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Features → Walkthroughs  → Specter of Power → Poison Fit for a King

by Harukaba

Capture Haart Castle and leave the Vial of Poison to win the scenario. However, if Sandro is defeated in combat, the scenario is lost. Heroes are limited to Level 10, but Sandro and three of his comrades will carry their experience, skills and spells on to the next Scenarios. Starting Bonus: Boots of Speed or 20 Zombies or 3000 Gold.


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

This map is impossible to beat until you take the strategy of building up troops for the first five weeks and heading straight for Haart Castile while avoiding all except the weakest of the enemy troops. The reason for this is the enemy has four Castles which are somewhat built up and plenty of resources while you start out with three towns with nothing built and you will be suffering from a shortage of both wood and ore in the first few weeks. To make matters worse there are enemy heroes which you will not be able to defeat no matter what and the only chance to win is to avoid them. Therefore, take the Boots of Speed as your bonus.

With Sandro concentrate on his magical abilities such as Wisdom, Intelligence, Earth Magic, Air Magic, and Logistics being necessary for success. I never bothered much with the three heroes that carry over and so hired gold and resource produces and used them to pick up loose resources and flag mines.

First Leg

The first four weeks determine whether you will succeed or fail at this map. What I did was spend the first week in every town by building the Cursed Temple, Graveyard, Tomb of Souls, Estate, and a Mausoleum if you have the resources to spare. I did this before building a Mage Guild, Necromancy Amplifier, Cover of Darkness, and upgrading the Town Hall to a City Hall which I did in the second week. If you ever find yourself low on resources in the first week then build something from the second week that doesn't require any. After you have City Halls you can upgrade the Mage Guilds which Sandro will need in the next map. I know this is not a normal build order but it worked for me.

While you're doing this, have Sandro flag the Ore Mines and Lumber Mills before anything else. Try to avoid losses in battle whenever possible and be sure to check out the Witch's Huts as they seem to be set to offer skills which are actually relevent to what Sandro needs (secondary heroes are good for this). The Scholar to the north offers the Archery skill which I'd avoid since Sandro isn't going to have an army of Liches anymore. The Scholar to the south offers +1 Knowledge which I'd try to grab near the end of the four week preparation phase. The Buckler of the Gnoll King which is found north of A1 gives 4 to Sandro's defense which is worth getting.

Finishing Up

In the beginning of the fourth week start upgrading the troop production buildings in A3 if you haven't done so already so that in the beginning of the fifth week you can use your secondary heroes to bring troops there to upgrade and give to Sandro. As soon as this is done take Sandro along the yellow path and visit the Redwood Observatory so you can see where the enemy heroes are. Depending on where they are you might want to go the north path or the south path. The south path is better because it takes you past a Marletto Tower (+1 Defense) and Mercenary Camp (+1 Attack) but that area has a better chance of having enemy heroes so you might need to avoid that area.

If O1a isn't heavily guarded then I suggest taking it over in the hopes of getting the Town Portal spell and in getting a faster horse. Once done there follow the blue path to Haart Castle and the final battle. If the hero is in the castle you might have to hire a hero from O1a and use it to lure the hero out so Sandro can easily defeat the enemy hero outside of the castle gates. Once you take over Haart Castle, the map is won.

hirohn at 2014-09-22 05:39 wrote:
I've just replayed this on impossible and found out that there are some important things that would aid you a lot in beating this map easily:

+ Early:
- The 3 vampire lords and 10 wraiths are crucial to slay neutral stacks, try to keep them all intact by luring neutrals and taking advantage of obstacles on the battle field.
- Dump the walking deads for more movement, sadly you can't get rid of the skellies.
- Use secondary heroes to kill neutral stacks which you can't drain life from (gargoyles) using the walking deads+zombies from above.
- The refugee camps! Get 2 heroes there by the beginning of each week, the upgraded tier-7 creatures will help you defeating neutrals without casualties. I got 1 archdevil, 1 ghost dragon, 2 black knights. Also, you can always load the game on day 7 and end turn for new random recruits.

+ First month:
- Prioritize estate in A2 and A3, use A1 for gold and resource silo.
- Clear out the area above A2, then get the buckler, avoid losses.
- When they penetrate through the garrison, command the garrison troops to focus on the marksmen. Then you can confront him with Sandro even outside A3. Expect some losses but make sure the vampire lords stay intact.
- Choose your secondary heroes to bring to the next map, wisdom is crucial, they don't have to be necromancers, though. I got Sephinroth (Dungeon) for the +1 crystal (I'm an economist), Aislinn (Necro) for the meteor shower to clear hard neutral stacks, Terek (Stronghold) for the tactics but I was unlucky my Terek didn't get Earth as secondary.

+ The invasion:
- Secure O2a first since it's easier to defend.
- Expect them to launch a hard attack to reclaim O2a, stay inside the castle and defend, only attack with vampire lords, liches and marksmen.
- Use this chance to take over O1a or run like hell back to A2 and A3 since other heroes will invade them. In my case the Cover of Darkness helped a lot.

+ Cleaning up:
- Bring everyone to level 10 by killing neutral stacks, trees of knowledge and freshly recruited heroes swarming out of O4a every week. In my case I had to camp Sandro between O1a and O4a, far enough not to scare them and use my secondary heroes to capture the saw mill and ore pit to lure them out.
- Upgrade all mage guilds and learn all the spells. I got town portal from O3a and expert/advanced Earth on 3/4 of my heroes which was really nice. This will really help in the next maps since you can expand really fast in all directions, every hero can be used to flag mines and siege castles while Sandro concentrates on his main task, which is the blitzkrieg tactics, I never had to replenish troops for Sandro until very late (keywords: Summon Earth + Animate Dead) in the following map which I even had to trade gold for other resources in order not to win so fast while pampering my heroes.

In my opinion the REFUGEE CAMPS were the key to this map.
vil2 at 2013-08-01 13:58 wrote:
This mission is so frustrating ; after a nice climax in the former campaign, with excellent heroes, we find Sandro back, level 1, with no stats. The beginning of the mission is so boring...Why the hell did not they put a hi-level campaign ? This would have been so much better imo.
Other than that, the walkthrough worked well, I attacked on week 6 and wiped them, while advoiding 2 enemy heroes. Just be sure to tag all the Wood and Ore mines in the first days, otherwise you'll not be able to build fast enough.
demarubem at 2012-06-30 23:24 wrote:
i wonder, when do you play this campaign ? i just finished the unholly aliance killed sandro .... and that was over for whole the shadow of death
Monkey at 2012-05-14 15:38 wrote:
I've just finished this level on Impossible...It was hard. The enemy broke through the Gates at the end of the 1 Month, but i could collect creatures from the next week, so he ran away. and as i took his second castle, he tried to siege it with an anormous army. But after i broke his Ballista, he could only use his griffons and shooters. So i could win this battle.
lexaeus at 2010-05-14 12:27 wrote:
up to this day i can't beat this campaign on the impossible difficulty level.
i have to rush through the first level and quickly capture haart castle (the enemy heroes are always too strong. starting with no ressources is just painful) to win it. the second level is still beatable, but the third one is when i notice how badly you need to train sandro. since i had to skip most of the status-buffing locations, i stand no chance against melodia. (just a side note: i don't want to use fly or dimension portal at all to win).
unfortunately there is no video showing how to beat spectre of power on impossible...

UndeadHalfOrc at 2009-03-30 18:45 wrote:
I just found out (the hard way) that there is a (completely undocumented!) 4 month limit to finish this scenario. Yeah, yeah, I could have finished it 2-1/2 months into it, but I wanted to buff every hero I had as much as I could. Thankfully I had an earlier save 2 weeks before the limit so I rushed Sandro in the take the castle, just in time.

Ansive at 2009-02-04 00:24 wrote:
First time I started the map on impossible... the enemy broke through the garrison under a month and crushed me.

Second try on expert I was a little lucky and had time to clear the entire undead side of the map. I built all the creature dwelling in the lower city and a town hall in the upper city in the first week. This way I was able to gather a decent army. In about month 3 I started my attack. I managed to beat the heroes since they were about as strong as Sandro. Armies were pretty huge but so were mine.

I wonder how long into the game events were scripted... in month 3 Sandro was having dreams of Ethric and the 4 heroes that defeated him...

Grail Quest at 2007-07-30 14:48 wrote:
A single stack of 15-20 Vampire Lords can, on their own, kill many neutral stacks as they reanimate when they drain life from enemies they attack. In this way, you can reserve your forces for a big push later, although you will likely have a severe cash shortage and not be able to buy all the creatures you make. Further, the enemy will already have mustered an incredibly huge army (such as 400+ marksmen!), so it's really pointless. There are also no peasants to be seen, contrary to the intro movie, as they've all been cleared by the Knights.
It may have been scripted (is it even possible?) that the enemy will not do more than clear your border guard. I saw them clear the border guard but not move into my territory; instead, on a few occasions, they turned back.

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