This is a guide which has been created for the more intermediate
calibre of player. Someone who has an understanding of the rules, has played
in a game or two, and has at least learnt how to form units (a very important
gauge for telling if a player is ready to learn more). I expect that you may
have read Fuzzyman's new player guide, as well as
my own New Players Guide and Magic Faction Guide. This paper should introduce
you to some of the more important tactics and skills you will need to have any
chance against the more experienced players. Assistance has been provided by
Barry Smithers, Anthony Briggs, and with some mentoring by Azthar.
How to create an Empire
This is one of the most asked questions I receive. The best way
to get an empire growing is dependant on many factors. It depends on what type
of Empire you want, who you want to work with, how big you want it. In
addition, the larger the empire, the more time you will have to put into doing
your orders so be sure to consider this before embarking on this path.
The first element to having a large empire is that you need funds,
so you need to be able to tax regions. Especially the more valuable regions
(like settlements). This requires soldiers and armies: to invade, tax and
protect your land. These troops will often need equipment, to realise their
full potential, so you'll need to be able to produce items (which is the second
element). The third element is mages, which can be of vital importance in the
later stages of the game.
The easiest way to meet these criteria is to join an established alliance
and allow them to provide you with land and resources. If that is not an
option, then form one with some players, and divide that work between you. An
alliance will allow you to specialise in one area, say War, which means your
points are used more efficiently. As a pure faction, be it War or Trade or
Magic, you will get more regions/mages, than factions which mix their faction
points. A good alliance needs support from a dedicated Trade faction, at least
one War faction and the aid of at least one Magic faction. A War faction needs
to ensure all allies are protected from attacks, and all allies have the funds
they need. A trade faction will provide the alliance with weapons, armour and
mounts, as well as roads, defensive structures and increasing settlement size through
trade with the settlement as well as building roads in the settlement (they
also provide an income). The Magic faction provides high power units later in
the game that will assist in preventing assassinations and allow you to assault
your enemies easier. Magi can also assist by providing magical items.
The larger the alliance, the harder to control and the harder it
is for the alliance to act. This is a game, so people will quit if they are
unhappy. You will need to keep alliance members happy, so you need to provide
your allies with incentives, as well as give them power over their future and
alliance decisions. Keeping the alliance democratic is the best way to do this,
though it is very slow for making decisions. You need to adapt your alliance
plans to match those of your allies. They are more likely to work with you if
you give them tasks to do which they want to do, and they are more likely to do
things you wish if you provide them an explanation as to why this is important.
In times of war it is sometimes best to go with a kind of dictatorship; an
elected Dictatorship. The elected leader would make decisions on diplomacy and
tactics for the war. This method is not always required.
To run a successful alliance it, one which you are part of
creating, it is important to choose the right allies. For a player with
experience with the game I would recommend allying yourself with players whom
have experience and with who you have experience (even if you were once
enemies, these often provide the best allies, as you learn much and gain
respect for them).
You don't want to choose any players who will waste your time by quitting early, or when the game gets tough. Experience is the best judge of this. Players who will continue on when being beaten are a good choice. You also need to consider any player you allow into your alliance may be a mole from another alliance. This does not happen often, yet it does happen.
Some players feel that "turn 0" alliances are contrary to the game. I feel that this is not accurate. If you know other players and you can ally with them from even before the game starts you are usually already off to a better start then most players.
Trade, War or Magic?
That is the big question, what path should I walk? To start with,
I will discuss the pure paths.
War: This faction is the relatively easy to run, because
it is not especially complicated in the earlier stages. Your only concern is
the creation of armies, the expansion of the faction, and the production of
income. Later in the game, this faction can become very complicated and can
take a lot of time to process the orders. You need to be vigilant for any
possible attacks, and ensure that you have forces ready for deployment. Some
games contain new rules where the amount of level 5 Tacticians a faction can
control is dependant on the War point allocation.
Trade: I think that this is the hardest type of faction to
run. It is the most complicated, takes the most time to set up, any small
error can screw with your whole turn, and it provides the least visible reward.
Trade faction players are a special type of player, they need to be to run this
type of faction. They need to take delight in the micromanagement of all
resources and deliveries, be patient and take pride in their alliances
accomplishments, as well as their own. This faction can
take the longest to write orders for, yet it can be well maintained and
managed with repeated orders. Once set-up, it can be simpler to run. In some
games (those with this feature) the amount of Quartermasters a faction can
control is dependant on the Trade point allocation.
If you don't play a trade faction, yet there is one in your
faction, please be sure to recognise them for their effort and praise their
work. Without them the alliance would not be as powerful as it could be.
Magic: This is the type I recommend to players with little
time to play. Usually people's circumstances change and they may need to quit
the game, using a pure Magic faction they can stay in the game. A pure Magic
faction can write orders in five minutes if they needed to, which can make this
a little boring, at least till the action begins. Magic factions are very
powerful later in the game, so they usually take precedence in an alliance for
gaining silver and other resources. Some games allow Apprentices, the amount which you can control will be dependant on your Magic point allocation.
Mixed types: If you are playing solo, or no one wants to
take the pure faction role, someone will need to mix the points a little. There
is no rule for what to expect from mixing points, it really depends on your
allocation and the game (some games have varied amounts available). I find it
most beneficial to not become locked into a certain mix. I like to be able to
change to match the situation. For example: I might be M0, W3, T2, then if a
player needs to dump a skilled mage, which no-one in the alliance can take, I
could drop a trade point to become M1, W3, T1.
If you are the leader of the alliance I feel that it is your duty
to be the most flexible. You need to drop points and pick up points in other
areas should any player drop out. Most games I have played do not have a pure
trade faction in the alliance. In such games the player who does the trade
only spends a few points on trading, the rest is spent in War or Magic.
Trade, Caravanserai and Caravan routes
You will want to first, at the start of the game, prioritise your
targets. You need to know what you have to make, in what order, and you need
to know where to find the best regions to produce the materials. Most factions
require HORSes or other fast moving mounts as quickly as possible, so scout out
these locations. Weapons and Armour would be almost as important. I find it
wise to produce everything I can in a producing region, that way I am not
wasting the Trade point. Food and other trade goods (especially the low value
items) can be sold to the towns, increasing their size. It might also be a
wise decision to train up a few LEADers to seek out high value resources, such
as WING, YEW and others.
In games where there are no Caravanserai trade factions have a
much harder time. The biggest tip I can give to these players is to automate
as much of your faction as possible. Have automated orders established to move
goods from their point of production to where they are needed. The goods may
take many turns to arrive, yet once the whole process gets rolling there should
be a continuous supply.
In a game where there are Caravanserai it is vital that you understand the way they work. The basics to Caravanserai are TRANSPORT and DISTRIBUTE.
Quartermaster units with a Caravanserai may DISTRIBUTE most items
(usually with the exception of Magical goods, men and items which can walk
themselves. This is dependant on the game variation) free within a two region
radius and for a small fee, which is dependant on the items weight, to more
The TRANSPORT order is used by non Quartermaster unit to the
Caravanserai. This follows the same rules as the free DISTRIBUTE order.
In any alliance with more then a few Magi I would recommend in
someone taking the time to run a Magic School. A Magic School is just a fancy
name for co-ordinated study. As you may be aware from the rules, a unit which
is taught by another LEADer gains a significant advantage over solo study.
Each LEADer can train up to ten men, as long as he has the skill being studied
at a higher lever then the studier. The unit studying in this situation gains
double the amount of skill which would have been learnt if the unit studied by
To run the school you need a player who is happy to co-ordinate
the training, and players who are willing to be told what to do. Everyone
should be keen to follow directions here, as it is in their best interest to
gain the skills they need.
Some players or alliances utilise specially created software to
run their Magic Schools. This is useful for when your number of students gets
too high. I wish I learnt of the existence of such software years ago, when I
would spend about eight hours a week organising the study for a 30 member
alliance. Ask around the more experienced players for such software (last
version I used was a very well put together Excel document).
I believe that this is an instrument most effectively utilised by
pure Magical factions. The assassin is a very useful tool in the world of
Atlantis. A successful and well timed assassination could fatally disable an
enemy faction. I have seen whole factions disband, and alliances dissipate due
to a Magic faction loosing its Magi, so assassinations should be regarded as an
effective tactic. Your enemies will not let their ethics prevent them from
following this path.
An assassin can be any single man unit which issues the
ASSASSINATE order. It does not need to be a specifically trained or named
unit. The only requirement to attempt an assassination is for the assassin to
have a higher Stealth (which can be attained through skill or magical items) than the Observation level of any enemy unit's in the region. Once the attempt is made, the assassin has a free round to try to complete his deadly task, the
target is not assisted by any other units and can wear only cloth armour. This
chance is related to his attack abilities and the defensive abilities of the
target. The more skilled the unit, the higher the chance of success. Most
commonly, factions train specific units to fulfil this deadly position. There
are various schools of thought on what skills the best unit should have. In my
experience the most successful assassin requires STEA5, and either XBOW5 or
LBOW5. Other skills are useful, yet not required. I like my assassins to have
the additional skills of OBSE5 (to allow the unit to find targets), RIDI5
(allows a higher chance to escape should you be discovered), and ENTE (to allow
the unit to make a living for itself). I also have some of my units study the
trade skills of HORS, MINI, LUMB and QUAR (yet only if they have enough funds and not studying anything more important). This allows them to also scout for high end resources. The successful unit also requires equipment to complete the job with precision, a RING of Invisibility, DBOW (Double Bow) or SBOW (Super Bow), CLAR (Cloth Armour; the only armour available for use while assassinating), and a WING (Winged Horse). It has been calculated that a unit skilled as I have mentioned above, has a 99.9% chance of succeeding.
If an assassin unit fails to kill its target, the target faction
will be advised of the assassin's ID. This is undesirable, in addition to
loosing a valuable asset, it could allow the enemy faction to work out who may
have tried to assassinate their unit.
I once noticed in a game which I ran, there was a faction which
was geographically removed from other players. This faction (MAGIC3/WAR1/TRADE1)
was using its 3 Magi to create RINGs, while it's Producers made WING, DBOW and
CLAR. He was training groups of 50 Assassins at a time, and then they were
sent out. This faction had assassins in most GATE regions and cities, as well
as just roaming the country. It was quite impressive to see.
I need to note that some games have varied rules in relation to
Stealth, assassination and theft. The entire Stealth skill is something that
annoys many players. Many GMs have tried different tactics to diminish the
role which an assassin can play in a game. Be sure to know your games rules
before you train up any units.
[Note: Some games allow factions to train apprentices, personally
I find these units the most effective assassins as, in my opinion, they are of
limited value in other missions. If these are available in your game I highly
recommend using them, as long as they are equipped appropriate to their class.
Again, this depends on the game you are playing.]
Protecting Against Assassinations
Depending on the age and type of game you are playing, Assassins
may be of varying concern. Usually in the first few months of a game there is little chance of a unit meeting its end via an assassin, as most factions are spending most of their time establishing their holdings. In the older games, Assassins are a very real danger. Most games feature protected starting cities, so a unit which is inside is protected against assassination attempts. It is
usually a common practice for Magic factions to set up school in these starting
cities, waiting till they have gathered sufficient skills and items to allow
them to go about the land with confidence.
If you are unable to stay in a protected starting city, units may
be protected by an OBSE unit, yet this only goes part of the way to protect
units. In most cases it is desirable to have one AMTS for each Mage, and one
for the OBSE 5 unit. The AMTS possessed by each Mage will protect them from
any assassinations and thefts by a unit wearing a RING and the OBSE 5 unit will
be able to see any thieves or assassins without a RING.
The above mentioned method is not 100% fool proof. A skilled Mage
(practiced in STEA 5 and protected by an INVI spell) or a STEA 5 unit which has
been the target of an INVI spell the previous turn will be able to steal from
or assassinate any unit unless they are protected by a True Sight (TRUE) 5 mage
with OBSE 5 (or within a protective city).
So, in short, anything but remaining within a protected Starting
City, or being watched over by a TRUE 5/OBSE 5 Mage, means your units could be
As mentioned, this depends on your games rule-set. Check to be
Taking the first city
Now that you are aware of the basics of alliances and your faction
it is important that decide on your first course of action. One of the pivotal
aspects to the start of the game is the taking of your first settlement. In
the first few turns of any game there is usually a rush to be the first
faction/alliance to take a settlement. By taking the first settlement you will
be in a position to greatly increase your taxable income, which can lead to being able to blockade regions.
In my experience the quickest way to take over a nearby settlement
is to train up a tactician, a few front line troops skilled in COMB, and as
many FIRE 2 Magi as you can muster. Depending on the size of the settlement
you will need to adjust the minimum amount of Magi required.
Tactics – Attacking
Building up an army capable of war is, of course, a critical step
in war. The typical, mundane, army consists of:
- A TACTician,
- COMBat troops, and
- Missile troops.
The tactician needs to be the highest level you can afford. Once
combat begins, the side with the highest TACTical skill will enjoy a free first
round of combat against the enemy. The Tactician needs to have it's flags set
to BEHIND 1, to ensure it does not enter into melee combat.
The Combat troops need to be in front of the army, with as high a
COMBat skill as can be mustered. Equip these troops with the best weapons you
have and the best armour. This will increase their chances of hitting the
enemy and avoiding hits themselves.
Finally, Missile troops are an important aspect. With the Combat
troops soaking up all the blows from combat, the Missile troops are protected
and hit the enemy hard. These are units equipped with either LBOW or XBOW and
the appropriate weapon. This is where you make a choice. LBOW can be fired at
the enemy every round of combat, yet they are not very effective against
armoured enemy. XBOW can be fired every second round, yet it is apparently an
armour piecing weapon. Make your decision, if you can, on your enemies plans.
You can supplement the above forces with any other units, such as:
Low level Magi (FIRE Magi, or Apprentices with STAF or STAL),
HEALing units to assist in preventing losses. These units will
revive lost units at the end of combat, making your losses easier to handle.
Elite troops are much more useful and more difficult to create,
especially in the early stages of the game. Typically elite forces are made up
of LEADers, usually equipped with the best armour and weapons available. A
typical elite force would be made up of:
- TACT5 LEADer
- SUBA Magi,
- XBOW5 or LBOW5 Leaders with DBOW and WING.
As with mundane forces, the front line troops need to soak up the
majority of the attacks. In this case, the front line troops are BALRogs,
units capable of withstanding a huge amount of attacks. The BALRog takes the
damage, deals out a huge load of damage and the DBOW units provide additional
support. Ensure that your SUBA Magi never carry more BALRogs then they can
Just for your information, the best force you could possibly field
would be similar to the elite force, yet with a front line supplemented by:
COMB5, RIDI5, Leaders, riding WING, equipped with MSWO (or the
best weapon your game holds) as well as wearing CLOA. CLOAks of invulnerability
will protect against 99% of all hits.
Many players have different ideas of the best methods of
conducting an assault on an enemy. Below are a few examples of tactics which I
have found useful in the past. Please be aware that these tactics were used in
a game were I had access to a huge alliance.
Attacking in a triangle formation
This is a simple formation. The Trigger unit is also the assassin
(although it does not need to be an assassin, just skilled in STEA to level 5),
it can assassinate should it come across a highly valuable unit, or it can just
initiate the attack, relatively free from fear of assassination itself. The
main body of the forces are split into two regions neighbouring the Trigger.
This formation is easiest to manoeuvre, yet it is smaller in size then others
and therefore, less able to pick up targets to attack.
The above picture is what I call the wedge formation. The force
is led by the Assassin unit, who moves ahead of the force and targets any
possible TACT 5 Leaders. This can be an important edge for the attacking
force. The assassin has the noaid flag set to prevent the Triggers from being
brought into a battle should it occur. The Triggers are the next level, when
they reach the target's region they either attack or are attacked by the
target. They usually presented by a vulnerable looking unit, it doesn't even
need to be a special unit, any race will do. The Trigger has the hold flag
set, and is open to aid. Finally, the main force; the reason for the bulk of
the force in the centre is so they can rush to aid any unit which needs help.
These units are free to aid the Triggers once they initiate combat. This
formation can be bulky and unwieldy, yet it will help to root out targets.
I find another of the best formations, especially for smaller
forces, is the simple two region attack force which I call the Line formation.
The first region contains a trigger unit, this is best if it is a STEA 5 unit
with RING. They can then trigger the attack without the enemy being totally
prepared. If this is not available then a more mundane unit would suit this
purpose. The one draw back is the enemy will see which region this unit is in
before the attack is triggered, which would alert them to expect an attack. The
second region contains the bulk of the force, the front line troops, the rear
archers, as well as the TACT5 unit and an OBSE 5 unit.
Finally, there is the Diamond formation. This is useful when you
want to cover a lot of ground with the minimum of fuss. The force is
concentrated in the rear, with Tacticians, archers and frontline troops. The
Triggers are spread out so they can spot the best direction for the army to
move towards finding the best targets. This is best used in guerrilla type conflicts where you are seeking targets of opportunity.
Tactics - Defending
Of course, it is of little use to attack areas if you can not keep
them, so defence is a valuable tactic.
In potential tactically important areas, I recommend buying the maximum
amount of guards which can be sustained. Most settlements can maintain a
larger force then other regions, so it is best to maintain your defences there.
On borders or strategically important areas it is advisable to forgo any
financial benefit from holding the city over defensive ability. In the below
city it is possible to create a huge army in residence.
plain (152,22) in Hullevala, contains Mundport [city], 20040 peasants
(sea elves), $100200.
The weather was clear last month; it will be clear next month.
Wages: $15 (Max: $60120).
Wanted: 132 grain [GRAI] at $18, 170 livestock [LIVE] at $21, 52
stone [STON] at $42, 110 fish [FISH] at $20, 59 swords [SWOR] at
$111, 93 crossbows [XBOW] at $105, 64 chain armor [CARM] at $129,
81 wagons [WAGO] at $186, 32 floater hides [FLOA] at $171, 24
rootstone [ROOT] at $206, 38 double bows [DBOW] at $383, 62 axes
[AXE] at $119, 66 lassoes [LASS] at $99, 75 bags [BAG] at $95, 57
spinning wheels [SPIN] at $117, 99 tarot cards [TARO] at $227, 52
chocolate [CHOC] at $266.
For Sale: 90 wood [WOOD] at $61, 53 furs [FUR] at $48, 93 truffles
[TRUF] at $70, 92 cotton [COTT] at $106, 801 leaders [LEAD] at
$120, 4008 sea elves [SELF] at $60.
Entertainment available: $6680.
Products: 75 grain [GRAI], 21 horses [HORS], 77 livestock [LIVE].
This city could potentially hold over 8,000 soldiers at a tax rate
of $50. If these were specially trained BARB, VIKI or ORC, equipped with
Armour and weapons, they would withstand most enemy forces. If these were Leader
troops then the amount of units are almost halved, yet they more them make up
for this in other ways. If Leaders were used, these 4,000 Leaders could be equipped with HORS in addition to RIDI and COMB skill. A very formidable guard indeed!
It should not be forgotten to include Missile armed troops. If
half the above force was equipped with XBOW, as well as holding the correct
skill, they could easily defend their position against all but the most
Finally, fortifications should not be ignored. If possible, placing
your troops inside multiple defensive structures could add a +2 defensive bonus
to those housed inside, quite useful for mundane units without RIDI.
All these points should be combined to ensure that your borders
are well protected. These are really useful in games which allow working,
please be sure to check your rules before going along this route.
The left figure shows a possible defensive structure. The
settlements of Mundport, Danug and Ragolmar, are all holding very large forces,
capable of sallying forth to aid the neighbouring regions, which have large
armies and no real production. The well protected regions closer to the centre
have minimal guards, and these are the real production centres. This is only a
sample diagram, yet I am sure it illustrates my point that settlements are
useful in maintaining very large forces, capable of defending the borders.
One last point, do not forget that there are other borders which
are not so obvious. These include regions with Shafts, GATEs, and coastal
regions. These areas, if not well defended, could be an entry point to your
empire. Imagine if a large enemy force erupted from a shaft into a production
region, they would have at least a turn or two to cause you trouble before you
could organise a response.
establishing borders - riding blockers, obse troops
To Harvest Balrogs (BALR) you need at least two things. The BALR
you wish to harvest and forces enough to defeat the BALR, preferably while
taking little in the way of losses. Some of the more recent games have endeavoured
to limit the benefit of harvesting the beasts, by preventing freed BALR from
receiving orders (also stopping the Balrog Bomb tactic, see below), by
diminishing their spoils accumulation rate and other methods. What this means
is that once you have freed your BALR you may find they have wondered off in
the wrong direction, and once they have been located they don't produce any
spoils. BALR harvesting in such situations requires a careful balance of
knowing when to attack and being prepared to take some losses.
One option is to release the BALR on to a prepared location, for
example a peninsular with a city blocking the only real exit, or an island.
The BALR could then roam free, develop spoils, and eventually offer themselves
for harvesting. Of course, this plan can be fairly useless if the BALR can
move over water (which can be the case in some games). This can be a time
consuming method as it requires the BALR to move into the right position. One
way around this is to fill the trigger region with a force in excess of 200
men. This will fulfil the requirements the BALR requires for it to attack. It
should be noted that using this method can leave any Magi you use vulnerable to
assassinations. Due to that it would be preferred to arrange to harvest the
BALR from a starting city.
Diplomacy is one of the most important skills in Atlantis. There
are several aspects to this, including making or joining an alliance, replying
to messages, etc.
Joining forces with other players is the key to increasing your
strength and chance of survival. It is important to have a good level of trust,
as you need to be sure your allies will be there when you need them. To foster
this trust I would recommend being a good ally, i.e. being dependable. This
will create a good relationship. Communication is also key to a good alliance.
The creation of a Yahoo group (or similar mailing list) will assist in getting
messages to all allies. Alliances can provide some safety, they can provide
friendship, and most importantly they provide the support to build your
factions. This is especially important for Magic factions who require funding,
time and support before they are powerful enough to make a mark in the game.
It may be tempting to create a huge alliance, yet this can lead to
problems. Large alliances are difficult to control, hard to manage, and can
lead to problems such as Moles (Moles are players who share secret information
with an alliance's enemies. The Mole's reasons for this betrayal could be
many). This is slightly offset by the large amount of power which can be
wielded. Smaller alliances can be much simpler to manage. They can be easily
moved, and they are usually more trustworthy, yet they could be easily over run
by a larger alliance. There are exceptions; a poorly managed large alliance
could be beaten by a well developed small alliance, there are many examples of
While alliances are important, you should be warned against
entering into the wrong alliance. You may be forced into attitudes you do not
follow, or you may join a group who have such a bad reputation that you will be
tainted with the same brush.
In short, find people you can trust, or if you don't know anyone,
then set a good example to those you do join with and they should follow.
Another important aspect of diplomacy is communication. I feel it
is very important to reply to all messages received, even if the answer is a
simple "no". They did go to the trouble of writing to you, so it is
polite to provide them with a response. Diplomacy can help build your
reputation, or diminish it with poorly structured messages. If someone finds
it difficult to understand what you mean, then they will likely not put effort
into replies. I know one example of a player who was reasonably skilled, yet
his almost impossible to decipher emails made any prospect of work with him
An alternative to the above recommendation is to use silence.
While I do not follow this tactic, I understand it can be quite effective.
This method is to simply refuse to write any Times articles, or reply to any
emails. This creates an air of mystery around the player, causing people to be
reluctant to engage the player in battle. It also causes people to be unsure
what tactics or direction the player will use. Personally, I find this tactic
rude, and I make it my business to attack players who use this, yet it is still
a valid method.
Knowing which skills to work towards are important for Magic
factions. The most powerful spells require many pre-requisites, so careful
planning is needed to make sure turns are not wasted. The player needs to
decide what direction they intend to have their Magi move toward: should they
be artificers, war mages, or transportation specialists? Or perhaps you need
them for protection against assassination. There are various directions you
could have your Magi work towards, most of that depends on how many Magi you
own, and if you are working with other factions who may influence your
It is far easier to have your Mage become an Artificers,
enchanting Magical items. At low levels these items are useful, although not
very exciting. Production of Mithril Swords and Mithril Armour should be an
Artificer's first goal. These spells can be cast while studying, ensuring that
the Mage is contributing to the faction. There are many items which can be
created by the skilled Artificers, RINGs of Invisibility, CLOAks of
invulnerability, Starves of Fire or Lightning, etc. It is best to consider the
direction you wish the mage to move to carefully, as it can be many game years
before they reach their goal.
Battle Magi are possibly the second easiest to produce. Having a
mage study FIRE can make him a simple, yet effective (especially early in the
game) battle Mage. After this simple spell is reached it is important to decide
which direction the mage should move towards: summoning DRAGons, or summoning
BALRogs? These are the most powerful creatures in the game and a few of these
can make the Mage almost an unstoppable force, but be aware of the Mage's
limitations. Summoning Blackwind is a useful battle spell, yet it is a very
remote goal due to its high level. There are other spells which are quite
useful to the Mag: CALL lightning, Banish Demons, Summon Storm, Summon Tornado,
and this doesn't include the defensive spells! It is recommended that careful
examination of the Magical skill list is completed before a decision is made.
There are many other roles which a mage can fulfil, some of which
- GATE courier – this mage will scout for new GATEs, deliver
goods and units to and from GATE colonies.
- FARSight Mage – a useful role which allows the scouting of
remote regions, as well as spying on neighbours.
- TRUE sight Mage – can be one of the most important roles for
a mage. This unit seeks and removes assassins, as well as prevents
Sneaky Tricks and Tactics:
Ship/Aircraft Carrier Tactic.
Ships can be used as Aircraft carriers if you have the right
units. This tactic can add to your exploration range or even be used to spot
possible targets for the next turn.
To do this you need a Ship (of course), as well as sailors. In
addition you need units equipped with a means of air transport over water. The
best method is to use single man units equipped with GLIDers, which are pretty
cheap and expendable. The process works due to the Ship orders being processed
before the unit orders. So the Ship can sail, and at the end of its movement
the flying units will move.
The units will usually die at the end of the turn, due to drowning
(unless they happen to make landfall), yet if they are also equipped with BOOTs
of levitation they will survive the turn. Check your game to find out if these
are enabled in your game.
If you have fighting forces on the vessel, you can then attempt to
intercept the ship, attacking them when you pass them - if your attitude is
In addition to this a flying unit can intercept a friendly vessel
at sea and enter. This is useful for bridging large tracts of ocean. The unit
needs to ensure it issues the order to enter the vessel:
Move N N N N #
The Direction of the vessel is entered and where # is the ID number
of the ship is placed so the unit will enter the vessel.
If you have the vessels to act as landing platforms you can easily
send large forces across the ocean and launch a surprise attack. Overloading
the vessel is not an issue if they are stationary and act only as an island to
Maxing out a regions structures.
This is a tactic which takes advantage of an exploit (not enabled
in every game, it may have changed in games from Atlantis 5 onwards), so if you
use this be prepared to stop should the GM make a ruling. From examination of
the code, it appears that a region can not have more then 99 structures within
(although this appears to be a number which is a little flexible). By building
around (or more then) 99 buildings, and keeping possession of the structures by
keeping a unit within, a faction can prevent all construction within the city.
The structures do not need to be completed for this to work, and that may be
one of the requirements. It also prevents construction of Ships, which are
counted as buildings. As mentioned, this might not work in Atlantis 5 as
vessels appear to be different to buildings.
Blockading starting cities
Something which many players frown upon yet happens in almost
every game. This is the action of moving Guard units in to the surrounding
regions of a starting city and preventing any unauthorised movement outwards.
Usually only the first factions in a game can put themselves into this position,
unless an established faction/alliance quits, creating a power vacuum. The
action requires combat ready units setting the Guard flag in all land regions
surrounding the starting city, and declaring all non-allied factions unfriendly.
It then requires the creation of a large enough garrison in the starting city
to uphold your ownership of the surrounds. Many people will complain about
this action, so it is important to point out to people that they can sail or
GATE away, should they enter your city in error.
In time you will encounter many attempts at breakouts, by mundane
units, and by skilled STEAlth 5 or RIDIng 5 units or flying units. To prevent
this you need to make sure that all regional guards around the city have support
from an OBSErvation 5/Amulet of True Sight unit in residence as well as being
mounted on a flying mount with appropriate skills. It is also recommended that
you send out a TRUE sight Mage at random intervals to check for any other units
which may be lurking.
This is something used by some Magic factions as soon as they
arrive in the game, starting in the Nexus. The Mage studies FORCe 1, SPIRit 1,
NECRomany 1, Summon Skeletons (SUSK) 1. The Mage then begins to summon the
monsters, and once one is summoned the Mage sends the Skeleton through one of
the portals to arrive at a starting city. It is a nice way to explore each
city before making a decision as to where the Mage will arrive. It does have
the draw back of keeping the Mage in the Nexus for longer then most would
remain, and it can also annoy factions who dislike someone sending Skeletons to
their cities. In my opinion it would be easier and faster to read the Times or
contact other players to see which is the best Starting City. It is less
likely to annoy people and may make you some allies too.
Destruction of buildings
A tactic used by players who either do not care how people see, or
players who want to really annoy people. This is fairly easy to set up,
although it is easier to do if you have lots of funds.
The best way to do this is to have multiple STEAlth 5 units in
regions which are possessed by the intended enemy. Before the battles are to
commence, order the units to enter the structures and destroy them in the same
turn. For example:
As Destroy is processed after ENTER, you can easily do this
without being seen. The enemy will have one less structure and should have no
idea what happened. It will only work if the enemy has no units within the
structures, because if they do they will be considered as the structures owner
and will prevent DESTROY orders.
Be warned. If you do this too well, you will upset a lot of
people. This is considered very underhanded.
This tactic was once used by a player in the Realms game, who used
this to destroy a road running 130 regions long. This move has earned the
player an almost eternal and infamous place in the history of Atlantis amongst
some of the older players.
A variation of this tactic is used when you are attacked by a
superior force. If you think you will not be able to hold your ground then it
might be better to adopt a scorched earth policy; destroying all structures and
pillaging before the enemy advancement. This will prevent their capture and
will make the regions less valuable.
Removing your neighbor
A very skilled player once offered me the advice to always remove the first faction which you encounter, totally wipe out your neighbor. This works well at the start of the game, when all players are relatively defenseless and when the player has random GATEd from the Nexus. Using this tactic, the player puts all effort into scouts and creating an army. The first faction the player encounters suffers the full force of the army.
This can be useful, as you gain spoils from the enemy, you gain their land if you move in fast enough, and you can also boast that you have removed a player from the game which lends you some negotiating power.
This tactic is useful for a faction which has none or very little
Magi, yet still requires or desire the capability to launch a Mage attack.
When used in the right circumstances, this can easily turn the tide in a war or
battle. Yet, it is best when used in small bursts, or for a single offensive,
as it can leave the rest of the faction's empire in financial trouble.
Ideally, it is most effective with well trained units, having
units skilled in OBSE/STEA/RIDI are a good idea, as well as having them
equipped with TRUE/WING/RING and STAL. The last item, the STAL, is the pivotal
part of this tactic. Of course, the unit would not have the required skill to
use this item in battle (needing a Magic skill: SPIR, PATT or FORC, or MANI for
games which allow apprentices), so the unit would sit in a location awaiting
When the need for these units (and this works best with multiple
units so be sure to be prepared) arises, the faction points for the faction
needs to be changed. DO NOT forget to ensure all your regions have stockpiled
enough SILVer to survive for a brief period of time WITHOUT taxing! The
faction points need to be put exclusively into MAGIC (and this needs to be done
somewhere BEFORE the unit's study Magic, or an error will be created). The
same turn that the points are changed, the special units mentioned above need
to study the required skill to wield the STAL (for Apprentice free games this
is one of the three foundations Magic skills. For Apprentice enabled games be
sure to utilise these too, as this could add a potential 14 Apprentices! The
next turn the units can move out and assist in any battle, providing additional
units which can deal large amounts of damage with their STAL (be sure to set
each of these units to behind). Once their task is complete, the units could
return to their previous state of Non-magi-hood, awaiting the next time they
This tactic only works in games which allow Magic points to be redistributed.
This is a tactic best used
by at least a couple of factions who have allied and only at the start of a new
game. In the first turn, the alliance puts all faction points into Magic, and
creates the maximum number of Magi who then all study FORC1/FIRE1. They use
Unclaimed Silver to pay for any study. They then move out (with a TACTics 1
unit to support them) and they can take out the nearest settlement within the
first few turns. The more Magi you have, the larger the settlements which can
Often a good tactic, if you
are in an alliance, as it gains you the taxable income of the settlement within
the shortest length of time.
This is a tactic which is
not used very often due to GMs introducing ways to prevent its effectiveness.
To use this tactic, you need
a Mage to summon the BALR, and a direction in which you wish to send the
beasts. The Mage will issue an order to give the BALR to a new unit, creating
it in the same turn, for example: -
;My Mage (100), 2281 silver [SILV], leader [LEAD], horse [HORS], Balrog [BALR], etc
give new 1 1 BALR
The new unit will consist of
the BALR, which will move in the direction given, in this example the BALRog
will move north.
This tactic is useful for
sending BALR to Harvesting areas, or for moving them to regions to attack an
enemy, with little danger to you. As mentioned, most current games disable
this feature by preventing BALR being handed to units without SUBA skill, and not allowing you to issue the beasts with directions.
An overabundance of BALR
A tactic witnessed recently,
although it is not new. A faction's Magi (works even better when done by a
whole alliance) travel to an enemy Starting city, preferably unprotected, and
sets up camp. Once ready, the Magi begin summoning BALR, and continue to produce
them. Eventually, they either break loose or are released. This will cause
the defending enemy to increase defenses to deal with dozens of escaped BALR.
Possibly outstripping their silver production, or even being over-run with
The only drawbacks with this
tactic (apart from doing little to endear yourself to the other factions) is
that it can cause the enemy to create such strong defenses that you would be hard
pressed to defeat them and the other problem is that you do not have any control
over the BALR once they are free, so they may eventually bump into your regions
or attack your allies.
How a mage with gate 3 and invisibility can study in a tower without being seen by other units
This seems to be a very advanced tactic, yet it is simple in its
implementation. An understanding of the processing order shows that ENTER is
processed before STUDY. So a unit can enter a structure and have the benefit
the structure provides. The draw back to this is the unit will be visible to
other units after the turn (due to all units within structures being visible,
regardless of their stealth skill). To counter this the processing order show
that STUDY is processed before CAST, so a unit can ENTER a structure, STUDY and
GATE out all in the same turn, with no-one being able to see the units within
the tower. If the Magi are at Stealth 5 with an Invisibility spell (or RING)
they shouldn't be seen entering the tower using this tactic.
Although someone may feel that this is a way to remain unseen, it
needs to be pointed out that in most games, Truesight 5, with Observation 5,
will allow the sighting of any unit, regardless of their using this tactic.
Still, this can be a valuable tactic and I have used it once before.
How to trigger up to 9 battles in a single
hex in the same turn
This tactic uses the many different movement phases which make up a single
turn (the eight normal movement phases, plus the phase for ship movement)
multiple units from different regions will trigger this, as long as you have
the enemy declared hostile. There is another way to trigger the battle, should
you not wish to declare a faction hostile. You can (as long as the enemy is
default unfriendly to you and within a structure in the target region) order
your units to advance into the structure (eg. ADVANCE N N 1). Your units will
trigger the battle when they are blocked from entering the structure.
This is a useful tactic if
you want to prevent the enemies neighboring regions from supplying any defense.
Should you damage any of the defending army in the early stages of the tactic,
they neighbors will not be able to move to provide assistance. In this manner
you will have less of a force to fight.
Declaring city guards allied
This is a tactic which appears to really annoy people who are on the receiving end. Set the city guard's faction to be allied and should the enemy attack the guard, you will add your troops to their protection. Useful in the early stages of the game, when factions attempt to take settlements as fast as possible. If you do not have enough troops to take a settlement and you are building up troops as another faction is competing with you, this tactic can allow you to reduce the number of city guards to battle when you take the city, and remove a possible threat from another faction. Of course, this faction will now be very angry with you, so prepare for battle.
Dragging people out of starting cities
Can only be done
to factions who have units in the starting city which are not AVOIDing or set
to NOAID. There are several ways to do this, yet they are all helped if you
have the surrounds of the city blockaded. This can only be done if the target
faction has failed to set their flags properly.