Winning on Ridiculous

By on February 10, 2013 11:17:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

davrovana

Join Date 05/2009
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So I feel like I'm really starting to get good at this game (might just be a feeling), and I can beat the AI on expert most of the time, barring awful starting location. I am now having some trouble with ridiculous (it seems like quite a jump from expert with its HP bonuses!).

So from those who have mastered the game, was just wondering how you reliably win WITHOUT EXPLOITS (Altar hero loop etc). 

 

In the first 100 turns, I find:

-First priority is settling new cities

-Second is building militia or spearman units to reinforce heroes, and explore short-range

-Third is building Unrest reducing improvements

-Fourth is building scouts for longer-range scouting

-Hero leveling isn't listed as a priority, since just clearing out city spots for settling (priority #1) generally takes care of this

 

Building cities is key, but by turn 100 you need a strong economy (production/research/gold output) from the cities you've built to start producing a real army, or the AI will relieve you of your multiple, underdeveloped cities.  

 

As far as after turn 100, I find that if I can keep reasonable pace with the AIs exploding power rating and get masses of archers to march with mid-level heroes, I can usually defend against a superior invading force, allowing me to survive and research into the late game, when my 1-3 high level champions mop the floor with the AI's larger army. 

 

After turn 100, that seems to be when specialization makes the most sense: focusing on massing trained units, leveling my hero faster, or amassing mana-producing resources/buildings. 

 

Anyone find that choosing high production city spots over high essence spots, and following up with mass trained unit production is more effective than using high essence spots to support caster heroes?

 

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February 10, 2013 2:22:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ridiculous is certainly very hard. I find I need some luck as well to make it. I agree with your overall strategy. I would also add one more thing - if you can opportunistically take over some AI cities that are poorly defended, that can help a great deal. The AI can be stupid about protecting their new establishments. It requires some scouting and luck though.

 

How many cities do you think you need before focusing more on development? Also, what faction and sovereign traits do you find are best?

 

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February 10, 2013 2:30:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Prioritize champions/sovereign more. (and don't get too many, you need your champions up fast) Going for archers is too late, you will need to beat AI before that. Use Underdog spears (everything you will fight is higher level) etc. as throwaway units to get leveling going faster. Start building a hero/army combo and start rolling AI's for more research. Prioritize mana and research, use freeze and tremor on AI stacks to buy time.

Once I get good archers etc. the game is won for me. It's the road to it that is hard

Anyone find that choosing high production city spots over high essence spots, and following up with mass trained unit production is more effective than using high essence spots to support caster heroes?

Opposite for me. Pit of Madness and Revelation gives huge benefits from essence, and you get them reasonably early. Enchanted Hammers and Arcane Forge later gives you the production you need anyways, and Propaganda can give you gold for rush buying things. I'd rather have 2+ Essences than high production sites. Also, custom faction with scrying pool owns. 

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February 11, 2013 7:20:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sjaminei-

 

Let me see if I am understanding you. Basically, strong melee troops aren't part of your strategy - you're relying on 2-3 strong champions surrounded by ranged units to make your stacks, with throwaway spearmen being churned out the whole time?

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February 12, 2013 8:35:53 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I usually rely on my first champion and sovereign to tank damage yes. I don't "crank" out spearmen all the time, but I fill my stack with them as needed early on. Also you should get some extra army stuff from quests etc. (sand golems, panca archers++) 

The important thing is to keep clearing stuff for items, so your tanking champion gets high armor and hp. Monk's robe+Wargs helps a lot since dodge reduces damage pretty well and they are low in the tech tree. If you really want to abuse, get the Death speciality thing, so you can blind+infest everything ^^, that's probably your best bet if you are trying Insane.

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February 13, 2013 3:07:11 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

After a couple of weeks playing the game on my spare time, I find the AI (even on 1.29frog) not sufficiently challenging on expert/expert, so I moved to ridiculous/ridiculous.

The key seems to be city spamming (it's fairly easy to outexpand the AI by a factor of 2), beeline for tech which allows to recruit high level heroes, scout agressively to hit all the "old libraries" and hire all of the heroes (the AI is not very competent at either). Don't hesitate to scout deep inside AI territory, that's usually where the best stuff & heroes can be found. Then kill all opposite team unhired heroes. Then put your strongest heroes and familiars in a single army, and take out the AI one at a time (get paid by another AI to go to war each time ). You want to do this fairly quickly , don't bother buiding your own troops (cities are only used to get the tech and cash for the heroes), your heroes should be strong enough to steamroll the AI before it has time to develop uber armies...

Of course the adventurer trait is very useful for this strategy, and finding heroes with the beastmaster trait are almost OP since you can get so many powerful familiars with them (river monsters, cave bears, great wolves...)

This "map is a heroe shopping mall" strategy is easy logic with only basic understanding of game mechanics. Maybe the game should have been playtested a bit more, but at least the coming expansion aims to fix some of this.

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February 14, 2013 6:37:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think your post could be taken as very valueable input for the Devs.

They probably didn't think about a strategy like that and thus couldn't teach the AI to either handle it or incorporate it themselves.

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February 15, 2013 8:17:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well if the hero system is the problem, Legendary Heroes may be the solution.

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February 15, 2013 11:40:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would argue the problem is with the AI's insufficient ability to expand (spam cities, not outposts) and to prioritize heroe recruitment. Furthermore, I somewhat resent the idea of having to chip in some more to get problems fixed...

But the problem is only for players (like me) looking for a challenge, most players probably want an enjoyable ride, which FE does provide.

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February 15, 2013 12:49:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just claimed my first victory in a Ridiculous game this morning.  It took a few games, but I got it.  If you start a game and there aren't any yields near your starting city, just quit and start over, because if you can't expand, you're not going to win.  I did each of the victories (saving before each one, then reloading and not doing it).  Magic and Diplomatic victories are far too easy, and feel like cheating.  The Quest victory was also easy, but the storm dragon probably had a lot to do with that (I understand dragons are supposed to be powerful, but those are ridiculous).  Really, once I had a couple storm dragons, the Domination victory was easy, too, it just took a while.

The trick was to keep trading knowledge with the AI players so they wouldn't declare war on me.  By the time one of them did, I was able to quickly generate a powerful army and started wiping him out.  If anyone had attacked me early game, or even early-mid, it wouldn't have gone well for me.  

Also, nothing has lightning resistance, so those that Lecht Staffs that Enchanters get are pretty friggin awesome.  You've got 100 armor?  Doesn't matter.  My crystal got soaked up making Storm Riders (custom unit using those staffs and wargs), but those guys dominated.  A couple of them with a storm dragon and you can beat anything.  I had some ragtag units for defense, and then I let my main army just pac-man the world.

Not getting attacked until you're ready is the hard part.

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February 15, 2013 7:02:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darxim,

Not getting attacked until you're ready is the hard part.

Well, that is were the difficulty is at Keep the AI away until you are ready.

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February 16, 2013 10:12:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darxim,
I just claimed my first victory in a Ridiculous game this morning.  It took a few games, but I got it.  If you start a game and there aren't any yields near your starting city, just quit and start over, because if you can't expand, you're not going to win.  I did each of the victories (saving before each one, then reloading and not doing it).  Magic and Diplomatic victories are far too easy, and feel like cheating.  The Quest victory was also easy, but the storm dragon probably had a lot to do with that (I understand dragons are supposed to be powerful, but those are ridiculous).  Really, once I had a couple storm dragons, the Domination victory was easy, too, it just took a while.

The trick was to keep trading knowledge with the AI players so they wouldn't declare war on me.  By the time one of them did, I was able to quickly generate a powerful army and started wiping him out.  If anyone had attacked me early game, or even early-mid, it wouldn't have gone well for me.  

Also, nothing has lightning resistance, so those that Lecht Staffs that Enchanters get are pretty friggin awesome.  You've got 100 armor?  Doesn't matter.  My crystal got soaked up making Storm Riders (custom unit using those staffs and wargs), but those guys dominated.  A couple of them with a storm dragon and you can beat anything.  I had some ragtag units for defense, and then I let my main army just pac-man the world.

Not getting attacked until you're ready is the hard part.

Lot's of "cheating" going on in your games I see. Starting over if you get a bad spot, reloading saved games. Why don't you just go inside and mod it so you are "invulnerable"? heh There is no victory in cheating the game or the setup until you get the one you want. So, you really haven't defeated ridiculous you just cheated it to a socalled victory.

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February 16, 2013 11:53:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting willie sanderson,
Lot's of "cheating" going on in your games I see. Starting over if you get a bad spot, reloading saved games. Why don't you just go inside and mod it so you are "invulnerable"? heh There is no victory in cheating the game or the setup until you get the one you want. So, you really haven't defeated ridiculous you just cheated it to a socalled victory.

What is the point of this post except being annoying?

If you read it properly, this post tells paramounts of items of what current issues of balance might be in the game.

~ K

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February 16, 2013 6:00:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Now I get it- willie sanderson is just one of the forum trolls. 

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February 16, 2013 6:21:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Now I get it there are just people who like to cheat and then brag about their accomplishments and then those that love them. Yeah right "I'm" the forum troll hahah look in the mirror.

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February 16, 2013 7:32:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Obviously the reloading of saved games was because the game ends when you win.  Kinda hard to go after a different victory conditions in the same game when the game's over.  

Generally when I lose a game, I start over.  Do you keep staring at the defeat screen?  That game's over at that point.  Move on.  You can start a new one.

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February 16, 2013 7:38:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darxim,
Obviously the reloading of saved games was because the game ends when you win.  Kinda hard to go after a different victory conditions in the same game when the game's over.  

Generally when I lose a game, I start over.  Do you keep staring at the defeat screen?  That game's over at that point.  Move on.  You can start a new one.

I'm more talking about your "RESTARTS" than I am you saving reloading saved games although that is an issue of cheating as well. But, if you are just using the saved games as a "test" feature then that's fair enough. But, your RESTARTS because you got a bad position are not. Anyone can WIN when they set the game to the OPTIMUM SETTING when they start. Try winning from the start you get not from the one you want.

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February 18, 2013 6:10:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Actually, we are the ones that are choosing to spend the time playing a single player game.  If we don't want to spend time winning against all odds and bashing our heads against a brick wall that's fair enough.  Besides, some starts are better than you might think, so it is almost impossible to have an "optimum" start.

I play the game without reloading once I've got a decent start position.  But since we're playing a single player game for our own enjoyment, and a Large map lasts a very long time (think 10+ hours frequently) I think there is nothing wrong with using Ctrl-N a few times to get a decent starting position.  Reloading after a lost battle, or a random artifact that could be a lot better is game-breaking I think, reloading from the start isn't.

You might disagree.  But as it's everyone's personal time to do with what they wish, and they are not playing a multiplayer game, then it's their prerogative to choose a start which provides a decent go at a map.  If they always have to bang their head against a brick wall, it's not fun, and why are they playing the game if they can't have fun?

I think it would be better if the game developers themselves could create a random map generator that doesn't provide any non-decent starts.  Since they can't do that, they have Ctrl-N.

Do you think most people would seriously like playing a game when there is no settleable tile around for miles?  I have got a reasonably significant number of those starts, as well as some quite sub-par starts.  I find the game quite challenging enough even with a decent start on Challenging World Difficulty and Opponents.  I see no need to not do pre-screening - just like job applicants need to fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for a job, a FE map needs to fulfill basic criteria to be eligible for a mostly fun game.  Pretty simple, really.

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February 18, 2013 8:38:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
Reloading after a lost battle, or a random artifact that could be a lot better is game-breaking I think, reloading from the start isn't.

I think the RNG should initalize with the time when you start a game and save that seed into the savegame.

I had only one crash so far, a steam-error. Lost only 1 turn because of that but after reloading and recollecting an item, that I had previously collected, it turned out to be another much worse item.

Not that it would have made that much of a difference but I could imagine that when the Items are randomly generated differently after each reload, that some players might feel incetivised to reaload more often on higher difficulties in an attempt to make those items better.

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February 18, 2013 6:39:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
Actually, we are the ones that are choosing to spend the time playing a single player game.  If we don't want to spend time winning against all odds and bashing our heads against a brick wall that's fair enough.  Besides, some starts are better than you might think, so it is almost impossible to have an "optimum" start.

I play the game without reloading once I've got a decent start position.  But since we're playing a single player game for our own enjoyment, and a Large map lasts a very long time (think 10+ hours frequently) I think there is nothing wrong with using Ctrl-N a few times to get a decent starting position.  Reloading after a lost battle, or a random artifact that could be a lot better is game-breaking I think, reloading from the start isn't.

You might disagree.  But as it's everyone's personal time to do with what they wish, and they are not playing a multiplayer game, then it's their prerogative to choose a start which provides a decent go at a map.  If they always have to bang their head against a brick wall, it's not fun, and why are they playing the game if they can't have fun?

I think it would be better if the game developers themselves could create a random map generator that doesn't provide any non-decent starts.  Since they can't do that, they have Ctrl-N.

Do you think most people would seriously like playing a game when there is no settleable tile around for miles?  I have got a reasonably significant number of those starts, as well as some quite sub-par starts.  I find the game quite challenging enough even with a decent start on Challenging World Difficulty and Opponents.  I see no need to not do pre-screening - just like job applicants need to fulfill certain criteria to be eligible for a job, a FE map needs to fulfill basic criteria to be eligible for a mostly fun game.  Pretty simple, really.

I have no problem with that ^ type of play (if that's how you choose to play your games and don't mind cheating). What I have a problem with is those that use THAT ^ type of play and then come to the forums BRAGGING about how they beat the Ridiculous AI not mentioning they restarted 10 times to get the optimum start in doing so. Now if one wants to say I LOST 9 games before I beat the Ridiculous AI that way then that would be all good as well. But, once again they LEAVE that part out. You see CHEATING the AI and then bragging about a victory "cheapens" the value of that Ridiculous AI. When that person would have probably LOST 9 of 10 games played had they played it out instead of CHEATING.

It's almost the same as those from the CIvilization game series who claimed they beat the highest difficulty only to find out later they played against ONE AI opponent on a very small map and just rushed it 100 times until they won. lol Personally imho you haven't won on RIdiculous until you've beaten MAXIMUM AI opponents all set on Ridiculous. Many don't even know there are two difficulty settings at the start of the game. The first one is for the game world creature difficulty and in the opponent setup screen is the Faction AI difficulty settings. Both of these need to be set to ridiculous and ALL AI opponents on the map.

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February 18, 2013 11:20:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I didn't say that I restarted a bunch of times until I got an optimal setup.  I restarted a bunch of times because I lost the game.  The game was over.  I could've kept playing until my last city was gone, but when a large army is taking over all your cities and your large army was wiped out in the first battle, it's a fair assessment that you're about to lose.  So I started over.  You're making false assumptions about how I play.  My observation was that, if you don't get yields anywhere near your initial starting point, you're not going to be able to expand, and you're not going to be able to win.  That's not to say that I didn't play my games.  It's just that the one I finally won I did get yields nearby and was able to make two more cities in the early game, which was the critical difference between that and my previous games.

So, no, I wasn't doing what you consider to be "cheating".  You've created an entire scenario in your head about what I was doing, and you're running with it.  You even seem to be expanding on your fantasy without any additional input.

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February 18, 2013 11:23:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Also, I didn't come in here "bragging" about my victory.  This topic is called "Winning on Ridiculous".  It's a discussion about winning the game on Ridiculous difficulty.  That's the whole point of the thread, which obviously you've missed.  You may have noticed how I attributed my victory to avoiding getting attacked early on, and then to having gotten storm dragons (really, you only need one of those, because they'll just walk all over your opponents; that I had two was just absurd).

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February 19, 2013 4:03:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darxim,
I just claimed my first victory in a Ridiculous game this morning. It took a few games, but I got it. If you start a game and there aren't any yields near your starting city, just quit and start over, because if you can't expand, you're not going to win.

Your very first words in this thread were "

I just claimed my first victory in a Ridiculous game this morning.  It took a few games, but I got it.  If you start a game and there aren't any yields near your starting city, just quit and start over, because if you can't expand, you're not going to win.  

So don't give me that you didn't come here "bragging" and then your very next line tells others how to WIN, see it up there? "JUST QUIT and START OVER, because you can't expand, you're NOT GOING TO WIN"

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February 19, 2013 7:10:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've already addressed your point.  

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February 19, 2013 9:37:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sjaminei,
Opposite for me. Pit of Madness and Revelation gives huge benefits from essence, and you get them reasonably early. Enchanted Hammers and Arcane Forge later gives you the production you need anyways, and Propaganda can give you gold for rush buying things. I'd rather have 2+ Essences than high production sites. Also, custom faction with scrying pool owns.

Indeed I like high essence spots. Build conclaves and tech for Revelation, which in turn gets you Arcane Forge relatively quickly.

 

In the first 100 turns, I find:

-First priority is settling new cities

-Second is building militia or spearman units to reinforce heroes, and explore short-range

-Third is building Unrest reducing improvements

-Fourth is building scouts for longer-range scouting

-Hero leveling isn't listed as a priority, since just clearing out city spots for settling (priority #1) generally takes care of this

I usually try to max production in all my cities before anything else although sometimes reducing unrest is a big part of that. Also I don't build any militia ever. Instead I use custom upgradeable spearmen I can give leather armor. They stay useful until late game and don't need to be replaced.

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February 19, 2013 10:06:37 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Darxim,
I've already addressed your point.  

Darxim, Ignore Willie, he isn't bringing anything to the discussion.

Quoting DsRaider,
I usually try to max production in all my cities before anything else although sometimes reducing unrest is a big part of that. Also I don't build any militia ever. Instead I use custom upgradeable spearmen I can give leather armor. They stay useful until late game and don't need to be replaced.

Units costs Wages compared to they're Construction Costs, so I use Militia for meatshields and city defense (but only my Spear Militia, those clubs sucks)

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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