I hadn’t written any After Action Reports (AAR) since Dominions 4 came out, and I found that I missed writing about my experiences in-game, so I’ve started up a new series centered around a Desura multiplayer (MP) game I’m playing called “Drama Mama”.
This AAR will focus on all the events and decisions I make on a turn-by-turn basis. It will be very detailed and will assume the reader has at least some familiarity with Dominion game mechanics.
To give this a bit more immediacy and avoid putting too much hindsight into the narrative, I’m going to attempt to write-up each turn right after I receive it. However, in the unlikely event that I actually survive until the end game this pace might be a problem due to the high levels of micromanagement and the explosion of detail that I’ll be attempting to recount. If that happens, I’ll take notes and try to narrate what was happening at the current time. If I make an enlightened statement from the future, I’ll write in Red Text to distinguish that perspective from the present.
The Drama Mama game is a is a bit unusual in that it’s a role-playing focused game where the main objective isn’t to win but to have fun role-playing. Here are the victory conditions:
- Best Role-Player — The player who injects the most flavour into the game.
- Best Buddy — The player who is recognised as the the most reliable and best friend.
- Best Backstabber — Or worst backstabber, depending on how you look at it. This utterly despicable guy backstabbed his own friend(s) who trusted him!
- Best Underdog — Best able to survive a gank, or even better, turns the tables around.
- The Boring Winner — The usual ascended Pretender.
- First to Finish — First player to be finished.
The #6 objective was added by the game admin after it looked he was about to be eliminated first.
I’m already at a bit of a disadvantage in achieving some of these because there’s no chance that I’m getting the Best Buddy achievement since everyone will hate my guts (see below), and it’s really hard to back-stab someone if you have no friends. It’s also hard to win when everyone is ganging up on you, However, I think I’ll be well positioned for the Best Underdog award.
One of my all time favorite dominions nations is MA Ermor, a universally despised Roman themed nation that’s comprised of the undead and whose dominion blackens the land and kills the living. I’ll be taking on the persona of Elvira, a diabolically evil narcissist who revels in chaos and destruction and who does little to hide her plans to sweep the world of all living things. This will be a similar character to the Bone Daddy pretender in my Dominions 3 BSoD AAR, but more evil and ruthless, but not quite as silly. Note: I would have loved to reincarnate Bone Daddy for this game, but the new Dominion game mechanics make it difficult to use a lich, which is the core of who Bone Daddy was.
With Elvira’s charming personality and hostile dominion, I’m going to be like a chunk of bloody meat thrown into a pool full of hungry piranhas. In other words, I’m going to be enemy number one around here with a giant neon red bulls-eye painted on my forehead.
To survive the inevitable dog-pile, I’m going to need some major firepower and guile to survive. Since the main objective isn’t necessarily to win the game, I’m going to try an unorthodox strategy and use a water, death, nature triple bless. Fortunately, our nation has the Titan of Serpents and Medicine chassis available, which is a good choice for this bless both mechanically and thematically.
I’ve never used this bless before (I doubt very many people have), but I think it will be extremely nasty by making my sacred units absolutely horrifying to fight against. The Knights of the Sepulchre should be particularly brutal by making them super-tough with 26 total HP, regeneration, and very high defense, while simultaneously magnifying their damage with death weapons, adding more attacks, and augmenting their first strike capability with their increased action points.
This power comes with a cost, and I’ll need to start with a dominion of 9, drain 3, drop my luck scales to 2 (Ermor does best with Luck 3), and imprison Elvira. The imprisonment will be especially problematic since Ermor needs a D3 mage to summon their top-of-the-line commanders. To mitigate this limitation, I plan on empowering my starting Spectator to D3 as soon as I can.
In Dominions 3 this strategy would have been incredibly risky for Ermor because none of their starting commanders have any Death Magic, and you would have had to rely on a D3 commander, e.g., Etimmu, on the first couple of turns. This means this strategy should be fairly novel in Dominions 4 and throw my opponents off-guard. Surprise Motherfuckers!
With a slow start summoning commanders and drain 3 scales, my research is going to be abysmal the entire game. I’m gambling that the strength of the units will more than make up for this weakness. Easy research is enabled, which will help with this, although it might help my enemies even more.
Another interesting feature of this game is that we all start with nine provinces, so we’re all going to be nice-n-cozy with each other right from the start. I’m sure my neighbors will be thrilled to be next to me.
Before we started the game, Elvira (who tends to talk in the third person) started making friends by sending the below messages to the other players via the forums.
Elvira of Ermor laughs malevolently and says, “I will join this world to feast on the bones of you puny, worthless mortals.”
Tremble and despair lowly mortals! Elvira has entered the world and is waiting impatiently for her soon-to-be-defeated enemies to arrive.
Elvira noticed there was a vote occurring while she was out-of-action getting her remaining bones steam-cleaned by one of her lowly Abysian servants (Abysians aren’t too smart, but their heat aura sure comes in handy sometimes). There’s no need to waste time with pesky votes — especially from this lowbrow, rabble. Story events should be on.
In the future, please send all decisions to Elvira, who you can trust implicitly to make a reasoned judgement for the good of the community.
Sceleria, Marignon, and R’lyeh haven’t uploaded their pretenders yet. Is this because they are afraid to face Elvira? This is an understandable fear that lowly mortals often experience when dealing with her all-mighty evilness.
If it helps steel your resolve, Elvira doesn’t plan to immediately exterminate your populations after she defeats you. The post-apocalypse world is going to need slaves to serve up on the tables of our absolutely fabulous banquets that our Dusk Elders are planning.
We also have grand plans around here to finally do something about the smell. Yuck. You never get used to it. Some of our zombies — well, maybe most — are looking a little ripe, and Elvira wants to freshen them up a bit by having a cleaning detail periodically wash them and remove their gangrene. We originally had our skeletons do this for us, but it turns out they don’t have enough meat on their bony fingers to use a sponge and mop properly. Imagine trying to drink soup with a fork. It just doesn’t work.
We switched to using slaves instead, which was much more successful. However, it was a bit hard on the slaves since the zombies are always hungry and usually end up eating them, but it has huge entertainment value since nothing makes Elvira laugh harder then watching a terrified slave give a zombie a sponge-bath.
Special note: None of this applies to those weird-as-hell R’lyehians, with their unappetizing blue suckers and lack of hands. They taste bad and make poor slaves. Until we can figure out how to torture them properly, we’ll kill them on-site.