Part 36: Turn 32: Well, First He Started Telling Me About His Level 80 Warlock
Conjuration 5. As usual, we'll talk about that a bit later.
Obscuro successfully leaped into the war group.
Another group of reinforcements stopped dead. Har har, I kill myself. But not as much as I kill Paller!
yeah alright sorry
No magic sites. I swear, I find more magic sites when I'm not searching heavily than when I do.
Our poor old scout prophet has been dead for so long that we can get a new prophet. Unfortunately, I don't really have any commanders that I want to prophetize. Right now it's all bulk with me, as it has been all game - I simply haven't had the resources or research to get any really good commanders. And without that, there's not much reason to prophetize anyone.
Let's do this prophetless, I suppose.
jesus christ, guys, go away
We'll . . . we'll come back to that. For now, battles.
Mictlan is attacking Abysia's capital.
Abysia's actually not badly defended. That's a lot of heavy units there. Nothing that Mictlan wouldn't be able to handle, with a lot more jaguar warriors, but they don't have a lot more jaguar warriors.
If you're worried for Mictlan, you should be. Their Jaguar Warriors are deadly, but Abysia simply has them outnumbered. Additionally, the multiple weak attacks of transformed Jaguar Warriors are quite ineffective at punching through heavy Abysian armor. They're doing damage . . . but so is Abysia.
It starts looking really, really bad.
And soon the few remaining jaguar warriors flee for their lives.
But Abysia has taken heavy damage as well, and simultaneously, most of the Abysian Light Infantry contingent turns tail as well.
The Abysian forces push their way in towards the Mictlan magician, but rout literally a stone's throw away from him. Mictlan has won the battlefield, though at great cost.
They don't have long to rest, because Jomon attacks Abysia immediately afterwards.
Mictlan is basically fucked. Their heavy infantry is gone, leaving them with weak ranged units and a pair of mages.
It goes as you'd expect. They manage to slaughter the squad of Jomon . . . flying samurai? Yeah, we'll go with that. Jomon flying samurai. Anyway, they manage to kill that squad, but are quickly flattened by the remaining forces.
In Tenvir, Gath's army attacks C'tis province defense. You've seen this by now.
In Feral Woods, more Gath forces jump C'tis. That's . . . that's not a lot of forces, is it?
No, but they're very well equipped. The Robe of Shadows gives a permanent Ethereal status. The first one is equipped with a pair of Flame Brands, which you've seen on Fluffy Bunnies, as well as a ring giving fire immunity and the omnipresent Horror Helm. The second one swaps out a Flame Brand for a Lucky Coin and another Amulet of Antimagic. Both of them are Sacred, and their first actions are to bless themselves. Despite their low hit points, these are powerful offensive units indeed - they just rely heavily on not getting hit.
One of them dies almost immediately. As powerful as their attacks are, one or two hits from anything will slay them - and a 75% miss rate isn't anywhere near total immunity.
The other one manages to stick it out long enough to rout the troops. Still, these units are going to rely heavily on luck and on weak resistance. They're simply too flimsy to stand up against any serious forces, and even weak units will stomp them on lucky hits. That's 25 gems of equipment that just went bye-bye, along with 9 gems needed to summon the guy in the first place. In return for one province, deep in C'tis territory. That's a steep price.
In Golem Range we get annihilated by barbarians.
In Iron Range we do the ol' elephant stampede on a bunch of Ronin. Turns out one of my elephants was limping before it came here. I need to start watching for that. We win anyway, despite losing four Hypaspists.
In Cun Aral, we
Hello, scout, how are you doing?
The downside of this is that T'ien Ch'i now knows our strategy. The upside is that we get to see if our strategy is appropriately laid out, and, basically, it is. The AI in this game is smart enough to not burn gems on an easy fight, so none of our big spells go off, but the communion goes up before they all go offscript and start doing wimpy buffs. The scout dies before any of the non-gem big spells occur, so they still don't know exactly what we plan to do against them.
Hmm. There was a message missing. What was missing?
Before I talk about our section of the fight, I'd like to direct your attention to the little Gath holdout in C'tis territory. This feels like a really bad position for Gath - they only need two unfortunate fights for their entire war force to end up routing into C'tis, and that means the entire force dies instantly. On top of that, C'tis has about 270 units, including Fluffy Bunnies, blocking off their retreat. This could easily turn into a Benny-Hill-esque slapstick chase scene around C'tis territory while Gath tries frantically to reach safety. Suffice to say, I'm not sure what Gath was trying to accomplish, but I don't think this was it.
Meanwhile, off in our territory, take a look at where our barbarian friends showed up. Right between our castles. Oy vey.
But additionally, take a look at where T'ien Ch'i is. Retreating. That's the missing message - Barra is no longer sieged, and its defenses have returned to full instantly. All that sieging? Nearly a total waste. (This is why I was scared of losing Agartha, note.)
Of course, now that they're retreating, I am certainly not going to let up on them. It's time to push our advantage and push it hard, ideally scooping up some of those abandoned forces enroute.
Let's make that list of priorities again.
* Take back Golem Range, currently marooning our forces in Carnag
* Take back Omicria - the very first Barbarian province - in a turn or two, probably with forces from Jome
* Take Farseer Mountains, that province in the southwest that's been neutral forever
* Keep my forces in place to avoid losing any forts
* Get a bow for Obscuro so he won't charge any enemy units
* Threaten the fuck out of T'ien Chi
* Mind Hunt the fuck out of T'ien Ch'i
* Monster Boar the fuck out of T'ien Ch'i
We're also doing more and more crafting as time goes on, and we'd like to have Mrs. Butterworth pretty much entirely forging clams. So let's add:
* Forge a new Dwarven Hammer
And for reasons to be explained later:
* Another Skin of Wine or two
Golem Range won't be difficult. I choose three non-crippled elephants and half a dozen Hoplites from my army, toss them on a commander, and send them out.
For Omicria, I recruit a pair of Elephants in Jome. Jome's already got about twenty Hypaspists bumming around, so that'll be easily enough to deal with those Barbarians. We also recruit a Hypaspist Commander - we just don't have the money to recruit mages everywhere, so we may as well pick up good commanders instead of crappy independent commanders.
Our Ronin-slaying party moves to Iron Range. It'll be able to assault the independent province next turn.
If I moved my main army to Golem Range, I'd be in defense distance of both forts, but within attack distance of no T'ien Ch'i forces. Screw that. On the other hand, if I move my army to Barra, I'll be in attack distance of two T'ien Ch'i provinces - both of which currently have large armies in them - and a mere two turns away from Carnag. And that's two turns through a T'ien Ch'i province. There's no way T'ien Ch'i can crack Carnag in one turn, especially since that's where all my Slingers are still hiding out. Additionally, I've got a lab in Barra, so I can give Obscuro a new bow. So that's what I do. That covers Keep Forces In Place, Get Bow, and Threaten.
The big worry is supplies. I'm using a little over 300 supplies in Cun Aral right now, and Barra only has 264. I take the Skin of Wine out of Carnag and put it in Barra. That should be enough, but our army is getting big enough that supples are actually a problem. That's why I need more Wine. I set a pair of Priestesses to forge more Wine.
. . . Yeah. That's where wine comes from. Forges. Sure. Let's just go with it.
Mrs. Butterworth forges a Dwarven Hammer with a Dwarven Hammer. I am really low on Earth gems, and I'd actually rather save a few of them than pick up another clam right now. Plenty of time for clamming. Speaking of clams, we hand the clam off to one of my Sibyls. Annoyingly, I'll have to manually remove the gem from her each turn. But that's just how Dominions 3 rolls - pointless unavoidable micromanagement.
We target Sermioc with our Mind Hunts, the province directly north of Barra. T'ien Ch'i is picking up reinforcements there and I'd like to stop them. I'd love more Mind Hunt ability, but I need either more Crystal Coins or Construction 6 to manage that.
Now. Monster Boar.
Let me explain how nasty Monster Boar is.
Monster Boar will drop a gigantic stealthy boar in a province of your choice. It requires no upkeep - the boar is summoned and just sticks around. Every turn, the boar will, on average, cause 15 Unrest. The only way to stop it is to find it, and the boar is extra-stealthy - in my test game, four commanders couldn't find it in ten turns of trying. And once you do find it, you have to kill it, and the boar is arguably a bit tougher than an Elephant, including Trample. Not dangerous against an army, but deadly against a few cheap searching Commanders. Want to just ignore it? Well, 15 Unrest implies that you'll need to reduce the taxes to 55% to keep Unrest steady. Two boars, 10%. And remember, once Unrest passes 100%, you won't be able to recruit units there.
(And to make matters even worse: the higher Unrest is, the harder it is to find stealthy units.)
The downside is that the boars aren't friendly to me either - once I capture their cities, I'll have to deal with the boars myself, assuming they're still alive. Additionally, all the Patrolling that T'ien Ch'i will have to do will flush out my scouts right quick.
It's worth it.
I need Nature 3 to drop boars around the world. I've got one Nature 3 Sibyl (see, told you she'd come in handy), several Nature 2 Sibyls, and a Nature booster (see, told you that would come in handy.) Two boars. One in T'ien Ch'i itself, one in the forest fort that's bordering Gath. Twenty Nature gems - and I'm getting nine gems per turn, with about 50 remaining even after this turn's activities.
Very worth it.
Finally, research. I want that Faery Queen. With all the sitesearching and moving I'm doing, I'm down to 149 RP - less than half my 320 RP peak - but that's enough to finish off Thaumaturgy 3 and start on Conjuration 6. It'll go up rapidly, as we're still recruiting sages at top speed.
Sure is a far cry from the storm of arrows involved in expansion, isn't it?
Next: Fuck you, Barbarians.