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Your Top Ten Tips for Your Favorite Civ

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Strategy & Tips' started by JonathanStrange, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. JonathanStrange

    JonathanStrange PrinceWithA1000Enemies

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    What would be your Top Ten List of tips for your favorite civ? Any specific tips, even if less than ten, would help those unfamiliar with the civ. They all add up.

    Here are ten tips for the new Ljosalfar player. It’s sort of a quicker, quick guide for someone who’s familiar with Civ but not necessarily familiar with the Elves. I’ve included some explanations, but I’m not trying to provide a perfect plan(s), just 10 basic tips. I’ve tried to make them all general tips that could apply to the Ljosalfars with most maps, difficulty levels, settings, and player experience.

    LJOSALFAR TIPS

    Elves are a defensive, slow-growth nation dependent on forests for production and protection. Mostly vulnerable early on, the Elves, if they survive, can raise large armies and cities to back them up.

    1. Follow Your Leaders.
    Spoiler :
    There are three Ljosalfar leaders with different traits and alignments that dramatically affect gameplay. Remember that when choosing a strategy, civics or producing units.

    Amelanchier’s Raider trait, for example, makes archer/warrior pillagers highly profitable from the start, while his Defender traits increases the survivability of a new Ljo nation.

    Thessa's Arcane trait encourages prioritizing mages and priests with their lightnings and tigers, her Expansive trait offers maintenance free Compassion civics.

    Arendel's traits make cultural victories and magic users more attractive and trade more important.

    2. Know The Elven Forest Economy Needs Time.
    Spoiler :
    It's not easy being green: expect defending longer than many other civs. Elven workers are 20% slower than most workers and their Forest improvements take even longer to build. Forests often need to be bloomed and that also takes time.

    Early useful economic goals: Farms and Cottages -- research Agriculture, Ancient Chants, Education
    Early useful economic civics: God King, Agrarianism, Apprenticeship

    What's particularly cool about these goals and civics is that they "fit" a basic overall Elven strategy using their particular strengths/weaknesses. For example, the Elves do well with FoL religion and the path en route to FoL opens up the powerful early God King civic. Similarly, the slow Ljosalfar economy should be nurtured early by researching Agriculture, Ancient Chants, Education to get those farms and cottages and these techs advance the Elves to the basic (but welcome) Apprenticeship and Agrarianism civics.

    3. Found Fellowship of Leaves Early.
    Spoiler :
    An early FoL path – including a minor research detour or two for Education & Archery (grabbing cottages, Apprenticeship, archers) - greatly increases defenses with little cost. The World Spell, more treant defenders, religious heroes, religious wonder, holy city, all from one tree-hugging religion.

    4. Remember Your World Spell.
    Spoiler :
    Either cast early if nearby enemy civs are vulnerable or save as insurance for desperate situations. Early summoning means fewer treants, late summoning damages Elven economy as ancient forests die.

    5. Research Archery Quickly.
    Spoiler :
    Early, inexpensive, strong city defenders, the Ljos archers have a +1 attack strength as well as a forest attack bonus. All Ljosalfar leaders do well with archers but they are a particular favorite of Amelanchier who builds archery ranges, palisades and walls at double speed. Archery also makes available the Elven hero Gilden Silveric whom you'll want to know more about.

    6. Hire Gilden Silveric Yesterday.
    Spoiler :
    Save your newborn nation or destroy that slow-starting enemy tribe by having Gilden on your side ASAP. A Hero recruitable after Archery, Gilden’s a heavy hitter in the early game. Use him early and often before the other heroes and upper tier troops come out to play.

    7. Provide Elf Mages 3 Important Spells: Maelstrom, Vitalize, Enchanted Blades/Flaming Arrows.
    Spoiler :
    [Ok, technically that's 4 spells, so sue me.] Why these spells? Since magic schools (Elementalism, Alterations) and Sorcery are expensive to research, one should try to get the most beneficial Elf spells that fill an Ljosalfar need or weakness.

    Siegecraft: The Elves can’t build catapults but the Air spell Maelstrom is a good substitute. The Fire spell Fireballs is an alternative, but harder for the Elves to acquire. Most mages should have either.

    Mediocre military: The Elves are good defenders but weak relatively weak attackers. Enchantment spells like Enchanted Blades or Flaming Arrows buff up melee troops and archers for city conquests. A single Enchantment mage, assisted by adepts, located in a central recruitment city is enough.

    Improved Lands: Often the Elf lands must be improved for forestation, and the Level III Nature spell Vitalize can do that. The need depends on the map, but it’s often better to Vitalize than wait for the Genesis Project. Only one mage need have Vitalize.

    BTW, your neutrally-aligned leaders will be able to recruit Druids with useful capabilities like Entanglement and Command. I highly recommend recruiting them.

    8. Help Your Mages Help You: Leverage The Elves Starting Mana
    Spoiler :
    Use the Elves Palace mana (Air, Nature, Life) for a head start reaching their goals of securing a siegecraft substitute, stronger troops, and better lands. Of the manas, Air is always needed, Nature relatively often, and Life rarely. Enchantment mana is always helpful as the Elves military remains mediocre without buffing spells.

    Goal 1 Siegecraft substitute: Research Elementalism and build an Air node; this will be the 2nd Air source allowing quicker access to Maelstrom. Fire mana is a decent replacement but 2 nodes are necessary.

    Goal 2 Stronger troops: Research Alteration and build one or two Enchantment nodes to release Level I Enchanted Blades and Level II Flaming Arrows.

    Goal 3 Better lands: Research Alteration and build two Nature Nodes to unlock the Level III Vitalize spell. Vitalize may not be crucial if Elf lands are forested and good, in which case one may wait for the Genesis project.

    The Level I Sanctify spell is the only commonly used Life spell; there’s no need for extra nodes. Water mana is useful mostly in MP games or desert starts.

    The ideas here are to leverage starting manas for quicker access to spells, efficiently build a minimum number of nodes, reduce specific Elf weaknesses and limit researching magic spheres..


    9. Choose Elven civics.
    Spoiler :
    Elven civics are civics a forest-dwelling, mystical, nature folk would generally favor. [Of course, any civ can use any civic but one generally doesn't see Slavery or STW as an Elven civic although... ;) ]. These civics enhance Elven goals and units and dovetail nicely with the FoL/Archery research path (Tips 3 and 5) . For instance, Apprenticeship adds 2XPs allowing the FoL-dependent fauns to start with the Woodsman II promo making fauns fairly tough s.o.b.'s. (for an early unit).

    Naturally, circumstances vary as empires develop under different leaders (Thessa's No Upkeep Costs for the Compassion Civics, for example, leads you along its own path.) but the early civics and the "final" civics are typical.

    Early civics: God King, Apprenticeship, Agrarianism. Ultimate civic: Guardian of Nature.

    10. Bloom Forests Methodically.
    Spoiler :
    Blooming forests with priests improves the Elf economy,defense and mobility - so start planting purposefully! By the end of the beginning, Priesthood should be researched or well underway.

    Remember your Elven troops move double speed through forests, so you generally don't need many roads: limit road building to slow invaders. Siting cities along rivers/coasts to connect to the capitol can further reduce roadwork.

    Regarding the Genesis Project: worthwhile but expensive and a bit late, don't wait for it to get forests and better lands.
     
  2. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

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    A neat idea. I can't say I'm an expert at any one civ, but I probably play the Sheaim most of all. Here's my ten tips for playing the Sheaim:


    SHEAIM TIPS


    1. Play as Tebryn.

    Tebryn's simply a better fit for the Sheaim style than Os Gabella. They both have Summoner, which is important for the Sheaim magic-based playstyle, but Gabella's Industrious trait doesn't synergize well at all, as wonders aren't that crucial for them. Whereas Tebryn's magic-based traits allow him to quickly develop a large force of very deadly summoners.


    2. Your hero's name is Pyre Zombie. Build him.

    Understand that the Sheaim have the single most overpowered unit in the game at their disposal: the Pyre Zombie. This is a replacement for the axeman who explodes when he dies, heavily damaging all units around him (though not the units on his square). To get to the Pyre Zombie, beeline Bronze Working as soon as you've gotten all the basic worker technologies.


    3. Know the proper uses of the Pyre Zombie.

    The simple mechanic of the Pyre Zombie means three important things for the Sheaim player who has built enough of them.
    1) A city defended by a decent number of Pyre Zombies almost cannot be captured by the AI. As soon as two of your defending PZs die, the attacker's units are too hurt to continue attacking, no matter how large his stack.
    2) Almost any city defended by units of equivalent technology can be taken by Pyre Zombies, if you just suicide a few of them first. The remaining defenders will be so hurt that the rest of the PZs will walk over them.
    3) Keep your Pyre Zombies in one big stack. Do not split the stack! You don't want PZs to injure each other when they die.


    4. Beeline for Necromancy and Sorcery.

    Once you've secured yourself with a decent force of Pyre Zombies, you should head straight for the magic technologies, because that's where the Sheaim really shine. Get Knowledge of the Ether and build Mage Guilds and Adepts. The adepts will gain xp automatically, and quickly too. Make sure they are all promoted to Death I. Then research Necromancy and Sorcery. The former will allow your Adepts to turn all your raw mana nodes into Death nodes. The latter will allow your Adepts to promote to Mages once they get 10 xp. Make sure your mages are promoted to Death II.
    Why all the rigamarole? The point is to get the Death II spell, which summons a Spectre. Spectres are temporary units which live for two turns and have 3 strength, and +1 Death mana affinity. This last part is the most important, and it is why you turned all your mana nodes into Death nodes. A Sheaim mage with no Death nodes can summon a 4 strength Spectre for free--not bad. A Sheaim mage with five Death nodes can summon a 9 strength Spectre for free, which is devastating at that stage of the game.


    5. Mass your summoned units before attacking with them.

    While your mages can still only summon one Spectre per turn, the Summoner trait allows your Spectres to live for two turns instead of one. If you want to attack a fortified city with your Spectres, you can double your attacking force by waiting a turn. Then you can attack with both the Spectres you summoned last turn AND the ones you summoned this turn.


    6. Found the Ashen Veil religion, and spread it. Then start building Planar Gates.

    Spreading the Ashen Veil religion raises the Armageddon Counter, bringing the end of the world ever closer. The Sheaim are the only civilization who is actually helped by this looming destruction. This is because their unique building, the Planar Gate, spawns more and more free units when the Counter gets higher.


    7. Get the best units possible from your Planar Gates.

    Which units which spawn from your Gates depends on the buildings you have built in that city. Mage Guilds cause Mobius Witches to spawn--these are great units who are like instant mages. Gambling Houses cause Revelers to Spawn, who are excellent units very similar to rangers. Having these buildings in cities with Planar Gates is a good idea. On the other hand, Carnivals cause Chaos Marauders (mediocre axeman-like units) to spawn, and Temples of the Veil cause Tar Demons (strong defenders, but horribly slow and useless for attacking) to spawn. To avoid getting these poor units, avoid putting these buildings in Planar Gate cities.


    8. Be aware of the consequences of raising the Armageddon Counter.

    A high Armageddon Counter helps your Planar Gates, but you're not immune to the horrible effects it has on every other civilization. Know the consequences of pushing the AC past 30 (Blight), and be prepared when the Four Horsemen spawn at AC 40-70. You have an easier time with these effects than most other civs, because so many of your units are undead and immune to the Death damage and Fear that the Horsemen have. But you still need to be prepared with defenses if the Horsemen spawn near your civ.


    9. Don't focus on getting to Abashi.

    The Sheaim's only real "hero" (who doesn't even have the Hero promotion) is the Dragon Abashi, available at Divine Essence. Abashi is a big tempting prize, as it seems like wonderful fun to stomp your enemies with a Dragon. However, Divine Essence is a VERY long research path to take, and at 21 strength Abashi is simply not that powerful compared to other paths the Sheaim could take. For example, researching to Strength of Will doesn't take as long as Divine Essence, but it gives the Sheaim player access to eight archmages (four archmages and four liches) who can each summon two Death affinity-boosted Wraiths.


    10. Don't summon Hyborem!

    Since you founded the Ashen Veil, it's very tempting to research Infernal Pact and bring Hyborem and the Infernals into the world. Don't do it! Though Hyborem will be friendly with you because you're Evil and you worship his favorite religion, he will NOT be allied with you. This means that you'll probably have to kill him eventually to win the game. Unfortunately the Sheaim are very poorly suited to killing Demons, as most of your army uses death damage (Spectres) or fire damage (Pyre Zombies), both of which are heavily resisted by the Infernals and other demons.
     
  3. JonathanStrange

    JonathanStrange PrinceWithA1000Enemies

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    Wow, your tips are awesome, Cabbagemeister. I think I will play as the Sheaim next. That's what I meant: tips for the person who doesn't want to become an "expert" just to play a new civ, someone who just wants some basics that he can later adjust to his own tastes.
     
  4. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    I suppose I'll add some for the Khazid.

    1. Fill your vaults. Vaults give production bonuses and happiness bonuses when full, but unhappiness when empty. Early game, you want to try to keep over 100 gold per city - no effect from the vaults, but no unhappiness. Midgame, you want to aim for abundant to full vaults (300 - 400 gold per city), with abundant giving +2 happy and +10% production, and full giving +3 happy and +25% production. Late game, you have no excuse not to have your vaults overflowing (500 gold per city), which gives +3 or +4 happy, but most importantly, +40% production.

    2. Choose your leader. Kandros Fir is aggresive and financial, arturus thorne is industrius and organized. Each has its benifits, and arturus is generally better when trying for non-conquest/domination victories, while kandros is better when you want to bring the world together under your dwarven fist. Kandros also tends to synergize more with an aristocracy based economy.

    3. Get a minimum of 1 of each metal. The dwarven forge base production bonus is 20% - 5% less than regular forges. However, copper, iron and mithril each add +10% production. This means that with bronze, iron, mithril, 500 gold per city, and a forge in your city, you will be getting a +90% production bonus. Note, until you have iron working, having iron won't give a bonus to this - so having the mines of gal-dur won't help your production until you get iron working.

    4. Your strength lies in the melee line. You can't build longbowmen or rangers, and cannot have mages or archmages. While this does limit you in your options, it also means you aren't spread all over the place in your research. This lack of options though also means though that one of your early priorities has to be construction - you will need the dwarven trebuchets to crack heavily defended cities in the midgame. Lategame you can get dwarven druids to do your stack crushing for you, but until then you'll need the trebuchets.

    5. Your hero is Maros, unlocked at iron working. On the offense, he is essentially a heroic champion. On the defense, he is a god. Defensive strength of 12, can use metal, +50% city defense, and he can get heroic attack and defense, which with mithril and heroic defense 2 means that he will have a base defensive strength of 18 before any modifiers. Offensively he isn't as awsome, but any city he is defending has no excuse for being taken. Definately consider sending him up the drill line.

    6. Your adepts, with enchantment, can repair trebuchets and golems. As you aren't the lurchip, the primary thing here is repairing your trebuchets. On the subject of adepts, since they are all the magic that you get, you are going to want to specialize on your level 1 spells. Sun and water, for the usual terraforming, enchantment for an extra 20% strength for your army, life for sanctify, spirit for courage, etc.

    7. Religion. There are two that work best for the khazid - Runes of Kilmorph, and Order. Runes of kilmorph gives you +3 gold per city while running it, and when you're wanting to fill your vaults, thats very nice. Order is what you use when you end up going on conquest, trying to minimize the costs once you have your new cities up and running. Generally you'll probably spend most of your time with RoK, with order generally used as the backup.

    8. Druids and beastmasters. You get the dwarven druid instead of the regular one. The dwarven druid can't terraform (doesn't get vitalize), and has earth mana affinity instead of nature mana. On the other hand, they make up for that by being extremely powerful on the offense. Instead of getting nature line, they get the earth line of spells, wall of stone, stoneskin, and summon earth elemental. But, their strongest spell is crush - it works like pillar of fire, but does physical damage - its the only spell that can damage magic immune creatures like acheron. The beastmaster is also replaced by a special unit - in this case, the myconid. This unit is pretty much the same as a beastmaster, but it gets the ability to stun units nearby with its spell.

    9. Your world spell. If you are on a fairly flat map, its great for getting a few more hills. That however is its only use, as it is a fairly poor world spell.

    10. Did I mention that you need to fill your vaults?

    -Colin
     
  5. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Malakim.

    1) Floodplains are your friend. If your settler doesn't start by any, spend a few turns looking for some. They're really good for most civs as is and the Malakim get extra commerce on them. Normal deserts aren't any good for the Malakim though, so spring them like you would for any other civ.

    2) Scout through desert. Any Malakim unit, even one with only 1 move, which moves onto a desert square first thing in the turn gets to move again. They also don't get combat penalties if attacked on a desert like most civs do, and they utterly smash anything that's standing on a desert when they attack it.

    3) Aggressive and Financial are the early adaptive picks. Raider and Philosophical are the late ones. Which situations call for which traits should be easy enough to figure. Aggressive early on if you're fighting for your life or want to take down a vulnerable neighbor, financial if your start looks like it'll be peaceful and rexy. Later on, when you've decided on a victory condition, philosophical will give you more GEngineers for a tower victory, more GProphets for an altar victory, or more GBards for a culture victory... or,if you're going to win conquest or domination with an overwhelming military force, pick raider to help your guys blaze through enemy territory at breakneck speed.

    4) Switch civics around. You're always spiritual, so you don't get anarchy from doing this. Nationhood for war, religion or scholarship for peacetime. Caste system if you have scholarship, guilds if you don't but want lots of specialists, apprenticeship otherwise. Try out the overcouncil, and if it looks like you can't control it and the resolutions are going to hurt you, bail. No harm, no foul.

    5) Switch religions around. You're always spiritual, so you don't get anarchy from doing this. Your lightbringers can upgrade into the middle priest of your current state religion, so by stockpiling a few before each switch you can have priests of every religion. This is good because each priest fills a different role. Ritualists do mediocre but reliable damage. Cultists do awesome but situational damage. Confessors and stonewardens give buffs that stack. Leaf disciples summon cannon fodder. Vicars dispel invisibility and upgrade into sick killing machines.

    6) Have one "main" religion which all your cities get and which eventually becomes state. Your world spell, religious fervor, gives you a big gob of free, powerful units if you cast it after spreading a religion around and adopting it as state. RoK priests are kind of crap and you don't need a lot of OO ones to make the most out of them, so I don't recommend those religions, but order, empyrean, FoL and AV are all fine picks. You'll likely get the heroes and such of whichever you pick, so bear that in mind.

    7) Try and have a neutral alignment by the late stages. Your alignment will be jumping around like a downs kid on crack for much of the game but eventually it's going to settle at something. If neutral, you can have druids. Mid priests upgraded to druids get to use all high priest spells of their religion. So grab a confessor, a vicar, a priest of leaves, and a ritualist, send them to a grove, and upgrade em for a shortcut to high priests that ignores the "state religion only" restriction.

    8) Savants can upgrade to mages. Exploit this after getting AV. Build lightbringers in a city with disciple experience boosters (desert shrine, Deis Diei if you have it), send them to a city with a temple of the veil, upgrade to savant. They'll have Potency, just like if you had the arcane trait. Give 'em mobility/combat promos till they're ready to become mages (short road), then whatever you want.

    9) Have a couple scorch adepts in your offensive stacks. The ability to turn tiles into desert is a big tactical advantage because Malakim mages standing in desert can summon sand lions, a very powerful and fast summon. A sand lion summoned by a savantmage specialized in combat and spell extension hits like a train.

    10) Don't worry too much about getting Teutorix. He's not that great a hero and abusing the Malakim's spirituality and religion game is much more important than him. Commune with nature, theology, etc. are higher priority techs than blasting powder.

    Oh yeah, how could I forget?

    11) Don't play the Malakim in Fall Further. They're all nerfed and gimpy in that mod, and pretty much a waste of anyone's time.
     
  6. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

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    Good tips, Monkeyfinger! I would also add in the fact that all the religion- and alignment-jumping lets the Malakim easily get Druids, Paladins, and Eidolons all at the same time.
     
  7. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

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    Well, Malevolent designs, righteousness, and commune with nature all cost a ton and have different prereqs. Getting one isn't that hard. All 3? Yeah I'd skip that.
     
  8. Landmonitor

    Landmonitor Prince

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    My personal favorite is the manticore. Get them up to Blitz and the two movement promotions and they finish wounded stacks very well. They are also good for busting up a navy.
     
  9. Landmonitor

    Landmonitor Prince

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    I only played them once, but my second switch was to Industrious (after researching all those techs with financial!) to go through an "Archer and Wonders" building phase before getting to Philosophical. It worked very well.
     
  10. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

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    Mercurians

    1) Summon Early
    Though it should be obvious, bringing Basium to the field as quickly as you can is a great boon. He starts with a contingent of Angels, which can use any weapon. The Mercurian Palace gives Iron, so this means you get a handful of 7 units immediately. Just remember to move all your Angels into your capital immediately, as they don't start with Iron Weapons. It's easy to forget this, and 5 strength Angels are much less impressive.

    2) Horde Angels
    You will want as many Angels as possible. Any of your living units that die are reborn as an Angel, and they keep their experience. This makes religious heroes very powerful, as you essentially get to use them twice. If an Angel dies however, it is gone for good, so keep your highly promoted Angels safe, and used the fresh ones for cannon fodder - you'll see why later.

    3) Humans Are Wicked
    Everyone has some sin. Strike out against all who do not stand with you, even of they are "good" and follow the teachings of Kilmorph, Junil or Lugus. When they fall, they will be absolved of their sin and stand with you as Angels.

    4) Understand Your Strengths
    Basium has Aggressive, Raiders and Ingenuity. Take note of the last two in particular; Commando will give all your Angels(and Basium himself) the Commando promotion, for fast movement in enemy lands. Raiders will also give you extra gold from pillaging, making warfare profitable even if the enemy cities are too tough to crack. Ingenuity will allow you to use this extra gold to cheaply upgrade your living units. Use this combination effectively - spam cheap Warriors, then upgrade them to Axemen. This will give you more units then if you built Axemen outright, and more units means more Angels later on.

    5) Choose Your Religion
    It is unlikely you will be switching religions much. Even though Basium can adopt any religion except AV(Yes, he can adopt OO and CoE, which will make him Neutral) I prefer Order or RoK. Order allows confessors which give extra Holy combat to your angels, and the extra Crusaders give more power to your war machine. RoK gives you gold, and lots of it. As I mentioned earlier, gold is good for upgrading units and holding the cities you will invariably capture. The reason you don't want to switch religions is it causes your heroes to abandon you - You want to keep them until they die and turn into Angels themselves.

    6) Magic Is A Boon
    Although it seems Basium would frown on the practice of magic at first glance, he doesn't seem to mind as long as the practitioners use it to kill demons. In fact, it works really well with him. As I mentioned earlier, Basium has the Raiders trait. If you use Fireballs and Malstroms in place of Catapults, you will have a very powerful, very mobile force.

    7) Use Your Research Advantage To Your Advantage
    Because Basium joins with the civilization that summons him, building up a proper empire can lead to quick research times. If needed, move your capital from your starting city to the middle of your conquered cities to reduce maintenance. Angels can use Mithril Weapons, so that is a good technology to go for.

    8) Go For the Hard Hitters
    Try to unlock the top-tier Angels as soon as possible. Angels of Death are my favorite, and unlike Shadows they do not require, nor have, the Council of Esus religion. Heralds are the best in terms of brute force it, while Ophanim have good mobility. I would advise against Repentant Angels, you want your guys to become more powerful when they kill a lot of units, not less. All of these units can be upgraded for only 5 gold from Angels, with the only requirement of reaching level 4 or more. Now you get why I told you to stockpile those heavily promoted Angels, eh?

    9) Power Belongs To Those Who Claim It
    Do not hesitate to wage war. Your purpose is to fight. Reap the benefits of plundering the lands of evil. Kill all who oppose you. Never stop fighting, unless you are on the verge of a technological breakthrough that will make you stronger; then continue fighting!

    10) Fear Not Armageddon
    As most of your army consists of Angels, you will be hurt less by Armageddon than others. Blight still withers your followers, and the Horsemen are powerful, but Angels show no Fear and will overcome any challenges opposed to them. Claiming the Artifacts of Armageddon, previously wielded by the Horsemen, will be a great boon to your army. Any souls converted with the Crown of Command may be sacrificed on the front line as serve as Angels themselves. The raw powers the others hold will help bring you to victory. Your angels can pass through the Burning Sands without harm. Do not worry about protecting humans, they are meaningless. Never stray from the one true goal: Killing Demons.
     
  11. Bootsiuv

    Bootsiuv Prince

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    Very good thread idea....

    I would contribute, but I play Orbis and many things don't apply in unmodded FfH.

    Looking forward to seeing more though, as it makes for a good read. :)
     
  12. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I just started playing FfH a week ago and I'm enjoying it immensely. Very reminiscient of that old game Master of Magic, which has always been one of my all time favourite games.

    This is a great thread and very useful for someone like me, who is new to the Mod, and helps to get a head start on a steep learning curve. I do searches on the forum but the the information is less well organised and often out of date. This thread has the major themes and tips covered for each Civ and makes me want to play them. Thanks to all who have so far contributed :)
     
  13. JonathanStrange

    JonathanStrange PrinceWithA1000Enemies

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    I'm impressed too by cabbagemeister, readercolin, Monkeyfinger,Onionsoilder's top ten tips. I think a new player could play any of their civs without fearing they were completely missing the basics of that civ. Sometimes I don't play a civ 'cause I think "Ahhh, it'll take too long to figure out what's important and what's not" and I end up playing the same ol' civ I've played the last 10 times. Their tips do make me want to play those civs.
     
  14. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    I love it all !!
    just :
    @Onionsoilder : you missed my biggest 2 question : how to quick summon basium ? How to chose the city I build the gate ? (which city to give to basium : better one ? better construction ? better science ? center of former empire ? small but promising bored town...etc)
     
  15. heisenberg

    heisenberg Lost in Erebus

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    Sep 15, 2008
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    337
    Sheaim Tips (variation :lol:)

    The Sheaim ranks as one of my top "favourites" despite them being arguably "weaker" than some of the top tier civs--but I find them especially flavourful~

    I've been playing the Sheaim in a slightly different way from Cabbagemeister with his list of highly useful tips, so I thought I might just share them... :D


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    1. Catatomb Librarius is a MUST. (and other important wonders)

    There is no other wonder more important than the Librarius save the Nexus (but thats waaaaaay down the line).
    You WILL want a mage guild in every city with a planar gate, and thus there is no replacement for the Librarius.
    Which brings me to.... Os Gabella.
    Against the AI, Tebryn is probably a much better leader. However, against a human player who rushes the Librarius just to screw you over when you are the Sheaim, the Industrious trait does come in handy =P
    ----------------------------

    2. Necromancy is useful, Sorcery can be pushed to a later time.

    With planar gates and the Catatomb, you would be getting sporadic appearances of Mobius Witches, which has access to the Tier II spells. Sorcery is good to have, if you spam out Adepts as Tebryn to get even more "Mages", but for such an expensive tech, Mobius Witches should be able to hold the line (arcane-wise) till you get the other Planar-gate "enhancing" techs and their respective buildings up.

    Necromancy is nice when you do have nodes around, and if you go for Sorcery fast to spam death II adepts. But unless you have 2 or more spare nodes lying around, sinking beakers to get an additional source of death mana isn't as efficient imo.

    An alternative could be to hit: Festivals (Carnivals), Sanitation (very important economically wise and for P.Baths), Gambling Houses.... before going for Sorcery.

    ---------------------

    3. Do not build Planar gates early. Yes, I'm serious!

    Planar gates are VERY expensive buildings. The equivalent "hammerage" of maybe a mini-wonder.

    Have at least the "base" few planar-gate-tied buildings before building it. Temple, Carnival, Gambling house, Public Baths.

    Without these, sinking so many beakers for a chance to pop just a mobius witch for example isn't as efficient as spending the hammers on multiple PZs.

    Also.....
    I'm pretty sure (at least from all that I vaguely remember from all the old sheaim gate mechanic posts), building a carnival, DOESN'T lower the probability of you getting a M.Witch "significantly". Perhaps just the probability of you getting one on the turn you get a Chaos Marauder in the same city. :lol:
    So.... Code-readers.... care to verify this please?

    ----------------

    4. Pact. ASAP. Yes.

    -Hyborem is just a pest buzzing around the room while you are trying to eat your cake.
    -Hell terrain is a paltry price to pay for running one of the (debatably) most powerful civics in the game. (thats why its nerfed in FF!)
    -Grimoire is one of the fastest ways to grab that 60 odd turn tech that isn't quite efficient to sink beakers into. Sorcery? Arcane Lore? Manevolent Designs? They are just one 20-30 turn wonder away.
    -Hyborem is that fly which irritates others too! and is a stalwart ally in your quest to end the world. Not to mention that his spawning also drives the AC up!
    -Sac. the Weak (StW) is the perfect counter to Blight. Watch your population go up while everyone else goes down!

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    5. (not really a tip) Your progression of the mainstay of your armies:

    Warriors > PZs (never phased out!) > Ritualists with Rosier as the spearhead + Diseased Corpses as weak early Champion replacements > Gate spawns and beyond.

    -----------------------

    Cabbage has captured the essence of the Sheaim in his tips :lol: so these are the only ones I could add/modify... I'd add additional ones when they strike me..... :p
     
  16. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,002
    Your chance to spawn a creature from any given planar gate is based on the AC. Nothing else. This chance is divided evenly between what individual creatures you can spawn.

    So if a city's only spawn building is a mage guild then you build a carnival, you just cut that city's chance to spawn a mobius witch in half.
     
  17. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    Some very good points there, heisenberg. I never considered trying to get most of my magic users from the Gates (Witches) rather than self-building them (Mages). With Tebryn, this strategy doesn't make sense because it's so easy to crank Mages (which are stronger than Witches anyway because their xp is unspent), but with Gabella I could see that a Catacomb/Gates strategy would be more worthwhile. Though, as you pointed out, Gates are hideously expensive, especially for what they give you in the early game.

    Your points about Hyborem are also well-taken. I personally find him too treacherous to be a useful war ally. You're right that STW is powerful, though. The Grimoire is an interesting dilemma. Once you summon Hybo, you HAVE to start building the Grimoire right away, or Hybo will snatch it (he always goes for it in my experience). But building it too soon means the free technology you get is that much cheaper and earlier in the tech tree. It takes relatively precise timing to snatch the Grimoire from Hyborem AND score, e.g., Strength of Will with it.

    This is the only tip you provide that I actually disagree with. Since Os-Gabella lost Spiritual (and why did she lose it, anyway???), Ritualists are no longer particularly strong in a Sheaim player's hands. Having three or four is absolutely worthwhile, but I would not make them a major part of my army.

    Diseased Corpses are good units, but I actually prefer Pyre Zombies in almost any situation. As long as you're willing to lose a few, PZs more effective on offense AND defense. In the midgame, I believe a combination of PZs and Mages/Witches, with the occasional Ritualist sprinkled in (plus the early Gate spawn units for filler), is the most effective.

    Finally, I always have trouble relying on Gate spawns in the late game. The enabling buildings for the strong Gate units are generally deep in the tech tree, along research paths that are generally poor for a Sheaim player. Additionally, you'll likely be putting those buildings into cities which already have several other spawn-enabling buildings, meaning that your rate of spawning the strong units will be pretty low, even with a high AC. Yes, the occasional Manticore is very nice, but I've never been able to spawn enough of them to make them a major component of my army. I don't find it worth taking time to actively pursue these units until I've gotten archmages, Eidolons, and Abashi.
     
  18. Doug Piranha

    Doug Piranha Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    263
    Location:
    USA
    I'm no expert, but the Calabim would have to qualify as my favorite. Their special features have a great synergy: grow big, spread out, win. Someone will probably shoot these tips full of holes, but:

    CALABIM TIPS

    1. It's all about the vampires. OK, it's a champion that's 50% more expensive than normal, and -1 base strength: how is that a good thing? The answer is that vampires are born with the ability to cast Haste and summon skeletons. With one promotion, they can summon spectres. They can also Feast their way to essentially infinite experience. Think of these guys as heroes that get buckets of promotions in a few turns instead of 100. The other ability of vampires is the Gift Vampirism spell, which gives Vampirism to any level 6 unit (or level 4 Moroi, the Calabim Axeman unit). This gives the target unit an extra 10% strength, faster healing, and the ability to Feast (see below). No summoning ability, though: that would be just too much.

    2. Governor's Manor ASAP. The governor's manor provides a hammer for each unhappy face in your city. This is huge: your early size-4 cities will have an extra five hammers from the governor's manor (4 unhappy from "it's too crowded", 1 from "some buildings are making us unhappy"). The tech that enables the governor's manor building (Code of Laws) also enables the Aristocracy civic, which, combined with Agrarianism fits the Calabim like a glove:

    3. Population = power. As stated above, each population point is worth another hammer to your governor's manor. Also, the Feast spell lets you convert city population into experience for your vampires. The bigger the city, the greater the experience gain; for example, feasting a size 15 city down to size 10 will give 50 experience.

    The Calabim have a unique building called the Breeding Pit that gives +2 food, -1 health, and +20% retained population after growth (meaning your cities can grow back to normal size more quickly after feasting or whipping). Worst case, this is +1 food; with enough health resources (see tip #10), it's an extra person. It can be worthwhile for Calabim cities to grow into unhappiness, since the extra population will provide some benefit even while it's rioting.

    Sanitation and Construction are great techs for the Calabim, since they allow for more productive farms and fresh water propogation via farms, respectively. Farm every tile you can; more food = faster growth after whipping or feasting, and each farm gives commerce under Aristocracy. Sanitation also enables the Public Bath building, which gives a whopping +3 happy at the price of -1 health.

    4. Summons are the ultimate cannon fodder. Attack sequence: move adjacent to target, summon one skeleton per vampire. Next turn, summon one spectre per vampire, cast enchantment spells (enchanted blade and shield of faith are nice, since they work on both living and undead units). Attack with the summoned units: if they die, so what? Their death doesn't increase your war weariness, and you can summon some more next turn. Now, kill the softened-up units with your vampires. This won't work against really tough targets unless you have lots of death mana:

    5. Spectres love Death mana. Spectres have death affinity, which means their strength increases by +1 for every death mana node you control. Create three death mana nodes and your summoned troops are suddenly twice as powerful. With lots of death mana (see tip #10), empower 5 (easy enough to Feast combat 5 onto your vampires), and some additional buffs, your disposable summons can do some damage to pretty tough opponents. Using Death mana will give a diplomacy penalty with lots of AI leaders, but you're going to kill them anyway, right (see tip #10)?

    6. Be Flauros. Financial and Organized (half-price governor's manors!) are great traits for someone who's planning to conquer the world (see tip #10). Alexis's traits (Aggressive and Philosophical) run exactly counter to the way I play the vampires: who needs free combat 1 when you can get all the promotions you need by feasting? And the high-food cities that could support specialists are exactly the ones that are ideal for feasting. Decius is an interesting alternative, but I usually need all the financial help I can get:

    7. Don't crash your economy. Governor's manors only provide half the city maintenance reduction of regular courthouses, and the Calabim can't construct the buildings that give extra research per city (Elder Council and Alchemy Lab). It's pretty easy to overexpand and reach the point where your research is stagnant and your troops are revolting. One of your research priorities is Education; spam cottages if your economy is in trouble (or take over some of your neighbor's cities). Once you get Aristograrianism cranking, your money troubles should be over.

    8. Pick the right moment for your world spell. The Calabim world spell increases the population of all Calabim cities by two, and decreases the population of all other cities by two. It's a nice double-edged sword, helping you and hurting your opponents. There are two schools of thought on this spell: cast it as soon as your capital reaches size 3, giving you an early game boost and your opponents an early setback. Or, wait until mid game when you've connected a couple new happy resources or built some public baths and all your cities are at least +2 happy. I usually shoot for the latter timing.

    9. Burning Blood is nice, but use it carefully. When you're attacking at long odds with a Moroi, the Burning Blood spell will give +20% strength, +1 move, and blitz. Beware, though: if it survives, there's a 20% chance per turn that the unit will turn into a barbarian and attack your units (and a 10% chance that it will lose the burning blood promotion, but that never seems to happen).

    10. Conquer the world. More happy and healthy resources = bigger cities = more hammers and more powerful vampires. More death nodes = stronger spectres.
     
  19. readercolin

    readercolin King

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    I think I'll add another for one of my other favorite civs, the Grigori.

    1. Adventurers. Adventurers are THE reason to play as the Grigori. An adventurer is a hero who can upgrade along ANY upgrade path. That means that you can have heroic archmages, heroic phalinxes, heroic knights, etc. Most of your game will be built around whichever strategy you decide to pursue with the adventurers.

    2. Agnostic. As an agnostic, you cannot convert to any religion, you cannot spread any religion, you can have nothing at all to do with any religion. Basically, you can scratch that entire research line off your list and ignore it unless you decide to pursue an altar of the lunnotar victory.

    3. Adaptive. Cassiel is an adaptive leader. That means that every 100 turns or so (on normal), he can change his traits. He is always philosophical, but he is only industrious for the first 95 turns. After that, he can change to whatever he wants. Change according to what you're planning on doing. Financial is great if you need to research those vital techs. Aggressive is good if you're going to go to war. Charismatic is great to get your adventurers a few extra upgrades without risking them in combat. Pick whatever you need most.

    4. Adventurer spawning. In orbis and FF+, adventurers are spawned automatically, there are a few things you can do to increase the chance, but nothing worth basing an entire strategy around. In all the other mods however, adventurers are spawned via great people points. This means that running a specialist economy severely hampers your ability to get your heros. And considering the power of the hero's, its generally better to spawn them than other great people. However, there is a second problem with this. The greatest amount of adventurer points you can get is 5. Your palace provides 1. An adventurers guild provides 2 (and +2 xp for units built in the city), a grigori tavern provides another 1, and there is one more building that I can't remember. So, in order to get adventurers at a reasonable rate, you need to boost your great person spawn rate. Building the buildings that increase the adventurer points is one way of doing this. Building the national epic (preferably in your capital), provides a 100% boost to their spawning, in addition to the 100% from a philosophical leader. You can run pacifism to get another 50% boost. And there are a few more buildings here and there that boost the spawn chance. I have maxed out at about 20 adventurer points in my capital before.

    5. Your world spell. There is a bright side to all of this however. The grigori world spell resets all your great person counters, making it possible to rapidly get more adventurers if you need them. It does have other uses however. If you go for a AotL victory, you can grab theocracy, run it for a little while, then cast your world spell. You will rapidly assemble lots of great prophets, allowing you to nearly instantly build the first six stages of the altar. You can of course apply this strategy wherever it seems appropriate.

    6. Adventurer points. The downside of going for adventurers is that all the buildings that unlock adventurer points are down the government lines. That means that you have to run a balancing act. Do you go down the government lines to unlock the buildings that allow more adventurers, or do you go down the other lines to provide more units that your adventurers can upgrade into.

    7. Choosing the lines of specialization. You are going to have to figure out at what point you are going to try to conquer the world, or achieve whatever other victory you are aiming for. Then you are going to have to decide what you aim your adventurers down. It makes little sense to send your adventurers down the magical line if you are going to win the game before you ever get archmages. On the same note, it wouldn't be a good idea to send a bunch of adventurers down the recon line if the game is going to end very late, as you can only have 4 beastmasters (and rangers can't upgrade to anything else).

    8. The early game. The grigori will generally get their first adventurer around turn 50 or so. Their next adventurer will probably come around turn 100 to 150 or so. If you are playing in an isolated start, you can just leave your adventurers alone, and later upgrade them into whatever you want. If you are playing in a crowded start however, you often can't do this as someone is going to come knocking on your door, and you'll need a hero to hold them back. The grigori don't get any special mechanics other than the adventurer system, so all the other civs will be better than them in one way or another. Use your adventurers if you need to or you want to go up the metal or recon/horse lines. Otherwise, avoid using them unless you have to.

    9. Magic. There are two ways to do magic. Use your adventurers, or use it as support. If you are using it as support, you are going to want to consider which teir 1 or teir 2 spells are most useful to you. Maelstrom, fireball, enchanted blade, etc. If you're using your adventurers for magic, you are going to want at least 1 death node so that you can have 4 heroic archmages and 4 heroic adventurers. And remember, a heroic adept class unit, with combat 5, gets twincast. That means that you can have 8 summoners, all summoning 2 summons. And because they are so powerful, it makes lots of sense to go deep. Sun mana is especially powerful, as is metamagic if you have lots of mana nodes.

    10. Have fun. Most important rule of all. The grigori aren't restricted from anything except religion, so go ahead and play around with them. Feel free to experiment.

    -Colin
     
  20. Onionsoilder

    Onionsoilder Reaver

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    3,173
    Luchuirp are the best civilization to summon Basium with. If you use their worldspell right after founding your third city, then use suicide units to move all the hammers into one city(preferably the one you plan on summoning Basium in) then settle them all as Engineers, you can get 2-3 Great Engineers before you even research Fanaticism. I usually use one for Bone Palace, if I have a spare settle him, then use the third to pop the gate.

    For other civilizations, it takes longer, but still works out well. At the start of the game you will want to research agriculture immediately if you don't have it. If there are commerce producing plantation resources(Cotton, Dye, or especially Incense) get Calendar as well. After that beeline Education and spam cottages. Depending on your civilization/start you may need Mining as well. After that, beeline Fanaticism.

    Build the gate in your highest production city. Production will be important for Basium to pump out units quickly. You will have a military advantage for a long time, so don't worry about commerce/science until later, after you can conquered a lot of cities and moved your capital. Remember that unlike Hyborem, you are joining with your former civilization, so if possible avoid building the gate were it will inhibit your former empire's expansion(high production is more important than this though)
     

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