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Threads of Fate - A Modded Photojournal

Discussion in 'Playthroughs and Photojournals' started by Blue Ghost, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Hello CivFanatics! Blue Ghost here, maker of fantasy civ conversions for Vox Populi. This will be my first photojournal on the CivFanatics forums, and I hope it will be up to the quality expected here. I am using this opportunity to show off the Fire Emblem civs I’ve been doing VP conversions for over the past year, as well as hopefully tighten up my gameplay a bit and get some strategic advice from the veterans here. All the civs involved in this game are taken from my first Vox Populi civpack, which you can find a link to here.

    Spoiler Civ Description and Initial Thoughts :
    20181228174713_1.jpg
    The civilization that I am choosing for this playthrough is the Theocracy of Plegia, as led by Validar. To quote from the Fire Emblem Wiki:
    So, we have here your run-of-the mill fantasy villain. Which means that any atrocities we may be committing on our way to victory will be entirely in-character.

    Now a look at our unique gameplay traits:
    Plegia's UA is oriented toward an aggressive, religious-focused playstyle. We gain faith from kills like the Aztecs, but unlike the Aztecs, we do not have an early UU, which means that we'll have to rush some military techs to farm faith from barbarians. Our early gameplay will be focused on maximizing our UA: We will have an aggressive start with Authority, focused on hunting barbarians and early war to get our religion as soon as possible, and when it's up, we will try for a spree of early conquest to get a culture snowball going. Conquered cities being automatically fully converted means we will be saving a lot of faith that would otherwise be spent on missionaries and inquisitors, which will allow us to enhance our religion and get religious buildings up sooner, as well as to save up to faith purchase our UU in the medieval era.

    Our UU is a Crossbowman replacement that can be purchased with faith. Its high defensive CS, and ability to self-heal on kills, makes it a durable unit capable of standing on the front lines. We'll be aiming to continue our early aggression at least into the medieval era, where we can use our faith income to spam these Dark Mages.

    Our unique building is a national wonder, representing the altar at which Validar sacrifices to his dark god. The Dragon's Temple city will siphon food from all our other cities into into itself, granting as much food as the Hanging Gardens with just five other temples built. It also gains food and production on kills, which will incentivize us to keep up our aggression throughout the game. This wonder is going to dictate our long-term game plan, which will be a wide empire with a particularly strong central city. This will enable us to engage in some Tradition-like wonder spamming in the late game, possibly even transitioning into a cultural victory.

    Spoiler Settings and mods used :

    20181228121505_1.jpg
    As stated, all civs present in the game are hand-picked from my first Fire Emblem civpack. I will be giving a quick introduction to each as they show up, but I won't be fully detailing their unique abilities. You can see the link above for full descriptions.
    Aside from Vox Populi and the Fire Emblem civpack, the only other two mods are using are Civ Names by Policies and Fire Emblem City-States. Both are purely aesthetic and have no effect on gameplay.

    Settings are Immortal difficulty, Planet Simulator map, standard size, standard speed. I've only played a couple of Immortal games so far, and I'm not fully comfortable with the difficulty yet, so there's a good chance that we will fail terribly. As well as a good chance that I'll need the veteran players here to help me out.

    No tech trading, research agreements enabled, transparent diplomacy. All other settings are as default.

    The only other thing to note is that I disabled the additional starting units from the AI handicaps. I don't mind the AI getting bonuses to be competitive, but I prefer to start out on an even footing at the beginning. Vox Populi goes a long way toward that, but I like to take it one step further.

    Spoiler Starting location :

    20181228175132_1.jpg
    We have here a grassland start, with perfume and gems as our luxuries. I can either settle in place, or move to the hill to the west for a bit more early food from the marsh. A lot of flat plains and grassland around means horses are likely to be nearby, so I will be starting off with Animal Husbandry, and if all goes according to plan, rushing Military Theory for some early horsemen.
     
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  2. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 1 – Founding of Plegia Castle :
    20181228235600_1.jpg
    Scouting to the west with my pathfinder confirms that the southwest hill is the best place for founding my capital. It borders the sea and the river, with two marsh tiles for early growth, and the potential for a nice river farm triangle later on. Production is a bit low here, but the gold from the perfume will help us out a bit in that regard.

    Starting out with researching Animal Husbandry, to reveal horses ASAP. Any animal resources revealed could be a great boon to our early production.

    Spoiler Turn 4 – Hostile Contact :
    20181229000251_1.jpg
    Our pathfinder discovers a barbarian encampment directly to our north, with another stray barbarian from a different encampment somewhere to the west. This can be annoying for our early development, but it also provides a great opportunity for some early faith from kills from our UA. I will be building a warrior or two after the monument, to start working on these encampments.

    We also discovered The Wheel in an ancient ruin, which happens to be one of the prerequisite techs for Military Theory. That will aid us greatly in our horseman rush.

    Spoiler Turn 12 – First Skirmishes :

    20181229001203_1.jpg
    Our pathfinder gets a lucky upgrade from an ancient ruin, which greatly improves his survivability. I don’t know if I would have been able to keep him alive without it, with all the barbarians running around. We discover the second encampment to the west, as well as the city-state of Jehanna to the north, which will be a prime target for tribute once we have some early forces up. Our scout fortifies and picks off weakened barbarians, gaining us a little bit of faith for each kill.

    We finish Animal Husbandry, and find that the closest horses are a two-horse tile three tiles away from the capital. A bit disappointing, but two horses will have to do until we expand. I’ll likely have to purchase that tile; fortunately, the gold from the perfume will help us accomplish that. Because we got the Wheel from that ancient ruin, we can research Military Theory next to unlock horsemen right away.

    Spoiler Turn 18 – Plegian Expansion :

    20181229001811_1.jpg
    Our scout encounters a third ancient ruin, which gives us some additional land, including that horse tile that we need so badly. That’s going to save us quite a bit of gold.

    We are at three citizens now, and were working two perfume tiles before we acquired the horse tile, giving us 9 gold per turn. We gold purchased a warrior, with another on the way. Our scout killed 3 brutes, netting us 42 faith total; only one more kill needed to found our pantheon.

    Spoiler Turn 23 – Hail Grima :

    20181229002252_1.jpg
    The skirmishes with the barbarians have given us enough faith for our pantheon, and we are choosing to follow the Fell Dragon Grima in his guise as the God of War, which gives us even more faith from kills. Combined with our UA, we now get 4 times the enemy’s CS in faith for each kill we make. We still haven’t met any other civs that we can raid, but the barbarians should provide us with enough sacrifices to quickly found a religion, or at least get close to it.

    Spoiler Turn 25 – A Rivalry Begins :

    20181229002642_1.jpg
    We make first contact with another civilization: The Halidom of Ylisse, led by Emmeryn. Ylisse and Plegia are rivals in the Fire Emblem lore, so it’s fitting that they are our first neighbor.

    Gameplay-wise, Ylisse can be rather unpredictable. Their UA is geared toward golden ages and city-state alliances, but their UB provides early culture and happiness, which Emmeryn sometimes likes to use to expand aggressively. She has a very powerful unique unit, the Pegasus Knight, in the medieval era, so I’m hoping to take her out before then.

    Spoiler Turn 26 - Establishing Authority :

    20181229003110_1.jpg
    Our first social policy, and Authority is the obvious choice with all the fighting we’re doing. We still don’t know how much space we have to expand, but we know that we’re planning on being very aggressive in the future, and we’re already engaging in quite a lot of fighting with barbarians now. And with the culture boost from clearing encampments, we get our second Authority policy just nine turns later, on turn 35. We take Tribute, which is not that useful for us now, but unlocks Imperium for our next policy.
    By the time we take Tribute, Military Theory is completed, and we have built a Worker, who is now beginning work on the pasture for the horses. Once I have some horsemen trained, I can start collecting tribute from my neighboring city-state for some additional culture to speed up Imperium.

    Spoiler Turn 43 – A Visit from a Prophet :

    20181229004518_1.jpg
    Our second neighbor is Sophia, the Prophet of Nabata, a fan favorite in the Fire Emblem Civ community. Her gameplay focuses around religion and great people. She’s mostly peaceful and doesn’t have much in the way of military strength, so she should be an easy target for conquest, depending on her location.

    Both Emmeryn and Sophia have founded three cities already, though I have not yet found them. Emmeryn has two Progress policies, and Sophia has two Tradition. Neither of them having taken Authority is a good sign, that they won’t be too aggressive with their military production, and conquering them should be doable.

    Spoiler Turn 45 - Princess of Crimea :

    20181229005059_1.jpg
    Princess Elincia of Crimea is our third neighbor. Crimea is a strong science-focused civilization, similar to Korea in a lot of ways. She's nearly always the science leader in the late game, and often starts her ideology by reaching the Atomic Era. But I'm aiming to have conquered my entire continent before we get to that point.

    Spoiler Turn 47 – Ylisse Sighted :

    20181229005354_1.jpg
    Our scout spots some blue borders in the distance, which is our first glimpse the lands of another civilization, the Halidom of Ylisse. There are some mountains to either side of the city, but there's a wide amount of open space as well to marshal our troops when the time comes for war.

    The tile that our scout is standing on has four horses. I would like to forward settle her around that area, so we can claim those additional horses and build a strong cavalry force for our initial conquest. We have a settler trained and ready to march. I would of course like to get Imperium before settling, as the science and culture bonus for founding a city with Imperium is very significant. We have two barbarian encampments in our sights, and if we manage to clear both of them, we could even have Imperium unlocked by the time our settler reaches their destination.

    We will be building two Horsemen next in our capital, who can start demanding tribute from city-states, explore, clear more encampments more quickly, and possibly harass our neighbors.
     
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  3. philhellenismos

    philhellenismos Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2014
    Messages:
    55
    Expecting Your behavior infuriates them from Elincia onwards
     
  4. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Around turn 100, I decided to give up this game. I was in a war with Ylisse that turned against me when she sent a squad to raid my capital while I was focusing on the eastern front. I was dead last in all the demographics, and didn't see a realistic way forward. I was going to post the second part for analysis, but I lost my notes and screenshots, and it doesn't seem to be worth the effort to recreate them. All I can say is, Immortal difficulty is hard! I'm still not the best at timing early wars with the Authority playstyle; that's an area that I'm aiming to improve in.

    I'll be rerolling and restarting with the same settings. Hopefully the next time around I'll be able to do better.
     
  5. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    It is time for the Theocracy of Plegia to rise again! I’ve updated my modpack a bit, mostly some aesthetic changes to keep up to date with the excellent work from the peeps at the Fire Emblem Civ community.

    Spoiler Turn 1 - A New Beginning :

    20190104002725_1.jpg We have a desert start this time, with flood plains and salt giving us a good amount of food and production. Plenty of flatland to the south, so it makes sense for us to start off with Animal Husbandry again to try to reveal any horses we have nearby. Alternatively, Mining into Bronze Working can let us start improving the salt early for extra food and production, but we won't get any immediate benefit from Mining, as it will take a while to get workers online. I decide to go Animal Husbandry first, and see where things lead from there.

    Spoiler Turn 3 - First Contact :

    20190104002735_1.jpg We meet our first neighbor very quickly, and it's Emmeryn again. (Note the art upgrade--shoutout to Kobazco for that.) Her pathfinder comes up from the south, and the short time it took for us to meet means that she is likely very close to us. That means that there is likely going to be early war, especially as the desert to the north will likely provide little room for us to settle peacefully.

    Spoiler Turn 6 - Barbarians :

    20190104002900_1.jpg
    We discover a barbarian encampment to the east, forcing our pathfinder to flee to the south. We've also seen some barbarians skulking about Plegia Castle to the west, and Emmeryn's pathfinder was wounded when we met them, meaning that they likely encountered more barbarians to the south. A barbarian-heavy start is good for us, since that means we can get a lot of faith from hunting these barbarians, as well as culture once we unlock Authority.
    We also get the comet event this turn, which gives us a little bit of extra happiness for a short time. The impact is small, but it's nice to have nevertheless.

    Spoiler Turn 12 - Come to the Slaughter! :

    20190104003057_1.jpg
    That is a LOT of barbarians surrounding the capital. I'm really thankful that barbarian raiding has been nerfed recently; a few patches ago, having that many barbarians stealing massive amounts of production from the capital would have been crippling. As is, they are still an annoyance, blocking off the flood plains and preventing my capital from growing, but we'll be able to gain more yields from killing these guys than we lose.
    We finished Animal Husbandry, and discover a single horse tile to the southeast. But we won't be able to settle there until we deal with all the barbarians swarming us, so military is paramount. I divert my research path to Mining -> Bronze Working, so we can get our spearmen up ASAP and clear the surrounding encampments more efficiently. Getting to improve the salt along the way is a nice bonus.

    Spoiler Turn 16 - Offering from Kiris :
    20190104003237_1.jpg
    We receive 37 gold from meeting the city-state of Kiris, which gives us enough gold to purchase a warrior. This is a godsend for us, as we now have a defense against the constant barbarian raids. Our second warrior is being trained, and once we have two warriors, they can start going out and hunting barbarians to gain us faith toward our pantheon.
    It's not shown in the screenshot, but our pathfinder has found the borders of Ylisse's capital, in the forest to the south. An invasion of a city surrounded by forest will be somewhat troublesome, but we'll worry about that in due time.

    Spoiler Turn 20 - Blood for the Blood God :

    20190104003454_1.jpg
    With all the barbarians around, it takes us very little time to gather enough sacrifices for our pantheon. We're going God of War again as the obvious choice: Gaining 4x faith from kills in conjunction with our UA is too appealing to pass up, especially with the sheer number of enemies around to kill. And the increased city bombard strength, which is usually trinket text, will actually be quite helpful this time around in eliminating the barbarian hordes.
    We have two warriors, which is enough for defense. I start training up a worker to start improving the salt and flood plains as soon as we've driven the barbarians away. Our capital's been growing more slowly than I would like thanks to the barbarians squatting on our flood plains, so getting some extra food from flood plains farms and salt mines will be hugely beneficial.

    Spoiler Turn 27 - Plegian Authority :
    20190104003758_1.jpg
    We have collected enough culture for our first policy, and with all the early fighting we're doing, Authority is the obvious choice. After killing the barbarians in the immediate vicinity of Plegia Castle, I've been refraining from doing too much fighting to wait for Authority to be unlocked. Now that we have Authority, there are quite a lot of wounded barbarians nearby for our warriors to hunt down for culture as well as faith.

    Spoiler Turn 33 - Territorial Disputes :
    20190104004124_1.jpg
    Emmeryn settles the city of Southtown just six tiles from my capital, in a prime coastal location that I was coveting. This pretty much forces me into early war to stake my territory, though I was planning to go that route anyway.
    The Fountain of Youth is to the west, and I'm definitely planning to settle a city there to get the Everlasting Youth promotion for my soldiers. Even after the nerf, it's a huge boon to any conquering army.
    Aside from that, everything else is going quite well. Our pathfinder has found a ruin upgrade, and now as a scout is helping to clear the nearby encampments for additional faith and culture. We also got a nice sum of faith from another ancient ruin, so we're making nice progress toward our religion despite not having yet built a shrine.

    Spoiler Turn 38 - Establishing Dominance :

    20190104004321_1.jpg
    We unlock our second policy on turn 38, and we are going on the left side of the Authority tree so we can pick up Imperium next for the free settler.
    On the same turn, we discover Bronze Working. I had started building a Warrior when we started researching the technology, so the production rolls over giving us a head start on producing a Spearman. I also upgrade one of my original Warriors, so now we have two spearmen ready to deploy against the barbarian incursions. A single spearman can capture a Brute-guarded encampment on its own quite readily, so now our hunting will be much more efficient.
    After Bronze Working, I turn my research to Pottery, so we can start training settlers. There are a few spots of land that I would like to claim before Emmeryn gets to them.

    Spoiler Turn 42 - A Visitor :

    20190104004715_1.jpg
    We meet our second major civ, and once again it is Sophia of Nabata. Her pathfinder comes from the south, so she's likely further south, and we won't interact with her meaningfully for a while yet.
    We've finished our third Spearman, which gives us a nice standing force. Plegia Castle now starts production of the Statue of Zeus. Since we'll be out of barbarians to hunt soon, and we need room to expand, war with Emmeryn is an inevitability, so the free Barracks and the bonus against cities that the Statue of Zeus provides will be invaluable.
     
  6. Kiang

    Kiang Eternally Tired

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Yes! Been looking forward to this. Very cool way to see some VP play. Great start, can't wait to see where it goes next! :)
     
  7. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 48 – Tribute from Kiris :

    20190104005007_1.jpg
    Our spearmen clear the barbarian encampments to the west, and are now making their way back east to the capital to rest and recover before the next campaign. On the way back, the pass by the borders of Kiris, giving me an opportunity to demand tribute. This nets me a nice sum of gold as well as culture thanks to the Tribute policy, putting us up to just eight turns before our next policy.

    Spoiler Turn 57 - Statue of Zeus Completed :

    20190104005453_1.jpg
    We have completed the Statue of Zeus in Plegia Castle! This provides me a free Barracks well before I unlock Military Theory, which will be invaluable for my military production.

    I have researched Pottery now, and am quite close to attaining the Imperium policy, so the next step after the Statue of Zeus is to build a settler. There aren’t many good city spots left, so one settler plus the free one from Imperium would be good enough. After that, it would be time for some conquest. Emmeryn looks pretty weak militarily right now, but I’m going to need some more muscle to avoid a stalemate, so I will be training another spearman or two.

    Spoiler Turn 61 - The Midmire Founded :

    20190104005753_1.jpg
    We have unlocked Imperium, and with the free settler it grants us, we found the Midmire to the west. There aren’t that many good workable tiles here, but there are two salt tiles nearby to push us toward our salt monopoly, as well as the all-important Fountain of Youth, which grants all our units extra healing, a major edge in the prolonged wars we’ll no doubt be fighting.

    The science and culture that Imperium grants for settling is also a nice bonus, completing Construction for us, and pushing us well on our way toward our next technology. I go for Trapping to unlock the archer, as having some ranged support will make the upcoming battle much easier.

    Spoiler Turn 65 - Law's End :

    20190104010004_1.jpg
    And another settler trained in the capital founds a third city to the south, at Law’s End. No fresh water, but plenty of resources around, including two horses. But we don’t have the time to wait for Military Theory and build horsemen. We’re gathering our strength, and as soon as we’re strong enough, we will launch our invasion of Southtown and claim the land that’s rightfully ours.

    Spoiler Turn 78 - First War :

    20190104010950_1.jpg
    The invasion of Southtown has begun. The war has already been going for several turns at the time this screenshot was taken. I have not seen any spearmen or horsemen from Emmeryn, only warriors and archers, who are easily cut down before my wall of spears, earning me ever more faith toward founding my religion. I have Southtown surrounded, slaughtering any warriors that Emmeryn trains up to defend, and my spearmen with Drill are doing large amounts of damage to the city even with a garrison. A scout with Medic and the Everlasting Youth promotion ensure that any wounds we sustain are quickly recovered, so the siege continues unabated.

    I see a contingent of Ylissean soldiers in the forests south of Law’s End. With their primitive weapons, they won’t be able to do much damage to the city as long as I maintain a garrison, but I still need to keep a defense there to make sure that my own city is not overrun while the main body of my army is on the offensive. The two forest tiles south of Law’s End make a great natural defense, making it difficult for Emmeryn to mount a direct assault and forcing her to approach from the sides.

    Spoiler Turn 80 - The Fell Dragon Rises :

    20190104011143_1.jpg
    With the faith generated from our war, we are able to found the first religion, which we dedicate to the Fell Dragon Grima.

    Council of Elders is a natural choice for a founder belief for Plegia. It gives us science and production in our capital every time a city is converted, which includes the conversion from conquest that our UA grants. So every city conquered will grant a nice boost of science and production in our capital, which will help us immensely in keeping up in technology and infrastructure, as well as building wonders later in the game. The first boost comes immediately upon adopting the religion, catapulting us to finish Trade.

    For a follower belief, I prefer yield-per-follower beliefs to building beliefs for Plegia. Since we’ll be spreading our religion through conquest rather than passive pressure, the pressure increases from buildings aren’t worth much to us, and we have better things to spend faith on, like missionaries for converting our own cities, early enhancement, and Dark Mages in the medieval era. I select Thrift for our follower belief. In the short run, it helps stem our hemorrhaging of gold that comes from having to feed a large army without any economic infrastructure setup. In the long run, we plan to have a sprawling empire with many small cities, and 1 gold per follower is a great yield ratio for that. It also helps a great deal to alleviate poverty, one of the leading sources of unhappiness.

    Spoiler Turn 82 - Southtown Captured :

    20190106165054_1.jpg
    The Ylissean city of Southtown has fallen into Plegian hands. All the citizenry are converted to Grimleal, and we gain a substantial amount of gold and culture, in addition to the culture and science from conquest for Imperium. Next turn we will also gain another influx of science and production from Council of Elders. We also completed a city-state quest for Fiana, which earns us a few turns of friendship with the cultural city-state, and 28 XP for all our units. All in all, a nice haul.

    Southtown is a nice city with a good amount of available resources and good infrastructure already built. I’m definitely looking to incorporate it into my empire. But right now, we’re in the traditional early-game happiness slump, so we can’t afford the happiness hit from annexing a foreign city, so Southtown will have to remain a puppet for now.

    Spoiler Turn 86 - Assault on Themis :

    20190106170451_1.jpg
    Hot off our first conquest, my army marches to Themis, aiming to capture another city for the glory of Grima. It’s fairly lightly defended, but the spearman garrisoned in the city will make the capture somewhat difficult. And the fact that Emmeryn can train spearmen now means that we can expect to see more of them in the future. Still, we have the advantage of numbers and experience, and I’m pretty confident that we can conquer the city with minimal difficulty.

    Spoiler Turn 88 - Second Conquest :

    20190106171133_1.jpg
    It turns out that we have captured Themis quite easily, as predicted. We get a nice boost of science, gold and culture, launching us into the classical era. However, we now face a wall of Ylissean spears blocking our offense. It will take a long time to fight through them, and the surrounding forest prevents us from deploying our archers effectively. It appears that our conquest must be halted for the time being.

    Spoiler Turn 91 - Victory Declared :

    20190106171955_1.jpg
    With our invasion stalled, we broker a favorable peace deal with Emmeryn, extorting as much as we can from her. We’ve achieved quite a lot in this war, but our ambitions are far from over. A lull in the fighting gives us time to plan our next move.
     
  8. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 94 - Scouting Ylisstol :

    20190107221720_1.jpg
    My scout circles around Ylisstol, scouting out the lay of the land in preparation for the next invasion. Right now Ylisstol’s defenses are pretty meager now, but it will probably be putting walls up pretty soon, and capturing a walled capital city with just spearmen will be next to impossible. I will need to bring in some catapults, but the thick forests surrounding Ylisstol means the only place I can set up siege engines is the hills to the northwest, an awkward position to maneuver, to be sure. I would like to field a horseman to match up against Ylisse’s spears, but I have not researched Iron Working yet, and there is no iron right now.

    I have unlocked Discipline, the fifth Authority policy, which gives +1 happiness for every city with a garrison. That gives me some spare happiness to work with, which I will be using to found another city. Not quite enough spare happiness to annex my conquests yet, but that will come in time.

    Spoiler Turn 97 - Great General's Stratagem :

    20190107233238_1.jpg
    I use my Great General to build a citadel, claiming the two forest tiles north of Ylisstol. My plan is to chop down those forests, clearing the line of sight for my siege. An attack directly from the north will be significantly easier than trying to go around or through the forest.

    Spoiler Turn 102 - Carrion Isle Founded :

    20190107234057_1.jpg
    We found the city of Carrion Isle in the tundra to the north, which has access to 2 iron in the forest to the southwest. There’s a good amount of other resources nearby as well, so this city will be able to grow pretty quickly. It will still be a while before we are able to connect the iron, so our next war will have to start without swordsmen.

    Spoiler Turn 104 - War Resumes :

    20190108222030_1.jpg
    As an Authority civ, we need constant war to fuel our culture growth, so I declare war on Emmeryn again as soon as I am able. While our workers continue to chop away at the forests, the remainder of my troops gather in the north and quickly take out Emmeryn’s scattered forces. We’ve expended our great general, so we won’t get the general combat bonus for the first few turns of combat, but we can overcome by our superior numbers and experience. Emmeryn has a few archers to the south, and surely she will start training more soldiers in her cities now that war has officially been declared. Mobility is tough in the forest, so I adopt a cautious strategy, not moving too deep into enemy territory, and ready to retreat should the battle turn against me.

    Spoiler Turn 110 - Siege of Ylisstol :

    20190108000401_1.jpg
    My hordes of spearmen have Ylisstol completely surrounded, blockading the city and giving it a defensive penalty. My line of catapults keeps up an unending barrage against the walls. Emmeryn is deploying troops to Ylisse’s defense, and I won’t be able to keep the capital surrounded for more than a few turns, but a few turns is all I need to capture it.

    Spoiler Turn 112 - Ylisstol Captured :

    20190108001119_1.jpg And Ylisstol has fallen into my hands. Somewhat of a disappointing victory, as the only building surviving in the city is a market. Not even worth annexing. But we can’t rest easy just yet; Emmeryn’s soldiers are a formidable force, and getting past them to continue our conquest won’t be an easy task. I really wish I had some swordsmen ready to go, but the iron in Carrion Isle won’t be connected for another six turns.

    Spoiler Turn 117 - An Unexpected Guest :

    20190108003014_1.jpg
    In the middle of our war, we receive a delegation from Crimea, bearing gifts of tea. An exchange of embassies and records tells us that Elincia’s lands are to the west across the sea. We’re currently equal in technology, but Elincia has a policy over us, having competed the Progress tree. It’s good to see another friendly face. Hopefully we’ll be friendly for a while longer, while I finish destroying Ylisse.

    Spoiler Turn 120 - Mount Prism Falls :

    20190108003950_1.jpg
    As we press further into Ylissean territory, we capture the city of Mount Prism. A city without walls is a piece of cake, and falls to a single catapult and a couple spearmen, while the rest of my forces continue south to the Farfort. This city has nothing of value for us, so we are content to burn it to the ground. Now Ylisse has only a single city left standing, and its defenses are nearly depleted. The Farfort will soon be mine.

    Spoiler Turn 124 - Religion Enhanced :

    20190108005649_1.jpg
    The chaos and turmoil of war have yielded plenty of sacrifices to Grima, and we have gathered enough faith for our second Great Prophet to enhance our glorious Grimleal religion.
    Most of the enhancer beliefs either boost religion spread or gain bonuses from followers in foreign cities, so they do not fit our playstyle. I decide to go with Mendicancy, as it will give us a decent boost of culture during this time when our cultural growth is slow. Our internal trade routes also get a boost from Mendicancy, and with all the wars we have, I anticipate we'll be using primarily internal trade routes for some time.
    For our second follower belief, I choose a second yield-per-follower belief, as we have little need of faith buildings. Diligence is my choice, as a healthy amount of production makes everything else easier.

    Spoiler Turn 126 - Total Victory :

    20190108010237_1.jpg Our forces capture the Farfort, Emmeryn's last city. 50 turns after our first declaration of war, and 22 turns after our second, we have completely conquered Ylisse and dedicated it to Grima. Since we have a good amount of happiness now, I decide to annex the Farfort right away, as a south-facing port city will be an excellent staging ground for our next invasion.
    The question is: what now? Plegia needs to continue conquering and expanding so that our development does not stagnate, but there are no more targets in range. We've finished the Authority tree, but Sophia and Elincia both finished their trees a little bit ahead of us. We're forced into a time of peace now, so we'll take the time to build up our infrastructure and scout the seas in preparation for our next campaign.
     
  9. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 131 - Border Wastes Founded :

    20190108224432_1.jpg
    Mount Prism was not worth keeping, but the spot it was founded on was pretty nice, so I found my own city on top of its ruins, aptly named Border Wastes. Of particular interest to me are the two iron near its borders. In the late game, iron is a critical strategic resource, as it is required for all ranged naval units. The two iron I currently have won’t be enough, and while I have a good chance of picking up more from my conquests, having another city contributing won’t hurt.

    Spoiler Turn 133 - Scout's Report :

    20190108225228_1.jpg
    Scouting to the south, we discover Sophia’s border city of Palmyra, which will be the next target for our invasion. It looks pretty softly defended, but to invade now means crossing the sea without a naval escort, which would be suicide. I’ll approach cautiously, and defer the invasion until I have a few good ships to sail with.
    Happiness is starting to dip, and I’ll have to maintain a careful watch on that.

    Spoiler Turn 140 - On the Warpath :

    20190109231351_1.jpg
    The bloodlust of the Grimleal cannot be sated. After moving our units into position, we begin a siege of the city-state of Phoenicis, Sophia’s ally. This is sure to anger Sophia, but that doesn’t matter. A city-state is a low-risk target that keeps our troops occupied while we’re unable to wage war on another major civ. We get some more XP for our army, and more yields for conquest, and we deny our rival one of their allies.

    Spoiler Turn 141 - Spreading Grima's Truth :
    20190109232111_1.jpg
    While we’re primarily spreading our religion through conquest, I send a few missionaries to preach to our surrounding city-states. Converting them to glorious Grimleal gives us more needed science and production from Council of Elders, unlocking Theology and propelling us into the medieval era. It also pushes us toward the reformation mark.

    Spoiler Turn 145 - The Dragon's Table :

    20190109233018_1.jpg
    With Theology unlocked, we have built our unique national wonder, the Dragon’s Table. This grants us a substantial boost in culture and gold, as well as tons of food in our capital. It will grow stronger as we finish building temples in all of our cities.

    Spoiler Turn 146 - Sophia Declares War :

    20190109233356_1.jpg
    Sophia has finally had enough of our warmongering, and declares war herself. This is fine with us, as we were planning to invade her anyway, and this just pushes up our schedule a little bit. Sophia does have a science lead over us, so we’ll need to watch out for any advanced units she may field, but she has few routes from which she can attack us. We will need to be aware of Kiris, which is Sophia’s ally and immediately adjacent to us, but I don’t anticipate too much trouble from a city-state.

    Spoiler Turn 146 - Phoenicis Captured :

    20190109234240_1.jpg
    Our siege of Phoenicis has ended, with the city-state being incorporated into the great empire of Plegia. The culture from conquest from our UA is enough to unlock our second policy tree. I choose Fealty, as the happiness boost from the Nobility policy is sorely needed. The opener lets us use our excess faith to purchase monasteries in every city, granting food and science, and alleviating our unrest issues just a little bit by raising our cities above the illiteracy threshold.
    Owning Phoenicis also gives us a route to attack Palmyra by land. The terrain is treacherous, but we have the superior forces.

    Spoiler Turn 149 - Battle of Palmyra :

    20190109235354_1.jpg
    There’s no easy route to attacking Palmyra by land, and I do not have the naval force for an amphibious attack. So my troops will camp at the borders, and engage Sophia in a war of attrition. Sophia has a knight riding on the front lines, a very fearsome opponent that surely spells more enemy knights on their way. I have knights of my own, but no easy way to deploy them.

    Spoiler Turn 157 - Grimleal Reformation :

    20190110001653_1.jpg
    After conquering Phoenicis and sending our missionaries to three city-states, we have enough followers of Grimleal to construct the Holy Council and gain our reformation belief. Crusader Spirit is tempting for the combat bonus and additional bonuses on conquest, but with the war with Sophia at a stalemate, it would be a while before we’re able to capture another city. I instead go for Faith of the Masses, which gives us a massive happiness boost, as well as providing us another outlet for our abundance of faith, converting it into Amphitheaters for glorious culture.

    Spoiler Turn 161 - Gaining Ground :

    20190110233005_1.jpg
    I’ve been slowly beating back Sophia’s army, though the awkward terrain here means that I’m barely able to make any use of my ranged support. I just have to whittle her troops down bit by bit, and avoid putting my own soldiers in harm’s way. I’ve constructed two citadels to push into Sophia's territory, and annexed Phoenicis to prepare to use as a base to train my Dark Mages once I have Guilds unlocked.

    Someone on the other side of the world has entered the Renaissance era, and with that, we get our first spy, Garrick. I send him to Melior to spy and hopefully siphon some technology from Elincia.
     
  10. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 165 - A Temporary Truce :

    20190110235059_1.jpg
    It’s clear that with the unfavorable terrain, I will not be able to make much progress in my war with the current state. Fortunately, Sophia is one of the naïve fools who believes in peace, so I can easily convince her to agree to a 10-turn peace treaty. I am going to use this time to reposition my soldiers, so that when the peace treaty is up, I’ll be ready to invade and conquer Nabata once and for all. And aiding me in this endeavor is the cabal of dark mages that I have faith purchased in Phoenicis, as soon as I finished researching Guilds. With their fell magic aiding me, I am sure to win the next war.

    Spoiler Turn 167 - Continued Advance :

    20190110235927_1.jpg
    Sophia left an unclaimed tile between Palmyra and Eremos, which will prove to be her undoing as I construct a third citadel there. Now I have a clear path to Palmyra, without these pesky sand dunes in the way. I am now taking advantage of our truce to maneuver my troops to encircle the city.

    Sophia is four techs ahead of me and has entered the Renaissance era, so there is some danger that she’ll have Gunpowder unlocked by the time the next war starts. Even so, I’m quite confident that I can win this.

    Spoiler Turn 175 - Alliance Usurped :
    20190111220346_1.jpg
    Completing a trade route quest, sending an emissary, and gifting a pikeman have earned me enough influence to wrest an alliance with Kiris away from Sophia, one turn before the peace treaty expires. Unfortunately, during this time, Sophia has managed to ally with Fiana, so I still have an enemy city-state at my borders to deal with. But one city-state enemy is better than two.

    During this time of peace, I’ve been building up my castles and armories, with the happiness bonuses from Nobility that they give. The excess happiness has allowed me to annex Southtown, so that I have another strong coastal city on the east.

    Spoiler Turn 176 - War Resumes :

    20190111221101_1.jpg
    The peace treaty has expired, and my armies are marching full force into Palmyra. We set up camp on the border, ready to slaughter any troops that Sophia sends to defend, while my trebuchets and dark mages bombard Palmyra’s castle. A second contingent of dark mages aid my ships in clearing the seas so that my triremes and galleasses can sail into Palmyra’s port for a blockade. Sophia has two more powerful cities with castles not far from the battlefront, so I must be careful not to get within bombardment range.

    Spoiler Turn 180 - World Congress Founded :

    20190111223227_1.jpg
    Elincia is the one to found the World Congress, bringing all the civilizations of the world together. So now we get to meet up with the other leaders of the world! Let’s see who our competition is…

    Spoiler Walhart the Conqueror :

    20190112223829_1.jpg
    First up we have Walhart, the Conqueror. He’s taken the Progress/Fealty path, and is doing fairly well, with seven cities. Walhart is an aggressive leader, and the late medieval/early Renaissance era is his time to shine. He does not have his own religion, and his people are following a mix of Lyn’s Tengriism and Alm’s Protestantism.

    Spoiler Lyn of the Plains :

    20190112224133_1.jpg
    Lyn’s Sacae is supposed to be an expansive civilization, but she’s gone tall this game, with Tradition/Statecraft and only four cities. She founded Tengriism as her religion, with a heavy culture focus, and she’s doing pretty well with it, with the Statecraft tree nearly completed.
    Lyn's package is strongest during the ancient and classical eras. At this point, her UU and UI are both obsoleted, and with only four cities, I don't imagine she would have much more room left to grow her borders and take advantage of her UB. So I expect that Lyn will start to fall behind. But you never know.

    Spoiler Nino, Doing Her Best :

    20190112224303_1.jpg
    And here we have Nino, the leader of the New Black Fang. She's also gone the Tradition/Statecraft route, but she's found less success with it, and is currently at the bottom of the scoreboard. She has founded her own religion of Confucianism, which is... surprisingly aggressive, with Hero Worship and Orders, but she has not had much success with it. Her religion is not yet enhanced, and at least her capital is being overwhelmed with religious pressure from Alm's Protestantism.
    Nino has very few early game bonuses, so it's normal for her to be trailing in score in the midgame. But she has the capability to pull huge jumps in science in the late game thanks to her UA. So even though she's trailing behind now, she's still worth keeping an eye on.

    Spoiler Alm, the Great Uniter :

    20190112224328_1.jpg
    Finally, we have Alm, the ruler of Valentia. He is undisputedly in the lead, with the highest culture, science, and production. He's on the Progress/Fealty path, and has finished Fealty already, while I'm barely halfway through. He has a well-rounded religion in Protestantism, with the Jesuit Education reformation belief. And he's doing very well diplomatically, with an alliance with Lyn and a defensive pact with Nino. He's going to be a very difficult opponent, to be sure, and I am not looking forward to fighting him.
    There don't seem to be any political tensions, either with denunciations or declarations of war, on the other continent that we can take advantage of. There's the prospect of the rest of the world unified against Plegia, which is a scary prospect. For the time being, I make a peace offering of gold to Alm, hoping to be on good terms with him. I start building some caravels to explore the world and gain some more knowledge of the goings-on on the other side, so I can better plan my late game.

    Spoiler Turn 183 - Second Battle of Palmyra :

    20190112234753_1.jpg
    My siege of Palmyra is underway, and even with the territory claimed with my citadels, it's proving to be a very difficult and bloody battle. There is no way for me to bombard the city without putting my units in harm's way. I'm killing more of Sophia's units than I'm losing, but I am losing quite a few units. Fortunately, with all the faith I'm accruing through the war, I am able to mass faith purchase Dark Mages in Phoenicis and send them to the front lines as cannon fodder. And with their high base combat strength, a Dark Mage can take a good number of hits before dying. A zerg rush strategy is usually not a good idea, but Plegia has the tools to pull it off. Every dark mage that falls in the battle is replaced with two more from Phoenicis, while I continue to accrue culture from my kills, and my trebuchets bombard Palmyra.
     
  11. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 183 - Age of Gunpowder :

    20190112234813_1.jpg
    My spy steals a sample of gunpowder from Crimea’s royal archives, where we reverse-engineer it, entering us into the Renaissance Era. With the advent of gunpowder, we upgrade our trebuchets to cannons, all the better for punching through Palmyra’s castle walls. We also upgrade our surviving foot soldiers to tercios. We can’t mass produce tercios the way we can dark mages though, so I need to be more careful with them, keeping them in reserve while using dark mages as cannon fodder on the front lines.

    It’s 36 more turns until we’re able to steal another tech from Elincia. That’s painfully slow, but we don’t have anything better to do with our spy right now, so I’m keeping him in Melior to continue espionage.

    Spoiler Turn 190 - Palmyra Captured :

    20190113001836_1.jpg
    After a prolonged siege, we have finally captured the city of Palmyra, gaining us a solid foothold into Sophia’s territory. I annex Palmyra immediately, so that as soon as the resistance period is over, I can use it to mass produce more dark mages to continue the invasion.

    After Palmyra falls, my invasion continues, targeting Gerasa to the south. My dark mages tear through Sophia’s front line of defenders with their fell magic. After the coast is clear, I set up a line of cannons to bombard Gerasa, while my dark mages pick off any enemy units in sight with range.

    Spoiler Turn 196 - The Leaning Tower of Grima :

    20190113233919_1.jpg

    Spoiler Turn 197 - Pressing the Attack :

    20190113234632_1.jpg
    Sophia’s force are now so depleted that I’m able to march my troops straight into her territory without fear. She’s still using her archaic shamans, which would have been an effective defense an era ago, but are now powerless against my dark mages. Without the protection of the sand dunes, Gerasa is proving a much easier target than Palmyra. War weariness is hitting me hard though, with happiness dropping precipitously. I’m on a timer here, as war weariness will force me to stop my invasion sooner or later.

    Spoiler Turn 199 - Gerasa Captured :

    20190114234514_1.jpg
    Sophia’s army has been vanquished, and Gerasa has been captured. I puppet the city to avoid undue strain on our happiness, which is dipping dangerously low.

    Sophia is ready to surrender unconditionally, but I decide to continue the invasion. My UA, UB, policies, and religion all rely on constant war to maintain their yields, and there is no other target nearby to wage war against. I don’t have a strong enough fleet to command the ocean, and I won’t be able to build one until Navigation is researched. And there’s plenty of plunder left for the taking in Arcadia…

    I’ve researched Metallurgy now, which unlocks two very important units. I’m now in the process of upgrading my dark mages to musketmen. They keep the Nosferatu promotion on upgrade, infusing their bullets with fell life-draining magic. And now I can also start training lancers, who are unparalleled in strength and mobility in the Renaissance era. I don’t need them to finish this war, but they will be very useful for the next.

    Spoiler Turn 201 - First World Congress :

    20190114235816_1.jpg
    The first session of World Congress ends, with Lyn failing to pass World Religion, and ??? I wasn’t invited to select a proposal, but I cast my vote for Endowment for the Arts, which in addition to increasing the rate of cultural great person generation, gives a culture boost to civs below the global average in culture. Plegia falls in that bracket now, with only five second-tier policies taken compared to Alm, Lyn, Elincia and Sophia, who have all finished their policy trees. I do get to propose a resolution for the next session, and I choose Treasure Fleet. This is a popular resolution that earns me a bit of goodwill, and with my vast empire, I stand a good chance of winning the project and obtaining the Grand Canal, which will make my navy significantly stronger.

    Meanwhile, I wipe out the remainder of Sophia’s troops, and my army marches on Arcadia.

    Spoiler Turn 206 - Arcadia Falls :

    20190115002858_1.jpg
    After a pitifully short siege, Sophia’s capital city of Arcadia falls to the might of the Grimleal. And with it, we have captured five world wonder: the Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum, the Roman Forum, Terracotta Army, and University of Sankore. And all the magic of these ancient sites are ours to command.

    But we're not done yet. There's an outstanding bounty on the city of Eremos: Regna Ferox is offering us 120 influence and 22 EXP for all our units. With such a tempting prize on the line, I march over my cannons and begin the bombardment.

    Spoiler Turn 207 - Recognition and Renown :

    20190115003051_1.jpg
    You would compare us to Duma? Your archaic war god is nothing compared to the full might of the Fell Dragon!
    We are attracting quite a bit of international attention with our conquests. There's no chance of finding any real allies in the world, but that's the price you pay for greatness. I don't need allies; I just need to keep watch and be ready should Alm's Deliverance come knocking.

    Spoiler Turn 210 - Final Victory :

    20190115004226_1.jpg
    We have claimed the city of Eremos, and the reward is ours. A shoutout to my musketman with Range and Indirect Fire here, for conducting the bombardment of Eremos from three tiles away through a mountain range.
    Sophia is reduced to a single city, and I accept her unconditional surrender, sparing her life to serve as my vassal for eternity. A vassal with a single city is not much use now, but I'm keeping the door open for the diplomatic victory, and each vassal can contribute a significant number of votes toward global hegemony.

    Spoiler Turn 210 - Valentian Supremacy :

    20190115230159_1.jpg
    While my conquests have rocketed Plegia to the status of a world power, Alm is still far in the lead. He's halfway through Rationalism when we've only finished our medieval tree, and I see that he's already starting to send out archaeologists, while we have yet to reach the Industrial Era. Eventually we will have to challenge Alm head on, but for the time being, we have no route to do that. In one turn, however, we will have researched Navigation, which will change the game entirely...
     
    IcyAngel and Minh Le like this.
  12. Minh Le

    Minh Le King

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Very good game. These custome civs aren't perfectly balanced but they seem fun. I think I might give it a try :thumbsup:
     
  13. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying. Do give my custom civs a try and tell me what you think!
    I try to aim for a good balance level, but I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always get there. Do you have any specific suggestions for better balance? More feedback is always helpful, especially as I don’t have the time for extensive testing like G does. Right now I’m looking at nerfing Alm’s culture generation, since he’s been a runaway in a plurality of the games he’s appeared in.
     
  14. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 211 - Amassing a Navy :

    20190118225413_1.jpg
    We have researched Navigation, which unlocks the next upgrades to naval units: corvettes and frigates. The frigates are especially crucial, as the first ranged naval unit that can cross deep ocean. My land army is formidable, but I’m going to need some good ships as well if I’m to extend my reach to other continents.

    My happiness has dipped into the negatives due to conquest and war weariness, but now that the war with Sophia is ended, I expect it to recover quickly. Next I plan to conquer Crimea, and from there make my way to the rest of the world. I haven’t seen much of a naval defense from Elincia, but even so, trying a cross-continental invasion without a sufficient navy would be suicide. I upgrade my existing ships, and begin building more in all my coastal cities, while transporting my army across the ocean to the shores of Crimea.

    Spoiler Turn 213 - Spy's Report :

    20190118230522_1.jpg
    My spy in Melior is now able to steal another technology, and I choose Acoustics. With the Faith of the Masses reformation belief and the faith I’ve accumulated from my war, I can immediately faith purchase opera houses in all of my cities, giving me a major boost in culture. Elincia has entered the Industrial Era, but the fact that Rifling is not available to steal means that she’s gone along the top of the tech tree, so I won’t have to worry about advanced units from her for a while.

    It’ll be 30 turns before my spy will be able to steal another tech, and I calculate that I may be able to capture Melior before that happens. So I send my spy over to Alm’s capital of Rigel instead, to perform some sabotage and hopefully slow down his snowballing as well as try to steal a tech from him.

    Spoiler Turn 215 - Territorial Disputes :

    20190118231208_1.jpg
    I have left some land on my continent unclaimed, as I already had enough cities. This does mean that I have to contend with the AI’s greedy habit of settling every available spot it can find, regardless of how productive or defensible the land is. Elincia settles a city on my continent, and Nino and Walhart soon follow. This is a minor annoyance, but it also means that I’ll get a bit of free yields from easy conquests.

    Spoiler Turn 216 - Invasion Begins :

    20190118231252_1.jpg
    My army has arrived on the shore of Crimea, and I send my declaration of war and begin my invasion. Nados is not well defended, and my army has no trouble landing on its shores. The first incursion into enemy territory is always a risky operation, and doubly so when it’s across the sea. I don’t expect all my units to make it through unscathed, but my army is big enough that I can afford to sacrifice a few units for the greater good, as long as I don’t get too reckless.

    Elincia has a defensive pact with Walhart, which means that I have to declare war on him as well. I have no quarrel with Walhart at the moment, and can respect him as a fellow conqueror, but as he stands in my way, he will have to pay the price.

    Spoiler Turn 221 - Imperialism Unlocked :

    20190118235405_1.jpg
    My Authority bonuses to science and culture from kills are still in full swing, as my war with Elincia accelerates my culture growth even more than my opera houses did. I open my third policy tree, Imperialism, with its plethora of bonuses for conquest. On the same turn, I unlock my first Industrial era technology, Rifling, which gives me access to fusiliers and field guns. I can’t upgrade my overseas invasion force right now, but I can now build more powerful guns to more efficiently capture the colonies that Elincia and Walhart so rudely settled in my domain.

    Spoiler Turn 224 - Building the Treasure Fleet :

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    I’ve lost a few musketmen and tercios in my invasion of Nados, but the surrounding countryside is now firmly under my control, with any troops that Elincia tries to deploy being swiftly felled by a barrage of dark magic bullets. Victory is in sight.

    World Congress has enacted the Treasure Fleet proposal, and I immediately set all my cities toward the project. I can’t guarantee that I can win the first prize, as Alm still has me beat in production. But if I do, I will acquire the Grand Canal, which will strengthen my navy considerably.

    Spoiler Turn 225 - Grand Canal Lost? :

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    Seriously, what the heck? Walhart of all people beat me to the Grand Canal? By a paltry 70 production. If I had annexed another of my puppets, I could have won. If I lost the Grand Canal, I would have expected it to be to Alm, not Walhart. That leaves me with just the paltry second and third prizes, a single ship and admiral.

    Checking the demographics, it appears that Walhart is leading in military right now. Looks like the Conqueror is a more formidable foe than I expected. Fortunately, he is on the other side of the world, and has no route to invade my mainland.

    Spoiler Turn 225 - A Foothold Established :

    20190119002100_1.jpg
    My Grimleal have conquered the city of Nados, establishing a firm foothold on Crimean soil. We currently don’t have the manpower to press further into Crimean territory, as we are lacking in melee units. Once the rebellions in Nados are quelled, we’ll train up some fusiliers to continue the invasion, as well as send some reinforcements from the mainland. In the meantime, I upgrade my cannons to field guns, and continue in a war of attrition, shooting down any Crimean soldiers who dare to venture into our new territory.

    Spoiler Turn 229 - Defending Our Sovereignty :

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    Meanwhile, I’ve trained up an irregular force to capture and raze the cities that Elincia and Walhart have taken on my main continent. The task is almost complete, and afterward these troops will be sent as reinforcements to Crimea to aid the invasion there.

    I receive a notification that Alm has entered the Modern Era. He’s four techs and three policies ahead of me, which is just slightly concerning.

    Spoiler Turn 232 - Martial Law :

    20190121135253_1.jpg We're slowly catching up in culture, as we acquire our second Imperialism policy, Martial Law. This comes at an opportune moment to help offset a precipitous drop in happiness that we've been experiencing due to war weariness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  15. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 235 - Forward Advance :

    20190121143504_1.jpg
    Bit by bit, I am seizing control of the world for the glory of Grima. The city of Felirae has fallen, and the Crimean army is all but destroyed. The biggest challenge to me now is not enemy forces, but my own people. With war weariness piling up and with the assimilation of conquered peoples, unhappiness is piling up. I'll have to end this war quickly before it gets out of control.

    Spoiler Turn 240 – Facing Sanctions :

    20190121163441_1.jpg
    Despite her military power being broken, Elincia still has the other civilizations and city-states of the world in her pocket, and manages to push a sanction against me. This means that I will no longer be able to trade with the rest of the world, either by trade routes or agreements, except with my vassals and city-state. This doesn’t actually hurt my economy all that badly, since most of my trade routes are internal, and I can still send trade routes to Sophia and my city-state allies for some gold income as well as science. It does, however, mean that my people are cut off from imported luxury resources, which does not help with my unrest problem. But I’ve come too far to stop now, and I won’t rest until Crimea is completely under my heel.

    Spoiler Turn 241 - Conquest of Melior :

    20190121164127_1.jpg
    Elincia’s capital of Melior has fallen. The influx of science from the conquest unlocks Dynamite, allowing me to upgrade my muskets to gatling guns, as well as start building cruisers for a modernized navy, which I will be needing shortly.

    I need to end this war quickly to start recovering my war weariness and get happiness back under control. Elincia is willing to give me a sum of gold and my choice of her remaining cities in a peace deal, but she’s still not willing to capitulate. I need Elincia as my vassal, so I can have another trade partner to bypass the sanctions, and so she will not rise against me at an inopportune time in the future. As further incentive for her to surrender, I begin razing the city of Nados. Her former citizens will be fed to the Fell Dragon one by one, until she is ready to give her unconditional surrender. Razing her former city will push my warscore up to the 100 mark, at which point capitulation is inevitable. Noble rulers like Elincia are so predictable.

    Spoiler Turn 245 - Surrender Secured :

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    Finally, after four turns, Elincia gives in and capitulates, ending the war. And I only had to slaughter a quarter of the population of Nados before she folded. Tsk tsk, princess, do you not care about your people at all?

    With the war ended, my people breathe a sigh of relief, and with the help of some luxuries Elincia hands to us in the peace treaty, my happiness is back up in the green. War weariness is still high though, since my war with Walhart is still ongoing.

    I get a decent amount of science and culture from having Elincia as my vassal. She is also allied with most of the world’s city-states. While that is not so relevant now, it does mean that her support would be enough to win me a diplomatic victory, should I fail to conquer the world by force. It’s a good fallback plan, but I can’t sit back now, lest Alm and Walhart grow too strong and join together to overthrow my rule.

    Spoiler Turn 245 - First Ideology :

    20190121171450_1.jpg
    And with his ridiculous culture output, Alm gets the first ideology while I’m only halfway through Imperialism. He chooses Order, and though I don’t know what tenets he chose, the high science and production from Order means he threatens to snowball hard. I need to nip this in the bud before he grows out of control.

    Spoiler Turn 246 - Public Enemy :

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    The entire world trembles under Grima’s might, as the yet unconquered nations join together to denounce me. No words are necessary now, only death.

    Nino currently has a defensive pact with Alm, who is my next target. Meaning that once I declare war on Alm, I will have to contend with Nino as well. She has two cities still on my continent, ready for the taking by my home force.

    Spoiler Turn 248 - Respite At Last :

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    Finally, Walhart is ready to put an end to the fighting. Since his UA means he does not suffer unhappiness from war weariness, he could have kept the pressure on me for as long as he wanted, but sometimes enough is enough. Now that the war finally concludes, I can clear my war weariness debt. Within a few turns, my people have gone from open revolt to adoration. Humans are such fickle creatures.

    I razed two of Walhart’s cities on my continent, but I allowed him to keep the Garden of Giants on my eastern coast, as it was not worth the resources to build a second navy to contend with his naval defenses.

    Spoiler Turn 251 - Cultural Appropriation :

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    I get to steal a technology from Alm, and my spy informs he that he has every industrial era technology researched. He’s four techs ahead of me at this point, which means he also has one modern era tech. I really hope he’s going on the top of the tech tree rather than the bottom; I would hate to have to contend with landships with an industrial-era army.

    I choose to steal Archaeology, which enables me to faith-purchase museums in all my cities, giving me another culture jump. I’m noticing a trend here of stealing all the cultural technologies. Whatever will keep my people entertained.

    Spoiler Turn 256 - Preparing for War :

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    My forces are gathered at Alm’s shores, preparing for the orders to attack. I’m just waiting for the rest of my naval reinforcements to arrive, as I can’t afford to go in here without a full force. Fighting against the undisputed science and culture leader will be the toughest battle yet, and I anticipate heavy losses on my side. But if I can conquer Rigel and hold it, the world is as good as mine.
     
  16. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    And after several failed attempts, I have concluded that a direct attack on Alm at this point has no chance of succeeding. I'll have to rethink my strategy a bit. It may not be kosher, but I'll keep resetting and try different approaches until I find something that doesn't end disastrously.
     
  17. Minh Le

    Minh Le King

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    Messages:
    793
    Gender:
    Male
    From what I can see, I'd say that your navy is too small. You need more ship to attack him on more than 1 front to deplete his troops and inflict heavy war weariness before taking his cities.
     
  18. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    True. If I had a few more cruisers, it would be a lot easier. But I’m out of iron, and it wouldn’t be easy to get more. I think my best bet is to forget about invading Valentia’s mainland for now, and go for an easier target, either Valentia’s outlying cities, or Valm to the south.
     
  19. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 257 - Outbreak of War :

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    A declaration of war from Alm, and we are at war once again. In my previous failed attempts at this stage of the game, I accepted Alm's challenge, and it always ended disastrously. I had a strong enough navy to match his, but that occupied all my ships, leaving none left for my coastal invasion, so I could not land my troops without them getting massacred. This time around, I'm not attempting to invade. I keep my fleet positioned near his shoreline, without getting into bombardment range, to intercept any ships he might send out.

    Spoiler Turn 258 - The Black Fang Strikes :

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    Alm's declaration of war is quickly followed by Nino's. Unfortunately for her, she does not have much in the way of military, and poses little threat to us. She does have two small settlements to the north of our mainland, so we have to dedicate some troops to pinning them down and keeping them from deploying troops to sabotage our infrastructure. It could also be an opportunity to destroy these settlements, but I don't need to devote too many resources to getting that done.

    Spoiler Turn 262 - Mercenary Kingdom :

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    My forces converge on Mercenary Kingdom, a city-state that was conquered by Walhart some centuries past. It is lightly defended, and I can easily capture it and gain a foothold on the Valentian continent. In hindsight, I probably should have declared war here and started the invasion right away, but I was deterred by the defensive pact with Walhart and Lyn. I don't exactly have good relations with Lyn that I want to maintain, and she poses no military threat to me, so being at war with her would have been perfectly fine. But the prospect of being at war with every free nation in the world is a bit of a psychological deterrence, which kept me from making my move for several turns.

    Spoiler Turn 264 - Challenge from the Conqueror :

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    Walhart solves my dilemma for me by declaring war on me first. Now that the war has begun, I am free to land my armies on the shores of Mercenary Kingdom and liberate it from Walhart's control.

    Spoiler Turn 267 - A Stronghold Captured :

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    Mercenary Kingdom falls to my invasion force in just a few turns. I was considering liberating it to form a city-state alliance, but I decided that I need a base of operations on the Valentian continent that's fully under my control, since I don't know how long it'll take to conquer another city. The forests to the west are to my disadvantage, since they limit the range of my gatling guns and the mobility of my soldiers.

    Spoiler Turn 272 - Invasion of Valm :

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    Now that Mercenary Kingdom is under my control, I begin using it as a base of operations to upgrade and reinforce my army, including by hiring foreign legions to take the field against Walhart. I swing my navy around to the south to first take out Walhart's fleet, then support my land forces, while keeping a few ships back to defend against any naval incursions Alm tries to make on Mercenary Kingdom. Alm is a troublesome opponent, as his UA gives combat bonuses in enemy territory proportional to the number of cities the enemy has conquered. With all the conquests I've achieved, Alm gets the maximum bonus of 50%. Fortunately, he's only sending a few token ships to my shores, not enough to be worth worrying about.

    Spoiler Turn 273 - Peace with Alm :

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    Alm offers me a white peace, and I gladly take it. To not have to worry about Alm for at least 10 turns is a major load off my back. Now I can focus my efforts entirely on taking down Walhart, without having to watch my back for a turbocharged liberation force from the Deliverance.

    Spoiler Turn 274 - Mandate of Autocracy :

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    I am the second after Alm to reach ideology, and I choose the path of Autocracy, an obvious choice for the world conqueror. There are quite a few good tier 1 Autocracy tenets, but I ultimately settle on Iron Fist. Having my vassals rebel against me at any point would be troublesome, and this guarantees that I can keep Elincia under my thumb, which all but assures me a diplomatic victory should the game reach that stage. It also doubles my yields from vassals, giving me an additional 200 science and culture per turn. Elite Forces was another tempting choice, as it would have allowed me to produce units with tier 4 promotions right out the gate.

    Spoiler Turn 275 - The Home Front :

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    While the majority of my troops are deployed overseas on the invasion of Valm, I am investing some of my military strength on kicking Nino and Walhart off my continent. As I'm strapped for coal and iron, I can't contend with their navies, and I'm limited to my land forces. I've captured and razed Nino's colony of Boles. The Garden of Giants is tougher, but now that I have unlocked machine guns and artillery, I have Walhart significantly outgunned, and I'm confident that I'll be able to take the city.

    Spoiler Turn 277 - Planning for the Endgame :

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    I've made peace with Nino, making one less front for my army to worry about, while I continue to bombard Walhart's cities with my ships and my new machine guns and artillery. It may take a while longer, but Walhart will fold soon enough, and I will have another vassal under my control.
    In the meantime, I need to think about what my endgame plan is going to be. Alm is continuing to snowball, and he now has seven techs over me, and I expect that difference to keep growing. At this stage of the game, the snowball effect outpaces the various catch-up mechanics, and the tech differences really show. With the tech advantage he has, it's very uncertain that I'll ever be able to take Alm on head-on.
    I believe my best bet is to continue warring and conquering the other players, while rushing a diplomatic victory. Building the Hall of Honor has put me at first place in number of delegates. If I can get United Nations and World Ideology passed, I will have absolutely no problem securing the required votes. The only question is if I can do that before Alm can beat me out with a science victory. I'll do what I can to slow him down, but it will be a close game for sure.
     
  20. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2016
    Messages:
    689
    Spoiler Turn 276 - His Words are Backed With... :

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    Alm has completed the Manhattan Project, so he now has at least one atomic bomb in his arsenal, with the possibility of more. Our peace treaty is still ongoing, so he can't use it against me just yet, but I'll need to be careful, as we're sure to be at war again. I've never actually had to face nuclear weapons in the past, so I don't exactly know how best to defend against them. I presume I should avoid clustering my troops to not present a good target, and keep close to other civs' cities so that he can't nuke me without collateral damage.
    Completing the Manhattan Project means that Alm has unlocked Atomic Theory, so the United Nations resolution will be available in World Congress now. Passing it is required for the diplomatic victory.
    On an unrelated note, I'm loving my new artillery units. They have 3 natural range and a free Indirect Fire promotion, and most of them have been promoted with Range, so they can bombard cities from four tiles away without needing line of sight. Such magnificent power.

    Spoiler Turn 280 - United Nations? :

    20190128183226_1.jpg I am able to propose United Nations now, but whether I'll be able to get it passed is another question. A few months ago, United Nations was an auto-pass resolution, but now any civ that's not directly competing for diplomatic victory is vehemently opposed to it. I have only 16 votes, which is not nearly enough to pass the resolution if everyone else votes against it.

    Spoiler Turn 281 - Great Gate Captured :

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    Thanks to a continuous stream of bombardment from my artillery and machine guns, I have captured Walhart's Great Gate. My next target is Fort Steiger, and since it is a coastal city, I can bring my armada to bear against it.
    The science boost from taking Great Gate has also unlocked Combined Arms, putting me into the Atomic Era, as well as unlocking modern infantry and tanks. While I don't have any landships to upgrade currently, the large amounts of gold I'm collecting from my conquests enable me to purchase a few tanks from the Mercenary Kingdom to aid in my invasion.

    Spoiler Turn 283 - The Pentagon :

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    Being ahead of me in science and culture, Alm has first pass at all the wonders. But I finally manage to put the Dragon's Table's production bonuses to good use, and snag another wonder of my own, the Pentagon. It's not the most useful wonder, but the gold reduction for military upgrades will save me a few thousand gold throughout the remainder of the game.

    Spoiler Turn 284 - Third Ideology :

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    Lyn is the third player to adopt an ideology, and rather than following either me or Alm, she has chosen her own path with Freedom. This possibly makes her a wild card in the wider conflict, but she's not really strong enough to make a big difference either way.

    Spoiler Turn 287 - Fort Steiger Captured :

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    Fort Steiger has fallen without much fuss. Walhart is now willing to capitulate, and it wouldn't be so bad now to accept the surrender and gain another powerful vassal. But I decide to continue forward and capture Valm Castle. Prolonging the war will give me some more yields, and owning another capital means another two votes from the Hall of Honor. But I'll need to do it quickly, as my happiness is slipping quite a bit from war weariness.

    Spoiler Turn 290 - Declaration from the Deliverance :

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    Alm has declared war on me once again. I'm now under a bit more pressure to end the war, so that I can pull my troops back to defend against a potential attack from the north. But there is a bit of Black Fang territory between Alm and me, and while Alm probably has open borders with Nino, our not sharing a border directly makes it more difficult for him to launch an invasion. Since most of my troops are deployed in my invasion of Valm, my army won't be hurt too badly in the case of a nuclear strike.

    Spoiler Turn 291 - Disunity :

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    The vote for United Nations fails by a large margin, with my own vassal leading the campaign to vote it down. It seems that my diplomatic power is not sufficient to pass it. There aren't that many ways to increase my voting power: all the city-states are taken, and sending enough diplomats to win over any of them would be prohibitively expensive. I could perhaps have enough diplomatic power after a few more resolutions are passed, but that would be a long way away. Looks like the diplomatic victory is out of reach for now, and domination is still my best bet.
    In terms of technology, I have unlocked Radio, allowing me to faith purchase Broadcast Towers. The message of the Fell Dragon's supremacy shall be heard in every household in Plegia.

    Spoiler Turn 292 - The Conqueror Conquered :

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    Valm Castle has fallen, and Walhart is now another vassal to the might of the Fell Dragon. My army takes a brief respite before rounding north to take on Valentia. The final battle is upon us.

    Spoiler Turn 293 - World At War :

    20190129220758_1.jpg I was unable to invade Alm in the industrial era, but now that I have control of the southern part of the continent, my land forces have a path south from Rigel. Unfortunately, Nino is in the way, and so I will have to get rid of her. I would have spared her if she was willing to give me open borders, but since she refuses, I will instead march through her lands by force. Nino's army is pathetically weak, and her city is an insignificant speed bump on my way to Rigel.
    In declaring war on Nino, I have triggered her defensive pact with Lyn, pulling Sacae into the world war for the first time. But even with all the free nations of the world rallied against me, I now have the advantage with my armies and my vassals.
     

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