In general, there is no forced timing to attack Helman. In fact, the player doesn't even need to attack Helman directly, as the Demon Army will eventually begin attacking the humans, and Helman will be the first to fall. Helman will not attack the player unprovoked.
However, in terms of story, the reason Rance became king of Leazas was so he can take revenge upon Helman (and to rescue Sill). Also, in terms of strategy, the Helman plotline offers a few decent generals whose story scripting might be messed up or be unavailable when the Demon has taken over Helman.
Two or three weeks after attacking Helman, they will send a ninja called Freya to your territory, who will poison food supplies in your cities and cause you to lose a lot if not all of money. To prevent this, visit the cities that Maris mentions at the beginning of the turn. After 3 encounters with the spy, buy Ninja glue from the merchant. You can recruit her by picking the option of paying her twice as much as Helman.
Sill and Soul are kept in the prison of Volgo Z. At the end of year 3 August 3rd week, Soul will be taken away. At the end of year 4 January 3rd week, Sill will also be taken away. There will be CGs in those situations, and if the player capture Volgo Z afterwards, there are also a few CGs. For those looking to complete all the unhappy ending and all the CGs, they should just wait around to capture Volgo Z and then load back to a previous save game.
Allying with Patton or not is an important choice to make. If you ally with him you will save the trouble of fighting him later, conquer two Helman territories and get 4 commanders. Patton, who's really good at dungeons, Hunty, probably the best mage you will have in a while, Hubert and Phreak, who serves later on the Demon Army war to defeat a Dark Lord and unlock Rona's happy end.
If you don't ally with Patton you will lose many potentially great commanders but allows you to get Aristoles, who by himself is a good strategist commander and is needed for Sheila's happy end, and Rolex who's a great fighter unit with one of the best skills in the game.
If you don't care about Sill and Soul, but still don't want to miss the other Helman events, keep in mind that the Demons will begin its assult around the end of year 4. Also, saving Sill or not changes the ending completely.
There's the easy way, and there's the hard way Edit
The hard way to assault Helman is via the mountain pass of the Helman-Leazas border. You may attack Rog A and Rog B through the moutain pass. The Helman army will always choose to fight in the streets, which limits combants to 320 in Rog A and 620 in Rob B. Additionally, only one unit of troops may march through the mountain pass at one time, whereas the defending side can have up to 4 units. Rog A and B are defended by the Helman First Army, which has 9 captains too. All these factors make the direct assult very challenging, though not impossible. It's even doable to get through in one single week, by repeatedly attacking Rog B many times with different generals but still not recommended really. Specially if it's a first playtrough and you are still getting used to the Game's mechanics.
The good news is, for Helman to attack you, they have to march through the same mountain pass too. Ie, they can only send one unit across the mountain at a time, and you can fight it with four of your units. The two cities on the player side of the mountain, Maunes and Scale, both have battle field size 210, making them extremely defendable.
The easy way to assault Helman is via Shangri-La. From there, you completely by-pass the one-unit limit of the mountain passes. Additionally, it has a direct path to Volgo Z, which will only be guarded by one unit of Helman troop who will run away quickly. Thus through Shangri-La, rescuing Sill and Soul will be extremely easy. Shangri-La is also connected to Sudori 13, though that is much better guarded.
In order to open the path from Shangri-La to Volgo Z, you must first H Shyariera, then pick the new "Deathcoco's Secrete Room" option in Shangri-La. Afterwards, you will be presented with two options, pick the bottom one to open the path. For the optimal play chart, this is already included in the Expansion section on June 2nd week. The bad thing of this option is that will waste at least a whole month to take over Shangri-La due to different events. You could even get late to rescue Soul if you were slow enough.
The Fights Edit
All of the main Helman Armies will disband once the player take over the capital city.
The First Army Edit
The Helman First Army is the largest army. It patrols most of the border cities with its 9 units. However, when the player conquers Rog B, there will be an event causing Arch Glad to be very weakly defended by the General Lelyukov. Defeating him will cause the First Army to disband, and the cities under its protection will become defended by civilian millitia. If attacking through the mountain pass, the defenders will fight to the death.
It is still possible to recruit Lelyukov if attacking through the mountain pass, but it requires you to have Kaijuu Prince (which has a very low chance of joining every turn, although you can reload to try again). Give Kaijuu Prince the charge horn and attack Log B. The defending units should not contain Lelyukov, and Kaijuu Prince has high enough stats to kill all 4 defending units in the time limit. Keep in mind that archers will take counter attack damage if they are attacking a front row unit from the front row.
The First Army is the only army that will cross the mountain to attack Leazas territory and will constantly generate 3000 strong unit of Oddses. They are very weak and generally retreat in 2-3 turns of fighting.
The Fifth Army Edit
The Fifth Army is based in Sudori 10, but once it start fighting you, it will attack any of your holdings on Helman territory. Defeating its general, Rolex, will cause the army to disband.
The Fifth Army will start attacking the player if the player attacks Sudori 10, or approximately 3 months after the war against Helman began.
The Crusader Army Edit
The Crusader Army is based in Path, but will attack anywhere in Helman territory. They will start attacking if you take too long to conquer Path. It will resurrect infinitely. To stop them, the player must take over Path and levy there. If you take over Path before they start attacking, they will not appear.
The Fourth Army Edit
The Fourth Army guards Sudori 13, Pon, and Kosakku. If you defeat it's general, Neo, first, the army will not disband, and will fight til its last captain. However, if you first defeat the second-in-command, Cream, then defeat Neo, the entire Fourth Army will disband, leaving just civilian millitia to defend the territories.
Patton's Rebellion Edit
From Sudori 13, if the player choose to attack Sudori 17, there will be a choice to either ally with Patton's forces or fight them. Choosing the top choice will give you 4 captains and 2 territories, placing you just 2 stops away from the capital city of Lang Bau. You can also ignore them, but once you have taken Lang Bau, Patton's forces will start attacking you.
Defeating Patton will cause his entire force to disband. Defeating the other commanders will not kill them.
The Second Army Edit
Allying with Patton will cause the Second Army to start attacking you.
The Third Army Edit
The Third Army guards Micro Grad as well as the capital city of Lang Bau. If you take over Micrograd before Rance visits the Kalar Forest and stations guards around it, the Third Army's general, Minerva, will be able to outfit his unit with Crystal Swords, which greatly increase their damage. If Minerva gets the crystal swords, you can levy in Lang Bau afterwards to get it as a treasure. If Minerva does not get the swords, Maha will fight to the death to defend Lang Bau (no special scene for this). Minerva will not get the swords if you kill Maha in battle before taking over Micrograd. Minerva is incredibly hard if she gets the crystal swords but the treasure might be worth it.
Defeating Minerva will not kill her. She will escape and come back with the remainder of her army later. The only way to kill her is to take over Lang Bau, then Rance will have a 1 on 1 duel against her. Warning : Do not use Rance to defend after the duel, because he will have zero troops.
Final Resistence Edit
Once you've taken the capital, all remaining Helman territory will fall under the Leazas flag. However, 5 of the western Helman cities will resist you and rebel even if you have conqured them before. They are all civilian millitia and can be easily defeated. It is also possible, by using a "smart" captain to fight the millitia once, to use a brutal tactic to win without fighting. Using this method leads to another CG with Sheila. You need to H Shiela once to discover that she is a drug addict, fight a rebel city once, then the next time you attack, a event will popup and ask if you want to use the brutal tactic. The city you attack will then surrender wtihout a fight.
The People Edit
Elena Flower will join your harem if you: see all 4 of her events, see the beginning of turn event where Rance orders Maris to search for the flower selling girl then see the beginning of turn event where Maris tells Rance her location and select the city command at the location Maris said. To see her first 4 events, you must first capture Pawn (you may need to defend Pawn sucessfully first to see her first event). After you win, you may see her events. The exact requirements to see the events are unknown, I was only able to start seeing the events by defending Pawn after LP 3/12/1. Putting her in the harem is her happy end, while not putting her in the harem is her unhappy end. It is quite hard to see all her events before Helman runs out of troops, attacking through Shangri-La and conquering Pawn first is your best bet. To avoid having attacking armies run out of troops, set all your units to auto-defend and when Mineva attacks Pawn, kill enough units so that Mineva ends up in the front row then use magic to keep killing her unit off. She won't die permanently and as long as she has other units alive in her army, will keep regenerating troops and attacking every turn.
Soul can be rescued from Volgo Z if the player captures it by the 3/8/3. After you H her in harem, she will rejoin as a captain leading former bandits. Her unit isn't very strong, is pretty much only useful for scouting purposes and exploring easy dungeons. Her unhappy ending is if she isn't rescued by 3/8/3. To get her happy end, talk to her two times after having H-ed her, then H her again. Then make sure Maria is in the party and visit the Library (which you'd need to build first), then visit the old Bandit hideout. Finally talk to her after not H-ing her for a while.
Bound will rejoin you as a captain when you visit the old Bandit hide out from getting Soul's happy end. His unit is also fairly weak and not very useful.
Sill can be rescued from Volgo Z if the player captures it by 4/1/3 (not resuing her leads to her unhappy end). After you H her in harem, she will rejoin as a captain, this time leading troops. Her attacks are randomly more powerful when fighting with Rance, but overall she is a weak magic user. For her happy end, defeat the creator realm with her still a commander in your army.
When fighting in Helman territory using Kinkaid, there will be a one-time H-scene, afterwards there are two choices. One choice will remove Kinkedo from the game, the other choice keeps him. It doesn't seem to affect anything else but it's needed if you want 100% CG.
To get Amiran into the harem and to get the general of the First Army, Lelyukov, to join you, you must NOT take advantage of the weakened defense at Arch Glad. You must defeat him after the weakened defense (which will only last one week), then choose to put him in jail (3rd choice). Then commandeer at Arch Glad to find his daughter Amiran, and select the second choice to put her in your harem. Finally, visit the prison, select his cell, and he will be in your party. This is also Amiran's unhappy end.
For Amiran's happy end, again you must avoid the weakened defense and defeat Lelyukov afterwards. However, after defeating him, pick the option to let him go free. The defeat of Helman, including the cities that rebel, and a start of turn event will give you her happy end. It is not possible to capture Log B without defeating Lelyukov if attacking through the mountain pass as he defends it to the death, which also prevents you from obtaining Amiran.
To obtain Ruberan, conquer Ancient Ruins before Lang Bau. Then, visit her in the dungeon three times and she will enter the harem, which is her unhappy end. Her happy end is caused by having Merim come with you to the Ancient Ruins. This can be achieved by exploring the Ancient Ruins dungeon with Merim after capturing Lang Bau. Note that you do not need to go further into the dungeon than 1F to trigger the scene between Merim and Ruberan that occurs when you leave the dungeon (this triggers Ruberan's happy ending). Alternatively, you can also capture the Ancient Ruins by force and explore the dungeon with Merim the same turn to get the scene between Merim and Ruberan that triggers Ruberan's happy end.
Warning : If Sill has died, capturing the Ancient Ruins by force will cause Rance to order his troops to rape Ruberan to death (no h-scene).
If you go to the Ancient Ruins, you can use the dance command at the God's door (finding the door requires Chaos) to get a CG.
Shiela will enter the harem after conquering Lang Bau. After having H-ed her once, and having fought one of the resisting cities once, you may use the hostage operation to conquer the resisting cities without fighting (you get the option the next time you attack a resisting city). Starting from the second time you pick her in Harem mode, the three choices are "Talk", "normal H", "drug H". Picking the third choice leads to Shiela's unhappy ending.
Shiela's happy ending is tied with Aristoles, general of the Helman Second Army. To get Aristoles to join you, you must NOT ally with Patton, and not kill Patton. About three weeks after conquering Lang Bau, an event will trigger with Convert, the second in command of Aristoles. Pick the bottom choice and Aristoles will join you at the end of the following week, but you will lose Shiela from your harem. Also, once Shiela is given to Aristole, the hostage operation will no longer be available when attacking the resistance. You must wait till Aristoles joins your army before you can kill Patton. If you never used the "drug H" on Shiela, Shiela will be in her happy end after being handed to Aristoles. If Aristoles dies in combat, Shiela will return to the Harem.
To get Rolex, general of the Fifth Army, to join you, you must NOT defeat him in battle. Additionally, you must have obtained Aristoles (so cannot ally with Patton). When all those conditions are met, levy in Sudori 10 and Rolex will join you. Rolex will keep attacking and fight to the death when he is the only unit left, even after you have captured Sudori 10, To make getting Aristoles and Rolex easier, capture Lang Bau by attacking from Shangri-La -> Sudor 13 -> Pawn -> Micrograd. This avoids fighting Rolex's army if you do it fast enough and also Aristole's army. In the event that Rolex is attacking and about to die, use weak melee units to defend and he should retreat when he is low on troops after 2 turns. Warning : If you take Lang Bau and then levy in Archgrad without Aristoles, Rance will kill Rolex.
To get Cream, the second in command of the Fourth Army to join you as captain and in the harem, simply defeat her in battle and pick the second choice. Note that if both Cream and Nero remain alive for too long, an event will trigger which will kill her and get her unhappy ending. You will get a warning event where Nero and his subordinates are plotting to kill her right before the next battle, if you fail to defeat Cream in that battle, she will be found dead afterwards (there is a CG for this). For her happy ending, keep using her in battle and let her strategy trigger 11 times. If you don't use her to fight for 2 months, she will leave you.
Katyusha and Sorunia of the Fifth Army will get their individual happy ends if you defeat Rolex, the general, without defeating them. In order to get them into the harem though, you need to do the opposite: defeat them before you defeat Rolex. Once you have H-ed both of them in the harem, selecting one of them will give you a new choice, 3P. If Sill is not around when you pick 3P, Rance will die from exhaustion. Also, after having H-ed both of them, visiting the DX will prompt you wiether to trade them for a dress for Sill. If you trade them away, they will get the bad ending. Note that if you buy clothes for Sill from Pluepet, you will be unable to get their unhappy ends.
A few turns after war with Helman starts, you will see events with the spy Freya in Leazas territories. If you leave her alone, she will eventually poison your food and you will lose all of your money, giving Freya her happy end. If you levy in Leazus after her first event, one random city will have an event with her in it (you can reload and try other cities, it's random but the city is chosen at the end of the turn before). After seeing enough events with her, you can buy ninja birdlime from Pluepet, and on your next meeting with her you will get an H scene with her and she will work as a spy for you. If you send her to sabotage Helman and she is caught, you will get her unhappy end. This is quite buggy because sometimes Maris will show up and tell you that there's suspicious activity, but for many turns you will not get the event showing this (the Maris event may be getting replaced by other beginning of turn events). Sometimes you will get an event showing Freya in a certain town, but she will not be in that town but in another town.
In my experience, the first 4 cities that Freya appears in is Rich, Parapara fortress, Alan and Oaks in that order.
Patton, Hanty, Freak, and Hubert will all join you at once when you ally with Patton. Note that if either Patton of Hanty dies, the other one will leave you. Patton is extremely powerful in small dungeons (field size around 500 or less), with significant bonuses to attack and defense. Hanty is a very powerful mage, being able to cause significant damage even to enemies who are resistant to magic. Hubert is a strong fighter, while Freak is needed for Rona's happy end. By default Hanty is in her happy end, but if Patton is defeated by you or dies while joining you, Hanty will get her unhappy end.
Stessel can be found by levying at Laurengrad, then Ikoma, Great wall of Helman A. He is last seen heading into the demon forest. After the monster war breaks out, there will be a end of turn scene showing Stessel after he has been captured by Warg and gone insane. The next end of turn event will show Warg killing Stessel by giving him a scary dream until he jumps off the balcony. You may need to do this before the end of LP4 (no CG).
If you levy at Golak twice you will get Merci into your harem, as For Anasel you need to complete the S&M Tower First. Doing this and calling them in your harem is their unhappy ends, while their happy ends are caused by never finding them at all.
The Kalar Forest is in the small circle on the western side of the large mountain south of Helman, and you can only enter it through Helman territory. Entering it will give you two H scenes and Somita as a unit. Somita's happy end is caused by never using her as a unit, while her unhappy end is caused by using her as a unit at least 5 times before her event triggers. If you visit the Kalar forest and H Pastel again, she will tell you on the third visit that she has gotten pregnant and give birth to Reset, which is Pastel's happy end. Note that to get her happy end, you need to wait till Reset grows up which takes several months. Never visiting the forest at all is Pastel's unhappy end.
Optimal Play (Helman) Edit
|3/08/3|| (Start-of-Turn Event) Asuka and Mill event|
Volgo Z -> Force
Captain -> Kentaro -> Talk (Keep Talking Until He Get Rance Attack)
Kill the first Helman soldier, ignore archer
|3/08/4|| Captain -> Kentarou -> Talk (Until He Get Rance Attack)
Rockearth -> DX -> Top (Visit) (Aoi)
Log B -> Force
Harem -> Soul
|3/09/1|| Captain -> Kentarou -> Talk (Until He Get Rance Attack)|
Nagasaki -> Force
Hanna -> Shinoda's House
Defend Log B, defeat Lelyukov:2nd choice (Join Me) , then 3rd choice (Imprison)
|3/09/2|| Bottom (Suppress Poor)|
Search (Levy) cities for the spy (keep reloading)
Captain -> Kentarou -> Talk (Until He Get Rance Attack)
Osaka -> Force (2 or 3 if you were lazy. Use Miki Nuke to kill Nobunaga) -> Top
|3/09/3|| SECOND IMPORTANT SAVE POINT FOR CG
(Start-of-Turn Event) Asuka and Mill event
You will get 1 CG if you let Nero alive and he will kill Cream
Construction -> Girl Officer Academy
|3/09/4|| Search (Levy) cities for the spy (keep reloading)|
Captain -> Kentarou -> Talk (Until He Get Rance Attack)
Pawn -> Force
Harem -> Kaoru
|3/10/1|| Search (Levy) cities for the spy (keep reloading)
Micrograd -> Force
|3/10/2||THIRD IMPORTANT SAVE POINT FOR CG
Search(Levy) cities for the spy (keep reloading) -> Bottom (Get Freya)
(Need to use range to take out last 2 to get Katyusha and Saulina)
|3/10/3||THIRD IMPORTANT SAVE POINT FOR CG
You can Try to get Ruberan First for Extra 2 CG or go straight to Lang Bau
you need to meet ruberan in dungeon 3x after you conquer Ancient Ruin
(but if you want to go for Ruberan you can't follow this guide)
Lang Bau -> Miki Nuke to clear defense