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In Progress Let's See the World Die. Dominions 4.

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Grimwulf, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    3,717
    Location:
    Kodex Kommunistic Kolony

    [​IMG]

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. Introduction; Creating a Game; Turn 1.
    2. Turn 2.
    3. Turn 3.
    4. Turn 4.
    5. Turn 5.
    6. Turn 6.
    7. Turn 7.
    8. Turn 8.
    8.1. Bonus Video (beware of DRAMA).
    8.2. Battle of Dead Snows.
    9. Turn 9.
    9.1. Arena Rules and Preparations.
    9.2. Arena, part 1.
    9.3. Arena, part 2.
    10. Turn 10.
    11. Turn 11.
    12. Turn 12; First Year Summary.
    13. Turn 13.
    14. Turn 14.
    15. Turn 15.
    16. Turn 16.
    17. Turn 17.
    17.1. Eginolf and Bobo Showdown.
    18. Turn 18.
    19. Turn 19.
    20. Turn 20.
    21. Turn 21.
    22. Turn 22.
    22.1. Agiwulf vs Codex Troll: Battle of Prophets.
    23. Turn 23.
    23.1. Union Against Helheim.
    24. Turn 24; Second Year Summary.
    24.1. Battle for Helgate.
    25. Turn 25.
    26.1. Turn 26, part 1.
    26.2. Turn 26, part 2.
    26.3. Helgate: The Last Stand.
    27. Turn 27.

    The List:
    Show Spoiler

    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    Not recommended to read this section before you finish reading every update listed in Table of Contents. You have been warned.

    Dominions 4 features managing a lot of commanders*, and I like to give them custom names**, just for flavour. Feel free to enlist in glorious armies of Helheim!

    Here is the full list of recruitment. Includes only names that were proposed in this thread by followers of this LP.

    1. Crispy the Wight Mage. Hired, undead and well. Used to be a svartalf before death.
    2. LundB the Vanjarl. Hired, alive and well.
    3. Andhaira the Wight Mage. Hired, undead and well. Used to be a svartalf before death.
    4. Grimgravy the Vanjarl. Dead.
    5. Valescere the Van Scout. Hired and alive. In critical condition. Slowly succumbs to his wounds.
    6. ArtB the Van Scout. Hired, alive and well.
    7. Grunker the Helkarl. Hired, alive and well.
    8. Ulminati the Helkarl. Hired and alive. Suffered a heart attack during research.
    9. Azira the Svartalf. Currently arriving at the capital.
    10. Luzur. Awaiting recruitment, commander type wasn't specified.
    11. JohnTheRevelator. Awaiting recruitment as Bane/Bane Lord.
    12. SerratedBiz. Awaiting recruitment as "some kind of soon-to-be-demented trash or summin'".
    13. Matalarata. Awaiting recruitment as "the less human-ish the better".
    14. Lizzurd. Awaiting recruitment as a cold-blooded commander.
    15. PocketMine the Van Scout. Hired, alive and well.
    16. Helly. Awaiting recruitment as "any monstruous/undead commander".
    17. Dreaad. Awaiting recruitment, commander type wasn't specified. "HOWEVER first chance you get I must be equipped with 2 shields and a lightning bolt helmet!"
    18. Andnjord. Awaiting recruitment as Svartalf.

    *Commanders of Dominions 4 tend to suffer and die a lot.
    **Every commander in this session also suffers from my incredible image editing skillz.


    The Memorial:
    Show Spoiler

    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    Not recommended to read this section before you finish reading every update listed in Table of Contents. You have been warned.

    This is a humble memorial for those who died during this bloody war. Includes only names that were proposed in this thread by followers of this LP.

    1. Grimgravy the Vanjarl.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Grimgravy the Vanjarl joined our cause during late winter of the second year, and died in early summer of the third year of the Ascension Wars.

    All that time he was stationed in Helgate, providing invaluable help with research, forging and – most noticeably - battle support. He participated in two grand battles against forces of Caelum (24.1 and 26.3). Both times Helheim was severely outnumbered. Both times we were victorious.

    Grimgravy was killed during Caelum encounter, known as Helgate Last Stand (26.3). In early summer of the third year of the Ascension Wars, a 500-unit army of Caelum stormed Helgate fort, with less than 50 defenders protecting it. Heroic defenders managed to fend off the attackers, despite the odds. Grimgravy’s spellcasting was perfectly timed, precise and effective. He killed 8 enemies during this battle single-handedly (including 1 in melee) and wounded countless more.

    He met his death at the very end of this battle - surrounded, grievously wounded, and out of stamina. Treacherous lizard warriors pierced his chest with spears.

    Grimravy now watches over his friends from Helhalla. His brave deeds will be remembered.

    [​IMG]



    INTRODUCTION

    So here I am, unable to overcome my addiction to this game. No matter how long I avoid this drug, I just need another dose at one point or another. Losing my sleep, making crazy schemes and even larping that shit during coffee/cigarette breaks. Sigh.

    If you never heard of Dominions, then maybe it should stay that way for greater good. There are other, “healthy”, global tbs out there. You can always play Civilization series or Paradox Interactive games, which are much more user friendly.
    Show Spoiler
    casuls

    Seriously though, I know quite a number of people who couldn’t play any other games after trying Dominions. They have been stuck with it for years. Keeping a safe distance is essential here.

    If, however, you are not afraid of gazing into the Abyss of over-complicated gameplay, featuring unbelievable amounts of micromanagement, next-to-none graphics, and absence of any kind of AI diplomacy – you are welcome to this Let’s Destroy the Fucking World!

    Before I start, there are words of warning need to be said:

    1. I think I qualify as a vet of Dominions 3 and 4 in both single and pbem games, but thanks to severe cases of amnesia and alcoholism, I kinda lost my grip lately. Besides, during this game session I plan to try out something more or less original. After all, Dominions is a game about Ideas, no matter how crazy and laughable they might be. That being said, if anybody hopes to find some decent tactics, strategies and pro-tips – don’t. If you’re a pro and want to give me some valuable advices instead – feel free, but don’t expect me to follow. Also, I will answer any questions about game mechanics to the best of my ability, and there you go with a good encyclopedia about Dominions 4 stuff:

    http://larzm42.github.io/dom4inspector/

    You’d better start with official manual though, if you want to cover the basics and play it yourself. I know that there are 397 pages in it, and YES - it is neccessary to read them ALL in order to play. But I’ll try to make this session understandable for everyone, even for those who know nothing about Dominions.

    2. The game was meant for mp sessions, and it’s not as fun in single. However, doing live stream of ongoing mp game session is not too smart, to say the least, for all your opponents would see what are you doing and planning. And AARs lack detail and intrigue. Besides, there are not so much LPs of Dominions, neither on youtube, nor on forums, and nobody bothers to do some. So if you don’t like the map/nations/era/configs/singleplayer and whatever – I’m sorry. You won't find any democracy here. Another thing is, when I started the game and saw all those new nations and changelogs, my head started to spin. Last time I played, it was v. 4.07, now it’s 4.14 already. There won’t be any new nations in my game session. Coz I'm too old for this shit.

    3. As you may have noticed, English isn’t my native language and I tend to be drunk more time than being sober. That usually makes things… complicated in midgame, but to hell with it. I need to get some inspiration. If you are a Grammar Nazi, I’m not afraid of you.

    4. Consider it a longplay. I like to take my games slow, spending hours and even days on planning my moves in late game.

    On the bright side, I’m expecting this to be fairly challenging with tactics I want to try out, especially in early game. I also expect you to propose names for commanders. Every turn a new commander or even several of them will be hired. Do you want YOUR name to be given to them? Could YOU be the one to lead the armies of Helhalla to glory? Just say so ITT, you won’t have to ask me twice. Oh, and when you see yourself loosing both arms, both legs, demented and being tortured by demon rapists – don’t blame me. This is Dominions.

    There goes the Introduction. Still don’t have a slightest idea what is it all about? Ok, here you go with a more graphical expression:

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
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    CREATING A GAME

    This part is only interesting for those who’s not very familiar with Dominions. I will explain some basics and shit. I’m not gonna talk too much about my plans in this section, so you might as well skip it.

    For those who dig: Helheim, Dawn of Dominions, 11 Impossible AI, unplayable Pretender design, 15 HoF entries, limited unique artifacts forging, enabled score graphs, other settings are hard presets on scenario maps.

    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I’m currently playing v.4.14 with Worthy Heroes mod installed. I prefer to keep my game as vanilla as possible, but Worthy Heroes is so classy, I simply can’t resist. It adds/changes/rebalances unique national heroes, which never play a major role anyway. And they may or may not appear in the game session randomly. Just for flavor.

    For some forsaken reason, my laptop only takes screenshots in windowed mode, so get used to those up and bottom panels – I’m too lazy to delete them from every single pic. Moving on to maps.

    [​IMG]

    Dawn of Dominions, I choose you! Yes, this map is incredibly old even by Dominions 3 standards. Yes, this is a “scenario” map, meaning there is a lot of unchangeable presets, including era, nations and their starting positions. And it lacks some specific Dominions 4 features, like river/mountain crossing and such. Also, with Caelum being overpowered in 4.07 it could raep all neighbours pretty fast. But still, I like this map. It looks good, it was balanced well in Doms 3 (before super Caelum), it has unique hand-made features, like custom province names. Besides, the nation I’m gonna play usually has some REAL hard time surviving early game on that map, which I definitely incline. All in all, it’s an old-fashioned map for old-fashioned guys.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see that there will be 12 nations participating in this battle, including me. I’ve set AI to impossible, coz I’m hardcore like that. Besides, it will give me an excuse when I’ll be raped. AI nations are set to “random”, coz it doesn’t matter anyway – scenario map predefines specific nations on specific starting locations. I could’ve also set AI type do “agressive”, “defensive” or “standard”, but meh. Let it be a nasty surprise. As for me, I will play Helheim.

    [​IMG]

    Don’t listen to them Dom vets who tell ye that Helheim is a straight-forward nation, just because they have “glamour ponies”. We won’t play no standard tactics this time. Let us just embrace the atmosphere of Helhalla and hang ourselves for Greater Knowledge. All is left is to design a Pretender God. Let’s see...

    [​IMG]

    Yes. I'm satisfied with that. I’ll try to explain wtf do all these numbers mean as brief as I can (I’m not a damn manual): upper attributes are pretty self-explanatory. 10 is avrg. human level (10 STR, 10 attack, 10 def, etc.). Empty inventory slots are what they are – empty fucking slots. Below are magic schools. This Pretender God has lvl.4 in EVERY school, except Death (lvl.5) and Nature (lvl.3). Usually these designs are called “Rainbow Pretenders” and they were moderately popular in Dominions 3, while barely ever used in Dominions 4 for many reasons. But King Grimwulf isn’t a rainbow pretender, coz he won’t do what rainbows do (magic gem searching). He is there just for research (books icon with 84 number). 84 is absolutely INSANE amount of initial research and no fucking AI would be able to keep up with me for a long time, no matter how much handicap he’s got (and he will get plenty on Impossible difficulty). This research will let me grab one particular global spell that’s gonna be DEVASTATING in early game, but I’ll get to planning later. So, all those icons to the right of research level are:

    - Fear (5) – units who try to fight King Grimwulf in melee will have to pass a check or skip their turn;

    - Shock (8), Fire (8), Cold (8), Poison (6) resistances;

    - Supply Bonus (30) – means that he can provide food/water supplies for 30 human-sized units in the same province (or 60 hobbits, or 15 giants, etc.);

    - Inspiring Researcher (+1) – all researchers in same province receive +1 bonus to their research level;

    - Adept Researcher (+15) – King Grimwulf gets 15 more points of research, no matter what (already included in his 84);

    The candle with number 6 is level of dominion influence. Bigger is better. 10 is max. 6 is usually a death sentence in pbem games, but hopefully it will be enough against AI.

    To the right of dominion candle are scales. There are 6 scales in Dominions, which can be changed from -3 to +3. In my case most of them are negatives, so I have more points for magic schools and research. The reason why there are only “3” and not “-3” is when you have a negative Life scale, it “transforms” into positive Death scale. “Life -3” = “Death +3”, you get the idea. So, Helheim with King Grimwulf as a God looks like this:

    Order 3 (income +15%, unrest reduction +3, events -6%) – the only positive scale I got. If I go negative on Order, I’m going to lose all my money lightning fast, and I need them early on. Eventually my income will be zero anyway. Unrest reduction helps getting 100% of taxes from provinces and makes hunting for virgins easier (otherwise the population may get upset when you take virgin gurls for blood sacrifices). Lesser events are also good, coz I don’t have a positive luck scale and most of random events are gonna be negative.

    Sloth 3 (income -6%, resources -45%) – resources are needed to recruit well-equipped units, which I don’t plan on anyway. Citizens of Helheim have better things to do than work.

    Cold 3 (income -10%, supplies -20%) – Helheim is a cold-lovin’ nation, and Cold 1 is perfect for them. So Cold 3 doesn’t give that much of a penalty. Supplies are needed to feed living units. If a big army marches through a province with little supplies, units will starve, become weaker, die, lose morale, and desert. In no particular order. I don’t plan on having bigass armies anyway, and enemies will hopefully have a hard time going deep into my lands. Critical cold scale have another “hidden” negative effect – troops get tired faster during combat. Hopefully, enemies will run out of fatigue sooner than me.

    Death 3 (income -6%, supplies -45%, growth -0.60%) – population of Helheim will slowly decrease until everybody dies. Don’t worry tho – they will all join their brethren in glorious halls of Helhalla!

    Misfortune 3 (events +15%, luck -45%) – what is there to say? Shit happens. And it’s gonna happen A LOT in my game.

    Drain 3 (research -3 RP) – meaning EVERY single researcher in Helheim will have 3 RP less, including King Grimwulf (who doesn’t give a fuck with 84 RP). I don’t plan on having 129327472386 researchers like Dominions players usually do. I won’t have much money to keep them anyway, so I can live with that. On plus side, high Drain scale also increases magic resistance, which will help me against some magic spammin’ suckers.

    [​IMG]

    Next comes configuration window. Usually it’s 3 times bigger, but you can’t change much in scenario maps. I enabled score graphs, coz It doesn’t matter much vs AI. 15 Hall of Fame entries instead of standard 10 are kinda adequate for 12 player game. Limited unique artifact forging would prevent me from becoming super op in late game. If I survive that long, of course.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Standard starting messages for you to understand wtf is going on. As if I needed an excuse to destroy the world, pff.

    ARE YOU REHDY?!
    Show Spoiler
    No, you dumbfuck, we are sleeping. Get to the game already!




    TURN 1

    SPRING IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ASCENSION WARS

    Here we are. City of Helheim, the capital of Kingdom of Helheim. Not the coziest of all places, as you can clearly see.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Population 29720 and falling. Rapidly. Let us look what random titles was King Grimwulf granted.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    “God of the Gallows” – yes, very thematic indeed. “King of the Clouds” – Valkyries be my witnesses! “He, who Confuses the Way” – that gives me an idea of how to name my Prophet.

    The titles are given randomly, based on magic schools and dominion level. Usually Pretenders take no more than 2-3 magic schools. Soon I’ll test my memory and skillz and try to guess what kind of Pretenders are my neighbors. But first, let’s look at what we’ve got.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    So, King Grimwulf will be researching every turn. Being just a Great Sage and not some kind of Titan, he is pretty damn vulnerable in combat and should watch out for assassins, and try not to go outside of capital alone. I’m going to assign some bodyguards to him, but that’s not something to be concerned of early on. Let him research. Whoever can guess what I’m researching, receives a psychiatrist diploma.

    Next we have a Helkarl.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    I hearby name him Codex Troll and make him my Prophet. The Prophet in Dominions 4 is… essential. Let’s just leave it at that for now. I can have only one Prophet at any time of the game, and that status is life-long. I can’t make a new Prophet unless Codex Troll dies, nor can I deprave him of that status. He currently has 10 huskarls and 15 serf warriors. Not much by any means. You can see any unit’s stats in here: http://larzm42.github.io/dom4inspector/ (just select early era Helheim and set filter to “only national units”). If I make a screenshot on every single unit, I’ll die of old age before I finish year one. It’s gonna take a turn for this guy to become the Prophet, but it’s ok. I can hire some troops meanwhile.

    Then we have a scout.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Any Dominions vet would say that I should have made my scout a Prophet, so he can spread my dominion, moving stealthy into enemy territories. But no, he will just wander around enemy turf for some time, then return home to build some castles. I’ll just name him Jon Snow and order to move south-east. Right there we can see a Throne of Ascension.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Our Goal is to claim enough Thrones to win. We need a total of 7 points, while every claimed Throne grants us 1 and one of them grants 2. Thrones are generated randomly, even on this scenario maps. I guess I’m lucky to have one right next to my capital, but it’s most likely heavily guarded. We’ll see.

    Now it’s time to get down and dirty with layout and global strategy. Look at all those menacing names.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    Right now I will concentrate only on my neighbors. Starting clockwise.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]

    1. Up on that mountain lies Caelum.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As I already mentioned, Caelum went through MAJOR rebalancing in 4.07. I doubt that AI can make advantage of every single change, but he can still be a serious threat. It’s crucial for me to conquer and fortify the province marked 1a, so I can fend off Caelum effectively and force him to attack Ulm instead. Caelum doesn’t give a flying fuck about my cold climate, and AI tends to spam a lot of mammoths too. Not an easy fight, so it’s better to hold my defence and delay attack for later. They worship “Amrav, Master of Suicides, The Harvester”. Judjing by the titles, my guess is Blood Magic school. I may be wrong tho. Why would Caelum need blood Pretender is beyond me.

    2. In thick cold forests surrounded by unforgiving mountains thrives Ulm.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These men do not rely on pesky magic, archery or sneaky backstabs. For them, it’s not about Gods and Ascensions. It’s about blood, sweat and cold steel. And if you never saw Impossible AI playing Ulm – goddamn, it’s hard. A major threat that is able to crush me in early game easily, especially if they took awaken Wyrm or any other super combatant Pretender. My best bet is partisan tactics, diversions and wasting his time on wrong maneuvers until midgame. But hopefully Ulm is gonna be preoccupied with Marverni and Caelum. If I get EXTREMELY lucky, Ermor will also attack him from south early on. Titles of their Goddess Kantena leave me clueless. “Guardian of the Dead” is most probably Death school, as for others – who knows?

    3. Marverni doesn’t really bother me much.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    There may be some border brawling between us, but I believe they will have their hands full defending against Ulm. Ermor should also give them a punch or two, as well as Vanheim. They would make a fine first target for me, but I’m pretty sure that Ulm will ANNIHILATE Marverni by the time I lose virginity. Speaking of virgins, Marverni worships Philia, and looking at his(her) titles, I bet my left ball on Earth+Nature Pretender. Great Boars (national Marverni summon) under E4N9 blessing isn’t something to take lightly. “Undisciplined” and “Trample” traits will make them exhausted VERY quickly in cold climates, and thus almost useless against me or Vanheim, but they can fend off Ulm and Ermor for quite some time.

    4. Vanheim. Fucking Vanheim.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Most of other Dominions players I know consider Helheim “almost Vanheim, but slightly worse in every aspect”. And they may have a point. Vanheim is much easier and noob-friendly, especially on this map. And he is going to be my Enemy №1. Thing is, I am his ONLY neighbor. Yah, there is Oceania to the south of him – an underwater nation, practically helpless on land. And he might even ignore me and go for Marverni for some forsaken reason. In that case, I’ll be fucking surrounded by Vanheim anyway. There will be war. Province marked as 4a is my top priority. I’ll try my best to get it first and fortify as fast as I can, but chances are, I’ll suck some viking dick instead. If that happens, I’ll just have to go full defence and pray for miracle. I fear that small number of titles speak of high scales, which means a LOT of money and resources. An army of berserkers-Vanheres combined with mounted hirdmen can wipe out any nation on this map for good. Vanheim has definitely the best position and probably the strongest raw force on the map. And I am his target number one, for fucks sake.

    That covers turn 1. Now if you excuse me, I must fulfill my duty as King of Helheim.
    Show Spoiler
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
    • Brofist Brofist x 20
    ^ Top  
  2. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Messages:
    3,717
    Location:
    Kodex Kommunistic Kolony
    Not much action happen during first turns. I’ll take this opportunity to explain some more basic stuff and keep this LP noob-friendly. So before we jump to turn 2, let’s talk about priests, prophets and blessings. As usual, those who have read the manual may skip the section under spoiler.

    Show Spoiler
    I’ll give you the short version of how things work:

    1. While playing Dominions 4, you take a role of a Pretender God. We say “Pretender”, because there can be only One God, one Pantokrator, Last God Standing. Until then every “God” is a Pretender God.

    2. Every God needs believers. Gods need priests, temples, religion, and a Prophet too. The strength of faith is represented by dominion level (remember the candle?). Every province has its own dominion level. Your dominion in every single province can’t be higher than your max. dominion (which is 6, in case of King Grimwulf). Every 5 temples increase maximum dominion by 1. Dominion will spread to neighboring provinces, but it may also be decreased by another, stronger, dominion. If nobody worships you, you cease to exist. Game over. Dominions players call that “DomKill”.

    3. Priests build temples, spread religion and do other things depending on their priest level. Any priest can bless. The type of blessing depends on initial magic schools of Pretender God. 1-3 levels of magic don’t give any blessing. Level 4-8 gives minor blessing. Level 9 gives major blessing. Every school of magic has its own type of blessing. Nature 4 gives +3 hp to blessed troops. Nature 8 gives +7 hp. Nature 9 gives +8 hp AND regeneration trait. Blessings of different schools stack. Let’s say Pretender God has Earth 4 and Nature 9. Then blessed troops will receive +1 morale (any blessing give that minor bonus, even if Pretender doesn’t have any school of magic), +2 reinvigoration (+2 fatigue restoration every combat round, minor Earth bless), +8 hp and regeneration. This is called “E4N9 bless”. First letters from mag. schools and numbers representing level of mastery. Only priests can bless, and ONLY sacred troops can be blessed. Blessing lasts to the end of combat.

    I know it’s hard, but it’s better than reading 400 pages of manual, eh? So bare with me.

    4. Prophets are special kinds of priests. Just as Pretender himself, they spread dominion by sheer presence, while normal priests have to pray every turn to do that. Making somebody a Prophet automatically grants him Priest level 3, even if he didn’t have ANY Priest level before. It’s the only way of obtaining Priest 3 for a lot of nations. However, if you make a Prophet out of Priest 3 or higher, he receives 1 additional level of Priesthood. P3 becomes P4, P4 becomes P5, etc. Prophets are stronger in provinces with high dominion, just like Pretender Gods, and weaker in provinces with hostile dominion. Prophets are PERMANENTLY blessed, unlike Pretender Gods – they can never be blessed.

    5. Only Pretender God, the Prophet, or high level priest can claim a Throne of Ascension. Conquering a province with a Throne is never enough – one of mentioned guys must come there and spend a turn to CLAIM it in order to gather a point. If you lose that province, you lose the Throne and the point. You’ll have to conquer it again and reclaim the Throne.

    Are you alive back there? Ok, I’ll go easy on you. Enough lessons for today.


    TURN 2

    LATE SPRING IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ASCENSION WARS

    Every turn we will receive reports.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Once shit hits the fan, those will take several screens, but right now we only have a “research complete” report, informing us of King’s successful progress, and a bunch of proclamations about new Prophets.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Of course, not every nation makes a Prophet right from the start. Sometimes it’s better to hire a more fitting candidate for that.

    Jon Snow brings us bad news.

    Show Spoiler
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    A fucking HORDE of barbarians is standing right in front of our walls, preventing us from claiming dat Throne. Dammit. Well, scouts tend to exaggerate, so…



    But we should leave the Throne alone for now. Last turn I payed 205 pounds of gold to hire a svartalf.

    Show Spoiler
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    But svartalves have “slow to hire” trait, so he will arrive only next turn. The rest of available gold was spend on m-m-m-major reinforcements. Previously Codex Troll had only 10 huskarls and 15 serf warriors. Those times are long past. Now he has:

    - 10 huskarls

    - 15 serf warriors

    *drums banging*

    - aaaand TWO helhirdings!

    And don’t you even laugh. Look at these beasts.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    The “unlit candle” icon means they are sacred and thus can be blessed. King Grimwulf’s blessing will give them:

    + 1 morale

    + 1 magic resistance

    + 2 attack skill

    + 2 defence skill

    + 2 precision

    + 2 strength

    + 2 reinvigoration

    + 20% missile range (no missile weapons tho)

    + 6 undying (+6 temporary hp that will disappear after combat)

    But that’s not all. Every helhirding has Glamour, that makes him incredibly stealthy, and additionally “mirrors” his image during combat.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I may have bought two helhirdings. But the enemies will see at least DOZEN of mounted vanirs, brining death and destruction. And even if they manage to hit them (good luck breaking that level of defence skill), they will most likely hit an illusion. Of course, Codex Troll has Glamour trait as well, that deceiving little bastard.

    [​IMG]

    Time to prepare for combat. One can say that Dominions is a game about combat preparations. You see, turns here are “hosted” simultaneously and you don’t participate in combat AT ALL. All you can do is prepare for it, and then hope for the better.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Right here you can see that all my troops were given “hold and attack” order, which means they will hold position for 2 turns (they may use missile weapons tho), then charge in melee combat. Helhirdings were ordered to “attack rear” – that is usually where vulnerable archers and enemy commanders stay. If the enemy suffers heavy casualties (like 9999 dead archers), or loses all commanders, all his units will flee. Most of battles are won with morale.

    I can “script” orders for first five turns for any commander. After turn 5 or in case I didn’t script anything, AI will take over and improvise. Sometimes improvisation is good, especially when you don’t know what to expect. In other cases, it’s better to hard-script specific spells, abilities, and/or general behavior for every single commander.

    Codex troll is ordered to cast blessing in first turn (he is autoblessed, and the only sacred units in de army are 2 helhirdings, holding position next to each other. Codex Troll has no other option but to bless these guys), then spam Smite (single-target, direct damage Priest 3 spell, with good dmg and MR penetration). If I don’t script Smite, Codex Troll will most likely spam “Cermon of Courage” – Priest 2 spell that increases morale of my units. Absolutely unnecessary when fighting peasants and neutrals. High morale doesn’t give you ANY bonuses, except for lower chance of fleeing. Now a quick look at battle formations and we’re good:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I’m not gonna be so detailed about everything in future, but you should know that a wise Pretender always pays attention to formations (line, double line, box, skirmish, etc.) and positioning on battlefield. In that case my huskarls, who got throwing javelins, are going slightly ahead of weaker serfs, but also not exactly at centre. That lets them defend right flank and avoid major dmg, which is usually concentrated in centre. Serfs are expendable. Helhirdings start far behind, but being mounted, they can reach other side of battlefield in 1,5 turns. Troll also stays back, coz Smite can reach far enough and there is no good reason to risk this guy. Line formation doesn’t give +1 morale bonus like box formation, but once again, we don’t need super high morale against neutral suckers. Lines are more effective right now.

    We are going to conquer province of Helgate (not London) first.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    If I want to build a fortress there, I need to start early. Or I won’t make it before major Caelum attacks. Strictly speaking, Caelum is a nation of flying bastards and they can technically fly over my fortifications. I acknowledge that. Thing is, I don’t worry about canaries, It’s their mammoths that give me some butthurt. Thankfully, they can’t fly.

    To make my dreams come true, I’m going to need a LOT of death gems, a decent amount of earth gems and at least some air gems. ASAP. To find these, I’ll need a svartalf. I’ll talk more about gem searching in next update, and meanwhile you’d better propose a name for him. Or else.

    Having some spare money, I hire another helhirding – he will arrive next turn along with svartalf. I could hire more, but I need to save some. Major building awaits.

    Time to get some sleep. But of coz I already sneak peaked at my next turn. And you know what I though? This thread needs 2 minutes of shitty montage. Just this once, so people would see WHAT I'm dealing with here. Don't worry, this LP is not, and never will be, a video LP. I'll comment this battle in next post in good old text fashion.

     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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  3. Absalom Guest

    Absalom
    Why aren't rainbow pretenders popular anymore?
     
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  4. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Dominions 3 had a different blessing system. A lot of magic schools gave significant bonuses at low levels, unlike Dom4.

    N4 gave you regeneration 5%
    D4 gave 100% chance of affliction (inflicting wound upon strike)

    And some of major blessings were outright insane. Like N9 with regen +15% and berserk +2. So picking N4D4 + a couple more schools was considered nearly standard practice. Besides, general research in Dominions was MUCH faster than in Dominions 4 and rainbows-gemsearchers were required to get those gems as early as possible.

    Of course, all depends on map size, nation you choose, and custom session configurations.
     
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  5. SerratedBiz Arcane

    SerratedBiz
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    Need to see more of this, carry on.

    Dwarf living inside an old cave by himself, tinkering with his crap... name him Crispy.
     
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  6. Absalom Guest

    Absalom
    Hmm. Thought having enough magic paths to forge most of the path boosters was the biggest reason but I never played much MP. Thx

    Also MOAR
     
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    I second Crispy. Good name for a d0rf.
     
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  8. MotherMachinae Arcane

    MotherMachinae
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    Go check Civilisation? No thx, it was boring experience. This one looks more interesing. Not playing strategy games since 2010 but that LP is highly entertaining.
    Is that game highly moddable? Lot of mods? If so - lot of quality one?
     
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  9. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    :lol:

    I am probaby a minority (and having played Dominions mostly as an horrible SP player I cannot give a good opinion) but I've never found Dominions too complex. It is massive, but it is not obtuse. I find Alpha Centauri far more difficult to optimize and play properly than Dominions, not even comparing it to Dorf Fortress or to Aurora.


    Simple graphics, and yes, it is quite moddable. There are a ton of Mod nations around or even rebalance mods. Want Warhammer Fantasy nations? Nations from your favourite series of books? D&D inspired stuff? Gothic-Lolita inspired nation (Yes, it exists. I don't know why)?

    But the question is, bar Worthy Heroes that is a fine and small thing, why do you want mods? The base game is already imaginative and rich enough. There are...40?...50? nations, every one of them with more soul and originality that an entire Bioware game. Few lines of text written by some scandinavian dude. Of course, from the little I know the authors are working in academia (I think one is an historian and the other a specialist in History of Religions, but I never checked properly).

    I find the background of Dominions fascinating. It even had me play and enjoy playing with non-human races, and I'm usually incredibly racist in fantasy settings - some of the concepts are simply too good to ignore.

    Gameplay wise, it's quite big, but as I said, not obtuse. Focus is not on city-building but on battles and magical research/item forging, and strategical decisions like the titular Dominion (an expression of the faith that your pretender god has on the popolation of a world). Bluntly put, Dominions is a game were you build an army of pixel men, support them with magic, kill other pixel men and take their cities. Or you convert them and let the other Gods die.

    By the end game, of course, you have giant magical powered flying Golems equipped with fire swords duking it out with resurrected Undead Gods or with Horrors from Beyond or with ten-meters tall Demons fron Hell.

    All in glorious 2d.
     
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  10. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Since I’m gonna start searching for magic gems soon, might as well explain what’s the big deal. If you know already, or don’t care – just skip it.

    Show Spoiler
    Magic gems are mainly required to perform any global spell; some combat spells; summon stuff; and forge artifacts. They are also used to empower/dispel global spells, trade between players in mp games, “transform” one type of gems into another via alchemy, and for all kinds of secondary purposes. One can never have enough gems. If you think you’ve got a shitton and don’t know what to do with all that tresur – you are playing Dominions WRONG. That’s a general rule for every player: don’t try to HOARD. SPEND. If you save some, then DECIDE what are you saving for. Otherwise, spend it all!

    1. Every nation has some kind of starting gem income from unique buildings in capital. Helheim gets 1 air gem, 1 earth gem and 4 death gems every turn from Helhalla and Gnipahalan. If an enemy conquers my capital, he’ll get this income for himself.

    2. Good players plan researching and casting global spells way ahead, as well as artifact forging. They should bother about gem income accordingly. If you have researched desirable global spell, but don’t have any gems to cast it, your planning sucks.

    3. Gem income is generated from searching. Anyone, having at least level 1 in any magic path, can search. Searching takes a turn and its effectiveness depends on your magic school levels. Nature 3 mage can find any Nature magic sites of levels 1, 2 and 3. Most of magic sites are level 1 and 2, and only so much of levels 3 and 4. According to manual. If fact, there are also magic sites of levels 5 and 6, but they are kinda strange. Most of them don’t have any known effect. So, it’s usually enough to have mages of level 1-2 running around and searching for gems. There are also searching spells, but not all of them are cost-effective. Maybe I’ll speak of them later.

    4. Magic sites are generated randomly, unless scripted otherwise. This map doesn’t have any pregen magic sites. Chance of finding a magic site is higher in forests and mountains, and lower in farmlands. Some of them are terrain-specific, e.g. some sites only generate underwater.

    5. Once you find a site, EVERYONE will be able to see it. Don’t search for sites in provinces you can’t defend for long.

    6. There are many other ways of obtaining gems, but none of them are availiable right from the start. In my case, I’ll just have to search in old-fashioned style for now.


    TURN 3

    EARLY SUMMER IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ASCENSION WARS

    Every turn starts with report. Let’s see it.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    A new level of research, a couple new prophet proclamations. An “unexpected” event.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Unexpected for you, maybe. I knew what’s coming when I took that Misfortune 3 scale. Helheim taxes is my only source of income right now, so that was rather painful. Now I have only 404 pounds of gold, and I really needed 420 at that turn. Sigh.

    Oh, well. Moving on to battle report.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    That’s what I like to see! Codex Troll did some slaughterhouse in Helgate, with no casualties whatsoever. Not a single wounded soldier and only one serf dead. I actually need to dispose of them anyway, since they are the only humans in C. Trolls army. Humans cannot into Glamour, and thus prevent C. Troll from making stealthy diversions into enemy territories. But they serve as a fine meatshields during first turns.

    If you didn’t bother watching video at the end of last episode, then BEHOLD the glorious visuals of Dominions 4!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Don't worry, I won't torture you with that grid. It's gud for analysis tho.

    Every unit has 2 sprites: “default” and “attack”. Here in Dominions we call it “animation”. Hey! Be thankful it’s not ASCII. Sounds are shitty too, although music is fucking awesome. But you get sick of it eventually, after years of playing. Now, if you’re done mocking my favorite game, let’s get on with it.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Hirdmen didn't attack rearmost enemies and charged into infantry instead. I'll explain why a bit later.

    As you can see, all my units, except for human serf warriors, look like they are under effect of “mirror image” spell from d&d. That’s exactly how Glamour works. Every Vanir has this ability.

    On this pic we see that humans can’t do shit fighting vanir in melee.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]

    “What de fuck is “vanir”? Just call them ELVES, man. Don’t confuse us”.

    Do me a favor and ask google about Vanir. You see, there is not a single “fantasy” shit in Dominions. Every strange word/creature/concept/backstory you see here is a part of some culture/religion/history/mythology. Illwinter are badass guys. IIRC, there are just two of them, both professors of culture-religion-history thingie. Of course, some names are changed, but they were not changed blindly. Helhalla = Valhalla. Hel is Goddess of the Dead in northern mythology. Makes sence and adds to the atmosphere. So, if some of you didn’t realize it yet,

    Caelum = Zoroastrians

    Ulm = Angles and Saxons

    Marverni = Celts and Picts

    Vanheim and Helheim = Parts of Northern mythology

    Once again: NONE of what you see here is pure fantasy. All that, is real world culture.


    The battle didn’t go as planned tho. I told ye that I’ve lost some of my former grip.

    1. Remember when I said that positive morale doesn’t give any bonuses whatsoever? Technically, I was wrong. But we are diving into some in-depth stuff, that you won’t find in manual. So, the reason why helhirdings attack militia infantry instead of “rearmost” as ordered, was because of morale. They didn’t pass morale check. The basic principle goes like this: “Every melee fighter will attempt to attack closest enemy possible, despite any orders, but high morale can prevent this”. To put it simpler:”Fuck your orders! I want to KILL!”. Morale in Dominions represents discipline, among other things.

    2. I totally forgot that Priest 3 can cast “Divine Blessing” – a spell that blesses every allied sacred unit on ENTIRE battlefield. Later on that will allow me to split helhirdings in two groups, and order them to attack both flanks.

    3. Should have put huskarls behind serf warriors, or even unite them in one mixed line or double line. Everyone went for huskarls. Good thing no vanir got hurt, but it wasn't worth the risk.

    I mentioned wounds several times already. Receiving heavy dmg may inflict a wound. Only healers can heal these. Wounds can easily turn a mighty warrior into useless piece of meat.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Wounds are not necessarily received in battle, and they are not always physical. Old age often leads to Dementia, for instance.

    Speaking of old age, meet Crispy!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    That guy is a major relief for me. Every svartalf starts with E2D2 (Earth 2, Death 2 – please, get used to abbreviations) and gets one additional level in RANDOMLY chosen school of magic. It can be Fire, Air, Earth or Death. So I had 25% chance of getting a svartalf with E3D2 – an ESSENTIAL combination for me. If I couldn’t “roll” such a svartalf during first year, I would have to stop King Grimwulfs research to craft one important artifact, requiring E3 mage. But now I got him, that’s good.

    Let us wish the old guy good luck and strong health, and send him right to perilous mountains we have recently conquered.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I will miss you too, Crisp!

    I wonder how Jon Snow is doing out there. Last turn he kept whining, smth about “do not want to stay in province called DEAD SNOWS”.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I need him to keep a close eye on Vanheim. Hope they will waste some time on southern provinces. Making solid borders won’t be easy. This province I marked is underwater province. Vanheim commanders can sail along with their armies, mine do not. I only have flying Valkyries, and that’s it. Bad guys can make some Normandy any time at my coasts. Fuck. I could use some good news.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    And there it is! Apparently, there was an uncovered magic site in Helgate! Yes, sometimes you don’t even have to search for them.

    There could be more though. Winning last battle granted Codex Troll an honorable place in Hall of Fame.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    It’s already a bit tight in there. AI tends to start his massacres from turn 1.

    Wait. Who the fuck is Bodvar and why he’s wearing my banner?

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Oh. Err, ok. Moving on.

    Show Spoiler
    It’s almost a bug. If you really NEED to know all those technical details, then here you go: this wolf is guarding one of the Thrones. He is not an ordinary mob, this type of unit is a Pretender God, but he is also neutral and not participating in our Wars of Ascension. Still, any type of Pretender God unit must be assigned a banner. It doesn’t influence anything at all. There is no way to see it in-game, apart from that one. It seems like AI attacked Bodvar with a scout, was torn apart, and gave Bodvar 2 xp. There are plenty of space in HoF during first turns, so Bodvar made it there. Happens sometimes. Does it make sence? No? Well, I don’t care, just don’t mind him, will ya?


    Every hero of Hall of Fame receives random Heroic Ability. Codex Troll received Heroic Attack ability. Could be worse.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I send him back to Helheim, while hiring 2 more helhirdings there. With 5 helhirdings and a bunch of well-equipped infantry, he’s gonna fight his way towards Vanheim. Usually it’s smarter to conquer provinces spiral-wise around capital, but we don’t need pesky standard tactics.

    We also need to hire a Vanherse.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    Propose yer names. You don’t want to see what my imagination looks like.


    He will help King Grimwulf with research for some time, and will do artifact crafting later on. Players usually hire a researcher every turn in every castle (I only have my capital now). It’s ESSENTIAL to keep research speed rising. But since Grimwulfs research gives me a head start, I can take it a bit easier.

    Let’s talk plans. Every Dominions player needs to plan ahead, the further – the better. Researching comes first in every strategy. So here is my current research screen:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    There are 7 research schools (don’t mistake with schools of magic) in Dominions. Every school has 10 levels, including level 0, with a grand total of over 800 spells. Yes, you heard me right: OVER EIGHT HUNDRED. And you need to CHOOSE which ones do you want BEFORE starting the game, BEFORE you design your Pretender. Combat spells, summons, national spells, global spells – have to consider them all. So, how much research points is needed to reach them school levels?

    1 – 50

    2 – 100

    3 – 200

    4 – 400

    5 – 700

    6 – 1300

    7 – 2400

    8 – 4400

    9 – 8100

    To reach my so-much-desired Thaumaturgy 5 from zero, I’m gonna need 1450 research points. Research speed 82 points/turn doesn’t’ impress so much now, does it?

    Why 82? Coz 84(base value) – 3(Drain 3 scale penalty) + 1(“Inspiring Researcher” bonus. Aye, King Grimwulf can inspire himself. *Opens another ale bottle* What of it?)

    After reaching Thaumaturgy 3 though, I plan to do a little detour and make a real quick research of Construction 2. That will only take a turn or two, and will allow to craft some simple, but bloody necessary artifacts. We’ll get to artifacts in the next update.

    So what will happen when I finally reach Thaumaturgy 5? That moment is going to be a cornerstone. Up til then time will work against me. My population will die, income will decrease and I won’t even have any great spells from other schools of research. But AFTER that Thaum5 research, time will work for me. I will be able to literally sit in my castle and Watch the World Die. Behold the one and only, dreadful BoT!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Of course, it’s not as simple, but we’ll get to details later on. Until then, let your imagination flow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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  11. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    I could use a little feedback.

    I try not to dive too deep into mechanics and, well, SCIENCE stuff. But I want to keep it understandable. So what do you think? Maybe more "tutorial" sections? Or shoud I just keep it plain and simple?

    Done!

    Usually you just need to consider a couple of boosters that your national mages can't craft by themselves. A good example is Bloodstone for MA Ulm. Smith priests would benefit GREATLY from it, but they will never be able to craft it themselves. You need a blood Pretender with minor blood economy for that (still worth it).

    At the same time, you have NO USE whatsoever for, let's say, nature or water boosters while playing MA Ulm. I mean, you COULD think of something if you think really hard, but that's a bit pervert.

    Ya, a lot of mods out there, both for Dom3 and Dom4. I really like custom banners mod for Dom3 (can't remember the name, it's been eons). And only use "Worthy Heroes" for Dom4. If you want to try out the game, start with vanilla.
    >60 nations
    >800 spells
    >thousands? of units

    You won't really need mods for a long time. The game offers endless depths to explore.

    You are definetely a minority just because you actually PLAYED Dominions. Could you be more specific about your opinion tho? What do you mean by "complex"?

    If we speak interface - sure, it's not THAT hard to get along with. It's much more user-friendly than any ASCII game, Dwarf Fortress included.

    If we speak difficulty, Dominions AI is pathetic. Sure, it can give you a nasty surprise here and there, but unless you are testing some crazy tactics on him, it's not too hard to beat him. In that regard, Alpha Centauri is much harder. Along with many other tbs.

    If we speak depth and balance, I disagree with you totally. Dominions 4 (and ONLY 4) is incredibly balanced for a game of that proportions. It's not about "700 filler spells and 100 barely usable", it's not "MA Ermor rullz, everybody else suxx" - not at all. You can never say who's going to win in mp parties. You can always find new tactics, strategies, ideas. Hell, I didn't even try out all of former nations seriously, not mentioning the new ones. And I've been playing it FOR YEARS.

    Any global tbs has its limits. Any Civ, Alpha Centauri, and Paradox Interactive will get too shallow at one point or another. Dominions 4 - never. As for somewhat dumb AI, you'll have to either play mp, or try out that liitle trick:
    1. Upon creating a single session, make all players human controlled.
    2. Assign Pretender Gods that are of your own design to every nation.
    3. Turn everyone, except yourself, to "computer controlled".
    4. ...
    5. PROFIT!

    Major AI problem is that he can't create good Pretender designs. Help him with that, or at least give simple SC Pretenders, like awaken Wyrm with high scales. You'll be surprised with results.

    And of course turn him on Impossible. And never play MA Ermor against AI, that's just brutal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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  12. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Pardon, I expressed myself badly. It is not "Too complex for his own good". Have you ever tried Emperor of the Fading Suns? We tried an abortive match here on the 'dex. That is an example of a game with a ton of good ideas, and unnerving implementation.

    As with Dominions, the amount of tactics and variety is astounding. You can find dozens of way to solve a problem, and most of them are intuitive, even if some aren't. Need to kill a specific commander? Need a set of resistance or a specific item? You have to plan beforehand or simply to check carefully your resources. I mean that with "massive": a ton of options, that only require a bit of proper observation to catch. Some, of course, are less obvious and you need experience and skill to find them, but that's a rule in everything.

    I find planning turns for Dominions more intuitive, than for example the economic model of Victoria II. Easier to understand for my poor brain.

    Did I ever said that I find Dominions 4 unbalanced? Bluntly put, I quite like the new balance compared to Dom3. More emphasis on troops, less on mages and SCs. I played just little MP on Dom3 and I always preferred the early - middle game, so Dom4 for me is golden.

    Truly Dominions is that obscure, by the way? It was reliably reviewed since Dominions 2 by "gaming magazines" in my third-world country (I still remember getting the Dom3 demo from a demo disc back in the day. Gosh, I played within those turn limits so much).
     
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  13. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    I'm sorry, never played that one.

    Well, I still kinda disagree. If we speak SP - sure, tons of intuitive tactics are lying just on surface. As for mp sessions - totally another story. You have to figure out what are your opponents tactic and counter them to the best of your ability. It's not always like "he's got a legion of archers with Fire Arrows buff - I will cast Rain and Mist then. Some tricks can apper ALMOST impossible to counter. Obvious MA Agartha with N9 Pretender. Figuring out how to deal effectively with MA Agartha's national summons with N9 bless is a good exam for any Dominions 4 player (specifically Living Mercury, Sentinels and Marble Oracle - they are nearly immune to any damage, have very high mag res, never run or get tired, able to see in the dark, among other things. And have a ton of hp that regenerate every turn under N9 bless). I'm pretty sure that you are familiar enough with the game to find a couple solutions, but you can't call them "intuitive" (well, maybe two of them, at most).

    And let's not forget "dirty diplomacy" in MP games. I remember one party where we "made war" with one decent guy. Or rather pretended to be at war with each other, and did it as loud as we could. I played as MA Ulm and was sitting nearly without ANY army, investing everything in forts and researchers. The other guy played as C'tis and had an ENOURMOUS army "hidden" deep in his territory. But we loudly cursed each other on forum. C'tis told everyone how my legions CRUSH and DOMINATE his pesky forces, begged someone to help and make an alliance against me. Nobody wanted to, coz I made active artifact trading and they were ABSOLUTELY sure that I have legions of elite units. Somewhere. Meanwhile, Asphodel, that was a neighbour of C'tis, totally relaxed and moved all his forces faaar away from borders of C'tis. Why bother? Everybody considered C'tis virtually dead. By Gods, the IMPACT we made in that party together with C'tis. He CRUSHED Asphodel. Mictlan SOLD ME FORTS and literally PAID TRIBUTE just to avoid war. With me - guy without ANY army!

    But if you want something to illustrate the complexity, variability and not-so-intuitive gameplay, I suggest making an experiment.
    1. Find 3 or 4 guys who played the game for some time. Vets, preferably.
    2. Choose ANY nation in Dominions 4.
    3. Ask these guys to create a "standard" Pretender God for that specific nation. A Pretender that is supposed to be played with that specific nation. Let them send the file/image/descripton or whatevs on your email. Just ask them not to create an awaken Wyrm with scales - that's just a no-brainer that was trendy during Dominions 3, and kinda "stuck" with some players game style.
    4. Look it up. I can bet anything, you won't find two similiar Pretenders in your mail. I can even participate, if you ever decide to do it.

    I honestly consider it as obscure as they come. I never even heard of series until accidently stumbled on Dom3. And I can't say that o lot of people are familiar with it. I may be wrong tho.
     
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  14. Kashmir Slippers Augur

    Kashmir Slippers
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    This is really great. The level of depth is just perfect IMO. Carry on.
     
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  15. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Nice work. I've fooled around with the singleplayer of Dominion but must admit that the higher concepts and strategies elude me. Good to see you going into depth.
     
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  16. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Nothing to be sorry upon. It's an interesting game, with awful execution. Sadly.

    Methinks we disagree less than you think. I have never said that Dominions is "simple". And I agree wholeheartedly on the depth of tactics and knowledge, and how a vet player has access to a lot of different strategies and counters compared to a newb. But compared to tons of other TB strat games, it flows far better. Maybe it's only a personal opinion. It does not require the monomaniacal obsession required by speedruns of old platformers or the like.

    I always liked the blurb on the old Dom3 manual about fire magic and armour piercing, if you remember, in this sense. Dominions, even more Dom4 with his more efficient interface, is a game that give far more satisfaction and options than Dwarf Fortress for the same amount of energy I give towards it. More accessible, if I can risk such a word on the Codex.

    And that's only a virtue in my very humble opinion of Random Internet 'tard.

    I'll admit I am a quite a noob on the MP arena, and so my opinion is weak. But I still think the "insanely and mind-numbingly complex game" only is, even if jokingly, an exaggeration.

    As for your example about diplo, that is however not a virtue of the game, but of the players. Epic story though ;). And keep up this LP, It is wonderful to learn new tricks from vets :salute:.
     
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  17. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
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    Location:
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    First of all, need to correct some mistakes of mine.

    1. Svartalves cost 195 gp, not 205 gp, as I stated. Nobody gives a damn, I know.

    2. When calling myself, or anybody else, a “vet”, I don’t necessarily mean a GOOD player. Rather an OLD player, who played the game for quite some time. I knew at least one Chuck Norris of Dominions, and realize that I’ll never reach his level. You may want to take my “pro-tips” with a somewhat critical approach.

    3. I think I never listed all magic schools of Dominions series. They are pretty easy to remember:

    - Fire;
    - Air;
    - Water;
    - Earth;
    - Astral;
    - Death;
    - Nature;
    - Blood;
    - Holy (aka Priest).

    When players mention magic schools, they only use first letters. Fire 1, Water 3 = F1W3, etc. However, Air 1 Astral 1 = A1S1. Astral school goes for “S”. Also, Holy goes for “H”. So, when I say H1, I mean Priest 1. Furthermore, every school has its respective gems, except for Holy (no “holy gems” in Dominions) and Blood schools. Instead of blood gems, we have “blood slaves” here (virgins). They are, err, "gathered" and used in different way, and everything related to Blood magic and blood slaves is called “Blood Economy”. I will speak more on that topic, since I’m going to organize some blood economy myself, but later.

    Meanwhile, let’s talk artifacts.

    Show Spoiler


    In order to make them artifacts you need to research Construction. Unlike other branches, Construction offers just a bunch of spells. Hell, they even fit on ONE screen, while any other school takes several!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Still, Construction is very important, for it’s almost impossible to win without using artifacts. Not in mp games, anyway. Dominions 4 has hundreds of artifacts, can’t exactly tell how much, but definitely more than 300. Maybe even something around 400.

    So, let’s take my current situation as an example of artifact planning. Drain 3 scale gives a -3 RP penalty to my every researcher. That’s a painful one, coz usually Helheim uses Vanherses or Vanjarls as their main research force. Vanherse (130 gp for hire and 4 gp/turn salary) has 7 RP and Vanjarl (265 gp for hire and 8 gp/turn salary) has 11 RP. Drain 3 penalty lefts them with just 4 and 8 RP respectively. I would have to spend a FORTUNE and build a LOT of forts to hire enough of them and keep my research rising. Actually, I shouldn’t have taken Drain 3 scale if I plan to deal with research problem like this.

    No. I’ll just have to be creative. Look at these bad boys:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    The Dwarven Hammer asks a lot. E3 mage is a rare beast, and 15 earth gems is bloody expensive, especially for a lesser magic item. Is it even worth it? Yes. Definitely yes. You see, “Fixed forge bonus 2” means that wielder of that hammer receives a 2 magic gem “discount” while forging. If an artifact requires 5 fire gems, you can craft it for just 3 with Dwarven Hammer. If it costs 10 death gems and 5 earth gems, then the new cost will be 9 death gems and 4 earth gems. You get the idea.

    If I give that hammer to, let’s say, Vanherse, and order him to craft an Owl Quill (+6 RP to the wielder) every month, it will cost me only 3 air gems per turn. I have an income of 2 already (1 from Helhalla and 1 from uncovered magic site of Helgate province). I need just one more, so I’ll receive a “free” Owl Quill every turn. Now let’s do some simple mathematics and choose a more cost-effective strategy between these two:

    1. Hire 2 Vanherses per turn. 130+130 = 260 gp, and 8 gp/turn for maintenance in total. Cummulative research speed = 8 RP/turn.

    2. Hire 1 Vanherse per turn and provide him with an Owl Quill. 130 gp/turn and 4 gp/turn for maintenance. Research speed = 10 RP/turn.

    For those who want to correct me already: I try to simplify some things for more pleasant reading. I know that a Vanherse actually costs 52 gp/year, which makes it 4,(3) per turn(month), but who the fuck cares?

    Later in the game we’ll have other artifacts with even more powerful research bonuses, like Skull Mentor.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    I used the website from OP-post to take these pics. There is no way to browse through artifacts in-game, until you learn necessary Construction level and qualify with magic levels to craft them.


    So, instead of spamming endless waves of researches, like an average player usually does, we’ll try to hire less, but equip them better. And see if that strategy proves to be viable.


    Time to suffer.

    TURN 4

    SUMMER IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ASCENSION WARS

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Give me a fucking break, game.

    Doesn’t matter. I already have Misfortune 3, can’t go any further. Turn 4 already, and I still have just one province, apart from my capital. Frankly speaking, this is pathetic. However, I need to start building some kind of fortification in Helgate on next turn. This initial slowdown will pay off in long term, when Caelum comes with those mammoths of his.

    Remember I said that sometimes it’s better to delay assigning a prophet until you get some REALLY powerful candidates? Well, some commanders can be recruited only in capital, cost a small fortune, and take two turns to be hired. But sometimes. Sometimes you can make something Real Nasty:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    Hard to read, eh? Well, I tried. You can look it up on dom4inspector, choosing EA Agartha units with "national only filter". Or just typing "Oracle of the Dead" in search.


    I expect Agartha to be my last and most powerful opponent in this session. Once again, if I even make it up to late game. But hey, since I mentioned them already, why don’t we take a sneak peak at them?

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    As you can see, they start on another side of map, deep in underground caverns. Fighting their way to the surface will prove rather difficult, for to the north of them lies Ermor. Maybe they will conquer western underwater provinces and Oceania first. Whatever they choose, nobody will be able to fight them on their territory for a long time. Because you can’t see shit underground. Agarthian forces will raep any intruder, easy-peasy.

    Hephastoes must be a Death&Earth Pretender. “The Everburning One” usually marks strong dominion, not Fire mastery. Once again, I may be wrong. It’s been some time.

    Wish I had such a defence-effective strategic position. Sigh. Coming back to our Northern business.

    Jon Snow brings bad news. AGAIN.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Here comes the first black candle. It’s Ulm. I’ll hang myself one more time if I’m wrong.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    They facerolled the province to the north-west of their capital (red arrow) and it is now spreading black candles in all directions. They may go further north from that point, then I’ll have to forget about Vanheim. I just can’t allow Ulm to come close to Helheim that early. Hopefully, they will go for Marverni first.

    Guys. I have bad news, no kiddin’. I’m afraid I’ve lost Crispy. He just vanished. I’m sorry.

    … Wait, what’s that? There you are, liitle guy! I just had to zoom in REAL BAD to see ya! You’re so small.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Sinister as always, I see. You just search that province, and don’t worry about a thing. If we get lucky and find a source of earth gems +2, hell, even +1 – then you may return to Helheim and research your ass out.

    How is my dear capital faring?

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    First of all, let me introduce you to Everett the Vanherse. This guy will be helpful in many ways. Right now I plan to send him along with Codex Troll to The Hanging Tree province, so he can search it for some air magic sites immediately after fighting. What should you know about Everett:

    - Priest+Stealth+Glamour makes him a capable spy and destroyer of black candles.
    - A1H1 schools allow him to build temples and laboratories. It’s important to build stuff in order to win. I will speak of buildings in future updates.
    - He can also research, give priest support to armies, cast some minor air magic in battles and craft Owl Quills.
    - At some point he will inevitably die. Vanherses are expendable. I know it, you know, he knows it. But we all pretend that everything will end well, for some reason.

    Ok, enough about Everett. Codex Troll reorganized his army and changed some tactics a bit:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I will speak about squads, morale, formations, leadership and other combat tactical aspects during next update. Hopefully, I’ll get a nice illustrative battle after attacking The Hanging Tree province. Next “tutorial” section might be bloody.

    And finally, the shit I delayed to the last. Money business. I have to decide how to spend 420 gold pounds, and I really, REALLY need two things equally bad. Like yesterday.

    1. I need to start building fortification in Helgate. The cheapest and fastest is Palisades. It costs 600 gp and 4 turns to build. If I start building next turn, I can only hope to make it in time. A smart guy would hire a commander in Helgate (standard cheap-ass human commander) and save the rest of cash til next turn. So that newborn commander starts building at turn 5 and finishes at turn 9.

    2. This.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Hangadrott. Best national commander of Helheim. Apart from Incredible atts, every Hangadrott starts with A2D3H2 and receives 1 or 2 more magic paths like this:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Hangadrott is a far more superior leader than Codex Troll. I wanted to pay for that badass last turn, but fucking heavy rains in Helheim screwed my plans. He is slow to hire, just like svartalf ("pay now - receive 2 turns later" principle). It takes a fortune of gold (building a fully functional TEMPLE costs only 400, while hiring a Hangadrott costs 420). A tough choice, this one.

    Ah, who am I kidding? Why would you build some shit when you can

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  18. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
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    Codex 2012
    :avatard:
     
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  19. hoverdog dog that is hovering, Wastelands Interactive Developer

    hoverdog
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
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    Location:
    Jordan, Minnesota
    Project: Eternity
    :greatjob:

    I've been wanting to start delving into Dominions for quite a bit of time now. Maybe I finally will thanks to this grand LP.
     
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  20. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
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    Thanks for all them kind words and brofists. A pleasure, really.

    I guess you are right. Sometimes I have problems understanding people thoughts. Probably it's my autism. Or alcoholism. Mebby both.

    Anyway, I read all your posts again and can't say I disagree. Maybe it's just me, but I "taught" so many people to play Dominions (friends IRL and random internets guys), that it eventually led me to consider the game "hard to grasp". Maybe it's just me being a bad tutor.

    Of course it's not too hard to figure out the basics and develop some effective strategies.

    :lol: I'll just copy/paste it here for people who never saw or forgot it.

    Show Spoiler
    Example: Our friend Bageroth casts a Fireball. He aims at a square containing three light
    infantry. His Precision is 9, and the Precision of the spell is 1, for a total of 10. The target is
    12 squares away, meaning the spell will deviate. (This is just like in missile combat, or
    (Precision / 2) – 2, or in this case, 3 squares.) However, there are a lot of light infantry on the
    battlefield, and it lands on another square with three of them. Unfortunately, they are friendly
    light infantry. No matter. The fireball does 16 points of armor-piercing damage. Bageroth’s
    damage roll on the first infantryman is 3,4 for a total of 23. The light infantry only has
    protection of 7, and the fact that the damage is armor-piercing means it halves that (to 4).
    The protection die roll is 1,5 for a total of 10. That infantryman takes 13 points of damage.
    He only has 10 hit points to begin with, and is eliminated. This process is repeated for the
    other two infantrymen in the square because the Area of Effect for the spell is 1, which
    means 1 square, not 1 unit. Spells which only affect one unit will say “One person” under
    Area of Effect. Bageroth needs to be more careful.


    Aren't you actually winning MP session right now, on Codex?
     
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  21. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2013
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    Great write-up, I've never even heard of this game let alone played it. Looks like something I could get into.
     
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  22. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
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    No, that's got very little to do with it. Simply put, mostly everything else got cheaper but rainbows didn't - and they never were much good in vanilla Dom3 to start with, they were only used to a notable degree when balance mods buffed them.




    Also what's up with the EA Caelum hate? It's honestly the first time I hear someone call it overpowered. It's better than before the patch but still an average nation in my books. Though the Mairya Ahu is a bitch to deal with, it's not really something you can base a strategy around.


    But good effort, keep it up! :salute:
     
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  23. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
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    Thanks. I borrow inspiration from your Aielund Saga, so you better not stop. Or else.

    And yeah, Dominions is rather obscure and not widely known. May become highly addictive once you finish reading that bigass manual and start actual playing.

    But everybody played Dom3 with balance mod. At least pbem sessions. Can't say I know how it was before that mod, coz when I got to regular pbem matches, it was already used in every single game. "Conceptual Balance" was its name, IIRC.

    Anyway, personally, I never tried rainbows in mp. Why did some people like them so much - I can only guess.

    Hate? Who ever said "hate"? I mean, of course I hate all those pesky "gods" in my current session, but come on. I love what they did to Caelum. Formerly it was just a poor joke.

    - Guys, let's play Dominions!
    - Yar! How many nations will be in da game?
    - I'll play Ermor. My buddy wants Marignon.
    - I'll be Man then. That's three.
    - Rick was gonna play Caelum.
    - I asked about NATIONS, man.

    But maybe I added a little drama. It's not as op as Niefelheim, Hinnom, Fomoria or Tir'Na'Nog, if we speak EA. And I believe you wholeheartedly, when you say I'm the first one. People hold on to old habits like madmen. Explains why there are still awaken scale wyrms in every second pbem session. I don't think that Caelum will ever be popular after all its "glorious" history.

    It suffers the same fate as MA Oceania. People just think it's shit, coz it has always been shit. I often had the same dialogue in Dominions jabber conferences:

    - Guys, why nobody plays MA Oceania? Look at those damn sacreds.
    - It is underwater nation. Sucks on surface. Always did.
    - No. It does not. Sacred centaurs are just as powerful on surface as they are underwater. Great equip, great stats, recuperation and NOT binded to cap-only. They are fucking awesome, actually.
    - Mages suck. Pans lose 1 level in every magic path once they go to the surface.
    - No. They did in Dom3, not in Dom4. In Dom4 they EXCHANGE W1 to N1 path, and that's it. No losses.
    - dom4inspector says otherwise, Grimwulf.
    - dom4inspector is WRONG. There is a MISTAKE in unit description, and it's not the ONLY mistake on dom4inspector. Check it fucking out in actual GAME.
    - Nah. Oceania sucks. Always did.

    Just trying to be open-minded, that's it. Never said that Caelum is most powerful nation in EA, and I'm pretty sure that AI doesn't know shit about its new features. But new Caelum has a shitton of simply awesome Pretenders, and a bunch of rebalanced units, among other things. EA Caelum has awesome sacred archers (both blizzard and non-blizzard) and cheap-ass national summons with Awe 2 trait. Which are also sacred, of course.

    Always happy to meet an old-timer, btw.

    :bro:

    Will do. :salute:
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
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  24. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    Actually, Caelum used to be among the most powerful nations in Dom1 or Dom2. Back then quicken self would help your spellcasting speed, and Summon Lesser Air Elemental was lower fatigue and didn't cost a gem. But this is just hearsay, I never played those in MP. Nor were they that bad in Dom3, A magic is good and flying is good, even if your troops are shitty - and of course they need a good player to leverage the mobility. They just got kinda fucked over when Eagle King and Harab Elder went StR. But to me to say something's overpowered means it's the best thing out there, or at least on par with the best thing out there - there's can't be various degrees of it, in other words.

    Never seen an awake Wyrm in Dom4 btw, nor heard of anyone using one (though I've seen a bunch of other, much dumber shit). If someone's taking that it must be an awful player, most likely a newbie following an old guide to boot. Passable players can easily see that Dragons are better than Wyrms in about every respect now. Usually it's not actually about veterans holding onto their habits, but people who don't know better (old or new) just taking their views from what appears to be a consensus. Most players, including old ones, are pretty terrible at the game.
     
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  25. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
    Joined:
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    Before hosting last turn, I decided to make one minor change at last moment. And so, Codex Troll went forth with only 4 helhirdings, not 5. I left one of them in Helheim, so he can join arriving Hangadrott. Troll should be just fine with 4.

    I will try to explain some basic tactical combat aspects and concepts, without diving too deep into mechanincs, but some people may still find it boring to read. There is also a detailed report on The Hanging Tree battle under spoiler – I don’t plan to be THAT detailed in future, but want you to understand how these battles are flowing, at least to some extent. So yeah, this “tutorial” is somewhat larger than usual.

    Feel free to skip it, if you don’t really care about battle flow, and just here for casualty reports and global events.

    Show Spoiler


    Dominions 4 can be rather user-friendly until you delve too deep. For now, you should just know that most of probability calculations in game are based on “Dominions Random Number” or DRN, which in its turn is based on open-ended dice rolls. The whole system works out quite well, and not THAT hard to understand, but I’m not gonna explain it here.

    If you are interested in how DRN works, check it out in official manual:

    http://www.illwinter.com/dom4/manual_dom4.pdf

    It’s right there, on page 8.

    If you are not enjoying sclerosis, like I do, you may remember this pic from last turn:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    Like I said, I left one helhirding back in Helheim.


    This screen shows all commanders and their units in current province. Every commander has Leadership value. Codex Troll has 80 Leadership. Let’s click on it and look at some more details:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    So, not only he is able to command 80 men, but also 30 undead! Who would have guessed? D1 gives that bonus. Every magic path gives some kind of additional bonus to the mage, some of them less obvious than other. Earth grants additional Protection, Nature gives “Supply +10” trait for every level in path (e.g. King Grimwulf has N3 and thus receives Supply +30), and so on. Besides, high levels of magic may grant even greater bonuses. D5 gives you “Fear 5” trait. Hell, even high level of initial dominion value gives you Awe trait. Dominions is a game about things intertwined, and the more strings and connections you know, the better Puppet Master you become.

    But let us return to Leadership for now. The higher is BASIC Leadership (which is 80, in case of Codex Troll), the more STANDARD units you can command. Undead, Demons, and different magic creatures (like golems and such) don’t fall into that category. Greater Leadership values also allow you to command more squads and provide a morale bonus for them. With Leadership 80 Codex Troll can command 3 squads effectively, providing +1 morale bonus to each of them. What happens if we try to spilt them into more squads?

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Every squad beyond commanders maximum receives -1 morale penalty and give the same penalty to ALL existing squads of that commander. You could split troops between commanders to avoid this, but not every commander provides morale bonus to his units. Like Everett, for instance. His Leadership is just too low to command people effectively.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Shit might happen when you put people like Everett in charge. We’ll try to do our best with C. Trolls 3 squad limit. So we split cavalry in two flanks and put a shieldwall right in the middle.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    “Real men fight in scildwall”, - Brytenwalda mod for M&B.

    Mixing different units in one line has its pros and cons, First of all, you shouldn’t put units with shields in one line with units without them, unless you know what you are doing. In my case, both serf warriors and huskarlar have shields and spears. The latter also have throwing javelins. The main downside of this mix is difference in morale.

    Every morale check in Dominions is squad-based. If squad fails this check, it will run. The whole. Damn. Squad. Huskarls have 11 morale, while serf warriors have only 8. As I said before, average human morale is 10. Humans of Helheim are not very happy with their lives, so…

    Dominions counts average morale of the squads when checking. Huskarls would fight more bravely and disciplined by themselves, but at least their presence kinda inspires serf warriors. Hope you got the general idea. One way or another, I needed that shieldwall just to split cavalry in two. Before we see how it worked out, a quick glimpse on our enemies:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I can deal with that. Unlike battle of Helgate, these neutral rebels have some heavy infantry with a somewhat decent Protection. Let’s spill some blood.

    Turn 1.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Neutrals move forward, we do some buffing. I find it more effective to put all my forces far away from the front line, so I would have a spare turn to prepare. But this is true ONLY when fighting standard neutrals. When I get to other nations or fight some special neutrals, I will reconsider this. Significant flying armies also force to restructure entire formation, as well as archer-only types of enemies (not much sense in holding position while enemy archers shoot you in the face, eh?).

    Turn 2.
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Enemies came close enough for Codex Troll to Smite them. Smite spell is pretty useful. Decent range, decent dmg, never misses, somewhat difficult to resist. It becomes more and more obsolete with time tho, but right now it provides Codex Troll with frags and xp. Here we see him dealing 21 dmg to neutral militia man, instakilling him. What? Where is “death animation”? Militia sprite disappeared already, what else do you want?

    Everett was scripted to cast Air Shield the first turn (which he did), then spam Steal Breath. But it didn’t go as planned.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Steal Breath didn’t have enough range to reach closest enemy. On square grid it was seen that he lacked one square – these nuances are hard to predict before battle.

    Everett didn’t have any other spells to cast, so he attempted to come close enough to enemy ranks to cast Steal Breath next turn. Thankfully, shieldwall was standing on his way, preventing him from doing stupid things.

    Actually, I didn’t have anything to work with, while scripting Everett. Thaumaturgy school doesn’t provide any spells for A1 mages, except for Steal Breath, so that was the only thing Everett could cast.

    Turn 3.

    Our troops start walking. Drums banging, Death is in the air. Let’s see this.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Enemy heavy infantry can’t march as fast as light militia and now they are left behind. One more reason to take it slowly vs standard neutrals. Now our shieldwall can take them one group after another, which should be a cakewalk.

    Helhirdings moving forward. If all goes well, they charge straight into enemy commanders. Like I mentioned In previous updates, the moment every commander in the army dies/flees – EVERY single unit will run away too. No morale checks in this case, 100% retreat.

    But you know what they say. “Tell Dominions 4 about your plans if you want to make it laugh”. Or smth.

    Turn 4.

    Let’s pierce some fucking human skulls.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Hey! You there, left flank helhirdings! Whaddya think you’re doin’? Go for rearmost! REARMOST!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    No. Not this shit again.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Oh, goddamit. Urge to kill was too stronk for them. Now the formation is utterly broken. Shieldwall is scattered, helherdings stand on huskarls way and fucking serfs charged ahead of everybody to get some frags. At least helhirdings on the right flank seem to follow initial plan. If they kill enemy commanders real fast, they may prevent a tragedy.

    Turn 5.

    All seem to be going well! Everett Steals Breath from, err, a bunch of air behind enemy troops? I’m sure it will piss off that traitorous air. And could it be? Helhirdings made it BEHIND heavy infantry? They are just a few steps away from enemy commanders!

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    :yeah:


    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    :fuuyeah:


    Turn 6.

    Three serf warriors die. Serves them right, I say. One should never break the shieldwall, let alone charge ahead of everybody like you’re some kind of ragin’ Titan. Nobody will miss them. No place for humans in Helhalla.

    Some of you may remember that Dominions player can only script actions for first 5 turns. After that, AI starts to improvise. Codex Troll decided to go full retard.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Holy Avenger, brilliant. How comes I never thought of that? All that’s left to do now is to wait for enemies to hit Codex Troll. Wait… oh, shi

    Turn 7.

    Enemy retreats. Basically, the battle is over. We have some turns to kill a bunch of running away units for additional xp, but that’s it. Techno Viking thinks we did good. I won’t argue with that.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    That covers the battle flow. “Wat? What do you mean “covers”? So how many possible formations are there? How are damage and chance to hit calculated? How does Protection and armour system work? How do you even follow what turn is it, the game doesn’t declare “turn 1”, “turn 2”, etc? BOO!”

    Goddamit, I’m not a manual. I only give you info that is necessary to know in order to follow this LP. If I remember any more need-to-know combat stuff, I will tell ya. If you find yourself starving for more, check out official manual. It’s very well-written.


    All characters appearing in this LP are fictitious.

    Any resemblance to real Codexians, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

    TURN 5

    LATE SUMMER IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE ASCENSION WARS

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    Well, that was intellectually refreshing. Nothing really happened during this turn.

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    Which is very uncommon in Dominions 4. That usually means that your skills suck. If you’re done giggling, let us move on to battle report:

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    Three serfs dead. Good riddance, I say. No wounded. You can check if there are wounded soldiers in your army real quick by hovering mouse cursor over squad and pressing “W” button. That’s much faster than clicking every unit one by one.

    You may notice that every enemy on that report is dead. That is always the case when fighting neutrals – technically they “can’t retreat”. Once they loose a battle, they vanish from the game session forever. You still get xp only for those who you actually kill, and don’t get any for guys who escaped battlefield.

    When fighting other nations, it won’t be always genocidal like this. Especially when it comes to commanders – these fuckers can be tricky to kill.

    Some units gained an experience level.

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    Experienced units receive morale and stats boost. You may want to keep an eye on experienced vets and treat them accordingly.

    Expecting some good news from Jon Snow?

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    That’s a good one.


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    Heavy cavalry and heavy infantry, eh? That will be a tough one. For me, anyway. I bet that Vanheim can squish them anytime due to handicap. Moving Jon to The Bitter Wood.

    Actually, that little espionage part is rather interesting. Both Helheim and Vanheim are mostly populated by Vanir. Every Vanir is glamorous. Outside of battle they are indistinguishable from humans, just for lulz. But that doesn’t mean that one Vanir can recognize another Vanir under glamour.

    Which in its turn means that Jon Snow knows nothing. Seriously, he is probably walking past 100 unit army right now and doesn’t have a slightest idea about it. I am 100% sure that Vanheim sent a spy towards my territory as well. That spy is also struggling to find my forces.

    Vanir Games.

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    Crispy, that stubborn old fella, “didn’t find” any magic sites in Helgate. Didn’t find my ass. I bet he spent all month on drinking, feasting and visiting brothels.

    At least he’s got “mountain survival”, so he can walk 2 provinces without movement penalties. He will be at The Hanging Tree on next turn. Maybe there he will actually SEARCH for magic shit. I could really use his research skills right now, but earth and death gems are my top priorities.

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    Speaking of research.

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    I’m almost done with Thaumaturgy 3, that will grant me… Well, nothing, really. Not with my current commanders. Thaumaturgy 4 has a decent D3 combat spell Terror.

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    A handy little thing for Hangadrott. It will make his enemies piss their pants and run like sissy girls. The best things about it is large AOE and low fatigue cost. I think I will make combat spells and fatigue my next “tutorial” topic. Meanwhile, a quick overlook:

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    Three black candles. Hostile dominions incoming! We should keep an eye on them, but not let it worry us too much. Just have to make sure that Codex Troll doesn’t go to provinces with black candles, for they make him much, much weaker. Even an arrow to the knee will kill him there.

    A quick note on province defence: it stations units in provinces for defending purpose, who would have fucking guessed. I’ll speak of it sometime later, when border brawling starts. Meanwhile you should know that zero is bad. Even a scout can take over a province without defence. If you play an mp party with noobs, and your scouts report that “enemy province doesn’t have any defence”, do NOT conquer such a province. This is not what noble Dominions players do.

    Leave your scout there. Hire a bunch of new ones. Move them to other provinces of that player. Then take them all over, simultaneously. So that next turn that player won’t have a single one. THAT’s how we teach them in Dominions 4.

    I’m moving Codex Troll to Resting Shore, since that province has both Farmlands and Mountain features with 7k population. Money, resources and probably magic sites as well. Besides, if Vanheim is currently waiting on other side of the shore and aiming for the same province, I could probably win this one. Coz of 2 native candles. Hopefully, he won’t have a legion of vanheres commanded by an awaken Pretender.

    Why not straight to Misty Hollow and Weeping Falls?

    1. Weeping Falls is seemingly heavily guarded. Could be risky.
    2. Don't have the money to reinforce my position there. I still need a fort at Helgate first.

    So, Weeping Falls isn't a priority anymore. Perhaps it was too ambitious of me to aim it at first place.

    359 gp available (it was 360 before I hired province defence in The Hanging Tree ). Gonna spend them all on units, coz I have a Hangadrott coming next turn. I plan to send him attack Valkyrie Peaks immediately. Need more income and magic gems. While I’m thinking of what units to hire (they are bloody expensive, all of them), you think of some name for this glorious leader.

    Let us do this as a cohesive unit!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 8
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