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t-ien-ch-i-la

LA T'ien Ch'i, Barbarian Kings

Lore

The celestial empire is crumbling. Constant invasions from the barbaric Khans have all but destroyed the Imperial Bureaucracy. The Imperial family have been replaced by the Barbarian Kings. The Imperial Guard is no more and the cavalry of old has been replaced by skilled barbarian horsemen. Ancestral worship is popular once more and priest-mages of barbarian heritage who lead the Ancestor Cult are replacing the priests of the Bureaucracy. With the displacement of the eunuchs from power, conscription has fallen out of use.

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. - Ilwinter

National Overview


Things kind of went back to the Early Age Style when the Huns overthrow the Bureaucracy. Destroying the highly organized infrastructure that supported elite soldiers with advanced equipment and Specialise administrators and mages. It was then replaced by a nation of Horsemaster Nomade and a return of the forgotten Ancestor worship with a vengeance.


This nation has access to a wide selection of magic paths, but can't get any path higher than level 2. That means the nation will have to rely on communions or magic booster items to cast higher level spells.
Communions are a little tricky to do since only the capital only Celestial Master has guaranteed astral magic. All other mages have 1/4 chance of astral 11. This means that T'ien Ch'i can potentially put any of its six available magic paths into a communion, but finding enough communion slaves can be difficult. Since all the mages have different crosspaths, the communion slaves will often generate more fatigue.
Since the nation does have the earth/astral crosspath, it is possible to craft the Crystal Matrix and Slave Matrix for communions and extra boosters like Crystal Coin and Crystal Shield.

When it comes to troops, this nation has access to mostly the same infantry as early age and middle Age T'ien Ch'i Calvary. These are still functional, if not quite as impressive as in the previous ages, simple because most nations and independent forces have better troops in the late age. However, T'ien Ch'i in the late age has access to Barbarian Heavy Horsemen, a cheap heavy cavalry unit that can also be recruited outside of forts. This means that it is feasible to build fewer forts as this nation and still produce many units.

Another interesting feature of this nation is the access to the Call Ancestor and Wrath of the Ancestors spells. These are combat spells that summons Ancestral Spirits. These spirits are poorly statted, have 0 protection and 1 hp. However, they are also ethereal, have an armor negating paralyze attack, and are sacred. So there is an option to go for a heavy bless, trying to make these spirits useful, although this is considered something of a meme in the community.

National Features

Special Race Attributes Military Magic Access Priests Buildings
Humans
Foreign troop recruitment
Neutral Temperature
Heavy cavalry and Horse Archers
Decent human infantry
water 22 (Rare 3)
air 22 (Rare 3)
astral 22 (Rare 3)
earth 22
death 22
nature 22
Heros
*fire 11air 11water 22astral 33holy 22
*air 22astral 22death 22
holy 11
Communions
Standard Forts(Citadel)

Capital Special Sites

The Celestial City The Heavenly Gate
Enables recruitment of:

Ancestor Vessel


Generates 1earthgem1deathgem per turn.
Enables recruitment of:

Celestial Master


Generates 1airgem1astralpearl per turn.

Units

Commanders

Sprite Unit Name SpecialAttributes Comments
Mounted Scout
Gold 30
Resources 13
Recruitment points 1
Stealthy (50)
mounted
is a more expensive scout with a higher map move. However, he does not have the usual Forest Survival and Mountain Survival that independent scouts have.
General
Gold 80
Resources 41
Recruitment points 1
mounted The General and the Khan Are your main generals. Both can do formations, and they have the same map move so they can fill the same roles. The Khan is more expensive but can lead more troops and gives his troops +2 morale instead of +1. The Khan requires 2 recruitment points to recruit, but this is offset by him being recruitable outside forts, so no fort turns need to be spent.
Note that all your other commanders can only lead 10 troops, so these are your only national options for leading your armies.
Khan
Gold 135
Resources 41
Recruitment points 2
+ Foreign Rec
Pillager(5)
mounted
Ceremonial Master
Gold 45
Resources 3
Recruitment points 1
holy 11
Sacred
is a cheapholy 11
Master of the Way
Gold 135
Resources 1
Recruitment points 2
+ Foreign Rec
water 11holy 11random1100% 9
Sacred
Need-Not-Eat
The Master of the Way is the nations cheapest mage but also the weakest with only two paths, water 11holy 11random1100%. They can still be useful combat mages, but they are generally the least useful mage. They are also slightly less efficient researchers compared to your other mages.
Ancestor Smith
Gold 220
Resources 16
Recruitment points 2
earth 22death 11holy 11random1100% 13
Sacred
Forge Bonus(1)
Old Age(67/50)
The Ancestor Smith is a useful combat mage with earth 22death 11holy 11random1100%. He is notable for being the best earth mage in the nation, meaning he can cast the usual earth buffs, Summon Earthpower, Legions of Steel and Strength of Giants. Also, they have the Forge Bonus (1) trait, which reduces the gem cost of anything they make by 1. Paired with Dwarven hammers, this can reduce the cost of items made by the Ancestor Smith by 3 gems.
The nature randoms can also be a budget thug with Ironskin, Temper Flesh, Personal Regeneration, and Body Ethereal. These mages generally have good stats even with the old age penalties. A small bonus is that they come equipped with an Ancestor Sword, a magical weapon with a cause fear effect and decent att/def bonuses.
Spirit Master
Gold 220
Resources 11
Recruitment points 2
death 11nature 22holy 11random1100% 13
Sacred
supply Bonus(20)
Old Age(127/100)
The Spirit Master is a useful combat mage with death 11nature 22holy 11random1100%, meaning he has access to the same paths as the Ancestral Smith but distributed differently. He is notable for being the best nature mage in the nation. He can cast many useful nature spells such as Swarm, Mass Protection. With a Thistle Mace he can cast Howl. He is also a surprisingly buff old man like the Smith.
Ancestor Guide
Gold 220
Resources 11
Recruitment points 2
air 11death 22holy 11random1100% 13
Sacred
spirit sight
Old Age(67/50)
is a useful combat mage with air 11death 22holy 11random1100%, meaning he has access to the same paths as the Ancestral Smith and the Spirit Master but distributed differently. He is notable for being the best death mage in the nation, enabling him to cast things like Horde of Skeletons and (with a Skull Staff) Wailing Winds and Wind of Death.
Celestial Master
Gold 220
Resources 5
Recruitment points 4
Capital Only
air 11water 22astral 11holy 11random1100%+10% 15
Sacred
Need-Not-Eat
is the nation's only capital only commander. With air 11water 22astral 11holy 11random1100%+10%, he has access to all the paths of the nation except death. He is slow to recruit, but notable for the chance of being the nations best Water or astral mage. he is important if you want to build an army of Celestial Soldiers without going through the trouble of getting a Winged Helmet

Units

Sprite Unit Name Special Attributes Comments
Footman with pikes
Gold 10
Resources 9
Recruitment points 9
A lightly armored soldier with a length 5 pike.
This soldier's only advantage over the Footmen with glaives is the length of his weapon, enabling him to repel.
Since his attack is low, this is rarely worth it.
Footman with Glave
Gold 10
Resources 11
Recruitment points 9
These Footmen come in three variants.
The Glaive is a high damage two-handed weapon, making these troops fairly dangerous for human troops.
The main difference between the different armors is the resource cost. Still, it should also be noted that the light and medium Footmen have 12 map move, enabling them to move two plains provinces, whereas the heavy footman with only map move 8 will never move more than 1 province in a turn.
The Heavy Footman also has higher encumbrance and slightly lower defense.
Medium Footman with Glave
Gold 10
Resources 14
Recruitment points 9
Heavy Footman with Glave
Gold 10
Resources 20
Recruitment points 9
Footman with Shield
Gold 10
Resources 11
Recruitment points 9
These Footmen also come in three variants.
These footmen are armed with a Tower shield and a one-handed spear. This makes them better at enduring arrow fire, and the parry value from the shield also gives them a higher defense. The tradeoff is significantly less damage compared to the glaive infantry. The main difference between the different armors is the resource cost.
Still, it should also be noted that the light and medium Footmen have 12 map move, enabling them to move two plains provinces, whereas the heavy footman with only map move 8 will never move more than 1 province in a turn. The Heavy Footman also has higher encumbrance and slightly lower defense.
Medium Footman with Shield
Gold 10
Resources 14
Recruitment points 9
Heavy Footman with Shield
Gold 10
Resources 20
Recruitment points 9
Archer
Gold 10
Resources 12
Recruitment points 9
The Archer is armed with a composite bow, useful versus lightly armored targets. Since this is the late age, it is fairly easy to find independent crossbowmen who are better versus armour, so the archer is not likely to be a key part of this nation's arsenal.
Barbarian Horseman
Gold 20
Resources 12
Recruitment points 24
+ Foreign Rec
Pillager(2)
mounted
The Barbarian Horseman is a lightly armed and armored mounted archer with a composite bow. Interestingly, he does have a buckler, helping slightly versus enemy archer fire. In most aspects, he is outshined by the Barbarian Heavy Horseman. Still, since both are recruitable outside of forts, there might be cases where the lower resource cost is important enough to recruit this rather than the heavy Horseman.
Barbarian Heavy Horseman
Gold 20
Resources 27
Recruitment points 24
+ Foreign Rec
Pillager(2)
mounted
The Barbarian Heavy Horseman is perhaps the defining unit in the Late Age T'ien Ch'i army. At first glance, he might seem similar to the Barbarian Horseman, but this unit is an upgrade in many ways. Heavier armour, a heavy lance rather than the light lance, a shield rather than the buckler, and a hoof attack. Altogether, this unit is a cheap heavy cavalry unit with a bow as a bonus. Like the Barbarian Horseman, the Heavy Horseman can be recruited outside of forts, meaning it is possible to mass these more easily than their resource and recruitment costs indicate.
Ancestor Vessel
Gold 50
Resources 32
Recruitment points 46
Capital Only
Sacred
Pillager(2)
spirit sight
Mounted
The Ancestor Vessel is the nation's capital's only sacred unit. In addition to being sacred, this unit is an upgraded version of the Heavy Horseman, with better stats, better armour, spirit sight and the Howling bow, a composite bow doing magic damage and with an extra fear effect on damage.

Heroes

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
Sacred
immortal
Supply Bonus(20)
Healer(1)
Ethereal
flying
Female
Her primary ulity is being a medic.
True Healer is usful for fixing up important injured commanders.
Being Ethereal helps with survivablity but not much else new in combat.
Lu Tung-Pin - Immortal
fire 11air 11water 22astral 33holy 22 19
Sacred
immortal
ambidextrous(3)
He is A Celectial Master that randomed Astral 3, and practiced his leadership and Fighting skills.
He can lead beig armys, be a light thug with his high att & def 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.
also gives fire to a communion.
Li T'ieh-Kuai - Master With The Iron Crutch
air 22astral 22death 22 17
Sacred
immortal
Fear(7)
Old-Age(865\500)
Spirit-Sight
plague carrier(5)
Start Affliction(100)
The crouchy old man, don't let him be around your other troops.
Can't Fly but can Cloud Trapeze to get places.
He is a Ancestor Guide that got both a 2 in air and astral,

Magic

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 Servantx1) not a spell you want to cast. Requires a Celestial Master or Ancestor Smith to summon a Bag of HP with High strength but will quickly die in combat. Not something to waste the time of a 4+ path mage on.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 Celestial Masters are 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 and less fatiguing 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.

Magic Access

Your main wizards are old men you should spam that know a spread of magic with some death being mandatory but nothing above a 2. Having 2s is often viable enough to get an important 3 or 4 combat with a booter, and or empower spell with the exception of air.

An Astral Spirit Master can make nature booters then putting them on earth random Spirit Master yields nature 55 in combat.

you can get effectively earth 44 with Earth Boots, or 5 if put on a Troll King.

Without intervention you will max out at death 44 for rituals and construction with Mound Fiends with Skull Staff.

Celestial Masters with items can on reliably be water 44 or astral 44 with the help of an Ancestor Smith.

On a Naiad you can get nature 55 or water 55 with boosters. Which also gets you Faerie Court for a higher air 33.

if you can forge a Treelord's Staff and Moonvine Bracelet, it's possible you can get a Lamia Queen to dip into blood by late game.

Combat Magic

FIXME What is the best spell you can use in combat. What spells the best support your national lineup, Is there weakness that you need to fix? Any tricks you should be aware you have?

Earth, Death, Nature are your main combat paths with Air and Astral as a side.

Your main butter is spamming old men with reliable magic paths. Only 1 in 4 will get astral magic but you only need 5 mages and one booster to cast the fun late-game stuff, which also doesn't seem so bad as you should be spamming Ancestors from every fort.

Earth Grants useful protection and while destroying the enemy's armor, like Marble Warriors, Maws of the Earth, and Destruction.

if you can get rid of enemy hats, go Rain of Stones

Nature can grant some other buffs, like increased size and recovery for your summoned army and mages.

with communions, it is possible to perform some higher-level air magic like Fog Warriors.

All Ancestors know some death magic, so many can Shadow Blast and spam ghost or skeletons when they go off-script. Wailing Winds and Fields of the Dead are some late-game death. Soul Vortex with regenerating bodyguards around your communion mages will help with turbo communions.

Ritual Magic

LA T'ien Ch'i is a nation with a normal Death endgame despite Blood being the Defining power of the late age.

As most mages are Death, finding every death gem with Dark Knowledge is important in this Gem scarce game mode.

Summoning Trolls or Lamia are can be used as additional communion batteries for your Ancestors with Soul Vortex.

It cost a lot of earth gems and requires holding a cave or Wasteland, hidden-in-terrain spells give you mages.

Your troops are behind in the trends of the age so transitioning to summoned troops is a good idea. Spirit Masters can Construct Manikins and Mandragoras.
Corpse Constructs are subjectively good chaff depending on who you talk to and how buffed they are given how many you can make with Storm Spool and Lightning Rod using only a single airgem.


Mound Fiends a good spamming undead with the limited magic sites. Ziz are also fun as siege units.
Call Celestial Soldiers Give Quality troops especially with all the earth and nature buffs you can give.

Magic Items

the Ancestor mages with their Death crosspaths can make some fun items. Especially so with the Ancestor Smith getting a 3 gem discount with a Dwarven Hammer (it's the late age, so every gem saved counts more than ever), like it only cost only 4 gems for Golden Arbalest. He can make Shademail Haubergeon and Shadow Brand for 9 gems, good raid, and thug items.

National Items

  • Sword of the Five Elements: Const2, fire 11water 11, 2firegem2watergem. Grants the user Reinvigoration and a lot of Attack and Defence skill. Useful on a Mage to protect himself and reduce Fague. (thug weapons has better DPS effects). Because of price, could mass-produce them to give to all mages in a communion.
  • Armor of the Five Elements: Const2, earth 11water 11, 2earthgem2airgem. Light but high prot armour that grants additional minor resistance to Fire, Shock, poison, and Magic. Useful on thugs.

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 powerspike, 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

Youtuber Saquenay discussing and playing the nation
Youtuber GeneralConfusion discussing and playing the nation
Exercise in Masochism by TiredTaleTeller.

t-ien-ch-i-la.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/03 02:02 by joste