Part 258: Extras - Pangaea's Opinions about OthersPangaea bonus post!
Since there will be no actual content from me until I get back from a trip on Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on how fried I am), I have decided to follow Lilli's lead from months ago and post my thoughts on the other players and nations. I know this is probably less interesting 20 turns into the game when you've all had a chance to form your own opinions but some content is better than no content, right? We can put away the torches and pitchforks now maybe? Cool. Hopefully this also means most of you will be able to follow the jargon I'm using, but if you have questions about anything please ask. I know it gets dense but I've been playing this game long enough that I have trouble recognizing what is going to need explanation. Also I'm just going to steal Lilli's hosting for the banner images so hopefully this doesn't explode.
Dexanth: Always, always more active than average in diplomacy. I remember one game where a Mictlan on the opposite side of the map started a serious blood sacrifice campaign and Dexanth wrote up some global propaganda using the in-game messaging every single turn for the remainder of the game, urging everyone to bench their local conflicts and coordinate in a grand campaign against them. While he was busy killing me and taking my stuff. He also loves talking about his toys; I think all the players knew about Rainbow Dash before the game started. I like Dexanth and I trust him about half as far as the average markata can throw the average elephant.
Arcoscephale: This is a nation with a lot of very cool toys that somehow combine to be really boring. They have were-chariots, some of the best cap only mages in the game, and their mystics can communion to drop fire and rocks and things on people, in addition to providing good cross-paths for forging. Most dangerous in the midgame; I don't think communions hold up well lategame and Oreiads being restricted to cap only recruitment means most players are unlikely to risk them early.
Sauromatia: This is in the running for best nation in vanilla Dominions 3; good blood access, death and nature for Tartarians, water and nature for clams, so on. Androphag archers are silly. I love hydras even though nobody else seems to and whoever's playing will probably never recruit any. Witch Kings can do some really scary stuff battlemagic-wise with a bit of research, too.
Feinne: He's the newest player of the lot and I can't remember ever being in a game with him before, but he took to the game quickly and is very active in what passes for our local modding community. I am also told that he plays a lot of JRPGs for your entertainment elsewhere.
T'ien Ch'i: I hate this nation a lot. They're probably not even bad, really; they have incredible magic diversity and some top tier sacreds. They just don't have a lot of high path access to go with their diversity and their sacreds can only come from their cap, so while they can be tactically scary with good troops + communioned mages, it's trivial for half the nations in this game to demolish them on the strategic level by shutting down cap production and making better toys. I think they can make clams pretty easily though, so they're not a total loss.
Me: My only failing is that I am too modest. Also sort of lazy.
Pangaea: This is an awful nation but I think it's kind of fun anyway. I decided it was either them or Caelum for the not-Abysia soul contract plan I wanted to try, and since we were dumb enough to agree to play this game with gemgens available Pan scales better. You can eventually do some cool stuff with high Nature and Earth access, and Revelers are pretty good in combat if occasionally obnoxious to use. Why I decided to try my dumb idea in an LP game full of good players I do not recall. Spoilers: I still haven't made a single soul contract and I wish I was Helheim.
Buildscharacter: Builds is pretty good at the game, we've fought a few times, he takes the first step on diplomacy to indulge my laziness, and he appreciates scotch. Plus he's prone to getting himself bogged down in long and costly wars so only rarely do you have to worry about him jumping you after his first target is set.
Hinnom: This is an extremely powerful nation but to the best of my knowledge nobody has ever won the first game they used it in. I think it would be in the running for best in the game on a map with either two provinces per player or two hundred provinces per player, but anything in between and you're in serious danger of tripping over your own feet and being devoured by a pack of your own ravenous giants for reasons Builds has detailed in a couple of previous posts. These problems just don't really sink in within the duration of a test game, so everyone has to botch it for themselves the first time around.
TheDemon: He is really good at this game and has been around longest of anyone participating in this LP. He very rarely actually wins games, though, because his entire reputation as a murder machine is based on being rushed in year 1 and killing the guy who rushed him. Then the stories about him just drop everything but the part where he kills lots of people. It will never stop being funny.
Lanka: This is probably the strongest nation that I don't like at all. They've got a lot of things I'm fond of including good air access that does not exclude everything else, recruitable thugs, some cool unique summons, and good blood access - but it comes together in a package that feels worse than other sources for all of these things. They can't blood sacrifice, they're cap dependent, and their pd consists of monkeys who will get their actual troops routed in defensive battles. I think I just don't like monkeys very much.
Lilli: I believe she is the second-newest participant in this game but as has been mentioned elsewhere she was a very quick learner. We've been in a few games together but never really gotten to fight before, so most of what I know about her play is just based on IRC chatter/this thread to date. She seems to have correct opinions about most things that are not hydras, though. Nobody appreciates hydras like they should.
Mictlan: This is the weakest incarnation of the best nation in the game, which makes it merely the best nation present in this LP. You've seen the sacreds in action by now, but it really can't be stressed enough how important it is that they are available in every fort rather than just the cap. Good diversity, can make gemgens with slightly fewer contortions than most nations, cool and versatile non-cap mages (some of which can turn into turkey death squads), so on. The only real weakness I see is a lack of earth magic.