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Suggested .98 playthrough.

By on September 21, 2012 12:45:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tuidjy

Join Date 08/2010
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Some people may remember my .913, .915, and .952 playthroughs.  I am considering a new one, and I am doing it to test a theory. 

The theory is as follows:

In .98, overpowered heroes are the most effective strategy, and the productivity/research costs and facilities make training units nonviable.

As any wanna-be-scientist (I am an engineer, and everyone knows we are just people who did not make it as scientists) I am going to devise a test to falsify the theory.

So this is what I plan to do: I will make a custom race and a custom sovereign that will be exclusively focused on building the best trained units possible.  Every single point of design will go in supporting research/production/units.

Then I will play the game to win, that is, I will do the best I can with what I have.

Then if I win due to trained units, it will mean that my theory is wrong.  If I lose, or win due to my heroes , we'll look for another experiment.

Here is what I plan to do:

Race: No ranged weapons, vulnerable to magic, defensive, master scout, light plate, master smiths, warrior caste.

Sovereign: General, Earth, Life, Scholar, crown+sword.

Difficulty: If it's not insane, it's usually not much of a challenge, but I can be convinced on this one.

Anyway.

Please do not use this thread to argue whether the theory is correct.  I would like to keep it for suggestion for the playthrough.  Also, remember your scientific method.  I could design a uberhero, and kick ass with him, but that won't prove anything.  You can't prove a theory, you can only fail to disprove it.

 

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September 21, 2012 1:18:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

No ranged weapons seems contrary to your thesis.

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September 21, 2012 1:28:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Make sure you play the Yithril/Trog race if you go for this. Extra carrying capacity and juggernauts are tied to that race.

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September 21, 2012 1:36:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would use ranged units in addition to your melee troops.  I've found success using max armor/hp/def troops with counterattack weapon and defending every turn while very offensive (no defense) range troops pick away from the back.

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September 21, 2012 1:38:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

An interesting approach.  Try varying your map size, and see if that affects your ratio of win/losses.

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September 21, 2012 1:53:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The reason that I am leaning against ranged weapons is that bows are rather slow to fire without the "Master Archers" perk.  So that would be a loss of two perks, right there.  At high difficulties, the enemy has so much health that you have to be able to rotate your troops out of combat, and you have to have armor. So I thought about going without bows.  Don't get me wrong, I love bows, I just do not think I will be able to afford them when the A.I. gets insane bonuses at research and production.

I do not want to use juggernauts, because they are only available to one race.  It would be like using henchmen - i.e. free heroes, except better than 90% of the pre-generated ones.

But I am thinking that "Warrior Race" is not good enough.  One extra level is nice, but Lucky I think will do more.

Also for the sovereign, I think that wealthy and armorer may be better for the troops - to speed up the start.

----

And I doubt I will be doing more than one map or difficulty.  Frankly I find the current balance a bit on the slow side.

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September 21, 2012 1:57:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

But Juggernauts are without a doubt the strongest trained units... wasn't the point to go for the superior build?

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September 21, 2012 2:08:34 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Are they?  They are an early bloomer, but at higher levels and difficulties, their damage pales against the enemy health, their lack of armor gives them no staying power.  Add their low initiative, and I really do not think they are all that.  Furthermore, the AI is pretty good at using fire on their troops.

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September 21, 2012 2:19:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well that's my opinion anyway, their early access to high damage-strikes and maul and "cleave" make them excellent offensive units. You can't only build them of course, high offence needs good defensive support. But for the resource cost (you only pay for one weapon) they are perfect in the mid. Imho, their maul is not bad late-game either due to fortress boosting their accuracy by tons. Make sure you get a bash weapon!

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September 21, 2012 2:39:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

Difficulty: If it's not insane, it's usually not much of a challenge, but I can be convinced on this one.
 

Your suggested 0.98 Playthrough sounds like an excellent idea!   The caveat on what I am about to say, is that I am not nearly as good (or as focused) a player as you; but I would suggest that you drop your playing level at least by one, to conduct a more relevant test. 

As we have previously agreed in another thead, the Build Times (building times in city queues) have become so terribly slow, that (otherwise) I think you run the risk of conducting a very abbreviated test.  The city building queues are terribly crowded as well; but I suppose that you could skip almost all buildings and produce mostly just trained units.  That would still result in an atypical game (at least atypical for most of us), but it would otherwise be a fair/reasonable test of your theory.  In any event, I would be interested in seeing you at work again ...        

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September 21, 2012 2:51:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I will definitely follow this - enjoying reading your playthroughs, I always learning something.

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September 21, 2012 3:22:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My faction would look more like

"Yithril Blood": +20 Weight, +1 Damage.

Bonuses:
 - Huge weight bonus and free damage helps during the start up.
"Quick": all units start with +3 initiative (If it works, I have a theory it still doesn't work)
 - This is important on heavily armored troops.
"Warrior Caste": Trained units start off 2nd level.
 - This is not too good on its own, but stacks nicely with fortress level bonuses.
"Lucky": All units have +25% dodge and +25% accuracy.
 - A really nice bonus to both dodge and accuracy, allowing you to spec a lot of troops for dodging attacks instead of tanking them. (think you easily can hit 20-25 dodge without this trait, another 10 later on with new traits and shields unlocked.
"Defensive": Units defending cities gain a 10% bonus to accuracy, attack and defense, It also unlocks bronze shield and one handed spears (Bronze shield is an upgraded "Round Shield".
 - one handed spears is worth that much.
"Light Plate": Light plate instead of Chainmail's, they are heavier but give more protection.
 - This is mostly if you also run Yithril as I probably would try, its free anyways, so thats completely up to you.

Oh and btw, if you are going to actually use your sovereign, switch something for master scouts.

Weaknesses:
"No Ranged Weapons": The faction cannot use ranged weapons.
This seems detrimental to some, but it skips researches so you can gain the high-end weapons quicker. (I see it as a Bonus )
"Uneducated": -10% Research
One of the biggest penalties if "No Armor" wasn't bugged , I would alleviate this by picking scholar on my sovereign.
"Vulnerable to Magic": All units have -20 spell resistance
Who cares for some meagre spell resistance on units, the bonuses are never going to be big enough for it to matter on trained units anyways.

 

Sovereign:
Profession: Warlord, This means you can sustain twice the army, so your empire needs less focus on gildar income and more focus on producing troops.
Weakness: Vulnerable to Magic, Tiny little weakness for +1 point
Earth Apprentice - Gives enchanted hammers and Aura of... Defense? (+2 defense per essence to units trained in the city), Earth apprentice is still the best level of magic to gain, even after they changed enchanted hammers they decided to buff it with an army sustaining spell.
Scholar: - more research to alleviate uneducated... (If it works )
Wealthy: - give that good start

Now depending on how much you want to use your hero, and how good you are at tacticals... You have 3 points left,
for a hero where I would usually put it in my capital after lvl 4 to really try out the trained units to the max:
Upgrade Earth Apprentice to Earth Disciple: - Gives access to stone skin, this can help some troops.
Attunement: - +1 mana per turn for 1 more stoneskin active even on a crap-start.
Tactician: - For when you must have a leader for your army, this hero have a little something for all the troops.

For a leader that will lead the army non-stop:
Might: - Gives a big oomph every time your leader hits something, also helps starting out by miles.
Hardy: - +2 hp per level is awesome.
Crown of Porcupine: - Free enchants, like nature's cloak and stoneskin on one hero of choice.

Just my 2 cents, hope you don't get wiped out quickly, half of this is designing the right units, since the standard unit designs are flawed.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 21, 2012 3:36:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing that I am learning is that do not know nearly as much about trained units as I should.  Another one is that too many of the traits/building bonuses are broken, or at least not quite working as designed.

I'll definitely incorporate some advice from Kongdej and Orion42. I'm also strongly considering Heavenfall's.  Basically at this point it comes down to "Krax or Yithril?"

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September 21, 2012 3:40:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Tuidjy, I generally try to play without a heros. But with such a low rate of production, the game units are very similar to game heros. 1 - 2 group of units available at 150+ season.It is almost if not to build a building. And rush production units for the money. That money produced not citys! -- the sale of skins and weapons.( OMG!)  I do not see the difference. I do not see the strategic decisions on the map. I think it's what you see.

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September 21, 2012 3:57:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
One thing that I am learning is that do not know nearly as much about trained units as I should.  Another one is that too many of the traits/building bonuses are broken, or at least not quite working as designed.

I'll definitely incorporate some advice from Kongdej and Orion42. I'm also strongly considering Heavenfall's.  Basically at this point it comes down to "Krax or Yithril?"

I could understand if you would play kingdom for the regeneration spell though...

I tend to like tarth's or gildens bloddline ability from kingdoms.

Also note: Path of the Warrior gets 2-3 difference Leading traits available (Initiative, accuracy boost, and xp boost atleast). They are not a must, but my impression is very few people on the forum use path of the warrior, (I use it all the time for quick - high damage heroes).

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 21, 2012 4:01:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can I suggest doing it in 0.981 or whatever the new drop was?  Production got a slight bump

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September 21, 2012 4:01:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kongdej,

I could understand if you would play kingdom for the regeneration spell though...

I tend to like tarth's or gildens bloddline ability from kingdoms.
Sincerely
~ Kongdej

Oh, I am definitely playing a kingdom, that goes without saying.  But I can still use an Empire race with life magic.

The Tarth bloodline is great for my normal style of play (soloing heroes)  Gilden's bloodline is one of the least powerful, the drawback significantly outweighs the benefits in late game.

Quoting Poko8,
Can I suggest doing it in 0.981 or whatever the new drop was?  Production got a slight bump

Yes, definitely.  Whatever the latest version is at the time I start.

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September 21, 2012 4:09:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tuidjy,
Gilden's bloodline is one of the least powerful, the drawback significantly outweighs the benefits in late game.

The drawback means nothing if you don't use heroes in tactical...

Edit: BTW enchanters perk might help you boost those spells that boosts trained units... (+2 defense, initiative or hp, or +2 to all of them in a high essence city)...

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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September 21, 2012 4:10:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, I'm not convinced that failing to defeat an Insane AI with trained units is sufficient to prove the second half of your thesis.  It'll prove that  "overpowered heroes are the most effective strategy", as your (awesome) walkthroughs show you can crush Insane with your sovereign, but it won't prove that "productivity/research costs and facilities make training units nonviable" in general, just on Insane difficulty.  

I don't think anyone is arguing that heroes aren't significantly more powerful than trained units (I'm certainly not), but I wonder if a better test might be to play at normal with just trained units, then at challenging, then at one above that, etc, and see where you fail.  Maybe even restrict your sovereign use to the first 50 turns or something (and gathering goodie huts / quests) and go path of the governor so you're really using trained units only.  

I'd bet you could win like that at challenging certainly, probably expert.  If trained units are viable to those levels, I think the second part of your thesis would be disproved.

 

I like the idea though, i'm curious to see the results (and another of your awesome stories)

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September 21, 2012 5:13:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This is shaping up.  Thanks for the advice, Heavenfall, Kongdej, Orion42, Poko8 (in alphabetical order, and if I am forgetting someone, it's because I'm an idiot)

This is what I believe I will go with:

The race: Krax OR Yithril blood.  No ranged, vulnerable to Magic, lucky, master scouts, master smiths, defensive, light plate.

The leader: The Duchess.  Wealthy and cowardly scholar and armorer, with Life and Earth magic, and Procipinee's crown.

The settings: Large map, Expert OR Ridiculous, normal pacing, random everything else, all eight standard AIs

The home rules:  The Duchess is too scared to leave friendly Dominion.  Her champions are made physically sick by hostile dominions.  They cannot enter them, and they leave them by the shorts path.  I.e. no shopping from anyone but allies.

I'm taking arguments in favor of a specific blood or difficulty.

 

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September 21, 2012 5:16:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

btw don't use "Quick" as it is still bugged.

And you cant play Trogs (Yithril race) as kingdom, so better go with krax.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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