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I'm curious about way your's method of picking faction and how you react to your opponent's pick.
Personally, I pick first showing my opponent what I would like to use. It's my favorite faction pick and it changes weekly if not daily. Then I react on what he puts out.
If you take power faction, I take power faction. Top dogs imo are Rome, Boii, Tylis. I have prepared competitive army against each. I just make few adjustments for map.
Second level are good factions. Like Averni, Galatia, Getae, Iceni, possibly lustiniani ... mostly still barbarian factions that are not top dogs. Against these factions I use one of them as well. It makes game more interesting and challenging. Taking faction like tylis against suebi or lustiniani just does not seem fair or right. But perhaps it's just me.
Then we have sturdy medium strength factions, including charge dependent /low armor barbarian factions like; suebi, nervii, odrysians, but factions like carthago as well. Here we will put eastern factions as well, armenia and parthia. Against them I use same strength faction, I tend to take parthia against armenia and vice versa. It makes things far more interesting : )
Lastly, there are Helenic factions. I am happy to see helenic faction tbh, I take my pretty badass egypt build against them, built in similar fashion to barbaric army. As I had said previously; it's not about strength, but about efficiency. Egypt can afford some very cheap and reliable units, and cheapish elite units in combination.
Nomads, I would write something about those if I ever encountered them in quick battle, but I honestly haven't. Ever. Honestly I don't like these factions or their style of playing too much. I guess I'm not the only one.
Moral of the story is; I have my preferred brutal tylis OP sword build that would probably win 85-95% of encounters but I would get bored of game far more then I am now. Moreover I feel honestly ashamed in picking this build against someone that is pretty clearly noob. Even against my buddy who is being creative about his faction in MP battle. I like to spice up things and not think about my leaderboard place too much.
What are your thoughts on subject? Do you still prefer win over fun or I'm in minority?