The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: Heroes VI

by ApplesandOranges

Part 10: Sanctuary Campaign, Map One, Part Two

I've recorded some of the conversations for this map, simply because the accents really help make it. I might see about doing this for the rest of the maps in the future. We'll see.

Also note the reduced screenshot size - hopefully it helps without diminshing the quality.

It's worth it to pick up Tactics as soon as possible, since our initial stacks of Priestesses are close together. This means that melee troops can stand in between them and block them both.

There are a few easy Haven troops in the area, and a free stack of Coral Priestesses.

Irina, may I explain something? These are Pearl Priestesses, whose role is to heal and protect. They are not warriors who fall upon enemies like waves in a storm.

Though you know little of our ways, you too are a warrior. We shall submit to your leadership; help us drive the Wolf back.

Except that Katsue is totally fibbing - you get Coral Priestesses, not Pearl ones, which can't even heal now.

On the subject of healing, let's talk about Irina's skill options. Irina will still be picking up a few essential Skills, like Reinforcements and Tactics. Because she's a Magic Hero, though, she has a lot more mana to burn and regenerate and can afford to pick up more spells. Sanctuary loses access to Fire and Darkness spells, so that means no Drain Life. However, we do pick up Heal, Regeneration, and later on Stone Skin, which cuts Might damage by about a third. We'll get some Blood spells later on, but for now, being able to get by fights with no losses is a good thing.

There's a nearby Naga hero, which means plot trigger!

Click here to listen to the conversation

Who is Lord Hiroshi?

Mm? He is the daimyo of these lands, appointed by the Eternal Empress.

Lord Hiroshi is impressed by your feats, and requests the honor of sharing tea with you.

Saa... This is a great honor, Irina. You cannot refuse.

Very well then, Knight Mukao. I will put my vengeance aside to sip tea with Lord Hiroshi. He will know I am near when he hears the screams of my enemies.

Lady Irina, you do not always need to phrase things in that way.

I can't help it Katsue. I'm a very honest person.

Translation: Shut up Katsue.

The area just beyond Mukao is full of Haven troops and resources, and a Magic stat boost. The battles aren't really hard, given judicious use of Waves of Renewal and Regeneration. The problem is just the time it takes to collect everything though. You might want to consider picking up the Logistics trait for this map, which gives us +3 movement points a day. Our point of interest though, is to the right, where some Haven troops are guarding our next core troop.

Saaa... they harvest them, collect their sprit and essence... But Kappa are friendly spirits. This must be stopped!

If it involves punishing Wolf troops, you don't need to give me a reason...

That we don't. It's a simple battle and we can look at the Kappa-

Kappa are lower ranking spirits. They leap upon their enemies, much like the animals they resemble.

Yes. Thank you.

Biography posted:

Often jokingly described as the offspring of a toad and a turtle, Kappas are in truth minor Water Spirits linked to the rivers and lakes, bound to a material shape by their alliance with the Naga priesthood. Travellers from other lands often make fun of the Kappa’s appearance and demeanour, but the Naga know better and never underestimate the martial talents of these strange creatures.

    Damage: 3-4 (Might)
    Defense: 5 (11%)
    Magic Defense: 4 (9%)
    Health: 21
    Initiative: 55
    Movement: 4 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Morale: 5
    Destiny: 7
    Cost: 90
    Growth: 8/week
    Abilities: Leap, Living, Amphibian, Vulnerability to Air, Resistance to Water

Leap posted:

“Jumps like Jaguar. Fights like demon.” Orc Warriors admire the Kappa for the challenge it gives them during a battle, as it leaps from an amazing distance to deliver a devastating attack. Because the Kappa is a minor spirit enemies often underestimate its intelligence, but it knows when and where to leap in order to gain the maximum benefit of surprise. The longer the pounce, the more destructive its landing.

Leap is a move that takes one turn to recharge. It allows the Kappa to leap double its current movement rate (so 8 tiles without any modifications) to a target enemy and deal damage. The damage is increased by 5% per tile, but the Kappa can't leap if the distance is shorter than 2 tiles, and they can't jump over obstacles or other troops.

While the Kappa's offensive stats are sub-par and it's funny looking, having fairly low damage and movement, their have very well-balanced defenses and decent health, and more importantly, check out that stunning Initiative! You'll pretty much be going first every round. The Kappa's big prize is its Leap ability, which allows it to cross large distance to neuter shooters and even double back to defend your Priestesses. It's a fairly lame creature while Leap is on cooldown, though. Reinforcements at the start of a battle can help them tank hits after they get a pre-emptive strike with Leap.

After you finish gathering all the resources in the area (which can take you about a week), we can head south... only to find an impassable body of water.

Saaa... Just a moment, Irina. The water is too deep, the magic of Shalassa too strong, for your horse to handle.

So... what do I do?

You are beginning to accept the ways of Shalassa. Your steed must do so as well.

There is a Dragon Nexus on an island near here, a remnant of the wars of the Mythic Age. Its magic will guide your horse into the ways of Shalassa.

As an aside, the Dragon Nexus also doubles your mana and recharges it for a week.

The island is to the west, and offshore is also a boat filled with a weak Haven hero.

Saa... look! The Wolf attempts to break these Shark Guards and train them as soldiers. Such ignorance...

The Wolf doesn't realize how strong they make their enemies... but what are those things?

Mmm. They were a gift, once to the Eternal Empress from the wizards of the Silver Cities. Part of their experiments...

The same experiments that created the Orcs. They, and my brother Sandor rescued me when my own father wouldn't. At least I can repay their bretheren. Tell me Katsue, what do the Naga cry when they go into battle?

Saa... 'Shalassa!' or 'Hisshoooo!' or 'Ikoooo!'

After we approach the Nexus, Irina's horse changes to a lovely green and we can now walk across water from a beach (provided we're only carrying Sanctuary troops). Time to kick some Haven butt.

Getting Improved Tactics helps the Kappa out a bunch, as they can now leap all the way across the battlefield. They need to be almost perfectly aligned with their target, though. Another tidbit of interest in that while Irina is a Monk, her Hero Attacks do Light damage for this map only.

Click here to listen to the conversation!

I am Irina, of the Griffin duchy. I kill soldiers of the Wolf wherever I find them.

Huh. You travel with a priestess of Shalassa. You save us, kill our enemies. Wanizame are in your debt.

So! Wanizame! Irina is now our lord! We follow Irina!


Despite what they say, we only get Shark Guards, not the upgraded Wanizame. I guess Sanctuary troops are in the habit of lying.

The Shark Guards are formidable fighters. They yield no ground to their enemies.

Biography posted:

In the year 512 YSD, the Wizards of the Seven Cities created the Beastmen as guards, servants... and playthings. Perhaps one of the most bizarre experiments of a particularly imaginative wizard was to create a hybrid between man and shark, a breed which the wizard hoped would make unsurpassed naval troops. The members of the Wizard Council were not convinced and decided to trade the military use of the Sharkmen for a political one: they offered the creatures as a gift to the Naga lords. The Nagas welcomed the Sharkmen as equals rather than slaves, and offered them honourable positions as guards of their underwater palaces. In return, the Shark Guards follow their masters with unyielding pride and loyalty.

    Shark Guard
    Damage: 3-5 (Might)
    Defense: 4 (9%)
    Magic Defense: 2 (5%)
    Health: 25
    Initiative: 30
    Movement: 4 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Morale: 7
    Destiny: 3
    Cost: 90
    Growth: 8/week
    Abilities: Ferocious Wound, Living, Amphibian, Vulnerability to Air, Resistance to Water

Ferocious Wound posted:

“Use your chopsticks! You’re a true Naga, not a Wanizame!” This common expression in the Lotus kingdom, given by parents to their children as they learn table manners, refers to the way Shark Guards attack their enemies in the most uncivilized of manners. Not only are the wounds inflicted difficult to staunch, but also they often cripple their targets, reducing their capacity to move.

Ferocious Wound slows down the movement of stacks the Shark Guards attack by 3. It also causes them to take 10% of the Shark Guards' damage per round for 2 turns.

The Shark Guards are the Sanctuary's stock melee troops. They're a bit like a watered down versions of the Maulers though, having a large damage range, and lower defenses and health. Low initiative and movement means the Shark Guards aren't really good at front-end damage dealing, so Kappa are better off suited for that till Shark Guards can get in range. However, Shark Guards' ability to slow troops down greatly, preventing them from getting to the real threat (your Priestesses).

But really, they're sharkmen. So they win for cool points.

The overall Sanctuary core, while not as cohesive as the Haven, is fairly well-balanced. The Priestesses are your star creature, having good damage and slowing initiative, while Kappa tie up ranged troops. Shark Guards are meet any melee stacks that get past your Kappa halfway, slowing them down further.

We can then head south through the previously unpassable body of water to a subterrainean entrance. There are plenty of flotsam in the sea, but we don't need resources right now and we can send a secondary hero to pick them up later.

There's a Naga hero right at the entrance, too.

Click here to listen to the conversation

I am Irina. I have been invited to speak with Lord Hiroshi.

Zo. Hiroshi is my daimyo. I will lead you through these tunnels. Be careful, they are full of angry spirits.

Well, they'll be a bit emptier when we're finished, yes?

Ma ha ha ha! Good! We will fall on our enemies like a raging storm.

Saa. Arashi is a great figher Irina, of a kind that we call a Kenshi. They are Shalassa's champions; her divine knights.

Our Elite unit!

The Kenshi are Shalassa's champions; all creatures fear their challenge.

Biography posted:

These honourable and powerful warriors, part of the Deep Nagas (the largest of the three Naga species), are distinguished by their dark scales and faces that are more reptilian than human. They reside in underwater cities at the bottom of the Jade Ocean.

    Damage: 17-21 (Might)
    Defense: 15 (29%)
    Magic Defense: 15 (29%)
    Health: 80
    Initiative: 45
    Movement: 5 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 8
    Morale: 10
    Cost: 490
    Growth: 3/week
    Abilities: Large Creature, Challenge, Battle Ready, Living, Amphibian, Vulnerability to Air, Resistance to Water

Challenge posted:

“It was as if time stood still... and there was only him and me in a cloud of slashing steel and a mist of invigorating blood.” This entry in the diary of the pirate queen Tawni Solace tells of a fierce battle with Nagas at sea. She is the first to speak of the challenge of the Kenshis. Once one of these valiant warriors crosses swords with a chosen enemy, it is difficult to attack anyone else but him.

When a Kenshi attacks a stack, he Challenges them. A Challenged stack will deal 45% less damage to any stack that isn't the Kenshi that Challenged them. The Kenshi can only Challenge one stack at a time, and can't Challenge a new one till the first one dies.

Battle Ready posted:

“As the ripples subside, the water returns”. Fighting a Naga Kenshi is like throwing a stone into a lake. Their martial art is inspired by the movement and flow of water, that will always return to the place it has been pushed away from. It is thus impossible to attack a Kenshi without receiving a blow in return.

Battle Ready gives the Kenshi Unlimited Retaliation. Always useful.

On the other hand, Kenshi are fantastic creatures. They boast the highest damage of any unupgraded Elite unit, have great defenses, good Morale, and decent initiative. They are the no. 1 target of the enemy AI though, so keep them well protected. Challenge makes them harder to resist, and Unlimited Retaliation is just the icing on top of the cake that makes their magnet for attacks bite back. Throw on a Regeneration, Waves of Renewal, maybe a Stone Skin, and you're good to go.

It's recommended you pick up Reinforcements II now, if you haven't already, so you can Reinforce your Kenshi.

The subterranean tunnels are pretty simple. They're filled with Earth, Fire and Darkness Elementals, none of which are too tough. You can handle most of them with just your Kenshi and Priestesses. Some highlights of the tunnels include a Scroll of Chain Lightning, a set item of the Trickster set (which improves your Destiny), and an Arcane Library (we go for the Blood option, getting 2 Magic Power.)

The only problem is really the sheer length of the tunnel, and that your movement rate is slowed down in the rough terrain. Plus there are many treasure and side paths to go down. You'll be spending a while in there.

By the time we make it out, it's been a full month, and the grass has never been prettier. Let's go and meet with Hiroshi already.

Click here to listen to the conversation!

Irina of the Griffin. It is good to see that you are learning our customs. I am Lord Hiroshi, Daimyo of Hashima Island, appointed by the Eternal Empress to execute Shalassa's will.

To put it simply, we have a common enemy. My predecessor, Okane, signed a treaty that created the Wolf Duchy's trading post on this island. But their behavior is too offensive. We must drive them out. However...

...there is a problem, yes?

Yes... Profit. Some Naga pay only lip service to Shalassa and gold to our enemies.

But you, Irina, are uninterested in their wealth, and have returned many of the Wolf to the waters. So...

I have a feeling there are gonna be parts of this deal that I like and parts that I don't...

Saaa. As is the case with any truly equittable agreement. First, you have my leave to muster and lead troops, to hunt the Wolf as you wish.

That's the good part. And the bad?

I would like you to destroy their trading post and annul their trading contracts. You cannot annul trading contracts as Irina of the Griffin Duchy. But as Irina, bride to Gerhart and Duchess of the Wolf, you certainly can.

I spit on the Wolf Duchy! Don't tar me with that brush. And I'll fight them with or without your approval.

Have you tried the tea? It is quite good. It is deprived from a kelp farmed by Coral Naga in the Futaki Deeps.

So what is it that you aren't telling me?

The Wolf say that they have captured a young man named Sandor, also from your home country. The day the trading contracts are annulled I reveal the location of that jail.

Elrath's blazing eyeballs... Lord Hiroshi, you got anything stronger than tea?