Part 26: Turn 19Turn 19
Wait what? What throne do they have? They took the one just south of me, how on earth did I miss this?? Also they're clearing thrones while getting attacked on two fronts? I am 100% taking this throne off them before they can build a fort on it, that gives me 3 turns to do so. The throne of water gives W3 hydromancers which are great if you have no water access (they were pretty instrumental to my Karanaac win) but are only nice-to-have for me. I move some clowns south in case they decide to use that massive force of trolls to launch a preemptive strike against me.
U also claimed a throne this turn, the silver throne. Adepts of the Silver Throne would be nice for us to have but mostly because of their 25% chance of having the astral/earth cross path - that's the main one we're missing until our god wakes up. I really wish I'd taken it a few turns ago when I had the chance.
I changed my turn order at the last minute, directing the north-most force to clear out the Chasos indies. These were the ones where the commanders had feeblemind-on-damage swords so I wanted to hit it with the overwhelming force of enormous clowns and I certainly succeeded. I made a big wall to protect my valuable prophet and mages from any chance of feeblemind. I'm not entirely convinced if we'd notice if the Emerald Impaler got hit by one though, professional jousters aren't exactly known for their smarts.
The battle on the large candle went nearly perfectly. Even the small clowns, who could be trampled, were kicking ass too quickly to be in much trouble.
How might this go??
Oh, this is how.
We also see who this province is named after, and they're armed with a slap that permanently shrinks you. Sadly they ran off to die in the wilderness somewhere and didn't manage to hit any clowns with it despite how funny that would have been.
Since this is the first non-expansion fight we've been in (and nothing else happened this turn) I want to talk about our forces a bit. Chaos power, which gives bonuses to stats in turmoil dominion and penalties in ordered dominion, is some real shit. The recruitable clowns only have chaos power 1 at that, some of the summons have more. Also I'm only going to talk about clowns with the larger bless, it's less applicable without that.
Okay so I've been showing and talking about mostly the enormous clowns so far, and used them pretty exclusively for expansion. However they're a whopping 80 gold compared to the small clown's 30 and if you compare damage then against targets that are size 1-2 (both deal double damage with kicks), or size 5-6 (neither deal double damage with kicks) then 2 small clowns will deal more damage than 1 big one. The big ones have slightly higher attack/defense and double hp (so the same HP per square) and are additionally funnier but against, say, rocks there's an argument to be made that I should prefer the smaller ones. One instance where the smaller ones are much worse is against earthquake but it's still reasonably early so which nation out there would have the high earth, good research, and specific turn 1 summons that cast it every combat round??? (it's rocks, rocks are that nation).
Let's also talk about the clown buffs. They were added recently after the player in the first domingler game (who took death explosion and charged bodies bless incidentally) pointed out that clowns take a huge amount of attrition in fights and especially when expanding since they only have 4-5 protection. Having, say, a regen bless doesn't help you when you get chunked for 15-20 at a time by a single heavy infantry and losing the 80 gold enormous clowns to a province of 30 militia is incredibly painful.
There are three of them and they all require one priest level and one of another path. The first is the water buff, Coordinate Slapstick Display, and is my choice for expansion as previously discussed. Indies rarely have magic weapons and so this leaves clowns with effectively 20 protection - the same as heavily armoured knights. It's good.
Next Coordinate Magic Display the air spell gives mirror image. On regular troops with no magic paths it gives only 1 image but that's still a 50% chance to negate one otherwise successful attack. It's incredibly good with the Twist Fate bless to negate the first attack that would break the mirror image and that's a favorite combo of elf (or illusion) nations who also get mirror imaged troops. It's also another effect that's better for small clowns than big ones because then you get the effect twice instead of just once. This is why some of the clowns look blurred in the battle screenshot above (which also shows my spotty buff coverage). The clown mages like it even more because they get a lot more images - 2 per air path so on a thunder weapons pretender they'd have only a 1/15 or 6.7% chance of actually being hit by a melee attack.
The third spell is the astral variant Coordinate Miming Display. The protective force buff exists on a few items and on the Ice Shield spell but I'd never seen it before playing clowns. 50% chance to basically negate an attack but this time it doesn't go away after triggering once. Do note that it doesn't protect against armour-negating attacks like mirror image does but it seems better otherwise.
Even just Slapstick Display on its own turns clown expansion into god tier and with all three up then clowns are really hard to defeat in melee (in turmoil) without magic weapons at the bare minimum. The downside as you've seen is that it requires you to use your 3 commander point and 3 path mages to cart your troops around ensures that you have a pretty slow research start.
Back to this game, Anglia have moved onto Fennoscandia's cap leaving behind only a token besieging force on the cap circle fort. I don't have visibility ingame but they beat the cap PD easily. They also let me know that Fennoscandia have not, in fact, rushed the spell Foul Vapours to go with their poison resist bless. Totally baffling.
Fenno is going to have to really rush their throne force back to fight this off. My force moves up, I'm going to give Fenno 1-2 turns to fight off Anglia before I declare them a lost cause and take what stuff I can. I'm looking forward to the bunch of nature and death gems they might send me!
On the west side, it's finally time. Finally. Karanaac's god and 6 boar warriors are hanging out and I would love for them to either stay there or attack me but it's more likely they'll run off into the cap. That's fine I'll get them eventually. I let Karanaac's player know that I'm attacking them for the crime of playing rocks and I'll be happy to stop as soon as they give me their cap.
Karanaac get an incredible construction 6 teleport item for rocks/statues only and if my god got ahold of one of those he'd be totally unstoppable and never suffer from getting stuck on an enemy fort while unable to cast teleport to get away. That item alone is worth letting Karanaac live since without their cap they're much much less of a threat.
My black servant (yikes) also managed to scout out the lake this turn and Karanaac...haven't expanded there at all? What? They're by far the most underwater capable nation and a solid lake/island presence would be effectively impossible to root out. My amphibious indies can't kill 20 militia let alone a huge rock with astral shield.
I also had a quick chat with U who did manage use those immortal massive guys to kill a few Elder Stones, the cap only rocks that take 3 turns to recruit, so that's not nothing. Unfortunately they got repulsed again and one of those immortal 50-gem summons got soul slain by a rock so rip to him (soul slay ignores immortality and kills you stone dead which you don't come back from). Now there's a few big rocks sitting right in a chokepoint so they've basically given up.
Finally Pongy failed to find any sites yet again, and we got 3 nature gems from a bush. Seriously, 550 gold just strolling around providing basically zero value. That could be (I assume) roughly 3 more enormous clowns instead!