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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. Elyssaen

    Elyssaen Chieftain

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    The Guardian of Pristin Pass is the sort of challenge you don't see in many games, and perhaps for good reason – triggering it will almost certainly kill you. Once you know it you can avoid stepping adjacent to it, but it's killed most of us when we started out. Perhaps that's not fair, but it does set the atmosphere. Orthus is similar: once you know what to expect you can handle it, but initially it's perhaps unfair.

    You definitely need to play more if that's your view. Granted, some civilisations do play similarly, but the ones you've listed aren't amongst them. I find that Doviello, Grigori, Illians and Malakim at least play very similarly, and rarely play them.

    For the others you need to get some experience to see how they're special. For the Khazad, don't see them as a 'fast conquest' faction – they're builders with mid-late game potential for warfare. Make sure to use their siege line: Trebuchet, Create Battering Ram and Dwarven Cannon. You can lay waste to enemy cities with siege weapons alone, and defend your cities with the same. That's really only viable as Khazad. Also, if you work with the vault mechanic your production output will become incredible.

    In the late game if you need a little more of a special touch to them, you start getting the dwarven Tier 4 troops: Dwarven Shadows and Druids are absolutely incredible.

    The Luchuirp are probably stronger than the Khazad, in my view, but it's not that easy to call. The Khazad suffer less war weariness, they have better production and better defences. Also a crucial factor you may be missing: experience. Golems don't get it, and Barnaxus's ability is a poor substitute. The Luchuirp are top of my list of factions I feel invincible playing as… until I realise I haven't done as well as I expected. They look awesome, but sometimes there's no substitute to a high level early Aggressive Axeman who nabbed Orthus's Axe.

    This is, to be fair, not immediately obvious. You have to adopt an implicit Hippus strategy, and then you really shine:

    1. Horselord gives +1 movement and +10% withdrawal chance. This might seem like a small deal at the moment, but you need to synergise to make use of the power of these.
    2. Get Flanking promotions! I know, that +10% withdrawal chance seems like it's nothing you want. You don't want to lose a fight, right? But +10% means more the higher your base chance is. Hippus Horse Archers can easily get 85% withdrawal, right off the production line. That's a 15% chance of dying in a fight you lose: Kuriotates would have a 25% chance, almost twice as much. And their hero Magnadine can get 100% withdrawal: he doesn't die. A force of realistic level Hippus Horse Archers can ransack the world and almost never die, gaining ridiculous experience in the process.
    3. Guild of the Nine isn't optional. The fact they can get Mounted Mercenaries out of instead of infantry ones isn't a nice extra: it's a key part of a good Hippus strategy. Mounted Mercenaries can defend, like Kuriotate Centaurs, and are generally excellent. Hippus should raid their way to riches and buy armies on the fly with Guild of the Nine. Magnadine's ability works with that, allowing you to buy any other troop types you might need.
    4. Use their worldspell. This is not a civ you want to neglect the worldspell of: War Cry will win you a war. Possibly several.
    5. Make sure you raid if you're playing Tasunke. Then you leverage their extra movement particularly well, as you can use it to raid and you can use enemy roads. This is an excellent economy by itself, plus it stops the enemy's progression.

    This isn't your fault, but I think the impression is because you're expecting the civilisations to play differently while you're playing them the same.

    You can play Amurites and use Swordsmen and Champions and not understand how they're different. Or you can play them, throw caution to the wind, invest entirely in the arcane tree and win with nothing but Wizards.

    You can play Sheaim and use Chariots, or you can rush Rosier the Fallen, try to use Pyre Zombies to prop you up with ultra-aggression while you ramp the AC up with Elegy of the Sheaim, obliterate the world by calling the Four Horsemen really early, stop your research early so you can buy the Meshabber of Dis outright, defend against the Horsemen with absolutely perfectly designed (they resist Horsemen damage types) Tar Demons that appear for free at high AC, and watch every empire in the world collapse, including yours. Win simply because you hold out the longest. (My absolute favourite type of game, and nothing like any other civ.)

    It's a testament to FFH's strength that you can play most civilisations in a generic way. The standard tactics are usually open to you. The advanced, unique ones are emergent, and rarely obvious. For instance, it can feel like Svartalfar are at a disadvantage without siege weapons and with their Fireballs being illusory, until the devastating XP-farming Illusionist + Fireball + Assassin method comes to you in a moment of genius.

    I personally tweak the map settings to make them quite nice. More resources and whatnot. But games played okay without that. Don't start war too early. This, again, is going to make it impossible for the civilisations to differentiate themselves. If you're doing most of your aggression very early, most civs won't have had chance to get their best tactics up and running. For the most part, FFH encourages you to play an initial phase where you fend off barbarians and build yourself up.

    Some civilisations can play around this: Barbarian types like the Clan certainly can, plus my above Sheaim strategy. You can also force a rush with Aggressive civilisations, but it's not easy.

    Acheron (the dragon) is certainly game-changing. You can disable him if you want, but he can be a lot of fun. If he shows up and blocks you in, don't see it as the end of your fun: see it as a new challenge. And the Dragon's Hoard is a useful reward for your troubles. However, I admit that playing Hippus and being penned in is a really bad stroke of luck. Hippus don't like to be in a pen.

    Really, the only civ that can't do warfare is the Elohim. I like to play with some mod or other that fixes that, as I feel like all civilisations should be balanced in combat if they choose to go into it.

    The Kuriotates's advantage is that their cavalry can defend. It's a great advantage, but I don't think it can compete with Hippus withdrawal + Magnadine + Mounted Mercenaries + leader traits. It's useful for protecting an empire of settlements and far flung super cities, but yep, it's also great on the offence. Still, I'd rather play a long list of civilisations before the Kuriotates if want I want to do is go to war, because the Kuriotates don't really have that many advantages – and don't forget their +20% war weariness!

    I hope you continued playing, because FFH has a hell of a lot to offer. I think it's understandable that you're finding it hard to get started, but don't give up. Try Erebus Continents and tweak a few settings if you want – perhaps disable Acheron. Don't feel bad about regenerating your starting position. The other thing I'd suggest is try to go a bit slower and maybe try something themed: one of my first amazing games was trying to play Amurites and really massively rely on magic, and another was when I played Calabim and really focused on getting super-vampires.
     
  2. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    I love the Archeron mechanics - especially the new Sons of the Inferno thing - they destroy civs around them for many years!!! Some random massive bad luck to throw a spanner in the works of your hard thought out strategies!!! :D
     
  3. Strategist83

    Strategist83 Chieftain

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    I hope the OP doesn't mind if I drop a few questions/ponderings of my own here rather than start a new, similar thread:

    1) I've been playing the mod for a while now (thanks, Kael and team, this is brilliant!) but only recently realized how powerful the Calabim Governor's Manors really are. I had assumed the "+1 production from unhappy" was per angry worker, not unhappy citizen total - at least, this is how it works in the "more naval AI" modmod that I recently switched to, but I assume it's the same in standard FFH2. +1 production equal to at least the size of the city (and often more) is just an outrageous boost, especially if playing Flauros and building the Manors at double speed. It never occured to me to check that is was in fact per unhappy citizen because that would be game-breakingly overpowered... yet, that is indeed how it works. The only other faction receiving a production boost that can even begin to compare is the Clan's Warrens. Does anybody wish to try to make a case for a faction getting essentially the equivalent of +1 production/tile is not unbalanced?

    2) Cottages. These, on the other hand, really suck, and are completely overshadowed by farms (not just with Calabim, either). I found an old thread (2009) debating a change slowing cottage growth by half that was apparently made back then. It takes a gigantic 10+15+20+40(+60, for Kuriotate Enclave) for these to reach their full potential, at which point they only just break even with an Agrarianist Farm that has the full output from turn 1. Cottages being less dominant than in vanilla Civ4 is interesting, but it seems the developers got a little too eager, here.
     
  4. A Moon

    A Moon The "A" is silent

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    1)Yes, the Calabim are one of the stronger civs, especially in single-player. In multiplayer they're a bit weak in the early-game, although Rivers of Blood alleviates that somewhat.

    2)Oh gosh, the cottages vs farms debates. Some people in the Realms Beyond forum made a mod designed to balance FFH2 for multiplayer, and I assume they touched on this.

    Really though, vanilla/more naval AI FFH2 is not hugely balanced. You'll need to look at some modmods if that bothers you.
     
  5. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    What's the full civic combo you should run for farms with agrarianism?
     
  6. akatosh

    akatosh Chieftain

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    1) Calabim's governor's manors are the most OP thing in this mod, and not even necessary. Vampires are plenty strong and interesting even without the ridiculous production you get from GM. Calabim are overall the most powerful faction in the mod too, in my opinion. If I could nerf one thing in the base game, it would be to cut down the governor's manor in some way.

    2) Cottages do suck in the base game for every civ but Bannor, Kurios (if playing a long game) and the elves. They can become insanely powerful for elves and Bannor however. Erebus in the Balance and Terkhen's mod add several buffs to cottages for other civs, mostly by changes to civics.
     
  7. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    Maybe make blinding light or something do damage against vampires (as well as its normal use)
     
  8. akatosh

    akatosh Chieftain

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    Why do vamps get free death mana? #1 Vampirism isn't associated with undeath in FFH lore, #2 death mana isn't associated with the Calabim (their main mana type is body), #3 why does Calabim, which is not a magic-focused civ, get two free mana spheres on their champion UUs when magic-focused civs like Amurites, Sheaim, and Illians don't get free mana on their champions?

    Amurites do get firebows, true, but it's 1 free sphere vs. two free spheres. And another magic civ--Luchuirp--only get 1 free sphere too.
     
  9. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    I don't know, it has always been the boon of vampires: less strength than normal champion, more tech needed, but with free body and death mana sphere, and vampiric abilities ability...
     
  10. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    You might add to that why do the Lanun get all those godly ocean benefits, when they are no worse on the land than anyone else.

    The only negative I can think of is that Boarding Parties have one less strength than a Champion.

    That's pretty much it. And if you go Overlords you probably wouldn't have built any regardless.

    Yeah, I know it's always been that way. But they have absolutely no drawbacks for settling inland. And I think that they got those benefits because originally they had some kind of drawback with farms not giving much food or something. One of the OG guys, or someone with a wayback machine might know.

    Other than giving up the overpowered perks they get as opposed to other civs. Can anyone point to any weakness the Lanun have on land? Not counting world spells or special units. Just generic things most civs get.

    Many different mods, but I don't think the base game is balanced, and never has been.
     
  11. BobCW

    BobCW Chieftain

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    The Lanun are certainly one of the stronger civs, but they do have a worse land game when accounting for units. They have no good land UU and two bad ones. Most civs don't actually have weaker base units and have much of their strength based on unique units, so analyzing the civ without taking into account UU is kind of like asking if the Clan have any disadvantages that aren't related to research.
     
  12. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    hahaha.
    that's true, they had a reduction of mainland food, but I don't remember what.
    And reduced str for champs is already huge: the strongest non-limited unit (10str with mithril).
    and what they lack in str with regard to other civs ? : the bonus that the other civ get... (other UU ...Etc : like Clan Ogres , or dwarves trebuchet/cannon /myconid, or centaurs, or firebows....etc : they don't have any bonus on land.. and their hero sucks.
    so having no bonus is equivalent to having a malus with regard to the other civs).
     
  13. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    "7) You are guaranteed to get a great prophet if you DO NOT build an elder's council after you get mysticism and switch back to pacifism in about 15 rounds. Exploration -> Ancient Chants -> Mysticism-> Hunting is how I do it)"

    I was rereading my post and wanted to add that you do build a pagan temple. The reason why you do not build an elder's council is it pollutes the great person stream. Obviously you have to eventually build research buildings, but you are in a race to found a religion, and 15 rounds or so after pagan temple finishes you will most likely pop a great prophet, usually around the time hunting finishes.

    Given my drothers, I only want great prophets and engineers. I use engineers for wonders, occasionally planting them so they bias the city more towards generating great engineers. I use prophets for bulbing religions, religious wonders like Song of Autumn or the Altar. Usually I'll use one for priesthood. Merchants in my experience are only good for bulbing horseback riding. I almost never plant them except in early game if I am running low on money. Planting them pollutes the great person stream. I'd never plant one in my national epic city unless I really needed the money. I never bother with trade missions either.

    Bards bulb basically. Later on if I get Theatre of Dreams I'll plant them in a city where the Great Person generation doesn't matter.

    A lot of what I am saying is Kuriotate specific. I mean I am in Pacifism the whole game basically, usually even during wars. Quite often I have the emphasize great person bulb on, if I I have good food resources for growth. Usually with the wonders I build and my increasing population I get a great person every 20 to 40 rounds (remember Cardith is philosophical; you can do the same with Einion or Varn, but usually their cities are nowhere near as big.

    I really love to found Kilomorph, but that religion is so competitive. Usually Overlords goes first, then Kilomorph. Unless I get lucky with a goody hut the odds are long to get that one, even if I am bulbing, since odds are the Luchiurp or Khazad are in the game.

    Leaves is much easier, because only the Ljolsalfar race for it. And they are pretty slow to get rolling, whatever sprawl civ they have later. Even with bonuses to the religion, they probably can't beat my great prophet bulb time.

    And the Svartalfar seem to mess around with different things, and not understand that any religion but Leaves is suboptimal for them. There's not much the Ljolsalfar can do the Svarts can't, but they usually never do it. They go for Esus or Ashen Veil or something, and the Ljolsalfar get the giant cities and economy. Founding Esus is great for them, it just doesn't do them any good to follow it.
     
  14. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    See again I don't understand this. That stoneskin ogre is going to be stacked. If he is solo, he is totally dead meat. So let's talk about stacked units.

    I'm not going to be attacking except with horse/centaur archers until that stack is good and weakened. You might say he could attack me, but again I have a number of Longbowmen, or just Centaur Archer's 100% health on a hill, Arthendain, Bambur, buffed, just waiting for that stack to attack. I want them to attack. I have tried desperately to get the Provoke spell to work, but there is some bug with it in his mod. It doesn't do anything even with Tower of Alteration. And he doesn't seem to pay attention to bug reports anymore.

    But anyway I am not attacking except with a unit with around 105% withdrawal chance until everything is so weak, it just dies. Sometimes I attack with other units, but not often.

    As for the dwarven cannon thing... How many do you build? I usually wait to go to war until I have 6 catapults, which will be upgraded to cannons and whatnot later. I wait to build them until I have education usually, so they will have the move upgrade and can stay with the stack.

    Ideally I want to go into position, destroy defenses, and do full collateral with ranged in one round. Then send in centaur archers. I pound the city, round after round afterwards with all the cannons. And the mages, if I have enough, but there are certain buffs which must be fully cast until I can spare one for fireballs.

    What's the difference? Khazad can do it with 4 instead of 6?

    There is another thing with you guys. I find first strikes essential. That is what eats up whole stacks when you are defending. Obviously a human opponent isn't going to fall for it, but the AI will sacrifice incredible numbers of units in fights it can't win (well that works in the early game with their 80 soldiers of kilomorph or whatever; but not later on).

    I'd sure as heck rather have a Longbowman defending than a champion, I don't care if he does have mithral. And as I said, I use cavalry units on the offense. Even if a champion is stronger, a Centaur Archer with flanking III is just not going to die. And odds are with regeneration he is full strength next round anyway.

    Now all this is kuriotate specific. But the Hippus can do it just as well, maybe substituting some units because their cav units don't get defensive bonuses.

    And it also works well with other civs. Maybe not as well, but you just add more units and no biggie.

    And that isn't considering what you can do with heroes and march. By the time Bambur has iron weapons, and march, he is going to kill one unit a turn unless another hero or a longbowman is in that city. And with more promotions, he eats longbowmen.

    And that isn't considering mounted units get a bonus against archers. And don't mention defending with axemen/champions. I eat those for breakfast. The archers are far more of a challenge taking a city than melee units ever will be (unless you are talking about Maros I guess).

    And again, a human opponent has all kinds of options for defending against this. Lot of magic would help, assassins for sure (unless you are playing Bannor).

    But I don't play multiplayers. And as far as I know multiplayer Fall From Heaven pretty much doesn't exist, and I wouldn't play it if it did.

    I want to build, and build more. Lots of wonders. Not club the world to death with psychotic copper warriors by round 200, while going aristograrian the whole way.
     
  15. BobCW

    BobCW Chieftain

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    Multiplayer FFH totally exists, just not on Civfanatics.



    I frankly find your single player strategies to be utterly bizarre, but I guess whatever works for you. Your approach to the game does explain some of your balance complaints, though. I think you should avoid assuming that your approach is strictly the optimal one, and that strategies suggested by other players to overcome challenges posed by the AI are therefore irrelevant.
     
  16. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    Where did I say it was the optimal approach? Basically I just said I didn't understand the obsession with champions, because I don't use them.

    I'm quite sure that hitting civs early with a big stack of bronze warriors, hopefully with some caster buffs is a stronger approach.

    But you have to admit it's pretty boring. There is a lot of the game that never comes up that way.
     
  17. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko WM junkie

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    did you try the modmods? ExtraModMod fixes the "aristograrian is king" issue nicely, vanilla FFH2 is not very well balanced
     
  18. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    If you are talking tome, no I've kind of left FFH. I never really played Civ before and only started playing it because I saw FFH mentioned on another message board somewhere.

    I've quit with FFH, because I got utterly tired of the giant stacks, and ICS. Even if I have used the giant stacks myself.

    I aim for the lategame experience and units. Only problem with that is by that time the sprawl civs like the Khazad and Ljolsalfar might have close to 30 cities. Even with Eurabates, that could take 50 or 60 rounds to work through, for one civ. I'd hate to think how long it would take with a conventional unit stack.

    Remember unless you are lucky enough to have it be a veil city, you can't raze it. If you puppet it, the new civ takes forever to be up to strength. So you are stuck with defending it, or the opponent takes it back. You can raze some of them, but the armageddon counter goes higher, which is something I try to avoid.

    So I usually do the Altar or Tower victories. But after a while that gets boring.

    I started playing Civ V, but after a month and a half, I'm still not certain I like it. Parts of it I really like, but I dunno. Addictive gameplay, but some kind of magic is missing.

    This is usually the point where I shelve a game for 6 months or a year.
     
  19. BobCW

    BobCW Chieftain

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    Probably between 10-20, depending on how prepared you are.


    Like, play however you want, but is it any wonder that you're seeing huge AI stacks and then having difficulty combating them, when you don't try to fight them until you've reached the end of the tech tree and have obtained a tiny army of elite units? You're greatly reducing the number of attacks you can make every turn and are giving the AI an incredible amount of time to build their empires. There's a reason most players have units like Champions form the core of their end-game armies- those units are really good at dealing with exactly the sorts of problems you describe.
     
  20. sunbeam

    sunbeam Chieftain

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    I'd have to agree with you about your diagnosis about my frustration with this game.

    I'm not sure I understand why champions would solve it though. Even if I used them as the backbone of my army, I still have to have siege or some way of doing collateral.

    The advantage of Horse/Centaur Archers is:

    1) Come with built in first strike (and I use dance of blades). I can't say I understand the mechanics of this in a combat, but you can get very weird unlikely results if you have these (done it with Mahala lots of times).

    2) The retreat thing. I ALWAYS finish all three flankings with centaurs, then go for other promotions. Usually Combat I, then Shock or Cover depending on what kinds of units I am facing.

    3) Naturally immune to first strikes without having all those drill promotions, plus a built in bonus against archers, which I have always found the hardest part of taking a city, even though everyone thinks they are crap.

    Anyway in the end game, domination is totally doable. It's just way too tedious for me to want to do.

    Except for the Sheaim in Magister's mod. Sheaim lands are a total deathtrap. I think the imps can act as assassins and target weakest, so they can pick off wounded units. And they get so many with the Summoner trait.
     

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