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The Black Tower

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Official Scenarios' started by Kael, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. R0GERSHRUBBER

    R0GERSHRUBBER Shrubber

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    It sounds like most players started on the island in the northeast, but based on everyone's play experiences, would starting on the mainland have been a better position? The single Galleon limits your ability to get your units to the mainland in a timely fashion, but your expansion options are better there.

    Thoughts?

    Also, the scenario description and intro text doesn't explain the new options for building cities under the Tolerant trait. Even as a long-time FFH player, I am not familiar with the mechanics. I recommend that this is added to the description, as well as a list of scenarios that could affect this one (albeit without explanations). I think the interconnectedness of some scenarios will be lost on some players, but they will appreciate them more with this awareness.
     
  2. Ur_Vile_Wedge

    Ur_Vile_Wedge Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    413
    Ok, I've been away for a while, but this scenario irritated me enough to the point that I've come back to rant at it. (And hopefully stay a bit longer if my workload permits) I was playing on Patch "R" at the time.

    I usually play on Emperor, and I tried the scenario at the same. At the time, I had freed the Luchuirp in the Momus, helped the Bannor in the Radiant Guard, and beaten Barbarian assault, but had not done the splintered court.

    Now, I want to say right off the bat that this isn't the most impossible scenario I've ever played. It certainly ins't like the Momus or Back to the Wall (or whatever it's called) where you have to scrabble for your existance. In fact, I'm sure I can hold off the Sheiam (and that token force Hyborem has) indefinitely.

    I had made a few scouting expiditions to the Sheim continent, to find that the whole place had been swarmed over, so maybe I delayed a bit too much for the counter push. I finally went in at around turn 350 or so with all the national heroes, sphener, Valin, a bunch of confessors (I was researching theology so I could turn them into Priori and heal), with the bulk of my force bieng Iron Golems, but backed up with a quartet of Liches, some archmages, priests, etc. (I won't go into detail about two previous games where I attacked too early and got plastered.)

    Finally, it seems like it was going to work. My fleet kept away counterattacks, my 75ish unit stack of doom was trampling, my wonder lock (I was teching like mad) gave me the nexus which meant I could funnel in more troops quickly and I was churning them like butter. I thought, finally, I was going to win this stupid scenario.

    I land in the Blue minor leader's territory, (forget his name) him being the weakest and closest to my main northern island. I start crushing his forces (knocked over 35 ritualists in one turn. Who makes an army out of just ritualists?) only to find, that Tebryn had been settling. And what do you know. Tebryn's culture completely envelops one of his cities. I can't go through Tebryn to take it, and I can't get at Tebryn until he knocks out his allies. I could see a bunch of humans pulling a stunt like this, but with AI, I think it was just a settling accident, exacerbated by me knocking out all of Blue guys culture.

    I admit, to my regret, that I deleted my save files in a fit of pique. I was really quite annoyed at the scenario, and thus don't have the screenshot to show the dilemma as my glorious crusading army of killing is stopped by the invisible wall.

    To be honest, I don't know if I can work up the will to grapple with this one again. Maybe on Settler and just breeze through.......
     
  3. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    90
    Am I doing something wrong? Or has a recent patch made this scenario *much* harder? I've completed about half the scenarios with absolutely no problems, all on Monarch. Then I hit this one.

    My first game, I dilli-dallied around with exploring all the oceans, looking for secrets and such, and eventually settled a few cities on the main continent (in the jungle area just to the southwest). Within 50 turns or so, there were stacks of dozens of nasties marching steadily across. I eventually succumbed -- especially since realizing that while I might be able to hold on to these cities, I'm never going to make any headway.

    A few days ago I decided to tackle this one again, with a more serious effort. I settled three cities on the home island, then quickly launched an invasion of Drowns to take over the Clan of Embers island in the south. That went quick, and I settled five cities there. With eight cities doing well, several high-level heroes, eight mages, and eight cultists, I began attacking one of the weaker civs, the dark blue guy. Took about three coastal cities with no problems, looking good -- and then I got absolutely splattered. Stacks of 20+ tier-3 units, with a good support mix (arquebuses, recon units, Ritualists, assassins, etc). Shadows running around, invisible, picking off my mages and cultists. Fleets of ten or so galleons, stacked with privateers, attacking both my home islands (though I think each galleon was only carrying one unit; still, this was annoying to deal with). I lost each of my beachhead cities on the continent almost immediately, along with all my heroes and whatnot. I was able to save some mages and cultists by parking them on ships, but there's so many privateers (and now man-o-wars) running around that they won't last long.

    Obviously, this is a huge improvement in the AI, so I'm not complaining about that. However, now the scenario is too hard. :) I'll try it again for a third time, but I'm not optimistic!

    Foul
     
  4. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
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    1,362
    Location:
    Universe
    When fighting against demons and undead, think Order. Forget about OO. This is my advice.

    Edit: And don't forget destroy undead. If you have many invisible enemy units, you can go for Empyrean, or get that promotion that can see invisible.
     
  5. Demus

    Demus King

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    962
    tbh, i won this scenario using just a small stack consisting of magnadine, some longbowmen and a few high priests (were some other units in there, but they didn't do much). Gave magnadine magic resistance + fire resistance to cancel out pyre zombies and ritualists, added blitz, and started rampaging. Add the black mirror from alzakan, and you're looking at 5 dead tier 3 city defenders per turn.
    Oh, by the way: i raze cities, i don't capture them. Allows you to take down civs with a lot less troops. 2nd note: Take the captain on the southern island out first, using the black wind to keep the coasts clear.
     
  6. Homunculus

    Homunculus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Could someone get me a more or less comprehensive list of what will and will not heal?

    Any non-living unit will heal, that I know.
    It would appear some races will as well (undead as nonliving, I presume, and demon?)
    Healing *spells* appear to be working?

    Does picking promotions heal your unit?


    ..Will stacking a pile of medic 2 units in your stack work? Ie. is it just that all "non-healing" units get a major -%healing, or are units just not healing as if they moved this turn and not have march (ie. no healing "check" is applied) ?

    ..Yes, I'm at a loss as to how I'd have to play this.. (for example, how am I going to have high priests in time to NOT face stacks that will overwhelm even a stack of heroes?)
     
  7. Thunder_Gr

    Thunder_Gr Emperor

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    I think in this scenario no units can be healed.
     
  8. Demus

    Demus King

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    Oct 7, 2007
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    962
    all non-living units heal like normal. Heal spell works, healing promo's and march don't. Makes OO quite a nice religion for this scenario (stygian guards heal like normal)
     
  9. Sid_Unbreakable

    Sid_Unbreakable Dark Lord

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    TheShadows
    I forget about destroy undead so badly that I am actually unsure how to get it... :( (Hardcore evil player ftw!) :D How does one go about getting the destroy undead spell? :confused:
     
  10. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    90
    Life II.

    Foul
     
  11. Sid_Unbreakable

    Sid_Unbreakable Dark Lord

    Joined:
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    Location:
    TheShadows
    Thank you sir! :D
     
  12. reverend oats

    reverend oats King

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    641
    Location:
    Uberwald
    I beat this one before the patch that boosted destroy undead, so I did a hit and run approach with Iron Golems, a couple mages, Bambur, Magdanine, and Guybrush. I would land, fireball a city to pulp, raze it, and reembark to by ships. By this method I was any to whittle away at all of Tebryn's supporters and when I finally confronted him, I made sure to have Dwarven Druids and a huge pile of iron golems. Even so, I had huge trouble dealing with the free xbows the Sheim kept getting.
     
  13. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    90
    I assume you were able to use the Luchiurp because of completing one of the other scenarios? I'm only able to use Lanun, Bannor, or Hippus.

    In any case, I'm throwing in the towel on this one. Spent several of the last few days desperately attempting to complete this, and failed again, miserably.

    Some points:

    1) I'm playing on Monarch, and picked the Lanun. Pirate Ports are sweet, and Guybrush is a big help in capturing enemy ships, especially since I always fail to score gunpowder on my home island.

    2) Yes, I know you get the other civ choices' heroes too. Donal is fairly worthless (he's human!), as is Magdanine, though he's a bit better.

    3) I've tried out the other two civs, as well as tried out some other religions. However, it keeps coming back to two things: humans don't heal (most units in the game are human), and you really, really can't beat the Overlords' Tsunami spell. Therefore, since the best non-human grunt you can get is the Stygian Guard, and Tsunami is a must, then Octopus Overlords is a must-have religion.

    4) Yep, I know about the Heal spell. But it's only avail late-game (when you're probably getting pounded pretty good), it doesn't heal that much damage, and it's only avail to four units anyway (your Speakers / High Priests). It's enough to keep one stack going, but not multiple stacks. And if you don't have multiple stacks, you can't raze cities fast enough to keep up with the settlement of new cities. Like playing whack-a-mole.

    5) Have any great strategies for taking out an interior city guarded by a dozen crossbowmen / longbowmen? It's probably on a hill? It's got another twenty various support units in there? Another five to ten units are arriving each turn? I don't. Mages' fireballs to bring down the walls, but that takes two or three turns, and meanwhile you're getting pounded by Ritualists' fire spells and whatnot. Cannons? They're too slow. Maelstrom spell? Yeah, only knocks them down to about 30%; they're still tough. And each high-level unit you commit to attacking the city is one less high-level unit defending the stack against the counterattack.

    Here's my current game, the one I'm giving up. Turn 431, and I've defeated the Clan of Embers guy in the southeast (though his island is lousy), defeated the Orange support guy (Avernax?) because all of his cities are on the coast, and easily beatable. The problem is the interior cities! You can take one or two, but very quickly some serious stacks of doom start showing up, and you can't make any headway at all. I've circled the continent and razed every city there, but by the time I'm ready for lap #2, the cities I razed first have pretty much rebuilt themselves (size 17, pumping out high-level units, etc). I went after the light blue guys' interior cities to try and take him out, and that's where my Stack of Doom got ground to halt by about city number 3.

    Some of the noteworthy numbers from my statistics screen (these are my kills):

    76 Arquebuses
    22 Assassins
    2 Hyborems (Two! The computer promoted an Eater of Dreams to Life III, and resurrected him! I even managed to whack the Eater with the Life III promotion!)
    185 Pyre Zombies
    17 Beasts of Agares
    23 Beastmasters
    11 Balors
    77 Champions
    27 Crossbowmen
    204 Diseased Corpses
    18 Eidolons
    90 Galleons
    179 Man-o-Wars
    33 Ritualists
    75 Privateers
    52 Queens-of-the-Line

    ... and with all those kills, you'd think I'd be in control of the game, but I'm not even close. I held on as long as I could, but have been ground down.

    If you read this far down, here's my challenge: complete this scenario on Monarch or higher, and post your save. No altering of starting scenario parameters. Pick whatever civ you want (assuming it's a legal choice for this scenario). Game must be completed with one of the more recent patches (T or so).

    I'm really impressed with how the AI has improved, at least in this scenario. HUGE change over previous games, and I've been playing FFH2 for probably over a year now.

    Best of luck, General.

    Foul
     
  14. Demus

    Demus King

    Joined:
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    Even though i've played on prince, not monarch, this scenario was practically a cakewalk for me. After gaining the basic economy techs, use the black wind to gain naval dominance early on, especially in the southern part (near the island, there shouldn't be a single AI ship alive in those waters), while going for the OO units (priests +saverous/drowns). These should be enough to take out the AI on the southern island. Settle a city on the far right of the island to gain control of the incence located there, you'll need it for high priests later. Then, head warhorses -> poisons -> theology, with a possible detour for mages. Your goal: magnadine using the black mirror, supported by a stack with a few protectors (stygians for example, maibe eidolons later on, guybrush and donald), maibe some mages, alakzan to take out enemy spellcasters and weakened units, and 4 high priests for healing. Use the magnadine illusion to weaken the toughest defenders of a city / stack, then the real magnadine on the next toughest units, with alakzan for the ones weakened by the illusion. Heal at the end of your round if possible, so enemy assassins can't take out your weakened units.
    The main promo's are drill (for less damage and blitz) and fire resistance (against pyre zombies and ritualists). Your priests can cure the diseases from the corpses.

    Note: i won this scenario with just the hippus, the lanun, the bannor and the Svalts, didn't need the golems, even though they, supported by a few repairing adepts, could be a great addition as stack defenders.
     
  15. reverend oats

    reverend oats King

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    Location:
    Uberwald
    Huge stacks of Fireball Golems + late game Dwarven Druids is the way to go!
     
  16. Smakemupagus

    Smakemupagus Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    113
    I got a lot of mileage from Donal's Recruitment spell to replace wounded/killed men & therefore allow a fair amount of successful campaigning before getting healers.
     
  17. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

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    Yeah, but he only summons crappy units (and all human, of course). They help a bit with fodder, but die quickly.

    Foul
     
  18. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Well, on my sixth try, I finally beat this scenario. I'm happy to post my save for confirmation, but I'm sure no one cares.

    As with my previous attempts, it was an epic battle, and lasted almost 500 turns. I once again went with the Lanun and the Overlords, as other choices are simply not viable. However this time, I didn't dilly-dally at all, I went for the throat - wiping out the light blue guy with Saverous and some Drowns. The dark blue guy was next, and he was quite a bit harder, as he was entrenched at that point. The orange guy was last, as he's on that island and quite easy to take out. Even moving as fast and aggressively as I could, I was still left with Tebryn having settled most of the continent, and marching truly epic stacks in waves towards me. One of Tebryn's main cities had over three hundred units in it, including 65 crossbowmen, 44 Arquebuses, and 48 longbowmen. Good luck with that. And, his heal rate was nothing short of miraculous (not sure how he was pulling that off, as he didn't have any high priests).

    I mention this because I am absolutely, positively convinced that no one is going to win this scenario "easily", or with a stack of ten golems and a hero, or whatever the magic combo is. I realize many of you have completed this scenario, but I do doubt that many people at all have completed it recently (since patch T or so), on monarch or higher. Absolutely not. This was the most challenging game of Civ I've ever played, both in terms of the extreme disadvantages you start with (for instance, I had neither iron nor mithril on my home island, and no mithril on the southern island, either), as well as the improved play of the AI. The AI was maxed out on technologies and launching seaborne invasion forces at me *continually*, as well as using spellcasters and other support units intelligently.

    My challenge is still open for someone to post an endgame save -- haven't seen any yet. If you haven't tried this scenario recently, I hope this motivates you to take another look.

    Foul
     
  19. Verily

    Verily Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Maybe it's just me, but I didn't find this scenario very challenging, just LONG. I had every productive city belong to the Luchuirp and built tons of Golems with Fireballs backed up by dwarven Mages with Enchantment I and Life II. Fireballs weren't much use against Pyre Zombies, but they destroyed everything else, and stacks of Mobility I Mages take out Pyre Zombies with Destroy Undead--four shots destroys an entire stack of fifty or more PZs.

    I went with Order for Sphener, but religion really didn't end up mattering much. I barely used Sphener at the end, since by that point my stacks of Iron Golems were huge (three different stacks of twenty Iron Golems and ten dwarven Mages with Mobility I, Enchantment I, Fire II, Life II). But Unyielding Order was good for getting cities online as soon as I conquered them.

    I turned over some cities on the main island to the other civs to get their heroes, but most of the heroes are pretty useless since they don't heal. Barnaxus was obviously the exception; I sent him down to the Clan island to pester them early on to get him the full Combat V; he eventually captured Renegade Hill and just sat there the rest of the game.

    The most annoying part was dealing with Tebryn while cleaning up the other Sheaim leaders since he could send streams of units after you without you being able to retaliate until Malchavic and Averax had been dealt with. (I wiped out Gosea pretty early.) It might have been a bit more of a challenge if Hyborem had been around, but I beat Lord of the Balors before this scenario, so he wasn't there.

    The key is probably going on the offensive very early on. Too late and the Sheaim have stopped spamming Pyre Zombies and begun building late-game units which can't be taken out with Destroy Undead.
     
  20. FoulFoot

    FoulFoot Chieftain

    Joined:
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    I didn't have a choice of either the dwarves or the elves, which I guess you get from completing one of the other scenarios. I suppose since they're not human, that they can heal? (Although there's plenty of other critters that aren't human but don't heal either, like Krakens, off the top of my head).

    Agreed, the key to the scenario is moving quickly. Destroy Undead is an invaluable spell (but be careful not to cast it when you have Liches in your stack, as I learned to my sorrow!). As you mentioned, though, once the AI stops building Pyre Zombies and switches to high-level units, its utility wanes.

    Hyborem was around in my game, but I pretty much ignored him. He sent some support units into the fray, but Tebryn was by far the main difficulty.

    Foul
     

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