Preparing for War (Turns 12-14)

… how long has it been?

Her Eminence, Savior of the Pale Ones, the Ascendant, First Born of Gaia, Pocahontas’s Phylactery, Early Spring of 21 A.C.

Turn 12

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The third throne of the game is conquered. A skirmish in Swynland.

Domestic

“May you live in interesting times.” -Ancient Tien’Chi curse

Interesting times indeed. As the dormant Gods awaken the third throne of the game is captured, the Throne of War. This action was done by the only other giant nation, my neighbor, Ashdod. Unrest increases worldwide as a result, intriguingly reflecting the external state of the game too. Almost all of the indies, san thrones, have been cleared, meaning territory spats will break out imminently. I recruit a Golem Crafter for my capital. I have 1 month left on my fort at Sombre Pass and start building a temple there to prep for Golem Crafter spam.

turn12a

It is apparent Ashdod is building a fort next to me, as 2 scouts are visible. As they are normally stealthy units this almost guarantees that the province is spawning scouts and 1 has paused to oversee fort construction.

My 2nd Shaman spawns at the Monarch Woods and I set him to start searching for nature income, while my 1st Shaman continues to oversee construction on my 2nd fort, due in 4 months. I recruit 1 more Shaman from the province, then intend to let it slumber until the Fort allows mage spam. This will be good timing for both forts (2nd should be ready about Summer Year 2) and I will be extremely difficult to attack from the Western flank. Unfortunately there’s little I can do to alleviate my Eastern flank’s extreme vulnerablity to sailing Vanheim fleets. I hope my NAP stays up with them, at least until my research infrastructure comes through and lets me ready some offensive mages. I also hope he prioritizes fending an Ashdod aggression off over betraying the friendly neighborhood stone giants.

Military

So I have 4 immediate neighbors. Looking over their territories Vanheim is in the weakest position, with Marignon close behind. Ulm and Ashdod seem comfortable with their existing borders, especially given Abysia’s proximity to Ulm’s capital. Ashdod looks pretty strong, especially given his empire’s defensive position. He can comfortably reach 6 different thrones bordering his empire, while quickly reinforcing any existing forces, making him a pain to invade I want to deal with him immediately, but I’m nervous posturing without any scout info. Knowing what, if any, bless  he has matters a lot to my strategy and research goals. Beyond that Ulm is almost assuredly gearing for an offensive against Abysia, while Marignon/Vanheim are similarly posturing. That means if I want either of their land I better get into position now, before the other nation is poised to grab it and reach my size.

a-skirmish-in-swynland

Not a cheap victory for Marignon, losing 9 of their 10 knights and almost all of their blocking chaff for only 7 of the 13 opposing Van.

I think Vanheim has the disadvantage in his engagement against Marignon. Marignon has easy crossbow access, which aids in breaking Glamour. Additionally he can access Flaming Arrow pretty quickly, giving him a huge early advantage. The Fire Bless will also aid his soldiers against the slippery Vanheim, as will fatigue blasts from his mages like Cascade/Fireball. If I don’t intervene Marignon will almost assuredly be my new neighbor, and we will share much more of a mutual border. This does not please me.

My expansion continues to go smoothly; I successfully conquer Cerulean Sea in the north with no losses. I instruct that force to head to land, to the City Without a Paradox. This is an extremely high income province I can’t believe Marignon hadn’t secured yet and will make an exceptional choice for my 3rd throne. From Agartha I send a lone Oracle, Pebbleborn, to ping (Retreat immediately while at the back of the line) the throne next to it. The description notes a Mind Lord and I’d like to see what kind of back-up mage support and resources he has before securing it.

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On the diplomacy aspect I message Vanheim and share what I know about Marignon and the current player’s bless. I tallied up the units lost in the skirmish at Swynland and encourage him by pointing out Marignon took more expensive losses and is in poor shape to reinforce what he has left. We work out that I’ll try to raid Marignon’s coast a little and keep his forces spread thin while Vanheim rolls over his turf in the South. I am pleased to envision both high income provinces, and even potentially Marignon’s capital (and its gem income!), entering my fold.

Turn 13

Domestic

My governor is preparing for war in Canese Plain and has increased the PD  by 10, to a total of 14. My first fort is complete. While my Earth Reader constructs a lab this turn, I build a holy Attendant. Incredibly cheap at 45 gold; besides being the cheapest priest I can buy (relevant for preaching/banishment purposes), the Attendant is a pretty useless unit. Substandard stats, 50% darkvision, and 10 leadership, to his credit he does have 10 hp (18 when blessed), 2 move and most relevant 10 magical leadership. By building his fort Ashdod has shown he has a scout producing province that directly borders me. All of Agartha’s Enchantment Golem summons have patrol bonuses, and coincidentally I wouldn’t even need the full 10 magical leadership to hunt down 50 stealth units. I send my Attendant to blind the eyes of any who are curious.

One of my Crafters found 2 magic sites this turn: a +1 fire gem site, and the Shrine of the Outcast. The Shrine of the Outcast allows me to recruit 2 Foul Spawns a turn. These spawn are standard size 2, 0 protection, 0 upkeep summon chaff with 2 caveats: one has 3 tentacle attacks and resist cold 15 (!) and the other is a decent patroller (.95 desealth/unit) with 10% regeneration (and 12 base HP, so not really significant). The cold resist could be very useful against certain magic and in the interim both will serve as supplement to my patrolling Ascendant(s).

13main.png

My scout relieves the Shaman building a fort in Monarch Woods. I send all 3 Shamans to the 3 adjacent provinces to jump-start my nature gem income. My Prophet stealths into Old Man Mountains to try and tame Ulm’s ‘Drain 3’ Dominion away. A scout looks to ping the throne at “Ba’an Kish” in the top-most province there.

Lastly C’tis has 3 different Merc companies out right now, other then that the Ship Wreckers are still up for grabs as well as Dagan, the Renegade Sage. With his 16 research he would jump start my current research for only 40 gold, but I elect to save up and let him go by unincorporated.

Military

My income keeps soaring, hitting 1,328 this turn with the addition of 127 from “The City Without a Paradox”. I trade 2 Ancient Ones for 20 Calvary and an assortment of other units. As shown on my last screenshot, I also dump 12 Sacred Ones from Albert’s guard and have them garrison The Hidden Way for troop relocation. Albert is sent North to reinforce against Marignon, but those Ancient Ones will be sent to deal with the menace next to Agartha herself.

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Frickin’ scout provinces. Other then that wanted to give you guys some idea of what’s going on in the North. For being the first to claim a throne Arco looks rather subdued. I am displeased to see Mictlan building underwater units, though I doubt he’d want to risk war against my much more powerful amphibious troops.

My Oracle reports a powerful underwater force guard the neighboring throne. An S4W3 Mind Lord with plenty of gems and a back-up W1 Lesser Elemental summoner along with over 100 chaff make a cumbersome wall. I up production of as many Pale One soldiers as I can muster without interfering with Ancient One production. They are weak units, and their ferrous armor handles water poorly, but I want enough to handle any “Enslave Minds” or offensive blasts that are launched my Ancient One’s way. Albert’s garrisoned sacreds will be picked up by the Attendants and brought back to Agartha in time for me to break this Mind Lord’s hold on the throne.13uwthrone

Turn 14

My children. This world needs anew. A new God. A new dedication. A new dream for a new life. Too long have we slumbered without dreams, without hope. For those who’ve abandoned hope, we will restore it. We will welcome our dreams again in a great national crusade. What do we want? We will make Agartha great again!

Her Eminence, Savior of the Pale Ones, the Ascendant, Hammer of Gaia, Pocahontas’s Phylactery, Late Spring of 21 A.C.

Domestic

“Oh fortuitous circumstance! Lithia appeared just a connection of Agarthan land, but the Ascendent Pocahontas’s Phylactery had other plans! Using advanced magical triangulation theorems  I found evidence unearthing it as the true origin of the Forgotten Fortress!”

Karl the Golem Crafter, 3rd Sculptor of Our Lady’s Land, Architect of the Forbidden, Late Spring of 21 A.C.

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Pangaea claims his 2nd throne of the game, while Marignon scoops his 1st in the forted Senextro. Vanheim sieges that same province losing 3 basic infantry to the small PD garrison. His 25 Vans, 6 Valkyrie and 2 Vanjarl are untouched.

Beyond a gem income of 3 earth gems and 1 death the legendary fortress of ol’ has been found. While Lithia’s 58 income isn’t as great a location as alternatives, the fact of the matter is I just got an 800 gold, 5 month investment for free, with an insane gem income to boot. I immediately send Karl to build a lab and instruct TURN DOWN FOR BALZAC to move there and start a temple next turn (buying Karl a turn of research). I’m also a little nervous that the flying raptors Ulm has grouped in his castle might scout my prophet out and kill him. Plus I have negative dominion on my new fort, which means I might start accumulating Ulm’s Drain. This is unacceptable for a research haven and is my prophet’s new priority.

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Two additional random events happen as well. A small triton garrison appears at Cerulean Sea. I’m less then pleased about this, as aquatic units are inflexible so rarely worth their income. I work it out and the group is 8 upkeep a month, plus I lose 71 gold for their initial appearance. I will have to do my best to suicide these guys. Pro-tip for any future zealots: don’t put yourself on my payroll unless you bring something worthwhile to the table. Lastly my first fort in The Sombre Pass suffers a poor event and takes 30 unrest and -3 dominion. I have no one nearby to patrol it out, but my 3 Order knocks that down to 25 right off the bat.

Otherwise I have 2 months left on my 2nd.. erg, I guess I mean my 3rd fort. Between the pair of lab/temples I just built on my other 2 fort locations, and the lab I just built on my new fort, my income is stretched very thin. I recruit 7 unarmored Pale Ones from Agartha in preparation of taking the throne next turn and further exasperate my budget. I recruit 1 Golem Crafter from Agartha, and after 1 Earth Reader researcher from The Sombre Pass I am completely out of cash. Hopefully things will stabilize now as I look to turn up my research level and not need many extra troops to soak up gems from the Throne mages.

War

Vanheim begins his siege of Marignon’s 2nd fort. I let Vanheim strike first. Ideally Marignon will direct all his troops southward, then my strike from the water will leave him unprepared. I am not looking to get into a drawn out engagement with Marignon, but force him to play defensively and give Vanheim some openings to expand. If Vanheim is kept happy growing on Marignon, I can continue my conquest underwater unmolested. I wouldn’t mind chopping off some of Marignon’s northern lands either.

The North throne at Ba’an Kish has several powerful mages, and so many gems I could cry. Four wizards guard it with these respective resources:

  • 3W (20+ gems)
  • 4F1A (15+ fire gems, ~5 air)
  • 1W1E1D (~7 earth/death gems, ~4 earth)
  • 2F1E (15+ fire gems, ~5 earth)

The dominant threats I see are fire and water elemental summons. Unfortunately ~30 fire gems is too many elementals for me to combat right now. I will leave the throne until I have Magma Children to assist with tanking the fire summons.

Ulm continues to muster troops on our border, but still makes no offensive actions. Ashdod is also concerning, but I have not seen his main battalion yet. I assume it will consistent of his Prophet and as many Sacreds as can be supported by his scales’ supplies. This likely means he will be hitting thrones up and otherwise too occupied for me to expect a sudden attack. Time to bite into Marignon a little, work on taking underwater provinces, and get serious about my research goals. Mid game has begun!

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