By the way, the bug has been fixed. So we can all start practicing again!
Indeed, the disciples are a bit like custom prophets
So, I thought I would throw to together my thought process to help everyone out.
First, the 2 most important decisions of the game is selecting disciples and pretenders. Not only ones that work well together, but also are usable by the player.
I guess starting with the pretender is most important. The pretender should have 2 or 3 of the following features, in no particular order.
It should have useful chassis. If the nations everyone wants to play require a certain type of bless or scales, you need something to work with.
The pretender nation should offer something to the disciples. It could be a domain ability or a bonus to your bless.
If you decide to take an unmovable pretender, the nation should have a way of getting Holy 3 leaders that isn’t too hard. Otherwise you must rely on your disciples, and that might take some time.
Have similar scale requirements as the other nations. Not just heat and cold, but order and production.
The pretender is the most important selection and is probably team defining. But, keep in mind, you want a pretender that can work with a variaty of nations, in case you don’t get your first pick of disciple, or need to reevaluate everything.
So, here are some of my thoughts on different nations.
Agartha - Has two major perks. A bonus to your bless, and the ability to recruit Holy 3 Mages. Very limited in chasses
Mictlan - Very different nation but similar bonuses.
Niefelheim - Their domain spreads cold
Ur - Bonus to bless, and their pretender doesn’t lose paths (notes that doesn’t impact disciples).
Kailasa - Bonus to bless and can eventually get Holy 3 summons.
Lanka - Not 100%, but maybe their bonus to blood hunting impacts disiples. I haven’t checked that.
Mekone - Conflict bonus to the spread of domain. But, no sacred units.
Arco - Scrying ability.
Abysia - Bonus to Bless and Holy 3 units
Atlantis - Holy 3 leader
Pelagia - Holy 3 leader
C’tis - Holy 3 leader
Oceania - +1 order in all non coastal terrain (so, saves you 40 points) but +2 turmoil at the coast (which there is a lot of).
Some other thoughts - a Nation that doesn’t require Heat or Cold 3 can score you some points by grabbing it. This is especially useful if your disciples need Heat or Cold 3, or don’t suffer from it much.
Yomi’s domain is limited to them, regardless if they are the disciple or the pretender.
So, now that this is sorted, I do have some recommendation. Everyone should be busy working in the team to come up with a pretender and pretender build. It might not be the end result, but it should be the start. After the team has settled on a pretender build, my suggestion is that everyone sets up a mock game with the mods and maps, with 3 human players in disciple mode. Build the 3 nations and play a good 15 turns with your nation. You can play all three nations, or set the nations that you won’t play to AI. The goal is to test whether the pretender’s scales work with the disciple nation. It is especially important to check if having the pretender dormant or imprisoned is too much of a burden.
My team and I have a pretender worked out. We might not stick to it, but its the first phase. I’m hoping to hear back about what did and didn’t work, whether we need to tweak the scales or the bless or whether the nations just don’t work together. I’m not too interested in the long term, just the first 12 or so turns, for expansion. After we starting hitting human players, all bets are off, but if you can grab and control 12-15 provinces in the first 12 turns (more if you have an awake bruiser), then your team might be set.
Also, let the other players know what you can or can’t do. This is a fun game, but we are talking about 4-5 months of gameplay here. Nothing sucks worse than realizing in the first 5 turns that what you put together won’t work. In this case, it is worse, because you have a team that relies on you.
In any case, I plan to take my time in starting this game. It might be that a nation that you need for your team is taken by someone else. That would require some major changes to your strategy, and I get that, so, take your time.
Oh, and I ask everyone to set aside some time to practice the game tonight or tomorrow. 15 minutes with a build should be enough.
Setting up a test game is pretty easy.
Install the two mods and the map. Set up a new game. Put in 12 players, and set 3 of them to human. Click disciple mod box, and set the teams. The three human players should be on one team, with the selected pretender first. Change all the pretenders to disciple, except one per team.
Then, just set the nations to 3 that are most likely what you want to play as. Set the pretender to whatever you agree upon, and then design the other two disciples to suit what you are testing. Start the game. If you want, you can match the setting, but since we only care about the first 12 turns, you don’t have to bother.
Then, do your best. See what works. Do you need a few more resources, note it. Does the bless not work, good to know now.
10 to 15 minutes.
Also, when in doubt, consider using discord to chat in real time.
So in late December I got lured back into the Dominions community again after 6 years away. I signed up for a game in January. It’s early June and we’re on turn 56. You can do the math about turns per day and such. This particular game has actually gone pretty quickly. BalanceMod run on the llamaserver. Many of the players signed up for this game are also in that game.
It’s tough to describe how possessive you get of your nation and your play. I’ve made some mistakes which I’ve trumpeted about in forum woofing, but truth be told…I’m pleased that I’ve lasted as long as I have in the game. Yes, there is some pride there. I expanded well, got a few breaks got into and out of a midgame war that tied down the leader at the time. Out of 7 starting nations 2 appear bogged down now and after that earlier adventure I was cat and mousing a nation and thought I was close to throttling him which would clearly put me with the leaders. He had some large forces, but I had better magic and a large army with my prophet was going to break down the walls of his capitol this turn. He had a large army adjacent and …to say I was nervous opening up the turn would be an understatement.
The thing about attacking somebody’s home province is that he likely has a lot of very good mages there and since it’s his home province he has no compunction about saving them for later. Everything goes into the defense of the that capitol. My poor troops never got to draw their swords. I don’t think ANYBODY got more than halfway across the battlefield. He took a page out of my playbook and his devil fliers dropped directly on my mages so scripts went straight to …well. Nobody made it off the field. The whole army was destroyed. And to make matters worse, even if they HAD made it off the field, He had used other flying armies to block all my fields of retreat so …NOoooobodyy would have made it off the field. Total annihilation. The whole army and all of it’s mage support is gone. Tip of the cap to you, Kelan. Twice our armies have met on the field and twice the fire mages of Abyssia have just destroyed my boys.
I’m not done. But I’ll need to think a bit about how to recover. IF I can recover.
This is a fun game.
I haven’t had a chance to see the turn yet!
A late addition was to drop a remote attack Horde from Hell spell on that throne and sounds like it was a good move and that they were successful in taking out the PD.
I have a quick suggestion. After the first round of nation selection, we should probably have a break. I’m sure a lot of plans and ideas are out the window after the first selection.
Good call. Gives everyone a chance to take a breath and create real plans.
We have chosen to be slot D. We have no idea what nations we will play, but slot D it is. That’s forward motion.
We have chosen slot A. We think our pretender nation of choice will work well with most disciples.
We’ll go with C.
Can we get some sort of team names though, to make it easier.
@pyrhic . it’s not our pick. We pick last as team 1 I believe.
Oh, i guess legowarrior changed my order around. I had slotted us in third spot, ok then…
Wait, which team is best? They should pick last I think.
If Kelan is okay with going last, I am too.
@Kelan, do you mind being in slot B? Well, Kelan and Team I should say.
If so, then everything is taken care.
By the way, I propose a 1 or 2 day delay after every team has pick their starting nations.
So, after team @df picks one of his teams, we we give everyone 24 hours to discuss the teams going forward.
@legowarrior . Any reason you can’t pick now since you chose A?
Interesting to see what first pick. Manning or the other guy who got arrested?
My decision can impact other people’s placement.
I will wait until everyone has selected their position.
Sure, that is fine. Just let us know when we are up to pick.
I guess right now.
For team… We are working on a name, by for now Pheonix Headquarters -
The Pale Ones are ours!
So, @Kelan, now it’s your turn.
Sounds good. @Strato may be handling our picks since he was listed first for our team. One of us will either way. Working on a pick now…