Qt3 QTtheHIll Dominions Disciples game thread

From what I can gather by looking up thread, November 2015, it looks like we never did a “hold for one turn” caveat. It was just hold 4 capitals.

Congratulations pyrhic! Can we get a battle report of the Lanka capital? And AARs, everyone!

Congratulations pyrhic on a dominating performance and a well deserved victory.

Don’t really think I have much to write in terms of AAR. I like EA Caelum, thematically especially, always a race I wanted to play in MP and I am glad it was this game where I had a surplus of gems to help get over some of the odd magic limitations they have. Really have no idea why Eagle Kings get a single earth path, or why their water paths are so limited when water magic is essentially frost magic in this game.

Congrats, pyrhic!

If anyone wants an eyes of god turn, or final turn, pm me your email…

Well, I have to say from the outset that Pyrhic’s Wylde Ryde (with 2 obligatory y’s) settings produced the most enjoyable MP game to date for me, so thanks for that Pyrhic.

Yomi seemed like a pretty strong nation to start with these settings, naturally happy with turmoil. I went for a rainbow pretender for gem finding, and max turmoil and max luck (to snag that scarce cash). Expanded pretty well, and the pressure on cash and research that favoured conjuration made for a fresh early game. Met Kailasa early on for a 3NAP that lasted the entire game. Caleum was second, but wasn’t party to a deal, much like TNN, and I got another 3NAP with Lanka a little later. My early target was clearly Pan, and this factored heavily on early relations. With both DireAussie and BotBaddict in the game, there was clearly going to be at least 2 rushes, and TC went quite early for TNN. In a move that I thought was significant, I pinched TC’s mercenaries to help TNN. Mercs became a fairly cheap source of arms for me as the game proceeded, and I used them a lot.

I had an accidental skirmish with Pan, and won very convicingly, so whilst he offered peace, I proceeded to take him on, keeping a leery eye on Altantis, but not suspecting any moves onto land from the salamanders. Got a large army onto Pan’s capital, and things were looking sweet, when, like a troll blue bolt out of hell, Dire Aussie launched his Atlantean force straight at my capital. I disengaged from Pan, and met his force, but was annihilated by his sea trolls and fall bears backed up by mages. The advantage of these setting was i could conjure up a new force on my capital, and while Atlantis paused to replenish, I manged to design a force that could take him on, specifically built around 50hp damage banes, backed up by fire mages spitting out Rage. It was do or die on my capital, and my banes broke Atlantis’s flank and got to his mages. It was a very close victory, but it broke Atlantis.

It took a while to get Atlantis pegged in, and I had to keep an eye on Pan. I had attacked Pan on his capital with some hubris, and was punished, particularly by Rain which snuffed out my fire spells, so I let him be with an agreement, while I focussed on cleaning up Atlantis.

Meanwhile TNN had cleaned up TC and was taking on Lanka (I don’t recall ever meeting Machaka), and it was clear with all the globals going up etc, that TNN was the team to beat. I hooked up with Caelum, Lanka, and Kailisa to attack, but at the precise point I was going to attack, Pan decided to take the throne I had occupied next to his capital. I had to take Pan out, as I really didn’t know if this was linked to TNN or not. The delay meant that TNN could bring in the frozen seas, and the vengeful water globals, which both became the bane of my life.

Taking Pan out, I moved south, but wondered into TNN’s dominion in error, and lost a fair few leaders from vengeful water. I got the flu around this time, so, whereas, I should have pushed on, I retreated for a moment, allowing TNN to grab his 4th capital. I couldn’t see what was going on - all my scouts were dead from vengeful water.

In the end I think I was undone by procrastination. A bit more oomph, and I may have made more of a difference. Thanks for the game everyone. Furthest I’ve ever been in a game, and very enjoyable to boot.

Steve

In picking a nation for this game, i knew I wanted a nation with good sacred support - I figured this was essential given the money crunch which was bound to happen. In particular, I wanted to be sure that the research support was sacred, as you could support twice as many sacred researchers as you could regular ones. I was pretty happy to see my ‘main contestants’ all selected, and particularly my ‘final 3’ including Kailasa and Lanka. In the end, I went with TNN because of their combination of stealth, magic-pathing, and the immediacey and potency of its thugs.

I decided on a sorceress rainbow pretender, and was able to get a solid minor bless(4FWES) on her in addition to 2D, and 1A. All this magic came at a price, and I had to limit her to a dominion of 5, with 3 luck and 1 magic. The astral/earth combo was essential as TNN is void of the first and almost void of the second. The levels support all the minor boosters, and i could bootstrap my way into the rings, which I could then conceivably use to boost anyone to do anything. Blood was a pure void, but one I didn’t mind. My pretender’s void of nature and (nearly) air were well covered by the tuatha and given that both her and the tuatha are stealthy, i figured I could get pretty aggressive with site searching early on.

Pre-game strategy was to get one or more thugs out, get someone site searching early for the AWN sites I’d need to support the thugs with, get my pretender out site searching and find a source of neutral S mages somewhere. The last was pretty critical. TNN’s great weakness as a nation (particularly in the mid/late game) is its void of astral - and so getting some astral mages for crafting and support was vital for me.

Turn 15

Everything is going pretty well. My initial thug sweep went northwest of my capital and then did a loop back, and now a second sweep has all but completed south and west of my capital. I’ve 3 thugs and have started equiping them with some rudimentary upgrades. My pretender has awoken and I’ve starting to site search - though funding was been so limited that I can’t even bring along a tuatha sorceress just yet, so I’m inefficiently site searching using a bean sidhe and a sidhe lord to cover air and nature. As I havent been able to do any site searching yet, I’m still only earning the original gem income, however that will change soon as my pretender starts uncovering some substantial sites.

Politically, you can see Pan above me - I had really wanted at least a 2 province buffer to my capital and Pan is seated in that island. It would annoy me some, but not enough for me to do anything about, and eventually I’d get over it as that island changed hands multiple times. Strangely, I wouldn’t find out that the lanka capital was across the lake from me for quite a while yet - as I was more focused on sending my scouts out and away. Just south of where my pretender is, this little swamp province would be a huge asset in the future TNN empire - it’s producing scouts monthly and they’re speeding away every turn in all directions and forming the information web that would last through to the end of the game. Finally, our gaze moves south to TC and the fight which, in hingsight, we know is coming. They’ve expanded very well, too well in my eyes, and have seized territory I feel is more properly TNN’s. In particular, it annoys me that I have no path to any throne and TCs over-reaching is to blame.

For now, it’s about biding time and seeing what can be worked out. NAPs and treaties are declined - TNN will stand on its own, and rely upon the unpredictability and strength of its stealth thugs to provide for its security rather than diplomacy.

Turn 30

It’s been an eventful 15 turns.

Our first and second fortresses have been built, and our economy (gem and monetary) are doing ok. TNN is earning about 30 gems a month at this stage, on a pretty even spread and is generally doing fine fiscally. In the first year of the game, luck really didn’t do a lot for us - but in the past year and a half, it’s come through alright - giving some great gold finds (which practically funded the first fortress) as well as regular gem hauls, and the occasional magic item. This month for instance found 7 gems, a lab, a magic item, 15 defense addition to PD and a loss of 1000 pop in a province. Also, around turn 20, Lugh found us.

Lugh is pretty damn awesome and would quarterback my armies through until the endgame. It’s not that he does anything great in particular, but he’s got some base resistances, awe, glamour, perfect darkvision, siege bonus, forge bonus, sailing (999 capacity!), is H3, can command 205 units(+3 squad morale for up to 5 squads!) and…he can wear boots. Caireall was my prophet through the end of game and remained in the HoF the whole time. Early on he saw combat, but later i shelved him and mostly used him for critical support - mostly because of the reliance on high dominion to keep his health up. With construction 4, the standard thug kit would go to a frost brand/ vine shield and typically some sort of light armor. If i could afford it, i’d add whatever miscellaneous pieces I could, and occasionally (albeit rarely) some headgear.

And, well, we’re at war with TC. And technically - we have been for about half a year now.

My memory of this is a little vague - but i recall a little bit of discussion about borders. I didn’t really agree with the proposal and so we ceased communications a little abruptly. I sought to make my border suggestions more…permanent. Basically, I think i took the three provinces north of the river and bordering the throne. He retaliated by sending an army or two up…and we were at war.

This is about the time I did something I’ve never done in a dominions game before - i think i sent everyone that bordered me some gold and…hmm, i think mostly asked them to not take sides. Except for Kailasa and Machaka - i think i sent them a little more and asked them to take sides, specifically my side - and I hashed out why…

TC wasn’t going away by itself. It was a strong nation, on the verge of becoming even stronger. However, it was vulnerable right now - and this was because of a strategic weakness of where they were located. All troops coming out of TC had to go north towards me, or east towards machaka/kail - in a prolonged war, it could not consolidate its troops, and regardless which way troops were sent, the other side would benefit. Critically though, there were the four provinces north of TC which essentially bottle-necked it’s supply/resource, and hitting even one of these(particularly of the two crossing towards TNN), could cut supply and gold for all the territories north of that point. Finally, TC was mixing its troops - the blessed demons were difficult to deal with, but when mixed with his heavy and medium infantry - the armies were reduced to a map speed of 1 and were far slower and more predictable in their movement. My plan was simple - lure them in and them cut them off. However to do this, i would take some losses in the beginning - and during this time, i really needed my neighbors to restrain themselves from seizing my territories. The gold was largely a bribe…but i figured in such a cash-strapped world, it might go far.

Ideally, I’d convince Machaka and Kail to threaten TC to the east, while i take care and dispose of it in the north - we’d converge and then…it’d be all done. Machaka never agreed, but really didn’t do anything against me either. Kailasa took a little convincing, but eventually agreed.

At this point, my plan is just about to come into fruition. My two largest armies are straddling the TC advance, and more importantly - I’ve hit his capital and put it under siege. It’s not meant to be permanent - only meant to distract and consume his resources…but we’ve a long fight yet to go.

At this point, I’ve 5 sidhe thugs - but I’ve already lost a couple to TC’s annoying Noble commanders - which apparently can trample the sidhes…grrrr…

I picked kailasa for several reasons. All the mages are sacred, strong and cheap communions, recruit-able sacreds in any fort, adaptable mages and thugs for 110 gold. I went with a F4A9 bless for a few reasons: the air shield protects my naked sacreds as they get into melee, the precision bonus would help my mages, and the air shield would also help my communion slaves survive. Finally, the A9 gave me the ability to summon masses of spring hawks and giant eagles for a cheap fixed price in air gems. Giant eagles are very useful in combat, sieges, and even patrolling.

I went with Order 2, and a sleeping pretender. I wasn’t sure if anyone would have an awake pretender surging all over the place, and so did not want to take a chance.

Initial expansion was slow, since elephants, which are usually the expansion vehicle for Kailasa, are expensive. Coming up against Tien Chi and Yomi fairly quickly, I then started site searching in earnest. Soon I was inundated with earth gems, but astral were few are far between, and would remain that way for the rest of the game.

On the political front, I came to a quick agreement with Yomi for a NAP 3, which we never felt the need to break. It was apparent that there was some type of agreement between Machaka to my north and TC to my NW. So I worked to try and come up with some agreement with Caelum while my armies came on line, very slowly.

It was here that I made my first key decision. TNN sent me a message and 100 gold and stated that TNN and TC were at war. On the lands that TC held near me, there was only a handful of troops, so I was easily swayed into thinking I could grab some lands and a recently built castle for almost no cost. How wrong I was. In addition to big armies of archers, troops and demons, TC fielded small handfuls of mages and priests, summoning Ancestor Spirits and then buffing them with F9A9. My archers were then useless due to the A9 air shields, and the mindless Spirits were immune to the awe that my sacreds relied on to survive. With the attack bonus and magical flaming weapons bonus from the F9,the spirits quickly carved paths through my melee troops. TC also had a cluster of troops protecting the mages, and churned out a war party with this composition every couple turns it seemed.

This was the most enjoyable part of the game for me. A trickle of gold, a lot more of gems, and a fight over twenty turns or so where TC came very close to wiping me out. Many turns went by with all of my mages in the field, with even S1 mages carefully scripted. Every gem was used either for casting or summons. TC’s thugs went wandering through my lands, while an assortment of whatever I could scrape up would be counter attacking or defending. Witches with N1E1 became experts at countering banes. S1 mages became hardened veterans with enhanced melee skills from spamming star fires. It was a grand time.

When it ended, it was mostly due to TNN attacking TC’s capital. The smoking ruins of my lands and TC’s were populated by a scattering of my troops, with a bit of Provincial defense and a lot of unrest. A brief incursion by Machaka only served to make the alliance with Caelum stronger - several dwarven hammers and bags of wine went his way, while rune smashers came mine.

At this point, I was well aware of my research gap. For many turns I had little or no research going on. TC required everything. I tried to hunker down and play nice, build up my forces of giant eagles, and research what I could. Scout monkeys could finally scout instead of ferrying gems. What I found was a strong TNN presence, both in trolls and in magical creature evidence. When you see Ether Warriors along with Wraith lords and gargoyles, you have an idea of how much further along in research someone else is from you.

Caelum was also concerned about TNN’s strength, but what forced me to act was Lanka. This was the second key decision, which I am still not sure about. A message proclaiming that he had provoked the bear in his cave made me think that it was now or never, especially with the recent revelation that TNN had most of the Elemental royalty. I managed to snag one Earth king, and wasted gems on another and an Air Queen.
My carefully built up forces leapt into TNN space, quickly sieging Tien Chi’s old capital and a path to it for my forces that could not fly. The walls were down immediately, but I waited a turn to bring up a force of communion slaves. I think that was in error, since it gave TNN time to gate and summon in an overwhelming number of troops. It did not help that he had a lot more casters doing evocations than I did, nor did it help that my mages defaulted to a useless blade wind spam after they go off script.
The next turn gave me a rude shock as the artifact Gate Stone brought in every troll in the world to my recovering army. Giant eagles are good, but they aren’t as good as mistformed regenerating trolls with magic resistance and some weapons of sharpness.

From here, though, the game slowed down. TNN was busy elsewhere, knowing I did not have much left. I hunted down his disease carriers, spammed out earth attacks, built up more troops, and researched like mad. But the bored led me to just whip out turns, that cost me a Siddartha kitted out with 2 frost blades to a wraith lord that was immune to frost. I should have seen that coming.

In the end, I was 2 turns from Armies of Gold, and I hoped that combined with Pillar of Fire spam, along with the usual spells, would be able to defeat the TNN tide. But I was under no illusions. I would be able to defeat one army, but not the next, as I anticipated my victory would be…Pyrrhic. Heh.

A word about the Vengeful water. I lost so many scouts to that thing, and was not able to get a good picture on anything going on in other parts of the world. I had good vision on Pan, Machaka, and some in Yomi, but never saw Atlantis, and barely saw Lanka. To my mind, it seemed a lot more useful that the Air global.

Anyways, enjoying reading everyone else’s write ups here. Keep em coming!

I went with Atlantis for something different. Being in the sea with high cost mages and low income provinces meant my start was slow. I had a rainbow pretender and was concentrating on conjuration and evocation. My expansion into land got stymied by Pan. He destroyed my new fort and I had to stay in the sea to recover. I had a massive gem income and planned to use it once I grabbed a foothold on the mainland. I figured I’d try take on Yomi who had by that time conquered most of Pan. My initial success turned to frustration because 2 big battle replays said I had won but the report said I’d lost. I had lost all my best mages, had no way to recover but most of all had lost almost all interest due to the battle replay bugs and so regrettably staled a lot of subsequent turns.

That’s sorry to hear - but i thought the bug with that actually was with the battle replay - that it was unable to reproduce exactly all the conditions of the first battle that produced the report and so ‘only approximated’ the results of the report - with the result that sometimes ‘approximate’ isn’t even close. If this is true, it’s the report that is accurate, and actually the battle replay which is bugged…kinda half full way of looking at it, but I dunno, I think it’d make me feel a bit better about it…

Yeah, thats definitely one of the most infuriating bugs in the game.

Must be a tricky one if its still unfixed after all this time.

yeah, it was a bug. i thought i’d lost until i realised atlantis had retreated. just thought it was the replay bug, and “carried on”. it was VERY close that battle

By the way, pyrhic, I sent you a PM with my email address. Would love to see the game from a different point of view.

Turn 60

It’s turn 60 and it’s a pretty pivotal time in general for the world.

Some Highlights:

TC has just been eliminated this turn. It was pretty anticlimactic - a scattered force of monkeys, and white-ones beat the last scattered remnants of some lizard shaman in a fort. TC is the first nation eliminated, but judging by the Yomi advances into the water, and into Pan’s island, those two nations do not have too much time left.

No Globals have been yet cast, and no thrones have been captured. Caelum has attempted to seize the Zeus throne at least once, and maybe more times, but has so far been unsuccessful - I think he tried 4 times to seize it? Maybe 5? Some bad luck, bad synergy and some nasty combatants there…glad i didn’t roll into that mess.

Though TNN has been sucssessful, I don’t feel that strong. My economy is certainly purring well - TNN holds 5 forts, and is completing a 6th right now. I understand this is a strong advantage, but i’m concerned that I’m too troop thin. In particular, i’m aware that many of my troops have glamour and can’t be spotted, making me look even weaker than I am. Lanka has 4 sizable armies, Yomi at least 2, Machaka 2…I’ve got forces all over the place and a very long border…I don’t feel very safe. Kail has emerged from the war in pretty good position, with 4 forts, but everyone else is hurting, and most have only 2.

Fueling my economy is not only my forts (and fueling those has been my luck), but also I’ve now had Trade winds running off my capital for many turns. I have never checked to see its actual impact, but it certainly ‘feels’ like its helping.

In terms of research, I’m pretty comfortable I’m either leading or very competitive with the leader. I’m now sitting on Conj 6, Alt 7(Hello fog warriors!), Evo5, Const 6, Ench5 and Thau4, and I’ve decided to push construction to 8 to get to artifacts. I’m producing 760 research a turn now, give or take, and can be at Const 8 in about 6 turns.

In gems, i’m pretty happy with my income. I’m earning 92 gems a turn - far more than I’m spending, and the sources are pretty well distributed, averaging about 12, with astral highest at 19 and nature lowest at 8. Nature would continually be a drain, and even in the end, i would rarely have excess nature gems - as I would typically use them in shields, and the sublime rainbow armor.

It’s a bit of a confusing time for me - i’m not too sure which way I want to go or what to do. With TC removed, I have the thing I needed most (and what fueled my conclusion to the TC war) - a Sorceress site. An indy site for Astral mages has been something that eluded me all game so far, but when I raided TCs Keep of totems province (selected in the map) and found it had an astral mage site, i knew I had to keep that war going until its end. Even at the end of the game, it was the only astral mage site I had producing units (late, late, game, i would capture the TC site that spawned the lizard shamans, but it was far too late to be useful to me then). I needed astral mages for 3 things - to produce low level astral items like antimagic amulets - to act as a source of protection against mind hunts - and to act as a buffer against a magic duel attack on my god. The fact that sorceresses at A2S2 out of the box, with an additional AWSD (20%) was just gravy. I was particularly concerned that Kailasa, and its ludicruous low astral casters would try something in the magic duel category.

Seeing some gaps, i’ve recently summoned my ether lord (highly recommended by the way, if you have the pearls) and have just summoned the first of my…many…sea kings. I would find out quite a bit later how much these cost me…but right now, trolls are awesome chaff, and only cost some gems I really can’t find much use for.

I’ve 7 Sidhe lords at my disposal, and one Ri. I won’t build too many Ri (i think i make one more), because this one will die as he lived…poorly…more on that later. With the trolls and Etherlords, I’ve also been trying some other summons to test their utility. At one point I summon a werewolf - given my nature gem problem, i’m not sure why i did this, since Sidhe’s can do most of the exact same thing, and in most cases way better. Later, despite how perfectly normal it sounds, I would give this werewolf a amulet of lycanthropy that would quickly wreck him. Seriously dom4 devs…if you read this…werewolves are lycanthropes…they really shouldnt be negatively impacted by the amulet…but…for the rest of you, if you don’t already know this. They are. and damnit. I could probably write a chapter on the stupid shit that I did that only served to hurt myself…sigh, like the mummy hero that will be birthed soon. and damnit.

I’ll whittle away the next dozen turns or so - indecisive. Trying to figure out information. Trying to find a path and a strategy. For a while, I’ll even totally mis-remember the victory objectives…

…yes…and this is apparently what stuff god-hood is made of.

For what it’s worth, I’m really enjoying these updates (even if I don’t entirely understand everything going on).

3 times for the throne. Rain of Stones was pretty rough.

Turn 80

Twenty turns from my last update, and twenty turns until the end of the game. Just writing that seems striking, because when Akaoni writes(not incorrectly) about the game slowing down and dragging, and then you see the game state at this point(80% of the way through) and think of all the changes that are happening in the next twenty turns - it just seems somewhat unfathomable that the game would seem dragging…

But lets not get ahead of ourselves…

So, in the last twenty turns, four of the five thrones have been captured. To my east, I was ok with Machaka’s presence and had no ambitions towards it. Really, with its capital on the river, there was no way I could move towards the throne above it without declaring war on it - and I’m leery of a wardec at this point. I’m getting pretty confident I’m leading in many key areas - but I still feel that my troop strength is not what it could be. Take a look at the map, and you can see a monster stack in Lanka - plus lesser stacks of elephants and things, and Yomi has some truly massive buildups. Kail and Cael are somewhat more obscure, but I’m starting to feel that the war with TC hurt Kail far more than i thought - and strangely, Caelum seems to be taking serious losses in trying to just hit the throne he surrounds. Still, I feel i need to be careful - and I’m particularly worried about Caelum flying raiders wrecking havoc while my army gets drawn into a large conflict…

However, Caelum and Machaka start getting into a war - and my first evidence of this is Caelum raiders hitting the Machaka territories to my east. Initially, i choose to ignore it, but as the raids continue it seems that Machaka is losing this battle - and also, seems to be defending one point in particular very well…

I’ve a stone sphere (allowing me to scry with non-mage troops with no risk to themselves - also, can be used to test for domes - really, a fantastic item) and I take a look at what I’ve marked as #1. It is, quite properly, a super-gem site - producing 11 gems a turn, and allowing for enchantress recruits(1N + 2FAEWN, +50%FAEWN). So as it becomes obvious that Machaka is falling, i seize it and the pathway to the (then unclaimed) throne. Caelum occupies the province to the northeast of #1, but I’ve isolated it(and scryed it) and after somewhat aggressive bargaining he allows me to take it for no restitution. I’m starting to feel like the other nations are fearful of me, and my ‘negotiations’ are definitely taking a more forward posture. The site marked as 2 was another example of this where, if i remember correctly, i seized it from Yomi on the pretext of keeping it out of a slightly resurging Atlantis. Strangely as i think about this now, both of these strike me as reminiscent of the Nazi Germany’s annexations prior to WW2. In both cases, while I moved purposefully - I moved more out of the belief that no real resistance would emerge than anything else. If either had put up a fuss? Certainly in Yomi’s case, i would have backed down - i was not confident enough to take him on directly. But even in Caelum’s case, i would also have likely backed down. I did not think I was ready to take on the world…

In #3, we see TNN ‘assisting’ in the final defeat of Atlantis. I was really surprised that Atlantis had survived this long…at this point, their war has probably been going on 40 turns! Also, you can see Pan is still alive, clinging onto its remaining territories somehow. I never even saw very many battles with Pan or Atlantis, so i couldn’t even gauge whether they were fighting well, or Yomi badly, or he was just focused elsewhere…It was all sort of strange.

In #4 we see the Steel Ovens. Much like with the Machaka territory, I noticed that Lanka was building an army that was out of proportion to the one opposite it. When i scryed it I found the ovens. Several times I thought about taking it, but that would have meant all out war with Lanka…plus, if nothing else, my possession of the ovens might cause the world war I’d been fearing. No, best leave Lanka and its ovens alone…

Globals! In the last 5 turns, the first two ‘lasting’ globals go up. I put up Fata Morgana, and Kail puts up Mother oak. In terms of gems I’m earning 146/turn right now, with a very even split - no fewer than 19, no more than 29, for all sources except blood. This glut of gems has left me thinking I should put up a global or two - but which ones? I wouldn’t want to put up something too aggressive…so I settle on Fata Morgana for a few reasons:

  • Increase Province defence: There’s something causing disease emerging in some of my provinces and I’m thinking Fata Morgana will increase my patrol bonus and help me root it out (incorrect assumption, afaik)
  • Increase Province defence(2): I’m worried about raiders - sometime soon it’s inevitable. The additional phantasmal forces attached to defence might be enough to either deter raiders, or cause their nation to send larger raiding parties to guarantee success (believe this was correct, but unsure whether it had any impact)
  • People are happy! This global will also give me some additional luck results/findings (no evidence this did any of that at all)
  • Makes my armies look bigger! Well, my opponents will have to say if that worked or not…
    All in all, though i felt it was worthwhile at the time, in hindsight Fata Morgana was a big waste of gems. It did actually save me a province or two from neutral raiders - but other than that, it was a pretty poor use of 90 air gems (which i would come to need later on). However, it does pave the way to me starting to think strategically about globals, and I start to plan a strategy around them…

On research, TNN is still trucking along - Cons/Alt -8, Ench/conj-7, evo6 and thau 5. Fata also made me realize that I haven’t even given any consideration towards the elemental royalty - whose strong path affinity are going to be necessary if i want to cast some of the globals I’m thinking of. I only hope that my focus in other areas hasn’t cost me the opportunity to get them. Next round I’ll have Conj8 and start the summonings.

I’ve had cons8 for about a year now, and the items are rolling off the assembly line. The first were the gatestone, and boots of the planes, following afterwards, in no real order, were mage bane, aegis shield, flying ship, first anvil, atlas of creation, forbidden light and bell of cleansing (both were meant to be used against lanka - though i could never figure out a good method of deploying the forbidden light). It’s around this time, that I came to realize that many of these toys are pretty meaningless without suitable chassis…so, yet another reason to get that conjuration level up.

But still, and finally, with 20 turns left until the end of the game I haven’t figured out a plan of attack. My grand strategy can be summarized in:

  • two front war - bad - avoid
  • one front war, only leads to two front war - see above - bad - avoid
  • nibble at edges until everyone just lets you win or something

The good thing is that the realization of the last thought in particular has rocked me awake. The next few turns will see TNN start adopting a strategy to win the game (as opposed to just having the most stuff).

Oh, and my Sidhe count now is 12, with one (soon to be dead) Ri. I’ve also 2 golems (not that impressed with them in Dom4 - certainly weaker than they were, or so it felt like). And my etherlord is still “alive” or whatever an ether lord is…

Really liking this pyrhic. Haven’t done much of my own AAR, largely with uni studies murdering my time after I finish work (partly why my own Dominions turns can be fraught with errors).

Do want to say that the swap over of land from Caelum to TNN wasn’t from fear. I found the in-game diplomacy to be more protracted than it needed to be, and will be more than happy to do away with it in future. To me, it was a bit more easier to just give what you were after than go through the long and tedious haggle process. I believe I did try and bargain for a booster which you refused, rightly so, but I wanted to put it out there at the time anyway so I could save myself a little bit of time.

Looking at those gem totals you have, yeah, I don’t know what to say. I know I had water and air break 200 at different points, but everything else remained in the double digits. Of course, I was spending the gems, but never really had much of a surplus to work with effectively.

Oh yeah, unless someone did it the same time as me, I was the person to cast Fate of Oedipus first time around to kill your Eyes of the God. Can’t really say it was worth the gems, but I did have them at the time, and not a huge use for them. Empowering my Pretender in water was when I started making good use of fire gems by making a few rune smashers. Took a while to decide on that.

One post game thought - I think Ermor would have been brilliant in this set up. I’ve already played EA Ermor in three Dominions MP games and so I select against them now because I want to try other nations. But yeah, sacred researchers, defensible military access to all magic paths (except blood). Caelum, I was in this weird position of having water and air, but not able to capitalise on them effectively. I also had this weird influx of earth gems and little utility.

I too am enjoying your detailed write ups. Looking forward to the re-caps of the battles! And NOW I see where Atlantis was…And only once did I have triple digits of gems, and that was earth gems.

In regards to Fata Morgana. I noticed that my scouts did not detect any of your armies in the field, and that the count of the troops in the castle went up by a couple orders of magnitude. Where previously I had seen a hundred trolls and Sidhe, for example, it went up to 600-800.
While that is interesting, and valuable, I still think Vengeful Water was a better global.

thanks for the continuing aar, pyrhic. enjoyable reading :)