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The Dark Omen Campaign

the Black Grail quest

[mission's 20-25]


Updated: 12th May, 1998

You're back in Altdorf where the court Wizard instructs you to seek out the Black Grail, an artefact of immense power coveted by the Dread King(or something along those lines)

It seems that this "Grail of Darkest Sins" is rumored to lie in the lands to the West; in Bretonnia and you are to seek audience at the Court of Paravon to further clarify the whereabouts of said artefact.


Mission #20: Axebite Pass

Mission #21 Loren - Attack in the forest

Mission #22 Loren II - Helping the Treemen

Mission #23 Loren III - Make like a log and split

Mission #24 The Northern Wastes

Mission #25 Moussillon

 


 

Mission #20: Axebite Pass

Magic items: None

You meet Asguz Bloodfist crossing the pass. He joins you and funny thing is there's only 15 out of 19 dwarves. Cos i got some of them killed earlier on? Anyway get the full complement.

In this mission, no matter where/how I placed my men or menuever them I lose over a dozen guys. (Good thing I have about 1k gold left) The enemy is too fast; cannon and mortar dont slow them down. And forget spells I tried them as well. damn :(

The scenario is simple. Two waves of undead from the North comes galloping your way down 2 corridors. The 1st wave are 2 units Skeleton Horsemen and 1 unit Undead Chariot. The 2nd wave are 2-3 units of SH and 2 units UC.

I deploy all my assault units, the Cavalry (w Horn of Urgok), to the right of the start box facing N and NW, with the Mortar guys behind them. Get the mortar to fire at the corner to the NW, from where the the 1st wave of enemies will round the bend towards you. They will bunch up right there and I managed a few lucky hits

I didnt deploy my Cannons or Wizards, cos all they do is die. There's an Undead Chariot in the 2nd wave who will almost always go after these 'softer' targets, ignoring melee around them.

I let the first wave hit me head on; the Cavalry, Ragnar Wolves, Dwarves in front; Infantry, and Greatswords behind. Blow the Horn of Urgok a couple of times during the fight, this keeps your troops in the fray. The dwarves are always the first to flee since their experience is low. Oh and btw, I noticed the enemies are all '4 skulls' :-o

Watch out for the 2nd wave and humble them with your Mortar. Lead your shots; fire them well ahead of the Horsemen and you'll be sure of a hit. A Skeleton Horseman down is one less for your troops to fight.

 

Mission #21 Loren - Attack in the forest

Magic items: None

The King of Brettonia loans you his Grail Knights to accompany you towards the city of the damned, Mousillon. The GKs are tough (rated 4 skulls) w shitloads of armor and fears nothing. Yes. Medieval Navy Seals.

Along the way u run into Elrod (he of the Wood Elves) and he bids you to meet his King and Queen for some urgent matter over at King's Glade. The story branches (1) you go to King's Glade or (2) you proceed to Mousillon.

As always, I took (1). This sent me through the Loren Forest and before long Elrod spotted a legion of the Undead in the midst of defiling some sacred site. This comprises your first wave of undead:

to the North visible from your start box are: 2 units zombies, 1 Necro, 1 unit skeleton archers, 1 unit Wraith, 1 unit Screaming Skull Launcher on the East and another SSL to the West.

I deployed my men as below:

---------------------------------------^^trees^^-------------------------------

Inf--Gtswords--RWolves--Gr Knights--Mortar--Cavalry--Dwarves--Woodelves

-----------------------------------------Ice mage--------------------------------

The Grail Knights and Cavalry are to "sandwich" the mortar crew cos the enemy AI will prioritise them for elimination.

As long as you stay in your "box" the SSLs cant hit you. So remember not to stray while in melee later.

prime your Mortar to fire at the Necromancer. Your first few hits will hit some of them, or if you're lucky, a direct hit on the Necro himself :-) . Anyway, this pisses them off and draws them to you.

My mortar wiped at least 2 enemy units halfway to my box. In fact mortar plays a major role in this mission. Keep them firing and check the map for the next wave and target accordingly.

I stood my ground and let the enemy close in. Zombies are meat. just blow your Horn of Urgok and they fall to pieces and this also keeps your men from running scared. The Necro I managed to kill w mortar fire :-) . The first wave is quite easy to surmount.

The second wave of undead will come from the N and NE. They are 2 units Skeleton Archers, 1 Undead Chariot and 1 unit Zombies. Your biggest threat are ofcourse the Archers. hit them with Mortar and get your Ice Mage to cast Cold Spells their way. I managed to freeze both units hehe. The Zombies will route to your Horn and the Undead will get beaten senseless by Dwarves and Woodelves.

The last wave is more of the same. 2 units Zombies and 1 unit Skeleton Archers again from the NE. yawn.

Finally hit the SSLs with your mortar. A few hits on the East SSL sent them back home(read: the fiery depths of hell)l. The West SSL I hit with Cold Spells. I sent my Ice Mage West, to where there are some trees and from there took his sweet time sending his "twisters" North.

and I hit the "Needle" site with lots of fireball in the hopes of getting a magic item, but no such luck *sigh*

 

Mission #22 Loren II - Helping the Treemen

Magic items: None

At King's Glade, King Orion tells u a bit more about the Grail Knights and provides you a regiment of his finest Archers, led by your old pal Galed.Woodelves Archers move fast and shoots farther than your own men; a worthy addition to your mercenary army.

On your way to Moussillon, you meet the Treemen asking for help to rid their forest of the blight of the undead. The story branches (1) Help the Treemen (2) Proceed to Mousillon, and this is the only part in the campaign where option# 1 is not a good thing. Option# 2 gives you a SpellEater Shield, which soaks up the enemy's spell and channels the 'mana' to your Wizards!

Anyway if you chose (1):

In this scenario, you start at the South on a hilltop overlooking a lake. Directly to the North is a Necro, and to the NW: 1 unit Skeleton Warriors, 1 unit Skel Horsemen and 1unit Undead Chariot - moving down your West Flank. To the NE: 1 unit Skel Horsemen, and 2 units Wights attacking your East Flank, the Necro will follow these guys.

Place your Mortar(w Horn of Urgok) frontmost in the middle, assigned to take out enemies long before they reach your box. They're v effective and I took out 2 enemy regiments just halfway across

Those that your Mortar missed are cut down your Woodelves covering the West flank and Merc Archers covering the East. Throw in your 2 wizads to help out with Flamestorms and Cold Spells to the East and West respectively. Btw, the Cold Spells works wonders. My Ice Mage took out 2 units Wights coming from the East(just keep casting them North you're bound to hit lots of the bad guys!)

The Necro isnt that threatening, maybe cos my men are more experinced now(?) but he will teleport close to your mortar to take them out. Yes as usual the AI will prioritise its biggest threat(or in your case asset). When he does this, quickly cast a Dispel Magic on your mortar guys. Station your Cavalry w banner of Arcane Warding) close to your Mortar. I managed to kill the Necro on his 3rd or 4th attempt to zap my mortar crew. Your mortar might get a lucky direct hit on the necro (happened in one o my games), otherwise overwhelm him w swords Assign your Ragnar Wolves and Grail Knights as fast response units. Place them West and East respectively. And your Treeman can be placed on the East where there's more enemies. Eventho he's just one guy, the Treeman is quite tough.

Your mortar guys can blow the Horn in case some of your men decides to chicken out :-)

The 2nd wave are more of the same: 1 unit Skel Warriors and 1 unit Skel Horsemen from the East and the same from the West.

There is a 3rd wave hiding close to the necro(if he's still alive) over at the mound to the NE. You have to bait them, but not before you've postioned your archers and wizards to repel this last wave, up the hillside to the East(didnt realise it was a hill till I rotated the map)

Build a good defense and use your Ice Mage and Bright Wizard at every opportunity and victory is yours!

 

Mission #23 Loren III - Make like a log and split

(Alternate mission)

Magic items: Spell-Eater Shield

You tell the Treemen to bugger off and you end up in this relatively hard scenario. Good thing there's a magic item here else I wud have avoided it completely.

You're caught in a clearing to the South facing a forest with 2 avenues down its West and East side. From the West are: 2 units Skel Warrioris and 2 units Skel Archers. From the East: Archers, NE: Vampire Lord, 1 unit Skel Horsemen, 1 unit Archers, 1 unit warriors. And that's just the 1st wave :-0

Place your mortar in the middle with the Cavalry(carrying Banner of Warding as usual) next to them. The Vampire will teleport a few times close by to zap these guys. So make sure you cast Dispel Magic on the mortar crew and get some other units to cover them as well

Use your mortar to good effect. They can lay barrage on the incoming Horsemen as well as hit the annoying Skeleton Archers from the East and NW later.

Since there are more enemies hitting your East flank you might want to place your stronger assault units there to cushion the Skeleton onslaught. I place my dwarves, Ragnar Wolves and Greatswords there. They will complain they're hit by archers from the NE so nail those bastards with your mortar.

And your Woodelves flanked by Ogres and Grail Knights can guard your West flank. The enemy composition is lighter here. Just dont let your men stray too far out of your box for any other unit to assist in time.

Your Wizard comes handy cos he can cast Flamestorms where the enemy bunches up or even on enemy Archers who dont move around a lot.

The next wave of enemies are: 2 units Skeleton Horsemen from NE, 1 unit Archers and 1 unit Warriors. If you've survive the 1st wave with little casualties, you wont have any problem. btw dont forget to blow your Horn of Urgok every now and then.

To the NE, there is a circle of stones. It will take about 3 flamestorms from your Bright Wizard to dislodge the SpellEater Shield from the stone. Its like a magic sponge; soaks up enemy spell and tranfers the energy to your own Wizards!

My major loss from this mission are the Wolves. My mortar took out 3/4 of the regiment(hate it when the AI does that!) And yes Im too lazy to reload ;-)

 

Mission #24 The Northern Wastes

Magic items: Dragon Helm

As you proceed North, you are held at gunpoint by the Pistoliers who after promise of gold in your army decides to tag along.

This is one of those easy but tedious missions. Easy if you know a simple trick and tedious you'll see why

In this scenario, you can forget about defending yourself. There are just way too many Skeleton Warrioirs and Archers to hold off plus 3 Screaming Skull Launchers up North that can hit you almost anywhere you are.

All you need are the Cavalry and Pistoliers. Station your Cavalry guys to the West close to the Windmill and waypoint them to hide behind the Windmill ( In fact its possible to just use your Cavalry for this mission but they have 16 guys and present too large a target profile as opposed to 9 men Pistoliers ) The Pistoliers, you can place them right in the center of your box facing the skeletons and SSLs.

Equip your Cavalry with the Banner of Arcane Warding, and Enchanted Shield and whatever else. Your Pistoliers are to carry the Shield of Ptolos(Oh yes it will rain arrows).

When the game starts move the Pistoliers North where there are 2 huts side by side. Every skeleton warrior and archer will move in to overwhelm your men. Your path may or may not be blocked by the Necro(u can always stop and shoot the guy if he does that) but short of the huts turn East and then South going around the Windmill SE of the huts (the little path at the side)

At this point most of the enemy will start to follow u like lemmings. And since Skeletons are *slow* you have nothing to worry about. The SSLs cant hit you anyway cos they suck at moving targets. And since you have over a dozen enemy regiments tailing you, the SSLs will hit some of their own men. Ooops!

Short of going S to your box, (keep your Cavalry safe), make a sharp turn after the Windmill to the NW towards where the 2 SSLs are. There are 2 units Skeleton Warriors here you still need to "add" to your tail.

Make another "round" then head up to the SSLs (which is now unprotected) and waste the crew; one salvo from my Pistoliers wiped out an entire crew. And you shud have enough time to take out the 2nd SSL as well. Someday when I grow up I'm joining the Pistolier regiment ;-)

Now make your way SE past the huts and up towards the Windmill, making sure you avoid stray enemy units. And waste the last SSL crew.

So now you move all the way South and meet up with your Cavalry. You can see that you're now moving in a big square around the edges of the map with all the bad guys trailing behind. And start picking them off one after another. Toss your fireballs and gun down some undead every now and then.

Before long you've wasted an entire undead army with only 2 units.

My Cavalry and Pistoliers had 94 and 146 kills respectively. That translates to 1096 and 1680 experience points for each unit. Wohoo!

The Black Tower to the NW holds the Dragon Helm. It took my Cavalry about 35 fireballs(yes I counted) to release the Helm. Essentially, it protects you from flame attacks.

 

Mission #25 Moussillon

Magic items: Potion of Strength

At long last you made it to the City of the Damned, home to the Black Grail Knights. And dig the awesome cutscene as these most vile of Knights answers the door :-o

As usual you start in the South with the Castle up North and the Black Grail Knights galloping around their front yard. Not to worry, they won't attack you yet. You'll also see a Necromancer and a unit of Skeleton archers towards the North as well.

Closer to your box, the first Wave will comprise:

from the NW - 1 unit Skeleton Archers and 1 unit Ghouls from the NE - 2 units Skeleton archers, 1 unit Undead Chariot and 1 unit Ghouls.

Mount a good defense and the first wave wont cost you too much. Here's my layout just fyi

------------------GCav---Grail Knights--<Crypt>---

GInf-Trolls-Dwarves-Mortar-Woodelves-R Wolves-Pistoliers-Ice mage

The Necromancer will teleport in and try and zap your men. His targets are mostly troops on the West Flank and sometimes your Grail Knights. So prepare beforehand with magick shields to counter his spells. Try and take him out early with Mortar/Woodelves/Banner of Wrath/G Sword, else he can get very irritating.

The ghouls, like their zombie cousins will route upon hearing your horn so give it a toot when they get close enough :-)

To your East flank, your Ice Mage and Pistoliers can do lots of damage to the Skeletons and Chariots from the NE. Use your Ice Mage to cast Cold Spells on incoming Chariots. Aye, instant popsicles! And your Pistoliers armed with the Shield of Ptolos can safely engage the Skeletons up North and thin out their ranks.

Enemies that made it thru your Mortar/Pistoliers/ice Mage will face arrow showers from your Woodelves. And melee will be quick.

And the second wave are as follows:
from NW: some Mummies
from NE: 1 unit Undead Chariot, 1 unit Mummies

I hate Mummies cos they take forever to kill, even using flamestorms and ice spells; so try and reduce their numbers from far off before they get to you. I used my Pistoliers to bait them towards my Ice Mage

There is a Potion of Strength hidden in the Crypt a bit to your North along the path. A direct mortar hit shud release the item.

Then time to meet the dreaded Black Grail Knights. Piss them off with some Cold Spells they'll come galloping your way. These Knights are *tough*. Even my own Knights(high on Potion of Strength) are no match for them and I ended throwing everyone into the fray.

Except for some losses in my Infantry and Grail Knights everyone else was pretty much intact. Dont mind losing the Grail Knights here cos they leave you after the battle anyway.

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