HoMM III: Best level 3 creature

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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In my opinion, the best level 3 creature is

Royal Griffin
15
12%
Grand Elf
62
51%
Iron Golem
0
No votes
Cerberus
12
10%
Wraith
0
No votes
Evil Eye
9
7%
Orc Chieftain
2
2%
Dragonfly
17
14%
Ice Elemental
4
3%
 
Total votes: 121

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Banedon
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Postby Banedon » May 21 2008, 0:35

BigThingWithHolesInIt wrote:That was referring to big battles that last 4+ rounds, when the opposition army is beefy and led by a good hero. It's clear your Elves are eventually going to be engaged here and there's not much you can (or want to) do about it. The only thing you can do is move them away from the unit that has struck them, and usually this just wastes a turn because they are not lightning fast.
Griffins and Dragon Flies on the other hand can still fly around, pick targets, use their specials. Cerberi can't fly but their special gets better when the battle gets more dense, and no enemy retaliation helps keep them alive until and beyond that point.

For the record, I mainly based my pick on experience with large maps, and custom maps like the Battleground series, because there the little details and the durability of your forces really matter. But if you prefer small maps with just a few decisive battles, Grand Elves are likely the best level 3 unit you can have.


You shouldn't be moving the Elves at all; if you're doing that something serious has gone wrong. With Dwarves, Dendroids and the Centaur Captains to defend them, it will take time for any non-ranged unit to get through, unless they are the uber-fast Archangel / Phoenix kind that risk the ire of your entire army by rushing over on turn one.

But I don't see why this makes Dragon Flies, Royal Griffins and Cerberi superior. Dragon Flies can perhaps put Weakness on the Archangel stack or something, or kamikaze across the map to block ranged shooters like Titans, but not Royal Griffins or Cerberi. Royal Griffins will probably deal more damage over the course of the entire battle than Grand Elves, that much is certain. Cerberi will stay alive longer than Grand Elves too, that's obvious (unless they get annihilated by stuff like Meteor Shower or Armageddon or a Black Dragon's breath attack). But I don't see how that makes them good.

As I wrote before, if you compare Master Gremlins vs. Archmagi, the Archmagi are obviously the much superior unit. Yet if you play a fight against Tower, the Archmagi are going to die first, or at least lost some 90% of their numbers, before the Master Gremlins come under direct attack (that is, they are explicitly targetted). Why? In the same vein, Titans are going to die faster than Archmagi, even though they are again the superior unit with many times the HP. Why?

I'll conclude by saying that just because Cerberi live longer than Grand Elves in a final fight does not make them superior - in fact, I'll argue that it shows they are inferior, in a player's mind. Royal Griffins dealing more damage is a good point, but again they are dealing more damage because they aren't getting targetted quickly. Dragon Flies are versatile units that have their uses, but I personally prefer the destructive power of Grand Elves.

For the record, my Heroes 3 games typically end before the end of the second month. In a 2-player game it might last to the start of the second month; in a larger / more players game it will usually end by mutual agreement to fight a battle and finish. If it's a very long game then I can certainly see Dragon Flies weakening 100-strong Archangel stacks as the best level 3 unit, but otherwise I'll stick with Grand Elves.
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 BigThingWithHolesInIt » May 21 2008, 20:44

Banedon wrote:You shouldn't be moving the Elves at all; if you're doing that something serious has gone wrong. With Dwarves, Dendroids and the Centaur Captains to defend them, it will take time for any non-ranged unit to get through, unless they are the uber-fast Archangel / Phoenix kind that risk the ire of your entire army by rushing over on turn one.


That's why I said it usually just wastes a turn. I only even consider moving them if I have +3 morale and know they will be dead before their next turn anyway. But even then it's usually best to sacrifice them to a dangerous retaliation.

But I don't see why this makes Dragon Flies, Royal Griffins and Cerberi superior. Dragon Flies can perhaps put Weakness on the Archangel stack or something, or kamikaze across the map to block ranged shooters like Titans, but not Royal Griffins or Cerberi. Royal Griffins will probably deal more damage over the course of the entire battle than Grand Elves, that much is certain. Cerberi will stay alive longer than Grand Elves too, that's obvious (unless they get annihilated by stuff like Meteor Shower or Armageddon or a Black Dragon's breath attack). But I don't see how that makes them good.


Because of the reasons you mentioned. :D
As I said, I mostly play large quests (and on small maps I don't tend to use Rampart) so I care more about overall durability. I even considered Iron Golems for the prize here.
It's simply not true though, that the Griffins can do all their damage because they don't get targeted, because a) they have great attack stats and b) they have great defense stats and growth to go with their special


As I wrote before, if you compare Master Gremlins vs. Archmagi, the Archmagi are obviously the much superior unit. Yet if you play a fight against Tower, the Archmagi are going to die first, or at least lost some 90% of their numbers, before the Master Gremlins come under direct attack (that is, they are explicitly targetted). Why? In the same vein, Titans are going to die faster than Archmagi, even though they are again the superior unit with many times the HP. Why?

I'll conclude by saying that just because Cerberi live longer than Grand Elves in a final fight does not make them superior - in fact, I'll argue that it shows they are inferior, in a player's mind. Royal Griffins dealing more damage is a good point, but again they are dealing more damage because they aren't getting targetted quickly. Dragon Flies are versatile units that have their uses, but I personally prefer the destructive power of Grand Elves.


What I think you're overlooking is that rangers in general will be the initial targets of a battle. That is because of the following reasons:
- They deal unretaliated damage while staying put, so you'll have to come to them;
- They will do more damage to units within 10-hex range, which will be where most of the action takes place starting round two;
- They die very fast.
In the case of Grand Elves and Marksmen, the second reason is twice as pressing. But they die even faster than all other archers except Master Gremlins, because both HP and Defense are extremely low and they have a melee penalty.
To cut a long story short, you attack Grand Elves first not so much out of awe, but because of common sense. The above, plus the fact that they are Rampart's only shooter.
In the end a battle is won by doing the necessary amount of damage before your opponent does. The longer the battle and the more intense, the more you'll need to strategize - and that's why I prefer the durable and versatile units to the fragile one-trick ponies.

For the record, my Heroes 3 games typically end before the end of the second month. In a 2-player game it might last to the start of the second month; in a larger / more players game it will usually end by mutual agreement to fight a battle and finish. If it's a very long game then I can certainly see Dragon Flies weakening 100-strong Archangel stacks as the best level 3 unit, but otherwise I'll stick with Grand Elves.


So yeah we're sort of playing a different game, which is a testament to the greatness of Heroes III imo.
I did say in my original reply that only in a big battle with many turns does the damage of Grifs and Cerbs exceed the Elves'. And I put Dragon Flies below Grand Elves, too.

And since big battles are my favorite part of the game, Royal Griffins get the prize.

On another note, I love those Battleground maps, are there more maps like them?

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Banedon
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Postby Banedon » May 21 2008, 23:00

That's why I said it usually just wastes a turn. I only even consider moving them if I have +3 morale and know they will be dead before their next turn anyway. But even then it's usually best to sacrifice them to a dangerous retaliation.


You shouldn't have to waste a turn. Typically for me if the Grand Elves get blocked early I'll wait with them, get the Centaurs and Dendroids and Dwarves to seriously wither down (or kill) the blocking stack, involving the War Unicorns and Pegasi and Gold Dragons as well if the blocking stack is a powerful one (eg. Phoenixes). If the stack is still there at the end of all this damage then I might order the Grand Elves to attack as well. Moving them is a bit too risky in my opinion, you have no guarantee of morale and you leave a defensible position.

It's simply not true though, that the Griffins can do all their damage because they don't get targeted, because a) they have great attack stats and b) they have great defense stats and growth to go with their special


My point is that if any player wants to kill the Royal Griffins (even at the expense of losing the game), he can. Say you're up against a Rampart army for example as Castle. Instead of opting to fire at your Marksmen early with Grand Elves, he shoots the Royal Griffins. The Royal Griffins are going to die. They may die slower than Grand Elves, but die they will. Nonetheless, no rational player is going to do that, because there are higher priority targets around. Yes the Royal Griffins have awesome stats, but there still are more important targets - and typically as well there'll be fewer of them around thanks to them being outside the build chain.

To cut a long story short, you attack Grand Elves first not so much out of awe, but because of common sense.


That's very well put :) I never really thought of it like this to be honest, but I guess you can think it that way too.
I'm a hypocrite because I suggested that all life is sacred and should not be wasted without good reason.

BigThingWithHolesInIt
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Postby BigThingWithHolesInIt » May 22 2008, 9:43

Thanks! :)
Again it shows we are playing quite differently, hehe. I don't play Castle a lot but if I do, I build the Griffin Tower before the Monastery. I would also probably handle the Phoenix situation differently but let's not digress.
I guess you focus your play more on shooters than I do, and it clearly works for you. The debate was fun but it doesn't look like either of us is going to bring something new to the table... so let's just agree to disagree.

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Postby maytap » May 23 2008, 18:35

i voted Cerberus because little hydra :D

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Mihalidis
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Postby Mihalidis » Dec 26 2012, 20:32

i think the best are Royal Grifs with cerberus behind them..grand elves are quite glasscannons

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grobblewobble
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Postby grobblewobble » Dec 27 2012, 12:39

The wraith of course. Wraiths are the bomb. :devil:

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Arret
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Postby Arret » Dec 27 2012, 23:53

Has to be the grand elf. It really carries the race until you get to unicorns. The only race that has a similar situation is Conflux, and they don't do nearly as much damage.

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Postby Xdarkon » Apr 29 2013, 0:06

Grand Elves or Ice elemental

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Postby BoardGuest808888 » May 11 2013, 6:42

U should seriously consider Iron Golem too.

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Arret
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Postby Arret » May 11 2013, 23:05

Iron golems are ok, but not even in the same league as Elves, and still no where near as good as griffins or cerberi due to how slowly they move and how situational the magic resistance is. The movement speed alone is basically what is getting dragonfly as many votes as it is.

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Postby MM6Kergmond » May 12 2013, 12:14

Voted Cerberus, they are very balanced and such unit with the ability to hit more than one creature in one time is always disturbing for the opponent.
But i also like Royal Griffins.

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Postby BoardGuest808888 » May 28 2013, 8:16

So that might come into "how to use slow unit effectively" then :-D

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Postby Artas1984 » May 28 2013, 22:15

And so the never-ending discussion continues!

It has to be the unit which can be usefull is town sieges! As much as i would favor cerberi for strength, i have to go with grand elves.

Best unit does not mean strongest!
Heroes franchise was not about the free actions of Heroes or monsters, it was not about 3D of shiny graphics either, it was about diversity and balance, simplicity of gameplay and realistic picture, strategy in it's purest form. That's why Heroes 3 will be the greatest game of all, because only Heroes 3 has all those qualities together, no matter which one you personally like more. This statement is unquestionable, uncriticized and undeniable .

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Postby csarmi » Sep 7 2013, 19:41

I remember that once I had a little book where I put theresults of all matches for L1, L2, L3, ... L7 championship. Had a neat tabelle too.

No idea whether I still have it though. Maybe. Somewhere.

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Postby hommthree » Sep 9 2013, 21:10

Here's why I voted for Grand elves:
I categorize ranged units into 3 groups: hybrids (no melee penalty) standard (melee penalty) and specialist (additional bonus to ranged attack, including grand elves double-shot and liches death cloud).

Grand elves are useful glass cannons throughout the entire game so long as you defend them, as they have extremely low health. But where they really shine is early game, when most units are slower, melee, or standard ranged troops. The trio of centaurs/dwarves/elves is terrific, centaurs are quick, tank-ish units, dwarves are slow, dedicated tanks, and elves are quick, dedicated ranged units.

Against melee troops, you can simply slam them down with arrows and finish with centaurs and dwarves. Against ranged troops, the elves shine with their high speed (getting first attack) and double-shot (if upgraded), then rush the enemy with your centaurs.

Other towns have a similar trinity, but I feel Rampart does it the best.

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Postby MeCho » Nov 12 2013, 18:57

1. Grand Elves: Shoots twice - auto win
2. Cerberus: Mini hydra terrifying once blessed
3. Evil Eye: Jack of all trades
4. Dragon Fly: Fast,Flying + Dispel&Weakness - Awesome
5. Royal Griffin: Can be real threat once massed
6. Iron Golem: Too slow yet cost effective compared to dwarfs
7. Orc Chieftain : You get what you pay for....
8. Ice Elementals: Way too expensive
9. Wraith : Only good in battles of few units mostly skipped completely

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Postby Bloax » Nov 28 2013, 11:09

Jesus christ those arguments on the first pages. (And since I'm lazy I haven't read past page 3 because it's embarrassing.)
HoMM3 is a strategy game and thus you're gonna have a bad time if you don't exploit the strengths and cover the weaknesses of your units.
Caging units against eachother might be relevant in a game where you don't have multiple units at once, but that's not the case here.

Since Grand Elves are "only good with guards" that doesn't make them any less good, because this only means they just need something more than themselves.
Which means that they're only the best of the bunch if you have an army to cover their weakness, and maybe you don't have that 100% of the time.
But having armies ought to be pretty common in this game, and once you have one they do colossal, ranged damage. It's not that hard.

Iron golems are good meatshields, cerberus and dragonflies are great attackers, royal gryphons are a mix of the two - and wraiths are kind of the underdogs.
And of course, elves destroy all but the dragonflies unless covered with the great skill that starts with "T" and lets you position your units.

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Re: HoMM III: Best level 3 creature

Postby Danny » Sep 12 2015, 18:41

Sorry for bumping this thread but I have a question related to this subject.

In Heroes III Complete I noticed that Hell Hound & Cerberus have the same 2-7 damage but many sites claim Cerberus is a downgrade with 2-5 damage. Did this get fixed in a patch or am I just imagining things?

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Re: HoMM III: Best level 3 creature

Postby Taro » Sep 13 2015, 18:55

In latest version (4.0) there are some changes. Archangels cost is 3 gems, some fortress creatures are stronger, and cerberi have damage of 2-7. So yes it was fixed.

If we talk about brute force then ice elementals are strongest. But I like dragon flies because of their speed and tactic ability. I'm shocekd so many people like grand elves. They are weak in stack test (100 vs. 100) and in typical game they die easily. No vote for iron golems? They nearly as strong as ice elementals so what the hell?


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