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If this isnt overpowered, i dont know what is

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by naf4ever, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. naf4ever

    naf4ever Dread Lord

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    The game is large map, emperor and im the Sheaim (arcane, summoner)

    Yup thats 46 nightmares about to jack that city. You can see on the left the poor souls guarding the town that are about to get decimated. I dont even bother with catapults or wearing down the city defenses, nothing can stand against this stack. I have tower of necomancy so all my nightmares are 5 strength.

    The main problem here is not conjurors, nightmares or the summoner trait. Its the Ashen Vale Ritualist whom you can mass produce and that basically start with death II which allows them to summon nightmares. It should be noted i have about 10 more Ritualists on the way to join this group which when added to the already 14 there plus the 2 conjueres equal 26 nightmare summons. Add the fact that they can last 3 turns and im able to summon 78 nightmares for an initial assault on a city. Even if someone has a ring of warding 40+ nightmares will still get through. Lets look at these two units:

    Conjurors: Left on their own conjurors combined with the summoner trait are powerful but balanced since you cant exactly pump them out. You first have to create an adept then age it 10 to 20 turns before its level 4, then pay 125 gold a pop to turn into a conjuror. Not too mention they then have a power of 3 so are very easy to take down if caught off guard. I use to cringe every time i lost a conjuror because of the work and time involved in getting an adept up that high.

    Ritualist: With the apprenticeship or theocracy civic you can create Ritualists that can summon nightmares the first turn they are built. Once i realized this i stopped aiming for conjurors since its so much easier to go this route. You can mass produce them with no limit in sight and dont need to go through the lengthy process that conjurors take to make. In addition these units have medic ability and a 5 strength. They benefit from the "Arcane" trait in gaining xps and most of mine are level 4+ with combat II which means they really have a 7 strength. Hence they arent exactly pushovers.

    You can see the problem. The summoner trait combined with conjurors is extemely powerful but balanced due to the costly and time consuming process it takes to make these units. I realize Ritualists are Ashen Vale only but they make the game extremely unbalanced by being able to mass produce a unit that can get the Death II promotion. Im blatantly biased toward both the Veil and the summoner trait but even i know when its too much.

    Suggestion: Remove the Death II promotion for Ritualists and replace it with Entropy II (summon Imp). Imps aren't nearly as powerful as strength 5 nightmares i know,,, but thats the point.
     
  2. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Deity

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    They already have summon imp, haven't you noticed?
    Maybe raise the cost of ritualists?
     
  3. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Its a double win.

    By that I mean that you have already won this war. You have out produced your opponent by such a wide margin that you can now decimate them. In your example you are taking 28 t3 units and 2 t4 units against a city defended by 2 t3 units and a handful of t2 units.

    I don't block doublewins, in fact I encourage them because they resolve already won wars of attrition (I dont like having a war where the outcome is already decided but you just have to do the work of going through it). Summoning is a huge double win mechanic. Especially with the Pit Beast and Hosts of the Einherjar units.

    So, in my mind, the problem isnt that you can ravage the world with your units. But how did you get such a large army compared to your opponents in the first place?
     
  4. naf4ever

    naf4ever Dread Lord

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    Ravaging the world implies risk on my end. Risk that i lose some of the units i go around attacking with and then have to take time producing new ones. In this scenario i lose nothing.

    This is a relatively weak ciy of thiers. Ive seen ones the AI has guarded much better. But the main problem is you are right even without the nightmares i could probably take this city. But then it means risking losing real units. Assume i didnt have Mardero there. It would lose 3 or 4 rituatlits trying to kill the fortified cross bowman they have, maybe more. At least 2 might die to kill the mercenary. 1 to 2 more each would be sacraficed to kill each of the archers for a total of lets say 4 more lost. Then i might lose 1 more trying to kill the other guys. So i would lose about 6 to 10 ritualists if I was forced to attack normally. At 120 hammers each thats upwards of 1200 production lost. And if that happened i would then have to wait and build back 1200 production worth of units to get my army back up to full strength to attack again. Thats normal. But losing nothing and having no risk at all when attacking a cty isnt.

    Yet with nightmares I lose nothing. The problem isnt that i can outproduce my opponents. Trust me i cant, im only in third place here and the number one guy has an insane amount of units. Its that fact that i can summon 16 nightmares a turn that can then wipe out just as many of his normal units. And in the end he loses all the time it took for him to make those normal units while I lose nothing. I can now take any city on the map without losing a single unit.

    Lastly, what use are conjurors anymore in this scenario?
     
  5. naf4ever

    naf4ever Dread Lord

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    Lol, I just saw that. Since Ritualists have nightmares i never even use the imps..
     
  6. Silverkiss

    Silverkiss NekoChan

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    The rest of the Ashen Veil religion is so bad that I dont mind their priests being "overpowered"...
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Although your numbers are so great you could take the cities with ritualists consider if you have 30 upgraded macemen instead. It would be just as overwhelming. Or consider your 30 ritualist attack against 30 upgraded defending crossbowmen.

    In short I think this situation is ideal for your config, you have the best summoning religion, with the best summoning civ, and you appear to be a tier ahead of your opponent with a considerably more advanced army. And remember that this is the summoning trait at its best. It is the only trait that is completly useless in the early game, it only effects a few units, but for those units it is awesome.
     
  8. Bad Player

    Bad Player Deity

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    Yeah when people start using the AV religion then we could consider if units are overpowered!

    Maybe conjurers are not much use there because they are old units and need to be upgraded.
     
  9. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    I remember a MP game where I was overwhelmed by an enemy of Sheaim with 8 conjurers. I believe he said he could *in principle* summon the nightmares 8 tiles from my cities always keeping his conjurers safe. I think he did it by having movement 2 promotions on the conjurers and his nightmares had movement 4 I believe. Probably haste involved aswell.
     
  10. naf4ever

    naf4ever Dread Lord

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    Yes I agree my situation is ideal, but by playing the Sheaim, AV is what I was aiming for. And I didnt have iron so couldnt make macemen in this game which is why i started making so many ritualists in the first place.

    Summonig trait is fine but I still think ritualists are overpowered though since they allow you to bypass the traditional challenging route of bringing up a conjuror. From the posts it seems im one of the few that play AV so i guess most people dont see this as a problem, unless they ever play against someone using this tactic. Nonetheless I at least wanted to bring this up as something to monitor as i feel it could lead to abuse and balance issues in the future.

    Though, it woud be nice if conjurors still had a use for people in AV. I enjoy providing feedback to help make this mod better and I hate to see units inadvertently obsoleted when i dont think that was the intended goal of the ritualist.
     
  11. Bad Player

    Bad Player Deity

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    Ritualists only have access to Death mana don't they? Whereas conjurers can use other mana types.
     
  12. Good Sauce

    Good Sauce (TM)

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    Sooo... You pursued the optimal strategy with your civ, got a overwhelming army and crushed your oppostion... and this is a problem?.

    =)

    Though I do see it might be a balance issue, but I don't think it's major. AV is generally not worth the effort and if your opponent has tech parity with you he would have answers such as marksmen. It is something to be watched i guess, but i dont think it needs to be addresed any time soon
     
  13. Halancar

    Halancar Warlord

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    Death, Entropy and Fire IIRC. And Entropy III (High priests and inquisitors) will bring him the Banish and Summon Balor spells...

    On the other hand, if he had used Fellowship of Leaves, he would be mass producing tigers instead. Not as good, but probably enough to do the job. Or he could use Ring of Fire with either The Order or the Veil.

    Now, what his opponent really need is a mage with Destroy Undead :)
     
  14. Keldan

    Keldan Et voilà

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    If you want to see really powerful casters, try the Calabim : arcane and divine units reach the level 6 by the standard way (let them maturing), and then they become vampire and if you got cities dedicated to feeding vampires, you will have mages with 1000XP and all promotions and all spells, giving powerful summoned units (Combat V, +2 move, etc.)...
    Terrific if you're running after the tower of mastery victory and having a lot of mana types, giving you a large choice of summons.
     
  15. Gamestation

    Gamestation Introducing Servo

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    Powerful the ritualist + summoner combo may be but I can think of a counter to that, Luchuirp with combat 5 Barnaxus and a very strong industrial base. Strength 18 golems saved my life when I neglected to mass produce golems in one game.

    Maybe CG III longbows with Drill IV would have stopped that force. I remember being really bummed out that Acheron the Red Dragon would not get hurt by trebuchets because of that 1 first strike. Same might happen if it were a little easier to get those 7 promotions together.

    Needless to though, that is still one helluva combo there that you used.
     
  16. Unser Giftzwerg

    Unser Giftzwerg UgLe Game Promoter

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    WFIW naf4ever, my opinions tend to line up with yours. Priests are IMO created with a great deal of utility. Add a base STR of 5 on top of that, and you have a unit that is extremely capable right from the moment of creation. Plus priests are part and parcel of having a religion. The tech path to creating a religion is much easier than the tech path for magic: adepts+nodes+tier 2 upgrade techs. Not to mention the training time+upgrade money. So there is a lot of efficincy to building priests.

    Efficinecy is a big thing in Civ, because most everything in the game is funglible with everything else. You can turn food and commerce and hammers into gold or beakers or culture or units or even cities. When it comes to war, each civilization uses its resources to try to subtract resources from the other civ(s). Usually this involves a clash of armies with units destroyed on both sides. Thus in a traditional war both sides suffer a net reduction in their total assets.

    That's where summoned units shift the equasion. No amount of dead summoned units detracts from your national asset base. Any garrison can be attritted down by spells+summoned units. Only then are actual units risked in battle. By then the fights are usually 90% or more in your favor.

    Yes, you might lose a unit or two on the tougher cities. But when that city falls that civ's back is usually broken. I adopt Admiral Nelson's credo, 'to hell with tactics; head straight for them'. I usually head straight for the AI's largest garrison and/or the capitol. I'll gladly exchange a few units, even elite units, to crush the enemy's main force in the opening assault. But it's more common to take no casualties at all in what shuold be a Minas Tirith-type epic battle. That just ain't right, is it? Anyway, once the main force is crushed there's nothing left to stop the breakthrough except war weariness.

    The problem is not that this can happen in 'doublewin' situations. The problem exists because it is possible to pull this off even as an underdog. I am playing my first Hippus game now. I shattered the Clan's border garrison of some 25 units or so, taking zero casualties. Then we just rolled cross-continent until Braduk the Burning was ours. My main punch was delivered by 5-6 each Priests, fireball Mages, and some badass Macemen trained up in earlier wars. My mounted units were numerous, but green. But more than sufficient to wipe out the stragglers. The problem was, I had been behind Clan by 300-500 points most of the game. Clan is about 12-15 inventions ahead of me on the tech tree. But I broke his back while losing about 4-5 units in the entire war. (Damn war weariness stopped me.)

    Things are magnified if you go for more than one religion. Right now that is very easy to do because the religions are fairly close together on the tech tree. In fact, I played a game where for fun I invented all five religions. I built some Adepts for the Spring spell, but I didn't put any more research into magic at all (picked some others up via trade/forced tributes) I didn't even bother building heroes until the very end, as I was mass-producing units just as good. Consider:

    Rune priests hand out Spiritual Hammers

    OO priests mutate other priests to STR 6-7 + other goodies. (Weak mutants are used to spread religion/build temples or cast support spells.)

    AV priests cast imps in peacetime and the imps in turn will buff your army with the Adept buff spells: Loyalty, Encchant Weapon, that Spirit one.

    Thus my whole army would get buffed up. Offensive war was carried out on the backs of my priests: Rune/Order priests would RoF the defenders, Leaves Tigers and AV Nightmares would whittle down the best defending units, and STR 7 (5* Commando Heal on Move) priests of all religions would assult the walls wiping out the weakened garrison. These offenses simply do not slow down Permanent units are not lost, unitls heal on the move and all have their own medic 2 promotions. It was quite cool. :)

    But to be fair that situation was definitely a Kael "doublewin" scenario. :lol:
     
  17. Endovior

    Endovior Prince

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    Indeed... it's quite possible to come back from last place with proper tactics and a bit of luck.

    In my current game (Also as Hippus, coincidentally), I was in last place. I bordered Kandros Fir (my friend, as I adopted Kilmorph after losing the religion race), and Hyborem (the only civ I didn't have OB with, and this my 'worst enemy'... also, the civ in first place). Hyborem declared war on me, taking out my 4th city (the one bordering nothing; my key expansion point). I then was facing ungodly swarms of... well, Imps mostly, with Combat 3-4 each, against my Archers. I was barely able to hold him back for a while with my Raiders... and so it continued, with vast swarms of units, outnumbering my by about 5-to-1, being whittled down by hit-and-run tactics. Several times, he broke through, and raped my lands, pillaging practically everything, but he always ran out of troops just before he took a city. Then, I finished researching Trade.

    I quickly contacted everyone, and engaged in tech trading, until I had essentially every new tech. I then built a Siege Workshop in my capital and started pumping out Hippus Chariots. Suddenly, the situation was reversed... I had Str6 Chariots vs his Str3 Imps. He added Hellhounds to his forces during this time, but they were also Str3, so I started pushing him back. Then, I recruited Bambur, and went on the offensive.

    He convinced Valledia the Even to join him at this point, but beyond a close duel between Bambur and Saverus, she wasn't much help to him, and after I crushed her initial strike, I got peace and a heap of gold.

    I then took Hyborem, city by city. It took me a good long while, but I conquered every one of his cities, ignoring his peace offers. Once I finished with Hyborem, I proceeded to build my new cities up, and in the process, I ascended to first place.

    Still playing that game... and things are definitely looking up.
     
  18. Unser Giftzwerg

    Unser Giftzwerg UgLe Game Promoter

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    Cool, that sounds likea fun game. My Hippus game is also ongoing. I set it asie for awhile after making peace. Now to re-group and finish crushing the Clan when the treaty expires. :D
     
  19. naf4ever

    naf4ever Dread Lord

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    Ya this is a good summation of the issue I was trying to make. But it would appear most people posting dont see this as a big problem most likely because the AI doesnt utilize this strategy as well as a player would and hence theyve never been on the receiving end of it. Oh well. If the majority of players dont see this as an exploit then i will continue to use these tactics unimpeded by guilt :) My gain i guess!
     
  20. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

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    I've faced this in multiplayer and there wasnt much I could do... (was newbie to MP, and sorta newbie to FfH, kinda still am)

    He only had 8 nightmares, but it was 8 new ones every turn, 8 expendable troops...
     

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