The Round Table Proposal

Towns and Creatures
by Sir Timotheus

 The topic of “towns and creatures” once again sparked interesting conversation on the Heroes of Might and Magic Round Table. Every person has their own favored lineup of towns, whether it includes a Foundry of mechanical units, a Hive full of mutated insects and plants, or a classic Barbarian/Stronghold town. Here are some of the more popular town ideas that forum members invented or want to keep in the game.

The Necropolis, the town of the undead, must stay, say fans. A mainstay since the dawn of the Heroes series, skeletons, ghosts, vampires and more must have a place to congregate to plan their attacks against those “holy” types. Mummies, zombies, liches, bone dragons, and death knights are the must-have creatures, with the Necromancer and a Death Knight as their leaders. Although the demonic creatures (venom spawn, cerberi, imps, devils) shared a town with the undead in Heroes IV, most fans prefer the demonic and the completely dead to remain separate.

In direct juxtaposition, a holy town, whatever its name (Haven, Castle, Knight town, Life town), has to remain. Most units in the town should be humans with some exceptions, including standard fighters (swordsmen, archers, pikemen) and those with divine ties (monks, angels, paladins). Peasants should be in there somewhere as well, even if as a neutral unit.

 A semi-neutral might town, as in previous Heroes games, is another common request. However, just what creatures should reside within is up for debate. Among the potential units for the town are trolls, cyclopes, orcs, wolves, harpies, goblins, ogres, behemoths, rocs, centaurs, nomads, and berserkers. Most likely, this town, known as the Stronghold or Barbarian town, would have minimal or no magic capabilities at all.

Beyond these basic three, there is disagreement as to how to make the other towns. Should they be based on terrain? Origin? Themes? There is not one simple answer. However, from these discussions came the following town ideas:

Sand/Desert Town – sand golems, sand worms, and various desert animals
Hive – insects and plants of all kinds, including beetles, mantises, and mancatchers
Preserve/Rampart/Sanctum – the opposite of the Hive; the “holy” side of nature; elves, sprites, unicorns, and phoenixes
Inferno/Demon Town – similar to Heroes III’s Inferno, contains demons, imps, and devils of various types
Forge/Mechanical – dwarves and their creations (golems, mechanical dragons, gargoyles… just no naga tanks!)
Wizard/Enchantment/Academy – magi, genies, halflings, and titans unite in this haven of wizardry

With the topic of towns and creatures come two more issues: upgrades and neutral creatures. Neutral creatures, ones that can be found and recruited on the adventure map but without any town to call their home, are generally approved of by the community, and are staples in the Heroes series. Upgrades, however, split the community. Every game from Heroes 2 to Heroes 4 treated it differently. Most fans seem to want an incarnation of the Heroes 2 format, allowing certain units to upgrade (perhaps multiple times for certain creatures such as dragons), and prohibiting certain other units from upgrading at all. That allows for the greatest variety, balance, and strategy. This will be touched upon more in the next summary.

Of course, on a topic like this, it is nearly impossible to achieve complete agreement. But this summary contains the general, most popular ideas expressed by the members of the Heroes Round Table.