Heroes of Might and Magic IV
Strategy Guide v.1.0
Tan Chia Han
May 04 2002
Table of Contents
II. Planning your Campaign/Scenario
III. Starting your Campaing/Scenario
IV. Useful Spells
V. Other Tips
VI. Contact Info
VII. Special Thanks
I feel that the guides have been lacking in the element of strategy, so
I decided to write one. Hopefully, with contributions from other readers,
the strategy guide will be filled with more interesting ways to play
Heroes IV, and help people improve their gameplay. This guide is mainly
designed to help players bring their game to a higher level.
II. Planning your Campaign/Scenario
Planning your campaign or scenario is a very crucial aspect of the game.
It is always a nightmare to discover that you've learnt the wrong skill,
that you do not want your super-hero to have the stealth skill and waste
five levels upgrading it. The key thing to note in planning is that in
almost every campaign and scenario, the highest levels your heroes go up
to are usually about level 30, or maybe 35, but seldom beyond that. In
those levels, you wish to make the most efficient use of skill selection
to ensure that in these 30 levels, you are able to have grandmaster in
the skills that you want. On a quick calculation, if you are expecting
your hero to be level 30 at the end of the campaign, without any special
boosts, you are looking at only 6 grandmaster skills. Alternatively, you
could have 10 expert skills. The way I see it, 6 grandmaster skills
are definitely much better than 10 expert skills.
The next step is, which skills are THE skills? I have read quite a few
guides on the web, and they often recommend about 5 primary skills for
your hero, which would probably mean you could at most reach grandmaster
in 1 skill or 2. What we should be looking at is only at most, 2 primary
skills, and preferably 4 secondary skills, giving you a total of 6
skills. Why? This is because for single scenarios, you are seldom able
to upgrade your skills on the map or in other towns. The only exceptions
to this rule is for the Order and Life campaigns, where every town you
go to can have a university or seminary builts, which gives you multiple
bonuses to your skills. I will touch on that later.
The reason why I suggest only 2 secondary skills for each primary skill,
instead of 3, is because the last secondary skill is usually not necessary
to upgrade the primary skill to grandmaster, and more importantly, is
seldom vital. If you learn grandmaster archery, there is seldom reason to
learn grandmaster melee and vice versa. Keep those 5 levels on something
precious. Grandmaster summoning for Nature magic is very useless if you are
not playing Nature alignment, because they will introduce many low level
nature creatures into your army which are not useful. In summary, choose
the skills you wish to learn wisely, and remember that each skill you start
learning will require 4 more levels to reach grandmaster.
In general, to get a really effective army, I usually have 2 heroes in the
same army. 2 or 3 heroes are better than one. Although you gain 1/2 or 1/3
experience if you have 2 or 3 heroes, having more heroes will help you more
tremendously than you can imagine. However, note that although you can
heroes from 3 alignments, do not ever choose 2 from opposing alignments. For
example, if you are playing Life, you can have nature and order heroes, but
are of opposing alignments and will have a -5 morale effect on each other if
are put in the same army. Choose either life and order, or life and nature.
Why 2 heroes? One hero can learn tactics, which help your creatures
Tactics is basically a mass stoneskin, mass haste, bloodfrenzy cast on your
creatures, IMHO, one of the best skills. Best of all, for Chaos, it does
an effect on black dragons! If you are playing death, do not bother to learn
leadership, don't think undead can be affected by morale, which wastes half
the beneficial effects. This leaves the next skill to be scouting. Scouting
very important, only because it allows you to learn pathfinding. In some
where there are swamps, snow and desert, pathfinding allows you to speed
these areas, and at grandmaster level, gives you a 50% boost to movement.
that dimension door has been removed, this is the next best thing to it.
that it is not necessary to learn stealth or seamanship to learn grandmaster
pathfinding. This leaves one skill slot, which I would probably recommend
and maybe Melee/Archery.
The other hero would usually be my archmage type, who would learn about 2
types at least, and maybe combat for protection, but not melee or archery.
always tempting to want to create ONE SUPER hero, but this is seldom the
unless you are Lysander. Other than that, if you were to be a mage type, you
to deal damage with spells, so why waste skills on being a melee or ranged
It is better to learn Implosion, or Disintegrate, Inferno, Hands of Death
deal the damage. So, that would probably take about 6 skill slots, if you
to learn magic resistance as well (which is important against large groups
elementals, mages or genies).
These are general strategy tips, and are in no way the golden rule to
developing your characters. In the Life campaign, you would most likely
wish to make full use of the seminaries to learn basic levels in the
secondary skills and if I'm not wrong, advanced levels in the primary
skills offered (except Nature summoning, and charm). For charm, I find
that if you are able to outnumber a group of creatures, you don't need them.
Waste of skill points. The seminaries should give you about 15 levels worth
skills. Try to do all these early so that you can benefit most from the
skills, instead of learning them through leveling up.
Nobility is often recommended, but I seldom believe in having your main hero
nobility. This is because it does not benefit your army or you in combat,
hence a waste of skill points for a hero in the main line. The trick to
Nobility is to have one Order hero, with only nobility, pick up chests and
gain experience. At the early stages, training is easy, and cheap, and with
chests, you can easily reach level 10. With 2 levels of skills at the
you can easily have expert nobility, estates and mining, which should be
for most maps. Alternatively, add him in the main army, and let him learn
as well, with grandmaster archery, so that he can earn lots and lots of gold
reaching grandmaster estates and mining, and still be useful as a "unit"
than as a hero. One other important point to note is that estate is only
your hero is not in town! Check your kingdom overview by putting a hero with
estates in town, and out of town to see what i mean. If you are going to
tonnes of heroes with estates to generate gold, do not leave them in town,
instead group them together and put them in a quiet corner of the map to
Doesn't having too many heroes weaken your army? No way! However, having 7
is silly. You'll take forever to level all of them up, and they just cannot
20 black dragons. The thing is, in an army, you can take up to 7 army slots
If you have 3 heroes, there are still 4 army slots left. Enough space for a
level unit, a 3rd level unit, a 2nd level and a 1st. The reason why I only
one 4th level unit, when there are always 2 available is because you do not
to build 2 types of 4th level units, 2 types of 3rd level units, and miss
the tonnes of 2nd level units that are being produced each day. By
on just one type, you can have the best of numbers. With grandmaster
your units effectively upgrade by one level.
Another thing about having 2 heroes is the artifacts that are available on
map. One important thing to note, 2 warlord's ring on one hero is
not on 2 heroes. So, if you have 2 warlord's ring on one hero, and 2 rings
protection on another hero, you have +40% to attack and defence for each
unit! There are almost always too many artifacts on one map for one hero to
So, it is always best to have 2 heroes, or maybe even 3 to give the best
the artifacts you collect have to offer.
III. Starting the Campaign/Scenario
Now that you've given serious thoughts as to how you wish your heroes to
develop, the next step is to actually start. The starting is always the
most difficult, especially at high difficulty levels where the monsters
come in companys (hundreds), and your hero is level 1. This is where you
will need to depend on skilful maneovering. There are a few tactics that
you can employ, but these are only useful for the advanced levels, not for
the champion level.
First of all, conservation of troops. Although 1st level troops are often
thought of as sacrificeable and disposable, this is not true for more
advanced level games where you will have to wait for a week to regenerate
your army before you can fight the hundreds of troglodytes guarding the
woodmill. Time is of prime importance in such games, and by winning battles
with minimum losses, you save time.
For starters, the best tactic is often to let your heroes absorb the
retaliation damage and then letting your troops move in for the attack.
Retaliation in combat works slightly differently now. If a monster has
retaliated, it does not regain its retaliation until it has had its turn,
which means that sometimes, the same unit can get to attack the monster
before it retaliates. This can be done by using wait effectively. If your
hero has a higher speed than your creatures, then you should not let your
hero wait, because of the reverse order for waiting. Basically, once it is
your hero's turn, he/she should attack the enemy if they are within melee
range, and then your troops (which should have been positioned nearby) will
follow up on the same unit to take it out without incurring any retaliation.
Your hero should attack from the middle, towards the outermost enemy unit,
the troops should attack from the outside, so that your hero effectively
them from damage. 100 hp should be able to soak up quite a bit of damage
This tactic only works on middle sized groups of creatures, because larger
will kill your hero outright. In the pirates campaign, this was the tactic
that I used in an advanced level setting to beat the wandering monsters at
start, losing only at most 1 pirate or 2, by using the 2 heroes at the start
to absorb the damage.
Replaying battles in which you feel you could have minimised losses more
effectively is another useful trick in conserving your army. The first
you fight often gives you a feel of the enemy army's movement. Having known
the general tactics they adopt, you can then formulate a better way to
your troops to surround enemy units and not be surrounded.
The next tip is, always use potions of restorations! (The white one that
guardian angel on your hero, costs 1000 gold in town). They are the one of
most useful potions in the game. First of all, enemy units like to go for
heroes, and with a potion of restoration used before batle, if your hero
up damage and dies, he'll come back to life and still be able to earn the
experience for winning the combat. Furthermore, he can cast it in battle, so
if you have 10 of such potions, it will take the 2 enemy units to kill you
twice before you die more permanently.
Crossbows are minor artifacts that can often be purchased from the
very useful for starting out heroes, along with a sword, shield and armor.
It will probably cost quite a bit to outfit your heroes, so in a scenario
low resources, you may want to think twice about it.
After a while, I usually run around with only 4th level and 3rd level units,
which are generally much more durable and faster, giving you more movement
land as well. Each day less you travel gives the enemy one day less of gold
army to purchase against you. This could mean one less black dragon to
If you have learnt nature magic, make sure you use the useful adventuring
they give you, like town gate and terrain walk. This will save you loads of
travelling time when you are returning to town to learn spells or pick up
The caravan is another very useful tool for shipping armies, especially to a
town which you have just conquered, so that you can replenish and enlarge
main army. The other use of the caravan is to send away troops before an
approaching enemy hero can reach your town, so that he has no troops to
and cannot use your army against you. By shipping troops from town to town,
can sometimes accumulate a strong garrison, before launching a counter
IV. Useful Spells
I do not like to state the obvious ones, like direct damage and mass
beneficial spells. This section is meant to touch on using the minimum
of resources to win the battle.
Sometimes, direct damage or beneficial spells may be tempting in a battle
against powerful creatures, but there is one spell that I think is useful
over all others, which is the confusion spell. It does not depend on the
level of the unit it is casted on, and basically, can be used on a lot of
creatures. Although it must be added that quite a few 4th level units are
immune to confusion, either partially or totally. In the event that you
can use it, for example, against 100 sea monsters or behemoths, they are
unable to do anything while your ranged creatures attack them every round,
slowly killing them. Of course, you must have enough spell points to carry
it off, but most of the time, you should be able to cast quite a number of
times before you run out of spell points. Needless to say, cloud of
confusion is even better. Against a mix of creatures, the toughest unit
can be taken out, while the weaker ones are killed by the rest of your
army, before concentrating all the firepower on the last unit. This
splits the battle into 2 separate battles, which could be much easier to do.
Town Gate, can be used to half the distance that you will need to travel
from one town to another, or even more if the path is not a direct path.
All it takes is a bit of estimation and trial and error to get the point
to cast the town gate spell to reach the town of your choice.
V. Other Tips
Split angels into two groups. One to soak up damage, while the other
to attack without retaliation. Towards the end of the combat, the angels
that have not taken much damage can resurrect the ones that have, while
the resurrected group can resurrect another unit that may have suffered
Using Bone dragons or pikemen, against slower enemy units, wait, then
then move back, then wait, then strike, then move back. If you have
or slow, this tactic can be used very well, as these units do not allow
retaliation. Pikemen are quite slow, so they may have to be hasted to allow
for such tactics.
In sieges, it is sometimes very useful not to knock down the doors first.
This is especially the case if there are 4 groups of black dragons in the
siege, and who will hang around inside until you knock down the door, after
which they will rush out and decimate your heroes. Cast all the beneficial
spells you want before doing so. If you have flying creatures in your army,
wait at the wall together, before flying over to attack. This way, you gain
one attack. Instead of attacking the door, you have attacked a unit. It is
very useful to count what happens to understand the effectiveness of this
tactic. If you knock down the wall, 4 enemy units rush out and attack your
unit, and they attack you 4 times, while you retaliate once. If you fly
over the wall and attack one enemy unit, 4 enemy units attack you. Counting
retaliations, that's 2:5, a much better ratio than 1:4.
Quicksand can be used more effectively than slow when you are using ranged
units against fast moving high level melee enemy units. By spreading the
quicksand just in front of the enemy units, they have only about 1 movement
Money in some stages is very important, and not in others. It is very useful
to think about the value of money before deciding whether to donate it for
experience or keep it for money. If you have a grandmaster estates hero
lurking somewhere, by all means, use the money to build up another hero.
you recoup the money if you are using it to train a hero in estates.
VI. Contact Info
If you have anything you wish to add to the FAQ, you may email me
If you wish to use this faq for private use, please go ahead and
you do not need to inform me. If you wish to publish it, this is
not copyrighted, but I would like to be informed of such publications
of my work.
VII. Special Thanks
Gamefaqs for posting this FAQ.
3dO for making such a great game.