Part 61: Turn 53: I'm Kind Of An Idiot
(Future Me edit: holy shit, only one pixel off that time)
Gath's started feeding me a few items he forged that he hasn't come up with a use for. The Stone Sphere is an artifact that will basically give me a remote scout in any province for free - reasonably handy.
I don't pretend to know which commanders are which. Still, we killed stuff. That's good, right?
The barbarians easily crush my minimal PD.
Midgard attacks the province I've sent my supercombatant to.
This battle is why I'm kind of an idiot. I forgot to set battle orders for him. He's all rigged up for physical combat, but the AI will usually follow mage orders if the character has mage paths.
Sure enough, my indestructible melee monster casts Blade Wind twice and lies there unconscious while the troops get slaughtered. Good fucking job.
Despite being unconscious and choosing the wrong abilities constantly, he still fights off Midgard's Skinshifters, and then . . .
Well, look at that. That's an arrow barrage. He's taking far less damage than they're doing in friendly fire. And he's unconscious.
After quite a few turns of being beaten on, he routs thanks to all of his friends being dead, still with 190/234 hit points. That was pretty damn embarrassing. No permanent damage - he has no afflictions and he escaped fine - I just feel like a moron.
Well that's a great start.
Thankfully, the rest of the battle goes better. That one lightning strike ends up accounting for a third of my entire casualties.
You know what happens when you hit a werewolf with a meteor?
I'm actually not sure what that disco ball in the middle is. Petrify, maybe? In any case, Barra is ours again. A few of Midgard's mages "escape", but since their escape route was long ago cut off by C'tis, it's not like it matters.
In Grey Mountains, Gath decides to leave their newly-secured capital and go territory-hunting. It works great, in the sense that they squash some lizards and claim some territory. C'tis immediately jumps their fort in Banded Hills and returns to sieging it.
In Urd, our melee-heavy force moves forward to capture a little more land, and succeeds with casualties. We're down to about 40 soldiers in that group - enough for now, but ground forces really aren't cutting it anymore.
We find a pair of magic sites there, only one of which is actually useful.
T'ien Ch'i attacks Behemoth's Rest and loses to my PD. Good job.
And here's an example of the AI being fucking retarded. Terminus is quite a nice assassin - he's reasonably deadly, extraordinarily stealthy, and ethereal thanks to his gear. This is a character who can single out individual commanders and slay them, and as he's a mercenary, he's one of the few ways for a nation without racial assassins to pull off that particular maneuver.
T'ien Ch'i is using him to fight province defense.
T'ien Ch'i attacks with the Master with an Iron Crutch again. He dies rapidly. Still at 1hp.
The assault against T'ien Ch'i goes quickly. My mages obliterate the incoming troops, then my priests banish the inevitable skeleton spam.
My army flows rapidly through the gate, slaying all that they find within. The capital is ours.
And yes, that's the Master with an Iron Crutch yet again. We won't be seeing him any more - he can't regenerate in T'ien Ch'i's capital once we own it.
We don't get to recruit the special troops, but we do get T'ien Ch'i's gem income, which is nothing to complain about.
We lose a scout to Man's armies, we siege.
Every race, as I've mentioned before, has a few heroes. The Master with an Iron Crutch, for example. It's taken forever for us to get one of ours, but he's finally here. Let's see if he's useful.
Actually, yeah. This guy's an amazing siege unit. I have no idea how we'll get him anywhere useful, but in terms of siege strength he's an entire army solo. And he's got Air, something which we find ourselves in a constant shortage of.
So, let's see. East to west this time.
We want to reclaim Glade Woods, right next to Arco itself, and we don't want them to continue their invasion. We increase the PD at the province south of them and fire off a shitload of Mind Hunts at their current province.
In fact, we now have upgraded Mind Hunts. We've forged some gear to improve the chance of our Mind Hunts landing - we should have a substantially higher chance of killing the targets. We've also forged another Starshine Skullcap, so we've got five Mind Hunts going, all with a +1 or +2 bonus to spell penetration.
(Future Me: There's another item I should be using, the Eye of the Void. It's a double-edged item in many ways. First, it's a permanent replacement for a character's eye, which implies some accuracy penalties as they'll pick up the Lost an Eye affliction the instant you slot it in. Second, while it gives a powerful +2 penetration bonus, it gives -2 magic resistance. All of this together makes it good, but not ridiculous, for combat mages.
It's absolutely fucking brilliant for Mind Hunt artillery, since precision and magic resist are both irrelevant.
Unfortunately I discover its existence about a week after the game ends, so you won't be seeing any of them. But I really should be using them.)
We drop all the Arco-recruited troops on a commander and send him to finish off that province. Shouldn't be too hard.
We also give Barathrus orders and send him to hit Vlecz, the province we'd originally aimed him at anyway. Conveniently, he routed to the only province that wasn't further away from his actual destination - that turn could have gone better, but it also could have gone a lot worse.
Our military moving north is about to run into a castle. We let it continue. Our scout report is that there's literally no province defense, and the castle is defended by militia and a few Skinshifters. Let's risk it. We'll need mages fast, and these castles are the key to us getting mages easily and cheaply.
Our new Tartarian is actually rather nice. She won't be able to wear foot armor, which is a bit of a disadvantage, but she's shown up with a single affliction - Feeble Minded. That should wear off quickly.
Speaking of wearing off, our other two Tartarians have both regrown their eyes. They should be useful as well pretty soon, though we still need to start flinging Gift of Reason around if we want them to become commanders.
Over in Agartha, we've got a Barbarian incursion nearby. We've got most of a non-magic army ready already, but we recruit a pair of Elephants first - we'll send the army out next turn.
In Carnag, we're down to three diseased Sages. I don't know if the disease will take effect before Gift of Health does, but I pull the lanterns off the remaining sages anyway.
I rearrange the troops in Barra and send them up to Sermioc. Freedom for all! Once I've gotten Sermioc cleared, I'll move west and take out that little enclave in Kishia. Then, who knows? Maybe north to finish off T'ien Ch'i entirely.
Azimar and Boddern Weald will abide.
Our army in Miscya, west of T'ien Ch'i, moves north to Typhalia. Our army in T'ien Ch'i moves to Miscya. Actually, that's a lie.
A commander with the Sea King's Goblet, a priest with the Shambler Skin Armor, and a Mystic with the Wave Breaker move west.
The Wave Breaker is a bit of a weird choice. It's not a very good weapon. The important part is that it's a weapon. We're going to want to load him up with Water magic once he's in the water, and that means two Misc slots and a Body slot worth of gear. Every underwater breathing item besides the Wave Breaker is a Misc or Body slot, and until someone mentioned it, I thought I would have to teleport Mrs. Butterworth down.
It's expensive, but it's worth it to not risk Mrs. Butterworth.
(Future Me: Actually, it's a surprisingly good weapon. It sucks as a weapon, but it autocasts a spell called Friendly Currents that basically makes your troops rock and enemy troops suck. If I were planning to do a lot of fighting with armies underwater, keeping a dude in the back ranks with a Wave Breaker would be a damn good idea.)
Those three units have an important task: secure a single ocean square, then set up a lab and summon some water troops.
Along with that, I'm crafting a pile of extra gear this turn, largely to gear up those very same water troops. You'll see what I get soon.
Our income is nearly at 4000 - all the new territory is increasing our cashflow quickly.
Obviously I've got scouts going fucking everywhere right now, I've been recruiting them heavily and don't currently plan to stop. The confusing red arrows are priests - I've got a few priests wandering around so they can build temples and I can start pushing my dominion out more heavily. Money's not doing much good sitting in the bank.
Next turn we'll see a real supercombatant. We'll also hopefully recapture some terrain, and reduce T'ien Ch'i's land even further. We'll finish Construction 8 and move on to the long push for Alteration 9.
Next: How a King of Elemental Earth is supposed to behave.