Part 48: Turn 42: Get The Fuck Off, This Fort Is Mine
Conjuration 8 done. We'll come back to this shortly.
This is what it looks like when you get hit by Mind Hunt. I have absolutely no idea who this is that's hitting me, nor do I know what scout died. Somewhere, a scout is dead. Poor scout.
I've got enough astral that my actual war parties are nigh invincible, as are all of my cities, so I'm just not too concerned. Although if I do end up sending people around without Astral, I'll have to make sure they have an escort.
Our Sibyl warps up to the front lines. I script her to do Eagle Eyes, Twist Fate, and Banishment. She'll prevent one of our Mystics from actually casting - he'll just be a fatigue buffer - but so it goes.
In Dershid, northeast of Jome, we find a nice source of cash.
In Great Woods, southeast of Agartha, we find two more Magic sites. We're actually up to the magic site max here - there's four sites at most, and we've found them all. One Astral, three Water, four Fire, and 200 gold per turn. Classy.
Lish has literally no forces, so we don't care about the curse.
Remember that Ulm army I mentioned a few turns back? They've decided to attack Jomon.
Ulm is characterized by extremely heavy armor and reasonably competent ranged power. See all those blue guys on the left? Those are all Rangers of Ulm, Ulmish units armed with crossbows. They aren't great . . . but in this kind of quantity, they'll provide deadly firepower.
Needless to say, the Jomon forces don't even get to Ulm, and the Jomon ranged weapons don't even scratch the Ulm heavy infantry. I think Ulm takes literally zero damage in this fight.
T'ien Ch'i tries to break out of their fort. Cleverly, they try to break out with a very small force, instead of Agartha's nearly-perfectly-suboptimal strategy of "break out with half of my mages". Because I'm not dumb, I moved my somewhat bedraggled army back into position, and they rapidly slaughter the small T'ien squad.
Okay, I'm not dumb this turn. Shut up.
C'tis tries to snag an undefended province, but Gath decides to defend it. Welp.
Midgard attempts to break out of their Jomon-sieged fortress again. It looks like Midgard's got more forces, but those are all cheap independent troops, no match for Jomon's heavy infantry. They're nearly unable to hurt Jomon's forces, and Jomon slaughters them rapidly despite their numerical superiority.
Midgard also finishes their siege of a C'tis castle. Now, a sufficient amount of mage power can do a shocking amount of damage in a fort gate, as we've seen. C'tis, unfortunately, does not have a lot of mage power.
It takes quite a while for the battle to actually end . . .
. . . but once the C'tis City Guard wall breaks, and Midgard's Air Elemental lands in the middle of their mages, it's pretty much over.
We also lost a scout. Oh no, a scout.
Unsurprisingly, T'ien Ch'i's two dozen mages are unable to hold the gate against an army.
And we finally lost that old diseased sage (and yes, I took the lantern off him before he died.)
First: we're moving our reinforcements from Qennan up to Black Alps.
Second: Faery Queen time! We need Nature 5, but that's not hard to get - our Nature 3 Sibyl, with Thistle Mace and Moonvine Bracelet, can pull it off. 40 Nature gems byebye
Next turn she'll Cloud Trapeze down to the front lines, and the turn after that we'll start up our second attack squad. I'm actually somewhat tempted to hand her a Crystal Matrix to pull her into the communion, but I can't think of a really good reason to do so besides "communion = awesome", so I don't.
Third: We forge a Clam and a Sea King's Goblet.
There are cheaper underwater items available, but all of them require heavy Air. This is the best we can manage with what we have. We'll be using this to equip a small squad to grab those lakes near us, finally.
We've now got eight Clams, more than doubling our base Astral production of 6. This train ain't slowing down, either. We've got more Astral production than any other gem type, except for Water which we've been really inhumanly lucky with.
We recruit Mystics in Barra and Sermioc, and a large number of hoplites in Barra, Sermioc, and Carnag. We're going to be leaning heavily on them - my current war strategy is "hoplites to block T'ien Ch'i forces, large reverse communion to spam Gifts of Heaven and actually win the fight". Hoplites are nicely near-invincible and should hold up well against T'ien Ch'i's province defense - alone they'd lose rapidly, but set up as a simple wall of armor while Gifts of Heaven pounds T'ien Ch'i into dust, it should be just fine.
Doubly so with Arrow Fend guarding my units, which, admittedly, means I'm going to need Arrow Fend.
Enchantment 6. 652 RP away at this point, and I'm generating 468 RP. I don't really have enough reserves to tap into to get it done faster, so we're looking at two turns - not that we could get the Faery Queen down faster than that anyway. I spend some time getting forces one turn away from Carnag, which is where I plan to gather. Next turn I'll move everyone into Carnag, form the battle plans, and hit . . . probably Oeperi.
We recruit our first Crystal Sorceress. I'm hoping to have these meet up with the rest of our team - Thunder Strike is great if we can get them up to Air 3 via communion, and Orb Lightning will be absolutely killer if we can get them any higher. (We can.)
Orb Lightning is a bit of an odd spell. Most spells in this game are at least useful at their intended casting level. Orb Lightning really isn't - at level 1, it kind of plinks at one target and that's it. However, every level you raise it causes an extra effect, which translates to substantially more damage. A top-heavy communion with a lot of weak Air mages in front can spam an absolute electric hellstorm of Orb Lightning, and thanks to its low Fatigue cost, you can do so pretty much all day. Especially with a little Reinvigoration.
Needless to say, adding a few of those Crystal Sorceresses into my communions will be much welcomed.
One potential issue is if T'ien Ch'i decides to jump Terrym. I'll end up unable to recruit, and they might pick up some Sorceresses in the meantime. However, I don't believe they can make as good use as I can. Additionally, they'd have to explicitly destroy the lab in order to make me unable to recruit there, and that's somewhat unlikely.
It's quite possible we're going to need yet more Wine. We'll . . . deal with that later, as right now we don't want to delay another Faerie Queen.
I drop a Mind Hunt on Azimar, T'ien Ch'i's new fort. We'll see what that does. We'll probably end up Feebleminded, in all honesty.
Whoa hey look at that
Astral 4. That's as rare as my Nature 3 Sibyl. Nice! Another Sibyl that I'm going to be very careful with. I don't quite know what I'll use her for, but I will find something - she's better at Astral than my poor neglected Pretender God is.
We've got a squad of 15 Hoplites that won't get there quite in time. Besides them, I should end up with around 90-100 Hoplites, a few Elephants, and a few Hypaspists, as well as about 15 Mystics, a Sibyl that I'll teleport in next turn, and of course my Faery Queen. That ought to be enough to crush pretty much any T'ien Ch'i province defense, as well as moderately sized T'ien Ch'i armies. I may need to recruit another squad of Slinger or Peltast siegebreakers, and I may very well need more Supplies, but we'll get to that when it happens.
The next turn ought to be pretty quiet though. I'm not expecting any major battles - it's just logistics. The turn after that I'll be grabbing Black Alps (barring catastrophe), and then I'll be rampaging on with two armies instead of one, and trying to accumulate a third. Naturally, this nigh-guarantees that something huge and catastrophic will happen.
Next: All hopefully quiet on the western front.