Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Solium Infernum Beginner's Guide (Part Six: Last Orders)

Marching onward, then.

If you haven't downloaded the demo, please do so here, and start with part onepart twopart threepart four, and part five of this guide.

Your next choice on the Order screen is "Play An Event." Events are powerful, one-time actions, and you draw events card each time you're Regent for a turn (as chosen by the Infernal Conclave). If you want to see what Event cards you currently possess while on the Order screen, then choose the "Forces" tab at the top of the inner screen, then choose the Events tab at the bottom of the subsequent screen.

Like I said, Event cards can be incredibly powerful, and can substantively change the outcome of a game. Use with both knowledge and caution. For the knowledge part, you'll find a full list of Event cards in the manual, and for caution, well, that just comes with experience.

Next is a series of "Manage" orders:
--Manage Objectives
--Manage Praetors
--Manage Artifacts
--Manage Relics
--Manage Manuscripts.

"Managing Objectives" is straightforward. Objectives are goals that reward you with Prestige Points if you accomplish them by the end of the game. In addition to a public objective that you accept at the beginning of the game, you can choose to accept additional objectives in the form of cards. Note that your ability to choose the objective is limited to what you've drawn (you may be able to draw 2 Objectives cards and only keep one, for example)--you're not choosing from a comprehensive list.

The options for "Managing Praetors" is quite simple. You can choose to Transfer (attach) a Praetor to a Legion (Praetors can't move on their own) or Place Of Power, or you can choose to Train the Praetor. Training is done with "P" Manuscripts.

"Manage Artifacts" is even easier. Your only option is to Transfer them. "Manage Relics" is the same.

"Manage Manuscripts" will show you the name of a Rite or Machine that has a full set of Manuscript fragments. If there's a Rite/Machine showing, and you select it, you'll be taken to the Manuscript screen, where you'll need to assemble the fragments in order.

The last option on the Orders screen is "Increase Avatar Attribute." Choose it and you'll be shown a list of your Attributes. Choose the one you want to increase, and you'll see how much Tribute is required in the lower-left side of the frame. If you want to proceed, click "Select" in the bottom-right of the frame and you'll be taken to the Tribute screen. Commit the necessary resources and choose "Commit Tribute."

And now, the exception.

There is one type of order that cannot be selected at the Orders screen, and that's Rituals. To get there, just select the "Rituals" tab at the top of the inner frame. Rituals, at the highest levels, are some of the nastiest, most underhanded actions you can perform in the game.

In other words, they're perfect.

The rituals available to you are tied to your Attribute levels (as well as a few special rituals that require certain Relics), so the more powerful your Attribute levels, the greater your choices. To perform a Ritual, just click on a wax seal on the ritual screen and the available rituals are shown in a list. Choose which ritual you want to perform, and you'll see a description of its effect as well as its cost in Tribute. If you want to proceed, choose "Select" and you'll be asked to choose a target (the type of target varies by ritual).

Once you've selected a target, the Orders screen will pop up, and you can choose an available order slot (I'm technically saying that wrong, because I should be saying "Phases," not orders, but you know what I'm talking about).

After you select an open order slot, you'll be taken to the Tribute screen to commit the requisite tribute. Once you do, you'll see a slot filled on the Ritual screen.

One special note about Rituals: if your Deceit discipline is at the fifth level or higher, you can frame other players for the rituals you've performed, which is just ridiculously great for PBEM games.

All right, I think that's enough. Hopefully, if you start with this guide and then read the manual, you'll have a solid understanding of the game. It's wicked, wicked fun, one of the most unique strategy games ever created, and it's entirely worthy of your time.

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