Playing as Kali

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Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:06 pm

Lately I've been trying to win on impossible with the default wizards. (Large landmass, normal magic.) I chose Kali first because she has a late game trump card: She can create items of flying, magic immunity, and wraithform. Enemy wizard can't do much to heroes so equipped. In my first attempt I made some early progress with werewolves but then got crushed. The second game seemed to be going the same way. I slowly took most of Merlin's territory with those wonderful little regenerating monsters and a few longbowmen. However, Sharee showed up at my fortress with four chimeras. I only had enough time to word of recall one unit of werewolves back home before the chimeras struck.

After being banished, I felt sure it would lose. I watched the chimeras destroy city after city. My stack of werewolves fell to Sharee's magically armed stag beetles. Eventually, however, the onslaught ceased. I hunkered down with two or three large halfling cities I'd taken from Merlin. Slingers handled the rather pathetic forces my enemies sent against me. I made peace with everyone I could and desperately traded for spells. After snagging summon champion from Sharee, I began cautiously conjuring up heroes and crafting items. The process took time, but as my invincible heroes gained experience they came to easily dominate both worlds.

I have to say it was the most enjoyable game of MoM I've played. I can't believe I managed to endure such devastating losses.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Lucern » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:17 pm

That sounds like a great game Incanur!

It also hints at the awesomeness of what can happen when you don't save/load your way to a predictable (if still enjoyable) game, and hence, the awesomeness of the gaming that could happen when/if this project is completed.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:37 am

Yeah, I'm having a blast so far. My first attempt with Sss'ra ended with success. I haven't technically won yet, but I can tell it's a done deal. After an early blitz against neutral cities with heroic draconian bowmen, I had to battle with Freya for control of Myrror. Vast stacks of hell hounds did most of the work, supported by prayer and firebolt spells.

Jafar has been another story. I've lost two or three times so far. I've been choosing barbarians and going for the flying warship strategy. Once I managed to get flying warships but couldn't quite take the closest enemy capital. I gave up once a colossus appeared.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Lucern » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:20 pm

Come to think of it, I don't think I've played with a default wizard since the first demo came out, with Kali and Merlin on a tiny island. That might be a good way to get me out of my normally 'safe' ways of winning.

Incidentally, flying warships are powerful, but they're not the game-ender that invisible flying warships are :D
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:01 pm

I think I've finally managed it with Jafar. I got a flying warship and banished Merlin but couldn't defend my fortress from Lo Pan. While I was casting the spell of return the warship continued to take cities until I foolishly went after a behemoth lair. I wasn't expecting giant spiders! Luckily, I had Serena the Healer as a hero. After returning to an orc city on a tiny island I made peace, traded for create artifact, and started crafting a shield of magic immunity. Now the game is going a bit like the Kali game went. I'm gradually taking over Lo Pan's territory. Soon I should have invisible flying warships to speed up the process.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:26 pm

I just completed an epic game as Tauron. It was my first attempt. I received a lucky starting position on an island of my own, which I quickly conquered with hell hounds. I researched chimeras and felt confident about my odds against the two wizards on Arcanus. I stomped Jafar rather easily, but couldn't reach his few outposts on Myrror to finish the job because of Merlin's planar seal. Rjak, on the other, gave me considerable trouble. I banished him a few times but progress went slowly. Chimeras take forever to heal and gobble up tons of mana. Then the insanity began. First Jafar threw a chaos rift on my fortress. Then Rjak hurled famine and cursed lands. I had battle such enchantments while simultaneously defending my holdings and pressing the attack. I wasn't making much progress. Once the two wizards on Myrror joined in, I almost gave up. Merlin cast tranquility. Sss'ra cast great wasting. My income went from 300-400 gold to 50-60. To make matters worse, a mana short appeared. I spent far too many turns futilely trying to dispel great wasting. Because Sss'ra had chaos mastery, only a full-power disjunction could get the job done.

An across-the-board disjunction from a random event saved me at a critical moment. Thankfully, tranquility never came back, but Sss'ra cast great wasting over and over again. The game turned around once I finally produced a force of mithral paladins, cast awareness, and waltzed over to Merlin's capital. Because of that wonderful little bug and his maxed-out mana reserved, he couldn't cast a single spell to defend himself. I walked away smiling with 15,000 crystals. I did the same to Sss'ra a bit later. A combination of chaos channels, chaos surge, doom mastery, and armageddon put me in a dominant position. At the very end I even had a couple flying, magic-immune heroes to do my bidding. I won with the spell of mastery and a surprisingly high score, somewhere over nine thousand.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby kyrub » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:29 pm

The reports are great reading, Incanur, keep them coming, please.

May I ask just one question?
I was surprised that you had Jafar with outposts on the other plane. I have personnally never witnessed any AI wizard who succesfully spreaded to the other plane, in any of my games. I also think I have found a location of the bug that prevents AI from deploying settlers on Myrror through Towers of Wizardry.
Have you ever seen this before, is it normal in your games? Is it a scarce appearance, or not?

And when we are at it, since you seem to have rich game experience, do you see AIs often settle another continent?
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:44 am

I'm not certain Jafar built the city on Myrror he returned to with settlers. It could have been a neutral city he conquered. I see enemy wizards expand across planes all the time, though I haven't paid careful attention to see how. I'll keep an eye on that.

Empty islands/continents do tend to get ignored by the computer. Finding an unclaimed patch of land to return to as become a key focus of mine. That's how I survived as Freya - I used sprites to conquer a neutral lizard town on a tiny isle. Jafar and Sharee booted me off the main continent but then left my three lizard cities alone. Jafar parked a few units by my fortress but never did anything with them.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby kyrub » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:56 am

Thanks for info.
If you have an old save from the game - can you judge from the name of the Jafar's city he has built it? I thought the AI was using sets of names (like German city names for one AI).
What do you mean by Jafar "parked" units by your fortress? Boats - Is there a strange behavior with the boats? I thought the AI could not use them properly, but I cannot remember...

(Basically, any AI flaws are very interesting to me.)
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:31 am

Unfortunately, I've already saved over the game. I'll keep an eye out for this sort of thing in the future, though.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:12 pm

As an update, I've now won with Kali, Tauron, Tlaloc, and Rjak. I have games under Freya and Sss'ra in winning positions. Sadly, I saved over the Jafar game by mistake.

Tlaloc provided surprisingly easy. I dominated on my first attempt by trading for wraiths with Rjak. Wraiths just crush everything. My first try as Rjak failed utterly. Ariel rushed with a guardian spirit and defeated me in 1402! In the second game, however, I started on a tiny island of my own. I made a single settlement, researched shadow demons, and went to town. Things got even better when I traded for death knights from Sharee.

Speaking of Sharee, my one attempt with her failed. I did well at first, defeating Rjak with a hell hound rush, but couldn't quite take Lo Pan's fortress. He and Merlin destroyed me.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:44 pm

For the record, AI wizards definitely send settlers through towers in my games. Now that I think about it, I've seen dark elf cities in Arcanus and barbarians in Myrror. Both right by towers.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby kyrub » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:52 pm

Thanks a lot, Incanur.
Very interesting. I will have another look at the "bug". Maybe it is working, after all.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:25 pm

I finally finished my games as Freya and Ariel. The one as Freya, which I described some earlier, was totally wild. Never before have I seen so many powerful late-game effects. I used heavily buffed great wyrms as my main force and lost a few. (Stupid Jafar and his banish spell.) Merlin actually started casting the Spell of Mastery before I sent a wyrm to his fortress. Luckily he had amassed too much mana and had to sit their impotently while the tunneling, regenerating dragon plus call lightning wiped out his dudes. Because of a suppress magic cast by either Jafar or Raven, Merlin's spell of return failed and he existed as a ghost wizard for the rest of the game, only hurling spells in combat. Getting through the suppress magics was a mightily frustrating. Jafar in particular had a ridiculously stacked fortress defended by at least two sky dragons and two djinn. The first time I tried to roll a wyrm in to attack the game told me I couldn't do that - Jafar had cast nature ward on the city. Clever bastard. The struggle dragged on forever. Jafar retained considerable power when I finally won with the Spell of Mastery some time in the 1440s. He even started casting his own Spell of Mastery a few turns before mine went off. I banished him and got the sky drake spell with no time left to use it. :( (I had picked up three sorcery books from nodes.)

The Ariel game was my third attempt with her. I don't remember the details, but it went well. I started with nomads and expanded with horsebowmen. At some pointed I acquired Roland and Torin, which allowed me to crush everything. I scored three more life books for absurdly cheap spells. I won much earlier than with Freya, around 1421, and received the considerably higher score of nearly 10,000.

Since then I've tried a game as Horus and a game as Merlin, both which failed miserably. I think the starting setup matters more than anything else.
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Re: Playing as Kali

Postby Incanur » Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:42 am

I started my second game as Sharee and believe I'm on the path to victory. I found myself a sizable continent opposed only by Ariel. After a bit of sparring I sent a fulls stack of hell hounds at her fortress, which was guarded by four units of swordsmen and single pack of hell hounds. The swordsmen by the gate were covered in buffs: heroism, holy armor, bless, and perhaps a few others. The majority of my dogs perished throwing themselves against these resolute defenders; if I had not cast weakness on the swordsmen they likely all would have fallen. After the elite unit of guards finally give in I figured my assault had failed. Somehow, however, the bloody remnants of my army slew the three far less groups of swordsmen and opposing hell hounds. I had exactly one figure left at the end.

Almost as soon as I had defeated Ariel, Tauron broke through a tower the narrow stretch of land connecting his empire to mine. I blocked his way with hell hounds at first, then moved to single night stalker as soon as I researched the spell. I haven't made a great deal of progress since that point in the game. He throws troops at the tower each turn, often summoning four or more fire elementals and given me fame. It's rather tedious. My total fame is only around fifty because I haven't done much else. Regardless, I think I'll pull out a win sooner or later. I have a solid economic base and paladins should come online sooner or later.
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