The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Discussion and development of scenarios and campaigns for the game.

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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by Marche » December 31st, 2012, 1:06 am

I decided to try this campaign out - kind of on a kick for Undead still. I'm only three scenarios in so far, but I have to ask; why such massive empty environment? It kind of made sense for the first, as a intro to a strange new land (with a hidden troll to KO anyone who noticed the walkers...), but in the second level I spent more time than not simply pushing my units through rough terrain. I haven't fully played the third scenario yet, so no empirical comments, but it looks to be about as overblown as well (48,41 and almost everything is concentrated 20 squares away from anything else).

Had a few casualty-defying luck rolls, but nothing except the last three attacks hitting mattered, in the end(though holding the left would've been much harder if I hadn't gotten that ghost so soon). As you may see I was inefficient, partly due to not noticing horizon past (21,x) till turn three and partly due to general movement mismanagement. This is on easy, so I wasn't expecting such things to make a difference, but the big unpassable mountain in the middle did nothing to hinder me and everything to stagger the AI's units.

My biggest gripe I guess is that this easy mode Intermediate scenario is probably one of the easiest scenarios I've played, because too much open space always leads to the AI being more inefficient than any half-decent human.
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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by Chrysophylax » January 2nd, 2013, 2:07 pm

I've finished the campaign, and I have a whole bunch of changes to suggest. In chronological order:

Q - Where did Gwiti, who has just drifted ashore, find bodies and weapons to make skeletons? A - Add some stuff about how he found himself near a ruined fort, and maybe did a little peasant-slaughtering (he does have claimed villages, so it makes sense!).

Q - Where did Gwiti get Dark Adepts from? He's on his own in a strange land, and he can't make them. A - Change the first scenario slightly. Shift the troll further east and put a DA near the WCs. Add a little text about a cult Gwiti takes over. Extend the time between scenarios 1 and 2 to give Nati a chance to get DAs.

Q - The campaign gives you free Revenants that can become very powerful (20-4? Heck yes!). The campaign should not make you want to raise your own too much. I had three Deathblades at the end of Mages and Elves. A - Give Nati code to prevent him recruiting so many DAs at once. This is better flavour and guides the player into making sensible unit choices for the whole campaign. You NEED Wraiths, and preferably Spectres, for the cave scenarios. Giving Nati more Skeletons and fewer DAs will help them survive and get kills.

Q - Scenario 3 has a tonne of villages and you only need to kill one leader. I got an absolutely enormous bonus. A - It might be a good idea to cut some of the villages in the southeast. Make the southern leader focus on Gwiti.

Q - Why is the castle so small in Mages and Elves? Why are the enemies so powerful? Why did the elf recruit nothing but Heroes and Scouts? Why is it so hard to get near the Great Mage? There's been very little opportunity to get good archers, and you really need them for the Paladins/Knights. (I'm aware that you can win by spamming WCs. I've done it, so I'm also aware that it is no fun.) A - Change Gwiti's castle by completing the hexagon around the keep and then cutting the southeastern hex. This gives an extra recruitment space, allowing you to get some cannon fodder and get Gwiti to the fight, and it also lets you get to a few important places (villages, the place the elves try to cross the river) earlier. Change the terrain around the tower of Kaleon slightly so that you can get attack the mage instead of luring him with a bat. (Currently only bats, ghosts, Deathblades and quick DA-line units can reach him from outside his attack range.) Alternatively, since a L4 leader who's very good against your units is overpowered for this point in the campaign, you could give him the aged trait.

Q - Why can't Gwiti bring units into the Tower? Why are there only three potions? Why is there no way to heal? Why are the chest rewards so measly? A - To level up Gwiti, duh. From a flavour point of view, we can say that the wards on the tower prevent him from bringing undead in and from performing necromancy while inside. He gets around this by raising the guards who were just inside the door while standing outside. Add another cold potion and put in some healing runes (incomeless villages, basically). I still had well over 1000 gold, so the chest rewards were pitiful, but I'm not sure it needs fixing. Just make them a little less out-of-the-way, so that you don't have units trailing behind, and make sure that your gold isn't changed (store it at the end of M&E).

Q - Why can't Gwiti bring undead to the grove? what's up with the castle? Why is this scenario so dull? Why does the story make no sense? A - It's a way to level up Gwiti. Demilich Gwiti can just murder a unit a turn while a castle of WCs cleans up. However, it's dull and it wastes experience. To solve this, give Gwiti a few (3?) loyal Ghouls when he reaces the keep. This will allow players to get Ghouls or Ghasts by the end of the campaign, and makes the fight much more interesting. As for the story, just borrow from Tolkien - the powerful, desirable object is in an odd place because the person holding it died there. It's too far from Wesmere for the elves to get it, the mages aren't sure where it was lost and the orcs won't go near it (and couldn't use it if they did). It's just lying in a valley somewhere, radiating magic, and the mages have speculated about where in the book Gwiti reads.

Q - Why does Aretu's castle banish units before he arrives? Why does it take Gwiti so long to reach the exit? Why are the enemy castles so close together? Why does Leonard own all the villages, even the ones in the mountains? Why is the map so featureless? A - In order to prevent you from filling the castle hexes and murdering Aretu when he arrives. Solution - remove the castle and have him banish any units in his new fort when he arrives. (Also, change the terrain slightly around where the fort will be, so that an attentive player can see the boundaries of the forbidden zone.) Move Leonard's castle north a little, and shift the SW villages NE a bit. Give Leonard fewer villages. Once again, WCs and DAs will win, but are no fun at all. Give Leonard less money and a few L2 units (Swordsmen?) that will arrive before his main army.

Q - Why is the castle so small? Why is the passage so narrow? Why does Tanar suck so much? Why is the map shrouded, given that this is Tanar's home? why do the dwarves only reccruit two unit types? A - no idea. Make it bigger by a hex, add some extra cave tiles to provide unit-shuffling space, remove the grass and use lit cave instead. Make the passage wider and easier to move on - Tanar's tribe have been using these tunnels for ages, paths will have been worn into the rock. In addition, make sure that you can break past the first dwarves easily - being stuck with no way to move your units is a miserable experience. Make the map fogged instead of shrouded. Tanar seems like a pretty exceptional orc to me - he cares about his tribe more than himself, he can make decisions very quickly in a nasty situation, and he's clever enough to be submissive to Gwiti. Make him an Orcish Ruler and give him movement cost of 1 for cave hexes, so that he can keep up. The dwarves should have at least a couple of other units, maybe to replace some of the predeployed ones.

Q - Why is this scenario so slow? Why is there no point to fighting the naga? A - There's too much water. Remove some and make the passages leading to the naga castle wider. Add an islet in the water. I think the naga are meant to have an artefact, but that's either not implemented yet or has been incompletely cut.

Q - Why is this scenario not fun? Why is it so hard to advance orcs and ghouls? Why is it so very hard to get Shadows? A - Because, yet again, you are fighting an endless horde of low-level enemies and the enemy has most of the villages. Cut some villages from the north side of the river and put in some new ones in the south and at the south end of the central area, so that you can heal. Reduce the number of troops the enemy can have at one time. It might be a good idea to move Gwiti west a bit and add a weak enemy just north of Tanar, so that the low-level troops can get kills and so that you don't lose levelled units.


There are some problems with the campaign in general. The cave levels mean that Liches are very much preferable to Necromancers (and why can't we get Ancient Liches?). Baneblade-wielding ghosts are a huge help in the first cave scenario, and high-level ghosts are pretty much necessary to fight the naga. Shdows seem to be important in the last level. Skeletons are good early on but are swiftly outclassed by the free ones. Bone Shooters are incredibly important in scenario 4 and pretty useful in scenario 7, but there's little opportunity to get them before the paladins come to town. Ghouls come way too late. Bats almost never survive and are substantially worse due to being feral. A lot of levels involved hordes of low-level enemies. Tanar is a burden. My gold went up to vast sums in the middle of the campaign, and then I lost about 1000 over two scenarios.

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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by nathanson1947 » December 22nd, 2013, 6:06 am

This concerns the last created campaign, "An Orcish Coup", Easy Difficulty, in which Gwiti is supposed to retrieve the remaining half of the Skull of Mogoroth, which is supposed to be hidden in one of the three Orcish encampments. When I kill the enemy leader in any of the three encampments, I get the message that the skull is not there, no matter which encampment I get to. It has to be in one of them!

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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by AI » December 22nd, 2013, 6:48 am


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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by Inevitable » May 15th, 2016, 10:17 pm

Are people still working on this?

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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by Wesbane » May 21st, 2016, 10:09 am

No. Not to my knowledge. AI was the last maintainer and he have vanished some time ago. Since then this topic remains dead.
While with a lot of work something could be salvaged from this mess personally I don't think it is worth it. Potential of this campaign was exhausted when it gave us Gwiti portrait being still in use in mainline and many UMCs and then this fact became a story arc for Shameless Crossover Excuse. Also now there is a lot of much better campaigns featuring undead to choose from, both in story and strategy such as Secrets of the Ancients.

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Re: The Dark Hordes rise from the dead....again

Post by Pagawan » September 21st, 2019, 1:36 pm

What happened to this plan?
TDH was also a favourite if mine. Seems it's cursed though, lol.

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