Part 37: Turn 33: Spellspammer
All our sitesearching fails, with one exception.
A Voice of Apsu caster manages to unearth two sites in Melma, just west of Agartha. More Water gems. Excellent.
This is all the feedback we'll ever get on Monster Boar. We'll never see more. We'll just have to assume that it worked.
We're picking off a lot of commanders, but it may not be having a significant effect by now.
T'ien Ch'i is clearly recruiting a lot of independent commanders and sending them to join their forces. Since Mind Hunt picks a random commander, their strategy can effectively result in disposable commander chaff. On the other hand, those extra commanders cost money and upkeep, and still don't guarantee success - if I get lucky, they still leave forces behind.
There's no real way for me to know which commanders I'm killing, besides take notes in each battle about what their important commanders are named. I may actually have to start doing this. Ugh.
More Imprisoned gods. That's Atlantis's god, apparently.
No complaints this turn!
In Silver Fangs, a new second Gath patrol starts conquering more territory. C'tis ain't doin' so hot right now.
In Abysia, Abysia attempts to break the Jomon siege. They use whatever's handy, which ends up being a bunch of cheap independent troops and little else. It goes very poorly.
In Forest of Gun, Gath's first group flattens more C'tis province defense.
In Golem Range, we elephant the fuck out of some barbarians. We lose one elephant, and the surviving elephant ends up with Battle Fright, a morale-reducing effect. So it goes.
And in Banded Hills, C'tis's western city, we lose another scout. Hrm. Let's be a little political here.
I actually have no idea if they're as scout-happy as I am, but there we go. My message is accurate - once I finish up T'ien Ch'i I do intend to attack Gath, and it'll be great for me if they're still fighting C'tis. Of course, immediately after Gath I plan to pounce on the remains of C'tis.
I will admit I'm a little worried about the Gath forces getting close to my lines. He might decide to make a break through my land, and I really don't want him to do that. On the other hand, if he does, he'll get a few monster boars in his city.
We target everything at Qennan, the T'ien Ch'i province located directly between my forts. Divide, then conquer. That includes our Mind Burns - even if they retreat further, we'd love to maroon some of their forces there for us to eat. And by "everything", I mean "everything". By my count we've got 26 mages involved - four Communion Masters and 22 Communion Slaves, giving the Masters an effective +4 to all their magic paths. If we had any available, Kaukones could be casting Earth 6 spells. As it is, he's just going to be pulling a truly unholy Blade Wind out of his ass.
In fact, with this many casters, I should normally have a few more Masters. If this were a normal communion, I'd be doing so. As a Reverse Communion I'd rather have sheer quantity, though, and each Master increases the Fatigue burden of the slaves considerably. We'll have to take a look at Fatigue amounts in the first real battle.
The only exceptions to "Everything" is a single Priest I leave behind to build a much-needed temple, and a pair of independent commanders that I'll use to shuttle troops up.
Obscuro gets his bow, and I rejigger my scripts so he tries to Fire instead of wading into melee. It's a short-range bow so this still isn't amazing, but it is far, far better. I hand my new wineskins off to a rather arbitrary set of commanders - one Sibyl, my mounted commander, and Sponglor. Remember Sponglor? He's still around, and he's picking up a lot of experience - while a normal independent commander can lead 40 units, he's up to 85, and I've got all my Hoplites and my Cave Drake under him.
Back home, Mrs. Butterworth forges a new Clam. Meanwhile, I want more Water sitesearching, which means more units at Water 2. Unfortunately the Robe of the Sea requires Water 3 to make. I pick one of my Water 2 mystics (okay, we're down to 21 communion slaves) and hand my sole Robe and remaining Hammer off to him. That'll let him forge another Robe, and he'll catch up to the war party one way or another later.
I also drop another pair of Monster Boars - a second one in T'ien Ch'i, and one in Black Alps, T'ien Ch'i's southern Fort. According to the score graphs, that's all the forts they have, and I've just inconvenienced them significantly. Excellent.
I'm burning through gems like a motherfucker, but I'm also generating gems like a motherfucker. Keep in mind that this chart doesn't include things like the Clam, although I am by no means the only civilization that can forge Clams. Still, notice how much I'm outperforming T'ien Ch'i - they just don't have the magical power to throw around monster boars, or equivalents, like I am.
As usual, I'm tight on money. Recruiting this turn is a Sage, a Sibyl, a Mystic, and a pile of Hypaspists and Hoplites. I'm tighter this turn than usual thanks to the new temple (400 gold), and the small squad in the southwest scooping up neutral provinces will help in the future - each of those will end up being around 100 gold per turn. Still, my upkeep is going up depressingly rapidly. Large armies aren't cheap to keep going.
Another upcoming problem is sheer logistics. My megaarmy should be nearly unstoppable compared to T'ien Ch'i forces, but they don't need to stop it, merely neutralize it. I can only capture one province at a time with it, and I already know that T'ien Ch'i can take down my province defense with ease - especially since I simply don't have the money spare to reinforce it heavily. I'll have to split my army in two, and that's dangerous, at least with T'ien Ch'i's army still stomping around. Alternatively I can try to assemble small hit squads capable of burning down T'ien Ch'i province defense, but their province defense is . . . somewhat painfully effective.
Finally, on more reflection, I realize that Conjuration 8 isn't going to be useful until we have Construction 6. Again, I just need those boosters first. I aim for Construction 6 - there's some more craftable items in there that will be golden, including a way of (very) profitably getting rid of all these damn fire gems that I'm stacking up.
Next: The first assault on T'ien Ch'i. Finally.