Expansion continues apace. I liberated a throne of pestilence, which is not very important but of note, the +1 death it grants will be canceled by the +1 growth from the Throne of Life. So that’s nice. My earth snake died in combat again, not going to bother bringing him back. He’s not worth it. In terms of research, I’m rushing for Earth Blood Deep Well now, which will take a while, but it goes through Living Mercury, which I definitely want, Horde of Skeletons, which will be circumstantially useful, and the Hidden in- spells, which I can use to boost diversity.
Hinnom shared his knowledge, so let’s take a look at that:
As expected, my expansion is terrible and I’m tiny and people are making fun of me. There’s a lot of big threats but I mostly knew them already. Things I didn’t know: Marverni is in my caves and needs to be blocked off, and Ulm is a good size that, being AI, he could well be gobbled up. I would much rather it’s not Tíen Chí or Mictlan who does that, which means it falls to me. Uh, eventually.
The new info led to a rash of diplomacy. Most of the messages I got are nice things, but Xibalba took this opportunity to bully me. Also R’lyeh is mad because he’s slow and people have been spamming him with turn resends. Look how salty this fool is:
Here’s another map, courtesy of the giant Jews.
I’ve made some cheerful gains in the sourthern caverns, where the indies are of inconsequential strength and Xibalba, presumably wanting to placate me, has portrayed himself as gracious in allowing me the cave provinces while seizing the Inner Kingdom for himself. It is unlikely that I could win a war against him, so it will have to be as it is. In the eastern caverns, I was foiled by a cap province and my own overconfidence. I don’t intend to repeat this mistake, so I’m assembling a bigger army. Meanwhile, the reinforced remnants of that failure head south to block Marverni out of my caverns. That endeavor might prove largely pointless however, as there’s a bunch of Aerdi ghosts in the way. They are apparently a significant faction in Greyhawk, under the city of Rauxes, and they’re going to be very difficult to chew through. The reward for doing so will be a throne, and probably some manually assigned sites, so it could be worth it, though.
Another major sore spot that you can see on this map: The Jews are conquering the Germans. Hinnom is taking over Ulmish land before I could get a chance, and although a lot of it is wasteland, there’s also some good topside provinces there which would have been a nice addition to my income.
Here’s some graphs that Hinnom posted. They’re not super useful, but it’s interesting to see how the spread is. Some of them have nations omitted, ostensibly to spare weak nations from being bullied, but more likely because Hinnom wants to focus attention on certain of the largest nations, while allowing smaller nations to become credible threats to everyone but him.
There’s a pretty decent thread of banter and commerce going on, though I’m not super involved in it. The commerce is largely to the benefit of Tíen Chí, like a lot of things, and reinforces his position as front-runner. But the way things are going, it looks like we’re getting set up for a long game with more words than wars.
I also took an indie province with no indies in it. I took the Throne of Pestilence so now everybody gets disease because of me. I think that includes indies, so maybe that’s why? It’s also possible the guy who made this map was going to put custom indies but forgot halfway through. Or something strange happened when I wasn’t looking. It’s a mystery.
There’s one regard in which I am apparently not that badly situated. Pangaea (who has Mother Oak) and an anonymous poster shared their gem income recently:
These are amounts that they were bragging about. For contrast, here’s mine:
And on a related note, I’ve arranged a deal with Niefelheim to purchase a blood stone. Between that and earth boots, I can boost an oracle high enough to cast Earth Blood Deep Well, granting me a substantial bounty of earth gems. I can even overcast it at more than 200 gems, which would entail a pretty solid guarantee that it’ll stay up, if not forever, then at least a very long time.
Oh yeah, I’m at war with Ulm now, but they’re AI so actually easier than indies. I’m going to try to take some of their topside provinces, but maybe will only get low-income mountains and wasteland, like I’ve been doing.
Although I’m not in any real wars, I’m also not super busy today so let’s take an in-depth look at the stuff my scouts have seen.
Hinnom has somethign wandering around in the Ulmish lands.
It’s either an expensive thug or a mediocre supercombatant. If I fought it, the casualties would be substantial but it wouldn’t really have much chance of winning as long as I threw a big enough olms at it. Throwing a lot of olms at something is kind of my default strategy, I suppose, but it’s a good strategy for simple things, and I can add just about any of my nation’s options on top of it and things just get better.
Now, the big thing on the geopolitical stage right now. For background, Arcosephale declared himself a merchant and was selling magic items. Then Mictlan decided to geek the Greek, which gave Tíen Chí the perfect causes belli to invade Mictlan. Because there’s a good CB (but also because nobody wants to be the first to go in and die) neighboring major powers are not interceding, despite the fact that this will allow Tíen Chí to become the preeminent power in the world and, if not challenged soon after, to win the game on momentum. Let’s take a look at what we’re potentially up against:
That’s a lot of sacreds. The archers and the footmen aren’t, but all the other units are. It’s also a lot of mages. Most of them are masters of the way, with 1W1S. Mictlan also has some sacreds and mages in this battle but uh…
Tíen Chí sets up a communion and distributes blessings. His bless is F9W9E4, making his soldiers better soldiers overall without much by way of bell or whistle. After a while of casting blessings, he lets out a divine blessing, indicating that he didn’t even bother to rework scripting for this battle. But the armies of Mictlan, tiny as they are, rout before battle is properly joined.
Fighting this would be difficult for me. If they meet an oracle in a cave, I could wipe out an army like this pretty well by casting earthquakes, but it wouldn’t be cheap and it would be very difficult for me to gain ground that way. If someone else (who has a chance) goes to war with them, I’ll join in and with Tíen Chí fighting on multiple fronts, I may be able to grow into their land a bit. But fighting them alone would be a losing proposition. In fact, the best way I could hurt Tíen Chí at this point would be to attack Mictlan and take some of their provinces before Tíen Chí gets them. But I’m not properly situated for that right now.