MA Sceleria, Year One:
My prophet’s forces stabilized my border and then split up to site search and patrol. Other commanders also starting searching and I found a few new sites, which doubled my gem income. I began to reanimate undead in multiple locations. My income and dominion continued to be strong. I built two (working on three) forts along my northern and southern border and used them to house temples and labs, and also to recruit priests to reanimate more undead. This freed my capital up to recruit researchers and the all-important ethereal sacred Vestals. Here is a link to a Shadow Vestal:
Guxx crafted his equipment: Helm of Horrors (base 15 + 5 fear = 20), Stinger (magic spear with long reach good for repelling), Magic Shield, Blacksteel Armor (not full plate, I wanted to keep some mobility), Amulet of Luck (avoid a killing blow), Amulet of Twist Fate (negates first hit) and the ultimate final piece: Boots of Trampling. Putting those on a size 5 flying pretender with fear and decent defenses was a nasty combo, no one likes when their rear line of commanders all get trampled to death.
Here is a pic of Guxx in his equipment.
I watched as Man slowly built up a force to my east, but there was still a lot of unclaimed land along that border. I decided to go for players who might be dangerous later and ignored the empty land for now. I potentially could have created a third province-capturing force, but first I wanted to see how my two main armies did against a player.
The thrones near me stayed unclaimed. The throne leader, Bandar Log far on the other side of the continent, took 5 of the 11 ascension points he needed.
My northern neighbor Eriu was research leader. I agreed a truce along my southern border with Machaka and coordinated with Xibalba beyond my northern neighbor so we would both invade around the same time. Agartha also invaded that region from the water around the same time. We must have all smelled blood. All in all it seemed like Eriu was in trouble.
My only strategic decision was to send my pretender in early. He was fully kitted up and brought 60 vestals, which is a nasty force. I sent him one round early versus a border province in order to scare Eriu a bit, especially since he would see that attack at the same time as my large secondary force appeared on his border. It also gave me the option of a pincer attack as follow-up.
Invading with my pretender meant domain was a concern so I spent 400 gold on an undefended temple on the border hoping it would help spread my white candles.
Eriu had just taken the throne directly south of his capital, and was building a fort on the province, a few turns before I invaded.
In Late Fall Guxx entered Eriu’s coastal farm province with 55 vestals. It was taken easily. But then an aquatic force from Agartha attacked the same province with 25 of their capital-only sacred Shard Guards with a full water defensive bless. Agartha killed 40 vestals (which is 6 months of production) and routed the others but Guxx stormed their back-lines from the sky and trampled all of their commanders to death. I won the fight, but it hurt.
I knew Agartha would not stay around for long, so I continued to focus on Eriu.
The next month in Early Winter, Guxx, his prophet, 40 experienced vestals, and backup commanders stormed the province where Eriu had taken a throne and was finishing building a fort.
The invasion went perfectly. I captured the province before he completed the fort, which means he lost the gold spent on the building. He moved his pretender out to re-capture the coastal farm, but left the bulk of his force in his capital. I killed 140 troops and only lost 4. Guxx performed excellently, flying into his back lines and killing 20 troops and commanders while scattering and fearing dozens. That province had a throne, a lab and many many magic sites, all of which I took. I built a temple on it ASAP to help my dominion since my pretender’s hit points were based on the number of white candles in the province.
The next month in Mid-Winter Eriu re-invaded his throne province and his pretender killed Guxx. He had the advantage of positive dominion, and my pretender was still set to trample which is good for normal units but less so for other SCs. His pretender,a Duiu of Farming, had three offensive items, dodged a few tramples (which are less effective when there is no size difference) and killed Guxx with a headbutt from his horned helmet. I won the fight - killed 50 units and he only killed 20 and routed - but it would now take months of all of my priests praying to return Guxx to this land.
This is Eriu’s pretender during the fight, with +30 HP and +3 Strength from his white candles:
By late Winter Machaka had claimed a throne along my southern border. The domain pressure from that, in addition to the lack of domain from Guxx’s absence, meant the borders of my domain were starting to shrink.
Here is the map. Note I have spread north to take a throne, next to Eriu’s capital. Machaka’s orange-flagged army is near some thrones to the south. Overall my white border positive dominion is smaller:
Next post … the third year.