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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Heroes IV: The Elements of Combat
Thread: Heroes IV: The Elements of Combat This thread is 2 pages long: 1 2 · NEXT»
ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted April 30, 2002 04:35 AM bonus applied.

Heroes IV: The Elements of Combat

No doubt, one of the most pivotal and significant aspects of Heroes of Might and Magic IV, as with all previous series, is combat. Let's face it, it is the pinnacle of one's endeavours to accumulate the most powerful army, occupy most mines, and to explore the depths of the adventure map. But combat isn't just about being the strongest, or most powerful. Just because another army as more numbers of the same level creatures as yourself, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are inferior. A veteran of Heroes may have a normally inferior army, but still emerge the victor against the newcomer to the Heroes series. How does a weaker army dominate a stronger army? Sometimes it isn't only the army that comes into play. The outcome, most of the time, is a reflection on the skill or knowledge of the player operating the army. The player uses his or her skill by focusing on the seemingly unknown benefits or better judgement of a certain combatant's turn.
So, in spite of that introduction as such, since Heroes IV is a relatively new game, now is probably as good a time as any to dig deeper into the combat spectrum. It is a known fact, that every creature possesses some sort of ability, even though it may not be unique. That is another reason why combat from Heroes IV is different to that of Heroes III. Another important differential is the presence of heroes in combat. It is most likely that heroes in combat, is the single largest change to Heroes IV.
Hence, what I (and I hope others ) wish to discuss concerning this thread is the elements of creatures and heroes alike, and how their nature is utilised to obtain victory.

There appear to be a myriad of strategies in terms of utilising creatures in the best possible fashion. With the emergence of heroes, it is likely that there are to be even more; concerning battles, anyway. So, as to make an assessment on how creatures and heroes function, just a small chart as such:
Flyers
Walkers
Ranged Attackers
Might Heroes
Magic Heroes
All of these different types require different strategies. For instance, it would be a sound strategic move to melee attack a Hydra with a Medusa. Apart from being a mismatch, one would seldom ever melee with a Medusa, for their abilities such as stone gaze and unlimited shots would suggest for them to shoot from a distance.
Hence, the reasoning for separating the creatures.
Using the same principles, it is easy to understand why Might Heroes and Magic Heroes have been separated.
It is obvious that many players prefer flyers to walkers, and ranged attackers to flyers, etcetera. And thus, people may be more inclined to make use of their flyers more than their walkers. Therefore, there are likely to be a variation of methods in which players like to utilise their creatures. The point I am trying to make here is, if a member posts something you think is incorrect or silly, just post your own ideas. Maybe it may not be as obvious as you think…..

With that, I also intend to share my experiences of battle tactics with you, maybe for some insights, or just to get the ball rolling.

Flyers
Obviously the most famed of flyers throughout the series is the Black Dragon. But lately, there has been an emergence of powerful flying creatures. Some of these include: Phoenixes, Faerie Dragons, Bone Dragons, Efreeti, Thunderbirds, and Angels. While all of these creatures are quite strong, they certainly have different strategies to make an impact on the game. Firstly, I shall begin with flyers in general, then some specific units.

Flyers are generally quite quick, which allows them to move around the battlefield with ease. They can be likened to the 'Knights' of chess, as they possess the ability to 'fly' over friend and foe alike. While flyers are useful in open combat for their speed and dexterity, the also fare quite well when attacking in a siege.
This is where the specialty of the flyers comes into play. While the rest of your army is stuck shooting at the towers, or charging at the gates, your flyers have infiltrated the enemy's castle, and making a quick assault.
Flyers may also have the edge on ranged attackers, as they can force melee within one round of combat, which may be enough to save the battle. I remember when I was playing the Asylum, I possess my level 17 FireGuard, Xyron, 17 Nightmares and 8 Hydras. The enemy had control of about 80 Monks. I won the battle, but it was costly for my army. If a creature such as an Efreet was used, the battle may have been over more quickly, and with less casualties.

Genie: I might not share the same views as others about this creature, but in my mind, I believe the conjunction of spells and flying contradict themselves. In the case of spells, the creature need not move from its initial battle formation to cast them. While being a flyer encourages the freedom of movement.

Efreet: I believe that their combination of fire shield and flying is quite beneficial to their cause. Especially against ranged attackers, as it helps to keep them from shooting.

Vampires: These creatures may well be the most powerful level 3 creature. Not only possessing the flying ability, they can also Drain Life, and have no retaliation. Again, this is handy for dealing with many ranged attackers.

Bone Dragons: Being the only Flying-Skeletal creature in the game, the Bone Dragon is immune to ranged attacks. It seems as though flyers have many ways to combat ranged attackers; that weren't obvious prior to this.

Griffins: Griffins possess the uncanny ability of unlimited retaliation, which helps the amy's cause against stronger creatures.

Thunderbird: The thunderbird's ability is quite similar to that of the Efreeti's. Except it doesn't happen as frequently.

Harpy: Harpies have the unique ability of striking then returning. This can be good to some extent, but is a severe let down if you are trying to immobilise two ranged attackers.

Walkers
Some say that Walkers have lost some penetration in Heroes IV, due to the emergence of other types of creatures, such as flyers. Walkers cannot move extremely large distances, but there is an exception for Dragon Golems at least. While walkers are stranded on the ground, and relying on their 'feet' for transport, they do possess spellcasting abilities, which can quickly turn battles in their favour, as it doesn't have to compete as much with moving.
Nightmares are a good example of this. They have the capabilities to cast terror on their opponents, then make their move, as they are unable to move. Also, walkers can be utilised in such a way that they protect other more precious creatures at the time by moving into the line of sight of a ranged attacker, forcing them to shoot at the less powerful creature, and conserving the superior one.

Behemoth: A behemoth is an example of a walking tank. It cuts down opponents defences radically, and does damage second only to that of a Black Dragon. But with lower defence, the behemoth may be able to equal it.

Unicorn: Unicorns once again have the ability to blind others. This can prove effective against a large stack of creatures, as they are rendered helpless.

Pikemen: These creatures are a unit well worth mentioning. While they negate first strike from creatures such as the White Tiger, they have the ability to attack from long distances. At first I was stunned when about 70 Pikemen attacked my Hydras through a pack of creatures surrounding it. Not only this, but while continuing to destroy the gate, the Pikemen were able to reach my medusas from beyond the wall. Pikemen have great significance as a level 2 creature.

Bandit: Their ability is also worth a mention. As bandits are produced in large numbers, it is possible to have a host within a few months. This works perfectly in conjunction with their stealth ability. This enables them to hide from unwary Magic Heroes, and possible some might heroes without stealth or scouting. The ability is very handy for taking out weaker heroes during battle.

Hydra: Hydras once again have the ability to attack all adjacent enemies. This allows them to attack around 7 enemies in one turn. It is even more effective it is allowed to retaliate. As it occurs then twice per turn. Also, its no retaliation ability should be able to give it more leverage to survive for longer periods of time.

Dragon Golem: Not only the Dragons Golem have the first strike ability, they also possess the negate first strike ability. This may not be too unique, but it is a simple and effective way of getting the first strike. In coexistance with its mechanical nature, Dragon Golems are a formidable walker.

Ranged Attackers
Ranged Attackers are usually placed at the back of the army, unless they have expended their amount of shots. Even then, some are safe because of their no melee penalty, but it does take away from what is expected of them. Ranged attackers are able to dominate to some extent when defending in a siege. They can be quite useful in arrow towers as such, but with that, comes exposure to other ranged attackers.
Usually, ranged attackers are treated in the utmost care, as they are continuously protected by walkers, so they can continue to attack, and the walkers, or another creature/hero receives the damage. Ranged attackers usually have some other abilities that help their cause, and some can be quite potent, too.

Ballista: Ballistae are classic siege war machines. And it shows in their ability. They are able to shoot long distances, with no penalty incurred for shooting through obstacles. This makes them quite reliable. On top of this, they are mechanical to some extent, and therefore immune to some specialties.

Medusa: This Asylum creature may be the most infamous of ranged attackers in Heroes IV, considering the amount of specialties. While having no melee penalty, the Medusas have the ability to stone gaze their opponents. This often does more damage than the attack itself. As if this wasn't enough, unlimited shots help it further, by continuing the flurry of pivotal shots. The Medusa's stone gaze ability is best used on higher level creatures, such as Angels and Titans. It is quite similar to the Might Gorgon's death stare in Heroes III. Except it is ranged.

Venom Spawn: While being a ranged attacker, venom spawn have the capabilities to poison the enemy. This is similar to the poison spells used by Magic Heroes.

Elf: While elves may not deal as much damage as desired, they have the ability to shoot twice, and have the first ranged strike. This may be enough to swing the battle in your favour.

Cyclops: The title of the 3rd level's most powerful ranged attacker certainly falls to the cyclops. While the cyclops has a high amount of HP, the highest for a ranged attacker of that level, it also has the famed 'area attack'. This is similar to a fireball or inferno, except it is a naturally occuring ability. This makes it quite convenient for many stacks in close contact.

Might Heroes
Might Heroes are generally offered skills such as Pathfinding, Scouting, Seamanship, Combat, Melee, etc. Some of these skills help in combat. Many are focused on exploring the map more efficiently, and with the best possible awareness.
But in combat, the usage of artifacts helps them a significant amount, as they can strengthen abilities, heighten damage, or increase their attack and defence skills. While Might Heroes may deal much more melee damage than Magic Heroes, it may be a question of who can make it count first? Much of the time, Might Heroes are stranded to the ground until they are able to learn basic archery, or possess an artifact which has the same effect.
Might Heroes have the capabilities to become effective, and when they do, they can be quite hard to defeat.

Field Marshal: A Field Marshal can be quite effective, as and extra 10% bonus to the melee and ranged attack skills does make a difference in the long run. As it may only save about 10 creatures per battle, but it also translates to saving money.

Lord Commander: The Lord Commander's ability gives +2 morale to all friendly troops, which may be enough to offset the mixture of alignments. Morale now has a fairly significant effect on how battles are going to eventuate in Heroes IV.

Assassin: The Assassin's ability could be able to help the hero deal his/her damage more quickly, as it is vital for Might Heroes to accomplish such a task.

Ninja: Poison can easily whittle down a large stack of squires down every turn in combat, which makes it easy to focus on other stacks.

Warlord: The Warlord class shows promise, as +5 to melee attack allows the hero to deal more damage, quite simply. Although, it is a fairly good asset, even though it is simple.

Magic Heroes
I tend to utilise this class more often than the might hero class. I often escalate my magic hero's importance, so he will be able to deal more damage, and have impending effects on his army. I also enjoy direct damage spells, such as Implosion and Inferno, as with a well advanced magic hero, they are able to deal 1000 and 450 damage respectively. Which I believe is good by any means.
Magic Heroes have the ability to effect any creature within a ranged attack, as they are not physically orientated. Whether it be summoning spells or direct damage spells, Magic Heroes can stamp their mark on battle by unleashing their specialty. Although they may not have as many Hit Points as Might Heroes due to their development of magically orientated skills, Hit Points are gained naturally by advancing a level, or visiting a School of War.
In contrast, spells have pre-requisites, and something must be learnt before a Might Hero can learn the spell. An example is that a Knight visits a Chaos Magic Shrine, and it teaches the spell Mana Flare. A simple spell such as that requires even Basic Chaos Magic to learn. While Magic Heroes get a free ride, as they are able to learn Basic Combat at the snap of a finger.

FireGuard: The FireGuard class is quite useful for utilising spells such as Armageddon, as it won't affect the hero casting it. This class also helps when facing another Asylum castle, as their fire spells also, won't have an effect upon your hero. The FireGuard class is easily obtained, as Combat is the only might skill learnt early in the game for a magic hero.

Cardinal: Although the Cardinal's ability has somewhat limited use, it can be used well by angels and the hero himself. Resurrection is a potent skill, and it has in fact won many battles for me.

Shadow Mage: Again, this ability has limited usage, but is quite effective for an enemy hero hero with GrandMaster Archery and Combat, as their ranged attacks may deal a severe amount of damage.

Warlock: The Warlock's class ability is one of the most reliable and effective. +10 to spell points, and an extra +1 regeneration of spell points is quite a significant bonus. If used in conjunction with GrandMaster Sorcery, and GM Nature or/and Chaos Magic, it certainly is to be a force to be reckoned with.

Sorry about the length for those of you who had the spare time to read this much. Or if you skipped some parts and end here. The length was necessary, as none of this has been touched on since we obtained the game. Many of you have spent time on your complaints about the game, instead of figuring it out and maybe shedding some light on the matter, or combat at least.
Obviously, I would appreciate any opinions or strategies you have used throughout your month or so of playing the game.
Thanks.

____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Charis
Charis

Tavern Dweller
posted April 30, 2002 03:33 PM

Nice post

Nice post -- I've been wondering when we would start to see some actual strategic thoughts vs "HoMM4 suxor" or "How do you fix a memory leak"  

> Flyers
> Walkers
> Ranged Attackers
> Might Heroes
> Magic Heroes

I'm tempted to break Spellcasting troops out of the ranged, because their tactics differ greatly. A genie isn't a "flyer" in a strategic sense (as you pointed out), it's a spell caster, and how it and magi act is different from your griffin.

Your medusa vs hydra paragraph is quite unclear.

Flyers - might want to point out it's common to 'wait' the first move then attack twice in a row (more or less). This means they take a hit with range penalty instead of point blank, and the ranged attackers slow melee friends don't get two free swipes. Angels are notorious for this -- wait, attack, then fly out before ANYTHING can hit them.

> Genie
I love/hate these guys. Splitting off a SINGLE genie into its own position, or two or more, and casting 'Song of Peace' is just TOO effective. I like them, but find myself winning battles I just have no right winning by continuous song of peace.

> Bone Dragons
Immune to ranged attacks?

> Walkers... hydras...
Can't mention these and not recommend teleporting your hydra in the middle of their pack (after a wait most likely)

> Ranged Attackers
Mention of 'formations' would be a good topic unto itself.
I find myself shifting patterns alot depending what my fragile range attackers are going to face.

> Might Heroes
Should probably mention that unlike ANY other primary skill, there are no prerequisites for 'Combat' advancement - you can be grandmaster in 5 lvl-ups, or 4 if you start with it. A lvl 5 with +60 Defense is amazing for his time.
Grandmaster Archery and Melee with first strike AND a second strike is where these guys begin to REALLY shine.
In the campaign I'm finding Thjar to be a terror in his mid lvl 20's. With a ring of regen, GM Combat, Archery and Melee this guy is just smacking down everything he faces with impunity. I'm talking a dozen black dragon kinda smackdown

> Field Marshal... Commander... Assassin
General is very easy to get and an effect combo of skills, even if the bonus isn't as nice as the others.

I'm finding two heroes, one might, one magic, in my main army, with perhaps a few genies and titans, is a very powerful combination. In fact, it's the extreme variety of combinations that makes HoMM4 so interesting. With HoMM2 and 3, this topic was more straightforward, with pretty 'standard' combat sequences for flyers, walkers and ranged.

Charis

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Halfling
Halfling

Tavern Dweller
posted April 30, 2002 04:36 PM

I think flyers have become stronger, and the shooters are weaker. This is because you can't defend a shooter as easily as in heroes 3. Only when guarding cities shooters have a huge advance bonus when standing on towers. I still don't understand what kind of bonus they get.

It seems to me that when units stand in the river they are 'cursed'.

I also think the summoning ability has a big influence on the strategy. If you are a demonologist you can summon a huge number of units, which can be thrown into battle without too much thinking. Just too bad that the AI won't attack when I enter a castle with an hero and 3 bone dragons, and on the other side are 10 bone dragons. Now I can summon like 600 imps and attack...
____________
              Why does it always rain on me?

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted April 30, 2002 04:41 PM

You really need to add one more category for army units:
Spellcasters

Also the distinction Might and Magic no longer apply. You really need to look at which skill(s) they have in the Might case.

Combat: The Hero is likely a one unit army in itself. Depending on the developement of the sub-skills you have to deal with the hero in an appropriate way. This Hero is dicfficult to deal with if the Hero has GM in all combat skill. In fact, the combat may be lost if this type of hero get hold of a Regenerating ring or similar because you simply cannot make this hero lose Hitpoints as fast as the Ring regenerates it. And even without the ring you may need a lot creatures to take the Hero down. The best match for these creature are those that attack without Retaliation and your own Combat Heroes.

Tactics: The Hero gives the monsters a boost but doesn't gain any protection from the skill. Try to take this hero out as soon as possible. If the Hero is felled then the creatures will lose their bonuses. If you are the one to have a tactics Hero, you should do whatever you can to protect the Hero.

Scouting and Nobility: These heroes don't gain anything inside combat from their skills. Usually best to bother about the creatures first.

"This is where the specialty of the flyers comes into play. While the rest of your army is stuck shooting at the towers, or charging at the gates, your flyers have infiltrated the enemy's castle, and making a quick assault."

Actually, I've come to the conclusion that generally it's a second or third choice tactics to infiltrate a castle with fliers. Much better to knock down the Gate, or use spells or whatever. In the cases where I anyway opt to attack with Fliers over castle walls, I should probably not have attacked this castle to begin with anyway. Losses will pile up very quickly.

"Flyers may also have the edge on ranged attackers, as they can force melee within one round of combat, which may be enough to save the battle."

Actually, the defenders can circumvent this. If you have some melee units helping your shooters, then if you attack the flier from an appropriate direction the flier will turn towards the melee unit when retaliating and in doing so disengage the ranged unit. When it becomes the ranged units turn they can shoot from close range at your flier. You'll likely lose quite a lot of fliers as a result.

In the example with 80 Monks. You will lose some units whatever you do. Your best tactics is probably to split up the Nightmares so you have several smaller stacks and one big. The smaller stacks then casts Terror while you attack with the remainder. You will not fare much better with Efreets. Probably, worse.

Genie: Flying and Spellcasting is not contradictory. However, you could say that the Genie's Melee Stats is strongly dissuading you from using Flying for anything else that trying to get out of range from an enemy's attack.

Efreet: The Fire Shield doesn't trigger on Ranged damage. So you'll find this creature the target of ranged attacks a lot. The Fire Shield is neutral, neither an asset or a liability against shooters. Also remember the comment about melee units helping the shooters.

Vampires: Are good for dealing with ANY unit which is not mechanichal, undead or an elemental. They're equally good against melee units and ranged units. Some units like the Ice Demon do require some caution.

Bone Dragons: Skeletal means higher defence against ranged attacks (than against melee attacks). It's not immune to ranged attacks.

Harpy: Harpies are meant to take down melee units not ranged ones. The harpy is probably better categorized as a "No retaliation, Ranged creature, Limited range, Can Fire on Adjacient creatures" than a Flyer.

Walkers
I don't think ranged units should be considered superior to Walkers. Some walkers are slow, true, but a fair amount of them are quick enough to cross the battlefield in two turns. Dragon Golems, Bandits, White Tigers, and Nomads comes to mind. Also as I mentioned before Walkers can protect the Shooters, and if other creatures attack your shooters then often the walker can disengage the attacker from the Shooter, by causing the attacker to turn.

Bandit: It is unlikely that Bandits will be suprising enemy heroes. All the hero needs is a level 3 creature in the army and the Bandits become visible. Also a company of Bandits are not all that difficult to defeat.

Hydra: The Hydras are quite big and this is both good and bad. It's good because it makes it likely the Hydra can attack at least 2-3 units on it's own turn. It's bad because you'll often find your movement restricted by other stacks and obstacles.


Ranged Attackers
In sieges, you don't worry about the attacker's ranged units. You worry about their spells, their spells and then their spells. If you are the attacker in a siege, you can have some use for your ranged unit, but if the defender have better or equal ranged units, then you'd better bring a thick Spellbook (on heroes and creatures).


Cyclops: You have to be very careful with Cyclops, or you'll hit your own troops. A very strong point with the Area Attack is that it's not Retaliated against, but the Cyclops will Retaliate when somebody else shoots at it.

"Although they may not have as many Hit Points as Might Heroes due to their development of magically orientated skills, Hit Points are gained naturally by advancing a level, or visiting a School of War."

Hmmm... you're contradicting yourself here. The Magic Hero has the same amount of Hitpoints as a Might Hero of the same level, provided they've visited the same structures.

When it comes to skills, every hero is expected to develope the Combat primary skill. That's why a) you're offered Combat all the time, b) Combat + Skill X advanced classes have a weaker bonus than other advanced classes. So looking at defence the two should be of similar strength. Looking at Offence, then the Might Hero will be stronger provided the hero has Archery/Melee.

____________
"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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Thunder
Thunder


Responsible
Famous Hero
posted April 30, 2002 04:57 PM

I want to point out that the Harpies can block shooters as well as any unit. You can make normal melee attacks with them.

Some obstacles like trees slows down fliers as well as walkers. Also, in general, flyers can't reach the back line of shooters in the first round.
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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted May 01, 2002 01:59 PM

Nice to see some thoughtful replies

Thankyou to those who have contributed to this thread. Now, I would like to give further opinions on what you have posted.

Thankyou, Charis.
"I'm tempted to break Spellcasting troops out of the ranged"

I wasn't classifying them in the same category. I was just using a Genie as an example to how these two don't exactly combine well in that instance.

"This means they take a hit with range penalty instead of point blank"

True, yes, but this need not apply to the faster flying creatures, such as the phoenix. It is quite a good strategy to use, for the reasons you explained.

"Bone Dragons
Immune to ranged attacks?"

LOL. Sorry about that error. They have +100% ranged defence, I believe. But I can safely say that this is quite a good asset.
My Black Dragons were facing their sworn enemies, and they dealt 200 damage from the back of the battlefield. Then, in a later battle, my Bone Dragons had only 80 damage inflicted upon them. And it is known fact that Black Dragons have the highest ranged defense in the game.

"Teleporting your hydra in the middle of their pack"

Yes, but this particular spell isn't exactly widely available to the sorcerer class that is most commonly associated with the Asylum. It is possible to learn other spells from neighbouring alignments, but most of the time, the skill level of that particular magic doesn't escalate to higher than 'expert'.

Should probably mention that unlike ANY other primary skill, there are no prerequisites for 'Combat' advancement"

I had in fact mentioned that point: "In contrast, spells have pre-requisites, and something must be learnt before a Might Hero can learn the spell. An example is that a Knight visits a Chaos Magic Shrine, and it teaches the spell Mana Flare. A simple spell such as that requires even Basic Chaos Magic to learn. While Magic Heroes get a free ride, as they are able to learn Basic Combat at the snap of a finger."
(Quoting myself there).

"still don't understand what kind of bonus they get."

I believe it is that they have the choice to utilise the ranged attack abilities, as when stuck on the ground, the castle wall actually weakens the attack. A remedy for this is purchasing ballisate. While they have a long range specialty, they are also not affected by obstacles such as castle walls.

"You really need to add one more category for army units:
Spellcasters"

Hmmm. Yes, I believe you are right. Although, that is really only a 'sub category' as a spellcaster has to be a walker, flyer, ranged attacker, etc. But as Charis mentioned they do involve different strategies which need to be adressed.

"Also the distinction Might and Magic no longer apply. You really need to look at which skill(s) they have in the Might case."

Really? I still believe it is quite important, as the strategies differ from might hero to magic hero, as they are offered different skills. I seldom find a Thief being offered basic Death Magic, or Chaos magic for that matter. Obviously everything concerning heroes depends on skills, but concerning the frenquency in which they appear, the two types are certainly separate.

"I've come to the conclusion that generally it's a second or third choice tactics to infiltrate a castle with fliers."

Well, it is obvious that it is best to attack the castle with spells, as they cannot be retaliated against in most cases. While it is good to keep losses down, it is imperative to be able to take out as many enemies as you can, before the advantage of being in a castle start coming into play. The longer one decides to leave the arrow towers shooting, or the enemy hero casting spells, the worse the outcome becomes.

"If you have some melee units helping your shooters, then if you attack the flier from an appropriate direction the flier will turn towards the melee unit when retaliating and in doing so disengage the ranged unit."

Too many 'ifs'. While that possibility may occur, usually, melee units are not spent next to one's ranged attackers for the duration of the battle. It is also quite possible that the attacker may have enough knowledge to know when to attack, and therefore avoiding this altogether.
Also, I cannot say that this has happened to me before.

"Your best tactics is probably to split up the Nightmares so you have several smaller stacks and one big."

I'm sorry but that solution wasn't possible at the time, as when I entered the battle, the army was full. It contained roughly: Xyron level 20 FireGuard, 35 Hydras, 90 Nightmares, 140 Medusas, 450 Bandits, 330 Orcs, and Flaym, level 10 Field Marshal. Thus, obvious why it wasn't possible.
I still believe Efreeti would have done a better jod, as it took about 3 turns for the Nightmares to reach their destination. While Nightmares deal more damage, and have a greater amount of HP, Efreeti have the specialty of 'Fire Shield' and also immune to spells such as inferno, and fireball, which would have normally affected the Nightmares.

"I don't think ranged units should be considered superior to Walkers."

No, of course not. But I was using that expression for that particular example. Walkers can be quite effective in many ways. They can also pin shooters, so, in terms of 1-1, they're pretty equal, unless there is quite a large statistical advantage, swaying one way or another.

"mmm... you're contradicting yourself here. The Magic Hero has the same amount of Hitpoints as a Might Hero of the same level, provided they've visited the same structures."

No, not really, because I mentioned that magic heroes don't regard combat as a high priority in the frequency it appears. While it is customary for magic heroes to have obtained that skill. This also easily creats the FireGuard class if one is a Sorcerer early in the game.

"I want to point out that the Harpies can block shooters as well as any unit. You can make normal melee attacks with them."

Hmmm. I never actually realised that. Thankyou for that piece of information there, Thunder.

So far, there have been many thoughtful replies, let's hope we can keep the trend going.
____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted May 01, 2002 02:37 PM
Edited By: Djive on 1 May 2002

"Hmmm. Yes, I believe you are right. Although, that is really only a 'sub category' as a spellcaster has to be a walker, flyer, ranged attacker, etc."

=> But a Water Elemental casting Quicksand is not working like a walker, nor a flyer, nor a ranged units. Spellcasters give a new range of abilities, and if the spells are useful enough then it doesn't really matter what other abilities the creature has. It will cast spell, not egnage in melee, ranged attacks or move across the battlefield.

But as Charis mentioned they do involve different strategies which need to be adressed.

The distinction between Might and Magic doesn't apply. If you have a hero with say ONLY Nobility and Scouting, then that Hero is neither a Might Hero NOR a Magic Hero.

"I've come to the conclusion that generally it's a second
or third choice tactics to infiltrate a castle with fliers."

"While it is good to keep losses down, it is imperative to be able to take out as many enemies as you can, before the advantage of being in a castle start coming into play."

What advantage are you talking about? The advantage occurs when you advance with some poor creature and knock at the drawbridge. The advantage occurs if you place a flyer in the moat. The best thing is to take out the shooters first, and while doing so simply defend with all units which cannot attack or cast spells on the shooters.

When it comes to the archers in the towers, you have to outgun them 4:1 if you're taking them out with shooters only. If you have spell-casters you're MUCH better off. If you're placed in suach a position that you feel compelled to advance with your flyers and place them in the moat to take out opponent's shooters in the towers, then you shouldn't have attacked to begin with.


"The longer one decides to leave the arrow towers shooting, or the enemy hero casting spells, the worse the outcome becomes."

Usually, the attacker's hero does a lot more spellcasting and is alot more of a nuisance than the defender. Remember that you chose to attack the enemy. Not the other way around. Spellcasting Ai heroes have never been a problem for me. Human players may be abit worse.

"Too many 'ifs'. While that possibility may occur, usually, melee units are not spent next to one's ranged attackers for the duration of the battle."

=> Oh, but the walkers are often close to the ranged units. In every combat you should strive for this. If the opponent attacks with Phoenixes, Black dragons or Griffins, you WILL be ably to employ this tactics. These units are so big that if you attack them from the side you're guaranteed to disengage them from your ranged units.

=> Sometimes your ranged units are not in need of protction because their damage takes the form of spells, and they can cast spells on adjacent units. However, even in this case you may want to shield your units from the opponents shooters.


"Your best tactics is probably to split up the Nightmares so you have several smaller stacks and one big."

I'm sorry but that solution wasn't possible at the time, as when I entered the battle, the army was full. It contained roughly: Xyron level 20 FireGuard, 35 Hydras, 90 Nightmares, 140 Medusas, 450 Bandits, 330 Orcs, and Flaym, level 10 Field Marshal. Thus, obvious why it wasn't possible.

=> The bandits and the orcs are next to useless. In this case splitting away two small stacks of Nightmares with just a few members in them would probably have been a better tactics. And hrmm... weren't you saying 8 Hydras and 17 Nightmares??? 35 Hydras will squash the enemy like a bug. You may even want to take out the Medusas and have one more stack with Nightmares. And with that many Hydras no need to risk that the Monks does in one of your Nightmare stacks.

"No, not really, because I mentioned that magic heroes don't regard combat as a high priority in the frequency it appears."

=> Sure, but Hitpoints does not depend on Combat at all. It only depends on level.

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Charis
Charis

Tavern Dweller
posted May 01, 2002 03:53 PM

Taxonomy

Good replies  

I hadn't know about the skeletal ranged-defense bonus at all, so even though initially off, that comment helped me!
I also didn't know about 'disengaging' an attacker from a shooter - good tip!

> "If you have some melee units helping your shooters, then if you attack the flier from an appropriate direction the flier will turn towards the melee unit when retaliating and in doing so disengage the ranged unit"

>> Too many ifs... don't normally have melee units next to your ranged units the whole battle.

I think I've been playing too much life and haven, I *do* in fact have melee units next to them the whole time. What else are lvl 1 and 2 creatures for once you receive lvl 4 (an overstatement, but not far off)

I hate losing shooters, but don't care if a dwarf, golem, bandit or pikeman dies, and with retaltion from shooter-vs-shooter, I do keep the 'slow ones' home the whole time. In fact, I would say 95% of the melee occurs over on my end of the battlefield. Is this not the case for you guys?

On spellcasters, Might and Magic heroes...  spellcasters aren't just a subcategory of flyers or walkers. That's "Homm 2" thinking  One *could* classify creatures based on whether they're humanoid or not, and titans and genies would be in one subclass and hydras and tigers would be in another. In HoMM 4 the difference in strategy, placement, play, between spellcasters and other types is greater than between flyers and walkers. A flyer could be viewed as a walker that can walk 'through' non-flyers.

The "AI" views the genie as a flyer    It's comical to watch it auto-combat with them, it just makes me cringe.

As far as Might and Magic heroes, the *starting* class is what I usually think of and what the game refers to as a Might (Lord) or Magic (Mage). But ONLY the CURRENT class matters, and even then, the specific skill mix is important.

The 'real' classifications seem to fall something like:
- Pure Might (not only combat skill, which all heroes will probably have, but round after round chooses a melee or ranged attack)
- Might/Magic - Likes to mix it up, but is there to support his troops as needed, likes tactics and morale and luck boosters, and if magic is used is mainly support for troops
- Homebody - The Lord with his 50% extra creatures before he picks up a second specialty. Best and almost only use during combat is to be cannon fodder for his ranged attackers. Hopefully he will pick up a solid might or magic skill and move up or down one category
- Magic/Might - Usually uses magic, but is not afraid to mix it up, doesn't auto-flee from anti-magic foes, and has GM Combat for toughness. Troops are important, and get some support
- Pure Magic - Even if something stands next to her, will use magic rather than a sword. Can dish out huge damage or summon killer stacks. The troops are there to shield her and behold her power.

One last note, on hit points: *effective* hit points are the product of hit points and defense for non-magic attacks (and hit points divided by 1-MagicResistance for magic attacks). This is because damage inflicted is
( baseDamage * attackRating ) / ( defenseRating )

This is why GM Combat is not just for Conan types, its for any hero that faces physical attackers. The Defense bonus raises 'effective' hp just as well if you're "Might" or "Magic"

Charis
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Charis
Charis

Tavern Dweller
posted May 01, 2002 03:59 PM

Speaking of hydras

"Hydras should squash them like a bug"

Nice line -- just had to relate a battle from last night.
Solymyr and a good sized genie stack vs a huge stack of hydras and a ton of shooters. Eep! Time for ME to be squashed like a bug. Hmmm... maybe not. First round is a mass slow, as I don't want that hydra on my end of the field. Then the genies all line up behind the hero to avoid getting range killed. They start creating Illusions. That's it. By the time the hydra reaches midfield, I have an equal sized stack of hydras to face him. By the end of the battle I have 70 hydras moving up to the ranged attackers. One swing... squish!! Bugs are all dead. Ouch. Good thing for balance purposes we don't get to keep those.

Isn't it sad that with Hydras Chaos does NOT get teleport? Isn't that spell MADE for them?? Sigh, now everyone takes the dragons, unless leaving them home for castle defense.
Chaos should have a 'Space Warp' spell identical to teleport

Charis
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Henl86
Henl86


Known Hero
oLd SkOoL RA2 OwNaH
posted May 01, 2002 04:37 PM

About harpies

I just read the initial(great post btw) post, and about the harpies' ability to strike and return being bad if you want to stop 2 adjacant shooters etc, you can just choose prefer melee instead of strike and return.
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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted May 02, 2002 10:57 AM

Promising trend is continuing....

Thankyou, all for your replies.
Again, all of you have great, valid points concerning combat, and I believe it is good to actually start to discuss some of these points.

"=> But a Water Elemental casting Quicksand is not working like a walker, nor a flyer, nor a ranged units."

Yes, I know that, and that is why I stated that Spellcsters have different strategies, and acknowledged your point. But it still is, regardless fo what it is using, a flyer, walker, or ranged attacker. But I agree spellcasters should be another category. (I can't make the list as yet, as school work has to take priority)

"Might Hero NOR a Magic Hero."

I don't exactly catch your drift. I believe it would still be considered as a might hero. I think NWC and 3DO still believe there needs to be a distinction. For instance, a Might Hero has a greater chance of learning basic melee than a magic hero. There is a distinction. They're not the SAME. In battle, though, a magic hero begins with some sort of magic, while  might heroes don't. Therefore, they are different.

"What advantage are you talking about?"

Well, obviously you cannot practically touch their creatures/ heroes on the ground floor until you crash down the gate. Thus, giving them some turns to figure out strategies. Once in a siege, there were Pikemen hiding behind the guard/arrow tower, and I didn't notice them, and they were able to attack my efreeti from behind without moving. Quite a shock.

"If you have spell-casters you're MUCH better off."

Strongly agree here. As I mentioned before, spells such as implosion are able to deal 1000 damage to a single stack, which can be quite helpful if you happen to be facing a host of skeletons.

"These units are so big that if you attack them from the side you're guaranteed to disengage them from your ranged units."

Yes, but really, how effective is this? It may work for a turn, but I think the possibility and effectiveness of this strategy is good, but limited. While the attention may be off the ranged attacker for a turn, or not even that, your other creature is still getting damaged. It is really just diverting the damage dealt.

"weren't you saying 8 Hydras and 17 Nightmares???"

Yes, but that was when I was at that particular stage in the battle. The enemy possessed: Oryss (Or something like that) Level 10 General, 30 Angels, 12 Dragon Golems, 140 Monks, 150 Pikemen, 440 Squires, and 330 Crossbowmen. Every other creature had been obliterated apart from my Hydras and Nightmares, Xyron, and their 80 remaining Monks. It is quite hard to describe a battle in text accurately.

"Sure, but Hitpoints does not depend on Combat at all. It only depends on level."

Ah, I see. Maybe that was a bad example then. Let's say attack and defence statistics of a magic hero would normally would be less than that of a might hero, due to the skills learnt.

"I *do* in fact have melee units next to them the whole time."

Interesting. Maybe it is my defensive style, but I tend to use my weaker mele creatures, who cannot really have any effect on the combat on the front row, to act as a barrier. this protects my ranged attackers, flyers, and walkers who can have an impact on battle.

"Is this not the case for you guys?"

Funnily enough, no. My melees are usually taken near the middle of the battlefield. My creature barrier does stop them from touching my shooters, and they are forced towards the middle by the other powerful creatures (walkers) on the front row.

"spellcasters aren't just a subcategory of flyers or walkers."

I did in fact that spellcasters had different strategies, and should be classified in a different class, but they have a base class if their spell points run out. Creatures don't have unlimited spellpoints, and can't cast spells for the whole battle. Sooner or later, they'll have to revert back to their other class.

"This is why GM Combat is not just for Conan types, its for any hero that faces physical attackers. The Defense bonus raises 'effective' hp just as well if you're "Might" or "Magic""

Yes, of course it is necessary for might heroes or magic/might hybrids (As such) to have combat as a skill. But it is much more preffered for the 'Conan classes' as you describe them, as that primary skill appears more often than basic Nature Magic.

"just read the initial(great post btw) post"

Thanks, Henl86, and as Thunder mentioned, harpies can revert back to melee. I've only had the game for a week or so, and still learning the 'hidden' elements of combat as such. People here have had the game for over a month.

Thanks, again for the replies, looking forward to others opinions.
____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted May 02, 2002 05:25 PM

"Might Hero NOR a Magic Hero."

I don't exactly catch your drift. I believe it would still be considered as a might hero. I think NWC and 3DO still believe there needs to be a distinction. For instance, a Might Hero has a greater chance of learning basic melee than a magic hero.

=> Actually, both heroes (pure magic hero and pure scouting/nobility hero) have the same chance to learn basic melee. Because the chance is 0%, because you have to learn basic combat before you learn basic melee. And if you're speacking about the chances of getting basic combat, then both hero formats are offered this skill very frequently.

=> I'd say it more likely that you want the Magic Hero to get combat than the Nobility/Scouting Hero. When your Hero visits a Veteran's Guild you want them to have something to study.  For the Magic User studying the combat group is a straight forward and easy choice to make, but for the might hero you probably want that hero to level up their Nobility/Scouting skill instead of receiving an improvement to the Combat skill.

"There is a distinction. They're not the SAME. In battle, though, a magic hero begins with some sort of magic, while  might heroes don't. Therefore, they are different."

=> It doesn't matter much what they begin with. In order to make use of all tuition there is in the game, you want your hero to have at least one non-magic skill and one magic skill. The fact that they start out without it doesn't matter all that much.

=> Also whenever a hero opens up a new primary magic skill, then that hero learns a spell in that school.

=> Finally, there are wands to cast several spells. Equip your might hero with it and the hero can cast the relevant spell.

"Well, obviously you cannot practically touch their creatures/ heroes on the ground floor until you crash down the gate. Thus, giving them some turns to figure out strategies."

=> Yes, but normally you want to force them to atack you instead of having to breach the walls. Some spells like Misfortune and Plague doesn't requires targets. Another tactics used is to Summon creatures or Illusions and let the "summons" take the damage. The attacker has many ways to force out the defenders and make them forego the bonuses. for wall, moat and towers

=> Of course, if it's the defender which have these spells it is different but if that is the case then the attacker will be in very serious trouble.

=> I'd say figuring out the attackers Tactics is not a working Tactics in many cases. The attacker will (if possible first take out your shooters) and then summon creatures to take damage and  knock down the drawbridge. Each turn the defenders wait they grow weaker because of negative spells or the attacker growing stronger.

"Strongly agree here. As I mentioned before, spells such as implosion are able to deal 1000 damage to a single stack, which can be quite helpful if you happen to be facing a host of skeletons."

=> Actually, I'm not primarily referring to such high level spells. You have Teleport (moves one of your creatures to one of the Towers, or one of the enemy creatures outside the wall), Forgetfulness to shut down their strongest shooter, Displacement to move creatures to a more desirable location. The really nasty spells are those that doesn't require line-of-sight such as Plague and Mass misfortune. With smaller stack, both Ice Bolt and Lightning are overall effective spells.

"It is really just diverting the damage dealt."

=> Well, your walkers should have higher defence values and hitpoints than your shooters. That's one of their main properties: having overall better values. However, the main reason for the disruption is that your shooters will not get any melee or range penalty to their attack. If the shooter attacked your flyer they would have suffered a lot more damage, and would also have dealt a lot less damage. In fact the attack may have been overall useless so you might simply decide to move your shooter to disengage it from the attacker.

"Sure, but Hitpoints does not depend on Combat at all. It only depends on level."

Ah, I see. Maybe that was a bad example then. Let's say attack and defence statistics of a magic hero would normally would be less than that of a might hero, due to the skills learnt.

=> The defence statistics for Heroes only depends on the Combat skill. So that means it's not anything granted because you're a Might Hero (with your definition), since a Might Hero is not guaranteed to have Combat. And anyway, Combat is often the one non-magic skill that you feel worthwhile to develope for Magic Hero. (And sometimes you can consider Scouting also.)

=> The Magic Hero will often not develope Melee and Archery, but those two skills have nothing to do with the defence value of the Hero.

=> A hero is much more defined in terms of which Primary skills they have than in terms of what skill they happened to start with. (Although, granted it's overall difficult to develope an advanced class which doesn't use the Hero's starting skill.)


"Funnily enough, no. My melees are usually taken near the middle of the battlefield."

=> Well by moving them forward, the enemy shooters will not have any range penalties and are also less likely to have obstacle penalties. Besides if they stay where they are, they can defend and thus take less damage.

"Yes, of course it is necessary for might heroes or magic/might hybrids (As such) to have combat as a skill. But it is much more preffered for the 'Conan classes' as you describe them, as that primary skill appears more often than basic Nature Magic."

=> Unless the Hero starts with Combat, then all Heroes (Magic and Non-Magic) are offered Combat equally often and at least once every third level. It's actually exasperating for the player who wants to avoid the skill, since you're offered the skill so often and alternative new skills very seldom. The only way to get away from the Combat offerings is to get two tuition slots into another skill so you become an advanced class.
____________
"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted May 09, 2002 10:06 AM

Late Continuance:

Sorry I couldn't have posted sooner, as some of you have noticed, I havent been on HC for a while, and we just received new internet time today.
On topic:

I have composed a list of significant spellcasters, just to continue from what has been said concerning this type of creature

Spellcasters
Spellcasters are quite unique creature, which really have been used in the Heroes series for the first time. Now, as many have made it clear, the strategies used for these creatures is quite different to those of a flyer, for instance. Magic creatures work similar to range attackers, but with no retaliation, or counter effect. They cannot directly do anything about your mage casting magic fist, or satyrs casting mirth. This is something that certainly swings to the spellcaster's favour.
While genuine spellcasters may have a nice array of spells, their HP are generally lower than average, which, obviously doesn't credit to their advantage. In combat, spellcasters are generally positioned at the back of the battlefield, meaning they share it with the ranged attackers, which again shows some similarities.
Here are some spellcasters I thought are worth a mention:

Mage: While having the low HP mentioned before, 16HP, (Which is beaten by Centaur & Berserker) it does have a wide selection of spells, strecthing through several alignments, which saves buying that particular building, in some cases. Blur, Curse, Magic Fist and Poison can all be good spells, although blur lacks slightly, as mages are not really melee creatures.

Genie: As Charis mentioned previously, Genies excell in thier field of magic. Utilising spells such as 'Song of Peace' and Ice Bolt, Genies can swing the momentum your way in seemingly unwinnable battles.

Nightmare: Nightmares may not be considered as spellcasters at times, but their terror ability functions like a spell. Many nightmares in many stacks can render an army helpless, while your other creatures attack.

Faerie Dragon: Faerie Dragons are one of the most proficient spellcasters in the game. While the Faerie Dragon does focus on direct damage spells, it allows itself to use spells instead of melee, which also can be more effective and sometimes deal more damage.

"In order to make use of all tuition there is in the game, you want your hero to have at least one non-magic skill and one magic skill. The fact that they start out without it doesn't matter all that much."

Yes, although it does have an influence on what you choose for the remainder of the scenario or campaign. Say I started with basic order magic, I would want to keep that a fairly high priority, as it does get secondary skills associated with that are available more frequently.

"The attacker has many ways to force out the defenders and make them forego the bonuses. for wall, moat and towers"

True, but as you said, playing against a human player, it would be more difficult to force those strategies, as it is widely known that the AI are a slightly behind the pace. (Until the patch was released)

"Each turn the defenders wait they grow weaker because of negative spells or the attacker growing stronger."

You just said it yourself; spells. Spells are the most effective way of penetrating a defence. The problem is, one of the only ways at first. Having two magic heroes in a siege, and having equal armies, would usually result in the defender winning. Shooters and heroes can have vantage points, which do make range easier for both sides, but the attackers turns are initially spent knocking down the gate, which means the defender has to be doing something more constructive. These may include flying over the wall then flying back, getting in a position to where you can reach the attacker quite easily. There are a myriad of possibilties for the defender while the attacker is using those vital turns.

"Actually, I'm not primarily referring to such high level spells"

And I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was just using that particular spell as an example. Teleport can also be very useful for moving Hydras into a large stack of enemies, where the obvious will occur. Some spells such as poison could actually just wear down the enemy while you are dealing with other matters on the battlefield.

"So that means it's not anything granted because you're a Might Hero (with your definition),"

No, I said due to skill learnt, which are normally more liable to be chosen when one is a magic hero. While it is good to develop combat skills for a magic hero, I would tend to hold it as a higher priority for a might hero. I usually develop combat for a magic hero to around Expert level.

"Well by moving them forward, the enemy shooters will not have any range penalties and are also less likely to have obstacle penalties."

Yes, but it also prevents my shooters from being attacked, as it can be risky centralising battles near the side you began on. Also, if you win that mini-battle, you are closer to their ranged attackers, which can be reachable in about 1 or 2 turns, for the most part.

I hope others will be able to contribute, seeing as so many possess the game. I think it beats saying the game is bad.
____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted May 09, 2002 11:50 AM

"Yes, although it does have an influence on what you choose for the remainder of the scenario or campaign. Say I started with basic order magic, I would want to keep that a fairly high priority, as it does get secondary skills associated with that are available more frequently."

Not really, as long as you have the skill as one of the two skills in your advanced class, you will ALWAYS (I can't remember any exceptions so far) get one promotion offer in it at level-up. Thus, the only reason to not buy tuition (which is often the only way to get the second skill you want) for the hero is that you are not focussing on that particular hero.

"The attacker has many ways to force out the defenders and make them forego the bonuses. for wall, moat and towers"

True, but as you said, playing against a human player, it would be more difficult to force those strategies, as it is widely known that the AI are a slightly behind the pace. (Until the patch was released)

=> In this case I'd disgree. The reason for the Ai making bad choices being primarily that there are no good choices. If the creatures leave the castle, they would simply be mowed down in many cases. The problem I'd say is that Poison and Plague (and similar) should be decreasing in effieciency for each turn that passes and should require line of sight to affect creatures.

"Shooters and heroes can have vantage points, which do make range easier for both sides, but the attackers turns are initially spent knocking down the gate, which means the defender has to be doing something more constructive."

No, I certainly don't knock down the gate in the first rounds. I usually do nothing to the gate at all before I've removed all the creatures to which I've line of sight.

My grunts may not be doing much, but then on the other hand the defender's ground troops are also doing nothing.

When I've taken care of all the creatures to which there is line of sight, I usually summon some creatures/illusions or whatever, and advance with the small stack. It may take a few rounds to knock down the gate (but the stack can actually be very small and still do that 50 damage per round.)

If the defender attacks that creature (they'll do so with a big bonus so you don't want to put your best stack knocking down the gate), then I've got a new creature for my shooters to fire at.

"These may include flying over the wall then flying back, getting in a position to where you can reach the attacker quite easily."

The only creature which can do that is the Harpy. All the remainder will likely be moved down by the attacker. Remember that usually it's the attacker which is stronger, otherwise you're not likely to have attacked to begin with.

"No, I said due to skill learnt, which are normally more liable to be chosen when one is a magic hero. While it is good to develop combat skills for a magic hero, I would tend to hold it as a higher priority for a might hero. I usually develop combat for a magic hero to around Expert level."

You can start with a Magic Hero and the ONLY new skill you are offered at level-up is COMBAT. Basically, the choice the player has is to become a one-skill mage or develope combat. The only way to get around this is external tuition and become an advanced class, but in that case the player has no control over the skills the hero will be offered. It will overall be random and depend on luck.

"Yes, but it also prevents my shooters from being attacked, as it can be risky centralising battles near the side you began on. Also, if you win that mini-battle, you are closer to their ranged attackers, which can be reachable in about 1 or 2 turns, for the most part."

I don't think it prevents you from being attacked. The opponents fliers will just fly over your grunts and attack your shooters anyway.

____________
"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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Sir_Elric
Sir_Elric


Responsible
Famous Hero
Having a bad hair day.
posted May 09, 2002 12:16 PM

I've been following this thread.......yeesh!
Man I haven't read this much since reading War and Peace!
Still it's good to see a positive thread for a change.
As I have only played a few campaigns I don't have anything to add as yet, except, keep up the good work Hydra!
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Neverwinter Nights - "City of Melnibone"
Direct connect - ausnwn2.dyndns.org:5121

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted May 12, 2002 04:42 AM

Combat: Deeper Analysing

"Not really, as long as you have the skill as one of the two skills in your advanced class"

Order Magic is a primary skill, which helps unlock skills such as charm, which would not appear as frequently if I had basic melee. I am saying that learning stages in a certain primary skills will increase the chances of being able to learn the secondary skills associated with that class. Usually, when I learn Chaos Magic, I am offered pyromancy, sorcery, and conjuration. I don't think I'd be offered these skills with Order Magic. And it is usually best to stick with your own alignment, unless you have it developed already.

"My grunts may not be doing much, but then on the other hand the defender's ground troops are also doing nothing."

So you like stalemates? I do have the shoters and heroes on top of the towers as my first priority, then I take it from there with my walkers to take down the gate, it is no use leaving them there to do nothing. The only 2 types of creatures/heroes which can do something from that situation are flyers, and spellcasters. Nothing else can be done, except if you possess a ballista, which is able to penetrate castle walls.

"I usually summon some creatures/illusions or whatever, and advance with the small stack."

But what will this small stack achieve once the gate has been knowcked down? Then you must have the patience until your real army (walkers) have reached the gate and deal some serious damage. Don't forget, the army may be weaker than your own, but they could still defeat a few small stacks.

"best stack knocking down the gate"

I agree here, althoughI would have one of reasonable strangth, such as an efreet, elf, gold golem, or a crusader. They may not be the strongest, but they are able to actually accomplish something while in that position.

"then I've got a new creature for my shooters to fire at."

Yes, but it works both ways. If you can see them, they can see you. Sieges are quite difficult to firgure out, in some instances.

"The only creature which can do that is the Harpy."

Ah, but you see, if I skipped the turn of a griffin, it should have a similar effect, just not instantly. Oh, sorry about this, I was talking about the attacker doing such a deed.

"You can start with a Magic Hero and the ONLY new skill you are offered at level-up is COMBAT."

I cannot say this has happened to me. Also, I have had the minimum of 2 skills offered to me at any one time. Generally, though, it is three.

"I don't think it prevents you from being attacked. The opponents fliers will just fly over your grunts and attack your shooters anyway."

That may be so, but I have ways to counter this. Since my battles are fought near the middle, I am generally close enough to leave the battle an attack the flyer. And also, it stops any ranged attack, and on top of this, it usually takes flyers 2 turns to reach the other side of the battlefield.

"As I have only played a few campaigns I don't have anything to add as yet, except, keep up the good work Hydra!"

Thankyou, Sir_Elric. Nice to have some other positive feedback. I believed that this topic needed to be discussed, as did Charis and Djive. I'm surprised others havent posted seeing so many have the game....
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"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted May 12, 2002 10:25 AM

"So you like stalemates? I do have the shoters and heroes on top of the towers as my first priority, then I take it from there with my walkers to take down the gate, it is no use leaving them there to do nothing. The only 2 types of creatures/heroes which can do something from that situation are flyers, and spellcasters."

You said it. Don't attack a castle unless you have shooters and preferably spellcasters with you to take care of the opponent's shooters and spellcasters.

"But what will this small stack achieve once the gate has been knowcked down?"

Not all that much perhaps take te retaliation of a creature, but since it's summoned it doesn't have to do much. It's main purpose is to lessen the losses of your other creatures. In some cases however the summoned stack can take out the rest of the defenders. (In case of weak defenders or if you use genies for illusions).

"Then you must have the patience until your real army (walkers) have reached the gate and deal some serious damage. Don't forget, the army may be weaker than your own, but they could still defeat a few small stacks."

They may, but my own walkers will be supported by my shooters, and the opponents shooters spellcasters are gone. So losses are usually small or should I say minimal.

"I agree here, althoughI would have one of reasonable strangth, such as an efreet, elf, gold golem, or a crusader. They may not be the strongest, but they are able to actually accomplish something while in that position."

As I said before the strength is not important. If you want to wait, you can keep summoning before you attack the gate, stacks can become big quickly, especially if yopu summon illusions with genies.

"Yes, but it works both ways. If you can see them, they can see you. Sieges are quite difficult to firgure out, in some instances."

Not usually. Their walkers are blocked off by my own walkers standing in between. So they will have both my walkers and spellcasters to deal with. Usually, assuming the attacker is superior in strength this is no problem.

"Ah, but you see, if I skipped the turn of a griffin, it should have a similar effect, just not instantly."

Morale often breaks the normnal event of things. Chances are that your griffin will be fair game for 1-2 of my creatures before it can retreat.

"I cannot say this has happened to me. Also, I have had the minimum of 2 skills offered to me at any one time. Generally, though, it is three."

I was been speaking about selecting NEW PRIMARY SKILLS. Not developing secondaries to the Primary skill you already have. The ONLY NEW Primary skill your magic Hero is offered is often Combat, Combat and then Combat again.

Sure, a Druid with Nature Magic will be offered it's secondaries but that's beside the point. As long as you keep Nature Magic as one of the skills in your advanced class, you will get at least 1 offering to increase one of the skills in the Nature magic group at each level-up.

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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted May 17, 2002 09:28 AM

Late Resurrection (Sorry Djive)

"You said it. Don't attack a castle unless you have shooters and preferably spellcasters with you to take care of the opponent's shooters and spellcasters."

I see your point there, but it is sometimes better to attack the defender, to minimise casualties, instead of just accomplishing nothing constructive. As you said, if the attacker has the advantage, why don't we try and make the most of it? Wouldn't it be pointless to drag a winnable battle out longer? The attacker has the material advantage, but the defender has the locality advantage. So why not make use of your advantage before the opponent does.
Also, you may be able to take out their shooters and spellcasters, but what about their walkers and flyers, they have some significance in battle. It is still an open combat if you have practically equal armies.

"It's main purpose is to lessen the losses of your other creatures. In some cases however the summoned stack can take out the rest of the defenders."

I don't really see the point. Because, if the creatures are summoned in battle, not a sufficient number will be made to take out the opponent's heavy artillery walkers and flyers. It is also in some cases just a waste of a turn, as their creatures will overpower some (e.g. summoned white tigers) quite comfortably. While it may stop the onslaught, eventually, it will be a battle between your troops and their troops.
Turns could also go to better use, such as strengthened your own creatures, and taking other creatures out with Direct damage spells, as they are very quick and effective in sieges.

"opponents shooters spellcasters are gone"

I do not see how, though. If you can attack them, they can attack you. One cannot defeat 2 towers in one attack. Eventually, their spellcasters will also be able to attack your spellcasters; even before, if it so happens that their speed is higher. It realy depends on who can make the most of their early shots.

"If you want to wait, you can keep summoning before you attack the gate"

If you want to wait, and get attacked. While you will be summoning stacks, the enemy will be able to defeat smaller ones quite easily. Also, ranged attackers would be able to shoot them. Possibly, it could even be a waste of spellpoints.
I don't really like talking about specific creatures in a broad situation, but I see your demonstration of the Genie's ability so....
One unit that could thwart your and other plans is the Ballista. It has no obstacle penalty, and is long ranged. A perfect siege weapon, for both sides. Although it may have more effect on the defensive side. This creature would force a quick attack, and stop the constant summoning you mention.

"Their walkers are blocked off by my own walkers standing in between."

Often, that isn't the case. It seems as though that certain creature is unreachable, when it really isn't. Another way through this is to defeat the weaker creatures on the front row, such as sprites, as they have low HP. (Or any level 1 creature, really)

"The ONLY NEW Primary skill your magic Hero is offered is often Combat, Combat and then Combat again."

Yes, I see it now, but what is the point you are trying to convey? Combat is offered, but one doesn't have to take it immeadiately. One could develop ones other secondary skills in that primary skill, and select combat after development is underway.

Thanks for the replies. Please feel free to comment. (Don't have to read it if you don't want to)
____________
"Dragons may breathe fire, but Hydras have many heads." - The Creed of Hydras
"As the Dragon drew its breath, the Hydra pounced, swiftly but powerfully, and the Dragon was defeated.”

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted May 17, 2002 12:15 PM

"I don't really see the point. Because, if the creatures are summoned in battle, not a sufficient number will be made to take out the opponent's heavy artillery walkers and flyers."

The creatures need to do 50 damage to the gate, and if needed you summon creatures 3 times to take down the 150 hp gate. That's all that's required of them.

Why have summoned creatures attack the gate? Becuase the defenders gain an awesome bonus when attacking tthe stack which attacked the gate. A bonus which (if it hits the wrong stack) is likely to make the difference between a win with nearly no losses and a costly win, or between a close win and a defeat.



"I do not see how, though. If you can attack them, they can attack you. One cannot defeat 2 towers in one attack."

You usually split stacks so you have one of you stacks casting Confusion/Song of Peace while another dishes out the damage. Sometimes you use the hero to prevent the opponent to act but using small stacks of genies or faeire dragons is also workable.

A spell that really hurts defending shooters is forgetfullness. If the defender has no way of handling that spell, they may very well be lost directly.


"If you want to wait, and get attacked. While you will be summoning stacks, the enemy will be able to defeat smaller ones quite easily. Also, ranged attackers would be able to shoot them. Possibly, it could even be a waste of spellpoints."

If the opponent attacks you've achieved your purpose, which was to circumvent the huge bonuses the castle structures give to the defender.

You often want the defender to attack, because that will mean an easy win. However, if the defender doesn't attack you want to keep down losses and that means circumventing the wall/tower bonuses in anyway possible.


"One unit that could thwart your and other plans is the Ballista. It has no obstacle penalty, and is long ranged. A perfect siege weapon, for both sides. Although it may have more effect on the defensive side. This creature would force a quick attack, and stop the constant summoning you mention."

The only thing that helps on ballista is spells. You won't outshoot them. The spellcasters will likely cast damage spells on the Ballista instead of Summoning, while there are Ballista available. Order Mages will have very good spells to handle them (Teleport them outside for instance) while many other factions will face problems.

I don't see attacking the gate as a solution. The only thing you get is a huge decimation of your troops because the enmey grunts will attack you through the walls.


"Yes, I see it now, but what is the point you are trying to convey? Combat is offered, but one doesn't have to take it immeadiately. One could develop ones other secondary skills in that primary skill, and select combat after development is underway."

Sure, but don't you feel that to begin developing a second secondary skill at say level 15 is too late? You will never reach very good values in that skill.

Also while the advanced class bonuses are not big, you  want to have it already at low levels, and not skip until level 15.
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"A brilliant light can either illuminate or blind. How will you know which until you open your eyes?"

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arachnid
arachnid


Promising
Famous Hero
posted May 17, 2002 02:28 PM

Natures spell skills really does make it easy to win huge seige battles.

I normally in the campaign went around just with my hero then used my grandmaster summoned creatures to shield my hero from shooters.
Then its just a simple matter of summoning huge quantities of creatures every turn. Waspworts are great at this as they normally survived the enemys attacks on them so there numbers kept growing and growing. So when ive dealt with there shooters i just summoned phoenixes. Once or twice i did have to run away but not after doing major damage that lost me nothing in return.
The only huge problem with doing this is if the enemy actually leaves there castle to attack then your in trouble, lucky this works most times as the AI sucks
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