In the last entry I had explored more of the world and uncovered the region of Saradh, where I need to convert every minor faction village and destroy any city present. Unfortunately that region belongs to the Necrophages, currently the strongest players in the game. I have a peace treaty with their neighbours - the Vaulters - but they happen to be the weakest players in the game.
When I reload the game, I get a message from the Broken Lords - they appreciate my being close with one of their own friends - they don't expressly say which friend they're talking about, but since I only have a treaty with the Vaulters, it must be them. I had been planning to regroup my armies at Citadel before invading and hopefully destroying the Broken Lords to build up some strength and experience, but now I'm wondering if I might not be able to form a coalition to assist me in attacking the Necrophages. The Broken Lords have the third highest score, more than myself.
I offer them a trade - the Glory of Empire tech (provides an improvement which increases influence generated - they valued it quite highly and it won't help them in an immediate military sense) in exchange for opening their borders again and a little extra dust, with the deal still somewhat in their favour. It works better than I could have hoped - their opinion of me goes from 'Pitying' due to my low score, to 'Blood Brothers' thanks to various factors.
Next up I need to research the Diplomat's Manse technology so I can sign a peace treaty with the Broken Lords, then we can discuss combined declarations of war against the Necrophage threat. The Vaulters didn't seem to need too much encouragement, and could easily be bought off with tech. I wouldn't care about giving them military tech, since they'll need it against the Necrophages, and being across the world they won't be an immediate problem to me even if our relations deteriorate later. I suspect the Broken Lords might be less easily bought, but we'll see. In the meantime I'm going to develop some more modern units, and convert more villages.
My hero Tinu the Chosen (III) has been gaining experience as he manages Citadel, and reaches the point where he can start adding research bonuses, which should help a great deal. I've decided to skip the Diplomat's Manse and just work towards achieving the next age, at which point I can research tech that will allow me to offer full alliances. I still need more time to produce more of my improved units and generally expand my army. I'm running a budget surplus, so I can afford more combat troops.
I also recruit a new hero, Lorekeeper Lakaspassar - not because I particularly wanted to, but because I got a quest requiring me to show a staff I recovered to a village in order to pacify them for conversion... but neither of my two heroes (both infantry type) can equip staff weapons. So I have to recruit a support class hero to do it. A bit silly, but to be honest having another hero will be a good thing when I get to converting Saradh, and I can afford them.
Apparently being Blood Brothers doesn't preclude the Broken Lords attacking my converted villages. To be honest, it was sort of my fault; I should have had an army nearby to protect the village while they built up their own defenders. The units produced by villages don't cost you anything until you take them out of the village to form an army (at which point you can't return them to the village). The villages near Citadel now have 4/5 units in them, which is enough to scare of the little raiding armies the other empires have wandering around.
I reach the new Age of Industry! Tinu the Chosen is now providing a +45% bonus to research in Citadel, and I've moved more citizens away from other areas to focus on research. It doesn't take too long before I have the tech to allow alliances, at which point I find a curious thing.
The Broken Lords are extremely eager for an Alliance - I'm able to basically clean out their supplies of rare materials and take a large cash bonus, all for something I'm pretty sure is in my favour. I have managed to catch up in terms of score lately, but he still has a slight lead, so I'm not quite sure what he's going to really get out of this. I also see that he doesn't need too much temptation to go to war with the Necrophages - but it does cost me a lot of influence to suggest it. I'll have to save up. But the really surprising thing is that the Vaulters are not really interested in an alliance... but it's really cheap to persuade them to go to war with the Necrophage. I have no idea what's causing it to cost 94 influence to persuade the Vaulters to go to war, when they have less than half the score of the Necrophages, while persuading the Broken Lords will cost 684 influence! Well, I can still gather that kind of influence fairly quickly.
We're on turn 151, and the stage is set for war. I also notice that the Necrophages have colonized territories near Citadel (notice how large the city is: 17 compared to 19 across the entire Broken Lords empire, though it should be noted that the Broken Lords as a faction have a different system of generating population, due to essentially being magically animated suits of armour. The next step will be combining my forces, and attacking the Necrophage positions in Glandeh. I haven't seen their armies, and they have a huge score, but I'm confident we'll give them a bloody nose with smart play.
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.