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pythium-ma

MA Pythium, Emerald Empire

(Warning: The following nation summary is written based mostly on my own personal experiences due to my inability to write completely objectively about this nation that I love.)

Lore

"Pythium is based on the eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium. Its history and military bears a legacy of Ermor, as did Byzantium from Rome. The Theurgs and their ceremonial magic are influenced by the lavish liturgy of the Orthodox Church. The Cathedral of the Spheres is filled with chanting, the fragrance of incense, and processions of Theurgs robed in gold and silver. Ritual magic is a public and religious affair. The serpent-and-emerald part of the nation is more free-form fantasy fiction, and comes from the name I think." - Illwinter

The Emerald Empire of Pythium is a splinter empire of the great Empire of Ermor. As dark arts were practiced in the heart of the Empire, the stars warned the Theurgs of Pythia to flee the impending doom. They led Pythia away from the falling Empire and formed an imperial theocracy under their wise rule. But this was not enough to save them. As Ermor crumbled, the provinces of Pythium rebelled and broke away from their old masters. The Emperor of Pythium could not reclaim the rebelling lands and the power of the Emerald Empire diminished over the centuries.

The war machine of Pythium is based on the old legionnaire army of Ermor with some minor modifications. During Ermorian times, part of the Pythian lands were under the sway of the Sauromatian tribes. The Androphags used hydras of the Pythian Marshes in warfare. For a long time hydras were only used in the Pythian arenas, but now the old practice has been adopted along with the usage of serpent mounts.

General Overview

Pythium is a splinter nation of the former Ermor. They are a nation of humans that relies on mages in combination with decently armored humans to destroy their enemies.

The main strength of their mage corps is the size and power of their communions, with every national mage being able to join into a communion. This is further strengthened by their ability to take a bless and to recruit the Theurg Communicant, a national unit which is an automatic communion slave. These two things combine to let you form very big and powerful communions very fast.

They have access to impressive national summons which are nothing to scoff at, further improving the variety of their magic paths, and the number of battlefield wide spells Pythium can cast in the mid and late game.

As with several other human nations, they suffer a bit in the earlier stages of the game by having a relatively slow/expensive expansion and their relative inability to expand with sacred troops.

All in all a very powerful nation in the right hands, given that the player has a good understanding of communion mechanics.

Strengths

  • National recruits of gladiators and retiri.
  • Strong air and astral magic in combat due to communions. Good earth, nature, and water access with Lars in communions.
  • Strong access to summons, both national and generic.
  • Very good battlefield buffs.
  • Good thug chassis in the mid-game.
  • Innate communion slave unit.

Weaknesses

  • Relatively weak against early rushes.
  • As an astral nation it is situationally weak vs high PD dumps.
  • Require a lab and temple in forts to make all national mages.
  • Lack of any thug chassis in the first 20-30 turns.
  • No national mages with the paths needed to summon Lars.
  • No national mages with the paths needed to craft crystal matrixes.

National Features

Special Race Attributes Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Average Humans
Hydras
Neutral Temperature
Strong Medium Infantry
Sacred Communion Mages
Tower Shield Infantry
Above Average Map Movement
astral 44 (rare 5)
air 33 (rare 4)
water 22 (rare 3)
fire 11 (uncommon, rare 2)
Summons covered below
Powerful (holy 33) Standard Forts
start with Fortified City

Capital Special Sites

Cathedral of the Spheres Swamps of Pythia

Enables recruitment of Arch Theurg, Battle Vestal.
Produce 2 per turn
Produce 1 per turn
Produce 5 per turn

Enable recruitment of Hydra Tamer, Hydra, Hydra Hatchling.

Unit Overview

Commanders

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Scout
25
4
1
Stealthy(50) Good for foreign recruitment and while you have palisades and are building up to forts, they have niche strategic uses for sieging vs assassins but normally they are only made in provinces that have them natively.
Assassin
60
4
1
Stealthy(65)
Ambidextrous(2)
Assassin 1
With Pythium, you rarely recruit these. Assassin expansions are slow and unreliable with this nation. You can use these in wars if you gear them with something like a bottle of living water but with your paths, there are no real good early game items you can craft and they are unreliable vs nations that would rush you. Have a place later on when you have bottles of living water.
Centurion
70
21
1
Your base unit commander since he is only 1 recruitment point. Very capable, can lead 3 squads with a +1 morale boost and 4 squads without a morale penalty. Can do all formations and is the cheapest commander that can lead formations. 56 upkeep.
Legatus Legionis
110
21
2
Your best unit commander, mostly the same as a centurion except he can lead 4 squads with a +2 morale boost and 5 squads with a +1 morale boost. He is however 2 recruitment points and almost twice the upkeep of a Centurion. Recruit when you need the morale boost. 88 upkeep.
Emerald Lord
90
30
1
Your most tanky commander alongside the Serpent Lord, the resource cost is halved in comparison. Very good for leading small squads of Emerald Guards during expansion, not much use outside of that (Potential human-sized thug chassis given some gear??). 72 upkeep.
Serpent Lord
85
56
1
Mounted While there are very few uses for this commander, you could attempt to use him in an expansion party of cataphracts. Have been doing some testing and not sure if it is worth due to no formations. 68 upkeep.
Battle Deacon
65
19
1
A very underwhelming unit, has applications for blessing small groups of Vestals but in general Pythium does not want an offensive bless. Has some merit if you do decide to go for an offensive bless as a leader of raiding forces of Vestals.. Overall not a unit you will recruit. 26 upkeep.
Hydra Tamer
25
10
1
Capital Only
Resist Poison 5
Beastmaster 2
Not too many uses for this one, it's an alright commander if using hydras or hydra hatchlings since he is only 25 gold.
Theurg Acolyte
70
1
2
astral 11holy 117
Sacred
Your research monkey, your body etherial/luck fluffer outside communions, and your main raiding force leader. Is used for mind burn outside of communions with light of the northern star. Inside communions he is your soul slayer/enslave mind spammer. VERY weak to assassinations, bring 1-3 emerald guards for each if you are vs heavy assassin nations. 28 upkeep.
Theurg
215
2
2
air 11water 11astral 22holy 2213
Sacred
Fortune Teller 5%
An amazing mage, not great at site searching due to low paths but does the job well enough. Very powerful buff caster inside communions. Soul slay spammer outside of communions with light of the northern star. Can summon air/water elementals and thunderstrike inside communions.
Arch Theurg
390
1
4
Capital Only
air 22water 11astral 33holy 33random1100%+10%19
Sacred
Fortune Teller 10%
Your best national mage, every random has a use:
Fire randoms can site search fire using augury with a booster, can cast fire fend and many fire spells inside communions.
Air randoms can summon great eagles and cast fog warriors with a shield or inside small communions.
Water randoms can craft a Robe of The Sea with a water bracelet giving you water 44.
Astral randoms are the most important to break into since an astral 44 can get up to astral 88 eventually, it can also craft banner of the northern star, summon harbingers, and archangels.

Troops

Img Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Slinger
7
2
3
In general not a very good unit, can maybe work with wind guide and flaming arrows but still quite unreliable. Not used at all in the early game except some niche strategies to give squads 5 units to change morale checks. Can maybe be used in the mid game as suicide sideline attack rear units to mess up attack rear commands but needs more testing.
Velite
10
10
9
skirmisher 1 Your early game expanding units, these get replaced by alae/hastatus in the late-early or early-mid game. Have javelins so they are not quite useless.
Alae Legionnaire
10
20
9
One of the mainstay units of your armies, quite good with a repel chance, javelins and acceptable protection, can work as line holders but are not the best at killing units.
Hastatus
11
21
12
One of the mainstay units of your armies, a bit better than Alae Legionnaires in the damage department.
Principe
14
21
20
A small step up from a Hastatus but at a jump in expense. Principe are not something you expand with. They are geared to be easily pumped out and magically buffed during a war to counter specific strong units. Having a point more of HP/AS/DS/Pre can make a difference in a Counter-Thug squad.
Triarius
15
29
25
formation fighter(2) Unfortunately not a good unit. A old man with 10 melee encumbrance really destroys the niche this unit might fill and really reduces the frontline potential of this otherwise great unit. Would need a lot of magic buffs to make usable but they are simply too expensive for what they do.
Emerald Guard
20
30
31
Bodyguard(3) THE solution to assassins and your main raiding unit along with serpent cataphracts when lead by Theurg Acolytes. When dealing with assassinations give 1-3 of these to your Theurg Acolytes and give them bodyguard command. When raiding bring 6 per commander on hold and attack closest with double Body Ethereal cast on your acolytes.
The only real solution you have vs ungeared recruitable assassins.
Standard
20
21
21
standard(1) Increase morale, very good in long fights and delays the retreat of your units. Worth getting in the very early stages during expansion to reduce the chance of your units routing and during later stages.
Serpent Cataphract
55
56
46
Mounted Very good for dealing with PD dumps, and very strong(albeit expensive) expanders. They have 2 forms in battle but die after if the first form is killed. Fluff these up with body etherial luck and 12-20 of them can clear almost arbitrary pd amounts.
Gladiator
10
1
9
model disperses from army after a battle if it inficts or is dealt a wound. Very good units vs shielded units, they have two attacks so they are extra good at killing other low-medium protection units. Their damage type makes them a bit less effective against early game rushes than retarius are.
Retiarius
10
1
9
model disperses from army after a battle if it inficts or is dealt a wound Your mainstay expansion, rush, and counter-rush units. These deal effectively with several types of elite low strength units due to their net attack and extremely high piercing damage. Extremely cost-effective unit, with fog warriors, will of the fates, and mass flight they are weapons of mass destruction.
Battle Vestal
15
4
14
Capital Only
Sacred Never recruit in the early or mid-game unless you have a memebless. You can't get enough for exspanding becouse their Cap only and have too many weakness to patch with a bless. They do however become useful inexpensive defensive troops when when your comunions can cast arrow fend/army of gold which paires with their very high defense skill and can hold your protection blesses.
Hydra Hatchling
25
1
15
Capital Only
Regeneration 10%
vulnerability fire -10
resist poison 25
Poison Cloud 4
Unsurroundable 2
undisciplined
blunt resistant
pierce resistant
Animal
cold-blooded
swamp survival
swimming
recuperation
Hazardous to mix with other troops until your mages can grant Poison Resistance. Has some uses as early expansion units in a retreat strategy, leaving behind clouds that will kill the chasing independents. Can soften up heavy cav and many other unit types but suffer vs ranged attackers and can not one turn capture provinces which makes them a bit sub par
Hydra
200
1
15
Recruit Max 1/turn
Capital Only
Regeneration 10%
vulnerability fire -10
resist poison 25
Poison Cloud 8
Fear 5
unsurroundable 4
undisciplined
blunt resistant
pierce resistant
animal
cold-blooded
swamp survival
swimming
recuperation
Can be used in combination with a high morale commander and fluffed with Body Etherial and luck for good clear potential. Absolutely hilarious with protection buffs and mass flight, but in general not very often recruited or massed due to their high upkeep and how they can not easily be combined with your troops in combat.
(On a sidenote, if you have a b1 n1 you could communion those up to cast purify blood which makes hydras very effective in combination with your armies)
Theurg Communicant
50
1
31
Recruit Max 1/turn
Require a Lab
Sacred
communion slave
Extremely effective units and enable many parts of your nation. The correct usage and amount of these is a very delicate management between gold that could be spent for armies, gold that could be spent for forts and since a lot of times these will be sitting in garrison you don´t want to ignore the upkeep they pose.

Heroes

  • Pure Vanilla:

Bartholomeus - Patriarch 2 2 3 4 19

Marius Lorca - Hero

Hierogallus - Hero

Master of the Games: A MULTIHERO, meaning you can get more than one of them. They will always try to fight in the Arena Death Match, which tends to get them killed, but they're pretty good one-on-one fighters.

  • Worthy Heroes:

"Bartholomeus" - Patriarch 2 2 3 4 19

"Marius Lorca" - Hero

"Hierogallus" - Hero

"Nikolaos" - Miracle Worker 2 2 3 3 19
This commander is the only access you have natively to crystal matrixes. If you are running Worthy Heroes and decide on not taking a pretender with at least 2 and 2 you definitely want to up your luck scale to unlock this hero.

"Grigorius" - Master of the Games

Magic

National Summons

  • Contact Lar Conj5 nature 11, 16naturegem ( Lar)
    Absolutely worth the cost as it is one of your nation's most important mages. You have no native access to this mage as none of your national mages are nature mages. If you decide not to take nature on your pretender then you need to find N indies to get access to these.
  • Awaken Hamadryad Enchantment 5, nature 44 25naturegem, (summon 1 Hamadryad)
    In general not a worthy summon, lars can break you into it very easily with construction given that you have the gems but there are not many things this unit is good for since it is completely immobile and can only be cast in forests. The innate caster trait has SOME applications during siege defense but hard to justify for the cost of almost 2 lars.
  • Contact Harbinger: Conj 6 25astralpearl astral 44 (summon Harbingerx1). 3 2
    One of your best summons, amazing for leading great eagles and instant breaking walls, great with a shield to boost air to 4 and cast most air buffs.
  • Angelic Host: Conj 7 50astralpearl astral 55 (summon Arch Angelx1 Angel of the Hostx6). 4 3
    Breaks you HARD into fire. Getting 4 fire at the cost of pure astral is very good. Can be kitted out to become an SC, can also be used for site searching if your god is busy and you have not gotten an F1 random arch theurg. It also comes with six smaller Angel commanders (Angel of the Host).
  • Heavenly Wrath: Conj 7 35astralpearl astral 33fire 11 (summon Angel of Furyx1).
    Worse than harbingers in almost every aspect and very hard to justify summoning these. Which is a shame since they are very interesting thematically.
  • Heavenly Choir: Conj 9 144astralpearl astral 77fire 22 (summon Seraphx1 Angel of the Heavenly Choirx9 Harbingerx3):
    This commander is actually cheaper if you use wish. Mostly useful as part of your main army due to several weaknesses, which make him too risky to use for soloing. He also comes with three Harbingers, and 9 smaller Angels that can be made into holy 22 Priests with Gift of Reason or Divine Name (Angel of the Heavenly Choir).

Magical Paths and Diversity

For native access calculations, the following will be considered non-native:

  • Seraphs due to their insanely high cost and your inability to summon them natively.
  • Lars due to your inability to summon them natively. (Finding N1 indies in ma is fairly trivial and you should expect to be able to make them and not being able to is substantially more unusual than not.)
  • Empowerments just for clarity.
  • 100% and 10% random being the same type, since that is very rare.

With this in mind we can look at what paths we have native access to outside of combat, not counting Artifacts or the Elemental Royalty.

You have native access to:
1 (1/160 Arch Theurgs have 2, but you can reach 4 at Conjuration 7 when you get Arch Angels, and then 5 at Construction 6).
3 (1/160 Arch Theurgs have 4, which can then be boosted to 6 with a Winged Helmet & a Bag of Winds, but that's not too likely).
2 (4 at Construction 6, 5 with Sea King's Court or the 1/160 of Arch Theurgs with 3).
4 (5 when you get a Starshine Skullcap, or 6 with the 1/160 of Arch Theurgs that have 5, which can then craft both Rings for 8).
3 (4 with the Seraphs or Prophet Arch Theurgs, and 5 if you Prophet a Seraph or your Patriarch).

Combat Magic

FIXME What is the best spell you can use in combat. What spells the best support your national lineup, Is their 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 their 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 Dicount Items

  • Gloves of the Gladiator: Construction 2, nature 22, 8naturegem.

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 power spike, 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

youtube of someone discussing the nation
guide page on steam??
forum thread or AAR

Pythium Guides

pythium-ma.txt · Last modified: 2021/10/24 04:31 by wigglefig