The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Let's Play Already

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:24 PM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Adamantium slingers versus death trolls: Let's play Master of Magic


Let's Play: Master of Magic!

Master of Magic (or MoM) is a fantasy turn-based strategy game with a cult following. You play a wizard seeking to conquer the world. You build up your empire, research and cast spells, send armies out to explore and fight monsters, and take over cities. The object of the game is to conquer all the other wizards...or to research and cast the Spell of Mastery. MoM feels a bit like Civilization mixed with Magic: the Gathering.

In this thread, I'm going to play a game of Master of Magic (with some audience participation thrown in) and post after-action reports. I'll highlight the interesting choices that come up in the game. There's a lot going on in MoM, and I don't want to start with a giant wall of text, so I'll try to introduce the game mechanics as we go.

I've played MoM off and on since it was released, back in the days of 3.5" floppy disks. It was in heavy rotation in the college dorms, usually with the Cartoon Network on in the background. I usually jump back in, play a few games, burn out...and then a couple of years later, the bug bites again.

"How can I play this epic game?" I hear you ask. MoM still has a following, 17 years later. It's on sale in a readily-playable form (using DOSBox under the hood). Two good places for information on the game are Jarvinen's page, and this Realms Beyond thread. You may also like the Age of Wonders games if you want a very similar flavor but with modern graphics and sound. I'll post my starting save (plus some along the way) for anyone who wants to play along.

And now, let's poke around a bit with a new game!


Each game of MoM creates a brand new map. Let's play on Hard, where the enemy wizards get big bonuses...but where the AI is still very exploitable. You can choose how many opponents to (try to) conquer. "Land Size" determines how much land (as opposed to water) there is; with "small" land size the map is the same size but consists of smaller islands. The map holds magic nodes (guarded by monsters) which are a source of power, and their power can be set to boosted or nerfed.


You can select from 14 wizards, or play a custom one. You get 11 "picks" to spend on various schools of magic - you can specialize in one, or spread out. The particular spells that you can research (and then cast) are different each game. There are Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Very Rare spells. For instance, with 3 Chaos books, we'll get a total of 6+3+2+1 of the Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Very Rare spells, and we get to choose 2 Common spells to start with. We can get access to all spells of one color, but that will take heavy specialization (10 picks). Picks can also be spent on useful traits (listed up at the top). For example, Warlord boosts all your units by one experience level.

All these options make for huge replayability. You see only a small fraction of the "tech tree" each game. You can play dozens of games and not see every spell, let alone all the combinations of spells and units. The flip side is this rich variety that the game is not tightly balanced - there are some very strong strategies (starting the game by summoning Wraiths), and some crappy ones (sorry, Lizardmen!) This is not an elegant game with no superfluous parts - this is a "kitchen sink" game, an awesome fantasy slug-fest.


Next, you choose the race of your capitol (starting city). The races are different in various ways:
  • The units and buildings available differ by race. For instance, Trolls get some great armies, but they don't get to use some advanced city improvements
  • Some races have economic bonuses. For example, dark elves produce extra magic power.
  • Some races have fast-growing population, and can pump up their cities (and colonies) faster.
  • Some races get along, others don't. The unrest of each city is modified by how well they like the race in your capitol. For example: High Elves, High Men, and Halflings all get along well.

Audience Participation Time!
Ok, Talking Tyrants. There are a lot of options get to choose what flavor

For starting race, here's a short list of options:
  • Halflings - Bonus food! Also, halfling slingers are fun to pump up to ridiculous strength.
  • Dwarves - Bonus gold! Also, they start on the Myrran plane, which leads to a very different game, especially early on.
  • Klackons - Ant-people with bonus production! (Downside: everyone else HATES THEM)
  • Orcs - The only race with access to all buildings!


Portraits:
Merlin, Sss'ra, Raven, Tauron
Sharee, Freya, Lo Pan, Horus
Jafar, Ariel, Oberic, Tlaloc
Rjak, Kali

Play style:
  • Turtle - Never attack another wizard's units or cities (neutrals are fair game). Win by the spell of mastery. This will make for a long game, with time to clear out the mega-tough monster lairs.
  • Super-hero - Try to get a hero unit up to godlike powers with the help of careful training and lots of yummy artifacts. Munchkin-y, but also risky - even super-strong heroes can be killed (watch out for Cracks Call)
  • Vanilla - Just play the game, whatever works.
  • or Something Else.

Cast your votes for a wizard name, a starting race, a portrait, and a play style. I'll tally up votes on Tuesday and start up the game!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:39 PM
Mazian's Avatar
Mazian Mazian is offline
Soybean Powder Expert
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,801
Default

MicroProse! I may have had more of their games in the DOS era than anyone else, or at least in a tight contest with Lucasarts. Back in those days, none of us knew that developers could be separate from the publishers anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumple View Post
Cast your votes for a wizard name, a starting race, a portrait, and a play style. I'll tally up votes on Tuesday and start up the game!
I feel like the third row, second portrait would make a good harvest goddess/war chief. Demeter would need to be a halfling for the food, and play turtle with the power of the seasons' inexorable changing.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:46 PM
Aerdan's Avatar
Aerdan Aerdan is offline
The Great Cave Offensive!
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 415
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazian View Post
I feel like the third row, second portrait would make a good harvest goddess/war chief. Demeter would need to be a halfling for the food, and play turtle with the power of the seasons' inexorable changing.
I like this plan and this game. So much.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-01-2011, 09:23 PM
Kjara Kjara is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 326
Default

Name: Saladin

Portrait: Row 3, column 1

Strategy: Warlord + life magic (crusade) for champions

Race: Nomads

I'll admit that this game is the game that got me interested in strategy games back in the day. It had an awesome strategy guide as well (gave all the formulas and stuff) that I still have somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-01-2011, 10:08 PM
Lucas's Avatar
Lucas Lucas is offline
Metaphysical organ dealer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I don't even know anymore
Pronouns: He/him
Posts: 9,600
Default

I was going to vote for desert halflings, but you know what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazian View Post
I feel like the third row, second portrait would make a good harvest goddess/war chief. Demeter would need to be a halfling for the food, and play turtle with the power of the seasons' inexorable changing.
This works for me.

I just wanna see some halfling slingers.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-01-2011, 10:57 PM
Soren Highwind's Avatar
Soren Highwind Soren Highwind is offline
Back to Front
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: College University
Pronouns: he/him/his
Posts: 3,951
Default

I know nothing about this game, so

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazian View Post
I feel like the third row, second portrait would make a good harvest goddess/war chief. Demeter would need to be a halfling for the food, and play turtle with the power of the seasons' inexorable changing.

this sounds good.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-02-2011, 12:07 PM
Jimcloud's Avatar
Jimcloud Jimcloud is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 133
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazian View Post
I feel like the third row, second portrait would make a good harvest goddess/war chief. Demeter would need to be a halfling for the food, and play turtle with the power of the seasons' inexorable changing.
Looks like it's going to win out anyways, so I might as well add one more vote to the pile.

Last edited by Jimcloud; 07-02-2011 at 03:33 PM. Reason: If there was one mistake I make most, it'd be tot he.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-02-2011, 03:31 PM
Torzelbaum's Avatar
Torzelbaum Torzelbaum is offline
????? LV 13 HP 292/
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Central Illinois
Pronouns: he, him, his
Posts: 12,565
Default

Ariel as Demeter
halflings
turtling strategy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimcloud View Post
Looks like it's going to win out anyways, so I might as well add one more vote tot he pile.
I like this except for the turtle strategy. Would a normal strategy show off more of the game?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-02-2011, 03:34 PM
Jimcloud's Avatar
Jimcloud Jimcloud is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 133
Default

I figured we'd probably get at least a couple of games to properly show off MoM. Even if we don't, the tree-hugging hippie within proclaims we shall turtle.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-02-2011, 03:41 PM
nimling nimling is offline
never go full retard
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: bumtown
Posts: 246
Default

Are you making a custom wizard at your own whim, or do we influence the book selection?

I'd rather not do Life magic, as the high-end spells are ridiculously overpowered, and it's not terribly interesting for anything besides breaking the game open.

3 sorcery, 3 nature, 3 chaos and node mastery (plus a pick for whatever) makes for a very random game, relies heavily on cracking nodes.

So...
Wizard name/portrait: top row, furthest to the right - or any portrait of a wizard who tends to be stronger on average. Name can be whatever, I usually stick with the name of the default wizard.
Race: High Elf
Strategy - Super-Hero, with a few well-placed summons and ordinary troops to support them.

I think it is possible to get flight with this setup to avoid cracks call, either from magic of forging an artifact.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-03-2011, 02:23 AM
Olli T's Avatar
Olli T Olli T is offline
concentrate
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,507
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimling View Post
Are you making a custom wizard at your own whim, or do we influence the book selection?

I'd rather not do Life magic, as the high-end spells are ridiculously overpowered, and it's not terribly interesting for anything besides breaking the game open.

3 sorcery, 3 nature, 3 chaos and node mastery (plus a pick for whatever) makes for a very random game, relies heavily on cracking nodes.

So...
Wizard name/portrait: top row, furthest to the right - or any portrait of a wizard who tends to be stronger on average. Name can be whatever, I usually stick with the name of the default wizard.
Race: High Elf
Strategy - Super-Hero, with a few well-placed summons and ordinary troops to support them.

I think it is possible to get flight with this setup to avoid cracks call, either from magic of forging an artifact.
Seconded!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-03-2011, 03:02 AM
eternaljwh's Avatar
eternaljwh eternaljwh is offline
"I don't get people."
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: isolated vertex
Posts: 1,544
Default

Oh, hey, klackons, making guest appearance from MoO][. Be klackon, it's not like the computers will ever be friendly now anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-03-2011, 08:05 AM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimling View Post
Are you making a custom wizard at your own whim, or do we influence the book selection?
I'm planning to customize and min-max...but for people who've played the game and want to suggest detailed builds, I'll take those too.

Quote:
I'd rather not do Life magic, as the high-end spells are ridiculously overpowered, and it's not terribly interesting for anything besides breaking the game open.
Ah, but if we don't break the game open at least a little bit, it won't be a true MoM Let's Play

Quote:
3 sorcery, 3 nature, 3 chaos and node mastery (plus a pick for whatever) makes for a very random game, relies heavily on cracking nodes.
Interesting! I haven't played node mastery in ages. In my last game, I didn't even take over any nodes at all (started on Myrror, and nodes had defenders like sky drakes)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-05-2011, 12:46 PM
Falselogic's Avatar
Falselogic Falselogic is online now
Threadcromantosaurus Rex
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Falselogic Sucks
Pronouns: they/they
Posts: 32,940
Default

Go klackons. Be the guy who is just two eyes in a cowl and do whatever you want with magic and such since I've never payed the game. Oh and Super hero sounds more fun than the others...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:38 PM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default

Ok, next update will be the adventures of Demeter the Halfling Turtle!

After you've researched all other spells, you can research the Spell of Mastery, then cast it to win the game. Winning by Spell of Mastery isn't the quick way to win, but it's a fun way to win if you like building up your empire more than making war. (It's a little bit like the space race victory in Civilization, in that respect) As a turtle, we'll (try to) win with the Spell of Mastery.

But just because we're turtling doesn't mean there won't be battles - we'll have time to clear out the stronger magic nodes and monster lairs. Usually I leave many of them unexplored, since by the time you're ready to take on the strongest monster lairs, you might be ready to take out the enemy wizards' capitols.

Anyway. The actual update will be delayed a bit from what I'd planned, but will be coming later this week (or this weekend).
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-08-2011, 09:37 PM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Demeter of the Halflings: 1400

In January of the year 1400, Demeter the White Witch became the benevolent dictator of a cozy halfling city named Home. She embarked on a plan of exploration and expansion. The halflings would see new lands and meet new creatures...most of them very unfriendly.


Here's our setup. We've taken:
  • Life books - because Life magic is full of good unit enchantments
  • Warlord - to boost all our normal units one experience level
  • Nature book plus Sage Master - to get a research bonus. Getting the Spell of Mastery is a research race, so having 25% faster research seems like it may be worth a couple of picks.
(And for those who would like to play along at home, the first-turn saved game is online here)


Here's a couple of looks at the main screen: Menu bar on top, map in the left, empire overview or unit list on the right. The "fat cross" of 21 map squares is the extent of the known world! Everything else is obscured by the black "fog of war". In the center of our view is the city of Home, currently garrisoned by two units: Halfling Swordsmen and Halfling Spearmen. Right-clicking on this square zooms us in to the city itself.


The hamlet of Home has 4000 people. Population is treated in units of 1000 people; smaller groups of people are just progress toward the next unit of 1000. Each 1000 population is represented by a little person icon. At the moment we've got three farmers, who each produce three food (bread loaf icons) and 1/2 a unit of production (hammer icon) per turn. And we've got one worker, who produces 2 production per turn. And at some point we may also have to deal with unhappy rebels, who produce nothing at all.

The "Resources" view on the city screen gives a rundown on the city's economy. Each city must feed its own people, so we need 4 food per turn; the rest is surplus.

We produce 5 hammers per turn: 2 from the worker, 2 from the farmers. Those hammers will go to make units (like more swordsmen), and add buildings to Home.

Each unit of population pays taxes: 1 gold per turn at the moment. We're pulling in 4 gold per turn, two of which goes to maintaining the buildings our first city starts with (smithy and builder's hall).

We'll make some changes in our first turn:
- We need 4 food to feed Home plus 2 food for our two military units, so we just need two farmers for 2x3=6 food. We switch the third farmer to become a worker. Production is much better than surplus food!
- At the start, we can double the tax rate to 2 gold per population per turn without getting any unrest.
- We'll want to start pouring our hammers into something useful, so we start on a Granary. It's cheap (40 hammers), boosts food production, and boosts population growth. That's just what we need, because our early-game goal is growth - more people, more production.


There we go! Now we're working on a granary (8 turns of production away), and we're pulling in 6 gold per turn instead of 2.

After taking care of business in town, let's turn our attention outside. The terrain around Home (forests, rivers, oceans) gives a production and gold bonus, and determines the city's maximum population. We can also see a couple of lairs nearby - a keep to the west, and a cave to the east. These sites contain treasure - maybe gold, maybe a new spell - and they're also probably defended by monsters. We'll want to start scouting all the nearby lairs and neutral cities.

We'll leave our two military units in Home for now, to keep it defended from wandering monsters, and because two normal units reduce unrest by one. (Magic units don't have this effect - I guess people don't actually sleep better when there are packs of slobbering hell hounds patrolling the streets). So, to start scouting, we'll cast our first spell!


Here's a peek at our spellbook. Because we started with 7 life spellbooks, we got to choose several common Life spells to start with. (The others we'll have to research). We also start with Magic Spirit, a summoning spell. Magic spirits are used to claim magic nodes and gather power from them. And more importantly for now, magic spirits make nice scouts - they're cheap, and move 2 squares per turn. Let's start summoning one - it's an arcane spell, and it'll take 4 turns to cast (hence the 4 gray "0" symbols)

Ok, that's about all the fun we can have on the first turn. Let's click Next Turn and see what awaits our (adorable, tiny) empire.


Research time! We have a few spells to choose from. We're putting all our power into mana points (and none into research), which is why every spell claims it will take 999 turns to research. Endurance seems like a good choice for when we do start researching. Endurance helps units move across the overworld map faster (for faster exploration and conquest), and it's also useful in tactical combat. Don't worry, we'll get to all of these spells in time...

That's it for turn 2 - most early game turns are pretty uneventful. We click through a couple more turns (one month per turn) to May 1400...


There's our magic spirit!

Demeter: Who's a good magic spirit? Who's a good boy? Who's a good manifestation of the arcane leylines? You are! You are!


We've moved the spirit northwest, then west, and onto the abandoned keep. At this point we know that there are war bears defending it. There could be one unit of war bears, or nine units of war bears. Sending the magic spirit in will let us know exactly, but our spirit will have no hope of fighting war bears. We can have it flee...but units have a 1/3rd chance to be lost when fleeing. (Harsh!) At some point we probably will send in an expendable unit like a Magic Spirit, but for now we'll send our little guy flying elsewhere.


One turn later and a couple squares further out, our magic spirit scouts out another keep. This one is undefended, and inside we find the spell True Light. That's a nice reward for just waltzing in!


In September 1400 (turn #9), we finish our granary, and start on a marketplace. The marketplace will boost our gold income still more, and allow us to build a farmer's market for still more population growth. (Don't worry, we'll get into the gory details of buildings in a future update)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-08-2011, 09:38 PM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Demeter of the Halflings: 1401


What's better than having a magic spirit scout the world? Having two magic spirits scouting the world! The same turn the granary is complete, we finish summoning a second magic spirit. He steps over to the cave to the east, and grabs us the Bless spell. That's a cheap 20-research-point spell, but still a nice perk.


Here's a look at the known world in May 1401. The city of Home grew to population 5 (and it even looks bigger on the map). We've looted a cave with 50 gold, and a cave with 50 mana crystals. We've also found another keep full of bears (up in the northwest).

(Bonus question for Master of Magic veterans: Can you spot the good settlement site?)


Meanwhile, our other magic spirit scout found something even tastier... We've got a neutral city just off the coast to the southwest!

Zapp Brannigan: What makes a man turn neutral... Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?

Newcastle is currently defended by four swordsmen. It's a nice target for expansion, in part because High Men get along well with Halflings. And that road leading to the south means there's at least one more city nearby.

Some of the most important strategic decisions in Master of Magic are which cities or monster lairs or magic nodes to attack, and when. Neutral cities make good targets. They're often not too hard to conquer, and each one you take grows your economy, making it easier to build still stronger armies.


Here's another look at the empire after 16 turns, including the zoomed-out world map. On the tiny island SE of Home is a tower. Towers allow units to travel between the two planes: Arcanus (the "normal" elfy-wolfy fantasy world) and Myrror (a spooky-looking world with stronger monsters and better treasures). Clicking the little dog-ear at the bottom right of the map flips between the two planes.

That wraps it up for our first update. Next time: More scouting, some expansion, and maybe some combat!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-08-2011, 09:44 PM
eternaljwh's Avatar
eternaljwh eternaljwh is offline
"I don't get people."
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: isolated vertex
Posts: 1,544
Default

That seems like the best configuration of Tower you could hope for- it's accessible if you want it, but coming through the other way requires some foreknowledge or forethought.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-09-2011, 05:16 PM
nimling nimling is offline
never go full retard
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: bumtown
Posts: 246
Default

I almost never bother with good settlement sites - spam cities as close together as possible. Each temple, library, university, etc. is worth it, and besides having lots of small cities keeps unrest down.

But if I were to pick one spot, I'd pick the spot 2 west and 4 north of Home.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-10-2011, 07:28 AM
Aerdan's Avatar
Aerdan Aerdan is offline
The Great Cave Offensive!
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 415
Default

I'd probably go for thrice west, quince north of Home.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-10-2011, 09:11 AM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Interlude: The Surveyor

In Master of Magic, as in real life, real estate is about three things: Location, location, and not being devoured in your sleep by killer bears.

Each square around a city contributes to its potential. Shore gives bonus gold, forest/hills/mountains give production, grasslands are great for food. Rivers are especially good! Swamps and tundra are especially bad!


The Surveyor adds up all of these bonuses and tells you the quality of a square as city site. Just hit F1 and move the mouse around to get a report. Home can grow to a very high max pop since it's on a river, but its gold and production bonuses are not great. (I really wish Civ had this feature, although of course the tile improvements in Civ make the picture more complicated)


Here are candidates for settling: 2W4N, 2W5N, 3W5N. They're all very good choices! The middle picture (2W5N) is my favorite of all, because it scoops up all four of the special squares nearby:
  • Iron ore (red hills) reduces unit cost 5%
  • Wild game (deer icon) gives +2 food production
  • Silver ore (white hills) give +2 gold production
  • Coal (black mountain) reduces unit cost 10%


There's also a minimum distance from other cities. If a square is 3 steps or less (including diagonals) from another city, you can't build an outpost there.


There's one other perk of the Surveyor, which not everyone knows: If you mouse over a lair you've scouted, it tells you the monsters that were spotted. This is handy - after dozens of turns it's easy to lose track of what critters live where. You can't settle on monster lairs, at least until you've killed the monsters. Then you just need to clear out the worst of the Cockatrice poop, and put up a big sign that says Jolly Meadows: Homes from the low $200s!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-10-2011, 05:30 PM
Mazian's Avatar
Mazian Mazian is offline
Soybean Powder Expert
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,801
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumple View Post
[*]Silver ore (white hills) give +2 gold production
It never occurred to me how little sense this makes.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-10-2011, 07:53 PM
eternaljwh's Avatar
eternaljwh eternaljwh is offline
"I don't get people."
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: isolated vertex
Posts: 1,544
Default

It makes exactly as much sense as silver and gold being valuable the monetary standard, respectively.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-12-2011, 07:38 AM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Demeter of the Halflings: 1402-1403

Let's take a closer look at how magic works in Master of Magic.


Here's the Magic screen, where we direct the overall flow of magic power. Each turn we get some magic power as income. At the very bottom left we see that our starting "Power Base" is 8, which we get just for showing up (it's generated by our fortress). We will get a little more power each turn by building temples and such. And we will get a lot more by taking magic nodes (beating up their monsters, then sending in a magic spirit). This power is split three ways:
  • Mana - Adds to our mana reserve, which we use to cast and maintain spells.
  • Research - Helps research new spells.
  • Skill - Pumps up our casting skill. Currently our skill is 16, meaning we can cast a 16-mana spell in one turn, a 32-mana spell in two turns, etc. And, we can throw up to 16 points of spells in each combat. If we put 16 points of power into boosting casting skill, it will increase to 17, and so on.
It's a mix of short-term and long-term payoff: You need Mana to do anything, Research gives you new options, and Skill lets you spend more mana per turn. The three staffs let us adjust where we spend our power. (This is a little like the science-versus-taxes slider in Civilization) I started by putting everything into mana, to summon the two magic spirits. We can also do a 2-to-1 conversion of gold to mana (or vice versa) with the Alchemy button. This is a handy option, especially when you play dwarves and end up swimming in gold.

This screen is also where we'll do diplomacy with the other wizards - their portraits will appear in those gems above.


A few turns later, our scout reports on a whole network of small High Men cities to the south; great news for future expansion. And Home bumps up to 6 population; now we get 10 produciton per turn (shown by the little anvil icon, which equals 10 hammers). Our northern scout looted a cave with 50 mana.


January 1402, two years into Demeter's rule as Supreme Overlord of the Lollipop Guild. We've finished our next building, the Marketplace, which brings our net gold-per-turn income up to 10. (We're building up a nice war chest, which we hopefully can soon use to hire a hero). Next up is a Farmer's Market. And scouts continue to push back the fog of war.

We're also working on casting Just Cause, an enchantment with two nice effects. It boosts our fame by 10, which means more and better heroes will offer to join us. And it reduces unrest in all cities by 1, which is even nicer.


Speaking of heroes... In March, Brax offers to join. He's frankly pretty lame as heroes go, but like all heroes, he can become awesome if we feed him enough exp. We'll grab him for the sake of having a hero. And Demeter's Warlord trait immediately kicks in - Brax goes up one level as soon as he's hired. We don't have any immediate plans for Brax, so we'll send him scouting.


In May we finish casting Just Cause...and we immediately crank the tax rate back up to 2. Income is now 16 gold per turn. Good times! But a couple of turns later, we make a scary discovery...


Dun dun dunnnnn! It's Tauron! That guy is a jerk. Look at him, with his dumb Efreet and his stupid dumb fortress. His facial hair makes him look like Satan's defense lawyer. He probably hates puppies!


Now that we've seen his city, we can contact him on the gem-o-phone. (It's truly outrageous!) Diplomatic options are pretty limited. We try for a Wizard Pact, where we agree not to attack each other (until one of us feels like breaking the wizard pact), but no go. We can't exchange spells with him, because we don't share any colors of magic. (Tauron is all about the red/chaos magic). Our relations are "Unease", which probably means "Invasion coming soon".


And down south, Brax bumps into a couple of Swordsmen of Tauron's. Luckily Brax can still pull back (due to Mountaineering skill), otherwise he might get attacked. He heads back toward Home (woop-woop-woop-woop!) Our dwarf needs to be somewhere safe and sound, like a fortress. That'd be safe. Nothing bad ever happens in a dwarf fortress. No sir.


In October, we finish our Farmer's Market. Now Home has an impressive +150 population growth per turn. We've got a few good choices for what to build next. We'd like to expand north, building (and defending) an outpost with Settlers and Swordsmen. We'd like to expand south, building an Armory and some Slingers to conquer the neutrals. And we'd also like to boost production at Home (sawmill, forester's guild, miner's guild). We'll follow our overall philosophy of turtling: Sawmill it is!


And this brings us up to August 1403. Sawmill is complete (giving a minor production boost), and Forester's Guild is underway (to give still more production). Scouting continues. The overall power-meter shows that we're very weak compared to Tauron. That's not unexpected - the AI gets a huge head start on Hard - but we will have to keep an eye on him.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-15-2011, 06:02 PM
Dumple's Avatar
Dumple Dumple is offline
Science!
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 104
Default Demeter of the Halflings: 1403-4 (First colony, first battle)


October 1403. Two new developments this month. Brax has leveled up again! Units gain experience fastest by fighting, but they also gain 1 experience point per turn naturally. The two experience levels (one from our Warlord trait, one from sitting around) make Brax much more effective. I simulated combat between level-1 Brax and level-3 Brax, and the level-3 Brax wins over 99% of the time.

And scouts in the west have made our first contact with Tlaloc!


Name: Tlaloc
Picks: 4 nature, 5 death, Warlord
Likes: Ghouls, flamboyant headgear
Dislikes: Sharing, wearing a shirt

The power-o-meter places Tlaloc in between us and Tauron on the strength scale. He's probably not a big threat. But we may feed him and Tauron some gold in tribute, to keep them happy until we're strong enough that we can stand against them.


December 1403. The Town of Home reaches 9 population, while the Village of Banbury (Tauron's capitol) is still at 6 population. Our turtling is serving us well. (Those flames around Banbury are a Wall of Fire, built for defense) Also, look at that - Tauron built a ship wright's guild, but his city is only next to an inland lake. Yep, that's the AI for you...


May 1404: Home completes its Forester's Guild at last! Meanwhile, Tlaloc is sending some settlers to the southern continent, a move of which we do not entirely approve...

This is another interesting decision point. Settling seems like a good next step. We'll build some spearmen and swordsmen for a garrison, and then send forth our settlers.


Along the way...we send some Spearmen in to check out the nearby keep. Looks like the keep is defended by one unit of War Bears. Our lone spearmen have little chance against the war bears...but with some help, this is a very winnable battle.

The combat system in MoM is pretty elegant. You see those sword icons in the unit stats? Each of those is a 30% chance to land one hit. (Our units have a +1 bonus to hit because of the Lucky trait, so each sword is a 40% chance to land a hit). Each shield icon is a 30% chance to block one hit. When one unit attacks another, the attacker rolls to see how many hits it gets...and then the defender rolls to see how many of those hits it blocks. And each figure in a group gets its own chance to hit - so the war bears versus spearmen matchup is a two-against-eight fight (at least until the dying starts!) The rules are simple, and don't involve fancy math - combat would be simple (but incredibly tedious) to run on a tabletop. But, it definitely takes some experience with the game to get a sense for which units can beat each other, especially when special abilities enter into the mix.


A couple of turns later, Brax leads our veteran swordsmen and spearmen into battle against the War Bears. Brax calls out a battlecry: FOR FREEDOM...AND EXPERIENCE POIIIIIINTS! One minor tactical point - we let the bears run up to us in their turn so that we get first strike. Our first victory in battle wins us...an underwhelming reward of 70 gold.


December 1404: Our first unit of Settlers is complete and starts heading north. True to our turtling philosophy, Home starts in on a Miner's Guild, to get a big production bonus.

Settlers can build outposts, which are like mini-cities - they don't produce or cost anything, and over time they turn into population-1 villages. Outposts grow faster on good city sites. I think there are other mysterious factors that are computed under the hood to determine how fast outposts "hatch".


Meanwhile... Tlaloc has built himself a city in the far south. Tauron has a road to nowhere leading south of his city; I'm not sure what the deal is there.


May 1405: The colony of CheeseCave is founded in the north! Tauron is building roads that will link up. Maybe we will be friends. ...Maybe.


June 1405: Reywind the Warrior Mage has offered to join for 150 gold, and we enthusiastically accepted. He's got a ranged attack, and we get a boost to our magic skill as long as he's stationed in our fortress.

And that wraps things up for this time. We've had our first battle, and founded our first outpost! Turning our eyes to the west, we see one other good outpost site...and the neutral cities look like fine targets, as soon as we get our slinger production going.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts İyou, 2007