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Prophecy of Ragnarok + Drowned Warriors

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by doktarr, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    I'd never been that impressed by the Prophecy of Ragnarok wonder. It seemed like a bit of a catch-22: only living units built in the city get the prophecy mark and raise the AC, but the effects of 90 and 100 AC will devastate those same units. However, recently, a workaround occurred to me. If you drown a warrior, that warrior will retain all its promotions, but is no longer alive.

    So, thumbnail sketch of the strategy:

    1. Get to Way of the Wicked ASAP and build Prophecy of Ragnarok. It doesn't have to be in a very high-production city - you're pretty much just going to be building warriors there.
    2. Have your empire run lots of cottages or farms+aristograrianism, as you're going to need a lot of money for upgrades.
    3. Have the PoR city spam warriors, while the rest of your empire concentrates on buildings, non-living units, or living units that are going to be sent to their death.
    4. At some point, convert to Octopus Overlords. When in OO, drown warriors and upgrade them to Stygian Guards as needed.
    5. When the AC approaches 90, make sure you have all your warriors drowned/upgraded, and take advantage of Lichdom and Eidolons to protect highly promoted mages and priests, if possible.
    6. Trigger wrath, declare war, trigger the apocalypse, and take advantage of the weakened state of your neighbors. Once the apocalypse triggers, you can switch to any other religion you like.

    Some other notes:

    • Obviously, this works best on a water-heavy map, but the Stygian Guards are pretty good as long as there's a lot of coastal cities so you have options to take advantage of their water walking.
    • Remember that Drowns don't provide military happiness, while Stygian Guards do. So if Drowns aren't needed in a war or for exploration, it can be better to wait for fanaticism before you start the upgrades.
    • While not necessary, having the Ashen Veil holy city is a big boost to this strategy. Since the whole point is to trigger the apocalypse, having Stigmata of the Unborn in the PoR city means that down the line, all those Stygian Guards get an extra +50% bonus. Corruption of Spirit is on the same tech path as Way of the Wicked, so it's not too hard to bag both, although it means delaying building Prophecy of Ragnarok until you know where the AV holy city will land.
    • All the other living-only promotions will stick with your warriors as they become Drowns and Stygian Guards, too. Courage (can be reached by Royal Guards casting Hope in the PoR city) is an obvious one, and Mutation is generally worth it, too. Valor is nice but hard to reach quickly (Hemah is an option).
    • Another wonder that's worth building quickly is the Tower of Necromancy. If you have it, the undead Drowns will gain the Strong promotion, and will keep Strong when upgraded to Stygian Guards. Strong Stigmata Stygian Guards with weapon upgrades are a perfectly good endgame force (Iron/Mithril Strong Stigmata Stygian Guards are 15/18 strength before any combat upgrades).
    • Summoning the Mercurians can be a great boon to this approach. You're already going for fanaticism to access Stygian Guards. All the death and destruction of the high-AC events will give Basium plenty of angels to work with. Don't switch to him if you want to pursue this strategy, but he makes a powerful ally.
    • Conversely, the Infernals are a very bad opponent to have when this rolls around, as they are actually helped by a high AC. If they show up, try to take them out before driving the AC any further.
    • Depending on what else is going on in the game, it can take a lot of warriors to drive the AC, so choose your civics wisely to keep upkeep costs under control if you are getting into stack-of-doom range. Of course, the more Stygian Guards you build, the better things will go for you when you unleash hell. You can always raze some cities or spread AV to take things over the top, too.

    Best civs to play this strategy with:

    • Sheaim. Well, duh. This is almost just an addendum to the standard Sheaim strategy. Your other cities can build planar gates and pyre zombies while you wait for the apocalypse. This does shut down potential mage-spam until after the apocalypse, but that's the only big downside.
    • Luchuirp. The other obvious, easy one, and arguably just as good as the Sheaim. You can build your standard golems in your other cities. This also means that, unlike the Sheaim, you have a reason to tech up the melee line, which will upgrade the weapons of your Drowns and Stygian Guards while it unlocks golems. Additionally, if you aren't under too much pressure, you can kamikaze Barnaxus, save the pieces, build the Shrine of the Champion in the PoR city, and then rebuild Barnaxus. An extra promotion for all those warriors-turned-Stygians is nice.
    • Sidar. Not nearly as nice as the above two, but if you're waning all your elite living units, you won't lose anything too valuable when the apocalypse hits.
    • Elohim. This is highly situational, but if you manage to capture a bunch of cities from the Sheaim, Luchuirp, and/or Infernals, you can build an army from their non-living units while pursuing this strategy. The Hallowing ritual allows you to throttle back the AC as desired and time the big push past 90 and 100.

    No other civ really has any particular synergy with this tactic. The Lanun, Malakim, Bannor, Kuriotates, and Khazad can all pull this strategy off, but it would require basically going all-in on the OO and building lots of Stygian Guards everywhere, or playing a defensive/builder game until after the apocalypse.

    After that, you're left with bad options: either civs that depend on their unique living units (Amurites, Balseraphs, Calabim, Clan, Dovielo) or civs that depend on their free upgrades to certain unit lines (Hippus, Ljosafar, Svaltalfar). Finally, you have the civs that can't convert to OO (Grigori, Illians, Infernals) and the civ that can't build warriors (Mercurians).
     
  2. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

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    Sound interesting. I have to try it some time. I've never tried to push the AC up all the way.

    I love Stygian guards. They are as strong as champions but can be obtained much earlier. the March promotion is perfect for non-stop raiding They require OO and the temple though, not coastal cities. Only the Boarding Party requires coastal cities, IIRC, since they need the harbor.

    You can still upgrade the Freaks to Stygian guards, right ? They cost more hammers but save on the gold and are useful regardless whether the mutation works out or not.
     
  3. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    I wasn't trying to imply that you need coastal cities. What I meant is that the tactical advantages of a stack of water walkers are maximized on an island map, but as long as cities are on the coast, you can attack from the sea and avoid counterattacks from land forces.

    Lately I've been playing on snaky continent maps, which provide lots of opportunities for water walkers to take shortcuts.

    Moreover, the idea here is not to produce Stygian Guards directly. It's to produce Warriors in the prophecy city, drown them, and upgrade to Stygian Guards. You really only need a single Temple of the Overlords to pull this strategy off, as you just need one place to do the drowning and upgrading.

    You can build Temples everywhere and pump the SGs all over the place, of course, though. That's what I meant when I said, "The Lanun, Malakim, Elohim, Bannor, Kuriotates, and Khazad can all pull this strategy off, but it would require basically going all-in on the OO and building lots of Stygian Guards everywhere, or playing a defensive/builder game until after the apocalypse." If you go SG-crazy, you will probably keep the prophecy mark ones in reserve until after the apocalypse.

    I haven't tried this with the Balseraphs (who don't seem like a good option to me, frankly). AFAIK, only Drowns can upgrade to Stygian Guards, and only Warriors can be drowned.

    As far as mutation goes, It's pretty clearly a net positive, especially with low-cost figures like these. Most mutations are useful, and several of the bad ones can be cured. If a Warrior has multiple bad mutations you can just delete it; it's only 25 hammers lost. Heavy ones can be put on defense.
     
  4. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

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    You're right/ Freaks can't be upgraded to SG. It was the OO acolytes I was thinking about. In that case, upgrading from warriors is cheaper since it costs the same amount of gold and less hammer.
    Since we're just dealing with warriors here, if I try your strategy, I might as well throw in the mutation before picking the better ones for upgrade.

    This game is amazing in its many possibilities. I've been playing it for years and still find so many things I have never tried before. Civ V is so fixated in keeping everything "balanced" (i.e. inconsequential) that nothing seems to matter much. All Civ V games are roughly the same.
     
  5. Instinct

    Instinct Chieftain

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    I like to mutate acolytes free healing promotion to go with March. The normal ones go into city defense, the weak ones get turned into priests for temples or used for culture bombing new captured cities. The good ones of course :king: fuel the conquest.

    I'll also mutate adepts as needed, bad rolls go to inspiration/hope/stone wall, good ones go wherever they want :cool:

    Tower of eyes is useful, Shrine of the Champion of course. Though not really necessary.

    The drawbacks are the supply line, and 1 unit per turn. Though with fireballs and maelstrom and blur, and dance of blades I am not usually losing many troops once I get my mages locked and loaded.

    Oh yeah, I usually do this with Falamar. Charismatic helps with faster promotions.
     
  6. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    Interesting. I assume you mean that you like to build Zealots, which can upgrade directly to Stygian Guards (once you have fanaticism). The upgrade cost in gold to get Stygian Guards is the same whether you start with Warriors or Zealots.

    Positives of this option:

    • The medic promotion, as you mention. Certainly a nice bonus. Does Medic help heal non-living units, though? Given that this strategy is based around building a non-living army, I'm not sure how valuable this promotion is.
    • If you mutate, then you can use the bad mutations for religion spreading or culture bombing. This slows down your work on the Armageddon Counter, but it is a nice way to leverage mutation. This makes a lot of sense if you aren't pursuing the Prophecy of Ragnarok tactic.

    Negatives:

    • 60 hammers instead of 25. If your city is producing less than 25 hammers each turn, that's a clear loser. If your city starts to get up above 40 hammers or so, then you can mix some Zealots in without slowing down if you manage your overflow hammers well.
    • Tower of Necromancy. Once you have it, then going the Warrior->Drown->Stygian Guard path gets you the strong promotion. I'd much rather have a stack of SGs with Strong than with Medic.

    All in all, I might suggest mixing in a few Zealots here and there, but I'd mostly stick with Warriors. Early in the game the extra hammers are important, and later in the game the tower of Necromancy matters a lot.

    Also a good strategy, for sure, but not really related to this armageddon strategy. Adepts, as living units, get hit hard by AC 90 and AC 100.

    Agreed. I almost mentioned Tower of Eyes. The Sentry promotion is nice, but hardly a game-changer - the unrestricted SotC promotion is better. Stigmata of the Unborn makes an even bigger difference - at a high AC, it's worth more than two combat promotions. A Demon's Altar (free Scourge promotion) also useful, but this requires converting to Ashen Veil and summoning the Infernals. This can be a bad thing, because raising the AC is going to make the Infernals awfully hard to beat.

    Ironically, the Mercurians actually make great allies when pursuing this strategy. They are immune to most effects of the apocalypse, and all that death and destruction will feed them lots of Angels.

    Well, you can always build non-living units in other cities, too. This is why this strategy dovetails so well with the Sheaim and Luchuirp, who can build their powerful unique non-living units. But any other civ can still build Stygian Guards in other cities, or just siege weapons and naval units.

    It seems like you're talking about a more general Chaos Mana + OO strategy, as opposed to a Prophecy of Ragnarok strategy. After all, 80% of those mages will get either enraged or killed at AC 90 and AC 100.
     
  7. Tholal

    Tholal Emperor

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    Clan can pump up the AC at a faster rate with a Warrens.
     
  8. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    According to the manual, "Second unit does not gain any benefits from other buildings in the City, nor Civics or Wonders". Is that out of date? (I can test it myself, I suppose.)

    Either way, though, the clan are going to have a hard time avoiding pumping out other living units. Obviously their world spell leads to lots of living units. I suppose you could just try to burn through your living units in wartime, though.
     
  9. Instinct

    Instinct Chieftain

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    Yeah, what you said, Zealots, and I should have read a little better before I started typing :D
     
  10. timfi

    timfi Chieftain

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    Hm... I always thought that the Prophecy of Ragnarok is destined to be built in an AV holy city. And coexist there with Stigmata of the unborn...
     
  11. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

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    I tried the strategy out. However, at some point in the game, I could no longer promote the warriors into Drowns (from the same cities I promoted about a dozen of them before) although the zealots could still be promoted to SG. Anybody else has the same problem with an apparent limit ?

    For any strategies though, a SG (at 120 hammers) is cheap at 25 hammers + 125 gold. More so since you can get to Fanatics (2800 beakers from Priesthood which is needed for any wars anyway. Iron Working which enables the equivalent Champion is over 4000 beakers not counting Smelting so the gold-bought SGs can destroy the other civs (and get highly promoted) before they can ever get to Champion.

    I have HE. Stigmata of the Unborn and Prophecy of Ragnarok all in the same city. The problem is I've been trying to prepare for and survive the blight to build many troops from there. There's no point in having a great troop-producing city and then not many people left to work the fields.
     
  12. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

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    • I just verified that healing does work on non-living units. I couldn't find a badly-injured SG but I got a diseased corpse which is just as dead or even deader than SG since it can't even provide military happiness :crazyeye:
      At the end of the turn, it has 6.8 health out of a max of 10 (8 strength + 2 death damage). Without a priest, it got to 8.4 the next turn. I guess that means 20% recovery on the "strength" portion of its total attack strength and so it got 1.6 back.

      Adding the priest then it got to full strength the next turn.

      Since priests are living units also, I guess the only healers you can get in an all non-living units scenario are the SG themselves :lol:.

      Anyway, I guess I'm not much of an AC player. I started out getting war declared on me by the Sheam and only survived by promoting the few warriors I had to SG. Shortly after I destroyed the Sheaim and their annoying pyre zombies, the Hippus, another neighbor, declared war on me next with their stack of horse archers.

      After that, there wasn't much left of any other civs to fight against so pushing the AC up and getting hurt by the blight probably hurt more than help. Tum Tum and a few wolf riders popping up near the cities defended by a single warrior each did more damage than any of the AI civs.

      Tower of Necromancy is cool but it takes a while to get the 4 death mana requirement and build it so there is an opportunity cost. It goes against the SG strategy of getting a strong and quick healing unit early for early raid. The earlier they are produced the more promotions they have so the SG with Strong promotion but no other promotions might not match them later. The faster a unit heals, the more battles and promotions they can have also. My strongest SG is at level 14 at turn 229. With Orthus axe, it can make 2 hits per turn for faster promotion.
     
  13. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    I came upon this strategy while playing an OO game and happening upon someone else's Prpophecy of Ragnarok city late in the game. It was really too late in that game to build my strategy around this approach by then, but I've started a new game where I should have the chance. I'm playing the Luchuirp, and I just rushed the PoR with a great engineer in the city that already had Stigmata of the Unborn. (I actually popped a great prophet the turn after I founded Ashen Veil - talk about good timing!) That city also has the Shrine of the Champion (Barnaxus has been rebuilt since then).

    I'm holding steady at 4 cities and teching up. I won an early war with the Balseraphs (stole a city and killed that damn Loki) and will probably vassalize them in a later war. Aside from that, I should (hopefully) stay peaceful. My only other border is across a narrow isthmus of land, with the Malakim and Hippus on the other side. They both have large, scary armies, but fortunately they hate each other way more than they hate me.

    I'm going to be doing some religion hopping, but for the time being I should be able to hold my own with Warriors, Gargoyles, and a couple cultists. Once I have the Tower of Necromancy, and I'm done having fun with Gibbon, I'll switch back to OO and prepare for the apocalypse.

    I play on 19 Civ continent maps, so there will definitely be plenty of targets to choose from when the apocalypse hits.
     
  14. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    Tower of Necromancy actually requires 1 entropy, 1 death, 1 shadow, and 1 chaos mana. If you have Stigmata of the Unborn you've got the entropy. The others all have some use.

    Very nice! Sounds like you're playing a very different style of game than I am. You're very much building around Stygian Guards and a strong military. I'm trying for a builder game where I use Stygian Guards as a way to assemble a non-living army to unleash following the apocalypse.

    At any rate, if you're spamming Stygian Guards, it's really not the blight at 30 that you should be thinking about. Sure, blight isn't great for you, but it's not great for anyone else, either. The bigger point is that the later effects are much worse for other civs. Half the living figures are enraged at 90, and 60% of what's left are killed at 100. If you get rolling and raze enough cities, you can push things over the top awfully fast, and your intact army will have a much easier time mopping up in the aftermath. Just make sure to deal with Basium and Hyborem first, because the apocalypse will turn both into powerhouses.
     
  15. scutarii

    scutarii King

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    do not forget ingeniuty trait-leaders (mahala and two dwarfs)

    hoarding money is easier than hoarding hammers. for the second you need production and buildings - i.e. time and techs.
     
  16. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    I don't think this is a particularly good fit for the Dovielo. Much of their power is in cheap upgrades to their unique units, and if you go that path, you're not using Stygian guards.

    The Khazad are an interesting case, because you could build a mountain of their upgraded siege weaponry with them. Still, you really want to go up the metal line with the Khazad, and it seems like a waste to go that way without building champions.

    Absolutely. One of the nice things about this strategy is that it doesn't need a ton of hammers.

    Having played out most of a game where I planned this strategy, I do think it's a decent approach. However, it really only makes sense as a dominant strategy (i.e. really giving you the best shot to win) in a case where you're isolated by water, hammer-poor, and playing Sheaim or Luchuirp.
     
  17. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    I made some (final?) updates to the OP, mentioning the Mercurians and Infernals, and the possibility of running this strategy with the Elohim if you happen to capture the right cities.
     
  18. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    necro'ed!

    Mahala sounds like a good leader for this thanks to ingenuity. OO Doviello is great because stygians are so much better than battlemasters. if you're playing with unrestricted leaders, you could try her with Clan to add Barbarian and Warrens to the table ;)
     
  19. doktarr

    doktarr Warlord

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    If I wanted to play this strategy with unrestricted leaders, I'd probably play Kandros as Luchuirp.
     
  20. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    Kandros no longer has Ingenuity though..
     

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