(All screenshots from Strategy Informer)
Note: This is the conclusion of a post which started here. Please read that first, because I'll be starting right off from that.
Some Dominions 3 maps wrap, so you can travel in any direction and eventually end up where you started. This one wasn't like that, so there were edges to the map, and that made a nation's initial placement very important.
My two biggest rivals had apparently started at the south and east map edges, where their backs were secure. By the time I encountered them, they'd squeezed a hapless race of lizard people between them until there was hardly anything left of that nation.
And now they were free to attack me.
The Marverni were a nation of warrior tribes not too much different from my own people. They had a massive army, the biggest in the world, led by a pretender god - a gigantic bull - which was easily the biggest unit I've seen yet.
The Hinnom were giants, bigger and better than my own troops, one on one. They proved to be incredibly hard to stop.
And while each could concentrate on attacking me, I had four different enemies in four different parts of the map. (I'm not counting the lizard people, whom we all bordered, since they were almost done by then.) Indeed, I was surrounded by enemies (mostly because of the ocean at my back).
|Just a few of the 600+ magic spells|
So I figured I needed to defeat Oceana and Abysia as quickly as possible, hoping to keep Marverni and Hinnom at bay until I could turn my full attention to them. Otherwise, I'd have to keep my army split into four different sections.
I still hadn't found any amphibian troops, but I had a lot of gems, so I created items which would let me send some commanders, with their troops, underwater. (Note that I led the game in gem production and money, so I really tried to take advantage of that.)
As quickly as possible, I sent about a hundred of my most expensive troops, along with my two best water mages, into one of Oceana's least defended underwater provinces. But, right away, I discovered that I'd made a few errors.
First, I'd assumed that I could buy province defense underwater, like I could on land. Well, Oceana could do that, because they had amphibian troops for that purpose. But my own province defenders couldn't breathe underwater, so I couldn't buy any defense for those provinces.
Secondly, that first underwater province was so poor in resources that I couldn't recruit aquatic soldiers there, either - or very, very few. And finally, my soldiers could breathe underwater, thanks to magic, but since they didn't have fins, they moved very slowly. Also, since you can't use missile weapons underwater, their javelins were worthless.
I did win that initial battle, but I lost more troops than I expected. And I couldn't go into any other province without either splitting my army (again) or leaving that province completely undefended, at which point Oceana would simply take it over again.
|Another Dominions 3 battle|
My plan still succeeded - mostly by having those water mages summon underwater creatures to aid us (again, my gem supply made a huge difference) - but it was much slower than I'd expected. I ended up killing Oceana's triton god three times (gods are hard to kill permanently) - twice because he made the mistake of attacking me on land.
And I still haven't completely knocked them out of the game, though I've taken their home province. So my plan to quickly finish off Oceana, so I could turn my attention elsewhere, was a failure.
I did destroy Abysia, though that wasn't as quick or as easy as I'd hoped, either. I'd penned them up in their home province, so they had nowhere else to go (they responded by assassinating many of my priests), then I laid siege to their fortress.
This was a nation of fire creatures and fire mages, and although they never controlled many provinces, they were very skilled in magical research. So, when we finally broke down the gate to their fortress, the battle was much harder than I expected.
One of my mages had cast a winter spell on the province, lowering the temperature there, and another caused it to rain. But even so, their fire attacks were devastating. We won, but it was quite a close call. Most of my army had run away by the end of it.
Still, that was the end of them. Since they had no more provinces remaining, there was nowhere else for them to go. Their god still had many supporters (my own priests are working hard to change that), but he can't come back without a province they control. I lost a lot of troops in the fight, but at least I could put that dominion behind us.
Meanwhile, as I say, Hinnom was proving to be really hard to stop. They kept smashing into my provinces, taking one after another (and destroying my temples). I'd follow along behind them, retaking the provinces again, until I could finally wear them down and kill them, but they were just really hard to stop.
Against both Hinnom and Marverni, I took to attacking weakly defended provinces, ramping up the taxes, then leaving again before they could counter-attack. My goal was to cut into their income and, especially, to destroy their temples.
That worked best against Marverni. They had a truly massive army at the start, but I was able to whittle it down. I even sent a "thug," a strong unit decked out in all the magic items I could create, to sneak around behind enemy lines, attacking wherever he found an opportunity.
We even killed the Marverni god, and I'd been wondering if that would even be possible. Honestly, he was huge! But he didn't have enough support units in one battle, so my guys surrounded him and eventually cut him down. True, they'll probably resurrect him again, but we've already taken one of their fortresses, and we're besieging another.
|One of the 2,000+ units in the game|
But if the Marverni have been easier to defeat than I expected, I certainly can't say the same about Hinnom. Every time I think I've got them weakened, they come roaring back. Right now, in fact, they're making another strong play for my territory. (Clearly, I haven't discovered the right tactic against them. I guess I need to think it through.)
Still, I'm so far ahead of the other dominions that it's just a matter of time, now. When I finally finish Oceana, that will free up a lot of experienced troops to throw into the fight against Hinnom. (Marverni is already on the ropes. I'm really not very worried about them.)
This has been a lot of fun, but I probably won't wait for the final victory. I'm anxious to start another game with a different nation, a different god, different opponents, different kinds of magic, and a different strategy altogether. There are just so many different options in this game that I'm really eager to try something new.
The huge variety of, well,... everything makes it hard to know where to start, but it's worked well for me to just jump in and try something. Tir na n'Og was a random nation - and it wasn't even a nation described in the manual (for which there are suggestions on how to play them). But it was still fun.
If this game sounds fun to you, too, then check it out. You can try the demo for free here. Or watch a few of these videos. As I say, I've really been enjoying it.
Note: Check out my other game posts here.