HHHHH  HHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHH    HHHHHHH  HHHHHHHHHH   HHHHHHH
   HHH    HHH  HHH   HHH  HHH    HHH  HHH   HHH  HHH   HHH  HHH   HHH
   HHH    HHH  HHH     H  HHH    HHH HHH     HHH HHH     H HHH      H
   HHH    HHH  HHH H      HHH   HHH  HHH     HHH HHH H      HHH
   HHH    HHH  HHHHH      HHHHHHH    HHH     HHH HHHHH        HHHH
   HHH    HHH  HHH H   H  HHH  HHH   HHH     HHH HHH H   H H    HHHH
   HHHHHHHHHH  HHH    HH  HHH   HHH  HHH     HHH HHH    HH HH     HHH
   HHH    HHH  HHH  HHHH  HHH    HHH  HHH   HHH  HHH  HHHH HHH   HHH
   HHH    HHH HHHHHHHHHH HHHHH    HHHH HHHHHHH  HHHHHHHHHH  HHHHHHH
   HHH    HHH
   HHH    HHH       O F  M I G H T  A N D  M A G I C  I I
   HHH    HHH
  HHHHH  HHHHH

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
                      Heroes of Might and Magic II
                       Frequently Asked Questions
                             Version 1.1 
                      Latest Update in 28/7/2003
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
By Joseph Andro Artanto
E-Mail : aceaceblitzer@yahoo.com
Site  : http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dragon/3939

Special Thanks :
----------------
Note that all part of this faq are simply a part of a website:
   http://www.astralwizard.com/
And I, admit and give my very special thanks to the webmaster:
   Julia Skipper, AKA AngelA (angelshome@ns.sympatico.ca)
   Astral Wizard Website Ambassador
And their contributors in the respective website:
   Sebastien Patenaude
   Eonoak (eonoak@yahoo.com)
   Maneater (kalin99@yahoo.com)
   Etc.
Please visit http://www.astralwizard.com/ for more complete info about
Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

You can get the newest version of this faq at:
- http://www.gamefaqs.com/
- http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dragon/3939
or you can e-mail me at arsin@indosat.net.id

Unpublished work Copyright 1999-2003 Joseph Andro Artanto.
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Ia. VERSIONS
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

*Version 0.1 (10/9/1999)
 The initial release.
*Version 0.2 (23/10/1999)
 Filled the Roland's and Archibald's campaign strategy.
 Minor corrections.
*Version 0.3 (28/11/1999)
 Layout corrections, Minor corrections. Contact me by ICQ (55139575).
*Version 0.4 (29/12/1999)
 A really, really big update. Added some more sections (General Tips,
 Using certain hero types, and some more normal strategies). The artifact
 list and spell list also have been updated now.
*Version 0.5 (6/1/2000)
 Strategy Guides for normal maps section added. Minor corrections.
*Version 0.6 (16/4/2000)
 Updates the General Tips sections. Completed the Expansion Pack
 campaign maps Guide section. Created the Questions of the Month
 section. Layout corrections. Minor corrections.
*Version 0.7 (3/7/2000)
 Created the Author's Info section. Minor Corrections.
*Version 0.8 (26/11/2000)
 Nothing. A complain reached me and I have given my special thanks!
 Please visit http://www.astralwizard.com/ for more info about the
 game!
*Version 1.0 (7/7/2002)
 Nothing. Honest. Just wanted to say hi :)
*Version 1.1 (28/7/2003)
 E-mail changed.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Ib. CONTENTS
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I.    VERSIONS/CONTENTS
II.   GAME SYSTEM
III.  SPECIAL PLACES LIST
IV.   BUILDING LIST
V.    ARMY LIST
VI.   SPELL LIST
VII.  ARTIFACT LIST
VIII. GENERAL TIPS
IX.   USING CERTAIN HERO TYPE
X.    STRATEGY GUIDES (BEGINNER)
       a.Normal Strategies
       b.First Week Building Tips
       c.Tips on Upgrading
       d.Fighting the Dragons
       e.Secondary Skills Tips
       f.Using Diplomacy
       g.Troops Assignments Tips
       h.The Dirty Tricks
XI.   STRATEGY GUIDES
       a.Guides for Normal HOMM2 Campaigns
       b.Guides for HOMM2 Expansion Pack Campaigns
XII.  STRATEGY GUIDES (Guides for Normal Maps)
XIII. QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
XIV.  DISCLAIMER
XV.   AUTHOR'S INFO
XVI.  CREDITS

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Ic. DISCLAIMER
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Unpublished Work Copyright Joseph Andro Artanto 1999-2003.

This FAQ and everything included within this file cannot be reproduced
in any way, shape or form (physical, electronically, or otherwise) aside
from being placed on a freely-accessible, non-commercial web page in
it's original, unedited and unaltered format.  This FAQ cannot be used
for profitable purposes (even if no money would be made from selling it)
or promotional purposes.  It cannot be used in any sort of commercial
transaction.  It cannot be given away as some sort of bonus, gift, etc.,
with a purchase as this creates incentive to buy and is therefore
prohibited.  Furthermore, this FAQ cannot be used by the publishers,
editors, employees or associates, etc. of any company, group, business,
or association, etc., nor can it be used by game sites and the like. It
cannot be used in magazines, guides, books, etc. or in any other form of
printed or electronic media (including mediums not specifically
mentioned) in ANY way, shape, or form (including reprinting, reference
or  inclusion), without the express written permission of the author,
myself. This FAQ was created and is owned by me, Joseph Andro Artanto
(arsin@indosat.net.id). All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged 
and respected that are not specifically mentioned in this FAQ.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
II. GAME SYSTEM
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Heroes of Might and Magic II (HOMM2), is a strategy-adventure-RPG game
created by New World Computing and has been published in PC and Macintosh.
However, many beginners feels confused when they play it the first time.
Originally, you could choose your own map, you can just choose the campaign
(recommended) or just play a map created by you or other peoples. In the
first screen, you can choose New Game and choose what kind of game you want
to play (campaign, standard, multiplayer). Campaign leads you to a series
of scenarios. And standard will let you to play any map in your MAPS
directory. Finally Multiplayer will let you have a multiplayer battle
against your friend via modem, network, or seat-by-seat/Hotseat. Hotseat is
a multiplayer game in one Computer (max. 4 players).
Load game is used to load your previous game. You can see some preview of
some games created by NWC in the door (click the door on left area of the
main menu).
When you first enter a 'choosing maps' menu (by standard or multiplayer),
click the upright button to choose your map, the info of that map is below
the map name (like how many players, what type of heroes you want, it is
optional). Now you will enter the main game screen, which lead you to the
real game. Note, this game has experience status, this mean your level will
be increased when you have enough experience.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
III. SPECIAL PLACES LIST
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

This only apply in the world map screen, so take a note about that. If you
want to know about the buildings (inside a castle or town), armies, spells,
etc, see the contents.
As you know, special places are spreaded around the world, to know what the
use of certain places, see below.
There is a couple of mouse icon in this game. Sword means you need to fight
that special places (like castle,army camps,etc), horses means you can walk
to that place.
For easy references, use 'find' and write your desired special places.

* Castle
This is where you can rest, buy troops, learn new spells, or build your own
castle. If its flag isn't your own flag, it is enemy's castle.
* Town
Same as castle, but you cant build any buildings inside the town. You can
upgrade a town into a castle if allowed.
* Gazebo
A place that makes you meet an old man that teach you some skills, and this
means you get some experiences by his lesson. Note that one hero only can
get exp by this old man once.
* Obelisk
A place to get maps to reach the Ultimate Artifact (to dig the land, you
must have full 'yellow').
* Fountain
Your luck is increased until the next battle ends.
* Temple
Your moral is increased until the next battle ends.
* Mines
This where you get minerals like ore, crystal, gems, etc. you get some of
them per day if you have them.
* Woodfields (or something like that)
Like mines, but you get woods instead minerals.
* Alchemy Lab
You get mercury per day.
* Shrine of 1st circle, 2nd circle and 3rd circle
the place where you get certain magic of certain classes. the 1st circle
let you get a random magic from class 1 magic.
* Witch Hut
You can get certain skills from her (like navigation, wisdom, etc). Only
basic ones.
* Artifacts
An important thing in this game, Artifact can make your strength or magic
power increased, even some of them will protect you from some damaging
spells. See the Artifact list section for more info.
* Mineral/Wood/Gold/Mercury
These are all treasures scattered around the world, collect them to get
some small amount of them.
* Treasure Chest
This chest will lead you to 2 choices. The one will give you some gold, and
the other will give you some experiences.
* Army Camp
This where you mainly see the enemies. Go to them and you will enter a
battle. You may get certain events by touching them. Like the enemies want
to join you, etc.
* Heroes
I know you know it. But beware of the hero's flag, as it will be the sign
whose the ally and foe.
* Idol
Same as Fountain. Give you a luck until the next battle ends.
* Tree of Knowledge
This tree will give you a level if you have enough leadership. If not, he
will give you a fee to level up (around 10 gems).
* Fort
Give you 1+ defense skill. Once for a hero.
* Mercenary Camp
Give you 1+ attack skill. Once for a hero.
* Witch Doctor's Hut
Give you 1+ knowledge skill. Once for a hero.
* Stonehege
Give you 1+ spell power skill. Once for a hero.
* Ruins
You can buy some Medusas here.
* Genie Lamp
You can buy some Genie here.
* Peasant Hut
Some peasant will agree to join you.
* Archer's House
Some archer will agree to join you.
* Goblin's Hut
Some goblin will agree to join you.
* Centaur Cave
Some Centaur will agree to join you.
* Dwarf Cottage
Some Dwarf will agree to join you.
* Oasis
Give you a several 'yellow' points.
* Artesian Spring
Doubles your 'green' points (magic points,manna).
* City of the Death
Beat some undead units and you can buy some lich.
* Skeleton
You might found an artifact or treasure from the dead bodies.
* Wagon
Same as skeleton.
* Sign
Something written in there.
* Bottle
Something written in there.
* Magellan House (or something like that)
You can buy the map of the sea of the current map.
* Flotsam
You might found gold or woods from there.
* Treasure Chest (on the ocean)
You might found an artifact or gold.
* Tree House
Some sprites will join you.
* Tree City
You can buy some sprites in there.
* Pyramid
Fight some undead and take the treasures. If the undead have been defeated,
then you get bad luck instead.
* Demon's Cave
Fight the servants or face the demons, it your decisions.
* Factory
Upgrade your iron golem to steel golem.
* Hill Fort
Upgrade some of your troops to the upgraded type.
* Dragon's City
Fight some dragons and you will be able to buy some red dragons.
* Sphinx
Solve the riddle and get the prizes. If you fail, your heroes will be dead,
remember, not all prizes are good.
* Well
Fill up your 'green' points to full status.
* Buoy
Give a morale to your troops until the next battle ends.
* Graveyard
Fight some undead and take the treasures. If the undead have been defeated,
then you get bad morale instead.
* Lighthouse
Your ship yellow points is increased.
* Rogue's Camp
You can buy some rogues from there.
* Road
Used to make your hero's movement longer. Note that heroes always take the
shortest way.
* Abandoned Mine
Fight some ghost first, then the mine will be changed into a gold mine.
* Wrecked Ship (there are 2 type of them)
Fight some ghost first, then take the treasures. If the ghost have been
defeated, you get bad ones instead.
* Event
In certain cases, you may get an event.
* Whirlpool (sea only)
Teleport your ship to a different random whirlpool. Note that some weak
armies (like peasant) might be killed if they enter the whirlpool.
* Dimension Door (there are 3 types of them)
Teleport your hero to a different dimension door (the same type only).
* Watch Tower
Some orcs will join you.
* Halfling Hole
Some halfling will join you.
* Windmill
Give you some resources every week when visited.
* Water Wheel
Same as Windmill, but give you gold instead.
* Magic Garden
Same as Windmill
* Trading Post
Exchange some resources with another resources. Same as Marketplace in a
castle or town. If you have more marketplace, the exchange rate is better.
* Oracle
See opponent's status.
* Troll Bridge
You can buy some trolls here after you fight them.
* Desert Tent
You can buy some Nomads in there.
* Execution Site
Some Skeletons will join you.
* Xanadu
He will teach you some skills when you have enough diplomacy skill.
* Faerie Ring
Give you a luck until the next battle ends. Same as fountain.
* Lean-To
Get some resources here. One time only.
* ??? (maybe im missing something)

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
IV.BUILDING LIST
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

This is apply inside a castle or a town. Some of them will allow you to buy
some troops, give you a new spell, increases your moral, etc.

--Knight--
----------

* Peasant Hut             -} Peasant
* Archery Range/(Upgraded)-} Archer/Ranger
* Armory       /(Upgraded)-} Pikeman/Veteran Pikeman
* Blacksmith   /(Upgraded)-} Swordman/Master Swordman
* JoustingArena/(Upgraded)-} ? /Champion
* Cathedral    /(Upgraded)-} Paladin/Crusader
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* Farm                    -} Give you more Peasant every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Fortiffication          -} Increases the toughness of the wall
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents


--Wizard--
----------

* Halfling Hole           -} Halfling
* Pen                     -} Boar
* Cliff Nest              -} Roc
* Foundry      /(Upgraded)-} Iron Golem/Steel Golem
* Ivory Tower  /(Upgraded)-} Mage/Archmage
* Cloud Castle /(Upgraded)-} Giant/Titan
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* Orchard                 -} Give you more Halfling every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Library                 -} Give you more spells of every class
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents


--Sorcerer--
------------

* Tree House              -} Sprite
* Archery Range/(Upgraded)-} Elves/Grand Elves
* Cottage      /(Upgraded)-} Dwarf/?
* Stonehege    /(Upgraded)-} Druid/Greater Druid
* Fenced Meadow/(Upgraded)-} Unicorn
* Red Tower               -} Phoenix
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* Crystal Garden          -} Give you more sprites every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Rainbow                 -} Give the defending armies more luck
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents


--Necromancer--

* Execution Site          -} Skeleton
* Graveyard           /Upg-} Zombie/Mutant Zombie
* Pyramid             /Upg-} Mummy/Royal Mummy
* Mansion             /Upg-} Vampire/Vampire Lord
* ?                   /Upg-} Lich/Power Lich
* Laboratory              -} Bone Dragon
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* ?                       -} Give you more skeletons every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Storm                   -} Give the defending armies more spell power
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents


--Barbarian--

* Goblin's Hut            -} Goblin
* Stick Hut           /Upg-} Orc/Orc Chief
* Cave                    -} Wolf
* Adobe               /Upg-} Ogre/Ogre Lord
* Bridge              /Upg-} Troll/War Troll
* Pyramid                 -} Cyclops
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* Garbage Heap            -} Give you more goblins every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Colosseum               -} Give the defending armies more moral
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents


--Warlock--

* Cave                    -} Centaur
* Crypt                   -} Gargoyle
* Nest                    -} Griffin
* Maze                /Upg-} Minatour/Minatour King
* Swamp                   -} Hydra
* Green/Red/Black Tower   -} Green Dragon/Red Dragon/Black Dragon
* Well                    -} Give you 2 more units every dwelling
* Statue                  -} Give you 250 gold every days
* Waterfall               -} Give you more centaurs every dwelling
* Tavern                  -} Increases your defending troops moral
* Moat                    -} Hold enemy's fighter
* Mage Guild 1-5          -} Provides spells for your heroes
* Right Turret            -} Attack opponent's army every turn in castle
* Left Turret                (battle)
* Dungeon                 -} Give you 500 gold every day
* Captain's Quarters      -} Acts as a hero inside a castle
* Shipyard                -} Used to create a ship
* Thieves Guild           -} Provides info about your opponents

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
V. ARMY LIST
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

As you know, I will only give description for some powerfull and usefull
troops, as it will take years to describe all of them one by one. (Long)
means that unit attack with long range attack. (Fly) means it is a flying
type troops. (Fight) means it is a fighter unit. You CAN split your army,
here is the way: press shift, drag a unit you want to split to an empty
box, a menu will appear and ask you how many units you want to split.

--Knight--
* Peasant (Fight)
* Archer/Ranger (Long)
* Pikeman/Veteran Pikeman (Fight)
* Swordman/Master Swordman (Fight)
* Paladin/Crusader (Fight)           -} Attack 2 times on a unit

--Wizard--
* Halfling (Long)
* Boar (Fight)
* Roc (Fly)
* Iron Golem/Steel Golem (Fight)
* Mage/Archmage (Long)               -} Sometimes causes Dispel
* Giant(Fight)/Titan(Long)           -} Titan is 1/2 strongest unit

--Sorcerer--
* Sprite (Fly)
* Elves/Grand Elves (Long)
* Dwarf/? (Fight)                    -} Sometimes deflect spells
* Druid/Greater Druid (Long)
* Unicorn (Fight)                    -} Sometimes causes blind
* Phoenix (Fly)

--Necromancer--
* Skeleton (Fight)
* Zombie/Mutant Zombie (Fight)
* Mummy/Royal Mummy (Fight)          -} Sometimes causes curse
* Vampire/Vampire Lord (Fly)         -} Live again if kills some units
* Lich/Power Lich (Long)
* Bone Dragon (Fly)

--Barbarian--
* Goblin (Fight)
* Orc/Orc Chief (Long)
* Wolf (Fight)
* Ogre/Ogre Lord (Fight)
* Troll/War Troll (Long)
* Cyclops (Fight)

--Warlock--
* Centaur (Long)
* Gargoyle (Fly)
* Griffin (Fly)
* Minatour/Minatour King (Fight)
* Hydra (Fight)                      -} Attack all nearest enemies
* Green/Red/Black Dragon (Fly)

--Other--
* Medusa (Fight)                     -} Sometimes causes Petrify
* Genie (Fly)                        -} Sometimes attack 'half'
* Nomad (Fight)
* Rogue (Fight)
* Fire Elemental
* Air Elemental
* Water Elemental
* Earth Elemental
* Ghost                              -} Increased if kills some units
* ???

--Army's Strength Table--
-------------------------


    ===============================================================
    | Knight troops     |    |    |     |       |      |          |
    ===============================================================
    |       Unit        |Atk |Def | HP  | Dmg   | Spd  |  Cost    |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    | Peasant           | 1  | 1  | 1   | 1     | 2    | 20       |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    | Archer            | 3  | 5  | 10  | 2-3   | 2    | 150      |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³            Ranger ³ 4  ³ 5  ³ 10  ³ 2-3   ³ 4    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Pikeman           ³ 5  ³ 9  ³ 20  ³ 3-4   ³ 4    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³   Veteran Pikeman ³ 5  ³ 9  ³ 25  ³ 3-4   ³ 5    ³ 250      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Swordsman         ³ 7  ³ 9  ³ 25  ³ 4-6   ³ 4    ³ 250      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³  Master Swordsman ³ 7  ³ 9  ³ 30  ³ 4-6   ³ 5    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Cavalry           ³ 10 ³ 9  ³ 30  ³ 5-10  ³ 6    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³          Champion ³ 10 ³ 9  ³ 40  ³ 5-10  ³ 7    ³ 375      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Paladin           ³ 11 ³ 12 ³ 50  ³ 10-20 ³ 5    ³ 600      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³          Crusader ³ 11 ³ 12 ³ 65  ³ 10-20 ³ 6    ³ 1000     ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Barbarian troops  ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³       Unit        ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Goblin            ³ 4  ³ 1  ³ 3   ³ 1-2   ³ 4    ³ 40       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Orc               ³ 3  ³ 4  ³ 10  ³ 2-3   ³ 2    ³ 140      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³         Orc Chief ³ 3  ³ 4  ³ 15  ³ 3-4   ³ 3    ³ 175      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Wolf              ³ 6  ³ 2  ³ 20  ³ 3-5   ³ 6    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Ogre              ³ 9  ³ 5  ³ 40  ³ 4-6   ³ 2    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³         Ogre Lord ³ 9  ³ 5  ³ 60  ³ 5-7   ³ 4    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Troll             ³ 10 ³ 5  ³ 40  ³ 5-7   ³ 4    ³ 600      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³         War Troll ³ 10 ³ 5  ³ 40  ³ 7-9   ³ 5    ³ 700      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Cyclope           ³ 12 ³ 9  ³ 80  ³ 12-24 ³ 5    ³ 750+ 1cr ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Sorceress troops  ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³       Unit        ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Sprite            ³ 4  ³ 2  ³ 2   ³ 1-2   ³ 4    ³ 50       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Dwarf             ³ 6  ³ 5  ³ 20  ³ 2-4   ³ 2    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³      Battle Dwarf ³ 6  ³ 6  ³ 20  ³ 2-4   ³ 4    ³ 250      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Elf               ³ 4  ³ 3  ³ 15  ³ 2-3   ³ 4    ³ 250      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³         Grand Elf ³ 5  ³ 5  ³ 15  ³ 2-3   ³ 6    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Druid             ³ 7  ³ 5  ³ 20  ³ 5-8   ³ 4    ³ 350      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³     Greater Druid ³ 7  ³ 7  ³ 25  ³ 5-8   ³ 6    ³ 400      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Unicorn           ³ 10 ³ 9  ³ 40  ³ 7-14  ³ 5    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Phoenix           ³ 12 ³ 10 ³ 100 ³ 20-40 ³ 7    ³ 1500+1m  ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Warlock troops    ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³       Unit        ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Centaur           ³ 3  ³ 1  ³ 5   ³ 1-2   ³ 4    ³ 60       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Gargoyle          ³ 4  ³ 7  ³ 15  ³ 2-3   ³ 6    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Griffin           ³ 6  ³ 6  ³ 25  ³ 3-5   ³ 4    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Minotaur          ³ 9  ³ 8  ³ 40  ³ 5-10  ³ 4    ³ 400      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³     Minotaur King ³ 9  ³ 8  ³ 45  ³ 5-10  ³ 6    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Hydra             ³ 8  ³ 9  ³ 75  ³ 6-12  ³ 2    ³ 800      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Green Dragon      ³ 12 ³ 12 ³ 200 ³ 25-50 ³ 4    ³ 3000+1s  ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³        Red Dragon ³ 13 ³ 13 ³ 250 ³ 25-50 ³ 5    ³ 3500+1s  ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³      Black Dragon ³ 14 ³ 14 ³ 300 ³ 25-50 ³ 6    ³ 4000+2s  ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Wizard troops     ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³       Unit        ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Halfling          ³ 2  ³ 1  ³ 3   ³ 1-3   ³ 3    ³ 50       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Boar              ³ 5  ³ 4  ³ 15  ³ 2-3   ³ 6    ³ 150      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Iron Golem        ³ 5  ³ 10 ³ 30  ³ 4-5   ³ 2    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³       Steel Golem ³ 7  ³ 10 ³ 35  ³ 4-5   ³ 3    ³ 350      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Roc               ³ 7  ³ 7  ³ 40  ³ 5-8   ³ 4    ³ 400      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Mage              ³ 11 ³ 7  ³ 30  ³ 7-9   ³ 5    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³          Archmage ³ 12 ³ 8  ³ 35  ³ 7-9   ³ 6    ³ 700      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Giant             ³ 13 ³ 10 ³ 150 ³ 20-30 ³ 4    ³ 2000+1g  ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³             Titan ³ 15 ³ 15 ³ 300 ³ 20-30 ³ 6    ³ 5000+2g  ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Necromancer       ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ³ troops            ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³       Unit        ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Skeleton          ³ 4  ³ 3  ³ 4   ³ 2-3   ³ 4    ³ 75       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Zombie            ³ 5  ³ 2  ³ 15  ³ 2-3   ³ 2    ³ 150      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³     Mutant Zombie ³ 5  ³ 2  ³ 20  ³ 2-3   ³ 4    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Mummy             ³ 6  ³ 6  ³ 25  ³ 3-4   ³ 4    ³ 250      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³       Royal Mummy ³ 6  ³ 6  ³ 30  ³ 3-4   ³ 5    ³ 300      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Vampire           ³ 8  ³ 6  ³ 35  ³ 5-7   ³ 4    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³      Vampire Lord ³ 8  ³ 6  ³ 40  ³ 5-7   ³ 5    ³ 650      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Lich              ³ 7  ³ 12 ³ 25  ³ 8-10  ³ 5    ³ 750      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³        Power Lich ³ 7  ³ 13 ³ 35  ³ 8-10  ³ 6    ³ 900      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Bone Dragon       ³ 11 ³ 9  ³ 150 ³ 25-45 ³ 4    ³ 1500     ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    ===============================================================
    ³ Neutral troops    ³    ³    ³     ³       ³      ³          ³
    ===============================================================
    ³ Unit              ³ A: ³ D: ³ HP: ³ Dmg:  ³ Spd: ³  Cost:   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Rogue             ³ 6  ³ 1  ³ 4   ³ 1-2   ³ 5    ³ 50       ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Nomad             ³ 7  ³ 5  ³ 20  ³ 2-5   ³ 6    ³ 200      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Ghost             ³ 8  ³ 6  ³ 20  ³ 4-6   ³ 5    ³ 1000     ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Medusa            ³ 8  ³ 9  ³ 35  ³ 6-10  ³ 4    ³ 350      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Genie             ³ 10 ³ 9  ³ 50  ³ 20-30 ³ 6    ³ 750+1g   ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Earth Elemental   ³ 8  ³ 8  ³ 50  ³ 4-5   ³ 3    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Water Elemental   ³ 6  ³ 8  ³ 45  ³ 3-7   ³ 4    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Fire Elemental    ³ 8  ³ 6  ³ 40  ³ 4-5   ³ 5    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ³ Air Elemental     ³ 7  ³ 7  ³ 35  ³ 2-8   ³ 6    ³ 500      ³
    ---------------------------------------------------------------


}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
VI. SPELL LIST
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

--Level 1 Magic--
-----------------

HASTE
Most useful 1st level spell.. since it can turn otherwise deficient monster
stacks in killer armies. Examples.. a big stack of Steel Golems can now
reach the opposing army in 2 turns. Your  big stack of slow or average
shooter troops can now shoot before the enemy flyers or shooters. The
Hydras become very, very dangerous. A huge stack of skeletons can reach the
other side in 2 turns while your cheap sacrificial stack of shooters draws
the fire... In general, it can give you the very important first attack.

SLOW
Opposite of Haste... almost as useful but less versatile since if you cast
it too soon the enemy spellcaster will probably dispel it. Can save your
butt against fast flyers since this will give your shooters time to destroy
them. Also useful combined with Blind to stop the enemy from fleeing before
you have a chance to destroy him. Timing is foremost when using this potent
spell. Either use it after the enemy casted his own spell or on the fast
troop going up next which you want to attack first.

BLESS
Very good on certain troops that have a large range of damage. Also assures
you of inflicting maximum damage. For example, Bless used on crusaders and
phoenix double up their damage inflicting points permitting you, under
ideal conditions, to kill double the monsters you would usually have
destroyed with an unblessed stack doing minimum damage. Of course, doing
minimum damage with an unblessed unit is very unlikely since the damage
done by any stack is an average.

CURSE
Opposite of Bless. Very good also but more "passive" than his counterpart
since you can't always control which of your stacks, the enemy stack will
attack first (unless you have shooters). The enemy will rarely dispel this
spell. Use it against the monster stack that scares you the most : the fast
flyer troops or the big stack of enemy shooters.

SHIELD
Extremely nice to have when you go up against big shooter armies. Use it on
your strongest shooter stack who will draw the majority of attacks from the
AI. Unfortunately, the usefulness of Shield is limited because it does not
protect against ballista and turret fire.

DISPEL MAGIC
One of the tough spells to use well. More useful in the later parts of the
game. Try to use this spell against an enemy stack having multiple positive
spells. I typically use it against the most dangerous enemy stack,
especially if it already has bless and steelskin. I use Cure instead of
Dispel Magic when I want to remove negative spells from one of my stacks.

MAGIC ARROW
The first *direct* offensive spell.  Good against low-level troops and very
good when you have a high spell rating but no lightning or not enough
spells points left to cast it. Also good when you don't want the enemy to
flee, which it will usually do,  when it only has a couple of monster
stacks left.

CURE
Did you know  that this spell not only cures your hit points but also
removes all negative spells ? Making this almost the equal of Dispel Magic.
I rated it so low because the number of hit points gained when casting it
is much too minimal.  I mostly use it on my high-level monster stacks (like
Phoenix or Bone Dragons).

BLOODLUST
Attack +3. In concrete terms, what this means is that, under ideal
conditions, you could get a 30 % damage bonus. I cast it when I have
nothing else better to cast.

STONESKIN
Defense + 3. In concrete terms, this means that, under ideal conditions,
you could get 30 % less damage (if the difference between his attack and
your defense skill were 3 points or higher before you casted) from an enemy
attack on the stack that is stoneskinned. I cast it when I have nothing
else better to cast.

VIEW MINES
I only use it in the beginning game to check out where the *necessary*
mines are hidden. By *necessary* mine, I mean the mine that produces the
resource you need most to build the advanced-level structures. For example,
sulfur for Warlocks, wood for knights, ore for barbarians, gems for
wizards, etc.

VIEW RESOURCES
I will use it if I have it.. but I prefer getting the other spells. Can be
useful if there are no nearby mines of the type you desire.

--Level 2 Magic--
-----------------

BLIND
One of the most underestimated spells out there. What good is the killer
monster stack of the enemy if it cannot move or attack due to the Blind
spell ? Timing is very important for this spell : either cast it on the
fastest troop of the enemy, wait until he has already cast his own spell,
or time it so that the blinded stack is the one going up next. If the enemy
dispels it after his unit has already lost his turn then it's too late for
the current turn. If he dispels it before that blinded stack would have
normally gotten its turn, then the stack will attack normally. Generally
cast Blind on the most dangerous monsters... faster units first. Also
useful in keeping the enemy from fleeing. A sure way to insure that an
enemy stack will lose the current turn is by attacking it before the
computer opponent has a chance to dispell it. Something we rarely, if ever,
think about is that a blinded creature retaliates with half-damage unless
you shoot it from afar with missiles or offensive spells in which case the
enemy gets no retaliation at all. Finally, keep in mind that this spell
doesn't work on undeads and Titans.

LIGHTNING BOLT
The best "direct" offensive spell that damages a single stack. I use it all
the time. Its use is pretty straightforward : point and shoot. Useful for
destroying remaining enemy units you don't want to see fleeing. As always,
cast Lightning on the most dangerous unit that can attack you right away
(that means walker troops are the last target choice).

VISIONS
One of the best spells if you manage to get it. It's one of the rarer
spells because of it's great usefulness. If New World Computing did not
want us to have it very often, they should have given it a higher-level
spell rating. Visions tells you how a nearby wandering monster stack will
react when you encounter it (join, flee, attack). It also gives you the
number of units present.  From intuition and experience, I can usually tell
if an enemy stack will join me or not, but having this great spell makes my
job easier. Don't cast Visions on everything though, cast it on stacks that
you must absolutely pass or that you suspect might join you.

STEELSKIN
+6 on Defense. Quite good when you want to protect one of your important
stacks. I usually cast it on my best shooters or the flyers who are
attacking deep in enemy territory. In concrete terms, this spell can lower
the damage received by about 40 % on the steelskinned unit, under ideal
conditions (if the attacker's attack rating is 5 points or higher than the
defender's defense rating.. before you cast the spell).

COLD RAY
Not a bad spell similar to Lightning Bolt but less powerful. I never cast
it if I already have Lightning unless I have the cold icicle item. It's a
point-and-shoot offensive spell.

DISRUPTING RAY
-3 on Defense each time you cast it. Some people like this spell because
it's permanent and cumulative. Well, I rarely use it because I think it
costs too much. I guess you could use this instead of Curse if you're
really scared of the offensive power of a given enemy stack. The enemy
can't dispel it.. so that's good. I still think the AI uses this spell too
often.

DRAGON SLAYER
+5 attack against Dragons. This is a must against Dragons. It also works
against Bone Dragons. Cast it on your highest-level stack (Titans, Phoenix,
etc). Can possibly inflict 50% more damage on any Dragon stack. Dragon
slayer combined with Bless makes your attacking unit quite dangerous. If
you don't know what to cast against Dragons, which are immune to all magic,
this one is a good bet...

DEATH RIPPLE
Another very specialized spell only useful if you army is entirely composed
of undead troops. Don't cast it unless your hero has a high spell power
rating. The power of this spell is not strong enough imho (only x5 Power),
but it's a 2nd level spell so that's too be expected. The good point is
that it affects all living troops equally. Can serve as a weak mini-
armageddon spell. Possibly useful combined with Anti-magic.

SUMMON BOAT
Summons any nearby boat that you "control" or that has never been
previously controlled by anyone. Can be quite good in water-based
scenarios... For example, you disembark on one side of the desert island,
explore it, reach the other side, cast Summon Boat and board the boat. This
spell can save you a lot of exploring time.

HAUNT
Renders a mine useless for all players until the protecting ghosts are
defeated. In the rare times, I got it, I barely used it. Of course, don't
use this on your own nearby mines :-) Can be useful if a spellcasting scout
hero goes deep into enemy territory and casts it on essential mines of the
enemy (ex : Haunt on the sulfur mines of the enemy warlock).

VIEW ARTIFACTS
I almost never use this because I usually have a lot of scouting heroes
showing me exactly what nearby items are good enough to risk my valuable
troops. If I get it, I will cast it one time just to see if there might not
be a "clump" of items close by. The funny part is : that they are usually
guarded by a very strong army...

--Level 3 Magic--
-----------------

MASS HASTE
Makes all your own monster stacks quicker. I gave Haste the first place in
the first part of my spellcasting guide therefore it's only fair that I
give it the same "honor" in the 3rd part ;-) All that I said for Haste
applies here too but on a larger and better scale. If you play well, and
because most of your troops will attack before your enemies, you can really
devastate the opposition. Extremely useful when you have a fast army or
better (think Sorceress). Your opponent cannot dispel all those hastes,
even if he has Mass Dispel, because he may not even have the chance to get
his turn :-) Watch out for the remaining couple of enemy troops, they could
flee.

TELEPORT
A very rare spell but very good when you manage to find it. This can
teleport any one of your ground troops on the other side of the map
therefore providing you with a quicker attack. Use it on tough very slow,
slow or average troops (Hydras are the best) when it is their turn. Expect
this teleporting stack to suffer some heavy casualties. Useful for
teleporting ground troops inside or outside castles. I also teleport my
ground troops next to the enemy's shooters most of the time (between 2
stacks of shooters if I can).

PARALYZE
A better version of the already nice Blind spell.  You use it the same way
as Blind (see part 2) except you don't have to worry about retaliation so
much anymore. Therefore faster and weaker creatures that would die from a
retaliation (against a blinded enemy) can give the first strike (against a
paralysed enemy). It's a little more expensive than Blind but most of the
time it's worth it.

ANTI-MAGIC
This is a must-have spell if you go up against powerful spellcasters. In
general, I cast it on my strongest highest-level or more damaging stack. If
you have shooters in your army that you want to keep, then it's a good idea
to cast Anti-Magic on them before your best stack since the AI will almost
always attack the shooters first.  If you also have an all-damaging spell
(like Elemental Storm or Armageddon) then you can  attack with only one
tough monster stack... casting Anti-Magic on the first turn and the all-
damaging spell on the second turn. If you see that a spellcaster is
constantly casting negative spells on the same unit stack, by all means
cast Anti-Magic to protect this valuable stack.

MASS BLESS
The spell to use if you want to beef up your offensive potential. Most of
the tips for the simple Bless (see part 1) also apply here. Very good if
your stacks have a big "range" of damage (ex: Phoenix with 20-40 points or
Nomads with 2-5 points each).

MASS CURSE
The spell to use when the enemy has a lot of very damaging units. Most of
the tips for the simple Curse (see part 1) also apply here. Very good if
the enemy's stacks have a big "range" of damage.

ANIMATE DEAD
The resurrect spell for the Necromancer hero ! Only a 3rd level instead of
5th level therefore providing a certain advantage to the Necromancer player
if he manages to get it.  You have a better chance of getting it than the
resurrect spell but it's mostly useless for the other types of heroes. A
specialized spell that should be rated much higher if you play the
Necromancer and lower if you play any other kind. I usually cast it on my
Vampire Lords or Bone Dragons...

MASS DISPEL
The spell to use when a lot of your stacks have negative spells on them. It
won't happen very often though since the AI seems to prefer casting many
different negative spells on the same unit (most of the time : your best
shooter stack). The Dispel is useless against Disrupting Ray. Most of the
tips for the simple Dispel Magic (see part 1) also apply here.

EARTHQUAKE
An underestimated spell... Destroys the castle walls sooner therefore
making the castle ballistas destroyed sooner. Castle ballistas destroyed
sooner means a lot less casualties for your shooters. A lot less casualties
for your shooters means a stronger army. A stronger army means a quicker
victory ! Particularly good if you cast it 2 consecutive times at the
beginning of the battle. Less useful if you attack a new lightly-built
castle with only one ballista.

DEATH WAVE
Stronger version of Death Ripple. Cool spell effect that damages all living
troops. Only useful for Necromancer players. Can serve as a mini-armageddon
spell. If your Necromanger gets this spell, the Death Ripple spell will
almost never be used anymore. Having a good spell rating for the hero
casting it is a "must". Death Wave is rated higher for Necromancer players
and much lower for all the other types of players.

HOLY WORD
Very good if you go up against a Necromancer player that doesn't have the
item countering it. Specialized spell only useful against undead. Useless
for the necromancer army and of limited use for the other hero types if
there is no Necromancer present on the map. Can be used to kill wandering
undead troops

FIREBALL
First general area-damaging offensive spell. Because of its lack of
"destroying" punch, I prefer to use the good old Lightning spell. This
spell should be given a power boost. Useful if you have a high spell-rating
and/or when you attack low-level stacks (like halflings or goblins). Also
good for stopping the enemy from fleeing if he only has a couple of stacks
left.

COLD RING
Similar to Fireball but with a slight twist. It creates a "ring" of
damaging ice around one of your units not killing your own stack. Not bad
if one of your good units is surrounded.  Good against low-level troops,
useless against high-level troops. Also nice to have when you go up against
wandering low-level shooter stacks (cast it between the 2 enemy stacks).
Like Fireball, it badly needs a power boost.

VIEW HEROES
Not bad but not extremely good either. Can show the exact number and
location of heroes that each of your opponents has. Frequent use of this
spell can save your scouting heroes from ambush. Useless when you have
explored most of the map.

VIEW TOWNS
Only useful to give you a general attack direction. I will cast it once or
twice and forget about it. Can also show you if your enemies have captured
any new towns or built up castles.

IDENTIFY HERO
Most useless 3rd level spell since I generally have enough thieves guilds
by then to know the size of the opposing army. My agressive tactics also
mean that the first defended castle I take will be lightly-defended by a
beginner or intermediate hero. BTW, it may not be pretty, but if you attack
an enemy army and you find out too late it's too strong for you, there's
always retreating and surrendering ;-)

--Level 4 Magic--

CHAIN LIGHTNING
My personal favorite spell. It may not be the strongest or most versatile
spell but it packs a lot of offensive punch anyway. When I have the good
fortune to find it, I use it almost exclusively along with my best
spellcaster and army.   No other offensive spell (that does not kill your
troops too) is this damaging to your enemies with the exception of
Armageddon and Dragons.  Of course, you have to watch out, when you cast
this potent spell, about not zapping your own troops. I usually cast Chain
Lightning on my first turn while all the opponent stacks are on the other
side of the map close together. My first target will be the most dangerous
and immediately damaging unit. Therefore, I will usually shoot the bolt at
a big stack of shooters close to flying troops or vice-versa. You can still
cast the spell when you go up against only 3 enemy stacks since the 4th
victim (one of your stacks) will suffer practically no damage.  I almost
never cast it against an army of only 2 units. If you cast the spell on the
second or third turn, watch out for your own flyers who may already have
engaged the enemy.  Never cast it on a enemy unit close to yours unless you
don't care about killing your own unit too.  This spell is usually better
in the early and midgame.  In the endgame, Mass Slow is better.

MASS SLOW
Ever wonder why this spell is rated a 4th-level spell while his opposite
counterpart Mass Haste is only a 3rd-level spell? It's in part because this
great underestimated spell will give you first strike against the majority
of the opposing stacks. But the real reason is that it will stop all enemy
flyers from reaching your shooters in only one turn !  The enemy shooters
will also fire last giving you a chance to devastate them with your own
army. Some ground enemy troops will arrive to your side sooner than others.
That way, you can concentrate on usually 1 or 2 walker stacks instead of 4
at the same time. Fleeing, for the enemy, is also rendered more difficult.
A well-cast Mass Slow combined with good tactics can give you the victory
before your opponent even has a chance to take one turn ! Most of the tips
for Slow (see part 1) also apply for Mass Slow.

BERSERK
I consider this spell better than the 5th-level spell Hypnotize. Why ?
Because even though you cannot control the actions of the berserked unit,
you can decide to berserk almost any kind of enemy stack with no regard to
its strength. The berserk spell will dissipate after one attack so make it
count. Imagine you're going up against a superhero with 8 Red dragons and
50 Minotaur Kings next to each other. You know that your spells cannot
affect the dragons so you cast Berserk on the Minotaur Kings who go up
next. If you're lucky, the Minotaur kings will attack the dragons (or the
nearby gargoyles) and get attacked in return ! Presto : the MK stack has
lost its turn, the attacked unit has lost the ability to retaliate for the
rest of the turn (unless it has unlimited retaliation) and both stacks are
decimated :-) The best part is that Berserk doesn't cost a lot to cast
(only 12 points). Casting it at the correct time is very important since
you don't want to see it dispelled. In any given turn, either cast it at
the enemy unit that will go next, the fastest enemy stack or when the enemy
has already cast his own spell. A secondary usage of this spell would be to
stop a single unit army from fleeing. Sometimes, you will also want to stop
a particular enemy stack from getting his turn until you are ready to
attack it. Blind and Paralyse are better in that respect, but sometimes you
won't have them. Last warning : do not attack a berserked unit until it has
already attacked one of his own.

METEOR SHOWER
A very nice offensive spell that usually damages 2 units but can sometimes
damage more (if they're all close together). A clever use of this spell is
to send a flyer stack next to an enemy shooter stack without attacking. All
the close enemy walkers and flyers (if you have no shooter troops) will
then proceed to attack this lone flyer stack. Cast Meteor Shower when
they're all clumped together. You will lose your own flying stack but will
have done a lot of damage to the majority of his units. A variation on this
tactic is the sacrificial shooter unit which will attract all enemy flying
troops. On the first turn of a combat, I usually cast Meteor Shower between
a shooter stack and flying stack since they're the most likely to damage me
right away. On the next combat turns, if I see no enemy "clumps" then I
will proceed to cast it again on the shooters if they're close to any other
significant enemy unit. If the shooter stack is alone, then cast Lightning.
Another likely target for Meteor Shower is a group of walkers slowly coming
towards me. The power and range of this spell makes it more useful than
Fireball, Cold Ring and Fireblast imho.

TOWN GATE
Finally a good useful adventure spell :-) It is very rare. Probably because
of its effectiveness. It will transport the hero casting it to your nearest
town. What this means is that you can afford to be more reckless. Even
attacking sooner than would be prudent will not be a problem, since if you
have enough spell points, you can "gate" back to your town for
reinforcements. Extremely useful for strong heroes with depleted armies
that have done a lot of battles deep in enemy territory or weak  midlevel
scouts who stumble upon a stronger enemy hero. After coming to a deadend
while exploring, you can teleport back to avoid losing precious travel
time.

HOLY SHOUT
A very specialized spell that only damages undead creatures. Can be quite
useful against Necromancer troops if you have a high-level spellcaster. The
power is good and it kills only undead troops not your precious living
troops. Therefore if you have a knight, barbarian or wizard army, you can
use this as your own little Armageddon without killing your own troops too
(see Storm for Sorceress and Armageddon for Warlock). Mostly useless for
Necromancer heroes unless they are lucky enough to find the magic item
making them immune.  On maps with no Necromancer opponents, Holy Shout can
still serve to kill wandering undead armies. If you get this spell, you
will most likely forget about Holy Word.

STORM
A little more powerful than Holy Shout but it also kills all troops, making
no discrimination between dead and living. If you play anything other than
a sorceress or a warlock, then this spell only serves when you want to
weaken a powerful enemy army approaching your castle. You hire a wizard (or
any hero with advanced wisdom), make sure he has a very fast unit and
attack the enemy. You cast Storm on your first turn. You will die right
away but will have weakened the enemy a bit. Try to redo this as long as
you have enough money and/or wizards. This spell could also be useful for
high-level spellcasters with Anti-Magic. They should stomp around with one
very tough single stack, cast Anti-Magic on the first turn and Storm on the
second. Storm with Phoenix is a killer-combination since Phoenix are immune
to all elemental spells and almost always strike first :-) It gives a
needed little secret weapon to the sorceress player.

RESURRECTION
Well.. what can I say about this one. If you have a sufficiently strong
army combined with an adept spellcaster hero, you can win almost any single
combat against any army whatsoever (except Dragons of course ;-). But it
can save your butt in only one combat since the resurrected troops will
dissapear at the end... If the fight was the least bit close-matched, then
you will have very few surviving troops left and no more spell points. Make
sure you have at least ONE non-resurrected troop still surviving by the end
of the tough battle or you will eliminated along with your opponent.

FIREBLAST
I almost never use it because the great area of effect is upset too much by
the low power of the spell. I prefer using Meteor Shower, Chain Lightning
and Lightning. The only real use I see for it.. is if you go up against a
lot of similar low-level troops. That means that Fireblast will be mostly
used against wandering monster stacks and NOT against an enemy hero army
(unless his army really sucks :-). Could possibly be useful as a way to
avoid enemy fleeing if the enemy has 2,3 or 4 low-numbered low-level stacks
remaining.

MASS SHIELD
Halves the damage from enemy shooters for all your troops. Most of the
time, I have better spells to cast than this. Since the all enemy shooters
will usually concentrate their fire on your best shooter stack, why not
cast a single Shield and a Steelskin on your victimized shooter stack ? Use
your precious spell points for something better. Of course, there are
always exceptions... Against wandering armies of mid or highlevel shooters
and against heroes with lots of different shooter troops, this spell can
literally save your life. I still think this should have been a 3rd-level
spell. The tips for the simple Shield (see part 1) also apply for Mass
Shield.

MASS CURE
Mostly useless since the power of the curing spell power is not powerful
enough (only 5x spell power). If you use it, cast it as a Mass Dispel on
your own troops. It won't happen very often anyway except in very big
battles at the end of the game. The tips for the simple Cure (see part 1)
also apply for Mass Cure.

VIEW ALL
By the time I get this, I usually have explored most of the map. So I am
very disappointed when one of my two precious 4th-level spots is filled by
this "dud". Could be useful in large or extra-large maps if only to keep
track of the moving heroes and by showing you where the towns are located.
By knowing where the towns are, you then have a better chance of guessing
from where the enemy armies will come. It also gives you a better general
sense of direction :-)  All the tips for all the other View Spells apply
for View All.

SET AIR/EARTH/FIRE/WATER GUARDIAN
What a coincidence... number 13 :-) As it stands now this spell is more of
a liability than something helpful. With the current bug (hopefully fixed
by the 1.2. patch), you cast this to protect your mines, the enemy hero
comes along with his big army, captures the mine and your own Elementals
now guard the mine against you. How nice ;-) I will probably rate it higher
when the patch comes out but not a LOT higher.
Update : The terrible bug exposed in the previous paragraph has been fixed
by the latest patch. Unfortunately, I still don't like or cast those kind
of spells very much. The cost is too high (15 spell points !) and the
results are not that great. As for Haunt, it can be useful if you really
want to stop a certain opponent from getting resources from a certain type
of mine (ex : sulfur for a Warlock). Contrary to Haunt, the mine will stay
in your possession but defended by Elementals against any opponent who
would dare to take it. If you're being invaded or suspect you'll get
invaded by strong attackers, Set Elemental Guardian is a nice way to keep
your mines. Of course, you would have to setup those protections BEFORE the
enemies steal your mines and forces you to flee or stay in your castle.
Those spells are more rare than others of the same level.

--Level 5--
-----------

TOWN PORTAL
Imho, the best spell in the HOMM 2 game.  It will teleport you to *ANY* of
your own towns.  This spell is so powerful that when you get it, the game
is pratically finished for your adversaries. The designers probably know
this too because they made this spell so rare.  In all the games I've
played, I've gotten Town Portal a grand total of only 2 times! With a high-
level spellcasting hero you teleport from one castle to the next, taking
the best troops in each. You're almost dead and deep in enemy territory,
you cast Town Portal and your hero is saved.  You have your killer army
exploring far away from the front and one of your weaker castles there is
about to be captured ? Simple, you teleport inside the attacked town at the
last possible moment and trounce the surprised enemy. You need to get a
particular spell from one of your faraway castles ? Again you're only a
little Town Portal away.  You need to get from one point of an extra large
map to another in a hurry ? Chances are that you have a nearby castle that
can save you days or weeks of slow ground travel. This spell eliminates
distances and permits you to leave almost of your castles practically
undefended. The only thing to watch for is the number of spell points you
currently have.  Of course, you also need to have scouted the map
beforehand and control more than 1 castle for Town Portal to be useful ;-)

DIMENSION DOOR
The 5th-level spell that costs the least. You also need a hero with a very
high knowledge rating to make the most of it. Dimension Door can serve most
of the same kinds of functions than Town Portal but with a little more
difficulty.  Any hero in trouble can teleport himself away from danger.
Your best army can still reach the undersieged castle in good time (not
true if it's too far away). Dimension Door can sometimes teleport you in
treasure-rich areas protected by monsters otherwise too strong for you. It
can also make you reach otherwise inaccessible parts of the maps. You don't
have to take the big detour anymore to pass the great chain of mountains.
You can pass it easily by teleporting. This spell generally saves you a lot
of travel time. Teleporting next to wells is really a "must" when using
Dimension Door. When there are no wells present and you are almost out of
spell points, go to your nearest castle and stay the night. A high
Logistics skill and items that increase your movement (like Boots) permit
you to cast Dimension Door more often. In theory, if you found a well each
time you were almost out of spell points, you could traverse the length of
the map in a matter of days.

RESURRECT TRUE
This is the best combat "defensive" spell you can get... since the best
protection is not dying permanently :-) I usually cast it on my best and/or
most useful stack (4th-level monsters or higher). Since the computer enemy
really likes to attack your shooters, you will probably end up
"resurrecting" those kind of stacks more often. Calcutate the numbers of
possible resurrected troops before casting it by multiplying the Spell
Power rating of your hero by 50x. For example, a Warlock with 20 spell
points will resurrect for 1000 hit points of dead troops. In other words,
it could be 3 Titans, 16 Ogre Lords or 100 Rangers. This spell, possibly
combined with Mirror Image, makes your Titans better than Dragons. Please
note that Dragons (unfortunately) cannot benefit from any spells because
they are immune to all magic. Remember also that the Necromancer can also
create more skeletons with his necromancy skill and that Vampire Lords in
sufficient numbers can regenerate their numbers while in combat. Animate
Dead costs 5 points less to cast than Resurrect True but only works on
undead troops. On the other hand, Resurrect and Resurrect True work on all
living creatures except Dragons but not on undead.

ARMAGEDDON
Extremely useful with Dragons.. much less useful when you have other
troops. The Dragon-Armageddon combo is something all advanced HOMM 2
players should know about. For those who are in the dark about this
excellent strategy, here's how it works: You give only Dragons (preferably
Blacks) to your hero who has expert wisdom and lots of spell points. Since
the Dragons are immune to magic, your super-spellcaster can cast Armageddon
to his heart's content (at least until you run out of spell points) without
losing any troops ! The only way you can lose a few of your Dragons is if
the opponent has a much, much bigger and better army than yours, if he has
Dragons too or if he casts Anti-Magic on his highest-level monster stack.
This won't happen very often (if ever) against computer opponents but watch
out against sneaky human adversaries :-) The 2 other uses for this spell
are good if you don't have Dragons in your army. In the first HOMM 1 game,
you could hire a lot of Warlocks and make them do kamikaze attacks (with
one very fast unit) on the huge enemy army approaching your castle. It was
a great way to weaken an otherwise invincible army into more manageable
numbers if you had lots of gold. Well in HOMM 2, it's not so easy
anymore... The best you can hire as a starting spellcaster is a hero with
advanced wisdom which is not enough to cast Armageddon. There's always the
option of kamikazing a mid-level hero with expert wisdom but I consider
this a waste.  Don't despair, there is still hope. You can use Elemental
Storm as a substitute if you're lucky enough to get it :-) There's also the
option of casting Anti-Magic on your best stack and Armageddon on the
second turn. See part 4 of this guide for the Phoenix-Storm combo and the
Holy Shout-Living Troops combo.

SUMMON ELEMENTAL
Quite a good spell but also the most expensive one to cast. Getting the
Elemental-friendly items are a great help.  As for most of the level-5
spells, the effectiveness of Summon Elemental is directly related to the
Spell Power rating of your hero. This spell is almost as rare as Town
Portal. I won't go into all the different immunities and weaknesses of the
different elementals but be aware of them. With luck, you can use a mass-
destruction spell combo or get a much-needed spell immunity with the kind
of elementals you manage to get. Examples of Elemental-Destructive Spell
combos are : Air-Meteor Shower (you keep your Elemental stack close to a
majority of enemy stacks), Earth-Chain Lightning, Fire-Fireblast (not very
good) and Water-Cold Ring (just a joke :-). Keep in mind that ALL
Elementals are immune to ALL mind spells. I'm not sure about this but I
think the AI has a tendancy to attack the Elemental stacks first (after
your shooters). Casting 2 or more Summon Elementals in the same combat can
definitely "stack" the odds in your favor. Here is a handy little chart for
determining which elemental is immune to which spell :

ELEMENTAL TYPE = SPELL IMMUNITIES

EARTH           = Lightning, Chain Lightning, Meteor Shower
AIR             = Meteor Shower
FIRE            = Fireball, Fireblast
WATER           = Cold Ray, Cold Ring

MIRROR IMAGE
Also a very good spell which could have been rated much higher. Level-5
spells ratings are mostly a matter of personal preference so please don't
flame me too much :-). I use Mirror-Image on my best and/or highest level
creature stack (usually Titans, Phoenix or Bone Dragons) with the possible
exception of sometimes casting it on a huge stack of shooters or flyers
which are fast and can attack first. Timing is everything on this spell,
because you don't want the enemy to dispel it with one lousy shot or spell
:-) Raymond Bingham explains the issues of Mirror-Image timing better than
I do.. so please read his comments. Another less-well known usage of this
spell is as an enemy attack "magnet". The AI will usually attack the
mirror-imaged stack before the real one. This is especially useful on the
first turn of a battle, casted on your best shooter stack which will
receive most of the attacks. At the very least, it could save you from the
attack of 1 big enemy stack. Of course, this little tip doesn't work so
well against human opponents.

HYPNOTIZE
This one wins The Quebec Dragon Most Useless and Overrated Spell Award !
When I get Hypnotize in my only 5th-level spot after all the time and
resources it took to get to the 5th-level mage guild... I cringe in disgust
:-) In fact, I prefer Berserk over Hypnotize. Berserk will work on almost
every unit, Hypnotize will work only on the "lesser" units of the opponent.
Berserk is a 4th-level rare spell.. Hypnotize is a 5th-level frequent
spell. Berserk usually lasts one turn, Hypnotize unfortunately lasts only
one turn too.  By the time I get Hypnotize, almost all monster stacks of
the enemy are rendered immune because of their high numbers. The fact that
I'm controlling the enemy stack for one turn doesn't make Hytpotize any
much better imho. Besides, I will always have a better spell to cast than
the "crappy" Hypnotize. The designers should really consider giving this
spell a lower-spell rating (4th level perhaps ?) or boosting its power
considerably. As it stands now, the only 2 uses I see for it are : 1)
Eliminating the turn of a stack that scares you  (better left to Blind or
Paralyse) or 2) Lowering the numbers of two stacks by attack and
retaliation (better left to a good area-effect offensive spell). If you
would like to prove me wrong about the uselessness of Hypnotize, go ahead,
I would like to hear from you...

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
VII. ARTIFACT LIST
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

It takes a really long time, but it is finally finished. Thanks to Rob
Merrit for these.

-Ammo Cart: endless ammunition for troops that shoot.
-Ankh: doubles effectiveness of resurrect and animate spells.
-Arcane Necklace of Magic: increases spell power +4.
-Armored Gauntlets of Protection: increase defense skill +1.
-Ballista of Quickness: catapult fires twice per turn.
-Black Pearl: increases spell power and knowledge +2.
-Book of Elements: doubles effectiveness of summoning spells.
-Caster's Bracelet of Magic: increases spell power +2.
-Defender Helm of Protection: increases defense skill +1.
-Divine Breastplate of Protection: increases defense skill +3.
-Dragon Sword of Dominion: increases attack skill +3.
-Elemental Ring: halves casting cost summoning spells.
-Enchanted Hourglass: extends duration spells by 2 turns.
-Endless Bag of Gold: 750 gold every day.
-Endless Cart of Ore: 1 unit of ore every day.
-Endless Cord of Wood: 1 unit of wood every day.
-Endless Pouch of Crystal: 1 unit of crystal every day.
-Endless Pouch of Gems: 1 unit of gems per day.
-Endless Pouch of Sulfur: 1 unit of sulfur every day.
-Endless Purse of Gold: 500 gold every day.
-Endless Sack of Gold: 1000 gold every day.
-Endless Vial of Mercury: 1 unit of mercury every day.
-Evercold Icicle: cold spells do 50% more damage.
-Everhot Lava Rock: fire spells do 50% more damage.
-Evil Eye: reduces casting cost of curse spells by half.
-Fire Cloak: halves damage troops take from fire spells.
-Fizbin of Misfortune: Greatly decreases morale.
-Foremost Scroll of Knowledge: increases knowledge +5.
-Four-Leaf Clover: increases luck in combat.
-Gamblers Luck Coin: Increases luck during combat.
-Giant Flail of Dominion: Increases attack skill +1
-Golden Bow: halves penalty shooting past obstacles.
-Golden Goose: 10,000 gold every day.
-Golden Horseshoe: increases luck in combat.
-Gold Watch: doubles the effectiveness of hypnotize spells.
-Hideous Mask: No wandering troops will join you.
-Holy Pendant: troops immune to curse spells.
-Ice Cloak: halves damage troops take from cold spells.
-Kinetic Pendant: troops immune to paralyze spells.
-Lighting Helm: Halves the damage done by lighting spells.
-Lightning Rod: lightning spells do 50% more damage.
-Lucky Rabbit's Foot: increases luck in combat.
-Mage's Ring of Power: increases spell power +2.
-Magic Book: allows the casting of spells.
-Major Scroll of Knowledge: increases knowledge +3.
-Medal of Courage: increases morale.
-Medal of Distinction: increases morale.
-Medal of Honor: increases morale.
-Medal of Valor: Increases morale.
-Minor Scroll of Knowledge: increases knowledge +2.
-Nomad boots of Mobility:Increases movement on land.
-Pendant of Death: troops immune to holy spells.
-Pendant of Free Will: troops immune to hypnotize spells.
-Pendant of Life: troops immune to death spells.
-Power Axe of Dominion: increases attack skill +2.
-Power Ring: returns 2 extra power points to your hero.
-Sailors' Astrolabe of Mobility: increases movement on sea.
-Skullcap: halves casting cost of mind influencing spells.
-Seeing Eye Pendant: Troops are immune to blindness spells.
-Serenity Pendant: troops immune to berserk spells.
-Snake ring: Halves the cost to case bless spells.
-Spike Helm: Increases attack and defense +1 each.
-Spike Shield: increases attack and defense skills +2.
-Statesman's Quill: reduces cost of surrender to 10% of the total
 cost of troops you have in your army.
-Stealth Shield of Protection: increases defense skill +2.
-Superior Scroll of Knowledge: increases knowledge +4.
-Tax Lien costs you 250 gold pieces per day.
-Telescope: increases terrain hero reveals by 1 extra square.
-Thunder Mace of Dominion: increases attack skill +1.
-Traveler's Boots of Mobility: increase your movement on land.
-True Compass of Mobility: increases movement on land and sea.
-Ultimate Book of Knowledge: increases knowledge +12.
-Ultimate Cloak of Protection: increases defense skill +12.
-Ultimate Crown: increases all basic skills +4.
-Ultimate Shield: increases attack and defense skills +6.
-Ultimate Staff: increases spell power and knowledge +6.
-Ultimate Sword of Dominion: increases attack skill +12.
-Ultimate Wand of Magic: increases spell power +12.
-Wand of Negation: protects troops from Dispel Magic spell.
-White Pearl: increases spell power and knowledge +1.
-Witch's Broach of Magic: increases spell power +3.
-Wizard's Hat: increases duration of spells by 10 turns.

--Artifact Classification--
---------------------------
by: Astral Wizard

Artifacts are man-made (more accurately magic-wielder-made) items that have
a particular effect or function. Artifacts can turn a barbarian into a
high-level magic-user or a sorceress into a powerful fighting unit.
Artifacts can make the most craven of hero troops gallant warriors.
Unfortunately, the wrong artifact can also drain a kingdom of gold, turn
the populace against the heros, and demoralize the best. Artifacts can be
broken down into nine basic groups...

Skill Boosters. Skill boosters come in the forms of swords, shields,
crowns, rods, scrolls, broaches, and basically just about any form you can
imagine. The lesser of these artifacts might raise one of your basic skills
(offense, defense, power, and knowledge) by one point. The larger ones can
increase one of your basic skills by up to twelve points or multiple skills
by up to six points. Possession of such artifacts can be crucial in the
first part of the game where all heroes are starting off with a lack of
specific skills. By the time the game has progressed half way, the value of
these artifacts can decrease as heroes gain high skill levels through
experience and visiting skill enhancing structures. Grab all the skill
boosters you can get, but at mid-game start trading them for protective
artifacts when you can on your more buff heroes.

Protection. Protective artifacts come in the form of amulets, rods, cloaks,
and so on; and can save you from missiles, lightning, heat, and other forms
of physical attack or magical bespellment. It never hurts to have
protection. Protective artifacts are a boon during all phases of the game
but especially so towards the end when the fire balls are big, the
lightning bolts bad, and longe-range troops are massive.

Movement Enducers. Speed Baubles (as I like to call them) give you a
greater movement each day either on land or sea or both and can be found in
form both as various footware and medallions. Do NOT sell these apparantly
low-effect items short -- they can save your hero's life or help bring aid
to an unprotected castle under siege. All terrain movement enducers are a
value through the entire game -- in the beginning they help you to "Hoover"
up the resources laying around before your opponent does; and during the
middle and end parts of the game they allow you to run away from too-tough
opponents or to get back to your castle before an opponent can attack it.
Speed baubles are a great item to have when you don't have Town Portal or
Dimension Door!

Spell Cost Reducers. Artifacts that reduce the cost of spells come in a
myriad of oddly shaped items. They allow you to cast spells using much less
spell power. So you can cast more spells before having to rest and
regenerate your mana. Since they only usually help decrease the cost of a
particular spell or spell type (ie, Bless) they are of dubious value. By
mid-game, usually your spell casters have more than enough mana to perform.

Spell Cast Enhancers. Artifacts that make your spells more destructive or
longer in duration (like the Spell Cost Reducers) come in a myriad of oddly
shaped items. They can make your lightning bolts more butch or make your
troop stopper spells (blind, paralyze, slow, etc.) last longer. Again,
spell duration enhanncers are of more benefit at the start of a game then
they are later when the spell caster's abilities automatically increase the
duration of spells. But the enhancers that make a damage spell stronger are
very important are of great value to all spell caster types.

Luck And Morale Generators. Coins, medallions, clovers, and the like make
up this group of artifacts. They counter the ill effects of having undead
in your troops or having troops of more than two alignments. You should try
to equip each of your heroes with one of each (luck and morale) whenever
possible. Don't be fooled by the whimsy of these items: They give your
troops double attacks and maximum damage... they win battles!

Resource Generators. MarketPlace In a Pouch! Resource generators provide
you with one or two units of a particular resource every day or from 500 to
10,000 gold pieces if it's a gold generating artifact. So which would you
pick up if you had a choice: Endless Pouch Of Gems or Ultimate Crown? If
you control one or more wizard castles believe it or not, you would want
the pouch. Resource generators are a big ticket item at the start of the
game when resource piles are rare and at the middle of the game when you
are building the more costlier structures. But wizard castles, warlock
castles, sorceress castles, and barbarian castles all need a constant and
large source of gems, sulfer, mercury, and crystals respectively. And the
control of these sacks, pouches, carts, and cages can be a huge factor in
the outcome of the game.

Cursed Artifacts. Luckily, these are few and far between. Basically cursed
artifacts provide you with something you DON'T want. Coming in ANY form
conceiveable, they can do anything from draining your gold on a daily basis
to preventing you from recruiting troops from home-bases. With the advent
of the expansion pak, we now have a new quasi-form of cursed artifacts --
artifacts that provide a benefit with an equal and opposite bad affect (see
the expansion pak page for details). While you will never want a truely
cursed artifact, the benefits of the quasi-cursed artifacts that provide a
blessing and a curse will have to be experienced to be rated.

Miscellaneous Artifacts. These are special artifacts that provide a unique
function that can't be included in one of the other categories. The
Statesman's Quill which allows you to surrender with a discount, the Golden
Bow which halves the penalty your long-range troops have shooting past
obstacles, and the Crystal Ball which allows you to scrye information on
nearby sites, troops, and opponents are examples of this type of non-
classed artifact. There is no blanket value on this group of artifacts.
Each artifact has a particular, unique value depending on the hero type and
circumstances.

--Rating Artifacts By Hero Type--
---------------------------------
by: Astral Wizard

The level of value that an artifact provides any particular hero not only
varies by the usual map size, terrain, type of opponents, and so on; it
also varies specially based on the hero type. Given the exact same map,
starting point, and even troops; each hero type will still require a
different set of artifacts to enhance their activity. Non-spellcaster types
such as Knights and Barbarians would require a different set of artifacts
than spellcaster types such as Wizard, Warlock, Sorceress, and Necromancer;
and the Necromancer would even require a different set of artifacts than
the other spellcaster types. This is based on the inherit difference in
skill sets of the hero types and also in the logical recruiting and
deployment of troop types. Let's look at the three basic types of heroes:
non-spellcasters, spellcasters, and necromancers (spellcasters but handled
separately due to their unique aspect).

For Any And All Heroes. Some artifacts will provide maximum benefit
regardless of which hero type is in possession of them. You can NEVER go
wrong by acquiring these artifacts!

Ultimate Crown :
 Increases ALL primary skills +4 but only takes 1 slot.
Breastplate,Helm,And Sword Of Anduran :
 Combined, these three artifacts  provide a single hero with +5 to
 attack, defense, and power as well as maximum luck and morale and the
 town gate spell while only taking up one slot!!!
Legendary Scepter:
 Increases ALL primary skills by +2 but only takes one slot.
Ultimate Shield :
 Increase both your attack and defense by +6 but only takes one slot!
Ultimate Staff :
 Increases both your spell power AND your knowledge greatly while only
 taking up one slot!
Lightning Helm :
 Halves your damage from lightning.
True Compass Of Mobility :
 Gives you extra movement everywhere.

Non-SpellCasters. Barbarians and Knights are basically non-spellcasters.
They are hired without spellbooks which is your first major clue that
spellcasting is not their forte`. Oh, sure: you can buy them books and send
them to school, but they will always be behind true spellcasters... unless
you buff them up with spell enhancing artifacts! Indeed, with the advent of
the expansion pak, we now have two methods of equalizing the spell power
difference between non-spellcasters and spellcasters.

Method Number One. Three Words: Sphere Of Negation! This one little
artifact truely makes the combat totally fair between Barbarian and
Necromancer... between Knight and Warlock! It prevents all use of magic
spells during combat. I believe this artifact will become the "Holy Grail"
for all Barbarian and Knight hero types in any map from now on. No longer
will the Barbarian or Knight need to worry about Armaggedon, Elemental
Storm, or Chained Lightning taking out the majority of their troops. Now
(pardon the expression, Ladies) it's a real man's fight with sword and
arrow, tooth and claw. With magic out of the picture, the Barbarian's and
Knight's troops can leverage their natural offensive and defensive
attributes into a powerhouse army. In fact, if you have the Sphere Of
Negation, then you don't need to pick up ANY spell enhancing artifacts for
that particular hero. Indeed, you want to avoid them and go for the offense
and defense enhancing artifacts. Magic is now a non-issue and it comes down
to sheer phsyical strength and numbers. Load such a hero up with offense
and defense artifacts, mobility artifacts, and luck and morale artifacts!

Method Number Two: But if the Sphere Of Negation is not to be found for a
particular Barbarian or Knight hero, then what? Then you need to get four
things: elevated spell power, elevated knowledge, expert Wisdom (a
secondary skill), and... spells! And you need to get them fast! Wisdom
comes from experience. Spells come from mage guilds, shrines, and (thanks
to the expansion pak) singleton scrolls. No problem. But where does the
elevated spell power and knowledge come from? A little from experience and
training. A lot from artifacts. And as the Barbarian or Knight hero roams
the land, they should be concentrating on finding spell enhancing
artifacts. Don't worry that much about offense and defense: those are
natural skills that increase rapidly in Barbarian and Knight hero types and
are abundantly enhanced by the natural attributes of the type of troops
these hero types usually command.

Go for spell power and knowledge enhancing artifacts first. Once your
Barbarian and Knight heroes have achieved a certain level of spell power
and knowledge, they should then begin concentrating on getting their wisdom
increased so that they can use the medium and high-level spells. Protection
and luck/morale are of equal benefit and should be concentrated on at mid-
game as the action gets hot and the combat gets tough.

What artifacts would particularly suit a Barbarian or Knight hero (if they
don't have the Sphere Of Negation)? For spell power and knowledge... It is
best to boost your spell knowledge first so any artifact that increases
spell knowledge is of major benefit since it keeps you from having to
return to a castle or magic well repeatedly.

Any knowledge scroll -- they increase your knowledge from +2 to +5 so you
can cast more spells.
The Pearls -- they each increase both your spell power and your knowledge
but only take up one slot each.
Enchanted Hourglass -- it increases the duration of your spells.

For protection... All protection artifacts are of sound benefit with the
exception of the Pendant Of Death. Picking up ANY protection artifact is
going to help you. But these four I think provide the most aid to
Barbarians and Knights.

Holy Pendant -- protects you from curse spells so that your bless spells
can boost you to victory!
Serenity Pendant -- makes you immune to bezerk spells.
Pendant Of Life -- makes you immune to death spells.

Miscellaneous enhancements that will help the Knight or Barbarian hero once
he or she has built up their spell power, knowledge, and protection provide
an almost equally important boost to the hero's personae.

Snake Ring -- halves the cost of Bless spells... a blessed Crusader stack
is a serious thing!
Any luck artifact -- gives you extra damage on your attacks.
Any morale artifact -- gives your troops extra turns.
Masthead -- gives you both luck and morale benefits at sea and is great for
maps that have large water terrain areas.

True-SpellCasters. Sorceresses, Wizards, Warlocks, and Necromancers make up
the category of spellcasters. You won't find a true spellcaster without his
or her spellbook. Why not? Because without spells, the true spellcaster is
a feeb! Oh, sure: you can send them to boot camp and make them watch Jake;
but point for point, they will always be behind the Barbarians and Knights
when it comes to attack and defense. Unless you pump up their physical
skills by training, experience, AND...? Right! And artifacts!

But not just any artifacts! Spellcasters need defense more than any thing
else! The very first thing that spellcasters should begin to do as they
seek out training structures to increase ALL their skills is to find
defense artifacts to increase their immunity to physical attacks. Dull the
edge of sword and arrow, blunt the point of tooth and claw. You are already
ahead of the non-spellcasters in spell power and knowledge; but that does
you no good if you get few chances to cast your spells. At mid-game, seek
spell power and knowledge boosters as well as luck and morale boosters. The
spells you are acquiring at this point are greatly enhanced by spell power
(Chained Lightning and Fireblast) and knowledge lets you make longer
forays. The luck and morale boosters now start to increase your attack
capabilities by giving you extra turns and full damage. In the final
stages, seek real attack artifacts so that on the final big battles you are
insured of making your physical attacks do as much damage as your heavy
spells.

What artifacts would particularly suit a Sorceress, Wizard, or Warlock
(I'll leave Necromancers for their own section)?

For defense... It is best to boost your defense first so any artifact that
increases defense is of major benefit since it keeps your troops alive
longer in battle.

Spiked Shield -- increases both your defense and attack by +2 and only
takes one slot.
Sword Breaker -- increases your defense by +4 and your attack by +1.
Divine Breastplate of Protection -- increases your defense by +3.

For spell power and knowledge... Any booster of this type picked up by a
spellcaster will turn them from a dangerous spellcaster into a deadly
spellcaster. But these listed here provide the best overall benefit to the
spellcaster.

Any knowledge scroll -- they increase your knowledge from +2 to +5 so you
can cast more spells.
The Pearls -- they each increase both your spell power and your knowledge
but only take up one slot each.

For attack... All attack artifacts are of sound benefit. Picking up ANY
attack artifact is going to help you. But these four I think provide the
most aid to spellcasters.

Holy Hammer -- increases your attack by +5.
Sword Of Anduran -- increases your attack by +5.
Dragon Sword Of Dominion -- increases your attack by +3.
Power Axe Of Dominion -- increases your attack by +2.

For protection... The same artifacts that provide the best benefit to
Barbarians and Knights also provide the best protection to Sorceresses,
Wizards, and Warlocks.

Holy Pendant -- protects you from curse spells so that your bless spells
can boost you to victory!
Serenity Pendant -- makes you immune to bezerk spells.
Pendant Of Life -- makes you immune to death spells.

Miscellaneous enhancements that will help the true spellcaster differ
slightly from those that help the non-spellcaster.

Power Ring -- restores +2 spell points per turn.
Any luck artifact -- gives you extra damage on your attacks.
Any morale artifact -- gives your troops extra turns.
Masthead -- gives you both luck and morale benefits at sea and is great for
maps that have large water terrain areas.

Necromancers. The Necromancer is basically an aggressive spell-caster --
aggressive meaning that the normal Necromancer starts out with one attack
point whereas the other spell-casters don't. This means very little in the
over all game.

However, the Necromancer has special skill that needs to be cultivated and
exploited. This skill is the Necromancy skill. This skill allows the
Necromantic Hero to turn the combat dead into skeletons. This is no small
thing -- although skeletons are the least of the minions of the Necromantic
Hero, in hordes they are quite deadly.

The Necromancer will want to acquire the same artifacts that the normal
spell-casters do for the same reason. In addition, two artifacts that are a
must have (when available) for the Necromancer are:

Arm of The Martyr (+3 to spell power, and the necromancer laughs at the
undead morale penalty)
Gravedigger's Shovel (increases the necromancy skill by 10%)
Evaluating the Worthiness of an Artifact

Now having listed out what I consider to be some "must have" artifacts for
each hero type, I'd like to challenge my own statement: "Must have"?
Really??? A Player asked this question last week: "I came across an
artifact that I could purchase for 3,000 gold pieces and five gems. I
didn't take it. Should I have?" The answer to that question is a resounding
and definite "Maybe!... Maybe not...!"

Normally, you acquire an artifact by just "finding" it, fighting a guardian
or a pack of scalywags for it, winning it off a defeated opponent, or
through an event. But sometimes one of these annoying little leprechauns
goes retail and tries to sell you an artifact. Whether you should purchase
it or not depends on the artifact AND the situation.

First of all, if the artifact offered is a relatively useless artifact then
skip it? What constitutes a useless artifact? A morale booster is useless
if your heroes all have expert leadership and are already carrying morale
boosting artifacts. An endless pouch or sack of anything is useless if all
of your castles are completely built and you don't need the particular
resouce (for instance, it's the Endless Pouch Of Gems and you only control
totally completed Knight's castles). Statesman's Quill is useless if you
never surrender. I'm sure you'll find other situations where an evaluation
of the state of the union tells you that you don't really need this
particular artifact at this particular time for this particular map
scenario.

But what if the artifact is extremely good and you really need it for a
hero? Evaluate that need with the needs of your current castles'
development and your control of resources. Do you still have critical
castle structures to build? For instance, are you only at Level 3 on your
Mage Guilds and you have only one or none of the mines that produce the
resource that is required to purchase the artifact? Don't do it. Do you
have no control of any mines that will replenish the resource cost used to
purchase the artifact? Don't do it. Is it asking for gems, sulfur, mercury,
or crystals and you control a wizard's castle, warlock's castle, sorceress'
castle, or barbarian's castle, respectively? Don't do it. Did one of the
opponent's heroes just waltz into your view with a few dragons in his
troops while you're still excited over having just built your basic ivory
tower? You're in trouble! Forget the silly artifact and get that castle
built!!

And the final consideration (for now) in determining whether to acquire an
artifact whether you purchase it or just pick it up is this: You can't drop
artifacts. You are limited to the number of artifacts your heroes can hold.
It doesn't matter if the artifact is free, if it takes up a crucial slot
that a better artifact could have taken. Consider this: would you rather
have the Ultimate Crown or the Endless Cord Of Wood? As your heroes'
artifact slots begin to fill up, begin getting more picky about what
artifacts you acquire and ignore the lessor ones. Shop smart!

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
VIII. GENERAL TIPS
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

* Exploring your vicinity
In most cases it is very wise to purchase at least one more hero to
your starting one. Of course, if you have an observation tower in front of
your castle and can see from there that all ways out are blocked by some
stronger armies and you only have a little space to explore, a second hero
won't be needed... yet.
* Main advantages of two-heroes exploration:
  -In early stage - that 'round the castle' exploration - you will
   usually profit from having two heroes by having more goodies gathered
   quicker. Applies to mines, resources, artifacts and even the fact of
   uncovering the map. [More heroes can be used, if your financial
   situation seems good and exploration is possible. These guys usually
   pay back quite soon.]
  -Further in the game, when you assemble a task force strong enough to
   go after your enemy, a second guy in backup can be used for several
   things:
    1.takes care of resources, mines and full exploration of conquered
      land (here I often purchase new heroes at conquered castles,
      because within a few days the money is back in resources from
      taken mines.)
    2.holds backup armies for your main hero
    3.can build up quite solid experience
    4.can take out some of the wandering armies
    5.can take care of some minor enemy heroes/towns
* How to select your primary/secondary hero?
With the exception of necromancer, there's no need at all to use a hero
corresponding with the castle class (and even with the necro castle, you
should consider buying another type if there's not any large quantities
of skeleton reserves scattered around the map). How to make your choice?
  -Primary hero:
   * Knight
   for both quick and long tasks. Should be definitely chosen in cases
   where magic resources are very scarce. In later phases the knights
   develop significant skills in magic, too, but their main advantage is
   very strong defense, closely followed by attack. Very good for
   walker-based armies due to Ballistics and Leadership, but since they
   get archery pretty often, even shooter-based task forces will be glad
   to be under a knight's command.
   * Barbarian
   for both quick and long tasks. Should be definitely chosen in cases
   where magic resources are very scarce. The barbarian's magic skills
   will remain puny without artifacts. Their main advantage is
   definitely attack. The defense can remain surprisingly low for Might
   class hero. Excellent in rough terrain, they guarantee quick
   exploration and also outrunning your enemies (both offensive and
   defensive ;-)).
   * Sorceress
   For quick and mid-term games. Their Navigation makes them a must for
   water-based maps. With excellent knowledge and fair spell power
   they're good ones to rely on Summon Elemental spells in battle. If
   you manage to get some direct damage spells, they can gain quick
   victories on their Might opponents, but in the long term, they lose
   to their strength, unless they happen to get high-tech spells. (This
   is common for all magic heroes - and the high-tech spells are
   berzerker, mirror image and ressurecting, possibly global damage
   spells - but at those the sorceress isn't that good due to lower
   spell power.) The remarkably high knowledge is very important in
   longer journeys in unexplored lands.
   * Warlock
   If you're gonna to gain access to your opponents quickly and if
   their forces are weak, you can take a warlock and bet on spells. His
   early Spell Power dominance with slight positive inclination to
   attack skill gives opportunity to teach enemies lessons in direct
   damage spells from 2nd level Mage guild, which can be built easily in
   most cases. In the long term, they lose to strong Might heroes with
   strong magic troops ;-)
   * Wizard
   Being a good compromise between Sorceress and Warlock, their magic
   abilities are quite reliable, with little inclination to defense.
   Combine comments on those classes and bear in mind that the wizard is
   worse than them in their primary positive, yet better in their
   negative ;-). In the long term, they lose to strong Might heroes.
   * Necromancer
   They are of little use as main heroes with living armies. However,
   if there are significant numbers of skeleton-providing low-level
   armies, it might pay back well to pick a necromancer. Within a few
   levels gained from chests and gazebos, his Necromancy skill should
   improve to Expert and then it's time to get some armies. Gaining more
   levels to A/D than other spell casters, necros aren't that vulnerable
   in battles, while still profit from quite strong spells. In the long
   term, they lose to strong Might heroes, unless their skeleton hordes
   are in four-digit values - this depends strongly on the particular
   map.

To sum and extend those comments on heroes, a few notes of my personal
experience follow:
   If you plan using high-end magic, make your main hero a spellcaster.
 However, if you plan a long-term campaign with huge armies involved,
 you'd better choose a knight or barbarian, depending on the chosen
 strategy, terrain, number of castles and available troop types. Maps
 with easy terrain, close strong opponents (and therefore defensive
 strategy), lots of castles and scarce resources (and therefore weaker
 armies in low counts) a knight is better, while distant enemies, rough
 terrain and numerous armies suit the barbarian.)
 Having a sorceress in sea-rich scenarios gives you great advantage -
 gathering resources, artifacts and events before the enemy may well
 help you win a map.
   Wizard's wisdom may be useful with some potent spells like Berzerker,
 which is the best way using enemies' own power against them.
 Necromancer may be worth it if large amounts of skeleton producing
 wandering armies are located nearby - the recruited skeletons make
 excellent garrison troops.
 My usual practice is to hire a Barbarian (unless I'm sure I'll need a
 knight to defend frontier castles) and concentrate the experience with
 him. In many cases I manage to get Wisdom, so I can use some good
 spells from captured castles. However, Knight heroes have greater
 probability of acquiring wisdom, spell power and, which is the most
 important, knowledge.
   The barbarian should also try hard to get Archery and possibly
 Ballistics, as the shooters aren't strong enough to rely exclusively on
 them, especially against shooter based opponents as Wizard or
 Sorceress).
   This concept of relying on the Might in the Long Run has only a few
 holes, but those do NOT apply to games against AI. The holes are
 Paralyze and especially Berzerker. With those spells, a good
 spellcaster can kick your butt. You'll need to be careful with casting.
   The only good remedy is those pendants that protect against these.
 Oh,well,if the opponent makes a mistake and gives you an opportunity to
 dispel those spells, DO that! (Best by using AntiMagic.)
   Direct damage spells (maybe except Armageddon) aren't a big threat,
 because with large armies the damage caused by those can be compensated
 by supportive spells on your troops - I.e. Bless on 30 crusaders gives
 an average of +300 damage - equal to Spell Power 12 Lightning Bolt,
 Mass Bless on whole army giving even better results compared to
 ChainLightning.
   The only things that I miss when playing Might heroes is making long
 journeys using Dimension Door, but a) even that sometimes gets
 possible, b) anyway, after some tens of games won by DDing around, this
 thing becomes boring, as it spoils most of the challenge.

Note that in Ways of ... particular hero classes, there are common
strategies to use when fighting other heroes. Those of course mean fighting
armies belonging to that particular hero type. All those strategies assume
all those armies included in the battle (for nit-pickers: five out of six
possible, by best choice under particular circumstances...). If there's any
army missing, the strategies must be reworked to reflect that. If there's
any army added (from other castle types or neutral troops), the strategies
must be reworked. Since there are way too many combinations, I'm not gonna
do that.

Getting secondary skills:
Check Way of particular class to see which skills suit the best your troops
and strategies. There are some general rules to follow. See description of
advanced skills below for most of them. Many of the skills are just
generally good (Luck,Leadership) while others are case-specific (Mysticism,
Wisdom, Logistics, Ballistics) where the conditions cover anything from Map
size, number of castles, type of main hero, type of most used troops,
amounts of resources available and all other things up to terrain types. Of
course, the hero class is very important. I.e. Leadership and Luck provide
much better advantage to Might Heroes, whose troop damage ratings (that
profit from their skills) are generally high. On the other hand, for a
spell caster skills like Mysticism and Expert Wisdom are a must, because
those expand his strong features.
   -Secondary hero:
    * Knight
    Used mainly for defensive purpose - if you need a hero to command
    the garisson of a beseieged castle (and don't have any strong spells
    in there), use a knight. For active usage there's about nothing
    significantly good.
    * Barbarian
    Can be as well used for defense instead of knight, but in rough
    terrain makes an excellent resource gatherer - the kind that runs
    between all the weekly-available sources of anything. If your main
    guy is a barbarian, try to get another one to accompany him on the
    long journeys, picking up all the resources etc. (If your backup guy
    doesn't keep the pace up with the main one, he kinda loses his
    importance in the two-hero strategy.)
    * Sorceress
    Use whenever high seas are close - try to improve navigation quickly
    in gazebos etc. and rush out to pick up all that floats on the high
    waters before your enemies can do so. No other real use.
    * Warlock
    Use in very early stages as explorer. Leave him only his gargoyles
    and let him to help reveal the map. Try to get Expert scouting ASAP
    to improve his performance.
    * Wizard
    Of no much use. The only good thing is that the hero comes bundled
    with a few boars and therefore can reach good speed simply by
    dismissing the halflings.
    * Necromancer
    Of almost no use. Comes with slow units and no particular good
    skill. However, if you have tons of peasants and other low-level
    skeleton-providing scum in vicinity, you can take a necro, get a few
    levels to improve necromany, then, before shuttling one or two weeks
    of castle production to your main hero, wipe out these armies and
    use the skeletons - either with the necro as his main troops or with
    the main hero as an improvement to his strike force (if he has some
    leadership)).

  I personally prefer to take warlocks as secondary, unless I need
barbarian (due to terrain) or unless I need to get more troops for the
primary hero, in which case I take the same class (which is always
offered in first week). Why warlock? Ideal for exploration - has
Scouting and Very fast units at start - can even share the gargoyles
with the main hero, thus giving me two swift explorers at the very
start.
  When your secondary heroes happen to gain levels, bear in mind that
really important among secondary skills are movement skills -
Logistics, Pathfinding and Navigation (only when can be applied,
though), Scouting and Estates.
  Also remember that the two-hero strategy doesn't implicate use of ONLY
two heroes, but AT LEAST two heroes. The larger the map, the more
heroes may be used.
  The so-called backup guy should be taking his share of experience.
Especially later, when the main hero will need large amounts of
experience to advance, it's usually better to let the chests to the
backup guy, because he'll profit them much more. The only exception
should be the case when the main guy desperately NEEDS to upgrade some
advanced skills.)
  The main purposes of the backup guy are carrying reinforcements,
killing minor enemies and wandering armies and sometimes possibly
softening up enemy resistance, even at the cost of sacrificing himself.
If the secondary hero survives, he might often 'inherit' all the main
hero's armies - especially if you happen to capture enemy castle with
some 6th level troops left inside unpurchased. In that case the main
hero buys all the big guys and those often carry more firepower that
his entire regular army. In this moment, the backup guy becomes sort of
another main hero and at those moments you really appreciate that
you've already let him to get some levels.)
  [Or, if he's still pretty weak, you might consider giving HIM the
dragons, who tend to take minimal losses, grab some quick experience by
defeating wandering armies etc. - and later switch the armies. This
applies in cases where the main hero's army relies very much on his
skills and with the weak secondary guy would suffer many losses.]
There might be a bunch of 'tertiary' heroes that can take care of
collecting resources, gold and armies from self-refilling sources
(usually one hero can do that easily) and for shuttling reinforcements
to the front lines. Those guys need no experience, but should (if that
doesn't mean BIG delays) visit gazebos and possibly trees of knowledge
(if they're for free) to try and get scouting, logistics or estates).

* Task sharing between the heroes:
The main hero should spend his time doing only things that number two
cannot do himself. The former are usually battling armies, getting
artifacts and treasure chests, while the latter are usually occupying
mines, picking up resources and exploring Witch huts. Of course, things
like visiting gazebos and other skill increasing facilities are common.
One more thing should the second guy do - probe trees of knowledge,
because they're more valuable later in the game and you don't want to
waste their potential in the beginning.

* Experience and advancement handling:
  -In witch huts you can get random Basic skill. [Random in sense that
  level creator cannot affect which skill will it be, but every time the
  level is started, the skill is set and remains the same for the single
  playtime.] So, the backup hero has one important role: If your main
  guy still has some secondary skill slots free, his friend will check
  every witch hut and sacrifice his free slots to learn, what the hut
  has to offer.
  -Treasure chests and other sources of experience. As the experience
  needed to gain a level rises with levels already gained, it is pretty
  obvious, that if you have a hero with some 40000 exp. and his backup
  guy has some 3000 from temples only, then when ever you run into a
  treasure chest, you'd better take it by the second guy... Coz getting
  another +1 skill for your main guy is usually not as good, as getting
  some +6 for the same price... Okay, sometimes you take them with the
  main guy, because you desperately need some advanced skill to be
  upgraded... [Here I strongly recommend checking every now and then,
  how much the hero needs to advance to next level. Even with 100000+
  experience points, the hero sometimes is just a 'chest-far' from next
  level.
  -The same thing comes with wandering armies... If the backup guy can
  take them out, let him do it and leave only hard targets to your main
  guy. There is one exception... If the main guy has a strong army, it
  is a good strategy to leave him one empty stack when touring the
  landscape... (The backup guy will carry the fifth army in case it
  would be needed for a castle siege or enemy hero onslaught). Thus,
  wandering armies can join you. So, if you happen to have a force
  strong enough to defeat any wandering army, approach those you'd like
  to join you (or buy, having advanced/expert diplomacy) with the main
  guy. If they will join you, you can either use them immediately or
  give them to the backup guy, if they don't fit for the main guy's
  alignment, combat style or speed. Those armies can be then used by the
  backup guy as forces to kill other wandering armies and towns for
  experience, and later maybe to be left as garrisons in captured
  castles and towns (ogres and hydras are excellent for this purpose,
  because their high HPs will either prevent any weaker heroes from
  attacking your towns or, at least, cause some losses to enemy armies.)
  -One more comment on treasure chests - always bear in mind that they
  are also a good source of GOLD! If you plan to rely in diplomacy or
  build very expensive structures, it's worth it to take gold with the
  secondary heroes.
  -Also, if your secondary hero explores a closed area that you don't
  want to visit with the main guy (maybe there's nothing important
  except a few chests, or he's in a hurry to somewhere else), you might
  grab gold or exp. with the secondary guy even at early stages of the
  game, where the main hero could profit them, but it'd cost too much
  time.
  -Daemon caves are a bit tricky thing... If you enter and fight the
  daemon servants, usually there are about 10 earth elementals, after
  whose defeat you get usually 2500 gold. Refusing to fight them, you
  risk one of four possibilities (getting the gold and 1000 exp, getting
  the exp. only, losing 2500 gold (the hero dies if you don't have 2500)
  or receiving some gold and an artifact), that generally are much
  better.
  -All other sources of experience and skills can be used by more heroes
  (temple, stonehenge, witch doctor hut, mercenary camp, fortress, arena
  and tree of knowledge, which has the same price for all heroes(decided
  at startup, can be nothing, 10 gems or 2000 gold)). In case that a
  Tree of Knowledge wants no payment, the level advancement is done
  immediately (which is why it's better to try those with the backup
  guys first, because using a tree of knowledge before you already have
  some 50000 exp. is a real waste.)
  -EP features Harpyas - a good way how to transform useless armies to
  exp. points. [If you have tons of cash or just some armies you won't
  need, give them to a hero, who has a little experience, and send him
  there. Harpyas will slaughter some of his armies and reward him with
  exp. totalling the sum of slaughtered armies' HPs.Ideal for dismissing
  joint golems, ogres, hydras and other (usually useless) stuff. Can get
  you a few levels for a beginner hero. Generally not of much use, but
  it's there and works alright. And, sometimes this helps human players,
  because computer heroes sometimes visit harpyas with their main armies
  and thus make your job of killing them later easier.

* Artifacts
  Always take time to sort the artifacts you have and have the least
possible number of them with your main hero... All spell-protective
amulets have gained on importance as the AI in it's latest upgraded
version has started using spells like Paralyze and Blind frequently. In
older versions, it never did so and those artifacts were just wasting
space. And, remember one thing - those artifacts will protect you even
from special ability attacks that are similar to the spells - both
Unicorns and Cyclopes will NOT be able to inflict their special spells on
your troops.
  So, give those to the backup hero, along with all resource-or-gold-
providing artifacts. That leaves artifacts improving basic skills, morale,
luck and movement. And even then, if you're readying to capture a strong
enemy hero (best in his castle, so he can't flee), think a lot about which
ones you could miss for that fight, coz you might salvage much better ones
from the enemy. (Usually you won't need magical artifacts with
knights/barbarians and sometimes A/D artifacts with spellcasters that plan
to rely on their strong magic...
  Also some morale and luck stuff can be missed for that battle, not
mentioning movement artifacts.) Don't hesitate to get rid of unwanted
artifacts by sacrificing a hero to enemy [if you wish to pass the artifact
to enemy - good with tax lien, hideous mask and magical stuff like broach
of shielding and hearts of ice and cold, depending on what spells do you
have ;-)] or just dismissing him and hiring another one. I often even hire
a hero to be dismissed with the negative stuff. NWC should have made
negative artifacts stick to the hero... as it was in the original HOMM.

* Movement rules
  The total movement points of your hero depend not only on his skills, but
on his armies, too, and the difference is 4 movement points between very
slow and very fast armies. (Always matters the slowest army, in case you
didn't figure it out). So leave hydras, ogres, dwarven armies and possibly
orcs and archers at home, unless you'll really need them. The additional
movement points may often be the only difference between life and death,
i.e. if you run across an enemy hero with large army during your
exploration and he starts right after you.
  Just came to my mind that this could be a good way to waste your
opponent's time - once the enemy wanders onto the edge of your territory,
get close enough to him to let him see you. But be sure to have very fast
armies, possibly logistics or a movement increasing artifact... and every
turn, keep just a few steps ahead of him... And run around the map, wasting
the time of the powerful enemy army...
  Also, use always appropriate heroes! If you've got a ship and vast seas
to conquer, buy a sorceress, try to get her some levels to improve her
nagivation to expert, dismiss her dwarves and here we go. (The dismissed
dwarves won't speed up her sailing, but she'll have two extra movement
points for land duties - and those can often save her a whole day if she
can land, snatch resources and board her boat all within one turn. Same
with barbarians exploring deserts, swamps etc. - leave orcs in castle, try
to get expert pathfinding.

* Advanced skills overview

        ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄ¿
        ³ Primary Skill Advancement ³     ³     ³     ³     ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Hero on levels            ³ A   ³ D   ³ SP  ³ K   ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Barbarian 2-9             ³ 55% ³ 35% ³ 5%  ³ 5%  ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Barbarian 10+             ³ 30% ³ 30% ³ 20% ³ 20% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Knight 2-9                ³ 35% ³ 45% ³ 10% ³ 10% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Knight 10+                ³ 25% ³ 25% ³ 25% ³ 25% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Necromancer 2-9           ³ 15% ³ 15% ³ 35% ³ 35% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Necromancer 10+           ³ 25% ³ 25% ³ 25% ³ 25% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Sorceress 2-9             ³ 10% ³ 10% ³ 30% ³ 50% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Sorceress 10+             ³ 20% ³ 20% ³ 30% ³ 30% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Warlock 2-9               ³ 10% ³ 10% ³ 50% ³ 30% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Warlock 10+               ³ 20% ³ 20% ³ 30% ³ 30% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Wizard 2-9                ³ 10% ³ 10% ³ 40% ³ 40% ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Wizard 10+                ³ 20% ³ 20% ³ 30% ³ 30% ³
        ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÙ

   ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
   ³ Secondary Skill Advancement                                    ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ The higher the number, the higher the chance that the skill    ³
   ³ will be available to learn; the lower the number, the lower the³
   ³ chance that the skill will be available (a 0 means no chance)  ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Skill                     ³ Barb ³ Kn ³ Nec ³ Sorc ³ War ³ Wiz ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Archery                   ³ 3    ³ 2  ³ 1   ³ 3    ³ 1   ³ 1   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Ballistics                ³ 3    ³ 4  ³ 3   ³ 3    ³ 3   ³ 3   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Diplomacy                 ³ 2    ³ 3  ³ 2   ³ 2    ³ 2   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Eagle Eye                 ³ 1    ³ 1  ³ 3   ³ 2    ³ 3   ³ 3   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Estates                   ³ 2    ³ 3  ³ 2   ³ 2    ³ 2   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Leadership                ³ 3    ³ 5  ³ 0   ³ 1    ³ 1   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Logistics                 ³ 3    ³ 3  ³ 2   ³ 2    ³ 2   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Luck                      ³ 2    ³ 1  ³ 1   ³ 3    ³ 1   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Mysticism                 ³ 1    ³ 1  ³ 3   ³ 3    ³ 3   ³ 4   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Navigation                ³ 3    ³ 2  ³ 2   ³ 4    ³ 2   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Necromancy                ³ 0    ³ 0  ³ 5   ³ 0    ³ 1   ³ 0   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Pathfinding               ³ 4    ³ 3  ³ 3   ³ 2    ³ 2   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Scouting                  ³ 4    ³ 2  ³ 1   ³ 1    ³ 4   ³ 2   ³
   ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄ´
   ³ Wisdom                    ³ 1    ³ 2  ³ 4   ³ 4    ³ 5   ³ 5   ³
   ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÙ

Every hero has eight slots for advanced skills. Therefore you have to be
picky and choose only those you'll profit from. The simple fact that your
hero would profit from a skill doesn't mean that you want to take it...
There always could be more skills to profit from. A good example may be a
knight that gets offered Advanced Leadership and Basic Archery. A newbie
will snatch the archery, while the Pro will stop here, think about waiting
for wisdom/logistics with the free slot and therefore will take the
advanced one. This waiting is generally affordable in cases where the basic
offered to you isn't a rare skill for your hero, or in cases where you
don't need it any badly right now.

* Ballistics:
A must for walker based armies, in every scenario with
lots of castles it will save you some losses to your vulnerable
shooters...Either by destroying enemy castle installations or just
making way for your armies to run in and slay the defending troops sooner.
Not needed much for flyers/shooters based armies, such as dragon or titan
task forces. Yet shooters profit from destroyed castle walls by having no
obstacle penalty.
* Archery:
Increased damage from ranged attacks usually comes in pretty
handy, unless you have small stacks or none shooters at all. (I.e.
warlock, necromancer).
* Logistics:
A must, except for Small, sometimes Medium and those island
realms scenarios.
* Pathfinding:
A must, whereever large desert, swamp or snowy areas require exploration.
Otherwise useless.
* Navigation:
Don't have to tell you that you won't need that, when you have no
seas/rivers to conquer, do I? ;-)
* Necromancy:
Not of much use, unless you manage to get expert one and find large masses
of cannon fodder such as peasants. However, in necromancer's hands it's a
powerful weapon. Only warlocks can ever get basic necromancy... and a witch
hut will never teach that.
* Mysticism:
Very useful for long journeys without castles, if you need to use magic.
The better knowledge your hero will have, the lesser need of that skill you
have. (Warlock/Necro needs that far more than Sorceress, to be exact. Also
Knight/Barbie could consider taking this skill, especially in cases where
he already knows Haste/Slow and plans to use those frequently.)
* Wisdom:
Unless you build higher level of mage guilds, you won't find much use to
it, but take this rather than other, worse skills, coz somebody might build
the guild levels for you (either in your or his city). In large scenarios,
even magic-hating/fearing knights/barbies should take this one - it will
give them access to spells in conquered castles and MassHaste/Slow or
Paralyze/Berzerker are spells that may greatly improve their battle
efficiency, not to mention getting i.e. TownGate.
* Diplomacy:
If you get it in early stages, comes quite handy, coz with expert level of
this skill, you get quite a fair price for new units. [And you can see how
many they are, before fighting them... and hell, there IS a difference
between 'lots' and 'lots', 20 and 40 ogre lords definitely aren't a bit the
same easy bait. A few times, having adv/expert diplomacy saved my life,
because I could avoid fighting a stack of grand-elves, that would have beat
crap out of my armies.] I think that the total price is always the same -
the price you'd have to pay for the troops if you were recruiting them,
EXCLUDING magic resources!. Dependant on level, 1/4, 1/2 or all the troops
offer themselves for that price. You should check the areas you have
already explored to see if there are any troops you'd want on your side
(and if their numbers aren't too high - I can't remember the exact value,
but they'll offer to join for money only if your army is somewhat bigger
than their in HPs.) There's one more important thing: This threshold value
for joining is smaller than the value needed for the army to be too scared
to fight you - in other words, if you have diplomacy and a free slot (or a
matching stack in your army), you can avoid fighting armies that would
otherwise fight you, which can be extremly important while facing very fast
shooters or dangerous flyers.)
* Scouting:
Useful for exploration, coz you'll be able not only to see resources and
mines you're looking for, but sometimes you'll spot your enemy soon enough
to turn back or even spot him without him spotting you.
* Eagle Eye:
Learning spells from your enemies is a good concept, especially if you
don't have enough resources to build your own guilds. But I personally
prefer other skills and take this only when I either have to or know I'll
need it. (Being offered Navigation on land-based scenario, it's really
lesser evil to take Eagle Eye.)
* Estates:
Having this skill in expert level is fine, although there are        better
ones. Usually I take it in early stages, if either the other
skill is even worse or I'm in dire need of cash. All secondary/tertiary
heroes should take this one - better is only logistics or pathfinding,
where applicable - if the heroes are supposed to travel long-distance
repeatedly and quickly. If you plan to rely on Diplomacy, take Estates
along with the main guy, if you can spare the slot.
* Luck:
Causing double damage can't be a bad thing, ever ;-), but it's       never
a thing I'd wait for to come.
* Leadership: Can sometimes save you a lot of trouble and losses. I
prefer it to Luck, as it gives you more tactical benefits. (You can let
enemy units share the double damage you're granted.)

  My personal preferences would be: Logistics, Pathfinding, Navigation,
Leadership, Ballistics, Archery, Mysticism, Wisdom and then others. But
if you get Diplomacy or Estates pretty soon, always take them rather than
Eagle Eye or other, in some cases useless skill.
  Diplomacy may prove extremely useful in all maps where castles are scarce
and gold is abundant. Especially with stronger armies you'll have an easy
task in acquiring reinforcements among wandering armies.
  In general, when deciding about a particular skill, you should always
bear in mind particular conditions in that particular game. You won't
need Estates, if you have a few goldmines/endless bags. You won't need
Diplomacy, if you're very short of gold or if there are only a few armies
that you would want to join you. You won't need Pathfinding on grassland
landmasses. You won't need logistics in a Small map. You won't need luck
with strong armies. Always remember that if something comes handy, you
don't NEED it yet.

* Spell Casting - adventure spells
  When an adventure spell is cast, ALL your heroes profit from it. So, if
you have some spare guy at home, cast all view spells and identify hero
spells with him, sitting in his castle. You can identify a hero, that is on
the other end of map, so why use spell points of your killer guy, which
needs to know this opponent before killing him ;-) I don't have to mention
profits of dimension door, do I? Remember one thing, though. Plan your DD
journeys well, considerings wells ;-). It's good to be able to travel half
the map in one day, but is even better to end your trip with almost full
spellpoints, in case you might need them - i.e. to travel back. It's always
nice to see a computer hero DDing onto a little island and then waiting a
week to regain ten points to get back -especially if he has his pack of
titans with him and not in his home castle...
  The town portal is even bigger bastard than DD. Suppose you capture an
enemy castle with some heavy losses - you warp home, get new armies, run
to a well, that often is near your starting castle, and then, warp back
to the newly captured castle, all in one turn!
Town portal (without troops) can be emulated even if you don't have it,
at least in some ways. Remember, that in one turn, you can repeatedly
attack somebody/something,retreat and re-hire the hero with new movement
points! [I personally began to dislike DD and Town Portal, finding them
very unbalancing to the game.]

Dirty Trick: Hit'n'Run:
  Although the following is nasty and almost cheating, you can do this:
Having i.e. a warlock or a wizard (very fast units), an enemy near your
castle with a huge army and some offensive spells in your guild: Split
your very fast units into 5 stacks, if possible. Just have the five
stacks occupied by 1 unit each. Attack the enemy, demolish his stacks
with spells, retreat, hire again and repeat. If you'll have a well
nearby, you can do this as long as you have the cash. Having 5 stacks of
1 unit often allows you to cast 2 or even 3 spells per battle. (Remember,
you must FLEE, don't get killed!).
  This way, you can reduce the enemy's army to quite poor numbers and then,
either fortify at your castle, or even slay him with your main army, that
was resting in your castle all the time (and maybe providing the very fast
units for those repeated attacks). Note that sometimes it would be better
to use non-offensive spells, eh, I mean berzerker ;-))
  In early exploration, casting View Resources, View Towns or View Mines
may have crucial impact on your success. Especially View Mines is often
helpful, because there are often scattered respective resources near a
mine, so it's important to be there sooner than your opponents.

* Building
General rules on building are these:
You should always start with money generating structures (statue/dungeon),
with a small exception. Before you build the statue/dungeon, check if
you'll be able to get enough resources, usually laying around your castle
or mines, to build all important dwellings. Applies strongly to barbarian
and warlock as the money
generators are ore-based. When upgrading dwellings, consider these points:
  -The most important upgrades are those that increase speed of your
  fastest unit. This applies especially to those cases where the fastest
  unit of your is only Fast or Average. Getting an upgrade to very fast
  means that you'll at least sometimes get first shot in battles.
  -The second most important upgrades are those that increase speed of
  your slowest unit(s). They give you extra movement points for each
  turn.
  -The alternative second most important upgrades are those that give
  your units some specials. Why alternative second-most? It's good for a
  barbarian to move one step faster with his orc chiefs (or two steps
  with ogre lord, if he won't use orcs), yet it's comparatively good
  (yet in different ways) for giants to start throwing their weapons or
  for vampires to start drinking blood of their enemies in large scale
  -Other upgrades are important, too, but not enough to be n-th most
  important ;-)
A statue built on day one will result in extra 500 gold on first day of
next week (and then extra 1750 every first day of week).
Always try to build most of dwellings before day one of next week. All
miscellaneous buildings like Mage Guild, Tavern, Thieves guild etc. can
wait. If you really don't know what to do with cash, build other
structures. Short notes on them:
  -Thieves guild can be quite handy, if you're getting into enemy or
  neutral territory with armies, that would have troubes with stronger
  opposition defeating neutral/enemy castles/towns. I'd say that it's a
  must to have at least one - so you can check at least the troop types.
  -Marketplaces generally come to work well in large numbers. [The more
  marketplaces you control, the better conversion rates you get. Three
  marketplaces get you the same rates as trading posts. With eight or
  more the rate drops to 1:2 in resources.]
  -Tavern is, well, ehh, of not much use, but if you can spare the cash
  and wood, the +1 morale and sometimes useful tips can be worth it.
  -City defenses and class dependant buildings (that always somehow
  affect defensive actions in city) can be of use, especially in castles
  adjacent to enemy. I'd say that the moat is most important, because it
  gives you usually one more turn to shoot and cast before the walkers
  get to you, and also creatures in moat are more vulnerable. [They
  suffer between 15 and 30% more damage, having their defense rating
  reduced by three.] The firepower of tower and turrets depends on
  number of buildings in city, while the attack bonus is increased by
  levels of mage guild built. (And, of course, by hero/captain skills).
My personal experience says this: I almost never build castle defenses and
special buildings. If an enemy starts moving inside my territory, I build
moats in endangered castles, if I ever want to hold them, along with
Turrets, if given enough time. But remember - if an enemy will be still
able to capture the castle, YOU will then have to siege it and suffer from
the improved defenses. If you have a first-strike army like sorceress, you
can afford that and the extra losses imposed by the fortifications on the
enemy force will reduce your losses in recapturing. However, if your armies
are slower, they might suffer more losses from the castle than they would
suffer from the extra troops that the enemy wouldn't have lost while
conquering the castle.

* Combat tips
Combat tips could be divided into several categories:
  -Using knowledge of computer intelligence
  [This is a non-combat section with tips on how to initiate battles]
  If a strong hero comes close to your castle, you can often beat him by
  following tactics:
  Rather than getting defeated (although heavily damaging his armies) in
  your castle, grab all you can and run away. Usually the hero will
  leave some of his armies as new garrison in the castle and head
  somewhere else (yet he may try to kill you, so you have to move around
  wisely). This new garrison is usually no match for your main army, so
  you kill it, get the exp. of it ;-)(plus the 500 for castle siege ;-))
  and run again. Computer hero again takes your castle, splits his
  armies and leave. Repeat until you can beat the enemy with little
  losses (or until he stays in your castle - coz in such case you'll
  have to either fight it out or find y'self another castle ;-)) [This
  works best in cases where the enemy isn't strong enough to attack you,
  yet you'd suffer great losses in battle with him - i.e. from direct
  damage spells that the AI doesn't include as a decisive factor before
  battle.] This technique is very useful with villages, coz there's no
  garisson archers and also computer heroes can almost never resist the
  temptation to capture undefended village, but will NEVER stay inside
  to let you die out after 7 days of homelessness ;-))
  AI has also quite simple algorithm for attacking your heroes and
  castles. Usually they won't attack unless they have a bigger army (in
  HPs). So it often helps to buy anything you can in the castle your
  enemy is heading towards and he changes his mind (although he would
  easily win, i.e. with a band of shooters and strong magic against a
  pack of hydras) Sometimes you'll have to use your main army as this
  deterring factor. If the enemy can see your castle, he'll head for it
  almost everytime he notices it's empty or lightly defended. But if you
  stay in your castle with all your forces for a few days, all these
  days he'll be going after other targets, which will give you then
  enough time to do your tasks around your castle.
  [Note that this also works the other way 'round... If the opponent has
  at least once been near to a castle, he'll often launch a task force
  to capture it every time he sees it poorly defended. You may benefit
  from that in two ways... Either you have your main hero nearby,
  that'll smash the incoming enemy, or you'll just get some strong
  armies (either by purchase or by moving a hero in) into the castle
  just when the opponent is almost there... And he, seeing a defending
  army too strong for him, will have to find another target - possibly
  somewhere deep back in his territory, which means that you've
  succesfully wasted his time and offensive potential of his armies.]
  A good idea is always (if you can do without gold) to buy out units in
  turn one and then let the opponent capture your castle, retaking it
  back just after a week - computer usually does a good job improving
  city buildings for you.

* Always make sure you KNOW, what army will play next. The rules are
these:
  -First comes speed. If there's a stack, that is faster, than any
  other, it plays first.
  -When both sides have stacks of same speed, in the first round the
  attacker gets the first move
  -If both sides have stacks of same speed, the rounds go zig-zag. Once
  all stacks of that speed have moved, next lower speed army moves and
  if both sides have that speed in their ranks, then again moves side,
  that hadn't had made the last move.
  -On every side, armies with same speed play in order of appearance on
  the screen, when the battle begun. So, if you have two armies of the
  same speed, the ORIGINALLY upper plays always sooner, even if it moves
  below the other army.

* Always try to use appropriate targets in order to attend your goals.
Your goals may be one of the following:
  -winning the battle at any cost
  -causing maximum damage (i.e. defending a captured castle)
  -winning with no losses
  -not letting enemy flee.
There's a different way to each of those goals, but most of them require
you to know exactly the order of play, as well as to know approximately
the damages, that your and enemy stacks can cause.
Order of play is important for one more thing. If i.e. both you and
opponent have some shooters of the same speed, you'll have to determine,
if yours will play sooner, and if so, you can direct your other attacks
to other enemy units (assuming that your shooters will cripple enemy
shooter stack enough to cause you no casualities).
    * Combat rules:
      How the damage is counted?
      DAM= (1+((A-D)*X))) * A_count * RND_damage
In words: Number of attackers times damage caused by a single unit [this
one is the only random factor - damage lies somewhere within damage
range] times modifier based on Attack skill of Attacker and Defense skill
of defender.
Value of X: X equals 0.1 if A is bigger than D, which means that the
damage is increased by 10% for every point between A and D X equals 0.05
if D is bigger than A, so damage is decreased by 5% for every point
between D and A.
We'll show a black dragon fighting different opponents. Damage modifier
counted below will in combat be multiplied by number of dragons and
random value between 25 and 50, which is black dragon's damage range.
So, black dragon attacking peasants: [Assume heroes with A and D=0]
Modifier = (1+(14-1)*0.1) = 2.30 or 230%, which gives damage from 68 to
115.
Now, the same dragon, attacking other black dragon:
Modifier = (1+(14-14)*0.1) = 1.00 or 100% which gives, of course, damage
from 25 to 50
And now, the same dragon attacking other black dragon, whose commanding
hero has the ultimate cloak of Protection, having defense bonus +12:
Modifier = (1+(14-26)*0.05) = ((1-12)*0.05) = 0.4 or 40%
There are limits to those numbers. Attack modifier is limited to 300%,
defense modifier is limited to 20%. That means that there's no need to
cast bloodlust on your army if it's attack is higher than it's target
defense + 20, or steelskin, if your unit's defense is higher than
attacking unit's attack + 16. Is that clear?

* Try to get to know your enemies as well as your units.
Memorize most units' HPs and other numbers and be able to estimate, how
much damage will your armies deliver, in order to use them most
effectively.
It always makes me sick seeing somebody (and happy,if it's the computer)
running with a stack of blessed paladins to crush a few centaurs, while
my blackdragons or minotaur kings will then give them hell, not fearing
the ten master swordsmen, which could have dealt the centaurs, but will
instead perish in the dragons retaliation...)
In the battle, always keep an eye on current state of any unit,
especially the number of HPs. If the stack with badly wounded unit can
get out of enemy range, try it. If you can finish a badly wounded enemy
dragon or another big beast, do it. Two dragons, if which one has
miserable 5 HPs left, still do damage of two dragons. If you have two
stacks with equal HPs left, always sacrifice the one that you need less.
(It's always better to lose a minotaur than a dragon.)

* Remember counterstrike rules!
Any close range attack is retaliated, but every unit retaliates only once
every turn. (see exception list below) So, if your enemy has a strong
stack, you'll want to either attack with a stack strong enough that
decimated enemy will NOT revenge enough to kill any of your units, or
sacrifice a small, cheap unit to waste enemy retaliation.
[Ideal for this are gargoyles, with their speed. If you have two heroes,
use the backup one to carry a stack of gargoyles and give the main hero
one gargoyle before every battle, that would require this technique. (For
example, if a barbarian has a stack of cyclopes, that could slay some of
your black dragons in retaliation, if you sacrifice the gargoyle, the
dragons will have one free attack on cyclopes. But remember, of course, the
gargoyles have to play BEFORE the dragons ;-)]

* Learn the ways computer fights - it uses only a few rules:
  -Attack! anytime you can.
  -Attack shooters if possible
  -Attack flyers if possible
  -Attack other units
It always tries to attack the strongest (in total HPs) stack of one of
the mentioned classes, and if there are equal stacks, it picks the
topmost on the screen (topmost at the start of the battle, of course.)
[There are two exceptions - liches and ghosts have different strategies.]
Rule a) means, that the computer will attack, whenever possible, even if
the target should have lesser priority than other your stacks.
Example: You can lure average units with your cheap flyers (gargoyles fit
there best) to give your shooters more time to deal with enemy walkers...
 i.e. facing a barbarian army with one strong stacks of ogre lords:
normally, they would get to your shooters in the third turn. But, if you
in the second turn move one single gargoyle to the opposite side of
battlefield, close enough to the ogre lords (they have radius of four
squares, so that four squares between them and the gargoyle is just
enough), they will gladly run after the gargoyle, thus giving you TWO
more shooting turns, before they get to your shooters, which often is the
difference between life and death, coz you can also cast spells on these
two extra turns...)
 Rules b and c mean that AI will always pick shooters/flyers as a target,
if the attacking unit has more enemies in it's range, and also units, that
cannot attack in this turn, will try to move towards those preferred
targets.
 Knowing what the AI's going to do can help a lot in defeating him.

* Use special abilities to your full advantage.
I'm talking mainly about two-field attacks (dragon, phoenix, cyclope),
and I'm talking about yours as well as your enemy's. For example,
annoying bunch of ogres can be easily smashed sacrificing one gargoyle to
the next stack of cyclopes, if the gargoyles attack from the right
direction. (The cyclopes retaliation will work quite nice, possibly even
paralyzing the ogres ;-))
Of course, many other specials come in handy - i.e. non-retaliating
attacks of hydras (plus their ability to strike at ALL surrounding
units), rogues, sprites and vampires, multiple retaliation of griffins
and all others. Especially the griffins can be used to mop lesser enemy
armies within one turn.

* Tricks battling computer heroes
Computer controlled heroes follow some patterns in their battle behaviour
(as well as non-battle behaviour, see below. Usually, if an enemy hero has
some artifacts, he'll try to flee, when the battle turns bad for him,
preferrably after smashing a lightning bolt into your stack of shooters.
So, try to do your best and plan your crushing attack in a way that will
not allow computer to flee. [Usually this means letting him come closer and
then smashing all his units in counter attack... here comes very handy good
usage of spells, knowledge od abilities, order of playing units and careful
planning, using effectively your damage-causing capabilities. See more in
class dependant strategies - Way of [classname]]
 When you don't want to have losses to your strong flyers/walkers, take a
few shooters as a bait for AI. I once managed (with some High Level
sorcery including Meteor Shower, and a Sorceress with no big A/D skills)
to take out 16 phoenixes with 10 phoenixes and 3 centaurs on my side -
grouping the phoenixes as 2x5 and the centaurs as 3x1, losing no
phoenixes. And I did it four times in a row.
 The AI is stupid enough to waste it's excellent firepower to smash one
stupid harmless shooter.

* Order and sizes of stacks
 Unless you have to, never place your shooters next to each other - this
way you allow enemy flyers to block two units at once. Always try to have
your shooters at both ends of screen, with the strong protective walkers in
the middle. A good example is barbarian, whose Ogre Lords with radius of 4
hexes can walk from their middle lane right in front of your topmost or
bottommost stack, possibly attacking any enemy flyer or fast walker, that
managed to get there.
 Always line up your troops wisely, using knowledge about your enemy.
Remember that your Average units can reach enemy Very Fast or Fast
walkers, that are approaching them in their lane. Applies well for
goblins, skeletons, ogre lords etc.etc. (Other pairs work as well - your
Fast can reach enemy Averages, your very Fasts can reach enemy slows.)
Sometimes it's wise to have one BIG stack in total HPs. This will often
lure the computer into casting Disrupting Ray repeatedly, even when he's
a strong spellcaster, that would cause heavy damage with offensive
spells. Best armies for this purpose are Titans, Crusaders, Ogre Lords,
Raised Tons of Skeletons etc.
 When battling wandering walkers or mixed enemy armies, think before
ordering your troops. If you have Liches or plan to use area damage
spells, position the primary target to the 5th slot. All the walkers will
try to walk diagonally accross the field, which means that those from upper
slot will get into the way of those in the lower slots, they'll walk around
each other. This will have two advantages - first they'll be placed nicely
together for area damage spells, second some of them will get to you later
than they originally could.
 However, if you have strong walkers that have the same speed as the enemy
(and especially Fast+ - cyclopes, crusaders, wolves, whatever), place your
primary target (the strongest shoter) into the 1st slot. Thus, after the
first walker has moved directly after your shooter, you can move some
walker of yours to kill this one without getting in range of other enemy
armies. (Note that if your shooter was in the 5th slot, the first walker
would come diagonally towards you and attacking him at this moment would
expose the attacking army to other enemies of the same speed.) I hope that
you understand what I mean.

* Spell Casting - combat spells
Before casting a combat spell, always think carefully what will your
casting cause. Remember the following:
  -Sometimes a non-offensive spell on your unit will give you better
  results, than an offensive on enemy. Casting Bloodlust on 10 Titans
  will kick your damage by 30%, which can often bring much more, than an
  offensive, direct damage spell.
  -This applies also to non-offensive spells cast on enemy units!
  Disrupting ray can also decide a hard battle, because strong slow
  units like hydras or ogres are a pain in the ass in big numbers, but
  once their defense is set to 1 with no possible cure, any good attack
  acts as a pain reliever ;-) I personally won MANY battles by casting
  disrupting rays instead of lightning bolts.
  -Generally, you should be able to estimate what spell will have bigger
  impact on the enemy. Just count up your damage capabilities and
  compare this number, multiplied by the Attack modifier, with the
  damage that would your offensive spells deal to the enemy. Usually,
  four disrupting rays on enemy hydras stack will mean about 100% or
  more damage, so if your armies can deal more than 500 damage at the
  start of the battle, they'll score an additional 500+ for the
  disrupting rays - you would need spellpower 6+ to beat that with four
  lightning bolts. Of course, number of enemy units matters here, as
  well, because if you would smash the hydras with the bolts, before
  they got to you, there's no need to hesitate, but if you would have to
  attack the hydras stack more than once, it's always better to lower
  their defense permanently. [And this applies for stronger monsters
  even more, especially titans...]
  -If you can afford it, let the enemy cast first. [AI always casts at
  the very first opportunity] Usually it's better to be able to remove
  enemy spells efect. I.e. a curse on 20 titans is worth removing by a
  bless.
  -Remember that your spell casting can often cause a reaction from the
  AI. This covers all non-offensive spells: Blinding, paralyzing,
  cursing or slowing an enemy unit can force the AI to cast Haste,
  Bless, or even AntiMagic to remove your spell. Sometimes this is
  better, than letting the enemy fry your shooter stack with a 300 worth
  of lightning bolt, but sometimes an attempt to slow down crusaders
  results in them having the Blazing speed rating next turn, wreaking
  havoc on your troops. Also, remember this: When you cast Slow, Blind
  or Paralyze and the enemy dispels it in the same turn, the affected
  unit WILL move in the same turn, even if units of the same speed were
  played already. [With the spell removed, the unit's order of play will
  follow regular rules - if it's speed hasn't had it's go yet, it will
  come regularly. If the speed has been played in the turn, this troop
  will play immediately - it has the highest speed of units that haven't
  played yet. Thanks Qurqirish Dragon for that one!]
  -Use Blinds, Paralyzes, Hastes and Slows wisely! Always be sure to
  know, what impact on play order will your spells have. If you know
  that you'll wipe four of five enemy stacks within the first turn and
  without computer moving, be sure to cast a Blind on his last stack.
  Attack blind units only under these conditions:
   -Either you've faster units than this stack is
   -Or you can cast blind at the end of this turn again! Why? Attacked
    blind unit doesn't get it's move within this turn, but will be able
    to move in the next and if it is as fast as your fastest unit, it
     will move FIRST!
  -Cast the blind always right before you skip your last unit (last of
  those who move before the enemy!). This applies mainly for a
  sorceress. Imagine that you face a stack of average speed. You shoot
  with druids and elves and then, before skipping or moving unicorns,
  cast the blind. Then a new turn begins. Again, you shoot with your
  very fast units, and then either move/attack or skip unicorns. Enemy
  loses the blind condition, but within this turn, it WON'T move. So
  you can shoot with the shooters for the third time and then decide,
  if the unicorns can take the enemy out (within some help of offensive
  magic) or blind the enemy again. So generally, if your shooters are
  faster, than the only enemy stack, you'll have to cast blind every
  second turn (and can cast offensive/supportive magic the other half
  of turns) without giving the enemy a move opportunity.
  -Rules for paralyze are the same.
  -Rules for using haste are simpler,because you'll have to slay the
  enemy before his regular move comes. (Haste will not only let you play
  sooner, but extend your range by two hexes! Always remember that and
  use it wisely. Especially hasted very fast profit from that!] One of
  the most profitable uses of Haste is: Play the battle without spells
  until your massive army (esp. Skeletons or Ogre Lords) get their turn.
  By that time, many of enemy units have moved. If you cast Haste right
  now, your Ogres will be able to reach enemy average units, AND, in the
  next turn (if you have spell power greater than 1) they'll be probably
  among the fastest units. Thus, you have two sequential strikes with a
  very offensively oriented stack.
  A typical situation is a necromancer with Vampire Lords and Skeletons
  battling i.e. bunch of Fast units. In the first round, you should do
  without magic until the skeletons get their turn.Then give them Haste,
  which should let them reach the approaching enemy. They'll play first
  in the next turn, thus giving you the opportunity to cast Haste on the
  VLs and get two attacks (one the hasted skeletons and one the hasted
  VLs) before the enemy starts doing anything. That means a total of
  three consecutive attacks by your troops. In many cases it's enough.
  -Slow is usually better,because it reduces speeds by half (rounded up)
  (Ultra fast becomes Average(7/2=3.5), Very fast becomes Slow (6/2=3),
  Fast becomes Slow, Average becomes Very Slow!), but there's one bad
  thing:If you happen to Slow a Fast unit and FAIL to kill it,enemy can
  give it haste, which means that not only it will travel as UltraFast
  accross most of the battle field to strike at your shooters, but it
  will get the first move in the next turn,unless you have ultra fast or
  faster units! Even skeletons or mutant zombies will be VERY FAST!, and
  those for sure, because Haste is necromancer's DEFAULT spell! Always
  remember that!

* Use offensive spells to cause maximum damage. It means:
  -Don't cast a 300 Lighning bolt on a stack with 50 HPs, unless you
  really NEED to kill it! Use magic arrow instead, or bolt something
  else, that will suffer the whole 300 damage!
  -Always know which enemy stack means bigger danger to your armies. A
  nice example would be my favorite: One titan has 300 HPs. 99
  Halflings have 297 HPs. So the AI will always strike at the titan.
  But the titan will do 20-30 damage (plus maybe 140%, considering his
  high attack), while the halflings will do 99*(1-3), which gives
  100-300 damage (plus maybe some more, they have some attack skill,
  too). On the other hand, there are cases, when the numerous stacks of
  poor creatures, such as centaurs, mean much lesser threat than a
  stack with the same HP total, consisting of i.e. very fast and quite
  strong minotaurs etc. [You should take into consideration whom will
  the possible targets of your magic attack - sometimes the shooters
  would cause damage, while the walkers would kill - if the minotaur
  kings cannot get to titans, they might decimate your halflings, while
  the centaurs would only damage your titans.]

* Fighting shooters
If there are wandering armies of shooters, think before you attack them.
You should always bear in mind how much damage your armies can sustain
without losses, how much damage the enemy can deal to you. Think well
about order of play, spell casting etc.
During the play, keep an eye on damage to your armies. (Sometimes it's
i.e. wiser to NOT attack with the flyers, coz you save damage from
retaliation. - use this rule, if you wouldn't kill at least half of the
enemy stack.) Also, sometimes it's wiser to NOT attack blocked shooters,
if you have an army with the same speed as those shooters, that wants to
attack some others... sometimes it's crucial that a particular damaged
and blocked stack is alive so that your army of the same speed gets it's
turn before an unblocked stack would play.
Before fighting shooters, divide strong stacks of shooters, too. You
don't need 20 druids to attack 5 archers, it's better to attack 2x5
archers with two stacks of ten druids.
If you have fast flyers, divide them to block the enemy. Griffins and
rocs do best here. Gargoyles too, since they're expendable.
Among the regular, weaker armies, most dangerous are grand elves, which
usually score some damage.

* Fighting flyers
You'll have to pay big attention to order of play and try to protect your
shooters with your other units (and it's wise to think about it before the
battle and reorder your units so that this will be an easy job. (Good for
this thing are all two-field creatures - griffins, unicorns, champions,
boars make excellent blockers. Also, using the condensed army setup - the
toggle button in upper left corner of hero screen - that will help much,
making less free space around your shooters. I use this rarely, but a few
times it has proven worth it. Best example is a situation where you have
one shooter stack and four very slow armies - all of them can attack anyone
near the shooter, because they don't have to travel any far.)
Though, beware strong monsters (dragons, phoenix), unless you have
hydras, which will profit from the fact, that the two-field attacks will
strike their friends almost as much as the hydras. The hydras can take
out much stronger armies, than you would think. (Using steelskin, bless,
bloodlust is a good thing here. Out of five enemy dragon stacks four will
strike each other while attacking you.
[In place of hydras any other two-hex creature will do. But make sure
that this stack will be primary target for the AI and will remain so even
if heavily damaged. Phoenixes or rocs fit there well. With Ressurect-true
you'll have an easy job even with some spellcaster, although knight hero
fits there best, possibly with artifact-boosted defense. The hydras are
best, though, because they'll strike at all enemies and they'll not
retaliate.]
[Note that the creature used for this doesn't have to be a two-hex. A
good ogre lord band will do a nice job defeating some decent dragon army
as well.

* Fighting walkers
There are a few good tricks against walkers.
First one touches a bit specific conditions... If you have a strong stack
capable of two-hex attack and the enemy has units with slow or higher
speed, you can do a nice combo. Ideal example are the graveyard garisson
zombies. Suppose we have some Phoenixes.
Ok, we'll just plain attack them zombies... But how? Fly your phoenixes
over to the third stack of zombies and attack from the front side - the
sword cursor horizontal. You fry this middle stack. Next, you shoot your
shooters onto the fourth and fifth stacks of zombies. Now, the first
zombie stack plays its move - walking down to phoenixes, standing just
between the phoenixes and second stack of zombies... A blow, doing
damage... some retaliation, and voila, three stacks of zombies killed in
one turn by the phoenixes, which suffered only one attack.
Note that this trick can be performed even against mixed armies. You only
have to pick a walker with at least Slow speed, stand TWO stacks down (or
up) from him (frying another stack, standing there) and waiting for him to
come after you. However, you'll need to assure that this selected stack
will be the first to attack your two-hex-attack army.
Another trick fits well against average walkers - using bait flyer stacks
of one unit in size - described above with the gargoyle/ogre lord setup. A
sacrificer may help you align enemy troops for your two-hex sweeps. When
fighting walkers with your armies that contain mainly shooters, take mental
notes on how much damage you cause to the enemy stacks. Especially if the
enemy walkers are of the same speed as some of your units. The trick is:
Sometimes it's wiser to let a damaged stack that is closing on your
shooters to attack those shooters. If they're of the same speed, this stack
will attack them, die in retaliation and those shooters then can go
shooting at another stack. A typical example may be war trolls against
veteran pikemen - if the first pikemen stack has been seriously damaged by
the trolls, while the second is full strength yet, let your walkers and
orcs kill the remaining three stacks. In the next round, the damaged first
stack will attack trolls, die there and the trolls can shoot at the yet
unharmed second stack. This often helps to win battles with no losses.

* Concentrate your firepower
As in most strategy games, even here works the approach of taking the
enemies out one by one. Here the thing is based on the fact that all
enemies except griffins retaliate only after first attack.
The only exception is fighting (mostly wandering) shooters, which should
be (in most cases) taken out simultaneously to prevent them from shooting
at you at all. Enemies led by a hero are a bit more dangerous, because the
simultaneous approach can cause losses to walkers and flyers. But sometimes
those losses are a fair cost for protection of your shooters.

* Prevent the enemy from concentrating his firepower.
Always try to determine the primary and secondary target of your enemy
and IF the secondary target is either less important or more durable, try
to let the least possible amount of enemies attack the primary one.
A typical example may be knight troops. The primary target are always the
rangers, while the secondary are most often the crusaders. The crusaders
will suffer losses after six times heavier damage is caused to them (which
with their high defense means about 8-12 times more enemies
attacking them. And furthermore, the crusaders will be surely able to
kill enemies in retaliation, whereas the rangers have lesser Attack skill
and quarter damage at close range.)
And how to prevent enemies from going after their primary target? There
are two different situations:

* The enemy are walkers with the primary target still out of their range.
In that case you need to move any unit into their range, while keeping the
primary target out of their range. The AI rule of attacking
whenever possibly will force them to go after the bait unit. The
gargoyle-ogre lords trick is described elsewhere in the Ways of...
articles.

* The enemy are either walkers with the primary target in their range, or
flyers. In that case the only remedy is surrounding targeted troop with
other units. Best in this task are fast two-hex creatures. Just place the
primary target into first or last slot and the two-hex unit right beside
it. If the two-hex unit plays before the enemy flyers, move it as close to
the primary target as possible, from below/up. Thus, you'll leave only one
free hex to attack the primary target from. If another unit of yours still
plays before the enemy fliers, you can move it onto that last free hex in
front of your shooter. Thus all the flyers will go after the secondary
target, which is usually the strongest walker stack (crusaders, hydras
etc.).
Classical example is knight with Rangers, Champions (or Cavalry) and
Crusaders against Fast or slower flyers. In that case, a total of two or
three flyers will go after the crusader (three, if the first one is
killed by retaliation) and the rest after next strong stack. This works
with little limitations even against Very Fast units - if the first flyer
(that plays before the crusader and can attack the rangers) dies in
rangers' retaliation, place the crusader into the now-freed hex. If the
flyer survives, just leave him here, attack him only if you're sure you
won't kill him!
Always use the terrain well to block enemy units. I.e. if there are two
ways to your shooter - when there are those two long horizontal obstacles
on the battle field, dividing it into three corridors - and the enemy
walkers are average or slower. Let's say that your shooter stack is in the
1st slot. The obstacles always leave two hexes of free space on the rear
side of field. Typical example is fighting any average walker with knight
troops. Let's say that we'll put the rangers in the 1st slot, 2nd and 3rd
will be occupied by those Fast infantrymen. First turn, the infantry will
seal up the top access route, rangers will shoot at whichever unit, all
enemy units try to move in the middle corridor.
Second turn: infantry moves below the rangers, occupying the two hexes
that are between the end of screen and the obstacle. All of those average
walkers that cannot reach the infantry in this turn (and therefore have no
immediate target) spot a way to the primary target 0 the rangers. All of
them turn back and head to the top corridor. In the next turn, you'll again
seal the top corridor, all of them move into the middle. You can repeat
that as long as the rangers have some arrows to shoot. Note that it won't
work against Fast+ units and sometimes, some of the average units may get
too close and attack your infantry. If that should mean losses, it's time
to switch to normal strategy - remove the infantry to give the rangers one
shooting turn and then an all-out attack (or in case that the enemy is
still too strong and would survive the attack and get to the rangers, all-
out attack is launched immediately, keeping the walkers somewhere in the
middle to protect rangers (and let them shoot again.)
Any two-hex creature can be used to block the access from the middle
corridor, but plan carefully, because you'll need to be able to switch
the blocks every turn and not let any of your blockers get into range of
the enemy. This strategy will let you (with the luck of getting the right
terrain) defeat armies that would be able to crush you in a flat field.
This is a cheap trick that I've discovered recently by pure luck, yet it
works miraculously.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
IX. USING CERTAIN HERO TYPES
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}


--Using Knight--
----------------

Strengths:
Ideal for fast conquering, smaller scenarios. Invaluable attack and
defense...
Quite cheap armies, especially rangers, who can also be upgraded from
archers found in archer houses and conquered villages, and often bear
main offensive tasks. Until you start to build crusaders, you'll
probably have no big financial problems (that is, if you can do without
one of the walker types.)
High morale in connection with four stacks, that can cross the
battlefield in two runs, often makes battles easier.
Very potent offensive capabilities in champions, that can be built
without magical resources (only the trolls have the same advantage) and
strike against two-field creatures in first round. No crystal needed to
buy crusaders (they're the only one 6th levels with this advantage,
that are an excellent weapon with their good speed and specials.
Three of the armies are upgradeable for free - financial saves. (Of
course, cavalry only in expansion pak games...)
Archers can be recruited for free and found often in captured villages.

Weaknesses:
Armies have quite low HPs - get used to have some losses, esp. due to
magic.
Only very slow stacks available in the beginning - slower exploration,
unless you hire a warlock to get some gargoyles ;-)

Army Evaluation:
Peasant 1/1/1/1/2/20
The only unit in the game, that is totally useless for the side that
has it... (However, pretty useful for necromancers ;-)) Yet, they're
the best unit in the game in the ratio of damage dealt to their own
hitpoints ;-)))
Well, to be true, use of peasants has helped me a few times winning
castle defenses against wimpy computer heroes, but in general, peasants
are really useless, unless in four-digits numbers.
Personally, I never waste money on them. But if you happen to have
several peasant huts in castle vicinity, let the peasants grow there
and if you think you might need them, call up a mobilization. This
usually yields those three-digit numbers. And some hundreds of peasants
for free mean a good stationary defensive potential that can prevent AI
from attacking, even if it would easily win using shooter armies.
TreeBeard says that once peasants saved his life, when being sacrificed
to an army of ghosts, that stood between him and quite a powerful
enemy, which was just about to attack.

Archer 3/5/10/2-3/2/150
Ranger 4/5/10/2-3/4/200
Upgraded: Shoots twice.
Pretty dangerous cheap little fellows. Well, dangerous when upgraded,
because their speed assures first two strikes against orc chiefs,
halflings and other shooters. With some battle tactics, you can even
manage to cripple enemy average flyers (green dragons, bone dragons,
vampires, rocs, griffins, sprites...).
Their availability at Archer houses, which are, due to their nice look,
used more often than other dwellings in many maps, results in fact that
their numbers may get quite high, making a valuable enemy of them.
Definitely not bad for 2nd level creature, esp. due to double strike.
A ranger is for 50 more gold worth two archers and is not far from
grand elves (who are 3rd level), but they die a lot and you should
expect to have none of them in later game. (There are only a few ways
of protecting them, and none of them brings anything good apart from
protecting them.)

Pikeman 5/9/20/3-4/4/200
Veteran Pikeman 5/9/25/3-4/5/250
Swordsman 7/9/25/4-6/4/250
Master Swordsman 7/9/30/4-6/5/300
Both troop types are quite reliable, carrying moderate attack and
excellent defensive potential. Their Fast speed after upgrade allows
them to control most of the battle field, reaching stationary enemies
within second turn.
Their high defense combined with their speed also allow them to
function as blocking armies to protect rangers together with either
champions or crusaders, a matter of big importance esp. against enemy
Average flyers.
As neither swordsmen nor pikemen are AI's primary target, their losses
aren't high and they profit strongly from the fact that most enemies
somehow underestimate them.
Both can be upgraded at foundry, which is another map structure, that
is used more than often due to nice look ;-)

Cavalry 10/9/30/5-10/6/300
Champion 10/9/40/5-10/7/375
This troop is important for many reasons. Being Ultra-Fast assures the
knight first shot in every turn. Being two-hex gives the champions
opportunity (with a little luck considering clear terrain) to strike in
the very first move against enemy two-hex creatures. Most useful
against centaurs, rocs and griffins. The upgrade also makes them 33%
tougher (and, in fact, cheaper per HP...)
Before upgrade, they lack most of their positives, but still remain
pretty strong in both defensive and offensive tasks. One bonus is again
free upgradability (in EP maps only, though).

Paladin 11/12/50/10-20/5/600
Crusader 11/12/65/10-20/6/1000
Both: Attack the target twice.
Upgraded: Cannot be Cursed, scores 2x damage vs. undead.
An army of great potential. Crusaders' special double damage against
undead would make bone dragons tremble with fear, if they only could
have any feelings.
Their 20-40 damage per turn is third best in the game, also they can be
blessed and crusaders cannot be cursed, giving you an assured average
of 30 damage per piece. They're capable of scoring some 160+ against
weaker undead - one blessed crusader without hero skill bonuses can
take out 8 mutant zombies or 40 skeletons in one turn.
Although they're the worst 6th level army by HPs, in real use they're
very potential opponents to face and a very dangerous weapon to
possess.

Knight Castle building in the first week:

       ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
       ³ Day 1: ³ Statue         ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore            ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 2: ³ Well           ³ 500 gold                     ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 3: ³ Tavern         ³ 500 gold + 5 wood            ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 4: ³ Archery Range  ³ 1000 gold                    ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 5: ³ Blacksmith     ³ 1000 gold + 5 ore            ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 6: ³ Armory         ³ 2000 gold + 10 ore + 10 wood ³
       ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
       ³ Day 7: ³ Jousting Arena ³ 3000 gold + 20 wood          ³
       ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
20 ore should be an attainable goal (usually it's there, at least on
Normal setting).
35 wood poses much more trouble, because it requires two heaps of wood
(total 10-20) and capturing a sawmill somewhere between day 4 and day 7
(6-0 wood). However, in most cases the wood can be found within the
week, and the second half of supply is needed only at day 7 - up to
this date you'll have enough with the starting stock.
10 000 gold is quite easy to accumulate (The castle yields 7500 in
those six days, which must be lowered by 1250 for the statue, another
7500 should be the starting stock. That will give you at least 4000
gold for day 1 purchases, which makes the knight the strongest in the
early game.)
Another 20 wood and 10 ore will be needed for upgrades of dwellings.
May not be necessary, though - if foundry/stables are near.
The farm is almost absolutely useless.
If you happen to be lucky and get that 20 crystal needed for Cathedral,
it may be often wise to purchase that instead of Jousting Arena at day
7. The paladins' double attack and all higher numbers are a good
advantage. However, if there is a Sorceress enemy nearby with good
prospects on building Phoenixes, the champions may have an important
role in getting you the first attack, which may be pretty critical
factor.

Rough castle output will be 1250x7 - 8750 gold/week.
Weekly armies without the crusaders will cost 5840 before upgrades,
7285 after upgrades.
HPs grown weekly 870 at 12.97 g/HP

This means that knight will be able to actually save money for building
crusaders, while the other classes will have to either leave some
armies unpurchased home or acquire gold sources. This is important
mainly for barbarians, who are otherwise able to compete with knights'
quick starts.

Strategy
The highest priority at the early game is wood - which can usually be
found nearby. However, you'll be able to build first four dwellings
without any additional wood gathered, and after that, even
well-defended sawmills should be acquirable.
One good thing about being addicted to wood is the fact that wood can
be acquired at seas easily - so if you happen to run accross any harbor
town or just a ship (giving a Summon Boat a try at seashore applies
here, too), you may get quickly large amounts of wood. Especially
effective is this technique when your home castle already has a
shipyard - the 10 wood for the ship is usually more than back within
the 7 days of sea travel... Try to hire a sorceress for that purpose -
the money comes back, too!)
The second highest priority may be either gold, if you seem to have
enough crystal, or crystal, if you seem to have enough gold ;-)
Crusaders will burden your budget with 4000 extra gold, which means
that you'll be two thousand/week short. Compared with barbarian, you
have less ranged attack potential and therefore need the durability of
crusaders to keep up the aggressive exploration.

Forces combination:
I usually take all the rangers, champions and master swordsmen on the
road, while the pikemen remain as reserve. Though, especially in cases
where crystal is rare and there is no need to save money for crusaders,
I'll buy all the pikemen to give them to the backup guy as his main
army. Their numbers will usually prevent secondary AI heroes from
attacking him, so he can dare to venture a bit away from the main hero.
In cases of dire need, the pikemen can be still given to the main guy
to help with offensive. In cases of low gold income that is needed to
save for the crusaders, you might as well omit the swordsmen.
My usual practice with the main hero is: Rangers split into two stacks,
placed in first and last slot. Between them, Champions, Crusaders and
Master Swordsmen in any order.
Position of champions is operationally changeable in dependance on any
two-hex creatures present in enemy armies.
In case you have only two walker stacks (Swordsmen and pikemen,
Swordsmen and champions) and plenty of rangers, split the rangers into
three stacks - that gives you more control over damage distribution,
less firepower wasted by blocking flyers, enemies changing their mind
as the stacks of equal sizes lose their priority target status after
taking slightest losses, which causes enemy slower walkers to change
their projected path, possibly wasting a turn.)
The swordsmen are the stack that will suffer the least from enemies. As
you'll maybe have some from villages (and even more pikemen), and
definitely lots of them from castles that you don't have resources
enough to build up to jousting arenas and cathedrals), you'll find that
all of a sudden, they're your biggest stack by HPs - often big enough
to scare the hell out of spellcasting enemies, who'll in turn start
casting Disrupting Ray on them.
Always remember that strongest skill of knights is defense and their
troops are designed to conform with this system.
Always have crusaders in 2nd/4th slot - so they can get into the moat
the very first turn in castle sieges and possibly break in in the
second. Champions will make it from the border slots. Swordsmen can do
well in the 3rd slot.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting fellow knights:
    Once your enemy has army about equal to yours, you might probably
    forget about having rangers after the battle ;-). With four armies
    capable of getting to the other side in second turn, the rangers'
    only task will be to eliminate their counterparts, so that your
    walkers will not be disturbed while dealing with his walkers, that
    have already come to you. Enemy champions will probably die at
    blades of your crusaders in the first round. The crusaders are a
    tougher nut to crack. Unless you block your rangers, they'll wipe
    them out, as you have no way to prevent them from playing before
    your crusaders in the second battle turn (omitting magic, though.)
    In case the rangers are blocked, the enemy crusaders will go after
    their counterparts and that's no good. So it's maybe better to
    sacrifice some of pikemen/swordsmen and attack the crusaders in the
    first round, when they come into range.

  * Fighting barbarians:
    This is always a tough job. The barbie will get first shot with his
    trolls, which usually means 2-5 dead rangers per enemy troll. That
    is bad. If the trolls aren't upgraded and aren't the topmost
    average stack, the first shot goes to you, which is much better.
    However, against barbarians you cannot afford to rely on defense,
    as their range firepower is far greater than yours. You'll probably
    have high losses in rangers. All your walkers should approach the
    enemy carefully, as you should do your best to get first strike and
    decimate enemy units in order of speed - Champions should smash
    wolves easily, Crusaders will engage the cyclopes, swordsmen and
    pikemen will take on the shooters. With a bit of luck you might be
    able to take out wolves in the first round, thus getting first TWO
    shots in second round, giving you better chances of minimizing
    losses from cyclopes. Orcs are no match for you at close range, so
    make sure that one of your fast units will make it to them at least
    as a blocker. The Qurqirish Dragon has a good point about the most
    dangerous unit of barbarians changing after the first round: Once
    the trolls and orcs are blocked in round 2, the worst threat by far
    are the Ogre Lords. With a very good attack, and decent defense,
    and a whopping 60 hit point per unit they're as bad as cyclopes,
    especially since they will probably outnumber the cyclopes as well.
    99% of the time, if a barbarian survives a battle with only 1 stack
    left, it will be a fairly large stack of ogre lords. The crusaders
    should concentrate on them rather than the cyclops, unless there
    are equal numbers of the two (which is unlikely). Also, by not
    getting the retaliation attack from the cyclops, there is a lesser
    chance of the crusaders being paralyzed (and thus beaten up by BOTH
    ogre lords and cyclops).

  * Fighting Sorceress:
    With Champions, you can stand up against Phoenixes. Getting into
    the same lane with them gives you first shot. The champions are not
    any weak army and the losses are worth it. The Phoenixes will smash
    the rangers, but your Crusaders will be already on the way to
    prevent Grand Elves and Greater Druids from second shot, while
    Swordsmen and Pikemen shoud beat the crap out of the Phoenixes.
    TreeBeard says: But then, the crusaders will get hurt from the
    unicorns that might be blessed and blind them. Also, expect the
    sprites to go after the rangers if the sorceress have attacked the
    knight, but not the phoenixes, which means you'll have to attack
    with all your walkers. Iniciative will be very important in such a
    battle.

  * Fighting Warlock:
    As in other cases, the rangers are deemed to die as enemy will
    probably have two very fast flyers to go after them. Warlock is a
    strong opponent. Your only chance is aggresivity. Dragon Slayer on
    Crusaders will make wonders here, The rule about concentrating
    firepower is extremely important here - the dragons must be taken
    out ASAP. The rest should be easier then - the minotaur kings and
    flyers are usually taken as a by product of the dragon-slaying,
    because they'll get over to you pretty soon. The hydras can be then
    Blinded and a massive attack arranged, that will give them no
    chance to move. TreeBeard says: Beware of Magic! A simple berserker
    on your crusaders and you're knee-deep in trouble, not to mention
    Draggagedon combo, which is extremely efficient against the low
    HPed Knight troops (Imagine that for every one point of enemy spell
    power, you'll lose two pikemen, almost two swordsmen, five rangers,
    one champion and almost one crusader... and 50 peasants, of course
    ;-))

  * Fighting Wizard:
    The titans are the obvious threat. Since you cannot block them,
    they'll cause you great losses. Unless you have ranger stack big
    enough to survive titans' and archmagis fire, you might as well
    forget about protecting those rangers and run straight after the
    enemy shooters. If any of your rangers survive and play before
    enemy rocs, use them to cripple halflings. Champions, if they
    haven't already attacked boars or rocs, should be able in the
    second turn to give hell to archmagi, possibly sacrificing
    themselves to block titans - or even attack titans to waste their
    retaliation and slice them with crusaders. Swordsmen and Pikemen
    should be enough to deal with rocs and boars without suffering any
    great harm. TreeBeard says: Again, beware of magic. The best way is
    to attack before the wizards manage to get titans.

  * Fighting Necromancer:
    With Crusaders' double damage versus undead, there's no need to
    stress the fact that crusaders should do most of the job. Unless
    you can haste your archers, enemy Vampire Lords will go after them.
    Depending on the size of the bone dragon stack, you might wish to
    block your arches against their attack - they'll then go after the
    crusaders and if are outnumbered, will die there. However, if you
    want first shot at them with the golden boys (and that might save
    you a good number of them), let them toast your rangers and wipe
    them in the next turn. Champions should be able to toast enemy
    skeletons, unless in extremely high numbers. The undead walkers are
    a threat only if their numbers are high. Be sure to concentrate
    your fire onto Vampire Lords within one round as to lower their
    ranks in the best possible way. A good thing to prevent computer
    from raising them from the dead is positioning a unit atop their
    ashes... A good thing is to try and send your champions to deal
    with power liches ASAP, because that will give you two shot combo
    (champions-crusaders) in every subsequent round.

Hero benefits:
No need to comment. Comparable with barbarian - both in very quick
offensives and in long-run campaigns very valuable, outranked by
spellcasters only in mid-terms.
Compared with barbarian, Knight gets far more levels in magic and thus
may partially stand up to spellcasters, especially by using Mass spells
or helping himself slaying weaker stacks. The most proficient way is
Disrupting Ray on strong and slow enemy stacks. (Remember that with
every Ray hitting the enemy, you increase damage your troops cause to
that stack by 15 to 30%m the higher value much more likely, since your
units should already have greater A than enemy D is.). Also, the knight
has twice the barbarians' chance of getting wisdom. (Well, not exactly
twice, since that would need a LOT of counting...)
important for the troops and strategy:
Archery is useful especially in cases where larger quantities of
archers become available, as well as in maps where you plan to conquer
wizards or sorceresses pretty quickly and use their troops later. (Very
recommended, anyway. Having a few titans to attract enemy attention
also gives the rangers some breathing (and shooting) room.)
Leadership is critical, because all your walkers are able to reach
enemy in one turn, if they get the extra morale. With the enormous
close range firepower that your walkers carry, you should in fact rely
on morale boosts.
Ballistics is very important, too, as you'll need to get inside the
enemy castle as fast as possible to minimize losses on your rangers..
Wisdom comes very interesting in larger maps, where you can expect your
knight to get both sufficient magic skills and enough levels to get the
wisdom to advanced or expert level. In shorter maps, you'll probably do
without wisdom. Usually the decision should be affected by availability
of 3rd level spells (from captured guilds and map shrines).
Diplomacy may be very important in the long run, because knight's
troops tend to take minimal losses and once you're on the road, you
stop buying units at home and start to accumulate gold, which could be
later used to buy wandering armies - especially efficient to replenish
ranger stacks that have suffered losses, or to get another powerful
shooter stacks - especially elves/grand elves fit there.

Beyond all doubt, the knight troops are the wimpiest in the game, in
overall long-run look. The knight's strength lies in short-term
exploration and conquering, in fearsome crusaders and in the ability to
use magic quite well. Knights get magic levels far more often than
barbarians.
Your rangers are quite weak for an AI's primary target, so you'll
probably suffer quite high losses. It helps greatly to use Steelskin or
Shield for protection and Haste/Slow to give them their chance to prove
themselves.
As a knight, I do not rely much on my own troops, because a few weeks
worth' of them is enough to gain access to somebody else's troops. As
soon as you locate an enemy castle with suitable troop types built,
take it at almost all costs. I usually use my original troops as a
garrison, preventing weaker enemies from reclaiming their home town,
and use local troops (mostly dragons, titans etc.) for further
conquest. But even with Phoenixes the Knight is usually capable of very
good opposition. (Not to mention adding some 20 war troll to your
army...)

--Using Barbarian--
-------------------

Strengths:
Quite good for small to medium scenarios and fast conquering.
Sturdy, tough units with very good offensive.
Can profit from map bonuses - at forts two armies can be upgraded for
free - financial saves.
Three main stacks have special abilities, all quite useful.
Toughest fourth dwelling creatures - ogres are excellent for castle
defense, especially after the upgrade.
Sometimes the pathfinding skill is a decisive factor, especially for
conquering in early stages. The shooters do excellent job, especially
against wandering armies.
Orcs can be recruited for free and found in villages often.

Weaknesses:
Lower speed of units - opponents get quite often a chance to play.
Lack of ore at startup.
Sometimes hero gets only attack skill upgrades and remains quite
vulnerable even in longer gameplay. Must use most aggressive approach
then, which can even mean taking some losses while grabbing artifacts,
searching graveyards etc. (I remember getting a 10/1/1/1 barbie without
artifacts.)
Quite expensive armies and especially dwellings. After upgrading troll
bridge in second week, you'll have very little money left for buying
troops. However, overall prices are quite fair - wolves, ogre lords and
war troll cost 7900 per week, which is more than covered by castle
output. With some luck (in the nearby fort) you'll save quite a bit on
the ogres and may as well afford slower orc chiefs.

Army evaluation:
Goblin 4/1/3/1-2/4/40
Among the 1st levels their standing is moderate. In high numbers, they
make an excellent unit for defense of shooters as they can deal quite
considerable bits of damage. High numbers are pretty common, because
the goblin hut is one of those nice little buildings ;-)
They carry cosiderable attack punch. With average speed, they're able
to have first strike on approaching enemy walkers with fast+ speed
(Royal mummies, upgraded knight infantry, unicorn and all very fasts.).
I usually use goblins only in large numbers - i.e. when I have multiple
castles and/or goblin huts. Usually stationed as defense reserves,
bought and employed only when I'll need them

Orc 3/4/10/2-3/2/140
Orc Chief 3/4/15/3-4/3/175
A powerful shooter, definitively in comparation with other 2nd level
troops. The upgrade is a must, as it increases HPs by 50% and damage by
33%, not mentioning the higher speed. Since they're available in watch
towers, which are used quite often (due to the nice picture) in many
maps, it may be possible to gather very large armies of orcs. Since
their upgrade can be made in forts for no fee, they're usually a must.
Their lower speed will often get compensated by their leader's
pathfinding, making the barbarian as fast as other heroes, or even
faster. However, they'll often suffer losses in battles. TreeBeard
scores a good point here: Often. But most maps have a huge grass
regions, which means you'll get slow. That's very frustating to try to
run from a mighter hero using those slow troops, not to mention that,
if you have a Very slow or Slow troops, the opponent will get
initiative next turn.

Wolf 6/2/20/3-5/6/200
Attacks the target twice.
A must, especially in the beginning. While they're not strong by HPs
compared to other 3rd levels, they have two good attributes - speed and
doubled attack, which is supported by the relatively good Attack skill.
Usually, they're very valuable against wandering shooters. The very
fast speed will often give you first strike (and opportunity to cast
some spell, too!)
Being two-hex makes them a good blocker for protecting shooters. In
terrain with obstacles, you may even fool wandering walkers by blocking
one side of shooter stack in second turn - see the end of Way of Hero
article for better description of this trick.
TreeBeard says: But their pitiful defense and low HP mean heavy
casualities. They must be protected and only strike to kill, preferably
in the first strike.

Ogre 9/5/40/4-6/2/300
Ogre Lord 9/5/60/5-7/4/500
One of the most remarkable armies. After the upgrade, they often become
the main punch of your army. Since they're there from the very first
week, you'll have plenty of them.
Their biggest advantage is that they're upgraded at forts and with
those 60HPs they beat all other 4th levels (that range from 25 of gr.
druids to 45 of Minotaur Kings.) Their skills and damage are also quite
remarkable.
In the beginning, you probably won't have enough gold to take them on
the road, but if you manage so, you'll benefit from the high HPs in one
more way - wandering armies will give you much more respect, giving you
the opportunity to decide, if you want the exp. for their killing or
rather let them flee, taking no losses from flyers/shooters. Of course,
many more of those armies can now offer you to join them.

Troll 10/5/40/5-7/4/600
War Troll 10/5/40/7-9/5/700
Both: Regenerates to full HP at start of every battle turn.
An excellent shooter. The troll special of regeneration gives
significant advantage i.e. at castle sieges, where total damage points
generated by defensive ballista fire are greatly reduced and with
weaker castles even totally eliminated. Of course, as TreeBeard
corrects me, this regeneration advantage diminishes with time because
it's importance is inverse to enemy army size.
The upgrade gives also a remarkable damage increase, making war troll a
killing machine.
The upgrade is necessary - being Fast gives you a good chance to fire
before enemy average flyers/shooters can take their part. I.e. prevents
blocking by Rocs, Griffins, Sprites, Vampires (to take one army of each
probable enemy ;-)).
Besides, they usually draw enemy attention, which makes a nice combo of
war trolls placed next to Ogre lords, who in their turn smash the
opposing flyers.

Cyclope 12/9/80/12-24/5/750+ 1cr
Two-hex attack, 10% chance to Paralyze enemy after hit.
With Fast speed and two hex attack, a remarkable opponent. Also, the
Paralyze special can give very big advantage, because paralyzed stack
doesn't retaliate - so you can take care of other enemy stacks, then
surround the paralyzed one by all your bashers and give him hell.
However, Cyclopes are costly to build, as the barbarian's gold
consumption for trolls, wolves and orcs is quite high. On the other
hand, not including the crystal, they themselves are quite cheap - 4 of
them cost less than 5 war trolls and as much as 6 ogre lords.
And one personal experience - they're the only one-hex creature with
two-hex attack... and one often forgets about that and either in attack
or, much more often, in retaliation the cyclopes harm their own troops.
When the enemy has the initiative in form of faster troops, you'll have
to be very careful with moving cyclopes around the battlefield.

Upgrading priorities:

  * Stick hut: Low priority. Although the upgrade is significant, the
    global importance of orcs in the barbarian army is much less
    significant. Wait until you're sure there's no fort close to your
    castle or somewhere on the way to your enemies.

  * Adobe: Medium priority. Ogres are crippled in the battles by their
    low speed. The upgrade helps them in many ways. Applies the above
    considering waiting.

  * Bridge: Highest priority. Increased damage and speed are very
    important.

Barbarian Castle building in the first week:

          ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
          ³ Day 1: ³ Statue    ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore            ³
          ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
          ³ Day 2: ³ Stick Hut ³ 750 gold + 5 wood            ³
          ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
          ³ Day 3: ³ Den       ³ 1000 gold                    ³
          ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
          ³ Day 4: ³ Well      ³ 500 gold                     ³
          ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
          ³ Day 5: ³ Adobe     ³ 3000 gold + 10 ore + 10 wood ³
          ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
          ³ Day 6: ³ Bridge    ³ 4000 gold + 20 ore           ³
          ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
So, we have there one day reserve, sometimes more.
There's one thing to stress (thank TreeBeard) - unless you're sure
you'll be able to get extra 15 ore, don't rush for the statue - this
might prevent you from getting trolls within the first week.
(Stick Hut has some chance to be there in a random castle, while the
map makers often give the castles Statues/wells)
The reserve may be used for Garbage Heap (1000 gold) or Mage Guild
(1000 +5w +5o)

Now, we'll need 10 more ore for upgrade of Bridge, 5 more wood for
upgrade of Stick Hut and 20 ore and 20 crystal for Cyclopes, along with
those large gold sums.

Building Coliseum is very optional, while the fortifications and moat
may come handy, if you ever expect your enemy to get close to your home
castle. But that can wait. Resource summary:
You'll need 15 wood, 30 ore and 8100 gold for the dwellings alone,
another 5 ore and 1250 gold for statue and well.
Another 10 wood, 15 ore and 6200 gold is needed for dwellings upgrades
(provided that there's no fort nearby to save on ogres and orcs)
Weekly armies without the cyclopes cost 8400 gold before upgrades,
10450 gold after upgrades.
An interesting idea from TreeBeard is to not use goblins and orcs in
the same task-force, just use one of them and when they suffer some
heavier losses and become weak, replace them with the other type and
let the weakened stack grow at home into more usable size.
Total production (inc. cyclopes) cost/week 11400, 13450 with upgrades
The rough castle output will be 1250x7 - 8750 gold/week.
HPs grown weekly 1250 at 10.76 g/HP

All that sums up to the fact that gold will be prety scarce.

Strategy
The highest priority at the early game is ore - which can usually be
found near. If it seems that there won't be any free ore nearby, you'll
have to get a mine fast. No cost is high enough. It always pays back
soon to sacrifice most of your starting armies (you should have 10+
orcs, 20+ goblins and five wolves by day 2) to sweep out some level1-2
monsters guarding an ore mine.
The second highest priority is beyond all doubt gold.
You'll need two villages to support your weekly troops production
(without cyclopes) and bigger sources to accumulate money for cyclopes,
mage guilds etc.etc.)

Depending on the resources available in close vicinity to your
heroes/castles, the first issue should be statue, if affordable.
You'll need 30 ore for ogres and trolls. If there is a mine nearby, get
it at all costs. Sacrificing a few orcs and goblins is never a too high
price. An useful thing here is to buy a second hero (whenever you
expect the explorable area to be big. Leave him with one goblin to have
some speed. The main hero should occupy the ore mine, get all the
treasure chests for experience (ok, maybe those that offer 500exp/1000
gold should be converted to cash, if you don't have surplus. Sometimes
it might be better to go for gold needed for structure building.)
By the end of first week, you should have bridge built. At day 1, week
2 you'll probably not have enough cash to buy all trolls. Wait then.
With 8 trolls split into two stacks and possibly 12 wolves you should
be able to take out weaker armies and gain access to more resources,
artifacts and towns. This force is capable of capturing a town with
some 15 orcs, some wolves and goblins - which is the usual garrison of
neutral barbarian towns. Other towns should not pose any big trouble.
The touhgest opponents could be warlock and sorceress towns - they have
average or faster shooters/flyers. But having your trolls upgraded to
War trolls should solve this (at least partially).

Remember that trolls regenerate, and make sure that the troll stack
will have more HP's in total than the orcs or other shooters you might
have, so that enemy units will go after the trolls. (Of course, only if
you want them to! If you're sure you'd take losses, it's usually better
to take losses to the lower-dwellings troops.)
It works great esp. with weaker castle garrisons, that will waste their
firepower, often causing some 35 damage per round... which the trolls
promtly restore ;-)

Forces combination:
I usually prefer to walk around with all wolves and trolls I can buy,
with addition of orcs, preferrably upgraded. The orcs aren't required
for exploration. I often leave Ogres and Orcs at home, until I need
them, or at least until I locate a fort for free upgrade.
Generally, you must decide whether or not you will aim for building and
using cyclopes. If so, then you can probably leave ogres at home
unpurchased in reserve and save the money for cyclopes.
If you're not planning to build pyramid, you'll probably take the ogres
on the road, as they have excellent potentials in damage causing,
damage absorbing and intimidating wandering armies into joining. In
heaviest final battles, the ogres are often the only stack that remains
on the battle field. For battle purposes, it is unbearable to go
without upgrade. Upgraded Ogre Lords not only have 50% more HPs, but
also move around within 4-field radius, which in battle is far much
better than two-field of the Slow Ogres.
Recommended order of stacks: If you have non-upgraded ogres and orcs,
let them stand next to each other, the ogres let to be playing first.
With both stacks being very slow, they'll be playing usually last in
the turn, which means that the orcs will be often already under attack
- in first round from flyers, in next rounds from faster walkers. In
both cases the Ogres can either smash the opposition or at least waste
their retaliation, so that the orcs can attack at close range, too,
without suffering additional losses.
Once the Ogre Lords are upgraded, be sure to position them into the
third slot, so that they'll be able to reach both upper and lower side
of battle field. Other armies can be placed everywhere, with Goblins
possibly in the 2nd/4th slot, Trolls and Orcs NOT next to each other.
Wolves and Cyclopes are usually able to reach anywhere they need. The
order of War Troll and Cyclopes should be changed operationally, as
sometimes the cyclopes will be needed to clean the space around the
trolls.
Order of Goblins/Ogre Lords depends on size of those stacks. Sometimes
a small force of goblins can be sacrificed to waste retaliation of some
strong enemy stack to give the Ogre Lords a free shot, but in most
cases the order should be reversed, as the ogre lords seldom take
significant losses where the goblins would get decimated.
If you're exploring, your backup hero can carry your orcs. If you have
a considerable firepower in wolves, cyclopes and trolls, you can give
the backup guy also ogre lords and goblins. This way, the backup guy
will have a force strong enough to occupy villages, defeat most
wandering armies and, last but not least, defeat those bothering weak
computer bastards that have nothing better to do than claim mines that
you've already taken for yours. For important battles, those secondary
forces can be used by the main hero.
Always remember that strongest skill of barbarians is attack and their
troops are designed to conform with this system.
Be very careful about positioning your cyclopes! If you place them next
to wolves or any other two-hex creature, you risk that any attack on
the cyclopes will cause them to harm the wolves in the retaliation.
This is most likely against human players, who will definitely try to
use their very fast flier to do so. The computer might do that if he
cannot attack your shooters.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting fellow barbarians:
    This is usually a tough job. You need to accomplish several things
    before your opponent does. You have to do your best to get first
    shot with trolls and first shot with orcs. When fighting AI, you
    may help yourself much using Blind or Paralyze spells. The opposing
    wolves should be killed once they run across the field, using
    cyclopes and ogre lords. The enemy cyclopes shouldn't be allowed to
    attack your shooters - either use slow and fry them with your
    shooters or go after them with your own cyclopes and ogre lords,
    possibly both in the same round. Fighting barbarians means usually
    quite heavy losses.

  * Fighting knights:
    Here the biggest threat lies in crusaders... Champions that go
    after your shooters should be no match for your cyclopes. Depending
    or sizes of your orc stack and enemy ranger stack you'll have to
    decide, whether you'll smash rangers with trolls or, using some
    spell, have the orcs play before the rangers and kill them. You'll
    have to pay attention, though, not to let crusaders start the
    second round, because they would cripple your shooters. Often it
    means that you'll have to attack them with your Cyclopes and Ogre
    Lords, suffering some losses. Having Blind or even better Paralyze
    will help much. You have two possibilities - either you keep your
    wolves alive along with enemy Champions (though severely damaged)
    to keep the opportunity to play after them and somehow disable
    Crusaders (by spells or by blocking them), or you'll kill the
    Champions and assure that your opponent plays the last move of the
    first round... However, if you have orcs/orc chiefs and he's got
    only average or faster units, you can't do that and the Crusaders
    will play before you. Most effective is Haste on the Trolls. If the
    champions are dead, Slow on Crusaders works well, too. But be
    careful about Slowing them in the first round, because AI will
    dispel that as soon as possible.

  * Fighting Sorceress:
    There's nothing you can do. The sorceress will almost usually have
    first strike with Phoenixes, going after your trolls. Unless you
    have some useful spells (see below), Grand Elves and Greater Druids
    will probably have time to shoot, too, and possibly even sprites
    will come after your trolls. It may be good to keep your shooters
    with the backup hero and deal with the sorceresses with strong
    walkers only. They will suffer lesser losses that shooters, whose
    value is higher in general concept of barbarian warfare. However,
    if you battle sorceress with all your forces, you should try to
    protect your wolves as they're the only unit that gives you an
    opportunity to cast a spell before the nasty very fast shooters of
    your enemy take their action, which is made worse by the fact that
    Sorceress ALWAYS has Bless spell.

  * Fighting Warlock:
    Without Haste spell, the enemy will get first attack at your
    shooters. If the dragons will already be black ones, your trolls
    will get their butt kicked. Among the best strategies are: Using
    Dragon Slayer spell on your strongest stack (most often Ogre
    Lords), having one very fast flyer (purchased at any captured
    warlock village) to waste the dragons' retaliation in first round,
    thus allowing you to smash them with all your walkers. Against AI
    use a few orcs as a bait to waste the dragons' power, keeping your
    main shooters with the backup hero.

  * Fighting Wizard:
    The titans are the obvious threat. Since you cannot block them,
    they'll cause you great losses. Your task is to eliminate rocs as
    fast as possible. Often is that done by shooting with trolls, the
    rocs usually survive, fly to the trolls and die there. The orcs
    should take out the archmagi. Cyclopes and Ogre Lords are powerful
    enough to take on the Titans. The titans can be Slowed, Cursed, or
    Disrupted - which are all good ways to help yourself with minor
    spells. However, the losses are obvious here. Since the enemy will
    probably have three shooter stacks, you might minimize those losses
    by casting Shield/Steelskin on the Trolls.

  * Fighting Necromancer:
    The most threatening are Bone Dragons (with second best raw damage
    in the game!) and Vampire Lords with their regeneration. The
    walkers are not a match for ogre lords. Skeletons can be dangerous
    in very high numbers, but with their weak defense they're toast
    once your orcs get aim at them. Usual procedure is to eliminate
    Bone Dragons and possibly Vampire Lords within the first round.
    There it's important to play with trolls sooner than the Vampire
    Lords - they fly back to trolls and the Cyclopes can then finish
    them. If you happen to have the Slow spell, the Bone dragons are
    solved by that pretty easily. Or, as Qurqirish Dragon suggests, you
    might as well Slow the VLs - very effective, if your trolls are
    able to 'minimize' the Boners in one shot. The power liches are
    about the only stack that will cause damage in the first round.
    However, be careful about the Slow spell - if you play last move in
    the first round and the Power Liches are still there, enemy will
    Haste the VLs and give your trolls hell. (It may help to leave your
    orcs and goblins with the backup hero, keeping only the Ogre Lords
    in the Average speed class - the enemy often has skeletons AND
    mutant zombies or regular mummies, thus assuring your Wolves first
    move in second round - and the opportunity to Slow/kill Liches and
    get another free shot on the VLs with trolls and also scoring a
    good damage with Cyclopes.)

Hero's benefits:
The barbarian doesn't need any extra comments - it's about the best
type for both long-run campaigns and very quick offensives -
outrankedspellcasters only in mid-term, where their direct damage spells
are
already available and dangerous.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Archery can give your troops significant boost as your forces should
rely on it.
Balistics is a very good pick, because your three walkers are all very
potent in damage dealing.
Wisdom is less important here, as Barbarians are rarely good
spellcasters, unless helping themselves greatly by artifacts. But as a
general rule, you won't get many chances on Wisdom, so whenever you
think you might need it, take it. (Especially in larger maps it comes
handy in the end, because spells like Mass Haste/Slow and Berzerker can
do wonders and don't rely much on spellpower.)

Generally it's clear that the way of barbarian in battle is pretty
tough, but so is the barbarian himself. His strength is in quick,
aggressive exploration, resource gathering, good movement in rough
terrain.
In the battles, all tactics get changed if you happen to have Mass
Haste or Mass Slow, because those turn the tables greatly in your
favor. Having their minor versions isn't that good, yet having your War
Trolls Ultra Fast can never be any bad.

--Using Necromancer--
---------------------

Strengths:
The undead concept itself with getting skeletons for free ;-)
Very fast shooter with excellent defense.
Vampire lord special. If you give the necros a lot of time, they'll
smash you. A stack of some 40 or more vampire lords is virtually
indestructible, even by equal or stronger armies. If you manage to get
a good attack rating, you've in fact won.
Cheaper resurrection (both in obtaining and casting.)
All armies immune to Mind magic along with Curse (this is really great
advantage!)
Cumulative Castle Special Building in EP maps.
Necromancer is the fastest to build (under favorable conditions) the
6thlevel dwelling - on day 4.

Weaknesses:
Resource and financial problems - without a gold mine or two you'll
never have enough, not even barely enough.
Slow armies at start, not much better later.
The necromancy bound to the hero, who cannot compete with Might ones in
A/D matters.

Army evaluation:

All troops have no morale and are immune to Mind magic as well as
Bless/Curse.

Skeleton 4/3/4/2-3/4/75
Real little bastards. Their speed allows them to decide many battles,
especially in connection with the fact that Necro's default spell is
Haste.
The 2-3 damage is far the best among 1st level creatures - all others
have 1-2 (halflings 1-3, but lower attack skill).
The fact that their map dwelling does align well only with desert
background is far, far more compensated by the fact that the necros
don't have to rely on recruiting/buying skeletons ;-)

Zombie 5/2/15/2-3/2/150
Mutant Zombie 5/2/20/2-3/4/200
Without the upgrade it's pain in the ass to have to use them.
One of the poor fellows that end up on the fact that Necros are poor in
financial means.
I personally almost never purchase those - the only exception are
desperate castle defending missions.
They're definitely not worth the money they cost, with their puny
defense skill.

Mummy 6/6/25/3-4/4/250
Royal Mummy 6/6/30/3-4/5/300
Both: 20% chance to Curse enemy after hit. I think the Royals have 30%
here, but I'm not sure.
They're quite similar to zombies, only a bit tougher and a bit more
expensive.
Their only positive is quite solid defense skill and, after the
upgrade, their Fast speed rating.
Yet, due to financial shortages, I use mummies only in cases where I'm
able to build only one of better armies.

Vampire 8/6/35/5-7/4/500
Vampire Lord 8/6/40/5-7/5/650
Both: Non-retaliated attack.
Upgraded: Regenerates dead units within one battle based on HPs of
killed enemies.
Vampires are pretty useful. In fact, they're the only higher monster
that does unretaliated attacks (the other two are 1st level wimps.) (Of
course, hydras do have the same ability, but it's greatly crippled by
the fact that they don't fly and move very slowly...)
They do moderate damage and have sufficient A/D skills.
After the upgrade, they become tougher in HPs, faster, and above all,
start to regenerate from the blood of their enemies.
This is a terribly strong feature. Once their numbers reach some 30-40,
they're much harder to kill.
An example... a 100 of Vampire Lords is able to deal Average damage of
600 (to opponent with defense 8), which means regenerating 15 of
previously killed stack members. So, in order to kill a VL stack with
100 pieces, you need to deal more than 1200 damage to it per turn.
(They retaliate, too! In fact, much more than that, because you need to
kill this stack pretty fast since there other stacks to go after within
the same battle ;-)

Lich 7/12/25/8-10/5/750
Power Lich 7/13/35/8-10/6/900
Both: Area attack striking 7 hexes with target hex at center.
An underestimated unit (at least by many players), the liches are far
stronger than you might think.
After the upgrade, they're the only Very Fast unit in Necro camp,
giving the Necro chance to Haste (as this he always can do) Bone
Dragons or Vampire Lords that can then block enemy shooters.
Having defense rating of 13 (which is the same the Red Dragons have)
they'll suffer quite low damage from enemy shooters/flyers, yet will
draw the enemy attention.
Their area attack with an excellent damage of 8-10 can cause
significant losses to enemy troops, especially those that have
surrounded the AI's primary target in your ranks - usually those
offensive VLs or Boners. You have to be pretty careful to not hit your
own armies - and often you'll have to plan your moves well to keep at
least one enemy unit free for them as a target.
However, with their miserable 35 HPs, they'll often become subject of
direct damage spells that prove pretty effective against them.

Bone Dragon 11/9/150/25-45/4/1500

Induces -1 morale on all enemy.
A terribly powerful unit with average damage of 35, they're a must.
Their special of reducing enemy morale also comes handy as it helps to
prevent those nasty knights from getting some of their extra attacks
and kicking your butt too soon.
Their only disadvantage is their low speed, but that can be compensated
by Necro's default spell ;-)
One more good thing is the fact that Boners can be possibly (in richer
maps) built within the first week.

Upgrading priority:

  * Graveyard: Lowest priority. Only in helpless situations where you
    badly need the extra HPs - i.e. for castle defense.

  * Pyramid: Low priority. Unless you want mummies in your task force,
    you won't need them.

  * Mansion: High priority. The more vampires you have, the higher is
    the priority to upgrade. Do I have to explain why?

  * Mausoleum: Highest priority. You might disagree, but having a first
    strike gives you the possibility to haste your VLs or Boners. Not
    having it gives the opponent the possibility to cast his spell
    first (and it can be Holy Shout or MassSlow ;-))

Necromancer Castle building in the first week:
(Poor variant - the vampire way)

        ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
        ³ Day 1: ³ Mage Guild    ³ 2000 gold + 5 ore + 5 wood ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 2: ³ Well          ³ 500 gold                   ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 3: ³ Graveyard     ³ 1000 gold                  ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 4: ³ Pyramid       ³ 1500 gold + 5 ore          ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 5: ³ Thieves Guild ³ 750 gold + 5 wood          ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 6: ³ Mansion       ³ 3000 gold + 10 wood        ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 7: ³ Mausoleum     ³ 3000 gold + 10 sulfur      ³
        ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
In case that you don't want to build liches (or discover very soon that
you won't get the +5 sulfur needed for them) you can skip Mage Guild
and Mausoleum, thus giving you a chance to build statue on Day 1 and
one day for reserve, in tougher scenarios gladly used for skull pile. I
personally usually start with the statue. If you happen to have one of
the structures from the schedule built, you migth as well manage to get
the Mausoleum working on Day 7, with the little sulfur gotten from
somewhere.
You'll need some 11000 gold (which should be ok) and 20 wood, 10 ore
and 10 sulfur, which seems to be the only problem here. (The
sulfur-free variant is cheaper by 3000 gold, which allows you to do
more recruiting and start out on day1, week2)

(Rich variant - the Boner variant):

         ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
         ³ Day 1: ³ Statue     ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore            ³
         ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
         ³ Day 2: ³ Well       ³ 500 gold                     ³
         ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
         ³ Day 3: ³ Graveyard  ³ 1000 gold                    ³
         ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´        ³
Day 4: ³ Mage Guild ³ 2000 gold + 5 ore + 5 wood   ³
         ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
         ³ Day 5: ³ Mausoleum  ³ 3000 gold + 10 sulfur        ³
         ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
         ³ Day 6: ³ Laboratory ³ 10000 gold + 5 all resources ³
         ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
The rich variant has one day reserve and apart from 20 ore and 10 wood
needs 15 sulfur, which means that you'll have to get the 10 extra
sulfur units within the first seven days.
The second biggest trouble is gold. With 7500 starter cash and 7500 of
castle revenues till day 7, you're still 2750 gold pieces short into
the total of 17750. This may require two or three treasure chests or
some four lumps of gold scattered around the castle. That's why this
variant is called rich ;-)
Unless you've got a poorly guarded gold mine right next to your castle,
this variant has one more negative impact... You'll have to wait more
than a day for every bone dragon - taking the four of them out onto the
road on day5, week2, where your opponents may already have gotten some
advantage... four days' advance in exploration MAY be critical...
The upgrade of Vampires is another costly thing - 10 crystal and 10
gems may be a tough nut to crack. And you'll definitely need either
Vampire Lords or Power Liches to support your boners, if you don't want
heavy losses to them.
The 10 more crystal for the shrine is a good investment in larger maps,
yet it's often hard to gather, but this thing doesn't hurry much.
The Storm is quite useful (and the price tells that so) because the +2
spell power can be anything from 20 to 50 damage to a signle unit and
10 to 100 damage to multiple units, along with prolonged effects of
misc. spells. Especially the captain gets a noticeable boost which may
undermine enemy sieging plans.

Resources summary:
The variants are discussed above.
Weekly armies without Boners cost 9550, after upgrades 11600. Boners
will add 4500 to this amount.
HPs grown weekly 1202 at 13.839g/HP
The rough castle output will be 1250x7 - 8750 gold/week.
The armies' costs implicate that you won't be probably buying all of
them, unless you get a stable gold source.

Strategy
The overall strategy is quite simple... Either get tons of gold or tons
of skeletons. In cases neither is possible, you're toasted ;-)
The biggest problem may lie in resources - you'll need extra magical
stuff for almost anything. If you decide to go after Boners, sulfur
will do, but you'll have trouble with magic. If you aim at vampire
lords, crystal and gems are crucial and you'll need 10 of them both, if
you want any good magic to use.
If there are any low-level troops near your castle that don't block the
way to something important, leave them there until your hero gets
Expert Necromancy and until you'll NEED the skeletons. Remember that
wandering armies grow exponentially (The growth rate is 14% percent)
and so grow your skeleton reserves ;-).
Once you get a well-sized stack of skeletons, you may start more
aggressive expansion. Seven or even four bone dragons are a force good
enough to start conquering weak neighbours with. The Vampire Lords need
to reach some good numbers before you can start a good long journey
based on them.
Some 20+ VLs should do all right against most early enemies, while in
lesser quantities, you might suffer intolerable losses.
In battles, you'll have a tough time due to your slower armies. Try to
improve that by casting Haste on those huge skeleton stacks (to the
best effect, do that just when your regular turn with skeletons comes -
by that time any very fast, fast and some average walkers/flyers have
already moved in and you can pick the best target for the skeletons.)
You should try to build 3rd level of Mage guild as the Animate Dead
spell is one of the best things you can get - far more valuable than
Death Wave. Animate Dead is pretty rare, but definitely worth the try.
ALWAYS remember how many VLs did you have at the start of any battle
and try to keep some weaker enemy units in reserve to replenish the VL
stack at the end of the battle - use stacks with low defense, so that
the VLs will cause maximum damage.
In cases where you plan to rely on skeletons (and therefore use a necro
as your main hero), get used to suffer some losses in battles against
Knight or Barbarian heroes. In some scenarios (either if you know your
enemies are Might heroes or if there are not many skeleton-providing
weakies around your castle) it may be wise to forget about necromancy
and get a barbarian or knight, because they'll be able to compensate
the loss of skeleton firepower by extracting much better performance
from the other troops and thus minimizing losses. (Barbie is better
because knight has one secondary skill slot wasted by leadership.)
[The general rule with Necromancer on the road is that all his stacks
in time get weakened with the exception of skeletons, while the overall
sum of his troops HPs is quietly growing. This may seem good to you,
but if you would count the HPs as a weighted average, where the weights
would be defense skills of particular stacks, you'd find that the HPs
do not grow that fast, if ever. A practical example would be a blessed
stack of crusaders beating the crap out of your 'famous and unbeatable'
skeleton army with two swift blows - whereas if you had the same HP
stored in bigger bones, the crusaders might get their balls crumpled.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting barbarians:
    One of the easier tasks. Power Liches can shoot after anything,
    possibly Ogres (low Defense) or Cyclopes (closerange threat). You
    should manage to play with VLs before War Trolls do (and possibly
    after the cyclopes) and strike at the War Trolls. Bone Dragons can
    aim at Orc chiefs or cyclopes (possibly blocking Orc chiefs) or the
    Orcs, if their numbers mean a real threat. You'll probably suffer
    some loses to Boners, maybe to liches, but your VLs should come out
    unharmed. Be sure to leave them some easy killing at the end -
    either goblins or Orcs do fine there. The skeletons should
    devastate the wolves and, being Hasted in the first or second turn,
    deliver a huge blow to Ogres or Cyclopes, whichever present the
    bigger threat to your VLs or Boners. (Usually the cyclopes, but
    ogres can be in much higher numbers sometimes.)

  * Fighting knights:
    The only things you have to do is avoid the Crusaders. The other
    armies are much less threatening. The crusaders will play before
    you, which may be a good advantage - your VLs can get to other
    side, attacking Fast walkers (while blocking Rangers) or attacking
    Rangers. The skeletons should be able to send the champions to hell
    in one blow. If you cast Haste on skeletons in the end of the turn,
    you might get a free shot on the crusaders with the huge skeleton
    stack - before that, either cast Haste on VLs or score some direct
    damage to crusaders (if they're really numerous, disrupting ray is
    better!). The rest should be easy - the Boners outperform those
    Fast walkers nicely.

  * Fighting Sorceress:
    The Phoenixes will probably toast your liches. If they'll survive,
    you can cast Haste on VLs and send them between Druids and Elves
    (if upgraded, otherwise even without the Haste) - they'll emerge
    with low losses (If the shooter stacks aren't together, choose the
    bigger threat, of course.) Your skeletons should give Phoenixes the
    hell, maybe with the help of Boners (which may be, though, needed
    to remove hordes of sprites). Hasted VLs assure you the first shot
    in second round - a great opportunity to revenge on unicorns to get
    back to original numbers. The rest is easy.

  * Fighting Warlock:
    The Dragons will give you hell. However, if they'll go after the
    liches, you might toast them with either DragonSlayered skeletons
    or just an overall offensive - possibly sacrificing some mummies or
    even the liches to waste their retaliation. Next take out the
    minotaur kings by similar procedure - Bloodlust on skeletons has
    wonderful effects. Meanwhile, your VLs and Boners should score
    heavily against Gargoyles and Griffins. The hydras are best taken
    out in one-to-one fight with VLs, but if the opponent has some
    strong direct damage spells, you might need to finish them up fast
    - again, use the Hasted skeletons. For killing anything large, you
    should rely on your four-digit skeleton stacks. And if you don't
    have them yet, avoid heavy battles. Remember one thing - the
    skeletons will attract enemy spellcasting, if the hero knows
    Disrupting Ray.

  * Fighting Wizard:
    Here your liches will probably get heavy losses. Use Hasted VLs and
    fit them between the Titans and Archmagi, if possible, attacking
    rather the Titans, as the archmagi will suffer enough from
    retaliation. If both shooters cannot be blocked by the VLs, you'll
    suffer here. Use Boners to cripple Rocs (or Golems, if you've
    already decided to sacrifice the Liches), best while blocking
    halflings. The skeletons should plan their way well, because
    they'll be hasted in the beginning of the second turn and should be
    able to reach their target - so, when moving them in the first
    round, pick a target that won't be in the second turn any farther
    than 7 hexes. Depending on their stack size, choose either Titans
    or something lesser like Archmagi.) Again, the Boners could suffer
    some losses, the liches WILL suffer and may probably die. Again,
    1000+ little bony bastards should help here.

  * Fighting fellow Necromancer:
    Not an easy job. You know where your strengths are (the strategies
    against various enemies are very similar to each other...) and
    exactly those are strengths of opposing necromancers. They, too,
    can Haste their skeleton avalanche... They too can have huge
    self-regenerating stack of VLs. The only advantage you have against
    AI is your knowledge of your enemys' strategy in battle. He won't
    use his VLs optimally (where the optimum is suffering no losses) -
    he'll simply go after primary targets with everything he can. I'm
    not including the individual moves here - they're pretty obvious.
    Simple guidelines are: Eliminate his VLs ASAP. Try taking out his
    Power Liches to assure that your hasted skeletons will have first
    shot. Ignore wimps as zombies and mummies, unless they're way too
    strong in numbers. Use Animate Dead only on important units. If you
    decide to ignore his (power) liches in the first round, try to move
    all your troops adjacent to an enemy stack so that the liches will
    then score damage to their own side. (The AI's too stupid to skip
    them...)

Hero's benefits:
The Necromancer's strength lies in the necromancy itself (and therefore
the fact that he can be very offensive with skeletons, fearing no
losses).
Another good thing about the Necro is the fact that he gets more levels
in A/D than other spellcasters and thus his troops have a slight edge
over their opponents.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
None are really needed as the two most important troops are flyers.
However, Ballistics can help you getting the Skeletons behind the
walls, if you can't teleport them there ;-)
If the Archery is offered to you early and you like liches, take it.
Their attack is not that bad - and considering the area effect, you
might sometimes profit from that greatly. It's not uncommon to hit
three enemies at once, which means that with expert archery, you score
4.5 times more than you'd guess by looking at the liches' stats. In the
early exploration the damage increase of the liches may prove worth the
slot as the liches may form the mainstay of your army along with the
vampires. Against wandering walkers, they work nice. (Keep them in the
last slot for best effects - the walkers will start coming diagonally
and form nice impact areas in the middle of the battlefield.)

In general, the necromancer can grow very powerful, but in many
scenarios the going can get extremely tough - no extra gold, few magic
resources, no wandering wimps to convert to skeletons - any of these
things can have great impact on the necromancer's performance.
Necromancer is also pretty vulnerable in the beginning - without Bone
Dragons, any attack from Might heroes within first two or three weeks
may well mean an end-game fanfare.

--Using Sorceress--
-------------------

Way of the Sorceress
          This document contains no 'general' rules - all thone
  non-class-specific ones are in the Way of the Hero and I suggest you
                  read it if you haven't done so yet.

Strengths:
Fastest offensive capabilities - good for defeating weaker heroes, slow
troops or wimpy shooters without losses.
Good for long exploring journeys due to bigger knowledge.
Four armies have useful specials.
Phoenix's speed gives it first strike ability (except against
champions).

Weaknesses:
Dependance on mercury, which is generally less frequent than other
resources due to design - mines are somewhat more popular than
Alchemist's Lab. (This is not the weakness of Sorceress, this is a
weakness of Map Makers, that hits Sorceresses badly.)
In early stages short of cash.
Generally lower HPs of troops, thus quite vulnerable to magic.

Army Evaluation:
Sprite 4/2/2/1-2/4/50
Non-retaliated attack.
Often a decisive element in many battles. Those little pixie things
profit from several things:
They're of a good speed - ideal for mopping up other 1st and 2nd level
creatures.
Their special - no retaliation - minimizes their losses.
They're the only creature that has TWO map dwellings - or, better said,
one dwelling and one recruiting place - and those get used often in
many maps.
In early exploration they help greatly defeating shooters and while in
latter phases you won't use them much, their numbers will quietly
accumulate. Good numbers can also be often found in captured neutral
villages. And with a strong hero, those little sweet flyers will have a
good punch, especially against other low level creatures.)

Dwarf 6/5/20/2-4/2/200
Battle Dwarf 6/6/20/2-4/4/250
Both: 20% chance to be immune to any enemy magic.
They'll profit from high numbers. While the slower version is unusable
for active warfare, the upgraded one matches your sprites in speed and
provides a good protective force for your shooters.
Mostly used as a deterring element in castle defense.
If you happen to find a few Dwarven Cottages and accumulate higher
numbers, battle use comes in, too.
One good thing is free upgrades at forts.
When in high numbers, the battle dwarves profit from one thing - their
special ability of magic resistance can often absorb enemys'
spellcasting efforts - the enemy will often try Disrupting Ray (and in
20% fail ;-))

Elf 4/3/15/2-3/4/250
Grand Elf 5/5/15/2-3/6/300
A good shooter with very significant upgrade - giving the elves both
speed boost and higher A/D.
The value of grand elves comes mainly from the speed, which is needed
for the fast-offensice concept.
They're not the primary target of enemy and their losses are therefore
minimal.
The elves before upgrade are about equal to Rangers, except the higher
HPs, and less plentiful. They're far much better after the upgrade.

Druid 7/5/20/5-8/4/350
Greater Druid 7/7/25/5-8/6/400
Quite powerful shooter. The upgrade gives speed and defense skill
boost, along with increased HPs.
The greater druids should be the mainstay of your offensive forces.
With their speed they should score two shots before enemy gets in
range.
However, get used to suffer losses as the druids will be targeted by
everything that moves and especially castle garissons will bother you.
Here often helps the Shield spell.

Unicorn 10/9/40/7-14/5/500

20% chance to Blind enemy after hit.
The only real walker-fighter among your troops.

The unicorns with Fast speed have good battle use, cause high damage
and their blinding ability often helps minimize overall losses.
The AI will often also waste lightning bolts on unicorns, while sparing
your shooters. Dunno why is that, maybe the AI really fears their
impressive stats.
Unicorns are a good target for your bless spells as it increases their
damage from average 10.5 to 14, which is some 38% boost.

Phoenix 12/10/100/20-40/7/1500+1m

Immune to elemental magic (Cold Ray, Lightning Bolt), some Mind magic I
think, two-hex attack.
The flaming bird is a nasty bastard to face. Their Ultra Fast speed
rating gives them (and you) the first shot.
Two-hex attack is extremly valuable when fighting walker wandering
armies.
Phoenixes have excellent damage rating - when blessed, they score about
as well as dragons, definitely better than titans and bone dragons.
Blessing them gives you 33% more damage on average. Another good spell
to cast upon them is Mirror Image, as this will give you a free attack
with them (unless facing champions) and force AI to cast a spell in
most cases to kill the image. (If you're wise enough to attack the same
target as the image source used.)

Upgrading priorities:

  * Cottage: Lowest priority. Unless you'll need the dwarves badly (and
    then, only if you can't find a fort.)

  * Archery Range: High priority. The speed is essential for you. Also
    a slight damage boost.

  * Stonehenge: High priority. The speed is essential for you. In many
    cases, you'll gain the mercury used here back soon due to quicker
    exploration (directly or via other resources to trade.)

Sorceress Castle building in the first week:

        ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
        ³ Day 1: ³ Statue        ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore          ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 2: ³ Archery Range ³ 1000 gold + 5 wood         ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 3: ³ Mage Guild    ³ 2000 gold + 5 ore + 5 wood ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 4: ³ Well          ³ 500 gold                   ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 5: ³ Stonehenge    ³ 3000 gold + 10 ore         ³
        ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
        ³ Day 6: ³ Fenced Meadow ³ 4000 gold + 10 gems        ³
        ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
The schedule has one day reserve useful for Crystal Garden or, in some
extra-rich maps, for the Red Tower. (This would mean 15 mercury, 20 ore
and about 8000 gold to get apart from starting treasure - a task that
is sometimes manageable.)
Without the Red Tower, you'll have some 3500 gold to spend on armies in
the beginning on the second week. Unless you have already gathered some,
you'll probably have to go into action with non-upgraded shooters
and barely anything else.
The dwarves will be built later, if ever, as they're not needed in your
battle strategies.
The castle special isn't worth the money spend on it, as it produces
unguaranteed results, and therefore is very optional. I build it for AI
cash - letting some stupid hero capture my castle with empty dwelling
and retaking it 7 days later with all the upgrades for free - in cases
where I can do without the 8000 cash deficit, of course.
If it's obvious that you won't be able to build Red Tower quickly, then
with some luck of 9 extra gems you might want to get a 2nd level Mage
Guild as soon as possible.
Considering the fact that upgrading your shooters is of utmost
importance, you will probably be able to start out with full army on
day 3 in second week. Also, if gold is scarce, you might want to save
both money and time by not building the Fenced Meadow and upgrading
both shooter dwellings instead, usually having enough cash to start
with their full production right on day 1.

Resources summary:
You'll need some 20 wood and 10 ore for building, along with 11750
gold, including cost of statue.
Weekly armies without the Phoenixes cost 7750, after upgrades 8950. The
phoenixes add another 4500.
HPs grown weekly 871 at 15.15 g/HP

Strategy
Notice that you have the weakest armies in total HPs - so you'll have
to make up for that handicap in speedy exploration.
Your main advantage is speed of your units. Use supportive (protective
and beneficial) spells to profit from that advantage.
You won't need any huge quantities of gold so you can aim at snatching
resources and generally doing things that will indirectly harm your
enemies.
The only big priority you have to follow is mercury in the early
stages. However, even sooner you should get 5 extra gems to get
unicorns as they'll provide a good protection of your shooters against
walkers and wimpy flyers. Remember that the badly needed mercury can be
acquired from marketplaces and trading posts, so do your best to get
every bit of every resource you can.
With those troops, you should plan your actions well - try to take out
the enemy armies in order of their speed rating - phoenixes should kill
any very fast armies and then your very fast shooters should take care
of the rest. (Using Blind on remaining armies or slow on other very
fast units may help you in this). The result is the enemy hero being
defeated without any chance to cause spell damage and/or flee. Mass
Haste should guarantee total domination, making all your troops (except
dwarves, who are at home, anyway) reaching the other end of
battlefield, the sprites being the slowest, yet very fast. With good
positioning of unicorns to hit two-hex enemies at other side, you could
slay five stacks without the enemy ever knowing what hit him.

Forces combination:
In the early-to-mid phases you'll probably use two very fast shooters
accompanied by unicorns and hordes of sprites to take care of
protective tasks and mopping up, respectively.
When phoenixes get introduced, you can drop the sprites at the castle,
increasing your map speed, and possibly unicorns, too.
The unicorns can form the mainstay of secondary hero armies, possibly
together with sprites, battle dwarves and any armies that have joined
your main hero and are unsuitable for his strategies.
For exploration, you'll do fine with the three armies (phoenixes, elves
and druids - both upgraded) and your hero will be quite fast.
For battles against heroes, though, I recommend putting the unicorns
in, as their firepower will be needed for defensive tasks against
approaching enemy walkers and flyers and, as I already have mentioned,
they'll often cause enemy to waste lightning bolts at them.
Be extremely careful about using phoenixes in attack, their HPs aren't
any high and slow walkers in enemy ranks may cause significant losses.
If you can, rather use those more expendable sprites to bother enemy
shooters (provided they'll play sooner).
The Qurqirish Dragon added a very important strategic tip: If you have
haste, unicorns become a real terror in all cases as an ultrafast troop
with blind ability. Remember that unicorns have the greatest attack
potential of all 5th and lower level troops, with a huge 10.5 average
and a 10/9 A/D - only Archmagi may think of being compared with
unicorns, having 12/8 and average damage 8 and ranged attack.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting barbarians:
    Barbarians' slow walkers would give hell to your phoenixes, so be
    careful - often it's wiser to not attack in the first turn. Your
    shooters should cause considerable damage to enemy trolls and/or
    orcs, the rest could be taken care of by either spells or sprites.
    In the second turn, you have first shot before wolves that have
    probably gotten close to you, so fry them with phoenixes and repeat
    the shooting procedures. (It may be needed to aim for approaching
    cyclopes rather than finishing enemy shooters.) In the third round,
    the Phoenixes can either get to other side to finish enemy
    shooters, while your shooters (and possibly unicorns) deal with now
    pretty close ogre lords and goblins. Remember that barbarian troops
    are pretty tough and once they'll get close to you, your losses
    will be high. It's usually better to sacrifice several unicorns to
    keep ogre lords/cyclopes busy in the middle field, not letting them
    to cripple your relatively weak shoooters. (Both Druids and Ogre
    Lords are 4th level troop - and there's VREY big difference between
    them, especially in close combat ;-).) Unless you have some magic
    tricks in your sleeve, you'll get beaten badly. Mass Slow, Blind,
    Paralyse and Berserk may be the difference between a huge loss and
    a flawless victory. Only a very strong in means of A/D a hero,
    possibly with some Leadership/Luck/Archery skills can make things
    easier.

  * Fighting knights:
    In the first turn, your Phoenixes/Unicorns should handle Champions
    (Phoenixes if the knight attacked you, Unicorns if you played first
    - don't ever think about moving the phoenixes onto the other side -
    the four walkers would beat the shit outta them.) Your shooters
    should easily eliminate rangers and possibly score even against
    crusaders or other walkers. The unicorns should not waste
    opportunity to strike in the first round, but do your best to keep
    them out of reach of those enemies, that haven't played yet. If the
    champions are dead, you'll have the first shot - you can Slow/Blind
    crusaders and handle other stacks with phoenixes, or use direct
    damage on crusaders (or beneficial spell on phoenixes) and try to
    fry the crusaders in one shot. However, if you let the crusaders to
    get at your shooters, you'll have them sliced very thinly. It's
    better to fry crusaders and let pikemen/swordsmen get their shot at
    the druids, because those enemy walkers are much weaker on both
    attack and defense and can be handled easier. Treebeard suggests
    strongly that you hold off your phoenixes and arrange your sprites
    to solve the ranger problem, while your shooters will do their best
    on the crusaders. However, I think that crusaders with their very
    high defense should be subjected to some magic, while the shooters
    should employ their potential against some slightly less-defended
    subjects (well, the difference is not that big, all the others have
    defense 9, yet that means 15 to 30% difference in damage dealt.)

  * Fighting fellow Sorceress:
    The ideal setup would be killing enemy phoenixes with yours, while
    blocking one stack of very fast shooters - they'll then attack
    phoenixes and your druids can go after the second very fast enemy
    shooter, while your third shooter will try to weaken walkers that
    threaten your phoenixes. Another approach may be Slow on the enemy
    Phoenixes and attacking Unicorns or dwarves or one shooter, while
    blocking the shooters. In any case, you'll probably suffer
    considerable losses to phoenixes. There are other ways that will
    mean losses to your shooters - choose whichever troubles you less.
    One thing is recommended - eliminating sprite hordes as otherwise
    they'll waste next round attack of your shooters. The losses are
    usually worth it, because most of them can be replenished at the
    defeated sorceress' castles soon.

  * Fighting Warlock:
    Attacking Dragons with phoenixes is a bloody bad thing, yet if they
    play first, there's nothing better to do. At least you can cast
    Dragon Slayer on the Phoenixes to make things a little less bad.
    The ideal setup could be another very fast army playing before the
    blackies. If this army is gargoyles, try to attack them with
    phoenixes, but do so only if you WON'T kill them all - they'll in
    turn go after your druids, probably die in their retaliation and
    your druids can fire at the dragons. (If you happen to have Haste,
    cast it right now on the Grand Elves, giving them a chance to
    damage dragons further, before they even get to battle.) In this
    battle, your shooters will suffer greatly from enemy flyers. You'll
    have to try to use dragons' and phoenixes' two-hex attacks to wipe
    out enemy flyers - preferrably the dragons should be the second
    unit in phoenixes's flame. Also do expect the elves to become the
    AI's primary target pretty soon, as druids' total HP sum will drop
    rapidly under dragons' fire breath. Unicorns should show bravery
    and sacrifice themselves in attacking ferociously anything that
    moves. Mass Bless is one of the most useful spells here. Mass Haste
    gives you chance to kick the dragon's ass the unicorns, too, which
    can do quite well. The sprites can wipe out centaurs or damage
    whatever else. General rule is to try and conquer the warlock
    before he gets Dragons (or conquer a wizard and take titans against
    the Dragons.)

  * Fighting Wizard:
    Phoenixes should (possibly Steelskinned) attack titans or rather
    block them, while frying archmagi. Then your very fast shooters
    should take out Rocs and halflings, while the sprites (if you have
    them) can soften up enemy walkers - possibly golems, that would
    have reached phoenixes. Send the Unicorns after the titans. If the
    rocs have survived the shooting, you'll either kill them with
    spells in the next round (either direct damage or blessing
    unicorns) or take them out by phoenixes (ideally by hasting
    unicorns to prevent titans from shooting), or even take them out
    with the shooters in person. Concentrated firepower should work
    well on the titans - best supported by either Mass Bless or
    repeated Disrupting Ray. Also slowing the titans is a good idea.
    This strategy is quite offensive and will cost you some phoenixes.
    You can play it on defensive - best by shielding your shooters,
    which will still suffer quite high losses. After one or two
    defensively carried battle turns, switch to general offensive, as
    by this time the titans should be about the only enemy alive. (And
    if not, other enemies are damn close, anyway.) In case you manage
    to catch the wizard without titans, target the archmagi with your
    phoenixes, the halflings with your sprites, forget about the
    golens, try to fry the rocs with your shooters, and keep the
    unicors near to smash the rocs next turn.

  * Fighting Necromancer:
    Here your speed says it all. Either ignore the power liches in
    first turn and let them score some kills, or send phoenixes, that
    will although have to stand up against all the slower walkers.
    Anyway, both your shooters should be able to cripple Vampire Lords.
    If the enemy is trigger-happy on spells, Slowing Bone Dragons after
    he's casted his part is a good thing, because in the next turn you
    may succeed in eliminating them before he could haste them. Another
    approach is to block liches, while attacking their neighbour. Since
    the enemy has two flyers, you'll probably suffer some losses. But
    if the things go well, the Vampire Lords that have survived
    phoenixes' onslaught and further shooting can be taken out by
    Unicorns and if you succeed in slowing the dragons at that point,
    the losses should be minimal and mostly on phoenixes. If you don't
    have Slow, you'd rather smash the Bone Dragons first or accept the
    fact that your shooters will get their ass kicked well. TreeBeard
    says: Humm, beware of the dragons!! Hold to the last secound to
    cast (mass) slow, or start shouting holy verses right from the
    beginning. Hordes of skeletons should be handled a good kick, with
    shooters and sprites.

Hero benefits:
The Navigation can prove as a decisive factor in water-based maps with
lots of resources and goodies scattered on islands.
Long journeys with armies that need to be helped with spellcasting are
best suited for sorceress' high knowledge, if she's gonna be the main
hero of yours.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Archery is the one of most importance with two aggresive very fast
shooter stacks.
Leadership can prevent losses to your precious troops and help you to
win many battles without giving the AI chance to move, which already is
an important concept of the sorceress side.
Balistics are good in breaking castle walls and thus reducing the
obstacle penalty for your shooters.
The Sorceress' heart is speed, says TreeBeard - she is the one who
needs Logistics and some movement boosting artifacts the most to get
her quickly built Phoenixes to the enemy, before they manage to get
their 6th level troops.

In general, sorceress troops profit strongly from their speed.
Sorceress should have one of the fastest starts due to successful
exploration - stands a good match to warlock and both Might classes and
should be able to defeat slower-starting necromancers and wizards.
In the long run, the stronger troops of your enemies can trouble you
seriously. Especially big bastards like Ogre Lords (not speaking of the
300 HP fellows) can prove too tough for any army of yours to stand up
to. However, a succesfull warrior usually uses sorceress troops to gain
quick access to some more potent ones. (Wizard/Warlock usually.)

--Using Warlock--
-----------------

Way of the Warlock
          This document contains no 'general' rules - all thone
  non-class-specific ones are in the Way of the Hero and I suggest you
                  read it if you haven't done so yet.

Strengths:
Three flying armies, of which two are quite cheap - very good for
exploring and cleaning out shooter armies without heavy losses.
Dragons are definitively the best unit around (Titans, although they
shoot, are vulnerable to some devastating magic.) with their highest HP
rating, complete magic invulnerability and two-hex attack.
Excellent defense potential in hydras - for castles mainly.
Good offensive punch even without dragons - minotaur kings are a very
strong and dangerous army.
Income bonus in dungeon (although more than needed for blackies ;-)).
First dwelling produces shooters, that have the biggest HP count among
1st dwelling creatures, and are also often found in villages, and of
course in caves.

Weaknesses:
Sulfur dependance.
Dragons are very expensive.
Lack of any powerful shooters - and therefore casualties against just a
bit strong walkers, especially in early game where the magic's not
powerful enough to stop them.

Army evaluation:
Centaur 3/1/5/1-2/4/60
About the only two things good about centaurs are their highest HPs
among 1st level creatures and the simple fact that they shoot.
Their speed matches your griffins and minotaurs, so they won't slow you
down.
Generally centaurs won't cause any high damage, unless in very high
numbers. Their potential lies in the fact that those high numbers can
be reached pretty fast ;-).
One bad thing about centaurs is the fact that their natural dwelling,
the cave, definitely looks odd, unless placed in snowy terrain... which
is the reason that there aren't usually many caves around your castle,
especially because most authors tend to cripple warlocks by placing
their castle into swampy areas.
However, lacking a better shooter, the warlock will often have to carry
these weak ones or take the very slow hydras to absorb damage from
enemies.

Gargoyle 4/7/15/2-3/6/200
Their defense of 7 is the highest number among 2nd level creatures,
while their skills sum of 11 is matched only by dwarves.
Their biggest positives are quite reliable damage causing, high numbers
and, above all else, their Very fast (and flying) speed rating, which
assures first shot in many early battles.
The gargoyles will suffer losses as their main goal is usually to block
shooters. They're good in killing archers, halflings and other weakies.
Having 18+ gargoyles at start of second week gives you considerable
firepower.
Due to their high numbers, they're expendable - divide them into two
stacks and let them block very fast/fast shooters and wait till
griffins arrive to deal the big damage.
Griffin 6/6/25/3-5/4/300
Retaliates against every attack.
Griffin's special of unlimited retaliation makes them a feared
opponent, excellent for early exploration and fighting shooters.
Try to minimize their losses as they can be quite handy even in mid
phases of play - ideal to be put between two enemy shooter stacks, with
drawing the enemy troops close around them, causing them damage and
possibly making a nice lineup for some area-damage spell. (Or even for
the hydra-teleport combo - just remove the griffins (in case they
survived) and teleport the hydra stack into their place - you'll get
TWO shots at many enemies (One in the hydra turn and one in the
retaliation after first enemy attack.)
Their damage skills are quite useful for sweeping out minor enemy
units, most often at castle sieges.

Minotaur 9/8/40/5-10/4/400
Minotaur King 9/8/45/5-10/6/500
Especially in their upgraded version, they stand out with their
toughness, speed and excellent skills.
Being very fast allows them to cover most of the battle field.
Their high HPs (second only to Ogre Lords among 4th level creatures)
assures you the first shot in most situations, as they cannot be wiped
out as easily as gargoyles can.
In games with low sulfur reserves the minotaur kings will form most of
your offensive, which suits them.
Even their non-upgraded version carries considerable punch and is
excellent for protection of centaur hordes. However, offensive
campaings aren't their best role, then.

Hydra 8/9/75/6-12/2/800
Non-retaliated attack, attacks all adjacent enemies.
An excellent army for defensive purposes.
Offensive use comes handy in exploration - most effectively used
against enemy flyers (be sure to place the stack into the third slot).
Assure that they will be the highest priority target for AI - no
shooters and flyers allowed - usually that means hydras alone, but
having one minotaur/minotaur king with them will allow you to cast
protective spell on them.
In defensive battles, place hydras close to primary target of enemy AI
- the hydras will be able to attack approaching enemy, with the
possibility of some slower enemies coming in later and, not being able
to reach their primary target, attacking hydras, which the retaliate to
all of those units that have already attacked the hydras' protection
subject.
If you happen to get teleport, hydras prove an excellent means of
wreaking havoc among the enemy lines.
If you've run out of centaurs and don't want to lose your flyers, use
hydras as a bait for enemy walkers - they can absorb considerable
damage, in the end of turn score multiple attack and your very fast
gargoyles and minotaurs can wipe out the rest.

Green Dragon 12/12/200/25-50/4/3000+1s
Red Dragon 13/13/250/25-50/5/3500+1s
Black Dragon 14/14/300/25-50/6/4000+2s
All: Immune to all magic, two-hex attack.
There's no doubt about the Dragons' supremacy in the game. However,
there are three types of them.
Green ones are good only in situations where you desperately need their
HPs and firepower and can't afford to wait for upgrades. Their Average
speed is the worst thing about them.
Red ones are a good compromise between price and power - needing only
one sulfur, they're quite affordable, while the Fast speed gives less
enemies the first shot.
I usually go for Blackies but in many cases I decided to stay with Red
ones and profited from that, most often through higher numbers I could
afford to purchase and the offensive being launched sooner.
Black ones are a bit too expensive, yet the investments usually return
pretty soon.
Comparation of blackies and greenies is simple... 20% more damage
potential, 50% more HPs, 10-20% less damage suffered and, above all,
the +2 speed. All these are definitely worth the extra 1000 cash and
one bit of sulfur.
The Blackies are the dragons that can take out a titan any day of the
week. Reddies cannot.
The most stressed thing about dragons should be their complete magic
immunity, often appreciated in connection with Armageddon or any other
global damage spell.
However, the two-hex attack is another powerful weapon, which requires
extreme care when dragons are near their friends.

Upgrading priorities:

  * Maze: Low priority. High only in cases where you know you won't get
    dragons any soon.

  * Green Tower: Highest priority. Greenies are way too weak and slow.

  * Red Tower: High priority: Reddies are much better, yet the Blacks
    give you first shot in most cases. I'd stick with reddies only in
    those cases where I couldn't get enough sulfur to buy the blackies.
    (And, to tell you truth, 6 blackies are way better than 7
    reddies...)

Warlock Castle building in the first week:

      ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
      ³ Day 1:        ³ Dungeon   ³ 3000 gold + 5 wood + 10 ore ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 2:        ³ Statue    ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore           ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 3:        ³ Crypt     ³ 1500 gold + 10 ore          ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 4:        ³ Well      ³ 500 gold                    ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 5:        ³ Nest      ³ 2000 gold                   ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 6:        ³ Maze      ³ 3000 gold + 10 gems         ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 7:        ³ Swamp     ³ 3500 gold + 10 sulfur       ³
      ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
      ³ Day 7: (alt.) ³ Waterfall ³ 1000 gold                   ³
      ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
There's no reserve in this schedule, but Hydras aren't really needed
and the Waterfall is not of any big importance, if your ambitions are
dragons.
However, sometimes you'll be forced to postpone Maze due to shortage of
gems - in that case you have one day reserve ;-)
The two money generators have absolute priority. Although you'll seem
to have enough gold in the first few weeks, as soon as you'll start
thinking about dragons, you'll find that you have far less than you
thought.
The resources needed are 11500 gold (without the swamp), 10 gems and 25
ore (which on normal setting means that you'll have to get 5 ore pieces
pretty soon.) However, in many cases the Crypt is already there,
sparing you of that problem.

Resources summary:
You'll need 5 wood and 55 ore for the dwellings, but without the
dragons, whose price almost assures that they won't be built within
first week, the ore requirements drop to 25, including dungeon and
statue.
Upgrades of dragons will consume 10000 gold, 10 ore and 20 sulfur,
while minotaurs cost some 5 gems and 2000 gold.
Weekly armies without dragons cost 9680, after upgrade 10180. With
green dragons 9000 more, blackies yet another 3000 more gold and six
sulfur instead of three.
The rough castle output will be 1750x7 - 12250 gold/week.
HPs grown weekly 1755 at 12.63 g/HP

Strategy
Unless you build dragons, you'll have more than enough gold for lesser
armies - in fact, you should be able to spare 2000/week for use on
special buildings and heroes.
If you won't use hydras, that will leave you another 3200 per week,
which implies saving up for dragons' construction only three weeks. In
three weeks, you should also easily get the needed sulfur and ore -
you'll need only one mine for each resource.

If there's no sulfur around, you'd better hurry to go after your
opponents. If you happen to locate a village of warlock type, this will
give you even more significant advantage - often centaurs, sometimes
gargoyles, the possibility to upgrade and build money generators.
Due to money matters, which are pretty alright with warlocks, your
biggest advantage (apart from possible dragon armies) lies in initial
strength, because you'll be able to purchase all the armies you have
grown and start aggressive exploring.
If you stick to warlock hero, you'll need mage guild on second level,
though, as the warlock's greatest skill is always spell power. More on
heroes in Way of Hero.

If there's a sulfur mine nearby, capture it at almost all costs and
start looking for a stable gold source, because dragons will need at
least one gold mine.

Forces combination:
In the early stages, griffin-gargoyle gang-up is an excellent tool.
Usually backed by a bunch of centaurs, those two flyers provide
wonderful means of exploration.
With this combination, you can easily smash any shooters with average
speed (just make sure your griffins will play before your centaurs, use
gargoyles to block first two stacks, then griffins for other two,
centaurs should damage/kill the fifth stack.) Against the walkers, a
good option is to have centaurs in top slot, where griffins and
gargoyles can form almost completely surround them (with minotaur
kings, the protection is total) and be a bit passive.
As all the resources may have great importance (at least to be traded
for sulfur), try to get the mines at any reasonable cost - never mind
losing a few gargoyles/griffins.
Against flyers, especially gargoyles, try to use hydras, if you've got
them near. Hydras alone can do quite well. You'll suffer five full
strength attacks from your enemies, which with hydras' 12 defense and
75 HPs means none or small losses, and then you get in fact two attacks
(one attack and a retaliation after first enemy attack in second round)
upon all enemy stacks. As mentioned above, one minotaur/king can help
giving you time to cast some protection. A gargoyle can be used, too,
placed BELOW the hydra - to the first attacker will get next to hydra.
This, at the cost of one gargoyle, minimizes losses on hydras - saving
one enemy attack and giving the benefit of spellcasting.
Later, minotaur kings will carry most of your close-range firepower.
Hydras are taken on the road only exceptionally - if you need to scare
off some enemies or need every bit of firepower. Their Very Slow speed
costs you two movement points each adventure turn, which is quite high
price.
Once you manage to get dragons, life should be easy. Dragons can take
enormous amounts of damage and return it back. Once I get dragons, I
usually drop off slower armies. The centaurs are good for a second
hero. Having them with the main guy would only cause them losses,
because most enemies would turn after them, at least with magic. I
don't need to explain much, that it's better to have all enemy going
after something with defense of 14, than defense 2, because that means
the damage dealt by the enemy is reduced by 55%.
Generally, having any armies beside dragons gives the enemy a chance to
cast damage spells onto your side, but strong stacks of minotaur kings
and gargoyles are often needed. Note that you can sometimes benefit
from the magically vulnerable army - if the enemy casts at your minor
stacks, he doesn't cast supportive spells on his troops that go after
the dragons.
With warlock, you should rely on the speed of your armies. Try to get
some morale boosts, because your three very fast units can profit from
that nicely.
Especially the dragons do very good work when splitted into two or
three stacks, because that gives you opportunity to take out several
enemy armies within one turn, possibly even preventing the enemy from
getting a move on his own. Excellent in combination with griffins and
Blind - two stacks of dragons and one stack of gargoyles will take out
enemy units of faster speeds, Blind will eliminate somebody that is
average and Griffins could take out slow armies.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting barbarians:
    Barbarians are a threat that cannot be underestimated. Their heroes
    are usually pretty strong on attack and they have very strong
    walker armies. If you have the first shot and go after trolls with
    your dragons, all the remaining armies will attack your dragons in
    the first turn. Cyclopes with potent offensive skills and two-hex
    attack are to be paid attention to, possibly using their two-hex
    against their friends. Ogre Lords will often get a kill on the
    dragon. Only slow ogres can be avoided by good maneuvering.
    Orcs/orc chiefs should be taken care of by griffins. Get used to
    losing a few dragons in fights with strong barbarian armies. I
    usually want the enemy to play with wolves before my dragons, then
    I attack cyclopes, possibly blocking trolls. Try to eliminate some
    of the walkers by using slow/blind/paralyze. Berzerker on cyclopes
    is the nicest alternative.

  * Fighting knights:
    If you didn't have opportunity to line up your troops, you may get
    hit by champions before you can do anything. I suggest taking out
    rangers either by magic or by griffins when all faster units have
    moved. Definitely avoid placing dragons there, because all the
    walkers would get at you. Try to use two-hex attacks to damage
    crusaders indirectly. They're a real threat, because they'll often
    play sooner than you in subsequent battle rounds, have defense as
    good as green dragons, often strongly supported by high defense
    skill of the hero, so that your dragons will hardly be able to take
    out one crusader each. Other walkers are much lesser threat, yet
    often come in annoying numbers and can cause significant losses.
    One good thing is their speed - both the master swordsmen and
    veteran pikemen are only one step slower than crusaders - often
    helping you in the task of indirect attack on crusaders. Damage
    spells are of some importance againts the heavily defensively
    oriented crusaders. Again, berzerker on them just before their play
    is the most wonderful thing. (That's why the most experienced
    map-makers give the right protective artifact to AI knights ;-))

  * Fighting Sorceress:
    Here you need to be extremely careful. If the enemy has phoenixes,
    do not take centaurs into the battle, they would be all killed in
    one single blow. Also, be sure to have the dragons in top slot and
    no army under them, because their retaliation onto phoenixes
    wouldn't do any good to their neighbours. The rest is easy. Dragons
    should easily eliminate enemy shooters while the minotaur kings
    should strike at phoenixes and gargoyles shouls take care of
    sprites. Besides phoenixes, damage could come from unicorns and
    overgrown stacks of dwarves - so be careful in choosing the
    dragons' target as to avoid those threats if possible. Often the
    unicorns will block the way for dwarves so you can handle that
    later. Casting Slow/Blind/Paralyze helps, too.

  * Fighting fellow Warlock:
    Try your best to use two-hex attack of both your and enemy dragons
    to cause maximum damage. Often the minotaur kings of enemy suffer
    in the first round. Sometimes, it may be wise to have gargoyles
    playing first, wasting dragons' retaliation. The battle is going to
    be hard and will depend strongly on type (and skills) of enemy
    hero. Having a strong hydra stack close to your dragons may be good
    for attacking all the flyers that surround your dragons. Enemy
    hydras should get across the field just after anybody else is dead,
    so you won't have any hard task killing them in one massive attack.
    Blinding them in the process will often save you from one their
    attack onto all your troops.

  * Fighting Wizard:
    You'll have to take care of titans quickly. If their numbers are
    high, use disrupting ray, else use direct damage spells, curse or
    Slow. Attack with dragons, possibly blocking archmagi, too. Do
    expect dragons to take significant losses, but hurry with all your
    firepower, esp. minotaur kings, to help killing those bothering
    rocs and boars. Use damage spells on archmagi, they're weak in HPs.
    Use either griffins or gargoyles on halflings. Try to avoid golems,
    bother enemy with mind/speed spells so that he'll dispel them
    instead of casting supportive spells on titans (worst of which are
    resurrects). Also, take into consideration that the enemy may have
    gotten Expert Archery, which makes the Titans' average damage at
    distance a bit higher that the one of Dragons. (They then score the
    same average of 37.5 and have Attack skill of 15 (while dragons
    have 12-14)). The Qurqirish Dragon also stresses that using
    supportive magic like Bless, Steelskin and Bloodlust, the Titans
    with Expert Archery may overwhelm dragons. The only advice here is
    - use your spells wisely to prevent the enemy from supporting his
    Titans... If you'll ignore those supportive spells on Titans,
    within three turns of battle they can become a 18/20 A/D beast with
    63 damage per piece - which will be deadly for your dragons.
    Therefore you should use all you can to eliminate Titans quickly.
    Disrupting Ray fits there best. However, if the enemy keeps casting
    supportive spells on titans, you could consider using dispel magic
    only every second turn, while in the meantime using direct damage
    or other spells of your choice. Berzerker here won't be as
    profitable as against might heroes.

  * Fighting Necromancer:
    You need to concentrate on Bone Dragons or Vampire Lords and
    destroy them fast. If the Vampires aren't upgraded or their numbers
    aren't high, the Bone Dragons are primary target. The necromancer
    will probably be weak on defense, so attack with all you can. Be
    careful when casting Slow, because the enemy often reacts with
    Haste on the Slowed unit, which totally overthrows strategic
    planning. Try to use two-hex on all the undead walkers. If the
    enemy has already managed to grow considerable numbers of
    skeletons, be careful, because they may form a remarkable threat,
    too. Generally if the enemy walkers are in big numbers, you should
    consider skipping the first turn almost entirely - use direct
    damage spells and wait for the two flyers to get to you, prod their
    buttocks (know THAT quote? ;-)) and in second turn, launch the
    offensive against walkers/liches - the walkers might have lined-up
    nicely by this time for the dragons' flame. If the enemy isn't THAT
    strong, you could sometimes use the two-hex attack even in the
    first round - knowing the order of play, pick a target that will
    assure that royal mummies will come over and the army behind them
    gets a good portion of warm welcome.

Hero benefits:
The Scouting skill can be very helpful in early exploration. If you
strongly plan to rely on Armageddon or other global damage spell to use
with dragons, the warlock is the best choice for the main hero, because
his most expanded skill is Spell Power. Warlocks generally make good
scouts, because they come with bundled garoyles.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
None in particular... warlock armies rely mostly on flying - no big
need for archery/leadership/ballistics. Mysticism may help a warlock
hero on long journeys, since he's not focused on knowledge that much.

In general, warlock is quite a strong class (in overall most popular,
too) whose strength lies in quite fast initial exploration and
unmatched supremacy of draggagedon combo. However, the dragons are much
stronger weapon in hands of an experienced barbarian.
However, one sulfur mine is never enough, so you'll either need two
mines or several marketplaces to get your dragons from their towers to
the battlefield.

--Using Wizard--
----------------

Way of the Wizard
          This document contains no 'general' rules - all thone
  non-class-specific ones are in the Way of the Hero and I suggest you
                  read it if you haven't done so yet.

Strengths:
Very strong in long-run campaigns.
Has three shooters, of which two are very fast, strong and with
specials, while the third one can be found in natural dwellings, often
reaching very high numbers.
Library gives a true sense to higher mage guild levels, often gives
dimension door and ressurrect true.
Most needed resource can be obtained from extra source! This fact often
helps a lot, as gardens can be found in most maps.
With 300 HP sixth-dweller often allows two 'main' forces - one composed
of titans and possibly archmagi, while the another taking the bulk of
rocs, boars and halflings - which is enough to capture minor garrisons
and take out minor heroes.

Weaknesses:
Titans need lots of gems and cash - far more than you'll be able to
accumulate with one castle.
Early exploration is usually tough, because the available troops will
often take losses.
High consumption of resources in the beginning - you'll usually have to
choose either magi or spells.

Army Evaluation:
Halfling 2/1/3/1-3/3/50
Innocent-looking but powerful creatures, that are a real threat in
higher numbers. (Compare 99 halflings to one titan ;-) - cost is the
same, damage range is 109-326 vs. 50-75 against D=1, 33-99 vs 20-30
against D=15.)
Once they're not AI's primary target, they'll start to accumulate.
Being 1st level, they're often found and 'default' neutral villages and
castles, so that they reach the higher numbers pretty easily.
Often the halflings are major part of your firepower in early stages. A
blessed stack of halflings is really an ugly thing to face.
Due to their low HPs, wandering stacks will often offer to join you.
Haflings have one of the BEST damage ratings in the game, measured per
HP.

Boar 5/4/15/2-3/6/150
A reliable 2nd level army. They have excellent range, often dwellings
are in villages.
In long run, their power diminishes and they are a good force for the
secondary heroes.
They provide good troops for scout heroes, being Very fast.

Iron Golem 5/10/30/4-5/2/300
Steel Golem 7/10/35/4-5/3/350
Both: Half damage from elemental magic (Cold Ray, Lightning Bolt)
A good unit for defense. It's resistance to elemental magic improves
the defense potential.
I personally buy them only when absolutely needed and rarely take them
on the road, but many people do otherwise and profit from that. And I
must admit that a few times I emerged from a tough battle with a golem
stack the only army left standing of my forces.
Their free upgradability at foundries is a good thing, though, as it
increases their speed to match halflings and thus not slow you down in
case you take them.
Compared to other three-level creatures, they have very impressive
stats.
With some good spells like Haste/Teleport they can do a significant
part of work on your offensive and defensive battle tasks. If you're
gonna to take halflings on the road and can spare the cash for the
golems, do so - they might attract the enemy's attention (including
spellcasting) and are by definition expendable. Also, their elemental
resistance cannot do any bad. (Thanks to Qurqirish Dragon on that one!)

Roc 7/7/40/5-8/4/400
In early and mid phases this is the main force of the army.
One of the strongest flyers, they're excellent for delivering damage to
enemy shooters.
Their role is most important in early game, where they help much in
cleaning wandering shooters, as they have good damage absorbing
potential.
Having 8 rocs in the beginning of second week (and usually the money to
buy them) is very important advantage.

Mage 11/7/30/7-9/5/500
Archmage 12/8/35/7-9/6/700
Both: No adjacent penalty (scores full damage even at close-range
attack).
Upgraded: 20% chance to cast Dispel Magic upon hitting an enemy.
Those guys carry excellent firepower and once you manage to build them,
they'll form most of your offensive capability.
The upgrade is costly but pays back! Being very fast gives them first
strike in most cases and all the increased stats mean 10% more damage
dealt. The HP increase is good, too. (Remember, the speed will be VERY
important - they'll play before vampire lords, red dragons, war trolls
and on the level with gargoyles, black dragons, crusaders, power liches
etc.)
Their special - no adjacent penalty - makes them extremely useful
against those wandering armies that manage to get across the battle
field.
Not to mention the archmagis' chance to dispel good spells. Always nice
to dispel a huge stack of blessed, steelskinned, bloodlusted and hasted
hydras. (In most cases, you'll quite appreciate especially removal of
haste from a stack that is hurrying to meet the archmagi face-to-face
;-))

Giant 13/10/150/20-30/4/2000+1g
Titan 15/15/300/20-30/6/5000+2g
Both: Immune to Mind magic (Blind, Berzerker...)
Upgraded: Shoots, no adjacent penalty (scores full damage even at
close-range attack).
The giants can be useful both in castle defense and in offensive
campaings, but are generally wimps compared to their upgraded version.
In most cases, you'll want to wait for the upgrade. The doubled HPs and
range attack make titans a feared opponent.
Titans are about the only unit that can try to be compared to dragons.
Although a hundred times proven saying tells you that a Dragon can take
out a Titan any day of the week, with a bit of supportive magic ranging
from bloodlust to teleport, mirror image and resurrect true the result
can be otherwise.
The titans have one important role - with their high HPs they are
usually primary target of AI and, not being immune to all magic,
usually also the primary target of AI's spellcasting. What's good on
that? Your archmagis' and halflings survival ;-)
Having all the enemy hurrying after the titans gives your archmagi and
halfligns enough time to cause horrendous damage to enemy units. 9
archmagi carry definitively much bigger offensive punch that one titan,
yet the titan gets the AI's attention. Halflings explained above...

Upgrading priorities:

  * Foundry: Low priority. Only if you gonna need the golems in the
    field and can't find a Freeman's Foundry nearby.

  * White Tower: High priority. Archmagi's strength lies in their speed
    since many nasty units are very fast.

  * Cloud Castle: High priority. May be higher than for magi, but
    lower, too. Generally, upgrade only when you have enough money to
    purchase it's residents. You can spend a few weeks collecting money
    (and using upgraded magi for that purpose) and then, on day 1 of
    the week you want to start campaigning, do the upgrade and set off.

Wizard Castle building in the first week:

ÚÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÂÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ¿
³ Day 1: ³ Statue      ³ 1250 gold + 5 ore                             ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 2: ³ Pen         ³ 800 gold                                      ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 3: ³ Foundry     ³ 1500 gold + 5 wood + 5 ore                    ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 4: ³ Mage Guild  ³ 2000 gold + 10 wood + 10 ore                  ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 5: ³ Well        ³ 500 gold                                      ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 6: ³ Cliff Nest  ³ 3000 gold + 5 wood                            ³
ÃÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÅÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ´
³ Day 7: ³ Ivory Tower ³ 3500 gold + 5 wood + 5 ore + 5 all magical    ³
³        ³             ³ resources.                                    ³
ÀÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÁÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÙ
So, we'll need 5 additional wood and 5 additional ore.
The schedule has no reserve, unless the Pen is already built. Moreover,
in case the habitat wasn't there at day one, we'll have to do without
one of those buildings. In my games, this usually is the Ivory Tower,
as I need the gold, but the Statue can be omitted instead and built
later, especially if you can locate a good gold source at day one.
(Locating doesn't mean immediate conquering - just the possibility to
do this later - Gold mine, Haunted mine, gold-giving artifact or
lightly guarded (or even owned) village fit there.)
Later, we'll need additional 4 of all magical resources and 10 of wood
and ore, along with some 6000 gold for Upgraded Ivory Tower. And yet
later, 40 gems, 10 wood and 10 ore and 25000 gold for Cloud Castle with
upgrade.

Resources summary:
The first week should take 25 wood, 25 ore, 5 of all magic resources
and 12650 gold, including Statue.
Weekly armies without Giants/Titans cost 9000 (with archmagi).
Total production incl. Titans costs 24000 a week plus 6 gems.
The rough castle output will be 1250x7 - 8750 gold/week.
HPs grown weekly     1614 at 14.86 g/HP

This gives a clear picture of gold being the first thing to look for,
because with regular city income, you'll be only able to buy out the
weekly production. (You won't save much on not buying golems. Or,
buying golems and not buying boars. I often save on both golems and
boars, since I need gold reserve for buying artifacts etc...)

Strategy
If the you ever want to build titans, you'll have to acquire a stable
source of gold - preferrably two castles or a gold mine.
The titans alone will cost 15000 a week, which is the home castle plus
a gold mine production fully consumed - not mentioning that you might
need another hero, another armies to accomplish minor tasks, spare cash
for enhancing captured castles, buying artifacts etc.
Therefore, you'll need to explore fast, find a good source of ore and
wood, because these may be needed desperately to upgrade captured
villages into castles.
The upgrading of neutral villages pays back pretty soon - after a week,
the invesment is back. You should, however, think a bit forward before
upgrading a village - sometimes you might need the 5000 gold for
purchasing of armies - be sure to do investments only in situations,
where enemy heroes aren't nearby to threaten your playground.
Try to gather magical resources and build libraries and higher level
mage guilds, as th extra spell per level guild is often your biggest
advantage over your enemies!

Forces combination:
In early stages, I usually take out rocs, halflings and sometimes
boars.
In mid phases, the magi are in, for sure. If I happen to have larger
armies of halflings, I'll take them, but if I only have the castle
dwelling, I leave halflings home, possibly taking the boars for
defensive firepower. Boars are a necessity in cases where I don't have
resources/gold enough to upgrade magi - very fast armies are a must!
In later stages, having titans alone should be enough for exploration,
while secondary hero should carry all the remaining forces. Having
Titans, Archmagi and possibly boars (esp. in cases that you have had
two dwellings for a long time or some large group has joined you)
should be enough for most battles.
Always remember to keep an eye on strengths of your stacks - divide
your armies as to assure that titans are the strongest stack (unless
fighting ghosts), because enemy will send shooters often, blocking the
titans, while archmagi/halflings, that are capable of doing more
damage, will be free to do so.
Use protective spells (esp. Steelskin) on titans to prolong their live.
Remember that once you lose a single titan, the titan stack may lose
the priority in AI targeting. And halflings will probably suffer at
least twice the losses the titans suffered (measured in HPs).
If you have archmagi and titans and the titans have higher sum of HP,
keep them in the first slot. Thus, when you attack, you shoot with
titans, enemy very fast flyers fly over and block them and you shoot
with archmagi. If the archmagi played first, the titans would have to
fight with the flyers.
Unless the enemy is much stronger than you in walker armies, do NOT
cast Anti-Magic on titans - instead let the enemy cast curses,
disrupting rays and even direct damage spells upon the titans - they
should survive. Once you cast Anti-Magic on them, the enemy spells will
be directed to next good target - the much weaker archmagi.

Special strategies against particular classes:

  * Fighting barbarians:
    One of the easier tasks, as you have big advantage in two shooters
    faster than enemies' shooters. You'll have to take out trolls and
    orcs, which your titans and magi/archmagi should be able to handle.
    Unless the enemy outnumbers you, you should win with low losses.
    Unless enemy 'hastes' his ogre lords, you'll have two shots at
    cyclopes (one with titans and one with magi) and in the third turn
    the same with ogre lords. (All the shooters that survived first
    round attack should be taken out by rocs, but rather in the second
    round - as to prevent enemy units of average speed from attacking
    the rocs. However, losses to rocs are more acceptable than losses
    to titans and magi. Blocking the shooters in the first round is
    usually suicidal - the AI heroes tend to carry large armies of ogre
    lords AND goblins, which means that your rocs will play sooner than
    at least one of those two stacks - and they could get their wings
    ripped off quite quickly. It's better to lose one titan due to
    orcish fire than to sacrifice some 20 rocs for blocking.

  * Fighting knights:
    Against knights, the strategy is easy, too. Either titans or
    archmagi alone should be able to take out rangers, while all the
    rest should be aimed at champions and crusaders. Very useful may
    prove casting Blind or Slow at one of those dangerous units. The
    champions' danger lies in giving the knight first shot, and
    furthermore, blocking your titans' action, which in turn gives the
    crusaders first shot at the titans. Swordsmen and pikemen will
    probably score some losses upon their arrival, but in general you
    should be able to score a good victory. Be careful about that Slow
    - enemy tends to counter-cast Haste!. If you can't slay Champions
    in the first turn, don't ever think about slowing the Crusaders
    ;-), because they'll reach you in the second turn, if they're
    hasted. About the best option I know is Berzerker on Crusaders just
    before they play.

  * Fighting Sorceress:
    There's nothing you can do. The sorceress will almost usually have
    first strike with Phoenixes, going after your titans. Unless you
    have some useful spells (see below), Grand Elves and Greater Druids
    will probably have time to shoot, too, and possibly even sprites
    will come after your shooters. However, your archmagi should have a
    free shot to the second enemy very fast shooter, before it's turn
    would come. Your rocs should play before sprites, possibly killling
    them, if their stack would have been able to cause reasonable
    damage to your titans. Possibly huge armies of battle dwarves
    shouldn't be able to get across the field, so they may only attack
    the rocs in case those went after the sprites. The only threat
    beside the phoenixes are unicorns, whose high-end stats and
    Blinding ability may cause severe damage and maybe disrupt your
    tactics. The shooters have HPs too low to resist your heavy fire.
    If the dwarven stack is huge, sacrifice rocs in second turn by
    flying them behind the dwarves - they'll return to their starting
    position to attack the birds, thus giving you two or three turns'
    worth of extra shooting on them. Phoenix should be taken out by
    titans and halflings.

  * Fighting Warlock:
    If you have the first shot, try to cast supportive spell
    (preferrably Dragon Slayer ;-) on the titans and go after the
    Dragons. This should help greatly. Archmagi can give hell some
    stronger stacks as griffins are. The Minotaur Kings may cause
    severe damage, but your priority will definitely be the Dragons.
    You must try your best to use the fact that Titans aren't immune to
    magic. Mass Spells come handy, too. (Bless increases the damage
    well, Haste gives you free shot at dragons with archmagi, Slow
    prevents gargoyles, griffins and minotaur kings from reaching you
    too soon.) If you can, try to conquer Warlocks before anyone else,
    because they pose the biggest threat to you, especially if they
    manage to get Black Dragons and Armageddon. Use titans against the
    dragons wisely - they can walk around the dragons, so pick the best
    direction of attack and the dragons will help greatly in killing
    anything that flew over from the other side.

  * Fighting fellow Wizard:
    Both the titans and the archmagi should be taken care of quickly,
    even at the price of sacrificing Rocs - they should go after the
    Archmagi, because against titans they would score much less damage.
    Battles with wizards will strongly depend on spells that both sides
    will have used, not mentioning the advantage of first shot.
    Remember that your advantages and advantages of your enemy are the
    same. If HE has a large stack of halflings, take them out! The rocs
    are best here, they'll score much more and suffer much less than
    against the archmagi. Your halflings then can strike whomever they
    want, I'd prefer the archmagi - let the titans clash alone. If you
    don't have any good spells to cast, use direct damage or Blind on
    Archmagi.

  * Fighting Necromancer:
    The power liches do not present any real threat, because they have
    low attack skill. That leaves your shooters to go after Bone
    Dragons and Vampire Lords. I strongly suggest 'serial approach' -
    taking out first the bigger of the threats - possibly employing
    Hasted Halflings on the Boners. But the main firepower should be
    aimed preferrably onto the Vampire Lords, that need to be taken
    care of quickly... An useful tip maybe casting Slow on Bone
    Dragons, because by the time that Average units come to play, the
    other side has usually already casted a Spell and therefore cannot
    dispel this Slow, thus rendering the dragons useless for one round.
    Direct damage to power liches is a good alternative to deal with
    their high defense skill.

Hero benefits:
The Wizard's only strong point is the starting Advanced Wisdom, which
can be often used in a form of Nasty Trick - best if having Berzerker
in a castle with enemy hero within one-day range - to repeatedly let
this guy's troops to kill each other.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Archery has top priority for your heroes as most of your strong troops
are shooters.
Leadership - having morale with one of your Very Fast units can help
greatly when fighting heroes that want to flee.
Estates - for a wizard castle owner, this is never any bad thing,
because in expert level, it means 70% of a titan every week.

Generally it's clear that the wizard is pretty weak without the Titans
- The Archmagi don't have either HPs or Defense high enough to survive
onslaught from enemy troops, while the slow Halflings will often getout in
a single blow from enemy, either shooter or flyer, or
fried with some strong damage spell.
The rocs will often cause considerable damage in the first round, but
since they'll be on the enemy side of battlefield alone, they'll
probably get beat up hard from enemy defensive walkers. The wizard's
only strong walkers are golems, but those are far too slow to do any
good - by the time they get to the other side, the rest of wizard's
troops are usually lying dead on the ground. [Ok, I didn't mention
boars, but those are too weak to stand any attack from stronger
walkers.]
As a wizard, you should profit from higher number of available spells.
Once you manage to build titans, your life will change dramatically,
because most of the battles that would have cost you half of your
shooters are now 'as easy as butchering sleeping cattle' [know that
quote? ;-)].

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xa. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Normal Strategies)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

-At the start of each scenario you'll notice a few
artifacts around. Grab them to see what their powers are, if they
aren't what you like reload the win scenario and start over. The
placement will be the same, but the artifacts will be different. I
found the endless pouch of gold especially usefull, it helps you boost
your gold in the early stages. (Kaspa)

-Your main hero should have the powerful monsters that you can
afford, and the all the artifacts that will boost his stats. Take this
hero and forge a gouge in their defenses. Find the weader heroes and
dereat them as quickly as you can. This will make your enemy spend
2500 gold on new heroes not on more armies. (Kaspa)

-Sometimes, when there's a strong hero coming to your town, buy
all the available monsters, and leave the slow ones in the castle.
Then take your hero, and run away. The computer will take over the
castle, leave, and leave a small army to protect it. What you have to
do now is wait untill the sixth or seventh day and recapture it. This
gives the computer some time to build additional facilities for you,
and gives you the castle one day before new monsters arrive. (Kaspa)

-Don't bother investing in captains. They're pretty weak, and if
your castle is captured, you'll end up facing your own soldier as a
foe. Always try investing in a new hero when your castle is about to
get attacked. (Kaspa)

-Always build a strategy according to the conditions of your
scenario. If you're near enough the location of a hidden artifact,
send a throwaway hero there to do nothing but dig. If your goal is to
conquer a town, scout the area and build a very powerful force to
overwhelm it. Also look for desert areas with magic lamps. These contain
genies, the best armies you can buy on the road. They give a great
advantage if you grab them at the beginning of a game. (Kaspa)

-All Together Now: When you're using certain troops, especially Liches (but
also those with a 2-area attack - Dragons, Cyclopes, Phoenixes) it's of
great benefit if the enemy troops bunch up so you can strike several armies
at a time. Here's a tip for facilitating that. The computer's first attack
priority is always your archer stack with the most collective hit points.
If you place that army in your last troop slot (so it appears on the bottom
of your screen in battle), ground-based enemy troops will be most likely to
bunch up as they advance. The computer will always take its troops down the
screen before taking them forward, but it will always march them forward
before it sends them up. So, if your target archer troop is in the top
slot, the computer won't bunch up, but if it's in the bottom slot, they
group together nicely. If that sounds confusing, get a group of Liches and
try it out. It's easy to see the difference in action. from Grayson Towler
at (grayson@rigroup.net).

-Two Birds With One Stone: This is a tip which is especially appropriate
for Phoenixes and Dragons, though it's useful for Cyclopes to a lesser
extent. When you're faced with a ground-based monster army and your
Dragon/Phoenix attacks first (which, in the case of Phoenixes, always
happens), target the bottom troop stack and hit it from straight on (not at
an angle). When it comes time for the enemy monsters to move, they get
their turn from the top monster down. So, one of the upper troop stacks
will come down towards your Dragon/Phoenix and take a shot. When your
Dragon/Phoenix retaliates, it should catch the attacking stack AND the
next-to-last stack in the blast. This is a great way to take out a lot of
ground-based enemies more quickly. from Grayson Towler at
(grayson@rigroup.net).

-All About Artifacts: Tomas Pavlicek wanted to learn how to do Windows 95
help files and decided to use HOMM2 artifacts as his test subject. Good job
Tomas! Download Tomas' HOMM2 Artifacts Help File, put it into your Heroes2
directory, and create a shortcut for easy access!

-Laugh In The Face Of Death: The Pendant of Life, which makes you immune to
the Death Wave and Death Ripple spells grants immunity regardless of
whether your opponent casts it or you cast it. So if you have the Pendant
of Life, you can cast this spell with total disregard for your own living
troops' well being. This is a great combo early in the game with Death
Ripple (or Death Wave if you've got it), especially with regards to weak
computer archery stacks. from Tim Ford at (deathhq@hotmail.com).

-Troop Splitting 101: It's real "kewl" to have a stack of 50 Paladins, for
example, in your troops. But if they get paralyzed, blinded, slowed,
bezerked, then what good were they? Have an empty slot? Split your stack.
Two stacks are more difficult to paralyze, blind, slow, and bezerk than one
stack and they also get two attacks. To split any troop stack into another
slot:
Click once on the troop to be split. Now hold the shift key down and click
once on the slot you want them to go to. A window pops up asking you how
many to split out. Enter that number and click on Okay. Aha! Your troop has
been split. You can use this to split one troop stack into many troop
stacks, or to only take a part of the troops in the castle with your hero,
or to exchange some of the troops between heroes, or to even out two or
three stacks (if you have a stack of 50 and a stack of 10, split 20 out of
the 50 into the stack of 10 making two stacks of 30). Splitting can be done
in castle ranks, hero ranks, between castle and hero, and between hero and
hero. The only time you cannot split a troop stack is once you have engaged
in combat. Once the battle starts, it is too late to do housekeeping!

-The Lure Of The Sirens: The benefits of experience handed out by those
Sirens hanging around on the rocks at sea is proportional to a percentage
of the number of troops you have in your hero's stacks. This means that
visiting them with a small number of troops will provide you with little
experience, and visiting them with a huge number of troops will provide you
with a lot of experience. But remember that the experience is traded for
troops! For instance, visiting the Sirens with over seven thousand ghosts,
lost over two thousand ghosts to the Sirens, but yielded over 20,000
experience points to the visiting hero. Don't visit the Sirens with any
troops you don't want to give up, but if you do have surplus troops and
need a quick boost to your hero's experience, the Sirens might just be your
answer from Matthias at (Matthias.Freudenschuss@wirtschaft.uni-giessen.de).

-How Few a "Few" Really Is: For those of you who like to have your doom
indicated a little more specifically than, say... "Several Black Dragons"
or "Zounds Battle Dwarves"; here is a definitive list of what those
indicators actually mean.

Few  1 - 4
Several  5 - 9
Pack  10 - 19
Lots  20 - 49
Horde  50 - 99
Throng  100 - 249
Swarm  250 - 499
Zounds  500 - 999
Legion  1000+

-For The Bean Counters: There are several variables in the determination of
a score for a single scenario of HoMM2. These are: map size, inherent map
difficulty, player difficulty adjustment, and days taken to win the map.
The former pair of variables are chosen by the map author, while the latter
two are controlled or influenced by the player.

-Inherent map difficulty can be one of four possible values: Easy (80%),
Normal (100%), Hard (120%), and Expert (160%). The player may adjust this
difficulty when launching a new game. Adjustments come in five flavors:
Easy (-30%), Normal (no change), Hard (+20%), Expert (+40%), and Impossible
(+60%). The range of adjusted difficulty is therefore 50% (Easy/Easy) to
220% (Expert/Impossible). (Note that the original HOMM score calculator had
a number of differences, including an inherent map difficulty of Impossible
and a maximum adjusted difficulty of 250%.)

-The adjusted difficulty is used to calculate your final score in a very
straightforward manner. It takes your base score and multiplies by the
adjusted difficulty, rounding down if needed. That's it! Now all we have to
know is how the base score is calculated. This is where the map size and
days taken variables come into play.

-Each different map size has an associated map size factor, given by the
following chart: Small (1.2), Medium (1.0), Large (0.8), Extra-large (0.6).
HoMM2 calculates a time penalty, which is the number of days it took you to
win the map multiplied by the map size factor (rounding down if needed).
Your base score for the map is 200 minus your time penalty.

-Confused? Hopefully, this example will clear things up. The four variables
are: map size, inherent map difficulty, player difficulty adjustment, and
days taken to win. Let's say that we're playing a Large sized map,
inherently rated by the author as an Expert map. When we started the game,
we chose the Easy adjustment, and we were able to win the game, taking 107
days to do so. We can calculate our score along with the computer as
follows:
Inherent map difficulty: Expert (160%)
Player difficulty adjustment: Easy (-30%)
Adjusted map difficulty: 130% (i.e., a factor of 1.3)
Map size: Large
Map size factor: 0.8
Days taken: 107
Time penalty: 107 x 0.8 = 85.6, rounded down to 85
Base score: 200 - 85 = 115
Final score: 115 x 1.3 = 149.5, rounded down to 149
The last part of a player's score is, of course, a creature ranking. I do
not have a complete chart of creatures and their associated final scores;
if you have one, drop me a note, I'd love to see it. Two points of interest
about this scoring system. The maximum score possible is 440, which would
require playing an Expert map on Impossible setting, a Large or Extra-large
map, and winning that map in a single day. My own personal high score is
305. It should be noted that the world high scores show a record score of a
whopping 431! Also of interest, green dragon ratings and higher are only
awarded for scores over 200; you therefore cannot achieve a dragon rating
if you play at 100% difficulty or less. The minimum final score required
for the highest Black Dragon rating is somewhere between 226-230. from
Rorke Haining at rhaining@uswest.net.

-You Are Getting Smarter... You are Getting Smarter...: Hypnotize has the
special ability of giving the target creature into your control. Most
people don't use it properly. After you cast it on a stack you can then
make it stand, walk around, or block some slow but powerful creatures from
attacking your own force. It's extremely good for foiling the turn of a
range attacker at least once. While your target doesn't attack or get
attacked it will stay under your control. Cast it on small stack of
Phoenixes, crusaders, or cyclopes with powerful spellcasters to prevent
those creatures from attacking you. This spell is particularly potent when
combine with the Gold Watch and/or the Skull Cap from Alex at
(alex@ipoline.com).

-Here! Hold these guys a minute: The movement awarded to a hero at the
beginning of each turn is based on the slowest creature in the stacks at
the beginning of the turn only. So a good strategy when you have heroes
adjacent to each other or a primary hero at a castle, is to offload the
slow creatures onto one hero at the end of the turn. Leave only real fast
troops with the primary hero. At the beginning of the next turn, move those
slow troops back into the primary hero's stacks. He/she now has the tough
(slow) troops but can move the turn distance based on the faster troops.
This can make quite a difference if your turn movement is based on
Champions or Phoenix at the beginning of the turn instead of those 30
hydras you want with you for defense! from Matt at
(greatdrake@hotmail.com).

-I Thought I Told You To Stay In The Castle!: When your hero defends from
the castle, troops available in the castle will join your hero if there are
empty slots. Troops in the castle are evaluated left to right. Each group
will join the left most matching hero group. If there is no matching hero
group, then they will go to the left most empty hero slot. If there is no
empty slot they will stay in the castle (but abandon the castle if the
battle and castle are lost). If you want to keep some units out of any
battle (say weak archers that might be killed by flyers) you need to fill
up all of the hero's slots by splitting the troops you wish to have in the
battle. But remember that once the battle is over, the castle troops that
joined the hero's troops for battle stay with the hero -- they do not
automatically return to the castle. Not only will these troops affect the
hero's next move (if slower troops joined the ranks), but if the hero
leaves the castle without sending the troops back, you might unwarily leave
the castle undefended from Bruno at (bruno@cerberus.csd.uwm.edu).

-Here's Mud In Your Eye: Remember that a blinded creature, when attacked,
loses its turn for the combat sequence and only retaliates with 50%
strengh. Therefore, if the opponent has only one large stack (i.e.
crusaders, phoenixes, etc.) it is possible to destroy it without it ever
getting a turn. Simply cast blind, skip all of your creatures, and after
attacking with all of your troops except for the last stack next round,
skip the last stack and cast blind. Viola!, instant giant dust! from
DarkWolf at Darkwolf2@Mindspring.com.

-In Your Face: Never put two of your range-attack troops (halflings,
archers, mages) groups next to each other! A single stack of fliers could
severely disable large portions of your heroes army by parking a stack of
rocks, griffons, etc. between two of your range-attack stacks. Although the
computer is lazy and will fly to attack from the closest angle, a human
player will not hesitate to take advantage of your careless placement from
DarkWolf at Darkwolf2@Mindspring.com.

-It's The Ultimate! (In Protection): If a map requires you to find the
Ultimate Artifact, station a loaded hero or two by some of the obelisks to
guard them while your other heroes visit the obelisks and find the Ultimate
Artifact. This will prevent your opponents from finding the Ultimate
Artifact first and thereby winning the game from Kennedy at
(kennedy@proaxis.com).

-Variety Is The Spice Of Strife: Specifically for all beginners: Don't
choose your hero type.  Put it on random.  This lets you get to know a
variety of hero types.  If you come in with the misconception that one hero
type is stronger than another, you're wrong.  Each type has their own
strengths and weaknesses.  Learn these, and THEN decide which type you like
the best.  THEN patronize that one from Viper at (epsilon@michiana.org).

-A Solid Foundation: First of all... the tips and strategies that you
learned in the original Heroes Of Might And Magic still apply for the most
part. Continue to follow those guidelines!

-Whirlpool Revelations: The whirlpools that we so frequently use to
magically move from one body of water to another, or from one side of the
map to another, holds a dark secret that seems to have been kept from the
Hero masses. Your first trip through any one whirlpool is a "gift". After
that, you pay a heavy price to use this combination of magic and nature as
a portal to elsewhere. You lose a percentage of the troops your hero is
carrying at the time. This can be especially devastating if you hero had
few troops to begin with. So the next time you feel like cutting the cruise
short with a quick hop through a convienent and already traveled whirlpool,
remember the cost and take the long, safe way instead!

-And Don Riale (bytedr@innernet.net) adds: Now, while it is true that you
lose some troops when going through a whirlpool more than once, there is a
way to minimize the loss. The whirlpool will take a percentage of your
WEAKEST stack. Therefore all you have to do is have at least one stack with
a single creature. For example: explore water by sending out a Sorceress
with only sprites, with 4 single sprites and one larger stack. When going
back through a whirlpool, you lose only one sprite, which you can replace
from the larger stack. As long as you have at least one stack consisting of
only one weak creature, that creature is the only one you will lose.

-Yeah, I'm One But What Are You?: You've all seen the information that your
"correspondants" report via the Theives' Guild and most of us have been
curious about the rating given to the hero types. You know... "Explorer",
"Builder", "Human"... Well, I contacted Phil Steinmeyer (at psteinx@anet-
stl.com) and this was his response:
"They vary the weights the AI assigns to various activities, such as how
the AI's money is spent, and to some extent, what the heros choose to do.
The effect is fairly modest."
So "Builders" must concentrate on building up their towns and castles. This
implies that you may find their castles fully built but with few troops
recruited since they spent their resources on structures instead of troops.
And "Explorers" must have lots of resources because they go off into the
black of the map and probably snarf up a goodly number of artifacts, free
resources, and maybe even mines. Be careful, they might have lots of troops
recruited because they got to the troop-generating structures first. Then
"Warriors" must be the bullies, who concentrate on accruing troops and
always have the undeveloped castles manned by all sorts of creature types -
- and probably hardly any troops remaining to recruit from the structures
they have built. And "Human" would be.. hey! That would be you... and any
other human Player in a Multiplayer session! The game randomly chooses
these traits when you start a new map (I experimented with that a little),
so restarting the same map will produce a different mix of these types.
Also remember that a color may be indicated as being one type of hero, but
due to victories and acquisitions may have the fully built or stocked
possessions of the other types when you finally butt heads against them!

-Troop Wise And Turn Foolish: I think we all have the urge to constantly
revisit our local monster generating sites. You know: the goblin huts,
nomad tents, sprite trees, etc. -- where after the first of each week we
can increase our troops by a few. But that's an obvious point: ONLY BY JUST
A FEW. Is it worth it to have your hero take half or more of his or her
turn to pick up 2 sprites? Monitor your monster generating sites. Mentally
mark when they have been visited last (by either you OR an opponent). And
save your heroes from making unneccessary side trips when they could be
snatching up a resource or taking care of an irritating little snippet of
an opponent who has been (turn by turn) taking over your mines.

-Virtues Still Serve: The hardest lesson I had to learn was in the Broken
Alliances scenario. The lesson was PATIENCE!!! Sometimes having your heroes
just sitting in their castles turn after turn is the best action you can
take. If you try to go up against an opponent before you are strong enough;
you will either fail or you will have a battle too costly to justify.
Likewise, heading too far from your castle when there are dangerous
opponents nearby will almost assuredly result in a lost castle. Go slow.
Think ahead. Ponder. Be patient.

-"Save"-ty First: This is probably the most important tip you will ever
get. It's simple. Get it in your head. Save the game. Save the game often.
Save the game before you attack an opponent. Before you attack a monster
home-base. Before you go into a demon cave. Before you go into a ruined
city. Before you go into a pyramid. Before you confront a sphinx. Before
you leave the castle and there's an opponent in view (but, gosh! he looks
so far away... maybe I can get to the morale fountain and back before he
attacks my castle). Before you attempt to snag an artifact. At the
beginning of each week (or some other regular interval). Get the
picture...?

-Economy 101: The Market Places are a godsend! At first I was a little
"under-"whelmed by them. But I soon found that more often than not, my
structure upgrade or extra mage tower level was just a market visit away --
sometimes when I was trapped in the castle too weak to venture out, I was
able to continue steadily building by changing resources produced from my
captured mines into other resources. And later on when the powerful troops
were so costly to recruit, the Market Places allowed me to convert
resources into gold to purchase those big ticket items such as Dragons,
Titans, and Margaret Thatcher!!! I used to feel that Market Places should
be built even before horde generators, but I have changed my opinion of
that. I do still feel that they are more important than Thieves' Guilds
should be built first. It's definitely time to build one or more Market
Places if you find yourself wishing you had more mines of a certain
resource because you are unable to build a particular structure. The more
Market Places you control, the lower the exchange rate is, too!

-Charmed I'm Sure: Medusas are your friends! The Medusas are found in
ruins. They have this wonderful ability to not only fight and bite, but to
turn your opponent's troops to stone. That doesn't kill them -- it acts
like a Blind or Paralyze spell; but it certainly helps stop them until your
big boys can come deal with them.

-Rank And File Rule #42: Manipulate your troops for optimum performance. In
the original HOMAM, I usually never left a castle with more than four troop
types unless I was purposely embarking to attack another castle or an
annoying opponent. I left one spot blank. That way I could recruit along
the way. I've changed that now. Once I get a large enough army containing
ONLY three strong types, I head out. If I encounter a castle ripe for the
sieging or an opponent's hero who carelessly allowed him or herself to get
whittled down and weak; I split one or two of my three troops in half --
filling up those empty spots in the ranks and attack with a force that can
have five attacks per round! This worked extremely well in Broken Alliances
wherein I carried my Black Dragons -- 30 of them -- as a single troop until
I made my move on an opponent's castle or hero. Then I split them up into
three troops. Each combat round I had three large Black Dragon attacks
instead of one gigantic one. At other times -- while romping through the
countryside -- I used the empty slots to recruit troops when encountering
monster home bases. Check the HOMAM II manual that comes with the game to
learn how to split troops. It's a very empowering tactic.

-Rank And File Rule Addendum: There is and easy way to recruit large
numbers of troops.   If you click on the Castle/Heroes button (from the
outer world) you can see a list of all current AND available troops in ALL
your towns and castles.  If you then click on an available troop icon, you
may purchase that troop into the castle garrison as if you were actually in
the town/castle. It also shows current material and gold values at the
bottem of the screen. This is a nice way to purchase troops at the
beginning of a month w/o having to go to each city from Austin Fowler at
(calandryll@mail.utexas.edu).

-Advanced Electronics: Be very careful with the Chain Lightning spell. It
is a fantastic weapon. But it can backfire on you very easily if you get
careless. The Chain Lightning spell always strikes four targets. They are
the original creature you target and the three other creature troops next
to it. If one or more of your troops are closer than the opponent's troops
YOU GET HIT. If the opponent's troops only contain two or three stacks or
ranks of creature you also get hit. Be very careful.

-'Til Death Do Us Part: The Death Ripple and Death Wave spells are great
for necromancers. The necromancers usually only have undead creatures in
their ranks. These two spells damage only living creatures. As a
necromancer with only undead in your ranks; you can cast these spells
against opponents with impunity. Go for it! (And enjoy the kool effect!)

-Ring... Ring... Clue phone... It's For You!: If late in a scenario, in an
area that has been pretty well cleaned out you encounter a solitary monster
home base guarding an artifact: take the obvious clue here. In the original
HOMAM, we encountered maybe a hundred monsters in a home base (split into
five groups of 20 each) and they were pretty easy to take out. Now, we are
encountering four hundred to a thousand monsters in a home base (split into
five groups of tens to hundreds each!) and they aren't easy to take out at
all!!! In fact, when they're upgraded mages or upgraded liches; you can
usually kiss your unwary hero's butt goodbye. Save the game before all
battles while you are learning the feel of HOMAM II. And remember my first
tip about PATIENCE!

-When Secondary Is Primary: We have now been provided with two new ways to
scrutinize monster home bases before attacking. In the original HOMAM, all
you could do was right-click on the home base, see whether or not it said
"Zounds" or "Horde" and come up with an "I think I can take them" decision.
Now, we have Diplomacy, Leadership, and general "presence". Diplomacy
allows you to sway the monsters into joining your forces when normally they
would just attack. Leadership and the general "presence" of your large,
highly skilled troops cause the encountered monsters many times to just
flee (and you can let them).      I used to feel Diplomacy was a very
desired skill until I saw the price tag that comes with successful
Diplomacy. So I avoided Diplomacy for awhile. But I have found that the
value of the skill of Diplomacy depends on each map. If you have a map with
an over abundance of monster camps and you have a nice early income,
Diplomacy can really pump your heroes up troop-wise very early in the game.
If the map is fairly devoid of monster camps or you need every penny you
have to build, Diplomacy becomes a liability. I guess it all comes down to
how and when it is used. I had one reader write in to tell me that he
picked up over 240 hydras and 130 magi using Diplomacy. Can't beat that
with a stick. For more information on diplomacy, refer to the article in
the previous section. Leadership, however, is a always very important
secondary skill that doesn't pertain to spell power in some way. It
pertains to morale, and having a highly developed Leadership skill is a
total replacement for all the morale generating structures. And while we
are talking about secondary skills... for your spell casters, the two most
important secondary skills are Mysticism and Wisdom. These are musts!
Acquire them first!!! Also, when getting to select a new secondary skill,
be sure to pick skills your hero can really use. For instance, if you are
in a scenario with little or no water terrain, don't pick Navigation. It's
a wasted skill. Don't pick Diplomacy for a hero you plan to have only guard
the castle. Don't pick Archery for a Hero who doesn't have range-capable
stacks, etc. These secondary skills weren't just added as frivolous doodads
by NWC. They have an important, powerful purpose.

-Mana Manana: Spell casting is a whole different breed of animal in HOMAM
II. We used to have to make desperate hell-rides back to our castles to
regain our spells which were consumed and lost as they were used. It
doesn't work this way anymore. You never lose a spell anymore. You only
lose the power to cast it. And this power doesn't return magically when you
arrive at one of your castles. You must slowly build it back up over the
next many days (unless you find a rare well whose magic waters restore your
mana) or start your hero's turn in a castle which has a mage guild. So!
Watch your mana power closely. And if you are running for your castle with
a huge opponent hot on your heals and you are out of mana, you had better
have something up your sleeve (like a pack of Titans) or the castle isn't
going to save you at all!

-Numeralogy As A Hobby: A note about spells as portrayed in your spell
book... remember that the little number on the spell icon is not the number
of spells of that kind that you have left to cast anymore. It's the number
of mana points the spell costs to cast. This lost me a few heroes at first
(if only I had read the manual earlier). I jumped into battle with 7 points
of mana left and the only useable spells I had cost 10 or more to cast.

-Deja Vu Sucks!: Right-clicking on a site while a hero is selected will
often tell you whether or not that particular hero has been to that site.
This can save wasted turns. Keep this in mind.

-Practice Good Grid: There is the most incredible feature in combat that I
would certainly have never thought of and already can't live without. You
can turn on Shadow Grids. Shadow grids highlight around an active creature
you control to show you all the areas that the creature can move to on that
turn. No more tediously wanding your cursor over the terrain slowly trying
to find the limit of movement for your creatures. Because the monsters move
differently in this version of HOMAM, this is a godsend! You can activate
this feature using the options button found in the lower left corner of the
combat screen as well as some other good options.

-There's No Retentive Like An Anal-Retentive: I have developed a standard
mode of operation for each turn that has worked pretty well for me. Of
course, it's subject to deviation based on what's going on at any
particular turn but usually I:
Move all heroes that will (probably) not be involved in combat. (Heroes
moving into combat are moved up to the point just before contact is made.)
Heroes claiming mines, resources, treasures, or no-cost troop generating
sites (cabins, huts, etc.) move next. Heroes claiming artifacts move next
so that if the artifacts require purchase all the new money from the start
of the turn and from above treasures taken are available. Then heroes
visiting costed troop generating sites move (gypsy camps, medusa ruins,
etc.). Then I check each castle and build structures where needed. Then, if
there is money left over (and I'm not saving for the purchase of a big
ticket structure) I purchase troops.
THEN I SAVE THE GAME IF I'M ABOUT TO DO ANY TYPE OF BATTLE!! Then any hero
staged at a combat point (opponent's hero, monster home base, castle) moves
next and attacks. End of round. Of course, there are deviations to this. If
an opponent's hero is about to attack one of my castles, I will move the
heroes to that castle as best I am able and (regardless of any heroes
present) use whatever funds I have to pump the castle structures up,
recruit troops in the castle, and maybe even summon a new hero.

-Behind the Wood Door: In case you haven't noticed, stone liths have been
replaced with all sorts of inter-dimensional doors and they work in pairs.
If you enter a glowing wooden arrowhead-shaped door, you will appear at its
counterparts location. The old stone liths were random and you never knew
where you were going to end up. Now you can plan movement through these new
inter-dimensional doors!

-Wondrous VISIONS: A sleeper of a spell, the new VISIONS can get you off to
a fast, powerful start. VISIONS lets you know what the probable outcome of
an encounter with a monster home base will be. It is cast before engaging a
monster home base and you must be within three squares of the base. It will
tell you if the monsters will run, fight, or join your troops. By using
this spell (when you are able to get it) you can stop ignoring those mines
or artifacts protected by the monsters just because you were afraid they'd
cream you. Just remember that the spell tells you expected results only for
the moment... come back later with more or less troops and VISIONS may tell
you something different. This spell is not always available. When it is...
USE IT! Remember how frustrating it always was to be tiptoeing around with
your handful of pixies and a couple of recalcitrant dwarves when suddenly
along would come an opponent with 40 peasants, 22 swordsman, 16 paladins,
and maybe 17 griffins!?!? Well, VISIONS helps you turn the tables. It is
basically the same ability that the AI has always had -- the ability to
know whether monster home bases would recruit or fight. Check it out!

-Familiarity Breeds Success: Pick a favorite hero type and stick with him
or her. The more you play that type, the more you become familiar with
their strengths and weaknesses. You learn when to build or upgrade what
structure based on the ready materials and the "climate" of the immediate
surroundings. You acquire a good sense of mobility knowing exactly how fast
you can move with specific troops. You get a solid feel for how the
associated troops are going to fare in combat: what won't bother them and
what will... which attacking opponent troops can do the most damage to
which of your troops.

-Macabre Advice: When playing the Necromancer, don't ever let monster
groups run away from you! Can you say easy experience and piles of
skeletons? I knew you could! Use your Necromancer to pick on every "Lots
of" group you can find. It won't be long till hundreds of skeletons are
roaming the lands. It's truly a beautiful sight when your no cost mound of
2000 skeletons destroys 10 titans in a single swing (Roland scenario) from
Todd (ConceptFour@ll.net).

-I've Had My Shots... Have You?: Some creatures are naturally immune to
spells and effects. For instance the phoenix is immune to heat and
lightning. Elementals have grave immunities to many spells also. Use this
to your advantage to supply your hero with certain combinations of troops
and then go forth using certain spells with impunity. They affect the
opponent but not your troops! Consider the proper deployment of this
concept as a mini-Armaggedon spell! from Grayson (grayson@rigroup.net).

-The Shadow Knows: A curious little item. As you are sending your hero out
across the land, look for little triangular shadow smudges on the map. A
flaw in HOMAM2 program causes this shadow in a spot where an event has been
placed. SOMETHING is going to happen when your hero lands on this shadow-
marked spot. But is it a good event or a bad event? Only the Shadow knows!

-Cheap Phoenix Tricks: Since Phoenix are immune to all elemental spells,
they are immune to Elemental Storm. You can use the Phoenix/Elemental Storm
combination in the same manner as you can the Dragon/Armageddon combination
-- except that Phoenix are a lot cheaper from Carl at Kalle@tom.fos.su.se.

-Heroes As Gophers: Play with one MEGA powerful group and a secondary group
that is somewhat good to defend the base. The other heroes run back and
forth through castles bringing troops to the MEGA heroes.  This is also a
great way to unload those artifacts that give 1 ore a turn and other dumb
stuff like that from Josh at mfodale@nmu.edu. [I learned this technique
right from the start many many months ago in the original HOMAM and use it
alot. There is one word of warning on it, however: Your hero runners who
bring troops to "the front" are returning to their castles with very weak
forces since they have given most of them to the mega hero. Do not try this
technique if there are opponents close by. They will attack your troopless
runner hero and dispatch him or her every time. --Phil]

-Lame And Lousy Allies: The computer makes a poor ally in a setting where
one side is pitted against another.  As an ally of a human player, the
computer will not attack your heroes or towns, but it will take your mines
and swoop your resources/artifacts/etc. out from under you.  When computers
are allied with each other, they tend to charge around and spend most of
their time taking each others mines.  Occasionally, they will attack each
other when they get in each others' way, though I have never seen a
computer attack its human ally.  If you create a map where the human player
has a computer ally, the human player is generally better served conquering
the ally than relying on its help.  The computer ally will defend itself
normally if attacked, but it will not be aggressive in return.  from
Grayson (grayson@rigroup.net). [As dutifully noted in a couple of otherwise
wonderful scenarios such as Amaz'N'Grays. I win better/faster when I treat
the allies as opponents! -- Phil]

-I'll Just Stand Over Here If You Don't Mind: When facing a hero who can
resurrect, if you put one of your stacks on top of the deceased stack, the
hero cannot resurrect it    from Patrick (avromk@erols.com).

-I've Already Played This Map, But What If...?: Change the whole way a map
plays with a quick couple of clicks. Take a multiplayer map that you have
already played and if it is set up for cooperative play (for instance,
"Blue and Green .vs. Others") turn cooperative play off. If it isn't set up
for cooperative play, set up a couple of colors for cooperative play. Now
play the map again. It's a whole new scenario with a whole new set of
strategies.

-The Expansive (Pak) Necromancer: With regards to the Necromancer. If
you're looking to be really HUGE, play him. Early on (first 2 weeks),
locate a barrow wight. Recruit as many ghosts as you can afford. Then
attack only wimps. Peasants etc... Build as many shrines as you have
Necromancer castles, and advance your necromancy skill as much as possible.
Leave the last slot in your troops for skeletons and split the ghosts
amongst the other 4. NEVER let anything run away. Kill EVERYTHING! from
John at apache@ameritech.net.

-Circumspect Ghosts: If you should be so lucky as to acquire one or more
ghosts in your troops, don't throw them away by carelessly allowing them to
attack everything that moves. Hold your few ghosts back in combat. Attack
only low level creatures. This will allow you to build your number of
ghosts troops up. Once you have a large stack of them, then you can begin
attacking the higher level opponent troops with impunity. This is one tip
the AI doesn't get. So if you use this tip, you will always be one up on
the AI when it comes to ghosts in combat!

-Why Ghosts Should Be Ban (Reason #42): Have some ghosts? Want to double,
or possibly get up to 32 times the number you've got? All you need is
Mirror Image and some sort of enemy ghosts - having the Haunt spell is
ideal, but it'll also work with a wandering stack, abandoned mine, or
shipwreck. Go into battle with the enemy ghosts, and cast Mirror Image on
yout ghost stack. Skip turns until an enemy ghost stack destroys the image.
All the "fake" ghosts in the image just became "real" ghosts in the enemy
stack. Now, have your ghost stack attack the big enemy stack. It might take
a couple rounds, but eventually your ghost stack will absorb the entire
enemy stack if your hero has a few points of attack/defense. Voila - you
just doubled your ghosts! With careful planning, lots of spell points, and
perhaps a Mass Slow to better control the enemy movements, you can use each
of five enemy stacks to double your stack - potentially increasing 500
ghosts to 16,000 in one battle. If you've got the Haunt spell and a mine
near a castle or well, you can do this as many times as you want. I turned
400 ghosts into ten stacks (hero + castle) of 28,000 each in about fifteen
minutes and three game turns! from Erik at emooney@stevens-tech.edu.

-You Can Be All That ***I*** Want You To Be: Since you can usually select
your computer opponents' starting castle types, try and inconvenience them
with your selections. If you are playing a small map, select Warlocks or
Wizards for enemy colors, or if it's a large map, select Knights or
Barbarians for them. This will give them a disadvantage. Or if you know a
certain color will be disadvantaged by a certain castle type (e.g. Warlock
if there is no sulfur nearby) then give them that castle type. from Heng
Lok at shambler@labyrinth.net.au.

-Do The Genie Math: If ever you must battle a large army in order to win
the scenario, try splitting your genies into 5 stacks. This will increase
your chances of halving troops to 50%. Since genies are very fast, all of
them should be able to get an attack quite early on in the round. from Heng
Lok at shambler@labyrinth.net.au.

-Titan-Wise And Gold Foolish: Never upgrade your giants. Since upgrading
costs twice the difference in resources, upgrading a giant to a titan will
cost 6000 gold and 2 gems, which is more than buying a new titan.
Altogether you would be spending 2000 gold and 1 gem to build the giant and
a total of 8000 gold and 3 gems after upgrading. Either don't upgrade your
giants, or don't build them! from Heng Lok at shambler@labyrinth.net.au.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xb. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (First Week Buildings Tips)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

by: Quebec Dragon

This is a strategy article about what structures to build in the crucial
first week according to castle type. As always, your comments are welcome
:-) Some of those building orders were taken from from my strategy
walkthroughs.

GENERAL TIPS
I'm an adept of might makes right.. therefore I will always concentrate on
building monster structures before Mage Guilds... If you build the maximum
of monster producing structures in week 1, you will accumulate a bigger
army more quickly. Never buy castle upgrades, turrets, moats or Mage Guilds
(unless it's a requirement for another monster structure) during week 1. In
some cases, you won't be able to build some structures due to lack of
resources or gold... That's to be expected because my suggested building
orders are under ideal conditions and need a bit of luck.
You should know that unless the mapmaker specifies the given structures in
your starting castle, you will encounter 2 possibilities when you start a
new scenario. First option is where only the lowest creature-producing
structure is built. Second option, the better one, is when the 2 lowest
creature dwellings are already built. In order to avoid  "cluttering" the
article, my building orders suppose you've been unlucky and that you
started with only one creature dwelling. If you're lucky enough to have 2
initial creatures dwellings, just jump to the next building suggestion.
In the first week, try to build a structure in your starting castle each
and every day. If you're not able to build the next structure in the
building sequence due to lack of resources or gold,  skip it and build
another suggested 1st week structure (like Well, Horde Building or Statue).
Try to build the skipped structure later in the week. If you still can't
afford the "missing" structure, don't sweat it... it happens to the best of
us ;-)

KNIGHT CASTLE
Wood is the most badly needed resource so search for it everywhere.
Good building order :
1) Archery Range (To boost your starting hero's army ; hire another Knight
and combine troops)
2) Statue (To start getting another 250 gold pieces as soon as possible..
same thing for other castles)
3) Well
4) Pikemen Blacksmith
5) Tavern (required for Swordmen)
6) Swordmen Armory
7) Cathedral or Jousting Arena (if you have enough ressources, if not, buy
the Farm)
During week 2, I usually buy the upgraded Archery Range, Marketplace and
any monster structures not built in week 1.

BARBARIAN CASTLE
Ore is the foremost priority.
1) Stick Hut (To boost your starting army ; hire another Barbarian and
combine troops)
2) Wolf Den (Very fast units for scouting)
3) Statue
4) Adobe (wait until you upgrade it to buy troops)
5) Troll Bridge (if you have enough ore)
6) Well
7) Garbage Heap (horde building)
During week 2, I upgrade the adobe, sometimes the stick hut and build up
the maximum of troops.

NECROMANCER CASTLE
This one has the toughest building decisions. I suggest going for either
the Vampire Lords or the Bone Dragons (building orders differ accordingly).
Trying to get both at once is impratical and unnecessary. Regenerating
Vampire Lords OR powerful Bone Dragons should be sufficient in the
beginning game.
VAMPIRE LORD BUILDING PATH
1) Zombie Graveyard (To boost your starting army ; hire another Necromancer
and combine troops)
2) Mummy Pyramid
3) Statue
4) Thieve's guild (required for Vampires)
5) Vampire Mansion
6) Well
7) Skull Pile (horde building)
During week 2, upgrade the Vampire Mansion. Buy the Mage Guild and the
Mausoleum if you can.
BONE DRAGON BUILDING PATH
1) Zombie Graveyard (To boost your starting army ; hire another Necromancer
and combine troops)
2) Mummy Pyramid
3) Statue
4) Mage Guild (required for Liches)
5) Lich Mausoleum
6) Well
7) Skull Pile (horde building)
In the second week, I will save my gold and resources for the Bone Dragon
Laboratory. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't hire all available undead
troops (except the expensive Liches) on day 1 of week 2.

SORCERESS CASTLE
Gems and mercury are a must. If the Cottage is not already built, forget
this structure for a while (meaning much less Dwarves) because the 10 units
of wood it requires (5 for Tavern + 5 for Cottage itself) are better used
for the Fenced Meadow. (Thanks to Dark Wolf for feedback)
1) Elf Archery Range (To boost your starting army)
2) Statue
3) Mage Guild (required for Druids)
4) Druid Stonehenge
5) Well
6) Crystal Garden (Horde Building)
7) Unicorn Fenced Meadow (alternate is Cottage Upgrade or Archery Range
Upgrade)
Week 2, I usually upgrade either the Dwarf or the Elf structure, buy the
marketplace and the Unicorn Fenced meadow if I don't already have it.

WIZARD CASTLE
Has the highest resource cost.. You wil have to make a decision about
whether you concentrate on building up your Mage Guild or going for the
Titans.
1) Boar Pen (To boost your starting army ; hire another Wizard and combine
troops)
2) Statue
3) Roc Cliff Nest
4) Golem Foundry
5) Mage Guild (required for Mages)
6) Well
7) Mage Ivory Tower (if you have enough resources... Orchard as alternate
choice)
During week 2, I usually build the ivory tower (if it's not done yet), the
library and the marketplace.

WARLOCK CASTLE
You will need sulfur ! That's the most important thing you have to search
for...
1) Gargoyle Crypt (To boost your starting army ; hire another Warlock and
combine troops)
2) Dungeon (for gold !)
3) Statue (for more gold !)
4) Griffin Nest
5) Maze or Swamp (both if you have the resources, wait until week 2 if you
lack them)
6) Well
7) Waterfall (horde building)
During week 2, I build the missing monster structure, upgrade the minotaur
maze, and start saving my money for the Dragon Tower.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xc. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Tips on Upgrading)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Overview

This little article is for those who always have problems deciding when
to upgrade their units and then which ones to upgrade first. As we all
know in HOMM 2, resources and gold are a premium. You cannot expect to
upgrade everything right away and still win. So you must absolutely make
some difficult choices. With these simple tips, I will share with you
what I consider the best upgrades and the ones that aren't so hot. My
evaluation criteria are in order of importance : speed increase, more hit
points and special powers. So without further ado :

NECROMANCER CASTLE
1) Vampire Lord : best upgrade of the game, more hit points and their
draining blood regeneration makes them practically invincible in large
numbers.
2) Mutant Zombie : Very good in the beginning game especially to change
their speed from very slow to average.
3) Royal Mummy : Useful but not a priority. I upgrade because of the speed,
but then not always.
4) Power Lich : Never upgrade this unless you have nothing else to build.
It makes a bad unit more expensive without any significant improvements.

WARLOCK CASTLE
1) Minotaur King : Always upgrade first before you buy. The upgrade in speed
and hit points transform them in excellent grunt troops who can reach the
enemy on the second turn.
2) Red Dragon : Good upgrade because of the slightly higher speed and hit
point increase but not absolutely essential. When you finally manage to build
your first Dragon Tower, you will usually be very low on sulfur. Better to
strike quickly with 4 or 7 Green Dragons than waiting to get Reds. Keep in
mind though that upgrading to Red makes more sense than upgrading all the way
to Black because of the lower cost in sulfur (1 unit instead of 2 units for
each new Dragon).
3) Black Dragon : Strongest creature in the game ... but .... I don't recommend
getting this expensive upgrade unless there are wizard castles with Titans on
the map. Without enemy Titans, the Green Dragons should be more than enough for
your conquest needs. This "weakest" of Dragons is still better than every other
high-level creature out there (even Bone Dragons).

BARBARIAN CASTLE
1) Ogre Lord : Extremely good upgrade and necessary to win. A big increase in
hit points and speed make this a must have and your first priority. Almost
better
than Paladins.
2) Orc Chieftain : Nice but not particularly important. Makes them a little
tougher.
3) War Troll : I upgrade this when the rest is done. The increase in speed is
not
important enough to justify a rush upgrade.

SORCERESS CASTLE
1) Battle Dwarf : Very good upgrade because of the speed. The "jump" from very
slow
to average won't slow down the hero leading them anymore. The Dwarf is a
special
case... Upgrade it as soon as possible if you start the game with a free
cottage.
If not, forget about Dwarves (meaning : don't buy the tavern and cottage right
away)
and save your wood and gold for something else (Fenced Meadow perhaps ?).
2) Grand Elf : Nice but not a necessity. Because of personal preference and
speed
increase from average to very fast, I consider the Grand Elf upgrade more
cost-efficient and useful than the Greater Druid upgrade. Useful if you want
to shoot first.
3) Greater Druid : Not really necessary. Again useful if you prefer to shoot
first
and you don't have Phoenix.

WIZARD CASTLE
1) Titan : Most useful upgrade for the Wizard but quite expensive. In first
place
here, because of the uselessness of Giants ;-)
2) Steel Golem : Nice but not necessary unless you want a second army with
halflings
(same speed) or if your castle is on the verge of getting attacked.
3) Archmage : I almost never upgrade this one preferring to contentrate on mage
guilds. His special power of dispelling spells doesn't come into play much.

KNIGHT CASTLE
(The toughest decisions for upgrades)
1) Ranger : First priority because of the 2 shots per turn and only missile
troop
of the knight.
3) Champion : Useful if you always want the first turn and the only ground unit
that can reach the other side in one turn.
3) Master Swordman and Veteran Pikeman : Same benefits for both, a little more
hit
points and faster speed. They go well together
4) Crusader : Becomes first priority if you go against necromancers. Against
other
troops, the increase in hitpoints doesn't justify the higher cost.

IN CONCLUSION...
I fit upgrades into 3 categories : must-have, nice-to-have and why-bother. I
rarely
upgrade in the first week because resources are at such a premium. I consider
Logistics of the utmost importance and a well-chosen upgrade combined with good
army
"combos" will often save my heroes considerable travelling time in the long
term.
In layman terms, I'm trying to remind you that the travel speed of your hero is
directly related to the speed of the lowest stack in his army. Never forget
this...
Just for fun, here is a list of the number-one upgrades for each castle type
rated
against each other in order of usefulness.
          Vampire Lord
          Ogre Lord
          Ranger
          Minotaur King
          Titan
          Battle Dwarf
Keep in mind that there are no "definitive" rules about what to upgrade first
and
when. Nothing beats personal experience to learn how to evaluate the "flow" of
the
game and consequently make the best upgrading decisions possible. I hope you
enjoyed
reading this little upgrade strategy guide. Please feel free to send me your
comments,
criticisms and suggestions.

                   -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

The following article is a rebuttle/addendum/second opinion to The Quebec
Dragon's
original article submitted by Viktor Coyot Urban:

NECROMANCER CASTLE
Marking liches as useless creature really doesn't seem any good. When upgraded,
those bastards not only have ten more HPs, but also a speed boost. Their
defense
of 13 is third best in the game! (only dragons and titans have 1, resp. 2
points more)
I agree about Vampire Lords... but upgrading mummies and zombies? Well, if you
can't
build liches, vampires and/or bone dragons (due to lack of crystal and sulfur),
then
maybe... but once you CAN have very fast power liches, fast vampire lords and
average
bone dragons, you won't need any mummies and zombies....

WARLOCK CASTLE
Minotaurs are pretty useful, when upgraded, but as warlocks usually are low on
cash, you can do without the upgrade in early stage... (minotaurs will get to
enemy second turn, two, as usually the enemy will care to meet them... and for
shooter armies, two flyer units of warlock are enough)
Green dragons suck! They may be 'enough' against wimpy opponents, but facing
i.e.
a Barbarian or a Sorceress (not mentioning Wizards) with a bigger army, you can
get your ass kicked pretty well. Black Dragon's speed is very important. Not
only
it gives you time to cast a spell, but also block a shooter stack or two or
damage
three stacks in one turn... Me and most of players I know usually upgrade, at
least to Red ones, which are a good compromise of fair price and good speed.
Against strong and multiple opponents you can't afford losses and there the
green
dragons are about 55% of blackies (66% HPs, 5-10% more suffered damage, 20%
less
caused damage...)

BARBARIAN CASTLE
We prefer the upgrades in reverse order:
   1) War troll: Speed again, a very decisive factor.
                 33% more damage (7-9 versus 5-7)
   2) Orc chief: +50% HPs, +50% damage, +1 speed
   3) Ogre lord: +50% HPs, +40% damage, +2 speed, but this one doesn't shoot!
Ogre lords are good for defense of castles and for final encounters, but in
most battles one can do fine with trolls, orcs and wolves.

SORCERESS CASTLE
Battle dwarves? Again it's the last resort, used usually only for defense
purposes, when my inner territory gets under attack. Upgrading shooters to
very fast is much more important. I don't have exact numbers here, but AFAIK,
the greater druids also cause higher damage, don't they?

WIZARD CASTLE
The archmages have 5more hitpoints, cause 10% more and suffer 5% less damage,
apart from the increased speed.

KNIGHT CASTLE
The only one, where I could almost completely agree with you ;-) [Except for
the fact, that crusaders benefit from their higher speed and the HP increase
is not at all any small (50 to 65))

                   -- Viktor Coyot Urban

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xd. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Fighting the Dragons)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

by Velikovsky (Charles E. Watkins) and Sebastien Patenaude

How to beat 10 or so Black Dragons, who are the strongest unit in the game
and also immune to magic? Any way you cut it, it will not be an easy
endeavour... Since I usually play Warlock, I would usually pit my own good
Dragons against this evil Black Dragon host but let's suppose I can't get
draconic reinforcements for unknown reasons :-)

STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS

Avoiding the Fight
First of all, I would avoid this Black Dragon army until I have a strong
enough army of my own. If the opponent is coming after me, I try to lead
them around the board trying to stay ahead until I can arrive at a castle
where I can get reinforcements. Sometimes this means waiting for Day 1 to
come around or for dwellings to be built. From the opponent's profile
(right click), I can see if there are slow armies to slow him down--or I
can just watch carefully and see how far he can move each turn. That tells
me how far away I need to be to stay out of harm's way. I also know that
he won't attack what he can't see, that is unexplored territory outside the
normal 4 square Scouting radius. If I duck into an area where the opponent
has never been, I may lose him. (Of course, he may then decide to explore
that area, but I do have a chance.) I might also try a "Judas Goat" strategy
where an expendable hero is dispatched to draw the enemy away from your
territory...perhaps into a narea controlled by another foe!

Pre-emptive Strike
A second way to avoid the dragons is to target their source and cut off the
supply. While the opponent is out menacing my castles, I double around and
take the Warlock castle where the dragons originate. Sometimes, capturing the
Warlock castle that is producing those Dragons can reveal a very nice surprise:
Dragons still present in the Dragon Tower. This happened to me many times
since the AI will usually buy up all the lower-level troops first, or the AI
may not have the sulfur required.

BATTLE TACTICS

Armies and Heroes
Titans are almost the equivalent of dragons, but Phoenixes and Bone Dragons
are much less powerful. I use a general ratio based on the hit points:
3 Phoenix for 1 Black Dragon, 2 Bone Dragons for 1 Red Dragon, etc. Cyclops
or Crusaders cannot really compete against Dragons unless those lesser
high-level troops are a lot more numerous. Hydras or Ogre Lords (troops
with a lot of hit points) in very large numbers could, in theory, also beat
dragons. With enough low level troops like skeletons or sprites you can also
prevail, especially if the hoard's Attack statistic is boosted by a good
hero bonus.

Armies with special attacks like sprites and geniis can come in handy. The
dragons' spell resistance does not make them immune to special powers.
As usual, the best hero for the battle will be a Barbarian or Knight. The
Black Dragons have 14 Attack and Defense Stats that give them a 30-50 percent
advantage in almost every fight. A stout hero may be able to offset this
advantage and improve my army's chances considerably. Since the Warlock
Dragons are all immune to magic, having a good spellcaster is not nearly as
important--though there are still some useful spells.

Magic
As for magic, the spell Dragon Slayer is only good if I already have a good
hero with strong statistics and an excellent army. Most of the time, another
positive spell cast on my own troops will prove to be more beneficial.
Casting Mirror Image on Titans (top-spot), Phoenixes,or Bone Dragons is
excellent. Summon Elemental can provide me with a much-needed supplemental
army stack that can attack the Dragons and draw their attacks. Resurrection
True on my highest-level troops is also quite good since my best stack should
suffer less permanent losses than the Dragons who can't be resurrected.
Casting Bless (or Mass Bless) on units that have a large range of damage like
Phoenixes can help you a lot. (See the article "Way of the Sorceress" for
details.) All those spell tips will not really help me if I am outmatched
before the beginning of the battle.

Dragon Sandwich
I attack between 2 dragon stacks with one fast (or higher speed) flying stack.
More flying stacks go between other enemy dragon stacks if I can afford it.
If done well, the retaliation breath flame from the attacked Dragon will damage
another Dragon stack (lower or higher than itself depending on the positions).
I sometimes had 4 different enemy Dragon stacks flaming each other happily
while
always attacking my same sacrificial unit. :-) This strategy can also work if
I don't have flyers but then I have to put my stack (the one that is the most
likely to be attacked) in any position but the first or last one. The enemy
Dragons will attack first but starting on the 2nd turn (or sooner) they will
flame each other. Of course, against sly human opponents, this Sandwich tactic
will not work most of the time... unless youropponents don't know how to
counter it.

Softening Up
A basic strategy for overcoming an opponent (computer) with a stack of Black
Dragons is to Reduce the Size of the Stack before I wade in with the heavy
hitters.
There are several ways I might do this: 1. Let the opponent take a castle,
perhaps
leaving some of the dragons behind as a garrison. That way I get to attack two
smaller forces. When I surrender a castle, I try to leave one of each creature
available for the opponent to recruit. Not only does this encourage the break
up
of the main force, it may also introduce additional army types into the
opponent's
force, reducing morale.  2. Lead the opponent past tree houses, halfling holes,
and such. You'd be surprised how often the artificial "intelligence" will
dismiss
the dragons for a few free orcs. 3. Soften him up with a "Genii Bomb."  As you
may know, the Genii has the 10% special power of reducing the enemy it attacks
by half. I like to outfit an expendable hero with 5 armies of one genii each.
This gives me five shots for a genii to hit with its 10 percent special power,
which halves the opponent army. Of course, for this to work I need to have some
geniis available, so I don't waste them! Apart from fighting dragons, this is a
good use of the odd lamp I might find in the midgame, when an army of 4-5
geniis
is not really worth keeping in my mainforce. 4. Use five armies of Vampire
Lords
to attack the dragons. Each round, one Vamp army gets fried, but the other 4
get
hits. (No counterstrikeagainst Vamps.) Use my spell to Animate the "dead" one.
The ones that hit, feed off of the dragons and regain their numbers. Repeat
until
out of dragons (or spell points).

Distracting Dragons
Probably the most important consideration in defeating the dragon army is
keeping
them distracted while the heavy hitters whittle them down. In a straightforward
face off, each round I have up to five attacks plus a spell to use in the
fight.
If the army attacked by the dragons survives, it gets a counterstrike. On the
other hand, the dragons get one attack, a counter attack, and up to four
additional
attacks from other enemy armies and a spell. The attacks (and spell) will
probably
be directed against my "most hated" army, not necessarily my best one. For
instance,
the AI prefers to attack a few Liches instead of a big stack of Bone Dragons
since the Liches' range attack makes them "more hated" than the flying Boners.
If I can arrange for one or more "hated" armies to survive until the dragons's
turn comes around, then that's who they will attack. If I have 2 or 3 "hated"
armies, then my heavy hitters will be able to attack 2 or 3 times before they
are attacked by the dragons. The second consideration here is avoiding the
dragons'
counterstrike against my main armies. That means a preliminary attack by a
sacrificial unit to absorb the counterstrike and then wading in with the heavy
hitters. Since the sacrifice has to move first, I'll need a fast flyer for the
first round.

EXAMPLES

Let's look at an example combat against an opponent with 10 Black Dragons, 12
Hydras, 20 Minotaur Kings, 30 Griffins, and 100 Centaurs. The cost of such a
force would be 84,600 gold plus 20 sulfur. Our counterforce of Necromancer
troops
could be 30 Bone Dragons, 12 PowerLiches (2 armies), and 2 Geniis (2 armies),
costing somewhat less--68,100 gold plus 2 gems. Assume equal heroes and no
magic.

Round 1: Attack the Black Dragons with one Genii--we lose 1. Second Genii
passes.
Dragons attack one army of Liches--we lose all 6. Minotaur Kings move outside
castle,
no attacks available. Our 6 Liches attack Black Dragons--do 6x9x.5=27 points of
damage, no kills. 30 Bone Dragons attack Black Dragons--do 30x35x.7=735 points
of
damage, 2 kills. Centaurs shoot Liches--do 100x1.5x.5=75 points of damage, 3
kills.
Griffins attack Liches--do 20x4x.5=40 points of damage, 1 kill. Hydras hiss.

Round 2: Second Genii attacks Black Dragons--we lose. Black Dragons attack
remaining
Liches--we lose again. Minotaur Kings attack Bone Dragons--do 7.5x20=150, 1
kill.
Bone Dragons attack Black Dragons--29x35x.7=710, 2 kills. Centaurs shoot Bone
Dragons--100x1.5x.6=90.

Round 3: 6 Black Dragons attack Bone Dragons--6x37.5x1.3=292, 2 kills. 25 Bone
Dragons counterattack Black Dragons--25x35x.7=612, 2 kills. Minotaur Kings
attack
Bone Dragons--do 7.5x20=150, 1 kill. 25 Bone Dragons attack Black
Dragons--25x35x.
7=612, 2 kills. 4 Black Dragons counter attack Bone Dragons--do 4x37.5x1.3=196,
1 kill. Minotaur Kings attack Bone Dragons--do 7.5x20=150, 1 kill. Centaurs
shoot
Bone Dragons--100x1.5x.6=90. Griffins attack Bone Dragons--20x4x.5=40 points.

Round 4: 23 Bone Dragons attack Black Dragons--do 23x35x.7=563, 2 kills.2 Black
Dragons counter attack Bone Dragons--do 2x37.5x1.3=98, 1 kill. 22 Bone Dragons
attack Black Dragons--do 22x35x.7=540, 2 kills.

At this point all the Black Dragons are gone and our Necromancer still has 22
Bone Dragons to mop up the rest of the enemy forces. It is likely that 20 Bone
Dragons will survive.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xe. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Secondary Skills Tips)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

by Roland Reichel (reichel@filesvr1-cddi.informatik.uni-essen.de)

SOME BASIC FACTS
There are 14 secondary skills: Archery, Ballistics, Diplomacy, Eagle Eye,
Estates, Leadership, Logistics, Luck, Mysticism, Navigation, Necromancy,
Pathfinding, Scouting and Wisdom.
You can gain 3 leves in each secondary skill: Basic, Advanced and Expert

Every Hero can learn 8 arbitrary secondary skills, but there are some
exceptions:
One or two skills are pre-equipped (see next paragraph)
Only the Necromancer and the Warlock can learn Necromancy
The Necromancer can't learn Leadership

Every Hero Type comes with some secondary skills pre-equipped:
Knight: Basic Leadership, Basic Ballistics
Barbarian: Advanced Pathfinding
Sorceress: Advanced Navigation, Basic Wisdom
Necromancer: Basic Wisdom, Basic Necromancy
Warlock: Advanced Scouting, Basic Wisdom
Wizard: Advanced Wisdom

Each time a hero gains a level he will advance in a primary skill and
learn or improve a secondary skill (mostly you can choose between two
of them) When all secondary skills are at expert level only the primary
skill will advance.

A hero can learn the basic Level of a skill at a Witch's Hut for free.
This also means you can reach the expert levels earlier when you start
some of your basic skills by visiting a Witch's Hut.

The Witch Huts allow you to a certain degree to decide which skills your
heroes will learn. You can either save your game before visiting a hut
and reload if you don't like the skill or let one of your disposable heroes
look what the hut offers and then decide if its worth the trip.
You have to remember which skill the hut teaches, a right click won't
tell you.

And now the list of the skills in the order of importance (at least in my
opinion). For each skill there is a brief description of its benefits, my
opinion on it, the chances for the different hero types to learn it and
some information on artifacts that can enhance or substitute that Skill.

WISDOM
Absolutly necessary for every hero, especially on bigger maps. Without it
you can't cast 3rd, 4th and 5th level spells and these levels include the
really useful ones. The Sorceress, Warlock, Wizard and Necromancer already
have this skill when you buy them, it is rare for the Knight and very rare
for the Barbarian. You can't substitute this skill by any artifact

LOGISTICS, PATHFINDING, AND NAVIGATION
These three skills improve movement. Movement is crucial on almost any map.
It allows you to reach goodies before the other players do, catch an enemy
hero before he goes somewhere you don't want him to go and to get quickly
back to your castle for reinforcements. Logistics and Navigation simply
increase your movement points on land and sea respectively. The effect of
Navigation is far more spectacular. Pathfinding reduces the movement penalty
on rough terrain like swamp, snow and desert. With this skill on expert level
you can move everywhere like on plain ground. As your heroes move mostly on
land, I consider Logistics the most important of the three. Pathfinding is
important as without it you will be almost stuck on rough terrain. Navigation
is very useful on maps with a lot of water and absolutly useless when its
dry everywhere. The situation changes when your hero has learned Dimension
Door (if you can get it). This makes Logistics on land and Navigation on the
sea more important and Pathfinding less important.
Logistics is a common Skill for Knights and Barbarians, and rare for everone
else. The Barbarian comes with Pathfinding, the Knight and the Necromancer
will learn it frequently, all others will learn it sometimes. The Sorceress
comes with Navigation, the Barbarian will learn it frequently, all the others
will learn it sometimes.
You can substitute or enhance these skills by quite a lot of artifacts:
Nomad Boots, Traveler's Boots and the True Compass substitute Logistics,
Sailors' Astrolabe and the True Compass substitute Navigation.
There is no artifact to substitute Pathfinding!

LEADERSHIP AND LUCK
These two skills will make combat easier, but you can rely neither on your
moral nor on your luck.
Leadership increases your moral: High moral sometimes allows your units to
attack again, low moral makes them freeze in panic.
Luck lets your units sometimes inflict twice the normal damage.
The Knight always has Leadership (and he definitly needs it), its common for a
Barbarian, rare for the Wizard, very rare for the Warlock and the Sorceress,
and
the Necromancer can't get it.
Luck is common for the Sorceress, rare for the Barbarian and the Wizard and
very rare for everyone else.
Leadership can be substituted or enhanced by the medals of Courage, Valor,
Honor
and Distinction.
Luck can be substituted or enhanced by the golden Horseshoe, the Lucky Rabbits'
Foot, the Gamblers' Coin and the four-leave Clover.

ARCHERY
Archery makes your missile troops more effective. Expert Archery will make
them do 50% more damage which can be quite a difference. Archery is useful
for armys with a lot of shooters, that is for Wizards (Halflings, Archmagi and
Titans), Sorceresses (Grand Elves and Greater Druids) and Barbarians (Orc
Chiefs and War Trolls). It is less useful for Warlocks and Knights.
It is common for the Sorceress and the Barbarian, rare for the Knight and very
rare for the Warlock, Necromancer and Wizard (sigh) There is no artifact to
substitute Archery, but the Golden Bow can support your shooters in castle
attacks by eliminating the penalty for shooting past obstacles like castle
walls. The Ammo Cart supplies unlimited ammunition for your shooters but you
won't run out of arrows so easily anyway.

BALLISTICS
Ballistics is quite helpful in castle attacks. With expert Ballistics you can
bring a castle down in very few turns.
Ballistics is particulary useful for everyone who hasn't got so many flyers or
shooters.
The Knight comes with Ballistics and it is common for everyone else.
The Ballista of Quickness can partly substitute Ballistics as it lets your
catapult shoot twice per round. The combination of Expert Ballistics and the
Ballista of Quickness is deadly for any castle: Your Siege Engine will have
three shots per round and every one of them will be a severe hit. The Castle
defense will be destroyed in the third round! (A knights castle with
Fortifications will last longer)

DIPLOMACY
Diplomacy enables you sometimes to bribe wandering monsters if your army is
strong enough and you have space for the new units (a free stack or a stack
of this type). As you normally don't want to have more the two alignments in
your army, diplomacy is most useful when there are monsters of these alignments
on the map. To learn Diplomacy is common for the Knight and rare for everyone
else. Diplomacy can't be substituted by any artifact.

ESTATES
Estates makes your hero generate money. Two heroes with Expert Estates are
as valuable as a gold mine. Estates is common for a Knight and rare for
everyone else. There are some artifacts that have the same effect as Estates:
The Golden Goose (equals 20 Heroes with Expert Estates ;-) ), and the Endless
Purse (Bag, Sack) of Gold.

MYSTICISM
Mysticism allows your hero to regenerate more spell points per turn. It is
quite useful on maps with few castles and wells, very much useless on other
maps.
In my opinion the effect is simply not strong enough. When you have decent
knowledge it takes forever to regenerate by Mysticism while you can get it
immediatly at a well and in the next turn when you stay in a castle with a
Mage Guild.
To learn Mysticism is very common for a Wizard, common for the Necro, the
Sorceress and the Warlock and very rare for the Knight and Barbarian. Mysticism
can partly be substituted or enhanced by the power ring.

NECROMANCY
Necromancy enables you to animate some of the slain enemys as skeletons after
you have won a battle. Therefore it is necessary to either have skeletons in
your ranks or a free stack.
It is quite useful when you kill enemies in large quantities (Eliminating a
Legion of peasants will give you at least 100 skeletons and even Skeletons
can be killers in large numbers).
The Necromancer comes with this skill and only the Warlock has a very rare
chance to learn it. I strongly recommend not to take it as a warlock because
you will have undead in your army which leads to a moral penalty.
There is no artifact to substitue Necromancy.

SCOUTING
With Scouting your hero can see farther on the map. This is useful in the
beginning, but more or less useless near the end. The usefulness of Scouting
also depends on the number of watch towers on the map. The more watch towers
there are, the more useless is Scouting.
The Warlock comes with Scouting, it is very common for the Barbarian, common
for the Knight and the Necromancer and rare for the Wizard and the Sorceress.
The Telescope has the same effect as Basic Scouting and works in addition to
Scouting if you have both.

EAGLE EYE
With Eagle Eye you can learn combat spells your enemy uses against you, but
even with Expert Eagle Eye you can't learn 5th level spells. I rather prefer
to learn them by capturing enemy castles.
Eagle Eye is common for the Warlock, Wizard and Necromancer, rare for the
Sorceress and very rare for the Knight and Barbarian. There is no artifact to
substitute Eagle Eye.

CONCLUSION
So, what is the ideal combination of Secondary Skills:
Wisdom, Logistics, Pathfinding, Navigation, Leadership, Luck, Archery and
Ballistics
This combination can only be reached by the Knight (difficult to get Luck),
the Barbarian (difficult to get Wisdom), the Sorceress (difficult to get
Leadership) and the Wizard (difficult to get Archery). The Necromancer can't
reach it because he has Necromancy and can't get Leadership and The Warlock
can't reach it because he has Scouting.
So for the Necromancer I would suggest: Wisdom, Necromancy, Logistics,
Pathfinding, Navigation, Luck, Archery and Ballistics (Or replace Archery
with something else because the Necro has only one shooter). For the Warlock
replace Ballistics or Archery with Scouting (He doesn't need Ballistics that
much because he has three flyers in his army and he doesn't need Archery
because he has only a level one shooter).

                   -- Roland Reichel

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xf. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Using Diplomacy)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

by Charles Watkins

Overview
The Diplomacy skill is often overlooked by players who do not appreciate
the tactical options it offers. In fact, some (e.g. the CGW Tips column
on HOMM2) say you should actively avoid it! In order to counter some of
the bad publicity that Diplomacy has received, I thought I'd present the
other side of the story.


For those of you just dialing in, the Diplomacy skill causes "wandering"
armies to sometimes offer to join a hero for a price. The cost per creature
is several times what you pay at a castle and the number you get varies
according to your level at Diplomacy: Basic 25%, Advanced 50%, Expert 100%.
In order to receive the offer, the hero's combined force needs to be more
than twice the strength of the wandering creatures and the creatures must
have already "decided" not to flee or to join for "greater glory." No one
seems to know for sure, but chances seem to be improved when the hero is from
the same castle type as the creatures, when the hero's force enjoys high
morale,
and/or when the hero's force already includes creatures of the type
encountered.

One definite impact of Diplomacy is the interruption of the usual flow of the
game--scout the area, approach the creature, go the fight screen. When the
interruption occurs, there is first the disappointment that the creatures did
not either flee or join for "greater glory". Then comes an insulting offer by
some unworthy looking enemy to not only spare your life but also for some
meager fragment to join your service at a blatantly outrageous price. It
all comes off more like an extortion threat than the practice of diplomatic
protocol.

If you can't stomach the attitude of those you must negotiate with, I totally
understand. But if you want to improve your chance of winning at HOMM2,
then perhaps there's something here for you. (After all is it really much
worse than Necromancy? How do you suppose they get the skeletons out of
the dead bodies?)

What DIPLOMACY Can Do For You
1. It never hurts to talk first. Diplomacy does not make creatures that
would have fled decide to stay and maybe fight. It makes creatures that
would have attacked offer you another option. There is no way Diplomacy
ever works to a player's disadvantage.
2. You can get access to army types that you could not otherwise build. For
example, if you play barbarian or knight, the lack of flyers can put you at
a tactical disadvantage against enemy shooters. You don't mind paying a premium
price to add some sprites or gargoyles or such since they can save your other
armies from being devastated by missile fire.
3. You can avoid costly fights. Here the main value of Diplomacy is in the
enemies who leave you alone as opposed to those who join. Again, consider
the barbarian or knight going up against a strong shooter. By the time the
ground forces reach the enemy, they will have released 10 rounds of missiles.
Try this against elves some time and see whether you'd prefer to try some
Diplomacy.
4. You get the armies where you need them, on the front line and ready to be
added to your main force. You don't have to recruit a hero to march them
into battle. You don't have the cost of building a dwelling.
5. The armies you get are above and beyond those you build in your castles.
In an otherwise balanced arms race, this could make the difference. If you
buy armies with Diplomacy, you can still go back and recruit at the castle
later. If you ignore them, you allow your opponent to recruit them and use
them against you. If you fight, you may suffer losses that put you at a
disadvantage against you opponent.
6. You have an advantage qualifying for Xanadu.
7. I've heard that Diplomacy reduces the cost of Surrender, but of course
I've never tried that. ;^)

Is There A Downside?
Why isn't Diplomacy better appreciated?
I think the bad reputation of Diplomacy comes from the relatively high costs
of the armies offered. Costs are indeed high, but Diplomacy armies are offered
in addition to what you already have available. If cost is a major
consideration,
you can wait until later in the game when funds are usually plentiful. What
did you plan to do with all that money anyway?

Another reason for the bad rep is the mistaken impression that Diplomacy is
somehow making creatures attack that otherwise would have run away. This is
simply not the case.

Let's look at some other complaints:
1. "Unless you are Expert, you are getting ripped off on the price."
The price is high, but remember you do not have cost of capturing a castle,
building a dwelling/upgrade, or replacing armies you lose in battle. If you
get into a cash-rich position where armies are scarce (maps with few castles
but plenty of treasure), then the cost is not such a factor. What else were
you going to spend that gold on anyway?
2. "Unless you are Expert, you aren't getting very many creatures."
Actually, you get quite a lot compared to the weekly production at a castle
or town--and the number of creatures increases over time. In week 1 or 2
there may be only 20 elves in the stack, but by week 8 there may be 40.
(I think the increase is about 10% per week.) And, yes, you need to be an
Expert to get the most creatures, which is another reason to defer recruiting
while you cultivate the skill.
3. "I generally like to travel with a five army stack."
I hardly ever do. I like to have that extra chance of having armies join for
"greater glory." Also to take advantage of genii lamps, tree cities, and other
opportunities to increase the size of my army. If you are neglecting these
sources of recruits, you may be hurting your chances.
I like to have a secondary hero serve as a squire, following my main fighter
to take over any extras. When I need all five armies, my main fighter can
always "borrow" one from the squire.
4. "I don't want to have a bunch of different alignments in my group."
Mixed alignments are not so bad when you have adequate Leadership or morale
boosting artifacts. You can also be selective in which armies you approach.

Tips For The Budding Diplomat
1. Try to become Expert as soon as possible. Wait until then to actively pursue
your Diplomatic career. Until then, you can just refuse any offers you don't
like. Remember, Diplomacy is just an alternative to fighting.
2. Try to get the Visions spell. I know, it's ridiculously rare at mage guilds.
You best hope is those little red and blue tents.
3. Unless they block your way or might be taken by an enemy, try to preserve
stacks of "desirable" creatures until you can win them with your Diplomacy.
If you attack while you are too weak, they will not consider joining and you'll
have a fight on your hands. Better to wait until your chances are better,
allowing the creatures to multiply all the while.
4. To maximize your chances, make sure the diplomat commands a strong force
(more than double that of the creatures you are recruiting) with high morale.
Ideally, the hero's type should match the creatures and the force should
already
include an army of the type being recruited.
5. Keep in mind that almost all creatures can be recruited with Diplomacy.
(Ghosts and elementals are the only exceptions I know of.)
6. The "squire" system works well here since the secondary hero (the squire)
can serve as a temporary holding area for the main hero's armies. The squire
allows the main hero to free up a slot for the potential recruits and allows
the hero to temporarily add an army of the same type to improve his chances.
Once the recruits join up, they can be shifted back to the squire until they
are needed. (Eventually, the squire will accumulate a collection of different
kinds of armies that can be used to create a custom force for the main hero
to use. For instance, when attacking a castle the main hero will want to use
all five slots, mainly filled with shooters and flyers. For a Derelict Ship
(ghosts), the main hero will want to go in with only the strongest infantry.)
7. If the main hero does not have Diplomacy, then the squire system can work
in reverse. In this case, the main hero does all the tough fighting, but when
time comes for Diplomacy, the appropriate armies are shifted to the squire,
who then handles the recuiting. In this case, the squire should be allowed to
gain EPs in hopes of raising the Diplomacy skill. Eventually, Diplomacy may
get you enough new armies for the squire to go off on his own!

With these pointers, I hope you give Diplomacy a try. It's not for every
situation, but I think you can see it has its place.

       -- Velikovsky (Charles E. Watkins)

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xg. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (Troops Assignments Tips)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

by Lok (Michael Ferry)

Overview
All castles produce 6 units when fully developed. Each hero can only
carry 5. What do you do with those extra units? It was this question which
lead me to devise a natural troop division strategy. Instead of loading up
one hero with the best of all the units, consider using two heros who use
completely different stacks. This means that each hero will not have its
full complement of 5 slots, but you then have a chance of monsters 'joining
for greater glory' and occupying that other slot. Also you can fight a war
on two fronts with one castle. Here are class based divisions that work
well for me:

BARBARIAN
I find its good to divide units along speed. The 'fast' hero has Cyclops,
War Trolls, and Wolves. The 'slow' hero carries the goblins, ogre lords,
and orc chieftains. Note the 'slow' hero has all of the upgradeable units,
so you could in principal never build the upgrades for ogre lords and orc
chiefs and send this second hero to the upgrade site. By dividing in this
way both heros have a shooter stack and nice ground support. Your fast
hero will not be slowed down with those orcs and be able to cover far more
ground with his slowest unit being speed 5. My favorite array for the fast
troops is troll(1) wolf(2) cyclops(4) where (1) means the top slot on your
hero, (2) the second slot... With this array your trolls can get off their
shot fast. The wolf can move beside them to block two slots, and there are
no intervening units to prevent this. The cyclops then is free to move in
front of the trolls to prevent all access to them by ground or flying units,
or is free to go smack something crossing the field. For the slow hero, try
orc(1), ogre lord (2), goblin(3). In battle if you can not hit anything on
round 1 with the ogres, move them in front of the orcs. They can take the
pounding. Move the goblins to the flank of the orcs to await opportunities
in later rounds.

KNIGHT
Again consider dividing upon the basis of speed. I don't know about you, but
I never use peasants except in the defense of castles or very early in the
game. What I find is to have the fast hero with crusaders and champions, and
the slow hero with the rangers flanked by veteran pikemen and master swordmen.
The array that works well for me for the fast hero is champions(2),
crusaders(4). Note that the fast hero visits the stables to upgrade to
champions, where the slow hero visits the foundry to upgrade to veteran
pikemen and master swordsmen. You will be across the field in two rounds and
this gives you the best possible coverage. If you face a big stack use the
champions to first strike the stack (or a mirror image of the champions) and
then use the crusaders to whittle it down with 2 free hits. The hit points on
these units makes this a workable split, as they are high enough for them to
survive crossing the field. For the slow hero, I go with veteran pikemen(2),
rangers(3), and master swordsmen(4). There is no way you are going to box and
protect those rangers. The rangers in my mind are the bait for the other units
to finish off the enemy. I like pikemen in (2) since they are weaker than
swordsmen, and I like them to take the losses in the first strike and have the
swordsmen stack unharmed.

SORCERESS
Again consdider a division upon the basis of speed. The fast hero has
phoenixes(1),
greater druids(2), unicorns(3), and grand elves(4). I like this array because
the phoenixes usually are across the field on round 1, and this leaves the
unicorns free to respond to flyers or ground units going for your shooters. The
remaining slow units, sprites(1) and dwarves(3) is a nice division because you
can find recruitment sites on the map for both, and having only one hero worry
about them is good. Dwarves in the middle slot allow them to respond best to
the
field. Sprites should be held in reserve or used against shooters. Usually the
spellcaster will go after the sprites, which allows the dwarves to close
unscathed.

NECROMANCER
Necromancer is unique in that all heros will be generating the common average
speed skeletons. It therefore makes sense to divide upon the basis of equal
power. What works well for me is to go for bone dragons early in the game, and
your 'early' hero has bone dragons(1), skeletons(3) and power lichs(5). The
skeleton stack at the middle slot can move to cover the lichs (fronting likes
with bones flanking) in a defensive formation, or respond to the field. In the
early game it makes sense to use the bones to strike first, as few creatures
can kill them. In the later game it makes sense to bring on a second hero with
a vampire lord stack of about 20. Stacks below 20 tend not to regenerate and
die. It is for this reason I call this the 'late' hero, as it takes a few weeks
to generate this number of vampire lords. This hero can operate with vampire
lords (1), skeletons (3) only. If you like you can add royal mummies, although
they usually are unecessary. If you opt for the former, use the mummies and
zombies for garrison duty or on a third hero protecting the homeland from those
annoying little resource grabbing stackless enemies.

WARLOCK
Here again divide upon the basis of speed. If you have dragons, the fast hero
has black dragons(1), minotaur kings (3) and gargoyles (5). If you are fighting
really tough stacks, you might want to switch the blacks with the gargoyles and
let the gargoyles die on first striking the tough stack. Otherwise the standard
configuration lets the blacks first strike and the others get free pops. The
second hero should have griffons(1) hydras(3 or 4), centaurs(5). This slow hero
can visit the centaur recruitment sites. The centaurs serve the function of
either drawing enemy ground units or shooter within the range of the hydras, or
taking the beating while your hydras close. Griffons add a nice round 1 attack
to your force. If you want to recapture haunted mines, dump the centaurs and
griffons in a town or castle and go in with hydras(3) who are ideal for taking
mines (high hp, attack multiple foes simultaneously. If you need more punch on
your attack force consider adding the griffons to the fast stack.

WIZARD
If you can get away with it, have fast titans(1), boars(3) and archmagi(5),
slow
slingers(1), steel golems(2) and rocs(5). The fast force relies upon a large
stack of titans serving as the punching bag to avoid attrition. Boars operate
from the center to kill off stragglers or move right up to the castle to jam a
sortie through the drawbridge( if you move them up far enough, they can not
drop the drawbridge). The slow force usually goes into a cover formation with
rocs flanking and golems fronting the slingers. The slow force is the one which
visits the halfling holes. In the early game where you have no titans, move the
rocs to the fast force.

CONCLUDING DEPLOYMENT
I have found a strategy with the fast hero being on the blitz, taking out the
enemies keeps, and the slow hero in the wake of the fast hero, taking all the
mines and straggler heros works well. If you have a map with a hub or a choke
point where all forces must pass near the choke point to go into your homeland,
parking the second, slow hero at the choke point is an effective strategy.

                   -- Lok (Mike Ferry)

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Xh. STRATEGY GUIDES FOR BEGINNER (The Dirty Tricks)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Compiled by John I. Heeder. Contributed by Heroes everywhere
(see bottom of page).

SKULKING ABOUT
If someone is attacking a castle you can't defend, put everything you
can on a hero, and move him directly behind the castle. If done before
you can be seen, and hidden JUST SO, the opponent will not see you. When
he moves off, come out of your hiding place, and take the castle back.

This hiding trick also works behind some mountain ranges when you see a
big hero coming your way. "Duck" behind the mountain and wait for him to
move off.

The secret to it is to find terrain that hides a guy very well 1 or 2
days from your castle. Hiring a Barbarian works well because of his
movement. Early in the game when your opponent cannot see your castle
(before week 4 usually) purchase a hero and ride him/her behind a piece
of terrain that hides him/her completely. This hero needs very few troops,
The trick is to hide him/her so that no part of the hero can be seen on
the screen or as little as possible (may take quite a few tries riding
back and forth).

The best things that I have found to hide behind are:
1) Your own castle (works great if the castle is on the top edge and no
one has a reason to ever go North)
2) A nearby mountain (must be out of the way in an area that someone
is not likely to ride)
3) Very dense trees (doesn't usually work well, but depends on the type
of character you hire and his/her color scheme)
As the game progresses you will find that there is a troop in your castle
that is usually unbought because your main hero can only hold 5 (Pikeman,
Steel Golems, Griffins, Dwarves, Mutant Zombies - the rejects that I
usually avoid buying for my main guy). Gold permitting, use a guy to
transport troops to this "hidden guy" if you can (makes this even more
deadly). The secret is to NEVER move the hidden guy. It is possible to
meet up with the hidden guy quickly and not arouse any suspicion as long
as the transfers are quick.
Then if your opponent takes your castle from you, you now have a guy close
by that can sneak in later. Usually, if the enemy takes the castle and sees
another guy running off, he will buy what he can and give chase. Or if he
thinks he has cleared out the area then he will buy whatever and leave to
explore. If the hidden guy is close enough he can get in when it is
completely undefended or very lightly defended since most people leave few
troops in castles once they believe they are safe. It works very well when
you attack the undefended castle on day 7!!
This trick won't work with computer players, just with fallible human players
who don't have a great sense of observation.
(from Sir Calvin -- jimm@davidson-beauty.com)

NECRO-BUSTER
When playing another Necro (esp. on a bigger level with lots of Necro towns)
 simply buy all the necromancers as soon as they come on the market. This
will severely limit your opponent's skeleton production, as they will have
few people who can do necromancy. Now you have a plethora of Necros to walk
around to all the freebies, to guard cities, and not to mention you have a
scout or two extra. (from The Pillar of Death --Ckelso@jwbank.net)

The Most Complicated Hit and Run Yet!
You'll need to have one or more fast shooter stacks or fast flyers. This
tactic really works best with sorceress (phoenixes, greater druids, grand
elves), but will work with wizard (titans, archmagi) as long as your opponent
doesn't have any ultra fast stacks. It requires a lot of gold and is really
only possible if your hero has A) expert diplomacy (20% off the cost of
surrender
per level), B) the Statesman's Quill, or C) the golden goose or an amazing
amount of gold.

For sorceress, attack the enemy hero with all of your phoenixes, (this assumes
the enemy has more than one very fast stack) split into two groups, one phoenix
in the second slot, and all the rest in the first slot.

Attack a stack with the first group, and surrender when your single phoenix
gets its turn. It may be necessary to paralyze the stack you are attacking to
prevent phoenix casualties. Then rehire your hero with the phoenixes and
repeat.
Do this (making your primary target the fastest opposing troops) until the
enemy
has no very fast troops. Then you can include your greater druids and grand
elves, surrendering with one grand elf which you should have split off from the
main group after your druids, phoenixes, and the main group of elves have
moved.
Repeat this until the enemy hero is weak enough to kill without taking losses
or you run out of gold. This works especially well against barbarians and
necromancers, due to the fact that they only have one very fast stack. Often
you
can bring your range troops with you on your first attack, since the phoenixes
will kill the wolves or power liches immediately.

If you don't need to cast paralyze to prevent retaliation against your phoenix,
then cast whatever seems appropriate. Slow something, lightning bolt
something....
haste a fast stack of range troops and include them in your attack, do whatever
does the most damage to the enemy! Note that this trick works best if you use
a barbarian hero due to that incredible attack skill, although you may have
trouble getting the wisdom and\or spell points to cast paralyze for your
phoenixes to attack.

For a wizard army things become much more complicated. Don't even try against
a sorceress army, you'll get nailed every time your attack with the phoenixes
before you get to move. It sometimes works against a knight army, you can let
the champions move, then kill them with your titans and retreat, proceeding
as you would normally from that point on. Mass Haste or Mass Slow can make
your job immensely easier, but assuming that you either don't have those or
don't have the spell points to cast them repeatedly, what you can do is
attack with your titans and only one boar. Make sure you put your titans
in the top slot and haste the boar. Then attack with the titans and surrender
when your "blazing" boar gets to move. Again, if you either A) have the mass
haste or mass slow spell or B) manage to kill all the very fast stacks,
include your archmagi in the attack. With wizard all you'll have to do is
cast haste most of the time, so don't hesitate to take advantage of the attack
skill of a Barbie or a Knight. (from Darkwolf -- Darkwolf2@Mindspring.com)

MORE ON BOAT BLOCKING
Everybody knows about lith blocking but did you know that you can use boat-
blocking too ? If there's only 1 or 2 spots where the enemy could disembark
on your island, keep one hero or two posted as sentries on those locations
and your enemy won't be able to get on the island. You can also use empty boats
to block narrow rivers (2 space-wide).
(from The Quebec Dragon -- quebecdragon@videotron.ca)

THE SACRIFICIAL GOAT
You have a nice quick expendable scout and you just encountered a big powerful
computer enemy? If your human opponent territory is not too far away, lure
the big computer enemy straight to it. Your opponent is sure to appreciate
the nice surprise visit. (from The Quebec Dragon -- quebecdragon@videotron.ca)

MORE MIND GAMES
In multiplayer games, why not play with the mind of your adversary and tell
him that 19 Archmages joined you for greater glory when in fact it was only 11
(both numbers are in the pack bracket)? Or that you have 45 Ogre Lords when in
fact you only have 25 (both numbers are in the lots bracket)? If the opponent
can see your movement, he can right-click on your hero and see indications of
pack, lots, several, whatever for each type of creature carried. Just remember
what each denomination means and "share" the info with your opponent at
appropriate
times to "psych" him out. Make your opponent believe you have more (or less)
troops than you really have and watch him squirm in fear or gape in shock with
surprise when he learns the truth (from QD)

Why not do the opposite of the above to build false confidence in your
opponent?
Tell them 11 Archmages joined you, when it was really 19! The brash knave will
feel confident in attacking you, and you will then demolish the overconfident
fool, with the added bonus of crushing his spirit!
(From Lord Titan -- titan@burgoyne.com)

MOVEMENT BOOST
You can give your hero a one-turn movement boost. When you are in the castle
for an overnight stay, move all but your fastest troop into the garrison before
passing the turn. When it is your turn again, collect your army and go forth.
You movement will be based on the fastest unit, and you will go a little
farther
for one turn. Careful arranging of troops will get you the five that have none
in front of them, in the order you want them in the event of an attack, and
still give you the movement burst if the attack doesn't come.

SEASHORE AMBUSH
With a shore-side castle, set an ambush. Stock up a hero from this castle on
day 7 and send him boating away. Day 1 rolls around. Soon, the AI sends a boat
to take the undefended castle. Wait until the hero has disembarked from the
boat, then buy a hero, load him up with all the production you can afford, and
go kick some booty. You get a free boat and have hurt the AI. You need to save
the funds for this ambush, and keep an eye on approaching enemies to ensure
that they are not powerful enough to overcome the forces you have yet to buy.

HIT AND RUN VARIATIONS
There are several hit and run tricks you can do. These tricks allow you to
whittle down an overwhelming foe with a minimum of forces. After you have
delivered the spell attack as listed below, retreat or surrender. Repeat as
needed.

Black Dragons and Armageddon.
—and/or—
Phoenix and Elemental Storm.
—and/or—
Two Phoenix (one will die, keep one alive for the second round), anti-magic
one the first round, Armageddon the second round. This trick may not work
with other creatures, due to the speed required.
—and/or—
Hire a spellcaster hero in the castle under siege, transfer all troops except
a very fast unit in your garrison. Attack the invader with the spellcaster.
Cast a damaging-offensive spell (like Lightning, Cold Ray or better yet Chain
Lightning) and flee right away. Rehire the hero at the nearby castle and repeat
the above procedure until you run out of gold. Feel free to change spellcasters
when they run out of spell points.
—and/or—
There's also the Undead-Death Wave combo, the Living-Holy Shout combo and the
"antimagicked strong very fast stack-any mass destruction spell" combo.
—and/or—
Start with a hero with Mass Haste and approximately 20 Genies (5 or 6 lamps
worth). Split the Genies into 1 stack of 1, and 4 equal stacks. Let's assume
you're fighting against 24 Black Dragons, on a high level hero, near your main
castle. Attack, cast mass haste, have the first stack of one strike, gets
killed by retaliation. Have next 3 attack, then surrender. Re-hire hero and
repeat. Does lots of damage, and 4 stacks x 3 attacks gives you a good chance
to half the Dragons a few times: once they're down to 3 or so, or you're out
of Genies, (or cash) you'll have to switch to conventional tactics.

ENEMY CONSTRUCTION
When a weak looking enemy comes snooping at your castle early in the week,
just buy everything up and clear out. In many cases, the enemy hero will take
the castle and begin making improvements. Take the castle back on day 7. Check
to see what new dwellings the enemy built. One or two dwelling built more than
makes up for the lost gold income.

STRATEGIC WITHDRAWAL
Being chased by the computer player? Try to maneuver around hobbit holes, tree
cities, cottages, and so on. Often the computer player will dump good armies to
add a few free halflings, sprites, etc.

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND PART I
You can strand an enemy super-hero if the hero is on an island without a
shipyard. Send a weak hero to go board the enemy's boat. Have your hero sail
away or dismiss him. Summon the boat the weak hero used to get to the island
with the summon boat spell.

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND PART II
Dock a hero (who is being chased by a hero too powerful to kill) in a place
surrounded by woods or mountains so that only one square can be docked on. The
opposing hero will not be able to reach the weak human hero and will sail away
to go pester something else.

EASY EXPERIENCE
I sometimes use this trick when I play multiplayer mode. I sometimes play hot
seat multiplayer with a friend and we often choose to have more than 1 hero to
play with. The point is that I am playing more than 1 color. At the beginning
of the game, I create two heroes that will be my "target" heroes. I send them
off to a castle where the lowest level creature has a very low speed. (Knight
castle with Peasants work very well) On each turn, I setup the castle such that
there is 1 "Peasant" defending it. With one lowest level defending, I use my
"target" hero to conquer the castle. The hero needs to be able to kill the
"Peasant" defender. This is easily accomplished with any shooter that is faster
than the "Peasant" or any other lowest level creature. Although, I only need to
expand 1 lowly creature, I receive quite a lot of Exp. points since I am
conquering a castle. Once I conquer the castle, I once again setup it up with
1 lowest level creature and leave the castle. Each of my two "target" heroes
takes turn getting close to 1000 Exps. on each turn. This allows me to build up
a strong hero very quickly. This trick is very useful at the beginning of the
game when 1000 Exps. is quite significant.

THE HAUNTED MINE PART I
Hire a new hero, and load him/her up with 1st level troops (peasants if
possible). Have the hero haunt a key mine in the enemy territory (that you
could not hold onto anyway; try that sulfur mine near a warlock castle).
Leave and return to the haunted mine, and let the ghosts destroy the peasants.
Suddenly there are hundreds of ghosts guarding the mine! Your enemy will
take heavy losses reclaiming it, if he even tries to!

THE HAUNTED MINE PART II
Get a hero, load him up with all of the Spell Power increasing artifacts you
have, and send him on a suicide mission into the enemies territory, to cast
haunt on all of the opponent's mines. Be careful to give the hero something
fast enough that it will be able to flee when it is attacked. You wouldn't want
to lose all of your great artifacts, after all.

THE LURKER
It is possible to take a well-stocked castle with an inferior army. Many times,
the AI will leave the bulk of its forces in the castle. Take any close mines,
then lurk within a day's march. The AI will send a puny force to reclaim mines.
Kill these puny forces as they leave the safety of the castle. Repeat this as
the AI sends out the small forces. Soon, you will have depleted it enough to
take the castle. Be prepared to flee when the AI recalls a field force, or gets
ired of playing with you and loads up a hero. Lurk about a day's march away.

ARTIFACT DUMPS
To deep six tax liens and other bad artifacts, hire a disposable hero, equip
him/her with above nasties, and march them into a wandering stack. I generally
like this better than using the hero to attack the enemy because you usually
get
the items back in a few turns after defeating somebody. For a tax lien, the
payback time is ten turns minus whatever benefits the hero brings on their
march
to oblivion, i.e. scouting new terrain or transferring other troops via a
pipeline.

BATTLE POSITIONS
Use the computer enemy dragon's breath against him. Position your flyer so that
the retaliation attack of the dragon flames another enemy stack. Use to your
advantage the fact that the computer doesn't know how to handle 2-hex attacks.
Place the current primary target of the AI (usually your strongest shooter
stack)
so that on the dragon's turn, it will flame one of his own troops. If you're
really sneaky and lucky, you can be surrounded by Dragons who will happily
flame
each other. The above tips also apply to Phoenix and Cyclops.

STONE LITH JAM
Your home territory is linked to a dangerous land by a stone lith. You fear
surprise attacks. Just block the lith on your side with one of your expendable
heroes. Send the hero through from your side, then bring him back and don't
move
him. This lith blocking can also be quite useful if you want to restrict access
to certain locations (for example, the gold mine valley in the "Lost Continent"
scenario) or for using guerilla tactics (for example, using the north lith in
the
"Pyramid" scenario to flee when a strong enemy is around and attack a castle
when he goes).

STONE LITH STEALTH
Here is a pretty cool trick that I discovered by accident. Let's say an enemy
hero (this includes humans, but only if they can't see you move, like in net
games) is chasing you, and gaining. If you can find a lith to go through, do
so and don't move. The comp hero will lose interest (even human players will
once they go through the lith and can't find you). You don't even need to stay
still sometimes. If your playing a scenario with lots of lith's, you can go
through one and chances are that hero will never see you again. You might even
find some resources!

RECRUITING VIOLATIONS
You need to have a decent amount of money for this one to work. When you see
a high level enemy hero get defeated by another computer player (or yourself,
for that matter) go to your castle and start recruiting, and then dismissing,
heroes until that defeated hero and his high stats become available. Recruit
him and effectively bribe him to join your side. Note that the hero must be
defeated, not retreated. The hero's color gets first crack at retreated or
surrendered heroes for the current week.

VAMPIRE LORD'S SNACK
If you have Vamp Lords, this will work great. If your opponent has a wimpy
stack like peasants or something, blind them and hope it's not dispelled. At
the end of the battle you'll need something to regenerate your Vamp Lords with
and Presto! You've got a stack of peasants ripe for the picking.

Ballista Barrage
One of the best dirty tricks is a hold-over from HOMMI: disabling an opposing
army and letting your turrets take them out. When a superior force is seiging
you, Blind, Slow, Paralyze, or Berserk the shooters and/or flyers and keep your
forces behind the walls. Let your turrets shoot for as long as you have spell
power, and for as long as the turrets stand. If a hero does not have
Ballistics,
you can do a lot of damage to them before you commit your forces.

This trick can save the day at the end of a battle you're losing. Save a flyer
or fast creature for last. The enemy should be out of shooters and flyers by
now,
and has to come for you with walkers. Move your flyer from corner to corner of
the battlefield. What's left of your ballista and turrets will keep firing as
you keep dodging. You may win, you may turn the battle into a very costly
victory
for your enemy.

TURN DEFEAT INTO MINOR VICTORY
As you enter battle, the enemy suddenly starts summoning a big, nasty stack of
Elementals and he or she can repeat this awful feat several times! You soon
realize that you can't possibly win.
When this tight situation occurs, concentrate on destroying the "real" armies
of
your opponent and ignore the Elementals. If you can actually accomplish this
and
have nothing left but summoned Elementals against you, the next step is to
surrender or flee. As the summoned Elementals vanish at the end of the battle,
your enemy has no more armies left and is also vanquished! Both heroes
disappear
from the map.
But you get to recruit your hero back (whew!) while the Elemental summoner gets
a direct trip to the hero pool. Your enemy loses one of his/her best
spellcasters!

ALAMO GARRISON
The enemy is sneaking up on an undefended castle, and you can't get
reinforcements
there in time. Buy all the first level creatures you have in the castle and
split
them up into five stacks. Sure, they're going to die. But this buys you time to
scope out the enemy hero's army and stats. And with the use of the captain and
the
ballista, you can hurt them some before your castle falls. This works well
against
Knights, who have real trouble getting past the walls.

SINGLE SHOOTER
If your hero is travelling about with an empty slot, put a single shooter in
there.
Sometimes the AI will send its Black Dragons (or whatever flyer it has) to take
out
that one Grand Elf. This will deflect that devastating attack for one round,
and
allow you to concentrate on reducing the threat.

SHORE FOR SHIP EXCHANGE
This trick isn't all that dirty, but it is handy. Your sailing hero may need
reinforcements. There is no need to disembark from the boat. Point towards the
reinforcing castle or shore. When your cursor changes to an anchor, click once.
Now click twice on the arrow just before the anchor. The boat will sail to the
shore, but the hero will not disembark. Now have a second hero carry the
reinforcements to the boat. The "X Meets X" dialog will display, and you can
trade the forces and artifacts as needed. You can sail off that same turn,
avoiding two days of lost movement.

RECOVERY TIME
Selectively and strategically blind and destroy your opponent's stacks (if
they can't use anti-magic) until there are no unblinded enemy troops left.
Then, instead of finishing them off, you can res true all your troops,
finishing
off with the one the garrison is shooting at. Then move in for the kill. Under
the right circumstances, you can walk away unscathed.

THE SQUIRE
Somebody mentioned that the oracle or thieves guild only gives you the stats
of the hero with the most hp of troops and not of the toughest hero. Knowing
this, hire an extra hero at the beginning of the game. To allay suspicion (I'll
explain later) hire the same hero type. As a bonus if you get two that look
similar (eg Astra and Carlawn) this could work even better.
The extra hero's function is to follow your main hero around. The main hero
collects all the exp, (useful) artifacts, and troops. BUT at the end of each
turn, the squire holds the majority of the troops. (You can split them up, fast
and slow if that works) Your opponent will be lulled into thinking your buff
hero is 1-0-2-4, when she's actually 12-16-24-22. Of course, you don't want to
be surprised, and caught with your troops down. And it only works until your
first
attack. But it might catch your opponent unprepared.

TOWN GATE
In a bit of a stalemate, with your castle to tough to take, and an enemy
lurking
about too tough to take in the field? If you have the Town Gate spell, you can
go do a little foraging, then get back home by casting Town Gate. This is
helpful
to retake mines from the enemy. Don't use all your movement up before casting
Town Gate, or you'll be too "tired" to cast the spell.

THE TAUNT
This trick gains you nothing, but is a nice way to tease your enemy (this is
only good for human opponents). When an enemy is lurking about but won't attack
your castle, and he's too strong for you to take in the field, then why not
taunt the knave? On your turn, send your hero out for a small jog in front of
the castle, then bring him back in. This demonstrates your complete lack of
respect for your foe. This taunt costs you nothing, but just might infuriate
the lurker into a costly attack.

CONTRIBUTORS:
BKend14960
Charles Watkins
Darkwolf
Deb
JIH
Julia
@-O King of Drums
Lord Halys
Matthew, the Qurqirish Dragon
RAL
The Mausoleum
The Quebec Dragon
YakSoo

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XIa. STRATEGY GUIDES (Guides for Campaign Maps)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

(Thanks to Dragos Stanciv for these guides)
First of all, I have discovered that fighter heroes are much better then
mage heroes. After you play for some time and you have a hero with attack
skill (15) and you also have a defence skill (}10), your hero becomes a
threat even if you don't have a very large army. The idea is that you can
only perform one spell in a row, but you can move 5 troops in the same row.
Also you can improve your hero's spell points and spell power using some
artifacts.
Secondly, it would be better to have a very fast (or at least fast) unit in
your army, so you could attack first. If you also have a great number of
slow archers it would be a great idea to cast Haste on them, this way you
will shoot first and do serious damage. This 2 tips I think are very well
conected.
Also, sometimes you might want to protect your shooting troops. Let's say
you have some war trolls and you want to protect them. Spelling Antimagic
on them would be a great idea, trust me!

Question: Man,I'm too good ! What can I do about it ?

Answer: If you think you are really tough then you should always play on
level impossible. Start with no resources at all and see what you can do.
My first advice was to have one fighter hero. You can get one very fast.
First of all check your starting hero(es). If you don't have one then do
your best and buy one. Keep all your treasure chests for it. Always choose
experience instead of money. You should look for : Wisdom, Luck,
Leadership, Ballistic, Archery, Logistics, and Pathfinding. Remember that
you must keep a place free for Wisdom, as your hero will not have it by
default! If you have to choose between two good things (let's say Luck
Advanced and Leadership Basic), always choose the Basic one. You can
improve your Skills later (in combat!). If you have The Necromancer Town
then choose Necromancy, too. There is a certain Skill I have left out:
Diplomacy. If you play on Xlarge maps this could make the difference. Why?
You should know by now that wandering armies grow in number and you could
meet a throng of Archers or Zounds of Horses or something like that. This
way you can buy a very powerful army (provided you have the money). Skills
to choose first : Logistics, Pathfinding, this way your hero can move as
fast as possible.

Question: What's the best creature in the game?

Answer: My vote goes to Titans! Why? Just because you can cast spells on
them! When fighting against Black Dragons you can use Resurrect True on
them until you make your opponent gets mad, and there is nothing he can do
about it! So, if you attack an opponent's army (or better said fight
against it) be sure and attack first (and perform the first attack!). If
you have the heart (!) let your opponent cast spell first This is a great
tip. He can't perform another spell in that row and you can do whatever you
want. Very good spells are : Mass Slow and Mass Haste. Remember that units
attack in the decreasing order of their speed:
Ultra Fast
Very Fast
Fast
Average
Slow
Very Slow
If you cast Haste on an at least very fast unit, it's speed will become
Blazing and it will strike before Very Fast units.(Black Dragons, Titans,
etc.) A piece of advice : Never miss anything that can improve your hero's
skills! There are maps where you get Spell Power (}20) by just visiting
those things, such as forts, mercenary camps, stonehenges, and huts. Try to
have some artifacts that increase your knowledge. If you have a hero (}15,
}10, }20, }20=Attack, Defence, Power, Knowledge) then you've reached the
Land of Dream and the game becomes a nice place to fool around !!!
Sometimes !!!
I think that the computer still can't play very well, but human opponent's
can and you should be very careful when you play against them. Always have
a large army with you best hero. If the computer attacks you and you
realize you will lose many troops (even if you defeat it) it's better to
surrender and then buy the hero back with it's armies.


Tip:
How to keep your shooting troops alive.
When attacking shooting troops you usually have to wait while they destroy
your own shooting troops before you can shoot, so my advice is: Have
something that flies, (rocs, gargoyles, etc.) split them into groups of 3-7
until you get 3 groups and then attack. Also if you have some very fast
shooting troops (Mages, Elves, Druids) you could also split them and shoot
all the enemy troops. I'm talking about wandering armies, of course. If you
can do neither then don't take the shooting troops with you. The more you
have at the final battle, the better. When playing against human opponents
that FINAL BATTLE WILL COME !!!

How to kill enemy heroes before they have the chance to retire:
Please notice that the enemy will not retire if he still has his shooting
troops alive. First of all, destroy the creatures that have the highest HP.
You should plan your atack very carefully. First try to move some units
right next to the opponent's shooting troops. DO NOT ATTACK, I REPEAT, DO
NOT ATTACK THEM. Try to kill the opponent's fastest troops. If you
remember, units attack in the decreasing order of their speed! Ok?
Destroying the enemy's fastest units will give you the chance to use all
your troops before the enemy can move his. Also don't hurry with your
spells. Sometimes, if you have good spell power you can destroy one group
of enemy units with Lightning Bolt. If you don't, then wait. Sometimes,
after you make some moves and so did the enemy, you realize that the
opponent still has one group of troops you can't destroy that turn and he
will retire. Their is only one thing to do: use Blind or Paralyze on them
and don't attack if you aren't sure you can destroy them. You will then
have another turn. You can use your shooting troops and cast spells before
the enemy can respond.
Why bother to kill enemy heroes? Sometimes, you meet a powerful hero, you
attack him, he destroys many of your troops and then he retires. After a
couple of days he comes back and the story repeats. Instead of losing
troops several times, you'd better lose them once and also get some
artifacts. Remember: powerful heroes ALWAYS carry powerful artifacts with
them!

Now, how to handle your best hero:
Remember, when the first day of a week comes you will be offered a new hero
to buy. That means that if you have retired from a battle with your best
hero in the 7-th day of the week and you didn't have the money to buy him
back, you may not find it available and you will lose it foolishly. So, my
advice is: if it is the 7-th day of the week, you don't have 2500, and you
consider having a battle but you are not sure you will win, then wait one
day and then attack. Also, in the first day of the week ALWAYS check the
heroes available to buy. You might be offered powerful heroes with powerful
artifacts and (in some cases) with troops (for only 2500). Cool, right?

I have discovered something new:
When casting Haste on an Ultra Fast unit its speed will become Instant. I
haven't verified it but it may mean that the unit may attack anything on
the battle field (just like the flying units). If someone verifies it,
please let me know.

How to handle the wandering armies:
If somewhere next to your castle there are armies the same as the ones you
can build in your castle you should not attack them. Wait until you get a
good hero with many troops and then attack. The troops may ally with you.
Also if you get a good hero with many troops, you should not allow the
wandreing armies to retreat. Attack! There are still some troops you should
avoid: flying units and shooting ones. All the others should get your
attention.(ogres, golems, swordsmen etc.) You will get experience and
become more and more powerful. I've once got a hero that had an attack
skill equal to 30 and a defence skill equal to 25, only by fighting with
all the troops I could find.

Now let's talk about the ultimate artifact:
You do not have to reveal the entire map to find the damn things. Visit
only 5-6 obelisks. All you have to do is recognize the place and try to
center your hero so that the piece of map you see looks exactly like the
one you get from the obelisks. The artifact will be right in the middle.

Maps with sea:
On some maps you have boats next to your castle (or close). Send a hero
with 4-5 very fast units (boars, gargoyles ...) with a boat on the map and
try to get as many things as possible. Buy the maps for the sea (you should
find it somewhere) and try to get the money and the artifacts first.
Remember to split your units in 4-5 positions so that if anyone attacks
you, you have the chance to retire and then buy the hero back (with the
artifacts, of course).

Sometimes you have the chance to choose what to attack:
Let's suppose you can attack a castle or an enemy hero but you can't attack
both in the same day. You should always choose the castle and then go after
the hero. It may be their last castle and if you attack the hero and that
player doesn't have another castle, then he will not retire!

The pyramids:
When you enter a pyramid you will be asked if you want to fight the
defenders. Answer no. Sometimes you receive very interesting things like
artifacts, money, experience. If you do fight you will always get 5000.
There is a "but", sometimes you will be asked to pay 2500 to keep your hero
alive. Well,the idea is that you should take the chance.



       --Campaign Strategies for Heroes Of Might And Magic II--
                      Roland's Campaigns
                        by David Mills



This article has been written to help you obtain Black Dragon ratings on
both the Archibald and Roland Campaigns. The basic strategy is "Attack as
soon as possible, with the minimal possible effective forces". As we shall
see, there are a few further tips
Update, with notes about Tournament Play..
Warning! There are major spoilers, so if you want to try the campaigns
unaided, don't read on!

1. Force of Arms
You start with a Wizard City. Get the resources, hire a couple of knights
or barbarians, build an army and head north-west. If you go for the
Barbarians in the north- west, rather than the other two in the north or
east, it is probably easier. Not a difficult scenario, but difficult to do
quickly.

2. Annexation
Start with the Knight option. Hire another knight or preferably a barbarian
(for the pathfinding through the swamps). Get the gold, resources and
medusas while building up your armies. Go south-east in the first week,
through a guarded pass, and you should get the Sorceress city virtually
unopposed. The Knights from the south-west will come via boat in the second
week. Kill them with your second week armies, then head north. Get the
northern city, and then sail back south-west to wipe out the Knight.

3. Save the Dwarves
This option is essential for the following scenarios, and it is possible to
do it quite quickly. First, dump your slow armies in the towns and pick up
all the dwarves possible, for speed. Buy spell books for your heroes. Head
for the three central groups of dwarf cottages, and upgrade the dwarves at
the Hill Forts (this includes the Hero starting in your city). Pick up any
extra troops or mercenaries on the way. Meanwhile, build up your city in
readiness for the boat that may arrive via the whirlpool in the lake. Hire
a knight or barbarian when the enemy arrives. Also, buy all the available
dwarves in your towns. When you have an army with fifty or so battle
dwarves, head north-west and grab the Warlock city before the third week.
Mop up the other enemy heroes. Don't worry about losing the town in the
snow in the north-west, as long as you don't leave any dwarves for the
enemy to use.

4. Carator Mines
Hire another knight (or barbarian). With one hero, head south-east and grab
all the dwarves, then get the Yellow city. With the other, head north and
grab the dwarves, then follow the road north and east and grab the Red
city. Meanwhile upgrade the city and get another hero to collect the
resources and mines. Consolidate your captured cities, then head east again
for the final two cities on the eastern edge of the map, your dwarf armies
will probably do for these as well. Ignore the town to the north-east of
your start. Don't bother upgrading your pikemen and swordsmen in the city
as there is a Freemen's Foundry close by. Your third hero with a Knight
army will be able to sort out any armies that have spread west, such as the
town to the south of your start. Be bold and fast, and it is not too
difficult.

5. Turning Point
Very easy. Forget everything except dwarves and treasure chests for
experience. Start with the knight option. Hire another knight. Grab the
dwarves, the head east with one, and north with another. Grab the cities.
The enemy heroes will come from the north-east city, chase and kill them
and walk into the city virtually unopposed. You can do it in eight days. I
wonder what score this would be as a stand-alone scenario!

6. Defender
Again you depend on the dwarves for a head start. First return the Knight
to the city for the spells and the battle dwarves, then head north
following the road. Use the sorceress to guard the city and pick up the
mines and resources when it is safe. Hire another hero, preferably a
barbarian and head west for the lumber mill then the dwarves. The knight
should get the city in the north-west and the central town in the first
week, while the new hero returns east. Avoid the strong yellow knight. Get
the red Necromancer's city as soon as possible and don't worry about losing
your town to Wyrm. Hopefully the yellow enemy will have lost by then. Go
after Wyrm with the knight or new hero. Finally, sail south with the
sorceress for the island Barbarian city, but don't leave your home city
exposed. Chase and kill any green heroes still on the mainland or on the
central island town/city.

7. The Gauntlet
You need to do this option if you want a quick finish in the final
scenario.
Head south from your start, and get any mines on the way, particularly
sulphur. Keep to the most direct path, and avoid detours. At the bottom of
the map, head west. If your hero upgrades a level, get logistics if it is
offered. You should get to the enemy town by Day 4, Week 2. This gives you
time to buy a castle, maze and green tower before week three. Don't forget
the nearby trading post if you need more sulphur. Gold is not a problem in
this scenario, so hire another hero, give him some gargoyles for speed and
go and collect things. Go for experience with your main hero. The towns
dotted around will give you good spells if you capture them, but against
the dragons at the end, this may not be important. I usually wait the full
eight weeks to get the full complement of 19 Black Dragons, plus everything
else from the Warlock city (including the hydra - don't worry about the
slowness of the hydrae, as you will be mainly traveling by boat in the
final scenario). If there are any dwarves, get them towards the end to
allow their numbers to grow (I have had 117 Battle Dwarves). If you are
really going for speed, you can beat the enemy after six weeks of the
scenario, and this will leave you with just enough for the showdown in
Final Justice, but it is a close run thing. You will usually lose one or
maybe two Black Dragons, and a few others in the final battle on this
scenario.

8. The Crown
Look, do you want a good score or not? If you do this alternative, you are
destined to a long hard and probably unsuccessful slog in the final
episode. If you insist: the strategy is get the obelisks, hire plenty of
heroes and dig like crazy when you think you have an idea.

9. Corlagon's Defence
I initially thought this was very hard, but again, if you get the dwarves
and go quickly, it is not too bad. Choose the crystals to allow you to
build the cathedral in your city quickly.
Don't upgrade any towns, keep money for the Knight city and mercenaries.
For each hero, visit the observation towers promptly. Your sorceress should
then go east for the dwarves and the cottages. Keep going east. If you see
Corlagon, try and kill him, otherwise get the Red Warlock city in the
north-east corner in the second week. Corlagon starts with about 20
Champions but if he reaches the Medusae he will dump them in favour of the
Medusae (or any other free army such as dwarves or halflings). The AI
leaves something to be desired here!
Your wizard in the south should get some dwarves from the south and head
centrally. Your knight should get the rest of the dwarves and meet up with
the wizard to take his army. Then the knight should collect the central
halflings and sprites and go south east to the Necromancer's city. Send
your wizard back home. Meanwhile build up an army of Knight troops and a
Knight or Barbarian hero and send them east in the second week to sort out
the east-central Barbarian city. It usually does not go as smoothly as
that, particularly if Corlagon out-runs you and gets your Sorceress town,
but it is not too difficult overall.

10. Final Justice
Basically, you give your carried-over army to the knight, kill the dragons
guarding the lighthouse to give you good water speed, summon boat and head
north-west to Archibald's lair. If you don't have Summon Boat in the
Knight's city Mage Guild, go north by the coast to the first Barbarian
city, build a shipyard yourself, and sail from there.
There are a few more details, like protecting your Sorceress city from the
Necromancer hiding behind the trees, but it should be business as usual
while you wait for your major player to sail to the end of the river. You
need about 15 Black Dragons plus support to beat Archibald. His magic
tactics are not very good, such as chain lightning, and he has even
helpfully cast Armageddon twice, leaving my dragon pack versus his remains!
If you go overland, apparently you can get very close with Dimension Doors,
but you still need to sail some of the way. But as you take time to reach
the Warlock cities and buy more dragons, Archibald is busy buying more of
his. He starts out with 5 Blacks and then gets the usual 1 dragon for the
first week, followed by three for each week after. His stats are
approximately: Attack 12, Def 8, Power 13, Know 12. So if you take longer
than three weeks to reach him, he will have 15 Black Dragons and superior
stats, and will wipe out your starting army. If you try the quickest method
with a six week carry-over army (12 Dragons plus 20- 30 of the other
Warlock troops), you can get to the end of the river by day 15 but you need
either Summon Boat, or advanced or expert logistics. Your 12 Black Dragons
will face 5 Blacks and 4 Reds, and it is a very close battle, but winnable.
If anyone can beat a score of 231, or even go below 200, I would be
fascinated to hear of it.
Good Luck!
Written by David Mills, Gerrards Cross, London, England -
david@misborne.demon.co.uk
24th April 1997

Force Of Arms (Good Campaign 1)
-------------------------------
Hello everyone..having finished most of the stand-alone maps, I will now
replay both campaigns and share my strategies with you. The first good
campaign map is quite easy, but winning in a minimum number of days takes
some luck and some good tactics. I finished in 39 days. It should be quite
hard to beat this score by more than a couple of days. So without further
ado :
1) Hire 2 more heroes who will serve as scouts and pack-mules.
2) One will go west, one east and the other north.
3) Take gold instead of experience points from chests.
4) Beginning of week 2 : buy all the troops in the wizard castle, give them
to your best hero but leave one slot free.
5) Attack the halflings to the north protecting the gem mine. If you're
lucky, they will join you.
6) Attack the trolls (easy) and rush to the north stopping for nothing.
7) By week 3 day 1, I had captured the northern Barbarian castle.
8) Week 3 is for construction while you wait for the green barbarian enemy
to get eliminated by default.
9) Take the second western castle (Necromancer) by the end of month 1 with
a barbarian army.
10) Stay in it !
11) Take the big remaining wizard army from the Barbarian castle, build up
all possible troops in your starting castle.. and combine the two armies at
the center of the map.
12) This wizard army will conquer the Warlocks to the east.. and quite
easily at that.
13) If you don't want to lose time chasing Warlock heroes, I suggest taking
some small "clean-up" detours on the way to the Warlock castle.

Annexation (Good Campaign 2)
----------------------------
This is a small map where you start with a partially built castle and 4
genies. I finished it in 25 days playing the Sorceress.
1) Buy another Sorceress and combine troops (leave dwarves in the castle)
2) Split genies in 2 stacks to attack missile troops.
3) With your principal army, go east taking chests, gold, resources and the
ore mine on the way. Don't lose time exploring the swamp with this army.
This is the job for the other sorceress.
4) It's possible to take the southeast Sorceress castle by the end of week
1.
5) It's also possible to buy the Phoenix Red Tower in the first week !
6) Kill the wandering sorceress opponent (yellow)
7) Board the boat by the middle of week 2, take the stuff in the water.. if
it's not already taken.
8) Go north to take troops from your initial castle (don't disembark from
the boat)... Army at this time : 4 Phoenix, 3 Genies, 16 Elves, 13 Great
Druids ,50 Sprites. Leave the unicorns and dwarves in the castle !
9) Still by boat, attack the southwestern knight castle by the end of week
2 or day 1 of week 3.
10) Mop up the remaining knight armies.
11) Rush to the north with your still significant army, making a pit-stop
at your starting castle (to get more Phoenix)
12) The remaining Wizard opponent (orange) should now be quite easy to
dispose of.
Little note about playing the Sorceress : Dwarves are good for garrisoning
your starting castle when you're scared of being attacked by a very near
enemy. Bless is great for Phoenix.. double the damage !!!

Save The Dwarves (Good Campaign 3)
----------------------------------
I suggest finishing this map in order to have the dwarf alliance in
subsequent scenarios. I completed this one in 19 days (I have an idea to
finish it even sooner, but I have to try it first).
1) You start with 3 sorceress heroes (if you pick the Sorceress :-),a bunch
of dwarf villages and one castle
2) Buying more heroes is a very good idea. I had 6 heroes exploring by day
3 or 4. Warlock and Barbarians are good heroes to hire.
3) With your northern sorceress, go in the nearby village, buy troops, then
explore west, south (fairies) and then east again (note : This will take
many days)
4) The center sorceress should buy all available troops then move south-
east following the road. Your 3 other scouts will go north, north-east and
east.
1) Take gold instead of experience from chests.
6) The southern sorceress should take the dwarves in the village, take a
little detour to the west for upgrading all those dwarves and then rush
east by road in order to capture the gold mine.
7) Buy a marketplace in your starting castle and when you find a trading
post, exchange most of your useless ressources (sulfur, red crystals) for
gold. Buy Druid and Unicorn structures first !
8) Take all free low-level troops (dwarves, sprites, goblins, etc) that you
find by exploring the map.
9) By week 3 day 1, my big attack in enemy territory was well under way...
10) I had bought a shipyard, a boat and transferred most troops from my
castle to the sorceress already in the boat.
11) I attacked on 3 different fronts : northeast with my northern
sorceress, southeast with my southern sorceress which took all the dwarves
in the snow and by boat with another sorceress (druids, elves, unicorns,
sprites). The sorceress by boat took the whirlpool in the lake.
12) The rest is quite easy, beat up enemy heroes that pass your way so you
don't have to chase them later.

Carator Mines Without Dwarven Alliance (Good Campaign 4)
--------------------------------------------------------
Just for fun, I tried beating Carator Mines without the Dwarven Alliance,
to see if it would take less time than going first through campaign map 3
(Save the Dwarves) combined with campaign 4. Well, avoiding the Dwarf
alliance, I finished Carator mines in 59 days, which was a lot longer than
the combination of map 3 and 4 with the dwarven alliance (43 days). So make
your own conclusions ;-) For those who are masochistic and want a lower
score, I have included some tips on beating Carator mines without the
Dwarven alliance. Enjoy !
1) Buy 2 (or more) other scout heroes ASAP
2) One scout will rush south-west to take an undefended gold mine.
3) One other scout will also go south but more slowly, taking resources and
free troops along the way (including Goblins). This scout will take the
southern village with the goblins.
4) Transform the village into a castle
5) It's easy to beat dwarves with a Druid and Elf combo.
6) At the beginning of week 2, buy the maximum of troops in your starting
castle and go south.
7) You can buy the Red Tower in the second week.
8) Leave the slow dwarves in the castles.
9) Wait until you have 7 Phoenix, a bunch of Grand Elves and Great Druids
before attacking the other castles. (Unicorns and sprites are optional).
10) With this army, I really stomped the computer opponents losing very few
troops and most of the time killing his stacks before he even had a chance
to attack :-)
In conclusion, I would like to suggest some very good spells for the
sorceress troops. Bless for the Phoenix (40 points of damage assured
instead of maybe only 20 points per Phoenix) and Unicorns makes quite a
diffence. Slow and Blind on the enemy fast flying or shooter troops are
also great !

Carator Mines With Dwarven Alliance (Good Campaign 4)
-----------------------------------------------------
Completing campaign 3 (Save the dwarves) is strongly suggested if you want
a better score and a easier time winning. I finished in 24 days.
1) Buy 4 more heroes during week 1 that will serve as scouts.
2) There's a lot of free resources near your castle, so you can build the
necessary structures in week 1 while still hiring other heroes.
3) On day 1, hire another sorceress hero, buy all troops in the castle and
give them all to your starting sorceress who will go north.
4) 2 heroes will go north, 2 will go south and one will go east. The last
one will take stuff around your castle.
5) The starting sorceress will rush north and then east (taking the gold
mine and the free Battle Dwarves) following the road. The other hero (I
suggest Barbarian or Warlock) will follow her taking resources and other
troops in the snow.
6) For the 2 heroes going south, one will will rush to the southwest corner
to take another gold mine, while the other will take resources and hire
goblins from the huts.
7) The eastern hero will go towards the mountains, then south, hiring the
free dwarves on the way.
8) The starting sorceres will take the northern castle (probably Warlock)
by the end of week 1. This castle will probably be undefended (grin).
9) The southern hero with lots of goblins will capture the southern village
and transform it into a castle right away. Protect this castle by staying
in it.
10) The eastern hero with lots of dwarves will take another castle near the
center of the map. It will probably be free for the taking also (evil
grin). Stay in this castle so that the AI doesn't come to take it back.
11) By week 2 day 1, I had 4 castles and 2 gold mines for a total of 6750
gold pieces per day :-).
12) The northern sorceress will go south leaving 10 battle Dwarves in the
castle to protect it.
13) By week 3 day 1, exchange all unnecessary ressources and buy all troops
from your two eastern castles.
14) Attack the two remaining castles !

Turning Point (Good Campaign 5)
-------------------------------
This small map has given me my quickest all-time victory... only 8 days
playing the Sorceress ! With the dwarven alliance, this scenario is the
easiest of the good campaign.
1) Hire another sorceress, buy troops and transfer them all to your
starting sorceress.
2) Ignore mines unless they are truly in your way.
3) The starting sorceress will go north, mostly following the road, taking
stacks of battle dwarves along the way.
4) The second sorceress takes experience from the Gazebo and goes east also
taking stacks (one stack ?) of battle dwarves.
5) After capturing the northwest castle, rush east taking (again) any
dwarves stacks you encounter. I reached the northeast castle on day 1 of
week 2.
6) Don't forget to obliterate any wandering enemy armies so that you don't
have to chase them down later.
7) The southeast castle (orange) should be easy to capture because there
are 2 Battle Dwarves stacks very near.

Defender (Good Campaign 6)
--------------------------
This campaign map has given a lot of people headaches.. including me on my
first try through when I was just a newbie with HOMM 2 (I won it anyway :-)
A barbarian ambushes your starting castle by boat very soon in the game,
and if you don't know it's coming, you can be easily overtaken. Good
Campaign 6 is called Dedender but to win you have to be the "Attacker" !
The good old cliche "The best defense is a good offense" applies on this
map. You start with Lord Halton that has 5 Genies and 20 Rangers. A
sorceress in the partially built castle has 20 Battle Dwarves. I finished
it in 19 days two times, using slighly different strategies each time.
So with all this in mind, here is my strategy :
1) Lord Halton should enter the castle right away to get the magic spells..
then go to the nearby gazebo.
2) Lord Halton will go north-east following the road until the T crossroads
where he will turn right (split the genies in 2 stacks when you attack
shooters)
3) There's already a shipyard built in your starting castle...
4) Hire another hero ASAP preferably a Barbarian and move him west. There
are 4 stacks of Battle Dwarves on the west side of the map free for the
taking (if you have the Dwarven alliance).
5) Build structures and troops until week 1 day 5 (or day 4 at your
choice), when you will board a boat with your sorceress, 30 Battle Dwarves,
Sprites and possibly other troops.
6) Lord Halton can capture the red Necromancer castle quite easily by the
end of week 1.
7) The sorceress in the boat will rush south and capture the barbarian
castle, also by the end of week 1.
8) On day 1 of week 2, buy more troops in your new Necromancer castle and
destroy Wyrm the annoying Necromancer before he can become a thorn in your
side. If he's too far (him and the other red heroes) and you want to lure
him into a trap, step one or two squares away from the Necromancer castle.
9) Eventually, build the best troops in the barbarian castle and chase down
the barbarian boats with your sorceress.
10) The barbarian who took the 4 stacks of Battle Dwarves should go
northeast and give them to Lord Halton.
11) When you feel that you're strong enough (day 7 of week 2 ?), charge the
yellow Knight castle with Lord Halton avoiding (if possible) all yellow
armies.
12) Since it's the beginning of week 3, buy more troops in the knight
castle and mop up the remaining yellow armies.
I tried going after the knight yellow castle once (before the Red
Necromancer castle) and I found the rest of the game easier to play. Maybe
that was a fluke, but eliminating Wyrm before he gets too strong has a
higher priority in my eyes, that's why I suggest going after him first. I
also tried boarding the boat on day 1 with my sorceress and attacking the
barbarian castle as soon as possible (day 4)... I captured the castle but
the other barbarians were still on the island and they proceeded to trash
me.

The Gauntlet (Good Campaign 7)
------------------------------
This is one of my favorite scenarios because it is so different from the
others. You start with a moderately big army (20 Rangers, 40 Sprites, 22
Pikemen, 24 Rocs, 16 Greater Druids), the boots of mobility and one other
magical item. You have to rush to the southwest part of the map to capture
a town in 8 weeks or less. You're stuck with this army for the major part
of the map and you can't get reinforcements from a starting castle. I
completed this map in 53 days.. not a great score for sure, but it's
necessary to take more time so you can build the maximum of troops for your
carry-over force in the last scenario.
1) The villages you will find on each patch are not upgradable to castles
except the last warlock village at the southwest of the map near the lake.
2) On each different path, there are 3 villages who get progressively
tougher (more protecting creatures). Note that the first village you will
encounter on your path has a level-1 Mage Tower, the second village has a
level-3 Mage Tower and the third village has a level-5 Mage Tower. Each
village also has more monster structures already built.
3) I suggest taking the wizard path. Always take experience instead of
Gold.
4) Capture the first village, dump the sprites there and get more Rocs.
5) That way, you have one spot free in your army to hire better troops.
6) Continue west and south attacking moderate wandering armies that inflict
you minimum losses.
7) Always attack armies that are the same type as you (ex : attack Rangers
if you still have Rangers in your army).. there's a slight chance they
might join you. In any case, most of the time, they will flee.
8) Capture the second wizard village (watch out for the nearby 2nd level-
spell Visions). Take more rocs. Dump stacks that are now too weak (ex :
dump the Greater Druids if you only have 5 left).
9) Some people prefer ignoring the villages and rushing for the southwest
warlock village. That's your choice.
10) Capture the 3rd wizard village with a 5th-level Mage Tower. Buy more
Rocs.
11) Eventually you will come face to face with a high-level army (in my
case Green Dragons). You will lose many troops in this battle but it's
necessary to continue on your way. (Hint : Use Mass Haste, make your fliers
attack between two stacks of dragons, when they attack back, their flame
attack will catch another dragon stack :-)
12) Now rush to the south and capture the Warlock village near the water.
This should be at the beginning of week 4.
13) Transform the village into a castle right away.
14) Your next objective is getting the Black Dragon tower. Buy one
structure each turn until you have it.
15) Buy 2 other secondary heroes who will explore, take free mines and free
resources on the other paths.
16) Explore the 2 other paths with your big Barbarian army while your Black
Dragons, Hydras and Minotaur Kings accumulate.
17) By the end of week 7, your Barbarian should be back near your Warlock
castle.
18) Take all secondary army stacks you don't want to carry-over (49 Elves,
50 Nomads...those kind of troops), get on a boat and attack the yellow
village Lakeside.
19) You will lose but you will have weakened your adversary very much.
Don't forget to flee with your Barbarian at the last possible moment :-)
20) Rehire your barbarian super-hero and dismiss all secondary heroes
(because if you don't, the army of the top-spot secondary hero will carry-
over).
21) Give all the best troops to your Barbarian principal hero (ex : 13
Black Dragons, 28 Minotaur Kings, 18 Hydras, 68 Battle Dwarves, 36
Griffins) and attack the yellow player again.
22) The last battle should be quite easy. I only lost 1 black dragon !

Corlagon's Defense (Good Campaign 9)
------------------------------------
It's called Corlagon's Defense because this particular hero will probably
give you a lot of problems if you don't destroy him soon enough :-) Anyway,
I finished this map in 23 days on my last game (the one used to compile my
score in the good campaign). I also finished it in 20 days at one time but
I had to replay this map because of a carry-over force problem.
1) You start with 1 Knight castle, 1 Sorceress village and 1 Wizard
village.
2) Transform those towns into castles as soon as possible (week 1)
3) There is a lightly defended gold mine in the southeast part of the map.
Another one is very near the Sorceress town.
4) Hire at least 2 more heroes in week 1 to explore everywhere and to serve
as pack-mules (transfer troops to the front-line heroes).
5) Try to build one structure in each castle at each turn, starting always
with the same castle (I suggest Sorceress). This is particularly important
in week 1 and the beginning of week 2.
6) Lord Haart the knight will go east taking free halflings, goblins and
dwarves along the way.
7) Try to capture one of the villages in the center of the map on week 1
(facultative).
8) Your best sorceress should go north (from the Sorceress town) and then
east taking all available sprites and dwarves. This hero will eventually
try to kill Corlagon who prowls in the northeast part of the map.
9) Lord Haart will attack the southeastern Necromancer castle (orange) on
week 3 day 1. Probably a little later if you make frequent stops and
detours.
10) Your shooters will draw fire while the dwarves and goblins close in for
the kill.
11) Buy Vampire Lords and other troops (that you find good) in the
Necromancer castle.
12) Transfer troops to Lord Haart from another hero who got the armies
Haart didn't have time to get.
13) Rush north with Lord Haart to capture the Barbarian castle (green) in
the desert and the Warlock castle (red). It's possible to do all this
during week 3.
14) Don't forget to kill any wandering heroes so that you don't have to
chase them down later.

Final Justice (Good Campaign 10) -- The Quick And Dirty Way
-----------------------------------------------------------
First of all, as always, try this quite good scenario at least once before
reading my strategy tips. This Final Justice map is quite fun and you don't
want to spoil the surprises ! I found a very quick way to win this map...
Only 11 days ! I don't think it's possible to do better. I will probably
post another strategy some of these days about how to win using the long
way. So without futher ado :
1) Before you start, take the Tax Lien, it's the least damaging item you
can take.
2) Reload the game until you have the Summon boat spell in your Knight
castle.
3) Hire Sister Eliza the level-5 sorceress in the Knight castle.
4) Protect your starting sorceress castle by returning the nearby sorceress
inside the castle and buying the phoenix.
5) Roland should have a big carry-over force consisting of Black Dragons,
Minotaur Kings and other mighty stacks.
6) With Sister Elisa, rush east towards Roland who will transfer all his
troops to her (except the very slow Hydras which Roland will transfer just
before Elisa boards the boat). Why you ask ? Because Elisa being a
sorceress has advanced navigation !
7) On day 2, destroy the Red Dragons with Elisa and board the boat. If
you're very lucky, you could get expert navigation... I did :-)
8) On day 3, navigate the boat towards Magellan's Maps and give the guy his
1000 gold pieces. Take the nearby items but make sure you still have time
to disembark on the northern side of the lake.
9) On day 4, go north 3 or 4 steps, cast Summon Boat and board it.
10) Beginning on day 5, you will navigate towards Archibald's castle. It's
at the end of the river.
11) To make sure you take the least amount of time navigating, click on a
spot at the end of the river and then press m (move : horse icon) on each
subsequent turn.
12) With expert navigation, Elisa's army should attack Archibald's castle
on week 2, day 4 (11th day) With advanced navigation, it's one or two days
later. With Roland, you would have attacked on week 3 day 2. Now you can
see why taking Elisa is better... Archibald has one week less of troops
(including 3 less Red Dragons).
13) The last battle is a very tough one, practically impossible if
Archibald gets the Summon Elemental spell. It can also be easier if he gets
a lousy 5th-level spell like Hypnotize.
14) I had 12 Black Dragons while my opponent had 5 Black and 4 Red Dragons.
Unfortunately, he had Elemental Storm and a lot of spell points, so I lost
all my secondary troops from constant spell casting.
15) The trick to winning this is attacking the Minotaur Kings (second stack
from the top) from the bottom with your Black Dragons. Then Archie will
cast Elemental Storm destroying most of his remaining troops except
Dragons.
16) Archie's Black Dragon stack will attack you from the top while the Red
Dragon stack will attack you from the bottom.
17) With a correct positioning, the 2 Dragon enemy stacks will proceed to
flame one another while trying to attack my Black Dragon stack ;-) This is
what I call the Dragon sandwich tactic and it's very effective. The only
thing still alive at the end was my 3 surviving Black Dragons.
So that's it ! I completed the good campaign in 221 days beating the 231
days score of David Mills and earning myself the Black Dragon rating ! With
better luck in scenarios 7 and 9, I could probably lower this score to 208
days. I would appreciate very much hearing from anybody who did beat my
score. I'm sure there's somebody somewhere who did better :-)

Final Justice (Good Campaign 10) -- The Long And Fun Way
--------------------------------------------------------
I had written a strategy for completing "Final Justice" in the quickest
possible way but I was quite unhappy about it. Much better and more fun is
trying to capture all the enemy castles on the mainland before going after
Archibald at the end of the river. It's also more strategically-sound
because you rely less on luck. With your multiple-castle growth, when every
color but Archie's is eliminated, you can afford to build a strong army
that should have no trouble with the end-battle. First time I ever played
the final good campaign scenario (that was very long ago ;-), I went after
the eastern-shore green barbarians first. I won eventually but I was always
wondering if going after the yellow warlock (center) or purple necromancer
(west) might have been easier. Well, I found out some interesting things by
recently replaying "Final Justice" using each different option...
Having the "carry-over force" for the last scenario is *highly*
recommended. If you insist on playing it with the Ultimate Crown, expect a
much longer game and a tougher challenge. I had a carry-over force of 12
Black Dragons (along with Hydras, Minotaur Kings, Battle Dwarves and
Griffins) which is pretty good if you decide to stay within the 8-week
limit in Good Campaign 7 where you will recruit your carry-over force (you
could have "cheated" and gone over that artificial time limit if you
desired). The carried-over Black Dragons are what's important, every other
stack is extra "gravy". Implementing my battle plans should be possible
with around 8 Black Dragons (if you're a good player) but I would not go
much lower than that total. You start with 3 almost fully-built castles,
one of each "good" type : sorceress, knight and wizard.

--PLAN A (Going after the Purple Necromancers first)--
1) From my experience, this is the easiest, safest way to go but you'll
probably get a slightly lower score (although still very good).
2) The first color you will attack will be purple : the Necromancers on the
western edge of the map.
3) Prepare for a sneak attack on sorceress castle by a Necromancer with 10
Vampires (btw, this early computer strike makes the enemy alliance aware of
you and also puts it in an offensive "frame of mind").
4) Roland should kill Red Dragon stack protecting the Lighthouse and boat.
5) Hire Sister Elisa on day 2 at sorceress castle. If you don't have the
"Sorceress Alliance Award" (and therefore no Elisa), just use your starting
sorceress instead. (To lighten the text, I will just refer to Elisa from
now on).
6) Hire secondary hero in knight castle, trade him the negative artifact
from Roland and dismiss him. Do NOT dismiss your starting heroes by mistake
!
7) Elisa should buy the single phoenix (for ultra fast travel speed) and go
right visiting all your home castles for spells.
7.5) Do not buy Giants, wait for Titans instead (those won't come into play
until near the end anyway).
8) It's a good idea for your main heroes to pay at least a little visit to
one of your home castles (to get spells).
9) Try to develop Wisdom to expert level for your main heroes, especially
Roland and Elisa.
10) Roland should leave the Hydras in the good knight castle nearby to
serve as garrison (they would slow him down too much).
11) Roland will go a little way north (graveyard, tree of knowledge) then
west.
12) Roland will stay in your home territory for the first 3 weeks to visit
locations, get items and to make the good armies "grow". Why delay the
first strike ? Because you're going for the surest, safest way to win...
See the point just below.
13) Always leave one free spot in Roland's army so wandering stacks can
join him for greater glory. Have 1 or 2 buddy heroes follow him around to
carry the extra "free" stacks.
14) Develop a level 5 Mage Guild in the sorceress castle. I don't usually
recommend reloading but if you do get Hypnotize, do so, it's useless and a
big waste of resources. If it's anything else, keep the spell ;-) Remember
to make Roland visit the castle.
15) Elisa should have plenty of time to return to the sorceress castle
before the big offensive in purple territory.
16) "View Heroes" is a nice spell to keep tabs on where your opponents are.
I used it often.
17) On week 4 (more or less) came time for the big offensive on the west
road (the one next to your sorceress castle). Roland only had Black Dragons
and Minotaur Kings (both very fast speed). Elisa was a great spellcaster
and was following with a good sorceress-troop army. Some "buddy" heroes
with other numerous stacks were also making their move.
18) Roland rushed the main purple necromancer castles (in volcanic terrain)
while Elisa took care of eliminating the purple towns in the wastelands
east of the west road (orange terrain). A strong buddy hero should go west
from the west road to see if purple captured a neutral town there.
19) Don't worry too much if you lose a few Black Dragons in your conquest
of purple.
20) I was lucky enough to get Dimension Door in one of the enemy castles
(well, I did build up level 5 guilds when they were already at level 3 or
4). It probably saved me a few unnecessary weeks but Dimension Door is not
absolutely required to win although it will make your life easier. Do try
to finish each turn inside a castle and visit wells at each opportunity.
21) Even with Dimension Door, the biggest delay and annoyance you will
encounter is chasing down the many little heroes scampering everywhere
around. Believe me when I say that you will surely have to backtrack
several times to recapture castles.
22) A way to minimize this is by leaving heroes with strong garrisons
(remember all the free stacks Roland accumulated in the first month ?) in
the castles you want to keep. Your big Minotaur King stack could also serve
as a garrison if you wish. Also buy the maximum of troops available in each
castle "under siege" at the beginning of each week (big ticket creatures
like Bone Dragons and normal Dragons first)
23) Don't make Elisa go too far east (this means, not going past the second
road you will encounter) or she will get clobbered by the very strong green
barbarian (in fact, I lost her that way by being too reckless).
24) FYI, I captured the first warlock yellow castle (center one named
Alamar) on week 4, day 7. Dimension Door did help there ;-)
25) Try to make a sweep from left to right (purple, yellow, green)
eliminating (or badly crippling) one color at a time. Don't run after every
little enemy hero, but eliminate them if they're in the way. Concentrate on
taking castles using hit and run tactics.
26) Boost Roland's army with new Black Dragons from the center warlock
castles.
27) Week 5 and 6 = destroy yellow and finish up purple.
28) Watch out for the southeast corner of the map. You could get ambushed
by the green barbarians. Keep the knight castle well-defended or you could
have surprises.
29) Eventually go up that road with either a strong knight or wizard army.
30) Build Black Dragon towers in all warlock castles.
31) In general, the second month is dedicated to utterly destroying every
trace of purple, yellow and green on the main land (myself, I finished that
worthy task on month 2, week 3, day 7).
32) Give Titans from wizard home castle to Roland. Board a boat with him (I
did so on month 3, week 1, day 1). Follow the river until you reach
Archibald's castle.
33) His army at that time was 5 Black Dragons (this number stays static),
25 Red Dragons, 51 Minotaur Kings, 60 Griffins and 34 Hydras.
34) My army was too strong (in fact, it was overkill) but I didn't want to
take any chances. Better safe than sorry :-) My army was composed of 22
Titans, 45 Vampire Lords, 37 Black Dragons, 27 Bone Dragons and 36 Power
Liches. The important armies were the Black Dragons and the Titans who drew
most of the fire away. I chose undead troops because they were the stacks
that had the most time to accumulate (purple necromancer was attacked first
after all).
35) If you have problems with the last battle, try to place your troops so
that the Red Dragon's 2-hex breath torches his own partner creatures.
36) With Plan A, I finished in 64 days (month 3, week 2, day 1)

--PLAN B (Going after the Yellow Warlocks first)--
1) From my experience, this is a bit riskier than Plan A, because there's
no build-up phase in the first month and you leave your home castles almost
undefended but you'll probably get a slightly higher score.
2) The first color you will attack will be yellow : the Warlocks in the
north-center part of the map. Your objective is to get more Black Dragons
as soon as possible. Problem is that without waiting a little in your home
territory, only one Warlock castle will have the Dragon Tower and you'll
have to build the rest. Another problem is that you'll be surrounded left
and right (purple and green) and that it will be impossible to make a sweep
from left to right as in plan A (more backtracking)
3) Defend against sneak attack on sorceress castle.
4) Get rid of Roland's negative artifact with an expendable dismissed hero.
Roland should kill Red Dragon stack protecting the Lighthouse and boat.
Trade stacks that are slower than very fast to the nearby Knight starting
hero (on day 2).
5) After that, he should rush north (going into the knight castle is not
necessary), visit Graveyard and Tree of Knowledge (because it's on his way)
and take the left branch at the crossroads. Knight hero should follow just
behind with the slower stacks.
6) Make Elisa (or starting sorceress) go east with Phoenix, visiting the
knight castle for spells but not the wizard castle. She should follow the
left fork of the east road and reach yellow territory after Roland and the
Knight hero around week 2.
7) Go easy on ore and sulfur. You'll need those to build Dragon Towers
later on.
8) Roland reached first yellow warlock town on week 2, day 1.
9) Make the following Knight hero stay in the first captured enemy town. He
will serve as its protector.
10) On week 2, conquer the other warlock castles badly crippling the yellow
color in the process.
11) Leave Minotaur Kings (or another strong stack from your carry-over
force) in the main yellow castle (the one with the Dragon Tower already
built).
12) Upgrade all warlock towns to have Black Dragon Towers.
13) Always leave a minimum of 4 Black Dragons with Elisa in the main
castle. She will serve as the main protector and intimidation factor in
your newly acquired holdings.
14) Hire maximum number of secondary heroes in warlock castles and visit
mines with them. When that's done, scout around. Leave Elisa and medium-
level knight hero inside their respective warlock castles.
15) Build your second Dragon Tower in northwest warlock castle on week 2.
The first yellow castle you captured can survive for a while without a
Dragon Tower. It already has a strong garrison with the knight hero.
16) If you have Set Elemental Guardian, cast them on your mines.
17) Go after purple or green, not both at the same time (I picked purple)
18) Beginning of week 3, buy all available Black Dragons and leave them in
garrisons. This will intimidate your opponents.
18) Yellow was eliminated in week 3.
19) Watch out for purple and green that could go south in your starting
territory.
20) If you don't think you can survive an enemy assault, flee with your
best troops and return later. The enemy hero will split his big stack in 2
to garrison your castle but most importantly it will dismiss strong stacks
to visit nearby map dwellings (in my game, the computer dismissed 9 Bone
Dragons for 50 Halflings !)
21) If a color, other than one you're currently eliminating, captures an
enemy castle (for example, a green barbarian captures one of your castles
that was formerly purple). Let him have it, unless Roland is very close.
22) Yellow, green and purple were totally eliminated on month 2, week 2,
day 5.
23) I boarded a boat with Roland a few days later (month 2, week 3, day 1,
FYI). Sail the river up to Archibald's castle. I got Dimension Door very
late in the game and by that time the yellow, green, purple alliance was
practically eliminated. You could use that spell to reach Archibald's
castle quicker but I preferred to save my spell points for the final
battle.
24) Roland's army was composed of only 34 Black Dragons and 76 Minotaur
Kings. This was barely enough to win against Archibald and I had to reload
twice before succeeding. I suggest waiting 1 (or 2) more week to have a
stronger army before boarding the boat.
25) Archibald had better stats than Roland along with blood morale and
irish luck. Archibald's garrison was composed of 5 Black Dragons (this
number won't grow), 31 Minotaur Kings, 46 Griffins, 26 Hydras and 19 Red
Dragons. Morale played a big factor in the 2 first battles which I lost,
his Red Dragon stacks had a lot more free attacks than my Black Dragon
stack.
26) Use the Red Dragon's 2-hex flame attack against your other opponents by
placing your own Black Dragon stack appropriately. Use Anti-Magic to
protect your Minotaur Kings from offensive spells. In the first few turns,
cast Chain Lightning and Armageddon to weaken enemy stacks other than enemy
Dragons.
27) Cast Summon Elemental often if you have it (I did not). If Archibald
has the Summon Elemental himself, I doubt you can win. Wait a few more
weeks and come back with a Titan-Black Dragon combo army.
28) Using Plan B, I finished this scenario in 49 days (month 2, week 3, day
7).



         -Campaign Strategies for Heroes Of Might And Magic II-
                         Archibald's Campaigns
                             by David Mills



This article has been written to help you obtain Black Dragon rating on the
Archibald (Evil) Campaign. The basic strategy is "Attack as soon as
possible, with the minimal possible effective forces". As we shall see,
there are a few further tips.
Update, with notes about Tournament Play.
Warning! There are major spoilers, so if you want to try the campaigns
unaided, don't read on!

1. First Blood
This is a fairly easy start, and it is possible to finish more quickly than
the Roland introductory scenario. Choose the 2000 gold option as this makes
it possible to get up to the Mansion upgrade of your Necromancer starting
castle in the first week. However, Frank Cardillo told me a better way than
this. Go for the Laboratory via the Mage Guild and the Mausoleum. The Bone
Dragons are much more reliable than vampires. Hire another hero (knight or
barbarian for battle strength), get the easy resources, don't bother with
the defended mines, and head east at the beginning of the second week with
all your forces and your best hero. Beat the few wandering armies, and you
should come across the green enemy city with few forces inside. Take the
city. The AI does not seem to be very clever and usually dies off without
trying to retake the city. With this army, add to it as much as possible
and go south. Again you will find the next city soon, and it should be
easily taken. Meanwhile, give your new home city forces to your other hero,
and head south. The two heroes should more or less meet up in the south-
west at the end of the third week to wipe out the remaining enemy.

2. Barbarian Wars
This a small and quick scenario. Choose the Barbarian option. Equip your
first hero with the nomads (keep them in two separate armies as this makes
it easier against ranged enemies), and go directly north-east, through a
defended pass and take the yellow north-east city which will probably be
undefended. On the first day, you should also hire two more heroes. Send
one east along the road to the genie lamps and hire as many as you can
afford. Let the other gather the resources and mines. Build up you city as
usual. Your first hero will need to fight the yellow hero, but should be
successful with reinforcements from the captured city. The hero with the
genies should capture the purple south-west city with no bother, while the
other hero guards the home city from the purple hero. Load up at the
beginning of the second week and let all three heroes meet up in the north-
west to finish off.

3. Necromancers
Don't do this option if you want a good final score! I tried it on my very
first go and got a score of 630. The rewards of a Level 5 Necromancer for
each following scenario is not worth it. But if you insist...
Capturing the closest city is easy, go to the observation tower to guide
you. Get a decent army and head south in the third week. Through the
guarded pass is the easiest enemy city to capture. Build more armies (gold
is a problem as all the gold mines are heavily defended and you don't want
to waste good troops on anything but the enemy) and try to get one good
fighting (barbarian or knight) and one good spell-casting hero. Don't
upgrade the foundries as there two easy-to-reach Freeman's Foundries. Go
through another of the heavily defended passes and get the city by the
mountains and the middle pass, and the town (which may have been upgraded
to a city) in the south-east corner. The enemy heroes are moderately
powerful, including giants. Don't leave things too long or you will face
titans, and it takes ages to amass enough gold and jewels for you to make
these.

4. Slay the Dwarves
You need this option for assured success in the rest of the campaign. If
you can do the equivalent scenario with Roland, you can do this one, as it
is the same map.
Choose the Barbarian option. You don't need to buy any more heroes, and
only need to upgrade to Ogre Lords in your city. Send the hero at the top
of the map east to the city to be equipped with the troops. With the other
two, send them to the nearest towns for Battle Dwarves and Magic Books.
Then send one centrally for the Dwarf Cottages and Rogues, then south-west
to the Hill Fort then west along the road and capture the city. This hero
should then return east to get the towns along the bottom of the map,
picking up troops along the way. The final hero should go north-west-ish to
the other Dwarf Cottages by the Observation Tower just by a small patch of
snow. There are some Medusas near here too. Once he is tanked up, go north,
west then south getting the towns and any enemy heroes. The hero in the
city should go south once he has a decent army, to mop up any stray enemy
heroes and the last towns. Watch out for boats appearing out of the
whirlpool by the enemy city.

5. Turning point
I assume you have the Ogre Alliance for the rest of the campaign.
Pick the Barbarian option, although it does not really matter. With the
first hero, go south down the road, ignoring everything until you come to
the two sets of Ogres. Join up with these, upgrade at the Hill Fort, take
easily the city in the south-east corner, then the south west corner, then
go north. Meanwhile the second hero you hired on the first day will have
picked up a few more ogres locally and gone west and may well be finishing
off the city in the north-west corner and chasing after the remaining enemy
heroes (who seem to come from the north-west city). You can do this
scenario in seven or eight days.

6. Rebellion
This is the fun scenario. Pick the Barbarian option to give a good fighting
hero for your secondary army, but Lord Corlagon, with his Expert
Necromancer ability does all the hard work.
Initially, send Corlagon to the Treasure Chest and Gazebo for experience.
Then fight the two small peasant armies to the north of the city to gain
some skeletons. Then continue north then east a little to a legion of
peasants. This army is in three groups of 333, but each group can be killed
in one blow by your skeletons. The trick is to separate them by waiting for
a Loss of Morale due to the Bone Dragon. You will now have about 400
skeletons. If you attack the rangers by the Ore mine they may join you, or
may attack, it seems about fifty-fifty. Anyway, you have enough to win
against the huge legion of peasants guarding the Treasure trove to the east
of the city, as long as you only allow one or maybe two attacks from a full
stack of 700 peasants. Use the Morale trick if necessary. If you go back to
the city for spells or more troops, it will probably be the second week,
and the army will become five stacks of 800, although this may be worth it
if you have Slow in your Mage Guild.
Get all the stuff from the trove, going for experience over gold, then head
west through the gap in the forest guarded by the Archers near the 1st
Level shrine. All the armies should retreat, I only fight the non-ranged
attackers. Continue south-west to the Knight city, and send your other hero
down to occupy it. If the Knight armies are close by, fight them, otherwise
skeletonise the peasants guarding the good artifacts just to the north-west
of the Knight city, and follow the road north. At the T-junction by Xanadu,
it does not really matter which way you go, both cities will fall very
easily to your army of 2500 skeletons, and you can soon chase and kill the
remaining heroes.
My best score of 21 days was greatly helped by having the Boots of Mobility
in the original Treasure Trove.

7. Dragon Master
This scenario is very difficult without the Ogre Alliance, but a doddle
with it. I pick the Barbarian option so that my main hero will have
Pathfinding through the desert near the Dragon City. Send your starting
hero along the road to the Observation tower then to fight the army
guarding the way to the Alchemists Lab. Hire another hero, drop off the
slowest part of his army and go and pick up the Ogres by the Ore mine and
the Alchemists Lab. Meanwhile, with your first hero, collect the other two
Ogre armies, upgrade and go back to meet the other hero. Take those Ogres,
upgrade then proceed west along the road, going south at the junction then
west again to the desert. Do not be distracted by anything else. The Dragon
Castle is at the far west of the map, so, once in the desert, go north-
north-west through a pass where you have to fight some Dragons, then north
for a little while and you will see the Castle on you right. You have to
fight another army first. However your Ogre Lords can overcome all these
Dragons with no bother. I keep them in two armies of about 40 and make sure
they are not next to each other or they may both get flamed at once.
Without the Ogre Alliance, you just have to work hard in the usual way. Aim
to take the northern enemy city first, as it seems to upgrade to Dragons
after the other city.

8. Country Lords
This is quite hard work, although the Ogre and Dragon Alliances make it
significantly easier.
Old Advice
I pick the Logistics option, but the other two have their merits also. Go
west and kill the enemy knight on the second day. Try to kill him outright
as he has usually picked up a good artifact. Then go east to the Sorceress
city. There are various options once you have captured the city. I tend to
hire two more heroes (knight or barbarian, as you will be fighting knights
mainly), then send the original one east through a pass then north to the
Ogres and treasure, and then continue north to collect two Red Dragons.
Another hero goes to the mines then the treasure in the south-west corner,
then back to the city for troops, and the last hero goes north-west for the
Ogres, then back south-west when he is onto the grass, for more Ogres and a
small Green Dragon Army. It all usually goes a bit pear-shaped at this
point, but the plan is supposed to be to capture at least one of the three
enemy cities along the northern edge of the map, preferably the middle one
as it has the best Mage Guild. Ideally, the enemy heroes avoid yours and go
for the central towns. However, I find that the Dragons are usually
sacrificed on the Crusaders. There are also some Black Dragons on the east
of the map which are very useful, and some Green Dragons just to the south
of the most westerly enemy city, but these are usually beaten before you
get there. Continue with business as usual, bringing up Sorceress troops at
regular intervals, and you will win in six or seven weeks.
New and Better Advice
Frank Cardillo has provided some excellent advice. You definitely need the
Logistics option. Forget about the Knight in the west. Go north, via the
Observation Tower, the Ogres (do not turn back to upgrade them, but upgrade
at the next fort) then the Red Dragon. Get the Knight town or you will run
out of time. Proceed directly north up the road then west then north to the
middle one of the Knight cities. You will walk into the city unopposed with
your last step, and you will have a full complement of Knight troops and
the Fifth Level Mage Guild! It all fits so perfectly that I suspect that
this was designed that way and the Knight in the west was a deliberate red
herring. Once you have the city, it is fairly routine, particularly with
the Green Dragons in the little enclave to the south of the city, and the
Black ones at the eastern edge of the map.

9. The Crown
Look, do you want a good score or not? If you do this alternative, you are
destined to a long hard and probably unsuccessful slog in the final
episode. If you insist: the strategy is get the obelisks, hire plenty of
heroes and dig like crazy when you think you have an idea.

10. Greater Glory
How you proceed on this scenario depends on how confident you feel about
the final scenario. In Apocalypse, Roland starts with 5 Titans in his city,
and gains 1 more in the first week, then 3 more in each following week. So
if you can get to his city in the second week, 12 Black Dragons may beat
his 9 Titans, bearing in mind his Attack/Defence stats will be much better
than yours and he may have Mirror Image, Raise Dead, Armageddon, or any
combination. I would recommend 20 Black Dragons for safety.
You should be able to get to the enemy town in 1 week and 4 days, giving
you time to upgrade to City, Maze and Black Tower before the end of the
second week. Sulphur is the limiting factor. You therefore need to go
north-west to the Sulphur Mine first, back south to the Treasure Chests - I
get Experience in the hope of more Logistics - then go east as far as you
can getting mines and resources if they are not too far out of your way,
then turn north in the south-east corner of the map. Don't forget the other
Sulphur Mine by the coast as you travel north. If you have a sulphur
shortage when you want to upgrade, remember there is a Trading Post close
to the town. Hire another hero to help run around collecting things while
you wait for Dragons to appear. There are often two Dragon armies waiting
to join you, so go to the Observation Tower to see if you can spot them
quickly. If these free Dragons are a significant number, you may only need
to wait two weeks to add to them before you can attack the city over the
river. Pad out your army with more Warlock troops, although I usually leave
the Hydra because they are too slow for the long journey in the next
scenario. If you want to attack a town, the first one you come to
immediately west of your city is the most heavily defended, but has a Level
5 Mage Guild. In the final battle, try not to zap your own troops,
particularly the Griffins, with your own Dragons.

11. Apocalypse
As discussed above, Roland will have a pretty good army with top class
spells, so your carry over army and the hero to go with it should be
powerful.
There are two enemy heroes lurking around your cities - the Barbarian and
the Necromancer ones - but they can easily be overcome. Send Archibald
north from his starting point, and let the Barbarian hero catch up with him
after beating the enemy hero close by his city. If you are confident and
really going for speed, give only the Black Dragons, Gargoyles and Minotaur
Kings to the Barbarian, and keep the rest for Archibald. Use the Barbarian
for the final battle, because Archibald's Attack and Defence stats are not
good enough, and his spell power will not make a significant difference.
Send the Barbarian north up the road, them east then north again after the
mercenary camp. Go around the small range of mountains then east to the
winding road and up to the Glowing Liths which are guarded by the Titans.
There are not many Titans, only six or seven, and they may even flee.
Roland's City is close to the other end of the Liths. You can do what you
like with the other heroes and cities, it does not really matter.
If you are doing a tournament, 12 Black Dragons will not reliably beat
Roland. His killer spells are Raise Dead, Summon Elementals because he can
produce over 30, and Mirror Image. Positioning your Gargoyles and Dragons
next to the Titans can overcome Mirror Image. But if he suddenly raises
seven Titans from the dead when you are down to three Dragons, it is bye-
bye cruel world. In fact I would go as far as to say that you will often
lose to Roland with the basic 19 Dragons that you get from your city in the
previous scenario. Help from the allied wandering Dragons is essential.
Good Luck!
Written by David Mills, Gerrards Cross, London, England -
david@misborne.demon.co.uk


First Blood (Evil Campaign 1)
-----------------------------
I finished this map in 22 days. You're stuck with the Necromancer castle
when you start so make the best of it ;-) Playing well, you can get Bone
Dragons in the first week giving you a definite advantage.
1) Take gold instead of experience from chests for a quick building start.
2) Build the Mausoleum on day 2 or 3, not to buy Liches but because it's a
prerequisite for the Laboratory.
3) Build the Bone Dragon Laboratory on day 3 or 4.
4) Good building order for the Necromancer with lots of resources :
    • a) Statue (later if you wish) • b) Mage Guild • c) Mausoleum
    •   d) Bone Dragon Laboratory • e) Zombie Graveyard (if not
    already built) • f) Mummy Pyramid • g) Well
5) Attack the trolls blocking the way on day 2 week 1 with an army
including 4 Bone Dragons and lots of skeletons.
6) After beating the trolls, take experience instead of gold for your
primary hero.
7) Go southwest first to capture the yellow castle (knight)
8) Destroy wandering heroes and rush east to take the wizard castle.
9) On week 3 day 1, build 3 other Bone Dragons from your starting castle,
give them to a quick hero and go east to rendez-vous with your primary hero
who is coming from the south-east.
10) Destroy the remaining castle and wandering heroes.

Barbarian Wars (Evil Campaign 2)
--------------------------------
This is a very small map where you are surrounded by 3 barbarian opponents.
I finished in 10 days playing the Warlock.
1) You have 30 free Nomads when you start.. Enough to take your first
castle.
2) Hire a second hero who will take all nearby resources around your
starting castle.
3) Rush southwest with your principal hero and capture your first Barbarian
castle. It will probably be very lightly defended.
4) Next, go north to capture your second barbarian castle by the end of
week 1.
5) Since it's the beginning of week 2, you can build Ogre Lords and Trolls
in your new Barbarian castle.
6) Leave some troops in this castle and the other one (if someone comes
near) so that wandering heroes are not tempted to take it back. Of course,
killing the wandering heroes while you go east is a better idea
7) Run east towards the last Barbarian castle and capture it.
8) If you want, you can build some troops in your starting Warlock castle
and go north therefore catching your Barbarian opponents in a squeeze. This
also serves as reinforcements for your primary hero.

Necromancers (Evil Campaign 3)
------------------------------
Taking the other path is highly recommended but if you insist on taking the
"Necromancers" path and having a tougher time later, please read on. I
finished in 51 days (month 2, week 4, day 2) but I could have finished a
few weeks sooner if I hadn't built-up such a powerful superfluous army for
the final battle.
1) Your warlock begins with 40 Centaurs, 18 Gargoyles, 12 Griffins.
2) Wait until day 7 to capture the southeast wizard castle. Why ? Simply
because it gives more time for the enemy to build free structures for you
3) Buy Foundry on day 7
4) Buy Mage Guild Level 2 on day 1 of week 2.
5) Explore around but don't leave your northwest valley surrounded by the
chain of mountains.
6) I had 2 armies : warlock with initial troops and barbarian with wizard
troops.
7) Buy Ivory Tower on week 2.
8) There's lots of opportunities to have free stacks "join you for greater
glory" because these wandering armies are mostly low-level creatures.
Therefore, always leave a spot free in your main army.
9) Don't bother with the yellow castle stuck in the soutwest corner. Taking
it is not necessary for victory. The enemies there probably won't bother
you if you leave alone the wandering army defending the southern passage
out of your valley.
10) On week 4, day 1, your warlock will attack the Air Elementals near the
Observation Tower blocking the east passage out of your valley.
11) A small "pipeline" of heroes can bring reinforcements (Rocs, Halflings)
to the warlock before he attacks.
12) Visit the Observation Tower and conquer the nearby wizard castle.
13) Kill remaining enemies and take mines around this second castle except
for the gold mine which is too well protected.
14) Watch out for an enemy hero, coming from the south, possibly with
Giants and high-level spells.
15) Upgrade appropriate troops at appropriate locations (Orcs and Dwarves
at Hill Fort and Golems at Freeman's Foundry)
16) Your objective is the Necromancer town named Quick Silver south of your
second castle.
17) It's protected by 200 Halflings, 45 Rocs, 30 Archmages and 5 Giants
(with possibly more) so be patient and create an army sufficient to the
task.
18) There are 2 gem mines south of Quick Silver.
19) Instead of going for Titans, I decided to upgrade my Mage Guild in the
second castle up to level 5 and build a Library. It was a good decision.
20) My final army was composed of 26 Mages, 71 Battle Dwarves, 61 Steel
Golems, 45 Rocs and 118 Orc Chiefs with a few other powerful "reserve"
stacks in my castles. I admit that it was a bit of overkill but why take
chances :-)

Slay The Dwarves (Evil Campaign 4)
----------------------------------
If you want a good score, going through this map is an absolute necessity.
I finished in 18 days playing the Warlock. This scenario is the opposite
counterpart of Good Campaign 3 where you had to save the Dwarves.
1) You start with 3 heroes at different places on the map.
2) Hire another hero (or two) at your castle, build some troops (gargoyles,
centaurs) and go west.
3) Transfer those troops to your Warlock already near the dwarf village
(west of the castle)
4) Split your Gargoyles in 2 stacks to attacks shooters.
5) Take this northern dwarf village and then go northwest where you will
capture a second village by the end of week 1. Do not take the road,
because the stacks there are too strong for your beginning army.
6) The southern Warlock hero will go west towards a clump of dwarf
dwellings.
7) He will upgrade all those dwarves to battle dwarves at the nearby Hill
Fort and then will go southeast to capture the dwarf village in the snow.
8) The northern Warlock hero after capturing a nearby 3rd dwarven village
should follow the road southwest then south.
9) I attacked the sorceress castle (in the southwest) by the end of week 2.
The castle was very easy to take being lightly defended.
10) If there is a big opponent army inside the castle, go the farthest away
from the castle while still remaining only one day-walk away. With luck,
the AI will be stupid enough to leave the castle undefended...
11) Since it is the beginning of week 3, build some other troops from your
new Sorceress castle.
12) The only thing left to do is to clean-up the wandering enemies and
taking the last dwarf village to the southeast.
In conclusion, completing this map is important because it will give you 2
excellent awards available on all subsequent maps ... Dwarfsbane will make
ALL dwarf and battle dwarf stacks flee in fear. While the Ogre Alliance
will make ALL ogres and ogre lords stacks join you ! Not too shabby, don't
you think ? ;-)

Turning Point (Evil Campaign 5)
-------------------------------
This is the same map as Good Campaign 5. Only the artifacts, the position
of your starting castle and the artifacts change. I finished in 7 days. You
need the Ogre Alliance for this strategy.
1) Hire a second hero on day 1.
2) Your starting hero will rush south with Gargoyles and Centaurs.
3) Your second hero will go west taking any Ogre stacks in his way.
4) The first hero can also pick up Ogre stacks and upgrade them at a nearby
Hill Fort.
5) Ignore mines and most ressources. If there is a chest directly in your
path, take the experience from it.
6) Second hero (with only Ogres) will capture the northwest castle.
7) First hero will capture southeast castle then rush west towards the last
castle.
8) Don't forget to kill any wandering enemy heroes. Sometimes a little
detour at the beginning can save a time-consuming chase later.

Turning Point Without Ogre Alliance (Evil Campaign 5)
-----------------------------------------------------
It is recommended to complete scenario #4 (Slay the Dwarves) instead of
scenario #3 (Necromancers) because of the excellent Ogre Alliance and Dwarf
Bane awards that #4 gives you. But if you're reading this, it means that
you like having a challenge later in the campaign, that you're curious or
that you simply were unlucky in your choice of paths :-) I finished in 16
days.
1) Pick warlock for your castle.
2) In small maps, pick gold from chests.
3) Hire Brother Brax the 5th level necromancer.
4) Rush south by road with the warlock.
5) Take both sawmills, visit Observation Tower and the Halfling Hole.
6) Attack the castle in the southeast corner by the end of week 1 (day 5 or
6 is good)
7) Make sure that your 2 castles have the 3 first creature dwellings,
wells, horde buildings and marketplaces on week 2, day 1.
8) Exchange all your resources for gold.
9) Buy all troops in both castles (this can take 2 days) and rush west with
both heroes to capture the remaining 2 enemy castles in the northwest and
southwest corners.
10) Try to attack the castles when the enemy heroes are not inside even if
it means running after them afterwards.
11) The only possible problem with this map might be the northwestern hero
that might have an army just a bit too strong for you (my conquest of his
castle without him inside was a close affair since our warlock armies were
evenly matched except for 29 Skeletons I had transferred to Brother Brax).
Check his warlock castle to see if there might not be some Hydras left in
the Swamp. There might also be Medusas left in the nearby Ruins. This
should be enough to destroy the northwestern hero.

Rebellion (Evil Campaign 6)
---------------------------
Rebellion is one of my favorite maps in HOMM 2, one that could have been
easily named Peasant Revolt or Skeleton Armageddon ;-) Stomping around the
countryside with 2000 skeletons is a great way to relieve yourself of
stress and get delusions of grandeur :-) FYI, Corlagon, the 5th-level
knight you start with, has expert necromancy so you don't really need to
start with a necromancer castle or necromancer heroes. In fact, I suggest
playing with a warlock castle. I finished in 23 days : not a great score
but not bad.
1) Corlagon has 1 Bone Dragon and 40 skeletons at the beginning.
2) Buy a mage guild on day 1 and go there with Corlagon to get the spells.
Cross your fingers to get either Slow or Haste. Those spells could be very
useful but they're not totally necessary.
3) Attack the throng of Peasants to your north. Use your centaurs to lower
their numbers until they get too close. Then the Bone dragon can finish the
remaining peasants. On later combats with peasants, split your multitude of
skeletons in 3 or 4 different stacks and wait for the peasants to come
near.
4) Still going roughly north, attack the stack of archers, a legion of
peasants (you should now have over 400 skeletons) and the lots of rangers
stack.
5) Tips for attacking big shooter stacks : Bone dragon should be in the
top-most spot of your army. The Gargoyles should be split in 2 stacks if
you have enough of them. Fly the Bone dragon between the 2 upper-right
shooter stacks and attack the lowest one. Fly the gargoyles between 2 other
different stacks of shooters and stay there without attacking (unless you
have a lot of gargoyles).
6) Option for more skeletons and magic items : Go back to the southeast
with Corlagon and attack the legion of peasants guarding the loot near your
castle. I did not do this preferring to go for a quicker victory.
7) There's a yellow knight castle to your northwest. It should be your
first castle conquest. I captured it on day 5 of week 2.
8) If you have it, use Haste on your skeletons or slow on fast shooter
stacks.
9) With your huge stacks of skeletons, rush south following the road.
10) Kill any wandering enemies.
11) Capture the orange knight castle in the south. I did it easily with
only 4 big stacks of skeletons.
12) Make sure all orange enemies with big armies are eliminated before your
final attack.
13) Go northwest following (mostly) the road to attack the remaining Wizard
castle.
14) The Titans are no match for your skeletons by now.
P.S. Grab any shooters you can get while exploring. Against other shooter
troops, they will die in the first turn but will also draw missile fire
away from your attacking skeleton stacks.

I am new to the game and this is not intended to be a high scoring strategy
- just a really fun one. Assuming you start the scenario with the Knight
with Necromantic power. When you start - scoot south of your castle and
pick up the freebie resources. Collect archers from the house all the way
on the southern edge of the map. When you have a good sized army of ranged
weapons - I think I had 20 orc chiefs, 50 archers, and 10 or 15 upgraded
trolls, and some ogre lords for mop up - break them into 4 stacks and go
attack the legion of peasants (roughly 4,000 of them!) to the northeast of
your castle. Use "slow" to avoid letting any reach your forces- whittle
them all down with ranged weapons. If you have left an empty space in your
army your necromancer will raise about 1500 skeletons - head north and hit
any other peasant legions you can find - with about 2,000 skeletons you
should head northwest and go straight to the high-mage's green castle -
taking it should be a snap - particularly if he casts an Armageddon and
wipes out most of his own forces - once his castle falls the rest of the
game is mop up.

Dragon Master (Evil Campaign 7)
-------------------------------
The Ogre Alliance is necessary for my strategy. Don't lose time worrying
about your two warlock enemies. They won't have time to become real
nuisances before you capture the Dragon castle. I won in 10 days. It should
be quite tough to do better.
1) Start with a barbarian castle. Their pathfinding skills will help you in
the western desert.
2) Hire 2 other barbarian heroes and make them give their troops to your
starting barbarian hero.
3) Do not lose time building up your castle. It's not required in this
scenario.
4) The 2 secondary barbarian heroes should collect ogre stacks that are a
little removed from the road. ASAP, they should transfer those ogres to the
principal hero.
5) Your primary barbarian hero will go west following the road.
6) Take any nearby ogre stacks and upgrade them to ogre lords when you pass
nearby the Hill Fort.
7) Do not deviate from the road very much until you reach the desert.
8) Attack the first red dragon stack in the desert...
9) Make sure your ogre lords are split in two equal stacks and that they
are in the 2nd and 3rd place on your roster (I had 2 stacks of about 43
ogre lords before the first dragon battle)
10) With correct positioning, the flying dragons will soon flame each other
while attacking you (the sandwich dragon strategy again :-)
11) Go north through the desert, destroy any dragon stacks blocking your
way.
12) Attack the Dragon castle !

Dragon Master Without Ogre Alliance (Evil Campaign 7)
-----------------------------------------------------
Well, since I got requests for help on this scenario (and number 8) from
those who had decided to help the Necromancers (#3) instead of
exterminating the dwarves (#4), I decided to write a strategy walkthrough
for the Dragon Master scenario without the Ogre Alliance award. I finished
in 57 days. Please keep in mind that in order to win you MUST capture the
Dragon City... exterminating the 2 enemy colors does not give you victory.
Anyway, I think it's much easier to win this map by first killing your
opponents then capturing the Dragon City.
1) I suggest playing with a Warlock since you will need Dragons to kill
enemy Dragons later in the game.
2) Split your Gargoyles in 2 equal stacks when attacking shooter stacks.
3) Hire Brother Brax as soon as possible and make him board the boat (a 3rd
hero preferably a Sorceress is also an option).
4) Don't worry about his lousy navigation skill, since you will have plenty
of time to explore the sea. The lighthouse and the astrolabe of navigation
are in the southeast corner of the map.
5) Your 2 priorities in the first week are building up your castle and
capturing ore and sulfur mines.
6) Weeks 2 and 3 should be used for hiring more troops (for a stronger
army) and building any monster structure not already built.
7) Go roughly north with your primary army. Avoid any enemy heroes prowling
the landscape since you're not strong enough (yet) to take them on.
8) DO NOT build the level-2 Mage Guild ! since you will need the sulfur for
your Dragon Tower.
9) FYI, you should be able to kill easily the wandering armies of slow
ground troops (Ogres, Dwarves, etc) with your big stack of centaurs
(beginning on week 2 or 3) combined with Gargoyles and Griffins who will
destroy any enemy stacks that make it through the hail of shooter arrows.
10) If you are unlucky enough to have Necromancy as a secondary skill,
scrap any skeletons you might get since they will destroy your good morale.
11) Eventually build an army composed solely of Hydras and go south with
them (to get mines). Do not go too far away with them, since their presence
in your starting castle will intimidate the enemy heroes away.
12) I had built up my Dragon Tower on week 4.
13) Upgrade your green Dragon Tower to red one.
14) When you have 7 Red Dragons, the time to attack your first enemy castle
has come.
15) Try to attack the castle that seems the less powerful (orange ?) or
that has the better spells (Dimension Door). My conquest of the first enemy
castle was at the end of week 6.
16) Buy more dragons from your new castle (there should be some) and
combine them with your Red Dragon army.
17) From then on, you should be pretty much invincible. Reinforce your
primary army with Dragons from your castles and chase down all enemy
heroes.
18) When you consider yourself strong enough, you can attack the Dragon
City. If you have Dimension Door, you can attack much sooner since you
won't have to go through the dragon stacks guarding the way.

Country Lords (Evil Campaign 8)
-------------------------------
To use my strategy, you need to have both the Ogre Alliance and the Dragon
Alliance. With those, it turns an otherwise tough map into a merely average
difficulty map. I won in 38 days probably making this the longest scenario
in the Evil Campaign.
1) You start with only one hero commanding a strong army (50 centaurs, 30
Gargoyles, 10 Minotaurs if you pick the warlock) but no castle.
2) You have 1 week to capture a town or you're eliminated by default.
3) First thing to do is visit the Observation Tower. You will see an
annoying knight to your southwest taking all the resources that are
righfully yours.
4) Show him the error of his ways by destroying him on day 2.
5) You don't have time to take everything right away, so take only the
chests.
6) Always take experience and concentrate on the following secondary skills
: Logistics, Wisdom, Leadership (or Luck) and Ballistics.
7) Now rush east to capture the Sorceress castle in the valley. I captured
it on day 7.
8) Hire a second hero and make him go southwest taking all the resources
you left there.
9) Go north between moutain cliffs with your primary hero... scaring
dwarves and taking ogres until you reach a Red Dragon stack.
10) Take it (or them) and go northeast through a field of gold. Don't
bother taking all of it since it could slow you down too much.
11) It's possible to build a Phoenix tower during week 2, but since we use
a very agressive strategy, those phoenix will only serve as a clean-up crew
when the game is already practically won.
12) Capture the northeast warlock castle by week 3.
13) Leave your remaining minotaurs and unicorns to garrison this castle
since you don't want a wandering blue player to take it back after you're
gone.
14) Option : It's possible to capture the southeast village near the water
therefore avoiding a return trip back later.
15) Go north and get the nice 4 free black dragons waiting for you...
16) Now comes the fun stomping part ;-) With your 4 black dragons, your 2
red dragons, around 25 Ogre Lords and your super-hero spellcaster, attack
the knights castles one by one going west.
17) Killing the wandering enemies and capturing 3 very-well protected
knight castles, I did not lose ONE single unit ! If you're lucky you can
get some mass destruction spell (like Armageddon) and leave the Ogre lords,
slowing you down, in one of the castles.
18) Those 3 knight castles were captured in less than a week.
19) Remember your 2nd hero ? He should have explored most of the western
part of the map building up a good army on his own. Capture the western
village if the blue player got it.
20) After killing the majority of the blue enemies in the northwestern part
of the map, it's time to use the teleporter and obliterate the remaining
blue hero hidden on the island.

Country Lords Without Alliances (Evil Campaign 8)
-------------------------------------------------
In answer to multiple requests, here is a general strategy on how to win
Country Lords without the Ogre and Dragon Alliance. I do not suggest
playing it this way unless you really want to have a challenge. No
alliances turns this already hard map into one of the toughest scenarios of
the game. I managed to complete it in 81 days with lots of difficulty.
Playing "Country Lords" the long way is a good way to learn the combat
tactics of the Sorceress and how to beat great Knight armies. I included
some good general tips for the Sorceress player in this walkthrough
1) Kill the Knight in the southwest corner on day 2
2) Take most of the chests but always pick experience instead of gold (pick
Logistics if you can). You don't have time to take all the other resources.
3) Conquer the Sorceress castle to your east by the end of week 1.
4) Hire a second hero and let him harvest the remaining resources in the
southwest corner.
5) It's possible to buy the Red Tower (for Phoenix) on week 2 or 3.
6) Since the Dragons or Ogres will not join your army, you have to be more
patient.
7) Build up your army while conquering most of the southern part of the map
(the brown plains). 1 or 2 additional castles are nice to have but don't
upgrade them too much since you only keep them for additional revenue.
8) You can try sending a scout deep in enemy territory to see the coming
attacks but expect to flee or lose him.
9) AVOID strong enemy heroes ! At least until you are confident in the
strength of your own primary army.
10) I would usually suggest taking the castle to the northeast, near the
water, but in my game, the best enemy hero was patrolling there blocking my
way.
11) Some combat tactics : a) Sorceress units are the fastest ones in the
game. Use this to your advantage. b) Knight troops usually don't have
flyers, therefore stay back and shoot. c) Cast Slow or Blind on the Knight
troops (especially Champions and Crusaders) d) Cast Bless or Haste on your
best Sorceress troops e) Always cast the mass version of the spell if you
have it. f) Keep a garrison (dwarves, unicorns) in the castles you want to
keep since, with luck, it can intimidate some enemies away. g) Use the
Phoenix-Elemental Storm combo if you manage to get this spell. h) Targets
you must destroy, in order of priority, are : the Rangers, the Champions,
the Crusaders and the rest. i) Use offensive spells and shooter fire to
lower enemy stacks before they reach your lines. Finish the approaching
walker stacks with Unicorns or Phoenix. j) Use troop combos (see below)
12) Sorceress troop combos : a) Very Fast Combo = Grand Elves, Greater
Druids, Phoenix b) Fast Killer Combo = Grand Elves, Unicorns, Druids and
Phoenix.  (adding another shooter stack makes it even stronger) c) Scout
army = 1 Phoenix or 2 very fast troops in different positions. d) Clean-up
Crew Combo (or Beginning army) = Elves, Battle Dwarves, Druids,Sprites
13) When I had a sufficiently strong Fast Killer Combo (10 Phoenix or
higher), I rushed to the north trying to capture the Knight castles while
the big enemy heroes were otherwise occupied in conquering the southern
towns and castles.
14) Use Hit and Run tactics : capture the castle, enter it for new spells,
reinforce your own army, leave the castle empty, rush the next castle,
capture it, etc.
15) Be aware of opportunities : weak heroes and newly built castles.
16) In my game, I exchanged my good Sorceress castle (after stripping it
almost empty) for the 3 excellent Knight castles in the northwest :-)
In conclusion, the keys to winning this tough scenario without alliances
are patience, guerilla tactics, good spellcasting and avoiding battles you
are not equipped to win.

Greater Glory (Evil Campaign 10)
--------------------------------
This is the same map as Good Campaign 7 (The Gauntlet) with a few
differences. You start in the southwest corner and have to conquer the
enemy town in the northeast corner in 8 weeks or less. I finished in 37
days ,which is not the best possible score, because I wanted at least 12
black dragons in my carry-over force for the last scenario. You start with
the hero Corlagon which has 20 Orc Chiefs, 50 skeletons (Expert Necromancy
will raise this number very soon :-), 24? Griffins, 24 Gargoyles and 20
Power Liches.
1) Dismiss the orc chiefs on your 1st turn : they ruin your morale and slow
the rest of you army. Put the Power Liches in the top position.
2) You can decide to split your 20 Power liches in 2 stacks but I prefer to
leave one spot free for new recruits.
3) I suggest going north by the Warlock trail... but first take the wood
and sulfur mines without forgetting the 3 free chests near the water.
4) Always take experience instead of gold from the chests.
5) During your long trek in the forest, I suggest taking the chests, the
ore piles and the sulfur piles in your direct path but to deviate from it
VERY LITTLE. Leave the other ressources and items for later.
6) When you climb levels, try to pick Logistics.
7) Do not capture the villages... The only one you really need is the
warlock village at the end of the trail near the water.
8) I reached this northeast village by week 2 day 4, leaving me barely
enough time to construct the castle, build the swamp and most importantly
the green dragon tower.
9) Hire another hero that will go back on the trail you just came from to
pick up all the goodies. Option : Hire a 3rd hero to follow your primary
hero around collecting resources a little out the way.
10) Your primary Barbarian hero will explore the 2 other trails while the
black dragons accumulate in your Warlock castle.
11) After Corlagon reaches level 16, take gold from the chests.
12) Eventually build a shipyard with 2 boats.
13) On week 5, go to the nearby trading post and exchange all unnecessary
resources (sulfur is necessary !) for more gold.
14) Board the boat on week 5 day 5, with Corlagon and all the secondary
armies you do not want to carry-over (hydras, skeletons, power liches,
etc). This is the first attack where the objective is weakening the yellow
village (Middlegate) you must capture to win.
15) Try to kill everything except the Dragons which are too tough for the
moment. Don't forget to flee at the last minute with Corlagon.
16) Rehire Corlagon in your Warlock castle and equip him with all the best
troops (black dragons, minotaur kings, gargoyles, griffins). Wait 1 turn
for your spell points to replenish and then board a boat for the second
time (week 5 day 7).
17) On day 1 of week 6, hire another hero (or use one you already have) to
build more troops in the Warlock castle and transfer them to Corlagon
inside the boat.
18) Dismiss all secondary heroes ! Do not dismiss Corlagon and his
impressive army !
19) Final attack takes place on week 6 day 2. Try to minimize your losses
especially for the Black dragons (I only lost one).

Apocalypse -- The Quick And Dirty Way (Evil Campaign 11)
--------------------------------------------------------
To carry out this quick-win strategy you need at least 12 Black Dragons or
more in your carry-over force. The Ogre and Dragon Alliance are not
necessary. I finished it in 12 days. The following is my quick and dirty
(not to mention dull) strategy for this excellent map. I have also done
another strategy on this same map using the long way , which BTW is
infinitely more interesting (the way to play the map, not the article
itself :-), that I will post very soon on this newsgroup. To really enjoy
your HOMM 2 experience, I strongly suggest trying out all maps on your own
at least 2 times before reading any of my strategy tips. If you achieve
victory on your first or second try, then feel free to compare your
strategy and score with mine just for fun :-)
Your primary objective in this map is to capture Roland's castle far to the
northwest. Everything else is secondary to that victory goal.
1) First order of business is to protect your Babarian and Necromancer
castles which are about to be attacked.
2) Buy the best troops available (Cyclops, Trolls and Ogres) in your
Barbarian castle but not everything right away. In any case, even without a
barbarian hero in the castle, the nearby enemy sorceress should be
intimidated enough not to bother you too quickly.
3) The Necromancer castle can be easily defended by returning the nearby
Necromancer hero to the castle and by buying the Bone Dragon. With good
spellcasting, you can beat the approaching knight army.
4) Archibald who has the carry-over forces should give them up to your
midlevel barbarian hero because this barbarian will get superior
pathfinding, good logistics (maybe) not to mention better attack/defense
statistics than Archie.
5) If you have Hydras, leave them with Archibald since they would slow you
down too much.
6) With your barbarian hero leading your carry-over force, go north by the
road (Queen's road). Do not deviate too much...
7) Turn right at the first intersection.
8) You will see a wizard castle but ignore it. Continue east until you
reach another intersection.
9) Turn left (north) still following the road.
10) By the end of week 1, capture the wizard castle at the end of this
road.
11) Buy a spell book and if you can... buy some titans (you can have 4 if
you wait on day 1 of week 2)
12) Next, leave the road and follow the meandering path between mountains.
Don't worry about losing the Wizard castle.
13) At the end of the path, kill the Titans and use the teleporter.
14) For comparison's sake, let's suppose you had kept Archibald (with
Hydras) to reach Roland's castle. You would have arrived by week 3 day 2.
By using the barbarian hero (and no Hydras) you instead reach Roland's
castle on day 5 of week 2.
15) The final battle is very, very tough. Roland will usually have 9
Titans, 9 rocs, 6 Archmages, 11 Steel Golems and 15 Boars. The problem is
that Roland is much better (from a statistics point of view) than either
Archibald or your barbarian hero.
16) Also note that Roland (the wizard) has a 5th-level mage guild with two
5th-level spells and three 4th-level spells. If he manages to get some
killer spell like Ressurect True or Summon Elemental then you can forget
about victory. Spare yourself the humiliation and reload the scenario from
the beginning :-)
17) I had to reload many times, before Roland did not have a combination of
spells too strong for my carry-over force. He usually got Armageddon, Storm
or Mirror Image, but even with those spells, I think it's still possible to
win with good tactics (maybe not if Roland mirror-images his Titans too
much ;-)
18) Your most important stack is the Black dragons since they are immune to
magic and are the only units that can really compete against the mighty
Titans.

Apocalypse -- The Long And Fun Way (Evil Campaign 11)
-----------------------------------------------------
As always, it's a lot more fun and rewarding to completely explore a map
rather than go for the quick victory giving you a better score. Therefore,
I've replayed the last scenario of the evil campaign in order to provide
you with some strategy tips if you decide to play it the long way (like
most of us do). I finished in 38 days. Neither the Ogre and/or Dragon
alliances are necessary to win this scenario but the carry-over force is
preferrable.
1) Winning the long way means that you will have to kill all the enemy
heroes and castles before you go after Roland.
2) My carry-over force consisted of 12 Black Dragons and other assorted
warlock units.
3) Protect your barbarian and necromancer castles which will get attacked
on the first day. If you build enough troops in the barbarian castle, the
nearby sorceress will be intimidated and leave you alone for a while.
4) You don't want this annoying sorceress to steal your resources and free
troops, therefore go kill her on day 2 with a good barbarian force.
5) Unlike the quick and dirty way to win this scenario, you will leave the
carry-over force with Roland since he's a better spellcaster.
6) The 2 first weeks are used for completing the construction of your 3
initial castles.
7) Go north with Archibald's army and capture the wizard (green) castles.
8) I managed to capture two wizard castles in week 1, including one with
Titans and a level-5 mage guild.
9) Leave your griffins in the first castle and the minotaur kings in the
better second castle. That's for protection from wandering enemies
(especially yellow).
10) Concentrate on destroying one enemy color at a time. That means, you
take detours to kill enemy heroes of the color you are currently stalking.
You destroy all that is green, then all that is orange, then finish with
the yellow.
11) Of course, if a wandering enemy hero of a different color is passing
not too far away, you can destroy him too :-)
12) The general strategy in this map is to destroy the strongest enemies
first by striking quickly. Green wizards, orange sorceresses, yellow
knights and finally the red castle of Roland in that order.
13) On week 2, I completely destroyed the green enemy and began my foray
into western sorceress territory (orange).
14) Take one or two Titans with your black dragon army that will draw all
shooter fire away from your precious dragons. All other troops are
optional.
15) On week 3, I almost completely destroyed the orange player taking over
all his castles.
16) On week 4, I annihilated the yellow knights (completely to the east)
with still only 11 Black dragons and 1 Titan.
17) On week 5 day 1, I built 13 Black dragons in my starting Warlock castle
(Griffins, Minotaur Kings and Gargoyles too) and I moved them to the front
(up north).
18) I transferred this great Warlock army to Archibald who still had 11
black dragons and who had become a high-level hero during the course of the
game.
19) I also bought all Titans available from my Wizard castles and gave them
to Archibald.
20) Finally, Archibald's Dragon and Titan army followed the northern path
between moutains, took the teleporter and captured Roland's castle. It was
a tough epic battle with the only survivors being... 3 of my Titans.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XIb. STRATEGY GUIDES (Guides for Expansion Pack Campaign Maps)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Price Of Loyalty Campaign
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 01 -- Uprising
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 02 -- Island Of Chaos
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 03 -- Arrow's Flight
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 04 -- The Abyss
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 05 -- The Giant's Pass
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 06 -- Aurora Borealis
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 07 -- Betrayal's End
Price Of Loyalty Campaign 08 -- Corruption's Heart

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 01 -- Uprising
The first scenario in the "Price of Loyalty" campaign takes place in a
small country where you must stop the uprising of formerly loyal subjects
of the Empire. You will start with a barbarian castle. I finished in 25 days.
1) Hire a second hero and combine armies.
2) Build an adobe and a bridge on the first week.
3) Take the nearby ore mine at the end of week 1 when you have more troops.
4) Attack the southwest orange castle in the middle of week 2 (army at this
time : 8 Trolls, 85 Goblins , 18 Orc Chiefs).
5) Week 3 : Exchange all resources for more gold.
6) Don't bother building up your new castle but do buy more troops and get
free units from map dwellings (army : 13 Trolls, 129 Goblins, 48 Orc Chiefs,
16 Ogre Lords). BTW, that army is kind of overkill...
7) The red sorceress opened the aqua-barrier for me and weakened the blue
knight.
8) Go on the offensive !
9) Usually, I would have attacked the northern more dangerous enemies sooner
(end of week 1) but an aqua-barrier was blocking my way to the blue knight and
unicorns were blocking my access to the red sorceress.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 02 -- Island Of Chaos
Contrary to the name of the scenario, there's nothing very "chaotic" about
this island. You're badly outnumbered but that's nothing new in campaign maps
:-) I finished in 56 days. BTW, on day 1, I won't mention anymore the following
tips since they're almost always the same : hire a second hero of the same type
as your starting hero, buy all available troops in the castle and give all
troops to your "warrior" hero except 1 or 2 very fast units who will go with
your "scout". If you have lots of gold, you can decide to hire a 3rd hero
(preferably barbarian or warlock) and give his troops to your "warrior" hero.
1) Upgrade the cottage to get Battle Dwarves
2) Split your Sprites in 2 equal stacks. This is useful against enemy shooters.
3) It's possible to build a fenced meadow AND the level-2 Mage Guild on week 1.
4) Liberate the gargoyle-protected passage on week 2.
5) Go north with your best army
6) After visiting the Observation Tower, you should see 3 red castles.
7) Conquer the northwestern castle first and STAY IN IT ! A red hero will
probably attack you but with your ballistas and shooters you can win easily.
9) On week 3, build the Phoenix Red Tower.
10) On week 4, bring reinforcements (especially the 4 Phoenix !) from the
south.
11) Trash the 3 other nearby red castles then go southeast for the yellow
warlock
castle on the island tip.
12) With sorceress troops and offensive spellcasting, the fight is usually over
on the first round more or less !
13) Use Lightning and Cold Ray a lot since you should have their respective
boosting items.
14) In 6 weeks, the whole island was mine
15) In the warlock castle, build a shipyard and board a boat with your best
hero.
16) Block the glowing lith with an expendable hero.
17) Combine your remaining army (led by best hero) with new troops from your
starting sorceress castle.
18) Attack the 2 last yellow castles on the isolated south island.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

In The Price of Loyalty #2, I find out it is hard to play up to [the Quebec
Dragon's] strategy! When I capture the first barbarian, I survive an attack by
a red hero, as he describes. But when I try to capture the second barbarian
castle
or a knight castle, the first barbarian castle to the northwest is always
attacked
and lost. I go back and forth to retake lost castles for a while. Then a yellow
hero with a huge stack of hydras plus other creatures come up and spoil my fun!

So, I develop this strategy of going after the warlock castles first. Victory
takes
a little longer, but this strategy seems more solid. It is rational too, as it
exploits on the possibility of combining troops from 3 warlock castles. No
other
side in this scenario has 3 castles of the same type to combine troops like I
do
when I have all the warlock castles.
1) I bring my 2-week army all the way to the warlock castle in the southeast
corner
of the continent.
2) Immediately after I capture it, I build the shipyard, buy a boat, and jump
on it.
Where am I going? Home! Yeah, I find out that I need to go home by boat for
reinforcement. When I come home, I buy all available troops, including 7
phoenixes,
and jump on the boat again. At this time, my newly conquered warlock castle is
lost.
3) By boat, I go to the island and attack the two warlock castles there. The
rational: the two warlock castles on the island can raise a double-size army.
I manage to capture both of them, defeating a guy with Dimension Door along the
way.
4) After capturing the island, I hire a secondary hero to block the glowing
lith
then wait till day 1 of the next week. I combine all troops from both warlock
castles and go to the other warlock castle via the glowing lith. I leave the
boat
on the island, intending to transport reinforcements over the sea later.
5) I capture the third warlock castle just by outnumbering its troops. (Once I
get inside, I am surprised there is a black tower with 11 black dragons
inside!)
At this time, my starting sorceress castle is lost; it is too lightly defended.
6) The rest of the game is easy to play. I combine warlock troops from 3
castles
and begin my "great long march". When I capture each of the knight castles,
which
are near the shore, the boat delivers even more troops from the warlock
castles.
I complete my sweep at the sorceress castle.

             -- Lang Le

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 03 -- Arrow's Flight
I finished "Arrow's Flight" in 42 days (month 2, week 2, day 7)
without too much difficulty.
1) Pick *Advanced Logistics* before you start.
2) Take the east gold mine on day 1
3) Explore your portion of the map but don't attack the elves blocking the
north passage until week 3.
4) Week 2, day 1 : Bring back your main hero to the castle and buy all
available troops.
5) Go back north and capture the neutral town (end of week 2).
6) Transform the town into a castle.
7) Week 3 : Bring new reinforcements from the south and transfer them to
your main hero.
8) Capture the red northwest castle by the end of week 3.
9) Attack the other nearby red castle at the beginning of week 4 or sooner
if you can do it.
10) When the red color is totally eliminated, go south and destroy the
cyclops guarding the Red Traveller's Tent. Remember the password.
11) Use a southern hero to unlock both red barriers while your main army
goes back to the northeast.
12) You now have a convenient shortcut to bring wizard reinforcement
troops up north.
13) Before attacking the green sorceress in the northeast corner, I had
Mages, Rangers and 290 Halflings with my main hero !
14) The benefit of having 2 or 3 good shooter stacks is that the enemy AI
will usually concentrate all of his attacks on *only one* of those while
the other shooters are free to devastate the enemy troops :-)
15) Bring fresh armies from your 2 knight castles as needed while you finish
up the green player.
Winning this scenario will give you the excellent "elven alliance" which
will make all Elves and Grand Elves wandering stacks join your own army
free of charge in the subsequent scenarios. There's also a nice wood bonus
you will now get each turn.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 04 -- The Abyss
This is probably the shortest official scenario in the whole game but it's
packed with strategy and lots of fun in its own right. I liked it so much
that I replayed it 4 times (first time I lost ;-), each time taking a new
path. POL 4 gives you only a 2-week period to reach the enemy castle and
capture it.
GENERAL TIPS
1) Take the troops in the nearby town
2) Put Phoenix in last spot (right), it will go first anyway.
3) Use the following close formation : Dwarves, Grand Elves, Unicorns,
Sprites and Phoenix.
4) Follow the only path open to you.
5) Visit Hut of Magi and Red Tent. Write down the password !
6) You won't get any reinforcements from town, so make your initial
troops count and do everything to keep their casualties to a minimum.
7) Bless or Blood Lust your Grand Elves on first turn or better yet
cast Slow on enemy if you have it.
8) In the battle screen, pick your targets very carefully. Check often
the remaining hit points of your possible target by right-clicking on it.
9) Always try to line up the Phoenix so that it attacks 2 hexes with its flame.
10) Move Phoenix out of the way if it's about to die.
11) Pick your fights, you have limited time and limited troops. If a
stack is not blocking a path you want to go through or protecting a very
useful item you can't do without, leave it alone !
12) You will see 3 signposts indicating 3 different "ways". Make your choice.

WAY OF MIGHT
1) When you reach the well, go north, not east (it's what caused my loss
in my first game).
2) Optimal wandering stack fighting order : Ogre Lords, Rocs (move Phoenix
out the way on second turn), Minotaurs, Giants, Nomads, Titans.
3) DO NOT attack the Black Dragon ! It protects a Mass Slow spell but the
casualties aren't worth it.
4) At the end of this gauntlet, my army was mostly intact except for 6 dead
Grand Elves and a few deaths in the other stacks.
5) The Way of Might requires very good combat tactics and is in my opinion,
the toughest way to go.
6) Attack the necromancer castle.

WAY OF NUMBERS
1) As the name implies, you will face large numbers of walker troops.
2) Shoot from far away as long as possible. Do not engage with flyers.
3) Optimal wandering stack fighting order : Legion of Peasants, Mutant Zombies,
Hydras, Swordmen, Wolves, Crusaders, Unicorns, Ogres, Throng of Skeletons.
4) Take the free Sprites in the tree houses.
5) Do not visit the Air Summoning Altars. They will delay you and you don't
need elementals to win anyway.
6) The pack of Crusaders you encounter will attack your Sprites. Try to keep
them far away even though it might be impossible with the fast speed of the
Crusaders. Losing those sprites is annoying but not a tragedy.
7) You need to battle the Unicorns to reach the Green Tent. I lost my precious
Phoenix due to a bad maneuver. Be careful.
8) Following the way of Numbers, I had no spell points, no Phoenix and no Air
Elementals for the last battle but I won anyway.

WAY OF MAGIC
1) As the name implies, clever use of magic and acquisition of new spells is
the recipe for success.
2) You have to get more spells, by scrolls mostly.
3) You don't need to have every single scroll, but since they're in your way
(except steelskin) why not acquire them ?
4) Optimal Wandering stack fighting order : Archmages, Throng of Goblins,
Few Bone Dragons (protect Steelskin scroll, you don't absolutely need this
one),
Gargoyles (Meteor Shower), Boars (visit the well), a few Black Dragons (Mass
Slow),
Throng of Centaurs, Lots of Dwarves, Horde of Griffins.
5) Use spells like Steelskin and Cure to save your Phoenix from early demise.
6) There's a Mage's Ring hidden somewhere behind scenery.
7) From Boars, go east
8) Throng of Centaurs = Close in with Phoenix and use Meteor Shower (BTW,
phoenix are not immune to Meteor Shower)
9) Lots of Dwarves are easy to defeat. They guard a fireball scroll (yuck)
& the Aqua Tent (yeah).
10) Horde of Griffins = Cast Mass Slow followed by Meteor Showers...
11) Open Aqua barrier, visit well.
12) Rush towards necromancer castle.

IN CONCLUSION
Necromancer's castle garrison will be a 2-week old undead army. In the last
battle, return to open formation (because of the Liches) and give it everything
you've got. Having big casualties is not so bad as long as you win the battle.
I do not recommend choosing this scenario instead of "Price of Loyalty 3"
because
it will prevent you from getting the great "Battle Garb of Anduran" later on.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

This is a map for expert players, extremely heavy on tactical combat. Since
you have a 14-day time limit, finishing this map will certainly be faster than
doing maps 3 and 5. You get one hero with a moderate army, a non-upgradable
town,
and a choice of paths to reach the final castle.
0. Pick the Caster's Bracelet before you start.
1. Visit the town - it has some free troops and a level 1 mage guild.
2. Go north, visiting the hut and red tent.
3. You will be taking the southern path "Path of Numbers", according to
the sign. Before that, though, defeat the Ogre Lords both for experience
and for the Divine Breastplate just beyond them.
4. Through all these combats, you must AVOID LOSSES. Before the crusaders,
every one of these can be done with a loss of no more than two dwarves.
5. Remember the computer's attack pattern. If it can't reach you, it will
walk towards your shooters. Anytime possible, use terrain obstacles and your
phoenix and unicorns to manipulate the path the computer will take. You can
get the ogre lords (and any other walkers) to walk back and forth three or
four times if there's a terrain obstacle in the middle.
6. Use your phoenix's two-hex attack, but remember it is NOT a dragon -
it has only 100 HP. Don't let it get killed - move it out of danger if
necessary and let your dwarves take damage.
7. Against the peasants, shoot out the middle stack first, then attack one
flank at a time.
8. Beat the zombies and hydras. Pick up sprites as you go. Remember that if
you have more than 50 sprites, the computer will go for them instead of the
phoenix.
9. Mysticism is a great help. Without it, conserve your spell points. Other
than that, secondary skills don't make much difference. Get Pathfinding and
Logistics if possible, of course.
10. Beat the swordsmen and wolves. It should be around Day 7 now.
11. Fight the crusaders. You cannot beat them without losses, so let them
attack your elves. You can use spell points here, preferably Bless.
12. If you have any elves remaining, dismiss them. Backtrack to the two air
summoning altars and buy air elementals. Wait if necessary to make sure you
can buy the second week's production.
13. Bless nearly doubles Air Elementals' damage, remember.
14. Bless is extremely effective on Air Elementals. Get the idea?
15. Beat the unicorns, visit the tent, and get more sprites and elementals.
16. Beat the ogres and skeletons. You'll probably lose a couple air elementals.
Try not to let the sprites take too much damage. You can use spell points here
- you only need about 6 for the last battle.
17. Take the teleporter to the final battle. Put your phoenix in front of the
liches to block them. Bless the air elementals and sprites, and youshould win
pretty easily on day 12 or 13.

             -- Erik Mooney

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 05 -- The Giant's Pass
"Price of Loyalty 5" is titled the Giant's Pass, but I didn't see any of
those strong creatures blocking the montainous passages in this small snow-
covered map (to my eternal gratitude ;-). I finished in 18 days (month 1,
week 3, day 4).
1) You begin with a Knight castle and a small army consisting of 25 Archers,
60 Peasants and 10 Pikemen.
2) With your main army, follow the east road taking free archers along the way.
3) Turn north at the intersection.
4) Capture the little town at the end of the road.
5) Buy some more archers and pikemen.
6) Attack the barbarian castle in the northeast corner. It's weaker
than the other one.
7) Stay inside the castle until the beginning of week 3.
8) Buy some good barbarian troops (preferably Trolls and Orc Chiefs).
9) Rush the last enemy castle to your west.
10) Finish up the remaining enemy heroes.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 06 -- Aurora Borealis
Please keep in mind that your objective is finding the Anduran
Artifact... You DO NOT need to conquer the red barbarian player to
win this scenario. In fact, the description of the map doesn't
recommend it. Being a somewhat sadistic fellow, I decided to beat up
the annoying red barbarians anyway just to prove my strategic superiority
:-) I finished in 40 days (Month 2, week 2, day 5).
1) Pick the Traveller's Boots before beginning the scenario.
2) Logistics, Wisdom and Pathfinding should be your favorite
secondary skills.
3) Buy a spell book for your knight
4) Buy all troops in the castle
5) Hire 2 more heroes on the 2 first days and give their troops to
your main hero.
6) Split your Archers in 2 stacks and kill the Rogues protecting the
nearby gold mine.
7) Go roughly east, kill the boars and then go north towards an Observation
Tower (it's probably safer to go north by staying near the mountain range :
less chance of getting caught by a red hero)
8) Avoid the Red Barbarians, you're not srong enough to meet them yet.
9) Capture the yellow castle at the end of week 1.
10) Do not leave it undefended or the red and/or yellow heroes will come to
take it back.
11) Go north (from the previously yellow castle) with your main hero until
you reach the red barrier.
12) Open it and get the scroll. It's Dimension Door, a powerful spell you
will definitely need to win.
13) You can use Dimension Door (on a scroll) even though your knight doesn't
have expert wisdom.
14) Use Dimension Door to bypass protectors who are guarding free resources
and items on the western side of map.
15) Pick more orcs from the free dwellings and upgrade them to orc chiefs in
your barbarian castle.
16) With around 90 Orc Chiefs and other barbarian troops, go east and
conquer your first red castle.
17) At around the same time, a big knight army (from your starting castle)
should cross the isolated snowy "canyon" between 2 montainous passages which
borders the southern frontier (This 2-army attack is around month 2, week 1).
18) This knight army should arrive in the southeast corner, deep inside red
territory.
19) The red barbarians are now flanked on 2 sides. Dimension Door between the
red castles, use guerilla tactics and destroy the annoying enemy heroes when
you feel ready.
20) Concentrate on taking castles before killing the several powerful red
heroes. Let them retake castles so that they split-up their forces.
21) When red is totally eliminated, cast "Dimension Door" and reach the
northeast volcanic island.
22) ALTERNATIVE OPTION : You might decide to "ignore" the red players... In
this case, still get the Dimension Door scroll, form the best army possible,
cross the isolated snowy canyon and rush north while avoiding the red heroes.
When you reach the sea shore, teleport on the volcanic island.
23) The "Anduran Helm" is in the possession of the green necromancer, who like
a stupid moron, will stay inside his castle, waiting for a hero like you to
annihilate him...
24) If you have the Elven Alliance, you can pick up some extremely useful Grand
Elves stacks near the Necromancer castle and on a little northern island.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Choose 3 crusaders. 1st day, buy a secondary hero (preferably barbarian because
the terrain is slowing you down), buy all archers and the pikemen for your 1st
hero (knight) and a spell book for the barbarian. Trade anduran plate to the
barbarian and the 3 crusaders.
Kill rogues with Knight hero and take the gold mine and medal of honor. Kill
Battle dwarves with barbarian and take ore mine and stealth shield.
Start collecting resources with knight hero and upgrade your castle so you can
hire rangers and master swordmen... NOTHING more! Get red psw.
Kill boars with barbarian (sometimes they join you) and visit tree of
knowledge (archery is vital for this scenario) and travel NW. soon you will
find
a barbarian castle lightly defended. Take it and kill yellow hero ASAP. Try not
to loose any crusader.
Buy bridge before 2nd week starts in 2nd castle. Buy a spell-caster (preferably
scorceress) and head north with spell-caster to open red barrier and get
resources,
orcs and the dimension-door scroll.
Meanwhile a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Hmmm... this sounds
familiar.
Take nearby mines , ballista ( split crusaders into 3 groups so you don't lose
one of them when you kill druids) , and mage ring with barbarian then head SE
to
the well NE of tree of knoweledge. ASAP buy all rangers and master swordmen
with
Knight hero in starting castle and head towards the well.
Use spell casters with dimension door to catch up with the barbarian. Trade the
dimension door scroll to him and refill sp at well. Trade swordmen, rangers and
medal of honor to barbarian from knight.
Go east with barbarian and use dimension door over the mountains. WOW how nice
of the stupid red player to leave a lightly defended almost new barbarian
castle
with a nice bridge of fine stone in it for me to take. Now it should be day 7
of week 2.
Day 1 week 3 buy all trolls and orc chiefs in castle 3 and use dimension door N
with barbarian hero to take another barbarian castle (moderately defended) on
day
one week three. Ignore red heroes if you can't kill them without loosing more
than ONE green slimy troll.
From castle two transport all trolls and orcs to your latest captured castle
using a hero link with spell-caster and knight hero. If the 4th castle doesn't
have a upgraded bridge you can upgrade  it if you like. Trade orcs and trolls
to barbarian from hero link and upgrade them (you can now trade everything for
gold).
Head east with barbarian to the edge of the snowy valley. Use dimension door to
cross the water to the Isle East and refill sp at well. Head  NE for the castle
you must take to complete this scenario.
For the final battle you should have something like this in your army 3
crusaders,
18-22 war trolls, 40-60 orc chiefs, 30-38 rangers and 16 master swordmen (if
you
have 50 titans and 30 Black-Dragons it's ok too). Only one comment on the final
battle : do NOT slow his 4 bone dragons or use haste on your war trolls instead
try using those other good spells that are steelskin and anti-magic.
The scenario should be over in 18-25 days. Pretty good isn't it ? :-) My best
time is 16 days when I was very lucky and got logistics and pathfinding expert
almost directly plus archery expert and leadership basic (almost dream config
for me in this scenario). But the thing that really made the difference was
that
I got 30 Spell points with a barbarian which is very rare for a hero at that
level.

             -- Calle Granath

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 07 -- Betrayal's End
I strongly suggest winning this scenario before tackling the last one
(POL 8) for reasons that will be made clear in the conclusion... Contrary
to most of my other add-on strategies, this one was written from my 3rd try
at the map. Why you may ask ? Simply because I got killed twice in the first
month of play by a super-strong enemy hero (one time red, the other time blue)
who headed straight for my castle while it was still too weak.  In "Betrayal's
End" your primary objective is to capture Lord Kreager : the Empire's betrayer
and guardian of the last Anduran artifact. I completed this map in 85 days
(Month 4, week 1, day 1). I already had the Elven Alliance which proved quite
useful in the beginning game.
1) Pick "Animate Dead" before you start.
2) You begin with a little necromancer army and no castle. You have 7 days
to capture a town or else you will lose.
3) When your necromancer hero climbs levels, try to improve its "Necromancy"
secondary skill.
4) The land is composed of 4 main islands separated by single bridges.
5) Visit the Red Traveller's Tent and write down the password.
6) Split your vampire stack in two when you go up against shooters.
7) Go roughly north and capture the necromancer town on day 7.
8) Make it a castle. You will build up your undead armies during the crucial
first month and then you will attack. For now, just explore your surroundings.
9) There's a nearby gold mine to the north of your castle... Ignore the
southern sawmill and cross the bridge.
10) Attack every possible wandering stack in order to increase your number
of skeletons. Do not attack stacks that are too powerful... Use your instincts.
11) Capture all mines in the clearing south of the swamp.
12) Explore the swamp but watch out for enemy heroes. You're not strong enough
to encounter them yet.
13) Do not go beyond the Observation Tower but do take the free grand elves
on the western border of the swamp.
14) IMPORTANT : You do not want the enemy (blue or red) to notice your
exploring
necromancer. If one does "detect" you, he will probably rush and conquer your
castle. Therefore stay far away from any opposing color until you are ready for
the offensive.
15) I captured my first enemy castle (blue knight) on week 5 with a month-old
Necromancer army, just after the red player had weakened the blue. On my first
"losing" game, red had completely eliminated blue so your first opponent may
change depending on what happens.
16) The glowing lith near your starting castle leads to the eastern island
(3rd landmass) that contains one knight castle.
17) Since the blue enemy still had strong armies, I decided to wait one week in
his newly captured castle. He didn't dare attack me in the well-protected
knight
castle until he got abandoned by his troops :-)
18) Remember this for later : If a powerful green hero is near your main
army...
GET IN A CASTLE AND STAY IN IT ! It might save your life since the enemy will
then be much less likely to attack.
19) For "intimidation" purposes, make sure that your best troops are on the
hero's row (bottom) when you are in a castle.
20) Your Skeletons and Bone Dragons stacks will be your most useful armies in
this scenario.
21) Around month 2 week 3, I went south, crossed the bridge and captured my
second knight castle located on the third island.
22) Bring undead reinforcements from the necromancer castle by using the
glowing lith.
23) Go east, cross the last bridge and then go north.
24) Capture one of the green knight castles and stay in it ! Buy all available
knight troops.
25) There are many powerful green heroes wandering all around...
26) Send expendable scouts to explore the surroundings. That way, you can
more easily see the comings and goings of the green enemies.
27) When the green heroes are 2 days-away from the very nearby castle you
wish to conquer, go and attack it.
28) Get this other knight castle, stay in it and build more knight troops.
29) Don't worry about losing your recently-vacated castle. Your objective
is keeping your main necromancer army mostly intact (by always staying in a
castle when a green hero is near) while splitting up the powerful enemy armies
by constantly taking and retaking the 2 "twin" castles.
30) Another dirty trick for winning is the "Multiple Chain Lightning"...
You have lots of cash, a relatively weak garrison, a powerful spellcaster and
a mighty enemy will retake your castle in just one turn ? Give a ultra-fast
(or very fast) unit to your spellcaster, attack the enemy, cast chain
lightning,
surrender, rehire your hero, attack, cast chain lightning, etc. Repeat as
needed
or until you have no more movement points left. This works best when the enemy
is very close to your castle.
31) By being patient, you will eventually weaken the green heroes enough for
destroying them.
32) Lord Kreager's castle is in the northeast corner. Since he's stuck there,
you have all the time in the world to build up a sufficient army to take him
out.

Lord Kreager's capture will give you the 3rd Anduran artifact. The 3 Anduran
items combined together will form the "Battle Garb" : arguably the mightiest
magic item in the HOMM 2 universe. It gives you +5 bonus to 3 primary skills,
offers you morale blood and irish luck with whatever troops you carry and last
but not least, it gives you the most powerful spell : Town Portal !

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Price Of Loyalty Campaign 08 -- Corruption's Heart
The conclusion of the "Price of Loyalty" campaign pits you against the true
enemy : the Necromancer guild. Those undead traitors were manipulating Lord
Kreager all along (behind the scenes) in order to overthrow the Empire while
minimizing their own losses. The funny thing is that they're already so
powerful, as you will see later, that they could have *easily* overtaken
the Empire anytime they wanted to :-) Completing scenario 7 (where you defeat
Kreager) gave me a huge advantage by providing me with the Anduran Battle Garb
(Town Portal, maximum morale and luck, not to mention +5 in attack, defense
and spell power). Therefore, I strongly recommend winning POL #7 before
tackling
the last scenario. I also had the Elven Alliance award from a previous
scenario.
I completed POL #8 in 102 days (Month 4, week 3, day 2) and the full campaign
in 368 days for a rating of Bone Dragon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHASE 1 (Conquering the "orange" islands)

In the initial phase, your objective is eliminating the green player present
on most of the northern islands. Those islands are easy to recognize since
their
terrain is mostly composed of broken lands (orange colored). When you climb
levels, try to improve your Wisdom, Archery, Navigation, Logistics and
Pathfinding
skills, in that order of preference. Don't forget to cast Town Portal often to
reinforce and replace the creatures in your main army
1) I decided to pick the 5 mages in the beginning menu screen, in order to give
me an early offensive boost. Since I already had the Elven Alliance, maybe this
wasn't the best choice...
2) Buy all available troops in your castle.
3) Get the free Halflings from the halfling hole.
4) Get the Elves protecting the gold mine. Since you're allied, they will join
you free of charge.
5) Possible army at this time : 20 Elves, 5 Mages, 5 Boars, 55 Halflings.
6) Kill the Hydras and Minotaur Kings from afar with your shooters. This gives
you access to 2 boats.
7) Week 2 : replace the Boars with Rocs and leave one free slot in your main
army.
8) Board a boat and capture the green knight castle on the nearby northwest
island. There's a green enemy on a boat near your starting island, get rid
of him a.s.a.p.
9) Fill the fifth slot in your army with Rangers. You now have what I call
the *Fantastic Four* group  : Mages, Elves, Rangers and Halflings...
4 strong shooter stacks with a 5th protector unit (the Rocs). In this
particular scenario, this special configuration will provide you with a
definitive edge since the Battle Garb assures you of maximum morale even
though you have different types of troops and because you will get, at the
very least, 7 damaging attacks per round even on the first turn ! If all
your shooters get high morale bonuses, you might get up to 13 attacks in one
turn !!! Don't forget the double-damage luck bonus possibility too ;-)
10) On this second island, there is an ore mine, a crystal mine and a very
useful lighthouse.
11) A second hero (preferably sorceress) should board the second boat and
explore the southern seas.
12) With your main army, board the boat again and sail north a little.
13) Capture a green barbarian town on a 3rd island (beginning of week 3).
This town, with its shipyard, will be the only place on the map where you
can build new boats.
14) There is another barbarian castle on the 3rd island, north of the
sailor town, which you should take before leaving.
15) There are some useful little islands in the northeast corner of the sea.
At this location, you can pick up resources, more Elves, the blue keyword and
some Fire Elementals.
16) Sail a long way west and capture your fourth main island : the one visible
with the Eye of the Magi and with a green Necromancer castle.
17) Destroy *all* remaining green heroes and castles with your "Fantastic Four"
army. It shouldn't be that hard...
18) Eventually replace your weakened Mage stack by Titans from your starting
castle by casting Town Portal.
19) You might also want to get another powerful shooter stack (like War Trolls)
and change your army into the "Fantastic Five" shooters. Another option is
picking up the strongest walker or flier army possible and placing it just
below the Titans that will suffer the brunt of most attacks. That way, your
second shooter army (in the third slot) is not penalized by enemy fliers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHASE 2 (Conquering the Swamp Island)

In the second phase, you will eliminate the purple and yellow enemies that are
isolated on a swampy-terrain island located in the southwestern part of the
map.
As before, you should cast Town Portal to get more troops from your island
castles.

1) Block the Glowing Lith teleporter leading to the swamp island, until the
green
player is completely eliminated and your main army is ready to attack. When
your
fantastic army is in purple-yellow territory, block the glowing teleporter
right
away with a secondary hero !
2) Eliminate one color at a time ! (either yellow or purple)
3) Try to get Dimension Door by building your mage guilds up to level 5. This
spell will be a true blessing in swampy terrain.
4) My "Fantastic Five" army at this time included : Titans, Archmages, Grand
Elves, Rangers and Halflings. I had sustained heavy barbarian-troops casualties
in phase 1 because of a straggling green hero or I would have used some War
Trolls.
5) Don't worry too much about losing a swamp island castle you have just taken,
but do destroy any enemy heroes patrolling near you.
6) Not knowing the map layout of this island, I generally went south (from
the teleporter) and captured a purple warlock castle.
7) Descend south and capture your 2nd and 3rd purple castles (warlock and
wizard).
8) Go northeast to capture the remaining purple castles. Then make another
"circle round " to recapture the retaken castles and finish purple.
9) "Town Portal" to Algary from time to time in order to visit the nearby
Artesian spring that gives you double spell points.
10) While we're on the subject, high-level combat spellcasting is a
must... I used Chain Lightning, Mass Slow, Mass Haste and Mirror Image
quite often...
11) Kill yellow after purple is totally and utterly eliminated.
12) Unfortunately, my "Fantastic Five" army was devastated by a high-level
yellow enemy casting multiple Armageddons. I replaced my losses with Greater
Druids and War Trolls.
13) It might be possible to clear up the swamp island quicker by splitting
up your main army in 2, but I didn't do this.
14) The yellow enemy was eliminated on month 3, week 3, day 6.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHASE 3 (Necromancer annihiliation)

After eliminating purple and yellow in phase 2, there should only be the red
Necromancers left on the map. They are *extremely* strong with multiple high-
level heroes. Each of them leading hundreds of Bone Dragons and thousands of
other undead creatures (I exagerate a little but they're still the most
powerful
bunch of enemies I've ever encountered in the official scenarios).  Their
castles are also protected by incredibly powerful garrisons. Fortunately for
us,
they're isolated on their little southern-border island and they won't bother
you until you are ready for your great offensive.
1) There are 2 ways to enter the last island :
a) The official way consists of killing a red Warlock (45 Black Dragons,
45 Hydras, 15 Titans and 100 Steel Golems), protecting the Red Traveller's
Tent, in the south-west corner of the map. With the red keyword, you find the
red gate, accessible only by sea travel, open it and take another glowing Lith
that will transport you in the middle of red territory.
b) The sneaky way consists of casting Dimension Door several times in the
south-eastern extremity of the swamp island, near Xanadu and due east of
Sorpigal
(wizard castle). Teleport to a free spot near the shore, teleport across the
river
and then inside red territory. This way has the distinct advantage of not
forcing
you to weaken your armies by fighting the powerful red Warlock.
2) Important items to have before the invasion : Pendant of Life (protecting
you
against Dead Wave) and Stateman's Quill (reduces the cost of surrendering).
3) With my "Fantastic Five", I ventured deep into red territory, using
hit-and-run
tactics on the castles (I capture them but I don't leave garrisons). I avoided
most
necromancer heroes (especially Ibn Fadlan) for the moment and tried to end my
turns
inside a newly-captured necromancer castle out of reach of enemies.
4) My "Fantastic Five" did some damage but were nowhere near powerful enough to
do
the job alone...
5) When my main army became too weak, I casted "Town Portal" to get
reinforcements
or simply surrendered myself out of red territory. When I surrendered, I then
came
back a little later with another army to continue the weakening of the
necromancers.
6) Against multiple-stacks undead armies, I often used Mass Slow and Mirror
Image
on my most powerful stack. Holy Shout wasn't used very much, because the enemy
undead stacks were too numerous for the spell to have any significant impact.
7) Against a single Bone Dragon army, I casted Steelskin on my highest-level
shooter stack and then Resurrect True on each subsequent turn while my other
armies got rid of the big Bone Dragon stack.
8) The full roster of my armies changed approximately 4 times, until I finished
red up with the good old Dragon-Armageddon combo.
9) If you used the sneaky way to get inside red territory, don't forget to get
rid of the red warlock in the southwest corner or you will never finish the
campaign :-)
             -- Sebastien Patenaude

This final scenerio was paticularily difficult, as I had no advantages
discussed
in your [strategy] tips page (I take it the guy who wrote the [strategy] tip
got
the elven alliance and 3 parts of the artifact). I had none of these.

Here is how I did the final scenerio. I took the 5 mage option. On week 1 I
loaded got my main hero one boar and dumped all the slow troops in the main
castle, and headed south to get the alchemist guild going. One boar means you
move fast. With the money I got there, I recruited a second hero (dumped his
troops and gave him a boar). and sent him north of the hydras getting those
resources. On day two, I took my main hero to the slingers,  then the castle,
and I recruited everything. (no golems)  I then took out the Minotaurs and
hopped in the boat. My second hero grabbed the ore and went into the castle.
His job would be to relay the troops to my main hero in the boat. The main hero
circled the island, and by the time he was on the other side, I had steel
golems
in the boat with him from my second hero. I then made a week 1, day 7 capture
of the knight castle on the first isle.

The second week I returned, and had my 2nd hero give my main hero the turn 1
production on the boat before he landed at the hydras (and took them out). I
then
took the elven mine, and reboarded the boat. It was off for the second island.
I landed and immediated grabbed the sulfur mine, as it was sulfur which was
preventing me from building the mage tower. I ignored the small city, and went
immediately for the large barbarian castle to the north. I took out the single
hero in transit, and captured the city in time for the second week's
production.
I then recruited a barbarian hero and had him gather all the barbarian units
from the island (including the troll bridge).
It wasn't until much later in the game that I noticed the small barbarian city
sells boats. Had I known this, I would have recruited a few scout type heros
and sent them off to scavenge the seas. I did this later and it really turned
up many resources. Had I done this early, I might have had a jump on
production,
in addition to having visibility of enemy movements.

I then proceeded to campaign on continents 3&4, the last stronghold of green.
I landed on the main continent. I should have begun the campaign on the isle
with only one necromancer city. It was a hard campaign. It was complicated
because of people coming through the transporter from one continent to the
next.
The key to winning was recruiting a single 'gatekeeper' hero, who would cross
the transporter and just sit there, preventing anyone else from coming through
it until he moved. This decoupled the two continents and made it easy. In this
segement I had my most memorable HOMM2 battle ever- green was down to two
heros.
One of them went after one of the sorceress cities. All I had there was a
recruit
hero and one turns production. The enemy had a big stack of slingers and steel
golems. I used the towns defenses to the hilt, as the attacker sucked with
ballistics. I ran out of mana and was down to grand elves and dwarves verses
his steel golems. The elves ran out of ammo, so I used them to initiate battle.
They acted before the dwarves and would take the counter attack off my dwarves.
The elves would do 2 hp and the dwarves up to 4. It went down to 1 on 1- my
dwarf
verses one steel golem, and the dwarf prevailed just barely.

Well the last green hero went down to my main hero the next turn with ease,
and I cheered. The very next turn a red hero showed up with 169 bone dragons,
101 vampire lords, and 280 skeletons! Red made short work of me. He squashed
all of my gains and took all of the green continent. I even had to surrender
with my main hero.
Well this called for retrenching. I restarted my main hero in my wizard keep,
which I had fortunately had bought the titan improvement during my brief
wealth of conquering green. So I just concentrated on building titans. I sent
out heros to scour the seas, which yielded many resources and artifacts (and
even a fire elemental altar). I was able to return to continents 3&4 with two
strike forces- my wizard main hero with standard wizard troops, and my by now
powerful barbarian.
Here is the key to victory in this scenerio- red is hero limited, and when he
conquers, he splits up his conquering stack  garrisoning each conquered city.
You can not take him on directly, but you can take him out once he is weakened
by garrisioning his conquests, and you can take out the conquests as well. So
my main hero rolled over all of the conquests of red, and red himself on
continents 3&4.
So I headed through the portal south into the land of yellow with my two heros.
The barbarian I sent north to take out the barbarian cities, and my main one
I sent sweeping south. I had about half the continent conquered before red
showed up again, this time with 212 bones and 320 power liches. Geez.
He stomped me. I must have played the battle over and over 15 times before
I decided it was truely unwinable. I surrendered, and regrouped. This time I
was smart in that I had a gatekeeper blocking the portal between green and
yellow lands, so I had two wizard cities producing titans. Red proceeded to
trounce me, and beat up on yellow some.
I then went for the unbeatable force. I sent someone to the elemental altar
and recruited all 70 fire elementals. They were my line center. I then got
all the crusaders from my knight city. They were my wing. I had rocs, titans,
and archmagi rouding out my stack. Later I went to crusaders instead of fire
elementals in the center. I built up my mage guild to level 5 and got lucky
with ressurect true.
I then went back. Same thing. Red was dispersed and killable. I took out
yellow and secured yellows continent. My barbarian got a huge force from the
3 cites there. I used my rest of my heroes to pipeline troops from all three
wizard cities to me.
It was then time for red. Red is nasty. I went in there with dimension door,
and took one city. I would then flee back to my continent, receive fresh
troops, hit the 2x mana pool, and return for another strike. By doing this
red would split his troops up and break his strong stacks up by re-garrisoning
the city.
Fighting these strong necromancer stacks is tricky. What works for me is
casting mass slow, and using the shooters to take out/reduce the vampire lord
stacks and bone dragon stacks. In the end I was facing 800 stacks of vampire
lords and 400 stacks of bone dragons. Invariably mass bless helped. Usually it
came down to a slugfest between the dragons and me. There are two ways to
handle this. One is to use mirror image on the titan stack, and position your
troops so that for the bones to attack the image, they must be off your titans.
Then you can cast it over and over. Each turn you shoot his stack with the
image before he kills the image with his bones, and all your stacks stay
strong.

To use the crusaders, hit the bones with either your titans in melee or in a
pinch your rocs or steel golems. They take the counter hit. You then ressurect
them. Then hit the bones with your two free pops from the crusaders with no
return attack. This keeps your crusaders strong and maximizes their damage.
I took out red on a final blitz with my main hero, who had 89 titans, 100
archmagi, 50 crusaders, 80 knights, and 120 rocs.
If I had to do it over, I would:
(1) recognize the importance of the crusaders verses red sooner. They really
whittle down large red stacks. I would have protected them better, and held
them in reserve for the final assault.
(2) gone ship searching after taking barbarian isle.
(3) invade greens stronghold from the single necromancer city island first,
then shut down the portal with a gatekeeper hero.
(4) Block the gate south into the land asap (green/yellow gate)
(5) Establish titan supply line sooner

             -- Lok (Mike Ferry)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Descendants
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Descendants Campaign

Descendants Campaign 01 -- Conquer And Unify
Descendants Campaign 02 -- Border Towns
Descendants Campaign 03 -- The Wayward Son Descendants
Descendants Campaign 04 -- Crazy Uncle Ivan
Descendants Campaign 05 -- The Southern War Descendants
Descendants Campaign 06 -- Ivory Gates Descendants
Descendants Campaign 07 -- The Elven Lands
Descendants Campaign 08 -- The Epic Battle (With Elven Alliance)

Descendants Campaign 01 -- Conquer And Unify

A word of warning from the Quebec Dragon to potential readers :
My strategies are usually written from my first exploration of the maps
and may not be considered absolutely definitive because some previous
scenario knowledge would be necessary for that. I also reload very rarely
and don't care much about high scores (I prefer exploration, devising new
tactics and coping with my mistakes) so my scores won't be the best possible.
To get the most enjoyment out of my strategies, I suggest trying the scenario
on your own at least once or twice before reading what I wrote. That way your
fun won't be spoiled. If you're stuck or have trouble winning, feel free to
consult my pointers. If you've have already won, feel free to compare your
strategies with mine or even submit your own if you think your way is different
or better than mine.  I try to include general strategic/tactical
considerations
(tips and advice) in my walkthroughs to help make you a better player so even
the easier scenario strategies might have some "pearls of draconic wisdom" ;-).
Enjoy and may your campaigns always be victorious !

"Conquer and Unify" is a small map in which you start with the barbarian
Jarkonas the 1st. I won in 18 days.
1) As in most small maps, strike fast and hard before the computer opponents
have time to build up.
2) On day 1, buy a second hero (preferably barbarian) and give all available
troops to Jarkonas.
3) Jarkonas's army should pick up everything (mines and resources) in his
small northwest corner.
4) Choose experience instead of gold from the chests unless it gives you
only 500 experience points.
5) On week 1, build every monster structure (except Pyramid of course ;-)
and a well. In small and medium maps, I usually never build castle defenses
or mage guilds.
6) Keep some gold for buying new troops on week 2, day 1.
7) With the marketplace, exchange all your resources for gold (around 4000
gold)
8) Buy all available barbarian troops and transfer them to Jarkonas (army at
this time : 8 Trolls, 10 Ogres, 104 Goblins, 11 Wolves, 24 Orcs... Ogres were
not very useful so if you're strapped for cash don't buy them).
9) Beat the lots of Wolves and burst out of your corner.
10) Don't lose precious time with the center town Blackridge.
11) Your opponent's castles are in the 3 other corners.
12) Suggested order of conquest : southwest yellow (middle of week 2),
southeast
blue (end of week 2), northeast red (middle of week 3).
13) If you wish, you can give reinforcements to Jarkonas from the initial
barbarian castle before tackling your last adversary. I didn't need them.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 02 -- Border Towns
I must admit that I had to replay this scenario twice, not because the first
time was tough but because I had no clear ideas on how to write the winning
strategy. There's also the fact that I made several stupid mistakes on both
attempts. So what I did for this walkthrough is combine the best tactics from
both games and share my errors with you. My first game was completed in 46 days
(month 2, week 3, day 4) while I decided not to complete my second game for
reasons I will explain later.
1) Be patient !!!
2) On the first day, your 3 border towns will get attacked by your enemy.
3) Only the sorceress town is defendable because the attacking enemy has lousy
knight troops while the other attackers have wizard troops.
4) Transform your sorceress town into a castle. Buy the Dwarves and Sprites.
With your ballista, it should be enough to repel this early invasion.
5) On week 1, hire 2 heroes at your sorceress castle. One will stay around
to protect it while the other (I suggest sorceress or barbarian) will make
a little trek : go a little north then east to visit an Observation Tower in
the swamp, go roughly southeast avoiding the swamp terrain until you reach
the shore, go south until you reach a beach with a boat.
6) This trekking hero should avoid the green heroes at all cost. This hero
won't do much fighting but she can pick up some goodies in the water and on
the small islands. Give her gold instead of experience from chests.
7) Build up your warlock and sorceress castles avoiding the purchase of Mage
Guilds which would lower your precious stock of resources.
8) Some learning mistakes I made : I left my sorceress castle undefended, I was
too agressive in conquering castles and could not keep them, I attacked a pack
of ghosts with Griffins where I should have attacked with Hydras, in the second
game I could have won in less time if only the computer didn't have Lightning
and his darn Rocs :-)
9) In week 2, your sorceress castle is probably going to be attacked. Be
prepared
and don't let your protecting hero venture too far until several weeks later
(around the beginning of month 2).
10) With a 2-week old Warlock army, I saw an opportunity to retake the
barbarian
village to the east. I killed the zombie stack blocking the northeast passage
and I conquered it quite easily at the end of week 2. Unfortunately, a mighty
wizard army was patrolling around...  He did not have the guts to attack me
and I didn't want to weaken myself by attacking him so we had a kind of
stalemate.
11) We exchanged possession of the barbarian village several times while also
visiting the numerous Magic Gardens in the nearby clearing. The enemy retook
the
town but sometimes decided to split his army which was my objective.
12) This early strike against the barbarian village is a gamble because the
strong
patrolling hero may or may not be around. In my first game this annoying enemy
wasn't there so the barbarian village wasn't so hotly disputed (probably
destroyed
himself on a wandering stack or just went another way).
13) Anyway, if you don't feel lucky, there might be a better more prudent
alternative : just build up your warlock army during the first month while
capturing all the nearby mines (ore, gold, sawmill) and defeating the wandering
stacks. Do pick your fights carefully though and don't attack if you're not
sure
of winning with minimum casualties.
14) Around week 4 or 5, you attack on two fronts : your warlock army captures
the
barbarian town (if it hasn't done so already) and your sorceress army goes west
and captures the necromancer castle (leaving the sorceress castle on day 6 is a
great idea)
15) At this time, in my second game, I unwisely decided to press my attack
against
the wizard castle in the northeast swamp. My main warlock-army got decimated by
the strong spellcasters wandering around and I abandonned this game. I could
have
won eventually but I didn't have the courage to rebuild my armies.
16) It turned out that my first end-game strategy was better... Build a Dragon
Tower around week 6 (more or less), wait until you have 4 Green Dragons and
then
go destroy your remaining opponents. Their strong magic cannot help them this
time around because your nice Dragons are immune to all spellcasting ;-)
In conclusion, I would like to remind you of the virtue of patience (necessary
for a good army build-up if your opponent is superior) and to watch out for
the several pesky enemy heroes wandering about. Conquer their towns, strip
them of troops and let the AI retake them. He will tend to split his mighty
army in 2 weak armies.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 03 -- The Wayward Son
You will start with 3 heroes : a warlock, a sorceress and a barbarian called
Rogar that have to find the "wayward son" Joseph before 2 months have passed.
I liked playing this scenario mostly because of the time limit that added a lot
of suspense. Since this was my first try at the map, I didn't know what was
coming or how long it would take to reach the objective, therefore speed and
combat effectiveness were of utmost importance.  I finished in 44 days (month
2,
week 3, day 2).
1) Give the Centaurs and Gargoyles (except one for your warlock) to the
barbarian
and dismiss your Dwarves because they would slow you down.
2) I decided to use Rogar the barbarian as my warrior hero (who would get most
of the experience chests), the warlock as a scout (who will stay on the first
island a while for reinforcements) and the sorceress as a navigator and
"pack-mule"
for carrying troops. I learned later that the warlock *should* have been my
main
warrior hero for obvious reasons that I could not have guessed the first time
around...
3) On your initial island, you will quickly find a scroll with Summon Boat
scribed on it. Give it to your sorceress, make her go west to the shore (where
you started out) and cast "Summon Boat" twice.
4) You should also try the Daemon caves. Even if you're unlucky it will only
cost
you 2500 gold to regain your precious hero.
5) Capture the warlock town north of the Daemon cave. Buy some more Centaurs
and
Gargoyles. Leave your Orc Chiefs in the town. Don't forget to BUY A SPELLBOOK
for
Rogar the barbarian !
6) In this particular scenario, no town can be tranformed into a castle.
7) As previously mentionned, pick the experience from chests for your main
hero.
Logistics, navigation, pathfinding and leadership are quite good skills to
improve.
Improving your wisdom is a must if you picked the warlock as your main warrior
hero.
8) Explore both volcanic small islands (shouldn't take long) and make your main
hero board a boat and sail west. While this is going on, your sorceress is
picking
up most of the goodies in the water and your third hero is patiently waiting in
your quaint warlock town.
9) At the beginning of week 3 , your main hero should have disembarked at the
only
entrance to the orange peninsula. The hero in your initial town will have
carried
reinforments (Centaurs, Gargoyles and Griffins) to the sorceress waiting on the
western shore in her boat.
10) The sorceress will sail a little westward and give the troops (and all
items
she carries including the scroll) to your main hero. His army at this time : 51
Centaurs, 10 Ogre Lords, 24 Gargoyles, 10 Wolves and 16 Griffins.
11) To minimize losses, only attack Ghosts with Ogre Lords, Griffins and a few
sacrificial Centaurs.
12) Resist the temptation of attacking stacks that are not blocking your way
(meaning stacks that protect mines or a "closed clearing" of goodies). They are
mostly red herrings (is that the correct expession ?) and would weaken your
army
too much for too little benefit. Besides, since you cannot build-up castles,
you
will have plenty of gold anyway.
13) Attack the western vilage you encounter (Lavalor). Buy troops and replace
your
Wolves by Minotaur Kings.
14) Go east with your main hero bypassing the center area until you reach a 3rd
village (Vaultius) in the east peninsula. Replace your Centaurs by Archmages.
15) Notice that this town has a level-5 Mage Guild... Now you know why picking
a
warlock as your main hero was the better choice. Rogar the barbarian would have
been a better primary offensive hero if there had been no free high-level mage
guilds scattered in towns around the map. In any case, it's possible to win
using
the barbarian as your main hero (as I did) but without magic the going will be
tougher.
16) Buy all Medusas in the Ruins around Vaultius (a secondary hero can do this)
and replace the Gargoyles in your main army by this stronger stack.
17) Northwest of Vaultius, there is a small passage protected by Steel Golems.
It leads to lots of gold, several gold mines and an observation tower that
will show you Island Home, the town where Joseph is held captive. I visited
this clearing but I consider it facultative for achieving victory.
18) Go back to the central hub and go north unlocking the blue barrier.
19) Capture your 4th village (DragonTooth). Replace your Ogre Lords by Red
Dragons. I hope you have enough sulfur... if not, there are sulfur mines
protected by Nomads to your west. If you wish, you can also use Fire Elementals
bought from a nearby altar as a fifth stack (I didn't).
20) Go east, cast summon boat and attack the Titans protecting Island Home.
21) My main hero's army for this next-to-last battle was : 5 Red Dragons
(I could have had 4 more if I waited a week later), 14 Archmages, 16 Minotaur
Kings, 46 Medusas and 38 Griffins.
22) Against the Titans, your Archmages will mostly serve as sacrificial troops
until your flyers/walkers reach the Titans. Griffins should place themselves
between 2 different Titan stacks and not attack. Mass spells (Mass Haste, Mass
Bless, Mass Curse and Mass Slow) are quite useful against Titans (immune to
mind-affecting spells, such as Blind, and with too many hit points for
offensive-damaging spells to make much of an impact)
23) After that, Island Home was a piece of cake to conquer.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 04 -- Crazy Uncle Ivan
You have 3 months to find your long lost relative Uncle Ivan. The map is
pretty linear so I won't go into too much detail. Follow the path, pick
your fights carefully and you'll be all right. Keep in mind that no other
enemy colors will bother you in your quest so don't lose gold protecting
castles. I finished in 62 days (month 3, week 1, day 6)
1) Initial hero begins with 15 Archers and 15 Swordmen
2) Follow road northeast and capture Borderlands town
3) Transform into castle
4) Continue following road but take detour to get sawmill.
5) Getting the ore mine in the Sprite clearing is up to you. Might be
prudent to wait until week 2. I attacked on week 1 myself because I
thought the losses of Archers & Centaurs would be offset by the free
Halflings and the recruitable Sprites.
6) Hire another Barbarian before the end of the week who will take some
mines, act as scout but mostly serve as a "buddy" for main hero carrying
extra troops.
7) Don't make the same mistake I did. Build a Mage Guild and buy spell
books for your barbarian heroes. There will be lots of shrines later.
8) At the beginning of week 3 (after having bought all available troops
in castle), go northwest from initial castle and clear the passage
leading out.
9) Watch out for morale conflicts. 3 different creature types in the same
army is acceptable (only -1 morale) but 4 is not. Disregard that last
comment if you have some good leadership
10) In the beginning game, use sacrificial shooters (everything but
Centaurs) to beat pesky flyers or shooters. The computer will concentrate
his attacks on your expendable shooters while your other troops close in
for the kill. It's a good way to keep your more important shooter stack
alive longer. The other way is by using the "pocket" formation explained
below.
11) Get the Nomad Boots. It's even more important in a time-limit scenario.
12) Build Maze and Swamp on week 3.
13) Forget about saving gold, ore and sulfur for the Dragon Tower. They
won't be required.
14) Main hero's army at beginning of week 4 : 61 Centaurs, 19 Griffins,
20 Gargoyles, 8 Minotaur Kings and 13 Swordmen. Extra troops (Halflings
and Sprites) are carried by buddy hero.
15) Use pocket formation to protect Centaurs (Griffins split into 1st and
3rd positions with the Centaurs in 2nd spot and a very fast stack that
moves in front of the Centaurs on its first turn) against flying wandering
stacks when you're out of expendable shooters. In my game, I did not split
the Griffins, preferring to keep a strong 5th stack (the Swordmen). This
meant that my Centaurs could get attacked from one direction instead of none
with the split Griffins.
16) Attack second Warlock town (Gorgomar). Replenish Centaurs, Gargoyles,
Minotaur Kings and Griffins. Venture east.
17) Don't ever attack the Zounds ! of Black Dragons you will encounter.
That's suicide.
18) Notice all the shrines in the north-center clearing. Aren't you glad
you didn't forget to buy a spell book for your barbarian like I did ?
19) Visit all the Watch Towers to get lots of free Orcs.
20) Capture 3rd town (Gungtooth) in the northeast corner around the end
of week 5.
21) Take note of the nearby Stone Lith. It links your initial castle and
Gungtooth
22) Northeast corner, north of crystal mine = it's possible to pass west
to a nice little hidden valley
23) Transform Gungtooth into castle, build shipyard and boat.
24) Week 6 is the start of your river odyssey. Board a boat and
navigate south.
25) Main hero's army at this time : 53 Griffins, 107 Centaurs, 62
Gargoyles, 36 Minotaur Kings and 150 Sprites.
26) Buddy hero's army : 158 Orcs, 82 Halflings, 18 Hydras, 42 Archers.
Notice that they are all slow or very slow troops, not to mention
shooter intensive.
27) Southeast corner highlights = more Halflings and Sprites, Hill Fort
for upgrading the Orcs and Stone Liths.
28) Use Stone Liths until you reach the center of the land (desert).
That's with the 2 heroes by the way.
29) Against Phoenix, which are tough because they will always move
before you do, use main hero, exchange shooters to buddy hero, keep
strongest walkers and the Griffins. Those flyers with their unlimited
retaliation are great against Phoenix. Example : With a 60 Griffin
stack, I lost only 7 while killing 9 Phoenix.
30) You don't really need all the Nomads (Tents) protected by the Phoenix
stacks but it's nice to know they are there :-).
31) Same thing for all the free Skeletons in the excavations.
32) I did "rub" some Genie's Lamps but only the unprotected ones on
the way west.
33) Several Pyramids could provide you with 5th-level spells. I did not
raid them since my Barbarian had lousy wisdom and no spell book. Even then,
I would not have lost time there because my army was already more than
enough for the last task ahead.
34) Ivanhome, where Uncle Ivan resides of course :-), is easy to take...
The bad news is that there is a throng of Ghosts at the entrance.
35) Surprisingly, my main hero's army won both battles with relatively
few losses (I did not attack with 1st-level troops though).
36) Huge shooter armies (Centaurs, Halflings, Orcs) didn't really come
into play starting from Gungtooth. They were too vulnerable against the
Ghosts, the Genies and the Phoenix.
Victory gives you the "Uncle Ivan" award permitting you to hire him
(a fifth-level Barbarian) in the first week of each following scenario
in the campaign.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 05 -- The Southern War
The Southern War is quite an interesting scenario because it is quite
well balanced and challenging without resorting to unfair computer
"advantages". I completed this scenario in 85 days (month 4, week 1,
day 3).

MONTH 1
1) The enemies are probably allied since I saw them cross paths often
without attacking each other. Keep this in mind while you play...
2) Read the beginning event very carefully. It says that there are 2 towns
to your west and one castle to your east.
3) Hire either Joseph or Ivan, the 5th-level hero, on the first day. For
the rest of the walkthrough, I will refer to Joseph to make the text shorter.
4) Joseph should have all the troops except for the lone Giant and the
Rocs who will go with your starting hero (referred from now on as Number
One ;-).
5) Joseph will follow the road east and capture the castle Drakoran.
6) Number One will follow the road west and capture the 2 green towns
(the left-most one will probably be a castle).
7) Don't forget to enter Woodville (the first town west) for some nice
magic spells. Buy some wizard troops reinforcements if you have some gold
to spare
8) Don't worry too much about the green barbarian patrolling around :
he's a wimp.  It is quite possible that he will destroy or weaken himself
on the wandering stacks so check his troops with your right-mouse button
before attacking. If you're not sure of winning with minimum casualties,
delay his elimination until week 2 after Number One's army has been boosted
by fresh troops from the western sorceress castle.
9) During the first few weeks, try to avoid attacking fast or very fast
shooters wandering armies (like Grand Elves, Mages or Liches).
10) Try to build the Roc's Cliff Nest on week 1.
11) Build marketplaces in all 3 castles if you have enough wood. Also try
to build the Mage Guild and Ivory Tower in your wizard castle during week 2.
12) Retake Woodville if you had lost it. Watch out for the strength of the
garrison. I won the town back in week 2 but it was a close battle. It was
worth it though because it left me all alone in the northern mountains (brown
dirt terrain) and the useful wizard troops of Woodville (Rocs, Halflings,
Steel Golems and Boars) would be bought by me in the following weeks and not
by my stranded enemy.
13) Notice that there are 3 or 4 Medusa Ruins relatively close to each other.
This will eventually make another excellent stack for Number One.
14) After approximately one month, give your best armies to Joseph and descend
from the moutains by the path of least resistance (protected by the weakest
stack). You can always decide to kill this guardian stack sooner and send in
some early scouts...

MONTH 2
1) Joseph is now in the green plains and should have no trouble taking the 2
castles there.
2) Those 2 castles will serve as a "buffer zone" between you and the jungle
enemies. It will slow them down and hopefully weaken them enough (by ballista
fire and splitting up their armies for garrison duty) so that they have trouble
reaching your primary bases.
3) It doesn't matter if the enemy keeps a castle for a while as long as you
take it back at the end of the week (day 7 or 1). It might even prove
beneficial
since the computer will likely build some "free" structures.
4) Number One will stay in the mountains for 2 months picking up everything
of value.
5) Always leave one free slot in Number One's army, several wandering stacks
will surely join him (transfer the weaker 5th stack, in terms of hit points,
to a "buddy" hero). It eventually gave me 2 big armies for the price of one!
6) Little castle defense tactical tip : Fill up the 5 spots in the garrison
by splitting troops. That way, the stronger enemy will have to suffer one or
two more turns of ballista damage.
7) After 2 months, I controlled the brown mountains and the green northern
plains. My expendable scouts had explored a good chunk of the jungle and Joseph
had even managed to reach the beach by following the southwestern path out of
the plains.
8) Joseph eventually got ambushed by red enemies on the beach but I just
surrendered and rehired him.

MONTH 3
1) Great offensive with 2 big armies on 2 different fronts : Joseph's in the
east and Number One's in the west.
2) Watch out for enemies coming out of teleporters or attacking your plain
castles.
3) Do not let *any* army pass you by (Joseph lost a lot of time retaking the
castles in the plain buffer zone)
4) I decided to attack the red barbarians in the jungle first because they
seemed more dangerous and I didn't want to leave them a chance to build-up.
5) A better alternative might have been to conquer the west yellow sorceresses
first. That would have given me easier access to the beach and all the goodies
hidden behind barriers.
6) Stone Liths are quite important. They "link" the jungle red castles
together.
7) Use the "Hit and Run" tactic. Take castle, buy any creature not bought
and leave it. This is good for splitting the armies of the computer opponent.
8) If possible, don't attack a castle with a hero in it.
9) Earthquake is good for reducing shooter casualties from ballista fire...
10) Dispel Magic and Cure are great against Blind. If your opponent can
dispel your own Blind spells, just shoot the blinded stack before the
next enemy stack gets its turn.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 06 -- Ivory Gates
Remember that the victory objective is capturing the Ivory Gates castle
and NOT elimininating all enemies. I won in 78 days (month 3, week 4,
day 1) suffering several interesting setbacks along the way. In HOMM 2,
"losing" is often a learning experience ;-)
1) Hire either Joseph or Ivan on day 1 and make him your main hero.
2) Buy Mage Guild Level 1.
3) Take gold from the chests (except when it gives you 1500 Xp) in the
first few days to buy a few more creature-structures in the first week.
4) Attack level-1 walkers in the first week but avoid attacking Sprites
until week 2 where they will possibly join you. Attacking wandering
shooters is up to you but prepare to suffer some losses if you do. DO
NOT ATTACK ELVES OR FASTER SHOOTERS TOO SOON ! Let the red enemies clear
them for you.
5) Capture west sorceress castle on day 1 or 2 of week 2 with your main
hero. Make sure to give him reinforcements from your initial castle
before the conquest.
6) Watch out for the red barbarians. You could maybe get attacked in week
2 or 3 but the probability is less if you don't make your main hero venture
too far from home territory.
7) If the reds are really too close and are going in your direction, leave
the main hero inside the initial castle.
8) Brown dirt land is red barbarian territory
9) Snow land in the norhtwest is green wizard territory.
10) On week 3, I rushed out from my clearing with my main hero.
11) Avoiding or attacking the red heroes depends on circumstances.
12) Avoid the red heroes if they have lots of Grand Elves (or other
wandering stacks that are not barbarian) or if you're not sure of winning
with minimum casualties.
13) Attack the red heroes if they have been weakened significantly while
trying to kill wandering stacks.
14) There's an Alchemist Lab (mercury) north of the clearing. It's worth
taking it if you're not in danger of being attacked by red.
15) The safer option would be avoiding the red heroes entirely, going
north-northwest and capturing the barbarian castle in the center of the map.
16) This is red's main castle. If you're lucky he doesn't have the town in
the southwest corner and you can wait him out one week for default
elimination. If you're not lucky (more likely ;-), then he has the town
in the southwest corner and you will have to capture it eventually.
17) It's possible to build the Phoenix Red Tower in week 4.
18) Red was eliminated in the middle of week 2, but not before he eliminated
4 of my precious Phoenix with a lucky shot :-(
19) Your main army, composed of sorceress troops, can launch the offensive
in green territory from the west (north of the southwest corner castle) or
east (northeast from barbarian castle). Not knowing the map, I decided to
pick the eastern way and explore the northeast corner.
20) There are lots of chests and resources in the northeast corner (enough
to build a Dragon Tower even) but it would have been better if my best army
had ventured in the northwest corner first as you will discover by reading on.
21) Your barbarian army should protect your castles from green incursions
while your killer stack (main army) is busy elsewhere... or at least weaken
the green enemies a bit before they reach your important home castles. Ideally,
your barbarian castle will serve as a "buffer zone".
22) At this time, I suffered a serious setback when scouting with my barbarian
army near the snowy green territory. I got attacked by a super-strong wizard
army out of nowhere. I surrendered but not before being losing many troops that
could have better served as garrison. I should have stayed around my barbarian
castle with my barbarian army and NOT attract green's attention like I
recklessly did.
23) After that, a powerful green army with Titans conquered my barbarian
castle and my 2 home sorceress castles. I weakened him as much as I could
with my garrisons but I could not stop his onslaught. This enemy had Dimension
Door and Summon Earth Elemental !!!
24) Little castle defense tip : you have lots of gold but no more troops to
buy ? Hire a spellcasting hero, attack the nearby enemy with only a very fast
troop, cast a powerful offensive spell (don't forget Berserker if you have it,
it's quite good), surrender, rehire the spellcaster (or another one if he has
no more spell points) and repeat.
25) How do you handle a powerful spellcaster with a Summon Elemental Spell ?
You kill all the non-elemental stacks and then surrender. That way, the enemy
will be "eliminated" because his Elementals are only temporary :-)
26) At this time, my main army was still intact in the northeast corner
(44 Druids, 100 Battle Dwarves, 75 Elves (boosted to 139 by a wandering
stack ;-), 196 Sprites and 9 Phoenix). The poweful green invader had been
weakened and had split his army to garrison my lost castles. My castle in the
southwest corner (random but warlock in this game) had not been attacked and
had a significant army including 4 Red Dragons.
27) My main army destroyed easily the remains of the green invading super-hero
who had ventured close to it.
28) My main army then rushed west deep into green territory... It captured the
southern-most enemy castle and then went north to capture the secondary wizard
castle Witthingham (east of Ivory Gates). Bide your time, if there are more
than a few Titans in the garrison, until an enemy leaves the castle with those
troops. Tip : Stay a day-away from any castle to lure the defending hero
outside.
29) As I had guessed, there were some unbought Titans in this castle and a
level-5 Mage Guild with a library (where Dimension Door and Summon Earth
Elemental
came from).
30) The enemy is "stuck" in Ivory Gates so don't worry about it until you are
ready to attack.
31) This isn't totally necessary but I decided to retake my sorceress castles
in
the southeast corner with my army in the southwest corner.
32) To win, you must capture Ivory Gates protected by approximately : 18
Titans,
87 Steel Golems, 24 Rocs, 65 Archmages and 17 Giants (more or less depending on
when you attack).
33) My army was composed of 8 Titans and my best surviving sorceress stacks led
by a very powerful spellcaster (Joseph). I won by using fourth and fifth-level
spells even though my army was much weaker than my opponent. Spells used : Mass
Haste (once), Chain Lightning (once), Resurrect on my Titans and most
importantly
Summon Earth Elemental (3 times). I haven't used them but Blind, Paralyse or
Berserker might be good on enemy stacks other than Giants and Titans that are
immune to mind spells.
34) As you see, it's possible to win with a lesser army if you make good use of
the high-level spells you do manage to get.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 07 -- The Elven Lands
I suggest choosing this path instead of Descendants 6 because even though it
takes slightly longer to win Descendants 7, the Elven Alliance is very useful
in the last scenario of the campaign. "The Elven Lands" is eerily similar to
Descendants 3 and 4 because there's a time limit, no enemy colors and the path
is mostly linear with few chances to deviate. You must accomplish one task
before doing the next. I finished in 100 days (month 4, week 3, day 2).
1) Hire Joseph or Ivan. Give him all troops except a few very fast troops that
will go with the scout.
2) Buy spell books for your barbarians especially Ivan !
3) Plenty of gold everywhere but very few mines and no other resources
scattered around. Therefore, you will have to use the trading post fairly
often.
4) Don't attack wandering stacks that guard spell protection items (like
seeing-eye pendant for Blind) : they're useless since there's no computer
opponent to cast spells against you.
5) Visit nearby Dwarf cottage, return to castle and upgrade to Battle Dwarves.
6) Do not visit the Graveyard right away if ever. 100 Zombies would inflict
too much casualties on your initial army.
7) Clear the Golems from north road on the middle of week 2.
8) Take pathfinding as secondary skill whenever you can.
9) Fireball scroll hidden in the clearing with the 2 first level shrines.
Fireball will be good later on against shooters when Joseph has better spell
power. If you have Ivan the barbarian, this spell is a loss of time.
10) I  bought the Druids last (not the dwelling, the troops) after maxing
out on the Grand Elves, Sprites and Battle Dwarves. In the first 3 weeks,
I had no Druids at all in my main army.
11) Build Fenced Meadow on week 3
12) How to defeat lots of very fast shooters or flyers ? Give sacrificial
shooters (Orcs, Halflings) to main hero, leave Grand Elves with other hero
and/or cast Haste on Battle Dwarves and Sprites. Keep in mind that it's
quite possible for a wandering stack to join you for greater glory if you
have a sufficiently big army. Against Grand Elves stacks, I took the risk
of keeping my own Grand Elves in the main army hoping for a lucky break.
13) Form hero "pipeline" from initial castle to your main hero at the front
lines. An hero pipeline is composed of secondary heroes who are all 1-day
away from each other.
14) Buy all troops except Unicorns (including Druids for the first time) at
the start of week 4 and transfer them to main hero through the pipeline.
15) North of Deadly Marshes entrance (swamp) is a nice Halfling Hole.
16) Before venturing in the swamp (middle of week 4), I had the following
army : 12 Grand Elves, 56 Sprites, 18 Druids, 47 Battle Dwarves and 57
Halflings.
17) Beginning of week 5, capture barbarian village in the swamp. Castle
constructed at the end of that week for additional revenue not as a troop
source. Only 2 dwellings you should build in barbarian castle is the
Marketplace
and the Statue. Not developping this castle will save you a lot of gold.
I admit that in my game I upgraded this castle as usual but I found later
on that all those Barbarian troops were purely unnecessary.
18) Try to leave a free spot in your main army if you suspect that a wandering
stack might join you. There's a 20% chance that a weaker wandering stack might
join if your own army is, at least, twice as strong (in terms of hit points
total) as itself. If the wandering stack flees, it means your army was strong
enough but that you were unlucky. With experience, you can almost develop a
sixth sense about that kind of stuff :-)
19) Phoenix Red Tower built on week 6
20) Month 2, week 4 : I left the swamp. New reinforcements from sorceress
castle began their long journey.
21) Go rougly north. Liberate Gallavant the Knight from jail.
22) Attack Ghosts with Phoenix and walker knight troops transferred from
Gallavant (not needed but I had too many stacks and only Gallavant and Ivan
were around). Don't forget to cast Holy Word if you have it.
23) Capture Sorceress town Sorpigal in the northeast corner (around month 3,
week 2). Like the earlier barbarian town, transform into castle but don't buy
dwellings other than the marketplace and statue. I decided to save my gold for
getting troops from map dwellings and the initial castle.
24) It's possible to cast Summon Boat at the nearby lake. With all the shrines
you've visited and the Second-level Mage Guild in your initial castle, you
should hopefully have that spell.
25) Use a sorceress "courrier" to bring reinforcements through whirlpool.
To prevent losing half a stack, use 2 sprites as a 5th stack. They will
die after a couple of trips but at least their sacrifice will not be in
vain ;-)
26) Blue Tent is in southwest corner of the land.
27) Go southwest-west from the northeast lake. Grab the scroll with
Mass Bless.
28) Liberate Astra the Sorceress and transfer her troops to your
main hero.
29) Continue going west and get the scroll with Mass Haste.
30) First spell cast in battles should be Mass Haste against fast or better
flyers and shooters or against garrison armies. Mass Bless against walkers
and slow shooters.
31) You will eventually reach a northwest clearing with 3 non-upgradable
sorceress towns you must conquer. Buy as much reinforcements as you can
afford. I ran short of gold myself.
32) The rest is a cakewalk. Explore, visit the password tents and open the
barriers. Your main army should be composed mostly of sorceress troops.
33) A Town Portal scroll will be found somewhere.
34) Lots of Titans protect the last password tent. I had 20 Phoenix and
casted Mass Haste on my first turn just so that my hundreds of Sprites and
numerous shooters could have the all-important first strike.
35) Cast Town Portal to EdgeWood (other towns too if you need reinforments),
go norhtwest, open orange barrier and kill the Black Dragons stack.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Descendants Campaign 08 -- The Epic Battle (With Elven Alliance)
First of all, I must shamefully admit that contrary to my usual philosophy
(no reloading, playing once and writing the strategy), I restarted the
scenario after 2 months because of a really atrocious start and reloaded
a few times during my second attempt. The Epic Battle is quite tough in any
case so don't feel bad if it gives you trouble. Practice, pratice, practice
(and reading my little tips) will hopefully lead you to a grand victory.
Taking the Descendants 7 path which gives you the Elven Alliance is STRONGLY
recommended. The following strategy was written with this crucial alliance
in mind. I completed the last scenario of the Descendants campaign in 81 days
(month 3, week 4, day 4). The Descendants campaign itself  was finished in
376 days for a rating of Bone Dragon. Far from the best I'm sure, but then
I don't care much for high scores.
0) The timetable in this strategy is very relative. Many things can happen
in huge scenarios.
1) Pick Archery before the scenario begins. Try to develop archery for your
2 main heroes (Jarkonas and Ivan/Joseph, I'm dropping the numerals) who
probably won't get it as a starting skill.
2) Your 3 castles are on the west border of the land and linked by a long
north-south road. Castle Pig's Eye (sorceress) at the top, castle Wood's
Lord (barbarian) in the middle and the town of Blacksford (necromancer) at
the bottom.
3) You CANNOT lose Jarkonas (even by surrender or fleeing) so don't
make him the first scout who goes deep in enemy territory. It's dangerous
out there...
4) Hire Joseph or Ivan (Joseph will be the only one mentionned from now
on for simplicity's sake) at Pig's Eye and transfer all sorceress troops
to him.
5) Watch out for ore. This is the resource you will lack.
6) Go west of Pig's Eye : there's a Trading Post, an Halfling Hole, several
Elf (and Grand Elf) stacks who will join you because of the alliance and a
few Shrines. Those goodies are protected by one random stack. If it would
inflict too much casualties, wait until week 2 to tackle it.
5) This reminds me. A big difference between a merely adequate player and an
excellent one is the way he picks his fights, particularly against wandering
stacks. Being cautious is good most of the time (but not all the time).
Learn to weigh the benefits against the losses you could be inflicted.
6) Since you will have strong shooter armies, here is the wandering stack
hit list order from "most desirable" to "approach with extreme caution" :
Walkers, Slow Shooters, Slow Flyers, Fast Flyers, Fast Shooters. Close
formation protecting your shooters is not practical since you will have both
Elves and Grand Elves (and probably a 3rd shooter stack too)
7) Useful ore mine east of Wood's Lord.
8) Southeast of it are 3 Elf stacks that will join Jarkonas army (wait until
week 2 if too well protected).
9) Week 2 : buy all barbarian troops in Wood's Lord and transfer to Jarkonas.
10) Jarkonas army : 50 Grand Elves, 18 Wolves, 51 Elves, 69 Goblins,
26 Orc Chiefs (16 Ogres extra). Keep in mind that troop numbers will
vary according to how many random stacks are of elven nature and just
plain dumb luck.
11) Build Stonehenge, possibly Fenced Meadow
12) Forget about upgrading the necromancer town for quite a while.
Keep your ore and gold for a more tactically-sound castle upgrade...
13) Week 3 : Arrive in center clearing with Jarkonas. Capture Vertigo
(the only Warlock town on the map !) and upgrade it to castle. This is
probably the most important castle in all the land (because of the Dragons
and its center position) and it will be your first line of defense. Keep it
well-garrisoned at all times and improve the castle defenses.
14) Rush north by road to take the undead town of Fountain Head.
15) Go west to Xanadu, take surrounding mines, visit Hill Fort for upgrading
your Orcs and Ogres.
16) Week 4 : With Trading Post build Red Tower in Pig's Eye.
17) DO NOT kill buffer stacks between you and the enemy (in the moutains
passes between green clearings and swamps) and DO NOT provoke his wrath
by venturing too near his heroes. You want him to attack you as late as
possible.
18) I almost forgot. Leave slow & very slow troops in your clearing towns.
Strongest should go to Vertigo (warlock castle).
19) Week 5 : I didn't do this because I didn't know the map layout but it
might be theoretically possible to go southeast from Vertigo to capture
Knight & Wizard castles (with available Titans inside !). On second thought,
it looks much too risky at this point of the game ;-)
20) Jarkonas went back to barbarian castle and then south taking everything
in its path. Hurry up if you see Elf Stacks nearby, the crafty computer
opponent might reach them before you do. It happened to me :-(
21) With luck, it's possible to have Dragon Tower at the end of week 4.
I built it on week 5 myself.
22) Week 6 : Buy all troops in sorceress castle and "pipeline" to Joseph.
23) Upgrade Blacksford to castle.
24) Hire Hero. Grab stuff around Blacksford.
25) Upgrade to Red Dragon Tower.
26) Joseph begins attack in the northeast corner (east of Fountain Head).
27) Jarkonas is still in southwest corner.
28) Try your best to keep control of the forests (green terrain).
29) Joseph captures Sandcaster (knight castle) in northeast corner.
30) Transform Fountain Head in castle for revenue.
31) Try to send Warlock (or barbarian) scouts deep in enemy territory.
32) Week 7 : Build up Mage Guild in Sandcaster. Up to now, you only had
low-level spells because you didn't have enough time or resources to build
Mage Guilds in your initial castles. Besides, in the first few months,
building the maximum number of creature dwellings was more important.
33) Don't make the mistake I did... Instead of going south from Sandcaster,
go east. Why ? Because there's a scenic little wizard town by the name of
Lankershire in the northeast corner with plenty of Titans available for
your hiring pleasure :-)
34) Use the "rehire spellcaster" trick if one of your castles is under siege.
Make spellcaster (with one very fast unit) attack nearby enemy (with strong
army), cast strongest offensive spell (anything with Lightning in the name
is good ;-), flee, rehire at castle, transfer all troops except one very fast
unit to castle garrison, attack nearby enemy again, cast spell, flee...
Repeat until you run out of funds or spell points.
35) I suffered a big setback  at the end of week 7. I lost Vertigo the
warlock castle. It would not have been so bad if the enemy didn't buy all
the Minotaur Kings and Griffins I had so carefully accumulated. At least,
I had sense enough to flee the siege before all my Dragons were annihilated.
36) Week 8 = Worst week in my game : I lost 4 more of my towns including
Fountain Head, Pig's Eye, Sandcaster and Tundara (knight town I captured
instead of better choice Lankershire)
37) Phoenix-Elemental Storm combo is quite good... if you don't already have
the twice as powerful Dragon-Armageddon combo.
38)  I rushed Jarkonas to Warlock castle before the enemy could buy too much
Dragons. I then proceeded north and west in hot pursuit of enemy army ravaging
my home territory.
39) Great way to practically eliminate all casualties when you have Resurrect
True. In combat, cast Blind on the last surviving enemy stack. Don't attack
and wait. Cast Resurrect True each turn on your stacks until they're all right
or you run out of spell points.
40) Jarkonas army at this time : Elves, Grand Elves, Trolls, Ogre Lords and
Wolves (not necessarily in that order)
41) Week 9 : Counter-offensive with Jarkonas and Joseph (my 2 main heroes).
42) Retook all castles except one. Green clearing section & northeast corner
were pretty much under my control.
43) Max out the Mage Guilds in the northeastern castles. It gave me four
5th-level spells to play around with ;-)
44) Another castle siege tip :  Flee the castle with your best troops before
the all-powerful enemy attacks it. He will probably split his army into two
lesser armies.
45) Week 10 : The end is near. 8 castles are under my rule.
46) Lost and recaptured some towns. Jarkonas captured Knight town southeast
of my Warlock castle.
47) Don't forget to revisit creature dwellings in your home territory after
a while (each month seems reasonable).
48) Bonus spell tip : Cast Berserker on fastest enemy troop so that the
opponent has no chance to dispell it.
49) Week 11 : Launch the final offensive with Joseph & Jarkonas on 2
different fronts.
50) Eliminate any enemy heroes that try to pass you by.
51) Joseph captured Wildabad (wizard castle with unbought Titans) southeast
of Warlock castle.
52) For those interested in knowing the number and hero composition at the
end of a huge scenario : 2 main heroes (around level 20), 2 medium heroes
(around level 9) and 4 expendable low-level heroes (from level 2 to 5).
Those numbers fit with my usual play style.
53) 10 Titans (with Elves & Grand Elves) is quite enough to stomp aroud the
map with Dimension Door.
54) Always try to end a turn inside a castle or near a well.
55) Don't forget to enter a castle after you captured it or you won't
get any new spells !
56) This is optional but since both my main heroes had Dimension Door and
because they were close to each other, I decided to make them meet and
rearrange their armies in a supposedly more efficient manner.
57) Final army of Joseph : 13 Titans, 34 War Trolls, 60 Wolves, 45 Ogre
Lords.
58) Final army of Jarkonas : Approximately 180 Elves, 120 Grand Elves, 118
Halflings. (The Elf stack was split in 2 during combats).
59) Looking at this again, it may seem that Dragons were not much a factor
in the endgame. Somewhat true but they were very important in the midgame
to stop (or weaken) the enemy offensive.
60) Clean up whatever is left standing.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wizard's Isle
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Wizard's Isle Campaign

Wizard's Isle Campaign 01 -- The Shrouded Isles
Wizard's Isle Campaign 02 -- The Eternal Scrolls
Wizard's Isle Campaign 03 -- Power's End
Wizard's Isle Campaign 04 -- Fount Of Wizardry

Wizard's Isle Campaign 01 -- The Shrouded Isles
Note: I *strongly* suggest trying to play any scenario at least once or
twice before reading my tips. Then if you're stuck or would like to compare
your strategy with mine,  feel free to browse my tips or even write another
way to win the scenario...

An  important part of HOMM 2's fun is exploring a new map for the first time
and countering the clever AI moves and designer surprises. Therefore, in
order not to bore myself, my strategies are written from my first try at
the maps with extremely rare reloading (I prefer to cope with surprises and
the consequences of my mistakes :-). This means that my tips are not optimal
or definitive but that they should help you win eventually (maybe ;-). The
scores given in my walkthroughs are only for general comparison's sake since
they should usually be lower than the best possible score. I sometimes delayed
victory in order to fully explore the nooks and crannies of an interesting
new map. So without further ado, read on and enjoy:
The first scenario of the Wizard Isle story was an enjoyable beginning to a
very tough campaign. In each scenario, you will usually start with a Wizard
castle and navigate through a lot of seas and rivers. In Wizard Isle 1 "The
Shrouded Isles", your hero, commanding a moderate wizard army, will start his
odyssey on a small island in a medium-sized land. I won this scenario in 76
days.
1) Rush north and capture the wizard village.
2) Transform the town into a castle.
3) With your starting army (boosted slightly by free troops from monster
dwellings), you can beat most of the enemy stacks on your island with little
casualties.
4) During week 1 and most of week 2, get the mines and resources of your
island-base.
5) Try to hire a sorceress a.s.a.p. since navigation is a very important
skill in this scenario.
6) Conquer the northern island sorceress (orange) castles by the end of
week 2 (beginning of week 3) with your best army. Another possible option
would be going after the eastern warlocks first.
7) Always disembark at castle entrances. That way, the enemy heroes can't
get in or out of their castle.
8) After having conquered the orange player, your next targets are the
yellow necromancers to your east... It's a lot of tough desert-fighting
but it's doable.
9) NEVER leave your starting castle undefended because you could get
sandwiched between the western wizard and the eastern warlock who will
arrive by boat with big armies.
10) Eliminate one color at a time.
11) When you have 3 islands and 5 castles in your possession, you're in
good position to win the rest of the scenario.
12) The migthy purple wizard to your north is stuck there so don't worry
too much about him. You can only reach him by teleporter or Dimension Door.
13) In my final assault against the last surviving color (purple), I had 3
big armies of 3 different types (wizard, necromancer, sorceress).
14) My best army captured the purple castle avoiding the enemy hero with
the many Titans
15) My 2 other big armies attacked and weakened this dangerous enemy hero
making him easy pickings for my still significant 3rd army.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Wizard's Isle Campaign 02 -- The Eternal Scrolls
As most scenarios in the Wizard Isle campaign, you have to capture an
extremely powerful castle with a significant beginning army that will grow
until you reach it. Therefore the more time you take, the tougher the battle
will be at the end. The "reason"  for castle conquest in this one is to
capture a famous wizard library. I completed the map in 95 days on my first
try.
1) Hire a second hero and combine armies. The strongest army should go north
and visit the Aqua Tent.
2) Watch out for the powerful yellow heroes to the east and north-east of
your starting castle.
3) Don't hesitate to flee or surrender if you want to keep a particular hero.
4) Keep your starting castle well-defended.
5) Free Joseph from the jail as soon as possible (week 2 is good). The
rest of the strategy depends on it. Joseph is a mid-level wizard with a
moderately strong army including one Titan.
6) With Joseph's army, use the glowing lith to the west of the jail.
7) Conquer the yellow castles in the desert. It should be easy .
8) Cure can save your Titan...
9) Eventually, the green enemy will teleport in the swamp at the northwest
of your starting castle.
10) Try to kill this first green enemy scout and then block the glowing lith
with one of your expendable heroes (It's better to block the glowing lith
before the greens manage to get in your territory but the lith is
well-defended).
11) This blocked-teleporter gives you enough time to conquer both the island
you start on and the yellow desert island.
12) An army composed of lots of Vampire Lords and Bone Dragons is
quite devastating...
13) It's possible to use Dimension Door in a boat.
14) With your eventual control of the 2 southern islands, you will have
a military base strong enough to crush the other players and capture your
primary objective : the castle with the famous library.
Addendum : Remember that the victory objective is taking the castle where
the Eternal Scrolls are located... It is *not* necessary to completely conquer
the 2 other enemy colors (other than yellow), but if you do, it will make
your final battle easier. The castle you must capture is around the center
of the map behind a red barrier. The red Traveller's Tent is on the north-east
island guarded by Warlocks.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Wizard's Isle Campaign 03 -- Power's End
Wizard's Isle 3 is a long scenario where you have to contend with a time
limit of 5 months. In other terms, you have to win before the first day of
the sixth month by finding the Sphere of Negation located in a far-away corner
of the map. This objective is not too tough to achieve but you have to be
organized and take some risks. I finished in 111 days. It's quite easy to
achieve a better score if you manage to get Dimension Door in your Mage
Guilds.
1) You begin with a 5th-level wizard.
2) Hire another scout hero and combine armies. Split your Rocs in 2
stacks, it will be useful against wandering shooter armies.
3) Take the nearby gem mine asap.
4) Follow the road west then north.
5) Attack the first orange castle located in the north-west corner by
the end of week 1.
6) Continue following the road east
7) Capture the second orange castle during week 2
8) Week 3 is for exploration and building up of your 3 castles.
9) On week 4, you will conquer the remaining orange castle in the south.
10) In about one month, you should hopefully have total control over the
western continent.
11) Build up your armies and castles including the Mage Guilds up to
level 5. Pray that you get Mass Slow and Dimension Door. I didn't :-(
With Dimension Door, you could bypass a lot of strong armies and only
fight the necessary battles.
12) While you wait, there's a nice little island down river with 2 mines...
13) When you feel confident in the strength of your armies, give them to
your best hero and board a boat.
14) Disembark on the southern shore of the eastern continent.
15) Now comes the tough part because there are a lot of high-level
monster stacks guarding the montainous passages.
16) Your first obstacle should come in the guise of a horde of Genies.
17) With Mass Slow, you can slow down those genies long enough to dispatch
them with your many shooters. Without Mass Slow (like me), you will surely
lose almost all your troops except some of your walkers.
18) Mass Slow can save your life if you go up against big stacks of Genies,
Rocs or Bone Dragons. If you don't have it, do yourself a favor and don't
go in battle with a lot of shooters :-)
19) Read the Dragon Fighting tips on Phil's site for pointers on how to
beat those terrible magic-resistant creatures.
20) Titans are a little easier to beat than usual because they're not with
a high-level spellcaster. A good tip against computer-controlled Titans is
to constantly cast Resurrect True on the stack that is getting shot.
21) Mirror-Imaging your strongest stack is also a great idea since they
will absorb the first retaliation strike...
21) Make your way north slowly but steadily. Don't worry about encountering
the remaining enemy color since he's stuck behind an aqua-gate.
22) Don't hesitate to bring reinforcements from your starting castles when
you run low on troops. A sorceress is good for ferrying troops by river.
23) The final castle is in the northeast corner.
24) The Ultimate Artifact (Sphere of Negation) should be a few steps away
from this castle.
25) It's protected by a warlock commanding 45 Green Dragons, 25 Red Dragons,
15 Black Dragons and 100 Minotaur Kings. It's probably his starting army
because the red color doesn't have access to any sulfur mine.
26) It was brought to my attention that if you leave the red player
alone he won't attack you. This means that eliminating the red is not
a requirement for winning. You only have to dig near its castle and
recuperate the Sphere of Negation.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

After reading your council of generals page, I'd like to add:
Remember the objective is to find the artifact, not conquer the world!
When I played it, the sphere was buried right next to the warlock castle,
down the road from Evil Igor, but: for some reason, when I didn't bother
Igor, he didn't bother me. After conquering the starting continent, I got
Dimension Door and beamed over to the other continent. Using dimension
door, I hopped over the tough blocking stacks instead of fighting them
and got near the mountains of the aqua barrier. I'd found enough obelisks
to know pretty well where the sphere was buried, and with some trepidation,
I looked over the mountains and saw Igor with lots of each dragon type.
However, when I hopped over the mountains to the places I wanted to dig,
he didn't attack, he just stood there. This was good, since I only had 18
phoenixes plus their usual accompaniments, and I didn't think I'd win.
I didn't attack his castle either: I just dug, found the artifact, and
avoided all the battles.

             -- Phil Rennert

Wizard's Isle Campaign 04 -- Fount Of Wizardry
Ah yes ... the practically impossible Wizard's Isle 4 ... Well, it was
extremely tough but I never *really* felt threatened because the computer
didn't have access to boats. The preliminary exploration was quite
enjoyable but I found the end-game tedious and boring. Chasing after the
numerous practically-eliminated enemies was merely an annoyance but
conquering the last insanely-protected castle for the fourth scenario in
a row was getting tiresome to say the least. My biggest "gripe" with "Fount
of Wizardy" was having to wait so long (weeks, even months) after having
conquered all the other castles before having an army strong enough to tackle
the huge number of Black Dragons in the last castle.
Anyway, I have some general tips on how to win this expert-difficulty scenario.
Since so many different variables come into effect, I won't be very specific
on the middle-game strategies. Finding the Sphere of Negation in Wizard's Isle
3
made my life generally easier so I suggest getting it if you have trouble
winning the conclusion of Wizard's Isle. I finally won on the 7th month, 3rd
week, day 1 (183 days) making this one of the longest and most time-consuming
maps I've ever played.
1) Your starting hero is a crazy-looking barbarian named Uncle Ivan. He's 4th-
level and will carry the Sphere of Negation if you got it in the previous
scenario.
2) Pick 5 units of wood before the beginning.
3) There's a free boat near your town.
4) Take the ore mine, board the boat, explore the surrounding seas and
get some more wood !
5) Transform your town into a castle as soon as possible. For me, it was
during week 2, but that's because I didn't really know where the floating
wood was located.
6) For most of the beginning game, you will be very resource-poor. Your
first priority is getting wood. Your second priority is getting mines.
Your third priority is getting any free or lightly-protected resources
you can grab.
7) After building-up your castle and the Roc's nest, construct a shipyard.
8) Hire any available sorceress.
9) If Uncle Ivan is navigating west (from your starting castle), your
sorceress should navigate south or vice-versa.
10) You will eventually realize that the center island is shaped like a
"spiral" and is controlled by 2 very powerful warring enemies : the red
warlocks and the yellow border horde.
11) South of your starting castle, there is a jail near a necromancer
castle.
12) Liberate Marco the wizard and make him attack the castle. Why ? Because
you only have 1 boat and 2 heroes you want to keep. Make Marco flee and rehire
him at the starting castle where he can board his own boat.
13) Avoid ghost stacks and try to attack any little island protected by weak
shooters (of course, your Rocs are already split in 2 equal stacks)
14) Conquer the 2 neutral castles (western sorceress and south-eastern
necromancer). They're not too tough to take since their armies are not
growing (castles have no structures)
15) There is only one entrance to the center "Spiral" island.
16) When you've found it, send some sacrificial scouting heroes (preferably
warlocks) inland to give you some "reconnaissance".
17) Do not forget to cast "Summon Boat" (found on a north-western scroll)
each time one of your scouting heroes disembarks on the main-island shores.
You *DO NOT* want the enemy to board your own boats... and destroying you
before you're ready.
18) Try to get the 2 Air-Elemental summoning altars in the southwest and
northeast corner of the map.
19) Red and yellow should be fighting each other heavily, taking and
retaking the same castles many, many times.
20) Red would eventually win because it has Black dragons, but you won't
leave him the chance to get too dangerous.
21) With a great wizard-army (i.e.: 25 Mages, 60 Air Elementals, 75 Steel
Golems, 30 Rocs, etc) led by Uncle Ivan, you will go to mainland and try
to conquer any hotly disputed castle you might find.
22) Since no spells can affect you and since Uncle Ivan is by now a mighty
warrior, you should have a definite advantage... being able to win even
against superior odds.
23) Jump on opportunities and avoid enemies that are too strong like the
plague (especially heroes with Black Dragons !). Each turn, check out your
map to see where each enemy is presently located.
24) Use the hit-and-run tactic : conquer the weak castle, take the best
troops (Titans are great) to replace your casualties, garrison the castle
if you want to really keep it and then leave to conquer another nearby castle.
25) Try to conquer the red Warlock castles when you see that there are no
high-level warlock armies wandering around. GET BLACK DRAGONS !!!
26) Your second big army should consist of Marco leading approximately 30
Vampire Lords, around 15 Bone Dragons and any other strong stack you can
afford.
27) You should eventually weaken one of the 2 enemy colors enough to give the
killing blow. When Red of Yellow only has around 4 towns and/or castles left,
now is the time to "terminate" that weakened color.
28) When it's done, beating the other color should be a simple question of
time since you have more castles and income than him.
29) But to really win, you must conquer the "Fount of Wizardry" in the Magic
castle (final red) located at the center of the "Spiral" island.
30) By the time I could turn my attention to him, he had around 160 Black
Dragons (more or less) and throngs of the other warlock troops while I had
almost nothing left...
31) "Magic" is reachable either by "Dimension Door" or by "Summon Boat".
32) I had to be patient and build some super-powerful armies before finally
tackling him.
33) Use the power of the enemy's Black Dragons against itself... For example,
place your soon-to-be-toast Mutant Zombie stack next to the 150 Minotaur Kings
in a way that the stupid computer-controlled Dragons will flame them along with
your stack :-)
34) I re-attacked "Magic" several times with Uncle Ivan and "expendable" troops
before conquering his 130 remaining Black Dragons with my own 55 Black Dragons,
around 30 Titans, lots of Hydras and Minotaur Kings.
That's about it. On my first completion of the Wizard's Isle mini-campaign, I
got a respectable score of 461 days good enough for a Genie rating.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

I finished this game in 159 days (I wasted about two weeks in the end
collecting
unneeded forces for the final assault) and the campaign in 433 days giving me a
Cyclops rating, which I'm very happy with. I did have a lucky break in the
third
game, as I got Dimension Door. I didn't use it well, though, because it took a
good deal of time before I realised that Reds heroes couldn't move.

I have read Sebastian Patenaudes comments about this scenario. My approach is
similar, but differs on one important point which saved me a lot of time, so I
have decided to share it.

You are advised to play the game first before reading this. These notes contain
lots of spoilers for this scenario.
I had the Sphere of Negation, which I found very useful. It saved me from lots
of Armageddons.
Take the 5 wood (a must!). First, pick up the extra forces in the village
and clean out the starting island. Just south there is a group of ore/wood
resources, which should enable you to upgrade to a castle.
Sail NE to get the resources floating there and back to the castle to pick up
some extra troops. Hire a sorceress (preferred) and built a shipyard. Buy the
Iron Golems and upgrade them at the foundry on the southern island. They are
very good at protecting your halflings. You probably want to upgrade the
foundry
later, but initially it's better to save the resources.
Now, there's a lot of tedious work to be done:
- explore the seas
- pick up resources and artifacts
- take the Necromancer castle
- free the wizard from the jail (remember the trick: make him attack the castle
  and surrender, then rehire him at home)
- there's a sawmill and a jewel mine (important!) at the Necros
- there's a crystal mine down south
- take the Sorceress castle (SW)
- there's a sawmill and an alchemy lab at the Sorceress castle
- there's an ore mine with lots of ore resources close by that castle, but it's
  well protected (about 50 Medusas when I got there).
- there's a lot of good stuff through the stone lith at the western island
- distribute troops and artifacts between your heroes. You don't want uncle
  Ivan to carry spell effect artifacts.

Do hire all the Air Elementals you can get hold of. You should have the cash,
and they'll be very useful.
All this took me about 3-4 months, if I remember correctly.
I had the fortune of being able to hire a level 28(!) Warlock, who must have
been defeated by Yellow. He had ca. 300000 experience, and obviously must have
started with most of it. It didn't significantly change my game, though.
During this, I made an important decision: Go for Titans exclusively. This did
not allow me to use resources to build up the Necro and Sorceress castle
(except
for Market Places and Statues), nor did it allow me the luxury of extra Mage
Guilds. I reasoned that
- I needed Titans to take on Black Dragons
- I could buy extra troops from castles in the main continent
This is a major difference from the path Sebastian followed, and I think it
saved me a good deal of time. I had not read Sebastians description at the
time.

Once I had 12 Titans I felt safe and sent Uncle Ivan in (with support troops).
This proved to be sufficient to kill anything I encountered. By now, Yellow
had been defeated and the Black Dragons were spread out over several heroes.
On the main continent, there are two fat targets to go for initially:
- 2 Warlock castles in the center, who produce Black Dragons (go south, then
east, then north through the path in the woods)
- The Wizard castle, which should have a lot of unbought Giants or Titans,
about 20 Giants in my case (go through the portal by the Arena, then north).
After that, it's a matter of logistics to make sure that each spiral arm is
cleaned out and the troops transported out to your main heroes.

In the center, you need to summon a boat (there's a scroll on a NW island)
in order to get to the last castle for the final battle. I faced about 165
Black Dragons with hordes/throngs of support troops with 75 Titans, 45 Black
Dragons, some Hydras etc. That was way too much. I lost 10 Titans and one
Black Dragon. I could have saved at least one week in the end by not gathering
so many forces.
Be aware that there's only room for two boats in front of the last castle, and
summoning a boat will likely teleport one in from the outer seas instead of
calling one back from across the lake.

             -- Robert Olesen

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Voyage Home
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Voyage Home Campaign 01 -- Stranded
The Voyage Home Campaign 02 -- Pirate Isles
The Voyage Home Campaign 03 -- King And Country
The Voyage Home Campaign 04 -- Blood Is Thicker

The Voyage Home Campaign 01 -- Stranded
I completed this small map in 31 days (month 2, week 1, day 3).
1) Before starting, pick the Nomad Boots.
2) You start with 2 War Trolls, 5 Swordmen and 1 Cyclops.
3) Your way is blocked by 3 different stacks.
4) 2 of them are too powerful for you, attack the Rocs to the east.
5) Capture the barbarian castle (day 3). Build the creature dwellings
but do not invest in castle defenses, Mage Guilds and upgrading the adobe.
6) Try to hire 2 or 3 more heroes and combine your armies.
7) Kill the southern mummies, take the orcs in the Watch Tower and
then go east.
8) Kill the boars protecting the Traveller's Tent.
9) Upgrade your troops at the Hill Fort (Dwarves, Orcs, etc)
10) Week 2 : Buy Orc Chiefs and Goblins.
11) Take the nearby ore mine. Kill the paladins and steel golems on the
beach protecting the resources.
12) Do not buy Ogres. Keep your gold for Trolls.
13) Middle of week 3 : Exchange all your resources for gold (except wood),
buy all available barbarian troops (except Ogres and maybe Wolves) and go
attack the orange enemey on the southern tip of the island.
14) Avoid the heroes and conquer the castle first. There should be some
available troops for hire.
15) Eliminate the 2 or 3 remaining orange heroes at your leisure.
16) Wait until you have enough wood to build a shipyard and boat.
17) Board the boat and attack the red town to your east.
18) In the final battle, I had no Ogres. My army was composed of Trolls,
Orc Chiefs and around 140 Goblins.
19) It was a very close match, without the Blind spell and a little luck,
I would surely have lost.
20) If you wish, you might decide to wait a little bit longer (1 or 2
weeks) until attacking the final town. It would make your victory more
certain and a lot easier.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

The Voyage Home Campaign 02 -- Pirate Isles
The second scenario in the "Voyage Home" campaign is comprised of many
little islands in a large ocean patrolled by pirate boats. It makes for
a nice change of pace from the usual "groundwars". Too bad the AI doesn't
handle navigation very well (to say the least) or the "Pirate Isles" could
have been a challenge. I finished in 72 days (month 3, week 3, day 2).
0) I picked basic navigation as my starting bonus but on second thought
the 15 units of sulfur could have been better allowing you to build the
Hydra swamp much sooner...
1) Most of the scenario will take place navigating the ocean. Because of
this, pick navigation for your secondary skill as often as possible and
don't hesitate to hire any available sorceresses. Another good secondary
skill to develop is pathfinding because the islands often have treacherous
terrain.
2) Playing well, you will have "mapped" most of the seas and taken the
majority of the free goodies floating around or on the islands while the
pirates are still stuck in their little northeast corner.
3) Transform your intial town into a castle.
4) Buy a second hero (preferably sorceress, barbarian or warlock). Check in
the castle again to see if a new sorceress appears. If so, hire her right away.
5) Order Gallavant to board the free boat. Go northeast right away where you
will find a Lighthouse on a nearby island. Do not bother attacking the boars
guarding the "Hut of Magi". It's not worth the losses you will incur (I only
had 1 swordman left).
6) Build another boat and make your second hero (let's hope it's a sorceress)
board it.
7) Explore the ocean with your boats trying to pick slightly different cardinal
directions for each one.
8) There's a nice whirlpool to the north of your castle leading to lots of
flotsam and some chests.
9) Buy troops on the islands (especially Nomads and Water Elementals).
10) Populations in neutral towns won't grow at all so don't worry too much
about their strength...
11) Each week, check too see if there any sorceresses available for hire.
Build boats and send in a few other scouts to explore (not too much though).
Try to hire a barbarian that will stay on your first island.
12) When you have around 10 Hydras (or more), sail east from your initial
castle.
13) With this Hydra-exclusive army (which will get boosted by Medusas on the
east island), attack the derelict ships, the abandonned mines and a couple of
neutral villages. My own army (6 Hydras, 5 Medusas) was not strong enough to
vanquish the ghosts protecting the abandoned mines, but was able to take 2
neutral villages (on 2 different islands) with little losses. With a few more
Hydras, it should be theoretically possible to beat the ghosts and maybe
capture
a 3rd town if it's not already taken by the pirates.
14) In the southwestern part of your starting island, there is a Glowing Lith
leading to the island in the northwest corner of the map (there's a neutral
village on it).
15) Another Glowing Lith on this northwest corner island links you to another
southeastern island with 2 villages (probably one neutral and one blue).
16) You must NOT lose Gallavant ! Watch out for enemy boats and sail away
if you're too weak.
17) There is a series of useful "deserted" islands in a northeast line from
your starting castle... On one of them there are 3 very important mines :
ore, gem and crytal.
18) IMPORTANT : With a good army, try to take out any "blue" pirate boats you
might encounter. There should only be one or two. When it's done, the other
powerful pirates will be stranded on their islands ;-)
19) Send a sorceress in the far northeast corner and explore the island...
20) You will see 2 warlock castles very close to each other surrounded by
mines. One is Middle Gate and the other Pirate's Cove : your primary objective.
21) This scouting sorceress should take all those nice "free" mines from the
blue pirates. Don't worry, you won't get attacked if there are no blue heroes
already present on the island.
22) When you feel ready, come back with your main army and conquer Pirate's
Cove.
In conclusion, I would like to remind you that winning doesn't require
eliminating all the blue players.  In my game, I didn't even try conquering
the other pirate castles and towns. Pirate's Cove (with Martine inside) is
the only enemy city you must take absolutely...

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

A different strategy than [the Quebec Dragon's] is to just upgrade your
town to castle.
Buy a secondary hero (sorceress is best). Take the lighthouse Northeast of
your castle with  your first hero.
Build statue on day 2.
ASAP get another boat for your 2nd hero and grab all resources you can get
with him/her while your 1st hero travels to the water summoning altars and
buys all elementals he can get.
Then set course for Pirates Cove.
Take the castle West of Pirates Cove. You may want to start upgrading it or
you can just simply buy all the heroes you can get while your 1st hero keeps
all the good troops.
Then attack Pirates Cove with as many heroes as possible the same turn you
plan to attack with your 1st hero, just to make the defending hero lose as
many spell points as possible.
Then simply kill the bastard.
This works every time. Maybe a little boring but you finish the scenario in
10-15 days.
The same tactic goes for the next scenario (Blood is Thicker), you simply
take all your initial troops and go directly to kill the red sorceress
castle. Continue to conquer west and down to the blue while you upgrade to
phoenix in the sorceress castle. 1st day 2nd week buy all sorceress troops
and kill the remaining red towns/castle with them.
VICTORY, I finished Voyage home in 61 days with very little saving and
reloading. Just march down and kill your enemies. Works all the time.

             -- Calle Granath

King And Country
The maps 3 and 4 of the Voyage Home campaign are quite similar but with some
minor differences. If you decide to stay loyal to the good Lord Alberon (which
is my personal preference as a benevolent Dragon ;-) then you will play
scenario # 3 called : "King and Country". It starts in the southwest corner
with 1 knight castle and 2 knight towns. You also get 2 heroes : Lord Alberon
and Gallavant which you must *not* lose. I enjoyed this final campaign scenario
more than the others (Wizard's Isle and Price of Loyalty conclusions
especially)
because it was challenging without resorting to the very annoying "overwhelming
enemy force waiting for annihilation" at the end. I finished "Voyage Home 3"
in 94 days (month 4, week 2, day 3). Following this path, the mini-campaign was
completed in 197 days for a rating of Black Dragon.
1) Give all troops to Lord Alberon which will serve as your main warrior hero.
Gallavant will serve as scout and should follow Alberon around to serve as a
"pack-mule".
2) Upgrade the Archery Range in the first few days.
3) Go in the 4 nearby Peasant's Huts and in the 2 Archer's houses.
4) Give the Peasants to Gallavant. Upgrade your Archers to Rangers.
5) The Freeman's Foundry upgrades your Pikemen and Swordmen at no cost.
6) Alberon's army on day 4 : 19 Master Swordmen, 47 Rangers, , 20 Pikemen
and 1 Crusader.
7) IMPORTANT : Always keep one free slot in Alberon's army became some
wandering stacks will surely join him. Give the Crusader to Gallavant as
soon as you have a good replacement army.
8) Don't bother attacking the Rocs protecting the Coliseum : they would
inflict too much casualties on your initial troops.
9) Liberate one of the 2 blocked roads. I picked the right road with the
Vampire Lords.
10) VERY IMPORTANT : Your Rangers are your most important unit. Protect
them from enemy flyers by using the "close formation" : 1st variation =
Master Swordmen, Rangers, Veteran Pikemen and a very fast or ultra fast
stack ; 2nd variaton = Master Swordmen (in the 2nd slot), Veteran Pikemen,
Rangers (in the 4th slot) and finally a creature stack of fast speed or less
(in my game the Ogre Lords). On your fist combat turn, you move your fastest
unit in front of the Rangers. If all works well, your precious but fragile
shooters will be enclosed in a protective "pocket".
11) Build the Jousting Arena as soon as possible
12) The nearby Stables will upgrade your Cavalry to Champions free of charge.
13) Build a second castle on week 2.
14) In my game I did the error of transforming my remaining town into a
castle on week 3. Building the Cathedral in the initial castle would have
been a better idea.
15) For your information, the following wandering stacks joined me in the
first 2 weeks : Ogre Lords, Grand Elves, Boars and Orc Chiefs. Keep in
mind that the wandering stacks joining you will change from game to game.
16) Go roughly north-west with your main army (Alberon's)
17) You again have the choice between 2 blocked paths. This time I decided
to attack the Genies protecting the left road. The Phoenix would have
devastated my Rangers...
18) With reinforcements from my castles, Alberon had the following army at
the beginning of week 4 (at least 4 strong stacks in close formation... the
Peasants are optional unless you don't have a 4th strong stack to "complete
the pocket") : 436 Peasants, 34 Master Swordmen, 43 Veteran Pikemens,  91
Rangers, 21 Ogre Lords (this might be another troop or even Peasants if
you're desperate).
19) You should soon come across a little forest clearing protected by Giants
(north of Dragadune). In it you will find a scroll (Teleport), the Traveler's
Boots and the Sword Breaker.
20) Use 4 stacks against "weak" monsters and 5 stacks against "strong"
monsters.
Use your judgment, pick your fights carefully and give first priority to the
protection of your Rangers.
21) Wood will be the most badly-needed resource... You should have plenty of
gold so exchange it and other resources for more wood.
22) At regular intervals (each 2 or 3 weeks), bring knight reinforcements to
the front lines.
23) Slowly develop your killer army led by Lord Alberon. In due time, it
will become almost invincible.
24) DO NOT LOSE GALLAVANT !
25) Eliminate one color at a time. It's probably better to eliminate the
yellow barbarians in the northwest corner first. I didn't do this and they
gave me trouble later.
26) 6 sorceress town/castles in 2 "clumps" will be hotly disputed in the
center of the map. Don't try too hard to keep them.
27) I often used hit-and-run tactics. I conquer an enemy castle, enter it
(for new spells) and leave right away (or stay the night over if I'm low on
spell points) to conquer another one. Sometimes, I will buy some garrison
armies if I have enough gold.  Most of the time, I don't bother trying to
protect newly-conquered castles since I don't want to split my main army like
the enemy heroes often do (eh eh eh :-)
28) Eventually, on some challenging turns, I had to protect 2 or 3 different
towns that were under attack by different enemy armies. Keep your priorities
straight. Reinforce the castle that has the most chance to stand or to inflict
the heavier losses.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

Blood Is Thicker
The maps 3 and 4 of the Voyage Home campaign are quite similar but with
some minor differences. If you decide to side with your necromancer sister
Drakonia against your rightful liege Lord Alberon (something any good undead-
hating dragon would find particularly distateful ;-) then you will play
scenario # 4 called : "Blood is Thicker". It starts with 1 necromancer castle
in the northeast corner and 2 barbarian castles in the northwest and southeast
corners respectively. You also get 2 heroes : Drakonia and Gallavant which you
must *not* lose. I enjoyed this final campaign scenario more than the others
(Wizard's Isle and Price of Loyalty conclusions especially) because it was
challenging without resorting to the very annoying "overwhelming enemy force
waiting for annihilation" at the end. I finished "Voyage Home 4" in 70 days
(month 3, week 2, day 7). Following this path, the mini-campaign was completed
in 173 days for a rating of Black Dragon.
1) Drakonia starts with 3 Bone Dragons and several Skeletons.  There are 15
free Mummies in the necromancer castle (Spirit City).
2) Buy and transfer all available undead troops to Drakonia who is slightly
stronger than Gallavant.
3) Drop the useless Archers and Peasants carried by Gallavant inside the castle
and give him an average-speed skeleton for scouting.
4) Buy Gallavant a spell book.
5) Do not visit graveyards ! Your initial army is not powerful enough to beat
100 Mutant Zombies without suffering grievous casualties.
6) Also avoid Bone Dragon wandering stacks.
7) There's a gold mine just north of Spirit City
8) On week 1, try to capture the necromancer town west of Spirit City. Then
Drakonia should go roughly south out of the undead valley.
9) Do not build the Vampire Mansion in Spirit City until you don't need the
resources for something else (at the very least build the Mausoleum and
Laboratory
first). A free upgraded mansion giving Vampire Lords is already built in your
newly-conquered necromancer town.
10) You will probably lack wood in the beginning month : there's a sawmill
south
of Frozenpeak (the northwest barbarian castle).
11) Capture the barbarian castle east of Frozenpeak in the snowy valley
(week 2, day 1)
12) Don't develop your southeastern barbarian castle (Marsh Home) too much
since
its isolation gives it a lesser tactical importance.
13) Try to hire barbarian heroes in your snow and swamp castles. Other heroes
are just too slow... Do not build Cyclop Pyramids, keep your precious gold for
other more useful acquisitions.
14) Attacking Ghost stacks with only Bone Dragons in your army is recommended.
15) It's possible to buy the important Bone Dragon Laboratory in the second
week.
16) There is a nice little clearing southwest of Spirit City containing a
Hut of the Magi. This is quite useful for seeing your enemy moves.
17) Around week 3 (week 4 ?), I had 21 Vampire Lords and 6 Bone Dragons
which were given to Gallavant since Drakonia was already too far south.
Gallavant went westward capturing another necromancer town along the way and
destroying any enemy heroes that were menacing the homebase. Gallavant didn't
venture too far from Spirit City until he had 40 Vampire Lords and more Bone
Dragons. At this time, he was mostly invincible and began attacking the red
and blue territories in earnest.
18) Barbarian hero in the snowy valley should take the stone lith south of
Frozenpeak. It will lead to several goodies (resources and mines) but be
prepared
to fight for them.
19) Do not forget to use the "Animate Dead" spell if you have it !
20) For your information, there are 6 sorceress town/castles divided into 2
"clumps" near the center of the map.  Those should be neutral or controlled by
the red player.
21) Drakonia who still had most of her initial army (boosted with some free
troops
from dwellings along the way) captured 3 sorceress towns (the southeastern
"clump")
but could only keep the the best sorceress castle.
22) In Gallavant's combats, only the Vampire Lords, Bone Dragons and Liches
were
really useful. The other undead troops (Mutant Zombies, Mummies, Skeletons)
rarely entered close-combat before the fight was over. Therefore, you should
give buying priority to Vampire Lords, Bone Dragons, Liches and Skeletons
(because
they will get boosted by Necromancy skill) in that order. Mutant Zombies and
Mummies
could serve as garrison armies for castles you really want to keep.
23) I was able to build the Phoenix Red Tower on week 5.
24) For most of the game I had the following 3 main armies :
A) Drakonia's = 3 Bone Dragons and initial undead troops later with
sorceress troops.
B) Barbarian's = Lots of Orcs Chiefs, Trolls, Ogre Lords, Wolves and Goblins.
C) Gallavant's = Vampire Lords, Bone Dragons, Skeletons and other undead
troops.
25) If you think you're first at a creature dwelling (dwarf cottage, goblin
hut, etc) visit it but if not, do not make a detour to reach it.
26) Gallavant's army (with his 41 Vampire Lords, 9 Bone Dragons, etc)
conquered the second "clump" of red sorceress towns (the one more at the
northwest). It then went southwest to attack the blue home territory.
27) The barbarian army went out of the snowy valley and travelled mostly
south-southeast (army size at this time : 213 Orc Chiefs, 81 Wolves, 255
Goblins, 56 Ogre Lords, 35 Trolls). It was probably too strong for what was
left to do but it easily "cleaned up" the remaining red heroes who had retaken
some castles after Gallavant left.
28) Drakonia's army waited for the right opportunity and recaptured the 2
other sorceress towns in the first "clump" (the southeast one).
29) Eliminate the red player before the blue. I completely annihilated red
on month 2, week 4, day 2.
30) Gallavant's army (still with around 40 Vampire Lords :-) did
something quite clever and funny. It went deep into blue territory
(the 4 knight castles) and used hit-and-run tactics on the castles,
following the road, while avoiding the strong blue heroes. Gallavant
captured the nearest knight castle, left right away, captured a second
one, left right away, etc. While this was going on, the blue heroes
were busy retaking their stripped castles and weakening themselves by
leaving garrison armies :-)
31) The Stone Lith south of Spirit City, protected by a gold barrier,
was used to teleport undead reinforcements (51 new Vampire Lords :-)
near the blue territory just when Gallavant's army was about to be
overtaken.
32) At about the same time, the barbarian army was helping to destroy
the surviving blue heroes and retaking some knight castles.

             -- Sebastien Patenaude

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XII. STRATEGY GUIDES (Guides for Normal Maps)
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Note: Contributed by a lot of players.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scorched Earth
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following will be another walkthrough for one of the tough scenarios
of HOMM 2 : Scorched Earth. I finished this one in 34 days for 199 pts
(Paladin rating) at normal settings. I will try a different format this
time. Tell me what you think...
1) I suggest starting with a Barbarian castle since this is a medium
map.
2) You start with one castle and one town. Build your second castle on
the first day ! This will give you a money advantage.
3) Hire one other hero at the east castle and one hero at the west
castle.
4) Explore during the first week. Use Barbarians or Warlocks.
5) Your best hero will have an army of Orcs, Goblins and Wolves. Combine
armies if possible. You now have 2 scouts with only one quick unit and
the best army stack who will take mines defended by slow troops.
6) Forget about mines that are too well defended. There are a lot of
free ressources for the taking.
7) During the 2nd week, take the yellow castle in the center of the map
with your best army.
8) Continue exploring with your scouts and take everything that is not
defended. Hire more heroes if possible.
9) Concentrate on the construction of one castle. Don't upgrade, except
for Ogre Lord and forget about mage guilds or turrets. Economize your
ore, it's your most important ressource.
10) By the end of the 2nd week, your best castle should have all monster
structures except for Cyclops.
11) In the 3rd week, conquer one or two more of the yellow player
castles. Buy the best troops and leave for the next city or castle.
Before all that, give your best troops from your starting castle to your
best hero army.
12) By the end of the 4th week, you could try getting the castle of your
enemy brother in the opposite corner of the map. Try to attack while his
hero is away exploring.
13) In the 5th week, you have a definite advantage with your more
numerous castles. Build all the armies you can in all castles (3 or 4
armies now). Exchange all your ressources for gold. Blitzkrieg the
remaining cities and heroes and you've won !
Final word : The secret to victory in this scenario is being aggressive.
Take the enemy castles as soon as possible, but most of all don't let
the Necromancer build up.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shipwrecked
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is my strategy on Shipwrecked! a hard scenario at normal game
difficulty. Please note that you start with a lot of disadvantages in
this one. Your knight starts with only a village and you have to go up
against Warlocks, Barbarians and Necromancers that have 3 towns each. My
walkthrough should assure you of a win, but it will take some time. You
need to be patient in this scenario. I finished in 74 days for 159 pts
(troll rating). Far from my best score but at least I won it ;-) So here
are some tips in rough chronological order :
1) In the beginning, always take gold instead of experience points
2) Build your castle on the first turn
3) Hire another hero on day 2 but give only 1 or 2 very fast troops. He
will serve as your scout while your other slower army (Lord Kilburn)
fights the battles.
4) Take mines that are lightly defended. Don't take any risks especially
againt shooter troops.
5) There is a free town to the north of your starting castle ! But don't
turn it in a castle, you will need the wood for building up your primary
castle.
6) Build the most structures possibles on week 1. Don't bother with Mage
guilds or upgrades except for the ranger upgrade. In my game, I
succeeded in building the Cathedral on day 7 !
7) In week 2, you should have a big army with Lord Kilburn (6 paladins,
28 rangers and some swordmen) and a scout you will use to explore.
8) Week 3 : Build up your castle and explore with Lord Kilburn's army
going first north (there is a genie lamp !) and then south-east.
9) By the end of week 3, you should start attacking the Barbarians
castles in the south-east.
10) Now comes the waiting time...
11) You have to build up your knight and barbarians castles and mop up
the remaining barbarian heroes. By this time, you should have seen
enough obelisks to try finding the ultimate artifact. Don't search for
it if it's too far in enemy territory.
12) By the end of the 2nd month, you should be able to build two big
armies : one composed of Barbarian troops (Ogre Lords, Wolves, Orc
Chiefs...) and the other including (Paladins, Rangers and Swordmen...).
13) With your 2 big stacks... I suggest attacking the Necromancers with
the Barbarian troops and the Warlocks with the Knight troops.
14) Never leave your castles undefended or at the least destroy any
passing armies on your way to their castles.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spellcasters
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As always, try this scenario at least once before reading my little
walkthrough. It's more enjoyable that way and being spoiled of the
surprises is very sad ;-) If you complete it, check out how it could
have been done differently and compare your score with mine !
This scenario is supposed to decide once and for all who the best
spellcasting class will be ! The necromancer, sorceress, warlock and
wizard go up against each other and you have the time to build big
armies while the crusaders keep the peace. The title of this scenario is
somewhat misleading... as you don't really need spell casting to win
this one. At least I didn't ;-) I decided to play the Warlock : my
favorite hero class. So the following tips are more geared towards the
Warlock player. In fact, this article could have been called the Way of
The Warlock ;-) I finished this scenario in 56 days for 144 pts (Water
Elemental rating) at normal game difficulty.
1) Always buy another hero on your first turn of the same class as your
first hero if possible. Give all the troops to your starting hero except
for a very fast unit that will stay with your 2nd hero : the scout.
2) I don't usually do this but here is a good order for building
structures in the Warlock Castle during the first week : Crypt, Dungeon,
Statue, Nest, Maze (if you can), Swamp (if you can), Well (possibly
Waterfall as a alternate choice).
3) You play a Warlock, sulfur is your first priority !
4) Explore with both heroes and take lightly defended mines. Your flying
troops (griffins and gargoyles) are great for killing most missile
troops ! Separate your gargoyle stack in two if necessary.
5) Do not build mage guilds, you will need the sulfur for Dragons and
Hydras.
6) At the beginning of week 2, reinforce your best army with new troops
from the castle.
7) Keep Hydras in your castle. They slow down all your troops and they
make a great garrison. Hint : With hydras in your castle, the AI will
rarely attack you.
8) Here is a good "pocket" formation for protecting your centaurs from
flying enemies (thanks to whoever came up with that formation !). You
need a closer formation (monsters next to one another). From top to
bottom :
Dragons
Centaurs
Griffins
Gargoyles (who will move in front of the centaurs at their first turn)
Minotaur kings
9) Upgrade for minotaur kings as soon as possible
10) By week 4, you have a big enough army to take on the Necromancer to
the north. Keep close to the shore and take the gold mine while you
pass. Usually, I would attack other castles much sooner, but your
adversaries start with good armies in this scenario.
11) Always save your money for Dragon towers. Do not build Mage guilds
except for the first level...
12) You can now give your Hydras (you should have a bunch by now) to
your scout and attack the wandering armies and cemeteries that you
didn't get the first time.
13) Don't go too far from your castle with this second army.
14) Week 5 : construction
15) If you're lucky, the Wizards and Sorceresses (?) are attacking each
other.
16) After the Necromancer is completely eliminated, go after the Wizard
next but with Necromancer troops (Vampire Lords, Liches and Bone Dragons
are a good combination!)
17) At almost the same time, attack the sorceress castles with a stack
of Red Dragons and Minotaur Kings.
18) You can attack on both fronts, but don't leave your castles
undefended. If you do, kill any armies that want to avoid you.

              -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Teleporters
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Think of this map as a 3-pointed star. On each point there are 2 colors
and one teleporter leading to an island full of good stuff. You can win
by accumulating 400,000 gold pieces or by destroying all your opponents.
The second way is quicker. I finished in 80 days for 138 pts (Ghost)
playing as a Warlock.
1) There are a lot of free ressources... take the gold and build up your
castle.
2) Hire another hero on day 1 and a third one at the beginning of week
2.
3) Keep the buffer zone troops in the middle of the "star" island.
4) With this 3rd hero, build a shipyard with a boat and go explore the
map.
5) There are no ressources in the water... but it's nice discovering
more of the map.
6) Week 3 : why not build a second boat ?
7) End of Week 3 : attack the castle in your point of the "star"
8) The enemy AI is too stupid to build shipyards...
9) The 4 other colors will beat up on each other.
10) Remember the buffer troops ?, they keep your part of the island free
to explore.
11) Attack the other castles by boat when you're ready.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terra Firma (a)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game difficuly: impossible
Map difficulty: expert
Goal: vanquish all the opponents in 11 days.
Everything is quite simple. For faster movement - at the end of each day
try to take with one hero all the army from main hero except the boars.
Day 1
Wizard (leave all army in the castle except one boar) takes Treasure
chest (money - 2000!) and campfire. Recruit 2nd wizard which goes to the
right (leave all army in the castle except one boar).
Day 2
1st wizard takes haflings. 2nd wizard takes Treasure chest (money) and
visits Gazebo. Recruit 3rd hero. Take all army in the castle (buy some
troops) and give it to 1st hero. 1st hero kills monsters on the road and
takes artifact.
Day 3
Capture lower castle (get 'Magic arrow' spell there). Defend with one
hero starting castle.
Day 4
Main hero moves south. Leave the starting castle and go down. You have
now 2 heroes standing on both sides of lower castle (keep safe
distance).
Day 5
Orange retakes castle an chases after your main hero leaving castle
undefended. Your king has sent supplies to help you in your efforts -
5000K gold and 10 gems. Recruit 3 more heroes (get the free resources to
the left from lower castle). Supply the main army. Your main army kills
the monsters guarding the entrance in the valley and go SE.
Day 6,7
Main army still moving SE. At the end of Day 7 you should stand 1 step
from gazebo. Other heroes collect all free resources around and visit
all obelisks they see.
Day 8
Main army is attacked by red. Don't allow to retreat. Capture castle. 4
bone dragons are waiting for you. Now your puzzle is quite open to
detect where is ultimate artifact. For me it was in 1 day distance from
castle. Recruit 2 heroes. One will dig the artifact, the other - pass it
to main army. Main army stays in castle where you buy 2nd level mage
guild.
Day 9
Pass the ultimate artifact to main army (I got Ultimate book of
Knowledge - +12 knowledge, but actually you need any ultimate stuff with
knowledge and/or spell power). Visit well and move south.
Day 10
Main army kills red's hero. You already see the Black Fang.
Day 11
Black Fang is so weak that it makes you laugh.
Good job! You get 415 pts.

 -- Bene Armstrong

This is my killer strategy for Terra Firma. You play a lone warlock that
has to caspture a necromancer castle on the other side of a new
landbridge created by wildmagic. This scenario is considered of expert
difficulty but I found it quite easy (at least more easy than Broken
Alliance ;-) I even got my best score ever ! Finished in 29 days for 273
pts (Black Dragon rating) at normal game difficulty. So without further
ado here's how I did it :
1) Buy one other hero on day 1. One hero will be scout (one unit) and
the other hero the warrior (all other units).
2) Don't forget to get more halflings at the nearby halfling hole.
3) Take the wizard castle to the east very rapidly, by the end of week
1, with your warrior hero (army : lot of halflings, 3 rocs, several
boars and possibly mages)
4) Keep the buffer zone between your starting castle and the south
Wizard castle.
5) Keep your steel golems in your starting castle for the moment
6) Buy more troops at the beginning of week 2 in your new wizard castle
and conquer the southern Wizard castle.
7) Week 3 : Build up the maximum of units possible and give them to your
warrior hero stack (Mages, Boars, Rocs, more than 100 halflings). You
can add steel golems too but they're not necessary.
8) Buy cheap sacrificial Barbarian heroes to explore to the southeast.
9) With your warrior hero, rush to the southeast ignoring all towns and
detours (possible exceptions : Gem mine and obelisks) until you get to
Blackfang Castle.
10) Kill wandering Necromancer armies if they're weak.
11) If you don't want a Necromancer Hero to flee, use the slow spell
instead of the blind spell which doesn't work on undead..
12) Conquer Castle Blackfang ! If you're lucky it will be lightly
defended with no enemy hero protector :-)
It's probably possible to get a better score on this map if it's your
second time out (it was my first attempt on this scenario) and if you're
very agressive.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Terra Firma (b)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Expert Map, Impossible rating, 220%,35 days, 363 points. My top score.

This one is rather simple. I have played it three times, improving each
time the strategy. In every scenario you have to keep in mind the
objective. Conquer the BlackFang castle. That's all !
1.By the end of the first week you have to conquer one of the Wizard's
castle.
2.By the end of the second week you have to conquer the other Wizard's
castle.
3.Find the Ultimate Artifact. On this artifact depends the strategy.
Anyhow in this scenario this artifact is not very necessary.
4.A miss of the game. If you find the castle with the hero in it, the
forces guarding the castle don't fight with you if they are different
types of the opponent's hero forces. (The second time I played this
scenario in 47 days this happened and the victory was easy.)
5.Another miss of the game(not for this scenario).The computer player
always leave forces in the castle, so they split their force and it is
easier to defeat.
6.On my last attempt I was lucky. I had 2nd level spells only, the
Lightning, the artifact which improves with 50% the lightning and as
Ultimate artifact the Staff with 12 Spell Power points. Last, but not
the least BlackFang was heavily defended. Going for them they send 4
heroes against me, each of them having 4 light troops (7-10 of a kind)
and one large troop which was defending the castle. My army was very
light, made up of 10 ArchiMages, 20 Stell Golems, 25 Birds, 30 boars and
about 60 halflings.
7.In normal situation I could not beat the castle armies made up of 25
Bone Dragons, 40 Liches, 50 Vampires, 70 Royal Mummies, 100 Mutant
Zombies. But resisting almost without losses to the four strikes of the
enemy, my final fight was with 25 Bone Dragons and nothing more.
Anyhow at this level you have to restart the game several times to get
the best configuration: spells, artifacts and a bit of luck in order to
get a top score.

 -- Cristian Arosculesei

Terra Firma should be set as a hard map. It is just too easy. Lost
continent is way harder than it. I won it at a score of 367 in 33 days
(impossible level).
I just get all resources I need and when enemies comes near I always
sneaked back into the castle. About week 2, yellow and orange should be
fighting badly. Send a hero to check who wins. If the enemy castle in
sight is lightly defended than capture it no matter who strong the hero
near the castle you can fled back to your base and can use the magic
that castle has (use a waste warlock hero).
If your are lucky, you can even buy the troops in the castle ( a lot).
Then the enemy hero may not attack. After I used this technique to
capture all other two wizard castles, orange defeated and yellow in a
caslt near Blackfang. Get about 24 archmages, 30^ rocs, 40 steel golems,
60 boars, 160 haflings before month 2 week 3. I went down to Blackfang
at the the 27 day. Lucky me! Blackfang was havily defended! It had 16
bone dragons, 20-30 vampire lords, 98 upgraded zombies, 10 skeletons,
and 30 royal mummies. High spell power, high defence, and slow magic
will be nessary.

 -- Judy Chan

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Lost Continent
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game difficuly: impossible
Map difficulty: hard
Goal: vanquish all the opponents in 31 days.
The map is easy but annoying. It's hard to destroy the enemy fast.
That's why I don't like it.
The only reasonable choice here is the sorceress :
1) there are tons of wood, gold and artifacts in the water ;
2) its closer to the strongest castle (purple warlock) than any other
castle - 2 days by sea.
There is one condition - purple must be builder. Otherwise you will find
nothing worth using when you capture his castle. The goal is to take
purple Warlock castle on Day ~12 - it will be lightly defended cause
purple has taken all his army out. If there is not green tower built
then u are screwed - restart. Even 5th level guild wont help u to
accomplish the task.
1) Purple will be vanquished trying to retake his starting castle.
2) On Day 15
 a) give 2 dragons to one sorceress which goes in the whirlpool to reach
orange Wizard castle. After capturing wizard starting castle (4th level
guild there) she goes East and captures necromancer starting castle.
Many bone dragons awaiting for you.
 b) give 2 dragons to one hero which goes West and captures knight
starting castle. Then go south and capture barbarian starting castle.
You will see that dragons and your growing spell power are unstoppable.
When you have captured these castles you can retreat and hire these
heroes whereever you need.
3) On 3rd week hire (actually you should have one hero there already)
one hero in your starting castle. Recruit archers and move south cause
yellow likes to build there.
About this time you should have finished taking all the free resources
from sea.
4) On 4th week hire one hero in your starting castle. Take black (you
have tons of resources - why not upgrade) dragons and move to the center
of the map. Barbarian and wizard like to capture towns there.
~ on Day 27 all castles (!) are captured but you still run after enemy
heroes who run in all directions and capture towns or have already done
it.
Good job! But it can be done a few days faster. I didn't score in my
table so I don't know how much points you get.

 -- Bene Armstrong

An original HOMM2 professional map.
The goal is to take purple Warlock castle. On normal difficulty you can
build second magic level guild and get Lightning bolt or Cold ray and
make an attack plan to purple castle within the first week and capture
castle on day 7 or 8. Within the 2 or 3 first weeks you can build Dragon
tower. Playing on impossible you can't take purple castle within the
first week. I decided to conquer the castle on week 2. To conquer
Warlock castle I needed a strong army. With 8 druids, 10 grand elves and
6 unicorns it is possible to take purple Warlock castle. How it is
possible to build unicorns in the first week? Actually there are 6 piles
of random resources near. I had 2 piles of gems (for a total of 12) and
2 piles of ore (for a total of 15). I took money over experience, hired
another Sorceress hero, made her board a boat and took flotsam in the
water.
Warlock castle was lightly defended and I won with minimum losses. There
were 4 green dragons available, I hired 2 and stayed in the castle. Both
Warlock heroes failed to beat me in the castle and Purple was
vanguished. Within the week I upgraded green tower to black and had 7
black dragons by the 4th week. 2 dragons I gave to my primary Sorceress
hero who she went into the whirpool to reach orange Wizard castle.
Second sorceress with 2 dragons went to conquer Knight castle. Then I
vanquished Barbarian and Necromancer.
Finished on impossible in 34 days.

 -- King Arturo (Arturo Axenenko)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Undead Armies
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This scenario is called Undead Armies but your biggest problem will be
the Barbarians... I played blue color as a knight (southwest corner). I
won this in 54 days for a score of 146 pts (Water Elemental rating) at
normal game difficulty.
1) You play a Knight, your first priority is WOOD !
2) Hire another hero : if possible a Barbarian or Sorceress.
3) Good order for the 1st week of building : Archery Range, Shipyard
with Boat, Statue, Well, Blacksmith, Tavern, Armory (if you have enough
wood).
4) On day 2 or 3, give most of your archers to your sorceress who will
board the boat.
5) Attack the enemy boat already exploring the sea.
6) You now have all the flotsam, chests and island treasures to
yourself.
7) By the end of Week 2 : upgrade to Rangers and attack the castle to
your north... Follow the shore !
8) 3rd castle conquest (Necromancer near the shore) should be at the end
of week 3 or beginning of week 4.
9) With all the obelisks found by your sorceress and other heroes, you
should have a pretty good idea where the ultimate artifact is located.
10) Do not go deep in enemy territory trying to find it.
11) Be patient and build up your 3 castles. Never leave your castles
totally undefended.
12) Explore with scouts while preparing your final army.
13) Orange armies (Barbarians) shall be your toughest opponents.
14) There is a teleporter going from the northwest corner to the
southeast corner... use it if possible.
15) I leave the rest to you !

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Valley Of Death
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game difficuly: impossible
Map difficulty: expert
Goal: capture Vulcania at Day 11. Take blue barbarian (for max moving in
the desert).

Day 1-4, Take experience in the Treasure chest (prefer better
pathfinding and logistics then and later) and go straight North. Take
dwarwes in the Dwarf cottage. No need to recruit more heroes. I tried to
recruite one more hero and supply the first with halflings and/or
medusas but I lost then 1-2 days.
Kill the monsters (if you get not so many dwarwes you'll be screwed if
monsters appear to be strong (for.ex., one time I got pack of iron
golems)) blocking pathway to North.
Get in the boat on Day 5.
You land on NE island on Day 7. There you'll find a teleporter to the
"valley of death". Delete dwarwes and goblins to move further each turn
and later if you have less hitpoints the computer hero will attack.
You'll need that for sure.
Day 8, Take genies.
Day 9, Take as much genies as you can in second lamp.
Day 10, You see that enemy hero couldn't reach you. You recruit ghosts
and move just one (!) step towards Vulcania.
Day 11, Computer hero attacks you. Main goal is to attack weaker enemy
units with ghosts. To attack Vulcania you need at least 50+. Final
battle is like a cake walk if the same strat is used.
You get for this trick 415 pts . Congratulations!

 -- Bene Armstrong

Expert, medium expansion set map.
# of players: 1 human(computer) random / 1 human(computer) random / 1
computer necromancer
You have to capture Necromancer castle "Vulcania" by the end of month 5,
week 4, day 7. The castle lies in the valley of death and is strongly
defended.
I played Blue Barbarian and used the quickest way to win.
Day 1-4, Take experience in the Treasure chest and keep going straight
North. Recruit dwarwes in the Dwarf cottage.
Day 5-8, Kill the 2nd level monsters blocking pathway to North because
there will be a boat you need to board. Board boat with Barbarian and
navigate to NE island. There will be a teleporter leading straight to
the 'valley of death'.
Day 9-11, Recruit some ghosts...for the final battle you will need a
horde of ghosts.
Finished on impossible in 11 days.

 -- King Arturo (Arturo Axenenko)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vikings!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

In this scenario you have 3 towns in the southwest corner of the map.
You are heavily outnumbered by 4 Barbarians (different colors) to your
north and east. I finished in 71 days for a score of 160 pts (Troll
rating) at normal game difficulty, playing as a warlock.
1) Transform your northern town into a castle on day one.
2) Concentrate on building your Warlock castle first...do not build any
mage tower (except level one eventually) or castle defenses (turrets)
3) A little tip... green (forest) is safe and brown (broken Lands) is
dangerous and crawling with Barbarians.
4) You are protected by big armies that stop the Barbarians from
attacking you in the forest. Keep those buffer zones until you are ready
to attack !
5) There are also buffer armies in front of your towns. Leave them
alone, until you feel confident in the strength in your armies.
6) When you have 7 Red Dragons (week 4 to 6 depending on your luck), a
lot of gargoyles and a bunch of Minotaur Kings, you can start attacking
the Barbarian castles.
7) With this army, you should be pretty much unbeatable.
8) I suggest attacking the southeast Barbarian castles first, while the
Barbarians in the north attack each other.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Warrior Knight
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't usually make strategy walkthroughs for large maps of normal
difficulty, but this one was quite interesting. In addition, since you
have to pick one of 4 knights, it's a good scenario to practice your
knight's strategies. I will concentrate on the starting game of the
Knight castle and on general tips because so many different things can
happen.
I finished in 76 days for a score of 140 pts (Ghost rating) at normal
game difficulty. I played the blue color. So without further ado :
1) Buy 2 other heroes in week 1 : one barbarian or wizard, one knight to
combine troops.Two heroes will be scouts, one will be the warrior.
2) As a Knight, your foremost priority is WOOD !
3) A good building order for week 1 : Archery Range, Statue, Well,
Armory (for Swordmen), Tavern, Blacksmith (for Pikemen), Jousting Arena
(Farm as an alternate if you don't have enough wood)
4) Week 2 : Shipyard, Boat, Upgraded Archery Range, Marketplace
(facultative)... the rest of your money for armies.
5) Usually there is a lot of wood in the water... in those cases, build
a shipyard and a boat as soon as possible... the high wood cost is
recuperated very soon by all the flotsam and chests.
6) For most of this scenario I had 6 heroes : 3 in boats, 1 to protect
the starting castle, 1 scout and 1 warrior.
7) Go after Red opponent (Necromancer) in the north first (week 4)
8) Let the other colors beat up on each other...
9) After eliminating Red, attack the closest and/or weakest Color.
10) Concentrate on destroying one color at the time.
11) Leave the Peasants in your castles unless you have a lot of them..
they slow down the rest of your army and they're the worst troop in the
game.
12) A good first knight army would consist of Rangers, Swordmen and
Pikemen.
13) A very good second or third army would consist of Paladins,
Cavalries, Master Swordmen, Veteran Pikemen and Rangers.
14) It's always a good idea to go after Necromancer castles first..
they're usually weak and don't have a lot of missile troops.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wastelands
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a good scenario to learn how to play the barbarian. You're a
barbarian stuck in the broken Lands that must beat an alliance of the
Necromancer, the Sorceress and the Wizard. I won in 52 days for 177 pts
(Champion rating) at normal game difficulty.
1) Buy a second Barbarian hero, buy troops in your castle and combine
all the troops on your starting Barbarian.
2) Foremost priority of Barbarian is ORE ! (mine to the north-east)
3) Good building order for week 1 : Stick Hut, Statue, Den, Adobe, Well,
Garbage Heap, (Bridge if you have the ressources)
4) Week 2 : capture the village near your castle but don't upgrade it.
5) Week 2 purchases : Upgraded Hut, Upgraded Adobe, Marketplace,
Thieve's Guild
6) You will lack ore during the second week... build up your armies
instead. Build Troll Bridge when you have enough ore.
7) By the end of week 3 : attack the closest enemy castle with your big
army (15 Ogre Lords, 40 to 50 Orc Chiefs, Wolves, Goblins)
8) When you have this second castle, buy a marketplace and exchange
unnecessary ressources for ore.
9) I almost never build cyclops pyramid because I prefer to use my money
on Ogre Lords and Trolls.
10) Conquer another castle by the end of week 4.
11) With 3 castles, the rest of the scenario is pretty easy.

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who Am I?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Game difficuly: impossible
Map difficulty: expert
Goal: vanquish all the opponents in 15 days. One special requirement -
nomad boots (see Day1,2,3).
Think you are weak. Heeeeheeee. Ergh….. No!
Day 1,2,3.
Hero kills 2 skeleton armies, takes Treasure chests.Then kills lots
mummies (22). Takes halflings and kills lots of gargoyles (21), losing
first mage (no more losses yet). Takes first chest and nomad boots (I
didn't take thunder mace of dominion). Secondary skills at the end of
Day 3: advanced wisdom, advanced balistics, advanced logistics, basic
pathfinding (1-2-4-3).
Day 4,5
Capture castle. Move north (not the way you came). Don't take the town
though it's free. Easily kill () first hero. Second hero attacks you (7
mages, 6steel golems, 39 halflings) with 20 chief orcs, 5 ogres, 5
wolfes, 20 rogues. Lose just one mage.
Day 6,7
Purple has built a castle and moved out one hero who fails to capture
your castle on Day 7 because you have recruited your second hero -
wizard (warlock) . Hero moves north killing 2 u. zombie armies and
visiting well.
Day 8
Hero kills skeletons on the road, visits oasis and thus can capture
castle on that day but that is hard. The enemy hero which stands in the
gates of the castle already has a huge army: 30 chief orcs, 5 ogre
lords, 18 skeletons (uh.. his morale is gonna be bad), 4 ogres, 8 orcs.
You should have such secondary skills before the battle as expert
balistics (walls and tower are destroyed in 3 moves) and basic luck (2-
3-5-3). Purple has moved out his last hero. Move your 2nd hero out too.
Day 9,10
Hero stays in captured castle 2 days to defend it. Last green's hero
attacks his former castle on Day 10 and dies. Green is vanquished. Now
you have got many useful and unuseful artificats. Hero moves south (at
the end of Dau 10 you stand one step from wolves). Recruit 3rd hero
there and move out. This hero will pass the army from this castle to
main hero. 2nd hero captures purple's castle and stays there. On Day 10
2nd hero attacks last purple's hero. Purple is vanquished.
Day 11,12
Hero kills wolves, then visits 2nd level shrine. Take archers and
Treasure chests. Kill m. zombies. Other heroes don't play a role here.
Day 13,14,15
Move down the road. Red's biggest army attacks you (suffer minimal
losses if spells used properly). Capture castle to the right. Easily
kill red's 2nd hero and capture their last castle. Red is vanquished.
You get for this trick 407 pts. Congratulations!

 -- Bene Armstrong

Very fun scenario of expert difficulty similar in some way to Dragon
Rider. BTW, who is that Wizard ? It's never told :-) I finished in 70
days for 216 pts (Bone Dragon rating) at normal game difficulty.
1) You start with a lone wizard, 8 Mages and some Steel Golems
2) Go north towards the village beating skeletons along the way.
3) Capture village and build castle right away
4) Hire a second hero to use as a scout
5) Takes the mines to the north-west and to the west.
6) Capture another village and upgrade to castle when you can. Try to
pick a village away from the other Colors.
7) Keep buffer armies between you and your adversaries.
8) Conquer northern castle at the beginning of week 4. Note : This is
the hardest part of the game...you have to avoid the armies until you
conquer the castle and then with the remaining troops you must defend
against his desperate attacks.
9) Beginning of month 2 : there is PLAGUE !!! Use this to your
advantage.
10) After taking northern castle and waiting a little to build up your
armies, take the boat to your west.
11) There's not enough good stuff in the water to justify any detour.
12) There's an excellent island with a lot of chests and a gold mine in
the south-west corner.
13) In the beginning of the 2nd month, I had 3 castles.
14) Now be patient and build up a good wizard army from your starting
castle.
15) Let the 2 remaining colors beat up on each other and take any
lightly defended cities.
16) By the 3rd month, it was a war of attrition, my higher number of
castles and better armies garanteed me a victory !

 -- Quebec Dragon (Sebastien Patenaude)

I only used 79 days and a score of 286. Mr. Dragon said he waited the
three enemies to beat up each other is wrong. I attracted strong heroes
to the town north of the purple's base(swamp). When that hero captured
the town. Either green or purple will appear. After a good bloody fight,
one of the two heroes must lose some troops, and the other defeated. I
usually comes by and just send all the troops of that remaining hero's
to heaven. When either purple or green is weakened, I will attack the
easily send some of my titans to finish purple off. Then the other hero
sucessfully arrive the area near the desert and beat them up also. Then
these two heroes will attack red in two directions. the small opening
near the xanadu and the south opening of the snow. Red will surely be
destroyed.
1. Day1 destroy the first army of skeletons and head to the skeletons on
the sawmill
(capture the sawmill).
2. Day2 Get all treasure chests near the sawmill and capture the town.
3. Day3 kill the royal mummies north of the first town and capture the
ore and gem mines.
4. Day4 Go west and kill the pack of mummies. Go south and capture the
town nearest to you.
5. Day5 Capture the sulphur mine just near you.
6. Day6 Get haflings southeast of the second town.
7. Get the crystal mine way north of the ore mine or the in the entrance
of swamp.
8. Build castle
9. Fresh heroes are coning near you. The will turn into benifits if you
can kill them without losing lots of troops.
10. Build pen, foundry, cliff nest, mage guild, well, ivory tower and
2nd level mage guild. Then wait for money to build clould castles.
*11. If STRONG enemies are coming toward you, forget about building. Buy
rocs in first place then golems, mages, and haflings. Also left turnnel
and right turnnel will greatly help you in the battle. Don't buy any
troops unless enemies are coming and your Who am I? hero can't get there
in time.
12. Who am I should not leave any troops in castles.
13. Green and purple will gratefully kill each other for the town north
of the swamp area. You kill the one who wins(you must be stronger than
him). Don't stand between those two or three different colour's heroes.
They may attack you first. Just stand near but not to near.
14. After purple's armies are very weak but another hero to go attack
green in the dessert with about 5-6 titans, Who am I's going to attack
purple with also 5-6 titans.
15. After purple and green got destroyed go straightly to red's base and
destroy him too.
NOTE: there should be only two heroes or a third to transport armies.
Don't let people capture your main wizard castle. Remember on the west
end of the swamp there's a castle too. Sea traveling is not nessary. You
may tell some junk heroes to get the artifacts in the isle south
westward of the map.

 -- Smarties

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Winterlands
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first time I played this I started in the Southwest corner of the
map as a Necromancer. (Yellow)
A major key to victory in this scenario is given in the introduction;
i.e. you will need lots of heroes. I was using three of them in the
first week and wished I could afford more. The reason for this lies not
only in the size of the map (large), but also because there are a large
number of recruiting stations to make use of. For example there are
Halfling Holes, Archer houses, Wagon camps, Medusa thingies (I forgot
what they are called). In fact, immediately to the southwest of the my
starting castle was 3 Halfling holes! I collected about 75 of the
friendly little Bilbo's in the first week!
There are two towns nearby the starting castle in the southwest. They
are not too heavily guarded, and may be conquered by week 3. The first
town lies immediately to the west, and the other northwest through a
mountain passage into snowy country. Meanwhile, your other heroes should
be operating under one directive: EXPLORE!!
Once you get these two towns converted into castles, then the real
action begins. By this time, your other heroes will have explored much
of the region to the north. They may have discovered Green's castle. Get
your main hero up there quickly to take this castle because he tends to
leave it guarded by a mere token force. It's a long journey to get
there, so If you have the cash and wood, build a shipyard and a boat in
your main castle and sail right up to his doorstep!
IMHO, once you get this castle (it will be your 4th) the rest of the
game is fairly easy. Just be on your guard with the portals nearby that
may provide easy access for the enemy. But, also, use the portals to
your advantage and take the initiative.
Finally, don't forget to get the multitude of artifacts that are
scattered everywhere! It's helpful to have your haste spell ready
against the guardians of these artifacts. I found that the first strike
made a big difference.
Overall, this is a very fun to play scenario. There is a wide variety of
terrain and castle types. You will pretty much experience everything
Heroes of Might and Magic II has to offer with this scenario. (Not too
different from Lost Continent in that regard). Also, the first few weeks
are relaxing because you spend more time discovering things instead of
desperately defending yourself as in other scenarios.
Final Note: Some players will probably recommend buying a boat early and
getting the goodies in the ocean. I think this is a good idea, but
sometimes you can achieve the same result by defeating an enemy hero and
taking all the artifacts that he collected in the ocean thus saving you
the work. Although you miss out on the wood & gold, it's not a terrible
loss in the scheme of things.

 -- Scagon Dragon (Jeff Scanga)

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XV. QUESTION OF THE MONTH
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"It says griffins can retaliate against any number of creatures, but
there are a lot of creatures that give no retaliation oppurtunity to
the griffons. So the question is should I lust make a nest just to get
dragons or should I get the nest just to get griffons which are pretty
ineffective against one troop from every creature?" -- Alec
(Alec1@concentric.net)

My good man, griffins are NOT ineffective ! Whatever gave you that
dubious and inaccurate notion ? Having 2 different types of flyers in
the early game is a great advantage for the warlock (especially if you
split those Gargoyles in 2 stacks when appropriate). The warlock is the
hero type that can tackle wandering shooter stacks with the least amount
of risk and without losing all his own shooters in the first round of
battle. Other hero types often have to avoid wandering shooter stacks
in the starting game because the casualties inflicted would be too much.
So yes, do build that nest and use those Griffins, not only because it's
a requirement for the Dragons, but because it makes tactical sense. -- QD

And don't overlook the fact that the creatures griffins can't retaliate
against are for the most part low-level creatures (sprites and rogues),
with only one or two high-level creatures (hydras for example) immune to
retaliation. So the griffin's ability for unlimited retaliation is still a
very big asset! -- AW

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"I'm playing HMM2 Expansion Pak on a PC (Pentium). One of my heroes attacked
a group of earth elementals guarding a mine of an opponent. According to the
handbook 'meteor swarm' does double damage to these creatures. However, when
castin this spell, the rocks rained down on two stacks of elementals, but no
damage occured (Heroe's spellpower: 5). The spell itself works properly in
other battles onto other monster stacks. Is this bug related to the 'haunted
mine' bug, when the computer can ignore the elementals guarding my mine, but
I can't? Btw., do you know if this bug was fixed?"
-- Ralf Linnemann (ralf.linnemann@gmd.de)

No this "bug" is not related to the "Haunted Mine" bug which was fixed in
the later HOMM 2 patches. The manual is wrong about elemental immunities.
I got the scoop straight from George Ruof, programmer on all HOMM games,
a while ago on the strategic games newsgroup and shared it with everyone
in my big Quebec Dragon's Compendium of Spell Arcana (available on the page
Mage Guild). So taken from that article, here are the *true* immunities for
each elemental : ELEMENTAL TYPE SPELL IMMUNITIES EARTH Lightning, Chain
Lightning, Meteor Shower AIR Meteor Shower FIRE Fireball, Fireblast WATER
Cold Ray, Cold Ring  Of course, elementals are also immune to mind spells
but you knew that already I bet.  -- QD

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"I'm new at this game and i'd like to know what it takes to get into an Xanadu.
I'd also like to know what it gives to you."
-- The Feared Crusader (archmage5@hotmail.com)

You need to be level 10 to enter Xanadu. Each level of Diplomacy counts as
"one" level to enter inside. For example, a level-9 hero with basic diplomacy
would get in, a level-8 hero with advanced diplomacy would get in and a
level-7 hero with expert diplomacy would get in. As for what Xanadu gives you,
it boost each primary skill (attack, defense, spell power and knowledge) by 1.
-- QD

And don't forget to check out The Oracle Page for more information on Xanadu
and other map site structures that the Quebec Dragon and my minion Gwaihir
have compiled! -- AW

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"...this might be a known "bug" but I could not find an answer on your really
comprehensive site. I am playing the good campain level "Final justice" with
the Corlagon defeated award. Anyway, the bastard is annoying me in the final
Level. Has anyone encountered this before ? Maybe one of the patches fixes
the problem ? " -- Mathias (mathias.muller@sap-ag.de)

Ah yes, the "Corlagon Defeated" problem. While recently writing a new strategy
for the last scenario in the good campaign, I experienced the same "bug" as
you.
Corlagon, which I had defeated in a previous scenario, appeared out of nowhere
as an enemy hero. What I think happened is that even though Corlagon was not
a starting enemy (because of the award), he was available for hire in the
hero pool.  Well, I reloaded the last scenario in the good campaign, with
and without the "Corlagon Defeated" award, and used the cheat code to reveal
the map. It looks like you were right about the "bug" Mathias. With the
"CorlagonDefeated" award, he's not part of the starting heroes of your enemies.
BUT, and that's a big but, Corlagon will be hired by the purple necromancer
on its first turn ! I tried the experiment 3 times and it was the same every
single time.  Without the "Corlagon Defeated" award, Corlagon will appear
next to your wizard castle (southeast corner of the map) leading only a few
cavalry. He will probably attack your castle on the first turn if you don't
garrison it enough.  In concrete terms, what this means is that it's more
beneficial NOT to have the "Corlagon Defeated" award. Why ? Because, without
that award, you have a chance to kill him off in the first turn when he only
has a weakling army. He will then revert to the hero pool where you would
have a chance to eventually hire him. With the "Corlagon Defeated" award,
he always get hired by purple in one of its own castles and has time to build
a more menacing army. I have no idea if this situation is a "bug" or a
"surprise" made by the New World Computing designers. To the best of my
knowledge,
no "patch" fixes this annoying problem. -- QD

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XIV. DISCLAIMER
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Unpublished Work Copyright Joseph Andro Artanto 1999-2003.

This FAQ and everything included within this file cannot be reproduced
in any way, shape or form (physical, electronically, or otherwise) aside
from being placed on a freely-accessible, non-commercial web page in
it's original, unedited and unaltered format.  This FAQ cannot be used
for profitable purposes (even if no money would be made from selling it)
or promotional purposes.  It cannot be used in any sort of commercial
transaction.  It cannot be given away as some sort of bonus, gift, etc.,
with a purchase as this creates incentive to buy and is therefore
prohibited.  Furthermore, this FAQ cannot be used by the publishers,
editors, employees or associates, etc. of any company, group, business,
or association, etc., nor can it be used by game sites and the like. It
cannot be used in magazines, guides, books, etc. or in any other form of
printed or electronic media (including mediums not specifically
mentioned) in ANY way, shape, or form (including reprinting, reference
or  inclusion), without the express written permission of the author,
myself. This FAQ was created and is owned by me, Joseph Andro Artanto
(arsin@indosat.net.id). All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged 
and respected that are not specifically mentioned in this FAQ.

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XV. AUTHOR'S INFO
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

FAQs      : * Star Ocean 2 FAQ
            * Star Ocean 2 Claude's Scenario Walktrough
            * Star Ocean 2 Rena's Scenario Walktrough
            * Final Fantasy Tactics Deep Dungeon Guide
            * Heroes of Might and Magic II FAQ
            * Heroes of Might and Magic III FAQ
            * Suikoden II FAQ/Walkthrough
E-Mail    : aceaceblitzer@yahoo.com
Website   : http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dragon/3939

Anyway, that's all! for more info about me, visit my website:
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dragon/3939

Beware, I havent updated my website for around... 2 years! ^_^
Feel free to asks questions about any other RPGs besides Suikoden 2!
Support me when I've begun creating faq for Suikoden 3!!

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
XVI. CREDITS
}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Special Thanks :
----------------
Note that all part of this faq are simply a part of a website:
   http://www.astralwizard.com/
And I, admit and give my very special thanks to the webmaster:
   Julia Skipper, AKA AngelA (angelshome@ns.sympatico.ca)
   Astral Wizard Website Ambassador
And their contributors in the respective website:
   Sebastien Patenaude
   Eonoak (eonoak@yahoo.com)
   Maneater (kalin99@yahoo.com)
   Etc.
Please visit http://www.astralwizard.com/ for more complete info about
Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

*Thanks to God.
*Thanks to uncountabble contributors listed by their own contributions.
*Thanks to Kaspa for the idea.
*Thanks to New World Computing.
*Thanks to you, readers! Goodbye! if you have any contributions,
suggestions, comments, critics, or anything, just e-mail me
(aceaceblitzer@yahoo.com). You also can visit me at:
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dragon/3939

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Unpublished work Copyright 1999-2003 Joseph Andro Artanto.





The Spoiler Centre