Welcome to the Stronghold campaign. This faction is about strength; attack strength and bloodlust rather than magic - although you do have some access to that as well. As a general strategy, you can build strong hero attacks and focus on boosting your creatures with lots of attack and defence.


A bit about the creatures: The brutes are your rush units. They have good attack stats, but aren't too good at defending. The gnolls are not very good but you can get a lot of them, so they can be put in the back ranks and shoot. If you can buff their attack in combat, having a high number of them suddenly becomes a good weapon. The harpies are fairly quick and they can use their strike and return ability, which is great when fighting creatures that have already retaliated. They're fragile, though, so take care of them. The centaurs are excellent shooters and they are difficult to block since they move when you attack them in melee. These are the creatures you will rely on the most in the campaigns, along with the wyverns (fragile, but fast and venomous); the rest are basilisks (great units, but expensive), cyclopes (very strong units with a powerful melee attack) and behemoths (sturdy, strong with great staying-power).


You start as Imani, who has 4 weeks to rally troops in the shape of gnolls, centaurs, harpies and rakshasas in a rebellion against their former wizard masters. Unlike map 3 of the Academy campaign, the deadline is very clear this time. Also, you are early on given a message that it may be a good idea to pick your battles and focus on the important ones – the small size of your army suggests the same. Gold and artefacts are important, but otherwise you should keep away from the difficult battles. Make sure you stop by boosters whenever possible. Also, don't plunder mines – it takes too long. So start moving north and pick up resources as you go. I recommend levelling up Imani in defence, as this will help you sustain fewer losses.


You will almost immediately meet some caged gnolls, and Imani seems to have a way with words (despite being an orc), so they will join you. Further on, get off the road and visit the Blacfang Hideout. Academy heroes will start patrolling the roads soon. Avoid them if you can (if you can't the armies are still manageable).

Further south, you find some harpies in a magical cage. Those wizard slavers are starting to piss me off. Do as the harpy suggests and destroy the pillars around the cage. I would take the easiest battle first – the skeletons. Imani doesn't have much in the way of spells, but she has a decent hero attack, so use that for all it's worth. Let the enemy come to you and remember that taking out a stack gives you a morale boost. After the first battle, kill the spiders to the north and the cage will fall, giving you more troops. Moving west, I was encountered by a patrolling hero on the bridge, but it was a fairly easy fight. Ooooh bridge fight!

After crossing the bridge, you spot a pyramid. That's a catapult in wizard speek. Looks like it's powerful enough to destroy a dam just north of here so that you don't have to faight your way through all those pesky spiders. Move past the catapult and talk to Reem – she has the same idea. Taking on those genies was pretty hard, but I took out the apprentices first with hero attacks and then focused on the genies. Then I could use that pyramid to free the centaurs. After doing that, talk to them and they will join you.

The dam can be destroyed by using the catapult

You may have noticed that lack of troops is beginning to be a real problem in this map. That final map is going to be impossible at this rate... Where can you find new ones? Well, there's an Elemental Conflux just below the catapult/pyramid. Those can be hired for money and resources.


Only rakshasas left now. Move west across the other bridge and proceed towards the statue of Qasim. If you still have units of different kinds in your army – notably centaurs and harpies – it will fall. Then walk across it. Talk to Asad nearby the fort and fail to get him on your side, then fight his army of Rakshasas. These are fierce creatures; fast and strong, and with no retaliation. Still, if you have recruited some of those elementals, it should be doable. After the battle is won, the map is completed with the usual «lesson» for Ivan. What is it? Well ... that's for you to figure out.

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In this map, it's important to conserve troops until you have your own town. In the early game, direct damage spells are great. You're start out once again with Fahada, still rather reluctantly hunting orcs, in the upper northeast corner of the map. After the first battle, your authority/opinions are challenged by Aali. Can't have that, can we. Engage. Aali takes some creatures from your army to fight you with, but you can wipe the floor with them with a couple of lightning bolts.


Your first quest now is to follow up this initial confrontation and defeat Aali once and for all: she is to the far south on the map. As you keep moving south, talk to Jengo. He tells of a blue gem (heard that before?) with great power and encourages you to find it. Not much of interest to the west yet, so keep heading south past the two-way-portal and the Academy dwelling. You will come to a garrison, and further south of that is a fort. That's a hard battle, but managable when using spells to take out as many enemies as possible. To the southwest is a town called Ihmarra. Grab it. Owning that (and the fort) will allow you to control the mines in the area and build strength. Aali is waiting (not attacking your town) just north of the town, so you can wait until you are strong enough to go at her again (she will move eventually, so don't take too long). The first priority should be the Gold Mine to the east, then Sawmills and Ore Mines. Don't take too long, though; there are other towns on this map and your enemies are growing in strength too. Killing Aali gives you lots of good artefacts and completes the «Turncoat» quest, giving you another one.

After getting rid of Aali, it's time to consolidate your position. Now that you have your town, you have all the time in the world. Grab all the resources and flag all mines in the area. When you've done that, hit the Shantiri Ruins. From here onwards, my fights actually got a lot easier since I got about 20 cyclopses to join me due to my diplomacy skill – that's a nice skill to have, I have to admit. If you don't get any free creatures, just keep getting reinforcements from the town.


Now, when you're completely done in your area, move east into the southeastern corner with the nice ruins and visit the altar you need to open the bridge to the west. This is also where you will find that blue stone everybody wants. Especially you, it turns out, seeing as the stone contains your former lover's soul. Once you have it, move west from your town and pick off the Dragon Utopia on the way. Enter the portal guarded by dragons, and be ready to fight colossi as well. Also visit the second altar. The portal takes you to an area in the north. Grab all the loot, then head back. With both altars visited, both bridges (the southern and northern one) can now be crossed. North or south, it doesn't really matter which bridge you cross, since they both lead to an enemy territory. I chose the southern one - so that's what this walkthrough will talk about: When you want to go further, move across the bridge west of your town.

The ruins in the southeast, where the blue gem is.

Once you go across, your main enemy, Qasim, is said to have heard of your arrival and dispatched some minions. Melisande is the big one, and she is far to the north, but like I said, I'll clean out the southern area first. Melisande will no doubt grow in strength, but so will you.


Head west (the roaming orc allies started tagging along at this point, but don't expect much help other than for scouting; they're really annoying, though), and you can clear this area as well if you like. I took on 34 shantri titans but left the other neutral stacks alone since I was feeling invincible anyway. Keep moving west until you encounter a fort. Take it and move on, to engage the purple enemy. On the way towards the Necro town, stop by the bridge tower. You need to activate those to summon the bridge leading to the central island.


Purple had a big army, but was still in for a beating...When taking on the town, the enemy made a mistake. The defending army was big enough, but the lead hero was out with a small contingent, meaning I faced only a level 1 hero in the town. The liches and vampires still need handling, though; I summoned elementals next to the liches so they couldn't shoot. Thanks to the hero's low damage, it took several turns for the defenders to get rid of my elementals – then I just summoned some more. As for the rest of the battle, well, this is the time for those cyclopses to shine. If you don't have any of those, use the cannon fodder to take the brunt of the damage.



Once the town is taken, you can finally hire extra heroes and get to know your surroundings, even call in reinforcements from Ihmarra. When you're done in the southwest, move north. At this point, I had reached my level cap and had more resources than I could ever need, so I'm not sure you even need to keep flagging mines. Move north, take the fort and the second bridge tower right next to the waterfall. Then move north across the bridge nearby. I encountered two yellow heroes there, but they were no match for me. Then I encountered Melisande with the main army. This should be one big fight.

At this point, I moved my shooters to the flanks to avoid the straight-on charge by the fast haven units. Also, give them the arrow storm boost. Summoning elementals next to the enemy shooters should be a priority too. But I suspect avoiding losses completely is not going to happen here: these Haven troops are getting really big morale boosts, so the goal is to keep their shooters out of the game for as long as possible, while taking care of the ones that attacked mine. When the wolves and cuirassiers are out of the way, my ranged units will make mincemeat of the enemy.

After winning this one, the yellow town of Lightmarch is easily taken, it's just north of you. You can also sweep that area for artefacts, creatures and mines if you want to. When you're ready for the final fight of the campaign, head across the new green bridge to the huge Academy complex in the middle of the map. Qasim is level 30 and he's got a decent army entrenched in a town, so do be prepared to take losses. Still, if you play it right, it should not be impossible at all. And that's the end of the Academy campaign. Well done!

Qasim's place.

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The key to solving this map is doing two main quests at once, and be quick about it; you only have 12 weeks to complete them both. Be careful not to lose troops to all those neutrals you have to fight. I recommend choosing gold over experience, since your main hero will be gaining plenty of that from all the neutrals anyway, but gold is scarce. I also recommend using the «instant recall» spell often, to move faster from one place to another. Those 12 weeks include not only gathering resources, as the quest might indicate, but also building the dam, talking to your rivals and doing all those other tings. Basically, you have 12 weeks to complete the whole map. I recommend rushing for resources and complete the resource gathering quest within 6-7 weeks.

Hisham, a young man on a noble quest taken straight from «1001 nights», winning the heart of a princess who has set her suitors on the task of impressing her. Your plan is to create an oasis in the desert, and you need resources to do it. The two main quests are: finding the Tear of Asha (5 obelisks), and gathering resources (20.000 gold, 50 wood, 50 ore, 25 Dragon steel and 25 Starsilver) enough to create the oasis. There are no invading armies to worry about, just tons of neutrals. To solve the missions, flag mines and pick up the masses of resources that someone carelessly left lying around.

Note! Even after you gather all the resources, you still have to create the oasis, and that takes several days, so don't aim for completing the resource gathering on the last day of the deadline.


You start off with a single level 10 hero and a town. Start out by exploring and building. Hire secondary heroes to cover more ground and pick up loose resources - this is really vital. While you get started, you are shown clips of what your rivals are doing. Never mind them, and don't worry about their towns either – they're irrelevant and should be left alone until you need to talk to them.


First, you should pick up the free creatures just to the northwest, and the explorer boots just to the south west of your town. Now on to the rest. Whether you go west or east first doesn't really matter as the layout is much the same in both directions; there are resources aplenty. If you want to go the way I did, here is the recipe. Focus on taking mines: To the west of your town is an Ore Pit. Just to the east is a Sawmill. North of the town is an Underground Pit, giving shadowsteel. Immediately to the west of that is a Bloodforge, giving dragon steel. Proceed north and round a bend, keep going north and you'll find another Bloodforge and a Gold Mine; control of the nearby fort is needed. When you have done these, you can keep gathering resources and flagging more mines. Starsilver is hard to come by, but there is a Meteor Creater east of your town.


Also, keep going for those obelisks; on my first playthrough, I spent all 12 weeks focusing on the resource quest and ended up losing the map since I had neglected the other. There are several forts and they should be taken when you are strong enough, thus giving you control of the mines outside your town's territory. There is also a Trading Post west of your town where you can sell some of the resources if you need to when the deadline approaches. There is also an Artifact Merchant. To the southwest are both Shantiri Ruins and a Dragon Utopia – good for treasure hunting when you're strong enough.


Once you have completed the quest by gathering enough resources, you must construct a wellhouse; do this by clicking the red stone column just outside the town. When that's done, you have to remove some obstacles. Move around the cavern – just to the north of your town you see a bridge. To the north of that, some water. There are two boulders you have to click. The bottom one first, then the top (to reach it, move north and around to the other side). When you trigger them both, the river is unleashed, turning your arid desert town into a lush oasis. Quest completed.


Once you have the oasis, you are encouraged to talk to your rivals. Oh, all right, then. Just one thing first: there is an army of possessed golems coming for your town. They're very slow, but you should handle them first. 150 of them, led by a level 15 golem hero – not a problem if you use your main hero and a sizeable army. Apparently, there is something going on with these possessed constructs, and your rivals may have something to say on the matter. So now go talk to them. One in the west, one in the far south east. You can use any hero to visit their towns, so those heroes you hired to cover more ground can be useful here, but it's the visiting hero that will receive the exp for completing the quest, so keep that in mind. Use the instant recall to jump back to your town when you're done talking, that's vital for saving time.

You're probably wondering where those obelisks are. You should find 4 of them quite easily, honestly, they're just spread around the map. It's just the fifth one that's a bit hard, since it's hidden at altitude and not down in the desert. Here's a tip: check in the mountains just south of the enemy town called Dahabi.


The Tear should be located here:

Once you have constructed the grail building, you can talk to the last rival (to the north). Save time by sending a hero up to him while another is taking the Tear to your town. After that, you just have to fight off those pesky possessed golems. Eventually, a huge army with titans will be on its way, and you come up with the idea of destroying your own dam to flood them. Do so by clicking the red stone pillar by your town once again. Then pick up the gem from the flood site. Bring your whole army (all of it), move south to the gate you see in the cutscene and go through it with the gem equipped. The mission is to take it to its «resting place». Follow the path to the west until you reach some ruins. Fight the titans. Don't worry about preserving troops, this is the last fight. When it's over, you get to the closing scene.


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In this map, you find that your main hero from the previous one is simply not here. In fact, the common denominator in this campaign is not a single hero, but the blue gem.


You start out with Masfar (remember him?), a level 20 hero, and a town this time. Your quest is to find a gem that can bring people back from the dead. Got it? Let's go. Your goal is toward the east, but before you can face what awaits you there, you must build your town and get a proper army up and running. So move west into the desert; here are resources and boosters, and (importantly) a Sawmill and an Ore Pit you need to flag. Explore the area, possibly even hire another hero to pick up stuff and cover more ground. Also, try not to lose so many creatures during combat. The «summon elementals» spell is good for that. You have plenty of time, so build your town and make sure you get some mage guilds in there. Creatures and spells, that's what you need. Take your time, the enemy won't come to you until you open the mountain pass.


When you have explored for a while, and you're sure your army is strong, go east by manipulating the tombstone near the closed entrance. Proceed through the pass to find the necromancer Lyla, who is unwilling to help. How dares she? Continue east after her; the mission is now to kill her and all her minions. To the east is a fort called Turaabi. Owning that is useful. The Gold Mine nearby should also be high on your list of priorities, as access to gold is a real problem in this map. Just north of the fort is a lightly protected garrison, and further north from that is another fort, called Kudur. Scattered all around are treasures, boosters and creatures to fight. None of this should be a problem if you have a strong army, and with the fort, you can also ship out reinforcements via caravan. Combat tip once again: summoned creatures are great.

There are just two battles you need to worry about; the heroes Lyla and Luna have good armies and a decent set of spells, so when you meet them first time you have to be prepared. After you did that, though, you can roam around and explore their territory, capturing forts (rebuild them to gain a wider area of control) and fighting neutrals. On occasion, the heroes might come back out to retake a fort or something, so recruit another hero or two and be ready to intercept them; this time they haven't got big armies with them. I toyed with them for a while; took complete control of their territory and wiped the map clean of neutrals before attacking the town, which I took without losses. Simply by being patient.

When you have done that, Lyla will do as you ask. Suddenly, you are playing from her perspective, going into the spirit world. Move from round thing to round thing and watch the stairs move, Hogwarts style. Meet up with Khalida (from map 1). She will help you find the right path in this crystal world. Now, as you might have guessed from the riddle section earlier, there is a trick to this. The round purple crystal platforms trigger the paths so you can walk on them and you have to place both heroes on the corresponding platforms. The trick is to trigger them in the right order. If you want to experiment, you can try different combinations; place both heroes on similar platforms and see if anything happens. If not, here is the solution:

1) the platform with the small hovering rocks/droplets, 2) the golden statue of a priest/abbot, 3) the sword, 4) the green winged beast, 5) the knight/cuirassier on the prancing horse, 6) the deer, 7) the one between the deer and the sword.

Doing it in this order causes the crystal bridges to form a path to where you want to go: through a big ring. From there, you are transported up to Jadwa's essence. If you paid attention to the story, that's the daughter that's been lost.

Lyla in the spirit world

Next up, a cutscene. And then, whaddayouknow: a battle. Turns out, things weren't as simple as our hero thought and he should have listened to advice. Never saw that coming, eh? Jadwa is level 30 and her shantiri titans pack a real punch. I beat her by preventing the titans from shooting by summoning elementals next to them, and then sending my whole army forward. Boosted rakshasa rajas and disciples made most of the damage. After another cutscene, the map ends. The message, and its relevance for Ivan, is up to you to decipher.

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Welcome to the Academy campaign.

This faction is all about magic, and on high levels the heroes can both give their armies some pretty insane buffs and also do direct damage to (or weaken) the enemy forces themselves. Many of the units are quite fragile, though, so getting through battles with low losses is more about playing it smart than relying on the defensive stats of your armies. Summoning, troop positioning and maximizing damage output are more important than relying on your sturdy creatures to take the brunt of the battles.

You start out with two heroes, Fahada and Khalida. I suggest you make Khalida your main hero, and focus on specializing in magic when you level her up, since that will be useful in combat. Fahada is your main protagonist, but she starts at a lower level. There should be plenty of time to gain levels later. Now to the story: Orc slaves outside your city are revolting and it's your job to put them down. I foresee all sorts of moral questions popping up in this campaign – should be interesting. For now, let's do what the campaign is about, kill those pesky slaves who dare revolt against their rightful masters.

Once that's done, make sure you visit the Arcane Shrine slightly hidden south of the city. Kill all the stacks and grab all the stuff around, then talk to Qasim outside the city. Apparently, orcs are rebelling all over the place. You are tasked to end it. You still can't enter the town, so keep clearing the area of rebel scum. When you take out the garrison to the south of the town, a small conversation between the two ladies (who seem more than a bit friendly with each other) take place and they split up: Fahada goes across the bridge, which is then destroyed by a rebelling cyclops, so you're stuck out there. Good thing that your quest is in that direction; you're looking for a blue gem, which is in a tomb somewhere.


First, Fahada needs to bolster her army. That should be your priority. There is an Elemental Conflux nearby, and also try to look around for creatures that will join you for free. That should give you enough force to take on the various rebels around the area. You don't have too much of an army yet, though, so I suggest using your spells to do some heavy damage. One of the quests needs to be completed in 7 days, but that's not a problem since the army you need to take out is coming right for you.

The gate to the underground

Once you have cleared the area of rebels, more armies will join you for free, so go talk to them. Keep fighting creatures, finding items, flagging mines and visiting booster until you come to the Altar of Elrath. Interacting with that allows Khalida to open the (yellow) seal blocking her path on the other side of the river. Once through, make killing rebels the first priority; more creatures will then join you (they won't as long as there are rebels loose). There is a stack of rakshasas nearby; having them in your army should make things easier. Also recruit some golems from the Magic Menagerie. After Khalida has cleared out the area, head down to the underground. Loot the caverns and find the riddle room.

The riddle room

Reading the memorial plates, you realize this is the tomb of Hakim of Azhar, who loved riddles. There are 4 levers you have to manipulate in the right order, otherwise you will have to fight increasingly hard enemies.

The correct order is: 1) upper left, 2) lower left, 3) lower right, 4) upper right.

So basically, start on the top left and go around conter-clockwise. After you click a lever, you can click the memorial pillars to have a look at the inscriptions from Hakim. When you've clicked all four levers, the tomb opens. When you head inside, an enemy hero named Jengo comes out to boast about how his buddy Malathua will invade the city Shahibdiya and kill everyone. Then he attacks you, but he should not be too hard. Just use some powerful spells to take out the centaurs and those fast fliers. The rest is easy.


Grab the loot and exit the tomb to the right, visiting the Altar of Shalassa on the way. That will allow you to open the blue seals as well. Moving west, another cyclops blocks your path if you try to head south, so cross the bridge and meet up with Fahada. When you perform the next move, you will lose Khalida, but don't worry about losing items (they will be transferred). Equip Fahada with «The Flower of the desert» to complete the quest.


Now your job is to move south east to Shahibdiya and defeat that invading Malathua guy. You have 1 week. Get moving. Where, you ask, since the path was blocked by a cyclops? Check your quest log: there's a spirit gate just east of the bridge. Move through the spirit world and when you arrive on the other side, pick up some spells and volunteering rakshasas. There are also some apprentices on the way to the town, they might join you. Now attack the town.


It looks like it could be a close battle, but here's a tip: That gem you're now wearing gives you a spell: chain lightning. Try it. Watch the carnage. The tsunami spell is also quite good fun. Since this was the last fight of the map, I just set autocombat to handle the rest. Job done.

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You continue from the previous map; Tomas now has to consolidate his position from Hammer Fall and build his own country away from the empire. Start out by talking to your councillors around you. Talking to Ella gives you some great artefacts. Also flag the mine and pick up resources around. Then talk to Serguei to send him packing.


This map is a classic big Heroes map with lots of enemy heroes and towns. Head down the stairs and start picking up stuff. Standard prcedure: build towns, flag mines, explore and fight creatures. When travelling around on the plains, an enemy hero named Orna will turn up from the north to kill you. The audacity! She seems to go for the nearest town (Blackforge), so take your strongest hero, give him your troops and go kill her. The enemy army is not very big, but she does have 10 seraphs, so don't take it too lightly. Winning is worth 30.000 exp. Another hero is coming the same path and then another via the sea to the east, so be ready for more fights. I counted three enemy heroes coming, after that it seemed peaceful.


There are several dwellings to the northeast, those can boost your armies. Also take note of the Merchant nearby, selling and buying artefacts. The road to the north is blocked by an avalanche, so just setlle for taking control of the mines and levelling up your heroes.

When you have control over the western area, it's time to cross the bridge by the orc settlement. Turn left after the bridge, clear the area and head into the underground for more loot. There's also an obelisk there, one of nine. The only thing in the underground you can't do without a huge army is the Shantiri Ruins. The Dragon Utopia is easier. When the underground is clear, head back up and go right. Head down the other underground entrance and you will find both an Elemental Conflux and a level-up shrine, the latter becoming all the more valuable at such high levels. You might also find some enemy heroes down here, but they don't seem too much of a challenge. Heading east, there is an exit taking you to a small island with an obelisk and stuff to fight for. Further north, you will find stairs to the surface and when you reach it you find an enemy town called Oakmoor. Capture it.


As is customary with Heroes games, the AI has not cleared its area completely. Speed is of the essence here, so don't plunder the mines since that depletes your movement points. Just to the west of Oakmoor is another town called Whitesand Creek. Take that as well and those roaming heroes should soon think twice about invading your lands and consider defending their own instead. To the south is an obelisk as well as much goodies to collect; keep clearing the area and try to consolidate your position. Between the two newly captured town is a Trading Post that can be useful. To the southwest is a bridge leading back to your own lands; I encountered no less than five enemy heroes there. This is becoming annyoing. I killed some, but some ran away to the west. Follow and you'll see why: there's a two-way portal there, allowing them to be annoying in several places. Go after them and fight them one after another. Eventually, you will find a town. Take it. That will surely put a dent in their hero recruitment. Just to the south is a fort you need to capture in order to cancel the enemy's area of control.


Losing all towns does something to the AI's mind; it becomes desperate to conquer any town and you should have guards posted at all towns to avoid sudden annoying recaptures. This while you hunt the last remaining forts and rogue heroes out there. Once you have eliminated them all (I stopped counting after ten), the Haven campaign ends. Tomas held his new lands free and independent from the empire. The lesson is for you to decipher.

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This map is about defending the city of Hammer Fall from the imperial troops attacking you. The young Wolf defies his orders from the empire and stands up for honour instead - decipher the hidden message if you can.


You have three heroes: Tomas, Ymoril and Konrad. The latter will cover the retreat from an invading imperial army while Tomas and Ymoril escape and destroy bridges behind them. Konrad has an army of 100 swordmasters, which make mincemeat of any small armies. Use it to attack the oncoming forces and give the other two as much time to escape as possible; Konrad's defeat is eventually unavoidable as the armies will keep coming every turn, and get stronger and stronger while Konrad gets weaker.


In the mean time, run away with the other two, clearing roads in front of you and destroying bridges behind by activating the red stone pillars. Just make sure you get to the other side of the bridge before destroying them... Also, remember to build your towns. You have three. You should also grab what resources you can on the way while solving the quests simultaneously.


Visit the town to the north (New Market) and recruit more creatures, then repair the bridge to the east to get to Hammer Fall. Before you cross the bridge, though, visit the obelisk. It's the first of three. See what I mean about buildings that look like decoration? Attack any armies blocking your way and interact with the catapult to block a road. Keep visiting catapults to destroy roads around the map, slowing your enemy's advance. Once the correct bridges are out, their movements seem to slow a lot. Keep open a path between your three cities so you can send caravans.

Here is where I found the Tear of Asha. 

To the north east is a path where the orc refugees can set up camp. Once Tomas gets there, the orc leader Bilashi joins with his small orc contingent. Continue on to find the second obelisk. Southeast of Hammer Fall is a group of swordmasters who join you for free. Take 'em. Those guys kick so much butt. Visit the third obelisk next to their dwelling. Once you have visited all three, look at the map and find the treasure. For me, it was just north of the swordmaster dwelling. Once you're sure your in the right spot (or 1 tile from it), find the «dig» spell in your spellbook.


A short cutscene tells you where to go next. Using the Tear of Asha and the Shantiri key, your little helper sets up a force field around Hammer Fall – totally ripping off Harry Potter and Alpha Centauri. It blocks your path, so you have to leave through the portal that just appeared. Stock up on creatures in the town first, leave one slot open for the volunteering titans and then go through. Bring with you the troops that offer to go with you and you'll have a chance against your enemy's main army. When I went in, I lost about 440 of them and all the rest of my army, but you can do better if you focus. Be prepared to lose a lot, though; you're up against 200 seraphs, 500 marksmen and a lot more besides. Your titans should be boosted with luck and haste, and try to focus your attention on those seraphs.

Having won against the three enemy heroes, the map is completed.

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In this map, you are given several small quests. The first is to gain control of the area around your town, flag mines and take forts. Start with resources. Remember, conserve your troops; the minotaurs are quite tough and should perhaps be fought last. The Shrine of the Seventh Dragon is a level-up structure and should be saved for later, when levelling up gets harder. It's not even needed in this map since you can reach the level cap by fighting, so best to save the money.


Once you have control of the area, a new quest is to appoint Ymoril as governor of the town. To do this, have her enter the town and drag her image to the circle in the top left corner. Job done.


When you're done with all the rest, attack the forts. The battles are easy and can even be won with autocombat if you have a sizeable army. Rebuild the forts to complete a quest. At that point, when Ymoril says «take my troops», you have to take all her troops and then the blocked garrison in the hills will open. Ymoril then becomes unavailable as a hero.


Past the garrison is a pair of golden dragons guarding a gold mine – they offered to join me for 29k gold but that was too rich for me, so I attacked instead. Continue and find the hidden resources just below and around the corner from the dwelling. That item is really nice. Keep exploring the area and grabbing resources. To the south is a Meteor Crater, giving starsilver. Capture it; those rare resources are important. With that in mind, build a resource silo in my town instead of a moat this time. You need resources to build your army and since this map is more about taking the fight away from town than defending it, go for resources.


Across the bridge are a couple of heroes from the enemy «House Materia» faction but they won't fight you, so go talk to them. After making a deal with you they will go back to their town and block the road so you can't attack it. Venture further south and pick up what you find on the way, including capturing the all-important Bloodforge, giving you dragon steel. Next to it is Plainwatch, the ruined fort. Rebuild it and ship in more troops. Wait for them to arrive. Now you're unbeatable. Head for the underground past the moving elementals. Search the crypt to find an item; you don't really need it, though. One section here is blocked off, so once you're finished in the underground, go see Masfar back in the Academy city to ask him about it. Also, remember that you can order more troops from home to arraive at the Plainwatch fort.


Masfar will send his apprentice, Gloria, to help you. Follow the pretty lass and she will make a path for you by showing off her fire magic. Awesome. Can't wait to learn some cool spells myself. Head down into the underground via the new entrance, pick up all the stuff and meet Gloria at the fire gate. Once you do, she opens the gate and traps you inside. Turns out, she was a demon in disguise. Who knew?

Now your mission is to save Ymoril, whom the demons want to kill as revenge against Tomas' uncle. Since Gloria blocked your path and there's no way back, go forward. To the southeast is an army of demons guarding a fire elemental, which must be set free. Attack the demons. If you caravaned in troops like I said, they should be no threat. Kill them so that Gloria is revealed as a demon when she meets her old master at the garrison.

You now play as Masfar, fighting a garrison battle against Gloria and her demons. You should win; her spells are powerful, but your creatures are even more so. My advice is: don't cower behind your walls, but send your fliers out to meet her. Masfar's spells are good, and those arcance eagles are like sending tanks into the O.K. Corral. Job done, map completed.

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Welcome to the Haven campaign. This is fairly simple, so it's a natural starting point in the game, even though you can start with any campaign you want.

A natural strategy of the Haven faction is unit conservation; trying to fight battles with as few losses as possible, notably through the use of healing spells and units, but also defensive abilities. Haven units are tough, and those that aren't protect the ones that are. I recommend giving your Haven heroes (the main hero in particular) plenty of attack and defence bonuses, so as to boost the creatures passively as much as possible.

Let's get started. You begin with Tomas of Wolf, and the first map is fairly easy - it serves as a good introduction to the game's mechanics. Walk around, fight everything and kill it while trying to get used to how the game works. Try to sustain low losses if you can – the autocombat does work well but if you lose too many troops, perhaps you should re-fight the combat manually. Also, some troops may want to join you. Free troops! Yess. You are guided through it all and should not have any problems exploring the map once you learn the difference between ornamental buildings (annoying, I know) and functional ones.

 Haven's Campaign - Thomas Wolf

The skills you should choose for Tomas include those useful for defending a town. Also, having diplomatic skills increase the chances of getting neutrals to join your army.

The main quest is to clear the Falcon road, and to do that, you first need to rebuild a bridge. That costs you 500 gold, 4 ore and 8 wood. Walk up to the bridge, click it, and watch the magic happen. Keep marching and clear the roads of bandits and brigands. Basically, just kill everything.

Eventually, you reach a big town, which is defended by your main rival. If the threat predictor says you should win easily, go for it. Fast, before he can buy reinforcements. If you can't attack, pick up reinforcements from the dwelling on the other side of the water. Once you have won the town, build it to maximum fortifications and get as many creatures you can. Prepare for invasion - there is one coming. If you use your time well, the invading army should not win the battle when attacking your town. Winning that battle wins the map for you.

To clean Falcon Road

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