Unit run-down Edit
Now, the table above and the inspector at very least don't tell all the abilities (the inspector misses off the wardance abilities), therefore a further explanation of each unit/class of unit and some spell sugestion as well as waffling.
Moderately expensive slow to recruit cap-only mage, lacks nearly any leadership ability, is size 1, but has a shockingly good magic resistance, Master Smith 1, and your only recruitable source of death magic for the national rituals.
Even if you get lucky with Lysagora you'll still want to recruit a bunch of these for the national rituals and sitesearching, as well as any forging their disciples can't handle. Easily can fill the role of combat mage, depending on the randoms has a decent portfolio of spellcasting, but due to their cost and STR nature if you can send a Kabeiros with earthboots to do the job instead do that.
Now, all Daktyls can cast Rain of Stones, and with Earth Boots cast all the earth spells you'd ever want/need, as well as forging W/A/E crosspath items (though if you can use a Kabeiros they're cheaper, both in terms of their bonus and costing half the turns of non-cap and nearly half the price). Earth random is just better at the battlefield earth casting and can cst petrify, air random can do Thunder Strike in a Storm and double can start the Storm, and water random doesn't get much, the improtant ones are:
Death random Daktyls are the most precious ones, they can cast the two starting national summon rituals as well as due to the forge boost make Skull Staves and then make the D3 goodies/cast the D2 rituals. If you get double death then you have been truely blessed. I'd advise against using them much for combat, they're too rare and expensive to skellspam, and the Telkhines or non-national summons (which death daktyls help you access).
Fire random Daktyls are also decent, though if you get a fire/death one immediately forge a Skull of Fire before he dies due to something awful. Can forge Copper Arms which allows for stacking the two normal nature boosters (obviously not on the Daktyl, they don't do nature), if you can get to F3A1 by boosting (out of combat) then you can cast Breath of the Desert to mess with temp scales (Niefelhiem will hate you, but also will die, so eh), F3E3 (boooooots) allows for volcanic erruption (mostly just for 'fuck your pop', though if someone needs their cap having people for rescources due to having a great bless and cap-only sacreds, well.....).
An even more expensive slow to recruit cap-only mage, however they have inspiration +2 and decent leadership (40+80+65) meaning they can take your troops with then, as well as being regular size with the stats you'd expect from a divineish being including awe 6, even more supply bonus and reducing unrest.
I guess you could kit one of these out to heavy thug, but the extra cost compared to the Melias is not worth it, nor is using them to lead your armies compared to the Melias. See the similarity with their brothers the Daktyl? What they can do is cast all the nice nature battle-wide buffs which you limited amount of troops will want to excel, as well as water ones if you have to fight someone else underwater.
Foul vapours jumps out immediately as a spell they can cast, though lategame Telkhines do it by just existing and opponents should have some counter (or just die in droves, that works too). The hero Telkhine sisters beat them for forging water-nature crosspath and non-crosspath, though with N random a Hekateride can cast Mother Oak.
If they get nature or earth (strength of gaia) they can with just gems cast all but two non-crosspath combat spells in nature (and with a combination of those two all but one), so can more easily than Melias fulfill the battlefield wide buff role.
Their water magic is easily with items and/or a random able to cast that slew of spells, such as warriors of niefelheim and frost fend, though persnally asside from those I haven't found a great use for them (probably my fault, check whatever page has water spell explanations).
A pricey (notice a theme?) non-inland fort mage, coming with lesser but still impressive stats tooled more towards combat as well as similar leadership abilities (80+80+45 and inspirational 1). They have the awe of their mothers but only +3, as well as a lesser amount of reduced unrest.
The workhorse of the empire, due to the undead nature of the spectral troops and the cap sacreds being magic beings Melias are the cheapest way to lead them into combat. With gear and a good bless they can make good thugs, built in awe and high stats make up mostly for the humanish health but swarm will eat them.
NE melias have the interesting option of with gems and a thistle mace, or with a treelords staff, of casting strength of gaia and becoming a decent leveled nature mage, allongside with that if you give them earth boots they can cast summon earthpower (reivigoration is good) lets them be a decent nature battle-mage or cast the battlefield nature buffs (treelords staff + earthboots and 4 gems lets you cast blessings of gaia).
NW melias have mossbody as the easily cast crosspath spell. However foul vapours is not out of reach of a thistle mace, and underwater another W1 mage with human slots can be up to a W4.
NA melias are not covered by this guide for obvious reasons.
Okay, shit joke aside, they're an air mage so with stormpower they can lightning bolt allong with the rest, without boosters can summon sprites in battle (honestly never used the spell so if someone is jumping out of their chair yelling "That's crucial information that makes that crosspaths great!" do tell me) and can cast healing mists with boosters.
Your cheapest mage coming in at 125 gold a pop for two magic pathlevels! Oh don't look at me like that. Coast-fort recruit, human stats, creates unrest and resources while having a forge bonus of 1.
Despite on the surface looking unimpressive, where they shine is the forge bonus they have, which doesn't quite do as well as the Ulmish smiths of legend but are vitally important for a nation that relies on capitalizing on gems to make up for expense and dying population. With hammers they can create such delights as 2 gem owl quills, lightless lanterns, frost brands, knights armours, girdles of might, water bracelets, shambler skins, and dozens of other quite useful items. Forge of the Ancients further enhances their forging ability, which can lead to such deights as looking at your treasury for a solid half an hour wondering what the hell happened to your life/gems.
Now, you may want they to do the traditional mage stuff of throwing magic at enemies until they're dead or throwing good stuff on your troops to help them avoid such a fate:
E2 kabeiros are the most straightforward, earthpower up to E3 and you've got the four standard E3 spells to chuck, if you wnat to put boots on to get to E4 they can with gems do the endgame buffs/attacks of army of X, ground army, earthquake and living earth, though due to getting no non-gem spells it's expensive for just wanting them to cast more blade winds.
EF kabeiros have the magma spells that are the refuge of MA Ulm, bolts without boots and erruption with, this goes well allongside destruction from the E2's or see below, also with a fire gem (or a fire in a jar) they can do pheonix power, though fire spells are usually worse than magma ones for the same situation but with extra gems could summon fire elementals.
EW kabeiros have rust mist if they are given boots (good with magma spells), though underwater they also get to W2 for spamming frozen heart or water strike.
EA kabeiros can do the fairly well reknown rain of stones if you give them boots or a couple of extra gems (One gem for earthpower, two gems for RoS), though they can also with storm power chuck lightning bolts.
Sacred units Edit
All three of the sacreds have the same extra ability, that when blessed they go berserk! A boon above the berserkers of other nations is that they don't need to be hurt before they get this boost but on the other side they will immediately disregard any orders in favour of attempting to kill the closest enemy which is great when facing assassins, as you can put five on guard commander to each mage in the force. For the spectral and alive Kouretes they get berserk 3 whilst the human Korbants only get berserk 1.
These cap-only sacreds have a deceptive statline, the 13 attack 17 defense becomes 16 attack 14 defense due to berserk. Also they're poor amphibians, adding to their encumbrance problems whilst underwater. The good side is aside from that their statline is all above average, above average protection, magic resistance, strength, and so on. The encumbrance and single attack seem to be their main issues, favouring earth minor or greater, and water major or holding out till you can get quickness cast reliably on them before they run off. I've yet to see anyone use spells to take advantage of the fact they're magic beings, but do bear that in mind.
Spectral Kourete Edit
Losing the shackles of their earthly bodies in the disaster, they also lost their encumbrance, and for some reason their clothes. Being ethereal and undead is a double edged sword, early it makes them hard to deal with but later it allows a nasty selection of magic to target them, though their 15 MR helps mitigate that. Again with the single attack which now is even MR negates to compound the issue, and getting some protection from earth major could help, though a high astral bless is a potential to deal with a portion of the spellcasting targeting them but thing like witherbones ignore MR.
They really really want to be Kouretes, but they're not. Aside from the slightly increased protection due to wearing iron they are in every way slightly inferior to their role-models, aside from sharing the same encumbrance. Do note that when you're moving these poor fellows about they require air to breathe and their stuff rusts underwater. Still, a good statline and sacred make them fairly good units.
Therodian Non-sacred Humans Edit
A small bunch of mundane soldiers and commanders you can recruit in coast forts, equiped in iron for the heaviest. Generally unremarkable specimens and with a tight budget can easily be ignored.
Though the hoplites are technically an era ahead of their time, akin to the Ulmish Pikeneers but with shields, I personally haven't had a wealth of rescources in any game I've played as Theredos that I could recruit these as well as a full compliment of korbants. The other two are copies of units of the era that see little use.
Ephors are ghosts priests, summoning the spectral forces of Therodos at a mighty 1 spectral unit per turn. If you're impressed, then you're not me, but in a pinch they are better than not having more troops. I have also realised they paralyse, which is something I guess, even with that and being sacred until I see one as a combatant that does something they're just things to sit in forts to me.
Spectral Philosophers Edit
Literally just able to research, their base research of 10 doesn't look that impressive, but they have the same philosopher ability as their living compatriot in far away Arcoscephale, each point of sloth adds 2 to their research per turn. With sloth 3 magic 2 they are as good as a skull mentor that researches by itself, has two slots for other boosters, needs no research and costs 2 death gems less. See why I mentioned owl quills and lightless lanterns when talking about forging earlier? Also, by the end of the game they will start to be eaten by horrors due to the lightless lanterns, so they don't get to live under your new rule or anything.
Spectral troops Edit
This probably should be entitled other spectral troops, as the best unit (the sacred) and the two interesting commanders I've already gone over, but will include things common to all that haven't been mentioned in the other sections.
The archers are, well, exactly like their living versions in their rather bad stats. However, the hoplites and peltasts are reat improvements on the alive ones, no longer being encumbered by armour they end up with a respectable statline (10/13 for peltasts and 11/13 for hoplites). Also the morale check for repelling happens before the check to see if the weapon just is too ethereal to hurt.
The commanders can lead 80 undead and 40 living troops, I haven't tried taking advantage of the fact that if you give them a weapon it's not Mr-negates, mostly because I've had them busy every turn ferrying or patrolling (Kabeiros do give +0.5 unrest, so when you have 100 in your cap...)
All of them suffer from MR Negates on their weapons, as well as apparently losing their clothes when they died. Great for expansion or fighting those who haven't relisted to spam banishment, but against a hard opponent they tend to falter. However, in sieges, they waltz through the walls which helps stop the chokepoint being so much of a problem.
Mages beyond parallel, full slots in human form but lose 1 air and water compared to the flippered form. Also causes death akin to a demon of pestilence of bane venom charm where they are as well automatically having the foul vapors battlefeild enchantment in any battle they enter. Also has sailing and good leadership if you want to take an army with them.
Being at conjuration 8 they are fairly late game, but have the greatest combined magic power of anything in the game (please correct me if you find something with more). Equip them like the gods they are, which I'll leave to you and a good SC guide to decide rather than getting into the tome of items and spells. As combat mages they excell in whatever kind of magic you choose, but are far more expensive than just summoning a mage that does that one field very well.
Therodos has three heros, two Telkhines and an exceptional Melia. Their stats are pretty much the same to their chassis normal except as noted. Dexithea is noteworthy for her ability to cast divine blessing, and Lysagora for her death magic.
Note, worthy heros 5.5 nerfs the Telkhines because obviously Therodos is far too strong a nation?
|Name/chassis||Special abilities||Magic paths||Mugshot|
|Axiocersa (Melia)||Awe +4, Sailling size 2, extra leadership and unrest reduction.||W2N3H2|
|Dexithea (Telkhine)||Lesser fear but no Malediction or reaper. Healer 2.||A5W4E3N3H3|
|Lysagora (Telkhine)||No Malediction or reaper. Healer 1.||A4W4E3D2N2H2|
Pretender design Edit
There are more than a few conflicting issues whilst designing a pretender for Therodos, I am yet to ascertain whether all the conflicting choices can work as the AI crumples like wet tissue paper too readily to see the long-run implications of each, but I have been trying in various PBeMs to do different approaches.
The popkill, it's 1% of your population per turn per candle. In effect growth 3 is worth 0.6 of a candle reduction in loss and death 3 is a 0.6 of a candle gain. For 240 design point swing it does very little, I'm not sure now why I thought this was a meaningfull choice. The supply stuff is not noteworthy, good nature mages + small amount of troops + good crafting = what problem?
Dominion scales, do you want to spread your "toxic" dominion or do you want to lose out on the freespawn that makes up the bulk aspect of your forces and any scale benifits? With no heretics available, it's going to be one hell of a juggling act to keep your dominion off enough of your stuff whilst also not being overun by others dominion which only gives you the negative aspect of their scales. Your sacreds are the only decent recruitable troops, which are capped by your dom score (as you have rescource producing mages) and gold, so low dom and high dom help/hinder in different ways. There will be a fuller look at how much money wise you could gain from not spreading your dominion here at some point, but I need to spend at least a dozen hours on it to produce something accurate so don't expect it to be soon.
Sloth vs Production is another issue, your troops are resource heavy but your spectral philosopher researchers are only as good as the lack of work that surrounds them. In general I feel that the spectral philosophers are a great tool and should be used as fully as possible, however less sloth allows more sacreds without as much Kaiberos juggling/recruiting. I wouldn't go production, unless you aren't going to use philosophers and do want to use their human troops, to which I say good luck and tell me how it goes (but I fear it shall go badly).
Magic scales are nice for the research boost, everything that matters has good or excellent MR anyway, and it makes spectrals slightly more likely to hit something. Drain hinders the great research which is one of the nations few strongpoints, though you could argue for the philosophers with sloth 3 they don't get affected much, but the poor Kabeiros are SOL.
The classic popkill combination of turmoil and luck works well to supply the nation money and gems, especially alongside magic. With how fast the population drops due to dominion, if you're spreading it everywhere you might as well get SOMETHING asside from the sites in all those territories.
Temperature scales wise, it's pretty much standard, underwater only goes 1 scale max or nowhere for deep sea, and popkill means the chance in income/supply is laughable, more points for the points god.
This is mostly a rehash of what is mentioned in the unit sacreds section.
Earth helps mitigate the encumbrance of the sacreds and mages, so is pretty much a no-brainer, the major bless also helps the nude spectral sacreds but that's not quite as important.
Water raises the defense of the sacreds back up to awesome from the drop due to berserking, and the major bless would help the number of attacks problem.
Nature would bulk out their otherwise mediocre health, the regeneration seems pretty good after testing it more, the high protection and alongside water and earth bless high defense means they get lots of chip damage, regenerating 3 a turn mitigates that.
Death would also bulk the health, sort of. The death weapons would add another layer of damage to attacks that connect, helping the low number of attacks issue. Personally I prefer waters solution but having taken over a game where someone went with 10 death on their pretender it seems not as bad as I feared.
Fire, now can you say overkill? Though it depends how many of the puny attack 12 human sacreds you will use as boosting their attack would allow them to hit, well, elves mostly. Fire weapons act similarly to death weapons, but the minor bless helps make sure more of the attacks land.
Astral improves the already great MR of the sacreds and mages, a chorus of overkill please. Twist fate gives some more survivability but does nothing to the major issues.
Air, I guess the mages might be helped by some extra precission if you're going with masses of Kabeiroses throwing earth spells and so such. Air shield is nice but they already have regular shields. The Kabeiros and Daktyl mages may like the survivability and precison, maybe?
Blood, now we're just looking at the bless here but the issue of it being a completely dead path for the side must be mentioned. The strength increase makes the hits harder, helping slightly with the issue of one-attack. Blood vengeance is always nice, especially when you have non-cap sacreds, but I don't feel it specifically meshes with Therodos at all.
Chassis and role on the ground Edit
The only Therodos specific point in terms of paths of magic on the pretender, aside from blood not working, is that to summon Telkhines you need water 5 air 2, which you can get from heros, mages with good randoms and forging.
Early expansion is not a problem, the starting party can kill 80% of undersea indies whilst taking one or two casualties, but claiming a ridiculous empire early on whilst land nations can't elliminate you (and therefore are less likely to attack you) could be a good idea. However early access to death is a good boon, and should be considered.
The 250 points for imprisoning are very tempting, and in general I would er towards them, especially as you're "safe" underwater, but I generally like heavy blesses for the sacreds.
The selection of Gods is.... Underwhelming. The Telkhine god is very expensive and kills population plus diseases units potentially. The array of high dominion chassis with high magic are good for blesses, though the ever popular earth serpent lurks with a good minor bless path for the unit sacreds (earth minor is always good for mages) if you want an awake pretender to eat stuff. Full slot pretenders to take advantage of the forging is possible, but you have a wide choice of SC and thug chassis from summoning due to path variance. The above also goes for rainbows, the only path you might want is astral.
An example Chassis Edit
Imprisoned dom 10 Monument, T3S3(H/C)3D3L3M2, W9E9D4A2
Embracing the death that will inevitably come, and making the sacreds into blenders. Once it awakes, it can forge, research or cast rituals, if forge of the ancients is available and can't be done by a lucky Daktyl then it's a gimme. Choose heat or cold depending on the map and other players who've joined, which is slightly dickish but eh, they don't have a curse of the previous Pantokrator on them do they? (Apologies to Formia who do)
Notable spells/items/summons Edit
Now, though Telkhines can do everything, it's better if they don't as they're very expensive. Also, the lack of H3 and communions makes blessing your hordes of sacreds harder and if you've sunk points into the bless you want they all blessed ASAP (also the blessed ones run off ahead of the others). Also you lack troop numbers, this can be fixed.
Summon Bishop Fish (W3 Conj 6) Edit
Here's your H3, slap a shambler skin suit on it to get it out of the water. Also good for throne claiming.
Stream from Hades (W4D1 Conj 6) Edit
You'll need a Telkhine to cast it, but Lysagora can do it as well. Gives a W3D3 which can be used for water buffs then support via death spells, or can get you to lichcraft for the high-level death battle-spells or artifacts.
Faerie Court (N5 Conj 8) Edit
Yes, all sides like this, but it takes a telkhine off of fog warriors/mass flight duty. Also can't be sniped by opposition due to the rest of your army being magic beings. Can do nature battle-spells too.
Claymen (W1E1 Ench 3) Edit
WE is everywhere in Therodos (god damn these acronyms), these delightful lifeless things can take buffs fairly well and don't complain about being fodder.
Terracotta army (F1E1 Ench 4) Edit
More lifeless troops that respond well to a plethora of buffs and an excess of gems.
Siege Golem (E3 Const 9) Edit
One solution to "I haven't enough troops to siege for shit".
This is just particular rituals that perform particularly well for Thed, don't take this as all the rituals you'll ever need.
Crumble (E5 Alt 6) Edit
Solution two to "I haven't enough troops to siege for shit".
Cloud Trapeze (A2 Ench 4) Edit
I know, it's great whichever side you are, but I just want to point out specifically that Telkhines can use it.
Breath of the Desert (F3A1 Alt 4)/Wolven winter (W3 Alt4) Edit
You can pretty easily change the temp of provinces where there will be battle with these, though it's only usefull for the turn after's battles. Also, if you use it on a fort you're sieging you get the event, so they might not notice that the Smoldercone is frozen or the Lands of Eternal frost are now the other kind of desert.
Yes, everyone wants globals, see the section before, but add also that these ones Thed can cast which others may have difficulty to (or maybe not).
Forge of the Ancients (E7 Const 7) Edit
You have lots of gems, and lots of research. This turns it into lots of items and artifacts.
Okay, maybe it is just one global for now, but...
You can assume boosters are good, right?
Draupnir (E5 Const 8) Edit
Ha ha ha, I have income again! Serriously, you need to aim not to be able to forge it in terms of paths and income is your biggest problem.
Sword of Injustice (D4 Const 8) Edit
Okay, I said assume all boosters are good so why'd I put this one in? Even though protection of the sepulcher is the poor mans antimagic for undead, and you will get army of lead, it's earlier by far. Also allows a Hekaretide to cast divine blessing.
Shambler Skin Suit (W1 Const 2) Edit
With a hammer on a Kabeiros it costs 2 gems to be able to move one and its 5 rescources (2.55 with sloth 3) to your cap to get more delicious cap sacreds and keep them very very safe. Also puts UW stuff on land (Bishop fish).
Owl quill (A1 Const 2)/Lightless Lantern (F1 Const 6) Edit
Again, always good, but Thed has pure researchers with two misc slots and forge bonuses.
Ring of Levitation (A1 Const 2) Edit
See, all your ghosts float, so this allows your Daktyls to join them and spam earthquake.
Now, your expansion party is pretty awesome. Ten spectral hoplites and ten spectral peltasts led by a Melia, ethereal units with decent stats vs underwater indies. Now, there are a couple of types that will give you pause, as always shark tribe tritons make an appearance, as well as triton knights. More interestingly if you encounter anything with a priest then banishment will rip you a new.......
Expanding onto land is trickier, and advised to do with cap sacreds which you should be recruiting always. If your bless is good then they will rip anything to pieces. Mind out for elephants, if they get lucky then they will eat all your sacreds.
Underwater non-cap forts can recruit exactly one non-indie thing, and that is Melias, so don't build them.
Try to get a coast fort as soon as possible, if you've gone death then putting it adjacent to your cap is a no-brainer, if you want to potentially have less hassle from your dominion as life you could put it further away. Anyway it can then churn out kabeiros to research/forge, I'd even suggest making them make shambler skin suits to ship them to your cap up till there is enough resources to build as many cap-sacreds per turn as possible.
Unless you've got an awake death pretender, you want to be churning out Daktyls till you get at least two with death, to both find death sites and to cast the rituals. If you're life with productivity this is less important, unless you like ephors more than I do, but will allow death forging for the likes of horror helms for Melias.
Early-mid game Edit
Now, I'm not saying you're not going to ever get rushed, but unless there's a really pissed off underwater nation in the same sea as you it's not going to happen.
Your sacreds are pretty good, but the limited numbers make early wars undesirable. Especially if you're death. The main thing to do is capitalize on your greatest asset: gem income. Sitesearch everywhere with both Daktyls and Hekaterides to get all those lovely gems. Focus on construction to get to 7 as soon as possible for forge, or at very least 6 for lightless lanterns.
Setting up forts in every land province adjacent to your cap is a decent idea, especially if you're death as "natural" resources are population dependent and will soon disappear. Being able to move kabeiros to your cap to get the extra resources for the sacreds is vital.
Mid game Edit
Now you should be rolling in gems, and still probably tight for money, at least you now know how Greece feels.
Equiping Melia as thugs helps your smaller armies, frost brands are cheap and alongside their awe plus bless can eat most PD. Adding in a vine shield and horror helm make them one-semi-divine-woman armies, at least till they run into a skellyspammer or mage support.
Large area and army-wide buffs for your sacreds are important, especially for the human ones. Legions of steel and strength of giants go a long way, and with Hekaretides or Melias with equipment spells like army of giants, protection, regeneration, and so on help enormously. Kabeiros can be used as battlemages to make up for no archers, but don't expect miracles.
Late game Edit
Ah ha ha, time for more gem spending.
Due to the rainbow nature of Therodos, pick pretty much any non-blood and non-astral spell or summon and they can get it, sometimes with a little luck or Telkhine intervention. Lavishly embellish your armies with this support (I've had armies which get every battle-field wide buff from their casters easily as Theredos) as being outnumbered in recruitables is always going to happen.
If spectral troops make any impression on battles against mages at this point your opponents are doing something really wrong, the lack of antimagic or special holy spells to buff their MR hurts.