Part 1: Turn 1Turn 1:
In the beginning there was chaos, now the wheel has turned once again. I don't think I've ever actually read these messages even though I've seen them probably a hundred times. Note also the map in the background which is not the usual fare.
We are the nation of Kirkostaculis, an ancient society of noble clowns.
The clowns are led by the peerless pretender Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar
It starts imprisoned so it won't be available until about year 3 in game, so until then we'll have to rely only on its non-incarnate blesses which is all of them. Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar makes my clown troops absolute powerhouses dealing massive amounts of damage, with a good amount of HP and ability to survive magical retribution.
I'll be explaining the units as I recruit them because there's too many to show all at once. To explain my pretender choice let's look at my first recruit: the Enormous Clown.
They, like all clowns, have chaos power so will get stronger in turmoil dominion and weaker in order. They have 20 strength base, but with +3 strength from larger, +4 from the blood bless, and +3 from chaos power they can get to 30 strength even before unit experience. Their weapons are: a kick which deals double damage to enemies that are smaller than the clown, and a rubber hose which has 2 attacks and deals untyped damage so is hard to resist. Also a 20+ damage pie that will totally one shot a human but is generally only used when closing in.
They are also cap only, meaning I will only be able to get between 4-7 of them a turn and I will absolutely be getting the maximum number of them every turn I can. Sadly this turn I can only afford 2.
The rest of my bless is to help keep them relevant in the late game with fire and magic resistances, magic weapons, and low light vision. Additionally my bless was tailored to deal with a certain other nation that's pretty hard to fight, but we'll get to them later. They're a solid nation that can stonewall you if you haven't prepared or are having a rocky start.
My mage recruit this turn is a Thirteenth Clown:
These guys are good mages with the random path being one of fire/water/astral. Not a great leader but not too expensive gold-wise. Costing 3 commander points when I only get 2 per turn is a bit painful and they're also cap only at least until later on. The main reason I'm choosing this guy for my expansion armies is the clown national spell Coordinate Slapstick Display which gives a good amount of invulnerability in a decent area. Without it you tend to take too much attrition when expanding even with the insanely killy enormous clowns. With it however I have very strong expansion. There are plenty other national spells but we won't see them for a bit.
Finally we prophet our starting commander, So Intense In His Cuckoo Hostility. I won't spend too much time on these guys because they're not clowns and we will basically never recruit any more of them unless we really need some leadership.
Let's end the turn having a quick look around us:
Not a bad start at all! We're on the bottom edge of the map and have some nice room to maneuver around. There's four thrones (north, west, underwater, caves) that could be within easy reach (although we don't have any underwater capacity) and we're also 2 provinces away from a small candle. These are important because they connect to large candles spaced outside the map proper to allow fast movement across different corners of the map. Unlike the other games you may have seen, this map is not wraparound at all.