Difference between revisions of "Northern Rebirth"
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around (the drakes, in particular, should fort up in the northern camp
around (the drakes, in particular, should fort up in the northern camp
until they've thinned out their attackers considerably).
until they've thinned out their attackers considerably).
Revision as of 00:53, 16 May 2008
Strategy Guide for Northern Rebirth
(Doesn't yet cover the optional Evil-Tallin branch you can start from Clearing The Mines. That is still under development.)
Breaking the Chains
All you can recruit in this scenario are level 0 Peasants and Woodsmen, so it calls for unusual tactics. Initially you can't overpower the orcs by brute force. Fortunately though, the orcs are fighting amongst themselves, so guerilla tactics will work. Keep your head down, and let the orcs weaken each other while you slip around the edges and grab as many villages as you can - even if you have to sacrifice a few units. If any stray orcs come your way, surround and kill them and try to level a few units. Your units require no upkeep until they level, so if you play it right you should soon have a sizable force. When you are ready, march them out as a whole - isolated units will get slaughtered, so keep everyone together - and take out the orcish leaders one at a time.
Also, beware of the tunnel entrance to the northeast. When you move there you will unleash a squad of trolls. Sometimes they attack the orcs (good for you) but other times they attack you. Since they are resistant to your pierce attacks, they can give you a bit of trouble should the latter happen.
There has been a major strategy change on this one so stay sharp. The strategy up till now has been to immediately send forces up the northern and southern tunnels to take out the trolls. However, they since have gotten their act together so now that will be far too costly and time consuming. What you need to do is recruit as many units as fast as you can, form up into a tight compact formation and head directly east. At this point all hell will break loose in a three way fight between trolls, skeletons and your forces to the east, while to the west you will have more level 1 trolls hounding you all the way. Cut your way east as quickly as you can, but it is essential to keep a tight formation, leaving as little exposure as possible. You will lose a lot of men - I myself lose about two thirds of my force every time - but try to pull as many men out of the mess as possible.
Move east until you come reach the keep of the orange troll leader. The situation this point is somewhat unpredictable due to the chaotic eviolution of the scenario, but the general idea is to take out the troll leader and regroup, and heal in the little patch of villages to the north. You may want to send a few units up the tunnel further north, and then slip into the little room to the east and steal some more villages. The skeletons are usually too busy with the blue and green trolls at this point to offer much resistance.
To the south there is a tunnel which may be spewing more skeletons, or - if you are lucky - dwarves. You want to get Tallin down that tunnel and into the dwarven keep that lies at the end. It's a bit of a walk so make sure you have at least 10 turns remaining. If the tunnel is still spewing skeletons, you will have to push through them and take out the leader before reaching the dwarves.
There is also a Arch-Mage that you can get at the beginning of this scenario who would provide you with much assistance - both now and later on. To get him, you will have to initially recruit 3 or 4 footpads and have them immediately dash up to the northern troll hole. They should be able to reach the village on the outside of the caves before the trolls clog the tunnel. Have the footpads cover the mage all the way back to your main force and continue on as described above.
To The Mines
This is designed to be more of a breather scenario, letting you get a bit of fresh air and level a few units before you plunge back into the caves. However, stay on your guard because if you get sloppy, you could experience a lot of grief.
The basic strategy is to recruit lots of dwarves and sweep north in a line. You'll lose a few but level up more, which will be your most reliable heavy infantry in later scenarios. Beware wolfriders nipping around your flanks and don't leave any units isolated.
Clearing The Mines
Another tough one which has recently been re-balanced. This is going to be a long tough fight against enemies with far greater numbers then your own. Superior tactics and the strength of your men will be the only thing that will keep you from being wiped of the board.
In the new version, you probably won't have enough gold to finance two proper strike groups as you did in the past. If you can - swell. If not don't give up hope for there is still a way. Recruit one large group with practically all of your most powerful units. Dwarves are favored, for their better defense on cave floors, the resistances and ability to advance to level 3. Send this group to the east, take out the Draug stationed there and take control of the storeroom.
In the meantime, leave yourself a little gold, and maybe one or two higher level units, as well as Tallin, to recruit a smaller force to hold the keep. This force will come under heavy attack, and for most of the game the northern passage will be plugged closed with hordes of walking corpses, bats and skeletons. Hold out as best as you can, even if you have to retreat all the way to the keep. You have a slight advantage there as you have some sunlight shining through which the skeletons generally don't like. If all goes well with the eastern team, and the are able to take control of the storeroom, you should soon be having some gold coming in so you can recruit yourself some reinforcements.
Just as you think you have everything under control, things will take an ugly turn. At turn 21, you a horde of Ghouls and Necrophages will rise out of the canal. You are just going to have to endure as best you can. In the meantime, get your eastern force - regrouped and healed at the storeroom - to move north and take out the next Draug stationed there, and then move on further to take out Malifor. It will by no means be easy, but you have another group of villages behind the purple Draug which will help you heal and get some more income rolling in. You will also have to leave a force at the storeroom to hold the villages there - especially against the ghouls which may be no easy feat. If you are able to manage, send some backup from home base to help them hold out.
Once you take out Malifor, things should be a little easier. As more of his units die out, the tide will start to gradually turn and what follows is a general mop up of the remaining leaders.
This level opens with an 8-way junction of passages (one of which is where you enter). Don't get involved in fights in all 7 passages at once; you can only use Camerin in one place at a time, and initially you have a serious problem with healing (namely, you don't have any means to heal units, so they just have to go and stand in the entrance passage and regain 2hp per turn).
Initially then, by turn 2 you should have Tallin on the camp and recruit 4 thugs and recall 2 steelclads. Use these to plug the passages east and west - these passages are short, each leading into a chamber with a recruiting death knight (RDK) who pumps out skeletons steadily. So you need to bottle them up immediately, and seize as much ground as you can (fighting up these corridors is one of the challenges of the first part of the level, so any ground seized now is useful). The nearest 2 revenants from the N passage will come down to attack you, but Camerin and the units you just recruited can deal with them easily.
Next turn, recruit a strike force to go down the SW passage - this is the target for phase 1 of this level. At least 2 dwarf lords are needed, since it's a one-wide passage, and in places you have only 1 tile to advance into & 3 revenants can attack you at once. It's vital to beat this area quickly, since there are 2 white mages and one elvish druid down here, and you need their healing ability asap. I would keep Camerin out of this area, though (too many fights with you having 1 unit vs 2 revenants); he should clear the first part of the N passage, which should be easy with a dwarvish fighter and a couple of thugs to help (put a thug in a fortified tile, and the 2 revenants above will come down and attack, but probably not kill him; once out of their fortified tiles, they are easy prey).
There are RDKs down the SW, NW, NE passages, but they have very low income so they just cause the odd stray unit to arrive from these passages every now and then; just keep a few units spare in the junction, and use Tallin, to deal with these as they arrive. Don't try to plug the NW, NE entrances, you might draw out the Draugs that are stationed a bit further up these passages - leave these until later. As soon as you have released 2 healers from the SW, run one back to the junction and start healing your injured units properly.
Once the healers in the SW are free, and the first stretch of the N passage is done, begin work in earnest on the E and W passages. Don't bother trying to advance tile-by-tile - if you have a unit at a 1-wide point, the enemy will simply fill both tiles in front, and even if you kill one of them, you can't advance to take the space. Fall back to where it's 2-wide, wait until the enemy has only 1 unit in the next 2-wide bit of the passage, and then you have a chance to blitz them - the enemy at the 1-wide bit you can easily kill with 2 thugs, and then a steelclad takes the space and has a good chance of killing the single enemy in the next 2-wide bit. Then rush in a unit to occupy it, and you've made a lot of ground in 1 turn. Take care to level up any thugs with good traits, as marauders are excellent shock troops vs undead.
Meanwhile, begin phase 2 of the level - there are long passages around from the far end of the SW passage, and from the SE passage, which are worth exploring. The SE passage is mostly flooded, so choose some quick units - the elvish druid, a fast thug or two, maybe Krash, and at least one other tough melee unit - there's an L3 sea monster to fight on the way round. If you want to use the back door to Malifor's study, send at least 2 quick dwarf lords (or possibly QR steelclads); personally, I'm not sure the back door is worth having a dwarf lord out of action for 20-30 turns getting there, and any weaker unit will simply be killed by Malifor in the first combat round. The main thing for this group to do is to get the friendly spectre (send a quick unit round to the left on first entering the water) and the 2 villages here.
For the SW passage, send at least 1 healer, 1 dwarf lord and maybe 2 steelclads (I send Krash this way, but perhaps the SW would be better for him). It's a long way round, but you get some allies and emerge in the back of the Treasury (NW passsage) where you get to fight a lot of revenants. Once this group enters the back door of the treasury, attack up the NW passage from the junction at the same time with some thugs, dwarf steelclads & Camerin. Together the two attacks should secure the main part of the treasury without too much trouble, and Camerin should finish off the various death knights easily enough. Marvel at the insane amount of wealth contained therein.
Before the SW party gets around there, you should have finished off at least one of the E or W RDKs - Camerin is useful to help break through, and to deal with any units on fortified tiles. Most of the villages are in these 2 areas, so grab them. There's also a stash of holy water bottles in the E area, but I found these to be no use, since every unit I recruited was using impact attacks anyway, so the improvement is minimal; not worth diverting units for, IMO.
Once you can spare the units (and are sure you won't need to do any more recruiting), send a group of maybe 7 units (1 healer/curer, 2 cheap thugs (or maybe poachers), Tallin, and a few good L2 units) up the N passage into the Great Chamber. Any units that aren't good against undead should be first choice, since the enemy up here is L3 giant spiders (e.g. I had a thunderguard from the initial recall, who was dead weight vs undead, but handy vs the spiders). Once you enter the chamber, the passage gets sealed behind you - back out of the chamber immediately, put your thugs in the fortified tiles by the 1-wide entrance; use them to lure the spiders one at a time, then pound them with Tallin and your good units. It will take a while. Once you are down to 2-3 spiders left, storm the main chamber, then bottle up the spider's castle to the E, while Tallin goes west to get the all-powerful Rod of Justice.
Once the Treasury (NW passage) and E & W RDKs are beaten, these forces can regroup and attack the NE passage (Malifor's study) - phase 3. Get past the draugs, quickly (Camerin should blast through them fast enough) and occupy the junction at the end of the passage - this divides up the different RDKs, so you can deal with them separately. By this point, you have Camerin and some L3 thugs, who can easily smash their way down even a 1-wide passage against the L1 skeletons, so it shouldn't take long to clean up here. Push though to the entrance to Malifor's study, and then wait until you are in good position - dwarf lords only in the front rank - before throwing open the doors.
Depending on the progress of your various teams, you might have Tallin's team available to come in as well via the N entrance to the study (from behind the spider's keep), and might have your team from the SE passage, if you gave it a high-level dwarf or two so it can survive the attacks of Malifor and his liches. Once you live through the first combat round, it should be easy - rotate L3 thugs into the front to kill the liches in 1 round, reform front line with dwarves inside the room. You need to kill Malifor with a white mage. (You could keep Tallin's group back in the Great Chamber - this seems to be where Malifor goes to if he dies by the sword, - and have another go at killing him with a mage there).
Alternative approaches - forget about the long passages SW and SE? Just send Krash and the druid down to fetch the spectre and run back the way they came, since you only get 1 extra village by going through the water, and it takes so long to get heavy infantry round there to Malifor, it might just be a waste. The back door to the Treasury is useful, but it can equally be beaten by frontal assault with Camerin & heavy infantry, and again saves having troops out of action while they march round (although you do miss out on the free extra units in the back passage). Probably the level is faster if you skip these, and you don't lose out on a lot of XP.
This is meant to be an easy campaign, if your objective is to simply survive and hoard gold. You don't have to defeat the Orcs to win this one, so you can just lurk just inside the two-hex-wide aperture of the cave only two orcs at a time will be able to get at you; it's not hard to fend them off until time runs out. Spend as little gold as possible and level up some troops.
If you are using this approach, it's worth recalling one dwarvish steelclad and run him round to the east-most village in the northern mountains - this one has impassable mountains on 2 adjacent tiles, so it can be attacked from only one tile, so a steelclad can easily hold out here & gain some XP doing so.
Alternatively, you can go ahead and sally. It is supposed to be impossible to actually defeat them entirely, but if you stick to defensive terrain and keep recycling fresh units to the front, you should soon pile up stacks of orcish corpses as well as experience, which always comes in handy.
Tactics in this one are pretty straightforward but time is scant; your biggest issue may be getting to the enemy keep in the southeast with enough time left to take out defenders before the clock runs out. There's a ford in the middle of the map, and the enemy will slide trolls and ogres over it to try to cause trouble in your rear; if you mean to prevent this, it's best to place some blocking troops right on the shoreline where they can hit enemies still in the water.
In this one it's best to go straight at Bitterhold with a small group of hardened veterans -- you need to be in there fast (Camerin and the Rod of Justice will be particularly helpful here). Your objective, getting a unit onto the cage at the center of the castle, may be best accomplished with a flyer or skirmisher once you've chewed a few holes in the inner ring of defenders.
Standard dungeon-crawling tactics should work fine in this one -- minimize your exposed front, and cycle wounded units back to the healers before they get killed. The destination signpost is in the northwest corner. There is nothing interesting in any of the side passages.
You'll have two problems in this scenario. One is lots and lots and lots of trolls. The other is that Krash is going to fly off and recruit level-one drakes to help you, but if they get swarmed by all the level-two trolls they're not going to live long. Krash's camp will materialize in the mountains near the map-edge west of your camp; the house at edge of board will be one hex NW of his tent square. Recall nine or ten veterans, go there and laager up around where his camp will appear. Hold off the troll swarm until the drakes show up, then bust out of the encirclement and clean up.
The spectre can be extremely effective against the trolls; place him in the village on the northern tip of the eastern island, and he should be able to safely defend against one to three trolls each turn.
The elvish shyde and sorceress, as well as the two liches, can be put to better use if you move them into the forest on the eastern island in the beginning of the scenario. Stay within the forest and lure in trolls one or two at a time to level up the sorceress and create a distraction. Once the troll leaders in the NE and SE have finished recruiting & their forces have moved over to attack in the W, the liches and the shyde can jump in and kill the leaders, and seize as many villages as possible.
After Krash's camp is set up, you will be controlling both Tallin's and Krash's troops. Krash's team will take its turn after all the trolls, and before Tallin. The trolls will probably be still swarming in front of Tallin's defense, but you can create opportunities for the drakes to level up by withdrawing one of Tallin's units, and defeating the two trolls next to that opening, so that the trolls will be zone-locked and unable to get into the opening. The drakes will have the advantage that after they attack they can be healed by Tallin's healers, before the trolls retaliate.
Although you will be in deep negative gold during this one, don't succumb to the temptation to give all the villages to Krash. He can make use of them immediately, but that isn't important, as he starts with enough gold to recruit enough drakes for what you need. You will get a big early finish bonus, so seize villages with your forces in the E, and with your main force once you break out. It's essential to get more than 140 gold going into the next level. (Krash won't go negative, so he'll end up with 400-500 gold with the early finish bonus anyway.)
The mistake to avoid in this scenario is exposing level 1 drakes to being swarmed by the wolfriders and assassins that head north. Keep your drakes in line, close the gap between the east end of the drake line and the west flank of the human troops, and anchor the west flank of the drake line on a board edge. Recruit lots of drakes so you can cycle injured ones out of the line before they get killed. Use mages and the Rod of Justice to blast the defenders off the walls; you'll need at least six units of heavy infantry to follow through.
[cph] I prefer a totally different approach. The only good thing about drakes in mountains is that you can rush them away to heal once they get trashed. They have a much lower defense on mountains relative to non-drake units. So it's better for Tallin to recall L2 and L3 dwarves (maybe one L1 dwarf), and spread these along the line in the mountains - you probably can't get enough to avoid having quite a number of drakes here, but it limits the number of drakes that the enemy can trash per turn; and the limited mobility in the mountains means they can't always attack the drakes with the units that they want.
Use drakes first to finish off weakened enemies, and drake burners to soften up the higher level enemy melee units (try to avoid having many L1 drake units in the line at night, when they are extremely vulnerable). Tallin's higher level units are better used for attacks on fresh enemy units. Don't extend your drake line to the map edge any faster than needed - the AI won't deliberately try to outflank, he'll just try to wrap around the last unit in line. You want to minimise the number of drakes he can maul each turn. Get the two human healers up into the mountains, and wounded drakes should congregate behind the lines around these. The two liches are good front-line units here, as the high defense means the enemy melee troops can't batter them too much (their drain attacks tend to compensate for any health loss), and their magic attacks are perhaps the most potent on this terrain.
Meanwhile, the east side of your line starts in the village just E of the mountains, where Tallin should be - the enemy are generally afraid to attack him due to the Rod. The line east of here consists of the spectre, the shyde & sorceress, and a mix of drakes and any high-level human units in your auto-recall. (The drakes have only a 10% difference in defense on these terrains, and have better mobility over the river.) Use the shyde and sorceress to entangle the best enemy melee units each turn, and drakes to soften up and kill them.
You hold this line for 2 days, wearing through the enemy. Once they run low on units, the drakes become valuable for encircling isolated units, rolling up the flanks, and darting behind their lines to seize villages. Push south through the mountains, and use the wizards to blast the orc leaders.
[IoN] I use the same technique as cph in the mountains, but a radically different strategy otherwise. I recalled all my veterans, sent the dwarves north, and almost everyone else directly west. I recruited as many Gryphons as I could with my money, and sent them, as well as Abhai, south to take the island. I also made sure to move Tallin and Krash near to the front lines. The sheer number of high-level units attacking the main front was too much for the orcs, and by turn 11 the dwarf/drake force had defeated the northern flank. I moved Krash into one of the leader castle squares in the fortress, and recruited a Drake Burner in every free square in the fortress. (If you still somehow have positive gold with Tallin, you can use a similar technique with him) By turn 12, the orcs' main front had also collapsed due to the Drake Burners, and I defeated the last orc leader on turn 16.
The gryphons in the south basically were slaughtered by turn 10. I only had two remaining with low health; I retreated these in case they would be useful for recall (20 gold vs. recruiting 40 gold). By then, however, the island was free from orcs and there was only a small band (~5-6) of one Orcish Warrior and several Wolf Riders left. Abhai easily slaughtered most of them in the water, and the healed surviving Gryphons killed the rest by turn 14.
The only problem with this strategy is that it puts you in deep negative gold, but the early finish bonus more than makes up for that.
Get the Gold
Don't recruit a lot for this one; if you have enough level 2 and 3 units to fill your starting camp, you can probably take out the orc leader with those. Krash and friends aren't likely to be able to fly over in time to do much.
Pull out all the stops, because this is it. You'll want to draw the Orc Warlords off the walls before engaging them, they're dangerous enough as it is without the fortification bonus; hanging a unit or two just within their engagement range will do it. Because there are so many orcs, you need to be especially careful about neither leaving units isolated nor presenting unanchored flanks for them to swarm around (the drakes, in particular, should fort up in the northern camp until they've thinned out their attackers considerably).
[IoN] I had a ridiculous amount of gold at this point (Tallin had well over 5000, Anita over 3000, Krash over 4000), so I decided to try the amusing tactic of swarming with thugs from Tallin's side, Burners from Krash's side, and Heroes from Anita's side; recruiting one castle full every turn until I ran out of gold. While it took a while, it worked like a charm. I also recalled my veterans to defend the keep just in case, but that turned out to be superfluous.
This is just a plot wrap-up.