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  #1  
Old July 30th, 2011, 10:33 AM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

OK, I tried this again, with painfully middling results. What am I doing wrong?

MA Pythium, six Theurgs (1A1W2S), first 2 scripted to cast communion master and 4x thunderstrike, the next 4 scripted to cast communion slave, 4x hold.

Net cost: 900 gold for 8 thunderstrikes, which is a bit pricey, 112.5 gold each. But if thunderstrike is such a great spell, that should be worth it, right?

Result: One half are moderately effective -- killing three enemy troops and injuring another half dozen. One quarter just miss. And one quarter hit my troops, gee, thanks!

If I'm netting 50 points of damage from this, I'm lucky. I just don't see how the 900 gold spent on these mages is a better deal than having an additional 90 troops on the battlefield. This is in the early game, of course, as always I'm trying to kill AI hordes. It seems I'm just using the wrong tool for the job; Thunderstrike appears to be more of an assassination tool for powerful units/thugs/SCs than a weapon to clear chaff off the board. Am I mistaken?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:20 PM

kasnavada kasnavada is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

My opinion : thunderstrike is not "designed" to be cast by a communion. It is designed to be cast by a solo mage. Or 15 "solo" mages, resulting in 45 thunderstrikes.

Storm staff + summon air power means that every air 2 mage will cast 2 / 3 of them. If you don't have some number of at least A2 mage it's not worth it, since at most it's going to kill 2 - 3 units and the AOE damage will be insignificant, and therefore wasted.

What I would do with Theurgs at the very beginning : cast something like mind burn 5 times. 12+ armor negating damage with 20 fatigue and 100 precision means that basically every mage you bring will kill one indy or an human troop per cast if magic resistance fails (which is most of the time against indy troops). Resulting, in your case, in about 15-20 kills for the five first turns of combat, maybe more ?

I don't know astral spells well enough to suggest more useful possibilities, which must exist.
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Last edited by kasnavada; July 30th, 2011 at 12:40 PM..
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  #3  
Old July 30th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Makinus Makinus is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

The first thing you must be aware is that playing agains the AI is a very different game than playing agains human players and tactics that are good against humans may be useless against the AI and vice-versa.

In the Thunderstrike case it is a good tactic against human players because humans rarely recruit chaff units (low hp, low protection, low price units) as they are completely useless mid-late game, so humans tend to have smaller/higher quality armies than the AI, that recruits lots of chaff. Against the AI the small number of units that Thunderstrike kills is pratically irrelevant, while against humans those same losses could cause a rout and win for you the battle.

For fighting AI hordes you must look at spells/tactics that do a small amount of damage to a large number of units, as the typical AI army will have a large number of low hp units.

In early game you should look at spells like Shockwave, however you must find a way to protect better your mages that will be closer to the enemy units... there are several ways in how to do that, either with buffs or itens... i like to use vine shields for close-in protection as they also help significantly against arrows, even giving 2 vine shields to more costly units...

Mid-game you should look at spells like Blade Wind and late-game your spells should decimate AI hordes easily as the AI simply cannot compete with humans late game in the use of the combat spells available...
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Old July 30th, 2011, 01:48 PM

Louist Louist is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

I think Thunderstrike benefits greatly from casters with the natural levels for it. All those extra levels of air magic add a point of precision, which is invaluable. A4 or A5 Eagle Kings, for example, start with 16 and 17 precision, respectively, and with how quickly they build up stars, you quickly have a bunch of 20+ precision thunderstrike spammers.

Your Theurgs, meanwhile, start with a rather meager 11, and even your more experienced one will only be hitting 14 or 15
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Old July 30th, 2011, 03:21 PM

PriestyMan PriestyMan is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

did you try aim?
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Old July 30th, 2011, 05:15 PM

iRFNA iRFNA is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

Aim is so easy to forget. Especially considering the not-so-directly explained mechanic where any precision over 10 counts as "double". So 11 precision is "actually" 12 precision.

So if you take ((listed precision in unit screen + precision modifier from attack/spell) - 5) * 2, you get the real precision being used. The range it can go without deviation is precision/2 - 2, so putting it all together:

range without deviation = (unit precision + weapon/spell precision) - 7
max degree of deviation when over range = (distance to target * 0.625) / (unit precision + weapon/spell precision)

Of course, this is quick math so I may have made a mistake.

Last edited by iRFNA; July 30th, 2011 at 05:23 PM..
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Old July 30th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Soyweiser Soyweiser is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

Also, one of the main attractions of thunderstrike is the high fatigue aoe. Blast some thunderstrikes on cavalry, and your normal troops hit them easily, high chance of a crit. And away they go.

Sadly, if you already can hit and instakill the enemy troops, the high fatigue does little.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 06:02 PM

rdonj rdonj is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

A communion with just 2 masters casting anything that isn't a single, battle-winning spell is not really an ideal situation for a communion at all. If you're trying to spam evos in communion, what you're really looking for is a situation where you can do a reverse communion and buff up the communion slaves instead of the masters. Get aim, storm power, and power of the spheres going on 2a+ mages and you'll see much more interesting results from your spellcasting efforts. Thunderstrike is very effective en masse due to the large secondary aoe, and combines very well with missile fire. But evos are always going to feel underwhelming unless they're really being spammed. Only things like shadowblast can get away with small numbers of casters.

And yes, as soyweiser says the AoE fatigue is a large part of why thunderstrike is good.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 07:04 PM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makinus View Post
For fighting AI hordes you must look at spells/tactics that do a small amount of damage to a large number of units, as the typical AI army will have a large number of low hp units.
OK, so I am using the wrong tool for the job, that's what I thought. Falling frost looks promising; I'm going to give MA Atlantis a spin and see if I can make that work. What I really liked about Thunderstrike was the range -- I could park my mages way back out of arrow range. For Falling Frost I'm going to have to park the mages right up front, ouch.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 07:05 PM

krpeters krpeters is offline
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Default Re: Thunderstrike - what am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PriestyMan View Post
did you try aim?
Remember, the AI is an idiot. If I take a turn to cast aim, I get that fewer attacks. Once the script runs out, the mages will be casing Body Ethereal, Luck, etc.
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