- by maltz
Hm... Mission 3 at v1.1.1 does not look like a finished product. There are two serious bugs and one obvious flaw. The first bug could get you stuck forever. The second bug usually renders one of the side quests unable to be completed. The flaw? This mission is way too easy. The neutral stacks are usually smaller than those found in Haven mission 1, and of course smaller than those in mission 2. The AI is unable to build walls in all of their towns, which are usually defended with a miserably small garrison. Most bosses, including the last one, do not even have high-tier units!
Dynasty Traits: As Griffins, Blazing Glories and Sun Crusaders take the center stage of your battles, Elite creature +1 growth looks pretty good! Free first generic hero never disappoints, too. By the way, you will still reach the level cap easily, so again all chests can be cashed as usual. There is no need to waste precious crystals at Seven Dragon Shrines.
Level cap: 24
Difficulty Index: 1/6
Last updated: November 24, 2011
You start in the northwest corner of the map. A so-so secondary magic hero joins you (she will return on mission 4, too, with the exact same condition that you left her here.) While she looks like a kick-ass heroine, she has no healing spell! But she does have some town-management Realm feats. I used her as a "house keeper", traveling across towns to commission discounted upgrade buildings and ship new units to Anton when a new week arrives. Maybe give her the Regent artifacts (you should already have 2, and you can find another 2 in this mission) to increase her effectiveness in the supporting role.
Rush northeast and pick up your first town (A). This will be your only town and primary source of recruitment for a while. Next, you need a stable supply of Wood, Ore, and crystals. The nearby Sawmills are marked by (1); Orc Pits are marked by (2); and Blood Crystal Mines are marked by (3). You can't flag the second Blood Crystal Mine to the northeast for a while, but just keep in mind there is one. You can first sweep clean the vicinity of Town A to collect some easy resources. The ruins, pyramid, and barbarian camps on this mission frequently give several Blood Crystals. They are all very lightly guarded.
There are two roads leading to south, which will eventually converge and connect to a neutral Fort and then some enemy Sanctuary territory. While this sounds like a strategic choke point, the Sanctuary heroes will never bother invading you from the south. Their scripted army will come to your east side. At one point, I even saw two heroes coming at the same time. So let's focus on the east first so we can beat the invasion as soon as they show up. Take Fort B if you have not already done so. Immediately to your east is a Sanctuary Fort C that's very easy to conquer - why not?
The Sanctuary invasion lands at (4), which is quite close to both Fort B and C. There is nothing else you can do to stop, even to block the invasion. The Sanctuary heroes can apparently walk on water, so they have lots of options. In the meantime, you can keep expanding, and come back when the invasion arrives. The invasion actually emerges from the one-way portal at (5-5'), and you won't be able to get to (5) until much later in the mission. The sanctuary heroes do like to go straight after your nearest undefended town or fort. If you want to have a one-day warning, get the unique town building Statue of Revelation and reveal the area around (5').
A passive-aggressive strategy is to lure the AIs close and finish it before it can escape. Town E is perfect for this purpose. You can build an Advanced Town Portal here. This was the only Advanced Town Portal I built in my game, and it was handy for travelling purposes later, too. But we can't take Town E yet, since we can't walk on water.
For now, clean up the neutral stacks, pick up resources, and flag the mines in your territory. Develop Town A well. You can build a Basic Town Portal in Town A and use a secondary hero to ship new units to a nearby fort or town.
It would be a good idea to stay in your northern territories until the arrival of the second wave of invasion. However, if you are very efficient at cleaning up neutral creatures, you might be able to launch the next phase of expansion before the second wave arrives. Your next target is Town D to your east. It is quite a straight walk east of Fort C. This town, like many others you will see, is very lightly guarded.
Before going mad on the resources around Town D, there is a shipyard at (6), allowing you to build a ship and quickly return to Fort B/C area. Chances are some Sanctuary's hero have arrived, or will arrive soon. A ship also gives you direct access to Town E. Now you can go ahead and rob Town E from the imbecile AI! You will also receive a side quest to convert 2 Sanctuary towns.
BUG ALERT: If you play normally - taking Town E when you can - this "convert 2 Sanctuary towns" side quest is bugged and can never be completed. I once read a work around - you have to trigger the next stage of the main quest (see next "bug alert" section) before activating this "convert 2 Sanctuary towns" side quest. But it is very counter-intuitive. Fortunately, you don't lose anything important for being unable to finish this side quest.
Now you have Town E, and it will serve as your front line from now on. Get an Advanced Town Portal in there as soon as possible. If you see an army coming out at (5'), return Anton to Town E on the same turn, and the AI hero will either charge Anton, or be within Anton's reach in the following turn (don't forget to leave a ship on the shore of Town E). Your territory is from now on forever safe.
Town E is isolated in the middle of a lake, with no associated resource or creature buildings. Let's call this lake "the upper level". The whirlpool at (7) is one of the four in this mission. Entering any of them seems to randomly take you to one of the other three. There is one whirlpool on the upper level, two on the middle level, and one on the lower level at (8), just beside Town F. You can access a number of Forts and Towns from the middle and lower level lakes, including a creature building in the middle level. It is in no-man's territory, so the creature building will remain yours even after you leave.
Let's take Town F just because we can! It just right there begging to join the Light side. Town F is defended by a larger army than you saw before, but it is still very weak compared to mini-bosses in earlier missions. With your superior home production, you should be able to handle them easily with a week or two of fresh units. In the meantime, you can clear the area of Fort C and Town D, if you have not already done so. There is an extended area west of Town D, including a Crystal Mine (3) and some stats boosts (s). You must have seen them from Fort C.
Now is time to progress the main quest, which could be seriously bugged if not done early enough. Before you do anything else, use the Statue of Revelation to reveal the area marked by (9) (reveal the area a little to the south just to make sure it works). You should see an opened gate at (9) and a Sanctuary hero just south of it. When you move Anton (any other hero should work) close to (9), which is just a one-day trip from the middle-level lake, the enemy hero should dock inside the castle, the gate should close, and a dialogue should trigger between Anton and some secondary characters.
BUG ALERT: The serious bug involves an additional Sanctuary hero blocking the gate and hence the access of the designated Sanctuary hero. Later on, when your Anton gets close to (9), the game freezes up. I read that the only solution to this bug is to prevent it - by revealing the location of the gate beforehand, and trigger the side quest to advance as early as possible (before the game puts a gate-blocking hero there). It is also possible to complete the "Convert 2 Sanctuary Towns" (Snakes in Heaven) side quest if this side quest is triggered AFTER the main quest advances. But that would involving skipping Town E and F and head directly to (9) after taking Town D. How would one know to go to (9) first? This area is not designed to be visited early judging from the increased stack sizes.
Now you have the main quest and the enemies' invasion under control, you can happily work on the rest of the map. Let's dig up the Tear of Asha. All of the four moon fragments are marked (MF) on the map. You should have picked up two around Fort B. If you follow the road south from Town A, you can flag Fort G. There is your third piece of moon fragment directly above it. Keep going south and you can take Fort H from Sanctuary. From Fort H, you can go southeast to (10) to flag a warpath lodge (+3 movements for defeating an enemy) and grab the fourth and final moon fragment in the middle of an isolated area. The location of the Tear is marked on the map (Tear). It is within two days of travel from Town A. Install the Tear in your capital and cheer! What an overkill in this easy mission (but the completely moon shard will save you in early mission 4). From Fort H, you can go north to take over the Sanctuary Town I and Fort J. They should be very easy as well.
You now have everything but one town, Town K, the source of invasions. It can only be accessed with a little quest work. As a Blood-Might Anton, I was told to visit a mansion at (11). After a very relaxed mini-boss fight, I was given an artifact that increases siege weapon's structural damage by 1. Now all I needed to do was to march any hero close to (9) to watch the wall crumble.
When you have finished businesses with your new territories, march a fully-loaded Anton through (9) either via ship or the shallow-water path above the falls, and take Town K like slapping a baby AI. The neutral creatures east of the river finally look a little promising, but the Sanctuary AI was as weak as before. By the way, there is an interesting Easter egg statue and sign northwest of Town K.
Lucky for us, this non-challenge is almost over. Finally, march through the portal at (12-12') to beat the extremely weak boss at (13). Did you expect a boss as powerful as Miranda back in Necropolis mission 3? Too bad.
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- by maltz
Mission 1 felt like a tutorial extension, but mission 2 is the real, cruel world. Unfortunately, this map could be very tough if the AI's scripted large armies turn aggressive too early. Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid just that. However, there are still plenty of challenges in this mission. Neutral stacks in some areas could grow quite large. An optional mini-boss carries an army larger than those in Necropolis mission 4! The level cap at 17 is way too low.
Our Blood-Might Anton build should be quite complete in mission 2 already, with a bunch of useful passive perks plus Cleave and Resilience. Damages are mostly absorbed by the free reinforcement and avoided through guardian angels. The occasional hits can then be healed back by Vestals.
Dynasty Traits: how about "free first generic hero", +5 morale for a perfect victory, and +3 core creature growth. Some extra Marksmen and Vestals are always nice..
Level cap: 17
Difficulty Index: 4/6
Last updated: November 24, 2011
Anton starts in the east side of the map, with one Fort already in possession. However, a fort alone doesn't give anything good. We need some more units and a town quickly. There is a creature building and gold mine in the starting area that you should flag as soon as possible. You can also pick up a few friendly stacks. Skip everything else - we will come back here very soon.
Your urgent goal is to take Town A to the south before the end of Week 1 - the earlier the better. On your way to Town A, you should still flag a Sawmill, an Ore Pit, and pick up some other friendly units including the tier-6 Sun Riders. You can skip the mercenary Griffins to the west as they are too expensive for you right now. The enemy at Town A is quite weak during Week 1, but I read that after Week 1, this battle will turn very difficult.
After taking Town A, don't forget to convert the creature building to the northeast. Your budget will be very tight early on, even if you opt for cash in every chest. Therefore, get the +gold structures (upper level towns, market place) become a high priority. Try to go to Town level 4 in the next few weeks. The Sisters and Vestals will save your precious mana during most neutral encounters.
While you can already see a corner of your next town (Town C), it is really NOT a good time to take it, even if its defense is laughable. Taking Town C gives AI the green light to march scripted armies to you; however, if you leave Town C neutral, these scripted invasions stay dormant. At this early stage, your army is too small to face the invasions. You need some extra to develop first. Now is a good time to go back to the starting area and the township of Town A to kill/pick up everything. There is more than enough time.
When there is nothing left to kill, head down the stairs at (1-1'). Your goal underground is to capture the Necropolis Fort B at the earliest but safest opportunity. This won't be an easy battle. In my game, I lost 20+ Vestals with 3 weeks of creatures. Then I tried this battle again with 4 weeks of creatures, plus a few additional combat boosts on the surface, and was able to pull off a nearly perfect victory. This pretty summarizes the entire Heroes6 campaign strategy. If we fight every mini-boss as soon as we can win (almost) perfectly, we will do just fine.
After taking Fort B, convert the Necropolis creature building to the northeast. Your underground base is completely safe. The gate to the next area at (7) is locked and will remain so until the very end of the mission. For now, we can take our sweet time to fight quite a number of neutral creatures in the caves. More resources!
When you again run out of things to do, load up as much army as you can, return to the surface, and finally take Town C. With all your resources, you should be able to quickly build it up. It is a good idea to build an Advanced Town Portal right here, because the AI has nowhere else to invade. Let's take a look at the grand strategy.
From here Anton has to defeat 3 rebel dukes, each hiding in a Haven town. The closest one to Town C should be Town D to the north, followed by Fort E and Town F to the west. Fort G and Town H sit behind Town D; Fort I, Fort J, and Town K (which houses the optional boss) are behind Town F. In my game, I saw an invasion from Town D just a few days after taking Town C. The alphabetical order of the towns and forts is the order of conquest I recommend, although it largely depends on when and where you are invaded by the next AI army.
After beating an invasion, you can launch a counterattack during the same week to take his/her hometown rather easily. An effective way to have a healthy supply of fresh recruits is to have a secondary hero ready in any Town that has all upgraded creature building. When the new week comes, hire everything and cast basic town portal to the town or fort closest to Anton.
You will have the chance to earn a large number of Blood/Tear points upon capturing a Town. My Anton goes after the Blood path, and he was able to hire a free hero from the tavern for every duke he executed. These heroes don't have any ability points left to assign, unfortunately.
Northwest of Town D at (2), you can trigger a conversation with Anton's ancestor, but nothing else will happen. After taking Town D, F, and H, you can actually keep going west from (2) to finish the mission without fighting the optional boss in Town K.
The optional boss in Town K is all about army strength. While there won't be any additional heroes camped at the gate to negate your one-time combat bonuses, that garrison army is BIG! I looked at its army three weeks in a row and saw 1333, 1500, and 1662 Marksmen. This means that the army's growth is not really exponential, but rather fixed at ~160-170 Marksman per week. Most other stacks grow at a similar rate, too.
It is likely you are not quite ready for Town K yet. While you wait for your army strength to explode, you can visit stats boosts, which are marked by (s) as usual. You can also capture Fort I, Fort J, and their associated creature buildings. The side quest's Dynasty Weapon Heart Tending Song is located at (3), guarded by Celestials.
In my game, I finally mowed down Town K with an army containing 536 Marksman, while I found it still too tough just one week ago. Here are a few tips for winning the Town K fight:
(1) Arache level 4 (constant 15% Life Drain). It is unlikely you have it in mission 2, but if you do, this fight actually qualifies for "just another perfect victory". One exploit to quickly gain EXP with a Dynasty weapon is to save the game without the Dynasty Weapon equipped just before taking the third and final duke's town. Then equip it, use Quick combat earn some massive EXP, and load the game. I got my Arache to level 4 within an hour. You can certainly win without it (just don't expect a perfect victory).
(2) Emerald Yumi Bow and some other top-quality artifacts to fill in your lacking slots. (Set artifacts are mostly of poor quality.) At this point, you should be so rich that you can build an Advanced Market in every town.
By the way, since the hero in Town K is completely passive, you can use some secondary hero to flag a creature building to its north, although I didn't notice any slowing of the garrison's expansion.
Taking Town K also give you a special reward - this is the only town where you can upgrade Glories. However, by now you should be so powerful that you are just going to crush every thing after this anyway.
No matter whether you want to fight the optional boss or not, the story continues. March Anton north, past Town K and enter the mountain path. Fight some creatures, collect artifacts, and enter the cave at (4-4').
Here Anton's mother gives him a series of trials at (5) and a sibling to fight, which are all really easy compared to other neutral stacks (especially if you have beaten Town K). After completing the trials, enter the portal at (6). You are now back to the Fort B region, in a dead-end (6') that at first looks like the developers forgot to put things there. Now you know this isn't gross negligence.
The gate at (7) is finally open! While you can fight more stacks on the way, there is no more set artifact to pick up. You can head straight to Town L to challenge the boss. In my game, the boss actually wondered off with his Trivial army (the biggest stack was 200 Archliches... poor guy) and was easily picked off by Anton seconds after he steps off his first base.
- by maltz
Welcome to the Haven campaign. This could be your first stop if you like to have a natural extension from the tutorial campaign. Just when you were about to build Duke Slava into a beast... In general, the Haven missions tend to be on the relaxed side, with a little, early exception.
While the game intro movie suggests that Anton is a Paladin (Might + Tear), we have the luxury to build Anton differently. Since we already had a good time with a magic Anastasya in the Necropolis campaign, here we will make Anton to follow the Might path, just to try something new.
The Might path plays very differently from the Magic path. Without those versatile spells such as Time Stasis, Blind, Meditation, Summon Elemental, etc., we will have to carefully plan our expansion path in order to avoid any difficult opponent (and lose a good chunk of our army). Fortunately, most Haven units use Might Power to attack, so the damage output will be quite stellar even if we end up with a smaller army. And if you pick your opponent starting from the weakest, you will hardly lose anything from the beginning to the end anyway.
The Tear path sounds like a rational choice for Anton, since it focuses on defense and healing, definitely the keys for unit conservation, although foregoing the Blood path's damage bonuses also means Anton will more frequently get hit. Besides, Paladin's hero special ability (Martyr and Divine Justice) are not very useful (if you find them useful, you are taking too much hits!).
This walkthrough will actually make Anton a Vindicator (Might + Blood) on hard difficulty. While forgoing Counterstrike III (counterattack before being attacked for up to 3 turns) is disappointing, it really looks like overkill for easier battles that do not drag over 3 turns. Besides, going Blood also grants Anton two useful hero skills - Anathema and Hour of Judgment. The former is a decent mass debuff. The second is a one-turn-only 40%+ damage boost. If you anticipate action during a particular turn, bring out the judgment hammer! In addition, there is one very good Dynasty Weapon to convert increased damage into increased healing - Arache (obtained from Necropolis mission 1 - this walkthrough follows the order of campaigns as presented in the game)! At level 4 (requires 3.5M EXP), all friendly creatures will carry a constant Life Drain, converting 15% of their dealt damage into healing that far exceeds your own healing spells. Wow!
Note: Currently (patch 1.2), Arache's 15% Life Drain is still bugged so that it could drain a lot more than 15%. More like... 1500%. Using this weapon above level 4 instantly turns your campaign into a farce (unless you are battling undeads). Let's hope it gets corrected soon.
The core of unit conservation especially for a Might hero is to only fight a battle when we can win with no or little loss. But will the AI outgrow us while we wait to get more army? The simple answer is NO as long as you don't purpose camp for several game months. There are two kinds of scripted AI armies in Heroes6:
(1) Stationary army (boss and mini-boss fights). These scripted armies do not grow at all, or grows by a fixed percentage every week. These armies can be much larger than yours if you face them too early. However, when you come back a few weeks later with a much more buffed force, you might find the challenge completely non-existent.
(2) Raider army - these are the heroes who invade you again and again. The AIs actually have nearly unlimited resources and army pool for these guys. So whenever you beat one down, another (usually the same guy) will re-spawn with the same, if not a little more units. They could split away some units from a scripted army, but not much.
From experience, if I attempt a rapid expansion, I am destined to run into very tough scripted armies that are intended for a lot later. However, if I clean up the town area every time after taking a town or fort, I am usually very ready for the next challenge when the new week's reinforcement joins the army. Blackhole really wants us to clean up those neutral stacks in the area. My mission score actually won't get hurt too much thanks to an ungodly kill/loss ratio.
And don't forget to use the special ability Guardian Angel to absorb the counterattack. This almost feels like cheating.
What are the good abilities for Anton? Based on what I read and experimented, here comes the wish list. Welcome to experiment different abilities and share with us!
Unit conservation tools
- Reinforcement I, II. Awesome for daily encounters. Currently (v1.1.1) it is bugged so don't use it when the stack already suffers casualty, or you will lose those units forever.
- Heroism, Mass Heroism. A lot of your damage prevention comes from the Guardian Angel special ability (invulnerable for 1 turn), which refills quickly upon high-morale triggering. In earlier missions, the extra morale from the mass version can make a big difference, and you also gain Blood reputation from each shouting.
- Heal and Regenerate. Only used in tough fights. In daily encounters, healing will be handled by Sisters/Vestals (Tier 3) - remember to split them into at least 2 stacks to get better coverage. Mass regenerate could be useful, but Mass heal is not necessary.
- Tactics I so your Marksman can be deployed to a corner, and, along with your Vestals, protected by Praetorians. Later on, you might want Tactics II so your Blazing Glories can instantly slap down two stacks (along with Cleave) to open a battle.
Boss fight buffs/debuffs
- Mass Inner Fire (Fire magic). Very powerful damage buff. Useful for later missions, where you actually have extra mana to spare. You really don't need Mass Stoneskin, as your Might Defense will be godly anyway. (You do lack in Magic Defense, which could be a problem in the campaign final boss fight. But sadly there is no mass buff that improves this category.)
- Logistics, Path Finding. To speed up the expansion.
- Archery I, Counterstirke I, Giant Slayer, Rampage, Cleave. Increase damages dealt.
- Parry, Resilience. Reduce damages taken.
A Might-oriented Anton has a solid army especially powerful on melee. No particular unit stands out as the primary damage dealer (as they are all pretty good).
Sentinels/Praetorian (tier 1). They are best used as damage soakers, standing beside multiple important stacks to take part of the damages dealt to them. The upgraded variety will join the counterattack if the aggressor happens to stand beside them. They are very solid cannon fodder, but not a high priority if you still have higher-tier creatures to hire.
Crossbowman/Marksman (tier 2) are the only official ranged units for Haven. Being a low-tier creature, its effectiveness is nowhere near the Liches or the Spiders, but when your Might Power gets very high, they again become your damage leader. While suffering no ranged penalty, they don't perform particularly well during castle sieges due to wall shielding. Probably for this very reason, Blackhole robbed the AI of their wall-building ability in most missions. That really feels like cheating! The upgraded Marksman are notorious for hitting friendly units with their piercing bolts. So start them at the front corner of the battlefield. Be very careful while moving around your melee units this turn because your Marksman will shoot quite early next turn.
Sister/Vestal (tier 3). These ladies are the army's primary medics in most battles until your Arache reaches level 4. They are popular gang violence victims, so always guard them with your Praetorian stack (then the AI will very predictably go after unguarded Griffins). In most battles you can split the sisters to 2 stacks for double healing coverage. Vestals' attack could Blind living creatures for 2 turns, which is extremely useful in earlier missions. The success of the Blinding effect is related to the relative stack power - it won't work if they attack a stack much stronger than themselves. They deal magical damage, so don't expect too much from them offensively.
Griffins/Imperial Griffins (tier 4). Thanks to their unlimited retaliation perk, this endangered species is great for soaking up damages. The AI loves to focus on them. So slapping them a Reinforcement II to open up a battle keeps you casualty-free for a long way. (Let them wait first on Turn 1 so they do attract the attacks.) Their Battle Dive also makes them a "ranged unit" every 3 turns, and if you make them wait before diving, they can actually act one more time right after the dive (feature or bug?). Important: Currently (v1.1.1) Imperial Griffins' Battle Dive is broken, so stick with the normal ones. You can still build the upgraded building, just switch to the normal ones when hiring.
Radiant/Blazing Glory (tier 5). You probably remember them from Necropolis mission 1. These ladies can be viewed as ranged units thanks to their teleport and no-retaliation perks. The upgraded version's high movement (8) enables them to hit from very far away. They also cleanse away negative effects on your own units and positive effects on their targets, which will come in handy. Unfortunately, they deal magic damage, so their contribution won't be as big as you wish. But since they go first, you will still see lots of their actions.
Sun Rider/Crusader (tier 6). Their damage is supposed to increase based on how many tiles they traveled until hitting the enemy. However, currently (v1.1.1) only the upgraded Crusader gets the increased damage. Besides, as long as the Crusaders attack after moving 1 or more tiles, their attack does not attract any retaliation. Very powerful indeed.
Celestial/Seraph (tier 7). The angels are back! The make it to the cover again, too! But now that all healing abilities resurrect fallen units, the Angels don't look so necessary anymore. In fact, you should be able to pull through endless perfect victories without them anyway by splitting up the Vestals. In this campaign, you won't be able to even use them until mission 3, and no Seraph until mission 4.
Haven towns can build an "advanced market", which is essentially an artifact shop. Six randomly selected artifacts will be put on display every time when a new save file is loaded (cough). This little building gives Haven a unique advantage - we can browse the artifacts as much as we want until we see something worth the investment. Specifically, we are looking for the following top items:
Emerald Yumi Bow (20000, Off hand). This is the "upgraded" Unicorn Horn Bow (which is useless for Haven, by the way). Ignores range and obstacle penalties. Marksmen deal full damage on those inside the wall (although the game still shows you the broken arrow icon). Massive, massive damage! You have to see it to believe it. You probably only need to buy it for mission 2's optional boss, though.
Gauntlets of the Cyclop (16000, hand). +8 Might Power, which is more than any other gloves in the game. Your Griffins, Marksmen, Riders, Praetorians and Angels will all thank you for it.
Ring of Haste (16000, finger). +10 initiatives to units. Free and powerful Mass Haste!
Crest of Honor (16000, pocket). +8 Leadership for more Guardian Angels.
The other unique Haven buildings are nowhere as awesome. Angel Watch seems to only add the extra Guardian Angel gauge within the town's border. The Statue of Revelation has the practical function of revealing some fog of war. But if you are reading this walkthrough, you will know what's in the dark anyway. The Choral of Believers, which gives battle bonuses in the town's border, is too passive. (Those invading heroes will be more like pests than threats.) Finally, the Resurrection Altar, revives only tier-3, -6, and -7 units. The building is more like a "life insurance" package - just in case. Better be more careful in battles and save the cash to buy more units.
Haven Campaign Mission 1
Level cap: 10
Difficulty Index: 2/6
Last updated: December 20, 2011 (patch 1.2)
Dynasty Traits: The Acclaimed Leader (Iron rank) Dynasty gives +5 morale after a perfect victory, which propels the happy circle of more Guardian Angels and more perfect victories. Another useful trait here is to increase Core creature growth (Iron rank), as the majority of your army will be Core creatures.
Mission 1 is scripted in a very relaxed way for you to enjoy the tremendously beautiful scenery - your opponents will never overpower you if you follow Blackhole's intention. You can use this mission to practice your troop conservation skills for a Might hero. Being a Might hero doesn't mean that you expect to lose units. Try to start the battle with Reinforcement on the enemy shooter's favorite (Sisters, then Griffons), follow up with Mass Heroism, and use the ample supply of Guardian Angel ability to soak up counterstrikes.
You start in the NW corner of the map in front of Town A. This is a peaceful neighborhood with a few stacks of friendly creatures that will join you either for free or for some affordable prices. You can mouse over them to see if they are "friendly" (willing to join) or not. Flag the Sawmill, pick up the Sisters to the east, and go north to flag the Ore Pit (1). There is another group of friendly creatures just north of the Ore Pit. Before trying to take the next area, there is a small area directly south of Town A, where a creature building can be flagged at (2). You should be able to do this before the end of Week 1.
Next head south down the road with the conflux with your week 2 creatures and take/flag everything on your way. Before the end of Week 2, capture Fort B and the creature building southeast of the fort. You should be able to pick up some Lightning elemental after clearing a Ruin. The elementals are pretty helpful early on. Throughout the campaign, you will have more chances to recruit various creatures by clearing such structures.
After securing your home base, you now have a choice of where to go next. You can either cross the bridge at (3), or cross the river at (4). Blackhole obviously hints you to cross the bridge to the north, because the stack guarding (3) is much weaker than those guarding (4). Also, the enemies beyond (4) are much tougher than you at this point, although in my first run I accidentally ran them over with a Magic Anton (not possible with Might).
Let's follow Blackhole's intention: go north and cross the bridge. The defending neutral stack should be merely Trivial compared to your power. From here, you again have a choice: you can either go east to conquer the Orcs' Fort C and Town D first, or go north to solve the Griffin quest first. It doesn't make a huge difference as both of them are quite easy. Let's pick up the Griffons first since they are more fun to use than the low-tier trio. Head down the stairs at (5).
The underground area (5') has a few attractions. There is a friendly stack to the east to pick up, a gold mine to the north for flagging, but most important of all, the little mad-or-desperate thieves who stole the Griffin eggs at (6). You also get a lot of Blood/Tear points. (By the way, if you manually fight every fight and frequently use the corresponding Blood/Tear ability, you should be able to reach the first level of Blood/Tear before the mission boss fight.) After picking up the eggs, take stairs (7) to the surface and meet with the Griffons. You get some Griffons to join your army and unlock the Griffin building in your towns.
Completing the Griffon quest also gives you a Might-restricted Dynasty Weapon, the Iron Feather. Since this walkthrough is based on the idea that "increased damage converts to increased healing from Lv4+ Arache", we will not bother with Iron Feather (and this weapon isn't nearly as good, anyway).
BUG ALERT:: A lot of people reported that their Iron Feather disappeared from their Dynasty Weapon list. This also happened to me - twice already! Before this problem is patched (current version v1.1.1), there seems to be a way to make sure any of your new Dynasty Weapons aren't lost: Right after you obtain it, save the game, exit to main menu, go to My Dynasty, and associate this new weapon with a hero. Good luck!
Back track to the underground area and return to the surface using stairs (5-5'). By now you might see a weak Orc hero crossing the bridge (3), trying to invade your territory. Since you likely don't have enough crystals yet to build an Advanced Town Portal in Town A (you might never have to, actually), you can camp a secondary hero with all your new week's growth in the town. The enemy hero is likely to back away from Town A, but go after Fort B. In my game, Anton made his way back just in time to reclaim Fort B before another new week comes.
Let's finish the weaker half of Orcs (Fort C, Town D) now. With all your accumulated units, there should be very little resistance. Flag/collect everything along the way. You can descent from Stairs (8-8') to collect a stats boost, too. The Arena nearby may be too tough for you right now, but you can always return to it later (the neutral stacks in the Arena do grow exponentially like others on the map, so don't drag too long.)
Now we can cross the river at (4) and take on the stronger half of the Orcs (Fort E and Town F). Be prepared to see two fairly-powerful enemy heroes - these are probably the toughest fights of this mission. If you are just a day or two from getting the next week's growth, maybe it is a good idea to wait for these extra days. Just fight more neutral creatures to pass time. Besides, you might have the rare and exciting opportunity to defend Fort E if the AI thinks he has a chance.
After capture Town F, two gates (Ga) that separate you and the Haven faction are opened. Although you may expect invasions, in my game, I did not see any enemy heroes charging out. The opposing Haven faction has three Towns (G, H, J) and one Fort (I). At this point, the garrisons might be too large to handle. So take a week or two to tour your newly acquired territory, flagging/collecting everything. In terms of mission score, you can afford the extra time as long as you don't lose anything to neutral creatures.
You can also descent to an underground passage using stairs (9-9'). Other than a stat boost and interesting scenery, there is nothing much of interest. You can follow the watery passage to emerge in the enemy Haven's territory at (10-10'). However, you might be better off using the paved road on the surface. When you finally have enough units, you should be able to sweep Town G, Fort H, and Town I in rapid succession.
Almost done. There is one more underground area at (11-11'), where a LARGE group of Marksman waiting to join you. (The friendly stack also grows with other neutral stacks. So the later you claim them, the more you get!) Also around this time, I was able to buy the Emerald Yumi Bow, for 20K. My bloated Marksman stack could one-shot almost any stack from now on, which makes the rest of the battles jokingly easy.
When you are ready, gather all you have and crush the boss defending Town K. He is not particularly powerful. But he will be back.
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- by maltz
In mission 3, we fought opponents 4 times stronger than us. Mission 4 the campaign finale (there are only four missions per campaign in Heroes6) takes challenge up a whole notch. Your only enemy, the Inferno faction, owns 9 towns and 4 forts, and they will keep coming at you even if you wipe out their army again and again.
Nonetheless, that's not where the main challenge of the mission lies. A few towns are garrisoned by some ridiculously large army, so large that they could eclipse the climax of the final boss battle. If you match that army to fight the final boss, they might actually win! Your objectives - take or destroy everything! It sounds really overwhelming.
But there are hopes - lots of hopes. Heroes6 campaigns are scripted in a way that you can frequently be crushed by scripted armies that are simply too large for now. However, these scripted armies do not grow at any noticeable rate! Your overall success is dependent on how many Inferno Forts and Towns you can bring down with a small starting army before you eventually run into a red-hot corpse incinerator. When that happens, you have to rely on your superior unit production to eventually bring you a deadly cold meat grinder yourself to take down the toughest Inferno towns.
There are two types of Inferno towns and forts: those on the surface and those underground. Those on the surface, once conquered, can be converted to Necropolis for your own benefit. Those below the surface, however, will be instantly demolished and their respective area is permanently sealed off. Your hero will be teleported back to the surface as well.
Since battles in this game usually involve stacks that can do 4 digits, if not 5 digits of damage each hit, it is a good idea to invest ability points into the passive combat category, after getting all the core abilities suggested in Mission 1 walkthrough. You should also try to raise your Magic Attack stat as much as possible, since your two most powerful ranged stacks depend on it.
Necro Campaign Mission 4
Level Cap: 30
Difficulty Index: 5/6
Last Updated: November 12, 2011
A good starting bonus is the "free first generic hero" bronze-level Dynasty Trait. By now, the starting levels of the generic heroes are very high, making them very expensive to hire. Give this hero and Ludmilla some economic abilities (such as the +1 Wood and Ore per day) and let them ship units to Ana. Another very good bonus at the bronze Dynasty level is "hero +3 movement" (you did pick up Logistics and Pathfinding, right?) You have lots of travelling to do.
Ana starts in the SE corner with a moderately developed Town A. Start with clearing the area close to Town A and flag the resource buildings. Your top priority is to get the Archlich building. The dependable Liches will be your main power output throughout the mission.
Next you can decide to either go north or go west first. There isn't too much difference since everywhere you go, there is a Demon town or fort to conquer. I went north first, and conquered the towns in the alphabetically labeled order (Fort B, Town C.... to Town H), while tackling each underground town in the nearby area.
In my game, I encountered very manageable resistance all the way to Town F. However, by the time I got to Fort Gand beyond, I started seeing enormous inferno army. Maybe that's a good reason to go north first. Or maybe the game will spawn the large armies in the remaining towns no matter where you go first.
You will notice scattered skeleton stacks volunteer to join your army, which contributes to a side quest requiring you to recruit 1000 skeletons. You can collect the skeletons with secondary heroes. You can only pick up a couple of hundreds for free - the others have to come from your accumulated production. This side quest actually serves as a quite accurate "timer" of the mission. In my game, I finished the mission 2 weeks before recruiting enough skeletons. So if you already finish this side quest by having 1000+ skeletons, you should have more than enough power to defeat the final boss.
Let the Blitz begin! Rush to Fort B and bring it down. Convert just the creature building, but not the Fort itself. Save those Wood and Ore to trade for Crystals to get the Weaver building ASAP. Around this area you should be able to pick up your first Moon Shard Fragment. This goes to the second side quest of the mission - collect four fragments, pick up the famous Tear of Asha, and install it in your Capital (your only Level 4 town). The location of the other three fragments are marked by (MF), and the location of the Tear of Asha is marked by Tear. One tricky fragment is located on an island that can be accessed by building a ship from the shipyard southwest of Town E (just west of the future Tear of Asha chest).
It is impossible to acquire the Tear before collecting all four fragments, unlike in Heroes5, where you can dig up the Tear even without having any piece of the map! Note that you have to have all four fragments on the same hero for the Tear chest to spawn. While having the tear installed really boosts your production, you are really better off to conquer as many weak surface Inferno towns and forts as possible at this stage, as even if you get the Tear early, you likely don't have enough resources to install it. Then, when you hit a brick wall later (such as a stack that potentially deals 15000+ damage in one hit), you can take your time to collect the fragments and the Tear.
At this time, you can expect to meet the first demon hero. They are all very aggressive - coming directly at you whenever possible. Curse of the Netherworld is perfect for this kind of small-scale encounter. Throughout this mission I fought more than 10 demon heroes on the field. Strangely, they get quickly "recycled" once they are defeated. So I keep fighting the same two or three heroes 10+ times...
You will also see scattered Shrine of the Seven Dragons throughout the map. However, you can completely ignoring their existence and save the crystals and cash. You can easily reach the level cap without any of them. (So the shrines are not marked on the map above.) Contrary to previous hero games, the EXP curve in Heroes6 does not become very steep at very high levels. However, even after reaching the EXP cap, you can still accumulate EXP for the Dynasty Weapon (both manual and quick combat) and your Dynasty account (manual fighting only). If you feel like it, you can even come back to a previous save just to fight more neutral stacks to farm more EXP, as stacks in mission 4 are all very large and EXP-rich.
Go further north and use the portal (1) to get to the underworld. This portal leads to an isolated area at (1'). It is a good idea to make a secondary hero closely following Ana to pick up resources. As soon as you conquer the Inferno town there (all marked with T), this area will be forever sealed off and any un-collected resources are forever lost. In this area, I found an extremely useful artifact "Boots of the Wayfarer", which increases Ana's movement by 8. Other artifacts you found in this mission are likely to be of very high quality as well.
Next, go north and snatch Town C and convert it to Necropolis as soon as possible. Next, go west and capture Fort D. North of Fort D is a second portal (2) that leads you to the isolated underworld at (2'). Same drill here - demolish the demon town.
Around this time, your home base should be threatened by demon invasion. In my game, I had just enough time to take down Town D (with a very small army - the enemies at the beginning are nothing compared to those at the end) before an enemy hero invaded Town A. By building an advanced Town Portal in Town A (don't build one in Town C!), my Ana instantly returned and sent that poor hero home in no time. Unfortunately, he will be back in no time, too.
It is time to push west now. Fort E is actually very close to Town A. Next go northwest to tackle the third portal (3), leading to another isolated underworld area at (3'). Make it sink into the lava! Keep going west and soon you will see Town F. Convert it to the Dark Side! Up to now the Blitzkrieg should have worked rather perfectly - you made streamline to each target, taking everything on your way.
In my game, when I went down to Fort G, I was greeted by 148 Pit Fiends. While the battle seemed impossible, I was still able to score a perfect victory with Puppet Master and Time Stasis. Whenever the monster stack gets too close, I PMed the huge stack and made it walk all the way to the other end of the battlefield. But that was the last cake battle for me. When I got down to the underworld area at (4)-(4'), I was greeted by an army ten times of my size. Ops. (By the way, my game frequently crashes when a PMed enemy shooter attacks an enemy unit, so be careful.)
When you finally hit the brick wall, it is a good time for Tear of Asha. After a few weeks of roaming and fighting, your army should grow significantly. Eventually you can finish the 4th and 5th underworld town at (5)-(5') with perfect victories.
A tip for these truly epic castle sieges: Do not allow any demon stack gated in front of your Liches. These gated stacks are likely huge thanks to their gigantic mother stack. Once the gating completes, your battle is pretty much over! You have to destroy the gates before the gating completes on the next turn. A reliable way to make sure that happens is to assign your Lamassu and Ghouls, by now your two weakest stacks, to be ready (wait) for gate-breaking every turn, while your other melee stacks take care of the other enemies. The Lamassu takes away 2 hit points from the gate, while the Ghoul can finish it off before the next turn arrives.
The AI will start gating when it decides that it is better off coming out the castle. Therefore, the gating activity will be accompanied by insanely powerful stacks rushing out of that castle gate. Time Stasis is your best friend here. You can try Puppet Master a super stack to hit another (for some huge damage on each other) just before their turn comes up. (If you PM too early, the AI is smart enough to dispel the PM by attacking that stack). If a huge stack reaches your Weavers, you can also use their special ability to tie them up for 2 turns. If you found a Unicorn Horn Bow, definitely use it. It will greatly enhance your ranged power when you most need it. Good luck on these battles - they could be extremely difficult.
Your hard work on the surface is almost complete. The last area is north of the central swamp area. Strangely, I actually found a smaller army defending Town H and the final underworld area of (6)-(6'). But the location of this area both on the surface and underground suggest that they are meant to be the last obstacle. Weird.
After you demolish the 6th and last underground demon town, a one-way portal appears in the middle of the swamp (7). This portal leads you to the final boss fight of the campaign. Uriel has a very long hit-point bar, measuring at 135,000, and he poses a godly, 5-digit Might Power clocked at 13,750! He is also protected by several stacks of "guards" who look like ordinary Haven units. Of course, these celestial guards, who are not really impressive in numbers, are a hundred times tougher than their human counterpart.
While this looks like a very challenging boss fight, it actually feels a lot easier than some of the castle assaults before. First, you can take your time to visit all the one-time battle bonus buildings on the surface without having a gate-camping hero to negate them all. Second, your towns should be producing an absurd number of units every week. In my game, Uriel quietly went down in just a few turns in an anti-climax "perfect loss". How's that challenge for the campaign finale?!
Indeed, if you find any battle in this mission too difficult, simply fight some neutral stacks to pass time and let your town production gives you the edge later. If you win a battle with heavy casualties, it is also a good idea to not fight it now, but to come back a few weeks later. Chances are there is another very tough battle after this, so you don't want to waste your precious cash on reviving a large number of fallen units. You need the cash to hire the next week's new recruits. By avoiding all heavy-loss fights, you might be able to use fingers on just one hand to count how many units you actually had to bring back from the Altar of Eternal Servitude throughout this mission. That's how powerful a necromancer is, or rather, how simple this game could be even on Hard difficulty. The only thing that gets hurt is your mission score (for taking longer to finish). However, you are still very likely to receive the highest rank (hero) if you play on Hard. (p.s. Currently (v1.1.1), you don't get any achievement from completing missions with a "hero" ranking.)
Anyway, congratulations for beating the Necropolis campaign! I hope you had lots of fun in those epic siege battles like I did.
- by maltz
Your relatively safe quarter consists of 1 town and 2 forts. There are three hostile factions: Inferno (1 town + 2 forts), Stronghold (2 towns + 1 fort), and Necropolis (2 town + 3 forts). They all launch sizable invasion to your land whenever possible. There is also a friendly Necropolis faction (1 town) which you can incorporate.
How do you deal with enemies 4 times of your strength? The loading screen gives a good hint: "when you are surrounded by enemies, finish them off one by one." This is exactly what we will do here. There is a simple way to focus on only the first enemy (Inferno) at the beginning. The second enemy (Stronghold) can be crippled in a blitz. Then, with superior economic and population, it is only a matter of time to take down the last and toughest (Necropolis) faction.
While the mission has a high level cap of 24, you will have plenty of huge battles to fight to reach the level cap long before the final boss battle. Also, as you are able to unlock more buildings and creatures, you will be short on cash to recruit all available units. So it is a good practice to cash every chest.
Level Cap: 24
Difficulty Index: 4/6
Last Updated: November 12, 2011
If you play on Hard Difficulty, for the starting bonus it is a good investment to get the 5 Wood + 5 Ore bonus, since you would start with none of them. You want to start building your primitive town right away.
The mission begins in the northeast corner at Town (A). Ana is given a puny army, which is much smaller than the neutral stacks nearby. However, by now your Ana build should have matured. Open every battle with Summon Earth Elemental right in front of the enemy line. With the enemies occupied with the summoned creatures, you can wear them down with Ana's direct attack.
Earth Elemental is the best among all the elementals for tanking purpose. Their special ability petrifies a stack for 2 turns, enabling you to concentrate on other enemies. They also carry a build-in Regenerate, which can be stacked with your Regenerate spell. Against living creatures, you can even slap a Life Drain on the Earth Elementals.
Whenever your mana drops to about 1/2 full, do a Meditation to refill it to the top. From now on, you will never run out of mana except for the toughest and longest boss fights (Meditation can be used only once per battle).
In your Town A, aim for the Archlich building and the Fate Weaver building (customize a market-friendly generic hero to regularly trade for gems) as soon as you can. The toughest battles of this mission and the next are almost exclusively castle assaults. Your success relies almost solely on the power of your ranged units. Great news: Life Drain also heals ranged units. The bigger your ranged stack, the more they damage, and the more they heal. The Fate Weaver (tier-7 upgraded creature) can transform into a very powerful ranged unit.
Make a round trip of your surrounding area, flag the Sawmill and Ore Pit, and head south to the neutral area to claim Fort (B). Clear everything with your Earth Elemental.
For the next step, you can either go southwest or southeast from here. If you go southwest and step in the friendly Necro territory of Town (G), you will trigger a conversation and suddenly have to face two additional enemies coming through the opened gate at (1). That's never a good idea while your army size is still miserable. Go southeast first and claim yet another neutral fort (C) and all its riches.
Now is a good time to hire a secondary hero to ship you the latest town productions to Ana. If you have reached the Bronze rank in your Dynasty, it is a good idea to pick up the "free first generic hero" trait as one of the starting bonuses in mission 3s and 4s. These generic heroes can cause a fortune at high levels.
Now your home base is secure and prospering. Let's deal with our first enemy - Inferno. Head down the stairs at (2).
The underworld is a very large area, with its only exit to the surface right where you are (2'). Ana will be down here for quite a few weeks, so better get used to shipping units from home. An Advanced Town Portal really helps. When you have some extra cash, hire the second secondary hero so you can ship the new units to Anna more efficiently.
Your objective down here is to defeat the Inferno faction (as a large and difficult side quest). The demons send a constant string of quite powerful army your way. You might have to face the first invading hero not far away from (2').
Follow the paved road down and clear a small area with a creature building at (3). Then go west to take down the Inferno Fort (D). Inferno heroes might try to reclaim Fort D, so stay close to sweep the nearby neutral stack first. In my game, I actually fought a rare defensive siege battle here.
After a while, the Inferno invasion will stop. In my game, I pushed back all the way to the final town of the Inferno faction, but only managed to defeat the smaller army camped outside the gate. Then I came back to take the second Inferno Fort (E) and clear the surrounding area. You might be able to save a few days to go after Fort (E) earlier.
There is a neutral area north of Town (D). Here is a side quest which gives you the Dynasty Weapon Staff of Sandro, located at (4), and the ability to hire the Tier-5 Necropolis creature. In my game, I postponed this side quest until after I defeated the Inferno faction. I also continued using the Soulreaver staff instead of switching to Sandro's since I really like the former's +5 initiative effect. The Staff of Sandro is an enemy army debuff weapon, which, if developed, could be quite handy in very large encounters.
With 1 town and 4 forts, you are now in a great position to take on Inferno's last stand, Town (F). There are various one-time or one-week combat bonus buildings to visit, though the AI frequently deploys one additional hero at the town's entrance to negate your advantage. On the bright side, killing them also makes the army inside the town a little smaller. You can also select "Retreat" (instead of Attack) before the second battle starts, so you can renew some nearby battle bonus.
Assaulting Town (F) is by no means an easy task. It has a unique structure that deals a lot of damage (300+) to your every stack at the beginning of every turn. (And this is the only occasion in the entire Necropolis campaign that you will see it.) A lot of players reported trouble of this battle in particular. You are most likely killed faster than you can heal. If you find it too difficult, take more time to gather a larger army, since you can outproduce the Inferno faction now. Eventually, you will be able to overpower it. You can use the idle time to solve the Staff of Sandro side quest.
I tried this battle as early as I could win, and ended up losing the majority of my army, coming out with only 90% of the Ghoul stack and 12 Archliches. But here is the beauty of Necropolis - I simply go broke at Town A to raise most of the fallen units (requires the Alter of Eternal Servitude unique building)!
Finally, you can walk Ana all the way back to the surface. When she almost reaches the exit (2'), send a secondary hero to the friendly Necro territory of Town (G) to trigger the gate at (1) to open. You are now only steps away to face the boss of the Stronghold faction.
While you might see minor Orc heroes roaming around, your primary objective is to defeat a stationary Orc hero in front of Town (H). This is not really a difficult fight compared to Town (F). It is not even a siege battle. After winning this battle, you automatically take possession of Town (H). It will be a very underdeveloped town, though.
Two down, one to go. You should receive a message to meet with Ludmilla at Town (G). Do it as soon as possible, since that will give you another free town. On your way to Town (G), get a free look of several islands and their goodies at (5).
After completing Ludmilla's quest, you should be able to grab everything that formally belongs to her, whom personally joins your roster (don't forget to assign all of her abilities points). In my game, I could attack Town (G) but only after I loaded a save for an unrelated purpose. That gives me a fully developed free necro town. As for town development, put a priority on ranged units. All your remaining tough fights are castle sieges.
By the way, at this time you should have reached level 20, which enables you to "respecialize" all of Ana's spent ability points (one-time only). If you have wasted points into spells that you never used, this is the time to redistribute them to something else. There won't be any more "respecialize" opportunity after this.
Around this time you should start seeing oversea invasions from the hostile Necropolis faction. They like to land close to (6) and try to steal Town (H). Pretty much like the Inferno faction, they will keep coming until you make an effective counter-invasion. But let's finish local business first.
When you are done with clearing the surroundings of Ludmilla's Town (G), go southwest to claim Fort (I). It might be still under the Orc's control, or the Necro faction has stolen it from them. After finishing local businesses, load up Ana with a gigantic army and set sail! There are two shipyards (SY) you can use. Or you may actually pick up a few abandoned ships from the invading Necropolis army.
THE STRAIT OF JADE
Before launching the final invasion on Miranda's Necropolis faction on the other end of the strait, there are quite a few things you can do on the islands - two Shrine of Seven Dragons (SD) and more stat boosts. I recommend not using the shrines at all, since you need the Blood Crystals for units, and you will have enough EXP to reach the battle cap anyway.
On the central island you will come across the strangely colored Heroes6 Phoenix (higher flame temperature, maybe?). While they seem to forget about their rebirth ability, try to avoid any melee attack on them. Each physical contact gives you a fixed amount of irreversible damage - these units are gone for good for the battle (you can still buy them back at home). Since your Ana is away from home, you don't want her to lose a sizable army on an optional neutral creature encounter. Powerful ranged stacks, combined with Time Stasis, Earth Elemental's Petrify ability should bring you perfect victories here.
Once you are done with the islands, go south to land on the other side of the Strait. There are actually two landing beaches. The southern beach leads to you to Town (J) which is probably still under the Orc's control. The northern beach leads you to a Necropolis Fort (K).
While Ana is away, the Necropolis faction might launch more attack from the sea. It is a good idea to let a hero carry the newly recruited units for defense just in case. Ludmilla is ideal for this task. After the invasion stops, she can ship her army to Ana for the boss battle.
Your first goal is to take Fort (L), followed by Town (M), which should be defended by a quite powerful Necro hero. While you want to minimize losses, you can immediately buy back the fallen units at Town (L).
You are just two steps from victory! On your way north lies Fort (N). The final fight takes place at Town (O), guarded by a very powerful Miranda. In my game she carries 110+ Fate Weavers and hundreds of other creatures. While even quick-combat assigned me the victory, when I fought this battle manually, I ended up walking out with just 20% of my army.
If you find Miranda too powerful, there are various combat bonus buildings to visit. By now your unit production should totally overwhelm Miranda's. You can pass the time by fighting some more neutral stacks to accumulate more Dynasty Weapon and your account's EXP. Eventually you will overpower the boss.
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- by maltz
Anatasya's Mission 2 is a typical no-town journey. Used to be common in Heroes5, but this is the only one in Heroes6. There won't be any enemy hero coming after Ana, whom you navigate through stationary enemies and various scripted events. While the foes are actually much weaker than those an the end of mission 1, you are also handicapped with very limited recruit opportunities - in fact, there is not a single renewable recruitment site. once you burn a unit, it becomes greenhouse gas! You get reinforcement only from completing quests and a few one-time-only creature buildings. So don't miss out on those creature buildings because every rotting body counts.
Chances are you did not complete the objective of reaching the first Blood/Tear level in the previous mission. Worry not; you will have lots of Blood/Tear points to accomplish this objective here. It is also a good idea to manually fight battles and cast as many Life Drains as you can, so you can boost your Blood reputation and gain access to Curse of the Netherworld earlier in mission 3.
After this rather short and easy mission 2, we will be treated with a gigantic and challenging mission 3. Some of the level 15 skills/magics are vital to your initial success. It is a good idea to save up at least 2 ability points in this mission until Level 15, so you can grab Summon Earth Elemental and Meditation, and maybe Time Stasis as soon as you hit Level 15. Then you are bullet proof!
Level Cap: 15
Difficulty Index: 2/6
Last Updated: December 30, 2011
Dynasty Traits: There is no town and no creature growth, so you can pick something that helps with battles. You only need 15 of Wood and Ore for a quest, and there will be a lot more than 15 to pick up from the floor. On the other hand, you should collect all crystals and gold (cash all chests) in sight; they will become handy.
You start on the surface at (Start). First, head west to have a little chatting and then head east. There are quite a few branches off the main road, and you can visit them all. This mission is quite easy, and there is not much time pressure. When you reach (1), you will receive a quest message to wait. I hanged around for two days before the road to the north opens up.
Keep following the winding path and you will come across a Shrine of Seven Dragons (SD). This is the counterpart of HoMM5's Sylanna's Ancient, the beloved level-up tree. But they are not so precious anymore, since there is no more exponentially increasing EXP requirement at high levels in Heroes6. You can also get an instant level at the Seven Dragons' Shrine by paying a lump sum of 10,000 gold plus 7 blood crystals. There are in total three Seven Dragon's Shrines in this mission. But there are additional usages of gold and crystals, so keep gathering them. In my game, I only used two of the three shrines, but there was still enough EXP to push Anastasya to the level cap after the final battle.
Noyr: A minor inconvenience of the Seven Draon Shrine is that your EXP is only raised to the minimum of the next level. If you are only a few battles away from the next level, fight the battles and level up first.
The surface portion of the mission ends when Ana reaches (2), and then she is irreversibly transferred into her dream world, starting at (3). Ana's dream world consists of a few isolated areas followed by a large main area. Whenever you are done with one area, speak to Jorgen in order to be teleported to the next area. For example, when you are done with this first small area, talk to Jorgen at (4) to start the next small area at (4').
This second small area is a circular path around a pond. The primary objective here is to destroy the town at (5), which should be a very simple task. When you are done, go to (6) to speak to Jorgen and proceed.
Ana appears in the next small area at (6'). You are hinted to pick a path of Blood or Tear. Throughout the campaign this is the only place that hands out wholesale amount of Blood/Tear points.
Pick up the stat boost (s) - the same symbols are also used to mark other stat boosts. Here you can visit the first of the three Meditation Palaces (MP). Visiting all three palaces completes a quest that gives you some powerful units. You can see the map for the location of the other two palaces. When you are done, talk to Jorgen at (7) and proceed.
Finally, you arrive at the main area at (7'). Jorgen is just to your south at (12). But as the map numbering suggests, Jorgen gives no action yet. There are some resources nearby for collecting, but not much else. Go north and enter the circular path. I suggest that you first go east to flag the first of the two Crematoriums (C). But don't go further east to tackle the Arena, as you need more troops for that battle.
Turn back and head west. Before flagging the second and last Crematorium (C), you can go through a portal at (8), which brings you to yet another small area to the north, at (8'). It certainly looks like a boss battle here, but even quick-combat gave me a perfect victory. Follow the circular path clockwise and visit the second Meditation Palace.
Follow the west route up and you can see the second Seven Dragon Shrine for another instant level. Don't go northwest yet, as the boss there is still too tough for Ana. Continue down the circular road east, and you will come across an Artifact Merchant (9), the only trade opportunity in this mission. Here you can waste away your extra cash to buy randomly generated non-set artifacts. You need only 30,000 gold to level up, so anything extra can be spent here. (Like HoMM5, non-set artifacts will not be carried over to the next mission.)
Pass the interesting garden maze (rotate the camera angle to see some hidden chests) and head northeast toward the dead-end(10). You should be able to visit the third and final Meditation Palace and finish its quest. Now is a good time to complete the circle to get another paid instant level at the third Seven Dragon's Shrine. Don't forget to train at the Arena just northeast of the first Crematorium.
Now you should have completed all side quests that provide free units. You are powerful enough to crush the army at (11) all the way to the northwest. But this is not yet the final boss, so keep your loss to minimum. When you have done everything in the main area, visit a Meditation Palace and other one-time combat bonuses, and come back to Jorgen at (12) to proceed to the last battle.
The boss fight takes place at the small area (12'). Don't worry about the meaningless resources on the floor - there won't be any use of them. If you have been keen on unit conservation, you should have no problem defeating the mission boss at all.
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- by maltz
Welcome to the Necropolis campaign. If you follow the campaign order, the Necropolis would be your first stop, which is not a bad choice. Let's start with a few basics that were not clearly explained in the tutorials.
(1) Default or Custom hero? You can play the campaign with the default or a custom hero. Since patch 1.2, you should be able to use custom heroes in the final campaigns. The walkthrough will still feature the default characters, even though some of their specialties may be less useful.
(2) Might or Magic? You can still customize each hero's Might/Magic affinity. There are four major differences:
- Only a Might hero has access to level 3 (bottom row) Might abilities (such as the highly acclaimed Counterstrike III and Cleave). Only a Magic hero can pick level 3 Magic abilities (such as the extremely useful stack disabler Time Stasis and mana recharger Meditation). A Might hero still has access to level 1-2 Magics and vice versa.
- Might heroes have more army-oriented abilities, and are therefore better suited to command a large army than a Magic hero. However, Magic heroes have more flexibility to succeed in seeminging impossible situations. For Necropolis, magic heroes, who have high Magic Power but low Might Power, are especially powerful since two powerful ranged stacks (tier 4 and tier 7) utilizes the heroes' Magic Power instead of Might Power. However, Hereos6 campaigns usually feature a good number of Arenas and Arcane Libraries so that a Might hero will have OK Magic Power and a Magic hero will have passable Might power at the end.
- Some artifacts have Might/Magic restrictions. Same as Heroes5, artifacts that belong to a set will carry over to the next mission.
- Heroes' special abilities differ between Might and Magic heroes. For example, only a Magic Necropolis hero can eventually use Curse of the Netherworld (mass damage + mass heal) if following the Blood path. This brings us to the next point:
(3) Blood or Tear? Usually Blood is more about offense; Tear is more about defense. But in reality you should look for powerful special abilities that you can use frequently. Besides unique hero abilities of each path, advancing levels in Blood or Tear also enhances abilities that belong to the category. For example, (Mass) Life Drain, the bread and butter spell of a Necromancer, is under Blood. The spell becomes more powerful when the hero advances further on the Blood path. While there are numerous places in the campaign to get massive Blood/Tear points, it is also a good idea to use corresponding Blood/Tear abilities frequently in battles. Each usage gives 1 reputation. It is reasonable to aim to get to Blood/Tear II by mission 3, or even during mission 2.
This walkthrough will build Anastasya into a Magic-Blood Necromancer. It is based on Hard difficulty, and the player should be able to achieve the "Hero" ranking at the end of each mission. (Same with all other subsequent walkthroughs.)
(4) Dynasty Weapons. You will pick up more Dynasty Weapons along the campaigns and by spending Dynasty Seals in My Dynasty (Seals are earned through completing achievements). Dynasty Weapons are not associated with any particular campaign hero or campaign progress. Their experiences are accumulated throughout all games where the weapon is equipped. Since higher levels of each weapon require millions of EXP, it is better to stick with a good one and develop it to its full potential.
(5) Dynasty Traits. Dynasty traits are starting bonuses available at the beginning of each map. In the game's main menu, you can buy these traits with Dynasty Seals. More traits will be available for purchase when the player's account level (Iron rank, etc.) advances. The account's EXP, like Dynasty Weapons, are also accumulated through all games. At level 11 (not 10, it is also a known issue), you will be able to purchase Bronze-rank Dynasty Traits and pick a second starting bonus. At level 21 (Silver rank) You can buy the third trait slot. But there is no way to get the 4th or 5th yet.
During campaigns, you can respecialize (in hero's special ability tab) your main hero's abilities when he/she reaches the the next level of Blood/Tear level. (So you have two shots) - note that this is different from the scenarios, where you can respecialize at level 10 and level 20. Here comes a list of core survival abilities for Anastasya. I used them almost exclusively in the toughest fights of the campaign.
Unit conservation tools: Life Drain, Mass Life Drain (lv5), Regenerate, Mass Regenerate (lv5), Reinforcement I, II, Tactics I. Healing spells in Heroes6 are extremely powerful - they resurrect fallen units. Reinforcement is like a "pre-heal" so you can free up later actions to heal others in need. Abuse the these abilities and you will do very well in Heroes6.
Life saver for the army deprived: Summon Earth Elemental (lv15), Time Stasis (lv15), Puppet Master (lv15).
Mana buffet: Meditation (lv15). Refill a large amount of mana once per battle. Cast it just before the battle ends.
Boss fight mass buffs/debuffs: Mass Stone Skin (lv5), Mass Weakness (Lv5). In several very tough fights, we receive more damage than we can drain/regenerate back. So we better reduce that damage. While Mass Stone Skin seems more powerful than Mass Weakness, it only reduces Might damage.
The above list of core abilities only requires 15 ability points, so plenty of extra abilites points can be invested in passive abilities that doesn't take up Anastasya's precious action during a tough battle. It is a great idea to pour extra ability points into might-oriented passive abilities such as Archery, Counterstrike, Giant Slayer, etc. Another popular choice is Logistics and Pathfinding to speed up your expansion, especially useful in later missions.
It is generally a bad idea to give your main hero any ability that is not related to battles. That's what secondary heroes are for. They only need to focus on economic (Realm) abilities. There is no need to develop a combatant secondary hero throughout all Heroes6 campaigns.
Veterans of Heroes5 may intuitively pick Dark, Nature, and Prime Magic I, II, III, etc., thinking they unlock high-tier abilities such as Summon Earth Elemental and Puppet Master. However, in Heroes6 you can pick those high-end spells without Earth magic I or Dark magic I. All they do is mildly increases your hero's respective magic school power. Since there will be numerous +Magic Power stat boosts through the campaign (my Ana's end-game Magic Power was 70+), Dark Magic I, II, III does not really make any big difference - a poor choice that wastes away precious ability points.
Leadership (Morale) and Destiny (Luck) was another popular pick back in Heroes5, but they are also poor choices in Heroes6. There will be so many adventure map buildings and cheap artifacts that increases them so much (such as 8000 gold Golden Horseshoe for +8 luck) that your ability points seem to be completely wasted. Besides, Luck's effectiveness is severaly reduced in Heroes6 - it only increases your damage by 50%, and triggers much less frequently. Morale could be handy for Haven, but is completely useless for undeads.
Still, welcome to experiment on other abilities and let us know what you find. If you can fight every single battle with 0 loss, you must have done the right thing.
In this campaign, the vast majority of tough battles are siege battles. Therefore, ranged power is extremely important. Necropolis is fortunate to be blessed with two very powerful Magic-based ranged creatures - Lich (tier 4) and Spider (tier 7). Lich in particular will provide the most damage output throughout the campaign. Naturally, the AI also wants to get rid of them first. I hope you don't grow tired of healing them!
A third ranged unit is the spear-throwing Skeleton (tier 1). The upgraded version's (Might-based) attack also reduces the target's next movement range by 1. The skeletons are not particularly powerful since Ana's Might Power won't be too impressive as a Magic hero. However, if you find the Unicorn Horn Bow or the Emerald Yumi Bow (both negates range penalty, the latter also negates shelter), these little guys can really shine.
Anastasya's specialty is to have +2 movement on Ghouls (tier 2), which already has quite impressive movement (and initiative). You can let them catch the enemy's ranged units off guard as they can hit almost anyone on the battle field. However, since they also make Might-based attack, they will slowly lose their star status to others.
Ghosts (tier 3) are the healers of the army, responsible for roughly half of the healing in earlier missions. Their healing power will slowly turn unimpressive later on, but their damage (Magic-based) will eventually surpass your Ghouls'. They also receive reduced physical damage. A useful unit overall.
Tier 5 (Lamassu) and tier 6 (Vampire) are where the Necropolis looks lacking. Both use Might-based attack but have unimpressive movement range, so they often stop just short of the target. The Vampires do have the best initiative of your army, and can soak up the counterstrike quite well. Lamassu (and all other 2x2 creatures) can take away 2 hit points from a demon's gate; you will appreciate that in Mission 4. So they still have their minor uses.
Level cap: 10
Difficulty Index: 3/6
Last updated: December 30, 2011 (v1.2)
Dynasty Traits: The starting bonus does not matter a lot. If you have +3 Core Creature growth then go for it, since almost all you will be able to hire are Core (tier 1-3) creatures.
Anastasya starts her new afterlife underground, marked by (Start). Follow the road southwest, and pick up the Ghouls and later Skeletons. Ghouls and Ghosts are your best friends of the mission, so try to minimize their loss whenever possible. You will reach the level cap long before the conclusion of this mission, so feel free to cash out some chests. By the way, if you save the game before opening a chest, you can usually get another gold amount. This does not apply to which Week you get next - they have been pre-determined. The worst week for Ana is "The Week of Living". In my first run, I got that on Week 2 and was mercilessly crushed by the very first enemy hero. After restarting, the week never came again.
The essence of Necropolis is to constantly raise back the fallen units and eventually outlast the enemies. It is a very good idea to pick up TWO healing spells as soon as possible in order to score perfect victories on almost all minor encounters. For Ana, they are Life Drain and Regenerate. The reason you need two healing magics is that there is a cooling period for most magics, so you can't cast the same thing over and over. Some spells are limited to one cast per battle (such as Mass Regenerate). As a result, you have to pick the best moment to cast them in a tough, long battle. For Mass Regenerate, the best moment is 5 turns before the battle ends to maximize your healing. Ana's third healing ability is her racial ability, Necromancy (the button that appears beside Ana's portrait in battles), which becomes very powerful later on.
Climb up the dragon-mouth-shaped stairs (1') and emerge on the surface (1). Your goal is to capture Town A to the northeast. However, feel free to go northwest first so you do not have to return here later. Town A is defended by a weak hero with a weak army. You should be able to dispatch him easily (as long as it is not during the Week of Living).
Just east of Town A there is a status boost marked on the map by a blue s (same for others). Northwest of Town A, you can find a Mass Grave (MG). There are four more on the map, and you should visit each of them by Ana personally or the quest may bug out (v1.1.1).
Follow the west path to the northwest and you will find another dragon-mouth stairs (3). Don't go down yet. Keep heading north to defeat a tough group of high-level creatures to claim your first hard-earned Dynasty Weapon, the Soulreaver Staff, perfect for a Magic Anastasya. The staff, which according to the loading-game screen (the first picture featured in this article), appears to be Anastasya's "official" weapon. It has a very useful ability at level 2 - a free (but mediocre) Mass Haste! Might Ana has to wait till much later for her first hard-earned Dynasty Weapon.
Use stairs (3-3') to return to the underworld. Visit the stats boost and follow the path northeast. There is a branch path to the southeast which contains resources but no enemies. Same as earlier games, it is always a good idea to have a mule hero following the main hero to pick up resources. They can also ship units, but it might be faster to Basic Town Portal the mule hero to the nearest Fort for that purpose (there won't be any "Summon Creature" spell, unfortunately). You can give the mule hero Logistics, Pathfinding, and other non-combat abilities to make him/her an effective courier, scavenger, and town manager.
Use the portal at (4') to arrive at a little treasure plateau (4) on the surface. You can also take a sneak view of a future victim of yours. When you are done, portal back to the underworld and proceed east. Here is another stats boost and some Blood/Tear points.
Return to the surface with stairs (5'). Your goal is to capture Town B to your southwest. There is the second Mass Grave to visit on your way. There is also an Arena stats boost west of the Mass Grave. But you are too weak for the Arena now. Town B is defended by a mediocre hero, but since you have done a great job conserving units and have used a mule hero to ship new units to you, there shouldn't be any major problem. Sometimes the AI is dumb enough to send the defending hero around for errands, allowing you to steal the town easily.
It is a good idea to develop Town B into your headquarter, completed with an Advanced Town Portal and the unique structure for fallen unit revival (but reviving a unit costs more than hiring it, at about 150% of the cost). Just southeast Town B is a group of Spear Skeletons (6). They want you to locate a list, which is carried around by an enemy hero. Just keep fighting and you will get it eventually. When you get the list, return to (6) to recruit the Spear Skeletons and upgrade their structures in all towns. The upgrade structures also increase the creature growth per week. At this point, you should also get a quest to defeat the invading hero. However, in my game, the hero did not invade at all. I had to hunt him down in front of one of the towns later.
After taking Town B, you have two options. You can either travel down to attack Fort C, or go east to attack Fort D. I recommend taking C first since there is a rare Crystal mine in the territory. Depending on the strength of the resistance, you might be forced to work on the easier one first anyway. After grabbing both Forts, proceed further east from Fort D to capture Fort E. There are three more Mass Graves to visit in the area to complete the side quest.
Don't forget to convert all Creature buildings into Necropolis structures for more undead units per week for recruit. Since patch 1.2, converting Fort has become a decent investment that starts turning a profit after about two weeks.
So I loaded the autosave and avoided this battle - just passing by the town to fight some other neutral stacks on the other side. Strangely, the powerful defending hero left the town, trying to retake Fort E. This was my golden opportunity to capture Town F. With Life Drain, Regenerate, Stone Skin (cut down damage to 1/2 for 1 stack), a deep mana pool and the ever-recharging Necromancy, an almost-perfect victory against the hero-less defenders should be expected! There are also various temporary army boosts nearby, including a "water shield" structure to the east. (p.s. That powerful hero captured an undefended Fort E, but his army was only 1/5 of what I elminated in Town F. So he had no chance this time.)
A very good artifact for these low-level town siege are Summon Elemental scrolls. You might be able to find them on the adventure map, or purchase them very cheaply from an Advanced Market in a Haven town (before conversion). Summon a bunch of Elementals beside the defending Marksman to neutralize them. A trick of fighting siege battles: have superior ranged power and concentrate on killing the AI's range units until the AI sends its melee units out of the castle gate. Before that, don't fly your Spectres inside the castle to be brutely surrounded and slaughtered.
Whether Town F is in your possession or not, descend using stairs (7). Head to northeast for an Inferno-looking area to claim the Might-oriented Dynasty Weapon, Arachne at (8), and complete the corresponding secondary objective. Arachne's Life Drain passive ability at level 4 is infamously bugged (v1.2 and before) in a beneficial way. It is also one of the best Dynasty Weapons in Heroes6.
Head northwest to use Portal (9') to another underground section. There is nothing else to do but to climb up stairs (10') and return to the surface at (10). There is a final stats boost right beside you. Now go east and capture Town G! It will be another very tough fight. You might think this is the boss fight, so you can afford to lose a lot of units. Nope - this is the second last fight. So still try to raise as many fallen units back as possible. You can always resurrect them right in your converted Town G afterwards. At this point, you are too rich to care about 4- or 5-digit spending! Don't forget to convert another Barrack southeast of Town G. You can hire Lich now.
When you are ready, visit a few battle boosts and enter Portal (11) to face the boss fight of this mission. You need to win this battle in 12 turns or so. There will be lots of slapping, which promptly removes your positive buffs such as Life Drain. But before your stack attack, you can still cast Life Drain on it to get some strength back. Split out some 1-unit stacks so they absorb several initial hits and possibly counterattacks. Throw in whatever you have, keep raising the fallen with Necromancy and hope for the best. If you absolutely cannot win, come back a few weeks later with more units. In Heroes6, bosses' army grows very slowly, or in many cases do not grow AT ALL (unlike Heroes5). So you can always outgrow them providing that you have expanded well previously- this applies to every single tough battle of all campaigns. In my opinion, this feature really takes away the challenges... oh well.
Note: Do not worry if you could not complete the "reaching Blood I/Tear I" quest. It carries over to the next mission. Same as all equivalent quests in subsequent campaigns.
- by Staff
Whether you are a newcomer having problems with a particular map or a seasoned veteran aiming for the best score, walkthroughs can be useful to you. If you need any help with a scenario, browse the Round Table forums or create a new topic.
Trial by Fire - MM:H7 Standalone Pack
Walkthrough and Strategy Guide by maltz
Expansion: Pirates of the Savage Sea
Tactics advice and guides available from here
Might and Magic: Heroes VI
(Foreign languages titles/map names are available here.)
Prologue: A Murder of Crows
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Hammers of Fate
Heroes of Might and Magic V
The GameSpot Dark Messiah of Might and Magic Game Guide by Matthew Rorie is your best resource if you are stuck in the single-player levels. It can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF. It contains general tips, an overview of all skills and a complete walkthrough of the game.
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm
Heroes of Might and Magic IV
Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Stand-alone Custom Maps
(walkthroughs by Harukaba)
"There's a bug in marking completed campaigns. To make game remembering that you completed the scenario you always need to start from previous campaign final save. If you will not reload and just click to continue, it won't be checked!"
Unholy Alliance: Harvest | Final Peace | Search for a Killer | Gathering the Legion | Secrets Revealed | Agents of Vengeance | Wrath of Sandro | Invasion | To Strive, To Seek | Barbarian Brothers | Union | The Fall of Sandro
Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade
(walkthroughs by Harukaba)
Festival of Life:
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
(walkthroughs by Harukaba)
(walkthroughs by Mitzah)
In the Wake of Gods:
(walkthroughs by Vox Clamant)
(walkthroughs by Vox Clamant)
- by maltz
Flying to the Rescue
M4: A Flamboyant Exit
- Map Size: Large
- Level Cap: none
- Difficulty Index: 5/5
- Last Updated: November 16, 2007, Patch v3.0
Here we come, Griffin Empire! (or Unicorn Empire? I am confused by the ending.) All your hard works will be paid off. The finale of finale is divided into four similar acts, each with its own mini-boss battle happening at town (A), (B), (C), (D). Then, Zehir take on the final boss at town (E)!
Your Zehir's build should be very complete by now, and he will be given free, huge stacks after free, huge stacks to run over everything. You should be able to keep a perfect victory record throughout the mission - that's how easy it is. However, all of the mini-boss fights in each act, which are performed by other heroes you have controlled over the campaign (or not), are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Some of them are ridiculously difficult on heroic.
I don't like the current game design that you are not given any chance to adjust the other heroes' skills, creatures, even artifacts in this mission. The game actually equips your artifacts randomly! It is quite possible that you just can't win one or more mini-boss battles, because you were forced to use a mediocre default setup against a much tougher opponent. I also don't like the fact that Vampirism actually cures Puppet Master and Frenzy. This makes the mini-bosses (three out of four spams Puppet Master and Vampirism) invincible against Dark Magic. Just imagine Rolf with infinite mana and yourself with an army of 2/3 his size - that's what you'll see!
There are ways around the mini-boss fights, though, so don't go all the way back to C2M4 to rebuild every hero. I'll mention a couple of alternative ways that probably were the back doors purposely left open by the game developers. It is your call whether or not to take advantage them.
Here comes a few general tips for Zehir. First, don't waste movement points. The mini-bosses seems to grow a little stronger each week, so the more time you waste, the more trouble your other heroes will have. Zehir's part will be very easy after winning all four mini-boss battles. Leave all resources on the ground. You can call the FBI, er... a secondary hero to do all the clean-up work. Skip all of the unnecessary fights because you can come back for them later if you really wish.
Skip sidequests that are not conveniently located nearby. You may pick up the neutral stacks recommended in the walkthrough as a backup plan. There are various free or mercenary stacks ready to join, but you don't really have room for them all. No problem, that's what mule heroes are for!
p.s. The current game (ver 3.0) contains a potential bug (or intended feature) in the script. On higher difficulties it is very normal to lose with Kujin, and naturally players will then use Gotai to win the fight. However, the script won't function normally afterwards. Don't let Kujin die! If your Kujin dies and Gotai starts roaming around the map as Blue, the bug has happened.
Choose the Air Elemental bonus. The Phoenixes are more powerful, but you will end up discarding them. The Air Elementals, however, will be greeted by another 3 stacks and you will end up with a level-3 Hurricane. They are fast and they don't get retaliated - perfect! The Call to Arms mission special is 20 Gems + 24000 EXP for 4 Storm Giants on heroic (again, on lower difficulties you get more units). If you have too much Gems and won't lose a level, why not.
Let's jump right on to Act One!
Zehir enters the scene at (1), and a peaceful countryside is all he sees. No worry, you are in the right mission and there will be hundreds of thousands of demons. Your goal in this act is to capture three Gold Mines at (2), accessible through the stairways (a). Since two of the gold mines are locked away behind the Red & Blue Gates (G), you have to visit the Red & Blue Keymaster Tents (K) first.
The sidequest of this act is to capture two Dwarf Warrens (W), to receive the reward of a free level. Different from a Sylanna Ancient, though, the game actually makes up your difference to the next level, so try to complete the side quest when you still have a long way to go to the next level. Do not buy the Storm Giant to lower your EXP yet, though. You need the Gems!
There are a few free stacks to be picked up, marked with yellow, small letters. On higher difficulties you actually receive more, so definitely pay a visit to them:- Battle Mages (m) in front of the Memory Mentor (there will be a lot more Mentors on the map.)
- Air Elementals (a) to the north of the stairway. I didn't mark the stairs because the game won't let Zehir access it. They are here just for decorative purpose.
There is a Stable (S) at the center to speed up your journey. Visit the Tavern at (3) and hire two new heroes. Try to hire the Haven heroes and mentor them to give them Expert Logistics. Make one of them to back track and pick up free resources left on the ground, and the other follow Zehir closely to carry future overflow stacks.
After visiting both Keymaster Tents, cross the bridge south and you will see a Trading Post. You don't really need it now, if you are already using a hero to pick up various resources. Ignore the one-way portal (P1) and keep going south to pick up a Dragon artifact (helm, D1). Descend through the stairway (a) to enter the Gold Mine area (2).
Flag all of the Gold Mines by unlocking the Blue and Red gates. In the meantime, use your secondary heroes to pick up as much Ore, Wood and Gem as possible - you'll need them badly. Save your game just before flagging the 3rd Gold Mine, because the first mini-boss fight is coming!
Mini-Boss Fight (Wulfstan)
As soon as you flag the last Gold Mine, Wulfstan spawns underground with a good army, and charges directly to Town (A). The enemy hero has a lot of shooters! Definitely start the battle with Mass Confusion. If you don't have it, cast Mass Deflect Missle. If you still don't have it, oh-oh. Maybe it will be faster to go back to your last save file in C3M3?
Similar to all other tough bosses you have seen and will see, the Demon Lord spams Puppet Master to a degree you want to smash your monitor. The Seducers can also Puppet Master your stack, which further elevates your frustration level. When under PM your stack will make liberal use of your Rune resource as well. Wulfstan has very limited mana, so better put them to good use! You will be busy Cleansing the ultra annoying Puppet Master (or cast Vampirism to replace them if he learned it from Zehir), or cast Mass Haste / Mass Righteous Might. (The mini-boss loves to give you Mass Slow as well.) You can actually cleanse Slow with Rune to save turns for Wulfstan.
There are two keys to Wulfstan victory. First, block the castle entrance with your Thunder Thanes. The enemies will gate in a lot of stacks inside the castle, but that actually works to your advantage. The lightning attack of Thunder Thanes can pass down to all adjacent stacks (of one direction), so you can deal heavy damage inside a very crowded castle - so much damage that you will start laughing!
Second, make liberal use of the Runes, especially the Rune of Resurrection to resurrect 40% of fallen units (1 Ore + 1 Gem, the second time 3 Ore + 3 Gem, and then Wulfstan can refersh it) on the Thanes and any other stack that takes heavy casaulty. You have picked up a lot of Ores and Gems, so please make good use of them here. After Wulfstan's mana runs dry just use him to Refresh Runes on your key stacks. The battle bacame very easy from here.
This is actually the easiest mini-boss fight among all. After the fight, Wulfstan will be out of your control (as the Blue player), so you will not have any access to his creatures and artifacts. Hopefully you are not leaving any pieces of a great set on Wulfstan at the end of mission 3, or it is too late!
There is also a possibility that when Wulfstan has, say two weapon artifacts, the game will randomly equip one of them, which might not be the one you like. You actually have a chance to fix this. When Wulfstan just shows up, for a few seconds he is actually an Orange player under your control. Now quickly left click on a nearby ground ten times per second (just to show you tried) as if you are ordering Wulfstan to go elsewhere - he will start charging and stop to consider your order! Now you can adjust your artifacts. The same trick applies to all subsequent heroes as well.
When you gain control of Wulfstan, you can actually move him up the stairs to come to the surface! He can join Zehir's crusade but he can never go back down again (because the game assumes he is Zehir). The Inferno town (A) will stay forever. Doh. If you absolutely can't win, just park Wulfstan or the subsequent heroes outside the town gate.
Is your mission still winnable if you missed one or more of the Inferno towns underground? Actually, yes. The only town that must go down is the final boss's town (E). All of the other fights are in fact optional although the script writers tried to make it mandatory - or did they purposely leave a hole for you? We will find out more clues soon.
No matter town (A) goes down or not, Zehir is done in the Act One. Pass the one-way portal (P1) to proceed. Although it seems that you will not come back to this area, later in the mission you can learn and cast the Instant Travel spell that allows you to go back to a previous section.
Zehir now travels to the SW quarter of the map (P1'), with an eventual goal to enter the one-way portal at (P2). This is a very straight-forward act.
Don't miss out a very important free stack, tier-6 Rakshasa Kshar (r). There are also two groups of Air Elementals (a). Similar to all other missions, on higher difficulties you actually receive more untis as the stack sizes are larger. There is a useless Tome of Summoning magic (Ts) - just in case you don't have Arcane Omniscience.
The side quest of this act is to defeat a Demon Leader (4), who actually moves around but won't go very far. Deleb is much weaker than the mini-bosses or Rolf, though. After defeating her you can get the useful artifact Boots of the Swift Journey. Save your game just before entering the one-way portal (P2). The second boss fight is taking place at the gate of town (B)!
Mini-Boss Fight (Freyda)
Both Freyda and Duncan show up, but only Freyda fights. (Duncan has no army at all.) This one probably breaks the difficulty meter on heroic - I failed so many times that I finally gave up! Well not really. There are two backup plans. Plan A: Go all the way back to mission 2 to rebuild Freyda, replay mission 3 and 4 up to this point, to possible barely make it with a Sorcery build. (Please see the end of C3M2 walkthrough).
The difficulty of this battle comes from the power of the Inferno army. The enemy hero again spams Puppet Master as if he has inifinite mana (he actually does, relative to you). You will be lucky if you can cleanse the Puppet Master before your PM-ed stack wipes out another of yours. Vampirism won't help - because the opponent will instantly overwrite it with yeah, another Puppet Master. He will also overwrite your own Frenzy/Puppet Master with Vampirism, although you might get lucky to see some action. (For example, those Frenzied 40+ Archdevils kills 120+ Succubus Mistresses with a single blow).
There is no way to stop the advance of the hard-hitting Inferno army. They are simply superior to Freyda's. Your best shot is to cast any Light Magic (usually Cleansing, or some mass spells) and gamble on the free Divine Vengeance. What is your chance that it actually hits a tough stack that has bloody hands, not a stack that has not attacked you, or a 1-HP-1-unit stack leftover by Last Man Standing? You have to be very lucky to win! By the way, get rid of the Ballista with your shooters. It will fail you at the last moment.
You are burning your mana, hoping to wipe out the opponent first. It will probably go down to this - both you and the opponent have just one stack left. You are barely alive with Resurrections (if you don't have it, try plan B), and your opponent is quickly dying off from your Resurrection-Vengeances. If you are lucky, you cast another Resurrection, and your opponent dies from Divine Vengeance. Otherwise, your opponent's creature (or Ballista, even the Archer Towers) act first to wipe out your little last stack! I "almost won" a couple of times like this. ;)
If you absolutely can't win, and don't like Plan A, here comes Plan B. Similar to what you can do to Wulfstan, stop Freyda on her way in, by clicking the nearby ground during the few seconds that you have control of her. Camp her outside town (B).
By the way, It will be a really good idea to stop Freyda anyways to double-check her artifacts. I hope you didn't leave any good artifact on Duncan because they are permanently lost!
All right, somehow you past the Freyda fight, so Zehir is now in the SE quarter of the map at (P2'). Before you proceed, you might want to complete an interesting sidequest about babies tied up in dungeon... er, to free a group of friendly Shadow Matriarchs (100 in my game) imprisoned at (5) underground. This area is accessible through the stairway (b). If you want to do it, do it at the beginning of the this Act as it will save you turns. I actually don't recommend doing this sidequest, because they are not really very helpful.
Your primary goal of this act is to defeat two Demon armies at (6) and (7), and pass the one-way portal at (P3). Both Demon armies are very weak, again.
There are two free stacks, the Magnetic Golems (m) and Obsidian Gargoyles (g). Both are pretty crappy and you don't really have any use of them. Skip them if you want.
On the busy street of (8) you can hire two groups of mercenaries, Thunder Thanes and Marksmen from Seer Huts. They are not cheap at all, and you have no use of them with Zehir. However, if your Wulfstan is still waiting outside town (A), you can buy the 35 Thunder Thanes and later let Wulfstan summon them. Well it is just my theory, though. However, if you go with "Plan B Plus" (I'll cover it soon) you don't really need to go through these troubles.
p.s. Visiting each of the Seer Hut actually triggers the deal as a sidequest, but there is no reward for completing them (you receive the troops that you paid for).
There is also an artifact merchant here. This is your only merchant on the map, so you may as well take a look to see if there is anything better than what you currently have. Just west of the Seer Huts you can pick up the second Tome - of Light Magic (TL).
Interestingly, now you actually have an oppurtunity to directly challenge the final boss, Biara in town (E). However, Biara's army is HUGE - more than anything you have seen before. There is no way you can beat her now.
Save your game just before approaching the second demon army at (7). As soon as the fight is over, the third boss fight starts!
Mini-Boss Fight (Kujin)
Wow. Did they actually test this? Here you will see how powerless a Might army is against Expert Dark magic users. You might have seen it back in the Stronghold campaign already - but with those 6 Chieftain stacks you probably didn't really feel anything. Have you visited the Memory Mentor in C2M4 to get Shatter Dark? (Please refer to the walkthrough of C2M4.)
You will see one after one of your stacks Frenzied. I had no idea that Kujin would be the fighter here, so I didn't have Shatter Dark on her. I didn't even have Magic Resistance! I kept the Triple Flaming Ballista and... there is NO Ballista!! (There is a Ballista for all others, who don't even have a Warmachine skill.) I don't even know how to win it with my build as the game intended, and I don't want to replay all the way from C2M5 just for this... I had to stop Kujin on her way to suicide. Plan B time!
Here comes the interesting part. Maybe the game developer actually knows that you absolutely can't win on heroic unless you have prepared a good Kujin build for it, so you are generously given Gotai... with a whooping 900 Cyclops! This is THE army we have in Plan B Plus! Now you actually have many interesting choices here. I will mention the two extremes:
Plan B normal: Give 900 Cyclops to Kujin. Split the Chieftains into four stacks, and whip the Cyclops to completely demolish everything. Easy win. You can also use Gotai to fight. In my game I actually let Gotai fight and everything worked out well. However, you can't let Kujin die, then use Gotai to win. If Kujin dies the game bugs out and you won't receive the reinforcement later. Again, please keep Kujin alive!
Plan B Plus: Let Gotai keep the Cyclops, actually give Kujin's Chieftains to Gotai as well. Send Gotai out from the stairways (c), and hey, who is standing on top of the hill? Now what are you waiting for? Pass these creatures to Zehir, and beat the * out of Biara! Slap a Vampirism on the Cyclops, and whip whip whip! You should definitely try it for pure enjoyment. Besides, you receive a higher Hall of Fame score... :)
"Here, take half of my boys!" and Zehir's eyes drop out.
p.s. Strangely, Biara does not overwrite our Cyclop's Vampirism with Puppet Master although she certainly can. If you fight Biara with a smaller army she'll always cast PM as if she only knows one spell. It seems that the AI actually "gives up" when it is completely dominated.
For the walkthrough purpose let's pick the lame Plan B normal and see what happens next. March Zehir to the one-way portal (P3) and proceed!
p.s. Many interesting things will happen if you let Zehir carry those 900 Cyclops and don't fight Biara yet. Most of the neutral stacks will wet their pants, and you actually have a lot of them joining for free! With mule heroes carrying the overflow stacks you can snow ball a truck load of free troops behind you. Deposit them (or fractions of those Cyclops) into your Academy town (available soon) and you can let Freyda or whoever summon them to good use (if the spell works)! But why do you still care about Freyda if you can directly win the mission with a sea of Cyclops? Anyways, the game has broken at this point and you can break it even further. Having fun is the most important thing. :)
You are now at (P3'), the NW quarter. As soon as you travel up to (F), you can summon Zehir's town for 35000 EXP. The sky town is almost fully loaded, and if you have installed the Tear of Asha back in mission 3, the Skyship is still there! While your town is happily producing an army for you, Zehir does not need them.
Explore the area a bit if you like. There is the third and last Tome - of Dark Magic (TD) that you probably still have no use of. There is a map maker at (C), and a Hill Fort at (H). The sidequest of the Act is to learn the Instant Travel spell at the lv-4 spell shrine at (9) underground. With this spell you can actually return to previous quarters.
p.s. According to the game script, Biara will have two major army expansion, one in the beginning of Month 4 and the other Month 5. So as long as you fight her before Month 4, you should be fine.
Your main objective of Act Four is to defeat the Yellow Dark Elves, base in town (G) underground. You will be surprised that after all these weeks of free development, they are actually even weaker than the Soulscar clan you fought back in mission 1! The enemy hero loves Divine Vengeance, so don't shoot too much - let your Phoenix do the dirty work. Save the game just before you eliminate the Yellow (their last hero) for the fourth and last mini-boss fight!
Mini-Boss Fight (Ylaya)
On heroic this fight can be totally impossible or quite easy, depending on what the AI does. If the AI choose to camp and throw an Armagaddon to demolish your Catapult, reload the game because you have no chance at all. If the AI rushes its Devil out followed by everything else, you can win easily.
You can encourage AI to make the bad choice by slapping a Confusion on the 1120 Succubus Mistresses with your Shadow Matriarchs right after the combat starts. The AI might think its ranged power is now inferior to yours, and they have a better chance by rushing out - not really!
Use the two Hydra stacks as shields against the Devils and whatever comes to the gate. Position them 2 tiles before the gate, so the troops that comes out are also subject to your other stacks' spears/knives. Your Hydras will die soon but not without taking a lot of enemies with them. Your Black Dragons and especially the Tier-4 riders are the main melee force. Your assassins should poison all of the high-initiative stacks (the Dogs and the Horse), so they will die off a lot sooner while making contact with your units before the other stacks do.
The enemy hero, thanks Asha is not going to Puppet Master your riders or Shadow Matriarch, or you are done! Instead, they will set a priority on cloning that insane stack of Sucubbus Mistresses (Even Biara the Succubus does not carry this many). In my game the clones always act immediately after the hero's Phamton Force, because the enemy hero has Expert Summoning magic and his level is very high. There is no better way to prevent the damage - just use Ylaya's Chain Lightening on the main Succubus stack so the clone will be damaged next and dispelled. When there is no clone, just keep throwing Deep Freeze on the Succubus to delay their power shots.
p.s. Ylaya comes with the artifacts that boosts her Ice and Lightning damages by 50%, and she has the Master of Ice and Master of Storm feats. Therefore, Deep Freeze and Chain Lightening are the best spells to cast.
Now we are playing Heroes of Might and Magic!
You are now ready to fight Biara!
If you have brought down all four demon towns by Wulfstan, Freyda, Kujin (or Gotai, only if Kujin still lives) and Ylaya, a wonderful thing happens - four stacks of reinforcement arrive in front of Biara's town (E). You are entitled to 100+ Archangels, Untamed Cyclops, Lava Dragons and Black Dragons! Why do you need anything else if you have these? Well you need the Lion's Crown badly, because the Cyclops and Dragons are evil.
Also, visit all of the morale boosts you can find nearby. There are three of them out there plus a HP+10% boost, so during the fight your Untamed Cyclops and Black Dragons should have a net morale of -1. If you love to see a massacre, you can always visit the closest Memory Mentor at (10) and opt for Expert Leadership.
Biara's army is actually bigger than yours, still. She has two tier-7s, two tier-6s, one tier-5 and one tier-4. She has the Demon Lord ultimate Urgash Call, so all of them will gate instantly with almost equal number. Her stats are not as impressive as the Demon Sovereign in the original game, though, and she does not have Leadership or Luck - which actually makes her much weaker than she appears to be. From the map editor we can see that Biara actually has Expert Logistics. Ha!
Here comes the list of Biara's artifacts: Cursed Ring (Luck -2), Ring of the Broken Will (Morale -2), Staff of Sar-Issus (no magic resistance), Helm of Chaos, Dragon Scale Armor, Dragon Bone Graves, Pendant of Mastery, Shield of the Dwarven Kings, Sandro's Cloak (no mind control immunity).
Biara again loves to cast Puppet Master. Due to her artifacts they always hit, yet you can quickly dispel them thanks to Zehir's Expert Sorcery. The Mass spells in the final battle are actually very useful because Biara will only concentrate on PM, and she has no Sorcery expertise. You can freely manipulate Biara's troops - Mass Confusion, Mass Slow, Puppet Master, Frenzy, and Vampirism, Mass Haste, Mass Righteous Might on your own... the battle is very easy once you have the very best four units in the game! Even if you are not careful with your Cyclops and hit your own troops every single time, you can still win!
But, we all like 900 Cyclops better.
Congratulations for finishing Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East expansion. We hope to see you again when HoMM6 comes out!
Oh here comes Isabel. Er... did Zehir find Raelag anyway?
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