cjlee’s playthrough on Heroic, version 2.2.1, plus the Unofficial Community Mod/ Patch (UCP) by Antalyan

The game Might & Magic: Heroes VII, developed by Limbic Entertainment.

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cjleeagain
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cjlee’s playthrough on Heroic, version 2.2.1, plus the Unofficial Community Mod/ Patch (UCP) by Antalyan

Postby cjleeagain » Dec 27 2017, 5:17

Hi All

I am actually cjlee, but once again I lost my account details after a hard disk crashed... my work computer (where I write articles) went down, not my gaming computer (where I don’t have any accounts set up).

Kalah, it’s ok, no need to trouble yourself with merging accounts. I’m just logging into Celestialheavens to post a few articles, commentaries and reviews, before my work schedule heats up again in 2018. At the same time I have just deinstalled H7 again, and probably won’t reinstall it unless there are some big time changes made by the likes of real-life heroes like Antalyan and his team.

Game takes up 17GB, and I only have 250GB on my HD, so I am really unlikely to reinstall it without good reason. I’ve just about milked the game of every point of interest, although there are a bunch of other articles I’d like to post.

To make the material more digestible, I’m going to split up my content into different posts.

cjleeagain
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Heroic campaign playthrough

Postby cjleeagain » Dec 27 2017, 5:18

I just completed all the campaigns again on Heroic, using the latest official patch 2.2.1, plus the Unofficial Community Patch (UCP) created by Antalyan. You can get the UCP mod here, it’s very small and stable. https://www.celestialheavens.com/forum/22/16266#p369696
or http://www.moddb.com/mods/unoffical-community-mod-ucp

Everything major on the main missions work. Nothing game breaking. Nothing too hard. A number of bugs observed and duly reported to Antalyan. Bugs will also be reported to the public in my posts on Antalyan’s mod thread. But nothing particularly challenging either on Heroic.

The Lost Tales do not work on Antalyan's UCP. Please note. Lost Tales involve various mods and stat boosts. The scripts will not run with UCP and your hero will be pretty screwed up after a while.

One particular observation: the Fourth Necro campaign map, Thoughts and Intentions starring Adar-Malik.

Many people have complained about the difficulty, since you often get attacked early in game by large Wizard armies led by high level wizards who can decimate your forces quickly with chain lightning and other power spells. Yes, I also experienced this many times on restarting or reloading an earlier savegame. No dice. High level wizards really do approach the Haven town Ziyad very early, no matter what you do. They are all capable of hitting you for 2-4k damage per spell, so you can’t survive them in any battle.

Eventually I realized that the AI is dumb. They approach Ziyad, but you don’t have to provoke them. If you stay one day’s distance from the Wizards, they will never attack you, but just pass through on their way to the fort in the Southeast, where they will be randomly traveling around, wasting time for the next month. This is probably scripted because it happens no matter what you do. The only folks who will attack Ziyad are the yellow faction, and they’re not powerful wizards. Stay in Ziyad and fight them off without worrying about spells.

Since Adar Malik does not carry over, you can win this map easily in the first month by making a beeline for the enemy castle in the top left corner once at least two high level Wizards (level 30, with big armies) have passed you. In this sense the high level wizards passing by Ziyad are a Godsend. If they are heading to the fort in the Southeast, the town in the Northwest will be practically undefended, so winning is a breeze.
Last edited by cjleeagain on Dec 27 2017, 13:05, edited 1 time in total.

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replay of final map, The Dream of What Could Be

Postby cjleeagain » Dec 27 2017, 5:23

My observations on the final map, The Dream of What Could Be, on Heroic.


Final map, I really, really do not understand how Kalah played it. He got his armies into the ‘thousands’? Do you know how long that takes? But Kalah posted his walkthrough around patch 1.7 if I am not mistaken. On my own Heroic playthrough this time on 2.2.1, I had like 1/4 Kalah’s army size on Ivan, headed by 19 Gold Dragons and 7 Angels with 114 Griffins, 40 Abbots and 250 Marksmen and that was with several reinforcement caravans from secondary heroes and multiple visits to neutral dragons willing to join me as well as purchase of 5 dragons from the shops.

Please, if you have an army the size of mine, killing Seamus is already going to be a piece of cake.
I deliberately used all my different heroes on Seamus just to see how things turned out. Everyone got to kill him fine. Andras alone could take out Seamus and still keep more than 3/4 his army. And as you know, Andras is entirely AI-provided, and you have no access to spells and abilities outside what is given to you in the game. Frankly I was shocked that my Andras came to me with spell power 2 and knowledge 2 (and no spells anyway). This is one of the most lopsidedly Might heroes I’d ever seen, and it is ridiculous because he couldn’t even get more than Expert Warcries. That’s right, no spells and limited cries. He could get Grandmaster level of War Machines, but he doesn’t have any war machines!

The whole damn reason why Andras can smash Seamus, is because Seamus is not a might hero. He’s a Priest. And computer can’t do fire magic for nuts. Seamus cast chain lightning twice on my Andras for instance, which is a joke given that Seamus doesn’t have top level Air Magic and Andras had Might over Magic. He has Grandmaster Fire Magic (Fire Mantle), which could be very painful if we attacked him in melee/ let him attack us in melee. If Seamus had used Antalyan’s latest level 4 Fire Spell, Fire Sentry, Seamus would have squashed Andras flatter than a chappati under one ton of pita bread. But since Andras’s power really lies in ranged attacks from the Centaurs, I did a good job in troop conservation by blocking the castle door with my Basilisk Riders and mostly using ranged to take out the enemy.

Seamus didn’t have Griffins and Angels. They could have made a difference, flying out. Once my Basilisk Riders had blocked the front gate, Seamus’ advantages were gone. It didn’t matter what his leadership and righteousness and morale was anymore – everyone is stuck inside. Once you can’t get Legionaires and Justicars in place, you can’t reduce damage and you can’t get free retaliatory attacks. Since Seamus’ ranged attackers are weaker than Andras’, and Seamus isn’t casting Inner Fire or Storm Arrows to overcome that disadvantage, Andras is sure to win once Andras has blocked the castle front gate.

Seamus NEVER cast Inner Fire or Frenzy. I can understand not casting Armageddon given that Seamus’ own troops are not fireproof (unlike Andras’ Orcs, or Talia’s Gargoyles and Cabirs, for instance). But as a top level priest casting fire magic, Inner Fire would probably have sent his forces’ attack stats shooting up by at least 90. There is no way Seamus could not have at least caused me considerable pain with fire magic. He might have won if he wiped out my Centaurs at the end of the first round, by mass Inner Firing his Abbots and Marksmen and having them get morale rounds. But he didn’t even try.

I fought against him multiple times using different heroes, just for fun. Seamus never Inner Fired his troops. He always cast chain lightning.

Seamus did make use of Frenzy once when fighting Anastasya. His one single action was the primary cause of Anastasya’s losses. I don’t know if this is a bug, but Seamus cast Frenzy just before his Cuirassers were due to move and the Cuirassers moved three times that turn. Once probably because of Frenzy, once from their normal turn, and once from Morale. They wiped out two stacks of Anastasya’s troops and did big damage to the Banshee stack which started out with slightly over 1000 Banshees. Later I checked, and was shocked to see that the Cuirassers had +163 to their attack! (Forgot to see what part of that +163 came from Frenzy.)

So as you can see, Seamus could really have pummeled me good. He could have sent his Fired-up Dire Wolves charging out in the first turn, and with morale they could easily have wiped out two of my stacks before being killed. Next turn the Cuirassers could have charged out, and again they were very likely to get two turns in due to morale, and another 2 stacks of Andras would go down immediately. But the AI just sucks...

Picture shows Anastasya's remaining army after fighting Seamus. I forgot and added the raised dead, which did number the max 100 Hoplites and 40 Banshees.
http://imagezilla.net/show/AfC8z3k-Anas ... Seamus.jpg
Image
Last edited by cjleeagain on Dec 27 2017, 5:40, edited 1 time in total.

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The Final Campaign Map

Postby cjleeagain » Dec 27 2017, 5:25

--- I’ll share some thoughts on how I played this map to supplement Kalah’s experience.
1) There is a Shantri Ruins two days’ march east from your starting castle. Send Talia there right away for 50000 cash on day 2 or 3. Tanis has Implosion, 8 Simurghs, and a proportionately good sized army. You’ll take casualties, but as long as you don’t lose any Simurgh, the battle won’t be costly. If you move quickly you’ll not just scout the area and pick up lots of resources, you’ll get rid of the low level enemy heroes lurking in this area.
2) Anastasya already comes with expert Paragon. She only needs 2 skill points to get Mentor. Once you get Anastasya with Mentor, you can churn out level 16 and higher secondary heroes quickly. The main job of these guys is to get Master/ Grandmaster Exploration and whatever good Governor bonuses that you can get. But you know that, right?
3) Andras is not under time constraint. At most it is beneficial to flag mines earlier than later, but you’re not forced to. So you can survey his area first. I quickly located the vast numbers of centaurs seeking to join me, and picked them up before attacking Cailean. Having a strong army means casualties are lower for each battle I fight.

Seamus may have a large army and be level 30 and have fortifications and all that. But Talia can take him out with her starting army. And mind you, her starting army is significantly diminished by the time she gets to him.

Just as a warning, I did have Tanis do a very big tour of duty before she attacked Seamus. I’m pretty sure I visited so many stat boosters that everything she had was +6 over the first day. She had managed to reach level 29. So don’t get the impression that I sent her on a beeline to attack Seamus without visiting any stat booster or those buildings where you can buy some skills. You can see my screenshots and decide for yourself how strong Talia is. Even at the point of battle vs Seamus, Talia was still out-stated by Seamus in nearly all her stats.

Inferior stats, Magic Hero vs Magic Hero, enemy has about 3x your army size, and they are fortified. And they can still lose to you?

Tanis’s world beating skill? Implosion.

In Heroes 7, Spellcasting Heroes are really strong. Seamus is also a strong caster, but AI doesn't know how to use spells well.

At this point, I would strongly suggest that Kalah is not correct to say that your choice of bride from the last mission doesn’t matter. It does. If you’d chosen Nolwenn, she’s a Paladin and also of your same Haven faction. Choosing Nolwenn would allow Ivan to combine armies. (He still can’t attack too early, due to geography.) On the other hand, Nolwenn’s skills are unsuitable for creeping with a small army, so considerable troops would have been tied up for her to capture new mines and liberate resources. Tanis can do all that because she has spells. Tanis would have lost fewer troops when leveling up.

Tanis could beat Seamus with her starting army. No way for a Paladin like Nolwenn to do that. If she’d shown up at Seamus’ door with an inferior army and inferior stats, what do you think would have happened?

http://imagezilla.net/show/n0Z2KZm-Tani ... ll-win.jpg
Image
Last edited by cjleeagain on Dec 27 2017, 5:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Fighting the Final Boss Hero Seamus with different Heroes

Postby cjleeagain » Dec 27 2017, 5:28

My different heroes Versus Seamus in Month 2:

Andras lost under 1/3 of his army. There was a limit to what he could do since he had no spells. He did have healing tent which he bought from Horncrest that he’d taken a few days ago.
Ivan had no true losses. He had the Reinforcements Perk, so his minimal losses were counted against the troops that joined only for the battle. So yes, you can beat Seamus with no casualties from an army far smaller than Kalah’s!

Tanis had the most fun battle by far. She had hardly any artifacts, and I seriously considered passing her some artifacts to fight with. Then I decided to make this more challenging. She lost 80% of her army. Considering that she has never been reinforced and had inferior stats and far smaller numbers than Seamus, this outcomes clearly shows that AI sucks. Heroes III AI would not be so easy to bully. I very strongly recommending using Tanis to fight Seamus, because your other heroes aren’t going to have much challenge.

Anastasya lost most of her troops outside the liches, skeletons and banshees, but her victory was never in doubt. There were nearly 3k skeletons and banshees still alive (adead?) at the end. (Liches were never targeted by ranged troops because I’d Implosioned the Marksmen, then teleported the skeletons next to both Marksmen and Abbots. All my lich losses came from the turrets.) 80% of Anastasya’s losses came from just the enemy Cuirassers getting one opportunity to run amuck, where they moved three times and killed 2 stacks and 30% of my banshees.

Once again I repeat my earlier advice, posted in my older walkthrough. I strongly suggest that you don’t bother to go with Lasir’s Ship, the Dark Elves’ Underground Tunnels, or try building that dike. All are a waste of time. On this walkthough I did indeed try out all 3 options, which allowed me to travel and uncover the entire map. It’s just a waste of 3 weeks. Hardly any challenge, but lots of pathetic battles which seem designed to increase Anastasya’s skeleton count. Seamus isn’t going to get any stronger and provide you with more challenge in these three weeks, but if you take Anastasya through these detours, you are only making her too powerful to lose. Even on autoplay, Anastasya can beat Seamus thanks to all her undead.

To end the map painlessly, just use Andras to take Horncrest. There is already a portal built. You should have the portal spell from last map, so Ivan or anybody you like can easily teleport to Horncrest, assuming you didn’t make the mistake of building a portal in your starting town. From there it is only 2 days to hit Seamus.


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