Dominions 5: Warriors of the Faith


@BrianRubin, I strongly recommend you buy this game.


@Akaoni is spot on with the summation of MP Dominions.

I’ve been playing Dominions now for 7 years! Ever since I moved to where I currently live pretty much. I still remember when I had downloaded Dominions 3 on a shaky internet connection while residing in a motel room and learning to play by alt-tabbing between manual and screen constantly. Having spent a little bit of time learning Dominions against AI, I took part in my first multiplayer game that included @Kelan. I was MA Abysia, running a Moloch Pretender, he was MA T’ien C’hi, and just like in the current Wyld Ride game here on the forums, I started off nice and peaceful before attacking Kelan suddenly. I’m sure history will repeat and I’ll get hammered in time, and part of that comes down to how different MP and SP Dominions is. 7 years, playing against some of the same individuals and it doesn’t feel old.

SIngle player Dominions I’ve come to accept is a completely different beast. There’s not much of a time pressure unless I make it so. The AI doesn’t care that 100 turns have elapsed and the game is still going. The AI doesn’t suffer game fatigue. I alone set the game pace. Dominions against the AI is being able to run carefully managed army formations against their hordes. The AI doesn’t care about army organisation or higher order tactics involving complex spell scripting. But I do. In a game I have going currently, it feels good to run down another horde with my army. It isn’t like bashing a stupid opponent for some sort of sick pleasure. But it does give room to experiment.

Experimentation is the other benefit of SP Dominions. Rarely will I see a real life MP opponent equipping their commanders with items like an Enchanted Spear or a Fire Sword. There’s go-to gear that we all get in a MP game, and I’ve found a large number of items go by the wayside. Plus gems are a precious resource. But I can build those items in SP Dominions. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. Similarly with spells, I can start thinking about maybe utilising lower level spells and just playing around with the game. There is a lot to explore, and one marvellous strength of the game is the possibility of following some nations from early age through middle, then late age and seeing the shift in gameplay as they go.

Multiplayer games keep me fit. As Akaoni pointed out, it is in a sense a deeply involved game of working out counters and counter counters to the opposition. To that end, I’ll go for a think run; turn over a Dominions problem in my head while running 5-10 km and be surprised at some of the strange ideas that pop in. Multiplayer is a much different environment, and to get the most out of Dominions involves multiplayer because then an opponent can use some carefully crafted strategies, army compositions and surprises against you. Single player is competent, don’t expect miracles from the AI, but it will put up a respectable fight.


Fiiinneee, added to the list of games to buy during this sale.


By the way, are we every going to get any improvements to the multiplayer system, or is everything just going to be play by by email forever?
I would love to have a decent server that I can connect to without having to jump through hopes or go through a third party.


There has always been an option to connect to a server. I’ve never tried it myself however I am aware that certain game types (blitz games I think) do have users connect to a private server and resolve a fast game that way.

Llamaserver (play by email) works because it doesn’t care about timezones.


Yeah, server support has always been there. I ran a server for a Qt3 game of Dom2 about 15 years ago. The issue was when connections would go down, etc. - in those days it was tough to get a fixed IP address, the networks weren’t as stable, and email was technically easier. But you could do it then, and can still do it now. Instructions are in the game manual on p. 19.


I think SA forums uses an automated sever with some scripts, instead of PBEM.


PBEM does suit the game though. the conspiring between turns is a lot of fun, and you usually only wait about 48 hours.

what i like about DOM5 that is so simple, yet enhancing, is the new dominion ‘influence’ map: it really helps define what you think is yours, and should be yours, dammit


So, I am liking some of the changes, but I have not noticed a ton of changes from Dominions 4.

I still avoid all blood nation’s because I am not a fan of the single focus school or the necessary micro, I still find the LA Jomon both intriguing and flawed, and I still prefer the (non blood) nations of the Late Era, but the magic of the Middle Era.


I got this game in the summer sale and I’d be interested in doing a game with or folks who are not that great at dominions. I played a fair amt of Dom 3 and a little Dom 4 and haven’t made it to turn 12 of a Dom 5 game yet.


I haven’t played MP since Dominions 3, so I am in.


New patch, new nation, LA Phlegra.

They have some cool stuff like Helote Warriors that once gained enough xp, will transform in labs in better versions (similar to their Iron Guard cap unit), and cute Moufflons Cataphracts! (giant sheep riders),

They also have cyclops as their elite giant unit, with limited recruitment

However, the big thing is that they have a volcano in the capital that will explored after ~24 months, killing people and causing unrest. And from the volcano, this MOFO will appear:

who also enables recruiting more giants similar to him (but with less paths I believe). They have 8 simultaneous attacks!


Hasn’t multiple attacks been nerfed in this version? I believe multiple attack weapons must all target the same units.


I think there is some rule like that yeah, that or ‘all attacks have to go to the same square’.


Have you tried the new pretender design app? It’s been really helpful, though not 100% accurate. A few pretenders are missing paths, but I’m not sure how to comment on it.


The issues page should allow you to add an issue for any problem you see.


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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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…


Glad you are having fun with this game. I had a similar experience, in where I bounced off from Dominions 3 but I eventually tried again in Dom4 and it was then when I finally ‘got it’.

Some comments on your games

First game. Look at what types of troops there are in the indie provinces. Avoid heavy cavalry, they can kill Pretenders, or hurt them badly.

Third game. Don’t let overflow your resources so much. This isn’t even a hint for Dom5, but a general strategy thing. Build temples on your territory and hire priests and let them spread your dominion with that money to avoid being dominion-invaded.

Fourth game. Don’t attack AI factions nilly-willy. The game don’t have a proper diplomacy screen but internally the AI can be at ‘peace’ or at ‘war’ with you. In other words, try to attack them one by one. Also don’t pick random AI, pick normal AI in the setup screen.

Fifth game. Yeah Ys is pretty much a one-trick-pony, focused on their excellent sacred troops and sacred leaders (thugs).

Sixth game. Ulm don’t have sacred troops, they are special like that. But they still can do a good amount of magic, you just have to know good combos. In fact, surely you still have to learn all that magic can do, with communions, item boosting, etc.

Your questions.

  1. There is no hard rule, but yeah, temples should be built on provinces you think it will be hard to attack, at least. How many? Well, my friend, that depends on how many temples the opposition build, too, so it’s hard to say. Just start building more if you see your dominion start to shrink a bit. It also depends of yours and his Dominion score, so yeah hard to say.

  2. Build more fortress to have more places where you can recruit good quality troops and mages. The recruitment limit is per province, so just have more provinces with castles. In special recruit mages. Number of fortresses is the ‘cap’ to your mage recruitment per turn, that’s the true reason veteran players build them.

  3. I would say most people play on the default settings.

  4. While there are a pair of high level teleport spells, they aren’t common or cheap enough to use them just to avoid micro. Fiddly micromanagement is 80% Dominions, to be honest. You can only try to learn all the key shortcuts to try to reduce the amount of micro per turn, but even then, Dominions is a micro heavy game, it’s the reason after my first 200 hours, I play it much more infrequently, even if there are still lots of nations I haven’t played.
    Armies at least can remember their destination province from turn to turn, in Dominions 4 you had move them again each turn!


I’ve been trying to write an introductory strategy guide to put in the manual but was having a hard time figuring out what questions to answer. I think I’ll start with some of these.

Also, the manual really needs a communion guide. The Bogarus strategy article in the Dom4 manual was meant to cover that but now with a new manual this needs to be addressed.


I made the mistake of downloading the Dominions 5 nation generator app. Now I am stuck just generating Nations instead of playing.

By the way, next week, I will start the process of setting up a comp stomp play be email game.