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Immortal the Dread Knight
Heroes of Might and Magic III
Strategy Guide
by Immortal the Dread Knight
the 14th of February, 2001
This strategy guide is my own opinion on how to play this brilliant game, and many people may not agree with the followings, so feel free to change anything you want when you choose your strategy during a game.
What castle and hero to choose for a game
I think the castle is not the most important thing in a game, because all of them got advantages and disadvantages. But the hero is very important.
So, I advice you to choose a magic hero for S and M maps, and a might hero for L and XL maps. You may wonder why I say that, so here is why.
On S and M maps, the chance to meet enemy heroes and castles is greater than on the L and XL maps, and the might heroes does not have a great advantage from the difference of attack and defense skills (which are not high in the first weeks), but you may have an advantage from offensive spells (like lightning bolt) because the creatures are not too many and not too powerful at this stage of the game.
On the L and XL maps, you should pick a might hero, because you didn't meet an enemy hero very soon and you got enough time to hire many troops. In case of a battle with many troops, the spell didn't count that much, because this battles didn't last too long (normally 3 - 4 turns, so not enough to kill a large number of enemy troops with spells) but the difference of attack and defense do.
Skills to pick (in order of importance)
For your best hero:

1. Diplomacy

The most important skill - allows you to hire wandering monsters, which are weaker than your army. So, after a week or two, with a small army (level 3 and 4) you can create a large army with few gold (at expert level most of the monsters joins you for free) by attacking weak troops (level 1 and 2) at the beginning, and when you have enough of those, attack stronger units. This way you save a lot of castle troops so you may guard your castles.
2. Logistics

Increase the movement points of your hero.
3. Wisdom

Necessary to cast spells higher than level 2.
4. Air magic

Best of the spell skills. It contains good offensive spells, beneficial spells (mass haste) and adventuring spells (dimension door and fly).
5. Earth magic

Almost as good as Air magic. It contains the most destructive spell (implosion) and one of the most important adventuring spell (town portal).
6. Offense

Increase the amount of damage your creatures do to an enemy.
7. Leadership

Increase your troops morale. This skill is best used with Diplomacy, because many of the wandering monsters that joins you are not from your castle, and this lowers your morale. Having positive morale allows your creatures to attack twice sometimes.
8. Archery

Recommended for Tower (3 ranged troops), Castle, Dungeon, Stronghold and Conflux (2 ranged troops), not recommended for other towns (only one ranged troop).
9. Pathfiding

Reduces the penalty for difficult terrain (swamp, snow, undrground), not very necessary if already have Logistics and some artifact for movement (Boots or Gloves).
For scout heroes and defending heroes in garrisone:

You may choose Scouting (for scouts); Estates and Artillery (for defending heroes).
When you choose your best hero, don't pick one with a bad speciality for battles (weak spell, creature or a skill that is not very important (like Eagle eye or Estates). So, be careful.
Castles: advantages and disadvantages in order of toughness (my own opinion!)
1. CASTLE

Advantages

One of the best level 7 creature (Archangel), two ranged creatures (Marksmen and Zealots), two creatures that attack twice (Crusaders and Marksmen), powerful level 6 unit (Champion - very destructive when used with Haste - greater bonus for jousting).

Home terrain

Grass. Without penalty for movement that is very important at the beginning of the game.

Special

On random maps (not only), additional angels may be saved from Griffin Conservatories.

Disadvantages

Only 4th level for magic guild.

Recommended Heroes: Orrin, Tyris, Sir Mullich, Sorsha
2. RAMPART

Advantages

Powerful level 7 creature (Gold Dragon), some troops resistant to enemy's spells, Grand Elves shoot twice, Unicorns can blind enemy troops, Dendroids binds enemy units, Gold Dragons are immune to 1-4 level spells.

Home terrain

Grass. Without penalty for movement that is very important at the beginning of the game.

Disadvantages

Two very slow units: Dwarves, Dendroids

Recommended Heroes: Kyree, Ryland, Clancy, Mephala
3. DUNGEON

Advantages

Mana Vortex doubles your mana, two ranged units (Evil Eye and Medusas), Black Dragon immune to all spells, best level 5 unit (I think that Minotaurs should be level 6 units)

Home terrain

Underground. Penalty for movement and hard to explore.

Disadvantages

Tend to be placed in underground

Recommended Heroes: Gunnar, Ajit and Dace
4. NECROPOLIS   This town is one of my favorites :)

Advantages

Can create large numbers of skeletons, powerful level 4, 5 and 6 units (actually I think that Dread Knight is one of the best units in the game), can hide castle behind smoke, so enemies can't view the defenders, troops immune to some spells (like Blind, Curse, Death ripple).

Disadvantages

Hard to play in the first weeks, because they don't have ranged units in first 4 levels. Unable to get Leadership, meaning that getting troops from other castles leads to bad morale. Battle movement penalized later in the game because of the sekeltons (only speed 4 (upgraded have 5)).

Recommended Heroes: Tamika, Isra, Galthran
5. TOWER

Advantages

Library gives one spell added to every level of the Mage guild, 3 ranged units (Titans are the best ranged unit), powerful level 6 unit (maximal damage and no retaliation).

Disadvantages

Heroes tend to get skills useful for spells (like Mysticism and Scholar). Later in the game, heroes are weak in hand-to-hand combat because they increase mostly on spell power and knowledge (even the might heroes), not on attack and defense.

Home terrain

Snow. Great penalty for movement.

Recommended Heroes: Cyra, Solmyr
6. INFERNO

Advantages

Good hand-to-hand units, Efreet sultans have active fire shield.

Disadvantages

No good ranged units and flying units in the early stages of the game.

Home terrain

Lava

Recommended Heroes: Marius, Nymus
7. STRONGHOLD

Advantages

One of the strongest level 7 units (Behemoths), good balance of ranged, flying and walking creatures.

Disadvantages

Poor spell casters. Only 3 levels of Mage Guild.

Recommended Heroes: Dessa, Crag Hack, Vey
8. CONFLUX

Advantages

Good spell caters, can buy magic skills from the castle, two ranged units, level 6 unit immune to spells, level 7 creature has double week growth.

Disadvantages

Troops are a little too expensive because of the growth (I'm not so sure here, but I could never recruit all troops from this castle on normal maps - not with large quantities of resources and gold). Troops are vulnerable to some spells and not very powerful.

Recommended Heroes: Monere, Pasis
9. FORTRESS

Advantages

Mighty Gorgons - can deliver enormous quantities of damage with the Death
stare.

Disadvantages

Poor ranged unit. Slow creatures. Only 3 levels for Mage Guild.

Home terrain

Swamp. Has the greatest penalty (I think).

Recommended Heroes: Alkin, Tazar
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