May 24, 2011

MOM -- ORLY?

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LoPan, how did you manage to get that ship onto the land? (The Great Wyrm is mine.)

Later in that same game, Horus had a stack of four shamans out in the middle of the water with no spells on them. I couldn't figure that one out, either.

I've gotten stuck in a rut always playing the Draconians. A month or so ago I tried beginning games as Dark Elves and as Dwarves, but I got killed almost immediately. The Draconians are the easiest Myrran race to play IMHO.

Today, though, I'm trying a game as Trolls. Having a hard time starting with those, too, but not as bad.

The  big thing about Draconians is that once you get a wall of stone around your town, most raiders and wandering monsters can be ignored. They attack your town, see something flying in the city entrance, and just stand there.

That didn't happen with the Dwarves or Dark Elves, and eventually something came along that was too tough. (Usually a swarm of phantom warriors.) With the Trolls, at least, their units are a lot tougher than usual (a lot more hearts, shields and swords) plus even if they die they come back as long as you win the battle.

UPDATE: I had one game where something went seriously wrong with the database. Certain enemy units had every intrinsic special in the book: invisibility, invulnerability, large shield, you name it. It took something like five clicks to page through them all.

UPDATE: I had memories from long ago of taking a stack of War Trolls and pretty much romping  through everything on the board. Now I'm finding out that my memory wasn't wrong. A stack of 8 elite War Trolls defeated two Great Drakes plus a ton of helldogs in a red node, and that's not easy.

And the only magic I had on them was Water Walking. No Stone Skin or Iron Skin, or Elemental Armor, for instance.

I started this game with all green books, but I've found four black books so far. Someone talked about taking War Trolls and casting Black Channels on them. It doesn't strike me as being as good as Lionheart, but it's also cheaper, and if I get that spell, I'll give it a try.

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May 13, 2011

MOM thoughts

So you're playing a red game, and you're sailing around a Great Drake, butchering everything you come across. One of the things you attack is a pile of triremes belonging to Merlin. Here's the  question: If he uses Web on the Great Drake, does it splash and drown?

I don't know. I got paranoid, so I put Water Walking on the Great Drake just in case. But it didn't matter anyway, because Merlin didn't have enough mana to cast any spells during that battle. Still, I'm curious. Would that kill the Great Drake? Or would it effectively get water walking for free?

I've been trying to mix up my starting setup, just for variety. I'm pretty much hopelessly hooked on being Myrran and playing the Draconians, but that still leaves a lot of opportunity. I spent some time playing a variety of different magic colors, but in the end I really love Green too much. (With, or without, a bit of white for spice.)

A couple of days ago I started messing around with different retorts. One interesting game was 2 white, five green, Myrran and ArchMage. Getting Archmage late in the game doesn't really do too much, but starting with it is incredible. My skill level grew enormously, and it really did make a difference in the game.

But the game I just played was even more fun: Myrran (obligatory), 1 blue, 1 red, 5 green, and Node Mastery.

Node Mastery is scary powerful. Getting it late in the game is great, but starting with it is obscene.

In particular, what it meant was that I could use Web and Crack's Call in every node I attacked, which made a huge difference. So nodes were easier to conquer early, plus giving twice as much power as normal. It's overwhelming, because of course having lots of mana means your skill rises and your spell research accelerates and you can carry more continuing spells and summons.

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May 02, 2011

Master of Magic -- awesome

You know what's awesome?

2 Great Wyrms, each with:

Regeneration
Endurance
Spell Lock
Invisibility
Flight
True Sight
Invulnerability

The stack costs 104 mana per turn, but nothing can stop them.

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April 28, 2011

MOM -- Suppress Magic

I tried a game against four opponents where I never left the Myrran plane, and had Planar Seal running the entire time. I won it with the Spell of Mastery.

Along the way I managed to accumulate 3 blue books, and lucked into getting Suppress Magic. Thinking that it might distract the other wizards from trying to get rid of my Planar Seal, I cast it.

I also had Detect Magic going, and for a while I used spell blast to stop all attempts at Disjunction from my four friends.

But eventually I started casting the Spell of Mastery, so their disjunctions got to complete. And I found out something interesting:

Suppress Magic defends itself. A disjunction has to survive Suppress Magic before it can attempt to turn Suppress Magic off. And since Suppress Magic is like 1200 points, it's damned hard to get rid of it. No one ever did.

That, combined with the way it seriously cripples the enemies, makes it pretty major league.

Playing the way I do (Myrran, white and green) means that having a lot of enemy wizards is an advantage. This particular game, I ended up being able to trade spells with all four of them, and I did so several times.

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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.

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April 15, 2011

A Newbie starter guide for Master of Magic

First thing you do is go buy the game for $6.

Here's how you begin:

Difficulty: Intro
Opponents: one
Land size: Small
Magic: Normal

Wizard: Merlin
Race: Orc

After the game begins, press F7 and choose "1.5 Gold" for your taxation rate. Go into the "Game" menu, choose Settings, and unselect "Random Events".

Right-click your starting city, and begin building a Granary. If you were lucky enough to get a food bonus (looks like a stag on the main map) then in your city, reduce the number of farmers by 1. On the main screen you want the Food display as low as possible without being red, at least for the time being.

Go into "Magic" and raise the "mana" bar to the top. Then go into "Spells" and begin summoning a unit of Sprites.

When they appear, go back into "Magic" and drop the "Mana" bar down to about half way. Then use your sprites to explore the map. They move two, over all terrain types, and can see two squares away, so you can learn a lot very rapidly. Don't attack anything with them, because they'll die.

After your granary is complete, build City Walls. Then build: marketplace, farmer's market, shrine, sawmill.

Somewhere in there you're going to need another unit of swordsmen. And don't forget to start sending out settlers to start new cities. (And send troops along, so your outposts don't get overrun!) Scouting unmapped territory with settlers is not advised. They're too expensive and too slow. Generally speaking, the best place for a new city is on a river. But you can use F1 to find out how good a particular square would be.

If B'Shan offers to work for you, take him. He costs 100GP initially, but he gives you 10GP per turn for as long as he's on your team.

If Zaldron offers to work for you, take him if you think you can afford him. He costs 100GP initially and costs 2GP per turn after that, but he helps you research new spells faster.

If Gunther or Brax offer to work for you, tell them to take a hike.

If Serena offers to work for you, that's a judgement call. If she is a sage, then probably yes if you can afford her. But even without that, as a healer she's very handy as a field campaigner.

If you end up really low on money, you may need to spend a few turns with your city on "Trade Goods" building up your treasury.

Save your game often!

As you build up, you'll reach the point where you can afford to build a campaign stack. You might choose to include one or more heros in it. You might want to include one or more summoned creatures.

If you win a node, be sure to summon a "Magic Spirit" (or "Guardian Spirit"). Move it onto the node, and then choose "meld". Once you do that, the area around the node will start sparkling. This means it is adding mana to your income.

This advice is just to get you started. Later, as you learn more about the game, you'll begin to understand these things better and may choose to follow different strategies.

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April 14, 2011

Random comments about Master of Magic

I wish there were a way to tell the game, "I don't ever want to hire Gunther or Brax, so please don't ask me."

If you have magicians in a blue or green node, their fireball always works in "auto" mode.

Builder's hall, granary, smithy, market place, farmer's market, shrine, sawmill, temple, stables, animist's guild, forester's guild, miner's guild, parthenon, library, sage's guild, university, bank, and then trade goods. That's how I develop my Draconian outposts to best support the war effort. (And later, when their population goes up more, I'll tell them to build an oracle.) If it's intended to be a manufacturing site, then of course it also needs alchemist's guild, barracks, armory, fighter's guild, armorer's guild, and war college. And then either a wizard's guild or a fantastic stables, depending on what race it is.

I cannot live without the Wall of Stone spell, which is why I always take at least two green spell books. The wall of stone is simply too important, and it takes too long to build normally. At 50 MP to cast, this is one of the best bargains in the game.

Draconian airships aren't as good as I figured they'd be. Having ten ammo is definitely nice, but they just don't do all that much damage. For plinking at ground pounders who can't fight back, they're OK if you're not in a hurry, but against anything that flies or has rangestrike they just don't cut it.

I think that my favorite summon is the Colossus. It's fast, powerful, has excellent armor and lots of hit points, does melee really well, and its two rocks are impressive. Three colossuses can knock down a Sky Drake in one round (if they're lucky; four can do it even if unlucky), and they can melee with phantom warriors safely because they have first strike. The Colossus isn't the strongest fantastic creature in the game, of course (that would be the Great Wyrm) but it's versatile and can fight effectively against pretty much anything. The Great Wyrm is useless against fliers; the Great Drake can be, too, because it's only speed 2. The Sky Drake is formidable against most things and I would class it as the second best summon.

When I'm using predominately green magic and using flocks of draconian wizards, I looove fighting Great Wyrms. No danger, lots of treasure, and they're easy to take out with Crack's Call, if you cast it enough times. Of course, if they are accompanied by spiders, all bets are off.

My second favorite high-value monster defenders are big white lairs. 8 Guardian Spirits plus a unicorn would probably be dangerous as hell against ground pounders, but against draconian wizards they just stand there and allow themselves to be killed. And I've gotten spell books from such lairs. Lots of experience points, lots of treasure, and absolutely no risk.

I think that Red magic has more "cackle in glee" spells than anything else.  Call the Void is really too good. If any of my opponents ever started using it I think I'd quit the game. Armageddon and Great Wasting are fun, too. Corruption is a cheap but effective way to royally screw up an enemy's logistics. And Chaos rift is a slow but effective way to render an enemy city completely useless.

IMHO the best "cackle in glee" black spell is Warp Node, which converts an enemy node from mana source to mana sink.

Oh, and everything goes better with adamantium.

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April 04, 2011

MOM -- special events

So, having nothing better to do, I installed Master of Magic onto Arcturus and started to play a game. And I'm getting strange special events I've never seen before.

Twice now there have been "conjunctions", where one color of magical node becomes twice as powerful and the other two became half as powerful. And just now I had pirates steal half my gold.

In all the games I've played on Alcyone, none of this ever happened. What's the difference?

One possibility is this: in order to get the game to work under my normal user account on this XP system, I used the administrator account and made the whole MOM directory "full control" for all users. I never did that on Alcyone, and I wonder if that's what's different?

And if it's not that, then what?

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March 09, 2011

Master of Magic -- WTF

What's wrong with this picture?

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February 28, 2011

Master of colossi

In my never ending question to answer the question, "How in hell do you reasonably fight Sky Drakes?" I found an answer today. If you're a high level green mage, what you need is a pile of colossuses, or is that collosi? Anyhoo, five of them fighting against fully three sky drakes in a blue node, and I won and only lost one colossus. Among all the things that sky drakes are immune to, it turns out that physical missiles are not among them, and Colossus thrown rocks pack a hell of a lot of punch. I killed two of the sky drakes before they got close enough to melee.

The third one died while killing one of my guys.

Of course, there was the other question I ran into today: what do you do about a node which contains a Djinn and nine seven air elementals? Well, the answer to that one turned out to be four Behemoths, all of which had True Sight cast on them. Amazingly enough, I didn't lose anyone in that battle.

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