Anyone played Shadow Dreams before?

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cjlee
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Anyone played Shadow Dreams before?

Postby cjlee » Jan 15 2014, 18:27

This might be linked to my latest post, my reflections on the Runemage and Fortress faction.

I was playing Runemage on the map Shadow Dreams just now. This is not the first time I've played Runemage on Shadow Dreams, but the last time was a very long time ago.

I can't remember how things went in the last time, except I remember it was very difficult going for the Runemage because he didn't have logistics and could not get logistics, despite me spending over 250000 gold (via multiple reloads) at the memory mentor.

Now here I am, in Month 4 Week 4. I haven't been able to explore the whole map, although I have conquered all 4 surface castles. I got underground - and was immediately attacked by the Teal Warlock... with 150 Black Dragons and 150 Archdevils and 380 Pit Fiends in addition to other troops.

I had only 34 Magma Dragons, 67 Thanes, etc.

The huge numbers of the enemy have really puzzled me. I don't remember Shadow Dreams as anywhere near this difficult. I've played this multiple times on hard.

Did the mapmaker, figuring that Runemage/ Fortress was a stronger faction, put in some script to increase enemy numbers more?

Now with such a huge discrepancy in numbers, how can I hope to take on the enemy? Is there anyone who has played Shadow Dreams before and can give suggestions?

Remember that in the underground, you have to find two keymasters to unlock the gates. These two involve a lot of travelling. My enemy is hot on my heels, I don't have logistics again (after spending another 200k in multiple reloads fruitlessly), so evasion is not a very doable option.

I have my runes, I have Absolute Protection with Expert Light magic. Does anyone know how one can defeat a warlock opponent with such a huge army?

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finished

Postby cjlee » Jan 16 2014, 18:35

I just finished this map again. To my horror I found both enemy heroes in the underground (The teal folks) have ultra-gigantic armies. So I had to employ expendable heroes to run around the underground, distracting the enemy, while my main hero and his lieutenant visited the keymasters and then attacked the Red Slayer.

Once again I easily crushed the Red Slayer, although my hero was in fact inferior in level, had inferior artifacts, and was outnumbered as well. The only unit that died was the Inquisitors, because I had gone to battle with them rather than employing an all-dwarven army. (Even this was a matter of logistics. I was previously traveling with some inquisitors and didn’t really have time to visit another dwarven town because these Runemages walk so slowly. And using Summon Troops spell was out of the question, since my Runemage was too slow moving and couldn’t afford to lose movement points.)

Shadow Dreams is a very well made map. Having played Runemage on it twice by now, I notice the mapmaker tailored the challenge level to the hero type. When I played Wizard on Shadow Dreams, I always got the best artifacts, allowing me to tinker with different strategies like any versatile, Arcane-Omniscient Wizard would like to do. When I played Knight or Ranger, I got morale boosting artifacts. And when I played Runemage, I got practically nothing worth using except the Crown of Sar-Issues, important to a mana-deficient Runemage!

In all cases, the overall challenge level wound up about the same in the end. The Red Slayer was easy to defeat for the Runemage, but the process of getting to the Red Slayer (and avoiding the hundreds of dragons and devils of the Teal faction) afforded significant challenge. In retrospect, I suspect the mapmaker deliberately gave the Teal faction a super big army so that the Runemage couldn't steamroll them.


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