Part 5: Tutorial Campaign, Map Two, Part TwoBefore we go confront Valeska about her TREACHERY, the 2nd Haven hero tries to sneak past Slava.
I don't think so.
Again, the fight isn't very tough.
There's a nearby piece of the Guardian set, which prompts a conversation.
Orcs help. Maybe bring helmet back with head still inside...
We get a secondary quest to find all 3 pieces of the Guardian set scattered around the map. I actually don't end up finishing this one; the only reward is experience, at any rate.
This is what happens if you go to a fort where you haven't had the necessary nearby dwellings, even if you have creatures to recruit. It's honestly more annoying than anything. (There's a dwelling just nearby, but it's still annoying.)
There's also another conversation just up ahead:
Good to fight with Knights who honor oaths, who help friends. Should go to war together more often. Heh heh heh.
You guys are lucky you don't have to hear Kraal going 'Heh heh heh' far too many times. It's not a pleasant sound.
At this point, we have free reign of the map. We can either go after Valeska or Ishtvan, neither of which move at this point, and the locked gate in front of Gerhart's castle prevents any heroes from coming out to harass you. I take the time to just explore the area in front of Gerhart's castle (we can't claim anything, since it's under his territory). There actually isn't much to do other than claiming stat boosts, though I do get Slava to level 7 and pick up the helpful Regneration spell along the way (it recovers some health to a friendly stack for 3 turns. Costs 20MP, but it's very generous for the cost.)
Still, we'll have to end the map eventually, so let's go after Valeska.
Some fights just aren't worth it. The Tarot Deck only gives +2 Destiny, and in return we'd have to fight Fire Elementals (which are shooters) and Darkness Elementals (which have the ability to teleport and attack without retaliation).
A little nugget of info before fighting Valeska. Guess Gerhart has the Word of Law behind him.
No! What you do is treachery - and worse yet, to your God!
You believe stopping Gerhart is wrong?
I do not like what he did, but he holds an imperial decree. He has the blessing of our Emperor - Elrath's representative on Ashan!
Liam is just a man. A man of politics and backroom deals, not of 'right' and 'light' and 'honor'.
Much to my regret. Putting your arse on a throne should never give you the right to do this.
The moral debate of 'doing what is right' versus 'doing what is ordered'. HoMM VI doesn't pull it off as well as it'd like, though.
Valeska is the toughest hero we've fought so far, though that's not saying much. She's the first hero to both use abilities in battle (Heroism, which we already know, and Lightning Bolt, a nasty spell that deals heavy damage to one stack). She's also the first hero to have Reputation abilties, being an Inquisitor (the Blood Magic hero of the Haven faction). As such, all her troops have the Holy Blades passive, causing them to do minor additional amounts of Light damage every time they attack. Not enough to cause any serious threat, though.
Still, it is a siege battle, and you might lose quite a few Praetorians, but it's not too hard to bring Valeksa down.
What shall I do with you, Valeksa?
This presents the first big choice in terms of reputation. We're basically given two options, which will grant large amounts of Tears/Blood reputation points. If your hero is too far down one path though, the other option won't be available.
For storyline purposes, Slava is set in the Tears path, so we have no option but to exile Valeska.
You've always lectured me about the seven virtues of Elrath. Let me show you that, unlike your 'exalted' Wolf friends, I learned the value of mercy. You are banished from my duchy, perhaps you can find a comfortable place with Gerhart and his butchers.
And so ends that quest. We also complete the secondary quest to free the Orc dwellings. (I pick up the reward on Rosalie)
Again, we have free reign of the map, so explore anything you'd want before confronting Ishtvan. Attempting to enter his territory (just NE of the first Fort past the portal) triggers
I'm On Your Side, But Not (YouTube via Polsy)
There isn't much to explore in Ishtvan's territory but a stat boost and another piece of the Guardian set, so let's get to it and put the ghost out of his misery.
Ishtvan is less of a threat than Valeska was. Ishtvan only does standard Hero attacks, and his troops are small in number (and all suffer from a Light Vulnerability, perfect for your Sisters). The only tricky part are his Skeletons, which not only have a 50% resistance against ranged attacks, but are also behind walls, so shooting them down with your Crossbowmen is difficult. You'll have the best bet breaking down the walls with your units then moving them in to kill them.
Hi Sveltana, Nice Timing (YouTube via Polsy)
Sooner would be better.
He causes more trouble than Irina and Sandor put together. Hard to believe, eh?
Hard to believe there is something worse than my unruly children.
Unruly? More fit to rule than most. You weren't so different, Slava. To be honest, the other three took more from their mother and they're a bit too 'bookish' for my liking.
Name dropping? An aunt that shows favouritism? Yep, a standard conversation with Sveltana.
We've completed both main quests, so the gate in front of Gerhart's castle gets unlocked, but not without another cutscene!
Orc Humour(YouTube via Polsy)
Now that Slava's wife has been mentioned, we get yet another cutscene.
Keep in Touch (YouTube via Polsy)
Huh? Sorry Kraal. I was thinking of Cate.
Must be good dream then. Heh heh heh.
Not really. I miss her. The children miss her.
Slava. Kraal has questions about you and Cate and Gerhart. Something happened during war with Elves, made Gerhart hate Slava. Sure, Gerhart lovable like angry wyvern, but...
It's a long, and complex story. We were in the Stag Duchy. One night, the Elves came over the walls of Connell castle. Cate's home. Many died, including Gerhart's fiance, Cate's twin sister Deidre. But Gerhart still wanted a wife, and he claimed Cate's hand.
Hmm. Gerhart smart like dog's butt.
That's when our mutual dislke turned to hatred and bloodshed.
More reason to hate Gerhart. Good to fight for family, keep family together. Hope Cate returns soon.
Not half as much as I do. But who knows how long it will take to find her brother?
Yeah, I'm sure that will never come up again.
A Haven hero leaves Gerhart's castle at this point and starts trying to claim territories. Let's just drive this interloper from our lands and...
Yeah that's tricky. Instead, what we're going to do is to avoid him entirely and loop to Gerhart's castle. After all, that should be the bulk of his troops, right? Gerhart should have just a token resistance. Let him take the other towns, we don't need them at this point.
Always time for signs, though. I guess the Orcs didn't really help matters.
Oh, wow. That's not better.
We could just retreat, build up our forces while fending off incoming Haven heroes every one or two weeks. Instead, we're going to charge in blindly.
Gerhart has a fairly tough army, complete with upgraded Marksmen and Vestals, the upgraded form of the Sister with the ability to heal twice per stack. However, the battle isn't as hard as it could be for several reasons.
1. Gerhart is a Might Hero. Might heroes tend to be easier to handle than Magic Heroes, since there's less annoying things to deal with.
2. Gerhart split his troops into several stacks. This makes them easier to pick off and they do less damage. For the most part, splitting troops isn't a viable strategy unless the troop has a really good ability, and Gerhart isn't smart enough to make use of his Praetorians effectively.
3. It's a siege battle.
Gerhart does have some nasty abilties. He has the two unique Blood Might hero abilties, Anathema, which reduces all our troops' stats, and Hour of Judgement, causing all his troops to deal about 30% more damage to stacks afflicted with Anathema. It's a nice 1-2 combo, except that only his Marksmen are doing any real damage, the rest opting to stay behind walls. Gerhart will also use his Heroism and Guardian Angel abilties, but often on his Vestals (one of the smallest threats since they won't come out of the walls till the end, and they don't even deal Might damage so they can't make use of Heroism other than the Morale boost). It's not really that difficult with judicious use of Reinforcements and Regeneration.
Slava Gets Sassy (YouTube via Polsy)
And thus our Tutorial Campaign comes to a close. The 5 main campaigns open up at this point, and we technically can play them in any order we want. As stated though, I'll be doing them in chronological order. Till next time.