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Old February 11th, 2010, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: 2/10 Update - Calling All Tourists! - MA Oceania DAR - Chapter 3

Chapter 4: Who ordered the squid?

Turn files: Turn4.zip

Well, Haon Door did indeed come back to the capital, but those ingrates in Divine Ocean seem to have taken offense to it and organized an insurgency of Brigands in some godforsaken ruin. So much for that high income province, a few extra inchtycentaurs next turn would have really helped against these unnaturally tough indies.

Speaking of which, the North Pole Deeps is now visible guarded by - you guessed it - Sea Trolls & Krakens! At least I'll get some practice this turn, as I'm sending our hero Haon Door against the Troll/Kraken infested Cerulean Sea. This is a risky move, as these indies are always supported by Hydromancers and as a rule of thumb I never engage artillery without artillery. But Haon Door is a seasoned veteran, and with some "attack rear" scripting, I'm gambling my ichtycentaurs will be able to take out that Hydromancer before he water-strikes me off the field.
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This at-risk decision is made for the sake of expansion speed, as I'm currently tied for last-place in the province count, despite our Prophet's most recent success in the Sea of Carassos. It was a cakewalk, and many of his retinue have picked up their first star of experience. Those troops will be tasked with taking the Sea of Woe this turn, where estimates of defender numbers have fallen to 40.

Rosanne, er, I mean Sade the Siren has reached Morn Woods and has made an unfortunate discovery: our southern neighbor is Atlantis. That sucks, R'lyeh is going to be quite tough when-and-if I finally meet him on the field. My only hope is to swiftly dispatch Atlantis, but his 32-kill Ancient Kraken (I assume) won't make it easy. The known world (note Agartha to the West):
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I will consequently need to rethink my original research strategy...already. The Ancient Kraken is fearsome indeed, with 4 armor-piercing attacks, an AOE poison attack, 50% poison immunity, 50% cold immunity, fear, and probably Dom10=Awe+2. Not to mention a mountain of HPs in that Dom10 dominion. I'll need to hit him early, before good items or buffs can become available. I really can't expect to outright kill him with damage, not underwater. An artist's rendition:
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I have a few options:
1) I can try to fatigue him to death with cold. Namely Numbness (Alt-2) or Ice Pebble Staffs (Const-2). This will be difficult, as he has base 50% cold resistance, and his troops can forge Frost Rings that he can wear. Viability - low.
2) I can try to fatigue him to death with Sleep (Thau-2). This unappreciated spell makes any SC completely useless, ramming his fatigue beyond 100, making most hits critical. It does, however, require a failed MR roll, and he'll have base 18mr. However, if I start recruiting Captricons now, I should have a few N4 casters at game time, which will give a +1 penetration bonus...basically a 10% chance of success per cast. However, he can wear a Amulet of Antimagic and be MR buffed by his troops, so this wouldn't work past the early game. Viability - moderate.
3) I can have him hold still. I'm of course talking about that unsung hero Tangle Vines (Conj-1), which all vets know can be devastating vs. SCs when wielded properly. This spell is AOE-1 (read: no chance to avoid) and costs the target his action for the next turn...but not before lowering his defense to zero (or is it cut in half?). Basically, it makes him a sitting duck for 1 round. With a half-dozen casters spamming it each round, it'll turn even the biggest, meanest guy around into a impotent, doomed statue. At N1, all my mages can cast it, preferably right after casting Eagle Eyes. And the AI will tend to target the big guys. As a bonus, diverting to Conj doesn't really change my original research strat too much, just changed the order a bit. Viability - high.

So my new research strategy is to hit Conj-1, then Alt-1, and hope to meet the Ancient Kraken unaccompanied in a single decisive battle. I'll also need to spit out a few Horns of Valor to counter his fear aura and Awe. Probably slap them on some Trident Lords, commanders of the useless Trident Knights.

[Noob-hint: Be flexible! Whatever paltry success I've had in MP can be solely attributed to being adaptable. Like Carl says, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy," so never hesitate to overhaul a long term strategy when when faced with new intelligence.]

One other interesting thing is Morn Woods has a Wolf Tribe. I like this, Wolf Tribe Shamen are remarkably more cost efficient researchers than my national troops. Really. Plus they get a 10% chance at D1, nice to get the Death gems flowing early. Lastly, Wolf Tribe Warriors pack quite a punch in a small package, with size 2 and 2 attacks...especially underwater where there are no arrows, only a big stinking squid in need of some dicing. Sade, take 'em down
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