Heroes 2 - problem winning the map "Revolution"

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UndeadHalfOrc
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Heroes 2 - problem winning the map "Revolution"

Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 7 2007, 14:50

Yes, I know, I do suck.

On that map you are Necromancer with 2 castles, against 5 computer players, all allied against you, all effectively starting with 3 towns (no castles). You start with Sandro and if he dies, you lose.

Instead of going for early bone dragons, I went for level 1-5 units on both castles at the same time.

I did extremely poorly. The computer kept sending heroes at me, and while I defeated them, they all lightning bolted my Liches and Vamps to bits.

Finally, the Warlock player sent his main hero with a huge stack of griffins and 8 spell power. Lost half my skeletons in round 1. I lost Sandro and thus lost the game.

Any tips? I'm thinking of restarting but this time, leaving 1 castle unbuilt and used only for cash flow, and concentrating on Bone dragons on the other castle.

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Postby Kristo » Sep 7 2007, 18:42

You know, I don't think I've ever won this one either. I like your new plan better - you don't have the economy to support two castles at once. At 5v1, you will definitely lose an attrition war, so your best bet is probably to take those early Bone Dragons and rush a computer player's home castle. If nothing else you could use it to bait the other AIs away from your castles in the center.

Keep us updated on how it goes. I'll make a point to try this one again.

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 7 2007, 19:14

I should also point out that I'm playing this with my "revised" HOMM2 (meaning, only 2 warlock dragons / titans per week w/well), and other minor changes. So going to conquer Warlock first isn't a necessity. :)
Warlock/Wizard players had no trouble annihilating me anyway without their top units.

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Postby Darmani » Sep 7 2007, 20:28

I know I've played this scenario at least once before, on Hard difficulty. The major problem is that you start on extremely rough terrain. I hesitated too long, and was defeated.

I then restarted, managed to defeat the Barbarian north of me early (he was a Builder, which meant less defending troops), and then went on to win the map with relative ease.

Remember, you get lots of skeletons, and skeletons are probably the best level 1 creature. Use that to your advantage.

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Postby Kristo » Sep 9 2007, 13:57

I played this map yesterday on Normal and won quite convincingly. I imagine the same strategy would work on at least Hard as well. I chose to build up the southern Necromancer castle and basically ignored the Northern one (I may have built a Skull pile in the first two weeks). My goals were Vampires by the end of week 1 and Bone Dragons by the end of week 2, both of which I made. You need at least one extra hero (preferably a Barbarian) to help pick up all the loose resources. Fight every wandering stack you can with Sandro. Treasure chests I mostly went with experience for the chance to improve Necromancy.

In early week 3, I sent Sandro south after Orange with an army of 4 Bone Dragons, 9 Vampire Lords, 7 Royal Mummies and 100+ Skeletons (I should've written this down). Modded game or not, the Orange Warlock has the most defensible position on the map. It was about this time that Yellow showed up. You have to resist the urge to send Sandro home at the first sign of trouble. You only lose if Sandro dies, so you can afford to let your home castles go temporarily. My Barbarian hero held down the fort (barely). Leaving the northern castle undefended made good bait for streams of weak Yellow heroes.

By middle of week 4, Orange was vanquished and I now had four castles and a town to my name. I went to work building a Black Tower in the western Warlock castle. I got the Green Tower built on day 7, and had it upgraded by the time Sandro reached it again (it's conveniently on the way home). I added 4 Black Dragons to Sandro's army and went looking for trouble. Yellow was the first to attack, so he was the first to go. Of course, that's when Red and Green came simultaneously. Fortunately, I now have 5 castles (upgraded the Warlock town) with 5 Statues and 3 Dungeons. I'm raking in money hand-over-fist. It was enough to keep my Barbarian supplied while Sandro was out conquering.

At this point, the game falls into a pretty regular pattern. Send Sandro to conquer somebody while your strong second hero defends the homeland. On Hard or above, the Purple Wizard would have been a much bigger threat. He also has a very defensible position, so it may be beneficial to preemptively strike him as well. And you can learn from my experience: if you conquer Yellow, head north and conquer Red immediately. I had Red heroes coming in behind me after I left Yellow's territory. Oh well. It wasted time but didn't change the outcome. Like I've said elsewhere, the AI can't resist undefended castles, and I don't bother defending anything. I play defense with heroes, not garrisons.

I should mention that I lost the northern Necromancer castle three times during the game. But my Barbarian was always in position to take it back the next day. It wasn't long before I had consolidated the eastern half of the map. The endgame was a three-pronged attack at Green and Purple. The Barbarian took Green, a third hero with 13 Black Dragons took Purple, and Sandro cleaned up any stragglers with his massive movement rate and Dimension Door.

Final score: 76 days, score 168.

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 9 2007, 20:53

Kristo, that was a great story, thanks for your input.

I played it again today, also on normal difficulty. It was a heck of a EPIC game. I won't be so long winded, but let's just say that at one point I had NO castles all my secondary heroes had been killed, but Sandro still had his killer starting army. I had to travel around the map, conquering then losing, for the first 3 months. When I got Dimension Door and the Wizard castles is when tables really started turning.

Here's my final hero and army. 500 skeletons more were raised but were left as garrison.

Image

I am disappointed with the Orange Warlock player. I saved him for last and left him alone for much of the game but he only had a few black dragons. The Purple Wizard put up a much nastier fight. Maybe if Orange didn't waste all his money pointlessly sending a million heroes to feed my monster undead army.

Final score 142 (Vampire)

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Postby Darmani » Sep 9 2007, 23:05

I've started this map on Expert difficulty at least three times since yesterday. This time I have a good chance of winning.

First thing to note is how much of a role luck (not the game mechanic; actual luck) played. One of the times I started, Orange left my Warlock town alone for a few days, which gave some much needed early income. Much of my success this game is due to my opponents being slower than usual to upgrade their towns into castles, and slower than usual to start sending heroes to attack me.

Try as I might, I could never be ready to launch an attack before Week 3. However, one big important lesson was not to attempt to wait around to hire all my available troops before launching an attack, and just going straight out and leaving some behind for defense. Another important factor was that I, feeling the nearest Red castle was too undeveloped, took a detour to capture a nearby gold mine guarded by cavalry.

Orange soon captured all of Red's former castles (and I think they might've changed hands between me and him a couple more times, or at least the eastern one did), but Red's defeat meant less free secondary resources being used against me. More importantly, Sandro became stronger and stronger - Expert Logistics and Pathfinding are ultra-must-haves in this map. I soon got Bone Dragons in both my castles (thanks to a little help from the enemy), and used them to conquer Yellow's castles. After a short chase into the snow, where I defeated a Yellow hero and got the much-desired Arcane Necklace and then recaptured a Barbarian castle for a while and defeated a strong Orange hero, I came back down, recaptured two Sorceress castles and vanquised Yellow. From there, I got Phoenixes and stronger magic, and then captured Orange's three Warlock castles, all of which had Hydras, and one of which had Black Dragons.

Meanwhile, Bone Dragons meant that I could start repelling strong attacks without Sandro. A major turning point in defending the homeland came when a strong enemy warlock, intimidated by my garrison, weakened himself on the Bone Dragons guarding the Witch's Brooch. I then sent him back to the hero pool, and was lucky enough to rehire him, giving myself a hero who could batter down the scores of Crusaders charging in with the limited troops available in that region.

I'm still far from having won, but, with a large and contiguous territory with heroes and troops strong enough to defend them, I can confidently say that I can win. All I need to do is keep loading and saving enough.

Edit: A little bit of critique. UndeadHalfOrc, your Sandro is carrying two artifacts that he definitely should not be (Bag of Gold, Seaman's Compass) and two others that he probably should not be either (Telescope, Book of Summoning [assuming you have no summoning spells]). It's best for him to give those to another hero in order to free up space for artifacts that will do a lot more to help him.

(Man, why did they get rid of H2's artifact system? The new system got rid of so many tradeoffs.)

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 10 2007, 0:32

Darmani wrote:Edit: A little bit of critique. UndeadHalfOrc, your Sandro is carrying two artifacts that he definitely should not be (Bag of Gold, Seaman's Compass) and two others that he probably should not be either (Telescope, Book of Summoning [assuming you have no summoning spells]). It's best for him to give those to another hero in order to free up space for artifacts that will do a lot more to help him.


Bag of Gold:
Sandro carried it with him since the start if the game and if he would have given it to a secondary hero, I would have lost it since I lost all my heroes midgame. I kinda forgot about that artifact later game. That bag artifact, as well as the lightning dmg-halving helmet (Lich saver) saved my ass midgame!
Compass: This gives mobility to LAND and sea :)
Telescope is great! I like seeing where I'm going.
Book of Summoning: Well, I got the "Set Earth Guardian spell". I thought the book worked on those too, does it? Anyway, it and the red cloak I got it so late that I kind of forgot about trading them to weak heroes.

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Postby Kristo » Sep 10 2007, 1:04

Yeah, I'm gonna have to go with UndeadHalfOrc on the artifact situation. He could do without the Fire Cloak, but everything else is quite useful on this map. Even the Telescope. I think I'm in the minority that likes Scouting. This map has lots of places for enemy heroes to hide, and that comes back to bite me a lot with my playing style. Anything that helps uncover the map is a boon.

I really enjoyed this map. I'll push the difficulty up to Hard next time I play it. This scenario shows off the great equalizing ability of the Necromancer against Warlock and Wizard. If you can survive long enough you'll have an unstoppable army, especially since the AI won't do anything magic-wise but cast Disrupting Ray on your legion of Skeletons. Crusaders are definitely dangerous, but it sounds like we've found that by the time Green gets into the picture the human player is too powerful. Victory is inevitable.

On a side note, would you guys be interested in a thread for posting After-Action Reports? I enjoy writing the summaries of how a particular game went (win or lose). We can all learn from each other's strategies this way. Plus, you get to see strategies play out on a grand scale rather than just a one-off tip.

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 10 2007, 1:15

Kristo wrote:I really enjoyed this map.


So did I, it definitely replaced Broken Alliance in my book (as far as single player goes.) I liked the claustrophobia of starting off completely surrounded by 15 allied enemy towns.

Kristo wrote:Crusaders are definitely dangerous, but it sounds like we've found that by the time Green gets into the picture the human player is too powerful. Victory is inevitable.


In my game, Green would have been a LOT more dangerous if he consolidated those crusaders on ONE hero. I must have killed at least 200+ crusaders/paladin total through the game but they were spread out to his heroes in packs of 12-15. :|

Kristo wrote:On a side note, would you guys be interested in a thread for posting After-Action Reports? I enjoy writing the summaries of how a particular game went (win or lose). We can all learn from each other's strategies this way. Plus, you get to see strategies play out on a grand scale rather than just a one-off tip.


Sure, great idea! But don't count on me being as long-winded as you :)
You can also do like I just did and Print screen a shot of your hero on yourt last save game.

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Postby Pitsu » Sep 10 2007, 7:03

Gave this map a (few) try(ies) yesterday. First on expert, but after learning a bit more about starting area and the fact that there are no starting resources anyway, went for impossible. :) Have not finished yet, but that is how it has went thus far.

Both yellow sorc and orange warlock started with lvl1 creatures only. Splitting town defenders allowed me to convincingly keep the sorc village and as a lucky surprise also warlock village for some more days. On day 4 I was 1000 gp short from building a castle and hiring defending hero to warlock. With better luck in treasure chests it would be possible. However, building a castle takes a lot of ore and wood, so it may have been bad idea anyway. Having left with only necropolises, got vamps on first week and dragons second week. Area is rich enough to support it. With vamps and dragons went down for orange warlock and elliminated him by the end of 4th week, like in Kristo's game in 5th post. At that time other nations showed up and had some fights. In summary managed to keep warlock towns (built green tower into one of them) and lost necropolises. Main starting town I actually gave up rather stupidly, but didn't bother to replay. Since wizards already had giants wanted to take them next. After several attempts found them too strong (in magic - rescurrect and dimension door). Took an older save and went from warlocks towards sorc first with the hope to get stronger forces and better magic before confronting purple. Sorc towns fell fast but yellow still exists due to having one of the necropolises. Barbarians are at the moment close to loosing their third town. Knights and necropolises are next targets. Knight area holds the ultimate artifact too. Sandros (conquering) army at the moment is 1 green dragon, 12 hydras about 100 skeletons + 5 cyclopes and 7 trolls from last barbarian town. :S two secondary, including a rehired lvl 10 enemy hero have collected a bit more troops, but using them for defense.
Hopefully can finish tonight.
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Postby grobblewobble » Sep 10 2007, 9:52

A long time ago since I last played that map, it was a fun map. So this morning I did a replay.

I finished in 42 days on impossible, for a rating of 300 exactly.

The first week was the hardest, I struggled very hard to get the first laboratory up before day 7. After a restart or two I managed it. Next I got lucky on day 9, because an army of 9 power lichs decided to join! :-D

So I took on the barbarians to the north first. They could hardly defend against my army of 4 dragons and 9 power lichs. Unlike usual, I did *not* choose necromancy on the first level-ups of Sandro, but chose pathfinding and logistics (yum!) instead.

Next Sandro went for the sorceress to the east. It turned out there was still an enemy hero left to the north, but I didn't mind and just kept conquering more and more castles, letting Sandro rotate the map clockwise. Some castles were captured back, but the AI had taken plenty of damage, missing a lot of income and tempo, so I didn't mind.

Next step was to create a second strong army and hero. This was a barbarian, who got all the sorceress troops from my new castles.

The rest of the game followed the same pattern. Never relent, always conquering castles and not worrying too much about defense. The best defense is a good offense, after all.

edit, one final remark: I hardly bother with flagging mines or grabbing resources after the first two weeks. Especially with the main heroes, they can't be bothered to do anything but rallying the next enemy town or hero, not even to flag a gold mine.

edit:
Any tips? I'm thinking of restarting but this time, leaving 1 castle unbuilt and used only for cash flow, and concentrating on Bone dragons on the other castle.

My advice is to concentrate on bone dragons for both castles. I managed to build the first lab in week 1 and the second in week 2 on impossible, so it's certainly doable to do the same on easier difficulty. Having many bone dragons early on is the key to victory. Skip pyramids/vampires entirely, if needed. I didnt buy a single mummy or vampire in the entire game, they are expensive units. And do not build mage guilds, let the enemy do that for you.

In early week 3, I sent Sandro south after Orange with an army of 4 Bone Dragons, 9 Vampire Lords, 7 Royal Mummies and 100+ Skeletons (I should've written this down).

Sorry if I'm picky, but this could have been 11 bone dragons, no vampire lords, no royal mummies and whatever skeletons. Which would you prefer?
Just trying to show my point. Apologies for being picky.

Expert Logistics and Pathfinding are ultra-must-haves in this map.

Completely agreeing. More important than necromancy, imo.

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Postby Kristo » Sep 10 2007, 14:27

grobblewobble wrote:
In early week 3, I sent Sandro south after Orange with an army of 4 Bone Dragons, 9 Vampire Lords, 7 Royal Mummies and 100+ Skeletons (I should've written this down).

Sorry if I'm picky, but this could have been 11 bone dragons, no vampire lords, no royal mummies and whatever skeletons. Which would you prefer?
Just trying to show my point. Apologies for being picky.

No apologies necessary. That's exactly why I want to start a thread for AARs. Now that you mention it, I recall my Royal Mummies being absolutely useless in battle. The Bone Dragons and Vampire Lords (whom I'd gladly trade in for more BDs) did all the work. Did you need to capture any of the nearby mines in order to get the Lab by day 7? I'll have to examine the starting area in the editor when I get home. From memory, your two castles will produce 15k in the first six days. IIRC, you need 14k just between Mausoleum and Lab.

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Postby grobblewobble » Sep 10 2007, 14:48

Did you need to capture any of the nearby mines in order to get the Lab by day 7?

Short answer: only the sulfur mine.

Long answer:
Sandro disbanded his zombies for more movement and went north, to flag the wood mine and grab the loose piles of mercury. On day two I hired a second hero. Second hero went after the sprites guarding the sulfur mine, killed them with magic arrows (this was the hardest fight in the entire game, I survived with just 1 boar). Third hero went east and grabbed the loose piles of crystal as well, second hero grabbed piles of gems. The gold was not a real problem, since you start out with two castles with statues.

From memory, your two castles will produce 15k in the first six days. IIRC, you need 14k just between Mausoleum and Lab.

This is why I recommend to take the gold from chests. Early expert necromancy is not that important.

I recall my Royal Mummies being absolutely useless in battle.

Royal mummies are very expensive if you consider their statistics and the fact they are walker units. But perhaps the real problem is that you already have skeletons, so another walker stack contributes very little.

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Postby UndeadHalfOrc » Sep 10 2007, 15:36

If anybody is interested, I have just made five versions of this map to play with the other 5 factions.
http://pages.infinit.net/plague/revolution.zip

On each map, Necro towns & heroes replaced one of the faction played by the CPU.

Some mines had to be re-arranged for balance.

Heroes were given their usual skill, + basic pathfinding. That means Expert Pathfinding for the Barbarian.
For the Sorceress version, I had her start with Adv. Wisdom and Basic Pathfinding (Navigation is worthless on that map).

Finally, since the northern Barbarian town is the one always "choosing" your good/evil alignment, you'll have to change menu settings to "Good" if playing Sorc/Knight/Wizard :)

These maps weren't play tested, so report any problems right here.

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Postby Kristo » Sep 10 2007, 17:36

grobblewobble wrote:Sandro disbanded his zombies for more movement and went north, to flag the wood mine and grab the loose piles of mercury. On day two I hired a second hero. Second hero went after the sprites guarding the sulfur mine, killed them with magic arrows (this was the hardest fight in the entire game, I survived with just 1 boar).

Ok, in that case I think I did just fine getting the Lab during the second week. Getting the Lab by day 7 depends on the availability of Magic Arrow and on the type of creature guarding the sulfur mine. I prefer not to restart if the conditions aren't perfect. Where I need to improve is not wasting money on creatures and magic on my way to getting the Lab. Oh, and taking gold from the chests. In my game I could've been well on my way to a second Lab by day 14 instead of just having completed the first one.

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Postby Darmani » Sep 10 2007, 23:57

Compass: This gives mobility to LAND and sea :)


Oops! I apologize. :(

Anyway, regarding mummies: I actually kinda like them. Ironically, my like of them mostly stems from their uselessness. Since mummies have decent HP, and are so much less valuable than Bone Dragons, Skeletons, and Vampire Lords, I like to use them to absorb Lightning Bolts and range attacks.

I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like that, or if it's damage to my CD or something, but I've noticed that much of the time vampire lords do not resurrect their brethren, and just stop at 40 HP with several vampires fallen. This seems to be either related to the number of vampires, number of dead vampires, or whether I'm attacking or defending.

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Postby Pitsu » Sep 11 2007, 6:32

Darmani wrote:I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like that, or if it's damage to my CD or something, but I've noticed that much of the time vampire lords do not resurrect their brethren, and just stop at 40 HP with several vampires fallen. This seems to be either related to the number of vampires, number of dead vampires, or whether I'm attacking or defending.


Are you sure that they are supposed to drain life in these situations? You know that in H2 vamps drain only when a creature dies. Doing 299 damage to full health titan does not give your vamps any life.


Finished the map in 108 days. There were 2 months of plague during that time. At some point I could not press forward with armies that I had and got from conquered towns, so had to turn back home for reinforcements. The wizards weren't as bad as feared, they had built only one cloud castle (but hired everyone out there). Knights were the last to fall.
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Postby grobblewobble » Sep 11 2007, 7:40

Ok, in that case I think I did just fine getting the Lab during the second week. Getting the Lab by day 7 depends on the availability of Magic Arrow and on the type of creature guarding the sulfur mine. I prefer not to restart if the conditions aren't perfect.

Yes, restarting is a bit cheap.
Still, magic arrow is not a prerequisite, it helps but there are other options. Hiring an additional hero and combining the starting armies, buying more skeletons, even using zombies. The sulfur mine and piles are worth so much that it is worth thinking carefully if there is perhaps some way to get it, even if that seems hard.

Darmani, you may think of your mummies as being worthless, but you did pay for them. ;)

UndeadHalfOrc, I will give your maps a try.

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Postby Darmani » Sep 11 2007, 11:45

grobblewobble wrote:Darmani, you may think of your mummies as being worthless, but you did pay for them. ;)


Sorry, I meant mosty-useless as troops. They were very useful as damage sponges.

Are you sure that they are supposed to drain life in these situations? You know that in H2 vamps drain only when a creature dies. Doing 299 damage to full health titan does not give your vamps any life.


Really? Wow, 11 years of playing and I never had any idea. Thank you! :)


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