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Let's Read Giant Wusses: A Dominions 5 tourney LP

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by sqeecoo, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    All that was goddamn obvious. Basic shit that someone with your experience shouldn't require explaining.

    Not gonna get mad. Not gonna lose my shit again.

    OH, FOR GOOD FUCKS SAKE - so now you're gonna listen TO EVERY SINGLE RETARDED IDEA that some random madman farts out?! What next, you'll start learning diplomacy tricks from Isiloon?

    USING SWORDS AS UW NATION FOR UW COMBAT IS IDIOTIC!

    You have to overcome Niefel Jarl's DEFENSE, then REPEL, then SHIELD, and do it FREQUENTLY ENOUGH to damage him faster than he regens, AND ALSO DO IT BEFORE YOU PASS OUT OR FREAK OUT, coz NIEFEL JARL WILL NOT!

    SWORDS DO NOT WORK UNDERWATER, SQEECOO!!!

    So you're gonna stick the sword on whom, Mage of the Deep? For a GLORIOUS total attack of 9? Yeh, GUD LUCK!

    There are numerous weapons that could cause problems, but SoS is NOT one of them. Niefel Jarls rely on their defensive skill during UW combat, not their armor. In fact, I've sent mine equipped in Shambler's Skin (Prot 9) to free more misc slots (you need reinvigor AND poison resist before going UW), and not even once I had a single problem.

    It's incredibly hard to surround a Jarl and deliver enough hits, triggering Harassment mechanic. You would know that if you BOTHERED TO TEST NIEFELHEIM IN FUCKING SP!!

    Except they are Conj 5. Even if you DID wait that long before starting a war with Atlantis, you would have access to Liquid Body.

    ARE WE DONE WITH KINDERGARDEN-LEVEL "BRAINSTORMING" HERE?? GOOD!

    Except you would have MAJOR trouble with going offensive. As a rule of thumb, Niefelheim is incapable of conquering a properly-played land nation (unless it's a Cold nation as well), it can only raid one. Everything changes after launching Illwinter. Before that, you got nothing.

    Conquering UW nations has no such restrictions. If, say, Fomoria grabbed Cold scale for some reason - aye, might be a better match for the first target. Fat chance, though.

    AND major gold boost from UW provinces during the war duration. Basically extra fort each turn, if you play your cards right.

    You could conquer Atlantis if you wanted to. Just use indy UW units to break walls, it's doable, if a bit annoying.

    I didn't do it back in that game simply because I needed Jarls on another war theatre asap. My whole war with the UW guy was caused by mondblut's death basket (I was gifted under the condition of delivering justice), I wasn't interested in conquest. In YOUR game however, it would make sense.
     
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  2. sqeecoo Arcane

    sqeecoo
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    Turn 8: Finally Fabricating Forts


    Let's see battles first!

    [​IMG]

    Man that's a lot of monkeys! Good that we combined our dudes to attack this. The monkey have kinda low damage and very poor morale, but the sheer number of arrows and sticks and stones (literally) flying at us can overwhelm a small group and rout us before we rout them. However, we have enough guys to beat them no problem:

    [​IMG]

    That's still like 100 monkeys. I really like those dudes, they are so cute despite being kinda horrible (but also dangerous in the right hands - if you buff up their strength they can do real damage, and they are all stealthy).

    [​IMG]

    The second expansion also went fine. The plan is now as follows:

    [​IMG]

    Our northern expansion group moves on that farm (red). We can see our friend Atlantis has recruited a decent bunch of mercenaries (the archers in the province just east of the farm). He says he just wants to take the wasteland to the north with them, but it's suspicious. Still, giants are resilient against arrows (sufficient protection and regen on Skinshifters) so I don't fear archers too much even if he tries to take that farm and we bump, and the Coral Guard group we saw in the water to the east last turn has moved away.

    The expansion group in our capitol is moving west (blue) and will combine on the amazon province with the expansion group going south this turn. The amazonian cavalry can be tough, so it's best to be safe against them and bring a larger group. Further west we can finally see our closest western neighbor. It's Tien Chi! Those dudes are a decent matchup for us. Giants are good enough to fight their regular infantry and their otherwise dangerous chariots are too small to trample our giants. They have dangerous two-attack human sacreds though, who with a nice bless can do a lot of damage and shouldn't be underestimated. Being the cuck friendly dude that I am I immediately reach out to them and sign a short non-aggression pact. As always, my preference is to be friendly and then chose who to fight in my own time.

    We are also finally starting a fort down south (yellow). It's on the coast but looks safe enough atm, and is the province with the highest population that we've conquered so far, at about 9400 population (forts provide an income bonus so all things being equal it's nice to build them in high-pop and thus high-income provinces).

    In the east we're attacking that province that we claimed and completing our Yomi border; we're also pinging the throne directly south - i.e. sending in a single commander to attack it and retreat, showing us exactly what's guarding it. This is the best way to spot if the throne is defended by indy mages in addition to troops, and the mages usually don't show up on the scouting report but can make the battle significantly harder.

    Finally, behold our glorious recruitment for the turn:

    [​IMG]

    Nothing, my friends, nothing. We're cutting all production since I realize it's high time we started that first fort, even at the cost of yet another researching mage. This shameful image concludes this update. See ya next turn!
     
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  3. Reinhardt Arcane

    Reinhardt
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    Grimwulf in this thread. Every turn.

     
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  4. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    You have to wonder how much of Grimwulf anger is genuine or if it's his natural performative nature taking over in order to give his audience a good show :troll:

    Anyways, MOAR:outrage::outrage:
     
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  5. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    sqeecoo, you brainraping monstrosity, here is the quest compass of what you did WRONG and what you SHOULD have done instead (expansion-wise):

    Show Spoiler
    Blue arrow - 1st expansion party
    Yellow arrow - 2nd expansion party
    Orrange arrows - reinforcements

    [​IMG]


    Taking provinces like Frosted Peaks bring you NOTHING!!! NO GOLD, NO STRATEGIC MEANING, JUST NOTHING! It's also a DEAD END, JUST LIKE OAKLANDS!

    Coasts - FUCK COASTS, let Atlantis beat indies while you expand elswhere, then TAKE THEM FROM ATLANTIS!

    Taking a CAVE PROVINCE is STUPID - most of your opponents have darkvision, while YOU DO NOT. Indy defenders in that cave would at least serve as a temporary obstacle.

    The PRIORITY during expansion should have been FORTS. Melma and Northia should have been your PRIME targets! Forests in the capring should have been your FIRST targets, because of RESOURCES!

    It's not "suspicious", it's BULLSHIT. How long do you intend to keep up this FRIENDLEH facade??

    What if the Coral Guard group is stationed in the desert? They will unite with archers, pwn your pitiful "army", call it an "accidental bump misunderstanding", and proceed to laugh their frog-asses off while you SUCK IT UP, FRIENDLY AS YOU ARE!

    I bet your ass that's the case.

    :notsureifserious:

    What, that's it? That's all you gonna say about them?

    HESUS RAGNAR FROSTCOCK, are you EYEFUCKING YOURSELF?! So you would rather fight EASILY AMASSABLE SACRED COLD-RES DUAL-WIELDING SIZE-2 HIGH-ATT HIGH-DEF MURDERMACHINES, but when it comes to ATLANTIS, you're all suddenly "ohhhhhhhh, Atlantiiiiis, no waaaaay"

    First non-retarded decision in this LP. Then again, you do NAPs with everybody without giving it a single thought.

    Meh place. Next turn - maybe. Right now Melma is way better (and also more urgent).

    :prosper:

    WHAT IS THE FUCKING PURPOOOOOOOOOOSE?! YOU'VE RUINED IT!

    Yeh, here I thought you've done something SMART for a change. Make a ridiculous claim, force your opponent to accept, then LEAVE IT! LEAVE IT AS IT IS! LEAVE IT PROTECTED BY INDIES! SAY NOTHING, MAKE NO COMMENTS, JUST LEAVE IT! HE ACCEPTED THE CLAIM!

    WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! What is the PURPOSE?? Get your troops rekd (what's there, heavy inf + heavy cav, right? ffs) then leave this province unprotected, just in case Yomi decides to invade you?

    Sometimes A CLAIM is enough!! Hell, CLAIMS is what Niefelheim does! NOT DEALS; NOT CUCKERY; - CLAIMS!!

    If you recruited smarter expansion parties, you would be able to build forts AND recruit research.

    All images in this whole LP are shameful. Every single one of them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
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  6. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    I guess this needs some context. Sqeecoo started to play Dominions during Decline 2 (second official Codex tournament), subbing for another player as a nation that had no chances of victory. I was one of the leaders in that game, and accepted sqeecoo as an ally. In that game I sorta starded to teach some tips and tricks from my own repertoire. Then proceeded to do so after the game ended, basically throwing infodumps in our private Dominions conversation (just sqeecoo and me going on for 88 pages).

    We participated in many games since then, and I can remember at least one time he defeated me, although I was pretty much leading this particular game. Consider that a regular Decline game could go on for months, some of them for year. Lots of player communication involved, one could even call it bonding (no homo).

    At some point I stopped playing. He didn't. His questions were getting less and less stupid with years, I vaguely remember saying he was better at Dominions than me at this point, so he should stop asking for my opinion.

    What's also important, sqeecoo was one of the best (if not THE best) players when it came to diplomacy. What he did in private conversations was stuff of legends. While I was HORRIBLE at diplo, generally sticking to threats, public humiliations, ridiculous claims, and occasional slander. About the only "smart" diplo trick I pulled off during my entire experience playing with Codex is this:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    The guy had "secret" vassals (secret, my arse, every player knew what's happening), and I bluffed my way into preventing him from conquering another nation. Too bad it ended with nothing, but oh well.

    Anyway. Sqeecoo manipulated other players like damn fiddles. After I saw him winning several other games against p.gud players, I convinced myself that losing to sqeecoo wasn't that shameful. He's a gud player and even better diplo-monger.

    AND NOW HE PULLS THIS.

    PISSES ME OFF!!!

    :rage:
     
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  7. Matalarata Arcane Patron

    Matalarata
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    Killing dat single uberfrog Dayy had in Decline 21 (iirc) still gives me nightmare.

    :negative:

    ...and those images he was sending via PM. I still crie for the froges I made ded.

    (not really but he tried heavy psychological warfare)
     
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  8. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    It pisses you off that he's playing badly in this specific game or it pisses you off that you've just pulled the curtain on the proverbial Wizard of Oz and now see him for who he is?
     
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  9. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    Neither. I'm reading this LP and CAN'T BELIEVE I COULD EVER LOSE TO SOMEONE LIKE SQEECOO!
     
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  10. Inspectah Savant

    Inspectah
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    Squeecoo is playing 10D chess, all the supposed nubing, the shit diplomacy, stupid opening expansion - all that to reignite the dominions fire inside his senpai
     
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  11. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Squeecoo is known for being nice and friendly with everybody until he somehow wins.
     
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  12. sqeecoo Arcane

    sqeecoo
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    That's a good point, I forgot about that :D A sharp insight, but delivered in a edgy style. It would not work underwater!

    Shambler Skin on the Jarls is a cool idea as well. I'll have to remember that.

    Hmm. So you'd say that a Jarl can survive mass water elementals UW just with liquid body and Con4 gear? I'm not really sure about that... with a Gyga casting body ethereal sure, but I don't know about solo. And a Gyga retreating puts you painfully close to a HP rout. How would you gear that guy?

    It's totally true that Nifel has trouble attacking land nations early and if they can be so dominant UW as you say that'd be a great choice for a first war. I'm just skeptical about their ability to stand against water elementals and stuff like Atlantean Kings. Maybe you can break that down a bit more? I guess I should have set up a test game for that at some point before the game :P

    Thank you very much for the expansion drawing, it's great! That does look very efficient, yeah. What would you use for the second expansion party though? It'd have to conquer 3 provinces before reinforcements, including the Jade amazons, AND you'd be resource constrained in producing it until you conquered the forests. Feels like that second group would move out pretty late.

    I favored the quick and dirty style of small, aggressive, risky expansion parties cause of several reasons:

    1. These are more able to adapt to the changing situation, merging when needed and rushing out in risky moves when appropriate, since losing them is not the end of the world. Not saying it's the best choice for Nifelheim, but it's how I generally like to expand. And conversely if you fuck up one of your two big expansion groups, it kinda is the end of the world.

    2. I was pretty confident I could hold the spread-out territory since we can easily switch to Nifel Giant production and become very strong defensively in the cold. Who's gonna invade Nifel early? Also, I've secured NAPs (non-aggression pacts) with everyone around us which people do honor, so we should get some early warning if we're gonna get attacked.

    3. It's a tournament game, people are likely to play more conservatively since they want to try and advance (also due to the second place thing). So grabbing territory FAST allows you to get into a solid position while also remaining friendly - we don't bully them, we just expanded a bit better than them on that front, but we're being polite and reasonable about territory division! Totally fine to stay friends with everyone, and then decide who to fight. There are 3 provinces between capitols and we've already secured two of the three in both east and west directions, with the Atlantean deal securing the north and south. Above-average expansion in all directions. Not bad, if you look at it that way.

    This was the plan, and it was executed reasonably well, if I do say so myself. I definitely did screw up the researcher and fort balance, for sure, but a fort on turn 8 is not BAD. Earlier would be good, but turn 8 is still pretty ok.

    So we're are not doing horribly, at this moment. In fact we're doing better than both our east and west neighbor, setting aside the possibility of a massive backstab by Atlantis on that farm province as Grimwulf described. If that doesn't happen we'll be at least in an ok position right now, if a bit precarious and lagging on the research and forts.

    I hope that puts things into perspective for the viewers less familiar with the game. In fact, let's make this an official update on putting things into perspective!

    Interlude 1: Putting things into perspective

    The thing is guys, Grimwulf is really good at this game. He was my Dominions sensei for a reason. I'm not playing completely terribly, I mean I'm not loosing expansion parties left and right! But I could play just so much better. As I said I've also never played a giant nation before; every nation is unique, but there are also broad types: I've played a decent amount of games but it was only mage-focused and troop-focused nations, not thug/Super Combatant focused; and setting up those is an art of its own. Wait till I start trying to gear those guys, I'm pretty sure Grim will actually pop a vein then.

    What I'm trying to say is that Dominions has an incredible amount of levels of skill. I could be playing totally ok, probably better than most people, but still massively worse than someone who really understands the game. This is hard to describe, but when I try to explain this to my nerd friends I always use this true story:

    After some harsh lessons from Grimwulf I had become the middling but competent Dominions player I am today. In recognition of the time Grim put into helping me out and politely pointing out things I could improve, I was sorta paying it forward and trying to teach this online buddy the game. Now this was a eager and smart German nerd who'd read guides and tested things out in SP; I was now looking at his turns in his most recent SP game and giving him pointers. And to my embarrassment, I found that I was telling him that everything he was doing was wrong. Every. Single. Thing. He was not being stupid or careless, it's just that I could see how every single decision he made could have been made much better. I didn't want to do it and I kept apologizing, but I was basically Grimwulfing the guy like you see me being Grimwulfed here.

    The thing is, at the same time I was playing my own MP game as Mictlan (Aztec blood nation). I was doing well, but I was unsure about a strategic issue (it might have been research targets) and felt like asking a more experienced player for advice. Sensei Grimwulf being unavailable at the time, I asked our own Malakal, a player on a similar level of skill as Grim. I sent him a message quickly outlining the state of the game and my plans and asked my question. I received a massive, multi-page response that began with "I'm sorry, but everything you are doing is wrong". It went on to explain in detail how I was, indeed, doing everything wrong.
    So you see friends, the brave new player I was coaching was to me in skill as I was to this veteran player. That's Dominions for ya! So while I've always regretted it when I went against Grim's advice and he's probably right on everything here, just because he thinks I'm doing everything wrong does not mean we're doing horribly so far :D
     
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  13. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    At least you guys came up with Dominions 6 subtitle for Illwinter to use.

    Dominions 6: Everything You Are Doing Is Wrong
     
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  14. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    Also

    That should be a new Codex catchphrase
     
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  15. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    No, dammit. I already said that you need Water Shield and Ice Shield as well.

    Before Constr4: Shambler's Skin, Horror Helmet, Ice Sword (not for the damage - you don't care about damage - but for +def), Snake Ring, Ring of the Warrior. In case you have sulprus of N gems, Ranger's Boots.
    After Constr4: Shambler's Skin, Horror Helmet, Frost Brand, Vine Shield, Boots of the Messenger, Astral Serpent, Amulet of Resilience. In case you lack N gems, replace Amulet with Girdle of Might, and Vine Shield with Shield of the Accursed (it's much better than it appears to be)

    Your dormant brain has started awakening. Yes, later on all your Niefel Jarls and Skrattis should be accompanied by Gygjas, but NOT in groups of two (Jarl + Gygja). At least in groups of three (Gygja in the middle, Jarls on both sides) - that's how Niefelheim does armies without using units. Gygja casts Body Ethereal x3, while Jarls self-buff.

    Not if she accompanies two Jarls. Besides, it's incredibly hard to make a Gygja rout, especially if she is skellyspam-capable (S1D2 + Skull Staff).

    WHAT'S THERE TO BREAK DOWN?? :x

    Water Elementals have size 6 - meaning, no other unit can stand on the same square, and only 4 attacks. That's 4 attacks from each square coming at Niefel Jarl, which is not as dangerous at facing a group of Tien Chi's sacreds (6 attacks from each square). Each form of a Water Elemental is easily one-shotted by a Jarl's attack (due to their Prot 0), downgrading the form and making it less and less intimidating. WE's regen does NOT restore previous forms, so it's completely irrelevant. Their invulnerability does NOT matter when you're equipped with magic weapons, so it's COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT either. In their prime forms, the attacks only deal 20 damage - that is actually VERY LOW when we're talking Jarls. The damage is regular blunt, not magic, even if armor piercing.

    Again, WE is Conj5, so we're talking Constr4 Niefel Jarl - that's either Vine Shield (makes WE useless) or Shield of the Accursed (completely nullifies the damage, even from Elemental's prime form). Any occasional hit will be regenerated instantly.

    WHAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? If your question is HOW can possibly a Jarl kill a massive horde of elementals - the same way he WINS AGAINST SKELLYSPAM, only EASIER - due to autorout! Only in UW the enemy mages reach the edge of the map MUCH faster than a Jarl (can't move UW for shit), thereby making you victorious!

    If you bring along Gygja and ANOTHER Jarl in the same stack, it won't even be challenging - just roflstomp over Atlantis like nothing. In general, Jarls+Gygja or Skrattis+Gygja squads are used for war and conquest, single Jarls/Skrattis are used for raiding.

    Not even gonna say a word about Atlantean Kings. You should be ashamed even mentioning this.

    Your starting army is decent enough to make the bulk of TWO expansion parties. Alright, Quest Compass:
    Turn 1: recruit additional units for numbers (hurlers, militia) and a single Skishifter for morale. Also recruit a Jotun Jarl.
    Turn 2: Prophetize Jotun Jarl, send half of your current forces to the forests. Recruit more units for Jotun Jarl (hurlers, militia, 1-2 Skinshifters).
    Turn 3: Send your second expansion on conquest, start recruiting GUD units for reinforcements (you have resources from the forest now).

    From here on now, you should recruit resource-heavy troops, while trying to preserve gold. Sometimes it's worthwhile to throw a Nifel Giant into the mix, but only if you get extra gold from events. FORTS are your top priority until you start building AT LEAST two of them.

    As for research problems - TOLD YOU ALREADY, SHOULD HAVE GONE FOR AWAKEN PRET INSTEAD OF FFFFUCKING MAGIC 0! Early domspread makes it possible to expand WITH A SINGLE NAKED (!) NIEFEL JARL, completely capable of pwning indy Cold 3 provinces on his own. That said, you should have AT LEAST one Niefel Jarl before the end of year 1, and do your best to recruit Niefel Jarls repeatedly from that point.

    Niefel Giants are irrelevant in the big picture, but they would support your only army (which is combined from your expansion forces after expansion is done) nicely. Again, you DO NOT RECRUIT UNITS EVER AGAIN after expansion is done.

    Exactly. Niefelheim expands differently, your GENERIC APPROACH to this game is SHAMEFUR!!

    It's not. On the contrary.

    WHY CAN YOU NOT SEE THE BIG PICTURE, FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUCK!!! SP TESTS - DO THEM!!!

    It is entirely possible, sometimes even preferable, to fuck up expansion completely as Niefelheim. Just grab the cap-ring, maybe a farm or two in the second ring, then get defensive. The WHOLE POINT of Niefelheim's expansion is to get both land and income FOR THE INITIAL FORT CONSTRUCTIONS! Every time I hear that Niefelheim is a gold-starved nation, I punch the idiot in the face, three times. Niefelheim is the LEAST gold-starved nation in Early Ages. You don't need extra gold or resources - all you need is plenty of forts and PLANNING! Skrattis are StR (yes, I remember, they changed recruitment in Dom5, whatever, still the same), Niefel Jarls are StR, Gygjas you don't need to overdo (some for sitesearch, some for research, some for forging, some for rituals - in general, Skrattis are more important), units you don't need AT ALL.

    Now the sweetest part. Every province you were not able to grab during expansion is easily taken by a single Skratti, not to mention Niefel Jarl. Both Skrattis and NJ are on a whole different level of SC'ing, they are nearly damn unbeatable even by dedicated counter-measures. AS LONG AS NIEFELHEIM PLAYER DOESN'T FUCK IT UP! The importance of KEEPING FATIGUE AT ZERO must NOT be underestimated!

    Niefel Jarls are limited by your dominion only. Everything within Cold 3 is a suitable target for them, equipment is secondary (they can fight with Constr 2 equip perfectly well during early wars).
    Skrattis are limited by your research only. Once you get to Constr 4, you are ready to unleash the beasts.

    So no, losing expansion parties is FAR from the end of the world. And you would NOT lose them anyway if you didn't go overboard with your expansion, leaving far away provinces for other players, or even using that in diplo.

    Switch to Niefel Giant..? Niefel JARLS, you mean? Tell me you mean Jarls before I lose my shit again.

    Anyone with SC Pretender. Or Tien Chi. The guys you "masterfully" assessed as "good matchup for Niefelheim" are actually Nifelheim killers. If they have major W or major F bless, you're proper fucked.

    SINCE WHEN PEOPLE STARTED TO HONOR FFFFFUCKING NAPS?? Mondblut, Dayyalu, Matalarata are the ONLY PLAYERS who never violated a NAP, while EVERYONE ELSE is waiting to backstab the fuck out of neighours at the WORST possible moment, AND THAT INCLUDES YOU!

    Why the FUCK do you expect the others to honor your agreements?? HELL, ATLANTIS VIOLATED YOUR DEAL ALREADY!!

    Position is secondary for Niefelheim, as long as you have enough space for construction. Right now you have WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH! And it's a BAD thing for Niefelheim.

    True. The only problem here is THE PLAN ITSELF IS UTTER SHORT-SIGHTER HALF-ARSED SHIT YOU GAVE NO THOUGHT ABOUT WHATSOEVER!

    If the other players are bad, doesn't mean you're good.

    In other words, lagging on the things we need, while owning a bunch of useless provinces.

    How can you POSSIBLY fuck up gearing a Niefel Jarl? He works with almost anything!

    Eh, no shame in admitting he's better. Or was better at least (IIRC, he never moved on to Dom5). Somewhere between Decline 10 and Decline 13 we played a MA game, I controlled half of the map as Pythium, he controlled the other half as Ashdod. He won that game so decisively, it wasn't even funny.

    Show Spoiler
    nailed him in Decline 2, tho :smug:


    It does. You're fucked. Lacking Drain 3 turns SC-focused approach into torture, but you don't have the scales for unit-focused approach either. Relying on cap-only Niefel Giants will get you nowhere. In terms of combat spells, you got nothing, and your research will ALWAYS be worse than that of other players. Blood economy doesn't play a major role due to the lack of national blood summons.

    YOU DO NOT HAVE A GLOBAL STRATEGY, AN IDEA, A VISION, and therefore you're fucked. Dominions is NOT the game where you simply improvise and

     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  16. Reinhardt Arcane

    Reinhardt
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    Still grabbing your province and laughing in your face "i'll keep it" is beyond "not nice". I have no slightest idea about Dominions and i'm very friendly player overall, but even i think you should at least kick their asses back into water and say it was accident - you just misclicked - but you will keep it now. It was part of the original deal after all.

    They are testing your limits and you are weak. And if they engage in diplomacy with your other neighbors they can make them test your limits too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  17. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Paper tiger.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  18. Malakal Arcane

    Malakal
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    Grimwulf sqeecoo Hey guys, thanks for mentions. I actually did move to Dom5 and played about 4 games so far, just not playing as intensely as before but I could probably join a few Codex in the near future games I think.
     
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  19. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    Actually, a friend I was playing Neptune's Pride with did that, and it was pretty hard to beat:
    As long as you are super nice with the [morons] you don't have time to conquer yourself, you will reap the following benefits:
    Supporting them (with money, and tech if the game allows it, or by offering them to grab things you never had any intention of grabbing) will slow down your opponents that have a shot at winning, and make them root for you once they understand the most they can hope for is to survive, not to win.
    Also, if they ever get out of the game, there is a good chance they'll start donating their provinces to you rather than the one attacking them.
    The danger is playing nice with someone who has a chance of winning the game, but as long as you can identify incompetence quickly enough, this approach is safe.
    My friend even got a cheater with 4 accounts in the same game destroy each other himself (pretending these were totally not his other accounts) by being nice.

    It is the diplomatic side that makes me reluctant to get into Dominions MP. I think it waters the complexity down, as diplomacy ibecomes much more important than the rest (and appearing like an incompetent moron may be useful given people tendencies to go overboard in bashing the leader).
    The only format I could see myself playing in would be 2 teams with disciples.

    Actually, I would agree with mondblut : I think CoE takes too much control away (no scripting, so your archers can suicide themselves if they run faster than your frontline, and you mages can chain cast useless spells, and no way to recruit commanders when you need it, makes it feel really like a giant whack a mole in the beginning.) It is fun as a "take it" simulator, but Dominions feels much more elegant, even in SP to me. Also CoE doesn't feature playable dragons, and its golems are boring, which is a big turn off. Necromancy is really cool, though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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  20. sqeecoo Arcane

    sqeecoo
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    There's a fuckton of great info in your post, and I'm really grateful for the Quest Compass breakdown. As I said, I am basically at a noob level when it comes to SCs and thugs. Thank you for all of it, you can imagine me just nod attentively.

    This bit I don't quite understand tho. Skrattir are very nice thugs, but I'm not sure how to take them to true SC level. Sure they can beat an unprepared army, but I really don't see them standing up to strong sacreds or mage-supported armies. If they can, I'd love to know how :)

    I dunno, the meta has shifted to people honoring NAPs very nearly 100%, at least with people I play with. I actually find that a bit boring and lame but you gotta go with the flow.

    I remember that one! It was a good fight. Pythium's flimsy human mage armies were very vulnerable in Dom4, I think I remember you loosing to surprise Rain of Stones casts or somesuch.

    To be fair, my vision was to:

    1. Expand rapidly by making 1 expansion party per turn, trusting to Nifelheim's defensive strength and my friendly demeanor to keep me safe after I grab a decent bit of land.
    2. Fight an easy early war with an ally against a weak neighbor using those Skinshifters I recruited.
    3. As research picks up, start massing up cheap Skratti thugs for raiding and as the mainstay of my armies and go for a real war.
    4. Eventually cast Illwinter and then use more Nifel Jarls.

    I'm not saying the plan is good, but that's what it was. We'll have to see how it goes :)

    This is a fair question, and answering it forces me into an official interlude:

    Interlude 2: A Rant on Diplomacy

    I tend to mentally place Dominions players into various categories. There's the super honorable players, who will never violate an explicit deal and will usually go into a righteous rage if you do so. Among these you find the lawyerish honorable players who won't violate deals but will fuck you over and then point out that this wasn't specifically covered by your deal. These I find very annoying, but with them it's important to carefully set out the terms of the deal so there's no wiggle room.

    There's also the honorable bully, who will push you around if they think you are weak but will honor the deals you make - here you have to project strength and not be a pushover, or if you have no strength to project you can swallow your pride and take a bad deal to save your life when they could have just killed you. Grimwulf is an example of a player that I'd characterize as a honorable bully.

    There's also shifty players, who can be of various types. There's the massively shifty guys, who might be simply insane players who you can't predict. I have a RL example of a good friend who is like this in games. He's one of the nicest people I know but has an over-active conscience, so he always feels sorry for people he's beating and will randomly switch sides and alliances as he starts feeling bad for people. This type of player is hard to play against, and sometimes it's best to just ally with other players who find this annoying and take the guy out.

    There's also the rational massively shifty guys, who don't care very much about honor but play smart and to their own benefit, such as our own Lizzurd. I actually really enjoy playing with these people. There's no butthurt about betrayal, and they are completely trustworthy as long as what you are planning together is to their benefit. Instead of random smaller betrayals they will typically do one big betrayal when it's in their best interest, and it's just a fair game of trying to predict when that will be and being ready.

    Then there's the somewhat shifty guys. These will rarely openly break a direct promise, but will be shifty in various smaller ways. Of these there are people who's shiftiness is diplomatic, which means that they will to manipulate or make deals with others to do stuff that goes against your interests (for instance encouraging others to attack you), while adhering to the deals you have together. I'd say I fall into this category.
    The other group of somewhat shifty players are those that will break deals or go against the spirit of deals in smaller ways in a strategic sense, i.e. minor bullying. While the honorable bullies will say "I WILL KILL YOU", these guys might do what Atlantis did here, take a province beyond what was agreed and then ask to keep it; but they will rarely do an outright betrayal like the massively shifty group.

    This last type is what I peg Atlantis as being. I see no reason to apply the honorable player mentality and lock yourself into a righteous rage by escalating things and getting myself into a war that may not be in our best interest. My tactic here is to let these smaller things slide and eventually decide whether I want them as an ally or an enemy based on the game situation and not my pride. You can still trust these kinds of players to be solid overall allies if you can swallow some small shiftiness.
    Of course if I'm wrong and Atlantis is actually massively shifty and pounces on me on that farm as Grimwulf predicts, I'll have made a big mistake. But that's my current opinion on the Atlantis situation.

    Grimwulf said I was good at diplomacy, but I only really do what Galdred described; try to be genuinely friendly with everyone, which allows me to pick my battles at my own discretion. The important thing is to not get butthurt over small stuff like this, and also not to lock yourself on any specific course of action. Don't try to force people into doing what is best for you; instead, talk to them and adapt to what they want to be doing. Be friendly and go with the flow is my motto. Diplomatically, we must be as water, adapting to the landscape and flowing where the going is smoothest. In diplomacy, weakness and adaptability are how to achieve strength.

    Here's that philosophy expressed in Russian, for Grimwulf's benefit:

     
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  21. Reinhardt Arcane

    Reinhardt
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    Come on, they captured this province even before grabbing land you gave them. Just because. I don't see them honoring deal in any way. It was literally first thing they did to you.
     
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  22. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    From Decline 11:

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, good luck beating THAT. Especially after this thing self-buffs.

    However, I barely ever used Skrattis as true SC's in that game. What I did instead is this:

    [​IMG]

    3 Gygjas, 2 Skrattis, no units.
    - Purple Gygjas are standing in front and skellyspam x3, Drain Life x2; Cast Spells
    - Red Gygja casts Body Ethereal x3; Enlarge x2; Cast Spells
    - Skrattis cast Liquid Body; Quicken Self; Breath of Winter; Hold; Hold; Attack Closest

    That's what Niefelheim ARMY looks like. If you want to call them thugs - call them thugs for all I care. But normally thugs fight alongside troops, while Nifelheim doesn't use any units.

    Screens taken from Dominions 4, but the PRINCIPLE is the same. And one more thing - while Skrattis don't care about temperature as much as Niefel Jarls, you do NOT want to cast Quicken Self in hot provinces. Higher encumbrance will make them pass out.
     
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  23. sqeecoo Arcane

    sqeecoo
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    Ah, ok, then I'm not totally off on it, this is close to what I envisaged. Although that configuration is something I'll have to remember, it looks pretty good.

    With Skratti I think that in hot provinces you can cast Quicken Self if you also cast Resist Fire; the fire resistance you get should negate the encumbrance penalty.

    True, although they can't really take a throne and its defenders this early, i.e. the land they got from the deal. They took an extra province and asked to keep it, I didn't insist. My thinking is that there's no reason to telegraph my moves by getting all pissy or to escalate to a potential war I might not want by delivering ultimatums or hitting back.
    Let it slide for now; either I decide to fight them and it's the same either way except I'm choosing the time to start the war, or I decide it's better to work with them and let it slide for good. Keeping my options open either way, that's the flexibility the Stalker is talking about in the clip above.

    Bear in mind also that I'm giving you guys only the broad strokes of diplomacy here, not every interaction. I try to talk with everyone fairly frequently, at least every other turn. Keeping up communication is important, even if it's only a throwaway comment or joke, and lets you keep tabs on how people are talking back and estimating whether they are up to something. I can totally be wrong, of course, and may get horribly mauled here. You'll have to see in the next update! If I ever stop doing the silly "interludes" and get around to it :)
     
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  24. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    You forgot the "Take this agreement or I quit the game!111" type, i.e. Dayyalu :smug:
     
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  25. Grimwulf Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Grimwulf
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    And since you made me find this ancient savegame, might as well post my regular (non-heroic) Niefel Jarl in battle:

    [​IMG]

    The key difference between Niefel Jarls and Skrattis:
    - Jarls can withstand way more punishment. They win battles by STANDING IN ONE PLACE AND NOT GIVING A FUCK. However, they cannot deal a lot of damage and exterminate hordes of enemies. They only have one attack and cannot afford Quicken Self (Enc is too high)
    - Skrattis are nowhere close to high Prot value of Jarls, but they have native regen AND low Enc. They can afford Quicken Self, which makes them attack 4 times per turn, dealing massive damage with each attack, keeping at zero fatigue each time. They win battles by annihilating everything they see.

    I would not. For some unexplainable reason, both Niefel Jarls and Skrattis often refuse to cast Resist Fire, going off-script and casting something inane. I ended up ignoring this spell altogether.
     
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