Part 49: Turn 43: The RNG Loves Us
The Dominions 3 cheat tester is . . . shall we say . . . a bit buggy. It's possible Jomon is cheating, I suppose, but it's far more likely Dominions 3 just fucked up. Honestly I'm not sure why this can even happen - why can't they just, you know, restrict Jomon to only doing what is allowed by their money?
Their turn file protocol must be seriously fucked.
This is kind of tempting, because it's one of the Earth boosters that I can't otherwise access and, hey, free Earth gems. Clams, meanwhile, give gems but not much else. It'll make us both more powerful to do this trade, but I think I'll get more of an edge out of it, and Gath is next on my kill list anyway.
The trick here is that the extra-gem thing is only really useful in great bulk, while having a few boosters lying around can be great for rituals. I could have Mrs. Butterworth pull a King of Elemental Earth out of nowhere, for example, with the Earth Boots and a Blood Stone.
I actually think this is a crummy trade for him but I will certainly take advantage of it.
We're doing Enchantment for a bit. You'll see why later. (Actually this is Future Me writing this and I can't remember why, so you'll get to be surprised along with me.)
No new magic sites, but we do get a Faerie Court done.
And this. Hmmm. I guess they're not defended against Mind Hunt after all. Sure, let's start blasting away at them.
A quick battle, before we continue:
I think I may have mentioned this before, but there's a spell that causes a small flight of birds to show up in a remote province. They're extremely weak fighters and useful only for capturing nigh-undefended provinces. This is mostly undefended, but even the minimal forces it has are enough to fend off these birds. Their rock-bottom Morale causes them to rout after only a few have been slain.
This battle takes place in Behemoth's Rest. Hey wait isn't that owned by T'ien Ch'i?
Unfortunately, Dominions doesn't have a sufficiently large province name database, and it will somewhat-frequently repeat provinces. This is a completely unrelated province, far to the northeast, that just happens to also be named Behemoth's Rest.
A Kohen is a Gath priest-mage. Nothing particularly noteworthy, they just must have lost their last Prophet. We're still running Prophetless at this point - I just haven't had anything that seemed worthy of prophetizing.
The "group of followers" is a group of 55 Militia. Not particularly exciting, but remember how I wanted some siege fodder? I guess now I've got it. I'll be shifting these guys up to the front line shortly.
Gath attacks Midgard. You can guess how this fight goes.
Gath also finally finishes the siege of C'tis's fortress.
While C'tis has some nice defenders, they simply can't stand up to Gath's troops. C'tis fireballs and shadow bolts rain over the walls, slaying the occasional giant and shattering Gath's animated stone Crusher, but eventually the Gath troops (and their own fireballs) break through the small number of C'tis guards.
The C'tis mages are slain quickly, and the fort is held by Gath.
Speaking of forts . . .
T'ien Ch'i is shifting some of their horses back to base. I think I'll do some Mind Hunt fuckery there. Three Astral boosters, and one Sibyl that can mind hunt without a booster - but I need one booster to Teleport another Sibyl over to Carnag. So that's three Mind Hunts. I'm being a little risky in using my Astral 4 Sibyl for a Mind Hunt, as there are spells that can counteract remote attacks by killing the mage, but they all require some hefty magical power to be spent and I doubt they'll have spent it.
And then I check the intelligence report.
Master With The Iron Crutch is one of their unique heros, and it's got Astral 2. Anyone hitting that with a Mind Hunt is probably just going to fail. Let's take that Sibyl and do something else. Namely, research. I don't have quite enough Astral boosters to do anything of more interest.
We also cast another Faerie Court.
The Faery Queen comes with a small retinue of Sprites. The Sprites are actually not bad units at all, but we don't have an easy way of getting them to the front lines. We hand our Lucky Shield off to the Faery Queen and have her Cloud Trapeze her way to Carnag along with the Sibyl.
Speaking of which, everyone else streams into Carnag as well. We'll have a rather nice army there next turn.
We burn a scout to scan Kishia, the province directly north of Carnag. We actually have no intention whatsoever of attacking Kishia next turn, we're planning to jump Oeperi to the west and consolidate our territory. A little counterintelligence never hurts, though. Maybe they'll be confused.
Recruiting consists of our standard Sibyl, another Crystal Sorceress, a Sage, and Mystics and Hoplites galore. We'd love to put together a third attack force. My existing Crystal Sorceress just researches for a turn, for lack of anything better to do - I'll have her meet up with the new squad when we invade Oeperi.
Our current attack force may, however, be ending up with some supply issues. I forge a pair of Wineskins to slow this down a bit. This leaves me very low on Nature gems and I end up alchemizing eight Astral gems into four Nature gems in order to make another clam.
I know I just forged this expensive item to go underwater, but I'm having second thoughts. As I mentioned, the AI tends to attack based on a lack of PD. As a non-underwater nation, I'm literally incapable of hiring underwater PD. I think I'll hold that item in reserve until I'm fighting Midgard, or until Gath shows themselves able to push Midgard out of C'tis's old territory. I want that money - I don't want to fight Midgard. We'll, uh, we'll just wait.
I'm not sure what T'ien Ch'i has in mind here. (The intelligence report you see is from the province without a flag.) I'm guessing they're being sent to reinforce Sleepy Wolds, the castle northeast of Black Alps. Celestial Masters implies that they've got some Mind Hunt defense going on, so I can't start sniping them. It's possible they're heading south to Black Alps itself, which would be weird, since we'd just cut them to pieces.
On the other hand, if they are heading south to Black Alps, they'll be triggering all my scripts and burning my Power of the Spheres gem. Right before I siege the castle. That would suck. I load up my Power mystic with a few extra gems - with luck he won't burn through them all in the first wave, and will have some left for the actual castle storm. I can afford to spend a few extra if I have to.
My plan for the siege is to have an elephant-heavy shock squad in front, followed by my Cerulean Warriors, with them followed by Hoplites. Meanwhile, my communion will rain down Gifts from Heaven. My Priests will spam Banishment, to cut down more on the undead. In theory I should just overwhelm their ability to spam skeletons and flatten them rapidly. We'll see how well that works out. I'm real tired of losing fort battles.
Take a castle this turn, start my second squad moving next turn. With luck, this is moving up on the end for T'ien Ch'i.
Next: The battle for Black Alps. Again.