The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: Heroes VI

by ApplesandOranges

Part 19: Necropolis Campaign, Map One, Part One

You all knew this was coming.

The Necropolis faction is arguably the most defensive faction in the game. All their units have Mind immunity and several of them have multiple additional resistances, and they're backed up by a wide array of healing and defensive tools and abilities. They also have the most number of shooters (three), and tie with the Haven for the most number of flyers/teleporters (also three), which make them excellent in siege battles, whether as offense or defense. As a downside, the Necropolis is slow - they have the lowest average Initiative and Movement, and their melee offense is fairly poor, having only one unit with enough speed and strength for close-range Might combat. Immunity to Morale is a double-edged sword, as they can't benefit from it either.

I Look Different, Did You Do Something With My Hair?

As a note, while we know that Sveltana's a Necromancer since the Tutorial campaign, it's never explicitly stated whether or not she's actually Undead. The plane skin might suggest so, but there's at least one mercenary Necropolis hero with the same skin tone that isn't. Until there's offical canon, feel free to think whichever you prefer.

Also interesting that Anastasya's first instinct is to call for her Aunt, not her brothers or anything.

Click here to listen to the conversation!

Don't play the innocent with me, Anastasya. You and Uriel were more than just a zealous student and her dedicated professor. He defended you during the trial with a passion that was more than Holy.

Are you saying that being damned to the realm of the unliving is the price I must pay for loving an Angel? That is unjust!

Justice has nothing to do with it.

You have a choice. You can bury yourself in my castle, hoping that whoever controlled your mind will never find you, or you can learn the Necromantic art that will help you strengthen your mind against such intrusion...

<Listen to your Aunt!>

When do I start?

I don't point it out much, but I personally think that Anastasya's VA (Julie Nathanson) did a fantastic job as her. Anastasya has several emotionally charged moments in her story and Nathanson does a very good job of conveying those.

And so, uh yes. Anastasya is (or was) getting boned by an Angel. And I'm leaning towards Sveltana not being Undead or that conversation would have been far more awkward.

Anastasya is a Necromancer, the Necropolis Magic Hero. This works out well for us, since the Necropolis is naturally magically inclined, with two of the best troops dealing Magic damage. She also starts off with a Comb that does nothing - it's basically a Key Item.

Biography posted:

Anastasya is the youngest daughter of Duke Slava and Duchess Cate of Griffin, and the twin-sister of Kiril, with whom she shares a deep bond, despite long years of relative separation (they studied under different tutors at the behest of the Emperor).
Charming, happy, trusting... She would have been all these things had it not been for a single accursed moment: the assassination of her father by her own hand.
In spite of the intervention of her mentor, the legendary Archangel Uriel, pledging the crime was not of her own willing, she is delivered to the Holy Inquisition, and summarily executed by her elder brother Anton. She only becomes aware of these bleak events when she is brought back as one of the Unliving by her Great-Aunt Sveltana, a practitioner of the mysterious arts of necromancy. Shocked and disbelieving, Anastasya’s fledgling denial rapidly transforms to grim acceptance and then into a cold, burning desire to clear her name by discovering who manipulated her, and how.

Necromancer posted:

“Asha uses all. And I am Her emissary.”

The Necromancers began as a religious splinter sect of the Wizards of the Seven Cities who had developed a mystical sensitivity to the death aspect of the Dragon Goddess of Order, Asha. They have developed their own branch of Primordial magic, which they call Necromancy, that focuses on the erosion of the body and domination of the spirit. They believe that the pursuit of magical knowledge without reverence to the Dragon Goddess will lead to the ultimate destruction of Ashan.

Asha Uses All posted:

Hero passively gains 3 Mana for every stack, friendly or enemy, destroyed in combat.

Anastasya also starts off with a decent number of Ghouls.

Biography posted:

Ghouls are tormented spirits of the dead, bound by magic in lifeless corpses, and filled with hatred for the living. Powerful Necromancers can control them, but otherwise they are wild and destructive. Transformation into a Ghoul is used as the ultimate punishment in Heresh, and is a means of permanently removing a soul from the cycle of death and transformation. Ghouls feed on corpses and often carry diseases in their blood and saliva.

    Damage: 5-7 (Might)
    Defense: 5 (11%)
    Magic Defense: 2 (5%)
    Health: 23
    Initiative: 30
    Movement: 5 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 6
    Morale: 0
    Cost: 120
    Growth: 6/week
    Abilities: Dead Flesh, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light
All Necropolis troops possess the Undead, Emotionless and Vulnerability to Light abilities. The latter two render them immune to Morale lowering effects and allow them to be harmed by Heal and take extra damage from Light attacks in a similiar manner to Inferno troops. The Undead passive always gives them neutral (0) Morale, a 20% resistance to Water, and immunity to Poison, Disease, Blind and Mind effects.

Dead Flesh posted:

“This meat is as tough as ghoul’s skin.” A famous line from a Naga comic play, recounting the story of a resourceful swordsmith’s wife who during a famine feeds her husband leather armor for dinner, illustrates the principle characteristic of the ghoul. Both its flesh and skin are hardenened and tough and serve it as a natural armor that is extremely resistant to all forms of physical attack.

We've seen Dead Flesh before on Tormentors - it gives the Ghoul 20% resistance to Might damage.

Ghouls are likely the Necropolis' best Might troops. Despite a fairly low growth, they have good Movement, damage, and decent enough Intiative and Might Defense. Anastasya also comes with a passive +2 bonus to the movement speed of Ghouls, making them even better for getting a pre-emptive strike. They're arguably the Necropolis' best Core troop; not all-stars like Hell Hounds, but they'll do.

Sveltana also appears beside Anastasya on the map, but she doesn't really do anything. You can check her to find out she's an Embalmer (Necropolis Tears Hero, though).

There's a friendly stack of Ghouls just up ahead.

Anastasya. These are Ghouls. They are the spirits of murderers that we have trapped in Undead bodies as a form of punishment.

How appropriate... We have so much in common.

Nonsense. These spirits have lost their free will. They will follow your orders to the letter...

Necromancy has changed from being a passive to raise oodles of Skeletons to the Necropolis' Racial skill. Necromancy acts as a powerful heal on a selected creature. Like Gating, as you fill up the gauge more it can be used on Elite then Champion creatures and increases the potency of the heal. Similiar to Bloodrage, it's filled up as creatures take damage, but it fills up more as your own units take damage rather than the other way round. Anastasya's own Hero attacks will afflict targets with a debuff that also generates Necromancy points if they are killed within 3 rounds.

There are also a friendly group of Skeletons just up ahead that prompts a conversation involving a weird metaphor.

Click here to listen to the conversation!

I've got it! It's like flying a kite... you keep hold of the string.. you also control the wind.

When did you ever find time to fly a kite... you were always buried in your books.

Anton made two for Kiril and me. We were little... before mother left, and it was such a beautiful day... until Kiril's kite crashed through the chapel window. I thought Lady Valeska was going to kill us.

I remember. Slava talked her out of it. "Griffins will be Griffins."

I miss father... I miss days like those...

Well it's good to know Slava had one child that still likes him, right?

Biography posted:

Skeletons are nothing more than dead, decaying bodies animated by the will of a Necromancer. Combining blind loyalty, indifference to hunger and thirst, and a lack of any sense of fear or doubt, Skeletons are considered to be excellent servants.

    Damage: 3-5 (Might)
    Defense: 3 (7%)
    Magic Defense: 1 (2%)
    Health: 18
    Initiative: 20
    Movement: 4 (Walking)
    Range: Half
    Destiny: 5
    Morale: 0
    Cost: 85
    Growth: 9/week
    Abilities: Hollow Bones, Undead, Emotionless, Vulnerability to Light

Hollow Bones posted:

“Fools! Don’t aim for their hearts! They don’t have any!” Captain Gregor’s legendary last order to his crossbowmen was immortalized by the only marksman to escape the encounter with unliving denizens of a tomb. The survivor recounted the incident to mad Emperor Laegaire himself, who was reportedly so upset not to have recovered the legendary bottomless flask of wine, that he appointed a goat to lead his armies that very same day. His reasoning was that a goat is better equipped to break bones than a band of bolt shooters.

Hollow Bones reduces Might Ranged damage by a whopping 50%.

The Skeleton, on the other hand, is scraping the bottom of the barrel. They're only marginally better than the Goblin, having Half Range, poor defenses and low Initiative and movement. Decently high growth doesn't really help to make up for it much. Its only benefit is that it can be very difficult to take down by troops like Crossbowmen, especially in a siege - it'll take 1/4 damage from those, and 1/8 by those with Half Range like Goblins. Hollow Bones doesn't work for Magical damage though, and with the Skeleton's bottom rung Magical Defense creatures like Lilim and Priestesses will make short work of it.

This is the final vote for a very long time, and we've so far been tied at 2-2 Blood-Tears. Which side will Anastasya flip to?