Intro and Nation

The following is an after action report (AAR)1 for Dominions 4, a strategy game focussing on the attempts of powerful beings to become the one true god. I shall henceforth assume a basic familiarity with the game and its constituent concepts, with footnotes to annotate anything that might confuse a new player but bore an experienced one. The exception is this post which, being an intro, is likely to bore an experienced player in its entirety. I am playing in a play-by-email (PBEM) multiplayer game, Big Blog Club, which is based around the somewhat novel concept that we all write an AAR to accompany it, creating a well-documented game that can be enjoyed from many perspectives. Because of this, I’m making a lot of choices based on what I think is the coolest or most interesting, and have selected Agartha as my first choice of nation.

Agartha is primarily composed of Pale Ones, fleshy naked giants who love their dark cave homes. Basically a bunch of neckbeards, except that they’re totally hairless. I like them because their dark caves give them natural strongholds against anything that doesn’t see in the dark, because they’re amphibious (which can open up options a lot) and because of the other race that lives among them: the olms. If you google “olm” you’ll get a salamander with gills, no eyes or back limbs, and a cute smile. In Dominions, an olm is exactly that, except that they’re huge and have psychic powers.

Mechanically, Agartha is a nation with very weak troops – I mentioned that pale ones are naked, and this means that they get wrecked pretty easily in a fight. On top of that, they are slow, uncoordinated, and their single eye makes for poor depth perception. All-in-all, pretty bad troops. Not expensive, but expensive enough that you’re not usually going to outnumber your enemies by much more than two to one, and if all you had was your troops, you’d need more. Thankfully, the olms are good for that. They are pretty expensive, but they can use their mind blasts to incapacitate most enemy troops. And even a pale one can kill an enemy that’s paralyzed. The other big strength Agartha has is mages. Everybody has mages, but nobody has mages like Agartha does. As you might expect from subterannean beings, this is the number one best nation for earth magic. That means some good buffs, some good debuffs, and some powerful spells that can wipe out large numbers of weak enemy troops. The problem there is that most of these also kill weak troops on my own side. Luckily, the other strength to Agartha’s magic is summons. Agartha has national spells for earth elementals, living mercury (water elementals but poisonous) and umbrals (shadowy dead guys). All of these are decently powerful, moreso than many nation’s troops, and they’re cheap enough to get a whole lot of them. This is the mid-game strategy for when I stop relying on pale ones (other than mages) at all.

So that’s the basics of the nation. Next is to decide what I want  do with it, and design my aspiring deity to go with it.

  1. A documentation of my own play experience, with portions logged as they happen, These are largely a spectatorial way of playing video games. In this case, it will be even more so as my post are delayed to prevent my opponents. 

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