Return to Hell - Solium Infernum Game Diary, Part II
By MARK WILSON
Contributors: Me, Rhasgaz and Richard
Turn 11-15 (Rhasgaz)
I use Master of Bazaar and get it for 5 turns, what luck! People have been buying rites, machines, praetors and legions so I feel confident I’ll make some money here. On top of that, I’ll gain insight into who is buying what. I’ll use the funds to pump my stats! Phenex was purchased, who is just ok I think. (Later on, I realize he’s a very good value legion leader). I continue to go up on avatar points, increasing my intellect for ritual/relic slots. I’m not buying anything in the bazaar since I’m not allowed as the Master.
By this point I have 30 cantons and +3 prestige a turn. I am feeling really good about prestige, but I also feel distracted and that I’m not taking advantage of tribute. Shinx and Generic Landlord get into it, and Shinx loses his legion, which is crazy! Generic Landlord had his legion support his POP before Shinx could get to it, and thus when Shinx attacked it on his turn, the combined might of the POP, legion, and Telemachus, killed his very good starting legion. This happened because Generic Landlord was going before Shinx due to the turn order of the game. Turn order is very important, as we’ll see later. On top of this, Generic Landlord takes Shinx’s POP, winning the vendetta and getting more prestige. In any event, this will sting for the rest of the game, I bet.
Turns 11-20 (Celesto/Mark)
Resource heavy builds are exciting eventually, but boy are they boring early on. I’m sitting and collecting resources, and occasionally upgrading my avatar’s stats.
I got my 3rd order around Turn 17, and am working toward a fourth around Round 22. So that’s nice. Once I’m there, the snowball will be rolling downhill much more quickly.
Crazily, Generic Landlord is competing with Richard for the prestige lead. I’m not really sure how it happened. I’ve only been paying cursory attention to what’s going on around me. But he managed to get +6 per round as well, plus more Cantons than Richard. Good for him!
I mean, I don’t think he has a chance to win, but good for him at the moment, at least. Problem is, Landlord is in a legion-centric build. Richard bought his way into those PoPs and has to have lots more resources, especially with the +1 Order he won early on. He remains my main concern.
The other concern is that Landlord keeps sending demands my way. I can concede to them easily enough to avoid conflict, but not forever. Eventually he’ll be able to claim a vendetta. I’m working toward being rich as hell, but am currently spending my resources on avatar upgrades, so I’m not exactly equipped to defend myself. I have such little territory that he could take ALL of my Cantons besides my capital, which triggers a rare rule where I’m fair game to eliminate entirely. I should be able to avoid that, but it’s in the back of my mind.
I’ll burn that bridge when it comes, though. In the meantime, any order I don’t spend working toward resources/upgrades is one where I’m falling behind Richard.
Turns 20-30 will be mostly more resources + upgrades, but by about Turn 30 I expect to be transitioning into more active shenanigans.
Turns 11-20 (Richard)
I now have four order slots, and I’m guessing my competitors are still at two. This is a huge advantage. Now I need to focus on money, so I can keep the upgrades coming. I’ll need all the power I can get once they all come gunning for me.
Generic Landlord, to the north, is most likely to hassle me. I could have blocked off his access to a neutral Place of Power but I decided not to, in the hopes that it will keep him off my back for a while. I’m not sure if that worked, but Generic Landlord gets into a vendetta with ShinX instead, which means I can focus on getting rich. I get diminishing returns if I use all four of my order slots for tribute calls, so I start boosting my Wickedness and Martial Prowess as well. But my main focus is Charisma, to increase my income. It’s expensive, but I’m able to get Charisma 4 by turn 18. I also hire the Creeping Doom, a pretty strong legion, in case I need to defend myself.
Meanwhile, ShinX is losing his vendetta badly. Generic Landlord not only stops ShinX from capturing a Place of Power through canny use of combat support from a nearby legion, but also marches across ShinX’s territory with the fast-moving Legion of Woe, to take a Place of Power that ShinX probably thought was safe. With a large territory and many Places of Power, Generic Landlord is keeping pace with me in Prestige, and he throws a demand at me (his second) next. I concede for now, as I see no reason to fight. But next time, he’ll be able to claim vendetta on me whether I concede or not.
I also use a spare order slot to try stealing some resources from Celesto [Editor Note: First the Beast and now this?! I see how it is.]. He hasn’t been moving at all and I suspect he’s got a lot of cash. But my attempt fails, so I turn my attention back to my own tribute. I have to do some consolidation, but by turn 20 I have enough resources to boost my Charisma to 5, which is when the money really starts rolling in.
Turn 16-20 (Rhasgaz)
By this point, I’m just gaining cantons and tribute, trying to stay relevant in the prestige battle. Generic Landlord is in the lead, followed by Richard. They both have +6 prestige a turn, but I beat them with my canton count. I should have been playing my own game and getting more tribute instead of wasting time moving, but you live and learn. I buy Bune because I like him, and then I realize that only one person bought one thing in 5 turns, wasting my Master of Bazaar. I absolutely played this event too early, and gained nothing for what could be a powerful card. I’m at level 3 intellect at least, and should finally get to +1 order slot for 3 total by the end of turn 20. I block Richard’s canton grabbing legion and the infernal census hits. I have 100 prestige, coming in at a solid 3rd place. Richard is at 143, and Generic Landlord 197. Everyone else is 63, 40, and 20. The low prestige makes me nervous that someone is going to excommunicate sooner than later.
Fiends have separated into tiers, with some clearly vying for a Prestige victory, while others are biding their time and building up their long-term might. Will Rhasgaz’s nervousness prove prescient? Will Richard and Celesto air their grievances with one another on the battlefield? Check out Part III here to find out.