I’ve taken down the Sanctuary Campaign!
In roughly 1/2 the time it took me to grind through the Haven Campaign, I’ve managed to fight my way from a mage seeking refuge on the islands controlled by stereotyped naga to the home of my former husband and murder him. I am pleased.
Sanctuary plays with weaker mobs, larger stacks, and fewer hitpoints than both Haven and Necropolis. I always felt that I was on the back foot going into a fight. What did happen, though, was that I was able to play the game like I’d wanted to from the start: get in the enemies face, mix it up, and really not worry about the actual mob count. If a whole stack went down it would be just a few days before I was back up to snuff.
Each of the three factions I’ve played so far has had a very distinct playstyle.
Necropolis: Regenerating ranged powerhouses that have cheap foot troops to run interference.
Haven: Fast, fragile, elite troopers that do good damage, with a strong defensive bent.
Sanctuary: Slow, Fragile foot troopers that make up for their weak damage output in overwhelming numbers.
Each has played very different, despite every hero having both might and magic powers, and having access to similar powers within both might and magic. It has given the game a longevity it might not have otherwise.
The final map was difficult. It wasn’t Haven level ball breaking, but I did have to start over once, and I recieved a tip from my buddy that helped me roll the map.
The final map has both Haven and Inferno on the same map, with a neutral town in between. There is also a special quest to beat the mission without taking any haven towns that wasn’t the final keep with Gerhardt in it that I wanted to complete. The first go round I was super cautious. A giant demon and his army threaten you to come after him after you take your first town, but he is clearly super-powerful and outnumbers you significantly. He lets you keep the one town you take first, but the second and third town are both his, and he lets you know it by attacking with overwhelming force if you manage to capture either. However, he will not come out of his keep and attack you unless you are close enough that he can sortie out and return to base. If he comes out however, he destroys you. I played around him cautiously for over 10 months in game time before I gave up and started again.
There is a secret island base, way north through the waterways, that allows you to pick up an extra 2-3 weeks worth of creatures for a pretty cheap cost. Grabbing that allowed me to blitzkrieg the map once I’d restarted. I sent my second in command to get them while my main character torched everything between my starting village and the one town the demon would let me take. At this point in the game I was firing chain lightning at the top of every battle, and it would kill the whole opponents side. I’d gotten it at the end of the last map, where it was a little underwhelming. However, starting the map with it is completely brutal, but this only lasts a few weeks, a month at most, before everything starts having to many dudes to just blow away before they can harm you. With that knowledge in hand I waited for my second to get back from his recruitment mission. Once he’d returned I waited just a little more until the start of the next week, grabbed all the newly minted soldiers from both my towns, and then bolted straight towards the main badguy.
Each enemy group, when you hover over it, has a threat level. It goes, in order: Trivial – Low – Average – Modest – Severe – High -Deadly. Normally I would wait until something was at least average before attacking it as the losses I would suffer would be to great. The chain lightning had given me confidence, however, as it ripped down even severe threats for me without suffering a single loss. Emboldened, I attacked the demon in his volcano hideout. With the help of my friends from the north and my powerful early stage chain lightning, I tore him apart. I was most pleased! From that point on I had an upper hand. I had three, and then quickly thereafter four, towns and each was producing massive quantities of gold and troops. I was able to quickly beat the mini-boss and then the final boss.
While the final boss was uninteresting, the mini-boss took a few tries. She whips every square in her front arc and within her 4 square reach on her second activation every turn. It took a few goes at it, but I eventually found a solid strategy that enabled me to drop her without only some major losses among the ranged troopers.I simply ran around to her back without attacking the first turn, and then she’d not hair-whip and kill everyone. I was able to quickly replenish the ranged losses and go after the main boss, taking the level and the campaign.
Now, onto the Inferno Campaign, which I have been looking forward to for a while. Its got succubus, pit fiends, and cerebus!