LH Strategies?

Enough differences that old strategies are a bit off

By on April 21, 2013 4:59:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Join Date 03/2006

Looking at older strategies, I'm wondering, as a fairly new player what would work, between a melee-heavy sovereign/faction, an balanced champion/faction and a magic-heavy champion/faction like the Pariden.

The city guide seems to work, but then the questions, and this may change I guess...

When to build cheap/elite troops, henchmen (altar), build/tame creatures (resoln/beastlord), research lines.  Number of cities, dependencies on specialty classes (assassin, defender, commander, mage, warrior) from level 2 onwards. 

I guess every game is different and I have a good beginning, but I have problems in the mid/late game... the last game as Ceresa I made a tactical error of going to war, but then Magmar was starting the path for the Spell of Making, probably a bit too late for me to do anything about it.  Maybe I just need some more practice at it.

The game has some serious information overload, and it's just getting it into little pieces that'll help, between early / mid and late-game strategies and goals.


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April 21, 2013 5:24:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well you can just recruit "Ongr the Unbound" upgrade him to a Company and begin Steamrolling. No problem at all.

No seriously, that this is even still possible (...)


At a serious note:

Henchman are pretty fucking good. The only downside to them is that they cannot learn any "real" Magic like Fire 1, etc... But since you can learn them as a Mage, they can still summon stuff or if you are lucky and get the Mana Bolt skill, the Henchman get it as well. And if you happen to have a Savant Henchman it is pretty good.

I don't know what difficulty you play at, but people are saying High Initiative High Damage Ranged Units can pretty much deal significant damage.

I for one think that Yithril is pretty easy. You can always train Juggernauts which are just ridiculously good (see Ongr). These are really good mid-game units. You should be able to win he game after having a few of those.

Another thing: Magic is really important. Especially srategic magic. Use that whenever applicable. Cloudwalk (Air 4) really bumps up your Movement.


You should just search the Forums. Somewhere here is a "playthrough tutorial" to beating insane AI.

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April 21, 2013 5:37:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

You are right, there is serious info overload.  Have you read through the manual, the monster manual, the spell manual, etc.  Some dedicated players put these together and they are available on this site.  Specialize.  More specific to your questions; One thing that would help is to look at the special weapon types available to some domains. One has neat staffs that also add to dodge, making them harder to hit, and getting a hit back (counterattack).  One has access to horn bows, that are better than typical bows and don't need metal to make.  One has a bonus 'rush' move that gives the troop an additional move (not attack) with acool down of (I think 5) .  Some age automatic benefits to troops, like a double attack at -30 accuracy.  I'm still exploring all the nuances available, and sometimes getting slaughtered.  Some options will be controlled by resources.  No crystal = no magic arms and armor.  No metal = no armor beyond leather..  You get the idea.  For mid - late game units. mounting all troops is a big boon.  Warg riders get extra dodge.  (actually horse and warg get dodge bonuses - but warg is currently better for melee troops.   And horse/warg troops get movement bonuses on the tac map as well. remember that your mid game trained troops  will be better that even your most battle hardened veterans from the early game.  Bonuses to troops right out of a fortress with some of the buildings already built make them tougher.  Its sad to retire troops that campaigned with the sov for so many seasons.. alas.  And remember, Also, with several forts established, you hopefully built one on a two or three mana resource tile.  This is vital to later game troops.  When the fortress in training troops, cast battle spells on the fort - one adds a +1 fire attack to each figure you train there, for each essence in that settlement.  The +1 (or2,3) adds up really fast.  Its expensive at 100 mana to cast - but well worth it.  Other spells add to initiative, defense / per essence. This, coupled with the additional 'talents' given by virtue of the upgraded fort make the new troops quite effective when compared to the early troops trained out of need, anywhere.

BTW, I build mostly forts, and few towns / conclaves.  Why?  The settlements desperately need the garrison, and pluses to initiative - towns and conclaves are way too vulnerable in early game, and the salary costs too high to field sufficient troops to protect them all.  Most of these forts have no bonus troop buildings.  The added materials is also a big boon.

Sometimes, you find a sweet 3 essence tile.  While there are some benefits to building a conclave there - the needs of a highly effective military outweigh it.  Build your prime fortress there - grow it to size five, and enchant it with 3 spells that make troops trained there, well, magical.  My late game troops are always new troops trained when I get this fortress up to size 4, for the building bonus-ed traits added to the troops.  [Choose one of three = Always move first (which is not always true), +3move+3attack on first move (not as helpful if you have 'rush,') or +1hit points/per figure.]

Now, I have only tried a few soverings so far.  The beastlord seems like a really cool way to go, and early game, is quite powerful.  But the beasts (even experienced ones) just don't keep up with well trained and magic-ed troops.  Perhaps, if they were not restricted to solo figures, but could be combined into multi figure troops, like companies, etc., that might be different.  But they are single figure troops, and just not worth one of the nine slots in a stack, mid-late game.  Same for the death guy, who gets demons /elemental from the shards.  Early game they kick serious ... but by mid game are woefully outclassed by regular trained and equipped troops. 

Hope this helps you get a handle on part of the game...

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April 21, 2013 6:08:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Mage sumoner:

Faction: any kind of man, does not matter at all for summons.

Faction strengths: lucky, master scout, enchanter (for extra essence). Optional weaknes -10 perc research and then getting quick.

Talents: general, tactitian, life I, Initiative gauntlets, procipinee crown, clumsy, everything else optional.

Gameplay: Starting with cleric, geting goodies for equipment and 1 fame. After cleric done heroe apears. I pray him to be air. If air then steal spirit, and geting air 2 asap for tutelage, geting knowelegde then. Should be a lVL 4 - 5 to have all this. Then getting life II. After that summoner I, Healing 50 perc. summon whisp, sumon lightbringer and then to air elemental. At lvl 10 you should have all this.

Research: library, then leather, then rush, then roads to cities, then shrines and tireles march, then mages, then doesnt matter what.

Cities: always 4: first conclave, then town or fortress depends on tiles i find, then extra town.

This build requires not much mana. Using mostly heal, haste, summon ice elemnet (it costs 10 mana in battle). Lightbringer spams blind, air element does all the work with damage, whisp does aoe healing twice (upon summoning and on next its turn). I have no army upkeep at all. And i can wipe everything even gate quest boss with all summons included at the end game.



Idea is to combine crit bonuss, crit oriented weapon, armor ignoration traits and graveseal as ofence. Stack dodge as defence (wright race, warg, robe, shield, dancing boots, night drape, lucky cap,  lucky trait, dodge traits in assasin tree to hit >100 dodge. Use air and death to boost dodge, intiative and reduce enemies acuracy. Also use shadowbolt to nulify magic rezistance for graveseal to land. Using enchanters trait for extra essence for mana, because graveseal expencive spell. 10 perc exp and 2 spellmastery per lvl trait is a key for spellmastery as long assasin lacks it. General for exp, fast and tactitian to get time to debuf enemy.

Its kind a rogue build because i will need army only for begining to get some lvls then your sovereign can pretty solo.

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April 21, 2013 9:53:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


Understanding diplomacy can be difficult; how it works is not made very explicit.

The AI prefers to declare war on weak opponents and the weaker an opponent the more likely war will be declared. The strength of your army factors into the faction power rating which determines your power versus other factions. If enemy factions are looking like they might declare war, avoid going after that monster army or quest that might wipe out your army. The decrease in power rating may be the tipping point and the AI might declare war.

Offering tribute is a great way to avoid war... for awhile. It's not explicitly stated, but offering tribute does not allow either faction to declare war for 30 turns (and unlike trade and economic treaties, the AI cannot cancel these if relations worsen). If you initiate the offer you can save yourself some gilder as you won't have to offer any of it up front (unlike when the AI demands tribute of you). However, the AI will only accept tribute from you if he's Cool towards you or better. After relations get Unfriendly or worse, you'll have to hope for an AI initiated demand to postpone war and that demand comes with an upfront gilder cost.

Don't declare war unless you have a really good reason. Declaring war reduces relations with other factions (i.e. if you declare war on a Kingdom, other Kingdoms will dislike you more). You'll get attacked eventually, so be patient. In the meantime build up your army and cities, and when those first waves come, take advantage of those upgraded outposts that you placed on key avenues of approach. Once the first wave is dead, go on the offensive.

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April 22, 2013 12:05:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Henchmen can be improved by buying magic books  (Decalon faction trait).  If you don't have it shop at a friendly faction that does.

I prefer henchmen  instead of the random heroes that show up.

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April 24, 2013 9:38:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Seems to have worked here...

First victory via Spell of Making

World settings - Quest Dense, Monster Normal, Magic Normal, Resource Heavy, Slightly accelerated research and production.  Normal Difficulty.  Hey I'm a newbie, gimme a break.

Faction - Men, Lucky, Master Scout, Enchanters

Sovereign - General, Tactician, Life I, Attuned, Procipinee's Crown, Dragonfly Bracers

I got my first hero, an air hero and in an RP reason (Lady Lani was a jilted lover), stole his soul and gained Air I.  She would only use the spell once more as she regretted the hasty use the first time.

I started out with four cities, meeting most of my neighbors through scouts, but never made it past level 10.  The first city was a conclave, but I made the next one a fortress and the last two towns.  As the seasons went along I declared war on Resoln and barely lost one of my towns over to them (my main army was one-two spaces out of reach).  It was a pyrrhic victory on THEIR part as their main army was taken down to one unit (Ceresa herself was defeated).  She was killed less than three years later during the last stand of Hagudst, which became my second conclave city. 

The wars with Tarth and Ythril never amounted to much as they declared war, got scared and sued for peace.  Suited me just fine.  The war with Magmar, who declared war on me despite being the WEAKEST faction, ended up with him surrendering, and Lady Lari, the Sovereign using Steal Soul once again in symbolic execution of a hated foe.

I ended up defeating Vertar, the Frost Elemental King.  Bit of a hairy battle, but my sovereign was the last survivor, as I felt this was the best was to fully retire my long outdated Defenders.  From that I got the Heart of the Glacier, making my summoner into a warrior princess.  She never really made it that far as a summoner, only making it as far as Lightbringer.  She DID however gain Air IV to eventually have two transport spells (Call of the Titans and Cloudwalk).  

With fully upgraded flame staves and doom maul sargeants, both on warg cavalry, no army could touch them. 

It was only a matter of time until the Spell of Making was finished.

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April 26, 2013 1:27:07 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Spell of Making is stupidly easy to win with.  I just play with it off.


Really, the only strategy you need is this:

1) find a 3+ essence tile to build a city on, other stats don't matter, though obviously clay mines nearby are handy

2) make it a fortress to buff production and get the silly "move first" level up benefit and Def buffs

3) level a mage champion to get Hydromancy (Gentle Rain) - this step is optional, but it helps if your city isn't very high on food to get the uber level 3 fortress bonus.  Acquire other city unit buffs via recruiting/levelling - they're all level 1 or 2, so it's not hard

4) research to mid tier armor and Enchantment (or Blacksmithing)

5) cast Heart of Fire and the HP and initiative buffs on the city

6) design the heaviest armored warg-riding spear wielders you can (the boar spear from Blacksmithing is ideal, but the ice spear from Enchanting works fine too), making sure to give them the initiative amulet and Fast Perk

7) game over

This works for every faction on any difficulty, though Gilden and whatever Procipinee's faction is are obviously best suited.  Resoln has a slightly tougher time due to no armor, but that's ok - gear them with the Def amulet+belt, Def perk, Def fortress buff, and, you guessed it, the Def boosting Earth city enchant, and they are fine too.  Support with a couple staff mage units from the same city, if you really want to ez mode it - don't bother building archers.  Staff mages are way better, even for Tarth.

In short, the way city enchantment buffs apply to each figure of a unit is extremely ridiculous, and makes the game a cakewalk on any difficulty.  +15 attack to a 5 figure unit is rather silly for a 0 mana upkeep, level 1 spell.  Also, the AI can't handle stacked initiative whatsoever, and it's really all that matters to win any battle vs anything but the titan mobs.

Edit: IMO, heavy armor on a unit should reduce initiate.  Significantly.

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April 27, 2013 7:04:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Help me!

Trying a custom faction

Decalon + Binding, Amarian blood. (Not sure if it's worth getting a weakness just for adepts for shard shine upgrading)

Strategy is simple, grab lots of shards using arcane monolith spell,  will automatically grant you elementals too via binding. Since you have a lot of shards, might as well get Amarian blood so your units and sovereign will gain initative, spell mastery, spell resistance or hitpoints depending on shards you own.

Having problems coming up with a good sovereign to complement this though. Any ideas? Thinking going with Summoners or warlock... 

Or is this whole idea lousy?



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April 27, 2013 8:58:45 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
@ luketan Enjoy 'experimenting' with custom design factions. Even a 'failed' experiment can be fun. Two things. First, the elementalals you get via shard binding, while very kick *** in early game, don't maintain their effectiveness against mid game well trained/equipped troops. (This is also true for the death/demon sov who gets demons in shards.) About the weakness choices as a summoner sovereign: The trick is to pick a weakness whose effect doesn't cost you anything important. I find clumsy to be a cheap way to trade up to another point in sov building. The advantage of clumsy is it only applies to melee attacks done when adjacent to a friendly unit. So, take clumsy, have your sov stick to spell casting/archery or melee attacks without partners on immediate flanks, and you basically have an almost free increase of one build point. Hope this helps.
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April 27, 2013 4:59:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting luketan,
Help me!

Having problems coming up with a good sovereign to complement this though. Any ideas? Thinking going with Summoners or warlock... 

Or is this whole idea lousy?

Idea good and interesting. Sovereign could be fire-air mage (i would grab fire later in game, at low lvls it wont help that much as air). Life for healing your minions would be handy either especialy if you get that healing ring and devouted perk.

As long you took decalon, you can grab air/fire in game via books or heroes.

For talents: general, briliant, tactician, clumsy and 10 perc exp +2 spell mastery per lvl. take staff for extra 25 perc. damage. Dont take warlock, general better in loong run.

In mid game fireball/flamedart everything. Use minions for keeping enemies away from your mage. you can pick lightbringer for tanking either its not so deep in tree.

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May 7, 2013 3:27:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Kehehe, I've been playing with a trog faction using decalon, enchanters, no armor, and adepts. Early game is composed of fast expansion and map exploration, the shard summons explore while I build them up. The shards get me mana to cast monolith again and again. Mid/late game involves packs of non-grave elementals keeping the peace, while I smash face with ancient grave elementals and juggers(death ward is funny on them). Sovereign is my standard caster.

Hate that they made shard harvesting a requirement for shard alters now, miss not needing adepts to start off fast.

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May 8, 2013 5:38:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love playing magic-oriented games, I can't resist replying even though I'm a bit late...

Unfortunately, the 'mage' professions are not that great. "General" is the easiest (and most boring) profession to play, especially as a mage, since many spells have a 'damage per level' component.

If you have binding, it might be slightly better to play as Empire, because Life shards don't have an Elemental, while Death shards do. You can still play Amarians, if you like their magic-y feel. Their spell is worthless, though.

I suggest taking Life or Death magic, as you can't buy it later from the Decalon. A second magic school is optional. Take Brilliant and Procipinee's Crown, the rest as you see fit. The Staff of Souls looks cool, but it's almost impossible to get any benefit from it. Like others have said, Clumsy is a pretty harmless weakness.

If you like to do damage in combat, Flame Dart (fire) and Horrific Wail (Summoning Tree) are nice spells. Don't expect to do a lot of damage in the early game, though. Therefore, be prepared to often switch your role and smash your opponents in the face with your 'spellcaster'. Especially if you are lucky enough to find some good items.

Lastly: be agressive. The elementals from Binding are relatively weak. Use them well while you still have an advantage.

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