The Let's Play Archive

Civilization 4

by Zoolooman

Part 7

The grave of Ras Tarkhan of Grozny, Conqueror of Madras. On the road to home, Ishvara took him.

Why would anyone fight over this land? The soil is dry and salty, and when it rains the drops dissolve before they touch the scrub. No game lives out here, and the vegetation is poor and rough. Yet our ancestors marched out of Grozny across these ugly plains and into the Madras-Tundra. I guess what they say about Russians is true. We fight because we want the entire world, even the bitter parts such as these. There can be no other reason.

A Short History of the Russo-Indian War

During the decades of Christ of Spain's death and ressurection, the Grozny-Hindus came to believe that the Indians were decadent and heretical. Under Confucianist influence, the Haryana Ghandi (Follower's of Ghandi) had abandoned their belief in the god-being Ishvara and begun to worship the Dharma alone. It was inevitable that foreign Hindus would take offense at this rejection of their divine figure; however, it seems Ghandi simply didn't expect any branch of Hinduism to raise an army capable of conquering the holy land.

Despite the army raised by Ras Tarkhan and sustained by his successors, they did not expect war.

50 AD - 75AD

The history of the Russo-Indian war is the history of Ras Tarkhan and his successors. Ras Tarkhan was born fifty year's after the birth of Christ, on the very same day that the Spanish crown arrested Jesus for overturning the tables of the money-lenders in the Buddhist Temple of Barcelona.

Ras Tarkhan was the son of a Hindu warlord who ruled over the lumber-villages in the forest northwest of Grozny. He spent most of his early years handling the elephants his father used in battle against the barbarians. In 64 AD, he joined the Grozny military and trained at the barracks there as a elephant-archer. In the following years, he went to war twice against the Lolliki tribe, which had been displaced by the expansion of St. Petersburg.

It is said that an hour before sunset on the third day of battle against the Lolliki tribe, Ras Tarkhan refused to retire for the night, and after convincing a quarter of his men to come with him, he marched a hundred and twelve elephants to a hill north of the Lolliki camp. When night fell and the tribesmen lit fires, he drove the elephants into the encampment without riders. The elephants panicked, and following instinct they tried to stamp out the flames. Caught off guard and panicked by the sudden presence of the frenzied animals, the Lolliki abandoned camp and scattered--right into Ras Tarkhan's men. Even though Tarkhan's line was thin, they managed to catch and cut down nearly a quarter of the three hundred escaping tribesmen, and they only suffered seven casualties in the process. Afterwards, Tarkhan advanced on the camp and slaughtered anyone who'd been left behind, mostly children, women, and the elderly. The Lolliki were finished.

Though this impromptu battle made Ras Tarkhan the enemy of his commander, a Hindu noble named Enabek, it also garnered him the respect of his fellow soldiers. The day before Ras Tarkhan would have been executed for insubordination, the general's guards slew Enabek, saying, "Loyalty is not blind." Then they released Ras Tarkhan and held a vote to determine a new leader. Tarkhan was elected by a supermajority, and as a surprising act of kindness he ordered those men who were still loyal to Enabek to return to Grozny, where they would recieve three month's wages instead of death.

In the meanwhile, Ras Tarkhan's father had been chosen by the governer of Grozny as the general of the army. The Grozny-Hindus were preparing to march to Madras, a city in the tundra of the Ice Finger Peninsula. However, this military force was not wholly Groznian. Despite it's strong Judaic roots, the crown in Moscow had supplied the Grozny-Hindus with money and swordsmen in exchange for bureaucratic control of territories taken from India. In effect, this war was made for religious reasons but endorsed by greed.

So when Ras Tarkhan arrived, he found his Hindu father in conflict with the Judaic captains of Moscow. Offended by their Moscovian gall and dissapointed by his aging father's inability to control his captains, Ras Tarkhan stormed the Judaic camp outside of the city and arrested the ringleaders of the conflict. He had all but two of them publicly executed in the barracks, and then the two living captains were sent with a message to the governer of Grozny and the crown at Moscow: Ras Tarkhan was taking control of the army. His father peacefully stepped down, passed the generalship to his son, and returned to the labor camps to live out the remainder of his natural life.

Then in 73 AD, Ras Tarkhan began the long march to the Indian border.

Ras Tarkhan commanded over 500 elephants, 500 swordsmen, and 30 catapults (dragged in pieces by 300 oxen!). Outside of his personal force, the army was also lead into battle by seven Hindu captains and two Judaic captains.

75 AD - 100 AD

In 83 AD, the Chinese empire declared war on the Indians, approximately two years before Ras Tarkhan reached the Madras-Tundra south of the Bitter Salt Plains. A military scout returning from Chinese lands witnessed the initial forces brought against the Indians: 250 swordsmen and 250 axemen raiding the hinterlands of Bombay in the distant east.

There was fear amongst Peter's court that the Indian's pathetic garrison of 250 spearmen and 150 archers would not be enough to repel the Chinese forces before the Russians could sweep in and sack the city for their own gain.

Aside posted:

Explanation time. See how Bombay has a big 40% under its name? That's the city's natural defense bonus. Any unit defending from inside that city will deal damage based on the following: ( ( maximum strength + current strength ) / 2 ) + ( current strength * .4 ) + (any other bonuses). For example, a perfectly healthy archer has 3 strength. So in the city of Bombay, this archer would deal 3 damage (from strength) + 1.2 damage (from city defense bonus) + 1.5 damage (from the archer's special +50% city defense skill) + .75 damage (from the +25% bonus of 5 turns of fortification) for a total of 6.45 damage. This makes the defending archer stronger than an axeman or a swordsman! Furthermore, archers get 1 first strike, which means that when combat damage is dealt, they have a chance of dealing a free round of damage without taking any damage themselves. Sometimes, this makes the unit capable of killing an enemy without taking any damage whatsoever!

Lastly, archers can earn the city defender promotion, making them tough as nails. But I think that's for later in this post, don't you?

Oh, another note. Each unit in this game has 100 hit points. During combat, the two units roll for damage based on their final calculated strength number, and then they deal that damage to one another. If nobody is dead, the roll is repeated and more damage is dealt until one side finally croaks. If you want more detail on this sort of nitty gritty mechanics, look on Civfanatics or Apolyton. Beyond this point, you don't need to know much more about the combat mechanics, except to say that more first strikes and more strength bonuses are both very good.

Argh, one more note. Bombay has one archer and one spearman. The big numbers I use in the narrative just make the story sound a bit more realistic.

In 86 AD, a diplomat was sent ahead by Ras Tarkhan. He demanded that the Haryana Ghandi worship the one God Ishvara--or else. This is believed to be the first moment that the Russian people backed up their endorsement of monotheism with military force.

Aside posted:

Actually, in this case, I did something diplomatic. I went to Ghandi and demanded Monotheism. Since I had such a huge military force standing on his border, he gave me the technology--but he also became angry with me.

Monotheism allows you to use Organized Religion, an expensive but impressive civic that increases your hammer output by 25% while you produce buildings. I'm not switching to the civic at the moment because I'm too poor, but I may use it someday to speed up the construction of my empire's infrastructure. Organized Religion also allows you to train religious missionaries and spread religions despite having no monasteries in your cities. It's really a fantastic civic.

I'll explain diplomacy very, very soon.

By 100 AD, Ghandi sent a man to negotiate with Ras Tarkhan. Here is what the leader of the Indians had to say:

Aside posted:

Diplomacy. My word, this is a huge subject, and absolutely confusing to a new player. In terms of strategy, we'll just have to watch my diplomacy as I progress through the game. In terms of mechanics, however, I can easily explain this:

Everything you do has consequences, some hidden, and some obvious. The little image above shows you a handful of the obvious modifiers to diplomacy. I've been at peace with Ghandi for a while, and our Open Borders have encouraged friendship. However, our differing state religions have left us with a relatively large negative modifier to our relationship.

These modifiers are not universal, however, and the "personalities" of each leader influence their reactions. Ghandi is a generally peaceful and passive AI leader, and he's somewhat difficult to anger. He'll never have more than -3 or -4 religious displeasure, and he'll often ignore the arrogance of your demands. Isabella, a rabidly spiritual leader with an aggressive personality, will often reach -7 or -8 anger with people of differing religions, and will incur a -2 relationship penalty for each demand you make of her. On the flipside, if you share her religion, she will often give you a +5 through a +7 modifier for being religious buddies.

These positive and negative modifiers change the way a society interacts with you. A society with large negative modifiers against you will refuse to trade, will come and demand technologies and gold, and will join in wars against you. A society with large positive modifiers will trade with you, will often give you gifts, and will happily join you in wars against your common enemies.

So now that you understand that civilizations have relationships based on their previous actions, you might ask what else you can do with diplomacy.

You can:

Since I've got my army on Ghandi's border, I'm going to declare war on him. But first, let's look at what will happen.

Poor Ghandi is the only person with Hinduism as his state religion. This makes him the current "black sheep" civilization. It's likely that at this early stage of the game, he's generally the most hated civilization.

If you declare war on a civilization that has friends, that civilization's friends will begin to dislike you. Declaring war on Ghandi is probably a safe bet, but just to be sure, we can go look at the diplomacy screen.

Poor, poor Ghandi. Only Bismark likes you at all, and that guy is far too the west of me. It's a safe bet that nobody but the Germans will care when I stomp your ass back into the stone age, and I'll even make friends for doing it. When I go to war with you, I'll share a military struggle with China, which will make them friends with me, at least until the war is over.

So let's go and declare war.

Ras Tarkhan tortured the diplomat for information. When the Indian was holding his intestines in his hands, he finally broke and pleaded for a quick death. Brandishing the sword, Tarkhan demanded to know the defenses of Madras. Three hundred untrained archers, said the man. Then Tarkhan took the sword and beheaded the Indian. Within a month, he and his army crossed into the forests north of Madras.

The Indian response was swift. A group of nearly 800 axemen under the command of Raghavan swept up through the grasslands south of the Bitter Salt Plains. Ras Tarkhan's scouts discovered them on the march to Grozny, and Tarkhan sent three captains with a herd of 300 elephants to eliminate the threat. The Indian axemen were dispersed in a short battle along the borders of the Madras-Tundra, and Captain Hav brought back the head of Raghavan on a spike.

Captain Hav's elephant gores an Indian axeman.

After the battle, Captain Mansur mopped up any local resistance in the grasslands. Ras Tarkhan marched south to the hinterlands of Madras and laid siege to the city for the winter.

Ras Tarkhan's assault on Madras began five months later on a damp morning in the late-Spring, when he ordered all three runs of the Grozny Catapults to resume bombardment of the city. Nearly half of the archers were driven back from the walls, and under the cover of fog, the Moscovian swordsmen--the Swords of Peter and the Swords of Michael--were sent into the melee. Trained as city raiders, the Swords of Michael made it past the outer defenses and into the streets before they were driven back by a concerted effort of archers and armed villagers. They regrouped on the earthworks at the edge of the city and met with the Swords of Peter. Bolstered by these reinforcements, they then returned to the city and took the square in an extended battle against the last of the archers and the Madrasians themselves. Unfortunately, the conflict spilled out into the surrounding houses and led to extended street violence. After thirty-six hours, Ras Tarkhan sent Captain Elezoi and 100 elephants into the city to pacify the resistance, and Elezoi sacked the granary and slaughtered a third of the population. Over the next four days, Tarkhan's army collected over 860 pounds of valuables from Madras--worth an estimated value of 86 pounds of gold.

The Swords of Michael slay the archers of Madras.

There is an apocryphal tale about Ras Tarkhan and the conquest of Madras. It says that on the day after Elezoi had finished his slaughter of the Indians, Tarkhan himself came to the Hindu temple to pray to Ishvara for the souls of his men. When he found that the statue of Ishvara had been destroyed, he beat a monk with his gauntlet until the man admitted that they'd melted the statue and sold the bronze to cast gongs for the Confucianists in Bombay. Furious, Ras Tarkhan hammered the monk with the gauntlet until it was broken by the blows and the monk's head was torn off at the neck and scattered as shards and gore. The master monk ordered the floor cleaned, but try as they might, his servants could not wash out the stain or remove the slivers of bone. When the master monk complained to Ras Tarkhan, he responded, "If you will not pray to Ishvara, pray that this mess reminds you of his anger." No evidence remains to prove that this story holds any truth.

Ras Tarkhan stayed in Madras and governed the city until 123 AD. Then, at the age of 73, he began the long ride back to Grozny with his veterans in tow. However, a freak storm caught him out on the Bitter Salt Plains, and he was seperated from his bodyguard. He was lost in the maelstrom and never seen again.

Other notable events in 123 AD:

The city of St. Petersburg began to train a new generation of swordsmen. In distant Egypt, the Parthenon was constructed by command of Hatshepsut. Workers near Moscow began to build roads to the spices northwest of the city. The Great Library reached the halfway point in its construction.

125 AD - 250 AD

The position of Ras Tarkhan's men in December of 125 AD. A garrison of 150 archers had been ordered out of Grozny, and was on its way to Madras at this time.

Ras Tarkhan was succeeded by a Moscovian boy, arguably Ras Tarkhan's only friend, Tar'mach. Having proven himself an intelligent commander in the battle of Madras, Tar'mach was raised to the position of governor and general upon Tarkhan's departure. At the age of forty-seven, Tar'mach gave his last orders to the archer garrison and left the governorship to a civilian. He then raised a new army of Groznians under the command of a cadre of veteran captains including the aging Captain Elezoi, and marched south to the Indian city of Bangalore near the tip of Ice Finger.

In 150 AD, Peter The Great declared the crown the source of all prosperity for the kingdom, and through the recently established courts, he enforced sovereign rights to all the land of Russia under Hereditary Rule; to his children and their children would go the crown.

Aside posted:

I researched Monarchy for three major reasons:

#1 There is a wine resource within Moscow's borders. With Monarchy, I can make a winery to increase the happiness of my cities by +1. Since all my cities have recently maxed their happiness, this will increase my production by making citizens happy.

#2 I can adopt Hereditary Rule, which will give all cities +1 happiness for each military unit garrisoned in them. This will allow me to produce happiness with all my defenders. My growth and production should skyrocket after I adopt this civic.

#3 It leads to Feudalism, which is a prerequisite for Guilds.

This began the first great anarchy, as local governors attempted and ultimately failed to maintain sovereign control of their cities.

Aside posted:

For the sake of easy writing, ignore the fact that Tar'mach lives 200+ years in the conquest of Bangalore. It'll be 250 AD when I take the city, as Ghandi built a spearman, and I need two turns to bombard the city down to nearly nothing before I cleanly conquer it.

Bangalore was a fortress on the ice. Originally established as a hillside fishing village, it became one of India's greatest ancient strongpoints. Attackers had to scale a 30 degree slope of frozen soil and snow until they struck the iceworks--an earthworks defense rammed full of pine spikes and coated with a smooth layer of ice. Beyond that was a weather-hardened cadre of 300 archers and 150 pikemen, and a population of over 4000 fishermen and associated craftspeople.

The weather was always against the invaders. The winters were long, cold, and dark. Often the sun would only rise for an hour or two before falling back below the horizon. In the brief spring, both sides would explode into activity, only to shrink back at the return of the frost.

The initial siege lasted seven years (out of character note: 50 years actually, two game turns), while Tar'mach had marble boulders dragged on sleds from Madras and brought down to Bangalore to be fired at the city. In the last three months of the siege, when most of the Indians were too weak to repair the iceworks, Tar'mach bombarded the east side of the city and opened a gap wide enough to fit three elephants side by side.

On a dim day in the early summer at an eleven o'clock dawn, Tar'mach began the assault. The third run of catapults was ordered into close range and made to fire piles of fist-sized stones at the defenders. After half an hour, the entire third run was destroyed by oil-soaked arrows, but nearly half of the defenders lay dead or wounded from the rocks.

The third run was destroyed by the arrows of Bangalore.

But the defenders suffered for it. Notice their reduced strength.

Aside posted:

What happened? See that green box in the first screenshot above? It says, "Grozny Catapults 3rd Run dealt collateral damage to 2 units." This means that in addition to the unit which my catapults fought, the catapults also dealt free combat damage to two other units.

All siege weapons and several other types of units deal collateral damage when they attack. This makes them the "stack killers," which means they deal damage to many units stacked on a tile. You get a lot of damage dealt across several units by blowing a siege unit on a round of combat. However, you have to finish your opponents immediately after the siege attack, or they will heal up and gain promotions from the experience of beating your siege weapons.

Promotions will be explained soon enough.

Siege weapons have another role. They can "bombard" a city's natural defenses, slowly reducing them to zero percent. This is very useful when fighting older cities, most of which often have extremely high natural defenses. I spent two turns bombarding Bangalore so that their 20% bonus became a mere 5% bonus. At that point, I felt I had enough of an advantage to take the city. Let's see if I was right.

Captain Elezoi's final charge.

Tar'mach ordered the ancient Captain Elezoi into the breach. Unphased by the difficult terrain, the captain drove his elephants up the hillside under a rain of arrows. Elezoi himself stood in the basket atop his lead elephant, and in a courageous moment, he drove it into the breach and threw himself upon the bristling pikes of the defending spearmen. It is said that his elephant, the oldest and largest bull of the herd, was half-blind and nearly numb with scars. The beast felt nothing as the pikes impaled it and snapped, and it came crashing down into the spearmen. Elezoi tumbled off the elephant with his riding basket and died as he fell onto his enemies; yet his sacrifice was not in vain, for the bull's rolling corpse cleared the path for Elezoi's men to follow.

Aside posted:

When you attack a stack, the game automatically chooses the strongest and most dangerous opponent to defend against your attack. In this case, India's spearmen had a +100% bonus against mounted units--and elephants are mounted units. Combined with their fortification bonus, the city's 5% defense bonus, and the bonus Bangalore gets from sitting on a hill, and you can see that the 3.6 remaining strength of the Spearman easily reaches and surpasses the 8 strength of a war elephant.

However, Captain Elezoi and his war elephants were trained in a city with a barracks. This gives them 4 natural experience, enough to push them past the required 2 experience to gain their first level.

Whenever a unit gains a level, it can select a promotion. Promotions add new abilities to a unit, generally in terms of strength increases against certain types of units, general strength increases, or new abilities such as first strikes, faster healing, multiple attacks per a turn, and movement and sight bonuses.

Certain units can only get certain kinds of promotions. To describe the entire promotion system for every unit would take several posts, and I'm too lazy to do that. Instead, I'll describe what promotions I chose for particular units if and when it matters to the outcome of the fight.

For Captain Elezoi, I chose the Combat I promotion for his first promotion. This gives his War Elephants a +10% bonus to strength, raising his 8 to 8.8 strength in battle. This nudged Captain Elezoi above the spearman's current strength of 8.6, which according to the game gave Elezoi a 53% chance of winning the fight.

I sent Elezoi into combat, and afterwards he came back with a current strength of 1.3. He was horridly damaged, but he won the fight and destroyed the spearmen. He also gained two experience points, raising him to a total of six. This puts him above the level 2 experience requirement of 5, and allows me to select him another promotion next turn.

Aside posted:

Before I explain this next part, let's look a little deeper at this swordsman. This is my unit, the Swords of Peter, which was trained in a city with a barracks and used to conquer the city of Madras. The Swords of Peter has five experience, enough to reach level 2. Because of this, I bought it two promotions: City Raider I, and City Raider II. The City Raider promotions give massive strength bonuses to the unit whenever it assaults a city.

A swordsman has a natural strength of six. As a special ability, this unit gets +10% strength when it attacks a city, for a total of 6.6. Because of the city raider promotions, it also gets another bonus of +20% and +25%. Overall, from special abilities and promotions, the swordsman gets +55% strength.

Now you might wonder why you don't see all these bonuses in the numbers in this image. It turns out that Civilization IV doesn't actually add all the bonuses--in terms of the math, some of these bonuses merely subtract from the strength of the enemy unit. I won't detail which of these, but if you're interested, someone has broken down the exact mechanics on Civfanatics. Suffice to say, the City Raider promotions and the swordsman's special abilities are subtractive, making them act slightly differently. Specifically, if you have enough promotions to subtract most of the strength of a unit, you increase the likelihood of winning a combat without taking any damage at all. Weird, eh? City Raider is an awesome promotion, and whenever you go conquering, you should bring a few units that can raid cities.

Adept city-raiders, the Swords of Peter followed after Elezoi's elephants. The archers of Bangalore attempted to eliminate the swordsmen while they trudged up the hill, but the Swords of Peter adopted a skirmish formation and used the corpses of dead elephants as cover while ascending to the breach. When they finally closed at short range, the archers immediately slew half of them, but before they could draw another volley, the swordsmen were on the walls, and the archers were butchered by the blade. Approximately fifty survivors withdrew to the center of the city and waited for Tar'mach's final assault.

The outcome of this battle was inevitable.

Tar'mach himself lead the slaughter of Bangalore. Over the next twelve hours, his soldiers systematically searched from house to house and slew every other Indian man older than four. The native male population was reduced by half, and the remaining Indians were organized into a labor band and sent south to build a road to the Ice Finger iron deposit.

Tar'mach settled as governor of Bangalore, and died there a happy man.

Other significant events in 250 AD:

Madras began the construction of a granary. An Indian axeman approached Madras from the east. Using the calendar system adopted from Germany, innovative farmers discovered a way to mass produces spices in the seasonal farms between Crimea and Moscow. A labor group was sent to build royal wineries to the northwest of Moscow. Inevitably, the happier citizens were more productive. Scholars suggested that the Great Library would be completed by 325 AD.

250 AD - 400 AD

In 275 AD, a band of 239 Indian axemen attempted to raid and destroy the marble quarry south of Madras. Before they could successfully damage the quarry, Captain Hastur of Madras, a half-Russian half-Indian warlord, scattered the axemen and drove several dozen of them over the edge of the quarry and to their deaths. It is said that this incident finally drove home the message to the Haryana Ghandi--Russia is not going to punish the Indian empire, it is going to devour it.

In 325 AD, the Russian people finished creating the Great Library at Moscow. Even today, the ruins of this wonder draw millions of tourists every year. Until the rise of the scientific method and the printing press, the Great Library at Moscow was the most comprehensive source of knowledge on the planet. Is it any surprise then, that the Russians produced more great scientists than any other nation?

Aside posted:

The Great Library finished in Moscow, and I've begun to build another settler to settle Horse's Mouth along the southern coast. Now that I've acquired Hereditary Rule and a series of Middle Ages happiness resources (wine and spices), I've hit my first big growth spurt since I founded my first cities. Let's hope we grow to devour the world.

The Great Library does some cool stuff. It gives you two free scientist specialists, both of which produce 3 great scientist points and 3 beakers of research. The Library itself also generates 2 great scientist points, and 8 culture. Moscow is now a research powerhouse. We went from 15 turns left on Civil Service to 11! Since the city has reached its happiness limit again, I took a worker off a plains and made him into a third scientist specialist. Not only will this top me off at a massive 22 great person points per a turn (plus a few more beakers), it'll also slow Moscow's growth until I can build another defender and increase happiness again.

In 325 AD, a Russo-Indian eschatologist named Kashi traveled to Delhi. He was a holy man of some reknown, and when he claimed that Krishna would send the Russians to destroy the city unless they built a temple to Ishvara, the Indians listened. In less than a decade, the Indian people completed the Kashi Vishwanath in Delhi.

Ironically, the Grozny-Hindus took this as a sign of favor from the Brahman, and began to organize a force to attack Delhi.

Aside posted:

In truth, at the first possible chance I started moving elephants, swordsmen, and catapults towards Delhi. But it sounds better for the narrative if they begin now, rather than several hundred years ago.

By 350 BC, the Grozny general Alp Arslan led a force of 750 swordsmen, 200 elephants, and both the first and second runs of the Grozny catapults to Delhi. He laid siege to the capital, and used the catapults to slowly break the outer walls of the city. However, Delhi was not so easily taken.

Delhi is large, covering almost three times the square mileage of Moscow over the flatlands. Even with ten thousand men, the siege would have been as leaky as cheesecloth. Hence, food flowed into the city for almost fifteen years, while the sieging soldiers settled down for the long haul. In the end, they built a counterworks of ramparts designed to keep citizens inside the city, while waiting for reinforcements to come from Grozny and Madras. In 375 BC, Captains Epish and Brelov arrived with 200 elephants under their command. They waited patiently for their moment to attack. In 403 AD, that moment came.

On a late summer day, early in the morning when the air was still cool, Alp Arslan ordered the second run of catapults to move into short range and fire grapeshot at the Indian defenders. The Indian response was swift, but not swift enough. Despite severe damage, a portion of the second run was able to retreat and avoid destruction. The defenders did not fare well.

The archers were severely reduced in number, and the axemen and spearmen were wounded also.

Captain Brelov led the initial assault with a hundred elephants. The defenders of Delhi ran a series of large log walls up to the side of the primary breaches in order to funnel the elephants into their pikes, but Brelov did something nobody expected: he slew fifteen of his elephants and dropped them into the trench along the earthworks south of Delhi. This formed a temporary bridge into a smaller breach along the walls, and under fire from the a handful of surprised archers, Brelov flanked the spearmen. These initial defenders were decimated to the man.

But the fight was not over. With the blast of his trumpet, Alp Arslan rode forth with half of his host: 750 swordsmen and 200 elephants. Beneath the grey heels of the elephants, Arslan ground the axemen of Delhi. Under the blades of the Swords of Michael, Mark, and Luke, the archers were opened like ripe fruit. Once in the city, they spread out and swarmed through the streets, slaying the sick and indolent at will. Any resistance was soon met with slaughter and rape, and when rumors spread that whole families were being butchered for insubordination, hope died in the hearts of the Haryana Ghandi.

It is said that on the steps of the Kishi Vishwanath itself, Alp Arslan held Ghandi's son by the throat and strangled him to death, eliciting the uproarious cheers of his men. Though the end of India had not arrived, the strength of their nation had been sapped. The capital of the Indian empire had fallen, and in the streets, drunk Russians stepped in puddles of blood and sang hymns to Ishvara.

War elephants were sometimes called the Nightmares of Crimea in reference to the well-known but false belief that the Crimeans called the elephants monsters and not animals. The origin of this term is most likely a reference to a Judaic text found in a synagogue in Crimea.

After the conquest of Delhi, they were renamed to the Nightmares of India.

So far...

This update covers a lot of information, but not as many turns. I'm going to proofread it once, not very thoroughly mind you, and then go to sleep for the night. No information on the world map or buildings will be provided until the end of the next update, which should finish off the Russo-Indian war and cover the aftermath.

If you want any particular details on anything that happened in this post, ask me, and I'll give you a straightforward explanation.

Edit: Oh yea, the thread is back! And I bet you were worried that I had abandoned it. :] Of course, now you know that I haven't abandoned it at all. I've simply spent time finishing finals, and because I started far too late yesterday, this particular update took two days to write.

Let's have fun conquering the planet.