
Dormant

This also means that he'll be able to make Elemental Staves which are of great use to a F/E race.

The Sloth scales did not significantly impact the amount of Spider Riders I could hire, of course, that being limited by my gold supply which allowed for a very high spider production rate. You just have to keep putting them into the mill... Placing the "new" spiders in front of the free ones (despite the fact that they have bows) works nicely, besides, you need Machaka archers to siege castles anyway...

As for castles...

The best spots for castles in Machaka is on a Hill as the Hill Fortress is only 800 gold and you usually get pretty good production as well. The increase cost of the 1000 Fortresses that pop up frequently was insignificant. I was usually able to plop down a castle every couple turns.

Lots of forts, money, free spiders, and good thugs...

Nah, Machaka didn't get screwed...

One weird problem did occur, though. I wasn't really able to use the Colossal Fetish as an SC because he kept getting surrounded by the massive swarm of spiders (I didn't want to send him off on his own for some reason). He ended up being just a buffer--Legions of Steel and Earth Might. It probably would have been more productive to separate him into another group. I sent a little group of Mandragora with him as body guards. He can only lead 10 normal units, but he has a lot of Magical leadership.

I'm also sticking by my opening research paths. They worked out quite well.
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Last edited by Verjigorm; June 12th, 2010 at 05:26 PM..
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  #88  
Old June 12th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

I'll also add that, IMO, the critical paths for any pretender build for Machaka are:

Air
Astral


Machaka doesn't have either path available from a recruitable unit.

You need Astral to get certain protective items most notably Pendant of Luck and Amulet of Anti-magic. It also gives access to the rings of power which, I must admit, I hate trying to play without.

On CBM, Tomes of Water Breathing are path 1N, so that gives Machaka access to the water. Spiders are big, though, and that makes tomes less palatable than Barrels which, are the most gem-efficient water travel items available. Air Magic is not as useful in attacking underwater, but on an SC pretender, gives access to better buff spells. Obviously, a rainbow pretender will probably have both. Adding the ability for the pretender to forge the Staff of Elemental Mastery to further boost the Black Sorcerer's paths (since they don't do Communions) and, secondarily, the Staff of Storms is probably more useful than any benefit conveyed by water magic on the pretender.

Oh! The Black Sorcerer is the perfect caster for Earthquake as well since his transformation allows him to survive it quite nicely. ^_^
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  #89  
Old June 12th, 2010, 09:08 PM

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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

I think you are missing a few tricks with machaka. I'm doing it by heart so I may be wrong. Somewhere or other I did a test of what happens when the sorcs change shape. Find my previous tests - but so long as a caster is berserk * (yes, you WANT a berserk caster) or have elixirs of life etc. you have a buffed and angry spider.
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  #90  
Old June 12th, 2010, 09:26 PM

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Default Re: Machaka screwed more than ever ?

I'm not sure what you mean by that. What's the advantage?

If you buff the sorcerer send him berserk and "kill" him, sure, you'll have a berserk buffed spider. If you just buff him, have him attack and "kill" him, you'll have an attacking spider. Is berserk such a huge advantage here? Are you just trying to avoid a solo wounded sorcerer routing due to 75% rule or am I missing something?

I'd also be worried about fatigue on the minimally equipped spiders. Berserk adds fatigue and, in CBM, the spells use gems and thus much fatigue.

How does elixir of life interact with the second form?
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