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  #11  
Old January 30th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

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Originally Posted by Jack_Trowell View Post
What are the effects of insanity ? % chance of random action like in dom 3 ? If so how does it handle stacks with several commanders ?
Insanity is a percentage chance of the commander going off his rocker and refusing to accept orders for that turn. Get them insane enough and they will simply sit in place mumbling to themselves 9 out of every 10 turns.

There is also a battle affliction of Temporary Insanity, which has an automatic healing chance every turn. It'll go away eventually, but boy is it annoying when it hits your main artillery (usually a mage) or SC.

Supercombatants fortunately aren't quite as super as they are in Dom3, by the way, which is a good thing. For example, the Troll King looks really harsh on paper, but some starting armies will wipe him out without breaking a sweat because their mage support simply tells him "shut up" and he does, enough that it makes a difference. Non-resistible immobilization effects are murder on lone SCs. Even if they break that immediately, they're liable to be hit with it again instantly.


Also, there has been an annoying kink in rebooting this AAR. Due to an inadvertent bug that has already been fixed for the next version, the High Priestess currently starts with no troops, so I can't include her as a player, she would get instantly wiped out. I'm going to replace her with the High Cultist (R'lyeh) and change the narrative accordingly, so the next post will be the origin story rewritten, then followed by the actual AAR.
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  #12  
Old January 30th, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

Okay, time for a reboot. Had to slightly alter the backstory in order to replace the High Priestess with the High Cultist, but here goes:

============
==********==
============


I am Barras, a Necromancer. Perhaps the last of my kind in Elysium. I shall write this chronicle so that even should the unthinkable happen, I shall not be forgotten.

It is the time of the Interregnum. The Empire has fallen. Battlefields and ruins of the empire litter the lands. Few cities and villages remain. Human lands are in chaos, and bandits roam the countryside. Even worse, great acts of evil have been performed in the capital, which has turned into a stronghold of undead creatures and unspeakable horrors. Only a powerful leader will be able to rebuild the empire.

The fall of the Empire has been a boon to me. When the Empire was at the height of its power, the practicioners of my art were hounded and persecuted by the Imperial priesthood and there were few places indeed in all of Elysium where we could safely hide.

Now, thanks to the feuds and squabbling among the Senators that Bellania and her strange allies incited and their further machinations, the Empire is no more. Little did they know that she serves that upstart god Baal, whose cult only appeared toward the later days of the Empire. Devious minx, which is why I never trusted her, even though she could make everything sound so reasonable. And she could be persuasive indeed... Ah, well... Those allies of hers, they were stranger still, worshipers of the starts and the sea. It was also genius on their part to entice my former acquaintance Calthus to think he could seize power and become Emperor.

Fools the Senators may have been, but even they would not have countenanced a Demonologist on the throne of the Empire. It is amazing really how far that blundering idiot got, that he wasn’t devoured by the things he called. Or perhaps he learned discipline later, little that it matters. *snicker* Poor Calthus, abandoned by his staunch ally, Bellania, right on the edge of victory. Of course, it was then that he turned to desperate measures and all his bad habits caught up to him. Tried to summon an Arch Devil, but of course he skimped on the offerings, what with the Imperial army bearing down on him and fighting all over the streets of the Capitol.

The former Capitol, I should say, since he failed to control the creature and it destroyed him and then proceeded to slaughter the entire Imperial military and anything else that got in its way. Nobody knows exactly what happened, but the rumors from the vicinity of that place tell that anyone who goes too near disappears and is never heard from again. All I know from what the spirits of the Netherworld tell me is that there were more than demons roaming the streets of the Capitol at the Time of the Fall. Creatures rarely glimpsed, beings made of the stuff of nightmares that devoured and tortured mortal and demon alike. Whether they are gone is unknown, but I would surmise they are not. However, it is at best an academic concern, since I do not intend to find out.

The upheaval since the Fall has left everything unsettled and nobody knows what state the land is in now, other than chaos, of course. It is left for those with the means and the ruthlessness to pick up the pieces and build something new.

I have found an ally in a servant of the Old Powers, a Witch who is as glad as I am to see the Empire gone and who has little love for Bellania. We have pooled our efforts and shall seek to claim a position of power from where it will be impossible to dislodge us. She seeks to return Elysium to where it was before the coming of man. I seek immortality. Once I have achieved that, our goals are not incompatible at all.

I know that Bellania and her cultists did not survive the unexpected results her machinations brought about, but her disquieting friends fared much better and have allied with other newcomers, the barbaric, backward people of a Priest King from somewhere called Mictlan and whose names are quite unpronounceable. These savages worship something called the God of the Four Faces, with human sacrifices, I hear. How predictable. I have no use for gods of any sort, so it is imperative to stamp these cults out.

Other spies have managed to find out some preliminary information on the other factions powerful enough to be contenders for the rule of Elysium. There is another Old Power at play, a member of the tree worshiping Druidic Order, who has allied himself with the Moutain Folk. It may sound like a strange alliance at first, but the Druid is only interested in seeing wilderness reclaim the cultivated lands and the dwarves want nothing more than to be left alone under their mountains to mine what they discover underground.

The third enemy alliance is one of chaos and destruction. A barbarian horde has gathered and it has allied itself with a strange breed of goblin-like creatures that has emerged from a mountain citadel somewhere in the land. These beings have not been seen before and it is speculated that they have come to Elysium from some strange hitherto unknown netherworld, not to be confused with the Realm of the Dead. They are far better organized than goblins and have spread like a plague, but fortunately each band seems to be on its own. These things call themselves the Bakemono and it is known now that when they are led by a shaman or witch doctor, they practice human sacrifices to call more powerful allied beings, like unto demons but different. Rumor says that a powerful Bakemono Sorcerer has emerged and unified the heartlands of the Bakemono to his banner.

I do not like so many unknowns. The Druid and the Dwarves are predictable and the barbarians may call spirits of their ancestors if they find shamans powerful enough. Everything else is a question mark. These new cultists seem to have an affinity for the sea and are fond of coastal settlements, but aside from that, there is no information at all to tell what my ally and I will face. I suspect that her swamp monsters and Androphags are going to have their work cut out for them. I myself must gather enough Hands of Glory to summon something more than weakling longdead and soulless...
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  #13  
Old January 30th, 2012, 05:17 PM

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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

Once you attain lichdom your sanity is restored, like in CoE2, right? IIRC, in CoE2, your lich would start going insane, too, though. Is that the case here, as well? What about vampirism?
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  #14  
Old January 30th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

[quote=Edi;793645]So, during game setup, which you could already see here, I chose an Enormous map (72x50 squares), Interregnum society and allied play. I did NOT include Common Cause or Clustered Start, since the story here requires that each player survive on his own even if they work toward (at least somewhat) common goals.

I set all AI at Knight level (4/10) to provide some challenge and to increase their chances of surviving the early game.



So these are the classes and teams.


Next, we shall take a look at the Player Overview screen provided by F2 once game has started:



This lists the player names and controller (human or AI), but nothing else so as to not give away too much. Of course, in this instance we know what classes each of them are, but in a random game, we would not. The names can give some clues, though.

*****

Greetings! I am Barras, a Necromancer lately of some renown.


I seem to have had the strangest dream that I was myself, or almost myself, but knew things I do not and that I was somewhere else very much like this place. I was facing my old ally and lover, my old enemy Bellania in a bid for power, but that cannot be, for she is dead, killed in the fires of the Fall that consumed the Empire. It is curious thing how the mind can sometimes play tricks on you when you sleep...

It is time to begin my bid for immortality. I had managed to squirrel away enough gold and other resources to hire a workers to construct a citadel when the time is ripe. Built out of black granite, it offers a commanding view over the countryside.

(The Dark Citadel has the Vision attribute, which allows the player to see 2 squares in all directions instead of the standard 1 square, but only if there are troops in the square.)



My citadel is in the trackless wilderness, with nothing for company except the trees and the wind. Forest as far as the eye can see, with a scattering of mountains. My only other holdings are the gallows and a farm that produces food to feed my human troops. There's a little surplus to sell, but that income doesn't stretch far.

I'd be much more g´lad for a village in teh vicinity, because in settlements of that size there are always enough altercations and mayhem going on that one can reliably expect at least one person to be hanged for murder each month. And the left hands of hanged murders can be turned into Hands of Glory, which is precisely what I need for my rituals.

Fortunately the gallows serves as the common execution site for miles around and provides me with more hands of glory. Of course, since the place is under my control, and there aren't any settlements anywhere close, any rabble that strays into my territory without invitation is liable to be hanged for murder. They are ALL guilty of it anyway, or would be, sooner or later, so this makes things expedient. And if a person has been hung for murder, their hands can be used since the requirements of the netherworld spirits are fulfilled.

Now, I should start making plans for finding and gathering more resources, but as usual, several problems present themselves. As if I didn't have enough already!

- There is a herd of deer running loose near my citadel, no doubt tempted by the crops and fields of the farm. I think it is time to roast some venison soon, or we'll be fresh out of bread as soon as we turn our backs.

- The lookout at the top of the citadel reported that to the south there is a great forest that stands much taller than the trees anywhere within sight of my walls. I've heard of these places, though never seen them. Holy places to Druids, they are the breeding grounds for herds of deer and moose, ferocious wolf packs, great bears and sounders of boar. I fear I must be vigilant, lest my farm be overrun by vermin, my gallows chopped to bits by boars and bears sharpening their tusks and claws and my citadel infested with snakes and other vermin. *sigh*

The only other feature of interest is far to the north, a round blue expanse rising past the tops of the trees that wither in its shadow. A humongous mushroom, as tall as the greatest trees. No doubt dangerous, as most unusual things in the wild are in these unsettled times. I shall make a note of going far around it.


I sent my apprentice to animate all the dead that could be brought to service from the graveyard next to the gallows.



Fortunately, he seems to have gotten the hang of it. Six longdead and three soulless should be enough to let him keep the situation at home under control while I explore the vicinity. Childerik can deal with emergencies in a pinch, though he must do it without the soulless. Those are needed to guard the gallows.


He could try to reanimate some more undead, as there are still a few in the ground, but it's not worth even the effort of thinking about it.

Oh, to introduce you to Childerik a little better:



He is rather a weakling and knows little, but he can weaken the enemy in battle and scare away the more easily frightened creatures. As long as he has some troops to prevent enemies from getting into close contact with him, he should do adequately. As you can see, the encounter with the souls of the dead has left him slightly shaken, but that is an occupational hazard in this business. There are ways to deal with it, but that must be in the future.


Now, to deal with that annoying herd of vermin that threatens the breadbasket. I might incur losses, because the deer bucks can be surprisngly aggressive in defending their does. Fortunately I have just the thing to deal with them. As you can see earlier, I have memorized Terror, Bane Fire and Drain Life.

I did not memorize Fear, because it only affects a single target whereas Terror will hit an entire squad of enemies. Drain Life is useful for healing myself and augmenting my health if anyone manages to wound me and then there is Bane Fire:



The star icon indicates that Banefire does magical damage. It is almost guaranteed to kill any man it hits and even many much hardier creatures. Armor is no protection either and if the target should survive, it is likely to rot to death in the space of minutes.


I managed to drive off the vermin, but no before one stag gored one of my spearmen through the liver and killed him. Another one destroyed one of the longdead, but fortunately it was the weakest one. I managed to cast Life Drain on one of the deer and now feel much better than before. Can't get any better than this, though, which is rather a shame.




Childerik scared one away and if it hasn't collapsed from exhaustion yet, it's still running until it does.
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  #15  
Old January 30th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

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Once you attain lichdom your sanity is restored, like in CoE2, right? IIRC, in CoE2, your lich would start going insane, too, though. Is that the case here, as well? What about vampirism?
Liches are immune to insanity. Vampires have other ways of dealing with it. Wait and see...
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Old January 30th, 2012, 05:40 PM

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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

Sounds cool. Thanks.
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  #17  
Old January 31st, 2012, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

After having dispatched the verminous deer, I sent my apprentice back to guard the citadel. Losing the citadel to brigands would spell instant end to my ambitions, so until I have an alternate base of operations, I must dedicate some troops to guard it.

I have also received a report from my ally, the Witch Pantariste. Her tower is located some ways to the west and a little to the south and her surroundings seem to offer much richer pickings.

(Pressing TAB will hide all units and show only the map terrain)





There is a lightly guarded coal mine and an iron mine that has been taken over by these goblin-like creatures, the Bakemono. A large and powerful tribe has made the mine its home, so it is likely that she cannot evict them anytime soon.

While her Androphags are formidable warriors and their archers use poisoned arrows, there are not yet enough of them to dislodge the Bakemono.





Of greatest interest to me is the ancient battlefield close by, since there would likely be an opportunity to reanimate significant amounts of undead with little effort. However, there is a problem. The battlefield is guarded by several soulless and worse, my ally reports that stalks of death fungus have been seen growing in the area.

The death fungus is a thoroughly nasty fungal specimen, a large mushroom that reacts to the presence of living creatures by spewing forth a cloud of parasitical spores that will settle on the hapless victim, bore in and begin to rot the doomed creature even though it is still alive. The process does not take long and is invariably fatal. Worse, the fungus feeds of dead and rotting flesh and given a sufficient quantity, will spread until there is a veritable forest of them. Fire is the only reliable means of eradication. At least these are out in the open, in a forest the things are almost undetectable unless one has minions versed in woods lore along.





Pantariste also has a problem with brigands who prey on the area. They have a lair close by and undoubtedly the malcontents are out and about, waiting for opportunities. These outlaws have been known to attack even well fortified citadels in sufficient numbers to overwhelm them and they are masters of moving undetected. One needs scouts of one's own to be forewarned of brigands before blundering into them. Dire wolves or something similar that is not so very easily fooled will do equally well.

Let us hope that the brigands in her vicinity do not pose a problem.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

It is midsummer now and I have discovered an ancient temple and a second farm in the vicinity. The farm owner is likely to need some persuasion to see that it is in his best interests to do his dealings with me.

The temple, on the other hand, is something else entirely. It is guarded, and not lightly. We were about to approach closer, when we spotted the guardians: Half a dozen Dust Walkers, led by a Priest. Dust Walkers are greater undead and each one is easily the match of four or five spearmen. Alone they are a serious enough obstacle, but the Dust Priest is also an accomplished mage skilled in the use of Necromantic spells.





There are easier ways of committing suicide than trying to dig them out of that temple, which even in its ruined state offers them protection and defense.

(the defense value of squares is added to defender's armor)
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Old January 31st, 2012, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

I also instructed Childerik to perform a Ritual of Dark Knowledge, in the hopes of finding something useful, like a nearby graveyard or a battlefield.

This is what he discovered and as you can see, it's a long trek if I want to go there. At least there is a village nearby there and it is even undefended from all appearances. There also seems to be a dwarf accompanying a ballista crew in the area. Whatever are they doing in that forest?


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Old January 31st, 2012, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: CoE3 AAR: A Chronicle of the Interregnum

*drains glass of spirits*

That's...better...I think...

*thinks*

No, doesn't help. Not nearly enough. Sod it all!

*drains rest of the bottle*

Better. A little. Not a whole lot, but at least it's going to numb the worst of the nerves for a while.


Late summer was going just fine until a few moments ago. I had just discovered and taken over an abandoned farm. And then my apprentice contacted me to convey the results of a scrying he undertook on his own initiative. Couldn't get a word out of him and he was mentally white as chalk.

Hold on... You there, hand me a second bottle! Yes, I know what I'm doing! It's not going to hit me for a few moments yet. And yes, we're done for today, set the camp up right here!

Where was I? Oh yes, the scrying. Well, see for yourself:





I had no bloody idea that my citadel was this close to the former Capitol, the land has changed so much in the few years since the Fall. No wonder this place was deserted and abandoned.

And now I also know what happened after Calthus loosed the Arch Devil. The one thing I always wondered was why the thing didn't go on a rampage after it wiped out the Imperial forces, but that mystery has been solved. There isn't an Arch Devil. Oh, there was, but it isn't there anymore. The rumors were true that something worse happened there.

The couple of wights and the banshee in there are like ticks clinging to a giant when one considers the thing that has taken residence in the buildings of the Senate and Emperor.





I have no idea what that is, but if I had to guess, something that Bellania's allies are responsible for.


And it's not even the worst part. There is a...Something!...in the slums.

Just looking at it from afar is almost enough to send me gibbering over the edge of sanity and I've seen some rather unpleasant things in my time. The only way to describe that thing is that it is...WRONG!





THAT is the reason why there is no Arch Devil there anymore. It's because the Arch Devil, its demon minions and whatever remnants of the Imperial military and citizens might have survived the demons now reside in that thing's belly.

*shudder*

I have no idea what I'm going to do next, but I REALLY need to find some serious income, resources or a few battlefields fast and fortify my citadel, because if THOSE things are lairing that close, there is no telling what may be ranging farther out for fear of going too close!
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