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  #1  
Old August 24th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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Tyr_Doshan Tyr_Doshan is offline
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Default MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

New to the threads, long time player of Dom III. Let me start with a quick intro: My original infatuation with MA Ulm was primarily spurred by the similarity of the nation with a fantasy setting I've been hand designing for quite a few years now: Rugged human beings clad in black metal armor, brought up in an extremely harsh environment, no concept of light infantry, minimal concept of supporting magic, resource heavy (both in what they use and what they can produce). It was love at first sight and I've been playing the guys pretty extensively with breaks to play other nations from time to time.

Moving along. This is the pretender I tend to use. I am well aware that it will be considered an unorthodox (if not outright moronic) design, but I play for fun and have yet to truly indulge myself in what would likely be a short lived MP game.

Pretender Type: Red Dragon
Magic: Fire 7, Earth 4
Domain Strength 4, 2 Order, 3 Production, 2 Heat, 3 Drain.

I cannot rightly explain my strategy with this particular creature, as it very often depends on the nature of the map itself, what the settings of the game are and if I am playing with human friends. Rest assured there is a lot of gem hunting and Black Priest interrogation involved early on.

Any and all critique is welcome.

P.S.: I recently installed Dom III on a Vista equipped laptop. When I attempt to play the game I cannot get beyond the starting menu as nothing beyond a chunk of the desert backdrop seems to render.. no words, no menu options, not even the sky or trees. Anyone have any clue what's going on?
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  #2  
Old August 24th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyr_Doshan View Post
New to the threads, long time player of Dom III. Let me start with a quick intro: My original infatuation with MA Ulm was primarily spurred by the similarity of the nation with a fantasy setting I've been hand designing for quite a few years now: Rugged human beings clad in black metal armor, brought up in an extremely harsh environment, no concept of light infantry, minimal concept of supporting magic, resource heavy (both in what they use and what they can produce). It was love at first sight and I've been playing the guys pretty extensively with breaks to play other nations from time to time.

Moving along. This is the pretender I tend to use. I am well aware that it will be considered an unorthodox (if not outright moronic) design, but I play for fun and have yet to truly indulge myself in what would likely be a short lived MP game.

Pretender Type: Red Dragon
Magic: Fire 7, Earth 4
Domain Strength 4, 2 Order, 3 Production, 2 Heat, 3 Drain.

I cannot rightly explain my strategy with this particular creature, as it very often depends on the nature of the map itself, what the settings of the game are and if I am playing with human friends. Rest assured there is a lot of gem hunting and Black Priest interrogation involved early on.

Any and all critique is welcome.
Welcome to the forums! I'll try to give you some advice without completely changing your pretender or design choices. The dragons are certainly not popular choices for optimized play, but hey they're fun. Players who are more MP oriented will give you more drastic advice to be sure.

First, you Fire Dragon has Fire 7. The bless benefits come at 4, 6, 8, and 10 so I would at least drop it to 6. However, Ulm is not a bless nation and on a pretender I doubt your Fire magic needs to be above 4, which is where you can forge a fire booster.

Your dominion strength is very low. Not a big deal in SP to be honest, but in multiplayer you'd need at least 6.

Your scales are thematic, but Heat 2 is not ideal. There is a recent post that calculates the income penalty for different heat levels and if you take Heat 2 you may as well take Heat 3. But your troops will be melting in their armor and fatiguing out like crazy so I would actually remove it if possible. Heat 1 at the maximum.

Personally I take Order 3 in pretty much every game as income is king. You probably can't afford this without dropping your production, so it's up to you whether you want to keep the theme of Ulm or go for a little more optimization.

There are two guides for MA Ulm on the wiki here: http://dom3.servegame.com/wiki/Forges_of_Ulm

They will certainly give you better optimization but without regard to theme.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 09:34 PM

13lackGu4rd 13lackGu4rd is offline
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

I'm not sure "unorthodox" is the right word. "moronic" I can't say, as I have yet to get inside your head and figure out what is it you're trying to do with this pretender design. yes, it definitely does seem "moronic" on first site, but maybe it is some clever design that allows you to achieve the impossible, to dominate the world with MA Ulm!

so anyway, without understanding what you're trying to do here, F7E4 on a Red Dragon. hmmm... Red Dragon is an early game SC without useful item slots for later on. you have full slots on his human form which is a mere mage. both Fire and Earth are accessible on your Master Smiths, the only mage you get to work with as MA Ulm. so taking both of these paths on your pretender seems very counter intuitive and counter productive. moreover fire is 1 of the weakest magic paths, not much to do late game with fire7 besides spamming Flames from the Sky or something, which isn't a very good use for your pretender... earth4 is useful, and in mage form you can theoretically boost it up to 7(earth boots, staff of elemental mastery, ring of wizardy) which opens up all the good earth globals(earth blood deep well and forge of the ancients). however this can be easily achieved by a Troll King or something, starts with E3, a single empowerment and you're at 4, same as your pretender and same slots.

so, you got an awake SC pretender with MA Ulm, the standard and rather newbish path, but alright. your magic choice as I've said above is awkward. now, your scales... Order2 should certainly be 3, that's like your most important scale throughout the game... Productivity3 helps your early game expansion, but than again, you got an awake SC Dragon for it... later on when you get some more forts up Productivity scale loses a lot of its value, as gold becomes the bottleneck not resources. Heat2 on a human nation without any temperature preference nor heat immune units is ill advised. it's not like you crucially need the points either, you've just wasted them elsewhere. Drain3 is ignored by your main researchers(Master Smiths) and it improves your troops' otherwise horrid MR as long as they're in your dominion, so for MA Ulm it's a sound choice. Dom4 however is way too low for these scales to really affect you, and leave you dangerously vulnerable to dom kill strategies, especially without the ability to blood sacrifice nor solid priests to even preach. also, if you want an awake SC pretender might as well give him awe with dom9, but than again the Dragons start with dom1, so getting it all the way to 9 is way too expensive.

so, to conclude this gigantic wall of text, as far as I can figure your build it's completely useless. however, maybe I'm missing something which you can enlighten us on, say why exactly you choose this very awkward build and what you expect to achieve from it.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

The short answer to all of this is that, as an SP player (so far), I've been more or less focused on theme and personal enjoyment of the game rather than over elaborate strategies and very fine tuned Pretender creation. I am aware that dragons are more or less total crap as SCs (Not enough item slots or natural powers to compensate for the lack of item slots), the magic selection is purely thematic (Fire + Earth = Volcanic theme.. I enjoy making provincial mountains pop like lava filled zits on a 15 year old's face) and the low strength Dominion comes specifically from the fact the AI doesn't tend to attempt dominion kill.

The more strategic choices derive from the specific weaknesses/strengths of Ulm. Drain 3 is an obvious choice due to the aforementioned fact that the researchers of Ulm are immune to it. Productivity 3 stems from the fact Ulm's units are resource intensive to an extreme.. I've usually got enough gold to handle whatever comes my way, but resources always seem to be an issue.. which is how it should be with these hulking Black Knight wannabes. The heat exists merely to offset the cost of Order, plus I also tend to consider the fact that late game with high construction means a ton of mass produced, unliving machines will fill the ranks of my legions. I don't think they care about the heat.. not sure.

For the most part the pretender exists for my personal enjoyment and I certainly would expect to see it eaten alive in an MP game. I guess the one advantage it might produce is against this elephant weakness I've heard of.

Naturally I would scrap this design in MP and work on something entirely different.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:29 PM

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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

If it is for personal enjoyment and RP reasons go for it. Who cares if it is MP viable.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:29 PM

Eximius Sus Eximius Sus is offline
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

PS: However there is a certain part of me wonders why post it then?
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

Namely because I wanted to know how it would look if I took it into MP. As I suspected, it's not a wise choice.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

It wouldn't be a Red Dragon. MA Ulm has a lot of good basic troops and has no need for an SC-type pretender chassis. Immortal, Rainbow, or Immobile pretenders offer a wide array of interesting choices. Forge Lord is thematic and MP viable.

There are no sacreds other than priest/mages, so a bless strategy is not incredibly viable. The best possibilities involve Earth-4 through Earth-10, but those can be quite expensive--works well with the Forge Lord, Master Druid, and Master Alchemist.

All of Ulm's Mages have only Fire, Air, Earth, and Astral. Access to Astral is limited. This means that you may want a pretender with paths that you can't get like Water, Big Astral, Death (Special Emphasis here), Nature, and Blood. Nature and Water can be bootstrapped by independents, and Blood can be acquired relatively easily by empowering.

Ulmish troops require a lot of resources, so you can easily squeeze in Production scales. Order is always good.

I don't think Cold/Heat are a good idea for Ulm--they have high basic encumbrance.

I would say an Awake/Sleeping Rainbow (or possibly a sleeping Master Lich) with diverse paths (2-4) and high astral and death would be my choice.

Charge down Construction and Evocation--Iron Blizzard massacres units that don't have shields, and Ulm is good at equipping thugs. Conjuration for alternative thug chassis if you don't like what's available in Construction (basically Golem, Poison Golem @9, Mechanical Giant under End Game Diversity Mod). If you are looking to get the Forge/EBDW or make Mech Giants you might want E4.

These are just ideas, I've never played MA Ulm.
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Last edited by Verjigorm; August 24th, 2010 at 11:58 PM..
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Old August 25th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

I think it's perfectly fine to play around with completely thematic builds. You often discover unexpected advantages. Like yeah, it's not a comprehensive strategy but suddenly you play a battle with mechanical men and discover your dragon can throw down heat from hell and curse of stones and maybe have your first fatigue based win. And then you've learned something.

I think a Rainbow is probably the optimal choice, along the lines described in Baalz MA Ulm guide.

But if we for fun assume we like the idea of a sinister dragon worshipped by steelclad rough cut germanics, and still want a more viable build. I'd suggest switching to a green one, something like this:

Green dragon.
Earth 4 Nature 5
dom 9 Order 2(or3) Production 2(or1) heat or cold 3 misfortune 2 drain 3

That gives you an awake SC with fear+awe combo, 22 protection who can self buff earthpower against faigue issues and cast personal regeneration to avoid afflictions and be hard to kill. Regeneration also combos well with high HP buffed by high dominion.

It also gives you a minor but viable bless to make your priest smiths thuggable, plus nature is a much more useful path for diversity and some nice globals.

With this build your first research goal would be Ench 2 for personal regeneration.

Edit: Yeah one more thing. The green dragon is also fun because the mage form is a master druid, who can sneak into enemy lands and make surprise attacks by changing shape. Not very optimal but very entertaining.

Last edited by Fantomen; August 25th, 2010 at 04:37 AM..
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Old August 25th, 2010, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: MA Ulm Pretender, because I'm crazy

Try ti use this:
awake Prince of Death.
Dom 9
Order 3
Prod 3
Growth 2
Mistfortune 2
Drain 3
With this, you can expand and build castles like crazy. It is really good for small maps.
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