Until the End

Turn Fifty-Three

Yesterday, Lanka finished his offensive against two nations, today he begins against more. He’s deploying Dakini thugs, each one identical. Two have met me and my scouts noticed one attacking Machaka.

thug

Each one casts blessing and mistform. He has a water bless which adds up to boost to seven defense bonus (bringing Dakinis to 25, enough to beat almost everything almost all the time, and remains solid even when surrounded and outnumbered) plus damage mistform to reduce what damage does get through. And the dakini has damage reversal, a vine shield, and fear, meaning few things can hit her for very long. All in all, a damn solid thug that I really don’t have any affordable way of countering. And this is just his vanguard, what’s coming to me while his big armies are still on Berytos’ capital or wherever. Units that reach me now because of cloud trapeze only. My end is probably assured.

Here’s what his real armies look like:
lots

He has dropped thugs on me, Abyssia, and on Machaka, including capital siegers. He doesn’t seem to have messed with Yomi and I don’t know his relationship with Niefelheim. But he’s started a war which he can probably win, and he’s done it decisively. My battles against Yomi seem a lot less important now, but here they are:

irrelevant

Turn Fifty-four

In addition to the thugs Lanka’s been throwing around, my scouts detected a supercombatant.

SC

I have on real answer for that, and there’s several of them.
unstoppable

Notice that one is on Upper Wormwood. If Lanka takes that, which he likely will, he’ll have control of enough thrones that all he needs to do is claim them and win the game.

As for me, my siege of Yomi is no longer effecting their walls, so it’s time to move. I did get a cool event there.

Turn Fifty-Five

I’m sending armies around to mess with Yomi now, but this is pretty much irrelevant. Really, I’m just waiting for Lanka to win. And he will win, all he needs now is the Crystal Throne, and look at that:

endimpends

Yomi actually broke the siege and has “two huge danavas” in that army, so may have stolen them, but if that army bearing down on him has mage and thug support there’s no way Yomi stands a chance. I’m sending a scout to watch, but this will be over soon.

Turn Fifty-six

I’m basically putting up a token fight as I wait for the game to end, but I’ve taken some provinces from Yomi, who has bigger things to worry about than me, and gotten rid of the thug at my capital. Meanwhile, my pretender died of disease. Just waiting for Lanka to win, but I think I’m going to try taking my throne back, on general principle. He could probably still beat me by sending some more cloud trapezing SCs in, but I’ll make him pay for it anyway. Only problem is he magically called up a fort in the throne province, but it’s worth a try.

Turn Fifty-seven

Nothing cool happened. Lanka moved his army to the final throne. I have an army on the nearest throne, which I want to retake from him, but it’s not big enough to succeed yet.

Turn Fifty-eight

So, a big battle – probably the last decisive battle of the game – happened this turn. I wasn’t involved, but my scouts caught it. Lanka’s forces are composed of topless chicks and dead monkeys.

asrapas

The longdead bandar are presumably just to stand in the way for more important troops, but he does have his monkey prophet, the erroneously named “Dead by turn 20”. His main strength is a bunch of asrapas, berserk chicks who power up in chaos. Also topless: Dakinis, who are good as both thugs and mages. Lanka also brought a vampire lord and a sage to the fight, perhaps for no reason beyond that he can.

pilfered

Yomi’s army looks a bit thrown-together, but thrown together with a fair amount of resources. His troop complement is bare-bones, he’s got wolves, good only at dying, and shikome, which would be a lot better if he had more of them. He also has manticores, which are big and scary-looking, and that’s their main strength. Their stats are nothing special, although they have plenty of HP, but they also cause plenty of fear checks. Those won’t help against the undead, but maybe they’ll scare some demons away. Finally, he has the two danava which he somehow pilfered from Lanka in a battle I didn’t see. Whatever method he had of stealing turned them from commanders to troops, which is too bad because being able to self-buff would make them a lot more potent. They’re still tough units though, and sacred so they’ll get some more protection.
As for commanders, he’s got his dai oni heavy thug, though with an eyecatcher, he looks to be geared for killing Lanka’s single thug/SC groups rather than lots of longdead. Yomi’s mage corps consists of a silly number of sages and enchanters, who were probably on research duty, a couple demon priests, and two oni generals.

So let’s see what happens.

Yomi’s sages communion up, giving one of them an effective magic rating of 4S (Why didn’t Yomi recruit a crystal mage for this purpose? I don’t know) and he skelespams, shoring up his troop weakness. Lanka blesses everyone, cases blood lust, and mass flight. So now there’s flying stronger topless chicks who are all but impossible to hit. Yomi’s wolves attack Lanka’s longdead, and Lanka’s asrapas attack Yomi’s everything else.

outbuffed

Yomi casts Light of the North Star, which doesn’t do much since he’s using his sages in a communion, End of weakness, which doesn’t do much since he doesn’t have a lot of demons in the field, and the ravenous swarm, which isn’t a perfect choice since both sides are using undead. I see now how he got the Danavas (which were already killed by, if I’m not mistaken, asrapas set to attack rear), his communion masters are casting Enslave Mind, which makes sense. Some melee happens, and Yomi is getting shredded.

shredded

His dai oni is already a ghost. Nothing is really standing up to asrapas for very long.

butchery

And it’s over. The battle was easily won by Lanka, and the game is probably in the same state.

Turn Fifty-nine

darkness and eternal suffering

The game is over, I lost. Lanka did some victory lap stuff, taking more provinces and throwing up another global, but even if he had somehow lost a throne this turn it’s pretty clear his victory has long been inevitable.

The Present

Here’s the final map:

magma

I’ve helpfully outlined Lanka and hashed it so that you can clearly see the unstoppable wave of blood rolling over the land. He could have kept going too, pretty much unhindered, it he’d wanted to drag things out unnecessarily.

gameover

It was pretty obvious who was going to win for a while. I already posted a retrospective a few posts ago, and since then I’ve merely been struggling to hold on in hopes of good fortune, but that’s not the way to win games. I was heading for defeat from very early on, and was never able to turn it around. Sometimes that’s just the way things go, I guess. Now I’m banished to Tartarus.

The Past

I already did a retrospective when it looked like I had lost, since then all there is to say is that Lanka won. I never really had a chance to fight him hard, the only thing I could have done would be to take Berytos before he did, and then go from there, but that would have relied on me doing a better job against Yomi which would have relied on me doing a better job expanding. I made lots of little mistakes that added up, rather than any big ones. I do think my pretender could be better, though. The air never got used, but it would have been worth it if things went differently, so I’m not sure it was the wrong choice, but the water didn’t do much of anything and the earth, while it helped in a lot of ways, may have been more expensive than it was worth at that level of investment. Based on seeing how well it worked for Machaka, from his blog, I think that order + luck scales might be prety good for Agartha, despite also being a very good nation for mitigating misfortune. During this game, a guide was published that recommends using death too, and although a lot of the reasons are fairly late game in a nation that already has a weak early game, it might have a point. On the other hand, it might be more advisable to just follow current meta and take an earth snake as an awake expander. Boring, but probably effective with Agartha.

The Future

I had fun doing this, and behaved in a more introspective manner due to blogging. I think next time I play a serious game, I’m going to do it again. When I do, it’ll be here and I’ll announce it on Desura, so if you follow these things you’re unlikely to miss it. That won’t be for a while though. Not because I’m mad about losing or anything, but I don’t normally play Dominions games back to back. Plus, I won’t be in the same place all summer, and while it would probably be possible to make the hour+ of internet time almost every day that this requires, it would be very inconvenient and potentially irresponsible. So I probably won’t start another game until sometime into September, which would mean that, considering delay, things would appear here starting October. Those times depend on what kind of games are opening and when I feel like it though; don’t be counting down on your calendar or anything.

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