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60,000 passwords have been reset on July 8, 2019. If you cannot login, read this.

Second Human Book of Arkain (Patch 1.29.2 or newer!)

Submitted by Shar Dundred
This bundle is marked as approved. It works and satisfies the submission rules.
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[​IMG]

A Campaign Series made by Shar Dundred

! Requires Version 1.29.2 or newer !
You are not allowed to publish any edited version of any Arkain map! This includes but is not limited to Reforged edits!



Story

Betrayed, invaded, defeated.... The Humans of the Empire suffered greatly in their fight against the Demons. They have now lost another kingdom in the war against the Demons and the inner conflicts are just about to start. Only a strong hand and leadership can lead them to victory against these odds.
Command the cruel General Gardon Bloodclaw and unite the estranged factions of the Empire by any means necessary. Withstand your enemies, both inside and outside, and face the horrifying Demons.
The question is... how far are you willing to go for absolute victory? Will you have to sacrifice your humanity in order to achieve victory? Only time will tell.




Campaign Series Info

The Legends of Arkain is a campaign series which takes place on the world Arkain.
The races of Arkain fight against the demon invaders, who try once again to enslave every being on Arkain. The Humans, the Orcs and the Undead will have to make a stand against them... or face complete annihilation or enslavement by the Demons.
This campaign series will consist of actually three different series. There will be a Human, an Orc and an Undead campaign series. They will all run in the same timeline but will present three different stories and outcomes. When they are all finished, it's completely up to you, who wins this conflict.
Those, who win the war, will write the history.


You like the campaign?
Click here to see the progress of the series!

Click here for the First Human Book!
Click here for the First Orc Book!
Click here for the First Undead Book!


Click here for the Second Orc Book!

Let's Play made by @Jayborino!


Features

- Three different storylines/campaign series
Take control of one of the three factions, the proud Humans of the Empire, the plundering and strong Orc Clans or the mysterious Undead Nexus and their endless army of the dead, and face the demonic invasion as well as other struggles that await you.
- New units
Command units, you already know, as well as completely new units with new upgrades and abilities.
- Decide the fate of Arkain
At some points of the campaigns, you'll have the opportunity to decide things, that affect the storyline, characters and sometimes even the chapters you play or how you have to play them. By doing or, well, not doing certain side quests, you can also affect the campaign.
- Three difficulties
You can play the campaign in either easy, normal or hard difficulty, just like in the original WC3 campaigns. It will impact on the AI difficulty and scripting as well as other minor changes.
In easy version, for example, the AI won't rebuilt lost buildings.

- Full Jass AI
In this campaign series, every single AI is written in Jass instead of being created with the AI editor. This makes the AI more intelligent.
- Universal hotkeys
All abilities, units and buildings use QWER hotkeys.
- Race Mechanics
Every available race has its own unique race mechanic to improve gameplay - and, in some cases, to add new ways influencing the story.



Characters

[​IMG] General Gardon Bloodclaw
General Gardon is the most ruthless and merciless general in the Empire. He is known for using every available weapon against his enemies without showing any pardon. His background is a mystery. He simply appeared out of nowhere and became general. He proved very fast, that he got that position for a good reason, destroying the enemies of the Empire with fast, merciless effectiveness. He is the commander of the Ironfist, an elite force of the Empire, which often carries out top secret missions for the Emperor himself. According to rumors, Gardon himself enjoys the favor of the Emperor - much to the frustration of many higher-ranking Imperials. Yet none would dare make a move against him, as in the past, such attempts ended in disaster.
The fact that Gardon was forced to retreat because the inner conflicts of the Imperials had weakened them too much, infuriated him a great deal and he longs for a chance to take revenge on the traitors.
[​IMG] Admiral Merlon Seabright
Both in the Imperial and Royal Fleets, Admiral Merlon Seabright is a living legend. It is said that he was the captain of the ship that killed the Terror of Feraldir, a gigantic, demonic sea monster that had terrorized ships for thousands of years. Merlon dislikes staying on the shore for longer than absolutely necessary, for the sea is his true home. He is said to have been a critic and even an enemy of Gardon Bloodclaw until the two of them were assigned to a special mission. After that mission, Merlon remained silent about Gardon and even proclaimed to assist Gardon whenever he was needed.
Today, he is Gardon's most loyal ally who is not part of the Ironfist.
[​IMG] Larine the Exile
Larine used to be the personal guard and a good friend of the elven queen. However, she began criticizing the fact that the Elves were hiding in their woods instead of fighting side-by-side with the Imperials and Dwarves. She blamed the Queen for the fact that the Elves were despised by many of the Humans who had been forced by their surperiors to defend them. She left the Elven Kingdom and was later exiled. She went to the court of King Dorten of Kerrel and started working for him, gaining his respect. Trained in both archery and nature magic, she is ready to fulfill her surperior's every command.
[​IMG] Lady Cora Redfist
Following her father's wishes reluctantly, Cora joined the Imperial Army instead of continuing her studies in the Imperial Academy. Having proven herself as a valuable asset of the army, she was given the offer of joining the Imperial Navy. She had always loved the sea and knowing that the Imperial Navy would enable her to progress further in her studies of water magic, Cora accepted the offer and became a member of the navy, later serving as the liaison officer between the Imperial Navy and the Golden Guard.
Over time, she developed a certain dislike for Renald van Durce, the general of the Golden Guard, considering him arrogant beyond measure.
[​IMG] Lord Brian the Fallen
Long ago, before the Empire had set sail over the sea, Lord Brian was a high-ranking member of the Emperor's court. People were afraid of the lord in dark armor who was said to study the forbidden dark arts of Shadow Magic. One day, he and his family disappeared without any trace of their whereabouts. Since he didn't return after many years, people started to believe he had died. However, in truth, he had discovered ancient secrets and power. Whatever happened to him, it made him immortal and gave him unknown power and knowledge. It remains a mystery what he has done over the past centuries.
[​IMG] High Lord Inquisitor Renald van Durce
Being one of seven younger brothers of the former emperor and therefore one of the uncles of the current Emperor, Renald could have lived a peaceful life of luxury in the Imperial palace. However, he loathed his other brethren for letting the luxury make them become lazy and corrupt. Becoming a great warrior-priest and leader, he himself led the final assault that removed all Demons from the continent of the Empire. Renald had always been arrogant, but his success made it even worse. However, his loyalty towards the Emperor is almost limitless and only the Emperor himself can command van Durce. Whenever he and his Golden Guard are sent on a mission, the Emperor sends his finest, most loyal and most arrogant soldiers.
His full title is:
High Lord of the Imperial Court, Lord Inquisitor of the Order of the Righteous, Lord Consultant of the Emperor, General of the Golden Guard.



Click here to learn more about the other characters!




Screenshots
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Changelog

Version 1.00
Initial Release

Version 1.10
General:
- After finding out what caused the game to crash in the current iteration of 1.30, I fixed the Angelic unit, selecting it should no longer cause any crashes (Don't worry, I have fixed this with a 1.29 iteration, you do not have to update to the latest patch and I still advise against doing that, but those of you who already patched should be better off now)
- Increased the durability of Lord Brian the Fallen
- Armor of the Holy Bastion now also increases the hit points by 500 in addition to its 15 armor bonus
- Fixed Spears of Pain icon

Chapter Twelve:
- Added Resistant Skin for the Purificator in both A and B

Chapter Thirteen:
- Increased hit points of Krogar the Conqueror by 500

Version 1.20
General:
- Replaced Krogar's Stampede with The Horde, summoning a group of permanent Moghtar warriors
- Praxeus gained the Memory of the Past ability
- Plating no longer increases armor and reflects damage, instead it now reduces all inflicted damage
- Lord of the Shadows no longer splits Brian, instead it allows him to summon up to four permanent Shadow Creatures from corpses
- The amount of trainable Black Dragons is no longer limited to 2, go train more, go nuts
- Replaced Horgar's Barrier ability with Lightning Rune, summoning a rune that attacks enemies
- Changed the model for the Healing Rune
- Horgar and Zarin have both received Spell Resistance
- Changed Gardon's title from Butcher to Warmonger
- Gardon and Praxeus now both have a new permanent item

Chapter Seven:
- Changed a few epilogue lines for the Undead if Larine becomes queen

Chapter Eleven A and B:
- Slightly edited and fixed some dialogues
- Added new dialogues

Chapter Eleven A:
- Fixed the issue with Zarin's portrait not appearing when speaking

Chapter Eleven B:
- Added more enemy Black Dragons and Black Drakes to make sniping the enemy bases with Destructors less efficient

Chapter Twelve A and B:
- Removed the lines coming from the three liches in the intro cinematic

Chapter Fourteen A:
- Salana and Larine may both now call on the Elven Forces (Salana may even call upon a certain hero if she is still alive)

Version 1.21
Prelude:
- Adjusted the lines at the beginning of the map regarding the choice system from the First Human Book

Version 1.22
General:
- Fixed the description of the Old Amulet

Chapter Nine:

- Praxeus should now start with his proper item, the Old Amulet, rather than the Ring of the Exile

Version 1.30
General:
- Fixed the tooltip of Lightning Rune
- Vail's leadership bonus now correctly states that the increase is permanent
- The campaign no longer uses the latest melee patch due to several balance changes messing up things, a few unit changes still apply to the campaign however
- New icon for the Bowman
- Increased the hit points of Knights to 840
- Some grammar fixes
- Dark Secrets now displays the duration
- Fixed the hotkey for Lord of the Shadows

Prelude:
- Fixed the issue with the prelude finishing too early

Interlude Two:
- Fixed the skipping issues related to this cinematic

Chapter Nine:
- The hotkey for sending Marin lumber has been removed

Chapter Thirteen:
- Fixed the tooltip for Korgar's ultimate

Chapter Fourteen A:
- The hint now tells you that Salana/Larine can also summon a wave of allies

Chapter Fourteen B:
- The Old Amulet item should no longer lie on the ground

Version 1.31
General:
- New upgrade "Skull Shield" available from Chapter Seven on

Chapter Eight:
- Replaced most units of the Order of the Flame with new, Order-specific ones

Version 1.32
Chapter Five:
- Replaced the hero in the yellow base with a weaker hero to decrease difficulty

Version 1.40
General:
- Upkeep reworked: Low Upkeep now gives you 8 instead of 7 gold and High Upkeep now gives you 6 instead of 4 gold

Version 1.50 - The Rise of the Shadow
Chapter Seven:
- The items you get from Larine if you chose Salana are now the ones from Chapter Six instead of Chapter Five

Chapter Twelve:
- Replaced the building models used by the Dominion to better showcase their new organisation
- Changed the names of some edited buildings

Chapter Thirteen:
- New model for Orie Redfist
- New model for Red Mages

Chapter Fourteen A:
- Replaced the building models used by the Ironfist to better showcase their new organisation
- Replaced the models used by Peasants and Militia
- Changed the names of some edited buildings

Version 1.60 - The Lands of Arkain
General:
- Most maps now have their own unique loading screen made by @Rhapsodie

Version 1.61
General:
- Shieldbearer Changes:
* Decreased the damage dealt by Shieldbearers by 3
* Decreased hit points from 1500 to 1100
* Increased food cost from 4 to 5
- Reduced the movement speed of Warmechs in air form
- Increased the food cost of Black Dragons from 8 to 10
- All workers now start with Repair activated automatically
- New model & icon for Sir Praxeus "The Holy Bastion" Braelon
- New icon for the Order of the Holy Bastion leadership bonus

Version 1.70 - Father Redfist Update
General:
- Several tweaks and fixes (including changes that fix some bugs caused by newer Blizzard patches)
- Changed & Replaced several unit types and hero models to fit their kingdom/faction
- New models for Thanok & Claire (courtesy of @deepstrasz)
- New model for Shieldbearers (courtesy of @HerrDave)

Chapter Eight:
- Replaced Brutes with Firestarters



Credits
Models & Skins:
Blizzard Entertainment
67chrome
epsilon
Wandering Soul
infrenus
Tauer
AndrewOverload519
Mephestrial
Dojo
PrMosquito
Hawkwing
Em!
dickxunder
acagnip
Uncle Fester
Frankster
Mc !
IamMclovin
AhhFreshWeeD
Sin'dorei300
Elenai
Kuhneghetz
CloudWolf
alreadyused
Dark Hunter1357
Dmitry Rommel
Kitabatake
Shar Dundred
RazorClawX
Uljimasa Hojo
eXciTe
Sellenisko
frostwolf
-Grendel
Skipper
Deolrin
gookywooky
Callahan
BlinkBoy
Hueter
Coinblin
supertoinkz
SuPa-
Tarrasque
Power
Afronight_76
chr2
olofmoleman
imforfun
Deolrin
Pyramidhe@d
HerrDave
Meteor_demon
kangyun
Kael Theron
PROXY
JetFangInferno
JesusHipster
Makoodzaka
Rizz_Boomer
Arowanna


Icons:
Blizzard Entertainment
Uncle Fester
CloudWolf
xylign
SkriK
CRAZYRUSSIAN
Darkfang
GreyArchon
67chrome
Fjury
PrMosquito
INSEKT
Muoteck
dickxunder
Frankster
CloudWolf
Kuhneghetz
Elenai
Heinvers
Shar Dundred
Uljimasa Hojo
SinisterX
Darkfang
Hemske
Palaslayer
NFWar
Hellx-Magnus
Justicebringer
Sin'dorei300
sigelang
Mr.Goblin
Mythic
antihero
Sellenisko
-ToasT
jigrael
Just_Spectating
APproject
Pins
Eagle XI
kangyun
-Grendel
BLazeKraze
Mc !
Kael Theron
Stanakin
JollyD
The_Silent
-Berz-
chr2
olofmoleman
San
Scias
Akolyt0r
Peekay
Edge45
ChevronSeven
4eNNightmare
Arowanna


Music:
Bastian Kieslinger - Tears of the Mire (used in Interlude Four)

Campaign Preview Screen:
Heinvers

Campaign Logo:
Mythic

Loading Screens:
Rhapsodie

Campaign Chief Development Tester and Grammar Genius:
Kasrkin

Additional Testing:
Championfighter25

Terrain Improvement:
Imperator (Prologue, Chapter Four, Nine, Eleven, Twelve)
Heinvers (Chapter Three & Chapter Eight)


Everything else made by:
Shar Dundred

First Supporters:
Theoden of KoMe
Chen
youness
Kasrkin
kakuzu
BandolXD
Heinvers
Imperator
Veritas 117
PlankingWolf


Please contact me via PM if I forgot to give you credit for your resource!


Special Thanks

To Blizzard Entertainment for this great game.
To Turnro and RazorclawX whose great campaigns inspired me to revive this old project.
To all who supported this project!
To all who reported bugs and gave/give constructive feedback both during and after the development!
And very many special thanks to Kasrkin, who supported the creation of this project in many, even countless ways!



Feel free to post your suggestions, opinions and questions!
Please report any bugs!

Keywords:
Arkain, Legends, Legends of Arkain, LoA, campaign, series, Gardon
Contents

Legends of Arkain Second Human Book (Campaign)

Reviews
Moderator
2016-04-10 Rufus: [IMG][c]Rufus ReviewMap ScoreGameplay:[c]25 / 30[r]Aesthetics:[c]20 / 20[r]Total:[c]45 / 50 Rating Chart 45-50[c]5/5 Highly Recommended[r]35-44[c]4/5 Recommended[r]25-34[c]3/5 Useful[r]15-24[c]2/5 Lacking[r]0-14[c]1/5...
StoPCampinGn00b
Restricted under author request / work in progress rule.
?

Pick your favorite character

  1. Gardon Bloodclaw

    65.9%
  2. Cora Redfist

    6.7%
  3. Lord Brian the Fallen

    13.0%
  4. Thanok

    9.4%
  5. Duke Volarian Redfist the Tyrant

    3.6%
  6. Merlon Seabright

    5.4%
  7. Lord Marin

    0.9%
  8. King Dorten

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. High Lord Inquisitor Renald van Durce

    13.9%
  10. Larine the Exiled

    3.1%
  11. Lord Korras Retka

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Scarlett Retka

    3.1%
  13. Councillor Birram

    0.4%
  14. Queen Renova

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. Vail

    1.8%
  16. Lord Harmos the Guardian of the Flame

    1.3%
  17. Sir Praxeus "The Holy Bastion" Braelon

    0.4%
  18. Prince Toraes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  19. Claire Greendale

    0.9%
  20. Zarin Hammerfall

    1.3%
  21. Horgar Whitebeard

    0.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Paul Emirique Ibanez

    Paul Emirique Ibanez

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    Ok tnx so much, I knew that you will need to rework again the chapters
     
  2. Paul Emirique Ibanez

    Paul Emirique Ibanez

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    Could you make a version where it could make it work for older versions like 1.26? I can't use the ressurection mod in the newer patches so is it ok for you to make a 1.26 version of this campaign?
     
  3. Daffa

    Daffa

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    With how certain chapters are worked on, I doubt it.
     
  4. TylerUTS

    TylerUTS

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    yes!!
     
  5. Nayala

    Nayala

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    The story would not be as dramatic if you could just get all humans to work happily together against the demons, as sad as these divisions are.

    However, I'm really interested on the follow-up of the story. There is too much left to be resolved.
     
  6. Shar Dundred

    Shar Dundred

    Map Reviewer

    Joined:
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    No.
    This would require me completely creating the campaign from scratch with 1.26 and I have no intention doing that as it would consume way too much time.
     
  7. Paul Emirique Ibanez

    Paul Emirique Ibanez

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    I'm curious, when I watched videos of this campaign like Jayborino, I noticed that in long live the queen chapter, he is using salana instead of larine. Did I do something different that would change the choices? How to use salana in that chapter?
     
  8. Nayala

    Nayala

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    You need to:
    not select the "elves of the ironforged" leadership bonus
     
  9. Paul Emirique Ibanez

    Paul Emirique Ibanez

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    Oh so in the early missions, just not select that leadership ai, ok thanks
     
  10. Nayala

    Nayala

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    I've already posted a summary of the strategies i used to beat missions 10, 11-A, 12-A, 13, 11-B, 12-B and 14-B (and how I attempted to beat 14-A without success - with the old campaign version, my choices along the way, and the refusal of the pact, it was absurdly difficult) at the page 55 of this thread.

    I also recently posted strategies for the first book as I went to beat it in hard.

    Now, I will also do this for the early mission of the second book, using the latest update.

    You get Gardon, Merlon, and a bunch of arrogant bastards... I mean golden guards soldiers.

    For the heroes abilities, there are some difference for Gardon compared to first book. He no longer has a damage+stun ability, with a damage+armor ability instead. If you're not great at micro, you can forget about it. It takes time to select and target and the end result is undewhelming. Immolation can be useful but don't forget to turn it off after battles. The increased damage and hit point regeneration can be useful in several battles. The really good abilities are Zed's invocation and the overpowered war aura which adds a whopping +70% attack to nearby friendly units.

    Merlon is similar to the first book. Thunder clap, then the ultimate and the aura are my order of preference.

    Now, you're under the rain in Kerrel, and you must go help the royals... How to organize the units?

    The executors are good units, very solid with nice damage. I suggest putting them along the two heroes. The priests, the crossbowmen and the zealot are better in a separate group intervening only when needed.

    There are a few nice items to retrieve if you go in some side paths. The tomes should go to Gardon, as you won't have direct control of Merlon in the last (and hardest) mission.

    You'll encounter murlocs... allied with orcs ! I suggested killing as much of those as possible and completing the related side quest to get a reward.

    You don't have to be too cautious with the lives of the golden guards soldiers if you want accidents to happen... If you keep some of them to escort Lerrig at the end, he will help you in a future mission. On the other hand, Lerrig is an idiot who fought along the traitor Genethas and keep wasting human lives trying to be a commander, so in my own playthrough I chose to... he has been killed by the demons, that's right, Lerrig has been killed by the demons.
    When I first played this chapter, it wasn't even in hard, yet I would have sworn it was. Without a good strategy, this can be a pain.

    First thing to resolve : which leadership bonus? I love the flavor text that come with them, but there is a choice to be made here... I recommend going with Gardon's direwolf bonus. The +25% boost to building HP with Merlon is actually useful when it comes to defensive power with towers, but the really hard part of the mission is the attack, not the defence. And for the attack, direwolves are better. I've compared them fully upgraded with fully upgraded knights, and the HP are very close, the defence is a bit lower for the wolves, but the attack points are significantly better for the wolves. And the faster you kill the enemy, the less it can damage you. As you may notice, I didn't even look at production cost. The peak power of the army is key in tough battles, and sacrificing it for smaller costs is a bad bet as the losses in battle will kick in.

    There is another 4-food units which deserve a mention : greywolves. They have poor attack and HP compared to both wolves and knight, but they do have an useful defensive aura. All along the mission, I took care of always having one or two of them per melee units group.

    As for bowmen, I felt that they are certainly not worth 3 foods (2 would have been much more reasonable for such a frail unit) so I never trained any.

    At the start of the mission, I immediately began training a lot of workers. Unusual setup : 5 workers aren't enough to get max output from the gold mine with the castle on the hill. Hence, I added a few workers to gold mining before sending more to do woods.

    I also started doing upgrades for all the units I intended to use along the game.

    I split my initial forces in 3 groups : one with Gardon, Merlon and a few soldiers ; another with more soldiers ; and a last one with priests. The Gardon group guarded the eastern entrance with the ability to quickly go to the northern entrance, while the other was tasked with the western entrance. The melee units you get at the start are terrible, but you can replace them with direwolves later as they die.

    Remaining at low upkeep, and having trained a few more priests, I could defend my base without any serious trouble. I purchased fire orbs for both of my heroes, and built towers to defend every entrance, especially the northern one which was not directly guarded by units. I progressively increased the number of towers as the mission went along and I collected gold in order to make defending easier. The ideal tower mix has a few guard and cannon towers, and a lot of arcane towers. Magic attacks and mana burning are awesome against infernals, doom guards, fel hounds and other dangerous demon creatures. The reveal ability of arcane towers is also wonderful. Towers should be disposed in C to maximize firepower on enemies without allowing an advanced tower to be picked off separately. Your defensive units should be located in the middle of the C : €.

    With the priests healing after each battle and by manually pulling out wounded units, I could minimize losses and accumulate gold for upgrades and for a future big army.

    When I was satisfied, I made a big melee group with the heroes, Zed, greywolves and direwolves, and another group of priests, staying at low, and went north. I tasked a greywolf, a few direwolves and an hydromancer to guard the eastern entrance. Hydromancer are decent units, offering some ranged damage and appreciable support spells (slow on the enemy, haste on your units, or a nice damaging water wave if you don't mind the micro (I barely used it because I dislike micro)).

    The army with my heroes went north, back the path explored in chapter 1. These damn murlocs went back, and I exterminated those crossing my path again. There are a few decent objects to collect along the way, you may want to intentionally leave something at the base to have room for others and sort things later. I had two teleportation scrolls for Gardon to allow emergency return to main base, but I actually never needed it, even during the worse demon attacks where souleaters (green) and darkblades (orange) teamed up.

    Once past the swamp, my army encountered demons. It's best to alert some, pull back, kill them before dealing with the rest, as taking on all the dreamhunters (red) at once is a pain. I had to actually train some new units after an important battle with them. It was only after this first weakening that I could have a successful attack, killing them for good and destroying the demon gate they used along with a teleportation portal to attack your base from the North.

    At this point, I brought a catapult and destroyed trees north-west of the portal... Up until I cleared up the way to the golems (you thought you killed them in chapter 1 ? They're back !) with a nice item as a reward once killed. Only after this I went to the portal and returned to my base.

    At this stage, I had a nice gold stockpile and with the threat from the North gone, it was time to attack.

    I prepared four groups : (1) Gardon, Zed, greywolf, direwolves (2) Merlon, greywolves, direwolves, hydromancers (3) priests (a lot of them) (4) catapults (these things are very frail but they're awesome to destroy buildings... including demon gates).

    However, once the few static demons were cleaned up, the issue I encountered the first time I did that mission was still there : there was a huge amount of darkblades demons to defend the demon gates. Managing to destroy the gates had been a very tense grind in my first playthrough, it went much better this time.

    I soon understood that there was way too many enemy and that even my big army would lose, so I pulled back in direction of the western entrance of my base, with the demons pursuing my army. As I lost some mens, I started the training of replacements, and soon began a huge battle. With the support of about a dozen of towers (the arcane towers did very well) in addition to my units fighting back, I had the advantage. Soon after, the demons were wiped out while I had replacements for my losses finishing to train.

    The demons had not the time to recover to face my full-strength army and they crumbled, my catapults taking care of eliminating those annoying demonic defensive towers and doing the bulk of the damage on the demon gates. Afterwards, I attacked the pit lord and cleaned up the darkblade demons in the south-east corner of the map.

    After regrouping in my main base and healing, I went back to the goldmine which had been defended by the darkblades and built a new base (including many towers and new unit production buildings). The additional gold would help to take on the souleaters.

    These bastards have no less than five demon gates, and I suffered heavy losses in a first attack. I had to pull back behind my towers to regroup while I replaced my losses.

    A second offensive went better, and I began sending replacements of losses directly to battle to never let the pressure down. Once my catapults and melee units destroyed the first demon gate, it got easier to advance, and soon after the demons were annihilated from the area.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  11. Nayala

    Nayala

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    Continuing onto the following chapters.

    You have one task : get through the Pyrrean pass with Gordon and Cora.

    And the soldiers of the rebel Retka really don't want to let you through. Thankfully, most of them are just conscripted farmers, aka militia.

    At the beginning, I followed the usual strategy : more workers for wood, research all useful upgrades.

    For the leadership bonus, I went with academical knowledge: I compared executors and direwolves, and concluded that executors are just as good if not better, while the +100 mana for chaplains will help when it comes to healing. I avoided Whipsers in the Dark because Aedale already got stupidly corrupted by demons, I didn't want another Redfist to follow a similar fate.

    Next, I moved my heroes and soldiers west, towards the entrance of the pass. As all enemies will come through here, it's easier to just wait them here.

    The attack waves you will receive at this stage are simple : a lot of militia. You may lose some of your useless weak 2-food melee units, but you should crush those waves very easily. Cora's ultimate (which, appropriately, uses water waves) will also do marvels, inflicting tremendous damages on these weak but numerous units.

    Next, I sent a peasant to build towers next to the pass entrance, with a mix of all towers type. I placed arcane towers in a special control group.

    When I got enough resources, I built two catapultes and trained a few crossbowmen to go along Cora and some healers, still staying at low upkeep.

    The arcane towers are doing wonders in this mission (as in most missions where they are available !). Using the reveal ability (hence the control group), you can look at what's going on on the rocks around the pass, and use your catapults, crossbowmen and Cora to kill the militia archers and destroy catapults and towers (technically, Cora's blizzard is good at this but I barely used it).

    At this point, I began slowly advancing in the pass, crushing the weak units blocking it. Not long after, I arrived at a critical point : the spot where units from several enemy bases teleport on their way to attack your own base. If you leave it undefended and keep advancing, you'll run into trouble as your towers and soon after your base will be at risk, and constantly retreating your main army to avoid this is a poor option.

    The good option is very simple : build A LOT of towers. I had around thirty. Cannon towers have friendly fire, but they deal especially high damage, so I suggest having a few but having a few workers available to repair towers between attacks (retreat them once they're done, to avoid them dying). With that much towers, the enemy groups teleporting in are destroyed so quickly that they barely have the time to damage your towers, and even the bulkiest attack waves of Retka's army (with real soldiers instead of pathetic militia units) won't stand a chance.

    I also built a town hall, a barrack and a sanctum at a slightly earlier point in the pass, to make reinforcements to my main army faster and to be able to retrain workers for repair duty easier.

    At this point, I went from 50 food (max no upkeep) to 80 food (max low upkeep) with more executors, crossbowmen, chaplains, catapults... Everything.

    The units defending the pass get stronger along the way, but they're easy to deal with if you don't rush. Gardon and melee units should do well against everything in the main path (along with Cora's ultimate when needed) while crossbowmen and catapults should focus on cleaning the upper areas surrounding it with the arcane tower's reveal.

    There is a retka army's barracks at one point, it makes a good spot for new advanced barracks and sanctum;

    When Cora gained a level, I upgraded her cold aura to be more effective (it's nice to reduce damage your units take).

    At some point, you arrive at a junction.

    I pushed north a bit to clean the pass some more, before going east to the first village which was sending attack waves. They've a lot of buildings constantly retraining their units, but their units are weak apart from a single hero which will attack you when you push further into the village. Focus him with all your units, stun and damage him with Cora's lightning bolt, and he won't last long.

    Methodically destroy every single building, kill all peasants and units attacking you, be careful defending your catapults (I found the crossbowmen and Cora to be good for this), and soon enough you will have entirely eliminated this threat.

    I then sent workers to build a new town hall to start collecting gold from a second mine.

    In the south-west, there is a bunch of powerful units along with a hero. You may suffer from some losses in the process, but kill them all for a nice reward (iirc, there is a tome, do not give it to Cora as she won't be available in the hardest mission of the game).

    At this point, some enemy attack waves are not teleporting into your tower-trap but try to directly attack your army and your secondary base, but it should be easy to hold them with your forces and start advancing again.

    There is another junction, with the northern path leading to three enemy bases and the western bases leading to a second village. This second path is guarded by annoying criminals, the kajon marauders, but the process to eliminate them is the same as earlier.

    I also used several peasants to build towers and new production building just south of the junction, in order to have a defence from attacks coming from the north, a retreat point for my army in case of trouble, and the ability to retrain troops faster.

    In the village of Essix, killing the chief of the Kajon Marauders, some sorceress on a mount, you have to go all the way south while being attacked by both the marauders and the units from the village. If you just rush into it, things may turn badly for you (aka : I tried once and got my units wiped out while failing). I suggest maxing out your units and first doing some unit cleaning at the entrance of the village before pushing further. Cora's ultimate is a great help there. When reaching the chief of the marauders, focus her with all your melee and ranged units, and don't hesitate to use Cora's Lightning bolt as often as possible.

    I lost the majority of my units in the process, but I completed the sidequest and the villagers turned on the marauders.

    Retraining troops was not a concern, as I had a lot of gold from my two mines. I took the item reward, helped the villager to kill some marauders and repel an attack by Retka's army, and went back to my advanced camp. Don't count too much on the villagers, their attack waves will be rare and weak, even with the upgraded equipment.

    Once my units were fully trained, I finished cleaning up the pass and with several peasants started constructing another advanced base with towers in front and unit production building in the back.

    In my first playthrough, I tried to get rid of the two western bases (purple and teal). This was a terrible idea, because I faced the flood of enemy units west and had trouble even progressing past the chokepoint of the bridge and enemy towers, while Retka's army could attack me in the back. I managed to win, but only after an insane grind;

    This time, I dealt directly with the main base of Retka (red) which has by far the strongest and most annoying units of the mission.

    They didn't like my attempts to build towers, but those proved useful : after attracting enemy attention, I could get them to rush and fight both my towers and my army at once, which makes things much easier. Nonetheless, I suffered heavy losses (especially as the western base kept sending attack waves to repel, but towers and some units could manage). After a few attempts, however, I could breach through.

    Cora's ultimate also affect buildings, so putting her in an advanced spot where her ultimate can attack a lot of buildings and enemy units do wonder as long as you can protect and/or heal her with the rest of your units.

    Barracks and sanctum should constantly retrain units to replace losses. I had more than enough gold for it, and it is very important to not let the pressure down. Once the main enemy resistance is broken, it's important to keep pushing and pushing.

    There is some hero defending the enemy base, but he was so effective that I don't even remember his specifics. Focus him, send a lightning bolt or two, and he will die.

    After a while, victory was obvious and I just had to finish cleaning up buildings.

    The mission didn't end here, however, because the red barracks in the western rebel bases also have to be destroyed for the main quest.

    Now that I could focus my full power there, it wasn't too hard to tackle two bases at once with their weak units. Cora did once again a good job with her ultimate after having crossed the bridge.

    I destroyed every single enemy building just for the sake of it, but there is no special reward to be found anywhere that I'm aware of. Once the last red barracks is destroyed, the mission is finished with a victory.

    In the end screen statistics, I had more than 2200 enemy units killed over the course of the mission.
    Ah, chapter 4... The infamous chapter whose difficulty has pushed many players to complain ever since it was available.

    Let's be honest, this chapter is a huge time sink to beat without cheating, because you often have to progress bit by bit. And, if you don't use the correct strategies, you're bound to suffer. But it's not that hard.

    And I actually appreciated the fact that there was no hero at all in my troops. This made for a different experience, and certainly not a worse one than those missions where there is too much heroes and base units feel useless.

    Once again in this campaign, the early moves are simple : more workers for wood, doing all upgrades useful for the units you will use.

    I stayed at low upkeep during the early parts of the mission, and had a main group of melee units, along with a secondary group of healers and a third group of crossbowmen.

    You soon won't have enough wood inside your base. I built a lumber mill to the east between my base and the ironfist base, and a wall of towers south of it to prevent utter destruction by the traitors attacks which will sometimes target it.

    For the base defences, I built additional towers, but the fact that the base is up a hill is as much an inconvenience that in it is a defensive help, in my experience, because the cliffs hurt tower placement potential and unit movements.

    It is very important to be aware that you've 5 zero-food units : the 4 elites from the start, and Zed. You don't want them to die. The fact that they don't count for upkeep and for max army size make them extremely precious. Pull them back each time it is needed. When your knight dies, replace them by executors. They are more food-effective than elites anyway, and it will avoid you the trouble of confusion and having a zero-food elite dying.

    Attacks from the Rohir Nexus (light blue undead) will target the western entrance of your base, while human traitors (orange) will target the eastern entrance and the lumber mill base. I placed my melee units between the two entrances to be able to help both. Towers weren't very solid but they did help.

    Attacks also come from a dark blue undead base, which will target either the north-western entrance or the south-western entrance. Their attacks with aerial units are the most annoying of all in my experience, as your melee units are powerless to help and the wyrm can freeze towers. Having some crossbowmen helps a lot.

    So far, I've only talked about the defence.

    Let's talk about the attack !

    The latest version, with low upkeep at 8 gold instead of 7 gold, makes low upkeep less punitive. Hence from this point onward, I tried to stay at max low upkeep.

    However, while this is a help, this part of the mission is not fundamentally different from how it was when I played a much earlier version of the campaign.

    You first need to get rid of the dark blue western undead base, and charging head on with even a full army would have been a terrible idea.

    It's time to make use of the shadow stalkers lent by the shadowy man. I trained several of them and made them in a control group. Now, I'm sure some players having said this mission is impossible also tried this before discovering that the shadow stalkers are still attacked by the enemy - which can understandably be infuriating.

    Remember what I wrote for chapter 3 ? "The arcane towers are doing wonders in this mission (as in most missions where they are available !)"

    Using the reveal ability of an arcane tower will allow to instantly understand why the shadow stalker are attacked : there are invisible shades who can spot other invisible units... But if you just rush a shade while the arcane tower power show it, you can kill it before having lost your shadow stalkers to enemy attacks, and the enemy is now blind... The shadow stalkers can keep attacking units and buildings around them.

    Now, there are several shades waiting to spot you further inside the base, but the same basic process apply : spot with arcane tower and destroy.

    It is possible to do a regular attack on the south of the undead base to distract the bulk of the enemy army to have an easier time killing shades, but it is not required at all. I preferred keeping my units in defence, as the attacks by the light blue and orange base were quite strong.

    Once the shadow stalker reach the core of the enemy base, they can kill adepts and destroy the necropolis. Be patient and kill any adept which try to rebuild a necropolis. Once you're confident you've killed all of them, the enemy can't rebuild any building. I went on destroying the unit production building, then killing the units. The arcane towers can also reveal the crypt fiend who try to hide into the soil to heal, don't forget to finish them off so that they don't later attack your workers.

    Once the base was properly cleaned up, the shadow stalkers went on destroying the useless grey undead building in the front of Toran's capital city while my workers built an extension in the west. It doesn't need to be defended, enemy attack waves will target your main base.

    With the shadow stalkers, I slowly killed all of the land units and towers guarding the trebuchets of the side quest (honestly, I think the amount of these units is overdone, it's trivially easy to kill them, it just take a long while. It forces to be able to defend the main base longer, but if the player is still alive at that point, he's able to defend decently). It seems that the shade which was near the trebuchets in early version is not here anymore, but the arcane tower trick would have allowed to deal with them.

    Now, Rushing on destroying the trebuchets is good, but finishing off the aerial units guarding them (which allows to get your own trebuchet) is not the best idea in my opinion, because it forces to commit soldiers to defend them which can't defend the main base.

    I had noticeable trouble when trying to send a bunch of crossbowmen along with some priests to wait on the stairs towards the trebuchet.

    With my shadow stalkers, I slowly destroyed the human towers south-west of the westernmost entrance to the city. I had to retrain some new stalkers, but in the end I got access to the very annoying light blue undead base. The arcane tower reveal + rush shade tactic works too here, even though it's tricky. Once you've finally eliminated this base, things get much better. You only have one enemy base to face, the orange one, and you can organize a proper attack.

    I eliminated the aerial units and took control of the trebuchet and moved the bulk of my forces to the south of it. I had some fights with the enemy army and the elven hero south of the road leading to the trebuchet, and I suffered significant losses, but I had more than enough gold to train replacements and to slowly push further. The attacks of the ironfist allied base actually helped at this stage, as they focused attention away from my units and helped to kill more enemies.

    It took a while, and I got the trebuchets destroyed by an enemy incursion (I didn't find them very effective and had no defence) but after a while, my executors, free food units, healers, crossbowmen and catapults won.

    Because I was careless (and didn't want to reload an earlier save), I had lost both Zed and one of my four free-food elite. This is a bad thing for the end of the chapter, but it's not disastrous either.

    After the orange base was wiped out, I built new bases (I had 3 goldmines exploited at the same time, as the main base gold mine was almost empty I transferred its workers to one of the new bases). There are a few abominations and a mega-abomination "hero" guarding an entrance south-east of the old teal undead base, I took care of them (some trebuchets attacked my units from the south but it was not a major issue).

    I destroyed the gates towards the souther part of the city, and I was told that Shadow Stalkers would be taken from me as I don't need them anymore. Indeed, those I had disappeared and the option to train them from the arcane sanctum disappeared, but those I had which were in the process of training finished and I could use them. Bug, @Shar Dundred ?

    I use those stalker to kill the guards of the trebuchets, destroy the trebuchet, kill the guards of the imprisoned elites... But this can all be done with normal units if you're ready for a few losses.

    The 6 imprisoned elites are zero-food units, which make them amazing and very precious. I put them in a special control group with my remaining zero-food units. I destroyed the elite corrupt guard buildings, and sent a few workers to build my own. My crossbowmen destroyed the destructors which guarded the outside of Mayor Kent's place, but they didn't approach further. The ironfist attacked now and then, I let them do while I was busy building a town hall, two barracks, a sanctum, and a lot of towers (mix of all types, with many arcane one) north and south of the paved road.

    By the way, there is a hidden message on the rock in one of the nearby areas visible with reveal ;)

    My stalkers could kill Kent's guards without issue, and only when Kent was almost alone did I sent my units to destroy the remaining destructors and finish off the despicable traitor.

    At this stage, it becomes possible to attack towards the east to liberate Gardon.

    You receive the shadowy man as a hero. You can send him take the glyph of fortification in the southwestern most spot of the map still outside of the city walls, but it's not very useful. More useful is buying him a few items. His spells are a stun, an excellent ability which make enemy attack miss in a decent area (I recommend upgrading it), reducing a lot damages inflicted on friendly unit. He has the same lifesteal bonus as Gardon, and his ultimate is the summoning of permanent shadow monster from corpses. This ultimate is very good (much better than the old version which split Brian) and its auto-cast should be enabled.

    Now onto the attack.

    There is a bunch of traitors and undead in the room just east, so I sent my army lure them, before going back to the safety of my towers. I repeated the process, and sometimes fought longer inside the room and on the outskirt of the main base area eastwards.

    My zero-food units stayed behind the whole time, I kept them as a reserve to overwhelm the enemy, and this was not the right time to do so, the defences were still too solid.

    There are two towers, two huge undead golems and many units guarding access of the next part of the city, and they inflicted a lot of damage on my troops. I had to retrain most of my units more than once (Brian also died once then, and once later in the battle) before a decisive attack with Brian+executors, crossbowmen and healers could break through. The catapults I had at the beginning were not replaced once destroyed.

    There are two enemies : grey human traitors, and the pink fallen mage guild full of undeads. The key is to destroy the grey base.

    After one more attacks where I fought a bloody battle and I had to retreat, and after which a wave of undead spirits crashed on my towers, I went all in : my refreshed regular troops plus my reserve zero-food elites.

    The pink base couldn't come to support the grey base as fast, and I could finally take a big chunk of that base defences. I was nonetheless overwhelmed once more and had a few elites die as I was retreating. However, this weakening had been useful and on the following attack (which happened very soon because I also used some unit training buildings further north to replace losses quicker) I completely overwhelmed the grey base.

    I quickly sent peasants to begin build towers and new unit production buildings south-west of the grey base, but in the end I barely used them. Pink troops alone where not enough to kill my army, and I slowly but surely destroyed every single building they had to liberate Gardon.
     
  12. Nayala

    Nayala

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    @Shar Dundred I think I have spotted a bug in chapter 7 related to items transfer from mission to mission.

    I chose Salana as queen, so Larine items are put on the ground at the beginning of chapter 7. So far so good, except those are the items Larine had at the end of chapter 5, not chapter 6 (I double-checked my saves).
     
  13. Shar Dundred

    Shar Dundred

    Map Reviewer

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    Thanks for letting me know, I will look into that.
    Wer had not noticed this bug before, maybe too many people chose Larine. :)
     
  14. Klaus-47

    Klaus-47

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    I like and enjoy this campaign, but there are a few glaring issues (mostly with the difficulty cure) that prevent it from being a perfect 5 for me.
     
  15. Nayala

    Nayala

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    I have continued with chapter 7 and following by editing the campaign files to give myself the items I should have gotten if not for the bug.

    Here are my strategies for chapters 5 and 6

    This chapter is the theatre of an absolutely massive battle.

    In the ruins of the capital of Toran, the very city conquered from traitors and undead in chapter 4, Gardon's forces are under attack by all the forces allied to Retka !

    A part of the city has already been lost.

    The forces allied to Gardon occupy the south-east corner of the map.

    They are divided in 3 bases, that you have to control simultaneously during the mission (all are restricted to 60 food so the total you can control is 180). First is Gardon leading the Ironfist. Second is Cora leading some golden guard troops under her command. Third is Larine leading soldiers from the royal army of Kerrel.

    There are also ironfist units guarding the south-west part of the map. They will get attacked during the missions, and any dead will not be replaced (they do not have a base), so if you take too much time the enemy will entirely eliminate them and attack through here. Some other ironfist units guard the road to the trebuchets in the middle of the map.

    In the north-east corner of the map lies Retka's base (red), while in the center in the north is the base of the Kajon Marauders (green) led by Scarlett Retka.

    But the most immediate concern is the big cyan base immediately north of your three starting base. It is dangerously close, and dangerously big.

    The beginning of this mission is very brutal. There are many, many things to do as fast and as accurately as possible, and even in "slow" (I highly recommend this in hard) it is hard to keep up.

    In my playthrough, I first just spent a few minutes to evaluate the situation. After all, had Gardon 0.5s to decide what strategy to use ? It is only after having decided on a plan that I restarted and played it out.

    I reviewed the units available for each base and the upgrade, to decide on the army composition.

    With three bases, the best strategy in my opinion is to have specialization. The different units have different strengths, and when there are several equivalents available, one is usually better.

    For all three bases, I researched all techs giving bonuses to one of the units I planned to use, and the usual lumber and building boosts. Each also had a few new workers trained for wood collection.

    For Cora's golden guard, I choose the academical knowledge leadership boni (because I didn't want Cora to be corrupted by shadow magic) but I didn't actually use it. I trained only executors (which are probably the strongest melee unit available) and crossbowmen. Fights are often crowded, and being able to attack at range is very useful. I did few crossbowmen at the beginning and more later on, I think I should have done more from the beginning. I put them in a control group with Cora.

    For Larine, I choose the natural medicine leadership boni. The elves of the ironforge are good units which can replace crossbowmen, but this choice impacts the story in a way I didn't want. This medicine boni buffs the heal of the royal army chaplains, hence I trained many of them to do the healing job. They are frail, so I had (and you will have) to replace them often, but they are overall very useful. There is another nice unit that the royal army has : the greywolves. Their HP, attack and armor are lackluster, but they have devotion aura which is very useful as it helps many allied units to survive. You don't want many greywolves, as besides one the other are not very useful, but two or three so that one death doesn't make the aura disappear is a good idea.

    The royal army base will be the target of some aerial attacks during the mission, having several towers in its western part and/or bowmen can be useful.

    For the Ironfist, a hint says that their units may appear weaker but that they are not because of the "dark warrior" regeneration bonus and the regeneration aura of the overseers. I beg to differ. In my opinion, they are terrible. Regeneration is useless outside of battles because chaplains do the job much better and faster ; and during battle the effect is simply too weak to help the survivability. The reduced HP, attack and/or armor are not worth this regeneration bonus.

    The direwolves are still good, but as I trained executors with Cora already, I felt this wasn't a great choice. Instead, I went with Brian's leadership bonus which boosts the attack rate of several ironfist units. The unique unit of the ironfist which is outright better than the equivalent in the two other bases is the darksteel golem, but while I trained a number of them during the mission, I feel they were not very useful as they are poor in battle against units and this is a use case which is more common than destroying buildings. Two or three overseers for their aura are acceptable.

    I mentioned the food limit being 60. No upkeep goes up to 40, then low upkeep up to 50, before high upkeep kicks in. With the upkeep rework, higher upkeeps level are workable. But I suggest to stay in no or low upkeep as often as possible, because not being able to replace your losses because of a lack of gold (something which I avoided though the margin was sometimes thin) will spell your doom, and too many units are very hard to control effectively so they don't bring as much benefit as they should.

    One of the first things I did after the start was moving my units into control groups and moving them all towards the northern entrance of the three bases. I launched upgrades for the towers and while researches were completing I trained additional units.

    I had to repel some attacks, and then I went onto attacking the cyan base. This battle was a total bloodbath. I had huge losses all along (including heroes dying) and had to constantly train replacements.

    I had to fight not only the defenders of the cyan base but attack waves from other groups serving Retka.

    I made generous use of the heroes spells ; Brian's ability to reduce attack of a group of enemy units is fantastic if you target well, and his ultimate with permanent shadow creatures from corpses is also great. Larine's heal is impractical to micro effectively but is useful, as is her lightning bird and her mirror ultimate. Gardon's active abilities are of limited use (besides resummoning Zed), but his aura ultimate is essential. Keeping Gardon close to the fight is very important to boost your units damage.

    Otherwise, Cora is a beast. Her cold aura help a good deal to not lose units, and her flood ultimate, like in mission 3, is awesome. As long as you can heal her, having her close to the center of the battle using it cause devastating damage. Her blizzard can also deal great damage if you can target an area full of enemies units only, and her lightning (as Brian's stun) is good to deal faster with the annoying enemy heroes.

    The hardest part was to breakthrough the initial defences. Once the towers and the few unit production buildings immediately north of the entrance were destroyed, I could progressively regroup. I kept on attacking aggressively to make sure that the cyan base couldn't rebuild an army. After a long and bloody fight, I had destroyed the eastern part of that base.

    Meanwhile, the golden guard templars had arrived under the order of Van Durce, openly allying with Retka to destroy Gardon ! Their arrival is another reason why waiting for the destruction of the cyan base is a bad idea, you don't want to deal with too many enemies at once.

    After more fighting, I could destroy the western part of the cyan base and I began to prepare for an extension to the outer walls of the ruined Toran's capital city.

    I sent several ironfist workers to build a town hall near the eastern cyan gold mine, while trying to build towers to the north to guard the entrance.

    It is very hard to guard properly, and over the course of the game, this base got destroyed thrice (the last time because my armies were busy elsewhere).

    I also sent workers to repair the trebuchets to the north-east (through the portal). The attacks these trebuchets do on enemy attacking units is poor because splash damage also affect your units, but putting them in a control group you can target the annoying catapults to help the towers to survive.

    A big advantage of the trebuchets is that they give a huge vision area, notifying of attacks from the red base early enough to anticipate.

    I also recommend targetting and destroying the visible purple farms, which are sending weak but annoying pyrru militia units.

    It is possible to build a few towers south of the trebuchets, I did so and recommend doing so. During the times my advanced outpost was destroyed, a few enemies soldiers sneaked to try and attack my trebuchets and the towers took care of them

    I tried to build a Cora golden guard outpost next to the western cyan gold mine but I couldn't defend it properly. I however managed some time later to build several additional unit production buildings in the former cyan base, to cut down on travel time when training new units.

    I sent workers to the middle trebuchets, but while I used those once repaired to destroy some purple farms and benefited from the vision bonus they gave, their damage wasn't that useful and I didn't guard them, leading to an enemy attack destroying it.

    At some point, satisfied with big enough armies and having repelled some attacks, I attacked the western grey Pyrru army base. It has an annoying hero, but if timed right the attack should completely overwhelm the defenders. Once they are taken care of and you have killed the peasants and destroyed the castle, you can return to defence if needed, though I destroyed the whole base in one go (at the price of having my eastern outpost ravaged before I could send soldiers).

    It also happened several times that, as my units were busy fighting at one spot, enemy units attacked through another road and targeted directly my main three bases. The rally point for newly formed units was in the middle of the entrance of these bases, so I usually always had some units there preventing me from being overrun and saving enough time to allow one of my unit groups to come help.

    Once the grey base has been destroyed, the mission is more or less over.

    Repelling attacks will still require a lot of fight, but by now the technique to use is well known and visibility of the arrival of enemy groups prevent being surprised. At this point, I could also finally give the royal army and Cora's golden guard a secondary gold mine.

    I used Brian and his group of soldiers to clean up enemy units guarding the western trebuchets. Those, once repaired, can directly attack the golden guard crusaders and destroy most of their buildings (by default the trebuchets dumbly target units, so don't hesitate to take control and make them destroy buildings). They will also reveal a glyph of fortification, in the same spot as in mission 4, but I didn't even bother with it, as it is too late into the mission to really be useful.

    An element facilitating massively the destruction of the enemy bases is the destructors obtained after eliminating the grey base. You get 3, and you can train a few mores (those from the ironfist are more powerful). They are overpowered flying siege engine, and they are absolutely worth their 12 food cost. With my heroes and regular troop assuring defence against the regular attacks, my destructors finished off some purple farms still around on the map, then dealt with Retka's base. You can attack the towers and the buildings from outside of the hill, then when soldiers come to retaliate retreat. They are forced by the hill cliff to do a long round trip, and at the moment they are far enough you can get the destructors in again to destroy more towers and buildings.

    After some more of this hit-and-run tactic, the enemy castle should fall and the unit production building be destroyed one by one. Then it's a matter of killing the units supporting Retka, before defeating the scum himself. I sent my regular armies to finally take him out, but this is not required, destructors can take him on.

    After this, Scarlett surrendered and I sent my destructors in her base to eliminate some pyrru army soldiers guarding a trebuchet. I then sent workers who were tasked with repairing the destructors.

    The final base to destroy, that of the golden guard crusaders, was rather easy to deal with. The trebuchets had destroyed most of it, then I attacked with my whole army while my destructors attacked buildings.

    Before entirely finishing the mission, I bought a lot of fire orbs for my heroes to use in the next missions, and did some light item redistribution

    At the helm of King Gardon's vanguard, Merlon and Larine lead the way into the elven lands !

    First of all, I must say I did two tries for this mission. In the first try I got into a losing position and quitted. In the second try, I never had to reload an earlier save to fix mistakes.

    The initial strategy is always the same : research all useful upgrades as fast as possible, train several peasants to collect more woods.

    For the leadership bonus, I used the medicine bonus which boosted the heal of the banishers but truthfully Merlon's HP bonus for buildings and ships is much better, especially for the ships. I was just frustrated that the towers were so weak even with it in my failed attempt.

    The base is divided into two parts : a western part with castle and buildings to train units (including harbours) and an eastern part with a gold mine, a lumber mill, a blacksmith.

    Both will be attacked throughout the mission, but your units will lose time moving from one to the other. Often, anticipating the next attack will be crucial to gain time.

    The northern entrance of the eastern base is horribly cramped. There is little space for units and almost none for towers. Towering it is useless, just have the bare minimum to gain time in case your units are not already there.

    For the western entrance, there is enough space and some towers are useful.

    More importantly, I trained some frigates, because the golden guard base on the island will send destructors and pegasi and you want to be able to deal with them. It's there that Merlon's leadership bonus is useful, as the frigates are quite frail.

    I trained some executors to fight and banishers to heal, but the enemy attacks are rough and if you keep defending you will probably crumble.

    There is one trick to use.

    The most terrifyingly powerful unit in the world of Arkain is not some demon or undead lord, no, it is the terror ship.

    That blue elven base is annoying, isn't it ? Get two or three terrors in the middle of the river which can be found to the north of your base and is located between the blue elven base and the golden guard base. Also take a few frigates to assure the protection of the terror (aerial units may try to attack your terrors).

    Now, you also need to have arcane towers. I built them in the back of my camp where they could be safe from attacks. I put them into a control group, and then when possible in a second one. 24 arcane towers are enough to ensure that there is almost always one of them with reveal ready, but you don't need to have that much to begin the operation.

    Reveal a spot in the elven base, zone attack with the terrors onto some buildings and watch destruction unfold. The terrors don't need vision to attack a zone,but it's better to be able to know where to target.

    Quickly destroy the castle, and kill any peasant trying to rebuild one, then proceed to make a bloody pulp of all these fools ready to die for Renova and to annihilate all their buildings.

    From now on, defending your base is much easier.

    Be aware that while the terrors can help to attack enemy units, their friendly fire can be very annoying. Always have them attacking some zone and only target enemy units manually (great for catapults and priests behind the enemy melee units), to avoid having your own units killed.

    Time to take care of the island golden guard base.

    The tidal towers on the cascade island are easy to destroy with the terrors, I did so earlier in the game, if not done yet it's the time.

    Next, with your frigates in the front to cover, go towards the enemy base. Use reveal to show the location of their harbours, and destroy them all. They are not rebuilt, and thus all the enemy ships you sink are so definitely.

    Next (and you may need to replace/repair your fleet if it has been heavily damaged in the fights allowing to destroy the harbours) unleash destruction on the center of the enemy base. Eliminate the buildings able to produce aerial units (your frigates may have to defend you against an attack attempt) then annihilate everything else. The land units are very weak to the fire of terrors, so luring them to try and attack your ships is a good way to completely clean the base.

    After that, find some time to send Larine or Merlon retrieve the powerful item that lies in the center of that base.

    At this point, I decided to go and extend my lines. I built a town hall to get gold from the mine in the destroyed blue elven base, pushed forward my western point of defense to the river (with supporting towers) while my eastern one was next to the bridge leading to the golden guard camp.

    I had some difficulty properly setting up these defenses, getting the peasants of my extension killed twice, but in the end I managed to solidify my positions. I could easily afford to stay at max low upkeep at this stage, which made it easier in fight.

    My terrors had a lot of job to do :
    1) I destroyed remaining golden guard ships on the western part of the map. I also destroyed a golden guard harbour in the center who had spawned some ships even after the destruction of the island base
    2) I annihilated the three overpowered undead barge. The ability to attack them from very far with the help of reveal made their insanely high HP, attack and armor stats meaningless.
    3) From the point where these barges stood, I could target the entirety of the teal undead base. I gladly reduced Krom the Immortal to bone powder and annihilated the rest of that base.
    4) I annihilated the main golden guard base west of the river.

    The enemy could do nothing as the terrors spread doom.

    That done, I moved on and with my full army attacked the dark elves base. Some regular banisher healing helped against losing units, and after a thunderstorm most enemy units were taken care of. It was just a matter of destroying buildings.

    Then I returned and built a new base in the spot of the destroyed golden guard base. I did a first attack with my army to take care of some unit production building north of it that my terror couldn't destroy, before towering and preparing my troops.

    I went to the North-East to complete the sidequest. The first enemy units were not too hard to deal with, but the main fight was a disaster. The stargazers starfalling my army dealt insane damage and though they are weak, I lost almost all my units (my banishers were behind and could retreat).

    Nonetheless, a second attack definitely got rid of the diamond's defenders.

    All that was left was to take care of the purple base of Lord Teran. It is well defended, but a full food army attack can deal with it. I had two destructors who were very useful in taking out the cannon towers.

    Before finishing the mission, I gave all best sharable items of Merlon to Larine, so that they are available in chapter 7. Please note that if you have chosen the leadership boni leading to Salana as queen (rather than Larine), the item transfer is currently bugged (it gives what Larine had in mission 5, not 6). I went around by manually editing chapter 7 to add the correct items, but otherwise it is better to wait for a bugfix or work around this by not having Larine with good items at the end of chapter 6. [EDIT: This is fixed in recent versions]

    @Shar Dundred The banisher keyboard shortcut for heal wave (E) doesn't seem to work at all for me. This is quite annoying as heal wave use is already micro-heavy.

    Also, the text of the interlude following chapter 6 is inconsistent.
    It says elves wouldn't accept an exile as queen even when Gardon chose Larine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  16. Nayala

    Nayala

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    Let's continue on. Chapter 7 is quite long, so I'm writing about only one chapter. I'll do 8, 9 and 10 next time.

    Long live the queen !

    In the interlude before this mission, you may get the choice between keeping Cora or Scarlett, if you had her captured in chapter 5 and if you had not chosen "whispers in the dark" (if you did, Cora will kill Scarlett while sucking out her powers). I went with Cora.

    Obliterating hundreds of undeads in chapter 6 with the terror ships paid off : the scared undead proposed an alliance to Gardon. :D

    More seriously, you begin the mission in that old base from book 1 chapter 5, but this time you have undead allies to the East. They will sometimes deal with a few attackers, sometimes send an attack wave, and from time to time Saphira Whisperwind will give you a Frost Wyrm.

    As is usually the case with allies in W3 campaigns, their attacks are rather weak, but can still be useful to relieve the pressure on you, or to synchronize with to overwhelm enemy defenders.

    You get 3 heroes to play with - Gardon, Brian and the one you chose to replace Renova as elven queen, either Larine or Salana.

    A hint tells you soon into the game that the knights of Come will kome... mmm. The knights of Kome will come if you destroy the western elven base. This is essential.

    I reloaded a save once because the first time I was too passive and thus made things more complicated for myself. Acting swiftly is paramount.

    At the start, I made the usual things : regroup weak units in appropriate control group, send (many) more workers to collect wood, start upgrades, chose a leadership bonus.

    I went with the direwolves, because other melee units available at the beginning at terrible. Later in the mission though, they are overshadowed by the knights of Kome (they don't join you as a separate allie, they are directly under your control and you can train more).

    I built a few towers around to defend, but unlike chapter 5 of book 1, just trying to set up a strong defense is not a great strategy.

    You receives attacks from several enemy bases : golden guard, red guard, cyan elves from the west with a starfall hero, and pink Riana monstrosities. With 3 heroes and a few units I could repel them without too much trouble. I trained some banishers to heal my units with heal wave between (and sometimes during) battle.

    A good strategy is to build up a full-food army quickly and to go along the undead when they attack the cyan base. It will be overwhelmed (especially if you can Starfall it with Salana) and once the castle is destroyed you get Cora, knights of Kome and a bunch of weak golden guards units, plus peasants to build your own extension there.

    However, while I tried this before my reload, I messed up afterwards and on my successful try actually used a different strategy.

    The eastern yellow golden guard base, headed by Captain Ironside, will switch side after some time in the game. This side switching will always happen, and that's why a pure defensive strategy is a waste.

    With the red guard to the north and the western golden guard base of Pureheart, this new allied base is very vulnerable, and it requires your active support to stay alive.

    The road towards it is polluted by assassins of the queen, ranged units which are invisible until they attack.

    Later during the mission, I used the Frost Wyrms sent by Saphira to destroy the towers guardings their halls and then destroy the halls where those pests are trained (which are located north of the river, south-west of the western golden guard base). A few dragonhawk rider also help to speed it up.

    But when Ironside revolted, I was still far from having done this and had to clear them. Anticipating the revolt can be useful.

    When arriving towards Ironside's base, I had Salana with me and wanted to send her towards Lera the huntress, which I had spared in book 1. When Lera see Salana, she switches side too.

    Indeed, the army of Ironside quickly go to attack Lera's eastern red guard base and can hugely damage it while getting killed and having less strength to defend to the west.

    I got lucky and Lera was almost at the entrance of the two golden guard bases so she switched sides very soon.

    However, if you had not saved Lera, or have Larine as a queen, the general strategies still apply. A few months back, I completed this mission when upkeep was more damaging to income and with Lera dead and thus never switching side.

    With my troops, I eliminated the destructors which dealt too much damage to Ironside's base, then pulled back.

    The plan is to get your heroes as permanent defender of Ironside's base, and to have a few peasants of your own in it to build some unit training buildings. However, I still had to deal with the cyan base.

    Lera was under my control as she switched sides, and she's a really overpowered hero.

    Destroying the cyan base was thus made easier (I had to retrain many units which had died in the first attempt to help Ironside, however).

    Once Cora joined, I made a group with her, Salana and Lera and sent them directly to Ironside's base. I destroyed more buildings of the cyan base, began to build my own, and sent knights of Kome along with Gardon and Brian towards Ironside too.

    The extension to the west is really safe (I never got attacked there, though I built a few towers by habit), so it is basically a free gold income source. Once they finished off all buildings, the weaker units got sent to die in battle too.

    As I was dealing with the cyan base, things went dire for the new allies : after having done a suicide attack against Riana, the renegade red guard had not enough troops to withstand the counter-attack. Ironside's base was doing a little better, but it was a matter of time before it would have crumbled without my help.

    The group of the 3 girl heroes went as fast as possible to the renegarde red guard base. All three have a OP "deal damage to all enemies in a big zone" ultimate, so I tried to cycle them. Add in their lightning abilities which deal good damage, and with decent micro they can obliterate big armies.

    Almost all the renegade red guard got destroyed in my game, but with their castle saved their workers slowly rebuilt things afterwards. The AI seems to get dumber after this however, and was more useful as a defensive buffer than as an attacking asset.

    Meanwhile, Gardon, Brian and other units defended Ironside's base.

    I slowed down pace to take out all the training halls of the bastards assassin and to build barracks and an arcane sanctum in Ironside's base. Having a few banishers at hand proved very useful, because both of my groups received a lot of damage (in the girls group, Lera is incredibly bulky, but the same can't be said of Salana or Cora).

    The next step was to eliminate Pureheart's base.

    I didn't try to get some fancy unit compositions, having 5 heroes is already micromanagement hells and fancy unit compositions would have only compounded the issue. I simply went with mass knights of Kome plus many banishers to heal everybody.

    To not abandon the renegade red guard base during the attack, I actually had some towers there, plus barracks and arcane sanctums which were my unit production hub.

    When you attack Pureheart's base, the red guard and Riana will send reinforcements.

    However, between Gardon's War Aura making all of your units dealing very strong damage and some starfall/flood, I managed to deal enormous damage. I had to constantly click between the heal wave icon and some of my wounded units (the keyboard shortcut didn't work) but despite this annoyance, It helped a lot to keep my units alive longer and destroy a lot.

    I had to pull back once nonetheless, as I had lost several units, other were wounded, and more critically Riana's chosen were starting to destroy my buildings next to the renegade red guard.

    Once the attack got repulsed, the deads got replaced and everybody got healed, I attacked again.

    As about half of the enemy base had already been destroyed the first time, and Pureheart troops were weaker, there was no major issue.

    At this stage, taking out the final red guard base and then Riana's pink base is a formality, even without Lera.

    Before finishing the chapter though, there are a few things to do. First, you can get a tome of agility and a tome of force in spots once occupied by forest trolls and now guarded by queens assassins, in the forest east of your main base. The agility tome should go to Salana, the force one to Gardon or Brian.

    Second, you can buy orbs of corruption in the base of your undead allies (I actually only thought of it and applied it in chapter 11-A, but it's better to do it right now). Orbs of fire are terrible, orbs of corruption are awesome. The -5 armor they inflict on attacked units is easily worth +15 or +20 damages in the later stages of the campaign. (Admittedly you could do this earlier in the mission, but it requires time to go there which you don't have much)

    Third, you want to make sure that Salana/Larine has a lot of good items, and no weak one. The goal is to get all the best items of the campaign for your heroes towards the end, and if you don't give them to her now, you risk having to throw away some items better than what she will have. In case of doubt, you could give her two orbs of corruption, with one to redistribute to another hero later.

    Once the mad sorceress Riana has been put down, you can enjoy the outro cutscene.
     
  17. Nayala

    Nayala

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    Now chapters 8 to 10, closing up chapters which I had not discussed previously.

    After many chapters of tough base managements, some relief : a mission where you just have to use units to kill enemies.

    Nonetheless, Shar managed to make this quite challenging, and you'll need a lot of caution to avoid losing units.

    You get two heroes Vail and Harmos. Harmos is back from book 1, finally liberated from his prison, and is the same old himself : rain of fire, incinerate as a passive damage booster, a very neat golem of fire ultimate. Banish has been replaced by fire shield, which grants a friendly unit a very powerful version of immolate. However, the fire shield requires significant micro, so I barely used it.

    Vail, which we are told is part of the guard of Prince Toraes, is leading a group of soldiers from the royal army of Kerrel. She has very high base stats, partly due to here stat-boosting ultimate. Besides a familial amulet, she has a life stone regenerating her health and which should be kept instead of consumed. Her command aura is a great passive ability, while she has plenty of mana for immolate and for holy light.

    Holy light is the key ability, as quick healing of friendly units is of paramount importance. It should be spammed all along the mission whenever it is ready and a friendly unit has noticeably lost HPs.

    After levels up, I concentrated on boosting the abilities I got the more benefit from for each hero. I went with level 3 holy light despite command aura being tempting.

    There are several tomes scattered across the mission. Harmos has low HP, so a pure HP boost should go to him (there is one +50 HP tome to be found), but otherwise tomes of force, agility and knowledge are better used on Vail. Tomes of intelligence would be better on Harmos, as the damage boost is worth more than expending Vail's already huge manapool, but I don't remember one to be found.

    Now when it comes to units, you get a few good units and a few poor units. The good units are the greywolf and the knights, who are solid enough they can fight along Vail and survive so she can heal them with Holy Light. The greywolf is weaker than the knight in HP and damages, but his devotion aura is precious. The poor units are the 4 others you get, two melee one and two bowmen. They are frail and unless babysitting them constantly you'll quickly lose one of them. They can be used to finish off enemies faster and reduce damage taken, but it's often better to pull back, heal everybody with Vail, and attack again.

    To the east of the starting point, you can find a hidden HP potion (I gave it to Vail, Harmos can be healed by Vail directly), and farther off, some powerful demons. They're very annoying to deal with, as the infernal machines have ranged attacks and can quickly kill one of your regular units, which should be avoided. Their ability to summon infernals is also very annoying. I had to do some hit and run to eliminate the first infernal and weaken the machines. Once you've eliminated one of the two demonic juggernauts, Vail heal become sufficient to avoid losses and it can be finished off quicker. They give very good tomes, so I highly recommend eliminating them despite the trouble.

    On the road towards the second entrance of the Fire Order fortress, you'll encounter a bunch of demons. Most are easy kills if you go cautiously, and the demon gate is not a big issue. But after this there is one extremely annoying pitlord. Before trying to kill him, eliminate all the lesser demons (doomguards) which are near him. To do so, the best way is to lure them so you don't have to fight the pitlord at the same time. The pitlord's ultimate is an invocation of 4 infernals, which is very annoying. Don't hesitate to run to safety whenever required. Waiting for Vail to completely heal is useful, as she can't use holy light on herself.

    Once all the lesser units have been eliminated, and once you're sure the demon hero has not his ultimate ready (a few weakening hit and runs can be useful) send your main forces onto him, healing as much as possible. If Vail is weakened, you can pull her back, order her to not move so she doesn't run to take damage, while being close to give her aura and heal allies. Harmos incinerate is very useful because the damage bonus keep getting higher as you attack more. A Fire shield or two are also welcome. Pull back units which have too few HPs and which may not be healed in time. This insufferable pitlord will die.

    Then you can enter the fortress. There are a bunch of demons to kill and a very welcome healing fountain. I often went back to it later to heal Vail faster. To the north-west you can find demons guarding a precious item, to the north there is an optional room with Progaderas the smoking and a ton of fire golems and other fire creature.

    Charging ahead against Progaderas is pure suicide, you need to take advantage of the choke point that the door to the room constitute to not be overwhelmed and to, over several attacks, kill all the supporting units. Once Progaderas is alone, and only then, you can directly try to kill him. After his death (but can he die ?), he leaves an item on the ground. Look for it, because with the flames it's easy to miss.

    The mission continue by going east of the life fountain, with a bunch of demons to kill, including one demonlord annoyed that Vail and Harmos are stirring trouble (really ?). Going north leads to the next part of the mission, but you should first go east, to find in a room after several fights two permanent allied fire golem, which will be useful, and the hammer of Salomar the Healer, which was leader of the paladins before his death. This artifact is powerful, you don't want to miss it.

    Next going north, there is a cutscene, towards the end of which you have to chose between siding with the firemages or the fire spirit. The cutscene is full of hints as to what is the correct side.

    The battle which follows is tricky. You can afford to lose a few units, but never let Harmos or Vail be critically wounded. Also, it's much better if you can keep the greywolf and some knights alive. You can use the spells of your new allies to deal some stuns, too.

    After heal, regroup and repeat.

    Some battles later, the mission will be won, but there is one last detail : you'll get control again of Vail sooner than of Harmos. For best item distribution towards the end of the campaign, Harmos should have 5 good items that you won't want to replace by better ones later on. However, this will make Vail weaker in mission 11-A. If you spared Lerrig, this is a lesser concern as he will assist you.

    "Lords of the Golden Guard"... That's right, you're in control of the golden bastard for this mission !

    Remember Genethas ? That bastard traitor who served demon in exchange of becoming the chief of demon salves, and whose treason caused the loss of the kingdom of Lor ? Time to destroy this scum !

    There are 2 main enemies during this mission. First, the demon slaves and the demons, which attack from a big base behind a river on the east of the map. It has several demon gates and two castles, so it technically acts as two demon slave bases sharing name and color, plus demon mini-bases. Second, the orcs, which have two twinned base in the south of the map.

    As for allies, there are useless golden guard units in the fortress to the west (they stay there and do nothing), and an advanced golden guard base to the North-East.

    The base you get is rather nice, with two castles and two gold mines, plus many unit production buildings and some towers as a last defence.

    As usual, I immediately started with more workers for wood. This is especially critical in this mission because Lord Marin will send you destructors once you send him 10.000 of wood. As they don't count towards food limit, you can spam the peasants to get the destructors quickly.

    I also started upgrades. For the leadership bonus, you have the choice between the one from Van Durce giving +200HP to a range of units, and the one from Praxeus giving +200HP, and additional armor and damage to paladins.

    Without hesitation I went with the Paladin buff. Paladins are the dream unit : they're bulky, they have decent damage, and they can heal with holy light. Usually, an executor or a knight at 4 food would require some support from frail healing units, making its effective food cost higher. The paladin doesn't need this, the 6-food cost comes with no string attached and no worry of having your healers quickly dying. The upgrade boosting their holy light from 200 HP heal to 400 HP heal is essential.

    Most other units are not worth consideration. The only two worth a look in my opinion are the lieutenant, which has a nice aura, and the angelic. The lieutenant has poor damage and bulk compared to paladins, and if you put him in the same control group as paladins he will get first, blocking quick holy light access, which is a no go. But you can put one or two along with Praxeus who can heal them. Paladins should be in a control group with only paladins. As for the Angelic, they mostly team up well with paladins : their ranged attack help to deal with the occasional aerial units (though the vast majority of enemy attackers are not), they can also deal damage from behind a wall of paladins and add effectiveness in crowded battle. They can be healed by the paladins, while their auto-cast spell increase damage from friendly units. Holy Smite with its stun+damage is also useful to dispose of some annoying enemy units like heroes.

    A word on heroes : Van Durce is extremely bulky. His starfall-like ultimate is very nice, while his passive devotion aura and self-armor boost are good to take. His +30 self-damage ability is okay. The first thing to do with him is to buy him a fire orb and to send him to the vanguard golden guard base. This allied base will have to deal with black dragon attacks, and without your active support, it will be destroyed. Van Durce can sometimes be pulled back to help defeat enemies in the chokepoint leading to your base, but until you get the destructors from Marin, his support is essential.

    As for Praxeus, his Holy Light is almost useless in practice because your paladins can do this almost as good. However, his command aura is awesome (and should be the priority to boost with level up). Barrier is a nice spell, use it frequently to make your paladins even more bulky and almost unkillable as you use them to heal each other with holy light. The resurrection ultimate is very powerful.

    During the first stage of the mission, staying at the no upkeep limit of 80 food to get more gold can be worth it, but I could soon afford to be at max upkeep. At this stage, with 6 arcane sanctum, you can potentially have 6 of your paladins dying, start the training of 6 others, and resurrect the 6 first with Praxeus, going well over the food limit.

    The enemy attack waves are very strong, especially when Genethas comes along a horde of black and white knights. A few towers as a ranged support and as a delayer in case things turn bad are useful too. I highly recommend staying on the defensive until you get the destructors, the enemy can deal too much damage too quickly if you lose your army in an offensive.

    Once the 10.000 woods are there, you get 4 destructors and 2 prides of humanity, for only a partial food cost (I think the destructors are food-free but not the prides of humanity).

    I sent those to the vanguard golden guard base, and could pull back Van Durce to permanently defend the main base. I also sent a bunch of peasants there. They were tasked to build a bunch of towers to add support against attack from demon slaves and black dragons, and to repair destructors between attacks.

    Attacking Genethas base from the north, you can snipe the 3 northern demon gates one after another, in several attacks.

    Then, I did the same attacking from the south. With the demon gates destroyed, once all the already spawned demons are killed, no more will join attack on your main base.

    In between those missions, destructors are great defenders against attacks by black dragons.

    There are a few demonlords hiding in the woods north and south of your base. Some of my peasants had already been killed by them in the north, while in the south the path to them still had many more trees. They have a +300HP gem of health and a +250 mana amulet as drops once you kill them, which are a nice buff for Praxeus and should be retrieved before the end of the mission.

    I must mention that in some occasions, the demon slaves concentrated their attacks on the vanguard golden guard base, which was mildly annoying as this base could hardly defend itself and active support was required to repulse those.

    At this stage, the mission only tasks us with eliminating the demon slaves, but I wanted to eliminate those stupid orcs. Once the perfect opportunity arised (healed destructors and units, attack waves recently repelled) I sent my army towards the base of the orcs. I left almost no units with my towers to defend against demon slaves.

    The destructors fled over the woods west of the orc twinned bases, so as to attack their buildings from behind. Meanwhile my main army followed the path to the orcish base. There are several goblin mines which seriously damaged my paladins, I had to stop and heal them. Then I launched the main attack. Praxeus used barrier, a well placed Van Durce started using his ultimates while paladins attacked all they could backed by Angelics behind them. As the enemy units started to come in to repulse my attacks, I sent my destructors eastwards with the task of destroying the orc fortress and killing any orc peon.

    As I had to deal with two enemy bases at once, the fight was tough, but healing paladins repeatedly and then when some died doing a round of resurrection made them survive awesomely.

    I lost a destructor in the battle before pulling them back to the vanguard golden guard base (a black dragon attack had begun), but the green west base was already broken.

    The demon slaves attacking my main base started doing heavy damages, killing my few units there and rasing towers. I had to pull my paladins and Van Durce back, while I kept the angelics and Praxeus to kill newly trained units and slowly damage buildings. When my paladins arrived to defend my main base, I had already lost several towers between my two main castles. I had actually bought some teleport scroll to be able to go back to defense faster but didn't make use of it.

    After a bloody fight, the enemy attacks was repulsed and I quickly went on rebuilding my defenses? I sent my paladins back to the orc base to finish them off, Van Durce staying to offer a better resistance against the next attack by the demon slaves.

    Once the orc bases were destroyed for good, the mission became quite simple. I could build new bases to get gold, and later on the attack on the brown demon slaves base was straightforward : first, I eliminated all the demonic towers at the enemy base entrance with destructors. Next, while the vanguard units distracted them, my destructors began destroying towers towards the south castle, with the goal of destroying it and killing all its peasants. After another round, I supported this with an attack of my paladins, heroes and angelics on the main enemy base entrance.

    The defense of the demon slaves crumbled and Genethas was put down.

    Praxeus and two paladins are here to support Zarin and his dwarf, whose base is completely surrounded by 5 bases of kobolds and fire golems, and an orc base to the north.

    If you try to simply defend the main base you get at start, this mission will seem like hell. It is simply unfeasible to stay on the defensive for long without being overwhelmed.

    But, building up on my previous knowledge of this mission, I could complete it without any major difficulty nor save reload.

    You have two potential leadership bonuses : one which allow shieldbreakers and choosen of hammerfalls, good dwarven units, and one which boost the paladins.

    Without any hesitation, I went with the paladin boost. All you want is paladins, more paladins, and more paladins. There is not a single aerial unit in this mission so the paladins have zero weakness. No matter how nice any dwarf unit can seem compared to regular W3 human melee units, they have a dwarved efficiency compared to paladins.

    The dwarven heroes, be it the generic king of the mountain or the runepriest (the healing rune can be very nice, I sometimes use lightning chain too ; I never used the attacking rune and didn't get what the ultimate was supposed to do exactly) are useful, however.

    At the start, I started doing researches to boost paladins further and sent some additional workers to get wood. I grouped my units in a few control groups : the heroes, the paladins, and everything else.

    The first attack came from the north by the orcs, then I had to defend against a few other attacks from other directions. I didn't even bother trying to repair or rebuild the defensive towers which got damaged or destroyed during those attacks, they were just there to create delay and there was no point wasting resources in new ones.

    I trained new paladins as soon as resources could afford it, as they really become scary when there is enough of them in a group that you can constantly spam heal without mana or spell reload being a limitation.

    A few minutes later, a bunch of golden guard units arrived as a reinforcement. My upgrades had already been done, and this base had done its purpose.

    The reinforcement arrival coincided with strong attacks from enemies. I didn't think long : I took all my army, increased by the reinforcements, towards the north-west, with the miners (the dwarven workers) following.

    The red kobold base to the north-west is the weakest of all the enemy ones and was roflstomped by the 130+ food combined human and dwarven army.

    As the miners began to build a new town hall next to the gold mine, and some other buildings like farms, I reorganized my army, as the control groups didn't integrate the reinforcements properly.

    Quickly after, while the main base was finished off, I attacked the blue kobold base to the south. It offered more resistance, but wasn't a match for my army.

    By the time I eliminated it, orcs started attacking my new base, but I could pull back quickly enough to avoid a disaster.

    At this stage, with 2 out of 6 enemy bases out and a much saner defensive location (only one possible attack path instead of 5), the mission is a matter of patience and accuracy.

    Defending with my paladins without losing any units was easy.

    Attacking was trickier, because two of the fire servants base sent frequent attack waves.

    The key was to be ready to forsake the extension.

    As long as I kept a few miners and a reserve of gold, losing some buildings wasn't a worry. Hence, during my attack of a third enemy base in the south-west, I didn't bother pulling back the long way to my base, I simply finished the job, and built a new town hall there with some miners. Soon after, I could send miner anew to reclaim control of my extension.

    The 4th kobold base was annoying to deal with, because it could retrain units at an incredibly high rate. But while my paladins and heroes occupied them from the front, I simply used my misc. units groups (which also contained two paladins) attacked from the back with the task of destroying unit production buildings. They got to fight some units too, but the key was that once two or three units building were destroyed, my main attacking force could kill enemies faster than they were retrained, and I could finish the base off.

    I once again got the town hall in my north-western base destroyed, but I didn't care.

    No long after, I attacked the orc base. It has many annoying towers and while the black fire servants had already done some damage to the entrance, destroying the whole base was another task, especially when the aforementioned fire servants went to attack it and then saw my units and attacked them.

    The rocketeer of the goblin-orcs deal insane damage but they are extremely frail, eliminating them is a priority.

    I lost most of my non-paladins units there, only managing to keep alive two chosen of hammerfal. My paladins were mostly in the orange, but heal could still keep them alive.

    Once this base was out, remained only one enemy base, the strongest with its fire golems.

    Attacking it by the southern road is a poor idea. There are just too much of these golems, and they are retrained too quickly. But I didn't even try.

    I put my heroes and a bunch of paladins in the zone where the enemy attack waves arrived. Occupying that ground limited the number of enemies who could teleport at once, so it was really easy to kill them one after another.

    Meanwhile, I built town halls to exploit all of the free gold mines of the map, and began preparations for the big attack.

    I had a lot of workers in the north-east to collect wood, because the wood/mushroom path leads to the north of the black base.

    I built several arcane sanctum for paladin training, and also workshops. My idea was to train siege units for better destruction of enemy barracks, but this was a poor idea. One paladin is more useful than two siege units which get destroyed in a blink by fire golems.

    I also built an enormous amount of towers near the teleport zone, mostly cannon towers. At this point I moved my heroes and paladins which were there to the south, to be able to attack through the south road when the time would come. The high density of cannon towers caused some friendly-fire issues, but with a group of dedicated miners to manage it and repair, and unlimited resources, this was ok.

    On the north-east, I had a group of paladins and a groupe of siege units. Full paladins would have been better.

    I also retrieved an item from the lizards in the north-center of the map, and filled empty slots of my heroes with fire orbs.

    At the moment you have cut enough trees/shrooms to get into the black base from the north, Progaderas (yes, it's him the fire god of the kobold vermins !) will take all his units through the teleporter for a massive attack. Which makes the end of the mission very easy : I attacked from both south and north and while I had to fight newly trained fire golems, taking out the barracks one after another was a matter of patience.

    The attacking force of Progaderas got destroyed by the splash damage of cannon towers, only himself surviving and teleporting back to his base later. I purposefully delayed destroying the last barracks in order to "kill" him once again.

    Once the last barracks is reduced to dust, the chapter ends on a win, and we're on to the outro cutscene and then a fateful interlude with Gardon and Van Durce.
     
  18. Klaus-47

    Klaus-47

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    The orcs being present in mission 9 doesn't make any sense.

    Like, if the cannon was under-defended then a smash and grab might make sense, but not when the entire Golden Guard is dug in right next to the freaking thing.
     
  19. Ardenaso

    Ardenaso

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    My computer hanged at the end of chapter 1 (all "good" choices in the prelude) which made me force restart my computer. I don't know why.

    Edit: Latest WC3 patch and I killed all the Golden Guards
     
  20. Rare from XGM

    Rare from XGM

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    Yesterday I finished playinig this campaign. Why so late? I live in Russia and get information about non-russian projects only after they've been translated. Your campaigns were translated only last year (and there were the first books only). So I couldn't write here when you upload it.

    Firstly I wanna speak little bit about the first books. It was interesting experience, I'm very happy, that I found this campaings.

    Now about The Second Human book. It's greate. I will not speak about quallity and your mistakes, it's too late for this in any case. I will speak about emotional level which is really high. You know that's the first campaign which almost made me cry (it was after interlude "Last Talk"). Relationships between Gardon and van Durce are godlike. I've never seen so touching and sad story in Warcraft campaigns. You are very cool storyteller. Thaks for your job.

    This weekend I'll start The Second Orc Book.