TheHammerOfThursagan

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki

The walkthrough is based on medium difficulty, and there are comments covering hard difficulty too.

Campaign Strategy

This is quite a balanced campaign - basically all the unit types available to you are useful. Here are some overall hints:

  • Angarthing is perhaps the best support unit ever invented. He has two magical impact attacks, one of which slows, he’s very fast and, most importantly, he can give a Leadership-like 25% attack boost to units on the same level (so, once you have him at L3, he gives even your L3 units a boost). As he levels up he becomes able to cure, and then heal +4. As he is your only healer for a while (until scenario 8), make it a priority to level him up all the way. Angarthing makes fighting much easier.
  • You gain the ability to recruit mages from mid-campaign. Don't let all your mages die as you then lose the recruit ability. You want to level up at least two white mages as soon as practical after that - you need two +8 healers by the final level.
  • But red mages are useful too; you get a free arch mage at Medium, but at hard (Lord) you want to level up a red mage instead. A red mage/arch mage, backed by Angarthing, is excellent at dealing large amounts of damage against enemies in good defensive spots on the final level.
  • Dwarf Lords are the backbone of any dwarven army; you will want ~4 by the final level, and more is better.
  • It is very useful to level up one or two scouts all the way to an explorers, as their ranged attack is excellent against woses. 2-3 thunderguards are useful too, for the scenarios against dwarves.
  • Preserve the Gryphon Rider - you are not able to recruit more. He can only reach L2 but that is worth having, as then it can beat any enemy scouts that it runs into.

Scenarios

At The East Gate

  • Objectives: Defeat Orcish leader
  • Lose if: Aiglondur dies or turns run out
  • Turns: 32/30/28 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Gryphon Rider

This is pretty simple. Send a mixed force of Thunderers, Fighters, and Guardsmen along the road, and a few units south into the hills if the orcs go that way. That path through the forest can be deadly – they will surround you if they can, and can heal at the base of the path. Any Dwarf in forest is weak, while Wolf Riders are at a defensive advantage. Send the Gryphon Rider off village gathering to the north. The enemy recruited some combination of Wolf Riders, Archers and Grunts.

Try and keep your units alive (this can be tricky to achieve while moving forward – his units are dangerous, and some are very fast – make sure hurt units stay out of reach, rather than failing to notice that an almost dead Wolf Rider being chased by a Gryphon is still a threat), and try to level at least one dwarf – your leader is an excellent choice. Play according to the basics, and you’ll have no trouble.

[Mal Shubertal: At Lord, what worked for me was to send the Gryphon rider around to villages, but wait to recruit until the first wave was almost at my keep. That allowed me to use my castle and mountains during the heaviest fighting.]

Reclaiming The Past

Plot only - here you gain Angarthing.

Strange Allies

  • Objectives: Defeat Bandit leader
  • Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing or Marth-Tak (Orcish leader) die or turns run out
  • Turns: 30/28/24 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur and Angarthing

In this scenario, you are allies with the orcs, and must defeat the bandits, who start at the east end of the map, and with quite a fair bit of gold. The bandits recruited mostly footpads and outlaws, but a few thugs, and a poacher or two near the end. I recalled only one turns worth of dwarves and the Gryphon, and sent them straight east, through the river at the ford. Your allies are an incredible help in this level; once you reach the bandit's side of the river, the orcs should already have engaged most of their troops to the south. One good way to go about the rest of this battle is to keep your units off to one side, and grab the finishing blows, especially to those level 2 outlaws. You should have 3 or 4 people (hopefully including Aiglondur and Angarthing) leveled by the end of this battle.

[ Cph - at Lord, the ally isn't strong enough to survive unaided (1.8.1). Turn 1 you should recruit a small strike force to go east to take out the enemy boss (just a couple of recruits should do to go with your leaders, or ideally a couple of quick recalls) plus recall the gryphon rider to take the more scattered villages and snipe enemies for XP; turn 2, recruit some dwarvish fighters (5 should be enough) to go and block up the plain in front of the ally's keep (they can grab all his villages on the way). Mainly you want to hold the ford near his keep as this is the most direct route and so is where the first enemy units would reach him from. Your aim isn't to defend, it is to stop or save the ally boss from suicidally attacking the enemy around turn 8. You just need to buy the turn or two that your strike force needs to finish sneaking around the north of the map and take out the enemy boss.]

Troll Bridge

  • Objectives: Defeat Troll leader
  • Lose if: Aiglondur or Angarthing die or turns run out
  • Turns: 20/16/12 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur and Angarthing
  • Other: You loot 200 gold from the troll

This one was a piece of cake. Recall a castle-full of troops, and set camp at the first line of trees and mountains, to the north side of the road. Your opponent can only recruit Level 1 Troll Whelps, so he doesn't have much attack strength. After the first onslaught, the remaining Whelps either retreat, or throw themselves at your weakest unit. Try and kill the enemies with weaker units, as it's a great chance to gain some experience. Also, after you kill the Troll leader, you find that he was sitting on a pile of 200 gold.

[ Cph - at Lord, the trolls can recruit Trolls. They are still no real problem though - recall a steelclad, a couple of thunderers close to leveling, and fill the rest of the keep with recruited thunderers; just the 1 round of recruit/recall is fine. Push a couple of strong melee units forward to take the shock of the first attack (there are a few hill tiles conveniently placed, and you must not allow any trolls onto these), then swarm them with thunderers. Angarthing 'slow' attack is useful. ]

Invaders

  • Objectives: Defeat all Three enemy leaders
  • Lose if: Aiglondur or Angarthing die or turns run out
  • Turns: 40/40/40 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing and another dwarf
  • Other: Hostile villagers come out of some villages when first flagged

At first glance, this seems like really tough battle: Each of the three Orc Leaders is a Warlord, and has about as much money as you; so in a user-to-user combat your strength would comparable to just _one_ of them; and considering AI shortcomings - you're comparable to, say, two of them.

But note the dialog about this being outlaw country... when you flag your first village, you will likely discover a number of these outlaws hiding in it. This can be your undoing, but it can also work to your advantage: Try not to flag too many villages and avoid attracting Orc attention. That way, your opponents will be quite preoccupied fighting the outlaws and you won't have to fight them simultaneously. Move in a tight pack along the southern border of the map and take out your enemies one by one. When you finally reach the Northern Orc leader, his troops will most likely still be brawling happily with the Northern outlaws in the North or Northwestern villages...

Your keep is larger than usual; you should not need much more than a single keep-full of recruiting/recalling; recruiting more would allow you to secure villages faster and go on the attack faster.

Note that outlaw assignments to villages is randomized, and some villages have no outlaws at all. Also, the villages the Orc flag seem to harbor about 2 more outlaw units per village than those you flag - so the Orcs get a lot more resistance than you do. Still, don't be complacent about the ruffians in these hovels; they can often luck out of an attack or two by your side and gang up on you the next turn in a very painful way (think backstabbing).

[ Cph - A simple defensive strategy can work too. There is a convenient line of hills and woods just east of the start; form a defensive line there, but you can afford to take and hold all the villages in the south-west and deal with the ambushes there first, as the enemy won't get to you fast. Just don't get tempted to take any villages further east, as you won't want to deploy units further east to extricate your ambushed unit. Your army should be a mix of fighters and thunderers, including some recalls near leveling and a few already at L2.

Once the enemy's weakened units (from fighting outlaws) hit your defensive line, you get lots of XP from finishing them off; with care you can attack and roll forward, killing lots of enemy units each turn. Once you have crushed the first wave of enemies you can start clearing up. ]

[ revolting_peasent: I made two recruited a Scout and a Fighter, and recalled a keepful of mostly L2 units; and felt I had over-recalled, being able to finish the scenario by turn 17/40. Perhaps a single full keep is enough if you play careful.]

High Pass

  • Objectives: Move Aiglondur to signpost at end of pass
  • Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing or Ratheln die or turns run out
  • Turns: 24/18/12 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur and Angarthing
  • Other: Friendly Arch Mage, Ratheln, available in a village near the middle of the path

This is a small level with the eponymous pass running through its middle, West to East. When you start scouting (with your Gryphon Master, which you really must recall here) you'll notice the level is almost empty! It must be a walk in the park... where's the catch?

Well, you see those enemies close-by? The only ones on the level? Another bunch of them spawns every 2 turns, further East along the path (about where you would have arrived). With each respawn, and from each side of the pass, you will encounter (on Medium):

  • One Ogre (L2)
  • One Troll (L2)
  • Three Wolves (L1); their damage is the same as a Goblin rider (which is essentially a wolf with a Goblin tagging along on its back)

Also, there's a Gryphon leader at the center-North part of the map. He'll have a few friends to send at you (mostly one-after-the-other). That's quite a lot on your plate, so you should be decisively on the attack to avoid facing an increasing pile-up of foes. Rule of thumb: by the third respawn, You should be able to kill the newly-spawned enemies within the 2 turns after they've respawned. In terms of recruitment/recall, this probably means two keeps, or 8 units (on Medium); don't be stingy with your gold. If you've leveled a lot of units, and maybe even have an L3 Angarthing, you might make do a bit less.

Make sure you pick up Ratheln, the Arch Mage holed up in a village near the center of the pass (just North of it); he's a great help with the spawning enemies (who have no ranged defense nor good Fire resistance). Also, make sure your Gryphon Master stays alive.

Mages and Drakes

  • Objectives: Defeat Drake leader
  • Lose if: Aiglondur or Angarthing die or turns run out
  • Turns: 30/25/20 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, and Ratheln

Guardsmen and Thunderers are your units of choice in this scenario since they have piercing attacks that are quite deadly to drakes. Do not try to sweep the map of all opposition; your mobility disadvantage is too huge for that. Just recruit one keepfull of seasoned troops (on Medium; perhaps less will do). Then rush quickly to the Drakes' nest, trying to stay in the mountains and hills as much as possible - otherwise the Fire Drakes could really hurt your Dwarves. Crossing the river at the mountains is going to be safer than crossing at the ford.

Ratheln, the Arch Mage, does not travel well through the mountains and so is difficult to protect with your Dwarves. Run him down the waterfront (together with Perrin's mages), then through the forest, and have him crossover to the backside of the mountains, where he can continue to run. Remember that he's not really that powerful against the Fire-resistant Drakes.

Fear

  • Objectives: Find the villagers then defeat Masked Dwarf leader
  • Lose if: Aiglondur or Angarthing die or turns run out
  • Turns: 30/24/18 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing and 1 or 2 Mages and Ratheln (depending on difficulty)

The worst mistake you can make in this scenario is to recall too many troops. Those Ulfserkers look dangerous (and they probably are, if you let them get at one of your Thunderers or Magi), but otherwise your enemy is weak and you will need your gold. Just make sure, the Dwarvish Ulfserkers hit only a Dwarvish Lord or Sentinel, preferably while he's standing on a village, and everything will be fine.

[ Cph at Hard, it's different. The problem at hard is that the enemy recruits lots of units and keeps recruiting all the way through - you will barely finish inside the turn limit. So recruit a decent size army; fight in a solid formation against the first wave of enemies, while using your gryphon rider to take and hold the villages to the north; then push forward once the main body of resistance is broken, even though there will still be a steady stream of reinforcements - watch the clock and don't leave it to chance on the last turn. ]

You get an experienced Mage (or two, on easy) at the start of this scenario, and can recruit more. If all of your Magi die (and you have none available for recall) you will lose the ability to recruit them - don't let that happen. Aim for white mages first, see #Campaign Strategy.

Forbidden Forest

  • Objectives: Move both Aiglondur and Angarthing to the eastern signpost
  • Lose if: Aiglondur or Angarthing die or turns run out
  • Turns: 40/34/28 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing and any surviving Mages from Scenario 8
  • Other: Staff of Righteous Flame

This is a tricky one. You are fighting elves. You are fighting them in a forest. And you are fighting them under fog of war. So, once again, your Gryphon Rider (preferably leveled into a Gryphon Master) is a must. Trouble is, Elvish Riders are as fast or faster than he is, and, he won't be able to spot Elvish Rangers or Woses because of their Ambush ability. A human playing the elves could take on almost any number of Dwarves; only the stupidity of the AI saves you from a grim defeat.

Proper recruitment is critical for this scenario - if you want to conserve gold and only recruit about one keep-full. Explorers are the key to success. Recall up to four Explorers and Pathfinders. Their blade-type ranged attack is awesome against Woses - like scissors cutting into paper. Make it your #1 priority to promote any Pathfinders to Explorers. If you're lacking in the Pathfinder/Explorer department, Mages can substitute, as Woses are vulnerable to both arcane and fire attacks. Another reason Mages are nice here is that they always have a high chance to hit elves in the forest. However, Mages are slow in forest, especially non-quick ones. And they are themselves vulnerable. If you recall/recruit a Mage, your second priority becomes trying to promote him to a Red Mage. You also hopefully started with a free White Mage or else can recall one. Then add a couple of Dwarf Lords or high XP Steelclads plus the Gryphon and you should be set.

Because of all the ambushing, do not lead with low hit point units like Mages. And because of all the Riders, keep any critically-injured units well protected.

For your initial strategy, you have two options:

  1. You can go for a lightening fast knock-out against the Southwestern leader (an Enchantress, which has mostly weak units including Sorcerers).
  2. You can park in the wooded hills just Southeast of your keep. You will need to finish off the assault from the Southwest very quickly, because Woses will cross the river and Elvish Riders will come swooping in from the Northeast - and you do not want to fight all three at once. You don't need to fight here to the bitter end, especially if there are multiple Woses approaching: When you see an opening, head South and across the river to finish off the Southwestern leader.

After knocking off the evil Enchantress of the (South)West - Wizard of Oz reference there - there's not much reason to knock off the Elder Wose in the Southeast, nor the High Lord in the Northeast. So just head for the signpost - but be extremely cautious: Along the way you'll be hit upon by several ambushing Woses, Scouts/Riders and Elvish Archers. If you choose to follow the road, you'll pass by a temple on an small island, and can send a mage there to pick up the Staff of Righteous Flame. In addition to acting like a suicide bomber upon death, the bearer of the Staff gets the Steadfast ability, doubling resistances, which is nice for Red Mages and their advancements, with their 20% arcane resistance being doubled to 40%.

Be careful with your Gryphon, as he is susceptible to getting ambushed, trapped and killed by the hiding Woses, Rangers and Scouts/Riders. However, most of enemy army will head South (drawn to your leaders) so it is usually safe flying around between villages in the Northwest to keep your income high. Use the enemy moves view (Ctrl+V) and steer clear of where you could get trapped. Once the Gryphon has flagged the Northwestern villages send it to join your main force.

If you are struggling with this level, take note that you have quite a few turns; you do not need to sprint to the signpost.

If you're trying to win on the last turn, be warned that you need to move Aiglondur or Angarthing onto the signpost and then off again, and then move the other onto the signpost. You can't undo if you used up all your movement getting onto the signpost. (In 1.14.4 the behavior will change https://github.com/wesnoth/wesnoth/pull/3331. To win you will need to have Aiglondor on the signpost and Angarthing next to him, or the other way around.)

[Mal Shubertal: When I played this scenario at Lord, I automatically started with one of my Mages. This made it impossible to run straight through the level, since mages are actually slower than Dwarves in forest! So I recruited all Dwarves and ran for the signpost, through the middle island. But to keep my Mage safe, I sent him to the patch of mountains at 19,1.]

The Siege of Kal Kartha

  • Objectives: Defeat Orcish leaders (3)
  • Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos (allied leader) die or turns run out
  • Turns: 35/35/35 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing and any surviving Mages from Scenario 8

It is quite easy to grab the patch of hills in front of you, wait for the northern enemies to come to you and chew them up. But you also need to make sure that you put enough pressure on the central enemy. If left alone, he gangs up with the southern one and you may be too late to rescue your ally.

More often than not, the Orcs will ignore you completely and focus all their firepower on your weak ally. If this happens, create three strike teams and rush the enemy leaders (who will be completely unguarded), as your ally will not be able to hold off their collective might for very long.

[Mal Shubertal: Another option is to send all your troops east as quickly as possible, having the first wave go straight past the central enemy leader in order to save your ally, who will be surrounded by the time you arrive. Then turn and form strike teams for the enemy leaders. This option gives less bonus gold, but more xp.]

The Court of Karrag

  • Objectives: Defeat Karrag
  • Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos die or turns run out
  • Turns: 12/12/12 (easy/medium/hard)
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Dulcatulos and Ratheln
  • Other: Neither side can recruit units

Almost story only. Once again, those Berserkers are your most dangerous opponents, so take them out with your Dwarvish Lords. Don't let the Lich slip past you (he tries to run NW), as that would slow down killing him - there's a lot of bonus gold to be had here if you can kill him fast. Just ZOC his route for those early turns and then close in for the kill once you've dealt with his henchmen.

The Underlevels

  • Objectives: Defeat Karrag
  • Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos die
  • Turns: no limit
  • Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Dulcatulos and Ratheln
  • Other:
    • Two alcoves with 150 gold in the first gallery
    • 4 caves with friendly prisoners in the north (just before the spiders)
    • Teleportation runes
    • Secret passage down to the first Lich

Don't start playing this scenario, if you don't have a lot of time to spare. It's not so much of a scenario, it's actually a small campaign in itself. This is even more extreme than the missions in "Under the Burning Suns". In short, you will have to fight a gallery full of Masked Dwarves, 4 different Masked Dwarf leaders and their armies, a cavern full of Giant Spiders, 2 Liches and their Undead armies, and finally, once you're done with all that, have a final showdown with Karrag. But there is no time limit, so you can take as long as you wish to complete this mission.

It's going to be a long brawl, so you need to be prepared. You will have few villages for a long time, and need a big army from the start, so you will be in massive negative gold quite soon: so just recall and recruit as much as you can and move off. As this is the last fighting scenario, you can recall shamelessly.

(If you come in short of gold - less than 300 say - it may be worth recalling a smaller force and rushing an attack on one of the two side galleries in the start area - there is bonus gold behind a secret door in each gallery. If you have plenty of gold, you can just recall and you will be so negative by the time you get that gold that it won't help you.)

Two White Mages, your loyal Arch Mage and another Red Mage are really useful here. You would like 2-4 thunderguards or dragonguards, and a couple of sentinels would be handy for holding low-defence tiles. Most of your army should be Dwarvish Lords - you want at least 4 lords to start I would say, and in total 10 units that are either lords or will level into lords. Recall everything and recruit more with your leftover gold.

The Gallery

A hall with a line of dwarves on either side in extremely good defensive position. Try to take them out as fast as you can, as there is a treasure behind each line of defenders, which provides a little extra cash should you need it for more recruits. Establish a defensive line across the room on one of the north-south lines of cave tiles that cut into the room - before long, masked dwarves will start to pour into the gallery from the other side, and you can sit your dwarves on the cave tiles and have a terrain advantage.

The First Enemy

He sits right at the other end of the gallery, again in a good defensive position. But with enough aggression, he should not be a problem.

Once you've taken his castle, you will need to split your forces. Split them as evenly as you can. (Did I mention, that two White Mages are a real asset? Each group will need a healer!) There are more enemies to the north, so send more units requiring XP to level up in that direction.

The Fight in the Corridors

You are fighting a steady stream of tough enemies. But you are fighting underground in passages only three hexes wide. This is your advantage. Keep a solid defensive line, let their units come to you, and keep killing and advancing as opportunity permits. Don't worry if this takes some time, there is no turn limit anyway.

When you reach the main enemy at the end of each passage, as you enter the chamber with the keep, the enemy gives a speech and gets a big gold bonus to recruit a horde of L2 units. So don't rush in - step in, form a short solid line in the entrance, let them attack, keep cycling injured units for fresh ones and keep doing damage where you can. Their force will soon be spent and you can then advance again.

Once you defeat the southern enemy, you will find a locked door. Just leave your troops there, your other group can easily take care of getting the key in the north east corner.

When you have defeated the last enemy in the north, make sure to free the prisoners in the cells near his castle.

The Spiders and the First Lich

Before you move your norther force east to find the key, you should make a decision. There is a Lich on the eastern side of the map. You can enter his cellar from behind the locked door in the south, or through a long windy passage from the north. He's rather weak, but you need to take him out first, if you don't want him attacking your back while you face your real enemy.

The first possibility is to use the transportation runes to get your forces down to the locked door and fight him from there. In that case, go east with only a few well leveled dwarves, Angarthing and a White Mage, for there is quite a number of Spiders defending the key. Once your read the spell, go back to the runes, reunite your forces and take out the Lich in the east. The lich recruits a big army to start with, but then recruits hardly any more; so once you defeat his main force, you only need to send 4 dwarf lords and Angarthing through the tunnels to take out the lich (moving your white mages through the narrow tunnels is very slow and they won't be needed).

But if you want to get to the Lich through the back door, you need to take your whole northern force east. Defeat the Spiders, run down that narrow passage until your reach the end of the tunnel. It's just caved in, you can open it by moving a unit there. Before you do, open the locked door and advance with your southern force south east until you meet the undead forces. Be careful, they recruit quite a number of Shadows, nasty skirmishing, nightstalking Ghosts. Once the battle is raging you can open the backdoor to the Lich's castle and take him out.

Either way, you will have to do some boring running here.

The Second Lich

He sits in a big cavern behind the doors in the south west. Only take him on with your entire army (if you don't want to do a slow chokepoint fight at the door). He too makes heavy use of shadows, so make sure to form solid lines (including along the edge of the side chasms - the shadows can fly over them of course).

His forces are likely to be at a fair distance when you open the door, so, if you don't mind save-loading if it doesn't work, you could rush him - but there seems little point as you have to fight his army to progress anyway. So instead form up a solid formation just inside the door to his cavern - advance as far in as you can cover with dwarf lords, with plenty to spare - and then crush his forces when they come to attack you.

-- Or, just *outside* the door, where the passage narrows to one hex. Advance far enough into the cavern to provoke a response, then retreat to that point where you can play 2-on-1 for turn after turn until he's done for. Put your healer right behind your 2-unit front line and it's a snap.

Karrag

Karrag is waiting for you in a... how surprising, a medium-size cavern with lots of castle hexes, some villages and strong units as sentries. This one will be more challenging, though, since aside from Karrag's recruits, the pre-existing sentinels are Draugs (L3 Skeletons): A couple of these may well be able to take out a fully-healed Dwarven Lord within a single turn, so be very careful. On the other hand, this _is_ the last encounter in the last scenario in this campaign...

The cavern has two entrances (from the Northeastern access point, you go either East along a 2-hex-wide corridor with a path, or South inside a short winding tunnel). If you do want to play it safe, set up a choke points in both of them, each headed by Dwarven Lords with a healer (preferably Mage of Light at this point) behind them, and some backup Lords/Sentinels for rotation further behind. If you have a Arch/Grand Mage, consider letting him replace the Lord once in a while in the tunnel, when faced with a Draug, Deathblade or other no-Ranged-defense unit. He can take the heat for one turn before falling back. You'll be hit by the recruits first, but it won't be nearly as bad as the second Lich's huge army.

After a while, practically nobody will come at you any more. At that point you could either advance slowly to trigger attacks from more Draugs, or just rush some faster units forward - you should be able to take out Karrag very easily now. Perhaps if instead of raising the body of the dead he had raised the brains of the dead he might not have lost so miserably against an inferior force.

But the most disappointing part is not Karrag's relative weakness, but the fact that nothing actually happens with the Hammer of Thursagan - which will now be officially dubbed: The McGuffin of Thursagan.


[elvish_sovereign] The easiest way for me to kill Karrag was to suicide my Mage with the Staff of Righteous Flame on him. It took on shot, my Mage and Karrag died. Almost no blood shed!

This page was last modified on 15 July 2018, at 15:53.