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Caster kingdoms - how are they different?
I've just enrolled as DU in a new Steel game and noticed other players have similar designs about playing a magic-heavy faction. The SO, NE, WA, and DU have enrolled so far. \

Which begs the question - how are these magic-forward kingdoms different?

I suppose brigades will vary widely. I would otherwise guess that each 'magic' faction will prioritize developing bands of wizards over kingdom expansion. Do these factions have similar patterns of play? How do they fare against each other, and are there any key insights to bear in mind going into a game that will be so magic-heavy?

Thank you for your thoughts!

- Loren
I’ll tell you how I do it. I’ll look at what’s available to select. I try region first, knowing what kingdom I want to place there. I’ll have about five kingdoms I want to play in an region. I look at the regional benefits and try to match those to the kingdom. Untamed lands gets 1/2 priced companions, but if you have a kingdom with crap or limited companions, it’s wasted. Wizards kingdoms like the water for the 18,000 gold due to merchants, gold raises wizards so that’s a no brainer for me. Don’t place all the hen eggs in a basket for those wizard kingdoms. Expl of a game I was in; I was the NE in untamed, wizard to the North of me, wizard East of me, and big Red sitting in Pellinor. He hit me early and destroyed me before I could do anything, took his region and Stormgate by T5 my area by T7 and his last (also against a out of position kingdom) and made quick work of the game for a win. Painted man/Draugr are great example: they win with many different kingdoms, and are great at picking the optimal region for a kingdom. That’s why they win all the time.

Wizards have a distinct advantage in the mid to end game, the hidden capitals are huge but AM/DE/AN are not wizards and have done well. Senior Tac has taken military kingdoms and with mild wizard support had division taking out castles and great castles, so if utilized right military kingdom can do well if you catch a region early enough to not have the super fortresses.. imo

Now many will take DU/IL/DE/AN for that invisible capital advantage over any other advantage.

Pattern of play, is dictated in some ways by what is going to happen around you. Irregardless of kingdom, if per say you are attacked by superior force early in the game, you can throw out the economic/production expansion because you will lose and gain pops. Magic kingdoms can do kingdom expansion early but, it will cost in other areas, most of the time they need to build up forces through companions/recruiting and magic to have a force that can hold its own. Either way it doesn’t matter what kingdom is being played, there is always a trade off somewhere. Imo
There are important differences in spell lists.
DU- great companion choices, and abundance of food. Gets fertile fields early (but hidden ore late- not til level 4). Can only summon Minotaurs and Rock Golems. Hidden capital.
NE- great companions and summoned brigades.
IL- good agents. Bad companions. Hidden capital and trick of trade.
WA- early teleport spells, good companions.
SO- Not sure. I think has the best spell list, but haven't played this kingdom. Basically, the best wizard kingdom magically.

All of these are weak militarily to start. The hidden capital is some protection from an early military attack.

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