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Old June 27th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Default Tips with MA Ulm

Well, I'd like some tips on MA Ulm, obviously. In order to start the ball rolling, I'll contribute a few of my own (and some questions):

I've noticed that Ulm can get absurdly high resource values, past 300 (with Production 3, of course). This makes it excellent for indy-massing. Just build a fort on some >10-resource independents (pretty much any native tribe, shamblers, etc.) and start massing. If you're really lucky and really into it, you might be able to produce chaff on the same level as R'lyeh.

I've also noticed that MA Ulm still has access to Sloth of Bears. Thus, taking a pretender with access to Nature might be nice, depending upon whether or not bears are useful at all to MA Ulm. Would you say they are, or not?

Also, which do you think is more effective: Blacksteel infantry or normal ones? How well do you think Guardians would do against powerful sacreds (triple-9 jaguar warriors for example)?

Well, I'm done for now. Fire away with tips on MA Ulm (or perhaps reasons why I'm a stupidhead and my advice is bad)!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Tips with MA Ulm

You want Petrification, from Alteration 7. It's an Earth 5 spell. Most of your Master Smiths are Earth 2, can forge Earth Boots to get up to Earth 3 and cast Summon Earthpower to get up to Earth 4. You could spend an extra gem for every Petrify you cast, but that would become very expensive very quickly.

So, how can you get that last level of Earth?
All-magic boosters: Ring of Wizardry (S6) or Robe of the Archmagi (A5B5)
Elemental boosters: Staff of Elemental Mastery (E4A4 or F4W4) or an artifact
an additional Earth booster: Blood Stone (B3E2) or an artifact

Keeping in mind that Blood is easier to get into that other paths and that Blood Stone actually generates Earth gems, and you can see why Blood Stone is clearly the best choice for Ulm. To learn more, go to the stickied strategy guide, search for MA Ulm and find the Blood Stone thread.

Other than that... A group of about 15 non-Black Plate infantries of Ulm can take surprising number of independents. If you're lucky, you can conquer four or five provinces in three turns' worth of battles and started building your first fortress. I'm not yet sure whether Order or Luck is better. Taking even Turmoil 1 means that you don't get enough gold to recruit fully and build a fort in turn 3 or 4, but on the other hand, Luck gives you bucketloads of gems and your Master Smiths absolutely need them.

I think the key to successful Ulm has to be empowering Master Smiths. A Water-empowered Smith can forge himself a Water Bracelet, making him F1W2E2 and letting him forge Staves of Corrosion (fires Acid Bolts), Boots of Quickness, Jade Armors and other fun stuff. A Death-empowered Smith can forge Flaming Skulls for so cheap basically all your smiths are F2, and then they can cast Phoenix Power and they are Fire 3. A Nature-empowered Smith can make Fever Fetishes and then start generating the Fire gems. And Blood-empowered Smiths, of course, are essential to both boost your Smiths and to generate more Earth gems.

Your pretender is important. My pretender design project is still underway, but I suggest taking at least Blood for getting the economy rolling. After that, you have several choices. Astral - for Starshine Skullcap, Crystal Coin, Rings of Sorcery and Wizardry? Fire/Death/Nature, for fever fetishes and flaming skulls? Water/Nature, for summoning W3N3 Naiads and forging Clams? Fire/Water or Air/Earth for Staff of Elemental Mastery? I'm trying to build a rainbow that can fill multiple roles, but specializing might be more efficient.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Tips with MA Ulm

Good points from Endo.

Blacksteel infantry are more effective than chainmail infantry in general, particularly as of a couple of patches ago, though there are a few circumstances where not so.

However chainmail infantry is probably best to begin with at first because you can recruit them more quickly and numbers matter - if you have too few men in an army against independents, they will get worn down and may break and run, but if you have enough, they will tend to overpower conventional independents easily, and having more men makes more of a difference than having some men have blacksteel plate. Infantry without shields though is somewhat vulnerable to missiles - start them behind infantry with shields. It's valuable to include some of them because of their varied weapons.
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