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Master of Magic, Anyone?

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  • Master of Magic, Anyone?

    I just did a search, and it doesn't look like anybody's posted about it recently (except for a few mentions in "old games we want remade" type threads), but I've been playing it, and felt the need to post about it.

    My old strategy used to be making a custom warlord/famous/charismatic life magic guy and relying on stacks of ultra-elite and higher (once I learn Crusade) paladins or elvish lords or something. It was the only way I knew how to win on Hard.

    These days, I've been experimenting with the pre-made wizards and various different strategies adapted to each wizard. I've been playing more black magic. I recently discovered a strategy that actually makes Orcs useful (never used them before): played Rjak and used them for rapid religious structure expansion (double the effect from his Infernal Power), using that as the basis for an army of summoned creatures. It was fairly effective, until I realized I was trying to out-summon Sharee, who is a conjurer. Then I got bored, and moved on to another game.

    For my current game, I chose Kali, and am relying primarily on Gunther with some nice enchanted equipment (making use of that Artificer pick), along with a stack of horsebows to get him started. Yes, I'm playing Nomads. Currently, I'm banished, and relying entirely on military units. I've continued playing because I was doing remarkably well against Raven (a modified Raven with nature, chaos, and death books... traded a bit with him early on, tried a wizard pact, but he broke it three turns later), but Freya broadsided me with some water walking units, taking my capitol.

    Gunther is on his way back to take the city back (he's high enough level now I think he can take it back by himself), while two of the horsebows that survived the assault on Raven's capitol remain behind to guard it, and the last surviving unit is moving on to nickel and dime Raven's remaining cities (they're guarded mostly by stacks of spearmen). Hopefully, he won't have much left when he returns... even better, I'll have him eliminated except that one little hamlet he established inside my territory earlier (gotta take care of that eventually). Soon, I'll have three cities disgorging units: priests, horsebows, and elvish longbows (Raven was ruling elves), while the others develop.

    Each game seems to be presenting me an interesting strategic challenge. It's nice to have lost my capital late enough in the game that I feel like I can continue my momentum without my wizard for a while... though I am looking forward to Kali returning, so I can complete Gunther's magic item collection.
    To those who understand,
    I extend my hand.
    To the doubtful I demand,
    Take me as I am.

  • #2
    Nomads have awesome griffons. If you can get one of these invisible...
    Various races have their own strengths. Halflings have slingers who, in big packs, can devastate about everything.
    The only race I find weak are the lizardmen, who need to rush since their only real advantage is water walking, but can't rush Myrror (or Arcanus, depending on where you start). Gnolls tend to suffer the same limitations, but their wolves are so fast that rushing is actually easier than sneakily attacking from water with lizards. Once you've captured an alien city, though, you can usually build strong stuff whatever your starting race was.
    Anywayn I most of the time end up with stacks of death made of heroes, blue dragons, colossus... with some packs of dwarven hammerhands or paladins or griffons to mop up.
    Clash of Civilization team member
    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
    web site and forum here on apolyton)


    • #3
      Crusade? I try to end the game waaay before that; the AIs start casting really annoying spells at Impossible if you let them live too long.

      You can field a halfling slinger with endurance and heroism before the end of the third year. That single unit can take out nearly any neutral city and about half of the nodes (against any 1-move unit, move up to range two, fire, retreat, fire, etc.). For extra hitting power, add Flame Blade and Eldritch Weapon. To make the slinger nearly unkillable, cast Lionheart on it (I've had lionhearted slingers kill Great Wyrms in melee). Add Invulnerability to go completely over the top.


      • #4
        I just get killed really early on, or rather my hero's do and that makes me sad so I tend to quit!!!

        I don't think i've got a handle on the battles at all, and I get lost with all the magic, I still think i'm playing civ!! But I love starting a new game, and it's a game I mean to spend a lifetime getting to know

        Of course stardock may have released a new version by then?


        • #5
          The trick with heroes is not to have them actually fight all that much when you first get them. Send them out with a stack of normal units, summons, or something, let them participate a little (leave them out of battles with archers or casters until they can survive a concentrated assault), but mostly let the regular units do the real fighting. Let them collect xp, and once they've got their first gold dot, they should serve fairly well for the stage of the game you're playing.

          But don't forget to always leave that sixth slot open, so you can hire/rescue better heroes/summon champions as they become available. A myrmidon level champion is comparable to some early heroes at high levels. And Torin pwns all. (Hint: try making a custom wizard with nothing but life books, pick Incarnation as a starting spell, quickly build as many shrines, etc. as you can, summon Torin, coddle him for a level or two, then turn him loose upon the world. You win.)

          Heh, Crusade. As I said, that was my strategy back when I mostly played at normal. But I do like letting the game go on long, and focusing more on defense than offense... once I have enough resources to feel secure in my position. It's nice to leave a stack of four units or so in each city (once I've got the population and buildings to support them), and leave a stack of four fast units (or one champion and a couple fast units for emergency backup) at a nexus within a turn's ride of as many cities as possible, and then click "next turn" a lot as I research the Spell of Mastery, periodically having to break that rhythm to destroy an invasion force.

          So far, I've not gotten to beating Hard consistently, but then again, I have so little time to play these days...
          To those who understand,
          I extend my hand.
          To the doubtful I demand,
          Take me as I am.


          • #6
            I can beat hard in about 2 hours.

            The Artificer, Runemaster combo makes it easy.

            Don't try to confuse the issue with half-truths and gorilla dust!


            • #7
              Beating the game on impossible wasn't too difficult. My main problem was the game would freeze just when I was gearing up for the offensive. I wound up snapping the disc in half from frustration.
              I'm consitently stupid- Japher
              I think that opinion in the United States is decidedly different from the rest of the world because we have a free press -- by free, I mean a virgorously presented right wing point of view on the air and available to all.- Ned


              • #8
                You can make the game pretty stable by a simple edit in spelldat.lbx - just make Raise Dead prohibitively expensive to cast. Since I changed the attached file, the really buggy stuff has gone away.

                For experienced hex editors: change the data at 1583 from 00 to 1F.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Huh, I haven't had any problems at all.

                  Wait... no, that's not true. I do get occasional (really not all that often) freezes. But the game autosaves enough that I just start back up, hit "continue", and replay a few turns. Usually I regard it as sort of a blessing in disguise, since I do not reload on principle, but do take advantage of post-crash reloads to redo things given knowledge of what's likely to happen on future turns.

                  Does it make a difference what environment you're running the game in? I can imagine a lot of crashes if you're trying to run it in a Windows environment. I dosbox it under Ubuntu.

                  Oh, man, I was so happy when I started running it that way. I hadn't heard the game's music in probably a decade or so, since I could never get sound to run properly through Windows (sound emulators failed me... can't remember the name of the program...). I love that old FM music, played through an old Soundblaster-like emulation.

                  Aaaaaand... it's the weekend! I can play MOM again, yay!

                  EDIT: Update on the Kali game I described above. I sent Gunther to retake my capitol, and he was successful. But then I saw that I'd missed a group of swordsmen heading over to one my (currently undefended) hamlets, a group I could have easily take out if I'd been paying closer attention. So I broke my no-reloads rule. Big mistake.

                  Apparently, Gunther got REALLY lucky that first time, because I was completely incapable of replicating his earlier success. With my main powerhouse dead (I tried again and again, and decided to live with the results), it was only a matter of time before more of Freya's water walking units, combined with a recently returned Raven, managed to team me. I returned, was re-banished shortly after, and this time, decided to resign. All in all, a fun game, and one I learned a bit more strategy from.
                  Last edited by Ironwood; September 26, 2008, 21:10.
                  To those who understand,
                  I extend my hand.
                  To the doubtful I demand,
                  Take me as I am.


                  • #10
                    I still play sometimes.

                    I like more Humans for paladins with all Blue.

                    Best regards,