Part 2: Turn 2Turn 2
Time for the traditional turn 2 ritual: picking apart prophet names. This also gives us a chance to peek at what each of the other nations and their starting commanders are like, or at least most of them.
If you need a refresher on which blesses are which then ramc's LP had excellent guides:
Water: Better Down Where It's Wetter.
Nature: The Seaweed is Always Greener.
Air: No Troubles, Life is the Bubbles.
Fire: And Why Does It (What's the Word?) Burn?
Death: Poor Unfortunate Souls.
Blood: It Won't Cost Much.
Earth: What Have They Got, a Lot of Sand?
Astral: They Weren't Kidding When They Called Me, Well, A Witch.
Combo Blesses: Thingamabobs? I Got
Not a bad start, Fennoscandia are the norse/troll nation with heavy themes of nature and death. Their titles suggest that their god has air, water, and earth magic. Their scales are heavy order and decent dominion strength. Not really sure what they've gone for, it might just be some resistances or it might be something crazy with thunder weapons + quickness. Their trolls aren't sacred, only their cap only humans so I probably wouldn't go wild with them myself.
A proclamation from Fennoscandia!
traditional swedish rotten fish the Finnaithae Chieftain shall hereby be known as the prophet of drinking vodka in a sauna, the Pillar that is Purity, God of Mists, Lord of Air, the Unmoving Master.
Their starting prophet is just one of their starting humans:
The Ssaon'raha are the nation of praying mantises where it looks like the modder really got carried away coming up with names. They have fire and air magic and a lot of national buffs to make their mages into pretty scary flying thugs.
A proclamation from Ssaon'raha!
Joemama the Hai'khekion'rah shall hereby be known as the prophet of Jtzheka'ral, Princess of Spontaneity, the Invincible and Ever-triumphant.
Their titles don't give much information only a female pretender with turmoil.
I'm just not going to touch this one. Mid dominion strength, max order, max growth, and nature magic. Anglia themselves are pre-WW1 Britain with a very heavy ranged focus and recruit anywhere sacred riflemen. Heavy air magic but also a smattering of most paths.
A proclamation from Anglia!
Lord Mountbatten the Redcoat Officer shall hereby be known as the prophet of Rampant Pedophilia, Master of Order, King of Horses, God of Vegetation.
Before the game they were talking about the barkskin bless as a way to turn mediumly armoured humans into heavily armoured humans and it sounds like they have pretty decent scales otherwise. Thunder weapons is great on ranged sacreds since the stun helps prevent enemies from moving into range but barkskin AND thunder weapons AND those scales would be pretty pricey.
The titles say only order 3 and production 3, i.e. heavy scales. This is Kitfox, a player known for being very passive and favouring troop heavy strategies. Also for putting 99 defense into every province. I suppose the prophet name is nice and literal. Ants have nice troops including some very tough cap-only sacreds and mostly astral/earth magic.
A proclamation from Myrmecos!
sneaky ant what spreads heresy the Myrmecosa Scout shall hereby be known as the prophet of ants in your pants do the dance, the Most High, Princess of Ostentatious Ornament.
As foreshadowed, Karanaac are the bogeyman of mods games (at least until the pokemon nations came along) and I won the previous one with them. They are sentient immobile rocks that have to teleport everywhere but are very good at it. Until mid-late game they mostly focus on sitting in battle and not dying since they don't get any attacks. In my game I took resistances (specifically the earth bless for fire and shock resistance) and fire shield on them which 1) makes them good at not dying, and 2) makes not dying pretty effective against most troops who incinerate themselves punching a fiery rock.
A proclamation from Karanaac!
A large fellow the Wise Figure shall hereby be known as the prophet of burning man, Master of Fires of the Earth, King of Tremors, the Vessel of Might, King of the Stony Ground.
I'm less worried about them since I specifically gave my troops fire resistance to beat the fire shield, lots of strength to punch through the rock protection, and magic resistance/weapons to bypass sneaky astral buffs. Honestly I hope I'm near them because they have a slow start and I'm pretty confident I could walk all over them early.
The titles here inform us of a fire and earth pretender, as well as a little turmoil. Turmoil is interesting because it reduces income and Karanaac needs a lot of gold to buy its tough and powerful mages. I would think that they must have an awake expensive pretender or have gone heavier than normal on the bless. Karanaac itself has earth/nature/astral mages with a bit of death and they can field very powerful communions once they've researched some decent spells.
Since, as mentioned, Karanaac is a nation mostly of immobile rocks they don't start with a scout but instead with an immobile rock.
Ejuldnir are the cold ghosts that all have fire vulnerability and little in the way of armour. To make up for that however their melee attacks are powerful and often lifedraining. Eldjunir spread cold and death meaning you really don't want to be next to them, and most of their units get more powerful in cold and death dominion. Cold power and death power on Ejuldner's units stack giving massive +6 boosts to most stats and they're probably the scariest troops to fight against with my giant clowns since the attack/defense differential in the right scales really makes a big difference. I really really hope Edjulnir are not close.
A proclamation from Eljudnir!
Stay Out of the Basement the Herald shall hereby be known as the prophet of Welcome to Dead House, King of Kings, Guardian of the Dead, the Burning Soul, the Everburning One.
Their titles show strong death magic, and fire. I can only assume they've taken a decent amount of fire resistance but the death could be a few things - decay weapons, undead regeneration, lots of undying for free extra HP on undead troops spring to mind. Maybe even something really spicy like reanimators or fear!
Welcome to the Dead House? Didn't we already see this pretender? They've propheted a perfectly normal black knight and probably have just a lot of heavily armoured troops just like vanilla Ulm.
A proclamation from Chasos!
Albert the Black Knight the Chasos Mounted Legate shall hereby be known as the prophet of Welcome to the Dead House, Queen of Illusion and Masquerade, Mistress of the Pole Star.
No wait, that's right it's the ILLUSION nation. Massive amounts of air and astral with a very heavy focus on phantasms and illusions. Their titles are air and strong astral. Since their phantasms have only 1 hp and mostly rely on not getting hit, I would assume they've taken luck or twist fate which help prevent that fatal blow. Not sure what the air is, it could be shock resistances to protect from the shock waves of their own thunderstrikes, or thunder weapons to give their sacred illusions some serious offense? None of the other air blesses seem likely to me.
U is the nation that I previously described as just feet but that's not quite accurate. Sometimes they also have legs, torsos, and arms and not always the number of those that you might expect. They never have heads but sometimes there are faces. Seriously, we'll just have to see them. They can cast spells from all types of magic but also in a very weird way.
A proclamation from U!
Heraclitean Statics the Sciapod Chieftain shall hereby be known as the prophet of Oxymoronics, Seducer of Life, Master of Inventions, King of Forgiving.
The titles here show us blood and earth magic. Honestly I have absolutely no idea what this could be, U can suit a lot of different strategies depending on which units you focus on.
Finally, this is us! I don't know if anybody else looked up the titles like this but ours show blood, astral, earth, and nature magic with luck and turmoil scales. Maybe it's just because I know my own bless but they seem way more revealing than anybody else's. I suppose that blood surge and regeneration would be another valid blood/nature bless but either way it's obvious that I've gone for a pretty heavy bless.
A proclamation from Kirkostaculis!
so intense in his cuckoo hostility the Lion Tamer shall hereby be known as the prophet of Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar, Lord of Madness, Prince of the Rock, Gardener of Happiness, Eater of Filth.
Right, as for my actual turn there's not a massive amount to say.
My scout, or mime rather, is heading east since that area is a bit tighter and I'd like to secure some chokepoints (and prepare for neighbours) asap. Mimes, of course, start with the mute affliction which halves their magic skills. Normally this doesn't matter but let's just say that in a test game I found out the hard way that you shouldn't make one your prophet.
Looking around there's a lizard province, Greevil's Bog, across a mountain from my cap which is an extremely nice source of nature/astral mages but they can be a bit annoying to expand into. The province my prophet and starting army is going to take though is Plains of the Blood Turkey which somehow has an very strong 144 income. This is pretty important because with my scales and expensive large adult sons I'm going to be hurting for gold most of the game. There's a lot of troops there but these amphibious independents are notoriously poor quality so while I'm a bit worried I take the gamble. I hope it goes well!
My expansion force is still not ready due to the 3 commander point mages I've previously mentioned. Since you get 2 commander points per turn I could queue up another mage this turn with the leftover point but I don't have the money so all my clown mages are effectively 4 commander points for now. I can afford however 3 more giant clowns giving me a total of 5 next turn which is an effective force of expanders.
I still have absolutely no research. Also I forgot to mention it last turn but the first mercenaries were the Ship Wreckers AKA the best early game mercenaries and they're always heavily contested. Since I absolutely could not afford to place a bid on them myself I settled for pointing them out in chat in hopes of driving the price up and they went to Ejludnor in the end.
All in all I'm pretty happy with this start! Who do people think has the best prophet/pretender name combo? I like Fenno's myself.