Part 72: Turn 62: We Had Such Plans
Alright, we'll get that thing forged.
It's possible we just got really unlucky there. It's also possible they had a very powerful Nature caster putting up the enchant. It's also possible they put a lot of gems into it that I wasn't expecting.
30 astral gems down the tubes.
(Future Me: In retrospect, I'm actually really curious which of those it was.)
I don't know why everyone's prophetizing right now.
I'll . . . consider that a fair trade, I suppose.
Battle reports. In Baptizer - yes, that's the name of the province - Embaar drives off the independent troops. Amusingly, he does so by only attacking once, because - once again - I totally forgot to set up his battle commands and he spent the entire thing chaincasting Earth Meld.
Yeah. Not so useful.
Luckily, his stratospheric built-in Fear causes them to run away quickly.
In Chilad, we're attacked by another group of Midgard soldiers. I wasn't really expecting this, and also, didn't have forces worth mentioning, so my enormous slinger blob ends up losing some members and spreading out to the four winds in retreat. Sigh. We do manage to beat the attackers, but it's sort of a . . . silly . . . battle.
A large C'tis military force moves into Tenvir and rather effortlessly squashes my PD.
In Urd . . .
I was expecting that my large hit point quantity, stratospheric Protection, and Soul Vortex would leave Kumlakh as his invulnerable self, while Fluffy Bunnies, crippled as he is with many afflictions, would end up dying quickly.
What I'd forgotten was that Fluffy Bunnies still has Astral 1, giving him Body Ethereal and Luck. Additionally, he's flying, so the C'tis units simply don't get there fast enough for Soul Vortex to be useful.
My supercombatant Tartarian is slain.
Needless to say, that could have gone a lot better, especially since I can't really replace him right now. I also lose the Sickle from C'tis, although I can now forge a replacement myself and it actually paid for itself (though I would have preferred if it had, you know, more than paid for itself.)
Moving right along, my communion attacks Werk Enum.
And that's a lot of lizards.
And then it's a lot of burning lizards.
And then it's a lot of fleeing burning lizards being chased by elephants.
And then it's a lot of fleeing burning lizards being chased by burning elephants. Yeah, uh, careful with the friendly fire there, guys.
We end up losing five units, and I think at least three of those were thanks to a missed Gifts from Heaven.
In Mapito Cliffs, a war communion kills seven infantry and an easily-frightened Cave Drake.
This is not the scariest cave drake I've ever seen.
Gol Ryepe: Philetor annihilates some PD.
Silver Fangs: Nice big Gath army. Gath's turning things around quite well, actually.
Welrydh: Barathrus stomping on some PD.
Holy shit that is a lot of mages.
I mean, I've fielded more than that myself, but rarely - I'd estimate that as thirty or forty mages, with very few other troops. And a lot of them are carrying gems. This looks like a last stand to me.
Meanwhile, the only thing Ulm has of note is that Bane Lord thug of his, a few mages, and some ranged troops. Useful, sure, but not the same cataclysmic force that Jomon may be wielding.
With that many Astral mages, Jomon puts up a communion fast. A few Earth Elementals and a storm of lightning bolts follow, but nothing immediately dangerous as yet. More lightning, more lightning, Flare - it's kind of like a crappier Fireball - and I realize what the problem is.
Jomon has no research.
I could tear Ulm's army apart with Jomon's army, but Jomon simply doesn't have anything high-caliber to fire.
Even despite that, the Bane Lord almost collapses to the lightning barrage, dropping all the way to 16 hit points, and then . . .
That's it for the Bane Lord.
Jomon's Militia flees shortly afterwards. Jomon has enough spell power to gradually scrape Ulm's army to death . . . but not fast enough. Enough of Jomon's units have been slain, or fled, that Jomon flees the battle once again. Still, the core of their forces - the mages - are nearly intact, and Jomon can doubtless win the battle given one more attempt.
Unfortunately, Jomon doesn't have that option. I don't have a battle report for it, since it went without a battle, but as of this turn Ulm owns that province and the castle located inside it.
Glimmering Fields: Atlantis moves its enormous army out of the capital and absolutely flattens some Man troops.
Ocean of Plenty: Thalassa effortlessly takes out more province defense.
Silvania: Mictlan takes a Midgard castle.
Black Alps: Our scout dies.
Okay we're not really surprised by that. We were just trying to get recon info. Results: one Statue without any magic paths, a bunch of moderately dangerous Mages.
I think, with our ultracommunion, we can pretty reliably squash these forces. We have, quite literally, sixty mages available. I'm pretty sure we're going to win.
So let's think about Man.
I really need more gem income, from quite a large number of sources, and I really need to take Gift of Health back. It's possible Man is pulling out Tartarians. I don't actually know. But as long as I yank Gift of Health back reasonably soon, he probably won't be able to pull out that many.
I also want some big global gem collector spells. Most notably, Well of Misery and Maelstrom. Well of Misery is currently owned by Ulm, but I'd love to get that huge number of gems flowing in. Maelstrom is a Water enchant that also provides a small amount of all other gems. I'll need 80 gems each, Death and Water. I'm close to that, but, perhaps, not close enough.
Also it'd be awesome to get Arcane Nexus out once I can. But that's still a ways off.
My strategy for the near future: conservation. I'd also like to start doing nasty things to Mictlan, but that will take another turn or two to really gear up for. I'm pretty much satisfied with my position against C'tis right now - hopefully Gath will finish them off the rest of the way, 'cause I'm outta there.
Barathrus moves to the last Midgard province to the northwest. My armies converge on Lettia, hoping to make it a quick siege. Phyleides breaks the siege in Robber Home.
Polypoites, the Tartarian who spent last turn "Reanimating", is now building a mausoleum. I also observe that there are four new nigh-worthless Ghouls in Arco. Thank you, Polypoites. Thank you so much.
My barbarian-killers move to, well, kill some barbarians. I've got a great big army in Boddern Weald, and I jump it down to Linshire.
Thalassa moves on to conquer more of the sea. Speaking of the sea, remember that independent sea province we just grabbed? Yeah, I launch another mage into the ocean to cast Voice of Tiamat.
Air gems are one of the few types that we have no need to hoard. Dodonga casts Dome of Solid Air on Arco. We'll have two domes up, and that should leave us near-invulnerable to ranged attacks. I mean, unless someone starts up a serious barrage.
I fail to come up with anything useful for Mrs. Butterworth to do. She researches.
Right now I'm negotiating with Gath to get The Chalice from him. If I succeed, I'll probably move against Mictlan. If I don't, I'll probably move against Gath. I'm shifting my forces, not to the Mictlan border, but very close to the Mictlan border. We'll see how well that works. I'm also hiring an absolute assload of scouts - I really need full coverage on Man, Gath, C'tis, and Mictlan right now, and that just ain't happening right now.
Next: Piles of gems.