Part 66: Water: Better Down Where It's Wetter.Better Down Where It's Wetter: Water Blesses
The way blesses function, and we might get into more specifics later, is as a function of the magic paths on your pretender god which go from about 0 to 10 in any given path. You buy them up with design points at creation and the higher the path you are buying the more expensive it gets. If you have 4 or more dots in a path you get bless points to spend equal to your path rating. If you have water 3 you get 0 bless points, if you get water 4 you have 4 water bless points. This isn't hard and fast- some nations get bonuses to certain paths but that isn't really ground we're covering here. Here we are checking out water blesses.
Here are your options, friends. The addition of a scale next to the cost means you have to have at least that much in the scale. Some blesses require you to have cold scales, you see, and Quickness wants a magic scale. Are water blesses good? Is anything good? Let me make some snap gut judgements here.
Minor Cold Resistance
At a cost of 1 water point it offers 5 points of cold resistance to sacred units. If you have leftover bless points, go wild I guess. A side benefit of cold resistance is that you take less additional encumbrance from very cold weather.
At a cost of 1 water point all your sacred units have snow move. In Dom5 units take additional movement penalties going through a (land) province with cold scales if they don't have snow move. It requires cold scales of course. It's okay if your nation can handle snow in general as only your sacreds get the buff. All your non holy dudes have the trudge through the hip deep powder like all the other scrubs. I got this as Pelagia because I had 1 point left over and thought I might be able to leverage it with my cold scales.
All your sacred units can cross rivers. For 2 water points. Rivers are impassible for non-amphibious troops in warm weather so I guess this could be okay for someone but I wouldn't get it personally. It's too map dependent.
Major Cold Resistance
Same as minor but 10 protection instead. It costs 3 points. Cold damage isn't so prevalent I'd consider it normally.
Flow like water in an extremely Bruce Lee voice. This grants +2 defense for 3 points. That's not too bad as getting hit isn't great. I picked this up as Pelagia as it helps my already tanky sacreds. The minimum water bless points you can have is 4, so if you are just dipping your toe in you end up with what feels like an awkward amount to spend between these options here.
In what I think is a recent change since the start of this game Frost Weapons are now 4 points and no longer incarnate. Your weapons do an additional 8 cold damage when blessed. I would have seriously considered buying this instead of defense+winter's gift but alas it was more expensive when this game started. Cold is a pretty commonly resisted damage type against some of the more annoying enemy troop types (the undeaaaaad)
An aura of fatiguing cold surrounds your sacred troops and also grants the troop 10 cold resistance so as they don't self-own. Enemy units in a radius that expands or contracts with cold or warm weather scales take fatigue damage if they are not resistant to cold. This can pair well with a tanky sacred who can tire out enemy troops. As it is Incarnate you need your god to be alive and awake for this to work. Many of the good blesses that would help with expansion necessitate your god being awake for said expansion meaning there is more creation point tax to bear. Chill Aura is a cool bless if your troops can swing it. Maybe not optimal, but cool.
The infamous water breathing bless is fraught with peril and also is basically a war declaration versus any aquatic nation existing in the game. That said sending your water breathing god into water out of candles will result in your god losing his or her or its water breathing power and thus drowning. And if your god dies all incarnate blessings go down incarnate blessings such as water breathing and now all your water troops are dead and your invasion of Atlantis has taken a TERRIBLE TURN. 7 water points is a LOT and really not worth it unless you have a real good reason for it or you want to do some real silly stuff.
Quickness is Real Good. Double attacks and move speed bonus attack and defense it has it all but it is also REAL EXPENSIVE. The magic scale just makes it even more expensive because you can't tank your scales for it. On some troops it turns them into absolute terrors but it is a huge investment and having it from turn one means you are gonna have to make sacrifices. Any bless requiring 10 dots is suspect just from cost alone but you... could do it I guess.
Water is a mostly 'ok' bless path. It suffers- as almost all bless paths do- of having weird math kind of pigeonhole you. The game in general could do to have their bless lists fleshed out for variety's sake.