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Manual Override

Win while only losing harvesters through self-destruct, own 1 or more each turn (4P, Skilled/Expert)

Manual Override0
1 guideOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerDifficulty Specific
11 Mar 2010 24 Mar 2010
22 0 14
This achievement sounds more difficult than it actually ends up being, so long as you carefully follow the guidelines set out in the achievement description.

To break that down:
- Only lose harvesters through self destruct:
This means that you cannot lose harvesters to the mist when they naturally fall, and you also cannot lose them to enemies conquering the tile. You will obviously want to get the most cash out of each harvester that you can however this can also mean self destructing harvesters a turn early if the CPUs have loaded cannons that might put your tiles into the mist.
- Own one or more each turn:
Naturally, as you will be having to put your harvesters into the mist yourself, you really do not want to own more than one a turn anyway. If you read this very carefully however, you'll notice this does NOT say anything about the start of your turn. What this means is that you can squeeze more turns out of this requirement by NOT placing new harvesters the same turn that you destroy one. Destroying a harvester counts as owning one on that turn, and making a new one counts for the next turn.

Having said that, you are going to want to set up a 4 player match on the Pirate's Cove map, using all skilled opponents. At first glance this map seems like a bad choice due to the starting positions of each player, but there are two huge benefits to this map:
- The height of most of the tiles on the map are 4 and 5, meaning more turns per harvester.
- The CPU at skilled level is really dumb on this map. Really, really dumb.

To illustrate the second point, play a couple of test matches on the map up to about turn 4. What you'll find is just about every match, at least one of the CPU players will place his first two harvesters such that he is trapped on his starting tile! Not only that but his starting tile ends up being height 1 when the harvesters disappear. This is a HUGE advantage allowing you to take over most of that CPU's part of the map.

What I did was continue to start games over and over until I had a game where at least two of the CPUs did this crazy seppuku to themselves.

When one of these bad AI CPU's is your neighbor, you end up getting all of his land to yourself. So I used what should have been his land as my little harvester area, and my land as troop development.

Since every match is different there is no step by step strategy to win, but here are some tips:
- You will end up needing to build carriers at some point, so plan for that.
- If you keep a carrier 'in reserve' the CPUs will try to build some to match you. You can force them to build carriers this way so that you get them as rewards for conquers.
- Try to avoid building cannons. On this map they are usually too far to hit all the tiles you will need to hit. They also take a bit of time to send one tile into the mist and you will be working against a harvester clock.
- Be mindful to keep 5 gold in reserve on turns when you will need to build a harvester.
- Don't use harvesters offensively (to sink enemy islands) if there is any chance the CPU will take the harvester back. If the CPU is down to just a few tiles he WILL use his carrier to take over a tile that has a harvester on it if they determine it is the best spot, denying you this achievement.
- At the same time, if a CPU flies over to your island be mindful of the turn order and how your tiles will be affected if the CPU decides to self destruct HIS harvesters. I lost a harvester to a CPU this way and had to start over.
- Don't get too excited on the last turn when you are about to win and forget to place a harvester (almost happened to me!).

Good luck!
K4rn4geDude thank you so much! I have tried numerous times before I read this but to no avail. Then I tried your strategy and got it first try.
Posted by K4rn4ge on 11 Mar 10 at 21:41
grolphI used Emperial Territories, though Pirate Cove sounds easier.

For Emperial Territories, place the first couple of harvesters away from the enemy and covering as much land as possible without leaving any islands. When one gets down to cracked land or might be attacked, sink it. Use your men to stake out an area and save up for carries or cannons depending how far away the enemy is. They will have destroyed most of the map leaving only a couple of squares for you to drop on to.
Posted by grolph on 13 Mar 10 at 05:01
KMetalmindI found it a lot easier on that map too, got it on my first time over Pirate Cove (although two times I was SO CLOSE in that one).

There´s one additional thing to note that the solution doesn´t cover: If you start a turn without a harvester, and you pick one of the AI harvesters... IT DOES NOT COUNT AS HAVING A HARVESTER IN A TURN. Only the ones deployed by you on that turn or the ones that you have at the start of your turn counts. I did all on this guide (not lose any harvesters and have a harvester every turn) and still I didn´t get it. Problem was I picked an enemy harvester (which I didn´t lose until manually destroyed by me), and in that turn that was the only harvester I had.

So if you can´t get it, be careful about this, and try both maps (Emperial Territories and Pirate Cove) as any of them could be easier to you ;)
Posted by KMetalmind on 09 May 10 at 19:17
XSpantXyou can get the AI to do what i call a 2.5 sepuku where 2 players build 2 harvesters during their first term (therefore killing themselves) and the other player builds 1 harvester limiting itself greatly.
Posted by XSpantX on 10 May 10 at 00:57
PatsredsGreat guide, it worked perfectly. The only hard part was restarting the level so often until both of your neighbours did that crazy move!
Posted by Patsreds on 19 Dec 10 at 10:42
ardliveThanks for the guide, really helpful. It works with just one suicidal AI too, as long as he's your neighbour. If you wait a while he will accumulate a carrier and some gold, which you can then take by cannoning him.
Posted by ardlive on 29 Dec 10 at 11:07
DigiLuigiIt took a long time to get them to do what I wanted. To my surprise, suddenly all three opponents built two harvesters. Two of those managed to build a carrier before I could destroy them, but luckily one of them used it to take out the other. Then it was only a cannon blast and carrier ride away from victory. Good thing this map makes the opponents act like morons, cause the achievement would have been a lot harder otherwise.
Posted by DigiLuigi on 17 Jan 11 at 00:04
Epsilon ThetaWorked like a charm. I suggest restarting till two of the AI players box themselves in and then just keep building transports before you build up your troops as the other AI will try and match you and therefore reduce there territory drastically with harvesters. Taking out the other two AI as soon as they build their transport with a cannon also works like a charm as you spend 45 to gain at least 50.
Posted by Epsilon Theta on 22 Jan 11 at 11:09
FragmaThis one was very tough for me, even the times with sepuku 2 and 2.5 matches. If I were lucky enough to the end I either wasn't able to win before running out of room or I'd actually win and not get the achievement as I must have forgotten to have a harvester at some point. Eventually, like DigiLuigi, I got lucky and all three built 2 harvesters. I cannoned one of them after they built a carrier. Since I couldn't build up enough of an army in the necessary time to take over a spot with 16 on it I waited for one of them to take out the other while I built up my army of 9. My 2nd canon shot took out 1 of the 2 spots and my carrier with 9 beat out the newly built army of 8 sitting on that remaining spot. So luckily I had built my cannon in a spot that could reach 2 of my enemies final spots. In prior games my problem with 2 sepuku players was that I could only get 1 of them, the other would fly away, half the time taking over one of my territories. I think it's probably a good strategy to let 1 of the stranded computers take out the other one as they'll lose their army of 16 and give you some more time before they're ready to come after you. Even when it's down to 1 on 1 it's not easy since you've spent alot of money early on defeating the other two, while the other players been harvesting like crazy and likely has 3 or 4 spots with large armies. It takes several games to get the hang of how the enemy will respond, probably best to just restarting until all 3 build 2 harvesters :)
Posted by Fragma on 26 Feb 11 at 19:23
Breadly WeaponGreat solution! Helpful comments too. I ended up restarting until all 3 skilled AI killed themselves. I built a cannon in a spot able to end two of the three. They all built carriers the same turn. I shot one with my cannon when it came to be my turn, earning one carrier. I bought another ammo. One of the two AI used their carrier on the other, eliminating them. When it was my turn again I just had to use the cannon on one territory and fly a single walker to the other.
Posted by Breadly Weapon on 28 Feb 11 at 07:26
sonnyforpleThis is my last achievement. I've done this both on Pirate's Cove 4 skilled and Mines of Ad Valorem 4 Expert. Restarted the Xbox, tried again. Still will not pop. I built only 2 harvesters, and self-destructed them both when at the last level. Still nothing. Am I just missing something stupid? I built 1 at a time and waited a whole turn before building a new one as well. Possible glitch?
Posted by sonnyforple on 11 Apr 11 at 06:19
KabuKiArcadeSonny, when you built the 2 harvesters and then self destructed them at the last level, did you have another to replace it? You have to own at least one harvester on every turn. I don't think you can win fast enough to only use 2 harvesters? Private message me and explain your strategy in more detail and I will respond...
Posted by KabuKiArcade on 11 Apr 11 at 07:21
sonnyforpleKabu, I was totally reading the achievement wrong, I wasn't always keeping 1 harvester in play which makes this 10x harder. I finally got it on the Emperial Territories map but Pirate's Cove could work too. Hardest achievement in the game. Thanks for the help. Positive vote here!
Posted by sonnyforple on 12 Apr 11 at 03:42
RaivinPoeGot this on my second attempt. All 3 AI only built 1 harvester each to start but I was able to build up plenty of walkers to force the AI to attack each other then it was easy pickings. Great guide! Now I have 200/200!
Posted by RaivinPoe on 28 Aug 11 at 07:43