Part 117: Hinnom - Turn 19
Well, that was a pretty disastrous turn. Oh, wait. I'm sorry. I was thinking of last turn when my tiny pixel cavemans were absolutely obliterated at the cost of three markata. Two turns ago? Sorry, it's all been a blur since then. I actually just woke up, covered in ranch dressing and using half eaten nachos bell grande as a pillow. Where were we?
OK, now that we've had a bit of hair of the dog, let's look at the turn.
Those battles are my two Melqarts killing PD. They're raiding, which seemed like a good idea at the time. I now realize that I have to somehow get them back to Hinnom because there's nowhere else to raid and I desperately don't want to lose more Melqarts.
Oh well, they won't be the first. On to research! I hit construction three this turn and power on toward construction four at a mighty 60 research points a turn.
Site searching finally turns up some sites. These two provide me a total of two earth gems and one astral pearl a turn. Not bad!
The other event was more gems (pearls in this case), and this is a pretty nice event. Some gold and decreased unrest. This would be even more helpful if I was blood hunting and there was some unrest in that province but it's still pretty nice.
Good news, we're going swimming!
I expect TheDemon to take back the province north of his cap, Vician Forest. I do not expect to have any commanders at the battle. It turns out that there is a mechanic at work which I was not aware of. If you have a stealthy priest, they can preach in enemy provinces while remaining stealthy. I thought that if you had a stealthy priest that preached in your own province then they would still remain stealthy. That's not the case. If you have a stealthy priest that preaches in a province you own then the priest does not hide. He banishes a couple of demons and then runs like hell. If he doesn't have anywhere to run to then he dies. Shit.
In Hinnom I recruit a bunch of Dawn Guard and a Horite Shaman.
The Horite Shaman gets one point of earth, nature and death magic. He's going to be site searching for death sites later on.
My primary goal is to get my Melqarts out alive. Let's look at the strategic map and make that happen. I'm attacking Nardago with three Dawn Guard (poor residents of the wastelands of Nardago, subjected to a constant war between people eating demons and people eating giants). To save both Melqarts I attack Nardago with both and set them to retreat.
A Brief Exercise in Mind Reading
Let's talk about why I think this is going to work. The western Melqart is DIE MONKEYS DIE. The eastern is KING HIPPO JR. Each Melqart has three options. Attack, stay put or move to the other friendly province. TheDemon has a couple of options as well. He can keep the army in Nardago where it is, attack across the bridge or attack into either (or both) of the provinces I just raided. He can also attack either of my island provinces from Lanka with what I guess is one turn of recruitment worth of sacreds (~7) or from the southern tip of the island which is a bunch of atavi archers. I think my PD and a single Melqart can take out seven anusara or a bunch of atavi archers but not both. I do not think either is anywhere near a match for his pretender and army. So, what do I think he's going to do? I guess that he will use his main army to either stay where it is to stop me from attacking across the bridge or attack south with it and then use his cap sacreds and atavi from the southern tip of the island to take the other province I raided. That's my best guess at what he's going to do.
I am sorely tempted to send KING HIPPO JR. north to attack Lanka. I don't know about the extra PD in Lanka, but a Melqart with an eye shield is perfectly suited to attack markata as markata have low magic resistance so they're almost all guaranteed to get blinded as soon as they attack and they have low morale so the Melqart's fear will quickly drive them off. Then DIE MONKEYS DIE would attack Nardago with retreat orders. If KING HIPPO JR. took Lanka then DIE MONKEYS DIE has somewhere to retreat to even if TheDemon cleverly splits his forces to take both provinces on the island and crosses the bridge to attack me. This is what I really want to do. But I don't. And I don't because I am already incredibly demoralized and I'm terrified of losing both Melqarts next turn. I don't think TheDemon is going to attack across the bridge this turn, but I would not be surprised if he stayed where he was this turn in an attempt to kill any Dawn Guard that attack and then attacked next turn. I also would not be surprised if TheDemon was patrolling Lanka with at least a few sacreds. I don't want to go up against sacreds, maybe mages and all his markata chaff in his cap and lose another Melqart. Instead I attack Nardago with retreat orders for both DIE MONKEYS DIE and KING HIPPO JR. I am betting that he will either attack across the bridge and leave one of the provinces on his island untaken, or he will not attack across the bridge and take both provinces on his island back. In either case, both Melqarts should retreat together to fight another day.
Good thing I recruited Obscuro to hang out while I save up money to build a lab in this province so I can get water access. Definitely not a waste of his time to sit there patrolling instead of being in a lab researching.
Let's look at some good news for a change. KING HIPPO JR has killed enough markata to become one of the world's most beloved heroes! It turns out everyone else hates those dirty poo slingers too.
KING HIPPO gets a great heroic ability for a thug.
Heroic Quickness lets him run faster and attack .5 extra times a turn. Because he's so strong, that's close to .5 extra dead things a turn!
A quick glance at the hall of fame shows how effective TheDemon's acid rain cannon of a pretender is. And how helpful a priest spamming smite can be! Bastards. His Raksharaja How are u is also firmly in the hall of fame. That's what you get for rooting for TheDemon! No, wait. I mean, that's entirely a coincidence and everyone else should root for me!
One last item to note before moving on to diplomacy.
Remember way back when in the good old days when mom and dad were still together, mountain dew only came in one flavor and I got a random event that gave me an assassin and killed an indie commander and stole the skull talisman that let him summon skeletons? The assassin is taking the skull talisman to go shank some fools in Lanka. He's summoning a skeleton to distract them and then will move in to stab them in the back.
I am very disappointed. In you!
Dude. That's what my dad said too.
Dude! How's it going? Sucks to hear about that Mictlan thing. Do you think you could hook me up with some fire brands?
Cigarette? No? Are you sure? They're quite good for you. Don't mind if I smoke, do you? Listen, I'd love to help you. I really would but I'm pretty busy and there's a terrible shortage of earth gems around here and so I'll forge you a couple of fire brands for the very reasonable price of eight fire gems and eight earth gems each. Sure, they only cost me three of each to forge but look, these ponies eat hay like you wouldn't fucking believe and I have a kid to put through college. What do you say? Deal? Hello? Where are you going? Was it the cigarette thing?
So, uh, dude. Do you think you can help me out a little and forge me some fire brands?
Why Hinnom, hello. Of course. It would be my pleasure to help you. Only five fire gems and five earth gems each.
Great, thanks dude!
Even more elsewhere...
What do you want jumbotron? Can't you see I'm busy?
Dude. This sucks. We've got to keep going though, right? We can't let him off the island or he'll destroy life as we know it.
Listen deep dish, all I've got to do right now is finish this beer.