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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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LWE

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This is an AAR about a Warlock game (Renaissance mod, latest version, new "super-impossible", Svarts). The self-imposed rules are no trading summoning spells to the AI (acquiring summoning spells causes their spell casting to malfunction), and limit these "30000 gold for a spell and 100 mana" trades the AI's sometimes agree to.

The Svarts are certainly a powerful nation. But are they powerful enough to win at Super-Impossible (Standard map, 2 underworlds).

Inhabitants of other realms were often puzzled over the "Ugly" name of the Svart capital, but it actually came from Ugol', the Svart world for coal.

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Sturdy Svart warriors unified the realm by capturing Tverdin, as the Infernals under Baalphegor and Arethi Elves under Helia's Ambassador made their presense known.

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The Arethi seemed to be having some Monster problems in their Northeast.

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Svart warriors had to deal with Polar Wargs and two-headed Dragons in caves discovered through the knowledge of ancient Svart language.

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These caves contained ancient wisdom from old Svart Techno-Priests.

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The Human duchy of Kingsword was captured by flocks of trained crows after Prospector rain barriage (reminds me of the Hitchcock film).

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Sinister old crypts around Kingsword contained great treasures.

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The city of Platina-Ruda was developing into a major research center.

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Infernal Adepts, jealous at superior Svart academic training, attempted to burn Platina-Ruda.

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Es Kaliborn ordered the people of Tverdin to engage in field research, too.

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Baalphegor ended up angering too many people. Miralbus the Hat, along with Dremer Shadow Mage Xidan, also went against the Infernals, making them no threat to the Svarts at all.

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Helia's Emissary reported of the portal to a Dead World and to a wild Dremer World next to her lands.

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Scientific cooperation with Miralbus was fruitful.

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Samotsvetchi was devoted to military training and production (Tactical Supremacy is a powerful perk!)

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The Fey Serpent research program brought untold benefits to the Svarts in mana and in gold.

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Uglin was growing to be a major financial center, with the Svart Trade Unions contributing to its overall prosperity and success.

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Helia's Emissary proclaimed her intent to bring sunlight to the dark dead underworld.

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Svarts, as a nation, had difficulties in mana production. The King-in-Stone hoped that Platina-Rude Magic Bazaar will alleviate them somewhat.

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Despite several Svart academics ending up with severe bites, the Pirahna Breeding and Summoning Program was also judged to be a success.

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It was unknown why Helia's Emissary appreciated the Svarts enough to pay for the alliance. Maybe she just wanted to acquire Svart technical knowledge?

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LWE

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The alliance allowed the Svarts to establish an observation point next to the portal to the undead world, striking an alliance with their Dwarven relatives.

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Trade greatly helped the Svarts to advance.

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Dragomort Guardsmen were the pride of the Svart army.

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They were immensely useful in abolishing the Dragon infestation.

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Only with the most rigorous training could a Dragomort Guardsman reach Tactical Supremacy.

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The whole Svart nation celebrated as Nevrilnec, the first Svart outpost in the dead world, was founded. However, it arose the jealousy of Miralbus, whose forces attacked and conquered it.

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Proclaiming to defend the Svarts from Miralbus, Helia's Emissary took the city for herself.

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The Svarts, never giving up to despair, founded another outpost further away from Helia's lands.

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Helia's Emissary continued to be helpful, even if she refused to give Kamnevec away.

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However, her control of many Holy Grounds was alarming.

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Failing to acquire any more Svart cities, Miralbus sued for peace.

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Svart jewellery was sold all over Ardania.

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Finally, research on the Holy Grounds and prayers to Krolm led to construction of the long-awaited superweapon, the Exemplar of Strength.

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They were indeed necessary: not content with grabbing Holy Grounds, Helia's Emissary was intent on total magical domination of Ardania.

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Despite this, she continued to offer deals, useful to the Svarts.

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Exemplars of Strength were teleported to Ardania and upgraded.

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Svart culture was becoming the dominant on Ardania (I considered picking Mystical Revolution, but I wanted to reduce the new Impossible unrest more).

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Especially since Helia's Emissary was willing to trade me mana, anyway.

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LWE

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Krolm gave the Exemplars additional strength.

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Baalphegor was finally sent back to Hell by Xidan. Despite the demon lord's resilience, the outcome of this struggle was never in doubt.

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Now it was the time to stop the Emissary's plans to turn Ardania into another Sun.

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Svart arms were combined, as the Dragomorts healed the Exemplars storming the walls of Harcarn.

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The Dragomorts were soon destroyed, as Arethi troops swarmed the Svart lands. But the Exemplars seemed unyielding.

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Soon it became clear that even the Exemplars can be brought down - but Harcarn's Walls were brought down quicker.

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Still, even without their mistress, Arethi troops were a powerful foe. They destroyed the two Exemplars who stormed the walls of Harcarn, and advanced further into Svart lands, before being stopped by the magical fire of Uglin.

The loss of Tverdin negatively impacted Svart food production, hampering research and causing a couple of marginal rebellions (I was lucky that no city declared independence during that time).

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Miralbus' troops weren't that powerful, but this perk prevented Xidan from making any advances.

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A short war with Xidan ended with him suing for peace surprisingly soon after some initial skirmishes.

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Happily, Tverdin was recovered by the Svarts, not by Miralbus' Plainstriders. Some magical units had helpfully turned the terrain around it into Plains of Life.

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The last thing Svarts want is more war.

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Many artifacts are recovered as the Svarts reconquer lands occupied by the Arethi.

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Now Miralbus is the one with the goal of controlling the Holy Grounds. But Es Kaliborn wants to pre-empt him.

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The Holy Grounds of the Dremer world are claimed by Svart teleporting settlers, guarded by the new Exemplars.

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Settlers of the undead world had to retreat before the Vampires, but soon the undead monsters were smashed by the Exemplars, allowing the settlers to claim the lands.

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Miralbus was displeased with the Svarts, but lacked the courage to attack.

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Finally, after one more settlement next to a Holy Ground...

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TheVenge

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Fun!