Part 9: Lambs to the SlaughterEpisode 9: Lambs to the Slaughter
Your last act of profanity has baited them to rash action, Underlord! The Empire are moving the bulk of their forces through Belmorne's Pass, an old Dwarven routeway. If we trap them here, and force them to break against your defences, we can wipe out the Imperial Army in one fell swoop!
Welcome to Belmorne's Pass, Underlord. The Imperial Army are itching to reform their forces, and they mean to use this Dwarven passway to speed up their traverse.
They'll enter the Undermountain from the east, and march straight for the western passage. Flay them down to their bones, Underlord, and make sure they don't reach their objective!
If they get through your defences, the Empire will rally their forces and offer up some stiff resistance. Get cracking, Underlord!
This level is very simple. Heroes will spawn on the right side of the map, go through this pass and try to exit the level on the left side. There's a very similar level in Dungeon Keeper 2 where you have to do the same thing, and they're both very fun levels!
The main difference between the Dungeon Keeper 2 and War for the Overworld versions of this level is that the level is very easy in Dungeon Keeper 2. In this game, it's, uh, not.
There's a small Hero outpost blocking the pass. It's covered with traps and steel gates, so it'll be a real pain to get through, but if we can take it out, we can use it to create a nice chokepoint.
Prepare your traps and defences! Entomb them at the moment of their salvation, and crush the morale of these Imperial stragglers!
I dig out a big hall for the usual starting rooms, as well as a sizeable beast den. There's not too much gold around, and beasts are very cost-efficient.
Now that we have them, I also make a tiny garrison and a torture chamber. There's some weird maths behind how War for the Overworld determines how many units you can attract, but the rule of thumb is that you can build one tiny 3x3 room to attract a couple of units, and then you won't attract any additional units of that type unless you invest really heavily in that room type. So if you're just looking to attract units, 3x3s are usually the most cost-efficient option.
I also build a large prison. Converting enemy units will be very important in this level.
While digging around to the south, our workers discover an incantation shrine, which will reduce our spell costs. Spells are very powerful already, so this is going to be a huge deal.
To the north, we find another gateway.
The heroes will be sending the first wave of troops soon, so I don't have time to dig around and explore normally. So let's get some mileage out of that incantation shrine and use our spells to scout the map for more goodies.
I find a magical artifact hidden to the north, as well as a passage going further east.
A vein of brimstone. This usually hides something pretty good! I blow it up and find
oh come on, another gold shrine?
Just for a change, I decide to wall off the stupid gold shrine instead of mining it, so I will actually have to worry about gold for once.
This is surely not a decision that I will regret later.
With everything set up, I launch an attack on the small hero outpost to the east. Now that we have augres, succubi and a bunch of beasts, our army is a lot more effective than when our gnarlings had to carry the load.
We clear out the outpost without too much trouble. This is good, because the first wave of heroes has just spawned to the east.
The heroes spawn inside this very heavily fortified base to the east, defended by high-level units and lots of traps. After we take out the first wave of heroes, we should take a crack at the fortress. If we take over the fortress, we can fill it with cannons and take out the subsequent waves of heroes within seconds of them spawning!
I withdraw my units so I can fight the heroes on my territory. The first few units of the first wave of heroes cross the bridge to the east. A very brave level 1 bafu is slowing them down by trying to take them on single-handed.
Once the heroes get into the outpost that we captured, I drop our monsters on them.
The first couple of units go down, but more units arrive. A problem I face here is that our units keep trying to charge out onto the bridge, where they are horribly exposed, so I keep having to pull them back.
One huge benefit to fighting on your own territory is that you're able to target enemy units with spells. Since we have the incantation shrine that reduces our mana costs, we can cast lightning bolts for days. The outpost quickly gets very messy with knocked out heroes.
Our workers do their best to drag wounded heroes back to our prison. One hero type that I want to point out is this one: the huntress. Huntresses are surprisingly great. They're good ranged attackers that are also great at avoiding damage. They're incredibly annoying to fight against, but they're very useful to have on your side, so I'd recommend converting them as a priority.
In the meantime, heroes keep streaming in. There are so many of them that I had to withdraw from the outpost, and we now have to fight the heroes' vanguard just outside my base. This should be the last of the first wave of heroes, however.
By the time I finish fighting the last units of the first wave, the second wave of heroes spawns to the east. The constant stream of heroes has meant that I haven't had time to properly fortify the outpost, let alone try to take their fortress. Our beasts are making a valiant attempt at it, though.
Our beasts actually manage to break down the steel gates and enter the heroes' fortress just as the first units of the second wave enter the room. Our beasts' attack on the fortress is not wholly successful.
We face the heroes at the outpost across the bridge. Our army has been bolstered by a large number of traitor knights and huntresses, making it much more powerful than before.
The heroes keep coming, though, and the fighting becomes real ugly. We're not only outnumbered, but the hero units are higher level too.
Our defence eventually crumbles, and I pull back as many units as I can save. We've weakened the heroes' force, but there are still a lot of very tough units left.
I then realise why the heroes' attack force was so powerful - by breaking through the steel gates to the fortress, our beasts managed to pull out the fortress garrison to support the attack wave.
We lost the battle, but we still managed to take loads of captives. Our succubi get to work converting their best units to our cause.
Meanwhile, since there are a few minutes left until the final wave of heroes, I try to send our army against the fortress to the east.
We break through the frontline defences and start smashing up traps. High-level heroes stream into the room from within the fortress, but we're managing to hold on. Unfortunately, since this is enemy territory, I can't abuse lightning spells, so we have to rely on our army's own strength.
We clear out all the traps, but powerful heroes keep streaming into the room, seemingly out of nowhere. We can just about hold out, but the next major wave of heroes spawns in eighteen seconds!
Soon there are just too many of them, and I have to break off the attack. Now my army is exhausted just as the heroes are at their strongest.
I pull all the way back to our dungeon entrance, where I set up a nice chokepoint. Of note: the five huntresses in this screenshot who fought at the hero fortress and who are still standing and ready to fight. Huntresses are great.
But then a lot of heroes arrive.
Like, a lot of them. And now they're in my base.
I do my best to support the few fighting units I have left, but there are so many hero units. If you look at the corridor on the left, they're still coming.
Have your Workers invented mops yet? No? I suppose they'll just have to clean this up by hand
Mendechaus, that's only funny when it's the enemies that have to be cleaned up.
I don't know what's stranger:
a. that I'm not dead yet, or
b. that the tide actually seems to be turning.
In the end, the heroes somehow manage to throw the most ridiculously one-sided battle ever. An eerie calm settles over our dungeon as all of our units and all of the heroes have been killed or incapacitated.
The halls are littered with bodies. Our workers can't even bring them to the prison because most of our workers are dead, and the prison is totally full anyway.
At this point, I'm not actually sure why the level hasn't ended. The objectives say that I've defeated 32/35 out of the last wave of heroes, but I don't know where the last three units could be. A couple of dwarves have spawned in the fortress to the east, maybe I have to kill those?
I launch an attack and finally manage to crack the fortress (now that it's totally empty). The level still doesn't end.
Bloody well done. But there's more yet to come
In the end, I just try saving and loading the level, and the level recognises that there is absolutely no one left to kill on this map and grants me the victory.
A crushing victory, Underlord! The Empire's forces are broken, and the stragglers can merely huddle in fear as they await our final strikes!
That was really rough! I should have built some cannons. This kind of inadvertently became some sort of challenge run without traps. Don't do that if you ever play this level!