Collecting Bones | One Khan, One Clan | Father Sky's Fury | Mother Earth's Wisdom | Hunting the Hunter
Only one campaign left before we are done with the Heroes of Might and Magic V walkthroughs! Again, kudos to maltz for his productivity and his great advices.
To Honor our Fathers
Map Size: Small
M1: Collecting Bones
Level Cap: None
Difficulty Index: 4/5
Last Updated: November 9, 2007, Patch v3.0
Welcome to the Stronghold campaign. Finally we are seriously playing the Orcs! The proper skill choices for an Orc hero have been discussed back in the Prologue walkthrough. To quickly summarize: Leadership and Luck works well. If you want to aim for the ultimate, take Attack and War Machine. Actually, Attack and War Machine leads you to a very powerful alternative strategy, "the Triple Flaming Ballista" that we will discuss in detail in mission 2. Take a look at the skill wheel to see which feats to aim for. Gotai starts with Shout, the equivalent of Sorcery, so that's 6 skills already. There is no elective for a prototype mighty Orc, and with the Memory Mentor we can still customize our hero(es) for tougher battles later.
For some reason, the former Orc leader Quroq (who you mastered in the Prologue) was killed by Alaric, the not-very-tall cleric. Before his death, Quroq asked Gotai - YOU, to revenge for him. Gotai is only 20 years old, and he is a nobody in the clan. Similar to Raelag in the original C4M1, you will make Gotai the clan leader in the first mission by beating out your competitor.
Again, split out 1-unit stacks to absorb the retaliation and minimize loss.
The contest is really simple and action-packed - whoever collects 1000 heads first wins. You can collect heads through two ways (1) killing various Haven creatures (even the Griffins count) (2) blow up peasants' huts. Each hut worths quite a lot of head counts - about 80. Note that you don't win at the moment you collect 1000 heads, though. You have to report back to Kujin the Shaman in your base after collecting 1000+ heads.
You have only one opponent, Kragh. I was playing on heroic and Kragh started with an army three times as big as Gotai's. Yeah talking about fairness in competition! While Kragh can run over any neutral stack, my Gotai had to choose targets wisely. Also, on heroic some of the neutral stacks are HUGE (like 200+ heads), so Kragh does not need to travel very long before he collects 1000!
Other than winning the mission, you naturally want to maximize your gain (EXP, stat points, carry-over artifacts, etc.) along the way. The stat boosts have been marked with (R)s as usual. There is only one artifact that carries over - the Necklace of the Lion's Spirit set. You just witnessed its power on Orlando!
You start with your opponent at (1). There is no way to recruit any unit in the mission, so set your mind straight on killing! Ready, set, GO!
Just when you are rushing out to kill, you are stopped at the gate (green square on the map) by Kujin. Kujin teaches you how to cheat! The official "cheat" is to bribe a stack of Goblins. The Goblins are located at (2), and with 5000G they will steal 150 heads from Kragh for you.
On lower difficulty I would say just fool around to collect all stat boosts, level up and accumulate head counts whenever convenient. If you fall behind, just bribe the Goblins to win. But on heroic you need to play as dirty as you can, and even so it takes a lot of trial and error. Keep multiple save files so you don't have to restart the mission when you realize you will lose by just one day no matter what!
So how dirty can you be? First, follow Kragh wherever he goes to collect all of the easy heads (Tier 1 and 3 only) before he does! If Kragh kills a stack but leaves out a treasure chest, claim the cash! You need 5000G - after that convert all the rest into EXP points (there is no level cap in the mission). At the same time, visit as many stat boosts as possible along the way. It is unlikely that you have the time to come back for it later. In my run, I really had to leave out the Spellpower +1 boost to the very west, but I was able to visit everything else. The Stable at (S) is really helpful.
Poor Kraph! Ha-Ha~
Note that the Goblins and Centaurs are dispensible towards the end of the mission, because there is no boss fight. You want to keep as many Warriors alive as possible, though. This is actually a primary objective - if you have more than half of them by the time the mission ends, they will be carried over to the future (mission 3).
If Kragh does not travel east, break up with him and rush for the Necklace artifact at (3). However, even if you missed it, there is another chance at mission 3 to get another one. There are a lot of other nice artifacts on this map. Unfortunately, none of them carries over so you may as well skip them.
So what should you do when Kraph gets 1000 heads and is on his way back? Here comes the best part. Naturally Kraph will run over some huge stacks of shooters and collect his 1000 heads before you. However, the AI is naive enough to stop right here, and head back to Kujin.
Now, just before Kraph reaches Kujin (preferably on the last turn), bribe the Goblins at (2) to transfer 150 heads from Kraph to you. Now Kraph has LESS than 1000 heads! He has to come all the way back to collect more, and go all the way back home! This will buy you at least an extra week. Hopefully you can visit a few more stat boosts with it, or at least meet the 1000 head requirement. Note that there are actually two entrances of your base (the green squares).
By the way, there is a two-way portal at the SW corner of the map (I). It leads you to a Hill Fort to the north. Also, there is a Sylanna Ancient to the very north. The forest path is well-hidden and it is located (way) above the Goblins at (2). I don't see any reason to waste your days on them, though. Finally, there is a Witch Hut (W) that might teach you a useful skill.
In my game, Gotai reported back to Kujin on Day 22, while Kraph reported back on his turn of Day 22. Too late! Ha!
Everything happens so fast that laws of physics does not have to hold.