Heroes of Might and Magic 3

Heroes of Might and Magic III - An In-Depth Article

This hub is a review of Heroes of Might and Magic 3, one of the best fantasy strategy turn based games of all time! It has seen two expansions (Armageddon's Blade and Shadow of Death) and at least one fan mod as well (Wake of Gods).

I wrote this article several months ago with the intention of posting it on another article site. However that site never approved the article, so here it is for all of you readers! Their loss is your gain I suppose. ;)

Read on! I hope you enjoy! :)

Heroes 3 Castle Town Pic

This is what the Castle town from Heroes of Might and Magic III looks like when completely developed. :)
This is what the Castle town from Heroes of Might and Magic III looks like when completely developed. :)

Of Races, Towns and Units

In this game, you can pick one of 8 races, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Castle town is comprised almost exclusively by humans, and has a sturdy first level unit, which is an advantage in the early game. In contrast, the Stronghold town has a more heterogeneous mix of troops and can construct a building in the first turn to make Rocs, a fifth level unit. As you may be able to see, the Stronghold town is better suited to attacking fast, taking advantage of their strong unit advantage, while the Castle town is slower out of the gate and needs to build up to stand a chance.


There are two types of buildings in each town. The first type of building are those common to the 8 races, such as Town Halls (generate gold income every turn) and Mage Guilds (provide your heroes with magic spells). The second type are those unique to each race, such as unit generators (an example is the Roc generator; called a Cliff Nest), and special buildings such as the Stables (a building in the Castle town that grants all allied visiting heroes a movement boost for one week). You can create one building per town, per turn, so it's something to think about if you're about to be sieged, for example.


Speaking of units, each town produces a total of seven unit types (and, by extension has a total of seven unit levels). Generally, you'll want the higher level units fast as they have more health and other vital statistics. Vital statistics include attack, defense and damage. Some units have range capabilities, and will also have shots (as in number of times it can attack at range per battle) as a statistic, and some other units have special abilities that are separate from statistics altogether. The Stronghold Behemoth (7th level unit) ignores part of the defense of any unit it attacks, effectively doing more damage in any situation.


Heroes 3 Battle Pic

A screenshot of a siege battle taken directly from the game. In sieges, destroying the castle walls is an important step in winning the battle.
A screenshot of a siege battle taken directly from the game. In sieges, destroying the castle walls is an important step in winning the battle.

Of Battles

Battles play out in a simple enough manner. The battlefield is comprised of hexes and obstacles that impede movement may or may not be scattered around it. The attacker's forces are aligned on the left side of the battlefield while the defender's forces are on the right. Each identical unit is automatically placed into a single stack, so if you have 100 Rocs, you'd have one stack of 100 Rocs, and not 100 separate Rocs. Also, you may only have a total of 7 unit stacks at one time. A unit attacks and the defender retaliates. Under normal circumstances, a unit can only retaliate once per turn, which leads to the common tactic of attacking the same unit multiple times to maximize damage and minimize losses. There are several types of battles. The most common type is attacking neutral forces to capture a resource or artifact. Other types of battles are attacking enemy heroes and enemy towns.

Of Heroes

Heroes are the leaders of your army and required to move any amount of units from point A to point B. You can hire them from your town tavern for 2,500 gold and they come with a small army of low level units, unless you have hired at least 2 heroes that week, in which case they come with one first level unit (to prevent exploitation by hiring multiple heroes and using their armies to get an early advantage). Taking the same example as above, the Castle town has Knights and Clerics. Each hero has four primary skills (Attack, Defense, Power and Knowledge) and can learn up to 8 secondary skills at 3 proficiency levels (Basic, Advanced, Expert).

Heroes can level up to increase their primary and secondary skills by the classic way of defeating enemies in battle. Once you have enough experience, you gain 1 point into one of your primary skills. The percentage chance of getting a skill point in each separate primary skill is determined by hero type; Knights have a balanced distribution and Stronghold Barbarians mostly get Attack, for example. You also get a choice of one of two secondary skills, which is also determined by hero type. Secondary skills include Logistics (additional movement on the Adventure Map) and Eagle Eye (chance to permanently learn an opposing hero's spell when he casts it).

Heroes 3 Adventure Map Pic

A screenshot taken very early during the first campaign of the game. On the bottom, you can see the amount of resources the player has. To the right, you can see heroes and towns.
A screenshot taken very early during the first campaign of the game. On the bottom, you can see the amount of resources the player has. To the right, you can see heroes and towns.

Of the Game Interface

The game interface is subdivided into two main screens. The screen you'll spend the most time on is the Adventure Map, where you can control your Heroes and have them gather resources, capture mines and visit locations for diverse rewards. Such locations include the Tree of Knowledge (+1 level to visiting hero) and the Marletto Tower (+1 defense to visiting hero). In this screen, you can see a minimap of the whole area in which you're playing, your hero's remaining movement and spell points, and your resources, among other things. The other map is the Battle Map (battles were explained before in this article).

Of Resources

There are a total of 7 resources in this game. They are Wood, Ore (also called the common resources), Gems, Mercury, Crystals, Sulfur (these four are called the rare resources), and Gold. You capture mines of each type to produce said resource (in the case of gold augment your income, since towns already generate gold). Mines can be stolen from your enemies and this is a pivotal strategy to crippling an opposing player, especially if said player has an advantage over you. Gold is used for just about everything while the other resources are used mostly to construct buildings and hire 7th level units. You can trade resources you have in excess for resources you lack in your town's Marketplace. The economy there is static, and only affected by the total of amount of Marketplaces (and by extension, towns) you control. The more Marketplaces you have, the better the exchange rate.

In Conclusion

That about covers Heroes of Might and Magic 3. If you're in the group of people who still hasn't tried out this classic, then go find it on the Internet somewhere. In my opinion, it is definitely worth playing.

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)

-Winterfate ;)

P.S: Here is a forum dedicated to all things Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic:

http://www.heroescommunity.com

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Comments 5 comments

Jason Oleinik profile image

Jason Oleinik 6 years ago from Richmond, BC, Canada

Oh my god I used to play this game so much as a kid. I even played versus my dad sometimes. This is literally one of the best "older" pc games out there; it's still incredibly fun to play today. Great game and a great intro!


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 6 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Thanks for the comment Jason! :)


Jono 6 years ago

I love this game but I lost my cd so I am buying a new one but I don't know which is the best town. Loved the article! Sorry about spelling mistakes on iPod.


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 6 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Thanks for the comment! :)

Also, if you don't mind digital downloads, you can grab it at GOG.com for *checks to make sure* $10. It's the Complete Edition, so it has both expansions integrated as well. :)


Khal Blogo profile image

Khal Blogo 4 years ago from A gas station on the yellow brick road

Excellent hub, voted up, interesting and shared. I love heroes 3, i wish the sequels would have been better:(

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