In the previous installment of I Don’t Know Either Why I Won’t Just Say ‘This LP’, I rushed headlong into a city battle with Nicolas Frost, a.k.a. ‘Wizard Santa’. Given that at time of writing my city is in the grip of a modest early summer, I’m strangely reluctant about beating up a guy named Frost. Maybe we can be friends instead? And he could send a magical blizzard this way? That would be cool, no pun intended.
It’s probably not going to go this way, though. I guess I’ll have to settle for second best: taking all his cities and riches and striking his name from the annals of history.
Another day, another build order. I build…
…actually, let me just stop right there. The game’s gotten to the point where I’ll often have multiple cities build-ready per turn, and most of the things I build there aren’t exactly exciting. It’s as boring for me to write ‘and then I built a Craftsmen District and two Farms’ as it is for you to read them. So from now on, I will only highlight the interesting buildings: unit construction (that we haven’t seen before often) and special resources. If I don’t mention a particular city, but you happen to notice that it’s increased in population, that means I’ve built generic resource buildings and/or increasers there. Mana Traps, Granaries, Tax Offices, you get the idea.
With that in mind, this turn I build nothing interesting.
I keep punching on the city of Dracford, after summoning a Rune of Protection in an attempt to draw city fire. Yes, it’s a little cheesy to abuse AI targeting quirks to abuse losses. But you know what? You can choose to not use it, and then you can be the one bringing the obituaries to the grieving Goblin widows. Or Rat widows, as the case may be. I’m fairly certain Bats don’t marry, but we might be getting off-topic at this point.
I use my Bats to scout, and all they find in range is one unit of Wizards. Which makes it all the more surprising when Frost’s turn rolls around, and suddenly, three units of Swordsmen just appear.
Between three Warriors, those Wizards, city fire and that Magic Tower Frost is currently building, my chances have suddenly taken a turn for the worse. I queue up a Firestorm spell, only to find it has a two-turn cast time. Time for a tactical retreat, then: I leave one weakened Goblin Spearman as a sacrifice (I in no way just sent it the wrong way) and send the rest of my units up a little, hoping to draw the Swordsmen out and stall for time so more of my units can arrive. I contend myself with building an Enchanter’s Workshop in Viperhall (giving the Enchanted Weapons perk that does something mysterious) and Research-boosting Excavations in Doomford.
If you’ve ever played Risk, you might be familiar with the mental trap of ‘I need to at least get one win!‘. Hungry for some battle prowess, I order my Zombies and Imps in the east to attack pretty much anything close-by, without looking. This proves a costly mistake as the Imps charge a unit of Monster-eating Spiders, uphill on bad terrain (both of which grant +50% combat strength). Imps are fairly weak even when at full health, and even though these Imps had seen their fair share of battles, the ill-advised attack kills them instantly.
Damnit. I know they were Imps, and as such inherently weak and disposable, but they’d been with me since the early days, and I feel bad for getting them killed due to carelessness. Rest well, Imps: I will avenge your needless deaths.
In brighter news, Operation Pretend To Run Away Like A Coward has been pretty effective, and Frost has even been so kind as to leave his troops in a closely grouped formation. I rain a Firestorm down upon them, then move my troops back in, in-formation and ready for battle. Let’s see how he reacts to this.
Predictably, he reacts by blasting the living hell out of my Rune of Protection. Oh, Warlock AI. Never change.
I reply to that, obviously, by just summoning a second set. Have fun being useless, Magic Tower!
Then, more wailing on Dracford. Frost has the right idea by putting one unit of Warriors in the city, but now that my tricked-out Elven Archers have arrived — and with both my Vampires and Noble Werewolves in close pursuit — it’s really only a matter of time. Unless he pulls some amazing army ace from somewhere, but at this point I don’t see that happening.
That’s one Frost city down, with some money and a unit of Stubborn Knights for my troubles. I quickly build a Magic tower on the border with Ravenhood, a 9-population city close by. There’s three more cities in sight: 2-Population Norcastle in the south, and 5-Population Garuta and 4-Population Icebridge in the north. None of these cities are Frost’s capital, though, implying that his capital will be larger — and therefore, more dangerous — than ghost-man’s. I build a Magic Bazaar in Burnlin, research the incredibly pointless Fireball spell (which only takes 2 turns, and is therefore mostly chosen to free up a spot) and only then remember that I got a unit of Stubborn Knights. Are they cool?
And… that’s really it for this episode! I may have only captured one city, but it came at heavy (if unrelated) losses. I now have a foothold in Frost’s territory, I have a bead on four of his cities, and if all goes according to plan, I’ll be sipping fancy cocktails in the smoking ruins of his capital before my turn total hits triple digits.