Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tunnels And Troglodytes

Tunnels and Troglodytes is the final scenario in the Liberation campaign. With the Kreegans on the run and the eastern border of Erathia secured, Queen Catherine now shifts her focus toward the vast network of tunnels that connect her lands to Nighon.

With respect to Antagarich's geography, Nighon exists as an island to the east of Erathia and Eeofol. There's a treacherous, rocky sea separating Nighon from the main continent, but the dungeon overlords prefer to dwell underground. For this scenario, the map designers made sure to be as accurate to this layout as possible.

On the overworld, there are two slivers of land on the eastern and western borders of the map. Separating them is a vast sea. Queen Catherine's forces start on the western land mass, controlling three cities. The eastern land mass doesn't have any cities.

In the subterranean map, there's a network of tunnels with five dungeons. Nighon starts the map with control over all of them. The three western dungeons are fully built. The two eastern dungeons cannot build dragons because the dwelling is disabled.

The starting heroes are Jenova, Christian, and Astral.

The key to completing this scenario is to capture and hold as many of the enemy dungeons as possible. This is a pure numbers game. Your forces start with a castle, a tower, and a rampart. Since you can't give all of these units to a single hero, the enemy will be able to overwhelm with dragons. By capturing dungeons, you'll be able to amass your army and create an uber hero.

Obviously, it makes more sense to hold the dungeons that can actually build dragons. The enemy AI is relentless on this map and will make use of liths and warp gates to evade your army. Worst of all, one of the one-way liths will bring the enemy directly into your starting area. It's possible that they may capture all of your starting cities.

The enemy also loves to combine their armies. There will be a single hero with 20+ black dragons. He or she will usually hang around the eastern-most dungeon in the subterranean map. In my game, that hero was Alamar the warlock. Occasionally, he left the dungeon to attack my cities. Thankfully, it was easy to distract him using weak heroes as bait.

It's okay to let your starting cities fall to the enemy, so long as you continue to hold the dungeons. The tables will be turned. The enemy will be stuck with the fragmented army while you will have large stacks of black dragons.

In the end, I gathered an enormous army of scorpicores and black dragons and crushed Alamar's troops. Then, I simply held all of the cities and waited seven days for Nighon's heroes to abandon their army.

I have a feeling that the map would have been much easier if I had learned Expert Town Portal. Unfortunately, I was unable to learn Earth Magic.

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