Heroes 3.5: In the Wake of Gods Portal > Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game – Combat system
Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game – Combat system
Let’s move on to the next element that makes Heroes of Might and Magic III so wonderful – units, armies, and combat!
The Army, or to Enroth and to Antagarich Back Again
As with the other core mechanics of the original, we tried our best to bring them into the board game. Of course, this required some simplifications and efforts to keep the game smooth and exciting. Yes, in the board game, each faction has 7 units available in the town, but, like in Heroes of Might and Magic I, the Hero can only recruit 5 of them.
We have changed the levels of units (and their dwellings) to the following groups: bronze (levels 1-3), silver (4-5), and gold (6-7)…
Mighty dragons, in honor of the most powerful creature in Antagarich, we have marked with azure.
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A Peasant is a peasant is a peasant is a peasant – Unit Cards
Of course, the above distinctions are not everything. Each unit has its own type – ground, flying, or ranged. It is closely related to the number of spaces it can pass on the battlefield. When activated, a ground unit can move up to two spaces, a flying unit can move up to three (can fly over other units too), and a ranged unit can move only one space. In addition, the unit cards show their statistics – attack, defense, hit points, initiative, and potential special ability.
At the bottom of the unit card, you can find recruitment costs – how many resources you need to spend to add a unit to your army or to increase the size of its squad. In Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game, the unit cards are double-sided. One of the sides shows a given unit in the range of a few, and the other side in the range of lots; so when a unit’s hit points in the range of lots are reduced to 0, it does not leave the battlefield – its card is flipped so that it can continue combat – but from now on in the range of a few.
Combat is what Heroes do best
Now let’s look at what knights or barbarians (wizards too!) like the most – combat! In Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game, it is played on a special 5-row combat board. Each player, at any time during their turn may deploy their army within the two back rows. After the battle begins, the Hero can no longer rearrange their formation (unless they have a Tactic card).
There are two types of combat: fighting neutral units and fighting Heroes:
Fighting neutral units
Neutral units on the map are marked with Roman numerals, which indicate the estimated level of the army (i.e. how many cards to draw and from what pile). It is also related to the difficulty settings you choose at the beginning of the game. It is obvious to guess that on the easy level, the Hero will not encounter opponents as strong as the ones in the impossible difficulty level.
I already mentioned that a player cannot change the deployment of units after a battle has started… But what about neutral unit cards? Well, the previous player is responsible for their deployment and actions. We have taken to heart the threat of endless battles, so the Hero has to deal with a neutral unit in one round of combat (the exception is, of course, units from the azure deck); if they want to extend the battle for another round – they must spend a movement point.
Combat itself is played in the order of initiative – all units activate one after another, according to this parameter. In the case of ties, the attacking side has priority. Each unit can move and attack (against the enemy’s possible defense and hit points); if the attacked unit survives – once during a combat round – it retaliates.
Fighting Heroes and gaining experience
The Heroes’ combat follows the rules described above. This time, however, both players can use cards from their hand (when fighting neutrals, it can only be done by the player controlling the Hero). There is also no round limit. It is also worth mentioning that just like in the computer game Heroes can retreat or surrender, losing part of their army, currency and their position on the map. Winning combat also results in gaining experience for the Main Hero – for defeating a Hero or a neutral unit of the same level, they gain half a level, and in the case of higher levels – they are promoted by the difference between their levels.
For example – Alamar on experience level II defeated Sandro on experience level IV, thanks to which he was promoted by two full levels. On the other hand, when the Hero attacks neutral units with a level lower by at least 1, the battle does not take place – the enemy units flee in panic, and the Hero does not gain experience (yes, this is another element that guarantees smooth gameplay).
There is one last castle, your final chance, so take it…
But that’s not all; combat in Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game is not just a cut and dry calculation. The deck of Might and Magic has a number of possibilities that allow you to mold the battlefield – spells or artifacts can be a real game-changer. The same can be said for unit abilities. In addition, the original damage range has been converted to the Attack Die – before players calculate the unit’s attack and damage dealt, the die modifier (ranging from -1 to +1) is also taken into account. Another addition that many players can expect to see is the besieging of towns. In this case, combat is played according to the standard rules, but the defender has access to walls, gate, and turret on the middle of the combat board.
When we started working on Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Board Game, we were aware that apart from exploring the map, combat would be key to the success of this project. I will not hide that we tested various concepts, finally choosing the one that seemed to be the best (also looking at the smoothness of the game). I hope you will like it.