Heroes Chronicles: Making Mistakes

hc2-mistakeSomewhat embarassingly, I haven’t made it past level one of Conquest of the Underworld yet. I could blame this on my stubborn insistence on playing it on the Hard difficulty setting — there are five difficulty levels, which to me means that difficulty level 3 is Medium, darn it, regardless of what the game calls it. But really it’s more about making mistakes.

Heroes of Might and Magic is one of those two-tiered games: specific battles take place in a tactical combat mode, which is mainly about deciding who should attack what, and the battles are embedded in a larger strategy mode, which is mainly about deciding what to build when. The limited resources you need to supply your army are often guarded by monsters, and the enemy warlords are competing with you to reach them first. So there are two fundamental mistakes you can make: going for the treasures before you’re ready and getting killed, and waiting too long and falling behind the competition. I’m generally more prone to the latter mistake — part of being a completist is wanting to have all the buildings built and all the creature types available — but today, I’ve been making both.

And it isn’t just fundamental mistakes, either. It’s stupid litle things. Like going after heavily-guarded things that I don’t really need, and not saving often enough. I’ve never really decided what level of saving is appropriate for a strategy game. Doing it every turn seems kind of cheap, like you’re trying to bring it all down to tactical decisions instead of strategic ones in order to avoid the consequences of not really knowing what you’re doing.

But hey, maybe I really don’t know what I’m doing. In which case I should really dial it down to Normal difficulty. That’s how I passed the first few levels of Warriors of the Wasteland, when I really really didn’t know what I was doing, due to complete inexperience with the game.

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