User Tools

Site Tools


EA T'ien Ch'i Spring and Autumn


T'ien Ch'i is obviously influenced by China. I couldn't even resist the name Spring and Autumn, from the period of the same name in Chinese history. Chinese history is rich and there is plenty to draw upon. Daoism and its five elements, inner alchemy, and quest for longevity inspired the Masters of the Way as did the T'ien Shih—celestial master—of institutional Daoism convert into the Celestial Master of T'ien Ch'i. Heroes come in plenty in the Chinese tales and the Seven Immortals are all interesting figures. Sun Wukong and his friends are perhaps even more so. There is plenty of stuff to expand on should I or a merry modder find the time. Finally, T'ien Ch'i has been inspired movies from Hong Kong, China, and Korea. – Illwinter

The Celestial Empire has not yet been founded. The magic of The Way permeates the realm and reclusive mages conjure Celestial Beings to do their bidding. Nobles wage war upon each other for honor and glory. A few chosen warriors and mages dedicate their lives to training in the Way of the Five Elements. The deceased are worshipped and village priests conjure the dead to ask for guidance and aid. It is a time of legends. – Nation Description

General Overview

EA T'ien Ch'i is one of the more human-centric nations of the Early Ages, and boasts more heavily-armored infantry than many of its contemporaries. Their magic is diverse but shallow and very capital-focused; T'ien Ch'i's non-capital mages will only sometimes have more than one level in a single path, and its capital-onlies epitomize the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none".

National Features

Race Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Humans Well-equipped Units for EA
Long-lived mages with wide magic spread
fire 22
air 22 (Rare 3)
water 33 (Rare 4)
earth 22
astral 22 (Rare 3)
death 11
nature 22
holy 22 Cap-only
holy 11 in Forts
Standard Fortresses

Capital Special Sites

The Bamboo Grove The Gate of Spring and Autumn

Enables recruitment of Master of the Five Elements
Enables recruitment of Warrior of the Five Elements

Enables recruitment of Celestial Master
Produces 2 per turn
Produces 1 per turn
Produces 2 per turn
Produces 1 per turn
Boosts astral ritual range by 1 province

National Units

T'ien Ch'i has one of the best human line troops of the early age with very flexible cap mages.


Variety in commanders is limited. Only one troop leader, though decent, can be expensive. Is pretty clear which mages you should be recruiting off-fort, in-fort, and in Cap.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Gold 25
Stealthy (50)
Mountain Survival
Forest Survival
Scout for scouting.
Noble Commander
Gold 105
A somewhat expensive 80-leadership commander, owing to being a chariot unit.
Notably commands all of EA T'ien Ch'i's province defence, meaning even one point of PD provides a chariot with moderate killiness.
Master of the Dead
death 11holy 11 7
Spirit Sight
Cost-efficient research monkeys of the nation.
Has some utility in countering skellispam.
He can perform minor death spells for support but becomes truly important when Wrath of the Ancestors comes online and can start spamming blessed ghosts.
Master of the Way
+ Foreign Rec
water 11holy 11random1100% 9
Need not Eat
Decent mages you can also recruit outside forts.
They make up most of your mage core as low-level casters using gems to cast lv 2 spells.
In combat, they are all Frozen Heart spammers.
Air randoms Summon Lesser Air Elementals and cast Lightning Bolt and Orb Lightning if a Storm is up. Astral form communions, and Natures can restrain enemies and chaff with Swarm.
Master of the Five Elements
Capital Only
fire 11air 11water 11earth 11nature 11holy 11random1100% 17
Supply Bonus (10)
The embodiment of Jack of All, Master of None.
Has a single Lv2 in one natural path and lv1s in all others.
You pay a lot for versatility with so many spells in their fingers, but will only pay itself back if you mix up their scripts to adapt to your opponent's plays.
These masters find themselves as adaptable general-use mages and good at site searching.
Celestial Master
Capital Only
fire 11air 11water 22astral 11holy 22random2100%
The Grandmaster mage of T'ien Chi. Flying mage that Can have a lot of interesting crosspath with acid being a guarantee.
They are the center of armies and communion, flying around, bringing magic superiority wherever they go.


Line troops are made up of 3 tiers of body armour. Even the lighter armored grunts are well protected from arrows. Whatever the breastplate, almost all wear Half Helmets, which negates most damage inflicted to the head.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Gold 10
Light infantry that trades a shield for a longer two handed spear.
Will repel most units and other spears.
Requires the least amount of resources, so most spammable.
Gold 10
Man with a big slashing damage weapon.
Not well protected or proficient at hitting above average defence targets, they are good at hacking apart both monsters and very low defence armoured soldiers.
Gold 10
A main stay mass line unit.
Average prot with a Tower Shield that negates most damage.
Gold 10
Composite bows in the EA can kill a lot of units with low armour and outrange other archers.
Medium Footman
Gold 10
The inbetween light and heavy armour.
Has better prot than Leather but without addtional encumbrance or combat speed penalties like full scale.
Its preferable to spam numbers or go with the highest protection.
Can be situationly viable if you need above average body armour but not be more overly effective if a fatigue causing enchantment is up.
Medium Footman
Gold 10
Heavy Footman
Gold 10
Heavy armour for the early age. If you have the resources, they can outgrind most humanoid troops.
You do suffer higher encumbrance which can be used against you.
Heavy Footman
Gold 10
Gold 20
Mounted Like indie horse archers but with better stats.
Cost more recruitment points, but use full as flank attackers.
Gold 45
Cost a lot in terms of gold, resources and RP, but worth it for trampling through infantry while protected by their high prot and def.
A mass of them can help you expand early game mowing through indies.
Warrior of the Five Elements
Capital Only
Resist Fire (5)
Resist Cold (5)
Resist Poison (5)
Resist Shock (5)
Strength of the Spring (50)
Ambidextrous (2)
One of your main punchy units in the early game. In melee, they blend most things that come in contact with, have high defense, A wide array of resistances, and more HP during the Spring.
They are held back by being expensive in rec points, low prot, low hp in winter, not to mention limited to the capital prevents them to be massable enough to to keep up with the demands of late game.
Still a useful unit to boost your armies killing power in the early and middle game.


As T'ien ch'i, you get immortal Mages. They have human stats but still useful for light thugging and Casting spells. Keep them way from Soul Slayers.

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Ho Hsien-Ku - Immortal
air 11nature 22 11
Supply Bonus (20)
Healer (1)
Her primary utility is being a medic.
True Healer is useful for fixing up important injured commanders.
Being Ethereal helps with survivability but not much else new in combat.
Lu Tung-Pin - Immortal
fire 11air 11water 22astral 33holy 22 19
Ambidextrous (3)
He is a Celestial Master with Astral 3, and practiced his leadership and fighting skills.
He can lead big armies, be a light thug with his high attack & defence skill (held back by human HP).
If you don't have a proper pretender, you can use him to empower and climb higher into Astral.
Li T'ieh-Kuai - Master With The Iron Crutch
air 22astral 22death 22 17
Fear (7)
Old-Age (865\500)
Plague Carrier (5)
Start Affliction (100)
The grouchy old man- don't let him be around your other troops.
Can't Fly but can Cloud Trapeze to get places.
He is your strongest national Death mage, Able to forge Skull Staffs and make Ziz for sieges.
if you empower him or make communions, he brings out Wailing Winds (buff your troop Morale first!) or Wind of Death (all but your mages will become old by the end of battle).


Magic Access

T'ien Ch'i Magic is characterized by a wide-but-shallow spread of paths. For lower levels of Research, this is pretty neat, since you'll be able to use almost any spell that isn't Blood Magic. Later on, however, other nations will be able to take advantage of their higher-level path access, and you'll have to do some "ladder-climbing" with Summons and/or Items to catch up.

Water is your deepest path by far, thanks to your Celestial Masters and the relative ease of Boosting the path. You'll have a Robe of the Sea by Construction 4 & a Water Bracelet by Construction 6, allowing you to boost roughly a third of your Masters to water 55, which will allow you to cast almost any pure-Water Combat Spell or Ritual you could think of. Expanding underwater will allow you to summon a Queen of Elemental Water at Conjuration 8 if it's not too late in the game, who will be able to use your Boosters to reach water 77 and cast all of those pure-Water Rituals you weren't able to cast beforehand.

Fire is your second-easiest path to climb, unfortunately (that's not to demean Fire, but to demean how tough it is to climb other paths as this nation). A quarter of Celestial Masters will have fire 11death 11, allowing you to Forge a Skull of Fire at Construction 6, which an fire 22 Mage in your nation can use to get to fire 33. Though fire 33 already gets you Fire Elementals and other cool stuff, the ladder doesn't end there; you can then cast Summon Flame Spirit at Conjuration 6 and equip your fresh Flame Spirit with the Skull, who will then be able to Forge a Flame Helmet and boost itself to fire 55. From there, you can summon a King of Elemental Fire and boost them to fire 77.

Nature is next. Each Master of the Five Elements has a 20% chance to have nature 22, allowing them to Forge a Thistle Mace at Construction 4 & Contact Huli Jing at Conjuration 6. Every Huli Jing has nature 33, and around 3-in-8 of them have nature 33astral 11, allowing them to Forge a Moonvine Bracelet at Construction 6. With that, you have nature 55, allowing you to switch out the Thistle Mace for a Treelord's Staff and reach nature 66. 1-in-16 Huli Jing have nature 44, pushing you up to nature 77, but each Summoning is somewhat expensive. Alternatively, if you're focused entirely on Celestial Masters, roughly 1-in-12 of them will have water 33nature 11 and will be able to Contact Naiads at Conjuration 5, allowing you to skip the green-shirted Masters if you get lucky. Though you cap out a little lower (on average) than with Water & Fire, at least you won't need to rush for Kings or Queens.

Death is actually easier to ascend than the next three paths, despite the lowly stature of your Death Mages. The same Celestial Masters that have fire 11death 11 will also have water 22death 11, which can be Boosted to water 44death 11 if you got a water 33 by the time you reached Construction 6. The Celestial Master of Death can then cast Streams from Hades at Conjuration 6 to secure a Kokythiad, who will have death 33 and full equipment slots. You can then try to abuse the Twiceborn Ritual at Enchantment 4 to get a death 44 Wight Mage, who will be able to craft the Skullface with a Skull Staff that she probably already crafted while she was alive, allowing you to graciously top out at death 66 with a little luck. If you're not willing to burn Water Gems to roll the dice (Twiceborn path-boosting has about a 20% chance of happening), however, you'll still have death 44 through the Kokythiad & her Skull Staff.

Earth doesn't beget many avenues for climbing, but it's straightforward to climb. Each green-shirted Master might have earth 22 (20% chance), they can forge Earth Boots, they can summon a Troll King's Court to get a natural earth 33 Mage, the Troll King can wear Boots, and presto, earth 44. Roughly 1-in-8192 Huli Jing will have earth 44 and wear those Boots for earth 55, but you're paying 30naturegem per try, and gambling is an addictive habit.

Astral is unfortunately convoluted to climb, in spite of the Celestial insights. At least a third of your Celestial Masters will have astral 22, allowing them to Forge a Starshine Skullcap and reach astral 33. About 1/90 of them will have astral 33 to start out with, but they're 4-point capital-only Mages, not exactly "spammable" for that random path. To climb higher, you'll need help from other paths: the Huli Jing has a small-but-not-insignificant chance of having earth 11astral 11 and will be able to craft the Crystal Coin with the appropriate already-mentioned Boosters (a smaller portion might have earth 22astral 11, an even-smaller portion might have have earth 11astral 22, and roughly 1-in-8192 will have earth 22astral 22 without Boosters, but please don't gamble), boosting your astral 33 Celestial Masters to astral 44. Roughly 1-in-12 of your Celestial Masters will have astral 22death 11, and can be boosted to astral 44death 11 to open an Ether Gate for 90astralpearl, summoning an Ether Lord that always has astral 33death 22 and has a 1-in-4 chance of having astral 44 to start out with, allowing you to reach either astral 55 or astral 66 depending on how lucky and/or loaded you are. If you get the astral 66 and still have Astral Pearls to spare, you can craft the Ring of Sorcery to boost to astral 77 (and/or to get nature 77/nature 88 if you're lucky/death 77) if you were also pushing the ladder on those), and then you can get the Ring of Wizardry with your remaining Astral savings to boost yourself in the Elements (water 88, fire 88, & earth 66, if you have/can-still-get Royals) and Death (death 88).

That leaves Air; despite being a favorite secondary for your Mages, they can't get the Boosters they need. The most realistic, least-RNG-dependent way to climb Air is to have a Boosted Huli Jing summon a Faerie Court at Conjuration 8, getting a Faerie Queen that'll always have air 33. With the Ring of Wizardry, you get air 44, which lets you forge the Winged Helmet for air 55 and then the Bag of Winds for air 66, which can all be held by a Queen of Elemental Air (if you were fast enough to edge out the Air Nations in summoning one) for air 88.

National Spells

  • Call Ancestor: Conj 1, death 11. ( Ancestral Spiritx1) the Signature spells of Master of the Dead. Spamming out a weak Sacred ghost with a paralyzing attack.
  • Wrath of the Ancestors: Conj 7, death 11 1deathgem. ( Ancestral Spiritx20+[2/lv]). Improved Call Ancestor, Spamming Ancestral Spirit for death gems. Ancestral Spirits are good in large numbers if you give them a weapon bless or the explosion bless(with some Fire Resist).
  • Celestial Servant: Conj 1, earth 11astral 11 1earthgem. ( Celestial Servant x1) not a spell you want to cast. Requires a Celestial Master to summon a Bag of HP with High strength but will quickly die in combat. Not something to wast the time of a two fort turn cap only mage on.
  • Ambush of Tigers: nature 33 Conj 3 for 10 (summon Tigerx10+[lv]). Fast moving two attacker. Can flank.
  • Herd of Buffaloes: nature 22 Conj 3 for 10 ( Buffalox5 + 1/2 [lv]). Decent units being like Berserking Nobles. Will die quickly when faced with big numbers but more proficient then nobles at killing Size 4 and bigger enemies that they can't trample.
  • Heavenly Rivers: Conj 3, water 11astral 11 12watergem.( Demon of Heavenly Riversx3). Berserking Demon giants with really good prot and will Splatter most things with their Great clubs. Easly summonsed by Master of the Way. Also worth noting that these are amphibious, which provides an early underwater expansion option combined with a Master of the Way with a ring of water breathing.
  • Celestial Hounds: Conj 4, air 11astral 11 4airgem. ( Celestial Houndx2). Flying Patrol dogs. Useful if you need a lot of patroling like catching glamoured enemies. Die quickly because of lower prot. Could mass them for better harnessing results? Raiding with Celestial Masters.
  • Heavenly Fires: Conj 5, fire 11astral 11 6firegem ( Demon of Heavenly Firesx3). Only castable by Celestial Masters. Flying Firemen. Flimsy protection but throwing their Big fire wheels. Most useful when used in flying raiding partys.
  • Call Celestial Soldiers: Conj 6, air 22astral 11 15airgem. ( Celestial Soldierx5) Summon a good number of Sacreds with beefy stats and a hard-hitting glave. It can be used as late-game linemen in addition to humans and River demons.
  • Contact Huli Jing: Conj 6, nature 22 30naturegem. ( Huli Jingx1) powerful and very stealthy Fox Spy mages. She is likely to get a large spread of crossmagic, likely to possess 5 to 6 total paths. In addition to raiding, she can shadow your armies then pop up unexpectantly to lay down big spells like Mass Regeneration and Foul Vapors
  • Internal Alchemy: Alter 5, water 22astral 11 10watergem. Reduces the caster's age by -15 years but has a chance to give the caster insanity. Your troop lineup is unlikely to get old unless hit with Decay but occasionally useful if you luck into a strong indie with the given paths.
  • Celestial Chastisement: Evocation 5, astral 33. A gem-less version of Control, Inficts some damage and then takes control of the target but only works against magic beings. A lot of good units are Magic beings.

Notable Generic Magic


T'ien Ch'i's Mages are very flexible, but the good ones are limited by being restricted to the capital. Tactics involving Master of the Dead and Master of the Way are to Spam Smaller spell and use gems to cast Lv2 spells.

The cap mages are flexible, but their limited number forces you to think carefully about what conflicts to put them in and how they are scripted.

Master of the Five Elements Will always have one path they are good at and can cast a Load of different spells. Just giving them and the Celestial Master gems so they can cast Summon Earthpower, Phoenix Power and Strength of Gaia, put up Storms and/or wearing boosters, which will vastly increase their available arsenal.

Because you practically know all the spell, The nation's magic game is about knowing what the best spells to script for the given situation.

Ritual Magic

Master of the Five Elements and Celestial Masters has a large spread of low-level rituals, but having the old men cast them is not mage-turn efficient in comparison to making your non-cap or indie mages do it.

Using Master of the Way to spam Heavenly Rivers is your go-to spell as the demons make fantastic infantry.

With your magic spread, you can use the site searching rituals like Augury and Dark Knowledge mid-game to discover the higher-level site.

Rituals become more useful once you forge most of the booster as you can climb by summoning stronger mages, giving you access to any globals you need to win late game.

Magic Items

The nation has a preference for Boosters and mage items. As a squishy human nation, you don't have a ton of recruitable thugging potential; your most-obvious option, the Noble Commander, is a Trampler who doesn't fare well against units their size. As a nation with so many crosspaths on your capital Mages, you have a ton of variety in terms of Items, and you benefit massively from forging multi-path boosters such as the Staff of Elemental Mastery, the Robe of the Magi, and the Ring of Wizardry.

National Items

  • Sword of the Five Elements: Const2, fire 11water 11, 2firegem2watergem. Grants the user Reinvigoration and a lot of Attack and Defense. Useful on a Mage to protect himself and reduce Fatigue; because of the low price, you could mass-produce them to give to all of your Communion mages. Other weapons have better DPS effects.
  • Armor of the Five Elements: Const2, earth 11air 11, 2earthgem2airgem. Light but high-PROT armor that grants minor resistance to Fire, Shock, Cold, and Magic. It's useful on thugs, since the resistances it provides offer some survivability against a broad array of thug-killers (Incinerate, Lightning Bolt, Frozen Heart, Mind Burn, etc.).

National Dicount Items

  • Chi Shoes: Const2, air 11, 4airgem. Provides the wearer with an additional attack per round. This is useful on high-Strength units who can already get around quickly; unfortunately, your Flying Mages aren't that strong, while your Strong commanders aren't that mobile (or can't wear shoes).


Power Curve

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.

Expansion Strategies

Aside from taking an SC pretender, there are three ways to expand with EA Tien Chi:

1.) Recruit Warriors of the 5 Elements in your capital, prophet your starting Noble. One turn recruitment should yield 4-5, drop them into your starting army, which should be enough to blitz through weak to medium provinces across year one. Afterward, use H1 mages with bands of 5-10 WoT5E to expand into most other provinces. A strong bless is a must for this strategy, as WOT5E turn into paper in Fall. Hold+attack closest while the priests bless.

2.) Chariot expansion is also reliable but can be countered by other players. It also requires scales to use to full effect. Gangs of 3-4 chariots are enough, preferably with a Noble commander, set to attack rear. They can take most indies with minimal attrition.

3.) Footman spam. The least reliable requires decent scales and takes attrition against certain independents. However, gives enough numbers to deal with bumps and early rushes. Try to use primarily medium footmen. It may be advisable to switch to archers once you research Wind Guide and Flaming Arrows.

Example Pretender Builds

List some example pretender builds. Try to use the following format to keep authorship and pretender design rationale clear.

Master of Warriors
A build that allows you to field one expansion party of Warrior of the Five Elements per turn, able to clear all weak and most medium strength indies. With magic weapons, high strength, attack and defence skill, your sacreds are no pushover. A quick expansion is needed, considering that Growth and Magic scales are zeroed. Luck 3 is a great scale to counteract this light dump, however.

Chassis: Imprisoned Master
Paths: fire 66air 44water 66earth 44astral 44blood 44
Bless: 2x Attack Skill, Minor Shock Resistance, Swiftness, 2x Defence Skill, Mountain Survival, Strength of the Earth, Magic Weapons, Strong Vitae, Strength of the Flesh.
Scales: Dominion strength7Turmoil2Sloth2Heat2Growth0Luck3Magic0

See More

t-ien-ch-i-ea.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/01 15:49 by joste