Part 14: Haven Campaign, Map One, Part Three
Just south of the Orc town we just captured (and converted) is a tough Arena (I scraped by thanks to my Vestals. Pacification is really good) and a small underground area with an Arcane Library. All great for some reputation points and stat boosts. After we're done here, we can Town Portal to the Fort just south of our starting town and head south to take on the other Fort and Town, both of which are very close together.
Formations like these are very annoying.
I also pick up the Pressed Attack skill, which is a Blood skill that causes Slava to automatically attack the target of the stack you cast it on before they attack for 2 turns.
I actually haven't talked much about the special effects of Hero Attacks. For Stronghold heroes like Sandor, their attacks generate Rage points, more as they level up. Sanctuary ones like Irina will deal more damage when the stack is at 30% or less of their original size. As for Anton, his will inflict a debuff that causes subsequent attacks to do a bit more damage. With Pressed Attack, Anton will automatically set up the debuff right before your units attack. The Pressed Attack is also stronger than a Hero's standard attack, so there are really no downsides.
While the Orc Fort and Town battles aren't that big in size, the most frustrating part is that you're fighting Shaman, their Magic Hero. These will have a lot more Mana to burn and will throw out many damaging spells. The ones I fought had Stoneskin and Heroism, but also Fire Bolt (a decent Fire spell with a very low cooldown) and Fireball (which hits over a 3x3 area, very annoying if you're shielding units with Praetorians).
Losses are unavoidable really - Anton just doesn't have the Mana to keep up with all the frequent damage, especially as you keep trying to keep your Griffins alive.
You should try to take the town with Anton having movement and mana left, because...
Click here to listen to the conversation!
You slaughter the parents and make slaves of the children! The Orcs are our allies. Even Pavel wouldn't have done this, let alone your father.
My father is dead, Baron Djordje. The truth is now my only parent. We are all slaves to Elrath, and vassals of the Holy Empire.
Who's next, Duke? We have many ancient temples in our duchy dedicated to Ylath, built before the Holy Empire was created. Are those who worship the Dragon of Air also our enemies?
I've already sent Inquisitors. They'll get the same choice I gave the Orcs. Either accept Elrath's light willingly, or leave...
I've heard enough.
The Baron betrays Elrath. He walks in shadow. Beware.
The gates to the rest of the map open. There's one just south of the northeast Orc town, and one to the east of the Fort we captured earlier. And that's where the most annoying part of the map is, as the next turn two Haven heroes will appear at the gates and try to capture your towns. Anton can't catch both, so he'll inevitably lose one. Neither Hero is very tough, but if given the opportunity they'll run back and forth between territories and slow down your town growth. We can actually ignore them and run straight to Djordje's town, but we might as well stop the pests buzzing around our territory. There are two ways you can shut them down quickly.
1. You should try and capture Town C with at least half movement and 10 mana remaining. After you win, Town Portal to Fort C and intercept the enemy hero coming from the east, push past them to take the nearby Haven town, then Town Portal up to Fort B and squeeze the enemy Hero out, then press south.
2. If you don't have enough movement to stop the enemy from capturing Fort C, there's another way. The enemy takes a couple days to claim Town B, and attacks on the NE side are rarer. After you win, Town Portal to Town B or Fort B and head south, intercepting and finishing off the enemy Hero. After he's gone, you can Town Portal to either Fort A or Town C if it hasn't been taken, and squeeze out the Teal hero, then press East to the Haven territory. If the enemy has taken Town C, you can ignore it for the most part, since they never seemed to recruit any heroes there in that town and you can claim it back after you're done with Teal's territory.
Either way, the Haven heroes aren't really too tough. The good news is that they're all Might heroes with few skills and small armies. You also should have the Initiative lead again instead of constantly losing to Goblins and Centaurs. They'll even convert the Fort/Town to a Haven one if you haven't and you let them claim it.
You can easily claim the Haven town east of the SW Orc territory. There's also an underground passage just south of Town C that leads to it, but there's only a stat boost there of interest and you travel slower underground anyway.
You can then capture the Fort just north of it. There's also a friendly stack of Griffins just south of the Fort. The nice thing is that the enemy will never touch Friendly stacks.
Daaang. 71 Griffins. For free! If you wait longer, the number also grows (you can get even higher numbers in Hard). There's also a subterranean tunnel near the Fort, where you can claim another stat boost and another huge friendly stack.
We can now steamroll the rest of the map easily. The rest of the Haven territory is pretty easy to take. I hit level 10 for Anton sometime during this map, which is the level cap, so I skip most neutral packs. There's nothing left to do after collecting stat boosts then to head southeast to Djordje's town.
You're an angel's pet, not a duke! And you trespass on free lands.
You are my Baron! You owe your allegiance to Elrath and to me!
I am free of your Blinding Light! You are not welcome here!
It's almost like Slava and Valeska again, with widely different stances.
Djordje has a fairly big army, but we have bigger.
He even lines up his Marksmen for us to get an easy shot to hit them both. How charitable!
Really, the battle isn't hard to win without any losses, especially since the AI is really dumb when it comes to Haven and siege battle. Take out the Marksmen and Djordje will just Defend over and over again with his Vestals/Praetorians. Save your Vestals' Heal till the end of the battle so you can repair all the damage, then finish him off.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
We take orders from you only on the battlefield. But for questions of faith, we answer to the Emperor.
I told you to see if he's in league with the Faceless, not to burn his eyes out. He's a Baron of the Griffin Duchy.
It's a good thing Anton said this otherwise I'd have been confused too. It's basically implied Salvatore was torturing Djordje and Anton thinks he's going too far. At least he has some standards?
His eyes had failed him. Faith in Elrath is all he needs to see clearly.
The Faceless... they divide.
Am I next?
I've no reason to doubt your faith...
I sense a hidden threat...
It's implied this line is Anton talking to himself, but I'm not so sure, given how socially graceful he's been lately.
The Faceless divide. Brother against sister! Duke against Baron!
Tell me, Salvatore! Is Djordje guilty of crimes against the Empire?
We are all guilty of something. Only Elrath's light purifies our souls.
Your Inquisition kills more of my men than the Orcs! You forget that the Faceless are our enemy.
I shall report this to the Emperor.
Then run to Liam. In my lands... you are no longer welcome.
Oh Anton. Can you hold onto any allies?
We're treated to a couple cinematics before our victory screen.
Let's Play Twenty Questions (Youtube via Polsy)
Surprise Stabs Must Run In the Family (Youtube via Polsy)
Exile, torture, fratricide... Anton isn't being a very good protagonist, is he?