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The Rapture

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:39 am
by MarsRobert
I believe there may be a mild balancing issue with the 'Rapture' cult. Generally speaking, although the cults make the game more of a challenge, things tend to balance out because more often than not the cults are as troublesome to the AI factions as they are to the player. The trouble with the Rapture cult though is that it seems the AI factions don't help you to deal with them; it's up to you to take them out before sudden death sets in. it would be nice if the AI factions at least helped you to soften the Rapture up a bit. And of course the Rapture enclave is a rather tough nut to crack. I've come close twice, but no cigar. It seems in order to deal with them you have to have a number of things going your way: 1) An assassin to take out their leader, 2) A war academy and a hero to create tactics cards, 2) a hero that can lead large armies, 3) a number of heavy mech units, and 4) being able to keep the AI factions off your back long enough to deal with the Rapture. And if this is not enough, you have to have these things relatively quickly before the shot clock runs out. Also, I've tried the saboteur/air strike gambit, but with twenty hit points that fortress is, well, worse than the Guns of Navarone! :cry:

Having said that, I still think AE is one of the best strategy games ever; up there with Civilization and Starcraft, and I will be posting all the things I like about it at some point.


Re: The Rapture

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:18 am
by MarsRobert
Wow! I did it! That, however, was by far the toughest game of AE I've ever played. I first had to sacrifice Valentine to kill the Rapture leader, then I lost seven of eight units in Honorer's army in taking the Rapture enclave. If I thought the game was as good as won at that point, I was sadly mistaken. Although the Machine Empire didn't bother me too, too much while I was trying to deal with the Rapture, they put up a hellacious defense afterwards. It took me about two hours of additional playing to bring them down. After they had destroyed my supply wagon, I had to end up going through all the trouble and expense of building nukes to finish them off. I was totally drained by the end. Bring on the Great Kabaugh I guess. :(

Re: The Rapture

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:42 pm
by Indricotherium
Hey there,

Congrats on taking the Rapture out! I lost to them the first couple times I ran into them too and they can still be scary. I won't say anything about Kabaugh because I wouldn't want to ruin any of the fun but you'll have a lot of fun getting to know him too. Back to the Rapture:

First, this goes for every Cult but the Rapture is particularly funny, every race gets their own custom messages about the cult they are facing. After you've gotten through them all, you can turn cults on or off or pick which one you want to face, play against the Cult with every race and turtle up and let them win - the end messages are worth it. (at least I found them funny)

Second, IMO the key to the Rapture is having at least 1 (or 2 in case one of them gets waxed) Shock units so that you can take one of those super-turrets out of the equation each turn during the battle. I totally agree that you need tactics and good troops. If you're playing Imperials, don't leave your tactical nukes at home either.

Third: lay siege to the cult (any cult you can) rather than assault the defenses. Because they have no outside help, they will always sally out to attack you and thus forfeit their fortification bonuses. It's true they'll get the +5 initiative attacking bonus but I find it's better that than the fort bonus.


Re: The Rapture

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:41 pm
by MarsRobert
Thanks for the reply man. One thing I did learn in my victory was that it's better to go after the turrets first and leave those 'hypnosis' troops for last. Also, I hear you about the tactical nukes, although it's been my experience that they are hard to build early in the game; I usually have to wait until my empire has gotten reasonably large with a lot of resources, to say nothing of the War Academy, Research Lab and Doctor Strangelove (lol) cards (I think the tactical nukes are too precious to waste; you have to have a couple of tactics cards to ensure your infantry unit survives and your attack succeeds). Not that it's impossible to to build tactical nukes early, just difficult. I did recently learn though that if you get those Mercs on your side, one of their units has a tactical nuke.

Thanks for the tip on sieges. I had actually wondered if the besieged units loose their fortification benefits if they attack you, and am glad to hear you confirm this.

Concerning the Kabaagh, after 2-3 tries I learned the secret to dealing with him, and it is very simple. You just have to placate him until such time as you are strong enough to build a tactical nuke. I did learn in one of the games though that the H-Bomb has no effect on him. Hmmmm. Anyway, after a few wins I now think the Kabaagh is one of the easier of the Cults to deal with. I would say that next to the Rapture, the Plague is the most difficult. In fact in my one victory with the Plague Cult I never did come up with the cure, I just outlasted everyone else. lol

BTW, I was playing AE so much that I sort of put it on hiatus for the moment while I try my hand as Imperial Japan in the Solomons Campaign (1942-43). 8-)

Re: The Rapture

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:54 pm
by Indricotherium
learned the secret to dealing with him, and it is very simple. You just have to placate him until such time as you are strong enough to build a tactical nuke

Bingo, that's the Imp option I didn't want to just out and say. There was a discussion somewhere about Kabaugh and the big nukes where, IIRC, Vic said to think of the nukes as area of affect air burst weapons rather than a cruise missile embedding itself deep in the big slug. If you have Kabaugh under observation after you nuke him you'll see he does take damage from the blast, it's just that his Regeneration means he'll be fully healed the next turn. What make Kabaugh interesting is when you face him as the other 3 races, none of which have tac nukes. It's absolutely possible to beat him straight up, just not with any old rag tag army.

I agree the Plague is a tough one whereas the Love Cult? Yes please! The AI never figures out to double up their recce units and so the Love Cult wins the recce war for me without ever becoming much of a threat. I've often thought that rather than 'seducing' lone units only, the Love Cult could be far more dangerous if it was capable of taking over multi-unit armies as well. Something like:

1 unit: 50% each turn seduction
2 unit: 45%
3 unit: 40%
8 unit: 15%

They'd be a LOT scarier. :twisted:

The only other thing I've wished for is that you had a random option for the cults that included a 6th chance that there were no cults in the area. As it is you KNOW there's a cult out there or you KNOW there isn't. I think the uncertainty would add a lot to the early game.

What I love the most though is the fact that Vic managed to come up with 5 very different cults to deal with.

Re: The Rapture

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:28 pm
by MarsRobert
I agree totally man; like I said in my review, Vic did as good a job differentiating the factions in AE as Blizzard did in Starcarft.

FYI, I've sort of put AE on hiatus for the moment while I play Imperial Japan trying to fight off the evil Americans :lol: in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea. "These American pilots sacrifice themselves like Samurai!" 8-)

Also, I suppose I was getting a little burnt on AE from playing it a lot lately, as in my last game I found myself getting impatient and in a hurry; trying to end the game by having Mata Boyd attempt to destroy the main enemy strongholds.

I just happened to notice the 'Tip of the Spear' add-on though, so I guess when I'm ready to take a break from the South Pacific I'll have to give AE a whirl with this mod. I agree with you all the way though in that AE is one of those games that I leave on my PC and keep coming back to every now and again when I want a break from the big epic games.