On my side: The greatest force ever amassed under the mountain. On his: A blob of demons with a snek in the middle.
His Earth Snake has a crystal heart (which will allow it to come back from the dead once at the cost of a chest wound) and a ring of fire, obviously to counter all the fire I’ve been tossing around. His Dai Oni has a spell focus, increasing spell penetration, and a summer sword, letting him cast an easy nature spell at will. Nothing to write home about.
His mages start out with phoenix power and earth power, raise skeletons, sermon of courage… A pretty hectic group of spells but basically geared towards buffs. I whip out tons of earth power and earth might, to the same general inspiration but with more unity of purpose and (hopefully) more concentrated effect. Oh yeah, and Maws of Earth cuts out a swath of his army and everything it hits becomes a ghost.
Yomi casts End of Weakness, a Yomi national spell that gives all the oni more strength and barkskin. Except unlike barkskin, End of Weakness doesn’t make the demons more vulnerable to fire.
The blade wind begins blowing, and more maws of the earth happen. So far the effect isn’t that high. Pale Ones are dying to random shit including enemy evocations and my own troop’s fire and poison auras, though.
Penumbrals turn out not to be the best choice against Yomi, they die to his fire throwing attacks as though they weren’t ethereal.
Battle lines are just about meeting now, but his units are very strung out, largely by Maws of the Earth. He cast a Maws too, and got my elementals, but they more or less shrugged it off.
My boys decide it’s time to move forward and they… sort of pile up on each other. That’s bad, because my earth and mercury elemental’s aren’t immune to the fire of the magma children. They do seem to be hurting Yomi demons more than each other, though.
At this point, enough little demons are butchered that the enemy, including his pretender, decide it’s time to leave.
As I’m winning the battle, I’d rather they stick around and die, but I won’t complain about victory. As his troops flee, there’s nothing to do but butcher those enemy troops that are paralyzed or bound by the earth maw. That goes well.
I trashed his troops and he lost a couple of good mages. Mostly because the olms kept them from fleeing. I lost my pale ones, who are shit, and a portion of my elementals, which is a bummer but expected. I lost no olms and not mages, which is excellent.
I’m not going to let my previous mistakes with being to conservative happen again. This army, as it is now (quite potent) is chasing after his. Hopefully I can kill his earth snake and run all the way to his capital and siege it while working on the other forts, then take him out. In practice, even if everything goes well, there will be vultures swooping in from the north. Speaking of which, let’s look at the world situation now since I started this post with the battle.
Well, my scouting situation is pretty dismal. But it’s clear that Abysia and Berytos are getting eaten by Machaka and Lanka, respectively. Those guys are the forerunners to win the game right now, and they’re both moving into position to gang up on me just as I’m getting my feet under me. Hell, Lanka already has, taking my water provinces. Hopefully I can get Machaka to side with me against Lanka (I won’t be the first if I say he’s the toppest nation right now) and take Berytian lands in the ensuing war. But that’s far future stuff. For now, the future is bright.
The battle went well, except that everything worth killing had already fled.
I expected as much, really. No big deal, I’m happy enough to reclaim a core province with an excellent income. With luck I’ll catch them next turn.
Oh yeah, and it seems Yomi is at war with Machaka now. I guess he thought he was going to finish me off.
That may have done more to win this war for me than my own actions could have. It may also have decided who my next enemy would be, I’m afraid. I’ll start colluding with Machaka this weekend, probably.
My army is basically like before, but without pale ones, it’s a lot leaner. Also, there’s no Curse of Stones scripted. But whatever, it wasn’t that effective last time anyway, I don’t anticipate using it again until I get some penetration gear on the caster. His army looks awfully thrown-together, with a wide mix of units including independents, some of whom are wearing rather eccentric items that he probably got from events.
They start off with hordes of skeletons. Doesn’t mean much to me. Like before, I start out mostly by summoning earth power, but also knock a handful out with Maws. He does too, actually, and his tengu close the gap quickly. I would be better off with some chaff up front here, but I don’t have any so too bad. The elementals work their way out of the earth quickly, as the blade wind blows overhead, and my olms get involved. Few tengu are left before long, and the rest of his army is as full of holes as a child’s smile.
Well more spells get thrown and lines get drawn, and it’s more or less in my favor but my elementals are taking more damage than I’d like. His Dai Oni is stuck in the melee now, which means I can probably kill that one at least, though Yingarna is still at the back.
Yingarna flees, which sparks a general retreat and then it’s time for butchery.
As before, I lost little of import, while his losses were substantial. I didn’t kill Yingarna but I suppose I’m probably not going to soon. She fled southwest to Birth of Brother and I’m going northwest to Swamp of the Caul. I think that with his army and what he’s got inside that, I can take that quickly so I’ll probably do so before advancing further. If it looks like the siege might be tougher, well, it’s still the shortest route to his capital.
On a different note, Yomi’s advance against Machaka is unchecked, though this is probably because Machaka is too busy to care.
As I thought might happen, I breached the walls at the Swamp of the Caul in one turn, so it’s worth spending another to claim it. Nothing exciting happened, except that I lost a single earth reader to a squad of communion sages that had been at the Caul. It would have been smarter for Yomi to leave them inside; they could have maybe kept me from seizing the fort (though it would be unlikely) and would at least have had the towers to help. I guess he wanted PD benefit but PD-type troops aren’t really making a difference at this stage of the game and they’re not that cheap either. The towers might have slowed my elementals down a bit. Oh well, not my problem.
Lanka kindly offered me my cap-ring back, which makes sense; it wouldn’t do him any good to cause hostilities now. He didn’t say anything about the other provinces that were mine before Berytos took them, but I want to finish with Yomi and get things cool with Machaka before I face Lanka. That’s my plan so far, but we’ll see how it goes.
We’ve been having fewer turns per week lately. I’ve been partly responsible so I can’t complain too much, but I still don’t like it.
It is now Spring in the Year Five of the Ascension Wars.
My graphs are all headed in the right direction, which not everyone can say, but I’m still an underdog. Not much to say here that I haven’t woven into preceding posts, really.