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asphodel-ma

MA Asphodel, Carrion Wood

Lore

"If you have walked in a forest with trees covered in ivy and stumbled across the carcass of a dead animal, partly covered by leaves and vines, your imagination might give life to the vines and the roots of the nearby plants. The carrion jerks and twitches as the roots gives life to the dead animal. It opens its jaws and lets out a silent hiss. Asphodel is a nation of the vengeful wild. Panii and halfmen of Pangaea have revolted against their brethren and unleashed the powers of a dark and hungry god upon the living world. Vines and roots turn into slithering and growing entities strangling the living in their sleep and reanimating their corpses as marionettes of vines and bones. These marionettes are known as manikin. The first carrion beasts appeared in one of my Ars Magica campaigns. There was a manikin in the bestiary that sparked my imagination and resulted in animal carcasses reanimated by vines. The concept has always been something I liked, and I suspect is has sneaked into other RPG campaigns of mine from time to time. Asphodel as a Dominions nation has a history similar to Lemuria. The nation was once a theme in Dominions 2 that was removed and made into a global spell available to primarily late age Pangaea. Unfortunately, this made the whole setting of the Carrion Woods rare, and that was a pity. We decided to remake the old theme into a new Pangaean splinter nation."

General Overview

Asphodel is a nation of halfmen, such as centaurs, satyrs and minotaurs. As the game progresses provinces within the dominion of Asphodel will see their populations decrease. If the provinces are owned by Asphodel they receive undead manikins as the population is killed. In the early game Asphodel can make good use of strong halfmen troops (especially the sacred black centaurs), but as their population diminishes they will lack the gold and recruitment points for these units and will be forced to rely more on the freespawn undead manikins. It is best to think of Asphodel as a pop kill undead nation with recruitable mages and play accordingly.

Because Asphodel's economy never fully transitions away from god, and because of the need for more forest provinces, they will be forced to expand continuously. Having recruitable mages is both a blessing and a curse in this respect. On the other hand, their ability to build forts in one turn and focus their money on mages will lead to a surge in research and gem income by the mid game. This will be the time to push their advantage, with manikin armies getting strong spell support and powerful Carrion Lord thugs filling in the gaps.

Asphodel is widely regarded as one of the worst nations in Dominions, and likely THE worst nation in the Middle Age. They also have some of the lowest resolution pixel art you can find, a good indication that the nation hasn't gotten love in quite some time. Winning with them will take quite a bit of luck, and at best you'll be playing with a handicap vs other players. Still, they are a very cool concept and a lot of fun to play.

National Features

Race Military Magic Access
Halfmen
Superior magic resistance
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Undead Manikins
Primitive equipment
Stealthy Units
High map move
Mercenaries +25% cost
nature 44 (rare 5)
death 33 (rare 4)
water 11 (rare 2)
earth 11 (rare 2)
Priests Dominion Buildings
Average Priests (lvl2)
Summon Strong Priests (lvl3)
Stealthy Priests
Undead priests have manikin reanimation
Pop death at 1% per candle per turn

Spawns manikins from corpses
Spawns additional manikins in forests
Forts +50% cost
Palisade is max upgrade
Summon Bramble Forts in forests
Temples -50% cost in forests
Labs -50% cost in forests

Curse of the Carrion Wood

Asphodel's dominion slowly kills of its population as civilized land becomes reclaimed by the wild and its inhabitants are turned into manikin freespawn. At a rate of 1%/ candle, this decrease is significant and poses a major challenge to anyone playing Asphodel. Since Asphodel, unlike Ermor or Lemuria

The following graphs show an approximation of how population is decreased at different dominion strengths over time. Every line represents one step of dominion strength starting with Dominion strength1 at the top.

In exchange Asphodel's dominion spawns various forms of manikins See the Spawned/Reanimated Troops section.

Capital Special Sites

Carrion Grove
Enables recruitment of:
* Black Centaurs
Produce 6 per turn
Produce 1 per turn

Units

Commanders

Sprite Unit Name Magic Special Attributes Comments
Black Harpy
25
1
1
Stealthy (60)
Flying
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Has the Female tag
Minotaur Lord
70
10
1
Berserker (+5)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Centaur Hierophant
120
4
2
holy 11random1100%
10%
7
Sacred
Stealthy (40)
Inspirational (+1)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests

Twiceborn shape:
Carrion Lady
Centauride Hierophantide
120
3
2
holy 11random1100%
10%
7
Sacred
Stealthy (40)
Inspirational (+1)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Has the Female tag

Twiceborn shape:
Carrion Lady
Black Dryad
140
1
2
holy 22death 11nature 11 9 Sacred
Stealthy (60)
Supply bonus (10)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Has the Female tag

Twiceborn shape:
Carrion Lady
Dryad Hag
255
1
2
holy 22death 11nature 22random1100%
10%
13
Sacred
Stealthy (60)
Supply bonus (20)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Has the Female tag

Twiceborn shape:
Carrion Lady
Panic Apostate
300
1
4
death 22nature 33random1100%
10%
17
Resist Poison (5)
Animal Awe (1)
Beastmaster (+1)
Stealthy (40)
Supply bonus (30)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Twiceborn shape:
Carrion Lord

Black Harpies are probably the best recruitable scout in the game. They have a high stealth value, and flying combined with a high map move makes it very likely they will reach their intended destination in one turn, whether to scout or to transport gems. In most games you don't even need to rely on forts to recruit them, since they are available in every forest.

Minotaur Lords are only good for commanding armies in the expansion phase since they cannot lead manikins. Later on you can rely on Panic Apostates to command manikin and non-manikin troops alike. Be sure to set them to "Stay Behind Troops" or they will likely get themselves killed.

Centaur(ide) Hierophant(ide)s are sacred mages on a centaur chassis and benefit from any bless that would benefit your Black Centaurs. Centaur Hierophants are marginally better becauses of the 10% chance of earth 11death 11 or earth 11nature 11. Asphodel's national discount on Thorn Spears gives a cheap way of making thugs that can repel. death 11 can lead manikins while nature 11 can cast Protection or buff Eagle Eyes and shoot.

Black Dryads are your most efficient researchers. They are also good for collecting and transporting manikins, hiding and preaching, spamming swarm in large battles, and for buffing thugs with Blessing and Regrowth. They are good targets for Twiceborn, which causes them to come back as reanimators, in addition to everything else.

Dryad Hags share the same paths as the Panic Apostate. The real advantages they have over Apostates are being sacred and not slow to recruit. They also have a 33% chance to random water 11death 11nature 22 for access to Mossbody and Foul Vapors, compared to the 25% of Panic Apostates. death 22nature 22 can cast Horde of Skeleton and earth 11death 11nature 22 can cast Earth buffs by using a gem to cast Summon Earthpower or forge items such as Kithaironic Lionpelt.

The Panic Apostate is Asphodel's workhorse. They have the best magic paths and are given a slight chance to double their random, which can boost the nation into even higher levels of Water, Earth, and Death through items and summons. You'll want them to do everything but research - site searching, combat magic, rituals, leading troops, raiding, and later assassinations. Twiceborn will transform them into the Carrion Lord chassis while retaining magic paths.

Recruited Troops

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Harpy
7
1
3
Stealthy (40)
Flying
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Has the Female tag
Satyr Sneak
9
3
6
Undisciplined
Increase Unrest (+0.5)
Stealthy (60)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Satyr
9
4
6
Undisciplined
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Satyr Warrior
13
5
21
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Minotaur
40
8
6
Undisciplined
Berserker (+4)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Minotaur Warrior
50
10
18
Berserker (+5)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Centauride
25
3
12
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Has the Female tag
Centaur
25
4
12
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Can recruit in all forests
Centauride Warrior
30
11
17
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Has the Female tag
Centaur Warrior
35
11
21
Berserker (+2)
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Black Centaur
55
12
29
Sacred
Berserker (+3)
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation

As your dominion depletes your population over the course of the game you will slowly lose the ability to amass recruited troops and will have to rely on manikins instead. Asphodel shares many recruits with Pangaea.

Harpies are your only flying troop; they are cheap and easy to mass. Thus, these are your best units for siege defense, which manikins don't do effectively, or for additional patrolling and sieging. In battle they can be used to harass the back line.

Satyrs are mainly front line troops, which is not what Asphodel needs. Sneaks can be used to increase unrest in enemy territory, which might help complement a sabotage strategy.

Minotaurs have a high damage attack that can punch through tougher opponents. However, these are the same sort of opponents that manikins tend to do well against on their own.

Naked Centaurs and Centaurides are the only archer units that Asphodel can mass, which may be useful in certain circumstances. These are probably the most useful troops that can be recruited from forests without forts.

If you did not go for a bless for your Black Centaurs, Armored Centaurs and Centaurides are your best troops for expansion. Centaurides use javelins and are better against lightly armored troops; Centaurs berserk and are better at direct assaults.

Black Centaurs are just as good as Pangaea's White Centaurs, but unlike Pangaea you will inevitably lose the ability to recruit them. Depending on how much dominion you chose at pretender design this can happen as early as year one. If you are planning to use them you need to find a balance between getting enough dominion to matter, but not so much that you drain your capital too quickly.

Spawned/Reanimated Troops

All manikins have the following abilities, added here to make the table more readable:

Generally, manikins are skeletons with some special features. They have low protection, low attack and defense, and no cold resistance, but make up for it with high hitpoints, the loss of the Never Heals trait, and high magic resistance (apart from Carrion Beasts). Being both undead and magic-beings makes them vulnerable to spells and effects that target either. They use undead command slots on a commander.

More importantly, all manikins have at least one "Sleep Vines" attack which deals 33 fatigue damage per hit, provided the target fails a magic resistance check, and attempts to hit three times per attack. This is enough to wear down even high protection targets rather quickly, and manikins tend to do better against high protection targets with low defense than the opposite. Sleep Vines are also a length 3 weapon, and have a better chance of repelling attacks when the attacker's defense is low. For this reason, manikins are particularly good when they fight in large numbers, surrounding enemy troops, and when combined with other fatigue inducing spells like Rigor Mortis and Syllable of Sleep. Unfortunately, the manikins' many attacks make them especially vulnerable to Fire Shield effects and they tend to die in droves against Fire Elementals and thugs with Charcoal Shields.

Though they apply to all undead, Asphodel's unique priest spells give benefits to manikin armies that you don't see anywhere else, such as mass regeneration through Carrion Growth and spot healing through Mend the Dead.

Sprite Unit Name Special_Attributes Comments
Manikin Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard corpse spawn.
Mandragora Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Advanced corpse spawn.
Harpy Manikin Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard forest spawn.
Satyr Manikin Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard forest spawn.
Minotaur Manikin Poor amphibian
Mindless
Advanced forest spawn.
Sagittarian Carcass Sacred
Recuperation
Spirit sight
Extra spawn on forest with temple.
Carrion Beast (wolf) Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard forest spawn.
Carrion Beast (boar) Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard forest spawn.
Carrion Beast (horse) Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Standard forest spawn.
Carrion Beast (bear) Poor amphibian
Mindless
Spirit sight
Advanced forest spawn.
Carrion Beast (elephant) Trample
Fear (5)
Poor amphibian
Mindless
Advanced forest spawn.

Most manikins largely function the same, the thing you want to pay attention to most in a tactical setup is their combat speed. Put slower manikins on the front line, and faster ones futher back on the flanks, so that they both reach the opposing army at about the same time.

All carrion beast types have relatively low magic resistance. While this is a disadvantage overall, it does mean they are more likely to benefit from Asphodel's unique mass buff spells, Puppet Mastery and Carrion Growth.

For some reason, probably an oversight, minotaur manikins and elephant carrion beasts do not have spirit sight, and despite what the mod inspector says they don't have darkvision either. Testing shows they take full penalties from Darkness. Darkness and similar spells are still recommended though, as these units will always comprise a small portion of your army.


Harpies have especially low combat speed, making them hard to use with other units. Moreover, they are the only manikin type that has 14 map move instead of 20, so including them in your army can limit your strategic mobility. They are size 1 with 2 Sleep Vines per troop, which adds up to 12 fatigue attacks per square, though admittedly at a very low attack value.


Human, satyr, minotaur, and bear manikins are all fairly slow frontliners. It may help to put the faster forest manikins in a line behind the human ones, to keep them all together.


Wolf, boar, and horse carrion beasts are fast flankers.


Elephants are some of your more valuable manikins. They also work well as flankers, though they are a bit slower than the other types. Elephants work well in their own squad, which helps to keep them together and concentrate their fear effect.


Sagittarian Carcasses are your most unique manikins. They are non-mindless sacred archer manikins who shoot entangling arrows. Because of the way troops spawn, they will never be a large part of your army, but they still help win battles. As archers, it will be easier to keep them alive, and once they run out of arrows they make an easy transition to melee, running down routing foes with a high combat speed. It is useful to have some non-mindless troops on the field to make sure spells like Mind Burn don't just target commanders. Their only downside is that they can't be taken across rivers or underwater.

Dominion Spawn Mechanics

Main article on Asphodel's Dominion Spawn

Sopbucket ran a number of tests to try and see if data from in game backs up this description. You can look at the findings here. He summarizes the dominion spawn mechanics with a few points:

  1. Manikins and Mandragoras spawn in every province with a sufficient amount of corpses, to a maximum of 4 total per turn. This is why they are labeled "corpse spawn" in the table above.
  2. All other manikins spawn in forest provinces, to a maximum of 4 per turn. This is in addition to the corpse spawn.
  3. Sagittarian Carcasses spawn in forest provinces with a temple, independent of other spawn limits. Further testing shows they do occasionally spawn in forests without a temple, but it's exceedingly rare. On average, you get about one every three turns, and neither Growth, Magic, nor Dominion appear to have any effect on this rate.
  4. The "better" reanimations appear to include Mandragoras, Minotaur manikins, Bears and Elephants, as these spawn rates precipitously drop off in Magic 0 vs Magic 3. These are labeled as "advanced" spawn in the table.
  5. Growth scales are a significant factor in reanimation rates. Temples and Dominion help too, though a high dominion (>5) will kill off your population very quickly with little gains to show for it.

Forests not only spawn troops at twice the rate of other provinces, but also spawn the most useful manikins, and continue to spawn manikins once the province runs out of corpses. Typically, you want to keep dominion at a mid level in forests for more troops, and as low as possible everywhere else for the income. This can be accomplished by taking a low dominion pretender, and only preaching in forests until you get to 4 or 5 candles.

It is worth it to build temples in forests ahead of forts for the extra spawn, assuming they are relatively safe from conquest. Keep in mind they only cost 200 gold in forests.

If you have to choose between Growth and Magic scales, I would always choose Growth. Numbers are what make a manikin army effective, and you will still be able to accumulate advanced manikin through reanimation. Growth also helps to counter pop kill, especially in low dominion provinces.

Reanimation Mechanics

For Asphodel, all reanimation is replaced by the "Awaken Manikins" action, which can be used by any undead commander with a priest level. This means that Asphodel cannot reanimate typical undead, as even generic reanimators like Mound Fiends raise manikins instead. Awaken Manikins requires corpses to be present in the province to function, similar to reanimating soulless.

The number of manikins reanimated is the priest level + 1, and the type of manikins you get is randomly determined. The distribution of results is similar to dominion spawn, but doesn't seem to be determined by Magic scales or anything else linked to the province. To maximize reanimation capacity, you want to use Nature gems to summon Carrion Centaurs and Death gems to twiceborn Black Dryads or Dryad Hags. Gems are your most significant bottleneck in this regard.

Items like Amulet of the Dead do not boost manikin reanimation rates. Manikins are like Tomb Wyrms and Lictors in this way, if you could select them from a list to reanimate they would probably not have a "+" next to their number.

National Summons

Asphodel's national summons are manikin reanimator priests. They can either be summoned directly via national spells, or transformed from one of Asphodel's recruitable mages by the spell Twiceborn. The latter is indicated by the alternative cost in Death gems, though it should be noted that this method additionally costs a recruited mage, whereas the other does not. All Centaur and Dryad mages become Carrion Ladies, and Panic Apostates become Carrion Lords. Centaur mages only cost 10 Death gems to cast twiceborn despite being size 3, probably because the game treats them as mounted units.

There is a chance that a twiceborn transformed unit will recieve an additional death path upon assuming its carrion formThis bonus is connected to Twiceborn's events and is independent of the wight chassis that spawns. Panic Apostates who become Carrion Lords do not gain priest levels, though they do become Sacred.

For efficiency in reanimation, it is best to use nature gems to summon Carrion Centaurs, and death gems to twiceborn Black Dryads holding a Skull Staff.

Carrion Lords can be worth summoning in order to prophetize, to get a level 4 priest who can cast Carrion Growth. Twiceborn Panic Apostates make excellent thugs since they keep their better magic paths, especially the Earth and Death variants which both unlock crucial protection spells. Death variants also have a chance to become Death 4 mages this way, which is an important prerequisite for higher level Death spells and magic boosters.

Since they are undead, Asphodel's summons are unable to Preach.

Heroes

Sprite Unit Name Magic Special_Attributes Comments
Panicratos - Apostatic Warrior holy 11death 11nature 22 11 Stealthy (65)
Ambidextrous (4)
Berserker (+5)
Supply Bonus (20)
Sacred
Assassin
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Ambicephalos - Ettin Mandragora holy 11 Fear (5)
Ambidextrous (3)
Unsurroundable (1)
Sacred
Spirit Sight
Pierce-resistant
Undead
Inanimate
Need-not-eat
Forest survival
Recuperation
Resist poison (25)
Reanimator Priest

Asphodel's heroes are both useful, particularly in the early stages of the game. This is just another way that the nation benefits from high luck scales.

Panicratos is the only assassin you will have for a while, and can help deter early invasions by other players. Once you've researched Swarm he'll be able to use it to kill most commanders without worry. It's not a bad idea to give him a Kithaironic Lion Pelt for extra protection. Later he can counter thugs and SCs by dual wielding the Axe of Hate.

Ambicephalos is the sort of hero most nations dream of having. Though he underperforms as an SC in the late game, in the mid game he absolutely dominates. While he can self bless, it's also good for him to have a level 2 priest nearby who can cast Regrowth and give him regeneration on top of everything else. Ambicephalos works well both by himself or at the head of an army. He is the only manikin that lacks the Magic-being attribute, which is probably an oversight.

Sopbucket: Ambicephalos - Ettin Mandragora is best used fully geared in my opinion. I like to boost his attack, defense, and protection as much as possible while giving him 4-5 attacks via Horned Helmets and other equipment. Good options for him specifically are the Flesh Eater (for berserk), Main Gauche of Parrying/Sword of Swiftness (for defense), Ring of the Warrior, two Horned Helmets or Horror Helmets, and any high protection armor.

Magic Access

Asphodel is an undead nation that utilizes Nature and Death magic. It does three things particularly well: battlefield globals, chaff summoning, and thug self buffs. In practice, they function like MA Ctis - spam skeletons, wolves, and bugs while ratcheting up fatigue and poison damage on the enemy. As an undead nation they can freely make use of Darkness and Rigor Mortis, which only make this strategy more effective.

The Panic Apostate effectively sums up Asphodel's native magic access - 4 paths in Nature, 3 in Death, 1 in Water, and 1 in Earth. Furthermore, you can reasonably expect to reach 4 paths in Death over the course of a game through Twiceborn by selectively casting it on Death random Apostates - something you will want to do anyways. This means that, while native magic access is somewhat limited, you can expect to get high levels of Nature and Death on a number of mages without much effort, casting spells like Darkness and Syllable of Sleep without the need of a communion. Panic Apostates are slow to recruit, but can be recruited at any fort, and so are widely available.

Diversity summons

  • Contact Lamia Queen can be cast by a Nature random Apostate equipped with a Thistle Mace. death 22nature 11random2100%
    100%
    Lamia Queens allow Asphodel to break into Blood magic.
  • Summon Spectre summons a death 11random2100%
    100%
    Spectral Mages that can help break Asphodel into Astral magic.
  • Faerie Court can get you a air 33nature 33 Faery Queen for air access.
  • Lichcraft can be eventually be cast by a death 55 Panic Apostate to get access to immortal Liches. Because of their immortality, Liches are safer to empower in air to get access to Wailing Winds and Wind of Death.

National Spells

Combat

Quick Roots | holy 11
Puppet Mastery | holy 33
AoE and global haste for manikin and other undead. The global spell requires targets to fail a magic resistance check in order to get the benefit.

Mend the Dead | holy 33
Single target heal for manikins and other undead.

Regrowth | holy 22
Carrion Growth | holy 44
AoE and global regeneration for manikin and other undead. The global spell requires targets to fail an easy magic resistance check in order to get the benefit. It is usually worth it to script multiple castings.

Ritual

Carrion Centaur | nature 11death 11 | 8naturegem
Carrion Lady | nature 11death 11 | 16naturegem
Carrion Lord | nature 33death 22 | 35naturegem
The national summons, detailed in the National summons section.

Grow Fortress | nature 44 | 35naturegem
Creates a Bramble fort on the province in which it is cast, replacing whatever fortification exists there already. Aside from more advanced spells, this is the only way Asphodel can build forts superior to palisades. Can only be cast in forests or shallow seas.

Dark Slumber | nature 44death 22 | 15naturegem
One of the better remote attack spells, but not nation defining. Creates a minotaur manikin commander and a number of manikins (15-30?) and mandragoras (5-15?) which attack the province and remain afterwards to reinforce an army. It is superior to the manikin and mandragora construction spells merely by numbers created, not counting its other benefits. Like other remote attack spells, two or more castings on the same province in the same turn will combine the forces into a single attack. Can be used to attack thugs and raiders in the magic phase, or to support an invasion.

Combat Magic

Generally the goal of your magic in combat should be to minimize manikin attrition while ratcheting up fatigue on your opponent.

All of the Panic Apostate magic randoms are useful.

  • Nature randoms: Use for high level or gem intensive nature spells.
  • Earth randoms: Can be used to thug, or nature boost via Strength of Gaia and used like the nature randoms.
  • Water randoms: Can be used to thug, and needed to cast Foul Vapors.
  • Death randoms: Can be used to thug and is probably the best Carrion Lord candidate, can cast Rigor Mortis and Darkness with a Skull Staff and extra gems.

Troop Buffs: Carrion Growth, Wooden Warriors, Army of Giants, Mass Protection, Fog Warriors, Gaia's Blessing

Chaff Summoning: Horde of Skeletons, Swarm, Creeping Doom

Battlefield Globals: Foul Vapors, Howl, Darkness, Rigor Mortis, Relief Area Fatigue or Immobilization: Shadow Blast, Syllable of Sleep, Storm of Thorns, Wild Growth

Area Morale Reduction: Panic, Terror

Single Target Elimination: Curse of the Frog Prince, Charm, Disintegrate

Thug/SC Self Buffs:

  • Earth random: Ironskin, Temper Flesh, Strength of Gaia.
  • Water random: Stygian Skin, Liquid Body, Quicken Self.
  • Death random: Invulnerability and Soul Vortex.

Ritual Magic

Globals: Mother Oak gives you more Nature gems, the lifeblood of your nation, and should be contested in almost every game.

Well of Misery is more difficult to research but gives a noticeable boost to Death gem generation.

Enchanted Forests turns every forest into a temple, spreading your terrible dominion to all the other players. This is obviously more beneficial to you than to them.

Wild Hunt is a niche global that you can cast if you have an excess of nature gems. It messes with enemy mages with priest levels.

Utterdark comes very late in the game. It will mess with your opponents more than you.

Other rituals Twiceborn + Transformation on Dryad Hags can help you create size 6 wight mages with a bit of luck.

Faery Trod is a nature-based teleportation spell that can help you move armies quickly from one forest to another.

Dark Slumber and Beckoning are remote attack spells that may prove useful throughout the game.

Magic Items

Asphodel enjoys a discount on Thorn Spears, Thorn Staffs and Skull Standards

Do NOT use the Amulet of the Dead, as this item does not boost your reanimation rates. Manikins are similar to reanimating Lictors or Tomb Wyrms in this way.

The Effigy of War is easy for you to make, and can be used by groups of Apostates and Black Harpy scouts to feint army assaults. You may want to give them a few manikin bodyguards though, or it will look like the whole army is made up of Apostates. You don't get any additional bonus for putting a second Effigy on a commander, but an Effigy will still work if a commander is set to Hide.

For thug gear, a Frost Brand and Kithaironic Lion Pelt is generally all you need to kit a Carrion Lord. Alternatively, an Implementor Axe is useful if you want Fear instead of AoE damage, and a Shadow Brand, Vine Shield, and Boots of Quickness are all good options if you want to invest more gems.

To counter thugs and SCs, you have the Axe of Hate and Black Bow of Botulf.

Though expensive, Cornucopias can be a good investment for Mid game armies that constantly rely on nature gems.

Panic Apostates equipped with The Black Heart make excellent assassins, and can be a good investment in the mid to late game. Unfortunately, the Chest Wound affliction is tied to the item, and is not healed through Recuperation.

If you're pursuing a sabotage strategy, scouts equipped with a Bane Venom Charm jumping from province to province can do a lot of damage.

Shademail Haubergeons allow you to make commanders stealthy if they are not already.

Strategy

Power Curve

Immersion Census

Respondents: 5

  • Expansion: 4,4
  • Early game: 3,6
  • Midgame:: 1,8
  • Late game: 1,8

This is probably the most difficult section to get consensus for. Describe how strong the nation is during expansion, the early, mid and late game, and what makes it strong/weak at each of those points. This should give readers an idea of where the weaknesses of a nation lie (if they have not been shown already) and when to take advantage of a nation's strengths.

Asphodel starts out strong with an easy expansion and a decent early game. Enchantment 5 gives a power spike vs nations without poison resistance.

As nations get access to manikin counters in the form of Fire Elementals and thugs with Charcoal Shields, while Asphodel loses income due to its dominion effect, the nation enters more difficult territory. Thus Asphodel is on a timer to win the game.

Expansion Strategies

List some example expansion strategies here. If a strong bless or pretender is required then leave the specifics for the pretender section.

Asphodel has two inherent ways of expanding:

  • With a low dominion score Asphodel can recruit national troops for longer and expand with a mix of Centaur Warriors and Manikins.
  • With a medium dominion score and a bless Black Centaurs can guarantee early expansion.

Alternatively Asphodel can take an awake expander.

Example Pretender Builds

Asphodel is especially demanding when it comes to pretender design since the dominion can be very punishing. Going too high dominion will quickly drain your income. Going too low will not let you utilize Black Centaurs in the early game.

It is worth noting that taking an awake pretender may accelerate the depletion of your capital because of the extra temple checks that the pretender does. On the other hand, not taking an awake pretender with nature 44 to cast Grow Fortress may delay your infrastructure, since getting an nature 44 Panic Apostate during year 1 is not guaranteed, and your regular forts cost 900g.

Txoumin's "Large Repellers"
This pretender is built around guaranteeing an easy early expansion with large repelling black centaurs. The bless can later be utilized by Centaur Hierophants to create cheap repelling thugs. Magic Resistance helps protect your mages who will be otherwise vulnerable to Mind Burn, Soul Slay and other spells that do not target mindless. Luck is picked up as a source of income. Txoumin won his game.

Chassis: Imprisoned Statue of War
Paths: fire 99earth 44astral 44nature 44
Bless: Attack +6, Larger
MR +3, PR +5
Scales: Dominion strength6Turmoil2Sloth2Cold3Growth3Luck3Magic3

asphodel-ma.txt · Last modified: 2022/05/21 06:55 by astigiano