Part 141: Hinnom - Turn 45
Things are getting very interesting. But, instead of an in-depth review of the diplomatic and strategic situation, I wrote this limerick.
There once was a demon from Lanka.
As loved as an investment bankah.
He was built in a lab,
His purpose to stab.
And after this LP
If you want you can go see
His sideshow in ol' Tijuana.
Now, down to business. 62 slaves and a number of battles. The battles in Ardun and Helmshire are Mictlan attacking T'ien Ch'i.
Housekeeping brings towels to Lanka, but everyone is out.
Nardago is a different story. One Rakshasa and one Gana in exchange for 8 barbarians, 24 dust guard and a scout. Now that's more like the exchange rate I'm used to.
Here you can see the initial lineup. TheDemon is really hurting for blockers. If I'd brought some evocations I could rain fire down on his Raksharaja on turn one. I did not and can not.
He puts up storm. Two Raksharaja on the top of the screen get ready to duke it out in hand to hand.
Next he puts up darkness (less useful because most of my troops are undead dust guard who can see in the dark, but it does throw off KING HIPPO JR's banishments).
Orb lightning, Thunder Strikes and Acid Rain quickly deplete my troops.
The two melee Raksharaja race against time - trying to reach KING HIPPO JR before he flees from HP route.
They both have vine shields and fire brands.
I wonder where they got all this gear from?
Even their stolen weapons don't let them reach KING HIPPO JR before his army is destroyed and he beats a hasty retreat.
In Lanka, unencumbered (mostly) by troops, KING HIPPO JR and TOMMY LIKE WINGY attack Nardago. As a prophet, KING HIPPO JR needs to get back to friendly dominion quickly.
Both Melqarts are scripted to go punch people. Can anyone spot the mistake I'm making? It is significant, but subtle.
After rolling through Arcoscephale, Mictlan continues into T'ien Ch'i. Let's take a look at the battles, from north to south.
T'ien Ch'i sends an immortal hero against this Zmey. It eats the immortal before I get a chance to capture him on camera.
In Ardun we get a better look at what Lilli is bringing to the party. A Zmey, a bane lord and a turkey walk into a bar...
Bane lords are the gold standard of thugs in vanilla. They're undead so they never tire, they come with a nice cold aura, they're relatively beefy and they come pre-equipped with decent armor. This bane lord has flying shoes, a frost brand and a vine shield. This is standard thug kit and should be sufficient to take out province defense forever.
And here is a Zmey. These have since been nerfed, but fat lot of good that's going to do T'ien Ch'i. They're three headed dragons from slavic myth. Each head has 80 hp and once you kill a head it stays dead. But you still have to kill the damn thing three times. To do that you have to get past its huge strength and seven attacks (three bites, two claws, a tail and fire breath). Lilli has given it a lycanthrope amulet which provides regeneration and addresses the Zmey's one weakness - morale. Each individual head can trigger a hitpoint route, so if a Zmey is by itself and goes below 20 hitpoints then it will route even though it still has two perfectly good heads left. The lycanthrope amulet makes the Zmey go berserk so it never flees. In this version of Awesome Endgame, these are the best raiders in the game.
This Zmey even has heroic endurance, providing reinvigoration to address the Zmey's other possible weakness - fatigue.
Further South, a lone bane lord and its turkey bodyguard complete the attack along the entirety of T'ien Ch'i's front with Mictlan. The turkeys are along for two reasons. First, they deter mind hunts and second, they can buff the raiders with body ethereal.
In action, you can see the bane lord happily chopping away at the province defense that surrounds it. This does not end well for the province defense.
One of the screens that hasn't been addressed yet is the nation overview screen. If you open it up (and hit tab), this is what you see. If you don't hit tab it also shows all your commanders and what they're doing. In order, those colums are Province Name, Income, Tax, Unrest, Resources, Supplies, Supplies USed, Province Defense, Magic Sites and Searches for magic sites that you've done (site searching spells always show up as 9, otherwise the number in each of these is the level of mage that searched). The provinces with 0 taxes (and 0 income) are where I'm blood hunting. Provinces with 0 defense are underwater.
In addition to providing a nice look at just how thorough my site searching has been, this screen can provide another piece of very useful information. When you're sieging a fort the magic site in that fort shows up as a magic site on the strategic map but you can't see what it is. In this view you can mouse over it and see what the magic site is. Just mouse over the sites in Lanka and click.
Lanka's sites aren't a surprise, but this is a nice trick for when you're sieging a non-cap fort. You can check to see if the magic sites inside are particularly valuable and prioritize accordingly.
In Histyra, The Steel Ovens are constantly worked by giants desperately forging in preparation for a war they hope never comes. I forge two flesh eater axes (give a chest wound which provides 5 encumbrance a turn and is a death sentence for non-undead melee commanders), an eye shield and flying boots and BARBED WIRE BICEP TATTOO spends another month alone in his mom's basement putting together one of his Gundam action figures (it's not a toy dad! GOD!).
In Hinnom I decide to try something new. One of the spells in Enchantment is shock ward. It provides a large area (filled with troops, one hopes) with lightning resistance. Because TheDemon doesn't have very many blockers I'm hoping that shock resistant dawn guard with weapons of sharpness (attacks ignore armor, very useful for killing thugs and SCs) can kill his remaining pixel mans. So that's another option going forward in addition to mechanical giants. Why don't I just rain a bunch of fire on his head? Stop complaining about my failure to use evocations or I'll turn this LP right around so help me! That's why.
Blood stones: 36
Cost: 204E, 288 slaves
Gems Generated: 210
With that I am now in the black for earth gems. From here on out, every earth gem generated is going to be gravy.