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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Features → Walkthroughs  → Hack & Slash → Grave Robber

by Harukaba

Seize the Yawning Shield of the Dead from the "Hand of Death" Necromancers cult to win the campaign. However, if Crag Hack is defeated in combat, the scenario is lost. Crag Hack is limited to level 25 but will carry over his experience, skills and spells on to the next campaign. Starting Bonus: Barracks or 10 wood and 10 Ore or Equestrian Gloves.

Maps


Click on a map to see a larger version.

Green - Friendly Town Red - Enemy Town Grey - Neutral Town Yellow - Underground Passage

A# - Allied Towns O# - Opponent Towns (a,b,c,d,e,f,g indicates which enemy) N# - Neutral Towns M# - Mirror Entrances (a) and exits (b). two-way unless stated E# - Exit (a) entrance and (b) exit S# - Seer (a) and the location of the item (b) G# - Guard Tents (a) and the location of the Guard Tower (b) J - Jail X - Ambush

Starting Out

Grave Robber is probably one of the most frustrating maps you'll play in the entire Shadows of Death campaign. Your starting town is a Castle without a tavern and you can't even think about defeating the enemy since they're all protected by Guard Towers with an unreachable Guard Tent. The three Necromancer enemy towns all have a Cover of Darkness which makes figuring out where to go extremely difficult unless you have Expert Earth magic. You also have to go to three Guard Tents to get to a Necromancer you have to defeat in order to get the Yawning Shield of the Dead all the while either avoiding or defeating the enemy heroes.

I picked the Barracks as the starting bonus because they are a strong unit and it makes getting Angels in the first week possible. If I was playing on Hard difficulty or higher, I would be tempted to pick the wood and ore bonus.

I have verified for myself that Crag Hack won't transfer over to the next campaign even though you are told that he will be. Therefore, it's not necessary to visit any places of learning or go out of your way to gain levels.

First Leg

Spend the first two week flagging mines and getting troops and in visiting the jail as soon as possible to release Slash, a level 18 hero that will defend your towns while Crag is getting the shield. What I did was give Crag the forces from Slash and conquer N1 since it provides another source of income. Hire some extra heroes to pick up loose resources until about the middle of second week or the start of the third where Crag should go down E1a to visit the Dragon Utopia that's northeast of E3a. Any loss of troops is well worth it since it prevents the computer from getting the artifacts. On your way back to E1b, be sure to visit G1a underground since you'll need it later. Once you've replenished any of the troops you've lost, going through E2a to get the second Dragon Utopia (east of E2a) is a good idea. Even if you don't decide to do this, you will still need to enter E2a in order to flag G2a. While Crag is away, be sure to put Slash with a good army close to the one-way mirror at M1b since the enemy will use that to attack you quite often and you don't want to lose your towns.

Second Leg

Once you have a good army on both Crag and Slash, you have to go to the island in the middle of the map. Have Crag visit either E1a or E2a and make your way to the west side of the tiny island where you can rent a boat. Once there, visit G3a and the tower that is blocking your access to the Yawning Shield of the Dead. There you will find out that you need to defeat a necromancer by the name of Charnath. This will be an extremely tough battle so be sure you have several weeks of troops before attempting to battle her. Once you're ready, go to E4a to end up right outside E6a and the three Guard Towers that you gained access to travel past. Visit each one of them in turn to meet up with Charnath.

Finishing Up

Charnath has stats around 22-25-16-14, 280 spell points, Expert Tactics, and has an army of approximately 30 Ghost Dragons, 82 Vampire Lords, 110 Wraiths, 250 Zombies, and 330 Walking Dead. If you fail to beat her, simply use a scout to ferry Crag some troops and try again. I did that at the same time as Crag was travelling to E6a so they both got there at about the same time which was a huge help.

Once you've defeated Charnath, you must return to the island and visit the same tower that sent you on the mission to defeat Charnath in the first place. Once you're there, you can pick up the Yawning Shield of the Dead to win this map and Crag Hack's campaign.

Comments
Dec at 2013-09-08 20:03 wrote:
Just completed on impossible difficulty. I chose the gloves as a bonus so this made it even harder because I found another pair on the 2nd week.

I flagged wood, ore and gold mines on first week (gold mine had liches, Destroy Undead on them), freed Slash, gave Crag artifacts + army and captured the second town. Also built 1-4 lvl creatures + castle the first week.

At the beginning of 2nd week I teleported to main castle (had TP from previous map), upgraded my swordsmen to crusader and went for the utopia to the south. It gave me black orb which was good combined with my expert Berserk as undead are immune to it.

At the end of 2nd week I didn't have cavaliers yet so I just flagged all mines + the wyvern building the next week.

I build Training Grounds and Portal of glory on 3rd week and went for the other utopia at the beginning of 4th. Luckily the utopia wasn't taken so I visited both it and the marletto tower. It gave me Sentiniel Shield which made my Crag 34 -38. I teleported back and upgraded my angels and cavaliers.

At the beginning of Month 2 I had 5 Archangels and over 100 Royal Griffins so I went for Charnath. The AI didn't attack me on my way so I killed that hero using mass Berserk on his Dragons and Vampires and on his Zombies. I had to teleport back because the AI main active hero followed, was extremely quick and had over 100 Liches and 50 Dread Knights and also because I had only my Griffins left from the tough battle. So I bought the rest army and went on the isle to get the shield.

Completed on 2nd month, 3rd week without any towns and 4 days left to capture one.
Edited on Sun, Sep 08 2013, 16:05 by Dec
vil2 at 2013-07-07 13:16 wrote:
This mission can be incredibly hard.
What I did after a few tries was :

- 1st week : tag wood, ore mines, collect artifacts, war academy and wandering bonuses. Build the dwelling 1 to 5 without upgrading yet. Build a castle.

- 2nd week : tag the other mines, guarded by vampires, and take the 2nd town. Then free Slash from his cell. Give Crag Hack a decent amount of troops (give Slash's army), and clean the remaining monsters in your zone. Don't build your 1st town during week 2, build a city hall in the 2nd town instead.

- 3rd week : After recruting, kill the ghost dragons in the north and claim their artifacts and the town portal scroll. Go visit the southern Utopia (don't forget the keymasters tents), and then the eastern Utopia.

Now what worked well for me was that every time the enemy hero was teleporting in my zone, I immediately used Town Portal, which made him flee (with a town portal spell, too). He came 3 or 4 times and every time I just had to TP, make him flee (I did not attack him because I would have suffered too much losses), recruit if possible, and go back to where I was. With a logistic Crag, I had so much move points it was not a problem to go back and forth.

- 5th - 6th week : your castle should be fully upgraded, you should recruit all the creatures in the external dwellings and then upgrade them in your town.

- When you have some Archangels in your army, go to the eastern subterranean gate, when you exit it, go south to the port, rent a boat and go on the northwestern coast of the island to the green tent. Then immediately go to the south subterranean gate (south of the port) and follow the path that lead to Charnath. Kill him, then go as fast as possible to the Shield which is now available.

With this tactic I was able to finish the mission in less than 3 months, the TP trick worked well because I did not had a single loss. So it is still possible even if Crag has not taken Earth Magic (My Crag Hack was full Attack with Air Magic only). Confronting the enemy heroes leads to some impossible fights in my opinion. Good luck !
Edited on Sun, Jul 07 2013, 09:21 by vil2

Grail Quest at 2007-06-16 22:51 wrote:
There are interesting maps, and then there are irritating maps. This is an irritating map, designed to cause you stress no matter how good a player you are.
* You cannot capture enemy towns although you can easily assemble an overwhelming force against them if you are focussed and march down into the swamps. (Especially easy if you collect Crossbowmen and protect them with Mass Slow on the enemy. Losses can be avoided entirely this way if you judiciously choose which stacks to fight and which to skip or allow to flee).
* The enemy has a teleporter which puts them right outside the neutral Haven you can capture and build a Tavern in. It is, of course, one-way.
* You have to run around the map looking for Guard Tents, all the while defending your towns which are far away. Even if you managed to get Crag Hack Earth Magic and Town Portal (which would have given you a more or less easy time in the previous scenario), each time you are forced to teleport back, you lose time -- that is, you waste more of your life grinding through this scenario.
* The path to the Shield has two scripted surprise events which can devastate your army, losing you game-weeks of work. Unless you read a walkthrough. In which case consider the impact of the event and I think you'll realize it is very risky to use, having the potential to make enemies instead of give an "Ha ha! That was neat!" effect. In fact, they have by now overused this device in various maps. (Don't they have any other tool in the toolbox?) Why can't they just use visible stacks that can grow over time?

I like challenging maps, but IMO this map crosses the line into stupid. I recommend you try it for a reasonable amount of time, but thereafter instead of wasting your life in front of the computer, just cheat your way through it and move along if you really want to see the SoD campaign in its entirety. I doubt even ratcheting down the difficulty will really alleviate the stress.
Edited on Sat, Jun 16 2007, 18:58 by Grail Quest

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