A Quick Guide to the GrigoriThursday, July 9, 2009 18:13
It’s been a while since the first of these strategy guides, but as I’ve said, I expect Fall from Heaven 2 to be a game that stays permanently on my hard drive and that I’ll come back to again and again, so here finally is my guide for playing as the Grigori. In many ways, this faction is considered the easiest for newcomers to the game to pick up and play as even the manual uses it in its introductory walkthrough. They’re certainly the most vanilla of the various factions available.
The reason for this is that in the lore, the Grigori are plain, unmodified humans who have rejected the Gods. They don’t have any special powers or abilities and most importantly, they can’t adopt a state religion. In game terms, this is a huge disadvantage as having a state religion opens the door to special buildings, units and even civics. To make up for this, the Grigori are the only faction who can access the special Adventurer units, which have the potential to become some of the most powerful units on Erebor.
Adventurers can’t be built but instead are a special type of Great Person. Once they appear, you can upgrade them into any unit that you can normally build. The thing that makes them special is that they get free experience points every turn without needing to participate in combat. This goes on only until they accumulate 100 xp, but that’s already enough to level them up plenty of times and give them lots of promotions. More on them later.
The Grigori only have one leader, and that’s Cassiel who starts out with the Industrious and Philosophical traits. The Philosophical trait makes you generate more Great Person Points, which is fantastic because as the Grigori, more GPPs mean more Great Persons and hopefully more Adventurers. The side benefit of building Libraries and Elder Councils faster isn’t to be sniffed at either, and is a nice boost to your research rate.
The Industrious trait allows you to build Wonders faster but it’s actually the initial state of Adaptive trait. This means that it’s possible to switch this to another trait roughly every 100 turns or so. The Industrious trait probably doesn’t help much early on and if you want to optimize your Adventurer output, using it to build early Wonders can actually be counter-productive. Your capital starts out producing some Adventurer Great Person Points but building Wonders in it will probably cause it to produce GPPs for other types of Great Persons, lowering the chance that an Adventurer will spawn.
If you do decide to switch this for another trait, you’ll have to decide which one to pick based on your current situation. The most powerful ones are probably Financial for generating ungodly amounts of cash, Raiders for players to enjoy hit and run raiding attacks on enemy factions and Aggressive for going for all out war. Charismatic is an interesting possibility for getting your Adventurers to level up faster and further through free XP but probably isn’t necessary and I suspect that the Grigori with their lack of religious buildings will have trouble aiming for a Cultural victory, so Creative is out.
As the Grigori, one of the most important decisions you have to make is to decide how you’re going to upgrade your Adventurers. Your first one and possibly two Adventurers will likely be Warriors and the Grigori can get a nice early boost by using their first Warrior Adventurer, backed up by a solid group of normal Warriors to conquer their nearest neighbour. It’s not a very friendly thing to do but it’s very effective. This means delaying from building Workers and Settlers of your own for a while but provided you don’t take silly risks with your first Adventurer, is easy to do and the results are definitely worth it.
After that, you’ll need to take a good look at your surroundings before deciding what to do with your Adventurers. If there are plenty of mana sources around, Adventurer Adepts are a great goal to shoot for. Once you research the requisite techs, the free xp alone is enough to ensure that you can promote them into Archmages. If you have iron or mithril around, you might want to stay on the Warrior line and eventually upgrade your Adventurers into Phalanxes. The most important thing is to remember to only upgrade your Adventurers down paths that you’re going to research deeply into. The idea of Immortal Adventurers for example can be very tempting, but Immortals need a lot of religious techs that the Grigori have little reason to research.
Keep in mind that since the only thing the Grigori have going for them are their Adventurers, you’ll likely be at war constantly just to take full advantage of them. Make full use of your powerful units to carve out territory for yourself but make sure to take good care of your precious Adventurers and protect them from harm. One problem that the Grigori have in this regard is that without religion, they won’t have priests tagging along with their armies to heal them. This means that you’ll have the wait for the unique Grigoric Medic to get a decent healer. In the meanwhile, it’s worth keeping in mind that the unique Dragon Slayer unit has the Courage ability which allows them to heal a tiny bit faster than normal.
Another problem that the atheistic Grigori are going to have is keeping their citizens happy because they can’t build any temples. This will have to be made up for by running civics that raise happiness, such as Consumption. This is an especially good choice as one of the Grigori’s unique buildings replaces the basic Tavern, which provides happiness while running this civic in addition to producing more Adventurer GPPs. In general, be careful about placing buildings that generate GPPs and use the two Grigori specific buildings to counter-balance them if necessary, or you’ll end up with lots of other Great Persons, but no Adventurers.
Research wise, choose techs that will give you a military advantage while striking out occasionally only to boost your happiness and wealth as needed. The Grigori will most likely aim for a Conquest or Domination victory and will have to aggressively use their powerful Adventurers. Since the Grigori probably won’t need to research any religious techs at all until after they’re done with everything else, it just makes it more likely that they’ll be among the first to field the top tier units. Combined with the massive xp boost that Adventurers get, that alone should be enough to decide the game.
One thing to watch out for is the Armageddon Counter. Since the Grigori can’t adopt a State Religion, they won’t be able to switch their alignment away from Neutral. This means they can’t become good so as to stave away the effects of high AC from their lands nor become evil in order to have access to ways that exploit a high AC. As such, it’s in the best interests of the Grigori to find ways to lower the AC throughout the game. This can be done by aggressively attacking and razing Ashen Veil cities and taking care to Sanctify the ruins afterwards. Obviously they should also avoid building Wonders that raise the AC such as Pillar of Chains. This even makes sense from a lore perspective. The AC after all represents the ultimate battle between the forces of good and evil and the ordinary humans that the Grigori represents wants nothing to do with all that.
Last of all, the Grigori will probably want to use their worldspell, Ardor towards the mid-point of the game when your Great Person spawn rate drops too much. Be warned that casting it probably means a few Great Persons spawning all on the same turn, so it would be wise to check which of your cities are producing the most GPPs and make sure before you cast it that the GPPs go towards the Great Persons that you want. If you do save it for later, it’ll basically ensure that you’ll be able to create silly powerful Adventurer Immortals or something similar, but by then you’d basically have won the game already and are just going through the motions. So why not start a new game and try another new faction instead?