Part 255: Extras - Mictlan's Opinions about Others - Part 1Have some of my impressions on the other players and their nations in this game. I don't have to be some fair arbiter when I'm actually playing in the game!
Let's just go in nation order.
Dexanth - Of the players here, he is probably the most active when it comes to diplomatic efforts. He is almost always trying to form coalitions against someone or using aggressive diplomacy when negotiating borders. Something I've picked up from playing with him is that he will often continue talking to you while conspiring against you. If he hasn't made plans with you to invade someone there is a high possibility he is setting up to invade you, probably with other people. He is definitely one of the people I would prefer not bordering, just because it means I will be consumed by diplomacy shenanigans for the first thirty turns of the game.
Arcoscephale - Of the non bless nations of EA, Arco is one of the better ones. They have decent recruit everywhere mages that make for strong communions, and they have excellent swiss army knife mage-thugs from their capital. If I do end up starting near him, I would prefer he got knocked out early, as his mages mean he scales very well with research. Their troops are somewhat lackluster though, and the ones that are good require a decent amount of resources, so that is a potential saving grace.
Dawkish - Overall he is a fairly solid player. The handful of games I have played with him he has gotten to late game in a fairly solid position. In general I notice that he tends to have most of his bases covered. He is good at analyzing a situation, decent about diplomacy, good about identifying what tools are strong, etc. However, one of his big weaknesses I notice is that he tends to not care about efficiency. In general he doesn't make enough use of scripting and troop placement to really get the most out of his units. Still he is quite decent, and in a normal game he would definitely be considered upper tier on my list of people who are threats based on their skill.
Sauromatia - This is probably my choice for strongest non-bless nation in EA. They have both excellent cap only and recruit everywhere mages, strong troops, and the best archers in any possibly any age (the only competition in my opinion is Ancestor Vessels from LA TC). If he goes a full set of scales he can make use of his excellent heavy cavalry. In general my impression of Sauromatia is that they have no glaring holes that have to be fixed by a pretender god, which is part of why I rate them so highly. Generally I would recommend taking at least E3-4 for hammers in a vanilla game.
Feinne - Definitely the newest player among everyone here. I haven't had many chances to play with him, but he is very active in the Dom3 IRC and seems fairly knowledgeable. Additionally he is maintaining the Forbidden Friendship mod, which means he most likely has enough knowledge regarding the game to talk about it with some confidence. Regardless, for me right now he is the biggest unknown quantity, but for now I am probably labeling his as the weakest player here, simply because he's playing with some of the more veteran members of the community.
TC - They have some interesting cap only recruits. They're quite decent, but they have the problem of being cap only. Honestly, my biggest gripe with EA TC in general is that they are extremely cap dependent. They have very, very strong cap only mages, and quite strong cap only sacreds. If either one of these were recruit everywhere I think they would be an absolute powerhouse, but as it stands they tend to be hobbled a bit by the fact that their non-cap forts recruits are somewhat lackluster. Overall I'd place them as a somewhat middle of the road nation.
Irony or Death - IoD is another person who I feel is solid all around. Unfortunately I haven't actively played with him in enough games to know specific things to exploit about his play style. He is however a misanthrope, and that means he is always fun to play with. One thing I do know though is he hate micro with an ever burning passion. If I get into a late game struggle with him I can probably mentally drive him to insanity, or at least until he no longer wants to put effort into his turns.
Pan - Probably one of the more underrated nations. There are a handful of things that make Pan notable to me. First is that they have a unit that has very high base stats and two attacks (Revelers), which when buffed properly become extremely effective. Pan also has innate access to said buffs with their national mages. Another thing is they have access to blood stones, in my opinion the best gemgen in the base game. They also have blood sac, okay blood access, and very cheap recruit everywhere harpies used for patrolling. The biggest problem is actually getting past the early game where they can start using this stuff. I'm kind of curious to see how IoD plays them.
Buildscharacter - Builds is probably the most analytical of the players here. He tends to think of things outside of just the game perspective and often lets factors outside of information just available inside the game influence his decision making. One of the conversations we've had in the past is his policy on invading players. If he neighbors someone better than him in the early game, he will, all else equal, choose to invade them over others. His view (which is not unreasonable in my opinion) is that the skill difference is least influential in the early game, and the better player will leverage their skill to greater effect the longer they go unopposed. So his best chance to beat someone better is early on. However, he is similar to Dawkish in that he hates scripting and would prefer to win by sheer numeric force. As a result he loves playing bless nations.
Hinnom - Hinnom is commonly considered the best nation in EA. I don't actually share this opinion, but they have a reputation as such. They do have strong units, their chariots are decent tramplers (though they lack shields), and their dawnguard are very strong stat-wise with a magic weapon to boot. They have recruitable SC/Thug chassis and linked paths giving them high access to paths. However, they have plenty of draw backs, they're both gold and resource intensive, meaning they need strong scales. At the same time they want a stereotypical giant bless (E9/N4 or so) Their biggest giants eat population and cause unrest, meaning your capital is likely to be a mess, and they'll cause problems in the long run if you don't stick them in some terrible province in the middle of nowhere. Overall they're still a decent nation.
TheDemon - Probably the most mechanically sound of all the players here. In terms of understanding how the game works, and being able to exploit all of the minor things that most players don't realize how they work (Must be the RNG) he is definitely the most well informed of all of us. As a corollary to this he also makes effective use of planning and design. In my experience he has very specific research paths laid out, down to the number of turns it takes to finish it. In general you can expect him to have a very specific strategy laid out. From what I've seen though, he doesn't do much in terms of diplomacy. That's probably his most notable weakness.
Lanka - Thedemon already did a pretty decent rundown of Lanka before, so I'm not going to bother typing up anything else here. Except to say it's not an unreasonable act to gripe about Thedemon having control of Lanka, as it is definitely a solid nation.