- 1 Overall campaign strategy
- 2 Scenarios
- 2.1 A Summer Of Storms
- 2.2 The Fall
- 2.3 A Harrowing Escape
- 2.4 Diverging Campaign Path
- 2.5 The Oldwood
- 2.6 Temple in the Deep
- 2.7 Return to Oldwood
- 2.8 Clearwater Port
- 2.9 Fallen Lich Point
- 2.10 Sewer of Southbay
- 2.11 Southbay in Winter
- 2.12 A Final Spring
- 2.13 Peoples in Decline
- 2.14 Rough Landing
- 2.15 A New Land
- 2.16 The Ka'lian
- 2.17 Diverging Campaign Path
- 2.18 A Spy In The Woods
- 2.19 The Vanguard
- 2.20 Return of the Fleet
- 2.21 Rise of Wesnoth
- 3 See Also
Overall campaign strategy
Over the course of this campaign, you will need to level up to some:
- Healers: White Mages/Mages of Light (at least four)
- Undead vanquishers: Paladins (two)
- Mobile strikers: Silver Mages (at least one, preferably more), Grand Knights (several), Fugitives (one or more helps)
- Damage sinks: Royal Guards, Iron Maulers, Highwaymen, Halberdiers, Level-3 Burin, and again Grand Knights
- Leaders: Level-3 Haldric, Level-3 Lady Outlaw, and much later, Level-3 Commander Aethyr.
- Ranged attackers: Great Mages (can use several in the last scenario), Longbowmen/Master Bowmen (two), Trapper/Huntsman (one is helpful)
A Mage of Light, one Paladin, and five Grand Knights make a perfect assault team!
Although Horsemen are key for the first three or four scenarios, it's important not to be too reliant on horse units through the middle part of the campaign, as there are many hard levels underground, in swamps, in water, or against Saurians; use XP from the scenario The Vanguard to level-up at least two Paladins and two-or-more Grand Knights.
Don't overlook Pikemen/Halberdiers, which are useful in many levels; pierce attacks work well against Drakes and against the Dragon, and they are handy for defensive roles - especially repelling Wolf Riders. They are not as useful against the Undead, though, and don't get that +1 MP Royal Guard speed bonus.
Due to many Undead opponents, you will want to recruit many Thugs at times, and get a few leveled up - preferably the quick ones, which will be more useful in underground levels. Footpads help too, once leveled up. Due to swamps, you will sometimes be spamming Poachers, which - upon reaching Level 3 - gain the marksmanship trait (or Rangers are good too, for swamps and forest.) These, plus Lady Outlaw, provide a better range of tactics in other levels too: some decent chaotic troops form an ideal reserve, since you can attack with your lawful troops at dawn, and by nightfall when you need to heal them, use some chaotic troops to either continue the attack or to shield your healing lawful units.
Here are some recommended units to have obtained by specific scenarios:
2. The Fall - 1 Knight
3. A Harrowing Escape - 1 White Mage, 2 Knights, plus about-to-level troops
4a. The Midlands - avoid this Scenario, prefer The Swamp of Eden instead
4b. The Swamp of Eden - Level-2 Haldric, Level-2 Lady Outlaw, 2 Knights, 2 Shocktroopers
6. Temple of the Deep - Level-3 Haldric, Level-3 Burin, 1-2 Mages of Light or several Outlaws / quick Bandits
8. Clearwater Port - Level-3 Lady Outlaw, 3 White Mages / Mages of Light, 3 Iron Maulers / Royal Guards / Halberdiers
12. A Final Spring - 1-2 Silver Mages
14. Rough Landing - the 3 loyal Mermen from the previous scenario, Peoples in Decline
17a. The Dragon - up to 4 White Mages / Mages of Light
17d. Cursed Island - 1 Paladin
19. The Vanguard - 4 Knights/Lancers/Grand Knights, 2 Paladins (or about-to-level Knights)
20. Return of the Fleet - 1 Mermen Entangler, 1 Merman Triton with Storm Trident, Level-3 Commander Aethyr desirable
22. The Rise of Wesnoth - 2 Paladins, 3 Royal Guards, 4 Mages of Light
Because the campaign is long and you won't be able to recall all your Level-3's in the final scenario, it pays to create some "uber-units". An example is a quick, resilient Silver Mage that has been AMLA advanced a few times.
A Summer Of Storms
This is a relatively easy scenario, so gear your recruitment and strategy with an eye towards gathering XP.
- For the first round, recruit 2-3 Horsemen and the rest can be all Spearmen or a mix of Spearmen and Bowmen as you see fit.
- Then, you should probably hire Bowmen and more Spearmen. Whatever Bowmen you can get advanced will be useful later on for fighting the many trolls, grunts, and riders you will encounter. Note, however, that you will not have any healers until you level up at least one mage to White Mage status, and the sooner you can do that the better. Red mages will also prove very useful in subsequent scenarios, so consider recruiting at least two mages.
- Players have used at least three strategies with success...
- The "over the bridge" strategy: Send the horsemen with the king over the bridge, and the others should follow or start going over the mountain, to avoid being attacked from behind. Send subsequent Spearmen and Bowmen on the "over-the-bridge" road, and when the Prince and final troops have just about caught up, march on the enemy camp.
- The "hide in the swamp" strategy: Proceed much like the above, but send the king with 3 Horsemen to capture the nearest houses, then retreat into the swamp area until you have your lawful bonus to kill off troops during the day. To hold them back, you can use a Spearman and a Mage (to level him.)
- "Sandbagging" strategy: On the hardest difficulty level, the initial enemy assault will only be easy to handle by entrenching your troops behind the river. Use the king to block the bridge initially, while Spearmen handle the shoreline just north and Horsemen carefully flag villages across the river. Run the king around, lending his leadership as you massacre the stupid enemy troops that have jumped like lemmings into the water.
- For all these options, you will also need to send a squad north into the mountains and around into the flank of the enemy. A quick Spearman, a quick Bowman, and one other unit, possibly a quick Mage, should be more than sufficient.
- When you see that the fronts are under control, stop recruiting and send prince Haldric and your Mages over the bridge on a quest for XP, assisted by the leadership of the king, and converge on the enemy camp.
This is a scenario that looks scary, but it is only moderately difficult with proper recruitment and strategy.
- Recall or recruit Spearmen and Bowmen to man the lines.
- Horsemen/Knights are desirable, because you probably do not yet have a White Mage, and the villages are widely spaced.
- Recalling or recruiting Mages for XP gathering is highly advisable for future scenarios.
- There are three basic approaches to take out the outlaw leader...
- "Brute force" strategy: You can march west with a large army and use part of it to hold northwestern orc. Use the rest to fight outlaws and kill the leader. This strategy requires a lot of troops but it can bring you plenty of experience and can bring a quick victory.
- "Assassination over the bridge" strategy: You can assassinate the outlaw leader. One way is to wait until the orcs have killed almost all outlaws and then assassinate the outlaw leader with Knights, rushing over the enemy camp's bridge and into the keep. This strategy is risky because orcs can kill the leader before you.
- "Assassination via the mountain pass" strategy: Another way to assassinate the leader is to send a squad through the southern mountains to the outlaw keep. Two Mages and three Spearmen might be enough. If not, add a Knight, Horseman, or the King, though these units have only a narrow passage devoid of mountains and could get pinned by the enemy.
- On the hardest difficulty level, you may be forced to assassinate.
- Saving the loyal Heavy Infantrymen (or Shock Troopers on easy) pays off in later scenarios. To save all three, move them south towards the outlaws.
- Once you eliminate the HP of the Lady Outlaw, she offers to help you. If you say yes, she comes back as a loyal unit in future scenarios and you will be able to recruit outlaw units, plus she cannot be killed in the next couple of scenarios (instead, she disappears when she goes to zero HP, and comes back the next scenario.) This is quite valuable. If you say no and try to kill her, you find out she cannot be killed. However, you do get 200 gold that she leaves behind.
- Heads up: The following scenario (A Harrowing Escape) is a handful on the hardest difficulty level. On hard, your goal should be a carryover of almost 150 gold (so you have 250 starting gold), so although Lady Outlaw's assistance is worth much more than 80 gold (40% carryover of her 200 gold), you may be forced to choose the gold. Another thing you need to beat the following scenario on hard is a White Mage at or near the start of the scenario. Also, about-to-level units will be especially nice for their self-healing ability and low initial upkeep. Steer XP accordingly.
A Harrowing Escape
This scenario is much easier on lower difficulty levels, calling for different strategies.
- Recruitment: You should recruit/recall at least one, possibly two Mages here, and use them for killing Goblin Spearmen and finishing off injured Wolf Riders in the hills & mountains bordering the valley. Other than the Mages, simply recruit what you want, and go along the road. You get enough villages to pay upkeep for quite some army, and can give some of them a bit of experience.
- Strategy: Leave a few units in the rear, as the enemy can cross hills quickly. Note that Footpads and Outlaws will also cross hills at reasonable speed, if you need to hunt down some units. There are two castle tiles about halfway down, try to send Lady Outlaw and Brunin the Lost to them, they make good guards in case the enemy tries to come straight up. You can also send a couple groups of units down southeast to the lake, so you can prevent the Green team (southeast) from coming up the river. You can also kill the two Orcish Grunts (or Warriors on medium) on the southern castle tiles and then move Lady Outlaw and Brunin to them.
- Recruitment: To beat this scenario on the hardest difficulty level, you need some Level-2 (or better yet, about-to-level level 1) units already and decent starting gold. It has been beaten on hard with as little as 158 starting gold, 200 is still difficult, and 250+ makes it relatively easy. You can stretch your gold a bit by not going negative on upkeep and waiting until you can't wait any longer to do one last round of recruiting, recalling mostly Level-2's. For timing your final recruitment, watch the wolves that are likely trying to flank through the mountains south of your keep. Another requirement for beating this scenario is a White Mage (or two.) If need be, you must promote a Mage (or two) tout de suite, as you will be dealing with severe damage and assassins, while only having easy access to 2 or 3 villages initially. Horsemen and Knights are useful for dissipating damage by serving as meat shields against blades and then running off to remote villages to heal. Quick Horsemen are especially nice, as they can transfer between two strategically placed villages in one turn, for healing on the go. Horsemen, Knights, and Swordsmen are useful for swatting assassins. If you can recruit outlaws, a couple of Footpads are nice for village grabbing. Thieves are also good because they are cheap, the Grunts are fond of attacking them, and they often survive on 70% defense.
- Strategy: Near the start of combat, it's crucial to kill the first waves quickly: the wolves and assassins. More important than terrain is avoiding getting flanked, so mobility of individual units is key; if you climb up deep into the mountains, you will have a harder time with mobility than staying on or near the valley floor. Additionally, many of your units cannot go on mountain hexes, so it's easier to maintain your lines if everyone stays close to the valley. It's easier to make a stand at the keep and northern river bank, but this approach can be too costly in terms of time.
- On medium/hard, you can lure out the roadside guard Warriors one at a time by putting a unit within attack range of one (and out of range of the other.) They mostly come at night. Mostly. That is, the Warriors might not bite bait put out during the day.
- If you have Lady Outlaw, note that she has leadership, which will be useful to help promote Prince Haldric, if he is still level 0. It's worth advancing her to Level-2, to continue to provide leadership to level 1 Haldric and your other level 1's. You may also make use of her odd ability "distract", which allows adjacent allied units to ignore ZOCs. And Lady Outlaw allows you to recruit outlaw types. On hard especially, Thugs can be useful as meat shields and to provide strong attacks at night when your lawful forces are crippled. Remember too that Lady Outlaw cannot be permanently killed (at least not yet), so when desperate times call for desperate measures, you can move her into a suicidal position.
- It helps that there are two enemy sides as opposed to a twice as strong single enemy side. If one of your units could be attacked by 3 enemies, but 1 of these hexes is currently blocked by the other side, the currently moving enemy decides to attack units which it (they) is (are) actually less likely to kill than that one. AIs don't cooperate, that is.
- If you are stuck on this scenario, you may need to replay one or both of the previous scenarios and/or choose to "kill" Lady Outlaw in the previous scenario so you get her gold.
- There is Dwarf Steelclad in the village at 8,5. It's not far from your camp, so send Lady Outlaw there. Dwarf joins you because "It has been a long time since he felt the satisfying crunch of Orcs under his Axe."
- After you kill the first orc leader, an Orcish Slayer and two Assassins will pop out of nowhere, so you would be wise not to have any wounded units stuck without movement points at that point. Also, the other leader will get an infusion of gold and start recruiting on all available hexes, so if you can sit on some of those hexes first, it will help keep the situation from getting out of control.
- At the end, you will be given the choice of the river/swamp road or the midlands/orc road. These fork to the scenarios The Swamp of Esten and The Midlands, respectively. The swamp scenario is relatively easy, while The Midlands could cost you some leveled units or even prove impossible to beat if you are low on gold. Also, the swamp gives you a free loyal White Mage, so it's a no brainer, unless you want more of a challenge.
- Heads up: it would be wise to have at least 1 White Mage before going to the scenario The Swamp of Esten.
Diverging Campaign Path
Orcs again. But you chose that way. This scenario may appear impossible, but with a lot of gold and a little strategy, it can be beat.
- You are given plenty of time, so use it wisely. The enemies send lots of orcs, mostly weak ones. So recruit and recall everything you can.
- Recall any White Mages you have. You'll need them.
- Bowmen are good for the wolf units you will be facing.
- The rest depends on your strategy.
- The "Fast Assault" option: use an assassination team. If you go west, only your Knights and Horsemen will arrive and fight at daytime. So go south. Take the bridge and defend against the enemy closing in from the west. Take out Yellow with a fast assault team (they should take a healer along), but be careful about the leader. Your main force moves west, takes and holds the second bridge, and takes out Blue. Your assault team stays in the south and goes for the last enemy leader - they won't face any serious resistance. The enemy moves north to support Blue. The HI guarding the bridge might gain a level or die, but hopefully not the latter, as they are loyal units in a long campaign. With this approach, you can finish early (around 25 turns) and keep your losses low.
- The "Dark Assault" option: use Footpads. If you chose to work with the the outlaws in the last round, then this works well. Footpads are cheap. And they are fast. And they have good defensive abilities. Plus they fight well in the dark and in the forest. So recruit lots of Footpads-pawns and quickly dispatch them to the upper west and south, followed by more powerful units: Mages, Horsemen, etc. For the time being, leave the middle enemy alone. To the upper west, send several Footpads into the forest and capture the village and set up a defensive line. This cuts down the enemy's gold and increases yours. Don't attack at first, just defend, until more of your slow higher powered units arrive. The strategy here is to pick off the orcs, and send the Horsemen to capture villages. While this is going, to the south you send your Footpads to capture any villages you can and, more importantly, put a Footpad on the hex that is adjacent to the bridge, thereby stopping easy advancement of their greater numbered troops. A White Mage, a couple Trappers and some Bowmen would make a good escort. Probably sending a Thief or two would be good too, to help dispatch any enemy that infiltrate the villages north of the river. one enemy got into one of the villages on the north of river, and it took a lot to dislodge him. The intention is to engage the enemy so that they are fighting from the river squares, at a huge disadvantage.
The Swamp Of Esten
This scenario is not hard if you are conservative and don't send important units off alone.
- First round, recall 1-2 quick Knights (or Paladins, if you have them), recruit 1-2 Horsemen, and recall your loyal Shocktroopers or whatever they are now.
- Next round, recruit/recall Mages to kill Scorpions (and Bats) and at least one White Mage to deal with poison, plus maybe a Poacher or Trapper or two, as they are good in swamp (and you would like a Huntsman eventually, for its markmanship.)
- A little Thug spam can come next, but you don't need a full third round of recruitment. Then send Prince Haldric off to lend his leadership.
- Head to the northeastern leader first. Try to kill Dark Adepts with Burin or horse units before they have a chance to attack you. As you close in on the leader, hover your mouse over him to watch where he can go, as at night his ranged attack is nasty and can be followed up by waves of kamikaze Walking Corpses, which can take out a Knight.
- After you have killed the northeastern leader and eliminated troops there, you can either send your whole army back across the ford and south or split your army into two halves, sending one part to each leader. If you have lost several units but have lots of turns left, it's probably safer to stick together. This is not a simple mop-up operation, as powerful undead can take out some of your valuable units if you're not careful. On hard, Shadows are a threat at night.
- Searching the temples is a good idea. Some have gold. There is a free loyal White Mage hiding in (a random) one of the temples - visit the temple close to the keep ASAP, and if not there, try rushing a horse unit or Lady Outlaw to the temple at 19,5. However, some of the temples contain undead, so keep extra troops nearby when you enter one.
The main challenge in this scenario is keeping your ally alive.
- First round, recall your (probably leveled up) Heavy Infantry from The Fall and some quick Spearmen.
- Second round, recruit/recall Thugs, Bowmen, and Spearmen, preferably quick.
- Third round, recall 2-3 White Mages (or Mages of Light) and maybe some quick Mages.
- Your forces will have three main combat arenas: the northeast, the south, and the middle.
- The castle in the middle is inhabited by the tree folk. The orcs have almost the perfect anti-wose force, heavy on fire (Orcish Crossbowmen and Pillagers), so your ally is going to need your help. Send 2-4 units to the castle and another 4-8 units northeast of the castle to block the enemy advancing from that direction.
- Split the rest of your forces to go northeast and south, 4-6 units each, with a White Mage in each force. Your loyal Heavy Infantry / Shocktroopers should head south. Sending Haldric south might help take some of the heat off the woses.
- If you send a White Mage or Mage of Light to the wose castle, it will let any adjacent wose cure+heal or sometimes regenerate+heal (16 points.) That's because of the side sequence within a turn: player, orcs, woses. For example, after the orcs attack with poison, the woses cure themselves, and then your leveled mage will heal any adjacent wose.
- The temple contains the entrance to the catacombs, but you need the leader Wose's help to open it, and to get that help you have to win the current scenario, so there is no point in visiting this temple.
- Heads up: The next scenario is in the catacombs, i.e., underground, and it's a tough one, so you need to groom your roster accordingly. Two Mages of Light would make it a whole lot easier. Failing that, level up your fearless loyal Shocktrooper and chaotic outlaw types. Bandits/Highwaymen and Fugitives are especially nice. Quick units of almost any type (except horse units) will be helpful, if leveled and possessing high HP (>50).
Temple in the Deep
You will be facing undead underground. This is a difficult situation that will prove much easier with proper recruitment. Then the strategy will be fairly straightforward.
- All in all, what you need is a small elite force. Two rounds of recalls is enough, if you didn't lose Burin in a prior scenario.
- First round, recall your loyal Shocktroopers / Iron Maulers, though their slow movement will prove frustrating. Also on the first round, recall a fast "tank" and someone to grab the holy water.
- Second round, recall any Mages of Light you might already have, and a total of at least two White Mages or Mages of Light, preferably quick. For the rest of your recruitment, what you need are high movement (6+ MP) non-horse units with high hitpoints (>50 HP). It helps if they are chaotic (or at least neutral) and/or have ranged or impact attacks. Put all the requirements together and it points to Fugitives. Outlaws and quick Arch Mages are worth recalling too. Fill out the rest with other high HP units. Note that horse units are too sluggish in caves and should not be recalled/recruited unless you have a compelling reason.
- Third round (optional), you can add a unit or two for a safety margin.
- There are two ways north, but they will meet up together. First thing you will see are Tentacles. You can either ignore the Tentacles for the most part or use them for XP. Your main initial objective is to find a good place to make a stand against the nasty wave of undead coming from the north. The chokepoints and southern shoreline offer good defensive locations. Watch out for the enemy's Bone Shooters, Revenants and Deathblades, as they could easily mess up a Level-3 unit.
- Once the flow of baddies as tapered off, gradually progress northwards. Once you get into the final chamber, the boss should be a piece of cake, although his ranged attack is devastating, so try to attack him with melee units. Be careful if he has recruits around, as their combined damage can take down one of your Level-3's. Note that the Ruby can only be picked up by Haldric.
- Holy water: The best choice for the Holy Water is a quick Bandit, who should level quickly. A quick Highwayman could be used, but won't benefit much from the XP.
- XP: Use this level to get experience. The early-finish bonus is tiny. The Tentacles are perfect for leveling up units. Keep Burin away from the water at this stage, or he'll kill all tentacles as they attack, depriving those who could benefit from the XP.
- Your killed units will be turned into Walking Corpses (or Soulless on hard.) Therefore, spam is not helpful. A Mage or Thug can be okay, if used with great care, but mostly you need to recall leveled troops here.
Return to Oldwood
This scenario is easy if you take the first boat out, more challenging for the second and third boats, and very difficult (on hard) if you want to take out all three leaders.
- Your loyals, two to three healers and plenty of spearmen is all you need, if you stick to the walls and play defensively.
- Recruit slowly at start to stretch your gold with initial income.
- It's a good scenario for leveling troops, so add a few other (sturdy, non-mage) units for diversity and to make your recall list more varied.
- Your ally does not need his villages.
- Man the walls, play defensively, stick to the walls, prepare to defend against occasional breaches.
- Use illumination and leadership to maximum effect.
- Soften opponents with your loyal veterans, feed kills to recruits.
- Send a small task force to the northeastern coast (easy kills on 20% terrain). Be prepared to reinforce them.
- Take the third boat (this gives early finish bonus) or try to defeat all leaders, if you feel ambitious.
Fallen Lich Point
This is a high variance scenario. It may be easy or hard, depending on events beyond your control.
- Recruit fairly lightly initially, as you will likely have a chance to use the Lich's keep to recruit again.
- Mages, White Mages, and Mages of Light are good, and as are all the other advancements of Mages.
- You automatically should have your loyal Knight. Because of the mountains around "lichland" and frozen ground everywhere else, additional horse units are not recommended, except a single Paladin will come in handy.
- Some Thugs or a Bandit or Highwayman will provide a little extra undead bashing power.
- Footpads will help with village flagging.
- The Orcs will be busy with the Yetis, so you can walk with a big group south and kill the Lich-Lord. Move Haldric to the stone monument to de-petrify the Lich. It may help to post some units around the undead before doing so. Use several mages to make a hole or two in the ring of undead, and then push in a burly fighter or two and/or Paladin to kill the Lich.
- After killing the Lich, assess the Orc/Yeti situation (as well as the village flagging situation) and decide if you need to use the Lich's keep to recruit some reinforcements.
- After that, head north and walk into the sewer entrance (the "cave") or else kill the orc leaders.
- It is also possible, if you recruit heavily, to split your force and head north to attack the eastern Orcs before they finish with the Yetis. However, be careful not to be attacked by a Yeti yourself.
- When dealing with the Lich, be aware that he has money; if you let him vacate any of his encampment tiles, or if you kill any of his units but do not occupy their tiles, he will be able to recruit. (This is not necessarily all bad, as it can mean more experience, but depending on the strength of your force you may want to be careful.)
Sewer of Southbay
This is a swampy underground scenario, but with attention to recruitment, it's not very difficult.
- As always underground, you want non-horse units with 6+ MP.
- Recall White Mages / Mages of Light, at least two, three is probably the optimal number.
- There are quite a few villages in this cave, so an expensive force is supportable, though not necessary. Some players recruit a large and spammy force, while others go with small and elite:
- Option 1, "Large and spammy" recruitment: Recruit four each of Mages, Thugs, and Poachers. Yes, Poachers normally stink, but here they really shine in a swamp that is permanently dark, underground. If you recruit four Poachers, you could finish with three Trappers and a Huntsman - or you could finish with four dead Poachers. The Thugs are especially likely to die, as they will be facing off against Red Mages, but somebody has to do it.
- Option 2, "Small and elite" recruitment: Recall something like one Red Mage, one Arch Mage, one Silver Mage, 2 two Royal Guards/Highwaymen/etc, and a Trapper or Huntsman, plus three regular Mages and a Poacher.
- A Rogue (or Assassin) can be very handy as a damage dealer, who is able to break through bottlenecks.
- After leaving your initial chamber, you will be in a large swamp room with three entrances, through which will be a flood of bad guys. Use two Poachers and a Thug or similar to blockade the southeast, a small elite group to block the north, and then a mix of fighters and mages to handle the west entrance. Give each group a White Mage or Mage of Light, as well as at least one regular Mage. Try to keep the Mages of Light away from your chaotic forces on the front lines, though. Use the leadership of Haldric and Lady Jessene - and Mage of Light illumination or lack thereof - to get the most from each attack.
- When the initial battle has died down, you have two options:
- If you have enough forces, you can divide into two groups and attack both brothers simultanously, east and west.
- Otherwise, do them one after the other, and then look for the exit.
- Danger: there is a Giant Spider at the exit. You may wish to keep one or two cannon fodder units in order to be able to save your advanced units. It is best to use ranged attacks against the spider, so leveled mages are good here.
- Heads up: the next scenario is a lot easier with a lot of gold, especially on the hardest difficulty level.
Southbay in Winter
A Final Spring
Clockwise, starting at the bottom:
- the southern orcs (purple) will recruit the usual orcish units, and with a few going west between the mountains and the coast, while the bulk will come through the plains south of the swamp, arriving at the keep early in the night. This one is the most conventional enemy, once his host is defeated you can march a comparatively small strike force to his keep and finish him off.
- The waterlogged orc to the west (black) will recruit mostly Naga and a few Bats, which will harrass you from the sea and try to seize the villages on your peninsula. He only has a small keep, so he can keep recruiting, two units per turn, seemingly forever.
- The northern orcs (green) are farthest away; they also have lots of villages they can capture. Hence it will be some time until they reach you, and not in full force at first. With any luck (and strong enough units) you'll have fought down the bulk of the southern orcs by then.
- Finally, a number of level-2 skeletons (including Chocobones) will appear behind the swamp in the east on turn 4 (first dusk). Those will join the black team; starting behind the swamp and with a few villages to grab, they won't knock on your door before daybreak.
Spoiler: On turn five, a few mermen will appear near the lighthouse and join you; you'll also be able to recruit mermen from then on. That's your ticket to fighting back the Naga, see to it that you still have some money left at the time.
- several Trappers/Rangers/Huntsmen to sally forth and occupy the hills and forest south of the town. Your ally will sally forth to meet the enemy in the usual fashion; if you can lend a hand and soften up the enemy, King Addroran's troops will finish them off easily. In doing so, they'll happily expose themselves to counterattack -- your Trappers (etc.) have a rather good melee attack and probably won't be targeted as long as there's weaker and more accessible allied units nearby. Don't fret about the missed XP, there will be plenty more before this is over. For now, you want to dispose of the bad guys ASAP before they pile up on the doorstep.
- you probably don't need dedicated undead-killers beyond the Mages you bring anyway. But if you want to employ your loyal Shock Troopers, recruit them no later than turn 2 or they won't get there in time.
- Mages: seeing as there will be fighting all over the place, three healers will be barely sufficient. A few fireball-throwers will also come in handy, if only in order to deal with the evasive Orcish Assassins / Slayers. A Silver Mage or two will be especially useful, as they can teleport all over the place and help with each of the commanders in turn (especially the one on the island, that would take forever to get to otherwise).
- by turn 3, some chaff to occupy the coastal villages so the Naga can't just waltz in. Level-1 units or even peasants will do.
- the worst fighting will be over by daybreak; you'll still want a few lawful units to carry on the battle during the day. One keep of knights and level-2 lawful infantry should suffice. Recruit these on turn 4.
- starting on turn five, you can recruit mermen. Those can not only deal with the Naga infestation, but also tackle the northern orcs as they try to cross the bay. Two keeps worth is not too many.
Strategy is broken into three fronts...
- First order is to help your ally with the first waves of attackers, as described above. You can't stop King Addroran from throwing away his troops, but you can help them to have some effect before they perish.
- Next, fending off the Naga. A few cheap units in coastal villages at first, mermen later. Mermen vs Naga at sea will be slow fighting: both have excellent terrain defense, so there will be no obvious progress for a good long while. You should use a Mage of Light to support them, this really makes a difference during the night.
- Also, the bay/river to the north. The Mermen can be very efficient here, enjoying high terrain defense while being close enough to the coast that Lady Jessene and Haldric can provide Leadership wherever needed; again, you also want a Mage of Light if available.
For the landlubbers, don't bring too many rookies: this scenario is best used to direct experience to your level-2 units, partially advancing them outright or getting them to a point where you can expect them to level up at a good point in their next battle.
For the Merfolk, try to advance all they loyal ones, and a few more besides. Directing XP to particular units will be easier for those mermen defending the bridge, but those fighting the Naga will inevitably get some XP as well. Eventually you'll have to cross the bridge with ground troops and take the fight to the enemy, though.
Peoples in Decline
This is a potentially bloody scenario. The Drakes are barely impeded by the difficult terrain and can run circles around you, making it hard to move damaged units into a safe position. On the upside, most drakes have little terrain defense even in forest and mountains, and are positively vulnerable to spears and arrows.
Strategy... Using Trappers (or their upgrades) and Merfolk, try to lure the enemy into the swamps or over the sea, fight down their troops, then storm their keeps. Be prepared to suffer some losses: it's better to deliberately sacrifice some units of your choosing than struggling to keep everyone alive.
- There's a Storm Trident in the middle of the bay. There's no particular hurry to pick it up for using it in this battle: the trident does fire damage, which isn't very useful against drakes. Just don't forget to retrieve it for later use.
Picking it up will summon a level-3 Sea Serpent on the next turn, be sure that you're ready for it.
Lord Typhon will depart in a few scenarios, so better give the trident to another fighter. Preferably a "quick" one, who can become a Hoplite and still keep up with his mates when he gets to Level-3.
You will be fighting Nagas and Vampire Bats, primarily. This is a scenario that may be frustrating on the easier difficulty levels, though on hard it is just par for the course. Good recruitment and strategy will save you from getting slaughtered.
- You are probably going to go negative on gold and be unable to rectify that with the paultry early finish bonus, so you might as will go very negative and be resigned to start the next scenario with minimum gold.
- Recruit/recall many Mermen and 1 or 2 White Mages or Mages of Light. A few Peasants can be useful to pad out your force, distract the enemy, and protect villages from stray Bats. A Silver Mage can be useful for island hopping but is not essential. Thieves/Assassins are blade vulnerable, and Nagas only use blades, so it's probably best not to recall them.
- Knock out the southeastern leader in a blitz. It's important to get that out of the way, because a wave of Nagas is advancing at light speed from the north.
- Next, hurriedly set up a line in the water alongside your fortress island. Your fortress troops can anchor one flank, while Burin the Dwarf can go to the island to the northeast to anchor the other end of your line. Nobody messes with Burin. Move Lady Jessene behind the lines to lend her support to the Mermen. Your loyal Mage of Light will be able to move back and forth more (to lend illumination) if kept in the fortress area.
- Finally, once the enemy assault wave has been broken, advance northward to kill the final two leaders in a straightforward mop-up operation. Just be careful not leave isolated units where they can get swarmed.
- Try to level up the mermen; they can be useful in another scenario later.
- Beware of Sea Serpents. Three of them will appear, one on each of the three turns following your first kill of an enemy unit. Make sure to kill them at once. The Storm Trident from the previous scenario and the Ruby of Fire will come in handy against the Serpents.
A New Land
This is an odd scenario: as soon as anyone gets killed, the elvish high council will step in an end the bloodshed. Your "early finish bonus" becomes a "late finish" bonus: you're supposed to drag this out for as long as possible without anyone being killed.
- the strongest units you have, that can deal both melee and ranged damage.
- Rangers are best, followed by Javelineers and level-3 Bowmen.
- you need six of these at the very least, preferably more, plus healers to back them up. If you don't have that many elite troops on your roster, or cannot afford to recall as many, it may be better to do nothing: keep your starting money, and slay the first person to reach you.
Strategy... Place Javelineers on the keep, Mermen in the water, and Rangers in the forest. All backed up by healers. Have a few reserves you can swap in when things get tough. Haldric also makes a good front-line unit; Javelineers should stay near him for the leadership.
Note that no enemy unit will attack you when there's even a remote risk that they might die. So having the strongest possible fighters, both melee and ranged, will deter the most attackers. If your line looks fierce enough, some level-1 units will not attack you at all. All others will cease attacking as soon as they've taken enough damage that their death becomes a possibility. At which point, they will wander of in search of a village for healing; once all nearby villages are occupied, your attackers may even stand around dumbfounded.
Place your troops where they enjoy a good terrain defense, that is, the keep and the forest. The purpose is to reduce the damage taken and last for as long as possible. After the first round of attacks, you'll always have a few near-dead opponents standing in front of your lines, allowing you to end the scenario quickly.
You need eight tough guys to fully seal off a corner of the map, plus two mermen, and four healers. However, the enemy doesn't know or understand your plan: if your front doesn't extend all the way to the edge of the map, they will not deliberately try to outflank you. To the AI, a small gap of one or two tiles will look like a trap. So six land warriors to hold the line will do for a long time. Only after the attackers start to pile up against your formation will they eventually start to flow around.
Be sure to keep the villages behind you occupied at all times, however, or wounded enemies seeking a village to heal in may actually try to get there. Sir Ruddry and Burin, having no other use, will do nicely.
- this the last chance you have to recruit Mermen, as their king leaves. You've probably got plenty on your roster from the previous scenarios, which will stay with you and can be recalled later. But if you think you need more, this is your last chance.
- the late finish bonus is 50/turn, so if your upkeep is less than that, you're in the good. Even if you don't have or cannot afford enough troops for a full defense, trying to hold the keep for a few turns will be worthwhile.
Story, with your choice of four battles next. You have to beat them all in whatever order. The amount of gold you have should be the factor in deciding when you choose to play Cursed Isle (the undead problem).
Diverging Campaign Path
All four scenarios have to be beaten, but in whatever order you choose.
This scenario is not as difficult as it looks, though your recruitment and strategy need to be tailored to fight the Saurian Skirmishers and other foes you will face here.
- Saurians use piercing attacks mostly, so it's better to use units resistant to pierce. Pikemen and Halberdiers have 40% pierce resistance. Javelineers are ideal as Saurians use ranged attacks a lot.
- You may wish to bench some or all of your loyal Iron Maulers. They are ineffective against the 70% impact resistant Mudcrawlers, while also vulnerable to the ranged attacks of both Mudcrawlers and Saurians.
- Consider adopting a force of all units with ranged attacks, save for horse and thief units, which can be kept behind the lines when not in use. It is amusing when Saurian Augers are forced to tap your units with their little staffs.
- Healers are a necessity to deal with the heavy damage your units will be sustaining. Depending on the strategy you adopt, you will want 2-4 healers. Mages of Light rock here, as they can easily do front line duty in pairs and their illumination blinds the Saurians, reducing their damage.
- You need something to clean up mud. Versus level 0 Mudcrawlers, Horsemen and their advancements can charge with no counterattack, and likewise Thieves and their advancements can backstab with no counterattack. Mages can be used as well on the fire vulnerable mud.
- Merman shine on this map once you get them into the swamp / water hexes. They are more mobile than anything but silver mages. The storm trident makes short work of even high-level saurians and the dragon is weak to the pierce damage of your tridents and javelins. An Entangler's slow ability will help tame the dragon even further.
- Players have used many different strategies with success:
- "Hedgehog" strategy: Fighting Saurians requires a disciplined formation. If you're used to stringing out troops to move them into position as they get there, that won't work after Turn 2 or 3. You can use a "healing hedgehog" of ten troops--two white mages next to each other and eight troops completely encircling them. If someone gets badly injured, move them to the inside and put a white mage on one of the long edges, fighting as you go. If you're trying for the big bonus, you'll need two hedgehogs. Try to keep reserves back a bit in cities. If the terrain favorably protects you, or the wounded is a fast unit, you can try moving wounded back to cities too. Once the main wave of Saurians is broken, you can string non-wounded troops out a bit in the rush for the leaders.
- "Triangular Hedgehog" strategy: Switching wounded units to the inside of the hedgehog can be a problem if you are surrounded. ZOC prevents you from creating an open hex to move the inner unit into. You can fix this by creating a triangle with three hexes inside, instead of the standard two of the hedgehog. If you do this on your castle, only three units are in grasslands. If you set it right, you can make most of the hexes adjacent to your triangle be grassland as well, forcing the Saurians into a bad defensive position. In terms of unit positioning, the simplest way is to fill two inner spaces with Mages of Light, a but a better tactic is to put one of the mages on an edge, thereby ensuring that all but one of your units are healing. The remaining unit can either be a Merman Hoplite, (prefereably resilient and carrying a Storm Trident) or Lady Jessene, since she has excellent defense and is chaotic and therefore benefits by not being in the Mages' light.
- "Giant Hedgehog" strategy: Recruit a lot of units, and then move the whole army as one big bulk. Keep healers in the middle (about four), rotate stronger units outwards, and make sure you leave no gaps. The Saurians will slip through the tiniest gap and kill your weak units. Head first for the east or west leader, but steer for good terrain, because your force will soon be swarmed. But then by turn 10, there should be many few Saurians alive.
- "Standard Line" strategy: Form a line from the west board edge diagonally up towards your keep across the two villages just in front of the forest. You will probably wish to bend upwards at the forest, rather than running the line all the way to the keep. Whenever the Saurians have a small number of troops at your line and you have enough strength to kill them all, you can advance your whole line one hex south, allowing you to get additional attacks on them from non-frontline troops. Once you advance a unit to the first water hex at west board edge, the west leader will probably come out to greet it, so be ready to fry him with Haldric's ruby. After killing the leader, back up into good terrain to prepare to meet the dragon.
- "Wake the Dragon" strategy: Prematurely wake the dragon (see spoiler below) and back up your troops to north of your keep. When the dragon comes, kill him. The scenario can be over on turn 7. There is no early finish bonus for this, but you can recruit lightly so that you still have gold at the end and will carry-over 40%, if you need it for your next scenario.
- With all these strategies, the Saurians may hold back for quite a while. This is okay, as the Dragon will eventually appear and come to you. Kill it. Then you are given a choice of whether to end the scenario or to try to kill all the enemy leaders before time runs out. You can choose to finish the remaining Saurians for a nice bonus.
- The dragon will awake on turn 15 or when you move a unit down around the road north of the mountains. If you wish to wake the dragon prematurely, you can recruit a Horseman on turn 1 and run him down. It's a suicide mission for him, however.
- If you have a fast non-horse unit in position, rush it to the mountain cave after the Dragon leaves to grab the 200 in gold, though that's nothing compared to the Hero bonus for defeating all the Saurian leaders. So focus on killing all of them first.
This is a scenario versus Saurians, Giant Scorpions, and Mudcrawlers, where good recruiting and strategy will save you from massive bloodshed.
- Mermen are helpful for the swamp and water areas.
- Bench some or all of your loyal Iron Maulers, veterans from The Fall. They are laughably ineffective against the impact resistant Mudcrawlers - and laughably vulnerable to their ranged attacks.
- Thieves, Horsemen, and their advancements are good for mud cleanup, though you must keep them out of range of Saurian skirmishers. Swordsmen and Royal Guards are also good, though overkill.
- Recall a lot of fairly high HP units, preferably with strong non-impact ranged and melee attacks.
- Mages are good. Mages of Light are especially useful, since they can do front line duty. Lots of healing may be necessary, about 3 healers are good, so White Mages can be used too. Raw recruit Mages can be used as well, for disposal of Giant Scorpions and the occasional Saurian Skirmisher that wanders too far. At least one Silver Mage is highly desirable, along with a speedy unit (e.g., Fugitive, Footpad, or Horseman) to capture villages for the Silver Mage to use north of the river.
- [fredbobsmith2] An alternative strategy that works surprisingly well is to simply use a very mage-heavy army. Recall most or all of your high-level mages, throw in a few peasants, and spend the rest of your gold on recruiting mages. Victory will come with shocking ease.
- General strategy: as Saurians have skirmishers and a lot of movement, be sure to protect your wounded units well. Because of the Saurians unnerving ability to concentrate their fire on one unit, be sure to keep several healers around and try to keep your line straight so only two can mob one guy. Hedgehog tactic also seems to work well.
- Opening strategy: here are some specific strategies that players have used with success in the early part of the scenario:
- "Mermen in center" strategy: Recall 2-4 Mermen, 1-2 Trappers/Huntsmen, and a lot of high HP troops, then form a line. Initially, you can either form a north-south line around the lake area with one flank at the south board edge, or, if you want to be conservative, you can do a diagonal line in the southeast corner, with both flanks tied to board edges. You'll need the Mermen to handle the lake area, and Trappers/Huntsmen/Mermen for the swamp areas. Keep troops in reserve, so that when a few Saurians meet your line, you can advance your whole line over them. Do not be too conservative/defensive on hard, as your time is limited.
- "Mermen on flank" strategy: Recall several decent land melee units & then 4-5 Level-2 Mermen on rounds 2-3. Most of your force forms a line of battle near your keep, Mermen on the north flank in the river, land units extending south, flanks bent back with strongest units at the corners - then let the Saurians break on it. Once their first wave has broken, the rest of their troops come in drips and are no problem, so now you can split up and wipe out the stragglers and claim villages; any L2 units you start with should level up. After you defeat the main force from the south send just one or two guys north to capture towns so your Silver Mages can teleport into the fray.
- "Mermen feint" strategy: Recall most of your Mermen from before and send them along the river towards the sea. This will harry the saurian troops coming down from the north, allowing your main force to advance on the southern enemy undisturbed. Beware, though as your mermen will encounter the Saurians at night time (giving you -25% and them +25%), so try to minimize conflict until dawn, just get in their way.
- "No Mermen" strategy: On your first two turns recall two keeps of strong, fast veterans like mounted units (not Paladins though; they're pretty ineffective against saurians), Outlaws/Assassins, and Silver Magi along with some other veterans, preferably with a lot of HP: if all goes well (at least on easy and medium) that may be all you need. Dash them across the swamp directly west of your keep, south of the sands, and form a line with strong units at the ends. They'll flank you, but you're stronger than them and you can use your slower units to crush the flanking saurians in a hammer and anvil. The first wave of southern Saurians should get itself killed before the northern Saurians arrive in force. Once the northern Saurians arrive, take them out with your slower units while your quicker ones go for the southern leader.
- "Sacrificial lamb" strategy: In addition to a couple mages, 2 healers, and some other fighters, recruit a castle-full of peasants to draw the Saurians out onto open ground. Surround a single peasant on 5 sides, with 2 healers behind him. Build your formation around that.
- Closing strategy: The enemy's onslaught tapers out after their initial wave, so the final push for the southern leader should be quick and clean. Taking out the northern leader is harder, because all of your units will be stuck south of the marshes and the river. If you want to go for a quick win, just march forth with Silver Mages, Mermen, and anyone who's close enough to be a help. If you don't want to lose any of your better units, patience may be the key.
- When one of your units gets as far west as the second bridge, a wave of Nagas will arrive out at sea. You may wish to delay going that far until the second watch, so that the Nagas will make contact with your forces during the day.
- Killing one leader gives more gold to the other, so when you've defeated pretty much all the southern leader's forces, just plant a Level-3 or two in his keep and leave him alive; kill them both in the same turn.
The Troll Hole
Cave terrain again, but this time the cave is so riddled with holes that there's barely any sense of individual corridors. There's plenty of short narrow passages which prevent both you and your opponents from ganging up on on each other, while on the other hand the trolls can just walk around a blocked choke point and come at you through the neighboring hole. So fighting is mostly one-on-one, though may have several such fights going on at any given time.
The map is roughly symmetrical, a keep in each of the four corners. Two random keeps will be home to the trolls, the other two will be occupied by a Giant Spider each. The spiders will only attack if you get too close.
You designated opponents will be level-1 and -2 trolls, under level-3 commanders. They don't have that much starting gold, but sufficient income to keep recruiting about one Troll Cub per turn, or a level-2 every other turn, very much until you're right on their doorstep. In order to win this, you have to be able and slay the trolls quicker than they're coming.
- as usual in the caves, give preference to units that can move 3 tiles on cave terrain.
- also as usual by now, this is no place for level-1 units. You can carefully level up one or two rookies, but the bulk of your host has to be tougher than that. It's more an opportunity to level up your chaotic units, and, especially, your mages.
- Spellcasters will do a lot of damage to Trolls, and in the 1-on-1 situation so common on this map, any level-2 or better mage will be certain survive the counterattack. You'll need level-3 Magi to press forward and carry the battle to the enemy's keeps, though.
- You'll want two teams of two healers each in any event. However, Trolls are susceptible to arcane damage, so your White Mages can play a very active role (and quickly level up if so desired). Mages of Light will be especially nice, with their illumination blinding the trolls and a half-decent melee attack to fight back with.
- You can arguably fight this battle on mages alone. However, you'll need at least two keeps worth of units to plug all the holes and prevent the trolls from outflanking you. The supporters' main qualification will be to have enough hitpoints to survice a troll attack; being able to fight back is very desirable. Bandits or Swordsmen will be best, depending on whether you back them by a light source. Trappers and Outlaws will make do in the dark, Pikemen are a distant third, and lawful bowmen should sit this out: Mages can play the same game much better.
The general strategy is to move into whatever direction the trolls are coming from, and fight your way, upstream so to speak, until you get to the enemy keep.
You may start doing so right away, or first await the initial onslaught in the island you're starting on. With you on the ground and the enemy in the water, the terrain is in your favor... but the spacious cavern also allows two or even three trolls to gang up against one of yours. Then again, you can make good use of your loyal mermen and possibly even Sir Ruddry. Neither of which will be any good later when you carry the fight to the enemy, but hey, they're loyal and demand no upkeep.
If you want to explore the map and steal villages, you better do so in force. The spiders will lunge at anyone who happens to get in their range; and besides, there's several unflagged villages at the beginning of the scenario, and your opponents will seize them. This means that trolls, even level-2 ones, may show up in unexpected places.
You will be fighting undead, mostly of the incorporeal and ghoulish lineages. Victory comes surprisingly easily.
- Recruit lightly, certainly no more than two castles of troops. You could use 1-3 Paladins, 1-2 Mages, and 1-2 White Mages / Mages of Light.
- Recall your loyal Merman Triton or similar and have him pick up the holy water.
- This can be the first or last quest you choose. If you can wait, do it last, as you will come out of it with a lot of gold, which you will need for the first scenario after the quests, The Vanguard.
- Keep a very tight formation for the first night, as Shadows will hit hard and you don't want to get backstabbed or swarmed. By dawn, it should be smooth sailing.
- If you get anywhere near the enemy leaders' keeps, expect to get rushed by a leader.
- In one of the three temples there is a Vampire Lady. All you really need is a Paladin or three to rush the temples. Kill her. Game over, you win. One of the other temples has some gold; grab that first.
A Spy In The Woods
The map's most striking feature is a natural defensive line, where presumably an underground river has carved a line of sinkholes. The two closest keeps are Orcs, the one in the north holds a Troll. All will be spawning mostly level-2 units. Their average recruit will cost about 20-22 gold, check their gold at the beginning of the scenario and you'll have an idea of how many units you'll have to expect. The terrain funnels you northward, where you will encounter the northern orcs at nightfall, coming at you in full force. The orcs from the west will start showing up during the night. They are distracted by several un-occupied villages, so they'll be a bit more stretched out. The trolls won't arrive until daybreak. Whenever one of the enemy commanders has lost half of his units, some undead will join his team: one level-3 skeleton, plus two or four Chocobones depending on difficulty. This happens three times over the course of the battle, once for every enemy commander. This scenario will be fairly easy, regardless of difficulty level, if you can afford at least three keeps worth of troops.
Recruitment / Strategy:
- Knights recalled on the first turn can encounter the Orcs in your north still in full daylight, and possibly wreck havoc among them before nightfall. The success of this strategy largely depends on what kind of units the orc is sending your way, but in any event don't bother with half-measures: either send 4+ strong riders on turn 1, or don't worry about trying it at all. Follow up with more lawful units and Mages of Light, using only a few chaotic ones to harrass and delay the orcs coming from the west.
- Alternatively, recall your toughest chaotic units from the get-go, and prepare to fight down the first orcish host in the woods to your north, with only a Knight or two to deal with any Wolf Riders getting ahead of the main host.
- You want to bring at least one Paladin (Sir Ruddry probably qualifies) and between that and your healers, you don't need much of a dedicated undead-killing force. If you have loyal Shock Troopers, by all means bring them on -- they'd be useful in any event. Otherwise, a pair of Bandits or a second Paladin will do nicely.
- If you want to seize the villages across the mountains to your west, be prepared to encounter a Goblin Knight or Pillager trying to do the same (you will meet whatever fast unit the western orc happened to recruit on his first turn. It may only be a "quick" archer, but a level-2 wolf is quite likely).
- Beware the Chocobones. Their double damage from charge means they can take out Commander Aethyr at night just by hitting 2 for 2, and they will certainly try if they get the opportunity. They will also keep their distance and refuse to attack until you present them with a target the AI considers worthwhile. Effectively you have to throw them a peasant, or a strong unit that will survive badly wounded and effectively be out of the battle for several turns.
- A Silver Mage or two can come in really handy, Teleporting all over the map to dislodge wolves from the mountains or lend a hand with the undead as needed.
This scenario is an excellent opportunity to train some Knights, as well as a few other lawful fighters. But keep in mind that the campaign is coming to a close and you can only recall so many units in the last battles: if you think you already have enough quality units, it's better to use those (and maybe get an AMLA or two) than to build up an ever bigger roster of troops you can't (or won't) recall.
Return of the Fleet
Welcome to the "kitchen sink" defense. You've made it this far; now the enemy will launch a desperate defense, throwing a little bit of everything at you. The orcs in the north deploy the usual orcish fare, but can also recruit trolls. The undead commander will only recruit bats and skeletons (quality depending on difficulty, there may be Chocobones on Hard). During the first night, the Lich-Lord will make another appearance, casting fog of war upon the battlefield and deploy a number of Chocobones on the undead island (they're under command of the orcs, though). When you get too close to the isle in the river mouth, you'll trigger cuttlefish to the west of that isle. Getting too close to the swamps where the river starts will summon level-2 saurians. It looks dire but the effect is mostly psychological.
Wolf riders may reach you during the night, the bulk of the orc army won't arrive until daybreak (unless you push forward to meet them, which you shouldn't). The skeletons, too, will be held up by the water. So you've got a lot of time to set up positions near the beach and in the wood.
- First turn, recall Mermen to assassinate the undead leader; 2 Entanglers/Netcasters and the Triton with the Storm Trident. It will be morning until they even reach the sea, but they'll still arrive in time to help with any (possibly many) skeletons still in the water. Later they can deal with the Draug in his keep. A Silver Mage's assistance will help but isn't strictly necessary.
- also send a few undead-bashers to the beach. Two or three units holding the beach at any time will do nicely; Burin and the loyal Shock Troopers are best, mostly because they're armored against arrows. If you don't have those, a number of Outlaws/Fugitives will be the next best choice, though you'll need more of them due to the damage taken.
- the cuttlefish (1, 2 or 4 of them depending on difficulty) will keep your mermen occupied for several turns and in need of healing afterwards. It's probably best to trigger them very early (a rider seizing the village at 20,22 will do): the cuttlefish are so aggressive that they will get out onto dry land in order to attack an Iron Mauler in broad daylight. That way, you can have them finished off before any skeletons reach you, and long before your mermen are even in the water.
- add another two or (at most) three keeps of mixed troops. You've fought enough orcs and trolls by know that you should know what suits the purpose. You probably want a few chaotic units to hold up the assault late at night, then rush the enemy with lawfuls at daybreak. Cavalry will once more work well, just keep in mind that you'll face a task force of quality saurians later on -- you also want some units that are not quite as prone to piercing damage.
- talking about which: getting within 10 hexes or less from 34,15 will touch off the Saurians. With careful navigation the encounter can be avoided for the whole scenario, but it's probably better to trigger them at a time of your choosing and get it over with. Saurians aren't very tough, their strength comes from being hard to hit and their skirmishing ability. But on normal and easy, they're not very numerous. If you can lure them out into open terrain, you can probably overwhelm them in a single turn, even at night.
Try to finish this scenario quickly. Make use of veterans, by this point you should really have enough of them. Don't worry about running into negative funds in the mean time: there's enough villages to ensure a hefty early finish bonus. Just don't dawdle, you want to get out of this with at least 200, better 300 gold carried over.
Rise of Wesnoth
It's the final battle: be patient, recall everybody - the early finish bonus doesn't mean anything. Also, loyal units are no better than other units after your recruitment is finished.
- You will need at least 300 starting gold, maybe more like 400 on the hardest difficulty level, so if need be, replay the previous scenario.
- To stretch your money, start with loyal Iron Maulers and some ready-to-level level 1's and Level-2's. Finally, recall as many Level-3's as possible.
- Healers: 3-6 Mages of Light / White Mages. Your few chaotic units will appreciate a White Mage.
- Horse units: 2-4 Paladins, 3-4 Knights / Grand Knights.
- Horse escorts: about 3 speedy units, like Royal Guards, Fugitives, and Silver Mages.
- Tanks: at least 6 high HP units, such as Royal Guards, Highwayman, Master Bowmen, and the loyal Iron Maulers.
- Mages: at least 3 high level Mages aside from your basic healers, so Arch Mages, Great Mages, and Silver Mages. Additional Mages of Light can be substituted.
- Some Mermen might be useful here, but surprisingly, they're not really necessary.
- You can either send everybody west initially and then split for the two bridges or you can split initially, with mounted units racing to the west and then south, while the main army heads due south.
- With your mounted units, race forwards by day and backwards by night.
- Along with the mounted units should go some escorts, speedy foot units intended to kill things like Goblin Impalers, which make even Grand Knights nervous. They would also benefit from a quick Mage of Light.
- Meanwhile, with your tanks and the rest of your healers and support units, form a line or hedgehog.
- Maintain awareness of the overall battlefield.
- Kill all but one of the orc leaders (not all!).
- Don't forget to sacrifice Aethyr to Jevyan. Jevyan probably won't come out to play, so march Aethyr up to Jevyan and use a crossbow attack.
- Paladins, great mages, mages of light, silver mages are all suitable units to kill Jevyan himself, make sure you have them in sufficient numbers with your southern army. Congratulations! Enjoy the ending!
- When one of your units is within 8 hexes of a bridge, but you have no units within 2 hexes of the bridge, and there are no units on the bridge, then a Cuttle Fish will appear and destroy the bridge. This is usually disadvantageous. Not only does it leave you with a Cuttle Fish to fight, but it slows your progress south and the bad guys progress north. At least on the hardest difficulty level, it's hard to kill all the spam in time, so you don't want to impede their advance by removing the bridge.
- When any of your units is killed, it becomes a Walking Corpse (or a Soulless on hard.)
- After the first orc leader is killed, then some gold goes to mister Lich. It's 40, 80, or 120 gold, for easy, medium, and hard, respectively. The lich also will receive some gold once you kill his Familiar.