Part 41: Turn 36: War, Fuck Yeah
mind hunt better, dammit
No magic sites.
etc, etc, let's get to the exciting part.
Now this is a war.
T'ien Ch'i is trying to break out of Sermioc (I said that fort was a bad idea), reinforced by a pile of mages coming in from the north. I have the same army you've seen before, with some reinforcements from Barra.
Conveniently for me, breaking my siege means that I'm the defender. That means I get to go first. One extra turn of bombardment!
Unfortunately I don't have Obscuro . . . though I think he may actually be hurting me, after this battle.
The communion goes off as normal. T'ien Ch'i actually has a small communion of their own.
Gifts from Heaven flattens the fuck out of them.
The problem with Storm, the spell I've been using for arrow defense, is that it halves precision. Originally I was thinking this would hurt T'ien Ch'i more than it hurts me, but look at the clustering I've got with Gifts from Heaven. Last battle, I was Gifting myself left and right. This battle, I'm pretty much decimating their forces directly, and T'ien Ch'i's arrows just aren't doing much against my heavily-armored troops.
Arrow Fend would be nice, but I don't have the research for it yet, and Storm isn't good enough to solo T'ien Ch'i province defense without heavy forces. I may just stay Obscuro-less for the time being.
On the next turn, T'ien Ch'i's melee forces jump into melee range.
This really does not work out how they intended.
And that's the end. The remaining T'ien Ch'i forces flee into the only province they have left.
Now, one downside. During this whole thing, one of their Commanders was Magic Dueling my forces - quite successfully, at that. I lost four Commanders of one kind or another, though it's difficult to figure out exactly what. Additionally, I didn't actually manage to take down any of their commanders. Horrible Magic Duel luck.
Still, I'll take these results any day.
I guess one of our Bag of Wine holders died, but we managed to rescue the bag after the battle. There's a moderate chance of looting any magic items dropped by slain commanders - sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. (I didn't mention this at the time, but Agartha had a whole pile of great magic items on their mages, and I didn't get any of them because I didn't technically manage to kill the mages. Grr.)
The rest of the battles aren't terribly interesting. Saeborea is one of Gath's Malakh thugs flattening C'tis's province defense. Linshire is a castle siege, which I'd normally show you, but it's about 150 Skinshifters absolutely swarming half a dozen C'tis mages. I lost three Scouts, but one of those is actually kind of interesting.
Because this is what they're using to patrol in T'ien Ch'i. That there is a Monster Boar-killing party, if I don't miss my guess. I wonder if they managed to kill one? Maybe I should send more Boars to greet them. I can launch one boar per turn for the next fifty turns if I so choose, but I need to keep Nature gems in reserve for my Faery Queens, so I'd rather save them for a bit.
And it's time to storm Sermioc.
What I don't know is what kind of forces are still left in Sermioc. With luck, it's completely undefended, and I can take it with a Scout. With less luck, it's actually a bit dangerous. Let's take a look at the map.
T'ien Ch'i's shattered army has retreated to Behemoth's Rest and Black Alps, their southern castle. I hadn't realized this before, but Black Alps, Sermioc, and Barra are actually a line of castles one province apart. As a result, they can attack my Sermioc forces with a pretty significant war party.
However, Storming a castle happens after everything else. If they do jump my Sermioc forces, then they'd have to attack outside the castle, and then I would storm their inner forces.
I don't dare press my attack this turn. I'm going to break Sermioc with my entire forces, and bring reinforcements in from other castles. Luckily, it turns out none of my important casters were harmed - I've lost a few communion slaves but nothing else. I hand Opites another Astral gem.
Qennan, my little province adjacent to all three of my forts (yeah I'm just calling Sermioc mine now) is proving a bit difficult to defend. If T'ien Ch'i wants it, there's not a lot I can do about it without harming my actual war party.
I'm having trouble targeting Mind Hunt this turn. They've pushed a lot of Astral at me this turn, and as mentioned Astral stops Mind Hunting from working. Those Astral units are roughly evenly distributed in Black Alps and Behemoth's Rest. I don't care so much about getting Feebleminded, but I do care about Mind Hunt simply not working, and the Astral test happens before the Kill test does. I'm going to target Sleepy Wolds instead - all of their reliable Astral is focused in their capital, and I might be able to take out a few commanders or researchers there. I'm also a big fan of keeping my target paranoid, and this will leave them nicely paranoid indeed.
Speaking of paranoia, I move another scout into T'ien Ch'i.
I give a clam to my feebleminded Sibyl. Might as well. Four Astral gems per turn.
Yep, Obscuro's dead. Dammit, Abysia. We'll need Conjuration 8 to get good arrow defense (although our current "flatten them before they can shoot arrows at you" strategy is working pretty well.)
I'm aiming recruitment away from elephants and towards armored troops - Hoplites, Hoplites, and more Hoplites, essentially. We have enough magical firepower to knock down the enemy forces quite quickly, and we can recruit elephants rapidly once we have a need for them. Right now, we mostly need staying power while the mages carpetbomb the area.
Thanks to my expanding territory and Hoplite-focused recruitment I have a bit of extra money, which I spend on half a dozen Scouts. We're starting to suffer some attrition. I actually still have (small) money reserves but I just hold on to them. I'd love another Temple or two, but right now I don't have any satisfying places to put them.
Mrs. Butterworth takes a break from Clams to forge a set of Earth Boots. Earth Boots are a +1 Earth booster, and will let me take an Earth 1 Mystic and set him to work Earth searching. Next turn, we'll be getting Construction 6, which will provide a whole slew of new Construction opportunities. But we'll get to that soon.
We do, however, forge another pair of Wine Bags. Our army keeps growing and our supply requirements keep growing along with it.
Next: The unexpected.
(alright yes I'm expecting it, shut up)