Apocalypse Begrudge Tempestuous – Part 2


This is Part 2 of a 5-part diary of a Solium Infernum multiplayer game. For Part 1, go here. For full context, see the contents post here.

Turn 29

We’re coming up on the inflection point, I have 6 points in Deceit (which gives me access to the Convert Legion ritual, allowing me to steal enemy legions) and 4 in all other stats except for Wrath, giving me the maximum 6 actions per turn; this means I no longer need to pretend to be weak and feeble and can actually start attacking people. Thanks to a timing miscalculation I didn’t manage to get the Infernal Negotiations ritual back up in time for the Diplomatic Immunity event to expire, so I think either Skippy and Peter will finally Demand on me now. If they don’t, I’m going to do it to them next turn.

I have plans to handle Peter and Skippy (mostly involving stealing legions and/or pulling The Devourer out of my ass), I need not to let Tom and Zael out of my sight though. Zael in particular has been too quiet for too long and is getting a bit too into the backroom machinations, although a Dark Augury on turn 21 didn’t reveal anything particularly worrying. Maybe Dark Augury again at some point to make sure he’s not catching me up in the Ritual stakes.


Skippy’s sheer number of legions is intimidating and I probably can’t kill them all with Rituals (I have referred to this in PMs as a “Zapp Brannigan-ass strategy”), but I’ve checked and Convert Legion is “very likely” to work on his super-legion, the Sons of Typhon, because he’s not upgraded his Deceit stat at all to give himself any Deceit resistance. This seems hugely OP if true, although also somewhat self-inflicted – Zael is the only other person who has gone in on Deceit at all.

A thought occurs: Skippy is floating a ridiculous number of resources and might rush Deceit upgrades, which would give him a better chance of resisting my Deceit rituals. If I’m going to steal the Sons of Typhon I’d better do it soon while it’s a relatively sure thing. But this will immediately reveal that I have 6 Deceit. Although that might not be too much of an issue, because…


Annoyingly, after I sabotaged myself by very briefly posting a screenshot in the main channel revealing I had five order slots that I’m pretty sure Skippy saw before I deleted it, the game itself has also decided to sabotage me by giving me an achievement for raising Deceit to max level which is clearly visible in the Steam activity feed. Because that’s a sensible thing to have in a game that’s all about hidden information. Thanks, Solium Infernum developers, I really wanted everyone else to know that.

Anyway, if they don’t Demand on me next turn they’re absolutely nuts – playing the Diplomatic Immunity event did tip my hand a bit in that it let them know I was worried about being attacked, which means they should attack me as soon as it finishes. But I have achieved my Final Form now and I’m reasonably sure I can 1v2 them.

Oh, and I’ve been moving my one legion down to Pandaemonium, mostly because the revelation that Skippy was trying for it so early was a bit of a shock and I’d like a fallback option just in case my Rituals turn out to be less effective than I hope. I’ll need a much better legion than those failures to actually do anything, but having the cantons secured is probably a good thing.

Turn 30

Neither Peter or Skippy have sent Demands. They’re continuing to bully Tom.


Actually having to look at Demands now, I’m not sure how useful this actually will be? I need to actually fight a war to get anything out of it once the Demand is refused, which is, you know, fine. But also Zael is sitting there and I think he’s only a bit behind me because he just achieved two(!) “Have 3 rituals simultaneously” schemes, which means he’s levelled up his Prophecy from 1 to 4 in 9 turns in order to have enough ritual slots to do that. If I get distracted, he might pounce.

The Humiliate diplomatic action becomes available when you increase your Infernal Rank to Prince, which is like an Insult but you choose the terms of the resulting vendetta – the problem with Insults is that your opponent gets to choose between resolving it in a regular war or via a Praetor duel and they’ll pick whichever one you’re weakest in, so you’d better be damn sure you can win both if you’re Insulting somebody. The nice thing about Humiliate is that if you just want to mug somebody for Prestige it’s actually better than a Demand, since it has a shorter turnaround time before you can declare a vendetta and allows you to bully them more frequently. But that Prince upgrade is 90 Prestige, though! There are other benefits to getting it, like increased tribute quality and ritual resistance, but 90 Prestige is a game-winning amount.

Skippy has been blowing his resources on stuff from the Bazaar. Which means he’s very unlikely to have levelled his stats, and my Rituals should still work just fine.

I’m going to make a slight modification to the plan. Try to steal the Sons and also Demand on Skippy for an artifact. Who knows, he might actually cough one up since he’s been buying so many! If not, it’s Devourer time.

I’ve had a chat with Tom, trying to coordinate our efforts. I’ve given him a bunch of intelligence on Skippy and told him not to target the Sons with anything since it’ll just be wasted if I manage to Convert them. He’s apparently only just got his third order, so I think at this stage of the game he’s the safest bet for an ally. Zael is playing the game the same way I am, which means he’s a fundamentally untrustworthy snake who is biding his time and if I take my eyes off him for a second I’m going to lose on turn 50.

Finally, I’ve picked up the Leviathan event, which spawns a monster that goes around taking PoPs. I have no PoPs, so this will be an excellent bit of chaos to throw into the mix.

Turn 31

Damn. Damn damn damn damn damn.


The Sons are now on my team, and the Leviathan is here and has spawned in a great place to threaten both Peter and Skippy. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that I’ve just noticed that the unclaimed PoP Peter has been moving his legion towards, the Wood of the Suicides, gives a +2 Deceit bonus. The stronger your Deceit is the more chance you have of resisting a hostile Deceit ritual, so I am sure he is frantically levelling his Deceit normally as well, as Zael has also been targeting him – he’s complained about being hit with Deceit rituals the last four turns, but I’ve only hit him once.

The worse news is that Peter goes before me in the turn order. If he takes that PoP with his first order of the turn there’s nothing that I can do to stop it. This will be much less fun if he can actually resist my rituals.

Even without the Sons, Skippy managed to one-shot Tom’s strongest legion with a stratagem – these are renamed combat cards from the original game, which you can stick to a legion for a one-off stat boost. They’re consumed after a single combat but they’re potentially much more powerful than artifact or praetor bonuses and they can’t be stolen with rituals in the way that regular legion attachments can. Skippy’s stratagem give his legion +8 Ranged, which is a bit disgusting. There’s nothing that can be done to stop him from winning that vendetta now.


And I’ve just realised that Zael’s high Prophecy now means Dark Augury has a decent chance of bouncing. I’m going to try it anyway, but I’m not hopeful. He’s got a scheme to raise his Deceit to 6, and it shows as 4/6, so I guess I know what he’ll be doing for the next couple of turns at least.

This feels like it’s spiralling out of control a bit. I made my big move a couple of turns earlier than I was comfortable with, but it still might have been too late – everyone else is catching up.

Ah, sod it. There was an alternate path to victory that involved me levelling Charisma to max and using the ritual there that gives 10 prestige per turn. But that would have been incredibly boring. I’d rather do this and lose than continue to pretend I’m a tired old man who doesn’t understand the game.

(I mean, I am, but still.)

Demand to Peter, and try to steal his Legion anyway – it’s the best one currently on the field that isn’t the Sons. Let’s see how this plays out.

Turn 32

Okay, fears somewhat unfounded. Peter did not move his guys with the first order and I managed to steal them before he took the PoP. This means that if he rejects my Demand I can go with a legion-based vendetta.


Meanwhile Skippy rejected my Demand, which one of us is going to end up regretting quite badly. You see, this has let me peek at the Praetor Duels interface and I think that if I nick his one Praetor he can’t actually put anyone up in time to fight.

(Assuming he doesn’t have anyone in the vault. I don’t think he has anyone in the vault. There was that creepy baby-looking thing that got bought by somebody recently, and I really wish I could remember if it was Skippy. Maybe I should start keeping notes.)

Even if I don’t steal his one Praetor I don’t think that Praetor can win against Gusion, the duelling powerhouse Praetor I stole from Peter a few turns back. So maybe I don’t even do anything, and just roll the dice with the duel straight up.

The real choice is how much prestige to wager on the duel. I can blow up to 14 on this, which seems risky for a mechanic that I don’t really understand still. I’ll go with 10, I can probably afford to lose that much.


The Zael situation is getting worrying though. The Dark Augury on him went through and his stat situation is not as bad as I thought, he’s got Deceit and Prophecy at 4, which I already suspected, but everything else is pretty low. The problem is his Schemes – he keeps rolling duplicates. Previously he had two of the “Have 3 Rituals active at once” scheme, which paid out 40 prestige. Now he has two of the “Raise Deceit to 6” scheme, which is going to pay out another 40 prestige, and then he’ll also have Deceit at 6.

Deceit rituals are turning out to be utterly busted. Last turn I got paranoid about Peter levelling up his Deceit to give himself resistance – but based on what I can see this turn, that probably didn’t matter. Zael has a Deceit resistance of 6 that I can see – 4 from his Deceit, and 2 from his infernal rank. This against my Deceit of 6, so you’d think it’d be even odds.



The scrying bowl — which I’m assuming is reasonably accurate given that I just did a Dark Augury on him — is telling me that my chance to steal one of his Praetors is “very likely”. How on earth do you defend against this? There’s a ritual from the Prophecy line that gives +4 Deceit resistance that I might have to turn on pretty soon and run indefinitely, but I suspect that even that wouldn’t tip the odds enough for me to feel safe.

(Postgame note: I figured out how rituals work towards the end of the game and it’s not anywhere near this bad. The scrying bowl was lying to me and I was just very, very lucky with my rolls.)


I’m going to try not to abuse Deceit too much myself as I think it would ruin the game, but I also think Zael is fair game for it for a bit. Especially because he just targeted me with a Vile Calumny against Tom. I’m going to resolve via Praetor Duel, but I’m going to keep the prestige wager small as Tom’s spent the entire game being bullied and I don’t want him to feel like I’m adding to that. Hopefully he’ll understand.

So, Bribe Praetor on Zael’s Praetor that adds a 3 Darkness token to tribute offerings (required for Deceit rituals and Deceit upgrades, should hopefully slow him down a bit if that’s not guaranteed), and steal some of his tribute too. Move my generously-donated legions onto Peter’s border in preparation for a Vendetta. And also Collect Tribute twice.


It’s increasingly looking like the main threats are actually Skippy and Zael, not Skippy and Peter, so I have commiserated with Peter a bit despite having an active Demand against him and stealing one of his legions, and told him what I think Zael is up to. He’ll probably still come after me but he’ll have to get creative doing it.

Turn 33


Aha, turns out it is possible to resist Deceit rituals, as Zael tried to Loot the Vaults against me (while posing as Skippy, or at least I assume so – if it was actually Skippy then that was very stupid) but it bounced. So Deceit 4 vs Deceit resist 8 is what’s needed, which means the Deceit resist +4 ritual might be enough.

Blech, but it costs 1 Darkness per turn. One of the very few restrictions on Deceit is that it’s actually pretty difficult to scrape together the Darkness required to fire the rituals off every turn. I’m taking every Darkness tribute token I can find and barely breaking even.


My own Loot the Vaults against Zael went through but brought back some garbage. Is this the tribute quality other players have to live with? No wonder they’re all behind.

Anyway, Tom is picking a fight with Zael – reasonable, reasonable. Peter says that “he’s not acting rationally” and is happy to play for second. Probably accurate, he doesn’t have enough actions to really compete at this stage.

This does afford me an opportunity though. They probably all think I rushed Deceit as my primary goal, but it’s so much worse than that – because I was levelling up all of my powers for the extra actions I also levelled Destruction. Typically you can’t use Destruction rituals against somebody if they’re not in Vendetta with you – unless you have Ritual Masking from Deceit, which lets you either hide your identity or (at higher Deceit levels) pretend to be somebody else. So I can toss some fireballs Zael’s way and pose as Tom while doing it, and hopefully nobody will be any the wiser.

And the really nice thing about this is that Destruction rituals cost Hellfire, not Darkness. I have a lot of Hellfire saved up, so can do this for a while.

Also Zael sent me a message saying that he was going to “come at me hard” if I stole from him again. Nuking his legions and rotting his tribute tokens isn’t stealing from him, so I assume he’ll be fine with it.


The Leviathan has been disappointing so far. Hasn’t killed a single legion, and Skippy has just retaken the PoP it smashed after it wandered over to Zael. I’m hoping it moves through one of Zael’s legions on the way to the Garden of Infernal Delights at least. Or at least forces Zael to waste actions moving them out of the way.

I’m in two minds about Peter. I don’t doubt that Zael and myself have severely screwed him over with Deceit. (Although now that I think about it he does still have both his public artifacts and praetors, so what exactly did Zael steal? He didn’t do a Dark Augury so wouldn’t have been able to see Peter’s vault. Maybe it was tribute, Peter’s not bought anything from the Bazaar in a while.) Peter is naturally a bit depressed about this. However he also happens to have 86 prestige – he is still a contender, and if he’s left alone he’ll come back into it. He’s also said he was trying to pull together an anti-me alliance (which means that Zael might actually have been telling the truth earlier), and I doubt he’s going to give up on that. Like, what else is he going to do, go after Skippy? Or Zael? I really doubt there’s anything I can do at this point to change his mind on trying to kill me.

So the Vendetta goes ahead, I think. I’d try to kill his legion but he can just run away and his position in the turn order makes that awkward. I do not want his PoP. So it’s taking cantons, which will take 3 orders and 2 turns, or 4 orders and 1 turn. Probably the second option.


The Deceit resistance ritual is going up, and I’m firing off two Destruction rituals against Zael (while pretending to be Tom, let’s see if he falls for it). The problem with taking a more active role is that I want some rituals to resolve first in the turn order so that the targets can’t respond, which means Collect Tribute gets knocked down the turn order, which means I get worse tribute. But I need to stockpile for next turn, when 1) I’ll need to move my legions to take Peter’s cantons and 2) I’ll probably also need to throw a bribe into the arena.

Turn 34

Before I’ve even loaded the game turn there’s some spicy stuff going on: Zael and Tom having a bit of a spat in the channel. Zael is accusing Tom of “ensuring the person who is in 1st” (i.e me) “wins the game”, so I assume he’s a bit upset about the war.

We’re not playing Munchkin, though, and from my perspective Tom is doing exactly the right thing, and not just because it’s helpful to me, either – Tom can’t win a fight against me and he can’t win a fight against Skippy, he could win a fight against Peter but Peter’s sole PoP has an artifact stuck to it that prevents capture. So the best way for him to get back into the game is to beat up the remaining “weakest” target: Zael.

It could all be a ruse, of course: manufactured anger does have its place in this game. Zael’s threatening privately to vassalise to Skippy if I don’t knock it off with the rituals. Usually I’d laugh that out of the room as there are prestige restrictions around vassalisation (the vassal can’t have more than half of the Prestige of the current leader) and there’s not that much space between myself, Skippy, Peter and Zael. But it is a useful look at a possibility I hadn’t considered yet: I don’t just need to have the most Prestige, assuming that one of Peter or Zael vassal to Skippy I need double Skippy’s Prestige.

Also, something extremely bad has apparently happened to Skippy.  Let’s boot the game and find out…

what the fuck


Leviathan, I take back everything bad I said about you. Instead of heading up to the Garden of Infernal Delights, it’s decided to go for Peter’s PoP which is protected by the Black Monolith (which is supposed to make it un-capturable), which feels illegal but maybe the Leviathan doesn’t give a shit about the rules. More importantly, though, it’s taken a direct route there through three of Skippy’s legions. Who are all dead now. Skippy only has one left.

That’s a huge swing. It’s so huge, in fact, that it might actually be bad for me. Skippy being obviously big and scary was pretty helpful as it split people’s attention. Now that he has nothing left, everyone is going to be focused on me fully.

Not that they weren’t doing that anyway. I got the Deceit resist ritual, Expose Treason, up just in time as two more Loot the Vault rituals are attempted against me, and bounce. One has come from Zael, and the other from Skippy (I don’t think Zael has the ability to pretend to be other people yet).

Let them come – one additional effect of Expose Treason that I get Prestige every time a Deceit ritual is successfully resisted. So that’s 16 Prestige this turn. Please, try again!

My fireball melted one of Zael’s legions, the ritual that destroys tribute tokens only got 3 of them though.

Neither Zael nor Tom sent anyone to the arena to fight the Praetor Duels, meaning they forfeit. That’s another 37 Prestige.


I now have 146 Prestige. Skippy is next highest with 96, and then Peter with 90, and Zael with 81. Tom languishes on 22.

This is a problem, as the threshold for vassalisation is now 73 Prestige. Maybe I should dump 90 Prestige on that Prince upgrade after all. I’d have it for 20-odd turns – would it pay for itself? Could I make it worth it with Humiliate?

Some coordination with Tom. I have no idea who will win in a fight between his legion and Zael’s, there’s too many permutations and Zael goes before Tom in the turn order. Annoyingly the scrying bowl now claims my Deceit rituals against Zael’s legions are “a coin flip” – they definitely weren’t two turns ago, maybe there’s some interaction there with Dark Augury.

Still, Destruction works perfectly fine. So I’m going to fireball Zael’s legion, which I am sure he will be even more upset about, but I’m also going to buy the Prince upgrade, which knocks me down to 56 Prestige. Assuming I win the Vendetta against Peter that should bring me back up to 75-odd, and then I can make a few more Demands on people. Or even Humiliate!

Click here for Part 3

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