Author Topic: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?  (Read 2712 times)

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Offline W8taminute

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2020, 08:00:52 AM »
Yes al is correct.  Make sure you dump some points into dominion when you're creating your pretender. 

Another thing you can do is build temples in key provinces.  The temples also help push your dominion out.  The only downside is that temples cost 400 gold each and if you lose the province to an enemy the temple is destroyed. 
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Offline solops

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2020, 12:11:19 PM »
Metaldog, you are asking the right questions. Answers are not easy because the game has such diverse races and many strategies are available for each just from Pretender creation. But the biggest parameter is single player vs multi-player. SP is NOTHING like MP. You can get away with all kinds of strategies in SP. In MP, while all things matter, the two biggest factors affecting success are early expansion and diplomacy. Failing to stake a claim to an adequate area in the early game most likely dooms you. Over-expansion will likely cause an equally deadly backlash. Ignoring the other players will isolate you and make you an early victim. These are just the first and most obvious ways to fail in MP. There are lots more and I am busily exploring them. Each game I find new and creative ways to fail.  With all of that said, the SP game is vital to learn because you have to learn the basics somewhere. When designing a pretender/race combination, have some goal in mind that will allow you to crush your foes. Most often this is some along the lines of a rapidly snowballing mass that will swamp the map or a spell combination that will annihilate your foes without getting a hangnail. Or maybe you think you can create an unstoppable Dominion spreading machine. Also, the game set-up is critical -  small map=early wars. Don't create a pretender that needs time to research his essential stuff or is imprisoned. Big map - you have options. What kind of victory is set? Thrones? All of that impacts what you might want to design.  Some of the races are so different that each one is almost ike a new DLC for the game, adding another new way to play. Lastly, there are all kinds of players. You get some like <censored> who are experienced and wiley and will mercilessly crush you by knowing the assorted magic combinations. And then you others like <censored> who diligently research and practice the possibilities and will mercilessly crush you by knowing the assorted magic combinations. I.E. there is a lot of knowing and crushing in anyone's future.  All you can do is jump in and PLAY! Ask questions and learn by doing. I look forward to having a new fellow crushee to share my woes with.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 12:19:46 PM by solops »
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Offline MetalDog

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2020, 05:30:18 PM »
Thanks, solops!  Misery shared is misery halved.  :)  You brought up a couple of concepts I need answered, generally or specifically, by the group mind if you please.  First, what is the purpose of all the Research?  I understand it gets you access to spells, but, who uses them?  When are they used?  I haven't explored the descriptions of 99% of them, so, I guess my questions would be answered by doing some research of my own, but, I figured I'd lean on y'all for the basics.

"Don't create a pretender that needs time to research his essential stuff or is imprisoned."  I understand the concept of imprisoned, I imagine it's kind of like, "Get out of jail on x turn."  But, what is, "essential stuff"?  Again, I understand the words and what they mean, but, as pertains to the game, and specifically pretenders, what is, "essential"?

Any help you folks can give is appreciated.
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Offline al_infierno

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2020, 06:14:13 PM »
You can get away with all kinds of strategies in SP. In MP, while all things matter, the two biggest factors affecting success are early expansion and diplomacy. Failing to stake a claim to an adequate area in the early game most likely dooms you. Over-expansion will likely cause an equally deadly backlash. Ignoring the other players will isolate you and make you an early victim. These are just the first and most obvious ways to fail in MP.

Very well put in general, but this point especially rings true.  I find that the typical newbie learner MP experience is in this order: Die from lack of expansion; Die from too much expansion; Really try to balance expansion and be political while not building a coalition against yourself, but in doing so you play too passively and get crushed by the leading player.  :clap:

That's my experience, anywho  :D
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
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Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2020, 06:18:07 PM »
First, what is the purpose of all the Research?  I understand it gets you access to spells, but, who uses them?  When are they used?  I haven't explored the descriptions of 99% of them, so, I guess my questions would be answered by doing some research of my own, but, I figured I'd lean on y'all for the basics.

Spells are used by mages and pretenders.  Mages include beings that can be summoned later on down the line as you research things, specifically down the conjuration line.  They are indeed the key to the game, and your strategy in what to research and what to use your mages for varies greatly depending on what nation you pick, and your play style.

In the early part of the game, generally speaking (varies according to nation), your troops will do the lion's share of the work in expanding and fighting.  The number and quality of those troops, along with the your methods of using them, and whom they are fighting are critical.  Add to this, that some people utilize their Pretender as an "Awake Expander", or a SC that can take on entire provinces of independents on their own.  This helps form the shape of your empire in the early game (Turns 1-around 15-20?). 

The same awesome stack of troops you have and that has been winning you battle after battle may get it's *** handed to it in the middle game(Turn 15-35-40ish?).  Another stack using a small number of front line troops and some rear guard troops along with properly scripted mages can cast spells that will annihilate said stack, perhaps with some powerful Evocations (think lightning bolts blasting your troops, or massive fireballs or meteors)... or maybe those mages are scripted to summon some uber powerful Elementals that wipe the field(Conjuration line), OR those mages cast a number of buffs on their own troops, making their armor values and magic resistances super charged(Alteration)... or perhaps several death mages start spamming out undead chaff quicker than you can kill them, and overwhelm the battlefield(Enchantment). 

On the other hand, those same mages may choose to summon powerful SuperCombatants(Conjuration again), that when properly equipped with magically forged items(Construction), can by themselves wipe out an army out without proper mage support. 

Point is, all that is only possible with magic.  Magic used by mages, that can only use those spells if they have been researched.   Without it, you are toast.  Early game tactics will not survive the middle game. 

The spell list is huge. and the possibilities nearly endless.  But each nation has it's own strengths and weaknesses that have to be accounted for.  The Pretender design is a whole other dimension to the game... tomes can be written about all these things.  As Solops mentioned, jumping in is the best way to learn. 

     

Offline al_infierno

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2020, 06:20:22 PM »
First, what is the purpose of all the Research?  I understand it gets you access to spells, but, who uses them?  When are they used?  I haven't explored the descriptions of 99% of them, so, I guess my questions would be answered by doing some research of my own, but, I figured I'd lean on y'all for the basics.

Spells are used for Mages (e.g. commanders with access to magic paths like Death, Air, Fire, Water, etc.).  There are 2 kinds of spells: Ritual spells, which are cast on the strategic layer and usually have high-level effects (i.e. global enchantments and offensive/defensive province enchantments); and there are battle spells, which you use to crush your enemies in combat.  Generally you want to edit your army layout settings, put your mages behind your troops, and script them to cast the best spells you have.  For Nature and Earth, that's usually buffing your troops, but Earth has some pretty good Evocations.  Fire and Air are heavily Evocation-focused trees and can absolutely annihilate armies, but Fire in particular is easily countered once players know you're using it, while Air is counterable but still dangerous.  Death, predictably, gives you access to UNLIMITED SKELETONS.  Then Blood and Astral are a bit more esoteric, but still very useful.  Etc.

Also, Construction specifically gives you access to forging better items, so this is generally worth taking, but usually shouldn't be prioritized over mainline spell research unless you have a specific goal in mind, like unlocking Dwarven Hammers to lower the gem cost of future item forging.


Quote
"Don't create a pretender that needs time to research his essential stuff or is imprisoned."  I understand the concept of imprisoned, I imagine it's kind of like, "Get out of jail on x turn."  But, what is, "essential stuff"?  Again, I understand the words and what they mean, but, as pertains to the game, and specifically pretenders, what is, "essential"?

Any help you folks can give is appreciated.

It really depends on the pretender you make.  If you have a big supercombatant who's kitted up with fire or air magic, you generally want them to start available ASAP so they can make a difference in the early game.  In this case, low-level evocations are a good early research goal.  On the other hand, you can make a "scales" pretender (i.e. a cheap pretender chassis with all your points dumped into pumping up your Dominion scales, while spending a little bit on buffing your magic), and in this case you can usually take them imprisoned and focus your research on spells that are immediately useful to the mages you can recruit.

Hope this is clear as I'm a couple beers deep.  If you have more questions I'm happy to answer em O0
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 02:18:04 PM by al_infierno »
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
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Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2020, 06:40:10 PM »
"Don't create a pretender that needs time to research his essential stuff or is imprisoned."  I understand the concept of imprisoned, I imagine it's kind of like, "Get out of jail on x turn."  But, what is, "essential stuff"?  Again, I understand the words and what they mean, but, as pertains to the game, and specifically pretenders, what is, "essential"?

Any help you folks can give is appreciated.

OK... this is a huge topic.  Pretender design is simple to play around with, but takes eons to master.  Basically put (and this is a super surface and general description), the options boil down to this:
 
Take an awake pretender:  This guy is available from day one, and is typically used either as an awake expander to help build your empire quickly, or maaaybe to help jumpstart your research from day 1.  The downside to this strategy is that you lose a lot of design points, ergo potential, for your pretender.

Dormant Pretender:  These guys show up around turn 12.  I would say this is the typical option to try to use.  If you've got some decent troops that can handle expanded your empire and being able to handle someone that rushes you, this gives you a lot more potential for your pretender.

The Imprisoned pretender doesn't show up until turn 36ish... it's a big gamble.  You get a lot more points to use, but their no good if you're not around to use them.  On small maps, or with aggressive people, it can be difficult.  Again, it can work, but you need to have a plan and be willing to accept the risks.

Generally pretender design hinges around this (super general and surface again):

Awake Expander:  Ready to go right away and win fights vs indies.  Also, nice to have around to discourage, or smash, an early rush

A "Scales" Pretender:  A pretender who will spend many points on buffing their scales, namely Order, Productivity, Growth, Luck and Magic.  These values affect all the provinces under your dominion, and can make a HUGE difference in the long term when it comes to income and gems for your nation.  A good nation with strong scales will in the long run be in a good position as the game goes in to the mid and later portions.

A "Bless" Build.... the magic your pretender is designed to use can bestow "bless" benefits on any sacred your nation may have.  There is a huge list of give and takes, depending on how much points you want to spend.  Suffice to say, for certain nations, their sacred troops can becoming uber-powerful when they have a powerhouse bless.  Or that powerhouse bless can make your sacred mages better equipped to resist magic, become lightning, fire, cold or poison resistant.

Some design their pretenders to have lots of magic in a path that may not normally be available to their nation.  I've seen pretenders designed to be able to pull off a specific powerful global spell as soon as possible.  Or able to cast a super powerful battlefield spell. 

Designs can incorporate any of the above in any combination.  It's mind boggling at first, but epic fun, and allows for limitless replay and tinkering.  Many forums or discord groups have entire sections on designing Pretenders. 

Hope that wasn't too wordy... please feel free to keep the questions coming.

(Edit:  Sorry Al... didn't mean to repeat too much LOL)

   

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2020, 06:48:09 PM »
Remember, SC equals SuperCombatant. SCs which aren't Pretenders (your character) are commonly known as "thugs".

I once, back in a Dom4 multiplayer game (here on Grogheads!), trolled my fellow players as my empire collapsed by managing to summon two or three "ghidoras" (in effect, not called that, Zmeys I think), and flying them around the map laying waste to my foes despite my doom. Thugs are great, I should play that strategy more often...!

One general strategy I like, is to come up with calcs to figure out your most cost-effective units, and then tailor your magic strategy accordingly -- which will vary from game to game (a little or a lot) based on different initial setups, of course.
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Offline MetalDog

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2020, 06:56:35 PM »
You guys are AWESOME!  ALL of that is super helpful!  I should have some time this weekend to put as much of that advice into practice as I can.  I am sure I will be back with more questions soon enough ;)
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2020, 06:57:40 PM »
There is also a whole strategy branch dedicated to figuring out (1) what high-level spell effects you want to focus on; and then (2) what bootstrapping paths (considering your setup conditions) will get you there asap: what combination of training and summoning mages and leveling up those mages gets you an amphibious commander (with bodyguards) you can thug out to enter and conquer some water regions to start training and summoning full water-based armies, for example?
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2020, 07:14:15 PM »
Remember, SC equals SuperCombatant. SCs which aren't Pretenders (your character) are commonly known as "thugs".


I may be mistaken, and at the end of the day, it's all semantics, but it's my understanding that SCs (Pretenders or otherwise, such as Golems, Elemental Kings, Arch Devils, Wraith Kings) refer to anything capable of wasting an army on it's own (typically when properly equipped or with the right magic researched). 

Thugs are units that can't typically handle armies on their own, but are specifically equipped to take out a SC.  A Thug might be equipped or have the magic to work over an undead Wraith king, or better yet, Soul slay it so it can't return.  Or perhaps a Moonblade to take out a Magic being SC.  A Golem can waste armies pretty easily when properly equipped, but a cheap Thug that can get it in with a Shatter Spell can send it packing. 

The scripting and equipment of a Thug is tailored to take out a SC giving a person grief, or at least force the owner of the SC to be more cautious in it's usage.  However, said Thug won't do much to a standard army otherwise.

Offline solops

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2020, 10:07:23 AM »
A Thug is a lower level tough combatant with a scar on his face. A super-combatant (SC) is much higher level and has a cape.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2020, 04:40:46 PM »
Ah! -- Myrm may be actually correct.  :notworthy:
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline W8taminute

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2020, 08:47:45 PM »
This is a great thread.  Should be stickied!   :)
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Offline TheMeInTeam

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Re: Took the Dominions 5 plunge, now what do I do?
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2020, 11:57:30 PM »
Usual distinction is thug is purpose built (either to take some PD or to kill something specific).  SC can kill infinite PD and also armies with no/limited mage support.

A couple SCs is usually enough to defeat the AI.  However, no SC has enough item slots to be unkillable.  There will always be weaknesses, and if opposing players have the correct research they will find them eventually.

Imprisoned pretenders aren't necessarily a risk.  More scales = more national troops, and you can stack up a fair amount of bless points using non-incarnate bless (okay with some sacreds).  Also some nations are very hard to rush down in year 1 no matter what (MA Ulm, EA Abysia etc) so you can make a case for imprisoned on some of these.

Try to get to 15-20 provinces by end of year 1 (turn 12), with 2nd/3rd forts under construction.  That's the starting point for a competitive position against other players, and something you can aim for in SP as practice.