Part 124: Hinnom - Turn 29
The peaceful Hinnomese people have been at war with Lanka for almost two full years. The memory of an army of demon ogres and poo-flinging monkeys camped outside the very walls of Hinnom itself is fresh in the minds of even the youngest tiny giant children. King Hippomnomnomnom's priests preach faith in the great Sphinx; assuring his people that one day he will return to eat tasty cakes and debate the merits of animes with his faithful. That day is not today, but let's look at how things are going anyway.
Here's the battle in Lanka. It is anticlimactic. Much like the battle for Hinnom several turns ago, this one is nasty, brutish and short (just like the lives of the poor monkey PD). Monkey PD are particularly ill-suited to fight a fear-causing giant with a magic shield that blinds them because they have the animal tag. Animals almost universally have low morale and low magic resistance so they run away more quickly from the fear and are almost automatically blinded when they attack.
I finished research in enchantment and thaumaturgy and turn to alteration.
I'm going for Body Ethereal.
Those Palankasha hit like tiny mac-trucks with giant chain saws made entirely of razor blades attached to the front. But, their attacks aren't magical. Body Ethereal causes 75% of non-magical attacks to do no damage. The attacks still count for things like the eye shield blinding defense so an ethereal Melqart should suffer far less damage as the Palankasha all futilely blind themselves.
The research I completed in Thaumaturgy is for Teleport. With Teleport, my Ba'als with astral and Melqarts with astral and a starshine skullcap (+1 astral) can teleport around raiding TheDemon and generally causing trouble. For maybe ten or twelve turns before this I've been expecting TheDemon to use a similar spell, Cloud Trapeze, to rain Raksharaja on my soft underbelly provinces but so far that threat hasn't materialized. Why not?
In Enchantment I wanted Regeneration. With regeneration, one of my fat shetland pony tenders can give a Melqart regeneration without me needing to spend the gems to give him a ring of regeneration. Astral shield and fire shield are nice bonuses in this research path. Astral Shield forces a magic resistance check when units attack and fire shield burninates units that attack. I intend to use both on giants with the proper paths. I know I've said it at least once or twice, but I've really been messing things up. If I wasn't going to use evos (mistake!), then I should have at least been researching all these things to make my thugs better. Ugh.
That arrow from my cap to Cacian Forest is KING HIPPO JR, heading east to reclaim the forest and see whether Ornias found a blood site or an air site. In the North, TheDemon has abandoned Laerian Swamps and I'm not concerned about a defensive movement trap for two reasons. One, I'm besieging Lanka and he'll make getting it back a huge priority. Two, we've been fighting for a long time now and I think I'm starting to get a sense of what he's going to do. It took him a single turn to figure me out and maybe the answer wasn't particularly impressive but at least I'm finally starting to work my way into the swing of things. He tends to (quite rightly) prioritize threats according to their potential to end his continued existence. Laerian Swamps is relatively far from his cap whereas Sauro has a big army that can move next to his cap this turn and I am currently besieging his cap. I think he'll probably bet on me leaving off the siege and move his big army south of the cap, but I think the less likely possibility is that he will move everyone back to his cap. I think the probability that he moves anything significant at all back to Laerian Swamps is pretty infinitesimal.
Still, no need to risk anything unnecessarily! I send in the barbarians, led by an independent commander.
The group of five Palankasha forge down into Sauromatia. I could let them rampage about, but Xanrick and I are pretty friendly at this point. Plus, I really want to kill TheDemon and eliminating his Palankasha piecemeal is a good start.
In Histyra, PIMP ROBES puts Teleport to good use. He is going to air drop onto that group of Palankasha and, hopefully, kill them. Look at how much unrest my giants are causing, even with taxes at 0. I am making a mistake here. Unrest is going up and population is going down no matter what so I should be taxing at 200%.
PIMP ROBES has a fire brand, an eye shield, robes that make him ethereal, a luck amulet to stop 50% of attacks and a ring that makes him immune to lightning. He has very low encumbrance that should be countered by King Hippomnomnomnom's blessing. The combination of ethereal (3/4 miss), luck (1/2 miss) and the eye shield (MR check or you lose an eye, if you lose both eyes attack and defense go to zero and with attack 0 you're not hitting anything) should make PIMP ROBES basically immune to a small number of Palankasha. I'm a little nervous about this as I've been beaten down for twenty turns but I don't give him a ring of regeneration because I don't have one this turn and I want to kill those Palankasha now. Plus, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?
Here's the hall of fame. I thought folks might find it interesting. A better Hinnom player would have many more giants in this hall of fame. Oh well. You can see just how murdertastic TheDemon's giant acid cannon pretender and his twisted monkey prophet have been. The late Rainbow Dash leads the hall, while a single Oreaid keeps her company. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that Dexanth isn't really leaning on his Oreaids in the same way TheDemon is leaning on his Raksharaja. Adura, How are u and Amanda are all Raksharaja in the HoF and Lanka is about a quarter the size of Arco, although in fairness to Dexanth, Lilli is awesome and I have been, uh, not so awesome.