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The Black Tower

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

  1. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
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    Oh my memory is pathetic! Yes, indeed, I have the dashing Guybrush too, guarding my largest city, plus of course The Black Wind.

    Thanks very much for your tips!

    Alt-Tab doesn't work for Civ4/FFH on my computer, but I'll definitely study that guide.
     
  2. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    I finally won last night, on my third try. One of the best scenarios I've ever played on any mod or any game. I appreciate the help from Dreylin and others on this thread.

    Playing on warlord level, I won on turn 402 (remember you start on 79, IIRC), and was rated Cthulhu level (the very top)! Knowing what I know now, I think it's definitely doable at higher levels, but I don't have the stamina for that. I spent about 10 hours on my first try, 30 hours on my second try, and the final successful try took 21 hours.

    The northeast island you start on has room for 8 or 9 cities. I made 7 to make optimal use of resources. There is also a one-square island near your capital that can become a powerhouse. So that's 8 cities in the north.

    Incidentally, I started on a northern island that had both reagents (needed for Archmages) and incense (needed for Priors, your only healers until you get the angel whose name starts with an S). You HAVE to have those resources and you CAN'T hold them on the mainland. So I suggest rerolling if your starter continent (or at last starter continent plus southern island) lacks these resources. Trust me on this.

    The first strategic goal is to QUICKLY conquer the Clan island in the southest corner. I did that with just the one galleon ferrying a couple of loads of confessors and archers. When I took out the Clan, they had only 3 small cities. You should have this continent conquered by about turn 150 or sooner. This south island has room for 9 more cities.

    So that's all you need: 17 cities on those two islands. You'll only ever keep one more city--when you start attacking Tebryn, you need one fortified city on a hill to do some attrition. Best city is the orange guys's city just a little to the SW of the Tebryn stronghold.

    I doubt it is possible to win this scenario without the Luchuirp, so make sure to help Beeri in The Momus. I made all of my cities Luchuirp, except for one Lanun (to get Guybrush Threepwood) and one Bannor (to get Donal). However, I never ended up needing Donal, so if I did it again I'd do one Lanun and all the rest Luchuirp.

    Also, I agree with Dreylin that you HAVE to go with The Order religion for this one.

    Your build up before you start a-conquering the evil vassals is about 200 turns. It's VERY important to build wall to wall pirate coves, on every possible square. I must have had 40 of them. The island city near your capital can support 3. It's also VERY important to spread Order to all 17 of your cities. These are key infrastructure points.

    Magic. As the Lanun, you start with Air, Chaos, and Water in your palace. I never used any of those very much. But the Lanun have the best palace IMO so I didn't change that. It's good to have Air and Water, because if you add Fire and Earth, you can build the Tower of the Elements and have extra strong elementals. I know a lot of people swear by Maelstrom (Air II), but I don't use it much. I only ever take one Water upgrade--your first adept should take Spring to turn all the desert squares on the northern island into grasslands. You don't need that for the southern island.

    Okay, you have Air, Chaos and Water. You also get Law eventually from the Order holy building. You have two nodes on the n. island and three on the s. island. What to do with them?

    You have to have Enchantment to repair the robots (golems). And you have to have Fire to give the fireball to the robots and to your mages. So that's what you build on the northern island.

    What to do with the 3 nodes on the s. island. You HAVE to have Life for the Destroy Undead spell. It also gives a good health bonus. The final two are optional. I took Earth, so that I'd have all 4 elemental magics, so that I'd have stronger elementals. For the last one, I took Entropy, since Dreyil said this was necessary for the Rust spell (which is said to be useful for knocking down the bonuses of the evil Infernal Crossbowmen at the end of the game). However, every single time I cast Rust it was resisted, probably because I made generalist mages and didn't just make a few that specialized in Rust plus combat strength. Therefore, Rust was useless to me. If I played it again, I'd pick Metamagic, to boost all the other magic.

    So my final magic lineup was:

    Law - from Order holy bldg. (tablets of Junil)

    Air - from Lanun palace
    Chaos
    Water

    Fire - n. island
    Enchantment

    Life - s. island
    Earth
    Entropy (but I now recommend Metamagic)

    As you can see from my note above, I wish I had more carefully specialized my mages. The key mage spells for this scenario are: Fireball, Repair, Destroy Undead (and possibly Rust if specialized for this). If you try to get each mage to do all of them, they're all weak. You only need 3 or 4 repair mages in your killer stacks, not 20 or 30 or more as I had. You also only need maybe 4 or 5 destroy undead mages in those killer stacks, not the many I had. Specialize. Build up strength and mobility.

    Assassins. Dreyil was very helpful in advising to build assassins, so you can pick off Ritualists in close-by enemy stacks. I completely agree. But I built way too many of them (about 20). You could win the game with only four or five of them.

    Heroes. Playing this way, you get Valin (from Order). Guybrush (from Lanun). Black Wind (from Lanun). And Donal, if you make a Bannor city, but I now think this is not necessary. The Black Wind is good for early dominance of the seas, but not needed in the late part of the game. You could get by the whole game with nothing but Valin. Make sure to take drill all the way down, and mobility, so that Valin can end up attacking several times every turn! At the end game you get Sphenor (sp?) the angel, a super unit. You could win without him, but he is VERY useful.

    Healing. You can't heal the robots, but you can repair them. To heal living units, there are only three things I observed: (1) they heal a little when promoted; (2) you can build four Priors (high priests) if you have incense, plus Sphenor (sp?) the angel also heals; and (3) confessors have the useful feature called Spirit Guide that heals all units in their stack if they are killed. I found this very useful in the very early parts of the game.

    Your armies are mainly lots and lots of fireball iron golems backed up by mages. That by itself is enough for everything up to the final battles.

    I started attacking the mainland by the time I was about one-third done with my development of the south island. My main army quickly destroyed the Gosea (the blue ones to the east). It then swung north and attacked the light blue guys up there.

    A second big army was then simultaneously sent from the south to attack the orange guys plus Hyborem.

    The northern army swept south, and the southern army swept north, in a giant pincer movement, destroying everything.

    I highly recommend wiping out Hyborem to get the +2 weapon Gela (which I gave to Valin) and to remove irritations on your flanks.

    Keep the orange guys alive until you finish off Hyborem. The last orange city you conquer will be the strong one on a hill on the coastline just a little ways to the west of the stronghold of Tebryn's evil purple forces. This is the ONLY city you will ever keep or found on the mainland. Stick BOTH of your main armies in there for awhile to withstand the onslaught, because as soon as that city falls, and the border barrier is lifted, Tebryn will send wave after wave.

    In my second try at this scenario, I was overwhelmed. I'd waited too long and there were simply way the heck too many evil guys, plus I didn't have proper preparation (such as Destroy Undead mages).

    Dreylin said he got Valin to the end of the promotion tree. He spent a long time hunkered down on the mainland, protected by his own Crossbowmen, killing hundreds upon hundreds of evil forces. This didn't happen to me. My Valin was only about level 13 at the end. In my game, I only stayed in that orange city for maybe 15 turns while repelling Tebryn's hordes and gathering reinforcements of my own.

    Then I went and wiped Tebryn out.

    I found it surprisingly easy to wipe out Tebryn's forces--until I got to the core of his territory in broken lands.

    I had my main army with about 40 units parked in a citadel bombing the Tebryn capital of Galveholm every turn. I sent about 30 units in a second army, nearly all golems and mages, up north to park in another citadel and bomb the city of Frost, three squares NE of Galveholm. Finally, a third elite commando group led by the angel took out all the Tebryn cities to the east.

    I was planning to wipe out all other cities and then to attack the Tebryn capital from three directions with three armies. But it didn't work out that way.

    Galveholm and Frost have some kind of unbelievable defense bonus plus an unbelievable regeneration bonus. Galveholm is on the coast, so my fleet reduced its defense bonus to 0 every turn. I razed surrounding citadelas. And still, I'd bomb it every turn with something like 25 fireballs and 4 fire elementals and never kill a thing!

    Meanwhile, my golems and mages attacking Frost had the same problem. Hundreds of fireballs, and no progress at all.

    After being frustrated by this for about 10 turns, I moved my major stack (with Valin and Guybrush) up from Galveholm to join the forces attacking Frost. The combined army had more than 70 units, and I was able to use Valin every turn (since the citadel is right next to Frost, while the citadels near Galveholm are 2 squares away).

    That was enough. After about five turns I destroyed the city of Frost.

    Then something amazing happened! The spreading blight of the infernal lands began to lift. Broken lands tiles started randomly turning back into normal lands every turn. (I forgot to check if my ability to self-heal came back.) PLUS, destroying the neighboring city of Frost DESTROYED THE DEFENSE BONUS in the capital! Once Frost was gone, it was RIDICULOUSLY easy to defeat the huge dragon Abbasi and the remaining defenders of the capital. Indeed, I bombed them from long range as I approached, and I had them all dead when I was still two squares from the capital! Once Frost was gone, Abbasi became vulnerable to fireballs! So I never got to see the epic battle of Valin vs. Abbasi that I'd pictured.

    From all of this, I surmise that the eponymous Black Tower is actually not in the Tebryn capital at all! Instead, I think it's in Frost. Or in any event, there is SOMETHING in Frost that gives unbelievable bonuses to Frost and Galveholm.

    Whew! What a brilliant scenario!

    P.S. Just want to add one detail: At the end of the game, I had a HUGE population, despite only 18 cities. I had a 31 (my capital), a 30, another 30, a 29, and a 28. All of those were still growing. Lots of Great Merchants.
     
  3. Dreylin

    Dreylin Cousin Itt!

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    Location:
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    Cordelayne, glad I could be of some help, and congrats on winning through this one!

    Rust actually has 2 effects; the stripping of the metal promo, and the addition of the Rusted promo. One or both can be resisted, so you probably were getting most of the effect.

    Sanctify (lvl1 Life) should be used to clear out the Hell terrain - many of the Sheaim units get bonuses for being on it.

    I actually completed the scenario without the Luchirup, but it took me a good while longer than you!
     
  4. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
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    This game is so deep. Interesting about sanctify. I didn't think to use that. Also didn't realize that my Rust casts probably were actually doing something! I've got rather poor eyesight, so it's kind of hard for me to read the little micro promo icons on enemy units.

    I also didn't bother with pillaging in this game. That requires spreading out lots of melee units like skirmishers and I didn't want to take the time. I had plenty of money from the pirate ports, etc.

    Dreylin, I'm in awe that you finished this as non-dwarf. That's really pretty amazing.

    One question: what do you think about my description of Frost and Galveholm? Did you also have the experience that once one of those super-hard nuts was cracked, the other was easy? Did you also have the experience of the lands starting to heal after Frost was destroyed, even though the capital of Galveholm, with Abbasi, was still there?
     
  5. Dreylin

    Dreylin Cousin Itt!

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    I'm not sure what to make of it tbh. I don't think that Frost is a pre-set city, because in my game the city named Frost belonged to the blue faction in the East and I captured it quite early in the game.

    I certainly don't remember seeing any of the Hell terrain randomly turn back to normal, but I also don't really remember seeing it spread earlier in the game.

    As for Galveholm, I didn't really have any trouble with it; by the time I hit it, it was the last city Tebryn had left and I had three armies pincering in on it. Magnadine led one in from the South, Donal the second from the North, and Guybrush and Sphener the main army from the West. Valin just ran around wherever he wanted to and picked off vulnerable units pretty-much at will.

    I actually wiped the Blues out pretty early, and took a foothold on the main continent. I managed to stop Tebryn expanding Eastwards and he focused his attacks on one particular city - stack after stack came at it. There was a long period where I played a defensive game there; shredding each stack with magic and Cats then picking the injured units off with Valin & other units. Using the single heal per turn of Shrine of Sirona, and healing from promos to keep the best units available. Many more injured ones fled to back-line cities to wait for healing and were replaced by others. Once Sphener came online, I could divert some healthy troops to take out the Clan (should have done it sooner, but really couldn't be bothered!) and then Priors allowed me to go on the attack.
     
  6. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Chieftain

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    You did it the HARD way! Even worse than I realized, since you waited till you had Sphenor until taking out the Clan. Wow.

    I hope somebody else, hopefully Kael, might comment further on my observations about Galveholm and Frost. Since Frost was not fixed like that for you, it must be different from what I thought I saw.

    Nonetheless, for about 10 or 15 turns I bombarded Galveholm with scores of fireballs and fire elementals every turn and didn't kill a single purple unit. But as soon as I took out the neighboring city, suddenly the units in Galveholm were vulnerable and I wiped them all out in about four turns, entirely by bombardment. Something is very unusual, and delightful, in the programming there.

    Now I'm on to Fall of Cuantine, or however it's spelled, since I'm marching through all 18 scenarios from the top. Looks like this one will be a piece of cake compared to the black tower.
     
  7. cabbagemeister

    cabbagemeister Please wait...

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
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    Great write-up of your victory! I really enjoyed reading it. However...

    One of the wonderful things about FFH is that there's so many different ways to do so many different things that there's pretty much no such thing as "have to". I won this scenario without Beeri or the Order by going OO, which gave me an army of Stygian guards (who can heal) and Tsunami to annihilate all coastal cities (and this scenario has a TON of coast). I think any strategy with non-living units is a viable one.
     
  8. Kenjister

    Kenjister Swimmer

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    Yeah, this scenario is one of the ones that have about 200 different ways to win. For example, I just sailed over to the main island with my starting settlers and rushed all the minor leaders with Valin and Donal. I actually found Donal to be quite useful, because if you play it right he can recruit every turn in a city under attack. That bonus can stop the Sheaim armies in thier tracks.
    I never did this scenario with the Luchurip, but found that rushing the Sheaim early on with your heroes that you get from all the factions cuts down greatly on the lategame slog and makes Tebryn very easy to take down once you get Sphener to kill Abashi.
     
  9. gulger99

    gulger99 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
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    I'm not sure if this is the place for it, but The Black Tower crashes my game every time I load it. I've played and beaten every scenario up to it, and some after. I was running .41d and then just loaded .41i and it still isn't working. Any ideas? The scenario looks sweet and I can't wait to play!
     
  10. karmina

    karmina Warlord

    Joined:
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    293
    Location:
    Germany
    I'm playing the scenarios from top to bottom. Immediately after finishing the Radiant Guard I was able to start the Black Tower, and fortunately I saved that game on turn 1 - because afterwards the game crashes every time I try to start the scenario.

    Anyway, my feedback for the Black Tower (noble diff.): Great idea and setup, but easily exploited by building Saverous. He is a demon and thus heals. I sent him with the galleon counterclockwise through the infernals. Beelined his promotions to march and blitz, then combat & CR. Frankly he was absolutely unstoppable, and never took a turn to rest and heal. When reaching the dragon, he won the battle at >90% odds, while only 212 of 288 accumulated xp was spent (I always kept enough xp to heal the big wounds by promotions).

    Momus & Radiant Guard were way harder. I suggest to block every player unit from healing, not just humans. And probably take both march and blitz out of FFH completely - these promos are just too powerful when combined with heroes.
     
  11. manic_bob

    manic_bob Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Hello -

    First off, I loved this scenario and ffh2 in general. Great work guys!

    In regards to this scenario, I tried to styles, one was much better than the other. First style was building an army of cannons, plus some good regular troops with healers. This was too slow and cannons are just too weak. So I don't recommend it.

    Next I read many of the posts here and decided to go for Octopus Overlords. I played a few games and eventually beat Immortal on turn 325. I beat deity similarly, but I employed some "light cheating" via world-builder.

    Here are my thoughts:

    #1: This game is about tech. So tech up quickly and build your empire before trying to attack. Pirate coves and lots of cities (7 in the starting island) are needed. I played starts with marble so I could build the heron throne and great library cheaper. On the higher levels getting the bone palace is too hard.
    #2: Go for Octopus Overlords. Cultists and Stygian guards are great. You can use them to beat any coastal city easily. I didn't bother with Saverious. He is equal to a stygian guard (+25% melee vs. march) but requires a different tech. Getting him early isn't too useful (I got him around turn 280) at higher difficulty levels since your opponents are too powerful to have him walk around and kill everyone.
    #3: Back-up your units with fireball iron golems. This way you don't need weak catapults. These are longer-term so you'll have to conquer without them (or with only a few).
    #4: Run slavery. With the lanun and huge food stocks you want lighthouses everywhere and whip various improvements. this is how I built my empire so quickly. I got this tech early (after writing and message from the deep)
    #5: Get the black wind early. On immortal and deity ships comes quickly so you need a strength 11 black wind early (change his crews to give him +1 strength and -1 move).
    #6: Settle the island to the SE (see other posts for how to make sure it is empty). If you get the great lighthouse, trade and run foreign trade, you new cities will get 7-8 traderoutes. This is enough to make them profitable (run city states not god-king) which means you can spam cities and increase your tech rate by 10-15 bulbs a city to start off with (they get more later).
    #7 Attack the orange guy on the island in the south first. A few frigates, 3 cultists and 5 stygian guards are enough to conquer and settle the island. In my games he only settles 2 cities, but I build ~3 more which provided some late game production.
    #8 Healers and mages are useful but not very important. I barely needed them and only got them after I had already pretty much won. Mages with life mana (for destroy undead) would have been good if I could figure out how to get mages faster.
    #9 Get the key magic spells though: rust (hurt crossbowmen), blazing sword (I forget what it is called, but all your units get a permanent +20% strength), repair (dwarven only). Destroy undead is good but I could not get mages fast enough (it is a level 2 spell) to make it worthwhile.
    #10 Conquer the enemy nearest you and settle there. This way your opponents will throw small armies at you which you can beat piecemeal and it raises your research and production. It also reduces the chance your enemies empire will grow (since you are nearby) which is really important for the purple guy since you can't enter his territory.
    #11 Research mitheral working early - it is a huge bonus and makes stygian guards strength 11 out of the box plus a bonus versus iron. It's all you need. If you are fast enough you can beat most of your enemies before they have lots of crossbowmen (which they only get when certain units die). And if you are careful you should not lose many units. Arequebuses are easily killed.
    #12 Build tons of cultists, stygian guards and fireball golems to conquer the earth. Focus on military production after about turn ~230. There is no need to build anything else. Whip units periodically and don't forget to build man of wars. On deity they get them pretty fast so if you're not ready you can lose your troops en-route. Later on they aren't needed as much b/c you'll have razed most coastal cities.

    Milestone: You should have more than 150 research by turn 150 and over 1000 in the late game (say turn 275 or so). Again this is done with trade routes and overseas trade. Like most civ games this one is about speed - don't let them spread everywhere or you will have problems!

    My two cents and good luck!

    -- Manic
     
  12. Joe Gev

    Joe Gev Chieftain

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    Whenever you get the relevant technology, the civ's hero comes without any effort (iron working for Guybrush, warhorses for the Hippus etc.)

    Regarding healing, Siron's touch closed that corner for me. I also used the level up healing - I weaked the enemies with magic and then attacked with injured units. The enemies were weak enough to defeat, I got plenty of XP and a healed unit.
    Doing the above helped me get Guybrush so powerful that when I met the dragon he kicked his ass with 95% chances of victory.

    Some of my units did get raised as Demons, but since I avoided using weak units, I got around that. Didn't kill The demon lord though. Didn't see a point...

    Too bad there is not hint that you can get the other civs for this mission. The events that trigger them are too vauge...
     
  13. kanban42

    kanban42 Chieftain

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    Same for me with patch .41m, although I only completed the three required scenarios.
     
  14. ironmetal250

    ironmetal250 Chieftain

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    I hate to say it, but Sphener, Paladins, and Life Mana make this scenario incredibly easy, at least until the very end. If I would have bothered to build Priors it would have been even easier. I was only on Warlord as opposed to my usual Prince though, so I'll try it later on a harder difficulty.

    The Momus and the Radiant Guard were both much harder scenarios, though. I liked Black Tower a lot more. And the map was really awesome.
     
  15. Ricemon

    Ricemon Chieftain

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    Yea, I played this once before (didn't finish it though) but now it crashes when I try to load this scenario.
     
  16. Karstedt

    Karstedt Warlord

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    Crashes on me too, latest version dl'd a few weeks ago. The workaround to load from the worldbuilder works, but I'm not sure if that bypasses anything. I saw one person mention "starts with marble", so if you get to pick a starting bonus normally, you don't get to from the worldbuilder loading.
     
  17. Joe Gev

    Joe Gev Chieftain

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    I Finished the scenario again (Prince level) a few days back after first completing the stand alone missions and choosing to Basium side on the radiant guard. There was no forth&fifth enemy (demons or Orcs) and I had a variety of cities of build (built all of them). But the bottom line remains that the AI is a no brainier. If you have destroy undead, most of the fire zombies die when you are casting the magic from a near by ship. I took off three stooges with no effort. Killing the main dish was a bit harder but again, with enough lighting, dwarven druids and fire balls, not even the dragon could stand Guybrush's sword (man you got to love the FFH2 team for bringing him in the game)
     
  18. owen1218

    owen1218 Chieftain

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    This is crashing for me as well.
     
  19. Elder Methyl

    Elder Methyl Warlord

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    I followed a version of Cordelayne's strategy, focusing on Fireball Golems, Priors, Mages and Sphener. While I had to reload saves a few times due to Assasins taking out my Mages, I had a lot of fun razing cities and destroying Tebryn's SoDs until I built The Nexus, which allowed me to teleport Arquebuses and Confessors into newly conqured cities. Pitting Sphener against Abashi was great, although the battle against Tebryn turned into a curbstomp right after that. Meanwhile, my economy was flourishing due to the great resources of my home isle and the southern one.

    In fact, I kept playing even when I won, colonizing the ruins of cities I razed earlier, building the Tower of Alteration (I already had TotE earlier), and terraforming the land.
     
  20. Breunor

    Breunor Deity

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    Elder Methyl,

    You may want to build a Bannor City or a few; they will have untis with marksmen. That should take care of the assassin threat.

    Best wishes,

    Breunor
     

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