This was really a fun map! i played solo at hardest was kinda a challenge but with necro u kinda just snowball. i won in 10 months . Great work. love to see more maps like this :) it would be much harder to win if u werent playing necro^^ 10/10 more...
While doing the map I noticed many AI blocking with caravans, and if I take cities I get many caravans from enemy AI. It seems AI is not able to manage caravans, to a point it create traffic jams and make the game very slow: probably what creates my savegame unloadable too. more...
Sorry to say that, the map blocked after I beat the 3rd player too (with a relatively small army on my necromancy hero - 4k skeletons-170 vampires-30 dragons-500 spiders- 200 lamasu), I'm not able to reload a savegame.
My Pc is decent, 8Gb Ram + Radeon HD8750 with addition 2Gb DDR5 Ram.
Nice map. I liked the ideas of spell learning and picking secondary skills for 2 main heroes.
I finished in 205 days, using the horn, rushing. Didn't get the Grail, AI found it before, so 442 points this time.
At the very end, I had to cheat a bit, since I could not find black tent needed t more...
I found myself chasing AI until I lost interest... I appreciate the time invested to make and test the map, but it is far from enjoyable (at least for me). I suppose giving town portal,blind and animate dead would make it too easy, but chasing around AI is really not an alternative. more...
Here’s my experience with this map on Heroic. First, I’m an old hat at this game playing since HoMM I. My heroes did not have empowered spells, summoning magic (phoenix), or town gate when starting this map.
My first go round on Heroic, I captured the first town and took all the mines with hardly any losses. I also built the first town up before the waves of enemies started attacking. I killed the first hero, but then the Mass Decay hero attacked me and he had more creatures than I did and I lost.
So, I thought about a different strategy and it worked (so far). Second, I’m only on four towns and a defeated inferno hero twice; however, I feel that the map is roughly over now that I have town superiority.
What I did was capture the first town again and took all the mines I could (one had upgraded succubi). Build the town up with the thought that they have more enemies and creatures than I do (I believe I only upgraded enough to Matriarch Witches or something). Then, the Mass Decay hero came through the western gate and I ran for the eastern gate. One of the heroes got in my way, but I took him out. I started for the eastern town, but they had a too strong hero at the bottom of the path coming for me, so I ran for the middle town with him on my heels. Took the middle town (had lost the first town). By this time all the enemy heroes are after me. So, I ran up to the northwest to see if I could take that town, but it has the garrison, so I swung south on the western part of the map and took the middle western town (near the dragon utopia).
By this time I had lost the middle castle. Here’s where I got “lucky” or chose the right strategy. The Mass Decay hero went behind the northwest garrison and stayed there. The rest of the heroes left me alone. So, I think by approaching their “home” town it scripted their strongest hero to defend. This gave me enough time to upgrade the town I took to get some needed money, experience on random mobs, and take out the strong heroes one by one. In the meantime I also took the Dragon Utopia and it’s 20,000gp (and town gate spell). I hired all the strong heroes I defeated and checked the artifact merchant for the expensive good artifacts I needed. Once I had defeated 3 of the 4 strong heroes and had enough of an army to handle the first inferno army, I went south and took the other town. (Remember to visit the +2 attack/defense power up and I visited the above ground area in this area)
The first inferno hero came for this town and I waited for him recruiting from both towns before he hit. He was easy at this point. Cleaning up the rest of the area and any enemy hero that decided to attack. By this time I had capped (and luckily got empowered spells). Then, I moved to the middle town because it was the weakest. After that I went for the northeast town and moved toward the southeast town wiping the second inferno hero, which didn’t slow me down too much.
So, this is the point I’m at…outside the fifth town. It should only be a matter of cleaning up the two bottom towns and wiping the northwest hero before the third inferno hero gets to me, if I wish to run from him. Course I haven’t checked the garrison yet though…lol.
I don’t know if this is “the” strategy to use, but there are ways to beat this map…
Written by GatorG
Michael at 2006-12-05 10:45 wrote:
Walkthrough Campaign 4 "The Warlock" - Mission 4 "The March"
Warlocks get their ultimate satisfaction from destroying the opponent's entire army with only destructive spells. This mission serves precisely this purpose. Forget about your puny army; you don't need them, and you are not given anything significant later in the map. On the other hand, if for some reason you didn't develop either Destruction or Summoning magic, you will probably be eaten alive here on heroic!
There will be no town in this mission, and you only have one enemy to defeat. For the rest of the mission, you can explore around and defeat zounds after zounds of neutrals, but you have to get out before the two-month time limit. A little trick to conserve your troops against ranged / caster neutrals is to separate them into little stacks of 1. This way, each time the neutrals shoot, you only lose ONE unit.
Starting Bonus: Doesn't matter. The 8 minotaurs are slightly more durable, but the 14 assassins give you six more "hit points".
From your starting point, follow the tunnel north, and rescue a few endangered dungeon species along the way. There is a red keymaster tent at (1). When you pay a visit to it, a cut scene tells you that the key has already been stolen by an Inferno hero, Grawl, who got here just before you. (This Grawl does not use "Grawl's face", though.) Therefore, you can't pass the red gate at (2) unless you defeat Grawl and take the key from him.
Turn south, and at the end of the tunnel you will bump into a portal (Ia). There are a total of 15 portals in this dungeon, and this very portal is your only exit to The Maze that lies ahead! Let me explain a little how these 15 portals work:
The portals are organized into groups of threes (triplets). Portal Ia may carry you to Ib or Ic. Ib carries you to either Ia or Ic. And Ic brings you to - guess what - Ia or Ib! At the beginning, when Raelag enters Ia, he always comes out at Ib. After that the transfer pattern is possibly random, but if you try a few more times in and out, eventually you will visit all three portals in the set.
There are five groups of three linked portals. I've marked them all with different coloured Roman numbers I, II, III, IV and V.
You can only travel WITHIN a certain Roman number. Entering a portal of the IV triplet can never bring you to a portal of the V triplet. Therefore, after you defeat the Inferno hero, you can exit this dungeon only by entering either Ib or Ic.
Back to Raelag. When Raelag enters Ia, he comes out at Ib, with a stable located conveniently nearby. A cut scene plays and Grawl has escaped in front your eyes. He is now waiting on the ground level, marked by a red X. The fastest way to get him is to use the stairways 3 or 4. Stairway 3 is to your north, and you will come out on the corresponding stairway (3) on the ground level. You will be very close to Grawl.
Alternatively, you can take stairway 4, which is on your south. The good thing about stairway 4 is that you can visit an artifact merchant just beside the ground level exit 4. One great artifact for Raelag is the Emerald Slippers (5000G), which offers +50% damage to earth spells -- both Meteor Shower and Implosion!
The best way to fight Grawl - as I am sure you know by now - is to pound his troops non-stop with your most powerful spells. This fight is not difficult at all if you follow "the Warlock's way" - meteor shower for multiple stacks, implosion for individual stacks.
After defeating Grawl, you may travel inside this maze freely. Since now you know how the portals work, you can actually plan out an effective route to sweep the underground clean in one go. You can split troops between Raelag and Shadya, and have each explore half of the map. There is a trading post, a Hill Fort and a Witch Hut at 5. The only stat bonus on this map is located at 6.
When you are ready, use either portal Ib or Ic to return to Ia. You might need to try more than once (just turn around and enter the portal again) to get back to Ia. Then, go north to 2 to unlock the red gate, and use the stairway behind it. As long as you have one character reaching this stairway, you win the mission! Congratulations!
Walkthrough Campaign 4 "The Warlock" - Mission 3 "The Cultists"
This is a rather straight forward mission in the Warlock Campaign. Basically, you need to completely clear the map of the enemy SoulScar clan. Unlike the previous mission, this one puts you in a much more subdued position. You start out without a castle, and the enemy has seven (yep, seven). Obviously, it all boils down on how well you built Raelag in the last two missions. If you have leveled him nicely and have high Spell power with Expert Destructive Magic (and learned the high-level spells), Empowered Spells, and even Warlock's Luck (highly recommended for patch 1.3), then you will have a good time wiping out the enemy with Raelag's special ability.
Well, maybe not. On heroic, this mission is widely regarded as one of the toughest among all, simply because the AI heroes are bumped up a lot after patch 1.2. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to survive. If you are playing on patch 1.3, your mana runs out twice faster, but you might get a Warlock's Luck on your first Empowered Meteor Shower, saving your day. Resurrection s extremely helpful. Although it has been toned down in patch 1.3, you can still save up to 2/3 of your casaulties if you cast it at the right time (which is near the end of the battle).
Let's start from the beginning. As always, three bonuses are available - 14 Assassins, 4 Dark Raiders and one Shadow Witch. I strongly suggest you pick the Witch as even though you start out with 1 Matriarch, the Witch will be useful as a secondary spell caster and as such be an easy choice amongst the three bonuses.
Shadya starts out with Raelag as well, and thankfully she has reinforcements. The Shadow Matriarch I mentioned above is just in front of you, so pick her up. Don't be too hasty with the Blood Furies, as they are hostile. Clear the Blood Furies now, such a waste. :( On post-1.2 heroic, especially 1.3 (where you use up mana very quickly) you probably want to fight them with Shadya, to save Raelag's mana for the real fight on the end of the day.
Transfer almost all units from Shadya to Raelag. You probably won't need her power for the first week at least (simply because you don't have enough troops). Your total army with Raelag should now consist of: ~80 Minotaurs, 30 Blood Maidens, 1 Shadow Witch, 1 Shadow Matriarch and 24 Assassins. Not much, but most of the damage output will be done by Raelag, if you intend to win this scenario.
Above you is a Hut of the Magi, which will reveal a small portion of the Surface. The war you are fighting will only take place in the underground, so why reveal a part of the surface? As you may have noticed, the Soulscar clan is aligned with the Demons, and they will continually send heroes (with increasing strength) to fight you. There will be a total of three waves, spawning as soon as you own 2, 4, and 6 towns. The demon Heroes will have to take the path which is revealed by the eye of the Magi, so this will serve as a warning system to you. The Demons will invade strictly from Point D marked on the minimap.
The enemy Warlock has 7 heroes who are relatively strong. Depending on difficulty, they will start with a moderate army with lv 18-19, or with a big army (which enables them to crush you on quick combat) with lv 22-23. Sooner or later they will come after you. On heroic, rest assured at least 6 of them will show up during the first two weeks, and the first one attack you on the end of Day 1, and the second on attack you on the end of Day 2!
Start by taking Castle #1. The enemy hero stationed here will come after you sometimes. Hopefully you'll fry everything else with Meteor Showers or Chain Lightnings before your units are killed off. Note that the units you deploy on the battlefield decides the random seed how the battle will go, so if you definitely cannot win a certain battle, try to hide some stacks, and maybe luck will come to your side. You should be able to take Castle #1 by the end of Day 2.
Now that you have one castle; it's essential that you secure the other one who lies just north-east in close proximity. Undoubtedly the enemy will have another high level hero waiting for you there as well. (or come to you directly when you hit End Turn this time) Hopefully you have enough mana left. You can quickly upgrade the wall and pray to Asha, if that boosts your confidence. If you are playing on a lower difficulty, then you actually have about a week of free time now. You can use Raelag to flag all mines to the south, and then take Castle #2 before the end of Day 1, Week 2 (so you can hire the fresh units from it).
From now on, every castle assault will look similar. You just need to feature some high-hp units to soak up the damage, while quickly use Meteor Shower and Chain Lightning to paint the floor with their blood. Once you have these 2 castles, you have a bit of breathing space, as the small peninsula is under your control.
Well, hold your breath on heroic. Your nightmare just started! There are still a handful of powerful heroes rushing straight to you, and they are not less powerful than the ones you've just beaten. The first wave of demon army will knock on your door on the third day as well! It is very likely that you cannot hold out both towns, even if you didn't really lose any significant army yet (learned Resurrection from mission 2?). You might need empty up Castle #2 and focus on defending Castle #1, which is much better built and profitable (as you should have put a capital in it). The demon army will take Castle #2 (and build it up a bit, until you take it back later rather easily).
On heroic, don't even think of going out with Raelag before you take out 6 mighty heroes (there are 7, but one usually gives up the entire army to another and go back to recruit.) Don't even think of flagging mines that are deep east. These powerful heroes are coming to you in a stream, and they will use up your mana (especially on patch 1.3).
The toughest hero is usually Lethos. His army is bigger than the others, and he likes to pay a visit to the Dragon Utopia on the way here. He'll usually get Implosion there, plus a handful of great artifacts to make him even harder to beat. If you are lucky, though, you can get the Emerald Slipper from him (50%+ on your Meteor Shower and Implision, can't beat this deal). Generally speaking, unless you can't make it back in time or you have no mana, always fight with Raelag. You will lose much less units with Raelag (because of his Intimidate special). Your hard days will be finally over when you take care of the initial wave of assault. There won't be anymore in the short term.
If you are not playing on post-1.2 heroic, then take over whatever mines and resources lie around. Though you are separated by water, there are two portals (marked by red lines) which lead to your way, on the far corners of the peninsula. I strongly suggest you use Raelag for the conquest out there, but not give him all the troops. Raelag will gain troops from the castles he takes over, whereas you need a lot of defense for Shayda.
If you rush out with Raelag rather early (i.e. not on post-1.2 heroic), then whichever portal you take with Raelag, you can expect mighty heroes to come out of the other route. Another problem is the demons assaulting your towns. They will always teleport in the bottom-right corner, so your first two towns will be in danger. More reason to keep a good amount of forces for defense.
What is done and how it's done from here is almost just like in a normal scenario. You have to take over every castle. I marked the way I took on the minimap numerically, but depending on the AI decisions that may or may not be the best way. There are two "outer" castles on the edges of the map, two "inner" ones, and one stronghold in the northwestern corner. The stronghold is protected by a garrison, which should again, be no match for Raelag's magical arsenal even on heroic (where you will see a few dozens of Death Knights). Alternatively, if you are confident enough, just to a grand counter-clockwise tour of 6-3-7-4-5. On 1.3, your mana will run out after the garrison, so you probably have to take Castle #4 before #7.
Before you finish the mission, there are quite a few stat bonuses scattered around. There are five islands on the ground level; each can be accessed by a two-way portal in the underground level. Each island contains one stat bonus. One of them has a Witch Hut and another contains a Sylanna's Ancient (level up tree). There is also another confined underground area accessible from another two-way portal; there is a witch hut inside.
By the way, the Inferno heroes tend to ignore town 1 and 2 when Raelag is not around. So once you've secured one side of the portals, you can also send Shadya out to the other direction to capture towns. You should be able to squeeze the blue to only 1-2 towns left in the first month.
Once you have taken control all castles, victory will be yours!
Dohh at 2006-11-11 15:38 wrote:
I'm stuck in the mission The Cultists. Don't know if I have enough magic ressourses to pass this mission. I've got implosion, chain lightning and meteor shower (skills: 4, 4, 16, 4) of spellpower. From basic skills I have chosen Dest. Magic, Offence, Defense, Dark magic and Luck. The first battle with the hero who has a minotaur speciality causes so serious losses, that I'm not able to survive the next one, just one day later, when I'm sitting in the castle. In the first battle that shithead uses fireball when he can move before me and resurrection when I do. Have tried like 20 times, and the best, I can do, is to win with 25 assassins in spare...
Any suggestions? (except to lower the level, I would like to continue on heroic)
WesJanson at 2006-09-03 21:40 wrote:
to: Legalos green leaf
In fact, you have to be agressive to win this mission. So when you have the second castle and everybody keeps sending you armies, buy a hero to protect the second castle (you should have kept the female hero (I do not remenber her name) in your first castle), defeat the Demon hero and then do attack another castle with your main hero (that I do not remember his name too...). With enhanced meteor shower, you should be able to defeat any army in this mission.
hi im on the cultists on the dungeon campain and im rele stuck because the enemy keeps sending loads of good heroes to attack me and i only have 2 castles to defend them off but when i defend one castle the other gets atacked from the 2 portals :(
Michael at 2006-08-10 13:50 wrote:
Campaign 4 (The Warlock) - Misson 5 (Raelag's Offer)
While the programmers have probably convinced you that Raelag could take over the world all by himself in the previous maps, they will prove you wrong here by boosting the neutral numbers so much that your jaw will drop. There is only so much damage an Empowered Meteor Shower or Implosion can inflict (3000 or so). You need a powerful army to secure victory, and you are given one!
Our glorious Warlock campaign finale is actually a grand escape. Your objective is to reach the opposite SW corner of the map, with BOTH Raelag and Shadya. Your enemy - the blue Inferno AI owns three towns, and steadily builds up its forces. These Inferno heroes will come to you when they have the upper hand; otherwise they hide in their towns when you get close. You have the option of destroying them all, or simply ignoring them.
You might think a town or two will give you some fresh troop supply, but unfortunately that is not the case here. Whenever you conquer an Inferno town, the tower "crumbles" and it is gone permenantly. Therefore, try not to lose any creature during battles against neutrals, and feel free to skip the difficult ones. The good news is there are several high-level Dungeon and Inferno creature dwellings on the map. At certain places, neutral creatures will join you for free as well.
Your way out isn't at all straight forward. The paved road is guarded by a total of nine garrisons. Some of them are particularly formidable. Here is the composition of these garrisons on heroic, Week 1 Day 1:
AD = Arch Devil; PL = Pit Lord; SC = Succubus; SM = Succubus Mistress; CB = Cerberus; HH = Hell Hound; HD = Horned Demon; HO = Horned Overseer; FM = Familiar; IM = Imp; FE = Fire Elemental
Fortunately, You are not expected to tackle all of them. There are two inter-connected underground passages, as well as a mud-road detour, which bypass the toughest garrisons. There are other enemies you have to face underground, but they are nothing compared to... 3000 familiars, 600 hell hounds, 180 succubus and 35 arch devils!
Note: People used to be able to skip the garrisons with the "Instant Travel" spell, which was conveniently offered in the Inferno towns as soon as you conquer one. However, since patch 1.1 this spell is no longer offered.
Starting Bonus: This mission has more might than magic, so the golden horseshoe (luck +2) is your friend.
Your heroes start out in the NE corner. There is a Hut of Magi (1) on the roadside, telling you where to go. A little further down the road lies the Boots of Swift Journey (2), which is very useful in this mission. Since the movement points are determined at the beginning of the day, you can put on the boots before ending a turn, and swap it for the golden horseshoe before a battle.
Next, you have to break through Garrison A, the easiest garrison among all. After that your have a few choices of where to go:
(Option A) Stay on the the paved road, pass Garrison B, and challenge the NW Inferno town. You can eliminate one of the three towns right away, but you will lose some troops.
(Option B) Take the Blue Keymaster Tent (blue K) in the east, and pass through the Blue Gate (blue G) in the north. Enter the underground passage nearby (3).
(Option C) Take the Red Keymaster Tent (red K) in the north, and pass through the Red Gate (red G) in the east. Enter the underground passage nearby (4).
If you have the Resurrection spell, I would recommend option A, because you can to take down both garrison B and the NW town without losing any unit. (Hint for a perfect resurrecting castle assault: deploy assassins only!) Then, you can challenge garrison C, E, the SE town, garrison H, the SW town, and finally garrison I.
If you can't resurrect, then the underground passages might be more friendly to you. Option B and C are roughly the same. Let's discuss option B as an example.
Option B: After taking care of some 1000 Familiars/Imps, visit the mana well, and give Shadya a not-very-useful but durable unit (such as hydras). Now she is ready to visit the Blue Keymaster Tent (blue K). The creatures on the way are quite weak and she should be able to kill them all with her Destructive spells alone. In the meantime, send Raelag and all other units to the the Blue Gate (blue G), and unlock it once Shadya visits the tent. (Someone must have a strong arm to throw the key!) Just below the Blue Keymaster tent is a small group of minotaur guards waiting to join Shadya.
The underground passage here (3) carries an Inferno theme, and so do all the creature buildings you can see. You really don't need them as there are better things ahead. If you follow the road west and south, you will eventually face a stationary blue hero. Take care of him, and the stairway behind this hero takes you back to ground level at (4), with a Hill Fort (for upgrading units) just north of it. From here, you can aim directly for the exit (8), after passing through the final garrison I.
The Inferno hero based on this SW town (Grawl/Deleb) might have a large army if you come here rather late. I have also seen reports about an unreasonably powerful Grawl even by Week 3. During my three runs on this mission (heroic, patch 1.1 & 1.2), Grawl and Deleb were always managable, though.
Alternatively, you can go through the only pair of underground portal (P). You will be transported to the other underground passage (5), which carries a Dungeon theme. The nice thing about this Dungeon passage is that you will be able to recruit some shadow/deep dragons along the way. Moreover, there are some nice dungeon creatures waiting to join you not very far ahead.
There is another stationary blue hero waiting at the end of this Dungeon passage. The stairway behind this one takes you to (6), just south of the SE blue town. Again, there is a Hill Fort to the north for you to upgrade the dragons. Also, if you follow the mud road east, you will be greeted by lots of friendly bikini babies (shadow witches) and hydras at (7). These free witches give a huge boost to your ranged power, so don't let them wait for too long! (Er... actually they grow at ~10% per week, too.) You can also hire some other dungeon units here at (7).
If you have decided not to bother with the blue army, you don't have to go back to the paved road. Follow the mud road west, and there is a small garrison H. Keep going west, and you will hit garrison I, and the exit (8) after it.
When both Raelag and Shadya pass the final garrison I, a scripted event takes place and you have to defeat an Inferno hero, which is not hard at all if you have conserved your troops along the way. This is the final battle of this exciting warlock campaign. Congratulations!
The ultimate challenge of the warlock campaign is to defeat all garrisons here, even the craziest ones! One skill that helps a ton here is Light Magic and the Resurrection spell. You could have learned it from a Dragon Utopia back in mission 2 or 3. Note that you cannot resurrect magic-immune black dragons, so it is up to you whether to let them out and take the heat.
The problem for the starting 15 black dragon is that they are not powerful enough to wipe out a super stack (such as 1k familiars) in a blow, and they will suffer from the counter attack. However, since you can now eliminate the blue towns in a blitzkrieg, you can flag their gold mines (3 in total), and keep hiring more dragons. I'd like to make Shadya running a "dragon recruit express line" in the SE corner. Without logistics, she should be able to recruit 3 dragons per week, while Raelag is "cleaning the map" elsewhere.
The 400 fire elementals in garrison G will be a huge headache. When I finally did it on heroic (didn't let out my blackies), I had to spend more than 300 mana to finish this battle without losing unit. Also, the 3000 familiars in garrison F stole all Raelag's mana, so nothing could be resurrected. By the way, I have heard that if you mind control the familiars (Puppet Master, etc.), they also steal mana for you!
Finally, Raelag is going to appear in the last (Academy) campaign, so it is not completely useless to give him a few more stat points and levels in this mission. :)
Did you face any demon army, red player from the south? There should be 3 in total, arriving when you own 2, 4, and 6 cities. Anyways, either type @Win(), or restart with the latest patch installed. Patch 1.2 solved me a similar problem in C6M3.
hey again, well first of all thanks for the help!
but the problem is that now that i have loaded the game i found out that i had already captured 7 cities!!!
now what :( .. ?
In addition I got rid of all of my enemies ...
Klaital at 2006-07-21 21:34 wrote:
There are 7 cities total. Two near your starting location, one at the lower left corner, one an the left side around middle, one at the upper left corner (behind a garrison), one middle at the top side, and the last one at the upper right corner.
Iv'e been trying to pass this mission for weeks! (The-Cultists).
I'm stuck...the mission is to capture all of the cities and i had captured 6 (or 7 I can't remember) and yet i have't passed this mission. it seems to be that im missing a city and i don't really know where the last city is.
I'd like to get a little help Cuz I cant keep playing the game now...