Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Though reunited with his armies, Garga has been forced to part ways with Kel. He immediately gets new help, though, in the forces of the Strygweer, led by Malar Storm'Spear. The Strygweers's homes are under attack, and Garga must help them save themselves before they'll aid him in his quest…
Strygweers is an altogether unique map in that your normal selection of units have been replaced by Strygweer alternatives. This isn't a simple palette swap, either, as the Strygweers have different abilities:
- Melee Strygweers begin their lives as Axe Throwers and don't change much as they evolve. These fighters will hurl their axes at a range, then engage the enemy when they move in close. A good choice, though they shouldn't comprise the bulk of your defenses.
- 'Ranged' Strygweers actually aren't ranged at all, instead, they rely on lightning-fast sword strikes. They're not bad, but they die way too quickly to be of much use. If you're going to set them anywhere, put them on the eastern path with the lightly-armoured enemies.
- 'Magic' Strygweers also don't match up with their original type, instead, they rely on slow, strong blows with their massive hammers. These are the guys you want the most of, as they get a lot of HP when fully upgraded and will provide a lot of stopping power in the south of the map.
Malar Abilities and Enemy Upgrades
In addition to these forces, you'll gain control of Malar Storm'Spear, the mightiest Strygweer of the lot. He's an upfront battler with a strong melee attack that can sometimes get him in trouble if he's mobbed, because you need to put him right on the path to get the most out of his attack. That said, he has some amazing abilities for crowd control:
- Shock Wave: This ability is the number one reason for not ignoring Malar. It sends out a small, short-range wave that will immediately obliterate virtually any enemy near Malar. With some careful managing, he can use this move several times to wipe out entire waves. Use this constantly.
- Taunt: Enemy forces getting a bit too numerous? Use Taunt to scare them back down the path a ways. This is another excellent move for crowd control, but it's usually better to simply use Shock Wave and kill them. Nevertheless, if you feel overwhelmed and Shock Wave isn't available, Taunt is a good alternative.
- Teleportation: Malar immediately zips across the battlefield, stunning any nearby enemies on the spot where he appears. This puts Malar on par with Garga for movement speed, assuming you bought everything at the Goblin Market, but Teleportation costs MP better used on Shock Wave. Not recommended unless you need Malar to be somewhere immediately.
You may have new stuff, but the bad guys also get a bit of an upgrade here with some new units:
- Voodoo Wolf: A melee unit with vampiric tendencies. They'll drain the health of any units they attack. Hit them with long-range attacks before they close in for the kill.
- Abom: Heavy-armour unit that shows up late in the level, during the final wave. Slow, has a lot of HP, hits hard; you're best off holding it back with your heavy-hitting magic users. It will probably wind up clumped with the other baddies, so Shockwave will probably hit it at least a few times. Keep your heroes away otherwise.
Strygweers features a three-pronged enemy approach. From the very beginning, you'll have foes coming in from the two northern paths, one running south, the other curving in from the east. Set up Garga to intercept and annihilate the lighter troops that wander in from the east while a contingent of Slammers and Malar intercept the central group of attackers. It's important to have some kind of early striker in the east, as Rogues will come in from that direction and slip through once they've been hit. They'll reappear shortly before reaching the blockade in the south.
Roughly halfway through the level the entry point in the west, the closest to the end, will begin spawning Skeletons and their larger ilk. Use Garga's spells to keep them at bay (Chain Lightning is fantastic) and consider repositioning or constructing one set of units to bring them down before they can reach the intersection. A melee unit of ranged fighters isn't a bad idea, since the guys coming from this side are nice and slow. They'll take a lot of damage before they come into melee range.
So long as you focus most of your attention on moving Garga and Malar around and let your Strygweers handle themselves, this fight isn't too bad. Just make sure you have a lot of troops at the southern intersection, if the bad guys get past your heroes, they're going to accumulate in number very quickly.
© 2013 Matt Bird