Inquisitor: Martyr Review

I began backing Inquisitor: Martyr (IM for short) during early access back in early 2017 and I’ve been excited about the finished product ever since.  During early access, as is often the case, it was a rough and ready experience, but I did enjoy the gameplay and the potential behind the use of the lore.

My first impressions of the finished game are that it is an unpolished diamond.  If you are a casual gamer and not in to 40k, then I can see this game not having much appeal for you.  If you are a 40k fan though, then the use of the lore and the atmosphere the game generates make this a must-play experience.  I’ve always wanted to play something like this as an Inquisitor, ever since I read the Eisenhorn series by Dan Abnett…now I can!

Before you leap in to the game, you are given a choice of three classes; in-turn each have three sub-classes.  The options are psyker, assasin or crusader.  I went with the Crusader who is essentially a tank and then I selected the heavy gunner sub-class, allowing me to take out enemies from afar.  I’ve played the other two classes during early access and they offer very different gameplay styles.  I think this will be a strength of the game in the future, with good replayability from playing through it with other classes.

The game kicks-off with a tutorial that slowly introduces the controls and main features of the game.  It also doubles up as introducing the main story; the mystery behind the ship – the Martyr.  This use of the main story in the tutorial was an excellent idea; you can often feel like you are ‘wasting time’ during a tutorial instead of getting in to a game properly.  The atmosphere the game creates during the tutorial and the introductions to elements of the lore is also very engaging.

Moving beyond the tutorial, you can either follow the main story or engage in various missions.  These missions are available via a star map where you can move from system to system and planet to star base, with everywhere having something you can do.  I’ve engaged in a few interesting missions already, including rescuing and escorting a VIP (a sanctioned psyker) to safety and taking out some siege guns attacking an imperial outpost.  The formula may essentially be the same, kill everything, but the context provides interest and puts in to the context of the wider world.  For example, the mission briefings are very well written and provide you with a small preview of what you might face.

Levelling-up strengthens your character and allows you to pick a new skill from a variety of options.  You also gain perks and new stats based on feats you’ve completed; e.g. killed 100 enemies with a certain type of weapon.  The customisation options are a bit bewildering at first but you can make your character as a narrowly or as broadly focussed as you like.

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Figure 1 – so many skills!

 

The variety of enemies and their actions is surprisingly wide.  I’ve fought against a lot of plague marines and nurgle daemons, but also against the Black Legion and rebel Imperial Guard.  By far the most interesting so far has surprisingly been the rebel Imperial Guard; the variety of their units and tactics has been surprisingly challenging.  On the other hand though, facing down a Black Legion Legionary is also quite daunting.

Although the sound is probably the biggest component in building the atmosphere, I’m also very impressed with the environments.  The variety has been very interesting and I’ve already played through a spaceship, a frozen world and a plague ridden world.  The frozen was the best so far and I look forward to encountering further varieties.

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Figure 2 – A frozen landscape

The variety and style of weapons is a big strongpoint of IM.  With my Crusader I’m currently alternating between a shotgun and heavy flamer; two very different weapons.  Each weapon has four skills, two basic and two powerful.  Each skill has a timer on it, though you can almost always use your two basic skills.  For example with my heavy flamer, I have a normal flame, a flame whilst automatically retreating, an area of effect flame and a long range powerful area of effect flame.  It helps deal with a variety of situations, particularly when retreat is required.  In addition your armour gives you a special skill that is able to be active after you’ve reached certain focus (i.e. caused a lot of damage); for my Crusader Heavy Gunner it is a missile spread that does a huge amount of damage.

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Figure 3 – The all important loot

Priority assignments are one of the most interesting parts of the game.  They are special chains of missions that not only form an interesting story, but also provide you with choices that have consequences.  The choices form a short narrative that impact your chance of success in the mission(s) and the collateral damage you may incur.  Collateral damage equals a loss in glory points, the ‘super’ currency of the game.  I found the first one as part of the main storyline very engaging and I hope the game holds a lot more of them.

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Figure 4 – What Choice to Make?

Overall I’m really enjoying IM and will probably keep playing it for a while.  I believe the developers are going to continue to support it and bring out more content for it in the future; be it paid or free DLC, I will be getting it.  In conclusion, if you are a 40k fan then this is for you, but I’d also say if you are a general fan of ARPGs then this is at least worth trying.

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5 Kickstarter Success Stories

Every week, a dozen or so games go on kickstarter hoping to be funded.  Quite a few don’t hit their target or fail in their expectations of delivery.  Only a very few games out there can claim to be success stories from kickstarter, but their successes should serve as hope to all other game developers out there.

They all have something in common though:

  • Excellent presentation and marketing
  • Clear ideas of what they want to achieve
  • Relatively realistic funding targets
  • An IP that people are interested in
  • The simplest – games that already look pretty good

At least three of the above are required to make it on Kickstarter – if you are serious about getting funding, don’t put your game up until you are ready.

My personal favourites that I’ve played and enjoyed that have come through Kickstarter are:

  1. Pillars of Eternity by Obsidian Entertainment – I was a huge Baldur’s Gate fan so it was easy to give me backing to this project.  I wasn’t disappointed by the game either, with an engrossing story and familiar gameplay, this is been of my favourite RPGs since its release.
  2. Kingdom Come: Deliverance – an excellent concept and a pretty decent execution.  Wandering around in Medieval Europe has never been so much fun
  3. Elite: Dangerous – It isn’t an easy game to get in to and it can be very frustrating at times, but if you persevere, this is the best space game out there.
  4. Divinity: Original Sin – I spent hours playing this co-op with a good friend.  The story is unique and the gameplay excellent. The recent sequal has taken the series to an even higher level
  5. The Banner Saga – One of my all time favourtie games.  It is a wonderful way to tell a story, with lovely artwork and a compelling narrative.  This is a must buy for any RPG fans and the second edition is pretty good as well

For the Love of Paradox

I’ve been a huge fan of Paradox Interactive’s games, ever seen I somehow stumbled across the original Europa Universalis as a teenager.  The original Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings and Victoria soon followed, and I’ve been playing their games ever since.

I’d say there are currently four ‘classic’ Paradox games out there at the moment, all of which are must haves for any fan of strategy games.

 

Europa Universals IV

Paradox’s flagship series is Europa Universalis.  The best way to describe would be a renaissance sandbox game where you control a country from the 15th to the early 19th centuries.  You control diplomacy, warfare, the economy and colonisation.  It is ridiculously addictive, even though at times nothing of any interest happens!  It is a bit slow for beginners and you definitely have to be a patient player and a fan of strategic historical games, but for the dedicated player out there, it is endlessly rewarding.

 

Crusader Kings II

My personal favourite.  Instead of controlling a country, you take charge of a dynasty (creating your own if you want) throughout medieval times.  It is a character based game and that sets it apart from any other strategy game out there.  There is so much diversity as well; you can start as a dynasty that is Christian, Viking, Muslim, Hindu or many others and all of them play differently.  Not only that but the maximum timeline is approximately 700 years! Even if you play only a few hundred years (!) the satisfaction of seeing your dynasty control half the world is immense.

 

Hearts of Iron IV

The most complicated game on this list takes us to the lead up and events of World War II.  Playing the long campaign you take charge of any country in the world from 1936 through to the late 1940s.  You control the economy, diplomacy and most importantly, the army.  What sets HoI IV apart from its earlier incarnations is the National Focuses mechanic.  Every couple of months you choose a new national focus that mimics an historical event; for example for Germany this could be the remilitarization of the Rhineland.  This gives it a historical feel but allows you to deviate from what happened.  It’s still hard to beat playing the UK though and finding yourself alone in 1940, desperately hoping the USA joins the war sooner rather than later.

 

Stellaris

This is the wildcard and the most innovative game Paradox have produced.  If you took all the learning from the above games and then decided to put it all in to space, that is Stellaris.  You take control of a space empire from its humble beginnings, to first contact and beyond across the galaxy.  Again there is diplomacy, warfare, the economy and technology but all in space and without any historical context, you have no idea how events might/should play out. It is slow to begin with and if you start badly there may be no coming back from it, but if you get it right it is an awesome game.

Top Early Access Games – February 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve written about games but I’ve recently been playing a few early access games.  A few of my favourites at the moment are:

 

Inquisitor: Martyr by Neocore

It’s rough and unpolished but it is only in alpha at the moment.  I’ve been playing it since it came out on steam last year and it is a surprisingly fun ARPG.  The concept of being a 40k Inquisitor has always appealed to me and finally this allows me to do it.  Early iterations were all about combat but recent updates have added a bit of story and nuance, making the game very promising for when it reaches full release, hopefully later in 2018.

Steam Link

 

Slay the Spire by Mega Crit Games

Hands down the best card game I’ve ever played.  It blends the gameplay of a card game and dungeon crawler with a healthy dose of fun.  Although it is in early access it is very playable at the moment and you will see from the overwhelmingly positive reviews that this is worth trying right now.

Steam Link

 

They are Billions by Numantian Games

Steampunk, strategy, building and zombies – a winning combination.  This is very playable at the moment and although it lacks a campaign, simply building a colony and defending it against hordes of zombies is a lot of fun.  If you like old school strategy games (like C&C, AoE, etc) then this a great twist on those.

Steam Link

Total War Warhammer II: Thoughts on the Tomb Kings DLC

The world of Total War Warhammer keeps growing with the recent release of the Tomb Kings DLC.  Like the last substantial DLC, Norsca for the original game, Tomb Kings is a very impressive expansion.  Not only are their four new legendary lords in different starting positions, there are also new gameplay mechanics that make this faction unique.

The lack of upkeep for units is an interesting twist and does mean you can create a big army quickly at the start of the game, albeit a pretty weak one of meat shields.  Despite this potential early game advantage, it is actually in the mid to late game that the Tomb Kings come in to their own.  If you expand sensibly and build the right structures, you will be raking in income and be able to sustain multiple armies with elite troops.  In the early game however, your meat shields might struggle to overcome even the most basic of enemies.

Although I’ve enjoyed playing as the tomb kings, I’ve probably enjoyed the challenging of playing against them more.  In a recent Dwarf campaign, after conquering the orcs in the badlands, I came up against two Tomb King factious who both eventually ended up being pretty hostile.  The resulting wars were pretty crippling to me and only the onset of chaos brought a conclusion to it.

Overall I think the DLC is excellent and I hope the developers continue along these lines.  Although we have Norsca to look forward to being incorporated in to Mortal Empires, I do wonder what is the next substantial DLC for TW:W2…if any.  The new world is pretty well covered with all the races that inhabit, only really leaving a few Old World factions to play with.  My guess is that if they do provide a new faction then it will one of Kislev, the Southern Kingdoms or the Dogs of War.  The Dogs of War would be particularly interesting as that would be another unique gameplay style.

Whatever it ends up being, role on to Total War: Warhammer 3!

Total War: Warhammer II – Mortal Empires – Karaz Ankor Reborn – The First Year

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The Starting Situation

Thorgrim

Thorgrim stared out from the battlements of Karaz-a-Karak, looking east along the Silver Road. In the distance he could make out the effigies of the Orcs and cursed them as he did every time he saw them. The Orcs had taken the Silver Road decades ago and it had been with a heavy heart that Thorgrim had decided to abandon the dwarven positions there; they simply hadn’t been strong enough at the time.

Thorgrim was diverted from his cursing by the arrival of one of his guard, who uncharacteristically looked rather nervous.

Thorgrim rocked back as if struck by a cannon.

THORGRIM: Grombrindal? The ancestor returns…if it is true. Lead me to him at once.

The King and the Ancestor

Thorgrim made his way to the throne room and beckoned to his guards to let the visitor in. What walked through the giant doors was the most remarkable sight Thorgrim had seen in his long reign. The White Dwarf had returned.

GROMBRINDAL: My Lord Thorgrim, I am Grombrindal, known as the White Dwarf and guardian of the Dwarven race. I offer you my service to smite our enemies and rebuild the Karaz Ankor.

THORGRIM: I accept. You have returned to us at a most fortuitous time. We are ready to strike back at our foes and even have the number to do so.

GROMBRINDAL: I know the blessings our gods have given you recently and that your numbers are almost beyond counting. It is no coincidence I have arrived; now is the right time to rebuild the Empire.

Plans for the Future

Thorgrim brought Grombrindal in to his inner circle and the war council he had recently set-up.

THORGRIM: Friends we are almost ready to strike back at our foes and we now have the White Dwarf alongside us to aid our efforts. I name Grombrindal the commander of our expeditionary forces and he will lead our troops on the ground. I will join him in time but there are many more preparations to be done first.

Gasps around the chamber greeted the news, both by the appearance of the White Dwarf and from a number of Lords who were hoping for the honour of commander themselves.

GROMBRINDAL: I am honoured my Lord. I want to strike back at the Grobi as soon as possible.

THORGRIM: I would normally counsel patience but the time is right to reveal at least some of our strength. Grombrindal, I task you with taking back the Silver Road by the end of this year. Take a small force to do and give us our first victories.

The Retaking of the Silver Road

Grombrindal’s gathered his forces quickly and struck like lightning at an the Bloody Spearz Orcs in the east led by the notorious Gnashark. The fight was a one-sided affair and the Orcs retreated as quickly as they could.

Grombrindal continued on to the old dwarven settlement of the Pillars of Grungi where a slightly tougher fight was in the offering. Gnashark’s retreating forces had joined up with the orc ‘garrison’, giving the orcs an advantage in numbers. It mattered little though and Grombrindal’s forces retook the old settlement.

As Grombrindal surveyed the settlement and set his warriors to make camp, a messenger approached and mentioned of a group of warriors who had approached and wished to speak to him. Intrigued, Grombrindal went to meet them.

WARRIOR: So it is true, you have returned. Praise to the Ancestor Gods.

GROMBRINDAL: Aye, it is true. Who are you warrior and what can I do for you?

WARRIOR: I am Drong, leader of the Warriors of Dragonfire Pass and we wish to fight alongside you.

GROMBRINDAL: The more the merrier Drong. There are enough Grobi to go round for everyone.

With reinforcements, Grombrindal advanced on to Mount Squighorn and the end of the Silver Road. Again resistance was minimal and the settlement was taken. It had taken Grombrindal less than three months to reclaim what had been lost for nearly 50 years.

Rebuilding

Karaz Ankor had for a long time been merely a myth rather than reality. Dwarven Kings went their own ways and barely paid allegiance to the High King; this was going to change. Thorgrim didn’t want to coerce the holds though, he wanted them to see the might and splendour of Karaz Ankor reborn so that would pledge full allegiance to the empire.

Starting this, across the first year, Thorgrim sent his emissaries out to Barak Varr in the west and Zhufbar in the North. He wanted these two holds in the empire as soon as possible. As successful starts, both holds signed formal alliances with Karaz Ankor before the year was out.

As well as diplomatic rebuilding, actual rebuilding of the old settlements on the Silver Road began apace. Both the Pillars of Grungi and Mount Squighorn were re-populated and rebuilt over the rest of the year to be defensible and useful outposts to Karaz-a-Karak.

A Good Year

Grombrindal was recalled to the capital for the end of the year to begin planning for the next campaign.

THORGRIM: We have barely begun our plans and already we have had an excellent year. The Silver Road is ours again and relationships with our nearby kin are strong. Where do we go from here…

 

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The end of a good year

Total War: Warhammer II – Mortal Empires – Karaz Ankor Reborn – Intro

I’m a little bit in love with Total War: Warhammer 2 and particularly the Mortal Empires DLC. Being able to have almost all of the Warhammer Races together in a campaign has been a hell of a lot of fun; particularly when I’ve had races face off against one another who you wouldn’t normally get to. The best example was a Dwarf vs Dark Elf battle towards an end game of one campaign; suffice to say the Dark Elves were annihilated.

After my failed turn by turn account of a doomed Dark Elf Campaign a while ago, I’ve decided to revisit the idea but with a significant twist. The idea is to tell a campaign via the medium of a story (probably an awfully written one) – this will hopefully be a lot more entertaining than a dry turn-by-turn account.

I’m going to do this with the Dwarfs because they are by far my favourite race and I can probably muster up a lot more enthusiasm for doing it through the. After a lot of thought, I’m going to say that each year equates to 12 turns; this isn’t an exact science but it gives the best approximation for time. For those who are interested, I’m playing vanilla (i.e. no mods) with a starting legendary lord of Grombrindal.

Anyway, here it goes and to start we have a little bit of a prologue…

 

Karaz Ankor Rising

High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer had ruled for over 200 years; a time of particular conservatism and stagnation in the Dwarven Empire, the Karaz Ankor…at least to outside eyes. More ancient holds had fallen and the empire was fractured, this much was true, but something remarkable was happening at the same time.

The beginning of Thorgrim’s reign had coincided was a dramatic spike in the birth rate; something unheard of in previous times. Part of this was the increase in the proportion of females being born; dwarven females had only ever made up a small proportion of overall dwarven numbers in previous times. Twins and even triplets were also being born, substantially increasing the population. The result was that Karaz-a-Karak was astonishingly becoming near full to capacity.

This had been kept from outside eyes, a decision Thorgrim had made to lull enemies in to a false sense of security. When the time was right, the dwarfs would burst forth and take back what was theirs. That time was near at hand…

The Death of Malekith

Ok, so not the actual death of Malekith, just killing him from my point of view.  Due to neither the game itself or the blog posts being interesting I’m canning this.  I was trying to do turns 31-40 but frankly I lost the will to live.

I think it might just be that I neither like Dark Elves or enjoy playing as them in TWW2.  I can’t escape the feeling when playing as them that I would be having a lot more fun as one of the other races.  I don’t think I’ll go back to playing them casually either – I’ve found Lizardmen and High Elves significantly more fun.

So that’s the end of that…but I will try something new when Mortal Empires is released.  I’m thinking it might involve short people with beards and maybe an attempt at dramatising it a bit.  That’s the plan anyway…

Total War: Warhammer 2 – Dark Elves Playthrough – Turns 21-30

Last time we were with Malekith, he wasn’t having the best of times.  A rebellion at home, a surprise attack by Chaos Marauders in the West and an enemy that is too strong to defeat quickly in the North-East.  Let’s hope the next 10 turns go better…

 

Turn 21

Arspeth continues his sea adventure but doesn’t come up with anything this turn.  Crovass begins raiding Ghrond for some much needed extra income.

 

Malekith advances on Shroktak Mount again and after an easy fight, razes it to the ground.  Next stop is Rackdo Gorge to the West.

 

Turn 22

In the off-turn, my allies at Hag Grae are attacked by a beastman tribe and I agree to come to their aid.

 

Malekith advances towards Rackdo gorge.  Arspeth chances upon a skull reef, giving a cool 10000 gold.

 

In diplomacy news, I manage to negotiate a non-aggression and trade pact with the Scourge of Khaine, the Dark Elf faction currently encroaching on the North of Ulthuan.

 

With my new found wealth I start building a Harpy Roost at Naggarond, which when built will give me access to Harpy’s; useful but weak flying troops.  I also start upgrading the barracks which will give me access to bolt thrower and black ark corsairs.

 

Turn 23

In the off-turn, rather surprisingly a beastman herd ask for cash in return for joining our war against the Mung.  As tempted as I am, I refuse.  The Mung then ask for peace.  After a lot of deliberation I decide to accept so I can concentrate on taking out Ghrond and working towards the actual objective – the Vortex!

 

With peace against the Mung now in force, I begin moving Malekith east towards Ghrond – it will take a few turns to get there though.  There is no change for any of my other forces.

 

I also start building the Altar of Khaine at Naggarond – this will give me access to Witch Elves in time.  Finally I start building Black Roads at Har Kaldra – this will give a lot of bonuses, including growth, income and better movement range for armies starting in the region.

 

Turn 24

The off-turn brings another cry for help from Hag Graef as they are yet again assaulted by a beastmen herd.  I accept though I’m not sure I’ll actually get around to helping them.

 

Malekith continues east.  In Kaelra I start upgrading the capital.

 

For want of anything else to do, I decide to perform the Scarifice to Mathlann – this will give me access to a Black Ark – essentially a floating city. 20171012115551_1

 

I then go to Naggarond to recruit the Black Ark.  The Ark can provide supporting bombardment from the sea, has its own building chain and can recruit troops.  I plan on sending it to Ulthuan to cause some mischief.

 

Turn 25

The research of Exploit Feuds completes giving me a +1 public order bonus everywhere.  I then start the Chartered Piracy research that will reduce Corsair upkeep and give a bonus for sacking settlements.

 

Malekith continues east, the Black Ark leaves port towards Ulthuan and Arspeth finds a Shipwreck, giving 2500 gold and bonus experience.

 

Rather strangely Ghrond has left their capital without their main force, though I suspect a trap if I lay siege to it.  I decide to send Corvass in between the two Ghrond cities and to continue raiding; if their main army wants to attack me it is welcome to.  If they don’t then when Malekith arrives, they won’t stand a chance.

 

I finish by upgrading the crafting district which will give me some extra income in a few turns.

 

Turn 26

The Skaeling offer peace in the off-turn and I gladly accept.

 

Without realising it, by building the Altar of Khaine I complete a mission, giving 500 gold and 7 scrolls.

 

Unfortunately, my western province is on the brink of rebellion so I bolster Velicion’s very small army there with a few extra troops.

 

Malekith enters Ghrond territory and will be able to deal with the capital in the next turn.  Arspeth finds some fell cargo giving a few minor bonuses.  The Black Ark continues east.

 

Turn 27

My western province erupts in rebellion and I realise Velicion doesn’t have enough manpower to deal with it.  I leave her at the Altar of Darkness with a large garrison and hope that the enemy is stupid enough to attack.

 

Malekith attacks the Ghrond capital with Corvass’ support and the settlement is easily taken.  This gives 2000 gold and 13 scrolls from a completed mission.  It also means I can soon build a special building (Temple of Hekarti) that will give me 10 scrolls every turn.

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Next turn I’m going to move to extermine the Ghrond faction.

 

Turn 28

I start building the Temple of Hekarti in Ghrond and then send Malekith to encircle Ashrak, the remaining Ghrond settlement – which also has quite a large army backing it up.  Malekith is backed up by Corvass and decides to assault the city.  With two full stacks the battle is over pretty quickly and Ghrond is no more.

 

With Ghrond gone, my only immediate threats are some rampaging beastmen to the south and the Mung in the North.

 

Arspeth finds Remnants of a Battle, giving a minor magic item and a nice little boost to growth and income for 6 turns.  The Black Ark also finds Remnants of a Battle, also giving a few little bonuses.

 

I finally bolster Velicion’s forces, in anticipation of confronting the rebellion.

 

Turn 29

The turn begins with Velicion at the Altar of Ultimate Darkness under siege by the rebellion.  I hold my nerve and decide not to attack.  I leave Corvass to garrison the new found province of Ghrond and move Malekith south with the intention of taking out the rebellion and then dealing with some marauding beastmen in the south.

 

I notice on the east of the Dark Lands another norscan tribe, the Aghol.  I decide to send the Black Ark towards them and build up a small army.  I will then start attacking them and taking their settlements…that’s the plan anyway.

 

Turn 30

In the off-turn, Malekith’s mother (Morathi) offers a defensive alliance which I gladly accept.

 

Quite possibly the most boring turn so far with nothing happening beyond a few army movements.  Malekith should be able to relieve Velicion in a couple of turns time.

 

Conclusion

The situation is stabilised and Ghrond was taken out.  Despite the small rebellion in the west, things aren’t too bad.  My next moves are to take out the local norscan tribes.

 

Next time I’ll do a screenshot of the strategic map at the start to give a good overview of where things stand overall.

Total War: Warhammer 2 – Dark Elves Playthrough – Turns 11-20

Carrying on from last week’s first 10 turns, what will happen to Malekith and his armies of murderous Dark Elves?  With my skills, I’m sure I can conjure up a disaster in the not too distant future.

 

Turn 11

Things start well with a nice 300 gold bonus for accepting a military access agreement with my neighbours Hag Graef to the South.  My research of Continuous Slave Supply also completes, giving me extra income from ports and more potential captured slaves after battles.  My Plateau of Dark Steeds and the upgrade to the capital of Kaelra are completed.  At least I can now recruit some decent cavalry.

I continue building Corvass’ army and probably for the last time.  Toth carries on exploring without any luck.  Malekith’s siege continues.

The hunting lodge at Kaelra begins upgrading and I start building a Den of Outlaws that will give me access to some Vanguard units when built.

I finish off by starting to research Battle as Business which will give some post battle and raiding income bonuses.

 

Turn 12

During the off-turn, the Norse tribe of Skaeling’s, far to the east, declare war on me.  I’m not particularly worried about that but I will deal with them later for their insolence.

The crafting district in Hal Kaldra completes, giving me some extra income.

Malekith’s siege continues and now only 4 turns until the Skaven start running out of food.  Toth reaches the far North-East of the map and starts to make his way South.  Corvass makes his way towards the city of Ghrond in the North-East where there is the potential to start producing 10 scrolls a turn.  Unfortunately it is held by a particularly large army of non-too-friendly Dark Elves from the Ghrond faction.  I think I might do some raiding next turn and try to draw them out. 20171006084300_1

 

Turn 13

In the of-turn, my allies at Har Ganeth in the East ask me to declare war on Ghrond; I happily accept – I was going to do so myself soon anyway.  Clan Septik also offer me gold for peace but that is firmly rejected.

The Den of Outlaws is completed and I recruit a couple of Shades for Corvass who has retreated to Naggarond.  There is nothing to report from Toth and Malekith’s siege continues as before.

 

Turn 14

In the off-turn, my allies at Har Genth are attacked by the Deadwood Sentinels faction and the Mung Noscans and I agree that I will come to their aid due to our defensive alliance.  I’m also offered a defensive alliance by Hag Graef which I accept.  Har Ganeth then offer me a full military alliance which I also accept – my southern and eastern borders are now fully secure.  I also find out that the Shadowgor Warherd have declared war on me – I now have total of 6 factions that I’m at war with!

The hunting lodge at Kaelra is completed, giving me a bit more income.

Malekith’s siege continue but Toth finally finds something!  He finds some sunken booty that includes an Ogre Blade (+8% weapon strength) and some lost cargo (a 6 turn bonus of growth and income).  Crovass enters Ghrond territory and I set him to ambush in case the Ghrond stack comes out for a fight.

 

Turn 15

The off-turn brings Hag Graef offering a full military alliance which I accept.  The Shadowgor Warherd then offer me peace and would give me 300 gold for the privilege! I happily accept.  The Skaeling then assault Toth on the sea and he doesn’t stand a chance.

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Battle as Business research is completed and I start Driven by Vengeance; this will eventually reduce recruitment costs for basic units.  The Naggarond province has grown enough that I can upgrade a capital building and I do this in the capital of Naggarond.

I recruit a new lord to replace Toth – this time it is Arspeth who is a strategist, giving them a +5% campaign movement range.  This also gives me a bonus of +4 scrolls due to completing a small quest.

I set Corvass to raiding in Ghrond, giving some income and extra slaves.  Malekith’s eternal siege carries on.

 

Turn 16

The turn starts with a Chimera Frenzy, meaning that Kaelra will suffer -4 public order for 3 turns.

Arspeth starts his sea adventures and Corvass continues his raiding.  Malekith waits patiently for the final time…

 

Turn 17

The off-turn brings Ghrond seeking peace and I don’t oblige.

Due to my woeful management of the Naggarond province, I am told there will be a rebellion next turn if I don’t do something.

First of all Corvass has a level up and I give him the route marcher trait with the campaign movement bonus.  I then move him back to Naggarond to deal with the inevitable rebel army that will appear.

Malekith finally assaults the Altar of Ultime Darkness.

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I wouldn’t normally auto-resolve but this is an exception.  The outcome is never in doubt and Clan Septik are finally destroyed.  This gives a bonus of 2000 gold and 10 scrolls for completing a quest.  It also means Malekith gets a level-up and give him the Bladewind spell that will be good against blocks of infantry.  I recruit a few more units for Malekith and prepare to send him east to help deal with the imminent rebellion and then deal with Ghrond.

I finally recruit another Lord who will act as the garrison for the central provinces.  I go for Velicion – a Dreadlord with Sword and Shield, as well as the determined trait that makes them immune to psychology and gives a +3 leadership bonus.

 

Turn 18

In the off-turn the Deadwood sentinels ask for peace and I reject.  Ghrond also ask for peace and offer a bribe but again I reject.

The rebellion appears and thankfully it is a small one with only 6 units.  I send Corvass to deal with it.

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The battle is over quickly but it gives Corvass some needed experience.  He levels up twice and I give him the Sadistic (+12 armour-piercing, +5 charge bonus and +3 melee attack) and the Sea Dragon (+5 armour) skills.

Malekith heads east towards Ghrond and Velicion starts to build a small army.

 

Turn 19

The Driven by Vengeance research completes and I next opt for Exploit Feuds – this will give a +1 bonus to public order.

The capital of Naggarond completes and I get a bonus of 1000 gold and 6 scrolls for this.  I then start upgrading the harbour and the marble quarry to help with my cashflow.  I also start upgrading the capital of Har Kaldra.

Just to my West I notice a Mung army closing in on the Altar of Ultimate Darkness and send Malekith back to defend the city.  I can’t leave my western flank open any more so I will get Malekith to start exterminating them.  I’d rather deal with Ghrond but there’s no point if I have nothing to defend my main cities with!

I leave Corvass to replenish his troops and Velicion to guard my Kaelra incase the Mung come that way as well.

 

Turn 20

The off-turn brings Ghrond again asking for peace and me again rejecting it.

The Mung start raiding me so I send Malekith to take them out.  The Mung flee but Malekith hunts them down and battle ensues.  The Mung only have a stack of 12 vs Malekith’s 20 so the fight is short (though incredibly satisfying).

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After the battle I level-up Malekith with the Spiteful Conjuration skill that will reduce opponents armour when Malekith is casting.  I then send Malekith on to Shroktak Mount, a Mung settlement.  After auto-resolving it he sacks it, giving a fair amount of gold and slave bonuses – next turn I’ll raze it as the climate isn’t favourable.  Malekith again levels up and this time with the Word of Pain Spell that will significantly debilitate a foe.

Arspeth finds the surfacing of a Leviathan and takes 2500 gold.  Corvass again moves towards Ghrond with the intention of raiding.

Finally the Altar of Ultimate Darkness capital begins upgrading.

 

Conclusion

It has been an interesting 10 turns!  Although I haven’t achieved what I wanted (to capture Ghrond), I can console myself that I will soon be in a position to exterminate the pesky barbarians of Mung to the North and give myself another safe border.  Economically I’m fine, though I’m losing money each turn, I’m finding enough bonuses to sustain it.

Hopefully in the next 10 turns I can get rid of Mung and also begin to invade Ghrond and give me better access to scrolls and ultimately begin working towards one of the rituals.