Part 78: Turn 67: Alpha Strike
Of course, we're about to hit Mictlan, so I don't think this will be a big problem overall.
Magic site found in Anvast, southwest of Jome.
I'm really not quite sure what's happening here. Somehow, Man is being attacked by a Gath scout, really early in the turn order - this is up in the "magic movement" phase. And yet, this scout doesn't seem to have any magical abilities that would let it move around in the magic movement phase.
Scout dies, we get to see Man's army. Looks like around 120 units, but mostly strength 11 and 12 besides the mages, so that comes out to about 150 siege power. They've probably cracked the fort this turn, then, and will be hitting the Monolith tomorrow . . . although I have no idea how they're planning to kill the Monolith.
The Kraken is presumably an independent-attack event much like the Vine Men.
Money is, of course, money.
Jerib: Mictlan recaptures that province that Midgard birded.
Werk Enum: Gath finally gets around to taking Werk Enum from us so he can consolidate his territory. It's a small army, but versus province defense it's easily capable.
The Mirks: Mictlan leaps upon Ulm. Really, the battle itself won't be interesting - Ulm's force is vastly inferior, I'm not even going to screenshot it - but seeing Mictlan's battle tactics will be useful.
To be honest, though, even Mictlan's battle tactics aren't all that interesting. Mictlan has jaguars, Mictlan blesses jaguars, Mictlan proceeds to use a bunch of moderately crummy spells. Falling Frost, Flame Bolt, it's all pretty conventional stuff. I'm not even sure their mages are well-scripted.
Akesta: Ulm attacks a Mictlan army. Mictlan has very few Jaguar Warriors in this group and Ulm manages to cut almost all of them down. In the process, Ulm loses their entire front line, and the remainder routs.
Surprisingly close, though.
Deep Sea: My attack-scout observes an army of . . .
. . . yeah.
He can't possibly win, which is why he's scripted to retreat, which he does quickly.
Annoyingly, this means he's not in the province to watch the battle against Man's Bane Lord, which the Bane Lord wins.
I'll admit I was expecting to fight the Bane Lord and retreat, so this isn't really a different result from the expectation. But still, what the fuck are those units?
Cacevic Highlands: no, this is a different Cacevic Highlands, not the one down south. Barathrus versus a Jomon army. Barathrus wins.
And captures us some magic sites.
Jomon's Celestial Soldier squad cleanly nukes a small Ulm army.
I think this may be a merc squad, now that I'm looking at it more closely. Rather effective one at that.
Ulipha: no no no stop that
Phyleides eats a pile of horror marks.
I suspect I might be running up against Jomon's last-ditch attempt to kill Ulm's bane lords, still scripted after going AI. Phyleides maybe picks up another twenty horror marks here - there's no way to count reliably - so there's a good chance she's very doomed in the moderate to near future.
Sucks to be me. We'll get what use we can out of her until then.
She does capture the province, though, and gets us more water gems.
In Dagor, Atlantis's sea trolls and monster fish splatter my Shamblers. Yeah, okay, there's other troops involved, but this is pretty much all seatroll/monsterfish.
In return, we conquer Ocean of Plenty and Mu with little trouble.
Mu turns out to be chock-full of glowing and moving things.
We lose Ocean of Despair, largely thanks to my Shambler commander getting killed early. Not a lot I could do about that as I'd just recruited him this turn and hadn't been able to set his orders yet.
Mictlan manages to siege Vician Forest right before we attack. Sigh.
You can see Mictlan's Arch Devil mucking about inside the walls. Besides that, it's just Jaguar Warrior spam.
The battle for the capital of C'tis.
It's actually nowhere near as even as it may look. C'tis's army is mostly Boars and weak Undead. Gath's army is mostly heavily-armed giants. Most of Gath's mages are powerful Priests, and the Banishment spam cuts down C'tis's weak Undead in droves. Then Gath's actual army arrives, and all the surviving Undead die quickly.
C'tis just doesn't have anything beefy enough to slow Gath down significantly, and Gath plows through effortlessly. C'tis's army routs before Gath gets past the gates, based solely on the Undead genocide.
And finally, we manage to lose an entire pack of five scouts moved into Stone Grave. Fitting name. Ironically, this will probably tip Mictlan off to our attack, if they wouldn't have noticed otherwise. It's ironic because the scouts really don't mean anything - we've got scouts infesting Gath and Man as well, and we'll be covering Ulm somewhat shortly as well.
Up in the center of the map, Barathrus moves to retake the one remaining Jomon province that we're near. Phyleides moves south to a lab to jump Mictlan from the rear. My Shambler Skin scout heads east, aiming for the eastern lake - he'll start scooping up those provinces once he gets there, assuming he gets there.
Philetor flips off the Jomon castle and runs back to the Mictlan front lines. He has better things to do that siege that castle. We'll worry about it later.
My army sieging Midgard's Silver Fangs splits in three. Embaar moves east, to strike at Mictlan's creamy candy center. My Slingers, Daidalos, and one Mystic remain in Silver Fangs to attempt to crack the castle. Everyone else - Polypoites, 130 heavy infantry of various types, two Sibyls and seven Mystics, moves south. I rig the Mystics to cast all my standard buffs - Power of the Spheres, Summon Earthpower, and Warriors of Muspelheim. Muspelheim won't make them immune to fire, but it will make them 50% resistant, which is still vastly worthwhile.
The Robber Home army heads east, punching at Mictlan's army. A similar communion setup, this time with 170 Hoplites but no Tartarian. Half a dozen Sibyls and a dozen Mystics fill out the magic contingent.
The Vlecz army discovers it has a rather important weakness: no Earth 2 mystics. Whoops. No E2 Mystics, and no Earth Gems, means no Summon Earthpower, and that's a critical spell. (Future Me: Yeah, I'm still forgetting that the important part of a Communion is that it's a Communion. I continue being a dumbass.)
With some grumbling I decide to just leave it there and send it a pair of Earth Boots via mage courier from Linshire. I could send it to siege southeast, but then I wouldn't be able to get the boots to it next turn, nor would I be able to shuttle gear around the turn afterwards. I do build a Lab and Temple there, largely out of a wish to do something with my forces rather than a desperate need for either a Lab or Temple. Can't hurt though.
There's actually a huge number of magicians joining Vlecz next turn - I may very well split into two groups once it's moved southeast - but that's OK, it includes a number of E2 Mystics and I should be able to cajole two reasonable groups out of it with little trouble.
My non-commander Tartarians have all lost their afflictions. We'd love to Commander them, but we need the nature gems for now - we'll get to it once we can.
I have reinforcements available in Arco. I toss the gate stone on a Strategos and warp him to Jome. I'm jumping him to Jome to consolidate forces - I'd normally just move Jome to Arco, but remember that I can't jump into Arco.
mage road mage road
The scraps I have surrounding Melma move into Melma again. This is C'tis's last province now, and we'd like to solve this problem once and for all. I zap them with another pair of Mind Hunts just to help clear stuff out.
Finally, in the northwest ocean, I move everyone east. Thalassa moves to hit Atlantis's fort - I'm hoping I can siege it and prevent anything new and nasty from spawning there - while my northwest set of Shamblers goes East to grab my territory back. I'm not doing much with the southern army, unfortunately. Oh, that's a lie, we're Mind Hunting it. There's a single Forgiving Father there, an Atlantian mage with powerful Water magic and Astral 1. We might end up Feebleminded but it wouldn't be the first time and it sure as hell won't be the last time.
As our Dominion takes over the old T'ien Ch'i territory, T'ien Ch'i's ruinous Sloth 3 scales are slowly going away. They'll soon be replaced by our Productivity 1, allowing us to produce substantially more Hoplites.
I also decide to reinforce the entire border against Man. We really have a horrifying amount of spare money right now, we may as well spend it. I don't believe Man is likely to attack me in a few turns, unless he decides that he wants to avenge Mictlan - which he might - but, hey, the money's not doing anything useful otherwise. We are literally recruiting a mage at every single fort we own and still ending up with spare money. I start two castles this turn, and position scouts so I can theoretically start two more castles next turn. 4 months until this pair is finished.
Obviously the important thing here is the assault on Mictlan. We're actually only hitting four provinces (there's a scout trying to grab an undefended province as well), but we're hitting them with overwhelming force, with obvious preparation to hit more - and cloaked preparation to hit even more. I don't know how much of Mictlan's army is tied up on the front line right now, but we stand to lock down and flatten that army in extremely short order, barring disaster.
The monolith might die next turn. If it does, we'll have almost 300 Astral gems ready for our Arcane Nexus.
Next: The first encounters.