Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Protect the Sages
Artifacts are always good when facing down an unfathomable evil, and Garga has managed to track down the titular Artifact that he might employ its power to stop the evil sweeping over the land. Problem is, a lot of powerful creatures want to stop his band from unleashing its might. Can he stop them before they stop him?
"Artifact" is the strangest map you've come across yet, and possibly the most difficult to date. Unlike every other map you've played so far, the enemy's endpoint is not the edges of the map (though they can still inflict damage). Instead, the point of import is in the centre, where four Sages are trying desperately to unlock the power of the Artifact. You must protect these Sages from taking damage…
…because each time you lose one, you lose five points from your victory count. Lose all four and your game is done. The Sages have some penchant for combat, but under almost no circumstances should you let more than one enemy at a time reach a Sage. Enemies that reach the middle and keep going to the opposite end of their track will also inflict the usual damage, which means you don't even have to lose all four Sages to fail the level.
This wouldn't be Incursion without some new enemies, and in Artifact you're facing a few doozies:
- Red Knight: Slow, burly knights that do nothing of interest beyond hitting things hard. Magic!
- Nightmare: Spectral beings that resist death, Nightmares are the bane of melee fighters because they put things to sleep. Send Garga himself to blast them with magic or, if you have no choice, let archers handle the kill.
- Glutton: Flying dragons, Gluttons will eat anything they come across, no questions asked. Fortunately, archers can bring them down easily.
Because Nightmares are capable of putting your units under, melee units are, once again, not recommended for this map, nor are they needed. All you require is smart placement of mages and archers and judicious redeployment of Garga to counter incoming threats.
The map is kind, and it clusters the majority of the barracks in a circle around the Artifact. Set up camp in the barracks nearest the Artifact, setting up two mages and one archer in each of the barracks on the horizontal. Upgrade the mages to the maximum as your first priority, pausing in that every now and then to set up a contingent of archers in the barracks on the vertical. The archers will soften units up as they wander towards the middle; the mages will complete the kill. Move Garga around to counter the most immediate threats, setting him on the islands that force the path to curve around. You particularly want him to take out Nightmares before they can reach the centre, though if deployed properly the archers should be able to mash the Nightmares on their own.
Though they seem a tiny threat, it is extremely important to note that Anti Mages can be your worst enemy on this map, especially if you're going for a perfect level. Anti Mages have a tendency to show up with other units, and if you're being overrun they can easily slip through your ranks. Sages count as mages, and an Anti Mage can instantly murder a Sage if they get too close. If you don't have archers deployed, send Garga at the moment an Anti Mage shows its face.