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Dominions 5
06:02:10 Feb 19th 23 - Friendly Not Cyrone:

If you like VU, you will love Dominions 5. Dominions is like Total War mixed with VU, but has an absolutely limitless amount of depth and options in terms of factions, gods, spells, items and general strategy that make both the mentioned comparisons look like baby's first strategy game. 

In one of my games, I had a giant sea serpent join my faction. I had already conquered all of the seas, so what use was it? Well, I gave it an amulet of water breathing so it could breathe outside the ocean and a flying carpet so it could fly across the world and terrorize everyone. Unfortunately, someone used a powerful spell "Sea of Ice" to prevent my units from leaving the sea and thus my sea serpent from entering it again.

This game simply has incredible depth. There are hundreds of spells in Dominions that do vastly different things. These are not copy paste spells of one another. There are spells that turn the sea to ice. There are spells that rain fire down upon armies in battle. There are spells that cause archers to shoot flaming arrows. There are spells teleport units across the map. There are spells that cause magic duels between mages. Almost anything you can imagine magic wise, you can do in Dominions. Your imagination is the limit in this game. Don't believe me about there being hundreds of spells all with varied effects? Check out the database for units, spells and items here;

The nations in this game are split into Early Age, Middle Age, and Late Age eras all with different factions. Each faction is vastly different from eachother. They are not copy pastes of one another with minor alterations. In middle age, for example, there is Ryleh, based on Cthulhu type lore. This faction is an underwater nation that has a unique mechanic allowing it to slowly drive units insane on the battlefield. There is Caelum, a nation of angels based on Persian mythology that swarms nations with flying units and air magic. There is a nation called Shinuyama is based on Japanese mythology which is populated by Oni Orcs and Goblins that have access to a wide variety of magic paths. There is a nation called Abysia that is populated by demon men which excel is fire magic. There is Ubar, based on Arabian mythology, that have Genie men immune to normal weapon and high access to powerful air and fire magic. There is a nation Eremor which does not produce units at all, but instead uses mages to conjure undead every turn and they have access to the most powerful death magic. Eremor also has a special "dominion" effect which causes neighboring nations to lose population every turn, making them a high priority target in multiplayer because of how well the scale into the late game. The list goes on for faction. Poison lizard men, underwater frog men, atlanteans, or even the simple nation of man; there are so many factions in this game that all play vastly different from eachother. The game was created by two university professors of history and mythology, and each faction is based on real world lore and mythology. 

The goal of the game is to claim X amount of thrones of ascension so you can ascend your "Pretender God" to godhood before the other players. Or you can just wipe everyone off the map, of course. When you begin the game, you create a pretender god from 20ish different chassis' (all different selections based on nations, there are easy 100-150+ different choices) and you assign them scales (basically balancing econ) and magic paths the gods themselves have access to, plus a "bless" which allows "sacred" units to have a wide variety of different options. One bless might cause your units to be doubled in size and regen while they fight. Another might give them fire resistance and ice resistance. Another causes them to enrage after killing a unit. There are TONS of different bless ideas you can mix and match. Battles in this game are scripted. Meaning, you tell your mages what to cast before the battle. You set the position of your units and tell them to attack backline, hold the line, or whatever else. Battles are not based on a % dice roll, but instead your ability to foresee how the battle will go, unit positioning, and your ability to use magic in creative ways.

How does the multiplayer work in this game? Well, you set them up through community discord channels (don't worry, the community is large and you can even set up your own inhouse games easily). Usually games consist of 10-20 players and the turn times range from 24 hours to 48 hours per turn. 

This is the best discord to find games:

This is the best discord to ask questions and learn the game:

Here is a review by someone else of the game that might help sway some opinions for those who don't want to read about it:

This guys youtube channel is the best resource for learning the game;

I would highly recommend this game to any VU fan. The 1 turn an hour on VU really limits to competitive viability of the game and makes 50% of skill your activity unless you want to hurt your real life. I am sorry, you can't play VU at peak performance without hurting your real life. 1 turn a day is much easier to manage. If you like magic in VU, you will be floored with the options in Dominions 5. There are no cheaters ruining every era in Dominions 5. Your performance in this game is not based on your kingdom, but your use of diplomacy and skill, and your creative use of magic and blesses. If you are looking for a game like VU but with much greater depth, this is the game for you. You can PM me on Discord for more information if you want.

07:04:50 Feb 19th 23 - Lord Jellybean (Mr. Karmatic):

"I am sorry, you can't play VU at peak performance without hurting your real life."

Wait!? What!? Do you mean I don't have to wake up at 4AM to attack a city???

Sounds great lol XD

09:47:28 Feb 19th 23 - Friendly Not Cyrone:


Here are some example of the depth of magic in this game:

A mage from Naba, the Malikat. She's a flying half genie with access to immense paths; Fire 4, air 4, and 2 random paths. 

Here are some of the spell you can script her to use in battle:

But that's not even all the spells she can use. Outside of battle, she can cast these "ritual" spells:

This is just one type of mage. There are 8 different magic paths in Dominions 5 all with different types of spells. Mages have access depending on how many points they have in X or Y path. Most mages do not have naturally high paths as the Malikat has. Generally the highest level magic (rarely can be achieved) takes 7 in that given path. Most mages do not naturally go above 4. However, there are many ways to increase paths in order to achieve access to higher level magic.

  Here are some example of pretender gods you can create:

The first god comes out late into the game (turn 35) and has good scales (basically econ balance) and magic paths. He sucks in combat. The scales are below the magic paths on this screen. He makes all sacred units more accurate, resistant to shock and cold, more defense, reinvigoration (allows casters to cast more without growing tired), gives mages 50% more cast range, and lets units who kill units grow temporarily more powerful.

The second god comes out after 15ish turns. She is a combat machine that has tons of regeneration. She gives blessed units 50% extra size (gives units more damage and tank stats as a result) and lets units who kill units grow temporarily more powerful.

The third god you have on turn 1. He freezes everything around him and is godlike in combat. His bless "Quickness" costs many "points" on creation, but is one of the most powerful bless effects. It DOUBLES every blessed units action and movespeed. Potentially it is very hard to deal with.

Now, here is some examples of insane battles. Your units will not automatically do any one these things. You have to pre script their position, what spells they cast, and what they do in combat:
This is an underwater battle. Trolls are very tough to beat, but the right side uses sleep and swarm to disable and keep them busy long enough to isolate them individually:

This is a more large scale battle in the mid game. Left side has poison lizard men which totally destroy living units that don't have poison resistance. Luckily, the Bronze Collosus on the right side (you will know which he is) is immune to that and he is a tanky combat pretender god that excels in combat. You can see the poison clouds destroy all the living units aside from the colossus himself here:

This is another mid game battle. Left side is an undead nation that has their mages continually summoning undead units that overwhelm the much more powerful right side units. Right side should have put some units on attack rear:

Ethereal genie units who can fly destroying elephants in the very early game:

Mid game battle. Right side has very powerful blessed centaurs with blood surge and a strong bless. Left side wins out with archers on hold and fire and a buff spells that let them do more damage:

So that's my sell. Only reason I'm posting this here is because I think it would specifically appeal to people who enjoy VU. There are a lot of similarities between the two games. If you have the money laying around, and you love VU, this would be an extremely good game for you to try.

12:57:04 Feb 19th 23 - Dark Spawn (Mr. Dark Spawn II):

One of good things about VU is free to play, and no download needed, just log in on any device. As soon as you said if you have money - you lost me. 

VU is casual game for many, you do not have to be super active to make a contribution. Donít have to be top player but do my part and enjoy. 

17:25:04 Mar 4th 23 - Friendly Not Cyrone:

I'm really not just suggesting this because it's a random strategy game I find fun. I generated similar discussion about VU in one of the Dominions 5 discords; some people asked if VU was a derivative of the original "Utopia" game and talked about how they started off playing playing that game and eventually moved to Dominions. There is a very clear crossover and similarity between Utopia/VU and Dominions. Dominions is a passion project by two university professors. They had to be begged to even release it to the public. It is a very very good game that still gets updates and is very popular compared to VU (although still not popular in general).

I also see what you're saying Dark Spawn. However, VU is pay to win (even if it's frowned upon by the community) and I really think a lot of people who claim they don't buy BTs actually do. Also, activity being a large portion of a players performance rather than skill itself is a problem even if you can still contribute. Dom5 lets you play at optimal performance while living your life normally without questioning if someone is paying to win or cheating. 

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