So, you successfully defeated Dragaa's forces and driven them from
the western half of Keldonia. No doubt the Shadow Lord has taken notice,
but Dragga is notoriously sloppy, so don't expect any intervention yet.
You must now decisively defeat the Orc King's forces and seize control of
eastern Keldonia, and from there, you will be able to evict Dragga from
Keldonia once and for all, and secure a base of operations for the Council.
You will not have any opportunity to increase the size of your
army between your first battle and your second, but volunteers will
have arrived to join your army, providing you with some extra substance
for this battle. You'll need it, since this map is considerably more
difficult than the first two. Also be certain that if you only
purchased three units before the first battle, purchase your fourth
While this map is bigger than either of the first two, it is
still fairly small. It will feel much smaller than it is due to the
river which you will have to cross - you have no choice as it runs
north to south the entire length of the map. In addition, there
is extensive forests on the opposite side of the river, especially
between Linden and the Altar of the Twin, but it should not be a
There are three objectives on this map, one of which is on
the same side of the river you start on - the Standing Stones. The
other two require river crossings, but you can expect the bulk of
the resistance on your advance to the village of Linden, while the
Altar is almost more of a diversion than a true objective.
The primary thrust for this battle must be directed towards
Linden, both for its economic benefit and due to the fact that it
is the only place on the map where enemy reserves can enter the
battle. Therefore your primary concern should be capturing the
northern-most bridges across the river, and the bulk of your forces
must be dedicated towards that end.
The Standing Stones can be captured by your light troops and
irregulars while the main river crossing is being carried out by the
big guns, as these weaker units have not the strength nor power to
participate in that operation in any meaningful manner, and indeed,
they would only get in the way for there is limited room for
maneuver in effecting the river crossing.
A force of light, fast troops should be sent to capture the
Altar of the Twin - light so as to not detract any vital strength
from our primary river crossing (and because we do not expect any
serious resistance from this quarter), and fast so that after they
do capture the Altar, they will be able to link up with the primary
assault force for the final push on Linden.
Having decided on three task forces, and given that the
total troops at our disposal is the same as in the first battle,
plus a few volunteers, we must now assess and apportion our meager
forces into capable armies.
Army Group North, tasked with the capture of the Standing
Stones and then exploiting the river crossing, should consist of
light troops and irregulars.
Army Group Center is the primary assault force that must force
the river crossings and lead the assault against Linden. This army
will contain all your heaviest and most powerful units, without
Army Group South will make a lightning thrust south, crossing
the river towards the Altar of the Twin. Needing to be both light
and fast, this force will idealy be comprised exclusively of light
cavalry (you should have two light cav in your army by now, even if
one of them in volunteers - if not, you will need to divert a light
infantry, a skirmisher, or a hero or two into this army group. I'll
assume you do indeed have two LC, however).
With these thoughts in mind, a good split might be:
Army Group North: 1SK, 2LI
Army Group Center: 1HI, 2AR, 1SE, 2HC
Army Group South: 2LC, 1 HC
Your volunteers will modify this slightly - in my campaign I have
light infantry and apprentices as my volunteers, so I put the LI with
AG North and the Apprentices with AG Center. Also note that I listed one
HC with AG South - this is purely for administrative purposes, as
circumstances may dictate that HC being used by AG Center. If it should
prove unncessary, however, the extra strength will be of great assistance
to AG South. Basically, that HC should be held in reserve (i.e. be one of
the last units you move), so you can move it to wherever it is needed
In fact, starting with this battle, now is a good time to start
thinking in terms of maintaining a strategic reserve. Fast units such
as cavalry are the best for reserves, as their speed enables them to
reach any threatened sector of the front very quickly - a very necessary
characteristic of a strategic reserve force!
Reserve forces are also useful for mopping up operations, allowing
your main force to continue its advance at as fast a pace as possible.
Again, cavalry are useful here for they can spend two or three turns
mopping up enemy forces and still not fall behind the main force.
But don't be afraid to commit your reserves when necessary - that
is what they are there for! ("It was objected that the 6th Armored
Division was all we had left. I stated that it could do no good
being left, that it was there to fight." -Patton). If an attack is
going poorly, or if you feel that just a little more oomph could
could turn a marginal victory into a decisive victory, commit them!
If all goes well, they can be recalled, rested, and put back into
reserve status for use later.
My initial placement in the starting area is as follows:
The First Few Turns
Back to the battle at hand! It is highly recommended that you
move your least important armies first, as they may just be able to
provide some recon for your main forces. In this case, that means
moving AG South first, followed by AG North, and finally AG Center.
You should be able to have both light cav from AG South cross
the river via the south bridges. They will run into some resistance,
but it shouldn't be anything they can't handle. Some light infantry
will attack your army group while heavy infantry takes up a position
to defend the altar directly. After scattering the light infantry,
which should be fairly easy, you can attack the altar from opposite
directions, trapping the defenders and allowing you to defeat them
at your leisure.
AG North should advance directly towards the Standing Stones.
They will not be able to attack it on the first turn, but they can
position themselves to capture it on the second. Ideally you will
want to attack with the skirmishers, to soften up any defenders,
a light infantry to dislodge the defenders, and the second light
infantry to capture the objective and finish off the defenders.
If you are unable to dislodge the defenders or capture the Stones
on the second turn, do not get dismayed as the main force will probably
need more than two turns to effect a river crossing. Take your time
with this army group and don't take any unnecessary losses.
AG Center has the most difficult task of all, but the Orc King's
lack of tactical skill will pay off here. When AG South made its
river crossing, their recon should have revealed enemy forces on this
side of the river! A heavy inf and cavalry supported by archers.
A formidable position, but there is room for your heavy cavalry to
strike the enemy from the flank, hopefully knocking out the archers.
But first, you should move your siege engine forward into striking
range - to attack the archers if you can, otherwise attack wherever
you can inflict the most damage. With that first strike in, now is
the time to KO the archers - move your heavy cav in and attack for all
that you're worth. You should meet with success, either routing the
enemy, or forcing them to retreat into the river where they can not
support the other enemy troops.
With the archers out of the way, you now need to secure your
cavalry from enemy counterattack, so move up your archers to support
the cavalry and attack the infantry, then move your heavy infantry
in to attack what's left of the enemy infantry. If you manage to
rout the enemy infantry, you can move up an additional heavy cavalry
to screen the vulnerable archers and finish off the enemy infantry.
Any forces still not committed that can reach should now attack the
With his primary force destroyed on the far side of the river,
Dragga will have to struggle to build a new line of defense and you
should now be able to cross the river next turn unopposed with at
least some of your units.
If you are playing as Calis, Dragon Lord Malric will join your
army if you capture the Standing Stones. Malric is easily one of the
most poweful units in the game and definitely worth having in your
army. Malric can virtually win the air war single-handedly!
Mordra will gain Shandel at the Altar, while Calis and Krell will
have to wait til the next battle before gaining a hero, but they will
gain valuable gold or magic items.
Now there is nothing left except to kick Orc King Dragga's sorry
ass back into the sea... ;)
Please let me know what you think of this article
specifically, and about this series in general! :)