Part 41: Pangaea - Turns 1-5
It is a time of turmoil and uncertainty. Ancient and powerful entities move in the shadows, compelling ordinary men and women to fight and gather resources for them. Fragmented stories, known only to those select few who are devoted to seeking them out, tell of one such creature: Mary Schapiro. She is said to be a hideously cruel master, caring nothing for blood shed by those who find themselves within her grasp. Under her leadership a tribe of bestial and unreasoning half-men conduct absurd, brutal rights with only the thinnest veneer of civilization. So I decided to name my pretender god after her. But I also took her dormant, so we'll talk about her more later. Let's look at other stuff! This is going to be a long-ish post because I am four turns behind our other participants because stuff.
This is what the game has to say about Pangaea. It's all true and mostly irrelevant.
There is nothing immediately offensive about my starting location, although I have this gnawing suspicion that I'm not going to secure all four of the entrances to my little chunk of land. My scales are sloth 3, growth 3, luck 3, and magic 1. This is a compromise; normally I would take either order 3 or turmoil 3, but with order 3 the Maenads mentioned in the nation description don't show up at all and with turmoil 3 I wouldn't be able to afford any of my good mages. I like growth, luck, and magic in general and this is what I could afford given my desires for the pretender itself. I don't care about sloth; all of my important troops have a low resource cost. My minotaur commander and starting army are given orders to patrol Pangaea so I can overtax a little bit, and because of the thing I am going to talk about next.
These are the units I have to work with. Most of them are irrelevant.
This is a reveler and they are not irrelevant. Lilli talked about them a bit earlier; they have excellent stats all around, they have two attacks, they can recover from afflictions, they are stealthy, and they are extremely cheap. I will probably be hiring a lot of these. However, they also cause some unrest each turn in whichever province they happen to be located in, so I can't just build up huge piles of them for a rainy day. I am hoping that my patrollers will be enough to suppress unrest from my modest overtaxing and this first batch of revelers.
This is a dryad. They are almost completely useless as mages, but they're decent priests, they're stealthy, and they're...well, not efficient researchers, but less inefficient than my other option.
This is a pan. They are excellent mages and they generate free Maenads every turn, but they're also ludicrously expensive and they're not sacred, so this also means huge upkeep costs. I will be making as many of them as I can afford to, which will always be less of them than I would like. This is probably the only time I am ever going to go into any detail about recruitment because it happens constantly and isn't very interesting.
This is Mr. Madoff. He is a harpy who is going to be my prophet, and is about 20% cooler than other scout prophets because he can fly and lead small groups of troops.
I now have some dominion spreading around to tell me a little about the nearby provinces. One of them has a bunch of chump militia and way more gold than they can possibly understand how to invest wisely, so Mr. Madoff and the minotaur lead a bunch of satyrs to explain things to them. None of the other indies surrounding me are particularly imposing and there's no enemy dominion visible yet, so I am feeling reasonably good about my expansion prospects.
Losses were well within acceptable parameters.
Here you can see the armies facing off; the group of satyrs front and center have shields. It is their job to catch arrows. The group behind and above has javelins. I don't really care about these at all and will probably never recruit any of them, but fine, they're there so they can hang out behind the shields. The group on the bottom is all reveler; their job is to not catch arrows and then murder everything.
Arrow catching is a success!
Murdering everything is a success!
Let's do it again! I turn south because I expect that province to have more gold than the options to the north, and I suspect the black candle I can see by the bridge in the north means I'm going to lose out on securing it anyway. Might as well seal up the southeast while I can and worry about the north with my next expansion group.
I start the process of recruiting an indie commander in my newly conquered province so he can lead another group of revelers, but the place doesn't have enough resources so it's going to take two turns for him to be ready.
I've also made a start on my research; I'm starting with Thaumaturgy up to level 2 for the site searching spells. It is actually a terrible idea to do this before researching something that makes your mages useful in combat, but I do it all the time anyway. Between my slightly more dangerous than average revelers and my ability to pack Maenads into a fort to help with siege defense, I am cautiously optimistic that nobody will want to pick a fight with me in the first year.
This fight goes pretty much like the last one. I am going to omit battle details from here on out unless something interesting happens, because there's a limit to how many times you can watch a goat kick a cowering peasant with a stick to death before it gets old.
One of my Pans is being ordered to the newly conquered territory to search it for magical sites; I want to get some earth gems rolling in as quickly as possible, and mountains are a good place to look for them. You will also note my army turning around; Arcoscephale apparently had a scout in place to see that battle, and Dexanth got in touch with me to hash out borders. He's willing to let me have the westernmost of those two provinces, but claims the eastern one is too close to his cap for comfort. Unfortunately the one he's willing to cede is full of elephants who will stomp all my poor little goatmen to death, and I already know that his pretender would be really, really, ruinously obnoxious to fight this early in the game. So we are friends and I turn my army around to resume expansion in the north.
The army continues north to the richest of the available provinces, the deployed Pan is given his searching orders, and two indie commanders are sent to Pangaea to pick up a fresh round of revelers. I grumble a little about the wasted time.
And that's it for now. If you want more detail about anything (that is not a super secret battle plan/superweapon design/financial records), just ask.