Abysia is at war with Machaka and I am still fighting a hard and bloody war against Yomi. My scouting is a bit atrophied because I’m in an economic situation so dire that the 45 gold for a scout makes a difference. Some other interesting things have happened just now as well.
I’ve got an unpleasant reminder that me and Yomi aren’t the only players in this game.
Throne of Gaia triggers random monsters to cause trouble. It could be worse though. I played in a game when these events had been added but not really balanced, and I got multiple squads of earth elementals each turn attacking me. That lost me that game. Now, I’ve got some dogs, but so does Yomi, and other nations have got werewolves. In fact I have enough troops in the fort to beat these dogs soundly if only I could spare the commanders.
Now then, back to the war.
Yomi left nobody defending the province and there are so few defenders inside the fort that I can take it this very turn. So I shall.
His big army is a bigger concern though. It’s just kind of sitting there. Actually it looks like he moved a small force from Pale Devil’s Ridge down to Falterwood, presumably hoping to have a stronger army. This probably means he’s planning to go against my biggest army, now at Swamp of the Caul, so there’ll be an epic battle next turn. Assuming he doesn’t get cold feet.
A lot of things happened this turn. First of all, Yomi won in the arena, netting him a Champion’s Cuirass, which helps out one specific unit a bit. He also decided to sent that big army into Upper Wormwood after all. They took out the dogs and have taken down the walls already, so presumably will claim the fort next turn. I’ll send my army from the capital to deal with it, but right now they’re waiting on their leader, who will be out next turn. Then it’ll take another two at least to get into the action. My first army, on the other hand… Well, they were assaulting the fort. Let’s check up on that.
He has some giant ants for some reason. They’re not very efficient summons so I reckon he was rushing for whatever he could get in order to have something to defend the fort with. After all, if I take this fort I get to butcher a bunch of researchers. Speaking of which, there are six sages in his army. The turn-about feels nice.
Blade Wind does a good job of shredding Ko-Oni (which are kind of worthless anyway) and Shikome (which aren’t). Magma bolts is also pretty effective, and Olms continue to be a mighty and constant barrage against the demons. And while Yomi seems to have stepped up his magic game somewhat, he hasn’t done it by enough. His spells still mostly slide off even my basic pale ones. The Shikome, on the other hand, are finding that their ghost-rending claws do rend fairly effectively through pale ones.
Many of the Pale Ones decide they would rather go the other way. As they leave, however, constant olm mindblasts have built up enough that onis are dropping dead from this alone – and allowing fire to be concentrated on the remaining targets. On top of this, my mages are starting to realize that they’ve rested enough (thanks to the reinvigoration bless) to cast Blade Wind again, killing a lot of things.
As magic wipes out enemies, with mind blast barrages continuing and Lapis switching to Smite to take out particularly hard targets, the olms decide to charge. They still have heavy fire support, though many of the earth readers have decided to try their luck launching flying shards of stone, which utterly fail to hit anything. Luckily the olms don’t need too much help. Soon the only Yomi soldier left facing us is a particularly tough oni general, though whether it’s truly from courage or simply because he’s been mind blasted into immobility is hard to say.
Well, my win at that point is pretty much inevitable.
As expected, I won. Unfortunately, I also took pretty grievous casualties. This army had already been suffering attrition and is probably no longer capable of taking on Yomi’s best. That means it’s going to chill in this fort for a bit. Lapis will be my new prophet, as she should have been a while ago, and I’m going to build a temple here. That temple should help get rid of some of the turmoil that’s all over my topside valley, and that will decrease the degree to which this war worsens my position. I’m also recruiting sages again, which should help my research pick back up. Both of those things are ways in which I’ll irrevocably lose a ton of gold if Yomi retakes the fort, so I’m also recruiting a bunch of pale one militia to guard the castle. If I start early, it’ll actually accomplish something hopefully. I’m also having my last remaining witch doctor do some summoning while we’re at it.
As expected, Yomi took Upper Wormwood easily. I don’t know where he’s going next, so my first army is going to stay in Swamp of the Caul for a bit to wait and see. They also have other things to do, helping out that province by preaching to get it back to good scales, and some are researching to ensure I get to the next level of construction next turn. Then I can begin manufacturing things, including that hammer that Caelum wanted to buy, hopefully I can get some good gold for it. This timing allows me to hopefully gang up on Yomi after he retakes Falterwood (it was seized by some satyrs due to throne shenanigans) or otherwise might let me do it outside the walls in Swamp of the Caul. Either way, this will allow me a victory after which I can push back to Upper Wormwood and then hopefully onward to the Mountains of Judgement before he can get another army to mess with me. he random independent events are causing more trouble to him than to me, it seems. Oh, and it seems Berytos is attacking Abysia to the north. If only I was in a solid enough position to take advantage of this…
Yomi moved a small raiding party down to Falterwood. No big deal. A bigger deal is that he, like me, has another bigger army coming.
I’m going to try and fight that with both my armies at the fort. These big battles are getting almost routine, but there’s going to be some cool stuff there at least.
Another big deal, the Throne of Gaia events have finally hit me somewhere it hurts: right in the sinkhole.
That’s cutting me off from about 100 gold per turn. I’m going to send a small raiding party to take it back and then finally go into the sea, in a turn or two.
Yep, Yomi is back in Swamp of the Caul. He brought a ton of ogres, two of which died fighting 1PD because he has summer lions now, spreading heat. That leaves me to make a hard choice. I can make it rain, which will stop that, but it’ll also prevent my own fire elementals from hurting him.
Overall, I think fire will hurt him more than me so I’m not going to bother. I can shred his unarmored lions with Blade Wind, and I can tarpit them in place with Earth Meld which will cause their fire aura to hurt ogres instead of my troops. I think the main reason he’s going fire-heave may be that he doesn’t like the burning effect of my magma bolts but… I kinda don’t care. The 27 damage they do straight-up is magic-type, not fire, so fire resistant troops won’t resist that. The only major downside here is that my wolves are likely to die pretty quick without standing in the enemy’s way for as long as I’d like. Not that this won’t be a hard battle anyway, mind.
Let’s see how that battle went. It has the biggest armies either of us have levied all game, so it should be impressive.
Actually, his army doesn’t look that impressive next to mine, does it? For some reason his non-fireproof onis are the ones surrounding the lions. Presumably an accident. His ogres end up running through the fires they start, too. My magma children, meanwhile, are far enough out on the flanks that their fire isn’t touching anything but other magma children, who aren’t hurt by it.
My wolves meet his on the front lines, but the olms provide mind blast support and not a single one of my wolves dies before all of Yomi’s are gone. My wolves proceed onward to fight his onis. They take plenty of casualties there, eating evocation from Yomi’s mages as well as attacks from the onis themselves, but that’s what these wolves are there for. Meanwhile, the blade winds are blowing a lot of holes into Yomi’s lines. The wolves break and flee quickly, but they leave Yomi’s front line looking pretty chewed up, while my (non-wolf) troops are entirely untouched.
By the time my troops meet his, his lines are mostly made of the high-HP ogres, and most of them are on fire.
They’ve barely even fought in melee before the decide to leave.
Most of them are cut down as they leave.
This was a total victory, a textbook example of how my battles should go. Nothing died on my side except units whose entire purpose is to give their lives in protection of more important things, and even those died in relatively small numbers. Every enemy was defeated, except the two Dai Onis, and while I’d have liked to have killed them, they were routed before they finished buffing and got into the fight. They might have done some serious damage otherwise, so I’m glad they didn’t. Oh, and that was 100 earth gems worth of ogres that died, and probably 60 fire gems worth of lions, so I guess my efforts in undercutting his gem sales were successful even though I only sold eight. Still, for what good they did he’d have been better off alchemizing the gems.
Now, such a drastic victory makes it clear that I’m playing overly conservative, so it’s time to divide my armies a bit.
I’m sending a small army west into Yomi to press the fight and hopefully occupy his second fort in the Mountains of Judgement. Even if I don’t take it for now, stopping recruitment there is worthwhile. My main army is going to loop around to liberate Upper Wormwood, and it’s my main army because they have 130 troops to go through, an army that previously seemed worrisome, but after that victory is simply worthy of caution. Hopefully, this can be wrapped up quickly and this army can loop back through the south and head into Yomi’s capital. If I can take that while keeping the pressure on the Mountain of Judgement, the rest will be mop-up.
The army building up in my capital is decently sized to take on werewolves now, so I give it some basic tactics and deploy it. This turn, Lanka took my isolated water province which wasn’t doing me any good. I agreed to this cheerfully in chat, not because I’m actually cool with it (as I was hoping to make a connection) but because nothing good will come of contesting something like that; it’l just make me look greedy and hostile. Plus I might get it back from him the same way in a bit.
Oh, and Berytos is whupping Abysia pretty good. This means that they’re solidifying themselves as my next war, but in the short term means I might be able to snap up some Abysian provinces, which would boost my income a bit.
A lot of things have happened this turn. First of all, I got nuked.
I got hit with three of these, all at Swamp of the Caul. I’m pretty sure the spell is Blight, which only costs five gems a pop, so I could be seeing more of these for a while. This is counteracted a bit by the fact that I opened up my east again and am receiving income from there, but I still had some pretty pathetic recruitment this turn.
The second thing that happened is that I’ve seen some things.
I found Yomi’s pretender. The Earth Serpent is a new pretender added in a recent path, and it’s very popular as a supercombatant. I had wondered why I hadn’t seen it in battle, I guess maybe he’s got it researching. I could kill it with my big army, but the little one I’ve sent here doesn’t have the necessary mage support. So we’re marching south to the capital, which apparently is poorly defended. Along the way, I’m going to take those three provinces with temples in them. Burning his temples will keep him from spreading turmoil everywhere, and with less turmoil his troops will be weaker and my lands will be more profitable. Maneater Marshes will also cut him off from that throne, which will further decrease his dominion spread, and Sister’s Youth will isolate the southern corridor from any fort (assuming I also retake Upper Wormwood) preventing him from receiving income from those temples. The mindset of “taking” has mostly just been taking me a long time, so I guess I’m going to have to go forward with a mindset of hurting instead. I can do that pretty effectively if the Earth Snake doesn’t manage to jump on me in the next two turns.
Berytos overextended in his conquest of Agartha, and now he’s getting his ass beat by Lanka, using a strategy more or less equivalent to what I hoped to pull before I got entangled with Yomi. I’m going to see if I can’t take some fringe provinces for my own good. Even if I don’t keep them (I would be happy to trade the Salt Cliffs to Lanka for Bronze Bay back) I can use the income they’ll give me for however many turns I do have them.
The third thing that happened:
This is the first global spell in the game, and a gemgen to boot. Well, its often the first and although it bodes ill for everyone that’s not Machaka, I can’t do anything about it now.
The final thing that happened is that he sent a Dai Oni into Falterwood. This doesn’t matter that much, but watching the battle does tell me that he has access to Soul Vortex now, which will make his Dai Oni very difficult to kill if they get into melee.
Everything was successful. Most notably, my army in the east didn’t get attacked by the Earth Serpent. In fact, they inspired Yomi to waste a ton of money on 200 Ko-Onis to defend the fort, which doesn’t matter to me as they’re easy to kill and I’m not going for that one yet. A scout that I told to attack an undefended province succeeded easily, cutting off income for Yomi from Birth of the Brother and Falterwood.
I also successfully took the province in Upper Wormwood. That success comes with a complication though. The army is no longer trapped in the fort, where I want it, but has gone south to Falterwood, where they reconnoitered with the Dai Oni that was there. In order to catch them, I need to send my army after them now. I split off the mage with my earth elementals and my penumbrals, since they didn’t do that much before (they’re good at mowing through troops, but my evocation had that covered) and send the rest south. My main army has been shrunk a good bit by me splitting off parties for other purposes now, but hopefully I should be able to defeat the army – I still have lots of olms and mages. If I don’t, I’m a bit screwed, since there’s many turns of mage recruitment in this army, but I think I will. If I don’t catch him, that’s a different kind of problem because I don’t know where he’s going. He could go to Pale Devil’s Cup and then down to Agartha, in which case my capital will be the anvil and my army the hammer; I’ll crush him. He could also go through the lower route to fight my army near his capital, which would be great and would give me some respite to resolidify my grasp on my holdings and reinforce while my little raiding army plays Benny Hill with him. But I think he’s most likely to go back to Swamp of the Caul, in which case he may well take it for a turn before I can retake it. If that happens, my force that’s conquering Upper Wormwood would be able to come and pitch in, so that would also be to my advantage. However, he would kill everything that’s in the fort when he takes it. In anticipation of this possibility, I’m moving my sages from there to Lower Wormwood. From there they’ll go to Upper Wormwood, then Falterwood, then to Pale Devil’s Cup, and from there to Agartha where they’ll safely stay indefinitely. This route puts them right behind my big army, so there shouldn’t be a lot of danger to them as they travel.
It is late fall in the year three of the Ascension Wars.
You’ll notice that I’m still near the bottom in most ways, but things are looking up over the last two turns. That’s because I’m taking things near Yomi’s capital and being more aggressive with smaller armies. Whether this strategy pays off in the long run, we’ll have to see, but I’m optimistic.
You can also see from looking at Abysia’s graph exactly when he was attacked by Berytos (Abysia’s line plummets) and then when Lanka attacked Berytos (Abysia’s line heads right back up). As of right now, Lanka is poised to come out of these early wars in the best situation, but that could change. After all, Berytos was in that position a few turns ago, and he would have stayed that way if Lanka had decided to attack Caelum in the north instead.
In a few turns I’ll have finished my enchantment research goal, allowing me to summon Living Mercury. That’s good because they have an aura of poisonous fumes, which Yomi doesn’t really have much of a defense against – and neither do any of my other enemies, incidentally. My earth elementals do though, so I can make shock squadrons combining the two that will be incredibly effective against tough targets. After this, I could go to Evocation, where one more level will give me access to Earthquake, a powerful spell that hurts everyone on the battlefield. It’s great for wiping out tons of units at once. However, “everyone” includes my side and although Agarthan units have a lot of HP, I don’t think earthquakes are actually going to help much against Yomi.
Instead, I’m going into Alteration. This is an important school of magic for Agartha in general and I only have it at level 2. There’s nothing I need at level 3, but at level four it gives access to quickness, a decent troop buff, to Destruction, which destroys enemy armor, and to Curse of Stones, a huge and expensive spell that causes all enemy units to get fatigued. The effect works over time so like most of what Agartha has, it’s good for protracted battles. I don’t think I need it now but it would be a great tool for me in the future. I’m not stopping at four though. Alteration five has fire resistance, which will allow me to finally take that throne next to my capital, and there’s a couple other good buffs.
But perhaps most importantly, there’s Maws of the Earth. I’ve still been spamming Earth Meld, and this is that but better. It has a greater area of effect, and it does damage. The downside is that it causes the caster a lot of fatigue, so even on an earth reader wearing boots, I’m only getting one of these off alongside a casting of Blade Wind. That’s fine though, I won’t need many.
And going further into alteration is all kinds of other yummy things. Level six has Crumble, for bringing down tough forts. Level seen has Fog Warriors, Marble Warriors, and Barksing, each of which can be cast on all my units greatly reducing the damage they take. All of them together would make my units pretty much invincible to conventional attack. But this is all distant future stuff anyway, not for the next week or even the next month.
Hall of Fame
Lapis entered the Hall of Fame this week. This is to be expected given how much killing she’s done with her big spells. Her heroic ability is Iron Will, which increases Magic Resistance. This is good, as it shores her up against the most likely avenue of attack that someone might take to get rid of her. As a back line mage, she’s not likely to get into direct combat, and she has enough hitpoints to survive a shot from a stray arrow even if she were unarmored. Her base protection is only 3, but because she has five levels of earth magic (with earth boots) she gets +5 protection and as a prophet she is always blessed, so has another +5 leaving her at a respectable 13. Magic resistance means she’s no longer vulnerable to most spells that could effect her. She’s still susceptible to assassins but I’m pretty sure she could do a reasonable job of protecting herself.