As of the 5th anniversary update, cursed crowns were introduced as a rank in challenge islands. Having obtained it myself, I can guide you in how to achieve it yourself.
Guide to Plague Island: Cursed Crown
Plague Island Gameplay Changes
If you already know how Plague Island works, skip to the next section.
Plague Island has some major changes compared to the campaign mode. To keep it simple, I'll make it into a list:
- Greed are faster and stronger.
- No floaters will spawn, but you will encounter armoured breeders in blood moons after day 30.
- Breeders die in the morning.
- Warhorse is the only available mount.
- No small portals, but cliff portals on both sides are protected by a tentacle stone.
- Attacked citizens become greed/human hybrids.
Armoured breeders are significantly tougher than standard breeders, and spawn masked greedlings.
The tentacle stone attacks the monarch and troops when too close, like a dock portal.
The warhorse has a purple colour under its armor.
This is how Raw Fury described the Island
Originally posted by Raw Fury:
This land has been overrun and on the brink of succumbing to the Greed… Forever! And now a fearsome pandemic is transforming citizens into Greed. The only thing you can do is try to survive as long as possible until your Kingdom is nothing but Greed.
The main gameplay change is the fact that citizens can now become greed themselves, which poses a bigger threat than any other as they have the same health as a masked greed, and a faster attack speed that does more damage than a regular greedling. In addition, when attacking in crowds they start to climb walls, which can infect even more people. So the main thing you want is to make sure no wall gets overrun.
The island is big, about the size of island 5 from the campaign. You will find 6 vagrant camps and 6 coin chests. No gems, statues, or hermits, but you will find the stone and iron mine.
First 20 Days
Before beginning, make sure you're playing in Europe, the challenge is significantly harder in Shogun
This is by far the most important day. At this point you're already preparing for a blood moon, which will happen at around day 6. Before going to light the campfire, I recommend you go deeper into the woods and find a coin chest, and maybe scout the whole side aswell.
When returning to the camp, You should hire at least 4 archers and 1-2 builders. They will be important as you need to cut down trees for more grass to grow. Rabbits will be the main source of income throughout the whole game. Walls for the night are optional, but I recommend you just pay off the greed or use the warhorse ability before they hit your archers.
You need to start preparing for the blood moon. You will need at least stone walls, which is pretty easy when cutting down lots of trees. You should also set a goal of hiring 2-6 vagrants a day for the rest of the game. You will never have "enough".
Don't hesitate about destroying a vagrant camp, there are 6 in the world and you need money more than people you can't hire. To maximise grass space, don't expand the walls beyond the town center, as you don't need to until much further down the challenge.
You will need to unlock the stone mine during these days. If you haven't already found it scouting on day 1 then spend a day scouting the other side, and make sure you take 10+ coins (to unlock the stone mine and maybe hire more vagrants). If you have already found the stone mine then go unlock it, but you still might want to spend a day scouting the other side anyway, so you can carry on the game knowing the location of all camps.
Blood Moon happens tonight, those stone walls better be ready. Make sure you also have a good count of archers, and is growing regularly.
After the blood moon, it's not guaranteed that the greed won't attack the next night, but i do recommend that you start expanding. Setting up a farm would be good aswell, but don't upgrade in to a farmhouse, as farmers are slow and if your walls do fall you will only have more workers vulnerable to infection.
Make sure you're still leaving a lot of grass for archers to hunt on.
Somewhere in these days you should receive a breeder during a blood moon. Not to panic, as a good amount of archers should do the trick. Around these days you should slowly start investing in towers. Since floaters don't spawn it's safe to have any level of tower, although stick to just buying towers near your outer wall, as those will be most effective for the time being.
Having some pikemen (2-3) on each side would be a good idea around this time as the greed are slowly growing as a crowd and will be too much for your archers alone. A catapult is optional at this point, but you shouldn't get it long after day 20.
By this point you should have:
- 15+ archers on each side.
- 2+ pikemen on each side.
- Towers near the outer walls.
- Catapults on both sides.
- Iron walls (at least on the outside).
If you don't have all of these then make sure you get them as soon as you can. At around this time you should be making more gold than you can handle every day. It would be a good habit to start giving the banker 10+ coins daily as a preparation for winter. Winter comes around day 49 but it will be tough, so you need as much as you can.
Before Day 50
At day 50 you are guaranteed to be in winter, and if unprepared, say goodbye to the cursed crown. But not to worry, you can easily prepare for winter by doing a few things for the next 30 days.
If possible hire 4 vagrants a day, but if you're busy supervising builders or some other task then get 2. Don't spend a day without hiring new vagrants.
Towers are a very important part of this challenge. Outside the walls, they can weaken the waves of greed before they reach you, and inside the walls they're a good final stance if your walls were to fall.
The most important towers are the ones next to your outer walls. Those should be the ones you focus on upgrading to max level. If you're not doing too well with gold or just think the 4-archer tower is too expensive, that's fine, but I highly recommend you have 3-archer towers then.
After upgrading the towers near your outer walls, start building towers outside your walls. This is to weaken the greed before they reach your walls, and the more the better. If you must then destroy a 2nd vagrant camp for more tower space, but if you have 4+ towers outside the walls you should be fine.
You can build towers inside your walls as a backup defence in case of an emergency, and I do recommend it, especially if you have a side that is significantly weaker than the other. The places to build towers are mostly random so having a good amount of spots on both sides would be really lucky.
You want to make sure all your walls are iron, but you also want to make sure that your outer wall has another wall close behind it. This will help preserve troops if your first wall falls. Walls that are far apart are certain to happen, but do try to find 2 walls next to each other for outer walls.
Road to Day 60
If you have prepared well for the winter, then you have nothing to worry about. I recommend you buy 2 fire barrels for the catapults every day so fire damage can affect most of the greed while the boulders can still damage the breeders.
Beyond Day 60
Now that you have reached the cursed crown, carry on and see how far you get. Spring should start in a few days, so you can start making profit again. From this point on, you can work to maintain the kingdom as long as possible, using anything I taught you or maybe your own ideas.
If you do have any of your own strategies and ideas, feel free to comment. I'm always open to new ideas and tactics and would love to hear it!