Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Devilish Plan

I decided to go with the Kreegans first and slay the Gold Dragon Queen. I always wondered why a group of elves would choose to live in Erathia rather than AvLee. But then I remembered that this is Antagarich, not Ashan. Not every character has to live within the borders of their race-based nation.

According to Heroes III lore, the entire region of Eeofol where the Kreegans make their home used to belong to halflings. When the Kreegans landed in Eeofol, they drove the halflings out of their homeland and corrupted the forests into a barren, volcanic wasteland. Why did the Kreegans choose to disperse the halflings of all races? It's because they are huge dicks.

This trend can be seen in the design of the map. While most of the map is green and full of life, the Kreegan fort is surrounded by volcanoes and ash. For the Kreegans, it's not enough to just take over a land and enslave its people. The world must burn.

I decided early that I would carry over the characters from this scenario into the final one. The next scenario is filled with tunnels that are hard to navigate. I figured it'd be easier to recruit and train 'Team Evil' on this map.

The Members Of Team Evil
To create this team, I focused on two aspects: faction diversity and innate hero skill. Because there are Tower, Castle, Rampart, Dungeon, and Inferno towns on the final map, I knew that it was important to have at least one hero representing each faction in my party. This way, I could match the right hero with their faction's respective units instead of mixing them and putting a demon general at the helm.

I also wanted to make sure I recruited Inferno heroes with good starting skills, particularly ones that granted bonuses to specific types of troops. This way, I could have have each of them specialize in a particular unit type.

My starting hero was Rashka, the efreet demoniac. I was happy to see that he had the ability to boost the strength of efreeti in his army. I also trained him in the art of Diplomacy, which allowed him to approach random stacks of enemies and bribe them to join Team Evil.

After a few weeks, I recruited Nymus, another demoniac. I had forgotten that demoniacs are the 'might' hero of the Inferno faction. These heroes start the game without a spellbook, forcing me to have to go back to town and buy one. After a while, I made it a habit to check each hero for a spellbook immediately after hiring him or her.

Both Rashka and Nymus reached level 12 fairly quickly. So my next hero was Calh, another demoniac. In retrospect, I should have hired at least one heretic to balance Team Evil's might with magic.

I hired Solmyr because he is a badass. I imagine if he and Rashka would have been at odds, being from rival races.

The next member of the team I hired was Kyrre, who I wanted to use as a go-fer. I was happy to see that he started with Logistics skills. In the final map, I plan to use Kyrre to grab resources and transport troops. He will also lead the Rampart armies.

Surprise, surprise! It turns out that Caitlin the cleric was a double-agent! While she supported Team Catherine in the last mission with gusto, Caitlin was secretly aiding the Kreegan invasion all along. Where do her true loyalties lie?

The final hero was Synca the overlord. I knew that I needed at least one Dungeon hero to round out the team. Her ability to boost Manticore strength should come in handy against Steadwick's garrisons.

I spent some time mopping up every last enemy on the map. But in the end, it was the double agent Caitlin who struck the final blow against the Gold Dragon Queen. Thus, the forces of AvLee were crippled and Erathia found itself cut off from its allies.

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