Tayk (set 3, page 7, map 26) gave me a little trouble on the hardest setting. Here’s a solution. Screenshots immediately before ending each turn:
I much prefer playing in landscape mode. Turns out, at least for this map, you can’t zoom out far enough to show the whole map in landscape mode but you can in portrait mode. (Is this a bug?) The upshot is, you’ll have to look closely at the edges of the landscape screenshots, under the UI widgets, to figure out where I placed my troops for those turns. But I think you can make out where I placed every troop on every turn, plus, I figured out the portrait mode workaround midway through the solution. I’ll keep this in mind for future solutions.
One central base has 10 gold on turn 1 but cannot expand at all, and, it’s near a giant yellow territory so tends to get wiped out right away. One key part of this solution was to find a way to keep that base alive until turn 2, so as not to lose the 10+2 gold it accumulates. My particular solution involved deliberately sacrificing a L1 grunt from a nearby base to distract yellow away from killing my other base. This ended up working but there’s probably a better solution.
I started growing from about 7 different bases, joining to other smaller bases to collect their taxes, but several of these small bases got wiped out pretty early on. Then I had 3 main bases: one in the NE, one in the SW, and one in the center.
From there, the tricky part was finding opportunities to prune dark green via starvation attacks, as he was growing out of control very quickly. My first opportunity came on turn 13. I was growing well from my central base, growing to try to join to my SW base. I could choose to continue doing this, letting dark green continue to steamroll, or I could choose to use all my troops and taxes on that turn to starve almost all of dark green’s army, knowing he would eliminate my troops on his next turn. I chose the latter. Because of this, light green also used this opportunity to destroy my gains from my central base. But it gave me time to shore up gains in my SW and NE bases.
By turn 17, dark green was again doing fantastic. He had even merged his giant territory into another decent sized territory, and it looked like my central base would be completely wiped out on the next turn. But I had saved up all my funds with the central base, and now I had 40 gold there. I did a massive hex count, and found that, if I carved out 2 big chunks of dark green’s giant territory, using both my central base and my NE base, I could starve I could starve dark green’s army costing 124 gold to feed! This was the turning point.
By this point, dark green’s giant territory was quickly becoming a giant forest. He also upgraded to a L4 super knight, which is a particularly poor choice to fight a growing forest. But I managed to make many poor choices of my own, so we went back and forth for several turns. I finally stopped making blatant mistakes around turn 29, and finished off the map (full victory) on turn 35. Lots of fun.
Conquer the island
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P.S.: I should point out one tactic here that I used on turns 14-16. Maybe everyone on this forum knows this trick already, but posting it just in case. In my central base, I deliberately chose not to buy anything on these turns, because I had an empty, well-defended buffer zone around this territory. That is, I had a capitol building adjacent to a castle and a completely empty 1-hex border all the way around those two buildings. The buffer zone did not even have trees. This is important, as the AI player seems to vastly prefer destroying troops or buildings, and *may* even prefer destroying trees over destroying nothing at all. By leaving an empty but defended border, he would have to use a high level troop to attack and not be able to destroy anything with his first attack, and as the AI seems to play each move in isolation, this means it would have to run out of all fun things to destroy elsewhere on the map before it would finally consider attacking empty, well-defended territory. So, I could grow my gold pretty safely there, saving up for the right moment. As it happened, this territory grew 10 gold per turn, so when I had my opportunity on turn 17, I had 40 gold and could buy 4x L1 grunts to assist in the massive, coordinated, multi-front starvation attack.