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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:41 AM

ese-aSH ese-aSH is offline
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Unhappy Some questions on LA Ermor

Hi all,

I came to dominions few weeks ago, and now comes the time of my very first MP game. I'm openning this thread to ask for advice, tips, noob mistake to avoid etc...

The MP game I'm engage in was not initiated in this forum, yet the other participants might read this board.

The game will be played on EA with map Cave & Corner and the nation were randomly attributed : I wil played Ermor Ashen Empire and my opponents will be Gath, Mitgard and T'ien Ch'i.

First of all, be sure that I have read the dominion KB on AE (and the threads I found here), yet I would like advises on the following points :

dominion My only question here concerns Magic scale. magic+1 is huge boost to research, in the other hand drain+2 could bring some protection to my undeads. What are the consequences of such a choice ? (from my calculations 1rp/turn cost 4D gems with drain2 and only 2.2D gems with magic1, this makes a real difference I guess).

pretender I never played a SC pretender yet, and the KB rather mention Master Lich or Queen Lich as a pretender choice. It seems the pretender has to have very strong Death magic, good astral, and... and what ? rather 2 points in each remaining path or a third strong path ?

game start I've started a few game, and my 'Build order' was :
1- pretender cast spectator (12 - 15)
2- spectator cast spectator (12 - 18)
3- pretender cast dusk elder (20 - 21)
4- spectator cast spectator (12 - 16)
5- spectator cast spectator (12 - 19)
6- spectator cast spectator (12 - 22)
7- dusk elder cast archbishop (23 - 25)
the archbishop becomes my prophet and I restart from step 1.

general questions

- should I pay attention to my undeads ? is it worth it to loose 100 of them to take a province ?

- the prophet (or maybe all archbishops ??) can revive lictors. since these units are gems expansive should I use this ability a lot ? or should I wait later spells that summons plenty of them ?

- I have the impression of never having enough gold. I always put tax to 200, I never buy PD nor recruit any troops but scoots. What should I build in priority : temples everywhere (this seems usefull since when my dominion spreads it kills indep and provinces are then easier to take) ? some additionnal castles ? (the global income felt really fast in the few games I initiate, lucky events and magic sites were the main income source)

- on the research side, should I go asap for a global enchantment such as burden times ?

- in the army setup part, is it worth it to distinguish guys with a shield and guys without ? i'm the kind of player that love ordered and organized armies, with AE I'm afraid I will have to go with huge swarm. Another point, since undead are unbreakable I try to split them in little squads (~20) just to make it easier to surround ennemies, is it good ?

I also have no experience of 'end game' (only played a few sp game that I won quite fast) no idea on how nor what items/heroe combinations are good and efficient, and worse, I have no idea of my opponent's nations strengths and weakness.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:57 AM

Calchet Calchet is offline
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

For scales, I'd suggest everything at -3 except Magic and Luck, which go at +3, and Dominion at 10.

You don't need any production. Luck gives you the gold you need, Dominion pisses off your neighbours and keeps the undead flowing, while Magic... well, you have all those points anyway, so you might as well spend them where they'll do some good.

For your pretender, all you really need is the ability to summon a Dusk Elder - anything else is a bonus. With your strong dominion, immortality might be handy, so the Liches are perfect matches.

Any spare points go in magic paths - A point or two of additional Death, then Astral primarily, followed by Earth, Water, Fire, Nature, Air and Blood, probably but not necessarily in that order.

Your autospawn undead are mostly worthless, except as numbers. If you lose a few hundred to gain a province, great! If you lose a few hundred and fail to gain a province, that's fine, too. You probably gave someone an affliction in there somewhere, and that's plenty worthwhile.

Lictors can be reanimated, certainly, but I've never found them very awesome. Longdead Horsemen are likely to be a better choice, and I believe units with high levels of holy - like your Prophet - get quite a lot of them per turn. Interestingly, I *think* one of your random heroes starts at Holy 4, and can thus be turned to a fancy-schmancy (but not very useful) Holy 5 by making him a prophet, if you get him at a good time.

Putting your shielded troops up front when expecting archers is sensible, but often unnecessary. Feel free to do it if you have the time, though.

Mass-squad formations seems like a sensible idea.
Involved in:
Pax Malazica, bringing the Malazan Empire to Dominions 3.
Fate/Sprite Works, a mod including my left-over practice sprites as summonable units.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

All that Calchet says, except I wouldn't never go blood for LA Ermor. Nowhere to get the slaves from.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:39 AM

Agema Agema is offline
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

I was mucking around with LA Ermor recently in SP. I agree with Calchet that all your scales should be at -3 except Luck (+3) and magic (0 to +3). Dom 10 is also pretty much a requirement.

The magic scales are a bit of an issue. Needing to summon commanders and mages is a big distraction on your mage time, so I would tend to recommend positive scales, otherwise you may lag behind your opponents. On the other hand, with a healthy gem income you can feasibly recruit more mages because you aren't constrained by build queue restrictions. You will probably struggle to recruit indy mages due to financial constraints.

You definitely need an awake pretender with at least D3. You could try magic scales at 0 or +1 and take a rainbow pretender with at least 2 in each path except blood (which should be ignored as stated above). I'd look at maybe astral to 4+, air and fire to 3 if you have free points. The minute you start conquering provinces and have summoned your first Dusk Elder, get your pretender out manually site-searching for a while, as with all those paths it's more efficient than casting spells.

This should give you a big gem income quite quickly. Gems could be converted to death gems so you can summon more early on (hence the magic scales not being so critical), although that's a judgement call. By the time you reach Construction 4, use your rainbow pretender to forge equipment your very limited mages can't. Boosters can make your dusk elder random picks useful. Your pretender can also summon mages in other paths like Naiads, Troll Kings, Fairy Queens, Golems and so on to further boost diversity.

You provisional build queue looks good. I'd reanimate longdead with weak priests, and longdead cavalry with better ones. I don't think you can build enough lictors to make them effective. You should spawn undead leaders in your provinces, you can use these guys to round up undead spawn and push them to your armies at the front without having to summon more undead commanders. Also note that your priests can lead large undead armies. As you'll want to add Ermor's special blesses to your troops, never summon commanders like the censors, only the priests.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

Lictors are nice, if you can manage some kind of a useful bless for them, otherwise the massive numbers of longdead horse will fill your enemies with more fear.

ONLY build castles at first. Build temples in your most secure territories ONLY once there is a castle there. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you get Ermorian troops in your castles, which are far and away better than the other crap (they would be awesome troops, if it weren't for Banish). The other reason is that you want to have some territories that are not fully under your dominion for awhile at first, to milk for cash to build more castles with. You seriously want a castle in every single province that you own, as fast as you can afford it.

Personally I don't summon Spectators (well, I get *2* of them to put on monthly Dark Knowledge once I research it), you will want as many Dusk Elders as you can get your hands on, they are slightly less gem efficient, but vastly more useful otherwise. Also get at least 1 Arch Bishop into every important army, to buff your undeads' magic resist, it will cut down your rate of attrition significantly.

And don't worry about your losses. In general, every undead you lose, you get back for free the next turn, your enemy's losses will cost him gold.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:08 AM

ese-aSH ese-aSH is offline
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

Thanks for all your answers !

hm I never thought of 'delaying' my dominion in order to get more gold. Pb with this apporach is that the number of spawns directly depends on the dominion... yet gold was such an issue in my test games that I'll consider this opportunity. (and as you said, Ermorian troops are far better, it might be a way to expand faster from turn ~10 and clear most of my area).

I dont know if you have knowledge of the map, but its a small one and with Ermor I am able to have my area cleared around turn 25 ; beyond that point any new conquest will be considered as an hostile move I fear. In my experience of strategic mp games, beeing the first to strike an ennemy is no good idea since it costs time and resources (well, AE units are resourceless, but they do not spawn in infinite number each turn, a unit loss is still a loss) and offers other players the opportunity to backstab the attacker.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:12 AM

Zeldor Zeldor is offline
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

Magic 1 sounds like a more reasonable option. Remember that it also lowers your MR, at magic3 you make nice gift to enemy banishers.

LA Agartha guide
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:31 AM

rdonj rdonj is offline
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

As an alternative to not pushing your income, one thing I did in a game as ermor was to take my provinces where I had a large gold income and set taxes to 200 and patrol. Getting me money and corpses at the same time. I figured the patrolling would probably kill off less than my dominion would, and that way you get a pretty big temporary boost to your gold income. In the long run most of your income is probably going to come from the 3 luck you hopefully have, getting you some of those gold/silver mines.

With ermor you have a fairly large advantage over any given player you're going to attack. More than them being limited by gold, they're limited by resources as to how many units they can field. Since EVERYONE takes terrible sloth scales in mp, this means early on they're extremely vulnerable to someone who can send in multiple good-sized armies. If you lose a province, who cares? Not you, as long as you don't lose a fort or temple. Your losses do matter... vaguely. And you do have to be careful of other players, but most people would rather not attack ermor early in the game, as even if you win you won't gain much in the way of resources.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

Originally Posted by ese-aSH
I dont know if you have knowledge of the map, but its a small one and with Ermor I am able to have my area cleared around turn 25 ; beyond that point any new conquest will be considered as an hostile move I fear.
I'm not experienced with MP, so take this advice with a grain of salt....

Wouldn't LA Ermor with Dom 10 on a small map be hostile simply by virtue of existing? Your dominion is going to kill off large sections of the map in a big hurry. If I were one of your opponents, I'd make killing you into a top priority.....
More Trollz mod for Dom3
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Old January 14th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Some questions on LA Ermor

Originally Posted by rdonj View Post
...Since EVERYONE takes terrible sloth scales in mp....
In my current MP games:
prod3: 1 (Marverni)
prod2: 1 (Marignon)
neutral: 1 (Ulm)
sloth1: 1 (TC)
sloth2: 1 (C'tis)
sloth3: 3 (Abysia, R'lyeh, Mictlan)
Whether he submitted the post, or whether he did not, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed— would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper— the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever.
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