Ah, Heroes of Might and Magic III! Some fairly disjointed thoughts that came to me while playing and writing that thing about cheating:
I’m kind of stuck after all these years of playing the game to using mostly the Castle town. I like Towers and Necropolises, but Towers are very resource expensive and Necropolises lack in the ranger department. Confluxes are interesting occasionally, but anything else…? Ramparts are okay. Strongholds, Fortresses, and Dungeons are dull. I don’t like Infernos at all. Castles are perfect: just the right mix of troop types and angels are awesome.
The computer’s combat AI seems to get stuck on CHARGE! This is utterly stupid when defending a town. I attack a town: the computer instead of sitting tight and letting me get hammered by the arrow towers, flings all the troops out of the walls where they can be easily smashed. I figured out a slow but easy way to win in a siege when I’m the besieged is simply to hit defend on every creature and let the arrow towers do the work. By hitting defend rather than attack, even if there’s enemies inside the walls, you can drag it out more rounds meaning more arrow hits and more enemy stacks wasted. The only problem that you run into is if the enemy has large stacks of flying creatures or if the friggin computer cheats and takes out all your arrow towers.
In the same vein, the computer has no idea how to use the slow spell. The absolute best use is if you’ve got expert earth magic and a lot of rangers. Slow the whole enemy army and shoot them to bits. The computer slows a stack and then rushes someone out to attack it. No point in my griffons being slow if an enemy is right next to them; they don’t need to move.
The original version of the game Heroes of Might and Magic III: Restoration of Erathia had a lovely glitch so that if you had ballistics and thus control of your catapult, when besieging a town if you aimed at the center arrow tower you would almost always hit one of the other towers. Might taken a dozen tries to hit the center one but the others were toast. This is gone in the complete version.
I used to have the fan made Wrath of the Gods. It had a check list of cheats/mods which you could turn on and off before starting a game. I remember there being a whole screen full of these things but I can only remember what a couple of them were. Creatures half off on day 7 was nice. Commanders could be neat. Creature dwellings accumulate was a double edged sword. It meant you could pick up more troops but it also meant that if an enemy found an unflagged creature dwelling which had been sitting there all the game, they got a LOT of troops.
90% of the time the Grail is useless. It takes forever to get all the obelisks, then usually another forever to get to the spot it’s hidden and dig it up and bring it home… By then you’ve won the game and it was a waste of time. You can’t use the bonuses.
More than a couple skills were useless too. I hate heroes who have Eagle Eye. Learning and Scholar are meh. Tactics can be useful sometimes but I never found it helpful enough to waste a slot on it. Archery is only good if, well, you have a lot of rangers and most towns don’t.
I originally thought that Diplomacy was useless but if you get it high early, you can snag a lot of wandering creatures that way. So it can be helpful if you’re desperate for troops. Estates can be a great thing to have for random fetch-it heroes whom you aren’t using for anything more than gathering resources or creatures. They hang around and make you money that way.
I prefer magic based heroes. Earth Magic is a must, Air almost a must, I like Water but can live without it, but Fire has never really been super useful. Air and Earth both have great non-combat spells. Water has some great non-offensive combat spells. Fire… eh. Isambard swears by Berzerk but I never really used it.
Town Portal is the best non-combat spell hands down. Try and sneak up on my town while I’m not there! Chain Lightning is the best offensive combat; it’s even better if you have that immunity to Chain Lightning artifact.
It’s a real shame the random map generator doesn’t work very well. It could go a long way to extending the playability of the game if generated maps were worth it. The computer unfortunately has an obsession with using hundreds of portals and with filling large chunks of the map with solid mountains. The settings for monster strength don’t seem to work either. I keep setting it on normal and getting maps full of 1st level creatures.