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Hard Strategy

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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.

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.

Does E/I mean without score gating?

Ah, I had normal score gating: E/I/N.

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)...


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