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Features → Walkthroughs  → Tribes of the East → Will of Asha → Last Soul Standing

by maltz

The bad arses are back! It has been a while since Markal's glory... Or, maybe you prefer to use the word "struggle" as the Necromancers have been repeatedly toned down throughout the patches. Nevertheless, with careful planning and endless persistence, we will still find a way.

If you are not familiar with the Dark Energy system like myself, let me quickly summarize. No longer do you auto-raise Skeleton Archers after battles. You are now given weekly allowance of Dark Energy points depending on the number and quality of Necro towns and heroes you own. After a battle, you can spend the Dark Energy points to raise some of the non-undead creatures to their undead counterparts , usually of the same tier and the same upgrade level. For example, Imperial Griffins are raised into Vampire Lords.

After you use up the Dark Energy points, you have to wait for the next week. The points are very hard to come by and the raises are very expensive. As a result, Necromancers are further weakened in the late stage of a mission, as there is no more hundreds and thousands of raises after huge army clashes. Fortunately, by then we are usually powerful enough to win anyways.

To see more detailed description of everything please download the ultra-complete, fan-created manuals hosted on Age of Heroes:

Even though this is a Necropolis campaign, the first mission involves a fallen Knight named Ornella. We have no idea who she is, and why she became fallen. She is apparantly guided by a vampire Giovanni to follow "the Will of Asha", hence the name of the campaign. Let's help Ornella to follow the Will of Asha... and hope that she doesn't have to blow herself up in the market place.

Will of Asha
M1: Last Soul Standing

Map Size: Small
Level Cap: 12
Difficulty Index: 2/5
Last Updated: October 22, 2007, Patch v3.0

Your ultimate objective here is to capture a Necro town (C) controlled by the Green player in 3 months. In order to reach it, you have to unlock a passage, which involves some running back and forth. Also, you need to gather a powerful army to win the siege battle. This is achieved by taking two Necro towns (A and B) controlled by the Red player.

As for skill recommendation, try to reach expert level of Ornella's Dark Magic and pick up the Master of Mind feat. Mass Slow is always great, and Mass Confusion (enemy can't shoot or retaliate) gives you a crazy edge against non-undead foes in the final battle. If you are lucky, you can pick up Frenzy or Puppet Master from the mage guilds, which helps further in troop conservation. Also, since you will mostly rely on your army, pick Luck and Attack if you can. Forget about Leadership because you will be leading undeads.

Pick the Lich bonus because shooters are always useful. You start at the SW corner (1). Directly north of you is a stack of Skeleton Archers offering their service. Your starting army is a mixture of Haven and undead army. For now, the Archers' ranged power is very much needed, and you want to keep them alive as long as you can. Later on, when you own a Necro town, you can convert Haven creatures to Necro if they haven't died off.

Keep going east and flag a tier-1 creature building. Turn north, and you will fight some bizarre Necro creatures that are quite tough. Like Renegade units of Haven, they are alternative upgrades. In a sidequest of this mission you will uncover its secret.

Now keep going north, visit a Mercenary Camp stat boost, and visit the Stable (2) for some movement bonus. This Stable is quite useful for the mission, and you can travel further by visiting it at the beginning of a new week.

Now head west and challenge the Necro town (A) controlled by the Red player. The AI isn't powerful at all, and I chose not to deploy my archers (as they will be killed first). Next, flag the Saw Mill just SE of Town (A) and the Mercury Lab down south.

There are a lot of things to build in Town A. Since income is limited you can focus on economy first. In the meantime, run Ornella south to pass through a two-way portal (I) to flag an Ore Pit (3) on the other side of the portal. The Red player in Town (B) will claim it back later, though.

If you haven't done so, hire a secondary hero to pick up resources after Ornella. Whenever the Red hero from Town B is not around, flag the Orc Pit (3) back and visit the nearby Windmill with this weak hero. The Red hero in Town B will go after your weak hero if you are within his daily travel distance, so be careful.

Your secondary hero has another great use - to ship basic troops to the Hill Fort at (4) for upgrade. The upgraded troop buildings are temporarily disabled in both Town A or B. You want to build the Capital (Lv 15 town, 10000G) in Town (A) as soon as possible. Then, build the Vampire and Lich buildings. Vampires resurrect themselves, so they often give you perfect victory especially against shooter / caster neutral stacks. Liches are powerful shooters. If you have a chance, always spend Dark Energy to raise more of them. Skip Ghosts, Zombies and Wights to save money for now.

While you slowly build up your undead army, have Ornella flag the Gem mine north of the Hill Fort (4), and the Sulfur Pit SE of it. There is no Crystal mine around but you can pick up some on the ground. You only need them for Mage Guilds anyways.

Take town B as soon as you have the strength. The Red AI builds the town quite rapidly, and you will face a difficult siege if the AI hero defends in there with full strength. You can intercept the Red Hero by first visiting the Stable, and lure him far away from twon (so he is on his way to reclaim the Ore Pit, or chase your secondary hero). By defeating the Red hero first, the town defense is severely weakened. Divide and conquer!

The assault on Town B is probably the most difficult battle of this mission. Throw a Mass Slow and cast Raise Dead on your most powerful attacking stack - probably the Vampires. You really need to bring all the Zombies you can afford at this moment. They are likely to be the last undead standing! Although you are severely weakened after taking Town B, the productivity of two towns will catapault you to superpower in just a few weeks. It is time to think about the quests.

First, have Ornella (the quest only works with her) visit the Witch Hut south of Town (B), marked by the blue (W). You have to find 10 Glowing Ore and 50 Zombies. The Zombies have to be the vanilla type (not upgraded). The glowing Ores are to be found at an abandoned mine at (5), after defeating the shooters guarding it (try Vampire + Confusion). When you approach the mine, you automatically gather 10 Glowing Ore. Go back to the Witch Hut with 50 basic Zombies to earn a check mark on this sidequest.

You now understand the secret of the alternative upgrades, and you can now build the corresponding structures in towns and hire them directly. However, you still cannot get the alternative upgrades from Hill Fort, and the existing, original upgrades do not mix with the new upgrades just like the original Haven creatures are incompatible with the Renegades. In addition, among them I don't like tier 1 and 4 - you lost the ranged power from Skeleton Archers and the no-retaliation attribute from Vampire Lord's attack.

Therefore, I think you are still better off to ignore the buildings as a whole, and just pour your cash into troop hiring and upgrading in the Hill Fort (and you will just break even). You'll have a better army in the mission boss battle that is not so far away.

As your army grows further, challenge the Shadow Dragons and their cousins at (6) and (7). After defeating each group you get half of "the key". Next, visit the one-way portal at (III) to trigger the quest of visiting the Forge at (8). The Forge can be accessed by the two-way portal SW of Town (B), (II). Your two half keys can be forged to one there.

You now have some free time to explore and accumulate fine units until about Week 2 of Month 3. (You can certainly rush to the end earlier.) I have marked all the stat boosts with (R). Whenever you feel comfortable, gather everything you have and march Ornella across the one-way portal (III). There is no turning back!

You emerge on the other side of the mountain (III'). After the cut scene, forget about the paved road to the north, and follow the dirt road east. It is a long-winding path through the swamps. You will eventually reach Town (C).

The Green hero guarding Town (C) is actually a wizard leading an Inferno army - how weird. The Inferno army does not grow over time, but it is quite a huge army from the start -- on heroic, I saw 60 Pit Fiends, 60 Nightshades, 72 Hell Charger, 180 Succubus, 240 Cerberus and 300 Horned Demon. The good thing about the Inferno army is that they are totally vulnerable to mind control spells (Puppet Master, Frenzy, Confusion), and you should have a great time slaughtering them.

After winning the fight, Ornella is officially converted to a Lv 1 Necromancer. "NOOOO!" You should scream now because all your efforts in the past few hours have been flushed down the swamp! The game resets all your stats and skills! The only good thing is you get a free ride of levels here. Well, that might be a bad news because there is no way you want to restart this mission even if 50% of your attribute fall on Defense. Still, congratulations!

What skills to pick? Just follow your instincts - Necromancers rely on magics, so Dark Magic, Summoning Magic (both are featured in Necro towns) and Sorcery are never going to cripple you.

vil2 at 2014-07-17 13:00 wrote:
Heroic Difficulty

WTF is this mission, seriously ?
First mission of the campaign, the fight againts Zoltan is unbalanced. Although the tooltip says it has lots of skeletons, that cheater has 280 skeletons champions as I attack him during week 1...
I've tried dozens of time but I was just unable to kill him with my starting troops.
Then I tried auto-combat and I won of course with huge losses : all my Vampires died, all my troops died, except the Footmen.
After that, I captured the town and I was left with no army, no resources, nothing, and every single monsters outside are far more powerful than me...
I dont' understand how it is possible that you've had an easy fight against Zoltan....

Anyway while being patient, I started to clean the surroundings of my Town on M2W1. That way I was able to manage the casualties. The upgrade Fort is very convenient, try to get it ASAP.

I tried to capture town B but it was impossible to lose 90% of my army and still win the mission within the allowed time. (I was able to capture it only towards M3).

So i finished the quest, took all the stat bonuses and attacked the demon army. WHile I had ridiculous spells (no slow, no confusion, no vampirism/puppet master) I was still able to destroy the demon army easily (the wizard has very poor stats, if you picked all the bonuses and some artifacts he will be weak againts you.

Anyway once again a very tough mission in the beginning of a campaign...

Note : you can abuse the AI if you do attack town B, because he has too much stacks of troops to defend the city. Usually if you attack the hero in front of the walls, he'll go inside and destroy 2 to 3 stacks of troops (the garisoned ones). if you're lucky he will discard Power Liches and other powerful troops.
Edited on Thu, Jul 17 2014, 11:04 by vil2
stachnie at 2013-03-15 06:52 wrote:
heber0101: do you mean the Quantomas AI Mod?

I have decided to replay the campaign at Heroic difficulty and with two mods: mentioned AI mod and Crispy_Critter's True Upgrades.

Under the first mod AI is much more intelligent, e.g. it is reluctant to attack a hero of comparable strength and calculates its moves precisely: if it is able to go out of the town, flag a dwelling/mine and come back, it will do. It is much more difficult to lure AI out of its town. During the battle, AI heroes try to damage your troops as much as possible, even if it knows it will lose the battle (even it may keep casting Armageddon).

True Upgrades: the second upgrades are significantly stronger than the first ones but they cost also resources, some abilities of the first upgrades are changed (e.g. Vampire Lords have Vorpal Sword, both upgrades of Bone Dragons are incorporeal). The way to overcome resource requirement for lvl 1 and 2 is to upgrade them at a Hill Fort - lvl 1 for free, lvl 2: split them into many groups of one (a good job for a secondary hero, it also helps to avoid higher resource cost for tiers 4-6). A good tip: use Skeleton Archers for creeping and Warriors for tough battles with AI.

The most difficult battle was with Zoltan. I managed to defeat him at Week 2 Day 1 after I made sure to not to fight any unnecessary battles and allowed all willing creatures to join (required to do some save/reload). In the following weeks I tried to fight only one group of living creatures in a week and raised unupgraded creatures or 1st upgrades (for the maximal use of DE).

About Month 2 Week 2 I felt strong enough to block Orson: I captured his mines and dwellings and blocked access to the Zombie dwelling (otherwise Orson keeped to recapture it). After one extra week I let secondary heroes to amass all new troops, upgrade them (Skeleton Warriors + 1st upgrades for others), give them to Ornella and attack Orson. One of the most important things was to block Orson's Liches (especially the second upgrade is nasty: strong, big mana pool and one of its spells is Mass Weakness), then the battle was manageable.

Then I had just enough time to complete all required and secondary quests, raise all remaining living creatures etc. and at Month 3 Week 2 I gathered all troops, upgraded some of them to 2nd upgrade and sent Ornella into the portal. I had just enough time to attack Pit Lords and raise as many as possible, then I could raise one extra group at the last week. The final battle itself was quite easy: Ornella had much stronger troops - and enemy hero had no $%#@& Imps!

heber0101 at 2013-01-12 20:16 wrote:
Early Difficulty
I head north and go to the first Necro castle. End of week 1, and a red player is hanging around and his build is stronger than mine. Too many troops. I tried going for unguarded castle first. Tahat lasts one tirn til he attacks. Enemy hero is Zoltan. Tried second time with same result. First mission in first campaign is not supposed to be tough!
By the way playing on Normal, with the upgrade mods including the AI 'improvement'.

ShadowLiberal at 2012-07-04 03:33 wrote:
I just replayed this mission on Heroic. I tried to take town #2 early, but had a few big problems.

1) There were 24 lich masters, and a heck of a lot of vampires and wights, but I had almost zero liches and 0 wights.

2) The computer decided once I got close to their town the first time to just stay put in their castle 24/7, which forced me to attack their castle.

3) My hero lacked both war machines (I got offered it but passed it up, big mistake) and summoning magic (I had an earth quake scroll, but it was too much of a joke to be worth mentioning, 0 to 100 damage a wall, and I had hardly any mana on top of that)

4) Red would ALWAYS stay sitting in his castle, forcing me to wait until I could but down his wall somewhere to get in.

Week after week I kept on saving and retrying, and STILL failing to conquer the town, even as the difficulty rating decreased down to 'Low'.

Eventually I finished the side quest to let me upgrade, but it let red upgrade to! So instead of having 2 stacks of liches to deal with I now had 1 super lich master stack, a stack that the hero ALWAYS made a phantom image of right away, and which my first two attacks on would ALWAYS miss.

So with just 2 weeks to go I decided to say screw it, and left red hiding in his town B while I traded everything for gold and bought up as big an army as I could.

So then I got to the demon town, MUCH easier for multiple reasons.

1) I could puppet master demons.

2) I could life drain from demons with my 150+ vampires.

3) Unlike red, the demons were stupid enough to send a pack of nightmares to the middle of their gate doorway right away, which allowed me to kill them and have their gate door stuck open forever.
Edited on Tue, Jul 03 2012, 23:34 by ShadowLiberal
Kardszy at 2011-11-18 20:39 wrote:
"usually of the same tier and the same upgrade level. For example, Imperial Griffins are raised into Vampire Lords."

Nope, the system is different, it it more like: when killed units are ------lower lvl archers then upg. skeletons,
-if high lvl shooters and/or casters then lich,
-lizards, knights, berserker, slayer, scubbus (? O.o) become vampires,
-meele higher lvl like raksha, titan, pit lord, devil, cyclops, thane and for some reason wyrens (the word actually means dragon) become wraiths
-sylvan and dungeon dragons plus manticores become
bone/gh. or spec. dragons
-hounds, wolfs, griffins and even dryads (those that don't fit in any cathergory and not high lvl) become ghosts

Edited on Fri, Nov 18 2011, 15:41 by Kardszy
Kardszy at 2011-11-17 18:50 wrote:
The 2nd part of the key (if that is what you meant) is just east of the 2nd town, so you might as well take it if you are there.
btw I too had lich masters, they are great help with your low mana at resurrecting, plus the 3 move points of other tipes really makes your army slow. Oh, and the vampire prince was great against liveing stacks (puit them to sleep almost all the time) and about the banshees: was very supprised how much dmg that nuke did, with the super low morale after howl of terror (plus spectral and maybe a rot zombie nearby) it would do even more - it really beats that "kill JUST one creature and remove blessings" ability.

As for the DE, it IS too much of a nerf, but getting mentor with one of your heroes, you can get a few necromancers to contribute a nice amount to it each.
Edited on Thu, Nov 17 2011, 13:52 by Kardszy
Dstr at 2010-04-12 20:57 wrote:
same as nebs... didnt take the 2nd town, army production + frenzy was enough...
lol I couldnt find the 2nd dragon slot :) i reached town C in the last possible day and took all stats bonus :)))
rwaldbiesser at 2010-02-13 20:32 wrote:
How do you defeat the Balrogs guarding the gate near the Southern town? I have had huge armies killed by these guys.
aynako15 at 2009-08-26 11:04 wrote:
nice guide. although i would like to point out that you'll have to wait until month 1 week 4 before u can take on the stacks surrounding the hillfort. just be patient and dont rush them (u'll lose)
Edited on Wed, Aug 26 2009, 07:34 by aynako15

Maciek at 2009-08-20 18:51 wrote:
I chose vamps and I think it was a good choice. It was easier to protect them in the battle with manticores (I must say that I got lucky with obstacles then). So after that battle I had my intact stack of vamps, 33 archers and a bone dragon. Town A was quite heavily defended (200+ skele warriors, 50+ rot zombies and others), but some skeletons and skelly archers joined me south of the town, so I preserved most of my army then. And here's a dirty little trick against town B that I discovered by chance: wait for them to have more stacks (week 3 is late enough) and attack them with their hero in town (I mean visiting the town). Then they have more than 7 stacks so some of them are automatically dismissed when you attack. Since the hero already had 7 stacks (all 6 available upgraded tiers + vamp princes), all 250+ skele warriors, 24 lich maters and almost a hundred rot zombies were out. That turned a hard battle into a trivial one.
mmontgomery at 2008-06-13 15:12 wrote:
The Lich building upgrade should not be ignored, as suggested. Getting 2 raise deads, or 1 raise dead and 2 suffering from each stack of upgraded Liches is well worth it. For the most part, I don't spend my limited resources on zombies and wights, so this allows me to have up to 3 stacks of Lich Masters. Most combats end up being fought with no casualties using this strategy.

For difficult battles, it is best to make one of the 3 stack Arch Liches, which can cast weakness at an expert level, so that the targetted stack always does the minimum possible combat damage. Combine this with advanced suffering, which drops the attack level by 9, and the stack is doing 45% less than its minimum possible combat damage. This can pull the teeth of an otherwise very dangerous stack.

No matter which upgrades you choose, the lich upgrades are too good to ignore.

ThunderTitan at 2007-11-01 11:57 wrote:
not really... 20 extra vamps per week is a lot of troops.

Muszka at 2007-11-01 03:11 wrote:
"We fight thousands and thousands of enemies and raise 20 vampires per week"
isn't necro underpowered with that? Even for MP, I mean necro's power consisted from numbers. Their units were weaker but they were numerous. And you don't raise 20 vamps in the first week nor in the second.
I agree that they have haunt, and SoN to transform, but haunt was weakened, and for the other you need a lot of money and/or luck.
It's like in the Equilibris, you fight with legions for 4 vamps/1 bone d then you fight with a pack or something to recieve the exactly same number of units. I think there are other ways for balance.
It's pathetic.

ThunderTitan at 2007-10-31 19:50 wrote:
>>But in general I think the Dark Energy points are ridiculously low for later missions. <<

I'm guessing they balanced it for MP... of course it would be nice if they'd 3+x it for the campaign.

Angelspit at 2007-10-31 13:15 wrote:
New walkthroughs will be posted shortly. Stay tuned.

maltz at 2007-10-31 13:03 wrote:
Actually each Nec hero has his/her own contribution to the total Dark Energy pool. Later in the campaign, when I have both Arantir and Ornella, the total pool is almost 1000. While I have only Arantir I have only 680. The current system allows more freedom. You can use Arantir's share to Ornella if she can raise a lot of Vampires, for example.

But in general I think the Dark Energy points are ridiculously low for later missions. We fight thousands and thousands of enemies and raise 20 vampires per week?
Edited on Wed, Oct 31 2007, 09:04 by maltz

aaelgr at 2007-10-31 08:46 wrote:
It would be better perhaps if separate Necromancers had separate Dark Energy bars. As far as I know, Hero level plays a part in working out how much you get, so I would've thought that that made more sense than them sharing the same amount...

agni77 at 2007-10-31 06:18 wrote:
vampires' stock fall dramatically when you have to fight golems, gargoyles, elementals and other undead. they just become beefed up furies, really, with no 'fall back.'

i just started playing the campaign because of this intro, but generally i hate the new nerfed necromancers. at least the dark energy bar is now visible... but all of my heroes seem to share the same bar... not nice...

Nebs at 2007-10-26 13:13 wrote:
Wouldn't say far better choice, as I had quite a lovely time taking vampires last time. But these two first week battles are easier with liches.

Moragauth at 2007-10-26 11:20 wrote:
Aaelgr, I understood what you meant the first time round. :) Raelag was horrible in the HoF campaign. IIRC he didn't even have Warlock's Luck.

Nebs, yep, the Lichs are a far better choice.

Nebs at 2007-10-26 02:24 wrote:
Replayed this map today, and indeed, liches seem like a better choice of bonus as at start, you have quite a few battles with undead, so vampires are not *that* useful. Especially fight when you first "meet" new upgrades and battle for first red town.

aaelgr at 2007-10-25 23:38 wrote:
Sorry. I realise now that I phrased that badly. I was worried that Arantir would start at a higher level, and as a result have some skills already picked. Given the poor skill choices that they gave heroes such as Duncan and Raelag in HOF I was worried that he would be another such case.
Avatar of Death is cool. Here's a thread about it on the forums which has what abilities it gains as Arantir goes up in level.

Moragauth at 2007-10-25 21:55 wrote:
Arantir is wunderbar actually. He starts with great skills, and his special power is awesome.

aaelgr at 2007-10-25 00:35 wrote:
I was worried that he would come with some skills already picked (because given the skills carry-over heroes had in HOF they'd probably be awful).

Moragauth at 2007-10-24 22:10 wrote:
Ornella is... interesting. I like Arantir. Funny though, when you begin the first mission with him... he is level 1. Extremely powerful necromancer indeed...

aaelgr at 2007-10-24 16:57 wrote:
That's more probable. In the past when I've loaded a map near a level-up the choices have been the same.

maltz at 2007-10-24 16:51 wrote:
True. But when I did that the choices were all the same as if the random number has been already decided at the beginning of a mission. Or maybe you took some other skills early, resulting in different skills to be available later?
Edited on Wed, Oct 24 2007, 12:51 by maltz

aaelgr at 2007-10-24 16:21 wrote:
The first time that Ornella was releveled I was forced to take some really poor choices, but I found that instead of having to restart the entire map you can load the cinematic and then re-relevel her again.

maltz at 2007-10-24 16:15 wrote:
Thanks for pointing that out. I have to admit that I have never played any SP scenario. :p

Arveragus at 2007-10-24 15:20 wrote:
Ornella is not an entirely new character: Ornella and Giovanni were introduced in a single player scenario in HoF.

Nebs at 2007-10-24 14:52 wrote:
Nice walkthrough.

I picked up vampires as bonus, and haven't took second red town - though, did lure and kill a hero. Army production from one town was quite enough.

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