April 24, 2011

MOM -- Torin the unbalanced

Someone around here referred to "Torin the Incarnation" as "Torin the Unbalanced". I have never summoned Torin before, so tonight I was playing a 2Green6WhiteMyrran game, and found the Incarnation spell in a lair and decided to give him a try.

Unfortunately, by that point I'd mostly cleaned out Myrror. The good side is that I had a good storehouse of magic items. So there he was with 20 experience points, and this is what I did to him:

sword, The Defender: +3 Attack, +3 to hit, +3 defense, Destruction, resist or be disintegrated
Armor, Righteous Plate of Evasion: +3 Defense, +3 movement, +2 resistance, Righteousness
Helm of Trollish Might: +3 attack, +2 to hit, +1 movement, Regeneration

Spells:
Water Walking
Path Finding
Endurance
True Sight,
Lion Heart
Invulnerability
Heroism

melee 30
armor 16
resist 20
22 hit points
movement 7

That's where he began. Later he got even more spectacular.

And because of the interaction bug between Path Finding and Water Walking, he was zooming around at 14 squares per turn. And obliterating everything in his path.

A Sky Drake did about 12 points of damage to him, and got obliterated. 3 air elementals managed to do 4 points of damage to him. Nothing else could touch him. I eventually sent him to Arcanus, just to find things to do to gain experience points. By the end of the game his stats were completely preposterous, and he had a higher spellcasting ability than I did.

There are a bunch of things he's got that make it so that things in the pile with him all get to be better than normal, but he didn't need the help, and they would just have slowed him down. (Waaaaay down. 14 squares a turn on his own!)

Man, he really does unbalance the game, if you can put either Flight or Water Walking on him.

The one thing I was worried about was whether Merlin had Crack's Call. Fortunately, he didn't. Yeah, if he'd used it successfully, I could have summoned Torin again, but he wouldn't have had all those marvelous items I gave him. Those would be gone.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 09:05 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 362 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Ouch.

I've been getting my head handed to me on hard, so that sounds even sicker than, well, it is.

Posted by: ubu at April 24, 2011 11:31 PM (GfCSm)

2 I've toyed with him before, but the way that you used him (massive amounts of gear and persistent buff spells) is pretty much the only way he's useful.  In a turtle/tech rush, you can easily get him before you really have the ability to make him uber; in that case, he's considerably less useful.

I admit that I have something of a bias, as well; I like massed casters and casting heroes, because they start kicking tail on Round 1 without leaving their starting position.

Posted by: BigD at April 25, 2011 07:22 AM (LjWr8)

3 All heroes, even Torin, will suck when unleveled, unequipped, and unbuffed. It's best to summon/recruit them early, stack them with an armsmaster, and let them reach at least level 5 (level 3 in Torin's case) before sending them out alone and unsupported to single-handedly clear out a nest of Sky Drakes.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at April 25, 2011 07:46 AM (4njWT)

4

I don't think that heroes get any benefit from an armsmaster.

And the problem with Torin is that you can't recruit him early unless you're extremely lucky. The Incarnation spell is third level, and takes a long time to get to in your research tree.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 25, 2011 07:52 AM (+rSRq)

5 Wouldn't losing him to any "destruction" spell like Cracks Call send the items back to your tower?  ("At least one hero has died, you must re-allocate items.")

Any hero with massive movement is dangerous, Torin is particularly bad from the interaction with his (innate, undisspellable) Immunity/Magic and the easily-cast Invulnernability.  (also a White spell.  If you've got Summon Incarnation, you probably have Invulnerability as well)


Posted by: Douglas Oosting at April 25, 2011 08:57 AM (sdWdc)

6 That's essentially how I use Archangels as lesser versions of this tactic.  They may not be as tough as Torin, but they do have innate Flight, so you don;t need to provide as much movement.

Posted by: metaphysician at April 25, 2011 01:01 PM (hD30M)

7 There's another even more unbalanced white spell: Stream of Life.

Stream of life eliminates unrest in the city it's cast upon, which doesn't sound too impressive...until you realize that you can put your tax collection slider to full without ill effect...and that you can convert money to mana via alchemy.

Essentially, once you get stream of life going in all your major cities you and turn the tax slider to full, you'll undergo an explosive growth of mana and production (via buying things). Put your magic sliders entirely into research and skill and you'll quickly become crazy powerful. Meanwhile, use the massive quantities of money you're making to buy buildings and boatloads of expensive units (I recommend paladins) and then use all your converted mana to keep them enchanted constantly.

Even better, this strategy has a great synergy with white magic. Prosperity will increase your already insane income by 50%. On top of that you can use altar of battle and crusade to churn out super elite units and then enchant them. Throw in Torin and archangels to lead your massive "conventional" armies and no-one will stand a chance.

Oh, and stream of life makes captured cities instantly productive by eliminating unrest, boosting population growth, and instantly healing the units you used to capture it. Your empire will grow explosively if you are expansionist.

The only disadvantage with this strategy is that constantly converting money to mana is very tedious, since the game's limit for a single conversion is pretty low compared to the amount of money you'll be bringing in. Alchemy is recommended.

Try it out.

Posted by: urusan at April 25, 2011 01:57 PM (dt+dm)

8 You know, that would be a good question:  which color of magic has the fewest Rare and Very Rare spells that are total gamebreakers if used properly ( and not properly countered )?

Posted by: metaphysician at April 25, 2011 04:19 PM (hD30M)

9 Grey Magic. Awareness, Summon Champion, Create Artifact, and Spell of Mastery (which is naturally intended to break the game) are all you get. Of course, those are also practically the ONLY grey magic rare/very rare spells, and you can't avoid having them all really. Among the colors, Green probably has the least rare game breakers... though it does have common and uncommon game breakers, Web and Cracks Call. I'm actually pretty sure every spell from rare onward were intended as game breakers, though, but some fell pretty far short of that expectation (Flying Fortress).

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at April 26, 2011 09:01 AM (alkUQ)

10

TD, Herb Mastery is an amazingly powerful spell for Green. It means you can have multiple combat stacks involved in heavy fighting every turn, because everyone gets healed automatically. Without that, the gating limit on your ability to engage in conquest is how fast you can cast healing spells, or how fast your units heal on your own.

The Great Wyrm is the best (and most expensive) summon in the game.

Nature's Awareness is a huge intelligence advantage. No one can sneak up on you, and you can tell exactly where the best place is for your own units to sneak up on someone else.

And I think that Regeneration is terrifying. One thing I love to do is sail around with a stack consisting of three Great Wyrms, each of which is a regenerator.

And when you're against Tauron or Rjak or Sharee, Nature's Wrath is extremely effective. They'll ruin themselves without you even lifting a finger (except for the 20 mana/turn upkeep).

I love Green magic, and I don't feel as if it's been shortchanged at the top level.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 26, 2011 10:07 AM (+rSRq)

11

Well, that's only 5 spells out of 20. White has 15 game-breaking rare/very rare spells (pretty much everything except Angel, Arch Angel, Astral Gate, Holy Word, and High Prayer), Red and Black have at least 10 each I can think of, and even Blue has Air Elemental, Sky Drake, Spell Ward, Creature Binding, Magic Immunity, Haste, Time Stop, Suppress Magic, and Great Unsummoning, any one of which can ruin opponents that haven't reached Rare/Very Rare magic themselves yet.

Green gets game-breaking Common and Uncommon spells (Web + Cracks Call makes short work of even Sky Drakes, as Magic Immunity does nothing to prevent removal of their ability to fly or being swallowed whole). If they had any more game-breaking Rare/Very Rare spells, there wouldn't be much point to playing anything else, except for a challenge.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at April 27, 2011 04:38 PM (4njWT)

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