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The Basalt Queen is a fearsome foe to behold.

Overview[edit]

The Atlantian race has only recently emerged from the depths and the old Deep Ones, monstrous creatures that look like hybrids of a deep sea fish and a human are still around. These Deep Ones are resistant to Fire and Cold and are stronger but they have less Magic Resistance. They are ruled by Basalt Queens and Basalt Kings, but both of the ruling castes are strangely disinterested in the surrounding world. The Queens handle the religious matters in the Basalt City of Atlantis and the kings sequester themselves staring at the Dark Crystal that is in a gorge in the middle of the city. Early Atlantis has the Early Age's most heavily armoured unit, the sacred Living Pillar.

National Features[edit]

An underwater nation of monstrous human-frog-fish hybrids that has come from the great depths. They are vulnerable to missile weapons and some of their units have low Magic Resistance. They however have the most armored recruitable unit of Early Era, access to some great battle magic and possibly very advantageous start underwater.

Pros of Atlantis
  • Underwater start is beneficial, especially if Agartha, R'lyeh or Oceania aren't around
  • Good priestly power from inexpensive Holy 1 Coral Priests to Holy 3 Basalt Queens
  • Basalt Kings are wonderful battlemages who are Sacred and have access to various Acid spells and Blade Wind
  • Deep One units are 50% Resistant to Fire and Cold and most of them have magic Basalt Spears which allow them to damage Ethereal and Mistformed units
  • You get units who have poisoned weapons and armors. Okay, they are weapons and armor made from poisonous coral
  • Living Pillars are the most armored unit Early Age offers
  • Basalt Kings have amazing ease in making powerful supercombatant boosting items
  • Reduced effects of taking Cold or Heat because of Fire/Cold resistant units and Heat/Cold doesn't affect money generation in the seas
  • Partial or full Darkvision on all units
Cons of Atlantis
  • Vulnerable to missile weapons
  • No inexpensive research mages. Mages of the Deep cost 250 gold.
  • Low Magic Resistance on the Deep One units muddle their advantage against elemental magic and ethereal enemies
  • If all three underwater nations are present it will become very crowded and inevitably a war will break out and you might be at disadvantage
  • No missile units
  • No easy way to Earth bless which would be a great boon to Atlantis
  • Your stronger units are costly in money and Living Pillars cost 56 Resources which is an obscene amount
  • Somewhat low precision of the units makes spell aiming harder

Units[edit]

Reef Dweller
A pale green Atlantian toting a Coral Spear and wearing a Coral Cuirass and a Turtle Shell Shield. His stats are above those of a human, precision excluded. He is very cost effective for what he does and his Coral Spear poisons enemies! His Coral Cuirass will also poison enemies who use Length 0 attacks on him. A superb unit in the start. I like to buy them in batches of 10 when I hit 100+ resources in my capital. They can also be recruited in costal forts.
Atlantian Spearman
The Reef Dweller's dark blue skinned colleague who totes around a regular Spear and wears a chic Sharkskin Armor. Very similar to Reef Dwellers but they don't poison stuff. They do have marginaly higher protection. They also cost way less resources and you can get 2.5 Spearmen for the resource price of a Reef Dweller, so you might be better off building these to inflate your numbers in the first turns before you capture some surrounding provinces. I like to buy them in batches of 10 for the first two turns.
Shambler
An older, larger Atlantian who is hardcore enough to go literally buck naked to combat and demand 30 gold for it. He gets two attacks with his Claws and he has good stats. He has poor protection and is larger than a human and can get ganged on. They only cost 1 resource though. I don't myself use them much because they are so vulnerable.
War Shambler
Gold 35, Resources 7
This Shambler is smart enough to shamble to the armory and pick up a Spear, a Turtle Shell Shield and a Sharkskin Armor before going to battle. Costing 35 Gold and 7 resources and coming with good HP and decent other stats the War Shamblers make good units unless you are in dire need of money.
Coral Guard
Gold 40, Resources 26
A Shambler wearing Coral armor which looks a bit silly, being pink and all. However their weapon of choice is the high-damage, one-handed (!) Coral Glaive which poisons enemies on the top. They have protection of 14 and good stats but their encumberance is somewhat high and they can pass out in prolonged battles. They cost 40 gold and 26 resources and you might have hard time wielding them in number.
Deep One
Deep Ones are the stronger, stupider and more monstrous forefathers of other Atlantians. They all have poor magic resistance but they get 50% Fire and Cold resistance which is VERY useful in some situations as natural resistances and resistances from spells stack! They also get 100% Darkvision.
This particular Deep One unit uses only his natural weapons, claw and bite and no armor. He isn't a very useful unit if you ask me and I practically never buy them.
Deep One Warrior
A Deep One armed with a magic Basalt Spear that can pierce some protection spells and a Bite from his gaping maw. They are inexpensive and could be used as emergency troops against ethereal targets. Unfortunately ethereal units tend to have something that does nasty stuff that can be resisted by MR. And the Deep Ones have magic resistance of 8. Which isn't good. They can be useful against Seasonal Spirits and the like though.
Shambler of the Deep
A Deep One variation of the Shambler with alarmingly low magic resistance. Don't send this guy against anyone using mind affecting magic! He comes with three attacks though, Claw, Claw and Bite so he could be used as a shock troop of sorts against low protection targets. Like those silly mermen without armor.
Warrior of the Deep
Gold 40, Resources 11
A Shambler of the Deep armed with a magic Basalt Spear and his Bite and he totes around a Turtle Shell Shield for protection. He has all the advantages and drawback of the deep fishies I mentioned on the previous Deep One units. Use accordingly. Costs 40 gold and only 11 resources.
Living Pillar
A Sacred Warrior of the Deep with a Castle Defence bonus and great protection...but he has an obscene encumberance and resource cost. 56 resources is a very large amount and these guys just cry out for an Earth bless which is hard to get. They are slow in combat and have use mostly as tanks. They do get protection value of 20 though, and that is nothing to sneer at. The cost at it comes is huge though and you should think if you even want to use these units at all. They also have poor magic resistance. He has the same magical 4 damage Basalt Spear and Bite.
Living Pillars are Capital Only.

Commanders[edit]

Unit
Gold x, Resources y
Description
Scout
An Atlantian scout with all the advantages they posses. The only scouts recruitable underwater are your national ones, but you're better off buying others units in most of the cases.
Coral Priest
A cheap Atlantian Holy 1 priest who can also be recruited in coastal forts.
Shambler Chief
A Shambler that has some position of authority. He totes around a Coral Club and can lead 40 units. You are better off recruiting Coral Commanders even if they cost a bit more.
Coral Commander
Somewhat expensive for a normal commander but they have the equipment of the Coral Guards and they get 80 leadership which is double what Shambler Chiefs get.
Mother of the Deep
A Shambler priestess with 2 Holy and 40 Leadership. She costs 130 gold and unless you have some specific need for priests other than temply building I'd rather buy Coral Priests. Can be useful against undead hordes before you research Blade Wind though.
Mage of the Deep
A Shambler mage with 2 Water, one random which is either Fire, Water, Earth or Astral and another random which is either Fire, Water or Earth.
Mages of the Deep have somewhat varying use depending on what randoms they get. All Mages of the Deep can cast some simple Water spells and higher level will be more efficient at it. If a Mage of the Deep has 4 Water he will make a great Falling Frost caster once you hit Evocation 5 and especially if you kit him with Robe of the Sea and Water Bracelet.
Fire/Earth ones can cast Magma Bolts and forge some very useful magic items that can be used on an early supercombatant pretender or your commanders.
2 Earth ones who are rare could even forge Black Steel Full Plates and use Blade Wind after casting Summon Earthpower.
2 Water 2 Fire ones can cast Acid Bolt once you research enough conjuration. 3 Water 1 Fire ones can cast Acid Rain.
Those Mages of the Deep can be used to search for Astral sites and the rare ones who get 1 Astral 1 Earh can forge the Communion Matrix items which can be very useful as they have the effect of casting Communion Master or Communion Slave depending on the type of the Matrix item.
Basalt Queen
Gold 350
A somewhat disturbing sight, the Basalt Queen is a large Deep One priestess with Holy 3 and 160 Leadership, making her an exceptional commander. She costs 350 gold but has good stats Defence excluded, I've seen a Basalt Queen rout a Merman force of roughly 25 Mermen by casting Holy Avenger, Smite and whacking couple of the Mermen down with her Basalt Club. But I wouldn't use them as thugs because their Defence is low even if their HP is great. They are great priests and commanders and totally worth buying nevertheless. They are Capital Only.
Basalt King
Gold 500
An old Deep One mage, the Basalt King is a Sacred mage with 1 Fire, 2 Water and 3 Earth picks with a 100% chance to get either a pick of Fire, Water or Earth magic and a slim 10% chance of getting another pick of Fire, Water or Earth.
Since Basalt Kings start with 3 Earth they are quite obviously suited for Blade Wind casting, but this spell can also hurt your own troops. But since Basalt Kings are exceptionaly tough and can cast buff spells like Quicken Self, Fireshield and various protection spells from Earth they can make good mage-thugs as long as you don't slap a too heavy armor on them. Even if you don't use them as thugs they are exceptionaly tough battlemages.
Basalt Kings can cast Acid spells and the ones who get 3 Water are especially good at it. They can also use Magma Bolts and Summon Earthpower to help them with fatigue. They also benefit from all bless effects and Earth bless is very good for them.
They can also cast Claymen and Fire Ward which can be used to make the already resistant Deep One units immune to fire. Yes, immune. You can then use Fire path spells without worries with your Deep Ones!
Basalt Kings can also forge some very useful items such as Fire Brands and Charcoal Shields.
Basalt Kings cost 500 gold and are Capital Only.

Heroes[edit]

Starting Sites[edit]

National Spells[edit]

National Summons[edit]

Summon Giant Fish
(not available in the demo)

Strategies[edit]

Scale Design[edit]

This is a quite tricky part for Atlantis because you must make a choice if you want to aim for a bless. Be prepared to pay through your nose for any other bless than Water 9 which isn't so hugely useful for Atlantis (and it's an underwater nation!). If you want to use the Living Pillars you must also take high amounts of Productivity because they cost humongous amounts of resources.

Many of your units cost around 30 Gold or more and your mages and more powerful priests are also quite expensive, so taking Order might be a good idea.Taking Growth could also work if you want to turtle in the seas. Not necessarily a good plan though, but Growth can be helpful. However it might be that you can't afford it.

You can take Heat and Cold with reduced effects, but Cold/Heat still affects encumberance and supplies even under the seas. Gold generation isn't affected though. Taking Cold works against Agarthan attempts to invade the seas.

Pretender Design[edit]

Noteworthy pretenders for Atlantis are:

Dagon
He is a superb supercombatant and with some luck you can slap a Black Steel armor, an Ice Sword and a shield on him before turn three. Then he is free to rampage! He starts with only 2 Water picks.
Monolith
You could try a bless strategy with an Imprisoned monolith. Don't except to get much done with the pretender itself though.
Arch Mage
He is 0 points and Aquatic, but you can give him a pick of Air and he can forge Amulet of the Fish when you hit Construction 4. You can take some low-level mixed blessings him like 4 Earth 4 Air 4 Water or even more if you make him Dormant or Imprisoned.
Ancient Kraken
In my opinion one of the funniest pretenders around, he is quite customizable but he is also locked to the watery realms unless you give him some Air and make him forge Amulet of the Fish. You can try a low-level multi bless strategy with him such as 4 Water 4 Air 4 Earth and even more if you use some of the Awakening options. The longer he stays in sleepy lands the less supercombatant potential he has though. His only slots are three Misc. slots.
Wyrm
An undying favorite of Dominions players, the Wyrm starts with no magic but you can give him some magic at the cost of 50 points for every new pick. I'd focus on only one path. He regenerates and gets two attack per round with a highly venomous bite. He hasn't got much slots, but he can wear two helmets.
Bless Benefits[edit]

The tanky Living Pillars and the magey Basalt Kings benefit from the following blesses:

Earth
Your Living Pillars will have huge fatigue problems in battles longer than 9 rounds and reinvigoration never harms mages, so Earth blessing will be very beneficial for you. Too bad there's no easy way to it for Atlantis.
Nature
Your sacred units have 30-40 HP and Regeneration given by Nature bless can give them some more staying power.
Water
Somewhat debatable because the Quickness given by 9 Water won't help Living Pillars that much...and it might even make them pass out even faster! Extra defence is always helpful though.
Astral
Your Living Pillars have Magic Resistance of 8 which is low, too low. Astral bless gives you more Magic Resistance.

Expansion[edit]

Some Strategies and Tactics for Atlantis

Massed Blade Wind
All of your Basalt Kings can cast Blade Wind once you research enough Evocation, and they can further boost themselves by casting Summon Earthpower which helps them with the fatigue the spell causes. Having three-four or more Oracles scripted Summon Earthpower - Bladewind - Bladewind - Bladewind - Bladewind can do massive damage against unarmored troops which are common in the Early Age. Summon Earthpower is not necessary but it makes Bladewind more powerful since it scales well with increased Earth magic and it helps with spellcasting fatigue.
Keep in mind that Bladewind can hurt your troops also and is not so effective against armored targets.
Overcoming the poor Precision
Since your mages have poor precision but they are tough you can put the closer to the frontline in battle than you would usually wish to put mages to.
Additionally your mages can cast protection spells so they can shrug off some damage. A bit later on in the game you can use taskforces made out of Basalt Kings using their best spells (Bladewind, Acid Rain) guarded by Coral Guards or Shambler Warriors to great effect. You can also use Living Pillars if your enemy doesn't have spells that make a MR check.
Fire Immune Fishes
Your Basalt Kings have the acces to the spell Fire Ward after some research in Enchament. This spell gives a number of units 50% Fire resistance. But what happens to units that have a native Fire resistance of 50%? They become immune! With the help of this spell you can make taskforces that are largely or totally immune to fire. A newcomer or a player not aware of Atlantis/it's magic paths/the spell Fire Ward will never ever suspect fire immune fishes!
Armor Destruction
You can propably note that broadly speaking Atlantian weapons don't have such a high damage, but that some of the units get multiple attacks. Your mages have high Water and Earth magic. So how to take advantage of this? Use the spells Achile's Armor, Destruction (both in Alteration which you should research for the protection spells) and Rust Mist (evocation). This will give the enemies the Destruction effect unless they have magic armors. This means that a strong strike will destroy their armors and expose their soft flesh to the hungry jaws and sharp spears of your units.
Choosing the Right Tool
Use the "reef" Atlantean units against enemies who use mind affecting/MR-resistable spells and the Deep One Atlanteans against enemies who use elemental magics. Admittedly this is more of a concern for the full version where there are spells that affect entire armies and can be MR-resisted. But it does feel good when that Marverni Druid doesn't succeed every time with his Mind Burn or when your Firewarded Warriors of the Deep shrug of Abysian fire spells. Mind Blast and Enslave Soul attacks you might run into are also resisted by MR.

Research Order[edit]

Evocation
Since your mages can be superb battlemages there is no point in not researching Evocation swiftly, especially if you plan to conquer the surface world. As you should.
Evocation 2 offers Rust Mist which is quite easily accessed by Atlantis.
Evocation 3 brings Magma Bolt and Acid Bolt which both are great combat spells, especially Acid Bolt which is strong enough to kill heavy units.
Evocation 4 brings two potent AoE spells, Blade Wind which dominates the battlefields of Early Age filled with low protected units. Blade Wind can also be boosted with terrifying ease with the help of Summon Earthpower (conjuration spell) and Earth Boots (Cons. 4 magic item) The other one is Acid Rain which is castable by some Mages of the Deep and Basalt Kings.
Evocation 5 brings the Falling Frost, the quintessial combat spell of Water magic in Dominions. Since you have acces to mages that have potentially 4 Water from the start and Falling Frost scales well with additional levels of Water magic you will have a significant weapon in your magic arsenal once you research this.
Higher levels of Evocation bring even more potent spells with the pinnacle most likely being Murdering Winter which can do severe damage to non-cold resistant armies, but you are most likely better of researching a bit of Conjuration or Construction once you hit Evocation 4 or 5.
Conjuration
Once you hit Evocation 4 or 5 you should research either Conjuration or Construction to get magic path boosting items and spells.
A major attraction in Conjuration for Atlantis is the Summon Earthpower avaitable at Conjuration 3. This allows your Basalt Kings to boost their Earth magic for 1 point during overland battles, but that's not all. It also grants them reinvigoration which helps them with fatigue. Quite a bargain for an Earth 2 spell!
At Conjuration 4 you can cast Voice of Tiamat which will allow you to scan for sites of elemental power in sea provinces, saving magetime if you have enough water gems to afford using this spell.
Higher level Conjuration spells allow you to summon some strong units such as Sea King's Court and Asp Turtles.
Construction
Construction opens a path for magic boosting items, most notable the Earth Shoes, Robe of the Sea (Construction 4) and Water Bracelet (Construction 6). Earth Shoes give the Earth mage wearing them +1 to Earth magic and Robe of the Sea and Water Bracelet give the Water mage wearing them +1 Water magic (total +2 if the mage has both items). Path boosting can be very beneficial for spells that scale well with power and guess what, your bread-and-butter combat spells Bladewind, the Acid spells, Falling Frost and later on Ice Strike scale well with power. And you pretty much *need* those path boosters if you ever want to cast that Murdering Winter.
Alteration
Alteration offers the various Earth based protection and debuff spells. Keep in mind that those Earth spells tend to give you armor with some payoff, namely weakness to some element. Some of Alteration spells that you have access to can be highly useful such as Frozen Heart, Destruction, Earth Meld, Blindness, Petrify and so on while others could have been useful if they would be three levels downwards in the research tree (Boil).
Enchament
Offers warding spells which can make your Deep One units completely immune to Fire or Cold, Claymen which can be a nice spell when cast by a high level Water mage, some other combat boosting spells and battlefield temperature affecting spells which can be downright evil when combined with aproriate resistance for your units.
Thaumaturgy
Since you aren't really an Astral nation your gains are limited mostly to Fire and Earth site scanning spells and Sailor's Death which aren't really worth the investement if you ask me.
Blood magic
You really can't use it. Sorry, this is not Dominions 2. No Ice Devils for you.