Part 6: Turn 6: The Stampede Continues
C'tis has finally declared a prophet. Took him long enough.
I'm a bit confused as to what's going on here - he's declared one of his national heroes as Prophet. That's certainly a good choice, but you're never guaranteed to get a national prophet. Was he hoping to get lucky? Did he have another plan in mind, but switched to this one when the opportunity presented itself? Yeah, I don't know what's going on there.
(Future Me: Hey C'tis, I know you're reading this. What the fuck, man?)
And if I haven't miscounted, there's still two nations that have yet to choose prophets. Odd.
Anyway, we've also got some battles.
They go approximately as expected.
The high casualties in the latter case is thanks to my peltasts blocking my elephant again.
Nothing really new going on. I continue the charge with my elephants and consider what to do with my slowly-degenerating first attack force. I could send them back to base to restock, but honestly they can probably take another province or two. In retrospect, I should have built a commander a turn or two ago. I take care of that now, but he'll need one turn to build and another turn to reach home base. After a bit of thought, I recruit a second one also - better to have one extra commander sitting around than one too few.
My scout heads up north to see if whoever's up in that direction is threatening Fort Site Beta. After this, he'll curve around to the west and check out the southwest corner of the map.
For the first time I don't recruit any elephants. I've got three sitting in this province already, and I need money more than I need elephants. Instead, I pull a bunch of Hypaspists out of my ass - now that I'm not picking up the painfully expensive elephants, they go fast and don't cost a lot. Soon I may even buy Hoplites.
Let's Learn About The Game: Commanders
Every army needs a commander. Armies are literally incapable of moving without one, and if you have no commanders in a fight, your army instantly routs. You're also limited to buying one commander per turn per fort, and therefore "commander construction time" is valuable. That's why I haven't picked up any new scouts - I've been busy with other things.
(Future Me: Again, grain of salt, etc.)
The Scout is a commander that every nation has in one form or another. Some nations have upgraded versions, like the Forester that got prophetized much earlier. Arco has the basic version. Scouts have the "Stealthy" attribute, which lets them move through enemy territory mostly undetected. They're also worthless in a fight - they will die to almost anything. While they're cheap, they're also valuable, and I'm really hurting from my low scoutage.
These guys may look familiar. They're commanderized versions of my basic troops, with slightly improved stats and the ability to lead units. I'm not quite sure why they exist, and I'm not going to be using any of them. They don't excel in anything, they're not particularly sturdy, and the Agema Commander is way too fast - any commander that fast is almost invariably going to rush up to the front lines and get himself killed. Not ideal.
This, however, is more like it. The sturdiness of a Hoplite, a truly ridiculous amount of leadership, and a Standard. The Standard increases morale in a range nearby, making your units less likely to flee or rout. That's something I can get behind. I'd love to recruit these guys. I honestly would.
But we've got mages to worry about.
Mages get an extra little line of attributes showing their magic paths. This Priestess has 1 nature magic and 2 holy magic. The book indicates their research potential - 3 is pretty crummy. These mages are almost strictly inferior to my Sibyls, with one crucial difference: these units have the Healer 100 attribute. (That's the third icon on the second row, right after the chicken leg.)
This is actually one of Arco's big strengths. The Healer attribute is ridiculously rare in the game, and Healer 100 is even rarer. Looking through the DB tells me that there are 19 units, out of over 2000, with any sort of Healer ability. Only five of those have Healer 100. Those five include three high-level summons, a Pretender chassis, and my Priestesses.
So, what's the point? Well, Healer lets you heal Afflictions, at a chance based on their Healer skill. Units can pick up Afflictions in a variety of ways, with combat being the most common and, for me, the least interesting. If I should happen to do something to cause, say, lots of my mages to be afflicted, Priestesses will save me rapidly. We'll come back to this . . . much later.
Mystics are my second mage type, and these guys are a bit of a wildcard.
No, strike that, they're a lot of a wildcard.
Mystics are my first key to magic diversification. I've got a 1/8th chance each of getting a mystic with Fire 2, Water 2, or Earth 2. I'm going to be recruiting slews of these guys in Fort Site Beta and picking out the important ones. They're not bad researchers, but they're also not Sacred. Sacred, in this case, is wholly an economic problem. All units charge upkeep every month. Usually that's 1/15th of the unit cost, but Sacred units only cost half that.
Sibyls are not only better researchers, they're also sacred.
Overall, I've got a 1/4 chance of Nature 2 with these units, a 1/4 chance of Astral 3, and a rather painful 1/160 chance each of Astral 4, Nature 3, Death 2, or Water 2. At this point I've gotten two Astral 3 sibyls, two Nature 2 sibyls, and a single Water 1 sibyl.
They've also got the Fortune Teller 15 ability, which reduces the chance of bad events in whatever province they're stationed in. A nice bonus.
Note that none of my casters have a large Leadership. That's why I need other commanders - my casters just can't carry significant armies around. Also note that both my Mystics and Sibyls are guaranteed Astral. This, as well, will be important later.
(Future Me: I feel sort of weird doing the whole "Something is coming up! It will be cool! I'm not telling you what yet, but I promise it'll be cool!" thing so often. But explaining why all of these clever attributes are neat would essentially give away my planned future strategies. So I'm holding it in reserve.)
Back to the turn.
I'm going to finish Evocation 2 this turn. I refocus my remaining RP on Thaumaturgy - may as well get a start on it. Thaumaturgy 2 should take 3 turns after this one. I'm not quite sure what I'll be starting after that, but we'll see. Maybe we'll need magic to combat one of my neighbors.
Here's the world as I currently understand it. Whoever owns those Dominions really hasn't done anything yet, and I may go pick up those provinces to the northeast before anyone else grabs them. That will take a few turns though, so until then, we'll just keep trucking along to the west and the south.
Next: Charts and diagrams.