Sunday, May 30, 2010

Human Campaign: Map 7

Now, we come to the most frustrating mission in the entire game. Before version 1.21 of the game, there was a glitch that rendered this mission impossible to beat without cheating. Even with the glitch fixed, the mission is still incredibly difficult. I'll elaborate further.

Your town lacks resources.

Basically, you start with no peasants, no barracks, and insufficient gold to train a peasant. Your goal is to attack the orc base, rescue a bunch of peasants (that have only a sliver of life remaining) and bring them back to your base. Then, the real battle begins.

The peasants can be felled by a single spear.

Here, you can see that the orcs are holding the peasants at the eastern edge of the map. This is right above the orc base. It's guarded by two grunts and one raider on the left and two spearmen on the right. You'll want to send your troops with the exception of one knight and one archer to rescue the peasants. The remaining knight and archer will defend your town from the orc raider and warlock that's coming your way.

Meanwhile, let's talk about the best way to rescue the peasants. There are two paths to the compound. You can either follow the road down the bridge and engage the compound from the left. Or you can hug the upper border of the map until you get to the upper right corner of the map and head straight down.

I recommend the latter approach because you can kill the spearmen first. Since the peasants have only a tiny sliver of life remaining, the can be killed in one hit by the spearmen. What you should do is lure the spearmen north and finish them with the knights. Then, bust open a hole in the wall and rescue the peasants while your knights and archers engage the grunts and raiders. You may need to lower your game speed to pull off the micromanagement.

Use your clerics to heal as many peasants as you can and send them to the northeast corner of the map. Then, send them back to your base along the upper border. As for your surviving archers and knights. Send them along the path, up the bridge and back to your base. Immediately send your peasants to work. Have half of them chop lumber north of town and the other half mine gold south of town.

The orc base.

What you see here is the orc base directly south of the compound. In all versions of the game prior to 1.21, all of the base defenders would immediately rush to your town and destroy it when you rescue or heal the peasants. This is due to an AI script being accidentally triggered which was originally meant for do-or-die dungeon missions. Some claim you can micromanage the clerics and survive with one knight remaining. But I've never been able to pull it off.

In any case, if your base keeps getting overrun by raiders and spearmen before you can get your peasants home, you'll need to patch the game. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Venture south... carefully.

Whereas the red humans sent swarms of scorpions in the previous mission, here you'll have to contend with the warlock's spiders. They have the same HP, attack, and speed. But I like the satisfying 'splat' sound they make when they die.

Anyway, let's talk about terrain. There are three passageways separating your side of the map from the orc base: the lower left corner, the upper right corner, and the center bridge. The orcs most commonly attack from the center bridge, followed by the lower left. An attack from the upper right is rare, but it does happen from time to time. Mostly, they'll just park a necrolyte and warlock by the gold mine.

It's super important that you secure the center bridge with archers, knights, and a cleric. The bridge acts as a natural chokepoint so you can pick off the attackers one by one. It also give you a chance to build up your base without having to micromanage combat every thirty seconds.

Secure the choke points.

As you build up your town, secure the lower left passageway as well. You can use your clerics to reveal the rest of the map. There's more than enough gold on your side of the lake. So be sure to upgrade everything and build 2-3 barracks.

The orcs have been crushed.

The orcs will send waves of attackers but amass them just north of their base. The best time to attack their base is immediately after the most recent wave has been intercepted at the bridge chokepoint but before they've trained any reinforcements. If you attack at the wrong time, the orcs will defend with summoned scorpions and skeletons, making the battle much more difficult.

Otherwise, a combination of knights and catapults will win the day. As always, destroy the orc barracks first, followed by the temple and tower.

Next Time: Medivh's tower awaits