When last we left our intrepid godling, Ikea, and his custom built (heh) realm, they were all ready for some warfare. And that’s exactly what I set out to do – rally some independent territories to my banner, by force if necessary.
So with that in mind, I bestowed my blessing on the centurion Rowan, making him Disciple, and I gathered a bit of an army for him to use – mostly my own cultural troops – copycats of Roman legionnaires, but also I picked up a mercenary contract for some fish-men. Mercenaries are great fodder to help blunt those first volleys of arrows and cavalry, and they are cheap at base…but other countries are also bidding for their services, so you have to make sure to shell out enough in the blind bid to get them (contracts run three months long). Then, since we are in the NE corner of the map, I decided to pin down my corner before branching out to the south, where I’m sure my first AI opponent awaits.
Before I did that though, I decided that my army wouldn’t get far without some magical prowess. So I recruited a Theurge, and named him Wilhelm. Because I could. So Wilhelm and Rowan set out with a small army – a gang really, at this point, while Ysharros turned south to seek out who my first real challenge would be.
The independents were….underwhelming.
Dominions lets you set orders for your troops, but resolves the battles between turns. So there is the mentality that you are the coach, calling the plays, but you are not directly influencing the battle. Since Dominions originated as a PBEM game, this makes sense, though it may seem strange coming from other 4x games. I like it though, its fun to watch the battles unfold and the sometimes unexpected ways your troops take care of business. As you might imagine, the battle above was fairly one sided. And my trusty mage and disciple took a month afterwards to recruit some of local troops and also to do that thing that only a half living, half undead empire can do – get some troops out of the ground.
The next month, my now larger army handled a second province, but I made a mistake. I told my new skeletal cavalry to charge, which seems obvious. However, the cavalry were just a smidge faster than everyone else. And in the time it took the rest of the crew to catch up, they had been surrounded and slaughtered. Back to the ground with you! A few more months and more territories fall.
One of the nice things is that this process is made easier because I spend some of my..uh…character creation (god creation?) points on Ikea’s Dominion score. So little candles are popping up all over the map, indicating converts to my faith. And this is a big deal because Ikea, his Disciple Rowan, and and blessed troops (remember those Shadow Vestals?) all get bigger and badder the more dominions points I have in a province.
Meanwhile, at home, a few more mages join the rotation as I recruit them, and all of them, along with Ikea himself, are doing research. After all, you have to read the directions before you start building things. Right Ikea?!