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Dominions 5 - Basic Terminology / Slang Guide

Written by Shinuyama   /   Mar 17, 2020    

Some MP and online terminology for game concepts.

Dominions has its own terms and nomenclature, developed over time as people played the game. Here i'll list some and what they mean.

Appendix: Terms of Engagement

Gem Burning: A mage with 4+ paths (any kind, eg 1s2e1h, 1f1n1w1e, 2h2s, 4f1e) with 2 gems in his inventory (any kind) triggers gem spending in mages in an army if he's at a fight. Likewise, any unit with 4 or more magic items. Likewise, if the enemy army has a certain hp % or more of the friendly army (30%..ish?). Otherwise mages will think the fight is not too dangerous and will not cast gem-costing spells. Unless the fight goes to turn 9 or something, at which point they'll use gems on random spells with wild abandon. Gem burning means you send mages with gems, geared units, or piles of high hp useless units to trigger gem spending on fights that don't need it to win, thus 'burning' the enemy gems.

Ritual speed: Rituals happen before regular movement, thus 'moving' at 'ritual speed' (via Cloud Trapeze, Teleport, Stygian Paths etc) is faster than regular movement and can 'catch' enemy forces before they move (forcing a battle in the ritual phase). Likewise rituals like Mind Hunt and Flames From The Sky happen faster than other things, so many things can happen in the ritual phase from movement to fort building (Wizard's Tower) to wiping armies (Flames) etc, and 'at ritual speed' is usually the phrase used to describe that.

Point buff: Generally when you have large-aoe buff spells it becomes assumed you will deploy them wherever you can. However small-aoe buff spells (single target, aoe 1 etc) are less often used, and 'point buffing' refers to using those spells to buff some special unit (like giants, elephants, or summons) at high cost in mage time but to layer those buffs on those units (usually to make them invulnerable to regular melee attacks before doing that to your whole army is viable).

Laundry, Laundry list, Laundry army, Doomstack, buffstack, buffed stack, lategame army: An army with a lot of the buffs in the game layered onto it, making it largely immune to most everything except a bigger, better buffed army.

Bottle assassin: A unit with the assassination ability or seduction ability (either naturally or via a Black Heart) with a Water Bottle, which creates a water elemental in assassination battles. Generally this goes poorly for the guy being assassinated unless he has a bottle himself.

Throne rush: When a player makes a play for the number of thrones he needs to win, with the plan of capturing and claiming them (thus ending the game) before anyone can react or stop him. Often this is enabled by flying, stealth, or teleporting armies.

Throne cap: Claiming thrones with a pretender or H3 priest (thus adding them to your throne total to win).

Capitals: Short for 'enemy capitals taken', a shorthand for size of empire, with '3 caps' meaning roughly the size of 3 starting nations' expansions.

Booster: Magic path booster, an item that increases your mage's magic path such as a Thistle Mace or Earth Boots.

A W E F N S D B: Often preceded or followed by a number eg e3w2s1n4. In order, Air Water Earth Fire Nature Astral Death Blood, the magic paths in the game. The number indicates the level in the path, so 3f or f3 both mean 'Fire 3'.

Skelespam: Utilizing the Horde of Skeletons spell (and/or the Raise Dead spell if unburied corpses are present) to create a large number of undead for the purposes of drowning your opponents in them such that their troops cannot reach your mages, often by relying on the fact that D mages will 'default' to casting such spells offscript if it is researched and they have enough magic skill to use it.

Wipe/Clear/Battlefield wipe/Battlefield clear: Using spells such as Wrathful Skies, Earthquake, Grip of Winter or Foul Vapours to attempt to kill all enemy units on the field via battlefield-wide damage, fatigue, or other effects.

Hellbless: An extremely heavy bless for sacred units that results in mostly bad-to-terrible scales to pay for it. An example would be Fortitude Bbond Regen Air Shield, or Allresists + def magweps str str atk.

Raid: Take a province from enemies with a small force, usually only facing against PD (province defense), for the purposes of garnering income, blocking enemy movement, or creating psychological pressure on the enemy. Often stealth, sailing, fast movement or flight is utilized to create more mobile raiding forces, but this term is also used when simple on foot adjacent marching is all that the raiders are capable of.

FV/vape/gas: Foul Vapours, by far the strongest damage effect in the game if not countered by use of PR bless, snake rings, summoned units, poison ward, or serpent's blessing.

Scripting/orders: Giving 5 turns of commands to mages (and general orders to troops) via the 'Army Setup' option, as well as more general battle planning accomplished by giving those commands.

Offscript: The time past the first 5 orders (or past the initial orders given to troops) where the spellcasting or unit AI takes over and makes decisions on its own. As it is very dumb, this is often used in the context of working around its bad decisions.

SC/Supercombatant/Supercaster: A large, powerful unit that can fight off an army when geared with appropriate gear, buffs, and knowledge of what that army can do. Very few 'general purpose' SCs exist or are cost effective in dom5, nearly every SC must be geared and prepared to fight a specific known army with known capability.

Thug: A single commander designed to fight PD (province defense) on its own, or to fight off very limited or small enemy forces. Often utilized to make use of mobility (such as a Vanjarl with vine shield, fire brand, and girdle of might using Cloud Trapeze to raid enemy provinces that are outside the movement of your regular forces), stealth, or other factors thugs are difficult to build in a cost effective manner but are quite popular due to being fun and cool.

Turn timer/timer: If a battle is not concluded by a specific turn, all units on the attacker's side rout if capable of routing. If by a later turn the battle is not concluded, all defender's side units rout. If the battle is not concluded at a certain turn after that, every unit is killed. Certain tactics allow use of this to defeat otherwise unkillable doomstacks or units.

Dogpile: When a nation is invaded by 3 or more other nations, often of the same size.

Rush/bless rush: When a nation invades another before all the independents are cleared out, often with heavily blessed sacred troops.

Indies/indie mage/indie prov: Independent units, independent mages (often recruitable due to a magic site), a province controlled by independent units (either from start of the game or via an event).

Prot-buff/prot-buffed: A unit(s) buffed with spells that increase its Protection score to the point that mundane weapons tend to bounce off, or the buff spells (marble warriors, army of x, wooden warriors etc) that get units to that stage.

Sitesearching: A mage walking around using the search command to search the province for magic sites (that provide magic gems) in the paths he has.

Remote sitesearching: Using Dark Knowledge, Gnome Lore, Augury, Auspex, Haruspex, Arcane Probing, Blood Bowl, or Voice of Apsu to find every single magic site in a province of the magic path that the spell is, from a distance (mage in lab uses the ritual, and targets a province within range).

Remote: A ritual spell cast from a lab that does something to a province further away, such as Wolven Winter, Rain of Toads, Flames From The Sky, or Earth Attack.

Scales: Order, Production, Sloth, Growth, Magic, Drain and so on - the traits of your god's Dominion are called 'scales' as they used to be depicted as a weighed on a set of measuring scales with them 'equal' at 0 in either of the opposed values and if you took say, drain 1, it would show the drain as measuring a bit heavier than the magic on the scale, drain 3 would see it all the way depressed down etc. 'Scales heavy/heavy scales' means lots of positive scales for a dominion that adds a lot to your lands. 'Dumped' scales, 'negative' scales, or 'no scales/almost no scales' means many scales set to negative values to gain points for a bless or powerful pretender.

O T P S H C L Misf M D: In order, Order Turmoil Production Sloth Heat Cold Luck Misfortune Magic Drain, the 10 'scales' that may be chosen for your god's dominion as part of pretender creation. Often listed with a number next to their name, such as o3p2h1misf2m3, meaning Order 3 Production 2 Heat 1 Misfortune 2 Magic 3, a full set of scales for a dominion.

Domscore/dom/candles/dominion/domstrength: Often followed or preceded by a number, this means the amount of candles incremented on the pretender creation screen, to create your dominion strength. Higher dominion strength spreads more easily, and your domstrength is a cap on how many sacred units each fort can create each turn.

Candles: A reference to the strength of your dominion in provinces it has spread over, which is represented by a number of candles (which are created by temples or preaching, and can negate or be negated by enemy candles). Also more generally to the strength of your dominion either overall or in an area, eg 'I have lots of candles there so [xyz]'

Dom/in dom/dominion/your dominion/their dominion: These terms all refer to whether a province sits in your pretender's dominion or another, often in terms of what effects that might have (on battles or other circumstances).

Domkill: Removing all of someone's dominion, resulting in the god and all units instantly dying. Usually only possible if they are locked inside forts (thus allowing you to preach down their dominion and build temples in their lands). Also refers to when someone loses their dominion (usually only very early in the game via events) and dies without anyone's active interference.

SoG/LoS/Marble/Army of Foo/Army of X/WoS/FW: Common shorthands for, in order, Strength of Giants, Legions of Steel, Marble Warriors, Army of Gold/Army of Lead, Army of Gold/Army of Lead, Weapons of Sharpness, Fog Warriors.

Game:   Dominions 5
Written by Shinuyama.