Part 4: Mictlan - Turns 7-8
Okay, let's get down to business with how this dark vine province invasion went.
Here we can see the unit composition of the province. The white robed individual are blood slaves, they act as gems for the purpose of casting blood magic in battle. They're basically a non issue for the purpose of worrying about, they shift about mindlessly near their commander. The big tentacle-ly trees are the dark vines, and all of the little green dudes are various woodsmen.
The druids start off by casting bark skin. It racks up a little bit of fatigue, and more importantly tells me my men are potentially out of range of their spells. I consider it a minor victory regardless since they rack up a little bit more fatigue, which is actually important with blood mages.
Next they cast bleed at my front group of slingers, only one of them manages to actually hit, but it costs the druids a lot of slaves and even more fatigue.
Finally, my group of jaguars gets into range, and due to the larger AoE of agony, they start to spam that instead of bleed. It's a spell that lowers enemy morale, which can be effective when spammed in large amounts against middle-ish morale units. However, jaguars have 16-17 morale when blessed, which is no small amount, and they weather it without routing.
The most important thing to note here is that this largely worked because I was abusing the range of spells and knowledge of the spell AI. The jaguars were out of range the first two turns, if they were closer they would have drawn agonies non stop from the druids from turn due to their large concentrated pool of HP. Additionally the group of slingers in the front was too small for the AI to consider casting agony on. Instead they resorted to the damage dealing spell bleed. This means my slingers didn't route on the first turn from agony's fear effect.
After another casting the druids have all passed out from fatigue, which means I wont have to worry about them casting potentially harmful spells at bad moments.
Half of the dark vines met up with my jaguars and died shortly thereafter, but a few of them slipped past and killed a handful of my slingers unfortunately, however after killing the druids my jaguars turn back and make short work of them too.
My other fight was fairly uneventful, and I took the province succesfully. At this point I've discovered Arcoscephale is to my north (unfortunately), and after some talk we settle on the province with all the heavy cavalry being his.
Meanwhile, every turn I have been checking out the graphs. They are incredibly important tools for the purpose of extracting information. Looking at the army graph this turn I noted that Lanka's army spiked a very large amount. Knowing that TheDemon has a bless and is using his sacreds to expand, this makes me think he is preparing to go to war. This coupled with the fact that chats on IRC made it known to me that TheDemon was boxed into a little island meant he was going to go to war early in this game. I know about half of this spike can be attributed to him hiring a mercenary companies known as the farstrikers. A group of 30 longbowmen that are fairly decent mercenaries.
I can also look at the province graph to reinforce this assumption. He didn't expand this turn, he might have just failed to take a province, but I consider that fairly unlikely given the nature of his sacreds. So these bits and pieces of information indicate to me that he is getting ready to attack someone.
Neither of my battles were very exciting or informative, I think I won both of them without many losses. Unfortunately, I'm starting to border other players, this means the map is going to start filling out very soon, so I need to start thinking ahead for the purpose of going to war. I notice to the south that it is in fact Pangaea who spawned there. We talk a little on IRC, but I don't think any of it was important enough to really mention.
I look again at the mercenary screen, hoping there will be a new batch of men to hire. Looking at the Hinnom's heavy infantry, I see they still have 30 men and only a turn left, this means I can try and snipe the contract if I bid higher than him. However, I know that since he has control of them right now, his bids are double the value of what they normally would be. I actually assume he will bid a relatively small number due to people trying to minimize the costs of mercenaries. So I put in a fairly decent sized price on them.
This is a point of interest for me, Sauromatia now owns the province that Thedemon had control of last turn. I take mental note of this, as early wars are always important.
I also go check out the army screen again, the fairly sizable drop in TC and Lanka's graphs mean they had a battle this turn.
I go back to the province graph to try and determine who actually won the battle, given that they both lost about the same number of units. Lanka's graph went down, but I know Sauromatia took one of their provinces. Therefore, I assume it was either an offensive battle for Thedemon that he lost, or Thedemon won a defensive battle. I know that he absolutely loves defensive movement traps, so for now I am assuming the latter of the two. However, this indicates that he is in a two way war against Sauromatia and TC. I know from chatter on IRC that Hinnom is also out that way, and I start talking to him to find out who he is going to jump on in that mess.