Dominions 4

Dominions 4

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EA Caelum AAR / Flyer Guide (MP near win)
By kasnavada and 4 collaborators
This guide is intended for people of all level, either to learn some pointers on how to use EA Caelum or to just read the AAR (after action report) of a near complete MP game. I welcome polite and constructive ideas for improvement.
Wecantbefriends game, Overview

First: special thanks to lucid for setting up the game, the others from playing, and most special thanks to the other contributor of this guide / AAR:
- Lucid for the Lanka section,
- Astarwulf for the Agartha section
- PerciXal for the Ryleh section
- DerekTheMorris for the Vanheim section. Which is not finished yet =). But should be soon.

None of us pretend that the strategy we put was perfect, and if you have comments, advice, and possible addition, feel free to tell us =).

Game presentation

This game was done on the Peliwyr map, with 8 players:
Lucid: Lanka
SpirdersEverywhereForever: Formoria
Jonny Schnapsglas: Xybalba
Astarwulf: Agartha
PerciXal: R'lyeh
kasnavada: Caelum
Jack.Irons: Marverni

Here is the thread for the game:

It was a game aimed at mid-level players.

What happened:

- Caelum rushed Xibalba, and Marveni took a some land from Xibalba once "safe", the rest being Caelum's to keep.
- At some point, Ryleh and Marv had some disagreements and started fighting.
- Agartha and Lanka started war, with minor Caelum help (2 forts taken from Agartha), Lanka won that war, taking almost all of its territory.
- Just after Caelum attacked Agartha, it was attacked by Marveni. This assault backfired as Marveni lost this war. Caelum took most of the territory there, the remaining going to Ryleh, mostly, and a few to Vanheim.
- Fomoria cast well of misery, which frightened everyone into attacking him, for fear of tart rush. In was unfounded, it was "just" morrigan rush. He soon fell. Caelum and Lanka took the lion's share of that territory, but Vanheim and Ryleh also took some.
- Some peace occured, and Lanka and Caelum started fighting. Caelum started a throne grab, on 4 points (3 in lanka's, 1 in ryleh), to complement the 6 points he already had, but that ultimately failed to everyone's effort, leaving Lanka the victor.

EA caelum, nation overview + troop / commander guide

Caelum is a nation of winged individuals, based on Zoroastrian myth. In game, the different Caelum nations are based on tribes, each having their specialty, that fight each other and get excluded / included differently as time go by. Their history shapes the different caelian nations. The tribes in EA are:
- Spire horn fly in storms, have minor cold and lightning resistance, and have grey wings. They have ice magic melee weapons.
- Airyas have high cold resistance, white wings, and have ice magical weapons. They also have ice armor, whose protection gets higher when fighting in cold weather, and worse in hot weather.
- Raptor clan have dull to bright orange wings, and use "standard" bronze armements. They're physically "stronger" than other clans.

Caelum are one of the nations that are completely out of the norm as far as Dominions 4 is concerned. Most of their troops fly, and it has a large impact on the gameplay of the nation. It's a nation based on chaff (low quality troops) and mages.

EA Caelum has one of the best access to air magic of all ages and all nations, with national decent magic in death, holy, and minor access to earth, water, fire. Late game, conjuration changes everything and will gives high level (if somewhat random and limited in number) in every possible magic. It is however poorly suited to a bless, leaving the choice in a rainbow / scale / awake pretender (all viable).


If you started, ever, a game with Caelum, you've probably noticed that it's also one of the nations with the most different choices in troops. As you've probably guessed if you've ever played a Dominions game before, most of those choices are highly situational at best.


Caelian scout => A scout, that flies. You may recruit a few if you have a fort with no labs nor temple yet.
Sastar => a standard flying commander, with mapmove 3. Overshadowed by Seraphines (below).
Mayria ahu => a stealthy commander, cap-only. Your only stealthy troops are also cap-only. Your cap will not recruit those, as Eagle kings are plain better. Also, the Seraphine is stealthy.


Well, I'm starting with the Seraphine.
It's a F1H2 mage with stealth, capable of leading 40 units. This will be your main troop ferry from the start to end game. It will also be the one in charge of building your temple, preaching (and stealth preaching, if need arise) and on "kill undead" duty. In combat, from the first turn to your last, they'll use their H2 spells : banish, sermon of courage, smite demon to great effect.

Spire horn seraph.
Your cheapest mage, which is also the less useful. Caelum cannot have that. This mage impact is barely noticeable in a battle. Some people will advise you to get him because he's the cheapest RP to gold. It's certainly true. But, you will lose your late fights if you can't cast the spells you've researched.

Airya seraph
A2W1. This will be your main battle and research mage at the start to mid-game. It's efficient whether you research conjuration (summon elementals), alteration (frozen heart, lots of air / water boosts) or evocation (lightning bolt, thunderstrike).

Harabs seraph:

Come in 3 flavor:
A2D1, A1D1E1, A1D2. The first has the same uses as the airya seraph, including research / battlemage, but can also be a undead killing machine with dust to dust. The second needs boosters to be useful, but has a powerful array of spells then. The last is best used as a death mage, (hordes of skeletons, shadow blast... lots of stuff). Again, their cross path allow fun late game magics like wailing wind or wind of death. All are capable of casting corpse constructs. It's better to use those from middle game as they require a lot of research to pull the same punch as Airya Seraphs, for essentially the same price & upkeep.

Eagle king. Cap only, A4W1E1H2. They fly in storms, have awe, have twice the hp of your other caelians, very high stats, resists all around... Need I say more ? These bad guys, you'll need to have 1 or 2 per army, to cast storm, fog warriors, and whatever other high level air magic you'll need, whether in rituals or in battles. Sadly your first year expansion can't afford those. But from the start of year 2, you'll have to build one every 2 turns (they're slow to recruit, obviously).

Be very careful with those, because in a game, you'll recruit maybe 20 of them. That means 2 things: you'll get 2 / 3 with a random 10% AFEW which can be game changing, and that you can't afford to lose them.


Ugh, where to begin. There's too many of those. You've got a lot of kind of troops, which are mostly equivalent. One stands out.

Spire horn warrior. Capable of flying in storms, with an ice lance, and a shield. 10 gold, 7 ressources. Why is he the best ?
- he flies in storm. From mid-game onward, you will always have storm up. If you don't have someone with storm flying, you've just grounded your troops.
- ice lance. All SCs / Thugs / troops which base their protection on invunerability, ethereal, mistform, stygian skin have just lost their protection. To basic chaff. Also, lances have a first charge bonus, and this badass flies, so he'll always have first strike.
- mapmove 3.

They cost about the same as other caelians, but are a bit weaker than the other ones. However, they're useful during the entire game, which can't be said for your other troops.

Other possibilities:

Archery is situational as Caelum, you don't generally need to throw an arrow to your opponent. Your troops FLY. You can fly a lance into your opponent's whenever you want. The only special one is the blizzard warrior, there might be a situation where magic short bows are needed. I'm not sure I ever encountered it though. Later in the game, and don't want, as a whole, your own archers removing your buffs with friendly fire, or just killing your lancers with friendly fire.

Elephants: yes, a lot of guides propose those. i don't. They just cost too much. If you need tramplers, all of your airya seraphs, some harabs, and your eagle kings can cast Air Elemental for a single air gem.

Cap only sacred. Better stats, but no magic weapons. Mairya are stealthy. That's about their whole use. Then again, with flying 3, your opponent has no clue where you'll land anyway.

Iceclad and tempest warrior. Iceclad is a marvelous powerful unit that can have up to 19 protection in cold 3 weather. That's... absurd, as far as EA is concerned, I think it's the best armor of all EA. But, at 24 ressource each, it's 1) impossible to mass, 2) they've got map-move 2, 3) ice armor means they're only useful as defensive units in province with Cold 3 scales in it. Tempest warrior have the same major flaw, map-move 2. They can't follow your armies. Also, if you're taking hits, something is wrong. It's better to have 3 spire horn warriors attacking something that 2 tempest, because more or less, anything that would kill one of your spire horn warrior probably would also have killed your tempest warrior.

Last, the ice-resistant troops. Useful for grip of winter combo ? Ugh. If you're in need of killing a few thugs with a cold aura, they might be useful. 15 cold protection is a lot.

Temple guard... don't fly, MM1. Cap only.

Corpse constructs. Not a recruitable troop by default, but your main defense. Thing is that it renders all other "defensive" units useless. Harabs with earth and Con-2 should build lightning rods, which enables the creation of 4 of those for 1 air gem. You should use 60% if not more of your air income making those. Their high HP and undead status means that you need your harab seraph to lead them, and that it'll protect you from hp routing... like forever. Also from most assaults. They are weak individually but when massed, they'll hold anything for a dozen of turns, which is the time for your mages to destroy whatever opposition there is.
Caelum, pretender choices
Bless pretender.

If you want to surprise someone. You only have blessed troops in your cap, so mostly it may be worth it in a duel or a game that aims to be very short. Eagle Kings could be made into decent thugs if they were not better used for something else. Otherwise all of your late game summons are sacred, but by that time, you might have already lost or won.

I would advise against it.

Rainbow / scale pretenders

In all of my games, I've found that Caelum requires some production, and a lot of gold, and there is the "requires cold2 part". So I'd go at least O3P0G3C3. Then, if possible, a point in luck and a point in magic.

Then, I'd go for a pretender that can bring magic to my nation. Again, you need to consider the scale of the game: a short game won't require access to Conj-6 to Conj-8 national summons, whereas a long game will. Actually, those mages will be your trump cards in those late game fights where anything can tip the balance, so A5, some fire, astral, fire and death is needed here.

My personal choice go to the enchanteress, either awake or dormant, with at least S4F3D3E3. Because of the gem generation. Earth is an essential part of Caelum's strategy, with a boot of earth, your harab with the E random have access to much that's needed for Caelum to be competitive (strength of giant, earthquake, Rain of Stones...).

SC Pretenders

I personally don't find the use for it in longer games, Caelum expands rather well by default. But, in short games, duels, it's probably worth it.
How to fight with Caelum, and with flyers in general
Map movements

In dominions, your troops generally move from 1 to 3 provinces. However, invading an enemy territory requires a full move, that means that you need to be next to one province to actually invade it. This complicates movement, requires calculating your moves so you can group / ungroup depending on how your opponent invades or threaten you. It's quite an artform to master. Also, 2 moving armies invading each other might collide in the middle, exchange their place, or meet at one or the other place. Terrain must be taken into account too.

All of that is irrelevant to flyers.

Flyers can always move up to their whole movement (which is 2 or 3 in most cases), regardless of what is there. Allies, enemies, neutrals, rivers, mountains, all but bodies of water is fair game.

Flyers will be where you're sending them, except in the specific case of someone teleporting on you, or someone doing a friendly movement on you (if you're sieging a fort, and someone moves to meet you), or if you happen, perchance, to have an opposed movement because you're next to where you're attacking. Which is a bad idea, IMO, but I suppose it happens.

Second, flyer army are completely freeform. You can and should group / ungroup each commander and each troop of your army every turn as needed by your opponent moves. Enemy armies mostly can't change their composition every turn. If you see an army with 90 infantry, 30 cavalry and 5 mages, it's going to stay an enemy army with 90 infantry, 30 cavalry, and 5 mages. Whereas you can transform a 120 army with 8 mages & 4 troop leaders in anything from 12 raiding parties of 10 troops to a single army. Every turn. You have to abuse that possibility.

Third, forget what "fair" is. As a whole, the art of war ain't about fair fight in any case, but it's difficult at best to get an advantage when you can't "cheat" the terrain. But, flyers can.

Map assault basic strategies

The strategy to kill your opponent in dominion is usually fairly simple. Force your opponent in choke points, crush your enemies main army / armies, take his lands.

You, as a flyer, can't do so. Your armies are weak. Your big stack of doom against his, will most probably lose. They call that "balancing the game", and oh boy, they're right. If it wasn't there, the game would be a one-sided massacre.

What you need to do is the opposite. Raid their lands. To do so you need an as complete scout net as possible, aiming to one in each province. As a whole, players tend to have particular habits and use the same PD levels, the same armies, the same layouts. Once you've figured those out, send twice their numbers (or more) in a formation that counters what he's preparing. That should make you win battles with next to no losses, and is discouraging your opponent as a bonus.

In a strange way, you'll start most wars as the underdog. Raiding will be the match-up weapon. You need to raid so you prevent your opponent as much income as possible, and adding as much to yours as possible. You should aim to raid every province in movement range if possible. If there is 10 provinces that can be reached ? Attack all 10. If you're considering that your cap makes an assault group of 30 spire horn warriors + seraphine each turn since turn 6, whatever the time of the assault, you're able to pull this out. Then, once your opponent's income is shot, his movement are blocked (because of the movement rules, about invading enemy lands, see above), he can't reinforce. But you still can. Once the raiding phase is done, it's time to go for the kill.

In wecantbefriends, marveni made his armies about 120 strong, and there was 4 of them attacking me, and 4 of them defending him (more or less), with some mages. I was 400 strong, with more mages. So I raided his lands. Until he felt he needed to split his armies. It was impossible to me to beat the 500 stack, so I let him run around - because I could take a lot of province per turn, and he could only take one. And I raided and raided, until he had to split his armies. Then my stack of 400 took one of the 120 sub-armies, or occasionally I landed enough armies to one turn capture a fort. Thing is, you can lose forts, caps, anything, and it does not matter. What matters is that you reduce his income until he can't reinforce, and then take apart his armies, one by one. They're losing if they split, they're losing if they don't.

For this to work, however, you need to win most raid battle. To never end-up in unprepared fights were you lost troops. You therefore NEED accurate scouting. Your worst opponents are therefore other flyers (which are as unpredictable as you are), and glamoured stuff. In this game, I NEVER lost a battle I initiated with one of my armies until very late game. I lost raiders (basically 30 warriors + leader), but armies (anything with 100 warriors and mages support) ? Not until very late game.

Map assault issues

Your troops fly. They also are chaff. That means that when you rout, your army disappear instantly from the battlefield. That's good, and bad at the same time. The good part is that it's less of your guys dying, the bad one is that your wall of chaff is instantly gone. And, your troops will rout.

The implication of this is that, when raiding, you need to coordinate raiding so all of your troops have an escape route. And that you need seraphine on duty, hiding on allied territories next to any major assault, to ferry the cowards back into the fights.

What to put in armies

Ouch, tough call. It depends.

As Caelum, your strength is in your mages. Your troops are not as pathetic as their reputation implies, but they're still size 3 chaff not sacred 10-gold troops. As a whole, you cannot brute force your opponents. You need to master flyers & ground movement, you need to predict your opponent's moves. You need to create those unfair fights where you take few losses while your opponent takes a lot.

About specifics:
My basic "raiding unit" is a seraphine with 30-50 warriors (when they get to 1 star of experience, they get to lead 55 troops). If I need to make an army, I complement those with 1 eagle king to cast storm, one to cast fog warrior, or any buff you need, and 1-2 harab / caelian seraph per seraphine to just spell bombard your opponent. Also, it's needed to use a seraphine, hiding, as a gem carrier (they're stealthy). You'll eventually have 3-4 seraphine per army moving back and forth bringing gems that will burn in every fight casting your spells and buffs. Don't be afaid to spend gem this way. What made me so effective in this game, especially in the throne rush I did, is that I actually burned 150 games (80-90 air, 50 earth, 20 death, 20 astral) in the last battles only.

That's your first basic assault force.

The second possible assault force is mass of corpse construct, with all of your mages behind it. Thing is this enables you to use non-national stuff, like indy mages (you can't build flying boots to everyone). And your national summons, which don't all fly. Again, your main strength here is your mages. You need harabs to lead the undeads, seraphines to lead the caelians, and eagles to cast at least storm and other main buffs. But the caelian part of this army is supposed to come and go raid other stuff, coming back when an attack is expected.

Note that this works VERY well with any kind of wall chaff, as a whole, for example Nazca and reanimated undeads.

Battle strategies, early game
Basic battle strategies

The main issue Caelum face is their atypical strengths. On the battle map, flying lets you instantly teleport to wherever the AI deems good enough. But, that means enemy troops do not advance, and they're probably out of range of your spellcasters if they don't.

Strategies therefore vary, you need to counter whatever can hurt you, while letting the enemy advance where you can shoot at them. Or block them in their place, and shoot them with long range spells.

Example: your opponent is Fomoria, and used mass of corpse construct (haha) and humans, which a host of giant mages behind. Set your troops to attack giants, and laugh as your troops just homed on your enemy commanders. Archers are being a problem ? Attack archer. Blocking the enemy cavalry with some troops "just because" if also fun. Your opponent places his commanders just behind their troops ? That screams for attack rear.

As a whole, your troops are weak, even against enemy archers, so later in the game, it's good to have half your army on "hold & attack" while the rest is on "attack".

About ranges, if you set your mages at the front of your armies, your range 20-25 spell will not hit. You'll need 30+ range to hit. Unless you're letting your opponents advance. That usually means that you want a wall of chaff in the middle, while your flyers take the flanks and destroys whatever's weak to them.

Indy early expansion

The most effective strategy I found is basically, a seraphine per turn + as many spire horn warriors, set to attack whatever's weakest in the opposing army. Be wary, however, that enemy troops will fight your units if they're in their way out, so attacking rear comes with some risks.

Doing this, you need to attack weak indies, a group of 25-35 will take down most indies with little losses, and you'll need to combine groups to take on strong indies. 2 groups for strong indies, 3 for basic thrones (unless it happens to be basic throne + strong indy, like amazons)...

So the strategy is:
- build a seraphine each turn
- build as many spire horn warriors as possible to make groups of 1 seraphine + about 30 troops.
- when your group took enough losses that you think they'll lose (do a lot of SP expansion to get the good feeling for this, like start against another AI in the 480 large map), bring 2 groups, then put all survivors on one commander, bring the other commander back to your cap to get new spire horn warriors. When you don't have enough troops for the seraphines, buy spire horn seraphs.
- repeat.

If you build only troops at your capital, you will have leftover gold. Store it. You should be able to build one expansion party per turn by month 6, start a fort at the same turn or turn 7, make another fort at turn 8-9 or so, and basically have 3 forts & 7-9 expansion parties by the start of year 2, about as many seraphines as expansion parties, some basic research and some casters to use it. At months 10-12 you'll build labs (first), then temples if needed.

You're set to rush and kill someone.

Early assault

By that time you should have found a neighbour that's weak, so open discussion channels to get reprieves from others, or to rush conjointely with someone else. By that time you have enough research to have basic mage support, and that'll make the difference. Others can't risk their mages out because it's 4-5 turns of lost mage support if they follow an army. However, you lose 2 turns: one to bring them out, one to bring them back it, and that's it.

Another thing to take into consideration: flyers have +1 siege, so... each of your raiding parties one shot capture an empty pallissade - which are EA's main forts. Your scouts may have found a fort that's just been built, with 2 raider party on it, you can capture it if there's no troops around. Even if there is, just clear the PD there and move out, the other player has to move to defend there. You therefore make a choice, either you've got enough troops in flight range to kill his troops, or you just leave (leaving a commander on siege + flee orders if possible), losing precious turns of gold and recruitments.

Another consideration: sieging a fort prevent income from being collected. With a few well placed armies, you can reduce the enemy's income by half or more, by cutting his territory in pieces. That said, sieged forts still brings admin % of the province income, and gems still go to the sieger, so keep that in mind. Their entire army will not disappear this easily.

You should always aim to have a fort with researcher / casters in range of your armies, so you can bring reinforcements at a moment's notice. Attacking caelum runs the risk of having 10 more thunderstrikers than the previous scout / battle showed.

Fun tricks

It's not because you can breach a for that you need to breach a fort. Your troops should breach every fort you're landing on every turn. But you don't have to take it. Move away, leave one scout, or one mage, and see your opponent move all his neighbouring troups there. Then, take your real objective with no opposition up to 3 territories away.
Research and expansion goals
Basic research goals.

I went for the basic, Evocation. But, Conjuration and Alteration are all viable choices.

Evocation: lightning bolt, then storm / thunderstrikes.
Conjuration: a bit more gem hungry, but... evocation spam. Summon lesser air elementals is size 3 ethereal tramplers, which has uses but is not that awesome. However, summon air elemental (conj-5) summons the same guy at size 6.

Thing is that those path actually combine well. For example, You'd need 2 gems for each casting of summon air elemental until you get to storm, they you only need one. And the air elementals have storm power 3. Your starting air income is enough to guarantee you a lost of castings, and there's not much else to do with gems at this point in the game. Having lots of gems to burn late game is nice, but kind of pointless if you don't reach end-game.

Alteration: it's a bit more tricky, but false fetters stops things with low MR, phantasmal warriors are like a cheap undead spam all your guys can do, frozen heart is a killer spell (if high level). I personally thing it's a later goal, but... It can work. It's certainly unexpected by other people, and the surprise part plays a big role in MP games.

Constructions comes just after than, you need to hit con-2 for the corpse construct factories (and the lightning rod).

Later research goals

- fog warriors and other chaff oriented buffs (alt-7).

- Construction 4 for boots of earth. This lets every harab with earth random to cast rain of stones (Alt -7), and if you have other boosters (crystal shield, blood stone, elemental staff), you can get earthquake. EQ is really awesome, because flyers are immune to it.

- shadow blast for D2 harabs. A bit gem hungry, but guarantees that your harab does a dozen kills per casting. And, he can cast that multiple times.

- some basic enchantment will give you strength of giant, hordes of skeletons... but mostly useful rituals like seeking arrow and cloud trapeze. Now 75% of your mages can teleport.

- Traumaturgy is probably the least useful, but you should have found a province somewhere that can use astral magic, so at least communion spells, teleport, and the trauma-4 site search spells are useful. Being able to site search your territory is needed, as caelum, your mages are our strength.

- Conjuration 6 starts to open the caelian national summons. They come in 2 main kinds: the demonic part, summon yata, which gives you a high chance of breaching into fire 4, blood, and other stuff, or summon daevas, which all have at least 2 level of astral and holy, and various magics. However, they don't all fly, and don't always have high mapmove. They're good at defense, at moving with corpse construct, and / or as crafters. And at obliterating an entire enemy army that's casting thunder ward, for fear of your regular mages, with a firestorm (that's an example).

Note that the yata spell has a 1/4 chance of getting a fire / death guy, which can build the skull of fire (fire / death item that gives +1 fire magic). Which boosts considerably your already powerful seraphines, and ups your other fire mages to firestorm level. You also have an 1/4 chance of getting a guy with blood magic. With your troops, you can easily patrol anywhere, and blood hunt to build all those cheap blood items as needed.

Second note, on the daevas, they've all got astral. You should have astral indy mages... errr communion slaves, and a daeva master. What they can cast depends, yet you can aim to always being devastating, multiple times with a good enough communion.

- Conjuration 7 has mapmove 4 ethereal flying awe4 A3S3H3 fravashi. Basically they could teleport and claim throne, but it's not worth using the gems because they move so far. Capable of taking PD provinces with a bit of buffs and items. Can cast the battlefield wide ethereal spells. Provides mind hunt protection to moving armies. Conjuration 7 also has the spells that summon more than one elemental, but as a whole, it requires an eagle king, or one of your national summons.

- Construction 6 opens water bracelet, which opens water 2 & 3 spells to all of your airya seraphs for a very low cost (especially with dwarven hammers). As well as skulls of fire, which transform all your seraphines into stuff capable of launching fireballs, fire cloud, falling fire with a gem. Both let you have cold & fire resitance spells.

- conjuration 5 opens 4 possibilities: Jahi are assassins (could be useful), call daevas is a weaker version of the summon yazata spell. Instead of 6 awe +2 Yazad that fly in storm, you get 3 flying demons with a fear aura. Both eat up astral / death gems better used in higher conjuration though, but they can have situational use. Last, you've got the Ahurani. They're rather cheap, come with water 2, and most important, have waterbreathing 20. They can't do anything to dent real UW nations, but they're certainly strong enough to take on some stuff down there. You can accompany them with harabs with water breathing rings leading corpse construct too.

- Bows for commanders. You don't need them, unless you plan to recruit indy commanders for the sole sake of using bows. You do have access to a large selection of useful bows, including the bow of war. But your usual commanders have spells to cast. Your troops fly and don't need to take arrows from your own troops, let alone from your own commanders, so be careful with those.

Expansion goals

You don't start with nature, you don't start with astral. You need mages of both kind.

Astral to at least protect you from mind hunt, and to site search for more astral sites. You crave astral gems for the late summons.

Nature is mostly useful to make bag of wines. Caelum will have large armies later, and having half of them starve to death is a death sentence to half your troops. You can't afford that. Your armies need to be self-sufficient or nearly so supply wise.

It's early age, so... if you do find a province with a stealthy commander (I used the bakemono indy commander in this game), or the scout, use them. You can't afford to waste your gold building a fort to make scouts. You've got mages to do. And the whole point of Caelum is to raid / capture stuff from others. A captured fort builds scouts & troups, and if it has a lab, you can start doing mages + troops right away.

Everything else is a bonus. A reliable source of S2 mages is quite awesome. Later in the game, you can block enemy raiders by summoning Yazatas, in a pinch.
Thugs / SC, how to do, how to counter
How to do thugs

Caelum... does not do thugs well. None of their commanders are really suited for it.

Some mention to the Airya Seraph: they do fly, can cast a lot of the best self protection spells (mistform, liquid body...), so with a 5 gem weapon like frost brand, you can teleport / fly them in, boost, fly to shoot whatever they're aiming at, and fly away. They've got very low attack however so mostly they'll fail - my advice would be to try to branch into blood, with rings of the warrior.

Otherwise, you can use Eagle kings. It's risky because you can't make a lot of those, but it's a possible thug. They need at least weapons / shields though to be effective. An interesting use for them, if you have a iceclad with him, set as "guard commander", you can script mistform, attack, shockwave *3. That will clear most PD's, and some indy provinces (if any left). It's better done in cold provinces, for obvious reason.

Last choices are the high level summons. They're all very expensive, so... Mostly you don't want to use caelians as thugs. They're more useful as spell batteries. But, with your late game diversity, you can build most of whatever you want.

How to counter thugs

Your opponents will not use most of them just by virtue of you being Caelum. Yeah. Caelum is that awesome. More seriously: remember the part where you've got magic weapons on your flying chaff ? Most usual thugs will just die in seconds to being rushed before buffing. A lot of what's left will die to having their usual self-buff spell pop because of magic weapons. Just predicting where they'll land with a group of 30 - 60 spire horn warriors will take care of a lot of threats.

If a thug is to be successful against Caelum, it basically needs to be "pre-buffed", and be one of the things that actually do counter them well (vine shield for example) and / or does not pop to magic weapons. That's where you bring your mages. Frozen heart, thunderstrike, evocation spam, the usual.

(This section needs improvement, but I've not met much thugs to fight against).
Caelum AAR, year 1 - 4
My pretender for this game.

In case the image disappears, it's an enchanteress with F2A2W2E2S4D2.

Year 1

My early expansion, was done with essentially building one seraphine and as many spire horn warrior as possible (because lance + fly in storm, useful for later). My cap was "capped" ressource wise at 27 spire horn warriors so I went with that. A group of those will take one weak indy province per turn, but take some losses. 2 groups will take most strong indy provinces. 3 will take lvl 1 thrones. So basically the strat is to just attack weak provinces, then group 2 to get a strong province, then move one seraphine back to the cap while the other one has all troops and gets another indy province. That leaves you with enough money to start a fort on turn 5-7 and a third one on turn 8-9. By then, you should build seraphines (if needed) in your other forts and switch to eagles at your cap. Otherwise, build Arya seraphs (first choice) or harabs (mid-late game power).

When I found Xilbalba. My plan was to go to an early rush, and early rush it was. I took 4 provinces on the first turn, including 2 forests, severely handicapping him (he had 2 more forests on the other side, and that's about it), and 3 forts. Now that he knew I was coming, we started exchanging provinces. He mounted a few assaults on my territories, expecting low PD, but I deliberatly upped my PD to 11 to account for that. After a few turns, I was able to clean the PD on his cap, moving out the next turn, and finally caught up on his armies. I had done SP simulations, and found out that in equal numbers, I'd win the fights handily. So I aimed for that, reducing his numbers gradually until I had nothing to fear. I don't know if I predicted him well or just was lucky, but he never outnumbered me. Eventually he had nothing else and lost.

By the end of first year I had evo-3, so lightning bolt spam (went to evo-5 first), the some construction / conjuration. You need storm power once you've got storm, because thunderstrikes is much better than lightning bolt. As I was swimming in money I bought mercs to help take down xibalba (turn 12).

Year 2

It was occupied with mostly diplomatic first contacts, ryleh taking part of the northern island (started on 137) I'm of (including the throne), and finishing the raiding phase of Xil's attack. Then starting to siege his cap. Basically was decided: peace with fomoria, letting Ryleh the throne north of my island, and I was approached by both Lanka & Agartha to take out the other one.

By the end of year 2 I had Hushedar join me, basically a A3F3H3 hero, which would be an essential part later in my grab throne strat =). I was sieging xibalba and was "mostly" at peace. My research then was going up in conjuration, I had Con-4 and Evo5 (turn 24).

Year 3

It was the start of Agartha's doomed aggession on Lanka (yes, he started it, probably hoping for my support). By that time I had 5 forts, marv just took the rest of xibalba's territory on the north (I think 4-5 provinces, maybe more, including the fort at 30). I finished Xibalba's siege too. All those aggressions meant I didn't have time to take the throne in singer vale (8), as it was with amazons... so much too strong for what I had available. Recruitment wise I build mostly the same as before: a mage at each fort, some seraphines when I needed to ferry troops, but "attack" troops at my cap. That was enough, and I did a few dozen trooops in my other forts just in case, but left them there.

I was building my 4th fort, in bed garden 129 to get me some nature access, and had captured one from xibalba too. I grabbed exacly 3 territory helping lanka, which probably doomed agartha even more as I took out 20 mages and some troops there, including 2 more forts. Which were promptly put to use as mage factories. I started building some corpse by then, which I see as way too late. I had the gem income to build many many more and should have done so before.

That's also when Marv attacked me. So I pulled my troops out, liberating the sieges on xilbalba and love shore on the way, then raided all of his northern territory by splitting my troops. Then regrouped on both his cap and the fort next to it. During all that time marv had a 500 doomstack in the xilbalba provinces that he didn't take back to defend. Then he split his troops. By this time, I had build a second invasino force (as the first one was pinned on marv's cap & adjacent province) which enabled me to kill them one at a time. Ryleh helped me taking the provinces around Marveni itself. That meant that I had to abandon the throne on noise road (109) that lanka finally took a few turns later. I did manage to take the singer vale province (8) and found, to my delight, the throne of death. Ahah. The irony. In any case, despite having next to no troops outside of the siege, I had enchanted mirrors around to fool my enemies. And apparently it worked, because no one took the opportunity to rush me.

By the end of the third year I hit alt4 (wind guide, waste of gems IMO), conj 5, const 4, and evo 7. For shimmering fields, which I never succeeded in casting, and firestorm (which I did). That was turn 36.
Caelum AAR, year 4 and 5
Year 4

I was totally unable to take both of Marv's forts in Marveni (43) and shadow shard (39) until he went AI. There was 15 great boars there spamming boars, and I was unable to dent the Marv fort. In shadow shard, his pretender was there, and SC, fully geared. I could have taken him but at the cost of reducing the siege on marv. As the Marv player staled, he was set AI. The AI tried a sortie... and it casted doom and other nasty stuff at my troops, leaving them hurt and afflicted. Also I found out the hard way that I switched, sometime in the third year, my recruitement from spire horn warriors to spire horn militia... which don't fly in storms. Leaving the attack on marv to be less awesome than needed. To say the least.

At the start of this year I casted with Ryleh a few akashic records which pointed to me having half of Fomoria's research, same as Ryleh, and twice as much as Vanheim & Lanka. Troops wise, I found that I was a lot behind Lanka, but near equal to Fomoria in troops, so I started building a lot more lancers. Just so you know, the troops screen record the total "size" of all your troops. As caelum, you're size 3, that meant that I had less troops that Fomoria by 33%. Also, I started site searching around that time, actually went to trauma-4 for this, as the records showed a clear lack of gem income. That paid of quick as my gem income skyrocketed. The graphs pointed to Lanka having 3-4k undeads, while I had around 4-500 troops before the Fomoria assault at that time. Territory wise, I was the largest, equal to Lanka, then Fomoria, then Van & Ryleh.

Same year, Fomoria cast well of misery and scared us all. The 20 death gems we thought was part of a tart rush or morrigan rush, two very strong late game strategy that can be done by Fomoria. An alliance was formed. Thing is, well of misery was not a really good idea at that time. It boosted everyone's income, enabling me to double - triple my troops in a few turns, doing the same for Van too. Nearly my troops were taking on Marv, and the 4-500 summoned boars in there killed most of my warriors, leaving me with the militias.

By turn 48, Fomoria's assault was starting, but as I attacked a few turns after Lanka, Fomoria had next to no troops to confront to mine - he sent most of them to fight Lanka. At that time I had con-6 (and started some national summons), alt-7 (fog warrors), evo-7, con-6, I was rushing enchant-7 which turned to be a bad idea (solar brilliance was difficult to use with the summons I had), and thrauma-4 to site search.

Year 5

Well the war against Fomoria lead to the easy capture of 6 more territories up to the throne in silent glen for 2 points. I finally captured the throne in my territory which was 3 points (fogcross, 9). Lanka took a few turns, and some losses, but finally made it through. Vanheim & Ryleh eventually tried to grab a few territory for themselves too. And that's the fall of Fomoria.

We decided with Lanka to start a war at 55, in which I started a throne rush. I sent my main armies to 2 thrones in Lanka's territory (so 2 more points), and finally captured the death throne I spoke of (a lot earlier) above. Which meant I had 8 points soon to be in my control. The last points I could get were in Lanka's territory, near Marv's old capital (but I failed that one to an assault to Vanheim), but this was rather meant as a decoy: the troops I sent there were the cursed hurt & half destroyed remnant of the assault of Marv... with militias. I planned for the 9th throne to be Ryleh's in my starting island. Due to poor planning, I took the Ryleh throne 1 turn later than the others, and Lanka managed to retake the throne (due to me being overconfident in scripting that last battle), just the turn I took the ninths from Ryleh.

Why a throne rush ? Hum. We exchanged at length with the others before decided to ally against Fomoria. Lanka was the most scary to me, but Fomoria didn't exactly communicate with us a lot. That build up mistrust, so he was the first to go. Lanka had litterally stacks of 200 to 900 in each of his territory, I had no way to take on him alone and after that, to try for a throne rush. Thing is that Lanka's territory were in multiple "parts", so to speak, and there was no reduction in troop undead numbers near his cap. The part were he attacked Fomoria from, however, did take some losses. Vanheim, I had no clue, neither him nor Ryleh were a big threat to us.

So, after Fomoria was done, both Van & Ryleh decided to wait until Lanka & I weakened each other to decide what to do. When Lanka started attacking, he sent a few demon raiders, some minor undead troops, and didn't exactly left his cap undefended. My impression was that he was stalling for time while building his research. The first assaults went all right. I did take attrition, 60 of mine for 600 of his undeads. Given the scouted numbers of undeads, I had not enough troops to clean him completely. Within a few turns, he also had fog warriors. So my choice was right. Also, that thwarted any chance of victory by Van & Ryleh. Sorry guys =).

By throne rush, I mean.. I sent ALL my troops. You've got to thank Caelum's amazing mobility for that. But that left my territory was empty or so, which meant that any attack from all 3 others took large parts of my empire. By the time the throne rush failed, I had next to nothing to fight with, a 200 army in the old Ryleh throne and a 400 one sieged by a 1200 force in Lanka, and a 250 strong one sieged by Fomoria's remnant, which amount to about 80 morrigans + mages by the dozen. And half of my territory was gone too. That is half of what I had when I started that war 5 turns ago. Which shows I still lack experience. As Caelum, you're doing something wrong if a throne rush takes more than 3-4 turn: position on forts / throne, capture fortress, claim throne. As shown in the Lanka AAR though, a little misdirection had gone a long way.

On mistake mades, I also I hit contr-8 this year, and wasted a ton of gems on items which, finally, ain't worth the investment - I built a golem with cleansing bell & forbidden light - wasting a lot of astral gems. Shouldn't have. And summoned flame spirit. That was stupid. They're not useful for Caelum, too slow. And I didn't go conj-7-8. Fravashis could have used the big astral boost spells, and possibly halved my losses.


I'm overall very happy with this game. It's my 4th time taking Caelum in a MP game and it shows. I'm overall very happy with the changes that were made since I last took this nation (back in dom3), which basically amount to the new conj-6 & 7 summons, and, the seraphine. What a wonderful unit. It's magnificient. There are still other things I would have tried (harab soul vortex), but the nations that I fought this time countered it hard.
Lanka AAR (winner)
Well, Since this AAR is part of a Caelum guide, I will only provide limited insight on how to play Lanka and focus my comments towards the flow of the game from my perspective, and dealing with those freaking birds.

First a brief overview of Lanka.

Lanka is a medium/low diversity magic nation with great access to Air/Death/Blood and some access to nature magic. It has no native access to fire, water, astral, or earth.

In terms of troops, it has crappy recruit anywhere monkeys and bandar, but mostly it has sacred demons, and undead. This is lanka's first strength. What they lack in magic diversity, they make up for in troop diversity. It is very difficult for an opponent to counter undead hordes pouring across their border AND double blessed demons.

Their second strength is their incredible summonable commanders. The Dakini are excellent as thugs or air mage artillery - this makes your opponent have to counter both. The Mandella is an excellent buffer or SC - again, your opponent has to counter both.

Next, on to the game...
I had a decent, but not incredibly fast early expansion since I went B9W9 (not sure how much i like this bless in retrospect). Year 1 & 2 were peaceful for me, though the second half of year 2... I was really looking for a fight.

By around the end of year 2 Argatha granted my wish. He had just finished researching earthquake and proceeded to attack me seeing all the juicy undead ready to kill. The undead genocide was atrocious. Never the less he couldnt field many undead killing armies, and I eventually overran him and killed his EQ focused army with demon armies.

Towards the end of year 3, Argatha was dead. Marveri was in the throws of death and Caelum was at the front of the power curve (now eating his 2nd nation). Formoria and I were probably number 2, but Formoria had a huge research advantage over everyone AND he put well of misery up quite early. I was worried about a tart rush, or mordigen spam, so we built an alliance to kill him. I was the first aggressor and fought most of his armies spamming rain of stones at me. Again, the undead genocide was atrocious. I dont think that I would have won this one alone vs Formoria - the alliance though swooped in and ate him up once I had damaged most of his armies. Result? I get a tiny bit of land while taking huge casualties. Cealum gets a lot of the formorian land.

The alliance that I had spoke of ended and it was clear that Caelum and I were going to face off. What was not clear was what role vanhiem and ryleh were to play. They said they wanted the #1&2 power to wear each other down, then they would decide how to engage.

Now I knew what to expect with Caelum: Armies of 300 storm immune flying *&#*% sticks supported with fog warriors and lightning spam. Meanwhile, my dakini's or mandeha's cant fly and their troops have 5 shock resistance which is annoying. I thought I could take off fog warriors with bloodletting, but that didnt work. Undead were slaughtered by the hundreds.

He started off, dropping one of these armies on a throne on my border. I had lots of undead in there, but not great mage support. So I cloud trapeze some mages in to help defend the next turn (since he instantly broke my fort and was going to storm, but i unfortunately misclick my mandeha and he goes to the province next door. I think if he had gotten inside, I might have won that battle, instead I lost about 600 undead and a good amount of mage support.

That turn he drops different 300 army on another fort. Crap. These armies are just appearing out of no where and are instantly breaking my forts. Same situation, i have some demons inside along with undead but no mage support. I cloud trapese LOTs of mages in, preparing for the storm. BUT HE DOESNT STORM. He moves next door to my forted throne and leaves one dude in that province. So im stuck in a fort with one dude on the outside, unable to reach him with the army i just created because of one freaking dude.

Also he has landed ANOTHER 300 person army on top of ANOTHER throne. Here I would like to emphasize caelum's amazing troop deployment, being able to drop these 300 person armies just about anywhere is extremely powerful. Your opponent feels like they can never be prepared.

This is the turn that the throne rush was fully revealed - so ryleh and vanhiem enter the fray.

Meanwhile my undead have been pouring across his borders. While caelum sends smaller squads (~50 caelum troops) to occasionally stop the mindless raiders, he suffers heavy attrition and cant hold back the tide. This is very different than his main army which takes very low attrition while killing unlimited undead. Here I will mention that Caelum was not able to employ one of his key strategies against me - raiding. This is because I had lots of undead gaurding my provinces which would have eaten his awe-relying eagle kings alive.

Anyways, back to the main thread. Caelum also landed an army on ryleh's throne and we were under threat of a throne victory in 1-3 turns. Did I mention that vanhiem and ryleh entered the fray? Well vanhiem heroically cloud trapeses 25 thugs on top of the throne that caelum was taking from me, and against the odds kills the 300 troops though taking significant losses himself. Ryleh fights back but is unable to free his throne. Me? I kill the one troop pinning my army inside my fort. Wooooo!

Oh, and I send some mages to help support the 400 undead in the throne fort he is storming this turn, i dint think it would hold, so I shouldn't have sent the mages, but I was desperate & worried about a throne victory. The mages died. This brings me to another point about caelum. When your opponent realizes that you are bringing the fight to them, it is very difficult to prepare and sometimes you force them to do desperate things. When you do desperate things, mages die :)

I also move an undead swarm on top of caelums throne that he had taken from me 2 turns ago. The problem is, I didnt break the fort or cause damage. There were a lot of freaking bird people inside. Don't worry, there are more undead coming. Well actually, thats a lie. I should be worried because throne victory is pending the next two turns.

The next turn: more undead trying to take back the first throne he took from me, im breaking the walls, but I'm not through it. I also move my main army on top of caelum's troops now inside my second throne fort. Also, caelum successfully storms ryleh's throne fort. Throne victory next turn.

Next turn, he wins if he can hold the fort I'm about to storm. This is the turn of reckoning. It comes down to one battle in that damned fort. Its about 300 storm immune spire horn warriors buffed with fog warriors and lightning spam vs me 450 undead and 70 demons. (Not a huge army, but remember... this was all i had on that side of the map and he only revealed that army 3 turns ago and now I'm counter storming... my other big army was trundling up towards his capital and would have never made it in time.) This time i can drop fog warriors too. I also lay down mass protection and would have mass regeneration, BUT... Caelum lays down 2 rains of stones and 1 earthquake, killing most of my chaff. Some survive thanks to mass protection. This kills my nature mage who was well kitted with path boosters and had 20+ hp and it kills all my blood slaves, so forget doing anymore cool stuff with them :(. That said it also kills many of his mages and troops since he didnt have fog warriors up yet prior to dropping all of it. That said, he had to drop it early since i was putting fog warriors up too. Anyways, what followed was my demons engaged killing a few more troops, which triggered an HP route and THE DAY WAS SAVED.

Now, did i mention that I had an army going for his cap? And that the undead are rampaging across the countryside? The game isn't formally over, but I'll probably end up winning now. Hoorah to the alliance for stopping the throne rush!
Agartha AAR
The agartha player, Astarwulf, has a channel on which he records his games.

The channel:

This game playlist:

My computer failed completely and I had to change OS's so there are sadly missing turns in this series.

I'm not much of a writer so i'll keep things fairly short. If you watch my videos look at horrifyingthoughts comments as they are generally better advice than my play and I will take them into account the next time I play agartha.

Agartha Overview.
Incredibly slow worm-men who are terrible at fighting even with a bless.
Psychic worm-men who I should have been using the entire time.
Great mages as E2 is one of the best paths in my opinion.
Great early conjuration summons for faux-fire and earth elementals which I should have been using the entire game.

Early Game
I got a halfway decent expansion using my e9 bless with the terrible worm-men to allow them to fight indies occasionally.
Terrible mistakes made
1)Didn't use mindblasters or start stockpiling them.
2)Went evocation for earthquake instead of conjuration and focusing on the summons to get me through the early game.

Mid Game
Attacked Lanka and then got counterattacked by Caelum due to some terrible diplomacy on my part and Caelum knowing a good target when they see it.
Terrible Mistakes
1)Diplomatic ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ abound
2)I could have just used mindblasters on every single giant undead stack that attacked me from lanka to make them dissolve. That was really terrible.
3)My troops are truly awful and I should have been using the national fire and earth elementals.

Late game
Dead, didn't make it this far.

Use Agartha's national summons they are great and it lets you tech to elementals anyways which your Oracles can all at least spam the earth type.

E2 the most versatile path.
Alt 4 destruction-Removes the armor from a block of units with fair precision(warning it will remove your units armor too if it overlaps them)
evo 4 blade wind-Absolutely destroys units without armor.
alt 3 earth meld- Drops the defenses of hit units dramatically allowing even your worst troops to slaughter those w9 calvary.
conjuration 3 Earth Power-Buffs all of your other earth spells and unlocks e3. Also gives reinvigoration.
Conjuration 5 Earth elementals-size 6 highish prot tramplers. Unroutable.

There are other spells as well but the first 4 really make a lot of my game plans on any nation that has access to e2 mages.
Vanheim AAR

Nation Overveiw:

Vanheim is the land of the Vanir, ancient enemies of the Jotun (Giants) based heavily on norse mythology. Almost all of your national recruits have Glamour, meaning that they have good stealth and in battle start with a single use 'Mirror Image' equivalent. Let me emphasize this point. All but ONE of your commanders and TWO of your troop choices have Stealth - and 15 points higher than normal [65] (25 points for your scout [75]) than normal. Additionally, your three troop commanders all have sailing. That means where you shine is RAIDERS, RAIDERS, RAIDERS.

This g ame I started out in a very advatageous position, and expanded extremely well using Vanheres (These guys are AMAZING). With great stats, Glamour, Two weapons and Berserk +5, these vie for my favorite national sacred. As few as five-ten of then can barrel through almost any indies, even without a good bless. With a W9 or E9 bless (Or both) they're unstoppable.

I made a NAP with both Fomoria and Agartha early on, and
EA R'lyeh and the Passive-Aggressive Way of Handling Garbage

EA R'lyeh is a nation based on the Aboleths from the stereotypical dorky 70's game, Dungeons and Dragons, which in turn was based off of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu. They are three-eyed aquatic fish-like eel behemoths that can enslave lesser beings with the power of their mind alone; where they hail nobody really knows, well in Dominions lore anyways. What we do know is that they are ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ out by sea trees with writhing tentacles, and terribly annoying wails when slayed. So basically we do know, what I should have really said is no one knows which ♥♥♥♥♥♥ up Pantokrator decided to make these things, or if they came from the stars like the Japanese buffet runaways.

Anyways, onto the point. They have expanded so much that they have enslaved populaces of Tritons, Mermen, Atlantian's, and human-Aboleth hybrids. All of them are garbage except for the Atlantian's, and the somewhat expensive hybrids which are coastal only. The whole theme of R'lyeh throughout the ages is spam trash, and more trash with a hint of mindblasters, plus a ton of astral mages; although it must be stated that the late age version relies more on dominion spawned trash, so maybe implement that to EA so I don't have to waste gold on trash. Again I must stress, IT IS ALL TRASH! Trying to fight Mictlan with an army of lobo guards is like throwing a child into a gorilla cage (RIP Harambe).

Pretender Build

Okay I am going to jump to it, because I know when I read a guide, the first thing I want to see is how the author builds his god. Now in the Can'tWeJustBeFriends game, I tried to shoot for a pretender with a similar build to a throwback game where I had subbed in for R'lyeh; the player used the ghost chassis and made a remarkable rainbow that allowed me to cast 3 different globals, and make many bountiful lvl 8 items (disease grinder, trident that auto-casts friendly currents, etc etc). In the CWJBF game my god was way off, and it ended up being a huge mistake as I could not even get one global off. Personally I like R'lyeh with a rainbow god, which is the reason why this is called the passive-aggressive way of handling garbage. Now I do not condone this, I enjoy challenges in MP games, and I also enjoy the slow approach with UW nations. You may do better with a SC out the gate to help secure land provinces for quick fort spam for juicy mindblasters, but it's high risk as nobody enjoys UW nations on their dry border, plus I really think the globals are really worth it lategame as nobody can really reliably touch you or even want to for that matter. Like really, would you want to touch a slimy fish eel that slipped out of a sea tree's butt?

You can either go with an Arch mage or Ghost King, whichever rainbow you think is better, however Archmage is very cheap and can also grant good scales, whereas you might have to trash your scales a little bit for the Ghost king. Try to shoot for O3P0/S3C3G3, magic could be really good as all your mages are expensive and most of them will be used to crusade against the landlubbers, or whatever poor fool that faces you under water, but I wouldn't sacrifice or gold producing scales for it honestly, maybe god chassis magic.

I'm not going to give specifics on what you should put honestly, you should be able to strategize and think what will benefit you long term; I know it's a little ironic how I opened up this section speaking as if I was going to get into detail, but yeah this nation doesn't need much detail, you can already tell what kind of $h1tstorm you're getting yourself into when you look at their roster. I will however recommend putting air on any god you get, it is REQUIRED. I got super lucky, and conquered a throne that gave me an air mage which I ended up empowering in water to boost Amulet of Fish production. Try to shoot for making Elemental staffs (either A4E4 or F4W4) or at least being able to cast a couple of globals, and you should be good.


I'm not even going to bother listing most of the other troops, just the ones you will really be using.

Lobo Guard - At the cost of 5 gold and 1 resource, they are purely chaff and the mainstray of your forces. Use as magic, and arrow fodder.
Slave Troopers - Use the Atlantians, I personally never use them but if you need a cheap extra punch they could serve their purpose as long as you have good arrow fodder to protect them. There is a Mermen variety with a net, I never use it but it could prove useful because of the net, but then again we have indie Ichytids for that.
Slave Guardians - Don't bother with the other races, just use the Atlantians. Arrows will tear them up, use unhelmed ones uw and helmed ones on land.. but they both are trash regardless and have natural armor without the R'lyean crafted bullcrap so I guess it really doesn't matter, just a preference of choice.
Androleth - Now these guys are expensive at a whopping price of 50 gold and 16 resources, but they are worth it! Finally EA R'lyeh has mindblasters on land! Although their downfall is their short lifespans.
Aboleth/Gibodei - both are great for UW expansion, very limited and should never splurge on them.
Polypal - Good spawned chaff mostly for UW defence if you are ever attacked or being sieged.


Scout - Only recruit if you have no money to afford mages (it happens quite a bit, trust me)
Slave Priest - don't recruit a lot of these, maybe 2-3 for temple spam.
Polypal Mother- Never recruit these
Grandmother - Try to recruit one in every UW fort. Okay maybe not that much, but it depends if you have competition beneath the waves. They can preach well and also have S1 so are decent researchers.
Slave Mage - Main battle mages, I tend to kit them with crystal shields for protection spam if you aren't willing to communion.
Slave Prince - I personally would kit them with taskmaster boosting items until they get enough exp to properly lead slaves through morale boost. Once you get Mind Lords up and running with AoF they tend to be obsolete, unless you want to ferry around Ichytids or Merrows, etc.
Aboleth - Good mage with W2S2/RWESD1, AoF required, but I tend to ignore these for Mind Lords and Abodai.
Abodai - Same as Aboleth but instead get W1S2D1H1/RWESD1, I personally prefer these over Aboleth's.
Androdai - Mage counterparts of Androleth, downside is short lifespan (5 years) but upside is you can grant them more magic paths with EA R'lyeh specific spell 'Mind Vessel'. I tend to use these as nether dart spammers if you luck up and get S1D1 combo.
Mind Lord - Finally R'lyehs crop of the cream mage. Downsides, size 6, aquatic (needs AoF), and expensive as DUCK, but for a good reason. They are straight off the bat W3S3/RWESD1/10%RWESD1, could be used as thugs if kitted with regen ring but don't rely on it, you'll probably waste them, they are better off used as battle casters.

Rush construction 4 immediately for AoF if you decided to rush for land provinces, then conjuration 5 for Voice of Tiamat for quick and easy way to get rich in gems. After that it's pretty much shoot for whatever you feel is best for the current situation you are in.


Yeah, if you are disappointed in the effort put into this guide, then you probably shouldn't mess with R'lyeh. It really takes a skilled player to use them right, and there definitely is no right way to using them. Even with the recent patch giving them certain boosts, it is still highly improbable that you will win a game with them, I mostly play them to observe how games go without getting rushed earlygame, and surprising people with the fact that I have conquered them with the "worst nation" in Dominions 4. However it is not impossible maybe :)

I believe everyone should at least try them out once if they have managed to win a game, remember they are a race better suited for lategame because of their turtling nature to the sea.

Thanks all for reading that far. Or just scrolling to the bottom =).

Once again, we welcome advice, ideas, things that could be done better, typo corrections.

We just hope that this guide will be useful for other players and just plainly helps other having fun with Dominions 4.
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:57am 
With E1 seeking everywhere it should not be hard to scrap 30 gems for empower to Earth. Also it is possible to have lucky random on Eagle King or to find E2 independents. And there is option of trade, if there was ill luck with all other options.

In a few games I used RoS opponent quickly became hesitant to proceed forward. It is quite morale-pressing trick.

Teleporting is way too complex trick, I had not to mention it. Normally RoS is used defensively. Mage doesn't die and Earth Boots are not lost - why should he die? but flies away. Use platemail to raise their chances to survive. Normally Lanka doesn't use flying demons and even if they have a few, these will be busy attacking remains of PD and not backward mage.

Harabs can be A2 - it is the same as Aria mages. A1E1 - these are RoS casters. And D2 - skelespammers and Wind of Death casters. There are no reasons not to have tons of them in middle game.
kasnavada  [author] Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:42am 
Ummm Harab Seraph is "a 1/3 chance" of having earth" and requires Earth boots, which you can't produce. and will lose because they'll die. When teleporting offensively you don't have the initiative so any rushing flying demon means you don't start your spell. It MAYBE could have worked once. It did work in this game, because first I casted fog warriors then multiple RoS.

In any case, you cannot afford to lose earth boots (and I was particularly earth starved this game).And in any case you'll have a dozen harab at end game with the required paths.

It's probably more than worth against other nations. Not lanka :-(
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:38am 
Can see your point. Definitely Lanka is ultimately hard to resist in late game.

Oh well, don't want it to turn into long argument.
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:29am 
EA Caelum has Harab Seraphs, 115 gold one, recruit everywhere. A1E1D1 wearing Earth Boots casts RoS. A1D2 wielding Skull Staff casts Wind Of Death.

It isn't suicide, RoS is 100 fatigue, mage flies back next round or two if they survive the spell (platemail, antimagic amulet).

Wasting absurd amount of Air gems is nice if it is protection of the decisive fort in decisive turn.
kasnavada  [author] Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:24am 
I planned to help Lanka against Aghartha, but I could not - when I could attack I took about 10% of his territory. Lanka CRUSHED him. Fomoria, told above, had he communicated, I'd have likely grouped with him to kill Lanka. But, he didn't. Better the enemy you know than the enemy you don't.

"great vs lanka"
Hummm no, it's EA Caelum here. There is no wind of death, no EZ RoS casters - only the Eagle kings have the path and they need boosters. My best weapon against Lanka's army were Seraphines. They're great, easy to mass.

You just cannot suicide an Eagle King to kill one army. It's not worth it.

"Air elemental" requires absurd amounts of gems to kill only one army.

"I couldn't beat Lanka alone", means that there was 5 times my numbers in undeads to kill. My late game armies were 1500 troops in about 4 doomstacks + a few raiders + reinforcements on the way. Anything that doesn't cost less than 10 gems / 300 undeads ain't worth thinking abou
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:20am 
another idea: p

protecting a fort it is possible to cloud trapeze there ton of mages spamming Summon Air Elemental (if it is in range of 5 provinces from mages available). Ideally wearing pre-forged platemails to survive RoS. Many Air Elementals are good at slowing enemy or ideally destroying it.
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:11am 
Caelum has cheap flying RoS casters. It is great vs Lankian skeleton armies. Theoretically they can RoS in magic phase (Eagle Kings cloud trapezing) and then arrive with main army in normal phase to finish survivors. It won't make chances equal, an idea to perform. Also Caelum has cheap casters able to cast Wind of Death - decent against human armies and mages (checked) and maybe against demons as well (not checked).
olli Nov 1, 2017 @ 5:11am 
Erm, you helped Lanka against Agartha, right? And then helped Lanka against Fomoria. Even if this "help" was mostly "wait till Lanka wins the war, then grab 80% of loser territory for free" - still it was assistance and creation of enemy that will be hard to be dealt with in future. Both Agartha and Fomoria are strong nations too, but not to Lanka's extent. Would you unite with any of them Lanka would be crushed. Or maybe you'd better to stay uninvolved, but watch the war making sure it lasts the longest time possible weakening both competitors.

You performed great, no arguing here. This tactics with horn warriors you described is new for me and probably for other readers too. It is normally Xibalbian way of play, nice to see Caelum can do it too. My remarks are not to decrease the guide value, but to add more ideas for Caelum play and your game.
kasnavada  [author] Oct 27, 2017 @ 10:00am 
Anyway, the course of action I took was far from being bad. While I couldn't beat Lanka on ground, I could throne rush. I litterally was 1 turn away from winning. Had my RoS killed his Fog warrior caster and spared a bit more of my casters, I'd have won. After analysing my last turns, I found quite a few movement mistake that cost me a lot. I believe with more experience on the game I'd have executed that manoeuveur better and won.
kasnavada  [author] Oct 27, 2017 @ 10:00am 
That meant that an alliance to destroy Lanka had a large chance of just handing the victory to me. And, if they don't move, they slowly switch the lead to Lanka, but they probably had just tried to force me to move against Lanka so I could weaken him enough to snatch away the victory from both of us.

Another major point was the lack of communication from Fomoria. Had he responded to coms, maybe something could have been done. But as no answers where heard, the safest way to victory was to transform the "leading trio" into a duo. That was the main reason behind the alliance to crush him.