Dominions 5: Multiplayer Warriors of the Feint - 2018 Stabby-Stabby Edition

Well, that is one of the answers in the poll.

Basically, its attacking with enough troops to cause the opponent to use up gems (most likely in the magic phase), and then attacking again afterward with a better army, after the opponent has used up all the gems.

Usually you have to attack twice in the same turn to make it work, but it might be considered gem baiting to attack while an army is in your territory, and doesn’t have a way to resupply gems.

Gem baiting can only happen if there is a remote attack followed by a normal move/attack?

I’ve never come across the term before so I can’t really think of it as an exploit?

There are a number of ways to do gem baiting.

For instance, if @pyrhic believe I had just enough gems for a single battle and no way to resupply, he could marshal out with just enough troops to have me waste them on a small force, and leave me with not enough in the main fight. Alternatively, he could break siege this turn with a small force, having the AI use up all the gems, and then, after the break siege attempt fails, and I have elected to storm the castle, I would be doing it without most of my gems for the upcoming battle.

Alternatively, if I believed that @pyrhic had only a few gems, I might attempt to storm the castle with only a few troops, having him waste his few precious gems, and then strike again the next turn after he had used up most of his gems.

That might not be considered on the same scale though as the classic gem bait - cloud trapeze into a large force, and force them to use their gems before the much larger battle.

In any case, Illwinter has made gem baiting much harder. You used to be able to do it with a scout in Dominions 3. Imagine, a giant army was on your border, loaded to bear, and you attack with a scout. And then your enemy casts, Howl, Swarm, Fire Resistance, Mistform, Flight, Foul Vapors. Just everything set up for a giant killer fight, and use up dozens of gems against a scout. Illwinter now has the AI compare relative strength before allowing the AI use gems, especially if you toggle “Converse Gems” in the actions. But, if it comes to just mages, or small forces, you can usually trigger the gems to be used if your leader has enough items equiped.

Again, this is all about intentional gem baiting. It came up as I was deciding whether to attack the fort or not.

um, ya, whatever

I have never known a scout, or even a cloud trapezing unit to trigger gem usage in a battle. In the case of the fort, a cloud trapeze won’t work because the unit will only attack the province, not attack the fort and its defenders.

Keep in mind that break siege happens before storm castles. So, that’s two battles in one turn. That’s where gem baiting could happen.

As for triggering gem use, that’s harder these dags. You need a strong enough thug. But, if you load an air mage with 4 trinkets, that should do it in many cases.

As I said, Illwinter changed it from the days of Dominions 3 and 4, when it was super easy to bait gems just by attacking with scouts.

Most games banned it back then. Many games still ban gem baiting, even today (even though it’s substantial harder to do).

I see that Pythium has finally matched me in provinces and surpassed me in the most important key factors - Gems and Research. Nice job @dfs

And we have 2 globals up! Both were ones I wanted too! Stupid war means I don’t have the resources to put to globals, like i wanted.

And @pyrhic is still in the game!

Now, I have to figure out my turn. Lodged between three states, all keen to make war on me is not been easy, but I do my best to keep calm, and carry on. I put together what meager forces I have to protect me against a 4th Harbinger! Sadly, it cut off some of my units! Cruelly killing defenseless birds!

I’m not sure what my plan will be going forward. Obviously, I can still survive for a short time, holding out against long odds.

Globals slow to go up in part b/c of fighting. I will be surprised if Machaka can hold on unless you can finish up NaBa quickly. Decked out Harbringers are scary and I realize that Phaecia doesn’t have much high end summons.

My country seems cooler in text than in game. The dark ships to transport troops don’t work that well and not useful. OTOH, Ind is pretty cool with their disguises. An underrated power but flipside is that it invites invasion as you see indy provinces and all of sudden they aren’t indy but IND (nice pun).

You need good dominions to spread those dark ships, so you need temples and forts.

The Sow Dragon Teeth spell is supposed to be pretty epic as well for combat. Just throw them down, and watch the fun of it all.

Personally though, I do like the Contact Hesperide. I realize its probably impossible to summon without a pretender built for it, but dang is it cool. 25 fire gems (like ever don’t want to use fire gems) for a F3A3N2 priest that decreases unrest and has awe. Not a thug, but still lots of fun.

As for me, I do have to worry about a lot of different things. @Strato is going to try to seige my castle again, to distract me from my border dispute with Pythium. And he is attacking randomly at different provinces. I caught one attempt, but I know he has probably 2 Vans running around.

And then there are the kitted out Harbingers. I spotted 4 of them in total. 2 have been defeated, though at a cost. I think one got side tracked by ghouls, but one is pretty close to striking distance. I’m tempted to see if I can create a good counter thug of some sort. Maybe a Bane?

We shall see.

Uhm…I know it seems like they are all over the place, but I’ve summoned a total of three harbingers and Machaka has killed two of them. I don’t have the replay’s at hand, but if I remember correctly both times they landed in what was supposed to be just province defence and ended up in the middle of an army. Machaka has a LOT of armies. Not sure if I’ll summon more or focus on the next big thing. Nice Chasis, but kitting them out was pretty much a waste of gems.

request a bit more time. 24 hours should be plenty. I might get it in on time, but it would be a bad turn to stale.

You and me both.

I love so much about this game except for the micro management. Nothing like switching spells/gear on your little commanders. But I believe this is the tradeoff to the multi-faceted strategy.

If Ind is doing A, I need to do B. But if Ind shifts to D, I’ll do L/N and work to V. It’s a highly variable Rock, paper scissors game. So much guessing and trying to predict what/where/how enemy will respond.

Anyway, the micro management is tedious but worth tradeoff.

I find it so cute that you and ind are doing your thing while the rest of the world is burning

Its been a quiet weekend.

What happened to the Machaka army? Not good news for NaBa? The Ind/Phaecia conflict continues apace (kinda the 2 weird city state clashes independent of the Sparta/Athens main event). I hate fighting Astral mages so much that this shoud be an extremely painful fight for everyone.

It was a battle. I think, some how, some of my leaders didn’t participate?

Anyway, I learned that Soul Slay sucks and that NaBa has one crazy pretender.

It was an interesting battle, with mistakes made on both sides, but ultimately Naba prevailed.

The Naba lines:

I had deployed my forces back, with a mass of undisciplined skirmishers forward(midfield). My forces were largely 4 groups: desert warriors(skirmishers), terracotta warriors( summoned because their excellent resistances to lots of the things machaka does well), Adite Elites(main force), and then some random summons and hires which were largely big without shields (shamblers and ogres).My thought was that I didn’t want to advance and fight in front of my broken walls, and that i wanted to give some time for my defensive spells to get cast. At that point, my terracotta warriors would advance past my skirmishers to establish the battle line with Machaka. Due to their high morale(50), they wouldn’t break and would last until my Adite Elties would join. Finally, the unarmored summons would arrive and plug any holes. In my concept of the battle, this would all happen around my broken walls.

I had two proper thugs in the battle - a fully kitted out Jinn(F2A2)(Naba national summon) and a pretty fully kitted out Jann Emir. I also had several ‘mini-thugs’ which were Jann Emirs with frost brands. These were still very effective, as the Jann Emir is a really good chassis (either F2A or A2F, sacred, stealthy and glamour)

Focus in the first few rounds of battle for my mages were to improve ranged accuracy (wind guide), flaming arrows, Antimagic, and boosting all my astral mages to level 3 so they could soul slay. I also needed some phantasmal armies to absorb some hits from the more numerous Machaka, and finally, my pretender was laying down earth buffs on my massed armies. It was fortunate that we had the extra month, because that allowed us to gain Thau 5 (soul slay). We would have had that the month before(i’m pretty sure research completes before combat in order of events), but i wouldn’t have been able to script it the way i had done.

The Machaka Lines:

Machaka looked to have his armies deployed forward, with the awesome giant black hunter spiders deployed into two groups, one forward and one mid. To the left and right and behind of the forward group of spiders he had his excellent hoplites. He had a handful of manticores, fire lions and spider knights spread about the field. After that the quality of the machaka forces decreases, being supported by the likes of Atavi archers, pygmys and Ichtyids.

The battle played out a little differently than i had planned (well, duh). The first squad of black hunters raced forward, through my broken walls and started to attack the skirmishers.

Black hunters charge:

This was right around when Curse of Stones was cast, which would put it at my third script. The manticores and fire lions also went past(over) the walls. However, something strange happened then that turned the battle. The second group of black hunters started going through the broken wall, but stopped to engage the small contingent of fire ants that I had deployed on my forward flank(and that had actually made the walls).

Heroes at the gates:

Being large, the black hunters actually served to choke the opening, preventing the rest of the Machaka troops from entering easily. By the time they had dealt with the ants, a handful of my phantasmals were scattered forward of my main group (which was whittling down the first group of black hunters) and slowed the arrival of that second group long enough so that we had dispatched the first group.

Phantasmals to the fight:

The armies finally clash:

The new effects for Gifts from Heaven are awesome:

Ultimately, Machaka fails some morale checks and the army routs:

I think only 3 of the black hunters left the field.

The Butchers Bill for Machaka:

The Butchers Bill for NaBa:

Final thoughts: the terracotta warriors did surprisingly well, and my desert warriors paid a huge price(slain to a man), but they’re easy to recruit. Good fight all round.

Yeah, it looked like some of my Black Sorcerers and sorceresses never actual joined the fight, like they were supposed to. Not sure what happened, but that was a few spells never cast.

And it looked like Soul slay took out most of my Manticores before they could even move!

Looks like 3 manticores got off the ground(yes, soul slay popped the other 3) and attacked. One was instantly gibbed, and another got turned to stone(word of stone i think) and one lasted a swing or two…

It’s actually kind of funny - the manticore that was turned to stone then occupied 11 of my soldiers for several rounds until the stoneform faded, and he fled the field due to failed morale - the only one of the squad to survive.