Part 47: Turn 41: So Many Skeletons
No new magic sites.
I get some gems - and a nice pile of them, too - but no new magic sites.
Midgard attempts to break out of their sieged fortress. On first glance, Jomon looks doomed. That many Skinshifters should be able to just swarm and destroy Jomon's forces.
Jomon's been clever, though. The AI will almost always choose "attack closest", and they placed their forces so the southern ground troops were the closest. Midgard's Skinshifter army heads south, letting Midgard's cavalry runs right in.
It never goes quite that easily, and Midgard's Skinshifters manage to catch a lot of the cavalry.
Lightning cleans out a little more of the cavalry.
Inevitably, once the small number of defending skinshifters are cleaned out, the bulk of the cavalry heads in the wrong direction to hit Midgard's skinshifter troops.
However, a single cavalry manages to take out Midgard's last commander.
Midgard routs immediately.
Jomon also jumps a Pythium province. Came as a surprise to me, I must say.
The Pythium province defense melts rapidly against the Jomon cavalry.
And here's the big battle.
As usual, my layout has ended up deformed thanks to the terrain. There's also not much path to storm through.
And they've got . . . well, quite a lot of wacky stuff, actually.
Here's some Ghosts. They're difficult to hit, with Ethereal built-in, and they have a moderate AoE damage cold effect centered around them.
Serpents, tigers, and drakes, oh my!
T'ien Ch'i is getting a lot of mileage out of the lower-end summons. They are, admittedly, kind of tough summons, and we're going up against them with ground forces. They've also got a lot of magicians sitting in back - about as many as I do.
It's nearly impossible to get a good shot of the battle thanks to the gate being in the way.
The problem is, in fact, that exact gate. My forces can fight off their units for quite some time while my spellcasters barrage them from a distance. This is all working out pretty well. But I just can't get enough forces through that gate to crack them, especially with the amount of skeleton spam they're sending at me. Additionally, they're bombarding me pretty heavily with Gifts from Heaven, which, for some reason, my mages aren't using.
Eventually I figure out why - I completely forgot to redistribute another Astral Pearl. Therefore, nobody cast Power of the Spheres, so all my mages are one level lower than they should be. Argh. That . . . was bad.
The battle rages on for a long time. Eventually my forces rout, although only after routing or killing literally their entire non-mage army.
This could have gone better.
It also could have gone worse. Their army is entirely down to mages - the few creatures of theirs that weren't slain have just fled. Also, my entire army fled in one direction, and I still have troops occupying their castle. I can just move them back up next turn, then siege again, with the right gems this time.
I'm not going to mince words here: that was a hell of a fuckup. I lost a lot of troops. But it's an easily-recoverable fuckup. They simply can't escape from the castle, they have no way of reinforcing it, and my troop generation is a lot faster than my mage generation.
Oh dammit, another castle? Over there in the west. These guys just refuse to die!
Unfortunately, I lost enough units in that original mess that I really need to use my intended new army as reinforcements. Oy. Well, we'll do that, I suppose, and start rapidly throwing together another army.
The Sibyl that I was using to cast Eagle Eyes appears to have been slain. We also need to get a few Sibyls up to the frontline. I've got barely enough research to spare to start moving two of them west, so I pick a pair of my Nature-2 Sibyls (which I seem to have in abundance, and have no particular plans for) and direct them Jomewards.
No, you know what, screw that, I just burn a pair of Astral gems and have one of them teleport straight to Black Alps. I hate logistics. We'll teleport another one over when we need it. I'd rather fork over the gems than lose out on 50 RP of research.
I need more Elephants, and I need more Hypaspists. My Hoplites are pretty much fine. My expansion army, or at least the Hypaspist/Elephant portion of it, is redirected to Qennan. I can move it on to Black Alps next turn, then try taking the castle again the turn afterwards. Meanwhile, I grab a whole slew of Hoplites in Agartha and start moving them north.
More than anything, I need another communion up and running, though. That's what's giving me the firepower to crack T'ien Ch'i's forces, and that's what's preventing me from cracking them further. We'll need at least half a dozen mages to get that going, but I'm also about to run out of sitesearching for Fire, and close to running out for Earth. Once that's done I can easily co-opt a bunch of Mystics to form a new communion, and then I can start claiming some real land.
Actually, we might push that up a bit, but we need to rehire another military anyway, so . . . we'll have to wait for that. Still, that'll only take a turn or two with three forts working on it simultaneously.
Off in Terrym, we build a quick Lab to get our hands on those air mages. They'll let me diversify my magic paths a little, and provide some nice communion firepower - air magic can be deadly in a fight.
We also forge a Water Bracelet, as I've got some stuff I want Water 3 for but don't really want to interrupt my clamming. Plus, a second Water Bracelet will let me clam even more. Actually I forge two more Water Bracelets. They're cheap boosters for a magic path that I'm having some trouble with. More Water Bracelets = more Water sitesearching and more clams, and I've got a bunch of spare Water gems right now.
Next turn we get Conjuration 8 and start pulling Faery Queens out of our metaphorical ass. I'm still feeling dumb about that gem fuckup, but, well, what can you do. In a few turns we'll hopefully have a second army and be able to hit T'ien Ch'i on two fronts, and we'll also hopefully have captured Black Alps, for real this time. Though I'm definitely putting in the extra turn for my reinforcements to arrive.
Next: God, I hate forts.