Part 44: Pangaea - Turns 16-20
Omelette du Fromage posted:
Like usual, this was iod's fault for posting about it in the first place.
Do you want content or not?
Too bad, you're getting it anyway!
When last we left off, an initial attack had been ordered on Arcos to indicate my commitment to the war effort while more invisible, unrest-raising units were being directed towards his cap. Accompanying this initial assault was a missive to Dexanth indicating that the First Bank of Mictlan had filed foreclosure paperwork on his territories and we were there to assist with the eviction process.
For once there are multiple things to note here! First up, 20 blood slaves from Arcoscephale in exchange for some nature gems which he intends to turn into gear for Ms. Dash. Some might question the wisdom of selling weapons to your enemies, but I'm reasonably confident that she'll remain pointed at Mictlan for the immediate future and I have an awful lot of nature gems piling up. Next, one of my Pans found a site! Oh boy I hope it's finally earth gems, let's go take a look. I can see it is an earth site from the icon on the map, so I am feeling pretty good about this!
Oh. Well. Fine, let's go see how my maenads did against a handful of Arcoscephalian pd. Maybe that went unexpectedly well and will cheer me up!
About half of them are dead from missile fire before they close, but they're successfully swarming the front line and a group has made it all the way back to Arcos' commanders!
Who have no issues killing them.
Oh well, I didn't really think that was going to work anyway.
First, you can see Mr. Madoff sneaking over into TC territory at our northern border. This is because there are a few surviving revelers with that group, and I decide they might as well be raising unrest in one of TC's provinces instead of one of mine until I'm ready for him to build a temple there.
As for the rest: In the wake of this battle, Dexanth immediately gets in touch to assure me that further aggression will result in dashing with extreme prejudice. I agree to a cease-fire until turn 20, void in the obviously extremely unlikely event of her untimely demise. I agree to this because 1: I want Mictlan to keep soaking up his attention, 2: I have been talking to Lilli about her plan to kill Dash via magic duel, and 3: having demonstrated to my satisfaction that unsupported Maenads can't quite beat Arcos' pd, I'm not planning to launch any overt attacks until around then anyway. Turn 20 is long enough for my reveler groups to sit in his cap long enough to jack unrest up reasonably high, at which point they can scatter to do some light raiding and avoid his attempts to patrol it down. Now, the precise wording of this agreement has been a point of some contention between Dexanth and myself, so I will simply leave the record available for public scrutiny. Am I a lying snake or merely a duplicitous serpent? Let history be the judge.
<iod> Okay, I will get super explicit here: I will order absolutely zero attacks on your stuff before we are on turn 20 (because round numbers), promise null and void in the extraordinarily unlikely event of Ms. Dash's defeat at the hands of Smaug. Of course you and I both know such an outcome is utterly impossible, but the lawyers made me stick it in.
<Dexanth> That is acceptable
<Dexanth> If Ms. Dash dies, I would understand
<Dexanth> Fortunately, the odds of such are nigh impossible, since she has successfully just murdered ~500 jaguars
<Dexanth> Granted, she almost died a few times and got about 10 afflictions once, but! Priestesses
<iod> As I think it is reasonably unlikely that Lillitlan has 500 jaguars at this point, that should not be a serious issue.
<Dexanth> I agree!
<Dexanth> Oh, one thing :
<Dexanth> When you say 'Order absolutely zero attacks'
<Dexanth> I assume this includes 'My stealth units will not mysteriously forget to move stealthily'
<Dexanth> Just to make sure :3
<iod> This is a 100% correct assumption barring freakish previously undocumented bugs
<iod> I will triple check that their orders remain properly stealthy and nonconfrontational
<Dexanth> Any attacks that may have been ordered will be cancelled
<Dexanth> okay, good
<iod> And I am looking at the turn right now with zero attacks ordered
<Dexanth> Lovely, lovely
<iod> I am even going so far as to order that group away from the border to a more northerly post
<Dexanth> Lovely, lovely
Now, there is one final piece of my reasoning I suppose I should go ahead and disclose: TheDemon has been seeking my assistance against Sauromatia and, well, things aren't looking so hot for Sauro these days. If the entire Androphag archer force can be dismantled before my involvement is overt I think there are some easy territory gains to be had there, while my reveler presence in Arco's cap should suffice to make sure Mictlan has the upper hand there and to snatch up some land for me after Dash is dead and the chance of reprisal is minimal. Which is why that group is being ordered back up north.
It is a letter from Arcoscephale! The battle is Smaug landing on his cap, which we've already seen, and nothing else is interesting.
Well, who am I to argue with such an obviously legitimate document? Per last turn's discussion, seizure remains on hold.
The second group of Arcos-destined revelers moves into his cap, now occupied by a dragon. I am reasonably confident that this first round of raiding from Lilli will be pushed back, which is extra good for me - I think Dexanth is unlikely to spend a ton on pd in provinces which are subject to raiding unless he expects them to be the site of a real battle and any existing pd has been wiped out, so I can probably pick stuff up with no losses when it's time for them to attack. Fort construction has begun along the northern TC border and Mr. Madoff returns to deal with the temple aspect, while the Pan destined to build a lab does some site searching on his way.
More utterly fruitless Gnome Lore casts, but that Pan I just mentioned found something! Oh, I do so hope it's earth gems this time. All this construction research I'm doing is going to be pretty useless if I can't find any earth gems for hammers/blood stones or any fire gems for soul contracts. Not pictured: It is one nature gem per turn and I hate every single province in my worthless empire.
The first Maenad group slips into Sauro, bound for his cap to wait until the time seems right for a strike that will carve off a bunch of his provinces at no risk to me. The groups in Arcos likewise await their signal to act. More troops move towards the Sauromatian border to prepare and to see about patrolling down some of that Devil's Den-inspired unrest in the meantime. I also note that TC has finally moved into what was formerly Arcoscephale-owned territory in the south, which I take to be a good sign. Lilli has assured me that he's with us against Arcos, but he'd been slow enough to engage that I was a little bit concerned about trickery. So this is encouraging.
Well this is annoying! Now I have to waste time cleaning up an indie attack instead of furthering war preparations. The other battle is Arcos reclaiming his cap from Smaug, but I'm not worried about being patrolled out just yet - unrest should be pretty high after a couple turns of Smaug setting villagers on fire while revelers leer at them, which makes patrolling much more difficult.
Fortunately the indie attack was just a band of villains right next to the province I'd just moved a pile of revelers into as Sauro-preparation. I decide Maenads will be adequate to reclaim it and order them to do so, while revelers proceed towards Sauro's cap. At this point I am beginning to feel silly; I'm working to cripple two different players with troops I pay upkeep on while not gaining resources from them personally, but I have to remind myself that I'm not playing a nation like Mictlan. Patience is better than throwing gold away, and it won't be too much longer before I'm ready to carve Sauro up - he has very little pd in the provinces I've moved through and nothing resembling a force that could counterattack given the way the war with Lanka has been going.
More useless site searching. I've almost burned through my stock of event-generated earth gems and my income is still just that one from my southern border province with TC.
On the bright side, one of my random events was finally really noteworthy - this much gold represents a serious windfall for me, given my upkeep burden.
A reveler group is in place in Sauro's cap, while all the troops I've been recruiting and spawning in my cap as well as the remains of my westward expansion force are directed to the border. Everything will be in place to order the attack next turn, while in the south I can see that Arcos has, as expected, pushed back against Mictlan. This turn also represents both the expiration of my agreed not-attacking Arcos and, as we have learned from Lilli, the assassination of Rainbow Dash. I figure I'll give it one or two more turns for Dexanth to reclaim the provinces around his cap and move towards Mictlan before I claim them for myself. Things are really starting to look up, and I'm looking forward to the action.
Stay tuned for next time, wherein the only people I hate more than my enemies are my allies.