Part 10: Turn 10: Military Intelligence
I'll just spoil it for you: we don't find any sites. Fuck you, game. Fuck you.
Thaumaturgy is finished, but we're going to Thaumaturgy 2, so we leave it running.
C'tis is trying to keep me from attacking, and I'm totally fine with that, as I have no intention of attacking at all. Apparently they'll move themselves to the west. Wait, move themselves to the west? Didn't I say it was the east that was open?
Referring to my original message, I said "the other side". Curious. I wonder if he's interpreting "the other side" as west, or if he mistyped, or if he's confused, or if he's trying to confuse me. Well, whatever.
And now we've got the three battle reports, just as expected. The original expansion party, the new expansion party, and . . .
. . . three battle reports?
When you have a scout in a province, you get to see all the battles that occur in that province. This is a stroke of pure luck for me - I'll get to see how C'tis's forces work without having to, y'know, fight them.
No, scratch that. This is a coup of the highest order. I don't get to see his troops - I get full information on his pretender. So let's take a look at him.
And suddenly, all my worries wash away.
His Prince of Death has Astral. Astral is a bit of a problem for a combat pretender. There's a spell called Magic Duel, you see. It's Astral 1, and it can only be cast on Astral spellcasters, but it's instant death for one of them. Each side rolls 1d6 plus their astral level, the loser dies. (If there's a tie, they both die.)
What do I have? I have tons of astral mages. I can just throw them all at him and near-guarantee a kill. Sure, I'll lose some astral mages, but I'll kill off his Pretender in the process. All I need is Evocation 3 to pull it off, and Evocation is one of my preferred research paths already.
The battle consists of his Prince of Death casting Twist Fate, a weak defensive buff, standing in one place for a few turns while arrows rain down around him, then instantly flying over to the archers and pretty much massacring them. That would be Twist Fate, Hold Hold Hold Hold, Attack Rear. Good to know. He'll probably use a different strategy in the future, but he's aware of the Attack Rear command.
I send a reply to his message, slightly more aggressively than I would have before. I have no intention of stopping my expansion for this guy - I'm actually #1 in provinces now (although they're kind of sucky provinces) and may be able to grab more.
Battles go as expected. My last Peltast bites the dust.
In one of the provinces I find this "magic site". Not a terribly powerful site, but the money will be welcome.
Let's Learn About The Game: Buildings
Each province can have up to three buildings in it - one fort, one lab, and one temple. I've talked about the resource accumulation of forts, but forts are useful for other reasons. First, they allow you to build your standard national units. Second, they're a strong defensive position. Someone attempting to besiege a fort must usually spend a turn or two breaking down the walls, while the defenders repair the same walls from the inside. Once that's done, the attackers need to break the siege and invade the fort itself, which consists of a battle with a large wall in the middle that constantly shoots projectiles at the attackers. (Weak projectiles, admittedly - the wall is far more critical as an obstruction.) Any commander can build a Fort, but it takes a few turns and a pile of money - usually somewhere around 1000 gold.
A Temple is a site for dominion spreading and priest construction. You can't build priests without a Temple, and you need to already have a priest to build a Temple. Temples have a constant effect of increasing Dominion near them, and Priest units can also use a Temple to explicitly increase Dominion. I need more temples, honestly - I'm lagging a bit behind.
Labs allow for mage hiring and, similar to Temples, can only be built by a mage. They also allow ritual spellcasting, such as the Arcane Probing I've been wasting gems on, and summoning monsters. They also allow for item forging, which you haven't seen any of yet, and transferring items and gems around - you can't change gear if you're not at a Lab.
(Future Me: This is slightly incorrect - you can transfer gear from one commander to another even if you're not at a Lab. But you can't access your global item storage, which is what most gearchanges end up involving.)
The Lab will be necessary once I have the Fort up, but useless until then. Right now, I need that Temple more than anything, so I build a temple. 400 more gold gone. At least Arco gets cheap labs.
Everyone moves on to conquer more. I skirt C'tis's capital with my prophet scout (his capital likely has a ton of province defense, which will find my scout easily.) My western scouts split up to cover more ground, my eastern scout continues on. Two new scouts, a Sibyl, and a pile of Hoplites burns all the rest of my money.
After checking research, I'm two turns away from Thaumaturgy 2 if I do my standard Arcane Probing, and one turn away if I slow things down a bit. I slow things down a bit and put the excess into Conjuration.
Next: More friends and more happy companionship. Everything is good! There is never any fighting in this game, it is all daisies and primroses.