The Dominions 4 Thread of Multiplayer Stabby Stabby Ascension - 2014 Edition

i’ll be in for another game also: keeps me going through the winter, that and the furniture

New game thoughts:

Throne of Ascenion victory, in house rule that has a 3 turn period after claiming the requisite number of ascension points before victory is declared.

At least 8 players so we can have four teams. 3 teams is a bit messy in that invariably it becomes 1 vs 2. If there were a map suitable for it, another option could be to have a single throne in a central area and a team has to take and hold for a longer period of time, king of the hill style.

I have no idea about team selection in that it all depends on who else wants to play. So far it looks like: Otthegreat, belouski, DireAussie, BotBaddict, Evil Steve and myself. Akaoni, were you interested, or are you simply participating in the conversation?

Speaking of Akaoni, I am tempted to try what Akaoni said about bumping up supplies and income (keeping resources normal) to allow for larger armies. It might tie in nicely with a middle era game, and certainly with disciple play. Plus we seem to have not done a MA game in a while? And mages in that era are still potent enough to cast some decent spells in battle. Probably no underwater nations though given the spotlight that has been put on them with the upcoming patch.

Another option I considered would be to go the other way, reducing incomes, but bolstering gem sites so that the focus then becomes thug heavy and summons. That I suspect will slow the game down, be catastrophic if faced with tough independents and on the whole, less fun. It would be one possible way of encouraging open diplomacy however.

me likey the king of the hill suggestion

Might be worth making research more difficult then, or you could end up with turbocharged research speed rather than large armies.

Agree on the underwater nations too, with huge changes about to be made to them in the next patch. I’ve been holding off playing any Dom 4 until after the underwater patch, since I discovered I enjoy underwater nations so much, but bits of them are quite badly broken.

Still, just thinking about MA Oceania again gets me all excited. I still can’t believe this nation has a reputation for being underpowered. Those sacred, recuperating, amphibious heavy cav are some nasty dudes.

And speaking of nasty sacred recuperating underwater heavy cav, if only MA Pelagia could find a way to get those Knights of the Deep onto land…

With a decent bless they crush even Oceanias heavy cav pretty easily

Damn it, I’ve talked myself into playing. I’m in.

good work. talking to yourself on a forum is clearly the way to go

[have i really been here ten years?..]

I do like MA, nice mix of magic and national troops, and yes, I agree, making research harder is pretty much necessary.

I am liking the idea of King of the Hill style gameplay. One throne, hold for an unknown number of turns. I’d aim for either 3, 6 or 12 turns, that way it is easier to track the time left based on the time of season - capture throne in late Summer, win in late Autumn, Winter or Summer, depending on timeframe. There are a couple of scenarios that could play out which I don’t like.

One is what happens to an army defending the throne when it has nowhere to go. We all know what happens, and suddenly that player is going to have a bad time. Having large armies, and large incomes might mitigate that if I find a map that has a nice land-locked location suitable for a single throne. Alternately, going pairs might be helpful too. Because of this, I’m avoiding islands as possible throne sites, tempting as they are. It also gives too much of an advantage to flying/air magic nations.

Secondly, a fortress filled with summons that don’t need supplies will be difficult to siege down the defenses. Particularly problematic if the fortress is insta-built with ritual like 3 Red Seconds or Wizards Tower, or the event that fires when unrest between 10 and 100.

But otherwise, that is my thoughts for the next game - King of the Hill, one throne only, hold 6 turns. And based on numbers, either teams of two, or singles, Middle Age with increased income, supplies, dependent on map I think, having just done a run, and even at 200% increase, money was absolutely rolling in, which makes it too easy to build forts. Difficult research and maybe a slight buff to special site frequency (50). No underwater nations.

Give it a few more days to see who else is interested, then I think work out a map, and go from there? In many ways, this style is a bit of a testbed, bit like QTDoom, so anyone playing has to be prepared for gameplay that might end up being unfair.

If we want to emphasize bigger armies, merely adding more gold wont help without also augmenting the resources. MA means a lot more troops wearing armor. I agree that Difficult research or even Very Difficult research might be picked. There are going to be a ton of forts, and if every one of them are spamming out mages, the difficult research curve wont matter.

Actually, if we want to limit the mage impact, the special site frequency should be lower - gems are rare and special, gold is cheap!

And did we want to include or exclude, water nations? Not sure what Strato wanted, but psyanojim seems keen on them.

Yeah, I am in. Although if we do get an odd number of players, I volunteer to play the ‘grumpy old man’ nation that is guarding the throne, and only the throne. Get off my lawn!

Yeah I’m keen on them, but not until after the underwater patch! I think its a good idea to exclude them from this game since there are almost certainly some big buffs/nerfs/rebalances coming soon

The issue with modifying research is that you are not penalizing all nations equally. Some nations have cheaper research paths or easier ways to ramp up(pythia comes to mind) and for that group of nations, the extra research doesn’t present that big of a hurdle - but for the nations that have poor research growth, they get impacted to a much larger degree. I like the concept that’s presented - but the execution of it is flawed.

Also, with thrones, you might want to check that the victory condition isn’t understood by the game to be all the thrones (even if it seems like it’s set at above the thrones).

I’m a maybe - if you need another player, i can likely be persuaded.

I did check that by placing a single throne on a small map with no independents, and racing toward it with an awake Pretender. Having claimed it, and ran 5 turns after claiming it, the game kept on going. I have no reason to believe Llamaserver will have a problem either. I’ll try a testrun via Llama on Sunday.

Normal Resources: The idea was to promote fortress building and keep the focus of the game on the throne, rather than easily trampling through other player’s lands.

Research: Probably the hardest balancing act of Dominions, and I’ve come to accept that not all nations are created equally.

One further problem is that blood magic nations will be still incredibly powerful, particularly if gem sites are reduced. I suspect having the enhanced gold income will allow them to be even more efficient with their blood hunting from much more earlier in the game.

I think adjusting the incomes, research etc will end up being too chaotic. Bit like my head right now, thinking of the various parts of the game and how they can be impacted.

Y’know, adjusting the incomes down might be the more interesting control. Less money, the more important/valuable forts are, the more ‘right-sized’ armies need to be, the more interesting choices need to be made (should i get a mage or 15 units, since i can’t have both)

just throwing it out there ;)

Damn you pyrhic, that sounds excellent, in theory at least. It would also make those early research spells a little more useful (eg: body ethereal) when having armies of 20 vs having armies of 200. But last game (Hangman), I am mindful of the general concerns a few of us had with what ended up being reduced income. Maybe part of it was mindset in that none of us expected to be scrounging around under the thrones for a few odd coins to recruit more guys.

For the first King of the Hill, I think keeping it at default is the most sensible option, to limit some of the variables and see how the game shakes out in terms of entertainment. Has anyone else done a KotH game before? Do they have any experience they can offer?


Added 72 hours

I have no advice to offer on King of the Hill, but I agree with Strato that default may be the best place to start.

Could we set up start positions in a rough ring around the edges of the map, so no one is sitting right on the throne, and everyone is roughly equidistant? Flying armies won’t have quite as big an advantage then…

The best map option, assuming pyrhic’s inclusion and the game set up being 3 teams of 3 is Grigionia Magnus. The file states ideal for 6 people, however there should be room enough for 9. All nations will be in a ring, equidistant from the edge. Not all starts are created equally, 3 nations will either end up starting on a cave, or in wasteland. Both wasteland and caves can of course be toggled off, but given the nations who like caves, might be better to leave on? Likewise, based on 3 nations having cave starts, everyone else will start on a forest tile.

I know that you are trying to work with only nine folks, but I think you are absolutely correct that having only 3 teams means that it will be a 1 vs 2.
With nine of us, its either we get another for five teams of 2, or I can bow out.

We could go it alone…true king of the hill?