I planned to record my dealings in a Play By Email game of Solium Infernum, but being swept up in a wave of enthusiasm I managed to tick over a few turns before remembering to explain myself, so we join the game entitled “Newbie Death Delight”, at Turn 4.
My Avatar, Stal, the Horse Head Fiend was rolled with Charisma and War in mind, I wanted to boost his ability to bring in plenty of tribute (the resources in the game) as well as be able to conjur Combat Cards for his Legions to equip, making them more powerful. The build was more thrown together out of hearsay from the Cryptic Comet forums, and tidbits gleaned from Quarter to Three forums, and I wanted to keep it simple to begin with, so I would be able to make informed decisions and not wild guesses.
The floorplan of Hell after Turn 4 looks like this from my perspective. Things have already started to slither around, my most loyal Legion The Chosen of Stal has already managed to capture a The Unholy Fountain, a Place of Power (PoP), directly north of his Stronghold (the building with the fiery red aura). This delivers an extra 1 point of Prestige per turn, so already we’re ascending in standing amongst our rivals.
After a quick slew of demanding tribute, I was able to bid for an extra supporting Legion on the Infernal Bazaar. Luckily a soul or two more than it needed secured the acquisition of The Order of Infernal Engineers.
This Legion wasn’t necessarily the best I could have bid on, but it was one I could afford with the meagre tribute I had available at the time. Rather than wait, I decided I’d grab a quick Legion, and start to mark off some of the territory, particularly to attempt to corden off The Palace of Gluttony to the west of my Stronghold. As you capture the unclaimed cantons (hexes) by moving a Legion across them, you effectively block out your opponents. They can only cross your cantons if a diplomatic Vendetta is arranged.
Since I’m currently a bit clueless about the subtle nuances of the game, I’m sticking (perhaps foolhardily) to a basic land control and Legion boost policy for the moment. I fear I might be playing the turns out more like a traditional wargame, but with limited experience of the more esoteric mechanics to employ against your demonic foes, I’ll stick with what I know for now.
During Turn 4, the Turn Log indicates that my rivals are also swallowing up their close Places of Power, as well as filling their ranks with Legions and Praetors (heroes that can be attached to Legions) from the Infernal Bazaar.
The remaining entries in the log show me that my Demand for more Tribute has delivered another batch of random resources I can select from to top up my dwindling pools of souls, ichor, hellfire and darkness.
And lastly the Regency has passed onto Leverpastej, indicating that he will begin the next turn with the first phase. The regency can be important because all players turns are resolved simultaneously, but are decided by the position in the turn phase, with the Regent being processed before those in the phase queue.
Finally, heres the diplomacy status screen, showing all players portraits and their prestige values at the end of turn 4.
As you can see, my early PoP grab has boosted my prestige from 10 to 21, but my Horse Lord rival Leverpastej has pipped me at the post with a prestige of 22. Players can prioritise their threat list (for free until turn 10), and often they’ll sort the list by prestige scores early on, so sometimes sucking up all the prestige initially can focus your rivals against you. Having said that, my reasoning was to provide myself with a base of prestige trickle whilst I can, and the longer the game runs the more prestige I will accrue. Since you have to use prestige to perform the diplomatic procedures to initiate a state of war (Vendetta, Blood Feud and even Insults), I figured its better to have some prestige to play with.
More next time…