Ah, it took me forever to find some time to continue that game. Let's see where we left off:
It's now the 42nd turn and we've defeated Lord Relias, Sovereign of Altar in a very early rush, conquering 3 cities in that process. Thus I overextended myself slightly and we're actually in the red with gildar income for once (0.1 gildar per turn... scary ). So, first we'll start to build up our cities a bit to fix the money problem. Since in Elemental, people = money, we just need to make sure all cities are growing, that should solve our problem fast. Also, we should research a diplomacy technology very soon: trading. Trading gives caravans, which are only slightly overpowered. Each caravan arriving in a city gives that city a 10% boost in gildar production.
Having 4 cities atm, means that I can boost income in each of them by 30%, by having 3 cities trading with the fourth. While there is a limit to the amount of caravans (I think 1 per city level) it's not balanced at all. Even with only a lvl 1 city with almost nothing in it, you can boost income in your biggest city by 10% by sending a caravan with it. This means that city spam with lots of caravans makes a lot of gildar. Our next target: Get filthy rich.
Meanwhile, we kill some random monsters wandering in our territories. It's somewhat important to keep your cities defended with some armored fighters all the time, else some random spider may decide to raze it all by itself.
10 attack, 6 defense gives a combat rating of 11.
4 attack, 2 defense gives a combat rating of 9?
Not even close. Those 4 attack can never ever hit through the 6 defense of my warden, since defense is damage absorb and attack is max damage, meaning this single warden could defeat an entire legion of those Darklings, without breaking a sweat and of course without getting a pay rise. We're still low on gildar after all.
Having said all that... our fearless warden actually gets damaged and hit for one hp... I wonder if there is a rounding error or something in play here? Kinda strange. Or I understand the combat system wrong... which is more likely I guess.
Nevertheless, all other hostile critters (2 spiders, 3 more darklings) get swiftly annihilated by other Wardens defending the cities and brave Janusk.
Gold. Oh my precious gold, must have. Next step in research is the Civilization technology brank for harvesting then.
And another city levels up. Since we now know about caravans each giving a 10% bonus to Gildar production, the gildar production bonus is not that good. Random guardian unit is... well... random... and iirc, the only thing that changes is its hp, while it's stats are always the same and quite low. Arcane and tech knowledge my seem to be about even in value, but there is only a limited amount of spells you really need (Teleport which we're researching at the moment and magic immunity for units later on) there isn't much of a need to get them very fast since you get them soon enough. Tech research on the other hand starts somehow fast and then slows down drastically. Thus we will always and for ever more chose the tech bonus.
Each research done one of the five branches increases the cost of research in that branch by quite a lot and also increseas the cost of research in all other branches slightly too. Because of that, later on our cities will spend most of their time on building research buildings, to keep up with the ever increasing cost of sweet technology.
Also, you see that? Gold mine incoming in 3 turns. Kachiing!
Wohoo, it's a girl. In only a few turns (more over 60 turns or so, nothing spells grand strategy then having to wait so long to get useful offspring) we will have another unit that can cast spells without the need to get enchanted. At start, only your sovereign can cast spells, all other recruited heroes need to be imbued with magic by your sovereign. Each imbuement costs 1 mana per turn though, so you should only cast it when you need to use spells and then quickly dispell it again, so not to lose too much mana in the long term. (Yeah, min maxing... ) Offspring is good in that, they don't need to be imbued and thus save you a bit of micro management.
We're a bit low on materials (which is needed for most buildings and basic unit equipment, but not champion equipment) so I decide that chopping down the few remaining old forests in this devastating world is the right thing to do! Those trees didn't survive the cataclysm after all, only to not be used for something good. (Which is, saving me gildar, since one old forest is about equal to 4 workshops, saving me 4 guildar per turn.) I'm always a bit low on materials, since you don't need too much in the long term, mostly early on, so I don't build too many workshops, occasionaly starving me cause of it.
And we meet Capitar. A quick look at the faction power graph shows me, they're rated at 8 while we're rated at 16. Our early rush helped us quite a lot then. (Imo, rushing is op atm. Capturing enemy cities should give you some short term penalties, else, rushing is always the optimal strategy. Also... am I the only one who thinks of Cylons, hearing that name?
Time to kick our economy in overdrive. Caravans cost nothing to built and when they reach their target city they give tasty gildar bonus. There is no gildar like free gildar!
17 attack and 3 defense. That Verm bandit is quite a dangerous one. A bit of luck with my rolls and thanks to Janusk's thrusty defense he easily defeats him, with only 6 hp lost. Tbh though, I saved before it, since I was quite sure to lose Janusk to that attack. ecline:
Meeting such high attack enemies means, our defense is still too low. Our next target should be military technologies to improve our armour equipment as fast as possible.
At the same time we're building up our cities to get more people. Inn's are constructed everywhere. An Inn gives one prestige. Each prestige point a town has, gives it about 1 more person growth per turn. Making sure that prestige increasing buildings get build early and that there is always enough housing, so that the population doesn't cap out in a city, assures a fast population growth, giving lots and lots of gildar through tax.
Oh, oh Janusk got in trouble...
Guess not. All attackers hat 4 attack, but Janusk also had 4 defense...
Armour, with enough gold, soon our champions will be formidable protected. We will continue to stay in the warfare area of research, to get horses and better weapons for our champions.
Obviously I chose the tech bonus again.
And we meet the last faction. The guys with the really horrible skin problem. They aren't as friendly to us as the Capitar, since they're an Empire faction, while both Capitar and I are Kingdom. Also, Magmar boasts a rating of 26, compared to my 24 and Capitar's 18.
I decide to build a town in the swamp here. While it's not a very good place to build a city (only clay here which gives 3 materials per turn), it has a nice stratec position. It's close to Capitar, near a choke point, allows me thus to equip champions near the border and will serve as a staging ground for any attack and defense against capitar. Capitar is expansing quite aggressivly at the moment. An additional city also means, more caravans and thus 10% more gildar income in my bigger cities. Ie. you can't never have enough cities.
Hm... the Capitar are eager to go to war. We're not though.
We still need much more gildar to be able to fully equip our champions and also some more military research to have good stuff to buy in the first place.
Magnar dares to threaten us? I order to execute the messenger... which sadly isn't possible. ecline:
Guess, we settle then at laughing at his puny threats.
You can't handle a little humour, can you?
Should have joined forces with Capitar early on... so much for showing mercy. Hah, won't happen again, Magnar the third!
Currently Magnar has a rating of 36 while ours is 33. Looking at the graphs we see that population, gildar income and army strength is about the same. They do have a sizable lead in research though, both in arcane and tech. Guess, only chosing the research bonus doesn't help much, when we haven't build many research buildings yet...
On the other hand, we now have a net income of 28.3 guildar per turn. Since Magnar doesn't seem to want us getting rich with building our cities up, we have to get rich by taking his cities then.
Change of plan: Focus on research now, get some more equipment techs, then use our gildar to equip our champions. When we have some champions equipped, we will attack Magmar. Till then, let's hope he doesn't plan to attack.
Let's take a quick look where our sovereing is...
Upsie... guess she's a bit outnumbered... and not equipped at all to deal with those units...
And back in to friendly territory, miles away from those dastardly Magmars. Ah, I just love teleport.
The War Staff gives a nice 15 attack.
Some Magnar units show up on my border:
My sovereign quickly dispatches those 2 observers.
Some treaties with Capitar will increase our research and income substantially.
CariTwelf rides out to harass the Magnar. In about 20 turns of war, those 2 sentinels killed earlier were the only units Magnar sent to attack us... and then we kinda attacked them on our border first.
Our early focus on gildar and later investment in research begins to pay off. Net income has increased to 52 gildar per turn, while research has almost trippled, making our research even higher now then Magnar's.
Nice town you have there Magnar and some nice units, would be a shame if something would happen to them, yes?
Magnar has a sizable force defending this city.
CariTwelf is hugely outnumbered. We're also in enemy territory, giving us attack and defense penalties while giving the Empire units a bonus to their stats. I totally forgot about those to be honest. Doesn't look good for me.
It's now turn 95 in the game and yes, Worgs are just cool mounts. Not as good as a pegasi, but definitely cool.
Next update will be tomorrow or on sunday, should have some time then.