I originally bought Dominions 2 when it was a hot Q23 game but couldn’t figure it out and couldn’t stand the uglification of the graphics so it got installed and the disk got lost in one of the various moves I’ve made around the world and never played.
I picked up Dominions 4 in the steam sale last year and it sat in the backlog, unused but Dominions 5 was on sale on Steam a few days ago and I decided to do some YouTube investigation to see if it’s worth it and ran across Dastactics beginner series and rush game and watched them and decided to go ahead and purchase because it looked awesome.
I’m about 50 hours in to single player and I know I haven’t explored 10% of the content but here are my observations so far:
I love the depth and the range of strategies. I don’t know all the paper rock scissors effects but I like the options. Mass troops, build up powerful heroes with crafting, research and outfit powerful spellcasters, and the pretender options, oh my!
Two days ago this game was the greatest game I’ve ever played. Now it’s getting a bit more mundane. I’ll explain a bit more below.
I’m getting to the point where I want to try some multiplayer. Where’s the best scene for that nowadays? I’d love to play with some Q23 peeps if there’s still an active scene here.
This is the first game in many years that I’ve put in a lot of time thinking about when I’m not playing. Thanks to everyone who posted helpful stuff above. I’ve caught up and read all the info above and it’s been helpful.
Here’s a summary of my experience so far:
First game. I wanted to kind of copy what Dastactics did in the rush game and created a red dragon pretender and tried to take over the world. Said dragon died in three turns and mission aborted.
Second game I did a small two player map against the AI with MA Pangaea because it looked like a fun nation. Lots of fun and I won this one, probably due to some map imbalance because the thrones were closer to me.
Third game I did a random map with 8 players and chose a random land nation and ended up with Phlegra. I recruited a few of those giants with the pointy sticks and had a starting fort in a corner and proceeded to kick some ass. I took over about a fourth of the map and had some real fun. Peak moments included a message from Man in a battle for a province that started out the turn empty saying “you killed our God”. I also took out Pythium who had some giant statue that looked like Zeus in their final castle. At one point in the game I had about 30,000 gold and 50 defense on every territory. I had some good military strength but by the time it was down to three players I ended up having my massive dominion area start to disappear. I was about tow to tow militarily but my dominion eventually got snuffed out. What I did with all the gold was set every province to recruit as many units as possible but couldn’t get all of them efficiently to the front. From this game I put a little work into seeing hos dominion works but I still have questions.
Fourth game I played 8 players on a premade map and selected Tien Ch’i. The pretender I picked was a freak lord with 4 in every type of magic. I had to make him imprisoned to make it happen. My strategy was going to be to have him do massive site searching once he woke up but I ran into two issues. Firstly I couldn’t get and reliably hold more than 8 provinces and secondly unlike in the Phlegra game a lot of those provinces were barren with no sites. Nothing redeeming happened from this game except I decided I really hate wraparound maps and I’m wondering what the difference was between the game I played where almost every province had magic sites and lots had 3-4 and this game where magic sites were hard to find. I think having more sites makes it more “fun”.
Next game I played YS on another premade map. I absolutely won’t be doing any wraparound maps again. It’s still ongoing but I reiterate my hate for wraparound maps and this game has seemed pretty one dimensional. The only strategy I can see with this nation is to recruit the sacred knights and then the sacred leaders to lead and bless them. The rest of the troops are pretty much useless except maybe as filler for the two turns of hold and recruiting the mages for crafting, summoning and researching. I’m getting to the endgame here but this game is reminding me of Heroes of Might and Magic 3 where you made a bunch of heroes to shuffle units to the front and it’s getting tedious.
Also a game in progress is an 8 player random map game where I’m playing Ulm. I designed a pretender with good scales and earth magic 8 but I’m thinking this pretender is a mistake. The bless is useless (Ulm doesn’t have any sacred troops you can make in good quantities?) and there isn’t a lot of magic for Ulm so it’s feeling pretty much like playing Risk and again the tedious HOMM 3 issue of shuffling troops to the front so with two boring games ongoing I’m starting to reassess my initial 'best game ever" excitement.
I’ve been reading everything I can and watching videos but I have some questions that I haven’t been able to find answers to:
I’ve got a basic grasp of dominion but what is a good way to manage this? Should I be spamming temples down on every province I think I can hold? Every other? I don’t know a good ratio for this. Should I build temples only behind my dominion area or should I be building them in front of the line? What about preaching? Should I be doing a lot of preaching or is it a small effect? When my territorial holdings are beyond my dominion area should I be preaching behind my dominion line, in front of the line in enemy dominion or deep in enemy territory or does it matter?
When a game is going well what should I be doing with gold? I see a few options: Temple spam. Mass recruitment of units in non-fortress provinces and province defense points. The AI seems to throw troops at high defense provinces but I have a feeling that human players won’t be that stupid. I know from playing lots of strategy games that resources in the bank don’t win games, it’s resources on the field but with the recruitment limits I can’t spend all the gold on nation troops from fortresses so where should it be going?
What kind of gem site settings should I be expecting in multiplayer? I can see gem income is a huge difference maker in mid to late game and I haven’t really explored blood magic so I imagine there’s a “fair” setting for magic site frequency to make it even for blood and non-blood nations.
Is there any way to avoid the HOMM 3 troop caravan effect? I see there are some spells and items later that may help move things along but the fiddly micromanagement is getting old fast.
Well thanks for reading. I’m going to go back and see what happens in one of these ongoing games…