Part 9: Turn 7Turn 7
gonadic io posted:
My unicyclist force takes the small candle province losing only 1-2 unicyclists and a juggler. They're being so effective at expansion in fact that I'm going to split them into two squads
The good idea fairy is coming home to roost with this one. The split squads have taken a lot more attrition than they would have together and they've still only been able to average 1 province every other turn each anyway! Case in point was their battle this turn in Maybe Mountains where almost all of the unicyclists died and now I'll have to recombine the blobs anyway.
In Haerdalas' Grove, U's cap circle province, we cleared out some more druids and dark vines for them. Aren't we such a good neighbour! We lost a clown due to a bleeding spell from the druids unfortunately, now I was kind of wishing I'd taken regeneration bless. N10 for larger and regeneration would have been incredibly pricey (but pretty funny).
We also got some cool events this turn! 500 gold and some nature gems is not bad at all. Finally we were successful on our bid for Obscuro The Illusionist, the mercenary mage. Obscuro 1) sounds like he would fit in at a circus, and 2) gives us our first research points in the game, on turn 7. Our research has been literally 0 so far, and will continue to be dogshit for a while. Every mage that we produce (every 2 turns) immediately gets given a posse of giant clowns and sent out into the world.
Talking of sending clowns out into the world, Brazenly Breathtaking the Thirteenth Clown is once again taking an extra big squad of 8 clowns and is heading north into the lizard province, Greevil's Bog. Since lizard warriors can be scary he's going to take along one of the unicyclist squads to use as chaff. "But Gonadic IO" you say, "since you have your prophet is there anyway wouldn't it have been better to use Divine Blessing on him instead of wasting the Thirteenth Clown's script on it?" Yes. Yes it would have.
On the east side we're pretty much expanded out already. We can't go any further without going via Fennoscandia's cap circle which admittedly is certainly an option. Our route into the caves is blocked by the hefty throne on Shattered Nap. I certainly don't want to take this any time soon as each enormous clown is very precious to me and I'd lose too many.
On the west side it's a pretty similar story. There's another of U's cap circle provinces we could take, or a province with 60 angry dog-people in, or there's a throne with 200 fire snakes. We meet both U and Eljudinar in that direction. I had really hoped not to be next to the cold ghosts but there you go. At least our dominion is pretty pushed out in that direction so we don't have to worry about their cold/death scales just yet. The only place that we can still expand is north past the lizards so our forces regather to head in that direction. Maybe we can get a bump with Ejudijnar although I'm much less confident that it'd go well for me.
Talking of U, we have one of their cap circle provinces. In general it's a declaration of war to be holding onto opponent cap circles so I agree to give it back to them - I get 60 gold per turn that I hold it so I sneakily put 1 PD in to stop U from sending just a single scout to claim it back.
Thanks to the gold event we are even able to 1) start a fort in Jessica's Oasis which has a nice high amount of recruitment points so I can afford maximum clownage, and 2) start to recruit one of these big boys:
Ancient Clowns are what really rounds off this nation. Their randoms are two picks of A/W/S, and one pick of F/A/W/S which in practice means they roughly average out to A2W2S3. A 7 path mage with holy 3 and also decent stats for 550 gold is a pretty good rate! Normally they're a pitiful size 5 but larger works well on them too giving them a total of 72 hp! Great thug chassis, great casters, good randoms - they are top notch. Every one of these I lose will be very painful. The high astral gives them another use that's not immediately obvious: magic dueling rocks. Karanaac are pretty vulnerable to magic duel because even the boosted elder stones actually count as just S1 and an S3 or S4 can sweep them away easily. It is, of course, high risk high reward since there's still a pretty good chance to draw or lose the duel.
In summary I'm feeling pretty happy about my position so far. The map feels much tighter than I was expecting but my two immediate neighbours are both pushed up to their cap circles and I have a decent chunk of the bottom of the map. Between me no longer needing mages for expansion and my second fort coming online I'm hoping my research will start to pick up. I head to evocation 1 immediately which makes clown mages at least a presence in combat and then construction 2. With my plentiful air mages I plan to have several Air Quills (cheap research boosters) on production for pretty much the entirety of the game.