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AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies
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Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies » Totally stuck on Rocky Hollow scenario
Topic Subject:Totally stuck on Rocky Hollow scenario
posted 01-12-17 07:04 AM EDT (US)         
I've had AOW for many years now, although I don't think I've ever totally finished the campaign, or played all the scenarios. Some scenarios are fairly easy, others are more challenging, and some are hard. But Rocky Hollow has stumped me. I've been playing it for about 5 hours a day for a week now, and I can't beat it.

Rocky Hollow is the scenario where you and 4 other CPU players start with a size 3 city in the corners of the map. In the middle is the Undead, and they *start* off being about literally 10 times stronger than any of the other players. And their power only increases from then on. Every time I've played it I can manage to get about 3 or four cities going, but then the Undead start expanding and stomping out the other players. I've tried recruiting troops but they get killed off pretty quickly, so it always ends up with me having 2 or 3 heroes on the map struggling for survival. I've maxed out their movement to 50 in the hope of having a force capable of rapidly capturing cities. I've given them grass concealment and mountaneering too so they can lurk and pounce on enemy troops when needed. I've had my leader at Level 30 and 1 or 2 other heroes at level 20 or so at maximun speed capturing and recapturing cities. The problem is though that as the heroes gain levels they need more gold and I can never seem to recapture enough cities quickly enough to pay for my heroes, let alone troops. So my heroes almost always leave me because I can't pay for them.

And anytime I try to get a city to produce troops, the Undead send over troops to capture the city. I've tried the Ash Cloud spell to try to conceal the city, but the Undead still manage to see that I have a city producing troops and stomp it out.

I've tried razing Undead cities too in a sort of scorched earth policy, but then if I do that I myself have no way of attaining gold.

So by day 400 or so, I usually end up having a super fast leader running around the map briefly capturing cities, before they're recaptured.

Basically in this scenario the Undead seem to be an unstoppable juggernaut. The post game graph is ridiculous looking too. The Undead line goes up at about 45 degrees and then levels out when it shows it's about 50 times more powerful than me!

Any help would be much appreciated!
posted 01-12-17 02:30 PM EDT (US)     1 / 9       
I remember this map well, and have played it several times. The first time was with other humans, and we got thrashed, as I recall.

I can remember playing as both Humans and Frostlings, and won with each. All CPUs on Emperor/Normal.

Some tactics that proved key:

1. The AI will string out his horde along the road, making it possible for hit and run tactics to reduce his strength quickly. Your 3 stacks can kill his 8 stacks, because you take them on only 2 at a time.

2. Get some priests quickly to deal with wraiths, unless you've got the mana for enchanted weapon on a lot of units (mana was scarce, as I recall). Then lots of archers and ballistas.

3. Scorched earth is a great idea, but only inside of the hollow, so it doesn't affect your earning potential. If you can get a couple powerful fliers (nordic glows were great for this), they can do this well. Be sure to blow up those Death Altars first!

4. If you've got a level 30 hero and skill can't win, then you're doing something wrong. What are his stats at level 30? Should be Spellcasting 5, 10s on everything (maybe not damage), 47 movement, parry, round attack, wall climbing, marksmanship III (IV if you want), and 25+ hitpoints. Do you have leaders on? If so, and you customize, REGENERATION REGENERATION REGENERATION! Oh, and cast all spell buffs possible.

5. Clear out all dungeons to buff heroes.

6. Be nice to your neighbors, but betray them if it will benefit you, especially if you can capture and hold their big cities.
posted 01-12-17 02:55 PM EDT (US)     2 / 9       
We could try doing a co-op game of this, if you're interested. ;-)
posted 01-13-17 04:00 AM EDT (US)     3 / 9       
Thanks, that's helpful. I forgot to mention that when I played it I used the program defaults, and they had all the non Undead CPU players on Squire. The result is they simply sat there and got squashed, leaving just me against the Undead. I've since upped most of the CPUs to Emperor, so they at least are putting up a stiffer fight so far.

I was also very lucky to get the Ring Of Life, which leaves grassland in your wake. In conjunction with Grass Concealment, this at least means you're almost always invisible, until a Reaper passes by and turns the grass to dust!

Also I may as kill two birds with one stone as I had another question- are ability scores fixed at a maximum of 10? That is to say if you have an attack of and you have a weapon with an attack bonus of 2, does this mean that your attack is 11? Or is is stuck at 10, unable to go higher?
posted 01-13-17 04:54 PM EDT (US)     4 / 9       
In some cases it can go higher than 10. For example, the holy/unholy champion buff spells are confirmed to do that. I'm not sure if every buff spell will, though. It might just be things that do bonus attack/damage, where you don't see the actual stat number change, like the champion spells and the charge ability.
posted 01-14-17 08:50 AM EDT (US)     5 / 9       
I just replayed this last night, to refresh my memory.

CPU AI: Squire (Undead are fixed at Emperor)
Customize Leaders On
Leaders on Map
Allied Victory On
Classic Turn mode

I was Frostlings.

Game ended in 32 turns. I pumped archers exclusively almost for the whole game. By the time clerics came online, it was almost over. I never built any ballistas.

My Leader started with Regeneration, Lightning Strike, Hurl Stones, Wall Climbing, and Spell Casting I. I added 1 to attack and pumped defense to 6 or 7. My first priority was to clear out the dungeons/caves, to pump my leader up quickly. He was level 20 when the game ended. I then took the towns closest to me and expanded quickly and aggressively in all directions. I actually didn't go into the middle at all. My leader went underground and assassinated the Undead leader through there. The Undead only invaded me once, taking two of my big towns, but I took them back within two turns and wasn't threatened again.

I think the aggressive expansion is the key, as it seems to "scare" the AI. I lost my hero early on, but got another to replace it, which then lasted the rest of the game. I also used Tactical combat mode almost the entire time, to minimize casualties and maximize hero XP.
posted 01-17-17 01:24 PM EDT (US)     6 / 9       
I found a Youtube video on this mission recently (what can't you find on Youtube these days?) and the uploader did pretty much the same thing as you. Assassinate the enemy leader before his empire becomes unstoppably huge. And use Tactical combat to single out the enemy leader. And here I was playing on until day 700 desperately trying to halt the juggernaut. I tried using Tactical combat when I first played AOW all those years ago, but usually it was too much hassle, so I switched to Automatic. But clearly Tactical combat can make a difference if you play it well.

BTW does the AI follow the same rules with money as the player? That is, does it still need to pay it's troops to avoid desertion? I would assume so, but I was playing on for ages after having demolished most of his towns in the hope that his huge army would desert due to lack of pay, but the Undead troops always seemed to have high morale even long after I'd razed almost all the towns. It was discouraging!
posted 01-19-17 12:32 PM EDT (US)     7 / 9       
Check out the Strategy on this website; it will answer a lot of your questions and make your AoW life much much easier.

The difficulty setting of the AI affects its gold and mana income. For example, CPU Emperor triples whatever it would otherwise get per turn.

Some maps specify EXTRA amounts for a race to receive per turn, above and beyond the on-map production. That can be seen in the Map Editor.


Human Player +0% gold/mana +1 XP per turn
Squire +0% gold/mana +1 XP per turn
Knight +50% gold/mana +2 XP per turn
Lord +100% gold/mana +3 XP per turn
King +150% gold/mana +4 XP per turn
Emperor +200% gold/mana +5 XP per turn

[This message has been edited by Mac_Biodiesel (edited 01-19-2017 @ 12:34 PM).]

Troyer IV
posted 05-17-17 10:06 AM EDT (US)     8 / 9       
I know I'm late to the party, but I recently picked this game up again and am actually playing this map.

I'm rusty, so it was a bit of a challenge early on, but I think I'm back into the swing of things.

I started as Human, didn't change anything for the leader, map settings, etc, only put all the AI other than Undead at Lord difficulty.

Took me a few days to get my region under control, and by the time I was getting ready to take the only other 3-hex city in my area (Humans start with one), the Undead were arriving. That 3-hex is Orc, so I was worried they'd convert the city to their cause and unleash the Warlord there. So I pushed forward past my siege units and took the Undead in the forest to the northeast of the city. Was outnumbered 3-1, but get them. As soon as they were dead and I turned around, 3 more Undead stacks showed up.

This is about the time I realized I wasn't dealing with just a little problem, but a big one.

It's now something like day 60 and I had to basically do the same thing. Took 3 heroes and Gold Cavaliers to assassinate the Undead leader. Then caught the Orc leader out several turns later, and have been chasing the Dark Elf Leader for some time now while I mop up the map. The Frostling guy is still up in his corner all alone with a minimal army while his Hero runs around wrecking shit - seriously, Eclo Frostbite is freaking Aragorn in this game.

I expect it'll all be over by Day 80 at the latest, as I'm in no rush at the moment.
posted 06-13-18 03:35 PM EDT (US)     9 / 9       
Hmm, this map didn't seem that hard to me...
I played as humans (first time ever!), all AIs set to Emperor. When the undead first attacked me, they defeated my leader with two big stacks. So I loaded one turn back and retreated. The AI then split its unstoppable army into small groups and fanned out to capture nearby towns. Big mistake - my two heroes and one cavalier chopped them to pieces next turn. Next invasion went the other direction.

General tactics? Strong heroes specialized in melee fighting, very few other units (except some two or three cavaliers, IIRC; the game was over before I produced my first level 4 unit), city walls for defense, tactical combat everywhere, not much magic except enchanted weapons and some other boosts or heals, running around quickly and swatting small enemy stacks before they regroup and strike back. BTW, it's good to pick at least one Death sphere to make use of all the undead's nodes.
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