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AoI Difficulty

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven: Age of Ice' started by Thennorin, Jul 21, 2007.

?

How difficult do you think AoI is?

  1. Too hard

    40 vote(s)
    28.2%
  2. Just right

    72 vote(s)
    50.7%
  3. Too easy

    30 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. Thennorin

    Thennorin Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    I got my copy of BtS yesterday and went straight for AoI :) Having played a few half-finished games, I'm wondering what other people think about the mod's difficulty level?

    I'm finding it too tough. It's not impossible but there are so many targets that it becomes frustrating. It feels like playing FFH2 with raging barbs except the onslaught doesn't eventually end. Instead, it gets worse!

    I've tried using intel from previous games to strike early at nearby targets before they become a hassle. This helps but it provides only temporary respite. I get the feeling the mod is meant to be played aggressively from start to finish but it's hard to do that with so many enemy units in play. Any tips?
     
  2. mervvyn

    mervvyn Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Oztraya
    I played on noble, which was a reasonable challenge but I managed to succeed on my 2nd attempt. My tips (extensive spoiling, I encourage you to play around and just enjoy it first):
    Spoiler :
    -At the beginning, focus on getting a decent army of warriors going before you expand, but don't delay too long. Use a few to block the two passes into your starting valley (I actually built my first city in that southern pass north of the wheat).
    -Buildings are less important, so only build them as you need them. For the unit-producing buildings, only build in a single city, to specialise your cities unless you really need a lot of that unit eg archers.
    -Send out your initial scouts as a pair, and send them to destroy the frostling lairs - makes a big difference. Send more hunters when you get the chance.
    -When you get the chance, find the white castle to the west and destroy it, it stops the frost giants.
    -Killing the giant stag gives a golden age, I don't know what you get if you spare it (I spared it once but got nothing at the time, so I killed it the second time I saw it.
    -Unless you're really lucky with mines creating resources, you won't have metals, so direct your research into archers and use them extensively. Barrages are a godsend for attacking cities.
    -Garrison the fort at the eastern edge of the Doviello empire. It was very costly for me to clear it once it was occupied.
    -Take care of your good units. What I mean is that your production is initially limited, so you need to send units out in groups of 2-3 at least to avoid the battle-injured ones getting picked off - these are the units that can form the core of your army once they get a few promos up.
    -Your choice of hero shouldn't matter too much, although I ended up using all 3 as the first 2 got killed. This worked quite well as I got the sorceress last, and I was able to upgrade her straight away and use the fireballs, which were incredibly useful in bombarding cities.
    -If you reduce the Doviello to just their capital, they should ask for peace and an alliance. You don't have to take it but it will probably make getting rid of the Illians easier.

    That's all I can think of for now, I really encourage you to just try different things, maybe on a lower difficulty to get some strategies together. It's a very enjoyable scenario though, much kudos to the dev team.
     
  3. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    5,633
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    You didn't say what difficulty level you are playing on. The rate of spawning, and types as well, scale with difficulty, and of course the AI gets bonuses at higher levels still. Don't be ashamed to play a level lower, difficulty does NOT correspond to the levels of FfH!
    (The better AI makes a difference, and there are less complex mechanics of the AI to use.)
     
  4. vorshlumpf

    vorshlumpf Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    I found my play style was well suited for this scenario. I typically play a patient, turtle-and-prepare style of game. The only reason this worked for me on all difficulty levels, though, is because of barrage. Archers/longbowmen are key to a non-aggressive strategy!
     
  5. Thennorin

    Thennorin Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    84
    @Nikis-Knight:
    Oops, good point. I played at Prince level because that's what I use with FFH2 and I thought it'd be a similar challenge. Instead, it felt like I was playing at Monarch or higher - too hard. But since you're saying this doesn't correspond to FFH2 difficulties, it all makes a lot more sense now! Wish I'd known this before jumping in!

    Even so, I played a fairly efficient game on the most recent attempt and it was still too tough to be fun. I'd hate to try it at Monarch or above! My opening game is as follows:
    Spoiler :
    1. Pick Epona for extra research + potentially excellent spellcasters (hoping for Mark of the Raven!).
    2. Send scouts out to fight wolves and/or pick off enemy workers.
    3. Build 4 warriors and take out frostling den to the west.
    4. Reinforce survivors to be a squad of 4 again and take out frostling den to the north (on the coast).
    5. Send survivors west to the nearest north-west frostling den.
    6. Build a squad of 8-9 warriors and take Deluac.
    7. Send frostling squad survivors to Deluac, because hordes of enemies arrive soon and they always converge there.
    8. Found third city 2 tiles west & 1 tile north of wheat. Build an obelisk to expand borders towards the western horses.
    9. Archers are available shortly. Station increasing numbers in Deluac.
    10. Build roads around Deluac so archers can pop out and offensively use their barrage ability on incoming enemies (allows more attacks before they hit the city).
    11. Horsemen are available shortly. Spam them once horses have a pasture put on them & send them all to Deluac to fend off attackers.

    And this is where I get stuck... At this point, hordes and hordes of enemies are marching upon that particular city despite the early counter-measures. There are several clear objectives but I can't achieve any of them because all my forces are always pinned down protecting that one city. I did try to turtle while amassing forces. It seemed to be working but in the end failed because...
    Spoiler :
    When I held out until late game (I was up to the last two tiers of techs), waiting for a break, a freak blizzard came down and decimated Deluac as it was under siege! End result: all improvements destroyed, ~80% of workable terrain lessened to tundra or ice, all units in my main army at 50% health or below. I made it through by using fireballs as an emergency defence but the recovery delay plus the permanent decimation of my 2nd most major city slowed the game pace to a crawl.
     
  6. Jono

    Jono Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,522
    You don't need research to win at all (only up to whatever tech allows a a forge). You pick Belenus, rush for Doviello and then for the rest of the Godslayer pieces. The you get Kylorin and elude the dragon by going through the south and that's it.
     
  7. Well I'm no expert but I always find it easier to first found a second city, usually right at the southern pass, and once I have both cities decently developed, start thinking about conquering the neighbors.

    Also, it really pays off to start making children of kylorin early on. If you're lucky they might spawn with the mark of the rabbit and the horse, making them awesome scouts. Try to research whatever tech gives you the ability to tame animals fairly early although I don't think beelining for it is a good idea, and get a spider. In the early game even one giant spider makes a huge difference, and if you manage to get two, then use one to defend and send the other to clear out frostling dens.
     
  8. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2001
    Messages:
    8,726
    Location:
    Sweden
    Spoiler :

    Yeah I agree, a city at the southern pass is a good spot for a 2nd city. Also, a Fort at the northern pass is a good idea, with a City Defender Archer/Longbowman defending it.

    I also built a 3rd city north of the capital, next to the Deer (it's about size 8/9 now)

    My first child of Kylorin was awesome! It got Mark of the Rabbit, Mark of the Horse and Mark of the Dog. Making it able to cast Haste, has +1 First strike, gets +1 Movement and gets +50% exp. I made it into a warrior, to run with my scouts. Later I upgraded it to an Archer since I had no Copper and now it's a Longbowman with great promotions running along with my Assassins.

    I havn't come very far yet. I'm playing on Emperor, and so far I've conquered a barbarian city and 2 of the Doviello cities. And I have 3 I've built myself (with the capital included).

    The capital is size 17, has two Ivory, some towns, farms and mines. And I'm about to build some Mammoth Riders!

    I recently killed the Great Stag and I let it go, which made it respawn somewhere far away. Not sure what reward I should expect out of that. Nor do I know what the bonus would have been if I killed it.


    Pretty great scenario, simple enough, complex enough and pretty fun. Nice amount of wilderness and weather effects. Love the fog! And I like the random events.
     
  9. Wow, size 17 capital. Haven't had that, then again I always get my ass handed to me eventually. :) Despite that I am very much enjoying AoI. I only wish it was possible to keep the "story" of it without having to use a fixed map, since I feel like after playing a few times and getting to explore most of the map, it gives player a great advantage over the AI. On the other hand, that's what the deity difficulty is for. :D
     
  10. Sisonpyh

    Sisonpyh Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    435
    I'd say it was a bit easy.

    Well, I played it on prince and the only scare I had was Doviello being an absolutely worthless ally. Their capital was overrun by Ice Giants, but once I liberated it and took control, never had any problems. Longbowmen with the double hill promotions chews through just about any unit the AI can throw at you. So defending was quite easy until I was able to build a respectable offensive force, which overran everything ont he map quite easily.

    I'll try it on a different difficulty next time. Any suggestions?

    edit: Also, the arrow barrage seems overpowered. Since you can barrage and still attack on the same turn. That and if you mass archers, nothing survives all those barrages at once.
     
  11. vorshlumpf

    vorshlumpf Chieftain

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    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    If you are good at exploiting that barrage ability, I'd suggest going straight to Deity.
     
  12. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Sweden
    At least the AI use the Barrage ability to great effect.
     
  13. vorshlumpf

    vorshlumpf Chieftain

    Joined:
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    I disagree. The AI uses it, but does not use it optimally.
     
  14. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    Well, they used it when invading and when defending. Probably not optimally, but in my games I was always under a lot of barrage.
     
  15. vorshlumpf

    vorshlumpf Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    The AI automatically uses it at the end of its turn. This means it won't soften up the enemy before an attack, which is one of the greatest benefits of using it.
     
  16. SoI

    SoI Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Russian Federation
    Played on the emperor and it was just alright though it would be fine if the final battle was a little bit more difficult.
     
  17. bc1

    bc1

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,152
    Just got BtS and immediately kicked off AoI! Great Scenario! Played on deity but found Epona's fireball ability overpowered.
    Spoiler :
    with just her and a couple warriors you can rush & roll over both the doviello & the illians. Although I did have to reload once when Kylorian got mauled by a mamooth warrior spawned after forging the sword, and had to read some of the pedia to find the workaround.
     
  18. CulleyS

    CulleyS Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    Phew, maybe it's because I'm altogether new to FfH, but I get my butt kicked all the time with this. Even playing at Chieftain. :blush:

    I'm a peacemonger and expansionist in my normal Civ4 strategies, so I have to figure out something new. I jcan't seem to even build two cities and maintain them for much past the year 550. I just get barraged by "barbs" and can't produce enough units to last. I hate having to read spoilers, though, to fine tune my strategy.

    Great scenario, though. IMHO, the best part of the BtS expansion pack thus far.
     
  19. bc1

    bc1

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
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    1,152
    - It's fun too but raises the difficulty of non-scenario CIV by at least 2 or 3 levels
    - no spoiling intented, but remember that in this scenario, you're supposed to kill a god! Peace just won't get you there no matter what the difficulty level
     
  20. Scaphism

    Scaphism Boondoggle

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Messages:
    203
    Lots of in depth spoilers below. Read at your own risk.

    Spoiler :
    I liked the challenge early on and exploring the map was risky and fun. Hoever it got a bit easy once I had broken the major forces and there was a longish "cleanup" period where I wasn't in any real danger.

    I found it really easy to rush the barbarian city just west of your capital. Send 1 warrior south and everyone else north immediately. Try and catch the Doviello scooting past you as he will reinforce the cities further west.
    Kill a few wolves, frostlings to earn a few city raider promos with your warriors or general combat promotions. It helps to earn a few promos and it also allows the barb city to grow to size 2.
    Capture the barb city. It should not be a problem as it only has two, maybe 3 defenders.

    In the meantime my first build in the capital was a worker, he improves as many tiles around the capital as you want and will shortly be able to build roads to your captured cities.

    The Doviello are just a bit further west of the barbarian city you captured. By now you should have some really strong city raider units. You only need one or two highly promoted units, and a few for stack defense (one with medic).

    March up to either city and seige from a defensible tile (forest or forrested hill). You can throw everything you have at it, but it's more likely you won't have enough troops to do this. Instead send your best units to get kills. They'll promote quickly and will be healed up in next to no time. You can pick off one or two defenders per turn.

    At that point Doviello should only have two cities. If you take either one, they will ask for mercy and join you, if you accept.

    I lucked out and went for their capital off the bat - I took it and kept it, and it's a better site. Let them have their smaller city and they can worry about building settlers and expanding.

    From this point on you should be able to tech trade with Doviello whenever they get a new tech. It really shortens the tech tree - perhaps it's even a bit exploitative. I never trailed in score after making the Doviello an ally.

    When you take the Doviello capital you want to start getting culture there ASAP - there is Iron in the 3rd or 4th ring of that city, even further to West in the icy mountain pass.

    I didn't realize what a I strong position I was in at that point in my game - I had already broken the back of the enemy. I probably could have won a lot sooner had I realized, but I was still scouting the map.

    I waited until I had both macemen and mammoth riders - tech trading with Doviello really paid off.

    From that point I just spammed those units, though I ended up needing very few of them in the end.


    Does anyone know how many different Marks of Kylorin there are? I only produced 2 children and both had warmth, so I thought that was the only mark available.
     

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