Turn 1: The starting location is average. It quite good for production, with a clay pit and a forest nearby. Unfortunately, there are no other resources nearby, and the visible monsters are not the best. The hero is a bit of disappointment. Bacco the beggar has Earth magic, which duplicates one of Jack's paths, and the Gambler's strike ability, which is not something on which you want to rely when you play Ironman.
Jack founds the settlement of 'Capital' on a 4/3/1 tile.
I reduce the taxes to 'None', because the taxable income is too low to justify any reduction in production and research.
I set the research to "Civics", because I want to start rushing buildings and pioneers as soon as possible.
To speed up research, I cast "Inspiration" on Capital.
I move Jack next to Bacco, and hire him for 48 Gildar.
I start developing the clay pit, and also start the construction of the tower of dominion North of the city tile. This is so that Jack can move and pick up the goodies without expending any more moves than necessary.
Bacco picks up a bottle of Quendar wine and gives it to Jack. Jack picks up scar stone. Bacco ends the turn next to a wildling archer. I cancel the tower of dominion, because I do not want it built yet.
Turn 2: Jack finds an ice spear, then backs toward Capital, because otherwise he would end the turn next to a timber warg, that he cannot handle.
Bacco kills a wildling archer, and loots a whetstone. I'm very underwhelmed by the quality of the items I have found so far.
Turn 3: Bacco spots a refugee camp. I hope it's the one with the Panca archers, and send him that way.
Turn 4: Jack kills a bear cub, and reaches level 2. I choose the "Potential I" trait. "General" and "Potential I" add to a 40% bonus experience bonus.
Turn 5: Jack loots a precognition belt. Bacco reaches the refugee camp, and indeed, it's the archers' quest. Of course, Bacco cannot handle it by himself.
Turn 6: Capital finished the clay quarry, and starts building a logging camp.
Bacco is tasked to kill some rats. He also spots a fertile patch near a clay pit.
West of Capital, Jack spots a crystal mine and a wildland that looks like the the Master Quest dungeon.
Turn 7: Bacco kills the rats. No spiders show up.
Turn 8: Jack finds a pair of rusty greaves, and confirms that indeed, the wildlands in the Northwest of the continent are the Master Quest dungeon.
Bacco turns in the dead rat, and chooses 100 Gildar as the reward. He reaches level 2 and receives "Potential I".
Turn 9: Capital finishes building the logging camp, and starts building a study. Note that I am building every building to the East of the completed ones. This way, I am extendingCapital towards the location where I plan to found my next settlement. This will this allow my future pioneers to get there faster. It will also facilitate connecting the zone of control of my future settlement to my dominion.
Jack attacks and defeats two armies of bandits. He uses a couple of "Slow" spells, and is down to 6 hit points by the end, but he's not in danger at any point. He reaches level 3, and receives "Potential II". His experience bonus is 60%, now.
Turn 10: "Civics" completes, and I target "Restoration", so that I can increase my production with the workshop. I immediately rush a unit of pioneers in Capital, and send them East.
Bacco spots a lost library Southeast of his position, but there is an army of rock spiderlings moving around it. He has to avoid them, and is forced into the forest.
Jack finds yet another ice spear in the bandits' lair, then has to back off as not to end the turn next to the warg. I think that, so far, half of Jack's turns have been wasted avoiding that warg.
Turn 11: Capital grows into a town. I chose town because in the beginning, it is very important to be able to increase food to allow cities to grow, and towns are best at this. I was briefly tempted by fortress, by one essence is not good enough for a fortress. I do not have the research to make conclaves worth it, not yet.
Turn 12: Bacco reaches the lost library and completes the research of "Restoration". I target "Training", because I intend to produce a trained troop to help me with the bandit camp and the spiderlings that are wandering too close to the spot where I want to build my second city. By finding the library, I feel less worried about switching away from the "Civilization" tree.
Turn 13: The pioneers found the settlement of Farmstead I on a 2/4/- tile. There are better tiles further south, but by founding Farmstead I there, more settlements can be founded to the south. I would rather have two good towns rather than a great one. Not so for fortresses and conclaves, where a great one is worth more than two good ones.
I rush the development of a clay quarry in Farmstead I, and start constructing a workshop. Why not a logging camp? There is a reason, but it's quite hard to explain. I will do it later, when it will be easier to see.
It's worth noting that there are two heroes, levels 5 and 9 nearby. I hope I can keep other kingdoms away from them, so that I can recruit them when I have the research. They are both worth it.
Turn 14: Jack finds a dark candle. I'm really having very bad luck with the items so far.
Bacco makes contact with Karavox. Annoying. He is blocking my expansion to the East, and I wanted to delay settling in the South until I could destroy that great wolf army. It look like an early war will be necessary.
I rush an unit of pioneers in Farmstead I. I am not quite sure what I'll do with them, but I will use them to prevent Kraxis from cutting me off to the South.
Turn 15: "Training" completes, and with war looming, I target "Leatherworking". I am neglecting my infrastructure development, but I will not allow to be cornered between an Expert Kraxis and a wildland.
Bacco loots a scroll of recall and some adept robes from lairs cleared by Karavox. This leaves him next to a black widow, but I hope it's worth it.
Jack clears a mite lair and finds a pair of rusty vambraces.
I rush the study in Capital for 34 Gildar, because there are only two turns left, and the second turn would only use 7 out of 27 production. I start building a workshop.
Turn 16: I rush the workshop in Farmstead I for 35 Gildar, because there are only two turns left, and the second turn would only use 12 out of 23 production. I start building a study.
Jack moves to the East, but as I finish moving I stop a lost library to the West. He'll go back for it. It's decided now, the first trained unit will be quite well equipped.
Bacco scouts the Kraxis capital. It's a 5/3/2 level 2 town, and it's building a pioneer. According to the "Foreign relations" tab, this is Karavox's only city.
Turns 17, 18: Jack is headed back West to search the library, Bacco is scouting East across Karavox's dominion, and the pioneers are running South, barely ahead of the spiderlings.
Turn 19: Capital completes the workshop and starts building a garden.
Jack searches the lost library and completes "Leatherworking". I target "Trading".
Turn 20: I design a trained unit, and call it Jack's Guard. They wear full leather armor and use crude clubs and shields. I give them the "Strength", "Muscle" and "Ironskin" perks. They're heavily armored, and if they survive that long, they will receive lightning hammers, and light plate armor, which they will be able to wear because of the two perks that allow them to carry more gear.
I do not start training them, though. The cities can work on their infrastructure. When I'm ready to use the soldiers, I will rush them. This way, I will not be paying them wages while Jack's coming back to Capital.
Turn 21: A bear cub elects to attack Bacco instead of a defenseless unit of Kraxis pioneers. Amazingly, Bacco loses. He misses his gambler strike, the cub lands multiple mauls in a row. Bacco gets a broken nose, and retreats to Farmstead I.
Turn 22: I rush the study in Farmstead I for 33 Gildar, because there are only two turns left, and the second turn would only use 5 out of 28 production. I start building a bell tower.
In Capital, I temporarily place a bell tower close to Jack, so that he can travel all the way to the East end of Capital in one turn. I also rush a the troop I designed earlier for 282 Gildar and have them join Jack.
The pioneers are cornered by an air shrill, and I have them found the settlement of Conclave I on a 3/2/2 tile. It will not be easy to produce much there, but two essence can be useful. I cast "Enchanted Hammers" and "Inspiration", and start constructing a workshop.
Turn 23: Bacco sits in Farstead I, and reflects on the perils of gambling.
Turn 24: "Trading" completes, and I target "Mining". Jack uses the new road to quickly arrive at the bandit camp and defeat the leader. Jack reaches level 4 and becomes an assassin.
I rush the garden in Capital for 40 Gildar, because there are only two turns left, and the second turn would only use 9 out of 31 production. I start building a tower of dominion, and I also queue the Merchantcross bazaar, so that no one else can work on it.
I queue a logging camp in Farmstead I, but I will endeavor to never not to let construction begin on it for a while.
Turn 25: Jack returns to the refugee camp, reports his success, and is joined by an unit of Panca archers.
Turn 26: Bacco is no longer immobilized. He buys a shield, then trades with Jack. Jack equips the adept's robe and shield, while Bacco gets all the wines, candles, pelts and ice spears. Bacco sells the loot.
Turn 27: Farmstead I finishes the bell tower, and begins a monument.
Jack kills a sand golem. Bacco loots a bottle of Trog blood.
I rush a second unit of Jack's guard, have them join Jack's army, and together they destroy the rock spider's army near the walls of Farmstead I. Jack reaches level 5, and receives "Quick".
Turn 28: I rush the tower of dominion in Capital for 37 Gildar, because there are only two turns left, and the second turn would only use 6 out of 31 production. I start building a merchant.
Bacco loots the rock spider's lair, and finds a darkling cloak. He also spots Karavox at the walls of Farmstead I, close enough to recruit the level 5 hero next turn.
At this point, attacking Kraxis is the obvious choice. Because of the two libraries, the cash from the wealthy trait, and the refugee quest, we have two heavy infantries and an archer unit. Karavox starts with twice as much money, but he probably does not have an army like Jack's. He certainly does not have it with him.
Before I begin the hostilities, I sell Karavox all of my technology. 39 Gildar is 39 Gildar, and the less money he has, the better.