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FFH2 Challenge II - Valledia the Even of Amurites

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by Ororo, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Greetings heroes and heroines and welcome to the second issue of the FFH2 Challenge!

    The purpose of this series will be to provide a platform, at which any FFH player can improve their gameplay and strategic knowledge of the FFH mechanics.
    Those who are still aspiring to beat the higher difficulties can use this place to learn. On the other hand, those who eat Deity AI for breakfast can teach others how to achieve such results.


    This time we will be playing as Valledia the Even of the Amurites.



    Valledia’s traits are Organized and Arcane.
    Organized means Civics cost us 50% less to upkeep, the Courthouses and Lighthouses get constructed at doubled rate. The Hidden benefit of ORG is that we can build Command posts!
    Arcane gives all our Arcane units Potency promotion and doubles the construction rate of Mage Guilds.

    Amurite starting Technology is Ancient Chants and their civ-specific advantage is that they are the descendants of Kylorin and thus upon visiting the Letum Frigus a Golden Age starts. However, I won’t guarantee that there is indeed a Letum Frigus present on the map.

    The world spell is called Arcane Lacuna. This spell does not require any specific technology but it can only be cast by an Arcane unit. It grants experience to Arcane units based on the number of improved mana nodes and it also blocks AIs from casting spells for a short period of time.
    = A pretty useful spell in my opinion, which you are likely going to use before/while attacking somebody. Don’t forget to improve the mana nodes first.



    The civilization hero is Govannon, an interesting fellow, which apart from having access to Archmage-level spells can also use his “Teach spellcasting” ability that allows him to teach level 1 spells to virtually any units.
    Potentially this means having access to a total of 18 “Archmages” if you are Neutral and run OO – Govannon, Hemah, 4x Archmages, 4x Liches, 4x Speakers, 4x Druids.



    Unique units include Wizard, a Mage replacement that starts with Spellstaff promotion; Chanter, an Assassin replacement that can use the “Escape” ability and Firebow, a Longbowman replacement, which only gets 4 defense strength but compensates that by starting with Fire I and Channelling II promotions.



    Unique building is a Cave of Ancestors, which grants XP to Arcane units based on the number of mana resources the city has access to.
    The Palace provides Metamagic, Fire and Body mana.

    Fortunately, no building or units are blocked for Amurites.

    Starting Location:

    Spoiler :


    Settings:
    Spoiler :


    (in the end I did leave the Events on, because turning them off could break some of the game’s functions - at least that's what the game says)

    You will need Tholal’s More Naval AI modmod version 2.5 (Download here) to access the save.

    The players are encouraged not to take control of Mercurians/Infernals – after all this challenge is supposed to be a Amurites playthrough. Summoning either of them is fine.
    The preferred victory condition for this one is Conquest. However, feel free to ignore this and win whatever victory condition you desire.

    If it's possible, please provide a short report of your game, where you will list the major events, tech path and the grand strategy used.
    You can also divide your playthrough into segments and provide quick report for each segment.
    T100, rushing your neigbour, using your worldspell, summoning Mercurians/Infernals are good examples of "checkpoints".
    If you indeed provide a report, please use spoiler tags to keep the game unspoiled for others.

    The save is attached below.
    Worbuilder save is attached as well. If you decide to use it, make sure you load the mod (ffh2) first!
     
  2. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    CyberForte - T432 Domination Victory Report
    Ororo - T268 Conquest Victory T189 Victory
     
  3. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    So as you can see I have prepared an excellent starting location. Plenty of food (corn + 2 sugars), commerce (dyes and easy access to cottages since we start with Ancient chants, basically we can go Agri -> Calendar -> Edu) and even solid hammers (Patria and some hills nearby). If we settle near Patria our happy cap is going to be 10 from the very start. This will allow us to skyrocket and grab the early techs really fast.

    Why this crazy good start?

    A) I’d like to see more successful subscriptions. I know the last map was hard as you were basically guaranteed getting rushed early on.

    B) I have already implied what the Amurites are capable of when I described Govannon. That’s right, we are going to test how broken the numerous Amurite quasi-archmages are. As I’ve mentioned, you are guaranteed 18 “Archmages” if you get the right techs, remain neutral and run OO. Then there are Sons of Inferno, which can be captured from Acheron. Maybe you can figure out whether it’s possible to gain even more.

    Why the leader pick?

    I picked Valledia because of her Org trait and the ability to build Command posts. Command post + Form of Titan + Apprenticeship + Cave of Ancestors with access to 4 mana resources = insta Mages.
    As you can see, I intended this to be a very Arcane-focused challenge. But well… if you feel like it you can just stomp the world with Firebows :D

    Why Continents as a mapscript pick?

    As I’ve said in the Challenge I thread, I wanted some naval fun. And seeing how aggressive the AI is on Tholal’s MNAI, I’m sure that if you do not launch a naval invasion, the AI WILL pay you a VISIT! :D

    Whatever you do, good luck and have fun!
     
  4. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    This looks really good, and I love that start :thumbsup:
    If we get through all the nations (little early OC ;)), you should collect these as a go to for a quick summary of each Civ.
    Spoiler :
    I think slightly more broken is every foot soldier casting Death/Mind 1...
     
  5. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    T189

    Spoiler :
    I settled the capital 1N of Patria. Early on, I focused on maximising commerce which meant going Agri, Cal and Edu straight away. I got a very early CoL and switched from God King to Aristocracy once I had the infrastructure in place.

    Einon DoW-ed early (I got an event that gave me a diplo hit, which made him cautios) but he only sent a small stack that suicided itself on my hill city.

    Once Mining and AH was in I realised I had no Copper and Horses have just been settled by Einon. He was actually pretty aggresive with his settlers. The lack of strategic resources meant there was only one way to break away from being boxed-in: Firebows.

    So I teched Bowyers. Despite the nice land it still took something like 25 turns...bleh. But they turned out to be extremely effective against anything the AI could field. Soon I reduced both Einon an Garrim to just one city and extorted some techs from them. Once the peace treaty ends I'll just kill them off to relieve my cities of that Motherland unhappiness.

    I'm in a decent position, currently #1 in all of the most important stats including soldiers. During war, I got a message that Os-Gabella has been eliminated and there have been some GGs born in the far away land so I suppose the other continent is pretty messy as well. River of Blood at turn ~25 suggests there are vampires in game.

    I'll just tech sanitation for some nice food boost to farms and then Optics to meet the ohter AIs. Once that is done, I will start teching along the arcane line.

    Screenies:






     
  6. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    T177:
    Report, Part 1:
    [Sorry for no pictures, though you can take that as a sign of how engrossing this game is :)]
    Spoiler :
    I teched agriculture line, and then up mining.
    I did really well with the early scouting, which combined with sending the warriors out told me about the massive backfill, so I resolved to cut that off first.
    My second city was taken by Enion (settled 1NE of the western rice) in the predicatable war, but I took it back pretty quickly and it exchanged hands a few times until I got a few hgih exp warriors, which pushed them back :)
    Second city, settled during the Elohim war, up NE of the northernmost gold.
    Now, what had probably caused the Elohim war was them pink dotting me up at the cotton (which they settled an artist and built an academy in :rolleyes:). During the war they also pushed one up to the far west.
    With GG spawned I had a killer unit and a few I was training, so I moved against them, slamming their pink dot.

    At which point Garrim joined the fun, letting the Elohim pop sanctuary :(


    I took peace, and REXed for a bit, settling the fertile west and cutting off the backfill.

    Oh such beautiful backfill...or at least it was, until Acheron set up shop :cry:
    The 'hoards culture has now enveloped any useful bit of land up there.
    This was the first time I saw the famous AI suicide stacks heading for sanctuary - always worrying when an AI is moving 25+ unit stacks around defenceless cities :lol:

    Anyways, I let REXing get to me, and wasn't ready for ssanctuary to wear off.
    Now Garrim hadn't taken peace, which meant he got the westernmost Elohim city.
    I upgraded a few units to swords (cycling through GG - is that an ok tactic, it seems pretty gamey...), added a few warriors and charged!
    I took the first city, and was healing up for a assault on the capital, when Garrim started acting...fishy.
    As in, 25 units floating around the newly captured city.
    I kept on acting normally, taking the appropriate promotions - I suppose I was just praying I'd guessed wrong. Then, just a turn after the city came out of resistance he moved in.

    Thank the lord I had two GG/C4-5/S1-2 swords.
    He slammed maybe 6 units into them, sniped a few sentry warriors, but the units survived.
    I started healing up, took a few promos, and basically hoped he'd either stand there watching me pick them off, or slam them in again.

    No chance - he left maybe 15 on the only road connecting the city to Amurite Major, and then moved his units out.
    Now one problem with early war is that on higher difficulties the AI get free promos, which is probably the hardest thing about IMM/DEITY.
    If this had been IMM, Amurite Major would've perished.
    As is, I pulled his stacks around with a few workers, and continued turtling with warriors.
    Another suicidal attack practically finished off his eastern stack, but the 3-4 warriors in my territory started movvine west FAST.
    NO he didn't have HBR, I'd just forgotten about the hill bonus.
    I lost maybe 3 workers that way :(

    Near the end, he threatened my far west city with a warrior, which I stupidly slammed the garrisoning warrior into...and looked at the empty city with horror.
    Couldn't get a 1t warrior, so I set up to workers and hoped for the best...and got lucky :)
    He went for them and died two turns later, and like that the Luchuirp invasion was over.

    Sometime in there I founded OO (mostly for the culture, though also focusing on the goals), and researched Stapling for Saverous, to begin the counter attack...

    [I wish I could say that that was planned as an end, but just ran out of time tonight :lol:]
     
  7. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    @Q

    Spoiler :
    Wow, I love the fact that we chose very different tech paths. Good luck with the counterattack! :)
    I totally agree with you on the subject of those early promotions... the AI would be much easier to handle w/o them.
     
  8. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    Still catching up to T177, Part 2:
    Spoiler :
    Yeah, I decided to avoid bowyers in the spirit of the game ;)

    One interesting thing I forgot to mention is that we have runaway AIs on the other continent(s).
    I've seen 4-5 deaths, and I know that the Sidar/Calabim are out there, which should make for an interesting second half :)

    Anyway, I moved up my GG on the Luchuirp (post-Elohim) city, supported by a newly bubilt Saverous and some warriorpults.
    They moved in Barnaxus, who I managed to whack with a fresh Saverous for a quick Drill4 (yeah I know drill sucketh, but I wanted some change).

    After that I saw my first archer :(
    You know how I always say archers are useless...well normally melee units have copper.

    I got one more city, took another for peace (which is on the far side and culture crushed but who cares), and rested.
    Meanwhile the former Elohim pink-dot was massively culture-crushed, so I decided to attack again - I mean, we've been at peace for forever, so surely no archers right?

    Of course, I'd forgotten that the Elohim-Luchuirp war had continued unabated.
    I'm facing ~10 archers in massive cultural defences + walls + palliside + hill :(
    I'm still pillaging for the fun of it, but 50% odds with Saverous (and 18% odds with my 80+ exp swordsmen) don't appeal.

    I think I'll get Trade and see if I can extort some techs.
     
  9. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    What is the difference between the two saves? The regular save and the WB save?
     
  10. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    You can run the WB save as a "Custom Scenario" and check/uncheck all the options you want to play with.
     
  11. CyberForte

    CyberForte Chieftain

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    Definitely better luck playing this one. =P I don't quite have the energy to do the in-depth writeup I did last time, but I have some screenshots.

    Spoiler :



    Settled there to take advantage of the ruins for hammers. Headed for mysticism rather quickly, for God King and some specialists. I had peculiar luck there, though--I rather wanted my first to be a sage for an academy, but despite that I only added a priest a few turns before, I got a prophet. He ended up bulbing Philosophy, though I decided I didn't have the hammers to go for the palace.

    Second was also a prophet, who I decided to use for a golden age to do some civic switching, since by then I'd gone fairly fair into the agricultural tree, and was quite close to Code of Laws. Expanded better than I usually do here, taking Hunting as my first military tech because I didn't really plan to get into any wars. Captured an elephant and had horses, so since I wanted trade anyway, I ended up going for horseback relatively quickly and trained up my resulting War Elephant nicely by killing barbarian cities up north.







    By this point, I finally felt comfortable enough with my other tech progress to focus on what really interested me, which was, of course, sorcery. I had also agreed, at the Elohim's request, to war against the dwarves, mostly because it was a war I could get away with fighting without ever actually fighting for a long time, given that the only dwarves near enough to threaten me were walled up in their city, kept there by Elohim forces.

    By this point, I had also gotten my religion of choice--Empyrean, which I felt fit the Amurites thematically, offered research bonuses, and would eventually lead to a desired Archmage hero. Between my war elephant, a few horsemen, and my first fireballing Wizard, the dwarves' first city fell, and we pressed onward. Soon after, the Octopus holy city--founded by the Elohim in a captured dwarven city which was then recaptured by the dwarves--fell similarly.



    Though my personal hatred for the religion said that I should raze it, I didn't want to make an enemy of the Elohim by razing their holy city, so I kept it and pressed onward toward the dwarven capital. Here, alas, the war elephant succumbed, but more mages soon joined the siege, fireballing remorselessly. The dwarven slingers were falling to attrition, but not quite quickly enough. Chalid would prove to be the dwarves' final undoing, however.





    Soon after, I decided that I wanted to complete my control of the continent. A single blitzing campaign took the Elohim completely by surprise, securing me numerous cities--and mana nodes--as well as their willingness to capitulate, which I gladly accepted. They had, after all, been my allies for quite some time, and more importantly, it allowed me to demand their palace manas in tribute.



    After this, while building caravels, I worked toward Strength of Will, while a Tower of the Elements rose in Cervades. Being slightly bored by now, I didn't quite have the mental energy to have as much fun as I might've, but because I had a Scorched Staff and that elemental tower, I decided to convert all my nodes to fire to fuel affinities. I also became somewhat lazy on screenshotting after this point.

    Once I had achieved contact with the other continent, I determined all the civilizations there remained. The Sidar had split but allied under Koun and they along with Decius had formed the FoL block, while the Sheaim and Infernals formed their main enemy, though they were also opposed to the other dwarves. Looking for a foothold upon the continent--by now, I had my archmagi and was working on Pass Through the Ether--I gladly accepted the enticement to a war against the dwarves, sending Chalid and my four archmagi across the sea in caravels. Though it was a somewhat daring move, fireballs provided excellent defense, and the crossing was made seamlessly.

    The dwarves quickly fell, in the face of this army. Soon after, Decius offered his vassalship willingly, which brought war with the Sheaim and Infernal. Though the latter's fire resistance proved troubling, they still fell rather quickly in the face of my fire elementals. Sadly, I didn't manage to get the Gela as I had hoped I would. Nonetheless, war against the Sheaim soon progressed nicely, and after taking several cities, I made them capitulate and give me most of the rest.

    At this point, I decided to try my power against Archeron, and won handily--though I was disappointed that none of the archmagi there captured rather than killed. The Sidar rather rudely stole the city from me before I could finish it off, which irritated me, and so I began to plan my final war.

    Yet, before I could act, they summoned the Mercutians who foolishly declared war because of my Sheaim vassal. I lost two of my archmagi in the following attack because I was unprepared, but upgraded wizards from the homeland quickly replaced them, and I decided to finish quickly. Owing to the annoying size of their stacks, I settled for peace, claiming most of their cities to win domination instead of conquest.

    I do regret not having played around more, but at the same time... I couldn't quite get into it enough to truly get all the possible combinations, or even close to, really, but my archmages were still effectively my only fighting force for most of the latter half of the game, so I hope I haven't strayed -too- far from the intended spirit of the game?

     
  12. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    T268 Conquest (HA! I managed to win the preferred VC this time!)

    Spoiler :
    Wow.. took me far longer than it should have to finish this game. But you know how it goes: You capture the whole continent for yourself, meaning you get zillion cities and each one needs to be micro-ed properly to achieve a competitive finish. The buildup phase after Einon and Garrim were dealt with was extremely dull but it helped me to research important techs (Arcane Line, Iron Working, Astro, Feudalism) pretty quickly.

    I am probably going to disappoint you by the fact that the only 2 archmages I had by the end of the game were Govannon and Hemah. I was aware of the fact that I can achieve a pretty early finish and did not want to needlessly perform "cherry-tapping" by trying to get those 18 archmages and finishing on T300+. Instead I relied on the good old Firebows accompanied by a handful of Mages and Cultists, all of which had access to fireballs. Tsunami has proven to be a pretty devastating spell as well.

    Though it's kind of hard to determine whether Tsunami is actually better than Tiger spam. I think it depends on the kind of opponents you are facing. Vs Tier 1 units and to some extent archers Tigers will probably win out because the sheer number of units can still overwhelm the defenders. Vs stronger units Tsunami seems like a better option. Ofc this only applies to non-pangea type maps where being close to a warer tile is actually a pretty common thing.

    Anyways, I chose to attack Decius as my first target since he was closest to my naval unit pumps. Sandalphon went next. Minister Koun/Arturus fell shortly afterwards. All 3 wars were pretty much blitzkriegs. I don't think any of them took longer than 4-5 turns. With haste+mobility you can just conquer 1 city/turn. Not much else to say except that I'm glad that this tedious micro-intensive map is over :D But then again... which water map isn't micro intensive?

    So yeah... as far as UBER-archmages go I have failed miserably :D But once again I got a pretty decent score thanks to an early finish :devil:

    Screenies:








     
  13. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Is anybody else still playing the map? Come on guys, dont be afraid to post a report :) I know I made it bit a easier for myself by not staying 100% committed to the whole Arcane line thingy but I don't think it's that hard of a map even if you do.
     
  14. Qgqqqqq

    Qgqqqqq Emperor

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    I am, just had no free time.
     
  15. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Ok, looking forward to your report :)

    On a side note, I had some free time in the morning so I decided to play another FFH game. I chose Khazad thinking I'll just blaze through first 100 turns. Well... nope. This playthrough taught me that Khazad under ideal circumstances are the single most powerful civilization for early rushes.

    I was playing as Kandros so I had Agg/Fin/Ing traits at my disposal. Fin was great since my start had double gold and double wine, which meant getting the early techs was easy. Mining revealed Copper just outside my capital so I grabbed it with the second city. Meanwhile I was stealing workers from Jonas Endain to make sure he won't rush me. A scout stole a worker from Os-Gabella as well. Having access to Copper and enjoying a pretty good tech rate I decided to go for Bronze working to get some use of my Agg and Ing trait. Basically, an Axe costs 25 :hammers: + 38 :gold:, which in my opinion is pretty cheap for a 5 strength unit with C1. With Education you even get Shock promotion out of the gate.

    Needless to say, it wasn't much of a problem to wipe the entire map with them.
    I have managed to get a T130 conquest, which is probably my earliest FFH2 victory, not counting weird settings and stupid religious victories.

    Screens:

    Spoiler :




    So who wants to play Khazad for the next Challenge? :)
     
  16. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    I'm still playing. Not sure if I can beat your T268 conquest mark.
     
  17. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Doesn't matter, don't be discouraged. Anyone who will finish this challenge earns a spot in post #2 ;)
     
  18. akatosh

    akatosh Prince

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    So, definitely won't beat your T268 time:

    Spoiler :


    I learned a lot about Amurites in this game, since I hadn't played into the very late game with them before. My conclusion is that cave of the ancestors is unneeded since the Amurites have 2 better ways to get a lot of arcane magic. The best strategy for Amurites (if you want to save your personal time, not turns) is to rush Bowyers, try to get 6 xp (command post, Titan, apprenticeship) and pump out Firebows with mobility 1 and fire 2. Then tech arcane lore, build Govannon, and use him to teach spells to priests. Use the priests to add extra buffs and collateral to your firebow stacks.

    Mages are a waste of time, especially in terms of your personal time. Microing them and microing mana nodes makes your turns last forever, and it takes like 30 minutes to play 10 turns. Totally not worth it in single player.

    Things I would rather do than micro mana nodes: eat, sleep, have sex, meet friends, spend time with family, drink alcohol, drink water, read the news, do work, study, work out, do yoga, meditate, pray, play a different game of FFH, read the FFH manual, go shopping, browse the Internet, clean my house.

    That said, microing mana nodes isn't the worst thing in the world. There are some things worse than microing mana nodes, namely: being tortured, being robbed, dying, being accused of a crime I didn't commit, finding out I have cancer, drinking my own piss, playing base Civ4 without FFH.


    Some notes:
    - Wiped out Luchuirp and Elohim using just non-copper warriors by turn 168. Great Generals, march and shock 2 > all.
    - Wasted a lot of time on my continent picking up religions, building cities, spreading religions, etc.
    - Attacked Khazad (who had wiped out their rivals) on Turn 300. Got bored and quit--had a huge advantage in tech and army. Khazad had 15-20 cities, so it would have taken 2-3 hours of annoying micro to clean it all up.
    - Estimate that I could win around 380 or 400 if I push through, but it would be a tedious slog.

    In hindsight I should have just skipped picking up all the religions and trying to build the shrines for extra mana. Should have just rushed optics and bowyers and started stomping the other continent.
     
  19. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Lol! And right now: watch Tour de France and pray that Sagan finally wins a stage :)

     
  20. Ororo

    Ororo King

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    Expect the challenge #3 sometime this evening :)

    I think after 1 Good leader and 1 Neutral it's time for one of the bad guys :devil:
     

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