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Topic Subject: A Guide to the Dryad
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posted 21 February 2004 03:54 PM EDT (US)   
A Guide to the Dryad

After a close poll last week, the Dryad just managed to creep up to the top spot, making it the subject of this week's guide. Having to cast a God Power to get these units makes them quite unique, and I'm sure we've all seen them walking and screaming around the battlefield. But can these tree-nymphs (or drag queens as some call them) actually cause an opponent some real harm?

Let's look at their stats:

Cost: 150 Gold, 0 Favour, 0 Pop Spaces
HP: 275
Speed: 4.50
Crush armour: 99%
Hack armour: 40%
Pierce armour: 50%
Hack damage: 15

Special attack: None
Special ability: None
Only 5 may be owned by one player at a time

Weak, light, moderate speed with no real special attacks or ability. But just look at how cheap these things are! The only heroic MU that can match how cheap it is in terms of resources is the Scorpion Man (150 Wood), but in terms of favour and pop, it cannot be beaten.

Sure it's mega cheap, but just how strong is it? Let's see how it does against a Greek Hoplite

NOTE: All units have been upgraded with Medium and Heavy line upgrades and Copper and Bronze armoury upgrades. All buildings have been upgraded with the Masons and Architects upgrades. Any other upgrades will be stated

All attack rates are tested per hit, not second. The Dryad attacks every 1.5 seconds, so it's base hack attack each hit is 21.5, which has been rounded up to 22.

Test 1: 1 Dryad vs 1 Hoplite (Zeus)

Dryad does approximately 12 damage to Hoplite per hit.
Hoplite does approximately 8 damage to Dryad per hit

Dryad kills Hoplite in 18 seconds with 146 HP left

Interestingly, the Dryad only just managed to do worse than the Satyr. No real shocks or surprises here, although it did manage to lose quite a large proportion of its HP.

Now, I had quite a problem with running some of these tests, in terms of making them as fair as possible; because the Dryad costs no pop, how can I make each side balanced? I've decided (for the purpose of these tests alone) to make the Dryads equivalent to 3 pop spaces. This doesn't affect in game battles and games in any way, it is just a way of working out how many units to use vs so many Dryads

Test 2: 3 Dryads vs 3 Chariot Archers (Set)

CA stats:
HP: 108
Speed: 5.00
Range: 20
Hack armour: 43%
Pierce armour: 35%
Pierce damage: 11

Dryads win with 2 still alive

Not really a surprise here. When there's a battle between myth units and human soldiers, then myth units should win.
Luckily for Oranos and Gaia players, we don't have another Satyr on our hands, and the Dryad at least seems to do as expected for a cheap, Heroic myth unit. But also, we don't have another Heka-Gigantes which out-performed even itself.

Because these units are so versatile, just how do they do against buildings?

Test 3: 1 Dryad vs 1 House (Thor)

House stats:
HP: 495
Crush armour: 14%
Hack armour: 30%
Pierce armour: 95%

Dryad does 16 damange to house per hit

Dryad takes 47 seconds to destroy house.

Maybe not the fastest building killer in the game; certainly by the Scarab, Behemoth and Heka-Gigantes standard. Still, it's better than the ranged units, and sending 1 Dryad to attack a building isn't really going to help you very much. But what about more than one of them?

Test 4: 5 Dryads vs 1 Palace (Kronos)

Dryads take 50 seconds to destroy the Palace

You see, when massed, they can take down a building with as many HP as a Palace in approximately the same time it takes for one to destroy a house.

From my experience of using Dryads in games, They're useful to aid in an attack on an enemy base. Once their army is out of the way, send Fire Siphons with the 5 Dryads to pick off any lurking villagers or milita while the rest of your army heals or moves on to another base. They may not be the game's most powerful unit, but any unit that costs 0 favour and no pop spaces must be good for something.

Just don't forget how easily they die to heroes, particularly with that low HP. Also remember that if your opponent takes the Hesperides Tree, they can also create Dryads, so have some heroes ready

Further Notes:

The Dryad defeats all human units with Heroic upgrades one on one except:
War Elephants

The Dryad is defeated by all heroes in the Heroic Age except for the priest; although it was very close

The Dryad is defeated against all Heroic MUs. They also lose to all Classical MUs (excluding the Caladria}. This is due to its weak HP and lack of a bonus against other Myth Units.

Dryads can be affected by Mythic Rejuvination (they will regenerate HP) and Celerity (they are quicker to train from the Hespiredes Tree.)

If Dryads are owned by other civs they can be affected by:

  • Eclipse
  • Monstrous Rage
  • Thurisaz Rune
  • Rampage

    If the Tree is owned by Kronos, they cost 135 Gold instead of 150 due to his cheaper MU bonus.

    Dryads are affected by:

  • Medusa Stone Gaze
  • Perseus Stone Gaze
  • Mummy's Minion Change
  • Argus' Toxic Acid
  • Lampades' Chaos
  • Frost Giant's Ice Breath

    Suggested Usage

    Mainly for army support. Using them alone in a battle is just suicide and a waste of gold. An even battle between Atlateans can quite easily decided if you use these Nymphs correctly. Although they die miserabley to heroes, they make nice general melee units; you could pretty much call them human soldiers if it wasn't for the fact they fall to heroes so badly.
    I'd say use them to harrass an enemy's buildings, especially houses. 5 Dryads should manage to take down a few before the heroes come along, and they certainly won't fall to villagers as bad as Fire Siphons do.
    Particularly for Gaia who doesn't receive a single siege bonus, along with Theia's Contarius, you could do some pretty severe damage to your opponents buildings while they're not looking.

    Saying that, they're main usage is not siege; Dryads can do pretty much anything - including raid, although they'd be a little slow to run away if a hero comes along. Use them for backup, siege, raiding or just a diversion to draw out your enemy's heroes while you send in the Stymphalian Birds or Behemoths. Just try not to waste them - sure you won't be using up favour and pop space, but 750 gold is a heck of a lot to waste if they just get slaughtered.

    Use your head - don't just train Dryads because you can and you think win with them; after seeing you've just worshipped Theia, your opponent should be expecting to see some Dryads, and will probably perpare for them. And like most MUs in AoM, Dryads need micro; if you keep them away from heroes and attacking the weaker units, you should be fine.


    The Dryad is not an amazing unit; and for only 150 Gold, it shouldn't be. They're excellent support units, just don't expect to win because you have a few crazy=haired trees walking around.

    Against Greece: If you manage to get the heroes away from the Dryads you should be ok using them. Target the archers with your Dryads leaving your army to take care of the infantry and cavalry
    Against Egypt: Raiding with Dryads against Egypt is your best bet. Priests are slow and if the mining camp isn't being empowered by the Pharaoh, you could cause them some real annoyance. Other than that, go for the slings and weak infantry units.
    Against Norse: Not being ranged, and being quite slow, Jarls and Hersir can take down Dryads easily. Use them against weak buildings such as houses, and try and bring down their ox-carts with the Dryads.
    Against Alantis: Atlantean heroes can't be re-made too often, or your opponent is going to run out of resources. And because the Dryads cost no favour, you can keep producing them to harrass normal human units whilst your opponent focuses their heroes on the "stronger" MUs like Heka-Gigantes and Argi.

    Cheap, quite weak and strange looking (not to mention sounding); the Dryad seems to fit in with the Atlantean culture quite well, and can certainly help win you clinch close battles. They may not defeat your opponent by themselves, but they can definitely help your army to do so.

    Thank you for reading guys.
    I will be taking a short break from guide writing, and will return soon to carry on. ManticoreKiller will be handling the Greek and Norse Myth Units, which leave me to do do the Egyptian and Atlantean ones.

    Please vote for whether I should carry on with the Atlantean guides, or the Egyptian guides

    EDIT: Oh BTW, my old name, ArtemisChimera kinda went a little screwy and I can't get into it anymore, so I re-created as the same name I use on ESO for less confusion

    ESO user name - ChimeraArtemis
    Favourite Major Gods: Isis, Hades, Gaia, Loki, Ra, Thor

    Creator of the Egyptian Myth Unit Guides - Phoenix, Wadjet, Scorpion Man, Scarab, Petsuchos
    And the Atlantean Myth Unit Guides: Stymphalian Bird, Satyr, Lampades, Heka-Gigantes, Man O'War, Dryad, Automaton

    [This message has been edited by ChimeraArtemis (edited 02-22-2004 @ 07:28 AM).]

  • Replies:
    posted 21 February 2004 03:59 PM EDT (US)     1 / 68  
    First Post yay

    Great Guide man.

    I vote Egyptian Guides.

    [This message has been edited by Quircus (edited 02-21-2004 @ 04:02 PM).]

    posted 21 February 2004 04:00 PM EDT (US)     2 / 68  
    Very nice, as always

    I didn't know they were affected by the mummies special, and I thought they were a little better at seige, but I was wrong

    I vote: Atlantean guides first

    The Fora Augusta
    "Hey bastards, knock knock" - Sarge
    "Ha, piss on that, I'm bringing a ma-cha-te!" - Putman, Club Dread
    posted 21 February 2004 04:05 PM EDT (US)     3 / 68  
    Great guide!!!! I vote continue on the atties MUS.

    Glorfindel -Age of Mythology Heaven
    My site Runescape- Awsome Online game! The new 3d verson has been released. My RS name is Tartariandog! My forums Best design team ever!
    Eso rates/names= Tartariandog-1600, PW_Glorfindel_- 1556, PW_Glorfindel__-1600.
    Winner of the most underated forumer award!

    posted 21 February 2004 04:07 PM EDT (US)     4 / 68  
    great guide again!

    I vote for atlantean guides 1st.

    posted 21 February 2004 04:12 PM EDT (US)     5 / 68  
    Meh, I kinda expected more

    I vote Automaton, these guys have been wanting the spotlight for a long time!

    posted 21 February 2004 04:20 PM EDT (US)     6 / 68  
    Finish the Atlanteans first. And do Prometheans.
    posted 21 February 2004 04:23 PM EDT (US)     7 / 68  
    Great guide again ChimeraArtemis. I don't vote, I'm neutral
    posted 21 February 2004 04:28 PM EDT (US)     8 / 68  
    i vote move to egypt and review the c(roc)
    posted 21 February 2004 04:33 PM EDT (US)     9 / 68  
    Thanks for the info, glad you guys divied up the guided, now we get twice as much! I vote altanteans, and I want the Argus!
    Some noob
    posted 21 February 2004 05:39 PM EDT (US)     10 / 68  
    as usual nice guide ChimeraArtemis (thats a pain to type i liked the other better)
    i will miss your guides even though there is someone else doing some of them
    i haven't read the one on the chimera yet but i sure hope its as good as yours
    As for my vote
    Eggy please
    I'll let you decide what MU
    you have good judgement
    posted 21 February 2004 05:52 PM EDT (US)     11 / 68  
    Egyptian please...and you decide the MU. But i wouldn't mind Scorpionman ( i can't figure out how to use this unit).
    posted 21 February 2004 06:00 PM EDT (US)     12 / 68  
    i liked the "mass dryads"
    i vote for... the overpowered cluture

    posted 21 February 2004 06:01 PM EDT (US)     13 / 68  
    Always the same...Another awesome guide!!!
    posted 21 February 2004 06:13 PM EDT (US)     14 / 68  

    Official Brotha of the NMA!
    posted 21 February 2004 06:17 PM EDT (US)     15 / 68  
    great jobb m8.
    I do really enjoy to read your guides.

    I vote for atties since you have made lots of atties mu guides already.
    and no i dont play atties ever.
    my vote for next guide "autotoman" he is really bad versus toxotes :-(

    peace and love.

    age of myth have turned inte age of isis. sad but true

    posted 21 February 2004 07:04 PM EDT (US)     16 / 68  
    Eggy next

    Question: isnt a gay faggot technically a happy piece of dry wood?
    posted 21 February 2004 07:04 PM EDT (US)     17 / 68  
    Great Guide. I say finish of the Atties since you have done like 8 in a row then finish eggy. Looking foward to the next guide.

    "Wisdom begins in wonder."
    posted 21 February 2004 07:37 PM EDT (US)     18 / 68  
    As ever, an in-depth and very informative guide. Hesperides all the way!
    I vote Automaton.

    ESO names: Aerodroma, AsokaSoul
    If John has 2 apples, and Mark has 3 apples, why don't they just shut up and eat the bloody apples?
    If anyone wantsa eggy match on eso, just holla when I'm online!
    posted 21 February 2004 07:56 PM EDT (US)     19 / 68  
    I vote to finish Atlanteans first.
    posted 21 February 2004 08:10 PM EDT (US)     20 / 68  
    Well, there is one thing with Dryads you do not mention very clearly. They take NO POP! Basically Dryads are 15 free pop slots of myth units. This is the real reason to use them. 15 pop might not sound much, but in a tight game it really helps you out...

    So, don't let you be fooled to believe that Dryads are weak. In reality they are a valuable addon to your forces and SHOULD NOT be compared with ordinary myth units.

    posted 21 February 2004 08:14 PM EDT (US)     21 / 68  
    ChimeraArtemis, yet again you have not failed to write a wonderful guide. I vote that you continue with the Atlantean guides since you're almost done.

    ESO name: WND_WiseWizard
    Proud to be a Wanderer
    Check out our clan at our AoM: TT home page.
    posted 21 February 2004 08:19 PM EDT (US)     22 / 68  


    Well, there is one thing with Dryads you do not mention very clearly. They take NO POP! Basically Dryads are 15 free pop slots of myth units. This is the real reason to use them. 15 pop might not sound much, but in a tight game it really helps you out...

    What are you talking about? I read "they take no pop" at least 5 times.

    The Fora Augusta
    "Hey bastards, knock knock" - Sarge
    "Ha, piss on that, I'm bringing a ma-cha-te!" - Putman, Club Dread
    posted 21 February 2004 08:47 PM EDT (US)     23 / 68  
    Great guide as usual! I vote for eggies, then scorpian man.


    Weird people call for weird signatures.
    posted 21 February 2004 08:55 PM EDT (US)     24 / 68  
    What I wanted to say was that Dryads are much more valuable than their poor stats might suggest, because of the no pop thing. If you have gold, there are ABSOLUTLY NO REASON not to build your five dryads. Five extra units are really nice.

    I just thought that was not pushed for in the conclusions. Otherwise, no offense, these guides are quite interesting.

    posted 21 February 2004 09:02 PM EDT (US)     25 / 68  
    You should really compare Dryads to Mercenaries IMO. Mercenaries also take no pop and cost only gold. Can a Dryad beat a Mercenary Cavalry one-on-one? Can 4 Dryads beat 5 Merc Cav (to make the gold cost equal)? People consider Mercenaries a big pain to deal with; are Dryads similar?

    BTW, a little thing to think about: Atlanteans have no unit that takes more gold than wood or food to make. The other civs all have some sort of cavalry that does this. So it should actually be somewhat cheaper for an Atlantean to support their army with Dryads then it would be for a Norse or something.

    Programmer on 0 A.D., author of Norse Wars, co-author of Fort Wars.
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