To Honor Our Fathers
M2: One Khan, One Clan
- Map Size: Large
- Level Cap: 20
- Difficulty Index: 5/5
- Last Updated: November 9, 2007, Patch v3.0
Similar to the previous campaign, we will develop the other main hero, Kujin the Shaman, in the second mission, starting from level 1. Kujin's mission is to convince a total of four clans to join the new chief Gotai, by reaching the gate of their respective Stronghold towns (A-Orange, B-Brown, D-Green and C-Teal). It has to be Kujin to do the negociation.
That's sounds pretty easy, because there is no fight necessary at the castle gates. Well, In fact this is an extremely difficult mission on heroic for the first month! This is a Mission 1 with Mission 4 enemies! I am not even sure whether I can pull it through again. Therefore, I will try to cover everything that I did in detail, assuming heroic is what you are on. If you are playing on a lower difficulty, you can be more liberal and probably reach the goals a lot faster. There may be alternative strategies, which I will leave it for you to explore.
The Moon Blade(Attack +3, shield slot) artifact is the best starting bonus among the three. The creatures aren't bad but the Moon Blade is going to help you most.
You start out with Kujin's little army at (1). Just a little to your east is a Redwood Observatory that reveals the nearby Orange town (A). Now if you walk over to the town's gate, the town will automatically join you. Easy first town! You also get a free hero, Toulain, who won't get carried over to future missions.
Toulain comes with some upgraded creatures that does not mix with Kujin's. You are probably thinking of combining them - so which of the upgrades are better? For tier 1 go for the Goblin Trappers. Tier 2 and 3 is a choice between offense and defense. A simple rule of thumb on a tough heroic mission is to focus on Attack. Normally, if you let your enemy's big stack to hit you first, you are taking unecessary losses. Therefore, go for the Centaur Nomad and Mauler for tier 2-3.
However, when I played the mission (heroic) I purposely delayed my visit to the Orange town to Day 1, Week 2. Usually I don't like to waste any turn, but our situation here is special. There is NO other place (other than the easy Sawmill) we can afford to visit during the first week even with Kujin & Toulain's starting creatures combined. I got torn apart even by the Ore Pit stack! The neutral stacks guarding the resources are just nasty - lots of shooters and casters. Here comes a list:
- (W) Sawmill: The easiest.
- (O) Ore Pit: These Wind Dancers are fast! There is no way you can take it during week 1 without losing a good portion of your Centaurs.
- (M) Mercury Lab: The Berserkers here seems to be relatively easy. In my game, though, the first Brown hero handled them before I get a chance, so I got a free flag later on.
- (C) Crystal Mine: Guarded by Druids. You can't touch it until much later.
- (S) Sulfur Pit: The neutral stack is nothing serious, but there are powerful blocking stacks preventing you from reaching it. Wait for the first Brown hero to clear the path for you.
- (G) Gem Lab: Guarded by Hunters. Even if the brown clears the path for you, you still want to stay away from it first. However, you do need more gems to build the structure needed for the Capital (4000G/turn).
- (Gold) Gold Mine: Lots of tier-5 dwarf mages? This is the last thing I want to flag on this island! I want to keep my Centaurs!
As you can see, there is nothing we can do in Week 1 after flagging the Sawmill. If you claim the Orange town yourself, you are going to spend resources from your own account to build it up. There is a guaranteed net loss of everything for sure. Why not let the Orange AI (on heroic the AIs are millionaires from the start!) build it for you - for free? The picture on the left shows what I got on Day 8. I kept my strating 10,000G and 5 resources of each. Pretty nice!
So why do I claim the Orange town on Day 1, Week 2, but not later? Well I hoped so originally, but whenever we convert a town in this mission, all of its current garrison armies are erased (including roaming heroes out there). The AIs automatically hire available troops at the beginning of a week, so if I wait longer, I would lose the second week growth of creatures (I already lost the first week production, 13 Centaurs). That's not a good thing because tough battles are coming soon.
Actually, the first Brown hero is coming during week 2, carrying quite a large army. There is no way you can keep waiting. You need the town's defense to even survive.
The first thing after taking the Orange town is to go north. Just north of town (A) you can find a level-3 Spell Shrine, along with an artifact of the Enlightenment set (E1). The stack guarding it is pretty easy. By visiting the shrine you instantly jump to level 4!
The free Orange hero (Toulain) starts with the War Machine skill. This used to be a junk skill, because when your army grows large, the power of the ballista becomes negligible. Not anymore - did you see what Orlando's Ballista can do? It killed my 30 Ghost dragons in one firing round - that's even more powerful than a full tier-7 stack! You can also reach that power with Expert War Machine (Ballista - Triple Ballista) + Attack (Archery - Flaming Arrows). Flaming Arrows ignores target's defense - that's what makes the Ballista so powerful.
With this Ballista of 1500G, every low-army hero suddenly becomes a walking weapon of mass destruction. The enemy can't even Frenzy / Puppet Master / Slow the little guys operating the War Machines because they are controlled by yourself. The earliest possible level for Toulain and Kujin to reach flaming triple Ballista is level 9. But you have to be ultra lucky to get proper feats of War Machines and Attack to show up for Kujin early 8 levels in a row. But if that really happens, use Kujin as your main hero. Otherwise use Toulain. You will have more than enough EXP later to push Kujin to the level cap.
p.s. In this expansion (v3.0), every race can get Flaming Arrows and Triple Ballista. According to the excellent fan manual, the power of Ballista is proportional to the sum of the hero's Attack and Knowledge, so even a magic hero can do a lot of damage with it. (Now you know why I recommend the Moon Blade artifact - to make your most deadly weapon even more powerful.)
On heroic, honestly there is probably no other way than Triple Ballista + Flaming Arrows for this mission. Your army is too weak and the challenges are too tough. You cannot afford better creatures unless you flag the mines - but you cannot because you will be shot to pieces. When I cleared everything I could in my quarter, Toulain was level 10 and the really tough battle came. This means you can mostly throw away ONE useless skill point on something not on the path.
Right after the Shrine level up, head down to visit the Cript just east of Town (A). You should be able to beat the undeads here rather easily and collect a healthy sum of cash to get yourself a Mercury+1/Turn in the town. Next, go flag the Ore Pit. This is not an easy battle as the Wind Dancers run really fast. It is likely that you don't have time to protect your Centaurs even with lots of 1-unit Goblin stacks. But there is a better strategy:
The specialty of Goblin Trappers is to set Snares. If the trap works, the enemy will travel less distance - up to 2 tiles. If the trap fails the enemy is not delayed, but the action of the Trappers stack is. The smaller your stack, and the higher-tier and larger-stack the victim is, the less likely the trap works. (See the fan manual for details.) Each stack can only have one snare. If you set another one the old snare disappears automatically.
Now comes the beauty of probability - all of your 1-unit Goblin Trappers have a small chance of delaying the action of the elves. Even if there is a 80% chance the Elves are not delayed for each trap, the chance of the elves safely passing through 4 consecutive traps reduces to 40%. And, your main trapper stack's success chance is much better than 20%. With a series of traps accurately planted on the AI's predictable advancing route, your Centaurs will have one or two more rounds to take down the elves. Perfect victory is possible!
A brown (Tan) hero is visiting you very soon - for me it comes in the middle of week 2, right after I flagged the Ore Pit. Pull back your main hero and give him everything to defend in town A, and move Kujin as far away from the brown hero as possible. Build the second level of wall (the one that gives you 50% creature growth bonus). Use your Ballista and Centaurs to thin down the opponent's Centaurs. Hopefully most of your Centaurs survive the battle!
The first Brown hero has likely cleared a path for you, and there won't be another brown hero for... about two weeks. It is time to rush out and flag the Sulfur Pit, defended by slow melee units. Battle other melee stacks to accumulate EXP points for Toulain, focusing on Triple Ballista + Flaming Arrows. If you have a choice, give Triple Ballista a priority. You can find a Sextant to the west (a green X). It will be very useful later.
Hopefully by now your Toulain has obtained Triple Ballista. We are now able to flag some harder mines defended by shooters and casters. The trick is to give Toulain 7 stacks of 1-unit goblins (give the rest of the army to Kujin first). If you enter the battle and see 4 stacks of enemies - load the game because you are going down. If you see 3 stacks, though, be happy because you'll win. Use the Ballista to kill the earliest stack that comes next. You can flag the Gem mine easily this way.
Actually, later on you might still stand a chance if you see four stacks. When you build up the second-level "mage guild" in the town, you might get the war cry "Fear My Roar". By showing your ugly teeth and probably releasing a foul breath, your can seriously scare off your dentist, er I mean an enemy stack. It starts to run amok and and its next action is also delayed significantly. (Thus, the victim stack cannot shoot at your 1-unit Goblin anytime soon.) The chance of this war cry's success is related to your hero's level and the stack's tier and size. Your hero has to be at least level 6 to learn Fear My Roar, the most useful war cry for quite a while.
It is now also the right time to clear the stack of wolves (3) blocking the alternative way to your town (A). The wolves are really annoying because they can multiply at point blank. There is a pair of Boots of Swift Journey (green X) just beside the wolves, guarded by more Druids. In my game the druids were always 4-stacked and I had to pick it up much later. Similarly the Crystal Mine may be managable now. The Gold Mine is still too tough because each dwarf stack can take two ballista shots. Indeed, it is possible to flag each of the mine if you are willing to make sacrifices - but I don't think the gain is worth it. Your tough battle is coming soon and you need to have as many Centaurs as possible.
In the beginning of Week 4, the second Brown hero was on his way. This time they bring a much larger army. Should you still defend in the town? You can certainly win that way, yet in my game I saw a good chance to break loose here - let's take a look at this picture.
There is a lot of pressures early, almost too much!
The AI of the Brown hero has its priority set at a weak Kujin only if Kujin is (almost) within his reach for the next turn. I was able to use Kujin as a bait and lure it to travel in a big circle. The chase was really close - the Brown hero was touching Kujin's back! In the meantime, Toulain purchased everything he could afford from town (A) and head straight to the Garrison (4). You must pass through this garrison to reach the brown town, and the garrison army was twice as large as everything I had (and I took troop conservation to the extreme, you know)!
You need a lot of luck for this really difficult battle. Hopefully you have let Toulain visit some morale/luck bonuses. Traps, Fear my Roar, Luck, Morale, enemy's movement... you can easily lose more than half of your army if more than one huge stack reaches your front. Shoot every major stack that comes close, and swarm up if that does not expose your good stack to a fatal blow. It is likely that you will lose a good portion of your army (and take very heavy loss if you are unlucky). Yet this is probably the most difficult fight of the mission! Still, try to conserve you Centaurs as much as possible because there might be another tough battle coming immediately.
Now, quickly have Kujin visit the Brown town (C) to get yourself a second free town (I made it on Day 6 of Week 4.) The chasing brown hero evaporated and you get a (almost) full-built town. Suddenly, you are the most powerful clan on the map! Victory is just a matter of time - yeah? NO.
In some people's game, the Teal hero is going to invade you very soon with a very big army. When the Teal army comes, you can see it travel north on the mountain pass just east of your town B and enter the one-way portal (II). The portal carries the Teal hero to (II'). Two turns later it will reach town (B).
From the mission script it seems that the Teal invasion is activated on Day 24 on heroic (Day 3 Week 4), but it never happened to me until one full month later. Maybe I was just lucky? So what should you deal with an overpowering Teal army showing up early at (II')?
Your only chance is to defend in town with Toulain (or Kujin if she is your main hero). Use your triple flaming Ballista to demolish the Catapult, and then shooters. Untamed Cyclops can bash the gate open, so deal with them as well. There might be Wyverns flying in - just give all you have. The Teal hero has a retreat option and he usually does it earlier than he should. The Teal army is your last tough challenge of the mission - so even if you survive with just 1 Centaur, you'll win eventually.
Whether the Teal comes soon or not, you should explore the brown territory and take everything sooner or later (just remember to come back to defend when Teal comes.) I have a few suggestions for higher-tier upgrades:
Tier 4: Sky Daughter is more of a caster, who also cast one more Haste/Slow. They can also cast Chain Lightning after sacrificing a nearby Goblin. Earth Daughter is more of a melee fighter. At high rage levels, Earth Daughter becomes a dominant fighting force. They won't suffer retaliations from slowed enemies as well. I recommend Sky Daughter for this mission because I simply didn't have cash to hire them from the beginning to the end - and since I have a tiny stack of daughters, I just use them to cast spells.
Tier 5: Executioner has much more attack power, which is always good for a starter. Chieftain actually has a great strategic function that is not related to their power. Its special ability "Order of the Chief" works exactly like the Hero's war cry version, which moves forward a friendly stack's action by dealing damage to them. So what's good about killing your own troops? The Chieftains deas much LESS damage than a high-level hero. The damage dealt by the Chieftains is equal to the number of Chieftains in the stack, and the effect on the victim's ATB is Chieftain's number divided by 100, limited to 0.6 (which is to make them act more than twice as often). This means that if you have TWO stacks of about 50 Chieftains, you can whip your Cyclops (HP ~230) to shoot again and again and again and again - and no Cyclops dies yet! In my game I actually used Executioner, but in a hind sight I should have given Chieftain a try.
Tier 6: Foul Wyvern regenerates a bit each turn, and poisons the target stack. PaoKai can damage more than one enemies but the total attack power is simply divided amont the targets. Pao Kai can also regenerate by landing on corpses - potentially you can regenerate much more this way and get your numbers back at the end of the battle. I like PaoKai (if you speak Cantonese you will find the name funny) better, because in Dark Messiah this is Arantir's Avatar of Death.
Tier 7: Both upgrades are goblin throwers (shooters!), and the ammo is really cheap. The Untamed Cyclop makes a 2x2 area attack plus the ability to take down castle gates and towers. The Bloodyeyed Cyclop is slightly faster. Its Evil Eye ability gives the target -3 luck after being struck (melee only). In this mission I like Bloodyeyed Cyclop better, because their higher iniative usually allow them to shoot before the enemy's shooter - this is important! Whoever acts first takes the lead! The area attack usually won't happen because by the time you are going to use melee, you are using it against the enemy that has reached your front. Chances are that there are no adjacent enemy stacks. Moreoever, the smart AI can use your retaliation to damage your own troops - that's going to hurt. In this mission, you are not going to assault any gate because all towns join you automatically. Therefore there is really no need for Untamed Cyclops.
Do not align any two Goblin stacks or they go down together!
There are quite a few places to visit. Here comes a list:
- A Lighthouse at (5). Just in front of it lies a Runic artifact (R1) that carries to future missions.
- The second artifact of the Enlightenment set (E2), guarded by lots of tier-6 dwarfs. Absorb their retaliation by attacking from behind - this way the splash damage would be minimal.
- The second artifact of the Runic set (R2) south of the little lake.
- A Sylanna Ancient (6), guarded by lots of Green Dragons. This is the perfect place for 7 x 1 goblins!
- A tiny stack of Cyclops willing to join at (7). You can get them right after taking the Brown town (B).
- Have Kujin visit a town and buy her at least a level-1 Talisman (requires the Talisman building, which comes before the Wyvern nest). She will be able to cast adventure spells with it.
With a powerful army, you should let Kujin fight all but the toughest battles to level her up. Triple Ballista + Flaming Arrow are still great goals to go after for Kujin. If the Teal does not come and you run out of things to do, try to approach the shipyard just north of (7) but do NOT board a ship yet - in my game the Teal invasion came as soon as I did that. I am not sure whether it is just a conincidence, though. If the Teal AI still does not come, I guess there is no other choice than proceeding with the quest.
When you are ready (for me it is 20 Bloodyeyed Cyclops), hand all units and artifacts (don't forget the Sextant) to Kujin, build a ship from the shipyard and board. Sail northeast and make a landing on the shore of the Green AI's island at (8). You have to fight another tough battle against a familiar Dark Elf hero - Lethos (remember The Conquest?) Note that as soon as Kujin board the ship, two Purple "pirate" heroes are activated, and will come to you.
Lethos carries a huge army. Kill the the Brisk Raiders (tier 4) and the Furies (tier 2) first with your shooters (Centaurs and Cyclops, haste them first). Delay the action of apporaching Dungeon melee stacks (tier 3, 5 and 6) with snares and Fear my Roar. If you have to take a hard blow, throw away your melee units (tier 3, 5 and 6). Hopefully you can keep most of your Centaurs and Cyclops alive - they will become handy in subsequent battles. Visit the Green town (D) immediately and claim your third town!
Here come the pirates!
You have to worry about the two Purple Pirates next. One is Sylvan and the other Dungeon. Some people report the pirates headed to their territory (orange & brown towns), so you better start organizing a good defending army there with Toulain. However, in my game they still decided to come straight after Kujin, probably thinking they can kill her with their gigantic army.
Actually the pirates are not as tough as Lethos - they only have about 2/3 of Lethos' strength. If they are coming after Kujin, you should have an easy time as Kujin has the majority of your army. There is an artifact merchant at (9). I was able to buy the "4th Ballista shot" - the Ring of Machine Affinity here for 20K. If the pirates are coming to your HQ and you can't hold, it is actually OK to give it up, because you can win this mission as soon as Kujin converts the Teal player. In my game I was experimenting something mean - to fill the entire shore with empty ships so there is no way the AI can land! Guess how many ships did it take?
Before you send Kujin to visit the final, Teal town (C), there is an island west of the Green town you should visit. Land at (10) and you will find a Memory Mentor to reshuffle Kujin's skill. You can also pick up a Dragon's artifact (D1) further west, and flag another Lighthouse.
When you are ready for the final battle, move Kujin to the shore at (11). You have to be "in the water" to summon a boat (you can still buy the Talisman in the Green town - get the level-4 one). Sail straight to (12). Summon your last batch of creatures, visit some morale / luck boosts and enter the final fight against Gork at (13). Gork has a bigger army than anything you have faced so far, but your Cyclop stack must have grown so big now that there is nothing they cannot kill!
Congratulations for winning such a difficult mission if you did it on heroic!
p.s. There is a set of two-way portal (III) in the Teal territory, leading to a small area on top of the hill with a Dragon artifact (the ring). However, the Teal AI got it first in my game, and I was never able to recover it. I only knew about the ring by looking at the scenario map in the map editor.