Part 53: Turn 46: Storm of Shields
Well, that's not very many messages, is it.
We're not doing any sitesearching right now - all our Mystics are busy blowing shit up, and the Sibyl sitesearching we could do is, well, done.
Gath's come through with a Blood Stone for us, so we mail them a second Clam. As we didn't forge one last turn we actually have to pull it off a Sibyl, but that's okay.
I assume this was sent globally.
Atlantis really likes global enchants. In fairness, global enchants are really good, and I should start doing some.
This global enchant is a huge bonus to Resources within his dominion. If I had that one, I could be spitting out twice as many Hoplites every turn. Atlantis, being AI, will waste this resource bounty on terrible units, assuming it even has the money to take advantage of it.
Here's the force T'ien Ch'i sent to attack Black Alps. In retrospect, I could have easily kept it, and probably should have. Bah. Outplayed!
I'm not including my force because I literally can't pause the game fast enough to take a screenshot of my two scouts fleeing.
AI C'tis is doing a reasonably good job of conquering their territory back from Gath.
Our squad fleeing from Black Alps decides to stop off and conquer some territory on the way.
They succeed easily - you can see T'ien Ch'i's front line fleeing, a mere turn or two after the battle starts. My casualties are limited to a slightly afflicted Hoplite.
C'tis continues to demonstrate their ability to conquer undefended territory. They're not doing a bad job of it though.
Tenvir is a small Midgard skinshifter pack flattening a small amount of C'tis PD. It is uninteresting.
And in Solian, we take a few casualties, but otherwise easily secure the field. I think I need to set my armies to hold-and-attack, and move them back a bit - I'm getting a hilarious amount of mileage off those Gifts from Heaven, and I see no reason to introduce friendly fire earlier than necessary.
T'ien Ch'i has gone AI. Half of the players are AI or destroyed.
So let's look at our new territories. We've looked at them before, but they've changed a bit.
Namely, Behemoth's Rest is now a nice gem factory for me. T'ien Ch'i must have searched it. There's no real way to know what's been searched in a conquered province and what hasn't been. I may very well ignore sitesearching for quite some time - I'll probably be missing things, but the cost/benefit ratio is just not in my favor when we're talking about conquered territories.
(Future Me: In retrospect, this was dumb. Unless you really need the gems just keep on sitesearching, you never know what your opponent may have missed.)
Now, for strategy. Part of me wants to move back onto Black Alps. Much more of me wants to stay the fuck away from that huge pile of mages. While T'ien Ch'i is AI, their units retain all their previous battle scripting, meaning that they're still kind of casually and randomly dangerous if the AI gets lucky enough to move them around in deadly combinations.
My western army moves to hit the fort. I may or may not actually stay on the fort - I might do the same dance I did with Agartha, where I try to lock the fort down while capturing as much territory as I can. But I'd like to stomp around on them a bit and get more incoming money. Meanwhile, my eastern army pushes on to capture another T'ien Ch'i territory to the west. I want to own this southern area. I want the money, dammit.
As for Midgard, one big problem I have fighting in the East is a lack of good war communions. That's because I need Mystics, and all my Mystic production is off in the west. I need forts, in summary. What's the best way to get forts? Take someone else's fort! I should be able to take a few lightly-defended Midgard forts in the east, so let's do that.
My current plan is to have an indie commander dive underwater with the Sea King's Goblet while the bulk of my forces move to assault Midgard. I'll have the two forces meet, in three turns, at a Midgard fort, which we'll hopefully capture easily. I start Mind Hunting that fort this turn to test - if I don't end up with a feebleminded Sibyl, I'll start the real artillery going on it. I'll also make a few cheap fast-attack groups to seize as much territory as I can. If some of them die, well, that's OK. They're cheap. That's the point.
time to recruit more independent commanders and scouts!
In the west, we're continuing breakneck production of Mystics and Hoplites. Could we set up a third squad? Or at least heavily reinforce the first squad? One way or another we're going to have some tough castles to crack.
Now, here's a good example of Be Careful What You Say. I talked to the T'ien Ch'i leader on AIM right after he went AI, and he said something interesting.
good luck pushing through the string of forts on the other side
Hmm. Could they be building forts along the western front? Maybe. My heavy scouting shows little, except for a few unknown units just north of Azimar and a few Light Infantry just south of T'ien Ch'i. I set them to Mind Hunt. Let's see what happens. We've got four Mind Hunts per turn at this point, and we plan to use them whenever possible.
We forge a few new pieces of equipment. I'm not really going to list every bit of equipment - I'll go over it once we're actually using it. Suffice to say that, even while building up Water gems, I'm making the most of my Hammers and forging a whole pile of magical gear that I intend to use in the moderately near future.
That enormous grey pipe up there is me getting a scout to T'ien Ch'i's capital.
We'll have Evocation 7 next turn, giving me the ability to rain blizzards down upon the heads of my enemies from the other end of the planet, and after that we'll work more on Conjuration 9, which will let me pull insane dead gods out of Tartarus itself and bend them to my will.
Seriously, I'm not joking. That's my next major goal.
It will be glorious.
Next: T'ien Ch'i does weird random stuff.
(Future Me: Hey guys, remember two turns ago when you were all complaining about the Black Steel Full Plate's encumberance? C'mon, give me some credit. Sheesh.)