What good tips are to win whole campaign (AOW III, GR and EL)OnNormalDiffuculty

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions What good tips are to win whole campaign (AOW III, GR and EL)OnNormalDiffuculty

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Klydon 5 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #246255

    notme
    Member

    Can I simply research and build everything before attacking?

    #246257

    NINJEW
    Member

    my understanding is that the campaign promotes a very aggressive style of play. sitting back and trying to build up will just get you overwhelmed: the AI has way more than you do at the start of the map, and if you sit back and build up, you’re also letting the AI sit back and build up, and the AI can build up way more than you can

    do note that i haven’t actually played the campaign

    #246266

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I have… there are some exceptions, but that’s pretty much the size of it. The AI enemies generally start with more cities than you do, and thanks to AI bonuses, will often get more out of what they do have. You generally need to expand aggressively to keep ahead of that. Not foolishly, but you want to build your economy up quickly.

    Also, cultivate your heroes. There are circumstances where heroes will leave you, temporarily or permanently, but mostly they stick with you through the campaign. Having strong heroes will put you in good stead in the later scenarios (particularly for pulling off that aggressive early expansion).

    Some other tips from my own experience:

    Mobility can be your friend. While flying and floating units are often weaker than equivalent foot troops, on maps with wide front lines, a few strategically placed mobile stacks can be a more cost-effective defence, since if you set things up right you can concentrate multiple armies onto an attacking force.

    The AI’s defences tend to be a hard outer shell with a creamy centre. Specifically, they tend to put heavy garrisons on the cities that they think are most at risk, while leaving themselves vulnerable elsewhere. Sometimes you just need to punch through anyway, but when you do, you’ll often find you can snowball a few more captures before the enemy can set up a new defence. Other times, it might be possible to get into the unprotected parts of their empire from another direction, until they can no longer afford to maintain those defences.

    In some of the harder scenarios, particularly in the original campaign, the AI has a tendency to put together massive multi-hex armies. Often, either due to terrain or due to sheer number, it won’t be able to place them so they can effectively support one another through the adjacent hex rule. This can give you the opportunity to pick apart such stacks with a relatively weak force by setting up a series of battles that each individually favour your forces. Careful use of the adjacent hex rule can mean you draw in enemy forces into an easy battle that would not be practical to attack directly (particularly in sieges when the enemy tries to defend a city with 8 or more stacks…)

    #246267

    Be aggressive, the longer you wait the harder it gets. When possible get sorc and druid heroes with Chaos Rift, Call Lightning and Thunderstorm for easy city taking.

    #246268

    Campaigner
    Member

    No.

    Be aggressive and exploit the hell out of everything you got! Like sending in a powerful, flying hero that’s linked to a Martyr through Absorb Pain that’s being constantly healed.

    #246279

    notme
    Member

    Are there good mods, that makes turtling in campaign on normal difficulty a viable strategy?

    I played trough entire base, GR and EL campaigns on easy mode turtling and defending myself, and it worked fine for me.
    I want to research and build everything, so I can play epic battles with endgame units and magic.

    #246284

    NINJEW
    Member

    sounds like you want random maps then. the campaigns are specifically designed for a specific experience (which would be aggressive play), and since random maps are more or less equally balanced you can do stuff like turtle against the easier AIs and still win.

    #246285

    NINJEW
    Member

    I played trough entire base, GR and EL campaigns on easy mode turtling and defending myself, and it worked fine for me.

    also just so you’re aware the easy mode strategic AI is effectively playing against someone with a mental handicap. not only do they get a massive decrease in the resources they gain vs the resources you gain for the same cities, but they’re also limited to a maximum number of possible moves they can make per turn. turtling on the next difficulty up might be possible, but just because you did it and won against the easiest AI doesn’t really mean much, and i wouldn’t use that to gauge how effective your strategy would be vs tougher opponents.

    #246303

    Draxynnic
    Member

    The issue with turtling is that it benefits the side which has the most potential to generate resources. Between resource bonuses at most AI levels and having more starting cities, that will usually mean the AI. Now, the AI will often handicap itself through inefficient use of resources (constructing buildings it doesn’t need, squandering troops that a human player would avoid losing), but that will only hold it back so far.

    Many of the scenarios start you fairly light on cities, but with a large army compared to what’s in the area you start in. The expectation is that you use that army to get yourself established. Then you might be able to – or even have to – turtle a bit in order to build up forces to face further challenges. If you sit with your one or two starting cities and hope to be able to hold against everything the enemy can throw at you, you’re probably going to find yourself outresearched, outnumbered, and overwhelmed.

    That said, some scenarios are more forgiving in this respect than others. If there’s a long distance between your holdings and those of dangerous opponents, that helps, since the AI is generally poor at orchestrating a campaign over a long distance. If there are a lot of opponents, that can help too: twelve cities split between four opponents is less dangerous than eight cities controlled by one. Even better is when you have opponents that are fighting one another, which can potentially keep them from applying their full force against you indefinitely.

    But, generally speaking, the best defense is usually still a good offense.

    #246313

    notme
    Member

    The issue with turtling is that it benefits the side which has the most potential to generate resources. Between resource bonuses at most AI levels and having more starting cities, that will usually mean the AI. Now, the AI will often handicap itself through inefficient use of resources (constructing buildings it doesn’t need, squandering troops that a human player would avoid losing), but that will only hold it back so far.

    Many of the scenarios start you fairly light on cities, but with a large army compared to what’s in the area you start in. The expectation is that you use that army to get yourself established. Then you might be able to – or even have to – turtle a bit in order to build up forces to face further challenges. If you sit with your one or two starting cities and hope to be able to hold against everything the enemy can throw at you, you’re probably going to find yourself outresearched, outnumbered, and overwhelmed.

    That said, some scenarios are more forgiving in this respect than others. If there’s a long distance between your holdings and those of dangerous opponents, that helps, since the AI is generally poor at orchestrating a campaign over a long distance. If there are a lot of opponents, that can help too: twelve cities split between four opponents is less dangerous than eight cities controlled by one. Even better is when you have opponents that are fighting one another, which can potentially keep them from applying their full force against you indefinitely.

    But, generally speaking, the best defense is usually still a good offense.

    I don’t know when to stop turtling.
    I research everything on first tier, then on second tier and so on.
    As of buildings first I build 2 tiers of production buildings, then whole first tier and second tier of nonmilitary buildings
    Then I build military buildings up to tier 2, and then build rest of civilian buildings.
    And then I build rest of military buildings.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  notme.
    #246329

    Motasa
    Member

    As of buildings first I build 2 tiers of production buildings, then whole first tier and second tier of nonmilitary buildings
    Then I build military buildings up to tier 2, and then build rest of civilian buildings.
    And then I build rest of military buildings.

    Your problem seems lack of prioritizing.

    Building all buildings in a city is a sure way to handicap yourself. Since the optimal way to play the campaigns is through continues aggression, playing the game broad is better than deep; having more cities with a specific set of buildings is far more effective than having a few cities that have almost all buildings. Always ask yourself the question what a city should specialize in. Having a city that can eventually produce all units is a waste, since building a Shrine, Temple, Barracks and War Hall requires a lot of gold and a lot of time. If you however make one city specialize in producing mana and producing support units, another city can focus on producing units from the barracks and War Hall. This way you can build units earlier (a city doesn’t need to build four buildings in a row) and faster (one city that can produce infantry, archers, pikeman, cavalry, support, tier 3 and class units is weaker compared to two cities in which one can build 1/2 of the units and the other complements that by being able to build the other half). Cities deeper in your territory are more suitable for nonmilitary buildings, as it is more safely located and units produced there would require more turns to move to the front-lines.

    I would advice to shift your focus on building troops as early as possible. When a city grows and has enough production you can eventually build more buildings, but troops are in many cases more important.

    About researching, I think empire upgrades are often the most useful, since they’re often passive but very useful. Don’t rush to researching T3 or T4 class units at the early stages of the game, since cities can’t produce them yet and your economy can’t sustain them yet. Only research them when you’re cities have the required class buildings and you see yourself producing those units. High tier spells for a leader with few casting points and an empire with little mana income should be left for later as well.

    #246344

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Lack of prioritisation is part of the “inefficient use of resources” on the part of the AI I was talking about. See, “build everything” is pretty much the strategy the AI uses. It’s pretty wasteful: gold is generally your most limiting resource, and most structures are essentially trading gold now for some other resource later.

    The only buildings I tend to build by default are the storehouse and builder’s hall. Others I build according to my needs and the potential for reward. If I want faster research, I’ll build the cheapest research buildings I can. If I’m facing mana shortages, I’ll build the cheapest mana buildings I can. If happiness boost will push a city over a threshold, I’ll consider building a happiness-boosting structure. If a city needs defences, I’ll construct them. If a city needs an expanded domain, I’ll work towards the structures that will provide them. If I want to produce a particular unit, I’ll construct the buildings I need to produce that unit as efficiently as I can, including structures that boost that type of unit and production-boosting structures if that can get the city past a threshold.

    Empire upgrades and racial governance choices may alter this. For instance, the Shrines of the Dead upgrade for necromancers is an incentive to build shrines for the extra population (plus, you’re going to want mana as a necromancer, and supports are particularly important for necromancers so you might then proceed to a temple). Tigrans have a governance upgrade that makes observatories produce gold, which puts observatories higher in the priority list. If I find myself with excess gold (even after unit production is considered) I might work my way up towards a palace, but generally I run my cities fairly lean: unit-producing cities will be optimised to producing a particular unit, while other cities will be left producing merchandise most of the time.

    Part of the strategy aspect, and part of where human players have the advantage, is in the critical thinking skills to recognise which buildings you actually need, and which are simply a waste of gold and/or production that could be going towards supporting an army. When push comes to shove, it’s armies and spells that win battles.

    (Similarly, research-wise, you should prioritise the skills that will actually help you. The AI tends to prioritise CP upgrades and more powerful class units.)

    As for how long you should turtle: Generally speaking, until your army is strong enough that you feel confident that you can go on the offensive without leaving yourself open to attack and/or suffering losses faster than you can replenish them.

    #246601

    Klydon
    Member

    Bit late to the party, but oh well.

    I have played all the campaigns, etc. They can get you out of your comfort zone if you have a tendency to be a slower more methodical player. (That would be me as well). With some maps and circumstances, you must be very aggressive and feel like you are operating on a shoe string in order to win or you are going to lose in the long term.

    Most of the guys covered things fairly well, but here are my views as well on what is important:

    Hero development is a must. As noted, you won’t necessarily keep all the heroes from one map to the next, but in general, it is still a good idea to get them leveled up and developed as much as possible along with getting them as much equipment as you can (some of it carries over, especially mounts). This typically means a lot of fighting. If you get behind where your heroes are not max or near max level going forward, it gets tougher on the later maps because they are designed with the idea that your heroes are going to be tougher than what you are showing up with.

    Specialized production. Already covered, but it is important. Often you simply don’t have the time or the resources to build everything in a city. Specialize unit production according to what you have for structures in a given city’s area of control if you can and then by position after that.

    Recon is important. Discovering what is where on the map you are on helps you both defend and take the offensive in the correct direction.

    I think doing a full turtle on most of the maps is a mistake. You need to be at least active in exploring the surrounding area and wiping out small neutral armies to give your troops and heroes experience anytime you can along with getting extra resources for yourself. Eventually the core of your army will be high experience and be superior to the raw troops of the enemy and that will give you an edge.

    Final note is to save early and often. Even the better players can have issues with some of the maps if they don’t have any experience with them. Having to repeat a map after finding out there is no way you can win is very time consuming. Saving every 10 turns or so should do the trick.

    Goodluck!

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