Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith

I’m glad the info is available but ,like Kolbex, knowing that it is available makes me less likely to play a multiplayer game. I don’t have the desire to optimize at that level.

Well, there is a wide range of the levels people are willing to go in a MP game. I have a lot of experience and time playing on my side, but wing it a lot of the time :). I got lucky and even won once.

The only time I won was when inexperienced players jumped me early, and I was able to defeat them, and fortunately others left us alone.
I think a lot of luck goes into winning…

I know gem baiting came up a while ago. I just don’t care for it. That dive into mechanics makes Dominions boring. Like truly fucking boring. I enjoy some of the black box aspects of the battle system. Yeah I have debug mod to occasionally test out questions I want the answer to, like my recent one regarding GoR gladiator units and seeing if they stick around (they don’t). And looking at lesser used spells or summons or units to see if there is some niche use to them. And other parts of Dominions like precision, no matter how many times I read it in the manual, I still struggle to grasp it and just rely on all my spells and archers missing. If they hit, great, that’s just a bonus.

^This. I’m not a great player, I cock up a lot of things. But a big part of the enjoyment in this game is seeing what sort of mess I can get myself in as a result of poor decisions and get out of them. And having some nice big, fun battles to talk about sometimes. There’s some competition, but I favour survival more than trying to win.

You mean to say I should have increased my luck scales? Damn :)

That’s Dominions problem in multiplayer, yep.

You see, it’s PBEM. Played by email. That means player A can do his turn in 20 minutes and do whatever else with his life. But player B, on the same game, being a hardcore gamer, spends 4 hours of his day in examining every spell, every possible summon, doing battle simulations (in separate test game where he recreated the army compositions, because oh yes that’s something people does) to know what orders should be more optimal, training for the early game, etc. Obviously, player B will have much bigger chance of winning.

And people get competitive in Dominions. It isn’t surprising, given a game can last months. People aren’t going to religiously play every day for months without having a real interest in winning.

Said competitiveness affect things like so-called noob games. I heard tales of people having a funny definition of what is a noob. You know, when it’s them, their own subjective definition will twist to allow them to participate (I never won a game despite having played 8 times, I’m a noob!)

Ideally, competitive Dominions should be like competitive chess. With a timer. But there isn’t a good way to implement something like that. People would use a second copy of the game or whatever.

Dominions is a funny game, in that is recommended as a multiplayer game because the AI can’t ever hope to be as smart as a human, but in reality it has lots of things against being a good multiplayer experience:
-too long games
-too much micro in the late game. There are games that literally have been won by making them a nightmare to manage for the opponents, making them give up. This has been partially ‘fixed’ in Dom5 introducing a timer with horrors gobbling up thrones.
-At least 25+% of nations / spells with, let’s say, precarious balance.
-unbalanced maps that break a game too (there are third party random maps for this)
-the default mode is usually ‘free for all’ , which sometimes will create unfair situations for a player, despite best diplomacy efforts. Sometimes you will be at the end of gang-pile and you have to accept it.
-no control of used time under PBEM structure, as explained

yes, but it’s still FUN. there, i said it… on QT3…

You can always try blitz games. Then you are on a very strict timer.

The Clockwork hound bot on discord is very good at that.

Heck, the discord bit is very good at a lot of things, I just discovered. You just connect to the game, and it automatically downloads the maps and mods that particular game is using.

I hadn’t realized how much better it was then Llama server.

This is really the killer, imo, but I’m hoping this will not be a factor in our current game, since the gold restrictions are so far putting some severe limitations on fielded units.

Oddly enough I agree with pretty much everything that Turin wrote, but my conclusion is somewhat different.

Simply put, as bad as dominions is it scratches an itch that no other game seems to scratch.

Just me, but I don’t play at a high enough level that the micro during the end game is a restriction. What I do find is that if I make it to the end game may play becomes very risk averse because of the time invested and the difficulty in setting up a decent test.

Frankly if you don’t train for the early game, I don’t see how you can compete in a multiplayer dominions game. That’s simply part of learning to play each nation. I DO wish they would leverage the knowledge of the player base and just include 10 or so suggested pretenders for each nation. I think that would help folks scramble up the learning curve.

Oh, I know that’s the reason people play it, it’s unique and deep in a way that no other game is. If it didn’t have that part, it wouldn’t make sense for still being played :P

That’s a pretty fair summary. I will always love Dominions because it is deep and rewards learning the game. I will always hate Dominions because it is too long and has too much micro at the end.

If you could play it in 3 hours face to face it would be wonderful.

I’m curious whether you guys think the “WEGO” (i.e., simultaneous turns) mechanic in Dominions would work in a game with many more regions or even a large-scale turn-based hex-and-counter wargame. Would it be too confusing? Too much time checking battle reports? The concerns about micro would be magnified, too.

I ask because I’m jonesing to make a strategy game with Godot, and I have to keep talking myself out of projects that are too ambitiouis. But I’ve made a few simpler games and I’m eager to make something more complex.

Do it! Dominions with a cleaner interface, maybe less of the gems and items micro, yes please!

As far as I’m concerned, WEGO is it. IGOUGO if a relic of the ancient past.

Thanks for your comments!

@Kolbex, do you think WEGO would work for a WW2 grand strategy game, say? (I know some tactical wargames have used it with success, and even a grand-operational game like War in the Pacific works with WEGO. Last year, I made a little WEGO prototype set in North Africa, and I thought it was fun.)

@BloodyBattleBrain My powers are too weak to improve upon Dominions! But I’m thinking of trying to make a simpler area-control game with WEGO.

Ya, i agree with Kolbex, IGOUGO is dated. I think it can still work, but favors the simple/well designed. So it works really well with Into the Breach, and less so with Panzer Corps2.

Combat Mission introduced me to WEGO system and that’s already a pretty hardcore wargame, if tactical instead of strategic.So there is precedent.

Back in 1992, I played Global Conquest. Probably one of my favorite WEGO games. Sadly, I don’t think the graphics hold up, but it was a great little game.

Never got the recognition it deserved.

I think it would work even better in a grand strategy game, because the turn scales are presumably longer, a week or a month. Lotta things can happen in a week or month! Some of the AGEOD games straddle the line between operational and strategic, don’t they?

In my opinion the great strength of WEGO is the ability to surprise the player, to force them to confront situations they did not anticipate and probably could not have. In this respect I don’t think Into the Breach truly counts because there is no fog of war: you know precisely what the other side is going to do and when.

Another mechanic that I am extremely fond of is some kind of limitation on what the player can do each turn, since after all in a real situation attention is limited, as the ability of the command chain to process orders. This systems like that in Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm or the more recent Old World that restrict the player to a certain number of moves appeal to me a great deal.

Yet another mechanic dear to my heart, though I can’t immediately see how it would apply here, is one where order delay is modeled in the system. Off the top of my head I can think of three examples: Command Ops 2 and Campaigns on the Danube (which is a true masterpiece of fog of war implementation) on the computer, where the mechanics of it are understandably opaque, and in the tabletop sphere Redvers’ Reverse, where it is more transparent.

Also if this is a wishlist, something like the semi-King of Dragon Pass personality system in Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa would be just swell. Shadow Empire makes a pass at it but it’s nowhere near as well done in that game, which is probably because it was largely Cameron Harris’s work, as I understand it. Too bad because in every other respect I’d rather play Shadow Empire.

Thanks for your replies, everyone! Lots of great ideas there. I’ve also enjoyed a number of WEGO games: War in the Pacific and WITP/Admirals Edition; a couple of Grigsby’s earlier games; the old Operation Crusader and V for Victory games; and Dominions, of course.

@Kolbex , I like your wishlist. I also prefer Shadow Empire to Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa. The latter had an interesting event/relationship system, but it was bolted on a pretty traditional Eastern Front game that didn’t grab me.

I’ve started rustling up a new WEGO prototype for fun. (I made one last year for a game jam. It had the world’s worst UI.) We’ll see how far I get!