- 1 Strategy Guide for The Rise of Wesnoth Campaign
- 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
Strategy Guide for The Rise of Wesnoth Campaign
Over the course of this campaign, you will need to level up to some:
- Healers: White Mages/Mages of Light (at least four)
- Undead killers: 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 get to 2 Paladins and 2+ 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 less good against 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 (the quick ones, since you need them underground) leveled up. Footpads help too, once leveled up. Due to swamps, you will sometimes be spamming Poachers, which get marksmanship once at level 3. These, plus Lady Outlaw, give tactical options at 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, go to 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[glandis] In 1.8.6, there was no opportunity for 3 loyal mermen - maybe this was in an older version? And only Merman fighters can be recruited - no Netcaster upgardes are possible
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 are enough. You may wish to substitute one of the Spearmen with a Knight or Horseman, though horse 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. For either of the assassination strategies, it is a good idea to fight against the northeastern orc nearby your keep. This way, you can secure your back and earn experience.
- 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, a carryover of almost 150 gold (so you have 250 starting gold) would be wise, so although Lady Outlaw's assistance is worth much more than 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 a lot of starting gold. It is possible with ~200 starting gold, but only barely. 250+ is better. 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.
- Strategy: 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. Near the start of combat, it's crucial to kill units quickly on the road: first the wave of wolves, then the wave of assassins. In contrast to easy and medium, on the hardest difficulty level both pairs of roadside castle tiles are guarded, not just the second pair. As on medium, the guards are Orcish Warriors.
- 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.
- The scenario can be beaten with 154 gold only (I decided to trust the lady). Key points in the strategy I used:
- Underrecruited as heavily as possible, so that the upkeep of my current units is completely offset by my villages. Only 2 footpads to go for Burin and villages down the path right at the start. Only level 2 unit I recalled initially was a white mage. Recalled the 3 loyal HI and tried to arrange it so that they aren't attacked by archers. Recruited several thieves, since they are cheap and the grunts are font of attacking them instead of my mages (and they still often survive on 70% def).
- During the main phase of the battle, stayed on the safe side of the river (this was the actual key point). Used the river, mountains, castle and swamp to have good defense for myself and bad one for the orcs. As shortly as possible before my income turned negative, recruited/recalled an additional 5 units. Needed to give up the village abroad the river as well (so only 3 villages left).
- What also helps as well is the fact 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.
- 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 Mage either levelled up to White or about to level up 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 too 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, 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.
- You must blitz the northeastern leader, or risk getting bogged down on bad terrain facing a swarm of undead spam, which can be nasty at night. Quickly send Knights (or Paladins) and Burin over the ford to start wailing on undead. A disposable Horseman can try to take out Scorpions in this area at first. On the way is your proper Scorpion disposal unit, the Mages and White Mage. Try to kill Dark Adepts with Burin or horse units before they have chance to attack you. As you close in on the leader, hover your mouse over him to watch where he can go, as 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 constant 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.
This is a relatively easy scenario.
- First round, recall your (probably leveled up) Heavy Infantry from The Fall and some quick fighters.
- Second round, recall White Mages and quick Mages.
- Third round, round out with Thugs, Bowmen, and Spearmen, preferably quick.
- Your forces will have three main combat arenas: the northeast, the south, and the middle.
- The main bulk of your force, including at least one White Mage, should head east to the orc in the northeastern castle. The leader there recruits a lot of units, and most of them are level 2, so watch out.
- Haldric, a White Mage, your loyal Heavy Infantry types, and a couple of level 1's (maybe a Mage and a Thug) should head south to the other orc leader. A few effective melee units can easily counter the riders they send early on, and then with a little forethought and patience you can take out their Archers and Crossbowmen without giving them time to shoot.
- The castle in the middle is inhabited by the tree folk, so don't bother sending troops there; however, you might want to keep a couple speedy units not far off to watch their backs, in case the allied leader gets into trouble, as is usually the case.
- 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, especially the fearless one, though their slow movement will prove frustrating. Also on the first round, recall a fast "tank" and someone to grab the holy water (if Burin is not your choice.)
- 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), preferably chaotic, preferably with a ranged attack, and preferably 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 Bandits/Highwaymen, Trappers/Huntsmen, and Longbowmen/Master Bowmen, preferably quick. You might think that Red Mages would be good, but they attract melee attacks that they likely will not survive. Note that Horse units are too sluggish to be useful here and should not be recalled/recruited.
- 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 before you meet any enemies besides the Tentacles. Ignore the tentacles for the most part and only kill them when it's convenient, as you will need to have a strong line set up by the time you engage the undead. Watch out for the enemy's Bone Shooters, Revenants and Deathblades, as they could easily mess up a level 3 unit. Once you see the two choke points, hold them so one of their units is facing 2 of yours (preferably with a White Mage behind them). You may be able to level up a White Mage to a Mage of Light while fighting in the choke point. If your troops are too slow to grab both choke points, you can send Burin and others to the west choke point while your slow troops line up at the southeast shoreline and bridge.
- Gradually progress northwards once the flow of baddies has tapered off, and 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: Burin is very effective if you give him the holy water; however, it's more helpful to send Burin running to the west choke point without delay. A good alternative is a Highwayman - or a Bandit, who should level quickly. Compared to a Highwayman/Bandit, Prince Haldric or a Royal Guard is not that great a choice for the holy water due to their lawful alignment and -25% penalty, unless you have (or will soon get) a Mage of Light.
- XP: Use this level to get experience. The early-finish bonus is tiny. The tentacles are perfect for leveling up units. If you're hurting for leveled chaotic units, you can even level up two raw recruit Thugs (use Haldric's leadership to assist). 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 two 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 and more challenging for the second and third boats, and very difficult (on hard) if you want to take out all three leaders.
- First turn, recall your loyal Shocktroopers / Iron Maulers from The Fall. You will also want several Footpads, for speedy village snatching, coastline defending (under leader supervision), and possibly for filling castle hexes if your lines get too thin.
- Second turn, recruit/recall more low maintenance units. It's a good scenario for leveling troops, so recalling acouple half-leveled Spearmen or similar is a good idea.
- Third and later turns, start recalling your high maintenance units. The key to winning this scenario is to recall several advanced units that can take a lot of damage and get good defense in castles (no Horsemen). You will also want at least 3 White Mages or Mages of Light.
- Backstab your ally, stealing all his villages. Your ally is useless anyway, except for the entertainment value from his troops' suicide runs. The income is much better in your hands.
- Send your heavy duty troops with some White Mages over to the line of castle near Lt. Aethyr. (Optionally, you can rush forward past the castle, but you will need to return almost as quickly before the main enemy wave and night arrive.) Aethyr will usually be done recruiting by the second or third turn, before the enemy reaches you, so fill the entire line with your units, and put Knight Sir Rudry in the one non castled tile (or leave it empty, if no enemy are adjacent.) Place the White Mages behind this line. After the enemy has reached you and it is your turn to attack, go mostly for the assasins, as they have a weak melee attack and their poison can be a huge problem.
- Meanwhile, on the northeastern coast, the northern enemy leader will send lots of units to catch your flank unguarded. Send 2 Footpads, a Spearman, Lady Jessene, and Haldric to guard the coast. If Lady Jessene is already level 3, you can substitute a Royal Guard, Swordsman, or Javelineer for Haldric. This coastline defense squad may need help later, so be ready to divert a speedy powerful unit there. If you keep a healthy unit on the village at the tip of the land, then, unless you are very unlucky, you will be able to hold off everything the northern leader sends. After the assault from the water has been crushed, some of your troops may be able to cross the ford north, but be careful not to get attacked in the water with only 20% defense. (Certain of your chaotic units do have 40% defense in water; now is a good time to pay attention to that.) Also, notice that the lighthouse has a similar effect as a Mage of Light.
- You have two options for the endgame:
- "Total victory" strategy: Once you've thinned the enemy to where they only have a few units that are close to your line, usually this happens conveniently around dawn, move your people out and start heading for their leaders. Split your force, sending a few down the southern path, to distract the eney and most of them toward the middle leader, to kill him. Once he's dead, send some of your army down to kill the southern leader and devote a few units to defending the bridge until the rest of your army can rejoin you. A unit or two with a lot of HP with a white mage are usually enough to do this.
- "Run like hell" strategy: Alternatively, you can leave your leader near the docks and take one of the boats to end the scenario.
Fallen Lich Point
This is a high variance scenario. It may be very easy or very 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, after the Wolf Rider types are taken care of, but you can postpone buying Footpads until after killing the Lich.
- 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 empty village 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; a Yeti is dangerous even if heavily wounded. A Yeti will attack you if it can get to a unit within one turn (and it doesn't have a more appealing orc target.)
- 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.)
- Note that this level becomes a lot tougher if the Yetis get poisoned early on and quickly die. If this happens you basically have no other choice than to kill the orc leaders first.
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 twooyal Guards/Highwaymen/etc, and a Trapper or Huntsman, plus three regular Mages and a Poacher.
- 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
This is a large battle, and any mistake on any front can spell doom, but overall it will be fairly easy on the easier difficulty levels. On hard, it will only be a cakewalk with a lot of starting gold (more than 450 or so.)
- On the first turn, recall a Silver Mage to teleport to the island, recruit Footpads for village snatching, recall one or more of your loyal Iron Maulers (leveled up Heavy Infantrymen from The Fall), and recall one or more Knights or similar.
- Second turn, continue with this theme, but it will be nightfall soon, so recall Outlaws, Bandits, Assassins, etc.
- Turn three is a bit more of the same, but you need to start thinking about preserving your income and also keeping a gold reserve. You can spam some peasants to preserve cash and income.
- Turn four turn is more of the same.
- Turn five is similar, but it will be day soon, so lawfuls like Knights and level 1 Mages are a good idea.
- Turn six, you will have new recruitment options (see spoiler at walkthrough end.)
Strategy is broken into four fronts...
- The first front is the south land area. Do a counter-clockwise sweep with mounted units, optionally augmented with Footpads, which can help pad out your lines with forest and village hexes. Note that it will be nightfall soon after game start, so it might be wise to delay any serious mounted assault until the next day, and you can delay your recalls for this.
- The second front is the walled city. Move slower units and your loyal White Mage / Mage of Light to defend here. Take your ally's villages; your ally wouldn't do much useful with the money anyway. When your mounted units from the second front complete their sweep, you can break the remaining southern forces against the city wall in a hammer and anvil. Then your united forces can move north. On easy, you may be able to push north more quickly than that using just part of your city troops.
- The third front is the bay and peninsula north of your keep. If you don't protect this area well, Wolf Riders and others will mount an amphibious assault in an effort to flank your troops. On the easier difficulty levels, you may wish to beat the punch and quickly establish a bridgehead on the other side of the bay.
- The fourth front is the two small islands. Send a Silver Mage there ASAP. (You should have a village already there, so the Silver Mage can teleport over.) Footpads/Outlaws/Fugitives and others will help later. Lady Jessene could be used. A quick White Mage would be useful, either on the coast or on the islands. Do not use Assassins on this front. Assassins have relatively weak defense in water against Orcs and Nagas, they're very weak against blade, which is all orcs and nagas use, and their relatively slow movement in water makes backstab hard to use reliably. Overall, you need to devote more resources to this front than you might think.
- You should have lots of high-level units now, so concentrate on recruiting new ones and levelling them up to fill needs.
- Peasants are useful as placeholders for villages and distractions for the enemy.
- On turn 5, a gang of nasty undead show up in the east. So, for your city taskforce, you'll want to recruit/recall units with impact and arcane attacks. Note that if undead capture villages, they will be flagged with the Orc island boss' black flag! This can result in an overwhelming number of Nagas, and it's one reason that you must devote a lot of resources to the island campaign. Flag any black flag villages you can.
- On turn 6, a gang of nasty Mermen show up in the west. Fortunately, they are on your side. You can now recruit Mermen. This is the real reason to keep a gold reserve until this time.
Peoples in Decline
This is a bloody scenario versus Drakes. It can be a real challenge on the hardest difficulty setting, less so on the easier levels. Proper recruitment is more important than strategy here, as you will have little opportunity to maneuver.
- Drakes can be dangerous, so this is a great scenario to use the time honored technique of cannon fodder. Now that you can recruit level 0 units for cheap, you can protect your higher level units by recruiting endless Peasants to distract the Drakes' firepower.
- Drakes are vulnerable to pierce attacks, so spam cheap pierce attack units. In addition to Peasants, there are Poachers, Bowmen, Peasants, Spearmen, Merman Fighters, and Merman Hunters. Poachers are key here, due to the swampy terrain and their chaotic alignment.
- You will need about 3 White Mages / Mages of Light in all.
- On your last turn of recruitment when you have about 80 gold, recall some advanced units, like Master Bowmen.
- Since you will have a lot of level 1 and 0 units, make sure to use the leadership of Prince Haldric and Lady Jessene.
- Look for opportunities to heal via leveling up.
- Pay attention to the day-night cycle in this scenario. Drakes will be strong during day, but become very weak in the night.
- Take advantage of the mountains for defense, but note that on hard, you need to set up a relatively small perimeter around your base, as you will be hard pressed to even hold a small area.
- Be careful with your loyals.
- Because most Drakes have powerful ranged attacks, the roles of your melee and ranged units are reversed from the norm. Whereas usually you would use fighters to protect archers, here you will use archers to protect fighters. Melee-only units should hide behind the lines until they attack, preferably at night (with a Mage of Light supplying illumination.)
- Make sure you get the Storm Trident in the middle of the sea, but be certain that you've cleared most of the Drakes first, since a Sea Serpent will appear. It's best to have some strong units ready to kill it in 1 or 2 turns. You can give the trident to Lord Typhon, but since he leaves a bit later, you may want to give it to another Merman Fighter. Movement over land is important for Mermen in the campaign as a whole. If the Merman Fighter to whom you give the storm trident has the Quick attribute, you can make him a Hoplite when he gets to level 3. Otherwise, make him a Triton, because movement over land is important for Mermen in this campaign as a whole.
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 a non-scenario. The scenario objectives tell you to avoid all confrontation for as long as possible, but actually the faster your units encounter the others the faster the scenario will end.
- None necessary.
- The optimal strategy for gold carryover is to grab the three closest villages, then retreat to your keep and wait. Once one attack occurs, the non-scenario will be over.
- One thing to keep in mind is that this the last chance you have to grab some more Mermen as their king leaves. They are quite helpful in a later scenario so grabbing a few extra here cannot hurt if you can spare the gold.
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.
- A Merman or two will help with water hexes. An Entangler's slow ability will help tame the dragon.
- 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 wast leader, but steer for good terrain, because your force will soon be swarmed until about turn 10, when 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. However, on the hardest difficulty setting the turn limit (33 turns) is insufficient for you to plow through the vast hordes of level 0 spam to get to the leaders, so it's best to simply end the scenario after killing the dragon.
- 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
This is a scenario that you cannot win by brute force, because the trolls have more brute force than you. Wise recruitment and strategy are necessary.
- It's underground time again, so as before, mainly recruit mages. The trolls are strong, so hopefully you have lots of levelled up mages. Mages of Light are especially nice, because they are tough enough to survive an attack from most trolls, while simultaneously reducing the damage sustained (due to illumination blinding the trolls.) Level 1 Mages can be used to good effect too, especially if quick. If only attacked by a single Troll Whelp, a healthy level 1 Mage will survive.
- In addition to mages, your chaotic units can be helpful here again, especially against the occasional Rocklobber, which you will not want to attack with mages.
- Forget about your loyal Iron Maulers (leveled up Heavy Infantrymen from the Fall). They are too slow. It's not that you'll be running around, but you will be rotating troops due to heavy damage, and they will only get in the way.
- Putting Mermen in the moat will really help you fend off the first wave of attacks.
- There are 4 castles, and two of them (randomly placed it seems) are the troll leaders you need to kill.
- Try to use the narrow corridors to your advantage, so the enemy can only place one attack against a strong unit of yours, but you can kill a troll at a time with two mages or Haldric. Also keep an eye at your back since they will try to surround you. And resist the temptation to send single units wandering around in what seems empty caves - they will all die, probably by the fangs of a Giant Spider.
- Try to arrange it so one troll can enter to be attacked by many troops. Have regular troops in front initially. Move mages forward to finish the troll, plug the gap where the troll was with Burin or a Royal Guard or an Iron Mauler, and reset the trap on the next turn. When you've whittled down the enemy, go the direction they came from and kill the leaders, ignoring spider keeps.
- Alternative: This could be a good choice if you have low gold: recall 2 quick red mages, and 3 quick tough melee units (say 2 royal guards & a L3 chaotic unit like a Fugitive). Play expedition style: abandon the start island, stay fairly close together, with your troops roughly divided in two between those moving forward and those fighting rearguard. Provided you knock out one troll leader early, the rest is manageable, just work your way carefully over to the other.
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
You will be fighting a large number of orcs, trolls and other enemies in a location with a natural defensive line, where presumably an underground river has carved a line of sinkholes. This scenario will be difficult or impossible with minimum gold (200), but quite doable with a large amount of gold (450+) even on the hardest difficulty setting. Recruitment and strategy are fairly straightforward, given the board layout.
- Recruit a lot of units; you will need them.
- First turn, recall/recruit speedy units: Knights, Lancers, Paladins, Horsemen, Outlaws, and similar.
- Second turn, recall your loyal Iron Maulers (leveled up from The Fall) and Spearmen/Swordsmen/Royal Guards.
- On subsequent turns, recall/recruit healers and other sorts of Mages, Thugs and their advancements, and Longbowmen. You will need quite a lot of healing power: 3-4 White Mages / Mages of Light and 1-2 Paladins. A Silver Mage would come in handy, since your forces will be widely spaced, but you could start with a couple of Red Mages and try to level up one or both to Silver Mage.
- This map is smaller than fog of war and sinkholes make it appear. Rush the west and northwest gaps with mounted units, but slow & strong will carry the day once the sun rises and the odds are in your favor.
- Seal of all the gaps in the ring of sinkholes. When the onslaught begins, wounded units can retreat back into villages or be cared for by healers - or actually both, since soon you will be out of non-wounded units.
- A "Sitzkrieg" may develop, where neither side can make progress. Shift units to the southwest and break out there, using the west board edge defensively. From there, sweep northwards, taking out the western orc leader first and then the next orc leader.
- Don't forget the chest of gold, which you can see even in fog.
- End the scenario with the kill of the final leader, a level 3 troll.
- Once you kill more than half the units of any side, a few tough undead units will appear near that side's stronghold at the edge of the map. So, this will happen three times. 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.
- Heads up: the next scenario is much less difficult with extra gold. You can use Peasants to avoid going negative on gold, promoting them to Spearmen only when needed.
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 effect is mostly psychological, but it could be a problem if you came into the scenario with minimum gold or your initial assessment causes you to drastically under-recruit. Time is money.
- On medium, at least, you don't want to overrecruit. First turn, recall Mermen to assassinate the undead leader; 2 Entanglers/Netcasters and the Triton with the Storm Trident. Later, you should recruit 1 or more Silver Mages also for this taskforce as well as for causing general mayhem. It's also worth recruiting 5-10 L1/L0 units to take the brunt of the first wave of attacks; you can use any combination of Footpads, Poachers, Thugs, Spearmen, and Peasants, as you see fit. You'll want some decent L2 and L3 recalls for healing, to flank your lines, and to start kicking some butt at daybreak. A Mage or Red Mage to blast Trolls and Chocobones will level up by end of scenario. Paladins are good too. In addition to your loyal Mage of Light, you will need a bare minimum of 1 more healer.
- On medium, don't recruit too much for fighting the undead - 2 Paladins at most, 1 or 2 Thugs, the stormy Merman, and the nearest Mage working with your land force are sufficient - the undead commander only gets 5-6 L2 recruits and they come ashore scattered (on medium, anyway). Paladins are so effective against undead that you can wade into the water after them. Just remember, Paladins can't go into deep water and undead can.
- On hard, you also don't want to recruit too much for fighting the undead, but it's only because going on an offensive early against them will get you crushed by a Chocobone armada.
- Move the Mermen (including the storm trident) as quickly as possible pretty much straight to the West. (There is a village and swamp hex that can aid your travel if you pick the best route). Move these guys up the West side once they get there to get to the Undead Leader as quickly as possible.
- Your loyal units can do a little village grabbing, but it would be unwise to venture too far north.
- After nightfall, fog will appear; for the rest of the scenario, the map will become shrouded, like in a cave scenario. So while you're still amazingly able to see, note the key terrain features, castle and city locations, and troop dispositions (especially Chocobones.) Also, visually explore the avenues of approach you want to be able to see later.
- The first wave is largely at night and will have Goblin Knights and Pillagers, and later Chocobones and Troll Warriors. The damage they can cause is bone chilling, so make sure to divert their attention with plenty of spam. You want to meet them on the edge of the woodland, while inducing the orcs to fight from the grassland. Footpads and Poachers are handy here, as they have high defense in woodland. Players have had success setting up the initial line in either the north and northeast woodlands, with respect to the castle. Others have succeeded by fighting mostly from the open plain, retaining mobility by leaving the woodlands to their Footpads.
- Once your Mermen have taken an island city, teleport over one or more Silver Mages to help kill the undead leader - in addition to a Silver Mage, you will want the storm trident, a Netcaster/Entangler, plus one more leveled unit to be fairly sure to knock him out in one round. Quick striking like this you end up fighting a lot less undead. You probably end up foddering one of the mermen to the Undead Archers, but the trade off is well worth it. You can keep cycling your mermen up to fight with any orcs or trolls that come into the water. Silver Mages can assist, since they are not needed much in the other part of the fight.
- After the undead leader is assassinated and the first wave is broken, you may advance cautiously due north or to the northwest along the coast and ultimately finish off the two orc leaders.
- When you are close to the break in the woods at the east board edge, tighten your formation and keep wounded units well away, as a small force of high-level Saurians will appear. Trigger them in daylight if possible, and knock them out fast. Alternatively, you can delay triggering the Saurians as long as possible by moving your force northwest near the water and then onto the small island, though even then it is possible to trigger the Saurians if you are not careful where you step. (Stepping to 10 hexes or less from 34,15 triggers the Saurians.) You can fight the final wave of orcs from the island, then move northeast to the mainland, finally triggering the Saurians.
- Two cuttlefish appear when you approach the north-central island. Assuming you're sending a strike force through the water to knock out the undead commander, you really don't want to trigger these until that force is on the island - the storm trident Merman is the only thing that can stand up to them in water, and they will avoid him to attack more vulnerable units.
- Once you kill one enemy leader, the other gets more gold & recruits a new wave of L2s. This can be useful if you need to kill off surplus L1 units to improve the finish bonus, or if you need the XP more than the gold; otherwise, try to knock out both leaders on the same turn before they can recruit more. Alternatively, if you kill the first one at dawn, the second will be reluctant to attack with his L2s in daylight, and you might jump in and kill him before he uses them.
- Heads up: The next scenario is the final one. Therefore, loyal units are now somewhat disposable. However, you will need plenty of gold. Recruit some Peasants in the current scenario if you need to save some gold. Not only are they cheap, but they have no upkeep and Chocobones love 'em. Send a unit with leadership with them and they can even deal some amount of damage and be used to finish off wounded enemy, though at night you should just let them take the beating passively since otherwise they die too quickly.
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 a couple 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.
- On 1.9.3 and earlier, you can recruit Saurian Skirmishers on medium and Skirmishers plus Ambushers on hard. This appears to be a bug, so ignore the option.
- You will launch a two pronged assault: mounted units will race 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 in the woods just south of your keep or next to the river.
- Keep your leaders with the main army, to avoid drawing too much attention to the mounted detachment.
- Maintain awareness of the overall battlefield. If the main army gets in trouble, you can send some or all of the mounted units to assist. There may be an opportunity to hammer-and-anvil enemy forces trapped in the middle. And you may wish to transfer units, like Paladins may be useful to the main army after it is on the move.
- You'll need at least two Paladins to kill Jevyan himself; nothing else is half as effective (except perhaps Mages of Light and suicidal Lancers). Or you can use a pair of Great Mages (unless you are very unlucky, you should be able to kill him in a single turn). Don't forget to sacrifice Aethyr to Jevyan. If he doesn't want to come out and play, march up to Jevyan and use a crossbow attack. When Jevyan is dead, the yellow and green leaders may still be alive. You'll have to kill one, leaving at least one orc leader alive. You pick. 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. On hard, it becomes a Soulless, which makes it important to be careful with your level 2's, especially Lancers.
- 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 will receive some gold once you kill his Familiar.