The Let's Play Archive

Dominions 3

by Lilli et al.

Part 63: Lanka - Turn 8

Unit size was what I was taught.

Turn 8 - The proverbial fan

This is a great event to get in your capitol. It increases PD regardless of cost. Caps start with 25 PD. To buy from 25 to 40 would cost 495 gold.

Let's start with the bad news.

The lone Amazon was killed, so the army now consists 33 Androphag Archers led by a D4 Witch King.

I'll deal with the problem of being invaded by asshole archers later, because:

TC got the move into my province. Lucky me.
My army is placed in a pretty standard manner. Decoys up front, followed by my offensive melee, followed by my archers. Archers on Fire Closest.
His army is placed more deliberately. I gathered the following watching the battle play out: Shielded decoys up front on Hold and Attack. Unshielded decoys behind them on Hold and Attack. Archers on what I infer might be Fire Archers. Light Lance Cavalry on Attack Closest (or possibly attack rear or attack archers). Sacreds near the rear on Hold and Attack. A H2 priest for Blessing.

This guy is TC's main mage and one of the best mages in early era. I'll say more about them and show their randoms if I ever fight them for real. This one is just here because he has H2, to bless the Warriors of the Five Elements.

Feinne has an Astral 9 bless, which gives Twist Fate and +4 Magic Resistance. Twist Fate negates a single damaging hit.

My initial volley hits the unarmored Footmen.

His volley is aimed at my Longbowmen.

His cavalry are on Attack, they charge forward

Round 2 my volley comes down in the middle of his Cavalry. This is disastrous for TC.

As on his round 2, they immediately rout.

His archers continue to destroy my Longbowmen

Next round our sacreds are in contact, making them "closest" and a target for my arrows. At first his sacreds are killing more, but that's because mine have to negate his Twist Fate.

Once Twist Fate is gone, they get cleaned up as they're outnumbered and being bombarded.

Which causes a rout. His archers have been plinking away at my archers the whole battle.

But they don't rout fast enough to stop my sacreds from killing most of them.

Warrior of the Five Elements 17/17 @  25g = 425
Medium Footman                 5/5 @  10g =  50
Footman                      15/15 @  10g = 150
Archer                       14/15 @  10g = 140
Horseman                      7/25 @  20g = 140
Battle Total                 58/77          905

T'ien Ch'i Grand Total                      905
KILLCOUNT assumes the Lankan armies are infinitely powerful, and therefore no accounting of friendly losses is necessary.
I will admit that 29/30 of my Longbowmen routed, which destroys them as they are mercs.

In retrospect, Feinne beat me pretty handily in the scripting battle. His Fire Archers scripting slaughtered my merc group and ignored my archer decoys (who in fact did have ranged attacks = were a valid target for fire archers). Had I split my archers into Fire Archers and Fire Closest squads, I could have routed his archers in the first few rounds, and the Farstrikers would still be a fighting force.
I won because I beat him in army composition. I had the right mix of archers and meatshields to handle his abundance of shieldless stuff.

What else did I gather from that battle? Feinne knows his scripting and placement, and he has an S9 pretender. Given his theme, I'm pretty sure what chassis it is, but I'll leave the revealing to the player.

Diplomacy in action:


TheDemon: why don't you try hinnom, your sacreds are more suited to killing giants than archers
feinne: well
feinne: you did say you had to murder a neighbor
feinne: and i'm the most murderable
feinne: by far
TheDemon: if you say so
feinne: so i figured you were going to murder me
TheDemon: I hadn't decided who to murder yet
feinne: and then all those troops on the border
TheDemon: I was more worried about getting murdered
feinne: which i read as 'okay, he's going to murder me'
TheDemon: since when I first messaged sauro he's all like "oh you're the guy hinnom said was to my N" and I was like ummmmm ok let's set a border or something
TheDemon: well, you have to admit you're pretty murderable
feinne: i know
feinne: i walked up in here with all those little murderable humans
feinne: asking for it really
TheDemon: I'd offer to help murder hinnom with me but
TheDemon: the terrain doesn't really allow any of us to cooperate
feinne: yeah
TheDemon: except for 2 or 3 of you killing me
feinne: well at this point i'm mainly stuck desperately trying to not be murdered by you at the moment, so i could easily not actually try to murder you and allow you to properly fight hinnom
TheDemon: ok how about we agree not to murder each other
TheDemon: for a few dozen turns
feinne: yeah after that battle i'd much rather not do that again
feinne: also all those horsemen are getting fired
feinne: with actual fire
TheDemon: I had to do a double take to make sure they weren't on fire and flee

So, if that holds (and 99% of the time agreements like that do hold), I don't have to worry about TC anymore. Great! Pity we couldn't have worked that out without the bloodshed.

That's great, because I'm pretty sure Hinnom wants to join in as well. Nobody but me borders that province.

This is an exercise in Defensive Movement. Most players are familiar with the dom3 concept that the defender moves first. This is technically true, but the concept behind good defensive movement doesn't really have much to do with it.

The real idea is: no battles are fought and no provinces change hands, until everyone has moved.
And the secondary idea is: a defender can move multiple provinces, or if he's only mapmove 1, he can move from a province not on the border. In other words, the defender's movement can be hidden. The attacker's can't be hidden unless he has a flying army.

And that's the idea behind defensive movement. You use the concept that "no battles are fought until everyone has moved" to move where you predict the enemy is going to be. Dom3 players sometimes refer to this as "Mind Reading". 95% of the time you do this by moving through multiple friendly provinces. If you are both careful and lucky, your army appears as a surprise, and the resulting rout in your favor is sometimes known as a "Defensive Move Trap".

This army is going against Sauro. Archer decoys, forward placement of sacreds to close as quickly as possible, and Fire Archers orders on my own archers.

This small squad will meet Hinnom's giants. Unfortunately I don't have an accurate count, so let's hope 7 sacreds are enough. Letting the enemy take a province so you have a precise idea of what you're up against is a great idea, except when you only had 6 provinces to begin with.


Next turn: KILLCOUNT increases?