H2: Strongest faction for MP play

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Darmani
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H2: Strongest faction for MP play

Postby Darmani » Dec 20 2010, 1:25

This is a continuation of the discussion in http://www.celestialheavens.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8724 .

I definitely agree with Pollo that Barbarians have a strong advantage over Warlock in small maps. But I completely do not see any evidence for the Necro being "just so imbalanced that anything not necro shouldnt be talked about." Well, this is definitely the case in maps with legions of peasants, but not in general -- a more-realistic stack of 250 skeletons may decimate the AI, but by the time you get them, you'll likely be clashing with a human player who knows to target them first. Therefore, skeletons and Necromancy seem quite under control.

As for the rest of the faction, I don't see anything to make them overpowered. It's too hard to get Vampire Lords in sufficient numbers for them to be threatening, and the rest of the troops are quite mediocre. The only thing I see left is the Bone Dragon rush, though I would expect it to make less of a difference on larger maps. Certainly not enough to make up for not having Black Dragons.

Please, enlighten me.

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Postby Pollo2002 » Dec 20 2010, 5:37

Well I disagree about Skeletons, having huge numbers of skeletons is quite easy.

Its true that Mummys are mediocre, lich, too expensive, and zombies...well why they are there?.

Necro needs some punch to have things started (Reason they arent that great against barb rushes), but once they start, they can clean very easy with no loss basically everthing.
Once you have vampire lords you can have your army split into 2 heroes cleaning very fast with no loses generating skeletons. Bone dragons are cheap, and that means that pretty fast you can have a third hero cleaning with just bone dragons.

Necro can have relative fast create 2-3 (even 4) heroes that can clean without suffering loses and gather skeletons. You can easily generate a skeleton power that overpower black dragons

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Postby Darmani » Dec 20 2010, 8:39

That sounds quite dubious -- given that the Warlock will quite likely be making a beeline for enemy castles soon after acquiring Dragons.

I suppose it greatly depends on the map, but the plan you just described will take a large amount of time. For starters, there's the matter of it calling for multiple Heroes with higher levels of Necromancy to be effective, and for splitting your army and sending the heroes a good distance from their castle -- guaranteeing you will be in disarray when a determined opponent comes knocking.

On an XL map like Lost Continent, I can see this working, as any good aggressive strategy will require having multiple heroes that pack a punch, there is ample space between you and opponents, and you will acquire lots of towns and castles as a byproduct. On anything smaller, implementing the plan will quite likely involve going out of your way, and being insufficiently aggressive.

(Actually, if I was playing a 2-human game on Lost Continent and knew my opponent was planning that strategy, I would use a Sorceress as a main hero, and, after getting a week or two of Black Dragons, send her on a naval strike against my opponent's starting castle, even if it meant neglecting to defend my territory against the AIs. Of course, you can't do that on a general XL map.)

Furthermore, a while ago I concluded that it took many weeks worth of Vampire Lords for them to become truly effective (though, as a result, I haven't used them much since). I'm therefore further skeptical that this strategy could work without at least two Necro towns -- which is definitely not a given.

Perhaps I merely greatly underestimate how many neutrals lie by the wayside, since I place such an emphasis on attacking my opponents.

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Postby Pollo2002 » Dec 20 2010, 10:14

I would actually play you, if ti werent because heroes 2 gold, lags when i play and it becomes HIGHLY annoying, is like you are moving the cursor, it frezzes 2 seconds, then normal, then after 10 seconds, it freeze again for 2 seconds, and so on, it becomes super annoying.

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Postby Darmani » Dec 20 2010, 10:29

Yeah, that's a terrible problem. I've heard the suggestion of setting up the game with Hotseat on a virtual PC, and having multiple players remote connect in [with a gentleman's agreement not to look at what other players are doing]. Maybe I should figure out how to actually do that efficiently (or figure out how to hack the native online play and make it more stable -- only slightly farfetched).

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Postby LarvaExotech » Feb 27 2011, 11:28

I have beaten around 8 maps on impossible, some of them few times and I must say that Knight is the strongest faction in game.

It has very good shooters, which carefully defended can grow to large numbers late in game.

The swordmen and veteran pikemen are good units, fairly cheap, and upgraded they are crossing battlefield within two turns.

The upgraded cavlary always grants a knight first move (unless he's defending and enemy has phoenixes/champions) because they have ultra fast speed. Also upd. training grounds can be build on week 3 on impossible easly and you can give one champion for each of your scouts which means that they will have full bar of movement every turn without logistics!

The palainds is great unit, weak with his 65 hps but they grow +4/week, cost 1000 gold coins/unit and have double strike. There is NO unit in game that may match their offensive power (they have 4 attack less than Titans, but titans do 20-30 damage and crusader does 2x 10-20. Dragon does 25-50 but it has weaker attack and warlock heroes tend to have attack skill below 5 even on 20 level ;) ).

Those 65 hps are not that bad, to be honest, only spellcasters in early game are good vs paladins as every spellcasting wimp may kill 2-3 paladins using lighting.

But later on game, on 20 lvl knight hero has leadership expert which means you can be almost sure that one of your 5 units will have extra move during turn. Also 20 lvl knight has stats (w/o artifacts) around: 6-10 attack, 20+ defense, 5 spellpower, 5 knowledge. That 20+ defense makes those 65 hps paladins act like titans when it comes to survivality.

This is a FACT! In Price of Loyalty, with a 25 defense, three arrow towers shooting rangers cannot kill single one! 220 halflings cannot kill a signle 65 hp paladin without luck if hero has 25 defense!

My friend was fighting with lots of neutral titans, guarding some artifacts. He had good artifact set (almost all artifacts on "red" background, and those always give attack or defense), and stats ATK 15 / DEF 28 / SP 6 / KNO 10. The stack of 32 crusaders were battling stack of 20 titans

( crusaders = 2080 hp , titans = 6000 hp ), and friend had luck expert and leadership expert.

First turn he attacked with 60 champions and they have dealed around 250 damage points on titan, but took out retaliation (lost only 3 champions!) . And then he casted bless on paladins and went on 20 titans. (crusaders attacks twice) First shot killed three titans, second shot killed two more titans, and crusaders got morale. Again he killed two titans, and second hit was good luck one and killed 5 more titans. So 32 paladins killed 12 titans in a single turn, the veterans and swordmen were defending and 200+ rangers killed three more titans. So after first turn there were 5 titans left, which attacked paladins in melee, NOT EVEN KILLING ONE! The paladin retaliated killing two titans and on second turn, they were wiped out completely.

So 32 paladins which cost 12,000 gold + 30 crystal for build and then 32,000 gold for recruit which totals 44,000 gold + 30 crystal were bettern than titans which need 25,000 gold + 40 gems and then 100,000 gold + 40 gems for recruit.

So paladins wiped out titans, but paladins costed 44k gold and 30 crystals, titans costed 125k golf and 80 gems. The dragons are even more weaker.

The knight is the best city here, the second one is necro. Barbarian may feel good, but its wimp in reality as without knight tough def they are having many loses due to low vitality of units. Wizard is quite good but on impossible you can forget having even single titan before month 2. Warlock has good combo armageddon + dragons, but dragons have to be upgraded twice (green and red ones are wimps) and that cost a lot of suflur. The other units of warlock are weak - only one shooter and even with their 5 hps, they are dying around month 2 of battling with AI heroes and untill the rest of game you are without shooters. Gargoyles have some good def and good speed, ideal for slaying orcs and elves in week 1 (wow..). Griffins are quite good but they tend to die too easly when pushed into band of enemies. Minos are good army with good attack, but they are not that spectacular as in Heroes3.... Hydras are crap as having "very slow" unit in army means that you will barely have half of movement bar on adventure map every turn, and without teleport they are not very useful.

Or maybe wizard? They are much better than Warlock, but still weak...

Halflings is some good army but protecting them on combats is PAIN as sigle cold ray can kill many weeks of your carefully developed stack of halflings.

Boards are crappy as hell, 160 boars cannot kill single champion with a good hero... silly

The golems are quite powerful, even with their low speed (slow for upgraded ones), they are good army that can stand quite a punch (which a defense equalling paladin and better than cyclops/hydra one). They work great with teleport, as you can teleport them to block shooters and you dont have to worry that you will lose much of them.

Rocs is great unit, one of the best from wizard army, the only drawback is their "normal" speed which means they will move only before orcs, halflings and unupgraded archers... They have quite good hps and good damage, and they are possible to bought on first week on Impossible difficulty.

Archmages are good unit, but their growth is too small to make them useful later on. With their low hps and AI priorites, they will be targetted all the time until you have some titans, which always means huge losses. The dispel thing and no-melee pentalty is certainly good thing, but still its not that great unit (and you have to build guild level 1 and library in order to have white ones...).

Giants are wimps and titans are very good unit with good defense and having 6 lvl shooter means that your weaker shooters wont be targetted that often.

Still knight overruns everything, while barbarian being the worst.

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Postby Darmani » Feb 27 2011, 20:09

It's fairly obvious that the cheaper factions will have an easier time in Impossible difficulty, but I don't think it's right to base analyses solely off that. You seem to mainly be arguing that the Knight *hero* is the best. Players can just as easily play Warlock and recruit a Knight for their main hero (and very often do), so that's not particularly meaningful.

I agree with most of your analyses of units though (Paladins are my favorite Level 6) -- most of these opinions have already been expressed on this forum, and many are taken into consideration in the balance patch (e.g.: Boards have been buffed).

I have beaten around 8 maps on impossible, some of them few times a


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Postby dudejo » Mar 17 2011, 22:40

there's one thing i wonder.

how much of an advantage is the Undead status, with its pros and cons?

i've been looking at the Zombie unit and how equivalently priced units are so much better in straight combat.

makes me wonder why they were built this way.

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Postby Kalah » Mar 18 2011, 0:13

Well, undead are immune to all sorts of mind manipulation and morale, right?
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Postby dudejo » Mar 18 2011, 0:31

i know that

but does it compensate for the Zombie being so fragile and slow?

they don't have the speed for offense nor do they have the defense for castle duty.

every other unit worth 150 gold can pretty much kick their ass.

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Postby Metathron » Mar 18 2011, 0:43

Yeah, I think they're definitely the worst of the level 2 bunch.
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Postby dudejo » Mar 19 2011, 1:26

i tweaked the EXE and increased the Zombie's defense from 2 to 6.

the result is that they become cheaper alternatives to the Dwarf. Dwarves are straight-up better but against other Tier 2 units, it becomes a Rock-Paper-Scissors comparison.

Archers > Zombies > Boars > Archers.

the Mutant Zombie, with the same "upgrade", gets into a similar relationship in regards to the Rangers and Gargoyles. of course, they lose against Dwarves, as they should.

with this in mind, i believe i have succeeded in making Zombies actually good.

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Postby Lizzie_G » May 19 2011, 9:46

Kalah wrote:Well, undead are immune to all sorts of mind manipulation and morale, right?

Yeah, that's right:)

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » May 19 2011, 20:38

dudejo wrote:i tweaked the EXE and increased the Zombie's defense from 2 to 6.

the result is that they become cheaper alternatives to the Dwarf. Dwarves are straight-up better but against other Tier 2 units, it becomes a Rock-Paper-Scissors comparison.

Archers > Zombies > Boars > Archers.

the Mutant Zombie, with the same "upgrade", gets into a similar relationship in regards to the Rangers and Gargoyles. of course, they lose against Dwarves, as they should.

with this in mind, i believe i have succeeded in making Zombies actually good.



Keep in mind, ay major change to the units stats should always be accompanied with a tweaking of that unit's AI value. (the second, or is it third, byte). That value is used for AI vs AI calculaions, among other things that happen on the adventure maps with units when it autocalcs something or decides something

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Postby Anduran's Army » May 20 2011, 5:09

Right now I'm playing THUNK and I've eliminated Red and Yellow using only Knight troops. With Corribus's ridiculously high attack and defense skills (36 and 29) as well as large numbers of troops, that makes it a bit easier.


When I first started playing it was my favorite alignment because everyone but peasants can be upgraded. The Crusader's ability to do double damage against Necromancer troops is also a bonus.


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