Part 86: Turn 74Turn 74
Enchantment 7 is a nice research target to hit, solar brilliance is very powerful against large numbers of skeleton chaff HOWEVER this is sadly 1 turn to late to affect our battles this turn unless one of our mages goes off script and decides that they have an excess of pearls. Stranger things have happened. Mass Flight is nice too but our opponents U and previously Anglia have been running around with Staffs Of Storms everywhere it feels like so it's less effective. Ghost Ship Armada is certainly funny but we can't really cast it and it's far too late in the game to matter, ditto gift of health. Next up is conjuration 8, for the Last Clown Summon and it's a doozy believe me.
U claiming a throne is not what we want to see, this is the east lake throne that we've been firing mind hunts at previously. It would have been incredible if we had hit this Bishop Fish but sadly U had just enough astral mages there to prevent it last turn. This is their 6th throne, so any one more will win them the game. We have to both prevent them from taking any more AND start retaking some if we are going to have any hope at all of staging a comeback. If we can just survive until the coming cataclysm in 6 turns, and the horrors eat U's thrones, we just might have a shot.
Speaking of mind hunts this turn we fired them at the teleporting raiding force in our caves. This was actually a really good move because throne claiming happens before mind hunts anyway so even if we would have killed the Bishop Fish with one it wouldn't have really mattered. Anyway these all fizzle/get cord-severed too. Our mind hunting was so effective versus Anglia and is just doing effectively nothing to U unfortunately.
The AI Anglia did at least turn that raiding tarresque that we never managed to mind hunt into their prophet.
Our Murdering Winter cast went off into heat 3. I know heat reduces the effect but it was still really good when it hit the heat 1 or 2 province previously so I'd really just be grateful for any effect at all...nope. I had no idea that Murdering Winter just straight up gets cancelled in heat 3, good to know. This is incredibly unfortunate.
More small raiding from U, this is getting uncomfortably close to home now - it's in our cap circle and if I remember correctly was our very first province we expanded into.
Another one just the other side of our cap but not technically in the cap circle. Ultimately this game is about thrones now and since we're not resource-point limited on our recruiting we don't really mind our cap getting threatened like this too much.
Chasos and now even the Anglia AI are coming at us. Come on!
This is more like it though. Chasos has a big army and better yet it's actually cutting off U's army's retreats. This could actually be really helpful for us next turn.
Turns out I did have enough spare clowns last turn to kill Karanaac's god. Fuck you buddy, just fuck off already.
Right, time for some real battles. We've got our imaginary clown force coming in hot, with some normal and ancient clowns for backup and even some stilt walkers that probably should have been patrolling on our cap but what are you going to do.
We're up against the same force we saw last turn - 3 blood-empowered immortal giants, a bunch of cows, U's tartarian hero who is also immortal, and a bunch of the teleporters holding water bottles to get the free water elementals.
Now you might think that this looks bad for us and I could see why you'd think that. We're up against some of U's late game summons, powerful magic items, and their most powerful unique hero. But consider this: clowns fucking rock
A few of the imaginary clowns jump straight into the backline and start tearing up the troops/water elementals there.
The tangible clowns meanwhile very cunningly dodge around two of the massive immortals but manage to catch the third, kicking it to death in short order, after it killed a few of them admittedly.
The two remaining immortals dive into our backlines but get hung up on a water elemental leaving our ancient clowns, who assuredly remember our humiliation in the arena, to lightning bolt them both to death. Sadly all three immortals did resist our enslave mind casts and they'll be coming back in 3 months but I can't believe they'll ever forget being beaten like this.
Meanwhile, most of our troops have fled or died and the only thing left on that side of the battlefield is the Son Of Mu, who has taken a few afflictions but is still a 200 hp, 27 protection, 60 damage attack, soul vortex'd super combatant.
We have one saving grace however. The clowns attacking it have so many attacks that the Son Of Mu is taking massive stat penalties. That imaginary clown at the bottom of the above screenshot is Physical Painful To Watch our prophet with 25 attack and 34 defence against the 11 attack and 4 defence of the titan. Oh and our forty two strength.
I mean he's immortal so it's not the biggest deal but it still gives us a few turns of breathing room and prevents further teleport raiding for now. I'll take what victories I can get at this point.
Now we've chased off U from our thrones, let's see about taking some from them. First off we have the army who are storming the main candle this turn. This province was ours originally before we perhaps unwisely gave it to U, and isn't even a throne but since it's such a central access to U's lands I can't see us just ignoring it. This is our force, it's by far our largest army and isn't lacking on mage support either even if they're a bit obscured behind the enormous clowns.
U is not messing around either, getting off Rigor Mortis, Darkness, Storm, and Relief in short order followed by a metric fuckload of skeletons. Rigor Mortis is a particularly problematic one for us because once clowns get fatigued out they're nothing but bags of hp and all their incredible killing power is useless.
Luckily I had considered this and our cast of relief will help our troops and mages last at least somewhat longer, and howl will cause wolves to come in from the backline to disrupt the skeleton casting. Wait...what? I did cast howl and relief right? Let's check that lizard shaman script again using the magic of time travel. Shit. I think I must have thought that I'd scripted communion master? But then relief isn't there at all? Honestly have no idea what I was thinking. Oh well I'm sure we'll still be fine.
Both sides surge forwards and meet at the gate, the enormous clowns attempting to push through while the Gavagai rain down enormous boulders on them. As mentioned before we don't actually get any solar brilliance cast off unfortunately it would have been incredible here.
After a few minutes unfortunately the inevitable happens and our entire side are all too sleepy to move leaving the skeletons free to slowly chip away at them until the end of the battle. The combination of horde of skeletons and rigor mortis especially with lots of summoned undead death mages is a really punishing one if you hadn't prepared for it. If I had waited one turn, and then correctly scripted howl and solar brilliance and relief I might have had a chance but I was rushing because this force isn't even attacking a throne which we really need to be doing right now.
But what's this? We have a LOT of clown hp and now the gate is working against U - the skeletons simply can't eat through it fast enough and all of our forces can't even move let alone flee. There's a few casts of gifts from heaven from U but it's just too little too slowly.
We are finally down to our last few clowns when a miracle happens! The skies clear and the sun returns! The skeletons fade away! We made it! That's right we reached the turn limit and all of U's undead unit collapse out of, I assume, boredom. This leaves only our clowns and U's living units, all of whom are far too rigorous to do anything at all and sit there for another few minutes.
Then another miracle happens! Thanks to the undead rigor mortis caster being gone, and their cast of relief keeping fatigue low, U's last remaining units wake up first! They slowly limp off the battlefield while ours are still asleep. Victory!
I mean I'm not sure I'd call this a victory. We lost this entire army apart from a few mages and it wasn't even a throne battle. If this had been on a throne then sure, we'd claim it but doing this on a fort without a throne means that we're screwed here and can't push into their territory any more on this side of the map.
We took this province, but at what cost? The surviving mages, the ones that aren't insanely researching anyway, will teleport into the next fight but more on that in a second.
We actually have another battle this turn. This was the force that we'd moved onto the throne between us and U and isn't a fort battle, just U attempting to kick us off. Here's us, the usual force of a bunch of enormous clowns, clown mages, and one lizard shaman.
This is what U is fielding, mostly national units. This is the force that survived a murdering winter by the virtue of it being nearly summer, if that had hit we'd be in a very different place right now. Not much in the way of battlefield enchantments here, only darkness and wailing winds. The latter is a really good spell and will single-handedly destroy low morale armies but I think with the massive morale of all clowns (14 or so minimum on all units) we might be okay.
What we're less okay about though are the army buffs. Mass flight, mass regeneration, and of course the bless of twist fate and +10 strength on all units. They quickly get in and unfortunately our bodyguards are not quite packed tightly enough and U's forces manage to sneak in and interrupt our scripting.
The earth elementals don't even get close just the feet alone are enough to wipe us out without us getting our own spells off.
We get slaughtered it's not even close. That was our best attempt at actually taking a throne off of U.
After those two battles we have no forces near U's lands at all and there's no way that we're going to be able to take any of their thrones any time soon. We've lost almost all the enormous clowns we've been recruiting all game.
We have exactly one chance to stop U winning the game next turn. Most of their armies have been defensive in nature, and are in their lands protecting thrones that they already have. The force that we pyrrhicly wiped out on the candle was the only one that could go after our cave thrones. There's only one remaining force of theirs that's anywhere near an enemy throne, and it's the one in Chasos lands that just got most of their retreat cut off. This is our last chance to stop U from winning the game and we're giving it everything we've got. Every mage that can put on a hat and teleport, every imaginary clown who can just walk there, our god watching from his fort a few turns away, everything. That is the only province that matters now. Wish me luck.