MA Sceleria, Year Two:
In early Spring my pretender Guxx returned from the dead! It took two months of every priest chanting to bring him back. His Death magic reduced by one, and it said his domain also reduced but I didn’t see any effect on domain. For example I could still recruit the same amount of holy units per turn.
I hired a band of mercenaries and they took back the coastal plains province from Eriu. I continued to hold that throne, which also happened to have many many magic sites on it, and it made me the leader in gems per turn. I started to build a fort on the throne province.
I moved a lot of the animated undead north to the front versus Eriu. I re-equipped Guxx, gave him a fresh squad of vestals from my capital, and he also made his way north. I continued to research at a fairly slow pace. I adjusted my research priorities slightly and headed to conjuration sooner than expected, hoping to get a few Bane Lord thugs into the field to expand my fighting force.
Bandar Log was still the Throne Leader at 7 points. I suspected everyone would gang up on him before he could get 11. My goals for this year were to finish off Eriu and then decide if I was going to head east versus Man or south versus Machaka. I had no intention of trying to head west across the water to fight Bandar Log, Water magic is not a strong path for Sceleria.
I consolidated my forces in the north, upgraded a few forts (I was the fort leader and second in gold income) and made a hard decision. I almost decided not to invade Eriu since I gained little from finishing him off. I even sent him a note that I was withdrawing, and I meant it at the time. Negotiations with my northern neighbors were holding steady, none of us were attacking each other. (I hoped some were attacking Bandar Log.)
However, in the mid-Summer I invaded Eriu’s capital. I wanted to see if I could finish off a human player, and I didn’t want to leave a wounded and angry neighbor on my flank. In the end I decided he needed to go. He appeared to have 200-250 troops, of mixed types, but I didn’t trust the report. I threw everything I had in the north: all my undead, my H4 D3 S2 prophet, and my re-equipped Super-Combatant Pretender.
Here is my prophet, who was the second most valuable asset in my army:
It took three months to breech Eriu’s walls. During that time I summoned about 150 more undead, animated from corpses that were in his capital province. Had there been a large battle there previously? I also built temples in all neighboring provinces and switched my animating priests in those provinces to praying. I managed to shrink his domain advantage in his capital down to almost nothing.
He tried to re-take one of the coastal provinces with summoned eagles. They were beaten by my province defenders.
We stormed the castle in late Fall, won the fight and eliminated Eriu. I killed about 300 units and lost about 75. The biggest losses were my vestals, as always, with 50 dead. However, they killed 150 so they did their job. :-)
My Vestals were always on attack rear. One of the two groups managed to kill the wall defenders then jumped over the wall - maybe because they are ethereal? They ended up inside of the castle in Eriu’s back ranks at the same time that Guxx flew in. Guxx still had on his trample boots, since I figured it was better to sow chaos than to try and kill Eriu’s pretender. I got lucky because his pretender moved forward and was surrounded by my units, who were steadily chewing through his troops, while Guxx trampled his casters in the courtyard.In the final moments the Duiu of Farming was horror marked, suffered two permanent wounds, and was paralyzed by the Shadows, then Guxx came in and did 50% of the damage in a few swings and got credit for the killing blow. Guxx finished the fight with 250 XP total with 70 kills to his name (from all fights), which would put him at #2 in the Hall of Fame (if Pretenders were able to be listed in the Hall of Fame).
However, Guxx did not escape unscathed. Eriu managed to land a SHRINK on him! Not a massive deal because he was still size 4, but that meant trample was now less effective and his icon was a bit smaller. It was an embarrassing reminder of the fight. :-)
I consolidated my forces and planned to send Guxx off across the ocean to fight Bandar Log, with the Prophet leading the main force down south to fight Machaka. Bandar Log had 8 throne points and was close to the win. Machaka had 6 thrones.
I hated splitting my force but I had to keep Bandar Log away from the win while I took the other thrones from Machaka. No one else in the world was effective against Bandar Log - were they even trying??
By Winter I had re-geared Guxx, summoned Wights, and sent him and 2 water ring-wearing casters to capture the throne in the ocean next to my capital. It was a practice round before I sent that whole team across the ocean to attack Bandar Log. I was still moving all of the rest of my forces south, although I wasn’t yet sure how and when to attack Machaka.
In Late Winter Guxx, the Wights and two of my biggest mages with a random water path all invaded the aquatic throne province. We defeated the defenders easily… but maybe we should have been suspicious there were so few.
Bandar Log’s Pretender (a giant earth snake) and a moderate sized army attacked the same water province that same month. 200 of his troops defeated 20 of mine. Guxx fought bravely, killing 15 enemies himself before he died to a Soul Slay (ouch!). The Wights did OK, killing twice their number. Bandar Log’s forces were only moderately tough but most were native to the water - mine were poor in the water. The loss of my pretender just as he started that mission really hurt.
Here is Bandar Log’s pretender, and the aquatic force I stumbled into by accident…
I pulled myself together, set all my priests to recalling their god (again!), and set my mind to invading Machaka. There was nothing I could do against Bandar Log. I sent 500 more gold to his enemies, bringing the total donated that year to 2,000.
The map at the end of Year Two:
Next post … the fourth year.