|The Dwarven Forge|
|Game||Age of Mythology|
|Campaign||Fall of the Trident|
|Course of Campaign|
|Next||Not From Around Here|
The Dwarven Forge is the twenty-third scenario of the Fall of the Trident campaign in Age of Mythology. The main objective is to help Brokk and Eitri to free their Dwarven Forge from a large group of Giants.
The four heroes (Ajax, Amanra, Arkantos, and Chiron) travel north, towards Midgard, in order to stop Gargarensis from reaching another passage to the Underworld, via the Well of Urd, and from freeing the titan Kronos.
As they and their Norse allies march through a mountainous region, they are stalked by two Dwarves, Brokk and Eitri. Amanra confronts them and demands what are they doing. They respond that they need their help, and go down the hills to meet the heroes. They explain that their forge, deep within a mountain, is occupied by Giants, who also incidentally guard a passage to Midgard. The heroes agree to assist them, in exchange for accessing this passage.
- Arkantos (Thor) - The player begins to the southernmost part of the map. Their forces consist of all four heroes (Ajax, Amanra, Arkantos, and Chiron), Brokk, Eitri, eight Ulfsarks and four Gatherers, in the Classical Age, without a Town Center.
- Revealers (Odin) - A placeholder player, it includes an Ox Cart and four Dwarves, that have been extorted by the Giants to mine. They serve no in-game purpose, and almost immediately die when the Lost Tomb player attacks the player's forces.
- Flag (Odin) - Another placeholder player, it consists of the three Dwarven Forge buildings, a Shrine dedicated to Odin, and two Boulder Walls, one temporarily blocking the fourth tunnel to the east.
- Giants (Loki) - The main enemy of this scenario. They reside inside the tunnels that lead to the Dwarven Forge. They build various Myth Unit forces (see strategy section), but don't use God Powers or Gatherers. The only normal unit they train are Ballistae. The tunnels are also guarded by Watch Towers and Fimbulwinter Wolves, among others.
- Lost Tomb (Set) - This player is hidden for most of the game, only appearing when the player encounters the four Dwarf slaves that mine to the north of the fourth passage to the forge. Its forces consist of a trio of Mummies and a single Serpent, all appearing when the tunnel wall that divides them from the Dwarves collapses. They guard three Relics.
- Find a Settlement and build a Town Center. (Be wary of Giants defending the valley. Use your Throwing Axemen to build your Town Center on a Settlement.)
- Kill the Giants and Trolls near the Dwarven Forge to recapture it. (You cannot build on hard rock. Seek areas with giant buildings where you can build.)
- Defend the Dwarven Forge until the Giants retreat! (Research unique dwarvish technologies within the Forge buildings, to help you defeat the Giants.)
This guide is applied to hard difficulty. It is, of course, also applicable for the other grades of difficulty.
As soon as the mission begins, send Chiron immediately to the north and/or northeast to locate the two Settlements that will be needed to establish a base. It is recommended to prefer the northeastern one if a player wants to Turtle, but the northern one also offers its advantages, namely the fact it is closer to most resource pools.
Either way, fight the Mountain Giant and two Trolls that guard each Settlement, as apart from clearing the way for a base, the player will also receive some much needed Favor. Once the Town Center is ready, prepare immediately for their mighty counterattacks, that include Mountain Giants, Trolls, Ballistae and in later stages, Fire Giants. As the player worships Thor, a late bloomer God, it is highly recommended to favor a mixed Boom-Turtle strategy.
The forge is located deep within a mountain, and is accessed via four entrances/tunnels, one of them being a waterway. The tunnel terrain is unbuildable, further pushing towards Turtling, as it prohibits expanisionistic actions. Build Wooden Walls to two out of three land entrances; they will delay the enemy's armies, as they don't attack the walls, and will choose another tunnel, making their assaults predictable, if still somewhat hard to counter.
As soon as the player manages to establish a steady economy (Pig Sticker is recommended to hunt the two Brown Bears to the west of the northern Settlement), they should built a Dock to the waterway to the west. The Giants will never attack from there, and three Fishing Ships can gather Salmon. After reaching the Mythic Age, choose Baldr, and after that, build some Dragon Ships three Drakkars, and some Transport Ships (with Enclosed Deck researched of course). The military ships will be needed to kill two Jormund Elvers and clear the coasts of buildings, including a Hill Fort.
When finally on the offensive, keep a part of the army behind, to stave off assaults, build some Dwarven Auger-boosted Portable Rams, and cast Ragnarok. Disembark the Rams, the Hero of Ragnarok units along with any other unit of the player's choice close to the Giants' Town Center to the northwest, destroy everything around, and claim their Healing Spring. After the Spring heals the offensive army, advance with the defensive army, and strike the Giants in a two-pronged attack. Kill the Myth Units around the Forge and prepare for the next stage.
After the forge is reclaimed, some Fire Giants will emerge from the lava pool and attack anything on sight. Quickly destroy them, as losing a Dwarven Forge or two might mean a game-over, depending on the difficult level. From this stage on, the player can choose either to wait for 12 minutes for the Giants to retreat, or to simple destroy any Giant unit and building, if one is impatient.
Either way, this scenario can be quite difficult at the beginning, but with patience, it becomes rather simple to complete.
- Prioritize Hersirs and Valkyries over anything; the first will face Myth Units, and Valkyries will heal forces. A Valkyrie can also be used as a scout; she has enough speed and toughness to do so, and with proper micromanagement, she can avoid being killed, while scouting the entirety of the tunnels.
- Choose Baldr over Tyr, he is much more useful in this scenario. Skadi should also be preferred over Bragi, simply because of the Frost power, that can stop entire armies.
- Take your time; the Giants may begin as extremelly strong in this scenario, but they don't use Gatherers, lack human soldiers, and don't ever expand. Be patient, complete all Dwarven Foundry upgrades, stockpile resources, and strike in decent time.
- To the central east, there are some Dwarf slaves that gather Gold. Immediately approach them, as this will trigger an event, where a tunnel wall collapses and three Mummies attack. After killing all of them, take all three Relics, they may offer enormous advantages.
- If the player intends to research the Dwarven Forge upgrades, prioritize Giant-slaying Blades and/or Osmium Mail, as their advantages are broader than the one of Asbestos Shields.
- The player can entirely avoid facing Fire Giants and Ballistae late in the game:
- To be able to do this, the player should first kill the Trolls and Mountain Giant guarding either Settlement (preferably the one's near the cave entrance) and use one or two Ulfsarks to build on it. Then, have the Gatherers gather resources.
- Remember to place the campaign heroes on the front line since they are tough and can regenerate. The rest of the army (heroes first) can head to the middle entrance and kill the Mountain Giants and Troll guarding the Watch Tower, that can be then destroyed.
- The player should now take the path to the right and eliminate the Mountain Giant and Βallista.
- Head straight until another Watch Tower is encountered beside the Odin Shrine (this one can be ignored completely).
- Turning left after getting past the said Watch Tower would lead to the Giant's main base. Once there, use Chiron to distract the Watch Towers and maneuver the rest of the units to the enemy's Market and destroy it (Chiron and some Ulfsarks might be lost at this point). After destroying the Market, have the remaining units head back to the Town Center following the same path mentioned before.
- The remaining units will be needed to stave off the Giants' counterattacks, especially if they invoke Walking Woods on the main base. Fallen heroes during the attack on the Giants' market can be revived a bit later after clearing the Giants' counterattack.
- When properly executed, the Giants will no longer be able to advance to the Mythic Age and train Fire Giants and Ballistae, except for the ones already present. With this tactic applicated, the rest of the mission would be a breeze, although the above strategy may also prove risky.
- The first objective hints using Throwing Axemen to build a Town Center, but the player begins with Ulfsarks instead.