Part 51: Turn 42Turn 42
Last turn Eyes of God went up and I posted the graphs into discord showing Anglia in a clear lead. There was a bunch of back and forward, secret promises of support (that I'm sure were made to all parties), but no clear resolution.
Imagine my surprise then, when I am greeted with this. No not Chasos's new prophet, this:
I mean I don't really blame Atelier - they have a clear advantage and I'm in second with more land. If I were allowed to consolidate my holdings and get some decent mage production going it's possible that I would catch up.
Let's see what we're dealing with then! Oh also there's two spies raising unrest by 10 at a time I do not care at all.
In province 1, Sy Plateau, we have a coastal raiding force. One commander, a few guns, and some chumps to stand in the way.
There's only one commander because he's been given a pocket ship and the downside of that is that it only works on troops under your direct command. The upside is that this force is going to be able to hit pretty much any of our provinces that border the lake. This is going to be annoying to catch.
In province 2, Iseenu Beforest, we have an aerial raiding force. If I thought the last one was going to be annoying to catch, this one is going to be a nightmare. No items on the chief but there's no need for them either. They're "only" map move 20 so they're not quite as bad as that mantis queen was but this force will step right over small amounts of PD without even noticing it. The goal of raiding is not to have forces able to beat armies or 40+ points of PD, it's to take over every non-fortified province and this squad does the job well.
In province 3, Hadrids[sic] Forest, we have the backup army. A handful of mages with no items or gems backed up by cav (and joined by Anglia's prophet) are probably on their way to meet up with the main force while cleaning up any outlying provinces on the way.
In province 4, Shire (seriously what is up with these provinces names?), we have the real army. A big force of flyers, some cavalry on the wings, a small screening force, a lot of guns, and a LOT of mages.
The lightning bolt at the start of battle is Stanley the engineer here who has an earth booster, a shitload of earth gems, and also the Staff Of Storms which will auto cast storm at the start of a battle. Now you might wonder why Anglia, with their large number of guns, would want to cast an enchantment that makes ranged attacks way worse. There's two parts to this: 1) half of a large number is still a large number, and 2) when in a storm, all air mages can boost themselves up and as I've previously shown, thunder strike is one hell of a spell.
This is what a draconian looks like - they're strong and have a large HP pool, but they have only one attack and are pretty lacking in armour too. Their attack has a weak poison effect which is not nothing but as a size 4 unit with only average defence I am pretty confident in saying that a size 5 (thanks to my bless!) enormous clown would dumpster one of these. Their job is to jump into my mage backline and distract/kill the mages there while doing their best to avoid any bodyguards.
HOWEVER the other thing that storm does is to prevent anybody from flying. If that were a mage casting storm then you could have the flyers jump in before the cast finished but the staff does it instantly so instead all the draconians have to hobble forward on their weird legs. Unfortunate.
The actually scary portion of the force though are these guys. Great Engineers are Anglia's cap only mage and have fire/air/earth magic with level 3 in a path and level 1 in the others. The earth mages will be buffing the troops while the fire and air mages will throw out fireballs (not that impressive) and thunder strikes (extremely impressive). There are twelve Great Engineers here and this is a sign that Anglia is really committing to this fight. To put it in perspective, we've not yet recruited 12 of our 5+ path cap mages (Clowns Paramount and Ancient Clowns) this entire game.
As far as I can tell the Great Engineers are mostly the air ones i.e. the better ones. There's a few other mages here and there though with some supporting regular engineers, a Great Engineer with a fire booster and some gems, and a Spectral Mage summon who I suspect is mostly there to guard against mind hunts.
There's also this lucky guy who has the important job of Not Dying While Holding All The Gems.
If you've read the newbad LPs you'll be familiar with watching battles in which big forces get destroyed because they lacked mage support as the era of the game moves away from troops being king and towards mages getting better and better. This force does not lack mage support.
So the question is: what are we going to do about this? Well for one we still have a lot of very big clowns. Thanks to my paranoia last turn in moving a force back we can assemble a force of about 40 large clowns with 20 small ones. I'm also packing along a large number of air gems and pearls to go with them too. With both forces able to move up to Maybe Mountains I'm hoping to both avoid the problem we've previously had with forces getting caught apart, and maybe (heh) even surprise one of the raiding squads who might be expecting me to attack more directly. I just wish we had mind hunt up at this point it would really easily shut down those raiders - it's my next research priority.
Another reason I'm waiting a turn before engaging is that we're about to finish enchantment 6. This is an extremely important research level to fight Anglia with and I'm just glad they waited this long to attack me - if they'd done it 5 or so turns ago I would have been in a MUCH worse position. The main reason is that Arrow Fend negates 80% of missile weapons. I don't know exactly how it stacks with Storm but between the two of them it means that I don't really have to worry about Anglia's guns. Enchantment 5 had Thunder Ward to give 5 shock resistance in a large AOE. 5 resistance certainly isn't enough to shrug off a thunder strike but it'll make them much more resistant to the massive secondary shockwave and also any sacred rifle shots that do manage to make it through. You'll also note a national spell here that's something pretty special and we'll get to it when I cast it in a few turns.
In the cave provinces below we're at a bit of a stalemate. They'll probably attack soon enough but I'd rather maintain the defensive advantage for now.
Good to see that life is carrying on as normal elsewhere in our nation though.
Over on the other side of the world we have finally brought enough forces together that I'm comfortable engaging the first of the mantis stacks. A big force is moving in and everybody currently in the force is breaking out - they'll join up together on the battlefield. Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar, having turned up to cast a spell that he could have cast anywhere else, waves (metaphorically) good bye and teleports away to the place he should have gone to in the first place - Fallen of Coax which is the province containing the Steel Ovens site.
This is actually a bit of overkill here - either one of these forces might well have been able to beat the mantises. Together I have 60 enormous clowns and 50 small ones as well as a much of mages. The game plan is the usual one - buff the shit out of the troops while throwing around a bunch of lightning. Surely this time nothing can go wrong, right?