Ffh Leaders Battle

Exciting stuff in this update. We left off with Cassiel wiping out the bulk of Amelanchier's forces. Now Cassiel was taking cities left and right, but Amelanchier had a lot of cities to lose.

Amelanchier's plan was to retreat the majority of his defenders to make a last stand. The fleeing swordsmen almost couldn't get away, as Cassiel was overruning cities so quickly. Swordsmen and a few archers arrived in the capital from Amelanchier's other cities. With the additional troops, the capital would not be a pushover for Cassiel.

He approached the capital from the south, and Axemen reinforcements arrived from the west, on the other side of the lake just south of the capital. Amelanchier was recruiting archers as quickly as he could, to try to hold off Cassiel's advance.

As with the previous sieges, Cassiel began by bombarding the city with fireballs, weakening its static defenses at first, and then bombarding the defenders themselves. Rather than sending in the Pit Beasts, Cassiel waited, choosing to summon more fireballs instead.

The fireballs weakened the defenders, but it also made some of the archers more experienced. Also, the capital boasted an excellent triage system of medics and healers, so some of the wounds were healed before Cassiel could take advantage.

The siege continued, this time some Pit Beasts attacked, but they were outclassed by the archers. The fireball bombardment continued without halt, but the defenders were becoming clever. The longer the siege dragged on, the more accustomed they were to it. Their bows were well worm, and several arrow smiths had to be employed to keep the archers in arrows.

Cassiel considered making a heavier attack, committing his axemen. Before he could do that, Amelanchier decided to attack instead. Cassiel's forces were divided. The majority of his axemen were west of the city, and his mages were east of the city. They had only two axemen protecting them.

Amelanchier saw this as an opportunity to kill some mages. He sent his group of swordsmen, keeping the archers in the city on defense.
As it was, the swordsmen charged the mage lines, and the axemen protecting the mages fought furiously. Both axemen died, but two swordsmen died as well. Next the mages were vunerable, but they were stronger than Amelanchier expected.

Kimble the Quick and Father Jeon, heroes of the Grigori people, were forced to fight staff to sword, but they did not fall. Father Jeon was bloodied, being hit in the abdomen hard, but Amelanchier's plan had failed. The two swordsmen outside the city were cut down by fireballs and pit beasts.

If Amelanchier had sent some of his archers to attack as well, Cassiel may have lost several magi, or it could have weakened the city's defenses too far. Even with the swordsmen gone, Amelanchier's city could not be taken. Cassiel did not have enough magical firepower, and only a little physical might. He could not take the city without reinforcements.

After a few more bombardments, and having merged his two forces, he turned west, planning to gather more forces.

In the east, Faeryl Viconia went to war with Perpentach. Her inital plan was to take his northwestern city. Perpentach's capital was as well defended as Amelanchier's although with a much stranger composition of Octupus Overlords units, and freaks, and archers.

The four archers in Perpentach's second city were strong too. They killed two Nyxin and two Rangers, and injured the other four, but Faeryl was able to wipe out that city.

With only four rangers left, Faeryl backed off, to get reinforcements, and asked Perpentach for peace, offering Cartography. He accepted. Perpentach was turns away from unlocking Fanaticism.

Faeryl rebuilt her forces. She was busy building Baron Von Halfmorn, and Alakazam the Assassin was almost ready. But she waiting mostly for more rangers. Once she had nine, including the four veterans, she decided to try to wipe out Amelanchier herself.

Faeryl's rangers declared war, and approached the capital, at about the same time that Cassiel was retreating.

Cassiel turned his forces around, and approached again, to try to wipe out the good Elves, with help from the bad ones.

Both wanted to wipe out Amelanchier, even though they were adversaries, because it meant one less spot to qualify for the finals. Cassiel and Faeryl had never gone to war, but being the only large empires left on the map, they would almost certainly be battling for supremacy.

Faeryl's rangers had a lot of tough battles ahead, but unlike Cassiel's axemen, they had a decent shot at not dying. The rangers charged, and several were killed outright, but a few others took out some of Amelanchier's best archers. In total, Faeryl lost five rangers and killed four archers.

This gave Cassiel a chance to make a difference. He summoned four pit beasts and two fireballs, and attacked, wiping out two more archers.

Faeryl's surviving rangers regrouped, and made one last attack, one more ranger was lost, leaving three, but Amelanchier's defenses were hanging by a thread. Faeryl's rangers fled the battle, heading south to recover.

Cassiel made used his magic once more, and then his axemen went in, and they captured Amelanchier's capital.

Amelanchier, 4th place

Faeryl Viconia had explored almost the entire recon tree. It was time for a new tech focus, she began working on magic, and with her mighty empire, she was researching very quickly. Soon after Amelanchier was wiped out, Alakazan the Assassin was finished, and the first Mage Academy was being built.

Faeryl had two mana nodes in her lands, and one that was just outside her borders. Her first adept built a fire node, and a death node. More mage academies were built, and the adepts started piling up.

Faeryl unlocked Sorcery not much later, and her first adept became her first Illusionist. She focussed on Shadow, Fire and Death spellbooks for her adepts and mages.

Cassiel had gained a mana node in Amelanchier's old lands. He built an Air node. His mages and adepts were focusing on Fire, Entropy and now Air.

Even Perpentach started focussing on magic after unlocking Fanaticism. He had no mana nodes, but there was a special in his borders that provided death mana. He had only a few adepts by turn 300, but he was summoning skeletons with them to bolster his defenses. Perpentach was heading towards Sorcery but he wasn't there yet.

Cassiel began preparing a large army. His initial plan was to attack Perpentach, but with Faeryl's last war on the Balseraphs, she now completely surrounded Perpentach. Cassiel decided to go to war with Faeryl instead.

His army consisted of mages, adepts, and axemen. Cassiel had been training mages and adepts for a long time, and so he was far ahead of Faeryl in number of mages and the experience of those mages. He didn't have the special units Faeryl had however.

Faeryl was busy training assassins to take on Cassiel's mages. She was also building adepts as quickly as possible, and some rangers. Her army was composed of a wide variety of units, but only one illusionist so far.

Perpentach may end up making the final because of his survival ability. He's not attacked anyone, merely defended himself. Right now I'd give Cassiel the edge against Faeryl, for number of mages plus size of his army, but you never know.

Cassiel's army, on the move

Faeryl's army:
(Star Trek To-Be Continued Voice) And now, the exciting conclusion to bracket #4!

Cassiel is on the move. He's bringing a lot more mages, and more troops than Faeryl has. Faeryl is on the defensive with her specialist and recon forces. She's abandoned her western town to Cassiel. As he approaches, the pivotal decision is made: Faeryl Viconia decided to fight an aggressive war, defense isn't her strong suit.

She has the mobility advantage, with faster units plus the roads are hers. Cassiel takes out her west city, without breaking a sweat. She moves her forces close, but out of fireball range. Cassiel moves his forces into the forest for protection. He will try to use territory to his advantage, but the battle begins regardless of the Forest

Roads lead right up to the jungle allowing Faeryl to immediately attack. Having a few axemen hanging around has always been enough to protect Cassiel's magical firepower before, but Faeryl has Baron Duin Halfmorn, Alakazan the Assassin, and his assistants in the league of assassins. Mages are a game changer, but so are assassins, when they hit their marks.

But first, Faeryl attacks with her heroes and her rangers. They take out axemen, except Alakazam who wipes out a mage, not a hero-mage at least. Then the assassins come, Faeryl has at least six now, having received reinforcements since Cassiel began his march. In fact she has eight, as two stragglers have arrived just in time to reach the Grigori army.

The Assassins kill Mages like they were chopping butter. Cassiel's firepower melts away. Only the two hero-mages survive the first assault, along with a few axemen. Cassiel's mighty army met Faeryl's speed and assassination.

Cassiel does what he can, fireballing Faeryl's army, but his heroes are wiped out with the rest of his axemen in the next attack. His empire is open to a counter-attack. He has some adepts and some axemen, but that will not be much resistance.

Perhaps Faeryl should have pursued Cassiel to the ends of the Earth next, but she was worried about her next door neighbor Perpentach. Faeryl's cities were poorly defended, all her reinforcements go to her war party, and Perpentach's forces were very impressive for a single-city nation. Certainly enough to force her to turn back from an attack on Cassiel to defend her lands.

First, however, she rests up her army, and gathers a few more reinforcements.

Perpentach does not yet have Sorcery, although he will have two Adepts ready if he does get there. He has a lot of defenders in the capital, including his archers from old wars, and all manner of strange units. Some Fanatacism based units, and other Overlords, as well as Freaks, and his latest recruit is Saverous. His city is enormous in comparison to most of the world.

Cassiel's war party took less time to wipe out than Perpentach's gathered forces. Saverous in particular repelled any early thoughts of charging the capital. Faeryl bombarded the capital, attacking with her heroes first, and taking out Perpentach's adepts and some weaker defenders with her mountain of assassins.

Gradually the city was weakened enough to take on Saverous with Rangers. Faeryl didn't want to lose many units in the battle, because they would all be needed to fight Cassiel, who was recruiting archers and adepts as quickly as he could. Once Saverous fell, the rest of the defenses collapsed, and Perpentach was done. It was a good run, and he had a solid chance at making the finals, but ironically, he was too much of a threat to be left alone for the duration of another war.

Perpentach, 3rd place

Baron duin Halfmorn's army of Werewolves started growing during the assault on Perpentach, and the werewolves would grow more throughout the war with Cassiel. They attacked barbarian units and goblin workers, and most of them stopped being ravenous pretty soon.

After resting up, Faeryl sent her army out again. Cassiel was diverting defenders to two cities. One was in the east, and had been a rally point for mages during the war with Amelanchier, that was the first major battle after the loss of Cassiel's army.

Two other cities fell and were razed before that. Faeryl's assassins were now very experienced, and even though all of Cassiel's adepts were in the capital, she sent the assassins first, and they took out several axemen. The Baron attacked as well, spawning another werewolf.

Alakazan picked up Vorthus' axe, which proved to be very handy. Being able to attack twice was like having two of him. The eastern city fell, and was razed. Faeryl could barely support her own cities with a big army outside her borders. However, this lead one step closer to the Armageddon.

All her forces were injured as were Cassiel's as a result of the AC going past 30. She decided to continue the attack rather than healing up, however. Cassiel had only 3 cities left, and the capital was the last one well defended.

Four werewolves were heading to the southwest city, and taking out Barb cities while they did, and one more werewolf was wiping out a barb city in the north by himself.

There was a large void in the center of the map where Flauros and Amelanchier had once been, and that area was now overgrown and filled with Barbarian cities.

With no fully healthy units, Faeryl attacked the capital with magic. It was not very well defended compared to Perpentach's capital, only 3 axemen and two archers were available. The fireballs weakened them, and then the healthiest of Faeryl's horde wiped them out.

The next turn, something neat happened. One of the Assassins was blessed by Aeron, gained +2 death damage. That made him even more deadly. Cassiel's second to last city was a pushover, but his last city had four archers with city defense promotions.

Luckily, Faeryl's werewolves finally arrived in the west, they weakened the defenses, as did a last round of fireballs, and some extremely weakened rangers finished off Cassiel.

Cassiel, 2nd place, qualifies for Finals!
Faeryl Viconia, 1st place, qualifies for Finals!

This was my favorite bracket, and I think my favorite war in the bracket was Amelanchier vs. Cassiel. It was really an interesting matchup between defense and magics. Faeryl vs. Cassiel was interesting too, but it never really became magic vs. magic. It was Faeryl's mastery of the recon tree, especially assassins, vs. magic. And then later, Faeryl's recon and magic against axemen.

Cassiel was headed for iron working by the end of the game, but I should have moved him beyond axemen earlier. Trying to tech to Archmages that late in the game was too time consuming, getting Champions would have been better. Axemen were not very helpful units for the late game, even Rangers were a lot better. I've never really played with Recon units other than assasins, so that was a lot of fun as well. Perpentach was an involuntary occ, and that was fun. Overall, a lot of fun.

Bracket 5 is a ton of Evil factions, that should be enjoyable as well. Os-Gabella, Jonas, Sheelba, Alexis, Thessa and Kandros Fir. Bracket #5 is only 6 leaders to finish out the list. I really really want to see Calabim survive long enough for Vampires at least once. With two Orc factions involved, it will take strong effort to stay alive in the early game though. I'd like to see Sheaim make a run also.
Last bracket before the finals! Pretty dull so far though. There are some interesting possibilities that could spice things up.

Jonas Endain is in a difficult situation. He only has room for three cities (having built two so far). Thessa has him penned in by a narrow path. He'll have to go to war with the Elves to grow further.

Alexis and Os-Gabella are both beelining their respective favorite techs (Feudalism and Bronze Working respectively). They've each got some basic techs but they are pushing to get to Vampires and Pyre Zombies and quickly as possible. Os-Gabella is pretty close to getting the zombies. Alexis is still a long way from Feudalism, researching writing at the moment.

Kandros is going for a different strategy than the other Dwarves have, trying to have just a few well developed cities, like the Kuriotates. They've got one city, and a settler in construction. They are getting plenty of bonuses from their coffers.

All the other leaders have two cities, and most are almost finished building a settler for their third.

On the barbarian front, Orthus just spawned on turn 75, and there is a troll wandering about, as well as at least one gryphon. Pretty quiet. Should be fun to finally see some Pyre Zombies in action.
This update was all about development and settling new cities. Everyone, including the dwarves, settled some new cities in this update.

Kandros' capital is the largest city in the land, and it is being rapidly developed to become an economic powerhouse. Kandros also has a second city which is smaller but growing fast. Kandros is in the northwest.

Os-Gabella has expanded to four cities, and just got Pyre Zombies, though only one has been built as of turn 125. Os Gabella delayed a lot of resource techs to rush Bronze Working, so she is now playing catch up in developing her terrain. She is trying to switch as much production to Pyre Zombies as possible, but she also needs workers. The plan is to rush the Elves, which are just to the east. Jonas is further east. She is pretty much in the south central area of the map.

Thessa has four cities as well, and her economy is stuck in low gear because of that. She's got a lot of territory to develop, and a very angry Orcish nation stuck on a penninsula east of her lands.

Lets go to the other Orcs first though. Sheelba has four cities, but not much military for an Orcish nation. Sheelba is actually pushing towards Runes of Kilmorph religion, and will likely get it way before the Dwarves. She's got the basics of resource techs, but like most others, she still has a lot of development to do. She is in the southwest.

Alexis' long research path towards Feudalism is almost over. She's finished trade, and it researching Code of Laws. The lack of Education is hurting her development, but she does have four cities, and plenty of room for more. She is in the far west.

Lastly, Jonas is trapped by water and a narrow land bridge between his small penninsula and Thessa's lands. Thessa is in between him and the rest of the continent, so war was pretty much inevitable. Preparations for war came VERY close to bankrupting Jonas entirely, but he did hold on fiscally, and costs dropped fast once the war began. Warriors vs. Warriors is always a bloody matchup with lots of attrition, but Jonas had to change his production away from more warriors because of his abysmal economy.

Here is his horde. Thessa had about two-thirds the number of warriors, and they were scattered throughout her four cities.

Thessa had one advantage up her sleeve though, the forests that filled her lands. Thessa has been pushing hard to research FoL, and though she hasn't completed her research yet, the forest attack bonus for her warriors was pivotal.

Thessa responded to Jonas' impending invasion by posting five warriors on a forested tile that's on the narrow land bridge. She also gathering up as many warriors from the other cities and sent them towards battle. Her initial defenders didn't survive, but they did take out several of Jonas' warriors.

Next Jonas regrouped, and headed for the capital. Thessa made an opportunistic attack, the first of many, by sending one of her groups of warriors to attack the Orcs in the forest. The whole road to Thessa's capital was lined with Forests, there was no safe way for the Orcs. As the Orcs approached, the Elves gathered in their capital, and then attacked. They took out several of Jonas' forces, with few losses. Also fresh reinforcements arrived after that.

Then Jonas attacked, he had about ten warriors left to Thessa's six, but they were all veteran warriors. A perfect time to pull back, but Jonas decided to try to make something happened. He did take out 4 Elven warriors, but he lost six of his own. And the Elves counterattacked, wiping out the last of his veterans.

Thessa had stopped the invasion, without losing any cities, but her defenses were depleted. Jonas had a couple very productive cities, and the Orcs would be gathering again soon. Round two was certain to happen without much delay.

Also, Os-Gabella was watching eagerly on the sidelines. If she could get a good force of Pyre Zombies ready, she would be able to pounce on the weakened victor.
I'm probably going to have to redo Bracket 5. I backed up my saves yesterday, because my computer was getting slow and screwed up. So I decided to reformat, and after getting my bracket 5 save from the backup, and updating Civ and Ffh, I get an error when loading the save. If I can figure out a way to get the save to work I will continue, otherwise I'll just have to start over.

Luckily, no one has been knocked out and its only turn 126.
The save file was corrupted. I will try to get the bracket 5 redo started today or tommorrow and post an update.

I've been busy the last few weeks with other stuff, but I have a bit more time now.
Unfortunate to have to do a redo, but oh well. This map had plenty of peninsulas and weirdly shaped coasts. Maybe that's why it seems like smaller than a normal standard map. While no one's borders are yet pressed to another's, the two Orcs are very close to one another, and no one is that far from another civ. There aren't really any of the civs that have a lot of separation from others, like there have been before.

Freakishly bad luck dropped us down from 6 to 5 civs on Turn 11. Kandros Fir was very close to building a third warrior. He had started with 2 and sent one exploring, and getting plenty of huts. A lizardman left his encampment earlier than normal The lizardman wiped out one of Thessa's scouts, and then, emboldened, wandered in the wilderness before approaching Kandros.

Kandros' exploring warrior was nearby, but he was trapped just one tile away from the city when the Lizardman attacked, and destroyed Kandros' city.

Kandros Fir, 6th place

The same lizardman continued to be a menace after that, but he didn't get any more kills. He was the most experienced Lizardman that I'd seen in a while.

There were also some other fights with Lizardmen and Orc warriors later. But only for the non-Orc players of course. Alexis and Os-Gabella both dealt with forces of 2 to 3 barbs making a charge on their cities.

Alexis was lucky enough to get Hunting from a hut, and she has finished a hunting lodge in her capital instead of expanding early. She's going to try to use hunters to push back against the barbs and defend her empire.

The map geography makes at least some naval transports and battles likely. There are small islands off Sheelba's southeast coast and elsewhere. I didn't turn off world wrap on this one either (forget), so using ships to get to the other side of Pangaea quickly could also be fruitful.

Pretty hard to tell who is going to be dominant in this one, though its likely either Sheelba or Jonas will be dominant in the southeast, unless they fight to a stand still.
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