TheEasternInvasion

From Wesnoth

This is a discussion of The Eastern Invasion, the campaign featuring Gweddry General of Wesnoth.

This walkthrough has been updated by Maiklas3000 to reflect changes up to version 1.8.3 on hard and previously by Crus4a7E for up to version 1.4.5 on medium. Feel free to add your own updates.

In this campaign you play the role of Gweddry, a human Sergeant who has the responsibility of dealing with a powerful Lich who wants to destroy Weldyn. As a sargeant, Gweddry has the potential to level up into a Grand Marshal, who will be able to empower his units significantly through his leadership ability. You start with the support of a White Mage named Dacyn, who will be by your side for most of the campaign.

As any other walkthrough, this document describes plot details that can be considered spoilers. This is particularly true for this campaign, since it contains quite a few surprises along the way, and at some points you will have to make choices that will have important repercussions for later scenarios. You may wish to read ahead to see what you will be facing. In particular, you might wish to read about the scenarios Captured, Evacuation and Weldyn Under Attack in order to plan ahead.

You will encounter different types of enemies, mostly undead units (especially towards the beginning and the end of the campaign), as well as orcs and trolls. For this reason, two of the types of units you'll be able to recruit from the start and which will be key to your mission will be mages and heavy infantrymen. You'll probably want to level up at least one extra Mage of Light (other than Dacyn), and a few Arch/Silver Mages and Iron Maulers. You can also recruit Spearman, Cavalryman and Horseman units (the latter a few scenarios into the campaign), but their importance is perhaps less pronounced in many of the scenarios.

You will encounter a few tough challenges along the way, so be prepared, and be careful assigning experience to your units, especially during the first few scenarios.

The Outpost

  • Objectives:
    1. Resist until Dacyn's return.
    2. Move Gweddry to the trapdoor.
  • Lose if:
    1. Gweddry dies.
    2. Gweddry or Dacyn die. Turns run out.
  • Turns: 16.
  • Starting units: Gweddry.

The best approach is to recruit heavy infantry and optionally a mage (who should not be expected to survive.) Build a line using the heavy infantry, using the castle hexes and other hexes to the northwest. When and if you have more money available later, purchase additional heavy infantry.

Just hold out for the enemy attack during night time; only rotate wounded units if possible, but do not counter-attack. At dawn, start your counter-attack without worrying too much about keeping the original line intact. Instead, try to level 2 or 3 HI to Shock Troopers. The enemy's forces quickly will cease to be any danger to yours.

Also, around turn 12 the white mage returns and points out a trap door you should use. (Note that this trap door will be near your starting fort, so you'll either need to hold the fort or be prepared to get back to it by turn 16).

Position your leader near the trap door, so he can reach it in one turn. As it is almost impossible to finish with more than 100 gold (which is the minimum starting gold of the next level), use the remaining turns to level as many units as possible and only move your leader onto the trap door in the very last turn.

Using this strategy, you may be able to finish with a couple of shock troopers, as well as adding experience to your other units.

In 1.8.6, 40% of any gold you finish with is ADDED to your 100 starting gold in the next scenario. So you'll have to decide if money or experience is more important for you.

On challenging, this scenario is quite, hmm, challenging. These tactics can succeed, but alternatively you can try purchasing a couple of calvary to use as a diversionary force, capturing enemy villages and running away, taunting and distracting the enemy.

Escape Tunnel

  • Objectives: Move Gweddry to the end of the tunnel.
  • Lose if: Gweddry or Dacyn dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 26/24/22 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.
  • Other:
    • Permanent holy amulet in north.
    • Treasure of 200 gold in southeast.

This scenario occurs in a small cave occupied by trolls and dwarves. You start on the far west of the map, and your mission is to take Gweddry all the way to the opposide side.

Take some time to choose your supporting units, depending on which ones you want to level up the quickest. Heavy Infantry are excellent frontline units, but the downside is that they move very slowly in caves. However, since Gweddry is the only unit that has to get quickly to the far east, this might not be a big problem. You can also go for a group of mostly Mages, and a couple of Spearmen. One keep of units in total should easily be enough—there's also a convenient keep with one castle tile to recruit additional units in the middle of the map, in case you need it during the battle.

The map is quite small. A little east from your keep the path is forked into three directions: north is a small area with a holy amulet, east is the troll keep and south is the dwarven keep. These two last paths will merge again to the east, leading to the exit, where Gweddry needs to go. The dwarves are friendly and will help you fight your enemies.

Given that you will probably be using inexperienced units, it's perhaps best to avoid going directly into the troll keep, but you can hold your position near the crossroads, on the southern path, where you can easily witness a lot of action between trolls, dwarves and undead (who are following you and show up on turn 6 from the west). The different armies will all fight each other. If you want to take a defensive stance, after having moved all your units south position one strong unit (a spearman or HI) at the end of the path leading south (so only one unit a turn can attack him) and position the White Mage right behind him to heal it every turn. These two units should easily keep of the enemies following you until the end of the scenario.

The holy amulet to the north is a very useful item, which will make all the attacks (melee and ranged) of the unit that picks it up of type arcane—and, unlike in other campaigns, this holy amulet is permanent! Send a quick Spearman there or Gweddry. Giving Gweddry the holy amulet (instead of a Spearman) allows him to level very quickly, which is important, since he can advance to Grand Marshal. This gives benefits in other ways on a number of later scenarios as well, such as the scenario The Crossing, where you can get an easy first turn kill against the undead leader and take his castle.

Move Gweddry to the northeast escorted by other units, to help him fight individual trolls if necessary, but before moving him to the end of the cave (which ends the level) send one of your units to the cave south–east, past the funny signpost warning you of the troll hole. In the cave you will discover a chest containing a troll treasure amounting to 200 gold.

[Thrash: Alternately, I used predominately Heavy Infantry on this level. I found (on medium) they were tough enough to hold the central cave and pretty much beat the trolls into submission long enough for Gweddry to run north to the the amulet and then cover his retreat south, only then recruiting a mage when the troll numbers were lower. With other units, I had problems with the trolls overrunning them and getting Gweddry trapped to the north. Also a heavy infantry in the village by your starting fort will hold off the undead for a long time.]

An Unexpected Appearance

  • Objectives: Defeat either enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry or Dacyn dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 20.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.
  • Other:
    • Your next scenario depends on which leader you defeat.

In this scenario you have to defeat one of the dark sorcerers on the edges of the map. Your next scenario will depend on the enemy you choose to kill. Killing the one to the west will take you to the Elven Alliance scenario, while the one to the east takes you to The Undead Border Patrol.

Going east is more difficult, especially on hard, but brings you more reward, such as the chance to go to Mal-Ravanal's Capital, which gives you the opportunity to get extra experience (a lot for whoever survives) and a free Paladin and several Knights.

First kill Mal-Tar to get your keep. To do this, shoot him with Dacyn and attack him with Gweddry's melee. If you don't kill him the first turn, second turn kill him with Dacyn so Gweddry can recruit. You will be fighting a mix of undead and bats, so recruit Heavy Infantry and Mages (if you gave the amulet to a Spearman in the previous scenario, recall him, too). Dacyn might be wounded, so send him to a village. Don't worry, he can fend for himself, since the bats usually arrive one at a time and he can kill one per turn.

On easy or medium (or hard going west), the attackers should be no problem, so focus on leveling units. If you move quickly you should only need to fight the attackers from one leader. Of course you can have some of your units double back to engage the second set.

Diverging Campaign Path

Elven Alliance

  • Objectives: Defeat enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Volas dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24/22/20 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.

The Orc's warning about the assassin is overrated; Volas can probably take care of it himself, although you might want to leave ONE unit near him to make sure. The assassin disappears into the forest, but you won't bump into him, he'll just reappear near the elf leader on turn 6.

Recruit / recall a wide assortment of units, mostly mages, spearmen and cavalry. Send mages and spearmen up to fight the opponent, send cavalry down as scouts. Any heavy infantry should go up to fight also; they will probably arrive late, and be good for reinforcements when the first troops are wounded.

Align the troops in the forest, so that the enemy will be on grass; this gives you a tactical advantage. Use Dacyn to heal those who need it most - those on the corners, and any mages who are on the front lines.

There is a village at {20,8} that can prove tactically very useful, because the elves usually fight somewhere near it. The elves are defeated most of the time, and the orcs claim this village; it is crucial to kill the orc on this village and take it over with a resilient spearman, or a HI.

Once you have gotten past turn 6, it will be day, and the orcs will be very easy to defeat. When the assassin appears, you may ignore it unless you have a unit close-by. In that case, use it to fight the assassin. Keep pressing up. It is possible to kill the orcish leader by turn 9 for a nice gold bonus.

The Undead Border Patrol

  • Objective: Defeat either enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry or Dacyn die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 20.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.
  • Other:
    • Your next scenario depends on which leader you defeat.

This scenario also depends on which way you want to go. There is a Dark Sorcerer in the north-west corner and a Lich in the south-east corner. Defeating the Lich will give you the chance to go to Mal-Ravanal's Capital, a challenging but rewarding path, while defeating the sorcerer is easier, and takes you directly to the next scenario in the campaign—The Northern Outpost.

If going NW, it is fairly straightforward. The enemy is relatively weak. Do the same as in Unexpected Appearance—you may recruit a couple of suicide cavalrymen to distract the bats. One will probably get enough XP to be worth recalling. Because of the open terrain, it is recommended to use mostly heavy infantry and spearmen with the holy amulet on this level and few mages. However, as in most scenarios against undead, white mages are very useful. Try to get the opponent to fight you from the sand; this gives you a significant advantage.

If you go East, expect to take some time getting over the river and through the swamp. A small force recruited to defend the fort will keep troops from the NW off of your backside and they'll pick up a good amount of experience in the process.

Mal-Ravanal's Capital
  • Objective: Escape from the capital by killing one of the two dark sorcerers.
  • Lose if: Gweddry or Dacyn die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 26.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.

Only reachable from The Undead Border Patrol scenario, but you might also skip it and go directly to Northern Outpost.

The main reason to get here is to acquire a cavalry force of one Paladin (a loyal unit) and five Knights. Don't bother trying to defeat Mal-Ravanal, he's untouchable in this scenario. Focus on freeing the horsemen as quickly as possible. To do this, kill the 6 Revenants guarding the cages (they will not move unless you attack them first), but note the number of Knights available is reduced by one for each of your troops that die *after you rescue the first one*. You might want to make sure any expendable troops are "expended" before this. Each rescued unit pops in with full moves.

The regular Time of Day cycle does not apply here. Instead, dusk and night are twice as long as usual, so adjust your tactics accordingly. Most importantly, try to finish the mission quickly.

Comments: This is a very challenging scenario. I started with only 100 gold, so I recalled one Mage, two Shock Troopers, one Heavy Infantry, and my holy Halberdier. I defended the starting castle for about 10 turns until the Revenants had made their way over to me. Upon killing several of them, I freed some imprisoned Knights and a Paladin. I moved my forces to kill the Death Knight, and then split my forces. I sent one group to attack Mal-Ravanal and the other to kill the Necromancer in the NW corner. By turn 30, my Eastern assault force was in postion to attack Mal-Ravanal. However, when I attacked him, he teleported my troops back to the starting castle, so I wasn't able to defeat him. When I was ready, I killed the NW Necromancer and progressed to The Northern Outpost.

If you just want to rescue the paladin and 5 knights and get out (in 1.6), this is how I finished that by turn 8. The horses were captive in 6 cages, 4 in a northern loop and 2 in a southern loop. First turn, I sent a quick shock trooper, quick heavy, and a white mage (not Dacyn) around the northern loop, looping from bottom to top (start at bottom knight, end at paladin). I looped that way to clear the middle ASAP and escape the oncoming troops. Also first turn, I sent 3 shock troopers around the southern loop, looping from top to bottom. If you encounter resistance, kill it quick or run as required, and instead focus on killing the guards fast, which conveniently don't hit back. On turn 2, I recruited another keep full of recruits and immediately sent everyone else to take out the northwestern leader. Time it so you kill the northwestern leader just as the last horses are rescued. It is by no means easy, but this way I managed to lose only a few HI types while picking up all 6 horses.

[elvish_sovereign] (1.8.2 Normal) An alternate strategy for the above if you have more leveled mages than leveled HI's. It also requires that you gave the Holy Amulet to Gweddry. I sent a single quick Shock Trooper due south (recruited on the southern-most hex on the starting castle), which promptly took out the southern Revenant on turn 3. Forget about the villages, it'll only delay you. I sent Dacyn due north, a quick RM go take out the second from the bottom Revenant, and a quick HI and a WM with Gweddry to take out the middle-couple Revenants. I also recruited two HI's to stop the advance and distract the two Dark Sorcerers' troops. After Gweddry and the WM take out the third from the bottom Revenant, send that Knight south. After taking out the Revenant with the RM, send the RM, Shock Trooper, and the three Knights in the direction of the SW Dark Sorcerer. Meanwhile, Gweddry, the WM, and the HI take out the third from the top Revenant, and then get Gweddry the hell outta there with the WM. have Dacyn free the Paladin first, then have the remaining Knights, HI, and the Paladin take out the remaining Revenant and hold out in the north. As Gweddry is fleeing and th e final Revenants are being felled, break through the SW Dark Sorcerer's lines (which should be easy if you distracted them properly) with the RM and the Shock Trooper, and send the three Knights to knock him into oblivion. I finished on turn 8 with no losses, but had some near-death moments.

[Thrash] My take on justing getting the paladin and 5 knights quickly is you want to send units in parallel to attack the NW enemy and free as many of the knights at the same time. The trick is you free the knights and then kill the NW leader right after before all your troops get overwhelmed by units from the East. Time of day is critical - if you can get to the revenants before dusk, a white mage or shock trooper can kill them in one turn, after that it will take two turns or a little help (like a previously freed knight). Gweddry, even with an amulet, will probably take 3 turns to kill one, but with his one turn head start, that's OK. With one fort of recruits (2 white mages and 4 shock troopers), I was able to free 5 of the 6 and kill the NW enemy leader on turn 6. I sent 3 shock troopers and a white mage at the NW enemy, diverting one of those to freeing the 6th knight probably would have gotten me 6 out of the 6.

The Northern Outpost

  • Objectives:
    • Find the outlaw leader in the villages and kill him.
    • Defeat the undead leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 20.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn.
  • Other:
    • A holy amulet is located on the south-west.
    • Horseman units can now be recruited.
    • Owaec joins your team after the fight is over.

This scenario is reachable both from The Undead Border Patrol and the Elven Alliance scenarios.

Here, there are two enemies that you must defeat: the undead and the outlaws. It is a good idea to create a separate task force for each.

The undead are fairly straightforward to defeat, and in any case Owaec usually does a good part of the work. To finish off the undead, it's useful to have a white mage, since Dacyn will be busy with his special spell to reveal the outlaws for this scenario. If you don't have a white mage, you can try recruiting a few mages or else go back one or more scenarios and promote a mage to white mage. In addition to the mages or white mage, recall whomever picked up the holy amulet in one of the previous scenarios and have them accompany Gweddry to the southeast. If Gweddry is the one with the holy amulet and you have a white mage, then you can supplement them with a mage. You should also send a cavalryman/horseman or quick spearman to pick up the new holy amulet in the southwest.

By contrast to the undead, the outlaws require a novel strategy. Recruit/recall fast units, e.g., cavalry and horsemen. You may supplement them by recalling quick spearmen and quick shock troopers. The challenge is that criminals will sometimes appear randomly around the villages you flag. Therefore, before flagging a village, position as many healthy units as you can immediately around it. Note that you will get a chance to kill any newly appeared outlaws before they get a move. Outlaws will not appear in the villages that Owaec flags, so don't worry about him uncovering enemies for you. Send your outlaw hunting posse up the eastern side of the map flagging one village a turn and fighting the bandits. One of the villages has the assassin that is the outlaw leader, and there are a lot of villages, so speed is of the essence.

Once your undead task force has finished the undead, form them into a second outlaw hunting posse, transferring units as needed from the first posse. When you come across the village where the bandit leader hides, divert any available units to the battle, as the bandits have a bite.

Note: A Cavalry force (such as the one acquired in Mal-Ravanal's Capital) makes short work of the bandits. Lower level units have trouble against the bandits, especially at night.

Also note, that from this scenario on you can recruit horsemen. You might want to level up a paladin or two, for fast mobile undead removal services (and quick leader assasination).

/* governor */ Just a note: I had the misfortune of taking a group of men to a village where 5or6 enemies appeared. After taking heavy damage, I retreated my char (low on hitpoints) out of the village. When I recaptured the village the same group of enemies reappeared. Since AI enemies seem to prefer recapturing villages this can allow you to obtain easy experience for weak units a few times.

[Thrash] When I played, Oweac only recruited a couple mages, so he needed significant help as they get slaughtered quickly - I'd say 3-4 units. Also you don't really need to surround a village before flagging it, just have units in range to sweep in and attack if bandits pop out; this can save you some turns as move around as you can send one unit in to flag a village and move the rest on if nothing appears. Finally, the outlaw leader ran away when I played, so be prepared to chase him down.

Two Paths

  • Objective: Defeat either enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 18/17/16 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec.
  • Other:
    • Your next scenario depends on which leader you defeat.

You must choose between going north to attack the orc leader or going north-west to attack the undead leader.

One option is going north on the very east side of the map trying to fight your enemies from solid ground and mountains while they stand on sand ground with weak defense. As your troops move very slowly on this terrain, you will likely take some heavy losses however, as your enemies keep surrounding you. Also this will presumably take too many turns to reach the orc leader in time.

Thus the preferred choice is to recall a couple of shock troopers and white mages and move them on the path to the north-west in a tight formation towards the undead leader. Once you survived the first enemy onslaught without loosing units, the rest of this scenario becomes rather easy as the remaining enemies come one by one. Make sure to keep on moving fast to the north-west to reach the undead leader before turns run out.

On hard (and version 1.8.3), what will probably work better is an all-out suicidal calvary charge to assassinate the undead leader as quickly as possible.

It's worth noting that killing the orc leader results in what appears to be an easier and more rewarding subsequent scenario (The Crossing) than killing the undead leader (Undead Crossing).

Diverging Campaign Path

Undead Crossing

  • Objective: Defeat the enemy leader.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 18.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec.

You need to cross the river, but not without first defeating a necromancer who is occupying a small island to the north.

A good general strategy can be something like the following: recall a couple of quick swordsmen (or about-to-level quick spearmen), two white mages, a red mage or multiple regular mages, and any units with holy amulets. Shock troopers are too slow. Send these units as quickly as possible northwest through the swamp towards the eastern crossing. Meanwhile, recruit/recall calvary. The calvary should run as fast as possible along the southern board edge (so as to not attract undue attention from bats and swimming undead) and then up the western crossing. You can divert a couple of calvary and Owaec to snatch up villages and then those units can join the eastern assault.

Now, this scenario has a nasty surprise... Once you have fought off the bats and skeletons, you will find this was not all, as the undead leader summons a number of cuttlefish monsters (1, 2 or 4 according to the difficulty level: easy, medium or hard respectively), which appear in the water between the two crossings. These always appear on turn number 10. Be very careful where to position your troops as the cuttlefish have a very nasty melee attack.

You have at least three options for the crossing. Option 1 is to just try to get a couple of your calvary across each of the two crossings, while the rest of your units run like hell away from the water and swamp. Option 2 is to send across more units while tossing a spearman into the water as bait. Option 3 is to fight the cuttlefish, which is extremely hazardous. For a fight, maneuver your units to encourage the cuttlefish to separate, then use good melee troops backed by Gweddry (for leadership) and a white mage to kill them one at a time. Good luck. Make sure you leave your units enough time to cross the river and kill the undead leader before turns run out.

The Crossing

  • Objective: Get Gweddry and Owaec across the river.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec dies or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec.
  • Other:
    • Special bonuses if the objective is completed while the Ogre leader is still alive.

The challenge for this scenario is crossing a wide river, where units are very vulnerable, and have very restricted mobility (particularly horses). On the northern bank of the river you will find orcs and ogres, who will fight each other given the opportunity. To the south you will find an undead leader, who will receive reinforcements by turn 8.

I had only 100 gold, so recruited some units and went straight north from turn one on. The fighting in the water was quite hard, with some orcs coming down from the north. The un-dead only appeared when I was in the middle of the river, so no encounter with them, and the ogre's helped get rid of the orcs on the north side. (Allefant)

If you have Holy Gweddry, you can (sometimes) get a 1st turn kill on the 1st undead leader, scarf up all the villages, and return to kill the 2nd undead forces before their leader can recruit anything. If you don't, the second undead leader will recruit lots of level two units. The orcs will start out across the river, but usually most of them turn back to fight the ogre reinforcements. Waiting till their first wave hits your shore and wiping them out in the water will probably leave you just enough time to cross the river and find there are only 2 or 3 enemy units left besides the leaders.

[Thrash] I don't think the above is realistic in 1.8.3. The leader is a Revenant with 47HP, both Gweddry (lvl 2) and Oweac (lvl 1) together would have to hit 100% to dish that out in one turn. He does come out to grab a village though, and Dacyn can make short work of him on turn 2.

Make sure to cover your rear flank with some expendable troops (such as Heavy Infantry) as the undead can move more quickly through the water than your units. Alternately, if you kill the first wave of undead quickly enough (by turn 3), you can make it across the river before the second wave catches you from behind.

Another strategy is to go straight into the water after killing the first undead leader using the deep water in the middle of the path to seperate the orc forces. You go to the right with Gweddry and Owaec and some support troops while letting the ogres kill many of the orcs in your way. Knights and a Paladin can hold off the orcs enough to get across while the undead behind you are not an issue.

If the ogre leader is alive at the end of the scenario, he agrees to help you, which results in the following bonuses: he joins you as a loyal unit, you get two free Ogres, you gain the ability to recruit Young Ogres, and you skip "Training the Ogres" scenario and go directly to "Xenophobia".

[Thrash] I had problems with the Ogre leader dying before I could get to him. Sending Oweac into the river on turn 1 seemed to draw enough of the orcs south to solve this problem.

[Hipparchos] Agreed this is the only way to save the ogre leader (all others are too slow). I played this several ways before deciding the easiest is to recruit/recall only units with 6+ movement (horsemen, cavalrymen, fast mages and fast spearmen) which move 2 hexes through the water. Send them immediately south to the undead keep and defeat the units there in the first few turns. Then occupy the keep and wait for the reinforcements while one horseman goes west to take villages. With no keep, the reinforcements are small and easy to defeat. Then you have no problems to your rear as your fast units catch up to Oweac and cross the river. You'll take some hits on the far bank but should get through in time to keep the ogres alive.

Training the Ogres

  • Objective: Survive until end of turns.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die.
  • Turns: 4/5/6 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec.
  • Other:
    • To add ogres to your army, keep two on the grass until end of turns.
    • This scenario was missing in 1.6.

This can be a confusing scenario to understand. Basically, your three units just have to survive. However, if you want to be able to recruit young ogres later, you need a couple of the ogres to not reach the rocky borders where they will "escape", whereby they seem to disappear into thin air. You have a couple of options for accomplishing this. Option 1 is to run. To keep ogres in the area, you wind up running in a circle, probably with Gweddry. However, running in a circle, Gweddry cannot outrun ogres and he will not survive repeated attacks from multiple ogres. Therefore, you need some of the ogres to "escape", which you can arrange by having Gweddry run close to the rocky border. Option 2 is to fight and kill some of the ogres, but this is hazardous. Or you could try a combination of these options.

Being able to recruit young ogres allows you to promote them to ogres, which do middling damage, but unfortunately can't advance beyond level 2. Ogres are especially mobile on mountains (such as in the later scenario Lake Vrug) and in caves (in the scenario Captured). Being of neutral alignment, ogres can be helpful at night (especially in the scenario Weldyn Under Attack). Perhaps less obvious is that even young ogres are quite useful. Given their low, low price of 15 gold, they make good spam, attracting attention from the enemy and soaking up a lot of damage before they die.

Xenophobia

  • Objective: Defeat all enemy leaders.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 40/36/32 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug (if available from The Crossing).
  • Other:
    • A holy amulet near the orcs' keep.

This is a fun and silly level as all parties in the scenario (i.e. elves, orcs, drawves, and yourself) decide to fight each other instead of forming aliances. The scenario is not very difficult, so you can use this time to gain some experience for your units, pick up another permanent holy amulet (in the north, roughly in the middle between the dwarf and the orc keep), and train ogres (see below).

You have two obvious options: attack the elves first or the dwarves first. Don't worry, they will be distracted by the orcs. After you kill the first leader, proceed to the orcs and then finish off the remaining leader.

Attacking the elves first has the advantage that they have the richest lands, i.e., the most villages, so it means more gold for you by the end of the scenario. It has the side effect that you're more likely to face a live orc leader relative to if you had attacked the dwarves first, as the elves are pretty good at killing him.

Attacking the dwarves first has the advantage that it's probably easier, since the orc leader is more likely to die at the hands of the elves, plus the mountains make good ogre training grounds. It has the disadvantage that you have to spend time getting out of the dwarven mountains and then you will ultimately fight a lot of elves, though most of them will have come out of their forests by then.

In either case, you have a lot of ground to cover, so try to do without any non-quick shock troopers. Calvary, white mages, red mages and spearman track units (preferably quick) are all good.

Strongly consider recruiting three or four young ogres as well. Use the young ogres on the mountains in the north (and west) to hunt down any stray dwarves (and elves) whilst levelling up to ogres.

By the end of this scenario, it's very useful to have Gweddry at least on level 3, allowing you to use his leadership ability on other units like ogres (who reach their maximum at level 2). Leveling up a group of key units will also be very important for the upcoming scenario Captured, where you won't be able to recruit, but a group of your most experienced veterans will have to work their way out of a cave. You may want to prepare a dragoon, a white mage, and a couple of adult ogres for then.

Lake Vrug

  • Objective: Defeat the trolls and gryphons.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 30.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug.
  • Other:
    • An empty keep with 100 gold is located on the northwest.

This is a very confusing hide and seek scenario that could take you several pointless restarts until you have finally discover the enemy leaders.

There are three keeps, all north of the river. The troll leader has his keep on the northeast (go to the right into the mounts directly after crossing the bridge). To find the other two keeps, go west right after crossing the river; if you stay close to the southern line of mountains, you'll find the gryphon keep pretty easily. Finally, there is an empty keep going straight north from the gryphons. If you reach this empty keep with Gweddry, you'll receive 100 gold, and he and Dacyn will have a conversation about moving everyone to that base and attacking the enemies from there. However, this idea is not very practical, because by the time you reach that keep it will probably be too late to start the attack.

Gryphons are vulnerable to the impact damage of heavy infantry and shock troopers, so recall two or three, preferably quick ones. Also recall another white mage to supplement Dacyn and as many ogres/young ogres as possible, because they are probably the most useful unit for this scenario. The reason is simple: the enemy keeps are surrounded by high mountains which some of your troops cannot pass, but which the ogres handle quite easily. You might also want to recruit a horseman to scout ahead, although using that money for another mage or ogre may be a better investment.

The action for this scenario can be divided into two phases. The first phase will be surviving the first onslaught of gryphons and trolls coming your way. This will start around turn 4 with quite a number of gryphons appearing from the northwest. On hard, the onslaught will be especially difficult to handle. When you see the first gryphon swoop out of the fog, watch out! This means many others are coming behind. So, fall back away from the fog and form a defensive line that will eventually become a circle. Keep in mind that you can grab good terrain, i.e., the mountains, as gryphons are only too happy to attack you wherever you are, and your ogres and young ogres will hold up well there. Once you have wounded units, position your heavy units such as shock troopers and ogres very tighly around them, as the gryphons really have quite a large moving range and thus mercilessly slay unprotected injured units.

Just when you thought you had the gryphons wrapped up, here come the trolls across the bridge. They may be only a minor nuisance on medium or easy, but on hard it's a strain facing a large number of trolls with troops bloodied by the swarm of gryphons. Trolls are really no match for your shock troopers, however, who happily troll-crack away. Place these troopers on the grassland tiles on the edge of the river, so the trolls coming from the bridge will be forced to attack from unfavorable terrain for them (ice).

Once you have dealt with this first wave of enemies, the remaining phase consists in crossing the river, finding the enemy leaders and finishing them off, which will be much easier in comparison. Unfortunately, the shock troopers won't do you much good in this end phase. When taking the enemy keeps, use the ogres, who can move well on the high mountains, unlike most of your other units.

Captured

  • Objective: Escape through the south-west tunnel.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 50/40/30 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, two supporting units.
  • Other:
    • No recruiting, but a group of your veterans will be available.
    • A holy amulet to the south.

Gweddry starts out on autopilot, running up a tunnel to find some of his companions. These companions will consist of Dacyn, Oweac and, from your recall list, a couple of additional units—typically a mage (of any type other than white) and a level 2 or 3 loyalist soldier, if you have such units available. If you don't have them, Gweddry, Dacyn and Oweac will be on their own and facing a tough challenge. Many of the enemies you'll encounter in this cave are level two and three units.

Do not send this group back the way he came, or you will have to face some extremely mean trolls in the narrow tunnel. Instead, follow the tunnel to the north and west. You will face a few bats as you proceed. At the end of that tunnel, you will enter a throne room where you will find an enemy leader and his troops. Don't panic; the leader doesn't recruit and the troops are pretty sedate. Keep your units grouped and beware that a troll warrioir can ambush you out of the shroud from the south.

Meanwhile, when any of your units first enters the throne room, the resulting ruckus causes a group of your captured troops to plot an escape. This group of prisoners will be composed of 13 of your highest level units—or new units to complete the group if you're left with less than 13 units in your recall list, after counting your group of heroes and the two escorts in the throne room. You are well served by making sure you've got some Ogres, Mages of Light and others who do well in caves in that list.

They appear in a cavern called the "Torture Room" to the east, with about 75% of their hitpoints each—not a big problem if you had a white mage in your recall list.

These troops will face a number of assassins as they leave the Torture Room moving west. Try to get through the prison "door" of the torture room quickly; otherwise, the enemy units have an easy time keeping your entire army locked away using just a single unit blocking the door. To get through the entrance quickly, you need to have your troops back away, allowing the guard to come in so that you can get multiple attacks on him to kill him. Any ogres you have will come in handy to rush out and prevent other assassins from blocking the entrance.

Victory occurs when Gweddry moves through the exit in the southwest corner. There is quite a comfortable early finish bonus, so you might want to move him there quickly, because - believe me when I say - you're going to need every gold piece for the next scenario. You should also quickly flag the numerous villages in a cavern called "The City", a cavern southwest of the Torture Room, where you will be confronted by a troll and other enemy units. If you have a silver mage, remember that the silver mage can teleport back and forth between the Throne Room and The City, as needed. With these things in mind, it should be possible to finish with over 500 gold on medium or 300 gold on hard.

There is a holy necklace on this level in the City, at [22, 38]—to get there head south directly after getting out of the Torture Room, sending iron maulers or ogres on front to defend your other units from the guard trolls and orcs in the City. Preferably grab the holy amulet with a horseman or something similar. He will come in very hand in later scenarios (if he survives the next scenario, that is.)

If you have a large group of recallable units, loses in this scenario are not a big deal, as you're only going to be able to bring a fraction of your recall list past the next scenario, which is a contrivance set up to kill off all but a small amount of veterans (it will only let so many units over the bridge, and everyone else will be gone). So don't be afraid to play offensively to speed things up.

Evacuation

  • Objective: Destroy the bridge or defeat all enemies.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 12.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug, Engineer.
  • Other:
    • Every unit not on the south side of the river when the bridge is destroyed will be lost (including units in your recall list).

This is one of those scenarios many deem "impossible", but it is by no means impossible, even on hard, given adequate gold. However, you must wrap your mind around an unpleasant truth: it may be necessary to accept heavy losses of high level troops. On the other hand, some players with strong rosters after going to Mal-Ravanal's Capital have beat this scenario on medium with minimal losses.

You should have over 400 gold and a large number of level 2 and 3 units to recall to start this scenario. The scenario is doable with 300 gold even on hard, but will result in even higher casualties.

There are two options in this scenario: you can either defeat all enemy leaders or blow up the bridge in the south. In the former case, you could suffer quite some casualties in fighting the enemy. In the latter case, all your units that are not on the south side of the river by the time you blow up the bridge are killed by the explosion. Cruelly, this includes your nonrecalled units! Whichever option you take, watch out for the very tight time limit of 12 turns. And watch out for the level 2 trolls, as they can (and frequently will) instantly kill almost any of your units. Best fight them with two white mages or a white mage accompanied by some other unit.

Of the two options, killing all the enemy leaders is preferable if you can pull it off, so that you can keep your nonrecalled troops. First, recruit two to three keeps (if you have the gold) full of your typical experienced troops like iron maulers, white mages, and so on. If you went Mal-Ravanal's Capital and so have a lot of knights, recall them too. Ogres are also helpful, if you have some left, as they are strong and you will have no use for them in later scenarios (except maybe Weldyn Under Attack). After that, for cannon fodder, recall a keep full of young ogres and calvary.

Start to move your units south and attack the central enemy right away (i.e., do not wait until you have recruited all units). Split the second batch of recalls, sending half of them to the northeast and the other half to the southwest (otherwise you might not make it to all three leaders in time). Finally, send some young ogres and calvary to the northeast and southwest to distract the enemies there for two or three turns.

With all three groups of your units try to focus on attacking the enemy leaders as soon as possible, so you do not run out of time. With a bit of luck and probably some nasty casualties, you will have killed all three leaders around turns 10 to 12.

The second option - blowing up the bridge - is quite a bit easier to pull off, especially on hard or with less than 400 gold. Your opening move will be to start running the engineer, Dacyn, and Owaec to the southwest. Then recall a keep of cannon fodder: young ogres, ogres, and calvary. Send them in all directions to distract the enemy. On subsequent turns, recall the troops that you want to try to save, putting slower ones at the head of the line. However, non-quick shock troopers and iron maulers are so slow that they should be sacrificed in rear guard action. Focus on running the engineer, using other units to block for him, creating a ZOC corridor. Keep in mind that almost everyone is expendable. Use combat sparingly, just where you need to open a hole or where you see an opportunity to level up and heal.

If you finish the scenario with just the required units plus about three level 3 units, don't panic. You can indeed finish the rest of the scenarios, even on hard, starting with just a few level 3's. Note that the next scenario, The Drowned Plains, is good for leveling raw recruits. However, if you have a lot of level 3's, it would certainly be easier to tackle another upcoming "impossible" scenario, namely Weldyn Under Attack, so you may wish to replay Evacuation to get a better result.

WanderingHero: While this scenario is cruel, its not as asinine as it appears. You've already beaten the hardest scenarios of the campaign, so you dont have much to worry. Try saving a white mage, and maybe a Knight thats close to Paladin or a Paladin, but its hardly essential. Your heavy armors and ogres can be used to wall the enemy. Although the situation looks grim and the dialogue is grim, you actually near the end, the worst is behind you. You'll see the chequered flag soon enough.

The Drowned Plains

  • Objective: Defeat Khrakrahs.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn or Owaec die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 28/26/24 (easy/medium/hard).
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug, Engineer.

Khrakrahs is a level-4 Skeletal Dragon that will be found in or near the castle (located on an island in the south). In getting there, you need to proceed slowly and carefully through the swamp. That is because there are lots of fairly high level undead hidden there, waiting to ambush your troops. Don't panic. They are easy to take one at a time, and you can offer the killing blow to troops that you are eager to promote. Think twice about trying to maneuver more units around the back of the one you're trying to kill, as there may be more ambushing undead there.

The dragon wanders around near the castle but only attacks units which he can kill instantly. If only strong units come near him, he tries to flee. Because of the fog the major challenge of this scenario is finding him and then getting him surrounded so he cannot just move away again. Once you have him trapped like this, slaying him should be easy using your stronger units —preferrably using impact weapons because the dragon has a low resistance there. Magical attacks from your magi are also very effective against the dragon.

This scenario is a good opportunity for all the units with holy amulets you still have with you. Use them against the ambushers. Since there's a good early finish bonus, just recruit a keep of your best anti-undead units, find and kill the dragon and reap the reward.

Note: On at least version 1.8.3, the Skeletal Dragon is buggy. It comes to you in the northeast early on and sits in your keep. [Thrash]

I saw this behavior as well, the dragon just camped and didn't even attack, just sat there. I also found him far from the castle, not too far from where I started. Same problem observed in 1.8.5. [Sojourner].

Approaching Weldyn

  • Objective: Get Gweddry to Weldyn.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec or Konrad II die or turns run out.
  • Turns: 24.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug, Engineer.

The objective is simple enough; Gweddry has to reach the castle occupied by Konrad II. This is simply a matter of moving him there quickly. The end.

There is no challenge here, but with undead around you can pick up some XP with your fast moving arcane-enhanced troops (i.e., the ones that picked up holy amulets in earlier scenarios.) Try not to overrecruit or dilly-dally, though, as you need all the gold you can get for the next scenario, Weldyn Under Attack.

The Council

Only plot in this. You see the inside of the castle.

Weldyn Under Attack

  • Objective: Survive until end of turns.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec or Konrad II die.
  • Turns: 18.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug, Engineer, Konrad II.
  • Other:
    • By the end of this scenario, you will have to choose whether to fight Mal-Ravanal directly in a duel, or repel his invasion with all you've got. This dictates the next and final scenario you'll play for this campaign.

At scenario start, you find your keep in the center of an island. Three allied leaders also have their keeps on the island around yours. There are three enemy leaders with equal amounts of gold at their disposal. The southwestern enemy leader is the only one that recruits nightgaunts, the southeastern enemy leader is the only one that recruits bats, and the northern leader is the only one that recruits Spectres.

The time of day cycle is 3 times longer than usual in this scenario, and it starts at dusk, so the first 3 turns are at dusk, and then it stays nighttime (first and second watch) during most of the scenario, which is painful with the damage the undead will unleash.

Your strategy should be to kill off one of the leaders and his troops, so that you can take over his defensive position. It's probably easiest to take the northern keep.

The backbone of your army will be heavy infantry track units, mages, and mages of light. On the first turn, recall one of each, plus three calvary units to the rear, preferably quick. Send the calvary to backstab your allies, robbing them of their villages. They won't mind. Later, the calvary can run around to distract the enemy. Send your heavy infantry types, mages, and mages of light towards the target enemy stronghold. You should supplement them with any units with arcane attacks: arch mages, silver mages, white mages, and any units that picked up amulets in previous scenarios. Pad out your force with ogre / young ogre spam. As ogres are neutral, their attacks won't suffer in the near-permanent darkness, and they are useful on the hills to protect your flanks.

You probably will not be able to assassinate the leader before he is out of gold. When he dashes out to attack, check his gold. If he's broke, you might wish to ignore him for a turn or two while you kill off other units.

After you take over the stronghold, you may be able to recruit some more troops, if you saved some gold and/or did a good job capturing villages with your calvary. Note that saving gold is of no use for The Duel, so spend it now. Next, you should start preparing for the assault waves of the other two leaders. The combined assault waves may be more than your forces can survive. Therefore, while your main force braces itself, you should send out some ogres, young ogres, calvary, and/or silver mages as distractions, mostly along the board edges. They can even get in a few kills.

For your main force, unless you have taken over the southwestern keep, you need to think about the invisible, infiltrating, backstabbing Nightgaunts that are now headed your way. Have your units form a block with their back to the board edge. Round the corners of the block towards the enemy (so that you don't have one unit face four attacks.) Keep your whole line solid and heavily wounded units buried deep inside.

In addition to Nightgaunts, you have the threat of Banebows, which can do 52 ranged damage in one turn. However, they are fairly easily killed with proper strategy. Move a mage of light adjacent to blind the Banebow (i.e., remove its +25% bonus) and provide light for your lawful unit's attack (i.e., remove its -25% adjustment.) Move a shock trooper (or similar, preferably arcane enhanced) adjacent to the banebow and mage of light. Move a general up to lend leadership to the attacker. You may kill the Banebow in one attack. Otherwise, if the Banebow is quite wounded, you can use the mage of light to finish it off.

If you lose when you try to make a stand, you could instead try splitting your forces in two, travelling along the board edges to attack the remaining two leaders. Some players have had success with this, killing the last leader by turn 14 or 15. Just remember that the objective is to survive until the end of turns, and Nightgaunts may be a problem. Killing all three leaders is a victory though and will earn you a early finish bonus of 54/turn, which is important if you go on to Weldyn Besieged.

If you have one or two silver mages available, they are quite useful in this scenario. The map is rather large so have some fast-moving units like horsemen run through enemy territory and capture individual villages. Then use the teleport ability of your silver mage to perform hit-and-run (or rather: hit-and-teleport) attacks. Make sure you do not get him killed, though, by holding out too long after attacking. Make good use of Gweddry's leadership ability (he should be a Grand Marshal by now), and of Konrad's Sceptre of Fire to get rid of the most dangerous enemies coming your way.

At the end of the scenario, an enemy messenger appears telling you that you have only fought some delegates of the ancient lich Mal-Ravanal. It challenges you to a duel with Mal-Ravanal instead of letting the armies meet for a final battle. If you accept the challenge, you get to scenario The Duel. Otherwise you go to Weldyn Besieged. [Thrash: In my opinion Weldyn Besieged is much tougher and you probably only want to go that route if you have a decent carry-over.]

WanderingHero: Impossible Scenario? Not bloody likely. Hard Scenario? Pfft, this is actually quite a breather level. Enemy spams skeletons, so simply spam heavy Armour ad nausem, and make good use of any veterans you have. If your ogres die, it really doesn't matter. In fact it mostly doesn't matter who wins here, so rush the enemy with Heavies and you'll likely win well before the end of turns.

Diverging Campaign Path

The Duel

  • Objective: Defeat Mal-Ravanal.
  • Lose if: Gweddry dies.
  • Turns: Unlimited.
  • Starting units: Gweddry.
  • Other:
    • You can only recruit for the first turn.

This is a somewhat strange scenario: you and Mal-Ravanal get to recall/recruit exactly six units each and then have to fight each other. Mal-Ravanal will recruit mostly level 3 units so this looks difficult. However, it is, in fact, quite manageable. Your goal is to attack first and hit hard—you should be able to eliminate two or three enemy units before they even get the chance to attack.

Except for Konrad II, you will have all of your units available in the recall list (including Dacyn and Owaec). Recall mages of light and other high-level arcane troops. Advance onto the battlefield, but stop just short of the enemies' range. After the enemies move closer, concentrate your attacks on a few of their units, particularly those with the strongest attacks. "Cowardly" Gweddry may be able to grant leadership bonuses to your troops, however he should probably refrain from actual fighting so he does not accidentally get killed.

Try to finish the fight quickly, as Mal-Ravanal plays unfair and every so often recruits another 3 units, albeit not so tough as the first batch of 6. If you position a weak unit within Mal-Ravanal's movement range the arrogant lich will gleefully charge out onto the battlefield and leave himself wide open for your counterattack.

Weldyn Besieged

  • Objective: Defeat Mal-Ravanal.
  • Lose if: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec or Konrad II die, or any enemy unit reaches your keep.
  • Turns: 30.
  • Starting units: Gweddry, Dacyn, Owaec, Grug, Konrad II.

This battle is intended as a substantial challenge, and is inadvisable with low gold or an inadequate recall list. You face off against seven enemy leaders, with the goal of finding and eliminating Mal-Ravanal among them. The liches' names aren't revealed until they are attacked, and Mal-Ravanal is more likely to be revealed later in the scenario (the names are randomly assigned when you attack). Sending fast scouts to attack all the liches is not advisable since each lich receives a boost of gold for another round of recruitment after its name is revealed.

One strategy is to recall a group of cavalry with holy amulets and paladins to circle behind the undead horde and terminate the liches. You can draw the liches out of their keeps by positioning a sacrificial horseman within their attack radius. Once the lich is out in the open, your arcane damage cavalry should have no trouble finishing the lich off in a single turn.

Meanwhile you'll need the rest of your troops to hold the central keep against the undead onslaught. If you can spare the funds, a few sacrificial troops can delay the incoming enemies on one side, giving you the opportunity to focus your firepower on the undead approaching from the other side(s). If things turn grim, retreat to the castle and make your final stand.

[Thrash: I had no success with the strategy of sending out a group of cavalry as I needed all hands on deck to defend the keep. What I found to be the key to winning was to make sure you get good hard first attacks on the approaching undead, starting with the ones from the south on turn 3 and then others on turn 4.]

This page was last modified on 12 September 2013, at 01:41.