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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Features → Walkthroughs  → The Cultist → The Promise

by Robenhagen

Objective:

  • Capture the Heart of the Griffin
  • Agrael must survive

Carries Over:

  • Agrael (Max Level: 18)
Spoiler: view a screenshot of the surface (1.2 MB)

Walkthrough:

At the beginning of the scenario, you must choose a bonus from one of these three:

  • Gold: 2000
  • Succubus: 8
  • Phantom Forces (very useful before patch 1.3)

This is one more race-against-time for Agrael. Even with no one on your tail, you may as well lose the race by spending too much time off road. There's only one way for you to go in this map; a long road with lots of bends and curves.

Visiting the various Huts of the Magi along the road tells you where your opponent is, but it is not necessary as you can't do anything to slow him down. (On 1.3 heroic, the enemy hero finishes his track on the 11th day, so mostly you can take only 11 turns!)

This mission is quite short, and it is impossible to hit the level cap after patch 1.2, as no experience is given when you defeat the boss. The next mission is the hardest in the campaign, so you really want to accumulate more experiences in this scenario. Try not to miss any spell shrine, and convert treasure chests to experiences whenever you can. Also, fight as much as you can, as long as you do not lose to the boss in the end.

Troop conservation tactics has gone up a level when you learn the spell Phantom Force. This spell was widely regarded as the one of the most powerful spells in HoMM5, and it has been toned down in every subsequent game patch released by Nival. Patch 1.3 hits it the hardest, by increasing its mana cost to 300% -- to a whooping 18! If you are playing on pre-1.3, then definitely try this spell out. You will be surprised by how much you can accomplish. If you are playing patch 1.3, you'll probably run out of mana after 2-3 casts. Fortunately, there are a few mana wells along the track to cover you up.

Get the gold in front of you and the imps from the Imp Crucible, then follow the road east. There's no getting around the scouts, so you need to deal with them first. Next, kill the spectres to get their gold and learn a randomly-determined level-one spell. Just north of you are some hell hounds waiting to join you (all inferno creatures in this scenario are scriptted to join you). You can also buy some more at the Howling Kennels. On SE you can see skeleton archers guarding some cash and another free first-level spell. Head north west past the obsidian gargoyles to the treasure chest - it's guarded by assassins.

At the following bend, there's an Inferno Military Post with succubi and pit fiends. You can also learn a second-level spell here. Ignore the troublesome liches and attack the minotaur guard to get the gold. Follow the road around the bend to learn another second-level spell, and get to the Stable. At the next treasure chest, assassins join your ranks (if you fought the first bunch) and so does the stack of horned overseers. Ignore the Demon Tower (as your cash are better spent elsewhere) and go to the second Inferno Military Post. Ditch the assassins if you need to make room for all the troops there. You can get sulfur nearby to hire the devils if you want. Follow the road, grab yet another first-level spell, and head east. Don't forget to visit the Star Axis (spell power +1) on the way.

Finally you get to the desert. Fight the golems and head north to the Hill Fort guarded by some genies. Upgrade your men (succubi are supposedly female, though) and continue north to fight some tier-5 creatures, then head towards the monument. If Veyer beats you to the blue Haven hero, you lose this mission. Hopefully you have an earlier save if that happens.

The Haven army is quite easy to beat, but the Demon Lord Veyer, whom you'll have to fight immediately afterwards, is a bit harder. (p.s. No matter where Veyer is, he will be teleported to you immediately after you defeat the Haven army.) In earlier patches, if you lose the fight with Veyer, you'll still complete the mission (and if you win, you gain experiences from him.)

Final note: It is impossible to get the goodies on your opponent's trail, or to defeat Veyer first. The game triggers the boss fight as soon as you get close to the blue hero. When you get close to the blue hero, Veyer seems to give up and just stand around, doing nothing.

Comments
Sunlover at 2014-04-04 19:47 wrote:
A few notes [v1.06, Hard] - if you're having difficulty making it to the end to fight Stephan before Veyer does, consider bypassing these areas:
1) the area with the ghosts (though this isn't a time factor issue). Why on earth would you stop to fight those? They'll just whittle down your forces while you try and hit them with a lucky blow.
2) the Hut of the Magi directly East of the ghost stack. It takes away precious travel points during that day, and is it really important for you to know where Veyer is on day 2? Not really. (It's possible you could, in theory, skip all the Magi Huts - but it's not as much fun. ;) This 1st one though is definitely skippable).
3) the Horned Demon tower about halfway up, after the 2nd time you go left, directly west of a Magi Hut. Going here, and then getting back on the path, even with Expert Logistics and Pathfinding, takes 1/2 to 2/3 of your move points for a day. Horned Demons are notoriously slow in battle and not great on damage. Just skip this one and save yourself the 1 day you'll need to get ahead of Veyer - besides, directly NE of there you have an Inferno Military Post with much more useful units to conscript! :)
4) the Steel Golems guarding the Dragon Bone Greaves. A small side trip, but we know you're going to grab the gold piles behind them, and that takes some time too...

Weirdly when I fought Veyer this go-round, all of Veyer's forces were concentrated at the bottom of the screen. They didn't approach me until I sent out my Horned Demons eventually. This made it very easy for my Pit Lords to get in 2 "group-dense" Fireballs on the entire lot of them. No wonder Veyer's looked down upon. ;)

ShadowLiberal at 2012-10-05 12:50 wrote:
Ok, Peredhil is correct, mostly. Make it to the sand by day 8 and you'll probably have an infinite number of days left to reach the goal (since the computer starts to go backwards after visiting the hill fort). However do not try to go back past the sand to grab things you missed, since the AI will start rushing towards the goal again.

This basically means once you hit the sand (early enough) you can clear out all the foes around that are and grab all the goodies around there.

Peredhil at 2012-01-13 12:36 wrote:
9 turns,true,but I found something in 3 different tries on heroic1.6-if you can reach sand area at the end of 8th move,Veyer will turn back and you have couple more days at you disposal,exactly 11 turns.

ShadowLiberal at 2011-12-28 03:40 wrote:
A correction, you have only 9 turns to win this mission in Heroic, not 11.

Also I was able to gain 5 levels here on Heroic, though I didn't have the time to upgrade my army at the Hill Fort.

I thought for sure when I fought Veyer's army that I was screwed, as I had just 33 assassins, 111 horned demons, and 10 Hell Chargers left, but I pulled off a narrow victory. I gated in reinforcements right away, poisoned the lower tier troops with my assassins, and used Mark of the Damned on Veyer's Arch Devils.

I had maybe 10 assassins, and no more then 30 horned demons left when I won.
konzky at 2011-09-01 21:47 wrote:
You can easily finish this mission in 15 minutes on hard level using quickfight.

I was going after the xp chests, stat boosts and spell shrines, left out the really hard shooters, e.g. the liches, and didn't care for any losses in my battles. Had to fight the crucial two battles manually, because quickfight doesn't work for me there, survived the last battle with 17 demons - this was fast fun!
Watermeloen at 2011-07-04 03:36 wrote:
in supposedly earlier patches why u win the scenario after losing the battle vs Veyer is explained in the cutscene
Veyer is obviously larger and stronger but Agrael makes a run for the Heart of the Griffin and banishes him back to Sheogh

Grail Quest at 2007-07-24 15:03 wrote:
Finally played it again, this time on Heroic. Funny that it was easier than on Hard... I just let Quick Combat handle both final fights, and Agrael's forces won handily.
Against the scouts: Field only the Horned Overseers and the Hell Chargers (in 2 stacks). When I played it, the scout went for the Horned Demons, which I considered expendable because they rarely act in combat due to their low speed.
Against the assassins: Field only the Horned Overseers (do you have any left?) and charge immediately. Only when you are closer should you use Phantom Forces. Instead (and I forgot to do this) use your Mark of the Damned to whittle down a stack every time it attacks. I recommend keeping the second stack of assassins instead of hiring the single Devil available from the Inferno Outpost. Doing so also allows you to maybe take one or two chests for XP instead of gold.

Grail Quest at 2007-07-10 00:52 wrote:
I let auto-combat take over, which turned potential victory to defeat, but still won the map.
*
Phantom Forces was utterly useless most of the way because of the short combats. Maybe it's been toned down even more than when everyone seemed to be talking about how awesome it is, because by the time the battle was over or almost over, the phantom force still hadn't had a chance to move! HOWEVER - Do take it if you are not planning on developing Summoning Magic, since it requires Basic Summoning Magic to learn.

Edited on Tue, Jul 24 2007, 10:49 by Grail Quest

Angelspit at 2007-07-09 18:44 wrote:
This is a fun map, with a lot of tension the first time you play it. And GQ, don't worry too much about losses, Inferno is all about managing your losses. :)

Grail Quest at 2007-07-09 16:04 wrote:
So far, the Cultist maps are a big shock after The Queen. Even in the first map, you didn't really need to do too much more than run around grabbing gold and buying creatures. Here, you really need to fight nasty stacks for resources that you have little choice in bypassing.
With The Queen, you were given a lot of archers and strong units right off the back. In The Cultist, painful losses to your armies are the norm, and after quite a few flawless victories in The Queen, I'm having a very hard time adjusting. Boo hoo! (^_^)

Shad0WeN at 2006-07-21 14:00 wrote:
Ummm, as far as I can tell the spells at the shrines are determined randomly, so the walkthrough is somewhat inaccurate in as far as mentioning specific spells goes.
Edited on Fri, Jul 21 2006, 08:02 by Shad0WeN
NickMP at 2006-07-21 13:03 wrote:
Some odd variations reported here. I lost to Veyer but won the scenario for reasons explained in the cutscene. Might depend on whether one defeats the Haven army first (as I did) - if Veyer catches you first you probably do lose.

An atmospheric but very easy scenario. I made much the same choices but missed out on the lightning and ice spells - wonder if this will prove a major handicap in the coming scenarios.
madcat_lives at 2006-07-04 03:46 wrote:
I lost to Veyer and it said I failed.

Sauron at 2006-06-18 16:05 wrote:
I lost the battle with Veyer and won the scenario. But I don't think that that is a bug, tough.
The map is quite easy. Just don't stop at every trash you see and you'll be fine.

Yrkoon at 2006-06-06 04:25 wrote:
I just barely won the battle with Veyer , I had expert gating and fast gating as well as phantom forces . The first time I played the map I got greedy and went after all the resources and he beat me to the tomb
magritte2 at 2006-06-06 03:48 wrote:
I lost the fight with Veyer and the game crashed to desktop.

stefan.urlus at 2006-05-29 07:53 wrote:
i found this really easy, i actually stopped at virtually every neutral stack and grabbed gold by the bucket load, got two lots of creatures at the second outpost and managed to upgrade hell hounds and nightmare's (can't remember if i also upgraded the succubi)

this enabled me to close in on the enemy in a single turn and do significant damage (also had 2 or 3 - can't remember which - devils, which helped)

expert logistics helped a lot, but the most important thing was to choose Phantom Forces at the start, helped me to not lose many of my forces to the neutrals, also helps in third campaign as well

Orfinn at 2006-05-28 19:11 wrote:
Easy map If you avoid the neutrals that sears your army down. The haven army are very esy but veyer may be a challenge. I had 20 horned oversees against hi 1 arch devil. Thanks to that it was my turn agrael took him down with his ranged attack. This is my 3rd closest victory/failure in campaign, too close and it gets harder with each campaign which is nice if hard in a good way :)

ThunderTitan at 2006-05-27 19:40 wrote:
I just didn't attack the last neutral coz I lost too many creatures last time with Quick Combat. I didn't expect Veyer so I thought it shouldn't be a problem. Just don't lose too many creatures to the neutrals.

DaemianLucifer at 2006-05-27 19:27 wrote:
Not all.Just pick those thing that are close to you,and plan what fight youre fight.Also,getting expert logistics in map 1 helps a lot.
reynaert at 2006-05-27 19:23 wrote:
I lost with veyer and lost the map.

The idea is to ignore the neutral things laying around.

ThunderTitan at 2006-05-27 13:33 wrote:
I just reloaded and didn't attack a neutral stack and took care not to lose as many creatures when fighting the Knight as before. Veyer has way behind and I din't figure he'd show up no matter what.

DaemianLucifer at 2006-05-27 13:14 wrote:
I won the battle on my first attempt :devious: :devil:
prichindel at 2006-05-27 10:00 wrote:
I lost the battle too, but I came out victorious

Continuity at 2006-05-27 09:46 wrote:
I lost the fight with Veyer and still completed the scenario. Same as Psychobabble.

Psychobabble at 2006-05-27 06:00 wrote:
I lost the fight with Veyer and won. Weird. It just went to a cutscene straight after I lost the battle.
Edited on Sat, May 27 2006, 00:01 by Psychobabble

ThunderTitan at 2006-05-27 02:46 wrote:
I lost the fight with Veyer and had to restart.

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