Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Making Your Way Through Sacred Grove
The campaign continues. Garga Wrathbringer is carving a path across the countryside, and his journey to reach the titular Artifact has brought him into Sacred Grove, a forest that should by all rights, be peaceful. A shame that the bad guys have their own plans…
Sacred Grove is a bit twistier and longer than Prelude as far as maps go, but it still follows the same basic idea. One road, one destination on the far-right side of the map. It's not difficult to create a bottleneck here, and that's exactly what you should do to complete the map.
Your strategy for completing Sacred Grove shouldn't be a whole lot different from what you used in Prelude. Set up two barracks worth of soldiers that are near one another and watch as they plow through incoming enemy troops. If you want to take a riskier route, you can use a combination of three magic users and three ranged fighters to cover one spot and let Garga mop up anything that manages to slip through (though make sure he's always close enough to add to the initial firepower, as well).
Red Beards and Making Choices
The safer route here is to set up a squad of melee fighters which can hold everything else in place; in this case, create a mixed bag of two magic users and one ranged fighter to occupy the second barracks. You face a new threat in Red Beards which fall more easily to arrows, but they aren't numerous enough to prove a real threat.
Sacred Grove presents two new choices to players:
- First, the choice of quantity over quality. You don't get a ton of money here, but you get enough gold in Sacred Grove to outfit five or six barracks with troops. These can pick away at foes as they make their way down the field, potentially leaving whomever might still be alive for Garga to kill. Conversely, you can upgrade two or three units to a new level, granting them greater combat prowess. At the moment the difference isn't significant, but later in the game upgraded units will receive new combat abilities. Getting used to upgrades early is a good idea. Either way, make sure your initial troops are set up in the two barracks near the blue tree in the south of the map. It will ensure their health remains high throughout the encounter, which is primarily handy if you prefer to use melee fighters.
- Second, the choice of magical schools. There are four schools in total, and though all are good, some are better during certain battles than others. Mors and Anima are probably your best bets for surviving this map unscathed. Note that you can reset your magical school after each battle, just as you can reset skill point allocations.
Be Prepared: Practice Makes Perfect!
Regardless of the route you choose, this map also presents a good opportunity to move around your soldiers, particularly Garga. Everybody else has a fairly limited range; Garga, conversely, can (and should!) wander anywhere at will. Practice your spells, note how quickly magical power regenerates (not quickly at all), and prepare yourself for some trickier combat in the future.