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Author Topic: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end  (Read 18886 times)

Duuvian

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #435 on: November 17, 2022, 08:44:22 am »

I used a Frost Father chassis with decent scales but built more towards a bless for skinshifters. I chose that for the cheap point value and because I was going for a rainbow bless. I also took a risk with low dominion scales at 3. I took low dominion for points and because my sacred units cost a whole bunch of gold each, and I could build some temples to increase recruitment rate if I ever actually had all that gold. I took water, air, death, nature, and earth on the pretender. Some of those are gaps in the national mages, especially water and death. Both these I had 0 gem income until Randall was released from prison, so especially Water was a questionable choice as I couldn't have afforded the gems for Murdering Winter to use with my cold scales which was a reason I took water.

At game start, I expanded south at first, but Yomi was expanding with a Dai-Oni and fenced me in from going west, especially as I was impressed that it routed an indy province of cataphracts, which I was going to go around at first. I moved back to the southeast but another Yomi expansion army took a forest province I was going for (about half my units are only recruitable in forest provinces, so I needed at least one). This blocked my access to that province, and blocked a route to Yomi's island and eastward as well. I went north and expanded towards a pair of forests there. I captured one forest, but on my way to the other Kailasa and I ran our armies into each other, which resulted in an actually really cool battle despite the inconvenience (it set my expansion back greatly). My army was pretty much wiped out with only a handful of survivors who routed. However due to the berzerker units I had that do not retreat when routing, Kailasa also was routed and IIRC only had a few more units escape than me. My last unit struck down Kailasa's crippled and slowly retreating prophet and then died to it's Holy Avenger. This resulted in me controlling the province, which I maintained until the end of the game. It turns out, Kailasa's capital was only about 4 or 5 provinces away from the battle province, about the same distance as my capital.

I had fortunately just unlocked the Summon Bears national conjuration, and was able to summon a whole bunch of bears quickly. For 8 nature gems I get 8 sacred bears, which very early on is somewhat impressive, especially as most of the mages can cast it and turn a nature gem stockpile into bears fast. The bears are outclassed pretty quickly as they have awful defense and poor attack, and are not so great against things that hit very hard like barbarian indies, but they do have high strength for damage and good hp and are sacred.

I figured I might be able to invade Kailasa with those bears, but I'd lose all the bears with their low magic resist due to Kailasa's withering weapons bless. They were using it on a sacred unit that have two attacks, so it would have a good chance of killing the bears even if they tanked the Falchion and Kick attacks. Nonetheless I was summoning bears to prepare to invade or fight off an invasion, but after a few turns Kailasa messaged me and we worked out an agreement. I'm not sure if they knew where my capital was at that time, but beyond the split of provinces near the two forests, they said they were going to contest me for a throne two provinces from my capital, so I took it with the bears and whatever units I had recruited by then, and fortified it. It had Bear Tribe indies, which have a national bonus with Rus that reduces the province PD costs. I built one of Rus's terrible forts on it, but before that I cranked the province defense garrison up to 30 for a slight discount while it was still Bear Tribe pd. I usually had pd set to 11 in other places, as that reduces unrest slowly and I read somewhere 11 prevents a handful of bad province events that can be irritating. This was both a throne and a great spot for a fort so that much expense on pd made more sense there, but the discount was nice to have on such a province.

The throne itself was a throne that changes the scales by +1 heat. This was probably mostly good as it set my Cold scale to 2 from 3, which I had chosen for extra points in pretender design, and Rus is 2 Cold scale as it's preference. However, I had a pretender with Water path and I was going to use Murderous Winter (a water path ritual that damages an army on the world map that improves in cold provinces) if I could keep my dominion high enough to keep some provinces cold despite my 3 candles in dominion in pretender design. This plan wasn't very feasible as Rus doesn't have mages with Water path, so I had to wait until Randall was free before searching, as I could summon Rusalka to start looking for death and water sites. I traded for the gems to do those summons and mostly kept Randall researching or forging or rarely summonin in the capital with one exception; but I never had enough water gems to be able to do the Murdering Winter strategy.

A more important effect was that without Cold 3 I was unable to keep the mountain provinces on my island frozen, which prevents units without mountain survival from passing through them. About half my units have it.

After I took the bear tribe throne and visibly fortified it, Kailasa eventually climbed a mountain peak on their island that connects to many other mountain peaks on the map, which allows travelling to distant islands and otherwise greatly expands your routes of expansion. They then took a throne on the mountain on my island and blocked my access to the sky road or whatnot. Yomi's expansion Dai-Oni had died on that throne in a battle I didn't see, and Yomi and I had both left it alone. I was planning on grabbing it as soon as possible, but wasn't able to do that as my starting army wasn't strong enough and I had turned in other directions until eventually running into Kailasa's army.

Part of our agreement on the small split of territory to my north and Kailasa's west were to keep an eye on Yomi, as we both bordered them due to Yomi's rapid expansion with Dai-Oni thugs (the battles against indies I saw had the indies rout quickly due to the Dai-Oni's 9 fear; I saw it do that to cataphracts I thought would lance it down, but the Dai-Oni used Skeletal Body and tanked until the fear routed the cataphracts). Yomi is a freespawn nation; it's temples generate Oni demons every turn so the longer it waits the stronger it becomes.

Around turn 20 I had run out of directions to expand into and mopped up indy provinces I had bypassed. Agartha emerged from the cave provinces near where Yomi had blocked me to the west. They also were eyeing Yomi as they had also been blocked in expansion by them. We worked out a deal so Agartha could have the surface exit province. This gave them a border with Yomi and reduced the provinces I had bordering Yomi, meaning I'd have to defend less locations if Yomi attacked (they did not, and played defensively after the initial expansion by Dai-Oni as the demon temples vommited Oni everywhere). This would allow Agartha a route to attack Yomi or to help against Niefelheim if they took Yomi's line of provinces extending northward.

Around this time, the first war happened between Niefelheim and Fomoria. Niefelheim had an early game rush build and strong dominion that spread bad scales extremely widely, and would have been my neighbor if Yomi hadn't driven a line of provinces north from the crossing point to Yomi island. It also appeared early on the Niefel might be able to successfully rush Fomoria. I had not built a stealth army yet, having only one forest province recently obtained, and it was on the wrong end of my territory to send a stealth army. Niefel had no PD in provinces and I had my scouts spread and ready to take a nice chunk temporarily, with the Yomi neutral zone separating me from Niefel. On the very next turn they added pd and my scheme was foiled. After that I had little participation in that war. From what I saw Fomoria was able to call in assistance when they were on the ropes (Niefel's rush build and dominion spread probably contributed as their dominion reached almost to my capital which is without counting I'd guess a good 20 provinces from Niefelheim; at one point I had to start accumulating H1 priests for preaching up dominion). Agartha and Fomoria in particular never parted ways after this war. Around turn 25 Kailasa and I conferred on Yomi and agreed to wrap up indy conquering in about five turns and generally set up for an attack on Yomi. I had also approached Yomi about teaming up against Kailasa at some point prior to this, likely after our armies collided but before Kailasa and I made a deal, but Yomi was content to play defensively for the near term while their freespawn assembled I assume, so nothing came of that.

Yomi by then had temples on every province it controlled, or nearly so. This was a bad sign for later in the game if the demon generating temples were allowed to continue. Yomi has unsual mechanics; their gold income is dramatically reduced which hinders temple building, which costs gold, but they get really good freespawn from the temples in exchange. However Yomi had cleverly taken Luck scales, which are an alternate form of gold income. This is because there are events that give gold in lump sums that fire more often in luck scales, but also because it can add mines to a province that increase income. (I don't know if the Yomi gold income downside applies to mine income, but I found several +income mines in Yomi's provinces later on). There was some mention in the thread about this. With my experience being in single player, I had never run into the luck scale on Yomi and later, in light of the hordes of Oni we faced, I asked Kailasa if it was legit working as intended or an accidental oversight by the developer in some recent changes to Yomi, and Kailasa said it was legit and WR was simply using it effectively.

By this point Pangea and Mictlan were fighting IIRC, to my north. My northern provinces stopped one short of  a cave province that Pangea attempted to take a few times before succeeding. I can't recall why I didn't try for that and the exit surface province very much; I guess I was doing other things and my mages weren't strong enough yet with research to carry a weaker bunch of troops I could have assembled in time without diverting my main army. I also probably was considering the diplomatic benefit of Pangea sharing a border with Kailasa instead of me alone. Whatever the reason, Pangea made it's way to my northern border in a province that bordered the two forest provinces Kailasa and I split control of. Their expansion army promply left that dead end, except for a Pan commander who remained behind to freespawn.

Around turn 27 or 28 Kailasa and I finalized our attacks on Yomi. Our main armies would attack on the same turn, but I led off the attack with a stealth army hidden in a Yomi mountain province combined with a commander who appeared to be site searching the adjacent province but was actually leading units while carrying an item that made their subordinates invisible on the world map. My main army was at a crossroads on the turn the false site searcher was adjacent. The way I went from the crossroads would show to scouts whether I was moving towards Kailasa or Yomi. The next turn, a small stealth army and the mage leading the hidden army attacked into a mountain province Yomi controlled at the tip of it's extention (it's Dai-Oni expander had died on the throne just north deeper into the mountain provinces) My or Niefel's cold scale dominion froze the mountain passes regularly, so I sent mountain survival units only so they wouldn't risk being trapped on the mountain. Lastly, I had been fortunate and I had a pretty awesome hero chassis who I gave Boots of Long Strides to move as fast my summoned bears on the map, enabling a two province move to attack the mountain province with my bears. Yomi had been making Bakemono in the mountain province and presumably had a stealth commander collecting them, but there wasn't anything defending except light PD and a handful of bakemono. The army at the crossroads moved adjacent to the next Yomi province south of the mountain province, which was Farmland and would be attacked by both the mountain army and the main army the next turn. Yomi's expansion was a straight line to the crossing point over to Yomi island, so I didn't have to split my army to take a swathe of provinces. As I moved towards Yomi capital, Randall was released from imprisonment. Yomi's armies retreated in front of Kailasa and I until we were each next to Yomi capital, with me to it's west and Kailasa to the north. By that time the Oni armies had consolidated and swollen to a horde and was able to block Kailasa and my routes that could be used to bypass the capital, as well as another army to defend the capital fort, all with competitve armies to what we were fielding in all loacations. In other words, we each had a province other than the capital blocked by an opposing army, and a strong force in the capital that could venture out with the blocking army if we stopped outside the fortress and defeat either of our armies if they combined.

In hindsight, it would have made more sense to fall back at that point. However, we didn't expect Yomi to have as much research completed as they had. I agreed to attack Yomi capital that turn, and then vacate it to Kailasa to siege after clearing whatever patrol forces. Instead, Yomi patrolled with most of their forces rather than defended the fort, and wiped my army out in a pretty one sided loss. They had for example the battlefield darkness spell unlocked; in addition they have a freespawn unit, the Aka-Oni, that just tore up my army as it has a ranged fire attack that killed or set a whole bunch of units on fire, and then Aka-Oni have a greatclub and oni stats in melee. Yomi temples summon it in Heat scales, and Yomi had Heat 3 scales this game; I had played against Yomi in single player but hadn't run into those massed like that. It's like barbarian indies with better stats and a fire damage ranged attack to set the bears on fire before the Oni bonk them with greatclubs. Between the Darkness debuff of IIRC -6 on many stats and the fire throwing to greatclubs, my army was defeated soundly; though my mages largely survived to retreat. Other lesser contributions to the one sided outcome included oni chaff ghost forms reducing thier casualties once the Yomi pd was out of the way, and Dai-Oni thugged out with magic gear.

At this point I retreated the survivors back to a fort on my side of the island that I had just completed in the farmland I had taken from Yomi. I was fortunate that Yomi hadn't taken my retreat province when I attacked the capital; this allowed the survivors to escape to one of my forts. Kailasa had waited outside Yomi capital as my attack went off, with a few small attacks that Yomi mostly defeated. After my army wiped out soundly, Kailasa retreated back to the fort in the forest province Yomi had blocked me at early on, and began summoning. We exchanged various gems and items. I hired the Ettin mercenary and gave him a Holy Scourge, having not gone very deep into Construction for better items. The ettin did win the arena deathmatch and won a cool T-Shirt, though it wasn't enough by itself to make him a good enough thug and I was too poor in gems and construction research to outfit him beyond a holy scourge. I kept him hired until his death, though I offered to not bid to Agartha and Kailasa if they wanted to use the commander (if that did not lose the arena armor when they hired the mercenary). Yomi had pursued my army across the crossing point and looked to be headed to my new fort. Agartha, whose war against Niefelheim had ended by this time, flashed a moderate sized force of Magma Children (a good unit with a fire shield) at Yomi as they passed Agartha's surface province next to the crossing province on Yomi's way to my fort. I think this caused Yomi to hesitate and pull back most of their army to other directions and leave a blocking force appropriate to keep my survivors in the fort. R'lyeh had begun to apply pressure to Yomi at this point, taking at least one cave province from them that bordered Yomi capital, which bordered two cave provinces that also linked to each other with one containing a throne. Agartha had gone north through water provinces following Niefel's defeat, so their main army unfortunately was quite far away from Yomi. Agartha's main army emerged from the water to scavenge a few Pangea provinces and a fort from Pangea once Mictlan had broken Pangea's ability to defend against that. Mictlan and Agartha then struck an NAP that held until the end of the game (I tried to get Agartha to attack Mictlan with me right at the end after Kailasa later died).

Yomi began stealth attacking me with bakemono groups around this time, targetting the temples I had built in non-fort provinces to raise my dominion candle max in order to recruit more chud skinshifters. I wasn't able to respond for the most part after the loss of my main army and lost 3 or 4 temples. I tried a lmited response to that, leaving a fire mage with gems for fire elementals in one spot I thought bakemono would appear. They did, but unfortunately my fire mages can't cast the air buffs that grant such survivability, and it was interrupted in it's first fire elemental casting and died to arrows before the second one made contact with the bakemono. I probably should have set it farther back or something; I had hoped the PD would take the arrows and give time for the fire elementals to reach the bakemono. I had plans to make more items to conceal an ambush set to patrol for bakemono, but after this the bakemono raids pretty much stopped after having burned my visible temples and I didn't have to respond beyond retaking the bakemono captured provinces. I also had used the Summon Lady Midday national spell after the first bakemono attack; I though the adventurer who appeared the turn afterwards in the province was some sort of cloud trapeze thug on a gimmick chassis but it was simply a fluke event. The assassin did more scouting than assassinating as it can move fast on the map and because many of Yomi's commanders would have killed it, but I did kill a water mage site searching with it later on. I was trying to hunt bakemono commanders with it early on but wasn't able to guess their next attack with it. I wasn't attacked in stealth attacks with Dai-Oni using the stealth armor I can't recall the name of, but it was a constant threat and it would have been a real problem for me as I knew they had at least one equipped that way.

Following the loss of my fire mage to the balemono, Yomi sent me a forums message offering a white peace/truce to me. I chose not to answer at that time.

With a Winged Helmet item, the hero commander I mentioned earlier had enough Air path levels to cast the ritual Wind Ride. This selects an enemy commander in the target province and moves it in the direction of the caster on the map, including into hostile territory. It also does some damage. I cast it on the blocking Yomi force and grabbed a Dai-Oni with it, dropping it on my fort province alone and nearly killing it after setting the survivors in the fort to patrol. Kailasa suggested air elementals and their trampling effect did put the Dai-Oni into ghost form and into a rout, but before my Ettin mercenary could Holy Scourge it so it survived. After that, Yomi pulled it's Dai-Oni back and left an ethereal commander that Wind Ride can't pick up.

Agartha had agreed to support my defense of the fort if Yomi had sieged it, but that never came to be. Agartha had a fort inside the caves at the exit to the surface, and kept a Magma Children army there. To the east in the cave system there was a throne province that bordered Yomi capital. I had learned that early on Yomi had forbidden Agartha from taking the throne province, as it was next to Yomi's capital. Yomi had also left that province independent for some reason; perhaps as a concession or perhaps to maintain control of the province without possessing it (maybe to disguise the number of throne provinces they control while making it accessible to a quick grab). I was ferrying troops to the southern fort I was hiding the survivors from Yomi in, including a new addition to my army in a big stack of cavemen from a lone cave province in my control. Cavemen were a good solution in some ways to what I had seen Yomi using in big battles: they have mild fire resistance, above average hp and hit for good damage, and also have 50% darkvision which would reduce the effect of darkness by half, a significant reduction of a bad debuff for my units. The downside is they are naked, have no armor except some token natural armor, have low MR and average morale. Their main benefit however is they only require IIRC 1 or 2 province resources each, and so you can make large numbers in a single turn from a province if you can afford the 25g cost each. I was able to create a good sized stack of them in two turns with my now unburdened gold income (my previous army not surviving to continue collecting wages) and bring them south in the turns I sat in the fort. I put a +army size item on the commanders ferrying them to the southern fort, to make them seem more intimidating and reduce the chance of Yomi intercepting them with a Dai-Oni thug backed by chaff. Once they made it to the southern fort I'd put the item back in the lab and put it on the next commander headed south.

Around this time, Kailasa was able to regain the offensive and Agartha moved on the cave throne next to Yomi capital with the Magma Children stack from the underground fort. These two things pulled a lot of heat off me as Yomi pulled back to counter other attacks on them. The most visible result of this is that Yomi drove one of it's armies into the Agartha caves, destroying the Magma Children and making it all the way to Agartha capital, where a siege seemed probable. Agartha's main army was on a long walk and swim back from scavenging Pangea. I couldn't see what happened deeper in the caves near Agartha, so I don't know how Agartha eventually dispersed the invading Yomi army or if it simply backtracked, but eventually smaller Yomi armies made their way back to the cave fort bordering me east of Agartha and to my south. As Yomi became distracted I had reclaimed the provinces on my island near my fort. I can't recall if Yomi took the cave fort at one point, but I think they kept it under siege with a token force. I was eventually able to clear the cave fort for Agartha in what was a big risk for me at the time, especially in risking a fight underground while my retreat province could have been taken by Yomi who had a threatening army in position at the crossing point from Yomi island (the surface province that was the "entrance" to the caves was one of two crossing points to Yomi island). I was lucky that Yomi moved most of it's siegers off the fort that turn, so I was able to clear Yomi off and retreat the next turn, and Agartha said they would be ready to begin pushing Yomi out of the caves within three or four turns after that. I retreated back to the surface only to discover Yomi had cheekily attacked the fort with a single scout as I vacated the province to keep the siege alive. I could not cross over to Yomi island so I lingered at the entrance to the caves. A small force of oni came from the direction of Agartha and began to siege the cave fort again. While it was underground and I would take the darkness penalty, the number of oni was small enough I should have been able to win if I cleared the fort a second time.

This was when Yomi absolutely devastated my army a second time, even worse than the first time. Their pretender was an immobile Idol of Man, but it had enough astral levels to cast Gateway, which moves it and all the units it's leading to the target province. They cast this spell on the cave fort and as magic rituals go before army moves in the turn resolution, had a giant stack of oni and their pretender appear in my second siege clearing attempt along with some Dai-Oni who could either move fast or who had been using stealth items to hide. Once again, most of my mages survived while my units nearly completely annihilated.

I jumped to the wrong conclusion and thought that Agartha (and Fomoria by extension; by that time it was clear that was an unshakeable alliance) had failed to warn me about a looming army that would wreck my siege clear attempt from the cave throne province I had requested they watch as I couldn't see it until my scouts moved there (Yomi had flying patrols and caught enough of my scouts that I didn't have enough). That was very much a wrong conclusion as the army had teleported from Yomi capital instead of walking; I hadn't noticed the pretender was present at the battle until I re-watched it later. I retracted my warnings to other players about my wrong assumption and aplogized.

Following this disaster, I retreated everything back towards my capital. I even pulled everything out of my southern fort, prepared to abandon everything below the crossroads chokepoint to Yomi. Fomoria had previously asked to control the southern fort, which at the time of original asking I was disappointed by as I couldn't have stopped them from taking it and cutting off my route into Yomi. I was ready to go AI after losing that expansion route too if that happened and contributed to my unfounded suspicion of Fomoria and Agartha in the previous paragraph. Right after the request I told Yomi a reason had possibly arisen for me to accept the truce they had offered earlier, but Fomoria afterwards clarified that it was a request or offer of assistance if I was struggling, and not a demand and so I told Yomi there would be no truce. After Yomi wrecked me in the caves, I was ready to hand off the southern fort and surrounding provinces to Fomoria if Yomi took them from me. I didn't have to do that because Yomi did not pursue me on the surface as I had expected. I raced the survivors back towards my capital, expecting a bakemono stack to ambush them on the way, and stopped at the crossroad province south of my capital that also serves as a chokepoint from my southern provinces. This was the first time I moved Randall out of the capital. I moved Randall and whatever else I could scrape together to meet the survivors on the road to the crossroads province.

Around this time, Kailasa and Yomi began to have big battles. A few of Yomi's armies were destroyed by Kailasa, Agartha's main army had returned and was pushing Yomi out of the caves, I had reassembled an army near the crossing point (those resource cheap cavemen were a big help again) with a big mage and priest stack after moving all my border mage and patrol garrisons south. I noticed that Kailasa was moving on a route over Yomi island to take the southern throne of Yomi island and taking the provinces that had been my pre-war designated split. I had about a dozen Zmey (summoned dragons that fly and have an excellent ranged attack that is similar to the Evocation fireball spell; 5 fire gems per Zmey but they are great in large numbers if the opponent does not resist fire damage) and an Alkonost H3 flying priest to lead them, so I sent them to attack Yomi's southern throne before Kailasa could take it. I succeeded, but Yomi had a large force of bakemono hidden adjacent and killed my Zmeys with a stealth attack with them before I could move them back to safety. After this Kailasa agreed to move to Yomi capital instead and allow my ground army to cross over safely and take my split of Yomi island. I did cross over and begin taking my split, but I moved very cautiously as Kailasa could easily have wiped me out if they wished to lure me into crossing over and their army far overpowered mine by that point. However, an outside intervention in the war was taking place diplomatically.

Around this time, Mictlan made it's way through the cave to my north and finished killing Pangea off in a province bordering me and Kailasa in our forest provinces. I justified using a few mage research turns and summoned a few simargl (flying dogs who give a hefty patrol bonus to find stealthy units to patrolling armies used to find scouts and such; the problem with them is the spell summons them individually so it takes a lot of mage turns for even a handful of them with 10 patrol bonus each, many scouts have 30 stealth so 3 simargls to match most ratings; the mage research turn usage is a similar problem to another national spell Summon Firebird with good map utility in that the spell could use a higher path level version that summons 5 or 10 at a time at conj 5 or 6 I'd say and firebirds likewise fore fire gems at conj 6 or 7 due to being a bit more useful in both map effect if massed and a little more effective in battle). I dispersed these simargl to my border chokepoints and gave a few more to a new militia based (for their lower wages but equal patrolling) army for patrolling outside of border forts.

I sent Randall back to the capital after Yomi wasn't threatening the survivors of the cave fort battle anymore. As I waffled my way near Kailasa's big army until it became more obvious they weren't killing my sacrificial militia army that I used in my initial crossing to Yomi island (attacking a province owned by Kailasa with their permission) it became more apparent my crossing over wasn't a trap. However, it  became apparent that almost every other player in the game was going to attack Kailasa. I checked the throne score graph and saw why; Kailasa was within reaching distance of a throne victory. I had seized the southern throne on Yomi island ahead of Kailasa partially because of this, but more as a route towards my own long shot victory (I had at times considered making a bunch of stealth armies and sitting them near thrones to seize them in times of distraction if I was ever in possession of enough thrones to have a shot of pulling that off, but it seemed like a really poor idea once the thrones were forted and I never had the income to make as many stealth troops as I would need for that, being constantly replacing my non-commander losses)

Fomoria had mentioned a desire to attack Kailasa for a long time previously; I think they were still clearing out Niefel or had just finished when they implied Kailasa was in their sights the first time. Kailasa was well aware of this and unlike me had supported Niefelheim, who was too close a neighbor for me to provide aid to (plus it looked like they were winning at first and if I could nab some Niefel provinces I'd be relatively safe from retaliation from Niefel with Yomi between us if Niefel chased my stealth units out of provinces I grabbed. I couldn't try that as I ran into Kailasa early as mentioned before). Fomoria had held off in the attack they organized on Kailasa with most of the other nations of the game until Yomi was defeated. Kailasa had noticed Ermor moving troops to their border before the attack launched, and notified me they had to pull some off the Yomi front to respond to that. Once Yomi went AI several nations attacked Kailasa, and at least one other signalled intent to attack Kailasa but held off initially.

I was offered the opportunity to join the war against Kailasa by Fomoria, but I declared my intent for neutrality until it became apparent one side was beaten at which point I would scavenge off them. In exchange for my neutrality I did not inform Kailasa of the other's preperations. Kailasa and I had previously speculated about this occurring, though by not informing them of it once it was imminent their army was mildly out of position when it started as they were chasing down the remnants of Yomi.

As the attack launched, I heard from sources that Ermor lost a huge number of units against Kailasa somewhere I couldn't see, around 800 IIRC without checking. Mictlan moved an army into the caves north of me, and I moved some reinforcements to my northern and eastern throne forts that would be bordering where the fighting happened, and also in case Mictlan was targetting me to prevent me joining Kailasa (Mictlan only attacked Kailasa). Agartha stayed in the cave fort and did not attack Kailasa; my guess was that similar to me they did not want to attack someone they worked against Yomi with, and more important to the allies against Kailasa by keeping the Agarthan army in the cave fort on my border it showed repurcussions along with the Fomorian giants in Niefelheim's old provinces if I helped Kailasa openly (I saw that Fomorian King lingering two provinces away from my western fort when I was legit site searching and one of my Perkunu mages was in a threatening position to your besieging Fomorian Druid on the mountain throne fort)

As the attack launched on Kailasa I messaged them and noted it didn't look great for them, that I couldn't join them as it wouldn't make much difference, wished them luck and offered them support in gems, especially my large astral pearl stockpile, as the more they killed before going down the better for me it would be in a post Kailasa world. Kailasa said they were going to use the astral pearls for the global spell Wrath of God that would smite my units as indiscriminately as the other players. After hearing that I dialed back the 100+ pearls I had ordered sent to Kailasa and instead sent 10 astral pearls and various other types of handfuls of gems instead. I offered gold on the following turns but by then Fomorian giants had parachuted all over Kailasa's forts and choked off the gold income and Kailasa said it was too late for gold. I do think maybe the WoG spell wasn't the best use of pearls as it was dispelled quickly, but if I had sent 100+ pearls to bolster it, it would have lasted longer. I had a single cave province I was going to use as a bunker from the WoG as the lighting can't strike there, but I hadn't thought of that before withdrawing the pearls and sending lower numbers of other types instead. More of those sacred Kailasa troops would have been better without a lot more pearls to boost the ritual I think, those things tore up a whole bunch of players' armies.

Once it became apparent Kailasa was going down, they told me I should start taking provinces from them. I had moved a weak stealth army of my archer units off from my Yomi island army and sent them onto the sieged capital (Yomi the AI had placed it under siege) where they couldn't be discovered. Those were safe from discovery there during the siege as there can be no patrols, and I could hit the eastern half of Yomi island from there. Most of the rest of the units I had retreated from Yomi island once the war on Kailasa started and made it's way towards the cave province next to my capital to shelter from the WoG spell (I had a laboratory in the cave already as Rus can recruit research mages in caves with only a lab as a national quirk). On the way there, Fomoria suggested again I should get in on the Kailasa action, and so I agreed this time if Kailasa seemed defeated and the WoG was dispelled; otherwise I would go to my bunker. The WoG was dispelled that turn, and Kailasa had already said I should take provinces from them, so by the time I was near their province near my capital (the eastern forest they had taken from Yomi) on the way to the bunker, they gave permission to take that fort and continue taking provinces into Yomi island. I used my stealth army and rebuilt Zmey and alkonost flight (with Gamayun flying mage support finally; I had to empower to Astral 3 from 1 to get those) to go into Kailasa's holdings on Yomi island while Kailasa Gatewayed around and rampaged through Pangea. Agartha moved to take Yomi capital through the caves after I told them I had avoided taking it as they had stated they were going for it in conjunction with everyone's attack; but they were worried about Kailasa attacking them until then. I cleared around Yomi island and struck a deal with Agartha to give them Agartha capital and the provinces surround the throne fort on southern Yomi island if I could have the northern part and the crossings to my island. That turn I was consolidating two armies on the province north of the southern Yomi throne, and pillaged the province as I had units waiting on; I was either going to race Mictlan for the southern Yomi throne or the pillaged province  was a province I was going to turn over to Agartha. I had hoped that notification of pillaging would at worst be a report in the messages log that could be overlooked but there is instead a giant flaming torch symbol on the map when a province is pillaged that would be impossible to miss. This no doubt helped catch me in my shady act by Agartha, who I sent twice the gold taken with the pillage and apologized to them for getting caught. It was a late turn resubmission but I can't remember if I had heard back from Agartha yet if that swap was acceptable or not as I sent the message late. Either way it was kind a crappy thing to do, so I apologize for doing that; my logic was that if I was refused I'd have to race Mictlan and stave off Agartha at the same time, and it seemed unlikely I'd hold the territory either way. Plus I didn't know pillaging made so much unrest for so little gold with that few units pillaging. I thought it would be like +30 unrest or so, but it added over 100 unrest for 74g; completely not worth it. Mostly though I didn't know it was that easy to get caught doing it; I had hoped with Yomi's unrest generation it would appear to be leftover from them. The regret for the high unrest came after I decided to do that.

I tried to convince Agartha to fight Mictlan with me, as we would have borders with Mictlan after the Yomi island split, and our choice of targets was limited after that. Agartha said Mictlan was likely the next target but they wanted to wait until it was more than them and I alone, as the forecast was that we two would lose alone. I felt that Agartha couldn't be peeled off from Fomoria so Mictlan and R'lyeh were the other two I border, and I can't swim to R'lyeh's underwater realm like Agartha, Fomoria, and R'lyeh can. After that Agartha was dropping out of the game, and I did a very late turn resubmit to grab an Agarthan underwater province that would be important to grab before Mictlan went under the waves to take UW Agartha, and I moved everything else in the direction of Agartha except a hidden army on Mictlan's border under an elf cauldron carrying commander in case Mictlan attacked from that direction. There wasn't much point defending against Fomoria; they could attack me from too many directions and parachute giant thugs all over my land and forts. That was how it ended. If it had gone 3 or 4 turns longer I would have offered to fight Agartha in Yomi capital with our big armies in one last battle as I was headed that way already and if the game was ending I wouldn't be risking anything, but I didn't ask after Agartha told me they were going to resist invasion until going AI, and the turns stopped before I remembered suggest it once it looked like the game was on it's last legs without substitutes.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 09:29:38 am by Duuvian »
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Duuvian

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #436 on: November 17, 2022, 09:12:55 am »

Double posting for character limit of 40,000!




Also my bless wasn't as good as I thought when I pretender designed; I confused nature path's barkskin equivalent bless with the earth path 1/2 damage invulnverability. The barkskin equivalent was ok on skinshifters but for bears the 1/2 damage one is way better as they already have some natural protection and no worn armor to stack with the buff; I used that on an Eldest Dwarf pretender in single player and didn't have many points left though so the earth invulnerability is kind of all or nothing and I wanted rainbow resists. I also forgot EA Rus has difficulty getting to 3 astral for Gamayun summons and lacking magic weapons bless was butts against Yomi ghost forms, so maybe I should have taken astral on the pretender and not water for cold aura bless, since I did most of my fighting outside of my dominion's cold scales anyways.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 09:17:01 am by Duuvian »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #437 on: November 17, 2022, 09:22:53 am »

Jesus, that's a proper AAR.

A few corrections:
IIRC, the province we clashed in was more like 3 provinces from each capital, not 4-5.
The clash was intentional on my side, as my scouts were tracking your movements, and I figured I had to stop your expansion army before it takes too much of my starting island.
I had never supported Niefel other than cheerleading for them in this thread.
Also, at no point I could see myself getting enough thrones for a victory. Maybe if Fomoria and Mictlan had ended up distracted with each other I'd manage a push on Ermor. Otherwise there was no clear path to victory in sight.
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Duuvian

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #438 on: November 17, 2022, 09:45:45 am »

Thanks, it was too long to spell check throughly, I gave up after a while due to not being paid for writing AARs and more importantly once it seemed legible enough to be readable without too much suffering.

Yeah, I think you are right, it was 3 provinces.

I thought that was likely that you had ambushed me, that's why I didn't send a message right away and instead summoned all the bears and began discussing you with my other neighbors. I was willing to accept it was an accident when you said it was; on my end it genuinely was an accident and I didn't know your capital was on that island. I didn't see it or your army before the battle.

Ah, the supporting Niefel was an assumption on my part. It would have made sense, and Fomoria had a strong suspicion of that being the case that I didn't disagree with given the circumstances.

How many ascenscion points did you have? I assumed from the graph that it was this many <holds up wrong number of tentacles>
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 09:51:45 am by Duuvian »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #439 on: November 17, 2022, 10:06:58 am »

[quote author=Duuvian link=topic=180009.msg8428360#msg8428360 date=1668696345
How many ascenscion points did you have? I assumed from the graph that it was this many <holds up wrong number of tentacles>
[/quote]
I don't remember, sorry.
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Duuvian

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #440 on: November 17, 2022, 10:26:02 am »

No worries. You would have been in range of taking a few more thrones and be closer at least, even if they hadn't been sat on yet. The cave throne and the east and southern thrones of Yomi for example; I don't know how many points that is but it would have been pretty close I think. If you did stick to the split whatever you didn't get plus the bear tribe throne I had were all right on your border, you probably could have gatewayed to the most dangerous one and move local armies to take the others without too much difficulty judging from your death throes, and sit on them pretty quickly was my thinking when I looked at the thrones graph when it looked to be turning into a dogpile on you.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 10:29:40 am by Duuvian »
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Azthor

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #441 on: November 17, 2022, 10:51:06 am »

No worries. You would have been in range of taking a few more thrones and be closer at least, even if they hadn't been sat on yet. The cave throne and the east and southern thrones of Yomi for example; I don't know how many points that is but it would have been pretty close I think. If you did stick to the split whatever you didn't get plus the bear tribe throne I had were all right on your border, you probably could have gatewayed to the most dangerous one and move local armies to take the others without too much difficulty judging from your death throes, and sit on them pretty quickly was my thinking when I looked at the thrones graph when it looked to be turning into a dogpile on you.

I believe Kailasa had some ~6 points, and I thought they were entertaining a throne rush for a moment, as a desperate last gambit.

That was shortly before my actual army reached the front and threatened the first throne; one of the reasons I did not try and gem burn in that storming.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 10:54:19 am by Azthor »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #442 on: November 17, 2022, 11:14:39 am »

I did not have enough armies to throne rush and defend at the same time.
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Azthor

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #443 on: November 17, 2022, 12:11:43 pm »

I did not have enough armies to throne rush and defend at the same time.

I agree, and your main battle units' bad overland movement was probably your greatest disadvantage, though you did pointedly/notably offset it a bit by focusing on the peaks with your bless.
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E. Albright

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #444 on: November 17, 2022, 02:54:33 pm »

IIRC, the province we clashed in was more like 3 provinces from each capital, not 4-5.

Garillion (the province in question) was 3 provinces from Rus but only 2 from Kailasa. This all happened on turn 12.

It's worth noting that the two of you only had 3 provinces b/tw your capitals, with two different paths sharing Tower of Heavens as the midpoint, so you were pretty much guaranteed to be uncomfortably close together.

How many ascenscion points did you have? I assumed from the graph that it was this many <holds up wrong number of tentacles>
I don't remember, sorry.

Your peak was eight, but it dropped by four the next turn. Three was what you held most of the game. I think what made you seem so threatening (aside from your gem income, which terrified me when I Akashic Recorded you and Mictlan about halfway through the game) was your proximity to so many other thrones that you weren't actively holding.

FWIW, I thought Mictlan was the biggest long-term threat, not least b/c they had close to your own gem income plus all their unlisted blood collections (and blood sacrifice dominion push, which is its own scariness), but they never seemed as close to winning as you.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 02:58:31 pm by E. Albright »
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Thtb

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #445 on: November 17, 2022, 03:04:58 pm »

Interacting with Azthor was the worst expierence i ever had in and out game in bay12, otherwise and dominion.

You went way beyond anything rational.
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Azthor

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #446 on: November 17, 2022, 06:13:35 pm »

Interacting with Azthor was the worst expierence i ever had in and out game in bay12, otherwise and dominion.

You went way beyond anything rational.

The feeling is mutual then. Except I had the pay off of burying you three feet under for my effort, and you had none but impotent frustration.

Edit: credit where it is due, though, you did set me back so much that I was basically aiming for a draw instead of a victory, after our war.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2022, 06:42:24 pm by Azthor »
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Azthor

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Re: Dominions 5 Round 06 - The end
« Reply #447 on: November 17, 2022, 06:28:53 pm »

And here are my graphs:

Spoiler: Provinces (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Forts (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Income (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Gem Income (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Research (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Dominion (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Army Size (click to show/hide)

End gem income was 125; would have been 134 next turn.
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