DelfadorsMemoirs

From Wesnoth

Story

This campaign follows the adventures of Delfador, beginning from him leaving home as a newly qualified journeyman mage, and leading up to him helping to bring peace to Wesnoth. It is set a couple of generations earlier than Heir to the Throne.

Development

Original developer: email to Josh Parsons, jp30 AT st-and.ac.uk. Thread is at http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1293.

More recently, the campaign has been picked up and improved by 'tapik' - see CampaignDelfadorsMemoirs.

Campaign Strategy

This section gives some advice on long-term strategy in this campaign.

NOTE: plot spoilers. In this campaign, you work with several different armies: your starting loyalist army, an undead army in the underworld, Kalenz and Chantal's elven armies, a dwarf army, and a loyalist army from Parthyn. Which armies are on the recall list varies from scenario to scenario. To an extent that means that long-term strategy doesn't matter, because you keep being given a clean slate; conversely, if you are short of vital units, you might have to go back 10 levels to fix it.

Army participation by scenario

To help you keep track of the armies you will be managing and their lifespans, the following table summarizes their races, the context in which they first appear, and the scenarios where they will be available:

Race Context Scenarios
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Human Delfador's 1st army
Undead Allies on the land of the dead
Elf Delfador's army on his return
Human Defenders at the Ford of Parthyn
Elf Kalenz' army
Human Delfador's reinforcements
Dwarf Allies against the undead


As the campaign progresses, money will become scarce and you'll recall ever smaller armies; don't spread experience among too many units, but strive to build a small core of elite troops. With very few exceptions, loyal units will not be available to you on this campaign; this means that practically all your units (including your heroes, in scenarios where they do not act as leaders) will require upkeep. Any extra length you can go to on each scenario to avoid over–recruiting is very likely to pay off later on.

Recruitment & Leveling

Loyalists

  • Mages: for your starting loyalist army, Mages are important. Get two White Mages as early as you can. You face a lot of assassins in the early levels, and from level 7 onward there are a lot of undead. You'll have little use for Red Mages; just one (other than Delfador) really is enough.
  • Heavy Infantry: not that useful, despite the numbers of undead. Too many of the levels are big wide open spaces, or have difficult terrain where your HI will founder, or you are given holy water or dwarves and so have better options. Nonetheless it is worth recruiting some HI in levels that do suit them, because you lose the ability to recruit them at some points but can still recall them.
  • Horsemen: Now these are useful! The early levels suit them well and you can employ them in numbers. Later you'll be mostly facing undead - and Paladins will be excellent, but it will be hard to level up any more Horsemen into Knights (and not so easy to level low-XP Knights into Paladins either). Make your Paladins while you're still facing Orcs; you'll hardly be able to level up more than three (and probably employ only two).

Elves

The standard mixture of elves is fine; although there are many undead, you get holy water to deal with them. The notable exceptions are:

  • Druirds: You get one druid free, but you'll will want to level-up a second one.
  • Sorceresses: Perhaps most importantly for your Elven army's well being, you should get plenty of Sorceresses/Enchatresses - as these are a good match for the sort of undead that you don't want to face in melee even with holy water (e.g. Spectres).

Delfador's "career path"

Perhaps the most important long run strategy in this campaign is to get Delfador to Mage Commander (i.e. Great Mage, i.e. Level 3) early, and if you're on Hard - making sure he's near reaching Mage Magister (i.e. Arch Mage, i.e. Level 4) by the end of the Loyalist levels. Delfador has to fight a certain scenario (Houses of the Dead) essentially on his own, and it's quite difficult unless he is at or near level 4 by then; the free heal from the level-up would be useful during that level.

Walkthrough

You should be familiar with the basics in WesnothManual -- this is a walkthrough, not an exposition of basic game mechanics.

Each scenario has an individual forum thread where you can provide feedback to the authors. You can find these here. Feedback is useful as it helps the developers improve the campaign in future versions; and the posts by other players may contain advice or pointers beyond those in this walkthrough.

Overture

Just an introduction - sit back and enjoy the show.

This Valley Belongs to Me

  • Objective: Defeat Grogor-Tuk, the enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Delfador, Methor.

This one is tricky for a first scenario, so play patiently. The enemy has a lot of gold and sends a steady stream of units your way for the first day. In the south/centre is the easy bit - defend the river. Use your mage of light here to back up a few horsemen/spearmen to fend off the attackers.

The tricky bit is to the north - wolf riders cross the river to the north and come down through the woods. Some spearmen and mages in the woods works here, and there's a village in the woods to the north to anchor your defence on. Wolf riders don't benefit as much as your units do on the wooded tiles. Aim to give plenty of XP to at least one mage, so you can level him up here or early at the next level.

The Road to Weldyn

  • Objective: Defeat the enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Delfador, a Bowman, two Horsemen.

You want quite a few horsemen here; it's a good opportunity to get lots of horsemen on your recall list (they are cheaper to recall than recruit later on). There are enough villages to fund recruiting or recalling 9 units and still have positive income throughout. You want at least half of your units to be horsemen: if you do the enemy will have lots of archers who are easy prey in these open fields. You start with an archer and gain the ability to recruit more here. Often you can avoid fighting in the first night altogether, strike hard during the second day and the scenario is already won.

This level is dead-easy to win because the enemy has a small keep, so his forces arrive spread out and not supporting each other. Use the day/night cycle: At night just fall back and, particularly on the first night, use the line of woods and castle tiles just west of your start. Your Horsemen can ride out, take villages, and make it back to fight at dawn on day 2. At daytime, crush them with the Horsemen and the Mages. You want to level up Mages to White Mages and Horsemen to Knights, as per the #Campaign_Strategy.

Once you have broken the enemy army, take the remaining villages and milk the remaining enemy forces for XP - the early finish bonus is only +15/turn, and you should be able to get +14/turn or even +15/turn while keeping the leader alive to recruit and occasionally take a jab at your troops.

Leollyn

  • Objective: Defeat Hagha-Tan.
  • Lose if: Delfador or Leollyn die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Delfador, two Bowmen (which will be recalled if you have any in your list, or fresh recruits otherwise).

You can usually ignore the ally; the enemy sends a few units down that way, but the L3 mage and his L2 mage recruits are well able to handle them.

You want to recall at least one and preferably two white mages (there will be lots of assassins), and a horseman near leveling up. The rest of your recruit should be a mix of bowmen and spearmen, including one or two level 2 ones. March up to the ford to the north-west and build a defensive position for the night; keep the front line together with as few units as you can, as most will end up poisoned each turn; cycle them out and replace with others.

Once day breaks, hopefully you have enough decent units left to mop up the enemy's first wave; your horseman is ideal to pick off any strong enemy units standing in the water. When you handled most wolves, red mages (Delfador and other) are good frontline units against assassins and archers as they won't use their ranged attack against them.

Hopefully you can push over the river by afternoon on the second day. If you've managed that, there are probably still some Archers, Assassin and/or Wolf Riders closing in on you; instead of focusing on clearing all of them, try to lure out the enemy leader by putting units in his range of movement. You want to finish this one early, turn 10-12, to get a big enough bonus for the next scenario, as it seems impossible with minimum starting gold.

Council in Weldyn

Just story.

Swamps of Illuven

  • Objective: Move Delfador to the signpost in the northeast.
  • Lose if: Delfador or Lionel die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 28.
  • Starting units: Delfador, Lionel.
  • Other
    • You can recruit Cavalryman and Heavy Infantryman units now.
    • There is a chest with 100 gold in the rogue's keep if you refuse to pay him.

Spoiler: The protection charge is always 80% of whatever gold you have, and gets rid of Garrath, the North-Western leader (the one not in the way of getting to the signpost). The North-Eastern enemy leader (Harold, the one blocking the signpost) gets a small gold bonus if you make the deal. You are thus giving away 80% of your gold to get rid of around 40% of the enemy's gold: Your business sense (if they teach that in magic school) should be telling you to refuse to pay. If you're still not convinced: Garrath is hiding his spoils from past extortions (or just robberies) in a chest in a treasure chest, in his keep in the North-West. If you take him on, not only will *you* not be paying *him* - *he* will end up paying *you*. Well, sort off.

On Easy difficulty, the deal is even worse, as the net effect is only about -25% of the enemy gold.

Finally, if you employ in-game logic - paying Garrath does not improve your security one bit: He's still a bandit; why would he keep his end of the bargain? Not to mention the fact that he seems to be in kahoots with Harold, the other leader. And there's the moral issue of abetting felons; and a public relations disaster: If it becomes known that you misused large amounts of royal funds while on official crown business in the middle of a war, your career is not very likely to blossom further, shall we say.

Still, you do have both options.

Refuse to pay & take them both on

If you don't pay the charge, you get to recruit a big army, get more XP, and finish quicker. Both leaders' forces tend to scatter out, fail to support each other well enough and don't really follow your own forces' movements so much. One strategy is to move your forces into the central island and holding it against the NE leader's push - while yourself sending off a force to press North-West towards Garrath and his treasure chest. Another approach (at least on Medium difficult) is to have your force targeting Garrath just press Northwards right from your own keep in the South-West; you'll pay for this with more pressure on the central island, but reach him faster, easily dispatching him - as he'll typically only have money for a single recruit to help defend himself, and his other troops may not make it back in time.

A balanced force for this option would consist of couple of Horsemen (recall them, don't pay the extra 3 gold for nothing), 2 White Mages (you _have_ leveled them up already, right?), a couple of other Level 2s - Knights perhaps, a couple of level 1 Mages (which are pretty good against Footpads and Poachers, as they ignore their high defense ratings), and the rest - Spearmen as fodder to form your defensive line. On Middle difficult you might even skip one of the L1 Mages. It is vital to use Lionel's level-3 leadership to help your level-1 units fight better.

Pay up like a boss

The level is playable paying the charge if you are coming in with ~250 gold or more. Although it gives the AI a big lead in gold, you have halved the recruit rate for the AIs and ensured that they are all on the far side of the level; the AI's forces don't concentrate so well and your small force can evade them at night. You may take this approach if you prefer a challenging small-army scouting battle rather than a big army battle. Alternative, you can win by starting with as little as two raw recruit Spearman and a recalled Horseman, if you take some villages so that you can recall some more units later.

Night in the Swamp

  • Objective: Survive until daybreak.
  • Lose if: Delfador or Lionel die.
  • Turns: 13.
  • Starting units: Delfador, Lionel.
  • Other: This scenario doesn't follow the usual day/night cycle.

This is a very small level - four villages within a turn's reach from your keep, and magical Skeleton generator stones a bit further away; and you have nowhere else to go other than that. You'll have 1 generator stone on Easy and 2 on Medium. On Easy or Medium, each turn the stone generates an enemy unit - either a Skeleton or a Skeleton Archer. The generated unit does not act immediately - just like a unit recalled or recruited at a keep.

As the scenario name suggests, it occurs over a single night, stretched onto 13 turns. The first turn is Dusk, the last turn is Dawn, and all other turns are night-time - so the Skeletons have the Chaotic advantage over you.

You can put a generator out of action by landing any Level 2 or better Mage on it, and if you take out all generators you'll win and get an early finish bonus, but - it's probably a better idea to use this level as a training ground to level-up some units.

Recruit considering the #Campaign Strategy; specifically, this is an opportunity to recruit some Heavy Infantry, which will not be available later, to get some Mages more experience, and maybe also advance a Knight further towards leveling up into a Paladin.

Ur-Thorodor

  • Objective: Move Delfador to Ur-Thorodor's castle.
  • Lose if: Delfador, Lionel or Ur-Thorodor die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 18.
  • Starting units: Delfador, Lionel.

This is another small level area-wise - but not nearly as easy as the previous nightly interlude... you need to cross over from the South side of the main river to a small river-island to your North-East, populated by Woses. The enemy leader is an Ancient Wose (Ur-Thorodor), who rejects your attempts to parley because of grudges against past human transgressions. In addition to his grudge, he also has a tidy sum of gold to recruit Woses and Wose Shamans, who will do their best to block your way, forming a defensive line. They also have the benefit of forest or fortification hexes.

You, on the other hand, will be moving across shallow water and sand, at an uneven pace and with a limited number of units. This, while being hounded by another kind of recruits - Gryphons. Remember they're extremely mobile and will simply not fail to attack those vulnerable units you failed to surround. You may need to use some fodder units to lure the Gryphons, then blast them with your stronger/ranged-attack units.

Be careful with Lionel and Delfador: While they may not be singled out by the Ur-Thorodor's forces, Delfador must be able to press forward while being able to withstand an attack, and Lionel's leadership is crucial to have an effect on the Woses, with their being highly resistant to piercing and otherwise well-protected. Remember that he affects Red Mages and White Mages - they're still just Level 2's.

On Hard difficulty, a suggested recall could be: A Red Mage (you _have_ leveled a Red Mage, haven't you?), a good damage sink (a Knight will do; if he's close to leveling - that's perfect), a Healer, and perhaps another Mage and a fodder unit. Cross straight away, and don't get bogged down on the other side - blast a hole with your Mages and get Delfador into the castle as soon as you can; you are not likely to win a long fight.

On Easy or Medium you can do about the same, but with a second round of recall (if you have the money) you should be able to subdue Ur-Thorodor's forces and take control of the island, stepping into the castle at your leisure. Note that you're not going to be keeping any money from this scenario, so prolonging the fight only makes sense for leveling units up.

Houses of the Dead

  • Objective: Move Delfador to the signpost.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 64.
  • Starting units: Delfador.
  • Other: Delfador acquires the Staff of An-Usrukhar, which grants him his 4-hits lightning attack ans boosts his melee attack.

Relax, this isn't a 64-turn long arduous fight. What you have here is one enemy leader - a Death Knight - near the sign post to which you need to get - who churns out a Skeleton every turn or two; and those Skeletons slowly advance in your direction.

This place is rather well-populated with villages - apparently the dead are rather industrious; you want to capture these, since you'll need gold in subsequent scenarios. Each captured village houses some undead - and they are surprisingly friendly and helpful. Funny how they don't act that way back in the real world.

Explore to your North-West first - it's a dead-end, but there's one village in that direction. To your North is an impassable barrier behind some mountains, so next turn back and work around the level anti-clockwise. No need to climb through the mountains: if you stick to the "road" you won't miss anything (but do watch the forks in the road). If you pay attention to what you're told, you'll learn about a secret passage that _will_ make life easier: It is located North of the village where you find a ghost by the name Sythan, on the East side of the map. But this scenario is pretty straightforward either way.

The friends you find will try to help, but usually throw their, uh, existences away against the skeletons quite quickly; at least they serve as a temporary distraction. Any survivors will be available for recall on the next level, one even for free — but that's a huge benefit, since Ghosts cost as much to recruit as to recall (20 Gold) while Ghouls are _more_ expensive to recall than to recruit. On Medium difficult, You do get at least one Shadow, so consider delaying tapping his village (to the West of the road and right below the pass with the cobbled road on which the Skeletons advance. A Shadow and a Ghoul with some XP are very doable on Medium. But, again, don't bend over backwards for it.

When you reach the Death Knight's keep, to the North-West, don't capture his two villages until after you have dealt with him: Additional skeleton guards are waiting in there and will come out if 'prodded'. The guards will ask you to declare whether you serve Iliah-Malal; but they don't really care about your answer.

Be careful about timing your use of the secret passage too quickly; remember you're facing a long line of Skeleton Warriors which, while easily done away with individually, occasionally also hit you, and you could end up dying a sad death at the hand of the n'th weakling - even if you hole up in the village near where you found the staff. This is especially an issue if Delfador is not a Great Mage (Mage Magister) yet. If you make it to the staff by, say, turn 17 you should be ok even with Delfador as an Arch Mage (Mage Commander). And once you've gotten the staff you have to attack the Death Knight right away, or you'll be awash with Skeletons.

When you're done with the action here, get close to the signpost, but don't walk onto its hex until turn 64, as there is no early finish bonus and you want to maximize your income this level.

The Gate Between Worlds

  • Objective: Defeat Iliah-Malal.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Delfador, and a surviving Ghost, Ghoul or advancement from the previous scenario.

You get to recruit Ghosts and Ghouls here, your allies of the last level. Money should be no problem.

Players have used two options with success:

Option 1: attack with Ghouls. Backed by Delfador's leadership, ghouls can actually do a lot of damage. But he can't be everywhere, and anyway the ghouls will probably perish quickly. That's alright, as long as you manage to poison most enemies. There's not enough villages for your opponent to heal his army, and if you give battle on your shore of the swamp they won't get anywhere quickly. Ghosts can then finish the poisoned enemies (if they're not busy with distant Bats and such). On Medium difficulty, a castle of Ghouls, a half-castle of Ghosts and recalling the Shadow from Houses of the Dead is enough to comfortably defeat Iliah-Malal; you might be able to do it with less.

Option 2: Leader assassination with Ghosts. Send 8 Ghosts (on Hard difficulty) around the flanks of the enemy to converge on Iliah-Malal, surrounding and killing him, albeit slowly. Send a Ghoul-heavy force supported by Delfador and a couple of Ghosts up the middle to distract the majority of the enemy forces. Delfador should be cautious; he is only there to distract, and the Dark Adepts and Thugs pack enough of a punch to kill him if you are not careful.

It is worth noting that if you finish this scenario with any undead veterans, you will be able to recall them one more time in the future, and they will play an important role at that time. If you want to use them, then it's a good idea to level up some of your ghosts here and make sure that you end up with at least a couple of Shadows. Otherwise, make sure to get rid of all your undead units before finishing this scenario, or they will be more of a hindrance to you than anything else.

Wasteland

  • Objectives:
    1. Find shelter.
    2. Defeat the enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Delfador.

Straightforward scenario, albeit the enemy can recruit L2 units and you have only raw Elven recruits. The walk north to the Elven castle is simple. Most of the fighting takes place in the woods that you can see to your west, so elven archers are good here. Also grab a scout to steal all your ally's villages, otherwise she will keep recruiting L2 units and stealing your XP. Definitely recruit 1 or 2 shamans, as you would like to have a sorcerer early in the next level.

Terror at the Ford of Parthyn

  • Objectives:
    1. Find out what is happening at the Ford.
    2. Defeat all enemy leaders (orc and undead).
  • Lose if: Delfador or Chantal die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 36/36/34 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Delfador, Chantal.

In this scenario you will join forces with a number of troops making a stand near the ford of Parthyn. Orcs will come from the west, and an army of undeads will come from the east—the latter receiving reinforcements around turn 7. Your main strategic decision will be whether to form an army on your initial keep to confront one of your enemies (possibly the orcs) from the very beginning, or move quickly to the south and organize the combined forces of your current veterans plus all the units that will join you in this scenario, to then work from there.

Conservative strategy: As soon as you spot the ford guard, it will come under your control. Using a scout, you can get there in time for the humans to man the walls. Actually, the walls are one huge keep, so Delfador can recruit directly into the fortifications and fill the gaps. You should be able to fend off the first wave of attackers, the more so as the baddies will conveniently arrive at daybreak. The mages, on the other hand, won't get across the river until the fun is mostly over; recall your own healers. You should leave two mages on the other shore anyway, in order to deal with any ghosts that try to get at the villages down there.

Play-it-safe strategy: Abandon the northern shore; run to the south castle (without recruiting at all) and play defensive through the first wave of enemies. The orcs and undead are hostile to each other, so this gives them ample opportunity to fight amongst themselves. Needs investigation and comments.

[Hipparchos] This is definitely the easiest way to play it. Run Delfador and Chantal straight south and pick up the north castle defenders as a bodyguard as you head for the south castle. You'll get a few hits as you retreat but nothing serious, as long as you keep Chantal well guarded. Use Niktor to wake the mages and put the White Mages initially in the center of the castle to heal the wall defenders (but be prepared to move them to the walls). When Delfador gets to the south castle, have him recall any L2 and L3 elves to fill any remaining wall spots. Don't over-recruit because you won't have anywhere to put them. I also put a few strong units and a mage in the villages just southeast of the castle to deal with the ambushers who will pop up there.

Basically what happens is the orcs from the west and undead from the east will meet at the north castle and have a massive battle, which you cannot see because of the fog of war. The undead will win this battle and send the surviving remnants of their army straggling across the ford, 2 or 3 per turn, where they will be decimated by your mages on the walls. The draugs look dangerous but are no match for an arch mage. Patience is the key: just sit tight and kill what comes across.

By dawn on turn 16 the undead stragglers will be done for. Send your army back across the ford and split it into two groups, one northwest to kill the orcish warlord (who might be beset by a spectre) and one east to kill the Death Knight. You will pick up the village defenders when you re-take the north castle. Make sure you put at least one red mage and one white mage with each group, and you're home free. I played this strategy and didn't lose a single unit.

Aggressive strategy: Recruit/Recall an army and send them west to deal with the orcs; only one scout should head south and find the guards, which should then retreat to the sourthern castle. The downside is that this approach will lead to more night-time engagements; dont try this if you don't have several lvl-2 elves to begin with. The benefit is that you'll get more experience on the units that need it most: your elves and the human mages. The latter will stay with your host, and often be automatically recalled for free.

You will find that some villages in the north of the map contain ambushes. The burned village near your inital keep, plus three of the villages (including the burned one) near the ford contain allied troops; releasing these early would be a big help to defending the south castle.

The Return of Trouble

  • Objective: Defeat all enemies.
  • Lose if: Kalenz dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24/27/30 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Kalenz.

This level has a no-breathing-room start - the east enemy is almost on top of you and has as much gold as you (at Great Mage). The mountains and starting camp are poor terrain for you as that terrain is better for orcs; cross your forces into the woods opposite where you have advantages in defence and movement.

Although you can recruit "raw" L2 units here, don't feel you need to recruit too many of them; the large number of enemy L2s attacking mean that it is hard to keep units in the front line alive, and so recruiting good numbers of units matters here. Recruiting a few druids and captains and recruiting L1 units for the bulk of the army works well.

The ally spends his forces quickly and his leader will die early, but you aren't required to keep him alive, so don't worry about him; when he dies it is even an advantage as it stops encouraging the orcs to go through the woods south of your position.

At lower skills, aim to knock out the east enemy early. His right flank is open but rests on the mountains, which is bad terrain for you - if you try to go around that way he can easily shift forces to meet you. Instead you can approach close to his keep through the woods; this, his left flank, usually isn't open but the AI isn't smart about keeping a proper line here. At Great Mage, you may not have the forces to spare to take him out (if you can even make an opening - he has plenty of units); instead slow him with a shaman when he pops out of his keep to attack and block him from getting back to recruit. Note: With the right recruits it is possible to snipe the east leader on the second turn (but rather difficult and low probability).

You should aim to maintain a line along the north part of the woods; the main line is down the west side of the woods for a few tiles and this is where Kalenz should be; and a line back east inside the wood for your left flank, to catch enemy units coming at you through the woods. Hold out in the woods for 2 days and the storm will eventually subside; you will probably have heavy losses but your survivors should all be L3 or close to it by the end. You can then seize villages and take out the enemy commanders.

Shadows in the Dark

  • Objective: Defeat all enemy leaders.
  • Lose if: Kalenz, Chantal or Delfador (in the second part) die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 32/28/24 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Kalenz, Chantal.

You start with your Kalenz force, and get back your Delfador force during the scenario (he arrives in the SE). There are two necromancer leaders in this scenario, located west and south, and one Death Knight to the east, this last one being the most dangerous enemy of all—he even receives reinforcements on turns 7 and 11.

Grab all three holy waters near the start, but you should then move all your elven forces in one direction, head west to take out the first necromancer. The forest and water slows up most of the undead and so means that the undead converging from the other two camps won't catch you before you overwhelm and eliminate the enemy leader that you target. Because you are facing some L1 and L2 troops here, don't feel that you need to give the holy water to L3 units - a mix of L1 and L2 units is ideal and they should level all the way to L3 during the level. Recall any Elven sorcerers or shaman with good XP, and shaman are good extra recruits at the start, again to level to sorcerers.

Once you have knocked out the NW leader, your elven force should head south to take out the south leader, and Delfador's force, arriving on turn 12, can head north to take out the NE leader. By this point, keep your units in tight groups and don't let important units wander off by themselves at night, where Nightgaunts can surprise them.

Lots of the undead forces will spend the whole level floundering around in the north woods around your start camp, chasing but never catching you up.

Save the King

  • Objective: Defeat all enemy leaders.
  • Lose if: Kalenz, Delfador, Chantal or Garard II die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 35/30/25 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Delfador, Kalenz, Chantal, a group of Delfador's companions having survived the previous scenario.

You'll need to push aggressively to distract Zorlan and get help to Garard by turn 10 when the two southern orcs' reinforcements start hitting him or he's not long for the world. You get a big automatic recall of your white mages, Chantal, and a shock trooper and Kalenz; you can also recruit some new elves as it gives you some units to give XP to, fodder to face the trolls with, and they are handy to take out the SW enemy faster. An elvish sylph if you have one will be especially useful for its ability to fly.

Zorlan should be simple; some of his units tangle with Garard's units in the river, so you should meet little opposition getting to his camp - which can be easily crushed with your mages. The onset of trolls at around first watch is the only dangerous moment, but once they have attacked, your mages and high level units can wipe them out mostly in one round. Then send Delfador and a couple of other units to take out the troll leader, and send some elves south with Kalenz to help Garard clean up the orcs.

Try not to delay the initial battle to the north too much, because around turns 8-10, the two southern orc leaders will be ready to send a second wave of enemies.

Dark Sky Over Weldyn

Just story.

A New Ally

  • Objective: Defeat Gruv-Malal.
  • Lose if: Delfador, Ulrek or Relgorn die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 32.
  • Starting units: Delfador.

This is a relatively easy scenario. You regain command of your original human army plus the rest of the troops from the Ford or Parthyn. Recruit and recall some mages and maybe one or two knights/paladins. You may also get a few L1s and you should be able to level up a couple by the end of the level. Move to Ulrek's keep - provided you have some units there by second watch, there is no danger of him being defeated. The dwarves wear down the undead and your mages get to clean up and take the XP.

[Mal Shubertal: The early finish bonus on this scenario is very important for making the next one manageable. So it's a good idea to to ignore Ulrek's keep and just go straight over the south bridge to kill the enemy leader asap.]

The Portal of Doom

  • Objectives:
    1. Guide Delfador to the portal to close it.
    2. Move all your units into the mine entrance where you came from, moving Delfador last.
  • Lose if: Delfador dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 40.
  • Starting units: Delfador, Ulrek.

This is a small, narrow map where you need to move west-to-east and then back again. There are two enemy leaders on your way, recruiting skeletons and ghosts, and Illah-Malal appears with a strong body of undead troops on turn 9. There are two basic ways to approach this scenario:

Option 1: Going through the ice. Your main force should be dwarf warriors, with a few white mages or quick mages to weaken enemy units and to deal with nightgaunts and the like. Heavy-infantry are too slow on the ice. A knight (even better, a paladin) would also be useful here, due to the speed and for finishing off enemy units when the dwarves can't reach. Don't rush into the ice from the start, unless you're okay with heavy losses. Instead, defend at your camp to defeat the first wave of undead, then march over the ice to close the portal, letting the northern undead come to you. Don't worry too much about the villages to the north and focus on moving Delfador quickly to the portal. On the way back, Delfador can stay a little behind, while the rest of your army goes through the tunnel. After all, Delfador has to be the last one to exit through the mines.

Option 2: Going north, then south-east. The main goal is to get a strong army heavy on mages, shock troopers and paladins on the northern castle before Illah-Malal appears. The enemies from the east will be slow to catch up with you, except for ghosts which shouldn't be too much of a problem. Once you deal with the lich and his bodyguards—fortunately they arrive during the day—, you can move south, close the portal and go back to your base. With a little luck, this strategy can be used to beat the scenario quickly and with minimal losses.

Regardless of the way you play it, it's very likely that you will finish with very little or negative gold, but it won't matter much. From this point until the end of the campaign, gold carryovers will have little or no impact and it is normal that you will start these last scenarios with the minimum amount of gold each time.

[Mal Shubertal: On hard in 1.12.2, I recruited a keep of only steelclads and one white mage, then ran everyone directly into the hills on the southern map edge , ignoring ghosts and bats. Dwarves in hills against skeletons in snow is an excellent matchup, and the hills also help everyone survive nightgaunt and spectre attacks. ]

Showdown in the Northern Swamp

  • Objective: Defeat all enemies.
  • Lose if: Delfador, Lionel or Kalenz die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24/28/32 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Delfador, Kalenz.
  • Other: If you have any undead veterans from The Gate Between Worlds, then one of them has to give the final strike to Illah-Malal, otherwise Delfador has to do it.

There is a few holy water flasks at the start, but you may not have many fast, high-level units with powerful melee attacks to assign them. You get control of Lionel on turn 3 (plus a castle of L1 recruits), so you don't have to take villages off of him. It is recommended to save one of the holy water flasks for Lionel, and give the other two to Ulrek and Kalenz, or some other loyalist veteran (perhaps a Halberdier or a Knight). Your remaining recalls could be 2 white mages, a steelclad and a paladin (or a knight close to leveling - as it is an open level).

A good strategy here is to strike straight north and seize the south end of the bridge. The NE necromancer recruits dark adepts, and you will have to run a long way during the night to outrun them if you don't bottle them up at the crossing. Once you hold the bridge, a good melee unit and a white mage, plus some of the ally's archers, can easily hold off the NE forces. The NW enemies attack during the first night, and the main tricky bit is dealing with the nightgaunts and spectres here - just keep L2 and L3 melee units in the front line to meet the attack, then clean up with your mages. The SW enemy's units are slower and Lionel's recruits can help in that front, holding them in the western bridge. By keeping those two forces under control on the river crossings, you should have little difficulty crushing each in turn.

If you have undead units, one of them will have to finish the lich. Protect your undead units well and reserve them for that final hit. Use Delfador or other mages or holy water fighters to weaken the lich, but be careful not to accidentally reduce his hitpoints to zero with the wrong unit, or the lich will be fully healed and stronger than before.

Prince of Wesnoth

  • Objective: Defeat Eldred.
  • Lose if: Kalenz or Chantal die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 20/22/24 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Kalenz, Chantal.

The central woods seem like a tempting spot to fight from, but you will struggle to maximise your recruitment and still get all your units across into it, because the southern enemy camp is close to your line of advance and he'll recruit fast cavalry that will catch up quickly with you. However, if you have quick units that can cross the river fast enough, fighting from the central forest will be very advantageous.

Alternatively, abandon all your villages and the rest of the level to the enemy and just defend the SW corner. Elves along the edge of the woods should be able to hold out and wear through the enemy. The number of L2 units, and the mages that the enemy recruit, mean that you will take casualties; but you will be killing a lot and scoring plenty of XP. A general mix of level 1, 2 and 3 units works well here; use the best units to hold tiles that can be attacked from several directions, which will deter the enemy from attacking them.

Once the initial wave of enemies is spent, mop up and proceed swiftly through the central woods and jump into an enemy camp to kill the general. You don't have to have much gold for the next level, but will want high-level units, so take time here to level some up if you don't have enough.

Alternative Strategy (crus4a8e)

I used the following on V1.8.5 (hard) with minimum starting gold of 100. While I had a tough struggle using the strategy described above, doing the following worked nicely and was quite a fun way of playing this scenario, too.

Recall the following units: 4 Avengers or Rangers, 2 Shydes. (Remember: Avengers/Rangers are invisible in the woods which comes in very handy in this scenario.)

Kalenz and the 2 Shydes stay in the western woods. Start moving them up to the northern part of the woods in the beginning and then back down south. Basically their job is not to get killed. ;-) So only attack single enemies and retreat whenever you are under serious attack.

The Avengers cross over into the central woods right away. Whenever only one or at most two enemy units are in reach, they attack or flag villages to become visible and lure individual enemy units into the woods. This also distracts most of the main enemy forces and stops them from attacking Kalenz.

Doing this for about 10 to 15 turns wears down the enemy forces quite easily. When only a few enemy units are left, move your 4 Avenger/Ranger units into the keep of either one enemy leader. You should be able to finish him off in 1 or at most 2 turns.

Clash at the Manor

  • Objectives:
    1. Defeat Pilafman.
    2. Find the secret door.
  • Lose if: Delfador, Kalenz or Chantal die, an enemy reaches a signpost or turns run out.
  • Turns: 40/32/30 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Delfador, Kalenz, Chantal.

As there are two roads and two signposts, you need to watch both routes. You can break your forces in two or just send one unit to keep an eye on the other route. If you wait at the edge of your forest, almost all the forces should come to you (Dragoons and Cavalry will try to escape instead), and you'll have the terrain advantage. Just be ready to counter anyone trying to make a run for it. You start with Chantal, and a second druid or shyde would be a good idea so that you have a healer and someone to entangle any royal guards. The rest of your recalls should be top melee units (e.g., champions and avengers.) After the assault is broken, the mopping up operation is just to kill the sitting duck leader.

The second phase of the level is a search; just explore the cave walls right below the northernmost encampment tile.

[Thrash: I don't think just sending a single unit to cover one route will work. If enemy sends a couple riders that way, you won't catch them.]

Face of the Enemy

  • Objective: Defeat Sagus.
  • Lose if: Delfador, Kalenz or Chantal die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 20/22/24 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Delfador, Kalenz, Chantal.

Last level, so you don't have to worry about losses or leveling up; recall some sorcerers and a decent melee unit to take the holy water. The enemy recruits few units, so you don't have to cover all the passageways; just advance as a group by the shortest route to the keep, and keep side passages covered (the enemy sometimes uses nightgaunts to ambush and slip in through any gaps). Beware of putting Delfador in front, as the enemy can use Banebows like walking corpses for suicide attacks against him.

This scenario is fairly straightforward, so just play conservatively and coast to victory.

See Also

This page was last modified on 5 May 2017, at 23:29.