It seems that you're using an outdated browser. Some things may not work as they should (or don't work at all).
We suggest you upgrade newer and better browser like: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera

So these are the ones I'm stuck on by difficulty. I have yet to attempt many of the Expert quests and unlock 3 of the hidden ones. I got all of the Beginner-level quests done.

1) Rise of the Ratmen. I swear this needs to be an Expert-level quest, not Advanced. They're coming from EVERYWHERE! Just not sure how to deal with all these.
2) Clash of Empires. I just about get a leg up on the Goblins but then they retaliate AND the Ratmen start ganging up on me!
3) A Deal with a Demon: Not quite sure how to build up enough money fast enough.
4) Trade Routes: Swarms of Goblins, especially before I can really build up a force... Ugh.
5) Elven Treachery: Can't seem to either muster enough of a force to take the Elves down in time. Otherwise it's similar to "Deal with a Demon."
6) Urban Renewal: My run with this map is more or less a Murphy's Law of gameplay...
7) The Fortress of Ixmil: Seriously, this is just a weird map...

[s]1) The Dark Forest: I've located the Temple of Fervus and the Witch-King's castle/tower. The thing is, if I destroy the castle/tower, the Witch-King comes out and releases SWARMS of monsters, namely Daemonwoods and an Earth Elemental (or whatever that giant stone creature is). I do have some save files from earlier in the mission if I should build up my forces a bit better, namely more Cultists for taming Hellbears or Spiders.[/s]

Any help would be appreciated. :)
Post edited April 25, 2021 by powerhouse5000
No posts in this topic were marked as the solution yet. If you can help, add your reply
powerhouse5000: So these are the ones I'm stuck on by difficulty. I have yet to attempt many of the Expert quests and unlock 3 of the hidden ones. I got all of the Beginner-level quests done.

1) Rise of the Ratmen. I swear this needs to be an Expert-level quest, not Advanced. They're coming from EVERYWHERE! Just not sure how to deal with all these.
2) Clash of Empires. I just about get a leg up on the Goblins but then they retaliate AND the Ratmen start ganging up on me!
3) A Deal with a Demon: Not quite sure how to build up enough money fast enough.
4) Trade Routes: Swarms of Goblins, especially before I can really build up a force... Ugh.
5) Elven Treachery: Can't seem to either muster enough of a force to take the Elves down in time. Otherwise it's similar to "Deal with a Demon."
6) Urban Renewal: My run with this map is more or less a Murphy's Law of gameplay...
7) The Fortress of Ixmil: Seriously, this is just a weird map...

1) The Dark Forest: I've located the Temple of Fervus and the Witch-King's castle/tower. The thing is, if I destroy the castle/tower, the Witch-King comes out and releases SWARMS of monsters, namely Daemonwoods and an Earth Elemental (or whatever that giant stone creature is). I do have some save files from earlier in the mission if I should build up my forces a bit better, namely more Cultists for taming Hellbears or Spiders.

Any help would be appreciated. :)
I managed to beat all levels on my second attempt, and though I unfortunately cannot remember all the strategies, I do remember often taking the chance initially by building one more marketplace than I would otherwise. It slows down the early game, but if you can survive then you get a solid income boost to carry you through the level.
I also seem to make sure that every sewer was in the range of a guardhouse.
Other than that it's worth keeping in mind that there is an element of random generation to the levels, which can alternatively screw you or save you in terms of how close enemy 'encampments' are to your starting location.

Sorry, I wish I could remember more, but strategy wise this is all I can remember from this excellent game.
I agree with the sentiments from Metewis.

Always put a guardhouse near the sewer and get the marketplace up early.

I've found some of the levels to be very punishing.

Initial placement really does make a big difference.
abbayarra: I agree with the sentiments from Metewis.

Always put a guardhouse near the sewer and get the marketplace up early.

I've found some of the levels to be very punishing.

Initial placement really does make a big difference.
Ummm... no actual advice concerning any of the missions I mentioned? I could use actual pointers for said missions, not just general advice. :(
It's been a long time since I've played most of the campaign maps. I'll offer what I remember.
General tips
Money generation: I've actually abandoned building more than one market. Build one well defended market, upgrade it to level 3, and build trading posts for that sweet, sweet 3x multiplier. Easier to defend, easier to build, and cheaper to rebuild. If you have an area of empty space, you can spam a bunch of inns for cheap income that also generates fountains for more tax collectors. Inns also make a great buffer; have one built on the monster side of weaker buildings (like trading posts) and monsters will typically tear down the inn before going after whatever you want protected. As your town grows, place a guard post in high income areas of your settlement so your tax collectors have a place to drop off money before something kills them (again), and always research Arrows even if you don't upgrade it further. If you can plop your marketplace down right next to your palace gate, so a tax collector pops out, takes two steps, grabs the money, and promptly returns to drop it off, then great.

Heroes: When you have your pick of temples, then you have two main options. Agrela and Dauros provide cheaper healing/resurrection and a lot more power per hero; paladins are smart, quick, tanky, hard hitting, and willing to go smite some bad guys. A high level monk is a terror on the battlefield with just a little healing support from you occasionally, assuming they ever leave the inn long enough to actually reach high level. Krypta and Fervus focus a lot more on quantity over quality. Cultists level easily and charm creatures, but they aren't otherwise great. Priestesses are really nice, though slow and fragile. Warriors of Discord are amazingly strong, but they have trouble competing with houseplants on IQ tests so they tend to get in trouble; you'll need to check in on them and keep them healed. Once they reach high levels, they can literally shout weaker monsters to death. Which one to pick will depend on the map. Sometimes quality serves well, and sometimes you just need a wall of bodies. Choose appropriately.

A ranger's guild to handle map exploration is great. Make a level 2 rogue's guild even if you aren't going to make any rogues; your heroes can poison their weapons for free, and if you need money in a pinch (like resurrecting a recently dead hero) then you can Extort it. High level Wizards are amazing, but getting a high level wizard is an exercise in frustration so I mostly don't bother. A fairgrounds can help them level, but you'll often have the map in hand by that point. I used to favor Adepts because they actively patrol your town (and they do have more useful spells (haste a trade cart or tax collector that is in trouble!)), but I've come to favor Solarii as a hero that is similar to a paladin in effectiveness and aggressiveness. Barbarians can be fun, but they tend to make groupies out of your other heroes, which lowers how much of the map is being defended at a time so I don't think they are usually worth it. Rage of Krolm is expensive, but you do get what you pay for.

Monsters: Learn the behavior patterns of both the various heroes and the various monsters. For example, trolls love to go for economic buildings, and I've seen Ratmen actively ignoring being attacked while they chase a tax collector. Some monsters will avoid your settlement, but minotaurs will head straight for the nearest building and hack away.

A dwarven settlement is a GREAT defensive structure. Put it in the path of monster attack waves. A pair of Dwarven towers built right next to each other can handle most random threats, and they don't get more expensive as you build them. Place a pair on the non-town side of each trading post and your trading post is mostly safe. They also turn vampires into ash piles with no trouble. Dwarves are slow, but otherwise decent heroes. A high level dwarf is an insane tank, taking almost no damage from spells.

Gnomes are weak, but super cheap and excellent builders if you need that. You only have to pay for the first hut, too.

I don't like using Elves because it means giving up dwarves or gnomes and it means allowing worthless town buildings to show up. They are decent heroes, though.

Map specific tips
Rise of the Ratmen: I don't recall this one being very hard. If animals are swarming, then go for Cultests + Priestesses so you have bodies.

Clash of Empires: Remember that the goblins and ratmen are fighting each other. Large groups of both will periodically spawn and fight each other, with the survivors coming to harass you after one side loses. Make sure that you don't target just one side, or you'll leave the other side with no one to fight except you. Kill a spawn or two of goblins, then go kill a spawn or two of ratmen.

A Deal with a Demon: Note that nothing comes in from the edge of the map. Once you've cleared the map of all monster spawns, the only trouble you'll have are the troll spawns and sewer spawns. Build a level 3 market early and clear the map as fast as you can. Once an area of the map is cleared out to the border, go ahead and build a trading post in that corner and it will generate massive amounts of gold. Build a pair of dwarf towers or a pair of guard houses next to each trading post to protect it from trolls. When trading posts get really expensive, you can spam inns for additional gold and additional tax collectors to collect that gold.

Trade Routes: This can take some retries. Get that marketplace to level 3 ASAP for the extra gold. Dwarves are the way to go here, since they allow you to spam dwarven towers along the paths the trade carts use. Look for the sign posts to know where the trade carts spawn; there are 5 spawn points (randomly chosen when the map starts).

Elven Treachery: I always kill the elves because I don't like what they did. There are two big things you can take advantage of on this map. 1) Elves (and rogues) hate being shot so they will always flee guard towers and dwarven towers; a single tower can protect all buildings next to it. 2) Elves (and Rogues) are greedy, so it doesn't take a huge reward flag to get them to kill their own buildings once you find them. There is one big trap though: Elves have a very long range and they are greedy, so they'll look for things to snipe. Make sure guard towers are around high wealth buildings for the health of your tax collectors, and make sure you don't bother with slow heroes like warriors and wizards. Paladins are wonderful for this map, being fast, strong, and durable enough to deal with elves.

Urban Renewal: This is going to take luck to really get started. Everything I said about the Elf and Rogue AI applies even more to this map. If they find a path to start regularly sniping your tax collectors, you're done.

The Ixmil Fortress: I'm not sure what to say about this one. It was really irritating, and I kind of built up and eventually won more by happenstance than through any particular strategy. Get a level 3 Agrela Temple to resurrect your heroes.
Post edited April 16, 2021 by Bookwyrm627
Rise of the Ratmen guide. This one is going to be frantic.

1) We're looking for a decent map layout.
We've got 4 outlying settlements, and these are the main spawn points of the ratmen swarms. Ideally want most of them on one side of your palace settlement. My winning run just now had one spawn SW and the other three N, NE, and E. This can help focus our defenses, while also giving comparatively safe areas for buildings like temples. Even better is if both starting trade posts are very distant from our market.

We also want our market defended. It looks like there will always be at least two sewers close to it, but we can restart until the other Palace settlement sewers aren't with it and the layout allows for buildings between the market and attackers. It is fine if the market is in the path of a swarm.

2) Hero choice:
Ratmen champions are strong, can't be charmed, and come in large packs, so I don't think Priestesses and Cultists are going to cut it. They aren't durable enough, fast enough, or have enough time to build up masses of bodies. Paladins are fast, strong, durable, and willing to go shopping when they have a minute and some cash. Let's go paladins. Lots of paladins. More paladins.

Get a few rangers early to help with the very early rats. They'll also push back the fog around our palace settlement so we can build. Rangers don't have the durability to deal with swarms, so we aren't making many; try to keep them alive, but don't worry about replacing them once a week or so has passed.

Slowly add some healers for free healing. As long as their guild isn't in the line of fire, we probably won't need to replace them. They'll gain levels on their own so their self-resurrection ability will take care of respawning them.

If you make a Rogue's Guild, then feel free to recruit a rogue or two to loot gravestones. There will be more than enough graves, which is free money.

We'll have guilds for monks, dwarves, and wizards, but we're not building any. Monks and Dwarves are too slow. Wizards would be incredibly lucky to make it to level 2 on this map.

3) Early tasks: We need to do several things right out of the gate, so crank the game speed down for a bit. Our first task is to place some buildings so the peasants have something to do while we're clicking elsewhere. We need a Warrior's Guild and Dauros Temple first, then place a new blacksmith and Agrela temple. Make sure you place the paladin pre-req's before the others so they get in the build queue first.

If the market is near the attack path of a swarm, then we want a Warrior's Guild directly between our market and their line of march. We want the Dauros temple, the Agrela temple, and our new blacksmith in an area of town that isn't in the direct way of incoming ratmen waves; none of them are priority targets for rats so they should be fine. A wizard guild will also be useful; I placed mine next to the market and warrior's guild, but somewhat off any lines of march. This helps buffer the market against incoming hordes.

Our second task is to get our market researching so we can upgrade it. We want level 3 immediately to take advantage of the half dozen or so trade carts that will spawn before the initial trade posts are overrun. One of my incoming trade carts carried over 900 gold, so it was worth over 2700 at the level 3 market, which means that one trade cart very nearly reimbursed me for getting the market to level 3. Your heroes need healing potions and rings of protection anyway, and you can add the amulet of teleport a bit later. The sooner your market is level 3, the more trade carts that get that 3x multiplier.

All of our outlying settlements are doomed. Our third task is to remove them from the tax routes and repair routes, after which we'll completey ignore them. We don't want our peasants or taxmen wasting time walking out to these settlements to die; they can die just fine in the Palace settlement while actually getting some work done. Even the gold generating buildings are worthless because basic Ratmen will steal it all and murder your approaching taxmen as an encore.

We're going to start recruiting paladins as soon as possible. We need a full Warrior's Guild of paladins by yesterday. The sooner they can buy potions and start gaining experience, the better.

We want to upgrade our new blacksmith early and often. Our paladins will have money to burn on the better gear. A level 3 blacksmith will also let us place a dwarven settlement somewhere to help fend off ratmen; I put mine next to the market where it could cover nearby sewers and be in the line of march for ratmen waves. You could also put it in an area that needs the extra defense. It can't handle any of the larger rat champion waves by itself, but a nearby Warrior's Guild or even just a few ballista towers go a long way.

4) Longer term and general tactics:
Whenever a broken sewer main crops up around your palace, put a small bounty on it. Don't worry about sewer mains in outlying settlements; it is dangerous for your heroes to go out there, and if they are out there then they aren't defending your settlement. Eventually paladins will raze the outliers when they have spare time. Build a few Rangers before placing a bounty on the sewer main that starts in your palace settlement so you have the might to deal with the champion that spawns when it is destroyed. Destroy it before Day 3 so rats don't spawn from it.

When we have enough gold, we're getting a second Warrior's Guild, again placed right in the line of march. Pick a different ratmen attack route than the first Warrior's Guild. Earlier is better so your new paladins can start getting experience.

Upgrade the Wizard Guild to level 3 as you have spare gold. Your paladins will get their gear enchanted, and you'll have access to Lightning Storm. A well aimed Lightning Storm can turn a large swarm of rat champions into a pile of grave markers. That said, the spell is expensive so mind your finances. If your paladins can deal with a swarm without you losing anything important, then let your paladins get the experience.

Don't be afraid to drop an inn directly in a ratmen attack path, especially while you are trying to build your paladin numbers. Inns are cheap distractions that can buy time for your paladins to deal with threats. Any taxes you manage to collect from them is just a bonus. Place it between waves so your peasants have time to finish it before a wave arrives.

Once these other tasks are done, if you find you have 5k or more, then you can upgrade your palace to level 3 to add another temple. I'm not sure whether Helia or Lunord is better since you're basically just defending your settlement; I chose Solarii under the assumption they would be a little tankier than Adepts. Alternatively, a better idea is to just build another Warrior's Guild and buy more paladins.

We're not going to worry about upgrading either our Dauros or Agrela temples, but we are going to make extensive use of their level 1 spells. Any time you see a paladin tanking more than one ratman champion (or even one champion if the paladin is low level), or a few basic ratmen, then cast Stoneskin on them. This will drastically lower the damage the paladin is taking, which lowers the pressure on their healing potion stock and your treasury. If a paladin dips to low hp (say, half), then heal them yourself. Spending 1000 gold on temple spells is a net gain for you if it saves a paladin's life, because that paladin already has experience. If you see a taxman being harassed, then consider the economics of casting stoneskin and/or heal on them. A 1k gold return is worth a 200 gold heal.

Pick an edge of the map close to your town that is NOT near a line of ratman advance, and build a trade post there. Don't spend gold to defend this post, just rebuild it when it is destroyed and the destroyers move on; the occasional swarm will head over specifically to wreck the one building (bonus: fewer rats swarming your heroes at one time). Even one tradecart will net more than the 500-ish gold to build a "first" trade post.

When a threateningly large swarm of ratmen gets near a Warrior Guild, use Call To Arms to pull all 4 resident paladins home. They'll get to work and the concentration of force will help them survive. Don't forget to stoneskin and heal them.

If a high level paladin (8-ish) is alone and surrounded, don't panic. Check whether they are doing okay and have some spare healing potions, and if they seem to be alright then just hit them with stoneskin and let them get experience. Keep an eye on them and use Call To Arms to pull them out if they are about to die.

If you have spare cash, then you can place a cluster of 2-3 Ballista Towers in a ratmen attack path. They can support existing defenses and impede any swarms they don't destroy outright.

Around Day 25, Rhodan and swarms appear all over the place. If you have two or three paladin guilds backed by a Lightning Storm or two, you should be fine. Rhodan himself isn't much of a threat; one of my level 8 paladins basically solo'd him with a little stoneskin and healing support from me. Once the swarms are under control, the new broken sewer mains can be torn down in short order.
A Deal With A Demon

I think of this map as having two phases. Phase one is pacification, and phase two is making money.

Priestesses and Cultists are a great fit for this map as they happily fill the map with spawned and converted minions. Fill the Krypta guild and build and fill a Fervus guild. You can buy a wizard or two if you like, or some warriors at the Warrior guild. Fill a Ranger guild so the map gets explored quickly.

One of your first buildings should be a marketplace. Build it near your palace for easy drop off or build it near the corner to add more distance for trading posts. If it isn't very near the entrance to your palace, then make sure to build a guard house right next to it so taxmen can deposit the literal thousands they'll be collecting each trip after your money machine is running.

In this run, I abandoned the inn and blacksmith that weren't close to my town. Neither building was expensive or developed enough to be worth the bother of saving them after the guard tower was destroyed by a random troll. I also took these buildings off tax and repair routes when two taxmen took some money to their deaths trying to collect from the Inn. Build a replacement blacksmith near your palace so it is defended.

There are unallied rogues on the map, but they are a minor nuisance at worst. Place a small bounty on their buildings and your heroes will have to race them to collect it. You don't even need to put a bounty on the rogues themselves. See the screenshot.

Werewolves can be a problem for your priestesses. Feel free to hit one with Wither if it is harassing a fleeing hero.

Once the map is more or less pacified, build trade posts at the most distant points from your market that you can fit them. Get a Dwarven settlement, build two ballista towers (adjacent to each other) at each trade post, and you don't have to worry about them for the rest of the map. Each caravan should add at least 1500 gold to your market, which adds up quick when you have 5-6 trade posts producing caravans. You can stop with trade posts when they start costing over 10k gold.

Once the map is cleared of monster lairs, get Palace 3 and build a single Fairgrounds. A tournament will let you leech whatever gold your heroes might be holding now that they have basically nothing to do.

Inns and Royal Gardens are your two other main money makers. Inns are cheaper (at first) but Royal Gardens make money faster. I'd say build extra Inns until they cost as much as a Royal Garden, then add RG's (which don't cost more as you build more). After 5-6 RG's, just stop and wait. Both buildings count for adding new fountains.

The run from the screenshot wasn't great, and I finished on Day 33. Build a Rogue Guild level 2 and you can Extort whenever it would push you over the 100k mark if you want to finish that little bit faster.
rogues.gif (346 Kb)
Clash of Empires

I did restart this one until the marketplace was right outside my palace gate.

You start with a Temple of Fervus, which kind of makes that decision for you. Happily, Krypta + Fervus is a good combo for this map. Fill the Fervus temple and get a Krypta temple built and filled. Plant a Warrior Guild next to your market and fill it with Warriors of Discord. When you've stabilized the immediate area, Rangers are quite useful for map exploration and they'll generally avoid overwhelming trouble.

Warriors of Discord are amazing combatants, with an inversely proportional intellect. They tend to wander into trouble until they die, forgoing both potions and equipment as they carry thousands of gold upon their person. Keep an eye on your Discord Warriors and make sure to heal them when they get low. Don't be afraid to use Call To Arms to pull them out of trouble (or to get them engaged if enemies spawn near their guild).

Expect to lose heroes, and replace them when they die. Get a Mausoleum and you'll be able to pay extra to get your higher level heroes back rather than starting over with new ones. Alternatively, get to Krypta-3 and you can try to revive them in the field if you miss a heal.

When a space along a map edge is clear of enemy spawns, add a trading post or two to boost your economy.

A dwarven settlement placed in the direct path can provide an excellent buffer against enemies that walk toward your settlement. It should be able to fend for itself. Ballista towers are also useful if you have spare gold.

If you find yourself with a lot of spare gold, then a Wizard Guild 3 will allow you to decline hosting a Goblin-Ratman mosh pit that spawns somewhere inconvenient. Expensive, but satisfying.

Focus your heroes on eliminating goblin watch towers that are right outside your town early. Beyond that, just alternate your lair targeting between the two factions. If one starts to really get hammered, then you should focus a little more on attacking the other. Don't forget that you can cast spells, like healing spells, on units that aren't aligned with you. If a ratman champion is wrecking havoc deep inside a goblin base, then maybe he could use a heal spell to keep the goblins busy a little longer.

There is a certain amount of luck involved.
Elven Treachery

This one can be hard to get off the ground because of the large waves of elves that like to come snipe your workers. One of your first three buildings should be a Market right outside the palace gate, and another of the first three should be a guard post positioned so it gives arrow coverage over your market. You do NOT want the elves buying healing potions at your market.

Elves, especially low level elves, will flee from any guard towers or ballista towers that fire arrows at them ("Victory is not in the cards"). Use this behavior against them by creating a line or arc of towers as a wall to give yourself building room. The mere fact they shoot back will protect them, so space them out so their coverage just barely overlaps. You don't need to rush to a Dwarven Settlement right away, but don't dally either.

We don't want any slow or low hp heroes because they will just be picked apart by the elves. So no warriors, discord warriors, dwarves, wizards, or cultists. Priestesses are an interesting idea because skeletons are VERY resistant to missile fire, which is most of the opposition you'll face (sewer spawns being the only other real trouble). The priestesses themselves are arrow bait, though. I think rangers and paladins are the units of choice here. A ranger has a decent chance of winning a 1v1 duel against an elf at comparable levels even without support, but your healing and stone skin spells will give them a large advantage. Paladins will tear through any elves that stop moving long enough to get hit, so just heal your paladins if they get low on hp while running around dispensing righteous fury.

There are four clusters of elven buildings. I suggest focusing on taking out each cluster you find to reduce the number of elves that spawn and distract your heroes from attacking buildings. As the number of bungalows shrinks, the number of new elves appearing will shrink, which means you can start snowballing how fast you are tearing their buildings down. Sadly, it looks like the elves and rogues are too loyal to actually try to claim the bounty flags you place on their buildings and heroes.

Back at town, add a trading post or two behind your lines of towers, and add a ballista tower at each post to keep elves or sewer spawns from trying anything funny. You can also spam some inns in the open space to boost your income.
Trade Routes

This one was...chaotic, and toward the end I was moderately sure I'd get a "Failed to save enough carts" defeat at any minute, but it worked out okay on Day 33. I suggest restarting until you get several trade routes that are very close together, so you don't have to cover as much ground.

I rushed toward Priestesses and Cultists because of the numbers they provide, and Cultists can convert some of your the enemies to your side. Rangers and Rogues also numbered among my ranks. Discord Warriors provided some bigger muscle when they weren't busy dying. My heroes did a LOT of dying. I'm still debating whether paladins, healers, and cheaper healing and resurrection spells would have been the better investment.

Market 3 ASAP for the trade cart bonus. Surround it with multiple protective buildings, including some guard towers so your taxmen can drop off the cash immediately.

You'll need to accept that you might never truly have control of the map, because new problems are just going to keep showing up. While many groups, like the barbarians and rogues, can be eliminated, be advised that once you get the initial notice about the appearance of strangleweeds and daemonwood they will continue to spawn without any further warning and they will happily wreck carts that blunder into them. Zero gold bounty flags can help mark their locations for you to watch. Focus your efforts on the enemies that are in the paths the trade carts use and try not to worry about all the problems running around in other areas.

I suspect my (somewhat late) investment in a Temple of Lunord may have given me the victory. Winged Feet can speed a cart past dangers that would otherwise wreck it, which is probably a better deal than a few Solarii running around hitting things. Keep a constant eye on the minimap for pings indicating trade cart spawns and haste them immediately.

You can try pushing out lines of ballista towers along the route that carts take to help shoot down some of the enemies that wander close. Mine did remove enemies, but they were frequently overrun as well.
Urban Renewal

If something gets to your peasants before you can get your first buildings up, then just call it bad luck and restart (ex. my first try had a couple of ratmen show up immediately and hang out by my palace gate murdering everything that emerged). This includes the massive numbers of elves and rogues that will happily pick off your townsfolk.

Speaking of elves and rogues, they pretty much decide our hero choice: paladins. Not even rangers this time because there are simply too many bad guys. A paladin can start carving up rogues and elves that stand and fight and she'll keep carving until she runs out of people to carve. I saw what might have been a dozen red guys at once trying to bring down two paladins, and that fight lasted a long time only because there were so many red guys and more kept coming. The red guys would all flee into their inn, a paladin would come by and smack it, and red guys would come pouring out like angry ants. The paladin would then start stamping until she ran out of ants to stamp.

The very first order of business is getting guard towers on opposite sides of your market to keep red heroes out of it. Hold off on researching healing potions until you have arrows in place; you REALLY don't want the bad guys getting their hands on healing sources. You won't have trade posts for a while anyway, so there isn't as much of a rush for Market 3. You may need to place a bounty on an enemy structure to get your towers to start shooting at red heroes; consider delaying heal potion research and placing your first red bounty until you're starting paladin production.

The next order of business is adding some towers to guard places to build your warrior guild, dauros temple, and blacksmith. The blacksmith will let your paladins upgrade their gear and eventually let you construct a dwarven settlement, which will both butcher enemy units in a wide radius and allow you to build ballista towers which will butcher enemies in a smaller radius. I've seen a ballista tower one-shot a level 1 elf, and this map is lousy with them.

Once you have some ballista towers to keep a space clear, you can add a temple to Adela so you can manually heal your paladins. In the meantime, add a stoneskin to any paladins that are getting swarmed, just to be safe.

I wouldn't bother doing anything with your starting magic bazaar; your paladins don't use Fire Balm, don't need the Tonic of Speed, and you won't have the gold to upgrade it AND keep the red heroes out of it.

There will be swarms upon swarms of units, but I finished this run while only hiring 4 heroes total, all of them paladins.

On the bright side, rogues are so disloyal on this map that a bounty of only 200 gold or so will get them to shoot their own buildings. Until a paladin runs by and scatters them like a dog through pigeons, anyway.

Edit to add a screenshot. This was taken after the victory screen, but shows most of the layout and my important buildings. I originally had a guard tower where the dwarf settlement is; the tower was torn down by a swarm of goblins or something partway through so I just placed the dwarf home there. The magic bazaar was just to the right of my palace; it was torn down by some bad guy swarm around the time I was starting to place ballista towers. Gold was pretty much always tight, but patience and paladins won the day. I didn't recruit healers because 1) they'd just be pincushions with the swarms of ranged units, and 2) I wasn't entirely sure they wouldn't run around healing the red heroes. I didn't end up needing either Agrela Temple I built (the first was torn down before I could get ballista towers up to protect it).
Post edited April 19, 2021 by Bookwyrm627
Fortress of Ixmil

The central feature of this map is its namesake, the Fortress of Ixmil. This building will disappear and reappear over the course of the map, and each time it appears it will summon a horde of monsters that will head for your town enmasse. It also has a magic attack to shoot at nearby heroes, so you'll need to hold off attacking it until your heroes are stronger.

It is entirely possibly that you will be hit with an overwhelming horde by the end of the first week (I was distinctly NOT prepared for a large number of shadowbeasts and an even larger number of rust spitters to hit me on day 9). If this happens, its just bad luck. If things seem to be going well, don't be afraid to drop a save.

Place your market right outside your palace gate, restarting a time or two if necessary so the buildings spawn in a way that allows it. A nicer start is if one of the guard posts is positioned to be adjacent at the same time. Next drop a ranger guild, and just as it finishes place a warrior guild so your peasants work on that while you are building 4 rangers. Get arrows for your guard posts and start pushing your market toward level 3. As soon as you have 4 rangers, go to Palace 2, then get a Dauros Temple and start making paladins as soon as you can.

There are several other monster spawners on the map, and you can work on clearly those out. The ice caverns present an interesting challenge, in that they will occasionally spawn yeti, but destroying one spawns one last yeti immediately.

Build the occasional trade post in a clear area somewhat near your base to boost your income, and rebuild it when you notice it is gone. Later, you can place a trade post guarded by two ballista towers in a map corner to cover pretty much all of your income needs for later.

I had a ranger guild, warrior guild (paladins), rogue guild, adela temple, and dwarven settlement for hero production. You have options, but get those 4 initial paladins up pronto to help against the first wave from Ixmil.

Sprinkle ballista towers around to help your defenses, get Agrela 3 for resurrection, and eventually Dauros 3 so you can petrify troublesome monsters. While I'm not sure about hiring wizards, a Wizard Guild 3 can absolutely trash certain Ixmil waves in exceptionally short order. One Lightning Storm will melt just about every single minotaur and shadowbeast caught in it. It does wonders against Rock Golems too, but they have enough hp to tank a few storms.

Add other supporting buildings when you have money as well, like a magic bazaar.
Dark Forest

The trick here is that basically nothing happens until the Witch King's tower is destroyed. You can prepare as long as you like as long as you keep your heroes off it.

Once the Witch King spawns, several things happen. 1) The Witch King and a bunch of monsters will spawn at his wrecked tower. 2) The Witch King will start periodically teleporting around the map. 3) The Witch King will continually spawn spiders at his location as long as he's alive. 4) Every daemonwood still alive on the map will animate and head for your town.

If your heroes are generally around level 7 or higher, then place a sizable bounty on the Witch King's head and they'll take care of it without too much trouble.

If you're having trouble surviving, then make sure you search the map and destroy all the Daemonwood. You can also place clusters of ballista towers around your town (and possibly a ring of towers surrounding your town) to fend off spiders. A Wizard's Guild 3 and the towers to provide spell coverage will also help take care of problems.

Place trading posts in distant areas where the caravans will have a clear path back to your Market 3, and you'll be swimming in money. If you can get them placed before your heroes stumble across the existing ones, then you can get the cheaper building costs as well.

You can place a few different Fairground buildings to give your heroes a safe way to accrue experience, but you'll need to make sure they have the money for it. Increase the default bounty for an Explore flag and just drop an explore flag on top of any hero to whom you want to donate money.

Extend a line of wizard towers to the Witch King's tower if you want an easy way to take care of his initial bodyguards. Also see the screen shot if you don't mind being a bit silly. It won't kill the Witch King (who will promptly teleport away), but it will certainly deal with his bodyguard.

Feel free to stick with the Fervus + Krypta combo, or you can demolish the Fervus temple yourself and switch to some other temple combination. I wouldn't recommend Krolm (barbarians are a bit too eager to go fight stuff without equipping themselves and you won't have any way to heal or revive your heroes), but any other combination is fine. As long as you get to Krypta/Adela 3 quickly to revive heroes to get themselves killed on Daemonwood, you'll be fine.
Post edited April 19, 2021 by Bookwyrm627
Elven Treachery is done! I was utilizing most of the strategy suggested but was using Warriors and Barbarians (spamming Rage of Krolm). Apparently that was too slow. I knew Paladins were borderline OP in this game but I was attempting a bit more cost-effective strategy first. Either way, at higher levels and with upgraded equipment, Paladins are INSANE in this game!!! :O
powerhouse5000: Elven Treachery is done! I was utilizing most of the strategy suggested but was using Warriors and Barbarians (spamming Rage of Krolm). Apparently that was too slow. I knew Paladins were borderline OP in this game but I was attempting a bit more cost-effective strategy first. Either way, at higher levels and with upgraded equipment, Paladins are INSANE in this game!!! :O
Good job!

I've come to strongly dislike Warriors because they are both slow and dumb. While running the Witch King a second time just to confirm my first run wasn't a fluke, my starting warrior walked right past the market with nearly 200 gold and zero potions in his pocket. He died to spiders shortly after that. Warriors are also an opportunity cost because they take up guild slots that could have been spent on Paladins (smart, fast, and strong) or Warriors of Discord (still slow and dumb, but massively better combatants).

Barbarians are pretty strong combatants, but they are slow, resistant to spending all the gold they accrue, and they tend to attract your other heroes to act as followers. I've seen a barbarian with more than half a dozen other heroes "Following and Supporting", including rangers and wizards. This is a great strategy for the other heroes because barbarians are a good meat shield, but is less desirable behavior for a sovereign unless the whole party is going after stronger monsters. Rangers especially tend to follow a barbarian around instead of exploring the map with their greater movespeed and vision radius.

Paladins are crazy good heroes. They do tend to seek out trouble, sometimes heading off to wreck something you don't want wrecked quite yet. Their main drawback is how long it takes to get them started; sometimes they aren't viable simply because you don't have time to get them before trouble reaches you. Other times they are overkill, and occasionally a hero with specialized abilities will outshine them in specific scenarios (Priestesses on an undead heavy map).