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New to FfH

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by MeowZeDung, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    419
    Hey there. I'm a long time CivIV player that only recently decided to give a mod other than the civ fanatics HOF mod a shot. Wow. I've been missing out. This one is great fun. I poked around a bit for ~150 turns on two games just to get a feel for things before starting my first "real" game.

    I went with the Elohim on Monarch difficulty (I play IMM for BtS games, so I toned it down until I learn more about FfH) and decided fairly early on that I would pursue the Altar of Luonnotar victory condition. I'm normally not super fond of builder victories, but this one made sense as it would put me on the same tech path as the Elohim UU and Hero, as well as Paladins. I just won the game and have these initial thoughts, reactions, and questions:

    Spoiler :
    -Unit specialization: It seems to me that you want the right tool for the job in this mod, whereas in BtS, siege + anything = awesome. Monks are actually a pretty sweet UU. An evil aligned civ was my nearest northern neighbor. My plan was to get a stack of ten monks and wipe him out to get at his land. He declared when I had only 5 monks. He came at me with about 8-10 pyre zombies which was too much fun since, from what I can tell of the mod so far, monks seem to be kryptonite for anything undead/demonic. I wasted his stack and took all his cities within 10 turns or so.

    -Barbs: The Armageddon counter stayed below 5-6 the whole game, so I don't even think I've seen the tip of the iceberg yet. A dragon spawned in a barb city not that far north of me. I came at this dude twice, both times with huge stacks of 25+ strong units. I expected only about half of my stack to be suicides wearing him down, but I was wrong. I would have had a better time shooting at a freight train with a bb gun. I didn't even bother a third attempt. Is there any particular tactic that works best for dealing with dragons?

    -Diplo: Random leaders rolled mostly good aligned civs, which was helpful for a builder game. There was one neutral and two evil civs(one of which I killed early). Since the neutral and second evil civ were warring the whole game, I didn't really concern myself with diplo. This led to a nasty surprise: a good civ that I was at friendly with (Malakim was their name iirc) declared on me and sniped a city! I took it right back and then cast "peace" with my hero. It might have been smarter to use my civs one time spell to just force his troops out of my lands for 30 turns and sue for peace in order to keep my hero, but I was still a bit too shocked that a "good" civ could declare at friendly to think straight. Especially weird since he and the neutral civ that he also shared a border with were at "annoyed". Is all diplo in FfH this unpredictable?

    -Magic: I went with Spirit mana for the three nodes in my territory, and it seemed pretty lame to me. As I said above, "peace" proved useful, but it's not a spell you ever want to find yourself needing really. Courage was ok, I guess. Inspiration was not even really worth it. It definitely didn't make me want to spam a huge army of mages, which is kind of what I was looking forward to accompanying paladins and heroes and such :cool: I ended the game not really understanding the best way to approach magic in FfH. Do you want one of a variety of different mana types, or many of one type? Do you want a lot of adepts/mages, or just a few heroes that can cast the spells?

    -The Altar of Luonnotar: Woof. I'm never doing this victory again. Generate a bunch of Great Prophets, research obnoxiously expensive techs that don't do much else for you, and build one huge wonder while keeping your borders secure at the end and you win. Boring.

    -The Tech Tree: I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I think it's cool that you often need to focus on one aspect of the game (religion, magic, military, economy) that seems to fit your civ and alignment, but at the same time it's really annoying to be researching something like righteousness with about half the number of trade routes that you could have. I guess it helps make every new game different and challenging in its own way though.

    -Civics: I think some of these might be busted. After my first full game I realize I did it all wrong. No matter what victory you're pursuing, I don't see how getting to agrarian + god king or city states ASAP could be wrong. Even with only a medium sized empire and mediocre capitol this seems ridiculously good. I can only imagine agrarian with an evil civ that can run slaver! Or even a good civ with conquest.


    I know some of that seems to be me just griping, but I really did have a great experience, and now that I have a firmer grasp of FfH I will move up to Emp and likely have an even better second game. I know these forums don't have nearly the amount of traffic they once did, but hopefully someone who's been playing FfH for a while can answer some of my questions.
     
  2. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
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    Bergdeutschland
    Hi there, and cool name. :lol:

    The Grigori have a unique unit specialized in taking out dragons, apart from that I don't really know.

    Don't know about the Malakim backstabbing you either. Who was their leader? Decius or Varn Gossam?

    Regarding magic, it also depends on your civ. Personally I prefer having a wide variety of different mana. The Amurites are the go to civ when it comes to magic, I suggest playing them if you really want to focus on magic. IIRC they even have UB which gives extra XP for every unique mana resource you control.

    Actually Aristocracy and Agrarianism is the top civic combination for 90% of all situations. Yeah civics aren't really that well balanced unfortunately. Some civics only make sense for specific civs, like Guardian of Nature for elves.

    Btw there is also a ton of modmods improving FFH further. My personal recommendation would have to be Magistermod, a modmod of More Naval AI, which itself is also a decent mod. Neither adds any new civs or stuff like that, instead they are focused on fixing bugs, improving the AI and making the game more faithful to the lore.
     
  3. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
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    It was Varn Gossam. We were both in the Runes religion until he found the overcouncil religion (I forget it's name) I refused to switch after he asked a couple of times, which I'm sure prompted his attack, but we were still at friendly so I thought my refusal wouldn't matter as much as it apparently did!
     
  4. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
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    1,247
    The action has moved on to the various modmods at this point. I don't even remember the last time I played unmodded FfH2.

    Spirit Mana is useful for the Courage spell, because otherwise your units might be afraid to attack certain types of units, including dragons.

    Pyre Zombies shouldn't be that easy to defeat, since they're supposed to explode when killed and cause collateral damage. I'm assuming you patched FfH2 with the latest patch, but you also need the Pyre Zombie fix from Tholal, aka "unofficial patch p," available here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=419634
     
  5. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,549
    Location:
    France
    Hei !! welcome !
    -units specialisation : you found the trick: specialisation is good (and then you expand in lower tech when they become cheaper !
    -Barbs: Barbs will always create Acheron. Against dragons : spirit 1 : courage is really important, then you'll need a bunch of catapults or horse archers with withdrawal and with first strikes to try to chip a bit on the big bad guy...
    Alternatively at Beastmaster tech you get : Beastmaster + Subdue Beast promotion +(earlier: Dragon slayer) and with all that you should have a +125% or +150% vs dragons .. on a 14-15str unit. that should do it. (you may even sacrifice 1-2 newbie beastmaster with 10xp to chip at the dragon).
    But it's useful to try to get hime earlier ... the Hoard is a nice wonder, giving 3 bonus (depending on the mods : gold / gems / mithril / enchantement mana / enchanted weapons promotion)

    -diplo: well : being good or evil has little impact (save a +/-1-2-3-5 "you are good" bonus or malus)... but that's largely compensated by a hate civic / religion / border tension / sharing ressource / helping a rival ...etc
    that said, there is a bit more randomness in AI diplo than in normal BTS ... even if some leaders are more aggressive than others and some are more pacifists.
    Anyway, FFH Diplo is a bit more aggressive :D

    -Magic: right on the box: spirit is not a game-breaker... but Inspiration can be nice... to help boost culture and happies in frontier cities : it helps for pacifying new cities/conquered cities.
    But IMO you should spread a bit : fire II or Air II are Must-have spells for attacking cities: fireball allows bombarding (and not at the slow moving pace of catapults) and a bit of collateral, 2-3 AirII in succession can reduce all the defending units by 30% health ! (beware on friendly fire).
    there should be somewhere a strategy guide speaking about spells..
    (either a civfanatic thread or maybe even a pdf...)

    for level 1 spells : water1 allow to vitalize you deserts, mind 1 boosts a bit your science output; body1 allows "haste" on living units... real good / enchant1 allows enchanted weapons : +25% on melee units / entropy1 allows rust: removing bronze/iron weapons from ennemy...etc

    and saving mana node for metamagic is often nice: it allows your mage mith metaII to dispel nodes: and you can thus learn "all" spellspheres

    - the altar... it's really the "tech-victory"... a bit boring, but sometimes its your only real solution.
    but honestly, I like to play long-late games so most of the time I finish with domination or conquest.

    - the tech tree: that's the best part of FFH !
    you always have choices ! and you need to make them. and every civ will have different choices to make, and every start will force you to different choices depending on the terrain....

    -civics: civics are a sadly un-balanced... most people would tell you that once upon a time, "aristocracy + agrarian" was the "must go" civic.
    honestly: I don't always do that. But many times I use agrarian.
    however, it's true that the "late" civics are not really useful (liberty/freedom / caste system / ...etc).

    but the "religious" civics are always useful
     
  6. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Chieftain

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I started another game with a neutral civ. Can't even begin to remember how to spell their name. They're the elves that can improve tiles without removing the forests that are already there. Pretty awesome. No siege units seems bleh though. I guess I can work around that with the Fire II and Air II spells Calavente mentioned? Or maybe that wonder that gives you some hill giants (built it last game just for the lulz).

    However, I'm thinking that I should install a modmod before I get to deep into a new game. The MagisterMod wouldn't download saying there were no mirrors available. I will go poke around and check out some others.
     
  7. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    Just More Naval AI modmod will do too.
     
  8. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Cool. Just downloaded it, going to give it a shot! Thanks.
     
  9. MeowZeDung

    MeowZeDung Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
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    So, this is annoying. I downloaded the MNAI modmod and set up a custom game that crashed when attempting to load. Multiple retries, same result. Tried to load a regular BtS game and found that the MNAI install seems to have messed with the HoF mod I use for BtS as well. I guess a full reinstall is in my future. Sigh.
     
  10. Elyssaen

    Elyssaen Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
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    I find that Fall from Heaven has a few civilisations that really don't shine in the core version. The Elohim are one of them. Still, they're not a bad start – like the Grigori, they're quite comfortable to start with.

    So that's… odd. I thought even the most up-to-date version of Fall from Heaven, without a mod-mod, had Pyre Zombies be overpowered. The problem was that killing one just of them in a stack would injure every unit you had within one tile by. Over a certain critical mass, a Pyre Zombie stack was unstoppable. I can't count the number of times I played absurd hit and run games with them with 3+ move forces to get around them.

    I usually play some version of Wild Mana and was actually disappointed to see them 'fixed' into something balanced.

    You don't necessarily need the right tool for the job. There are about half a dozen ways to go that are just overpowered. It's… kind of what makes Fall from Heaven so fun, I think.

    Acheron the Red Dragon (almost?) always spawns and takes a city. He really is frustrating: he alone is often more threatening than an entire civilisation. The first problem is that without casting Courage you often can't even try to attack him. And depending on your patch, he might have some absurdly strong disciples too.

    For Acheron you really need one extremely strong, high-level hero – City Raider I-III also really ruin his day. I've found it worth building the Crown of Akharien, detaching it from the city and having your chosen dragonslayer carry it. The magic immunity is helpful.

    There are other approaches: high % magical damage (see Chalid) can trivialise him, and high withdrawal types can whittle him down (Hippus horse archers, Khazad artillery).

    I'm playing a Svartalfar game right now and took him with an inappropriately strong Alazkan the Assassin, first opening with a Black Mirror copy of him. Then I realised Alazkan can't 'subdue' Acheron even with Subdue Beasts (probably because of his Hidden Nationality) so had to do it all over again with a Beastmaster. Beastmasters seem like almost the official way to beat Acheron… and with Subdue Beasts, you then get an Acheron all of your own to play with.

    Yeah, basically anyone will declare war on anyone. I've found the Malakim particularly aggressive, but that might just be because it's hard to forget their self-righteous victory declaration. You can foster friendships but there are definitely more factors at work than just the visible opinion.

    Spirit is probably the single least interesting sphere. Hope can be useful to culture push early cities, Trust is incredibly disappointing, and Courage's main use in games will turn out to be letting you have a crack at Acheron. Peace is Corlindale's unique ability, not in the Spirit sphere.

    So there are a few approaches with magic. If you want to be able to spam mages, you want to use summons. Almost every other spell doesn't really require many mages to a stack. Since archmages take too long to get, that means you want summons available at tier II – that's Death for Spectres, Entropy for Pit Beasts, Law for Hosts of the Einherjar or Ice for Ice Elementals, going by memory. I don't remember if base FFH gave Spectres affinity to Death mana: if so, they're the best, and you want as many Death nodes as you can manage. Then when you find that overpowered, try using Einherjar instead.

    Another valid approach is to try for a wide variety of mana, and just have a couple of mages per stack to cast all the support spells.

    Thirdly, two other spells that benefit from large numbers (and are tier II) are Charm and Blinding Light. They do the same thing and are hugely useful. The % damage ones can be useful having a good few mages available for, but I only found myself really using those with priests/Chalid – the arcane % damage spells aren't as good.

    Oh, can't believe I forgot. Fireball. That's the best summon, you can almost forget the rest a lot of the time. Try Amurites sometime for super-mages and Svartalfar for summons that don't kill but leave the enemy so weak you can easily finish them off (even with your mages) and get the XP.

    I rarely play it. It can be fun but I think you need to set yourself up to really be challenged: a One City Challenge or a difficulty too high for you.

    I never found this that bad, at least once you get Trade and can trade technologies. That said, I think you focused on the divine line much more strongly than I ever had when gunning for Altar. I would generally try to dominate the game and score and just nab the Altar victory when I got bored.

    God King early on is a huge boost. I've never used City States, though: my economy doesn't tend to abandon God King until I have Aristocracy or Theocracy available, and I prefer the side benefits of those.

    Agrarianism is almost mandatory when you have the tech, but you don't need to push for it. Aristocracy + Agrarianism is an amazing combination. Conquest has a place, but I generally never touch the later Economy civics, so you may be right.
     
  11. tribble

    tribble Chieftain

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    Acheron appears in a barbarian city and then does not leave it until he is killed or converted by a beastmaster. He is only really a threat in that the city he spawns in will periodically send out medium-sized stacks of axemen with enchanted blades, and his potential to cause your computer to slow down.

    I find city-states to be an incredibly powerful tool for rapid expansion, and it's fairly viable later on.
    As for agrarianism, what it essentially does is give you an extra citizen for every two farms a city works, provided you have the necessary happiness and health to support that. It is very powerful, and early on it's certainly worth picking up a fast calendar for, but other civics can produce powerful economies as well.
     
  12. Bad Player

    Bad Player Chieftain

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    Archeron can destroy civs when I've been playing on MNAI (which is basically faithful to the original FFH2 left by Kael) - his special meteor units etc run through civs quite easily!
     

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