Ways of Heroes - a HOMM3SOD Strategy Guide, (C) 1999-2002 Viktor Coyot Urban
Version 2.0, supposedly final.

Contents of AllInOne HOMM3 FAQ:

Chapter I: 	General Game Guide
Chapter II:	Combat Guide
Chapter III:    Troop charts - efficienty comparison and more
Chapter IV: 	Castle guide
Chapter V: 	Rampart Guide
Chapter VI: 	Conflux guide
Chapter VII: 	Tower guide
Chapter VIII:   Stronghold guide
Chapter IX: 	Fortress guide
Chapter X:	Inferno guide
Chapter XI:	Necropolis guide
Chapter XII:	Dungeon guide
===============================================================================

Chapter I: General game guide

Contents:

I.    Exploring your vicinity (and what comes before it) - the basic guidelines
      on choosing factions and heroes, using and developing them effectively.
      The main part of this guide.

II.   Map structures and other info

III.  Building strategies

IV.   Defense strategies

V.    Hero list.


I. 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.

  1. Main advantages of twoor-more-heroes exploration:

       a. 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.]

       b. 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:

             o 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.)
             o holds backup armies for your main hero
             o can build up quite solid experience
             o can take out some of the wandering armies
             o can take care of some minor enemy heroes/towns

  2. 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 (aka 1stlevel troops) scattered around the map).
     However, a hero aligned to your starting castle will bring in troops that
     could be of use!
     Sometimes (when a ranger comes with two stacks of dwarves or a necro with
     walking dead) you may ignore this benefit. So, how to make your choice?

       A. Primary hero/castle: Since both might and magic heroes exist in each
          castle and every hero is unique, choosing primary castle and primary
          hero is quite complicated. First, for the castles:

             + Castle: Balanced troops, rather slow, more emphasis on
               the top troops.
             + Rampart: Rather fast troops, good specials, best
               1stlevel troop.
             + Tower: Good specials, strong 7thlevel troop, numerous
               1stlevel.
             + Stronghold: Offensive troops, cheap 7thlevel troop.
               Good 5thlevel.
             + Fortress: Defensive troops, nasty specials - dangerous
               7thlevel troop.
             + Dungeon: Rather offensive troops, best 2ndlevel troop.
               Black dragons ;-)
             + Inferno: Offensive troops with two non-retaliated
               attacks and good specials.
             + Necropolis: Good specials, cover of darkness structure.

          Second, for the heroes:
          I prefer might heroes to the magic ones, because in most
          cases the might ones still get some experience in magic.

          Might heroes can develop magic schools, and since bigger
          armies benefit more from misc. spells than from damage
          spells, with the only exception being Armageddon ;-), might
          heroes should be better in the long run, when they can get
          enough spellpower and knowledge to be able to cast Bless,
          Slow or Haste every now and then.

          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 might hero (unless I have access to
          some high-level magic and/or magic skills boosting structures and
          artifacts) and concentrate the experience with him. In many cases I
          manage to get Wisdom, so I can use some good spells from captured
          castles. In fact, probability of not getting wisdom for might hero
          is next to zero.

          There are only two situations where a strong magic hero is better:
          Both of them are based on Fire spells. One of them is Armageddon,
          but that requires the magic hero to also have some spell-resistant
          unit. The other one is Berzerker at

          Expert level. With it, up to 5 armies are often forced to fight each
          other and the only solution will be mass Cure or Dispel.

          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 - with big enough
          armies, MassBless beast ChainLightning. (Of course, you need an
          expert magic school for that...)

          Getting secondary skills:
          CheckWay ofparticular 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,
          Offense and Archery 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
          Expert Wisdom are a must, because those expand his strong features.

       B. Secondary hero:
          [In the following, percentages for level advancement are averaged
          for heroes with 20 levels! The advancement in first 9 levels is a
          bit different, generally with more emphasis towards the skills
          native to that hero. So that barbarians get 55% levels on attack
          below level 10 and only 30% later... yet I used the averaged
          number.]

            a. Defensive purposes: For castle garisson with troops that will
               do little apart from just standing behind the walls while the
               towers shoot the enemy, BeastMasters are the best, with 45% of
               their advancements going into Defense Skill, followed by
               Rangers, Knights and other might heroes. However, if your
               castle troops are bound to use offense (i.e. shooters, fast
               flyers or tough walkers), you might care for a barbarian with
               43% of levels gained raising his attack. But, on the other
               hand, if the castle you're defending has a mage guild with some
               supportive spells (namely Cure/Dispel), you might try to get a
               hero with some knowledge to be able to remove negative spells
               like Blind.

            b. Offensive purposes: If you need the hero to become another
               primary hero, you already know the algorithm for choosing
               primary heroes.

            c. Miscellaneous (aka secondary) purposes: The true secondary hero
               should be of some use. A scout/picker should have fast troops.
               Check the hero recruitment for details - you're looking for
               Logistics, Pathfinding and/or scouting, especially for those
               guys that will peddle troops to front lines.

          Since the heroes now have different secondary skills, there
          is no recommendation like 'I usually take warlocks'...
          however, there are several all-round good picks:

             + Caitlin, Clavius, Octavia, Nagash, Damacon, Jenova, Aine and
               Lord Haart are moneymakers (all get +350/day, only Haart has
               Basic Estates with 5% bonus, so he'll need a few levels...)

             + Thane with Advanced Scholar makes a good spell-transporter, but
               there are others with basic scholar - a few learning stones or
               trees of knowledge will be on almost every map.

             + Voy is the super-sea scout with navigation and 5% bonus.

             + Deemer has Advanced Scouting - a good pick for early
               exploration.

             + Rissan, Calid, Saurug and Sephinroth produce 1 magic resource
               per day, each different. Remember that 25 days with this hero
               will pay back with a few marketplaces, if you don't need the
               resource.

          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. Generally in L or XL maps, at least one
          secondary guy should have aggressive ambitions, should visit all the
          skill boosts and pick good secondary skills, because his time will
          always come.

          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 and
          minor battles 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 7th 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.
          A good example would be a knight with archery, luck and leadership,
          while the secondary guy is a spellcaster...]

          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 learning stones
          and possibly trees of knowledge (if they're for free) to try and get
          scouting, logistics or estates). Also, buying a hero to scout and
          claim mines near a captured castle is usually worth the 2500 gold.
          The fresh information from scouting (even if he dies there) may
          navigate your main guy towards new enemies. And with some
          marketplaces, even a few days' worth of those mines production will
          repay the gold back if needed).

  3. 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 learning stones 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, when the needed
     experience can be achieved from a few chests.

  4. Experience and advancement handling:
       a. 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. Sometimes you might even buy a new hero,
          if the backup guy has ambitions to become another primary hero.

       b. 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 stones 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.]

       c. 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 seventh army
          in case it would be needed for a castle siege or enemy hero attack).
          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 similar armies 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.)

       d. One more comment on treasure chests - always bear in mind that
          they're also a good source of GOLD! If you plan to rely on diplomacy
          or build very expensive structures, it's worth it to take gold with
          the secondary heroes. In early game, I take all the 1000 gold/500
          exp. chests for gold and with the better ones, I go for experience.
          Later I shift up and take gold even from the 1500/1000 ones.

       e. 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.

       f. All other sources of experience and skills can be used by more
          heroes (stones, primary skills increasers 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 - in case that the main hero will probably be near this
          tree later in the game - if you're sure you'll never get there
          again, grab the level!.

       g. Harpies at sea and altar of sacrifice are a good thing. No longer
          will you just carry around unneeded artifacts and troops that have
          joined you yet you don't want them. Imagine this: Your hero with
          some massive army is offered i.e. a throng of demons. You accept,
          give them immediately to the secondary guy who sacrifices them,
          getting some two, three levels for them... and this can happen
          pretty often.

  5. Artifacts
     Since the hero now has the backpack and can un-equip artifacts, handling
     them is much easier. There is one general rule: most of the artifacts
     COULD be needed later, even if you don't want to use them. Equipping the
     Spirit of Oppression (that prevents morale bonuses) would be a nonsense
     when you have positive morale. But you might run into an enemy that has
     expert leadership, three medals, visited temple and likes to cast Mirth
     on expert level. Needless to say, in that battle you'll gladly use the
     morale preventer.

     Since you can now weild only one weapon etc., your backup heroes will
     probably get some from the captured artifacts, too. Also, only four misc.
     artifacts can be equipped, so it's imperative that you transfer all gold
     and resource providing stuff to some secondary guy.

     Unwanted artifacts are disposed of at altars of sacrifice, already
     mentioned above.

  6. Movement rules
     Movement bonuses for fast armies (the slowest troop determines
     the bonus) are:
     0 for Extra Slow (4)
     1 for Slow(5)
     2 for Swift or Extra Swift (6-7)
     3 for Very Swift(8)
     4 for Ultra Swift or Super Swift (9-10)
     5 for Quick and faster (11+)
     Therefore, having Arch Devils (17) instead of Devils (11) won't help you,
     but you'll outrun a knight with Archers by 5 tiles/day. The default value
     is 15 tiles.
     [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...

  7. Also, use always appropriate heroes! In rough terrain, try to hire
     somebody with PathFinding, on high seas try hard for Navigation. Get to
     remember what skills do the nearby witch huts give, let secondary heroes
     get some experience ASAP to determine the purpose they'll be used for.

  8. Secondary skills Advancement

     - Magic heroes

      A typical hero will start with two levels of secondary skills, which
      gives him another 22 opportunities. In these, he'll be offered a total
      of 44 skills to take. The chart below, however, shows how many times
      will a hero be offered a particular skill in 112 level advancements.
      Don't ask me how this number came to existence - only it allows much
      finer distribution of probabilities than the '44'. A zero indicates that
      the hero will never be able to learn this skill. I believe that a ten
      indicates that the hero will reach the expert level quickly... I haven't
      tested it but it should be that a skill with ten will be offered in
      every advancement - or was it something like getting the skill to Expert
      before having all eight slots filled?

      Skill           Cle  War  Wit  Her Nec  Dru  Bat  Wiz Total
      Air Magic       4    2    2    3   3    2    4    5   25
      Archery         3    2    3    4   2    5    4    2   25
      Armorer         3    1    4    4   2    3    4    1   22
      Artillery       2    1    2    4   3    1    4    1   18
      Ballistics      4    6    4    6   5    4    6    4   39
      Diplomacy       7    4    2    3   4    4    3    4   31
      Eagle Eye       6    8    10   4   7    7    5    8   55
      Earth Magic     3    4    4    4   5    4    3    4   31
      Estates         3    5    1    1   3    3    1    5   22
      Fire Magic      2    3    1    5   2    1    2    2   18
      First Aid       10   3    1    5   0    7    4    7   37
      Intelligence    6    8    7    6   7    7    5    10  56
      Leadership      2    3    1    1   0    2    4    4   17
      Learning        4    4    4    4   4    4    4    4   32
      Logistics       4    2    3    3   4    5    10   2   33
      Luck            5    2    4    2   1    10   2    4   30
      Mysticism       4    8    8    10  6    6    4    8   54
      Navigation      5    4    6    2   5    2    0    1   25
      Necromancy      0    4    4    4   10   0    2    0   24
      Offense         4    1    2    4   3    1    7    1   23
      Pathfinding     2    2    2    3   6    5    4    2   26
      Resistance      2    0    0    3   1    1    4    0   11
      Scholar         6    8    7    5   6    8    4    9   53
      Scouting        3    2    2    3   2    2    4    2   22
      Sorcery         5    10   8    6   7    6    6    8   56
      Tactics         2    1    2    4   2    1    5    1   18
      Water Magic     4    1    3    2   4    3    1    3   21
      Wisdom          7    10   8    7   8    8    6    10  64
      Total           112  112  112  112 112  112  112  112

      Intersting details: Clerics, Wizards and Druids cannot learn Necromancy.
      Resistance is even less popular - no chance for Warlocks, Witches and
      Wizards, tiny chance for Druids and Necros.
      Battle mages are superb in Logistics - they make both great scouts and
      main heroes. Their only disadvantage is low affinity towards magic
      schools.
      Also take mental note of general frequency of skills - for all magic
      heroes Leadership and Tactics are very infrequent and so you shouldn't
      waste the opportunity if you're offered one of these. Necromancer's ban
      on First Aid seems logical - only stressing the unbelievable fact that
      Necro castle Blacksmith sells only First Aid Tents...

      - Might heroes
      Skill           Kni  Ove  Bea  Dem Dkn  Ran  Bar  Alc Total
      Air Magic       3    1    1    2   2    1    3    4   17
      Archery         5    6    7    6   5    8    7    5   49
      Armorer         5    6    10   7   5    8    6    6   53
      Artillery       5    8    8    5   5    6    8    4   49
      Ballistics      8    7    6    6   7    4    8    6   52
      Diplomacy       4    3    1    4   2    4    1    3   22
      Eagle Eye       2    1    1    2   4    2    2    3   17
      Earth Magic     2    3    3    3   4    3    3    3   24
      Estates         6    4    1    3   0    2    2    4   22
      Fire Magic      1    2    0    4   1    0    2    1   11
      First Aid       2    1    6    1   0    3    1    2   16
      Intelligence    1    1    1    2   5    2    1    4   17
      Leadership      10   8    5    3   0    6    5    3   40
      Learning        4    4    4    4   4    4    4    10  38
      Logistics       5    8    8    10  5    5    7    6   54
      Luck            3    1    2    2   1    6    3    1   19
      Mysticism       2    3    2    3   4    3    3    4   24
      Navigation      8    4    8    3   8    3    2    3   39
      Necromancy      0    1    1    0   10   0    1    4   17
      Offense         7    8    5    5   7    5    10   6   53
      Pathfinding     4    5    8    4   4    7    8    4   44
      Resistance      5    6    5    6   5    10   6    5   48
      Scholar         1    1    1    2   2    1    1    3   12
      Scouting        4    5    7    5   4    7    8    4   44
      Sorcery         1    2    1    3   4    2    1    3   17
      Tactics         7    10   6    6   5    5    7    4   50
      Water Magic     4    0    2    1   3    2    0    2   14
      Wisdom          3    3    2    4   6    3    2    5   28

      Total           112  112  112  112 112  112  112  112
      It's pretty easy here. All the magic skills are low. If your might hero
      has a chance to learn Air magic, he should. Mass Haste is almost as good
      as Tactics (overally, in some aspects it's even better.
      Magic schools are generally scarce, with Fire being forbidden to Rangers
      and Beastmasters, while Water magic is a nono for Overlords and
      Barbarians. Note that Alchemists are extremely good learners - which
      also means that if you decide to not take
      Learning in the beginning, you'll be offered it many times later. So
      you'd better take it soon, because you risk that on some well-earned
      level above 10 you'll be faced with a combination like Learning and
      Mysticism... Generally all the 'tens' indicate that you should take that
      skill sooner or you'll be fed it later. Here the ten for Tactics makes
      Overlords highly appreciated. (Arlach, Damacon and Gunnar have
      non-dungeon specials and are therefore good for any class!) Demoniacs
      with Logistics are pretty good for scouts (namely Pyre and Octavia with
      non-infernal specials.

      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. And the archery in
      this example is a good one, since knight has only two shooters of which
      one is frequently targeted by all enemies.

        o 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. Expert ballistics increases chance of
          hitting arrow towers to 75% (until all walls are destroyed).
          However, there is one big advantage of ballistics: Since you get
          manual control of the catapult and the catapult always plays first
          in the battle rounds, you can cast a spell before the opponent gets
          his fastest troop to move. Favorite spells are
          Slow/Haste/Earthquake.

        o Artillery: Might heroes profit from that skill pretty well. It has
          proven worthy in many battles, especially in the earlier stages of
          the game. It's firepower can be immense.

        o Archery: Increased damage from ranged attacks usually comes in
          pretty handy, unless you have small stacks or none shooters at all.
          (I.e. Fortress, Necropolis).

        o Tactics: This is the BEST skill for me, no doubt about that. Two
          things should be separated: 1) The fact that your walkers can start
          their action at 7th row - when your armies are faster than enemy,
          this is the deadliest skill in the game, because even relatively
          slow walkers (6-7) can strike in the first turn - so if everything
          goes well, the enemy doesn't get to play at all! Especially well
          used with Rampart or Castle troops. 2) Then there is the ability to
          rearrange your troops upon seeing the enemy 'configuration' - and
          it's always nice to be able to move all your troops out of range of
          the enemy fast flyers! I've won many battles ONLY because I had this
          skill. Only in castle defenses this skill is less useful, as the
          point 1) doesn't apply - but point 2) still does!

        o Offense: A very potent skill for all Might heroes, especially those
          that depend on aggresive approach.

        o Armorer: Smaller brother of Offense, a bit less useful, but
          definitely beats Mysticism and Eagle Eye ;-)

        o First Aid: This could be an important skill for cases where enemy
          fire is concentrated on high-level units. If you're walking around
          the map with your 7thlevel creatures only, the First Aid Tent with
          100 points of healing can prevent losses - it successfully
          eliminates castle towers' fire (towers usually score about 100
          points of damage.)

        o Luck: Causing double damage can't be a bad thing, ever ;-), but it's
          never a thing I'd wait for to come. And, the damage is not exactly
          doubled, it is increased only by an average raw damage of the stack,
          without A/D included.

        o 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.)

        o Learning: An useless skill. For a wasted slot, you only get one
          level ahead of opposition.

        o Logistics: A must, except for Small, sometimes Medium and those
          island realms scenarios.

        o Pathfinding: A must, whereever large desert, swamp or snowy areas
          require exploration. Otherwise useless.

        o Navigation: Don't have to tell you that you won't need that, when
          you have no seas/rivers to conquer, do I? ;-)

        o Necromancy: Not of much use, unless you manage to get expert one and
          find large masses of cannon fodder such as trogs. However, in
          necromancer's hands it's a powerful weapon.

        o Resistance: This skill is stronger than it looks. Especially heroes
          that have it as a special are dangerous opponents, because a spell
          resisted at the right time can decide whole battle. If you manage to
          get some artifacts, enemy spellcasters will have a hard day then. On
          the other hand, results are not guaranteed and therefore I usually
          pick other skills - those that work always, not by percentage.

        o 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.] There's another VERY important aspect of diplomacy -
          surrendering is cheaper! At expert level, you have 60% discount,
          which can be pretty important in saving crucial parts of your army.
          And another thing that I tested: Every level of diplomacy gives you
          TWO levels' discount on the requirement to enter Library of
          Enlightenment! So that if your hero at level 4 has Expert Diplomacy
          (or at 6 Advanced or at 8 Basic), he'll be let in, getting +2 to all
          skills! This can be very useful, if the library is near to your
          castle (and even more, if you can learn Diplomacy in a hut. You
          might then want your secondary heroes and/or castle defenders to get
          the Diplomacy, grab some experience and get this +8 bonus...

          From Gus at NWC we've learned exactly how Diplomacy works.
          Here's the mail quoted (and slightly reworded):

          Here's how it works, in a nutshell.
          Diplomacy makes it more likely that:
             + Monsters will join you for free.
             + Monsters will join you for money.
             + Monsters will run away (avoid fighting).

          Each monster has a aggression level, set at the start of the game.
          You can adjust the range of aggression in the editor, but there's
          always a random factor, unless the monster is "compliant" or
          "savage."
          When you encounter a monster group, the monsters first decide
          whether to fight. The depends on your strength, how friendly they
          are, your diplomacy skill, and whether you have similar creatures in
          your army.
          If they are friendly or ambivalent, they may decide to join you. For
          normal monsters, 10% of the time they'll join you for free. Every
          level of diplomacy makes this 10% more likely. Having similar
          creatures also makes this 10% more likely. Having an army that is
          mostly similar creatures makes it 20% more likely.

          Example: Sir Christian has an army composed exclusively of pikemen,
          and Expert diplomacy. Normal pikemen and halberdier stacks will join
          him roughly 60% of the time - if they don't fight.
          Diplomacy also allows you to persuade monster stacks to join for
          money.
          You always get the full stack, and the price doesn't change. Each
          level adds 10%.
          Of the pikemen stacks that Sir Christian encounters, another 30%
          will offer to join for money, again if they don't fight. Only 10% of
          them will flee without offering to join. Sir Christian's a really
          likable guy.
          If the creatures are ambivalent, and you turn down the offer to
          join, they'll fight you. If they're afraid (or impressed by your
          silver tongue), they'll run away. Diplomacy never makes it more
          likely they'll fight. If you turn down an offer and get a battle,
          they would have fought you anyway. This is for normal, "Aggressive"
          monsters. If they're set to "Complaint" in the editor, they'll join
          anyone. If they're "Friendly", they're 30% more likely to join. If
          they're "Hostile", they're 30% less likely to join - you'll need
          Expert diplomacy, or similar creatures, to have any chance of them
          joining for free. If they're "Savage", they won't join anyone.
          [End of quotation.]

        o 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.

        o 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.) Of
          course, there might be situations where you could even RELY on this
          skill. Imagine a map that is short on magical resources and yet
          you've been forced a magic hero...

        o Estates: I never take estates for my main hero, but the secondary
          guys would be foolish to not take it. If there's a witch hut, all
          the army and resource couriers should visit first and then get some
          levels at stones and trees to upgrade.

        o Intelligence: More than effective replacement of Mysticism. Top
          spellcasters can then make long journeys and be generous with
          offensive spells ;-). Also, Might heroes that won't ever be good at
          knowledge should consider taking this skill - if only to have a
          decent spellpoint reserve for Haste/Slow/Dispel - which are pretty
          important. Especially dispel may be needed pretty often against the
          way too often blinding AI.

        o Sorcery: A must for offensively thinking spellcasters. the 15%
          increase of damage is a great thing.

        o Scholar: This is a great skill for secondary heroes!. You won't have
          to return home with your main hero to learn spells from newly built
          guild - the secondary guy will take the knowledge on the road and
          share it with all others.

        o Mysticism: Could be 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. However, with magic schools that
          reduce spell costs, I rarely use mysticism - sometimes with Might
          heroes that need to cast Haste/Slow/Dispel often and don't want to
          waste a slot on a magic school (because their most used spells come
          from different schools each.)

        o 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 spells like Berzerker may greatly improve
          their battle efficiency, not to mention getting i.e. TownGate.
          However, I would recommend some planning here - to try and get some
          magic school, too, as wisdom alone will not get you the real power
          of the spells. [I.e. Town Portal without advanced Earth magic
          sucks.]

        o Magic schools: I don't want flamewars about which school is better,
          so I'll let anyone make their choice... All damage spells have
          increased base damage (usually it's + 10,20,30 or 10,20,50),
          elemental summoning has doubled effectivity. Protection from another
          school is 50% for all friendly units.. I will use the following
          syntax: Interesting spell (effects), applying for Expert level of
          that school.

             + Air magic:
                  + Haste (All +5 speed) - a decisive factor
                  + View Air (Artifacts, heroes, Towns) - great for
                    hunting down enemies
                  + Disrupting Ray (Defense -5)
                  + Precision (All ranged +6 Attack) - that means +30%
                    damage!
                  + Air shield (ranged damage taken is reduced to 50%)
                  + Counterstrike (All +2 retaliations!) - great for
                    armies with specials!
                  + Dimension Door (4 jumps/day)
                  + Fly (100% of normal movement)
               Important spells: ChainLightning, Hypnotize (to use enemy's
               small stacks to waste retaliations of his top units.)

             + Water magic:
                  + Bless (All Damage is Max(damage)+1)
                  + Cure (Cures all friendly)
                  + Dispel (Dispels ALL spells on the battlefield)
                  + Weakness (All enemy -6 A)
                  + Forgetfullness (All enemy ranged attackers don't
                    use range attack)
                  + Teleport (Can teleport anywhere, incl. castle.)
                  + Clone (Works on 7thlevel troops too)
                  + Prayer (All A,D and speed +4)
                  + Water Walk (100% of normal movement)
               Important spells: Bless, Cure, Frost Ring,
               Summon Boat, Scuttle Boat

             + Earth magic:
                  + Slow (All 50% speed)
                  + Stone Skin (All +6 Defense)
                  + View Earth (Entire terrain and mines/resources)
                  + AntiMagic (Immunity to all spells)
                  + Town Portal (Can choose destination)
               Important spells: Animate Dead, Resurrect, DeathRipple, Meteor
               Shower, Implosion (aka the only Dragon killer around ;-))

             + Fire magic:
                  + Bloodlust (All +6 Attack)
                  + Blind (Doesn't retaliate when blinded and
                    attacked)
                  + Berserk (All in 19hex radius affected!) - total
                    insanity!
                  + Frenzy (Target has A increased for 2xD)
                  + Slayer (+8 A against all 7thlevel troops)
               Important spells: Armageddon, Fireball, FireWall, Inferno,
               Sacrifice!

     Favorite secondary skills are a tough part.
     For a might hero, I would suggest Tactics, Offense, Leadership,
     Ballistics. Other slots might be used for Logistics, Wisdom, one magic
     school and maybe Intelligence, but skills like Diplomacy, Artillery,
     Archery, First Aid, or Pathfinding are applicable as well.

     Magic heroes should have Wisdom, at least one but prefferrably more magic
     schools, possibly Sorcery and Intelligence. They might use Tactics as
     well, Logistics needn't be mentioned. Of course, you might have a
     Super-duper spellcaster with Sorcery, Wisdom, Intelligence and four spell
     schools - and still one slot left. Or you could have a mega-might freak
     with Offense, Armorer, Archery, Leadership, Artillery, Ballistics and
     Tactics - and still one slot left.

     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. You won't need Intelligence if there are
     enough castles and wells in the map...

     If there are any skills that are useful 'always', then I would vote for
     Tactics - it will bring results in the first week - no building required,
     no special map conditions (size/terrain/armies) needed etc.

  9. 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 with him, sitting
     in his castle.
     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 or use powerful offensive magic to repel an enemy
     that you've gotten near to. 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... Also bear in mind that DD is limited to 2/3/4 jumps/day -
     so make sure that if you can cast it twice, you won't end near somebody
     you don't want to face in battle!

     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! [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 some very fast units in your castle, an
     enemy nearby with a huge army and some offensive spells in your guild:
     Split your very fast units into 7 stacks, if possible. Just have the
     seven 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 7 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 may be applied even with many
     starting heroes, but the process is generally more costly. And anyway,
     it's considered as 'dirty' by many players. Softening up an enemy before
     attack/defense may have another aspect - if you use strong enough army,
     you might force the AI to cast spells and thus waste spellpoints. If you
     sacrifice one or two armies this way, in the following castle siege the
     AI may not have enough spellpoints to caste annoying Blind on your
     shooters.

     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 Earth or View Air may have crucial
     impact on your success. Seeing 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.

 10. Did you know that...
     - if an army is composed of creatures native to one terrain type,
     the hero does not suffer from movement penalty on that terrain type
     (applies to Tower, Stronghold and especially Fortress. When you hire
     a scout hero of other class, leave his starting troops in the castle
     for defense and take native troops out).

     - movement or resource artifacts are needed only at the beginning
     of turn. You won't lose the movement bonus for changing the boots
     of speed with Sandals of the Saint... Also, Knowledge increasing artifacts
     are needed only at the time you're replenishing spellpoints. You can
     therefore use i.e. the Crown of supreme magi to give all your heroes
     +40 spellpoints, when they meet near a well.

     - magic plains enhance all spellcasters, not only the hero. All
elementals,
     Ogre magi and genies will cast Mass versions, where applicable.

     - skeleton transformer creates Bone Dragons from all dragons and hydras.

     - all guarded treasury buildings can be scouted by refusing to enter.
     After a right-click, you are then told what guardians are there,
     just as if they were a wandering army. You can then safely decide,
     how big an army will you need. Note that war machines cannot be used
     in those fights.

     - try to attack on day 7 or even better at day 1. Computer has Day 1
     after you, but his dwellings have it before you :-). This way,
     you can capture ligthly defended towns and have some considerable forces
     left for defense without delaying your main force.

     - if you fear that the town will be recaptured soon, spend money only
     on those defending armies that are pain to fight against
     (usually shooters or fast units) or on those armies that will cause the
     biggest losses to the recapturing army.

     - if the AI comes near your castle, but does not attack, don't think
     that it fears you. It knows the above tip as well and often spends a
     few days flagging nearby mines and dwellings before striking.

     - avoid whirlpool losses by using a free slot to hold one 1stlevel troop.
     The whirlpool will consider that the weakest stack and remove it.
     It is a pain to repeat the splitting, so if you will be a little more
     generous, two creatures will last for two turns :-)

     - If you want a fair battle, play on Hard difficulty. At normal, the AI
     plays very lousy - does not use Wait, does not retreat etc.

     - in team matches where your ally is a computer, it is often a good idea
     to block his castle and take some of his resources. Once his starting hero
     gets outside the castle, buy a hero in there and leave him as visiting -
     your ally won't be able to recruit other heroes or return with his
starting
     hero for more troops. You can then hire another hero there to collect
resources,
     recruit from dwellings and take some lightly defended towns.




 II. Map structures and other information

This section is a shortened version of Christoper Nahr's HOMM3 Manual
Addendum, rewritten and published with author's permission. The
originalis recommended for most players as required reading...

   o Garrison heroes cannot be traded with - you have to click on the castle,
     move the hero to 'visiting' slot and then manually initiate a trade with
     another hero. Garrison heroes cannot be anyhow selected from the map.
     Putting a hero to the garrison has therefore effect similar to 'sleeping'
     him (the tent icon), but not only you don't get him selected by 'next
     hero' icon (or 'n' key), the hero isn't even visible in heroes column.

   o If there are both visiting and garrison hero present and enemy attacks,
     the visiting hero is fought on free terrain. After the battle another
     'click' on the castle is needed to fight the hero inside.

   o [Therefore is may sometimes be handy to purchase a visiting hero
     - just to hold the enemy one more step - if his planning was
     tight, it might happen that he doesn't have the one extra
     movement point left and you get extra turn - and even on other
     days than day 7 this might be good - you might upgrade a
     dwelling, get some beneficial building or increase fortification
     level...]

   o If there is a visiting hero (that is visible in the castle
     entrance) and no hero inside, the garrison armies are merged into
     the hero's army, what cannot be merged is unused (just as in
     HOMM2) - and if the defender wins the battle, the armies are
     still there, if he loses, they're lost without fight. Therefore,
     be sure to check whether some castle army shouldn't be better
     transferred to the hero right before the siege - I don't know
     exact algorithm for choosing armies from the garrison slots to be
     merged into the hero's army, so if you want to be sure, better do
     this manually.

   o Creature Dwellings dwellings offer a fixed number of creatures,
     replenished once per week, to any visiting hero whose flag will then be
     planted at the dwelling. The actual number of creatures offered is
     equivalent to the base production of that creature type in their native
     town type. Any creature dwelling that flies your flag will also add one
     creature to the weekly production of all of your towns with a
     corresponding creature generator. This means that if you have flagged
     three Cursed Temples on the Adventure Map and two Necropolis towns with a
     Cursed Temple already built, each of these towns will offer three
     additional Skeletons per week. To fully exploit a creature dwelling you
     will have to keep sending heroes there once per week. The bonus creatures
     added to a town's production will accumulate along with regularly
     produced creatures until you choose to buy them, but any creatures that
     were not fetched from a dwelling in any given week will be lost. The
     Dungeon Town's Portal of Summoning duplicates a random, flagged
     dwelling's weekly production by offering the same number of creatures
     again that is also, and additionally, available at the dwelling itself.
     However, in this case too unhired creatures will be lost. First-level
     creatures will join a hero for free when invited at their dwelling but
     come at the usual price when added to a town's production. Creatures
     purchased directly at a dwelling are always of basic quality whereas
     creatures added to a town's production are hired at the same quality
     (basic or upgraded) as the corresponding town structure. Their price
     changes accordingly.

   o Cursed Ground. No spellcasting is possible and all positive luck and
     morale modifiers are removed.

   o Magic Plains. All adventure and combat spells are cast at expert
     proficiency.

   o Idol of Fortune. While giving either a morale or a luck bonus on most
     days, the

   o Idol will give both bonuses on the 7th day of the week.

   o Temple. The morale bonus bestowed on your troops by the Temple is doubled
     on the 7th day of the week. Note that it is always a good idea to conquer
     cities on the day just before the weekly creature growth because you will
     be able to replenish your forces on the very next day. The enhanced
     powers of Idols and Temples on the 7th day of the week are meant to
     encourage this strategy.

   o Spirit of Oppression. This artifact does not negate the morale bonus for
     wandering creatures on their native terrain, although it does negate this
     same bonus for creatures in a hero's army.

   o Hero Specialty. Some hero specialties come as bonuses to creatures,
     spells, or secondary skills. The descriptions of these specialties state
     that the bonus would increase "for every level after the nth" which is
     somewhat misleading. The bonus is not actually increased by a fixed
     amount of points per level. Its calculation merely involves the current
     hero level as a factor, as follows:

        + Creature Speciality. The indicated creatures gain a percentage bonus
          to their Attack and Defense ratings equivalent to (Hero Level /
          Creature Level) x 5. Note that since Creature Level appears as
          denominator, it can take a very long time before you see any effect
          at all on high level creatures! Therefore it's usually better to
          pick heroes that are specialized in lower level units. A hero on
          20th level would give 50% bonus to skills of archers and 15% bonus
          to skills of Champions, if he had these two as special units.
          Practical effects will be pretty close, since the archers will get
          +3 to their attack of six, while the champions will get +2-3 to
          their attack of 16. (In other words, the lower percentage due to
          higher denominator in the formula is balanced by higher base numbers
          to which the counted percentage is applied.)

        + Spell Speciality. The effect of the indicated spell is enhanced by a
          percentage value of (Hero Level / Creature Level) x 3, where
          "Creature Level" is the level of the creature(s) targetted by the
          spell.

        + Skill Speciality. The effect of the indicated secondary skill is
          enhanced by a percentage value of Hero Level x 5. Note that this
          percentage value is multiplied with, rather than added to, the skill
          value: a 10th level hero with a Logistics specialty and Expert
          Logistics (30% movement bonus) receives an additional movement bonus
          of 15% (30% + 30% x (5% * 10) = 30% + 15% = 45%.

        o Army formation selector is used to determine the amount of free
          space between army stacks. It's functionality is very limited - the
          resulting formations are different for the two setting only for
          armies with 2-5 slots occupied - 1, 6 and 7 armies will always take
          the same position, no matter which setting you use.

        o Tactics selector can be used to switch off the usage of Tactics
          before the actual battle - on player side. This means that if your
          hero has Tactics skill and you don't want to use it most of the
          time, you switch it off here. Note that your hero will still 'use'
          his level of Tactics to eliminate enemy hero's Tactics, since
          Tactics of one hero eliminate the same amount of levels of Tactics
          of the other hero (i.e. you having Expert and enemy Advanced, then
          in the battle it looks like you have Basic and enemy has nothing...)

        o Archery skill applies to fortification fire, too! Therefore it's
          good to buy heroes with Archery for castle defenses (The castle
          usually does some 100 points of damage - and the increase comes
          pretty handy.)

        o Morale bonuses are individual for every unit in the battle - all
          units use the modifier that their hero gives them, but they get
          morale boost from their native terrain. Also, some creatures have
          specific morale rules. (Undead - no morale. Minotaurs - morale
          always at least at +1).

        o Special Abilities: (Briefly and incorrectly mentioned in the manual
          as "Make a Special Attack.") Some creatures have a special ability,
          such as the Archangel's ability to resurrect dead allied troops once
          per combat. When a stack of creatures with a special ability is
          active, just place the mouse cursor over whichever troop you want to
          use their ability on. Watch the mouse cursor change to an animated
          spell-casting icon and click to apply the special ability to the
          target troop. Using a special ability ends the turn for the
          performing creatures (but not for the target creatures). All special
          abilities except for the Mighty Gorgon's death stare and the
          Dendroid's entangling attack are affected by spell resistancies,
          immunities, and Cursed Ground in the same way as hero spells are.
          Alas, there is no indication whatsoever when a special attack fails
          due to such circumstances; the attack simply will not happen. o
          Two-hex creatures: Any ranged attack on a two-hex creature is
          considered hampered if any of the hexes occupied by the creature
          shows a "broken arrow" cursor. This is true even if the cursor turns
          into a whole arrow on the other hexagon. Also note that both hexes
          of the creature can take damage from some spells (notably FireWall -
          if the creature moves right through the firewall, it'll take double
          damage - for every hex one hit. Area damage spells such as fireball,
          however, don't have this effect.

         o Purchasing creatures: When you click on the castle/Citadel/Fort,
          you can not only see all stats, but by rightclicking display stats
          of the units and by left clicking purchase them.

III. Building

General rules on building are these:
You should always start with money a town hall. However, since the
town hall, built on day 1, earns you only 1000 gold extra on Day 1
next week, you might consider building creature dwellings and benefit
structures instead.
When upgrading dwellings, consider these points:
   o 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 rather slow. Getting an upgrade to speeds like 11 means that
     you'll at least sometimes get first shot in battles.

   o The second most important upgrades are those that increase speed of your
     slowest unit(s). They give you extra movement points for each turn.

   o 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, yet it's
     comparatively good (yet in different ways) for gremlins to start throwing
     their balls or for vampires to start drinking blood of their enemies in
     large scale ;-)).

   o Upgrades to 7thlevel creatures are sometimes great change (i.e.
     behemoths)

A Town Hall built on day one will result in extra 1000 gold on first day of
next week (and then extra 3500 every first day of week). The build schedules
shown in other articles build it, but there may be cases where you could build
some highlevel dwelling at the cost of not building the Town Hall. So, before
you build your first structure, try to guess whether you will be able (gold
and resource-wise) to go for some high-end dwelling that quickly, and alter
the building schedule accordingly.
Always try to build most of dwellings before day one of next week. All
miscellaneous buildings like Mage Guild, MarketPlace or Blacksmith can wait.
The second week should be usually aimed at building money generators
including Capitol, if possible.
Ideal case: You start with two towns. One goes for the creatures and
Citadel/Castle, the other goes for money in the first week. In the
second week, the first town goes for capitol, while the second stays
idle. Further on, all the cash that is left after troops are purchased
should go to upgrades and also lower level dwellings in the second town.
If you really don't know what to do with cash, build other structures.
Short notes on all common structures:
   o Village hall: Default building, earns 500 g/t.
   o Town hall: First upgrade, earns 1000 g/t.
   o City hall: Second upgrade, earns 2000 g/t.
   o Capitol: Last upgrade, earns 4000 g/t, can be built only in one
     city per player.
   o Fort: Basic military structure - adds a wall to let shooters in your
     garrison defend the city. Also allows building of basic creature
     dwellings.
   o Citadel: Adds moat and arrow tower, increases base creature
     production by 50%, rounded DOWN!
   o Castle: Adds two arrow towers, stronger walls, increases base
     creature production by 100%.
   o Mage guilds need no big explanation, only remember that some town
     types are restricted in levels of mage guilds allowed.
   o 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.]
   o Tavern is the place where you can recruit new heroes. Usually
     it's already there.
   o Class dependant buildings can be of use. Some help with defense,
     while others give some benefits to heroes. Check Way of
     particular castle for details.

 IV. Defense strategy

Get used to computer heroes attacking every now and then your castles.
There are three main ways to chose:
  1. Take and forget - where you capture a castle and enjoy the gold it
     provides, learn it's spells, use it's benefits and leave. The enemy soon
     tries to recapture, but you've not helped him any with building the
     castle.

  2. Take and hold - where you sit in the captured castle and wait for the
     enemy to come. This isn't any good, since it binds your main force to
     that castle and also the enemy may attack a bit later, when he feels
     strong enough to beat you.

  3. Take and expand - where you stay near the castle with some decent armies
     (usually the main army, whose hero runs around to flag mines and get
     benefits (skill boosts etc.), while you build and upgrade dwellings,
     raise a castle to get maximum defensive power, buy another hero, run the
     benefits with him, too, recruit all troops and get ready to hold the
     castle with its own troops against enemy raids. With two weeks'
     production you can move your main hero away. This approach is pretty
     costly, but remember one thing: if you take a castle and let the enemy
     retake it, all the troops that were left inside unrecruited, will be
     probably recruited by the enemy and you'll face them later in the battle.
     And since castle defenses play first in the siege, this will usually mean
     more losses on your side. Of course, if you have 7thlevel troops only in
     the recapturing army, the towers won't score a kill and you'll gain
     experience for the troops you've killed.

     Always think first - is the castle worth holding at all costs? Are the
     troops inside strong enough to defend it? Or are they weak enough so you
     won't waste money on them and kill them later, when the enemy has paid
     for them? How strong enemy forces will try to take the castle?

     The AI's not stupid. It has learned much and will try it's best to strike
     on Day 7! So better be prepared. Defending the castles with newbie heroes
     has one good and one bad side. The bad side is higher losses, the good
     side is higher profits in gained levels, if you win.

     When defending ANY castle, think well about picking targets for defensive
     shooters. While the enemy may have relatively strong shooter armies, his
     walkers/flyers are usually a bigger threat - the shooters are out of
     effective range - they'll score half damage on you and you'll score half
     damage on them! So it's better to go after the walkers, especially those
     standing in the moat. Also, try to notice what units are targeted by your
     castle defenses and how much damage they suffer. For example, if your
     tower scores 60 damage and targets a stack with one archer left, it would
     be very wise to finish it, so the next 60 points from the tower will not
     be wasted on this one archer. Even if you're gonna lose the battle, fight
     to the end and try to inflict maximum losses, unless you want to
     surrender to save some precious troops.

  V. Hero list

Hero list with special abilities:
(Heroes marked '*' are special and will not appear in regular games,
at least I think so.)

Death Knights: 1/2/2/1
Charna           Necromancy, Tactics       Wights or Wraiths
Clavius          Necromancy, Offense       +350 gold per day.
Galthran         Necromancy, Armorer       Skeletons
Isra             Advanced Necromancy       Necromancy skill
Moander          Necromancy, Learning      Liches
Tamika           Necromancy, Offense       Black Knights
Straker          Necromancy, Resistance    Walking Dead
Vokial           Necromancy, Artillery     Vampires
*Lord Haart     Advanced Necromancy       Black Knights get +5A, +5D, +10Dmg

Necromancers: 1/0/2/2
Aislinn          Necromancy, Wisdom        Meteor Shower spell
Nagash           Necromancy, Intelligence  +350 gold per day
Nimbus           Necromancy, Eagle Eye     Eagle Eye skill
Sandro           Necromancy, Sorcery       Sorcery skill
Septienna        Necromancy, Scholar       Death Ripple spell
Thant            Necromancy, Mysticism     Animate Dead spell
Vidomina         Advanced Necromancy       Necromancy skill
Xsi              Necromancy, Learning      Stone Skin spell

Barbarians: 4/0/1/1
Crag Hack        Advanced Offense          Offense skill
Gretchin         Offense, Pathfinding      Goblins
Gurnisson        Offense, Artillery        Ballista (above 4th level)
Jabarkas         Offense, Archery          Orcs
Krellion         Offense, Resistance       Ogres
Shiva            Offense, Scouting         Rocs
Tyraxor          Offense, Tactics          Wolf Riders
Yog              Offense, Ballistics       Cyclopes
*Duke W. Boragus Offense, Tactics          Ogres
*Kilgor          Offense, Tactics          Behemoths gain +5A, +5D and +10 Dmg

Battle Mages: 2/1/1/1
Dessa            Wisdom, Logistics         Logistics skill
Gird             Wisdom, Sorcery           Sorcery skill
Gundula          Wisdom, Offense           Offense skill
Oris             Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill
Saurug           Wisdom, Resistance        +1 Gem per day
Terek            Wisdom, Tactics           Haste spell
Vey              Wisdom, Leadership        Ogres
Zubin            Wisdom, Artillery         Precision spell

Rangers: 1/3/1/1
Clancy           Resistance, Pathfinding   Unicorns
Ivor             Archery, Offense          Wood
Jenova           Advanced Archery          +350 gold per day
Kyrre            Archery, Logistics        Logistics skill
Mephala          Leadership, Armorer       Armorer skill
Ryland           Leadership, Diplomacy     Dendroid Guards
Thorgrim         Advanced Resistance       Resistance skill
Ufretin          Resistance, Luck          Dwarves
*Gelu            Leadership, Archery       Trains Sharpshooters

Druids: 0/2/1/2
Aeris            Wisdom, Scouting          Pegasi
Alagar           Wisdom, Sorcery           Ice Bolt
Uland            Adv. Wisdom, Ballistics   Cure spell
Coronius         Wisdom, Scholar           Slayer spell
Elleshar         Wisdom, Initelligence     Intelligence skill
Gem              Wisdom, First Aid         First Aid skill
Malcom           Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill
Melodia          Wisdom, Luck              Fortune spell

Alchemists: 1/1/2/2
Fafner           Scholar, Resistance       Nagas
Iona             Scholar, Intelligence     Genies
Neela            Scholar, Armorer          Armorer skill
Piquedram        Mysticism, Scouting       Gargoyles
Josephine        Mysticism, Sorcery        Golems
Rissa            Mysticism, Offense        +1 Mercury per day
Thane            Advanced Scholar          Genies
Torosar          Mysticism, Tactics        Ballista (above 4th level)

Wizards: 0/0/2/3
Aine             Wisdom, Scholar           +350 gold per day
Astral           Advanced Wisdom           Hypnotize spell
Cyra             Wisdom, Diplomacy         Haste spell
Daremyth         Wisdom, Intelligence      Fortune spell
Halon            Wisdom, Mysticism         Mysticism skill
Serena           Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill
Solmyr           Wisdom, Sorcery           Chain Lightning spell
Theodorus        Wisdom, Ballistics        Magi
*Dracon          Advanced Wisdom           Trains Enchanters

Beastmasters: 0/4/1/1
Alkin            Armorer, Offense          Gorgons
Broghild         Armorer, Scouting         Wyverns
Bron             Armorer, Resistance       Basilisks
Drakon           Armorer, Leadership       Gnolls
Gerwulf          Armorer, Artillery        Ballista (above 4th level)
Korbac           Armorer, Pathfinding      Serpent
Tazar            Advanced Armorer          Armorer skill
Wystan           Armorer, Archery          Lizardmen

Witches: 0/1/2/2
Andra            Wisdom, Intelligence      Intelligence skill
Merist           Wisdom, Learning          Stone Skin spell
Mirlanda         Advanced Wisdom           Weakness spell
Rosic            Wisdom, Mysticism         Mysticism skill
Styg             Wisdom, Sorcery           Sorcery skill
Tiva             Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill
Verdish          Wisdom, First Aid         First Aid skill
Vey              Wisdom, Navigation        Navigation skill
*Adrienne        Wisdom, Expert Fire magic Expert Fire magic at start

Knights: 2/2/1/1
Edric            Leadership, Armorer       Griffins
Orrin            Leadership, Archery       Archery skill
Sylvia           Leadership, Navigation    Navigation skill
Lord Haart       Leadership, Estates       Estates skill
Valeska          Leadership, Archery       Archers
Christian        Leadership, Tactics       Ballista (above 4th level)
Sorsha           Leadership, Offense       Swordsmen
Tyris            Leadership, Tactics       Cavaliers
*Sir Mullich     Advanced Leadership       +2 speed to all units
*Queen Catherine Leadership, Offense       Crusaders
*King Roland     Leadership, Armorer       Crusaders

Clerics: 1/0/2/2
Adela            Wisdom, Diplomacy         Bless spell
Cuthbert         Wisdom, Estates           Weakness spell
Caitlin          Wisdom, Intelligence      +350 gold per day.
Adelaide         Advanced Wisdom           Frost Ring spell
Ingham           Wisdom, Mysticism         Monks or Zealots
Loynis           Wisdom, Learning          Prayer spell
Rion             Wisdom, First Aid         First Aid skill
Sanya            Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill

Overlords: 2/2/1/1
Ajit             Leadership, Resistance    Beholders
Arlach           Offense, Artillery        Ballista (above 4th level)
Dace             Tactics, Offense          Minotaurs
Damacon          Advanced Offense          +350 gold per day
Gunnar           Tactics, Logistics        Logistics skill
Lorelei          Leadership, Scouting      Harpies
Shakti           Offense, Tactics          Troglodytes
Synca            Leadership, Scholar       Manticores
*Mutare          Tactics, Estates          Dragons get +5A, +5D

Warlocks: 0/0/3/2
Alamar           Wisdom, Scholar           Resurrection spell
Darkstorm        Wisdom, Learning          Stone Skin spell
Deemer           Wisdom, Adv. Scouting     Meteor Shower spell
Geon             Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Eagle Eye skill
Jaegar           Wisdom, Mysticism         Mysticism skill
Jeddite          Advanced Wisdom           Animate Dead spell
Malekith         Wisdom, Sorcery           Sorcery skill
Sephinroth       Wisdom, Intelligence      +1 Crystal per day

Demoniacs: 2/2/1/1
Rashka           Scholar, Wisdom           Efreet
Calh             Archery, Scouting         Gogs
Fiona            Advance Scouting          Hell Hounds
Ignatius         Tactics, Resistance       Imps
Marius           Advanced Armorer          Demons
Nymus            Advanced Offense          Pit Fiends
Pyre             Logistics, Artillery      Ballista (above 4th level)
Octavia          Scholar, Offense          +350 gold per day.
*Xeron           Leadership, Tactics       Devils get +4A, +2D and +1Speed

Heretics: 1/1/2/1
Ash              Wisdom, Eagle Eye         Bloodlust spell
Axsis            Wisdom, Mysticism         Mysticism skill
Ayden            Wisdom, Intelligence      Intelligence skill
Calid            Wisdom, Learning          +1 Sulfur per day
Olema            Wisdom, Ballistics        Weakness spell
Xyron            Wisdom, Scholar           Inferno spell
Xarfax           Wisdom, Leadership        Fireball spell
Zydar            Wisdom, Sorcery           Sorcery skill

Planeswalkers: 3/1/1/1
Pasis            Offense, Artillery        Psychic el. +3A, +3D
Monere           Offense, Logistics        Psychic el. +3A, +3D
Thunar           Tactics, Estates          Magma el. +2A, +1D, +5Dmg
Erdamon          Tactics, Estates          Magma el. +2A, +1D, +5Dmg
Ignissa          Offense, Ballistics       Fire el. +1A, +1D, +2Dmg
Fuir             Advanced Offense          Fire el. +1A, +1D, +2Dmg
Lacus            Advanced Tactics          Water el. +2A
Kalt             Tactics, Learning         Water el. +2A

Elementalists: 0/0/3/3
Luna             Wisdom, Fire Magic        Fire wall double damage
Brissa           Wisdom, Air Magic         Haste spell
Ciele            Wisdom, Water Magic       Magic arrow does 50% more damage
Labetha          Wisdom, Earth Magic       Stoneskin gives +3 extra defense
Inteus           Wisdom, Fire Magic        Bloodlust spell
Aenain           Wisdom, Air Magic         Disrupting Ray works +2
Gelare           Wisdom, Water Magic       +350 gold per day
Grindan          Wisdom, Earth Magic       +350 gold per day


Chapter II:   Combat guide

Compendium of combat tips, strategies and information

Combat tips could be divided into several categories:

1. Using knowledge of computer intelligence
[This is a non-combat section with tips on how to initiate battles ;-)]
A few basics can be put there, anyway... Typically, when a strong hero
approaches your castle and you want him stalled for one turn in order yo get
your main force home for defense, you may buy a few sacrificers... but in
order to make the computer hero attack those weaklings, they usually have to
be put only one or two squares aside from the computer hero's expected path...
if they're any further off his course, he will simply ignore them and go after
the castle.

2. 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. In castle defenses, however, the defending party has
first strike (as the attacker was preparing siege)
* 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.
* The 'wait' function needs some explaining. A unit that uses 'wait' in it's
regular turn will have to play within the battle turn. After ballistas on both
sides fire, a sub-turn for waiting creatures begins, following all the rules
about speeds and zig-zagging, but the speeds go in reversed order, from
slowest to fastest creatures, So that the fastest creatures play last.

3. 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. And it's good to be able to
actually count the expected damage, because knowing that a particular stack of
yours is able to kill an enemy may be important when deciding i.e. which spell
to cast or where to move the stack... and in these cases, you simply cannot
get the help on the status line... Note that if you turn on 'all statistics'
or 'spells only', it will along with displaying the requested information,
show a context-sensitive help on damage. That is, if you put your cursor over
an enemy you are able to attack, it will show you, how much damage will your
unit 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).

4. 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 0.05 if A is bigger than D, which means that the damage
is increased by 5% for every point between A and D X equals 0.02 if D is
bigger than A, so damage is decreased by 2% for every point between D and A.

5. 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.
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.)

6. 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 attacked enemy
will be too weak to cause losses of your units, or sacrifice a small, cheap
unit to waste enemy retaliation.
Any fast unit will do for that trick - or, with use of 'wait', slower units
may do so - let the main stack wait and when the enemy gets near, attack with
some expendable unit, then in 'waiting' turn with the main stack.

7. Learn the ways computer fights:
The AI has a complex targeting algorithm, far better than HOMM2. It goes after
the most threatening enemies, where the threat may not be immediate. A good
example would be computer shooters targeting a huge troglodyte army at your
starting line, while their shooters could attack manticores that will be able
in the next turn to score damage. [In general, attacking weaker armies is
easier - you score bigger damage due to their lower defense and low-level
armies are in fact very powerful, measured by damage/HP rating.] I haven't
done any thorough testing, but AI seems to pick targets so that the damage
potential of your armies is lowered as much as possible.
Knowing what the AI's going to do can help a lot in defeating it.

8. Use special abilities to your full advantage.
I'm talking mainly about two-field attacks (dragons), and I'm talking about
yours as well as your enemy's. Two-field attacks can be used against enemy, if
they happen to stand in the wrong place.
Since many armies have specials now, I will deal with them individually.

9. 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. Also, using the 'Wait' is
crucial here - even at the cost of letting enemy shooters fire first. If enemy
walkers all spend their turns, while all your armies were waiting, you now may
have two attacks with each army that is faster than at least one enemy army.
See more in class dependant strategies]

10. Order and sizes of stacks
Unless you have to, never place your shooters next to each other - this way
you allow enemy units to block two units at once. Of course, since your units
are automatically spread on the battlefield, you actually CAN have them next
to each other in the hero army slots, but you'll soon find out where is any
particular army placed if n of the seven slots are used.
Always try to have your shooters at both ends of screen, with the strong
protective walkers in the middle. Generally position your walkers so that they
could possibly protect most of other units.
Always line up your troops wisely, using knowledge about your enemy and speed
of his units, but don't count too much about AI stupidity - the computer now
tries to not expose his armies to your units unless he has to - and he manages
pretty well to sometimes move units less far out than they could. So, do the
same - stay out of range of your enemy, if you're faster than him and
therefore he is in your range.

11. 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 15%, which can often bring much more, than an offensive, direct
damage spell. (Applies especially for heroes with low Power)

* 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 (but that was back in HOMM2).

* 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.

* If you can afford it, let the enemy cast first. 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. However, the AI has become much wiser about when and what to cast
- and until you learn his thinking, you'd better watch out for some nasty
well-timed blinds.

* Remember that your spell casting can often cause a reaction from the AI.
This covers all non-offensive spells: Blinding, 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 the
most threatening enemy stack results in this stack playing far sooner than it
regularly would - and getting to your units, too!

* Use Blinds, 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.
Since any stoned/blinded unit will get it's play in the same turn that it was
attacked, the only way to use a Blinding combo is to have at least TWO stacks
faster than the blinded unit. Once the enemy is blinded, all but one of your
faster armies can attack, but the last faster army of yours must be used to
cast the blind again and skip go.

* Rules for using haste are much 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! 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 strike stack will be able to reach many enemy
units AND, in the next turn (if you have spell power greater than 1) they'll
be probably among the faster units. Thus, you have two sequential strikes with
a very offensively oriented stack. Be careful with Expert Air magic - once you
get it, you cannot cast Haste on a single stack and therefore you won't be
able to change the order of play like you could in HOMM2.

* Slow is usually better, but on the basic level the reduction is only 25%.

* Use offensive spells to cause maximum damage. It means:
- Don't cast a 300 Lightning 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. 76 Master gremlins have
296 HPs. Your unit has D=4, so the titan will score ( 40 - 60 ) * ( 1 + ( 24 -
4 ) * .05 ) = ( 40 - 60 ) * 2 = 80 - 120 damage. The master gremlins will
score ( 1 - 2 ) * ( 1 + 0 ) * 76 = 76 - 152 damage. So the gremlins are bigger
threat. 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 gremlins, while the centaurs would only damage your titans.]

12. 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.
Be prepared to take some losses as your slower flyers will not make it to the
other side in one turn. Use wait here - although you might have wasted morale
boost, you stayed out of range of the shooters - and they scored only half the
damage - then you fly towards them in waiting turn and in the next turn get at
them. It also helps to bring along some cheap expendable shooters to take
damage instead of the flyers (or vice versa, depends on which army do you
value more.)
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 another enemy's army of the same speed will NOT get opportunity to play
before your unit of the same speed.
Before fighting shooters, divide strong stacks of shooters, too. You don't
need 20 zealots to attack 5 archers, it's better to attack 2x5 archers with
two stacks of ten zealots.
If you have fast flyers, divide them to block the enemy. Griffins and rocs do
best here. Gargoyles too, since they're expendable.
Blocked shooters will NOT sheepishly stand in one place and fight - once
they're forced to hand-to-hand combat, they behave like standard walkers, if
they sense that they could kill. Otherwise they might try to outrun your
blocking units and get an unblocked shot, but that's very rare.

13. Fighting flyers
Unless the flyers are of speed 11+, they won't get an attack in the first
turn, so treat them like walkers.
The best fit againts dragons and their two-hex attack is a single big stack of
hydras, boosted by spells. The AI has learned how to use two-hex attack
against multiple units, so if you have to fight dragons, be careful to not
have your troops any close to each other.

14. Fighting walkers
Here are a few good tricks against walkers:
Use 'wait' often - especially if the walkers are out of the full-damage range
of your shooters and will come into this range in this turn. Also your
walkers/flyers should wait even if they can attack.
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.

15. 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.

16. 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.
And how to prevent enemies from going after their primary target? There are
two different situations:

* The enemy are walkers/flyers 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 enemy are walkers/flyers with the primary target in their range. 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
enemies will have to go after the secondary target.
Also remember that Tactics skill is just for this - you can arrange your
troops so that the shooters are completely covered even before the battle
starts. But watch out for area-damage spells (and liches/Dragons).

17. War machines

* Ballista - can be bought for 2500 gold at War Machine factory and in some
towns' Blacksmith. At the end of each battle round, is can inflict ranged
damage (2-3)x(hero's Attack +1). With Artillery skill they become
player-controlled, they shoot twice and have greater chance to deal double
damage. Worth buying for stronger heroes.

Ballistas quite often attract AI, especially wandering stacks. Quite often the
Ballista is much lesser threat to them than other your units, but the AI will
still attack the war machine. So, if your scouts are to be used for
mine-clearing only, buy them a ballista - with it's durability it will be more
worth than 2500 worth of other units.

* Catapult - each hero has one automatically. They're deployed only in castle
sieges and have massive HP rating. When defending a castle, if the enemy
posesses no/weak flyers, it could be a good strategy to wait with your fast
flyers one round and then eliminate the catapult - you can then put a book on
the 'space' key and go make yourself a cup of tea - the castle towers will do
all the work ;-)

* First Aid Tent - can be bought for 750 gold at War Machine factory and in
some towns' Blacksmith. Can heal top unit of a stack. With First Aid skill
becomes player-controlled and increases it's effectivenes. I rarely pick that
skill and I buy the tent only when I have to use some higher-level creatures
alone.

* Ammo Cart can be bought for 1000 gold at War Machine factory and in some
towns' Blacksmith. Provides unlimited ammo for range attackers. Only Medusas
really need it.

When equipping your heroes with war machines, bear in mind that all of them
can be targeted, which will give enemy area-attackers (Magogs and liches) a
good opportunity to score three hits in one round. When approaching enemies
with these armies, you might want to reposition your troops (and maybe give
the machines to some secondary hero) so that the troops that would stand next
to those machines will move sooner than the enemy area-shooters.

18. Defending castles
If you have one fast flyer (i.e. Dragon Flies or something else that can get
to the other side of the battlefield) and the enemy has some shooters, DON'T
attack in first turn - rather 'wait'. The shooter will score some damage, but
all the nearby walkers will likely proceed towards the castle walls. In the
end of turn, your waited flyer will attack the shooters and at start of the
next turn, you have two options - either pull the flyer back behind the castle
walls (if the shooter has been harmed enough), or attack again (or block
only). The decision may depend on the position of those walker armies - if
they could reach you, consider the losses. If they CAN'T reach you, stay
there, because they'll try anyway - I often lure three walkers away from the
castle walls, only to retreat with the flyer in the next turn. The walkers
head for the castle again and I repeat the process.
Your shooters will usually score more damage to those units that are closing
on you. Units in moat are more vulnerable than others, too, and in SOD they
even take damage every turn. (But, in SOD they don't get into the moat until
the castle walls get breached.)

If an enemy walker/flyer gets inside the walls and blocks your shooter, try to
'wait' with the shooter and wipe the blocker out with your walkers.
When picking targets, try shooters in the first round, but if any fast/medium
flyer is present, let your shooters wait to let it close and then attack,
since the flyer can be more dangerous (enemy shooters suffer from both
distance and castle walls penalty, thus scoring only 25% of their regular
damage.)
When using fast walkers like Centaur Captains, remember that if you 'wait' in
one turn, you can run outside the walls, attack somebody and in next turn
retreat back behind the walls, if they're slower than you.
Unlike battles in open terrain, your strategy should be to keep as many enemy
troops alive as you can. This applies especially for walkers (flyers and
shooters can be killed swiftly, if they pose a threat). If you distribute
damage from your shooters and spells among all enemy walkers, the enemy will
have four or five small armies that will cause him a lot of trouble - blocking
each other's access to collapsed castle walls, and once they get in, causing
smaller damage and again blocking each other's way.)
A classical example is computer behaviour when all his walkers have assembled
in the moat. When his catapult destroys one wall section in front of a slower
troop, all the fast ones will run out of the moat and move closer to the
opening. The slow troop will play last. If some faster units have waited, the
slow troop could move away and the faster unit would later in the 'waited
moving' phase occupy it's place and in the next turn break loose into the
castle. But since the fast unit didn't wait, it is now standing somewhere
behind the moat and will need extra turn to get into the moat again.
In SOD, the behaviour will be different, since units will not enter moat
before the walls are down... yet once they are down, the troops will amass
themselves in close area, again.

19. Did you know that...

- Cloned archangels can resurrect even when the original stack
has already used it's resurrection. The only bad thing is that you cannot
clone a stack that already has a clone present in the battle, but i.e. in
castle sieges, the towers will target the clone every turn, so if you i.e.
Blind the last enemy stack, you can then resurrect as long as you have
enough spell points for the repeated cloning. Another possibility may be
to destroy the clones by area spells (frost ring, fireball or inferno),
since they cannot be targeted directly.

- If you stand on top of a dead enemy unit, it cannot be resurrected.
It works even for two-hex creatures blocked on one hex only. So, if you're
facing i.e. a nasty Necro with high spellpower and a big army of Vampire
Lords, once you happen to kill them, block the body and let the hero
waste his Animate Dead on something far less dangerous.

- Forcefield is very powerful spell. It can be used against strong wandering
armies if you have a shooter faster than they are. Just move the shooter
to the top left corner and cast forcefield. (Turn Cursor Shadow on to see
exactly where the spell will be). You will have to renew the spell every
two turns, which gives time for Bless, too. This trick can be pulled against
faster armies, if you have Expert Slow or Expert Haste available.

- Second good use for Forcefield is blocking holes in castle walls in sieges.
But it can, as well, be used to block the gate to prevent enemies from coming
out.

- More on blocking gates - when you have superior ranged firepower - or
flyers fast enough to hit'n'run the enemy shooters in order to achieve that
superiority, you may want to put a durable walker stack into the hex that
the gate opens to. The gate cannot be open then, but you must expect the enemy
shooters and walkers to focus on this stack...

- More on blocking gates, this time blocking them open. The gate won't close
if there's a dead body on it, so place an army to a hex adjacent to the front
hex of the gate. Choose which of the adjacent hexes will you use, mainly
depending on which troop will be the first to try and attack you and how far
could it move - I'm not sure about AI, but a human player will surely try to
avoid dying on the gate. The AI will probably attack with the first available
stack.

- Your blinded troops can be Teleported. If you don't have Cure/Dispel or
don't want to use Mass Dispel, you can block an enemy shooter with your
blinded stack, which either forces the shooter to move away or to attack
at half strength, suffer from retaliation and unblind the troop.
Pay attention to timing. If the blinded troop is attacked when all the
creatures have waited, it will have it's turn immediately, so you can
run back, should the need be.

- With Ballistics skill, when you pick targets in a siege, you can cast
a spell! That's especially nice for Mass Haste/Slow, Earthquake, Berzerker
or frying the fastest enemy with a damage spell.

- Summoning Elementals may win otherwise unwinnable battles by keeping an
enemy killer stack busy. The AI always attacks if it can, so the elementals
can be used to lure the enemy away from your shooters. This is handy
especially when the enemy cannot be slowed (or when you fear a counter-Haste)
or destroyed by direct damage spells.

- Elementals can be also used to block holes in castle walls.

- When an enemy hero approaches your castle, don't panic. If it's a super hero
with a huge army, it will probably be best to abandon the castle, or to use
a few units split into seven stacks to waste enemy spellpoints and give the
castle turrets time to score at least some damage. But when the enemy is not
so strong, take a careful look at his army. The fewer and slower flyers and
shooters he has, the bigger your chances for winning are. Don't scare him
away  by returning a strong hero or using all gold reserves to buy
a huge army. Instead, try to build a one-use army, just capable enough
of holding the castle. From the composition of enemy army, you should know
exactly what will be needed. The shooters can be usually ignored, because
they will be shooting and 25%. You'll need to eliminate the flyers first
and then hold the walls. As long as you have turrets shooting or some shooters
remaining, use your walkers passively. Split your armies to have some
retaliation-soakers. The goal is to have one strong walker stack left
to deal with what gets inside the walls. Don't put that strong stack close to
your shooters, because the enemy will likely try to block the shooters by
attacking adjacent armies. If the enemy flyers are eliminated and you still
have some weak stacks left, use them first to block broken walls. Your
strongest stack should attack only when it will suffer low damage from
retaliation.
In this way, you'll be able to promote a fresh/scout hero quickly.

- Another defense tip against enemy secondary heroes - if you still have
some gold left, buy a fresh hero, move his troops into the garisson and give
him seven stacks of one low-level unit. Leave him as a visiting hero.
The enemy will quite probably waste a few spellpoints dealing with him,
plus you get a chance to deal one or two magic arrows or better to his most
dangerous units (fast, weaker flyers - see the above tip).
If you happen to have a good 4thlevel spell in the castle, look for heroes
that start with advanced wisdom.

- Delaying the approaching enemy may save you a turn. Sometimes hiring more
than one hero with the above mentioned weak seven-slot force and a few lousy
spells may not only drain enemy's spellpoints, but it may delay his attack
on the castle itself for one turn. That turn can be used to upgrade castle
defenses (if you think that this will decide the battle) or building or
upgrading a dwelling. Think twice before building a dwelling. An upgrade
can sometimes have much better effect than some fresh, weak cannonfodder.

- Aging and Poisoning can be cured. Poisoning is less dangerous,
but it repeats the effect (knocking off 10% of orinigal health of
every unit) on beginning of two more turns. If you don't remove the spell
(and First Aid Tent does NOT do that), be sure that the opponent will
wait for the second turn.

- When sieging a Tower, Mass Dispel removes the defensive Landmines.
[It also removes QuickSand and Landmines in general]. The Landmines
cause 150 damage no matter how the town is developed.

- Arrow towers cause damage dependant on how the town is developed.

- If you cannot outmaneuver enemy to get a first strike on a particular
unit (typically when you have a one-stack army), use Defend rather than
move/wait. Defending increases the D rating of the stack by the creature
level. So i.e. Nagas gain +6 defense. If the attacker had lower attack
rating than Nagas, the damage will be lower by 12% only, but if his
attack rating was above the Nagas' defense, the damage is lowered by 30%.
(If A-D was lower than 6, the percentage will be proportionally lowered).

- If you're about to battle a fast wandering army (or enemy hero) and have
one strong shooter stack that's worth protecting, the following may help:
In adventure game settings, choose 'close formation'. Put the shooter in
the middle slot, one slow tough walkers adjacent on each side. All you
will need is to have one stack faster than the enemy units. The close
formation is centered, with the shooter being in the leftmost column,
having only three adjacent hexes. Two of them are occupied by the walkers
and the third can be taken by the fast unit of yours.

- In castle defenses, if you happen to have fast flyer (or a very fast walker)
left alive after all enemy flyers and shooters have been eliminated, you
may use it to outrun the enemy walkers by repeatedly flying back and forth
over the castle walls in the top or bottom row of screen. The castle turrets
will then do the most for you. It is especially applicable in larger battles,
where you can use hit'n'run or damage spells to quickly destroy enemy
catapult. It is especially effective against walkers that need two turns
to move through the moat.

- How to counter the above? Earthquakes, Teleport (with expert Water only),
Berzerker (the enemy flyer will try to attack) or Hypnotize (to move the
enemy closer to you or to have it open the gate for you - in case the enemy
fragged your catapult quickly and the walls are not breached yet.

- Not only for Necros: Wraithbombs. If you happen to get your hands on
Wraiths (Necropolis, dwelling+fort, wandering army join), keep them tucked
somewhere near the front lines. When an enemy comes to attack you (or when
you need to attack him), take a scout hero, give him 7 stacks of wraiths
(or six plus one stack of something faster than enemy units, if you happen
to have Mass Slow/Haste), let the wraiths suck his spellpoints and if he
could kill many of them, surrender, rehire and repeat. If he can kill
only one or two in the first round (shooters, spell), let them suck
once more. If he has to kill them with spells, let him, it's even better :-).
This may be quite effective especially against might heroes that don't have
that big knowledge, but it may be worth trying even against magic heroes,
whose big spellpoints would be used for repeated resurrections or strong
damage spells.

- Not only for Wizards: If you happen to acquire master genies, split them
into as many stacks as you can (usually 2-4, depending on how many useful
armies you'll need. Their beneficial spells will usually be worth more than
carrying a slow walker army around instead). Try to protect them, esp. if the
source of them was a one-times (refugee camp, join).

- Be careful with War Machines. They make a good damage soaker for enemy
High Voltage experiments, but on the other hand, they allow flame-strikers
to attack adjacent stacks without retaliation and allow liches, magogs
and Faerie dragons to hit with area attack. (Yes, Faerie Dragons sometimes
want to cast Frost ring, but they cannot target empty hexes!)

- against slow units, hit'n'run with fast armies can be used, so that you
only suffer from their retaliations. Wait, attack and then retreat far enough
so that you can wait in the next round. Using Slow/Haste makes this available
even with not so big speed differences.

- every unit with a percentage special can be used for splitting attacks.
The best example may be Ghost Dragons. If the necromancer leaves walking dead
and wights at home, the two free slots can be used by single ghost dragons that
will accomplish two things - waste a retaliation of a powerful enemy and
increase the chance of halving the HPs of the target stack. You will probably
use this approach only a few times, because the dragons are quite valuable.
But troops like Basilisks can be used as well, they will only need some magic
support (Haste).

Chapter III: 	Troop charts

Legend:
A: Attack
D: Defense
HP: Hit Points
Damage: Normal damage range of a unit
Avg: Average damage of a unit
Sp: Speed
$$: Cost without resources
AdjD: Damage caused against an enemy with Defense rating 10
L: Level of the creature (1 means 1stlevel creature, 41 means 4thlevel
upgraded.) C: Castle number:

1 Necropolis
2 Stronghold
3 Rampart
4 Tower
5 Fortress
6 5Castle
7 Dungeon
8 Inferno
9 Conflux

Dm/g: AjdDam/$$*100 (Damage cost - i.e. how much damage can 100 gold worth of
this army cause to enemies with Defense 10)
Gro: Growth rate with castle and growth increase structure present.
D/W: Damage dealt by one week worth' of this creature to an opponent with 10D.
This is the field that tables are sorted by, so you can see the most damaging
units at the bottom of each table. This table compares damage potential of all
armies. However, specials, speeds and ranged attacks cannot be reflected in
these numbers.
The best unit list after each table reflects those characteristics (and my
opinions ;-)).

Unit              A D HP Dmg  Avg Sp $$ L   C AdjD Dm/g gro D/W
Gremlins          3 3 4  1__2 1.5 4  30 1.0 4 1.29 4.30 32  41
Master Gremlins   4 4 4  1__2 1.5 5  40 1.1 4 1.32 3.30 32  42
Imps              2 3 4  1__2 1.5 5  50 1.0 8 1.26 2.52 38  48
Pikemen           4 5 10 1__3 2   4  60 1.0 6 1.76 2.93 28  49
Goblins           4 2 5  1__2 1.5 5  40 1.0 2 1.32 3.30 38  50
Familiars         4 4 4  1__2 1.5 7  60 1.1 8 1.32 2.20 38  50
Hobgoblins        5 3 5  1__2 1.5 7  50 1.1 2 1.35 2.70 38  51
Skeletons         5 4 6  1__3 2   4  60 1.0 1 1.80 3.00 30  54
Skeleton warriors 6 6 6  1__3 2   5  70 1.1 1 1.84 2.63 30  55
Troglodytes       4 3 5  1__3 2   4  50 1.0 7 1.76 3.52 35  62
Pixies            2 2 3  1__2 1.5 7  25 1.0 9 1.26 5.04 50  63
Infernal trogs    5 4 6  1__3 2   5  65 1.1 7 1.80 2.77 35  63
Centaurs          5 3 8  2__3 2.5 6  70 1.0 3 2.25 3.21 28  63
Centaur captains  6 3 10 2__3 2.5 8  90 1.1 3 2.30 2.56 28  64
Halberdiers       6 5 10 2__3 2.5 5  75 1.1 6 2.30 3.07 28  64
Gnolls            3 5 6  2__3 2.5 4  50 1.0 5 2.15 4.30 30  65
Gnoll Marauders   4 6 6  2__3 2.5 5  70 1.1 5 2.20 3.14 30  66
Sprites           2 2 3  1__3 2   9  30 1.1 9 1.68 5.60 50  84

Best creatures:
  * Halberdiers
  * Centaur captains
  * Master Gremlins

Sprites are far best in damage/gold rating, plus
While the 'cheapest' damage goes to gnolls and gremlins, halberdiers are 5th
in that rating and 1st in absolute damage.
Centaur captains get the second place for the 1st (with halberdiers) absolute
damage and the speed at which they deliver the damage. Note however, that the
damage they cause is 3rd most expensive! (low dam/g rating).
Master gremlins are the only shooters and so they get the 3rd place, although
their rating is average in numbers.
Special mention goes to Sprites, who produce by far the cheapest damage and
without retaliation.

Unit               A D HP Dmg  Avg Sp $$  L   C AdjD Dm/g gro D/W
Walking Dead       5 5 15 2__3 2.5 3  100 2.0 1 2.25 2.25 16  36
Zombies            5 5 20 2__3 2.5 4  125 2.1 1 2.25 1.80 16  36
Harpies            6 5 14 1__4 2.5 6  130 2.0 7 2.30 1.77 16  37
Harpy Hags         6 6 14 1__4 2.5 9  190 2.1 7 2.30 1.21 16  37
Lizardmen          5 6 14 2__3 2.5 4  110 2.0 5 2.25 2.05 18  41
Archers            6 3 10 2__3 2.5 4  100 2.0 6 2.30 2.30 18  41
Marksmen           6 3 10 2__3 2.5 6  150 2.1 6 2.30 1.53 18  41
Gogs               6 4 13 2__4 3   4  123 2.0 8 2.76 2.24 16  44
Magogs             7 4 13 2__4 3   6  175 2.1 8 2.82 1.61 16  45
Stone Gargoyles    6 6 16 2__3 2.5 6  130 2.0 4 2.30 1.77 22  51
Wolf riders        7 5 10 2__4 3   6  100 2.0 2 2.82 2.82 18  51
Obsidian Garg,     7 7 16 2__3 2.5 9  160 2.1 4 2.35 1.47 22  52
Dwarves            6 7 20 2__4 3   3  120 2.0 3 2.76 2.30 20  55
Battle Dwarves     7 7 20 2__4 3   5  150 2.1 3 2.82 1.88 20  56
Lizard Warriors    6 8 15 2__5 3.5 5  140 2.1 5 3.22 2.30 18  58
Air elementals     9 9 25 2__8 5   7  260 2.0 9 4.90 1.88 12  59
Storm elementals   9 9 25 2__8 5   8  275 2.1 9 4.90 1.78 12  59
Wolf raiders       8 5 10 3__4 3.5 8  140 2.1 2 3.36 2.40 18  60

Best creatures:
  * Wolf raiders
  * Magogs
  * Harpy Hags

Wolf Raiders make far best absolute damage (and that figure doesn't include
their second attack, so they're in fact almost TWICE that good!)
Magogs, although they generate a bit expensive damage, took 2nd place in
absolute damage. Adding their area attack, they're far ahead other shooters.
Harpy Hags seem to be pretty bad (most expensive damage, absolute damage below
average) but their special seems to me very worth it, considering also their
high speed.
Storm elementals, although best in absolute damage, are a bit costly, and
what's worse, less numerous. With their vulnerabiliry to Lightning, they can't
get top place here.

Unit               A  D  HP Dmg  Avg Sp $$  L   C AdjD Dm/g gro D/W
Orcs               8  4  15 2__5 3.5 4  150 3.0 2 3.36 2.24 14  47
Orc chieftans      8  4  20 2__5 3.5 5  165 3.1 2 3.36 2.04 14  47
Stone Golems       7  10 30 4__5 4.5 3  150 3.0 4 4.23 2.82 12  51
Serpent Flies      6  8  20 2__5 3.5 9  220 3.0 5 3.29 1.50 16  53
Wights             7  7  18 3__5 4   5  200 3.0 1 3.76 1.88 14  53
Wraiths            7  7  18 3__5 4   7  230 3.1 1 3.76 1.63 14  53
Iron Golems        9  10 35 4__5 4.5 5  200 3.1 4 4.41 2.21 12  53
Dragon Flies       8  10 20 2__5 3.5 13 240 3.1 5 3.36 1.40 16  54
Elves              9  5  15 3__5 4   6  200 3.0 3 3.92 1.96 14  55
Beholders          9  7  22 3__5 4   5  250 3.0 7 3.92 1.57 14  55
Grand Elves        9  9  15 3__5 4   7  225 3.1 3 3.92 1.74 14  55
Evil Eyes          10 8  22 3__5 4   7  280 3.1 7 4.00 1.43 14  56
Water elementals   8  10 30 3__7 5   5  300 3.0 9 4.80 1.60 12  58
Ice elementals     8  10 30 3__7 5   6  375 3.1 9 4.80 1.28 12  58
Cerberi            10 8  25 2__7 4.5 8  250 3.1 8 4.50 1.80 13  59
Hell Hounds        10 6  25 2__7 4.5 7  200 3.0 8 4.50 2.25 13  59
Griffins           8  8  25 3__6 4.5 6  200 3.0 6 4.32 2.16 17  73
Royal Griffins     9  9  25 3__6 4.5 9  240 3.1 6 4.41 1.84 17  75

Best creatures:
  * Ice elementals
  * Royal Griffins
  * Evil Eyes

Not like storm elementals, thier ice friends grow fast enough to rank well in
weekly damage rating, thus deserving first place... (yet I'm not sure, with
their magic vulnerability)
Royal griffins are equal to golems in absolute damage, flying and retaliations
make them far more useful in battles.
Evil Eyes and Grand Elves offer both a good performance, but in favor of Evil
Eyes speaks their 'no melee penalty' special.
The golems deserve honorable mention for good damage dealing and their
toughness, especially high number of hitpoints.
Hell Hounds deal the best absolute damage, but Cerberi are theoretically
able to deliver 3x3.5 points of damage. Of course, these cases are rare, but
two targets can be hit much more often. Considering non-retaliated attack and
high speed rating, they deserve the first place.

Unit              A  D  HP Dmg  Avg Sp $$  L   C AdjD  Dm/g gro D/W
Fire elementals   10 8  35 4__6 5   6  350 4.0 9 5.00  1.43 10  50
Vampires          10 9  30 5__8 6.5 6  360 4.0 1 6.50  1.81 8   52
Vampire Lords     10 10 40 5__8 6.5 9  500 4.1 1 6.50  1.30 8   52
Energy elementals 12 8  35 4__6 5   8  400 4.1 9 5.50  1.38 10  55
Medusas           9  9  25 6__8 7   5  300 4.0 7 6.86  2.29 8   55
Medusa Queens     10 10 30 6__8 7   6  330 4.1 7 7.00  2.12 8   56
Swordsmen         10 12 35 6__9 7.5 5  300 4.0 6 7.50  2.50 8   60
Demons            10 10 35 7__9 8   5  250 4.0 8 8.00  3.20 8   64
Horned Demons     10 10 40 7__9 8   6  270 4.1 8 8.00  2.96 8   64
Magi              11 8  25 7__9 8   5  350 4.0 4 8.40  2.40 8   67
Basilisks         11 11 35 6_10 8   5  325 4.0 5 8.40  2.58 8   67
Pegasi            9  8  30 5__9 7   8  250 4.0 3 6.86  2.74 10  69
Silver Pegasi     9  10 30 5__9 7   12 275 4.1 3 6.86  2.49 10  69
Arch Magi         12 9  30 7__9 8   7  450 4.1 4 8.80  1.96 8   70
Greater Basilisks 12 12 40 6_10 8   7  400 4.1 5 8.80  2.20 8   70
Crusaders         12 12 35 7_10 8.5 6  400 4.1 6 9.35  2.34 8   75
Ogres             13 7  40 6_12 9   4  300 4.0 2 10.35 3.45 8   83
Ogre magi         13 7  60 6_12 9   5  400 4.1 2 10.35 2.59 8   83

Best creatures:
  * Crusaders
  * Ogre Magi
  * Arch Magi

Crusaders with their double blow (not included in the figures here) outperform
anything else in this category.
While Ogres deliver the same damage for a lower cost, Ogre Magi are faster and
their BloodLust special makes them useful even in first turn of battle. Their
high HPs are also very important.
Arch Magi offer good damage at a bit too high price, but considering their
specials, they pay back (no melee penalty, reduced spell costs).
Honorable mention goes to Silver Pegasi for their remarkable speed.
Surprisingly low performace of Vampire Lords suggests that their numbers will
have to be pretty high to make them worth the money.

Unit              A  D  HP Dmg   Avg  Sp $$  L   C AdjD  Dm/g gro D/W
Earth elementals  10 10 40 4__8  6  4  400 5.0 9 6.00  1.50 8   48
Magma elementals  11 11 40 6_10  8  6  500 5.1 9 8.40  1.68 8   67
Monks             12 7  30 10_12 11   5  400 5.0 6 12.10 3.03 6   73
Zealots           12 10 30 10_12 11   7  450 5.1 6 12.10 2.69 6   73
Liches            13 10 30 11_13 12   6  550 5.0 1 13.80 2.51 6   83
Gorgons           10 14 70 12_16 14   5  525 5.0 5 14.00 2.67 6   84
Mighty Gorgons    11 16 70 12_16 14   6  600 5.1 5 14.70 2.45 6   88
Rocs              13 11 60 11_15 13   7  600 5.0 2 14.95 2.49 6   90
Power Liches      13 10 40 11_15 13   7  600 5.1 1 14.95 2.49 6   90
Thunderbirds      13 11 60 11_15 13   11 700 5.1 2 14.95 2.14 6   90
Dendroid Guards   9  12 55 10_14 12   3  350 5.0 3 11.76 3.36 8   94
Dendroid Soldiers 9  12 65 10_14 12   4  425 5.1 3 11.76 2.77 8   94
Genies            12 12 40 13_16 14.5 7  550 5.0 4 15.95 2.90 6   96
Master Genies     12 12 40 13_16 14.5 11 600 5.1 4 15.95 2.66 6   96
Pit Fiends        13 13 45 13_17 15   6  500 5.0 8 17.25 3.45 6   104
Pit Lords         13 13 45 13_17 15   7  700 5.1 8 17.25 2.46 6   104
Minotaurs         14 12 50 12_20 16   6  500 5.0 7 19.20 3.84 6   115
Minotaur Kings    15 15 50 12_20 16   8  575 5.1 7 20.00 3.48 6   120

Best creatures:
  * Minotaur Kings
  * Power Liches
  * Mighty Gorgons

Minos are superior in both absolute damage and low price of it.
Power Liches get the second place for their area attack special even though
their damage ratings are average.
MGs have pushed out Dendroids. They're terribly sturdy with best defense and
HPs among 5thlevel troops, with quite reliably working and very devastating
special - the best 7thlevel killer around ;-)

Unit               A  D  HP  Dmg   Avg  Sp $$   L   C AdjD  Dm/g gro D/W
Psychic elementals 15 13 75  10_20 15   7  750  6.0 9 18.75 2.50 4   75
Wyverns            14 14 70  14_18 16   7  800  6.0 5 19.20 2.40 4   77
Manticores         15 13 80  14_20 17   7  850  6.0 7 21.25 2.50 4   85
Scorpicores        16 14 80  14_20 17   11 1050 6.1 7 22.10 2.10 4   88
Cyclopes           15 12 70  16_20 18   6  750  6.0 2 22.50 3.00 4   90
Wyvern Monarchs    14 14 70  18_22 20   11 1100 6.1 5 24.00 2.18 4   96
Cyclops kings      17 13 70  16_20 18   8  1100 6.1 2 24.30 2.21 4   97
Magic elementals   15 13 80  15_25 20   9  800  6.1 9 25.00 2.50 4   100
Unicorns           15 14 90  18_22 20   7  850  6.0 3 25.00 2.94 4   100
Cavaliers          15 15 100 15_25 20   7  1000 6.0 6 25.00 2.50 4   100
War Unicorns       15 14 110 18_22 20   9  950  6.1 3 25.00 2.63 4   100
Nagas              16 13 110 20_20 20   5  1100 6.0 4 26.00 2.36 4   104
Efreet             16 12 90  16_24 20   9  900  6.0 8 26.00 2.89 4   104
Efreet Sultans     16 14 90  16_24 20   13 1100 6.1 8 26.00 2.36 4   104
Black knights      16 16 120 15_30 22.5 7  1200 6.0 1 29.25 2.44 4   117
Champions          16 16 100 20_25 22.5 9  1200 6.1 6 29.25 2.44 4   117
Dread knights      18 18 120 15_30 22.5 9  1500 6.1 1 31.50 2.10 4   126
Naga Queens        16 13 110 30_30 30   7  1600 6.1 4 39.00 2.44 4   156

Best creatures:
  * Naga Queens
  * Dread knights
  * Cyclopes

Naga Queens stand above all others in raw damage. Considering average price
for that damage and their great special of non-retaliated attack, they deserve
the first place.
Cyclopes are the only non-upgraded unit that made it for an award - for the
cheapest damage while having a good special.
Even without their special, dread knights look for the top... Yet they'll
never outperform naga gueens...

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Avg  Sp $$   L   C AdjD   Dm/g gro D/W
Hydras            16 18 175 25_45 35   5  2200 7.0 5 45.50  2.07 2   91
Chaos Hydras      18 20 250 25_45 35   7  3500 7.1 5 49.00  1.40 2   98
Bone dragons      17 15 150 25_50 37.5 9  1800 7.0 1 50.63  2.81 2   101
Devils            19 21 160 30_40 35   11 2700 7.0 8 50.75  1.88 2   102
Behemoths         17 17 160 30_50 40   6  1500 7.0 2 54.00  3.60 2   108
Ghost dragons     19 17 200 25_50 37.5 14 3000 7.1 1 54.38  1.81 2   109
Ancient Behemoths 19 19 300 30_50 40   9  3000 7.1 2 58.00  1.93 2   116
Green Dragons     18 18 180 40_50 45   10 2400 7.0 3 63.00  2.63 2   126
Archdevils        26 28 200 30_40 35   17 4500 7.1 8 63.00  1.40 2   126
Red Dragons       19 19 180 40_50 45   11 2500 7.0 7 65.25  2.61 2   131
Giants            19 16 150 40_60 50   12 2000 7.0 4 72.50  3.63 2   145
Angels            20 20 200 50_50 50   12 3000 7.0 6 75.00  2.50 2   150
Black Dragons     25 25 300 40_50 45   15 4000 7.1 7 78.75  1.97 2   158
Gold Dragons      27 27 250 40_50 45   16 4000 7.1 3 83.25  2.08 2   167
Firebirds         18 18 150 20_40 30   15 1500 7.0 9 42.00  2.80 4   168
Titans            24 24 300 40_60 50   12 5000 7.1 4 85.00  1.70 2   170
Phoenixes         21 18 200 20_40 30   21 2000 7.1 9 46.50  2.33 7   186
Archangels        30 30 250 50_50 50   18 5000 7.1 6 100.00 2.00 2   200

Best creatures:
  * Archangels
  * Titans
  * Chaos hydras

Archangels are no doubt the strongest 7thlevel creature - in direct battle,
they're capable of battling Titans (who are a bit tougher) due to the first
strike advantage. Their resurrecting special is the one thing that puts them
above titans.
Titans, delivering second best damage both hand-to-hand and in ranged attack,
with their high HP rating cannot take any worse than second place.
Chaos hydras are usually able to strike at two or more targets. Even with only
two enemies hit, their damage tops all others except Archangel.
Those weakly looking phoenixes (just like earth elementals) deserve to be
mentioned, since with their growth rate they deal a lot of damage.

Castle comparation

Legend:
All growth benefits are assumed to be present along with the Castle structure.
HP6: Total HPs of one week town production without 7thlevel creature.
HP7: Total HPs of one week town production with 7thlevel creature.
c/HP6: Cost of one week of the above production.
c/HP7: Cost of one week of the above production.
A106: Last value without 7thlevel creatures.
A10: Average damage that the above production will cause to an enemy unit with
defense 10.
D106: Adjusted hitpoint - how much damage would be needed to kill the above
production with any unit that has 10 Attack.
D10: Last value without 7thlevel creatures.
g/HP6: Cost of one HP of the above production.
g/HP7: Cost of one HP of the above production.
dm/g6: Damage dealt per 100 gold invested (without 7thlevel creature) (a106 /
c/hp6 * 100) dm/g7: Damage dealt per 100 gold invested (with7thlevel creature)
(a10 / c/hp7 * 100) Bold: Best value.
Italic: Worst value.

Town       HP6  HP7  c/HP6 c/HP7 A10-6 A10 D10-6 D10  g/hp6 g/hp7 dm/g6 dm/g7
Rampart    2150 2650 18620 26620 438   605 2075  2833 8.66  10.05 2.35  2.27
Stronghold 1770 2370 18530 24530 429   545 1583  2314 10.46 10.35 2.31  2.22
Fortress   1790 2290 19660 26660 432   530 1830  2455 10.98 11.64 2.20  1.99
Necropolis 1792 2192 20920 26920 412   520 1757  2222 11.67 12.28 1.97  1.93
Conflux    1800 2600 20500 28500 423   609 1705  2658 11.39 10.96 2.06  2.14
Dungeon    1602 2202 19525 27525 420   578 1549  2407 12.18 12.50 2.15  2.10
Tower      1820 2420 20800 30800 469   639 1771  2506 11.42 12.72 2.25  2.07
Castle     1745 2245 19580 29580 445   645 1688  2522 11.22 13.17 2.27  2.18
Inferno    1635 2035 19090 28090 425   551 1571  2196 11.67 13.80 2.23  1.96

Commentary:

* Chaos Hydras +84 per head (1-8)
* Cerberi +59 per head (1-3)
* Power Liches +84 per hex (1-7)
* Magogs +44 per hex (1-7)
* Gold Dragons +128 per hex (1-2)
* Black Dragons +128 per hex (1-2)
* Marksmen +40 double attack
* Grand Elves +55 double attack
* Crusaders +75 double attack
* Wolf Raiders +60 double attack

Other:
* All ranged units were assumed as shooting in their effective range - no
obstacle penalty, no range penalty, ranged attack.
* No percentageous (or non-damaging) specials were considered (such as Poison,
Aging, Lightning of Thunderbirds etc.)

Strategic resumee:
Looking at the costs of dealt damage (the number represents average damage per
100 gold worth of troops), the most bang for your bucks you can get from
Rampart, followed by Stronghold and Castle.
Fortress, Inferno and Necropolis form the 'weak' group, but Fortress can get
out of this group easily by attacking 2+ opponents with Hydras. (Same for
necropolis and Liches, although evading hydras is much harder.)

* Considering the increases to the A10 value, Fortress becomes very strong,
  especially when the Hydras are Hasted/Teleported, because it's virtually
  impossible for enemies to prevent them from multiple attacks. Also note that
  the special of Mighty Gorgons, when used against high-level units, will
  increase the total dealt damage VERY significantly... (it can be up to 200
  HPs per week). Tower and Castle are the heaviest hitters. Also bear in mind
  that double attack (from Grand Elves, Marksmen, Crusaders and Wolf Raiders)
  makes another VERY important change, not reflected in the above table. If
  those units were assumed scoring double damage, their towns would get into
  vicinity of 2.70 damage per 100 gold invested, with castle's weekly damage
  bumped up to 761 - a hundred more than Rampart and then 50 more than other
  towns! Also the Castle can quite rely on those Crusaders - if they wait,
  retaliations can be soaked by pikemen, if they don't wait, both angels and
  cavalry may soak retaliations from some huge stacks that Crusaders will
  demolish.

* Rampart is the toughest castle on defense... And since it's units are also
  the cheapest (in both damage delivered and damage dealt), it seems to be the
  best pick for might-oriented players...

* Inferno is the weakest town in HPs with Defense ratings considered, followed
  by Necropolis. If we ignore 7thlevel creatures, Dungeon, Inferno and
  Stronghold form the weakest group. Of those, however, Dungeon benefits most
  from useful force combination.

* Rampart has also the cheapest troops, with Stronghold taking second place.
  All others fall at least 15% behind those two, with outstanding Inferno,
  whose HPs cost 37% more than the Ramparts', while scoring 10% less damage.
  Without the 7thlevel troops, Rampart gets significantly cheaper, Inferno
  without those inferior devils gets back into the middle and suddenly Dungeon
  tops the bunch, being some 7% above the average, while the Rampart is 23%
  below it. I wonder why they gave Treasury to the town that needs it the
  least ;-) Fortress, Necropolis and Inferno are the low-end here in attack
  stats, although Fortress has the (above explained) easiest way up, while the
  Inferno will probably get stuck forever down there.

* Without 7thlevel creatures, the situation doesn't differ much.


Shooter comparison
Town         HitPoints   Cost   Base damage   dm/g   g/HP
Necropolis   240         3600   90            2.50   15.00
Stronghold   560         6710   144           2.15   11.98
Rampart      210         3150   110           1.75   15.00
Tower        368         4880   113           2.31   13.26
Fortress     270         2520   58            2.30   9.33
Castle       360         5400   155           2.11   15.00
Dungeon      548         6560   112           1.71   11.97
Inferno      208         2800   45            1.61   13.46
Conflux      660         7800   119           1.52   11.82

Explanation:
All values are per week, related to shooters only, in their upgraded versions.
All shooters are assumed shooting at 10hex range (no penalties).
Both Necropolis and Inferno do NOT include 'area' damage of their only
shooter.
Both Rampart and Castle DO include two shots for Grand Elves and Marksmen.
[The reason is simple. While area damage can be avoided on enemy side, two
shots can't.]
Titans are NOT included, they add 600 HPs, 10000 gold plus those gems and 170
damage.

So, the results:

The cheapest HPs come from Fortress. Liches, Elves and Castle shooters are the
most expensive, while the remaining towns offer similar value.

Cheapest damage comes from liches (even without area attacks!!!), followed by
Tower and Fortress (but Fortress doesn't count ;-)))

Obviously weak Fortress and Inferno are in contrast with obviously strong
Castle and Stronghold, but Castle's shooters are very fragile and quite
expensive.

Based on the total damage, the middle five offers two good picks, Dungeon and
Conflux, whose shooters can absorb a lot of damage. Dungeon offers this
performance at somewhat lower total price and much better specials.

Another meaningless table - town sensitivity to Bless and Curse (Expert Level)

Per_* show how big is the change in the total damage compared to the average
value. Necropolis is out, of course, but so are several units from other towns
(their average damage has been used for both cursed and blessed variant,
then.)

Town         A10   Curse   Bless   Per_curse   Per_bless
Necropolis   520   N/A     N/A     N/A         N/A
Castle       645   566     804     12%         25%
Tower        638   556     801     13%         25%
Rampart      604   514     776     15%         28%
Dungeon      578   456     780     21%         35%
Inferno      551   426     761     23%         38%
Fortress     530   401     740     24%         40%
Stronghold   544   417     761     23%         40%
Conflux      611   420     893     31%         46%

The results interesting - it's good to see that Expert Bless is a good way how
to help Fortress and Inferno raise their odds in battle. Conflux is the
obvious winner with highly sensitive sprites, both shooters and phoenixes -
lower sensitivity affects only walkers.

Neutral armies:

Name             Cost      A  D  HP   Dmg   Sp Special:
Gold Golem       500       11 12 50   8-10  5  Resists 85% magical damage
Diamond Golem    750       13 12 60   10-14 5  Resists 95% magical damage
Azure Dragon     30000+20m 50 50 1000 70-80 19 Cause fear
Crystal Dragon   15000+10c 40 40 800  60-75 16 Walker
Faerie Dragon    3000      20 20 500  20-30 15 offensive spells, magic mirror
Rust Dragon      9000      30 30 750  50    17 % acid - lowers D, adds damage
Boar Rider       150       6  5  15   2-3   6
Enchanter        750       17 12 30   14    9  casts misc. mass spell, shooter.
Halfling         40        4  2  4    1-3   5  Shooter
Mummy            300       7  7  30   3-5   5  Can Curse target
Nomad            200       9  8  30   2-6   7
Peasant          10        1  1  1    1     3
Rogue            100       8  3  10   2-4   6  Enhances Thieves' Guild info
Sharpshooter     500       12 10 15   8-10  9  No range/castle wall penalty
Troll            500       14 7  10   10-15 7  Top unit heals each round.

Enchanters and Sharpshooters can be upgraded by Dracon and Gelu respectively
from Zealots/Monks/Magi/Arch Magi and from Archers/Marksmen/Wood Elves/Grand
Elves.

Chapter IV: Castle guide

Strengths:
Capable fighters
Archangels' special

Weaknesses:
Shooters very weak on defense.

Army evaluation:
Pikemen 4/5/10/1-3/4/60
Halberdiers 6/5/10/2-3/5/75
Third best 1stlevel unit.

Archers 6/3/10/2-3/4/100
Marksmen 6/3/10/2-3/6/150, shoot twice
After upgrade, they can be pretty effective, considered their price.

Griffins 8/8/25/3-6/6/200, two retaliations
Royal Griffins 9/9/25/3-6/9/240, unlimited retaliations
Excellent anti-shooter army, one of the toughest 3rdlevels.

Swordsmen 10/12/35/6-9/5/300
Crusaders 12/12/35/7-10/6/400, extra attack
Those footmen are the real infantry - not only cannonfodder.

Monks 12/7/30/10-12/5/400
Zealots 12/10/30/10-12/7/450, no melee penalty
Way too costly, but quite needed second shooters.

Cavaliers 15/15/100/15-25/7/1000, jousting bonus
Champions 16/16/100/20-25/9/1200, jousting bonus
If given room for their jousting special, they're 2nd best 6thlevel troop.

Angels 20/20/200/50/12/3000 +1g, 150% against devils
Archangels 30/30/250/50/18/5000 +3g, 150% against devils, +1 morale, once per
battle can resurrect allies
These holy guys are strong enough to speak for themselves...

Upgrading priorities:
* Halberdiers: Low. Although used often, their performance isn't crucial.
* Marksmen: Highest, both for speed bost and double shooting.
* Royal Griffins: High, for the +3 speed.
* Crusaders: High, increase in damage BY 120%
* Zealost: Low, unless you won't have champions soon.
* Champions: Higher for +18% damage and +2 speed.
* Archangels: Top, although very costly. +50% damage, resurrect special and
highest speed

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall        2500g
Day 2:  Archer's Tower   1000g +5w +5o
Day 3:  Blacksmith       1000g +5w
Day 4:  Barracks         2000g + 5o
Day 5:  Griffin Tower    1000 g + 5o
Day 6a: Mage Guild       2000g + 5w +5o
Day 7a: Monastery        3000g + 5w + 5o + 2cgms
Day 6b: Stables          2000g + 10w
Day 7b: Training Grounds 5000g + 20w

Guardhouse as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we don't
go for Monastery/Training Grounds and since we spare one day here, we can head
for either Guardhouse or Town Hall.
There are, of course, alternatives - we don't need Griffins and Swordsmen to
get Cavaliers. Or, if we're lucky, we can even go for Angels - Griffins are
not needed, so the a) variant may get shortened and on 7th day, we can build
the Portal of Glory. (Also, Town Hall can be left out to build Citadel
instead, if we happen to have lots of gold and want to buy three angels
instead of two.
Resource summary:
For a) variant, you'll need 20w, 25o and 12000g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000
- 13500) = 13500g for Day 1 to spend on troops. (And we'll need 17x200=3400
for griffins, 21x150=3150 for marksmen (along with another 1000 for their
upgrade on day1), 10x300=3000 for swordsmen or 38x60=2280 for pikemen. That
should be our forces in the second week, along with those that came with
strating hero(es) - total 10000+).
For b) variant, you'll need 40w + 5o and 11000g.
So those two variants are costly about the same - one needs wood, while the
other one needs ore. It's clear then, what will affect our decision. With the
Training grounds, you should be able to recruit most of the cavaliers on the
Day 1 along with marksmen and swordsmen.
You can try the 'minimal' variant that stops at griffins, but upgrades all the
lower dwellings and recruits all. The build schedule would then be at day 5
citadel and later three upgrades (marksmen, royal griffins and crusaders).
spent for upgrades. Total costs would be: 13000g 10w 35o 5c - and you could
buy all troops at day1 - the only problem is ore, then.

Second week strategies:
I strongly suggest running for gold at this stage. That requires Blacksmith,
Marketplace, MageGuild and CityHall - a total of 15w, 5o and 8500 gold, with
Castle and Capitol later (15000g, 10w and 10o).
Unless you'll find huge amounts of wood, choose the minimal variant or a)
variant, as those have lower wood consumption and therefore you can afford the
CityHall in the second week. [The b) variant would need 50 wood in total -
which means a sawmill captured on the first day of play or some extra wood.)

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 19580
With 7th level: 29580
With one castle producing 14000/week, two armies will be left at home...
Usually it's pikemen and either zealots or griffins, depending on available
numbers. Even with capitol at 28000/week, you'll need extra 2000/week to be
able to buy out all troops.
HPs grown weekly: 1745 (plus 500 in archangels) at 11.22 g/HP (13.17)

Benefits:
Blacksmith: Produces Ballista war machines
Brotherhood of Sword: +2 morale (worth it, if you're likely to get attacked)
Lighthouse: Shipyard upgrade, acts like a regular lighthouse under your flag.
Stables: Visiting heroes gain movement bonus as at regular stables.
Resource silo: adds 1w and 1o per day. In long games worth it.
Griffin bastion: Increases growth of griffins by 3.

Strategy
In your first week, either ore or wood will be crucial, based on which variant
you choose in building. However, the wood will be crucial in week two for
income increase. A sawmill should be obtained even at some cost in lost troops
- you should have some 15 archers and 40-50 pikemen available, which is 600
HPs.
Be aggressive with your scouting, because on week two, you'll be building
money generator and you should have at least three days' reserve for
accumulating gold in case you'll need to buy all troops for castle defense -
in many maps the enemy visits early and if you can't see him in time to
prepare defenses, you'll end bad.

Forces combination:
You should be able do to without pikemen in battles - they're ideal troop for
castle defenses - when an enemy comes near, buy all the pikemen that have been
waiting here - they provide cheap, yet concentrated firepower that will last
long, letting your castle towers deal the damage. Zealots might stand on their
side, if you won't have them with you, but would only get killed quick, by
magic, likely.
In the battles, your champions should provide the most offensive - use their
jousting bonus and attack at full distance. Use marksmen to damage strong
stacks and then champions to finish them. Crusaders should fend off anyone
that goes after the archers, while griffins should take care of enemy
shooters. Angels, of course, will have the task of binding enemy firepower and
absorbing damage. It is good to have archangels splitted into two stacks to
use their resurrecting special well. Note that you need three archangels to
resurrect one fallen, so with stacks of 4 and 3 of them, you can have them
resurrect each other.
A good offensive combination is Champions, ArchAngels and Zealots. This will
leave your home with griffins, archers and pikemen, with crusaders being
optional for both forces. And the secondary force could be plentiful due to
all those towers and guardhouses often used in maps.
Try to split Archangels into more stacks - they can then use their
resurrecting special more effectively. A typical situation is a castle siege,
where you leave the enemy one last unit, suffer another round of castle fire
on your zealots and then use one archangel stack to resurrect them, while the
other will wipe out the last enemy unit, thus not giving the enemy hero a
chance to cast an offensive spell. Remember that you'll have only one
ressurection per archangel stack - and plan well.
If you manage to capture another Castle, try to focus on one or two troops and
build massive numbers - marksmen, crusaders or even pikemen. The pikemen that
wait in home castle in reserve should be transferred to some castle in front
lines to help you hold it.

Heroes:
Most Knights do well in battles, I'd suggest Valeska for Marksmen, Tyris for
Champions and Tactics, Sorsha for Offense and Crusaders. Avoid Haart(Estates)
and Sylvia(Navigation) unless needed (as secondary).
Among Clerics, useful are Adela (Bless, Diplomacy), Adelaide (Frost Ring),
Loynis (Prayer!!! - it will compensate for low A/D), Rion (First Aid). Others
aren't good, except for secondary (CuthBert and Caitlin generate gold).

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Archery might be useful, if you have some archer towers or other Castle towns,
or if you plan to use monks/zealots, but usually the hard work is done by
champions, crusaders and griffins.
Offense is a must here, since your troops rely on dealing damage hand-to-hand
mostly.
Armorer could prolong life of your griffins and crusaders, but there are
better skills.
Ballistics is strongly recommended to get Crusaders and Champions inside,
Artillery too, as heroes with high A/D can get a big bang from the Ballista.

Unit           A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Halberdiers    6  5  10  2-3   5  75   2.30  3.07 28   64
Marksmen       6  3  10  2-3   6  150  2.30  1.53 18   41
Royal Griffins 9  9  25  3-6   9  240  4.41  1.84 17   75
Crusaders      12 12 35  7-10  6  400  9.35  2.34 8    75
Zealots        12 10 30  10-12 7  450  12.10 2.69 6    73
Champions      16 16 100 20-25 9  1200 29.25 2.44 4    117
Archangels     30 30 250 50-50 18 5000 100   2    2    200

Chapter V: Rampart guide

Strengths:
The most durable troops
Excellency in castle defenses (dendroid special)
Three anti-magic specials
Castle special (Treasury) is cumulative and can sometimes achieve great
results.
Both defender fighters have benefically increased growth rate.

Weaknesses:
Only one shooter and two flyers (and one of them quite vulnerable), however
the shooter is a good one and the flyers are both pretty fast...

Army evaluation:
Centaurs 5/3/8/2-3/6/70
Centaur captains 6/3/10/2-3/8/90
Those fast warriors carry a good offensive punch. In high numbers they're far
more important than you'd expect from a 1stlevel troop.

Dwarves 6/7/20/2-4/3/120, 20% magic resistance
Battle Dwarves 7/7/20/2-4/5/150, 40% magic resistance
Dwarves make a sturdy defensive unit, but after upgrade, they can be used even
in offensive.

Elves 9/5/15/3-5/6/200
Grand Elves 9/9/15/3-5/7/225, shoot twice
In decent numbers, they provide you with much needed ranged firepower, but
they need to be protected.

Pegasi 9/8/30/5-9/8/250, enemy has spell costs higher by 2
Silver Pegasi 9/10/30/5-9/12/275, enemy has spell costs higher by 2
Quite capable offensive unit with a handy special, esp. against weak scouts.

Dendroid Guards 9/12/55/10-14/3/350, binding attack
Dendroid Soldiers 9/12/65/10-14/4/425, binding attack
An excellent defensive unit with a special that has great tactical value.

Unicorns 15/14/90/18-22/7/850, blinding attack, magic aura
War Unicorns 15/14/110/18-22/9/950, blinding attack, magic aura
Tough and fast fighters. Magic aura gives adjacent units 20% magic resistance
(the unicorns don't get the resistance bonus themselves.)

Green Dragons 18/18/180/40-50/10/2400+1c, immune to spells 1-3
Gold Dragons 27/27/250/40-50/16/4000+2c, immune to spells 1-4
Dragons are pretty strong and green ones also easier to get.

Upgrading priorities:
* Centaur Captains: High - increased durability and speed boost are worth it.
* Battle Dwarves: Low. Their value lies in magic resistance, but it's not so
common for them to be primary target for spellcasting.
* Grand Elves: High, for the double shot and speed bonus.
* Silver Pegasi: High, for the speed boost that gives them access to enemy side
in one turn.
* Dendroid Soldiers: Low. They're best used in castle defenses, as they can
effectively 'block' holes in walls with their special ability.
* War Unicorns: High, for the +2 speed and increased HPs
* Gold Dragons: Very High, for the +6 speed, +9 A/D and +70 HPs.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1: Town Hall        2500g
Day 2: Homestead        1500g + 10w
Day 3: Enchanted Spring 2000g + 10c
Day 4: Dendroid arches  2500g
Day 5: Unicorn Glade    4000g + 5w + 5o + 10g
Day 6: reserve
Day 7: Citadel          2500g + 5o

Centaur stables as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we
use the reserve slot to shift the schedule.
Usually the reserve would be used for Dwarf cottage, but as dwarves aren't a
crucial unit in offensive strategies, you might want to go for something else
(i.e. a mage guild, if your main hero is a ranger and you want him to get a
spell book fast.)
Under extremely positive conditions, you might be able to buy Dragon Cliffs.
However, you need two levels of mage guild, so you'd have to skip Town Hall
and Citadel from the above schedule. And them extremely positive conditions
are extra 14 crystal and extra 25 ore. No need to mention that it is worth is,
sacrificing some gold chests to get two dragons on the beginning of second
week - they'll allow much faster exploration, as they can battle many medium
wandering armies without fear.

Resource summary:
You'll need 15w, 10o and 15000g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000 - 15000) =
12000g for Day 1 to spend on troops. I suggest the reserve day being used for
homestead upgrade and day1 of second week be used for centaur stables upgrade
- those will consume another 15w (thus making your requirements 10 wood above
starting 20) and 2500 gold. With 9500g, you'll easily purchase all the
centaurs (35x90) and elves (17x225) and all 12 pegasi, too. That is a decent
exploration force. If you don't need the pegasi, save the gold for economic
structures!
If, for some reason, you don't go for Unicorn Glade, I recommend upgrading
Pegasi instead (if you find extra 5 crystal) and getting 1st level of mage
guild (for the same gold, wood and ore consumption as unicorn glade).

Second week strategies:
Since there are no building variants, the second week will be easy - get some
wood and raise City Hall, possibly Castle and Capitol or some of the
beneficial buildings, while your main hero will look for gold and crystal
sources.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 18620
With 7th level: 26620
With one castle producing 14000/week, you see that you'll have to decide which
units to left unpurchased. Dendroids and Dwarves are favorites, of course.
Capitol at 28000/week will have minor surplus.
HPs grown weekly 2150 (plus 500 in Gold Dragons) at 8.66 g/HP (10.05)
[This is the highest HP total/week and lowest g/HP rating among all towns!]

Benefits:
* Blacksmith: First Aid Tents sold here.
* Dendroid saplings: +2 dendroids growth (not bad, just in case)
* Mystic Pond: gives 1-4 random resources each week. A good thing for longer
games.
* Fountain of Fortune: Upgrade to mystic pond, gives +2 Luck when under siege.
I never build it.
* Miner's Guild: +4 Dwarves growth (just as good as dendriod saplings),
required for treasury.
* Resource Silo: Provides +1 crystal/day - a must if you don't have the mine!
* Treasury: On day 1 of each week increases your gold reserve by 10% - Great!
Great! But be careful, the game can't handle total gold hihger than 10,000,000
;-)
Strategy
You won't have much to worry for. Of course, wood is always needed for the
City Hall and Castle, but you can relax in the first week.
A good strategy might also be to upgrade centaurs quickly, hire a few extra
heroes that come with centaurs and with some 60-80 centaur captains run into
some action - they're durable and offensive enough to handle even strong
enemies. With their high speed, they can rely on 'waiting' to get two
consecutive shots. But since AB, 3rd+ hero in any week will not come with any
good starting army.

Forces combination:
In general, Dendroids and Dwarves should be kept home as castle defenses,
possibly unpurchased. Of course, against particularly well-defended castles
you might decide to use them - dendroids can be used to block an enemy that
went after your elves or any other unit. They can take a lot of damage and you
have a +2 growth benefit option on them.
A good strategy could be to use either dwarves or dendroids as sort of
expendable fighter unit - and whenever their stack would get crippled, you'd
switch for the other one, while the first would sit in the castle and grow
silently and slowly back to some reasonable numbers.
The offensive force should be Centaur Captains, Silver Pegasi, Grand Elves and
War unicorns. All are pretty fast and therefore you should use 'wait' against
all walkers/flyers and even against shooters, unless your morale is very high
and you count on it.
Green dragons are wimps that should be in later game used only in hopeless
situations such as castle defenses. Upgrade them ASAP.
If for some reason your dwarves and dendroids hit the action out there, try to
have first strikes with dendroids - they can absorb much more damage. Also,
when all the enemy walkers/flyers attack them, the dwarves can with a little
help of Haste start quickly to the other side to demolish shooters and/or war
machines. The dendroids will take losses, but the effect should still be
positive. Also area spells (Frost ring the best) are good to help them when
surrounded. [It might be even reasonable to use fireballs, if their opponents
are weaker - especially if the fireball could win the battle - because if
you'd spare the dendroids from your own flame, enemy might hit them with his
own spell.]

Heroes:
Rangers are a mixed group. There are nice picks like Kyrre the Logistics
expert, Thorgrim with magic resistance and 5% bonus to it, and on the other
hand Ryland (Dendroids) and Ufretin (Dwarves) that would make good castle
defenders. A secondary pick is Jenova (+350 gold).
From druids, I recommend Aeris(Pegasi) and Alagar(Ice Bolt, has Sorcery). Also
Elleshar with Intelligence may come handy (esp. for castle defenses). Others
seem quite useless to me under common conditions.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Given so fast units, Tactics may be the best pick for you - your centaurs,
pegasi and unicorns will be able to pick most of enemy units for targets. With
Expert Haste, you will be able to attack slower enemies even with Dendroids
and Dwarves.
Since you have only one flyer (except dragons) and one shooter, you should get
Ballistics to let your Unicorns and Centaurs make some justice, especially
when you expect many castle sieges.

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Centaur captains  6  3  10  2-3   8  90   2.30  2.56 28   64
Battle Dwarves    7  7  20  2-4   5  150  2.82  1.88 20   56
Grand Elves       9  9  15  3-5   7  225  3.92  1.74 14   55
Silver Pegasi     9  10 30  5-9   12 275  6.86  2.49 10   69
Dendroid Soldiers 9  12 65  10-14 4  425  11.76 2.77 9    106
War Unicorns      15 14 110 18-22 9  950  25    2.63 4    100
Gold Dragons      27 27 250 40-50 16 4000 83.25 2.08 2    167

Chapter VI: Conflux guide

Strengths:
Excellent HP rating of armies.
First strike guaranteed
Phoenixes have a nice growth rate! In fact, they're the only ones that grow
two units basic production... Therefore, even with their lower A/D ratings,
they can be compared to the best 7thlevel units, since you can afford to take
two phoenixes against one Archangel/Dragon/Titan...

Weaknesses:
Those nice durable troops are unfortunately quite costly
Magical vulnerabilty of those elemental types can be dangerous if you face AI
heroes early in the game.

Army evaluation:
Pixies 2/2/3/1-2/7/25
Sprites 2/2/3/1-3/9/30, no retaliation
An important unit - crucial in early exploration, the only non-retaliated
1stlevel.

Air elementals 9/9/25/2-8/7/250
Storm elementals 9/9/25/2-8/8/275, shoots, no melee penalty
Vulnerability to lightning makes them less durable, but with their speed and
good HPs, they make a good shooter.

Water elementals 8/10/30/3-7/5/300
Ice elementals 8/10/30/3-7/6/375, shoots
Fire is not as damaging as lightning, so you can expect them to last a bit
longer than Storm folks.

Fire elementals 10/8/35/4-6/6/350
Energy elementals 12/8/35/4-6/8/400
Average fighter.

Earth Elementals 10/10/40/4-8/4/400
Magma Elementals 11/11/40/6-10/6/500
Quite lousy before the upgrade. After it, still the lousiest 5thlevel, but
they make good damage soakers.

Psychic elementals 15/13/75/10-20/7/750, immune to mind magic, no retaliation,
attacks all adjacent enemies
Magic elementals 15/13/80/15-25/9/800, immune to magic, no retaliation,
attacks all adjacent enemies
If used wisely, this unit will score tremendous damage. The bad thing is that
it cannot profit from beneficiary spells.

Firebirds 18/18/150/20-40/15/1500, immune to fire magic
Phoenixes 21/18/200/20-40/21/2000. immune to fire magic, rise from the ashes
The fastest unit in the game, they guarantee first strike. They're also with
their doubled growth compensating for lesser durability.

All four elemental units have some magic immunity and some magic
vulnerability. Also, after upgrade, they are able to cast Protection from
their element of magic.

Upgrading priorities:
* Sprites - a good upgrade... they're virtually worthless without it, since
they die quickly in retaliatory attacks.
* Storm elementals - necessary in early phases for the shooter attack.
* Ice Elementals - same as Storm.
* Energy elementals - low priority. The upgrade brings little difference, only
the +2 speed could force you to upgrade.
* Magma elementals - medium priority. They gain more punch and +2 speed, which
in their case is more important than it was for energy elementals.
* Magic elementals - a good upgrade that brings damage increase along with +2
speed boost. They, as a crucial attack unit, need to be as fast as possible to
afford waiting in battles.
* Phoenixes - an important upgrade, the only that increases HPs and also gives
you first strike in all battles.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall        2500g
Day 2:  Mage Guild       2000g +5w +5o
Day 3:  Altar of air     1500g +5o
Day 4:  Altar of Water   1500g + 5o +2c
Day 5a: Altar of Fire    2000g + 5o +5w +2m
Day 5b: Temple of Clouds 1500g + 2o + 2w +2g
Day 6a: Altar of Earth   2000g + 10o
Day 6b: Temple of Ice    1500g + 5c
Day 7a: Altar of Thought 3000g + 5o +5w +2cgms
Day 7b: Citadel          2500g + 5o
                                                                               
                     읕컴컴컴컴좔컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컨컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴켸
There are many variants of the building order - I've picked two extremes. The
a) variant aims at quick exploration with minimal losses... it assumes that
you upgrade Flower of Life on Day1 Week2 to get non-retaliated flyer (with
some extra troops from starting heroes) along with two shooters.
The b) variant assumes that you don't hurry anywhere or you need some good
walkers (and four psychic elementals are quite a strong force) Both of these
variants can be enhanced if there's any of the first three picks already
built. In case of b) variant, it can be wise to skip TownHall in favor of
Citadel, if you can get some extra gold from the map.

Resource summary:
For a) variant, you'll need 15w, 35o, some cgms and 14500g, which leaves us
(20000 + 7000 - 14500) = 12500g for Day 1 to spend on troops.
For b) variant, you'll need 7w + 22o, some cgms and 13000g. And that's about
how much will the first three upgraded troops cost on day1.
When choosing the right variant of build schedule, take ore requirements into
consideration, since the b) variant is lower on them.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 20500
With 7th level: 28500
Without Capitol, you'll probably want to save 8000 a week by not buying the
two walker elementals, but even than you'll be 6500 short of the requirements
for all-out sale. Once you get Capitol up, it'll cover all your production,
but if you keep avoiding the two lower walkers, you'll quickly catch back and
be able to buy out all shooters, sprites, phoenixes and psychic elementals
from the earlier weeks.
HPs grown weekly: 1800 (plus 800 in phoenixes) at 11.39 g/HP (10.96) -
Phoenixes are the only 7thlevel that actually makes your average HP cost
lower.
This gives you second place among all castles in HP production.

Benefits:
Blacksmith: Produces Ballista war machines
Artifact Merchants: Trade resources for artifacts...
Resource silo: adds 1 mercury per day. In long games worth it.
Pixie branches: Increases growth of pixies by 10 - important one.
Shipyard: Allows ships to be built.
Magic university: Heroes can learn (for 2000g) magic schools.

Strategy
You'll need some ore in the first week, especially if you choose the
dwelling-oriented variant. In that case, you should also try to get as much
gold as possible in order to be able to complete all moneygenerators in the
second week...
In the long run, you should focus on getting firebirds ASAP... You don't
actually have to recruit them, but get the dwelling soon. Their nice growth
rate will be worth it and the 10 mercury, wood and ore should be easy to
obtain...

Forces combination:
With Capitol built, you can afford to recruit anything except magma
elementals... (You could leave out any other unit, but magmas are the
slowest). They provide an excellent defensive unit, since the only damage
spell that really hurts them is meteor shower... (and therefore, the attacker
will be only able to attack from distance (and by spells) or at close range
with no spell support.
So, you'll probably use the two shooters on the run. Note that both those
shooters are quite good compared to other 2nd/3rdlevel troops. In fact, the
only 3rdlevel with comparable hitpoints are Iron Golems.
Of the ground walkers, Magic and Energy elementals form a good pair... the
Energy folks are a good damage absorber, while the magics with their all-round
attack are the 'main' killer unit. Yet the magic folks suffer from low HPs, so
you should use them cautiously. Also keep in mind that you can't help them
with ANY kind of magic!
In early phases of scouting and exploring, you can divide your troops into two
armies... One hero can lead the two shooters (their stacks should be quite
numerous, so they could be splitted) with either phoenixes or one walker as a
cover force. The other hero can have sprites and walkers to deal with
walkers/flyers... This hero should, however, definitely try to develop expert
Haste/Slow so as to assure tactical advantage for the sprites...

Heroes:
All planeswalkers are elementals that provide some stat boosts to their
elemental type in battle. Along with A/D boost, Thunar and Erdamon boost
Earth/Magma elementals' damage rating by 5 points, suddenly making them a VERY
useful unit, while Ignissa and
Fiur get less significant +2 for Fire/Energy elementals... Monere, on the
other hand, starts with Logistics and Tactics and enhances A/D of magic
elementals... he's the best choice, IMHO... at least in larger maps.
Planeswalkers generally get good skills at start - Offense and Tactics appear
often.
Among elementalists, the nicest folks seem to be Labetha with Stoneskin,
Brissa with Haste and possibly Inteus with Bloodlust. Gelare and Grindan (+350
gold) are ideal secondary heroes. Also, the Luna's return with doubled
Firewall can be a good pick for a primary spellcaster. Note one important
thing - all elementalists start with magic school corresponding with their
special, so you'll have one less worry.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Either Air or Earth magic for Haste/Slow purposes would be good to any hero,
including Planeswalkers. Since the basic elemental types are vulnerable to
some kinds of magic, maybe even Resistance could be considered, since it's
quite probable that opponents will hardly resist the temptation to fry the
storm elementals for double damage...
Water magic could be also considered as an important skill. Not only it
provides Mass Prayer that makes Haste obsolete, but it provides (with much
higher probability) Bless... and with 50 sprites/week, the max+1 damage really
counts, not mentioning that the lower elementals have quite wide damage
ranges.
Other than that, the troops are a mixed bag stuff... yet if you'll accept the
archers/walkers force division suggested above, you might want Archery for the
shooter-based army.

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Sprites           2  2  3   1-3   9  30   1.68  5.40 60   101
Storm elementals  9  9  25  2-8   8  275  4.90  1.78 10   84
Ice elementals    8  10 30  3-7   6  375  5     1.33 14   59
Energy elementals 12 8  35  4-6   8  400  5.50  1.38 12   60
Magma elementals  11 11 40  6-10  6  500  8.40  1.68 12   67
Magic elementals  15 13 75  15-25 9  800  23    3.13 4    100
Phoenixes         21 18 200 20-40 21 2000 46.50 2.33 4    186

Chapter VII: Tower guide

Strengths:
Titans - the only 7thlevel shooter.
Hordes of gremlins at start
Best 6thlevel troop.
Three shooters and two flyers.
Useful special of Master Genies (if used properly, see below)
Land mines instead of moat. They're affected by the spellpower of defending
hero (which is usually a pretty high number.)

Weaknesses:
Titans and Nagas are very expensive. Worst heroes (only a few are really good)

Army evaluation:
Gremlins 3/3/4/1-2/4/30
Master Gremlins 4/4/4/1-2/5/40, shoots
The only 1stlevel shooter! But don't be too happy - gremlins are weak both in
offense and in defense. However, expert bless gives them 100% increase ;-)

Stone Gargoyles 6/6/16/2-3/6/130
Obsidian Gargoyles 7/7/16/2-3/9/160
An average unit, good against shooters.

Stone Golems 7/10/30/4-5/3/150, 50% damage from magic
Iron Golems 9/10/35/4-5/5/200, 25% damage from magic
Ideal troop for castle defense - cheap, tough, magic resistant and with solid
damage, this one can block holes in castle walls forever.

Magi 11/8/25/7-9/5/350, no melee penalty
Arch Magi 12/9/30/7-9/7/450, no melee penalty, reduces spell costs by 2,
no walls penalty
Strong shooter with good specials.

Genies 12/12/40/13-16/7/550, hates Efreet
Master Genies 12/12/40/13-16/11/600, hates Efreet, casts random beneficial
spell Very potent unit (for sitting in the back line and casting spells), also
for cleaning of low-level units. Keep out of reach of enemy grunts.

Nagas 16/13/110/20/5/1100, no retaliation
Naga Queens 16/13/110/30/7/1600, no retaliation
Best 6thlevel troop, but the cost reflects that.

Giants 19/16/150/40-60/7/2000 + 1g, immune to mind spells
Titans 24/24/300/40-60/11/5000 + 2g, immune to mind spells, shoots, no melee
penalty, 150% damage against dragons
Very potent but expensive. Luckily, unupgraded variant can be built quickly.

Upgrading priorities:
* Master Gremlins: High in early game, because their numbers are great.
* Obsidian Gargoyles: Low, unless needed against shooters. Good for scout arm,
however.
* Iron Golems: Very Low, unless you can't build Nagas or unless you've got
plenty of them and need them for offensive.
* Arch Magi: Higher, speed up and sieging special are worth it.
* Master Genies: High, their special, although uncontrollable, works wonders.
* Naga Queens: High for +50% damage and +2 speed.
* Titans: Top, although very costly. One of the best 7thlevels.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall        2500g
Day 2:  Parapet          1000g + 10o
Day 3:  Golem Factory    2000g + 5w + 5o
Day 4:  Mage Guild       2000 g + 5w + 5o
Day 5:  Mage Tower       2500g + 5w + 5o + 5cgms
Day 6a: Golden Pavillion 4000g + 5w +5o + 2cgms
Day 6b: Altair of Wishes 3000g + 5w + 5o + 6cg
Day 7:  Citadel          2500g + 5o

Workshop as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we must
forget about Citadel or one of the alternative day6 buildings, unless we
decide to delay TownHall.
If we have enough resources, we can sacrifice Townhall and Citadel to build
ALL dwellings in the first week, since Cloud Temple costs only 5000g + 10w +
10o + 10g. I'd vote for that in cases where a HillFort is nearby to upgrade
the two giants to titans on the very next day - with such unstoppable force
you can explore very aggresively, so the costs will come back fast.
If gold is abundant, the TownHall can wait in favor of Genies AND Nagas built
in the first week.

Resource summary:
You'll need 20w, 35o and 16500g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000 - 16500) =
10500g for Day 1 to spend on troops. Since most of the troops are much better
upgraded, I'd suggest buying out Nagas and Magi and use these two troops for
exploration force.
(However, an upgraded Workshop will usually throw in a significant amount
(100+) master gremlins.
I consider Nagas better than Genies for the second week exploration, since
they have non-retaliated attack. I also recommend upgrading them. [They're
very expensive - but I suggest to compare them with 7thlevel behemoths
(unupgraded) to see that they're worth the money.]

Second week strategies:
After getting City Hall, focus on two or three troops types, upgrade them and
try to buy them all in third week. (I suggest Naga Queens, Arch Magi and
Master Gremlins.) All other upgrades can wait.
Pay extreme attention to securing ALL mines - you'll need a lot of rare
resources to get the most out of your troops and heroes.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 20800
With 7th level: 30800
With one castle producing 14000/week and one of the most expensive army sets,
you'll get used to ignoring golems and either genies or gargoyles completely
until you secure large gold sources. Tower is the only town that isn't
self-sufficient even with Capitol - the Titans add 10000, thus making the
weekly budget almost 3000 in deficit.
HPs grown weekly 1820 (plus 600 in titans) at 11.42 g/HP (12.72)

Benefits:
* Artifact Merchants: May be useful, but seldom you'll have 10 grand to spare.
* Blacksmith: Ammo Cart (useless);
* Library: Extra spell in each level of guild - great!
* Lookout Tower: May be useful in cases where you must choose one path in
early exploration (i.e. if two ways are guarded by two strong armies and you
can't beat both with the same force.). Also good if you have a close Necro
neighbour, as it eliminates Cover of Darkness in a too close city.
* Resource Silo: +1 gem /day
* Sculptor's wings: +4 gargoyle growth (good).
* Wall of knowledge: +1 knowledge per hero (good, esp. for defending heroes.

Strategy
In your first week, ore will be crucial, if you want high dwellings. Wood can
wait into second week for City Hall action.
Try to use upgraded troops (esp. gremlins).

Forces combination:
If your starting heroes have brought many gremlins, upgrade them ASAP. For
their protection, any slower walker may be used. However, if gremlins are low
in count, you might press for upgrade on Nagas and use them with their high
damage and speed as the main offensive unit.
I often explore with Nagas being the only troop, divided in two or three
stacks.
Once you get Master Genies, take two to four strong armies (master gremlin
hordes, magi, nagas and/or titans) and split the genies into all the remaining
free slots. Having i.e. three offensive armies and four master genies to cast
a spell on them each turn is a very effective combination, as the genies can
cast any beneficial spell, ranging from 'Protection from ...' to Prayer! The
genii should engage battle only in absolute need. They can cast three times in
a battle. They won't cast duplicate spells, they won't cast spells useless
under current battle condition (like Protection from... when enemy hero cannot
cast spells.) Their spells are cast at power 6 and Advanced level of the
corresponding school.

Heroes:
Best pick from Alchemists is Torosar (Tactics, Ballista). Fafner likes Nagas,
others aren't that useful (Golems, Gargoyles and Genies aren't critical
offensive units and having a special wasted at them isn't good).
Wizards are better: Astral is hypnotizer with Advanced Wisdom, Cyra has
Diplomacy and Haste. Theodorus has Ballistics and promotes Magi, but the
all-round favorite pick is Solmyr with ChainLightning! Others are useless,
except for Aine (350 gold) as secondary.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
With three shooters (and esp. Titans), get Archery!
With Libraries, you might consider Sorcery and Magic Schools, because the
probability of getting useful spells is much higher.

Unit            A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Master Gremlins 4  4  4   1-2   5  40   1.32  3.30 32   42
Obsidian Garg,  7  7  16  2-3   9  160  2.35  1.47 22   52
Iron Golems     9  10 35  4-5   5  200  4.41  2.21 12   53
Arch Magi       12 9  30  7-9   7  450  8.80  1.96 8    70
Master Genies   12 12 40  13-16 11 600  15.95 2.66 6    96
Naga Queens     16 13 110 30-30 7  1600 39    2.44 4    156
Titans          24 24 300 40-60 12 5000 85    1.70 2    170

Chapter VIII: Stronghold guide

Strengths:
Cheapest troops
Most offensive troops

Weaknesses:
Lack of potent shooters - cyclops are hard to build due to ore and crystal
requirements.
Only one flyer

Army evaluation:
Goblins 4/2/5/1-2/5/40
Hobgoblins 5/3/5/1-2/7/50
Due to their speed, both goblins and hobgoblins are somewhat more useful than
you'd expect for a 1stlevel troop.

Wolf riders 7/5/10/2-4/6/100
Wolf raiders 8/5/10/3-4/8/140, two strikes
A good offensive troop. They're extremely bad on defense, so you need to
protect them.

Orcs 8/4/15/2-5/4/150
Orc chieftans 8/4/20/2-5/5/165
Another offensive unit - they make good cheap shooters and upgraded are pretty
durable.

Ogres 13/7/40/6-12/4/300
Ogre magi 13/7/60/6-12/5/400, cast Bloodlust
Ogres are great fighters, yet their lower speed assures them defensive tasks,
especially protection of orcs. BloodLust is cast at Advanced level (+6 attack)
and is affected by Magic Plains/Cursed Ground.

Rocs 13/11/60/11-15/7/600
Thunderbirds 13/11/60/11-15/11/700, Lightning attack
Both variants are good flying fighters, important in most battles.

Cyclopes 15/12/70/16-20/6/750, attacks siege walls (Basic Ballistic level)
Cyclops kings 17/13/70/16-20/8/1100, attacks siege walls (Adv. Ballistic level)
Powerful special!

Behemoths 17/17/160/30-50/6/1500, reduces target defense by 40%
Ancient Behemoths 19/19/300/30-50/9/3000 + 1c, reduces target defense by 80%
Behemoths make excellent fighters, although they're not as remarkable as other
7thlevel creatures.

Upgrading priorities:
* Hobgoblins: Low, unless you're going to use them in offensive campaigns.
Taking into account affinity of castle tower fire towards them, you probably
will take them along only as cannonfodder.
* Wolf raiders: High, for the speed boost, double attack and higher damage. May
become low if you manage to build Rocs and Behemoths quickly.
* Orc chieftans: High, for the increased HPs and higher speed.
* Ogre magi: High, for the special and +50% HPs.
* Thunderbirds: Top, for the +4 speed and nice cleaning special.
* Cyclope Kings: Moderate, for increased special effect and +2 speed.
* Ancient Behemoths: High, for the speed boost and almost doubled HPs.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1: Town Hall     2500g
Day 2: Wolf pen      1000 g + 10w + 5o
Day 3: Orc Tower     1000g + 5w + 5o
Day 4: Cliff Nest    2500g + 10o
Day 5: Behemoth Lair 10000g + 10w + 10o + 10c
Day 6: Ogre Fort     2000g + 20w
Day 7: Citadel       2500g + 5o

Goblin Barracks as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we
don't go for Ogre Fort.
If we can't get enough resources, we should focus on less dwellings and try to
upgrade them. A good combination is Hobgoblins, WolfRaiders and Thunderbirds
(and these troops are pretty fast, too!)

Resource summary:
You'll need 25w (45 with ogres), 35o and 21500g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000
- 21500) = 5500g (7500 without ogres) for Day 1 to spend on troops. That isn't
any much, but you'll be able to recruit three behemoths and a few rocs, which
should provide capable army for exploration.
The minimal variant with upgraded cliff nest, wolf pen and goblin barracks,
but without orc tower, ogre fort and behemoth lair requires 7000 less gold, so
you'll be able to recruit all the built troops and still have some gold left
to raise CityHall quickly, if you'll get the required wood.

Second week strategies:
If you choose the rich variant with all dwellings, you'll have a lot of
unpurchased troops in the castle, so hurry for all the gold you can get.
The minimal variant will have priorities in getting all the extra wood, ore
and a crystal mine first and extra gold later.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 18530
With 7th level: 24530
With one castle producing 14000/week, you will probably do well without ogres
and possibly either goblins or wolfraiders... yet the goblins make good
cannonfodder for AI castle turrets. Capitol at 28000/week will spare some 4000
gold a week, thus making the Stronghold the richest town in the game.
HPs grown weekly 1770 (plus 600 in ancient behemoths) at 10.46 g/HP (10.35).
(Behemoths are the cheapest/HP 7thlevel around!)

Benefits:
* Blacksmith: Ammo Carts (useless, even dangerous as a target for magogs and
liches)
* Ballista Yard: Blacksmith upgrade, Ballistas aren't useless ;-)
* Freelancer's Guild: a good way to convert forces that joined you to something
useful (especially if they're some nuts like Zombies ;-))
* Resource Silo: +1w and +1o per day
* Escape Tunnel: if you've got enough money, get the tunnels so that you can
save armies if unexpected enemies appear.
* Hall of Valhalla: +1 Attack, worth it.
* Mess Hall: +8 goblin growth - get it soon or never.

Strategy:
Since your dwellings are cheap, you can get behemoths in first week. You'll
need some extra wood and even more extra ore, however. (and 20 wood for ogres,
too). However, the behemoth lair will make a large suction in your cash
reserves, so be careful and keep some spare cash for building economy later.

Forces combination:
The behemoths alone in second week are enough to do most exploring. The
thunderbird variant isn't aby bad, too, but since the two supporting troops
are very weak, they'll tend to suffer casualties, unless used very carefully.
In later phases, go for upgraded behemoths quickly, as they're much more
durable and considerably faster.
Goblins and Ogres are quite good for castle defense, but since their upgraded
versions are faster, you might want to take them on the road with your might
hero. In that case, cyclopes might be used as the reserve troop, until their
number accumulates into a useful shooter stack. (However, cyclopes in castle
sieges are good even in the lowest numbers, as the damage dealt to castle
walls isn't dependant on the size of the attacking cyclopes stack - so if you
enter the battle with four stacks of two cyclopes, you'll have four extra
catapult attacks per turn. One cyclope isn't enough, however, since the castle
towers will score 100+ damage and would eliminate him.)

Heroes:
From the barbarians, Crag Hack is the best with Advanced Offense and 5% per
level bonus to it. Gurnisson's ballista is a good thing. Tyraxor with Tactics
and WolfRaider speciality seems a good pick, too. All others are fair, maybe
except Krellion (Ogres and Resistance.)
Battle Mages: Dessa with Logistics is a good one. Gundula is a spellcasting
version of Crag Hack (Offense). Terek is my personal favorite (Tactics and
Haste special - Those two combined guarantee you a huge first strike. It is,
however, very wise to try and acquire some very fast unit (phoenix, archangel,
some dragon etc, so that you play first and have time to cast Haste)). Zubin
is good for shooters (Precision). Others don't seem good.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Offense is the key to success, because your troops already score good damage,
having very high attack rating - and expanding it by 15% is certainly worth
one secondary slot.
With two shooters and four walkers, Ballistics seems a bit better than
Archery, taking the not-so-good availability of cyclopes into account.

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Hobgoblins        5  3  5   1-2   7  50   1.35  2.70 38   51
Wolf raiders      8  5  10  3-4   8  140  3.36  2.40 18   60
Orc chieftans     8  4  20  2-5   5  165  3.36  2.04 14   47
Ogre magi         13 7  60  6-12  5  400  10.35 2.59 8    83
Thunderbirds      13 11 60  11-15 11 700  14.95 2.14 6    90
Cyclops kings     17 13 70  16-20 8  1100 24.30 2.21 4    97
Ancient Behemoths 19 19 300 30-50 9  3000 58    1.93 2    116

Chapter IX: Fortress guide

Strengths:
Four two-hex creatures (although it may be considered a weakness, too ;-))
Best 4thlevel troop
Dangerous 7thlevel creature
Fast flyers
Two-hex moat! (Effectively doubling the time walkers will need to cross.)

Weaknesses:
Slow armies
Poor shooters

Army evaluation:
Gnolls 3/5/6/2-3/4/50
Gnoll Marauders 4/6/6/2-3/5/70
They offer above average 1stlevel performance, but that doesn't mean you
should use them.

Lizardmen 5/6/14/2-3/4/110
Lizard Warriors 6/8/15/2-5/5/140
Since the SOD upgrade, they're a bit more durable and also score higher
damage. That makes the only fortress shooter more important.

Serpent Flies 7/9/20/2-5/9/220. dispel target
Dragon Flies 8/10/20/2-5/13/240, dispel target, cast weakness on enemies
I like those flies because of their speed rating. They're excellent for taking
out shooters and sweep those little stacks that wander somewhere on the
battlefield. Also they can take some damage... and they'll love Bless. (And
they got quite better in SOD, including the weakness special.)

Basilisks 11/11/35/6-10/5/325, petrifying attack
Greater Basilisks 12/12/40/6-10/7/400, petrifying attack
They fight well, their special ain't any bad and they're two-hex - good for
blocking.

Gorgons 10/14/70/12-16/5/525
Mighty Gorgons 11/16/70/12-16/6/600, death stare
Their special is great. They're extremely durable, again two-hex and in fact
cheap. In long games, they make the Fortress superior, since they can wipe out
7thlevel monsters like nothing.

Wyverns 14/14/70/14-18/7/800
Wyvern Monarchs 14/14/70/18-22/11/1100, poisoning attack
Pretty dangerous, although low on health. A nice special (to watch ;-). They
should not be used to battle higher level units - use their speed for
hit'n'run against shooters, catapults in castle defenses etc. Also, they can
be built pretty soon and serve as a crucial exploration army.

Hydras 16/18/175/25-45/5/2200, no retaliation, attack all adjacent
Chaos Hydras 18/20/250/25-45/7/3500 +1s, no retaliation, attack all adjacent
Fourth two-hex creature in Fortress, quite tough ones. Their special is pretty
strong, if used effectively. You gotta try and get Expert Water Magic and
Teleport ;-)

Upgrading priorities:

* Gnoll Marauders: Lowest. They're nothing but cannon fodder, used in
exploring and in castle defenses.
* Lizard Warriors: Low. They're not strong enough to be important.
* Dragon Flies: High, for the speed that takes them to the other side.
* Greater Basilisks: Low, as they're used mainly for protection and cleanup
works. That is, unless you decide to use them as a main fighting stack, which
they can do, as well.
* Mighty Gorgons: High, although it doesn't seem so, they're quite offensive
weapon, mainly because they can walk out there and stand some damage.
* Wyvern Monarchs: High for +20% damage and +4 speed. They will be quite
important in eliminating enemy ranged attackers.
* Chaos Hydra: High. The HP and speed increase makes them less inferior
compared to other 7thlevel units - and therefore gives you more room to
exploit their devastating special.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall             2500g
Day 2:  Lizard Den            1000g + 5w
Day 3:  Serpent Fly Hive      1000g + 5w + 2m + 2s
Day 4:  Wyvern Nest           3500 g + 15w
Day 5a: Basilisk Pit          2000g + 10o + 5w
Day 6a: Gorgon Lair           2500g + 10w + 10o + 5m +5s
Day 5b: Upg. Wyvern Nest      3000g + 10w + 10m
Day 6b: Upg. Serpent Fly Hive 1000g + 2m + 2s
Day 7:  Citadel               2500g + 5o
                                                                               
               
읕컴컴컴컴좔컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴좔컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴컴켸
Gnoll hut as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present.
The a) variant may also build Hydra Pond instead of Gorgon Lair, if you're
lucky enough to have all the resources.
The b) variant is cheaper and is good especially against wandering shooters,
as you get two fast flyers. Both troops assure you the biggest movement bonus.
(And one Dragon Fly is therefore typical Scout army).
Resource summary:
For a) variant, you'll need 40w, 25o and 15000g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000
- 14500) = 12500g for Day 1 to spend on troops. Since we have a total of six
dwellings, the cash won't buy us all the troops. (And it'll be even worse with
the Hydra variant, but you can then purchase two hydras, which is 350
non-retaliated-against HPs - against walkers/flyers it ain't any bad!)
For b) variant, you'll need 35w + 5o and 14500g. That will leave you 13000 for
troops, then, which will be enough to buy out all wyvern monarchs (5x1100) and
all dragon flies (20x240) and still some gold left to start for City Hall (or
it can be MageGuild + spellbook!). The trouble with this variant is extra 4
bits of mercury you need.
As you can see, in both cases, you'll need lots of wood. If you can't snatch
any wood around your castle, the building schedule will change at day 4, where
you'll get Gorgon Lair for the last wood, buy the three gorgons and start
exploring for wood fast! (And in the meantime, you'll be only able to build
benefit buildings that need no wood.)
There is also a third variant - going straight after wyverns - building them
on day three, and with two of them exploring against some stronger, mainly
shooting wandering stacks. In that variant, you may then either go towards
dwellings (and I recommend to try and get gorgon lair in first week). You
should not worry about economy buildings - the extra exploration gained via
wyverns should give you access to more resources and money, so that you can
concentrate on dwellings and growth increase (Citadel and Castle).

Second week strategies:
If your wood stock is good, go after the City Hall. If it's not, it'll have to
wait, but plan your gold consumption carefully, so that the CityHall is up and
running ASAP.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level:  19220
With 7th level: 26220
With one castle producing 14000/week, you'd better decide to leave some units
in reserve... It can be basiliks, lizardmen or gnolls... but most probably two
of those. Then I would scrap those that don't get any support from external
dwellings. Capitol gives 28000/week, two chaos hydras add 7000, so we're
getting some 1500g/week surplus.
HPs grown weekly 1712 (plus 500 in Chaos Hydras) at 11.22 g/HP (11.85)

Benefits:
* Blacksmith: First Aid Tents sold here. A good thing.
* Blood Obelisk: +2 Attack under siege. Very good.
* Cage of Warlords: Gives +1 D to any visiting hero. Pretty Good.
* Captain's Quarters: +6 Gnolls/week. Get this early or never.
* Glyphs of fear: +2 Defense under siege. Very good.
* Resource Silo: +1w and +1o per day. Good if you have only one sawmill and one
or more extra villages to build up.

Strategy
Wood is an absolute priority. You'll need to gather at least 35 bits of wood,
if you want six dwellings and City Hall (not mentioning castle and hydras,
which need another 10 bits each).

Forces combination:
Gnolls should stay home unpurchased. Good offensive force for early stages
might be Wyvern Monarchs and Dragon Flies. If you'll be taking castles, have
lizardmen as cannonfodder with you. Otherwise you might need nothing else.
However, Gorgons (and Mighty Gorgons even more) make a good offensive unit. A
typical usage would be all three stacks waiting, enemy approaching, their
shooters scoring half damage, your gorgons then having one attack at the
fastest enemies, your fliers then attack enemy shooters in the waiting part of
turn and if shooters are no longer a threat, in second turn both flyers
returning back to deal with walkers.
When you get hydras upgraded, take them along to provide another unit to
handle enemy walkers/flyers. If you're rich, buy out basilisks, too, as
they're pretty formidable fighters. (But they make a good unpurchased reserve
in castles for defense, or good purchased reserve as a deterrent of potential
attackers).
Mighty gorgons' special Death stare is very powerful and depends on the size
of the gorgon stack. The more MGs you have, the higher losses the death stare
will score, on average. Since their special isn't anyhow dependant of the
enemy type, a stack of 30+ gorgons is excellent to inflict heavy losses to
highlevel enemy units. Gorgons themselves with their high HPs can afford to
suffer retaliatory attacks from those enemies... Note that you should try not
to waste MGs to attack lower level creatures. Wyvern special causes the
affected enemy stack to lose 10% of HP limit every turn and lasts for three
turns. The HP limit loss is irreversible within the battle. (So this is
somewhat less powerful version of 'Aging' of Bone dragons, yet with permanent
effect.)

Heroes:
Among Beastmasters, avoid Drakon (Gnolls) and Bron (Basilisks, Basic
Resistance). Gerwulf has Ballista and knows how too use it. Korbac has
Pathfinding, Tazar is Armorer. Others are OK. Bron will, with starting armies,
make a good scout, though.
Witches: Mirlanda is good with Weakness. Andra has Intelligence, so you can go
for SpellPower. (And she's a good castle defender, too.) Rosic and Tiva are
useless. Voy is excellent as a sea scout (Navigation). Verdish has First Aid
bonus - can be used well with Hydras alone, or with two wyverns as the early
exploration hero.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Armorer is a good thing here to extend the higher Defense stats of creatures
(and all BeastMasters have it, anyway), as well as higher Defense gaining
probabilities of heroes.
Offense could be taken in to compensate for lack of Attack in both heroes and
creatures' stats.
Ballistics is a must with so many walkers, especially gorgons and hydras.
If you manage to get Tactics and Expert Haste (or with external guild Expert
Prayer), the good speed of dragonflies will often enable you to speed up all
units and deliver a powerful first blow (allowing MGs and hydras to pick
targets well.)

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Gnoll Marauders   4  6  6   2-3   5  70   2.20  3.14 30   66
Lizard Warriors   6  8  15  2-5   5  140  3.22  2.30 18   52
Dragon Flies      8  10 20  2-5   13 240  3.36  1.40 16   54
Greater Basilisks 12 12 40  6-10  7  400  8.80  2.20 8    70
Mighty Gorgons    11 16 70  12-16 6  600  14.70 2.45 6    88
Wyvern Monarchs   14 14 70  18-22 11 1100 24    2.18 4    96
Chaos Hydras      18 20 250 25-45 7  3500 49    1.40 2    98

Chapter X: Inferno guide

Strengths:
7thlevel fast flyers with non-retaliated attack, although pretty expensive.
Excellent 3rdlevel monster.
Castle gate! - In larger maps it's very good!

Weaknesses:
Four armies are walkers - higher losses in sieges.
Measly shooter that is often dangerous for his own buddies. (Never press Auto
in battles ;-))

Army evaluation:
Imps 2/3/4/1-2/5/50
Familiars 4/4/4/1-2/7/60, drains 20% of enemy's spent mana
Maybe they should be called wimps instead, coz they definitely are... However,
the familiars are pretty fast and their special sometimes comes handy. And one
more good thing - AI loves to kill them...

Gogs 6/4/13/2-4/4/123
Magogs 7/4/13/2-4/6/175, area attack
The faster magogs are useful with their special (especially against heroes
with six or armies and some war machines ;-)), but if the enemy manages to put
all stacks adjacent to yours, they are useless ;-)

Hell Hounds 10/6/25/2-7/7/200
Cerberi 10/8/25/2-7/8/250, no retaliation, attack enemies adjacent to target
One of the best 3rdlevel monsters, Cerberi with their boosted numbers and
non-retaliated wide attack are a great offensive weapon.

Demons 10/10/35/7-9/5/250
Horned Demons 10/10/40/7-9/6/270
They're tough, they're cheap, they can be raised almost like skeletons. Do you
need anything more?

Pit Fiends 13/13/45/13-17/6/500
Pit Lords 13/13/45/13-17/7/700, can raise demons from slain allies
Although costly, they make good fighters and their special comes handy when
your familiars or gogs have been crushed. Since the demons are raised
permanently, this special can be expanded to great effects.

Efreet 16/12/90/16-24/9/900, immune to Fire Magic
Efreet Sultans 16/14/90/16-24/13/1100, immune to Fire Magic, FireShield
Very mobile and dangerous flyers. Good for magic combos. AI targets them
often.

Devils 19/21/160/30-40/11/2700 + 1m, no retaliation, 150% against angels,
reduce enemy luck
Archdevils 26/28/200/30-40/17/4500 + 2m, no retaliation, 150% against angels,
reduce enemy luck
Very effective 7thlevel units, although not as tough as we would like them.
Will take out angels any day of the week ;-), but will get kicked badly by
Archangels.

Upgrading priorities:
* Familiars: Lowest. Used as cannonfodder. Upgrade if you're gonna have strong
spellcasters as opponents.
* Magogs: Moderate. In early exploration, the fireballs work wonders against
flyers and walkers.
* Cerberi: Highest. The best upgrade of Inferno castle.
* Horned Demons: Low. I don't use them if I don't have to.
* Pit Lords: Same as Demonds.
* Efreet Sultans: High. +4 speed along with FireShield make them great
anti-shooter army.
* Archdevils: High, since upgraded can move almost across the whole battle
field (and play last in waiting and first afterwards, allowing two consecutive
strikes with no retaliation.)

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall    2500g
Day 2:  Hall of Sins 1000g + 5o
Day 3:  Kennels      1500g + 10w + 5o
Day 4:  Demon Gate   2000g + 5w + 5o
Day 5a: Mage Guild   2000g + 5w +5o
Day 6a: Fire Lake    4000g + 10o + 3gms
Day 5b: Hell Hole    3000g
Day 6b: Cages        1000g
Day 7:  Citadel      2500g + 5o

Crucible as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we are
forced to take the b) variant, shifted one day and therefore without cages.
(or we could skip TownHall).
The a) variant is for the gold-richer scenarios, while the b) variant is for
those where gold is scarce. The b) variant can be made even cheaper, skipping
Hell Hole and instead upgrading Kennels or Hall of Sins, with the other
upgrade done on day1 - and the army of magogs and cerberi set for exploring.

Resource summary:
For a) variant, you'll need 20w, 30o and 15500g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000
- 15500) = 11500g for Day 1 to spend on troops. Efreet will cost 5x900,
cerberi upgraded on day1 will take 1500 + 12x250, gogs 20x125 - total 11500.
(well, four less gogs and we can get a spellbook ;-)). In this variant, the
trouble is the 10 extra ore.
The b) variant will take 15w, 15o and 13500g (with hellhole skipped in favor
of kennel upgrade 11500g). That leaves 15500g for shopping on day1 - where it
would be 1000 + 20x175 for magogs, 15x250 for Cerberi and 7250 gold left for
demons/imps or saved for castle expansion. If we get the hellhole and recruit
pit fiends for 7x500, we'll still be left something about 2000g.
There could be even more-saving variant - build townhall, hall of sins,
kennels, cages, upg. kennels, upg. hall of sins, citadel, upg. crucible - and
recruit all familiars, cerberi and gogs. That would save most of the resources
for raising money generator early in second week and possibly getting either
hellhole or firelake by the end of that week.

Second week strategies:
City Hall should be the first priority, if you can scrap enough wood. (By day
3 of first week you should have chosen one of the minimal variants, if it was
clear that wood would be scarce.)
Later, you should start getting some mercury. Resource silo is costly, but
pays back in longer games.
The ideal building schedule would be: day1: upgrade of kennels/hall of sins,
followed by marketplace, blacksmith, (mageguild if saving variant was chosen),
cityhall, horde dwelling, castle. In the next week, you should wait for the
Capitol, spending nothing.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 19090
With 7th level: 28090
With one castle producing 14000/week, inferno players are quite used to leave
demons and imps at home, possibly also either hellhounds or pit fiends,
especially if they're not upgraded yet. Capitol at 28000/week will just about
support full army production.
HPs grown weekly 1635 (plus 400 in archdevils) at 11.68 g/HP (13.80)

Benefits:
* Birthing Pool: +8 crucible production. Early or never.
* Blacksmith: Ammo Carts - never bought any.
* Brimstone Clouds: +2 SpellPower when under siege (good one!)
* Cages: +3 kennels production - a must have.
* Castle Gate: Town Portal among Inferno Cities with Gates. Great, yet costly!
* Order of Fire: +1 Spell Power for every visiting hero. Not bad.
* Resource Silo: one mercury/day. Get it ASAP.

Strategy
Unless you get +10 ore, you'll be forced to one of those cheaper variants, but
don't worry, they're not that bad. Wood source is quite important, but the
extra wood will be needed during second week.

Forces combination:
Magogs, Cerberi and Efreet Sultans are a good expeditionary force, for longer
campaings best accompanied by Pit Lords or Horned Demons to do the protective
work. Use Efreet to lure enemies together and then try some area spells from
Fire School. (Fireball, Inferno). In case that you get Armageddon somewhere,
have a secondary hero close by, so that you can temporarily discard magogs and
cerberi, launch the nukes and then continue...
Demons and Familiars are good for castle defense - familiars will attract the
enemy fire, while Demons will kick some butt.
If you'll have good forces of Devils and Efreet, you might give all those
Magogs (probably not any much due to castle towers' fire) and Cerberi to some
secondary hero to enjoy those few extra movement points from units with speed
11+ for the main guy.
However, get used to some losses in castle defenses, then.
Take familiars with you to long journeys against spellcasters or generally
strong opponents - AI will spend a lot of firepower attacking them and this
may prolong lifetime of your main forces by some 5 battles.
When using Magogs, watch out for war machines on enemy side. They can be
targeted and if six or seven army slots are filled on the enemy's side, aiming
at a war machine causes TWO adjacent armies to get hit. You might even want to
cast Haste on the
Magogs, if it'll help them to play before these two units can move.
Using pit lords is simple and effective. I recommend waiting a few weeks to
accumulate some decent number of them and then rush out. Try to get any
low-level critters you can, recruit at castles, empty all dwellings and in
battles with anything moving let the weakies perish and then be raised into
demons! This is even better than necromancy, since the demons are far better
than bones.
You might even sacrifice your imps for this reason. But it works best with
diplomacy - you could even have a secondary hero get diplomacy from a
hut/university and with a force of pit lords and demons persuade willing
stacks to join and sacrifice them in battles with the unwilling ;-). However,
it takes some practice to force a particular stack to die...

Heroes:
Demoniacs: Calh is a gog fan and has Archery. Fiona is a good Scout and also
handles hell hounds well. Ignatius is good with imps and has Tactics and
Resistance. My favorite if Pyre (Logistics and Ballista specialist.) Octavia
yields gold - a good secondary in early game. Nymus boosts Pit Lords and has
Offense! If you're in for the demon summoning, take Marius that will make them
better.
Heretics: Ash has BloodLust (a good candidate for Fire Magic). Ayden has
Intelligence - a good long-runner or castle defender. Other good ones: Olema -
good for sieges. (Ballistics, Weakness). Xyron, Xarfax and Zydar make good
Fire spellcasters (Fireball, Inferno and Sorcery, respectively).

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
Ballistics could be needed, since you have three tough walkers, of which
usually cerberi and pit lords will be used in long campaigns.
Since 6th and 7thlevel are flyers, you could also profit from Armorer skill,
because these two armies will be under great strain, if they engage in battles
behind castle walls.
Sorcery and Expert Fire Magic for Heretics is extremely recommended, but
either Air or Earth is a must - you'll either need the oponent to slow down,
or your troops to hurry to use those potent attacks.

Unit           A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Familiars      4  4  4   1-2   7  60   1.32  2.20 38   50
Magogs         7  4  13  2-4   6  175  2.82  1.61 16   45
Cerberi        10 8  25  2-5   8  250  3.50  1.40 13   46
Horned Demons  10 10 40  7-9   6  270  8     2.96 8    64
Pit Lords      13 13 45  13-17 7  700  17.25 2.46 6    104
Efreet Sultans 16 14 90  16-24 13 1100 26    2.36 4    104
Archdevils     26 28 200 30-40 17 4500 63    1.40 2    126

Chapter XI: Necropolis guide

Strengths:
Skeleton production
Vampire Lords with their regeneration

Weaknesses:
Ghost Dragons being not any strong in combat.

Army evaluation:
Skeletons 5/4/6/1-3/4/60
Skeleton warriors 6/6/6/1-3/5/70
Their strength lies in numbers, not their stats.

Walking Dead 5/5/15/2-3/3/100
Zombies 5/5/20/2-3/4/125, cause disease (-2 A/D for three rounds)
Almost useless, their role lies mostly in castle defending.

Wights 7/7/18/3-5/5/200, regenerate
Wraiths 7/7/18/3-5/7/230, regenerate, drain 2 spell points per turn
Flyers of average speed, their use is in castle sieging and in eliminating4
weak shooters. I rarely use them, though.

Vampires 10/9/30/5-8/6/360, no retalitation
Vampire Lords 10/10/40/5-8/9/500, no retal., ressurect by damaging enemies
In their resurrecting version, they make a good castle sieger. In high
numbers, they're very hard to beat down. Note that the regeneration doesn't
work if vampires attack non-living enemies (undead, golems, gargoyles...)

Liches 13/10/30/11-13/6/550, area damage to living
Power Liches 13/10/40/11-15/7/600, area damage to living
Offensive stats, good speed and area attack make them a good sieging weapon.

Black knights 16/16/120/15-30/7/1200, curse enemies
Dread knights 18/18/120/15-30/9/1500, curse enemies, chance for double damage
They're more than a match for champions - mainstay of offensive forces.

Bone dragons 17/15/150/25-50/9/1800, lower morale
Ghost dragons 19/17/200/25-50/14/3000 + 1m, lower morale, aging attack can
halve HPs of enemy
Although not very strong, their upgraded version is very useful in battles due
to speed. Their special is quite dangerous, too.

Upgrading priorities:
* Skeleton Warriors: Low. Although used often, their performance isn't crucial.
* Zombies: Lowest, they are rarely used for offensive purposes
* Wraights: Moderate, the speed boost allows then to cross battlefield sooner.
* Vampire Lords: Highest, dramatically prolongs their lifetime.
* Power Liches: Moderate. It would be high, but they're way too often targeted
by castle towers.
* Death Knights: Higher for speed boost and destructive special.
* Ghost Dragons: High for large battles with strong armies, generally a good
upgrade for the speed boost - can reach most enemies as well as flee from
them.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall            2500g
Day 2:  Graveyard            1000g + 5o
Day 3:  Estate               2000g + 5w + 5o
Day 4:  Mage Guild           2000 g + 5w + 5o
Day 5a: Mausoleum            2000g + 10o + 10s
Day 6a: Hall of Darkness     6000g + 10w + 10o
Day 5b: Necromancy Amplifier 1000g
Day 6b: Tomb of Souls        1500g + 5w + 5o
Day 7:  Citadel              2500g + 5o

Cursed Temple as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we
choose the b) variant without Tomb of Souls.
The a) variant requires a lot of money - use it if you have a stable gold
source (a mine or a village).
The b) variant is aimed at getting Upgraded Estate on day1 week2.

Resource summary:
For a) variant, you'll need 20w, 40o and 18000g, which leaves us (20000 + 7000
- 18000) = 9000g for Day 1 to spend on troops. This could be 5x1200 for Black
Knights and the remaining 3000 could be used for 5 liches (but I would rather
save that money for City Hall)
For b) variant, you'll need 15w + 25o and 12500g. If you can't get the +5 ore,
buy any benefit building instead of Tomb of Souls (Citadel is more important
that Wights). And remember to include another 5 wood for upgrade of Estate on
day1. Thus, you'll have 12500g for troops - which should easily pay for 10
Vampire Lords (10x500) and all available skeletons, while enough money should
remain so that you can build City Hall, Mausoleum and Hall of Darkness within
the second week (although you'll need some extra wood and ore by then.) With
some luck, castle might be raised on day7, week2, capitol at least 5 days
later and into the third week you could go with a pretty strong army.

Second week strategies:
The b) variant is mentioned above, the a) variant should get a CityHall ASAP
and then head for Castle, Capitol and some upgrades. With some luck (and
resources) you could be able to build Dragon Vault - so plan carefully - the
extra dragon or two could prove more valuable than Castle/Capitol - so check
the resources needed for the Vault. The Tomb of Souls doesn't have to be built
at all - and the 5w and 5o might be needed elsewhere.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 20920
With 7th level: 26920
With one castle producing 14000/week, you sure will adopt the policy of
ignoring wights, zombies and even skeletons in order to get your only ranged
attacker and two massive damage dealers... Capitol at 28000/week will change
things around and start growing money.
HPs grown weekly 1792 (plus 400 in ghost dragons) at 11.67 g/HP (12.28)

Benefits:

* Blacksmith: First Aid Tents sold here... Strange, ain't it?
* Cover of Darkness: Generates shroud around city every turn - good for
concealing your activities, but if I were you, I wouldn't build it before my
enemies KNOW about my city - if their scouts uncover a bit of the affected
area and next turn it is darkened again, they'll learn of your city's
approximate location. Also, I'm not sure how this works against computer.
* Necromancy Amplifier: A must - 10% necromancy boost.
* Resource Silo: +1w and +1o per turn
* Skeleton Transformer: A nice idea of disposing armies that offer to join.
Why get less than 100% skeletons? ;-)
* Unearthed graves: Increases skeleton growth by 6 - buy soon or never.

Strategy
In a) variant, ore is crucial. You have four days to determine which variant
will you choose. Wood is crucial in second week, no doubt.
Don't ever hope to buy all the troops that you'd like to - you'll need a good
gold source for a decent number of days to get enough...

Forces combination:
I suggest Vampire Lords, Dread Knights, Power Liches and skeletons.
Later, when you get the Ghost Dragons, you might make a special force of them
and skeletons alone, possibly also accompanied with Wraiths that may have been
unused till this time due to lack of gold. Wraiths divided into several stacks
are a great choice - having one skeleton stack, one or two dragons and four
wraith armies, best split to 1,1,1,rest works great. The enemy will either
lose loads of mana or spend a lot of effort on killing a single wraith three
times. (One wraith will drain as much mana as a hundred.)
The wraiths in the above combination are used as a cleaning force, but
sometimes you might sacrifice them to save the dragons.
In the beginning, you'll be limited by money greatly - and it's better to pick
only two from the three strong troops and stick to them. If you can, don't
leave the liches home. In earlier phases, their offensive potential is great -
definitely better that potential of Vampire Lords (until their number tops 20
at least).
Upgrade to skeleton warriors only when you get dragons - skeleton warriors are
raised like skeletons, but you have to have all slots occupied and no normal
skeletons present - so the ideal setup is two stacks of Dread Knights, two
stacks of Power Liches, one stack of Vampire Lords, Dragons and skeleton
warriors.
Yet you can split the Liches/Knights into more stacks.
Later you might split skeletons and have either knights or liches together,
depending on individual situations.
IMHO 66 skel. warriors are better than 100 skeletons - the +1 speed gives you
enough first strikes to compensate the lower numbers.
Alternative to that can be amassing skeletons and every now and then using a
scout to take some 100s of skellies home and upgrade them.
When using Liches, watch out for war machines on enemy side. They can be
targeted and if six or less army slots are filled on the enemy's side, aiming
at a war machine causes TWO adjacent armies to get hit.
Huge stacks of Vampire Lords should be used cautiously, mixing their targets -
one round go attack something strong to cause non-retaliated damage. Second
round - go replenish yourself at something with low defense rating, typically
shooters to block them as a by-product.
Critical to your strategy is the rule 'all that moves can be killed'. However,
things are not as easy now as were back in HOMM2 - now the wandering armies
will go after your skeletons and therefore the skeleton 'gain' may actually be
a loss - be careful
when messing with wandering armies of 4thlevel and higher creatures.
Also, if you rely on skeletons, try hard to get Vial of Life or either one of
the rings that increase HPs... Skellies profit from them greatly.
Covenant suggests using always one might and one magic hero (preferrably
Galthran (skeletons) and Thant (Raise dead)) and let them share the experience
from slaying armies. The good thing here is that the might hero can be used
against all weaker units,
where he profits greatly from his A/D ratings, while the magic hero can tackle
stronger wandering armies, compensating losses with Animate Dead.
Also, it's a good idea to obtain Scholar skill for some scout so that Animate
Dead can be passed from Thant to all your heroes (in case you didn't get it in
some guild).
With Earth magic, it's worth it to use Shield on skeletons, since they're
gonna be targeted by most enemies, esp. AI.

Heroes:
Death Knights: Try to get Galthran if you want to rely on skeletons, since the
+1 speed on them can be a crucial point, not mentioning A/D bonuses. Isra is a
good starting pick with advanced necromancy and 5% bonus to it. Tamika
(offense, knights) or Vokial (artillery, vampires) are useful. Moander
(liches, learning) is not that great, learning is a wasted slot. Yet any of
the might folks that sports one of crucial unit does a good job - the +1 speed
decides many battles. Clavius (350 gold) is a good secondary.
Among Necromancers, good are Aislinn (Meteor Shower), Sandro (Sorcery),
Vidomina (adv. necro + 5%) and the all around
popular Thant. Others don't seem any good to me.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
None are exactly needed, but I recommend Earth Magic for Animate Dead and
Death Ripple. Air magic should be useful with Haste, best combined with
Tactics. Fire magic is another good choice - for Blinding, BloodLust and area
spells. Also Curse is handy to counter Bless ;-). Water magic seems most
useless, yet I think that Clone/Prayer/Teleport/Dispel aren't really bad
spells and apart from the first one, they're mass versions with Expert.
[counting the needed skills, we have Necromancy, Logistics, Earth Magic,
Wisdom. The other four places could be used for the following: Tactics,
Ballistics, Diplomacy (to get free bones) and Air/Fire/Intelligence.]

Unit              A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Skeleton warriors 6  6  6   1-3   5  70   1.84  2.63 30   55
Zombies           5  5  20  2-3   4  125  2.25  1.80 16   36
Wraiths           7  7  18  3-5   7  230  3.76  1.63 14   53
Vampire Lords     10 10 40  5-8   9  500  6.50  1.30 8    52
Power Liches      13 10 40  11-15 7  600  14.95 2.49 6    90
Dread knights     18 18 120 15-30 9  1500 31.50 2.10 4    126
Ghost dragons     19 17 200 25-50 14 3000 54.38 1.81 2    109

Chapter XII: Dungeon guide

Strengths:
Excellent 7thlevel troop with complete Magic immunity
Two shooters and three flyers
Harpy Hags special

Weaknesses:
Gold troubles in early game.
Quite low HPs overall.

Army evaluation:
Troglodytes 4/3/5/1-3/4/50, immune to Blind
Infernal troglodytes 5/4/6/1-3/5/65, immune to Blind
Those little ugly things make a good cannonfodder for castle defenses, but I
wouldn't take them into battle unless needed.

Harpies 6/5/14/1-4/6/130, return after attack
Harpy Hags 6/6/14/1-4/9/190, return after attack, no retaliation
Probably the best 2ndlevel unit in the game - upgraded version, of course.
With their high speed, they can sit out of enemy shooters' range, dive at the
shooters, score damage and return back home - an excellent army for capturing
castles. Unfortunately, the AI knows that and will target them often.

Beholders 9/7/22/3-5/5/250, no melee penalty
Evil Eyes 10/8/22/3-5/7/280, no melee penalty
A potent shooter, should be the mainstay of your army.

Medusas 9/9/25/6-8/5/300, petrifying attack, no melee penalty
Medusa Queens 10/10/30/6-8/6/330, petrifying attack, no melee penalty
With upgrade, they're excellent castle defender and also with their close
combat special they needn't any strong protection.

Minotaurs 14/12/50/12-20/6/500, good morale
Minotaur Kings 15/15/50/12-20/8/575. good morale
These big ugly guys should be used for crippling strong enemies. In most cases
of a dungeon attacked, they were the only stack to stay alive after battle
(and usually with little losses).

Manticores 15/13/80/14-20/7/850
Scorpicores 16/14/80/14-20/11/1050, petrifying attack
This strong flyer is excellent for attacking enemy shooters, as it be out of
their range before the attack. The upgrade is excellent, the special helps
them to survive at the enemy's end of battle field (often the petrified stack
blocks further attacks.)

Red Dragons 19/19/180/40-50/11/2500+1s, 1-4 spell imunity, two-hex attack
Black Dragons 25/25/300/40-50/15/4000+2s, all spells imunity, tow-hex attack,
150% damage to giants and titans
I guess nothing needs to be said about the black dragons - they're still the
good old dragons they used to be. The reds, however, are considerably weak and
should be upgraded ASAP.

Upgrading priorities:
* Infernal Troglodytes: Lower, in high numbers however, they make excellent
castle defenses and upgrade increases HPs by 20% ;-).
* Harpy Hags: Highest, for the speed and non-retaliated attack.
* Evil Eyes: Moderate, for the +2 speed.
* Medusa Queens: Higher, eight shots instead of four, also HPs and speed.
* Minotaur kings: Low, unless you want them to be main strike force.
* Scorpicores: High for +4 speed.
* Black Dragons: Top, +30% damage, effectively doubled durability, +4 speed.

Castle building in the first week:
Day 1:  Town Hall                2500g
Day 2:  Harpy Loft               1000g
Day 3:  Pillar of eyes           1000g + 1wogcsm
Day 4:  Chapel of Stilled Voices 2000 g + 5w + 10o
Day 5a: Manticore Lair           5000g + 5w + 5o + 5m + 5s
Day 6a: Labyrinth                4000g + 10o + 10g
Day 5b: Upg. Harpy Loft          1000g + 2c + 2s
Day 6b: Upg. Pillar              1000g + 1wogcsm
Day 7:  Citadel                  2500g + 5o

Warren as 1stlevel dwelling assumed present. If it's not present, we don't go
for Labyrinth.
The a) variant is for gold-rich scenarios, where you start exploring with a
strong force in the second week.
The b) variant is for those scenarios where you've got no extra sources of
gold - no chests, no mills, nothing. It allows you to start exploring with
lots of Harpy Hags and pack of Evil Eyes, while you've got some gold left to
build City Hall and possibly
Manticore Lair and Labyrinth in second week.

Resource summary:
For a) variant, , you'll need 11w, 30o and 18000g, which leaves us (20000 +
7000 - 18000) = 9000g for Day 1 to spend on troops. That is not much, because
we surely want to upgrade harpies on day1 in second week (another 1000 down).
20x170 for harpies is 3400, therefore we have just enough to purchase five
manticores as the only fighters. [And there's the ore requirement to fulfill
in order to get Labyrinth and Citadel!]
In the b) variant, you'll need 7w, 18o and 11000g, which leaves 16000 on day1.
From that, you can get all the harpy hags (3400), all the evil eyes (4760) and
you can build mage guild and get a spell book. [Assuming an Overlord hero -
Lorelei with Harpies special is best here!] You'll still have enough gold left
to buy Blacksmith, Marketplace, CityHall and Manticore Lair in second week.
(And with some luck, Castle, too, or Labyrinth). Or, if you don't hurry on
Manticores, you can recruite the ten Medusas (or wait for day2 and upgrade of
Chapel).

Second week strategies:
There's only one important issue: gold. Before buying all out troops, remember
that you'll need a total of 8500 gold to raise City Hall. And believe me, it's
foolish to wait five days till you accumulate the 5000 for the CityHall, if it
could have been built for these five days (and earn you extra 5000 by this
time). Unless you MUST conquer some important locations
(ore/sulfur/wood/another village), try to make sure that you'll have that 5000
ready to build CityHall pretty quickly.

Troops cost weekly (with castle):
Without 7th level: 19525
With 7th level: 27525
With one castle producing 14000/week, it's hard to pick one or two armies that
won't be used... but most probably it'll be trogs AND scorpicores, yet you may
need the latter against shooters and will have to do without minotaurs.
Capitol at 28000/week will solve your worries.
HPs grown weekly 1602 (plus 600 in blackdragons) at 12.18 g/HP (12.50)

Benefits:
* Academy of Battle Scholars: Seems better than just adding a point to a
primary skill - because you get a secondary upgrade, too. Worth it.
* Artifact Merchants: Dungeon version of Black Market. If you can spare the
gold, do it.
* Blacksmith: Provides ballista war machines.
* Mana Vortex: Doubled spellpoints are fine for starting long journeys, but
their best effect is for defending newbies that can do better with
Slow/Haste/Dispel against enemy armies. Great benefit, indeed. However, works
only once a week, on the first hero that enters the castle - so be careful to
not waste it on a scout.
* Portal of Summoning: If you manage to flag only highlevel dwellings, this
portal is great.
* Resource Silo: Sulfur producer
* Mushroom Rings: Increases growth of troglodytes. Buy soon to get some
defensive reserves.

Strategy
Since wood consumption isn't any high (7 or 11), you'll need to capture a
sawmill somewhere at the end of week1, maybe in week2. (or pick up one or two
piles of wood somewhere.)
Be careful, if you build Manticore Lair and Labyrinth in first week, to have
enough gold at hand. For the sake of City Hall, I would even sacrifice two or
three treasure chests for gold instead of experience. [Especially those that
offer 1000g/500exp, those should be used for experience only when badly
needed!]

Forces combination:
I usually leave trogs and minotaurs unpurchased home, while HarpyHags, Evil
Eyes, Medusa Queens and Scorpicores are the expeditionary forces (at least
until dragons are available).
Note, however, that Minotaurs are VERY strong battle unit. So, to correct the
above statement, I leave the minotaurs unpurchased home until I raise enough
funds to purchase them... I prefer to get scorpicores sooner, because
minotaurs are far less useful in capturing castles...
The medusas are pretty good at castle defenses, too.

Heroes:
Overlords are pretty good. I suggest Gunnar as a special mover (with Logistics
given and 5% bonus per level to it.) Arlach is an Artillery expert (which also
means that he has a Ballista at start, so he's pretty good especially for the
early exploration.)
Damacom (which yeilds gold) makes a good secondary. All others increase A/D of
some dungeon unit, so pick a hero according to the armis you're gonna use.
Among Warlocks, I recommend Deemer with MeteorShower as the best pick,
followed by Darkstorn with StoneSkin and Malekith for Sorcery. Sephinroth (+1
Crystal) is a good secondary. Others seem dull to me.

Skills important for the troops and strategy:
With two shooters and three flyers, you should go for Offense and maybe
Archery.
Ballistics and Armorer are good only to decrease the losses that you'll take.
Tactics is strongly recommended as it allows you to have first strike with
Harpy Hags and Scorpicores.

Unit           A  D  HP  Dmg   Sp $$   AdjD  Dm/g grow weekD
Infernal trogs 5  4  6   1-3   5  65   1.80  2.77 35   63
Harpy Hags     6  6  14  1-4   9  190  2.30  1.21 16   37
Evil Eyes      10 8  22  3-5   7  280  4     1.43 14   56
Medusa Queens  10 10 30  6-8   6  330  7     2.12 8    56
Minotaur Kings 15 15 50  12-20 8  575  20    3.48 6    120
Scorpicores    16 14 80  14-20 11 1050 22.10 2.10 4    88
Black Dragons  25 25 300 40-50 15 4000 78.75 1.97 2    158