Part 11: Mictlan - Turn 20
The real Turn 20
Lots and lots of events this turn, and it will probably only get more crowded as we go on, so prepare for the long haul. The message with Arco's flag up top, that has two indicators. One, because it's Arcoscephale's flag, it means they own the province that it happened in now (although I owned it last turn). Two, the "suddenly an arrow ...." message indicates someone is casting Seeking Arrow. Seeking arrow is a spell that requires A3 and 4 air gems, it does 8 AN damage against a target on the strategic map. If there are multiple targets in a province the target is chosen randomly. It cannot target sneaking units. It's great for killing lone commanders leading armies or mages that you'd prefer weren't alive. It also means that Dexanth has at least Enchantment 3 researched (and likely Enchantment 4 since Rainbow Dash is teleporting, but it's possible she's using the astral variety Teleport, which requires Thaumaturgy 3). This means the priests I have leading my armies are vulnerable, and raiding with just a priest + jaguars/slingers will be harder now.
Second, I did a lot of site searching. Bowl of blood is the spell used to search for blood magic sites. Blood sites are fairly rare relative to other sites though, but in general the ones that do exist are very good, so its worth searching. As it stands I find nothing.
Third, the battles, lots of battles. Theres one battle before events/blood hunting, which means it happened in the magic phase. Remember how Rainbow Dash flew back to Arco's capital and cleared the siege last turn? It probably means she's teleport on top of another one of my armies. In the other cases theres a lot more battles than I fought offensively last turn, which means Dexanth is finally pushing back against my raiding.
Unfortunately that seeking arrow Dexanth cast at my High Priest of the Sun leading the small group of jaguars up north killed him, and now my Jaguars lose their scripting and essentially become part of the province defense unless I can pick them up with another commander.
Unfortunately, we also know that Dexanth took this province this turn, with this army right here. Almost all of my jaguars die and I kill a handful of relatively worthless monkeys.
Remember how I said I thought Rainbow Dash would teleport on top of one of my two stacks of sacreds? Well she did. However, since I scripted my jaguars and eagles to retreat, none of them die. The battle ends with a full route on my side and Rainbow Dash not getting any kills.
However, I laid a trap for Rainbow Dash. After I got into a war with Arcoscephale I redirected my research, my top priority became getting a way to kill her. This is primarily because she is capable of fairly easily killing groups of jaguars.
One of the often talked about/theorized points in Dom3 LPs is why players never want or take astral on an super combatant or a pretender god SC. This is because there is a low level spell called Magic Duel. The way this works is each mage rolls a 1d6 and adds their base astral level. If the mages tie then both of them die, otherwise the one who gets a higher number survives and the lower number dies. Rainbow Dash here appears to have S6. This would be very hard for me to magic duel without having a lot of S2 or S3 to throw at her. However, virtues in Awesome Gods have Magic Boost +2, this means that all their paths appear 2 levels higher than they actually are. Magic duel only adds your base astral level. No communions, no magic boost, no gear, nothing. Just your base level. This means Rainbow Dash actually has S4.
Do you know what happens when you fly a turkey death squad in to magic duel a pony?
There are a few more aspects of this in terms of mechanics that I'll go into. This wouldn't have been possible for me to do if I weren't Mictlan. Rainbow Dash teleported in on the magic phase. This happens before regular movement, if you move commanders into a target province that they're not adjacent to (using defensive movement to move multiple provinces), but someone takes the province in the magic phase, it will cease your commanders movement to the province. This is because you cannot offensively move multiple provinces into enemy territory.
However! Turkeys can fly, flying is not restricted by this limitation, they can move over multiple provinces regardless of whether they're friendly or not.
The second aspect that made this possible is that Turkeys have two forms. Their human form and turkey form. When a unit with two forms is hit by enough damage to kill their first form, they will transform into their second form 'healing' enough damage to put them back at full health. However, damage carries over, so if you hit a jaguar warrior at full health with 16 points of damage (12 health in the first form, 18 in the second), they will transform into a werejaguar with 14 health. However, a unit with multiple forms can never be killed in a single hit. If the same jaguar took 35 damage, they would transform into a werejaguar with 1 health left.
This applies to turkeys. Their second shape counts as a second form for something that will kill them in one shot. This includes magic duels (even if you cast the magic duel). So for example with Thanksgiving here, he lost the first magic duel against Rainbow Dash, and he was transformed back into his human shape with 1 health left over (since magic duel technically does 999 damage). This means that each of my turkeys can do up to two magic duels if necessary. So me flying 5 turkeys in there was actually a total of 10 potential magic duels. This means I just need one of ten 1d6+1 vs 1d6+4 rolls to tie or come out in my favor for Rainbow Dash to die. Each die roll is a 1/6 chance she'll tie/lose, so I am fairly confident this will work. (and it does)
Not much else of note happens this turn, Arco took back a lot of his provinces successfully against my minimal PD.
Additionally, I use my air gems that have been piling up to empower my Eagle Warrior to A2. There isn't much that you can do that's useful at A1, but A2 opens up a lot of possibilities.