Part 104: Hinnom - Turns 1-3
So, that's what I'm working with. Children who use food to bury the shame they feel knowing that their absentee fathers left because they weren't good enough.
Hinnom has recruitable super combatants, strong troops and diverse high levels of magic. And everything is absurdly expensive, their research is terrible and the good giants both eat your populace and raise unrest. Raising unrest and eating populace are particularly bad characteristics when I'm trying to blood hunt later on because blood hunting reduces populace and doesn't work without low unrest.
I have two really solid big giants, Melqarts and Ba'als. Melqarts get three levels of blood magic and two levels of either earth, fire or astral magic. Ba'als get two levels of blood magic and three levels of either earth, fire or astral magic. Those are the two big units I have and after initial expansion I should be recruiting one of them every single turn. If I manage to make it to recruiting them I'll show screenshots then.
Instead, let's take a look at a screenshot of the best unit in the game.
The fat shetland pony chariot. I'll be recruiting a couple of these on turn one but for now I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that this is a nation of abandoned binge eating man-childs who ride chariots pulled by fat shetland ponies.
Scales and Starting Location
Hinnom can certainly take advantage of an earth9 (reinvigoration, increased armor) and nature 4-8 bless (regeneration, each giant has a lot of hit points so a high regeneration rate is pretty good) but I opted for straight scales instead. Order increases money, production increases the number of fat pony chariots I can buy, these giants like it hot, growth increases population which I'll need because the fucking giants eat everything, magic I need because to get four research points costs me 150 gold (compare to Mictlan at 60 gold and sacred so only half the upkeep cost), and luck I need because luck is awesome and I really like the random gem income it tends to provide.
In terms of starting location, you can see I have a nice open area to my west and south and a couple bridges to my east and northeast. Ideally, I'd like to use the bridges to cordon off that little island to my east and then expand to my south and west as well. Accordingly, I send my starting army out to the north east to cut off anyone else's access to the little island. I don't care what's in the province because these are a bunch of angry giants.
You can see the scripting I've done on my starting army here. The giants on fire are going to toss a couple javelins at the enemy before closing while the others are will follow my favorite tactic: never mind maneuvers, go straight at 'em.
I recruit a fortune teller and some fat pony chariots.
Not only is my starting army a bunch of giants, but they ran into a handful of militia. That was pretty lucky but I'll happily take it. I also got a bit lucky in that this province lets me recruit independent scouts. I will recruit one of these a turn forever. An aside, it is often pretty shameful how bad even experienced players are at making scouts. It's a huge advantage (see, for example, Zorba's LP) to see what everyone else is doing before they're doing it.
I recruit a mage with the "healer" ability to tend to any wounded ponies and some more fat pony chariots.
My starting army continues to head north, hoping to cut off any other nations hoping for that island.
Remember how I made my starting scout a prophet last turn? Well, Hinnom is one of the few nations that can sacrifice virgins to spread dominion. I could have sent my scout out to spread dominion and get scouting reports but I'm getting two slaves a turn from my capital sites and each slave sacrificed means two points of dominion. At three slaves a turn for the next three turns and two thereafter I will be spreading a lot of dominion fairly quickly for this early. That does two things, first it spreads my scales which are fantastic, and second it will provide me with a much better idea of who's nearby than a single scout. When my dominion tries to expand into someone else's dominion I will see their black candle where my dominion tried to spread. I feel pretty clever about doing this but honestly I'm probably one of the two or three worst players in this game so...
I also try to recruit a terrible mercenary company to my cause. You can tell they're terrible because I'm bidding 31 gold on them.
Luck scales paying off. I expect a steady stream of these kinds of events. Ten extra gems is nothing to sneeze at.
My giants continue onward, crushing all of the puny humans before them. I got lucky again, being near a province with 15 militia and then nine jade maidens - slightly tougher but it's still just nine little humans.
The thing I wanted to bring to your attention here is that I just won the game. I currently have fat shetland pony chariots and a province named The Marsh of Ethereal Frogs. If you don't consider that a Dominions 3 victory then I don't know what to tell you.
Fortunately for this thread, I've graciously agreed to let everyone else use the rest of the game as a sandbox so we have something to talk about for the next 80 pages.
I'm researching thaumaturgy because that's where the remote site searching spells are. I'd like to get those going as early as possible so I can really stock pile gems.
My blood sacrificing has paid off. I can see two candles with order3, sloth 2, heat 2, growth 3, misfortune 1 and magic 1. Just looking at the scales my guess is that's Arco or Lanka. For Arco, and awake pretender is expensive so that would explain why the scales aren't amazing, but they might not have taken three points of sloth because some of their troops can be resource intensive. For Lanka, I prefer a huge bless on Lanka which would necessitate worse scales, but I know that TheDemon does not like huge blesses at all and he could still get a pretty decent bless by imprisoning his pretender and taking those scales. I see one candle to my south but I don't know who that is.
I managed to win the bid for the shitty mercenaries and I send them to pepper the barbarians (no shields, no armor) to my north with arrows. Unfortunately I make a bit of a mistake which you can see in my scripting below. Shit. My starting army moves on, preparing to crush even more tiny humans, and to cut off whoever is on that island from expanding to their North West. Fat Shetland ponies head west to cut off the person to my south.
Can you spot the mistake I've made with the Victor's Villains?
Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I'm still learning and am happy to explain either why I've done anything or how why I made a particular mistake. And believe me, there will be mistakes.