Return to Hell - Solium Infernum Game Diary, Part III
By MARK WILSON
Contributors: Me, Rhasgaz and Richard
Turn 20-30 (Celesto/Mark)
Things are getting interesting.
Some fun stuff that happened:
- I played the “Harrowing of Hell” event, which nukes half your resource cards of a certain type. But I timed it so it wouldn’t affect me. Flatline informed the group he lost a massively stacked resource card to it. Delightful.
- I promised some aid to Flatline in response (in-character in the game), under the auspices of using it against Richard, our “true” enemy. But it was mostly because I may need to convince him to enter into a vendetta with me later on, so that I can take Pandemonium.
- Immediately after this, Flatline performed a Rite that got him 2 Martial Points! This is worrying! If he makes it to Martial 6 before we can respond, he can conquer Pandemonium, since he’s the only one with a bordering Canton.
- Deciding that I am a fiend of my word, I still sent some tribute to Flatline, hoping it buys me some goodwill with him.
I’m doing fine upgrading my fiend. I have four (4) Orders, which likely matches Richard, and as I write this (Turn 24), I’m close to a 5th. I should have it by about Turn 28.
However, I’m not getting manuscripts like I expected, so my early manuscript purchases are looking like wasted time. My best bet is probably to try to race Flatline/Richard to Martial 6 and try to take over Pandemonium.
I bought a flying carpet, so that I can conquer Pandemonium without an open vendetta with Flatline, but if I have to use it, it’ll mean sacrificing the Legion I use to conquer it with (since it won’t have a “legal” Canton to retreat to after the battle).
This complicates my ascension, but I still have a path to the Throne.
The War With Heaven
A Crusade against Heaven was called around Turn 24, and I sent my only Legion off to fight. If they survive, they’ll come back much more powerful. I can probably buy my way to a powerful Legion, but this would streamline that quite a bit. I should know the Legion’s fate by about Turn 30.
Pilfering to Power
I’ve done nothing with Praetors, but Generic Landlord was insolent enough to leave his (very powerful) praetor attached to one of his legions, which means it’s MUCH easier to steal.
So I pocketed it, with no real intent to use him (though it’ll be nice to have just in case), but just because that sort of hubris should be punished. Being evil is fun!
I have a plan. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one.
A few things have become known to me:
- There’s an open Canton next to Pandamonium.
- I can fly there with my Magic Carpet artifact.
- My eventually-returned (and upgraded) Legion in the Crusade to Heaven can take Pandamonium with the benefit of some stat-boosting combat cards (which are beastly now that I’ve been upgrading my fiend), or a Ritual called “Juggernaut” that I will gain access to on Turn 31.
I realized all of this might be possible around Turn 27, so I’ve been preparing. I purchased another Legion to guard my capital, may purchase a 3rd (see below: Flatline stole the one I wanted), and have been stacking resources after hitting my 5th Order. My archfiend is maxed out in a couple stats and has access to a bunch of powerful rituals.
I’ll need resources for combat cards (which are one-time use) and Rituals to hinder the other fiends as they attempt to stop me. Once I make my attack, I won’t be able to purchase new Legions or gather resources. It will be a race to the win or a countdown to my doom.
The problem is not Richard. It’s Flatline. He’s been buying everything, managed to complete a Rite to get him 2 Martial points, and my assumption is that he’s at Martial 6, so he also has access to the Juggernaut ritual.
And he’s right next to Pandamonium.
I frankly don’t know how he’s affording everything. He must have had a much better resource build than I thought.
I thought I was being cheeky when I sent him a few resources earlier. Ya know, twisting the dagger after the Harrowing event cost him a powerful resource card. Turns out I’m just an idiot.
The Good News
He doesn’t know I have the carpet. And he doesn’t know I have the Juggernaut Ritual. He can probably take Pandamonium before me, but staying alive after that will be the issue. I should be able to dive-bomb him and remove him from the game.
Turn 21-25 (Rhasgaz)
Someone got the dreaming head relic, which gives +1 to prophecy rolls. This probably unlocked a +1 order slot for someone. I got the unholy crusade event, which allows everyone to send a legion to heaven to knock some heads together. You might lose a legion, but if they come back, they get a buff. I use this time to connect my empire north to south, gaining more cantons in the process. Someone played the Harrowing of Hell event which destroys half of all tribute cards with souls on them. I didn’t get hurt much but someone lost a consolidated card for upgrading an avatar point with. OUCH.
Generic Landlord’s Garden of Infernal Delights revolts due to an event, but I don’t have a legion near it anymore because of the unholy crusade. At this point Flatline gains +2 martial skill due to performing the Rite of Infernal Awe. The orb of oblivion was purchased, and I try to get to charisma 5. There’s a lot of demands being thrown around by everyone, but I am not being targeted, so I kind of ignore it. I get the feeling I’m not a target since I’m wasting time moving my legions instead of getting tribute.
Turn 26-30 (Rhasgaz)
People are buying machines and other manuscripts, and I grab 2 maneuver manuals for my legion to go faster. I also play another event that forces a census, since I have more cantons than anyone. I go to charisma 5 and cunning 2, to start getting more order slots. With charisma 5 I can run a ritual to get mega tribute in my other two order slots. This SHOULD help me get to +1 order which will snowball. I’m finally hitting my stride! I get the Black Heart which is a +3 resist destruction relic and slot it in a ritual space. At this point I realize Richard can put 3 items on a combat card, which means he has huge martial or a combat card perk.
No legions have died in heaven, but they aren’t back yet. Generic Landlord had a legion die somehow, and his other is in Heaven. I also see that Flatline has 3 legions around Pandemonium, and now I start to worry he may be trying to excommunicate. He has low prestige after all, and he was the one to pull off the rite of blood. Flatline bought the Adamantium Guard and Celesto performed a rite to go up +2 charisma. These rites are hardcore and I’m feeling inadequate. At turn 30 I have 206 prestige, Generic Landlord has 277 and Richard has 281. Shinx has 110, Flatline has 80 and Celesto has 30. Any of those 3 could be excommunicating since they won’t win a prestige victory. I still have hope to catch up though.
Turns 21-30 (Richard)
With Charisma 5, I can now cast the Demand of Supplication ritual, which gives a huge boost to all tribute calls that turn but prevents me from asking for any tribute on the following turn. I start a cycle of Supplication turns followed by attribute boosting turns as a way to power up quickly. I get my fifth order slot on turn 23, but the next turn I receive a third demand from Generic Landlord. It’s time to refuse, especially since he’s asked for an artifact or relic, which is far too high a price.
At this point Generic Landlord is in the lead, earning more Prestige per turn than me, and has more territory so he’ll get even more Prestige in the Infernal Census every 10 turns. Maybe if I get into a vendetta with him I can improve my standing a bit. He’s got a really powerful legion he’s been marching around, but I’ve got my Martial Prowess up to a decent level now, so I can start using some powerful combat cards.
As I’m preparing for battle, a crusade against Heaven is called. I need my legions here to fend off Generic Landlord, so I buy the Accursed Company just to send them off. I also notice that the Orb of Oblivion is for sale, so I put in a bid and snap it up. The Orb basically turns a legion into a suicide bomber, so even if it loses a battle, its opponent dies as well. It’s a highly useful artifact for getting out of a pinch.
I decide to split my legions up: the Creeping Doom will fight Landlord’s monstrous personal legion, while my own personal legion will capture his nearby Place of Power, the Wood of Suicides. On the turn before I expect the vendetta to begin, I attach combat cards to both legions. My personal legion just gets several ranged bonuses stacked on top of each other, while the Creeping Doom gets a card that will reduce the enemy’s ranged and melee power, while boosting its own melee power. Generic Landlord has a combat card attached to his legion too, so I hope mine will be enough.
It goes according to plan. Even though Generic Landlord puts a second combat card on his legion, I’m guessing my card is better, so I order the Creeping Doom to attack. They win, and my personal legion conquers the Wood of the Suicides with a single ranged attack. At this point I could keep hassling Generic Landlord, capture some of his territory while the vendetta is still active, but I’m getting concerned about Celesto and Flatline to the south. Celesto recently sent an emissary to Flatline, and I’m worried they’re colluding against me. So I cease hostilities and go back to powering up.
I get my sixth and final order slot, which makes Demand of Supplication even more effective in bringing in a lot of money. On turn 29, I’ve maxed out my Charisma at 6, and managed to get all three pieces of the Rite of Flesh Rapture manuscript, which will max out my Cunning. Since I have +1 Deceit from the Pit of Tartarus, this will actually put me at 7 Deceit, above the normal maximum. Just in time too, as Flatline has just purchased a whole bunch of legions, including the powerful Adamantium Guard. Time to steal them!