How to survive Crusades and basic tips since there’s no comprehensive guide as of yet.
So, you’ve bought Wrath of the Righteous (WotR), and you enjoy the game. You have your first Mythic level and you realize the scale is bigger than Pathfinder.
…Maybe you’ve run into bugs. There are bugs.
But then you find Crusade Mode, something I personally had no idea about because I went into it blind. Maybe you think it’s suspiciously like Heroes of Might and Magic. Maybe you like it.
Maybe you sense the horror of Kingdom management from Kingmaker. Well, fear not. This is a basic guide since there are literally none out there. I’m not writing it to be comprehensive.
For one thing, I fully expect patches to fix a LOT of the issues and clarify things. I would like that full guide on all units as much as you, but this is an emergency how-to-crusade guide for people since a lot of things you will not know and it may cost you a lot of time in backtracking saves.
Here’s tips as of writing that are valid from first hand experience or knowledge as of patch 1.03 C. Some things are a tiny bit spoilerish, but you should know.
1. Training Hall buildings apparently give you a 10% damage bug. Not +10% as advertised. 10% of what you should be doing. Expect a fix. But don’t build one. Erasing the buildings apparently fixes it?
2. Lich Mythic Path is going to make you unhappy. It’s buggy in campaign, but in Crusade there are debuffs that in theory get compensated for an undead playing style. Raising undead.
The problem is, you CANNOT raise undead if your army contains undead. In short, if you take the undead army you get at a certain point and fight, it will not grow in number.
The workaround is to fight with an all-living units army and have a second ‘sweeper’ army collecting the units you get. That way you can actually have a massive undead army that’s decently good…that you can’t use if you want more units. Sort of a problem. Expect a fix, but it’s bad.
3. Vampires don’t heal. Not sure if it applies to other ‘drain’ units. Healing works just fine, but units meant to replenish losses by doing damage…don’t. Another blow for undeath. Watch out.
4. Setting Crusade to Auto apparently also tanks your Lich Mythic Path campaign. Sensing a pattern here? I don’t know other paths well, but you MUST win on manual to avoid issues with your campaign. Fortunately…it’s actually doable, despite the issues listed.
How to Win (Management)
Now it’s time for me to tell you how to win even on Lich-Crusade as of right now. Unless it gets patched, there’s a simple problem. Giant armies? Unfair battles?
Crippling recruitment/debuffs from your chosen path? Anxiety over travelling WHILE managing a damn crusade and having to pause every five seconds?
Fear not. Here’s how to win:
Play Crusade. Play every turn in Crusade-Mode. Stop adventuring. Crusade, crusade, crusade, and drives your foes into the abyss. Play crusade 60 days straight until you have 1-2 fortresses left.
I’m not joking. There is no hard timer. There are a few attack events and enemy armies will come at you, but I have not found as of yet, a hard timer.
There IS a morale system, but it’s easy to solve. There are 2 banners, then 3. They just depend on your killing enemy armies every 4 turns, and a fortress every 30, while keeping your bases from being sieged.
If a banner turns ‘red’, you lose a few morale from 20 down to…-100. And that debuffs your income, growth, and battle morale.
I’ve never had it go below 8, and that’s by sacrificing some in events. You can keep it up. Just stay in crusade, pass time as needed (but not spamming the skip-day button! more on this later), and ‘win’ the entire crusade before you adventure forth.
What I mean by that is kill every AI army you think you can. Taking Drezen, maybe leave the super-hard ones alive if you want, but after that? Just wipe out everything but 2 fortresses.
That’s because I’ve observed the AI will sent armies at you every 4 days, which keeps your fighting banner green. If you want to be careful, leave some alive too, but the fortress-banner is the hard-lock on your campaign. You need to ‘budget’ the last 1-2 fortresses to keep your banner green. Once it turns yellow or red, smash a fortress, and you have 30 more days.
60 days is enough to do everything in an Act, so you’re fine. Now, how do you win on a tactical level? Follow me.
This game is misleading. Either the developers haven’t finished writing descriptions…or it’s just bad design. For instance, every unit has ‘Unarmed Attack’. First you’ll see it on Hellknights and think…well, that’s not great. Let’s buy some armor.
You cannot. Unarmed Attack just means ‘attack’. Ignore it. Focus on a few stats:
HP. Easy, but important. Some units have 500+ HP and are amazingly good at not taking losses, which equates to combat strength in a fight. Some have like 4 HP. More is always better unless it’s archers.
AC and Damage Resist. Defense in Crusade-mode. More means that low-tier units like Zombies can’t do much damage. This is important! As you know, AC vs Attack is important in the adventure-part of the game. Here? You can literally do 0 damage if you have all low-attack and/or low-damage armies. More on this later.
Attack. Very important! You don’t do damage if you don’t hit, so you’ll see much lower damage scores without. You can stack this, so it’s not as important as…
Damage. Check their damage. Is it 1-3 (1d3)? That’s a bad unit.
Is it 16-18 (1d3 + 15)? Now we’re cooking with fire! This is everything, and I mean it. Damage wins battles. Faster damage means you take more of the enemy out or even kill a ‘stack’ which means less damage coming at you.
Now THAT’S the damage you want to see. And no, figuring out how their abilities work via the tooltip is nigh impossible…you have to experience it. Basic stats are a good indicator.
A ‘tanky’ army can probably win in 40 turns, assuming the enemy can’t just wipe you off the board. A DPS army can kill your enemy without being hit once.
Therefore, prioritize damaging, ranged units. Most units have to charge across the map. Archers don’t. At first, they’ll be weaker, but as you recruit more and more, you’ll have like 500 Marksmen, which can 1-shot any enemy in the game.
Of course, there are units like Mages which cast spells, and some that heal and do other things…with rare exceptions, it’s not worth taking a Paladin which can heal once a battle (and not much) instead of Hellknights or a higher-damage, higher armor unit.
In your late-game, you want 1, preferably 2 high-damage ranged units. Another high-damage melee unit to chomp anything that jumps on you, and one blocking unit with high HP that soaks up damage. You can play around, but that’s what I’ve found works.
The rest is just numbers. Lose a fight? It means you had 50 Archers which couldn’t kill your enemy fast enough. Wait, recruit more units, and come back. However, unit-typing can matter…
Which Units Work?
The game is going to give you a very small selection units at the start which means your options are limited. Just recruit your basic Archers and Spearmen. Also, if you’re able to, recruit Hellknights. They’re not the highest DPS, but it’s a good use of your income if you can afford it and they have better stats than your Spearmen.
I haven’t played with Clerics, and their healing COULD be nice, but if I had to trade between Hellknights and Clerics, I’d choose knights for their ability to more across most of the map.
Here’s where the game is going to throw you a lot of decisions as you rank up. The problem is, when your councils meet, they’ll offer you 4 different options (if you have every companion), all of which ‘upgrade’ your units.
So Spearmen can eventually become Champions, Shieldbearers, Convicts, and so on. That’s great. However, you don’t know how good they are unless you figure out you can inspect the units by hovering over each choice, or seeing them in action. And by the time you do…you may have invalidated an entire unit type in your army.
So here’s a basic guide:
Infantry – Champions, probably. NOT Shieldbearers or Convicts. You want damage. You don’t want to have a fairly useless unit like Shieldbearers which can block like no one’s buisiness standing there while a unit flies or teleports over your ranks and eats all your damage-dealers. You can play around–remember that the better units recruit in smaller pools–but you can fix that! Quality over quantity. Do you want 1000 Spearmen vs the Dragon late-game, or 100 Champions? The answer is neither.
Archers: Marksmen. You can choose Rangers? Fine. I chose marksmen and never looked back. They do INSANE damage. Yes, if they get hit, they all die. So don’t let them get hit. This one unit can take out most enemies in the game at a 100 stack.
Cavalry: Not Paladins. They’re fairly tanky, but they do little damage and more importantly, their healing is either bugged or just weak. They can’t heal themselves or allies more than once a turn and it’s not much. Try Hedge Knights, or another variant.
Mages: Technically they’re ‘Warrior Priests’ or something until later, but you can upgrade them! I choose Assassins. Why? Because they can hit everything on the map via teleport. They squish, but they do as much damage as Marksmen.
Honestly, at this point you probably don’t need your Mage-Tier units if you’ve built right and kept recruiting. But go ahead and play with any of them. As long as you have the right ‘base’, they’re all viable from the basic info-check I did.
Champion/Mythic Units: You will not get them until Act…4? 5? It’s going to take a while so if you get upgrades around them, prepare for disappointment. They recruit like 1 a week without upgrades and they suck because of that. Oh, all variants have high stats. Just…too low recruitment. You can bump it up, but your basic army should be able to roll the entire campaign.
Mercenaries: Exceptionally important early-game. Not so late-game. You can buy a ‘set’ twice a week, but the second time is so pricey I can’t really advise you to do it except early, early-game if you have money to burn to set up your army.
They come in a lot of flavors, so I’ll list ones I know work. As a rule of thumb, invest in 2 mercenary types max and buy them every week if you have the coin. Remember you can reroll for free once! They’ll replace key elements of your army until you have your economy set up.
Hellknight – Tanky, fairly decent. Replaces your better melee before you can upgrade. Recommend.
Sorcerers – Fire Archers. Does NO damage on some enemies…I still recommed because it means you have 2 ranged units.
Inquisitors – High damage, very fragile. Never used, but possibly a substitute.
Everything Else – Variety’s low until later acts, so uh, those are the three I really know. Just buy Hellknights and save that gold for regular units. (I told you this was an early guide.)
Free Units – You get them, like Marksmen, a handful of good ones…swap them in, and use them until they’re no longer viable, but honestly, I had 18 Shieldbearers doing nothing for a long time. It’s not worth really using them since you want one big army.
Some have interesting effects that make them useful, but since it’s hard to get more than your one shiny Dragon…it just can’t be 100 Champions. Sorry. They sort of suck. I’m lumping Undead and event-based units here too. Even if you can repeat-recruit, they’re just not really worth the effort.
How to Economy
Possibly the MOST important part of the game is setting up your buildings. Yes, your army matters, but your economy matters more in the long run, and this is a long game. So, here’s my tips.
You have 4 building slots in every settlement but Drezden until you make a fort, and I advise you to make every for you can…but hold off until the end. Here’s what you fill each one with.
Supply Depots: Build the ones that give 3 Building Materials each turn. Yes, it takes AGES to pay off. But that’s the thing in short supply. Your basic fiance points? Fine. Magic points? Never worried.
Building materials are the one shortage and you don’t want to use your gold that much. Build one EVERYWHERE.
Garrison Facilities (Barracks, Archery, etc): If you play Lich, you MUST do this. As I wrote, your undead cannot be relied on, so this compensates for any -50% to growth you get in other paths as well. Build one in each settlement and you’ll have more units than you can pay for per week in your chosen field.
Honestly, Archery Range + Stables or Barracks is fine.
Arsenal/Smithy: Debatable. I can’t tell if it really does add 1 AC or 1 Attack, but I’ve slapped down about 8 in my campaign and it might help? Honestly, you can just do 3 garrisons, one Supply Depot. That’s what I do. But it helps!
Forts: Here’s where you’re strategic. DO NOT BUILD A FORT RANDOMLY. That’s what I did. Here’s something I’ve learned. Only in an upgraded settlement, the expensive fort can you place a teleportation circle. Then, every DAY you can teleport to a circle.
So if you put one fort in the northwest, one in the southwest, and one in Drezden? You can hit anywhere in the map without agonizingly long travel times.
Do you see why you Crusade first? It saves time in the long run! Sort of. Anyways, 1 teleportation circle.
Next? Hall of Strategy or Military Academy. Or, if you’re late-game, replace with a higher-tier Garrison as you choose. Hospitals DO help, to save casualties, and Alchemy Labs for energy don’t hurt. Up to you.
Never buy Watchtowers. You can pretty much get to most armies and even if they hit a fort, which has happened once to me, you get 3 turns to get there. Don’t worry about it. No Citadels, no Watchtowers, no ‘safe resting’. Teleport back to Drezden and snooze there.
Drezden: Honestly…get your Main Barracks, Main Archery, and so forth up. Get all the ‘big’ buildings up, and then fill it with whatever combos you want. Adjacency matters, yes, but it doesn’t at the same time.
Building’s expensive. I’d say do your Main Barracks (you can’t start recruiting until it’s up in Drezden), then focus on the biggest buildings, then settlements, and only when you have too much building materials do you come back and play around.
This economy setup might be a pain to do, but it gives you one thing for all Crusades: growth of your recruitable units.
At some point mercenaries aren’t going to cut it. Your basic units are going to be the upgraded variants that benefit from all your little bonuses. And to make them shine, you want more. Especially on campaigns that don’t give you recruitment. You can completely negate even -50% growth with 3-4 Garrisons in your settlements. Keep stacking, and your army will simply outgrow the challenges in time. That’s how you win. Numbers. And…
This matters a HUGE amount. You will be able to buy 1 general at the start. Do so immediately, before recruiting. Maybe buy 1 more. You don’t need more because you only need ONE main army.
But your General? Oh, it matters. Each one is technically viable. They do what the tutorial says. Warrior Generals buff basic stats so start slow but get the most payoff later probably.
Mages do a lot of damage and have an easier start I feel. Another free attack? Yes, thanks! I recommend.
Archers are a middle ground. Also viable. All three work, but Warrior-Generals might struggle. They do get good Skills!
But the Skills matter a lot. Feats, whatever. You’ll get bad ones. It’s RNG, but the ones to prioritize, even re-roll Generals by saving and reloading or whatever, are these:
Cure Wounds – Take 0 losses! Literally the best Skill besides the next one on the list. Take it, then when you’ve won a battle, spam it while defending to have a 0 loss battle. Worth getting a General at Level 1 with this.
Master of Maneuver: More Units. I’m not joking, I have only gotten to 6 units in an army with MAXIMUM upgrades in Act 5. So…this keeps your 3-unit army from dragging behind.
Attack Spells: Get the most damaging one, and use it…for a bit. But you’ll want the better Skills soon.
Hold: Holds a monster. As important as any other Skill! The enemy Archers can’t do squat. Hold the most important enemy turn-after-turn. Warriors get ‘Shout’, which is like a RNG Hold but in a 3 by 3 square…less useful, but a good equivalent.
Offensive Training, etc. – If nothing else is there, get whatever improves your army passively. You can only use 1 Skill a turn unless you get a very specific upgrade, so it’s best to have a small toolset.
Your General ideally multiplies your army, but stops that one unit from turning your backline to paste. You’ll get powerful army-skills, so don’t worry if you only get Master of Manuever 3 times or something. Cure Wounds and Master of Manuever. All you need.
Only use one general to fight. One army. That’s becasue more Skills on one General is a powerful army that can take the very tough armies later. Don’t spread it around. One General, one army.
Now here’s what matters. One rule in battles. Spread out your units to avoid attacks, figure out how to do damage, how to block, get units with nifty abilities…okay.
But take 0 casualties. Every battle. That’s right.
You have an Infirmiry which can be expanded via buildings or Skills (use buildings, not your precious General Skills), and can replenish more and more troops. I’ve seen it do 200+ low-level units, and barely 20 high-tier ones.
It doesn’t matter. With Cure Wounds, and the infirmiry, take 0 losses. If you take any, just reload the battle, or come back later.
You may think it’s save-scumming, but honestly, given how slow it is to recruit, once a week, and that there is a timer, you can’t afford losses. Loose 100 Champions? That’s 4 weeks to replenish and you have much tougher armies ahead. So…no casualties.
That’s it. Don’t fight tough enemies. Run around taking all the low-power armies, work your way up. Rinse, repeat. Sit for 4 weeks to recruit while you smash the armies coming at you, and then roll over the armies you couldn’t. And while you do…
You have 4 stats. Leadership, Military, Diplomacy, Logistics.
Build buildings, win battles, recruit units, uh, earn lots of money. That’s it. You should hit max each act just by playing.
But DO make sure you max out because each one is how you get your unit upgrades or the powerful Crusade bonuses. Whenever you see one pop up–hit that decree, wait a day, and visit the citadel to get your sweet, sweet upgrades.
Remember: make a save if you want to experiment, wait a few days, recruit or use whatever unit/upgrade you got, and roll it back if you hate it.
very Important: As of now, do NOT cancel a relic upgrade. There is a bug in that your relic disappears when it’s being upgraded.
If you cancel the upgrade, you get no relic back. So…you have a decree sitting there all game. I have 4.
Anyways, Relic-Upgrades are actually a huge waste of money. I have found 1-2 that were worth it, and the loot you’ll get from the adventure-portion exceeds them. Honestly, you could forget them, but you’ll probably be compelled to do them and waste huge amounts of resources like I did. Just…keep them on the backburner and realize they’re largely useless, especially to Crusade.
Do your Council meetings pronto. And on that, you’ll get a lot of decree options or event-choices that have far-reaching implications. By and large…
Sacrifice everything for the best bonuses to your units. You can roleplay, but consider carefully your choices. A 30 day buff or a PERMANENT upgrade? You know what to pick.
Also, if it’s mercenaries or trainable soldiers, your trainable soldiers will be your endgame army. There are countless options, but armed with the knowledge of this guide, you can pretty much tell to get traits that upgrade your troops over recruited units that will never be upgradable/hirable. Money’s nice, experience is nice, and go for it if nothing’s better, but permanent upgrades stack.
That’s it from me. I hope this helps. I wrote this in one go because I realized there was no guide and people should have a basic one. I’m not planning on re-visiting this or answering questions, sorry. Just playing through and considerably frustrated with all the bugs so far. I hear they’ve already made Generals stronger, so that’s helping a bit. Hope you get something.
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