Author Topic: Hard Strategy  (Read 3997 times)

Offline Mick

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Hard Strategy
« on: May 24, 2013, 06:08:33 PM »
Has anyone played the game much on hard difficulty?

I'm having a bit of trouble trying to crack the Age of Man. Mostly it seems that bandit placement can really mess with you badly, especially if they get placed near the Norse side especially (who has weaker military in general). The bandits that come out are pretty much guaranteed to level up to 4 quickly from your military suicide themselves into it. Even with siege equipment, keeps are a huge amount of health and difficult to take down (i.e. they spawn faster than they die).

With so much effort put into just surviving against he bandits, even the smallest score gate goals become quite a challenge.

Please keep in mind, this is not a call for a nerf. Although I do admit the jump from normal is a bit steep (so maybe some tweaking should be looked into). It's very possible that my opening moves are just very very wrong and I need to rethink hard about how to approach the opening in a hard game.

Offline zharmad

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 03:54:43 AM »
On my last E/I game I placed a second town as an opening move, then bulked up on military with 3barrracks:2archery or 2barracks:3archery. You need a second town ASAP to have expansion room, and the stone won't come easy once the game starts. This buys me enough time to set up fortress counters. One needs to start the ball rolling by taking out bandits the turn they spawn (you also damage the fortress this way, slowly).

It's tougher when the fortresses spawn next to Norse towns - I usually go to the trouble of getting an archer town to wear down superior bandits, and go ASAP to a school. Taking in Greek sieges would be a default way to both kill the bandits there and take score. I suspect you have to keep sacrificing towns anyway - it was not possible to defeat the bandits on Expert before the 1.00 release patch.

Which map? This is important. I played on Chaos, so there's a lot of delaying terrain around.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 04:01:03 AM by zharmad »

Offline Mick

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 09:20:39 AM »
Does E/I mean without score gating?

Offline zharmad

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 12:13:49 PM »
Ah, I had normal score gating: E/I/N.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 07:37:23 AM »
I had to cope with this exact problem in my current H/N/N game - the bandit keeps started spawning near my Norse capital an started to make quite a mess. I managed to survive the Age Of Man and hit the score gate by doing a couple of things:
  • Continuously expanding with the Greeks and somewhat spamming Trojan Horses while the Bandits were busy killing Norse
  • Building a strong income of Incense for both factions as fast and far as possible
  • Somewhat spamming Valkyries and Minotaurs in changing amounts to take care of the remaining bandit keeps and bandits while trying to maintain some (poor) resemblance of balance between Red and Blue.
  • Dropping whatever Tokens I could afford to help meet the score gate

This strategy left me with quite a bit of trouble to herd in the summoned Creatures in the Age Of Monster but it seems I succeeded in this goal, again making heavy use of Mythologicals, Tokens and one or two godly interferences ; ). I am now at the start of the Age Of Gods and it looks like I should be able to win the game (I alread hit the necessary score gate)...
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 07:39:44 AM by nas1m »
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Offline Mick

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
I tried the whole 3:2 thing, but it seems to me that anything that isn't siege is pretty much going to feed the bandits power.

I think I'll try starting directly with siege. It's just annoying that the guys seem to ignore the bandit keep right near them to zoom past and siege the enemy towns instead.

I understand the whole "you need to build siege in order to take down the keeps" thing, but you are hopeless if the keeps are behind or to the side of you it seems.

I'm really thinking commandment should work on keeps, but instead of it calling ALL the military over to it (way too exploitable), it should just "taunt" all the military within a certain radius.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 10:36:53 AM »
I'm really thinking commandment should work on keeps, but instead of it calling ALL the military over to it (way too exploitable),it should just "taunt" all the military within a certain radius.

Now that's an idea. Something for Mantis?
I would vote for this...
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Offline zespri

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 05:48:50 PM »
May be not taunt in a radius but rather attract N closest? If a keep is spawned in an odd place it's quite likely that there is NO ONE in the radius.

Offline Misery

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 10:04:39 AM »
I'm finding that non-siege units are more important than I'd originally thought here.


My current game is on the tiny lake-heavy map, the one with the name I cant remember.   Crazy map, that.   An H/N/N game to be exact.

I'm on turn 21.   I've had 6 bandit keeps pop up, and generally these were close to each other.... heck, 3 of them popped up in a perfect line.

But anyway, the very first thing I did was send as many human units at them as I could;  I think I had 3 military buildings setup on both red and blue side within 5 turns, which then charged at the first and second bandit keeps. 

It was important for one reason: they got early kills against bandits, and hit level 4 quickly.  Thus giving them more chance against further bandits, and increasing the chances of being able to keep those jerks from actually escaping their forts.   Though I think this particular tactic might be a bit easier on a large map.... as it's hard for red and blue to also get kills VS each other on this tiny map (which is also important on Hard) when bandit keeps are directly in the way.... but it still worked out to hold them off for a time and generate some units on each side that were pretty powerful.

Another thing that really helped here was Nemean Lion.   That's a very effective token!  Even if level 1 units grab it, it's still useful.  They're bound to get a couple of bandit kills REALLY fast after grabbing it, so they'll level-up immediately, particularly if you used it in the right spot.   Important to remember that like any token that works on units it can be grabbed by either side!

I think it wasnt until nearly turn 15 or so that I started to try to get siege units going on either side.   I mighta started earlier, but I also had the Divine Summons woe approaching, and used Pandora's Box to speed it up since it was going to take 15 turns to get there.   Pandora's is also useful if there's alot of mountains around as it makes for units that can chase escaping bandits through those mountains.   But of course, the triple-speed woes aspect of it is dangerous. 

Also ranged units, both human, and mythological (if you can get any out during this time; I'm typically slow to start that up based on my playstyle) are great at picking off new bandits to get kills and thus levels without worrying about counter damage, which can be a major problem for any melee unit attacking a keep.


There's probably more tips I could give, but those are the ones that I can remember.   There's been lots of destruction in my current game so far, 1 red city got utterly flattened when the blasted Spies woe went off and another red one got half-flattened because a bandit siege unit managed to escape and go bonkers, but currently I still now have 3 cities on each side and not TOO much lunacy going on.  Pretty confident I should hit the age of monsters without major trouble now that that initial storm was survived.

Offline vehementi

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 03:51:30 PM »
I played on E/E/N just now with 20 turn rounds (i.e. harder scoring unfortunately).

All I do now to start is build a 2nd town, a guard tower for both towns, and 6 incense, since they are the most expensive & valuable resource.  Then on the real turns I just keep building as much clay and incense as possible, and drop minotaurs and whatever I can scrounge (light elves / giants / valkyries) beside any bandit forts that come up.  A single minotaur giant or light elf will suppress a fort forever basically.

I had a hard time getting through the first score gate but that's probably because it was a 20 turn game (I wish the score gate targets would adjust to the # of turns).  However since I didn't have any military units, I could drop any myth tokens with impunity for free points (even pandora's box doesn't increase woe rate because nobody picks up the buff).

Around turn 35/60, I got the mass extinction thing (bans red/blue myth creatures but not bandit myth creatures) which rocked my world and made me build my first farms.  I spammed like 6 barracks per side in some back town and they all got super from the tokens from before and were able to handle the bandits.  The adamantium guy I had to quarantine on an island.

It sorta kept me on my toes for the rest of the game but the last 6 turns I just sped through because I had met the final score gate by like turn 45/60 and just neutered the world with god effects (score penalties not hurting me) and fast forwarded because I knew nothing would do anything much less wipe out an entire side.

I guess overall it was not challenging at all (except the start) because I only lost 1 town (+1 town when a 6 milion damage superman got out of captivity and destroyed all the buildings in one turn before I locked him up again).  There was no possibility that I would lose given that I could smite 6 tiles per turn if I needed to, and how I kept expanding (spend 3 actions on 3/4 of a landbridge, spend 1st action of blue on 4th land tile, 5th action on town center, 6th action on guard tower).

Overall I feel that being able to place mythological creatures anywhere on the map makes the game pretty trivial if you have the resources to build mythological creatures.  Since all normal units are utterly worthless against all the bandit superheroes in the first place, and take forever to get built and move anywhere, I really don't see a reason to build anything but mythologicals.

Offline Misery

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 08:02:47 AM »
I played on E/E/N just now with 20 turn rounds (i.e. harder scoring unfortunately).

All I do now to start is build a 2nd town, a guard tower for both towns, and 6 incense, since they are the most expensive & valuable resource.  Then on the real turns I just keep building as much clay and incense as possible, and drop minotaurs and whatever I can scrounge (light elves / giants / valkyries) beside any bandit forts that come up.  A single minotaur giant or light elf will suppress a fort forever basically.

I had a hard time getting through the first score gate but that's probably because it was a 20 turn game (I wish the score gate targets would adjust to the # of turns).  However since I didn't have any military units, I could drop any myth tokens with impunity for free points (even pandora's box doesn't increase woe rate because nobody picks up the buff).

Around turn 35/60, I got the mass extinction thing (bans red/blue myth creatures but not bandit myth creatures) which rocked my world and made me build my first farms.  I spammed like 6 barracks per side in some back town and they all got super from the tokens from before and were able to handle the bandits.  The adamantium guy I had to quarantine on an island.

It sorta kept me on my toes for the rest of the game but the last 6 turns I just sped through because I had met the final score gate by like turn 45/60 and just neutered the world with god effects (score penalties not hurting me) and fast forwarded because I knew nothing would do anything much less wipe out an entire side.

I guess overall it was not challenging at all (except the start) because I only lost 1 town (+1 town when a 6 milion damage superman got out of captivity and destroyed all the buildings in one turn before I locked him up again).  There was no possibility that I would lose given that I could smite 6 tiles per turn if I needed to, and how I kept expanding (spend 3 actions on 3/4 of a landbridge, spend 1st action of blue on 4th land tile, 5th action on town center, 6th action on guard tower).

Overall I feel that being able to place mythological creatures anywhere on the map makes the game pretty trivial if you have the resources to build mythological creatures.  Since all normal units are utterly worthless against all the bandit superheroes in the first place, and take forever to get built and move anywhere, I really don't see a reason to build anything but mythologicals.


It gets harder on higher difficulties, believe me.

I tend to use myth stuffs alot myself, and usually have a good number of seers, diamond mines, and the various other things that those guys need to be summoned, but...  yeah, I cant just spam them.  I have to be careful with the placement, because my towns *will* get damaged/wrecked, so I cant just keep up a totally crazy supply of incense and whatnot the whole time.  I need those human units, definitely.   Particularly since the bandits are both A: really strong and B: absolutely everywhere.   The bandit keeps spawn pretty frequently, the bandits all have bloodlust, and they like to spawn really nasty things like siege drills or that irritating archer.  And myth units often need to be leveled before they can jump into those fights without instantly dying and thus wasting their cost.

It's also worth keeping in mind that human units can use things like ruins, tokens, and such, and there are also some buildings that can give them a bit of a boost when they spawn, like the one that adds 3 AP to their max in whatever town it's in.

This is on an H/H/H game, currently.    It's quite challenging.


Anyway though, all of this is exactly why I'd brought up the whole human unit differentiation topic, with the idea of giving them more unique traits and abilities as opposed to their rather weak damage bonuses.  Though they'd still ideally be definitely not as strong as myth types, but still have more use.   I see in the upcoming patch notes that one of the greek archer units is getting a 4x bonus against myth types.... that's exactly the sort of thing human units need, is changes like that, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of those.

Offline Billick

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 08:55:28 AM »
By E/E/N do you mean expert/expert/normal or easy/easy/normal?

Offline Mick

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 09:31:18 AM »
I think he meant Expert, but it is a bit confusing. I hereby declare that Expert/Expert/Normal will now be designated as X/X/N for all future posts.

Offline vehementi

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2013, 07:46:53 PM »
Sorry, I was indeed playing on expert / expert / normal with 20 turn rounds.

Now playing on expert / insane / normal with 30 turn rounds with 2 player co-op.  We started out building 1 extra town, 1 tower per town, and the rest incense (15) for frost giant faction, and only 11 incense for minotaur faction because a smelter + iron mines require so much cut stone.  First and second turn we placed all woodcutters and then just focused on building clay/incense.  By turn 2 or 3 when the first bandit keep spawned we were able to drop mythologicals (minotaurs and light elves) on them with ease, producing >1.0 mythologicals worth of incense/pottery/steel per turn from then on.

We're well into the gods time and nothing has threatened us yet realisticalyl (we've lost buildings here and there and the first town), though the level 3 frost giants that spawn in bandit keeps are a pain in the ass now.  We have not built a barracks.   We even hit the woe that blew up all towns except 1 for each faction and just saved up our actions the turn before and placed 2 new towns per faction and some towers "just in case".

Spamming mythological creatures is not a problem because you can always counter spam.  The problem with normal units is that you cannot quickly place them, place them where you want, have them do what you want etc.  Whereas if, oh crap there's a bandit fort behind me, I can drop 2 minotaurs / frost giants on it no matter what.

We have so many resources it's silly.  We expand to a new town every 3-5 turns for each faction.  A woe came and wiped out red's 1000 of each resource and we barely noticed.  A lot of the time we expand because there's nothing else to do (we're farming bandit points from all the keeps and have long since blown out of the final score gate, don't need any particular resource, could drop all the myth & god tokens in one turn, etc.)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 07:48:46 PM by vehementi »

Offline Billick

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Re: Hard Strategy
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 08:30:11 AM »
I'm wondering if an insane general difficulty is needed.  I was able to win on expert/expert/expert on my first try.  I didn't seem super easy, but I also don't think I played particularly well.  I doubt expert/insane/insane would be that difficult for a strategy veteran playing with a good strategy.  I'm not sure how many people are actually trying these harder difficulties though.  It doesn't seem like very many.