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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
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Celestial Heavens  → Might & Magic: Heroes VI - Sanctuary - The Blood-Dimmed Tide

by maltz

INTRODUCTION

In this straight forward (surface only) mission, Irina needs to stop the Necromancers from taking over four towns. But there is really no rush in doing so. Three of the towns will fall immediately after the start of the mission; so there is nothing we can do. But then the Necromancers will ignore the final town. So we don't have to rush there, either. The Orcs are mostly our friends, although you can make some Orcs angry to your benefit.

There are not many towns and forts in this mission - well, there is only one fort. The Necromancers are the bosses, so artifacts that reduce morale will be useless against them. Just to keep the pressure on you, the AI will invade you through a one-way whirlpool; however, in my game, there was only one invasion near the beginning. You will also fight a large number of large neutral stacks. Tsunami is a great battle opener. Mass Regenerate during Time Stasis on the last enemy stack makes it much easier to achieve perfect victories in boss fights.

Sanctuary Campaign Mission 3
Level cap: 24
Difficulty Index: 3/6
Last updated: December 5, 2011

Dynasty Trait: My picks were just like before: free first generic hero, +3 core creature and +1 elite creature. In later missions, the first is still an excellent pick, since new heroes are way too expensive (and way too effective). On the other hand, I started leaning against +creature growth traits because I always run out of gold before I run out of creatures to hire. Unfortunately, there aren't more powerful +gold Dynasty Traits for higher Dynasty Ranks.

Irina starts beside Town A of the southeast corner. There is a Sawmill to the northwest and an Ore Pit to the northeast. You can make a round trip using any of the two paths leading to the west (as they will converge). The observation tower north of Town A reveals the exit of a one-way Whirlpool (1). Necro heroes will invade through here. If unchallenged, they will reach Town A two days after coming out of the whirlpool. That's pretty quick!

When you have finished business around home, head west to cross the straight at (2). The paved path to the north is blocked by Orcs, so head west first to face two Necro heroes. One will fight; one will run (you will see him later). Beat the Necromancer and take control of Town B without another fight. In my game, after about one week I was invaded by a weak Necro hero through the whirlpool at (1).

The "Free Orc Prisoner" quest should be activated now. The map will reveal the prisoners' locations, which are marked by PR on the map. The prison guards could be a little too tough for you. So don't feel rushed. You can tour Irina through Town B's territory to fight for resources and flag more buildings. The observation tower northwest of Town B will reveal a shipwreck-filled bay and a Blue hero at (3).

Soon you will obtain one of the four Moon Fragments in this mission marked by MF on the map. With all four fragments on the same hero, the game will reveal the location of the Tear of Asha (Tear), which can be installed inside your capital for nice effects. A reasonable time to get to the tear is after you finish freeing the Orc Prisoners. Neutral creatures guarding the later fragments could be quite a bit bigger than those prison guards.

Once you take care of the prison guards, you can earn Blood or Tear points by choosing whether to let the prisoners join (Blood path) or let the prisoners take over the city directly (Tear path). The Tear path saves work! After the Orc Towns (Town C and Town D) join, you can freely build them up, but can't convert them until you have freed both towns. It is a good idea to upgrade the money-making buildings right after receiving the towns (Level 3 Town Halls, Market) for profit.

As soon as you convert one of the Orc Towns (C or D), an angry Orc hero will turn aggressive at (4). He has a fairly powerful army, so it is better to postpone the town conversion until you are powerful enough to handle him. Practically, you can set Irina on a moon fragment-collection trip for the two northern fragments. By the time Irina reaches (4), convert the towns and send the now-angry Orc hero packing before his turn even turns up.


There is an optional Fort E still north from (4), controlling a rather large territory with a creature building to the very northeast and a gold mine to the west. When you are on your way to collect the moon fragment in the shipwreck bay, you can talk to a Blue hero at (5), but he only gives plot-related information.

You can now take your time fighting neutral stacks and collecting stats boosts (s). The remaining enemy's number grows much slower than yours due to the power of the Tear of Asha. The fourth town to reclaim, Town F, isn't heavily defended, but the challenges that follow will be a little more difficult. You will notice a threatening fleet of Necromancers at the shore of (5), but they won't actively attack you. You can find another set artifact at (6).

After you own Town F and convert it, a Sea Dragon is summoned and the Necromancer's fleet at (5) is largely destroyed. There will be only two ships remaining for Irina to sink manually. Cross the straight to the northwest and enter another Necro faction's territory, where you might see additional Necro heroes roaming around. In my game, I even saw one Necro hero with no army (so that battle was instantly over).

The final boss is significantly more powerful than the rest of heroes you have seen so far, but he should not be even close to threatening your perfect victory. Before the final fight, remember to re-arrange your inventory so all your set-artifacts are in the first page (no scroll bar required), and you still need two 2 holes left. This is because you will be given two artifacts after the final fight (although only one is part of a set).
Comments

Sir_Toejam at 2013-07-27 05:05 wrote:
At least as of 2.1.1, the last necropolis town will start sending modestly powerful stacks at your closest town, about one per week. You will either have to keep bouncing from exploration back to town, or split your army. It becomes... irritating.

In short, the idea that you can just take your time and explore after converting the 3rd town over is simply inaccurate at this point. I get about 1 day each week to prep, 3-4 days to explore, and then have to portal back to a town to protect it. the might necros are nothing to worry about (since you can heal up all the damage they do if you are patient), but the magic ones all cast implosion. which means you WILL lose units to them, permanently. Use your tsunami right at the start, and it will line up the enemy units so you can pop a stack of earth elementals on them next turn. past that, as soon as an enemy magic user casts implosion the first time (likley on your pearl maidens, killing a couple dozen of them), kill everything asap before they can cast it again, don't let your troops hang back, thinking you can heal them of all damage.

skills i used most with irina (went the tears route, and happy about it):

summon earth elemental
petrify
time stasis
lightning/chain lightning (yes, even if tears, still useful)
implosion (good damage and keeps pesky necros from resurrecting)
mass purity (actually, this was mostly for fighting the huge stacks of shamans, but works well for necros too)
meditation. every battle. best magic skill in the game, hands down.
stone skin/mass stone skin. this is AWESOME on a tears based hero. reduces damage by 75% for single target, over 25% when mass!
regeneration (yes, even with split stacks of pearl maidens, you still need it, though usually i use the single instead of the mass version).
heal and mass heal (restore stacks in middle of fight, top up at end)

Must have passives:

-Thunderclap. This will usually daze any stack you attack with your maidens, or with lightning, both of which is good.
-archery I and II (are you kidding? so many good ranged units, it's a no brainer)
-counterstrike I and II. not only makes your main units more of a force, but you can put your summoned earth golems in defense mode, and they will still do great damage on retaliation, for 3 turns no less with maxed tears rep!)
-Rush. sometimes you just need to get that one stack in there right friggen NOW. different than teleport, in that on an open field, the bonus to initiative rocks.
-ambush. Because even though your units have naturally high initiative, enemy heroes can boost their stacks too. Going first is always better.
-tactics I, at least. Tactics II is sometimes useful, because you can strike with your main units and Kappas on the first turn, though I think you're probably better off waiting until the move first most times. probably better to pick rush instead of tactics II.
-Mentoring. Because whoever designed Changbo to be a might hero with no less than 6 water skills is a moron. you will need mentoring to get him up to something useful.

you will still have a few points left over after the end of map 3 with all that, suggest teleport, and retribution. teleport your sharkies in after they have been spirit linked, cast retribution and regeneration on them. watch the fun.
Kelben at 2012-02-12 09:03 wrote:
As of patch 1.2.1, several invasions are launched through the whirlpool, not only 1. Still they are easy to fend off.

@Naki: The shaman will not carry over but the might hero will to mission4. I just kept mentor on Irina, can afford to spare the point and allow to start mission 4 with the might hero at lvl 21 (using the dragon shine in mission 3).
Edited on Sun, Feb 12 2012, 12:33 by Kelben
Naki at 2012-01-22 16:08 wrote:
Also, what skills/spells do I choose for Irina to get?
Playing in Offline mode (so no Conflux).
Naki at 2012-01-22 16:07 wrote:
I need some help.
I have two other heroes, Tiangbo - who carried over from the previous mission and another hero, a Barbarian shaman. Do I have to develop them? I assume Tiangbo will carry over to mission 4, so maybe I do need to get him better? Is it reasonable to stop fighting using Irina once she reaches the level cap? Thanks!!

Corlagon at 2012-01-12 15:47 wrote:
Sorry, nope. I read that people could access such information, so there must be a way.

Yes, there is a way. Here are the instructions, but let me know if you need any help.

maltz at 2012-01-12 15:01 wrote:
Sorry, nope. I read that people could access such information, so there must be a way. Maybe this particular hero picked up the boots from his/her territory?

Bucker at 2012-01-11 18:26 wrote:
Maltz have you found out how to check MM6 campaigns in editor yet?I'd like to know skill build for opponent necros. They have a HUGE amount of movement points, without wearing these pretty +8 boots. How?

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