GoldEyeGriffin the Eyrie GoldEyeGriffin's Guide to Defending Meridell

How to win Invaders of Meridell
Hints and help from a GrandMaster.

Enough information to get a perfect 180
against the Second Wave!

  1. Get off to a good start.
    If the army you are given is weak, delete them and try again.
    The sum of your "Attack Strength" should be > 56, your "Defense Strength" defense strength > 53.

    In particular, I advocate getting a Scorchio with 12 or 13 attack strength. Once, I got a Scorchio:13 and Grundo:14! Do not worry about your Techo or Moehog (as you can replace them with soldiers that you save from the Invaders.)

    Do not worry much about the "defense strength", that maxes out at 14 anyway, and between the 'lost item' increments, the promotion bonus, and your defense items, you generally have enough defense.

  2. Do not rush to collect the lost item!
    For one thing, if you have to restart a level you want the item to still be there so you can collect it at the end. If you collect it and then restart a level, your (saved/restored) army will never benefit from the 'lost item' bonus.

    Especially do not hurry unless you have troops with Attack Strength ready to transition to the next level. Unless the Attack Strength is 11, 14 or 17, you will see no immediate benefit from the bonus. (Ok, you might get a defense bonus, but that levels out pretty fast at 14).

    Also, if you wait until the last battle (especially in the early missions) then you can pick up some strong troops from Invaders you have saved, and have them benefit from the 'lost item' bonus. It is rare that you need the 'lost item' bonus to win a mission. Maybe in the last mission you might pick it up early, since you are unlikely to change personnel at that late stage. (and obviously the bonus won't do you any good after you complete the last Mission!)

  3. Get the best army you can.
    At the end of a battle, consider replacing some of your original troops with those you have saved. Many times the saved players will be stronger. If there are weapons on the field, do not rush to 'save' the last Invader! Consider arming the saved players or trading (if you pick up a new item, the other is dropped for someone else to pick up). Do not worry if the new members of your army do not have experience/rank, you can train them if you take a little time:

  4. Do not be in a hurry to finish off all the Invaders.
    When you get down to just one, first restore the health of all your army and get/trade weapons for the troops you want to keep.

    Consider keeping one Invader alive and let him convert one of yours back! Then you can save that one over and over! Get your Scorchio up to Soldier rank in just one battle!

    Of course, if you have no healing Grundo or potions left, don't wait...

  5. Know when your Attack Strength bonus will increase:
    Note: increasing Attack Strength will not have effect until you cross to a higher cell;
    Note: Attack strength goes up by one when rank (number of saves) reaches Defender (3) and Soldier (9).
    Note: In the second wave, your Attack Strength can go up to 19, and your health can go up to 21!

  6. Know what to expect in each round:
    MissionInvader StatsWeapons on BoardSecond Wave
    6Moehog171717Double SwordLeather Vest 2 Buzz21
    7Techo181818HalbredChain Mail 3 Buzz21
    8Skeith191919Lightning WandPlate Armor 4 Grarrl22
    9Scorchio202020Double AxAmulet/Mail 5 Grarrl22
    10Grundo232323Ax/ScrollPlate/Mail Buzz & Grarrl21&22
    The Second Wave includes the dreaded "Buzz" and "Grarrl"!

  7. Arm your troops with the best and appropriate weapons, trade up when possible!
    1MaceSword (3:Techo)Staff (3:Grundo)
    2HammerBow (4:Scorchio), Wand (4:Grundo)Amulet (4†T:Skeith)
    3Ax**Scroll (5:Grundo)Helmet (5:Moehog)
    4Halbred*Dbl Sword (min 6) (6:Techo)Robe (7:Grundo)
    5 Double Ax (min 5)Shield (7:Techo), Leather Vest -
    6  Chain Mail -
    7  Plate Armor --
    • A Skeith with an amulet can Teleport; with an amulet and an ax can Teleport then attack!
    • A Berserker Battle Ax can be held only with 14 Attack Strength. **
    • A Halbred gives the holder unlimited moves (not if you teleport) *
    • A Double Sword does a minimum of 6 damage
    • A Double Ax does minimum 5 damage
    • Leather Vest only for Scorchio, Moehog, and Techo.
    • Chain Mail now works for everyone. -
    • Plate Armor only works for the Moehog --
    • The Lightning Wand heals all in the selected column, from the top!
      Consumes a turn for each Defender in column, whether they need healing or not!
      If you have one turn left, only the top one is healed, not the one you click on...

  8. Know the attack plan of the Invaders:
    1. Sack a village
    2. Attack an adjacent Defender (see chart below)
    3. Move to empty square (see chart)
    If an Invader can sack, it will!
    If an Invader can attack, it will not move!

    When an Invader attacks, it looks for a target
    in a specific search order:

    Rarely, an Invader (Techo04 ?) uses an alternative pattern:

    Invader (I) will attack the lowest number neighbor that is a Defender.
    Invader will move to cell 4 or 7 if nearest Defender is at X.
    Otherwise, Invader will generally move straight ahead, but will veer diagonally to go around mountains.

    Use the table above to position your troops so a strong defense (for example, a Moehog with a Helmet) take the attacks while the strong attackers are in a higher numbered cell and can attack without retaliation. (so your Skeith can attack without getting hit every time).

    In the Second Wave, the Buzz/Grarrl do not follow these rules; they prefer to move forward. If they cannot go straight forward, they will go diagonally down to left if able, then try diagonally to the right. If they cannot go forward, they will attack if able, else move sideways left or right. (which can happen if they are stuck behind their own troops or mountains)

    If they detect a village in the X position, they will move toward it. If they get next to the bottom row, they start moving left/right to find a village. See Bug Report at bottom about moving right from the right-hand column.

  9. What species to use:
    • You will want a Moehog, with a Helmet.These guys are really hard-headed, they can withstand blows from three or four Invaders at a time! Plus, with up to three moves in a turn, they can get into position fast, pinning the Invaders until your (slower) attackers can arrive.

      In the Second Wave, arm your Moehog with a Double Sword. In Mission 6, you can get a new Moehog, with 16 defense!

    • There is not much to recommend a Techo. The †3 sword is not much compared to a †3/†5 scroll or †4 bow. And anyone with a †5 Helmet or Shield will have enough defense (and a Moehog is faster than a Techo).
      When you can get a second Skeith (and give it an amulet), drop your Techo.

      Note: in the Second Wave, a Techo is more useful! Especially when fully equiped with Chain Mail and a Double Sword This Techo can get a 11 Attack Bonus! Necessary for the timely demise of those Grarrls and Grundos. So when you get to Mission 7, consider dropping your old Techo (or Moehog) and keep one of those 16 defense Techos.

    • Scorchios are fun in the first wave, with a bow, and Soldier rank. When a Scorchio gets 9 saves it is promoted to a Soldier; and gets an extra boost to Attack Strength. More importantly, it gains the ability to shoot the bow 2 cells in any direction. Which means they can attack without being hit back, can even attack over mountains. Let a Moehog hold the Invaders in place, taking hits on the Helmet (which the Grundo can repair) and shoot with the †4 bow!

      In the Second Wave, you probably won't get much benefit from a Scorchio. The action is too fast and the fighting too close; the opportunities to shoot two cells are rare, and you can use a Grundo with Lightning Wand for that!

    • You will need at least one Skeith; once equiped with an amulet they are excellent at getting to the front line to slow down the Invaders and with a scroll or ax, they deliver a devastating blow. By meeting/blocking the Invaders early, you can protect your villages and protect the weapons for later use (see above). Even without delivering a blow, a forward Skeith will attract and 'pin' the Invaders so you have time to position your other troops. Don't forget to teleport away if/when the Skeith is facing 3 or 5 attackers!
      Skeith is also perfect to attend to the Invader that sneaks down the side trying to find your one un-defended village; quickly teleport and block him! [good duty for the Skeith who is then facing only one attacker]

      For the Second Wave, you will want two Skeiths. This ensures that you can get five troops to the fifth row (from the top) before the Invaders slip by. Armed with the Ax, they can even penetrate to the third row on the first turn.

    • You will need at least one Grundo; equip with a Scroll as soon as possible (usually in mission 3). Get a Robe in mission 4.
      Keep your original Grundo; you cannot replace it until Mission 5!
      Note: your other troops can be healed by the Grundo, but the Grundo can only be healed by the potions, so when in doubt keep the Grundo in positions where it will not be attacked.
      Note: in Mission 5, give a Scroll to one of the Grundos you save. Now each Grundo can heal the other. More likely, the original Grundo is wearing a robe and has 15 or 16 Attack Strength and will be a potent member at the front lines; the new Grundo will have little defense and can stay in the back as a medic (heal the fighting Grundo first, then it can heal others if necessary) Consider dropping a Moehog or Techo (you can get more next mission) and keep two fighting Grundos..

      To solve the Second Wave, you must have two Grundos. The Invaders have too much attack strength, you will need plenty of healing; and everybody must be at the front lines.

  10. Note: If you get new troops, promote them to Defender/Soldier as fast as possible. Do what is necessary to get their Attack Bonus up to 4 or 5. (A.S. = 18/19) (If you need help raising your Attack Strength, ask for extra help)

  11. The key to this game is: the best offense is a good defense.
    That means your first priority is to heal your troops! Since a Skeith has only a †4 defense weapon (the amulet) they may need plenty of healing. Keep restoring the health of your army and you will not be beaten. (unless you let an Invader slip through to a village :)
    Note: if one of your Defenders is weak, but is attacked by only one Invader, see if you can save the Invader, so you can delay the healing. Or if necessary, just move the weak Defender out of the line of fire.
    If you must leave someone at risk of being converted to an Invader, let it be someone without weapons.

  12. In the Second Wave, the best defense also means you must build a wall on the fifth row (from the top). This defense keeps the Buzz/Grarrl from slipping through to your villages. There is one map (board layout) where there is only one mountain on row 5, in that case, and in only that case, you may let one Invader slip down the side line. (where you must trap it against your mountain) Other than that particular case (which was encountered in Mission 10, Game 2), never let the Invaders get on your side of the board!

  13. Attack where it does the most good.
    When attacking, attack with your greatest Attack Strength against the Invader with the lowest defense. This will generally give you the quickest conversion of Invaders to saved. [ok, really you also want to look at the Invader's health, and attack Invaders with low health and finish them off] [and also consider that the important factor is the difference between your Attack Strength and the Invader's Defense Strength] But if those things are about equal, favor attacking someone with lower defense.

  14. Look to see who is your most endangered troop (certainly anyone being threatened by 3 Invaders!), and destroy or save one of those Invaders first. Otherwise, against three Invaders, any player can be destroyed in one lucky roll of the dice. (three individual hits of 7 or 8 will convert 21 Health to zero...)

  15. Collect and keep the good weapons.
    Early on, give amulets to as many as you can. Later, they can be traded for a Helmet and the Amulet picked up by a saved Skeith. Likewise, arm with a Scroll when possible (for your Moehog), later trade it for a Bow or Ax and the Grundo you save in Mission 5 can pick up the Scroll.

    Get the Double Sword and Double Ax for your Moehog or Techo when you can.
    Get the Lightning Wand for your Grundos when you can. These will heal anything with a single zap!
    Alas, the Skeith are stuck with the Amulet and Battle Ax. The ability to Teleport and immediately move may be essential.

  16. Relative strength/probability of damage:
    Damage per 20
    Draco Defense Strength - Meridellian Attack Bonus
    Weapon: (Min) 8 91011121314
    Regular: (1) 72665545362821
    Double Ax: (5) 78716560565351
    Dbl Sword: (6) 81757066636160
    This table shows the expected damage (based on a uniform distribution of dice values from 1-20) that would occur from attacking 20 times. (you can divide by 20 to get the expected damage per roll). The columns are calculated by the difference between the Defense Strength of the Invader you are attacking and your Attack Bonus (usually †7 to †11).

    A Techo at A.S.=18 with a †6 Double Sword gets Bonus = †10
    Against a Grarrl with D.S.=22, we use column 12 (22 - 10 = 12)
    We see a relative strength of 63, or an expected damage of 3.15 per turn.

    This table could tell you that against weaker opponents, a Moehog does better with a Double Sword than a Double Ax, but otherwise, the Double Ax is more powerful (especially for a Techo). And there are no 'weaker' opponents by the time the Double Ax appears. So grab it!

  17. When you destroy a Buzz/Grarrl, they leave a smoking hole into which you cannot travel... but the Invaders can!

  18. Above all, plan ahead!
    Although this game is listed as an "Action Game", it is really more of a strategy puzzle. The movement of the Invaders is predictable. Plan your movement to ensure that you get your troops (and the Invaders) get where you want them, when you need them there.

    Now Available: To help you plan or to test your knowledge, use the interactive IoM Training page (""). The IoM Battle Planner lets you set up a board and see how your strategy works, against realistic Draco movement! Try your battle plan before running the real game. [runs on your local browser; much faster than waiting for the web-site, and there is an undo button!] Includes the IoM Board Generator that produces IoM Boards you can put on your web page (in HTML, they are not screen dumps!)

    Note: Click on the Mission Planner for help/explanation of that page.

  19. More help:
    There is enough information above to solve the puzzle.
    But if you want more explicit information, see IoM Spoilers .
    But you might enjoy trying to figure it out yourself first.

  20. Wondering how that Buzz/Grarrl sneaked up on your left?
    In the Second Wave, they can move from the right edge to the left! Their own version of Teleportation...

    Bug report: I'm guessing the board is a linear array of cells, and moving right just increments the cell number. Apparently, for the Buzz/Grarrl there is no 'mod 10' check, so a right move may end up in the left column, one row down.
    Note: when Grarrl is in the lower-right corner and moves right, it wraps to the left edge and opens a new row below the others! From there it can continue to move right on the new (11th) row.

Note to implementers, the normal progression of officer rank would be:
Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel, General
The enlisted ranks include: private, corporal, sergeant

Play the game.
Derangel's Invasion of Meridell Game Guide