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Just started playing FFH2 - initial thoughts and questions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Zahar, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Zahar

    Zahar Chieftain

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    This forum doesn't seem very active anymore but regardless I'm going to share some initial impressions of the mod.

    Obviously I've been a huge Civ 4 fan for years, and a few days ago I decided to try out this mod I've heard about a lot.

    I knew it was going to be a bit different, but I was kinda shocked. First of all, I love the way the map looks. I know it's just retexturing but seriously, great job there.

    My first game was with the Khazad. There was a dragon statue called "Guardian of Pristin Pass" right outside my capital, I had no idea what it was about. Then I walked a Warrior scout by it and a few 8 attack Gargoyles spawned, killing my Warrior. I then had a problem settling anywhere as these Gargoyles were patrolling my borders. Seriously, 8 attack, wtf? Between this and getting my city sacked within about 8 turns (before I could train a Warrior) as the Ljosalfar I learned that barbarians were no joke.

    Alright, so my main issue with the game: every civilization feels the same. I know this will be an unpopular opinion because I hear people talk about how great this mod is because changing civilizations is like playing a new game. And I'll be honest, I haven't tried even half of the civilizations so I haven't really delved deep into the more unique ones.

    I've played mostly with the dwarf civs because they seem pretty straightforward. But I'm not really sure what the Khazad are really about. They are supposed to be an aggressive civ, but they have the same Warrior -> Axeman -> Champion upgrade path that every other civ has. I'm not sure what exactly makes them stand out besides the Aggressive trait.

    Compare this to the Luchuirp who get very unique units, the golems. The golems are just way better than what the Khazad have access to, and that's not even including Barnaxus. I'm probably missing something but if anything, the Luchuirp should be the aggressive attacking civ. The Khazad get the vault bonus, but honestly this feels more like a penalty in the early game since you can't research as much early tech without getting penalties while expanding. In my most recent game, this caused me to lose out on founding Runes by a few turns. Honestly the Khazad just feel like a watered down Luchuirp. Again, I'm probably missing something.

    I got the Hippus when I chose a random civ, and they have sort of the same thing going for them. They're supposed to be the warmongering horselord civilization, but they get the same exact horse units that everyone else gets. What makes them special?

    To be honest, the vanilla Civ4 civs felt a bit more unique because you often got early unique units and buildings which influenced how you played the game. In FFH4 I feel like I'm playing with more or less the same civ every game, because all of the units, buildings, and tech are the same.

    A lot of civs in FFH2 are supposed to be played aggressively. The problem is that the map makes conquest really difficult. At the default settings, civilizations start really far apart or are blocked off entirely by mountains. In my most recent Khazad game I couldn't really justify rushing another civ since it was dozens of tiles away. Not only does that make conquest difficult, but I also feared crushing maintenance costs. To make things worse, resources seem really rare so expanding towards another civ can feel awkward. I just never felt the incentive to start war instead of just expanding around my capital with settlers. Maybe I should increase the number of AI civs beyond the default? In my Hippus game I physically couldn't attack anyone, since a dragon city spawned in the valley north of me, and every time I put a unit in its borders it died to an invisible enemy unit.

    There's still a lot of civs and mechanics I haven't had a chance to experience yet, so maybe that will change how I see things. I'm sure I sound like an idiot, but this is just my initial impression of the mod.

    Edit: Oh, and the mod disables the combat log for some reason. That's annoying.
     
  2. Bill Bisco

    Bill Bisco Callous Calling

    Joined:
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    You're not an idiot. Guardians of Pristine pass is an annoying unique location that can ruin games. Also annoying and game ruining can be if a lizardman hut is inside or nearby your borders. Erebus map suits the single mode players that want to spend tens of turns doing their own thing and not necessarily being optimal. Personally, I find it unappeasing and tend to play on pangea like maps. That being said if you can get a hunter with tbe subdue animals promotion amd manahe to capture a griffon, it can be fun since they can go over mountains.

    Hippus are great becausw their mounted units get +1 movement and +10% retreat. On top of that they start with horses. This is huge because they are not map dependent for making a tier 2 unit. Imagine if in Civ4, one Civ started out with copper from their capital. It would be a huge boon.
     
  3. Zahar

    Zahar Chieftain

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    Maybe I'll stop using the Erebus map. A lot of times I really like it, but sometimes it's really awful. A problem I was having with Pangaea was that it seemed like the map wasn't as optimized for each civ. For example I started with Khazad and there were very few hills around my starting location. Erebus always seems to put you next to a ton of hills or whatever your civ "needs," so I just figured for optimal gameplay you should play on the Erebus map.

    Another example of the map gen failing... this morning I started a game as the Kuriotates. I started in a desert with a massive amount of flood plains. I placed my capital in range of 16 (!!!) flood plains which I thought would be an amazing start.

    And it was. My tech rate is so insane I can't even spend all of my gold on research every turn, which I didn't even know was possible. I'm getting +6 gold per turn at 100% research.

    The problem is I'm still stuck on one city at turn 200. I had to get up to Centaur Archers to explore around me since the desert was spawning a ton of Hill Giants. When I explored I realized I was completely boxed in by mountains and there isn't another good spot to place a city, it's all barren desert. I think I would have to waste one of my "super cities" just to settle on the coast so I could sail to better land.

    By the way, this is another example of weird unique unit distribution. The Kuriotates don't seem like much of a warring civ. It feels like you're intended to win through massive research or culture, which they're really good at. However it seems like the Centaur Archer is just way superior to other civs' early mounted units, even the Hippus. +1 movement is cool, but I'd take the Centaur Archer over the Horseman any day. Not to mention how good Herne looks.
     
  4. Bill Bisco

    Bill Bisco Callous Calling

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    Well yeah it's nice to get certain features for certain civs. But to be honest thr majority of civs want pure river flood plains with forested plains hills. Malakim starts out with Flood Plains in Erebus map which gives them a huge advantage because he other ones don't.

    Kurios can build an airship so they never need to be built by the sea strictly.

    Optimal game play is owning the barbs to gain enough xp so thaf you can steal or raze ai cities with super units.

    Yes kurios are awesome. It took people awhile to figure out that huge happiness bonuses and a large cross trump city limitations. Kurios tech faster and make military faster than every other civ.

    Yes Centaurs are awesome, not having to build stables and have horses is very useful. Still the lack of starting as aggressive prevents them from being the very best militarily.

    Herne is nice, but truthfully the game should be just a mop up by the time you have warhorses tech.
     
  5. A Moon

    A Moon The "A" is silent

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    I think the Kuriotates have such good mounted units because they can only create 3 units per turn, no matter how much production they have, without using other methods.
     
  6. Bill Bisco

    Bill Bisco Callous Calling

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    Thr kurios still have to make training yards and mage guilds and hunter's lodges and temples and archery ranges.
     
  7. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    I think downloading the FFH2 manual will help you a lot (e.g. it has info on what each unique terrain feature does). It explains how each civ works differently - things they can build that noone else can and can't build, as well as different strategies for playing them.

    From the Manual (more on their units and spells in the manual):
    Khazad
     
  8. Zahar

    Zahar Chieftain

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    Had an interesting game recently where I raided a dungeon just outside my capital within the first few turns and spawned some badass enemy called "Carwenus the Bladecruel" and 4 spiders.

    I lost my warrior, didn't think much of it besides bad luck.

    And then on turn 16, the Calabim civilization was destroyed.
    Turn 26, the Sidari civilization was destroyed.
    Turn 29, another civilization I didn't recognize was destroyed.

    Restarted the game at this point.
     
  9. Cogitatio

    Cogitatio Chieftain

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    Really the biggest thing with the Khazad is getting loads of money. With the Khazad, you've got a UB in each city called the Dwarven Vault, which gives bonuses (or penalties) to the city depending on the amount of gold you've got. This is calculated by the amount of gold you've got total divided by the number of cities. This'll give you the amt of gold/city, which is what determines the magnitude of the bonus from the Vault.

    IIRC, if you have over 450 :commerce:/city, then you get a 40% :hammers: bonus and +3 :). That's pretty huge, especially late game. While it does mean you have to watch out early in the game (lest you get a :mad: penalty) it pays dividends when you need to make a bunch of units, or a wonder.

    I've found the best way to get that gold is to found the Runes of Kilmorph religion, which gives +1 :commerce: per city normally and +1 :commerce: with the shrine (which also happens to give Earth Mana). I usually go with this religion for most civs, except for those which are tailored to a specific religion (like Bannor with Order, or Sheaim with Ashen Veil).
     
  10. Bill Bisco

    Bill Bisco Callous Calling

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    I wish you'd stop restarting and just play. Also, you've discovered why lairs and dungeons are broken, for my own story see here
     
  11. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    Use More Naval AI to hopefully stop those dungeons wiping out AI that don't defend their cities well. But I enjoy the occasional randomness of a civ's death like that (just not all the time!).
     
  12. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Chieftain

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    I'm pretty sure you get better dungeon rolls if you explore it with higher-leveled units. I always wait until I get a level 4-6 unit and I seem to get pretty favorable results, free disciples, golden ages, great people. I only get the unique monsters when I explore it with the low level guys.

    If you have Water Mana you can promote adepts (unlocked with Mage Guilds and Knowledge of the Ether) to use the Spring spell which converts Desert to Plains. Kurios starts with Water Mana from their Palace. You can also get Water Mana by researching Elementalism and using Adepts to convert a raw mana node, or from building the Shrine for the Octopus Overlords religion.

    Later on, Archmages with Nature III can cast "Vitalize" to convert terrain types to grassland and there's a Ritual late in the Nature tech tree called "Genesis" which casts Vitalize throughout your empire.

    Priests of Fellowship of Leaves can also cast Bloom which plants a forest in the tile. Particularly useful if you're Elves who can build terrain improvements right on top of forests for extra hammers. Additionally, regular forests convert to Ancient forests if you follow Fellowship of Leaves for extra bonuses.

    Illians also treat Ice terrain as Grassland and have the ability to convert all terrain to Ice. FFH gives you a lot of terraforming options.
     
  13. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Hippus have the Horselord civilization trait, that gives their horses extra movement and withdrawal chance (EDIT: Bill already pointed this out).

    Yeah, AI mods like More Naval AI (recommended) are a must for an ejoyable experience (see also my FFH stories, made by using my own modmod which modifies the AI somewhat).

    Erebus map is really... specific. I like ErebusContinent map that can be found somewhere in these forums. I also like using BTS Highlands script for playing FFH.
     
  14. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    well you can think that... if you really want.
    however, contrarily to what you think, each civ has at least 1 unit that is unique... as unique as UU in vanilla civ.
    the main difference is that as most civ have unique art, (and thus many units are cited as UU) you don't necessarily see the true UU which have more differences than art.

    often they have also UB.

    the UU and UB generally change the shape of your research.

    On top of that they have heros ! (World-Unique-units) which also should change much your strategy : to gain them / when you have them.

    and on top of that they often get additional mechanics working for them. (I won't cite them)

    for Hippus it is easy : their horselord trait (as mentionned by lone-wolf) makes it like they get ALL the mounted line as UU. (but true, their hero has not much impact in game as he comes late... but that's like America's Fighter !)
    Ljosalfar are also easy: all their archery line are equivalent to UU (due to the dexterous trait). They also get flurries instead of Crossbows, and their Horseaarchers do not need horses.
    Svartalfar are also easy : all their recon are equivalent to UU (even religious ones), their adept/mages are illusionnists (UU) (works very well for summoning defensive summon units, as they heal completly between combat), their mounted units often do not need horses

    Malakim get lightbringers : early disciple unit (with mvt 2 if you are spiritual) and with SENTRY: useful for fog-busting, + the mages are UU of a sort as they have a specific spell : summon sand-lion (6str summon, 3mvt) on any desert tile. They also got citadel of light that summon 1 fireball each time an ennemy approaches, and as ljosalfar (or Kuriotates for the matter) their Horsearchers don't need horses.

    Amurite get all mages as semi-UU : (they have 1 free spellstaff), they also get firebows: fire-ball summoning archers ! and chanters : assassin that can teleport back home : for example when wounded and you got huge xp on them and don't want to lose them.

    Bannor don't have much for them : but they have a unique civic that makes them strong warmongerers ! their UU are restricted to using their civic.. but the demagog is an axeman with +1 str (even if it needs a late-game tech) and they don't cost any upkeep, allowing to build them indefinitly... Flagbearer is the same : axe+1str and can cast "morale".

    The clan Ogre line makes it that all mid-late game melee units are UU... even very strong ones, and their scout (goblin), wile being 1mvt, can become a mounted unit as soon as it kills a wolf ! for free!

    ...etc

    You see.. if you have the feeling that everygame is the same it's because you hadn't had time to discover the unicity of each civ.. and the way this unicity changes your tech path...
     
  15. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko WM junkie

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    the Hippus are definitely the most vanilla-ish civilization in ffh2. And yet, you can play them very uniquely. Try to build the guild of the nine wonder asap, then you can switch to 100% gold and drown your enemies in mounted mercenaries. make them sue for peace, demand techs, rinse and repeat :D
     
  16. Bill Bisco

    Bill Bisco Callous Calling

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    The most vanilla civ is bannor with elohim being a close second.
     
  17. A Moon

    A Moon The "A" is silent

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    I'd argue that the Hippus are at least as vanilla as the Bannor.

    Hippus:
    Horses.

    Bannor:
    Crusade, and demagogue-spawning towns.

    Seems about even to me.
     
  18. BobCW

    BobCW Chieftain

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    The most "vanilla" civ is the Malakim. Almost no banned units, very few UU or UB, and they possess only a couple minor unique mechanics. Decius of the Malakim is perhaps the ultimate jack-of-all-trades (and master of none).
     
  19. A Moon

    A Moon The "A" is silent

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    The fact that they were so immemorable that I forgot them does support your point.
     
  20. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    If the Malakim happen to spawn next to floodplains, though... :crazyeye:

    In my personal modmod I made the Malakim Desert Shrines turn every Plains tile in city radius into Desert and gave the Malakim a desert terrain improvement that slightly increases its value with techs.
     

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