Below you can read the first of a three-parts After Action Report made by Beta Tester jpankako. It features the beginning of the Human Campaigns. The following parts will be posted soon!
Since the human campaign is the first one that new players face once coming off the boot camp, I decided to jot down a brief AAR from my experiences to smoothen down the learning curve. The multiple strategy options that FK provides allow players to excel in the game & train their troops in number of different ways, so I’m no way implying that my way of playing the game is any better than others – it’s just one way of getting through the first days of the battle & dealing with Kaos forces.
801 a.U.c. – Empire is striking back
Emperor Karl has finally decided to act on the growing threat of Kaos forces pillaging the region of Icilsud. As a newly appointed Kommander, I’ve been commissioned a small army to free the province of Krieg. I already know from the training camp that one of the key challenges I’m faced with early on, is the poor stamina of my newly recruited men. Before my units reach a sufficient level of expertise, I need to ensure that I don’t expose them too aggressively to enemy – one or two big blows may be all that is needed to kill an untrained unit even if it would be in perfect health at the start of the battle.
Dark Signs – First encounter
This first task should be easy and fast to deal with. No actual armies to encounter, just some lightly armed units between myself and the third village. I’ll place the few units I have in front, close to the main road and open field – I want to get this over and done with so that I can move forward. Making certain that units are facing front and don’t have their backs exposed in case enemy would go first or have some surprises waiting, I’m ready to go to battle.
Five turns to epic victory. After listening the “advise” from Julius, who seems like a useless baggage to carry around (where does the Emperor come up with these clowns?), I move my archers ahead and aim at the two zombies in front. FK allows me to move ranged units during the same turn as firing, as long as I do it first – and I will use this opportunity now to maximize my reach. Both zombies become demoralized from the hail of arrows, which likely makes them immobile for the next turn. Encouraged by this, I move my two light infantry units to take control of the nearby villages – and Marcus appears from thin air. This guys stats suggest that he can be very useful in battle, so I move him immediately forward next to my light infantry & archer – and activate the Offensive military tactics. I don’t expect that finishing off enemy will take too long, so there’s no reason to hold back – and this will assist the adjacent fresh units in taking hits from the undead. Looking last time that my units are faced well to the enemy, I finish the first turn.
Kaos goes next. Zombies stand still, immobilized by the demoralizing effect, which leads only the skeleton in the middle capable for attack. The unit charges against Marcus, and collapses into a pile of bones with practically no damage done. Apparently Kaos neglected to resurrect brains – these undead are just aggression without any IQ, otherwise they would have stood back or tried their luck with my infantry instead. Now I just need to finish the zombies - no wait, another skeleton appears at the cemetery where the first one just came from. I need to quickly take control of these portals before something more powerful emerges and turns this into a real battle.
I let my archers finish the demoralized zombie standing at the cemetery on right, emptying the hex for Marcus to move in and wipe out the skeleton – this allows me to move Marcus to the freed hex and take control of both cemeteries during the same turn. Respectively, I let my light infantry unit on left to maneuver to the backside of the remaining zombie and viola, all that remains is to beat through the bushes to get to the remaining village in time to record my first epic victory – likely the easiest of them all.
Back at the encampment
Happy to not have lost any troops at the first enemy encounter, I have ample of funds to upgrade my units to their new level of experience. I accept the automated skill change proposals, and prefer Recovery as a special skill. After a brief consideration, I decide to complement the team with a standard infantry unit. I’m too concerned of the archers low health level and not sufficiently impressed by light infantry’s added mobility to evaluate other alternatives. With a quick pit stop at the HQ, I’m ready to embark on my first real battle.
Divide the enemy - baptism by fire
From the very first glimpse, the setup appears much more challenging than in the previous scenario. I’m faced with a goblin horde three times the size of my troops – and to reach my objectives, I need to cross a river which will halt my movement and make me extremely vulnerable for attack. With these odds, I would be more inclined to sit back and wait for enforcements – but that option was not available in the briefing. Hopefully goblins will remain passive and focus on protecting their villages, otherwise this will be a slaughter. I split my forces into two: Marcus will lead the charge to the bridge, supported by the infantry unit. Archers will remain close to the riverbank, utilizing their superior range against goblin slingers, and weaken the troops on the other side of river. Light infantry units will remain in the middle, waiting for the outcome in these two fronts and using their good mobility to go where they’re most needed. With this setup, I hope for the best and start the battle.
I get the initiative and decide to change plans almost immediately. My infantry units would not be able to reach the slinger unit on my side of the bank, so instead of deploying Marcus first, I hit the light goblin infantry with my std infantry unit from left flank. I manage to weaken the unit just sufficiently to deliver a killing blow with light infantry, and use the created opening for Marcus to ride in and finish the slinger. This bank secured. My archer gets a good shot at the goblin positioned at the village, and I finish the job with the second archer. Instead of holding my second light infantry unit at reserve, I decide to move him closer to the river to protect exposed archers. First turn completed.
Goblins launch a counterattack, but like I hoped, they fail to take advantage of their numbers – units move close to river but don’t attempt to cross it. Cowards. I take a small hit from one of the slingers but other than that, no harm comes my way. Good start.
I kick off the second turn. The slinger who hit me is positioned at the bank which allows me to kill it with light infantry unit, move to the vacated hex and get immediately out of harm’s way. I’m not overly comfortable with a single unit standing alone surrounded by goblins, and try to even up the situation by firing arrows at close by units. Too late I notice that they’ve turned on their special defense ability and arrows bounce off from their armor. Wasted ammo. I turn to my northern “front” and let Marcus charge to the goblin village, even though the odds are not promising immediate success. To my surprise, the defending goblin caves in and I find myself in possession of the first goblin village after turn two. I finish the turn, waiting for goblin’s counter offence.
Nothing. Not even a single attack on my infantry unit standing alone on the beach. These are not seasoned units – they’re either level one or two – but I would have expected some initiative from them. My attack must have really taken them by surprise. This will be a slaughter, but not the kind I was expecting.
I start off third turn by finishing the slinger in north with my light infantry. I decide to let Marcus ride forward to the small clearing between the woods and move my remaining infantry unit away from the bridge. Since I know that the goblin guarding the village has already used up its special defense ability, I hit it again with both archers. The unit is seriously low on health, and for a moment I contemplate whether to finish it off with my light infantry unit – but since I yet don’t have other supporting units nearby, I decide to play it safe and attack the slinger instead. I manage to kill the slinger, but receive so much injury that I use the recovery skill. The beauty of special skills is that they can be used at any stage of units turn – before or after movement and attack. With all actions exhausted, I close turn three.
Finally, the goblins manage to muster sufficient amount of courage to hit back. My light infantry unit gets surrounded from two fronts and a slinger hits it from behind. However – too little, too late. I finish the already weakened goblin with one archer, use another to hit another goblin from behind and then finish it off with my light infantry. Another infantry unit kills the slinger in the woods and Marcus – boosted with special skill – makes an impressive attack on the infantry unit in the third village.
I’ve now secured a dominant position on the map - my only concern is whether my already weakened infantry unit will last through the next round or whether the goblins will cut his throat…
Instead of attacking my weak unit, the goblin infantry decided to join the troops north trying to fight off Marcus. Opposition is still very weak – instead of fighting the goblins focus on protecting their villages, so I decide to push forward in north and take some additional risk. I eliminate the supporting slinger with Marcus and try to root off the goblin that just joined the troops with my light infantry. This was not the best move in this battle: minor damage to both parties and my light infantry ends up demoralized. I manage to compensate this with a better success lower down – my archers start slowly draining the life out of last goblin guarding the Adamantian village and my weakened light infantry unit still has enough juice in it to hit the supporting slinger with sufficient force to cause it to retreat and become demoralized.
End of turn – goblins regroup but are already weak enough to provide any resistance. The remaining steps are thus just for cleanup & gathering experience, at the same time ensuring that I keep within the time allowed to score a decisive victory.
Turn six. My archers weaken the last goblin stronghold in south sufficiently for the infantry unit to finish the job. Marcus runs over the unit in north village while the infantryman uses the opportunity to drive his spear in the back of the last goblin infantry unit – always a pleasure when you don’t have to worry about consequences. I finish this turn with just one demoralized, immobilized goblin slinger left and all my units standing. One archer attack, moving in to occupy the last remaining village, and I’ve achieved epic victory in seven turns.
Back at the encampment
Thanks to achieving again both primary and secondary objectives I have no shortage of funds. Once my units are upgraded, I recruit another infantry unit and a cavalry unit to bring my total strength to eight. Quick refresher, and we’re ready to take this battle to the trolls.
The Desecrated Monastery
Instead of letting me finally deal with a proper enemy, I’m seconded to deal with another desecrated holy location. Well, I suppose Monastery plus two cemeteries is an upgrade from a just two cemeteries… Somewhat grudgingly, I accept the mission and start deploying my troops on what should be an easy job with light resistance.
I take up a loose formation, putting my mobile units up in front and start making headway towards the first cemetery. Remembering undead’s capability to appear from thin air, I halt my units in forest, providing them some additional protection.
…and just like in previous cemetery battle, the first group of undead appear! Two zombies and one skeleton archer are however no match to my troops.
I let my archers deal with the skeleton, rider and two infantry units to finish zombies and close the portal, while Marcus regroups with the other team in east to approach the second cemetery.
This time I’m faced with one zombie, two skeletons and a skeleton warrior. These may prove out to be slightly more of a challenge, but nothing that I really couldn’t handle – but if every resurrection is going to be more tough than the previous, then I really need to put some pace into closing the remaining two portals.
The zombie and the skeleton on the right should be the easiest to deal with, so I let my infantrymen loose. The two undead now permanently dead leave a hole to the right of the skeleton warrior, who should be the strongest of this lot. I decide to risk, move my archer next to the warrior and fire away a weakening shot. I then follow this with a charge from my rider, hitting the warrior to left side. This eases the job for Marcus to finish the warrior and take the hex. I close my other troops in, place an archer to support Marcus and finish the turn with a healing spell from cleric.
Start of turn four. The remaining skeleton attacks Marcus and falls apart trying – they haven’t become any smarter since we last met. The next uprising replaces at the cemetery the just departed skeleton with a new one, which is soon to follow its comrades, but the posse that just appeared next to the monastery does give a reason for a serious concern. Not the zombies or the skeletons, but the horn-headed guy in the middle. Just looking at the stats, the skeleton king appears to be almost as strong as Marcus and in possession of several special skills, which could mean trouble to my inexperienced troops.
One thing at a time. I weaken the skeleton with my archer and finish it off with my light infantry unit. This allows me to close the second portal and move my troops through the withered woods which negatively impact my defense. Marcus charges forward and slices the first skeleton in half.
It is Kaos’s turn to respond. One after another the undead attack Marcus and fall to pieces. When all have tried and failed, the skeleton king steps forward – casts a spell on one of my archers nearly killing him at once and deals a serious blow on Marcus. One new zombie appears, but the pace of resurrected monstrosities seems to slow down.
I have a difficult decision to make. I could simply ignore the king when I still have all my troops alive, make Marcus charge the portal and close it, allowing me to withdraw from the battle with full score, all objectives achieved. Or I could see what this king is made of, finish it off even at the risk of some casualties, and not risk encountering it later in the game. Or wait,… …since he is already dead, there is a risk of that happening anyway.
I decide to give it at least one turn to see what happens if I hit the king with all that I’ve got. I can always charge the portal next turn, right? I start by letting the cleric fix my wounded archer – after which the same unit gets to go first by firing at the king. Arrows bounce off with little damage, but I continue with the next archer. I activate one of Marcus’s special skills and hit king from side. I follow this with rider’s blow from left and infantry charge from right,… …but my all is not nearly enough to take down the king.
The turn does not end well. Skeleton king is still standing – not quite as strong as in the beginning of the turn but still formidable enough, Marcus has his back exposed to the zombie, and several of my troops are weakened from the battle. I use a recovery skill to heal the demoralized infantry unit and finish the turn.
Start of turn six. Zombie and the remaining skeleton start by taking bites off Marcus. Skeleton king turns around and delivers a head-on critical hit on Marcus – but he absorbs it and returns a strong counterattack. Good that I activated that special skill during previous round. Tables have turned: skeleton king is weak and exposed, now is the time to hit and finish this battle.
I start off with one archer and then go for the kill with my horseman. Skeleton king disappears into ashes, leaving nothing but empty threats and two feeble undead to deal with. I finish the skeleton with my second archer, paralyzed zombie with my now recovered infantry unit and let Marcus take the glory for regaining back the monastery.
Refreshing and recruiting
Back at the HQ I upgrade my units to their new level of experience, with the exception of one infantry unit. I noticed that new units have appeared in the roster, but since I’m not allowed to recruit any additional troops, I need to reduce the existing ones first.
I sell off the weaker infantry unit, wish him all the best with his new army and turn to the available replacements. I’d love to recruit a cleric as strong as I had in the monastery scenario, but the disciple volunteering for recruitment is way too inexperienced and so weak that he wouldn’t last a single day in battle. Same applies to the war machine: too weak to start with, and I don’t have time or troops enough to mature these units in reserve or take them through multiple resurrections. The Man-At-Arms looks promising though – strong enough in the beginning and valuable once properly trained. I welcome the newcomer and head for the next adventure.
< Message edited by Philkian -- 10/22/2013 3:18:32 PM >