Part 132: Hinnom - Turn 38
This is the turn I'm expecting TheDemon to break out in Lanka with everything he has. I am not concerned because I don't think he has anything that can kill multiple kitted giants. Of course, I moved CODE RED ORDERER North so it's just KING HIPPO JR and PIMP ROBES that are left to hold down the fort.
46 blood slaves isn't terrible. But I'll need to keep working on that. You can see there are two battles that happen before all the other battles. That's because they're happening in the magic phase. The way turn order works, you can teleport onto an enemy province and catch anyone in it (unless they're teleporting out). It's taken TheDemon a long time to get here, but he's finally using Cloud Trapeze (a version of teleport that requires two levels of air magic and uses three air gems) to port his Raksharaja thugs in as raiders. We have very different play styles, but I would have been doing this a long time ago and I had been absolutely dreading it from turns 15-30. At this point I'm no longer concerned because my Melqarts can teleport with a starshine skullcap and a kitted Melqart is more than a match for a Raksharaja.
Of the two battles that happened, you can tell that I won at least the battle in Nardago because I picked up an item.
Here's Nardago. I will trade seven units for a geared Raksharaja all day every day. I think TheDemon was trying to use cloud trapeze to cut off my retreat from Lanka. This is a great tactic - teleport attack the surrounding provinces to cut off retreat (if there are no friendly provinces to retreat to when a battle happens then retreating units just die). It works better if you don't port onto a bunch of dawn guard. We'll take a closer look later on in this post at why this doesn't work.
In Cacian Forest, TheDemon catches me being lazy. I really should have scripted the Ba'als I had researching there to retreat, but TheDemon hadn't used Cloud Trapeze yet so I figured he thought it was too risky. As a result of not scripting, they cast terrible spells before dying. One escapes but it isn't WELCOME TO EARTH. RIP little guy. Another problem is that because there is a lab in this province, TheDemon can cast Cloud Trapeze again and I don't know where he'll end up.
Here's the big fight. I'll look at what happened here more closely, but the one loss was only a scout I had set up on speed bump duty to give KING HIPPO JR and PIMP ROBES another turn to buff.
In Vician Forest, CODE RED ORDERER beats the monkeys about the head and shoulders with a piece of soap in a sock.
Under the sea, DADDY ISSUES subjugated the locals and takes a quick nap before heading off to do the same to the remaining mermaids in the West.
Here is the battle in Lanka. You can see TheDemon throws up storm and storm power. Maybe he's trying to catch a Melqart without lightning resistance?
And here's his new trick. That sabbath on the first turn is setting up to allow him to cast darkness. Darkness will stop KING HIPPO JR from aiming his banishment effectively and will stop PIMP ROBES from hitting anything. Everything he's using is either undead or a demon and both can see in the dark. That's why horror movies always end so poorly for people. Zombies can see in the dark.
I've scripted PIMP ROBES to stand right in front of KING HIPPO JR so that he can block while KING HIPPO JR banishes demons and undead with impunity. The Palankasha arrive first and get caught on PIMP ROBES, where they will stay for quite some time.
The Raksharaja have reverted to that old standby, ghost wolves while KING HIPPO JR banishes the huge pile of undead and demons surrounding PIMP ROBES. Ordinarily, darkness would stop banishment cold, but because they're so close and there are so many almost every banishment hits for full effect.
PIMP ROBES and KING HIPPO JR continue with their little game until PIMP ROBES gets tired. He's getting fatigued because his heroic ability is heroic quickness which means he's accruing more than his encumbrance in fatigue each turn and I've only set him to have 6 reinvigoration each turn.
With PIMP ROBES fatigued, any Palankasha that do hit him end up hitting like tiny trucks full of socks full of soap and PIMP ROBES and KING HIPPO JR beat a strategic retreat. Eight Palankasha and 22 Gana for a scout and five free spawn is a trade I'll happily make, but I'd hoped that PIMP ROBES and KING HIPPO JR would have been able to hold out for 50 turns and force TheDemon's troops to autoroute (and die because by taking Vician Forest I would leave them with nowhere to flee to).
In Nardago, Elu casts mistform and blessing. Mistform is a spell that causes every hit to do only one damage. Two things to note here. First, hard hits and magic weapons break mistform and Dawn Guard have both. Second, a W9 blessing like TheDemon has without an earth blessing like I have means that his Raksharaja are going to be in danger of getting fatigued which will make even regular hits do tons of damage and break mistform.
Here's a quick look at Elu. He has a brand, a shield and a ring of fire protection. Pretty standard thug gear. I'm pretty sure that the brand and shield are from TACO FLAVORED KISSES. Nice to see his cowardice continues to be useful to somebody.
That little red smear is all that's left of Elu. Relying on mistform is a bad idea when you're facing dawn guard. I don't know if TheDemon didn't have scouting or thought the risk was worth it to cut off my retreat.
I'm not concerned with darkness for two reasons. One, dust warriors can see in the dark. Two, the aoe from brands still works in the dark. So even if you're not hitting a single target you can still do aoe damage to those surrounding it. In short, I can still kill things with darkness up.
What I am worried about is another spell in the same research path. Frozen heart. It's a good high damage single target spell that will absolutely murder my giants. Scuba Steve and my mercenary water mage get to work forging frost brands. Frost brands provide 50% cold resistance and anything with cold resistance is immune to frozen heart. They also provide an aoe which will help with darkness.
Here's a quick look at the strategic map. You can see the remaining barbarians headed to reinforce Nardago while the giants head back for round three at Lanka.
Cost: 70E, 112 slaves
Gems Generated: 60
Damnit, still not broken even!