Heroes Chronicles: Big Room

Well, I finally got the Town Portal spell. And just in time, too: map 6 is the kind of vast, sprawling thing where it’s really needed. It’s also highly open. Since this is the Underworld, most of the maps have been largely made of narrow tunnels, which makes it harder to find your way to where you want to go, but at the same time makes it easier to defend your turf. With tunnels, you pretty much don’t need to leave troops to defend your castles. On an open map like this one, enemy heroes can just slip through the gaps between mine and make a beeline for my castles. Which means I need a way to get defenders to my castles quickly, which is presumably why this is the level where the Town Portal spell appears.

It reminds me a little of the “big room” level in Nethack, which also puts you into an open space where it’s harder to defend. The similarities pretty much end there, though.

Town Portal helps, but I only have three significantly powerful heroes, and I’d really like them out in the front most of the time, exploring new territory and conquering new castles instead of playing defense. I’m kind of getting the hang of how this works. In the past, my chief priority was to buy as many creatures as I could as soon as they became available for purchase and get them to the main heroes as quickly as possible. That’s not such a concern now that Tarnum is Mr. Overkill. Instead, the thing that makes sense is to wait until an enemy approaches a castle and only then fill it with defenders. The troops available for hire build up over time, and this way I don’t wind up wasting my money on pikemen in a castle that never gets attacked.

Purchasing the defenders not only makes the castle’s defense stronger, it makes them unavailable for purchase in those cases where the enemy takes over the castle anyway. And that’s another change made by this level: Castles are plentiful. You don’t have to hold onto them like grim death; if an enemy takes one, you can probably take it back next turn. If you’re lucky, he’ll even spend some money on a new building. But it’s a nuisance when they actually manage to grow their army in the process.

And that’s about all the enemy is to me at this point: a nuisance. Maybe it’s time to turn the difficulty up another notch. It’ll have to wait, though, for reasons I’ll get into in my next post.

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