I found Fomoria’s mage support.
If this had met me two turns ago with the pegasi out front, it would have been a hard battle. It utterly wrecked my 1PD, which is all it fought because I moved my army away last turn. It’s now sieging a throne province and has already cracked the fort, so that’s a problem that I need to deal with. Guess the army’s marching right back. Annoying. Especially since he’ll be the defender, and he’s got an earthquake caster and he’ll be able to get that off before I can bless my boars… Well, to prevent that, I’m not going to attack directly, but instead circle around the province. When he takes the fort, which he’s ready to do, I can move my army in to siege it and teleport my pretender on top, who will automatically bless the army before any battle begins. I might not need a battle though, because there’s three other thrones that I’m going for.
The army at Umitior, though small, has met little resistance and so is already assaulting the castle. If I can join this force with my southerly one and unite those two fronts into one, I’ll have the thrones of Cerne and Umitior both in my defenses and vulnerable only to possible betrayal from Yomi, though I expect the game to be won before that’s an issue, in this case. The throne at Runia is where my great big southern army (which is northern in this picture, due to wraparound) is headed, but it must cut through Helheim’s heartland to get there. It’s also where some indie merpeople that I’d been slowly building up all game are headed; it’s poorly defended enough that they might cause Fomoria serious concern and therefore draw off his troops from the more serious approaching threat. Finally, Rivia, the closest, which is somewhat heavily defended. The army headed that way is lacking in mage support and therefore unlikely to win, but if it does, that should allow me to win as well. It was an oversight to not send mages there, caused by me playing some turns too quickly, when too tired, and while feeling overly confident. I’m sending some druids from the capital and some sequani from the southern army, but by the time the latter get there, the situation will probably have changed.
Helheim elfed me. He attacked eleven provinces with Helkarls, and took six of them, failing to take any where boars had fled from previous battles and I’d neglected to collect them. The provinces he took are all empty and unimproved, but in order to prevent it from happening again, I’ve boosted PD in all my provinces to 6. I’ve also sent him a taunting message.
I’m being fairly rude to him for no reason. I’m somewhat hoping he’ll attack my attackers by moving his army right back onto mine and giving me the defender bonus, but I suspect he’d rather flee. Perhaps this will tip the balance in favor of that, but on the other hand he might suspect I’m trying to trick him and avoid tangling with that army altogether, which would also be fine.
Some winged monkeys took a Vergobret to Rivia for no apparent reason, where Fomoria’s forces killed him. Perhaps they hoped to get someone more important?
Yomi is attempting diplomacy.
He’s saying this to erase the possibility that I see his army on the border and suspect he’s planning to attack me. There are two possible reasons for that. The most obvious is that he’s telling the truth and would like to avoid a potentially costly misunderstanding. The second is that he is going to attack me, and wants it to be a surprise. This would generally seem the more likely of the two, since if it was legitimately war with Fomoria, a person wouldn’t generally consider the possibility that I’d be offended as much. However, based on his personality, I suspect honesty. He’s been pretty forthright and vocally opposed to Fomoria throughout the game. I’m aware of the chance for betrayal, but I have two strong armies relatively nearby and no unused forces outside of the arena to consider, so I’m not going to do anything different based on this message. The third possibility may be related to the fact that I’ve already cut off one of his three borders with Fomoria, via conquest, and am working on the other two. It’s not much fun having a nemesis you can’t reach.
It seems I underestimated him due to the fact that I could wipe out any one of his armies with mine, and so neglected the basic discipline of counting. I made some mistakes too, which I’m going to blame on the fact that I made some major strategic commitments while visiting my parents and therefore having less time from Dominions. If I’d committed more forces (specifically mages) to the front against Rivia, I’d have taken it by now and would have denied Fomoria this victory. If I’d been quicker, two turns ago, to retake Cerne rather than endeavoring to reduce casualties to that army, I’d also have prevented this victory that way. If I’d done both, I’d have won by now. But I didn’t, and hindsight is 20/20. I suppose this is what happens from being too focused on myself.
Fomoria pretty much agrees with my assessment.
So do the graphs.
I was winning in literally every way, aside from actually achieving victory. If it had been second place, that would have been a consolation, but this is just frustrating. I have nothing to blame but my own few small mistakes at the end for my loss.
So, what to do better next time? If someone is adamant that another player is about to win, I should take it a bit more seriously I suppose. And I should make sure, when sending out troops, to have all fronts well-covered and to have things prioritized better: Don’t overcommit in areas that can become a unified front soon anyway and which don’t have too many worthwhile prizes, and don’t leave a front with something juicy just sitting there with only a weak army going for it. And I guess I should avoid visiting my parents on crucial turns, since it results in rushed decisions with poor outcomes.
As for Marverni, my current strategy worked well. The hard part is the early game, when it’s pretty much up to diplomacy to try and defend my borders, but being diplomatic and letting someone else get ganked worked out well for me. Niefelheim probably should have ignored Caelum (he didn’t get much from them) and rush me early, but he didn’t and so I took him instead. If others had ganged up on me before I really got underway, that could have been the end of me too. But really everything went well except for those last few strategic priorities. And even then, they would have worked on a bigger map or with a higher throne count needed for victory, because I was essentially aiming to dominate and then win by default. But I should have thought defensively as well as offensively with regards to throne captures, and I didn’t. Lesson learned.