Part 25: Turn 23: We Spend More Time Watching Other People Fight Than Actually Fighting Ourselves
Conjuration and Enchantment are both done, giving me a little extra offensive magical power. I plow everything else back into Evocation - we've been falling behind on that.
Great Woods, the location with the probable Death site, turns out not to have any Death sites. The volcano north of my capital with the probable Fire site turns out to not have any Fire sites.
(Future Me: I know you guys were curious how useful that site info ends up being. This sorta answers that question, doesn't it? I swear, I tested it in singleplayer a few times and it worked a lot better. Either I got crazy unlucky in the real game, or multiplayer sites are placed differently than singleplayer sites. I'm leaning towards "crazy unlucky", but more testing would be needed.)
The Death province, however, does yield this. A bit unfortunate since there were better options, but hey, I'll take it.
And then there's this. "Oh, random event!" No, that's probably not random. I'm willing to bet quite a lot that that's Agartha, finally put together enough research to hit me. In fact, I strongly suspect I'll be getting one of those per turn until I finish them off. Luckily I'll be taking their capital, which will make up for a lot of the revenue loss, but it's still pretty damn irritating.
These, on the other hand, are almost certainly just extremely bad luck.
And then we've got a whole slew of battles.
(Future Me: So I realized how confusing these screenshot sequences were getting. I'm gonna try to prefix each battle with a little header like this. Better? Worse? Let me know! The downside is that it means there might be some redundancy in my commentary, but we'll live.)
Here's our faithful friend Fluffy Bunnies. He's attacking the province of Midgard's that was right next to my territory. Yep, all that military buildup? He's not going after me at all! (yet.)
Fluffy Bunnies has some shiny new gear, too. Going from left to right:
The Fire Brand is a basic AoE weapon. It does fire damage to all units in the square that's being attacked. It's great for clearing out lots of weak units.
The Lucky Coin is a shield that grants Luck. Luck is a 50% chance to miss any attack - he used to cast that on himself at the start of battles, but now he doesn't need to. Additionally, it's a shield, which means it'll do great things towards helping him avoid damage.
The Horror Helm is a helmet that increases the Fear effect. This, I'm not sure how good it is - the Prince of Death already has a huge Fear, and many times increasing a stat like that is surprisingly non-useful. It certainly doesn't hurt.
The Fire Plate is armor that gives a resistance to Fire. I don't know why he's using that - does the Fire Brand harm the wielder also? (Future Me: Nope.) Does Midgard have heavy Fire magic? (Future Me: Nope.) Does he just have no other good options? (Future Me: . . . Maybe?) Who knows. In any case, including his innate fire resist, he is now completely immune to fire damage. (Future Me: Fuck you, past me! That's not innate, that's fire resist granted by the Fire Brand. Both the Brand and the Fire Plate grant 50% resist. 50% + 50% = no fire damage.)
And finally, The Amulet of Antimagic increases his magic resist by 4. Magic is one of the few things he's actually vulnerable to at this point, so that's important.
Yeah I'm not even going to bother showing you more screenshots. Needless to say, C'tis wins.
The second battle, thanks to pure luck, is in the same province. Once in a while you can get random events that assault you via a ton of independent forces. These are Barbarians, and you may remember that they're kind of nasty. They have low morale and rout almost instantly once Fluffy Bunnies attacks them.
Over in Barra, Agartha tries to break out.
They don't win.
This is what a C'tis attack force looks like.
I hadn't been aware of those chariots before - they're trampling units like my Elephants, though much smaller, and obviously available in large bulk. That there: kind of worrying.
Here's the armored guards that are the front of C'tis's melee line. They're not anything really notable, besides being slightly tough chaff.
In the back are Poison Slingers. They're cheap, and enough of them can fill an area with poison quite effectively. Dangerous.
In the very back are a pair of priest commanders. They don't have any conventional magic powers, though they'll be using Smite often. What they do have is a C'tis special priest power called Royal Protection which grants +4 magic resistance to all their Undead. That's significant, and will make Banishment spam much harder.
Midgard is defending their western castle, and they're not doing a very good job of it.
Here's the battle only a few turns in. The blobby black bits are poison clouds caused by the Slingers. Midgard's forces die extremely quickly.
T'ien Ch'i continues their march towards Barra. I bought five province defense just for a laugh, and that wimpy force manages to kill one of their warriors and one of their Shades. I think that actually puts me ahead on that battle, if you assume the province was lost anyway.
I've got a Commander marooned off in the middle of nowhere, so I had him jump T'ien's new territory in the hopes that they'd forget to PD it. They didn't, though he managed to flee, albeit missing an arm.
(Future Me: I haven't talked about afflictions yet, but I promise I will. I just noticed that detail now and couldn't resist putting it in. New players, just accept that he did indeed lose an arm.)
Meanwhile, I've had a scout sitting on an Abysian fortress for a turn or two in the hopes of this battle occuring. Thanks, Mictlan!
On the left is Abysia, heavily armored fire creatures. On the right is Mictlan, a nation inspired by Mayan blood sacrifices. Do you think Abysia's forces look larger? I sure do.
A few turns in and mostly it's just been blessings. Abysia summoned a fire elemental (bottom left) and a swarm of imps (bottom middle).
Meanwhile, Mictlan cast Rain, a battlefield enchant that (unsurprisingly) causes it to rain. (Future Me: Okay, not all of Dom3's mechanics are opaque.) It also reduces one of the effects of Abysia units - many of them have a Heat effect which does constant fire damage nearby, and now they're not doing as much. Additionally, since Abysia is based almost entirely in Fire magic, the fatigue penalty is significant.
This is a turn or two later. Mictlan's forces seem to be holding up pretty well. Let's look at why.
This is why. Mictlan is what's known as a Bless Nation, and they've taken extremely high magic paths on a probably-imprisoned Pretender god to give their troops incredible bonuses. Their cheap Jaguar Warriors are powerful forces, although the Flaming Weapons are a bit wasted against Abysia's fire resistance and immunity.
It may look like the Jaguar Warriors are taking no damage, but actually, they are. If you look closely in the middle of the big group you'll see a few larger Jaguars without weapons. Jaguar Warriors have a similar ability to Skinshifters - after they "die", they turn into a larger, more deadly unit, with extra weak attacks. "Extra weak attacks", with Mictlan's bless, becomes "lots of reasonably powerful attacks".
Some of Abysia's forces flee. Some of Mictlan's forces flee. Unfortunately for Mictlan, their battle line isn't being held very well, and a group of Abysian light infantry is moving to hit the Mictlan ranged units. Shortly afterwards, Mictlan's jaguars break Abysia's line also, and beeline for the Abysian commanders.
Lucky for Mictlan, the Abysian armies rout right before the Mictlan ranged starts getting decimated. Mictlan uses the opportunity to slaughter the slow Abysian infantry, very few of which escape.
This was a win for Mictlan, but a close one. It could have easily gone worse, and I don't know how many units Mictlan might have lost. Mictlan managed to kill enough units after the rout that it was probably a decisive victory, but it was a close decisive victory, if that makes any sense.
Finally we're done with battles.
There's Ulm in the top-right, finally, just where I said they'd be. Additionally, you can see the tide of the Mictlan/C'tis war, as well as T'ien Ch'i shifting down.
I think T'ien Ch'i is actually trying a pincer maneuver on me via that west segment, staying carefully hidden from my provinces so I will hopefully not notice. Clever girl. If I wasn't scouting, it would have worked. Unfortunately, I can't attack any of them from my position - I need to stay in Barra this turn, and next turn I'll be moving my forces to Carnag, which will at least provide for a real nice defensive center.
I recruit a huge swarm of Slingers in Jome. Slingers suck, but I need more siege fodder, and when it comes to sieges, 28 gold of Slingers equals 40 gold of Hoplites or 100 gold of Elephants. I'll shuttle these guys down once I can - I probably should have made them earlier, actually. We'll make more in Carnag once we have Carnag. I don't intend to ever bring these guys into a battle, they'll just follow around and help me knock down walls.
(Future Me: )
This, plus my mages, plus my bad events, actually leaves me nearly broke. Slingers use nearly no resources (another point in their favor, I can recruit them in bulk) and I've recruited a shitload of them. That's pretty much it for this turn, honestly - we're mostly hunkering down to weather T'ien Ch'i while we continue trying to crack Agartha. Fighting two nations at once: kind of not fun.
Yeah. I really don't have a lot going on this turn.
Next: Sieging sucks.