The walkthrough is based on medium difficulty, and there are comments covering hard difficulty too.
- 1 Campaign Strategy
- 2 Scenarios
- 2.1 At The East Gate
- 2.2 Reclaiming The Past
- 2.3 Strange Allies
- 2.4 High Pass
- 2.5 Fear
- 2.6 Forbidden Forest
- 2.7 The Siege of Kal Kartha
- 2.8 The Court of Karrag
- 2.9 The Underlevels (Wesnoth 1.14.6 and later)
- 2.10 The Underlevels (Wesnoth 1.14.5 and earlier)
This campaign has been significantly changed as of version 1.14, with the most pivotal changes being the total removal of mages, the drastic shortening of the (still very long) final scenario, and the fact that the Forbidden Forest scenario occurs much earlier and is therefore much more challenging. The following guide is current as of version 1.16.
Some general strategies for this campaign:
- Angarthing is perhaps the best support unit ever invented. He has two magical impact attacks, one of which slows, he’s very fast and, most importantly, his Inspire ability is like super-Leadership that can give a Leadership-like 25% attack boost to even units on the same level (so, once you have him at L3, he gives even your L3 units a boost and makes your L1 units into cruise missiles). As if this weren't enough, he gains Cure at level 2 and heal +4 at level 3. Heal +4 may not sound like much, but with the removal of mages this is your ONLY source of healing for the entire campaign, so getting him to level 3 ASAP should be your absolute top priority.
- Dwarf Lords are the backbone of any dwarven army; you will want at least 2 by the Forbidden Forest, and more is better. Their high resistances make them even more attractive in this campaign since healing is in such short supply.
- It is very useful to level up one or two scouts all the way to an explorers, as their ranged attack is excellent against woses.
- Thunderers are questionable in this campaign. They are worse than scouts against woses, but better against riders, and they have slightly better armor, but their attack is extremely inconsistent which can make them a liability in key scenarios where you are fighting enemies on good defensive terrain. It is hard to imagine having too many Dwarf Lords in any scenario in this campaign, but even one Dragonguard is sometimes too many.
- In the key scenarios of this campaign you will be playing aggressively, either trying to assassinate enemy leaders, push through narrow tunnels, or run for signposts, so it will be much more useful to level up fighters than guardsmen, since the higher damage output will be more important than higher resistances.
- Preserve the Gryphon Rider - you are not able to recruit more. He can only reach L2 but that is worth having, as then it can beat any enemy scouts that it runs into. The rest of your army has quite low mobility, so this loyal flyer can have a huge impact on your carryover gold in key scenarios with a lot of far flung villages.
As of 1.16, Scenario 5 (The Forbidden Forest) is by far the hardest scenario of this campaign, so hard that on the highest difficulty it is very possible to do reasonably well on the preceding 4 scenarios and then find yourself suddenly stuck and unable to continue. To avoid this, during the first 4 scenarios you should prioritize getting Angarthing, Aiglondur, and Movrur to level 3, and ideally having as many other level 3 fighters and/or scouts as possible. Level 3 Angarthing is a MASSIVE force multiplier, especially since the removal of mages, and can single-handedly turn this scenario from impossible to merely challenging.
At The East Gate
- Objectives: Defeat Orcish leader
- Lose if: Aiglondur dies or turns run out
- Turns: 32/30/28 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Gryphon Rider
This is pretty simple. Recruit a force of mostly fighters, with a few scouts and/or thunderers in support. Send your griffin rider to tag the villages on the northern part of the map, and then have it try to pick off an isolated enemy unit, but be sure to not put it in danger, as you can't recruit a replacement.
Most of this map is mixed forests and flat terrain with a few scattered villages. Dwarves get no benefit from the forests, so try to lure the enemy into confronting you on flat terrain. Prioritize taking out the goblin archers, as their fire attack circumvents your resistances. If your army is almost all fighters, then the grunts and wolves will be forced to attack them, and the combination of your 20% blade resistance and high retaliation damage will give you the advantage in the battle of attrition, although you will still suffer high casualties because you don't have enough mobility to get all your wounded units back to the widely scattered villages before the wolves pick them off. Decide which units are your favorites, ideally intelligent fighters, feed them xp and keep them safe, and accept that most of the rest of your first wave will likely die. It can be a good idea to leave your leader in his keep for the first several turns so he can send a couple reinforcements once your griffin rider tags enough villages to give you positive income.
You can also play more conservatively by delaying your recruiting for several turns and letting the enemy come to you, so you can take advantage of the favorable terrain around your starting keep and minimize your losses, but this will lead to a lower gold carryover as your low-movement units will take many turns to walk all the way to the enemy leader after you finish the main part of the battle.
Reclaiming The Past
Plot only - here you gain Angarthing.
- Objectives: Defeat enemy leader
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing or Marth-Tak (Orcish leader) die or turns run out
- Turns: 30/28/24 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Movrur
In this scenario, you are allies with orcs who have joined the Northern Alliance, and must defeat a group of outsider orcs, who start at the east end of the map, and with quite a fair bit of gold.
Your ally is both outmatched and somewhat suicidal, so if left to his own devices, in a few turns his troops will get worn down and he will jump out of his keep to attack an enemy, get poisoned/surrounded, and die. So your first priority should be sending some forces across the bridge to your southeast to help him. If you play aggressively and your ally's forces are lucky, you can cross the second bridge and join the fight on the enemy's side of the river, where you should prioritize occupying the villages and mountain/hill hexes before your allies are wiped out. If you can't make it in time, you can instead line up on your ally's side of the river bank and defend against the enemy crossing. Watch the allied leader's movement range, because he will gladly jump out to attack an enemy unit if he can and put himself in danger. If you have enough gold, you can split your forces, sending the first group southeast over the bridge and the second group straight east across the ford at 16.7 to flank the enemy forces while they are focusing on the river crossing. Be sure to recall your griffin rider to grab the northern villages and then steal your ally's villages to maximize your own carryover.
The enemy will focus heavily on assassins, which will be a challenge because of their high defense on most terrain, your units' slow movement, and the relatively low number of villages in the center of the map for healing. Your best bet will just be mass fighters to wear them down by sheer quantity of attacks, and/or dwarvish scouts to punish them with retaliation attacks and to reach villages more quickly for healing. Thunderers and guardsmen will be less useful because they are slower to reach villages once poisoned, and the single attack of the thunderers is too unreliable against high defense assassins. This also makes defending the river a more attractive strategy, as the assassins have only 40% defense in water.
Note that Angarthing gains the Cure ability at level 2 and he only requires 4 kills to level, so if you are able to funnel him those kills very quickly, that will make the rest of the fight against the assassins MUCH easier. This is made easier by the fact that all of his attacks are magical so their high defense will not help them. Remember that Angarthing has Inspire, not regular Leadership, so even at level 1 he will already boost the attacks of your other level 1 units!
Your enemy has an income of 10 gold per turn even with no villages, so this is a great scenario for farming xp. Once you flag all the villages (including the ones you steal from your hapless ally), you can just camp on his keep for the rest of the level, blocking all but one of his castle tiles, and he will recruit ~1 unit per turn which you can use to give xp to whichever units you want. The best candidate for this extra xp is Angarthing, as getting him to level 3 ASAP will give you your only source of healing in this campaign and will make your life much easier in later scenarios. If you end this level with a level 2 Angarthing, you are on the right track.
- Objectives: Move Aiglondur to signpost at end of pass
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing or Movrur die or turns run out
- Turns: 24/18/12 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, and Movrur
This is a small level with the eponymous pass running through its middle, West to East. When you start scouting (with your Gryphon Master, which you really must recall here) you'll notice the level is almost empty! It must be a walk in the park... where's the catch?
Well, you see those enemies close-by? The only ones on the level? Another bunch of them spawns every 2 turns, further East along the path (about where you would have arrived). With each respawn, and from each side of the pass, you will encounter (on Medium):
- One Ogre (L2)
- One Troll (L2)
- Three Wolves (L1); their damage is the same as a Goblin rider (which is essentially a wolf with a Goblin tagging along on its back)
Also, there's a Gryphon leader at the center-North part of the map. He'll have a few friends to send at you (mostly one-after-the-other, but the first 2 will hit you at the same time). That's quite a lot on your plate, so you should be decisively on the attack to avoid facing an increasing pile-up of foes. Rule of thumb: by the third respawn, You should be able to kill the newly-spawned enemies within the 2 turns after they've respawned. Don't be stingy with your gold, the more units you have the faster you will be able to push through to the signpost.
Make sure your Gryphon Master stays alive. He's crucial in this level for scouting and grabbing villages to get a good carryover, but the enemy griffins move faster than he does, the enemies spawn in unpredictable locations, and it's easy for him to get ambushed and killed if he gets too far out ahead of your main army. In the early turns especially, the best strategy is to have him start behind your lines, 'peek' out a few hexes to see as much as he can, then run back behind your lines to stay safe.
Much like the first scenario, this one is all about playing favorites. You are facing a large number of enemies with strong melee attacks and better movement than you, with an insufficient number of villages for healing, so the question is not how to avoid casualties, but how to make the inevitable casualties count. Your priorities are leveling up Angarthing, Aiglondur, and Movrur, and ideally getting a few of your favorite fighters/scouts to level 3 if you can. The rest of your army should be fighters, with maybe a few scouts or guardsmen, who you will use to soften up the targets for your favorite units to kill, and to screen them from the inevitable counterattacks while dealing as much retaliation damage as possible. Angarthing is crucial to taking out the lvl 2 trolls/ogres, as he can first slow them and then boost your fighters as they take them down.
The griffin leader will sometimes jump out of his castle to attack a vulnerable unit. If he does this, heavily prioritize ZOC locking him and killing him if at all possible, as it will completely stop the flow of new griffins and make the rest of the scenario much easier.
NOTE: In earlier versions (1.14 and earlier) there was an Arch Mage named Ratheln holed up in a village near the center of the pass (just North of it); this unit no longer exists.
- Objectives: Find and defeat the orc leader
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Movrur die or turns run out
- Turns: 30/24/18 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing and Movrur
In this scenario you interrupt a conflict between the masked dwarves and human peasants, and you all temporarily join forces to search for orcs. Every time one of your units steps on a village or a hex with a ruined village on it, a random assortment of orcish units will pop out. The orcish leader is hiding in one of the villages and the scenario ends when you find and kill him.
Your reluctant allies are scattered across the map and lack any initiative. If an orcish unit appears within their movement range, they will move to attack it, but if they can't reach an orcish unit in a single turn they will not bother moving at all, and they will not search villages on their own, so their function is mostly to be distractions and punching bags when you trigger the orcish ambushes. They excel at this, as the bloodthirsty orcs will usually ignore your much more dangerous forces to murder a hapless peasant if they have the opportunity.
This is an ideal xp-farming scenario, and boy do you need it. The next scenario is Forbidden Forest, and the more level 3 veterans you can bring to that fight the better. If Angarthing is not yet level 3 then getting him there by the end of this scenario is your top priority, and you can spoon-feed him orcs at your own pace while the peasants and masked dwarves soak up the damage.
SPOILER ALERT: The exact orcish units who pop out of each village and ruin are randomized, except that the orcish leader is always in the farthest northeast ruined village at 26.7. He is a lvl. 3 Nightblade, he has a big entourage, and there are no peasants/masked dwarves nearby to distract him, so it is a good idea to position all of your units around that village before triggering it, and then try to kill him on the first turn he appears to avoid the retaliation. It feels a little cheap, but you can exploit the fact that you know exactly where he is hiding to finish the 'search' very quickly, get a big early finish bonus, and have more carryover for Forbidden Forest. You absolutely CAN beat Forbidden Forest with the minimum starting gold if you have enough lvl 3 veterans, but the extra gold 'cushion' can make it much easier.
- Objectives: Move both Aiglondur and Angarthing to the eastern signpost
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Movrur die or turns run out
- Turns: 40/34/28 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, and Movrur
This is a tricky one. You are fighting elves. You are fighting them in a forest. And you are fighting them under fog of war. You would think this is your Griffin Rider's time to shine. Trouble is, Elvish Riders are as fast or faster than he is, and, he won't be able to spot Elvish Rangers or Woses because of their Ambush ability. A human playing the elves could take on almost any number of Dwarves; only the stupidity of the AI saves you from a grim defeat.
Your three enemies each have both a high inherent daily income and a lot of villages to work with, so they will send an initial burst of enemies and then a continuous stream of reinforcements. They also each recuit a different mix of units. The southeastern leader is a wose who recruits exclusively level 1 and 2 woses. The southwestern leader is an elvish Enchantress who recruits elvish archers, fighters, sorceresses, rangers, and heroes. The northeastern leader is an elvish High Lord who recruits archers, fighters, Elvish Lords, rangers, and lvl 1 and 2 elvish riders. The leaders do not appear to share line of sight, each sends their units on a more or less random search pattern until one of them sights one of your units and the rest converge on you. You can use this to your advantage by taking them out one at a time.
Because your enemies will usually have high defense in this terrain and deal significant retaliation damage, you will want to recall units that have multiple attacks and high resistances. There is no such thing as too many Dwarf Lords for this scenario, and thunderers are a recipe for frustration. 1-2 lvl 3 scouts can be very useful against lvl 2 woses, whose impact attacks can take a serious toll on even Dwarf Lords. Counter-intuitively, it can make sense to not recall your griffin rider, because his resistances are so low and he can't spot any of the ambush units anyway.
Your real enemy in this scenario is the terrain. 90% of this map is forested, and an elf in a flat forest gets 60-70% defense, while a dwarf gets 30%. Woses and rangers can appear from any direction at any time. Your most powerful weapon is controlling which areas of the map the heaviest fighting will occur in. Your second most powerful weapon is level 3 Angarthing. You DO have level 3 Angarthing, right?
Heading straight east along the path is a trap. You will be hit by the forces of all three enemies simultaneously in the middle of the forest, surrounded, and destroyed. Instead, you must divide and conquer by either heading northeast or southeast and looking beyond the oppressive forest to the 2 most important aspects of the terrain for a dwarf: forested hills, where you are on almost even footing with the elves, and shallow water, the only place where your enemies are truly vulnerable.
If you choose the northeast path, you will head for the northernmost bridge at 20.12. You might encounter a rider or other quick unit from the northeast enemy on your way, try to kill it as quickly as possible and don't let it slow you down. Your goal is to get across the river before the southwestern leaders units catch up to you. If a quick sorceress does catch up to you, resist the urge to try to kill it and focus on getting across the river. The east bank of the river is lined with hills where you can make your stand against both the southwestern and northeastern elves and try to take most of them out before the woses can make their way to you. Focus on keeping your units on good terrain and your enemies in the water as much as possible, and make the most of every scrap of healing, slowing, and Inspiration from Angarthing, as you will have only one village to work with for the next several turns of heavy fighting. When the flow of elves slackens, take your whole army east toward the sign post, making sure not to put Angarthing or Aiglondur too far out ahead in case of ambushes.
If you choose the southeast path, take everyone straight south and occupy the river bank right across from the southwestern leader's keep. Most of her forces will already be dispersed around the map, and the rest will happily jump into the water to attack you. Slaughter them, cross the river, and then take her out as quickly as possible. Then move into the cluster of hills in the central area of the map and prepare for the waves of woses, northern elves, and returning stragglers from the sorceress' forces. Once you see an opening, head for the signpost in a group. The southeast path has the advantage of access to many more villages for healing and facing somewhat fewer total enemies overall due to cutting off the southwest leader's recruitment so early, and the disadvantage of a significantly longer total distance covered, which gives more opportunities for getting bogged down and surrounded.
As of 1.16, this is the hardest scenario in the campaign by far, so don't be discouraged if you finish with little carryover gold or if you lose several high level units; the next scenarios are comparatively easy and will give you a chance to rebuild. This is also a scenario that can be flat out impossible for even expert players if they don't come into it with the right units. It can be very helpful to go back and replay the last scenario or two to make sure you come into this one with Aiglondur, Movrur, and especially Angarthing already at level 3, and with as many Dwarf Lords as possible.
The Siege of Kal Kartha
- Objectives: Defeat Orcish leaders (3)
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Movrur, or Dulcatulos (allied leader) die or turns run out
- Turns: 35/35/35 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Movrur
More often than not, the Orcs will ignore you completely and focus all their firepower on your weak ally. There are two ways to approach this situation, depending on whether you want to optimize carryover gold or farming xp.
For the highest carryover, create three strike teams and rush the enemy leaders (who will be completely unguarded), as your ally will not be able to hold off their collective might for very long. Movrur and Angarthing should head to the southernmost leader since he is the farthest from your starting keep. The middle strike team should be the strongest since a few orc units may pull back to defend their leader if you get there very quickly.
For more xp, send all your troops east as quickly as possible, having the first wave go straight past the central enemy leader in order to save your ally (and steal his kills). Then turn and form strike teams for the enemy leaders.
The Court of Karrag
- Objectives: Defeat Karrag
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos die or turns run out
- Turns: 12/12/12 (easy/medium/hard)
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Dulcatulos
- Other: Neither side can recruit units
Almost story only. In past versions, the lich would try to run for it and you would have to use ZOC to catch him, but as of 1.16 he just sits quietly in his keep and waits to be crushed. Pretty much the only way to lose this scenario is if both the berserkers gang up on Angarthing or Dulcatulos and get lucky, so watch their movement ranges, try to take them out with Dwarf Lords ASAP and the rest is easy.
The Underlevels (Wesnoth 1.14.6 and later)
- Objectives: Defeat Karrag
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos die
- Turns: 65
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Dulcatulos and Ratheln
You start in a entry room that has no enemies, with some gates in the east which will be opened by the first character to reach them. If that doesn't match what you're seeing in the game, you're playing the earlier version.
The first three bosses in this scenario recruit dwarves, while Karrag recruits undead. It is smart to prioritize recruiting and leveling up as many fighters as possible throughout this level, as their impact attacks will be most useful against the skeletal undead at the end.
To avoid getting bottlenecked in the first room, as soon as the gates are open push through with Lords and Sentinels who can easily withstand a wave of attacks by the enemy's L1 and L2 thunderers. Don't open the gate with a scout before your Lords and Sentinels are near.
The Central Room
The first enemy dwarf's room is the center of the map. More dwarves are coming from the north-east and south-east.
Directly east there's a wall with two runes next to it, sending a unit there will give a hint that you need to find two other runes. These are behind the north-east and south-east bosses, split your forces and take them out.
South-west there's a lot of rails and gates, but none of these gates open. There is nothing to fight there.
North-west there's an area that has two rewards for exploring (each gives the unit +3 max hp), but again it doesn't have any fighting.
This entire area is scattered with villages. Sending some units to start tagging them early will pay off with a huge income that will help you recruit lots of fodder units for the final battle.
The North-East and South-East
Both areas have a dwarvish boss, a rune (behind a gate that's behind the boss) and some villages.
Both the north-east and south-east areas also have dead-end tunnels with nothing in them. In one of the northeast tunnels is a chest with some gold. Once you've killed the boss, found the rune and taken the villages and the chest of gold, there's nothing else in those areas.
The runes can be used to teleport back to the central area. Once both runes have been activated, the wall to the east of the central room disappears.
Once the door is open, Karrag starts recruiting L2 undead units to supplement his huge number of lvl 3 dwarf and draug bodyguards. Wait until this moment to use the central dwarf's keep to recruit as many fighters as you can (their impact attack is most useful against skeletal undead). Crush the lich beneath your dwarf swarm, using Angarthing's Inspiration to maximize their damage.
The Underlevels (Wesnoth 1.14.5 and earlier)
- Objectives: Defeat Karrag
- Lose if: Aiglondur, Angarthing, or Dulcatulos die
- Turns: no limit
- Starting units: Aiglondur, Angarthing, Dulcatulos and Ratheln
- Two alcoves with 150 gold in the first gallery
- 4 caves with friendly prisoners in the north (just before the spiders)
- Teleportation runes
- Secret passage down to the first Lich
Don't start playing this scenario, if you don't have a lot of time to spare. It's not so much of a scenario, it's actually a small campaign in itself. This is even more extreme than the missions in "Under the Burning Suns". In short, you will have to fight a gallery full of Masked Dwarves, 4 different Masked Dwarf leaders and their armies, a cavern full of Giant Spiders, 2 Liches and their Undead armies, and finally, once you're done with all that, have a final showdown with Karrag. But there is no time limit, so you can take as long as you wish to complete this mission. The map in 1.14.6 was completely redesigned, mainly because the original was considered to be too long, the redesign has a turn limit of 65 turns, whereas you should not be surprised to reach turn 200 on this original version.
It's going to be a long brawl, so you need to be prepared. You will have few villages for a long time, and need a big army from the start, so you will be in massive negative gold quite soon: so just recall and recruit as much as you can and move off. As this is the last fighting scenario, you can recall shamelessly.
(If you come in short of gold - less than 300 say - it may be worth recalling a smaller force and rushing an attack on one of the two side galleries in the start area - there is bonus gold behind a secret door in each gallery. If you have plenty of gold, you can just recall and you will be so negative by the time you get that gold that it won't help you.)
Two White Mages, your loyal Arch Mage and another Red Mage are really useful here. You would like 2-4 thunderguards or dragonguards, and a couple of sentinels would be handy for holding low-defence tiles. Most of your army should be Dwarvish Lords - you want at least 4 lords to start I would say, and in total 10 units that are either lords or will level into lords. Recall everything and recruit more with your leftover gold.
A hall with a line of dwarves on either side in extremely good defensive position. Try to take them out as fast as you can, as there is a treasure behind each line of defenders, which provides a little extra cash should you need it for more recruits. Establish a defensive line across the room on one of the north-south lines of cave tiles that cut into the room - before long, masked dwarves will start to pour into the gallery from the other side, and you can sit your dwarves on the cave tiles and have a terrain advantage.
The First Enemy
He sits right at the other end of the gallery, again in a good defensive position. But with enough aggression, he should not be a problem.
Once you've taken his castle, you will need to split your forces. Split them as evenly as you can. (Did I mention, that two White Mages are a real asset? Each group will need a healer!) There are more enemies to the north, so send more units requiring XP to level up in that direction.
The Fight in the Corridors
You are fighting a steady stream of tough enemies. But you are fighting underground in passages only three hexes wide. This is your advantage. Keep a solid defensive line, let their units come to you, and keep killing and advancing as opportunity permits. Don't worry if this takes some time, there is no turn limit anyway.
When you reach the main enemy at the end of each passage, as you enter the chamber with the keep, the enemy gives a speech and gets a big gold bonus to recruit a horde of L2 units. So don't rush in - step in, form a short solid line in the entrance, let them attack, keep cycling injured units for fresh ones and keep doing damage where you can. Their force will soon be spent and you can then advance again.
Once you defeat the southern enemy, you will find a locked door. Just leave your troops there, your other group can easily take care of getting the key in the north east corner.
When you have defeated the last enemy in the north, make sure to free the prisoners in the cells near his castle.
The Spiders and the First Lich
Before you move your norther force east to find the key, you should make a decision. There is a Lich on the eastern side of the map. You can enter his cellar from behind the locked door in the south, or through a long windy passage from the north. He's rather weak, but you need to take him out first, if you don't want him attacking your back while you face your real enemy.
The first possibility is to use the transportation runes to get your forces down to the locked door and fight him from there. In that case, go east with only a few well leveled dwarves, Angarthing and a White Mage, for there is quite a number of Spiders defending the key. Once your read the spell, go back to the runes, reunite your forces and take out the Lich in the east. The lich recruits a big army to start with, but then recruits hardly any more; so once you defeat his main force, you only need to send 4 dwarf lords and Angarthing through the tunnels to take out the lich (moving your white mages through the narrow tunnels is very slow and they won't be needed).
But if you want to get to the Lich through the back door, you need to take your whole northern force east. Defeat the Spiders, run down that narrow passage until your reach the end of the tunnel. It's just caved in, you can open it by moving a unit there. Before you do, open the locked door and advance with your southern force south east until you meet the undead forces. Be careful, they recruit quite a number of Shadows, nasty skirmishing, nightstalking Ghosts. Once the battle is raging you can open the backdoor to the Lich's castle and take him out.
Either way, you will have to do some boring running here.
The Second Lich
He sits in a big cavern behind the doors in the south west. Only take him on with your entire army (if you don't want to do a slow chokepoint fight at the door). He too makes heavy use of shadows, so make sure to form solid lines (including along the edge of the side chasms - the shadows can fly over them of course).
His forces are likely to be at a fair distance when you open the door, so, if you don't mind save-loading if it doesn't work, you could rush him - but there seems little point as you have to fight his army to progress anyway. So instead form up a solid formation just inside the door to his cavern - advance as far in as you can cover with dwarf lords, with plenty to spare - and then crush his forces when they come to attack you.
-- Or, just *outside* the door, where the passage narrows to one hex. Advance far enough into the cavern to provoke a response, then retreat to that point where you can play 2-on-1 for turn after turn until he's done for. Put your healer right behind your 2-unit front line and it's a snap.
Karrag is waiting for you in a... how surprising, a medium-size cavern with lots of castle hexes, some villages and strong units as sentries. This one will be more challenging, though, since aside from Karrag's recruits, the pre-existing sentinels are Draugs (L3 Skeletons): A couple of these may well be able to take out a fully-healed Dwarven Lord within a single turn, so be very careful. On the other hand, this _is_ the last encounter in the last scenario in this campaign...
The cavern has two entrances (from the Northeastern access point, you go either East along a 2-hex-wide corridor with a path, or South inside a short winding tunnel). If you do want to play it safe, set up a choke points in both of them, each headed by Dwarven Lords with a healer (preferably Mage of Light at this point) behind them, and some backup Lords/Sentinels for rotation further behind. If you have a Arch/Grand Mage, consider letting him replace the Lord once in a while in the tunnel, when faced with a Draug, Deathblade or other no-Ranged-defense unit. He can take the heat for one turn before falling back. You'll be hit by the recruits first, but it won't be nearly as bad as the second Lich's huge army.
After a while, practically nobody will come at you any more. At that point you could either advance slowly to trigger attacks from more Draugs, or just rush some faster units forward - you should be able to take out Karrag very easily now. Perhaps if instead of raising the body of the dead he had raised the brains of the dead he might not have lost so miserably against an inferior force.
But the most disappointing part is not Karrag's relative weakness, but the fact that nothing actually happens with the Hammer of Thursagan - which will now be officially dubbed: The McGuffin of Thursagan.
[elvish_sovereign] The easiest way for me to kill Karrag was to suicide my Mage with the Staff of Righteous Flame on him. It took on shot, my Mage and Karrag died. Almost no blood shed!