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AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies
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Topic Subject: Favorite Magic Spheres?
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posted 07-09-01 12:24 PM EDT (US)   
I know the vets have argued this topic to death, but we've got lots of new players in the community so I figured it could use a re-hashing.

Personally, I think Fire sucks. If I'm going up against the Orcs, I may cosider taking it because of the protection against Red dragons, or if there's lots of lava rivers in
the underground.

I generally stay away from death or life magic. If I'm going against the undead, I'll take at least one sphere to get rejuvination to combat those nasty reapers.

The third level Death spell, Animate Ruins, is awesome because you don't have to wait around to migrate cities. Just raze and rebuild! Plus, your hero gets the experience from the units that appear from the razing.

I always, always, always take at least 1 water sphere for Healing Water spell. This spell should really have been a Level 2 spell because it's just too powerful, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I also like the other water spells. Liquid Form is fantastic for your melee hero as it provides protection from physical attacks and swimming.

The hardest decsion for me is to then take Air or Earth spells?

I used to favor air, because I LOVED "Haste" and "Summon Great Eagle" is fantastic for exploring and annoying your enemies by capturing their mines and power nodes.

I've been using Earth more lately, though, because I like Gold Rush, Stone Skin and ever since


discovered that you can cast Freemovement on ships, well, that totally rocks! The poor-man's air galley! I also like the Enchanted Roads spell, and flatten earth can be a surprised to your enemies and also increase the gold production of cities against mountains.

[This message has been edited by Angel Draco (edited 07-20-2001 @ 07:29 PM).]

posted 07-09-01 01:02 PM EDT (US)     1 / 56  
My thoughts -- if you're going to take four spheres of anything, take air. Air mastery is, in my book, the best spell in the game. You rule the skies, and with air galleys the game's pretty much over. And air elementals are so brutal its cruel, at least against some sides. They destroy orcs. They're not so effective against undead (no death immunity) but liquid form doesn't help much there, either. My second choice might be earth, since earth mastery stone skins virtually everyone.

For the first sphere, water is the best, for healing water. But earth (stone skin), life (bless and remedy), and air (haste and chain lightning) are pretty good choices. Healing water is a little unbalancing for the game, since the computer doesn't seem to use it, so I often handicap myself by not taking water. Remedy helps a little and has the advantage of removing handicaps like poison.

I don't use the mid-range spells much, but liquid form is nice because about the biggest threat to a good hero is tons of archers, ballistae, galleys, etc., and they have the physical attack from which you are partially protected. The only value I can see from fire is if you are fighting orcs with red dragons, where fire halo forces them to engage you and not just dragon breath you. This can be handy in LOTR.

posted 07-09-01 02:44 PM EDT (US)     2 / 56  
I will say that though I don't have a particular favorite, they all have their advantages and uses.

Fire doesn't suck totally. Remember, summon fire elemental, and warmonger are quite impressive.

I will say however that I always try to have 3 spheres. This opens up the option of drawing major mana from 3 types of nodes as well as the generic ones.


[This message has been edited by Chaos Spawn (edited 07-09-2001 @ 02:51 PM).]

posted 07-09-01 11:11 PM EDT (US)     3 / 56  
i normally take 4 life for gold dragons and 3 water for the great hail since it does wall damage
posted 07-10-01 04:46 AM EDT (US)     4 / 56  
4 death, 1 earth, 2 water.

Works wonders I tell you. WONDERS!!!!

posted 07-10-01 07:58 AM EDT (US)     5 / 56  
As you point out Draco it's not easy to make a good choice before you know what you are going up against. Are you playing a singelplayer or a multiplayer game? Do you know what races you will be fighting? Do you know what the map looks like and what type of nodes you have close to your starting area?

If Im playing blind (in multiplayer) I usually go for 1 life, 3 earth and 3 water (no point in waiting for fourth level spells when you might get eliminated before day 20 )

posted 07-10-01 09:34 PM EDT (US)     6 / 56  
I could go almost go with Blackmanes choices but I don't understand why you would take two water instead of two earth. Free movement is just toooo awesome on Dragon Ships. Then of course you have Gold Rush which can be a real savior on some maps. Poison woods isn't bad either. I like to be able to throw a barrier down and it works on most units. If you have to choose between two earth or two water, the earth level 2 spells are just much better.

I used to really like air, but free movement, stone skin, and gold rush are really addictive. I would agree though that the level 4 air spells beat the level 4 earth spells. Air Mastery and air elementals is a game altering spell.

Oh, I would like to take credit for discovering free movement on Dragon Ships but I learned it on the old forum. In fact I didn't believe it until I tried it myself. It works so well it is almost cheating. Almost

[This message has been edited by Frogman (edited 07-10-2001 @ 09:35 PM).]

posted 07-11-01 10:08 AM EDT (US)     7 / 56  
Well not a fan of evil..or necromancy...I will be realistic about fighting. Have any of you ever used the death spell mind decay? That is one kick-ass spell. Hehe...

I use it when I am playing gobbos or dark elves in single player, when I can actually use my magic user to full capacity.

In multiplayer I usually go 3 air, 3 water, and 1 death.
This gives me haste, enchanted weapon, dark gift, (having +2 damage is great for a fighting hero..and giving it to a yeti is great.) Later on I get liquid form and wind walking.

Chain lightning is nice for pesky archers, black bolt or whatever it is called is great for a spell that costs 4 mana. Cursing your opponent is a very useful ability.

posted 07-11-01 12:19 PM EDT (US)     8 / 56  
Chain Lightning is pretty much the only attack spell that the AI uses effectively in FC, so that gives a boost to Air - sadly, you lose all the great Earth spells Frogman mentioned, so in multiplayer Earth probably wins.

Anyone ever considered doing Death, Fire and Earth so you can put Enchant Weapon, Dark Gift, Fury and Stone Skin on one unit? Light on defense, but when you hit things they go away... And Life could change out Bless for Dark Gift. Sadly, Liquid Form is probably better, and Healing Water edges Water over Fire.

What about for Warlock's Rules? Lots of the spells change, there. Stone Skin is much more useful in that context.

posted 07-11-01 01:33 PM EDT (US)     9 / 56  
When talking about WR I go fire.
At least 3 spheres if not 4. Nothing like tossing 12 point fireballs around, and Call Flames is so deadly. I even take it as an ability most times. Who needs archery then.

I tend to stay away from earth, because of my bad history with the Entangle spell. Too many games I have lost because of it, so it's kind of like a boycott....hehe.

I do make exceptions when I know that there will be earth nodes around my starting area.

A lot of the times I take the exact spheres that the map maker assigns my leader. However it is frustrating when mapmakers do this poorly. I'm talking about giving me 4 air spheres when there are not one but TWO earth nodes a days ride away.

Mapmakers please take the time to suggest reasonable spheres or leave them blank altogether.

[This message has been edited by Mikail (edited 07-11-2001 @ 01:34 PM).]

posted 07-11-01 03:17 PM EDT (US)     10 / 56  
GGRRRR.... dont get me started with entangle....

HUmmm. favorite magic sheres huh.. well i dont really have any i jsut use the ones based on who i'm playing and what map, also the map settings to pick mine. I can give ya my most used tho. Usely either; 3 water 3 air and either one life or one death. Or i go with 3 earth 3 fire and one life. just depends.

posted 07-12-01 10:56 PM EDT (US)     11 / 56  
I don't make getting 4 spheres a priority because in my year-long experience of PBEMs, you just don't get a chance to cast the Mastery spells that often. Or, by the time you do, it's wasteful because the outcome of the game is probably not in doubt.

I've only been in 2 PBEM games where any HUMAN player cast a Mastery spell. The current COTDL (6 player) is one of those 2 games as Caitiff just cast Earth Mastery.

posted 07-12-01 11:14 PM EDT (US)     12 / 56  
I have to agree that getting 4 levels of a sphere is usually not as good as having 3 levels of 2 spheres. Unfortunately, I almost always choose 4 levels of something and tell myself how cool it would be to use 4th lvl spells in the game. Which rarely happens, so my power lust is never satiated and I do the same damn thing again next game. Call me ignorant.

IMO, best sphere is Air, close second is Earth (wish you could get both...). Using regular rules in a decent-length game, your high level heroes are at a severe disadvantage not to have Haste. It becomes a brawl-fest, kings chasing around the map slaughtering ungodly numbers of troops. Moving only 1/2 (or is it 2/3 in the newest patch?) as fast as the other guy is not cool.

My least favorite is Fire. Offensive spells are comparable to the others (Fireball is a real disappointment, IMO), troop boosting spells suck, and it excludes the ability to also have Healing Water. Casting Anarchy on enemy cities can be pretty fun, but I think it's more of a psychological rather than a practical enjoyment.

So I would go for 3 Air, 3 Water, 1 Life/Death (depending on alignment).

Cry Havok! And let slip the dogs of war!
posted 07-13-01 03:12 AM EDT (US)     13 / 56  
Like (almost) everyone else, I pick water. Usually 3 spheres to get Liquid Form. Which combination of spheres I add to that varies.

Haste makes it one movement point cheaper to move into a hex. Really nice on roads and "easy" terrain, but not quite as useful in heavier terrain (mountains, woods).

posted 07-13-01 11:00 AM EDT (US)     14 / 56  
Of course, my earth mastery lasted less than a day, because Frogman, that damned drow, dispelled in his next turn. OTOH, Kris cast life mastery in a goldrush game and ended up with 6 gold dragons, which effectively ended the game for the rest of us, so it depends.

I usually take a 4-3, or 4-2-1 combo, just in case a mastery spell become practical. In that COTDL 6p game, while I could research earth mastery, I actually bought it from a tower. Tower availability is also important. If I customized my spheres in a game like HOBII, I would probably go 3-3-1 or 3-2-2, just because there are so many spells available from other spheres, though not many (if any) mastery spells. So taking a 4-2-1 combo might be even be better to diversify mana income from spheres, guarantee a mastery spell, and provide a ton of other spells through towers.

I like death and life, and usually take that as my 4, but it depends on the map and what I'm going up against. If I'm evil, the 3 death is a must for me so I can animate ruins and dead heroes. After that, I try to take spheres in character for the race I'm playing. Free movement is nice, both for ships and underground units, but then so is haste. I've never chosen fire on purpose, but like earth, air, water, and fire after life and death, in that order.

If I go 3-3-1, or 3-2-2, I like death, water, air; or life water, earth.

posted 07-15-01 03:45 PM EDT (US)     15 / 56  
I really liked those magic spheres that David Bowie used in Labyrinth.
posted 07-15-01 03:50 PM EDT (US)     16 / 56  
Game designer's question. How do most of you react to a scenario that allows you to only pick 5 spheres instead of 7? Do you feel this limits leaders/heroes too much? IMO it leads to a more diverse line-up of contending leaders and encourages players to more accurately reflect the ethos of the side they have chosen to play.

....but twas the "Struggle" that bound them all!
posted 07-16-01 10:20 AM EDT (US)     17 / 56  
Well, I'm playing in a PBEM game of State of War right now, and we're limited to 5 spheres. I'll know more when I actually have a spellcaster, but it's kind of intriguing the way this is going to combine with other aspects of Warlock's Rules to make the game focus on non-hero units.
posted 07-17-01 02:13 AM EDT (US)     18 / 56  
I didn't bother reading the rest of this topic, Draco, because something you said cheesed me off and demanded an instand reply:

It was I!!!!! ME!!!! who informed Frogman about Free Movement on ships!

Frogman told me I underestemated the value of WIND WALKING on ships, and then I pointed out that since ships can already cross water, Free Movement gives them the same abilities, and cheaper.

That was ME! I told Frogman. Frogman used to cast Wind Walking on his ships! Now, thanks to ME!!! he casts Free Movement. And now, thanks to ME!!! (and NOT Frogman), so do YOU!

Are we clear on this subject? I was the one who pointed out that Free Movement has the same effect on ships as Wind Walking. Me. No one else. Just me. The one to whom you credit this discovery learned this from ME!

posted 07-17-01 02:30 AM EDT (US)     19 / 56  
Ok, I read it. And many thanks to you, Frogman, for your humility in refraining from taking credit for such a ground breaking discovery...


Anyway. I used to go 4,2,1. But the chances of actually using any level 4 spell are quite low, so now I go 3,2,2. Life, Earth and Water. Or Death, it depends. I won't go Life when I'm playing Evil.

But actually, that's more or less my campaign (or After the Fall) choice. If I'm playing someone's map, I'll usually go with whatever spheres they've given me (if it's like 4 Life, 3 Water, I'll go 3,3,1 with an Earth Sphere for Stone Skin), because most GOOD mapmakers assign spheres based on what nodes they've placed for the player.

posted 07-18-01 08:26 AM EDT (US)     20 / 56  
So let me make sure I have this straight...

It was Frog-- No, no. It was Aqualung, not Frogman, but Aqualung, who discovered the Free Movement on ships trick.

All kidding aside, it's a pretty damn clever trick. Give kudos where kudos are due.

posted 07-20-01 07:29 PM EDT (US)     21 / 56  
I edited my post to sing it from the roof tops. please don't beat me!
posted 07-22-01 01:19 AM EDT (US)     22 / 56  

My one contribution is finally recognized! And was it a great trick? Yes it was. Now I can retire from AoW a happy man.

So long, everyone. My work here is done.

(OK, actually, it's my CD drive that's forcing me to retire from AoW. I'm tempted to go rush out and buy the Mideaval Masters collection one of these days when I get it working, since that version doesn't require the CD in the drive. But if I have to pay $20 for another copy of AoW, I'd prefer to get the original, since I can't reinstall my copy, it's scratched, so I could get the 1.0 editor. But it's not like I actually use the editor. I've got a certain map that's been "in the works" for 9 months now.)

posted 07-23-01 11:14 PM EDT (US)     23 / 56  
Aqualung has been "officially" credited with this discovery under the "controlling units" paragraph of the Little Known Gameplay Tips & Tricks" article in the Stratecy Section.
posted 07-25-01 04:57 AM EDT (US)     24 / 56  
Yeh, personally I feel that air is best. With chain lightning, you can easily stun up to 4 units at a time and then kill them easily. I do however take a water magic or two to protect me by having access to healing water.

I am many and one, everyone and no one. I am your doom!
posted 08-13-01 07:39 AM EDT (US)     25 / 56  
As I usually play single-player XL maps, I tend to be a neutral race and take 4 life tiles, as those golden dragons are so dominant later in the game. Because mastery spells have such high mana upkeep I rarely use them

However, as my interest is moving towards multiplayer games, I am busily absorbing lots of useful tips. The point about having 3 types of magic to maximise income from nodes seems blindingly obvious, yet hadn't occurred to me. And the discovery by AQUALUNG (YES, AQUALUNG DISCOVERED IT, DIDN'T YOU KNOW THAT?!?) that you can use Free Movement on ships is something that I intend to explore further

I started playing a small game called 7 Realms yesterday, and was a bit miffed to only have three magic tiles available

May your magic be multiplied

posted 08-13-01 03:02 PM EDT (US)     26 / 56  
In a recent PBEM game we started, "Rely Upon They Strength," I only have 3 spheres as well because in the map the Orcs are supposed to suck at Magic. While the Elves have 5 spheres. It's been quite a challenge as I play a spell-heavy game.
posted 08-22-01 03:21 AM EDT (US)     27 / 56  
Well tell ya the truth my magic spheres usually look something like 3 death 2 earth 1 fire, specially if I'm the undead, who needs to heal next turn your bright as new anyways.

3 death- animate ruins, after I get this spell and I have enough channeling points to pull it out the same turn I tend to do a scorched earth tactic burning everything thats not an evil race or on good terms with me to the ground the raising it and increasing my army

2 earth- not so much as for free movement, but for stoning death book lacks a real one hit killer kinda spell like stoning and ice shards

1 fire- no reason other then to get fury heh

in other words you'd see my leader hoping around with dark gift, enchanted weapon, fury, and stone skin. But thats only in TS in Warlocks I use water instead of earth and air instead of fire keep the scorched earth tactics

+1 attack/+1 damage +2 attack/-1 defense +1 damage +2 defense= +3 attack/+2 damage/+1 defense=one hell of a unit boosting

People follow the light, blinded by just cause, but what has the light brought them? It has only caused me pain, while the darkness embraced me and kept me deep within its shadows away from my pursuers and made them suffer for their crimes against me

Into darkness, into night, amoungst the shadows we shall fight

posted 08-22-01 03:27 AM EDT (US)     28 / 56  
btw I usually get offended when people mention that fire sucks, they really dont know how to use fire spells, anarchy never found a good use for it, fire sprites in my opinion are the best low level summons, short of the great eagle but thats a lvl 2 not a lvl 1, fire ball can do some nice damage but your better off with call flames or flame arrow which both do damage nicely flame arrow is cheap too , sacrificial flame uhh I never cast this less I have a fire halo on and I have yet to find a real devastating use for it but can look nice, war monger is just one of the best global spells around heh no need to wait till you got medals on your troops just pop em out veterans, can be devestating on lvl 4 cities

People follow the light, blinded by just cause, but what has the light brought them? It has only caused me pain, while the darkness embraced me and kept me deep within its shadows away from my pursuers and made them suffer for their crimes against me

Into darkness, into night, amoungst the shadows we shall fight

posted 08-22-01 09:01 AM EDT (US)     29 / 56  
posted 08-22-01 11:22 AM EDT (US)     30 / 56  
meanie I'm telling

People follow the light, blinded by just cause, but what has the light brought them? It has only caused me pain, while the darkness embraced me and kept me deep within its shadows away from my pursuers and made them suffer for their crimes against me

Into darkness, into night, amoungst the shadows we shall fight

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