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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Chaotic Strategies
Thread: Chaotic Strategies [ This thread is 3 pages long: (1) 2 3 ]
ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted November 22, 2002 09:16 PM bonus applied.
Edited By: Lich_King on 21 Jun 2003

Chaotic Strategies

Chaotic Strategies

ďIn Chaos there is a certain order, and in order, a certain chaosĒ-ChoaticHyrda
I thought that was a just quote to begin this topic on the Chaos town of Heroes IV. While we know that chaos is chaos, there is a certain order within the chaos, and what this threads goal is to define and enhance that order.
The Asylum town has evolved from the old Warlock town of Heroes I and II, then into Dungeon for Heroes III, and now, into its current form. While the town and its structures may be similar, they way in which the person must utilise this town in order to get the most out of it in a game, are not similar. In my in image, Asylum units are slow and expensive, but have high Hit Points and high attack and defence ratings. This has pretty much reflected the Chaos town through the ages. But now, there is more to Heroes than the creatures, there are, well, the heroes, the artifact combinations, the special classes, and of course, the spells. Taking into account these semi-new aspects of the game, I intend to share with you my strategies for my favourite town in Heroes IV, which (not surprisingly) I know the most about. Of course members will also have their views and are welcome to submit any of their own comments concerning the topic.

I will begin by taking the main elements of Heroes of Might and Magic IV and applying them to the Chaos town. The Asylum requires a different strategy than other towns, mainly because of its great need for sulphur. It also requires mercury to some extent. (Really depends on which level 4 dwelling you choose.)

Heroes

While heroes themselves have no specialties once they are recruited, one must still decide the portrait, since that is the most important part (for now).
While the Asylum may have the strongest units in the game (1v1), their might hero lets them down, in my opinion. It does not have the omnipotent aura that the magic hero does. Also, The traditional Warlock castles are not known for their fighting abilities. What the traditional Warlock town are known for is their magic abilities, and certainly, this reputation has been withheld, and Sorcerers are once again a formidable force in terms of magic abilities, and spells.
In order to decide which hero class is best suited to your style of game play, the size of the map, and what position you are in, I have listed an Asylum hero class list (Chaos Magic, Scouting) and next to the classes, my opinions on that class according to the criteria given above.

Might

RANGER: Hero gains the ability to shoot (if it didn't already) and gains +5 Ranged Attack
The ranger class is good to get a hold of early, since there arenít too many ways for a might hero to attack early on without getting killed. The +5 ranged attack also helps. Combat and scouting (skills themselves) also are a good combination.

FIELD MARSHAL: All units gain a 10% increase in Ranged and Melee Attack
While this class is good, it doesnít need to be employed until later on. A 10% increase to melee and ranged attack doesnít have too much of an effect to a stack of 5 Efreeti, while it may, on the other hand, help you defeat a stronger opponent later on.

GUILDMASTER: Hero has a certain chance of stunning an enemy in melee fighting. Stunned enemies cannot do anything (including retaliate) for one turn
In my opinion, this class is OK. It depends if the hero has high melee ratings and is willing to go into battle against other, possibly stronger, opponents. If you are going to have this class, have it at the start, there are better ones as time goes on.

Might and Magic Heroes

SEER: Scouting radius of the hero increases by 2.
This class isnít too good in my opinions. When you can get to the next level of the scouting skill, which has a similar effect, this class seems more like another level of scouting/

PROPHET: Hero has spiritual armour, which increases melee and ranged defence by 25%.
This is quite a good class. If the hero is a high level, maybe 20+, I would recommend this class if the hero had a mixture of life and scouting skills. The effect of spiritual armour will help to keep the hero in the fray for longer periods of time, and could make the hero take more risks in melee combat.

BARD: Hero always has maximum luck.
This class is OK in my opinion. While the aspect of maximum luck is quite pleasing, it doesnít have a global army effect, which lets it down. If the Hero has maximum luck, it doesnít mean the rest of the army does.

FIRE DIVINER: The effectiveness of all fire based spells increases by 20%
Now, this may seem very good, but it isnít all it is worked up to be. Notice it says ĎFire-based spellsí. Some people may think that all DD Chaos spells are Fire-based. Not true. Only a fraction of these are, ones like Fireball and Inferno. Most of the others arenít fire based. Armageddon is not fire based like in previous series, neither is implosion to my memory. That is why the percentage increase is so high.
Iím not exactly sure what scouting or death magic has to do with chaos magic. They could have concentrated more on the might side for this one.
This class is mediocre, and I would not endorse people to utilise it. (It does serve some purpose, though.)

PYROMANCER: Hero constantly has a fire shield, which inflicts damage in melee combat when attacked according the damage dealt by the enemy.
A mediocre to good class ability. While it does have the fire shield, which in itself is a good ability, it encourages the hero to step into combat when the skills of Chaos Magic and Tactics usually warrant a spell caster. I recommend this class be used early on.

FIREGUARD: The hero gains complete immunity to fire-based spells. Fire-based attacks inflict only half damage
Again, this class is mediocre to good in terms of its abilities. It is a Black Dragon + Ĺ damage is taken from Efreeti, Phoenix, etc. I would say that this class should be chosen later in the game, and only against Chaos opponents. It is a good ability to have, possibly the best for Chaos Magic.

WITCH KING: Attack induces fear
Not a good class in my opinion. Bone Dragons also possess this ability. It isnít good for the main reason that if you attack ranged attackers, they just run away and then they are able to shoot you again. There are definitely better classes for these types of skills.


NINJA: The weapon of the hero becomes poisoned: the poisoned enemy takes damage every round from the time of injury until the end of combat
This one is a fairly good special ability. It should be reached at higher levels, when the poison induction can do a lot of damage each round. The only vulnerability here is if it the hero is ranged attack itself, or the opponent/s have many ranged attackers. Then you might want to reconsider which class you pick.

Magic Heroes

ARCHMAGE: Effectiveness of all spells increases by 20%
In my opinion, this is one of the best classes, but it is also one of the hardest to acquire. 20% effectiveness in all spells when the hero has 3 classes or more of different spell schools, the three seem to go together perfectly. It is good to reach this class in anytime of the game, but it is realistically targeted for the mid-endgame.

WIZARD: Cost of all spells is reduced by 2.
A very lacklustre class. At those high levels, (one would have to be to learn order and chaos magic) Ė2 from the cost of all spells in practically nothing. By that time, the hero would have in excess of 50 spell points, and the Ė2 of casting for all spells wouldnít matter in the slightest. Also, it would most likely to say that the hero will have a form of conjuration and enchantment, which makes this class almost worthless.

HERETIC: Hero gains the ability to ignore effects from all wards.
Again, quite a monotonous specialty displayed here by the Heretic. While wards themselves are OK, many alignments would have them, and if they did, only the hero is resistant, not the army. Therefore, in order to make the ability worthwhile, the whole army will have to centre its attack on the hero. Not a good class.

WARLOCK: The Spellpoints of the hero increase by +10 and Spellpoints regenerate +1 per day
This is an above average class from my point of view. It wouldnít take too long for Nature and Chaos to work together, and that is when the class is most dominant. In the beginning. +10 is a fair amount of HP in the beginning game, as is +1 regeneration, on top of conjuration and herbalism. Near the end, it looses its usefulness.

LICH: Hero can temporarily age enemies: Aged enemies have their Attack reduced by 25%, their Defense reduced by 20%, and their Speed and Movement reduced by 50%
When the effects of this class get going, it is a worthwhile special ability to have. Although, the effect of the class comes into play a little too little, and the potentially dangerous special bonus is lost with the hero casting spells.

Creatures

While this may not have been quite so much of a strategic exercise in Heroes I, II or III, since the times and mechanics have changed in Heroes IV, it is. The decision of what creature dwelling to construct adds an extra layer of strategy to the already complex town developing section. The choice of creatures is what Iíll discuss in the next section.

Creature Analysis

Bandit:
While this unit in battle prove to be average, their capabilities on the adventure map makes their presence worthwhile. It is a good scout, and with itís stealth ability, a lot of bandits can pounce on an enemy scout, which is usually weak, and the hero would not likely to have basic scouting.

Orc:
In my opinion, an orc is a slightly above average level 1 creature. It does have its downfalls. It is short range, and has only 6 shots, which isnít sufficient for a level 1 shooter, especially late in the game, where battles take in excess of 6 turns. The 12 hit points it has provides a good buffer, and it also has no melee penalty, where it does a great deal of damage, to go with its attack skill of 11.

Minotaur:
While some may think that the minotaur pales in comparison to the highly specialised medusa, it does have one nice defensive option at its mercy. The physical block can be one of the most annoying, or most laudable, features of the minotaur. Yes, it has high HP and is a good melee creature, but the physical block does help its cause, to the point where someone would consider choosing it instead of a medusa.

Medusa:
Quite simply the best level 2 ranges attacker in the game. While it isnít statistically stunning, it does have 3 excellent specials, which make it a formidable opponent. These are normal melee (+stone gaze) unlimited shots, and the tone gaze ability, which does more than freeze the opponents in their tracks.

Efreet:
In my eyes, an average unit. While it isnít superlative in the statistics department, it, like the medusa, has some nice specialties, which, all in all, make it resistant to fire magic, and have a fire shield. This deals a ľ of the damage done to it. 80 HP isnít enough to make this creature worthwhile.

Nightmare:
An excellent creature, which has great potential. While it has the 2nd most HP for a level 3 creature in the game (110), it also has the ability to cast terror upon its opponents. This is quite a handy specialty to have acquired. It renders the troop unable to do anything for 3 turns. The terror specialty, in conjunction with nice manoeuvrability and good statistics, makes the nightmare a quality unit.

Black Dragon:
Not much to say. What is there to say about the strongest creature in the game? The only two downfalls are that it immune to blessing spells, and it has a very low growth rate of 1. Apart from that, it is a perfect, army killing creature.

Hydra:
I must defend my namesake for it is grossly underrated. Many people think of hydras as being slow, useless, defensive garrison creatures. While the last two are correct, hydras can be very attacking, with its multi attack which does affect all units adjacent to it, it pack s quite a punch, and the no-retaliation feature helps it to beat armies which may look stronger on paper. On top of this, it has good hit points, a good attack skill, and can deal the most cumulative damage in the game if it is able to attack 8 or so creatures around it. (60 x 8 = 480 damage possible) For 1 Hydra.

My choices: (when playing against an unknown army)
2: Medusa
3: Nightmare
4: Hydra

Battle Strategies

It is obvious that different measures need to be taken against different opponents, so the same strategy cannot be used over and over again. One needs to figure out their enemies, making executive decisions on how to combat them. Taken into account are creatures, castle defence, mage guilds, attack method, halls.

Haven:
Haven are strong on ranged attackers, having up to three ranged attackers and one flyer, the Asylum must be equipped to dispose of the enemy as quickly as possible. This is because the army can deal the damage early with its long ranged and powerful attackers at the beginning, weaken your army a considerable amount. It is therefore most logical to choose quicker units such as the black dragon, so it is able to immobilise the ranged attackers early on. It would be good to have an efreet, since they are also fast. I would go for the medusa for level 2, since when the two flyers are at enemy camp, it is able to pick them off, and they arenít able to retaliate.
It would also be favourable to have a sorcerer since he can cast spell shackle, which weakens the effect of resurrection, also chaos ward. Also, having the disintegrate spell is a must, because the angels must not be allowed to resurrect fallen foes, since it could set back the plan of attack.

Academy:
This army can be taken on with a more Ďdisablingí approach, since nothing can stop the spellcasting creatures of the academy apart from spells and pure fighting itself. Getting near to the creatures would be suicide, since the titans would just pick you off at close range or not. Therefore, it is more logical to disable the long range of the academy army. Nightmares are a must for this battle. It would be good if there were maybe 3 stacks of them, and leave the bandits out so the nightmares can cast terror on the titans, genies, and level 2 creature. This disables their long range potency, and the only thing that is left is to come in for the kill with the medusas, Hydras or black dragons, and the nightmares. If they have a strong mage, he should be a secondary target, since chaos ward can slow the attack and the creatures wonít be able to utilise the effect of the terror induced by the nightmares.

Asylum:
Fighting against yourself is always a very tough concept. If you are not considerably stronger than your opponent, and it has chosen the same things as yourself, you have to rely on pure skill. In my opinion, I would stay reserved and not rush over to the other side of the battlefield, since their more powerful level 3 and 4 creatures will cut your army down so quickly you wouldnít know what happened. A nightmare seems like a good choice to immobilise the hydras or other nightmares or efreet they have in store. If it is possible, use the bandits as cannon fodder to protect your more powerful units. One would have to wait for the opponent to get drawn to your side, and attack them with hydras, since they have the capabilities to attack many in one turn. If the enemy as Black Dragons, target them with your orcs and medusas, and if the opportunity arises, your hydra, too, since there is no retaliation. Do not attack it with your nightmare since it will not be able to face the opposing level 3, and the Black Dragon will defeat it too quickly. If the opponent has hydras, whittle them down before they reach your side, since there they will be able to wreak havoc. No matter what creatures are chosen, the strategy is more or less the same. With your nightmare, terror the opposing nightmare or efreet before it does the same to you. The spells to utilise are ones such as cat reflexes for the hydra, and Non-fire DD spells against the efreet.

Preserve:
A true strategy is very difficult to predict since they have a possibility of 18 creatures or thereabouts. It would be more effective to announce the creature line-up at this point:
1: White Tiger, Griffin, Fairy Dragon, Waspwort.
All of the above creatures are able to devastate an army in a matter of a few turns. It s therefore important to cut down the resistance any way you can. The most effective is with casting spells such as inferno or fireball, and especially chain lighting, so they are able to attack many units. Also, this way, if it is not cast directly on the Fairy Dragon (Faerie is American spelling), it cannot magic mirror it back. The creatures which would be best here are the efreet because of fire resistance, Black Dragon, because of magic resistance against the Fairy Dragon, and a Fireguard, therefore, any fire spells he throws at the Fairy Dragon, it has not effect on him when he gets Ďmagic mirroredí.
2: Elf, Unicorn, Phoenix, Mantis.
This army is generally quite quick, and will be tempted to come towards your side. Therefore, it is not a difficult decision picking a level 4 creature, it doesnít matter if it is a Hydra or black dragon, both will do an equally good job. It is recommended that you pick nightmare of efreet here, since the nightmare is able to disable the unicorn, which does a similar Ďthingí, which is blind. Once the phoenix and the mantis are over your side, it is best to defeat them by casting cat reflexes on the Hydras or Black dragons to get two attacks in. You can them whittle them down with your medusas or minotaurs, and orcs and bandits. This one is an easier battle than the other variant in my opinion.

Stronghold:
This battle isnít too difficult to overcome. I stress that you stay over on your half, since the stronghold units are generally slow, and the most effective way to defeat them is through spells. Hydras are needed for this battle, against the berserkers, behemoths/thunderbirds and harpies or nomads that might come this way. It is important that you have nightmares to disable the Cyclops, as they are very dangerous and could thwart the strategy of not moving forward. Once the Cyclops is terrified, cast spells to rid yourself of the level 4 creature, and let your ranged attackers dispose of the level 2 creature.

Necropolis:
This battle is unpredictable. The choices in the Necropolis town ask for a very different approach strategy.
Variant 1: Ghost, Vampire, Bone Dragon.
All of these three units are quite quick and in order to put them out of order, one must begin to cast spells, since that really is the most effective way to dispose of them. Attacking a vampire with a weaker creature wonít do any good, since it will often gain more health and deal more damage to you, so itís a loss to attack. It is not logical to attack a ghost since it is insubstantial, and attacking a bone dragon from a range is not effective because of its 100% bonus. Also, a bone dragon is very strong in a melee. Hence, casting spells to make them weaker, and then overpowering them with the creatures you have seems to be the best option for me.
Variant 2: Cerberus, Venom Spawn, Devil.
This is a difficult battle. The most effective way to handle this battle is by splitting the Nightmares up into two stacks. This way, it is possible to disable the devil before it does some serious damage behind the lines, and also the venom spawn, before it poisons every unit on the battlefield. Once these two creatures are disabled, the Black Dragons can handle the devils, and the rest of the units (medusa, nightmare, etc.) can handle the Venom Spawn and Cerberi.

Adventure Map

Stealth
It would not be logical to not utilise the great, unique ability possessed by the bandit. Not only can the bandit move long distances, but they can sneak around level 1 creatures guarding mines and other precious treasures, and steal them. This is very versatile since one would not have to trade and sacrifice the resources of the trade to construct a town building the next day or today. Bandits can also be used to scour the adventure map for loose resources and another kingdom.

Creature build-up
Due to Asylum strong early level creatures, it is able to capture mines earlier than a necropolis town because of the long-range medusa. The minotaur also assists here.

Tree of Knowledge
Try to use this later in the game when the hero is around level 20 or so. This way, you are gaining much more experience, and at high levels, direct damage chaos spells can do in excess of 1,000 damage.

Theyíre my ĎChaotic Strategiesí, maybe some of you have the time to comment on this, correct mistakes Iím liable to have made, and come up with your own ĎChaotic Strategiesí. I thankyou for the time you spent reading my thread up to this point.

~EDIT by Nidhgrin: Sorry for going off topic on such a gem of a post.  This is an excellent post ThE_HyDrA, very nice work.  QP applied, I think all chaos players should read this post for everyone will learn from it.  (Nice to see someone finally stand up for those minotaurs somewhat )  Great post!  Keep up the good work.~
~Top !~
____________
"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.Ē

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csarmi
csarmi


Supreme Hero
gets back
posted November 23, 2002 06:05 AM

Very nice post. I'd like to argue with some points though.
First, as far as I know, Nightmare's effect last for 2 turns (not 3).
Second, the Feary Dragon will reflect back the spells cast not directly on them.
Third, at Preserve, you have left Water Elementals out which is a surprise, since it is the best unit of them.

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Agent00BLeRD
Agent00BLeRD


Adventuring Hero
posted November 23, 2002 07:57 AM

This is solid gold for me since I've just started Tawni Balfour's campaign. But I was wondering about the part with fighting against order (my favs).

I thought order's power lay in the ability to keep the enemy away (hence displacement, teleport, mass slow) and that means two things.

First, the hero is the first priority when killing (disable the genies, it's hard to kill a huge stack of them within a single round while you KILL the hero so that he either wastes a turn with that potion of immortality or casts a spell which results in his death in the next round) since he can cast forgetfulness (bye bye medusas) or berserk on your nightmares (bye bye orcs) or mass slow (bye bye orange player).

Second, that you need to charge ahead to block the halflings and titans (even if titans have a no melee penalty, they'll at least suffer a counterattack) while taking out the fragile magi. Magi can be extremely deadly with the poison spell against non-BD troops so need to be exterminated quickly. Halflings are useless in melee but deadly in ranged, esp against your precious blackies and hydras.

Also, Hydras would be too impractical since the enemy hero can easily teleport them away, so blackies would be the preference. Besides, you wouldn't want the genies to clone and magi to poison your hydras.

However, blackies would need to watch out for D. golems esp if the mage has life magic. Boosted with bless/spiritual armor/chaos ward etc., they can be an incredible threat as your troops in the enemy lines try to block the rangers.
____________

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sos
sos


Known Hero
posted November 24, 2002 10:56 AM

Chaos vs Order

I think Chaos is one of the best towns to have against Order. On the adventure map chaos have a huge advantage. Bandits are fast, invisible and can steal from level 1 creatures. Order scouts are slow. A pathfinding thief with blackies and efreets will travel twice as much as an order army (except order army of genies, DG only).

Vs order I always build medsas, efreets, blackies. Also, you need to have at least basic order (dispel) or death magic (cancelation) at all cost to get rid of the illusions and to cancel potions of enemy heroes. Your blackies will almost always have double targets even against loose formation. Try to kill enemy heroes first. And your heroes need to have resistance.

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Wub
Wub


Responsible
Famous Hero
posted November 24, 2002 04:29 PM
Edited By: Wub on 24 Nov 2002

A counter-proposal for Chaotic Strategies.

I must say that your post is great, ThE_HyDrA, since it elicits a great deal of thoughts about the Chaos town. Definitely a QP worthy post. However, I disagree radically on a great many of points you made and I would also set other criterions for judging a town. Therefore, I decided to write down some alternative strategies for playing with the Chaos town. So this will not be a long Ďquote/counter-argumentí post but more an independent argument, though I will give you  feedback on some points.

There are four criterions I make a judgement of a town on:

-The heroes. Primarily I look at the heroes that are native to the Chaos alignment, i.e. the thief and the sorcerer, but I will also take into account all the heroes that Chaos can hire. With the heroes criterion, I look at their skills (scouting and chaos magic for the native heroes) and the spells that can be learnt.
-The creatures. Here I look at all creature statistics except their army movement and their building prerequisites. Creature analysis is important here.
-Army movement. Yes, I think army movement is so important that it should be a criterion on its own. And I miss this aspect in your post, ThE_HyDrA
-Town building tree. Here I will analyse the speed with which Chaos can build and the quality of thier buildings. Are their buildings expensive? Are there many building prerequisites to build? What kind of special buildings does Chaos possess?

As we will see, all these factors are intertwined and hard to discuss separately. Still, I will try to discuss these criterions one by one.

The Heroes

Chaos is allied with Nature and Death, which means that, besides the thief and the sorcerer, you can also hire a druid, a ranger, a necromancer and a death knight. All these heroes allow for different strategies with the chaos town. When looking at this list of heroes, you should realize two things. First, you canít hire one of the best secondary heroes: the lord. Second, with all this heroes that can be of great help to your army, it is vital to divide the available experience between your heroes well!!! I hear you talking about casting spells such as disintegrate, ThE_HyDrA, but I find it questionable to give your hero grandmaster chaos magic.

An example: even if you donít specialize in sorcery as well, you still need at least 12.900 experience for master chaos magic (supposing that there are not much locations to learn chaos skills). If you want grandmaster chaos magic, you need at least 35.500 experience. That is 22.600 extra experience!! To give you an idea how ridiculously much that is: for the extra experience that is needed to get grandmaster chaos magic, you can give a level 1 necromancer expert death & grandmaster necromancy (!), while still having enough experience to divide for a lord to give him master nobility, expert estates and advanced mining!! This is one of the reasons that I am hardly ever able to cast level 5 spells.

The morale of this story is that I think it is wise to recruit several heroes who all have a different expertise. If possible, you should focus as much as possible on your native heroes first, since they are cheaper to recruit and donít blend in a morale penalty. This usually means that you will build up a sorcerer and a thief first, before you can start recruiting other heroes (you can recruit only one hero per week per tavern). The might hero of your alignment is the thief. Not only does the thief provide you with strategic possibilities that are completely different from any other hero, it is also one of the most discussed hero classes around. And in my eyes it is a must to have this hero, even when not playing Chaos. The main reason for this is, that a thief doesnít eat up experience from other heroes when advancing in levels. After all, when you sneak past a neutral creature stack, you still get full experience for killing it. And on top of that, this hero doesnít need any creatures to progress.  Hence, the thief is the perfect hero to improve your economy. Just make sure he has advanced stealth (available at level 3) by letting him take experience from a treasure chest or visit an experience stone or the battle academy. From then on he is on himself and should go for expert stealth as fast as possible (at level 6). By then he can sneak past those level 2 monsters, meaning that he can not only flag mines and take powerups very fast, but also will gain experiene much faster. Use this experience to get your pathfinding skill as high as possible (not your stealth skill, more about this later). Also, when you can buy the nobility skill for your thief, do so if you have the money for it.

Your second native hero is the sorcerer, specialized in chaos magic. This hero should become one of your battle heroes and will therefore carry an army with him non-stop. I must say that chaos magic is not my favorite magic school, but since chaos spells and sorcerers are easiest to acquire for Chaos (duh ), choosing this hero is the most logical choice. The reason for disliking chaos magic, is that it is too narrow. Almost all spells are easily summarized as either increasing or doing damage. There is no problem with direct damage spells, but having 5 such spells will often mean you donít use 4 of them. My favorite chaos spells are (when taken into consideration that higher level spells are harder to get): bloodlust, haste, mana flare, misfortune, first strike and your most powerful direct damage spell. You should give this hero all Chaos skills except sorcery, since pyromancy will have the same effect Ėand more. Since your sorcerer is a battle hero, try to give him combat and magic resistance as well to make him more durable.

It is a good idea to hire some more heroes to increase your army performance. An interesting idea that Laelth had, was to buy a necromancer and build him up to grandmaster necromancy in order to reinforce your army with vampires. An advantage of this strategy is that a necromancer has the useful cancellate spell, as well as fatigue. This will require an Ďexperience-richí map of course.
An other idea is to include a death knight, since tactics will greatly increase your creature performance. But maybe you rather have an archer or druid; there are many possibilities to try, just remember to give your battle heroes some combat skills.


Creatures

It is hard to find a common characteristic for Chaos units, except for the fact that all of their creatures have a very wide damage range. Letís give a critical view on all in-town creatures:

Bandit: This unit should of course serve primarily as a scout. While its adventure map movement is not too big, its stealth specialty compensates for that. Send out as many stacks of them as possible to scout and collect resources. Also, put one of them as a guard in every mine you flag. This will increase the scouting radius, allow you to cover ground quickly and always have a scout near when the enemy approaches. If you have to use bandits in battle, a small stack of them are great to eat up retaliation. This creature is definitely among the best Chaos units!

Orcs: Orcs are not so great level 1ís, but in the begin game you may have to use them. They are clearly worse than comparable units such as centaurs and crossbowmen and therefore overprized. Their best use is in siege defense when they are on a tower in a castle since that will eliminate their range penalty, but that situation is not too likely to occur. However, they will perform reasonably well in combination with the nightmareís terror ability.

Minotaur: This is an average walker, which falls short when compared with white tigers, nomads or gold golems. Their 30% blocking ability can rougly be compared with a 43% increase in defense skill, so this is clearly a defensive unit.

Medusa: I would chose them almost any time over minotaurs. When opposing Death, you may be tempted to build minotaurs since medusaís stone gaze doesnít always work and minotaurs can block a life drain attack. But actually even in that case medusas may very well be the better choice. Medusas are above average shooters, able to best elves. And their stone gaze can have amazing effects of course.

Nightmare: An outstanding level 3 creature, which has a very useful special: terror. Every stack of nightmares can cast terror once each battle, neutralizing a stack for two turns. For that reason, it is a sensible tactic to divide them in a few stacks of one nightmare so you can cast terror a few times per battle. This tactic greatly increases the effectiveness of your medusas and orcs since they get more shots before the enemy is adjacent. The nightmare is therefore very valuable when facing neutral monster stacks. On top of that, one nightmare is able to do and take roughly as much damage as a vampire.

Efreet: An other outstanding level 3 creature, but especially because of their adventure map movement (more about this later). Their fire shield reflects ľ of all damage they take, which is especially a great bonus against grandmaster melee heroes and level 4ís. Their combat movement makes them fast fighters as well, though they are somewhat more expensive as nightmares and less useful against neutral creature stacks too. Their fire resistance makes them useful against black dragons; against phoenixes and fire elementals it has no advantage. Efreet are inferior to vampires (everything taken into account) but they are a worthy opponent for griffins. Iíll come back to the efreet/nightmare choice later.

Hydra: Hydras are beneath average level 4ís. Compare them with bone dragons and you will see how pathetic they are. Their lack of combat movement in itself is already a big setback, but with low attack and defense there is not enough left to make this creature great. To further make this clear: the Ďstrengthí of one black dragon is six times as big as that of a hydra! And since slow creatures are extra vulnerable for magic, your hydras will be the target of spells such as aging, fatigue and slow. Therefore, getting them into action may be very hard (you are almost forced to cast haste, while blackies donít need additional magic).

Black Dragon: This creature should virtually always be chosen over hydras. Superior stats make up for their high cost and low growth and they are really nasty to tackle for a magic hero. Agreed, you canít cast beneficial spells on them yourself, but you will absolutely love that magic immunity when fighting an order army. This creature will greatly influence your and your opponentís spellcasting, but since you have trouble getting exorcism or dispel, this is for the better. Make sure you cast (mass) misfortune! And finally a black dragon has a breath attack which is often great, but will backfire against phoenixes. Still, a superb creature.

Building tree

A fast start is partly caused by being able to build swiftly. It makes quite a difference of course, if you can have level 3 units from day 2 on (such as death), or not earlier than day 4
(such as Nature). Also, high building prerequisites for building a creature encourages building its alternative. And finally, it is valuable to know which special buildings your alignment can construct.

Chaos builds it level 3 creature moderately fast (day 3 when resources are plentiful). That is because for medusas you need only a level 1 mage guild (which is usually prebuilt). If you choose to build minotaurs however, you will lose a day building the thieves gauntlet. So, thatís just another reason to build medusas. For efreeti you need to build a blacksmith, which is not a real catastrophe since you need it to buy immortality potions and armor anyway. For nightmares you need an equally expensive building; a caravan. I think however that a caravan is more of a luxury building and certainly not a useful as a blacksmith. Therefore, the building tree of Chaos encourages you to build efreeti.  And which level 4 building you construct doesnít matter resourcewise anyway, so just go for black dragons. Make sure you collect all sulfur that you can get from day one though; you will need it. The building prerequisites for the black dragon dwelling are low by the way, just a Death magic mage guild (hall of dead). Donít go for black dragons immediately; you also need creatures to clear the adventure map and retrieve the required resources!

Chaos has 2 special buildings: the thieves gauntlet and the battle academy. The thieves gauntlet isnít so great, since your heroes should not engage too much in fysical combat anyway. If you plan to build up a ranger or are playing campaigns it may come useful though. The battle academy is a lot more useful however, but you may have trouble finding the time and resources to build it fast. It will give a nice experience boost to your heroes though, which is especially useful to get a thief started.

Army movement

Is the speed of your army really so important? No, it is vital! I said it before and I will say it again: mobility is the key to conquest, life is speed, speed is life and speed is everything. It is remarkable how few players use this criterion to say which creature or which town is better. Let me put it this way: if an army starts out with +50% movement in comparison to its opponent, it can clean the adventure map 50% faster. Thus, the heroes leading that army will gain 50% more experience, 50% more and therefore probably better artifacts, 50% more treasure chests, mines will be flagged earlier etc. etc. In other words: a fast army may allow you to attack on week 3 with level 4 creatures, while your opponent has still level 3ís, inferior heroes and hardly any artiís. And even if you are way behind in development, a fast army may allow you to evade your opponent until you are ready for him. That is how important speed is!

And now I come back to why your thief hero shouldnít specialize in stealth after expert stealth: you need that extra movement of pathfinding. On grandmaster level, you will get a 50% additional movement! Therefore, when your thief reaches a considerable level of pathfinding, add him to your main army to speed it up and just remove it before combat (you need the XP elsewhere). But you should consider other ways of speeding up your army as well. That is, select your army carefully so you can drop slow creatures somewhere safe. Now letís see which creatures are fast in the Chaos town (I donít have the exact values here right now, so I can be 1 movement point wrong, will edit this later).

Bandit has 23 movement, Orc 19, Medusa 19, Minotaur 19, Nightmare 22, Efreet 28, Black Dragon 30.

As you see, there are only 2 really speedy creatures in the Chaos town. Therefore, an army of Efreet/Black Dragons makes most sense speedwise. The problem for me isnít that I should leave my orcs and medusas at home, but more that nightmares will give you a faster start than efreet. When you choose efreet, you will just suffer more losses against neutral stacks. And now I can finally explain when you should choose for nightmares and when for efreeti.

Choosing which creature to build doesnít depend mainly on the enemy town you are facing, that is just another thing to take into consideration. It also depends on a wide variety of circumstances such as difficulty level, resource richness of a map whether it is closed or not etc. Since nightmares are especially useful against neutral creatures, they profit from higher difficulty levels where neutral monsters are bigger in number. The main reason to choose for efreet is their army movement, so choose them in larger maps where the begin game will be relatively less important. But of course the optimal solution would be to make not only a slow army of orcs, medusas, a hero and 4 stacks of one nightmare but also a fast army of black dragons, efreeti and a hero. Too bad you canít choose them both

EDIT: Darn, ThE_HyDrA, your post is still longer

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csarmi
csarmi


Supreme Hero
gets back
posted November 24, 2002 06:11 PM

Quote:

Creatures

It is hard to find a common characteristic for Chaos units, except for the fact that all of their creatures have a very wide damage range.




You don't have Bless and are very sensible for Curse. :-((

Bandit:

I could not agree more! But I have some points to add. First, the Bandit has one of the largest adventure map movements.
Second, I also leave them at mines. But I found out it is better to leave at least 3 or 4 at every mine (if possible). You also left out the fact that this usually gives you a very good chain for transporting artifacts and heroes. (Yes, heroes, just get them killed and transport them where you want, if needed).

Orcs:
Orcs are great in early game, just know, how to use them.

Minotaur:
They are good, if you know that your opponent is afraid of taking chances. Very annoying at battles. By the way, the blocking works in offense, too!

Hydra:
I agree to some extent, but I must argue with you. First, 2 Hydras are stronger then 1 Black Dragon without supporting spells(!). Second, you left the multiple hit out. Third, yes, I agree it is hard to use them well. So I think that players with less skills must choose Black Dragons instead. Fourth, you also left out that having no spell immunity is actually an advantage in most cases! Especially if you have a good magic feedback. If you play chaos and you don't have good magic feedback, you are doing something terribly wrong.

I would go for Hydras 3 out of 4 times.
The biggest advantage of BD's are their AM movement.

Army movement


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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted November 24, 2002 07:43 PM

More Chaotic Strategies

Thankyou all for your thoughtful and enlightnening replies. It was a pleasure to read them all. I will first reply to who I need to reply to, then expand on the strategies about the Chaos town.

Csarmi:

"First, as far as I know, Nightmare's effect last for 2 turns (not 3)."

I believe that you are correct here. I think I was confused with another ability-i'm not exactly sure. I'll have to test it out. Since the number of times the 'Terror' animation appears on the units head doesn't symbolise the number of turns, so it can be difficult to make out.

"Second, the Feary Dragon will reflect back the spells cast not directly on them."

No, it won't, usually. I have cast chain lightning several times on another creature where it has hit the Fairy Dragon and it hasn't retaliated with it.If you are a fireguard, you can cast spells such as inferno, fireball, fire ring, and while the Fairy Dragon can reflect them, they do not harm.

Agent00BLeRD:

"I thought order's power lay in the ability to keep the enemy away (hence displacement, teleport, mass slow) and that means two things."

Well. I would think that it succeeds in doing so, and therefore, I think it would be best not to fight it, and stay back on your own battle lines, since if you try to move up, as you say, they will force you back. That is why I have said split up your nightmares into 3 stacks to diable the powerhouses of order. It depends what they have, really. It would be best to disable Titans, Dragon Golem 1st, Genies 2nd, if they have nagas, leave them, and magi 3rd, if they have Gold Golems, leave them. If the opponent has the latter of the level 2 and 3 creatures I mentioned, focus on the hero thirdly, because it is imperative to disable their spells.

"Second, that you need to charge ahead to block the halflings and titans (even if titans have a no melee penalty, they'll at least suffer a counterattack)"

I don't believe that would be too logical, since if you were to charge, the Titans and halflings won't deal 1/4 and 1/2 damage, they'll deal full damage, which isn't worth it in the end when you can terrify them and let the medusas and orcs pick them off without retaliation. I agree that you must rid yourself of the magi before they cast poison, since that can do over 100 damage a turn if there are enough of them.

"Hydras would be too impractical since the enemy hero can easily teleport them away, so blackies would be the preference."

Yes, I think I must agree here. Another reason for choosing Black Dragons is that their potent order magic won't have an effect, especially chaos ward, which will slow the Hydras down.

sos:

"Vs order I always build medsas, efreets, blackies. Also, you need to have at least basic order (dispel) or death magic (cancelation) at all cost to get rid of the illusions and to cancel potions of enemy heroes."

Well, instead of Efreets I would choose nightmares, since they are reasonably quick and they really are of value when you can terrify their genies and titans so they can't cut you down so easily. I agree that you need cancellation or dispel. Cancellation more so, since it is easier to get because Death is a neighbouring alignment and order is not.

Wub:
LOL. You were about 1,000 words short, my friend.
I see that you have focused more on the adventure map side of chaos.

Heroes:
Well, although you can recruit the death knight, necromancer, ranger, and druid, I feel as though the strategy with non-native heroes such as these can slow you down slightly, since they don't have their own creatures with them. I don't think it gives you a morale drop, but I think that using the sorcerer is better than using a necromancer. But, it would be wise to invest in Death magic especially to get a hold of spells like vampiric touch, mass cancellation, sorrow, smoke and aging. Also nature has a nice artillery with Dragon Strength and Quicksand.

You bring up a good point with the amount of experience Grandmaster chaos magic is. I would actually have to agree. Though, with my example, I am speaking in terms of a longer game, since this is when most pivotal, larger battles occur. Yes, the experience can be used more wisely as well. But I would have to say that having GrandMaster Chaos Magic is a great benefit because you are able to have access to three very powerful spells: Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, and ARMAGEDDON. The last is really useful if you have a Black Dragon, efreet and fireguard in your army.

I would go for a sorcerer much more than a thief. Apart form being a primarily magically orientated person, I think the three magic guilds available to it are very well formed, and contain some excellent spells. When spells such as quicksand, inferno, and vampiric touch are brought together, it is hard to see how a chaos army can lose.

While the thief can be effective at low levels, it just doesn't have the physical capabilites to be worth something. You speak of the thief being able to walk straight past level 1 creatures, and later level 2. I disagree. A thief cannot go behind a level 1 creature and steal a mine or some resources. Theives are not invisible to creatures who are adjacent to them until they have advanced stealth. While you say that everyone should have thiefs in their army. I agree partially on that comment, it can be good to have theives in an army that is not a chaos one, you must be prepared to sacrifice some experience. Sometimes, this can be worth it, and sometimes it isn't. Myself, i would rather go with bandits, so you can get the basic resources like wood and ore to build up your castle, then fight the battles to get other, more expensive resource mines.

I agree on the fact that your hero should not learn sorcery unless he is also learning another magic alignment, which is often the case with me. I would have to disagree on the point you make about chaos magic being to narrow. Spells such as haste, spell shackle, mana flare, bloodfrenzy, mass curse, cloud of confusion, cat reflexes, and mass first strike are all non DD spells which I use often and help me to get through battles. While I do use predominantly Direct Damage spells, non direct damage spells are very versatile, and they are really effective in many ways.

You were very brave calling hydras pathetic here. The 'strength' you talk about is from your thread I believe, I remember seeing it there. While the Black Dragon deals 110 damage maximum, hydras can deal 480 damage, possibly not the maximum. If you believe that Hydras are under average level 4's, maybe you shoudl try utilising them a bit more and not relying solely on their statistics of attack and defence. Their HP are above average, and together with no retaliation, that amount of hit points is able to last longer. If you read other threads, you shall see that most people prefer hydras to Black Dragons, maybe 60 - 40 % of the time. While Black Dragons are stronger 1 on 1, the growth offsets thier bonus. In the context of battle, their slow speed isn't much of an ailment. Usually, if you are fighting an army which begs you to come close to them on their battlelines, you choose Black Dragons. Hydras are able to attack around 8 people in a time in battle compared to Black Dragons 3 maximum. Also, Black Dragons also attack their own creatures, and most of the time, there is nothing you can do about it.

I disagree that the building tree would encourage you to build efreeti. Later in the game, the blacksmith is likely to be at other towns you did not build up yourself. Then, you would need to transport your creatures in a caravan from town to town, which means building Nightmares. On top of this, potions can be found in medicine wagons and adventure mpa blacksmiths, not to mention backpacks. So I would have to say that the building tree encourages nightmares.

The movement speed of your army is very important, I agree. While the speeds of the creatures in the Asylum town aren't too fast, I don't think that their speed alone should determine what creature to choose. While the Black Dragons movement is better than a Hydra's, the Hydra can also move a fair distance I believe. It is 21, with a speed of 6. This is further than a medusa, minotaur, orc, and nearly as fast as a nightmare.
I believe, if you have a blend of speed & power, you can clean out the adventure map better than just speed or just power. However, if speed comes with power, you are in luck. The best bet is to go with speed enhancing artifacts, such as the boots of travel especially, and then the terrain specific boots, which in this case, are the boots of the crocodile for the swamp.

Yes, indeed. It would be optimal to have that balance of speed coming with power, but it just doesn't come with Heroes IV. I think having a faster hero will offset the speed bonuses that come with the efreet, since I believe the slower level 3 and 4s are better than the faster ones. Quite a difficult dilemma.

"I would go for Hydras 3 out of 4 times.
The biggest advantage of BD's are their AM movement."

My Hydra orientated friend here seems to agree that hydras are more versatile.

Usually, when the army is equipped with medusas, I can start to roam the adventure map a bit and take some precious resource mines. Since the Asylum needs a plentiful amount of sulphur or mercury, it is best to target those mines primarily. Once you have a strong hold on the territory, build your level 3 or 4 creature, which are the strongest asset, and you can begin to conquer large towns.

Again, it was a pleasure reading all of those posts, and I hope that a good discussion can be started here.

____________
"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.Ē

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Wub
Wub


Responsible
Famous Hero
posted November 25, 2002 01:32 PM
Edited By: Wub on 25 Nov 2002

The Thief, Chaos vs Order and Black Dragons vs Hydras

I must say that this is a great thread, ThE_HyDrA, mainly since there is so much to reflect on. Many valuable things have been said here. To name but one example, I really like your ideas of utilizing the bandit's scouting abilities, csarmi. In order not to make my reply too messy, I will just focus on three central issues which are discussed here: the usefulness of the Thief hero, the Chaos vs Order struggles and the Black Dragon/Hydra creature choice.

The thief

If I understand you well, ThE_HyDrA, you say that thieves are inferior to sorcerers because they lack usefulness in battle and can't sneak past level 1 creatures when they are level 1 themselves. I think that these problems are easily solved. First, you simply don't take them with you in battle. Sure, you should include them now and then in your main army, but you don't actually let them fight; just take them away right before battle.
As for your second problem with thieves, you're right. You first need advanced stealth to sneak past level 1 creatures (and expert stealth to sneak past level 2's). To get your thief at advanced stealth you should therefore visit places such as dream teachers, learning stones or your battle academy, or just take experience from a treasure chest. For me it is no matter of choosing between sorcerers or thieves, you just need them both. And even though on very fast, small maps it may not pay off to  invest in your thief to make him level 3, usually the thief as an economical hero is the best investment you can make with Chaos (especially since the lord is not available). Because, as I said before, thieves are independent moneymakers, artifact retrievers, mine flaggers and army speed increasers that don't even need experience that is predestined for your main heroes to level up.


Chaos vs Order

I agree with what sos said about this. Order should be beaten on the adventure map, not so much on the combat map. But since I was told that my strategies focus mainly on the adventure map, I will add my 2 cents about battle tactics as well. I would also choose for a medusa/efreet/black dragon line up. Black dragons of course are vital when fighting order. Taking hydras is asking to be slowed, berserked, blinded, teleported and/or 'song of peaced'. And of course, make sure you have the magic against illusions; you don't want to fight two stacks of titans.
I agree with Agent00BLeRD that you must follow an offensive tactic. Because even when you have nightmares, you will probably not obtain the shooter/magic advantage, which disables a defensive tactic. But on which stacks should you focus your attacks? If you can kill the hero, do so! Also try to take out this one-genie-stacks as soon as possible. If your enemy has magi, go for them next. Magi die really easy while they can do really awful damage, so they are a logical target. After that come genies, who then have the lowest defense in comparison with their potential damage. And yes, only after that come titans (who should still be blocked as many as possible; that's better than letting them do a full shot). The efreet's fire shield works wonders against them and so does medusas stone gaze of course. The reason why you should wait with attacking them is their chaos ward. An example to illustrate this: if you can kill 1 titan with your blackies, you will do enough damage to kill over 9 genies or 50 magi! To further illustrate this, a titan does 58 damage against an efreet, 9 genies with ice bolt do 162 damage against an efreet and 50 magi with magic fist do 240 damage against an efreet! For that reason, always focus first on creatures wth low defense and high damage potential.
Useful spells are of course cancellate (as sos suggested), (mass) misfortune, haste (on your efreeti when slowed), or maybe inferno to kill all these single genie stacks. I also think on the battle field Order should fear a Chaos army most.

Hydra vs Black Dragon

Quote:
My Hydra orientated friend here seems to agree that hydras are more versatile.

Yeah, it's a conspiracy . I am still convinced that hydras are inferior, though. Agreed, Hydras may become really useful against stupid, computer controlled monster stacks, so that encourages using them on maps with huge neutral creatures stacks (though the creature stacks must be unlikely huge for this difference with the blackie to become visible). The reason for this is that the AI doesn't care too much for that multiple attack specialty; a human player will surely prevent your hydras from attacking more than one stack if possible. Also, against neutral creature stacks, you usually have a magic advantage, so you profit really much from the fact that you can cast blessings on your hydras. But with a bit of skill, you are not going to lose (m)any creatures against neutral stacks with a black dragon line up either.
Actually I think when the final battle between you and your human opponent comes, the Black Dragon's magic immunity is more of a blessing than a curse. You see, you might be able to cast real great blessings on your hydras but you are really sensitive for curses as well and since you don't have dispel and exorcism... On top of that, slow level 4 creatures such as the hydra already are extremely sensitive for curses, so when fighting them it is wise to focus your curses on them. That is one of the main reasons why I think hydras are weak and why I rather fight against them than Black Dragons. Some examples to clarify:

If I play Nature, I have a nice quicksand or fatigue for your hydras.
If I play Death, I will age your hydras with a single ghost or cast fatigue on them.
If I play Order, I have...you know what kind of spells to keep them out of battle.
What do I have when fighting your Black Dragons?

Also, a black dragon's breath attack is more of a blessing than a curse (unless you fight fire resistant creatures of course). If I recall correctly I could hit 4 (or maybe 5) tight aligned stacks with one attack and therefore a tight alignment is disastrous against blackies. This improves the line of sight for your medusas. The statement that 2 hydras without spells are stronger than 1 black dragon isn't true either. Of course it is inaccurate to say that creature A is better than creature B because creature A beats creature in one on one, but if I let 2 hydras fight to 1 black dragon and both armies play to the best of their ability, the dragon will win for sure. You should use the eating up retaliation trick of course.

You were right, ThE_HyDrA, about where I got the statement from that one Black Dragons is six times stronger than one hydra. I say it because it is a much more accurate pronounciation than saying that 'Black Dragons have superior stats' and 'Hydra's have more hitpoints than an average level 4'. But of course I am not blinded by those creature comparison alone, I also try test those things in reality .

And of course a final thing to choose the Black Dragon is, as I said, their superior combat movement. A Black Dragon/Efreet combo will move clearly a lot faster than any army with Hydras in it. It does make a huge difference in my opinion!

I would say that I find this a very valuable discussion, so keep up the good work .
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Agent00BLeRD
Agent00BLeRD


Adventuring Hero
posted November 26, 2002 06:40 AM

Hydra:
"If the opponent has the latter of the level 2 and 3 creatures I mentioned, focus on the hero thirdly, because it is imperative to disable their spells."

~~I'm still of the mind that the hero becomes the top priority, esp when you consider the fact how lethal a mass slow spell can be. It can mean all the difference between victory and defeat because if you reach them in 2 or 3 rounds instead of one, you won't be in any shape to attack once you DO reach the other side. Considering the fact that heroes generally move first in combat due to very high speeds, it will be esp necessary to use any means to disable mass slow and berserk.


"I don't believe that would be too logical, since if you were to charge, the Titans and halflings won't deal 1/4 and 1/2 damage, they'll deal full damage, which isn't worth it in the end when you can terrify them and let the medusas and orcs pick them off without retaliation."

~~The range problem is cured with a mass precision, a level 3 spell. And since it increases the damage as well, halflings become very deadly all of a sudden against blackies. You must block their range attack and blackies are most suited to take that melee punishment (i don't think halflings do extra melee damage).

But whatever you do, get mass dispel or mass exorcism. You WILL need it.

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csarmi
csarmi


Supreme Hero
gets back
posted November 26, 2002 04:15 PM

You will feel very bad when I teleport my Hydras in front of your main stacks (yes, they already have Cat Reflexes and yes, you have already cast Fatigue/Quicksand, yes, it was a waste).

Teleport is a level 3 Order spell. I know it. But there are some other fine tricks which you left out.

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HeyYou
HeyYou


Known Hero
and beloved food provider.
posted November 26, 2002 04:35 PM

This game actually sounds fun. I might have to try it someday.

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tree
tree


Adventuring Hero
posted November 27, 2002 02:45 AM

It would be hard for you to have both a hydra and a hero that can cast teleport......
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csarmi
csarmi


Supreme Hero
gets back
posted November 27, 2002 07:00 AM
Edited By: csarmi on 27 Nov 2002

No, actually, it is not that hard. But Mass Haste/Mass Speed will also do.

For example, I'll have teleport from the same location as you. But I agree, Order has some spells which are just not fair. Clost to cheating in my opinion.

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Agent00BLeRD
Agent00BLeRD


Adventuring Hero
posted November 29, 2002 05:57 AM

You bet it does. Teleport comes first, probably the most lethal spell order could have. Couple that with mass slow and your enemy will never be able to catch up. Add to that berserk and hypnotize and observe how dangerous your enemy's army becomes to him. And for map movement, there's that awesome town gate which also allows you to surrender without costing you a coin.

True, order magic is by far the most powerful, too powerful, I must say.
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EmperorSly
EmperorSly


Known Hero
Destroyer of Liver
posted November 29, 2002 10:51 AM

PATHFINDING. I repeat, pathfinding!
Wub, i more than agree with you speedwise, in fact i even disagree with the "50% more movement=50% more artifacts" statement.

On the race track, even 20% bigger speed guarantees you 100% more victories. And when most of the cool artifacts are in "common area", even being just one turn ahead of your opponent means you get them all. same with resources and such. or quests. plus, you can always catch the runaway hero, or you can always outrun enemy badass.

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ThE_HyDrA
ThE_HyDrA


Admirable
Famous Hero
The Leader of all Hydras
posted November 30, 2002 02:17 AM

The main ideas with Chaos

Thanks, all, for the replies, I am sorry I wasn't able to do the same earlier. So without further ado, here we go.

Wub:

Thieves and Sorcerers
You do understand me correctly. I must reming you that the thief is a might hero, and usually, the main objective of a might hero is to defeat creatures phyisically. I see the thief as a somewhat weak physical combatant. The thief doesn't rely on its power to get it through the game. The thief is a hero one would call an 'adventure map hero'. It doesn't serve too much of a purpose in combat as it does on the adventure map. Firstly, the thief is useless at level 1, and therefore it is obvious that you are going to spend money to invest in the thief's specialty. Visting Battle Academy, Dream Teacher, or winning battles. The first one is the easiest, but then again, level 2 thief only gets you advanced scouting. I believe that there is another 'creature' with that ability. That is, its own townsman, the bandit. The bandit can do the same things that the thief hero can do on advanced, but you only have to pay 20 gold for the same ability. Not relinquish at least 2,000 for the purchase of a thief battle academy, or treasure chest experience, etc. If the thief is going to be a main hero, then I have no problems with using experience and level ups. But if the thief is used on the short term, the cheap and simple answer is to have bandits in your army. This will be letting you get the resources you need to use to quickly bolster your army so you can 'handily defeat' them later on, and you wouldn't have needed a thief because you are stronger since the bandit retrieved loose resources and chests. Also, you get experience for actually defeating the army. The thief would not gain any levels and stay a weak level 2 or 3 hero, scouting the adventure map.
I believe sorcerers are more able and more suited to their position as a magic hero. They have direct access to what I believe is the most powerful magic in the game, and it doens't take them too long to get there, either. Since you don't have to worry about splitting experience until later in the game.

Chaos Vs. Order

Yes, I believe that it is best that Order be beaten on the adventure map, since their town requires many precious resources (especially gems) and gold to built the quality structure like the Library, Altar of Wishes, and Cloud Castle.
For this battle, I would choose the Medusa/Nightmare/Black Dragon lineup. I don't see what choosing an efreet accomplishes. It is able to sometimes attack a front row creature. If this occurs, no matter what creatures are there, the efreet will be cut down extremely quickly, and it's pace will be ill forgotten. The nightmare allows the chaos army to strike them painfully and not do any damage to us. I said it before, that you must split the nightmares up into 3 stacks so you can attack the 'big 3' in one turn. This allows for your Black Dragons, Medusas and Orcs to rip into the army. After the genies, mages, and titans are taken care of, you would want to go for the magic hero, since there is a possibility that he has some devastating spells. The Titans can do the most damage out of the lot, and just waltzing up to their front line and saying hello to them isn't going to help the situation, in fact, it will hinder it since they will do full damage, whereas previously, they did 1/2 or 1/4. I agree that the magi should be focused on firstly, since their spells aren't nearly as powerful, and if you there are only about 20 left, do not worry about them and face the genies, which have the same consequence as the mages. Face the titans thirdly with your medusas especially, and your orcs. Focus on the hero with any creature you have spare that will defeat it quickly. The mages and genies need to be targeted equally, since they both have devastating spells, which can be reduced drastically if you attack them first. A poison from a mage might deal 200 on one turn if you don't attack them, maybe 20 if you do. There is a big difference there, and what you need to do is disable their spellcasting abilities early, then simply pick them off without any recoil. That is my order strategy-elaborated.

Hydra Vs. Black Dragon

No, it isn't a consipracy, it is commonsense. While what you say about the human player trying to prevent the Hydra from attacking many stacks at a time, I believe that it is a bit difficult to prevent it with some solely attacking strategies, where Hydras are used mainly as a garrison creature. Yes, you see that having a Black Dragon in an army where a magic hero is the main hero is a serious downfall, and magic immunity is an extreme curse for most times. Cat reflexes, haste, bloodlust, and more include the many spells that the Black Dragon is missing out on in combat. And regardless of the fact that the player is human or computer, they really can't stop you from casting them on your Hydras. This makes them nearly 2X better, nearly equalling Black Draogn 1 vs. 1. but that isn't the case now, is it?
Why wouldn't you have exorcism? It is common for a sorcerer to learn death magic and buy the Hall of the Dead, I have exorcism in my spell line-up many times, and it does become useful against strong magic armies. Spells such as teleport and haste help the Hydra immensly, and they won't be the target of too many spells. Usually, it is the efreet or Nightmare that gets the brunt of the other spellcaster's wand.
Vs. Nature: Quicksand problem is easily solved by the prospect of a spell called 'haste'. While you may quicksand one are, it is possible to quiksand the whole field in 3 turns, and with haste, the Hydra has the movement to move those long distances to go around the quicksand.
Vs. Death: Another little spell called 'exorcism' can easily solve this problem. An up side here is that these are low level spells, and the ones you're casting are not so low, as in level 3.
Vs. Order: Well, I myself choose Black Dragons there sometimes, so it really doesn't matter what they can do to non-existant beings.

Well, I agree that having the breath attack is a blessing, but it is nowhere near as versatile as the Hydra's 'attack all adjacent enemy units' specialty. I have had instances when the Black Dragon attacked my own unit due to breath attack, and there is nothing to do when you realise it. There are no slipups where the Hydra's concerned. It only attacks enemies, and it is realistic for them to attack 4 creatures in every battle in one shot. Well, if you recall how many times people would choose the 'tight' alignment, and how many against Black Dragons, you could recall the answer 1 in 100. In normal battles, creatures are never in rows of 4. The basic range effect for Black Dragons is usually 2 creatures in one shot. For you to get 4 in one, they must have been very, very small, like halflings or dwarves.

Well, I am really not sure what you base the tests on when you supposedly found out how much stronger Black Dragons are than Hydras, but I can assure you, that 20 Hydras vs 10 Black Dragons, Hydras come out the victor, by about 8 or 10 still left. So that is a real indication of the relative power. (Even without multiple strike)
I have to conceed that the Black Dragons are better on the Adventure map, but pathfinding and artifacts can offset that easily.

I don't think there can be a clear winner between the two, but I can say that I choose the Hydra more than 75% of the time.

Agent00BLeRD:

"esp when you consider the fact how lethal a mass slow spell can be."

??? Mass slow isn't devastating for the type of combat I play against order. My style against them is the sit back and let the rangers take care of them while 3 nightmares disable them. The hero can be killed very quickly by one shot or one spell of the magic hero, they aren't too big a threat compared to genies or magi. Remember, magi and genie's magic is considerably less powerful when their numbers are brought down.

"The range problem is cured with a mass precision, a level 3 spell"

While you have a point there, this is again cured by a little something I like to call mass exorcism. (I think eveyone likes to call it that but anyway) It is easier to get than mass dispel, since that is order, and it is not neighbouring, while Death is.

Csarmi:

"You will feel very bad when I teleport my Hydras in front of your main stacks (yes, they already have Cat Reflexes and yes, you have already cast Fatigue/Quicksand, yes, it was a waste)."

Exactly what I was thinking. Chaos magic in itself is not just Direct Damage spells, like I pointed out before.

No, It isn't too hard, but as Csarmi says, haste will suffice in most cases.

EmporerSly, I agree that the Pathfinding skill is important, but if you have to choose a creature which is not best for the strategy simply because it is fast, I disagree. I think that it does help being 30% faster on the adventure map, but not by 100% overall. You can get mines and other weekly resources with other armies, while your main army still reaps the benefits.

Thankyou all for this wonderful discussion. I hope we are able to keep it going.
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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.Ē

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Adventuring Hero
posted November 30, 2002 02:34 PM

I don't think u can get exocism in asylum...that's a life magic.  Maybe u mean cancellation, but that's just to disable those beneficial spells.
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Agent00BLeRD
Agent00BLeRD


Adventuring Hero
posted December 02, 2002 06:51 AM

Well you said that you let your "rangers" pick them off. The only ranger you will have will be medusas plus 1 or 2 heroes. That's 3. Against an equal order army, he might have 2 heroes plus titans, halflings, magi and genies. That's 6. How do you "pick them off using the rangers" when they obviously have twice as many as you? Using the three nightmare stacks, maybe? But even then, and even if you have medusas and high level archery heroes, that leaves three rangers on the order's side that will probably not be killed in one round and you'd have to reach the other side soon.

And as tree mentioned, you get cancellation, not exorcism. While it is excellent versus the illusions created by genies, it is still not able to remove any bad spells from your army, e.g. mass slow.

As for using cancellation against mass precision, that is definitely a very good spell to use in such as situation. It will require your getting level 3 death magic, but I don't suppose that is too difficult. Add to that a few good spells like aura of fear (Death 3rd Level) and mass curse (same, I think) and chaos gets definite advantages....at least till the order hero casts mass exorcism or dispel. But that's one turn wasted by heroes on both sides and then it comes to who's hero is taken out first.

As for pathfinding, it is one of THE skills to be raised to GM as soon as possible. I think GM pathfinding only requires Expert stealth and you definitely don't need to learn the skills and town structures of enemy heroes. I simply can't emphasize how much the increased movement means in terms of earlier resource acquisition and quicker rise in army strength. I usually have a main order army of two heroes and both of them learn combat, order and life magic, one learns scouting while the other learns tactics and the last slot is left for anything else I might want, usually nobility, or sometimes a third magic class.
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Wub


Responsible
Famous Hero
posted December 02, 2002 10:52 AM
Edited By: Wub on 2 Dec 2002

Chaos strategies continued

I feel that some of the arguments in this thread are becoming a Ďyes it is/no it isnítí discussion. Therefore Iíd like to see another old school thread like we had for heroes 3, which can become something such as ĎBehold: battle between Death and Chaosí. Maybe Iíll make one some day. Until then, letís continue the discussion

@EmperorSly:
I fully agree with what you say here. My statement of +50% movement = +50% artifacts is inaccurate because it is indeed true that often a speed which is even slightly higher than your opponent, may assure a certain victory.  

@ThE_HyDrA:

Thieves
I think we have the same opinion on thieves, though I may estimate them as a lot more powerful than you when they have reached level 3. Of course, a level 1 thief is crap. But I rather build a thief than a city hall. The city hall upgrade pays off after roughly 30(!) days, which is most often a lot longer than it takes a thief to become lucrative. Admittedly, bandits can do almost as much as thieves in the begingame, but thieves have more options later on. Pathfinding is one of them of course. But a resourceful, open map is where thieves really shine. Without thieves you should either split your army and thus make it less effective against neutrals, or you should explore in just one direction which means you canít benefit from the resources, artifacts and locations elsewhere on the map. When you do have that thief, you send your complete army in one direction defeating all neutrals and your thief in another. The thief will not only effectively gain resources and immediately equip resource artifacts (such as bag of gold), but also gain experience by simply sneaking past stacks; something for which he doesnít need an army. Thus, you have an effective troop division allowing you to cover ground very fast. Exploiting the richness in both areas simultaneously will greatly improve your economy, heroes and creatures. And if the thief has done his job, you simply add him to the main army to speed it up. I donít care that a thief is physically weak for a might hero: improving the economy is also a great benefit!

Chaos vs Order
When you are fighting an Order line-up of halflings, magi, genies, titans and an Order mage (which is questionable), I agree more with Agent00BleRDís tactic. I mean, ALL stacks are either shooters or spellcasters; I donít think a Chaos army can afford to use a defensive tactic, even when you choose nightmares. Especially because order has some creature disabling spells as well, orcs are short ranged and your sorcerer will be the first target of all those ranged attackers and spellcasters. Therefore an offensive tactic seems obvious to me. The reason to choose efreet over nightmares is for their adventure map movement, after all you should beat that Order army mainly on the adventure map. And if those efreet in melee combat really go down as fast as you say, you can at least be assured of 20 hitpoints damage per efreet. Also, the mobility on the combat field of an efreet will make sure you reach your opponent quickly.

Black Dragon vs Hydra
You name many arguments in favor of choosing hydras, but I find few of them valid. So I guess I should try to disprove them one by one. Donít feel offended

You say that I canít stop you from casting spells such as cat reflexes, bloodlust and slayer on your hydras. In most times, I really donít even want to, because you cannot afford to cast such offensive spells. Of course, with 5 spells cast on them, hydras can become great killers but I will simply immobilize them. When hydras have a movement of 3, I donít care that they have cat reflexes cast on them. Thatís why you donít have the time to cast those beneficial spells: you should cast haste all the time to cancel out the hydraís deficits. It is nonsense that I wonít target your hydras...in the contrary, they are my main concern! If you canít bring them in combat, my victory is assured, so I am not going to cast some lousy spell on your nightmares. And even when you succeed in both mobilizing your hydras and casting spells on them, I may choose to cast dispel or cancellation. I also donít agree with the way you think you can counter my magic. I usually succeed very well in casting quicksand on the places where I want it, so there is probably no way around it, especially because I tend to cast it on chokepoints. If I age your hydras, what makes you think you have the exorcism spell available!? It is from an opposite alignment and it is hard for you to learn the skill. Same with teleport, how on earth are you going to have that before month 4, if ever? I mean, usually my games are over after the first few weeks (often I donít even HAVE black dragons ). And how are you going to defend against your own nightmare tactic? Three terror spells will disable your hydras for 6 turns. And what to think about wasp swarm, song of peace or confusion? You say you chose hydras against an unknown opponent. Why canít that opponent have order magic? After all, order magic can also be used by both Death and Life of course. And I still didnít mention fatigue...

But all right, even when we forget about all these ways of disabling hydras, they still are not those superunits that you think them to be. That is because their stats arenít that high either. I already said that one Black Dragon is six times as strong as a Hydra, but you still seem convinced that 20 Hydras beat 10 Black Dragons . And even though a direct confrontation between two units is no good way to say which is superior (specialties, speed and movement are only measured to a random degree), I will show how easy Black Dragons win anyway. If you want to imitate this battle perfectly, you should also put the hydras on defend now and then and let the black dragons fly around more, but I am sure you get the idea when I write it out:

Round 1:
Black Dragons wait, Hydras move, Black Dragons attack doing 1269 (average) damage. Hydras do 660 damage. Five hydras die, top one has 231 hp left, one black dragon dies, top one has 140 hitpoints left.

Round 2:
Black Dragons attack doing 1142 damage, hydras have not regained retaliation, 11 are left, top one has 89 hitpoints left. Hydras attack doing 363 damage, 8 black dragons are left, top one has 177 hitpoints left.

Round 3:
Black Dragons wait(!), Hydras attack doing 363 damage. 7 Black Dragons are left, top one has 214 hitpoints. Black Dragons attack, doing 888 damage. Hydras do 363 damage. 6 Black Dragons are left, top one has 251 hitpoints. 7 Hydras are left, top one has 201 hitpoints left.

Round 4:
Black Dragons attack, doing 762 damage, hydras have not yet regained their retaliation. 4 Hydras are left, top one has 189 hitpoints. Hydras attack, doing 132 damage. 6 Black Dragons are left, top one has 119 hitpoints.

Round 5:
Black Dragons attack doing 762 damage, hydras do 132 damage. 1 hydra with 177 hitpoints is left, 5 black dragons are left, top one has 387 hitpoints. Hydra attacks doing 33 damage, Black Dragon has 354 hitpoint left.

Round 6:
Last hydra dies, 5 black dragons are left, top one has 322 hitpoints.

I may have some numbers wrong, but you get the idea. Iíd say, if you still donít believe that hydras get slaughtered by black dragons, try it yourself. I really didnít base that creature comparison thread on some lousy maths, it is tested really well and I donít consider it Ďway offí. My conclusion is that Hydras arenít just slow on the combat and adventure map, but that their stats arenít real great either and that they can get immobilized fairly easy. Therefore I choose Black Dragons.

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Adventuring Hero
posted December 02, 2002 07:25 PM

Quote:
You will feel very bad when I teleport my Hydras in front of your main stacks (yes, they already have Cat Reflexes and yes, you have already cast Fatigue/Quicksand, yes, it was a waste).

Teleport is a level 3 Order spell. I know it. But there are some other fine tricks which you left out.


nice plan....but no, i didn't cast fatigue/quicksand (which are hard to get), and yes, i did cast forgetfulness on ur medusa instead.  And yes, i have a stack of 1 genie which cast song of peace.  And yes, there is a little 3rd level order magic called steal enchantment.  (though i don't know how will it distribut the enchantment, but u will fell bad if it is transferred to titan or dragon golem or even halflings.)


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