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Features → Walkthroughs  → Tribes of the East → Flying to the Rescue → Dark Ways and Deeds

by maltz

Flying to the Rescue
M1: Dark Ways and Deeds

  • Map Size: Normal
  • Level Cap: none
  • Difficulty Index: 4/5
  • Last Updated: November 14, 2007, Patch v3.0

    The first thing you'll notice about the third campaign of the TotE trilogy (out of the HoMMV trilogy) is there are only four missions. (Yeah, just when you think you've got a bonus from Prologue.) As you can expect, things are a little more compact here. This mission one actually works like a mission two in terms of your main hero's level. You are introduced a familiar name with a new portrait and voice - Zehir. Finally you get to play real Academy in the campaigns!

    As of patch v3.0, the Academy ultimate "Arcane Omniscience" (cast every spell on the expert level) now requires fewer skill points. Its requirement, though, is quite far away from a fail-proof magic hero before you get it at around level 24 or higher. Since now there are Memory Mentors like McDonald's in each map, I suggest you spend the skill points in actually helpful places during early levels, and decide whether to shuffle for the ultimate when you can do it all at once.

    Pick the Phantom Force magic as the bonus, just in case you won't get it from the mage guilds. You start on an island at the SW corner, with a tiny army and, wow, level 25. Looks like the game is no longer about career planning? Also, no matter how many times you restart the mission, you are getting the same skills including the out-of-place Luck. However, Zehir's stats do vary. You already have more knowledge points than you need, so the higher the Attack and Spell Power, the more powerful your Zehir. Yet all of this is soon going to change, so don't go crazy on restarting mission yet.

    Don't bother attacking the shooter stack beside you for now, and go south a bit to flag the Sawmill. The lv-2 spell shrine teaches you Arcane Crystal, an interesting new spell. You can use it in a few ways:

    (a) Prevent any shooting stack from shooting (because the Arcane Crystal is considered hostile).
    (b) Stop the advance of enemy units if positioned in a bottleneck tile.
    (c) Damage nearby stacks when you attack and break the crystal. I have never seen AI attack the Arcane Crystal, and you can attack it with your hero to avoid damaging your own units.

    Sounds pretty good, but later on you will instead cast the level-4 new Summoning spell "Blade Barrier" when you need corner-camping protection.

    Talk to the Djinn beside the spell shrine (1) and boom - Zehir summons his own Castle on the Cloud! But nothing is free. It costs Zehir a lot of EXP points - hm... I lost count of the zeros! You are back to level 8!

    Now your luck really comes into play. The game is going to randomly substract 17 (= 25-8) skills from Zehir. If you are lucky, you will completely lose the useless Luck but keep Expert Summoning. If the opposite is true... please restart the mission on heroic.

    Approach your town (A), and a wizard hero brings you another news (followed by a scream). At the beginning of each week, you have an option of trading resource and EXP points for troops. You won't lose that much EXP anymore, and the resource requirement is quite reasonable. In this mission the trade is flat rate of 1500 EXP + 5 Sulfur for 30 Magnetic Golems (on heroic. On lower difficulties you get more units for the same price.). In future missions you'll get other deals.

    The trading option will be automatically available on Day 1 Week 2. Even if you click Cancel at the beginning of the week, you can always go to the spell book and cast "Call to Arms" to complete the trade. Magnetic Golems are very useful in this mission because they actually absorb magical damages, not just immune from it. They also reduce the magical damage suffered from nearby creatures. Since you fight nothing but Warlocks in this mission, you should definitely carry a good stack of Magnetic Golems. Try to buy them every week until you are powerful enough to dominate the opponent without it (so you can keep the EXP points).

    Hire a new hero from town (A) and pass the units to Zehir, and proceed to flag everything on the island. From the high-level Academy building (offers tier 4 and 6) spend your money to buy the Mages - you definitely need more shooters early on.

    Zehir's special ability is to replace a dead stack with elementals until the end of combat; therefore you should use 1-unit sacrifice stacks routinely. Make sure to pick up the Lion's Crown (L) - it is here for a good reason. Down the hill lies a Hill Fort. Note that upgrades for low-tier units are cheaper at a Hill Fort, but starting at Tier 4 you are paying more than you would in the town. Since caravan does not ship units already hired, later on I think you should just build all the upgrade structures in town anyways instead of using the Hill Fort.

    When you have run out of things to do on the surface, go underground through the stairs at (I). You will be met by the previous campaign-3 main hero in Hammers of Fate - Ylaya. Ylaya is not here to help you blast through the dungeon, though. In fact she just clarifies your mission - to eliminate the SoulScar clan (as always), the Purple player. Three Dungeon towns (B), (C) and (D) are awaiting your conquest through a very linear dungeon, and you will build up your town and slowly gain ground on the Warlocks. The mission is not very easy, though, because the AIs are always coming at you and their spells hit very hard (even Titans die fast!). By the way, you automatically fail the objective of gaining information on Isabel, so don't worry about it.

    First, turn west a bit to pick up a useful artifact of the rough terrain, the Boots of Swift Journey at (2). You can also flag a Gold Mine there. I suggest you simply sweep clean everything along the main path and temporarily ignore the branches. There are hardly any serious shooter/caster stacks, so you won't lose a lot of army along the way.

    At (3) you are greeted by a group of Assassins, who made an escort offer. As Zehir suggests these assassins should become your canon fodders. In fact, you receive a secondary objective of getting rid of the Assassins. In order to earn a quest check mark, you have to completely lose them ALL before hitting the garrison at (4). You can't just disband the group - you have to get them killed on the battlefield! It is harder than you think even on heroic. You don't get any reward by completing the side quest, though. If you have any leftover Assassin when touching the garrison, the Assassin will turn against you. If you attempt to disband or transfer the stack to another hero, they will also turn against you. If the Assassins do not die from natural causes, you fail the objective but nothing happens.

    By the way, the garrison at (4) is very small. It is also unlikely that you are going to see any powerful AI army before taking town (B).

    There are a couple of carry-over artifacts that you should consider picking up:

    Runic Set: R1 (axe), R2 (armor).
    Sar-Issus Set: S1 (the great 1/2 mana cost ring), S2 (robe)
    Dragon Set: D1 (flame tongue), D2 (mantle)
    Dwarven King Set: K (greaves)

    It is likely that the AI will pick up the artifacts in their territory before you do - but they will always leave the artifacts behind when they flee.

    After taking town (B) you are 2 vs. 2 against Purple. However, the Purple heroes will soon run out of things to do, and will now throw themselves at you one after one. Their army usually consists of two weeks of full town production (4 dragons, etc.), and the AI Warlocks often cast Destructive spells that kills a lot of your army even if you protect them with Magnetic Golems and the magic damage reduction artifact you forged back in Town (A).

    The battles are all very tough, and it is very likely that your Academy units aren't enough for the Warlocks to kill. Therefore, at some point you have to rely on Dungeon troops to stay alive (hence you are given the Lion's Crown to keep their morale at -1 or above). You can either build up town (B), or directly rush towards town (C) with a backup hero carrying the new creatures from town (B). I went for the latter option because I simply didn't have the resource to build up town (B). This way the mission also becomes easier, because soon you can out-grow Purple.

    If you absolutely have to go back to town (A), use the one-way portal at (b) that takes you to exactly where you started the mission ((b'), on the surface). You can quickly return to town (A), but there is no easy way back. The portal (b) is guarded by a large number of Water Elementals. Normally this would be a no-no, but you now have Magnetic Golems, the predator of pure casters. Try it yourself and laugh!

    There is also a side quest available at (5). A tan (brown) Dwarf hero asks you to find a Hammer artifact, which is shown to you at (6). You can quickly access this area directly through the two-way portal at (c), but the portal is guarded by really powerful creatures, very likely the largest army of the mission. Even if you can defeat the stack, I suggest you not to do it because the AI heroes will gladly use the portal to invade your towns when Zehir wanders away. Let's just leave the quest for now. By the way, when I gave the Hammer to the dwarf, I got a Dragon Teeth Necklace artifact as the reward.

    p.s. There have been bug report of this sidequest that the Dwarf hero is not responsive to the hammer you present. Try to give it back with another hero. In my game I defeated the neutral stack guarding the hammer with Zehir, transferred the hammer to a secondary hero, greeted the Dwarf with the secondary hero the first time and got the necklace back at the same time.

    The Summon Phoenix spell will largely increase your chance against the Warlock army. You can try your luck from the mage guilds by building it up to level 5, or simply break in the Mage Vault at (7). Against a powerful AI army I always open the battle with Summon Phoenix, followed by Summon Elemental and a Phantom Force on the Elementals.

    After taking town (C), stay around until you can hire yet another week of creatures, and push forward. Depending on your skill choice, this might be a good time to return to your Academy town (A) through the portals (c) and (b) to pick up a few high-level spells. In my game, I gave Zehir Expert Light and Dark Magics so he can reach "artificial omniscience" before he has enough skill points to go for the real ultimate. I picked up Word of Light, Divine Vengeance, Frenzy and Puppet Master back in town (A). They made my mission 2 a lot easier.

    Note that as soon as you make the two-way portal of (c) available, the AI heroes will start pouring through and threaten your town (B). But now you should have a much stronger army to hunt them down, so you only need some patience. Other than the Magnetic Golems your upgrade choice does not matter very much, since you are just fighting with the Phoenix and the Elementals. Things will become trickier when the opposing hero has the Elemental Balance skill - but I have never seen any hero with it in the entire campaign! Your Phoenix will become the power house for a long time.

    You won't win the mission unless the message "the Purple Player is defeated" pops up. Even if you own all three Purple towns, you still have to hunt down the last Purple hero. It will be easier to use a secondary hero to carry the Dungeon creatures, and tag out the little Purple runners between the second and third base!

  • Comments
    hprwhg12 at 2014-04-09 03:02 wrote:
    heroic 3.1

    Dont know how rest of path is going to go, but I just took care of 96 of the 100 assassins by sending them alone against the mages guarding the boots of swift journey that are at the base of the stairwell when you first come down.
    Retributor at 2011-06-01 18:22 wrote:
    I can't believe how many people are complaining of the warlocks' destructive spells. One word - Counterspell. Summon phoenix and then counterspell him to hell. Boringly easy mission (on heroic). Just restart until you get fire warriors and loose all the luck and its GG.

    cjlee at 2011-05-10 09:03 wrote:
    In April 2009 I wrote about my frustrations with having bad spells.

    Now that I'm playing this on Heroic again (version 3.0, complete Heroes of Might and Magic 5), my luck is literally different.

    When Zehir was levelled down, I got expert luck and only advanced summoning. I was never offered logistics, dark, destructive or light magic - wound up being forced to take war machines and leadership due to the way I was offered magical skills.

    (How often does Leadership trigger for a wizard? I thought you were the least likely to get leadership?)

    it was still a total breeze on heroic, with nearly all the action consisting of Zehir with a meager army chasing down enemies. He crushed them all.

    I didn't need to hire anything above level 1. I had so much money I bought over 40 artifacts. Was nearly at level 28 by the end. Not one day was spent waiting - as my Zehir had no logistics I had to keep on the move. He only returned to his city once, to stop a level 17 purple hero and get level 5 mage guild.

    How did I manage to make Maltz look like a noob?

    It isn't any skill on my part! When Zehir was downgraded, he kept Fire Warriors (pure luck). And my mage guild gave me Phoenix.

    Pretty much the entire game was won on just 4 spells: Fire Warriors, Summon Pheonix, Arcane Crystal (In this version, when you summon it in the middle of the enemy army, the ranged attackers hit the crystal and blow it up hurting everyone!), Phantom Stack.
    The only times that a destructive spell was ever cast was when somebody died and was replaced by a Water Elemental.

    It turns out Zehir's Arcane crystal can do a huge amount of damage, far more than any destructive spell! Furthermore, the damage cannot be negated by enemy artifacts or feats or resistance! So folks, just forget about using destructive magic!

    I suspect this is the way it was meant to be played and won on heroic - except that Nival didn't tweak it right first time round. Having played this mission on Easy WITHOUT Summon Phoenix, I can guarantee you that the easy setting is far harder than the heroic setting without the right spells.

    STRONGLY RECOMMEND ALL HEROIC PLAYERS TO MAKE SURE YOU KEEP FIRE WARRIORS AND GET PHOENIX.

    Angelspit at 2011-03-23 13:15 wrote:
    Gratz!
    danis at 2011-03-23 13:02 wrote:
    Finally finished the mission at day 1 week 4 month 3. In heroic.
    danis at 2011-03-21 20:10 wrote:
    Hehee, reading this and doing the same, when I get to the garrison at (4) (day 4 week 4 month 1), after few days purple uses the portal(b) and comes with large armies, I load the game few days back and defended in the town(A), but then they come agen after 3-5days, and agen, 3 or 4 times I managed to defend and all 4 times they fleed away with ultra big damage done to them. But agen the purple player comes and now with 3heroes on the island and stacks the army in one hero with 6x3 dragons and other units, but the main thing why i lost is because of the 6x3 dragons(each dragon type was different(standart,upgrade2,upgrade3) so they fly over the wall and kills everyone.

    In the small army that you can get in that time the Arcane Crystal is a very powerfull skill and Phantom Force also very good, can't do anything whitout them.
    Amagnonx at 2010-11-19 14:37 wrote:
    I ran through this a couple of times - I use hard setting.

    Anyhow - I thought I should point out the following simple strat for those who take destruction magic here.

    I used magnetic golems and armageddon, I also took ignite - which can be tricky to get - the golems get healed, everything else gets nuked. You need a decent spell power - and if the opponent has a stack of black dragons you may need to vary the strat - phoenix cape is useful of course - but you can win basically any fight with no losses.

    I recommend sorcery, enlightenment, summoning, dark and destruction - mainly because its useful to get these spells in your book now, so you can mentor dorfs in the wulfstan section.

    As someone else posted, I agree fire trap is far superior to summon ele's for most fights, especially large ground creatures.

    Its worth while to lock purple in the top corner and use the altar to XP Zehir up a bit - depends if you care about scores or not.
    ultimitsu at 2010-07-19 02:02 wrote:
    on my first heroic try i thought i did every thing as fast as could but i still failed badly... so I can to this page an realised the necessity of summon magic, after only 3 tries i got to keep summon. here is my tips for whoever else that may come to this page:

    1, use the 100 assassin to the max, dont just waste them, get them ASAP, because they can help you take everything before first garrison and perserve all your own units. when fighting against wild monsters that will inevitably hit your units, use just the assissins and keep your other units off the battle. I was able to fully use them all and had no need to fight them myself.

    2, summon fire element didnt work for me as well as firetrap, even though i didnt have fire trap minor skill. fire element moves way too late to be effective, by then half of my army is already dead. but using fire trap means i can do damage straightaway. fire trap is also really good for revealing enemy stealthed units.

    3, enemy heros often comes with a very intimidating army, makes you feel like you would lose a lot of units if you fight them, and then there is another enemy hero with just as many unit only 3 days travel away! truth is dont be scared, 90% the time you will not have to fight to the death because enemy heroes tend to flee after they sense they cant win the fight, and they dont seem to take their army with them, so you basically win the battle only losing maybe 1/4 of your own and killing about 1/2 of his. leaving you enough to kill the next hero.

    4, if you attack early enough, enemy will have to respond to your attack, and will not have time to save up big enough army to kill the fire dragon army that is guarding the 2 way portal, this is very important because without it, it is a one way street and enemy will not be able to sneak around your back and take back town B (i had this problem with i played for the first time on normal, as I can only have 1 big army with zehir so i couldnt both attack and defend)
    Vampirlord17 at 2009-11-27 19:17 wrote:
    whats that town in the NE?
    Wheeler Dealer at 2009-09-14 00:46 wrote:
    I feel really dumb. I did manage to finish the scenario (hard difficulty) very painfully by very mundane, routine means. Sometimes I have no imagination.

    I did learn that only artifacts in the possession of the main character can be carried forward.

    Why is everyone so adament that luck is a terrible skill for a wizard? I was aiming for the Arcane Omniscience so I was pleased to only have one magic skill. BTW, I got all the good summoning spells. I had real resource problems so resourcefullness and spoils of war were quire handy. I didn't mind the occassional double damage either.

    I just can't find a good use for summon elementals. By the time they get to act, the battle is over.

    Thanks for all the inovative ideas, maybe I can use them in the future, maybe when I'm done I'll go back and try to do the campaign on heroic.
    Wheeler Dealer at 2009-09-13 00:17 wrote:
    I feel really dumb. I did manage to finish the scenario (hard difficulty) very painfully by very mundane, routine means. Sometimes I have no imagination.

    I did learn that only artifacts in the possession of the main character can be carried forward.

    Why is everyone so adament that luck is a terrible skill for a wizard? I was aiming for the Arcane Omniscience so I was pleased to only have one magic skill. BTW, I got all the good summoning spells. I had real resource problems so resourcefullness and spoils of war were quire handy. I didn't mind the occassional double damage either.

    I just can't find a good use for summon elementals. By the time they get to act, the battle is over.

    Thanks for all the inovative ideas, maybe I can use them in the future, maybe when I'm done I'll go back and try to do the campaign on heroic.
    F_I_X_E_R at 2009-09-08 19:42 wrote:
    Hm, I exploited the no level cap.

    When I reached the last dungeon town, I put Zehir right in front of the gates so the AI can't exit the town. My army was really big so they never attacked. I hired a new hero and swapped armies.

    While the recruited her was standing blocking the AI, forcing it to be dormant, I visited every stat boost with Zehir, learned all the spells I could learn and recruited as much troops as I could + I enchanted the stacks with small bonuses.

    You should notice that there is an altar in the map. You can sacrifice artifacts for experience! So I bought all the useless artifacts from every town and sacrificed them all for experience! I repeated this every 2 weeks. That's when the artifact merchants get new stock, and replenish the bought.

    I left the map with a lvl 28 Zehir. I probably could have done a lot more, but I got bored doing this and completed the map by completely overpowering the poor AI.
    Edited on Tue, Sep 08 2009, 15:43 by F_I_X_E_R

    Grail Quest at 2009-08-26 06:01 wrote:
    A relaxing campaign on Normal--I saved the Assassins and with them plus the initial Academy troops I took down with me to the Dungeon level, I won the map.

    There's an interesting opportunity to go for the Ultimate or at least set up enough skills for it: Because on Normal the AI builds slowly. Once you have them cornered and take away their mines, you can wander the map. You can out-build and out-grow them with two dungeon cities instead of one, and all towns have Artifact merchants, so with excess cash you can buy all the artifacts and convert them to XP at the altar.
    If you also develop your Academy, you can send a sacrificial hero to whittle down their town garrison with Academy troops and keep them from building up too much while you cash out artifacts monthly.

    Anyway, great start to a final campaign. For the first time ever, I'll get to play the Academy ultimate. I don't bl**dy care, but at the start of the second campaign, I'm going to cheat and give myself lots of cash to Memory Mentor my way to it. I never got Zehir to a high-enough level in the first campaign to try it. :-(

    Edited on Wed, Aug 26 2009, 02:04 by Grail Quest

    Grail Quest at 2009-08-25 19:28 wrote:
    CJLee - I can understand your frustrations. I quit playing on Heroic after Raelag's Dungeon campaigns in the original campaign. The problem with Heroic is that it really is UNTESTED. I can't remember where I read it, but the devs openly said they didn't test it to see if it were beatable.
    Kudos to anyone who can do *every* campaign on Heroic. They are truly the elite players.

    Grail Quest at 2009-08-25 19:25 wrote:
    I played till week 3 on Normal when I restarted. Why? The academy town was too far, so I decided to switch to using Dungeon and rolled back the game.
    But main reason -- on Normal, you get to keep the 100 Assassins!

    Here's how: Move them to a mule hero. This triggers an attack against Zehir immediately after you exit the Hero trade screen. Defeat them anyway you can, preferably without losses. 4 Rakshasa + Regeneration cast appropriately will do it. You've failed the sidequest, but no problem since there's no benefit/drawback either way.
    Now, check your mule hero -- all 100 Assassins are still there. Cross the garrison. No assassins = no betrayal. Transfer the assassins back from your mule to Zehir.
    Voila! 100 free assassins. You can use them as cannon fodder if necessary now that you *really* need it.
    illusionist at 2009-05-23 05:44 wrote:
    I think the most important skill in this mission is Logistics (Magic skills, in my opinion, are secondary). This is because you will be doing a lot of running around (in circles) with Zehir to catch up all the enemy heroes. But Zehir gets a penalty for Dungeon terrain, but Dungeon heroes do not (note that terrain penalty is dependent on Hero's race, not the creature he/she carries). With Expert Logistics + Path Finding Zehir avoids only being able to move ~6 tiles a day and it will save your precious time.

    cjlee at 2009-04-16 18:45 wrote:
    Played this on easy, normal and heroic.

    On easy and normal: made the mistake of breaking through the garrison on the bottom right of the map (i.e. to get to the Dwarf Quest hero). This triggers an attack by that level 17 Lethos with his big army. On my Easy and Normal tries I got phoenix, but even so you can't beat Lethos unless you have a sizeable army (to stay alive until after phoenix does it job).

    It was very hard. Because the level 17 Tan has a big army, you must hire. You can't let all his troops target your magnetic golems. And if you attack too early like I did, you won't have enough time to summon a big enough stack of magnetics. I spent so much money building my castle that I didn't have enough troops, so beating Lvl 17 was not easy.

    After I figured that attacking the SE garrison triggers Tan, I avoided it on heroic and went straight for purple's throat. It became boringly easy. On all 3 heroic tries, I steamrolled purple (most purple heroes flee), took either two or all 3 towns, all without being attacked by the level 17 tan.

    But I've not won! I have almost given up!

    Why?

    I am incredibly frustrated.

    Take my first Heroic Try for instance. Most battles are no challenge, but the enemy has one strong hero - Yrwana - wandering the map with dragons. She is only level 13 compared to my level 21 Zehir, but I had the worst possible luck - got Expert Light and Expert Summoning (natural for a wizard, duh!) - and wound up with rubbishy spells like Word of Light and Arcane Armor. No phoenix! No resurrection! Fireball does a grand total of 156 damage because Zehir has almost zero spellpower!

    A level 21 Zehir, armed with tons of artifacts, is no match for a measly level 13 AI hero! She out-stated him in attack, defense and spellpower! When your stat points are all in knowledge, and when you don't have the right spells, you have too much mana and no way to use it. I was never offered Destructive Magic. I was offered Dark Magic only at level 18, and had no resources to build up more level 5 mage guilds anyway. She also seems to carry some artifacts to reduce my spellpower, because my damaging spells and Summon Elemental work half as well.

    On my first Heroic try, all battles became straightforward might-based. I can't win without creatures. The enemy kills my golems too quickly using brute force, and I can't resurrect much with a miserable 156-damage fireball. So my game consists of trying to hold down towns in order to recruit, chasing irritating purple heroes, while accumulating black dragons and other dungeon creatures.

    Zehir is completely useless because he has the worst spells. He can't even do the spam-armageddon-and-flee trick.

    Eventually I realized that I am at an impasse. Since I must fight with brute force, I can't finish side quests and wipe out neutral stacks, because that would allow Yrwana to grab 2 towns and outproduce me. Thanks to the geography of this stupid map, Yrwana can stay indefinetely near town B and threaten my control of the 2 other towns.

    Even assuming I am willing to slog through this ridiculous map, I have to consider mission 2. I have Zero good spells. And no way to get any more Expert Light or Expert Summoning spells here. If I don't get anything good on Mission 2, Zehir will essentially be USELESS.

    So I restarted. (I used the New Campaign function because I read somewhere that it guarantees you a new try for new spells.)

    Heroic Try 2 was the same. I rushed for the mage guild, arriving at level 15 at the end of week 2 and with expert life and summoning. And I got no good spells! They only offered me chain lightning which I can't learn. In the meantime I build my Academy mage guild up with Library, and got the same crap Paper Armor, Curse of Netherparts, and Word of Bullshxx. Is this a characteristic of Heroic, where Nival deliberately gives you the worst possible spells to make it Heroically Hard?

    Once again I steamrolled purple. Grabbed Towns A and B with just fire elementals and a stack of magnetics. Threw all my resources into buliding a level 5 mage guild before Yrwana starts venturing out. And once again... got Curse of Netherparts... don't blame me for not choosing Destructive Magic. I was NEVER offered Destructive.

    On Heroic 3rd try, I got the same Worthless Spells! I was so desperate I passed up Expert Light for Basic Dark at level 15, and I still did not learn any worthwhile spells. Mage Guild continued to offer Word of Bulls---. Gave up on day 12 after finding Mage Vault just as worthless.

    I am extremely angry.

    I have played since Homm1. Nival has the WORST scenario creators ever. Do these idiots even play through on different settings, using different combinations, to make sure things work out? If the gamemaker does not plan things well, even a Biara with nothing with a few legions of imps could defeat Zehir at Talonguard.

    If a mission is being played on Heroic, battles Should be tough. Not 'convert 1-unit-stack-gremlins to 6 elementals' and Summon Fire Elementals Every Game, No Need To Use Brain to Think easy. But Nival should use common sense and make sure the mage guild gets the right spells, not rely on a randomizer!

    Since I played Zehir's campaign on easy, normal and hard, I have written about how ridiculously easy the final battles are using Hard setting if you deliberately retrain Freyda and Wulfstan as spellcasters, Kujin as an anti-dark caster, and Zehir as a Leader, while it is very difficult to win using Easy setting if you stick to Kujin (ballista), Freyda and Wulfstan's natural builds.

    When I play on Heroic, I expect the real challenge to come from strong opponents, not worthless mage guilds. When I play on Easy, I expect game to be easy if I build proper knights and runemages. What is the point of these difficulty settings?

    I am getting older and I have other things to do with my life. It looks like Bye Bye, HOMM6. I'm not paying for your crap anymore.
    Edited on Wed, Apr 22 2009, 01:50 by cjlee

    Banedon at 2008-06-25 14:18 wrote:
    This mission would be fairly hard if it weren't for one trick I discovered on my second try (first try was a hugely long game of hide-and-seek with the Dungeon heroes, after which I gave up looking for a simpler way). You should probably mention it. The key point is:

    YOU CAN LOSE A BATTLE WITH ZEHIR SO LONG AS YOU HOLD THE ACADEMY TOWN!

    Result: send Zehir with 7 Stalkers to engage the enemy heroes. Hide all 7 Stalkers. Spam Meteor Shower / Fireball / your best Destructive Magic spell. Do it again and again and again. Do it until their armies can no longer contest your force. Then destroy them. I met and defeated two large Dungeon forces with this tactic withering them down. After that, the mission was just a simple case of point-and-kill.

    I did this without receiving Conjure Phoenix from the original Academy town, the Dungeon town and the Mage's Vault, but I did receive Fireball, Chain Lightning and other goodies.

    Other notes:

    1. You absolutely want Phantom Forces. There's no need for Sulphur (why are you getting golems anyway?), the Armor of Valor is superseded by other items soon and you have no guarantee you'll get Phantom Forces. Sure the spell won't be that useful once you get Phoenix, but before then it has its uses.
    2. Very nice strategy yuritch, too bad I read that only after I finished the mission ^^

    Ravenheart87 at 2008-04-14 15:39 wrote:
    Hmpf, interesting. But don't worry, a few levels later you'll find a mentor (or maybe on the next, I can't remember correctly), until that, luck will be useful too - it's always handy.:)

    Trelew at 2008-04-14 14:09 wrote:
    I go through the Campaign menu to restart

    Ravenheart87 at 2008-04-13 19:12 wrote:
    No, there isn't any Mentor. How do you restart the map? From tha game menu, or from the campaign menu? In the first case, it will generate the same skills and spells for you, if I'm correct. It worked so in the previous games.

    Trelew at 2008-04-13 17:02 wrote:
    My big headache is the constant restart to get rid of the damn luck skills. Is there Memory guy in this round or do I have to keep restarting to get rid of all the luck skills?

    Wulfstan8182 at 2007-12-15 02:20 wrote:
    umm, yeah, where do i get the conjure phoenix spell?
    Edited on Fri, Dec 14 2007, 21:22 by Wulfstan8182

    Wulfstan8182 at 2007-12-10 02:54 wrote:
    i just think you should add that since lots of ppl play on easy, you get 60 magnetic golems every week from your call to arms.
    Edited on Sun, Dec 09 2007, 22:00 by Wulfstan8182

    Wulfstan8182 at 2007-12-09 23:40 wrote:
    what i did to get rid of the assasins is i pressed defend with all my troops 'til the assanins turn. then i took a ruler and put it so one and is at the battle mages and the other one is at the target. so, i put my assasins where they should get hit and got rid of them in 2 battles!
    Edited on Sun, Dec 09 2007, 21:59 by Wulfstan8182
    ywhtptgtfo at 2007-11-29 12:14 wrote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Interesting strategy. Were you on heroic? I assume you were using Dungeon creatures for most of the mission? I hadn't actually thought of letting my initial town go. I thought I needed those units. I might give this a try.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is very difficult to resupply yourself with Academy units and plus there are three Dungeon towns. So, it's better to let it go. Besides, once powerful enemy heroes get to it, they will take days to return to their original strongholds which means you will have plenty of time raiding their towns.
    namostmareleg at 2007-11-29 10:30 wrote:
    Hmm the new summoning spells are great, even seem to be a little overpowered to me...

    One blade barrier and hive and you can kill pretty large numbers of melee units with just a few gremlins placed in the corner. Or with the golems, the water elementals will just go down i guess.

    That invisibility strategy is a very nice idea, too, made me laugh, and i'm sure as hell will buy those *******s. I finished off the assassins first by placing only them to attack the elementals at the elemental stockpile, and after that using them as bait to kill the 4 dragons, which, luckily for me, killed off the entire remaining stack but nothing else :)

    And lastly, a why, again:

    Why would you take the phantom forces at the start of the mission instead of 10 sulphur? You don't really have large stacks to double. I took sulphur by instinct and it has proven to be very useful since i am spending sulphur for the golems and i wanna build the dragons in the dungeon town. Then who knows, maybe i'll miss it in the long run, but i pretty much doubt i will rely on my troops' numbers and not on my spells in the near future...

    PS:

    Ok, how about killing 77 rune priests with 23 stalkers without any loss? OMG. And i only have summon elementals yet.
    Edited on Thu, Nov 29 2007, 07:12 by namostmareleg
    shep61 at 2007-11-27 02:38 wrote:
    Interesting strategy. Were you on heroic? I assume you were using Dungeon creatures for most of the mission? I hadn't actually thought of letting my initial town go. I thought I needed those units. I might give this a try.
    ywhtptgtfo at 2007-11-27 01:48 wrote:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maltz, great walkthroughs, as usual! You have great luck! It took me over ten restarts to get Zehir to retain expert summoning. Then my starting town got attacked from the one way portal in week 3 by a level 17 Lethos with 120 furies, 90 upgraded minotaurs, among other large stacks! I'm dead.

    I must be missing something. Summon Elementals is good, but the initiative of the summoned creatures is so low that the enemy gets two full turns for every stack before the first turn for the elementals.

    Anyway, back to restarting.........
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The way I won this mission is by playing hide and seek with Lethos and another dominating Dungeon hero. If possible, get Expert Logistics and Expert War Machine (+ Triple Ballista). That way, you can take out towns easily as Lethos try to chase you down. Eventually, you should be strong enough to withstand a siege which you'd do by killing the catapult first and then all the flying/range units.

    By the way, I let them keep my Academy town until the last day of mission.
    shep61 at 2007-11-26 06:25 wrote:
    Maltz, great walkthroughs, as usual! You have great luck! It took me over ten restarts to get Zehir to retain expert summoning. Then my starting town got attacked from the one way portal in week 3 by a level 17 Lethos with 120 furies, 90 upgraded minotaurs, among other large stacks! I'm dead.

    I must be missing something. Summon Elementals is good, but the initiative of the summoned creatures is so low that the enemy gets two full turns for every stack before the first turn for the elementals.

    Anyway, back to restarting.........

    Moragauth at 2007-11-24 22:54 wrote:
    He's a charismatic villain. What is not to like? Arantir is a better spellcaster though. I like how he just fried those 2 demons that tried to attack him. ^^

    Angelspit at 2007-11-24 22:43 wrote:
    Arantir gets my vote as well.

    Meandor at 2007-11-24 21:32 wrote:
    I like Arantir more than Markal.

    I wonder, any one likes Markal at all?

    Moragauth at 2007-11-24 20:46 wrote:
    Well I finally won Heart of Darkness. Hard mission, even with Arantir at level 31. Fun though. :D I like Arantir more than Markal.

    Sir Charles at 2007-11-24 16:02 wrote:
    For me, one of the biggest changes for Academy HAS to be the fact that MotW now works with area effect spells. Double-casting a circle of winter on several dragon stacks is a beautiful thing to see for a wizard.

    Moragauth at 2007-11-24 14:28 wrote:
    I am still finishing off Arantir's campaign. Been too distracted by the scenario maps. I hate Orlando...
    ywhtptgtfo at 2007-11-24 10:13 wrote:
    Had a big of trouble with two purple heroes with massive armies. I ended up cheesing them out by luring them to attack Zehir in a town and then destroy the catapult.
    merkantini at 2007-11-23 15:17 wrote:
    An easy way to get rid of the 100 assassins is to simply put them in front of the wizards/archmages: "We actually were shooting at that minotaur stack over there! Sorry guys but looks like you're in the way!" :-)
    I got rid of them in 3-4 shots ;-)
    Fireballs work too, they didn't turn on me and I got the Secondary mission complete, I didn't actually center it on them, just caught them in the blast area, and BTW Fireball works GREAT on Magnetic Golems too, it's better than Resurrection sometimes! ;)
    yuritch at 2007-11-23 06:47 wrote:
    Acrane Crystal is VERY useful on the first Zehir mission. Do this: when the assasins join you, take them to the Hill Fort and retrain to Stalkers. Immediately after this you'll have to fight 100 Assasins (as the game thinks you tried to get rid of them), but 100 Stalkers will be with you, so defeating Assasins is easy - take nothing but Stalkers to the battle, use their Invis immediately and start placing Arcane Crystals near the enemy stack. Watch it attacking the crystal and damaging itself. If you were lucky with the starting initiative, you'll have 0 losses. After that, use this tactic to kill dangerous enemies, like Rune Patriarchs or Water Elementals - take only the Stalkers to battle, hide, place Arcane Crystals. If the enemy cannot see any of your "real" troops, they will attack whatever they can, crystals included.

    Moragauth at 2007-11-21 15:13 wrote:
    Hey, I am Swedish... :p But no argument on what you said.
    Inisto at 2007-11-21 12:08 wrote:
    Trrrrrrue.The Mages spend their levels in magic-gaining(And their time at McDonalds or so it seems since they are carried by f'ing elephants)So they won't stand a chance against a warlock who basically uses luck and Destructive Magic so he can have ''Warlocks Luck,, resistance, and a few Black Dragons doing Double damage against super expensive Nerds and Swedish Metro-Titans.Bah.

    Moragauth at 2007-11-20 23:16 wrote:
    Academy vs Dungeon. Bah, I hate Academy (and loathe Zehir), AND Dungeon is not an easy foe. Oh well, whatever it takes to get the job done. ^^
    Edited on Tue, Nov 20 2007, 18:16 by Moragauth

    maltz at 2007-11-20 21:28 wrote:
    Thanks everyone for the supports and hopefully my English isn't a big problem for you.
    ksmckay at 2007-11-20 16:47 wrote:
    I marched through the first and second missions with zehir with practically no army at all. Try to keep fire warriors to help out in the beginning till you get the phoenix. Though the best thing you can do is 6 stacks of a single obsidian gargoyle keeping your large stack out of the battle and then armageddon. You can just destroy almost any stack or enemy hero with that strategy.

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