Part 58: Turn 48Turn 48
Well we get bad news pretty immediately. Remember what I was saying about there being absolutely no chance that Anglia had hit thau 9? Well this turn they hit conj 8, also a pretty major milestone and it shows that they're probably not all that far from thau 9 if they really went for it.
How do I know they hit conj 8 this turn?
Earth attack. Mother fucking earth attack.
It costs just 5 gems for an E5 caster (not too difficult for Anglia's cap only mages) to send a size 6 trampling regenerating remote assassin.
Not many people can stand against these on their own and they're so cheap that Anglia is probably just going to send a few every turn for the rest of the game. However I don't think that's actually such a big deal for us? Why not you ask?
Because it turns out that most clowns, even ungeared, can actually survive a light trampling and whip the elemental with the hose until it's small enough to stomp on. If it chose to use its big fists instead it'd be a different story but tramplers actually can't use their normal attacks when they're trampling. We'll see how well the weaker 1st clowns do against this but I've got bigger things to fret about right now.
Talking of, these are the other things available in conj 8. They've certainly got the paths for the royalty of earth and air, and probably fire too - some of the most powerful casters in the game in their respective paths. I don't know how far they have death boosted but if we see a Well of Misery cast to give a whopping 20 death gems a turn we'll know it was enough.
They are SO far ahead of us in research I'm possibly even feeling a little pessimistic about it. We still have Eyes of God up remember, so let's look. You can see the slowdown from all our cap mages running about in circles while it's not that noticeable on theirs. Perhaps this is their plan, to just waste all my mage-turns running a big army in circles.
Talking of running in circles, their big force takes another cap-adjacent province this turn and their Ether-based reinforcements are approaching too. Probably just trying to join up at this point and then take the large battle I keep offering then.
We have a few Clowns Paramount cleaning up provinces, it'll be interesting to see what happens if that Drake force tries to intercept the north one there who has a few Enormous Clowns with him too. Probably not enough to beat 30 drakes that fly in on turn 1 but you never know.
The Ether reinforcements are quite slow though and so still 2 turns away at least.
More bad news, the forts didn't seem close to breaking last turn but Anglia brought in reinforcements and they are ready to storm next turn. Now there's not too much actually in this province so it might have been more sensible to write it off as a loss but I decided it was time to fight. This is the throne that gives +3 def to all my clowns and I don't really want to lose it.
The army pictured there looks like mostly trash. Only 3 artilleries? Not enough mages to show up on the preview? I think that Bongo honestly could take this on his own. Turn 1 arrow fend, then slap on mistform and ethereal to deal with any attempt to melee him and he's laughing. Or that's the plan anyway! Unfortunately we don't have enough nature gems for him to have gotten a decent vine shield and since I wasn't expecting the fort to fall this turn I didn't even think to make him boots of quickness or an awe shield or something. At least he got our last ring of regeneration. I'm sure he'll be fine!
On the other side of the world, we finally siege the mantis cap. They have a shitton of PD and we just do not care at all. The walls are instantly broken and we just storm straight away. Let's get this over with.
In happier news, while it's so so much worse than conj 8 we manage to hit alt 5 this turn. It gives us a few goodies like Solar Eclipse to take advantage of our low-light vision, Transmute Fire to turn our ~100 surplus fire gems into a lot of gold, a few other things here and there. Next up is thau 5.
Also the national spell Miraculous Transposition! I didn't really understand what confusion did, other than enemy units having a chance to attack each other? In hindsight this spell is probably a LOT better than I gave it credit for at the time.
I've been recruiting Crystal Mages from the throne we took off of the mantises and they're proving pretty useful! We have Earth/aStral on our god anyway so it's nothing we couldn't have gotten otherwise but we've now got a few of these making dwarven hammers to discount forging more, and then some astral boosters which will come in handy in a few turns. Meanwhile Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar is taking advantage of the Steel Ovens again to make a pretty expensive fire magic boosting hat.
Finally I happened to glance over at Karanaac and what do I see in the lake next door but 40-50 shrimps? They must have gotten them from an event but we can't do anything about it while they stay underwater. I'm sure this won't cause any problems in the future.