General Overview Edit
MA Marignon is a fire nation that center his own power on priests armed with fire magic and groups of fanatic soldiers and late game access to angels. This nation in my opinion is really easy to learn and use, having a restricted magic diversity and a short roster of units.
Strong priests, almost all your commanders are priests.
Access to strong anti undead spells, you will always have priests in your army and Marignon has an unique spell holy pyre.
Strong summons in form of angels, that give you access to air and better sacred magic.
Cheap commanders with multiple uses, friars have three/four different uses, your mages double as priests.
Long Pikes used by main infantry, enough to avoid deaths by swarms.
Crossbows in Middle Ages, only other nation (Ulm) and some indies have access to inferior versions.
Lack of magic diversity (You can solve this with harbinger (Conj 6) and pretender or even seraph(Conj 9)), still all your spells are fire or astral.
Mages/priest (except friar) need a fort, temple and laboratory to be produced, so to have access to your low level mages you will need 1300 gold for the rest 1700 (Temple+lab+fort).
Lack of shields in most units, you will see a lot of death by enemy and friendly fire.
Commander Overview Edit
Scout(25g, 4r) - A regular scout not worthy of wasting turns making him, instead you should focus on making friars (on temple provinces) or mages (forst/lab/temple province), only recruit them as indies in a new conquered province if not make a friar instead for duties.
Assassin (60g, 4r) - Again this unit is not worth losing one turn to make a mage instead, it's not worth making items for them, as a rule of thumb ignore them.
Troubadour (80g, 5r) - You start with one of them and that's it, they are an expensive scout that can seduce female commanders, main problem is there is not enough good female commander to justify using it, again better use a friar.
Paladin (150g, 61r) - Paladins can carry 80 units, having H1 is a good thing main problem is the cost, for 150 gold you can make instead two friars and one initiate (125 gold), three friars (120 gold) bringing the same number of units and a extra commander or an inquisitor (Better priest, mage, lower cost). They are a little big tough to kill than regular priest but that's it.
Friar (40g, 1r) - Finally a good commander, he is not your regular H1 commander, this unit packs a bunch of uses and abilities. First the cost is lower than most priest (50 gold upwards), he is stealthy so he can cover as an spy and then he can preach at the same time (that of course its worth the 15 gold difference from the scout), and finally he can carry 40 troops (most priests/mages are limited to 10-15)
Inquisitor(135g, 1r) - Your strongest priest able to be recruit , he is a mage to with F1H2, he can carry as much troops as the paladin, they have a good patrol bonus, apart from that they are not too good.
High Inquisitor (190g, 1r) - Your H3 commander you will use him maybe to capture thrones and that it, he wasted two turns in your capital and its not needed to bless anything, friars can fulfilt that role (all your good commanders can bless) and you are not going for a big bless anyways. He can lead 120 troops and has F1, again is better to recruit more commanders with that price and turns.
Order of Fiery Justice commanders
Initiate (45g, 1r) - Your low level mages, with F1 they can't make a lot, you canmake them if you don't have a temple in the province, if you make some you can put them to forge fire jars or later lightless lantern and use them for research (lightless lanterns summons horrors after a while so they will die, better them than an expensive mage), for battle they can equip fire jar and cast phoenix power with this they can help to spam fireballs, or cast more fire darts, fire flies on unarmored units.
Witch Hunter (185g, 1r) - This mage can be seen as very expensive at first (actually he is), he brings only F2S1H1, that's so low if we compare to other mages. Point is witch hunter are not only mages, they fullfill three roles, as a mage, as a priest and as a commander leading troops, like I said with the friar most mages are limited to bring 10-15 troops, they van bring 40 so you can easily replace any standard commander with them. To make full use of them you need either fire jars (for small groups or individuals) or communions (thanks to S1), you can get their levels to F3-4(By phoenix power or communion), and use them to cast F3 spells like Fire Elementals (That's why you bring fire jar or gems with you), Falling Fires(more lethal than regular fireballs, better precision but worse range) or F4 spell like Flaming Arrow (An impressive combo with crossbows). For last having them with S1 means your enemy can't mind hunt in your provinces.
Grand Master (370g, 2r) - F3S2H2+100%(FAES)+20%(FAES). Your strongest mage, he brings most of the magic diversity to your army and nation with multiple uses, a F4 Grand Master can lead an army cand cast flaming arrows, or cast living fire if he is alone to kill PD or small-medium armies. S2-3 can help making robes of shadows (Actually all of them). Grand Masters with Air can make Owl Quills to improve research and other items like robe or amulet of missile protection and amulet of breathing. Earth 2(really difficult to get one) can make earth boots to give you more access to earth magic.
Angel of Fury (Conj 7 Heavenly Wrath F1S3, 35 astral gems). This summon its not as good as you can believe, he can be thugged and blessed, still for the cost you get better angels. Either case he can be a menace if you give him regeneration (Bless or items) and some good equipment (Making him ethereal is other good plus). Useful to clear PD and small groups of soldiers (He has a combination of invulnerability that adds protection, blood vengeance that reflects damage and fear that scares enemies).
Harbinger (Conj 6 Contact Harbinger S4, 25 astral gems). A little bit difficult to summon (either you will need to equip your S3 Grand Master to S4 or use your pretender). This angel packs a long distance weapon that does extra damage to undead and it's a mage!. He adds A3 to your magic pool, this gives you access to water breathing items and two good spells, Arrow Fend (Gives all your units air shield so all arrows will do almost nothing) and Wind Guide (Better precision). Excellent support to ruin an opposite army and help yours. Plus he has both Invulnerability (Extra protection) and Awe(Units need to make a morale check before attacking.)
Arch Angel (Conj 7 Angelic Host S5, 50 astral gems). Not as useful as support as Harbinger, but more reliable than Angel of fury (Higher Invulnerability and has Awe), he has F4H3, this means is almost a upgraped version of your regular prophet, use him to raid some provinces or to take control of thrones (A lot of mobility thanks to flying). Thanks to F4+Phoenix power+ Fire jar he can cast almost any fire spell, best uses can be support an army with Flaming Arrows, Fire Elementals, or going by himself and cast Living Fire or Fire Storm. As a plus he comes with 6 Angels of the host that are mini versions of himself.
Seraph (Conj 9 Heavenly Choir S7F2, 114 astral gems). You will say the spell cost a lot until you see that it summons 4 commanders, 3 of them Harbingers (75 gems in them), without considering the little angels (9 of them), that means you get a mage with F4A4S4H4 for 39 gems!! (For most uses that is a pretender+prophet), higher Awe and Invulnerability means that is really difficult to hit this unit and access to a wide variety of spells means buffs, strong evocations, clearly a game changer if able to summon him (Arch Angel+ Harbinger=Seraph). Funny fact, attacking him blinds the attacker.
Unit Overview Edit
Crossbow (10g, 8r) - Your unique missile unit, and all you need in this field, first crossbows are a weapon of late eras, second it pierce through armor. This unit is easy to mass and can destroy a lot of units, two-three volleys are enough to destroy indies. Research Flaming Arrows ASAP to get the best of them.
Pikeneer (10g, 20r) - Your main line of defense, and possible the best of your infantry gold/resource-usefulness ratio in most circumstances. The lack of shields make them pretty easy to be kill by arrows, that can be prevented by vanguards(A group of units placed in front of your army with shields or high protection to stand volleys of arrows or spells). Their main advantage is having a pike that generates "repel", this means any unit with a shorter weapon must make a moral check against them so low morale units struggle to hit them.
Swordman (10g, 23r) - Status pretty similar to your pike infantry, obvious difference is the sword, this units are meant to fight stuff with high hp but low protection, some examples can be elephants.
Halberdier (10g, 22r) - It's a shame one of the coolest weapons of medieval times it's left here as a jack of all master of none, it doesn't have the damage of sword or the repelling of pikes. Use the other two instead.
Men At Arms (14g, 22r) - Remember I said something about a vanguard this is your guy. A shield and better armor make them good enough to be a vanguard, also if you enemy is fielding a lot of proyectiles this is your best choice. As a plus has the ability bodyguard that increase chance of aiding his commander in an assassination attempt.
Flagellant (10g, 4r) - Your basic sacred unit, these guys are meant to be fielded by the hundreds and die by the thousands, they die a lot thanks to low hp, low protection, lack of shield and sometimes really bad afflictions. Use them to boost your ranks or to absorb enemy fire and spells. Don't focus your bless in them unless you are looking for some Kamikaze strategies they are not that worthy.
Royal Guard (45g, 59r) - Royal Guards have a big problem here they are not as good as other riders, resorces to making them are really high for their worth. If you want to give them some use, raid early with them(Knight of chalice is better) or flank with them.
Knight of the Chalice (55g, 56r) - Your worthy sacred, this unit can do everything the Royal Guards can do but better, he can benefit from any bless you give them, I recommend giving them water or nature to increase survival (For units as expensive as this you prefer them to scare units and survive than killing more and dying). Use them as flankers or to raid indies.
Pretender Design Edit
Effect of Scales
Order. You want order to buy your expensive mages and keep recruiting units, order gives you more gold, turmoil reduces it and you don't have any use for it.
Production. Sloth is a really bad idea, you haveo low resource units but if you want to use your main infantry or cavalry you must have production to bring enough cavalry or mass infantry, or even more crossbows.
Heat. You have some preferance for Heat to make units burn, use this scale to get more points.
Growth. Never take death you have old mages, growth gives gold and more life to your old mages, as a side effect you can receive nature gems in events.
Misfortune. Luck gives you some gems (You usually can't use a lot of them unless astral, fire or sometimes nature), also gives you access to heroes that are not that good (Just a paladin with a morale bonus, a F3S2 mounted witch hunter, a priest and a useful F1E2S2?? mage), most of it can be cover with a grand master, if you take order you can get one scale or two of misfortune, never take mistfortune 3.
Magic. You want to improve your research, if posible take some positive scales.
Dominion. How high you can get your dominion?, my recommendation is at least 6 to max 9, it depends what kind of pretender you want to use. Higher levels make good early expansion pretenders (9-10 Gives Awe).
Posible Magic Paths and bless
Marignon has a wide variety of sacred units, two being units (one being easy to produce anywhere), all the useful commanders, and even 5 kinds of summons. The problem that arise is "Which bless I'm going to use?", not all the bless options benefits all your sacreds equally nor have good use for you.
Fire The bless its good, at 4 gives an attack bonus that helps your sacreds to score a hit, at 9 it gives Fire Weapons that adds a magic bonus to all your sacred weapons, Flagellants benefit more from this cause they have 2 attacks per round. You already have many commanders with fire so you can avoid giving fire to your pretender.
Astral You are going to use this magic to summon Angels, the bless its good to increase the survival of all your sacreds except Flagellants.
Water You can take it to get more magic diversity (In my opinion you can't get good use of the spells). Having quickness(W9) it's only good for your knights and Angel of Fury. Meanwhile, bonus to your defense skill is good to make all your sacred avoids some hits both angels and knights.
Nature The best bless in most circumtances, your mages have more hp to survive some hits, flagellants become more durable, angels and knight are even more fearsome. Gift of Health is a good spell to use and preserve your old mages.
Death An small hp bonus, adds magic diversity and that's it, use Nature bless intead or both (D4N9 for example).
Blood Flagellants and Angels benefit mire from this, it gives blood vengeance to reflect some damage, its better to be coupled with nature bless. Blood magic can help you to start using the branch of blood magic and get some summons and demon troops.
Earth Reinvigoration it's the best bless for mages, this gives you more cast per battle before they get tired and extra protection it's another bless (Not as useful except for Flagellants and Knights).
Either he can have E9 or E4+Another magic at level 4. You want him with at least Dominion 9. For scales its up to you which ones you want to get. Use him for early expansion and later for evocations to help your armies or raid PD.
These pretender goal it's to have better scales and being able to cast some good spells or have awesome bless.
He has FSB already so you can use him in those combinations
Statue of War
Statue of Fertility
Titan of Love
Magic Priorities and useful spells Edit
Some useful spells to keep in mind.
Phoenix power (Conj3 F2). Your way of making useful you mages, it adds an extra level of fire magic.
Fire elemental (Conj5 F4, 1 Fire gem). Summons a big Fire Elemental, useful to take some units and even small groups.
Living Fire (Conj7 F4, 2 Fire gems). Summons 4 Fire Elementals, this spell is difficult to defeat with regular units, can beat some armies.
King of Elemental Fire (Conj8 F5, 50 Fire gems ). Summons one of two unique (Only one of each can be in the game) commanders, both have similar status, both being F5 and able to summon minions (fire elementals or magma childs).
All Angel's spells (Heavenly Wrath, Angelic Host, Contact Harbinger and Heavenly Choir)
Wind guide (Alt4 A2, 1 Air gem). Gives better precision to all your units, mix it with flaming arrows to bring fiery demise to your enemy army.
Body Ethereal (Alt4 S1). Makes your commander and some units ethereal (Enemy needs magic weapons or really good luck to hit your unit).
Fire Flies (Evo0 F1). Your first fire spell, is only useful against low protection unit, each fire magic level adds more range to the spell.
Fire Darts (Evo1 F1). An upgraped version of fire flies, each level of fire magic adds more proyectiles and more range, its useful to damage more low armored units per cast than fireball and has good acuracy.
Fireball (Evo3 F2). Your standard fire spell, it does good damage but has a poor precision, you will see this spell hurting your units too if unlucky. One general strategy is to spam this spell to max your chances of hurting your enemy.
Arcane probing (Evo3 S1, 3 Astral gems). Use it instead of site searching to increase your astral gems' income.
Holy Pyre (Evo4)
Falling Flares(Evo5 F3)
Fire Storm (Evo7 F5)
Flame Storm Evo9
Owl Quills (Const 2 A1, 5 Air gems). Use them as soon as posible to get more research you need you grandmaster or pretender to make some.
Mercybrand (Const2 F2, 10 Fire gems). It adds fear and stun damage to the user. Not a big deal but it can be useful fighting hordes of low morale units.
Robe of Missile Protectio (Const2 A1, 15 Air gems). Gives the user missile protection, it's good to avoid your mages to day for a lucky (Unlucky?) arrow.
Fire jar (Const 4 F1, 5 Fire gems). It gives you one fire gem in battle it helps your mage to reduce fatigue from fire spells, or replace a gem per battle (Good examples are Fire Elemental or Flaming Arrows).
Flame Helmet (Const4 F4, 20 Fire gems). Gives +1 level in fire magic, it adds fatigue to the user so its better to get that level for some big spell instead to rely on it for multiple spells like evocations.
Cockerel Scepter (Const4 F2, 10 Fire gems). Useful to blind a powerful unit of the enemy (Thug or SC), just that.
Rings of Regeneration (Const 4 N2, 10 Nature gems). The best item to give to your angels apart from arobe
Flambeau (Const 4 F3, 15 Fire gems). Holy pyre and high damage against undead.
Wand of Wild Fire (Const 4 F3, 15 Fire gems). Gives the user the ability to cast fireballs.
Lightless lantern (Const 6 F1, 5 Fire gems). Gives a better research bonus than owl quills, downside your researcher will be attacked by a horror sooner or later.
Robe of Shadows (Const6 S2, 10 Astral gems). It cast ethereal body on the user .
Fire shield (Ench3 F1). Any unit attacking (Melee) gets attacked by fire.
Flaming arrows (Ench4 F4 1 Fire gem). All proyectiles get the effect of flaming weapons, making them magical attack.
Flame Ward (Ench5 F2). Protects a group of units from fire.
Arrow Fend (Ench6 A3, 4 Air gems). It gives air shield to all units, reducing to 20% the chance of proyectiles to hit targets.
Eternal Pyre (Ench6 F6 80G). Gives you 20 Fire gems per turn.
Gift of Health (Ench7 N6 50 Nature gems). Reduce effect of old age and reduce dying from old ageand cures many afflictions the higher the dominion.
Communion Slave and Communion Master (Both Thau1 S1). Enables you to use communions.
Bonds of Fire (Thau2 F1). Traps an unit, that unit needs to make a moral check to get out of it and suffer fire damage.
Mind burn (Thau2 S2). Long range attack to a sentient unit.
Augury (Thau3 F2, 3 Fire gems). Site search fire sites.
Rage (Thau3 F2). Enrages enemy units (MR negate), they will attack allies and foes and mages affected by it can't cast spells.
Prison of Fire (Thau4 F3). Sames as Bonds of Fire but it affects a group of soldiers.
Purgatory (Thau7 F6, 60 Fire gems). Best Anti-undead spell ever. The higher your dominion the most undead it destroy per month (They need to be inside of your dominion and doesn't affect your own undead).
An in-depth description of any tactics, schemes or tricks to be used during the game, along with an explanation of expansion tactics, battle magic, useful unit formations and general recruitment advice. List any counter to your strategy, and any way to get around those counters.
Getting a pretender with W9 or N9 (Even both), you can send waves of Knights to conquer some provinces.
Usually for your army you want to put some pikeneer as your main infantry to protect your mages and crossbows, your crossbows will make the most kills and you can use your flagellants/men at arms as vanguard to absorb volleys of arrows.
To give a plus to your army send Witch Hunters, they can take advantage of Phoenix Power to cast Fire Elementals (Either as a flanker or as a vanguards to support infantry). Or to use better evocations like Falling Flares.
Flaming arrow army
Grand Master, arch angel, witch hunter communion backing an arrow army.
Angels equipped with Robe of shadow+ Ring of regeneration and other item of your selection
Living Fire or Fire Storm
Recruit Friars non-stop and send them over the world to preach, be aware your good scales will benefit your enemy, use it if you can't seize your enemy last provinces of to expand purgatory (best way to kill MA Ermor, without that many losses).