Part 20: Nation Overview: MyrmecosMyrmecos
The ants are a cool nation with efficient (if samey) troops and great mages. They seem to me to be like MA Ulm but with better mages and without Iron Darts. In the first mods game they were a constant pain in my crevasse and they are one of my top picks for the fourth mods game but that's not started at the time of writing.
The "best" regular troop in my opinion is the Heavy Clansword. With this unit you can see a lot of the traits that all ants share: cold blooded, dark vision, formation fighter, ambidextrous, 6 natural prot, and having 4 arms. The cold bloodedness isn't actually too bad since it's reasonably rare to have an opponent take cold dominion compared to heat BUT in my experience modded games have more cold blooded nations making it a better pick. Either way, just 11 gold for a 17 prot, 15 defense unit with 2 attacks is an absolute steal. They're basically the flail Infantry Of Ulm but with a free tower shield, formation fighter, and dark vision in exchange for being cold blooded.
There's also the Gate Wardens who get a glaive and a shield, and Tunnel Wardens who get a maul (with shield) for rock and fortification bashing duties with four (4) siege strength each.
Most of the other non-cap ant troops are just variations on these - there's one with a standard for 20 gold, and also the sword/dagger and glaive (or spear) get variants with less armour and no armour. The Clanbows also get no armour but get, as you would expect, a shortbow.
The last non-cap recruit are goddamn armoured elephant beetles. Expensive enough that you won't want a huge amount of these past the expansion phase these still seem like they'll run over basically infinity militia.
The cap troops, the Queensguard, are "just" upgraded sacred versions of the regular ones. A glaive and tower shield, 24 protection, fire/cold/shock res 3, 17 hp, and bodyguard. I would not base a bless around them or anything but with their high base MR give them just magic weapons and maybe a little more fire res (FSR perhaps) and they'll be a pretty effective rock killing force too.
Overall the ant troops have enough variation for most situations where you have either lots of resources or few, as well as some different weapon types depending on what you need. They seem pretty good to me although I don't have a massive amount of experience playing size 2 troop/resource-heavy nations.
There's your fairly standard smattering of troop commanders, the only interesting non-cap ones are the scout who is what you would expect and the Clan Matriarch who looks very cool but is probably too pricey just to lead troops around - the same amount of leadership and 20 more gold than 3 generic commanders.
Do you like crosspaths? Well myrmecos has the mage for you. The Whiteshell has what I like to call the "mod special" which is 2.1 randoms from almost all paths. No death or blood, and only 1/25 (or slightly over) will have 2 in the same path, these are nonetheless great research mages too. I feel like if I played this nation I would probably pass on these guys just because of how annoying their paths are. It's notable that this is pretty much the only air access that the nation gets.
Next up are the Hearthseer and the Seedsage. Their paths are more consistent getting F1S1 (plus 20% of some other stuff) and S1N1 (plus 10% respectively but they pay for it by losing the research bonus. You'll definitely want a few of these around as communion masters since getting a nice howl or some big fire evocations off will really help against, say, a nation of frost skeletons but I wouldn't especially mass them compared to the next option.
It's possible that I've overvaluing them but the Queen's Attendants to me really push this nations communion game up to top tier. They're very cheap S1 mages that are sacred and have built-in reinvigoration 2. Absolutely purpose built to excel at both communion slaving and soul slay spam. They even have 11 hp so when a Seedsage communion master casts personal regen they'll tick at 2 hp per turn. I would absolutely try a reinvigoration bless on these to maximise this bonus. I would be maxing these out mostly they seem absolutely great.
Now all the previous mages are quite high concept. Astral communions with wide access to other paths, very complicated and hard to script. You know who isn't hard to script? The Deepseers. Summon Earth Power, Gifts From Heaven x4. Done. For that reason alone I might just lean very heavily on these and play the nation much more one-button. When that button is a 150 damage meteor do you really need other ones? Attendants are less good for this strategy since without earth they take 4x the fatigue (I'm pretty sure) so the slaves would be better off as just more Deepseers. They're not sacred but you can probably put shrouds on a bunch if you really wanted to. It's probably also possible to thug them with their massive slots but maybe e.g. the air/earth or air/fire blackshells would be better at that.
The first cap-only mage, the Whiteshell, don't seen that special to me. Holy 2 is nice for blessing once you have a decent force of Queensguard around and having astral 2 instead of astral 1 is okay since it means you can mind hunt. The random is 10% of S3. Unfortunately being cap-only means they're probably not worth the commander points if you can afford the big mages instead.
Speaking of, the Seer Queens are absolutely what you would want from a cap-only slow-to-recruit mage on an astral nation. 6.1 paths - F1E2S2 and 1.1xFWESN if you have the money you should be getting these every turn you possible can. They're auto communion masters and their path diversity makes them incredible at it. They're even good leaders!
Myrmecos get no items and only one spell but it's a doozey. At conj 7 for a mere 50 pearls they can summon a copy of one of their pretender chassis. Fire 2, astral 4, pretty stealthy (60), and dom-immortal. The pretender version of this made my life hell when I was playing rocks and was absolutely impossible to kill, hitting provinces and then stealthing away from the retalitory death squads. If you're fighting ants and it gets into the mid-late game you should absolutely fear these.
Overall Myrmecos seems like a very powerful nation assuming you like managing communions and massing 100 of the same size 2 troop. Beautiful spriting too, just like the wasp nation Vespika also made by the same author.