====================================================================== Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Unit Guide v1.0 (April 6, 2002) by Randvek (email@example.com) www.darkholy.com ====================================================================== Table of Contents 1 - Introduction - Changes 2 - Unit Breakdowns - Life - Nature - Order - Chaos - Death - Might 3 - Credits & Copyright ====================================================================== Introduction After tinkering with various additions to Heroes of Might and Magic III, Heroes 4 was finally released in late March, 2002. Now, there is a diagram of who is hostile to who and not, very similar to Magic: The Gathering's pentagon of colors. Even what they stood for in M:TG is very similar here. Following that example, White becomes Life, Green becomes Nature, Blue turns into Order, Red into Chaos, and Black into Death, with the neutral Might in the middle. It is very important to keep in mind some of the changes, as building one creature dwelling will prevent you from building the other creature dwelling of the same level, with the exception of level One. Some of the armies look radically new, while others keep the same comfortable feeling from games past. While the intricate details are many, an outline of the more major changes follow as such: - Life - It takes only a glance to realize that Life is the decendant of the Knight/Castle class from HoMM games past. The only new units here are Squires and Ballista, and they fit in quite seemlessly. On the magic side of things, Life is full of healing and defensive spells, with Wards that will protect against a certain other type of unit, bless spells, and a few new ones, like Retribution and Martyr. The new Resurrection skill makes those large, costly battles not so bad. - Nature - While at first it would seem that Nature is the decendant of the Sorceress/Rampart armies, that's only half true. Elves and Unicorns are here yet again, while Phoenix and Sprites make a nice return. With the addition of the Elemental units, however, Nature becomes the army of all those units you wish you could have used more often, but couldn't because they were always neutral. Nature spells are a mix of Summon spells and Defensive spells. While nothing in their spell list is directly offensive, a few good Summon spells and a lot of spell points can keep you in a battle long after you normally might have been out. - Order - Order looks very much like its Wizard/Tower predecesors, with only Dwarves and Dragon Golems being the new faces. As before, nearly every unit in the army has some sort of ranged attack. While fairly limited in straight-out damage spells, Order has a lot of "affect" spells, both to use on your army and on enemies. - Chaos - Chaos looks a lot like a mix of Dungeon/Warlock and all the odds and ends, like Orcs and Hydras. One thing worth noting is that after being fairly weakened in HoMM3, the Black Dragon returns as the most powerful (and costly) unit in the game. Chaos spells are almost exclusively what were thought of as Fire in HoMM3. Bloodlust, Slayer, and a whole host of attack spells make Chaos the army of choice if you prefer your spell casting to be attacking in nature. - Death - Death is a very...unusual mix of units this time around. It looks like it's half-Necromancer, half-Inferno. Unfortunately, Liches were replaced with the newcommer Venom Spawn as the only archer in the group. Predictably, almost all of the Death spells are spells to cast on the enemy to reduce their effectiveness. - Might - At upper levels, Might is an almost exact carry-over of the Stronghold from HoMM3, while the lower levels are all new to the Barbarian class, and interesting choices, all. Might armies cannot build guilds at all, so must learn spells from sources outside Might cities. ====================================================================== Unit Breakdowns - Life - Level One Unit Name: Crossbowman Squire Damage: 2-3 2-3 Hit Points: 10 10 Growth: 16 21 Abilities: Ranged, Stun no Range penalty Notes: Crossbowmen and Squires compliment each other rather well. Squires get down and dirty in hand-to-hand with a chance of stunning their target, while Crossbowmen don't have to worry about firing over long range. Level Two Unit Name: Ballista Pikeman Damage: 5-7 6-8 Hit Points: 28 30 Growth: 7 9 Abilities: Ranged, Long strike no Range penalty, Cancels First-strike no Obstable penalty, Mechanical Notes: The choice here is a tough one. A solid archer unit, or a unit that can attack from further away, often causing the enemy to be unable to counter attack? Level Three Life units also have to choose between a solid attacker or a ranged unit, so picking one ranged and one melee between the two is the best course of action. Level Three Unit Name: Crusader Monk Damage: 10-16 10-15 Hit Points: 65 55 Growth: 5 6 Abilities: Strikes Twice, Ranged, Death Ward Death Ward Notes: Since both these units have Death Ward, be sure to load up on them before attacking a Death army. I usually go with a Monk/Pikeman combination since both units have the higher growth, but a Crusader/ Ballista combination is also a good choice to have. Level Four Unit Name: Champion Angel Damage: 24-36 40-65 Hit Points: 150 230 Growth: 4 2 Abilities: Charge, Flying, First Strike can Resurrect Notes: There is a fairly large gap between a Champion and an Angel, so it is obvious of which one is better. The only problem is, Champions grow at twice the speed of Angels, so the question becomes whether you prefer quality or quantity in your armies. I believe that the Angel has the edge because it can fly, but 4 Champs a week is pretty good. Other Units: Unit Name: Peasant Damage: 2-3 Hit Points: 10 Growth: 36 Abilities: Taxpayer Notes: The taxpayer ability earns you 1 gold per day per Peasant. Since they are a good 20 times better than in past HoMM games, if you can find a couple Peasant dwellings, they might certainly be worth making room for. - Nature - Level One Unit Name: Sprite Wolf Damage: 1-2 2-3 Hit Points: 7 12 Growth: 23 15 Abilities: Flying, Attacks Twice no Enemy Retaliation Notes: The Sprite and Wolf form a good 1-2 punch for Nature. Both units are quick and have decent abilities to go along with them. Neither unit stays alive quickly under heavy fire, though, so you have to be careful about where you put these two. Level Two Unit Name: Elf White Tiger Damage: 3-4 6-8 Hit Points: 18 35 Growth: 7 6 Abilities: Ranged, First Strike Fires Twice, Ranged First Strike Notes: While Elves are a fairly solid archer unit, the competition for that level 2 spot with the White Tiger is feirce. Given the Tiger's much higher hit points and cheaper building requirements, the White Tiger should probably be your unit of choice unless you really like those archer units. Level Three Unit Name: Griffin Unicorn Damage: 16-22 13-20 Hit Points: 95 80 Growth: 4 5 Abilities: Flying, Blinds enemy Unlimited Retaliation Notes: Unicorns function slightly below their normal level in HoMM games here, while Griffins get a major step up. I find Griffins to be absolutely the better choice between the two units here. Even though a Unicorn's blind can come in handy, it's just not common enough to give them the edge. Level Four Unit Name: Faerie Dragon Phoenix Damage: 35-50 45-65 Hit Points: 220 275 Growth: 2 2 Abilities: Flying, Flying, Spellcaster, Rebirth, Magic Mirror Breath Attack Notes: Tough choice. Both units are solid in their function. The Faerie Dragon is a back-row spellcaster who takes a whole lot to take down, while the Phoenix is a prime front line unit who can hit two units in a row. Other Units: It would be a lesson in pain to include all of the units that can come through the Summoning Portal, so instead I will provide a brief note on each. Leprechaun: Challenges the Sprite and Imp for weakest unit in the game. Satyr: A decent unit, but not enough growth to make them worthwhile. Air Elemental: Hard to kill, but doesn't do enough damage. Earth Elemental: A little slow, but can take a real beating. Fire Elemental: A great unit to take if you need another archer. Water Elemental: Not a terrible ranged unit, but pales before the Fire Elemental. Waspwort: Ranged, good growth, good damage, what's not to like? Mantis: Expensive and low growth, but very powerful. - Order - Level One Unit Name: Dwarf Halfling Damage: 2-3 1-2 Hit Points: 12 8 Growth: 18 23 Abilities: Magic Resistance Ranged, Giantslayer Notes: You may find Dwarves to be simply too slow to contribute much to your army, but the huge growth rate of Halflings will keep them useful throughout the game. Their Giantslayer ability makes them do more damage against level 4 units, too. Level Two Unit Name: Gold Golem Mage Damage: 8-12 3-4 Hit Points: 50 16 Growth: 6 8 Abilities: Magic Resistance, Spellcaster Mechanical Notes: Mages have taken a huge step down in the HoMM series here. While their spellcasting ability somewhat makes up for it, Golems are most likely going to be the better choice. Gold Golems don't go down very easily, while Mages drop like flies under direct attack. Level Three Unit Name: Genie Naga Damage: 9-12 14-22 Hit Points: 60 90 Growth: 6 4 Abilities: Flying, No Retaliation Spellcaster Notes: Genies look a bit different now, as they can now use their magic skills offensively, as well. This little addition gives them a slight edge over the Naga in usefullness. The Nagas are only slighty worse than before. While they make a great addition to any army, the Genies should be your first choice, especially if you went with Golems over Mages. Level Four Unit Name: Dragon Golem Titan Damage: 36-55 34-50 Hit Points: 220 210 Growth: 2 2 Abilities: First Strike, Ranged, Negate First Strike, No Melee Penalty, Mechanical Chaos Ward Notes: By taking a quick glance at their stats, you will see that the Titans and Dragon Golems are extremely close matched. Against Chaos, Titans obviously have the advantage, but in other cases, it's more a question of range vs. speed. In my mind, Titan's have the edge, but Dragon Golems are more than a worthy replacement should you choose them. Other Units Order doesn't have any units not in town. Bummer. - Chaos - Level One Unit Name: Bandit Orc Damage: 1-3 1-3 Hit Points: 10 12 Growth: 26 16 Abilities: Stealth Ranged, Short Range, No Melee Penalty Notes: The Orcs' abilities means that it fights just as well normally as it does ranged, but suffers twice the normal ranged penalties. Bandits aren't very useful in combat, but make great spies if you send them out to explore without a hero attached to them. Level Two Unit Name: Medusa Minotaur Damage: 3-6 5-10 Hit Points: 24 38 Growth: 6 6 Abilities: Ranged, Defend No Melee Penalty, Unlimited Ammo, Stone Gaze Notes: Minotaur are obviously stronger than the Medusa, but that long list of abilities is hard to pass up on the Medusa, so why would you? Stone Gaze is like the Gorgon's Death Gaze from HoMM3: no matter how much damage you do, you might kill a certain amount of units outright after the fact. If you go with Minotaur, Orcs will be your only archer unit, and that would be a bad thing. Level Three Unit Name: Efreet Nightmare Damage: 10-20 12-26 Hit Points: 80 110 Growth: 4 4 Abilities: Flying, Terror Fire Resistance, Fire Attack, Fire Shield Notes: Efreet are nice, but they simply don't pack the same kind of punch the Nightmares do. Unless you are in dire need of a flying unit, the Nightmare will be able to serve you considerably better than the Efreet. Level Four Unit Name: Hydra Black Dragon Damage: 28-60 55-110 Hit Points: 250 400 Growth: 2 1 Abilities: Multiple Attack, Flying, No Retaliation Magic Immune, Breath Attack Notes: The Black Dragon once again claims the title of Best Creature in HoMM. The Hydra is a decent fallback in case you can't afford the very steep price on the Black Dragons, but will never rival them in sheer power. Other Units Unit Name: Pirate Troglodyte Damage: 1-2 2-3 Hit Points: 10 14 Growth: 24 19 Abilities: Bonuses at Sea Immune to Blind Evil Eye Troll 3-7 6-12 26 45 6 6 Flying, Regeneration Ranged, Random Harmful Spell - Death - Level One Unit Name: Imp Skeleton Damage: 1-2 1-2 Hit Points: 7 8 Growth: 28 25 Abilities: Flying, Undead, Mana Leech Skeletal Notes: Imps are the same old, same old, though now their wings are actually useful for something. Skeletons appear to be weakened, but their Skeletal ability gives them a serious armor bonus against archer units. Skeletons and Imps are very useful, as they both grow quite quickly. Level Two Unit Name: Cerebus Ghost Damage: 4-6 2-4 Hit Points: 24 15 Growth: 7 9 Abilities: Multiple Attack, Flying, No Retaliation Undead, Aging Touch, Intangible Notes: The Ghosts are obviously much lower in stats, but their Intangible ability gives them a big defense bonus against melee and ranged attacks, making only spells their one weakness. Cerebus units are better on paper, but Necromancy can bring up Ghosts and higher levels, making swarms of Ghosts much easier to come by. Level Three Unit Name: Vampire Venom Spawn Damage: 12-18 16-24 Hit Points: 75 100 Growth: 3 3 Abilities: Flying, Ranged, Undead, Poison Life Drain, No Retaliation Notes: Having an archer is always good, but the Vampires' ability to regenerate again after dying once again makes it superior to units even stronger than itself. Unless you are going up against another Death army or an army with a lot of mechanical units in it, the Venom Spawn simply can't measure up. Level Four Unit Name: Bone Dragon Devil Damage: 45-65 34-50 Hit Points: 275 210 Growth: 2 2 Abilities: Flying, Teleport, Skeletal, Summon Ice Demons, Undead, Life Ward Terror Notes: If Devils kept their No Retaliation from HoMM3, they would certainly be the better of the two units. As it is now, you have a tough choice. The Bone Dragon is better against archers, while the Devil has the ability to get anywhere on the battlefield. The Bone Dragon is better, but take the Devil against Life opponents. Other Units Unit Name: Zombie Gargoyle Damage: 2-4 4-6 Hit Points: 24 22 Growth: 15 8 Abilities: Undead, Flying, Tough Stone Skin, Elemental Mummy Ice Demon 5-8 12-16 30 70 8 4 Undead, Freezing Attack, Curse Cold Resistance, Cold Attack - Might - Level One Unit Name: Berserker Centaur Damage: 2-3 3-5 Hit Points: 18 20 Growth: 19 9 Abilities: Attacks Twice, Ranged, Berserk Short Range, No Melee Penalty Notes: Might is blessed with the best level 1 units in the game. While the Centaurs have very few shots (4) and short range, they function just as well in Melee combat. While you can't control your Berserkers, they are sure to make life miserable on your enemy. These two units give Might armies a definate advantage early on. Level Two Unit Name: Harpy Nomad Damage: 4-5 6-9 Hit Points: 24 45 Growth: 8 8 Abilities: Flying, First Strike Strike and Return No Retaliation Notes: Harpies are quite a bit better at attacking strong units since they can't be retaliated against and quickly retreat after attacks, but Nomads can take a considerable amount of punishment for a level 2 unit without sacrificing speed in order to do it. Unless you really like that strike and return, take the Nomads. Level Three Unit Name: Cyclops Ogre Mage Damage: 12-18 12-18 Hit Points: 95 85 Growth: 3 6 Abilities: Ranged, Casts Bloodlust Area Attack Notes: The Ogre Mage is almost as strong as the Cyclops is, but the Area Attack ability that the Cyclops has is simply devistating. With 8 shots at their disposal, a group of Cyclops will take down the opponent quicker than the Ogres, even with their growth rate half of what the Ogre Magi get. Level Four Unit Name: Behemoth Thunderbird Damage: 55-80 28-40 Hit Points: 240 170 Growth: 2 3 Abilities: Strength Flying, Lightning Strike Notes: Though the Thunderbird's Lightning Strike has been souped up a considerable amount, the Behemoth simply does too much damage to be denied. Slightly better growth and the flying ability almost redeem the Thunderbird, and makes it a very good choice if you want a quick unit over a strong, but lumbering one. Other Units Unit Name: Mermaid Sea Monster Damage: 5-8 45-65 Hit Points: 38 275 Growth: 8 2 Abilities: Hypnotize Devouring ====================================================================== This file is copyrighted 2002 by Randvek. Any reposting without the author's permission is strictly forbidden. Go ahead and ask, though. He's a nice guy. Heroes of Might and Magic IV and all its logos and trademarks are property of 3D0. I'd like to thank 3D0 for continuing the great series that New World Computing started so very long ago, it seems. HoMM4 is certainly a unique addition to the series, and a great game, too. Go try it out. Really.