Naaira: This guide is a port of Olli!s guide as found on the Dominions 4 forums. Since this guide was written with Dominions 4 in mind, many mechanics have changed since then, and not everything in the guide will be applicable in Dominions 5. Still, a lot can be learned from Olli!s strategical decisionmaking.
Keep changes to a minimum - grammar or corrections due to changes in mechanics in Dominions 5. If you have additions or diverging opinions, out of respect for the author please mark your name and additions clearly in a WRAP box like this one.
Author's note: Base principles of this guide have its origin in fantastic Orionja's MA Pangaea guide, Baalz's Blitzkrieg guide, Thedemon's Steamrolling guide. It is worth checking out these articles too.
EA Pangea is quite complex to learn nation, but it top tier for people who know what they do. Generally this nation is like a quick Italian lightly armored fencing master with a short stiletto, fighting a blind knight in platemail wielding a two-handed sword. Avoid this blade and strike your opponent wherever they are defenceless.
Pangaea has superior scouts and sneaky troops, mages and priests. They see their opponent while their opponent cannot see them. They hit their opponent in every vulnerable spot and disappear into nowhere, forcing their opponent to strike empty air.
Aprt from stealth and stabbing, Pangaea has recruitable forest mages, scouts and troops, great logistics, perfect scouting, fantastic thugs, freespawns, Blood magic and dominion push bonuses. Details are below.
Proposed scales and pretender design:
Is to build a large army, move it to a border province, attack one or two provinces of victim neighbor and move the army to do decisive battle - exactly what newbies do and why they suck with Pangaea. Pangaea pays for a ton of strong options by the absence of high-protection soldiers, and it is pretty vulnerable to archers and evocations. Do you remember the "stiletto and two-handed sword" comparison? A fencer does not want to parry a two-handed sword with a stiletto. They dodge instead. Or better yet, begins the fight with the stiletto severing the neck arteries of a slow heavily armored warrior.
Potentially it could work with order-production build, but Pangea still will take heavy casualties and you want war to bring profit. To maximize gains and minimize attrition you want to use the most prominent national powers, described below.
Every forest provides Pangaeamages, scouts, and some rarely used troops: The , , and archer. Just spend 700 gold for Temple + Lab combo. Later you can blood hunt with s here, so blood slaves come directly to the lab, and blood sacrifice with . It is an awesome advantage, and it is why you want Magic scales to make tons of these researchers viable.
Your commanders and troops all enjoy high map movement of 18-22 with Forest Survival for extra mobility. Add access toat Construction 0 to enjoy map movement of 24-28, at Construction 4 to move at 27-31, or to move at 36-40. With your excess of Nature gems you will enjoy mobility outmatched by flying nations only.
, the best scout in the game, is at your service. There are no excuses to let potential attackers or victims have unscouted provinces. The Thaumaturgy 2 spell , castable by s can be used to scry over heavily patrolled areas like enemy capitals.
Against 1-5 PD (one officer and a few henchmen):
If PD is stronger, feel free to unite small squads into larger one.
Some people cannot raid succesfully, they play only "stationary" armies. In reality, it is pretty simple: select some undefended province (1-5 PD) and attack it with a very small force, just to overcome the PD. Pangaea has access to a number of cheap ways to do it (see below).
Why is it important to stab properly, and why is it super important to do so as Pangaea? Imagine you won a decisive battle. You lost 50 troops and enemy lost 150 troops. Assuming average troop cost is 10 gold coins, it can be estimated as you losing 500 gold coins and enemy losing 1500 gold, in total you improved the balance in your favor by one thousand gold coins. Now imagine you have simultaneously attacked 10 enemy provinces, every one averaging 50 gold coins of income per turn. You received 500 gold coins, the enemy lost 500 gold coins (assuming they take back all ten provinces next turn), and the balance is 1000 gold coins in your favor. We omit gems you stole.
As you can can see from this example, raiding has the same effect as engaging in battle. But to win a decisive battle you have to take the risk of losing, while there are only minor risks involved with raiding provinces if done properly. Also you can and will repeat raiding to slide the balance even more in your favor. Raiding is a low-risk way of playing Pangaea, and you want to abuse it as much as possible. Besides, raiding uses only a handful of mages who would have been researching otherwise, and a small amount of troops. Costs involved are minor, so you can assert pressure both by raiding and threatening with "big stationary" armies.
By "backstab" we refer to massed attack and occupation of at least 50% or more - ideally 80%-90% - of the provinces of a victim nation in the first turn of war. Having invisible sneaking troops, Pangaea really wants to backstab victims. Everyone likes backstabs, but there are three powerful specific reasons to do so for Pangaea.
When the BOOM occurs, the poor dude has absolutely no time to prepare: Almost all of their provinces are taken, minor forts under siege and the capital disabled by unrest-generating spells and is possibly under siege as well (see below). Decisive battles will occur much later, after the dude has already bled to death trying to deal with raiders while each turn Pangaea buys more and more reinforcements. At some point the decisive battle will happen, but on Pan’s conditions in the proper place and at the right time.
GlointheDark wrote: I agree with a great deal of what you said, especially that pangea wants to avoid set piece battles and raid. It is a great raiding nation, one with a unique flavor. However, I would submit that Pangaea's strength is not so much in the combat ability of its raiders - Vanheim and Caelum probably exceed Pangaea. It is not in the mobility aspect aspect.
But Pangaea's ability to spawn extra troops even from enemy forests does differentiate. As you correctly note, the victim of a sneak attack suffers tremendously from time compression. Pangaea has the ability to spawn troops well forward, saving multiple turns of moving troops to the front.
Also perhaps not addressed sufficiently, Pangaea has the ability to leap frog difficult provinces to take them at leisure, and to use them as bulwarks against more linear opponents. The ability to grab choke points is significant. Often an enemy will make a priority of terrain with an oncoming opponent, but will leave "empty" provinces for later. You grabbing a close territory allows you to set the boundaries at your desires.
Often the most limiting factor in war is not gold, forts, troops or gems, but rather time. Time is required to recruit troops, set up squards, concentrate armies, forge equipment, research spells and prepare for war. Another bright side of Pangea backstabbing power is the fact that unexpected sudden attacks causes the defender to severely lack time. The victim only just begins to switch economy, recruitment and research to war mode, while Pangaea has already prepared capital diversion, moved raiding squads into place, bought a ton of sneaky s and other invisible troops, attacked, took their provinces and placed a couple of forts under siege.
Pangea has a number of great unrest-generating spells available. It isat Blood 5, at Conjuration 5, Locust swarms at Conjuration 6, at Alteration 4. Now combine those with the general backstab strike: Two Rains of Toads, a couple of Monster Boars (unrest generated is cumulative), two Wolven Winters, two s arriving on Black Harpies (you will have to trade for Bane Venom Charms or get Death access somehow). Cast the spell with several months of duration to observe the level of unrest the enemy capital has. Add two dozens of s backed by a to destroy capital PD and occupy it. Combine it with the general backstab.
Capital unrest is already above one hundred. It cannot produce anything and there are saucy invaders on top of it. First turn your victim break siege only to find that your army has disappeared into nowhere leaving a singly harpy set to retreat behind. Two more Wolven Winters and Rains of Toads follow, and capital unrest is well above two hundred. One third of the capital mages are already diseased from four turns of Bane Venom Charm action and Rains of toads effect. 20% of capital population already died to Bane Venom Reaper secondary effect, and Monster Boars continue to generate more unrest monthly even if Pangaea stops casting. If this is not a catastrophe then what is?
Also it is the second turn of their other provinces being taken by raiding squads. Now the victim player has to spend several months and significant patrolling forces just to clear the capital of boars and harpies, losing almost half of population to Bane Venom Charm diseases and having a half of their mages and patrolling force diseased. All of this happens while your raiding squads bleed them by taking off provinces, and your stationary armies conquer their secondary forts. The proper place at the right time.
To do the math, Pan spends 20 + 40 + 20 + 80 and 1,000 gold for the Pan + Centaurs army (which is not sacrificed and will be free to bite the enemy in other provinces). The victim has their capital income reduced from 400g to 50g for several turns, which amounts to around 1,000 gold. Also the capital income is halved permanently (take it as 200 gold per turn). Assuming there were 20 mages in the capital they have about ten capital mages diseased (1,000g counting capital mages as 100 gold each) and one half of one hundred patrolling force diseased (500 gold).
To sum it up:
If the victim is powerful and has capital-only strong mages, Pangaea may choose to add some more unrest producing spells on the third, fourth and following turns, trading more mage time and gems/slaves for a significant decrease in the military power of the enemy nation.
Thugs can be divided into two categories according to their purpose: thugs to tank a lot of chaff, and thugs to do damage-dealing duties. These categories differ by purpose, primary qualities and cost.
Thugs of the first kind are able to take 20 PD provinces solo, stay safe in the middle of a chaff crowd and take on small enemy squads by themselves. Their priority is survival, and these guys belong to the more expensive kind. It is the, Ri or some other expensive dudes with 20+ gems worth of gear. Their analogue among Pangaean troops is the : elite expensive survival specialist. During the second year it is expected to have a few of these guys around (for nations who can field them).
Thugs of the second kind are commanders/mages wieldings or similar, whose task is to dish out tons of damage. Their priority is maximizing Damage per Round while minimizing cost (so these dudes can be amassed and add VERY considerable punch to your main army). Yes, this second kind is better to be used in conjunction with other troops or en masse. It is the regular commander with , the Jotun Herse with , the Slave Prince with etc. Their analogue among Pangaean troops is : cheap hard-hitting glass cannon. During the second year it is expected to keep a dozen or more of these guys around for nations able to field them.
1-random Centaur Hierophants are a mix of both categories, but are closer to the second kind of thugs. They have extremely high survival value for this category (which is why they can be used to take enemy provinces PD on their own) and are somewhat more expensive for the category. They perfectly suit Pangaea because this nation thug production bottleneck is not gold cost, but Water gems. We want the best chassis possible for every we have, and by large margin it is Centaur Hierophant.
It is of utmost importance to keep fatigue low for thugs of the first category, but for the second category fatigue does not matter. If a Centaur Hierophant armed with a Frost Brand (3 base encumbrance, AOE attacking 1.5 times per round) manages to get his Fatigue above 100 in a battle and die, it means he killed enemies for several times his own gold cost. We are happy to make that deal seven days a week. But 99% of battles end much sooner and it is an exceptional case.
There is a common confusion: people who are not aware of the existence of the second type of thugs and who apply requirements of tanking thugs (several levels of protection, fatigue management) to Centaur Hierophants, who rather belong to the damage-dealing thugs. Hopefully it will be more clear now.
Thugs are a major part of Pangaea's power. It at least as powerful as dominion push. Let us check out Pangaean thugs.
For comparison imagine a standard 4 caster, 12 to be created before taking the into account .thug wielding a sword. He has 42 hit points, 20 protection, 14 defense and 16 magic resistance with 20 map movement. It requires Conjuration 5 research, a
Now review the 1 , using a single major 10 Quickness blessing and self-buffing . He has 23 hps, 20 protection, 20 defense, 15 magic resistance, 22 map movement with Forest Survival and he is stealthy. All it requires is Alteration 3 research and a meager 120 gold coins (and of course Construction 4 for ). This guy is useful besides thugging duties: he is a relatively effective researcher, he builds all cheap temples and labs you want and he is a pretty competent leader. All you need to field this dude is to take that default researcher and give him a for 3.
These two fighters in review are relatively equal, or maybe the comparison even goes slightly in favor of the Centaur Hierophant: he severely loses in health department with only 23 hit points, but has 7 more defense (!), has better offense due to attacking more often thanks to the 10 quickness blessing, sneaks (the ability to sneak or fly is a necessary attribute for raiding thug), has Forest survival for extra mobility and is incredibly economical due to research targets. Recruitable in any forest thug chassis comparable to Bane Lord for just 120 gold? Give me two please.
This guy is brilliant for raiding and very decent in battles. Stick aon him if you have excess of Nature gems, and as Pangaea you most likely have some Nature gems to spend.
These are rather Damage Dealing thugs: Count them as an extra-heavy expensive cavalry with a lance: they jump in, first-strike with Frost Brands clearing a few squares of troops, survive the counter strike of a few squares of enemy regular troops, strike with Frost Brands again, and hopefully the destruction they caused is enough to rout enemy squad. It means that they are not intended to be surrounded by enemies for several turns, and if it is possible they don't attack frontally, except when raiding minor PD. You want them to make flanking strikes, it is what they are best at.
Let us review the 1 . He has 13 base precision. Add and it will be 18. Earn a couple more of experience stars and you will have an archer with 20 precision. Give him a magic bow and enjoy enemies dying in droves. Yeah, he is a base reseacher too, and has 22 map movement with Forest Survival and stealth too.
1 trades 5 precision
from Eagle Eyes for Quickness. He shoots twice per round with 13-15 precision. Now add him a bow of War and enjoy flying death: 26 13 accurate arrows per round from this single humble guy. OBSOLETE???
And Dryads combine pleasure with benefit: they have both Quickness and Eagle eyes, loosing base 3 precision.
s have decent seducing ability - a 9 + DRN vs. the enemy's morale + DRN. It was so powerful that it was nerfed repeatedly: now about of half seduction attempts end in assassination rather than seduction. Generally it is hardly worth it, but every potential power should be used before any decisive battle. Send a dozen of dryads, set to cast Swarm twice, to a province you know the enemy deathstack will come to this turn. Order seduce/assassinate, and force the enemy into a decisive battle the turn after. Approximately one third of seduction attempts (total 4) will succeed, one third (total 4) end in assassinations, and one third fails: if it goes well, enemy will fight without eight mages or commanders, troops lead by them will be unscripted and prepared spells will not be cast.
Also there are no excuses not to bring all Dryads available - which is a lot with their map move of 18 and Forest Survival - to a province with a fort that an enemy is laying siege to since you can seduce the officers from inside the fort.
JustNoEffort wrote:can later transition into , which is easily capable of killing even thugs / some SC's. If you get early enough (you pretty much always should as Pangaea) it is not a big deal to toss some s on the cheaper Dryads to get this going.
If you have a fort on lockdown but don't want to siege it, I like ordering the troops off for one turn and leaving behind the Dryads stealthed, then next turn you retake it + spam seductions on the mages inside.
Very expensive and visible by enemies beforehand makes s tricky is to use. They are unable to sneak and they are crazy expensive, but buffed with , or , and they pretty much worth their cost. Also, they can be bought in any forest which helps. Use them against large armies of human-sized troops, but avoid using them against big evocation mage squads.
Harpies propose great chassis not just for scouting or gems carriers. If you have Death mages, let harpies have s. With Blood, give them and enjoy never ending horde of chaff. Flying will ensure these ladies appear exactly where you want them to be. Also Imps will be a good deterrent for possible thugs, ruining their buff cycles. Two imps are spawned per round per harpy, it means that for ten rounds you get twenty imps, and for fifty rounds it is one hundred of imps. It is pretty strong tactics and one of the great ways to spend your blood slaves.
s. These ladies seem to have unimpressive stats, but think about number and buffs. Difference between heavily buffed maenads and heavily buffed revelers is not that high. Besides, Maenads add up and is a major component in Pangaea's winning ticket in late game: hordes of upkeep-free chaff are great. Also they make castle sieges - and defense - easy as a piece of cake.
Their best characteristic is their ability to go berserk. Used together with, they will die or grant you victory.
JustNoEffort wrote:Since you are not against a Turmoil build you might also want to mention what to do when you actually do take a fight. That is when spells like , and can turn Maenads into real powerhouses. Also against opponents who know what they are doing I am often using maenads just to sit inside of castles and make them unsiegeable OR to siege down enemy castles.
You will use slaves for blood sacrifice, forging Lifelong protection??, casting , remote assassinations with and maybe calling s. Another very slow, but winning strategy encouraging middle-late game turtling is to get somehow 4 mage (empower a Mother Dryad to Death to cast ), empower it in blood and set up a s ( ) farm.
Thespell that lowers everyone's morale is perfect when combined with that you already have and use.
As Pangaea you have very powerful tool to influence a game: your ability to expand dominion like a mad. It consists of three levers to abuse: cheap 200 gold temples, cheap stealthy 155 gold 2 dryads, and the ability to blood sacrifice together with national blood hunters. This mostly translates into lategame power, though can be used early in game to be sure all provinces are covered by your fruitful dominion. Dominion push is combined perfectly with the Vampire farm mentioned above or globals like Vengeful Waters, and Enchanted Forest.
There is alwawys the possibility to domkill someone during the early game: take high dominion, an alive SC pretender and produce many dryads to mutilate enemy dominion.
To gather all blood slaves Pangaea wants for blood sacrifices and blood magic use, many pans will hunt for slaves. It means Pan wants to patrol heavily one province or many provinces slightly to keep unrest minor. Fortunately, Pan has access to the most efficient patrollers in game: harpies and wolves. Harpies are available immediately in any forest for gold, and upkeep-free wolves may be gained byor Call of Nature, the last one produces werewolves who generate free wolves.
Pangaea has access to early thugs and underwater breathing items: Shambler skin,and the can forge to bring s or some other decent troops underwater, and Pangaean general research tree priorities encourage underwater trips. Hint: use a Ring of Snake for thugs who will take hits from tritons: these monsters use coral poisoned weaponry.
Pangea is always powerful due to sneaking troops. Initially Pangaea has mighty sacreds, s and decent flanking s, so with decent bless early rush is good option.
Early Research Priorities
Alteration 3 opens protection spell to make raiding even more attrition-less and 1 Centaur Hierophant useful. Several Nature mages can cover White Centaurs or Warrior Centaurs with during decisive battles, making them very strong and cost-efficient cavalry.
Construction 4 unlocks the major potential of Centaur Hierophant Thugs. Collect some water gems in advance to start forgings immediately.
Congratulations, now you can transform several Centaur Hierophants researchers with Earth magic path to thugs - dudes comparable to Bane Lord in power - and will buy one or two of them per turn for the rest of the game. It means you reached the first Pangaean peak of power. Use it ASAP and eat some weak nation nearby.
Early-Midgame Research Priorities
Alteration 4 grants 1 Centaur Hierophant even more useful.to raid cheaply for the cost of a few nature gems and makes
Alteration 5 gives access to(another reason why we wanted Construction 4 is to get a to boost a in order to cast this global) and .
Thaumaturgy 5 takes you to another level of power with, making armies composed of Maenads, Revelers, Centaur Warriors, White Centaurs and Minotaurs berserkering unstoppable forces.
You already have excellent elite troops, but you really do not want to use them against archer-heavy and mage-heavy armies. There is a solution! Now you have elite fearless unstoppable chaff winning battles after standard anti-Pangaea counters are depleted: enemy mages are fatigued out and archers are off arrows after slaying majority of Pangean chaff. Now it is time to get revenge even if 75% casualties limit was reached. Unstoppable chaff army brings Pangaea to a second peak of power. Take someone else's capital now.
Conjuration 3 / Blood 1 give minor bonuses for Pans in the form ofand .
Blood 6: If there is peaceful time and you have some Pans around, take a tour into Blood to prepare some 5 Pans to cast , and
Now you entered middle-game period, and want to utilize powers you got efficiently, being aggressive to your neighbors.
Further research directions are Alteration tree, gainingand Armies of Foo, Enchantment tree with , Domes, , and poison protection spells, and Conjuration to get magic diversity ( , , ) and upkeep-free troops.
There are maenad upkeep-free hordes (if you took neutral-order or chaotic scales), strong dominion push, high nature battle-field wide buffs and vampire farm trick. Also you get high Air fromand Death from summons. Instant mass-transportation is available by Faerie Trod. One SC that is almost guaranteed for Pan is Pedoseion, 130hp blood-earth guy gained from casting .
It is good, but not good enough to rival high-astral nations, and you have to seek for any opportunity to diversify available magic. All astral independent mages greatly suit Pangaea's style, as communions make Pans potent Earth casters, andwith and Solar Brilliance Enchantment is nothing to sneeze at.
General trend is early and middle game Pangaea should be aggressive, and lategame they switch to more defensive-oriented gameplay, more relying on dominion push, vampires and upkeep free maenad hordes growing to deal with neighbors.
sum1won wrote: This omits one of my favorite (EA/MA) Pangaea spells, and that is . Same research tree as , , and , so you probably want it anyways. is nice because it is basically instant manikin army, and goes well with nature spells like / , , and . It also goes well with Earthquake and . It also makes the harpies in your PD much more difficult to deal with for raiders.
We listed several overpowered tools in Pangaea's arsenal in this guide: The Pangaea nation itself, Frost Brands, Centaur Hierophant thugs, dominion push, Lifelong Protections and vampire farms. One bugged and overpowered tool that doesn’t belong to Pangaea and almost inevitably will be used against you is 13 mage and deals 14 blunt damage to all units on battlefield. One cheap mage will slay ANY amount of your maenads and dryads if used in a defensive trap.. It requires an
Not much can be done with it: Scriptand a few s on the first turn at main army to defend against cloud trapezing attackers. Forge cheap armor for all mages to reduce the effect of Rain of Stones casting from totally catastrophic to very bad (⅕ of mages will get hit in the head, and blunt damage against head is doubled, so spend another 3 gems to forge helmets per mage or accept inevitable casualties).
Do not attack with maenads at all: As the spell is overpowered, there are almost no ways to make your thousands of meanads safe. In forest provinces you could magically transfer a Super Combatant or army to attacked province in a hope to dischargecasters, and after that in normal phase move main army. As Pangaea you lack magically moving SCs except Faerie Trodding s or s with armies of s. It is expensive both in nature gems for Faerie Trod and for army/SC to sacrifice, and you cannot do it every turn. Another way is even more ridiculous, to have Sword of Auglemer, a unique artefact granting , to save 3/4 of maenads.
Generally, you’ll have to go on defense and sabotage raiding attacks and hope dominions push will do the job of killing this nation.
It is hilarious to be unable to deal straightforwardly with much weaker rival due to a single spell abuse, but it is a part of life, live with it.
JustNoEffort wrote: One thing about maenads and Rain of Stones + other such traps, I personally like just sending off 40-80 maenads into such situations. They can kill any small number of PD and one nice thing is that, even if Rain of Stones hp routs them, the few who get hit and survive will berserk and stick around to kill any unguarded leftovers. You can sometimes win fights this way if the enemy does not bring some bodyguards along.
Being the guy having the most information available, you want to use it in diplomacy too. You want to be nice, friendly, trading and sharing information with everyone except the nation you are currently eating. Harpies let you know the weak and strong spots of neighbors and you should use this information properly.
Remember the principle: your neighbor is your enemy. The longer mutual border you have the more of an enemy they aree. And the neighbor of your neighbor is your friend. Make defensive alliances with them. Talk much. Dog-pile game leaders. Try to keep friendly relations with people: potentially it can make one more barrier for them to dog-pile you when you become the game leader. If it is possible, don't attack powerful victims alone, do it together with allies.