Game-related ramblings.

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Return To Hell With Another Solium Infernum Diary

Some readers may recall that I’ve been playing a lot of Solium Infernum, going so far as to write a few diaries of games, including one that enlisted three other players to offer their perspectives. Well, I may have taken a break from writing about Solium Infernum recently but I haven’t stopped playing it, and after a recent game concluded, several players decided to write up a new diary. I was happy to contribute, although I’m not hosting it this time, instead it’s up over on the Bumbling Through Dungeons blog. I played as the archfiend known as Richard. Use the links at the top to move between the four parts and the epilogue. This diary has the advantage of being significantly less wordy than mine are, so it won’t take an absurd amount of time to read. I think it came out quite nicely, if I may say so myself. A big thanks to Mark for organizing and hosting it!

If you want to read more of my writings on Solium Infernum, they can all be found here. If you think you might want to try Solium Infernum yourself, the best place to find other players these days is the Solium Infernum Discord server. The game itself is available directly from developers Cryptic Comet.

A Cold War In Hell: A Solium Infernum Story

I have written many words about Solium Infernum, including two epic turn-by-turn diaries. But I haven’t stopped playing, and the stories haven’t stopped coming. This account won’t describe every single turn, but will instead offer a summary, from my perspective only, of a recent game with a particularly dramatic finish. You should be able to follow along even if you aren’t familiar with the game, but if you want to learn more about how Solium Infernum works, you may wish to read my original post about it, or peruse one or both of the two huge diaries, first. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Lucifer’s throne stands empty. Six archfiends will vie for it, in a test moderated by the Infernal Conclave. Unfolding in turn-based fashion, the archfiends will submit orders that will be processed simultaneously every few days, leaving plenty of time for behind-the-scenes scheming. This contest will be longer than in the past; once the Conclave has drawn 20 tokens — a process which will take months of real time — the most Prestigious archfiend shall be appointed ruler of Hell. The arena, a wide expanse of the Hellish plain, is also larger than before, and peppered with more numerous Places of Power. Archfiends will surely conquer the garrisons of these Places and take command to earn Prestige each turn, then engineer vendettas with their rivals in order to fight short, strategic wars over them.

But not my archfiend, Brunt. He is not a fighter. His personal legion is pathetically weak. Brunt is, however, a Master Administrator, able to attach an extra Unholy Relic (or praetor commander) to each of his Places of Power. He will amass as many Unholy Relics as possible, using them to grow his power and Prestige. He also happens to be an Infernal Cardinal, letting him demand better tribute than the other archfiends in order to finance his collection. He might conquer a Place of Power or two, but only to use them as places to display his Relics, inspiring awe and fear in his rivals.

At least, that’s the plan. But in Hell, things rarely go to plan.

The Complete Infernal Medicine

At long last, the epic Solium Infernum diary known as Infernal Medicine is complete! There are links to each portion of it below. I’d like to extend the warmest thanks to my contributors Anonymoeba, Baleygr, and Codename Duchess for making this possible. They are fine, upstanding citizens… er, I mean vile, conniving fiends.

Part 1 (Turns 1-10)
Part 2 (Turns 11-20)
Part 3 (Turns 21-30)
Part 4 (Turns 31-40)
Part 5 (Turns 41-49 and the epilogue)

Solium Infernum is available directly from developers Cryptic Comet. If you like what you see, and you think you’re ready to step into the inferno, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to host a new game.

Read on for a few (spoiler-free!) final thoughts on Infernal Medicine.

Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 5)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Last time, Hell was rocked by scandal. First, Kivah made an audacious and unexpected move: a suicide run at Pandemonium, using the Orb of Oblivion to level the capital city. The Infernal Conclave survived, but now no one can try to take the throne by force. Kivah was excommunicated for his crimes, and Anonymoeba and Baleygr moved in to conquer his holdings. Baleygr lost his legion to ill luck in combat, and Anonymoeba took it all, banishing Kivah to the Abyss. Later, Codename Duchess managed to win a second vendetta against Anonymoeba, one that they had mutually agreed to via a behind-the-scenes deal. On turn 39, Codename Duchess revealed his Playing For Keeps perk (conspicuously not reported by Anonymoeba’s spies) by declaring Blood Feud on Anonymoba with only two (instead of the usual three) vendetta victories under his belt. He held initiative advantage, so there was nothing Anonymoeba could do, and on turn 40 Codename Duchess captured Anonymoeba’s stronghold, banishing him to the Abyss.

Only four archfiends remain.

Codename Duchess is poised to take Anonymoeba’s former territory and Places of Power, which include those that used to belong to Kivah. But Baleygr, who had all but given up on the game, saw another chance to capture some of Kivah’s old Places of Power. And the Magistrate’s plan to win through wealth is finally paying off; he’s taken the lead in Prestige. But he’s been hit with curses and thievery from Beowulf, including the theft of his star duelist praetor, Morax. Now The Magistrate faces a duel against his former champion, but he’s sending in Vassago, a praetor he stole from Anonymoeba (before his banishment) and trained with powerful combat moves.

Here is what happened.

Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 4)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Things are heating up in Hell. Last time, The Magistrate’s plans to win by being the richest archfiend around hit a snag when Beowulf cursed his praetor Morax, temporarily blocking his special combat moves just before his duel with Anonymoeba’s champion. Anonymoeba began to focus on secret objectives, and opened a dialogue with Codename Duchess to end hostilities so he can direct his aggression at Kivah and The Magistrate. Codename Duchess continued his attempts to win two vendettas against the same archfiend, so he can use his Playing For Keeps perk to claim Blood Feud and eliminate them from the game. So far, he’s managed one win against Anonymoeba. And Baleygr, who has a huge territory but lower income, planned an eventual assault on the Pit of Tartarus, the last remaning unconquered Place of Power on the map. His plan involves some diplomatic action against The Magistrate.

Here is what happened.

Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 3)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1 and part 2 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Six archfiends wish to ascend the throne in Hell. Four of them are chronicling their schemes here. The story so far: Codename Duchess has been trying to win vendettas against other archfiends so he can take advantage of his Playing For Keeps perk, which lets him claim Blood Feud — an all out war — after only two vendettas, instead of the normal three. He failed in a vendetta against Beowulf, but managed to start a new one against Anonymoeba. Anonymoeba has struck a balance between expansion and boosting his own power, using his Seer perk to learn secrets about his opponents. His spies, however, conspicuously failed to mention Codename Duchess’ Playing For Keeps perk. As Codename Duchess’ vendetta began, Anonymoeba used his personal legion’s Mountain Walk ability to strike at Codename Duchess’ tail and steal a Place of Power from him.

Baleygr has been expanding aggressively, claiming vast tracts of territory with his legions that grow in power as his own archfiend’s power grows, thanks to his Master Archer and Master of the Sword perks. He’s just managed to start a vendetta with The Magsitrate. The Magistrate hasn’t expanded at all, instead focusing on getting as rich as possible. But his praetor Morax did (barely) manage to win a duel against Kivah’s praetor Haagenti, and he hired the expensive and powerful Sons of Typhon to try to defend against Baleygr. At the same time, he played the Infernal Perfidy event, which sent the Infernal Inquisition through Hell, killing every legion that wasn’t a personal guard and disrupting everyone’s battle plans.

Here is what happened.

Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 2)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Six archfiends are vying for control of Hell. Four of them are chronicling their machinations here. Last time, Baleygr had rapidly expanded his territory but feared he could not muster the resources to take advantage of his perks, which strengthen his legions as his own archfiend’s power increases. Anonymoeba spent time growing his own powers, drew his first secret objective, and was racing Baleygr for access to the high-value Place of Power known as the Pit of Tartarus. The Magistrate was biding his time, trying to accumulate as much money as possible. And Codename Duchess had established early military strength, engineered a little war against Beowulf with the hope of eventually claiming a Blood Feud, and given the order to attack.

Here is what happened.

Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 1)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game. And you should probably read my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Apparently, one absurdly long and detailed Solium Infernum diary was not enough. No, we felt the need to chronicle the game that followed, this time including the perspectives of several of the archfiends vying for control of Hell, not just my own. So I’m not going to go into the full level of detail that characterized Hell Or High Water. This account will stick to only the most important events, but by detailing the unfolding secret schemes of four archfiends in parallel, it should be a great demonstration of why Solium Infernum is so compelling. It should also, if you’ll excuse the pun, be entertaining as hell. Thanks to my erstwhile opponents and contributors Baleygr, Anonymoeba, and Codename Duchess for making this possible!

The Complete Hell Or High Water

Hell Or High Water is an account of a single game of Solium Infernum. The game lasted two months, and the account took twice as long to write, coming in at more than 25,000 words in total. I was inspired by the Gameboys From Hell writeup over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun that originally convinced me to buy Solium Infernum, but while that condenses things a little to focus on the most important events, I wanted to capture the scheming and tension that comes with each and every turn in the game. The result is an enormous and detail-filled account, but one that I hope is both informative and entertaining.

If you are unfamiliar with Solium Infernum, I recommend reading my earlier post that gives an overview of the game first. Otherwise, read on below. And if you are interested, you can buy Solium Infernum directly from developers Cryptic Comet. Feel free to drop me a line, as I’m always happy to host a game.

The Complete Hell Or High Water:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Hell Or High Water: A Solium Infernum Diary (part 7)

If you are unfamiliar with Solium Infernum, you may wish to read my earlier post about the game. And you should definitely read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6 first. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Last time, my archfiend pair Rufus and Big beak were getting desperate. Far behind in Prestige, they were just about to try framing other archfiends for excommunication — making them fair game for open war — when Xaklyth beat them to it. His framing failed, however, and he was excommunicated himself. But with a big army, Xaklyth may be able to win by force of arms anyway. Rufus and Big Beak are hoping that Xaklyth will take out some of the opposition, so they can sneak into the top position with a few last-minute praetor duels against the champions of Pandemonium. It’s a long shot, but maybe they can turn this to their advantage after all.

Here is what happened.

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