Two days later, upon the desolate plains of the Barrens....
- Main Quest - Three Oases
- Lead the caravan to the first oasis
- Lead the caravan to the second oasis
- Lead the caravan to the third oasis
- Thrall, Cairne and the caravan must survive
This scenario is quite easy, as long as you don't mind losing a bunch of troops. If you try to keep everyone alive, it becomes much harder.
In this scenario, it is important to realize that your main enemy, the Centaurs, have an awful lot of missile troops, and they like to pick on your weak units. Furthermore, you don't have any instant healing, which was a major feature of the first two parts of this campaign, and not much healing capacity at all, really. Therefore, your Trolls can die very rapidly unless you take special precautions. What you should do is keep your Grunts and Thrall where you expect to be engaged, keep your Trolls back a bit, commit your durable units to combat early, and only commit your Trolls when the enemy units are already engaged.
Because you will generally be fighting at least three units at a time, Chain Lightning is quite useful. It is probably best to use your wolves only occasionally, and primarily for scouting.
Cairne's caravan moves automatically on its own schedule. It moves fairly slowly, but it does move. Your best bet is to sweep the area in front of the caravan. If you do this, the caravan will only have to deal with fairly weak attacks that randomly teleport in from any direction, usually from behind. The caravan has several powerful guards. Half of them are liable to be dead by the end of the march, but Cairne himself and the supply beasts should be fine. If more than two Tauren have been killed before you reach the second oasis, you should consider restarting. However, you could also commit your forces to close escort if this happens.
Alternatively, you could use your forces in the close escort role. If you do this, you will probably lose less troops, but you will gain less experience and collect fewer items. This means that you will be trading performance in this scenario, which has no long-term effect, for campaign performance. However, experience gets cut off in campaign scenarios, and you are liable to earn far more experience than you can use, so it really comes down to just the items.
Start by selecting all your units, and send them to the left (west). Group your troops - one group for the Grunts, one for the Trolls, and one for the whole force. Near the first intersection, you should be attacked by a bunch of enemy units. Waste them, and then deal with the scattered enemy units in the near vicinity. This will likely be a good time to cash in a Healing Ward.
There is a Centaur base in the SW map corner. If you ignore them, they will ignore you. However, you should have the time to clear out that corner, gain some experience, and collect the Potion of Mana and the Scroll of Healing that can be found there. Since Thrall's pocketses are full, you can't carry these items with you, so just cash them in immediately to get back to full health and mana.
After dealing with the SW corner, head over to the first oasis (Pool of Health). You get three Grunts as reinforcements when you arrive there, and you really shouldn't have lost anyone yet. Heal all your units, but don't block the oasis, because Cairne's units probably want to heal, too.
After healing Thrall's forces to full strength, head NW a bit from the first oasis. You can choose to fight some Murlocs north of here and gain some experience points or continue westward. The Murlocs die easy, and they provide you with a Potion of Mana and an Ancient Figurine. Cash in the potion right away. Because Thrall is an Intelligence Hero, and because his mana is quite low, you want to take the Figurine, so he will need to drop one of his rings.
While moving west, Thrall will find two boxes with some Marauders guarding them (on the north side of the path). One of them will contain a mana potion, so pick it up if Thrall needs it and continue to move west. After reaching the end of this path, go north until some Lizards are spotted to the west. Thrall can choose to fight the Lizards to get Claws of Attack +3. They look big and green and nasty, but they die pretty easy. After picking up the Claws of Attack +3, continue by heading east.
A bit further along is another Centaur camp. Again, if you ignore them, they will ignore you. They guard a Scroll of Healing and a Potion of Greater Mana. Cash in the scroll immediately and maybe the potion. This potion is a substantial item, and it is probably worth dropping your second ring to carry the potion.
When the caravan reaches the Goblin Merchant, the caravan will suffer more frequent attacks of the Marauders. Ensure that the health of Thrall's troops is good; if not use a Healing Ward. Three Raiders join you here.
This is one of those rare situations where a Goblin Merchant is useful. You have few troops and no troop production, you are experiencing ongoing enemy attacks and you have no inherent healing capacity, and you have gold and nothing else to spend it on. Make the merchant happy! Buy his wares and use them. In fact, it is worth running back here later to pick up a potion or two.
From the merchant shop, head NE towards the second Oasis. Before you get there, you will encounter a weak and then a tough Harpy group. You don't really have a lot of missile troops, so you definitely will need to use Ensnare against them. Unfortunately, it cannot be auto-cast. The first Harpy group drops a Mantle of Intelligence +3, which you definitely want. The second Harpy group has a Totem of Might (+1 strength) and a Potion of Greater Mana. You cannot afford to carry the Totem.
Rest Thrall's troops at the second oasis. Three Catapults join you here. As is standard, assign a control group to your siege weapons. Note that you have NO WAY of repairing them in this scenario, so treat them with great care.
Continue by heading west from the Oasis. Soon you will see two Towers and a few Centaurs. Drag the Centaurs out away from the Towers and kill them, then bring up the Catapults and destroy the two Towers, making sure that the siege weapons aren't taking damage. There will be a Tower to the north on the right side after the first set of Towers, and another one to the north on a path leading to a small Centaur camp in the NE corner of the map. Attacking this camp is entirely optional. Just because the camp is small doesn't mean that the defenders are weak. In fact, this is the toughest fight in this scenario. Not only that, but the boss gets resurrected, so you have to kill him twice. Fortunately, there isn't much opposition left in this scenario afterwards. You can get a Tome of Agility (which you use immediately) and a Pendant of Energy, which you take, here.
The Hero Centaur has an AOE (area of effect) stun. Take out the other Centaur that is with him first, then take the Hero out. Just make sure to use healing wards. Also, have some of the siege weapons attack the Hero, and this fight will be a breeze.
After the boss fight, start cashing in any remaining Healing Wards. Head west and follow the path, taking out Towers along the way until you reach the third oasis.
With the caravan at the third oasis, the mission is finished. Both Thrall and Cairne need to be there for the scenario to end. Before this happens, make sure that Thrall is carrying the best items. He should have a Periapt of Vitality, a Pendant of Energy, a Mantle of Intelligence +3, an Ancient Figurine +1 intelligence, and Claws of Attack +3, and probably a Ring of Protection +1. This assumes that you cleared out the entire map in this scenario, and note that if you did, you are not taking any Healing Wards along any more.
- Potion of Mana, Centaur base in SW
- Scroll of Healing, Centaur base in SW
- Potion of Mana, Murloc base north of oasis 1
- Ancient Figurine, Murloc base north of oasis 1
- Potion of Mana, slightly past oasis 2
- Claws of Attack +3, from Lizards
- Scroll of Healing, second Centaur base
- Potion of Greater Mana, second Centaur base
- Mantle of Intelligence +3, weak Harpy group
- Totem of Might (+1 strength), strong Harpy group
- Potion of Greater Mana, strong Harpy group
- Tome of Agility +1, boss fight in NE
- Pendant of Energy +150 mana, boss fight in NE