Academy Strategy

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Academy Strategy

Postby {CH}ArticleBot » Jul 20 2006, 9:49

ImageFor those of you who missed its original publication, the Academy strategy guide written by Sir Charles is now featured on Celestial Heavens, in two parts. Perhaps the weakest town in Heroes V, the Academy will require good player skills to win some games. Sir Charles analyzes the creatures, rates the heroes and explains how you can use the Artificer racial skill to get the most out of your troops.

There are more hints and tips for the game at The Genie's Lamp.












FACTION INFO
CREATURES STATISTICS
CREATURES ARTWORK


HERO
SKILLS
ABILITIES


ACADEMY HEROES
TOWN BUILDINGS
STRATEGY


Image

In the
previous Heroes games, the Wizard's town (Tower/Academy) was always a
town focused on magic-users and ranged attackers. Ubisoft has kept
that base quality intact in the latest incarnation of Heroes 5. Where
this town differs from the past is in some creature line-up changes
and most notably in the Wizard hero development. In this article I'll
attempt to dissect this town and provide some strategies and hero
development plans to assist newcomers to the game. Knowing me, the
key word in that sentence was "attempt". :O)

Before I get
into the guts of this article (hero development) let's take a minute
to do a quick review on the Academy town units, their strengths and
weaknesses, and how to best use them in combat.

Creatures

Level 1:
Gremlin


As
with most level one units, the Gremlin has very meager stats but an
excellent growth rate. Gremlins have a ranged attack that can assist
you early in the game with clearing out mines. Protect the Gremlins
as best you can because they will be the heart and soul of your army
for several weeks to come. Using the tried and true method of
"turtling" is still a very effective way of protecting your
archers. Gargoyles and Golems make excellent "shells" for
your turtle. But without any noticeable uses other than ranged
attacks, upgrading the Gremlins is a very high priority. Do so as
soon as possible.

Level 1
Upgrade: Master Gremlin


The
Master Gremlin is a huge improvement over the basic unit. While the
statistical changes are modest at best, it's in the unit abilities
that this unit really shines. MG's gain the "repair"
ability. This allows the MG's to rebuild destroyed war machines
during combat and to rebuild killed golems during combat, essentially
resurrecting them. Once you acquire Master Gremlins, you should have
very little trouble clearing out your immediate vicinity simply by
going into combat with just MG's and golems, surrounding your MG's
and firing away. If you begin to lose any golems, just repair away
and start firing again. Enemy spell casters and enemy ranged units
will undoubtedly focus their attacks on the MG's however. This is the
reason the hero skills are so vitally important. But we'll get to
that soon enough.

Level 2:
Stone Gargoyle


I
can only hope that most people who read this have heard of the term
"cannon-fodder" before. Because that's a perfect
description of the Stone Gargoyle. With virtually no attacking
capabilities what-so-ever, very low hit points and defense, the
options for using these units is limited at best. In general, their
best use is in either blocking enemy ranged units, thus protecting
the Master Gremlins from attack, or in attacking melee units in order
to soak up their initial retaliation strike. Other than that, I'd
suggest either leaving them at home to let them accumulate or just
sacrifice them in order to preserve your more vital troops. Namely
the Gremlins and Golems. Gargoyles do, however, come with the enraged
ability that increases their stats when an ally is killed. So
breaking off a few single gargoyles and sacrificing them in order to
bump up the stats of the main gargoyle force is a viable strategy.

Level 2
Upgrade: Obsidian Gargoyle


The
Obsidian Gargoyle is a slight upgrade on a very poor unit. The
upgrade has only slightly more usefulness than the regular Stone
Gargoyle. This comes mainly from the full elemental immunities.
Archdruids are rather nasty opponents for the Master Gremlins, so
leave them (and the golems) out of the battle and just take them on
with the Obsidian Gargoyles and your hero's spells. Its a rather
surprisingly effective way of handling an otherwise difficult
opponent.

Level 3:
Iron Golem


Iron
Golems, and their more colorful upgrades, will provide all the muscle
you could want out of a tanking unit. Like all previous incarnations
of Golems in past Heroes games, this one is also a heavily armored
tank that moves like a slug. But when his best use is protecting the
MG's, speed isn't that much of an issue. However, when facing enemy
spell casters or ranged attackers you'll want to get your golems
across the battlefield as quickly as possible. Haste, or even better
teleport, will be the perfect solution to not losing a ton of MG's to
these foes. Loss of golems isn't a concern due to the repair ability
of the MG's. Preserving the MG's is your prime concern.

Level 3
Upgrade: Steel Golem


Ahhhh...Steel
Golems. What's not to like about these beauties? Their speed? Okay,
there's one flaw. But it's totally compensated for by their great
attributes. With a decent size stack of Steel Golems and Master
Gremlins you'll be able to take on such foes as Dragon Utopias if
played correctly. Large attackers, like hydras, griffins, wraiths,
etc...will fall like you won't believe to this combination. With
unlimited retaliations, all you'll ever have to do with Steel Golems
is defend and repair them with the MG's. Rinse and repeat. The
occasional haste, divine strength, endurance or righteous might
thrown in certainly won't hurt things. I'll delve into strategies
against particular enemies later on though.

Level 4:
Mage


Mages
are both a blessing and a curse until you learn the tricks to using
them effectively. First off, they have a limited selection of spells
to choose from. Fist of Wrath and Cleansing. Secondly, they have a
ranged attack that kills everything in it's line of sight, including
friendly units. Hence...the curse. Due to their fragile nature,
you'll definitely want to surround these old men with Golems. But
attacking will undoubtedly kill some (quite possibly all) of your
protecting units. Therefore, the strategy with this unit is to have
your Mages and MG's standing side-by-side and surround both units
completely with Golems. While the enemy is at a distance, use your
spells from your mages and your ranged attacks from the MG's. Once
you're out of mana, start shooting with your mages and STOP shooting
with your MG's. The Master Gremlin's main task now is to repair the
Golems that the mages have killed. Once we get some different units,
these strategies will change quite a bit though.

Level 4
Upgrade: Archmage


The
upgrade into the Archmage grants quite a few improvements. Most
noticeably is the nice bump to the hit points. They'll still need
protection however. Second is the vast improvement in the spell
selection. Added to Fist of Wrath and Cleansing is both Righteous
Might and Fireball. While fireball is very tempting, you'll be
pleasantly surprised at how much difference Righteous Might makes on
your MG's and your Steel Golems. The 3rd change is the addition of
the Energy Channel ability. Anything that lessens the costs of the
hero's spells is always welcome.

Level 5:
Djinn


My
beloved Genie was scrapped in favor of this out-of-proportion
monstrosity. But I digress. :O) Sadly, the Djinn is extremely hobbled
by the lack of sufficient hit points. Usually one or two strikes by
the enemy is enough to take out an entire stack of Djinns. That
doesn't mean they're not worth having though. With excellent attack
damage and random spell casting abilities they can certainly help
out. But anything to boost their defense and hit points is certainly
advisable. Leaving these at home until they grow into a decent sized
force is highly recommended though.

Level 5
Upgrade: Djinn Sultan


With
a slight increase to both defense and hit points, the Djinn Sultan is
a bit more durable than the lackluster Djinn. While they still
maintain some excellent attack numbers (and the best speed/initiative
for all of the Academy troops) you'll still see them dropping like
flies unfortunately. Endurance will help considerably as will deflect
missile. However, trying to keep the Sultans alive without the
assistance of magic is nearly impossible. Again, leave these at home
until you got a large number of them. They're simply too expensive to
waste in small battles. Once you get Expert Artificer and a decent
stash of resources, things will change rather quickly with this unit
though.

Level 6:
Rakshasa Rani


Excellent
stats but with a price tag to equal it. If you decide to start
purchasing these cool cats, be prepared to protect them with spells
or even better with Artificer. Poor initiative and speed hamper this
unit. But the "no enemy retaliation" ability is a great
asset. Use with care.

Level 6
Upgrade: Rakshasa Raja


Like
their female cousins, the Raja is a great offensive force but
shackled with an equally offensive price. Gaining the ability "Dash",
the Raja can forego his turn to Dash, thus greatly increasing his
initiative for the duration of combat. This vastly improves the
usefulness of the Raja. However, they're still quite vulnerable to
direct-damage spells and their lack of speed still hurts them. Again,
Artificer comes to the rescue. But we'll delve into that later. :O)

Level 7:
Colossus


Unbelievable
stats come at a price. 3500 gold + 1 gem to be precise. That's not
chump-change. So once you start purchasing these giants, make sure
you can protect them. With Light Magic being a focal point for the
Academy's Mage Guild, waiting until you've acquired expert Light and
Resurrection isn't a bad idea. But so is waiting for the upgrade.
Lack of any spells or ranged attacks makes the Colossus a glorified
tank. A fantastic tank, but a tank none-the-less. The only
disappointment for this Genie is the decision by Ubisoft to scrap
their movement animation. In the early versions of the game, every
step the Colossus took would shake the entire battlefield screen. A
sad loss.

Level 7
Upgrade: Titan


The
pinnacle of Academy prowess. The Titan has VERY few flaws. The only
weakness they possess is a vulnerability to direct damage spells.
Therefore magic resistance is very important. The premier ranged
attacker in the game needs very little in terms of protection or
buffs. But having a few certainly won't hurt. With their great
attack/defense/hit points, sending them into melee isn't a bad idea
either. To be brutally honest, there's very little you could do wrong
with the Titan. They're a wrecking crew all by themselves. Once you
acquire them...bring them with you. Period.

Heroes

All Wizards
begin with Basic Artificer automatically, they also begin with 0
attack, 0 defense, 2 spell power and 3 knowledge. Their main focus is
in knowledge and their Mage Guilds are guaranteed to contain Light
and Summoning spells. Spell power will come to a Wizard, but it will
lag behind knowledge by a considerable margin most often. Attack and
Defense are hard to come by. Take it any way you can get it. Enough
of the basics, on to the heroes!

Faiz:
Disrupter

Vulnerability
spell not only lowers defenses but it also causes damage. It's quite
easy to succeed with this hero, but unfortunately it's not a sure
thing to get multiple Dark Magic spells. With a bit of luck though,
he can really be a force to recon with.

Galib:
Spell Twister

Starts
with Magic Mirror and Luck. While it's certainly a nice starting set,
the spell twister special is what really makes this hero shine.
Normally the Magic Mirror ability sends a spell to a random target
when it triggers. But Galib sends it to an enemy target much more
often. Plus with Luck as a starting skill, taking Soldier's Luck will
trigger it much more often.

Havez:
Gremlin Master

Begins
with War Machine skill and all 3 war machines...and 3 stacks of
Gremlins. This Genie's choice as best main Wizard hero. A high level
Havez makes Master Gremlins VERY potent.

Jhora:
Windspeaker

Starting
skills of Sorcery and Arcane Training somewhat hamper the great
specialty. 1/2 % bonus per level to her initiative is a very useful
special. Sorcery however is somewhat wasted on a Wizard. See the
Skill section for more details.

Narxes:
Mentor

Boosting
the Mages is a nice special, but the starting skill set of
Enlightenment and Intelligence does not lead to a solid main hero.
But under the right circumstances Narxes can be very successful.

Nathir:
Flame Wielder

Very
effective main hero. The 50% defense reduction of fireball is lethal
is orchestrated correctly. However, this set up usually means leaving
off either War Machines or Logistics. To realize his true potential,
you'll need to focus your efforts into increasing his spell power
though.

Nur:
Mystic

Mana
Regeneration specialty, Sorcery and Mana Regeneration starting skill
set. Secondary hero at best.

Razzak:
Golem Crafter

If
you can manage to get Logistics, Recruitment and maybe even Estates
on Razzak, then he's the Academy's best garrison commander. He's
still a nice week one hire though. With 3 starting stacks of Golems,
they mesh nicely with Havez's starting Gremlin group.

Racial
Skill: Artificer


Upon initial
examination, Artificer looks to pale in comparison to some of the
other faction's Racial Skills. But once you delve into the beauty of
this skill, you'll come to appreciate all that it has to offer.
Artificer basically allows the hero to create artifacts for the
specific use of individual Academy troops once the Arcane Forge
building is constructed. These artifacts cost considerable amounts of
resources and the power of the artifacts depends solely on the
Knowledge skill of the crafting hero. Higher levels of the Artificer
skill allow for additional attributes to be added on to the crafted
artifacts. These artifacts will become crucial to the success of the
Academy faction as we'll discuss later. For now, let's discuss the
complexities of the Artificer skill.

Basic
Artificer
: Allows creation of level 1 artifacts.
Level 1 artifacts can have one attribute crafted onto them.

Advanced
Artificer
: Allows creation of level 2 artifacts.
Level 2 artifacts can have 2 attributes crafted onto them.

Expert
Artificer
: Allows creation of level 3 artifacts.
Level 3 artifacts can have 3 attributes crafted onto them.

Ultimate
Artificer
: Reduces the resource costs of crafting
artifacts by half. (this is currently not working properly though)

Just looking
at this, you might think it's a good idea to wait until you max out
the Artificer skill before you begin to craft artifacts. But you'd be
wrong. Because not only can you create artifacts, but you can destroy
them as well. After removing them from the creatures at the Arcane
Forge, you can choose to destroy them and gain back the resources you
used to initially craft them. Therefore you lose nothing in this
process. So once you've got the Arcane Forge built...start crafting.
But now comes the big question. What do I make?

Artifacts
can be imbued with 9 different attributes (with a maximum of 3 per
artifact). The actual stat of these attributes is determined by the
hero's Knowledge skill. So if you have any artifacts on your hero
that increase your knowledge, make sure you've got them equipped
before crafting.


Each of
these attributes are linked to a pair of resources. Below is a basic
list of what attributes cost what.





Attack



+ to attack stat



Ore



Crystals





Crushing



- to enemy defense per hit



Ore



Sulfur





Defense



+ to defense stat



Wood



Crystals





Health



+ to hit points



Wood



Gems





Initiative



+ % to initiative



Sulfur



Mercury





Luck



+ to luck stat



Wood



Crystals





Magic Resistance



+ % to resistance



Wood



Gems





Morale



+ to morale stat



Ore



Sulfur





Speed



+ to speed stat



Ore



Mercury





As I stated earlier,
you can have a maximum of 3 of these attributes crafted onto one
artifact. The order in which you add them determine the final cost of
the artifact however. The first level, or slot, on the crafting
screen will cost 5 of each of the 2 selected resources. Level 2 costs
10 of each resource, and level 3 costs 15 each. For
example...crafting a level 3 artifact with attack, then defense, then
speed will cost you...

(5
ore + 5 crystal) + (10 wood + 10 crystal) + (15 ore + 15 mercury)

for
a total of 20 ore, 10 wood, 15 crystal, 15 mercury

But if we change the
order in which you craft it to Speed, then attack, then defense, it
will cost you something different...

(5
ore + 5 mercury) + (10 ore + 10 crystal) + (15 wood + 15 crystal)

for
a total of 15 ore, 15 wood, 25 crystal, 5 mercury

So determining the
order in which you craft it will depend completely on how many of
each resources you have at the time. Just don't worry about making a
mistake because you can always destroy the artifact and start over at
no additional cost. As for just what the bonuses would be...





Knowledge

Stat
»








3



5



10



15



20







Comments









Attack



+1



+2



+3



+4



+6



Increases by 1 for every 4 knowledge points





Crushing



-1



-1



-1



-2



-2



Deducts enemy defense by 1 for every 15
knowledge points





Defense



+1



+2



+3



+4



+6



Increases by 1 for every 4 knowledge points





Health



+1



+2



+3



+4



+5



Increases by 1 for every 5 knowledge points





Initiative



+3



+5



+10



+15



+20



Percentage increase is equal to knowledge points





Luck



+1



+1



+2



+2



+3



Increases at 10 and 16 knowledge





Mag. Res



+19



+29



+47



+58



+66



Not verified, but believed to be a max. of 75%
resistance.





Morale



+1



+1



+2



+2



+3



Increases at 10 and 16 knowledge





Speed



+1



+1



+1



+2



+2



ImageExtremely valuable boost for Rakshasa's





Here are some
suggestions for things to shoot for with particular artifacts based
on creature stats and needs.

Master
Gremlins
: Magic Resistance, Initiative, Health

(This
will help protect them from spells and ranged attacks while allowing
them to repair more often.)

Obsidian
Gargoyles
: Attack, Defense, Speed

(Makes
them a more formidable force on the battlefield and lets them cross
the field in one move.)

Steel
Golems
: Defense, Crushing, Health

(Increases
durability and with unlimited retaliations...crushing has a huge
impact)

Archmagi:
Defense, Health, Magic Resistance

(Durability,
durability and a bit more durability *grin*)

Djinn
Sultans
: Defense, Health, Magic Resistance

(A
bit redundant, isn't it. Durability is by far the biggest weakness of
the Djinns)

Rakshasa
Rajas
: Initiative, Magic Resistance, Speed

(Resistance
solves their one weakness, while speed/initiative allows you to cross
the field on turn one instead of Dashing for a turn)

Titans:
Luck, Morale, Magic Resistance

(Resistance
helps with durability, while the others just enhance the unit
considerably)

With a hero
with a high Knowledge skill, these changes will give you the most
powerful units in the game as a whole. As your hero develops higher
and higher knowledge, feel free to crush your previous artifacts and
re-build the exact same one with higher bonuses and at the same
original cost.

Now that most
of the basics are out of the way, let's get into the [url=http://www.celestialheavens.com/580]guts of the
guide[/url]...




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