The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: Heroes VI

by ApplesandOranges

Part 53: Sanctuary Campaign, Map Four, Part Three

Like the last map, I'll be trying to talk about the ups and downs of the campaign while we're readying our army.

Remember Markus? Gerhart's nephew.

What? Auntie Irina, my uncle's bitch? At the head of an army of angry snakes? This is too good.

Oddly, that snippet is unvoiced entirely. In previous patches, the conversation would glitch and freeze up the game, preventing you from capturing this castle. I suppose 'unvoiced entirely' is a step up.

Heavens to betsy, look at that damage.

Irina's campaign is probably one of the better ones. I've said it a few times, but Irina's personality does save her and her campaign - she's the star of her campaign rather than mixing with stars, like Sandor did, and it shows, which is good because Katsue and Mukao are rather boring. There is a lot of potential for her REVENGE! storyline to go awry or depressing, and I guess it's a good thing that the writers avoided that. Irina's a bit of a one-dimensional character, I'll admit that, but at least she's a well-done one.

This arena is a very special one. Why's that?

Aside from the fact that this is the largest army on the map and it's still Trivial to us?

The one aspect that nips at me is the pregnancy storyline. It adds little to Irina's character and seems to be only there for an excuse to fight the Breeder Queen or to make you want to step on Gerhart's head more. I suppose the latter is viable, but rape was already implied in the opening cutscene. Maybe the writers have something planned for it in expansions, but for the game itself it seems needlessly tacked on.

Anyway, that Arena gave us the final points we need for Irina's level 2 reputation. We raised 400 Blood reputation in one map. It was really hard-earned, AKA killing things a lot.

We can look at our final abilities for the Sanctuary.

Monsoon posted:

Blood Magic II
70 Mana, 3 turn cooldown

Summons thunderclouds above target 5x5 area. Rain Soaks all creatures in the area before lightning strikes them for 453* Air damage.

I suppose it's a decent one-two combo, but you probably won't be using it much unless you really need to Soak enemies, since Chain Lightning is usually better.

Tsunami posted:

Tears Magic II
70 Mana, once per battle

Creates a tidal wave that swamps the battlefield, pushing small enemy stacks back two tiles and stunning them for 1.5* turns. All enemy creatures are Soaked.

A very nice ability, especially if you follow up with Chain Lightning next turn. Also provides a powerful form of crowd control, especially against the Necropolis or Sanctuary, who only have 2 Large units.

Twin Fangs posted:

Twin Fangs
Blood Might II
Once per battle

Target friendly stack attacks twice on its turns for 3 turns.

Especially brutal on Kensei, but useful on any melee creature. If only Sanctuary could use Drain Life...

Eye of the Storm posted:

Eye of the Storm
Tears Might II
Once per battle

Target friendly stack is immune to the next three forms of damage.

A great way to sponge retaliations, take a huge hit, etc. Limited in variety of uses, but a great clutch move when you really need it.

We have one last Haven town to walk over before Gerhart's castle. There isn't even a Hero left to defend it.

As for the campaign itself, I think it's well structured. None of the maps are insidiously difficult or easy, and the end bosses are usually fairly challenging (Hiroshi, Haffayad). Tears Magic is always there if one wants to trivialize these maps, so I'm glad that they make the maps legitimitely tough for those who want to be challenged, and not pull out something silly like A Wormful of Demons.

A garrison this close to the capitol will be run by Gerhart's nephew, Markus. Good. First his neck, then Gerhart's.

Maybe you have different views of Irina's campaign? It's always good to hear what you guys think.

Click here to listen to the conversation!

Irina... I don't recognize you anymore.

Is that meant visually or legally? Do I no longer look like the daughter you remember abandoning, or are you disowning me?

I didn't abandon my family. I went to free my brother who was imprisoned for years.

Your principles are noble, but your actions speak louder. You let the empire do something to me I can never forgive. So I am back to do what my family couldn't. Or wouldn't.

The world sits on a blade's edge, ready to fall or be sliced open, and you think of petty revenge.

My 'petty revenge' is what has kept me going. Take your homilies elsewhere; if you stand in my way you too will be drowned.

Mothers. Praise unto Shalassa we only get one of them.

You're a funny woman, Katashi.

And that conversations always brings to mind how Irina can come off. She's bitter, acidic, and revenge is what keeps her going. What happens when the revenge stops? For those of you who've played Warcraft III, Irina reminds me of Maiev Shadowsong.

The difference is that I guess Irina has an upcoming baby to look after. Hmm, maybe the pregnancy storyline makes things less depressing than I thought.

Hmm, also curious how Cate says her brother was imprisoned, not missing like we thought...

Click here to listen to the conversation!

Ah, my dear, my dear. A love like ours could only end on the battlefield. Too bad we couldn't have worked this out over a few bottles of wine.

Though, if I recall our wedding night, it was a few bottles of wine that got me into this in the first place...

Kenta! Wanizame! Ikoooo! Arashi! For Shalasaaaaa!

Ha! It's hard to imagine that voice whispering sweet nothings. Well then.... war it is.

Wolf! We hunt!

Kinda funny how in his last moments, Gerhart almost seems like a nice guy, resigned to the fate his mistakes have wrought him.

This game.

Markus now appears in front of Gerhart's castle.

This isn't personal. This is politics. Though I have to admit I always did hate you.

Brat. I'll never understand why my father saved your life when the Orcs had you.

Orcs, Necromancers, Naga... you Griffin types seem to collect the most disgusting friends...

Take a last look at my Naga, dearest nephew. One of them holds the weapon that will send you to Elrath. And I have little doubt where Elrath will send you...

One nondescript battle later...

If anyone finds little Markus, make sure he leaves the duchy. Hang his picture up, and if he doesn't get the hint, hang him!

Now, we're going to make fighting Gerhart as satisfying and complete as possible. So a few preparations. Irina goes to visit this Abyssal Worm near the northern Inferno town.

I've been behind on recruiting creatures for a long while, so we trade all our Wood and Ore for Gold.

It's still not enough. I slowly recruit everything over the next few days.

And we'll take a look at Irina's final stats.

While her Might stats aren't really that impressive, her Magic power is sky-high and Magic Defense isn't that far behind. She also hits over 1000 Mana thanks to a Dragon Vein. Pretty nice. She has 5 pieces of the Prophet set (I forego the last slot for the Emerald Yumi Bow), and the Amulet of Air that makes her Air spells even more powerful.

I have eight towns, and I build a Shrine of Celestial Waters in each of them. My Yuki-Onna are now hitting for 220% of their usual damage.

Kind of funny how, years ago, Cate was attempted to be claimed by Gerhart, and later on Slava attacked Gerhart. Now Irina is here after suffering the same fate as her mother, and finishing what her father started.

Gerhart has a generic Hero that tries to fight us first, so I use Katashi with Irina's army to wipe the floor with him, then Retreat and transfer her army back.

And it all comes to this.

To be fair, this fight would be harder if you'd went Tears - there's a sidequest in the Tears map that asks for you not to conquer any of the Haven towns (though you can ignore it), so you'd have less units. But we can still tie up Gerhart's Marksmen stack with Petrification, and it's a manner of applying pressure on his Glories (and again when they get healed by his Seraphs and Vestals). Gerhart will make use of Anathema, Hour of Judgement and Mass Heroism, and on Hard he will also have his Glories use Searing Light, which gets very annoying if you don't have Dispel Magic. Luckily Waves of Renewal heals it.

The Abyssal Worm also ties up Gerhart's stacks for a round. Gerhart really suffers from the enemy's AI during siege battles, as his toughest creatures can't get out without our creatures lying in wait. It's actually a good battle if you're not horribly overprepared like I am, as Gerhart actually plays fairly intelligently given his resources, ressurecting his Glories when needed (though he still uses Guardian Angel on his Vestals, the silly man).

Monsoon in action. This might be the only time I'll get to show it off. It works nicely when the enemy's creatures are clogged up behind walls like this.

And our super-powered Yuki-Onna finish it.

This is only fitting.

Click here to listen to the conversation!
You've had your vengeance, my little she-wolf. In all the dreams I've had about how we might meet again, none of them were like this...

Funny. My dreams were exactly like this, except you were screaming a bit more.

Ha ha heh *cough* Too bad it ends like this. Our line would have been glorious.

Oh, it will be, Gerhart. But it will be my line, not 'ours'.

Man, Gerhart. You did love her in some way, didn't you?

For those who are curious, a Tears Irina kills Gerhart anyway, but says that he will be remembered.

Queen of the Frozen Waves (Youtube via Polsy)

And THAT's how you end a campaign. Are you listening, Sandor?

And thus concludes the Sanctuary campaign! I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to leave your thoughts.