The Let's Play Archive

Dominions 3

by Lilli et al.

Part 245: Sauro - Post-battle

So, the battle. Here is a pristine Round 0 battlefield:

So I checked President Skroob right away to see why she went off script, and... the caster who was supposed to put up Gaia's Blessing and Relief somehow had no gems. I swear I put them on her... Well this is a depressing way to start a battle, but it explains a lot.

Opening Battlefield Spells:
Heat from Hell - Units not resistant to fire gain fatigue each round.
Ark - Blindness and Disease afflict all non-sacred units (eventually, as MR resists).
Light of the Northern Star - All Astral mages have +1 path in Astral magic.
Storm - Units cannot fly (except storm flying), have lower Precision, and accrue extra fatigue for casting Fire magic.
Relief - Hinnom's army recovers some fatigue each turn.
Solar Brilliance - Causes Blindness (again, but MR still resists) and deals damage to undead and demons.

The battlefield at the end of Round 1:

The battlefield is now lined with reverse communion thugs, will o' wisps, and wolves and I seem to have taken control of more than half of Hinnom's mechanical men and maybe a third of his Horite champions (and very little if anything else). Hinnom by contrast has taken control of a smattering of my summoned ancestors and hydra hatchlings. Those four unit types--mechanical men, horite champtions, ancestors, and hatchlings--will spend the rest of the fight killing one another and contribute very little to the fight besides soaking an incredible amount of damage.

New Battlefield Spells (add to existing ones from previous rounds):
Rigor Mortis - All units except undead and lifeless gain extra fatigue at the end of each round.
Grip of Winter - Units not resistant to cold gain fatigue each round.

Note that each time I hit N to advance to the next round I still have to wait for almost a minute for the turn to process. The battlefield at the end of Round 2:

Not much has changed at this point. The big evocations like Cleansing Water, Falling Frost/Flame, Acid Rain, Storm of Thorns, and Shimmering Fields have all been a lot less effective than I expected, even when my side of the battlefield is missing most of its resistances. It's obvious even now that this battle is going to be a long, grinding slog that ends with a bunch of blind zombies flailing away at each other as horrors devour them.

New Battlefield Spells (add to existing ones from previous rounds):
Astral Tempest - All non-mindless units take a small amount of damage at the end of each round.
Fire Storm - All units not immune to fire take a small amount of damage at the end of each round.
I'm also pretty sure that by this point I have put up Life After Death, which brings my killed troops back as zombies, but it does not o so for undead and lifeless units. Hinnom already had this spell up thanks to The Ankh (not to be confused with The Ark), wherever it is.

The battlefield at the end of Round 3:

This is where Hinnom's blinking communion slaves add their Astral Shield and become much more visible. My first cast of Fog Warriors went up (it should have been the second one), and Hinnom has been casting it regularly. That means that strikes do only one damage (but the enchantment breaks fairly easily in fights like this so it is a good idea to re-apply it every round or every other round). It also means that all of these units become foggy white and are even harder to see on the mostly white background of our wintry battlefield.

New Battlefield Spells (add to existing ones from previous rounds):
Soul Drain - All non-mindless units take a small amount of damage at the end of each round, and the caster (Optimized Projection, who is my hero Skogu except renamed as an homage to TheDemon's competitor in this LP) is healed and reinvigorated.

The battlefield at the end of Round 4:

Not much has changed. In fact nothing much changes for a while really so from here I will only show screenshots as they start to become interesting. Sadly most of these will come at the end of a round because I'm not sitting around watching this mess for amazing single-frame shots.

New Battlefield Spells (add to existing ones from previous rounds):
Demon Cleansing - All demons take double damage from all attacks.

Round 6:

The Demon Knights finally charge my Hydras (they started to hit last round but that was less exciting). My hydras have already taken quite a lot of damage at this point, and after repeated Enslave Mind casts from Hinnom they have spent a lot of energy fighting each other already. Also, to make this battlefield even more delightful a new spell went up...

New Battlefield Spells (add to existing ones from previous rounds):
Foul Vapors - All units suffer a chance to be hit with poison damage at the end of each round.

The battlefield is slowly filling up with horrors...

Round 11 (I think):

Even without some of my best buffs, my front line Hydras have held up extremely well to the demon charge. Most of the demons have been weeded out and the Dust Warriors are taking their places (well, after their zombie versions are dispatched). What this screenshot does not show is that the Living Statues and Wights that made up the bulk of my reserves have been almost completely destroyed. Between Hinnom's reverse communion casters occasionally casting effective spells from within and behind my troops, the Horrors and Lesser Horrors appearing everywhere, and Hinnom's constant barrage of Undead Mastery and Arcane Domination I simply don't have much left back there. Meanwhile his troops are doing okay, but they are almost all unconscious and heavily wounded and therefore harmless.

Around this time casters on both Hinnom's side and my own start casting Bloodletting once each round, which does 1 damage to almost everybody on the battlefield. Combined with the constant wearing down of the battlefield spells, these casts clear out the battlefield extremely quickly, and in fact I get the "Armies of Sauromatia have routed" next round. The battle is hardly finished, though, as I have plenty of fearless warriors left and of course several paralyzed or unconscious ones who can't flee.

On Round 16 or so I suffered my first named casualty... ironically it was the A/W Kraken "builds character."
By Round 20 the other kraken "Zom Aur" is dead, as is "Rawkking" the Queen of the Deeps and "Twilight Sparkle" the national hero named in honor of Dexanth's contribution to the LP. Almost all the Witch Kings and Enaries and Shadow Seers are dead as well, though it happens very quietly as they accrue damage from a dozen battlefield-wide effects. The tartarians are all under Hinnom's control by now as well, thanks to Undead Mastery spam.

Interestingly, by Round 25 about half of Hinnom's Dust Warriors appear to rout. At this point I assume that their ultimate departure from the field (since I know that the majority of them survive the battle but end up in another province) probably triggers an HP rout on Hinnom's side.

It turns out that they were not routing, they just never seem to decide who to attack. After this point both of the tarrasques are lost--one from Hellbind Heart and the other from Infernal Prison, or at least that's what it looks like--and Lilli's Daughter of Typhon is on a knife's edge.

Sir Phoebus and Pladdicus are overwhelmed, and Ardeem is surrounded:

I just missed the screenshot, but I'm pretty certain that Pittsburgh Lambic killed srb. This is what Pittsburgh looked like after delivering the killing blow:

I left in the rest of the battlefield so you can witness Lilli's suffering and legoman's attempted flight. Will the Ember Lord escape with his life? Ardeem at least is finally brought down by the swarm of Mechanical Men that surrounded him.

As far as I can tell, by about Round 32 the entirety of the Sauromatian command staff left on the field are Snowballen, President Skroob, the Faerie Queen, Optimized Projection, and Lilli. Of those five, only Lilli and Projection barely retain consciousness. Hinnom's forces now ignore my surviving commanders and focus the entirety of their efforts on Horrors and various enslaved or summoned troops scattered around the battlefield.

By Round 35 Snowballen, the Faerie Queen, and Optimized Projection have been killed, I believe by Soul Slay in the case of Snowballen and zombie/robot swarms for the other two. Only Lilli and Prsident Skroob remain, and very shortly it's just Lilli. And then sullat Enslaves her mind, and it's all over for me. Sure, maybe I have other stuff around but I can't see it in this mess.

I think that this is approximately Round 40, and that I don't have anybody left on the field.

From here out, Hinnom seems to be fighting a losing battle with the dozens of horrors it summoned. Most of his army is incapacitated and blinking around the battlefield, and has no chance of doing serious damage to the horrors.

On Round 50 the message changes from "The armies of Sauromatia are routed" to "The armies of Hinnom are routed". Hooray! The survivors stop blinking and start running toward the left, and the horrors are free to kill them one by one as they flee. The end--when it comes for most of them--looks a lot like this:

Eventually (maybe on Round 60) it seems that everybody unable to flee just disappears where they stand, and all that remain on the battlefield are 8 horrors and two of my battlefield enchantments.