An ancient human kingdom led by Philosophers, Arcoscephale mainly uses heavy infantry, chariots and flying Icarids. The Philosophers are skilled researchers. Oreiads, roaming mountain spirits, and Mystics skilled in Astral and Elemental magic give Arcoscephale great magical versatility. The priestesses of Arcoscephale can heal wounded soldiers.
The kingdom of Arcoscephale is yet to be founded and is a loose collection of city states. Bronze is more common than iron and hoplites have yet to see the dawn of day. Instead, myrmidons and chariots compose the core of the armies. In this time, slaves are commonly used and most free men have plenty of time to spend on fine arts and good living. Philosophers gather in the cities to discuss esoteric truths and engineers manufacture clever contraptions for civil or military use. At the heart of Arcoscephale lies Mount Cephalos, abode of the Awakening God. At the foot of the mountain is a great temple where sacred Pegasus Riders are trained. Icarids, men with mechanical wings, are also used in warfare. The philosophers are better at magical research in a slothful Dominion.
Strategy Overview Edit
The strength of this nation comes from the fact that they have the battle magic power of the Mystic, alongside a tool belt full of possibilities on the strategic map. The mystic brings unrivaled battlemagic variety. There are literally a dozen evocations that at least some mystics can cast. For the most part you will want them to join a communion, and the fact that half of your mystics are communion slaves at any given time means you can change up which ones are the masters to regear your army in the field and counter the enemy after you discover what he's got. Falling Fires, Falling Frost, Magma Eruptions, Acid Rain and Gifts from Heaven are probably the strongest arrows in your quiver.
The other facet of Arco in the early age is your strategic options. Your strongest piece is the Oreiad, which is always compaired to a swiss army knife, because she can do so many things. A top tier heavy thug chasis, she can also sneak/seduce/assassinate and throw down battlefield wide spells from air and nature. You also have very good flying raiders in your Wind riders. 5-6 of them with a wind lord can play havoc behind the enemy's lines, even unblessed. Your Mage engineers can be massaged into giving you a teleporting Rain of Stones caster, with the potential to obliterate an entire army unexpectedly. Astral access and healers means they can make great use of Mind Hunt to shut down enemy raiding. Finally you can summon Golems later on who are a teleporting supercombatant threat.
Expansion can be achieved through blessed wind riders on hold/attack rearmost, and placed in the bottom left corner of the field, chariot archers running around with a dying shape, trampling motherfuckers, or an awake expander, like an earth serpent.
Pretender Designs Edit
Early Age Arco has only four sacred units, three of which are recruitable only from your Capital. Two of these are sacred mages, the Oreaid and the Priestess, which typically want some sort of Earth minor bless for the Reinvigoration (so as to continue casting spells longer), and the other two are sacred flying cavalry, the Wind Rider and the Wind Lord, which also typically wants an Earth minor bless for Reinvig (since flying fatigues units out pretty quick) and maybe also a Water major bless (since more defence is always good, and Quickness is very useful on cavalry, allowing you to close with the enemy faster, get more damage out of your lances, etc.) Fire, Death, and Blood would be pretty situational and gimicky blesses, considering your sacred troop is expensive, doesn't have too much of an issue killing things and isn't easily massable. A Nature bless would be incredibly situational, and really only of use in kitting out golems with shrouds of the battle saint so as to give them regeneration, as all your sacred units are pretty low on hp already, leading to regeneration not being as helpful as you'd hope. A minor air bless would be useful for your sacred mages, but the air shield typically doesnt ever matter, especially since you can get arrow fend with your Air mages. An Astral bless could be interesting, with twist fate lending some extra survivability to pretty much everything, but your sacred mages have pretty good mr already, leading it to be sort of a waste.
The other aspect of a pretender is to provide scales. Arco typically wants Order and Growth for their expensive mages/troops/everything. You can "Scry" on lands with your dominion, so you always want more candles. Luck is always nice, but you can safely go down to misfortune 1 if you're taking full order scales, something i would recommend. High Magic helps out with your research, and Magic 2 reduces MR, which synergizes pretty well with the high mr of some of your units, particularly the Oreaid. Production/Sloth are kind of tricky. On one hand, all of Arco's troops are fairly resource intensive, and Production 1, 2 or even 3 will certainly help out with your expansion, as well as chip in some extra gold. On the other hand, Philosophers get a research bonus in sloth dominions, and one in a sloth3magic3 province is probably one of the most efficient researchers in the game. You really should only go with Sloth if you have an awake expander as a pretender, otherwise you might get hemmed in pretty quick.
Example Pretenders: Edit
THE EXPANDER: Dom6 E6 o3p1h3g3l0m1 Awake Earth Serpent. The minor earth bless gives you the reinvigoration bless for cheap, useful for your sacreds. The Production helps out with shitting out troops, such as your chariot archer and wind riders. After expansion, park him in a lab, and crank out earth boots, dwarven hammers, and earth globals, Philosophers are pretty useless here, though you can instead go sloth1 and magic3 instead of production1 and magic1 to turn them into a research powerhouse, and let your snake expand for you.
THE WINDRIDER BLESS: dom6 w9e4 o3p3g3c3mis1mag0 Imprisoned Titan of the Sea. You get quickness, defence buffs, and reinvig for your wind riders the cheapest this way. The high production ensures you can get as many as you possibly can early on, with growth and order helping to pay for it. Wouldn't bother recruiting any sort of philosopher for this build. Create a Wind Lord first turn, prophetize it, and then send it and a couple of Wind Riders out to expand like a fucking beast. Late game you can use the Titan to cast Vengeful waters and to go under the sea. Can drop Production to 2 for another point of Dominion if you want to make sure you can recruit a shitton of sacreds.
THE SCALES: dom8 w2s6 03p2c1g3l0m3 Imprisoned Oracle. Pure scales. Drop a point into misfortune for p3. Bless isnt super useful, but does give you water boosters/rings. Wouldn't go above dom8, but going to cold 3 gives you w4 and dom9 if you really want a bless/awe/scrying.
Strategy Guides Edit
http://www.desura.com/games/dominions-4-thrones-of-ascensions/forum/thread/ea-arcoscephale-unleash-the-kraken-or-will-the-kraken-be-unleashed-on-you - Zinegata has a thorough guide up on the Desura forums.