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pangaea-ea

EA Pangaea, Age of Revelry

General Overview

Pangaea is one of the few original nations, which have been present in Dominions series since the original Dominions: Priests, Prophets and Pretenders game (back then things would look like this). It has always been a very thematic and interesting nation to play. To the date, EA and MA Pangaea (which are the logical successors of the original one) have preserved the original nations flavor and are normally played in the similar way.

From the Dominions 5 Manual:
"Pangaea is a nation of wild half-men of Greek myth, as they could have developed if exposed to a vast and technologically superior humanity: Iron or skin. Adapt or die. As in most cultures exposed to so-called civilization, some inhabitants cling to traditions, or current perceptions of them; while others adapt to the circumstances, with loss or gain in influence. The loss of ancient magic and traditions over the ages is quite apparent in this nation, but in the late era the centaurs have found new paths of magic, giving hope to the nation." - Illwinter

National Features

Special Race Attributes Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Halfmen
Superior MR
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Stealthy
Fast movement
Forest Recruits
Excellent light cavalry
Poor leaders
Cheap and effective stealthy thugs
Dryad seducers/assassins
nature 44 (rare 5)
water 22 (rare 3)
earth 22 (rare 3)
blood 22 (rare 3)
Heroes: air 22, death 22
Communions
Reverse communions
Average (holy 22)
Blood Sacrifices
Normal forts are 50% more expensive and can't be upgraded
Labs cost 250 in Forests.
Temples cost 200 in Forests
Instant Bramble Forts in Forests for 35naturegem
  • Mercenaries are 50% more expensive.

Capital Special Sites

The Grove of Gaia
Enables recruitment of White Centaurs
Produces 6 per turn

National Units

Early Pangaea lives off forests as many important commanders and units can be recruited in forests without a fort. Also, their only way to obtain a fort with 2 commander points is summoning it using the national spell Grow Fortress

Commanders

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Black Harpy
25
1
1
Can recruit in all forests
Stealthy (60)
Flying
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Black Harpies are easily the best recruitable scout in the game.
Not only they can boast of high stealth value, fast map movement and flying, but unlike the most other scouts they can also lead troops! On top of all that they can be recruited in any forest in one turn for only 25 gold.
As weird as it sounds, this simple scout unit is the true gem in Pangaean arsenal and is one of the key reasons the nation is so strong in hands of a competent player
Satyr Commander
40
5
1
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Satyr commanders are stealthy and thus are mostly useful for leading stealthy raiding parties, as they are not available in forests and are very similar to the indie commanders in all other regards
Minotaur Lord
70
10
1
Can recruit in all forests
Berserker (+5)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Minotaur Lords are just meh, unfortunately. For 70 gold they are not good leaders, are prone to catching an arrow, running forward and dying due to berserk, and they are not a good thug chassis because you have much better ones.
Not good as commanders, not good as thugs. The least useful of pangaean commanders.
Centaur Hierophant
120
4
2
Can recruit in all forests
holy 11random1100% 7
Sacred
Stealthy (40)
Inspirational (+1)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
This unit is, in my opinion, what defines Pangaea. It is their bread and butter
He will be a good researcher if you take magic scales. He will be your best and most cost-effective thug (E variant) who can kill literally any amount of PD with very minimal gear and then sneak away. He will be the best leader and blesser for your white centaurs until they become really large because of high movement speed.
N variant is less useful, and its primary use will be research and forging. However, with 2 gems an nature 11 mage can cast swarm twice. 5 nature 11 mages can cast swarm 10 times which results in obscene amounts of bugs which will help greatly in repelling attacks or even large-scale battles
Centauride Hierophantide
120
3
2
Can recruit in all forests
holy 11random1100% 7
Sacred
Stealthy (40)
Inspirational (+1)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Most of the above can be said about Centaurides except they are worse thugs and generally should not be used like that.
W variant is a water forger and Frozen Heart spammer later on, so her best role will be to counter-thug if needed. Early on Centaurs are better.
Dryad
185
1
2
water 11nature 11holy 22 9
Sacred
Seduction (Morale vs 9)
Stealthy (65)
Supply bonus (10)
Awe (4)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Beastmaster (1)
Female
This is another nation-defining unit and the reason why only the bravest or dumbest enemies would invade Pangaean lands.
Not as cost-effective as researchers (you would use Centaurs in Magic and Panii in Drain), Dryads are one of the best assassins in the whole game (forget about seduction part - the chance is really low and shouldn't be counted upon. Treat them as assassins). They can self-bless, Barkskin, Quicken Self, Holy Avenger, Breath of Winter, Elemental Fortitude, Liquid body, Mossbody, Personal Regeneration with a gem. On top of that, they have Awe 4 which makes them very hard to hit in melee. With minimal gear, they will kill most commanders or mages with or without bodyguards.
The easiest way, however, is to give a Dryad 2naturegem nature gems and have her cast Swarm twice. There's very little an enemy commander will be able to do. If you may also give her acorns (or a Bottle of Living Water later on) one cast of Swarm will normally be enough for anything.
The main problem of Dryads is their low morale. Often one small hit will be enough to make her run and ruin your day. Their attack skill is also not great. That's why I generally don't advise using them as thugs - Centaurs are better in every way.
Dryad Mother
305
1
2
water 11nature 22holy 22random1100%+10% 13
Sacred
Seduction (Morale vs 9)
Stealthy (65)
Supply bonus (20)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Awe (5)
Beastmaster (2)
Ivy Lord (1)
Female
For 120 more gold what you get compared to the normal Dryad is 1nature 11(EW). So, these will be your Foul Vapors casters (with 2 gems) and your best Water mages allowing you to climb the Water tree.
Another important thing is Ivy Lord(1) tag. With an Ivy Crown Dryad Mothers will be summoning 4 Vine Ogres per cast for only 3 gems. This way, it is a very cost-effective and upkeep-free tanky summons with 55 HP and 9 Protection that can even deliver some big punches with its two 11-attack fists.
Overall, Dryad Mothers are niche but situationally very useful mages
Pan
325
1
4
earth 11nature 44blood 11random1100%+10% 19
Resist Poison (7)
Animal Awe (3)
Beastmaster (+3)
Stealthy (40)
Supply bonus (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Summon in Turmoil (Maenad)
Pan is the main recruit-anywhere Pangaean mage, able to cast almost any Nature or Earth battlefield spell, free chaff generator, ticket to Blood, Communion Master and Slave and a good thug chassis.
Pan's only downside is his high cost and upkeep, and Pangaea will always be money-constrained.

Troops

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Harpy
7
1
3
Can recruit in all forests
Stealthy (40)
Flying
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Harpies are your most effective patrollers, siege units (they are the most cost-effective siege units Pangaea has) and can defend walls pretty well too. You can use them as raiders but it's not very effective because attrition will be high.
Satyr Sneak
9
3
6
Can recruit in all forests
Undisciplined
Increase Unrest (+0.5)
Stealthy (60)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Almost naked undisciplined troops with no shield and low morale, what else can be said. However, Satyr Sneaks cause unrest, are recruitable in all forests and easily massable, so you can deploy sneaky economy-disrupting squads in the enemy territory, and the enemy will have only to guess what is causing all that unrest. Just don't use them in combat.
Satyr
9
4
6
Can recruit in all forests
Undisciplined
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Satyr Warrior
13
5
21
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Warriors are the disciplined version of Satyr with a shield and better stats, however, they still have very little armor, are not recruitable in forests, not stealthy, expensive and not massable because their recruitment point cost is high. So, if you really need heavy infantry, better find some indies.
Reveler
16
3
14
Undisciplined
Increase Unrest (+0.5)
Stealthy (40)
Berserker (+3)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Revelers are upgraded Sneaks that cost almost twice more in both gold and recruitment points and are not recruitable in forests.
For the increased cost you get slightly better stats, 3 more HP and 2 attacks with berserk. I find it hard to justify the cost, because if you need sneaky unrest creators, Sneaks are better and if you want raiders, Centaurs are better. I can see Revelers used successfully, but just think they are not cost-effective.
Minotaur
40
8
6
Can recruit in all forests
Undisciplined
Berserker (+4)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
As size 3 trampling bersekers, minotaurs are not very effective against human infantry, as they tend to run deep into the enemy ranks, become surrounded and die quickly, and the trample damage they are doing is not very high.
However, against size 3 and larger troops with relatively low defense (like giants) minotaurs will be quite deadly. For this purpose, Minotaur warriors are much better since they can be scripted and have better stats, mainly 1 more attack and 1 more berserk value. So, when berserked they will be hitting for 34 slashing damage with 15 attack, which is very impressive. Minotaurs are your go-to units to deal with giants and awake pretenders or thugs.
Minotaur Warrior
50
10
18
Berserker (+5)
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Centauride
25
3
12
Can recruit in all forests
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Centaurs and Centaurides are the only archer units that Pangaea can mass. Both can be recruited in all forests and both are stealthy. Centaurs have 1 less precision but use longbows, so, they are better in almost all situations.
While Centaurs may be very deadly in the battle, 25 gold is pretty expensive for an archer, and Pangaea doesn't have good shielded troops to use as frontline. Also, being naked, Centaurs will succumb to the enemy archer fire quickly.
The best use I'm seeing for them is stealthy raiding in Order builds.
Centaur
25
4
12
Can recruit in all forests
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Centauride Warrior
30
11
17
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Again, very similar units, and again, Centaur Warriors are clearly better than Centaurides because they have 4 more HP, a Helm and Berserker +3 instead of a Javelin and better Defense. They are 5 gold more expensive but the difference is easily worth it
These are very good fast light cavalry units that should probably be the core of your army at all times if you're not going for bless strategy. Good for expansion, good for sneaky attacks, good for flanking in combat. Also, they are good units to mix in with White Centaurs to disrupt archer fire.
In a large-scale battle Centaur Warriors will be better against smaller troops or units with higher defense.
Centaur Warrior
35
11
21
Berserker (+3)
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
White Centaur
55
12
29
Sacred
Berserker (+3)
Stealthy (40)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
White Centaurs are almost the same as Centaur Warriors except they are sacred, cost 20 more gold and have a Javelin (which is often a downside). But since Centaur Warriors are very good units, White Centaurs are even more so since you can additionally buff them with your bless.
We'll discuss this more in the Strategy section but overall White Centaurs should either be the centerpiece of your strategy or you should neglect them and employ Centaur Warriors instead
Maenad
Autosummoned by Panii, amount depends on Turmoil scale of the province
Undisciplined
Berserker (+1)
Forest Survival
Patrol Bonus(-1)
Female
Maenads are not exactly your national units but they kinda are because in Turmoil 3 your Panii will be summoning hordes of them.
They are very bad at fighting - they die like flies and even though they have berserk, with 0 protection and 10 hp it will hardly ever proc before they die. They are especially bad at patrolling.
However, they are completely free and free stuff can't be bad if you know how to use it. They can break walls pretty well, however, harpies are better for this purpose. Unlike undead, maenads can't be banished, have good morale and if you buff them up they can actually put up some fight. So, it is very essential to not use them early at all and wait until you have at least Wooden Warriors to protect them. The more battlefield-affecting magic you have, the better Maenads will become.

Heroes

Sprite Unit Name Special_Attributes Comments
Karya and Petraios - Blessed Couple water 11earth 11nature 33holy 22 15
water 11earth 11death 22nature 33holy 22
Sacred
Resist Poison (5)
Stealthy (65)
Awe (4)
Berserker (+4)
Innate Spellcaster (1)
Supply Bonus (30)
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Beastmaster (2)
Dying Shape: Karya - Grieving Dryad
This hero has two forms: the first one has water 11earth 11nature 33holy 22 and innate spellcaster meaning he (and she) can cast two spells per turn at 100% casting speed no matter the spell complexity. This means that they can cast, for example, Howl in 1 turn while normally it would take 2,5 turns to do. This is a very powerful ability which is rarely encountered on non-pretender units.
If the first form (the Centaur) dies, the Dryad will start grieving and gain death 22. This is nice but in my opinion is not worth killing the first form intentionally especially taking into account that it will be hard not to kill the second one as well.
Arcopythera - Harpy Queen air 22nature 22 13
Stealthy (40)
Supply Bonus (20)
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
Recuperation
Female
Flying
Summon Harpy each month.
Harpy Queen is a very good hero allowing you to break into Air and Search for air magic sites. She also passively summons several Harpy units each turn which is equivalent to about 30 gold on average since Harpies are almost always useful.
White Minotaur
Multi-hero
holy 22 Sacred
Berserker (+5)
Inspirational
Trample
Forest Survival
Recuperation
If you take Luck scale, you're likely to end up having many of these white minotaurs. They're good leaders and blessers, nothing exceptional, however.
Worthy Heroes mod makes White Minotaur H3 meaning he becomes the best Pangaean priest and can claim thrones, cast Divine Blessing and Smite. This one change makes this hero much much better.

Magic

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

Relevant Spells

Combat Magic

Pans are masters of Nature magics (being at least nature 55), and cast a good amount of earth buffs. They can also power up further if they form blood Sabbaths.

Dryad Mothers also plays a role by being a Foul Vapors and Bone Melter caster.

Ritual Magic

Magic Items

Strategy

General ideas

Pangaea might look relatively simple but in fact it is not. It is one of those "easy to play - hard to master" nations because to be really effective it requires you to fully understand your strengths and abuse them and to really understand your weaknesses and mitigate them. So, let's try to list most of these:

Strengths:

  • Very strong Nature magic with good crosspaths
  • Excellent sacreds
  • Good troops
  • Good thugs and good magic paths for forging thug items
  • Recuperation on everyone
  • Stealth on everyone relevant
  • Seducers/assassins
  • Freespawn chaff
  • Blood access
  • Excellent patrollers
  • Good siege units
  • Cheap labs and temples in forests
  • Forest-recruitable mages
  • Forest-recruitable 25 gold harpy commanders

Weaknesses:

  • Awful forts
  • Poor magic diversity
  • Expensive mages and upkeep issues
  • Expensive blood hunters
  • Expensive mercenaries
  • Expensive and inefficient researchers
  • No native access to research boosters
  • Poor leadership values on commanders - no formations

So, let's try to summarize that and try to plan ahead:

  1. Forts are the biggest drawback and the main reason why this nation is not absolute top-notch. Your palisades cost 900 and you can not upgrade them, which means that outside of protecting a throne or otherwise important location, there's not much reason to build forts ever. This also means that should you find a decent site that lets you recruit decent mages, you'll be recruiting them at half the speed unless it's in the forest.
  2. Instead, you may summon decent forts (2 commander points) in forests for 35 gems. With your 6 gem income this means that you may summon a fort every 6 turns and you need a Pan and a lab in that forest to do that. And what it really means that you have way less effective gem income than other nations because where they will use gold, you will have to use N gems. And all this finally means that you want to capture other players' forts instead of building your own.
    And thus, a very important thing to keep track of is Helmut's Sappers mercenary band. This is a group of MA Ulm sappers with Mason commander and they're available in EA. You should always keep track of the mercs and pay any (and I can't stress this enough!) money for this band because the commander will be able to upgrade your forts. If you are lucky enough to get them and have 60 D gems, immediately empower the merc in Death and cast Twiceborn as this will allow you to keep him forever.
    Another way to build better forts is Tome of the Forgotten Masons which is a Construction 8 item which you generally can and should make if the game goes this long
  3. So, in absence of proper forts you have to live off forests. Every forest you control should eventually have at least a lab and a temple to recruit Hierophants because you will always be commander point constrained. You have good counter-raiding options so if you do it right, raiding should not be a major issue later on. Also, forests usually have appropriate population to be your blood hunting centers, so that's an additional layer of protection for them.
  4. White Centaurs are very good troops even with a relatively minor bless and can be crazy when heavily blessed, so unless you decide to go with no bless at all, they should be your main troop of choice.
  5. You probably want to go Magic 3 in any game that isn't a blitz because otherwise you'll be struggling to research much. Unlike other nations, you don't have Air, Fire or Death magic required for research boosters. You do have Blood for Imp Familiars but you will not have blood slaves early and you definitely have better uses for them. You'll normally be recruiting Hierophants in forests and Panii/Dryads in forts, so while you technically can research with Panii, they are very expensive, and your Hierophants will be of little use in the lab with Drain. So, in my opinion, Magic is a no-brainer.
  6. You need to decide whether the freespawn Maenads are relevant to you and go Order/Turmoil depending on that. In my opinion, Maenads are decent with buffs (starting from Wooden Warriors) and absolute crap otherwise. Overall, the Pangaea Order vs Turmoil debate is as old as Dominions game itself and I feel it's a matter of preference. Just remember that if you go Order and ignore the freespawn, you're wasting some of the Pan's high cost. On the other hand, you won't want to go Turmoil 3 because otherwise you'll not be able recruit enough White Centaurs (Turmoil 2 allows recruiting 6 per turn).
    So this choice requires that you sacrifice something and you have to make it.
  7. Sloth is a reasonable choice but again, if you go Sloth 3, you won't be able to recruit enough White Centaurs at the start of the game and maybe ever if you're unlucky with the starting location.
  8. Temperature scales are a source of points but you have to realize that you'll always be money constrained while temperature scales significantly drain your income.
  9. Luck/Misfortune is a matter of preference but with Worthy Heroes mod your national heroes are all very useful and if you plan to do Transformation plays later, you definitely need Luck.
  10. No matter what direction you go, you're nearly guaranteed to always be money constrained. Your stuff is good but expensive and you'll want as much of it as you can handle.
  11. If you're planning the game to go late you'll want at least some magic diversity on your pretender but preferably more than some. You'll want to find every site and any independent mage you can to give yourself more options late.

Prenender design and bless

So, let's talk about pretender design now and what options we have.

  • You don't need an awake expander since your troops expand very well.
  • You might consider a dormant titan pretender for magic diversity and a supercombatant body
  • If you're planning for a fast game, you may go with an awake hellbless like Quickness + Magic Weapons\Twist Fate on an Oracle. White centaurs will be murder machines but your scales will be dumped
  • You might want a dormant\imprisoned rainbow for magic diversity and many minor blesses. This is normally my choice.

What blesses to consider?

  • Attack, Defence and Reinvigoration are very good both for your White Centaurs and Centaur Hierophant thugs
  • Resistance blesses are always good depending on the nations present in the game
  • Poison resistance is very good if you're planning to do Foul Vapors plays which you can do naturally
  • Strength is good because both attacks benefit from it
  • Magic weapons are very important because it is one thing your nation really lacks and you need them to counter ethereal and Mistformed units early and Fog Warriors armies later
  • Weapon blesses are fine on units with multiple attacks (however, don't pick Withering weapons because javelin-throwing units will often stop and throw javelins after they defeat a squad, often resulting in their squadmates getting decayed and dying)
  • Many experienced players like Larger bless on White Centaurs because it gives them a length 4 Lance which allows to repel a lot of enemy spear attacks while also increasing their HP and boosting map movement even further. If you do this, also consider increasing their Attack skill so that they repel better. However, if you're planning to use Centaur Hierophant thugs, you need to remember that at size 3 two Centaurs fit in one square allowing you to point buff them together (and they're very good in pairs), while at size 4 each Centaur will be in his own square.

So, your options are numerous and I will not be the one to push you into one of them.

Early Game

(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

(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

(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)

pangaea-ea.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/24 03:54 by wigglefig