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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Default Eriu guide

Eiru is a nation that upon first glance doesn't seem to have too much going for it. The infantry ranges from mediocre to mildly good – reasonable for indie expansion but nothing to hang a core strategy on once you start slugging it out with other nation's elite troops. They've got no cavalry (other than commanders), and no archers other than slingers. Their cap-only mages giving you weak access to earth and water and strong access to air and nature, while your non-cap mages are a fairly weak 2a, 1n or an even weaker (and still expensive) 1a 1n - neither of which is a cost efficient researcher.

So, what do they have going for them?

Firbolg infantry. As previously mentioned, is reasonable infantry. Their armor and weapons aren't anything special, but they have above average strength, attack, and defense. This isn't enough to put them up into the realm of the real elite troops, but it does give them enough of an edge against indie troops that you can use them for fairly reliable initial expansion. You've got two flavors, one with spears and javelins (and slightly better defense) and one with axes for tougher opponents. Against the indies it's a good idea to use a mix, when you start fighting players use your head as to what is more appropriate.

Tuatha. This is your top shelf mage, and although expensive is pretty good. Between his glamour, defense, armor and slightly above average hitpoints he's got some survivability. With his glamoured stealth, map move 3, forest survival and ability to cloud trapeze he's got a lot of strategic maneuverability. Every one of them can cast thuderstrike, and it's fairly common to have them get 4a which will give you a pretty decent ability to lay down some lightning damage early on. As your research progresses you can, with no boosters at all cast fun things like wrathful skies and fog warriors and you've got plenty of N3s and an occasional N4 to cast mass protection, mass regeneration, etc. These guys are expensive, but you'll want to start recruiting one every turn as soon as you can afford to…10 thunderstrike spammers can do a whole lot to even the playing field against an early push by superior enemy troops – particularly since they're spending their time chopping up your PD while your Tuatha retreat after blowing their load.

Sidhe Lord. This little guy, upon first glance, seems a rather malformed chap. He's too expensive to be a good researcher, his magic is not strong enough to really do too much damage on the battlefield, and he can't join in a communion. So, how is it that he's going to be the centerpiece of Eriu?

The Sidhe Lord could hardly be designed to be a better PD raiding chasis – just exactly what he needs and no more. His magic isn't strong, but it does give him access to the following spells which you can mix and match as appropriate:

Air Shield
Resist Elements
Resist Lighting
Resist Poison

He's got a high natural defense and glamour, and if you throw an earth blessing down on top of barkskin his protection soars over 20 with his stock equipment as well as having a functionally 0 encumbrance. The rare lucky shots which do land will be caught by the mistform and reduced to a single point of damage, if your blessing also includes a level 6 nature component he'll have 3 hitpoints regen to take care of those. Your national mages can easily forge frost brands and vine shields which is all this guy needs to take out just about any PD in the game. As available mix in fire plate, girdle of might, ring of water breathing and amulet of antimagic to make this guy immune to just about anything other than strong astral magic or other SC killers depending on which resistances you script. Frost brand + fire plate + resist elements = 100% frost and fire immunity. Resist lighting/poison if you're fighting anybody who likes that. Amulet of MR will send your MR north of 20 and will let you mostly ignore anything but concentrated astral spam. Note, Tuatha can do everything a Sidhe Lord can and more and can be substituted in a pinch, they're just not nearly as cost effective and the opportunity cost of other things they can do for you is high.

Now, realize this guy is relatively cheap (compared to other recruitable thugs), recruitable everywhere, deadly effective with just 15 gems of equipment (not even assuming a dwarven hammer)…and is stealthy and cloud trapeze capable. Now you're starting to see…opening turn of a war is 7 or 8 of them having snuck inside the enemy territories each attacking a different territory while another 7 or 8 cloud trapeze into the back side of your enemy's lands. This isn't a late game strategy, this is fully doable in year 2 – and fully doable against an opponent who doesn't even share a border with you. This is a surprise rush and the war will be over at the same time your opponent realizes there is one – no time to react.

So, while your Sidhe Lord raiders are conquering everything without a mage supported army and leveraging their stealth against anything that can kill them, your research is ramping up. Those Firbolgs who were just mildly nice before are now quite easily buffable by your choice of fog warriors, mass protection, mass flight, mass regeneration, arrow fend, and quickening – and your buffers are not only stealthy, they're all cloud trapeze capable so your opponent never knows where the heavy buffers are. Heck, for the cost of a handful of gems 2 Tuatha can drop in and turn moderately high PD into a near impenetrable defensive force before retreating so if something goes wrong you're just out the gems and PD. Now, since your pretender has high earth magic you can mix in armies of lead and weapons of sharpness for the really important fights (for fun all around, make sure fog warriors goes off first then drop 4 or 5 earthquakes). Flying, quickened, armor piecing axe wielders will chew up most anything, and regenerating fog warriors are pretty much invincible outside of very strong combat magic.

So, to recap:

1) Take an Earth/Nature blessing. Nature only really needs to be at 6, earth should be at least 9.
2) Use Firbolgs for initial expansion
3) If possible find sites to recruit indie mages for research
4) Start site searching early on for water sites, you've got no natural water income and you'll need them for early frost brands. In a pinch you can use snake bladder sticks, but they're a bit riskier and eat into your ability to make vine shields.
5) Get a couple extra castles up, then start cranking out Sidhe Lords and Tuatha – if at all possible do this exclusively for awhile and don't recruit any troops.
6) Once you've got the critical research done quickly forge some items and fall like a ton of bricks on your most likely neighbor. Hey, now you've picked up all those sites your neighbor was nice enough to site search for you while you researched other things!
7) Follow that up leveraging the highly mobile Tuatha battle mages to support your Firbolg troops– first with lighting evocations, then with powerful alteration and enchantment spells.
8) You've got no astral or death magic, so time is *not* on your side. If the game gets to the wishing/tartarian stage and you're not already in a very strong position you're fairly screwed.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

I like that! Sounds very nasty.

How well would Sidhe Lords fare without the Nature blessing? Eriu is inherently strong in Nature, and e.g. Astral blessing would make the thugs more resistant to Astral spells. Would it be just switching one possible weakness for another, or do enough hits get through their defences that the damage accumulates and they die?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

Yes, the same thought occurred to me, unfortunately the regen turns out to be a critical factor. Depending on the race's PD when surrounded the Sidhe Lords do generally take a hit or two every other round or so and they've only got 15 hitpoints so it ends up being hit or miss when attacking stronger PD and afflictions rack up relatively quickly. With the regen though, I've successfully hit well over a hundred PDs from Man, Abyssia, T'ien Ch'i, Atlantis, and Arco and not lost a single fight when there was just PD there. I did lose one to an indie cataphract charge though, watch out for those first strike lances!
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

What about their sacreds? I am playing Eriu in MP with dual bless (S/F) and they chewed up Ermor along with the cheap priests (granted I am way behind because it took a while to generate enough troops to demolish those hordes of undead but at least I have the satisfaction of occupying almost every slot in the hall of fame).
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

Yes, their sacred infantry are not bad, but they are capital only and not really good enough to carry a strategy in small numbers - as you say you mass them far too slowly. You can certainly mix them in as a bit of a bonus but I haven't found they make that much of a difference. For the cost of one of the Daoine Sidhe you can get three Firbolgs, and outside of the bless each Firbolg is almost as good.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:34 PM

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Default Re: Eriu guide

I just lost a Sidhe Lord(fully buffed) to a volley of Mictlan PD slings. I'm guessing that was just unlucky?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

Shovah32 said:
I just lost a Sidhe Lord(fully buffed) to a volley of Mictlan PD slings. I'm guessing that was just unlucky?
There almost had to be more than bad luck there. I don't think glamour defends against projectiles (somebody please confirm or deny this), but mistform will reduce all damage to 1. There is a 1/100 chance of any attack dispelling it, but if you're lord is even lightly armored (did he have a shield?) then the odds of slingshots taking him out or pretty slim. An improbability drive powered ship didn't fly by, did it?

Anyways, there might be a rare bug in the randomizer that lets wonky things happen.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

With a shield and at least a 21 protection (assuming earth bless + barkskin) slings shouldn't really be able to touch you and mistform should catch any few wildly lucky shots. I've repeatedly taken out PD of 20+ from T'ien Ch'i and they've got compound bows - though admittedly I do script air shield in that circumstance.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Eriu guide

Just a shield will give you 90% protection against the bullets, assuming you're around 45 fatigue from the buffs, and if you had an air shield on top of that, the chance of a bullet hitting you is around 2%.

The bullet probably got a critical because of your fatigue, there's a 1 in 6 chance of that at 45 fatigue.

So now a 9 damage bullet versus 10 protection (halfed for the critical) needs to do 1 damage, and pop the mistform with a 1% chance; or 25 damage to pop the mistform, reduced to 1 (that's also around a 1% chance). 2% chance of popping the mistform, and that's generous.

And then you still need more bullets hitting to start doing real damage, unless you lost your shield arm from an affliction on the 1HP damage.

It's all really unlikely, if the manual is correct about fatigue and criticals.

You could run with -ddddddd to try to see what happened.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:59 AM

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Default Re: Eriu guide

I appreciated this guide a lot, I'm playing around with Eriu (and Tir and a couple other new countries) and found this helpful. (I guess Fir Bolg are better units than I thought...shows what I know)

So newb question:

Superficially, Eriu has a lot in common with Vanheim (air magic, glamour, recruitable thugs) but Vanheim seems to be a more popular (I mean, cmon, it's Norse! And they have a bless strategy, which seems to be all the rage!). Eriu has the songs (which are nifty, especially for removing spell fatigue) and better access to nature, but Van has Earth (on the smiths) and even Blood, and what seem to be better national troops. I haven't played either country extensively (although I sorta want to go vanbless some mp game, just so I understand it better) but I'm interested to hear some veteran players thoughts on this comparison.
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