Part 77: Turn 66: Well, At Least The Shields Work
. . . Whoops.
It hadn't occured to me that the gate stone would count as a spell, nor that I'd end up blocking my own spells. Apparently you do! It's a good thing I didn't have a Fire dome or a Frost dome up, or I might have killed the commander and lost the Gate Stone, which would be a bit of a disaster.
I'll have to recast my Air dome, but it could be far worse. And we've learned something. That's half the battle right there.
Vine Men. That's a new one on me.
The intention was to keep her close to the heavy infantry so she wouldn't be jumped by flanking maneuvers. Unfortunately, I forgot that Horse Tribe Cavalry is really based around archery instead.
My army routs immediately, of course, taking no other damage.
I reinforce the PD around that province and send a second priestess down to try again, this time in a less stupid manner, and with a few extra independent commanders recruited from the nearby area.
Elkland: Midgard figures out why not all mercenary bands are useful.
Urd: I take that eastern C'tis province with few losses.
Binophe: Jaguar Warriors versus Midgard crappy troops.
Forest of Idun has a pretty neat army. Dire wolves in the south, wolves in the north, Great Bears in the center. It's going up against a rather minimal set of Midgard defenders and Midgard pretty much gets crushed.
I really wanted to show you the bears.
Oh hey, those are Vine Men. Led by a Vine Ogre.
It turns out that both Vine Men and Vine Ogres are hilariously flimsy. Their defense skill is absolute rock-bottom and so is their protection. They've got a reasonable number of hit points but it just isn't enough, and while their strength is high, their attack actually has a minus to damage.
They get absolutely crushed.
In Latien, my new element-resistant Barathrus runs up against a whole pile of mages. They proceed to spam him with Mind Burn which does absolutely nothing. Then they attack him with birds, which do absolutely nothing. Then the serpents show up, which actually manage to slightly wound him (it regenerates instantly) before fleeing for their lives, along with the remnants of Jomon's army.
No sooner has the dust cleared and Ulm strides in, trying to take the same province. They manage to paralyze him for 30 turns. He's quickly surrounded by militia, light infantry, and Great Bears, all trying futiley to get through his 32 defense.
After several turns the militia, light infantry, and Great Bears all fail their morale checks roughly simultaneously, and run from the still-paralyzed Barathrus. A bunch of Villains attack, doing more damage to their allies than to Barathrus. Once the fleeing units leave, the entire army routs, leaving Barathrus with full hit points and 15 turns left on his Paralyze timer.
He literally does not get a single chance to attack for the entire battle.
The magic units die anyway - their morale is "never rout" and they fall to pieces once all the mages capable of sustaining them leave the battlefield.
In Ultima Delca, we get another look at Man's Bane Lord, fucking up a pile of infantry thoroughly.
Hynaphe: My Titan somehow manages to defeat 1 PD.
My Shamblers sent to Lucky Lake retake it with ease.
Atlantis's army sent to Ocean of Plenty retakes it with ease.
My Queen sent to Ocean of Despair takes it with ease.
I end up getting two magic sites there.
Kind of a questionable unit. He's cool, don't get me wrong, and handy if you want underwater invasions, but in order to get him you have to already be underwater. Plus, ten air-breathers isn't really a lot of troops.
We also don't have a shortage of W2 mages.
And over in Jomon's capital . . .
So there's where the other King of Elemental Earth is. I'd like to stay the fuck away from that until I see what he's wearing. So we're scouting it, obviously - I should see what he's got when he breaks Jomon - while moving somewhat away. Barathrus and Phyleides are grabbing the two remaining Jomon provinces while a scout with Shambler Skin Armor moves into that little lake. I'm actually expecting the Bane Lord to jump the lake also, so I probably won't get it, but it's worth a try.
Meanwhile up in Atlantis, Man has moved "120 units" there. This leaves me annoyingly unable to prepare - it's right on the cusp of taking one more turn to siege or two more turns to siege. Oh well, it doesn't really matter - I'll know the instant the monolith goes down, and I don't need any prep for my response to that.
Remember that little Jomon cul-de-sac that we went out to grab? Well, Jomon's decided to build a fort there. To make it worse, Philetor doesn't want to attack the fort, instead preferring to "Whisper to the Dead". Fuck you, Philetor.
We were planning to move Polypoites to Silver Fangs, but he didn't move. I changed his gear and I guess I forgot to reset his orders - sometimes gear changes will cancel all orders. Now both him and Embaar are sitting in Lettia, and I move them both to Silver Fangs.
I think I'm going to be attacking Midgard next turn. We can use the extra time to accumulate some more mages and move into position, but I think it's time. This does technically mean that I shoudl be moving Phyleides to a lab so she can Cloud Trapeze over, but I can wait a turn on that.
We're accumulating armies at Silver Fangs, Robber Home, and Vlecz.
Each one of them is getting a small or large communion, with gems to cast Power of the Spheres and Warriors of Muspelheim.
The usefulness of this against a race that does fire damage with every attack should go without saying.
Silver Fangs is getting the worst communion out of all of them - a mere nine mages. I'll be struggling a bit to cast Warriors of Muspelheim, in fact. It's getting about a hundred mixed Hoplites and Hypaspists, with an extra 30 Cerulean Warriors and 63 Slingers. To boost things a bit, it's also getting a pair of Tartarians. Both of them are natively fire-immune - I'm hoping to use them to capture the entire northern front of Mictlan in short order.
Silver Fangs is going to head south, either shattering Midgard's siege of Vician Forest or sieging them inside their own castle. Or maybe missing them and just sieging a castle. Depending on what happens, the Tartarians will either stick out the siege to provide fire support, or will strike out east to wreak havoc.
Vlecz is getting the communion that was just finishing up C'tis. 26 mages. There's a mere 20 hoplites involved in this, so I'm also grabbing 80 more Hoplites from the adjacent Robber Home, as well as 60 Hypaspists and 110 siege fodder.
Vlecz is heading southeast to grab the coastal fortresses. If I can, I'll shatter the still-running siege of Vath. If I can't, I'll just siege Vath next.
Robber Home has 17 mages and 100 Hoplites. That seems a bit paltry, but I'm porting in another 60 Hoplites from Barra (the same group that failed to get into Arco) to join them.
Robber Home is heading east, then possibly dodging south to siege Midgard itself. I also may have this group split up a bit and go east.
In a turn or two I'll be grabbing Phyleides and start a Gate-Stone-fueled assault of Midgard's back quarters. This assumes Man doesn't decide to attack me, which he might, but I think he'd probably rather go after Ulm.
Worth pointing out that one of my uncommandered Tartarian Titans is now unafflicted. I can Gift of Reason her at any point - I've already got most of her gear forged. Again, though, saving gems for the giant global enchant spam.
My T'ien Ch'i communion is also moving closer - it'll reach Arco next turn, and reach the front line in a turn or two. That's another 60 mages. I'm also recruiting about ten mages per turn, and probably something like forty or fifty Hoplites, and they're all funneling towards Mictlan.
As usual, the Mage Road is highly visible.
Next: The assault against Mictlan begins.