Countering Vamps in Heroes IV

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Damasus222
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Countering Vamps in Heroes IV

Postby Damasus222 » Dec 3 2008, 0:05

The other day I played a game of Heroes IV again for the first time in years. I played against a friend on the "Maranatha's Isle" map, which is small (only two towns, can walk between them in 3 turns at most), and starts out with a goodly sum of resources for each side. At any rate, he chose death and I chose nature, and within what seemed to me a phenomenally short period he launched an invasion of my territory. His army was 75ish skeletons and 3 vamps, and mine was sprites, wolves, and elf archers. I outnumbered him by a good margin. However, I ended up being soundly defeated primarily by the vamps, who rocked my army almost singlehandedly. I felt this was decidedly unfair given their small numbers, and the fact that I had, despite claiming several resource buildings, been unable to build a thrid tier barrack. My question then is, what could I have done differently? Did I make a poor faction choice, and if so what faction/strategy would work best against a death army which seems to be able to get vamps quickly,and then rush me? Any advice would be most appreciated.

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Postby Kristo » Dec 3 2008, 15:09

It's been a really long time since I've played Heroes 4. My first thought if you think things are unbalanced is to try the Equilibris mod. Among other things, it raises the crystal cost of the Vampire dwelling and lowers their stats a bit. Also, what exactly was a "phenominally short period?" How many days? That information will help the better H4 players give you good advice.

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Postby Damasus222 » Dec 3 2008, 16:01

It was a couple of weeks at the most, I can't recall more exactly then that. Maybe something to up the cost would help, as I know that he didn't need to capture ANY mines to get all the way to the vamp building. The whole thing seemed a bit overpowered honestly, but I figured that was more due to my lack of expertise than to a glaring game imbalance.

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Postby Ironmallet » Dec 3 2008, 21:08

Damasus222 wrote:It was a couple of weeks at the most, I can't recall more exactly then that. Maybe something to up the cost would help, as I know that he didn't need to capture ANY mines to get all the way to the vamp building. The whole thing seemed a bit overpowered honestly, but I figured that was more due to my lack of expertise than to a glaring game imbalance.


I wouldn't say that a couple of weeks on such a small map is a phenomenally short time.

And yes, H4 vamps are quite notorious for being overpowered.

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Postby Damasus222 » Dec 3 2008, 23:08

Ironmallet wrote:I wouldn't say that a couple of weeks on such a small map is a phenomenally short time.

And yes, H4 vamps are quite notorious for being overpowered.


As I said, it had been awhile since I played. It may have just felt short because I had been completely unable to construct a similar third tier building. Also glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt that the vamps were a bit too powerful.

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Postby SoRHunter » Dec 4 2008, 9:53

This game is called Heroes of Might and MAGIC for some reason... Nature has access to a huge pool of summoning spells, which can turn the tide of battle.

The other thing you should master is the "Wait" command. Sprites have no retaliation, so they can wait and attack two times (I believe they are fast enough for this). Wolves are a little more tricky, because they allow retaliation in between its double attack, which could heal the vampire and waste the attack. But you could choose White Tigers (first strike) instead of Elves (double shot). Still, it was a nice pick.

Oh! And get two heroes on your army, one prone to magic and the other to buff your units (Tactics comes to mind ;) ).

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Postby ThunderTitan » Dec 4 2008, 13:15

There's also the always popular "waste their retaliation" method.
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Postby bot » Dec 6 2008, 11:59

Just increse the difficulty of the game to expert to gain time. Choose chaos alignment. Play with a thief. I'm sure you'll win

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Postby gravyluvr » Dec 8 2008, 19:48

Nature should be able to hold their own with Death early in the game. What level were your heroes? The only drawback I see is the skellies natural defense to archers. Put your wolves and sprites on the skellies and aim your arrows at the Vamps and the tactician.

Venture out and scout with sprites. Try to get your archers and/or druids leveled quickly and try to hit and run his army with nothing but sprites and heroes. Get your Unicorn or Griffin tower built. Your heroes should be stronger than his and he really hasn't had time to build a good necromancer so your heroes should be able to chase him all over and knock down his creatures as you build yours up.

The problem a lot of players have with Nature is they are afraid to lose creatures in fights. Speed is Natures friend. Expand your empire as quickly as possible and use every creature you can buy to win that next level or dwelling, or bonus for your main army.

Just out of curiosity, what level were the heroes at this point in your game?
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Postby Paulus1 » Dec 27 2008, 0:22

Even though the Vampires are very strong, they are not unbalanced IMO.
There are several other very strong level 3 creatures, such as Cyclops and Genie.

The way to handle Vampires is to make an all out attack - when you go after them, throw all you have in the fight to decimate them - otherwise they will regenerate.
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Postby EGD Eric » Jan 1 2009, 21:32

I've had this same experience. Vamps are OP in IV. Not so much the vamps themselves, but also the fact that with expert necromancy, you can raise vampires after every little battle. Even against lvl 1 creatures. So he'd get into little fights on the way to my castle and have an army of vamps by the time he got there. In V, someone with necromancy has to spend "dark energy" (like a separate energy bar) to raise dead. Stuff like vampires take a lot of energy to raise. Alot of the time, this same player wouldn't be able to raise vamps, cause he was still regaining energy from the last stack he raised. Also, I think the level of the creatures killed makes a difference.

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Postby gaspi2 » Jan 2 2009, 14:20

getting grandmaster necromancy isn't easy feat on such little maps, you n at last expert death magic and thus plague...;p nasty
problem may be that you wanted to go for griffins which req. citadel which is expensive...I don't think that on small maps you should go for griffins.

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Postby csarmi » Jan 31 2009, 14:35

In H4 - before equilibris mod, go check it out - death faction was completely imbalanced (undefeatable if played well).

It wasn't only the vampires:

1) Starting creatures make creeping fast and efficient AND imps guarantee your hero high movement (hero always has the movement of the fastest troop in army).

2) Vampires can be built very early and they are absolutely devastating (let you kill almost anything). Oh. And they give you a fast overland movement too.

3) Necromancy is way overpowered. Period. Death player gets too many vampires (starting up a domino effect - they get control of the map soon)

4) The most important!! They have cancellation as a level 1, mass cancellation as a level 3 spell. Cancellation is the single most powerful spell in the game (removes immortality potions which is huge: normal endfight armies consist of 3-4-5 heroes and 2-3-4 stacks of high level creatures: turning 4 heroes naked as a level 3 spell (meaning even non-death specialized heroes can cast it (takes like 4 levels to get to expert death) is unreal.

5) Very important as well: they have instant access to a pathfinder (thief hero specialized in GM pathfinding giving the whole army 50% extra movement). Even more movement.

6) almost forgot: they have access to a native tactician (deeath knight)

And yes, gravyluvr is correct: nature MIGHT stand a chance in the early game.

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Postby Metathron » Jan 31 2009, 15:11

csarmi wrote:Cancellation is the single most powerful spell in the game


This is only true for multiplayer. For single player, cancellation is an almost worthless spell, unless you wanna remove that immortality potion from a hero with highly developed combat and magic resistance skills. So, it was in light of the multiplayer aspect of the game that in the Equilibris mod mass cancellation was moved from level 3 to level 5. And again, for single player games, this is just one of the worst changes possible. Who the heck would want something as crappy as mass cancellation instead of vampiric touch or hand of death? But I guess it would be silly to have two different versions of Equi.
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Postby csarmi » Jan 31 2009, 17:55

What you're saying is not true. Mass Cancellation is STILL a spell that's worth level 5 in singleplayer. Unless, of course, if the map is bad without challenging fights. If the opponent doesn't have mass spells, well-defined spell selection AND multiple heroes in armies, it is completely irrelevant what type of strategy you use - you won already.

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Postby Metathron » Jan 31 2009, 20:26

No, the majority of maps I've played have no place for MC as a level 5 spell. The only time I remember using it was in a couple battles in the Gathering Storm campaign with the female hero who starts with both Life and Death magics, and even then I used it mostly because I didn't have the other level 5 death spells available. The bottom line is, the HoMM IV AI is not nearly skilled enough to utilize the (mass) spells necessary for MC to even be worth using in most cases, let alone having it as a top tier spell.
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Postby csarmi » Jan 31 2009, 21:15

The bottom line is: all those maps suck completely - try some fanmade maps maybe - and you don't need any high level spells to beat them anyway...

In any case: the AI is not worth playing against so why bother?

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Postby Metathron » Jan 31 2009, 21:36

A handful of outstanding fan-made maps where one might meet with adequate challenge does not justify the spell at level 5 in SP.

It might seem absurd to you, but lots of people play single player. I myself don't like the long waiting when playing online, but do enjoy hot seat games occasionally (it's different when the player is sitting next to you).
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Postby csarmi » Feb 1 2009, 23:07

On the contrary: it does justify that. The spell is worth level 5. It has nothing to do with people making bad maps or bad AI... There are so many ways to go around your problem. But it's up to the mapmaker to do so, not the developer (the mapmaker has control over what spells you get).

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Postby Metathron » Feb 1 2009, 23:28

There's no sense in continuing this. Let's agree to disagree.
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