Part 13: Haven Campaign, Map One, Part TwoIt's close, but Blood it is.
We can build all 3 upgrades to our Core creatues, as well as the Advanced Marketplace and Haven's unique buildings. You'll be in short supply of resources early on, though, so you won't be able to upgrade the Sisters for a while or get Town Portal.
This first part is very slow going. The Haven Core has low initiative so you're usually trying your best to avoid losses or going first, and Sisters are at risk till you can build up bigger numbers. There's a creature building just south that helps, and if you recruit Rosalie you can swiftly build up a decent number of Sisters, which can dish out good damage and Pacify key stacks. Shore them up with Praetorians and Reinforcements and you're good to go if you're not struck first.
Near the end of the week, we get a visit from Jorgen, who if you may recall cured Anton of his voices when he was younger.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
They are assassins! Beware of the Faceless! They are treacherous. They divide.
Ah.. Master Jorgen.
The trial is about to resume. Uriel continues in your sister's defense. He has gained support in his accusations against the Faceless.
I'm sure they did it! They took control of Anastasya's mind with their dark magic.
The Faceless have not been seen in centuries, and the shadow magic of Malassa has been studied by many. The culprit could be anyone.
Yes Anton, listen to reason, not your voices.
I know they're back! I can hear them.
So the voices have returned. You haven't heard them since you were a child. Something recent - the death of your father, the shock - must have awakened them. Anton, beware of messages from unknown messengers.
Anyone - or anything - that can help me find the murderers of my father is a welcome ally. Is that clear?
Well I guess it was too much to hope for.
While you could cross the bridge now, it's a good idea to head south to capture a nearby Haven Fort, complete with a creature building and a badly needed Crystal Mine. At this point, I also manage to get enough Crystal to upgrade our Sisters.
The Order of Vesta draws its name from the widowed wife of Emperor Ronan II. Vesta Falcon retired from public life the day her husband was killed in battle and dedicated herself to Elrath in pursuit of powers that might put an end to fighting once and for all. Vestals are crucial in battle, using their healing powers to support their allied troops.
Vestal Damage: 5-7 (Magical, Light) Defense: 2 (5%) Magic Defense: 10 (21%) Health: 22 Initiative: 25 Movement: 5 (Walking) Range: None Destiny: 7 Morale: 12 Cost: 150 Growth: 11/week Abilities: Heal, Pacification, Living
The Sisters and Vestals of the Holy Empire, emboldened by their faith in Elrath, master the healing powers of the Dragon-God of Light. Many soldiers recount the tale of being saved in extremis in the heat of a bloody battle by the warm hands of a Sister. Some even claim that they were dead, but that the priestess brought them back to life.
Heal acts similiarly to the spell of the same name, allowing the stack of Vestals to heal any ally, with a stronger stack of Vestals healing greater. They can Heal themselves, and they have 2 charges of the move per stack.
While Vestals don't get any stronger, they do get more defensive magically, and an extra 5 initiative is helpful. The Heal ability does allow the Vestals to support their troops, but it's generally a poor idea to use them solely for that reason. Vestals are still great sources of damage and Pacification is a great ability. Heal is good for topping off the Vestals themselves or other big troops, but don't rely on it solely to keep your party topped up, since they only have 2 charges. It's also unwise to split your Vestals, since that greatly degrades the strength of Heal and for a spell that is a direct heal rather than over time (like Waves of Renewal), the more punch the better, even if it would be wasted.
Also, regarding Anton's build, while the first few levels you should pick up the essentials (Reinforcements, Tactics, Regeneration), after that you're pretty free to build him whichever way you want. Anton can pick up a lot of good passive Skills, and I pick up Ambush, which increases Initiative for all our troops by 5 for the first 3 rounds, and Rush, which gives a hefty one-turn Initiative and Movement boost. Given Haven's slow speed, any bonuses to Initiatve is welcome, especially if you pick up rings boosting that in the Advanced Marketplace.
The other option for Anton is to actually develop him Magically. Like Irina, Anton can make great use of Stone Skin, Regeneration and Heal, especially with Vestals and Praetorians backing him up. Being a Knight means low Mana though, so you can pick up Magic Affinity I and II, found in the Prime school. Magic Affinity I gives you a permanent 30 Mana (which also means another 3 mana/day), while Magic Affinity II regenerates an additional 5% mana/day, both great for longevity issues.
Once you hit your third week (I hadn't crossed the bridge yet, which says something about much running about we have to do), we get a cinematic.
Kind of Missing the Point, Anton (YouTube via Polsy)
We have two sets of Orc territories to investigate; south of our Haven fort, or east across the bridge. East is easier, and leads to the Griffin quest, anyway.
Nonsense! They saved Ashan from a demon invasion and have proven their courage more than once. They can be converted to Elrath. If you don't think you're up to the task, I'll get someone else.
Oh Anton. Kind of screwing up whatever Slava accomplished.
There is a group of Orcs guarding the bridge. Easy enough fight, though I'll point out that on bridges, the battlefield is much wider. Good for ranged troops, bad for melee troops. You can also see what is becoming a painful trend - Stronghold troops are faster than ours, which means our Vestals get shot at before we can Reinforce them. We can have our Vestals Heal themselves to full, then Reinforce them on the same turn, at least.
The Orcs have protected our borders for decades. They were born to fight demons, our natural enemy.
They must convert to Elrath. my father tolerated these 'shades of grey' and look what it got him. I'll never forget the look of horror in his eyes as Anastasya brought him down! The Orcs will convert or leave.
Mm. We can either head east to mop up the Orcs on this end, or head north through a Subterranean Tunnel to finish the Griffin Eggs quest.
And an Orc hero tries to sneak past me as soon as I went underground. They can be very annoying if left unchecked, as they will constantly harass you back and forth between Forts and your Castle (if they manage to take it). It's a good idea to use the Logistics Trait for this map or have Anton learn the Logistics Skill so you can catch them within a turn or two.
There are also a couple pieces of the Prophet set on this map, which is great for buffing Anton's weaker Magic abilities.
The tunnel is quite short and not much to get, other than a Gold Mine and a friendly stack of Sentinels. Just to the west is a stack of Goblins which guard the Griffin Eggs we need.
Anyone who ruffles the feathers of a griffin draws his wrath! I'll not let this go unpunished.
Blood it is!
Duke Anton... you have righteously punished these sneaky, souless half-demons. Those who hide under the protection of Darkness defy Elrath's Light.
Grabbing the Eggs, we can head south to an exit which leads to the area we saw earlier, giving us a friendly stack of 10 Griffins and a Haven Elite Creature building. A nice reward.
Griffins were created in the Mythic Age from the spontaneous magical fusion of lions and eagles. At that time the surface of Ashan was irrigated by dragon-veins, remnants of the Dragon Gods wars, and animals that drank of these untamed rivers of dragon blood and magic were permanently altered by it. It is said that an act of compassion by an eagle who rescued a lion being carried away by the current of a dragon-vein gave rise to this formidable species.
Griffin Damage: 14-18 (Might) Defense: 12 (25%) Magic Defense: 14 (28%) Health: 80 Initiative: 35 Movement: 6 (Flying) Range: None Destiny: 7 Morale: 8 Cost: 490 Growth: 3/week Abilities: Large Creature, Unlimited Retaliation, Diving Attack, Living
Unlimited Retaliation posted:
Griffins are said to be animated by the magic of the Dragon-gods and are prized allies of the Holy Empire. Their fury in battle, their wild resolve, and their amazing agility permit them to retaliate against any and
all assailants that surround them. As the saying in the Empire goes, Outflanking a Griffins as easy as stealing a kiss from a maiden when her fathers holding her hand.
Unlimited Retaliation is what it says on the tin. The Griffin can counterattack to all melee attacks except those that bypass retaliation.
Diving Attack posted:
When Griffins take flight in the heat of a battle it is not a sign that their morale is low. They dive on their opponents in a strafe of claws and beaks that can level a line of enemies. Many a man on Ashan will tell you that hell is below the earth deep within the bowels of Sheogh. Anyone who has ever met a Griffin in combat knows that the sky should be feared even more.
Diving Attack has a lengthy recharge turn of 3, and it takes the Griffin out of the battlefield till the end of the round, at which it will swoop down on its targetted stack for normal damage from anywhere on the battlefield before returning to its original position. The Griffin will still hit the target if it moves, and is invulerable to all effects till it lands.
The Griffin is one of those creatures that look good on paper, but ultimately kind of doesn't work in practice. Decent damage and defenses, a bit lower than the Kenshi but has a better movement rate and the ability to fly, as well as unlimited retaliation and invulnerability every 3 turns. Unfortunately, it just doesn't pan out. The Griffin doesn't have the sheer presence on the battlefield that the Kenshi does, nor does it have the growth to make up for its lower stats or the Core creatures' higher growth. Initiative is a bit too low to be of much use, and being a Large Creature is a problem when we're using Marksmen. Diving Attack would suggest some use with Guardian Angel, but it just doesn't gel well.
Another point in the Kenshi's favour is that its racial ability can be used at level 1, while the Griffin can't use Guardian Angel till the gauge reaches level 2, and even then it's a bit counterpoint when you bring Unlimited Retaliation into account. Stone Skin and Regeneration do bring the Griffin up to par if you go that route, but it will likely never really be a stand-out in your army.
You can now also build the Griffin creature at your Castle. It costs a hefty 7 Crystal though.
Now that we've finished that sidequest, we can head east, claiming the Orc Fort along the way (and converting its creature building), then heading east to the Orc Castle in this region.
While I don't use it much, it's worth nothing that the Vestals' Heal can be used as an offense weapon with unlimited range against creatures like the Orcs. Handy, but since the Vestals only has 2 charges of it consider carefully before using it offensively.
The Orc castle is guarded by 2 heroes. Neither have very large armies, really.
This is here to show off a bug in the current patch. The enemy Shaman cast the Despair spell, which should have reduced my Vestals' Morale by 40. Instead, it actually improved it by 40. Go figure.
Siege Battle (YouTube via Polsy)
While not a tough battle, I do show it off as an example how I'm using the Haven. I do a few careless mistakes, such as Regenerating the Praetorians instead of the Griffins and Healing my Vestals too early, but it didn't turn out too bad.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Shaman Ulah! Call your Father Sky, Father Elrath. Call your Mother Earth, Mother Asha. This is acceptable to the Holy Inquisition. But submit, or you will be escorted from my lands...
Duke does not listen! Ulah is only voice of ancestors! Cannot convert our dead.
But your living must convert or leave. If they defy me, the ranks of your ancestors are going to grow quickly.
Making threat, Duke Anton? Or joke?
Anton, joke? Perish the thought.
Neither, Shaman Ulah. I'm trying to talk some sense into you. Out of respect for my father...
Slava was good man. Son cannot be bad. Apple falls close to tree. Duke should talk to ghost of Slava. Maybe he understand better.
You have until sunrise, Ulah. I suggest you start preparing for a long journey.
Well. I guess we'll finish forcing Orcs off our land next time.
Bonus Content - Other Reputation Choice
So what happens if we pick Tears instead?
The griffin are safe, Duke Anton. If only you showed such care for your own people.
That's pretty much it, the rest of the quest is as normal. At least Jorgen got a good jab in.