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ashdod-ma

MA Ashdod, Reign of the Anakim

Lore

"Hinnom, Ashdod and Gath are heavily influenced by ancient Israelite, Canaanite and Philistine concepts. I have always been intrigued and fascinated by biblical mythology, and had long I wanted to include the Nephilim and biblical Genesis myths into the game. However, I was worried that I would not do the sources justice, so it took a while before I finally got down to finish the nations. The Bible, the Book of Enoch, the Dead Sea scrolls and the Ras Shamra texts of Ugarit and interpretations of these texts are the main sources of the nations.

Hinnom draws more heavily on the biblical and Enochian tradition, while the veneration of the deified dead kings of Ashdod draws inspiration from the Ras Shamra and Canaanite/Ugaritic concepts of the dead. The rephaim/r'p'm of the Ugaritic texts are ghosts or deified dead rather than giants, so Ashdod turned out a bit different than I first intended, with death magic replacing blood. The shift from blood to death gave the nation a different and interesting mood." -Illwinter

Time had not been kind to Hinnom, though one could say that that bloodied land deserved little more than a great purge. By the end of the Early Age it had become clear that the Nephilim were dead, and their blood had begun to dilute as the Rephaites multiplied. Those who still had "pure" Rephaite blood became known as the Anakim and divided into three clans: Talmai, Sheshai, & Ahiman. They each lived in different cities, but this changed when the Talmai’s city of Kiriath Sepher was destroyed by the Abysian Anathemants in an invasion that became known as the Tide of Fire. The Fire-resistant Anakites quickly rebounded, and slew the invading force with the help of the lesser Rephaite archers of Gilead. Still, with the damage done being irreversible, only the Twin Cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon remained for the Anakites. With their best days and their best heroes behind them, the Giants of the new Rephaite state (led by Ashdod) transformed their bloody worship of the Nephilim to worship of their deceased Melqart ancestors, limiting the cannibalism that defined their Early Age forefathers to a funerary tradition meant to honor them.

General Overview

Despite the mood and the weird access to Magic, Ashdod is oppressively strong. You have to jump through hoops to get back to the Blood and Guts that defined the previous Age, but you don't need to do any of that stuff. All you really need to do is crank out Anakim from your capital, grab some popcorn, and watch your "small" armies of SCs curb-stomp everyone in the early game. Ashdod's flaws – which certainly exist, don't get me wrong – are pushed out of the picture frame by just how cool and powerful its capital guys are. You also get Old Testament Angels, which are neat.

National Features

Race Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Prefers 2 Heat
Wasteland Survival
Size 3, 4, & 5 Giants
Gluttony
Fire Resistance
Expensive Heavies
Longbowmen
3 Misc Slots
death 44
fire 33 (rare 4)
earth 33 (rare 4)
astral 33 (rare 4)
Summons:
blood 22 (requires death 44holy 11)
nature 33 (requires astral 44nature 11)
air 44 (requires astral 77fire 33)
holy 22 Giant Castles

Capital Special Sites

The Twin Cities Mount Seir
* Enables recruitment of Zamzummim
* Enables recruitment of Adonim
* Enables recruitment of Talmai Elders
* Enables recruitment of Sheshai Anakim
* Enables recruitment of Ahiman Anakim
* Produces 1 per month
* Produces 2 per month
* Produces 1 per month
* Produces 1 per month

Notable Units

FIXME

All of your units that aren't immense, soul-crushing disappointments come from the Twin Cities of Ashdod & Ashkelon, which happen to be situated inside your capital province. They're also quite resource-intensive, to the point where you'll have trouble churning them out at a reasonable pace.

In short:

← Best troop

← Not as good but still cool

← Put three misc. Items on this boi and call it a day

← Needs a bit more gear but is still workable

← Skele-daddy

← Ranged boi from outside the capital

Commanders

FIXME description of the workhorse options, for the sake of sanity better skip the clearly subpar and generic stuff (no h1 unless special qualities, no 40, 60 leadership dudes that are average, no scouts

Img Unit Name —-SpecialAttributes—- Comments
Edomite Scout
35
18
1
Stealthy(50)
Wasteland Survival
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
Dec
Kohen
85
3
1
holy 11random010%
Sacred
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (1)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Rephaite Commander
100
35
1
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (3)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Emite
125
3
2
death 11random1100% 9
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (1)
Wasteland Survival
Fortune Teller(10%)
Dec
Rephaite Sage
155
3
2
random2200% 13
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (1)
Wasteland Survival
adept researcher(4)
Dec
Adon
305
91
4
Capital Only
holy 22random2200% 5
Sacred
Resist fire (6)
Wasteland Survival
Gluttony (8)
inept researcher (8)
Dec
Zamzummite
315
3
4
Capital Only
earth 11death 22holy 11random2100%+100% 15
Sacred
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (1)
Wasteland Survival
spirit-sight
Dec
Talmai Elder
375
3
4
Capital Only
random3300%+10% 19
Sacred
Resist fire(6)
Gluttony (6)
adept researcher(8)
forge bonus(1)
Wasteland Survival
Dec

Troops

FIXME description of the workhorse options, for the sake of sanity better skip the clearly subpar and generic stuff (common indie like units with no gimmicks), merge units into a single description entry if functionally similar battle roles with only minor differences in gear.

Img Unit Name —-SpecialAttributes—- Comments
Human Slinger
7
2
int
slave Dec
Human Slave
7
3
int
slave Dec
Edomite
20
17
int
Wasteland Survival Dec
Amorite
40
27
int
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (2)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Gileadite
40
29
int
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (2)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Bashanite
50
33
int
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (2)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Gileadite Archer
40
47
int
Resist fire(5)
Gluttony (2)
Wasteland Survival
Dec
Sheshai Anakite
130
53
int
Capital Only
Sacred
berserker (2)
Resist fire (9)
Wasteland Survival
Gluttony (5)
Dec
Ahiman Anakite
130
96
int
Capital Only
Sacred
Resist fire (6)
Wasteland Survival
Gluttony (5)
Dec

Heroes

FIXME any breakout hits that might sway someone towards luck or away from it ?

Ashdod's three Heroes are the three Sons of Anak, the patriarchs of the three tribes of Anakim. All three of them are incredibly Old, so they won't last quite as long as their descendants. They also take a minimum of 20 turns to show up, but it's not like you need them in the early-game anyway. All three are Sacred, and all three have Gluttony (10) & Wasteland Survival.

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
"Sheshai" - First Son of Anak fire 44holy 22
13
Will get this bonus to their STR, PROT, & ATT if scratched, but will also lose this much DEF and go off-script Berserker (+4)
Fire Resistance (15)
Old Age (935/730)
Sheshai has fire 44 outside of combat, allowing you to reach fire 55 if you didn't get a Zamzummite and fire 66 if you did; if you have enough , either one is then able to summon a King of Elemental Fire, while the latter can hold up Eternal Pyre for more "Firepower". Though he's the oldest Son, he can relatively-safely burn away the worst effects of Old Age (Disease) with Pyre of Catharsis. It's a shame that most of his descendants don't use his Armor.
"Ahiman" - Second Son of Anak earth 44holy 22
13
Fire Resistance (5)
Old Age (907/750)
Ahiman's earth 44 allows him to cast Army of Lead and/or Army of Gold with zero required setup time in battle (thanks to Earth Boots), allowing you to make your Anakites even more invincible on Round 2 instead of Round 3. He doesn't require Alteration 9 to shine, however, still capable of summoning a King of Elemental Earth (or three) and casting most of the big Earth Rituals.
"Talmai" - Third Son of Anak
fire 11earth 11astral 44
holy 22 17
Fire Resistance (5)
Fortune Teller (15)
Old Age (880/745)
Talmai's astral 44 and his three Miscellaneous Item slots let him climb to astral 88 with the Crystal Coin, Starshine Skullcap, Ring of Sorcery, and Ring of Wizardry. He could cast Master Enslave by himself, and he might even survive the casting (though you probably shouldn't try it).
Also noteworthy (for Ashdod) are his crosspaths: he'll probably be your only Mage who can cast Strange Fire and Call Hashmal, and it doesn't take too many Boosters to get him to Call Ophanim. With 3 Astral boosts and 2 Fire boosts (which is actually doable without Booster Artifacts or Empowerment, thanks to the Ring of Wizardry, though you might as well Empower this guy in Fire to save on ), he can even cast Call Merkavah.

Magic

National Spells

FIXME national spell or summon cost and usecase, judgment if it's good.

Battlefield Spells:

  • Strange Fire (Evocation 4, astral 22fire 11): A side-grade to Falling Fires that ignores Fire Resistance and does a lot more damage to Demons & the Undead. Unfortunately, this spell is a bit of a secret to even Ashdod; only one-in-sixty Talmai Elders can cast this, half of them requiring an Astral Booster to pull it off. The Fire-Resistance-avoidance is also only really noticeable against guys that have a lot of it, at least when compared to Falling Fires.

The Honored Dead
Ashdod reveres the original generation of Rephaim and their Melqart kings (even though their sins earned them their own version of Hell), and the Zamzummim were designed for honoring them. With enough Research into Conjuration, a Zamzummite with enough Death Magic can bring them to the surface. They're summoned with funerary banquets, which mirror the old Feasts where Melqarts would gorge themselves on their kin, and summoning a deceased Melqart (a Malik) even requires the Zamzummite to feed himself to it. These dead guys all have the following traits:

If an Adon and a Zamzummite are in the same province when Random Events happen, there is a small chance that the Adon will serve the Zamzummite up himself, though the Adon will mess it up and only deceased Rephaim (Ditanim) will eat the poor Mage. This can happen regardless of Research level or the Zamzummite's skill level.

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Ditanu
Conj 6
death 33holy 11
25deathgem
death 11holy 11random1100%
9
Fire Resistance (6)
Fear (6)
Shattered Soul (5)
With this guy, you can crank out Adon-tier thugs from every Fort with a Zammy!
Be mindful of his PTSD, though, it causes him to throw tantrums.
Malik
Conj 8
death 44holy 11
55deathgem
Kills Caster
death 22blood 22holy 22random2200%
17
Fire Resistance (8)
Fear (12)
Spreads Dominion (1)
Shattered Soul (15)
Think of this guy as a Prophet without the Pretender powers.
Starting your foray into Blood with this guy is a fun meme.
He comes with 4 Ditanim as troops, by the way.

Messengers of the New God
New to MA are the Abrahamic Angels, with Ashdod getting access to five of the ten tiers of Angels in the Old Testament. They cost Astral Pearls, or (thanks to Alchemy) twice their price in other kinds of Gems, but all but one of them require a secondary path due to their nature. Due to this dilemma, summoning most of them is somewhat tough for Ashdod's mortals; for example, most of them require the same paths as Strange Fire, but with higher levels in Astral and/or Fire. All Angels have the following traits:

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Malakh
Conj 4
astral 22
9astralpearl
holy 11
Stealthy(60)
Fire Resistance (5)
Shock Resistance (5)
Awe (+4)
Invulnerability (15)
A humble messenger, at least relative to the other Angels.
His true value lies in his mobility, but he's not a complete wimp outside of that.
Just give him some gear to work with before having him fight.
Hashmal
Conj 6
astral 33fire 11
21astralpearl
holy 22
Fire Resistance (25)
Shock Resistance (5)
Fire Shield (10)
Awe (+5)
Invulnerability (20)
Ethereal
Inquisitor
A holy Fire Elemental with working hands and charisma.
He's stronger than the Malakhim, but he's also less flexible.
Malakhim can at least compensate for some of their weaknesses with Armor.
On the other hand, Hashmalim are far better Preachers.
Arel
Conj 7
astral 44nature 11
39astralpearl
nature 33holy 33 11
Fire Resistance (5)
Poison Resistance (20)
Shock Resistance (5)
Healer (3)
Awe (+6)
Invulnerability (15)
Supply Bonus (30)
Female
A Qedesot with wings and morals.
She's more of an Ind or Gath summon, but she's worth the trouble.
Your old Sages and often-outnumbered soldiers would love a healer.
Also, Illwinter misspelled their name; they're known as the "Erelim".
Ophan
Conj 8
astral 55fire 22
49astralpearl
holy 33
Fire Resistance (15)
Poison Resistance (25)
Shock Resistance (15)
Fire Shield (11)
Awe (+6)
Patrol Bonus (+50)
Inanimate
Ethereal
Trample
A twelve-eyed pair of Wheels, typically serving in God's Chariot (the Merkavah).
Small foes shall be run over, while large foes shall be smoldered.
Only their lack of hands (for holding Weapons) holds them back.
That's an issue that lots of inhuman summons have, actually.
Form 1 Chayot
Conj 9
astral 77fire 33
222astralpearl
astral 44holy 44
"Life #1"
The Merkavah's "body", commanding 4 Ophanim as troops.
Each of its four faces are given a different life in Dominions.
While in one form, the paths of its other three forms are technically each -2.
All forms share these powerful traits:
Fire Resistance (22)
Poison Resistance (15)
Shock Resistance (22)
Fire Shield (17)
Awe (+7)
Invulnerability (30)
Spreads Dominion (1)
Sight Vengeance
Counts as the Sun

The Chayot's lives are listed from top to bottom.
He can die in Form #4, but he can freely cycle through forms outside of battle.
Form 2 air 44holy 44
"Life #2"
Form 3 fire 44holy 44
"Life #3"
Form 4 earth 44holy 44
"Life #4"

Lingering Demons of Old

  • Summon Se'irim blood 22 Blood 3 for 23bloodslave ( Se'irx2). is a national staple which produces outrageously good sacred demons called Se'irim and should be cast frequently throughout the game; any Kohen with a blood thorn can cast it.
  • Summon Shedim blood 33air 11 Blood 4 for 28bloodslave ( Shedx3). Also produces excellent demons, Shedim, although they are not sacred their storm power and ability to do high, armor negating, shock damage more than makes up for that, their only downside is the difficulty Hinnom has in summoning them, often needing to empower and air random Ammi and give them boosters.
  • Summon Mazzikim:
    A Mazzik is statistically almost identical to the Imp summoned in battle with Summon Imps. These are effective at jumping into the enemy back lines and messing with enemy mages and troop formations. This spell allows you to get 2.66 Imp-type units per naturegem, without using mage turns in combat. Furthermore, these flyers can be summoned in large numbers pre-battle and then attack rear en masse. As demons, their strength can be boosted with Blood Lust allowing them to actually do damage. This could be a powerful disruptive strategy in an early war and this spell can be used as an early-mid game "panic button", cast in volume by Iassacharite Sibyls to win a key battle. However, naturegem are valuable for many purposes, so it is important to get value from any Mazzikim summoned.
  • Summon Lilot:
    Lilots are dream seducers, which is unfortunately the less effective kind of seduction, due to the extra MR check involved before the Morale check for the seduction itself. Lilots are also not mages, limiting their options in an assassination battle. 15naturegem is a significant investment already, and more gear is required for a Lilot to reliably survive their first assassination, making their use questionable.

FIXME Check the MR roll for dream seduction. Suggestion on when these are ever worth it?

Magic Access

FIXME What magic path/mages define your nation, what can you level, e.g., thunderstriking, astral, elementals, earth buffs, blood, what is recruitable anywhere and good, what are some summons you are likely able to get and are useable

Ashdod has four paths: Fire, Earth, Astral, & Death. The Anakim and most of the Rephaim follow the old Hinnomite tradition of going all-in on whatever path Fate chose for them, made abundantly-more-obvious by the surgical removal of Blood from their diet, but they've chosen fairly-decent paths to laser-focus on. Whatever path your Adon ends up with, he'll have a powerful defensive self-buff to make his Supercombating even easier:

  • Earth gives him raw stat boosts, such as Ironskin, Earth Might, and Iron Will.
  • Fire gives him Fire Shield and Phoenix Pyre.
  • Astral gives him Astral Shield and Body Ethereal.

Your Talmai Elders focus on being the bigger Mages, and a few of them might have a coveted crosspath (a lot of their potential crosspaths are useful, such as astral 33fire 11, earth 33astral 11, and fire 33death 11).

Rivalling the Anakim in importance in their own capital are the Zamzummites, however; these smaller Rephaite Mage-Priests have a 1-in-8 chance of having death 44, which is easily boosted to death 66 through the Skull Staff & Skullface. Ashdod has two powerful Death Summons that the Zamzummim can call upon; the Malik provides Ashdod with blood 22 (at Conjuration 8, a bit late-game), but requires the death 44's life in return. The Zamzummites are just as valuable for their crosspaths, capable of forging the Skull of Fire and the Crystal Coin, allowing you to climb to fire 55 & astral 55 respectively (with the Flame Helmet and Starshine Skullcap). Earth is still unfortunately capped at earth 44 for the nation without Empowerment, as the Malikim are short one level in Blood needed for the Blood Stone.

Combat Magic

FIXME What is the best spell you can use in combat. What spells the best support your national lineup, Is there weakness that you need to fix? Any tricks you should be aware you have?

Ritual Magic

FIXME What is the best ritual you could cast. Are there any globals you want up, any units you should be summoning? Are there any Generic rituals few nations can cast?

Magic Items

FIXME Do you have any National items(Construction Level, Price, and required Paths). Any unique generic items few other nations can forge? What item would be useful on your unit lineup (non-standard recommend thug gear)?

National Items

FIXME nation exclusive items

National Discount Items

FIXME items you get national Discounted on (Reduced Price and required Paths). Any Reasons your nation may want to forge it?

Strategy

FIXME do you have a game plan? Anything you should always be working toward? Any National weaknesses?

Pretender

FIXME What kinds of scales dose your nation like? Do they require any to function? Any blesses your sacreds would like? Do you desperately need an awake expander? Examples of Pretenders?

Early Game

FIXME How to expand, potential pitfalls and how to get around them, obvious weakness strength, how much do you have to focus on war/infrastructure

Mid Game

FIXME what is the first big research rush, what is the first big powerspike, where do you shift recruitment to? what are the big magic diversity issues, are there particular globals you should gun for

Late Game

FIXME How do you close out the game if you are in it, is the high-level research stuff you can do uniquely well, does your nation fall off, aka do you have to force things to conclude swiftly

ashdod-ma.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/19 08:32 by wigglefig