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Features → Walkthroughs  → The Ranger - The Emerald Ones

by Maltz

Map 2 - The Emerald Ones
Size - Big
Level Cap - 18

First, the recent patches (1.2-1.3) has pumped up the NE castle garrison quite much agin and again, and improved AI behavior even further. On heroic 1.3 it is impossible to win the mission with the original walkthroug. Please see the heroic 1.3 update at the bottom.

Spoiler: view a screenshot of the surface
View a screenshot of the underground

In this map, you start in the SE corner, with a 1:3 town disadvantage. Needless to say your enemy is outgrowing you. Your ultimate objective in this mission is to collect 20 emerald dragons in Findan's army. I suggest that you defeat the red player before they overwhelm you, then slowly tour the map and recruit your dragons.

The three Inferno towns are linked by sea and a network of underground passages. The sea is divided in two down the middle of the map, so you are actually half a world away from the SW Inferno town. The large island in the middle has no close and easy landing beach, but you can reach it directly from the underground. The NE town is on an isolated island, and the only way to access it is by ship. However, the lack of shipyard makes the Inferno heroes there stranded, unless they manage to summon an unoccupied ship somewhere, which they will try to do.

You do have the freedom to decide which town to take first. However, on heroic your freedom is just an illusion. The tier-6 stack guarding the underground entrance to your north is too costly to attack. That eliminates an early underground option. Your best choice for the first town would be the NE Inferno town. The AI builds it up fast, so it is best to rush it quite quickly.

In the first week, build whatever creature buildings and castle wall you can afford. You want to focus on troop production. Flag as many mines as possible (avoid the mines guarded by succubus mistress, if any) in the first five days and return to the castle on Day 7.

It is a good idea to immediately hire a secondary hero to pick up resources and flag the mines just secured by Findan. Don't forget to dump the tavern hero's starting troops on Findan. You might want to hire yet another hero for more troops, and to send him on boat to explore a bit and pick up the floating treasures. Your investment will soon pay off.

When Day 1 Week 2 comes, hire all you can afford, and send Findan to a ship with all you have. Sail north; your goal is the only landing beach of the NE island (1). If you must wait for more gold to hire a few more units, you can spend one extra day, but not two, or you can't take the NE Inferno town before Week 2 ends.

Note that the red heroes on this NE island will eventually come after you. However, since they have no shipyard there, they will attempt to summon an unoccupied ship. If you have a ship unoccupied, it might get summoned away by an AI hero. Even worse, since the AI now is on the ship, you can't summon it back.

Therefore, it is better to have two ships in advance. Wherever Findan lands, there is a backup ship (with a new hero in there) waiting just off shore. If you are fast enough, the AI heroes on the NE island will be dead before they get a chance to leave. During my two runs of this mission, the AI heroes elsewhere build thier own boat instead of trying to summon yours.

You should be able to reach the NE Inferno town before Week 2 ends. The garrison there has only one week worth of creatures, and so does your Findan. You should be able to take this town with only moderate losses. Also, this town usually has a capital (+4000G/day) built in there already - free for you now! You will also get a cut scene and one emerald dragon. If you would like, you can build up this Inferno town to have all tiers of creatures ready for hire, but don't bother with the upgrade buildings. The resource pit here offers +1 sulfur/day, which is really helpful because you don't own any sulfur mine yet. (The sulfur mine on this island is usually guarded by lots of tier-6 creatures, which is too hard for Findan at this moment.)

Now you've improved your situation from 1:3 to 2:2. Before adventuring further, you need fresh armies as well as the useful "Summon Creature" spell.

There are two ways to reach your next destination. The easier path from here is to go back to your ship at (1), and go back to your starting Sylvan town. You should have some new troops as well as the level 3 mage guild ready when Findan gets there. This way he doesn't waste any turn waiting for Summon Creature.

Your next target is stairway at (2), guarded by possibly a pack of pit lords. These tough creatures cast Meteor Shower (5x5 area), so don't crowd your units together.

Descend the stairway, and you are now at the eastern stairway of the underground region. The middle stairway (3) leads you to the middle Inferno town, while the NW stairway (4) eventually leads you to the SW Inferno town. The middle Inferno town is usually "undefended", while the SE Inferno town is usually heavily defended. The choice is clear - head for the middle stairway (3).

You emerge on the middle island/continent. There is a convenient mana well on the right, so this is a good place to summon some creatures. Keep going north and you will capture the second Inferno town quite easily.

At this moment the AI heroes in the SW castle will probably be heading towards you. In my games, their primary objective was the NE inferno town. Don't panic as their heroes are weak, and you don't need to leave Findan behind to defend.

Now you should start to save up your cash and hire a new hero in the NE Inferno castle. After the Inferno invasion lands at (1) and comes to you the next turn, hire all creatures you can afford in the town. That's probably ~3 weeks worth of full 7-tier troops! (And it is going to cost you an arm and a leg!). The poor AI hero only has 1-2 week worth of troops, and is no match of you. Chase them down!

Things are looking good for you now. Your next target is the final Inferno town. Now return to the stairway (don't forget to summon creatures again before heading down), and head for the NW stairway (4) this time. There is another stack of tier-6 creatures blocking your way. If you are not weakened very much, then you should be able to get through them. Otherwise, you can go back to stairway (3), return to your Sylvan town, and sail to the last Inferno town. Since patch 1.2 the AIs from the SW town are more eager to go out, so you might intercept a few of them on the sea.

If you take the (4) stairway, you will emerge on the NW island. On the east coast you will see a shipyard (5) where you can make a ship, or simply summon one on the shore. Sail south, and make a landing at the only beach on the SW continent (6). You can again summon creatures from your Sylvan town here, and face the hardest resistance of this mission. You get another 5 emerald dragons afterwards. Finally, you can build the dragon recruiting structure in your Sylvan town!

There is no time pressure anymore. Whenever you give Findan 20 emerald dragons, this mission is done. Every obelisk (marked with a red cross on the minimap above) will reveal you some emerald dragons somewhere else, with 3 dragons each in my game. They will always join you when you approach them. There is a witch hut at (7) that you may want to visit. Also, there are some stat bonuses at (8) and (9) which are worth picking up.

Heroic 1.3 Update

The NE town now starts with quite a large army, led by a low-level hero, Alastor. If you arrive here on Day 7, Week 2 (or Day 1, Week 3), as described in the above walkthrough, Alastor would have finished mine flagging business, and returned to the town. The AI builds up the NE town every day, so by the time you come here he simply overpowers you 4 to 1. There is no way you can defeat his army in a high-level castle assault, even if you can resurrect (patch 1.3 nerfed it a bit, plus the the surviving familiars will deplete half of your mana.)

Before patch 1.3, Alastor is quite weak and the AI builds up much slower. Therefore, you can usually intercept Alastor on the road. Even if he defends in the town, the town is not very complete yet, so you will have an easier time assaulting. Not anymore on 1.3 heroic.

What you can do is to rush here as fast as possible. On Day 1, build a ship, and hire one, or even two new heroes, combine the army, then send Findan and all units you can afford on the water. Most of these units will die, so you probably want to prefer 10 sprites over 2 hunters as the starting bonus. (10 sprites gets you more HP, and can make actions before they are killed.) The new heroes can go to the east and pick up a few resources that's not guarded. On your way to the NE town you can pick up some treasures. You will be short of wood for for the month, so hopefully you can pick up at least one pile of floating lumber.

Once you land on the NE island (Day 1 Week 5), Alastor is usually busy flagging mines here and there. He will try to rush back and defend the town. In my three trials of heroic 1.3 rush, Alastor is either at home (too bad, restart mission time), too far away to make it back, or he is almost home, but blocked by my Findan. In the last case he did nothing for the next turn, even though he can easily run me through. (His army is quite large!)

As long as Alastor is not at home, you have a good shot at the castle on Day 7. Try to kill the ranged units ASAP, so the AI's melee units will open the gate for your melee units to rush in. Your army parish quickly, so try to finish this fight as fast as possible. If you learned Resurrection from mission 1, you can save your hunters and most war dancers.

Once you take the castle, Alastor will ignore you and try to flag some more mines. Now, at the starting of Week 2, hire whatever Inferno unit you can afford to finish off Alastor. (This fight is impossible without Inferno units.) This NE island is then yours to flag. Findan's priority should be the Saw Mill at the NW corner. Hire a new hero to flag mines quicker, and rush Findan back to the boat and your Sylvan town as soon as the Saw Mill is flagged. The NE island will be under attack at the beginning of month 2, but you still have two weeks and half.

You will probably return to the Sylvan town around the beginning of Week 3. Hire whatever you can afford, and flag every mine on the island. Don't go to underground, as your NE town is about to get attacked soon, and you don't have enough units to defend. Return to the Sylvan town at the beginning of Week 4, hire all Sylvan units, make a long sail to the SW island, and intercept ship after ship of Inferno armies trying to make a run at your NE Inferno town. Before you depart, make sure you've learned Summon Creature, and set your favorite enemy. Try to conserve units as you face those Inferno armies, of course.

After you land on the SW island, the Inferno army on the central island starts to rush out. You can take care of them later. Summon whatever Sylvan creatures you can get, and assault the SW castle. This assault is not easy as usual (lv 33 town by now, and 2 or more weeks worth of full, upgraded growth). After that, you can take the central town with the help of the mana well (a good summon creature spot). The fight will be even harder than before, but you are not pressed by time after this.

Bravehome at 2015-06-29 03:06 wrote:
A good build that avoids the need for Resurrection (this one much easier and won all Sylvan scenarios while on Hard) was by following the 3 eLves: Leadership, Luck and Logistics. Along with last option for Findan, Defense, avoided the need to use mana on Rez and spent it on useful things like Divine Strength, Slow, Weakness and Vulnerability (using Imbue Arrow in large battles). What with Archery, Protection, Soldier's Luck, Elven Luck, Pathfinding and Navigation, can use auto-avoidance to vastly reduce damage (thus reducing the potential need for Rezes anyway), while using Logistics and its Abilities to either catch the enemy or stay a step ahead. I tried the Rez path and it was just too mana intensive, when I wanted to use the mana to slow/weaken my opponent. Leadership on this map especially useful, since I got it on the first map and had it to 3nd level partway thru this map, obviating the penalty for having Inferno creatures in Findan's party. Happy Hunting!
Vandalized at 2014-01-09 19:12 wrote:
guys srsly....whats the alternative for this mission? I tryed followin instructions as I did on most of the missions be4 (great guides - 1love) but this 1 is different. I cant beat inferno NE top on 1st week....i just cant. Whats other option. thanks
Wheeler Dealer at 2013-11-07 22:30 wrote:
1.6 Hard. I played without following the walkthrough. I came to a much different experience! I did use my crystal ball quite a bit. Lots of save and reload. My Findan is still pretty lame. He usually cast mass haste on his first turn and then slow or imbue arrow on his second. He really wasn't much help except for his Elven Luck.

I was headed for the Ultimate skill so I got Luck. Logistics and Light magic but I still don't have any very good Light magic spells! (Are there any besides resurrection? ) I got Sorcery from a witch hut and started with Attack. I've taken only 2 or 3 skills that don't fit the path to the ultimate.

I took a little over 6 months. The first time the red hero stole my boat I backed up and hired a hero whose main job was to summon and sit in the boat whenever Findan wasn't using it. Eventually I had two boats and two holders.

I met a red hero in the NW corner while exploring and defeated her and never saw another red hero until I invaded the NE island at the beginning of month 6. I took the SW city first. I recruited the first warlock that came along (Yrbeth) to lead a demon army. She learned dark magic since the mage's guild in the SW city already had Puppet Master and Frenzy. After taking the center Inferno City I built a huge demon army from the two cities for her to command. (It still wasn't as large as the army guarding the NE city when I got there but Puppet Master and Frenzy turned the tide easily.)

I'm not sure I could have won that battle with Findan no matter how long I took building his army. Yrbeth at level 18 was able to take out huge stacks (111 Arch Demons for example) with virtually no losses where Findan would have lost half his army on the same battle!

When Yrbeth took the last city (she was just required to decimate the defending troops so Findan could follow her in and meet a weak defense) I was given the victory even though Findan had only collected 16 dragons. There were two more stacks revealed but not yet collected that would have put him over 20.

So my strategy elements were, 1) never an unoccupied boat, 2) a warlock with dark magic built up to level 18 leading a demon army to soften up the last city defenses.

Good scenario, not just one solution!

ShadowLiberal at 2012-02-02 01:25 wrote:
Contrary to what the guide says, I found it easy enough to take the middle town first, and then the north east one. Just a warning though, you'll have to rush back to your starting town as soon as you take the middle one, as the enemies will finally have gotten a ship to invade your town with. You'll probably lose your ranger town for a few days, but you can hire all of that week's growth on another hero and have that hero flee to deliver reinforcements to Findan, so you can retake your town.

Once you take out that invading hero the toughest part of the mission is largely over, especially if you got resurrect in the previous mission.

ShadowLiberal at 2011-10-08 19:01 wrote:
To anyone playing this map, make sure you have an extra creature slot available on your hero before taking over the first town. The programmers were too stupid to let you put the free Emerald Dragon in the empty garrison of the town you just conquered if you don't room in the army for it.

I had to replay an entire game week of the game just to avoid not losing any units to this stupidity.
Edited on Sat, Oct 08 2011, 15:02 by ShadowLiberal
Abruzzi at 2010-04-07 07:37 wrote:
Maltz says "...if you learned Resurrection from Mission 1..." The Sylvan Town cant build more than a Mage Guild lvl 2, and there are no shrines giving lvl 5 Spells.
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-06-12 11:07 wrote:
Strategy for Pit fiends/Lords(only with Ressurection):Send only 35 Hunters+1 Emerald Dragon.Cast Ressurection on Hunters and E dragons and slowly kill them.
akaihane at 2008-02-18 14:24 wrote:
I improvised the rush by taking both ore and wood mines first and proceed to kill Alastor outside or inside castle , it wouldn't matter. This can be easily done if you just restart until you get ossir to hire. Give all troops to Findan to clear the ore mine then move Ossir and take all troops from findan to clear the wood mine. Move Ossir back to give all troops back to Findan. Findan then get on the ship. 3rd hero cap the 2 mines. All these done on Day 1. :)
You shouldn't lose any troop for the ore mine with findan , Ossir might have a few blade dancer lost depending on the amount of familars but thats not a big problem.
If your Findan is well built and had all stat booster in mission 1 , Alastor will be very easy. I had 31 total stats on level 12. I lost 2 war dancers 2 blade dancers and 2 pixies all together. I used my ressurrection once on 6 pixies lol. Alastor had 9 succubus , 13 hell hounds , 30+ horned overseers 10+ horned demons, 50+ familars. The key here is to have your 1 pixie block the succubus for just 1 turn so that your hunters can clear out the succubus easily. My hero used imbue decay to clear out the hounds and overseers.

Angelspit at 2007-08-04 00:31 wrote:
What a boring mission once Red is dead...

Phate at 2007-02-20 19:36 wrote:
I was so lucky on this scenario, I kept running into the enemy at his weakest!

casdragon at 2007-02-19 21:17 wrote:
On heroic, You're better off going underground and taking the middle easy inferno town first. You don't need to "hope for the best" with a first week blitz as outlined below. Your Sylvan town should be safe for awhile, provided you don't provide the Inferno troops any unoccupied ships to steal.

Pave at 2007-02-17 10:38 wrote:
Oh now, I've read it here all again and noticed that after killing the red I can built the dragon altar.....thanks goodnes I was really begining to think I'd have to go through this mission again :))

Pave at 2007-02-17 10:35 wrote:
OMFG that's gotta be bad joke. I spent three ours chasing the red, and after that I found out that there are only 14(!!!) dragons on the map. Together with the five I've recieved after finishing off the red I now got 19 dragons and thats all.... I guess I'm pretty fu*ked...
I'm gonna have to start over and hope in better luck next time :((
NickMP at 2007-02-04 12:35 wrote:
BTW, there's also a planetarium in the NW dungeon for another +1 knowledge.
NickMP at 2007-02-04 11:44 wrote:
Like Orfinn I found this one tricky even on Easy! I tried following the guide on Hard but the central town was heavily defended by the time I got there no matter how much I hurried. On Easy, I hurried and still met a superior force in the underworld on my way to the central town. So instead I took it more slowly, and the underworld enemy in due course appeared out of the dungeon on my home island, heading for the first Sylvan town. By that time I'd had extra production saved up, so Findan could pounce on him and then head back through the dungeon for the central town, which still proved hefty but manageable.
sylvanllewelyn at 2006-09-04 04:24 wrote:
I'm playing this mission right now, and I never struggled with a mission this way before. I tried attacking the NE castle as you said in the walkthrough, but the defense was far too formidable, and it only gets worse. The only time I could manage to take out that town was day 7 of week ONE, but then, there's no capital and they only had a citadel and the first six un-upgraded dwellings, with the mines around my Sylvan town unflagged.

I then tried to take the dragon, the inferno creatures, and bee-line my way to either town. Lo and behold: both the middle and the SW town was defended by, only 5 AD's, but 25-ish pit lords. I give up until I feel ready to get raped by demons again.
ironbeard at 2006-08-12 04:26 wrote:
Played this patch 1.2, and after the first battle took Findan on the road east and first purple hero was there and second right behind them, so he took them both out and then a switched his troops back to the fort, but kept the dragons.

I then followed your walkthru. After I freed the two heros I lvled one to 20 and the other to 16 and then sent one back to the main fort to get xp defending it. As soon as he entered, the mission ended, even though he did not have exactly the army called for, his was stronger but only have 9 green dragons, but had 4 emerald. Anyway, mission accomplished.

magerette at 2006-08-12 02:21 wrote:
I played this mission successfully prepatch pretty much the way you've outlined. Since 1.2, as you note, the NE Inferno town has become much more well defended- sev. Arch Devils,12 Nightmares,18 Pit Lords, 115 Horned Demons, 50 or so Succubus Mistresses, etc--I was slaughtered with my 2 weeks worth of troops. I assume the alternate plan is to take out the SW town heroes as you sail that way,capture it, then come back to the middle town? Anyway, the walkthru is still very sound and helpful and your work is greatly appreciated.:)
OOoops-this mission actually worked just fine taking the NE town about the third week--since the second time thru I remembered to Summon Creatures!!! Makes a huge difference. Thanks again!
Edited on Sat, Aug 12 2006, 09:25 by magerette

maltz at 2006-08-10 04:52 wrote:
Just did this mission on patch 1.2 heroic. Patch 1.2 has made the mission slightly harder by making the AIs hiring all units available. I've adjusted the walkthrough content to suggest an alternative attack route.
Edited on Wed, Aug 09 2006, 22:52 by maltz

sm.art at 2006-08-07 07:13 wrote:
Thank's for this help!

maltz at 2006-08-03 13:59 wrote:
They count. In both my runs I only got 3 dragons from the obelisks, and the rest through hiring.
farquit at 2006-08-03 07:23 wrote:
>Actually, in my games I could hire my own dragons after defeating the red player.
I could recruit them but found they didn't count as part of the required 20. Is that right?

maltz at 2006-07-31 12:54 wrote:
> You have to collect them via the obelisks.

Thanks for your encouragement! Actually, in my games I could hire my own dragons after defeating the red player.
farquit at 2006-07-31 06:58 wrote:
Excellent piece of work you have done here. May be worth mentioning that you can't recruit any of the 20 required Emerald dragons from your town. You have to collect them via the obelisks.

stefan.urlus at 2006-07-28 01:29 wrote:
very good work guys, well done

Orfinn at 2006-07-27 14:15 wrote:
Oh thanks so much for this guide, its a hard map even on normal and easy!

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