You’ve probably seen posts over at Steven’s or here talking about an all-book, no-ability build. But what about a minimum-book build, with lots of retorts? Since the number and level of spells you can get is determined by your books, locking oneself out of the higher spells can make the game rather challenging. Can the abilities make it up? This is on Hard level:
The answer is: I doubt it, but it’s working so far. I started with High Men, so I could have paladins. Alchemy is one of the best abilities, warlord gives my armies a huge edge, and then I picked Chaos Mastery and Archmage to make up a bit for the lack of spell power. Somehow, I never realized Archmage gives all the wizard’s units magic weapons automatically. Charismatic is supposed to keep the enemies off me, but it hasn’t worked out as well as I hoped.
I got lucky, not only did I have a fair-sized continent to myself, there was another small continent right next door, and I used Magic Spirits to overwhelm an orc town quickly. Add that I also took out a gnoll town early, and I’m off to a quick lead. I’m gaining an all new respect for the gnolls. They suck in the late game, but the Wolf Riders are cheap, powerful, and fast in the early going. Add Flame Blade and Eldritch weapon and these guys are quite respectable. And more importantly, numerous.
I’ve summoned only one Champion, and that’s DethStryke, who has the greatest ability over the long run: Armsmaster. So now that I’m producing paladins, I’m letting them sit until they become elite, then moving them out. I’d like to wait on ultra-elite, but I just don’t have the luxury. I’m at war with everyone, but they’re not attacking aggressively due to the need for a navy. This will change as they get air units, so I am getting the orcs set up to produce flying creatures. Meanwhile, my Wolf Riders and Paladins are all moving into Myrror, as that’s where my hottest war is. I popped out of a tower close to Ssra’s fortress, and managed to take it with a stack of Wolf Riders. He’s already managed the Spell of Return while I was trying to consolidate my holdings, but I think I’ve got the upper hand. If I can conquer him, this game’s probably mine for the taking. If it takes too long though, the others will overpower me with high-end spells.
Personal Note: due to events, my blogging time may be seriously limited for the next several weeks, so I may not be able to update you on the progress of this game. Or anything else. Sorry all.