Strategy is a main gameplay mode of Massive Chalice. Some battles can be lost in the tactical mode, but failures on a strategic level will doom the nation as this is how the ruler manages the war. There are many things the ruler must balance to be able to successfully win battles and eventually win the war.
- 1 Managing corruption levels
- 2 Maintaining a strong vanguard
Managing corruption levels
Every time the Cadence attacks, they leave a stack of corruption behind in any region that is not successfully defended. While corruption is reduced when successfully defending a region, the Cadence attacks two at a time (three if you’re close to the end of the game) and only one can be defended. The outcomes of random events can also increase or decrease corruption within regions. Any region which gets three stacks of corruption is permanently lost, and as such, it is a vital consideration when choosing where to fight.
Maintaining a strong vanguard
The key to successfully managing corruption is winning battles, and to do that, the ruler must be able to field a sufficiently strong vanguard to defeat Cadence attacks. The vanguard for each battle is formed from the available heroes in the retinue. The ruler must keep an adequate number of heroes in the retinue while making sure their combat strength is increasing sufficiently to be able to deal with the more powerful Cadence that come in later attacks. As this is a 300 year campaign and thus generational in nature, keeping an retinue adequate in both strength and numbers is a complex undertaking composed of the following tasks.
Research projects are key, especially as they include building keeps, which are critical for establishing and maintaining heroic bloodlines and recruiting heroes. Early on, it will be important to establish keeps, Sagewright Guilds, and then Crucibles, though taking breaks to recruit some heroes may be needed as well to keep enough heroes available in the retinue as well as getting a better selection of traits and personalities, and perhaps even classes. Once the nation has been built up, it will be better to shift to developing better weapons, armor, and desirable items to improve the combat strength of the retinue. But don't forget to recruit if the retinue starts becoming low on heroes.
Maintaining bloodlines through the Regency
Building keeps, appointing regents to rule them, and arranging their marriages to suitable partners is an important way of maintaining heroic bloodlines that will replace heroes lost in combat, random events, or simple old age. By having children who then become trainees, the bloodlines are a major, if not the most important, source of new heroes.
Selecting the first regent
The choice of the first regent is particularly important because the regent's children, and all other children who become trainees in that keep, will share the primary class of that regent. As all future regents must be of the same bloodline, this means that primary class of a bloodline cannot be changed. For an example, if an Trickshot, Enforcer, or Hunter is appointed as the first regent of a keep, that keep and its bloodline will always produce some manner of hunter. It is probably wise to have at least one bloodline for each of the three primary classes: Alchemist, Caberjack, and Hunter.
Important qualities of regents and partners
The mix of the regent's and partner's primary classes determine what exact class the trainees will be, so when choosing a regent's partner, the primary class is an important consideration, and a partner should be the opposite sex of the regent to allow for children to be produced. For both regents and partners, young age, high Fertility, and high level should generally be among the most important considerations as these help ensure the bloodline produces many trainees that graduate at a reasonably high level. Also consider any relics the heroes may have, as these are useless in the hands of a regent or partner. Also pay attention to traits, as these are passed on genetically from the parents. Personalities are worth considering as well, as the regent and partner do influence the personalities of the trainees, but so do the standards of the nation, so personalities are less likely to be passed on by the parents.
Note that hero statistics are determined by a hero's class, level, traits, personalities, and statuses. They aren't directly relevant in choosing regents or partners because in considering the factors suggested above, the statistics have already been factored into the decision, even if indirectly.
Improving research speed through Sagewright Guilds
Each Sagewright Guild in the nation allows up to be three heroes to be permanently assigned as Sagewrights. Their Intuition score increases the speed at which research projects are completed by one percent per point. Though Initution is the only thing that affects a Sagewright's performance, it shouldn't be the ruler's only consideration in choosing them. In fact, it is almost always going to be more wise to use the Sagewright Guilds to get some meaningful contribution out of otherwise bad heroes, even if their Intuition is low, than it is to give up a good hero simply because his or her Intuition is high. Selecting Sagewrights from the nation's lower-level heroes with bad traits or personalities that likely won't be assigned to any other task is recommended. Basically, gaining several points of Intuition for a guild by giving up a hero that won't be used otherwise is worthwhile. Gaining a few more points by giving up a useful hero is not worthwhile. It's probably best to establish a Sagewright Guild after getting a couple of bloodlines established to start reducing research time early in the game and to allow undesirable heroes to make a meaningful contribution.
Improving hero levels and personality through Crucibles
Each Crucible in the nation allows one hero to be permanently assigned as a standard. A standard acts as an additional trainer to all of the nation's trainees, granting them extra XP and thus helping them graduate at higher levels, but also influencing their personalities. Because higher level heroes grant more XP to trainees when assigned as standard, it can be worth giving up a good hero to assign them as standards. Personalities will also be an important consideration as the Standard influences every trainee in the nation with his or her personality. Traits, however, do not matter at all, so if the retinue includes a higher-level hero with good personalities but bad traits, this hero is an excellent candidate for a Standard. It is probably best to establish a Crucible shortly after the first Sagewright Guild to begin building up trainee graduation levels early.