Invasion of Meridell
Invasion of Meridell can be a tricky old game. The earlier levels are just easy enough to lull you into a sense of false security so that you think the game will be simple enough to complete; then once you commit yourself to playing it suddenly increases the difficulty factor and leaves you tearing your hair out.
Some of you may never have played this game before, some of you might be seasoned players looking to increase your high score, others might have tried it but found it too complicated and so given up. As such I've tried to make this guide as extensive as possible to allow for players of all experience levels to be able to get something from it. I apologise for it being a bit lengthy, so I've added in some handy navigational links so you can flit back and forth to the bit you're interested in.
Object of the Game
The game is split up in to 10 Missions, each consisting of 3 Battles; you must successfully complete 3 Battles to finish a Mission, with each Mission acting as a sort of check point for saving the stats, items and weaponry you have accumulated so far. If you lose a Battle then you will have to start the Mission over again from the beginning.
In each Battle you are put in charge of protecting 6 villages. If a Darigan soldier lands on a space with a village on it then you will lose it; if you lose 4 villages then the Battle is lost. You win a Battle by defeating all the Darigan soldiers on the game board.
Throughout the game you will be able to pick up weapons and other items to help strengthen your army and give you an advantage over the opposition.
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Playing the Game
On each turn you have five moves. A move can consist of moving one of your soldiers, attacking an enemy or using a spell/ability. After each move the board will refresh and your actions will take effect. A message above the game board will let you know how many moves you have used, and once your turn is finished a button will appear for you to click to start your opponent's turn.
Moving Around the Board
To move one of your soldiers, simply click on the one you want to move and then click on one of the adjacent spaces you want it to move to. Your soldier can only move into an empty space though, it can't stand in the middle of a village, on a mountain or on the head of another soldier (which is just as well really, it's hardly a good battle strategy). Once you have clicked, provided it's a valid move, the board will refresh to show your new position; if it is an illegal move then you will get a message at the top of the screen saying why it isn't allowed.
You can only move each soldier once space at a time. For example, even though a Moehog has the ability to move four spaces in any given turn, you will need to click each square individually and each one will count as a move. Once a soldier has moved the maximum number of spaces in a turn its icon will have a red border.
Attacking the opposition is simple; when one of your soldiers is in a square adjacent to an enemy, just click on your soldier, then on the enemy that you want to attack. The computer will calculate how much (if any) damage you inflicted on them based on the strength of your soldier, what weapons they are carrying and how strong the opposition's defence is. The board will refresh and any damage inflicted will be deducted from their health.
How much damage you do is partially based on luck; you could have the strongest attack points possible and be carrying the best weapon in the game but you still won't hit them every time, and if you do the damage you inflict will vary. This can be the most frustrating part of the game, when it seems like they are damaging you on every turn and yet you keep missing them.
Spells and Abilities
As you pick up certain items they will enable your soldiers to perform specific abilities; for example, your Grundo can gain the ability to cast healing spells on your other soldiers (I'll explain how later). To use this ability both your Grundo and the recipient of the spell will need to have a move free, that is, neither of them should have a red border. First you click on the Grundo to highlight it, then click on the soldier you want to cast the spell on. The board will refresh and the recipient will have regained a portion of their health. This will count as both soldiers having moved, so if you cast healing spells on two of your soldiers then that would count as two moves for your Grundo and he will then have a red border.
In later Missions your enemies will gain the ability to cast spells which prevent your Grundo from healing and your Skeith from teleporting. To break the spell on your Grundo you will need to equip your Moehog with the Counter Enchantment Helmet, then click on your Moehog to select him and then on your Grundo to release him. For freeing your Skeith you will need to equip your Techo with the Sword of Deflection and do the same thing. As with healing, this process requires both soldiers to have a spare move, so it is best to do this at the start of your turn.
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Now the formalities are out of the way, let's get down to the most important part; your army. You start out with one of each species: Scorchio, Grundo, Skeith, Techo and Moehog. As you defeat Darigan Neopets they will be converted, meaning that they will join your ranks and you can control them. Similarly, if a member of your army is defeated by the enemy Darigan Neopets, they will side with them and attack you.
Although the fresh recruits can come in handy as meat shields, your primary concern should be your initial starting army. Any Neopets who join your side will start out as Villagers, meaning that in later Missions they will be far too weak to do any reasonable amount of damage to your enemies. Also, the five species that you start out with have specific items and abilities that only they can use; these can come in extremely useful later on, such as the Grundo's Magic Force Spell or the Skeith's Amulet of Teleportation.
As well as specific items, each species also has the ability to move a different amount of spaces on their turn. Here is a list of each species, how many spaces they can move, and a little bit about their strengths:
|2||Scorchios are truly excellent archers. Give them a bow, and be ready to rain death upon your enemies!|
|2||Put a sword and shield in a Techo's hands and the battle is half won!|
|2||Magical items find their true value in a Grundo's hands!|
|4||Known for his ability to work tirelessly ploughing fields, this sturdy young fighter more than proves his mettle on the battlefield. He moves fast - up to 4 squares in one turn!|
|1||He moves slow and doesn't have much in the way of skills except for one thing - whatever he hits usually goes down! I wonder what that is around his neck?|
My first tip would be to give each of your starting soldiers a name so you can easily spot them. And whilst naming your Skeith "Binky" might not strike fear into the heart of your opponents, it will serve the purpose of making sure you don't confuse him with other Skeiths who may join your team later on.
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Ranks and Promotions
It's important to stick with the same five Neopets all the way through because that way you can increase their stats and rank them up. Whenever one of your soldiers defeats a Darigan invader they will revert back to being a regular Neopet again and your soldier will score a "save". Once they reach a certain number of saves they will be promoted to the next rank. The promotion will cause them to gain 1 attack point and one defence point, and several weapons will gain special abilities once a Neopet reaches a certain rank.
|3 - 9||Defender|
|9 - 32||Soldier|
|32 - 64||Captain|
|64 - 96||Lieutenant|
Each member of your army can only gain one rank per Mission, and once they have been promoted any other Neopets they save will not count towards their total number of saves until the next Mission begins. For example, if your Scorchio saves its ninth invader in Mission 2 Battle 1 then it will rank up to become a Defender. However after this no matter how many invaders it vanquishes, its total number of saves will remain at 9 until you begin Mission 3 Battle 1, at which point its saves will resume being counted.
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Weapons and Armor
Scattered around the playing board are a number of items that you can pick up to aid you in your quest to protect Meridell. To collect an item, simply move your soldier on to the space and they will either be equipped with the weapon/armour or will use the healing potion. Each member of your army can only carry one attack item and one defence item at any given time; if you are carrying an item and try to pick up another item of the same type, the old item will be discarded on the space you just moved from. Whilst Darigan invaders cannot pick up items to use, if they land on a space with an item it will be destroyed.
Whilst any weapon or piece of armour can be used by any species, certain items work best when given to specific members of your army. For example, wielding a Sword of Deflection would make any of your troops a force to be reckoned with, but in the hands of a Techo it becomes downright lethal. Here is a listing of all the weaponry and armour you can collect in the first 7 Missions of the game:
|Image||Attack Boost||Defence Boost||Notes and Suggestions|
|0||Equip this to your Scorchio; once he reaches the rank of Soldier he can shoot his bow from 2 spaces away to attack.|
|When a Skeith wears this Amulet, he can teleport to any unoccupied space in the bottom 7 rows of the board.|
|0||Grundos can cast a healing spell on any other member of your army, provided both have an available move. (Can't heal themselves)|
|5||0||Equipping your Skeith with this item allows them to have an extra move after teleporting.|
|Moehogs can use this to break any enchantments cast on your Grundo that stop him from healing. (Only in Missions 6 - 10)|
|0||Techos can use this to break any enchantments cast on your Skeith that keep him from teleporting. (Only in Missions 6 - 10)|
|5||0||Allows the bearer to make 5 moves on your turn. (However, Skeiths cannot move again once they teleport)|
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The Lost Items
At the beginning of each Mission, there will be a treasure located somewhere in the top row of tiles, behind the Darigan Invaders. This is the Lost Item, which acts as a sort of bonus. It will appear the first Battle and remain there for the duration of the Mission, unless you collect it of course. That means that if you collect it in the first Battle, it won't reappear in the second or third; however if you don't collect it in the first Battle, it will still be there waiting for you in the second one and so on.
Collecting the Lost Item will cause each of your fighters to gain 1 extra point of attack and 1 extra point of defence, it will also give you a small Neopoint bonus at the end of the Battle. However this stat boost will only be saved if you then go on to complete the Mission, if you have to restart then the bonus will be reset. Once you have collected the Lost Item for a particular Mission it won't return, no matter how many times you start over again. So it makes sense to only collect it if you are relatively sure you can go on to complete the Mission.
The Lost Item will only stick around so long as there are at least two Darigan Invaders left on the board. If the number of enemies drops to one then it will disappear for the duration of that Battle, and it won't return if one of your troops are converted over to the Darigan side either. So if you are aiming to collect it be sure to do so before you convert too many members of the opposition.
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Right, that's how you play the game dealt with; now let's look at how you beat the game, shall we? ;) In this section I'll try to give you a brief summary of some helpful tactics and strategies to follow while you're playing. It's not a step-by-step walkthrough of each Battle (that would be impossible due to the random generation of the game board and distribution of items), but more of a basic run-through of how to go about tackling each Battle. It's worth bearing in mind that these are only suggestions based on the experiences of myself and other players that I've spoken to; you may find your own techniques that work better for you, in which case feel free to completely ignore all of this. :)
For whatever reason, Darigan Invaders don't seem to like passing in between your soldiers if they are standing with only a single space separating them. This can be extremely useful, as it means that you can create a wall between the advancing enemy and your villages that stretches right across the board.
Once the Battle begins, start by moving your fighters towards the row in front of the last village. Try to pick the most direct path for each soldier and move them all gradually rather than moving your Moehog in the first turn, then your Techo in the second and so on. Position your characters so that there is a single space in between them, organising them so that they stand directly in front of a village if possible. It's quite difficult to describe, hopefully this screenie will clarify it better:
Click For Larger View
I left my Skeith hanging back because including him in the wall would have meant collecting a healing potion that I didn't need yet, which would have been a waste. But I had him bring up the rear in case he was needed.
Another trait of the Darigan Invaders that you can exploit is their tendency to attack soldiers stood behind them rather than directly in front of them. Once you have defeated and converted a couple of invaders, move them into position behind the remaining Darigan fighters as shown in this screenie:
Once they're in position, it's just a matter of waiting for the Darigan Invaders to defeat and convert the Moehogs back to their side... which can take a while. You can use this opportunity to collect the Lost Item and pick up any weapons you want, or you can keep pressing the "End Turn Now" option at the bottom to skip your go. Eventually the Moehog villagers will be converted, leaving you free to attack and defeat the two Darigan Moehogs as shown here:
Now you are free to move your newly-converted Moehogs back behind the two Darigan Invaders so you can push forward with your starting army and begin the whole process all over again. Using this method you can push the advancing troops back and away from your villages to keep them safe. Once you get the hang of it you can also use the mountains to cut them off and channel them where you want the to go.
In order to have your fighters at their strongest, you will need to get them to rank up. This can be quite easy in the first Mission, but by the second Mission you are going to have to start juggling the villagers, converting them back and forth to increase the total saves for each member of your army. Doing this safely can take a bit of practice, but once you have the hang of it it just becomes a tedious necessity. There isn't one definite way of doing it, but I'll try to explain how I usually go about it.
In this first screenie I have coloured my starting army in green and the converted villagers and Darigan Invaders in red again. Prior to this screenie being taken, I herded the Darigan Invaders back using the above method.
Once they are in this position it's just a matter of waiting for the converted Moehogs at the back to be defeated and turn Darigan again. Once that happens, I move the Moehog at the bottom into position in let the Darigan Invaders spread out behind him like so:
Now the Darigan Moehogs will all attack the converted Moehog, until eventually he will revert back to being Darigan. When this happens, my army can all take turns at converting him back again to increase their individual total of saves. In the above screenie my starting Moehog (the green one) had already been promoted once and so I had him fall back to allow the others a chance at fighting. I also placed my fairly strong Techo next to my weaker Grundo so he could soften up the Moehog first and then let my Grundo finish him off.
Using this method you can pretty much keep on going until all your fighters have reached the required number of saves to be promoted. I prefer to max out the saves of each of my fighters in the first Battle of each Mission; that way they are at their strongest to go on and complete the next two Battles, or if something goes wrong and one of them gets converted I can easily restart the Mission and not lose that much progress.
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Here is a quick round up of some key points to remember whilst playing:
- Before you even begin playing make sure you are happy with your army's stats, particularly that of your Moehog and Techo. If either have an attack below 8 or 9 then press the "Delete" button to refresh them.
- Plan out your entire turn before you move anything - there's nothing worse then using up four of your five moves then realising there was a better way of doing it.
- Equip your fighters intelligently. I personally would recommend:
Grundo - Magic Force Spell and Magic Cloak of Invisibility
Moehog - Berserker Battleaxe and Counter Enchantment Helmet
Scorchio - Bow and Plate Armour
Skeith - Halberd and Amulet of Teleportation
Techo - Sword of Deflection and Shield
Until these items become available, use the table above to make the best choices.
- Rank up your fighters as much as possible. At the very least your Techo and Scorchio should be maxed out at the end of each Mission, the others aren't as important but getting them promoted will make life much easier.
- Hold off on collecting the Lost Item until the second or third Battle, depending on how confident you feel. But only ever collect it if you're sure you can go on to successfully complete the Mission.
- Any enchantments cast on your Grundo or Skeith will carry over from one Battle to the next, so make sure you break them before finishing off the last invader otherwise you'll have to waste a turn at the start of the next Battle.
- Your Grundo is the weakest of your team as he can't heal himself; leave him in the bottom row until your other fighters clear the way, then move him up to get a couple of saves, using healing potions where necessary.
- If you don't need to use a healing potion, don't waste it by using it anyway because you need to stand on the space it's in. Plan your strategy to allow for items.
- Even if you're doing well in a Battle, don't get over confident. Even the luckiest of streaks can unravel in a single turn so don't take unnecessary risks.
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Invasion of Meridell doesn't actually pay out too many Neopoints, but it is possible to make some profit from playing the game. The two ways to earn Neopoints are by:
- Saving the villages - at the end of each Battle a small amount of NP is awarded for each village you saved, which increases with each Mission.
- Retrieving the Lost Item - you receive a bonus as soon as you claim it, which starts at 50 NP in the first Mission and increases by 50 NP with each Mission after that.
However, because Invasion of Meridell is a board game and requires lots of refreshing between moves, there is the increased chance of getting a random event. While it's possible that you'll get good ones and find Neopoints or items on the floor, there is also the potential for bad ones as well. So you might want to put any expensive items in your Safety Deposit Box and be aware that Boochi could be waiting in the wings to zap your pet. ;)
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Avatar and Trophies
Almost done, I promise. :P Since Invasion of Meridell is such a repetitive and time-consuming game to play, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the only reason you're likely to be slogging your way through it is because you're either aiming for a trophy or the avatar. Am I close?
There are four trophies available for Invasion of Meridell; the first is a shiny "runner-up medal", which you will receive upon completion of the 5th Mission to mark your success over the first Wave. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to reach this point; you could start a game in October and just dip in and out of it until you finally complete Mission 5 Battle 3 several months later.
The other trophies available for this game are all awarded for placing on the high scores table. Your points for the game are determined based on how many of the villages you save and how quickly you complete all of the Missions. To be eligible for a position on the high score table, your entire game must be completed within the span of one calendar month. So if that is your goal then you will need to keep refreshing on the games page to check when scores are reset, then start playing straight away. Make sure that the high score table has been reset BEFORE you start your new game though, otherwise it might register as having been started the previous month and so won't qualify for a high score position. You can check if you're still in the running for a trophy by visiting this page; if you are, it will say "You are in the monthly tournament!" under the top paragraph.
In order to unlock the avatar that goes with this game, you will need to complete Mission 7 Battle 3 within the same calendar month that you start playing. I would advise starting as soon as possible after the reset because the later Missions can take several hours each to complete; I would estimate that for an intermediate player it would take about 20 hours or so to reach the point where you are awarded the avatar. Obviously you're not going to do all of that in one sitting, so by starting early you leave yourself plenty of time to break that down into manageable chunks that don't leave you feeling quite so frustrated. And as a final quick note, you won't lose the avatar if you start a new game.
And that, finally, is your lot! I hope I haven't managed to put you to sleep with all that, I just wanted to cover as much as I could to give you as much help as possible. If you have a tip of your own that isn't mentioned anywhere in the guide, send in a report and I'll be sure to add it in and give you the credit for it. And so until next time, good luck achieving whatever goal you set yourself in regards to this game. Forward, MARCH!
This game guide was written by: Weepit