The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: Heroes VI

by ApplesandOranges

Part 2: Tutorial Campaign, Map One, Part Two

Back on the world map, there are a few things of note. These kinds of locations on the map provide one-time permanent boosts to a hero's stats, which are enormously helpful and do carry on between maps. You'll want to visit as many of them as possible with your combat heroes.

There's also a treasure chest just to the left.

Treasure chests are a staple of the series, and give you two options. One is to convert it into experience. The second option is to turn it into gold worth twice as much experience as you would have gotten. The amount offered is random (500, 1000 or 1500 xp, and 1000, 2000 or 3000 gold respectively) for each treasure chest. For the single player campaign, I'll be picking up experience for the most part.

Moving a little more ahead triggers a short conversation.

Start nearby. Check every copse, every hamlet.

We have a second battle with another pack of wolves up ahead.

Aside from the run of the mill wolves we've fought earlier, we now also face Shadow Wolves. These are considered Elite creatures, and the ability to attack twice in one round. Luckily there are only a few of them.

We can also now access Slava's skills. Right now he only has one, Stand Your Ground. It's a nice ability, nothing special, but it makes our Sentinels that much better at holding the fort.

This is here to show off the morale special effect, which has a random chance of triggering whenever a stack gets a turn. Higher Morale leads to higher chances. Morale lets the stack get a second free turn. However, they can only move half as far and deal half as much damage for that free turn. Still it's never a bad thing to get.

You might also notice I've moved my Sentinels next to my Crossbowmen. This triggers their Shieldguard effect, which goes a long way in reducing damage to the latter.

Whenever a stack gets a lucky melee attack, you get a nice close-up and a special animation for their attack. Sentinels usually just jab the stack with their spear, but when they get lucky, they first bash their head in with their shield before the jab.

We finish the wolves off quickly and move on.

There are also these little nuggets of lore scattered about.

You'll occasionally see Friendly stacks around, which will join your army. Your cursor also changes to a hand while hovering above them, rather than the standard swords.

You actually have the option to refuse their offer and attack them, but for this occasion, we have no choice but to take them in.

Also note the flagged structure above with our colour. That's a Sawmill, a structure that when visited by a friendly hero, becomes owned and give us resources every day, in this case, 2 Wood. There's actually more to owning structures than this, but I'll go into detail about it when we get there.

I'd have shown a stand-alone screenshot of it, but that's what happens when the game's text forces you to take big screenshots so you can read it.

And of course I run out of movement points one tile away from them. Splendid.

When you run out of movement, you end your turn by clicking on the hourglass. You can pre-emptively end your turn if you want. (They'll give you a 'you still have movement left, are you sure? message if you do so.)

At any rate, they join us the next turn and we can take a look at our last Core troop, the Sister.

Biography posted:

The Sisters of Elrath are devoted to the worship of the Dragon-God of Light. Chosen for their spiritual gifts, these women have dedicated their lives to bringing light and warmth to all the people in need. They can also be found on the battlefield and have been known to pacify their enemies so that other members of the Holy region can finish them off.

    Damage: 5-7 (Magical, Light)
    Defense: 1 (5%)
    Magic Defense: 8 (18%)
    Health: 17
    Initiative: 20
    Movement: 5 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 7
    Morale: 10
    Cost: 105
    Growth: 7/week
    Abilities: Pacification, Living

Pacification posted:

The Sisters of the Holy Empire walk with a natural aura of purity and truth that brings spiritual pause to the enemies they attack. Their resolve and beauty has been known to strike their enemies speechless. A well-known Elven ballad recounts a battle with Sisters, claiming that each blow they delivered felt like being slapped on the face by your mother.

Pacification causes the Sisters to 'pacify' an enemy stackk when they attack them, leaving them unable to act, though they can still retaliate. The duration depends on the Sisters' strength compared to that of the defending stack, up to about 2 turns. If the Sister stack is too weak, then they don't pacify the target at all. Pacification is considered a mind altering effect and creatures immune to such abilities are immune to Pacification.

The Sister had a big change coming from Patch 1.5. Prior, instead of the Pacification ability, the Sister had an ability called Heal, which allowed them to replenish and revive allied troops depending on the strength of the Sister stack. This change was a fairly big hit to early-game Haven survivability, and as a result this Tutorial campaign actually became a lot harder. Ironically, other campaigns got a little easier when fighting Haven troops, but more on those in future updates.

That change aside, Sisters are a new addition to the Haven lineup. The first thing to note about them is that they deal Magical damage rather than Might. This means they they gain power as the Hero gains Magic Power. Since Slava's a Knight, they won't be getting as much of a boost as our other Core troops. All Magical attacks have an element. In the case of the Sisters, they deal Light damage. Light is usually a solid element, as few creatures resist it and several enemies have a vulnerability to it.

In Patch 1.5, the Sister is designed to be an odd kind of glass cannon- their damage is higher than that of our other two Cores, but they are also much more fragile other than in the magical department. The Pacification abiltiy gives them some sort of self-defense, but you might want to keep them near Sentinels if there are ranged troops about.

With all 3 Cores, one can get an idea with how early Haven gameplay is supposed to work. The Crossbowmen pick off ranged enemies and large stacks, while the Sentinels hang back and use their Shieldguard ability to buffer the weaker Cores from ranged assaults. Once the enemies close in, the Sisters bombard them with high damage and pacify off the most threatening stacks. It's a fairly slow way of killing, but it works out well if your Hero can lend support with healing or defensive abilities.

Anyway, moving closer to this stack of demons triggers a cutscene.

Video Link Here! (YouTube via Polsy)

We start off on the right side this time, because it's considered that the Demons are attacking us (shouldn't it be the other way around? Eh, semantics.) While we'll go more in-depth on these creatures in the Inferno campaign, we can talk a bit about them here. From top to bottom, they are the Succubus, Juggernaut and Maniac. The Succubus is a shooter and deals magical damage, while the others are Melee.

They don't really do much else for this battle rather than pepper you with standard attacks. The Juggernaut is an Elite (the others are Cores), but their low numbers mean they're not much of a threat.

I do get to show off the Sisters' lucky attack- they rise into the air and explode a blast of light. (Their standard attack animation is just them shooting a blast of light from their hands.)

Unfortunately, the Maniacs here are immune to Mind effects, so I can't Pacify them.

Still a fairly easy battle, all in all.

I know your customs better than you know ours. By what right do you cross our lands?

Demon raiders attack tribe. Kidnapped powerful Shaman - Elder Ulah. Demon leader calls himself Toghrul, "Pavel's Bane." Orcs follow trail to this place.

We know this Toghrul. He caused us a great deal of grief. If you have come for his bones, know that they were broken, cleansed and scattered.

Toghrul... ah! Toghrul's spirit has returned, twisted... corrupted by fires of Sheogh.

Warchief Kraal, we have a common enemy. Perhaps we should join forces?

Hm. Orcs will decide.

Aunt Sveltana, what are you annoyed about?

You spoke without council, without thinking.

I made a suggestion.

Beggars and prostitutes make suggestions. A duke does not suggest, he decides!

Oh, come now. What about diplomacy?

They are walking on your soil. Living off your lands. The time for diplomacy is long past.

Don't trust people so easily, Slava, especially Orcs! But now you've made an offer, and must keep your word.

<He's as foolish as his father!>

Well, good luck. I must stay and guard the castle.

Bye, Sveltana. Not like you were helping much anyway.

Up ahead, we see our first town. Guarded by demons!

We have a new enemy here- Hell Hounds. While Core creatures, they hit hard and strike all enemies directly in front of them, and are fast to boot. They also have Unlimited Retaliation, which allow them to retaliate any number of times in a round. They're a tough customer, though fortunately few in numbers.

One thing to note about Inferno troops is that they all take 20% increased damage from Light attacks. A nice damage boost for our Sisters.

While we had access to it from the first demon battle, our troops now gain access to the Wait and Defend abilities. Wait causes the stack to wait out its turn and only act at the end of the round. If multiple stacks Wait, then at the end of the turn the turns happen in reverse order- troops with lower Initiative act first, and a stack that has Waited is forced to move, attack or Defend.

Note that the Maniacs and the Hell Hounds are actually faster than our own troops here, but the AI decides to Wait with them in the hopes of baiting us closer and allowing them to get the first attack in, as well as the first attack next round. It's a smart tactic and one we'll use too, but we can always use our Crossbowmen.

The other option is Defend. Defend uses up the stack's entire turn, but gives them a 20% reduction from all attacks till their next turn. Useful when the stack has nothing better to do.

I position the troops in such a V formation. The Sentinel Shieldguards both the Crossbowmen and Sisters, and the formation prevents the Hell Hounds from attacking all 3 stacks at once. The Crossbowmen and Slava take out the Succubs stack.

We still take some losses though. Hell Hounds hurt, and the Sisters' fragility shows. If not for the Sentinels, we would have lost more.

Succubus! Ah, human who gave soul to Urgash, like Toghrul... Kill her.

Wait, Kraal. I don't want to lose troops for no reason. Let's at least draw up a battle plan.

Ah, okay. Grab weapons, then attack. See? Good plan!

Oh Kraal.

This update is already long so I'll end it here, but first, a shot of the lovely new town screens added in 1.5.