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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Features → Walkthroughs  → The Ranger - The Vampire Lord

by Maltz

Map 5 - The Vampire Lord
Size - Very Big
Level Cap - 40

Last Updated: October 14, 2006 to patch 1.3.

Welcome to the Night of Ashan, the final showdown with Nicolai the Vampire Lord. This mission is probably one of the most, if not THE most intimidating in the entire campaign story, as Findans around the world are crushed by tens of thousands of skeleton archers without a chance. Indeed, the necromancers continuously gather masses of skeleton archers from the zounds and legions of neutrals surrounding their towns. You can't wait too long... or you can't wait at all.

There are eight towns, all in all, on this map, six above ground and two underground. You control two Sylvan towns at the beginning, starting in the NE corner. Nicolai controls six Necro towns. There is only one entrance to your base, and the Necro towns are rather spread out. For the rest of the map, you should be able to conquer the Necro towns one by one, without having to worry about the safety of your base.

Other than the useful "Summon Creature" spell, another very handy spell here is "Town Portal". Town Portal + two-way portals = very fast fresh troop supply. As your town number grows, you will be able to Town Portal back home (to upgrade troops, complete quests, etc.) from places far away, and come back after only a few days.

Please note that the surface and underground maps are actually overlapped when considering which is the closest town for Summon Creature and Town Portal. Even if you are underground, you might portal to an ground-level town because it is more or less directly above you. To see which is your closes town, you can just cast Summon Creature which will give you the name of the nearest town. In this walkthrough I will mention a few useful Town Portal spots.

Throughout the map you will find a lot of decent artifacts, and two artifact merchants. The Unicorn Horn Bow (negates all ranged units' over-range penalty) is undoubtedly the best. Another artifact that might save the day is Sandro's Cloak, which allows a hero to cast mind-affecting spells (such as Frenzy) on undead units (the hero has to know these spells already, of course). This might be the only way to beat an army that has grown impossibly large - but you can prevent that happening by moving quickly. In addition, a Sandro's Cloak Expert Mass-Confusion (no retaliation, no ranged attack) may be extremely effective against an extremely huge, but still slow undead army.

You can also attempt to dig up the Tear of Asha, which is NOT required to complete this mission. Prior to patch 1.2 there are three obelisks on the map, and more after patch 1.2.

Some people have reported that they have seen a bugged 20K spectral dragons in Nicolai's army. Not sure whether this is fixed in the patch, but it doesn't hurt to have the latest one installed (currently 1.3). Personally I have never seen this bug (used patch 1.1 and 1.3).

In the following walkthrough I will call the towns by an assigned letter: town A, town B... etc. (the pink alphabets on the map). Here is a list of the original town names:

Town A: Nargorad
Town B: Rael
Town C: April-S n
Town D: Shagarakti
Town E: Nabu-shuma
Town F: Eriba-ishkun
Town G: Nabu-shuma (Er... that's same as town E!)
Town H: Abi-libur

The map has two undocumented side quests: Defeat Shadow Dragons, and Dig up the Tear of Asha.

Part 1 - Isolated HQ

You start with town A and B. If your Findan knows the Resurrection spell, you really don't need to pick the green dragon for the bonus as you can pull out every single fight here unharmed anyways.

The town Hall bonus, which is to be built in town B, would cost 5000G if you build it yourself later. Although this is clearly not as economic as the 7500G bonus, you will end up with one more creature building when the second week comes. As you need more creatures than money, the Town Hall bonus seems to be better.

Your home base is a long way away from the evil Necromancers. There is no place for a ship to dock (in fact, no sailing at all in this mission), and the only entrance to your isolated HQ is a garrison north of town A (1). Findan starts with the two heroes he rescued back in mission 3. They both carry the Ranger's ultimate skill, which is very handy in this mission.

The female hero, Dirael, is a Summoning Magic grandmaster. Prior to patch 1.3, if you've given her Expert Light Magic (with Resurrection spell) and possibly Enlightenment, then you've got yourself a perfect solo mine-flagger. Just give her all your treants to soak up the damage, and instruct her to summon an endless supply of fire elements to wear down the neutral creatures, all the while resurrecting your treants. (Note: Patch 1.2 removes the stacking nature of summoned elementals, so every time you summon again, the new stack replaces the original.) If you are playing on patch 1.3, then you can still use Dirael on some easy tasks. Just give her a few sprites (to flee around the map), and let the two dozens of fire elementals to do the job (give them a Mass Haste).

The male hero, Talanar, is a typical might hero. He is best with a huge army. However, your huge army would probably go to Findan. Don't feel bad if you are not going using Talanar at all, because he will be very busy shuttling troops back and forth town A and B. On patch 1.3 Talanar still suffers from poor ATK and DEF, so even with Nature's Luck he is not as devastating as Findan.

Your top priority is to flag the mines, and send Findan, or your best hero, with a good army to conquer Necro towns. Cash all treasure chests as you really need the gold to quickly build up. Your most scarce resources is ore (up to patch 1.2) or wood and crystal (patch 1.3); thankfully there are more mines coming ahead. A neat combat trick here is to split up your hunter stack into two or more. Not only you waste less arrows on smaller stacks, but also you multiply the chance of warding arrows (pushing back the target's action).

The garrison at (1) consists of wights, (regular) vampires and plague zombies. You can conveniently make them all your favorite enemies by building an Avenger Guild in town A on Day 1, Week 2, and beat the garrison on the same day with the new troops from both towns. A lot of players have complained about the difficulty of this mission, mainly because they push out way too late. If you've built a good Findan, you should have no problem to flag all mines during week 1. Unfinished local business can be left to Dirael and Talanar. Resurrection is definitely NOT your only way to pass this garrison early, but it is the most straight-forward. Resurrection will save you numerous hunters in subsequent castle sieges, though.

It is a little tricky to ship troops from town B to town A within a day. You need a mule hero who knows both Summon Creature and Town Portal. Let's have an example:

1) Before a week ends, this mule hero should be somewhere between town A and B, but closer to town B.
2) When Day 1 comes, buy troops from town B.
3) The mule hero cast Summon Creature to gather troops from town B.
4) Move this mule hero towards town A, and cast Town Portal. (Don't leave Findan at the town gate, as that blocks Town Portal for the mule hero.)
5) New creatures arrive at town A!

By the way, there is an obelisk (Magenta O1) in this area, revealing part of the puzzle map for the Tear of Asha. The grail helps a lot in this mission, but it is not required to win. I dug the grail up twice, and they are both located beside the sulfur mine west of town C. More on this later.

If you visit the Hut of Magi just south of town A, you will see six groups of shadow dragons. (Yellow S1-S6) This is another optional side quest. By defeating all six groups of them, you restore light to the world (and your eyes will hurt because they left lamps on!). This enables you to directly defeat the mission boss - Nicolai.

Before rushing out with all you have, you really want to come back to town A and target skeleton archers as your favorite enemy. You will be fighting tens of thousands of them. On my heroic 1.3 run, I battled more than 20,000, maybe 30,000 of them in total. Spectral dragon is another nice victim if you wish to complete the dragon side quest. When you are ready (perhaps get rid off some stackgins blocking the two abandoned mines), enter the two-way portal (T1) which leads you to the SE portion of the map (look for the other T1).

Part 2 - On to the Necro Towns

Findan emerges at (T1) of the SE land mass. Directly north of you is a Seer Tent (2). Findan's visit to the tent triggers a side quest. In short, there are four Dwarven King artifacts in this mission. You have to collect them all, and hand it back to the Seer by Findan himself. (You can collect the artifacts with another hero, but you have to let Findan give them back.)

Being a Vampire Lord, Nicolai always respawns after being defeated on the battlefield. There are two ways to stop his resurrection and win this mission (either way is fine):

(Option A) Collect all four Dwarven King Artifacts (Green D1-D4), put them in Findan's inventory, and visit the Seer Tent. You will receive five phoenixes. Bring them to fight Nicolai, and survive the battle with at least one phoenix alive.

(Option B) Destroy six designated groups of spectral dragons (Yellow S1-S6), which are revealed by the Hut of Magi just south of town A. Then defeat Nicolai.

Either way, you win this mission and thus the campaign.

Now head straight to town C, probably hitting the obelisk (O2) and a sulfur mine along the way. You should be able to reach town C before Week 2 ends. The enemy hero there, Raven, will have a pathetic little force if you rush out this early. On patch 1.3, Raven is scripted to rush to you no matter how good her chance is, making the issue even simpler. If you have trouble winning the Raven battle, you come out too late.

Note: Just NW of the Seer's Tent, you can find a Sylanna's Ancient. There are two of them on this mission.

Sooner or later, you can kill the first group of spectral dragons (Yellow S1) west of the Seer Tent. You can pick up two relic artifacts there. I'd give this job to Dirael prior to patch 1.3. If you are lucky, you can pick up one or two very useful artifacts here already.

On the way to Town C, you will see the "Tear of Asha" Sulfur Pit that I just mentioned. Now if you check your Puzzle Map, you might accidently see your trail show up... You know what to do, right? :D Now who needs the rest of the Obelisks?

After taking town C, immediately march Findan towards the next two-way portal (blue T2) in the north, flagging the long-waited ore pit on the side. On patch 1.3 don't miss out the crystal mine at the river crossing. After entering the portal, you will emerge... err, submerge, in the NW corner of the underworld. The underground portion of this map is large, but relatively simple. When I say simple this time I do mean it is easy! Just note that there are several passages across the underground river that are not quite visible.

Since you are now on the NW portion of the map, you can summon creatures directly from town B. Also, some point in the near future you'll want to swap your army for the upgraded version. (By the way, to save resources, you only need to build the upgrade facility in one of your starting towns.) You can Town Portal Findan back to town B from this spot, and make him come back a few days later through portal T1. Alternatively, instead of going back yourself, you can use your secondary hero to swap Findan's un-upgraded army with some fresh upgraded ones. Then you can send this secondary hero back (with the Portal spell), upgrade the army, and catch up Findan in just a few days. As explained above, you can check where you are going by casting Summon Creatures first, which reveals the destination.

Now go straight south as you want to recover the first Dwarven King artifact (D1), as well as the Unicorn Horn Bow (3). Moreover, there is a stat +2 arena on your east down the road, which is definitely worth a day's travel. There is another two-way portal (T3) on your way down, leading you to the SE area of the underground (T3). Nothing critically important is to be found there, except another stat +2 arena and an artifact merchant nearby. It is going to cost you more than a day, so I would leave it till later.

After taking the Unicorn Horn Bow (3), you have a choice of heading towards town D, which is located on the SW corner, or town E, which is right at the center. Since your exit to the ground level is a two-way portal at the NE corner (T4), you will save a few days by taking town D before town E. You can also defeat a group of shadow dragons (S2) close to town D.

Normally, there are two good Necro heroes roaming underground, but if you get here quickly, they shouldn't pose any threat. They will either try to have a run at your undefended new Necro town (thus you must try to intercept them), or hide in their own castle. After taking town E, it is time to push on and leave the underground.

On patch 1.3, a roaming Necro hero is scripted to attack you when you are in sight, no matter whether he has a chance or not. This Necro hero may already carry more than 3,000 skeleton archers, so if would be safer to start exploring when you are confident. Later on I met another one here some time during Month 3, and she has a whopping 9,700 skeleton archers!

Now go straight east and make a turn north at the end. Take care of another group of shadow dragons (S3) along the way and head for portal (T4). Just before passing this portal, you are actually directly below your Sylvan town A. This is another good place to Summon Creatures!

Note: Don't worry if you haven't had Findan collect all four Dwarven King artifacts by now. You can leave the job to Dirael, or do the alternative quest by defeating three more groups of spectral dragons, which actually saves you some travel time.

Part 3 - Showdown with Nicolai

If you made it this far before Month 3, then you should pat yourself on the back.

The fourth pair of two-way portal (T4) lands you right in the middle of Nicolai's territory. There is town F just north of you, which is usually an easy target if Nicolai is not around. If Nicolai is blocking your way, then you have a choice whether to take him down, or avoid him by taking Town G and H first.

There is also the fourth group of spectral dragons in the east (S4), and the 3rd, final (before patch 1.2) obelisk (O3) somewhere to the West. You will also see an artifact merchant nearby that the rich AI loves to visit. If you have lots of cash, send a secondary hero here to see if there is any good deal.

Now be prepared to see armies having more than 3K skeleton archers following any major Necro hero. However, you should be more than capable to handle them because you haven't lost any single hunter so far due to your mighty Resurrection spell, right? :) If you come here really late, then you will see much more skeleton archers. If your feel completely powerless, and you don't have Dark Magic and Sandro's Cloak, then your last hope is to outgrow Nicolai with your five towns versus their three. Hire undeads to boost your army (such as skeleton archers). Theoretically, you will outgrow these necromancers eventually.

Note: On patch 1.3 heroic, the AIs were smart to pool all of their army into one place. Some time in Month 3, I had to assault a castle with Nicolai and 8,000 skeleton archers plus other huge numbers of undead creatures. The game becomes quite challenging now.

The only trouble here is Nicolai. Before patch 1.3, Nicolai really, really likes to Phantom Force his strongest stack, and that usually means his skeleton archers. Try to kill his skeleton archers as fast as possible, and use a direct damage spell (either from your hero or the druids) to make short work of the clones. If you come here very late, Nicolai might have a huge number of skeleton archers that makes him almost impossible to defeat. However, if you happen to have Dark Magic and collected the Sandro's cloak artifact somewhere, you can really do some nasty tricks (such as Frenzy) to his skeleton archers, and the clone of them, too!

Note: Nicolai never casted Phantom Force on my patch 1.3 game. He casted Puppet Master (which is really nasty on patch 1.3) on my Emerald Dragons! Luckily Findan's Mass Cleanse took care of it. Nicolai also casts Confusion and Circle of Winter.

If you have successfully taken town F, you must decide to take either town G or town H next. The catch here is to avoid facing the little iron man Nicolai as he will respawn to some annoying spots (such as the entrance of town E) with an army about 5 weeks of a fully-built town production. If you have fought Nicolai and he has respawned away already, then feel free to grab both town G and H, and leave Nicolai busy underground. (He'll never walk pass portals that transport between the surface and underground, but he can Town Portal up and down just "by accident".) Town G can be easily accessed by the final pair of two-way portal (T5) NW of town H. Be prepared to fight thousands of skeleton archers again, too. Should be an easy job for you now, right?

With your hard work, Nicolai is finally catching his breath in his last town somewhere. Your rush is done! If you want to finish this mission as soon as possible, then kill off the final 2 groups of spectral dragons (S5 and S6), and then Nicolai. If you want to take your time, then you can bring your secondary hero here, swap an army to take on the defense job, and let Findan visit all the stat bonuses around the map. Findan is going to play a part in the next, final campaign, so it might be worth boosting him. By the way, there is another Sylanna's Ancient on the surface, roughly in the middle of Nicolai's continent. It is located with other stat bonuses. You can level up Findan to 32 in this campaign, possibly the highest level ever reached by a campaign hero!

You can also attempt to kill the insane number of Wights (700+) just south of town C. It guards a Vitality Ring that gives +2 health to all troops. This ring is far less impressive than the Wights.

If you have collected all four Dwarven King artifacts (D1-D4), then you can give them all to Findan, and let him visit the Seer Tent (2). You are going to lose these great artifacts, but you will get 5 phoenixes. If you don't kill all spectral dragons, you can also win this mission by bringing these phoenixes to fight Nicolai, and survive the battle with at least 1 of them.

Town F is located in an interesting spot. First, you can summon troops easily from town A, by entering the portal (T4) down the road. You can also Town Portal back to town F in the NW portion of underground, some distance south of the (T2) portal. This means that you can make a quick round trip back to the Seer Tent:

Day 1 -- Start from town F, head South towards portal T4.
Day 2 -- Enter portal T4. Cast town Portal to return to town A.
Day 3 -- Enter portal T1, run to the Seer Tent.
Day 4 -- Visit the Seer Tent. Cast town Portal to town C.
Day 5 -- Go north towards portal T2.
Day 6 -- Keep going.
Day 7 -- Enter portal T2, go south, and portal back to town F.

Congratulations for winning this long and difficult campaign! Now if you look at your last autosave, you can see an easter egg - a funny typo of somebody's name (still there in Patch 1.1).

By the way, some people like to mix necro troops (usually skeleton archers) in their army. By providing some extra ranged power you will lose 1 point of morale for the Sylvan units (so they get high morale 10% less of the time). If you rush this mission, you probably won't have enough undead units available to make the trade worthwhile, though.

Comments
Bravehome at 2015-06-29 03:10 wrote:
I've seen so many comments that Rez is a must, while I found it more a hindrance/mana sync. A good build I used all Sylvan scenarios on Hard that avoids the need for Resurrection was by following the 3 eLves: Leadership, Luck and Logistics. Along with last option for Findan, Defense, avoided the need to waste 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 (very useful in 2 scenarios), 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. Happy Hunting!
Sunlover at 2014-07-30 22:28 wrote:
Hard 1.6. I didn't know what I was in store for, so I "looped back" twice for more army reinforcements (I came back halfway, Dirael or Talanar came halfway and met me). Surprisingly, I caught Nicolai "napping" with a weak army in Abi-Libur -- behind another guy who had a weak army. Vladimir was about 1/3 day behind me with 4202 skeleton archers, 2001 spectres, 684 vampire lords, 186 archliches, 154 wraiths and 89 spectral dragons. AI was telling me that'd be a "hard" battle.

I made my final assault with 684 sprites, 440 master hunters, 201 druid elders, 127 silver unicorns, 134 ancient treants, 35 emerald dragons and the 5 phoenix - but like I said, Nicolai was super low compared to Vladimir.

My skills were pretty much the standard ones except I got blessed (cursed?) with Destruction instead of Dark (and that around level 24 a few missions back). I had some nice artifacts including Armor of the Forgotten Hero, Crystal Ice Shield, Sword of Might, Lion Crown and 2 good rings helping.

I was not in a hurry since I didn't know what I'd be facing on Hard; finished on month 5, week 3, day 4 -- I know, I know. :p Part of me was just looping around Vladimir in the underground, part of me was collecting stat bonuses. I only explored about 1/3 of the major "dark" continent at the end. Time to try on Heroic next time. :)
Edited on Wed, Jul 30 2014, 18:29 by Sunlover
vil2 at 2014-03-23 10:01 wrote:
On 1.6, I have a graphic problem with this map.
The night has not fallen on Ashan, as it should if I'm correct, so I have a standard light in the world map.
During fights I have a very very very bright screen, and I suppose those two problems are related. i tried to change video settings but it did not solve anything. ANy idea?
Wheeler Dealer at 2013-11-15 00:36 wrote:
Hard 1.6. Pretty easy. It was a bit of a struggle at first but I reached a tipping point about the time Findan reached the western land mass. In my mission there were three Sylvan Ancients and I think just four Obelisks. My grail was near the NW obelisk.

I used instant travel to skip some battles until I was better prepared, like the wights near the first necropolis. Dirael jumped the wights to get the artifact, later Findan came back to kill them to get the experience (over 70,000) to reach Level 31. With the three trees he made Level 34.

Dirael commanded an army of undead but did only a little fighting. I kept thinking I would find a perfect battle for her to win with 200 Vampire Lords, Arcane Armor and Raise Dead but in was never required. Talanar did odd jobs, moving troops, flagging mines and exploring. Having Summon Creature, Instant Travel and Town Portal made him very versatile. I hired Ellaine on day one so for 4 months she chipped in 182 gold pieces a day (that's over 5000) while doing errands and increasing growth when she could.

I had to reload when I hit the first city on the western island. I killed Nicolai and I wasn't done exploring. I eventually had the Phoenixes, killed all the spectral dragons and owned all the cities before I finished off the Vampire Lord on day three of month 5.

I did notice that Talanar started this mission at Level 24 and Dirael at Level 28. I seem to recall observing years ago that if you were given a hero already over the mission cap he would keep that level until he gained some experience at which point he would be adjusted down to the cap for that mission.

It was fun!

cjlee at 2012-04-23 06:43 wrote:
Just played on version 1.60 (completed this a few times before in 2006, 2008, 2010 using earlier patches)

Don't worry folks. On patch 1.60, it is a cakewalk. Thanks to that Dark Energy limitation, necromancers can't raise huge armies now. You'll face a couple thousand skeletons here and there but nothing approaching five figures. You'll be grumbling that you can't level up Findan enough, or that things are too boring.

One thing you should do very early is to take out the zounds (I think 700) of Wights just south of Town C. I don't know why Maltz thinks they're hard to kill, because I made them top priority early in the game and wiped them out in week 3. That was two weeks of production for me, because week 3 was The Plague. My forces weren't even upgraded. They were also not favored enemy. Nope, I never found Unicorn Horn Bow all game. I think it was removed by the programmers after they nerfed the necs using Dark Energy limits.

You know the usual routine: take advantage of Findan's tactics, position treants to cover archers, druids, sprites and war dancers (the original 20 the AI gave me; I hadn't built any upgraded structure). Mass haste, defend, mass divine strength, cast endurance, resurrect, use sprites to distract and do some damage... easy stuff.
[Now, how did Maltz kill 9700 skeleton archers on a level 30 enemy hero, That's Scary.]

Why kill the Wights? Because Sprites are always getting hammered, and you want Sprites to live as long as possible because they're great distraction and also because you want the enemy to target them instead of archers. I had Vitality +2 as a perk, so with 2 more +2 rings that's 16 hit points, making sprites as durable as... zombies!

Thanks to these pretty little floating zombies, my archers were rarely targeted throughout this game!

As for Nicholai, don't attack him! Walk past him as if he's not there! I know he's easy to kill, typically with 1 unit of something or 1 week's worth of neutrals that he picked up somewhere, but that's a trick. If you kill Nicholai, you are so screwed because he will respawn somewhere far, far away from Findan (but always conveniently outside one of your castles). Furthermore, AI will give him a huge free army. This army will never be enough to prove a challenge to Findan, but always be enough to wipe out Dirael or Thalmar (unless you gave them a month's worth of troops at least).

Your Real Mission in this map on 1.60 (without fears of enemy harvesting skeletons), is to level Findan up as much as you can for the final battle with Kha Beleth, which Findan will face with only a tiny army. (In the Final Battle, Zehir is so weak that Findan needs to give him at least half his army). Make sure Findan visits every stat booster. There are a lot of them, and in fulfilling both the Spectral Dragons and the Dwarven Armor quests, you will see them all. (Oh, I did have Silent Stalker which adds to the scouting radius.)

The nec heroes and castles are mere distractions. Kill them whenever you can just to reduce the nec army sizes. Hire all the undead you can to prevent the enemy hiring - you will have tons of money and it is too much of a pain to get more troops when you don't need them anyway. Way to win is: Findan collects the dwarven armor or kills the spectral dragons. Once he has them, he can kill Nicholai. Once Nicholai is dead, you know the tale.

finished as a black dragon. extremely disappointed. Sylvan was way too hard in earlier patches because of unlimited skeleton raising. I remember playing on Normal long ago because Maltz's walkthrough said it was tough, and boy it was tough even on Normal because of legions of skeletons. Once that was nerfed, it was a joke on Heroic.
Edited on Mon, Apr 23 2012, 13:17 by cjlee
xiilus at 2011-10-28 12:12 wrote:
I definitely enjoy playing these early campaigns with the ToE mod, but it can trivialize some things. Although I don't often take Dark magic with Sylvan, I managed to get Vampirism fairly early with Findan. It's very good on most elven troops, yet the most evil choice has to be Sprites. My build had battle frenzy and vitality, and for a large portion of the mission i had 2 rings of vitality and a bloody claw necklace, so my Vampire Sprites had exactly double hp and double damage and absolutely refused to die. If it weren't for the fact that the most serious fights were against the undead, I might have been able to run over the entire map with just tier ones.

For some reason Nicolai "The Vampire Lord" had an army of exactly 1 Vampire Lord. There were multiple Necromancer heroes near him with real armies, and I didn't rush him so he had plenty of opportunity to get troops (I had one more stack of Spectrals to face before I could take him on). When I finally approached him he retreated to a town with a large army. But against all sense of self-preservation, he decided to "visit" the town instead of entering the garrison. I've experienced many anti-climaxes in this game before, but watching Nicolai's solitary Vampire Lord troop die to to a storm of arrows before I even took a proper turn was breathtaking.

For anyone else using the ToE mod, note that the Unicorn Horn bow is not necessarily the best weapon to use. To be sure, master hunters with the bow will do more damage over time than arcane archers (which do not benefit from it as they already have no penalty to range). However, the initiative advantage of the Arcane Archers is generally very useful, and with two towns and a hunter dwelling, arcane archers will tend to destroy stacks just fine. I eventually got the Staff of the Netherworld, after which my entire army could run circles around any enemy, as opposed to the bow which only improves shooters. If I had found the Treeborn Quiver, I might have felt differently, but alas I did not.
tionitis at 2009-12-19 23:56 wrote:
it suks i was playing the mission beat nicolai twice i checked how many troops he had 72 spectral dragons next day he had 700+ next day 2000+ and the day after that he had 5000+ they are growing out of the ground!
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-10-21 20:38 wrote:
Statistics on week 4,month 5:50 emerald dragons,141 ancient treants,159 unicons,334 druid elders,639 master hunters,450 wardancers,554 sprites,attack 30,defense 28,knowledge 31,spellpower 22,morale 1,luck 5;attack,light magic and logistics:basic perks,Luck elven luck+magic resistance,enlightement-scholar+know your enemy,Pendant of Mastery,Blessed Sandals,Unicorn Horn Bow,Ring of Vitality+Ring of Celerity,Dwarven king Shield,Armor of the Forgotten Hero and Necromancer's Helm+all light spells except Word Of Light,level 32.He has 10 attack,11 defense,22 spellpower,16 knowledge,5 morale and luck,10047 skellie archers,1547 specters,530(!!!!!) Archlichs,176 (!!!!!) Specter Dragons,330 Wraiths,560 Vampire Lords and 334 Griffins(joiners).How could they get so strong??(I have 1 Sylvan city empowered with Asha and underground under my control).
Edit:finally finished this mission after 6 months(ran bout 1 month to take all stat boosts@3 trees).I fought him from inside a Necro castle and one thing that really impressed me was:50 emeralds killed 190 Wraiths and 650 MH killed 600 Archlichs! Only in 1 turn!

After that Nicolai,no matter how many times I fought him,he didn't manage to kill me.I had bout 1000 mana,so I summoned 35 Emerald Dragons and 7-weeks of 2 cities,of which one had Tear of Asha,production.With 350 Master Hunters,150+ Ancient Treant and 35 emmie babies,no Nicolai could kill me.
Edited on Fri, Oct 23 2009, 05:39 by VAMPSVSZOUNDS
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-10-21 20:04 wrote:
I suggest you don't play this on 1.3.I went to the underground with 250 MH,130 D Elders,25 Emmy Dragons,60 Ancient treants,about 90 unicorns and about 200-250 sprites and wardancers.I found the grail,had Unicorn bow,Dwarven shield,Blessed Sandals,Armor of the Forgotten Hero,2*Ring of Vitality,Necromancer's Helm,Endless Sack,26 ATK,27 DEF,21 SPP,450 Mana,Luck+elven Luck,Logistics and Ligth +all basic perks,Enlightement with Scholar@Know your Enemy,Attack+all basic perks.Teal fights me with an army of 12000 skel archers,150 raiders,500 specters,25 specter dragons and about 150 vamp lords.I had only 25 MH killed,because I sent unicorns to take the Skellheat.Buuuuuuuuuuuut.......they also have Vlad-13k skel archers,125 Wraiths,175 Archlich,200 vamplords,500 specters and 900 zombies.Now that I don't have fodder anymore,I have no chance.What's going on??????
Findagain at 2009-09-17 01:26 wrote:
Argh, just had the most boring game on this map ever, on heroic. I'm going thru all the campaigns again, about 18 months since my first pass. Findan got to level 30 on the previous map, with def, logistics, luck on the nature's luck path, light magic with wrath/windstorm/fire resistance, and attack with tactics and archery. I prepped for a month, then popped over and got level 31 (stand your ground) from the tree and got some more troops, then went for the first necro town.

Raven attacks me and casts mass confusion, and this battle was actually tough, but with lots of resurrection I beat him and went on to the first town. That turned out to be the toughest fight of the map. I got the ring of speed and some other artifacts from him.

I figured I'd collect all the dwarven artifacts and keep them, kill all the spectrals to bring back the daylight, find the grail, and kill Nicolai. I just didn't feel like attacking and holding the other necro towns. So I did all this, and basically never saw Nicolai till near the end, though I did defeat Lucretia and Vladimir easily, both of whom cast nothing but Curse of the Netherworld (?!?). Finally see Nicolai running to the top necro town. I dunno what was up, but the final battle was ridiculously easy - the biggest stack Nicolai was 1100 plague zombies. I had brought the entire elf army: 650 MH, ~200 elder druids, ~100 ancient treants, 50 some emeralds, 1.4k sprites and 750 dancers. Findan had leveled up once from combat and with three trees was at level 34.

I'm tempted to load up the last save and just sit there in front of the gate by the northern town for a year or so and see if the other heroes bring some troops to Nicolai.

Quite a diff from my first attempt on this map where I took like 18 months and Nicolai had a (likely bug-induced) 36,000 spectral dragons (!!!) - which I easily defeated using newly hired Vladimir (who was really tough in that first runthru) with Sandro's cloak who puppetmastered the 36k spectrals whereupon Nicolai instantly retreated and the game was over.
kaptcatb at 2009-08-24 11:54 wrote:
You need :expert luck \ attack \ defence \ light magic \ + ~ 300+ hunters / 100 druids .
Unicorn Bow
Armor of forgotten hero
Ring of speed

--month 4 - hunters 450 / druids 120 / sprites 800 / treants ~ 100 / unicorns 90 / emeralds 50
in last battle i lost only my sprites and half unicorn \ emeralds .
Nicolai sux ..... blade dancers too
sprites - hunters - druids - unicorns ( they sux too , i use only for magic aura ) , ancient treants and emeralds . Sprites/hunters/treants - awesome units
with resurection i have no losed unit till battle with Nicolai .... that sux
Edited on Mon, Aug 24 2009, 08:14 by kaptcatb

Peredhil at 2009-08-01 08:43 wrote:
On topic.Very nice map,nonetheless.Sandro's Cloak didn't appear in 30 tries,but I bought it in Artifact Merchant in month 3.Just for fun,though.(where is 40k dragon bug when you need it...)
Some things in 1.6 heroic
*the fourth obelisk is in SW of NW island

*Tear of Asha in SW corner near sawmill

*Findan can reach level 36(Exp Enlightenment,look for Turban and Scale Mail too)-just kill Nicolai about a dozen times until you reach 33 and 3 trees.

*use Talanar as squire-better mana to summon troops,logistics and great range of sight

Grail Quest at 2009-07-27 02:56 wrote:
Zehir's ultimate comes way too late. On the way, you can get a lot of mileage out of developing other magic to Expert. Plus, having everything at Expert doesn't mean you can cast it all at once. You're still limited by your Initiative, and specializing in a couple of magic skills is generally enough.
Even with ToE, a lot of the ultimates could have their requirements halved. The Warlock one, for example -- utterly useless unless you have a supporting town.

Peredhil at 2009-07-26 19:00 wrote:
Indeed.However, imho, most of the time a custom build is way better than the ultimate path,although I gave Agrael Urgash's Call and he rocks.For knights and warlocks -really not worth it, Findan requires mod,Markal and Zehir- decent ultimates.But in campaign Markal did a lot better customized.I'll see for Zehir soon on Heroic.
I guess luck is involved more in what you get from witch huts.The fan manual (kindly posted here too :) ),explain very well how assigning new skill/abilities works,and most of the time you can get the desired build even without "console prophecy".
But I've slipped slightly off topic.

Grail Quest at 2009-07-26 17:51 wrote:
Oops. You're right. I forgot I was using a mod. I didn't want to play more than the campaign and I wanted to play the class specials.
It's irritating that you get the specials often in the very late game. I didn't manage to get Zehir any Arcane Omni, for example, not even during the final mission. :-(

Peredhil at 2009-07-26 08:46 wrote:
Heroic is funny,you'll get very good buddy with "save" and "load " twin brothers;however it's a nice challenge for tactical and strategical abilities,as well as for imagination and patience.Require a lot of time for the game when available,though...

"He can't use his specail, but the Elf ultimate skill does work with non-sylvan units, so it's 225% damage on every creature attack. It won't even be month 3 and you will effectively dominate the map."

Somehow I'm pretty sure that Findan can't get Nature's Luck in a legit way in Ranger campaign, due to Tactics ;)
Edited on Sun, Jul 26 2009, 04:47 by Peredhil

Grail Quest at 2009-07-11 01:21 wrote:
Oops -- turns out Nicolai didn't attack the garrison hero because he wasn't standing outside at the time. Nicolai ressurrects right outside a town, so if there's anyone standing there, it's automatic combat. Gawd, that makes this mission tedious.

Grail Quest at 2009-07-11 00:47 wrote:
An incredibly tedious but easy map on NORMAL, IF you rush.
The Key is Raven's necropolis--It starts nearly fully built up. I rushed and built only archers and some druids in the Sylvan town, took the garrison, and then went through the portal. She appeared at the edge of Findan's vision. If you're lucky, she appears outside and you can crush her then take the town with fewer losses than trying to tough out a siege.
With her town captured, you've jumpstarted troop production with a full town without having blown too many resources on your Sylvan towns.
Continue to flag only mines with Findan and rush down. Leave either Dirael or Talanar to use their Raise Dead and necro troops to clear the rest of the SE isle (except maybe the huge cerberi stack. and 600 wights), then they can ferry troops down.

Underground, rush Findan to capture the necro towns, which for some reason are really pathetic. Build them up quickly so that in a couple of weeks you have full unit growth.
If Findan has 3-4 weeks of necropolis units, he'll be overkill and nothing topside this early in the game can stand against him. He can't use his specail, but the Elf ultimate skill does work with non-sylvan units, so it's 225% damage on every creature attack. It won't even be month 3 and you will effectively dominate the map.
Take all towns then turtle and mass troops in the towns, maybe 1-2 weeks of growth against Nicolai respawns. He won't try to take a town that has a full week of creature growth in the garrison. He'll be running around without a town, and not much of a threat.

At this point, because Findan can clear the large dragon stacks, it's probably easier to bring daylight than to get the phoenixes, although you will want to go back and get the level up from the Sylanna's Ancient.

Or, if you're impatient like me and hate doing tedious things, just cheat your way to victory since it's assured.
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-06-14 12:21 wrote:
I have won the mission,finally.Vlad had much more than I saw at him in the tavern:100+ specter dragons,170 wraiths,200+ archlichs,300+vamp lords,+450 Spectres,zounds of Zombies and 7k skellies.I had 34 emerald dragons,80+ancient treants,100+ unicorns,150 elder druids,350 Mhunters,and swarm of wardancers and sprites.I killed the skellies with my master hunters,druids and cast Deflect missile.Then I cast once Cleanse(mass),and then only light spells.Vlad opened with Banshee Howl,then he cast like mad P-force on Specter dragons/Wraiths.While my wardancers and sprites/unicorns soaked up damage while killing clones,my treants covered Mh and druids who won the battle for me.Finally-no Mh dead,no druid dead,more than half of the treants alive.
Lucretia only had 300+ lords and 1-2 weeks of growth,easy win as I had also 40+archlichs and 40+lords summoned from underground.And if u have luck you can hire one lev 29 necro to gather similar numbers of skels,then rush out with both Findy and necrohero and kill everybody.PS:1-Nick never had any significant army,the last Nick I faced had 40+ skellies and 30+ plague zombies;2-Findan before Vlad(with arties) +30 atack and defense,25+ knowledge,20+ spellpower,4 luck,1 mrale,Expert luck+elven luck,resourcefullness,expert atk+tactics,archery,exp light +master of everything,expert avenger+perks,exp logistics+silent stalker,pathfinder I think and scouting,expert enlightenment+arcane intelligence,inteligence and another perk I can't remember,patch 1.0 hard,lev31 and every light spell except Word of light and teleport.
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-06-13 19:59 wrote:
This is my second run on Hard and the mission is not that hard as I felt with an inferior Findan on Normal.I now have 5 towns,a Findan lev 31 and lots of mass light spells(I did not feel as taking Dark magic as Sandro's Cloak ins not bound to appear).I have more than 300 MH,over 125 Druids(old),100 unicorns,70+ ancient treants and 25+emeralds.The enemy(I dont know why but they use Vladimir as main hero) has 6k skellyes,700 plague zombies,400 specters,300 lords,125 archlichs,70 wraiths.Another hero Lucretia has swarm of lords and other troops like horde of specter dragons.My favorite enemies are skells,lichs and vamps(upgraded) with a 70% chance to deal that 100% boost.I have Resurection which saved me in an underground M2 fight against 1,5 k skellies from 100-hunter death.How many chances do I have?
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-06-12 16:38 wrote:
Ressurection=very useful.With it and Divine Power +2 Treants,6 Unicorns,9 bladers,15 wardancers,28 Mh,35 Pixie and around 20 Sprite=no loss at garrison with 650 plague zombies,80 vamps/40 wights.Only Day 6 week 1 month 1.Week 2 day 2 month 1-first Necro,only lost 7 Mh against garrison,Raven fled in Quick Combat and I lost nothing to her.

Blake at 2008-12-30 09:28 wrote:
wow.. that's a weird problem.. are you sure Nicoli is dead?? the scenario ended the moment I killed him despite that fact I hadn't taken all of his cities.

Do you still get a 'teal player moves' when you click end of turn.. if you do then he's still out there somewhere.. if you don't then restart the mission cause there's now way you can end it without cheating..

I just finished the mission with 1.6.. I put 9 months into it so it took a while lol but it was fun.. killed Nicoli a few times before I decided to kill all of the black dragons and get the phoenixes to finish him off for good.. I was enjoying all the experience he was giving me lol!!!
RiccElijah at 2008-09-09 16:00 wrote:
help Help help..

after months of playing I'm badly stuck..

I'm on day 1, week 1, month 9 with EVERYTHING cleaned up.. no spectral Dragons, no 700+ Wights, no enemy's heroes, no enemy's towns to conquer, and worst of all.. no Nicolai..
I killed him sooner in the game, I conquered all of Necro's towns and later I cleaned up the dragons expecting him to appear somewhere..
what should I do now?? :ill: :ill:
jack2859 at 2008-09-03 23:21 wrote:
I am playing the game on a laptop wih Vista. I defeated Nick, the trailer played, The resurrection of Nicolai was stored, the close screen displayed,
I clicked on close and the program stops working. Tried both vesion 5 and 6.
any help will be appeciated.
csolski at 2008-08-09 01:42 wrote:
HELP!! I have the Resurrection spell, but it doesn't show in my spellbook, it only works when the battle is set to automatic. What gives??? Anyone know??

ThunderTitan at 2008-02-20 10:42 wrote:
Yeah, rushing seems to work on most maps for H5... i guess it's because they didn't bother giving too many troops to the AI at startup as all those free moneyz and co. are enough to ensure they get strong fast.
akaihane at 2008-02-20 09:52 wrote:
I finished this map on 1.5 heroic in month 2 week 1. The key here is rush like all heroic maps when odds seems impossible unless you have certain skill/spell. My findan was a regular build without the fancy dark magic. I don't like to follow the walkthrough but the map in the walkthrough was perfect for planning the perfect route to take for rushing.
I clear every single creep behind the garrison on week 1. Do the summon/TP trick as said in this walkthrough on week 2 day 1.
Clear the garrison , check the seer tent , take out the necro town C and head to T2.
Go south and clear the D1 , take the unicorn bow at 3(not sure if this was even needed but i went to take it nonetheless) , clear D2. Take out town E and and clear D3 and D4. Ignore town D and head straight up until you can TP to your town A. I did all these with 0 loses because of 3 emerald dragons and ressurection. I only had emerald dragons , druids and master hunters.
Upgrade your druids and buy everything , set favourite enemy and head out to seer tent.
Now head straight for T4 and find nicolai. You can choose to take the necro towns or not , it don't matter really.
Anibus at 2007-11-27 14:41 wrote:
I belive that i have a big problem, Nicolai has 41436 spectral dragons.
I owns all castles and i have bilded tears of asha. Last time i tried to down load any patches the game crached(it was for an other misson(had to play all missons again)), im playing version 1.(europe version). Does any one know what i shall do? Maybe i download wrong patches, i dont know. PLEASAE HELP ME
sanctuary79 at 2007-10-28 09:07 wrote:
I,ve killed this Nicolai 1000 times, but I didn't finish the game.What's the point?

Peredhil at 2007-10-03 16:19 wrote:
With all three Ancients still available, I completed the mission at level 35.
where are those 3 useful trees?the second on Nicolai's continent(mentioned in walkthrough) is unreachable (dunno why,just the lil' horse won't show,regarding the camera's angle) and the third I can't find it ... could anyone put some information about this?
(1.0 version)

arturchix at 2007-05-19 20:25 wrote:
I just replayed this campaign with version 1.5 - some things have been tweaked i.e. Nicolai's power in the last map. He no longer receives the enormous boosts and doesn't run like mad toward the player when on sight. Maybe I was playing just too agressive but I owned the necros in every possible way, dominating the map. I even liked that Nicolai was owerpowered before - at least I had some challenge.

Great campaign. :)

casdragon at 2007-02-19 21:46 wrote:
i find that if you have a lot of treants, teleporting them next to the legions of skeleton archers makes your life a lot easier.
nononesense at 2006-12-20 18:58 wrote:
Great walk-through, maltz. Thanks. The map included here does not show any magenta (such as seer tent) or numbers you cite such as the important Unicorn Bow (where exactly is this? what does the number "3" mean with the unicorn bow?). D1 or D2, the Dwarven artifacts, likewise do not show up on the map. Is it possible to win this scenario with Dark Magic but w/out Sandro's Cloak? I'm working with 1.3, if that makes any diff.

Queen Hera at 2006-11-22 08:15 wrote:
Great walkthrough & extremely helpful - thankyou. I left Nicolai till last which made it easier, but after reading the walkthrough I'm going to restore the game & increase Findans stats since he's in the next campaign. I didn't use Sandros cloak, does it really make a big difference when fighting the undead? Thanks again

Silver Paladin at 2006-11-12 17:47 wrote:
I am playing patch 1.3 normal... I chose enlightenment in the previous mission (C4M4), reaching advanced pretty early on. It let me hit level 29, barely, without using the Sylvanna's ancient. I then backtracked and visited the Ancient right before the end. This put me at a low level 30 entering this mission (C4M5). By only using Findan for battles, and fighting Nicolai a dozen times or so, I went from level 30 to level 32 during this mission, saving the Ancient's until last. With all three Ancients still available, I completed the mission at level 35. (The final Ancient gave me over 7 mil. XP for free... As for my stats 15,179,101 experience points total, next level req's 32,960,630, primary stats 34 A, 32 D, 20 S, 30 K, 0 M, 5 L, 450 mana, with nothing equipped.)

Sir_Toejam at 2006-10-16 23:16 wrote:
just as an additional voice, i too have seen the AI use summon creature on several maps I have played.

It beat me on one map doing just that, in fact.

thought i had my hometown well protected...

oops.
Lucy Curtis at 2006-10-16 23:08 wrote:
NO I can't see the trail appear. However I have played other campaigns in Hom V and the trail has never appeared in those either. What does happen however is that when you are close a subtext comes up saying you should look south west etc. It definitely is the place shown on the walk through though as I took a print out of that before playing.

maltz at 2006-10-16 21:48 wrote:
Can you see your trail showing up in puzzle map? If not then you are probably having a different location. As I mentioned in the walkthrough, I got the tear twice, and both were beside the Sulfur Pit. I was playing on patch 1.1 and 1.3. I can't say whether it will be always there, though. Like in C1m5 and C4M2, I've seen actually TWO locations of the Tear in both cases.
Lucy Curtis at 2006-10-16 20:58 wrote:
Has the Tears of Asha been moved since patch 1.3? I followed the directions on the walkthrough to where the Tea should be (I didn't visit all obelisks given the information, just two) however after countless attempts at digging where it was supposed to be and getting nowwhere, I gave up.

maltz at 2006-10-14 06:37 wrote:
Thanks for the inputs. I've updated the walkthrough to patch 1.3 heroic.

It is pretty obvious to me that the AI is much better on 1.3. They pool huge armies together to create some uber army quite early. But I already know where the tear is from my last run. *grin*
Crosis at 2006-10-07 01:54 wrote:
maltz: I think the AI does use Summon Creature. In a game I played through, Nicolai was holed up in one of the towns with a sizable army (25 shadow dragons, 2500 skeleton archers, and everything in between), and then all of a sudden he had nothing (but not suddenly enough for me to be able to get there) and another hero near me had his army grow from 12 shadow dragons to 37 and 1.4k skeleton archers to 3.9k. And this was on easy, so I'm sure the AI is capable of doing it on harder levels.

maltz at 2006-10-06 23:10 wrote:
> I beat Nicolai to almost death and he fled

I never heard Nicolai would flee, but perhaps that will give you a problem. Hopefully you have a save file somewhere before he flees, and try not to let him flee this time. :)
Edited on Fri, Oct 06 2006, 17:10 by maltz
fhaaland at 2006-10-06 22:39 wrote:
I have a problem! I beat Nicolai to almost death and he fled. But now everyonoe is dead (an dhave been for quite a while (the tile color does not have a "turn"). But still no Nicolai. How am I supposed to be able to finish this mission then? I have all the resources on the map (IŠve not dug up the tear yet and have 2 dwellings of dragoons left, but those were sidequests...) I have the latest patch too. anyone encountered this problem?

maltz at 2006-10-04 22:38 wrote:
Very interesting. You mentioned that Raven traveled in small steps; that sounds like a human player using Summon Creature for the turn. Can it be that the AI is smart enough to ship 1300 skeletons in a town where Raven has the access to summon? And plus the AI might be able to cheat on heroic, using no mana to summon creature... dunno :D
Tennmuerti at 2006-10-04 11:40 wrote:
The number grows by itself thats what boggled me, the situation was as follows: Raven goes to get some phat loot on the side i sneek out the portal since i can't defeat her yet, run past and get the Castle; Raven starts heading back for the castle to get me, however she seems to do it in small steps, (not fighting anyone at this point so no way for her nubres to increase). I checked back on my saves and rolled the entire thing by me day by day watching her come to take back the castle. On a certain day she has 1.6k archers, i focus the camera on her during computers turn, after ravens mooves, she has 2.9k archers, no fighting no nothing, just like that a jump from 1.6 to 2.9 in one day.
Maybe my mission is bugged i dunno, on lower setting it s a piece of cake, but nothing i can do against 1.6k archers so early in the game, and after that huge boost i got no chance even with reinfocements.

Yes she does get a couple hundred skellis at most from diff stacks defeated, thats not the proble, however that one huge jump in numbers is a seperate thing.

maltz at 2006-10-03 21:43 wrote:
Does the number of skeleton archers grow all by themselves? Or they grow because Raven defeated some large nuetral stacks? If that is so then you might need to rush to kill these neutrals that's on Raven's way. (Like stopping a forest fire by burning the outskirt trees).
Tennmuerti at 2006-10-03 14:06 wrote:
Is it just me or has 1.3 made this mission a bit insane on heroic?
I came out wearly 2nd week and there was Raven waiting near the portal with 1.2k skellies and some other rubble. So I've read ppls coments here and decided to mess around on her turf and wait for a week to get nuff troops to make a stand, captured her town while she was away and flaged some mines...
Now my I'm about to attack her with my new army, and just before doing so i check Ravens troops again, now she has 2.9k skellies o.O, that was 1 week later after coming out of the portal. (she has also goten 25 nightmares somewhere :/)
I have resurection on Finni, but im sorry 2.9k skellies at the start of week 3 is still 2.9k. I dont see how its possible to beat that without Sandro's cloack and dark magic, unless you keep running all the time.
I checked back, and sure enough her skellies grow in number, one day it went from 1.6k to 2.9k.
I dont think slow and steady gonna cut it here.
Have fun with that one :)
Edited on Tue, Oct 03 2006, 08:06 by Tennmuerti
P1x44r at 2006-09-26 20:21 wrote:
Thanks for your quick response!
I'm playing with patch 1.1. Haven't had any issues with it, so far so good.
I do NOT have the Resurrection spell and your walkthrough seems to mention it several times. I'm going to try to go without it, but my problem here is that my master hunters deplete as I get closer to Nicolai. Town sieges are a big problem currently, I feel that I lose too many of them. Anything I need to change in my general strategy radically to succeed without Resurrection?

When you say I don't need War Dancers, do you mean that I don't even need their basic form - Blade Dancers? I realize I could probably easily build these later in the game but I would like to concentrate on my early strategy for now.

So, to sum up what you said, I should invest in creature growth buildings, hunters+master hunters, druids and treants my first week. Since I will not be buying treants right away, the core of my army when I move out early week 2 should be master hunters and druids I assume.

Finally, I didn't mention that for the rest of eleven campaign I heavily relied on Silver Unicorns. Should I bother building those early in the game or not?

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

maltz at 2006-09-26 16:58 wrote:
>P1x44r: Which patch are you playing with? Patch 1.3 increased the wood requirement quite much. Generally speaking, you can leave out all upgrade buildings till later except master hunter (for warding arrow). Once you have enough master hunters the neutrals shouldn't be able to touch you. If you are playing pre-patch 1.3, master hunter + resurrection = perfect battle sieges as well.

Later on, you can simply town portal back to upgrade your existing army in one go.

War dancers are less "pro-active" so you probably don't need them (at all). Druid will eat up your ore so you definitely can't build them in both towns. Get some treants growing in the background so when you want to buy them, they are ready for you. Also, try to get the fortress upgrades ASAP to boost the creature count.
P1x44r at 2006-09-26 16:27 wrote:
First of all, thank you maltz for this great walkthrough. Unfortunately I'm having a few problems with building of my army. Can you perhaps prioritize creature buildings that I should build during week one? Also, how important is it to upgrade your creatures before moving out early in week 2? Should I invest in more base units or upgrade the ones I already have?

Thanks much.

maltz at 2006-09-18 21:58 wrote:
Now that patch 1.3 is out... I guess this IS the version for the final update of the walkthrough?... I will see if I can gather myself to replay the campaigns and update the walkthroughs. :)
psirek at 2006-09-14 23:39 wrote:
used this walkthrough on heroic, patch 1.2, did it less than 3 months (took some time getting the stats modifiers). The hardest part was week 1, then it just got easy afterwards. Nicolai had a very small army (60 dragons, some thousands archers etc.) which i could kill without breaking, but he dropped his army in the garrison in his last city and just stood waiting with 300 zombies and 2 emerald dragons... VERY short fight :)
psirek at 2006-09-14 23:37 wrote:
used this walkthrough on heroic, patch 1.2, did it less than 3 months (took some time getting the stats modifiers). The hardest part was week 1, then it just got easy afterwards. Nicolai had a very small army (60 dragons, some thousands archers etc.) which i could kill without breaking a sweat, but he dropped his army in the garrison in his last city and just stood waiting with 300 zombies and 2 emerald dragons... VERY short fight :)
Edited on Thu, Sep 14 2006, 17:39 by psirek
Fudashi at 2006-09-12 02:08 wrote:
Jjust finished this level today on patch 1.2 hard, and it turned out to be quite the paper tiger. The most difficult battle was with Raven in week 2, which I actually may not have won were it not for Sandro's cloak which I liberated from the S1 spectral dragons. Rushing through the portal in the beginning of week 2 is not a foolproof tactic by any stretch of the imagination. But with my Findan sporting Dark and Light magic, I managed to defeat raven and using puppet master on her last remaining stack to stall for time and taking advantage of my vast mana reserves (230 or so) I managed to get out with most of my pathetic week 2 forces intact.

The underground was a joke, I came across Orson and another necro hero wandering outside their towns, each had 1k or so skeleton archers and not much else. The towns were essentially undefended, D didn't even have any towers, and this was late in the 1st month (I believe I captured E sometime in the second month).

When I went through T4 it was the 1st or second week of the third month, and resistance was once again non-existent. F was defended by a level 1 Lazslo with neglibile forces (~100 skeleton archers + a few zombies and spectres), and I ran into Nadir who was similiarly outfitted. Nicolai was cowering in town H with a fairly substantial force consisting of 2k sketelon archers, 25 or so dragons, 40 wraiths, around 100 vampires and over 100 liches, but by this time I had over 100 druids, 350 hunters, nearly 100 unicorns and a stack of treants that was essentially invulnerable (ie. 70 or so). I had also collected all the artifacts in the underground, so I sacked H and that was that.

I actually feel a bit disapointed, this page in particular had me worried, and I ended up steamrolling this map through with no problems. In retrospect the most difficult mission of this campaign was definately M2 (a bit embarrassed to say it, but after I ran across a massive army in the center inferno town which then mobilized and killed Findan while he was trapped at the south west island, I ended up turning down the difficulty to normal and restarting), and with that one exception I had very little trouble with this entire campaign and I by no means consider myself a skillful player.

While I find maltz writes very informative and thorough walkthroughs, the advice lent on what forces you can expect and where can be highly inacurrate, which I suspect is due to randomness of the game rather than any oversight on maltz's part. I think it would be helpful for players who are struggling if the walkthroughs for M2 and M5 were reviewed, as the suggested paths through the maps (essentially rushing through at breakneck speed) may lead to brick walls.

maltz at 2006-09-11 22:46 wrote:
Sorry, I haven't updated this mission's walkthrough to patch 1.2 yet. I am quite certain that they have made it harder on 1.2 heroic, but I've also heard people beating it. So can you!
shep61 at 2006-09-09 04:09 wrote:
Giirov, thanks for the advice. I did finally win the battle against Raven. I had to wait for week 4 to have enough treants and unicorns to absorb some of the damage. I had thought Raven would continue to out-grow me, but her army was not much bigger than what I saw in weeks 2 and 3. Thanks again. By the way, I like your slow and steady approach. I use it all the time and it's more fun than rushing, in my opinion.

Giirov at 2006-09-08 18:57 wrote:
@shep61: I don't remember much about the battle with Raven. As I said, I took my time, so it was probably late in the second week that I went through the teleporter. Seeing Raven and finding her rather daunting, I travelled a bit westwards, killing some neutrals (meaning that she couldn't harvest them as Skeleton Archers) and collecting some much-needed treasures. Raven pursued me, I fled via Town Portal, upgraded my troops, collected all recruits I could afford, traveled back through the teleporter and attacked Raven, whom I vanquished without much trouble.

As for the battle itself, I don't know what hints I can give you beyond the obvious. As the Skeleton Archers seem to be the main problem, make sure they are set as your favourite enemies, and play around with the units you take into the battle (splitting stacks or leaving unimportant ones out of the battle), trying to get your Master Hunters to get their turn before the Skeleton Archers. Of course, much will depend on how strong your Findan is and what skills he possesses. If you wish, send me (giirov at bluemail.ch) a savegame, preferably of your second try, so that I can take a closer look at your chances.
shep61 at 2006-09-08 00:44 wrote:
Maltz, sorry, I hadn't read your comments below before I wrote mine. I note that you tried this with patch 1.2 and had the same experience that I did. Did you quit or did you find a way to get through it? Any advice?

Giirov, it looks like you got through this mission with 1.2, but you didn't mention how you got past Raven in the beginning. Any advice?
Edited on Thu, Sep 07 2006, 18:49 by shep61
shep61 at 2006-09-07 15:40 wrote:
I must be missing something. I follow the walkthrough exactly and go through the portal to the SE section on day 1, week 2. I'm immediately attacked by Raven (level 29 hero) with a massive army of 1K skel archers, 20 dragons, 50 liches, etc. Moreover, Raven's first move is to Phantom Force the archers, who then immediately get a turn. So, I get hit by two stacks of 1K archers each, before I get a single turn. I lose two complete stacks before the battle even begins!

So, I tried again and waited until week 2, with a larger army. Now Raven had 2K skel archers! Same result!

I'm on hard with patch 1.2. What am I missing?
wayne at 2006-09-07 08:48 wrote:
When I first played this stage on normal difficulty, Nicolai passed his stack of Spectral Dragons (100+) to Lucretia (I think) and although I won the battle, I suffered major losses. This occured in the middle of month 6. Nicolai amassed 20+ Spectral Dragons (he had only 2 towns) in the next day or two. I confronted him after a week or so after he did who knows what in the fog of war and my eyes nearly popped out when the tag below his Spectral Dragons read 2k! Not 21, 22, or 29, but 2k! Is this a bug?

Thankfully I learnt from earlier stages to regularly save my game...

Giirov at 2006-09-04 10:39 wrote:
Well, this map contained some fun battles. I played on heroic with patch 1.2, and as always I used a slow approach - killing all neutrals, flagging all mines, visiting all structures and collecting all treasures in an area before moving to the next one. So I faced some rather large armies of Skeleton Archers - Raven with about 1800 in the SE area, a necromancer with about 4500 in a siege battle in the underground and Nicolai and another necromancer both with about 8800 on the large western continent.

But by that time, I already had more than 350 Master Hunters und more than 120 Druid Elders in my army, so winning the battles wasn't a challenge - the challenge was winning it without any losses. Here's how I did it in the last two battles:

- I only employed my Master Hunters and Druid Elders because the AI likes to change its target, making it nearly impossible to resurrect every creature if you have more than two stacks.
- Because of Findan's special, the Skeleton Archers were reduced to about half their number before the start of the battle, making them no imminent threat. Archliches were even less of a concern, since they mostly cast Weakness on my Master Hunters (which didn't really reduce their effectiveness).
- With Mass Haste, I was able to kill all melee units before they could reach my shooters. In Nicolai's case, this included some Phantom Forced Specters - Master Hunters are great for this, because out of their two shots one will usually hit.
- Nicolai once cast Frenzy on my Master Hunters, but I was able to cast Cleansing on them before they could do any damage, which would have ruined everything. So there was a bit of luck involved - with a different order of initiative, things might have turned out not so well.
- Then I killed the Archliches and the Ballista with my Master Hunters and reduced the Skeleton Archers to a reasonable number (about five hundred) with my Druid Elders.
- By that time, both my units were at about half their original strength, so now it came to a lot of waiting and resurrecting. I was able to resurrect more creatures per round than the enemy hero and the skeletons together could kill, so I was making slow but steady progress. Of course, it needed a lot of Mana. In the battle against Nicolai, I only had about 125 points left, but I managed to just scrape by (didn't even need my Druid Elders' Mana Feed).
- The Ballista continued to whittle away the Skeleton Archers. In one battle I had to destroy it with my Druid Elders' Stone Spikes before it would kill the stack completely.
- A bit of foreplanning: Destroying the Ammo Cart about eight turns before my units were projected to get at full strength made the tricky business at the end easier, because the AI could then only target one of my stacks per turn. But it is important to get the timing right - if the Skeleton Archers run out of ammo too early, they will charge your units, kill some and die, ending the battle.
- Now it was just a matter of getting the order of initiative right and hoping that the enemy hero would attack the right (i. e. not fully resurrected) stack. Resurrect the last creatures, kill the remaining skeletons -> 200'000 experience points and no losses.

Of course, the real fun was killing the 900 Wights with 172 Sprites, 106 War Dancers and 111 Master Hunters (again without losses, naturally) ... I could only do it because half of them were Wraiths who stupidly Harm Touched my War Dancers instead of killing them outright.

Darrow at 2006-09-02 23:35 wrote:
Maltz:

You should consider playing this mission on version 1.2. On Month 1, Week 2, Day 5 Raven ambushed me with 1000+ Skeleton Archers, 12 Liches, 6 Wights, 6 Bone Dragons, 32 Vampires and 33 Spectres. Raven was level 31, 3 Attack, 14 Defense, 15 Spell Power and 40 Mana. Her Mass Confusion spell took my 67 Master Hunters out of action completely and it was lights out. Casting the Magical Immunity spell on the Hunters only prolonged the agony. My 2 weeks' production of Sylvan creatures could not protect the Hunters long enough to take out the Bone Dragons and Skeleton Archers. I did leave the Treants with Dirael. Perhaps with another week's creature production and the Treants I could survive this encounter and even Resurrect a fair part of my losses.

maltz at 2006-08-21 16:53 wrote:
Did you kill ALL 6 groups of shadow dragons? You will get a cutscene and the light would be restored to the world (at least in this portion).
roguetrt at 2006-08-19 20:18 wrote:
About ready to chuck this game cd out the window! Attacked Nicolai only to have him reappear, which was annoying so I read the faqs and foudn out if I killed the shadows dragons around, he would not reappear, he did anyway! Tried everything and still could not actually kill him. Decided I would try and kill him like 5 times and see if that did it. I took all the towns on the board and almost every generator. I was shuffling all the undead to my main hero and takign the elf people to a necro town and turning them into undead. I figured, Nicolai woudl be easy, after all, last time I looked at him, he had like 80 dragons, 5k skeletons and various amount of other stuff. I have almost 300 dragons, 6k skelleis, 2-3 k zombies and ghosts, 400 or so liches, no problem. I go to attack Nicolai and low and behold, somehow he has almost 700 dragons! I hate it, the game is spawning him dragngs and monsters when he is running around and has no resources. What a load of bull! I am goign to follow the walk through exactly and give it one more shot and if that doens't work, I think I may have a Heros 5 Frisbee going out the window!

Corleth at 2006-08-19 17:12 wrote:
There are 3 level-up sylvana trees on this map, can use to go from level 30 to 33. The first is left of the quest hut, the second left of the artifact merchant below middle necro town and the third left of the path that crosses the water to Nicolai town.
farquit at 2006-08-16 01:47 wrote:
I couldn't find the Unicorn Horn Bow so had to go without. My first encounter with Nicholai was not until I entered the portal at T4 (planning on raiding the remaining 3 towns starting with F) and he was up there waiting for me. The first spell he cast in the battle was Banshee Howl which I have never really understood but Findan was left with no mana so I coudn't resurrect any of my casualties. Nicholai fled the fight once he had made a real mess of my army and left me with hardly anything. He disappeared into town F so I loaded up a demon hero with a necro army from town C and brought them over to have a go at him and possibly reduce his army while Findan regrouped. Nicholai's spell of choice was Phantom Force on his dragons again and again and he annihalated my demon hero. However, by the time Findan got to F to fight him a couple of days later, Nicholai had obviously not replenished his mana and his spells were weak. Findan cast Mass Haste and it was all over with the odd resurrection here and there. Took me ages but it was a lot of fun!!

jmgarth at 2006-08-15 04:31 wrote:
I just completed this map on the 1.2 patch and have 2 observations.

1) There is now a 4th obelisk, located south and west of T5 near town G.
2) After obtaining the phoenixes, the game slowed down tremendously for a number of turns. I timed a couple of the turns and found the teal player turn was taking up to 6 minutes (my machine is not state of the art, but is not that shabby either). After suffering through a half dozen turns or so, the turns started speeding up, and after a few more were back to normal.

BTW, thanks for the great walkthroughs!
Edited on Tue, Aug 15 2006, 18:57 by jmgarth
loran16 at 2006-08-12 06:28 wrote:
(Continued from above-posted by accident)-

WIthout the skellie archers from the first time you fight nicolai, its no difficulty to defeat nicolai despite his 6-7 weeks of Necro armies in a castle. Had i had to take Vlad, i wouldve died, but nicolai was abreeze.
loran16 at 2006-08-12 06:26 wrote:
I just finished this mission (Version 1.0..was afraid to update till ranger campaign was over due to hearing about certain bugs), and found a little interesting things.

First i took on raven not so early, since i didnt get res until this level (Mission 3 got word of light TWICE!). In fact i had to build up to level 5 twice as the first town's guild had word of light AGAIN!

Anyhow, Raven had around 1300 Skel Archers, a good complement of wights (20) and bone dragons (14 i think) as well as a large amount of other troops.

I had 8 Green Dragons, and the rest of my forces were not too large. After losing a large amount of time, i managed to win with heavy casualties (my only survivors were the archers, druids, and 7 treants). The trick to me was Mass Haste, Mass Righteous Might (Which with skel archers as favored enemies, more than doubled my skellie killing output allowing me to kill 250-350 skel archers per shot). The treants went str8 up into the skel archers' faces and held them off till they were destroyed by the archers.

The liches proved a problem, but for me at least Raven seemed focused on her weakness spell being cast on my archers. So when my unicorns allowed me to resist the mass weakness with the archers and druids, the liches tried casting weakness themselves. By casting divine might (Mass), i was able to keep the liches from being a problem.

Finally, after dealing with the 2 underground heroes with great difficulty (Unicorn bow helped with the 2nd one), i took the bottom town,
Fortunately, my opponent's heroes had captured Sandro's cloak, and my hero had expert Dark Magic (findan finally got it after not taking a 6th skill till C5M4). With the large amount of artifacts in my possession and frenzy and puppet master, my army was strong.

Then I had to return to my sylvan town for reinforcements as vlad came down stairs. When i got back down stairs, vlad had returned through T4, I took the center town then entered T4 where Vlad was nearby. I ran from Vlad and ran right into nicolai. Thanks to frenzy i beat him on the 2nd try. He then respawned right outside Town C. i TPed to get away from Vlad (Whose army was soo huge i couldnt defeat it with spells and creatures at all,) and managed to collect all 4 dwarven artifacts, and then go upstairs to the seers tent for the pheonixs. With my strong force it was no problem to take Town C with nicolai in the garrison, as his force of 6 weeks of necro stuff was no match for my archers. Without

Sir_Toejam at 2006-08-12 03:54 wrote:
uh, I just confirmed the issue with little nicky respawning at town C. attacked him at the surface town nearest the two way portal from the underground, the nearest other town had a hero already occuping it. he immediately respawned at town c with a two months supply of high level troops.

Edit: He will spawn IN town C, regardless of whether or not the town is already occupied by a hero of your own.

yeah, you guessed it, instant combat ensues.

even more ridiculous.

at this point, I can't figure out any way to stop the turn hang that's reasonable. I'm going on record as saying patch 1.2 causes more harm than good for this particular mission, essentially making it unplayable under certain circumstances.

first gamestopping bug I've run into. Not terrible, but not so great either.

/edit

ridiculous.

I discovered this while i was trying to get rid of another bug: two days after i hit the surface from the underground, teal's turn hangs 2/3 of the way through.

has anybody managed to make it through this mission with 1.2 installed?

gees.

edit2:

Ok, If i cheat and move to the farthest SW town and take that one, the teal turn completes normally. everything else i tried failed to stop the hang on teal's turn, so something is up with that town/hero in the SW area, or else it's just that one of the towns needs to be clear for that turn for some reason. if you get a turn hang, try attacking the nearest town WITHOUT nicky in it, and see if that helps.


_Toejam
Edited on Fri, Aug 11 2006, 23:10 by Sir_Toejam

Sir_Toejam at 2006-08-11 23:14 wrote:
Ok, just for fun I was exploring underground with dirael, loaded with archliches (about 45), 8 ghost drags, 20 wraiths, 25 vamp lords, and a few dozen spectres and skellie archers. On this day, i had just finished some battles, and so mana was only at 60. She had sandro's cloak and a horseshoe for artifacts.

Lo and behold, i was ambushed by one of those HUGE skellie archer armies the AI has floating about. 2K+ archers, 9 spectral drags, 250 plague zombies, 85 spectres, 4 shadow dragons and 4 earth elementals (?). their hero was level 29, and almost all points had gone to defense, apparently (skellies had 24 defense).

I saved the battle right at the tactics stage, as I figured it would be a fun one... and it was. took 3 tries and i managed to crawl away with 10 archliches and 5 vamp lords left. No possible way she could have won that without sandro's cloak and high level dark magic.

I'm keeping that particular save in my archives, but it brought up another thought: I'm sure everybody here has had some great single battles. maybe we should upload a few with a brief description attached (like what skills and artifacts your hero has, what the approximate size and composition of the enemy army is, etc.). for those who just want to play a single fun battle, and try out some different tactics.

If you dl Gryphon's combat screen mod, you can save your own battles during tactics or combat, and anybody can load them with or without the mod.
Edited on Fri, Aug 11 2006, 17:14 by Sir_Toejam
Gorgarr at 2006-08-11 22:49 wrote:
Are you sure Nicolai could spawn from one of your cities???? This sounds incredibly weird to me...so weird that I thought directly it'sa a bug, and felt comfortable with cheating to come to the end of this infernal scenario...

I'm not sure of the time in which that happened... but it was not early in the game
Gorgarr at 2006-08-11 22:40 wrote:
Are you sure Nicolai could spawn from one of your cities???? This sounds incredibly weird to me...so weird that I thought directly it'sa a bug, and felt comfortable with cheating to come to the end of this infernal scenario...

I'm not sure of the time in which that happened... but it was not early in the game. Yep, maybe a Town Portal took him there in an absolutely casual manner...He casted it in a certain point on the surface...the underground city was free of heroes...and here it is! I think anyway he wasn't supposed to do so...or else, it should be really difficult to protect yourself from his raids...and I'm playing with easy difficulty!

That's it...in this scenario, because of one of these things, something got wrong...oh, please, let me believe it...or I won't calm down my internal super-ego for having to cheat...:-P
Edited on Fri, Aug 11 2006, 16:47 by Gorgarr

maltz at 2006-08-11 18:45 wrote:
> I was roaming the underground in search of the dwarven artifacts, when suddendly...here is Nicolai!!
> Nicolai coming out...from the town in C

Wow I never knew the Town FGH AI heroes could travel underground. Thanks for the news. May I ask when (Day & Week) did you spot him? Could it be that Nicolai casted Town Portal in some funny places that boots him directly underground?

Yes, Nicolai is designed to do this kind of naughty thing. If you look at the bright side, you can take other towns which Nicolai is not defending, and that usually means better-built Necro towns.
Edited on Fri, Aug 11 2006, 12:46 by maltz
Gorgarr at 2006-08-11 18:05 wrote:
Hi there, people...I have something to ask about this scenario, and I cannot find any better place to do it :-) here is what happened to me...I love to play unspoiled, so i tried the scenario before reading this guide. I was roaming the underground in search of the dwarven artifacts, when suddendly...here is Nicolai!! I didn't try to escape from him, because my Findan was bulked up enough to defeat him...I succeeded, even if it costed me a lot...and I had the video where Nicolai comes back to life. For now, that's regular...but you can imagine my surprise when I saw Nicolai coming out...from the town in C...that was mine!!! I conquered it a lot of time before...OK, the town was unguarded, but I think Nicolai shuoldn't be able to do this!!

What about it? I searched across a lot of guides, but no one talks about something like this. I think that's a bad bug to encounter, because Nicolai gets a new town, you lose one...and more on, the town he gets is dangerously near to your home land! This could leave you completely hopeless...

Sir_Toejam at 2006-08-11 18:01 wrote:
[quote]~100 Spectral dragons that you have to kill.[/quote]

doh! I just found out there is on hard difficulty too. let's see, where is that previous save...

maltz at 2006-08-11 13:44 wrote:
Thanks for your info. In my 2 runs on this mission (both patch 1.1 heroic) I saw Nature's luck on Dirael. I will verify this later in my game (probably not very soon, though).

And yes, giving Findan some updated favorite enemy list is a very good idea. If you are playing on heroic there is a stack of ~100 Spectral dragons that you have to kill.

Sir_Toejam at 2006-08-11 11:02 wrote:
from the walkthrough:
[quote]They both carry the Ranger's ultimate skill, which is very handy in this mission.
[/quote]

actually, this must have changed with the latest patch; only Talanar has the nature's luck ability. Both do have a free skill slot though. i gave talanar light magic, which worked out quite well.

dirael is built entirely as a pure spellcaster. i recommend adding dark magic, curse of mind/pain, and that cursed ground ability (does decent damage to walkers for no spell points). Give her sandros cloak once you find it. Moreover, I gave all the unicorns to her (I prefer the treants to be in findan's army, as they can hold back attackers from the primary offense generated by ranged units). I suddenly realized after i took over the first necro town that... she would do better with liches than unicorns. Bye-bye horsie! I roasted all the unis for dinner (mmmm, tasty!) and turned the bones into liches. she is now sporting the entirely undead army, and doing quite well on her own. I expect with both elf towns turning out unis ever week, and the necro towns i take over turning out liches, she will have a very nice little army in a month or two.

BTW, if you want to spare your hunters, bring along a decent sized stack of sprites. During Castle sieges, the AI always seems to target them first and foremost, especially those irritating arrow towers. Other than that, sprites are pretty much dead weight in a siege of an undead castle. I'd guess the reason the AI targets them is because of the no-retaliation ability, and they fly. so just set them to defend, put them in front of a stack of hunters, and resurrect them just before you win the siege battle. So far, the AI hasn't touched my hunters as long as the sprites were standing.

Question:

Is it worth it to portal back to the original elf town to change your favored enemy once you hit the underground area? Seems it would be worth spending the extra few days getting back to set a favorite to spectral drags?

maltz at 2006-08-08 21:11 wrote:
If you can win the mission without Sandro's cloak, you are already too good to use this artifact! Don't feel sorry about that one precious skill slot for dark magic. In the next campaign you might use Findan to crush the sometimes formidable Izzy (like 200 angels), who you've developed into a super woman.
Edited on Tue, Aug 08 2006, 15:23 by maltz
GatorG at 2006-08-07 11:23 wrote:
I've played this map on 1.2 and I would suggest rushing the middle necro town as soon as possible (when possible). Once I knocked that town out, I wasn't bothered underground. In addition, I was able to avoid Vlad while I cleared the spectral dragons (I had instant travel too, which helped getting to one of the spectral dragons in less time). Note - the Necros didn't go underground. G (-:

edit - Sandro's cloak didn't show up in my game. :(
Edited on Mon, Aug 07 2006, 05:24 by GatorG

maltz at 2006-08-01 16:42 wrote:
Sorry I deleted my saves already, but here is some info that may be useful (about Sandro's cloak).

There are always 2 relic-class artifacts guarded by the first group of Spectral Dragons (S1 on the map). I once restarted the game about 30 times just to see what is being offered (with the OpenCircleFog cheat). Actually I've seen all kinds of relic artifacts there. Sandro's cloak is one of them, appearing about 1/5 of the time. There are other relic artifact locations on the map. So even if the cloak does not appear at S1, it might spawn elsewhere. If the cloak spawns close to an AI town, or the 2nd merchant close to town F, then the AI hero will probably get/buy it before you.

However, I don't really feel the need to go for Dark as the AIs aren't that threatening, if you make it out fast enough.
metalic at 2006-08-01 16:33 wrote:
I still suspect that Sandro's Cloak is garanteed to appear in A.M. it will not refresh away as time goes, and A.I. is most likely to find it.

I read another tutorial written by Darkrain.cn, he mentioned that Sandro's Cloak can be found in the hand of the first necro hero of the first necro town.. -_- ... I didn't find it tho.

It would be even better if you could kindly post the puzzel map, so we can build the grail at the start... j/k

P.S. Great tutorial, appreciated.

Psychobabble at 2006-08-01 04:00 wrote:
A big round of applause for Maltz, it's a great job he's done on these walkthroughs!

And artifact merchants definately refresh, I think it's every two weeks or maybe when you buy some of their stock and a new week comes up.

maltz at 2006-08-01 03:23 wrote:
> 2. Sandro's Cloak can be bought in artifact merchant.
You may be able to find it on the map (for example, guarded by the first group of spectral dragons, as in one of my two runs). I've seen the artifact merchant carry it, but that was another mission :-p. It seems that the merchants refresh their items from time to time, though.
Edited on Mon, Jul 31 2006, 21:37 by maltz

stefan.urlus at 2006-08-01 02:07 wrote:
yeah, i beat nicolai early and then completed the requied items, so when i met him later he was not nearly so dangerous as some people have found him to be, it cost me some of my early troops, but was worth it in the end
metalic at 2006-08-01 00:45 wrote:
Few things I need to clarify are:

1. Holy Grail is always around the sulfur mine near your Sylvan Towns.

2. Sandro's Cloak can be bought in artifact merchant.

LordErtz at 2006-07-31 21:03 wrote:
Thanks for the tips. I beat it in just over 3 months.

BTW, Nicolai has the pendant of master ;)

maltz at 2006-07-31 18:53 wrote:
A big thank to Psychobabble who allowed me to steal his copyright, and helped me to proofread every single paragraph of the above missions. :-)

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