Gather the Sword of Hellfire, Breastplate of Brimstone, and Shield of the Damned to win the scenario. However, if Xeron is defeated in combat the scenario is lost. Xeron will be allowed to advance to 12th level and carry over his experience, skills, and spells to his next scenario.

Starting Bonus: Speculum or Equestrian’s Gloves or Necklace of Swiftness

AB Seeking Armaggeddon MarkedClick on a map to see a larger version.

Green - Friendly Town
Red - Enemy Town
Grey - Neutral Town
Yellow - Underground Passage
A# - Allied Towns
O# - Opponent Towns (a,b,c,d,e,f,g indicates which enemy)
N# - Neutral Towns
M# - Mirror Entrances (a) and exits (b). two-way unless stated
E# - Exit (a) entrance and (b) exit
S# - Seer (a) and the location of the item (b)
G# - Guard Tents (a) and the location of the Guard Tower (b)
J - Jail
X - Ambush

Starting Out

The enemy has four cities to your three, and starts with three heroes that are too strong for your starting army to handle. Fortunately, these heroes are guarding the three artifacts you need to win the scenario (behind the G2b guards underlined in red) and they cannot stray too far from them for at least the first month. Your territory has a wealth of mines and external dwellings that can allow you to keep up with early enemy production.

The bonus choice is a close call between the Equestrian’s Gloves or the Necklace of Swiftness. I recommend the Necklace because it boosts Cerberi to speed 10 on native ground. This is a major tactical advantage against the many swarms of Sprites infesting your territory.

Xeron can be built up in this map to make the next map easier, but it may be worthwhile to avoid building him up since you will fight against your Xeron build in the last two maps of this campaign. If you decide to build him up I recommend trying for Expert Wisdom by level 12 since the map offers 7 chances at good level 5 spells. It may be worth restarting until you like the skills that Xeron and Ash begin with.

Note that your three cities all begin with Castle Gates so you can easily shuttle heroes and troops between the three locations.

First Leg

Start by having your heroes visit the towns to pool their armies and to learn spells from the mage guilds. Upgrade the Kennels in Blackpool (A3), buy all of the Hellhounds and Cerberi in your towns, upgrade these plus your starting Hellhounds to Cerberi, and give all of your Cerberi and Devils to your main hero along with your bonus artifact. This hero should move along the blue path, clearing the way for a scout hero to tag G1a and then claim the gold mine behind the eastern G1b. Have another scout hero depart from Havoc Peak (A2) to pick up the resources behind the western G1b.

Buy a fifth hero in Mourningdale, buy as many Gogs as you can afford, and take the rest of your troops along the purple path to claim two Hell Holes and a Forsaken Palace. Have the last hero follow them to flag the Sawmill then split off on the yellow path to grab the loose gold piles. Have the purple hero move to the yellow hero and hand over the troops to ensure you capture the Fire Lake during the first week. If you kept your losses to a minimum, the purple hero can keep the Pit Fiends, half of the Gogs, and some Imps, and use them to clear the lightly guarded mines circled on the map while leaving enough for the other hero to take the Fire Lake. Your main hero should prioritize at least one Sulfur Mine after finishing the blue path.  

  • Build priorities in week 1: City Halls in Havoc Peak (A2) and Mourningdale (A1), a Citadel and Fire Lake in Blackpool, a Hell Hole and Citadel in Mourningdale, and Cages in all three towns. If you have sufficient resources (mainly Ore) try to build a Fire Lake in Mourningdale and a Citadel in Havoc Peak.
  • Build priorities in week 2: finish building Citadels and Fire Lakes everywhere, plus a Resource Silo, Castle, and Forsaken Palace in Blackpool.

Second Leg

In week 3 (or week 4 at the latest), upgrade the Fire Lake in Blackpool, upgrade all of your Efreets to Efreet Sultans, and give your Gogs, Cerberi, Efreet Sultans, Devils, and whatever other troops you can afford to your main hero. You should be strong enough to take out Fiur and claim O1a and O2a along the green path. Have a secondary hero grab the Shield of the Damned for your main hero. O1a has a Magic University built; I recommend using it to teach Earth Magic to your main hero.

Erdamon hangs out near the Breastplate of Brimstone a little north-west of O2a. If your losses so far have been minimal you can challenge him straight away. Otherwise you can resupply from the Conflux towns and/or have your secondary heroes bring some reinforcements before you attack him. He carries a Tome of Earth Magic that can let you easily resupply with Town Portal if you have Advanced Earth Magic. If necessary you can use G3a to pass G3b to reach G4a so you can access the massive pile of resources behind G4b.

Finishing Up

If you don’t plan to build up Xeron at all, you can strike directly towards the final G2b (guarded by Ciele) and grab the Sword of Hellfire to win the map. It is not necessary to have the artifacts together or to have them on Xeron. As soon as any of your heroes picks up the third artifact the map ends—unless one or more of the artifacts is held by a hero in a town garrison, in which case the scenario ends when you end a turn with all three artifacts on non-garrison heroes. If you do want to build up it is easiest to take out Tan entirely, which gives you 7 mage guilds that can all be built to level 5. Leave an artifact on the ground (or in a garrison) until you are ready to end the map.

Even if you plan to leave Xeron weak it may be worthwhile to build him to Advanced Wisdom and to build L4 mage guilds everywhere. One of the fixed heroes on the next map has excellent chances to start with Expert Scholar and Advanced Wisdom, allowing them to learn the spells from Xeron and teach them to your other starting heroes.

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Defeat all your enemies to win the scenario. However, if Gelu is defeated in combat the scenario is lost.  Gelu will be allowed to advance to 12th level and carry over his experience, skills, and spells into his next scenario.

Starting bonus: 20 Marksmen or 15 Grand Elves or 10 Sharpshooters.

AB Shadows of the Forest MarkedClick on a map to see a larger version.

Green - Friendly Town
Red - Enemy Town
Grey - Neutral Town
Yellow - Underground Passage
A# - Allied Towns
O# - Opponent Towns (a,b,c,d,e,f,g indicates which enemy)
N# - Neutral Towns
M# - Mirror Entrances (a) and exits (b). two-way unless stated
E# - Exit (a) entrance and (b) exit
S# - Seer (a) and the location of the item (b)
G# - Guard Tents (a) and the location of the Guard Tower (b)
J - Jail
X - Ambush

Starting Out

I recommend you take the 10 Sharpshooters.  The other options are weaker until you have enough gold for Gelu to convert them into Sharpshooters (5000 for the Marksmen, 2625 for the Grand Elves), and it is difficult to accumulate that gold without compromise in other areas.  Gold is such a scarce resource on this map that I recommend taking gold from all Treasure Chests.

Try to get Gelu to expert Wisdom since six of the seven towns on this map can build a level 5 Mage Guild.  Gelu can only learn one new skill besides Wisdom if you want to ensure this happens by level 12.

The map has numerous Scholars.  Most of these give extra stats so you should try to visit them with Gelu.  The one north of A1 teaches Luck and the one northwest of O3a teaches Pathfinding.  I recommend avoiding these Scholars with Gelu; neither skill is very valuable in this campaign.

First Leg

You start with one town to the enemy’s four, and your town is more restricted in its max development than any of the enemy towns.  Enemy territory also has more mines, better artifacts, and plenty of loose resources.  Therefore you must make a timely push into enemy territory or you will be overwhelmed by the enemy’s superior production.

To your advantage, your starting town is nicely built up and you have access to a powerful starting army.  Send Gelu directly to town, picking up the 30 Elves.  Move the 60 Elves off of Gelu into the town garrison so you can upgrade them to Grand Elves, buy a Spellbook for Gelu, and recruit another hero.  Upgrade that hero’s troops and have them pick up the Archers, Marksmen, Sharpshooters, and Grand Elves to save Gelu’s movement.

I recommend splitting these troops as follows:  Gelu keeps 20 Silver Pegasi, 10 Sharpshooters, and 60 Grand Elves, and is given the 30 Archers and 20 Sharpshooters picked up on the map.  Gelu should upgrade the 30 Archers to Sharpshooters for 9000 gold.  The 2nd hero keeps 10 Grand Elves, 20 Marksmen, and whatever troops they started with.  This gives Gelu an army strong enough to defeat almost anything on the map with minimal losses (split the Grand Elf and Marksmen stacks for extra flexibility), and the 2nd hero an army strong enough to clear the starting area.

Send Gelu down the blue path through the garrison to pick up the Boots of Speed (blue circle) while the 2nd hero uses the yellow path to flag the Sawmill and Ore Pit.  Gelu’s next objective is to capture O2a while the 2nd hero breaks into the area north of A1.  Hire a 3rd hero in O2a, leave their troops in the city garrison for a little protection, and send them to the nearby Cartographer (green circle) to expose the map.

Building priorities are to get a City Hall in A1 and to build a Citadel, Demon Gate, and Hell Hole or Fire Lake in O2a

Second Leg

With full knowledge of enemy hero locations and the movement boost from Boots of Speed, Gelu should be able to capture O1a and O3a while killing off enemy heroes.  Hire some extra heroes to pick up loose resources, flag mines, and defend your towns.  A secondary army assembled from your Inferno towns and/or your initial town can help with cornering any remaining enemy heroes.  Once this is done use the secondary army to trap the enemy in O4a.

Finishing Up

With the map under control you are free to level up Gelu, visit places of learning to increase his stats, and build up your mage guilds to teach him powerful spells.  Be sure to build Orders of Fire in all of your Inferno towns for extra Spell Power.  Have secondary heroes visit the Witch’s Huts to see if any of them teach skills you want to learn with Gelu, and consider building a Magic University in N2 to teach Earth, Air, and/or Water Magic to Gelu.  Once you are satisfied with your Gelu, take O4a to win the map.

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Defeat all your enemies to win the scenario. However, if Catherine is defeated in combat the scenario is lost. Catherine will be allowed to advance to 18th level and carry over her experience, skills, and spells into her next scenario.

Starting bonus: 30 Pikeman or 20 Archers or 8 Griffins.

AB Catherines Charge MarkedClick on a map to see a larger version.

Green - Friendly Town
Red - Enemy Town
Grey - Neutral Town
Yellow - Underground Passage
A# - Allied Towns
O# - Opponent Towns (a,b,c,d,e,f,g indicates which enemy)
N# - Neutral Towns
M# - Mirror Entrances (a) and exits (b). two-way unless stated
E# - Exit (a) entrance and (b) exit
S# - Seer (a) and the location of the item (b)
G# - Guard Tents (a) and the location of the Guard Tower (b)
J - Jail
X - Ambush

Starting Out

Catherine starts at level 12 with 5-8 skills learned. She will always know Archery, Logistics, Diplomacy, and Leadership. Ballistics, Offense, and Estates are common 5th/6th skills and I have occasionally seen her start with various other skills including Wisdom, Armorer, and First Aid. It is probably worth restarting the scenario until you have a Catherine without First Aid and with the capability to have both Wisdom and at least one school of magic. The Conflux towns can build Magic Universities so you can pick up the school of your choice. If possible, try to get Catherine to Expert Wisdom so she can benefit from the L5 mage guilds in the Inferno towns.

Sorsha and Cuthbert start at level 4, but their starting skills are far less important than Catherine’s.

I recommend taking the 20 Archers for your bonus. They offer the strongest contribution to your starting army. Both you and the enemy start with powerful heroes, three moderately developed towns, and substantial numbers of troops. The enemy will almost certainly capture two of the neutral towns on their first turn putting you at a disadvantage until you claim at least one for yourself.

First Leg

All three of your heroes should visit their starting towns. Catherine and Sorsha should buy spellbooks, Sorsha should pick up the 50 Crusaders in Pandathalyn (A3), and Cuthbert should pick up the 100 Marksmen in Marshallston (A1). Now it’s time to invest the rest of your starting gold. I recommend upgrading Catherine’s Archers to Marksmen and having Catherine clear the Familiars to her southwest, the Horned Demons near her starting position, and move towards the Imps to her east. Hire another hero from the Tavern in Defiance (A2), leaving a Castle hero for Cuthbert, and have that hero go where the Familiars were to pick up the three Treasure Chests for gold, the Bow of Elven Cherrywood, and the Bowstring of the Unicorn. If you avoid picking up anything else here (for now) except what is necessary to reach the Chests/artifacts, this hero will be able to deliver the artifacts to Catherine at the start of her second turn.

Sorsha does not need to hire or upgrade any troops. The 50 Crusaders are easily capable of clearing everything in her starting area except the large Efreet stack guarding a treasure horde. In Marshallston, hire the starting Castle hero from the Tavern, give their troops to Cuthbert, and have them visit the Redwood Observatory. If possible (it will depend on the Treasure Chests), buy a City Hall in Pandathalyn and a Marketplace in Marshallston, and then spend any remaining gold on upgrading Cuthbert’s starting archers to Marksmen and hiring additional Marksmen and Griffins from Marshallston. Sorsha and Cuthbert can start clearing their areas while Catherine heads east and south to capture Goldenton (N3) and track down Olema, who has the strongest enemy starting army. Goldenton is a good place to upgrade Catherine’s Swordsmen to Crusaders.

I recommend giving Cuthbert reinforcements because Fiona is likely to invade his area before the end of the first week unless Catherine is able to quickly come north (this depends on what Olema does). His 100 Marksmen alone are too vulnerable to defeat Fiona, but he can win handily if they are supported by the troops you can recruit from Marshallston and the surrounding dwellings. Use his extra hero to help with flagging dwellings and transporting troops around.

If Catherine can quickly defeat Olema she can head north to help capture Endelstadt (N2). Otherwise she should stay in the Goldenton area and Cuthbert should prep to make a push on Endelstadt in early week two after receiving reinforcements from Marshallston. Building priorities are to get City Halls wherever you can and Citadels in Marshallston and Pandathalyn. It is possible to purchase a Portal of Glory in Defiance in week 1, but I recommend waiting until week 2 for that. Instead, build a Castle, Stables, and Training Grounds in Marshallston and save some gold to maximize Cuthbert’s week 2 army.

Second Leg

Once you control all five Castle towns you can relax somewhat: you are out producing the enemy and the two central towns naturally guard the main routes across the map. Send scouts to explore, pick up treasures and flag dwellings, and try to get some visibility on the northern passage so an enemy army can’t sneak across to Marshallston. The southern passage isn’t a problem since enemy heroes going that route have to pass near Goldenton to reach Pandathalyn. Use secondary heroes to shuttle troops from your starting towns to your main heroes and the forward Castles.

If you’ve preserved a decent amount of your starting armies and destroyed the enemy starting armies I recommend hiring reinforcements from Endelstadt and Goldenton and making an immediate push into enemy territory with Catherine and either Cuthbert or Sorsha wielding their combined armies. Two week’s worth of Inferno troops can’t stand up to dozens of Crusaders and Marksmen backed up by substantial numbers of Pikemen/Halberdiers, Cavaliers/Champions, Royal Griffins and maybe Zealots. Otherwise, consolidate your side of the map and work on flagging mines, and consider invading Nothenden (N1), Southerdale (N4), or defeating the Efreets near Pandathalyn to access the substantial treasure horde they are guarding. The combined growth from 3-4 towns over a couple of weeks should build up a strong force you can use to invade by week 3 or 4. All three of the Inferno towns start with the same development so the order you attack them is a matter of convenience.

Finishing Up

To build up Catherine for later maps in this campaign I recommend trapping the enemy in O2a. A hero positioned in front of that town completely blocks enemy heroes from exiting, making it safe for secondary heroes to deliver reinforcements to ensure the enemy stays trapped. Catherine is now free to visit stat boosting buildings (make sure to visit the Library of Enlightenment), pick up Earth Magic from the Conflux towns, and build up and visit all of your Castle and Inferno mage guilds for powerful spells (the Conflux guilds are limited to level 1). If Catherine is still short of level 18 she can visit the Tree of Knowledge and Altar of Sacrifice. When you’re ready, conquer E2 to win the map or, if you’re daring, let an enemy hero out so Catherine can get another +1 Power from the Order of Fire and one more chance at a good level 5 spell before you finish them off.

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You begin in an area with so much stuff lying around that I suggest you take a minute to look it over, before deciding where to go first. There are free armies who will join you, so perhaps seek them out first? There are also several dwellings and boosters. Then there are people around for you to talk to; start by the town and then you can find Lasir to the northeast and Jorgen to the northwest.

Your starting area.

After talking to Jorgen, move underneath the structure you saw in the cutscene and head into the Underground. Don't cross the bridge, though, come back up when the river quest is done. There is also an obelisk to the north of your town. Anastasya is near, and she will join your cause. She should move to the mass grave just north of her position, and click it twice to get free creatures of the death persuation. After this, all you have to do is send her around fighting easy stacks of neutrals, and her army grows (as long as you don't lose too many).


Once you got your bearings and started clearing out the area, it's time to have a look at the quests. The main quest is to take the city of Horncrest and defeat Wilhelm there. A couple of turns into the map, a new hero (Andras) joins you, and his mission is basically to flag the 10 mines in the southeastern part of the map. The challenge here is troop conservation, as his armies do not grow like Anastasya's; nor can you get reinforcements from towns. If you waste troops, you won't be able to kill all the neutrals guarding the mines. It's hard, but Andras has lots of defence and pretty good in-combat warcries that you can use to their full potential. The centaurs in particular kick so much butt. I made a bold call and went for one of the hardest battles first - against the hero Cailean, because of the items he is guarding. Those really help. Another trick is the Altar of Arkath nearby; it opens a seal so that you can find creatures willing to join you. After the 10 mines have been flagged, move through the once-sealed passages to fire the catapults. You can take your time with this. Once he's done with that, have him move to the southern area (go west and then around the mountain), to find a big stack of neutrals who will join him. He can use that to punch through the garrison to the west when all the seals are open. Then he can move in on the enemy territories from the south. (Basically, he's so strong that you can use Andras to fight Wilhelm at this point, possibly even win the map, so if you're in a hurry to finish, I guess you can try just attacking Wilhelm with him).


In the area to the southeast of your first town, there is another mass grave for Anastasya, and several other boosters and things. Use her to clean up there. The Altar of Elrath is also there, just north of the bridge. Visiting that enables you to pick up several free dragons for your army - one stack north of the northern bridge and one down in the southeastern section. It also allows Andras to punch through the garrison I mentioned.


East of your town is another town. Cross the northernmost bridge to find it, and then take it. There is also an obelisk right to the west of it. Once you have two towns, start building them for more creature growth. Do start fortifying too, as heroes will attack your eastern town regularly, popping out of a one-way portal nearby. You can just see it in this image, near the top left corner.

Your second town.

From this town, you can move north across a bridge. When you do, you can see the red pillar controlling the dyke. Move around the mountain and fight your way through neutrals and an enemy fort.

The area north of your second town.

If you keep going north and west, there is another mass grave here for Annie to play with and complete her side quest. Go to the red pillar and manipulate it, lowering the river so you can ford it and get to the other side. This is one way to access the enemy's lands and open up for an attack on his main cities. Another way is that of Andras, and the other two are in the Underground:


When you have fortified both towns and have heroes with armies defending the eastern one, send Ivan into the Underground with a big army. Take on those hydras across the bridge. Then visit the Altar of Malassa.

The underground Altar of Malassa.

I was lucky here; there was a random effect this week that prevented any creatures from retaliating in battle (“week of cessation”). If you ever get one of those, act fast and go for the biggest battles you can. At this point I was fighting 3.000 skeletons at once down there, so a really big army was needed. I had Ivan lead the way and Anastasya tag along while another hero defended the eastern city. Take the Dragon Utopia and keep moving east. Follow the path until you meet the “blades”. Go through here and move upstairs, and you will come within striking distance of your enemy. Walk along a loooong windy winter path and you end up in the same place you would if you forded the river: at the gates of your enemy's town. Wilhelm sits right outside Horncrest:


Andras can also access this area since, as you can see from the image above, there are several ways in. You could choose another path (or both) too: instead of going east near the underground utopia building, go west. When you move upstairs, open the seals and move south, getting free creatures and boosters along the way. Moving east, there is a fort you can take, and if you move south from there, you are once again in front of the enemy city of Horncrest. This is where you'll find Wilhelm, so go in and kill him and take the town. You now have three towns, yay. So where is Seamus?


Oh, he's around. There is a small gate in the eastern part of the courtyard outside Horncrest, and from there you can access the path north into the mountains.

The seat of your enemy.

Seamus has a decent army and he's level 30 in a fully fortified town, so you can't walse in with just a half-dozen dragons, but at this point, I had 1600 marksmen, 2000 legionnaires, 450 abbots and hundreds and hundreds of other units, so he didn't really stand a chance. Basically, his numbers were in the hundreds and mine were in the thousands. Mr. S had no hope.

Seamus dies.

Once the battle is over, the map - and the game - ends. Ivan's story is one of a self-made man, who makes his own decisions and writes his own story. The councillors all gave their advice and as Ivan at last figured out: it was not up to any other factions or dragons to decide how the story would end. Just him.

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Welcome to the main campaign, the story of Ivan.


Ivan is a diplomat.Here's a little about Ivan: he is a typical leader and strategist - he is skilled in Diplomacy, and you should build that skill further and keep an eye out for creatures who will join you. If you run into some creatures who will join for a price you can't afford, just save up money and come back later. Ivan doesn't have much magic to speak of, but you can get some Light or Prime if you need it. Mostly, though, Ivan is about boosting the strength of his army. Keep that in mind when choosing which items to carry. Build Economy and Leadership. Also, in your town, build the Embassy quickly, to get more creatures joining you. Last thing: remember to appoint Ivan as governor of your town if you're getting governor skills (which you should).


Remember what I said in the Haven walkthrough: the strength of this faction lies in conserving troops, sustaining low losses by having high defense, using healing or resurrection abilities and the like. You can win quite easily if you use those skills correctly.


You start out on level 10, with a slightly built town and some creatures. The mission is to talk to your advisors (as if they haven't spent enough time sitting around that table already); you can start with Anastasya, since she is right next to you. Once you do, a portal is opened north of town. Kente (who can apparently mend bridges simply by having a conversation) is just to the west, so chat with him too. Then clear the area an claim the mines north of your town to get a steady income of wood, ore and gold.


Your starting area.

The portal leads to a small area in the Underground, feel free to visit it any time. You get a quest: finding the pieces of an old sword. Another piece lies to the west of your town.


When you have cleared out your area, you should bring some creatures and move through the garrison to the north. Clear the area, flagging mines and visiting boosters. To the north is a gold dragon for you to talk to; he gives you a quest: destroy the evil hydras further north. You need a sizeable army to do that, so you may have to go back home. Also, remember that the Dark Hydra has life drain, so it just keeps on fighting … Do several trips if you need to, there's no rush. I'd take the left stack first, since it's guarding an artifact that gives you +8 defense. Afterwards, talk to the dragons again to complete the quest. There's a chance they'll join you, so check if you can talk to them a third time.


Just to the west is Murazel, ready for a talk. Once you visit her, you get some free creatures and another piece of the sword. North of her is a stack of neutrals you can only reach if you manipulate the bridge; the prize is a purse giving you +250 gold/day, but if you go for it, remember to swap items in the inventory before each fight, since it occupies the same slot as that all-important shield (and you can't recruit more heroes yet to carry the purse for you). Continue moving northwards and near the river you will find your buddy Lasir. Let's go say hi!


Lasir's place

Well, that did a lot of good. Darned elves. Well, I guess his tip of a fishing trip may hold something of value anyway. Oh, who's this? Wilhelm? Here? And he says Seamus is willing to admit defeat? Somehow I don't quite believe him …


After you have visited everything in the northern territories, bring a big army, prepare for combat and go through those newly opened doors. Yeah, that marriage deal did sound a little bit too good to be true. Vayaron is the blade Seamus wields here, but if you brought an army worth mentioning, he shouldn't stay in your way for long. Kill him until he dies from it.

Behind the gates.


After this whole affair, Anastasya joins your cause as a playable hero. She's a pretty strong hero, so give her a decent Haven army (ditch those necro creatures) and you'll have a real second force at your disposal. Visit the Altar of Sylanna on the hilltop; that can get you into the areas blocked by the green seals. Those Stag duchy heroes roaming around are now no longer allies but enemies. Time to go hunting. Kill all the enemies you come across, take their forts and … you know. Rule your lands. I sent Ivan out with the main army while using Anastasya to keep the home areas secure. With Ivan, I went straight for the jugular: attacking the town of Caer Griobta (it lies to the north of your starting position). Once you have taken it, start building it for more creature growth. Just next to the town is a green seal (which you can open). Go through it and don't listen to Amilcar, keep going. Head across the bridge and flag the dwelling, then take the boat to the small island, where you will find another sword piece. Further north still is a building with a cool illusion around it. Move up to it and Ivan will say that he now understands Tanis' story. Pick up the last sword piece and attack the prison tower. This time, your Dungeon opponents have more of an army to resist you with:

Fighting the dungeon masters.

They're fortified, but vulnerable to low morale, so take out their ranged stacks asap. You have fliers, so use them. The dragons that joined me earlier really come in handy here: I gave it “inner fire” and it took out three stacks in one breath. Dragons rule.


When you have won, go back down the hill and talk to Murazel. Then Nolwenn joins your cause too. She's pretty pissed at her dad, guess that'll happen when you try to kill your daughter. I sent her on a trip to gain levels and visit boosters. Ivan needs only go straight into the Underground via the passage right next to Murazel, and once he's down there, the last sword piece is to the south. While Ivan was down there, I moved Anastasya into the Stag lands in the northwest and took the third town. Their forces defeated, that ends the “Stag hunt” quest.

The memorial site.

As Ivan cleared the areas in the Underground, I proceeded to take him to the memorial site: Nice sword. Beware not to continue too far further northwest with the wrong hero, that will take you into the Bull duchy and more strong enemies that may attack you.


The quest is to send Nolwenn to see the Bulls. You know, to show she's alive 'n all that. You don't have to move through the garrison, just use the Underground. Move Nolwenn close to the town (leave a slot open in her army if you want the Seraphim to join you), and there's another cutscene.



At this point you actually get to make a choice in the campaign: who to marry. If you let your heart rule, you choose your concillor Tanis, the one you love. If you want to make the strategic and brainy choice, you choose Nolwenn, who will solidify the relationship between the two strongest duchies and consolidate your power. Whichever choice you make, it does not have any serious gameplay effects; you will still win the map. The one you choose will carry over to the next map.

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Welcome to the final map of the Dungeon campaign - and what a nice and easy map it is. I say “easy” because of what you will find in the Underground: lots and lots and lots of resources strewn about unguarded. Mines, boosters, also unguarded. Not all of them, of course, but quite a lot don't have creatures in front of them at all. There are still plenty of creatures to fight, but that doesn't take away the sense that this level is all about covering ground.


Your starting position. Rather warm.

You start off with a single town in lava-covered surroundings, and I recommend getting a couple of extra heroes to do some of the legwork, because there is a lot of ground to cover andlots of stuff to pick up. Giving them the “snatch” ability from the Exploration skill is probably a good idea. Meanwhile, your main heroes can focus on gaining experience.


I don't want to say too much about what you should do, simply because there is no need. You have the whole Underground to yourself and the enemy don't seem keen on coming to visit you down there, so there's plenty of time to do your thing. That “thing” (main quest) is to find a secret entrance, but don't let that get in your way: Build your towns, grow your armies and boost your heroes. Explore the map and open up all the paths in the Underground. There are several portals opening up shortcuts for you, so that when you need to go somewhere you can just find it on the map, click it and the heroes will find the quickest way by using these portals.


A couple of things I will mention, though: Northeast of your town is another town, so you may want to go in that direction quickly. There are also a couple of forts and dwellings around, so grab those when you see them, but on the whole I guess running around the map while fighting the neutrals that aren't too strong for you (come back to fight the strong stacks later) is so easy that you don't need someone holding your hand through it. Just take your time and build.


Once you have cleared the Underground completely, it's time to head upstairs. As you may have caught a glimpse of the heroes up there already, make sure you bring a huge army. Once you go up the staircases, you may run into enemy heroes. You have the downstairs to yourself, it seems, but will run into strong opposition once you go upstairs. Hence the needed forces. I would urge you to continue building armies and send them up to support your hero. Just as an example, there's Wilhelm, who has a couple of dozen Landsknechts, Celestials, and several hundred Justicars, just to name some. Don't mess with these guys; they mean business. Thank Asha for the Town Portal, in case you need to escape. Make sure your heroes have that.


So, what's happening upstairs, aside from the increased resistance? Well, there are the obelisks. There are three, and you have to find them in order to complete the main quest. I'll tell you where they are; they're in the eastern part of the desert, organized neatly in a row in a north-south pattern. Check it out:


Three little obelisks, all in a row.


Tesla coils in the desert?Once you have visited them all, go east through the tesla coil-like things and enter the bay. A small dialogue appears. Continue east. The one-way portal there leads to your second town, so that's nice to know.  Another potential shortcut if you need it.


Check the treasure map and you will see that the Tear of Asha is just east of the Shipyard. Dig for it, grab it, and then buy a ship and head out to sea. Immediately to the southeast is an Altar of Shalassa, which you shall of course visit. Also pop by the Lighthouse for some extra sailing speed.


Yarrr Jimm lad, there be treasure.


Sailing south, you will soon spot the Seal of Shalassa, and due west of that, a Den of Thieves, which is now on your to-do quest lists. There's another den to the west, and the last one is waaay in the north, so perhaps this would be a good time to portal home and build that Tear in the capital.


As you keep building your armies, you will eventually be strong enough to take on some of those topside heroes. Then you are a bit more free to roam around and look for those quest locations. When you have visited them all, you will be prompted to attack said enemy heroes ins specific locations, which is again not too difficult if you have already beaten them and still have a sizeable army. This is me going after them:

Big battles galore!

(I have to say: taking out a stack of 235 abbots in a single shot is really satisfying.)


So you're running around the map looking for these heroes, taking them out one by one with your huge army. Easy. Then: treachery! Oh well, Malwen is a buffed hero, but if your army is big enough you should still beat her too. Nice to see a bit of Hydra-on-Hydra action. Roarrr. Anyway, there is only this left: to kill all those heroes lurking about. Check the minimap for their locations if you can't find them.

Battle scene.


And that's the end of the Dungeon campaign. Time to sit back and listen to Jorgen's lesson.

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You start out on a small island with a nice and simple outlook: simply take the available town and start building it, and clear the island of resources, visiting boosters and flagging mines. When you have done that, there is a Shipyard on the southern shore. Be careful, though; there are Red heroes on the waters, who will attack you if you get too close, so bring a decent army if you are going sailing. Also, make sure you leave some good defences at home in case the enemy comes knocking (for me, they came at the beginning of week 4). Fortify your town and leave Malwen with a good army (or make sure you have Town Portal ready).


Your starting position.


The small centre island is connected by bridges.Once your town is attacked, use spells and ranged attacks to weaken the enemy army as much as possible. Focus on the troggies since they can dig under your walls. If your town is fortified, you should win.


Vayaron needs to cross the bridge into the southeast to reach his second quest. Bring a decent army and make your way across (clearing the area on your way, visiting all buildings, including the Altar of Shalassa). Once on the other side, head north and flag the Gold Mine. Heading south on the eastern bank, you will find more boosters and a gate to the east, which is closed by a Seal of Malassa. Even further south is a Mysterious Crypt and a Dragon Utopia, but you aren't ready for those yet, so this is a good time to go back and collect reinforcements.


The southern area.


Red player's home territory.If you take a boat from your starting town and sail straight south, you will reach a Whirlpool which allows you to reach a southern land area, upon which there is a Fort. Bring a big army, as there are several roaming enemies around on the water; they come from a town further east. Take the fort when you can, and rebuild it so you gain control of the buildings in the area. There is a staircase here, but you don't have to go up there yet. There is a Dwelling which you should flag too. Afterwards, clear the area and get back on the ocean.


Head east to fight the Red player's armies and main town. After defeating the first two armies, you should be able to take these guys with little difficulty. Do it quickly, so they won't have time to rebuild and come back and harass you. Once the town and surrounding area is under your control, use Malwen to go up the stairs just to the south of your new town. Make sure you bring a big army.



Yellow player's territory.Upstairs, you will see a two-way portal and a path to a Yellow fort, protected by a Seal of Shalassa. You should be able to open that since you visited the corresponding altar when you first crossed the bridge to the small island earlier. Take and rebuild the fort, and as soon as you can, visit the Altar of Malasssa just east of it so that Vayaron can travel across the bridges once again and break through to the eastern area of the map downstairs. Beware that once you take the fort upstairs, Yellow player may attack you any second. If you hide in the fort, he may bypass you and go for your southern town and fort. I lost both southern strongholds like that, but it was a pyrrhic victory for Yellow as the amount of troops dwindled after attacking my fortified places. It was a nuisance more than anything else, having to wait for her to finish attacking everywhere. Soon after, my main armies intercepted the hero and took care of her, reconquering the lost town and fort shortly after. Then I sent Malwen to conquer the upstairs. She should take a right, go through the garrison, continue north and capture the town there, and then clear the area around it. There may be some remaining Yellow heroes, but no big challenge. Sending for backup via caravans is a good idea, though.


(By the way, here's a neat trick for easing the use of caravans at this stage in the game. You will notice that in order for you to send caravans from your home town, you need ships in the north. This will cause an accumulation of ships on the southeastern shore, while there are none to the north where you need them. What you can do is move a hero over land across the bridges to the eastern shore and go as far south as possible, then use Town Portal. Since it takes you to the closest town, you should be teleported to the south. Then you can travel north by boat. Rinse and repeat until you have lots of boats by a shore your caravans can get to.)


Anyway, back to our main quests. While Malwen wreaks havoc upstairs, now is a good time to send Vayaron to visit the invisible (yeah, right) library to the east. Since Malwen visited the altar up there, the seal can be broken. Visit the place and after the cutscene, clear the area. Make sure you visit the Altar of Ylath nearby. After that, I recommend using Vayaron for the afore-mentioned caravan trick for a while, while Malwen clears the area upstairs.


The "invisible" library sure isn't easy to spot...


When the upstairs town is taken and the area around it secure, go north through the garrison and keep going north (don't turn right to finish the banshee quest yet). To the north is another area (oooh, shiny!) with lots of goodies, including an Altar of Elrath. Visit it and then head back south to the fork in the road south of your town; the left path leads up to a seal which you can now open. Going through it leads to another area with a passage back into the underground. You are now on the centre island, with an Elite dwelling on it, which is nice, but also the Altar of Sylanna. Clear the whole island, including capturing the town to the southwest, before moving on.


When Malwen has a big army and nothing else to do, visit the banshee north of the upstairs town. This means a battle against a lot of ghosts, so be prepared. With that done, there's the next mission (assuming you have killed off the roaming heroes already), and that's a prison break. Look at the upstairs map, southwestern section; that's where you need to go. Head to the southwestern island in the underground and find the stairs located there. Head up and there you are. Having visited the Altar of Ylath earlier, the last seal in your way can now be opened and you can visit the prison. It's just a fort, really, so attack it (no problem) and rebuild it. Once you do that, there's another cutscene.


Final battle results.Last mission: attack Sorshan. The cutscene shows you where to go; a small path east of your upstairs town has a Seal of Sylanna, which you should be able to open if you cleared the middle island.


Before you go up the path, this will be one huge fight, so remember to visit boosters and gather creatures in a single army with your strongest hero. Summon caravans, check your items, call upon your oldest lore. The battle should be hard, but winnable.


If you're struggling, just reload, go back to the point before you broke the yellow seal and gather more creatures. I beat Sorshan in his town, with more creatures than he had, naturally, and with better stats. I used Firewall on his shooters, Fortune on my own creatures and then just sent my troggies and dragons in past the walls while my other creatures hammered away at anything that dared come out. The Regeneration spell is also nice here. But don't worry about conserving troops: once you finish this fight, the map ends.

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This map starts off with a fairly simple main quest: conquer two forts, one to the north and one to the south. As you will soon discover, though, it's not that simple. My suggested strategy here is to take your time and take control of the whole map.


You start with a single town, and not a lot of resources, so get to building the core units. Around you are a bunch of difficult stacks; start off with the easy ones and try to conserve troops (not something Dungeon are known for, I know). Use your hero in battle as much as you can. Go south first and get the item down there, then continue clearing the area while building your town. Take the Ore Pit northwest of your town as soon as your army is strong enough. I'd also keep my secondary hero close to the town to pick up the weekly resources.


Your starting area.

East of your town is a Gold Mine and a Blind Maiden so you might want to head there as soon as you can, but the mine is heavily guarded. The path west of that mine leads to the surface but that's not the place to go just yet. North of the gold mine there is a Dungeon Fort which you should take, and to the west of that is an item that boosts your might. East of the fort there is another passage to the surface. Don't use that either yet. Clear out the underground first. It will take time, but you just have to keep building your town, gathering resources and buying creatures. Eventually, you're strong enough to take on all the neutral stacks.


The northern underground fort.


After clearing the underground, I went up using the stairs east of the fort. That takes you to Yellow player's territory. There is a hero and town with pretty good defences there, so be ready. If you're lucky, you can catch the hero outside the town. If not, well … it'll be harder. Anyway, once you take the town, you will gain control of another Gold Mine and Ore Pit, so resources are really starting to mound up. Once you get that town built, you can really get some troops behind your cause.


The Haven town in the northwest.


Get reinforcements by caravan and then proceed south from your new town (of course, make sure you build it). Pretty soon, you will see a Haven fort. If you already beat the main enemy army, this should be easy. Weirdly, this is not your quest target (those are to the west), but take it anyway; you need to keep building your strength. To the west of this fort is an area with several garrisons and a heavily fortified town. Stay away from that town (don't worry, nobody comes out to attack you) and clear the area instead, picking up resources and items, as well as making sure both of your main heroes are boosted to the maximum level. You can take the garrisons; this will make it easier to travel.


Also, this is a good time to send one of your heroes up the stairs just south of (and above) your starting town, the one west of the gold mine down there. Once you have gone up those stairs, you will find two Sawmills and some resources.. North of you is a garrison, and through that you can see an area blocked by wizardly magic. Go around it by heading east, then north, then west. Take that Academy town. Its creatures aren't much good to you at this point, but the spells and extra gold can't hurt. Start building it, though; you'll need the troops later.


The wizards' magic fence.


Now head north and northwest. You'll find some useful trinkets and resources on the way. Quite soon you'll find a wall. A long, huge “Great wall of China” type wall, ensuring that you can't reach the target fort. Oh well, head back south, follow the road to the south east of your Academy town and presto! You'll find one more town. Take it and you have two. Now it makes sense to have Academy creatures building up. Build the towns, fortify and build up armies of creatures. I'll tell you why later.


The southern Academy town.


The Academy fort.Okay, so you have taken the eastern Haven town, the two Academy towns and you're almost completely dominating the map … where the frak is the road to the forts? Here's a clue: look to the east of the southern Academy town. There is an underground passage, take it when you're ready. When you're in the underground, head west and you'll see that you have arrived in a familiar place; those areas in the underground that were unaccessible earlier. There is even a Bloodforge there, but it's heavily guarded and you don't really need it at this point; you can just trade for the resources if you need any.

Keep going west, find the staircase and go up (before you do, though, there is a fort just north of those stairs, you could take that just for the fun of it). Go west and there's the Academy fort, see? Yay! Take it, it should  be a snap at this point. There are also a couple of Crystal Caverns nearby, which you should flag. The fort can be rebuilt and use for summoning reinforcements via caravan before you continue.


The hidden gate.How to find the northern (Haven) fort? I know this is hard to find, so look at your northern Academy town. Just northwest of it there is a Blackfang Watchtower which stands on a hill. At the bottom of that hill, on the western side, is a well-hidden entrance. There it is. Now you know where to go. Once you've gone down those stairs, explore the area and head north (flag mines and kill creatures if you want to), and once back on the surface, the fort is to the west. It's an easy fight.


Wait a minute. Did I really have you take the time to control the whole map just for that? When you could have snuck through the enemies' lines and taken those forts easily? Yes. But why? Well, you see, taking those forts was only the first part of your quest. Now begins the second part: to visit the trading posts scattered around the map. Firstly, those are well guarded. Secondly, the enemy heroes could pop up and make your life difficult. But not without their towns (giggle). You can do it the quicker way, but then you really have to be quick about it. My way, you can take your time. Besides, who doesn't like to dominate the maps?



Using my method, I now have three huge armies at my disposal; one Dungeon, one Academy and one Haven. Three armies with which to travel around to the well-guarded trading posts. Let's go, shall we? Just follow the clues on the minimap to see where the trading posts are. Once those are visited, the final quest is given.


Now you must destroy that crusader building near the great wall. Use Malwen to do it. Beware that two enemy heroes will come in from the south. Do not attack them! Do, and the map fails. The point is to let them fight each other; they are the response to the rumours you have spread. Coming to investigate, they will find each other and naturally assume the other to be the enemy.


That's pretty much the end of map 2. See you on the other side.

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Welcome to the Dungeon campaign. This faction is about stealth, speed and making your opponent feel bad. Giving your opponents weaknesses like bad morale and loss of strength is a good thing, especially when you yourself are quite fragile. A good strategy against most creatures is to boost your shooters with morale (burning determination) while giving general defensive and attacking bonuses to the minotaurs. Here's a lowdown on the creatures:


The Trackers shoot without range penalty and also ignore the target's defence, making them immensely powerful against strong creatures provided you have the numbers on your side. Give them morale boosts to get multiple actions and you're sure to win. The Assassins are all right; a weak unit but cheap to buy. The also have poisoned weapons, so spreading them out in several stacks to give negative effects to the enemy is usually a good plan. Don't plan on keeping them for long, though; they're more fragile than butterflies. The Troglodytes are decent, a bit expensive, perhaps, but they do have the digging ability, enabling them to pass obstacles. From the elite section, the Minotaurs are noteworthy. They are the tank of the faction, incredibly hardy and with a first-strike ability on their retaliation. Give them defence boosts and watch them survive forever. The Soulless are slightly less useful, but they do have some teamwork abilities, boosting nearby friends and weakening nearby enemies. It is very useful against the right enemies but useless otherwise. The Medusa is known to us all; it is not as powerful as you might have hoped, but is still useful when it comes to crippling your opponent. They're not easily blocked, which is nice; they can move and shoot in the same turn. The Hydras are tough, deals lots of damage in several directions and has the life drain ability, making it almost overpowered. A bit pricy, though, thankfully. Saving the best for last: the Black Dragons are strong, fast and has a devastating attack, in addition to being immune to magic. When fighting wizard factions, look no further.


The first map is about spinning a web of lies and deceit. In best Roman tradition, your side wants to divide and conquer by getting your opponents to fight each other. To do this, you are given a main quest consisting of several parts: 1) defeating a Sylvan army and blaming it on the orcs, 2) destroying some Ancient Treants and blaming it on the wizards, and 3) attacking Imperial merchants while planting evidence that the elves were behind it. Also, you need to contact the leader of the Blackfang thieves guild to strike an alliance – he's east of your starting position.


The layout of this map is such that there are several garrisons on the surface, and they are too strong for you to attack. Your town is in the underground, though, and there are several staircases down there, enabling you to access the areas anyway. The problem is: if you take the wrong staircase too early, you run the risk of alerting the enemy to your presence, and they may follow you back down. You don't want that. I will be taking this in a specific order, but I'm sure you can choose to explore in a different one. In this map, your main problem will not be a lack of creatures, but gold to pay for them. Save money where you can, and pick gold over experience (there will be plenty of exp. from battles anyway). Your heroes are Vayaron (might) and Malwen (magic). Right away, it seems clear that Malwen should be your main hero since she can be maxed in both dark magic, offence and the special Dungeon skill, while Vayaron is stuck with exploration and warfare. Still, they're separated for now (she in the underground near your town, he up top), so you don't have to choose just yet. The heroes will carry over to the next map, but there is plenty of experience for everyone here. Below, I will deal with the heroes individually:

Starting position, topside

Vayaron should go west first and get the boosters nearby, then head east. There are several Elemental Conflux buildings nearby; those can really boost your numbers, big time, but first you need resources to buy them. When you reach a Stable, you can also see a passage into the underground. Guess where that leads? Well, downstairs. The garrison is too well guarded, so you can't go south, and the bridge to the east is out (but you can just see Ajit over there). The two bridges to the north are also temporarily unavailable to you, so it's time to head into the underground. Once there, snoop around; fight neutrals and visit boosters.

Ripe for the picking

Malwen can go east to fight the minotaurs (those things are tough, so try quickcombat) and flag the Underground Pit, and then grab the Ore Pit to the north, before going back and heading west. Southwest of the town is a stack of creatures that will join you, and when you're done down there head north to find more joiners. Further north is a Meteor Crater (in the underground, really?) and several strong stacks of neutrals, so focus your attention on flagging the dwelling there and then head back to town for reinforcements.


Rebuilding the bridge gives you a map shortcutJust south of your town is another dwelling, and a Bloodforge, giving you a rare resource. After clearing that area, head east to pick up some free minotaurs and fight the sun deer for a nice item. Keep going east and you'll soon reach a staircase that takes you up into the sun, and if you head north now, you will find Ajit. Talk to him and then visit the Altar just behind him. You can also visit some of the buildings and boosters if you can defeat the guard stacks, otherwise you can return later. The Sawmill in that eastern area is important. Rebuild the bridge (if you have the resources), by interacting with the red pillar – it's a nice shortcut. When you're done, head back to town.


Now both your heroes should be in the underground, working together to explore. Here's a tip: don't go too far north yet, as it can antagonize yellow player, and she's strong. The two-way portal is fine to use (you'll find some free creatures), but don't go up any of the northern stairs unless you're ready for trouble.

Note the two-way portals...

When you are ready for a big fight, head through the two-way portal and up the northern stairs. Notice the Training Grounds nearby, good for upgrading creatures. To the west, you see a garrison. Don't attack it, you'll be wiped out. Instead, continue west until you meet Edric, the «imperial merchants» in the Seeds of War quest. Attack. His guardians are strong, but you should focus on taking out the legionnaires and the shooters; take the guardians when they are getting close. Winning this battle completes 1/3 of the main quest. Grab what resources and boosters you can and move on westwards. The enemy hero Agathin is north of the well-guarded garrison; you can beat him with a large army, but he won't come out. He has backup, though, so keep your distance if you have a small army. Clean out the area and head west, then south, to clear that path southwards. You can reach this area from the underground as well, by heading west and then south from your town. You will no doubt notice several armies of treants around, but you can't attack them since they're behind a green seal (the altar to which Agathin is guarding). Head on the one eastern path that is open to you, and you will soon see that you have arrived on the south bank of the river, without having to pass that garrison. Clear out the area and note that you can't enter that Academy town. Your mission is to plunder the mines. Do it. They are behind the blue seal and you should be able to pass it since you visited the altar next to Ajit earlier.


When you have nothing more to do, there should be lots of creatures waiting for you in your town, so go there for reinforcements, and then head to the staircase northwest of your town. This is how to get to Agathin without going through the garrison, but once you surface, a yellow hero will come to the rescue so you either have to be fast and beat Agathin and teleport home again before she can catch you, or you'll have a big fight on your hands. Not impossible, though, especially since she had a mixture of Sylvan and Necropolis troops.

The big fight

Next on the program: fight Agathin, visit the shrine and then go back south (not through the garrison, mind you, use teleport) to those treants in the west. They are easily beaten but will cause massive casualties to your shooters, so cast Weakness on them and try to stop their ranged attacks. Recruiting some air elementals from the Elemental Conflux buildings in the south may be a good idea, since they have great movement range. When you have gotten rid of all the treans as well as plundering those wizard mines, the map ends.

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