Sceptre of Fire
A Bargain Is Struck
- Objectives: Transport caravans to the castle and move Alanin to the castle, or defeat the elvish leader
- Lose if: Haldric, Rugnur or one of the caravans die or time runs out
- Turns: 24
- Starting units: Rugnur and Alanin
- Other: It is probably easier and quicker to defeat the elvish leader
After a short dialogue, you have to get four caravans to your keep in the north. This is a straightforward mission. Merely move the caravans towards your keep. Recruit two or three units for Rugnur and send them south at all speed (scouts work well here, provided you are playing on 1.7.x). Use your units to shepherd the caravans, cutting it off from the elves, until it reaches the mountains. Normally, your human allies wipe out the elven attack before your troops can get stuck in, but if you can get some experience, all the better for the next mission. Use this chance to gain some experience for Rugnur in particular.
Because the humans are so effective against the elves, you may be able to simply ignore the caravans and go kill the elvish leader. Remember elves are tough to hit in forest, so concentrate on picking off the ones who venture into the grassland and let the humans take their licks against the dug-in elves.
[Thrash: In 1.8.4 on hard the above seems to be terribly out of date. The elves kick the human's butt and the objective becomes for the dwarves to kill the elven leader before the elves cause a loss.]
Closing The Gates
- Objectives: Close the gates by having a unit standing on all six glyphs simultaneously
- Lose if: Rugnur or Baglur die or time runs out
- Turns: 15
- Starting units: Rugnur and Baglur
- If there are any elves in the caves after you shut the gates, you must kill them.
- Any units outside the caves when the gates close will die; pull your units back.
This involves hunting down some trolls and stalling the elves. Firstly, recall and recruit a substantial amount of thunderers and fighters. Move all your guardsmen down towards the three towers, those two glyphs can be easily covered near the end. Move two thunderers down that way as well.
Send Rugnur and one or two fighters and a thunderer down a passage and send the rest of your forces to kill the trolls at the other passage. Once they are dead, close the glyph beside the side entrance. This will close it (I managed to shut a troll whelp outside, who promptly killed two elf scouts over the course of the scenario and managed to level up :D). Leave two behind to hold those glyphs in the passage you picked and repeat for the other passage. Then once you have done that, defend the gate until turn 14 or so, picking up as much experience as possible (try to get Rugnor at least to level 2). Then, pull all your troops back behind the gate (any left outside will automatically die, and those trapped in the door will be squished) and place any soldiers on the two remaining glyphs.
Searching for the Runecrafter
- Objectives: Send a non-Gryphon to Thursagan's village and bring him back to the signpost
- Lose if: Rugnur, Baglur, Alanin or Krawg die or time runs out
- Turns: 20
- Starting units: Rugnur, Baglur, Alanin, Krawg and a Gryphon
As soon as you move one of your units, you'll encounter Krawg and his other friendly Gryphon. Thursagan is hiding in a random village. You have to go find him and bring him back to the signpost in your keep. He won't follow a Gryphon, so you have to send a dwarf (or Alanin).
The monsters you'll face are Wolves, Ogres, Trolls and Woses. Mostly Wolves. Maintain a defensive position in your mountain stronghold and send your Gryphons to find Thursagan. Then send a dwarf to bring him back.
The Trolls, Woses and Ogres hit hardest, so concentrate on killing them when they arrive. Don't let the wolves flank you and get inside your perimeter.
- Objectives: Mine one gold deposit and two coal deposits (see below)
- Lose if: Rugnur or Thursagan die or time runs out
- Turns: 40/37/34 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Rugnur, Baglur, Thursagan and two Dwarvish Runesmiths
- To mine you must recruit a Dwarvish Miner, move him to the deposit and move him back to the keep
- The map is randomized so your map play slightly differently
The coal deposits are near the northwest troll and the southeast troll. The gold deposit is near the village in the middle. (The map layout is randomized, but the minerals are always in these areas). In order to mine, you must recruit a Dwarvish Miner, move him to the deposit and move him back to the keep. The mining can be done with just one Miner, but make it a priority to grab the deposits as quickly as you can. The gold is easy and the northwest coal can maybe be snatched before you kill the Troll up there. Obviously don't let that Miner die.
Recruit 2 keepfuls of units and get to the middle area quickly. The goblins are numerous but weak. The trick here is to hold the northeast against Troll Whelps and Ogres, the southeast against more Whelps and Rocklobbers and still have enough units to kill all the goblins. Oh, and you only have one village and no healers. The AI doesn't like attacking your Runesmiths/Thursagan when they are on good defensive ground. I guess the outcome is too unfavorable given the 70% magical chance to hit. You can use this to your advantage when clogging up passageways.
Remember to move your Miner to and from the deposits as quickly as possible. In general, the order of things to do besides that is:
- Get your troops into the middle clearing and dig in.
- Kill the goblins and their leader.
- Kill the last of the wave from the northeast and reinforce the southeast.
- Move some of your forces to finish the northeast leader and the rest to reinforce the southeast.
- Push to the southeast (there are villages down here) and get the last leader.
The easiest order to get the deposits is probably gold, northwest coal, southeast coal.
In 1.8.2 on the Steelclad (Challenging) difficulty the ogres and goblins fight each other, so you can let them weaken each other while you go south and slaughter the trolls there. Once you've dealt with the south trolls you can use the villages there to heal your troops before going north to finish the survivors (most likely the ogres, as the goblins are too weak). If you choose this strategy be careful not to spend too much time waiting for the fighting in the north to end.
[Thrash: In my experience the enemies seemed to prefer fighting each other instead of the player's units. If you just hang back a turn or two, they will starting fighting and then you can pick off weak units for XP and wade in after a couple turns when they've weakened each other. Also, recruiting 3 miners makes things much easier in turns of time (I wouldn't be surprised if it was impossible with one miner on hard).]
Hills of the Shorbear Clan
- Objectives: Defeat the dwarf leader and have all heroes in the cave while no enemies are in it
- Lose if: Rugnur, Alanin, Krawg, Thursagan or Durstorn die or time runs out
- Turns: 24
- Starting units: Rugnur, Alanin, Krawg, Thursagan, Durstorn, a Thunderguard and a Steelclad
Since Durstorn started a fight, you have to kick the dwarves out of their cave. The problem is that some elves show up and start fighting you too. So you have to take over the cave and kick everyone else out.
You can use Krawg and another Gryphon to go around the map and flag lots of villages. You'll get lots of gold and can use that to recruit a couple of fresh units if you need after you capture the Shorbears' keep.
The scenario is pretty straightforward. When fighting the dwarves use the terrain to your advantage. A dwarf on a mountain tile is only hit 30% of the time... unless you are attacking with a Runesmith/Runemaster. Their magical attacks (70% chance to hit) can make all the difference. Once you are in the cave and fighting off the elves, seal up the exits when you can. Now all you need to do is wipe out any stragglers and you are done.
Towards the Caves
- Objectives: Move Alanin to the southern border east of the river, move Rugnur to the northeast cave
- Lose if: Rugnur, Alanin, Krawg or Thursagan die or time runs out
- Turns: 12
- Starting units: Rugnur, Baglur, Krawg, Thursagan, and Alanin
It is important to realize that the two objectives do not need to be accomplished simultaneously; once Alanin touches the southern border, he disappears and his part is done. So, you can just send him straight south from turn 1. Have him go along the western edge of the river and cross over when he is at the bottom. The southeastern elves really don't like Alanin, so be careful not to attract too much attention. (Note that you can use that to your advantage to slow the advance of those elves).
This scenario is an exercise in holding a defensible position. The problem is that position has six entrances and you are up against a bunch of level 2 attackers. Recruit 2 or 3 keeps full of soldiers, sneak Alanin and Rugnur out (maybe with a few units (Gryphons?) for cover and village flagging), and dig in. Rotate your units and try not to lose to many. Since most of the attackers are level 2, you can level some units with a couple of kills. Stay on good defensive ground and don't try anything crazy. Yes, you can also win by killing all the leaders. Good luck with that.
[Thrash: I found just running for it worked for me. Alanin is able to make it to the southern edge before any elves can reach him by running down the west bank and crossing over. For Rugnur I recruited 6 sacrificial scouts and used them to screen the northern elves and Rugnur was able to make the cave with the elves on his heels.]
Outriding the Outriders
- Objectives: Reach the outpost in the south
- Lose if: Alanin dies or time runs out
- Turns: 12
- Starting units: Alanin
First off, this level is the last time you will see any of these units. So, don't do anything to cute with them. If you level a Spearman, the best choice is probably Javelineer. Pikeman and Javelineer have pierce attacks (which are best against the Outriders) but the Javelineer has the ranged attack too.
The main goal is to slow the elves down (which you can of course do by killing them). If a unit has 2 or 3 HP, don't attack with it. Make one of the Outriders waste his turn by killing it. Try and use your units ZOC and the terrain to slow the elves down. The Outriders are slow on ice, hills and mountains. If you have the option of falling back (or moving up) and combining two villages worth of defenders, that's probably a good idea.
There are two villages you can reach with your first move. Go to the southernmost one. This sums up the whole modus operandi for Alanin: move as far south as you can every turn. Deviate slightly to capture villages, but not too much. You will need most of every turn's moves to get to the outpost in time.
- Objectives: Get Rugnur, Thursagan and Krawg to the end of the tunnel; then move Thursagan to the forge and defend him for 9 turns
- Lose if: Rugnur, Thursagan or Krawg die
- Turns: n/a
- Starting units: Rugnur, Thursagan, Krawg, and Baglur
The elves and dwarves don't really come after you. Recruit/recall with all your gold and move everyone through the cave. The biggest surprise is the Bats. There are lots of them. The best way to kill them is with Scouts' ranged attack or Runesmiths' magical attack. Remeber they are level 0 so don't exert a zone of control. The Dragon might come out but there is no advantage in killing it. Just move past it.
Move Thursagan to the forge and then hit next turn 9 times.
[Thash: Contrary to what this says, the elves and the dwarves did come after me in a big way after a few turns, but I was able to pick a good spot in the tunnel and hold them off by just plugging the tunnel - not attacking - and rotating wounded units through. Also be care of which units you send SW from starting point, beserkers can come running out of darkness and kill Krawg easily.]
Caverns of Flame
- Objectives: Move onto the glyph that makes the volcano erupt; then kill all the elves
- Lose if: Rugnur, Thursagan or Krawg die
- Turns: n/a
- Starting units: Rugnur, Thursagan, Krawg, Baglur and many others
You start with a bunch of units which is good because you can't recall any. What you start with is all you get. The cave is populated by Trolls and a few Orcish Warriors guarding the glyph. Your job is to get onto the glyph and then kill all the elves.
After a turn or two a bunch of dwarves and elves appear at the mouth of the cave (so get your units moving). Just like in the last scenario the elves move very slowly so you'll fight the dwarves separately from the elves. Keep your force together. You face a lot of strong enemies and will need to rotate all your troops to prevent too much attrition. Take advantage of the fact that you are fighting so many level 2 and 3 units to level any of your troops that still can improve.
Move everyone to the westernmost cavern. It has a good bottleneck to hold the dwarves at and plenty of villages to heal. Once you are dug in, send Rugnur, Thursagan (who is an absolute badass now that he has the Sceptre of Fire) and a few other units south to the glyph. Kill the orc guards and step on the glyph. Once you do that you are instructed to kill all the elves before they escape. Luckily for you, stepping on the glyph also unleashes the Troll Warriors behind the elves. The elves have no chance. The trolls will quickly slaughter them. You can help if you want, but the end is inevitable. Make sure Thursagan and Rugnur don't fall in lava.
To keep Krawg out of trouble you can move him onto one of the lava squares. There are several which are only accessible/attackable by flying units. There are no flying enemies so Krawg will be safe.
Don't worry about the Troll Warriors. They cannot get out until you step on the glyph. By that time it probably doesn't matter.
Don't waste your time fighting the trolls - use a few units to slow them down and go directly south to the glyph. Kill the guards as quickly as possible and take defensive positions around the glyph while watching the elves and trolls fight each other. When you're ready step on the glyph and unleash the Troll Warriors on the elves. Then it's only a matter of surviving until the elves are slaughtered. You might suffer some losses, but as long as the heroes survive it doesn't matter.