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Tuathan Sorceresses are the most powerful mages Man has known.

The Early Age "Land of the Ever-Young" exists as a nation ruled by a magical race known as Tuatha and their Sidhe descendants. The Fir Bolg, lesser descendants of the Nemedians, compose much of the population. The Sidhe and Tuatha are able to weave illusions to hide their true appearance.

Tir na n'Og is a blessed isle surrounded by whispering mists. It is the home of the Tuatha, a highly magical race descended from the Nemedians who once warred with the Fomorians. The Tuatha have made themselves lords and masters over the Fir Bolg, a lesser race descended from the same Nemedian ancestors. With the aid of the Fir Bolg, the Tuatha attacked the Fomorian giants and almost succeeded where the Nemedians failed, but eventually the Fomorians proved too powerful and the Tuatha were driven back to their blessed isle. The Tuatha and their Sidhe descendants have turned to crafts, poetry and magical arts, but some have chosen the path of war and have become warriors and generals of great renown. The Fir Bolg, inferior to the Tuatha but still far superior to ordinary men, compose much of the population and serve as farmers and lowly warriors.

Trivia
Tir na n'Og is inspired by ancient Celtic Mythology and folkloric tales of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Those tales describe the Tuatha De - the 'immortal people'. In medieval Irish myth, the Fir Bolg were the fourth group of invaders to settle in Ireland. Sidhe (pronounced Shee) is an Irish word that literally means a mound of earth, magical hills thought to be the homes of the Daoine Sidhe, or fae 'people of the mounds'. The banshee (bean sídhe), which means "woman of the sídhe", has come to indicate any supernatural woman who announces a coming death. A baobhan sith (Sith = Sidhe) is a type of female vampire in the folklore of the Scottish Highlands. The noble title 'Ri' means 'King' in Gaelic. This nation was added in the Dominions 3.06 patch.

Overview[edit]

Though Vanheim or Helheim steal most of the attention, Tir na n'Og constitutes the 'other' EA glamoured-nation; one of stealthy glamoured mage-priests, assassins and high-quality light troops. Combining Holy magic with an elemental Air/Nature combo figures prominently in it's diverse commander lineup. Tir na n'Og's national spell songs lend it's magi and troops staying-power in battle.

Strengths:

  • Glamoured commanders/magi: including mage-priests and assassins.
  • Good chaff commanders.
  • Strong early access to Air/Nature magic and good Holy; possibly strong Fire (through random hero event)
  • Can eventually break into good Water and forge your way into Earth.
  • Tutha and many Sidhe commanders come armed with magic weapons.
  • Recruit-everywhere glamoured troops and excellent chaff.
  • Mobility through forests.
  • High-MR
  • Spell songs

Weaknesses:

  • Mages are pricey (though upkeep is reasonable).
  • Sacred troops are expensive and cap-only.
  • Mostly light-armed and -armored troops.
  • No national access to Astral, Blood or Death (no clear end-game magic).

National Features[edit]

Units[edit]

Tir Na n'Og has two fundamentally different operational troop types: a 'mundane' variety comprised of Fir Bolg warriors, and 'stealthy' glamoured troops comprised of Sidhe and Tuatha. There are no national cavalry units, though your national summons can eventually fill this niche.

Fir Bolg Troops[edit]

Fir Bolg are essentially long-lived heroic humans. This effectively translates to +2/+3 extra points in each of the basic stats as compared to like human troop types (HP/Attack/Defence/Morale/MR) and a lifespan of 150 years. None of the Fir Bolg wear helmets, which makes them all somewhat under-armored even for Early Age.

The most direct way (ie. single-path research) to upgrade your troops to medium-infantry quality is Wooden Warriors (Alt-5) and/or Mass Protection (Alt-7, which also unlocks Fog Warriors). However if you can manage to forge some Earth Boots for your E-random casters, you can alternatively improve both attack and defense using Summon Earth Power (Conj-3) then Legions of Steel (Const-3), Strength of Giants (Ench-3), Weapons of Sharpness (Const-7) and/or debuff heavy-armored enemies using Destruction (Alt-4).

Fir Bolg Militia
Gold 10, Resources 5
Your cheapest unit. Their improved stats almost allow Fir Bolg militia to be used as you would human light-infantry. The biggest downside is lack of protective headgear drops their armor to that of being practically butt-naked. They comprise a main part of your PD, so best look for ways to augment their use. If you can improve their morale and armor through magic (Protection, Iron/Wooden Warriors, Legions of Steel), they can function as adequate inexpensive melee blockers. Alternatively, incapacitate the enemy (False Fetters, Tangle Vines, Sleep Cloud, etc) while your militia mob them.
Fir Bolg Slinger
Gold 11, Resources 2
An excellent MM-2 slinger with good precision. Clearly superior to their indy counterparts. While you'll still want to find some forestry-savvy tribal archers (wolf-tribe, deer-tribe, etc) to keep up with your glamoured troops on forest maps, these guys do just fine in massed numbers vs light- and medium troops.
Friendly-fire is a real problem for Tir na n'Og, especially when slingers are scripted to 'fire closest' (ie. your PD). Their bullets frequently pop friendly glamours and kill your lightly-armored melee blockers. Even your high-end Tuatha are not immune to this, and frequently suffer as many casualties through FF as through enemy hits. Both Wind Guide (Alt-4) and veteran status helps prevent this.
Fir Bolg Warrior (Javelin/Spear)
Gold 13, Resources 10
A solid MM-2 light-infantry javelinist with high defense-skill, if a bit under-armored for their oft used front-line blocker role. Well-aimed mass javelins volleys can devastate unarmored indy/barbarian troopers and pop enemy glamours. Spears prove underwhelming weapons vs heavy armors, so employ others to do any heavy hitting.
Fir Bolg Warrior (Axe)
Gold 13, Resources 9
Your bread & butter meat-shield trooper, if only because spears & slings don't reliably pierce the heavy armors of the Age (ie. Abysian infantry, Mictlan sun warriors, Ermor Triarii, T'ien C'hi nobles, etc). Thus your axe-wielders are the grunts who take on the heavies. A good all-round melee fighter with a decent weapon whose only real downside is their light armor - all too often they are called upon to go toe-to-toe vs iron-clad enemies. Once you research the magic to improve their armor (or debuff the enemy), they can be considered proper medium troops.

Glamoured Troops[edit]

The Sidhe are a mix between the Fir Bolg and an even longer-lived woodland fey-warrior race known as Tuatha. Both races are Size-2 glamoured, stealthy, know forestry survival and have partial darkvision. In addition all Tuatha are sacred. Wearing bronze helmets upgrades their armor to 'meh' medium quality.

The glamour ability functions like a mirror image spell; a mage gets 2 mirror images per air level, whereas a non-mage gets only 1 mirror image. The chance of being hit is 1 in (mirror image + 1). On a successful hit, the glamour is canceled and normal damage ensues. It appears that missile attacks first check vs the glamour, and if they hit then roll against a possible shield-block. Whereas melee combat first resolves attack-vs-defense, and if the attack succeeds, then checks vs the glamour (needs verification). This effectively means that whereas glamour serves well to protect in melee, it is quick to fail under intense missile fire. Air Shield (Alt-0) and/or Arrow Fend (Ench-6) serve well to preserve glamours from missile hits, Mist (Evoc-3) less so.

Sidhe Warrior
Gold 25, Resources 12
Recruitable in any fortress; a mainstay trooper of any early-game stealth strategy. As a non-sacred front-line medium-infantry unit, their biggest downside is cost/upkeep and a rather underwhelming spear. Glamoured Sidhe warriors offer an early-game solution as missile magnets and/or melee blockers, and even vs spellcasters they effectively have 2 lives. But beware... they are by no means invulnerable! Massed missile-troops popping the glamour from afar is their bane, and once it is dispelled, they are merely an expensive Fir Bolg Javelineer wearing a helmet! Which begs the question: Is it better to buy 2 Fir Bolgs or 1 Sidhe Warrior?
Tuatha Warrior
Gold 50, Resources 22
Your only national sacred troops are also capital-only. But with MM-2 and forestry survival, they can still generally get to where they are needed in an acceptable timely manner. They are EXPENSIVE for Size-2 foot troops, but wield magic spears (handy vs other nations' glamoured troopers and ethereal summons). Even so, they need a useful bless to justify the high price tag (see Pretender suggestions below). Like their Sidhe counterparts, their Bane is massed archers popping their glamour from afar.


Provincial Defense[edit]

Tir na n'Og PD is excellent vs light- and medium-infantry, but really struggles vs heavily-armored enemies (unassisted by magic, spears and slings don't reliably pierce 15+ protection). PD set to 25-30 should see off just about any likely indy invaders.

  • 1+ Fir Bolg Champion commander + gain 1 Fir Bolg slinger and 1 Fir Bolg Militia per point of PD.
  • 20+ Sidhe Champion mage-priest + gain 1 Sidhe Warrior per point of PD.

As an unscripted mage, the AI-run Sidhe Champion will cast whatever spells you have researched, or national spell songs. The AI prefers ranged attacks over buffs, so spell song use drops off dramatically as you learn higher spells.

Commanders[edit]

Tir na n'Og has an impressive lineup of commanders. Like your troops, your commanders are divided between the Fir Bolg grunts and stealthy Sidhe/Tuatha elites. Interestingly however, most Sidhe commanders are also sacred mage-priests armed with magic weapons, blurring the prior distinction between Sidhe and Tuatha.

Fir Bolg Scout
Gold 25, Resources 10, Upkeep 1.7; Stealthy
While certainly deployable as you would any scout, like all Fir Bolg this guy's improved stats actually bump him up to a combat-worthy thugable commander. As such he potentially makes for a dirt-cheap stealthy magic-item-wielding battle chassis and/or anti-(weak)PD raider!
Fir Bolg Champion
Gold 45, Resources 12, Upkeep 3
Another potential thug chassis with impressive stats for the money; the poor guy unfortunately suffers through association for not being stealthy. As such he is often mistakenly relegated to mere fetch-and-carry jobs in the Tir na n'Og army. Even Fir Bolg commanders seem to have an aversion for helmets, though the javelins are a nice touch as they can be thrown before being scripted to Stay Behind Troops. Give him a brand and/or a vine shield and let him show those Sidhe basterds what he can do! There's always plenty more where he came from to pick up the dropped item and wield it in turn when he falls!
Sidhe Champion
Gold 140, Resources 19, Upkeep 4.7, Research 4; A1N1H1 Sacred, Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Supply +, Darkvision 50
A nice thuggable mage-priest wielding a magic sword. The key to the Sidhe Champion is that he is both sacred and a mage and recruitable everywhere. Hence, though evoking sticker-shock, as far as upkeep goes he is dirt cheap, the equivalent of a 70-gold non-sacred mage. With Magic 3 scales, this translates to a pretty cheaply maintained researcher at 6 research/turn (e.g. similar to Ulm's smith-priests or Caelum's seraphs).
In battle, he can self buff, cast your national spell songs and throw some shock-based magic. Scripted to Bless x3, Attack 1-turn x2, Cast Spells he will bless himself along with 15 Tuatha Warriors scripted to Hold and Attack, then advance to support them on the front line by casting spell songs. The AI may even cast the rarely seen shocking grasp. Because he can't self-buff Mistform, you might improve longevity with a vine- or eye-shield, and possibly Flight to get him out of trouble fast.
Sidhe Lord
Gold 280, Resources 16, Upkeep 9.3, Research 5; A2N1H2 Sacred, Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Supply +, Darkvision 50
Your primary thug stealth-raider, but also an effective rear-line spell caster. Damage output from the magic spear is a bit of a letdown, but likely he won't be using it. Sidhe Lord can sneak behind enemy lines to solo capture weak enemy provinces and cut off retreats, or Cloud Trapeze in from a distance for a remote sneak attack. Think about taking a W,E and N bless on your pretender to get the most bang out of the Sidhe Lord.
  • As a raider, try self-buffing Mistform, Barkskin, Air Shield, Resist Elements/Resist Lighting/Resist Poison, Blessing. Along with a vine shield, this makes him very tough to kill by normal troops.
Bean Sidhe
Gold 220, Resources 1, Upkeep 7.3, Research 6; A1W1N1?1(+AWEN 100) Sacred, Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Supply +, Darkvision 50
The recruit-anywhere Bean Sidhe brings useful magic diversification to your nation. Under Drain scales, she is your most cost-effective researcher, and even under Magic scales comes only in close second to the Sidhe Champion. Her reliable paths also make her a good site-searcher for W and E sites, though a Tuatha mage has better chances to find A, N or H sites.
  • A2N1W1 - her A2 path doesn't bring (any) direct magic synergy with W or N, but she can offer the same evocations spell support the Sidhe Lord can while battling unaffected in the cold.
  • A1N2W1 - She will be your forge smith for most of the useful N-items unlocked at Const-4. Give her a Thistlemace and she can cast all sorts of useful battle buffs (Haste, Berserkers, Wooden Warriors, Mass Protection, Healing Mist, etc) as well as some interesting de-buffs (Charm, Creeping Doom, Polymorph, Stream of Life). She will be your primary means to both employ and protect against poison magic (Poison Ward, Poison Cloud, Breath of the Dragon, Foul Vapours, etc).
  • A1N1W2 - Out of the box, she offers easy access to Rain (Evoc), Winter Ward (Ench) Quickness, Numbness and Quickening (all Alteration school; Numbness bypasses MR), and might even get you into the sea (Friendly Currents) if no underwater nations are around. With water boosters (Const-6), a W4 Bean Sidhe can cast all sorts of nastiness one doesn't expect from Eriu (Quagmire, Grip of Winter, Sailor's Death, Curse of the Dessert, Freezing Mist, Falling Frost, Encase in Ice, etc). Give her a Thistlemace and she can add Bonemelter to the list. In the conjuration school, with boosters she can summon Contact Naiad and Naiad Warriors, plus Shark Attack while underwater. With a single empowerment (45 W gems), she can even summon the elemental Water Queens or start casting globals herself.
  • A1N1W1E1 - Your E1-random Bean Sidhe can cast Armor of Achilles (Alt-2) from very early on, which might prove necessary should Eriu's spear-wielders need to scrap with heavy armored troops (rather likely in fact). If you can somehow gain a small income in E gems and mass-produce earth boots (ie. through Pretender magic picks or an unlikely E2 Tuatha random), Bean Sidhe can cast Rust Mist (Evoc-2) as well as introduce E3 Earth magic to the battlefield (Summon Earthpower, Strength of Giants, Legions of Steel, Destruction, Bladewind, etc). Furthermore, forge her a Water Bracelet (Const-6) to bring her up to A1W2N1E2 and she can cast Fire Ward (Ench-4) to buff your bark-skinned troops.
One small downside is not being able to self-bless in combat to take advantage of her sacred status. For that, you will have to keep a priest on hand. So teaming her up with an indy druid/shaman or one of your Sidhe/Tuatha mage-priests as an escort works well.
Baobhan Sidhe
Gold 225, Resources 1, Upkeep 15, Research 4; A2 Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Darkvision 50, Assassin
These comprise the only magi in your lineup that don't require temples to recruit, but nevertheless cost/upkeep is the highest because they are not sacred. Thus they are pretty much relegated to the role of stealthy assassin and/or A2 combat support. In many ways she is at her deadliest in the early game, where she can lightning bolt-, shockwave or phantasmal warrior-spam her victim to death without too much risk. Later on, for the price of a few gems, she can assassinate enemies using air elementals.
Tuatha Sorceress
Gold 360, Resources 1, Upkeep 12, Research 8; A3N2H2??(+AWEN100%/AWEN10%) Sacred, Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Supply +, Darkvision 50
Your high-end mage-priestess whose primary purpose is forging/casting the most powerful Air and Nature magics. Any caster boosted to A5 (whether through employing items, an extra gem or Summon Storm Power, or any combination thereof) can cast Fog Warriors (Alt-7) before falling unconscious. This is one of Tir na n'Og's game-changing battle-winners.
Other noteworthy less-demanding spells for Tuatha Sorceress are Mist (Evoc-3), Thunderstrike (Evoc-4), Storm (Evoc-5), Wrathful Skies (Evoc-6), Phantasmal Army (Alt-5), Confusion (Thaum-5), Seeking Arrow (Ench-3) Arrow Fend (Ench-6), Mass Flight (Ench-7), Storm Warriors (Ench-8) and summoning Spring Hawks and Air Elementals (Conj). She is a likely candidate for putting up a Dome of Solid Air (Ench-6), launching a remote Phantasmal Attack (Alt-7), summoning one of the Air Queens (Conj-8) or casting the globals Gale Gate, Dark Skies (Thaum), Perpetual Storm (Evoc) or Fata Morgana (Alt). For lower-end magics, she shares a lot of functional overlap with the Bean Sidhe. She has a 25% chance of seeing any of the following:
  • A4N2 - Offers easy-access to Staff of Storms (Const-4) and the Bag of Wind and Winged Helmet air boosters (Const-6). With boosters, she is your likeliest candidate for using Mists of Deception (Ench-8) or Shimmering Fields (Evoc-7) in battle.
  • A3N3 - Give her an extra Air-gem and she casts like an A4 mage. Her N3 is great for dropping all the same battle spells you'd expect from the N2 Bean Sidhe, but she can do so without boosters.
  • A3N2W1 - Other than the high-end air magic spells outlined above, she offers similar functionality as the A1N2W1 Bean Sidhe.
  • A3N2E1 - Create Watchers (Ench-5). She can additionally bring earth magic to the battle similar to the E-random Bean Sidhe.
Of those, there is a 1/40 chance you'll get a lucky bonus path offering a chance at A5N2, A3N4 or A3N2E2 (only a 1/160 chance of actually seeing one of those three). Though unreliable, this is the only way for Tir na n'Og to naturally break into A5, N4 or E2 without using summons, empowerment or taking those paths on your Pretender.
Ri
Gold 330, Resources 22, Upkeep 11, Research 7; A2N2H2??(+AWEN 100/AWEN 10) Sacred, Stealthy, Glamour, Forestry, Supply +, Darkvision 50
Your nation's most skilled fighter... and mage-priest abilities second only to Tuatha Sorceress. If you examine research cost efficiency (see below), one sees that under positive Magic scales, an experienced Ri approaches the same upkeep/RP efficiency as a Tuatha Sorceress. So for insights on which one to hire, we must look elsewhere.
One downside for spellcasting is his increased fatigue due to casting in armor. As a potential thug chassis, Ri can self-buff everything the Sidhe Lord can as well as Personal Regeneration, which increases his healing rate by +2.
  • A3N2 and A2N3- Can cast much of the same air or nature magic as Tuatha Sorceress, but increased survivability for tough battles.
  • A2N2W1 - If you need battle-thugs fighting in the cold he is your guy, being able to self-buff Cold Resistance and Quicken Self (Alt-1&2). He can also employ Resist Poison and Mossbody (Alt-1&3), an unusual combo for a thug.
  • A2N2E1 - Because a mounted Ri cannot wear Earth Boots, he will need a somewhat more obscure Blood Stone (Const-6, B3E2) to be able to use Earth magic effectively. He can still use a gem to boost casting to E2.

Heroes[edit]

Tir na n'Og's hero has by far the best chance to appear under Order + Luck scales.

Lugh the Long Handed
F3A3N2H3 Leadership(175) - Gae Assail, Rainbow, bronze scale cuirass. Sacred, awe(+4), fire resistant(100), glamour, fire shield(9), siege bonus(25), sailing, supply bonus(20), forge bonus(10), darkvision(100).
With all his perks, Lugh is a useful hero indeed! He brings new powerful fire magic to the nation and comes armed with 2 unique weapons; a length-6 magic spear called Gae Assail (16 dmg, no str bonus & small area fire) and a Rainbow sling (12 AN dmg, no str bonus & causes eyeloss; 10 ammo).
Lugh the Long Handed is a hero among the Tuatha. He is a grandson of Balor, High King of the Fomorians, but his father and foster father are of Tuathan stock. He appears as a young, handsome boy ablaze in solar glory. When he first arrived in the misty halls of the Druid Kings of Tir na n'Og, he was denied entrance if he did not show himself useful. But as there already were swordsmen, mages, harpists, poets, shipwrights, smiths and craftsmen, there was no place for Lugh until he asked if there was one who was able in all these arts. There was not and Lugh was accepted as a champion under the name Lugh of Many Skills. As champion of the Tuatha kings, he was dismayed at the acceptance of Fomorian oppression, led by his grandfather Balor. He now leads his people in war against the fell giants of Fomoria, armed with his enchanted spear. The spear is awakened and bursts into flames when battle is near. Such is the rage of the spear that only Lugh can hold it back. This spear has given Lugh his name Long Handed. Lugh also wields the sling Rainbow, which will always strike the eye of the target.

Starting Sites[edit]

Tir na n'Og
  • Enables recruitment of Tuatha Warrior, Ri, Tuatha Sorceress
  • Produces 3 Air gems/turn
Mag Mor
  • Produces 2 Nature + 1 Earth gems/turn

National Spells[edit]

All spell songs have an AoE of 10 +(5/lvl) depending on the caster, and a fatigue cost of 5. Range seems limited to about 2-3 squares.

Song of Bravery
(Ench-0 N1) increases morale of friendly units.
Soothing Song
(Ench-0 N1) removes 5 fatigue on friendly units.
Healing Song
(Ench-0 N1) heals friendly units 1+N hp.

The spell songs are part of the secret sauce that makes Tir na n'Og spell-casting stand out from other nations. While other nations will need to form communions or forge magic items to reduce fatigue and enable prolonged bouts of high-end spellcasting without falling unconscious, Tir na n'Og can simply bring along a support group of Indy shamans... any caster with at least 1N can use spellsongs, but the casters with ONLY 1N are GUARANTEED to use them. These songs offer recuperation, healing and boost morale of nearby units and magi... basically as long as your main casters remain alive they will be constantly reinvigorated and healed by any nearby shamans, thus remain able to keep casting every single round without falling unconscious.

Fortification Build Types[edit]

Tir na n'Og builds the following fortification types for the listed terrain:

Type Terrain Admin Supply Time Cost Defense
Fortified City Capital / Farmland 50 1000 5 1200 250
Ramparts Plains / Waste 15 150 3 800 100
Forest Ramparts Forest 10 100 3 800 150
Swamp Fort Swamp 0 100 3 800 100
Hillfort Mountain 5 100 3 800 200

Economically speaking, Tir na n'Og can best improve it's gold income by building on farmland terrain. The high Admin of fortified cities both increases gold revenue in the province as well as brings in production from surrounding lands. This extra gold income will generally pay for itself within 2 years under positive scales.

National Summons[edit]

Contact Cu Sidhe
(Conj-3 N2, 10N gems) Summons a pack of 7 huge (size 3) green sacred fey hounds from the Land of the Everyoung. The Cu Sidhe serve as companions and hunters and often fight side by side with their Sidhe masters. They are stealthy, sacred and can be blessed.

The Cu Sidhe summons is a tougher creature than that of the Indy Cu Sidhe recruitable unit, with slightly better all-round stats and 150% more hitpoints. Their sacred status bestowing any pretender bless bonuses is likely why you would want to use them over other summons available early on for the same gem cost. They also have forest survival, stealth and MM-3, so they can get around the map like an improved stealthy cavalry when lead by a Sidhe Lord. They even have Darkvision-50 like other Sidhe should you ever need to fight in darkness. On the down side, their greenness does not mean poison-resistant nor do they have a glamour, which seems a bit of an oversight for this nation.

Strategies[edit]

Tir Na n'Og plays much differently than the other two glamour nations. Though skilled our troops are generally lighter, leaving them much more vulnerable to heavy-hitting enemies and missile fire. Tir Na n'Og's staying power and threat projection really picks up through magic research.

Expansion[edit]

Fir Bolg militia work fine vs light-infantry and for tribal indy expansion. Against anything with heavy armor (ie. AC14+) however they won't suffice. For that you'll need to bring in some Fir Bolg Axe Warriors or even blessed Tuatha sacreds with more punching power. So you'll need to quickly secure the lands surrounding your starting capital city to amass enough resources to recruit heavy troops in useful numbers. Look for opportunities to hire heavy mercenaries for a second expansion army, as this can get you into heavily-defended rich Indy provinces much sooner than if you'd need to muster enough national troops.

Under Magic scales, Indy shamans offer great long-term value-for-money in research (see Research below), plus they are key in employing our national spell songs effectively. All of our national spell-researchers require forts, labs AND temples to recruit, which together represents a fairly high investment PLUS our magi do not come cheaply. So look for opportunities to build labs and temples on Indy tribal provinces without needing forts and start recruiting shamans as often as you can to launch research in the early game. Under Drain scales OTOH, you will probably want to use Bean Sidhe as your starting researchers, yet still want to place expansion forts on tribal lands to be able to recruit enough shamans for army duty.

The sooner you can get a few Tuatha Sorceresses out there site searching the better, as you will soon need every available Air gem you can find to protect against likely early-game rushers. Sidhe Lords are quite pricey for the early-game and don't really come into their own till they can cast Mist Form (Alt-3) and be given Vine Shields (Const-4).

Combat Spellcasting[edit]

Common Spells for Thuggable Casters
Self Buffs Army Buffs Offensive Spells Ri Sidhe Lord Sidhe Champion
Air Shield, Mirror Image, Aim, Flight, Resist Lightning, Barkskin, Resist Poison, Elemental Fortitude, Charge Body, Poison Touch Spell Songs, Bless, Heal, Protection Tangle Vines, Shocking Grasp, Swarm, Vine Arrow, Phantasmal Warrior, Orb Lightning, Maggots Yes Yes Yes
Mistform Gift of Flight, Thunder Ward, Wind Guide False Fetters, Lightning Bolt, Shock Wave Yes Yes Yes*
Personal Regeneration
Mossbody*
Poison Ward, Wooden Warriors Sleep Cloud, Breath of the Dragon, Storm of Thorns, Howl Yes Yes*
Healing Mist, Arrow Fend, Mist Thunderstrike*, Poison Cloud*, Stream of Life* Yes*

(*Only possible using Summon Storm Power during a storm and/or booster gems/magic or with appropriate random bonus magic paths.)

This table demonstrates that you really want to fight in a Storm (Evoc-5 or Staff of Storms, Const-6), since all Sidhe Champions thereby gain every spell usable by Sidhe Lords for 'free' using Summon Storm Power (Conj-2). Sidhe Lords on the other hand need an N-booster to really improve (which the Bean Sidhe N2-random can offer for free), so Sidhe Lord's calling seems to be for early-game battles without storms.

Army setup should incorporate a core phalanx of Indy shamans surrounded by Sidhe Champions, Lords and Tuatha. The shamans will thus be able to reinvigorate and heal the whole group using spell songs as the high-end casters unleash a constant barrage of spells.

Research[edit]

Research Costs[edit]

Ratio of Upkeep Cost / Research, per Turn under Magic Scales
Commander Drain 3 Drain 1 or 2 Magic 0 Magic 1 or 2 Magic 3 M3+1xp* M3+2xp*
Indy Shaman 4.00 2.00 1.33 1.00 0.80 0.67 0.57
Sidhe Champion 2.33 1.56 1.16 0.93 0.78 0.67 0.58
Sidhe Lord 3.1 2.35 1.87 1.55 1.33 1.17 1.04
Bean Sidhe 1.83 1.47 1.22 1.05 0.92 0.81 0.73
Baobhan Sidhe 7.5 5.0 3.75 3 2.25 2.14 1.86
Ri 2.2 1.83 1.57 1.38 1.22 1.1 1.0
Tuatha Sorceress 2.0 1.71 1.5 1.33 1.2 1.09 1.0

(*Note in the table above that for each level of experience, a researcher's cost effectiveness shifts one column to the right. Example: Under Magic 0 scales, a researcher with 2 experience would have the same cost effectiveness as a researcher under Magic 3 scales with 0 experience.)

So the table demonstrates that under Magic scales, the Sidhe Champion and the Indy Shaman are the most economic researchers of Tir na n'Og's lineup, with respect to upkeep costs. That and Magic-3 scales represents a 50% increase in research per unit cost using them, which is pretty huge.

Under Drain scales, the Bean Sidhe is initially the most cost-effective researcher, though as they gain experience, the Indy Shaman and Sidhe Champion catch up and surpass her. You are however paying anywhere from 50-100% more gold per unit of research under Drain as opposed to Magic scales. Still, Drain boosts our MR even higher, and we can offset higher research costs by taking better scales to increase gold income (ie. the Sidhe Champion under Magic-1 and the Bean Sidhe under Drain-2 each bring in 5 research/mage, though at a difference of 120 design points and 50% more gold/research).

Research Order[edit]

Scales[edit]

Magic Scales Order and Luck scales favour benign random events, plus unlock the useful national hero Lugh. Magic scales is also recommended for the research bonus, as it makes your otherwise pricey magi more cost-effective researchers.

  • Order 1 Sloth 3 Growth 3 Luck 1 Magic 3

Drain Scales An alternative strategy would be to use a Drain scale to boost our excellent MR even further, and use Bean Sidhe with owl quills for research. This gives us balanced scales with an extra 200 design points to use vs the Magic scales listed above.

  • Order 1 Sloth 3 Growth 3 Luck 1 Drain 2

Misfortune Scales These scales combine much of the benefits of both suggestions listed above: a growth economy, good research and 200 build-points left over for a powerful pretender, though you lose out on ever seeing your hero Lugh. Low Misfortune is 'doable' though random unlucky events can prove brutal in the early game till your economy is large enough to absorb the hits, so it represents a gamble.

  • Sloth 3 Growth 3 Misfortune 1 Magic 1 (alternate)

Pretenders[edit]

Like the other two glamour nations, Tir Na n'Og would certainly benefit from an F9 or D9, possibly even W9 bless. But all our sacred troops and commanders already have magic weapons and high attack and defense skill. So that tends to make one want to look elsewhere to see if there is something offering better synergy.

Tir na n'Og's troops are arguably at their best in the early game vs light infantries before research tips the balance of power... even your least militia unit is better than most Indy troops for expansion. Hence, an awake pretender doesn't really bring much advantages. On the other hand we want a decent bless to justify the high cost of our sacreds, and we need Scales that enable us to buy expensive magi to get the research machine rolling. Since your sacred troops and commanders already come with magic weapons, a Blood bless is an easy way to boost their damage output. On the other hand, if you plan on using Sidhe Lords as melee thugs in the early game, an Earth bless helps reduce fatigue (arguably the #1 Achilles heel of mist-formed thugs), although research and certain magic items can eventually cover this by the mid-game.

Under Magic scales: Order 1 Sloth 3 Growth 3 Luck 1 Magic 3

  • Dormant Oracle, E4 S6 B4, Dom 6
    Your sacreds get Re-invigoration, improved MR and Strength. Once awake, your Oracle can remote search for aStral sites, and together with Holy-sites found by your H2 priests, you can bootstrap into a modest pearl income. Dwarven hammers and earth booths are easy-access, which brings Earth magic to the battlefield mix via Tuatha Sorceress. For late game, you can get high-end Blood summons, or with S-boosters Wish for demonic Mandeha to lead your Tuatha armies... they auto-cast Darkness at the beginning of battle.
  • Imprisoned Divine Serpent, N7 D4, Dom 5
    Your warriors will have to rely on damage boosts from researching berserker magic. But you can use battlefield poison spells and your sacreds will remain largely unaffected due to regeneration from the bless. Also the minor death bless grants increased chance of afflictions on any damage dealt by a sacred mage (ie. all of Tir na n'Og's magi), including poison damage ;)

Under Drain scales: Order 1 Sloth 3 Growth 3 Luck 1 Drain 2 OR Misfortune Scales: Sloth 3 Growth 3 Misfortune 1 Magic 1

  • Dormant Cyclops, E9 B4, Dom 6
    Here we try and take a bless that ameliorates our Tuatha troops' two greatest flaws: mediocre armor & weapon damage. The E bless increases their protection to 14... not bad for an EA nation, while simultaneously reducing their encumbrance fatigue to 1 per round. With research you can easily boost their armor further to 21 using your N magic, which should make them very durable vs normal troops. The minor blood bless combined with Tuatha strength increases their damage output by +5, which together with a magic spear means they inflict damage as if they were armed with greatswords. With research you can further improve this by casting berserker rage.
    Once your cyclops arrives in-game, he gives you easy forging access to hammers and boots for your E-random Tuatha magi. For the end game, he'll be able to help your armies by dropping Earthquakes or ritual-casting high-end Blood summons.
  • Imprisoned Arch Druid, F2 A1 W4 E4 S4 D4 N4 B4, Dom 5
    Bestows a useful all-around rainbow bless for your Tuatha warriors, but also for the Sidhe Champion / Sidhe Lord however you should choose to use them in either casting-mage or melee-thug roles. The Arch druid's stealth synergizes well with your stealthy glamoured nation, and he generates extra N gems too! With boosters he can forge any missing equipment, not to mention cast just about any enchantment or summons.
  • Imprisoned Great Enchantress, W4 E4 S4 D4 N4 B4, Dom 5
    Identical bless benefits to the rainbow Arch Druid above, but drops the Fire & Air paths and exchanges the N-gem/t for 1 astral pearl/turn.
  • Imprisoned Great Enchantress, W4 E4 S4 N4 B6, Dom 6
    Similar to the previous build, but by relying on our hero Lugh the Long Handed and Tuatha Sorceresses for access to F and A magic, we can take a higher Blood bless. She generates her own S gems, useful for forging.