Friday, May 11, 2012

Taming Of The Wild

In Taming of the Wild, the second map in the Festival of Life campaign, Kilgor the barbarian must conquer the wasteland with three allies. This entails clearing the map of all enemy stacks without losing a single battle. If any Kilgor or any of his allies fall in battle, it's game over.

As with the previous map, there are no computer controlled enemy heroes here. You are free to build your stronghold as you please. Because there are no castles to invade or heroes to battle, it makes no sense to learn skills such as Ballistics or Eagle Eye.

Kilgor retains his stats from the previous map. I'm glad I took extra time to run around the previous map and locate all of the stat enhancers because Kilgor doesn't start with a very large army. However, the map is designed in such a way that Kilgor has to open the way for his three allies, who are dispersed in the far corners of the map and blocked by border guards.

Despite these meager beginnings, the map is filled with gold and crystals, the two resources most essential to barbarian town-building.

Kilgor starts in the center of the map next to the stronghold. There is a subterranean entrance nearby which leads to a cavern filled with medusae and a powerful stack of black dragons. Kilgor's starting area is populated by hostile goblins, which are easy to kill but time-consuming to engage.

There are three passageways from the stronghold to the outer ring of mountains. They are guarded by stacks of green dragons. In this outer ring, Kilgor will find the keymaster tents needed to free his companions. However, these tents are guarded by dangerous foes like cyclopses and manticores.

Kilgor's companions are (probably) randomized. However, in my playthrough, I ended up with Gurnisson in the north, Gird in the southwest, and Oris in the southeast. I stupidly taught Gurnisson the wisdom skill even though he did not have a spellbook and would not have any way to obtain one until significantly later.

However, Gurnisson had the easiest time clearing out his sector of the map as it was populated with soft-skinned wolf riders. The southeast is a dirt land filled with griffins and a boat. Oris had the most difficult time. The griffins very quickly swarm Oris' cyclopes. The southwest is a swamp filled with serpent flies. Gird started with a few behemoths who shredded the serpent flies like a hot knife through butter. However, the trouble with swamps is it takes forever to travel anywhere.

It took about a month before Kilgor finally reached the tents, reunited with his companions, pooled their resources, and obliterated all life in the area.

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