Ur Pretender build for QT3Lizzies game:
Map/Game considerations for Ur: This is going to be a short game. No need for imprisoned, high magic path mage for late game strategies. The map will be tiny, and I will come accross neighbors very quickly. Events are rare, so a Turmoil/Luck build is out of the question. (Just to be sure, I did a test game that confirmed it).
Other players: Rus, Nifel, and Therodos will probably try rush strategies, the first two with blessed units, Therodos with high dominion and lots of ethreal undead. All three could be running a lot of cold. Kailasa also has good blessed units. Sauro will be dangerous mid game (late for this game), but early on will have an archer heavy force protected by calvary -his sacreds are limited, so an awake pretender is to be expected here as well. Ctis might go heavy undead. I will rival Pan with nature and earth magic, but his sneakiness, especially with the blessed white centaurs is something I will have to watch.
Pros: lots of sacred mages, some diversity in magic, H3 mages available at capital, recruitable anywhere longbows and scouts, units either have shields or go beserk, and all have above average strength. Being able to recall my pretender a bit easier is not actually a pro, since it might tempt me into being reckless with him.
Cons: Sacred troops are cap only. All troops are rather pricey, and other than higher strength, their stats are meh. Building a new castle is insanely expensive. No blood, astral, small chance for death magic.
I tried a couple different builds. I really wanted the Celestial Lion to work, for a Fire and Astral bless. The astral might give me better magic resistance, or magic weapons, or give my casters further range, or give me Twist Fate. But he fared poorly against any indie other than miiltia and light infantry. The Shedu was very close to being a contenter, but I did not like the Earth and Astral bless impacts. If this was a usual game, without the turn limit, I probably would have taken him.
I ended up with the old standby, a Red Dragon, with Fire 6. This gives my sacreds +4 attack skill. Combined with the high strength that all my units have (15+), I should be one shotting most human troops. During the test games, they were routinely doing mid twenties damage. I could have gone with flaming weapons, but I want my guys to hit, and hit often.
But I need gold, and a high dominion to deal with the cold. Scales build therefore was dominion 6, Heat 3, Growth 3. Testing with bad luck ran afoul of too many barbarians, and giving up magic scales hurt my plans for my mages too much, which I need to help deal with the presumed sacred rush by the other players.
Ur Pretender build for QT3Lizzies game:
Er, did you mean to post your AAR before the game has even started? Or is this part of the learning experience in the newb game?
Part of the learning experience. It would be interesting to hear from others, like @pyrhic and @BotBaddict, about their way of picking a pretender. I believe @pyrhic did somethign like this in the other thread.
But this is mainly an excuse for my early out circa turn 10 :)
I have pretty much 2 main rules for Pretender design.
1 - understand how you are going to survive the early game. Assume that someone will rush you. It may not happen, but you have to have a counter. So either you need a strong combat pretender, OR a nation that has its own ways of dealing with a rush.
No point worrying about the late game if you don’t survive to see it.
2 - do you want synergy with your nation, or do you want to add breadth?
Taking Abysia as a simple example, which is all about fire/blood magic and fire-resistant, armored high-resource cost troops.
Your mages can already cast fireballs and other such firey fun. Do you want a pretender that can help your resource production, cast THE BIGGEST FIREBALLS IN THE WORLD and summon hordes of fire/blood demons and elementals while your troops stand in the flames and laugh at the enemy?
Or do you want a pretender that can give you other options if your enemies figure out how to counter your fire? One that can search for other types of sites, leading to a nice strong mixed gem income, and entry into other magic paths by summoning other types of mages? An Abysia that is suddenly strong in a random area like water, nature, air or death can be quite a tricky enemy…
I am a middling Dominions player, so you may wish to take my experiences as a cautionary tale rather than as advice!
I’ve been away this weekend (playing Star Wars Armada) so unfortunately I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to experiment with different builds. Generally I follow a train of thought similar to that of Akaoni and pyrhic. This time since time is short (IRL and in the game) my thought process has been this:
short game encourages a bless rush type strategy, as there may not be enough time to develop those really powerful late game spells. Instead just buff those sacreds and start taking territories and thrones early.
Awake or asleep? I usually go asleep or imprisoned, but In this game an awake pretender offers several benefits - rapid expansion if there is SuperCombatant potential, defence against interlopers, and most importantly activating the best blesses for those sacreds. So…a good bless on a combat chassis is going to mean low or negative scales. So be it - again, it’s a short game.
3). After a brief perusal of the options available to Pan, I thought the earth snake and the bulls maybe had the most potential. I didn’t really want a death bless as undying doesn’t help living sacreds all that much…though withering weapons might be nice. Water bless is good too for quickness and defence, and fire is nice, but I didn’t see good SC chassis for those in my 30 second perusal.
So, the basic earth and nature seem to be the way to go. I fooled around with earth 7 and nature 6, to get the half damage from normal weapons bless, plus the wooden warriors bless (+10 prot), to end up with very very tough white centaurs. But I realized that left them very vulnerable to magic damage and I switched to half damage plus regeneration. E7N7 meant I’d have to take a hot or cold scale, bad luck, drain, and low dominion…
Oh well, never tried that before but why not!
I may tweak some more but that’s my thinking for now. When should we have pretenders loaded by?
One thing to remember: as a counter now to the early bless rush the most powerful blessings are incarnate only. This means that they don’t actually occur until your pretender is awake. This is another change i’m not sure i like - taking an imprisoned pretender is already a setback, with the gamble that the (powerful) blessing is worth the risk. After all the awake pretenders can boost research, attack/defend and sitesearch - all the while you hold on to the dream of a powerful bless coming active just around the time that blessings are becoming less effective (mid-game) due to spells/thugs/items…
I always thought Imprisoned or even Dormant pretenders were overpowered: you could used the extra points for dominion and scales in what seemed to out of all proportion to the penalty of not having the pretender. It worked better with some nations than others, and of course it could have been addressed by decreasing the additional points available, but this feels more thematic to me, and if there is one thing you must always remember about the game, it is that it’s design is driven by theme.
Fixed that for you…
Stop this, guys! I already submitted my pretender, and I don’t have time at the moment to do more experimentation to find a better pretender setup that will take advantage of all the useful advice you are giving!
Hehe, it’s tempting but for this game I just want to jump in and get my feet wet with MP so I merely took a cool looking monkey-god (for Kailasa), pumped some stuff up, gave him a fun “80’s movie with a monkey in it” name, and hit the SAVE button. I’m certain I won’t last long against a more prepared player but I’ll have some fun for a while sending my sneaky chimps all over some backyards
Yeah… it’s a big temptation to analyze the heck out of everything, but I’ll probably be happier just going with something and seeing how it works out.
I agree - but i think this might be too much of a correction. We’ll see though, this is just an impression i have and I haven’t actually tested it yet…maybe you have, mr neifelheim? ;)
Well, I am actually doing a test game now and seeing some synergy possibilities that I wasn’t aware of when I made the pretender. Even so, I’m sticking with my OG monkey-god and working out some viable strategies! Not very good ones, mind you, but at least they’re not utter trash… I am, however, literally using dozens of monkeys as test subjects in my experimenting! lol
I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.
Pants are good.
Sorry, but how do I submit my pretender?
EDIT: I think I found how:
E-mail the file to: pretenders[ at ]llamaserver[ dot ]net
- Crucially, you must have the game name in the subject line of your e-mail
Second edit: pretender successfully submitted for C’Tis if QT3Furies.
Heh… well played.
See, and just like that, i totally changed like…absolutely everything…about my pretender. Among other things, he/she/it now likes shellfish!
And lizzies is off!