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[FFH] The Splintered Court

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by Lone Wolf, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Another FFH story. This time, it's a shorter game - it's a bundled-in scenario, "The Splintered Court". I take Thessa's troops under my command.
    In that scenario, your cities can't build Settlers - you receive three of them at the start, receive an occasional Settler-granting event, and can capture Barbarian cities.

    Background:



    First city:



    Second one. These Goblins in their forts represent a nuisance to the gracious Elven people.



    Civics:



    We found Fellowship and meet Alexis.



    Settler event:



    Enemy settlements sighted. They're under the command of Volanna, a lieutenant of Faeryl.



    Gliden Silveric is declared an Elven hero:



    Another city:



    Gliden proves his courage and skill as he easily dispatches the Goblin hordes:



    Amelanchier's assault on Geron fails.



    Aargh. I don't have the 100 :gold: for a settler. These immigrants sure come in incovenient times.



    Arendel composes a large army that nevertheless fails against Volanna's outpost.



    We strart training adepts - Thessa is the the chief Archmage of the Ljosalfar, after all.



    Arendel's second army also dissappears without a trace.



    We get the first Ljosalfar mage and fail gold for a wonder:



    Old pirate:



    Faeryl's armies break though Amelanchier's defences.



    It is unsuitable for the graceful Elves to start running around with the bulls, but oh well...



    We sell the Way of the Forests tech, that grant a unit that may spread Fellowship, to Alexis and Baron Halfmorn of the barbaric Doviello people. Let them share our faith.

    Here's our army, that arrived in Evermore, the city in which Amelanchier resides. We need to help him repulse the Svartalfar menace.



    Our mages graft Flaming Arrows on our archers:



    Arendel's army arrives in Evermore, too:



    Three days, Arendel's armies and our armies, backed by the mages' Fireball spells, soften the Svartalfar up. Finally, we're in this position:





    Finally, even our Mages enter the battle directly:



    After this, only three badly damaged units remain in Eodd. Next day, Faeryl brings a small group of Rangers next to the city, but we recapture it regardless.

     
  2. Yoshiegg737

    Yoshiegg737 Jungo Jungo

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    Awesome :D. Subbed.
     
  3. inohotep

    inohotep Slender Time!

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    so did you choose Thessa because she was your freind last game?

    also, what does nuetral:undecide:, bad:mad:, and good:) mean?
     
  4. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    I chose her because she's Arcane, which means that her Adepts will reach the experience level to promote to Mages faster then usual. With Fire mana, Mages can cast Fireballs - strength 4 units that can bombard city defences and collateral, and with Wind mana (which I already have) Maelstrom - a spell that damages, by 15-30%, all units within range. Without Settlers and with many Forests, her Expansive trait is wasted, though.

    From lore standpoint, the god each nation follows decided whether it's Good, Neutral or Evil. Some religions (like Fellowship of Leaves) don't change the alignment, some do. The lore has more religions then the gameplay.

    From a gameplay point of view, the same/different alignments mean diplomacy bonuses/maluses, some units are available only to one alignment, and Good doesn't get corrupted by the Hell terrain (although you won't see it in this scenario).

    Arendel is Good, while her fellow Ljosalfar are Neutral, because Arendel clings to old, gentler ways of Sucellus, while her fellow elves are mostly under the influence of Cernunnos, Sucellus' archangel, who has a much harsher character.

    Actual morality is not entirely dependent on gods, though. Basium, whom I've destroyed in my previous game, is Good, but lorewise is a bloodthirsty militarist who kills demons, anyone who uses demonic magic, anyone who had ever been in the same room with a demon, etc.
     
  5. AJ11

    AJ11 Chieftain

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    I remember this scenario. I believe I got a couple of High Priest of Leaves with Command, and ended up with the Svartalfar hero as a companion to Gilden and Kythra. With priests to cast Summon Tiger and mages for Fireballs... Hilarity ensured.

    Too bad I can't play it anymore due to 3.19...
     
  6. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    The latest FFH version (and many versions before it - in fact, the version I'm playing is not the latest) is compatible with 3.19. You are also recommended to install the unofficial fixpack for the SoA/Pyre Zombie issue, too.

    It's actually my favourite FFH scenario. A couple of others are OK, but I don't like most of them much. Maybe it's because I like the elven atmosphere.

    Anyway, let's go on.

    No money, no luck:



    Arendel conquered a Barbarian city:



    The Svartalfar atempt to break though our defences again:



    And attempt a small diversion maneuver:



    Again, the Dark Elf troops are fireballed.



    However, next Svartalfar army is more menacing. We have to do a tactical retreat.



    We switch civics to City States. Meanwhile, the Svartalfar capture Eodd. Our mages Maelstrom their army. Some Ljosalfar units are also damaged, but Thessa knows very well that you may have to sacrifice a lot to achieve thriumph over darkness. After all, that's her story:

    (Spoiler for large wall-o-text of FFH lore)
    Spoiler :
    Thessa was only forty summers old when she first laid eyes on Devon. She was sitting on the branches of one of the ancient trees when he came walking along the pathway below. She had heard of him, his mother was said to have been so beautiful that an angel fell in love with her. It was their union that produced Devon, who was talented and graceful even by elven standards. As Thessa leaned further out on the branch to get a closer look, he turned his gaze upwards and looked straight into her eyes. She was so shocked she lost her grip on the branch, and tumbled down into the undergrowth below. She lay there stunned, but she was unsure if this was because of the fall or her embarrassment. A tender hand gripped hers, and she was pulled gently to her feet. "Be careful parvulus, those branches can be treacherous for the unwary. Especially those who keep their attention... elsewhere." He smiled, and that smile would later be counted among her most treasured memories.
    Thessa grew to become one of the most powerful mages in Evermore. In her early years she outdid her fellow students in most disciplines, and sometimes she even surpassed her teachers. Once she managed to make an oak grow to its full size overnight from an acorn she had found on the ground, but the exhaustion of that effort left her unconscious for several days. Only one incident served to disturb the teachers' high opinion of her. She was once discovered reading a grimoire of necromancy, a book stolen from the Calabim in earlier times that most of the senior mages had believed to be long since destroyed, or at least locked up safely. The book was immediately confiscated, and it certainly seemed the young girl had not had time to be lured by the forbidden spells. The incident was soon forgotten, as Thessa proved such a brilliant and diligent student. When her formal education came to an end, she was offered the position of archmage, and her strong sense of duty compelled her to accept, even though her most urgent desire was another entirely. At the Beltane festival she and Devon danced all night. Thessa's long black hair, decorated with a single gold feather, flew around her head in time with the elven songs and flute music. The village danced and played beneath the trees and starlight. It was the most brilliant night of her life.
    Trouble had arrived to the tranquil forest of the elves. Scouts came from the borderlands with horrible tales--not of an intruding enemy army, but of something more sinister. A strange corruption had started to appear. It made grass wither and die, and turned the more sturdy plants into twisted, pus-filled growths which further spread the corruption along with their seeds. Something had to be done before the animals would start dying, and naturally the help of the archmage was sought. Thessa gladly accepted, by then she was so accustomed with her own tremendous power that any task she received seemed easy. Yet the corruption proved too strong for her. Even her most powerful spells of cleansing could only provide momentary relief for a small area, and that at the cost of several days of fatigue. So the corruption was left to roam freely, and it slowly crept towards the center of the forest, and Evermore.
    Devon wished to marry her. He had made that plain to her at the festival, and she could sense his impatience growing as the days grew by. Finally she gave in, even though she had become preoccupied with thinking of ways to stop the slow degeneration of the woods. Their families started preparations for the grand party, the divine union of the archmage and the aasimar. Meanwhile, Thessa continued to fight her losing battle against the mysterious force at work in the forest. She traveled towards the source of the taint, but could not locate a specific place of origin. It seemed to have appeared in many places simultaneously, and she suspected that some malevolent mage may have cast a powerful spell of entropy on her homeland. On her way back home, she found a clearing where two deer lay dead, their corpses a sickening hue of dark purple. She sat down on the ashen ground in despair, but then she had a sudden, horrible, realization. She grieved for the life that had been lost here, and for the life that would be lost in the near future. The wedding party was truly magnificent. There was a banquet of exotic fruit and excellent wine, there were a large number of skilled musicians, there was singing and dancing. Thessa seemed oddly preoccupied during the event, but most of the guests assumed, as did her fiancйe, that it was merely stress from working too hard. As night fell, the guests left the clearing under the great red oak tree, leaving the newlyweds alone at the place of the ceremony to consummate their marriage, in accordance with elvish custom. So they both stood there, Devon's eyes so bright with joy and expectation that Thessa could hardly bear to look at him. Yet she forced herself to smile, and gently drew him closer. Devon was too gripped by the moment to notice the lack of light in her eyes, and the tears that had started to appear there.
    He tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away, looked into his eyes one last time, and gently whispered: "I am sorry. Before Devon could reply, she drew the ceremonial dagger she had tucked in her dress, and stabbed him in the heart, muttering incomprehensible words of a kind that had not been heard in that forest for hundreds of years. Her spell let her drain the divine spirit out of Devon's body and add it to her own magical power. Filled with such vast energies, she invoked the spell of cleansing. A shockwave emanated from the clearing, flowing through air, earth and trees, and as it swept by, the forest was healed. Morning came. The sun shone brightly on a lush and green forest, teeming with life. All except a body in a clearing, and a weeping woman sitting beside it, her head in her hands.




    Fireballs:



    And Faeryl's army receives the same fire treatment:



    Eodd is back in the Ljosalfar hands.



    Note that we research Stirrups. In FFH, you can't train the Ljosalfar Fyrdwells without controlling Deer, but since Deer is a Tundra resource, I removed the Deer requirement. Thus, I can use Fyrdwells in that scenario. Santa would be pleased with his Elves for sure!
     
  7. inohotep

    inohotep Slender Time!

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    Great General Santa leading Fyrdwells:santa2:
     
  8. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Fyrdwells:



    We are becoming friendlier with the Baron, who respects our recent military successes.



    Map. Amusingly enough, it's the Baron who had captured the southern Barbarian cities. We also buy Cotton from the Doviello.



    Arendel had drafted a large army. Thessa realizes that she must help her Queen.



    Arendel's army and Thessa's magic support close on the Svartalfar fortress of Geron. Fire produced by the Ljosalfar mages burns the Svartalfar fortifications.



    Meanwhile, we finally open that old chest and get a tech.



    Arendel was not wholly successful in her assault. Yet the Svartalfar troops remain weak and scattered, easily dispersed by Thessa's Fire magic.



    Fast Fyrdwells are on the way.



    Gliden and our Mages capture Geron.



    We are nearing the city of Thariss. However, Volanna personally leads the defences. She is a tough warrior (note the Ranger who defends Thariss).



    We retreat from Thariss, but capture Idris.



    We also meet Falamar the pirate, who has his outposts on an offshore island.



    And Thessa's troops are back at Thariss. Volanna is badly hurt by a fireball.



    Thessa orders Volanna to be gifted to the Baron. Arendel is not pleased with this decision. but Thessa argues that it's for the greater good, and maybe Volanna would enjoy her life as a werewolf, anyway. Amelanchier backs Thessa, and the Summer Queen is forced to accept the decision of her Archmage.



    Trade with Falamar.

     
  9. christos200

    christos200 Never tell me the odds

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    Great update.
     
  10. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    What the:



    Oh.



    This was a masterful strike. Gliden fell victim to the Vampiric hordes as well - while the Doviello make peace with the Svartalfar, failing to do any damage to them.

    We have no choice but to cast the March of Trees wordspell that kills the economy by turning all your forests to strength 10 Treants that die after 5 turns.
    They destroy the initial Calabim army.



    The treants advance into Calabim territory.



    Our Treants and Fyrwells kill some Calabim units -



    Yet they fail to capture any cities. That does not bode good for the Light Elves.



    Amelanchier sends a small stack - after all Treants had already expired.



    That stack is countered by Alexis' bloodthirsty (in that word's most literal incarnation) Vampires -



    Arendel's troops fail to hold a Svartalfar city my Treants had captures on the last turn of their existence -



    Amelanchier's army runs away, telling stories of fearsome vampires.



    Alexis sends a small army -



    That is destroyed.



    But I doubt we could destroy this Svartalfar army:



    A stray Calabim chariot captures Dendrom. We recapture it, but without half of its buildings.



    Faery's troops are near our cities.



    And her lieutenant leads another stack. We can't fight on three fronts.



    Thessa and Amelanchier can't stop Rivanna from advancing:



    And after the Calabim send another army:



    While my army of Fyrdwells and Mages fails to capture Acaia:



    And Faeryl recaptures the cities of her former leuitenant, now a Werewolf in the Baron's horde:



    I throw up the towel and declare the Svartalfar the winner in the Civil war.

    As the Ljosalfar armies suffered defeat after defeat, Thessa became more and more tired. She started to get the feeling that Devon is calling for her. At first, she resisted this feeling, but after she received the news of Ljosalfar defeat at Acaia, she realized that she can't fight that feeling any longer.

    Svartalfar victory flavor text:
    Spoiler :
    The messenger of Esus was one of my favorite creations. He had two mouths and always spoke both the truth and lies. He was currently standing before the court simultaneously telling of the victory of the Svartalfar and of the Ljosalfar. Demonic barons planned both my triumph and a way to recover from this defeat depending on which story they believed. Of course as I am able to discern every lie it is of no hindrance to me.
    The messenger addressed the masked figure in the throne, who sat in the deepest shadows of the long hall. Everyone assumed that was Esus, in fact my deception was so complete that even the decoy in the throne believed he was Esus when actually I was disguised as a simple lyrist in the hall. These past few centuries I had begun to wonder: what if everyone in the hall believed that they were Esus and I wasn't in fact the god of deception? But it was a thought I tried to chase out of my mind.
    I could see everything done in shadows, hear everything whispered. In a distant cell Ljosalfar prisoners planned for an escape, Rivanna herself considered overthrowing Faeryl, and all throughout the Umbrawood those few elves who remained loyal to Cernunnous hid.
    Across the rest of Erebus greater lies are being told by priests, generals and kings. I closed my eyes and buried myself in the layers of manipulation, intrigue and egoism.
    But there was one cancerous sore on Erebus, one place devoid of the subtleties of my work. The dead lands, where walking corpses spoke their own simple truth and Tebryn Arbandi sought to end my game entirely. There is no opportunity in destruction, and as much as my wayward sister may object, I had no desire to see my kingdoms turned to ash.
    So I whispered into Faeryl's ear. I told her tales of desire, wealth and power and beneath a white moon the Svartalfar launched warships towards the dead lands.
     
  11. inohotep

    inohotep Slender Time!

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    aw well, it was a good story

    I've never seen the AI attack from all sides like that

    and let me jinx myself by saying, this story only has one page
     
  12. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    The forum decides the amount of pages by the number of posts, not by their length.

    Perhaps the strategy of going for fast, but weak Fyrdwells was not the best. We probably needed to go for Champions, or even Longbows. Also, I was focused on war and neglected my economy a bit too much, underbuilding Workers.
     
  13. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    Very good, pity massive SoD from all sides ruined it.
     
  14. AJ11

    AJ11 Chieftain

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    Defensive techs are your best friend in this scenario. You NEED to be able to withstand SoD with minimal forces, preferably at your partner's cities. A stack of fireball mages with a few blitz Fyrdwells is actually a very strong active defence. Turtle up and win via economy. That is the only way. You are outnumbered, outgunned and outpositioned.

    One thing that I have noticed is that you were using Gilden to attack. He can do that, but he is an archer. He should be your primary stack defender. Woodsman I-III, Drill 1-IV would be top priorities for him. Then Combat I-V. Try to keep him at full strength at all times.

    Another thing I noticed is that you don't seem to have priests. Second tier priests with Summon Tiger is nasty. On top of the Medic promotion, which you seem to really need, massed Summon Tiger help you to cripple enemy stacks before your real units nail them to the wall.

    At least, that was how I won this scenario... I was fighting defensive all the way, with Gilden fortified on top of a forested hill, guarding a stack of mages, priests and fast units, and playing "I rule all I see".
     
  15. Yoshiegg737

    Yoshiegg737 Jungo Jungo

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    Congratulations, you didn't create a second page this time :p
     
  16. inohotep

    inohotep Slender Time!

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    NOOOO!
    :wallbash::aargh:

    I actually meant to that time!
     
  17. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Well, I neglected my economy too much. If you'll look closely at my screenshots, you can see how much of my territory was unimproved. That explains why I failed after my initially successful offensives.
     
  18. AJ11

    AJ11 Chieftain

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    That reminds me. What difficulty were you playing? I was kicking Svarts to the kerb left and right last night.

    And something else that I noticed: Guild of the Nine (the one that lets you hire mercs). Get it. I was blitzing the crap out of the Svarts by capturing a city, hiring 3-4 mercs to defend it while healing, and then moving on. With a priest on the stack, I was ready to go within a couple of turns. I ended up with more mercs than any other unit (or any combination of other units). The Svarts never knew what hit them.

    Well, the Wraith Lord did, but that didn't help him much when 8 mages started fireballing his ass.
     
  19. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Immortal. That level demanded more precision on my part.

    Rivanna is a she. :p The gender of FFH leaders is constantly confused.
     
  20. AJ11

    AJ11 Chieftain

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    Tell me about it... Have you SEEN Mahala?! :eek: She is like Shale in DA...
     

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