Part 208: Sauro - Turn 30
This is the turn that I take over from Xanrick (who has taken over for Dawkish). At this point I have not actually looked at any of the turns in my history. All I have to go on is the turn I've just received, and some intel shared by my tentative ally, buildscharacter/Hinnom. This is what I know:
I have a small empire, a meager dominion and no blood slave income beyond the two I get from my capitol. My god has been killed. I've gotten the awesome Partholonian hero and she's been killed too (I know because I can see one of the Longdead Partholonians, but no Delgnat). Let's look at some graphs! Taken together I find that provinces, dominion, and research give a pretty good idea of a nation's position relative to the others (also gem income, but to a much lesser extent since it can change based on site searches or be misrepresented because of gemgens). So here they are.
Basically, the only nation in this game who's worse off than I am is Lanka. I'm tied with Hinnom for worst research, tied with Lanka for weakest dominion, and well behind everybody else (except Lanka) in terms of province count. The other graphs tell roughly the same story, although thanks entirely to the Peninsula of Awesomeness I technically have a better gem income than Pangaea and Lanka at the moment.
I am pretty certain that I cannot win this game, but I will try to recover and to be--at the very least--the last one to lose. I could be completely out of my depth in a game like this, with opponents like these; for example my showing in the early turns of the Aristocrats game was so poor that some observer from the Shrapnel forums felt compelled to call me out as the worst player of the bunch. That being said, I have a lot of experience at prolonging my inevitable destruction. I expect that experience to serve me well here. Here's my tiny empire:
After some discussion with Xanrick I've figured out what the research and combat objectives were, but there's still a lot of organization that needs to be done. I'm sending a small group to reclaim a province that buildscharacter says he owes me while I shuffle some commanders and armies around. I don't have a lot of experience with blood nations, but it's obvious that most of my neighbors are pushing their dominion with blood sacrifice. If I'm going to outlive any of these chumps then I'm going to have to start hunting for slaves and spilling their blood in my temples.
At this point I figure that TheDemon is going to use that big army to take both of the provinces on the island back, so I leave a small trap for him but otherwise pull everybody back to the fort on my side of the bridge. Yes, sacrificing in that temple is supposed to be part of the pressure I'm applying but it's obvious to me that I don't have the strength to defend it. I'm continuing on with the the research plan to get Body Ethereal for the purpose of turning markata into blockers, mostly because that research is almost finished anyway and not because I think it's going to work against acid rain. Against the demons it should buy me some time, but the acid rain will destroy any defense I can muster at this point. Even so, I'd rather have that option available in my next real fight with Lanka and not expend my strength now and then have a token force behind the new ghost-monkeys which would then also be destroyed.
It is at this point that I formulate the first of my long-term plans. I don't expect it to come to fruition, but this is an LP and I have low expectations for my own victory. A high-risk plan that promises high entertainment value if successful (even though it probably won't directly lead to my victory) seems perfect in this context. So!
Irrational Objectives List:
1. Control the entire isthmus (Lilli has one province on it so presumably I'll have to take it from her).
2. Extract an air mage from buildscharacter (or enough gems or sites to summon or empower an air mage for myself).
3. Complete Project X (I will go into more detail as I get closer to realizing this goal).
My next post will be a metagame analysis of the other players from my perspective, since that seems to be a Thing.