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Heroes of Might and Magic III
FORTRESS
Fortress is the town of the swamp dwellers of Tatalia. They seldom interfered with the neighbouring countries and most of the times preferred to stay in their own land as other climates are not very good for them. News about troubles on the continent of Antagarich were brought by the Trolls, who has asked permission to stay in the green humid swamps of Tatalia. The Trolls spoke about vast new armies of powerful creatures.
The elders of the Fortress were concerned about these new mighty neighbours and began to increase the defenses of the towns, which have had only the City Watch of Gnolls foot unit and the Lizardman archer unit before.
All swamp dwellings were checked out for the most suitable and promising creatures that could be enlisted in the army.
First of all the potential creatures were checked for their attack and defense characteristics and secondly, for their poisonous abilities. Nearly all swamp inhabitants had this or that natural secret poisoned weapon concealed in their bodies, but the elders of the Fortress chose the best of the best.
In the woods of tall green trees with red glowing hollows were found the Serpent and Dragon Flies. They were huge, extremely fast insects, when irritated, strike with their poisonous stings at the end of the tail. The effect on the victim is immediate. Any kind of defensive or beneficial protection will be removed at once and the strange weakness followed.
The Basilisks and the Greater Basilisks were huge lizards, preferring to sunbathe and have a nap after good, regular meals. They hate so much to be disturbed that they petrify any offender. The elders of the Fortress decided that it is a very useful ability and selected the youngest and less lazy creatures for further army training.
In swamps, even cows were deadly. The usual domestic cows that you could find all over the world have been transformed in Tatalia by the surrounding poisonous vapours and mutated into Gorgons. The habitants of Tatalia didn't pay any attention to this at all. For them, the Gorgons were the same normal sight as for others was the normal cow. But what was unknown in other countries that these Tatalian 'cows' could kill with an acidic breath....and a death stare. It was definetly not your normal milky gentle cow at all.
The third recruits became the Wyverns. Sometimes these winged beasts were proudly called the 'swamp dragons' by the Tatalians. Indeed, they had distant likeness to fire-breathing Dragons, but in distinction from them, they didn't have any fire in their weapon arsenal, only poison, but what poison! The deadliest of all swamp poisons that swirls in the enemy's veins and burns from inside.
When all the recruits were gathered and inspected by the elders of the Fortress, it became clear that though it could be called an army already, and not just City Watch, it wasn't powerful enough yet to resist any attack of the powerful neighbouring armies. There wasn't plainly the top leader of the army, the one who would bring fear and trepidation in enemies' hearts.
The search of the deepest swamps has been carried out without any results. There were no more any powerful beasts in Tatalia. The messenger was sent to the Trolls, who by that time were already comfortably settled under the bridges built across multitude small and big streams and rivers of Tatalia, with the appeal to join the Fortress army, but he returned with empty hands, as the Trolls were true to their promise to keep neutrality, which was given to their former brothers, the Barbarians.
The elders of the Fortress nearly despaired when somebody showed them the obvious fact, that if the Trolls deserted the Barbarians and decided that Tatalia was much more for their liking, why not other creatures from other lands. Maybe they were just waiting for an invitation.
The scouts were sent to all directions to all countries of Antagarich with the order to find anyone who could be powerful enough and willing enough to join the Fortress army and settle in the swampland.
One after another the scouts returned back home to Tatalia empty-handed. Nobody wanted to live in the deep swamps with bogs and insects, mud and 100% humidity. Finally the last messenger returned. He was very late and was already declared as missed in action as he was sent  on the far islands of Nighon to the fierce and powerful Dungeon Lords.
His arrival explained his delay. He has brought with him the whole two tribes of three-headed Hydras and five-headed Chaos Hydras. They have lived before in the Dungeon towns all their lives and they were not comfortable there. Nobody liked them and always they were blamed for the 'specific' smell by other Dungeon creatures. Finally the Hydras have had enough and already thought to become neutral whe the recruiter from Fortress appeared on the doorstep of the Dungeon. That was the lucky day for them. They hastily waved good-bye to the Dungeon Lords, packed their belongings and set off to their new homes. But it was a very long way from Nighon to Tatalia, and it took many months till the Hydras have finally arrived.
They were met with a great celebration as the long lost relatives. The elders of the Fortress were happy. They have got themselves the many-headed creatures in the army, and though they were not very fast, but each of it could  be counted as 3 or even 5 fighters and against whom it was impossible to retaliate. That was the greatest deal of the Fortress. Their army was finally complete.
It may seem the weakest city of all, but that is definetly not so. Yes, troops statistics are low, but their special abilities are supreme.
Gnolls are good basic troops because of their large quantities.
Lizard Men/Lizard Warriors are almost useless in quantities less than a legion.
I heard that they were improved in Shadow of Death, but don't know for sure.
And there go Dragonflies. Those are awesome. Extremely fast and with the ability to dispel magic and cause weakness, they are to be feared. Their low status are more than counter-balanced with their abilities.
Then go Basilisks... Well, turn to stone feature is good, but not excellent. They are a pretty average unit.
After that... Gorgons, and I mean Mighty Gorgons. They are simply the best 5 level units in the game. They are 5 level units with the power of 6 level units. A horde of those can decimate any enemy stack. They are very good against level 7 creatures - in that case, Death Stare causes really high damage.
Wyverns are not very strong, but very fast and can be built on early stages on low-resource maps. That is their only advantage.
As for Hydras - they are awesome. If their master holds the teleportation spell - they are superb... Just imagine attacking all adjactent enemies without the risk of retaliation...
About Fortress Heroes - most are useless and there is not much diffirence whom to choose. Brom gets a couple of Basilisks in the beginning. Tazar is awesome armorer... No other great guys there, I think...
Well, of course IF you can say that you like them!
I like to play Fortress when I want a challenge.

It is probably the hardest town to master because of its disadvantages (many slow units, awful 7th level creature, etc.) but it does have some good points.
Dragon Fly is a very good unit (faster than most and cast weakness on whatever it attacks) and so are Might Gorgons (Death Stare is one of the best abilities in the game). Wyvern Monarchs are also good to use because of its speed.
The Fortress also has some very good heroes; most notable would be Tazar with his Armorer speciality and Bron with his Basilisk speciality.
Fortress is not a town to play if you want to be more magic oriented because it only has a level 3 Mage Guild.
It's Graal, the Carnivorous Plant, might be the best when defending your castle, +10 Attack and Defense, along with the normal bonuses.
If you click on the link button here, you'll see all the images of the Fortress creatures with their statistics and the views of the Fortress town from inside and outside.
You can find opinions of other experienced players about Fortress town below. Well, as soon as they will be kindly submitted by their authors.The bigger analysis of the Fortress town are available for your attention if you just click on the appropriate link near the author's portrait.
If you want to say something about Fortress town, please feel free to send E-Mail or C-Mail to BESS in the Community.
Thorwallian the Assasin
29th of January, 2001
Delcor
29th of January, 2001