Finally getting serious with Heroes V

The new Heroes games produced by Ubisoft. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jul 7 2009, 23:28

Elias_Maluco wrote:I used to think Summoning was the worst until I saw what a Phoenix can do when you got 35 spellpower: it really kicks ass and has an enormous amount of HP. And plays fast, unlike elementals. Dont know if would still be usefull in a MP game though, in MP Dark and Light would probably be more effective.


Summoning is great against the AI. Especially blocking spells like blade barrier and the wasp thing can cripple a computer opponent and help win against insane odds. But not against a human opponent.
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Banedon
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Postby Banedon » Jul 9 2009, 1:22

@wimfrits - high SpellPower + Summoning = powerful Phoenix. You can get by with low SpellPower + Light or Dark better because even with low SpellPower the mass spells are all very powerful. Sure you use Divine Vengeance / Puppet Master etc worse, but you've still got lots of nice spells to use. With Summoning, it's either Conjure Phoenix or Raise Dead (or Arcane Armor), so you need high SpellPower, but if you do get high SpellPower the Phoenix is sweet.

I can't say much more without more extensive MP experience though; right now all I'm playing are arena matches.

@haloswift - Fortress creeping is bad. Well at least I think it's bad. Crippling Wound doesn't always trigger. Defenders are OK for tanking ranged creatures while the hero kills them. Bear Riders can't cross the battlefield in a round so they'll take some damage vs. ranged creatures and any walker sturdy enough to absorb some hits while still retaliating. Rune of Charge is a great help, too.

One of my brothers tells me that to creep with Fortress all you got to do is learn Soldier's Luck, and then Paw Strike will trigger constantly so you can easily flatten any melee creature, while Rune of Charge takes out ranged creatures. Don't know about that since I don't play enough Fortress, guess I'll wait for the real thing and see (probably takes ~3 weeks before I seriously play a MP game).
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wimfrits
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Postby wimfrits » Jul 9 2009, 8:57

Banedon wrote:@wimfrits - high SpellPower + Summoning = powerful Phoenix.


High SpellPower + Dark Magic = higher initiative Puppet. A killer Divine Vengeance. More effective Vampirism, much needed boost to Blind. So I just don't see why SpellPower combines better with Summoning than with Dark or Light.

Dark and Light work well with low spellpower, but that does not mean high spellpower is wasted on them.
I'd say high spellpower is wasted on Summoning, as it's key spells are blade barrier, phantom forces and arcane crystal or the hive thing; which all require zero spellpower ;)
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Postby Derek » Jul 9 2009, 16:23

Banedon: You said you played on Heroic? That could possibly be the reason you think Fortress creeping is bad. On Expert, even with the diminished resources, rune of charge basically is a "win" button against creeps. You could probably take a horde of Arcane Archers in week one...and somehow that is sad.



In any case, I played a good MP map the other day against a friend. I've come to the conclusion that the Stronghold is an awful town: the opponent can spam curses(in this case Puppet Master) and it's good game for the Barbarians. Even aside from Dark Magic, they have no effective answer for the innumerable spells enemies have(haste, divine power, endurance--and God knows the Warlock will destroy you). This is sad, because they are a fun town to play as(and they creep quite well).
Hell has frozen over...

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Postby Mirez » Jul 9 2009, 18:07

Banedon wrote:@haloswift - Fortress creeping is bad. Well at least I think it's bad. Crippling Wound doesn't always trigger. Defenders are OK for tanking ranged creatures while the hero kills them. Bear Riders can't cross the battlefield in a round so they'll take some damage vs. ranged creatures and any walker sturdy enough to absorb some hits while still retaliating. Rune of Charge is a great help, too.

One of my brothers tells me that to creep with Fortress all you got to do is learn Soldier's Luck, and then Paw Strike will trigger constantly so you can easily flatten any melee creature, while Rune of Charge takes out ranged creatures. Don't know about that since I don't play enough Fortress, guess I'll wait for the real thing and see (probably takes ~3 weeks before I seriously play a MP game).

Yes I forgot to add soldiers luck to that list, with soldiers luck cripling wound triggers quite a lot.
Bear riders CAN cross the field using rune of charge, and like you said soldiers luck + bear riders is really strong
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby Banedon » Jul 11 2009, 13:04

Good points wimfrits. I'll give it a go, although I should say one of the last arena battles I fought my brothers in was Necro vs. Haven. I did what you suggested and learned only Dark Magic, then was unceremoniously thrashed by Magical Immunity. Of course it's arguable too that I was unlucky with Frenzy and Vampirism as my last-level spells ... but then if I don't learn Dark, I have to go with Summoning.

@Derek - horde of Arcane Archers in week one, I don't think that's doable unless you cripple the rest of your creeping. The Arcane Archers might play first, and even if they don't, they're still upgraded level 3 creatures vs. your level 3 creatures. Their melee attacks will take a toll. Possibly too heavy a toll. I wouldn't suggest it.

With Stronghold, Shatter Dark is essential against any race that will have Dark Magic up its sleeve - Inferno and Necro definitely, and to a lesser extent (but I'd still recommend it), Academy. If you're really worried you can load up on antimagic skills as well, such as Magic Resistance and Luck of the Barbarian. Light Magic works very well against Stronghold, but you've also got to look at Stronghold's strengths. So long as they have rage, their creatures are really strong; they can stand toe to toe vs. a Light-Magic-buffed army.

Next time you try Stronghold, I suggest the following. They're some preliminary conclusions I drew from my Arena experience, but should carry over to real games reasonably well.

Whatever hero you want - I like Garuna because she scales well late-game, but then my only recent experience with Stronghold is from the Arena where you instant-level to level 15 and so bypass early-game. You might need a different hero to survive early-game.
Goblin Witch Doctors (for big damage with Garuna's special - attack 40 Goblins are nothing to laugh at! Can also use to counterspell the other hero if you want)
Earth Daughters (these also deal some great damage)
Rest are up to you.

Skills you prioritize:

Battle Elation - absolute killer with high morale.
Retribution - even better killer with high morale.
Memory of our Blood - Stronghold depends on rage and this gives it, so definitely grab it.
The Shatters if your opponent will probably have the appropriate magic, eg. Shatter Destruction vs. a Dungeon player with Sinitar.
Luck, always good with might armies (+ Magic Resistance + Luck of the Barbarian if you think you'll need it).
Beyond that, build as might heroes do - Enlightenment is always good, Shout of Rage is great too but the chance of learning it isn't very high.

You can see Stronghold armies walking over otherwise fearsome foes because that's what they are when buffed, dealing huge damage and taking little in return. I remember this game where my Arcane Archers hit favoured enemy with good luck, and rage absorbs 113xx points of damage ...
I'm a hypocrite because I suggested that all life is sacred and should not be wasted without good reason.

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Postby Mirez » Jul 11 2009, 14:05

if you use battle elation en retribution (which you should definitely do with stronghold) you want to get leadership as well
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby Banedon » Jul 11 2009, 14:11

Can't get Battle Elation without first learning Leadership 8|
I'm a hypocrite because I suggested that all life is sacred and should not be wasted without good reason.

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Postby Mirez » Jul 11 2009, 16:08

right, stupid comment on my side, thought it was part of attack as well
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby wimfrits » Jul 11 2009, 17:50

Banedon wrote:I did what you suggested and learned only Dark Magic, then was unceremoniously thrashed by Magical Immunity. Of course it's arguable too that I was unlucky with Frenzy and Vampirism as my last-level spells ... but then if I don't learn Dark, I have to go with Summoning.


Ouch. Worst case scenario with Dark is against Light when the opposing hero has a bit of luck in timing. Sorcery helps, as a might oriented hero is less likely to have that skill.
Frenzy is probably the best for its level btw. Vampirism on wraiths or dragons in the second or third round can be pretty good.
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Postby Orfinn » Aug 1 2009, 13:22

The whole game should be modified, in stats I mean, nerf the Haven, boost necros with alot cheaper troops etc, give demons a higher chance for getting defense pluss cost cut in sulfur, mercury on buildings, not sure about the dwarves, they are though, maybe boost some of their unique damage boosting skills/abilities.

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Postby parcaleste » Aug 2 2009, 5:58

Only problem I find with Stronghold is on big maps with BIG armies (not ot say huge). They can be great for a final battle (and whipe your ass), but the LACK of Resurrection or something is killing them big time. Fear My Roar is cool, but it doesn't help you when 100+ Black Dragons hit your stack with Cyclops (or whatever). This is definitely a huge, huge problem with them, otherwise I love playing with them. Their Ultimate is just repulsively painful.

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Postby Banedon » Aug 4 2009, 0:11

parcaleste wrote:Only problem I find with Stronghold is on big maps with BIG armies (not ot say huge). They can be great for a final battle (and whipe your ass), but the LACK of Resurrection or something is killing them big time. Fear My Roar is cool, but it doesn't help you when 100+ Black Dragons hit your stack with Cyclops (or whatever). This is definitely a huge, huge problem with them, otherwise I love playing with them. Their Ultimate is just repulsively painful.


It's almost impossible to deal with Stronghold late-game unless you have Dark Magic - don't let the game that far, or they will slaughter you ...
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Postby vicheron » Aug 4 2009, 10:53

You can use war cries to negate the most powerful Dark Magic spells. Fear My Roar pretty much neutralizes Frenzy and Puppet Master. Word of the Chief neutralizes Blind.

Fortress creeping is surprisingly good because Shield Guards are so durable. You can have just one stack of Shield Guards and have your hero do most of the damage. If you keep moving your Shield Guards, then you'll take less damage due to their shield wall ability.

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Postby Mirez » Aug 4 2009, 13:31

shield guards can hardly move, you won't get much out of that shield wall, I prefer mountain guards and their stand ground ability (11 defence ftw)
treants are dendrosexual 0_o

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Postby parcaleste » Aug 4 2009, 22:06

Banedon wrote:
parcaleste wrote:Only problem I find with Stronghold is on big maps with BIG armies (not ot say huge). They can be great for a final battle (and whipe your ass), but the LACK of Resurrection or something is killing them big time. Fear My Roar is cool, but it doesn't help you when 100+ Black Dragons hit your stack with Cyclops (or whatever). This is definitely a huge, huge problem with them, otherwise I love playing with them. Their Ultimate is just repulsively painful.


It's almost impossible to deal with Stronghold late-game unless you have Dark Magic - don't let the game that far, or they will slaughter you ...


I am not speaking about that. Some, let's say, mandatory battles (let's say Garrison ones) you can not win without the prize of a high loses, loses you can not compensate with Resurrection or whatever, cause simply you do not have some sort like this (even with that Ring that gives your Tent +200 HP). You will be simple crippled and whiped out after that.

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Postby vicheron » Aug 4 2009, 23:16

haloswift wrote:shield guards can hardly move, you won't get much out of that shield wall, I prefer mountain guards and their stand ground ability (11 defence ftw)


Shield Guards have an initiative of 9, which means that they should be able to move at least once for every two time the enemy moves. Shield Wall reduces damage by 10% for every tile the attacker moves. A Shield Guard can move 4 tiles so an attacker that chases them will do 40% less damage. That single reduction makes up for the extra damage the attacker will do in its second attack.

A Black Dragon attacking Mountain Guards with Stand Ground will do an average of 112 damage. A Black Dragon moving 4 tiles to attack a Shield Guard will do an average of 78 damage. On the second attack, the Black Dragon will do 129 damage. The Black Dragon will do 17 less damage in its two attacks against the Shield Guard than the two attacks against the Mountain Guard. Also, since the Black Dragon will kill fewer Shield Guards in its initial attacks, it'll suffer more damage in the retaliation attack.

The Shield Guard's Shield Wall ability is even more powerful against creatures that can move across the entire map in one turn. A Black Dragon is likely to move more than 4 tiles to get to the Shield Guard, which means that they'll take even less damage. Most factions would hate it if they find essential mines guarded by Blood Furies or Hellhounds in early game but Shield Guardians will barely take any damage from them.

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Postby Banedon » Aug 10 2009, 10:21

wimfrits wrote:Don't focus too much on thanes then :)
They're good for creeping and harassing but are not the key damage dealers. Magma dragons and, if they're not targeted early on, berserkers.


Lol ... the long-awaited game I was going to play lasted all for 3 turns before me and my opponents decided we had better things to do. :D Looks like it'll take a while before we finish, if we finish at all.

Anyway. We played several games using the Random Tactical Arena, and I've got to say the Berserkers are just, eh. They're nice to look at, but they die incredibly fast. 70+ Berserkers go BEEEEERRRRSSEEEERRRKKKK!! and whomp one enemy unit, but one turn later ~60 of them just plain die. 0 defense ftw. They'd be all dead if the opposing hero didn't think they were too few to warrant spending anymore firepower. That's my conclusion of them: if you don't Berserk, they'll live a while, but in that time they aren't dealing damage. On the other hand, if you do Berserk, you attract aggro the same way honey attracts bees ... and you die.

As for the Magma Dragons ... well first they can't be DragonFormed, then they're pretty slow, and what was even funnier was when Kragh moved first and hit an Excruciating Strike that halved their numbers. Lol! Suddenly there simply aren't any units in the Fortress navy to deal damage with, and how do you win battles without damage?

I did say I wouldn't comment on Fortress until I played a serious game, but the serious game not only being so low on the priority list, it doesn't even include Fortress (right now it's Sylvan vs. Stronghold vs. Dungeon). It looks increasingly unlikely I'll change my mind on Fortress for a while longer. Sorry wimfrits, I can't convince you either without a replay ;|

Anyway to rank the towns now ... in my opinion:

1. Haven - noticably the strongest race, their units are extremely effective. Their heroes are extremely effective as well, and their magic, etc. Just about everything about them is extremely effective.
2. Sylvan - slightly less powerful than Haven, but still really strong. Their creatures are not as well-rounded, but they still have a great arsenal of nifty tricks to play with (e.g. Silver Unicorn Magic Resistance aura), and they have multiple competent damage dealers.
3. Dungeon - the amount of magic damage they can pump out is hideous even if you get magic resistance, although an artifact like the Shield of Crystal Ice can be a real problem. To go with their awesome magic damage they have a fair assortment of creatures as well.
4. Stronghold - lots of damage if / when they get close. Their creatures are decent enough, but rather low on versatility. They are only going to win by closing the distance and bashing the other guy into oblivion, so you know what to expect.
5. Academy - a weaker cousin to Dungeon, they have more finesse but less power, so much less that I usually feel rather weak when I play them. Possibly it might be because I don't really understand how to use Artificier; each time I try to create a strong stack of creatures the creatures just die anyway ...
6,7,8. Fortress, Inferno and Necropolis, in any order. All three are bad. I think which is worse depends on the map. Without some major reinforcements from the map Necropolis has no chance. With sufficient numbers they can stand their ground, although I still doubt they can stand toe-to-toe with a full-fledged Sylvan army for example unless they get huge (as in HUGE) bonuses from the map. Fortress and Inferno, one is stronger early-game and the other late-game, so depends on the map as well.

Disclaimer: these are just some conclusions I've drawn from my games both against the AI and against my two brothers! Your experiences may differ!
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Postby EvilNed » Aug 10 2009, 12:10

I like how everybody has different opinions on different towns. It's just interesting. I have no idea which are the strongest, but I definetly do not think Necropolis or Fortress are among the weakest. That "Double Speed" rune that you get early on as Fortress is really a godsaver and one hell of a bonus for your assaults. I use it on everything if I'm on the offensive, and I get first strike on everyone.

As for Necropolis, I find that going for Warmachines and then First Aid tent, and then getting Dark Magic is just kickass. Also if you get the Raise Dead spell you can maneuver yourself in battles with minimal losses. Awesome! Surely not the best race, but they do pack a whallop with the right spells.

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Postby wimfrits » Aug 10 2009, 15:03

Banedon wrote:Anyway. We played several games using the Random Tactical Arena, and I've got to say the Berserkers are just, eh. They're nice to look at, but they die incredibly fast. 70+ Berserkers go BEEEEERRRRSSEEEERRRKKKK!! and whomp one enemy unit, but one turn later ~60 of them just plain die. 0 defense ftw. They'd be all dead if the opposing hero didn't think they were too few to warrant spending anymore firepower.


Lol. That's tough.
Allowing the Berserkers to live doesn't seem a very smart move though. Against Fortress you simply can't allow crippled stacks to resurrect or be sorry afterwards.

I don't know how Fortress should win battles without damage :)
In the games I played Thanes tend to attract early damage. Not because they deal good damage, but because they are annoying and mess up the opponent's tactics. That leaves Berserkers and Magma Dragons a bit of breathing space, though Berserkers usually die early on as well. A good Berserker scenario btw would be with the Thanes providing cover for the Berserker attack.

Just wondering, but does the Random Tactical Arena provide a sufficient (unlimited) number of resources? Else any match against Fortress would be unrealistic.

I like your list btw. Though Fortress should be on top ofcourse. Then a very very big gap. And then Haven ;)
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