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Age of Ice - getting pounded

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven: Age of Ice' started by Jars, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. MAvL

    MAvL Chieftain

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    Blizard inflict some damage over turn and prevents healing (up to some percentage, I don't think it kills), it greatly limits what your scouts/hunters/rangers can safely do, cold resist allows you to ignore blizzard. Typically, they can go north where there isn't much blizzard and they can retreat to your nearby town anyway, but they can't as easily dive deep in the west, where mammoths are, and where the Great Stag generally hangs out.

    Seems you already found out how to use subdue animals :)
    Taming Fiacra is probably by far the greatest benefit. She isn't good at taking cities, due to her weakness to archers (she can still take out archers with low cultural defensive bonus), but she can steal workers. I personally don't use her much against the Illians/Doviello, I use her in the wild. With flying, she can hide on peaks, making her your best scout and mostly invincible (able to pick her fights); mobility 1 or 2 helps with it. She can help scouts in toruble (double wolf riders are no match), help repell attacks, help herd animals...

    The wolf and bear buildings are nice to build in big freshly conquered city, to lose less population to discontent starving; the wolf ones helping holding on it while the bear one helps with culture pressure/popping. One spider pen is nice, two also if you plan on keeping the Doviello strong, more than that is really minor, but the first spider is always nice. Mammoths camp building ability make them the less situational and more generally useful. The ivory resource is nice, but the production and gold bonus alone makes every mammoth worth hunting.

    Now with pairs of wolf riders roaming, I'd expect hunters to have a harder time surviving in the wild, making hunt more difficult and animal subdue and resist cold less valuable. Spiders, wolves and bear can be found nearby and are worth taming, but you might not be able to succesfully hunt a mammoth or make use of resist cold before rangers, though I would still give it a try (combat 3 hunters are still very strong).

    In any cases, subdued animals are likely die even to simple frostlings if not escorted, hence I love to let my children of Kylorin with the mark of the Raven be hunters: the skeleton herds the subdued animals while the hunter continues roaming. Spiders are hidden, but I think frostling scouts can see them and if the spider is damage, as is likely, it's an easy kill for them; so if you make a habit of clearing frostling dens (I don't), there might be paths that are safe for spiders. Mammoth are tanky but don't resist cold. If you find a place to heal them up, they might make it on their own, but I would put my money on 2 frostlings or on anything stonger than a frostling if it were to encounter some. Wolves will almost never make it alive, but they also are the less valuable IMO, I often explore with them rather than send them home. Bear are the only generic animal with resist cold and have the most decent surviving chances alone I'd say.


    I don't know about medic II. Blitz is available to mounted units, and I think animals too. I don't know about recon unit, but I am sure melee and archery don't have access to it, so no blitz Belenus.

    "It's interesting how the former Barb-town attracts all the attention. I didn't take a single fight on that famous "entrance hill" yet."
    Yeah, I should have mentionned the entrance hill is only relevant agaisnt barbarians who have been dissuaded to go through the NN forest. Mulcarn and Charadon will come from the west. They have to cross a river though, which means either a combat penality or one more turn for your archers and epona to bombard them (though yeah, you often have neither for the first few attacks).


    "I do like that Belenus guy much more now"
    Yeah, he is only a tiny bit stronger than Caerbulin and isn't stronger than Epona would be for very long, but that actually makes him all the more expandable, which is a big strength. You can be a little bit more reckless, so he levels up much faster and is used much more often. Worse case scenario, you start levelling up the next hero a bit sooner than you planned to.
     
  2. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    It's brutally hard on Deity. On top of it, i lost several 98% fights which i don't think should happen more often just because you play on a higher level. But Civ 4 works like this. So - i also lost Fiacra in a 98,5% offensive fight :( she already had Blitz, but it was the first attack.
    I believe that i did everything right exept for playing too defensively. So the Doviello could expand very well and very soon they were first in score, while Mulcarn is strangely very low in score. He sends only little stacks.
    I would not really believe that you can have good research when you settle all those tundra/ice cities, but the Doviello reached X+Longbows before me and they hide in their cities which i cannot approach through defensive terrain. I took only 2 cities, and i kept the one next to the stone. What i also don't like here (maybe it's also part of the high level), when they do "barrage" on me, i am half dead and recover only slowly, while my barrage makes less effect on them and they recover faster. No matter if they are in my land or in theirs. Strange! So the only way to take a city at this point is too approach the city with longbows, do "barrage" in the same turn and attack next turn with a huge stacks of horsemen from 2 or 3 tiles away. Any unit that stands next to the city is useless next turn. But i don't have the capacities to take out 10 fortified bows on a hill :eek: it's too late now

    Spoiler :
    Civ4ScreenShot0001.JPG Civ4ScreenShot0002.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  3. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    So besides getting Fiacra in the first place, i was not very lucky here. Also my "children" have been of the weaker ones, one scout with +20% strength and the guy with warmth. The game becomes only harder once they have all those bow units. The barbs on the other hand were even helpful as a "sparring partner" for my units.
    Ah yes, the worker steal is also much more unlikely here, because the workers chop away the forests really fast and you cannot advance only by hills. When I had Belenus at Woody II, it was already too late. You should send the first Woody II warrior in to try his luck.

    So difficulties over difficulties ! Maybe i would try once again. Maybe it's too hard. Playing on epic speed is probably easier as you can get a super-promoted hero in the same number of turns while they produce units more slowly. In my opening here, it was pretty much Belenus vs. the Rest of the world :lol:

    At the very least, i had some good exp here with new promos. Medic II seems never to be available, but Blitz, cold resist and subdue are really nice when you can make it there.

    And i tamed a spider, a bear and a wolf. What should you do with the stag? I killed him with a hunter who cannot subdue yet and then i could chose "Kill him" or "Spare him". I am no pacifist, but i thought that "sparing him" would give me the bigger benefit, but it didn't ;-) IIRC, i did the same mistake in my first game, the same weird thinking....

    Did not realize that Fiacra can steal workers. I used her more often as a shield while plundering with horsemen. When i approached the copper mine, they attacked me with several units at horrible odds, that was not when i lost Fiacra. The copper seems to be precious to them.

    Last note: In another game, i must not forget to destroy that horrible fort 2 tiles west of the gold mine where their units take shelter all the time, if it can be destroyed. I don't think the human player can use it for his means, it is always quite crowded in there :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  4. MAvL

    MAvL Chieftain

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    The reward for sparing the Stag is not as immediate as the reward for killing it. I won't spoil you, but if you really want to know, the answer is in the pedia.


    "Also my "children" have been of the weaker ones, one scout with +20% strength and the guy with warmth"
    To be fair, most marks are weak though yeah, Warmth is extra weak. Warmth is really nice on lower levels cause it gives something useful you can't have from promotion, but it's mostly useful to expand peacefully, which isn't going to happen in higher difficulties. The +20% strength I would rate on paar though. That's not better than combat 1, but it does gives a leg up. Mark of the raven is super strong early on and super handy on hunters, but as soon as ennemy has archers, skeletons are useless against cities, which at the end of the day, matter the most. IIRC the faster learning one is probably the only mark that stands out, though the floating eye one (mark of the Rabbit) is surprisingly powerfull when used to lure stack out of cities.


    "I would not really believe that you can have good research when you settle all those tundra/ice cities"
    I guess that's what deity does for you if you're an AI :p . He does have a lot of cottages around his capital though, and I could imagine reduced maintenance and reduce tech cost is enough to give him a big advantage, despite obvious bad play like tundra/ice cities. Mulcarn OTOH, have an insanely huge hidden bonus for tiles with blizzard on them (reguardless of difficulty level). Fortunately he does not really take advantage of it, but that explains how he is still able to tech and send stacks even after being reduced to his icy pop 5 capital.
     
  5. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    Ok, so i didn't wait long enough to see what the price for the stag is. It happened only some turns ago. But this game is lost anyway.

    To be fair, i have not really understood what the benefit of the "warming effect" is. Does it protect my units from losing health in the blizard region or does is re-transform the tiles into grasslands or does it simply shift the blizard-clouds to another place? It could be an important quality that interfers a lot with the game specifics. I think any Child of the Kylorin can be good under certain circumstances. In one game, i could tremendously benefit from the "hasting" while moving my stack. But to get skeletons each turn is definitely very strong in the opening phase. I was never so lucky.

    By the way, if you don't take the barb city immediately on Deity, it won't happen for long time. They stack frost archers very soon and even Eponas fireball won't scratch them too much. That makes a very strong case for starting with Belenus.
     
  6. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    Even on DEITY, there are some options. I just ran a game on "Marathon speed", and like i assumed, the promotions come in at the same pace, while the map is much more peaceful. With a gift of 2 scouts from an event, i could even pacify the whole northern section for 30-40 turns. Belenus is at Combat VI + Woody II now, he has +125% on base strength, heals within 2T in enemy territory, took out Lugh in the open, can take out any warrior/scout in the woods, grabs workers, etc... The only thing he cannot do is to attack cities with winning odds (maybe 65-70%). The Doviello are pretty much gone, already at this point. So yes, slower speeds help tremendously :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  7. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    I think i am done with this scenario. With a lot of map knowledge and an exactly structured and pre-thought hero order, i could most probably beat it on Deity. But at this point, where the Doviello have been taken out of the game so early, it is not really interesting anymore. Anyway, it was really fun! Do you know of similar scenarios, @MAvL ? Do you also play the FFH2 mod? I think i tried it out a year ago but found it really unbalanced. In many cases, i had rolled maps where cities could not grow at all and where my units died to inappropriately strong animals and barbs, scouting and expanding was often times not even possible. I do not expect a (free) mod to be perfectly balanced, AoI isn't neither, but in FFH 2 it came to a point where i could not adapt my Civ4-skills at all.
    So if you have any hints for me, let me know. I love that fantasy aspect a lot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  8. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    Interesting, there is an Extramodmod for FFH2 that promises amongst others the following:

    Wilderness
    "This component aims at making exploring the lands beyond the borders of civilization more fun and, to a smaller extent, strategically important. The strength of barbarians and animals now depends on the minimum distance to any player's starting point and on their technological advance."
     
  9. MAvL

    MAvL Chieftain

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    I think Blizzard is technically a terrain feature akin to forest. It pops on the west and slowly and erratically moves to the East. Most of the times it disappear when going over a mountain.

    It both deals damage to units surrounding and deteriorate surrounding terrain, damaging improvement and terraforming, sometimes quickely, in that fashion :
    plain -> grassland -> tundra -> ice
    and freezes water as well
    surrounding means that blizzards are technically located on a tile (you can see which by hovering the tiles) but have an effect roughly on the 3x3 region (roughly is my ignorance, it's probably more specific).

    A terrain not exposed to blizzard will warm over time, usually very slowly :
    ice -> tundra -> grassland -> plain
    and will stop at grassland if next to a river.

    I think the unit using warmth can still take damages from the blizzard it clears, meaning he has to lead the stack rather than simply belonging to it. I don't know about the orb, the effect seems automatic and with range 1 or 2, so much more powerfull. In my game, I'm using Fiacra to go from north to south at the very West end so as to clear about every blizzard on the map.

    Long story short, warmth is mediocre at protecting your army, who mostly doesn't have any reason to go deep in the cold anyway, and whose ennemies are affected just the same as them byt the occasional blizzard slipping through mountains or beside the Orb; and it is inferior to the Orb and requires extreme patience as far as terraforming goes.


    Yeah I forgot about the hasting mark, also a very strong one, potentially the strongest given how archery works, and probably the only way to use swordmen and macemen offensively, besides wasting a promotion on mobility for each of them.
     
  10. MAvL

    MAvL Chieftain

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    I've started FFH2 this week.

    First game on prince, I picked the orcs who start in peace with barbarians but still are attacked with animal. I was surrounded by 3 4:strength: flying griffons, who levelled up on my meek 2:strength: goblins. Impossible to go out of my capital.

    Now I don't think it is necessarilly unbalanced, but it definitely requires a different mindset. Lone scouts are great for fast early exploration, but you should not expect to see them back. Or lone hunters for what matters. A sticky exploration party probably consist in 3 members; when you lose 1 or 2, hopefully the survivor(s) is now much more experienced (and you should send him home).

    Likewise, the first city attack is likely to happen before you can build both a worker and a warrior, so you should either stay close to your capital with at least one of your starting unit, or open warrior.

    I've since switched to extramodmod Unofficial (https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/extramodmod-unofficial.646778/) that looks good but I haven't experimented vanilla FFH (or extramodmod) enough to make a relevant comparison. Still, from my limited experience, wilderness does not make nearby barbs easier, it only makes further ones stronger.

    BUG and in particular advanced combat odds is handy, but it does not tell, directly at least, how many warriors does it take on average to kill a city archer. So for now, I save scum a lot (I don't roll the same combat twice and don't have new seed on reload anyway, but reloading a loss and waiting for an extra warrior before attacking a city is technically also a reroll).

    Once you're getting started, it feels a bit more like regular Civ, but with a strong emphasis on military. You have to have a decent standing army, defensive structure and building are worth considering, etc.

    I'm on the edge about the good/neutral/evil thing, but it does make diplomacy easier, you mostly don't have to worry about trading with the worse ennemy of your friend because he is also your ennemy and won't trade with you anyway.

    There are 18 scenarios as well, I haven't tested them, but given the amount of scripting and lore even the sandbox mod have, I would expect them to be at least comparable to AoI in quality. And there might be that have more compfortable start than base FFH2.
     
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  11. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    Thanks for the hint to the Extramodmod unofficial, seems to be the continuation of the Extramodmod. I have played around a bit and I did not experience any "impossibilities". Like i said, i also remember those scenarios where you cannot even leave your capitol from the Vanilla game. The worst i have seen so far are Polar bears (5) and skeletons (3). And of course, i had a nice little empire and suddenly some barbs attacked from a galley and took an unguarded city. So the usual habit of building warriors only for happiness does not work here.

    My other memory that cities cannot grow came probably from two directions. First of all, the real Erebus maps have much more hills, tundra, etc... And secondly, the option "End of winter" will naturally create even more food-poor starts. Even if I like the second option, and used to check in most games (for more atmosphere) it makes it very hard to settle your capitol. You could anticipate how the land will slowly transform, but you cannot anticipate which Agric resources will pop up where. Sometimes, you start on a pasture and then the bison turns into a wheat.

    I will also try out the scenarios. Really like to have a quest or something like that. That is something that regular Civ 4 cannot really offer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  12. Tobiyogi

    Tobiyogi King

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    To be honest, that last statement was oversimplifiying the whole thing :blush:
    I had a game where my expansion and tech reaseach was developping well (on EMP) and then i was DOWed by a civ with genuinly weak units and i thought, well, this must be easy, but then they sent in more and more creatures who have a lifespan of 3 turns. Not only they are summoner (3turns lifespan) but also they got A LOT of those beasts each and every turn. They refused to talk for at least 60-70 turns.
    So i don't understand the magic yet but i know at least that it can really beat you up :undecide:

    In the meantime, i read the manual and compared several civs and I think the Kuriotates would really fit my "Pacal"-playstyle, limited number of good quality cities who can grow huge due to more health (and in this case because you can also work the 3. ring, have more happiness and can switch between PHI and other traits.) 3rd ring is a really nice idea, just like many other good ideas in this mod, because good resources are generally more widespread than in a medium BtS map. From the videos i have seen so far, even high-level players tend to work much more unimproved tiles than you are supposed to do normally. Certainly this is also due to longer worker turns and to the "intractable" land with more tundra, ice... Also worker costs more and you cannot easily steal them.

    But i will stop posting here, this is supposed to be the AoI thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020

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