Thursday, 18 July 2013

Red Dragon Age: Call to Power 2

This isn't from my game unfortunately*

Things have reached a precarious point for Owain Glyndwr. A couple of hundred years ago he took the Welsh people by the scruff of the neck and said - "Look here gang, this nomadding business is great and all, but have a look around you. This place is quite nice isn't it? So maybe we should take a chance, knock up some slightly more permanent dwellings and see how it works out for us? I mean there's plains, grassland, some ocean with some pearls in, what more could you want? Some bits are a bit marshy mind you, but we'll probably work out how to drain them one day (depending on what branch of the tech tree we prioritise). Come on everyone, let's give it crack eh?"

Today however, Owain and his now thousand strong population find themselves hemmed in by a large, well-armed civilisation who have shown no qualms about stretching their considerable muscles at the slightest hint of provocation. Aggressively expansionist, the tipping point has come, and some tough decisions will have to be made to ensure the future of the Welsh nation.

Things started off well. Cardiff was founded, and the people set to work training up a small group who would head out and form another city on the coast to take advantage of the sea's natural bounty. Once this new colony was established the denizens trained a new group and the pattern continued until the Welsh empire stretched across 6 towns. Each town would get working on a Granary as soon as possible (so that it's citizens might have food to eat and thus the energy to procreate), and a town watch to guard against intruders.

One group of Settlers was killed along the way by a wandering bandit flying the flag of Poland. This was a shame, but a warning to Owain not to become complacent. Defences were a must, and the Welsh set about a huge project - The Great Wall! Archers were trained and walls were built, but Owain was still hoping for a peaceful and enlightened life for his people. Surely the Polish could be reasoned with, and the two could grow together, side-by-side in peace.
Courthouses and Markets were constructed to help keep peace, and earn the Welsh a great fortune. Caravans were sent out to far away lands and traded goods started arriving from the Chinese.

Growth had stopped though. All the free land that could be taken on the island had been taken. Narberth had been established on a peninsula across the bay from the Welsh mainland in a bid to grab some land before it was swallowed by the Poles, but that left it isolated and in need of strong defences. The hope was that if a Polish city was surrounded by Welsh ones they might come round to the Welsh way of thinking and maybe switch allegiances, but whether that was possible was a mystery.

The peace couldn't last though and soon the Polish invasion began in earnest.

At first it was just a razing of outlying roads by the Polish, but soon an army 8 units strong arrived and crashed against the walls of Pontypridd. The two Archers, and the Spearman who were guarding the city held out for as long as they could, whittling down the attacking army, but they were overwhelmed.

Pontypridd had fallen.

Luckily Owain had been building up extra units at all the cities of his domain. This allowed each city to send a few units to form one mighty army to take back Pontypridd, and show the Poles that the Welsh aren't to be bullied. The liberation of Pontypridd was swift and decisive. Each city began to train the most fearsome soldiers they could: Knights, Samurai, Mounted Archers and Pikemen. Three large Welsh armies left their towns for the designated rendezvous point, but as they began the slow march toward Polish territory they stumbled across a previously unknown Polish town deep in Welsh territory! If the Polish couldn't take the Welsh towns by force then they were going to steal their resources and starve them.

The town had to be destroyed but as the armies approached a terrifying sound rang out. The sound of rifles. This was a technology the Welsh had never heard of let alone fought against. The Polish Riflemen were outnumbered 3 to 1, but the power of gunpowder was a leveller and Knight after Knight fell to their deadly roar.
The town was eventually captured and the Welsh burned it to the ground, but while all efforts had been diverted to this one area, a small group of Riflemen had infiltrated Welsh territory and assaulted the capital. Cardiff's skeleton crew of a defence fought bravely, but the technologically superior assault of the Riflemen was enough. Cardiff had fallen.
Wales' 3 victorious armies, tired and injured, were thrown immediately back into the fray with the liberation of Cardiff their sole aim. The battle was close but the invaders were soon evicted and the Welsh flag was hoisted above the walls of Cardiff Castle.
The toll on Wales' armies had been great though. Every town was now under-manned, and the coffers were furiously being emptied on recruitment and training of new units.

It's time for Owain to decide what he can best do for the Welsh people. A full scale invasion of Poland is off the table. Their superior technology would repel anything but the largest attack, and even then casualties would be so great that the city could be retaken with ease.

The Welsh will be able to defend though. Digging in behind city walls, even with inferior technology could be enough to see off waves of Polish attack. They'd hopefully become tired of the expenditure and enter diplomacy rather than waste their money on more suicide missions for their units.

So digging in is the key now, but what should the Welsh do while they're dug in? Try to catch up in military technology so they can turn the tables when the Polish are tired and overstretched? Or focus on culture and learning, leaving the Polish in awe of their artistic and cultural achievements, and allowing the Welsh to make powerful new friends as a deterrent to further invasions?

The short term goal is clear then. Dig in, defend, keep the people happy and healthy and their cities growing. Make money, build wonders, farm the land and sea and explore the world as widely as is safe to do so. Perhaps even set up some overseas colonies? In another few years Owain can worry about how to best deal with the Poles.

Pob lwc, Owain

*My screenshot tool, Bandicam, works based on whatever OpenGL window is active, but Call to Power 2 uses OpenGl for the main game and another instance for the cursor. So all my screenshots are just of my cursor :(. I'll try some different tools on my next playthrough.

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