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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
2D
3D
I don't care.
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Heroes of Might and Magic V  → Inferno Strategy

by Bandobras Took

CREATURES STATISTICS CREATURES ARTWORK
SKILLS ABILITIES
TOWN BUILDINGS STRATEGY

What is the Inferno?

In the Heroes 5 world, the Inferno is a happy-go-lucky bunch of servants of Chaos bent on general destruction, degradation, and corruption. Usually, this is to be accomplished by setting the world on fire.

Gameplay-wise: the Inferno is probably the most might-oriented of the factions. Boasting one flyer, one shooter, and one spellcaster, you’ve got a whole lot of ground-pounders. The Demon Lord mainly gets the Attack Attribute, and of the two magic attributes, Knowledge is far more common than Spell Power. Magic that relies on Spell Power (Destructive/Summoning) is not going to be that great, leaving you with the Buff/Curse branches (Light and Dark Magic). Of those two, Light Magic just isn’t going to show up much in your mage guild. This is somewhat unfortunate, the Demon Lord who can get his hands on Mass Divine Strength will shore up a weak point of the Inferno: their massive damage range. But I get ahead of myself.

Inferno Abilities

The primary Inferno ability is fairly straightforward: Gating. A creature stack can call forth another stack of its kind. Increased levels of Gating improve both the amount of creatures summoned and the level of the creature stack that can summon (i.e. Basic Gating is limited to Familiars/Overseers, Advanced enables Cerberi/Mistresses). Gating is great for blocking enemy shooters, clogging up lanes on the battlefield, getting troops behind castle walls, and, most importantly, stealing retaliation. Normally, it uses up a stack’s full turn and takes a whole turn for the new troops to arrive, but certain skills, buildings, and abilities can mitigate this.

The secondary Inferno abilities are:

Consume Corpse: Replenish your spell points with a dead stack on the combat field. Not only do you get a cool animation, but this also eliminates the possibility of said stack being hit with Raise Dead/Resurrection. Combines with Sorcery to give you Soulfire, which can damage all stacks around the Corpse being consumed. Also Combines with Logistics to give you your best friend in the world, Teleport Assault. More on that later.

Hellfire: Each stack has a chance to do bonus fire damage when it attacks (the amount of damage is based on the Hero's Spellpower. I have heard that it is also based on the creature's stack size, but in actual play that effect seems negligible.). This is considered part of the physical attack itself, so it won’t automatically penetrate insubstantiality. This also drains mana from the Demon Lord when it occurs, which is a good reason for the Demon Lord to Consume Corpses in his/her spare time. Combines with Light Magic to give you Fire Resistance (not that it’s worth taking Light Magic just for that). It will combine with Destructive magic to do even more damage (but your spell power doesn’t really justify taking Destructive magic), and will combine with Defense to give you Hellwrath, which enables Hellfire on retaliation strikes as well (this one’s useful).

Mark of the Damned: High Initiative, High Morale stacks getting you down? This is the Inferno’s far more effective version of the Haven’s Retaliation Strike. That one triggers when one of their own troops takes damage, this one triggers whenever the target stack does anything other than sit or move. Not only that, but it combines with Dark Magic (the only magic you’ll likely be taking) to cast Weakness on the stack, and with the Attack Skill to give you chance at Double Damage. The troop that springs to mind here is Blood Furies – the only thing saving their hides is their No Retaliation, and Mark of the Damned neatly cuts through that. Incidentally, does anybody know how this one works in conjunction with an opposing Griffin’s Battle Dive? Hmmm . . . something to test. This ability also triggers when a unit retaliates, so it can be used to swiftly cut down units with unlimited Retaliation. This is especially true if you use Gated stacks to trigger it. It also combines with War Machines for a free Earthquake spell, but you’ve already got Brimstone Rain at that point and don’t really need to waste your Hero’s time breaking down castle walls.



It's a little hard to take a screenshot of Mark of the Damned in action, but the combat results speak for themselves. My original army is visible in the lower left of the screen.

As for the normal skills, they are (and listed in order of importance):

#1 Logistics:

Hands down the best skill for the Inferno Hero. Moving further by itself is no bad thing, but through Pathfinding, you get to Swift Gating. The vital thing here is that Swift Gating affects the time the summoning stack takes; instead of spending a full turn, Gating with this skill is the equivalent of a “Wait” action. (Urgash's Call, the Inferno Ultimate, affects when the Gated Troops arrive. This exponentially increases the tactical possibilities of Gating.) That time is vital to a well-running Inferno army. I’ll even at times Gate Succubus Mistresses rather than start shooting immediately, as it’s not the loss of a full turn.

Swift Gating and Consume Corpse lead to your very best friend in the world: Teleport Assault. The value of this skill is not so much in the teleport spell as in its ability to adjust initiative. A useful way to think of it is the Demon Lord sacrificing his turn and movement to give it to one of his slower stacks. The two candidates that spring to mind for this are Horned Overseers in the early game (they’ve got enough hitpoints to cheerfully withstand anything on the other side of the field, but are usually too slow to be effective) and Pit Lords in the later game (the enemy will expect fireballs and space his troops apart rather than Turtle. Then you calmly Teleport your Pit Lords over there and beat the Hell (pun intended) out of him with a massive stack of Vorpal-Wielding L6s).



the Marksmen are going to have a clear shot at my Cerberi right after Agrael's turn: not a good thing. However, with Teleport, the problem's remedied. The Pit Lords can be teleported so that they will block the Marksmen and at the same time attack the Archangel (shown in Teleport Assault Example II). Note the Pit Lords' shift in initiative; they get to go right after Agrael.


Because of the versatility of Teleport Assault and the efficiency of Swift Gating, not to mention the strength of the basic skill, Logistics is the number one choice for the Demon Lord.

#2 Luck:

And this follows close on the heels of Logistics. With so many creatures relying on physical attacks, any pump's a good one. It’s two secondary skills, though, that really make this one shine.

First of all, Soldier’s Luck. Both your Nightmares and Hell Chargers have a wonderful no-retaliation ability, but it will only trigger sometimes. It happens a lot more with Soldier’s Luck. Also I believe (but have not confirmed – if someone can verify or contradict this, I would appreciate it) that it also affects the chances of Hellfire happening on a strike.

The other one to pay attention to is Swarming Gate (from Soldier’s Luck, funnily enough) this can drastically increase the amount of Gated creatures. Unfortunately, this one is based on the Hero’s Luck, so I don’t think Soldier’s Luck will affect it, but it happens often enough to really make your opponent wince.

Unless you’re really eager for Urgash’s call, Magic Resistance or Resourcefulness will probably serve you in better stead than Dead Man’s Curse.

#s 3, 4, and 5 (and here you can kind of choose between them.)

Attack: Offering you the chance to boost your base damage with Battle Frenzy, this one serves the Inferno’s numerous lower level creatures well. Excruciating Strike is a welcome if Erratic addition to Mark of the Damned. Power of Speed is a different if somewhat dispellable version of Teleport Assault; its main purpose is to increase a stack’s initiative generally rather than to immediately move it to the top of the pile. Succubi are strong enough that you don’t really need archery, however. Tactics is a good option instead of Power of Speed if you’ve got Teleport Assault and aren’t looking for Urgash’s Call.

Defense: Lowering the damage your ground-pounders take can only be a good thing. Evasion is great for letting them survive ranged attacks, while Hellwrath (given by Evasion) helps to ensure that a stack is dishing out more than it’s taking while retaliating, too. Stand Your Ground isn’t going to help much; if your stacks are defending instead of attacking, something’s gone wrong. Vitality is good choice to buff up vulnerable Cerberi and oft-targeted Familiars.

War Machines: With no access to Resurrection, the First Aid Tent proves surprisingly efficient in troop preservation if you invest the skill slot. The other two should, of course, go to Catapult and Brimstone Rain (three shots with the Catapult, heavy damage) – with a lot of walkers, you want castle gates down ASAP when you do go after a town. Catapult also has the added advantage of repairing the Ammo Cart after battle, and you’ll want one of those for your Succubi. A more offensively oriented person can profitably take Ballista instead of First Aid. A little more ranged support doesn’t hurt. On no account should you take Tremors; Brimstone Rain does the job and doesn’t blow your Hero’s turn.

#s 6, 7, 8, and 9 (good, but not as great/and or effective as the preceding five):

Dark Magic: The spell school you’ll have in your Mage Guild, this one also supplements the Mark of the Damned through Weakening Strike – which you’ll use to lower the attack of fast-moving, repeatedly hitting stacks. The various “Masters” are all good choices, but Dark Magic tends not to work on the Undead/Mind Immune, making the value of the Basic Skill low. You’ll need it on you path to Urgash’s Call, but it’s not as helpful or vital over the long haul as the previous skills.

Enlightenment: Stat bonuses are great, as is the experience, but not precisely crucial. The biggest advantage here is in the late game, going with Scholar-Arcane Exaltation-Dark Revelation for a free Level when levels do not come easily.

Sorcery: Its main effect will be to give your Hero turns more often. On the other hand, this can be counterproductive with Mark of the Damned. It will also help mainly if you’ve built a spell-slinger, so if you’re going for Dark Magic, make sure to pick this one up as well. If you’re in to adding insult to injury, Soulfire is definitely the way to go, though. Major style points for winning a battle with a corpse bomb.

Leadership: The main effect is good, but the secondary abilities are more suited to a secondary hero. Gate Master, on the other hand, is very nice, but you have to take Recruitment to get it, which won’t suit your main hero at all. With Teleport Assault/Power of Haste, the increased initiative Morale brings isn’t as vital.

#s 10, 11, and 12 (hoo boy, have fun with these if you can)

Destructive Magic: This one has possibilities, but I would still maintain that Dark Magic is a better way to spend your time; you’ll never attain the capacities of the Necromancer or Warlock in this area. If you’re foredoomed to it (Grawl comes to mind) go with Master of Fire-Searing Fires for the bonus to your stacks’ Hellfire damage.

Light Magic: Give it up, man. It’s over. This is not a focus of your mage guild. If you’ve got it, go for Master of Blessings for mass Divine Strength, overcoming your troops’ damage range. Fire Resistance through Master of Abjuration is a bit pricey. Magic Resistance and/or Protection are better ways to go.

Summoning Magic: Too Spell Power-dependent. Summon Phoenix/Elemental may be cool, but your troops ought to be summoning extra stacks anyway.

And Speaking of Troops


Imps/Familiars:

The meat shield of the Inferno. Now, please recover from your laughter and I’ll explain what I mean. The Imps and Familiars have a mana stealing ability that is based on their stack size – the more they are, the more they steal. It will not be unusual for an enemy spellcasting hero to target a large stack of Familiars first thing – left on the field, the dramatically foreshorten the lifespan of the spellslinger. They benefit greatly from Battle Frenzy, of course, and aren’t too bad for L1s. Gating helps them against early Ranged units.

Demons/Horned Demons:

If you don’t get Teleport Assault, you’re usually better not buying these or feeding them into the Sacrificial Pit for experience. Low Initiative and Low Speed do not an effective ground troop make. However, if you’ve got Teleport Assault, they turn from a worthless L2 into a gem. Their immolation ability (effectively a one-shot “ring of fire” spell – damages everybody around them but not themselves) and relatively high hit points make them ideal for breaking up the standard “shooter in the corner and guarding walker” that I’ve seen and used myself. Note also that they have spectacularly high growth and are extremely cheap, even upgraded. Just make sure you have a means of actually using them in combat.

Hell Hounds/Cerberi:

Hell Hounds are fast, damaging, and fragile. Expect casualties both from retaliation and from enemy obsession. The upgraded version, with no retaliation, an arc attack, and better speed, is far more enduring. The No Retaliation and ability to hit multiple targets do make up for what is otherwise a very mediocre damage range. With Tactics and/or a speed-enhancing artifact, can cross the field in the first turn and start decimating “turtle” formations. High upgrade priority, but not the highest. Very good at hit-and-run tactics.

Succubi/Succubus Mistresses:

Considered by many to be the best and the backbone of the Inferno; it’s hard to disagree. The unupgraded version has ranged retaliation, making opponents want to close in with melee troops (who can then be happily pounded upon by your own melee troops). The upgraded Succubus Mistresses “chain” attack is brutal; acting as Chain Lightning except upon Inferno troops. On that note, random joiners are better fed to the Sacrificial Pit than left in the ranks; the Succubus Mistress makes no distinction between friend and foe, only demonic and non-demonic. With a chain ranged-retaliation, your opponent will likely be wishing he’d picked up the Ballista skill just so it wouldn’t target the Mistresses. And speaking of War Machines, you’ll definitely want to bring along an Ammo Cart as well as the Expert War Machines skill. Note also that they benefit from the Hellfire ability; it’s not limited to your melee troops.

Hell Chargers/Nightmares (and whatever other names they’ve had):

On a side note, the upgrade is definitely female (“mare”), but I’m not sure what gender the unupgraded version is. Could this be a reversal of the Rani/Raja controversy? smile

Whatever you call them, they’re flat-out good. Either version has a chance at a no-retaliation attack that also shoves the target down the initiative bar and makes them move out of place. The upgraded version adds more speed and initiative, as well as a demoralizing aura which can wreak havoc on the enemy, causing key stacks to rarely take a turn. Able to cross the battlefield in one turn, this is close behind the Succubus Mistress in my vote for vital upgrade. Also comes with a Horde Dwelling for enhanced creature growth, adding to the terror.

Pit Fiends/Pit Lords:

The Inferno spellcasting unit; the unupgraded version is tough and had a couple of useful spells. Once that’s out, though, low speed and low initiative make them almost a non-presence, unless – you guessed it, Teleport Assault. Suddenly they’re in the face of the enemy and cheerfully mowing down whatever wants to try and kill them. The upgrade is very worthwhile, adding Meteor Shower to the arsenal of spells while permitting an efficient player to instead if they choose cast two Fireballs. Also comes with a handy ability called the Vorpal Sword – the top creature of any stack is automatically killed. This differs from Harm Touch (undead L6 special) in that it allows retaliation, but also does normal damage. Pit Lords + Teleport Assault is the Inferno’s answer to Summon Phoenix. Mistresses, Nightmares, and Pit Lords form the heart of the mid-to-late game Inferno army.



Devils/Archdevils:

Unfortunately, the Inferno’s Level Seven troop is too expensive for what you’re getting. It is a flying troop, yes, but Gating invalidates in large measure the need for a flier. Their speed isn’t all that great, and their damage range, while it can put them in the top of the L7s, can also put them in the top of the L6s. Unless you’ve got Ultimate Gating, they can’t gate, and Summon Pit Fiends only works if 1) you’ve got a dead stack, which you should be striving earnestly to avoid, and 2) you’ve actually spent the money to upgrade them, which is hardly worth it. Save your money and upgrade your other troops, buy some secondary heroes, whatever. Devils are too expensive for what you’re getting. Even the 666 joke in their cost is done better by the Hell Chargers/Nightmares.

Special Buildings

The Infernal Loom increases the amount of Gated Creatures by 5%, and adds some nifty Succubus Statues to your town hall if you can actually see it past the Fort and the Tavern. Any increase in the percentage of Gated creatures is welcome, and this cheap and early structure is always worth getting.

The Sacrificial Pit (exchange creatures for experience) is a prereq for the Castle; otherwise, there are better things to spend your money on. Many people, since you have to build it anyway, advocate putting your Demons in each week in order to help you level up. If you haven’t gone with Teleport Assault or are now planning on using Teleport Assault primarily with your Pit Lords, this can be an effective use of low-level troops. smileSomewhat akin to the “Zombies to Skeletons” philosophy of Heroes III. This is also the best place to put your random joiners, as your Succubus Mistresses will hit non-demonic joiners with the Chain ranged attack.

Of the two Horde Dwellings, the Nightmare Horde Dwelling is more useful. More Demons means more experience, but the Sulfur is better spent elsewhere. Demon growth is high enough by itself anyway.

Heroes

(in order of preference and a brief explanation of why):

Grok:

Rusher:

Starting Skills:
Logistics & Pathfinding

Grok is my number one choice. A logistics specialist will be running circles around the opponent. He starts with teleport, enabling your demons to serve as ranged-attack blockers from day one. He’s also only a few levels from Swift Gating and Teleport assault, and, if you’re so inclined, he has a relatively clear path to Urgash’s Call.

Deleb:

Iron Maiden

Starting Skills:
Advanced War Machines

Deleb is many people’s number one choice; her special ability grants a Fireball effect to the Ballista. A veritable master of early-game clearing, she turns into a castle-breaker later in the game, with Ammo Cart-enhanced Succubi along for the ride. It’s better to choose Ballista than First Aid with her.

Nymus:

Gate Keeper

Starting Skills:
Luck & Magic Resistance

Luck is not a bad secondary skill to start with, and Swarming Gate works beautifully in conjunction with Nymus’ specialty, which increases the number of gated troops based on the hero level. I was at times getting 100% of my original stack with Nymus. Does anybody know if it’s possible to get more than 100%?


Jezebeth:

Temptress

Starting Skills:
Basic Sorcery & Magic Insight

It’s not so much her secondary skills as the fact that Succubi become even more terrifying under her command. Starting with Sorcery should have you seeking for Dark Magic as soon as possible so that her skills do some good.

Marbas:

Spell Resistance

Starting Skills:
Defense and Protection

If spellcasting stacks have you down, Marbas is your man (demon?). The Magic Resistance specialist also starts with the Magic Damage-reducing skill of Protection. A viable path to Hellwrath will have Marbas’ normal troops mixing it up with the best of them and shrugging off spells.


Nebiros:

+1 Luck
No Tactics Phase for opposing Heroes

Starting Skills:
Attack & Tactics

Nebiros is the “monkey wrench” hero. The opponent gets no chance to optimally arrange his troops, while Nebiros enjoys an increased range on his own troops' placement. The automatic bonus to luck is welcome, but nothing he does really improves with levels, leaving him with a rather static hero special. Attack is still a fairly good starting skill, on the other hand.

Grawl:

Hound Master

Starting Skills:
Advanced Destructive Magic

The Cerberus special is decent enough (though far outstripped by Jezebeth’s Succubus special), but Advanced Destructive Magic? Why????

Alastor:

Mana Drain effect added to Confusion spell

Starting Skills:
Sorcery and Mana Regeneration

Alastor wouldn’t suck nearly so badly if Marbas’ Magic Resistance weren’t a more generally useful special or if Alastor actually started with Dark Magic rather than having to nab it on a level-up. As it is, he can mana-drain opposing spellcasters once he manages to get a mass version of the spell (for multiple neutral stacks) and enough levels. Of course, that’s only going to really be useful in later levels of the game and against a spellcaster that makes you worry and that you won’t be able to grind into the ground normally by that time. I’ll pass.

Dirty Tricks

Only one, so far, and that's using Phantom Forces to Gate more troops. Very mean. On the other hand, getting Phantom Forces may or may not happen.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the Inferno, and a few are undoubtedly incorrect, and I will welcome corrections/clarifications thereon. In the meantime, I congratulate those of you with the patience to read through this rather long-winded and picture-free analysis. Once more maps and a slightly better AI come out, I'll offer some observations on Inferno vs. other towns.

Town Specialties

Something rather new to Heroes V is town specialties. It's a nice little "Ace in the Hole" at times to have an unexpected ability on your side. With no map editor I haven't been able to determine the effects of all of these, but here's the general idea:

Siege Towns

  • Ur-Raag: Possible additional luck penalty for the opponent in sieges.
  • Ur-Kurgan: Bonus to tower damage in sieges.
  • Ur-Henoch: Morale penalty for the opponent in sieges.
  • Ur-Kharg: Unknown; some defensive bonus?
  • Ur-Chardros: Troops receive additional bonus to defense primary stat in sieges.
  • Ur-Melphas: Walls are harder to break down in sieges.

Discount/Economic Towns

  • Ur-Tarsh: Heroes cost 250 gold less to hire.
  • Ur-Vramin: Thieves' Guild reveals better information even without money (i.e., under gold, you can get "masses" instead of "???")
  • Ur-Gorthol: Ammo Cart only costs 750, not 2250.
  • Ur-Korsh: Weekly bonus to Crystal.
  • Ur-Toth: Weekly bonus to Gems.
  • Ur-Sphaal: Better Marketplace Rates.
  • Ur-Mangor: First Aid Tent only costs 500 Gold.

Creature Growth

  • Ur-Ischin: +2 Imp Growth.
  • Ur-Shangor: +1 Hell Hound Growth.
  • Ur-Vesphaal: +1 Succubus Growth.

Without a map editor, I don't know whether this list is comprehensive. Nor can I effectively test the abilities. But knowing what you're starting town will do for you can help you determine the course of your game from day one. Jezebeth in Ur-Vesphaal might be enough to make any man sweat . . .

Comments
solvente at 2010-04-30 23:32 wrote:
Yes, it is possible to get more of 100% creatures of the original stack with gating. Especially in XL maps with Nymus.

- Nymus (lv 40) ----------------- +40%
- Ultimate Gating --------------- +45%
- Gate Master (Leadership) ---- +20%
- Infernal Loom (building) ----- +5%
-------------------------------------------
- TOTAL ------------------------- +110%
with Swarming Gate (Luck) there is 10-35% chance to double this)
With all these abilities is even possible to get the ultimate (Urgash Call)

So in long games, Nymus can be unstoppable (with 110% instant gating with a chance to get 220%!!!)
Edited on Sun, May 02 2010, 15:24 by solvente

agni77 at 2007-10-09 02:03 wrote:
if they had a L1 or L2 shooter, i'd go for grok as my main... but since they don't, i always end up using Deleb.
lord_demion at 2007-06-21 22:02 wrote:
I think the opbections here are from misinterpretation of what I'm saying by holding back. What I do is instead of immediately advancing my creatures gate. Meanwhile my hero hits the enemy with mass slow or similar spells. Second action for my creatures is to hit any unit that the enemy advanced into the center of the field. The attack is like a pack of wolves. Cerberi and Mares kick first with no-retailiation to weaken the stack then a gated stack hits to absorb any retailiation and all other units hop in. Meanwhile my hero, succubi, and pit lords are pounding thier missile units and casters. The dark magic is used to disable them (mass confusion) and then harm them (decay/curse of netherworld) While the pitlords and succubi pound the ranged units (and any protection they have). In addition, this often takes out the war machines in the process.
Net effect the main meele units are only dealing with other meele units on my terms, and the ranged units get pinned down to reduce thier effectiveness all the while. When one or the other group is taken out, then everyone gangs up on the remainder.
Without dark magic my hero is just sitting there making physical attacks (and mark) which while useful, are not very effective against anything but nuetrals. The dark magic makes his turns a serious impact on the field. It is not neccesarily the first thing I grab on a pick. I can get by against nuetrals without it. It is however in the top 4 skill choices and a definate item I want to have when I go up against enemy heroes.

Bandobras Took at 2007-06-21 20:49 wrote:
I agree that Inferno is might orriented. To me however this means the job of your hero is to make the job of your troops as easy as possible. To this effect I tend to wait a round or two to have the enemey approach my forces. (Summoning all the while).

While I agree that Gating is the first action your troops are going to take, more often I prefer to get them within attacking range. I would say that less casualties are caused by forcing the confrontation early in a battle; if you hang back, then your opponent will likewise hang back and deal with whatever you've gated to block his shooters.


When they get there My hero has softened them up and the tropps jump the units en-masse. Killing them with allowing absolute minimal retailiation. (We want to reduce troop losses as inferno is offensive not defensive.) I even try to make sure it is a gated unit that strikes first to take up the retailiation. Inferno speed and attack (not to mention hellfile) dismembers the units in short order.

I would say that this is again an argument for not waiting -- the key to reducing casualties is to make use of the Inferno's damage-dealing potential ASAP to reduce your opponent's stack sizes.

Dark magic is key to spliting up and weakening the enemy forces so they are not dealing my units more damage than they can handle, while they do thier job.

Alternatively, War Machines+First Aid Tent will resurrect your troops (and improve your ammo cart in the bargain), while Evasion and Vitality improve durability.

War Machines will also let you become a castle breaker with Brimstone Rain, while Defense gives you Hellwrath on Retaliation strikes, indirectly decreasing your casualties.

I agree that Dark Magic is the magic of choice for the Inferno, but I don't believe that a Demon Lord need prioritize Dark Magic in order to be effective. A Demon Lord can profitably focus on Dark Magic, but it's not vital to do so.
lord_demion at 2007-06-21 17:23 wrote:
Yes, if facing missile units or casters you have to be more aggressive, but if you've gotten swift gating (or better yet Urgash's call) most of your units will get accross the field faster as a gate than as a run. In addition, the missile units are 1/2 damage untill you cross the halfway point of the field. Which is better? Let gated demons pin/kill them while suffering 1/2 damage on your real units, or tking full damage on them?
Enemy heroes make the choices even more complicated... However, for the most part the tactic stands as best means to beat them without suffering massive losses. Sylvan and maybe necro are the likely exceptions. Remember the goal is not just to win the battle, but to win the war. To do that your troops need to live through the battle.

Corribus at 2007-06-21 16:36 wrote:
I disagree. If you're fighting a magic-oriented hero, and you are might-oriented. You can't afford to sit back and passively wait while your enemy has extra rounds to cast spells. You gotta be aggressive.
lord_demion at 2007-06-21 16:11 wrote:
I agree that Inferno is might orriented. To me however this means the job of your hero is to make the job of your troops as easy as possible. To this effect I tend to wait a round or two to have the enemey approach my forces. (Summoning all the while) When they get there My hero has softened them up and the tropps jump the units en-masse. Killing them with allowing absolute minimal retailiation. (We want to reduce troop losses as inferno is offensive not defensive.) I even try to make sure it is a gated unit that strikes first to take up the retailiation. Inferno speed and attack (not to mention hellfile) dismembers the units in short order.
Dark magic is key to spliting up and weakening the enemy forces so they are not dealing my units more damage than they can handle, while they do thier job.

Ceres... Just so you know the idea mentioned in the strategy about phantom forces refers to the fact that the phantoms are inferno forces themselves and thus can gate troops of thier own.

Bandobras Took at 2007-06-21 13:47 wrote:
Jezebeth is your quickest path to Phantom Forces: she starts with Magic Insight, so all you have to do is build up your Mage Guild and pray.

winterfate at 2007-06-21 06:19 wrote:
You're getting closer. :)

Like I mentioned before, Phantom Force is a spell, not an ability. So, you need a Magic Guild at level 3 to be able to learn it (and the Magic guild might give you Earthquake instead of Phantom Force. Earthquake is the other level 3 Summoning spell).

So, once you get Magic Insight, you can then learn Phantom Force (I think that's what you meant, but I explained it above just in case. :)).

So, Dark Magic is better than Destructive when you go for Inferno?

:yes: Indeed. Dark Magic spells are affected less by the lack of Spellpower than Destructive spells; most Dark Magic spells last longer with more spellpower, but do not get any other effects.

Ceres at 2007-06-21 06:05 wrote:
I see!

So, Dark Magic is better than Destructive when you go for Inferno? And for Phantom Force its Basic Sorcery > Magic Insight > Phantom Force?

Am I correct?

winterfate at 2007-06-21 05:56 wrote:
Well, Destructive Magic IS one of the preferred magic schools of the Inferno faction (the other being Dark Magic).

The problem is that most Demon Lords just don't get enough Spellpower to do serious damage with Destructive Magic spells.

And I never had a chance to have Phantom Force. So sad...

Well, you could get the Sorcery skill and then Magic Insight after that. Magic Insight lets you learn level 3 spells of any type, even if you do not have the normally required magic skill for it. :)

Thanks again winterfate!

Anytime. ;)

Ceres at 2007-06-21 05:35 wrote:
Thanks again winterfate! So I think, I'm wrong in the first place coz I build up my hero mainly with Destructive Magic :D. And I never had a chance to have Phantom Force. So sad...

winterfate at 2007-06-21 05:01 wrote:
I've been using 1.0 so, I think I can still gate Phantom Force creatures smile But sadly, I cannot achieve the ability or skill Phantom Force. I wonder why... I think it requires Basic Summoning skill? But whenever my hero levels up it doesn't show that skill as one of the options.

It's a level 3 Summoning spell...so you need Basic Summoning skill to be able to use it. Also, you need to have a level 3 Magic Guild in one of your towns that has that spell...or find it during your adventures.

And I also want to know more about that thing that Inferno creatures are "Might Oriented". Does it mean that the creatures are strong in terms of their attack? If that so, how? And I'm also confused here coz, some says that its better to defend and wait for your oppo to come closer before attacking but some says that Inferno creatures should be fast in dealing damage.

It means that Inferno heroes are better off learning non-magic skills (learning instead combat skills like Attack and Defense), because Attack is their primary attribute. As for when to attack and when to defend...that's something you'll learn over time. There's no clear cut way to know when to hold back your troops and when to advance. There are some obvious exceptions, but most of the time, you'll just have to weigh the risks.

And also want to know how to use Gating and Phantom Force effectively, like when should I use it (the ideal time to use them), where should I use it (means in what position should I place gated creatures), how should I use it (means should I use it for offensive or defensive purposes)?

I like to Gate my creatures next to their ranged creatures, preventing my opponent from shooting at me with them. Phantom Forces are spawned near the unit you cast it on...and should be used to duplicate ranged units.

Gating can be used for offensive or defensive purposes, but Phantom Force is better off cast offensively.

Hope this helps! ;)

Ceres at 2007-06-21 04:47 wrote:
I've been using 1.0 so, I think I can still gate Phantom Force creatures :) But sadly, I cannot achieve the ability or skill Phantom Force. I wonder why... I think it requires Basic Summoning skill? But whenever my hero levels up it doesn't show that skill as one of the options.

And I also want to know more about that thing that Inferno creatures are "Might Oriented". Does it mean that the creatures are strong in terms of their attack? If that so, how? And I'm also confused here coz, some says that its better to defend and wait for your oppo to come closer before attacking but some says that Inferno creatures should be fast in dealing damage.

And also want to know how to use Gating and Phantom Force effectively, like when should I use it (the ideal time to use them), where should I use it (means in what position should I place gated creatures), how should I use it (means should I use it for offensive or defensive purposes)?

Caradoc at 2007-06-21 04:29 wrote:
I agree that Dark is the preferred magic school. However, when leveling up it is not a high priority. I am quite happy to have just Basic Dark and Master of Mind, while developing the others. For side skills beyond Attack, Luck, and Logistics, I am partial to Leadership for the Morale boost and for Diplomacy to snare sacrifice victims. Of course, Deleb will want War Machines.

Saturas at 2007-06-21 01:57 wrote:
Inferno being a might oriented town naturally goes for might skills rather than magic. I agree with your opinion lord_demion because low demon lord spellpower determines duration(not strenght like with destructive) of a dark magic spell, and for demon lord is easy to cast mass spells more then once in battle as knowledge is his secondary atribute. I go for Dark magic but only after I maximize more important skills that are Logistics, Luck and Attack. After that three "must have" skills you could go either with Defense or Leadership, or Dark/Destructive magic. In my opinion pure magic schools are Destructive and Summoning magic schools. Light magic School is there to boost your troops and makes them more potent and powerful in battle(enchance their might). Same with Dark magic that ,instead of boosting your own, cripples opponent's troops and thus make them less effective in might battle. So, clearly Dark over Destructive. Some will say about armor damaging effect fo MoF, and Searing fires perk, but still Dark magic has much more than that.
lord_demion at 2007-06-21 00:41 wrote:
A big question: Why does everyone thing Dark magic is weak for inferno? (Not just this board many others hold the same opinion.) It is generally listed as the only magic skill to take but it gets relegated to slightly above apathetic in most rating. I think it is one of the best Inferno skills around.

1) Master of mind and slow allows you to reduce all enemy unit's speed by 40%. Combine this with Power of speed and you have just DOUBLED your troop's actions vs. enemy...
Example: Assume 10 initiative each...
You mass slow them by 40% to initiate 6. (Master of mind and expert dark magic)
You then mass haste yourself by 30% to initiative 13. More than double the enemy's init 6. (Power of speed works at advanced level)
Add to this the fact that you are typically faster than other factions to begin with (only sylvan and dungeon come close to inferno) means these ratios are even worse than my example. Oh, and the mass slow only takes 1/2 an action to use....

2) Master of Mind and Confusion effectively negates enemy ranged units AND gives all of your units the no retaliation ability. At expert level 100% of ranged attackers do not fire, and 100% of unit's members do not counter attack. This is huge! Compare that to missile deflection that only reduces a maximum of 70%. (Yes I know it lasts longer, but it is also a level 3 versus a level 1)

3) Weakening strike buffs a power you will already use (mark of the damned). For skill choices adding more choices should always take a back seat to making things you already do better.

4) Decay spell is quite a bit better than most direct damage spells. While the damage takes time to inflict it does a lot more damage over time. (especially for fast moving units). Even for slow units who are typically used to guard enemy missile units it works wonders. Plop down a decay while you attack advancing units. Your succubi and pit lords hit the archers (and defenders) with chain shot & spells. When your melee troops get through the opposition, the defenders and archers are mostly mopped up. Mass slow or confusion will also keep those missile units in check while this spell melts their protectors.

5) Finally the high level spells are just awesome: Take selected stacks out of the fight or turn them on their own masters...? Don't forget the mass damage spell Curse of the Netherworld that hits everything on the board but you. The damage even favors your demon lord's lower spell power.

Now I understand that there are some limitations: Undead, Elementals, and constructs are immune to a lot of the spells. You however can adjust. Decay and confusion might not work, but slow and vulnerability work just fine. The spells provide plenty of versatility that allows you to customize your choices to the units you are fighting. Isn't that what makes this game inetersting

Saturas at 2007-06-15 21:43 wrote:
It was a bit imba to have 3 summoned stacks that can gate, especially if you have some boost skills for gating like swarming gate or/and gate master.

Omega_Destroyer at 2007-06-15 20:48 wrote:
Never tried that. I just liked having 3 extra stacks of cerebi to cause mayhem with.

Saturas at 2007-06-15 20:35 wrote:
Yeah, sad that it is no longer possible to do gating with summoned stack.

Omega_Destroyer at 2007-06-15 20:22 wrote:
It's an excellant spell. Took a beating after the patches came out.

Saturas at 2007-06-15 20:21 wrote:
What is Phantom Force?

It's a spell from summoning magic school that allows you to create copy of selected friendly stack. If you want to learn details about spells you can find them on this page:

http://www.celestialheavens.com/viewpage.php?id=464

Ceres at 2007-06-13 08:14 wrote:
What is Phantom Force?

Bandobras Took at 2006-12-17 20:05 wrote:
Just a quick note -- Gating has been modified; it's now the equivalent of a "wait" action and swift gating halves that.

So swift gating isn't as vital as it used to be, but is still pretty nice. Logistics is still my number one choice, but it's closer.
N3rull at 2006-10-08 22:30 wrote:
Serious question about getting Ultimate Gating:
Ever since 1.3 (which I dled like a week ago ;p) I'm having problems with getting ultimate gating. I play Deleb, my evolution is 'complete war machines, then go for logistics and ultimate gating'. The thing is, when I get to level 5 I got my war machines skill tree full, then I try to take advanced gating, expert gating. That comes often. But now I'm level 7 and all the way to level 20 I can't get ultimate gating. WTF?
I get all the gating perks asap, for a belief that it may be necessary. I complete my logistics tree. But then at level +/- 16 all i get with a level up is a choice of "basic luck or basic attack".
That sux. I have archdevils in 3rd week on hard (Deleb's critter-cleaning capabilities own, i get all the mines in a blink of an eye) and can't make them Gate, which is the only way they can do SOMETHING on the battlefield (except for getting slain), since they are the weakest L7 of all.
Only the spectrals can compete at being the weakest, but they get the horde dwelling and can be perm-ressed with raise dead.


So, do you guys know anything about it? Is anything required to get Ultimate Gating? Like a certain level or something?

EDIT: I found this in the skillwheel comments:
----
DaemianLucifer at 2006-06-18 08:23 wrote:
(...)If you are refering to the racial skill like ultimate gating,or ultimate necromancy,in that case you can get them only via an artifact called pendant of master,that boosts your racial skill up one level,even beyond the expert.
----
If that is true then my whole infernal dream just got burnt to ashes :s

PS. After playing inferno for quite some time, i think that whenever you play at least a 4-player map or whenever you get to find/conquer a city of another nation, leadership comes in very handy. 4 archangels are more useful than stacks of imps/demons/cerberi that you will surely have reduced to a pitiable size in later game. But putting angels into your infernal army will get you like -3 morale for all creatures. That can kill anyone - your foe being the less likely.
Another use for leadership: U got 7 units acting nearly twice as often. They gate 6 other units (-devils :( ), each of them being 20% larger and acting twice as many times too. With luck that gives your units a high chance of inflicting double damage (and for the gated stack to be even twice as big)... That's like a total overrun...
Edited on Mon, Oct 09 2006, 06:33 by N3rull
TearofAsha at 2006-08-23 00:40 wrote:
I failed to mention another strategy of Phantom Force.

You can Phantom Force an incoming gating group of Cerberi. This will allow you to put a huge force right next to shooters while keeping your original stack safe. The best placement for the Gated Cerberi should be one away from the target area you wish to place the Phantom force. The Phantom forces like to spawn directly in front of the selected unit.

So lets say you have someone who has three shooters right next to each other on the front line. Use your Cerberi to gate in one away from the middle of the shooters. Then when it is Hero's turn you Phantom Force the incoming gating Cerberi.

To Phantom Force a gating but not already spawned Cerberi you can select the Phantom force spell and click over the blinking Cerberi icon down below in the Initiative bar.

If your morale is high then that Phantom Cerberi will be attacking those shooters in the next turn or two. This is great if there is a danger of Dragons or something coming to take out your original Cerberi since you can turtle them up to be safe with your shooters while the Gated Cerberi and Phantom Gated Cerberi reck havok on their shooters.
TearofAsha at 2006-08-19 07:41 wrote:
I agree with alot of your guide. It is very helpful and I have learned alot from it. I have picked up a few tricks with Phantom Force I would like to share.

You can get Phantom Force by picking it as the Bonus at the start of the Second Mission. Since this spell carries over into all other Missions, it is a Bonus that keeps on giving. You will need summoning or my favorite Sorcery + Intuition by the end of the first mission to get it.

When you Phantom Force you need a space available for it to warp in. So whenever possible attack units from the side so you can Phantom Force a duplicate of that stack next to the target aswell.

I enjoy Phantom Force on Cerberi the best. They have a skill in which they are not retaliated against. This means that Phantom Cerberi will last longer, make the enemy actually target it for an attack and even make them miss them completely sometimes forcing them to attack second or third time without killing your Phantom Cerberi. This is highly effective in saving your Regulars from damage.

The Phantom Force tends to gain agro from the AI, so they will try to take it out as one of their top priorities.

You can Phantom Force a Phantom Force. If you have a Phantom Cerberi on the front line and he has lasted long enough you can cast him another duplicate right next to him. Which helps if you have Sorcery so you can cast faster.

The Succubi are the second best since they are shooters and usually dont get retaliation, making them last longer. If you do want to Phantom Force a Succubi you need a space available for this. Sometimes you will want to turtle your Succubi from ground pounders so wanting to Phantom Force them can sometimes be tricky. Also, you dont want to Phantom Force a Succubi and have alot of units around them, they might get targeted with an AoE spell and then there goes your Phantom Force. So decide when placing your troops if your going to Phantom Succubi in or not and then place in the optimal location, usually by themselves in a corner behind some rocks or wood obstructions that prevents frontal assault is a nice location.

I think for my top 10 normal Skills

1. Logistics for all the reasons you mentioned which is really great advice thanks.

2. Sorcery with Phantom Force (If your doing the Campaign this is a must)

With Sorcery and Intuition you can Cast your spells faster, allowing you too Phantom Force or do other spells faster. You can learn lvl 3 spells or lower spells of all the branches of magic. You can use Soulfire to make use of that dead Gated stack of Imps next to their shooters. Its just cool to use a dead gated stack for something offensive.

3. Luck for all the reasons you mentioned in our guide.

4. Enlightenment -

Enlightenment will allow you to share Phantom Forces and other spells with other Heroes with Scholar perk. A great addition

It will allow you to learn any spell used against you in battle with Arcane Intuition.

It will also grant you a huge bonus to the Heroes main attribute. That attribute should be attack. And if your hero has over +10 or more to his Attack stat due to enlightenment, then this increase should be even better than the damage bonuses you get from picking the Attack skill.

Although Agrael starts with Attack so you can skip it for him if you want another skill badly enough above the extra damage your units will do with Enlightenment. Alternatively other Heroes can pick this skill up, learn battle spells off your enemies, and teach each other the Phantom Forces and other spells Agrael has.

And it will give you a +2 to Spellpower to put better use to all those attack spells you've learned.

5. Leadership-

Inferno are all about the attack and not much defense. Alot of Inferno troops dont have much defense at all. Imps have 2, Horned have 4, Cerberi have 2, Succubi have about 8. The Defense skill wont really help any of these units, and they are likely the ones you wanted to save when you picked the Defense skill. The Defense skill isn't going to save very many of your forces. Shouldn't even be in the top 5 since it only helps Chargers, Pit Lords and Devils which is like giving a Defense bonus to only 10-20% of your forces. Giving 30% defense bonus to 2 and 4 defense troops is not optimal enough for their survival. The only thing I think that saves Defense from being useless is the Hellwrath perk.

The best option to save your units lives are with gated forces, killing fast and phantom forces. The faster you gate, using the Morale boost you get from Leadership, the more regular units survive. The more you gate in with Gate Master the better chances of your Gated Units surviving more assaults, which means more agro is off your regulars and onto Gated ones. The faster your initiative, the faster you can destroy the enemy which in turn means less harm to your unit. If you attacked a stack first, they are either dead or have their stack decreased in number, which translates into less damage your units will take. I think the best attack is your best defense for Inferno.

The Recruitment perk isn't very helpful true. But, you can pick up a free Basic Leadership by the Third mission using the Witch Hut for Agrael which will offset having to pick Recruitment to get to Gate Master.

So if dont pick Leadership until the Third mission, you might get it for free.

6. War Machines-

Deleb with War Machines is awesome. There is no doubt about it, she rocks with it. Aswell all the reasons you mentioned too is why it up there on my list. If you skip enlightenment or sorcery, you cant go wrong with this alternative.

7. Attack

If I cant get Enlightenment then I would choose this or War Machines to do more damage to the enemy. The best attack for Inferno is their best defense.

Attack, Logistics, Luck and Dark Magic are all needed for Urgash's Call. If you have no choice because you have Attack and Dark Magic, and thats all the level upgrade gives you, then may aswell go for broke and try for Urgash's Call.

8. Summoning

It is an alternative to Sorcery for getting Phantom Forces which is a must have spell for Inferno.


9. Defense

Although I was really hard on this skill before with comparison to Leadership. I think it has its uses with Hellwrath and using Teleport Assault from Logistics skill, using the Horned beasts for something offensive. As mentioned earlier with this great guide, A good idea would be to Teleport Assault your Horned Overseers to their shooters who hopefully have poor melee skills (not a good idea against Priests for example), and hope that their retaliation triggers the Hellwrath proc. Aswell you can use the Horned Overseers Explosion while your over there, and if this hero has high Luck skill and Soldier's Luck perk, you might get them enraged.

That isn't the best offense, but it can be a strategy you can give to atleast one of your Inferno heroes so that you can put the Horned beasts to atleast one use since they rarely have any other. Plus you can give this Defense hero alot of your high defense units to supliment the strategy aswell as giving them extra defense. Since those units are expensive you should consider a defensive hero if you know you will have alot of money too spare.

10. Dark Magic

Need it for Urgash's Call, but you will miss out on better skills
N3rull at 2006-07-12 08:06 wrote:
One observation on Jezebeth.
Her Sorcery can combine very well with the Teleport Assault and her super succubi. Fact, you may need like level 15 to get both Tele Ass and Expert Sorcery, but with that combo (and help of the gimme-yo-mana familiars) You can make your succubi shoot as if they had 15 initiative. Just Teleport them one grid away and you'll have them jump a few places up the intiative ladder.

Nelgirith at 2006-06-30 15:01 wrote:
Great guide !
I will translate it for french fans, if you don't mind :)
Thanks

Bandobras Took at 2006-06-28 22:47 wrote:

<br>Oh.. And a comment on horned demons... Late-game if you havn't built them in a while... The demon/overseer buildup should be quite large.. Playing around with it, I've had much better damage output with teleport assault + overseer attack/explosion compared to the pit fiends.

As I said, Teleport Assault turns them into a gem. I don't get rid of my Horned Demons in the late game, but it is an option if you need an XP push. Just to let you know that I pretty much agree with you %100. :)

stefan.urlus at 2006-06-28 08:55 wrote:
That's a good point solace, though the overseers cop a bit of a hiding from most people, you get good numbers of them and they do cop a wallop, teleport assault makes them quite useful towards endgame
Solace at 2006-06-28 08:39 wrote:
Deleb kicks butt in duel-mode for the record :-p

Nice guide. easily agreeable. Though I personally prefer Deleb for longer maps and/or playing on heroic. Mainly because grok's level-based growth is so slow and Deleb has an explosive start (heheh).

Oh.. And a comment on horned demons... Late-game if you havn't built them in a while... The demon/overseer buildup should be quite large.. Playing around with it, I've had much better damage output with teleport assault + overseer attack/explosion compared to the pit fiends.

howgrizzly at 2006-06-22 19:48 wrote:
Great Guide I'm just translating it to polish language just for fans from Poland so they can enjoy it and learn. Hope you don't mind.
Edited on Thu, Jun 22 2006, 13:49 by howgrizzly

Bandobras Took at 2006-06-22 05:32 wrote:
Great guide! I just finished the Inferno campaign and really started to enjoy playing Inferno. I agree with most of what you say. Logistics and Luck are essential skills, but I think that Attack is essential too.

Be sure that you kill as many enemy units as you can in your first strike, so there will be so few creatures left that they cannot hurt you. With tactics your cerberi and hellchargers can hit the enemy in their first turn.


Attack is good, but Logistics and Luck go ahead of it. I rate the other three approximately equal, but for different reasons. Attack is strong in its basic abilities.


Defense is not really essential. For Inferno attack is the best defense. When you kill most units with you first attack, you don't really need defense. Most level-ups give +1 attack and very rarely + 1 defense, so your heroes will never be great at defense anyway.


In this case, it's Vitality, Evasion, and Hellwrath that I feel make Defense shine. It helps mitigate the destructibility of your Imps and Cerberbi.


Dark magic is the best magic school for Inferno. It gives access to useful spells like Mass Slow.


Oh, definitely. I just don't think the Inferno gets as much profit focusing on Magic as other classes. Just choosing Hellfire means that you can't guarantee your mana. Like you said, though, Dark Magic's the best choice of magic for the Inferno.


What did you want to know about Urgash's call? All it does is, you pick a spot to gate, and the creatures appear at once.


I hadn't yet gotten it for myself. That situation has been happily rectified; and the guide should be updated.

Thanks for all the positive replies!

Jerrie at 2006-06-21 12:17 wrote:
Great guide! Kudos! :)
dylanfan at 2006-06-21 11:31 wrote:
And Hellfire is a really great ability, which helps you do as much damage as posible on your first strike.
Edited on Wed, Jun 21 2006, 05:37 by dylanfan
dylanfan at 2006-06-21 11:21 wrote:
Great guide! I just finished the Inferno campaign and really started to enjoy playing Inferno. I agree with most of what you say. Logistics and Luck are essential skills, but I think that Attack is essential too. To me the way you should play Inferno is: Blitzkrieg. Move fast and get to your enemy as quickly as possible. Be sure that you kill as many enemy units as you can in your first strike, so there will be so few creatures left that they cannot hurt you. With tactics your cerberi and hellchargers can hit the enemy in their first turn.

Defense is not really essential. For Inferno attack is the best defense. When you kill most units with you first attack, you don't really need defense. Most level-ups give +1 attack and very rarely + 1 defense, so your heroes will never be great at defense anyway.

Dark magic is the best magic school for Inferno. It gives access to useful spells like Mass Slow.

And I totally agree with you on the (Arch)Devils, they really are a very disappointing unit. In most big battles they got killed very easily and they did not do much damage.

Infiltrator at 2006-06-21 10:57 wrote:
Awsome guide :)

Four more factions to go :D

Loco Blutaxt at 2006-06-21 08:39 wrote:
Very nice guide! Thanx!
In a German Fan-Forum (Drachenwald.net) I read that phantom troops cannot gate anymore since the 1.1 update. I haven't tried it but it was believable.

Skullmane at 2006-06-21 08:38 wrote:
What did you want to know about Urgash's call? All it does is, you pick a spot to gate, and the creatures appear at once.

Morannon at 2006-06-21 07:21 wrote:
Thank you for a nice guide. So far I have not played with inferno accept in the campagin because they feelt pretty weak. But after reading your guide, playing with inferno sounds like fun. They might even be the new fortress that I miss so much. A town that everyone think is weak but played well can be deadly.

Cunning Death at 2006-06-21 06:38 wrote:
i just want to mention a minor flaw: in the troops section you forgot the name of imps
anyway, good work, thx

ed.
just finished reading the whole article. i want to see the dirty tricks section to expand. the one you mentioned is my favourite tactics, you can use in the camp very effectively :devil:

Psychobabble at 2006-06-21 01:48 wrote:
The image "http://www.celestialheavens.com/Inferno_files/image001.gif" is missing. Otherwise, it's a great guide, well done :).

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