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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Default LA Utgard guide

1. The troops

Huskarl... Your human light infantry is a good addition to giants, and should be used mixed with them. Mixed squads will have one huskarl + one giant in each square, reducing by half the main disavantadge of size 4 troops. Huskarls are available in two varieties, with axe or with spear (all having javelins in addition). Those with axe do more dammage if they hit, but have a real attack skill of 9 only (10 -1 for the axe), 1 less point in defense and a too short weapon for repells. As giants are the national dammage dealers, I'd rather use huskarls with spears.

Jotun Militia... Low cost giants are interesting if you lack money and want high hps chaff (mostly usefull against elemental nations using evocation spells ; against troops their low att/def skills make them less interesting than a smaller number of better giants). With an adjusted attack skill of 7 don't expect them to hit often, but when they do their axe + strength 18 can dammage even heavy troops.

Jotun Javelinist... An interesting unit, giants strength make them able to launch their 2 missiles at range 20, and doing 23 dammage ; then they fight with axes. They lack precision for a ranged unit, but as your giants usually survive the occasionnal friendly fire (and your humans are expandable) it's not a big problem. Their protection is medium, so they don't worth the professionnal jotun axemen in melee, but they only cost half ressources and have 1 more defense than them.

Hurler... A niche unit you can use to speed sieges. Their awfull defense, medium protection and the small range of their boulders make them an extremely crappy unit on the battlefield.

Jotun Spearman... Your best defensive heavy infantry, due to the length (5) of their weapon making them repell often, a shield and protection 17. Of course they do less dammage per hit than the axemen, but having one more in adjusted attack skill they are probably more dangerous over time, especially when you fight not extremely heavy humans a strength 20 giant can one shot even with a spear.

Jotun Axeman... Mostly usefull against big ennemies or heavy troops with low defense. Having 9 in adjusted attack skill is a serious handicap when the size of your troops don't allow you to reduce ennemy defense a lot.

Jotun Huskarls... Same choice of axe or spear for the lighter huskarls. They are interesting units if you lack ressources but have plenty of gold. With better defense and morale than heavy troops, reasonable protection and a shield, they worth their 15% higher gold cost. Huskarl axemen still have an adjusted attack of 9 so I usually prefer spearmen.

Jotun Hirdman... Finally, an heavy giant with good attack, protection and dammage at the same time, but expensive in both ressources and gold. Build them if you have to fight ennemies with both good protection and defense, like heavy cavalry.

Jotun Woodsman... Capitol only and without shield but costing only 9 ressources and less upkeep than regular giants, and using a terrible axe (9 dammage, length 4, no attack reduction) woodsmen are for me a good enough sacred unit to envision a strong bless (especially when it will also help your thugs). Like the hirdman they have both good attack skill and high dammage potential, and their protection (11) is largely sufficient once they have regeneration and/or other defensive bless.

2. The leaders

Scout/herse... Standard human leaders. Only usefull if you absolutely need a cheap commander/scout and can't recruit indie ones.

Seithkona... A cheap human sorceress, with interesting paths : astral allow her to boost your troops or thugs with body ethearal/luck, death to use the powerful evocations of the nether line (bolt/darts), and nature to forge many usefull items, use healing light or buff herself with eagle eyes before chain casting nether darts. Also cost effective researcher (only 90gp, if not sacred), good site searcher (astral and death site spells being level 1) and cheap communion slave with good reverse communions potential, seithkonas are really a great unit, for me the best one the jotuns got for late age. But there is something to keep in mind : each time you recruit one you are not recruiting a skratti or other thug.

Jotun Scout... A stealthy thug = good raiding potential. He is holy, but it's mostly usefull if you can find druids or other stealthy priests to bless him (or have an earth 9 bless so a shroud of the battle saint become a good enough armor). It's also your cheapest giant commander ; if you just want a thug (no interest in leadership or holy spells) and plan to forge full gear for him (don't need a good built-in armor), the scout is the most cost effective (and better than the herse in strength and MR, and throwing javelins as a bonus).

Jotun Herse... An heavy thug (protection 17, shielded) able to lead troops and holy, armed with the powerful jotun longsword (dammage 9). The interest of this one is you can make him an effective killer for a very small number of gems (ie : just give him an amulet of antimagic and a ring of the warrior or other + att item, add your uber bless and the buffs your mages can cast like quickness, body ethearal, luck....he's ready). He starts to be less interesting if you fight ethearal beings or need resists (meaning you'll have to replace the weapon or armor).

Jotun Jarl... Essentially a herse with holy 1, so able to bless himself (or your sacreds) before going to melee. He also has better leadership (80), 3 more hp (35) and one more MR and strength than the herse.

Jotun Gode... Your best priests, also thugable (having one more MR they are less vulnerable to spells than other giant thugs, but you need to spend a little more gems to equip them, they don't have the Jarl heavy armor). Unlike the jarls, they have forest survival, an interesting skill considering your sacred woodsmen have it too.

Jotun Skratti... Blood/Water giant mages (with possible pick in death or nature) able to take werewolf and wolf form (which is stealthy but has only miscellanous slots, be aware to remove other gear before using it ; as well always start a combat in werewolf form if you want to use it, if a skratti shapeshift in combat he will be in wolf form the next turn). Note that skrattis staying in one of the (were)wolf form cost no upkeep. Skratti are excellent thugs in werewolf form (but in need of gear), due to their natural regeneration and ability to quicken themselves when they already have a bonus bite attack (so they end with 4-6 attack per round = huge defense reduction for the ennemy). They are also your best blood mage and only water ones. Those with water 3 in giant shape are the best thugs, as they keep water 2 when they become werewolves, allowing them to cast quicken self and breath of winter without reaching a dangerous fatigue level (if you use water 1 werewolves as thugs and want to use the two buffs, it's better to send them with a blood slave, and use reinvigoration after, so they start the melee with 0 fatigue*). Those with blood 3 are excellent (if not cost effective) blood hunters, and allow you to forge blood boosters without empowerement, once one of your norna has forged a ring of sorcery. Those with nature make Utgard one of the rare astral nations with clam hoarding potential (you just need one water booster), and also allow the forge of armors of twisting thorns once you have a ring of sorcery (or another blood booster + thistle mace). Skratti with death are less usefull but have access to some interesting summons (with one water booster : hidden in snow and catoblepas, with 2 death boosters : leviathan). All skratti can also find uses as battlefield mages, with blood allowing them to join your communions with the sabbath spells, and water to spam frost evocations.

* unfortunatly this use of reinvigoration actually only work if your werewolf is with a big army, and not too close from ennemies ; the stupid spell AI will overwrite reinvigoration to cast summon imp if your forces are outnumbered (or spells like cold blast if ennemies are at range)

Norna... Your capitol only human witches are your best death, astral and nature mages (also sometimes having blood) but they have many weaknesses like being slow (mapmove 1, but all nornas have astral 2, and so can use teleport once you give them a booster), having only 8 hp (be aware of ennemies able to use foul vapors, astral tempest, earthquake etc..), and being old (but as you have blood you can make boots of youth for the nornas with good picks). Anyway, the powerful astral and death magic they provide make them so unvaluable that once you have other forts it would be silly to build any other mage in the capitol. If you are lucky you may find a rare astral norna (1/160) with s4 able (with a skullcap) to forge rings of sorcery, a key item for a nation mastering all sorcery paths (then the forge of wizardry rings, blood boosters and treelord staff is possible without empowerement) if you don't have one when you reach construction 6, it's a good idea to trade for a crystal coin or empower an s3 norna. As a secondary skill, norna have the fortune teller ability at a really meaningfull level (15% to cancel bad events when most fortune tellers have 5), so except if you are unlucky in the very first turns, you can consider your capitol (and other key provinces where several nornas will be sent) safe from bad events, let's use misfortune 3.

3. Making a pretender

Your main strengths are holy thugs (=strong bless recommanded) but also astral/death mages (whose good spells are rather high level -7 for nether darts- and MR negate). As you will often recruit thugs in your forts or use your seithkonas on the battlefield you will have a smaller number of researchers than other nations, so better to take a positive magic scale (+1 because it's hard to have both +3 and a strong bless)

If you have a strong bless, 9 ressources sacred will be your main troops for initial expansion, so dominion and gold will be the only limiting factors in early game, sloth 3 order 3 and as much dominion you can have with a strong bless look logical.

Your nation prefer cold 1 but with all your giants troops/thugs immune to cold (no additionnal fatigue), and your werewolfs going to use breath of winter a lot, taking cold 3 mean less money but a defensive advantage for you.

You have the best recruitable fortune tellers, so you can take misfortune 3 without too much risk (but note that the nation has some very powerful heroes, so a build with luck can be an interesting option).

Your capitol mages are old, but blood / death magic offer ways to save good mages from old age, so growth isn't really needed (death 1 is a good idea, 40 pts for a negligible effect).

3.1 Double Bless

As your sacred / thugs are giants, with a good number of hit points nature is the magic providing the best bless, and as your mages are not holy you can take nature 9 or 10 without risk to see them berserking.

Then for a second bless there are several options : fire (more attack and dammage), water (more defense and quickness) or earth (reinvigoration and protection), astral is less interesting (your sacred have reasonable MR, your thugs can be geared, twist fate offer no synergy with regeneration), death as well (when your sacreds/thugs one shot most foes increased affliction chance is not the best bless).

Fire... In addition to the bless, fire/nature allow your pretender to forge some fever fetish to get a better fire income (considering you have 30hp scouts to carry them, it's not too much microgestion), and fire also offer some good anti undead items/rituals (good to take as LA Ermor may be around), but it's not a really powerful magic, and it offer no synergy with your cold based nation. Also if it's a very good bless for the troops (allowing the woodsmen to hit ethearal beings) it's not as usefull for the thugs (who can have gear to boost their attack, and magical weapons).

Water... is probably the most powerful bless (was the answer of a poll about them), as with quickness it's both a defensive and offensive boost. But very high level water magic isn't really usefull (except perhaps to cast maelstrom once you control some seas).

Earth... look weaker, but has many advantages. Reinvigoration helps your berserkers (units going berserk having an encumbrance penalty), and the protection bonus is good for your sacreds who just have protection 11 and no shield. But the main interest is to make shrouds of the battle saint first choice armors for your werewolves (no encumbrance, effective protection 16 and with a nature 10 bless + their natural regen + a regeneration ring they can reach... 40% regeneration !! = 23hp/55 per round). You may also use the shrouds as cheap reinvigoration items for your mages, with the risk to see a wounded one going berserk. If you plan to use a lot the shrouds on your nornas (and a strategy more based on magic instead of berserk thugs) an earth 9/nature 8 bless avoid the problem (and get you better scales).

With two levels 9 you can have any double bless with high dominion, an humanoid imprisoned pretender, and scales like order 3, sloth 3, cold 3, death 1, misfortune 3, magic 1, using an imprisoned pretender. You need a little more sacrifice for nature 10 / something 9 :

Fire 9 / Nature 10 would force you to use an human pretender and have a dominion around 6 (with an imprisoned druid).

Water 9 / Nature 10 can be developped with an imprisoned son of fenrir (dominion 7 for the same scales) but you'll get a chassis with only 2 slots.

Earth 9 / Nature 10 with an imprisoned earth mother reach dominion 8 with these scales, and you get a real SC chassis (with built in trample) and earth magic is far more usefull in endgame.

3.2 Really extreme multi-bless for thugs

Being a thugs nation, Utgard can also base its whole strategy on them, just slowing a little its initial expansion to have a more powerful bless. As you can always recruit one leader per fort, and only them matter, you can go with a dominion of 4 or so for a stronger bless (but a very low dominion is a big risk in MP), also funded by a drain 2 instead of magic 1 scale.

The best pretenders for that are the human ones, especially the great enchantress and frost father starting with 2 paths.

A triple 9 bless would need extremely bad scales like death 3, or turmoil but no order. But a triple 9/9/8, quintuple bless 9/9/4/4/4, or quadruple 9/9/6/4 allow reasonable scales.

For a secondary bless for thugs, astral (4-6) is IMO the best choice, as the main problem of your champions in late game will be magic resistance. And taking astral 4 or more on your pretender, also remove the need of a very rare norna to start to forge rings of sorcery, and if you go with 6+ on an human god, your pretender will be able to cast wishes without empowerement.

A great enchantress starting with earth and astral, you can have E9N9S6 for a reasonable number of points, and so a correct dominion *or* magic scale (ie : order 3, sloth 3, cold 3, death 2, misfortune 3, magic 1, dominion 4 ; or order 3, sloth 3, death 1, misfortune 3, drain 2, dominion 6).

You can also take both a bad dominion (4) and drain 2 for nature 10 (+e9s6) or one more bless at level 4 (fire, water or even air can be interesting), or target magic diversification with a build making boosters for all paths forgeable once you have a ring of wizardry (e9n9s6, ...+ air 3, fire 2, death 1), or allowing your enchantress to forge bloodstones (...+ blood 3, something 2).

A quintuple bless with 3 level 4 and 2x9 is also possible with the same scales.

4. Research Priorities

With a good bless to help woodsmen based forces you will have no difficulty to take one or more indie province / turn since turn 2, and can concentrate your first researchs on site searching spells. Try to get both evocation and conjuration 2, so your seithkonas can search death and astral sites (you can wait a little for nature searches as only 1/4 of your nornas have the required level ; and conjuration 3 for the water search spell is not a priority either, because it's better to recruit sethkonas for research and jarls to be your first thugs than the expensive skrattis in early game, even once a second fort is built -also your one or two first skrattis will be busy hunting blood slaves- ; finally the blood search is not as usefull as others as blood sites are rare and often bad, I'd only use it on a high site frequency province where all other searches have been done without result).

Then alteration 3 or 4 is the magic to get, allowing to make your valuable sacreds or thugs ethearal (and lucky at level 4, you can of course give pendants of luck to your thugs but it's wasting gems when you can recruit in every forts sethkonas to buff them ; alteration 4 also give the non-personnal quickness to your skrattis, but the too long range make this spell not really reliable to buff thugs). As soon you have body ethearal to protect them you can start to script your giant leaders to (hold and) attack against independants. If, without gear, they are not better than giant troopers, getting some kills early may allow them to enter the hall of fame and get interesting heroic abilities.

Construction is of course one of the most valuable school for a thug nation. You must have construction 4 to start to use thugs against other nations, starting with 13 to 15 MR they absolutely need an amulet of antimagic (even if your opponent don't have astral for the best MR based spells, a simple sleep/sleep cloud can be very dangerous for them). This level also offer you a large choice of gear, and the skull mentors to boost your research. You can for the moment stop construction research there (construction 6 of course is great, as it allow the forge of skullcaps for your astral mages, water bracelets for the skrattis, and better thug weaponry, but if you have to fight before late game like it's probable with a rush nation, battle magic is more a priority -- but if you think you can stay at peace, with a good gem income and in the firsts in research, it's a good idea to try to race for artefacts with this nation, your death magic allow you to forge the best ones).

Thaumaturgy 4 (paralyze), enchantment 3 (raise spells) and evocation 4 (nether bolt) are your first tier objectives in battle magic (after alteration 4). You may research them all or concentrate research on one school to get second tier spells faster (if it's the case, going for evocation 7 for the terrible nether darts all your human mages can use, seem the best choice, only equaled by alteration 8 -will of the fates, quickening-, level 6-7 enchantment has some interesting spells but isn't very powerful, and thaumaturgy 6-7 is only a good idea if you fight particular nations - like Arcocephale/Caelum -giving you low MR valuable units to enslave- or Ermor/Ct'is -wither bones cast by the master of a large communion is better than anything against undead hordes-).

Another strategy is to base your research choices on interesting globals your pretender can cast. Assuming you use a N8+ / E9 earth mother you have many good ones to cast, which will be very hard to dispell due to her level. Mother Oak (alteration 5) is a good first objective, then you'll have plenty of N gems to cast an undispellable Gift of Health (enchant 6), making your thugs with regeneration real SCs in your dominion (and as you probably started with high dom strength to recruit many woodsmen, a dominion-push based strategy is not hard to developp). With this level in enchantment, earth may allow you to compensate your probable high sloth, with the underestimated Riches from Beneath, or at level 7 to cast Earth blood deep well, one of the best gem-income spells. Then your pretender has of course access to the Forge of the Ancients (construction 7), the best earth global (but without an excellent magical economy, to cast it with 200+ bonus gems, you will have difficulties to keep it up in MP). Finally, you have also have an interesting national global in blood magic, Illwinter, to cast with one of your skrattis, but increasing unrest and cold everywhere usually mean war against the entire world, so it's probably clever to use it only if it's already the case (or if you think you can win one).

As you have seen I've skipped blood. Not because it's not a powerful school, but because I can't see blood above level 1 as a priority for Utgard. Blood is mostly interesting for uniques thugs/SCs/mages, and there are more specialized blood nations which will beat you for them -except if you make huge sacrifices in schools far more usefull for a nation already having national thugs and good mages-. If you are the only water-blood nation you will probably have the ice devils even if you research blood in late game only ; if LA Mictlan is in the game, it will focus research on blood and you won't have them. In all cases there is no reason to rush blood research like with a true blood nation. Once the other blood powers are destroyed, blood will allow you to re-summon their uniques, and it's never too late for that. Out of that, in all blood magic the only spells you'll use a lot are level 1, reinvigoration and the sabbath spells ; and your blood slaves income is better used to make gear than to summon units not far better than the giants you can recruit everywhere.

As well conjuration offer the best death summons, but with all your thugs and good mages you can wait to develoopp this school.

5. Equiping Thugs

5.1 Low level gear for Herse and Jarls

Your herse and jarls come with protection 17 armor and a dmg 9 weapon, but need some more gear to start to be callable "thugs" instead of "just one more giant".

If you don't have a fire bless, all your giant leaders have only 12 in attack (11 for the gode), meaning they only hit common (def 10) infantry 62% of the time, and have about 62% to miss most (def 13) mounted units (this even considering giant strength allow to go through an eventual shield) ; and of course would have negligible chances to hit ennemy equiped thugs.

You may/will of course try to use quickness on your jarls, boosting both attack and defense, but the spell is not really reliable (the long range mean your skratti will often target troops if placement isn't perfect), and the boots are construction 6.

So one of the first priorities for early thugs is an item boosting their attack skill. The Ring of the Warrior (blood 1) is the best one, giving +5 to attack, and you can forge it even for early thugs (construction 2), giving your jarls a reasonable attack skill of 17 with their built-in longsword (and as a side effect a +2 morale, mostly usefull if you don't have the N9 bless to give them the berserking ability). If you have access to fire 1, the burning pearl may be more interesting (+4 att, but 50% FR as a bonus).

Another evident (cumulative) option is to replace the jotun longsword by a more offensive weapon (also allowing him to hit ethearals), but the best your national mages can forge at construction 2 only give +2 to attack. Then, at cons 4, you have several options :
- for 5 water gems the cheap and very efective frost brand (one handed, +4 attack and 2 def, 16 dmg and cold area effect)
- or for the same price, the demon bane (two handed and not doing far more dammage, but giving +6 att, x3 dmg against demons, and fire immunity).
- or for 5 slaves the flesh eater, a little inferior (+3 att, 0 def, 14 dmg) but only costing blood (and causing chest wounds as a secondary effect, interesting against other thugs nations)

Defense is far less usefull than protection (especially with a nature bless) and jarls have a sufficient one (especially with an earth bless, and as you'll have body ethearal and luck cast on them) so keeping your natural 13 def / 17 prot (with built-in standard shield and armor) is not a problem.

Your nature magic allow to forge great shields with other interest than defense, the vine and eye ones, but as they cost 10 gems they are more for your elite thugs, the werewolves.

The armor of jarls is not extremely heavy (encumbrance 6, when many heavy humans have 9 for this protection), so if you have an earth bless (or won't use quickness) they don't really need reinvigoration items. If you have no reinvigoration in your bless and plan to use quickened jarls, boots of the messenger can be a good idea.

The final piece of gear all your thugs should have is a no-brainer, as soon you fight other nations : an amulet of antimagic. But against indies (or if you fight nations not having access to good MR spells) you can skip it.

Finally for 15 gems/slaves (9 with a hammer) you get a jarl with frostbrand, aamulet and ring of the warrior, able to hit about anything with attack 21, and resisting as often as a good mage. It's all your need for an early war, as long your ennemy don't use his own thugs, or casters with penetration items.

5.2 Armors for the light thugs

Scouts and godes need about the same gear as jarls, except they also want a better armor.

If you have an E9 bless, the shroud of the battle saint is the best one for the scouts, as it allow your stealthy thug to be blessed, when you have no stealthy priest for raiding. Without an earth bless, the shroud protection is weak but can be exploitable if you have another good one (ie : a water bless + a magic shield, can make your scouts good defense based thugs).

Out of this, without air and earth, your national mages don't have access to good armors before construction 6.

At cons 6, your choice suddenly become large, with rime hauberk, hydra skin, blue and green dragon mail, and (with death boosters) bone armor. Rime hauberk is the best for defensive thugs (if you fight in your cold dominion where its protection is better) and if your ennemies are not cold immune (breath of winter is not really usefull if you fight Ermor). As your giants are already cold immune, blue dragon mail may only have an interest if you plan fight in hot dominion and have only water gems to make an armor (in heat 1+ provinces protection is better than with a rime hauberk). Green dragon mail or hydra skin are preferable if you have nature gems (and if your ennemies risk to use poison). Offering +10% regeneration (at the price of some protection) and 100% instead of 75% PR, this last one is usually the best choice, but the dragon armors can have an interest for your scouts : the +4 morale they give can save them from routing when they fight without a bless/sermon. The bone armor, finally, may worth its cost for this kind of thugs, only if your ennemy use zerg of weak units + fatigue spells to kill them. Its low protection and defense make it less an armor than a reinvigoration/regeneration item, and only working if a lot of low MR living units are around (it's finally a better item for mages reinvigoration, via the drained life of big bodyguards like jotun militia -note that if you use communion matrixes a communion master with it will give soul vortex to all slaves ; with bodyguards for all it mean an huge global reinvigoration-).

5.3 Gearing the Elite (werewolves)

Skrattis in werewolf form are by far your best thugs (with 20 more hp than your giants, natural regeneration, bonus bite attack, 13 base attack and defense -16 with the quicken self they can cast-) and desserve the most powerful gear you can forge.

They have the same armor concerns as the light thugs described above. As they will cast one or two spells and then be quickened, attacking 4 or more times per round, the main weakness of werewolves would be fatigue if you give them an heavy armor, so even if you have earth mages avoid all the black steel/elemental plates. If your bless include E9, it's one more reason to use the encumbrance 0 shrouds of the battle saint (with a possible exception if you have to face mages with full penetration gear, with their 14 base MR werewolves would need both an antimagic amulet and an armour of souls to be quiet). If you can forge them, the rainbow armors, giving both magic resistance and reinvigoration, are also a good (and more cost effective) choice in this case.

Out of the classic antimagic amulet, the other pieces of gear mostly depend of who you expect to fight.

Against human armies, you can go with the classic frost brand (or other AE weapons, the fire or shadow brand being better if you can forge them) and a vine shield (you don't want all the small humans around attacking your thug at the same time). Eventually you can add an horror helmet to make your opponents check morale more often, or an horned one to kill one more weak guy per round (or reduce defense of stronger ennemies) and boots of the messenger if you fear a big battle don't have reinvigoration on your armor (not really needed with a shroud + E9 bless as long you are not dual wielding).

If you expect to fight bigger creatures you won't kill even in 2-3 shots, especially beasts with low MR like elephants or mammoths, rather equip your thug with the heart finder sword (MR check or die -for non-lifeless being only iirc-, 3b, construction 4).

This sword is also a good anti-thug weapon, if the ennemy use bad MR chassis or forget amulets, with your werewolf attacking with it 2 times per round, you can expect some success even against MR 15-18 ennemies (or it will at least force your opponents to invest in MR gear). But against thugs or other creatures having both correct hp and MR, it shouldn't be your unique gun. A team of two werewolves, one with this sword and one with good non MR based weapons, is a better idea, as it's rare to have an ennemy with both good MR and resists.

In general, due to armors defense penalty and items sharing the same slots, thugs are very high defense OR protection based, and/or very high MR OR very high regeneration OR resists based ; or they try to be all at a time and are finally killable by anything.

Your werewolf himself will usually be regeneration based, as maxing this capacity (shroud with a good N bless or hydra skin + regeneration ring -but avoid the lycanthropos amulet, it may transform your werewolf to a smaller one losing his magic power-) + natural regeneration give him an insane survavibility against anything but slay/control spells (and even, if you add an antimagic amulet and a lead shield you can get a thug with excellent MR too).

Life draining weapons can also be considered a good way to play with this strength, assuming your thug hit two times with a wraith sword it adds 10 to the number of hp he will recover per round (if you can empower one of your B mage to fire, a hell sword is even better, as it boosts berserking too). But these two weapons have the disavantadge to be two-handed.

Werewolf are generally great against defense based ennemies, due to their multiple attacks, each one after the first reducing defense by 2. You can maximize this if needed, giving a thug 2 swords of quickness and an horned helmet, so your quickened werewolf will have 12 attacks per round (you may even add more if you have air for chi shoes, stone bird or dancing trident). Of course it will also mean huge fatigue for the wolf, so it's better to give him boots of the messenger and a resilience amulet even if he has an E9 shroud. Such a thug will hit often, but won't be a killer alone if the ennemy has reasonable protection, and will be himself very vulnerable. But in a team he will ease a lot the killing of very high defense ennemies.

Against protection based thugs, astral-death give you access to the armor-negating duskdagger. It's a good idea to couple this 2 dmg weapon with a strength item if you can forge some, and a ring of the warrior as its attack bonus is mediocre. Then your werewolf is able to kill any high protection midgame thug in one round (assuming he hits two times). As it's a length 1 weapon, you can even dual wield duskdaggers without too much penalty, to have a damage potential of more than 100hp per round no matter ennemy protection (but sending a werewolf with two daggers giving no defense is risky business).

Usually it's better to use shields, especially the ones with cool secondary effects your opponent risk to trigger no matter his defense or protection (if he don't have an huge attack skill). Your magic offer a large choice of secondary effects with the eye shield, vine shield, totem and accursed... The vine shield has only an immediate effect, but offers an excellent synergy with high regeneration (if one round / 2 your ennemies are busy with the vines, your werewolf has high chances to win). But note it doesn't work against fliers. The eye shield has both an immediate and permanent effect, and is of course especially good against one eyed ennemies (like agarthans). Finally once some research have been done in blood, a shield of the accursed become one of the most terrible weapons, as your nornas with blood pick can call horrors.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:47 AM

thejeff thejeff is offline
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

I haven't played much with Utgard, but since some things overlap with Jotunheim, I'll make a couple of comments.

I don't think the woodsmen are worth a bless. Or even really using. Build your bless for the thugs, use the woodsmen if it works with them too.

The Norna suggest misfortune, but taking misfortune 3 means you lose out on 2 of the best heroes in the game, Tjatse and Angerboda. Tjatse's a beefed up Neifel Jarl who gives you access to Air and is SC class with some gear. Angerboda is even nicer for Utgard than Jotunheim since there's less overlap with her magic paths. (The wolflord is basically useless.)
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:56 AM

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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

A good overall strategy. My preference with Uttgarde is E9N9 with the earth mother with one of the following two options:

Dom 8 O3S1C3Mis1Drain2
Dom 9 O3S2C3Mis1Drain2

Drain 2 is a negative scale in the fact that you have to pay more money for the same research but increases your Mr by one, a not neligible effect.

More that Mis1 is too much risky for me, barbarian hordes suck, nornas protect your capitol and with it's mapmove 1 nothing else.

More than S1 is rislky, check the Hirdman they are incredible and what you rectuit outside your capitol, but cost 40 res, so S3 means that you will recruit 2-3 not enough.

If you really want to go with Magic scale you can try:

Dom 8 O3S3C3Mis1D1Magic1

A jarl with a frost brand and a seithkones besides him to cast body 'ethereal, luck, barksin, retreat' is incredible. Wihtout the seithkona and just an amulte of luck and perhaps one of resilience it's also quite good.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

To get heroes in reliable manneer you need positive luck, and it cost too much for this nation I think (then of course you may get one with misfortune 2, but it's really... luck).

I find woodsmen rather great with correct placement (you need some chaff to catch arrows, except that where is the problem ?). They have very small encumbrance meaning very few critical hits ; with good regen and increased protection they just stay alive forever, and berserk +2 give them a reasonable attack skill. Also Utgard has good astral mages to cast antimagic, it reduce a lot the weakness of small armies of giants against MR slay spells.

Anyway earth/nature bless is the best for thugs (when troops without magical weapons like woodsmen are more asking for fire to be able hit ethearal beings).
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

Twan, I feel I should tip you (and eagerly await the rest of your guide). It is well-timed as I have been dealt Utgard in the coming mega game, and am battling a dual blessed (W/N) version of them in Alexandria MP game, but have never played them myself.

In Alexandria, they have done quite well with the dual blessed woodsmen as the W bless seems to mitigate their weakness vs. arrows as they get to the line so damn quick....and the arrows just piss them off (eg turn them into berserk mode)
i crossed blades with the mightiest warriors of the golden age. i witnessed with sorrow the schism that led to the passing of legends. now my sword hangs in its scabbard, with nothing but memories to keep it warm.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:06 PM

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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

I find it a nice guide for Amateurs (Like me)
who wants to try to pick up the "Giants" nations, I can't wait for the part about Thug Equipments [img]/threads/images/Graemlins/Dagger.gif[/img]
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

DonCorazon said:
Twan, I feel I should tip you (and eagerly await the rest of your guide). It is well-timed as I have been dealt Utgard in the coming mega game, and am battling a dual blessed (W/N) version of them in Alexandria MP game, but have never played them myself.

In Alexandria, they have done quite well with the dual blessed woodsmen as the W bless seems to mitigate their weakness vs. arrows as they get to the line so damn quick.
Good luck in the mega game as Utgard. I have done a few things right as Utgard and many things wrong. One that I regret is I opted for thug expansion at the expense of research a bit too much. I'll be happy to share all after the game.
"I think, therefore I am" - René Descartes

"I yam what I yam" - Popeye
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

Thanks, SSJ. I was impressed enough with your performance to throw them on my list for the mega game, though they weren't my #1 choice . I look forward to your insights after Alexandria.

As for research, I am having the same problem in Figment playing Vanheim. Once you get too far behind, it is tough to recover. Keeping up in research as much as a nation will allow is now my priority in any game.
i crossed blades with the mightiest warriors of the golden age. i witnessed with sorrow the schism that led to the passing of legends. now my sword hangs in its scabbard, with nothing but memories to keep it warm.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

Good guide, I haven't played Utgard yet but I'm looking forward to it now.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: LA Utgard guide

I haven't played them either, but I'm absolutely in love with their seithkona's. They're absolutely amazing mages for only 90g. Those alone would make the nation worth playing.
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