The Let's Play Archive

Dominions 3

by ZorbaTHut

Part 15: Turn 14: The Coming Chocolately Storm

We've got 129 RP left to do, and two turns left to do it in. (Future Me: Level 2 to Level 3 is 100 RP.) It's doable - this screenshot is with no site searching at all and our construction Sibyl preaching. Now that we're recruiting two mages per turn this can go up faster, too.

We fail to find anything whatsoever with magic searching.

The three battles are a pair of elephant rampages and Fluffy Bunnies again. No, you're not getting screenshots.

There's Midgard's capital over on the right. Good to know. My northeastern scouts continue to spread, my southwestern scouts continue to cover Agartha as closely as possible.

My impression is that Agartha is trying to section off a good chunk of independent provinces. This is a good strategy, and you saw me do the same thing. The problem with Agartha's plan is that they're having trouble killing off independents, and losing large chunks of their army in the process. The upshot is that, if I flatten Agartha, I might get not only Agartha's territory but a huge amount of land that Agartha hasn't managed to conquer yet.

And then we get another bunch of "here are my elephants stampeding things" battles, but so it goes.

Since we're in the middle of boring logistics and not combat, let's talk a bit more about gems.

Let's Learn About The Game: How To Make Big Explosions With Shiny Rocks

Gems are Dominions' magical currency. They're generally found in magic sites, with the occasional lucky event, Pretender god, or item that will also generate them.

Gems are required for (to the best of my knowledge) every non-combat spell in the game. Want to summon a horde of imps? Fire gems. Teleport an entire army across the map? Astral gems. Extinguish the sun? Death gems.

(That's not a hypothetical, by the way. You can actually extinguish the sun. I'm not going to be doing that, but Agartha absolutely would, if this were about fifty turns later.)

(Future Me: This is slightly incorrect - some summoned creatures have free spells that they can cast, and some items also grant free spells. However, the power of those spells tends to be sharply limited by the time you can actually get them.)

Gems are also needed for some of the more powerful combat spells. Anything that has a large group effect will probably eat a gem or two. Powerful single-target spells will also occasionally devour gems.

There's another purpose for gems in battle. Every spell has "minimum path requirements", the basic levels of competence your magicians need in order to cast it. By spending a single gem of the appropriate type, your mage can increase his effective level for casting that spell by one. This can quickly become expensive and you wouldn't want to spam it for, say, Fireball, but for some of the more powerful spells it can be resources well-spent. It's limited to one level per casting.

On top of that, there's Fatigue. Every combat move in the game generates Fatigue. If a unit reaches 100 fatigue, it falls unconscious and becomes much easier to kill. Higher magic levels reduce fatigue, and you can spend more gems to increase your "effective level" for the purpose of fatigue only. This can turn an instant-death 800-fatigue spell into an instant-unconsciousness-wake-up-the-next-turn 100-fatigue spell.

(Future Me: Turns out mages can't kill themselves with fatigue, they'll max out at 200 fatigue. On the other hand, 200 fatigue means it's not waking up for a few turns.)

And finally, gems can be used to forge magical items, which can be given to your commanders to make them far more powerful. I haven't talked about supercombatants a lot, as the only one you've seen is Fluffy Bunnies. But imagine Fluffy Bunnies with a full set of magical armor and weaponry and he starts getting a lot more terrifying than he already is.

The spell I was trying to set up Mrs. Butterworth to cast was this one:

but I forgot to check the actual spell and ended up handing her one gem. Great. That's certainly useful. I bring it back, I'll shuttle another one over once I have a spare commander. Not like a single gem will do any good on her.

Everything accumulates on Jome. Next turn I'll head for the Agartha border, turn after that combat occurs.

Mrs. Butterworth heads to the southern swamps to sitesearch.

My scouts continue spreading. My prophet isn't going to get to the frontlines in time for the first battles, but he'll be there for the later battles. He would have been there sooner if I hadn't misjudged which way was fastest to get back. Dumb mistake.

Next: An ill omen.