Part 114: Hinnom - Year 1 Mistakes
YEAR ONE MISTAKES
Now seems as good a time as any to review the mistakes I've made in year one. Everyone is welcome to chime in with other mistakes they think I've made.
1. Let's start with my bless/pretender chassis. The mistake I made here was not considering and testing any other builds. I have an immobile guy who has some good freespawn and he gets me an e4 bless for +2 reinvigoration. That's a pretty decent bless and it helps my melqarts not succumb to fatigue. But it's really only helpful for getting them to 0 fatigue each turn with equipment and it's insufficient by itself. E melqarts can get +4 reinvig from summon earth power and that makes the blessing unnecessary. F and S melqarts need additional equipment and, while the bless means I can give them birch boots (+2 reinvig, 50% cold immunity, 50%poison immunity) and get to 4 reinvig that way, it's still not replacing an equipment requirement.
The other thing my pretender does is allows me to forge a crystal coin which gives +1 Astral level and allows an astral Ba'al to use a coin and a starshine skullcap to forge a ring of sorcery and then add the ring of sorcery to get a ring of wizardry.
Those are two pretty decent things to get with my pretender and with my scales. But I really should have considered getting slightly worse scales and going with a monolith with an n6 blessing. That would have allowed me to replace one piece of gear in a valuable slot (ring of regen in the misc. slot) and would have allowed me to forge a moonvine bracelet. As far as boosters go, getting +1n is a lot less good than getting +1 to every path (ring of wizardry) or +1 to Nature, death, astral and blood (ring of sorcery). But it's not terrible and tarrasque and ettin are quite good in this mod and both require nature to summon. I would probably be forced to empower an earth mage in astral or vice versa to get to rings but the N 6 bless would have been pretty great long term for my gem use (saving me 10n gems per giant) and it would have allowed me to forge shrouds that keep any useful but old independent mages alive.
I should have at least tested this to see if I could take magic 1 or productivity 0 to get an N6 bless. But I didn't.
2. Research. I researched site searching spells first. As you can see I don't use them because I'm at war. I should have prepared for war first and then researched site searching spells. This is a pretty classic mistake and I was just getting greedy, trying to eke out an extra five or ten turns of gem from my sites instead of preparing for fighting first.
Once I do get to the fighting, I immediately go construction. That is because I am thinking "melqarts are super combatants and need gear." The problem with this is that the gear I need is all at construction 4. I should be going for things that will be immediately useful. Options are evocation for Ba'als, or, for Melqarts, enchantment for fire shield or alteration for body ethereal (none of the palankasha attacks are magic so being ethereal will make 3/4 of them miss) and personal luck. And really, I should be doing all that research after I get earth meld. Earth meld sticks a five square area in the ground for a turn and is in alteration at level two.
If you are getting attacked by giants, particularly niefelheim, bonds of fire is great for stopping them in their tracks. But I'm getting attacked by relatively tiny murder machines. Earth meld will hit much larger numbers of them with a similar effect to the nets, allowing my guys to beat on them without getting turned to mulch.
3. On that note, the first battle in Nardago really threw me for a loop because I hadn't paid as much attention as TheDemon did. Consequently I keep recruiting Dawn Guard and thinking that they're roughly equal to Palankasha. This is not even remotely the case on a gold cost basis and I can't recruit them nearly as fast because they're resource intensive. Cavemans are a tremendous step in the right direction, but they have problems of their own. I think I should probably be recruiting a mix of cavemans and Avvite light infantry. Avvite light infantry have decent strength and the advantage of having javelins which they may be able to toss right before fighting the palankasha. They're much cheaper and easier to mass than Dawn Guard and with nets and earth meld stopping the palankasha from defending themselves they should be able to make short work of the palankasha with their giant strength.
4. Unkitted unbuffed melqarts. I don't remember what I was thinking here other than "look at how badass these giants are!" Which was clearly wrong. There's really no excuse for putting melqarts with no buffs and no kit up against blessed palankasha. With buffs and kit the story might be a bit different, but as it stands this is a terrible decision and because of my research choices I'm many turns away from either. I should have recruited independent commanders to lead the troops and used Ammi to cast earth meld and body ethereal on my troops.
5. Not using my prophet for banishment. Instead I have him sneaking way over into TheDemon's territory to steal his northern province. This was an income denial move, but it was a very bad one. An h3 priest packs a pretty decent punch against Palankasha and he would have done approximately infinity more damage against Lanka if he'd stayed behind casting banishment. I felt pretty clever at the time about using a scout priest to go cap a province thedemon felt he didn't need to defend but I would be feeling a lot more clever if the prophet was in the hall of fame from banishing all the immobile palankasha behind a huge screen of cavemans and avvite light infantry.
6. Splitting my Dawn Guard when TheDemon retook Nardago. I wanted one group to make it past his palankasha to murder his mages and make him route. Instead, both groups were eaten piecemeal. I should have balled them together and relied on fighting my way through any obstacles. If I'd been able to do that they might have reached his mages and at worst they would have done more damage to his Palankasha before dying.
7. Not scouting Feinne better. I'm sending scouts down through Sauromatia rather than through T'ien Ch'i even though I've been more friendly with Dawkish, the Sauro player. Sauro just let me have that cap-adjacent province they took whereas TC killed my expansion army and didn't so much as say excuse me (that's a bit of an overstatement, but I was definitely more friendly with Sauro than TC). I really should have had at least a scout up there checking on proceedings. Still, I think this is the most forgivable of my mistakes.
You will note that I do not include attacking TheDemon as a mistake here. If anything, how poorly I've done is a good indication that attacking him was the right idea. He's obviously quite a bit better than I am and if I don't kill him then he's far more likely to kill me next than someone he doesn't border. Ideally I would have started far away from him, but that didn't happen. I know some folks will say I should have waited and built up and there's definitely an argument to be made there. I think I had the tools to beat him and did not use them properly for the first year.
On that note, this post is depressing. I'm going to go eat my sorrow away.
Don't look at me!