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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Features → Walkthroughs  → Hammers of Fate → Freyda's Dilemma → Choices

by maltz

Freyda's Dilemma: Rebels | Suspicion | Duncan | Negotiations | Choices

Mission 5 - Choices


Map Size: Large
Carry Over: Freyda, Duncan
Level Cap: 29
Difficulty Index: 3/5

Primary Objectives:
  • Liberate Duncan
  • Seize the port town and set sail for Talonguard
  • Freyda must survive
  • Duncan must survive
Last Updated:
February 11, 2007, Patch v2.1

The new Haven campaign finale is quite a standard build-up-and-conquer scenario, but there are a few interesting twists in it. Let's start by picking the 2 Champions. There are hundreds and thousands of gold involved this mission, so the cash bonuses do not make a real difference.

The Town Portal and Summon Creature spells save you a lot of time in this mission.

Escaping from the snowy territory of the Dwarves, Freyda starts in the NW corner (1). The Paladins featured in the cutscene will join you. There is a random, low-quality artifact just south of Freyda. On your way to it, though, you receive an ambush warning. The ambush consists of elementals. I got Air Elementals here.

Go east a bit and you can see an Abandoned mine (Crystal Cavern) to your NW. Flag it or not - you should soon take the lightly-defended Dwarf town (A) and start the cash flow. Take the stairway at (2) to wave goodbye to the snow!

You are now in the underground passage (2'). Follow the path south, and you will see the exit (3'). However, to your NE there hides a gold mine, which is quite worth the extra days of travel, since you probably won't come back here for a while.

The exit (3') takes you to the ground level (3). As soon as you emerge, a Teal hero attacks you, but his army is laughably weak. There is a Teal town (B) just south from here. You can either take it now or rescue Duncan (4) first. There is a medium-sized garrison holding Duncan. If you have a well-built Freyda by now, you should be able to break it with Freyda's starting army.

As soon as you rescue Duncan, all Teal towns (B, C and D), buildings, and heroes will convert to your blue flag. Therefore, you should ignore the various mines surrounding Town B and rescue Duncan as soon as possible.

Duncan: *Cough* Okay, okay, I will come out! Don't need to release that tear-gas!!

Duncan joins at level 23. His skill choices are quite standard (and slightly boring) for a Might hero. I would have swapped Defense for something much more aggressive (and thus useful in a campaign), such as Luck or Dark Magic. Logistics is good for a supprting hero, but there are plenty in the Tavern.

Note Duncan knows almost no spells at first and he does not have the mighty Master of Wrath. Make that a priority for subsequent level-ups.

Since Duncan is still weak, you probably don't want to split any army to him at first. It will be nice to level Duncan a bit before the mission ends, though, as both Freyda and Duncan will show up in future missions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to level both Freyda and Duncan to the level caps here, due to the relatively small stack sizes for a mission finale. Where is our friendly Sylanna's Ancient level-up tree?

Now all the Teal buildings and heroes are yours. There are a few things you should pay attention to:

  • Build structures for Cavaliers and Griffins, which are all you need to dominate the map. You only need one upgrade center, thanks to Caravens.

  • Build better castle walls to increase unit production.

  • Flag as many gold mines as you see, and hire all the Peasants (using Caravan) every week. Hire Ellaine if she is available (double tax from Peasants). It is possible to have 2000+ peasants under her by the third month.

  • Go to the Tavern (in any town) and see if you can hire high-level Haven heroes you just defeated. In my game I was able to hire two level-20s heroes, who became a huge help in logistics.

Watch out for the red hero Andreas. He is usually roaming around in the former Teal territory. AI heroes love to chase your army-less hero around, so you can use them as the bait. Take out Andreas as fast as you can, so you can freely explore the map to flag mines and pick up stat boosts.

Andreas' starting army is not very powerful (but Andreas and his killer Ballista are tough), so you should gather everything you have, and defeat him before he goes back to a Red town and replenishes his army.

Your next goal is to take out one of the two remaining Red towns (E) as soon as you can. If you have sent Andreas packing already, Town E should be guarded by a very low-level Renegade hero, Lorenzo. You will be surprised how he bites dust without a scream, even though his army overpowers you 5 to 1!

The Red AI should have built up Town E very well, so you can immediately learn the precious Summon Creature and the Town Portal spells. Your traveling efficiency has just doubled!

This Town E is also the only town in this mission that allows you to hire Angels. There are two Haven Angel buildings around Town B, so you can hire quite a powerful Angel army by the end. You can find a Hill Fort at (5), which allows you to upgrade Angels to Archangels. Great!

After owning all five towns, you can take your time building up and exploring, since the Red AI is again dormant and will never come out from the garrison door. There are a lot of stat boosts (R) on the map, netting a total of 16 points! (Just for your information, the current single-mission record of stat boosts is still held by C5M4 in the original HoMM5, 21 points.)

When you feel powerful enough, venture down the stairway just south of the Hill Fort (5). The Succubi Mistresses at (5') yield quite a few resources. The Archdevil further inside the cave guards a two-way portal (6), which leads to a small, isolated floating land mass (6'). You can pick up a nice artifact there, but nothing else.

North of Town E is a stairway (7) that leads to another small underground area (7'). You can find a Green Keymaster Tent (Green K) nearby. If you go north from there, you can pick up an interesting artifact. In my game there is a Markal's Skull (yack) glowing and floating around! It is not really useful for a Might hero, though.

The Green Key is part of the Key trio required to unlock a HUGE Treasure Hall underground. You can find the Red Keymaster Tent SE of Town B (red K). The Blue Keymaster Tent (Blue K) is just NE of the stairway 7, in the middle of the river.

After collecting all three Keys, go downstairs through 3 (where you came from at the beginning) and unlock the Red Gate (red G) to the east and subsequently the other two gates (green G and blue G).

The treasure hall is a spectacular eye candy, but does not really contain anything wonderful inside. The chests are not any larger than the regular ones (not like those huge chests in C5M4 of the original game). The tiled floor somehow consumes a lot of movement points as well.

Behind the Blue Gate you can find a two-way portal (8'), which takes you to a small, isolated island at the SE corner on the surface. A pack of Fire Dragons would like to join you!

When you are done with exploring, gather all the troops from your towns, upgrade them properly, and march towards the Port town (yellow P). You need to pass a garrison, which is more powerful than anything you have seen in this campaign. It consists of:

  • 25 Fallen Angels
  • 50 Champions
  • 75 Zealots
  • 160 Battle Griffins
  • 250 Vindicators
  • 400 Crossbowmen
The number does not grow, so you can eventually outgrow them. In my game, I spent about 6 weeks just to visit all the stat boosts, so I ended up with a huge army that ran over the garrison unscratched even from Quick Combat results. You can take out both garrisons to gather more experience points. Sweet!

After facing the huge garrison, you would probably expect some serious campaign finale battle. However, the defending army in the Port Town is extremely disappointing. Somehow the AI stops building at tier-three, even when they get Andreas back. Hopefully, this will get fixed in a subsequent patch.

After taking the Port town, build a Shipyard, and purchase a ship. You are not done yet - there is one last battle. As soon as you board the ship, the mission boss Irina spawns, sails forth and attacks you. Irina is a powerfully-built Haven hero at level 24, almost as good as my never-miss-a-stat-bonus Freyda. I would happily trade Duncan for Irina on any day! Irina leads an army that is about half as powerful as the garrison(s) you just defeated.

However, if you have spent time visiting the stat bonuses, your army should be able to sink Irina's ship in 6 moves (1 move = 1 stack down). Just for an example, the Imperial Griffins' initiative is improved from 15 to 25 under Freyda's (Lv 29) Mass Haste. Factoring in the frequent high morale, that's more than 3 actions per hero's turn!

Winning the battle brings you the final cutscene, which justifies Duncan's jail time. Congratulations for finishing this interesting and not-very-difficult Haven campaign. Next, we will move into the new race of the expansion, the Dwarves.

Deeply irritated by Duncan the dirty-minded, Freyda is about to burst again! See the distortion of space-time?

Freyda's Dilemma: Rebels | Suspicion | Duncan | Negotiations | Choices
Comments
Serghey at 2014-01-23 08:16 wrote:
As for the "not so dormant" :) AI, I think I know why they respawn, and in maltz's walkthrough they don't. After your first fight on the surface, with the teal hero that attacks you, you get Shackles of the Last Man. Unfortunately, the minor artifact offered to me at the beginning was the tarot deck which goes exactly where the shackles should be, so probably that's why they reappear, until you manage to take their last castle. I'll try it again with them on to see what happens!
Serghey at 2014-01-23 07:54 wrote:
I replayed this mission after a long time (actually started all campaigns from the original homm 5 and got here) on hard. Taking on the garrison that keeps Duncan trapped is a challenge with the initial troops (on hard you get 4 paladins, 6 inquisitors, 45 marksmen 90 conscripts and after 12 squires joined me in the underground i had 27) without dark magic spells, which i didn't get, because i like to build a classic knight (i had resurrect however + mass haste/deflect missile/endurance). It was not an easy fight, but if you time your light magic spells right, you can win with virtually no losses, even though the stacks are very large (70 zealots are quit tough, but on their firs move they cast blind on you all the time, which actually gives you time block them). Also be careful and don't rush your troops forward, they will get butchered fast, be patient and try to focus on the angels first (given that your first spell was mass deflect missile). After you win, everything becomes fairly easy.
SteelPanther at 2013-07-04 13:35 wrote:
argh, red is constantly rehiring andreas - every time I kill him he's back again a couple of turns later. Not a lot of troops but annoying to have to keep watching for him.

ShadowLiberal at 2011-11-01 23:43 wrote:
I think Duncan's skills are somewhat random like others have suggested. Duncan had the following on patch 2.1 for HOF when I rescued him.

-Expert Attack (Tactics, Retribution, Archery)
-Expert Leadership
-Advanced Logistics
-Expert Light Magic (Master of Blessings, Guardian Angel, Refined Mana)
-Advanced Defense (Evasion)

Also unlike what the guide said I was unable to take out Duncan's guards early on. I didn't have enough firepower in my own army to kill off the blinded and puppet mastered foes before the spells wore off and I ran out of mana. A few game months later after siezing two of Teal's towns I returned and freed Duncan without causalities thanks to resurrect and puppet master.
Mirez at 2011-04-03 09:45 wrote:
I really doubt that mod has anything to do with it (you do mean you play the HoF campaign on ToTe right?) I think he just starts with a certain amount of exp and he will get skills randomly
as for me he had attack, defense, leadership, logistics and luck.
xiilus at 2011-04-02 23:33 wrote:
I'm playing the mod that allows for ToE features in the HoF campaign, and everything seemed fairly standard until I freed Duncan. His build is quite untraditional, so I had to check here to see if Duncan always had this odd build. For reference, he has:

Ex. Counterstrike - Expert Trainer, Benediction
Ex. Attack - Tactics, Battle Frenzy, Retribution
Ex. Logistics
Ex. Luck - Resourcefulness, Spoils of War
Ex. Leadership
Av. Summoning Magic - Master of Life

It's not a bad build, but the summoning magic is surprising. Freyda has Scholar, but of course I did not take summoning with her. I'm not sure if he will always have this build or if this mod causes preset heroes to have their skills scrambled.

cjlee at 2010-06-21 19:32 wrote:
My Freyda didn't have any level 5 spells or dark magic, so no way to take on that nasty garrison guarding Duncan. Freyda was forced to kill off the enemy one by one. This map became a nasty slog.

Thanks to the gold mines everywhere, eventually I built an army that trampled both garrisons and Irina. But since I spent so much time, I got lazy on this map and didn't upgrade Duncan at all. Only bothered to visit one town for him to get Resurrection and Town Portal. Other skills don't matter for future maps; he's a useless bum.
VAMPSVSZOUNDS at 2009-06-23 06:52 wrote:
Duncan has in patch 2.0 luck not defense AND master of wrath.And the garrison on hard isn't that tough if you have Pm/Mass Confusion+strong Freyda build.Pm the zealots to hammer poor crossbowmen,hammer fallen angels with marksmen/archers,then kill vindicators withangels and everithing else,and put zealots to sleep with Pm,regular hero attacks(my freyda kills 3 zealots per hit) and remaining troops.If you have enough knowledge you can spam a Ressurection and as a last resort I had the Guard angel.
CatherineMcClarey at 2008-12-31 03:28 wrote:
I dealt with the garrison guarding Duncan without either Puppet Master or Frenzy; just have Freya cast Mass Haste (her specialty) on her first round, and Resurrection as needed each round after that.
My problem is that "Energizer bunny" Andreas! Freyda's Mass Haste and Resurrection spells (and the 2-shot Ballista skill she has in my build) help her army survive long enough against Andreas to defeat him -- so, of course, Andreas tries to chase around poor hardly-any-spells Duncan around instead. I wish there was a way to just rush those 2 Red Haven towns, so I could finally settle down to exploring the map (my favorite part of a mission, usually).
Update: I ended up reloading from just after I left the underground and capturing the nearby Teal town. Flagged mines and whatnot in the neighborhood until Andreas showed up anyway; defeated him outside once; chased him to Chillbury when he showed up again -- and captured Chillbury; then finally liberated Duncan (and got a more built-up Teal area throwing in with my side as well). Once Red was confined to the area behind the 2 garrisons, it was relatively easy to keep them contained for the rest of the scenario.
Edited on Thu, Jan 01 2009, 21:30 by CatherineMcClarey

KiOwA at 2008-08-28 14:49 wrote:
That's true... so in the end I just took the Teal town B, turtled up and built a big enough army to take the other towns manually.

Angelspit at 2008-08-27 17:11 wrote:
Restarting a campaign for a better spell selection = boring.

KiOwA at 2008-08-27 15:41 wrote:
I'm on this mission too, even on hard mode the garrison guarding Duncan is simply too much to bear without Puppet Master or Frenzy. I really should have gotten those 2 spells earlier in the campaign:(
alojzy77 at 2008-05-23 18:47 wrote:
My problem is that (playing on Heroic) the garrison guarding Duncan is too hard to beat. I manage to kill off everything but last stack of 100 inquisitors. I think I would have a hard time winning even if this was the only stack opposing me. Is it possible to beat the garrison stright away (with no dark magic) or maybe my strategy/Frieda build is inferior? Maybe the quantities of troops in garrison changed since the walktrough was written?

ThunderTitan at 2008-02-28 15:30 wrote:
Why is this mission called "The Choice" in my game?

Arkali at 2007-10-07 22:12 wrote:
Wonderful walkthrough, Maltz, as per usual :-)

However - I'm playing on easy level and red is *so* not dormant, it's not even funny. He's constantly harassing my rear lines, re-flagging mines, etc. And both red heroes, Andreas and Lorenzo keep coming back - the very next turn. I've killed them both at least twice, and each time they come back they have more and stronger troops.
Edited on Mon, Oct 08 2007, 21:01 by Arkali

Pave at 2007-03-17 15:33 wrote:
EDIT:
Hmmm...It wasn't over after all...After having all the towns (except for the port one) and killing Andreas the red wasn't dormant at all....he kept attacking me and even Andreas kept reappearing. Each time I killed him he disappeared for about a week and then he came back stronger than before. His army gradually grew. At the begining he had zealots as the top units...When he returned for the third time he had fallen angels with him...
After taking the last castle (and killing Andreas for the sixth time) I found the castle completely built including the Altar of light...
So I guess maltz that you just got (un?)lucky when your red was dormant and didn't build up his castle...
Edited on Sat, Mar 17 2007, 10:56 by Pave

Pave at 2007-03-17 14:54 wrote:
OK, I just got extremely lucky I guess...In one turn I freed Duncan, eliminated Andreas and captured the E town :))
After breaking through the garrison and freeing duncan (total loss of 3 griffins due to my stupidity) I saw Andreas standing just in front of the huge garisson protecting the port town. So I attacked and killed him (although just barely...the balista, the angel appearing at the end and ressurecting his hundreds of enforcers and above all the lack of mana which I spent fighting the garrison proved to be major problem). And when I finished with him I noticed that one of my new heroes (23lvl) is standing right next to alomst undefended E town (lots of archers, horde of peasants etc.....simply very easy kill). So this mission was almost over even before it began...
Btw. Great job, maltz, creating this and all the other walkhroughs...I really enjoy reading it after finishing each mission
Edited on Sat, Mar 17 2007, 08:16 by Pave

maltz at 2007-03-01 15:40 wrote:
I guess it depends on how soon you take Town E (the other red town). After you take town E I don't think Andreas will come back. Even the Renegade port town hires him before you do (you probably can't hire Renedate heroes from your own Tavern ?), they are confined in their little quarter.
relvap at 2007-03-01 10:04 wrote:
i have a Q
i saw andreas roam around even before i freed duncon, and killed him.
should i expect a revisit from him anyway?

thou i should probably find out by playing

maltz at 2007-02-21 15:34 wrote:
That's great to hear. I thought the merchant usually sell different stuff. If I remember right there is a EXP +20% (helmet) artifact as welll. In my game Duncan finished only level 26.
shep61 at 2007-02-21 03:37 wrote:
Great job, Maltz. Here's an additional note on this one. There's an artifact for sale at the wagon in the North that will increase all experience gained by 10%. I gave that to Freyda, maxed her out, and then gave it to Duncan. Reached the level cap for both, but just barely. Playing on heroic.

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