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  #31  
Old February 1st, 2012, 11:22 AM

Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelloid View Post
-Even spamming something simple like Enslave Mind or Soul Slay will overcome Ulmish MR, however slowly.
I don't think this is really realistic. Never mind the "only kill one dude each time" aspect, which kinda matters when their dudes kill dozens of yours at a time with Iron Darts/Blizzard ; but the baseline ulmish dude has MR12 (meaning you're already going to fail 1 times out of 2), and in any big battle it's a given that Ulm will use their battlefield-wide MR boost on top of that. It's not even that hard to research. That's 18 baseline, 19 in dominion. Yeah, you go ahead and Enslave Mind, dude, I'm sure those 3% chance to turn a single guy are going to turn the battle right around.
MR resist spells are just wasted on Rose Ulm, period. Spamming and hoping it sticks works statistically on lone SCs, but it's preposterous to suggest them as a workable solution on armies of 100+ guys at once.

That would be one point where I reckon the mod is a bit OP, TBH. Either give them high nat MR, or give them easy ways to boost normal MR, but compounding the two just shuts down like 80% of offensive sorcery magic.

Also, I find that whole "well, if they're at research level 6 you should have more than that/fight them with tons of high level summons" bit of yours just silly.
Either their level 6 spells are balanced with other level 6 spells, or they're unbalanced. Either their level 3 spells are in line with other level 3 spells, or they're unbalanced. You don't get to make a pair of level 3 spells as good and easier to cast as a level 8 one with the rationale that "no but it's OK because really we'll get it at the same time guys !".

Ulm doesn't have such a particularly horrible research rate either, I don't even know why you seem to be operating on this assumption :
* it's filthy stinking rich from O3/P3 which the latest CBM made even more lucrative than ever. You're probably going to throw G3 in there as well, because why not. Its troops are relatively cheap, superbly cost-efficient and you won't have all that many of them anyway, certainly you don't need many to expand. So Ulm should have little trouble matching Man for architecture - it's trivially easy to have 3 castles either up or in construction by the end of year 1. Most other nations are happy when they get 2, and many also need to have temples in theirs while yours can wait.
* it has a forge bonus to make lightless lanterns by the cartload, and construction is one of their priorities anyhow
* it doesn't need mage slots for expansion and
* it doesn't even need to divert that many mages from research for early or even midgame wars: One mage to drop the MR boost, one to drop the armour boost, maybe one back home to summon steel standards, you're good to go. Can the opposition hope to match or circumvent your force multiplication with just two mages of their own in the field ? At these rex levels ? Not bloody likely.

Hell, in the Heroes of Slight & Tragic game you're in the upper middle of the pack research-wise, gaining faster than the other slowpokes, and you've been stuck with only 2 forts for most of the game ! (not to mention busy conquering one and a half of your neighbours)
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  #32  
Old February 1st, 2012, 12:22 PM

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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

(err, MR 14 baseline, not 12, meaning you fail 2/3rds of the time. My mistake.)
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  #33  
Old February 1st, 2012, 04:33 PM

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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelloid View Post
The following things stand out to me:
(1) You were even in research with Ulm. As pythium. You should have been *leaps and bounds* ahead of him in research. You should have been matching his Alt6/Const6 with Alt 9, artifacts, and high conjuration or evocation. Pythium has no excuse for being only tied with Ulm in research.
Seriously?

Alt6+Const6 = 2080 RPs
Alt9+nothing else = 4600
Alt9+Const8 = 7420

The system is designed so that it is always much easier to bring several schools up to a medium level than it is to bring any one to 8/9. So Pythium maybe ought to have more research than Ulm, but 3 1/2 times the research? (and that is without the "high conjuration or evocation" part)

Quote:
(2) Fatigue spam definitely works. Specifically the 'no MR' kind. Thunderstrike is pretty good (<100 SR is not enough). But Solar Cascades is the real star here, and *every single pythium mage worth a damn* can cast it without communioning.
I love Solar Cascades spam (especially in a reverse communion). But it is 25AP stun, so maybe 15 fatigue each time you hit a typical Ulmish infantry (without factoring in the Relief that Ulm had in every big battle). It is going to take 8-10 hits, at least, to fatigue out each infantry. The problem with Cascades vs Ulm BR is that "*every single pythium mage worth a damn*" will be torn to shreds by the 2nd or 3rd round of combat.

Quote:
(3) Losing your armor? Marble Warriors/Army of Gold/Army of Lead is the best response. And you should have the research advantage to pull this off. If you're still relying on regular troops by the time Ulm has multiple 6 level research, you absolutely need at least one of these spells in every fight. Being able to drop AoG/L round 1 can also pre-empt earthquake to a large degree.
Research advantage - maybe. Earth mages? From where?

Quote:
(4) Fog Warriors. Every fight.
Absolutely. Maybe not enough to face down Iron Blizzard spam (someone would have to test that), but is sure as heck the first thing I'd go for as Pythium.

Quote:
(5) Mist of Deception could also be a pretty disruptive spell.
Very much worth trying.

Quote:
(6) Summons to use:
-Manifest Vitriol (can you tell I love alteration yet?)
-undead like Wights can work (admittedly not so much for pythium). Anything less than 100CR is going to fatigue out, and wights are pretty solid infantry otherwise.
-Mechanical Men or Living Statues make for a resilient frontline that isn't especially vulnerable to armor destruction.
-Thugs with good defense, good magic armor, and AoE weapons.
Vitriol is hard to get a mass of anyway - and only 1/4 of Pythium's cap-only mages can cast it. Maybe worth a try, but not something you could rely on by turn 30.

Mech Men / Statues - earth again. Not Pythium's strong point.


Quote:
(7) Other spells of note:
-Acid spells are relatively accessible to Pythium, and ignores all elemental resistances, and damages armor!
-Your armor getting destroyed? Return the favor! Destruction isn't full battlefield, but its still brutal.
-Magma Eruption is only half fire. The other half doesn't care about elemental resistances.
Destruction (and Magma) = that earth mage problem again. And here you hit on a huge advantage for BR Ulm. Even if you try to match the battlefield-wide Destruction w/ the regular version, you will need a bunch of casters who will all have to be positioned way forward, making them vulnerable to all kinds of bad things. The full-field Destruction from a single mage positioned safely in the way-back is simply a ridiculous advantage.
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  #34  
Old February 1st, 2012, 05:30 PM

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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Absolutely. Maybe not enough to face down Iron Blizzard spam (someone would have to test that), but is sure as heck the first thing I'd go for as Pythium.
I've always sort of assumed Arrow Fend would work against Iron Darts, because it works against Blade Wind. Never had the opportunity to try it though.
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  #35  
Old February 1st, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelloid View Post
-Even spamming something simple like Enslave Mind or Soul Slay will overcome Ulmish MR, however slowly.
I don't think this is really realistic. Never mind the "only kill one dude each time" aspect, which kinda matters when their dudes kill dozens of yours at a time with Iron Darts/Blizzard ; but the baseline ulmish dude has MR12 (meaning you're already going to fail 1 times out of 2), and in any big battle it's a given that Ulm will use their battlefield-wide MR boost on top of that. It's not even that hard to research. That's 18 baseline, 19 in dominion. Yeah, you go ahead and Enslave Mind, dude, I'm sure those 3% chance to turn a single guy are going to turn the battle right around.
MR resist spells are just wasted on Rose Ulm, period. Spamming and hoping it sticks works statistically on lone SCs, but it's preposterous to suggest them as a workable solution on armies of 100+ guys at once.
Enslave mind has the useful aspect of then making Ulm kill their own unit, or it getting to do damage to them.

And if you hand out some penetration gear, your success rate will go up noticeably. Also, communion masters will have enhanced penetration. Its not an ideal counter, but when their army is only 80 strong even slipping 10 enslave minds through over the course of a battle is a substantial hit. Would not be the first thing i tried.

Quote:
That would be one point where I reckon the mod is a bit OP, TBH. Either give them high nat MR, or give them easy ways to boost normal MR, but compounding the two just shuts down like 80% of offensive sorcery magic.
Because all the other magic i suggested that didn't involve MR is useless, clearly.

Quote:
Also, I find that whole "well, if they're at research level 6 you should have more than that/fight them with tons of high level summons" bit of yours just silly.
Either their level 6 spells are balanced with other level 6 spells, or they're unbalanced. Either their level 3 spells are in line with other level 3 spells, or they're unbalanced. You don't get to make a pair of level 3 spells as good and easier to cast as a level 8 one with the rationale that "no but it's OK because really we'll get it at the same time guys !".
Their spells are balanced *for Ulm* at level 6. Ulm is going to have Drain scales. (If nothing else, their capital is going to be at Dr3 no matter what they do, because they have a capital site which increases Drain). Their best research mage provides *5RP* per turn, and their 5RP option outside the capital isn't even sacred. Pythium can *double* that before considering scales, and *all* its mages are sacred.

And then you have to consider that, outside the capital, to get a iron blizzard caster they have to hire a 3RP Black Priest instead of a Smith.

Quote:
Ulm doesn't have such a particularly horrible research rate either, I don't even know why you seem to be operating on this assumption :
* it's filthy stinking rich from O3/P3 which the latest CBM made even more lucrative than ever. You're probably going to throw G3 in there as well, because why not. Its troops are relatively cheap, superbly cost-efficient and you won't have all that many of them anyway, certainly you don't need many to expand. So Ulm should have little trouble matching Man for architecture - it's trivially easy to have 3 castles either up or in construction by the end of year 1. Most other nations are happy when they get 2, and many also need to have temples in theirs while yours can wait.
There's no reason Pythium can't run as scales either. If you aren't running scales as Pythium, you should be getting other benefits to compensate - benefits you chose over having those scales.

Quote:
* it has a forge bonus to make lightless lanterns by the cartload, and construction is one of their priorities anyhow
....And pythium can make lanterns and owl quills. I might note that MA Ulm has no native F income, and rarely gets better than F1 to enable site searching.

Quote:
* it doesn't need mage slots for expansion and
No one does?

Quote:
* it doesn't even need to divert that many mages from research for early or even midgame wars: One mage to drop the MR boost, one to drop the armour boost, maybe one back home to summon steel standards, you're good to go. Can the opposition hope to match or circumvent your force multiplication with just two mages of their own in the field ? At these rex levels ? Not bloody likely.
Fog Warriors would go a long way.

Heck, a pile of crossbows would go a long way.

Quote:
Hell, in the Heroes of Slight & Tragic game you're in the upper middle of the pack research-wise, gaining faster than the other slowpokes, and you've been stuck with only 2 forts for most of the game ! (not to mention busy conquering one and a half of your neighbours)
Yeah, I don't understand that at all. Its inconceivable to me that I'm not trailing in research. I think the explanation is more in what everyone else is not doing, and less in what I'm doing. I've even had to commit substantial mage forces to combat. So something is weird in that game, and it has nothing to do with Ulm having a stellar research rate. (Seriously, i'm not even to Const 6 yet!)

Anyway, I would reasonably expect Pythium to have double Ulm's RP at *every stage of the game* given both positions are about equal otherwise.

The only reason i'm not a flattened pancake is because my aggressors found themselves attacked from other sides. I haven't been conquering anyone - i've been defending myself from aggression. Gained a whole 2 provinces relative to what i had initially. And 3 of my provinces have basically zero population thanks to Sylvania (including their capital and another province that had >10k people before).
---

Anyway, Ulm's infantry are supposed to be able to be made ridiculously strong. *That's its endgame*. There are *piles* of answers to infantry.
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  #36  
Old February 1st, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Absolutely. Maybe not enough to face down Iron Blizzard spam (someone would have to test that), but is sure as heck the first thing I'd go for as Pythium.
I've always sort of assumed Arrow Fend would work against Iron Darts, because it works against Blade Wind. Never had the opportunity to try it though.
Yes, it works.

Also, tower shields work ok. (Thugs or even mages with magic tower shields or other high parry shields in the face of armor destruction would work)
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  #37  
Old February 1st, 2012, 07:34 PM

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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

This war was in the early thirties, and my research was highly unulmish for the following reasons:
-I had conquered Acro, large parts of my Domain did not have Drain Scales, and I let my experienced mages research there. I think my research at that time was on quite in the middle of the pack.
-I took the special pretender awake, he had like 8 or 9 research points from turn 1, in turn 30ish, these add up to around 300 RP points, or level 3.5 in one school.
-Pythium used very large communions to attack Mictlan, talking about 50ish commanders (split over 2-3 armies). I was using geography to ammas my mages only when I needed them.
-I found early Air and had a fair amount of air research boosters.
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  #38  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 04:20 AM

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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrelloid View Post
Because all the other magic i suggested that didn't involve MR is useless, clearly.
I did specify sorcery magic, which is the main strength of quite a few nations. If you nix that, you basically screw those nations over by forcing them to play with stuff they're not good at using research that's probably not in their best interest to go for, all other things being equal. IOW you're forcing them to play specifically to counter you instead of what's in their own interest. That's bad balance.

Quote:
Their spells are balanced *for Ulm* at level 6. Ulm is going to have Drain scales. (If nothing else, their capital is going to be at Dr3 no matter what they do, because they have a capital site which increases Drain). Their best research mage provides *5RP* per turn, and their 5RP option outside the capital isn't even sacred. Pythium can *double* that before considering scales, and *all* its mages are sacred.
That's exactly my point.
If you give Ulm level 6 spells that are equivalent in relative power with spells others get at 9 magic (which is over *3* times as many RPs), on the (IMO flawed) assumption that both will get there at the same time, you've basically removed Ulm's research disadvantage, or Pythium's research edge, from the game.

Or to put it another way, you've made Ulm as powerful at one rex level 6 and 2 rex 3s as other nations are at *multiple* level 7+, which nullifies part of the point of being able to race up the research tree in the first place.
Since Ulm not only has that, but also superior troops that'll dominate the early and midgame battlefield, and probably the late game one as well because even typical "screw your army" moves like a Master Enslave with all pen boosters and a communion from hell isn't likely to make such a big dent in a late game Ulmish blob...yeah

I mean, there's already quite the hubhub about vanilla Ulm being top tier or borderline OP in the latest CBMs. And your nation makes CBM vanilla Ulm look like non CBM EA Agartha.

As for other nations' mages being sacred, that only really matters in the very long run. In the shorter run it means having to plop down a 400g temple everywhere (how many turns of slashed mage upkeep does that cover, paid upfront too ?). Since Ulm's big spells come in the short run... yeah.

Quote:
And then you have to consider that, outside the capital, to get a iron blizzard caster they have to hire a 3RP Black Priest instead of a Smith.
So ? To be able to rain as much death as long as a Blizzard spammer can, Pythium has to recruit communicants which have no RP *at all*.

Quote:
There's no reason Pythium can't run as scales either. If you aren't running scales as Pythium, you should be getting other benefits to compensate - benefits you chose over having those scales.
What benefits ? Sacreds ? That's a laugh, considering the kind of tools BR Ulm has to deal with those.

Quote:
....And pythium can make lanterns and owl quills. I might note that MA Ulm has no native F income, and rarely gets better than F1 to enable site searching.
Not as many of them per gem. As for the income, natively Pythium won't have much F either, and Owl Quills come with a severe opportunity cost on A gems.

Quote:
Fog Warriors would go a long way.
Fog Warriors is a level *7* spell. That's 1760 research points (need Thaum 1 too) if they beeline for it. BR Ulm can have its two go-to spells in 400. You said you expected Pythium to have double the research rate ? They'd still only be halfway to FW, with almost nothing to show for it on the field. Yay Phantasmal Army ! Aren't Ghost Wolves just da bomb ?

And what about nations that aren't Pythium ? Or are you balancing against an optimal play by one of the best vanilla nations ? What should, say, Ermor do ? Forego raising skellies entirely and hope to have FW up before your dedicated undead killers (or just the flails) show up ?

Besides, Fog Warriors on its own wouldn't save Pythium. Its legionnaires still won't break 25 armour any time soon with their shortswords while steadily getting mulched themselves. Thunderspam would, but then a) that's even moar research and b) that's a lot more mages out in the field than 2, which slows down research, which hurts them a lot long term.

As for mass crossbows, Ulm has tower shields, indy crossbows are not all that common in the MA, hard to mass unless you plop down castles specifically for them (and don't have sloth), and mapmove 1. Ulm for its part only has to bring a hundred or so Lion Tribe shortbows on "fire archers" to blow them away.

Quote:
No one does?
Sacred nations do.

Quote:
Yeah, I don't understand that at all. Its inconceivable to me that I'm not trailing in research. I think the explanation is more in what everyone else is not doing, and less in what I'm doing. I've even had to commit substantial mage forces to combat. So something is weird in that game, and it has nothing to do with Ulm having a stellar research rate. (Seriously, i'm not even to Const 6 yet!)
I didn't say they had a stellar one. But it's not as *OMG horrible*, which you seem to be assuming.

5 RP per castle is about as good as most other nations have it without magic scales, except for those nations that have superb mages to compensate for the fact that their troops are utter crap (Bandar, Shinu anyone ?) and thus need the research edge to even be able to compete because large numbers of their mages will be busy shoring up armies at any given time. You have 5 RP with 120 cool free design points to show for it. And if any of your neighbours is running Magic, it's yowza time for you because you can let his dom into your lands anyway. Don't need temples in your forts, remember ?

As for "they must be doing something wrong", Myconos has been turtling the whole game, is a pretty OK research nation running Magic 1 scales, has never been in a war and still doesn't have twice as much research as you do. With 4 castles to your 2. Red Woods doesn't either with *6*.
Admittedly I've been forcing a handful of their mages to patrol, and killed about 20 of them too. Still, that should tell you something.

I must have said this far too many times already, but you're seriously underestimating Ulm's research, or overestimating that of other nations. Or maybe you're just too used to playing with folks who'll take Magic 3 all day, everyday, I dunno. But then it'd be poor design to balance against that.

Quote:
The only reason i'm not a flattened pancake is because my aggressors found themselves attacked from other sides. I haven't been conquering anyone - i've been defending myself from aggression. Gained a whole 2 provinces relative to what i had initially. And 3 of my provinces have basically zero population thanks to Sylvania (including their capital and another province that had >10k people before).
How do you figure ? You've got twice as much land as any other nation besides me, and I've taken over all of Sylvania's lands plus some of RW's on a transitory basis. Doesn't really matter how many that is above what you had when Sylvania tried to be clever - it's still a large advantage.

As for "I only live because somebody attacked my aggressors", that's what typically happens isn't it ? Not that you weren't holding your own against both Sylvania and Malaz at the same time. You probably would have been proper screwed with the fairies joining the fray, I'll give you that. But handily winning a 2-on-1 is already pretty remarkable in and of itself, no ?

Quote:
Anyway, Ulm's infantry are supposed to be able to be made ridiculously strong. *That's its endgame*. There are *piles* of answers to infantry.
I agree. The problem is that right now it's not its endgame in your nation. It's its early game. It's its rush game, fer pete's sake !

There is not a single MA nation out there that can handle hordes of 25 prot regulars without some *serious* research and mage-time investment. Of those, you've made sure to eliminate quite a few with the super MR, the relief (admittedly the Steel Standards come a little bit later, which gives things like skellyspam a very brief window of opportunity, if a huge cost in mage-turns) and spies that come with barely an opportunity cost.

To be able to match your troops pound for pound, others will need summons, which cost gems and mage turns that will always be in much tighter supply than gold, *and* some good battlefield support to boot.

As for the late game, your armies will still rock everyone's favourite summons' faces with weapons of sharpness, battlefield luck, battlefield relief, battlefield berserk, battlefield elemental resists, battlefield enemy-only destruction (only the last one costing gems on a per battle basis, natch, so no hope for your enemies of leveraging your extreme reliance on a single gem type by forcing you to spend lots of them in skirmishes)... *while also having a massive advantage when it comes to SCs* because you can gear yours like it ain't no thang and the Iron Angel is basically designed to make SCs' lives miserable if the recruitable cavalry thugs weren't quite enough for your tastes.

Yeah, I don't see no balance problem there !
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  #39  
Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

Well the Hall of fame does tell you something about the strength of Iron Darts spam and thus Ulmish mages in general. Of course some is because you killed a lot of undead but it is still impressive. And with Iron Blizzard it'll get even better.



And I have to agree with above posters that Black Rose Ulm like CBM 1.92 MA Ulm is OP and should be toned down in some areas.

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Old February 2nd, 2012, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Ulm: Order of the Black Rose v0.301b

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Originally Posted by GFSnl View Post
Well the Hall of fame does tell you something about the strength of Iron Darts spam and thus Ulmish mages in general. Of course some is because you killed a lot of undead but it is still impressive. And with Iron Blizzard it'll get even better.



And I have to agree with above posters that Black Rose Ulm like CBM 1.92 MA Ulm is OP and should be toned down in some areas.
Actually, that's mostly Banish spam. Which my mages cast preferentially to Iron Darts (I don't have Iron Blizzard yet).
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