Part 46: Turn 40 RetrospectiveYeah, that mistake I mentioned a while back? Those Crystal Sorceresses.
I don't think there are too many flat-out fuckups I make during this game. Missing the Sorceresses were undeniably one of them. I would have been far better served by grabbing a few of them, researching up Arrow Fend, and going that direction than pushing up to Conj 8. At this point I'm close enough to Conj 8 that I may as well stick with it, but, welp.
I'm looking things over and kind of cringing at my strategy. My strategy against Agartha was to cut off their gold lifeblood, and that should be my strategy here . . . except that, holy shit, that really is an amazing amount of PD. Which, currently unknown to me, T'ien Ch'i is getting for free. (Okay, now I'm not even sure, people have mentioned how slow Tien Ch'i's free PD is. Fuck it, he's got a lot of PD, I don't care where it is.) I can't split my army up and still rely on killing all those cavalry archers without heavy losses, so my choices are really to use one giant army to try taking his castle or to use one giant army to try taking things that aren't his castle.
If I can take his castle, I've neatly cut his territory into an awkward C shape, and I really, really want that to happen. So I'm going for his castle.
If I could replay this, and not screw up the Sorceresses, I'd probably have Arrow Fend by now and I'd be conquering territory with two half-armies (or using one to siege the castle while I conquer with the other). So there's my big current mistake.
Another issue is that I'm honestly frightened of Midgard. That is a lot of skinshifters. I'm building up Cerulean Warriors and Hoplites in Arco, which should be able to take them down reasonably efficiently, but you know what the problem is with a ton of Cerulean Warriors and Hoplites in Arco? They're not fighting T'ien Ch'i. I'm fighting like a 1.5-front war here - one front doesn't really exist, but I'm still keeping it in mind - and that's hurting my actual offensive.
And finally, my Lightless Lantern spam is doing its job exactly as intended. I'm quite satisfied with that result.
Now, obviously there's been a pretty big change in strategy thanks to C'tis. I've never been quite sure what to think about this sort of thing. On one front, it feels like cheating - me getting a bunch of free stuff from another dude. On another front, this sort of "cheating" happens all the time. I've always kind of suspected that Agartha was funneling stuff to T'ien Ch'i as they died, although since neither of those players seem to be paying attention to this LP, I suppose I'll never know.
Overall, this is just part of the strategy. Make friends with people in the hope that they give you free stuff, and assume that if you start killing a guy, he's going to do his best to fuck you over.
Such is life.
In summary: besides Sorceresses, I'm not quite sure how I could be doing massively better right now, though I'm curious what other people have to say about it.