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).

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Tactics and strategy (Games : Conquest of Elysium 3 : Forum : General CoE3 Discussion : Tactics and strategy) Locked
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May 21 2013 Anchor

This thread is for observations on strategy and tactics in CoE3.

CoE3 is a game which tactically favors the defense in most cases, but strategically favors the offense, because the game is ultimately about resource control. Unlike Dom3 which encourages big army clashes on the borders (because you can't move into enemy territory without lining up on the border the turn before, and can't move more than 1 square through enemy territory), CoE3 encourages a raiding strategy.

Tactically, the defender always gets the first-strike advantage (modulo assassination attacks), and often gets an armor bonus based on terrain. This can mean that two massive armies of roughly equal combat power can maneuver in proximity to each other with relative impunity, because whichever one attacks the other first forfeits the defensive bonus. Battles are primarily about "who can get there the firstest with the mostest", although magic can alter that to an extent. The ideal tactical situation is to be sitting in a fort with one gigantic superstack when the enemy hits you with everything he's got.

Strategically, units are expensive and resource production of any individual tile is low, which means you will ALWAYS have a low force-to-space ratio. Together with the fact that capturing a resource doesn't end a unit's movement, this makes raiding very powerful. If you've ever tried to chase a lone imp through your territory with a superstack as it captures unguarded ancient forests and mines, you know what I mean. The main limitations on raiding are of course: the number of commanders you have available, and the ability to keep your raiding army intact. There's a tension between stealing the maximum amount of territory and managing not to be annihilated by defenders or counterattackers. Strategically, the ideal response to a massive superstack sitting in a fort is to split up into raiding armies and steal all of his resources, thus forcing the enemy to leave his fortification and counterattack.

Some classes are better at some of these things than others. Enchanters are pretty good at building up super stacks through enslavement, but because necrotods and clay golems compete for resources with buying commanders, they are poor at raiding. (It's possible that portals may help here. I haven't experimented much yet.) An enchanter is likely to focus on a nodal counter-raiding defense strategy with static defenses on resource-producing nodes (mines and towns) plus a medium mobile force under one commander; meanwhile the main superstack charges right for the enemy heartland with the intention of smashing armies and taking and holding key resource nodes. Barbarians seem to excel at raiding, with lots of powerful, fast troops that force the enemy spend lots of defense everywhere.

Overall, CoE3 feels to me more like a game of maneuver than Dom3 does, and I like that, especially with the considerations that terrain and season add to the equation.


P.S. For contrast, an example of a game which favors tactical offense over defense is Axis and Allies (2nd edition) because the 'retreat' mechanic is only available to the attacker. This results in a tactical no-man's land where you are trying to tempt the enemy to come within your reach so you can attack him. See 'dead zones' essay here:
P.P.S. I barely managed to avoid hitting the "POST REPLY" button when I made this edit, which would have eaten the post. Yay for me! About to hit "Save" instead...

Edited by: wilsonmax

Jun 2 2013 Anchor

You've done a great job of describing the basics of strategy in the game, and I don't have much to add. I just came back to the game after a long hiatus and everything you said rings true to me.

The resource rush at the beginning of the game sets up the mid and late game. Players that cannot grab enough resources to start producing units quickly enough fall behind in strength. This puts them at a disadvantage unless they can maneuver and defend intelligently. It can be done, and I've managed to dig myself out of a difficult hole a few times, but it's not easy to do.

It's why I was disappointed with the Burgermeister faction the first time I played it. All of the units were slow, limited to 2 action points except the Hog Knight, and that was one of the most expensive units.

That was before I realized how many Hogmeisters I would be offered and how cheap they were to buy (under 30 gold in most cases). It's not unusual to have 3-4 offered to you in the first year, allowing you to find and seize a significant chunk of valuable territory. Once I started producing more Hog Knights, summoning animals, and creating constructs, I had a few strong raiding forces and harassed my opponents with them for the rest of the game while building up a strong stack of units at my home citadel. The faction went from being my least favorite to my favorite in a very short time.

Jun 23 2013 Anchor

I like to build more units and attack the enemy. Needless to say, I'm a strategy pro.

Jun 24 2013 Anchor

Knowing when to attack is part of "tactics". If you have 800 zombies and he has 50 dwarves forted up in a Dark Citadel, will you win if you attack him? I posted a damage calculator in the other thread that can help you compute you the answer to that.

Knowing what to do when a straightforward attack would lose is part of "strategy."


Jul 1 2013 Anchor

portals are not good for raiding, because portals can also be used by enemies. so you're somewhat obligated to defend your portals, so you'll want to place them sparingly. the main use of the portal is in defending a valuable area you know you want to keep as part of your empire. make 1 superstack with as many catapults as you can afford, don't place any anywhere else in fact, and keep them on your home base... place new portals in areas that siege attack can be used against, or right next to them. now if the enemy siezes your city or tower, you immediately counterattack with your catapult stack. portals in the mountains are interesting, you only pay a 1 movement cost if you portal into the mountains from elsewhere. so a portal in the mountains (or swamp or jungle too i guess) is somewhat less of a vulnerability than one in the clear... the enemy cannot both sieze it and move to one of your other portals in the same turn. but if the enemy moves onto it, or even adjacent to, you can portal to there, and move off to attack them if necessary. well that's all a long way of saying portals are good for defense but not for entering enemy territory really (unless you know for certain you can win and hold the location).

Jul 2 2013 Anchor

Portals are great for allies. Especially AI allies. You can put a portal in an Allies capital then new portals where you want to direct them. Its particularly good for allies like Baron and Dwarf Queen who tend to build up large armies back at the capital then have a long march to get them to the front

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