Part 59: Haven Campaign, Map Four, Part OneAnton's final map. Let's get it going on.
This guy first appeared in the first cinematic (YouTube via Polsy)
Oh hey, we did (kinda) kill Liam! Well done Anastasya.
Infamy! The demons besiege Falcon's Reach! They shall pay for this in blood!
Those walls are strong. They will hold. We'll first set up a base.
And then we attack!
The castle is not as important as the princess. The Falcon line is the Holy Empire. Falcon's Reach is merely a symbol.
Anton and Valeska start in the northeast corner of the map, with a neutral Haven town just nearby that's guarded by a small army of demons. There are also several stat boosts and mines around - Valeska can take Anton's Sisters and handle flagging those while Anton keeps his starting Sentinels, Crossbowmen and Griffins (the Phoenix Disc also trivializes the beginning of this map). But let's take the town first.
Duke Anton! We're saved!
The Stag Duke is on his way...
My cousin's company will be welcome... there are enough demons here for everyone!
The Stag Duke's reinforcements are found all the way to the west. Because everyone else is lazy, Anton will have to go find them out himself. But we'll settle that in time. As you might expect, there are lots of Demon fighting on this map. Anton faces two Inferno factions - the majority one, located on the surface, and a smaller one, comprised of Demon Cultists, underground. Anton will have to eventually capture all their towns and convert them to finish the map. While the map isn't really difficult per se, the beginning is heralded by a relentless harassing by Inferno Heroes at a rate as annoying as that of The Barbarous Seven. Once you get past the initial roadblock though, you can slide past the rest easily.
Click here to listen to the conversation!
Anton! With Liam gone and half his army routed, the castle will eventually fall beneath the demon's fire. We should attack!
They outnumber us. We can hurt them, but we'll never break them.
Duke Anton speaks wisely, Laurielle.
Lady Jezebeth! If Gwendolyn is killed, the Falcon line dies with her. You took an oath to protect her!
Liam sent me to get you and your angels while you were busy making tea for the Naga! If you had done your duty I would still be beside the princess where I belong!
Stop your bickering. We need to find a way to get Gwendolyn out of the castle.
A tunnel... Not from above... But from below... the undergrounds...
Wait. There's a secret way in...
The tunnels! It's risky, but I can take you there.
And that's our motivation for clearing out the underground Inferno cultists. We have some time, so we can start clearing out the surounding area and rapidly build up our town - Glories, Celestials and Crusaders should be a priority, and Praetorians and Marksmen should soon follow.
At the start of every week, Ahribban slams the ground futilely in front of Falcon's Reach. This rapidly gets annoying.
There are two Forts in close proximity to our starting town. The first is to the west, and we can also find the tunnel that leads underground.
And the second is just to the south, with an Artifact Merchant nearby. The three form a very close-together corner, but you'll find that the enemy invades it with an annoyingly high frequency rate.
Where the two territories intersect is the exit for a Portal where the surface Inferno Heroes come from. It will usually take them a day after emerging from it to take the northern Fort - if you place a strong Hero there they may just double back and try to take the southeastern one instead. You'll want a Town Portal up and soon.
There's an Inferno town just west of the portal exit. This is one of four surface Inferno towns that Anton has to defeat and convert, and they're all characterized by being limited to only being able to build second-tier buildings (so no Castle or Celestials).
Falcon's Reach, capitol of the Holy Empire! You are a proud lady whose walls have never been breached. Stay strong.
One quick thing to also point out is a Ruins just south of that Inferno town, only because the reward for clearing it out is a nice 30 Sun Crusaders - a quick jumpstart to our developing army. With our surface corner settled, let's start our underground conquest while the Inferno is still weak.
They've sealed the vault! I must control their towns and convert them to break the seal.
The underground is made up of a cirle, with a path leading to the center that's blocked till we capture both underground Inferno towns and convert them. There are also two Forts in the corners to capture, as well.
Neutral stacks start off quickly with a fairly large variety - Celestials are our best bet for muscling through them easily with Intimidation, but Glories are also good. There's an army just near the entrance of the underground that holds another piece of the Prophet set (which should go to Valeska if Anton is Might). If you've been dilligent in checking each map for artifacts, you should also be able to find the last two pieces of the Regent set (which boost creature growth) on this map.
The first Inferno town is in the northwest corner. They have all tiers of Inferno creatures but relatively few numbers.
The demons have no choice; they were born the way they are! But these cultists... How could anyone willingly follow the Dragon of Chaos! We must rout out these traitors.
We have two more creature biographies left for the game. Let's knock one out now by looking at the final Haven creature.
The Celestials are champions among the Seraphim. Their given names are often those of more legendary Angels fallen during the Elder Wars, and some priests actually think that they are reincarnations of older Angel souls, returned by Elrath in this great time of trouble. Whatever their origin, they are extremely skilled in battle and fight with an absolute heroism and fearlessness that seems to come from an era of living legends.
Celestial Damage: 54-54 (Might) Defense: 40 (57%) Magic Defense: 32 (50%) Health: 325 Initiative: 45 Movement: 6 (Flying) Range: None Destiny: 7 Morale: 12 Cost: 2190 + 1 Crystal Growth: 2/week Abilities: Large Creature, Blade of Judgement, Blade of Epiphany, Absolute Purity, Living
Blade of Epiphany posted:
I was dead I tell you, and the Arch-Angel Michael brought me back. I came back stronger and faster. Alive again... to do Elraths bidding! This is a typical testimony of a resurrected soldier in Michaels campaign against the Prince of Hate. Had it not been for the tremendous resurrection powers of the Celestial, the demons would have certainly destroyed the Holy Empire.
Blade of Epiphany is similiar to Blade of Mercy in terms in its ability to heal and resurrect, and is slightly stronger. In addition, it also boosts the Initiative of the healed stack by +20 for one turn and is usable twice a battle instead of just once.
Absolute Purity posted:
The Celestials determination and faith in Elrath make them immune to all magic that attempts to hinder or sway them from their path. This tremendous ability has given rise to a well-known expression in the forests of Irollan. Curse a Celestial? You might as well try cursing the sun!
Celestial are immune to all negative effects. Direct damage spells will still work, but any side effects are a result of those spells will not.
Note: due to a bug, Celestial in the current patch (1.8) have their pregrade's heal ability, Blade of Mercy, instead of Blade of Epiphany. This makes them worse than they should be, at the moment. The review below assumes Celestials to properly have Blade of Epiphany.
The Celestials went from 'okay' to 'great when used right' thanks to a single new ability: Absolute Purity. The benefits given by this trait is immense, as it renders them immune to a lot of nasty tricks opponents can do - Blindness, Agony, Chilled, etc. Seraphs can also be incredibly hard to kill, especially when backed up by Praetorians or a Guardian Angel.
There are many potential uses of Celestials thanks to an immunity to debuffs and most dispels (the single-target Dispel Magic still works on them). They make an excellent choice for buffs - Heroism, Inner Fire and Haste are greatly appreciated to help patch up their lowish damage and Movement, and on the other hand, Celestial Armor or Taunt are also fantastic on an already hard to kill creature. Because they can't be dispelled, your opponent has no choice but to slug it out with them. Blade of Epiphany, while not incredibly strong, is a great asset thanks to its whopping +20 Initiative boost - use it to give a serious speed boost to a creature that needs them, like Sun Crusaders. Your Hero can even use Rush on the same turn, speeding up two stacks and making a Blood Haven army viable. Seraphs still have their problems, but they certainly have their own niche among Champions now.
Oh you annoyances. I just captured that last turn!
Bugger all. Okay, quickly capture the Town, build a Town Portal, then stomp them... luckily they're still just Might Heroes for now...
Oh! Well. That's a very nice prize indeed. Don't mind if I do! Anton's going to love that Comb, as it greatly bolsters his Magic Power and allows him to lock down an enemy target for one turn (which is great since he doesn't have any crowd control options otherwise aside from the Glories' self-harming Searing Light).
I encounter yet another Hero after going back underground. Magic Heroes!
We'll capture the southwest Inferno Fort, and call it a day for now.