Qt3 QTtheHIll Dominions Disciples game thread

That’s sorry to hear - but i thought the bug with that actually was with the battle replay - that it was unable to reproduce exactly all the conditions of the first battle that produced the report and so ‘only approximated’ the results of the report - with the result that sometimes ‘approximate’ isn’t even close. If this is true, it’s the report that is accurate, and actually the battle replay which is bugged…kinda half full way of looking at it, but I dunno, I think it’d make me feel a bit better about it…

Yeah, thats definitely one of the most infuriating bugs in the game.

Must be a tricky one if its still unfixed after all this time.

yeah, it was a bug. i thought i’d lost until i realised atlantis had retreated. just thought it was the replay bug, and “carried on”. it was VERY close that battle

By the way, pyrhic, I sent you a PM with my email address. Would love to see the game from a different point of view.

Turn 60

It’s turn 60 and it’s a pretty pivotal time in general for the world.

Some Highlights:

TC has just been eliminated this turn. It was pretty anticlimactic - a scattered force of monkeys, and white-ones beat the last scattered remnants of some lizard shaman in a fort. TC is the first nation eliminated, but judging by the Yomi advances into the water, and into Pan’s island, those two nations do not have too much time left.

No Globals have been yet cast, and no thrones have been captured. Caelum has attempted to seize the Zeus throne at least once, and maybe more times, but has so far been unsuccessful - I think he tried 4 times to seize it? Maybe 5? Some bad luck, bad synergy and some nasty combatants there…glad i didn’t roll into that mess.

Though TNN has been sucssessful, I don’t feel that strong. My economy is certainly purring well - TNN holds 5 forts, and is completing a 6th right now. I understand this is a strong advantage, but i’m concerned that I’m too troop thin. In particular, i’m aware that many of my troops have glamour and can’t be spotted, making me look even weaker than I am. Lanka has 4 sizable armies, Yomi at least 2, Machaka 2…I’ve got forces all over the place and a very long border…I don’t feel very safe. Kail has emerged from the war in pretty good position, with 4 forts, but everyone else is hurting, and most have only 2.

Fueling my economy is not only my forts (and fueling those has been my luck), but also I’ve now had Trade winds running off my capital for many turns. I have never checked to see its actual impact, but it certainly ‘feels’ like its helping.

In terms of research, I’m pretty comfortable I’m either leading or very competitive with the leader. I’m now sitting on Conj 6, Alt 7(Hello fog warriors!), Evo5, Const 6, Ench5 and Thau4, and I’ve decided to push construction to 8 to get to artifacts. I’m producing 760 research a turn now, give or take, and can be at Const 8 in about 6 turns.

In gems, i’m pretty happy with my income. I’m earning 92 gems a turn - far more than I’m spending, and the sources are pretty well distributed, averaging about 12, with astral highest at 19 and nature lowest at 8. Nature would continually be a drain, and even in the end, i would rarely have excess nature gems - as I would typically use them in shields, and the sublime rainbow armor.

It’s a bit of a confusing time for me - i’m not too sure which way I want to go or what to do. With TC removed, I have the thing I needed most (and what fueled my conclusion to the TC war) - a Sorceress site. An indy site for Astral mages has been something that eluded me all game so far, but when I raided TCs Keep of totems province (selected in the map) and found it had an astral mage site, i knew I had to keep that war going until its end. Even at the end of the game, it was the only astral mage site I had producing units (late, late, game, i would capture the TC site that spawned the lizard shamans, but it was far too late to be useful to me then). I needed astral mages for 3 things - to produce low level astral items like antimagic amulets - to act as a source of protection against mind hunts - and to act as a buffer against a magic duel attack on my god. The fact that sorceresses at A2S2 out of the box, with an additional AWSD (20%) was just gravy. I was particularly concerned that Kailasa, and its ludicruous low astral casters would try something in the magic duel category.

Seeing some gaps, i’ve recently summoned my ether lord (highly recommended by the way, if you have the pearls) and have just summoned the first of my…many…sea kings. I would find out quite a bit later how much these cost me…but right now, trolls are awesome chaff, and only cost some gems I really can’t find much use for.

I’ve 7 Sidhe lords at my disposal, and one Ri. I won’t build too many Ri (i think i make one more), because this one will die as he lived…poorly…more on that later. With the trolls and Etherlords, I’ve also been trying some other summons to test their utility. At one point I summon a werewolf - given my nature gem problem, i’m not sure why i did this, since Sidhe’s can do most of the exact same thing, and in most cases way better. Later, despite how perfectly normal it sounds, I would give this werewolf a amulet of lycanthropy that would quickly wreck him. Seriously dom4 devs…if you read this…werewolves are lycanthropes…they really shouldnt be negatively impacted by the amulet…but…for the rest of you, if you don’t already know this. They are. and damnit. I could probably write a chapter on the stupid shit that I did that only served to hurt myself…sigh, like the mummy hero that will be birthed soon. and damnit.

I’ll whittle away the next dozen turns or so - indecisive. Trying to figure out information. Trying to find a path and a strategy. For a while, I’ll even totally mis-remember the victory objectives…

…yes…and this is apparently what stuff god-hood is made of.

For what it’s worth, I’m really enjoying these updates (even if I don’t entirely understand everything going on).

3 times for the throne. Rain of Stones was pretty rough.

Turn 80

Twenty turns from my last update, and twenty turns until the end of the game. Just writing that seems striking, because when Akaoni writes(not incorrectly) about the game slowing down and dragging, and then you see the game state at this point(80% of the way through) and think of all the changes that are happening in the next twenty turns - it just seems somewhat unfathomable that the game would seem dragging…

But lets not get ahead of ourselves…

So, in the last twenty turns, four of the five thrones have been captured. To my east, I was ok with Machaka’s presence and had no ambitions towards it. Really, with its capital on the river, there was no way I could move towards the throne above it without declaring war on it - and I’m leery of a wardec at this point. I’m getting pretty confident I’m leading in many key areas - but I still feel that my troop strength is not what it could be. Take a look at the map, and you can see a monster stack in Lanka - plus lesser stacks of elephants and things, and Yomi has some truly massive buildups. Kail and Cael are somewhat more obscure, but I’m starting to feel that the war with TC hurt Kail far more than i thought - and strangely, Caelum seems to be taking serious losses in trying to just hit the throne he surrounds. Still, I feel i need to be careful - and I’m particularly worried about Caelum flying raiders wrecking havoc while my army gets drawn into a large conflict…

However, Caelum and Machaka start getting into a war - and my first evidence of this is Caelum raiders hitting the Machaka territories to my east. Initially, i choose to ignore it, but as the raids continue it seems that Machaka is losing this battle - and also, seems to be defending one point in particular very well…

I’ve a stone sphere (allowing me to scry with non-mage troops with no risk to themselves - also, can be used to test for domes - really, a fantastic item) and I take a look at what I’ve marked as #1. It is, quite properly, a super-gem site - producing 11 gems a turn, and allowing for enchantress recruits(1N + 2FAEWN, +50%FAEWN). So as it becomes obvious that Machaka is falling, i seize it and the pathway to the (then unclaimed) throne. Caelum occupies the province to the northeast of #1, but I’ve isolated it(and scryed it) and after somewhat aggressive bargaining he allows me to take it for no restitution. I’m starting to feel like the other nations are fearful of me, and my ‘negotiations’ are definitely taking a more forward posture. The site marked as 2 was another example of this where, if i remember correctly, i seized it from Yomi on the pretext of keeping it out of a slightly resurging Atlantis. Strangely as i think about this now, both of these strike me as reminiscent of the Nazi Germany’s annexations prior to WW2. In both cases, while I moved purposefully - I moved more out of the belief that no real resistance would emerge than anything else. If either had put up a fuss? Certainly in Yomi’s case, i would have backed down - i was not confident enough to take him on directly. But even in Caelum’s case, i would also have likely backed down. I did not think I was ready to take on the world…

In #3, we see TNN ‘assisting’ in the final defeat of Atlantis. I was really surprised that Atlantis had survived this long…at this point, their war has probably been going on 40 turns! Also, you can see Pan is still alive, clinging onto its remaining territories somehow. I never even saw very many battles with Pan or Atlantis, so i couldn’t even gauge whether they were fighting well, or Yomi badly, or he was just focused elsewhere…It was all sort of strange.

In #4 we see the Steel Ovens. Much like with the Machaka territory, I noticed that Lanka was building an army that was out of proportion to the one opposite it. When i scryed it I found the ovens. Several times I thought about taking it, but that would have meant all out war with Lanka…plus, if nothing else, my possession of the ovens might cause the world war I’d been fearing. No, best leave Lanka and its ovens alone…

Globals! In the last 5 turns, the first two ‘lasting’ globals go up. I put up Fata Morgana, and Kail puts up Mother oak. In terms of gems I’m earning 146/turn right now, with a very even split - no fewer than 19, no more than 29, for all sources except blood. This glut of gems has left me thinking I should put up a global or two - but which ones? I wouldn’t want to put up something too aggressive…so I settle on Fata Morgana for a few reasons:

  • Increase Province defence: There’s something causing disease emerging in some of my provinces and I’m thinking Fata Morgana will increase my patrol bonus and help me root it out (incorrect assumption, afaik)
  • Increase Province defence(2): I’m worried about raiders - sometime soon it’s inevitable. The additional phantasmal forces attached to defence might be enough to either deter raiders, or cause their nation to send larger raiding parties to guarantee success (believe this was correct, but unsure whether it had any impact)
  • People are happy! This global will also give me some additional luck results/findings (no evidence this did any of that at all)
  • Makes my armies look bigger! Well, my opponents will have to say if that worked or not…
    All in all, though i felt it was worthwhile at the time, in hindsight Fata Morgana was a big waste of gems. It did actually save me a province or two from neutral raiders - but other than that, it was a pretty poor use of 90 air gems (which i would come to need later on). However, it does pave the way to me starting to think strategically about globals, and I start to plan a strategy around them…

On research, TNN is still trucking along - Cons/Alt -8, Ench/conj-7, evo6 and thau 5. Fata also made me realize that I haven’t even given any consideration towards the elemental royalty - whose strong path affinity are going to be necessary if i want to cast some of the globals I’m thinking of. I only hope that my focus in other areas hasn’t cost me the opportunity to get them. Next round I’ll have Conj8 and start the summonings.

I’ve had cons8 for about a year now, and the items are rolling off the assembly line. The first were the gatestone, and boots of the planes, following afterwards, in no real order, were mage bane, aegis shield, flying ship, first anvil, atlas of creation, forbidden light and bell of cleansing (both were meant to be used against lanka - though i could never figure out a good method of deploying the forbidden light). It’s around this time, that I came to realize that many of these toys are pretty meaningless without suitable chassis…so, yet another reason to get that conjuration level up.

But still, and finally, with 20 turns left until the end of the game I haven’t figured out a plan of attack. My grand strategy can be summarized in:

  • two front war - bad - avoid
  • one front war, only leads to two front war - see above - bad - avoid
  • nibble at edges until everyone just lets you win or something

The good thing is that the realization of the last thought in particular has rocked me awake. The next few turns will see TNN start adopting a strategy to win the game (as opposed to just having the most stuff).

Oh, and my Sidhe count now is 12, with one (soon to be dead) Ri. I’ve also 2 golems (not that impressed with them in Dom4 - certainly weaker than they were, or so it felt like). And my etherlord is still “alive” or whatever an ether lord is…

Really liking this pyrhic. Haven’t done much of my own AAR, largely with uni studies murdering my time after I finish work (partly why my own Dominions turns can be fraught with errors).

Do want to say that the swap over of land from Caelum to TNN wasn’t from fear. I found the in-game diplomacy to be more protracted than it needed to be, and will be more than happy to do away with it in future. To me, it was a bit more easier to just give what you were after than go through the long and tedious haggle process. I believe I did try and bargain for a booster which you refused, rightly so, but I wanted to put it out there at the time anyway so I could save myself a little bit of time.

Looking at those gem totals you have, yeah, I don’t know what to say. I know I had water and air break 200 at different points, but everything else remained in the double digits. Of course, I was spending the gems, but never really had much of a surplus to work with effectively.

Oh yeah, unless someone did it the same time as me, I was the person to cast Fate of Oedipus first time around to kill your Eyes of the God. Can’t really say it was worth the gems, but I did have them at the time, and not a huge use for them. Empowering my Pretender in water was when I started making good use of fire gems by making a few rune smashers. Took a while to decide on that.

One post game thought - I think Ermor would have been brilliant in this set up. I’ve already played EA Ermor in three Dominions MP games and so I select against them now because I want to try other nations. But yeah, sacred researchers, defensible military access to all magic paths (except blood). Caelum, I was in this weird position of having water and air, but not able to capitalise on them effectively. I also had this weird influx of earth gems and little utility.

I too am enjoying your detailed write ups. Looking forward to the re-caps of the battles! And NOW I see where Atlantis was…And only once did I have triple digits of gems, and that was earth gems.

In regards to Fata Morgana. I noticed that my scouts did not detect any of your armies in the field, and that the count of the troops in the castle went up by a couple orders of magnitude. Where previously I had seen a hundred trolls and Sidhe, for example, it went up to 600-800.
While that is interesting, and valuable, I still think Vengeful Water was a better global.

thanks for the continuing aar, pyrhic. enjoyable reading :)

Thanks all for the support - i was thinking there was little interest, and so debated against continuing, but so long as some people are entertained, i’ll keep it up…

I disagree about Ermor - it’s a great nation to play (and one of my favorites), but with this setup I think it’d be wanting for gold very hard. Your main casters are augurs and augur elders, neither of which are sacred. And your sacred ground unit is the equite, which is a hefty 50g, so you wouldnt have too many of them. For early expansion, you’d be pretty dead in the water and unable to afford the quantities of principes and hastati you’d need to expand comfortably.

Oh I thought the Augur Elders were sacred. I never actually checked. I stand corrected.

Turn 80: The Situation

It’s becoming obvious that TNN is in a dominant position, but the question plaguing me is how exactly can I close out the game. I need two capitals, and to get them, I’ll need to war on someone, but who…

Yomi: If there’s anyone out there that’s beating me it’s Yomi. Close in size, seemingly close in power, Yomi’s shadow looms over many of my plans. If i attack another nation will Yomi get involved? If I attack Yomi, will that embolden the others against me? The questions are many. Why haven’t they been able to dispatch Atlantis or Pan? Does their large static border with Kailasa signify a truce or alliance? Does the exchange of some provinces over the mountains means he has a tenuous relationship with Lanka? If I attack him, will this allow Pan or Atlantis some chance at resurgence - and could I use that to counter some of the ambitions of the other 3 (Kail, Cael and Lanka)? Ultimately though, at this point he only controls one capital - and so a war with him will still leave me short a capital I need to win. Using him to get to pan or atlantis each has a flaw: For atlantis, I’m not well equipped for underwater war and attacking Pan means either going through Kail, and a series of forts he has, or going the long route through the south of the island. There’s just too many question with Yomi, and not enough answers.

Lanka: If not Yomi, how about Lanka? While Lanka seems to possess a lot of troops - i’m unimpressed with their quality. I figure I can easily route the demons and undead. I now have good astral support, well distributed through my nation, have good access to water and nature, and have bootstrapped my way up to having a strong death presence too (initially through revenants which found the death-gem economy, and later access to a necromancer site, the etherlord, spectres and eventually some wraiths). All these things are good to have if you’re going to battle with demons and undead. With only 2 additional forts in addition to its capital (and I don’t think he had the second of these until turn 50 or so - maybe even turn 60) - i figure he can’t be very far along in either research or mages. But, the problem i see with Lanka is one of logistics - it opens up a very long border which makes me vulnerable to counterattack. I also figure that Lanka would never get aggressive towards me - he, more than anyone else, must see how overmatched he is, against me. No - Lanka is move valuable as a buffer and a border. In order to reach me from the west, everyone either has to go through him, or go to one of my anchors (northeast or southwest) - this allows me to concentrate my defense of those areas while I mount my aggressive campaign elsewhere.

Kailasa: Kail’s a mystery. The vast open plains to my southeast taunt me - there seem to be no defenders, and TNN could march all the way to victory. There’s more than a few problems. Kail is open to me largely through my southern capital at TCC. From there it’s 5 provinces to the capital. Five provinces that have to go through or bypass 3 forts. Five provinces of being exposed to astral attacks. Five provinces of extending and exposing logistical lines to Caelum on the north and Yomi on the south. Besides, Kailasa is the closest thing to a friend we have in this game. Kail is the only one that joined forces against TC. Kail is the one we almost betrayed when we signed the false truce with TC. Kail is the one we rescued from oblivion at the hands of TC when we renounced our truce. Kail was the one that gifted us with the moonvine bracelet of friendship - a critical booster that allowed us to get over an annoying hump of nature requirement we didn’t quite have. No, Kailasa makes no sense.

Pan/Atlantis: the problem with attacking either or both of these beleaguered nations is that I certainly risked war with Yomi. Atlantis added in the water breathing requirement. Pan added in the distance issue. I couldn’t see a way to attack them, win or at least remain neutral in the publicity war, and fend off Yomi all at the same time. I’d go back to them every turn or so, to rethink and reexamine - but couldn’t think a way of making them work.

Caelum: That kinda leaves Caelum, doesn’t it? Caelum does have some things going for it. It has two capitals already, meaning I could war on just one nation in my bid to win the game. While it is an incredibly long nation(11 provinces) from north to south, it’s very narrow - typically only two provinces in width - this means I could pretty much march down the line with a large force and not risking it have to disperse itself. I also border it on north and south, which allows me a two prong attack option which could greatly shorten the war. In fact, if i prepare for it in advance - i could use the Sidhe in a surprise attack to sever his logistics and divide his forces. The war, and the game, might be over before anyone had a chance to either intervene on his behalf, or mount a full-scale attack on me. He also didn’t show that well on his attacks on Machaka, nor in his attempts at the throne (which, in turn 83 he has finally captured). Yes…attacking Cael makes sense…

But first, we need information. There’s still a lot of questions, and…I still haven’t discovered the source of this disease. It’s turn 82, and the next 5 turns will decide the game.

Kaili being defenseless: I made a point of hiding several groups of 50+ markata archers in various provinces, with a Fire Spirit in a near by castle for immediate flaming arrows. That, in addition to about ten thugs with winged boots. Around that time, anything that was just sitting in the open, not in a castle, was asking for it.

Keep it coming pyrhic! Great reading.

come on Pyrhic, you can do it, just one more post…then I’ll be ready for a new game! ;)

There’s a few things going on at this point that start bumping into each other. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a lead but I can’t decide on how to capitalize on it. Every potential path to victory has rather large obstacles. I desperately need information. I’ve a disease spreading through my nation that is really starting to annoy me. And I’m becoming very cognizant that now is really my window of opportunity - and it’s not going to stay open forever.

There’s lots of talk (and fun) about strategy in the early part of the game - and rightfully so. The transition between early and mid-game can be absolutely critical to success and even a slight misstep can be catastrophic when resources are so scarce. But there’s a plateau that’s not so often talked about in the transition between mid to late game. Here, as the research tiers become very large, any headway that may have been had can be lost pretty quickly. I might be 12000 research points ahead of you, but if i take that advantage to raise my next school to level 9, and you use that same time to catch up in all the other areas I was ahead in - my comparative advantage is drastically reduced. Where before I might have had 8 tiers of school paths of advantage, now I might still find myself 12000 points ahead, but with only one level 9 tier of differential. And in actual practical purposes, I might be further behind - as I might have only one battle spell in the tier that I can cast - and it might not even be that pivotal, but you might have opened up something huge for all your rank and file casters. This is a lesson I learned a hard way in some games a while back…

Back to the point - how far ahead am I? Is Yomi at my heels? (or am I at his??) Can I leisurely trot to the finish line? And what can I do to figure out this disease?

What about eyes of god? Here’s another spell i’ve never cast before and it’ll let me see troops, and sites, incomes and all sorts of stuff. And, it should help me find the source of the disease! (No evidence at all it helped with that).

Honestly, I was actually a little dumbstruck by the thought. Why haven’t I cast this yet? Why hasn’t anyone cast this? Why haven’t any of us cast more globals? My first thought was along the lines of “well, i don’t have that many astral mages, and I cant really afford to lose one yet, so…”. Hang on - the main counter to this only blinds the caster - I’ve got 2 or 3 astral mages churning out antimagic amulets and other things every round. Even if my caster gets blinded and useless for combat - I can still have him churning out items. And thanks to my rings of sorcery and wizardry (ya, i had a lot of pearls) boosting an S2 to the requisite S5 is easy and risk free. AND - it’ll help me find the disease creatures!

So, eyes of god went up on turn 81 and…

quick note on the graphs, i put the names of the nations in the order their line appears, in as close proximity as i could.

Top two graphs: Provinces/Income: TNN and Yomi are very close, and the other 3 are also in close proximity to each other. Not terribly surprising, nor revealing, apart from maybe how close Yomi is to me.

Bottom Left: Dominion: At this stage of the game, it’s obvious no one went with a high dom/awe pretender, but it’s still something of a surprise to find I’m leading in dominion. Given my average dom, this is most likely this due to nothing more than my lead in forts/temples.

Middle Left: Army size: I guess not shocking, considering my previous posts about feeling understrength, but still, in some ways it is. TNN - the mighty leader of the world is…5th in army size. And Pan - poor, little pan, is only slightly behind me! This is a little unsettling too when I start thinking that with the most provinces, and most forts, my ratio of troops/areas to defend/protect is the worst. I know army size isn’t everything, and quality (in particular) is a huge multiplier (my ether warriors, for instance, only ever lost 4 or 5 troops through their entire campaign - and the trolls, expensive as they are, are remarkably hard to kill too)…but it’s still an unsettling graph.

Bottom right: Research: It’s a very pleasant surprise. TNN’s lead is vastly more than I thought. The vertical distance is always hard for me to judge in any practical sense, but the way i interpret it is I look at Kailasa and follow it back horizontally to where it would equal my line - then follow that point down to the horizontal axis. I then compare the relative distance gap against the timeline in the game(i tried to visually show this with the red lines). It’s turn 81 - and that amount looks about 1/6 of the time passed so far - i figure i’ve about a 12 turn lead on kailasa - or, all things being equal, Kailasa will be at the research level I’m at now in about 12 turns. And while that might represent 16000 research points (I’m doing about 1400 research a turn now), at this point, i’m starting into level 9 tiers - and at 8100 points each - that 16000 becomes a lot less material. Time’s a ticking!

Middle Right: Gems: Is there one bit of information that can decide a game? I don’t know, but if not deciding, the information here is certainly critical. My gem income is crushing everyone! Again, vertical is harder for me to quantify (though it does look like I’m more than any two nations combined) - but using the same horizontal trick…my opponents are now earning about what I was on turn 40?! Since i first received my pretender, I’ve been aggressively site searching. When i noticed it paying off very well, i redoubled my efforts - if i only was able to get a level 1 search done in my initial go around, i made sure to get at least a 3 out there to be sure. After gaining the tome of creation (which I had done mostly to secure its use as a critical booster(ESN+1)), I realized it also can cast Acashic Knowledge freely on whatever province it’s in. After that, i put it on a scout and sent it through any ‘safe’ territories(non border areas unlikely to be subject to hostility). I’d have to switch it out every half-year or so - it was tainted, and I didn’t want to lose it to a horror after the scout it was traveling with got himself marked. In the former TC territories, there were huge finds - even though TC had scouted his home territories, he never got them all - and the same thing happened in the old Machaka territories. Still disbelieving the evidence presented on the graph, i went through the map and clicked through just about every province. In my competitors, I saw a lot of similar things; provinces with no sites, or predominance of one school across a large area (like a lot of death sites, but no fire - making me think that no one surveyed for fire there). Comparitively, in all of TNN, I found at least 2 sites in every province…

(sorry, for this mess of an image, i wanted to show all the sites - this is an example of one of the few ways this game could really improve - sorting/filtering a table like this, or removing/adding things like scouts/armies/commanders/types of commanders, etc, should be easy to do).

In any case, you can see the depth to which I’d searched TNN, and the sites found.

But all this info…what to make of it? Well…

First finding: The foundation of my Attrition strategy. The world doesn’t have the gems I have - so I need to take every opportunity to make them spend their gems. Until I’m in open war, this means I will strike at any opportunity I see to cost my opponents gems. Is that an unprotected sleeper with 30 gems worth of common equipment and limited or no protection - mind hunt. Something heavier, or protected? Earth attack. Is there a dome protecting a city and can it be exploited and collapsed? Hit it.

Unique summons can be exploited too. So I set after the elemental royalty, not just because they’re reasonable chassis, nor because they’re excellent battle casters, nor because they’re great stepping stones to boost for big globals. I got them to safeguard, and at 50 gems each, that’s a massive amount of gems to lose for a nation only earning 80 gems a turn. In turn 81, i had no royalty - by 85, I had the 3 air queens, 2 fire, antrax, and an earth. I did get burned on my attempt for a second earth, but that was the price of playing this particular game.

Finally, it was this attrition strategy that i based my globals strategy around. I figured that eyes would be taken down, and if so, i wanted to replace it with another cheap eyes - hoping it would get taken down again. This was a bit of a setup play, though, to lure the dispellers into a trap - Vengeful water. By this point, I had so many water gems(291 at turn 85) and ample production, but for all that, i really didn’t have anything to use them on. Winter wolves are the weakest of the elemental spirits(at least imo), drakes are tedious to summon and only one map move, Sea Kings/trolls are fantastic, but expensive, and there’s only so many frost blades, water bracelets, and bottles of living water that you can use. So, Vengeful water was the trap - the global that no one was ever going to dispel. I don’t know if anyone tried - it was a great global. I figure it returned dividends, even considering the cost of the 200 gems I put into it.

Before that though, the first eyes of god was dispelled (unsurprisingly), as was fata morgana (quite surprisingly - i never thought someone would be bothered to take that down). I then put up Gift of health as a desperate response to the disease issues I was having (more on that next post) - surprisingly, it never got dispelled. I then put eyes of god back up, and again, it was promptly taken down. Sea of ice…well… wasn’t part of the plan. It was basically a reflex reaction I had when I realized how many troops Yomi had underwater. When Caelum also sent an (expensive looking) expeditionary force into the ocean - I made a snap decision to cast this because it would hinder both of them, protect me, piss off Yomi and, to a lesser extent, Caelum. In the end, it did hinder me too, and much to my surprise, it never got taken down.

But if the first globals were there to build dispelling confidence and to eat gems, and Vengeful water was the granite I wanted everyone to crash against - these were all only to set the stage for the the arcane nexus. Arcane Nexus was the trump card I wanted to play after i had called out everyone’s accessible gems. But at 150 gems, and S8, it was at the edges of even my resources and abilities, so i wanted to be sure I had burned out everyone’s excess pearls, or their will to even attempt a dispel. But this trump card was still in the making - it would be another 8-10 turns before i could cast it - and in the meantime, I now had a strategy to work towards.

I’M ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT! A valuable lesson on the importance of gems, something I haven’t quite taken in yet. Thanks for responding to my nudge :)

Great job, pyrhic!

I must admit I am also addicted to searching and uncovering all the sites I can.

Sorry, some extensive edits there - hopefully more intelligible now.