Part 48: Pangaea - Turns 28-33
You were supposed to get updates sooner than this, but then stuff happened and you didn't. It's builds' fault, if anyone would like to gather some torches and pitchforks.
But now you do get updates! Hooray! I am going to try to catch up with the rest of the not-Feinne people at some point this week but may be ambushed by work. Anyway, on with the show.
There are fewer battles here than I was expecting! Mysterious. Less mysterious, the province lost to Arcos; it was one of those I took off his hands while the revelers were on their way home. Dexanth made threatening noises about what would happen if I didn't give them back and I didn't want to deal with the chance of him helping TC out via more seeking arrows so I agreed not to add any additional pd to them. I got some gold out of the deal, so I was okay with it. As for the battles, my reveler group mopped up PD as expected. TC opted to consolidate armies rather than push for more of my stuff, so there was only one fight of him mopping up PD in the south. As for Mary?
Nothing there but a bunch of PD. They never had a chance. You may note that message about my armies routing; this is because TC's PD priest has a level of death magic and killed her vampire escort with Dust to Dust, a spell that does 999 damage to a single undead unit if it punches through their magic resistance. Of course, vampires are immortal so they'll be back in my cap next turn. And being immortal in her own dominion, Mary is not inclined to run away because of a little thing like an army route; she's too busy tearing out throats to care. Bonus comedy: TC's priest switched from Dust to Dust to Decay about halfway through the fight. Like Dust to Dust, Decay has to punch through magic resistance in order to do anything. If it succeeds, instead of doing 999 damage it makes the target age faster. This is one of the many sometimes questionable tactical decisions that battlemages are prone to in the world of Dominions 3, but he never beats her MR anyway so I suppose it was a moot point.
So, at the time I was planning to give Feinne shit about being a coward and consolidating instead of pushing deeper into my territory and possibly crippling me, but after reviewing the previous turn I don't think I can really blame him; his northern army was extremely mage light and probably would have lost and been destroyed if he'd run into my lion group, and from his position it was probably not easy to guess exactly where I'd set the trap and where he could reasonably expect to get away with raiding. On the other hand, this still leaves him in a terrible position - I move the entire army back south, so he'll run straight into them if he attempts to go on the offensive again. The western reveler group pushes along the northern edge of the mountains. Mary decides to hang out where she is and try to dig up a snack while her followers catch up.
Revelers win. Mary finds food and/or battle magic supplies.
The western reveler group rejoins the army to collect some fresh troops while another batch of centaurs and maenads are dispatched from the cap.
Someone makes an attempt to Mind Hunt the dryad leading the western revelers, but fails. The army scrounges up a few last blood slaves to use in the next big battle, and locates four scouts who are all doing a remarkably poor job trying to blend in with the satyrs. Dagan's contract expires because I have no gold to renew it with. What the hell do Pans spend their salary on anyway?
There's a certain temptation to just settle back into stalemate here, but that son of a bitch is sitting in my earth gem province again and I will destroy him for it. The army moves south, a resupplied reveler group heads west again, and more maenads are shuffled in from my forts. More blood for earth gems.
This is where Arcos calls the lightning. I don't care too much, I have a lot of bodies. I also receive a dwarven hammer from Hinnom; my first really significant trade of the game. I immediately give it to a Pan and have him forge some earth boots, which will take him from E2 to E3 and let him forge more hammers for me. Finally. This is another one of those turns with an important event, though, so let's take a look at that before we see how the battle went.
Really? Again? I don't even have any mages there who know how to make fire, how do they keep doing this? And unlike last time, I didn't just receive a batch of free gold; I have 260 in the treasury. Going a turn without a lab in my cap is out of the question. Which means...
You get 15 per fire gem and 10 per earth gem. Good thing I finally got some more earth gems from an even this turn. Let's...let's just go see how that battle went.
It didn't, really; this is just more TC PD. He pulled back a province. Oh well, seventysomething maenads have achieved greater glory and my precious supply of earth gems is secure again.
I am in a terrible mood and have developed an intense, personal hatred of my enemy. By this point I have learned that he started this war for stupid reasons, so I decide I will give him something to be paranoid about. The western reveler group dumps their supply of maenads on the local PD and sneaks into TC's fort rather than attacking directly and risking an encounter with battle magic. A harpy flies ahead of them to scout for safe raiding targets on the other side. A dryad and another batch of revelers split off from the main army and head south through Arcos territory for a similar project. The army itself holds position, hoping to sucker TC into taking the first swing this time for that sweet, sweet defensive first turn advantage.
Trade with Hinnom continues; I have the paths to make a thistle mace for myself, of course, but I didn't have the research and he did so this was a faster way to get it. That last line explains why TC pulled back from this province in the first place; there's not nearly enough food here to feed either of our armies and the maenads are starting to contract horrible diseases. How sad.
The first order of business is putting my tremendous nature gem surplus to work. And what is the best use for nature gems? Making more nature gems! Isn't capitalism wonderful?
I also decide to waste some on hiring a few werewolves to go beat up peasants in TC. This is a bad decision because werewolves do not know how to be thugs, they only know how to make more wolves. But, worst case scenario, they'll give me a sense of what TC's PD spending is like away from his borders for use in future reveler orders. Best case scenario, he hasn't been spending very much and I get to steal some gold.
Reveler infiltration continues. Hammers are put to work on forging blood boosters, so that I'll be able to start dropping frogs as soon as I complete the appropriate research which should have been done years ago. The army pulls back a province to spend a little time not starving.
The Mother Oak is mine. The werewolves mostly die. The one I summoned into my territory instead of TC's is set to work making more wolves.
The army moves back to the front lines now that they have spent a turn not starving. Both the western and the southern reveler groups have found acceptable targets, and are ordered to begin their work.