Part 27: Turn 25: I Crack A Damn Castle, But It's The Wrong Damn Castle
Alright, from the top. Let's make this snappy.
Construction 3 is done. I don't get anything useful at Construction 3 besides a few spells that I'm not going to use, so I keep moving to Construction 4, which is where the stuff I actually need lives.
I do a whole pile of magic searching with nothing found. Urgh.
Free air gems! This is of dubious use because I have literally no way of getting Air magic besides getting a whole shitload of air gems and empowering a mage with air magic manually. I have no reliable way of getting a whole shitload of air gems besides finding air sites (which I need air mages for) or trading for them (and fuck that, I don't have the resources for it.) Maybe I'll end up alchemizing them into something more useful. Like . . . anything else, for example. Oh well. For now, I just keep them.
This is actually a kind of neat event. It reduces Dominion, but it increases Growth temporarily. As Growth is one of the only ways to actually gain population, and thus increase money, this is noteworthy. On the other hand it's not going to increase the population noticably, and it kills off my dominion in that province entirely. It's actually a net minus for me. Sigh.
Troll Peaks is a province in Northern C'tis territory, and Midgard is jumping them there. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea how Midgard is jumping them there. As least as of this turn, the closest connection to Midgard land is actually owned by Jomon - unless Midgard is getting attacked by Jomon also, I'm just confused.
In any case, the battle is educational.
The Midgard forces consist of 24 Skinshifters and a Commander.
The C'tis forces consist of a whole pile of Militia and City Guards, and a Commander. I think this is actually just province defense.
(Future Me: Man, check out the camouflage on those guys. Uh, enjoy these screenshots of spear-wielding grass, I guess.)
The problem from C'tis's point of view is that skinshifters are actually really good, especially against the weakly-armored militia. They hit very hard, and when you "kill" them, they keep hitting hard. The skinshifters tear through C'tis's forces rapidly and quickly rout them.
I'm not convinced this is going to go well for Midgard long-term, but they can certainly annoy C'tis a bit, and it shows the fragility of C'tis forces.
Over in Storm Woods, Abysia is trying to jump Mictlan. It's another demonstration of Mictlan's powerful blessed troops, which essentially tear Abysia to pieces. Abysia is still AI-controlled, remember, and doesn't really understand that suiciding large masses of troops against overwhelming odds is a bad idea - Abysia would probably be doing pretty well if the player was still playing, but, well, they're not.
I still have no idea why. Abysia's actually not doing too badly here.
Ferran Mountains is that little isolated territory I had that T'ien Ch'i was doubtless going to obliterate. I spent a few gold on province defense in the hopes that I could take down a Shade. Annoyingly, I get one down to 2 hit points before losing. My Commander flees.
It doesn't really help. If a unit flees and there are no friendly territories nearby, it just dies. Farewell, Nanvather.
In Qennan, a T'ien Ch'i mage attacks an independent province solo. Hey wait, it's a mage? Where's his magic paths?
There's his magic paths! Or rather, there were his magic paths.
As Arco, I can theoretically heal these guys via my priestesses. T'ien Ch'i doesn't have that option. Meanwhile, he's paying mage-quality upkeep on a unit that is essentially worthless. He's sent the guy in solo to attack an independent province and die horribly. The ex-mage succeeds in his mission admirably.
Stone Grave Mountains is Fluffy Bunnies flattening a one-PD Midgard province.
And finally, Robber Home. Robber Home is the Midgard fort that C'tis is trying to flatten.
Midgard has decided not to make this easy.
C'tis isn't giving up without a fight.
I'm estimating somewhere around 150 Skinshifters on Midgard's side, a whole pile of powerful Air mages, and . . .
Yarr Matey is obviously Midgard's Rainbow Mage, and this is the first chance we've had to see her in action. Similar to Mrs. Butterworth she has come equipped with a large number of magical paths at low levels. She's not physically strong at all - a few badly-placed arrows could finish her off - but she'll be a powerful magical force on the battlefield. She's also packing a pile of magical gems to boost her powers even further.
On C'tis's side, we're looking at around 70 Tomb Chariots and probably another 70 City Guards, backed up by a contingent of Poison Slingers.
Midgard casts a spell called Storm. Storm has a few big effects. It makes flight impossible, which is rather meaningless in this battle. It makes ranged attacks more difficult, which is nice against the Poison Slingers. And most importantly, it enables use of the Storm Power spell, which increases the casting mage's Air power by one. Midgard has heavy Air, so this boosts their magic substantially.
Midgard gets the first attack, and pushes the Tomb Chariots back significantly. Not shown here: several Storm Power castings.
C'tis gets the second attack. The Tomb Chariots wade straight into the Skinshifters, wolfifying many of them and killing more.
Then the fireworks start.
Midgard is spamming a ton of powerful air spells. Orb Lightning, Thunderstrike. His Priests are chaincasting Banishment. Each spell knocks a hole in C'tis's forces, and there's a dozen spells going off every single round.
After the second round of Skinshifter attacks, nearly all the Tomb Chariots are gone.
After the third round, half the City Guard have been destroyed.
The Skinshifters are taking damage - this is by no means a completely one-sided battle - but that's really the exact point. This isn't a one-sided battle, and C'tis's original near-unopposed attack is suddenly very opposed.
The City Guard flee that turn, and after another barrage of thunderbolts, the Poison Slingers follow shortly.
Skinshifters are fast, and the lightning is unrelenting. This picture shows nearly every escaping C'tis unit.
Figures - right after I move my army away. Well, we'll take care of that.
We've found Bogarus's capital in the northeast. Inconveniently for Bogarus, it's owned by Ulm. Well then. We've also located Man's capital in the north center, which is still owned by Man. At this point I've found 11 of the 14 capitals in-game.
My fort in Carnag is complete! And it's turned out to have a surprising number of resources - 170, and that's with two unconquered provinces still adjacent. This will be a valuable forward fire base, and I start producing forces there immediately. Jome may be relegated to Mystic production.
I decide to try finishing off Barra. I don't believe there are many, if any, forces defending. I send a small group of elephants and Cerulean in. Just in case, I leave a commander and a scout Sieging. If I lose, they'll continue their siege and I won't have to start over from scratch.
My elephants continue beating the shit out of the Agarthan walls. I send my slingers roughly in that direction - hopefully they won't be needed, but if they are, well, they'll be there soon.
Now that we've got a lab in Carnag, I start my Earth2 mystic casting Gnome Lore, the Earth sitesearching spell. The priest starts preaching up a storm to push my dominion out a bit further, and the other Mystic hanging out begins research.
I also have my roving priestess put up another temple next to Jome. We still don't have dominion in the province north of Jome. I'm going to be having her traveling around and dropping a few temples as I go, just to push dominion a bit more.
Once again, there isn't a lot going on here. We're still cleaning up after Agartha while preparing to go after T'ien Ch'i. I've got relatively few units moving around - they're mostly just bumming out in Agartha. We'll see more stuff going on soon, but right now, it's the boring part of war.
Next: Storming the first castle.