This map IS winnable in under 35 turns. I beat it yesterday. Here are the details:
North - You can make it to the closest two TCs with all 5 archers and a swordsman. If you can't hold the closest TC, you can't win in under 35. The eastern most archer leads, followed by two swordsman, the rest of the archers, and the last three swordsman. Keep them compressed in a NW to SE diagonal so that at the end of the first turn, there are only two spots where the knights can attack. Do not attack with swordsman (use them as shields and you will get two stops out of each). At the start of the second turn, two of your swordsman will be almost dead. When you move everyone as far east as they can go, attack with one of the damaged swordsman and use the other two to form another diagonal wall one square east of where the last wall was. The goal with the archers is to get each knight down to yellow (4 hits). If after the first turn you give each knight three hits before you go for the 4th on all of them you will save all your archers. The second of the first two swordsman is also a shield. Everyone else heads to the TCs, but that one heads up the bridge when it gets there and then takes one step back. This buys enough time for the first archer to get to the first TC and build a healer before the knights get there. Once the blue knights are all frozen (in yellow damage), focus on getting 4 hits on one yellow knight at a time. Send the swordsman to the first TC as well and the next archer to the TC to the east (leave him there for the ornithopter attack (you have to watch close, you can always see it coming if you are looking for it). The first archer should continue north as soon as it takes the first TC to claim the other two. The first two TCs you take, build a healer first and convert knights as fast as you can. Converted knights move into the TC to defend. I'm not entirely sure how they determine which unit gets attacked when the knight attacks the TC, but the healers tend to be safer outside the TC because as long as you don't have more than 3-4 knights attacking at once they will only attack the TC and ignore the healers. IMPORTANT: You have to convert a knight before the first healer dies to hold the TC. If you don't, just restart the map..if they take the first TC you are not likely to win in under 35. For some reason, I could never convert the knight next to the TC but could convert the one that was a square away..probably a coincidence.
South - Building progression for the TC you start with: Healer, Persuasion, Archer (to stop the ornithopter.. you only need one..watch for the ornithopter to come and step out of the TC to get one hit far enough out that it won't pursue), Builder, Builder, Ornithopter (by then you should have researched flight at one of the two northern TCs). Keep building Ornithopters after that and take out every catapult before it makes it to the bridge. Build 2 churches with the builders and then nothing but wagons. From the start, convert all three elephants. Once you convert one, move it behind (not inside) the tower so you don't damage the other two. "Stand ground" on the tower every turn. Once you have two, send one up the bridge to stop whatever they send at you. With elephants on the bridge, you don't need anything to defend the TC other than one archer. You block out the only attack route and will use the mass of healers you build on the north part of the map to convert all the yellow and blue knights. Keep the healers from the churches near the TC to convert anything that starts down the bridge until you take the whole bridge, then everything constantly is moving toward the blue base (except one archer).
Other general tips:
- Don't kill enemy builders, convert them. They build faster than your builders.
- Build a dock near the second TC from the North and start building transport ships right away. You will need more than one and a bunch of healers in wagons (and knights in wagons) to take the island in the northwest. You will never need to build a catapult, but converting the one(s) on the island is helpful. Three healers in a wagon in a transport ship can sit right outside the catapult range until he comes out of a building, having a transporter in a transporter gets you close enough to have three chances to convert.
- You don't need any towers. You can even do without the starting one if you can't convert the elephants fast enough to save it.
- No castles, no catapults needed.. by the time you research, build, and transport siege units you are past turn 35.
- I found it helpful to build an archery range and upgrade my starting archers (and the ones yellow sent that I converted) to crossbow archers. Other than that and one dock, build churches.
- Keep plenty of Ornithopters around, mainly to stop catapults but also if an enemy healer gets too close to your elephants sacrifice an ornithopter to keep the enemy from converting.
- You spend very little time defending. This is a attack fast with whatever you have to keep the AI from getting too big type game.
- There is a decent amount of luck involved as far as what the AI builds. If they build lots of churches and siege worships it will probably be harder than if they build barracks and stables. You also have the luck of the conversions. Be prepared to restart the map if the converting isn't working.
- No consumables needed
- If the AI ever get smart enough to not stop when their health is yellow, we are all screwed