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Hi all,

RTS games aren't really my thing. I enjoy the building up and pitched battles (though I would prefer if I could give orders while paused), but I hate getting constantly harried while I'm attempting to do things. I just don't really play for a challenge, I play more as a role-playing and aesthetic experience. Suffice it to say, most RTS don't work very well for that.

But I gave this game a try. I put it on Easy mode, and turned the game speed down to the minimum. I started up the main quest and it seemed to be going well.

...until I got to Swan's Pool.

I cannot figure out how to complete this mission. After getting destroyed (well, the building at least) a few times, I even looked up a YouTube on it, where it seemed like the key was to send most of your guys to the NW and walk into the woods a bit, and send one guy and a geisha down by the water to the SE.

Unfortunately, that doesn't want to work for me. I tried sending my guys north, and enemies starting flowing out of the woods from the west. Honestly, when I compare the YouTube walkthrough, the amount of foes I'm seeing almost look like I'm on a higher difficulty than the video was, rather than being on Easy. I'm literally wondering if I'm having a technical glitch and this mission is running me on Hard, even though it still says I'm set to Easy.

Okay, now after you veterans have had a good laugh (go ahead, I know I suck at this type of game), could you think of what the issue might be? Is there something patently obvious I'm missing? Is it really supposed to feel like you're going from Easy on the previous missions straight to Hard on this one?

(In case it matters, I'm taking the good path, and I went through the Lotus province. It looks like going the other way and getting an archer can help, but I can't imagine it would make all the difference...)
Post edited June 14, 2015 by SwordofSpirit
presuming your level isn't glitched, it definitely is one of the harder missions.
i've done a few playthroughs, and it's always been one of the few that has never failed to give me a hard time. i often had to restart(load).

anyway, considering your 'style', i suggest saving alot and using Pause alot.
i know, you can't order your units around while the game is paused, but nonetheless it will give you that edge; to be able to take the time to look around and see what exactly is going on.
what to look for: positions of enemies and positions of your own dudes.
what is also very important to look for is who is attacking who. you want your archers to do ranged shenanigans, so always try to prevent them from being harassed by a melee enemy. i know it's hard in that map because you'll get out-numbered, but i still recommend you to try to prevent it :-)
and, if you can, get a melee guy to whack their ranged units, because almost all ranged units suck at melee. (next-level strats is taking a look at this chart - it shows the damage type and the resistances of units.)

you can just hit pause 'randomly' and check out your mini-map to see if there's an enemy dot that you hadn't noticed yet.
and you could simply give orders in-between unpausing and pausing. (and i actually recommend doing this on this map.)
pause -> check out the situation -> unpause -> give order -> pause.
i know, it's a bit tedious, but it works almost as well as giving orders during a pause.. :-)

as for saving: particularly in that map you really want to mind the health of your guys.
personally, i would just load my game if i lost a guy too early on. in the 'final wave' i don't mind as much, but if you feel you could've prevented a death of one of your guys: hit load. (and therefore; save alot).
even if you manage to kill only 2 enemies without losing one of yours: why not save, right?
this way you won't have to replay the whole damn map if it goes bad in a later stage of the level.

what's also incredibly nice of saving alot is that if something goes bad, you can at least have seen where enemies came from. so if you then load, you can set up your units in a more convenient way for the upcoming enemy attack.
so if you see 2 enemies coming from the SW, but you have absolutely no guys there, then you can just load the game and put one or two of your units there.

sorry for the wall of text!
TLDR: save alot, use pause alot. load game if you lose a guy. load game to conveniently set your guys up for future enemy attacks.

edit: btw, by pressing O, you can make your units not attack enemies at all (but they will respond to enemy melee attackers to defend themselves). this will make them idle, which means they willl heal.
this is often incredibly helpful, because your healthy guys can do the chopping and shooting, while your weaker ones take a second to get their health back up.
the alternative is that when enemies come, they will start walking/shooting, and their healing will stop. this way, they will stay at low health as long as there are enemies within FOV, and eventually they'll die because they never had a moment to rest.
so: press O if you want your guys to heal (and press S to remove the 'no attack' mode when they're healed enough and you want them to attack again). O is very helpful indeed!

lastly, if you have a unit set to 'no attack' (with O), but they are getting attacked by an enemy melee unit (and thus can't chill in piece): have one of your melee guys attack that enemy, and then move the unit who you want chilling, away from the battle.
this will make the enemy focus your newly brought melee unit, and your other unit can chill in piece again.

i think, however, that whenever a unit set to 'no attack' gets attacked by melee, then you have to press O again to get it back into 'no attack' mode again. it's a bit annoying, but it's something to keep in mind.

N (stand ground) is also a good friend:
N makes a unit stand still, and use only ranged attacks. (naturally, they will still respond to enemy melee attackers.)
N is fantastic for fully ranged or fully melee units, simply because they will stay put.
enemies will often try to 'lure' your units into a 'trap' (although not so much on this particular map), but if you press N, they will not follow and thus avoid getting wrecked in that trap.
as for ranged units, if you want them to stay put in stead of chasing enemies, then N is your friend. as you can imagine, this works great for ranged units who are defending a base/area because they won't keep chasing enemies.

as for units that have both ranged and melee attacks (like the bandit, samurai, dragon warrior, etc):
if an enemy melee unit runs towards a hybrid unit set to 'stand ground', the hybrid will fire off one or two shots before the actual 'melee duel' begins.
so in case of hybrid units, N is just a nice way of getting some extra damage out to incoming melee attackers :-)
because the alternative is wasting time running towards the enemy, while that time could've been used to put out some extra damage.
of course if no enemy melee attackers are going for them, you'll probably want to order them to attack something (melee tends to be the stronger attack for hybrid units).

and to add to that, if you don't want someone to attack at all (geisha maybe?), then N really works wonders!
i always want my geishas to stay healthy and heal others, and not waste their stamina running around, or getting killed because they fight with enemies who are way tougher.

(if you ever play with Koril, N is absolutely amazing.)

again, sorry for the wall of text ;D
Post edited June 14, 2015 by Bucake
Wow, that's some serious BR theory crafting... It's really interesting to read but I doubt it will help such a casual player.

My advice is simple. On the Dragon's path, Swan's Pool can be a pain, granted. Do it like this: When you have all of your forces (after all of the conversations), divide them into 2 groups and make certain to bring either Garrin or Arah with you. It WILL make a GREAT difference to have another hero with you!
How you divide your army is mostly up to you, just make it balanced, split all of your units in two that's all. Keep the geisha away from the fighting and have them heal your wounded allies, you can give them sacrifice if you like, have them train at the shrine near the pool.
Position 1 army north of the pool and the other one south. When your enemy comes at you make first priority killing anti-building units, those with balista on their backs. Then, kill everything else.
Remember, it doesn't matter if the pool loses 99% of hp while it actually survives.

And, BR is actually a fairly simple RTS, you do not need to bother with all of that complex theory. When you get the entire tech tree, you can beat the rest of the game by simply making 5-6 Powder Keg Cannoneer, 3-4 Geisha and as many Samurai as you can. Then, just pull the enemy away from watch towers and wipe them out... You can beat the game on hard with that. If you like, you can of course go into the fine detail and use all of the options and possibilities the game has to offer.
i wouldn't call that theory crafting :-)

i've only played BR on hard, though i am a pretty casual player. (my APM is extremely low and i am just slow in general.)
so, i always look for any edge i can use so that i can play the game at my own pace.

i suppose my post looks all "theory" because it's written with a lot of words, but i was just trying to be clear.
noting i wrote is actually 'complex theory', i only mention a few things that could give him an edge.

besides, O and N are great to use for any BR player :-)

but +1 to your advice. especially the extra hero. personally i always go for Arah, she's awesome :>

Every unit or hero in BR has his own damage types (7 in- game total) weaknesses and ressistances. Knowing those will help you a lot.

As for the micro part: before the enemy units run to attack the Pool, you can "taunt" them using any unit or hero, you just attack them before they get to the Swan's Pool and they will go after you. Just remember the positions your enemies come from.

Good luck! :)
SwordofSpirit: Okay, now after you veterans have had a good laugh (go ahead, I know I suck at this type of game), could you think of what the issue might be? Is there something patently obvious I'm missing? Is it really supposed to feel like you're going from Easy on the previous missions straight to Hard on this one?
No one's laughing at you. I've played this game for years and that mission is still bullshit, It still takes me many attempts to beat.
Post edited September 19, 2018 by OldManSlippery