This is a guide for the game Heroes of Might and Magic IV 4. The latest version of the game is Heroes of Might and Magic V, which can be bought at my eBay store! (FLYPRIS)
Two skills are broken –
Stealth – Certainly the most unbalancing skill in the game. Basic Stealth is worthless, but levels 2 through 5 lets you ignore creature-stacks of one level lower (Stealth 2 = ignore level 1 creatures) and gain XP for doing so. If you do decide to fight, you still gain the bonus XP. As the speed at which you advance across the map is pivotal, this allows you to advance faster, and to capture resources you normally wouldn’t be able to touch, by simply walking pass their guards. The only downside is that you have to travel alone, which means you can’t use a flying army to raise your movement, but having Pathfinding as a pre-req for Stealth makes it easier.
Necromancy – Of the “free creature” skills, Necromancy takes the cake. Charm and Diplomancy gives you too varied creatures to be useful, Summoning is too slow, and Rez is silly, because you need your creatures to die first (the whole point of the game is not to have any of your troops die). Now take a look at vampires – they fly, so if you only travel with vampires you move faster across the overland map; they are fast, allowing you to use the wait-move trick in combat; and, best of all, with no-retaliate and v.touch, they simply don’t die. Nec gives you an army that actually grows more powerful the more combats it fights, instead of being whittled down.
• XP is divided amongst the heroes in an army. A hero-less army won’t gain XP, obviously, and having more than one hero in an army means that they share any XP gained (even those from Treasure Chests). It doesn’t matter if you kill your opponents solo or with 20 Black Dragons, the XP yield is the same.
• Lords are better than gold mines; they can’t be captured. Hire Lords whenever available, then pump them up with XP buildings (Learning Stone, Dream Teacher). Remember to have a Lord in each newly captured city, to gain the Creature Growth bonus from Nobility.
• Survival is the key. You should try to win every combat without any casualties.
• Impossible isn’t that impossible. If you play at the highest difficulty level, the size of the neutral armies (the guardian monsters) basically neuters all your opponents. If you choose your battles well (winning with minimal casualties), you will have conquered a quarter of the map before your opponent gets the gold mine outside his city. And you gain ridiculous amounts of XP per fight. Impossible is also the only way to max-out all your heroes’ levels in the campaigns.
• A hero’s movement on the adventure map is based on the movement of the fastest-moving creature in that army. An army’s movement is based on the movement of the slowest-moving creature in that army. If you want to move further faster, travel only with flyers.
• Your main character should fight and only fight; let someone else collect the goods. Remember that you can split off units, or have another hero trail behind your main to flag buildings after you dispatch the guards.
• If you Berserk a spell-caster, they won’t cast spells.
• The wait-move trick – if your speed is faster than an opposing creature’s, you can use the wait command, let them move, attack with no-retaliate or with arrows, then move away on the next turn. If your movement is high enough, you should be able to walk out of their reach. Spells like Slow, Haste and Fly are useful for this. It’s a slow way to kill, but it allows you to solo most creatures, however many the stack is, without them getting a single hit in.