Conquest of Elysium 3 is an old school fantasy strategy game. You explore your surroundings conquer locations that provides the resources you need. Resources needed vary much depending on what character you are, e.g. the high priestess need places where she can gather human sacrifices, the baron needs places where tax can be collected and where iron can be mined. These resources can then be used for magic rituals and troop recruitments. The main differentiator for this game is the amount of features and special abilities that can be used. The game can be played on Windows, Linux (x86 and raspberry pi) and Mac OSX (intel and powerpc).

Forum Thread
by member
  Posts  
High cultist down! Can the assistant take his place? AAR and lessons learned (Games : Conquest of Elysium 3 : Forum : AARs : High cultist down! Can the assistant take his place? AAR and lessons learned) Locked
Thread Options
T-C
T-C
Oct 6 2012, 12:28pm Anchor

I start the game as the high cultist on a large map with three random enemies, all at Knight difficulty. I don't know much about the high cultist, but I expect to learn as I go.

My high cultist is named Tobo. My assistant is a cultist of the deep named Yad. We start in a deserted town on the east coast of a land mass. We hold a farm immediately to the west. In my first turn, I assign all of my troops to Yad and send him inland to explore. I send Tobo south down the coastline where only he can go, being the only amphibious member of the group. This leaves my town and farm undefended -- a chance I'm willing to take for the first few turns. However, by the second turn there is already a wolf pack threatening the homestead. Yad returns and defeats them with no losses. Tobo continues along the coast, turning from south to west as the coastline curves.

In early autumn, Yad finds two lightly defended farms. He conquers them both. Meanwhile, Tobo finds a city near the coast. It is defended by 12 units, including a high lord and a catapult. They are too strong for us now, so Tobo leaves the city alone and continues exploring.

There are some large spiders near Yad's newly conquered farms. I decide to ignore them. They are poisonous, and will certainly kill some of Yad's spearmen if I attack. Better to leave them alone until I can afford the losses. Besides, I've studied-up on cultist summons, and I know that many of them are immune to poison. They will be well suited to spider eradication when I get them later.

It is late autumn now, and we have enough sacrifices for Tobo to cast Call of the Deep. He summons a shambler prince named Ususu, but the controlling fails. This is bad. Tobo is alone and will probably lose the fight. I meant to keep Yad close enough to help with situations like this, but I got careless, and Yad is too far away. I look at the statistics for both combatants. It seems about 50% likely that Tobo will be killed on the first round, but if he can survive past that round, he may be able to paralyze Ususu. It doesn't happen; Tobo the high cultist is killed on the first round.

Yad explores a little more and takes a graveyard. It is winter now and movement is slow. Next, he finds and captures a cannibal village. This is my first new source of sacrifices. It doubles my sacrifice income to 2.

Those spiders I declined to attack earlier are causing trouble. They take one of my farms, then attack Yad in a jungle. This is actually a good thing. As defender, Yad gets the first turn and kills all of the spiders with no losses.

Now Yad has enough sacrifices to cast Call of the Deep. He summons two shamblers and controls them. Then he takes back the farm and continues exploring. In late spring, he finds an ancient temple guarded by two cultists and two imps. I have no need for an ancient temple, so Yad passes it by. The following month, he finds a heavily defended guard tower and passes it by. Then, in the following month, he finds another guard tower and passes that one by too.

Yad is now at the shore of a lake with enough sacrifices to cast Call of the Deep again. He summons Buggshaff, a hybrid cultist. That's good. I give the two shamblers to Buggshaff and send this amphibious team to explore the coastline. On his way, Buggshaff finds a third guard tower. Unlike the previous two, this one is lightly defended, although it does have a catapult. I want it as a second citadel. I send Yad to join forces with Buggshaff for an assault on the tower. Before he gets there, Yad is attacked by a pack of 7 wolves and defeats them easily.

Yad is doing surprisingly well in battles. He still has all 3 of the original crossbowmen and 7 of the 10 original spearmen, with only one man wounded. Despite his successes, I know Yad is inferior to Buggshaff, who has more hit points and is amphibious. I consider keeping Buggshaff out of the impending battle just in case the catapult gets a lucky hit. In the end, however, I decide to take a chance and send both my cultists to battle against the guard tower. That was a mistake. Buggshaff is killed by the catapult almost immediately. I take a few other losses as well. What made me think I need this guard tower anyway?

The expanded sight range of the guard tower shows me an undefended hamlet. Yad captures it, then kills a group of bandits that are close by. This brings him within sight of a hoburg village and a town. Both are tempting prizes, but neither is a feasible target right now.

By this point in the game, I had hoped to have two scouting armies exploring the coastline and a third army defending my resource-producing tiles. But losing Tobo and Buggshaff were both crippling losses, and I need to form a new plan. Yad will defend my territory and slowly grow his forces with Call of the Deep until I can take the town, then the city. With those, I'll have a big enough sacrifice income to create additional armies and start exploring again.

In the early winter of year 1, an unexpected hero named Wericar shows up. This is good luck. I send him to recapture my cannibal village, which has somehow slipped out of my control.

Yad summons a shambler prince named Takultu and a war shambler. They are friendly. Then he summons a shambler who is not. The shambler is easily defeated. Then Yad summons four angler spawn.

In my judgment, my army still isn't strong enough to take the town, but I think I'm strong enough to capture a coal mine held by bakemono. I try it and lose a few weak troops. That's okay; I have an iron income now.

My troops do nothing through the winter of year 2. Yad is waiting until the lakes thaw and he can summon again. Wericar is playing hide-and-seek with an elephant which keeps trampling one of my farms. Takultu the shambler prince is staying with Yad because I don't want him off exploring when I'm ready to attack the town.

When the spring arrives, I summon another shambler prince named Zynotoggly and a hybrid cultist named Apkallu. I also get another unexpected hero. This one is named Offar.

At this point, I judge that I'm probably strong enough to take the town. However, I'm concerned that my army is commander-heavy. My summons have been disproportionately commanders, and I now have 6 commanders leading only 10 troops. All this time, I've been trading my gold income for sacrifice income, so I've never had enough gold to recruit troops. For this battle, however, I wish I could buy 5 swordsmen as cannon fodder. It looks like I'll be able to do that if I delay my attack by just 1 turn, so I decide to do so.

Well, the elephant tramples my farm again, and that disrupts my gold income enough to stretch the delay into 2 turns. And after waiting 2 turns, I figure I might as well wait one turn more and do another summons. And that summons fails, so I lose another turn while I fight my own summoned war shambler. By the time the attack on the town finally gets underway, it is early autumn of year 3. I wonder if real wars suffer delays like this...

In any case, I capture the town, doubling my sacrifice income from 3 to 6. Then I split the army, sending Yad and all injured troops to find a lake and do more summons while everyone else attacks the hoburg village.

Around this time, my unexpected hero Wericar, wandering away from the farms and cannibal village he is supposed to guard, finds a lightly-defended iron mine. He can't capture it, but the mine goes on my list of future targets.

Yad has failed to control his summons twice already. I believe that is because he is still just a cultist of the deep. At some point, it will be cost effective to do a Ceremony of Mastery and make him a high cultist. Not now, though. He does Call of the Deep four more times, summoning an angler of the depths, a shambler, a hybrid cultist, and another angler of the depths. No failures -- I got lucky.

The town of the last battle and the city I intend to attack next are at opposite sides of the known world, so it takes me a long time to move the troops down there, especially since I must do much of the marching during the winter of year 3. During this time, my unexpected hero Offar is unexpectedly killed by two wolves. This is problematic since it was his job to watch over my guard tower, coal mine, hamlet, town, and hoburg village, now undefended and left far behind by the southward marching army. Sure enough, four deer soon invade the town, my biggest sacrifice-producing asset, and I have to detach a commander from far away to go get it back. I choose to send Yad. I'm fond of him by now, and I don't want him slaughtered by the city's catapult in the upcoming battle.

Without Yad, the army takes the city, but with heavy losses. I don't mind; I got what I wanted -- four more sacrifices per month. I split what is left of the army into two equal halves and send each half to explore the coastline east and west of the city. I have almost no land-bound troops left; all my original troops have died except one crossbowman, and only one of my recruited swordsmen remains. I leave these land-lubbers in the city. My unexpected hero Wericar died in the attack on the city. All my remaining commanders, except Yad, are amphibious, so it makes sense to deploy them as coastal explorers. I intend to keep Yad at home and expand the local defenses. I start by giving him all the insane peasants who have accumulated at my deserted town.

In late autumn, Yad takes back the town lost to the deer. I now have a healthy sacrifice income of 10 per month. I recruit a captain and some spearmen to guard my resources in the north. In spring of year 4, Yad does Ceremony of Mastery and becomes a high cultist. Yay! I've finally recovered from my year 0 misfortune when Tobo was killed by his summon. I hope I haven't lost too much time.

I'd like to summon some old ones next, but I know that Yad's army of hybrids and insane peasants won't be able to control a rebellious old one, so I plan to cast Contact Deep Ones a few times before I try for one. The first two times I cast Contact Deep Ones, I get a bunch of shamblers and a bunch of deep ones.

Meanwhile, my coastal explorers are doing great. The eastbound army captures a village worth 2 sacrifices per month, then a coastal village worth 1 sacrifice per month. The westbound army captures a port worth 3 sacrifices per month. Each scouting army has a hybrid cultist now, so each army can grow with Call of the Deep as needed to capture lightly defended resources.

My westbound scout army passes within 3 tiles of a meteor crater. I haven't explored a crater in any game I've played thus far, so curiosity gets the better of me and I make a detour to the crater site. Nothing is there. It is a waste of time.

Time passes. The coastal explorers claim a few more resources. My sacrifice income is up to 19 per month. I recruit a captain to guard my resources in the south. And the elephant is back, still trampling my farms. This time, Yad chases him and sets him on fire with a Meteor spell.

In the mid summer of year 6, I summon an old one. I get a star spawn named Ornomchoa. In late summer I do it again and get a second star spawn named Ctenophoros. Then I try it a third time, but this time the star spawn refuses to be controlled and we have to kill it.

The next year is very prosperous. My explorers discover and claim valuable resources right and left. Yad and the star spawn conquer everything nearby that I was too weak to conquer before. My gold, iron, and sacrifice incomes climb steadily. By the winter of year 7, I have seven citadels and I'm receiving 28 sacrifices per month. With my abundant sacrifices, I elevate Ornomchoa to an elder star spawn, although I regret doing it -- it doesn't help me much.

It is time to reorganize. I want two types of armies -- scouting armies and ranging armies. Scouting armies will be small and will uncover new territory as fast as possible, taking only lightly defended resources, then moving on. Ranging armies will keep the homeland safe from wandering monsters and will conquer all resources within my sphere of influence. Currently, I have no scouts. My coastal explorers did a great job of conquering new territory, but they are too busy keeping that territory under control, and they aren't really scouting any more. They have become de-facto ranging armies. I detach a small force from each. These small forces are my new scouts. I send them on their way, still hugging the coast.

I also turn Yad's grand army into two ranging armies by detaching Ornomchoa the elder star spawn and the toughest troops to form a second ranging force.

By now I have four captains garrisoned at four citadels, each with a small force of recruited troops. I decide these are unnecessary. I designate each as a scout team and send them to parts unknown. The reason for this emphasis on scouting is that I haven't met any of my rivals yet, and I'd like to find them before they find me.

I now have six scout armies and four ranging armies. My goal for the next year is to aggressively open up the map.

In early summer of year 8, I encounter the enemy for the first time. A yellow warlock's apprentice appears in my eastern territory, leading an army far more powerful than anything I command. He has 28 elementals, all types, some small and some big. My plan is to avoid combat, find out where he came from, capture his lightly defended resources, and quickly recapture any resources he takes from me.

Before I get started, however, the yellow warlock's apprentice and his army vanish. I don't know where they went. Then, in the west, a blue witch appears with a formidable army of rootmonsters and androphags. One of my scouts finds a second blue witch army almost as big. The next turn, a scout in the far east finds a huge red army led by a serpent priest, full of principes and praetorean guards. In just a few short months, this has gone from a lonely continent to a crowded one.

I think I can handle the blue witch army and the red legions. I don't know how to fight the yellow army and its elementals, though. My commanders rely on paralyze, stun, and confusion to win battles. I don't think those affect elementals. Perhaps I can send horrors at them...

Speaking of which, I don't know how to use horrors effectively. I speculate they are best sent behind enemy lines to keep the enemy troops occupied. I don't see much sense sending a horror against any of the large armies I'm facing now; it won't do much harm. I try it anyway. I send a greater horror to the serpent priest's army of principes and praetoreans. I don't get to see the battle. Judging by the size of the enemy force afterward, I think the horror did little or no damage.

In the next few months, it becomes clear that the immediate threat is the blue opponent. Yellow and red are leaving me alone, but blue is invading my territory aggressively from the west. At first, I try to get some armies deep into his territory to sack his resources, but that doesn't work very well. His territory is too heavily guarded, and my marauders are chased away before they can do any real harm. When I send my elder star spawn Ornomchoa and his powerful army to pillage behind enemy lines, two enemy armies emerge from beyond my view and pounce on him at the same time. He is defeated.

When I operate at the edge of enemy territory, however, I find greater success. Somehow, my little armies can keep one step ahead of the witches and capture resources without getting caught. Of course, I'm usually just recapturing resources the witches recently captured from me, but sometimes I make big advances westward, and overall I feel the balance is on my side. At this rate, though, the war is going to be a long slog.

I keep experimenting with horrors and I have a couple of successes. I try to drop a greater horror on a guard tower where a medium-sized witch army is holding out. I miss, summoning it to an adjacent square instead. The horror is a mean-looking snake creature. I have two armies close to it, and I move them both out of range, just in case. Later, when I move back through the area, I discover that the horror captured the guard tower and a nearby silver mine also previously held by the witches. It looks like the horror steamrolled several witch units and left the way clear for me. I'm very happy about that. In another instance, I was worried that one of my armies was within range of two powerful enemy armies, and might be attacked, so I summoned a greater horror in the square between the two enemy armies. They both attacked the horror, leaving me alone. I'm not sure if these two examples demonstrate effective uses of horrors, or if I was just getting lucky.

I've been trying to keep several small armies in the field, but I've also been slowly building one grand army which I use to mop up defenders the blue armies leave behind. Yad leads the flagship army. I'm trying to keep that army out of reach of the most powerful enemy armies because I can't afford to lose it. After playing cat-and-mouse with the witches for a while, however, I make a mistake. I move my grand army onto a silver mine in the winter when I'm already low on action points. As a result, I have no movement points the next turn. A huge witch army is breathing down my neck, and there is nothing I can do. If it attacks me, I will certainly lose.

Instead of attacking me, however, the witch army splits into three smaller forces, and each smaller force captures a nearby resource. I can't believe my luck. I can probably defeat the smaller armies. I cast Army of the Deep to augment my forces, then attack. A few battles later, I defeat the last division of a witch army which, united, had been undefeatable. The last battle is against Penthesilia the Witch. I realize later that she was the leader of her faction. Now the witches will be led by an apprentice, just as my forces are.

These latest battles make me reflect on how poor my armies are. My front line troops are disappointing, except for the pillars of the depths. By now, my grand army consists almost entirely of pillars of the depths because all other troops tend to die very easily. Among commanders, my cultists and star spawn aren't great either. They have many spells which look good on paper, but don't seem to be very effective in battle. Words of the Void, Strange Hymn, and Invade Mind fail so often that they don't contribute much. Soul Slay is great, but isn't enough. The basalt queens are a little better than the other commanders. They do a steady stream of damage with Torrent of Water, Acid Spray, and Sailor's Death. My conclusion is that I want more basalt queens and pillars of the depths. Therefore, I plan to use all my sacrifice income on Army of the Deep, which seems to reliably summon those very units.

Penthesilia the Witch had two magic artifacts in her possession when I defeated her -- a demon whip, which does 1 to 15 fire damage, and a bloodstone amulet, which grants the power of regeneration. I don't have much use for the whip, but I'm very glad to have the amulet. Several of my troops have battle afflictions. I intend to share the amulet with them, one at a time, until their afflictions are cured. This adds another layer of micromanagement to the game, but I don't mind.

In year 10, my scouts find the end of the world. One has been going clockwise around the continent, and the other counter-clockwise. They finally meet at the opposite side. Near their meeting point is a lightly defended city. They combine forces and take it. Now I have a base of operations at the far end of the planet.

I may have broken the blue team's back when I killed Penthesilia. I'm definitely on the offensive now. I destroy a few medium-sized witch armies and recover all of the resources I lost to the witches. It is hard to believe that I was trying to avoid combat just a few months ago. I see nothing ahead that can stand against me. And my army keeps growing. The last time I cast Army of the Deep, I summoned Barkomand the basalt king. He came with a bunch of deep ones. I'd rather have pillars; pillars are what win battles for me.

For most of the game, I've had a meager gold income, mostly because I've been trading gold for sacrifices. By now, however, I'm earning over 100 gold per month (except for winter) and I can afford to buy a few things. I'd like to spend it all on wizards, but I haven't been offered a single one yet. I buy cultists when I can, but that still leaves me with a lot of cash. Lately, therefore, I've been building human armies of swordsmen and crossbows. I have three sizable human armies now. I keep them patrolling my own territories; I try to keep them out of serious danger.

I find it convenient to bring my grand army and one of my human armies together occasionally so I can transfer to the human army all the non-amphibious troops the star spawn have enslaved with Invade Mind. These two armies are my vanguard. They are marching together on the blue witch's homeland. In addition to those, I have four smaller armies -- two amphibious and two human -- patrolling the border and further inside my territory. Only two scouts have survived -- the two that crossed the continent -- and they have joined together in the city at the end of the world and are now building another army. That is the disposition of my forces, and I think it looks very good. The red and yellow factions are being surprisingly meek. I can see enough of the map to know that I have more territory than they have, yet they aren't pushing at my borders. I almost never encounter them at all.

In the early spring of year 11, I get to recruit my first wizard -- a pyromancer named Othar. I am especially happy to have a pyromancer, since so many of the witch's troops are susceptible to fire. As a bonus, the pyromancer has a star sapphire, which grants +1 in deep magic. He can't use it, but my star spawn can. I give it to Ctenophoros. I can't tell what effect it has, other than giving him the ability memorize a fourth spell, and that's a bad thing -- without the sapphire, Ctenophoros casts only his most powerful 3 spells, but with the sapphire, he casts his weakest spell one quarter of the time. That's definitely not an improvement; maybe the star sapphire isn't a bonus after all.

The bloodstone amulet I took from Penthesilia certainly is a bonus, though. I am pleased to discover that it not only cures battle afflictions, but also cures disease. Also, I've found that before a battle I can transfer it to an injured front-line trooper, and that trooper will recover several hit points at the start of battle. I credit that little amulet with saving a lot of lives.

In mid summer of year 12, I defeat the last of the witch commanders. I didn't expect victory to come so soon. There is a lot of witch territory still ahead of me. I immediately send my grand army east to engage the next opponent. The rest of my expeditionary force is split into about 5 parties and sent to claim abandoned witch resources as quickly as possible.

In early autumn of year 12, I get my second wizard. This is an old wizard named Hermobol. He can cast Chain Lightning, Poison Mist, Maws of the Earth, and Acid Storm. I think I'm going to like this guy.

It looks like my next opponent is going to be the warlock and his elementals. As an experiment, I send a big army of swordsmen and crossbows against a small army of mixed elementals. I win, but this is clearly not the way to defeat elementals. I'd like to see how my pillars of the depths do against them. I still have a lot of marching to do before I can find out.

As I march east, I continue to cast Army of the Deep to grow my forces. However, I have a string of bad luck. I either fail to control the summons, or I get troops I don't want, like shamblers and deep ones, time and time again. After 10 castings costing me a total of 1500 sacrifices, I don't gain a single pillar of the depths. On the other hand, I suspect spell casting is what will win against the warlock, and I'm assembling an impressive army of spell casters. I have 3 high cultists, 5 star spawn, 4 basalt queens, 2 basalt kings, a pyromancer, and an old wizard. Up ahead is an army of 102 elementals. I hope my guys have what it takes to win.

My bad luck at summoning makes me doubt my readiness for battle, so I delay. I fight limited engagements. I probe the enemy perimeter. I find one guard tower which is garrisoned with 7 catapults and 60 troops, including heavy infantries. I plan to attack it with my own catapults and heavy infantries under an expendable commander. I start to build that army at a nearby tower under my control.

In the spring of year 14, I get a golden wizard named Idro. He can cast Enchanted Sleep. I wonder if elementals are susceptible to sleep.

My bad luck at summoning continues. I'm spending a tremendous quantity of resources, yet my army just becomes weaker and weaker as I fight one belligerent basalt king or queen after another. I begin to wonder if there is some game mechanic which makes summons harder to control at this stage of the game. In any case, Army of the Deep clearly isn't working, so I need a new strategy. I decide to spend my sacrifice income upgrading my star spawn to elder star spawn. I don't think elder star spawn are especially effective combatants, but I have to try something.

I'm playing cat-and-mouse with the warlock team the same way I did with the witch team. Against the witches, I lost a few armies, but never a big one. This time I lose a big one. At the northern end of the front, I watch a big yellow army leave a silver mine undefended, so I move in and grab it with my second-biggest army. Then a completely unexpected yellow army with more than 100 elementals comes and gobbles me up. I've been watching that army at the southern end of the front. I have no idea how it moved undetected from the south to the north.

In retribution, I attack the yellow team's heavily defended garrison. It now has 8 catapults. By now, I have 8 catapults too. I outnumber the enemy in heavy infantry and crossbows, so even though he gets the first move, I win decisively. I've never used catapults in a siege before. They helped me win this battle, but I suspect I would have been better off spending the same gold and iron on more heavy infantry.

Now I must decide what to do about the marauding elemental army. My military intelligence is in a state of disarray. I thought I was facing light opposition everywhere except the south, but now that a huge army has broken my line in the north, I don't know what is going on. The army which kicked my butt is led by Damasos the warlock's apprentice. I think he's the commander I was watching in the south, but I'm not sure. And I'm no longer confident that I know what other enemy armies are nearby. In the end, it doesn't matter -- I'm tired of the cat and mouse game, and I decide to attack, damn the consequences.

I bring Yad and the grand army up from the south and collect all other armies together as I go. I end up with about 300 troops and 20 spellcasters. This part of the campaign goes very smoothly. Damasos is easy to catch, and I throw everything at him.

The result is... chaotic. I've never fought a battle with this many troops before, and I'm surprised by the way it works. It discover that if you have too many troops, they don't all fit on the screen; and troops which don't fit on the screen don't get to participate in the battle. Therefore, I start the battle without my back row spell casters. Without spell casters, I get clobbered by the elementals. The pummeling goes on until I lose a few rows of troops and the spell casters move forward. Instead of getting better, however, things now get worse. Before the battle, I had reviewed the spells of all the elder star spawn to make sure none of them is armed with a "kill everyone" spell. During the battle, however, one of the elders casts Meteor Shower. I don't know how he memorized it against my wishes. He casts it not once, but three times. It comes very close to killing everyone. By the third casting, it has taken out all the lesser elementals and all of my troops except the elder star spawn, the basalt kings and queens, and a few lucky pillars and shamblers. My troops somehow gain the upper hand against the remaining elementals, and when the dust settles, I've won with exactly 5 troops remaining -- two elder star spawn, one king, one queen, and one shambler. That's not the outcome I hoped for. My apprentice Yad, a workhorse since turn 1, does not survive the carnage. Neither does a single pillar of the depths, the backbone of my army. The elder which cast Meteor Shower doesn't survive either, so I can't check his spell configuration to see what went wrong.

On the bright side, this epic battle defeats Aiantes the warlock for good. As before, the victory is unexpected. I assumed there would be more armies ahead, since I've only begun to penetrate warlock territory. Apparently, however, the AI is reckless and is willing to send its last commander to the front lines.

This leaves me with only one more enemy to defeat -- the red faction. This faction has been very quiet. I haven't seen any sign of them in years. I suspect it may be the weakest of them all. That's good because I don't have much of an army left. I have several commanders in the backfield, but they are a long way from the front. At the front, all I have are the four commanders who survived the epic battle and a couple of captains who were in charge of the catapult battle. The few catapults, crossbowmen, and heavy infantry who survived the catapult battle are the only troops I have left at the front, except for the one lucky shambler who survived the epic battle. My plan is to send everyone eastward to find where the red team is hiding. I will summon reinforcements as I go. Hopefully, I'll have the army I need by the time I find the enemy.

And that's exactly how it goes. The red team holds only a handful of resources at the extreme eastern edge of the map. I'm able to defeat him in two easy battles. I cast Army of the Deep twice to get the troops I need. Thankfully, both castings are successful. The last battle concludes in the early autumn of year 16. I win. Yay!

Looking back, I have a theory about why one of my elder star spawn unleashed Meteor Shower during the epic battle. I believe it was because of the star sapphire I borrowed from the pyromancer. When I first got the star sapphire, I gave it to a star spawn to see what effect it has on units of that type. I also wanted to see its effect on an elder star spawn, but I didn't have any of those at the time. I wasn't reminded of this until I was preparing for the big battle. So, after settling the spell list for everyone, I traded the sapphire around. I was probably careless about it, and it caused an elder star spawn to memorize a random additional spell -- Meteor Shower -- to my great detriment. This is only a theory. I don't have save files I can use to confirm it.

Looking at the big picture, I take three lessons from the playthrough:

1. First, if I want to be good at the game, I need to understand the rules. I should not have been surprised by the game mechanics of the big battle. Also, I still don't understand the rules for controlling summons. At one point, I failed to control Army of the Deep at least four or five times in a row. That could be a coincidence, but I think it is more likely that success and failure are governed by parameters which I don't understand yet. Mastery of details like these can make a big difference in a close game.

2. I need to be more cautious at the start of the game. In a game like this, you need to take risks and accept losses. However, I was overly reckless in the beginning when small mistakes matter most. If I hadn't lost Tobo and Buggshaff in year 0, I probably could have won the game much sooner.

3. I need to become proficient at using my troops to capture resources while avoiding combat, and at seizing opportunities to destroy divided enemy forces. This is what I called the "cat-and-mouse game". I've also heard it called the "whack-a-mole game". At a strategic level, that's what Conquest of Elysium is all about. I did a good job this time, but this is where additional study will pay off most. One specific idea on this point is that I should try leaving individual spearmen on the map at strategic locations to "spy" on enemy troop movements. That would help keep raiding parties safer when stealing territory from bigger enemy armies.

A fourth lesson might be to study the weaknesses of the AI, but I'm reluctant to do that. Games like these are most fun when the AI is still unpredictable and you can maintain the fiction that it is a worthy adversary. In any case, I'll probably boost the difficulty a notch the next time I play.

Overall, it was a very fun experience. Thanks Illwinter!

-TC

Oct 19 2012, 4:56pm Anchor

Army self suicide 101: if a spell caster has 4 spell slots and you remove the one you do not want him to cast but do not assign him an alternative he will still use the one you do not want him to use. IF A CASTOR HAS FOUR SLOTS HE HAS TO USE FOUR. IF HE HAS THREE HE HAS TO USE THREE. SO ON AND SO FORTH

Moral of the story: IF there are spells you do not want to use you have to subsitute them with another.

I found this out when my Demon lords murdered each other.... expensive lesson.

Other then that ... Cool story bro :)

Edited by: Primagen6*

Dec 14 2012, 11:08am Anchor
Primagen6* wrote:I found this out when my Demon lords murdered each other...

How did they murder each other?

Dec 14 2012, 12:58pm Anchor

Probably with a spell that affected "all battlefield" instead of "all enemies".

And yes, great writeup of a game. Thanks.

Tip: In Dom3 (Illwinters other game) a common tip is to not charge out of the castle attacking on the first turn. Wait until you see what the randoms put next to you. In this game the same tip is good to follow. The random range is quite large so before leaving home its a good idea to check out local groups. Its a big difference if that group of wolves or deer or brigands is 2 or 10.

On testing the AI beware of one big difference between this game and their other game. In THIS game the different factions have different AIs. So tactics that work on one would need to be tested cautiously against the next one.

Edited by: gp1628

Reply to Thread
click to sign in and post

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.