DidJaNo? ? that, while the Bonus attributes (Morale, Siege, Chaos, etc.) are all best Hero/unit + best spell + best item, movement is cumulative. Thus, if you have a Wizard with Heroism, along with a Shaman with Jihad, and with a Thief with Speed, all of these spells and abilities add to your stack's movement. The same applies with items. Makes for some very fast stacks!
DidJaNo? ? you can find invisible stacks, given enough time and effort. You select an army to move, giving you a ?boot' cursor. When the boot cursor comes across an area it cannot legally move over, it becomes a ?hand' cursor. Thus, move this boot cursor around the area where you suspect there is an invisible army, when it turn into a hand... BINGO! There hides the offending stack! You can use this method for detecting armies in ?fogged' areas, also. This is commonly known as the Invisibility Bug.
DidJaNo? ? that you can tell if there is a Hero (invisible, inside a castle, wherever you cannot see him) if you check the "Hero Levels" screen, and click "All Heroes"... check BEFORE you move (important) and then move (next to castle, where you think a Hero is, whatever) and check again. You will find out WITHOUT WASTING AN ARMY if there is a Hero sitting in wait for you.
Example: You have a stack going to hit your opponents castle, check for his Heroes in "Hero levels - All Heroes" first... none... run up to castle...check again... there is an opponent hero now... turn and run away!
DidJaNo? ? that if you leave an item lying around for another hero to pick up later, your opponent can see it lying there (even through the fog!)? Well, then maybe you should hide it UNDER A TREE! Do NOT leave items in castles. They are a beacon saying, "Take ME!!". Instead, drop them in a forest. They are hard to see even when you know they are there!
DidJaNo? ? that you can assign a "Hot-Key" to any stack enabling you to press a number key and instantly drop whatever you were in the midst of and rush to that stack? So, lets say, you have mega-hero stack, and you want to make it '1'. First thing you do is select the Hero stack? Second, hold the SHIFT key, then ?1'. Now deselect the stack and select any other stack. Now press ?1' (no shift). VOILA! Your mega Hero stack is now ready for you. This is great for On-line play where you are trying to manage many stacks (Hero stacks, expansion stacks, attack stacks?). Just give each one a number (1-9). This is also great for selecting a stack at the very start of a turn for a big battle.
DidJaNo? ? that up to 2 movement points are carried over from previous turn if unused. May not SEEM like a lot, but it COULD make the difference, if you have the leisure of idling a stack for a turn.
DidJaNo? ? that if an acid attack is successful, any lightning attacks DO NOT OCCUR. Lightning is short circuited (hehe) by acid. This only affects the 2 armies in combat. So if a Blue and Black Dragon meet, and the Black hits the Blue with acid, the Blue does not get his Lightning shot. But if he lives and kills that Black, when he faces the next unit, he will get his lightning shot. So it's only cancelled temporarily. This is commonly known as the Lightning Bug. This is one reason most players use Black Dragons, and not Blue Dragons.
DidJaNo? ? that 99.9999% of your opponents push their power up to the front of battle, leaving their backsides vulnerable (well, at least until they can teleport in with reinforcements, and of course, not accounting for the trap cities). So why are you slamming all of your power into his front? Shouldn't you be sneaking around behind and opening up his soft tender underbelly?
DidJaNo? ? that you can find out some info about the enemy hero in that Hero Report menu? Just put the cursor over the enemy Hero's picture in the Hero Reports menu and right click. You can also see his strength and movement (base movement & strength, not movement & strength from spells/items). You can see if he has taken movement/strength ability points. You can also see his Leadership bonus, (only his natural bonus, not bonuses from spells/items). Most importantly, you can see if he is invisible or blessed, as those symbols will appear around the Hero. It's nice to know if the enemy Hero has an invisible item/spell/power as it lets you know you need to start doing cursor checks.
DidJaNo? ? that units inside cities only cost 1/3 of their upkeep. This is important at the start when placing your 3K worth of units cause if you place too many outside the castle you will go broke and have desertions.
DidJaAlsoNo? ? that Summoned/Raised units don't receive the 1/3 upkeep bonus, even when in cities? So there is no reason to worry about keeping them there except for defense.
DidJaNo? ? that units that are vectoring require no upkeep while in transit? This is nothing major but if your upkeep is nearing your income you might consider vectoring a few units around just to save some $$$, especially expensive Summoned units.
DidJaNo? ? that if you are vectoring a Hero (a real no-no, normally), and he has a valuable item you want/need, you can just go to the Hero menu and select the 'Hero Report' menu. You can scroll thru his/her items. If you drop that item, it will appear INSTANTLY in the city he/she is vectoring to. This is great to quickly transfer the MOV or HOS across the map from one Hero to another rather than waste a teleport.
DidJaNo? ? that if you have flyers over water you can reduce their movement rate from 2 per square to 1? Just move a land unit into the water (or one can be in the water already), and stack it with the flyers (they can't move into the water together). The whole stack will move with the boat rate of 1 per square. You can separate out the flying stack at any point and they can start moving back over land. Real nice for moving flying Hero stacks.
DidJaNo? ? that, when an invisible stack attacks, it turn visible after the attack (just for that turn). This makes invisible items more valuable than invisible spells/powers, since you can drop/pickup the item again to get the invisibility back. You can also make more than 1 stack invisible for 1 turn. Just put the hero with the stack and drop/pickup the invisible item. The stack will stay invisible for the rest of the turn unless you attack or are attacked. The hero can then go back to his stack and turn it back invisible. Handy for hiding some non-hero stacks for 1 turn, when they get close to the enemy lines.
DidJaNo? ? that not all Medium Quests are equally hard to complete. This is something I can't stress enough. Some people wonder why some players complete way more quests then they do. Here's how they do it. Some medium quests are designed by nature to require you to travel longer to complete them. Therefore, you will spend more time doing this which is not what you want. The easiest 3 medium quests are 'Capture A City', 'Raze A City', and 'Find Relic'. These are all guaranteed to be very close (within a turn or two of travel) to your hero's location. The worst 2 medium quests are 'Search A Ruin' and 'Raze A Site' as these are always MUCH further away than the 3 above. ?Pillage' depends on the map and should NOT be taken unless you have a map full of $$$. ?Kill Heathen' and ?Kill Some Enemy' should only be taken later in the game, when you are further along your development.
DidJaNo? ? that the ?kill enemy' quests (both Medium and Hard) reveal the location of all enemy troops, including invisible stacks/heroes? This 'radar' screen is an awesome way to detect all enemy troop movement. Further, you can guarantee you will get this quest by teleporting way into your back lines where there are no unsearched ruins and neutral cities. Take a medium quest (you MUST be at war, though) and you will get the choice of ?Pillage gold' and ?Kill Some Enemy'. Viola, instant radar.
DidJaNo? ? that if you summon units in a city with a bless site attached, they come with +1 strength, but are NOT blessed. You can then go bless them and in effect get +2 strength. This is very handy for the Summoner as you can get 3/3 Imps, 4/2 Hounds, 7/3 Ice Demons and 9/3 Fire Demons. This does not work for ?Renown', though.
DidJaNo? ? that medals are awarded at the end of a battle based on a complex formula that includes the number of men on each side? So if your hero stack meets a lone scout (Peasant, Goblin, etc), don't attack with your whole 8-stack, which would reduce your chances dramatically. Instead just use the hero (so he gets 1 xp) and 1 regular unit (not allies/mercs, as they get no medals) and kill him. This raises the chances of getting a medal dramatically, especially for units like an Elephant, with his 40% medal chance. Kill 1 or 2 scouts and you might have a double medalled Elephant, which can swing a battle.
DidJaNo? ? that you can get a rough idea of how many men are in a city? Just move a unit up next to the enemy city and look in the 4 corners of the city on the walls. You will see some little men standing on the ramparts (some cities, like the ones with the Skull on them, do not have walls, so there is no way to see those men on the ramparts). If there is a little man in the corner of the city it means there is at least 1 defender in that square of the city. So if you see that there are men in all 4 corners, it's VERY likely the city is loaded with defenders (can you say hero trap?). If you only see a man in 1 corner then there are 8 or fewer defenders in the city. This is handy to get an idea where hero traps are. Of course smart players will station at least 1 man in all 4 corners to defeat this trick but a LOT of warlords are careless/lazy and just turn on the auto-defend/auto-clean option in their cities.
On a related topic, with 'Kill Enemy' quests you can see the number of stacks in enemy cities by looking at the number of blips in the cities, 1 blip per stack. So putting 1 man in each corner works as a bluff to make the enemy think the city is loaded so he might not attack thinking it's a hero trap.
DidJaNo? ? that you can rebuild sites without moving men there to rebuild it? Unlike cities, you can just right click on the site and rebuilt it anytime. This saves moving a man there to do the rebuild. You should think about rebuilding sites 1 turn before the unit is made in the city. If you are making Elephants at 8/3, and the ?+1 Hits' site is razed, rebuild it when you are down to 1 turn left, and just at the end of the turn. Then, next turn you get an 8/4 elephant. You only see the benefits from the site on the turn the unit is built, not the turn it starts production so there is no need to rebuild the site till the last moment.
With ?-1 Production' sites, the benefit is seen at the beginning of production. If you have an Elephant in one of these cities, it will be built at 3 turns, instead of 4 turns, even if your opponent raises the site. After the Elephant is produced, the next one will take 4 turns, unless you rebuild the site.
DidJaNo? ? there is a way to determine how many attacking units you killed when you don't survive the attack? This can be really useful, especially if you want to determine how many men in a hero stack you might have killed. Every turn you should check the reports menu, and select the 'kills' report. Note how many enemy units you have killed (Regulars and Allies). Then, when you are attacked, go and check again. Any men you killed will show up in the kills list. This will let you know how many men you killed from his stack. Keeping on top of those numbers (even if you have to write them down) can be critical in knowing if you should teleport in and blindly attack his city that he just took from you, or how many men you killed in a power stack/rush stack. In the same thread, when you check the flashing skull it shows the fight order he used for the battle. From that you can decide how to change yours if you expect another attack that turn. Smart Warlords change their fight order often, so be prepared and take advantage of this way to check his fight order.
DidJaNo? ? that the number of Summoned armies for the Summoner and Necromancer is dependent on the date on your machine? This affects ALL summoning spells including Demonic Horde and Lifesbane. On certain dates, you will receive fewer units than on others. It kind of wanes and waxes with like the phases of the moon :). The ideal date I found was Feb 19 1999 (some day around that might also work but I did not check them all). This will maximize the number of summoned units of all types. This is especially important in Email games where you can guarantee you will get the max number of units for your mana. This is commonly known as the Summoning Bug or the Date Bug.
DidJaNo? ? that you can view your opponent's armies and Heroes during a game. Just click the ?Lists Menu' button (the one with a book), and then select ?Army Lists' or ?Hero Lists'. You will see all the sides' shields. Click on your opponent's shield to see what Armies and Heroes they are using.
DidJaNo? ? that in a 1-Army start, you will get either Slot 7 or 8 army to start. BUT, there is a 70% chance that it will be Slot 7 and only 30% for Slot 8.
DidJaNo? ? that if a summoned army is in your army set, it will appear in the proper fighting order. Otherwise, it will be in the front of your stack.
DidJaNo? ? that if you have Mercs in you set, but don't select Mercs ON, they don't appear in the Army List during the game. This is a good way too surprise you opponent with different armies. This is also good for putting Summoned armies in you fight order. The bad side of this is the only way to get these armies is through a Quest reward.
DidJaNo? ? that when you are on your initial 3000 point setup screen, you do NOT have to place armies INSIDE of your castle, you can place them outside well? You did???... OK, then DidJaNo? that you can ALSO scroll around the area (the whole map, actually) using the arrow keys on your keyboard and place armies as far away as the initial screen allows (you will notice that there is an un-fogged area that differs for each start... Not sure why it extends so far sometimes and barely at all others, but it seems random... it is in the unfogged area that you can place armies). This gives you a MAJOR starting advantage!!! I use Liches, Siege Engines, etc., and with a movement of 16, over terrain, usually hold them to about 8 steps per turn... Pushing them away from castle is like a slingshot start, and the start can often decide the entire game.
DidJaNo? ? that any armies vectored to a city that is razed will arrive if it is rebuilt IN TIME! Here is the trick. You penetrate his area, take a city, and QUICKLY vector everything that you spare in the city? RAZE THE CITY? send 1 (fast sneaky) army off to a nearby corner where he has no scouts and then send rest of stack off to (more than likely) be killed? Turn ends? Next turn, JUST BEFORE THE TURN ENDS (and I mean JUST before) you take the hidden army back, rebuild, and watch timer expire. Next turn arrives, you have everything AND the kitchen sink smiling out from the garrisons! Looks like magic/cheating, now you know how it is done!
DidJaNo? ? that you can get through guarded ports with a mega stack? You have to be quick, using 2 stacks (sort of slight of hand). You hit the port with EC+7 Peasant stack, or any other small NHS. Time is of the essence now, as his skull is flashing and he will be there looking shortly. Have the super-stack RIGHT THERE, WAITING TO GO. As soon as you hit the guard, DESELECT. Select the super stack, run through and HIDE OUT OF SIGHT, then deselect super stack. Reselect the EC+7; run amok until dead. He will (or should) re-guard the port, while you will have a super stack inside. Stay hidden until the right is time, best when used after he teleports away all of his mana for that turn, then attacks his vulnerable underbelly, teleport in YOUR stuff, collect win, smile...
DidJaNo? ? that if you select the quest screen and you don't like any of the 3 choices you can wait for time to run out in the turn. You won't get a quest and next turn you can try again. For this reason you should make sure to do any movement you need to do BEFORE selecting a new quest so that you can afford to wait out the remainder of the turn. This can be very helpful if you can't afford to have a 3 turn penalty for setting aside a quest. Obviously this does not work in Email play or games with no time limit.
DidJaNo? ? that the host can cheat in 2 ways during the game setup? First, the host controls whether or not the combat advisor is on/off and the non-host has no idea about it. So make sure to specify ?Advisor Off' and remember to check on turn 1 with the ?shift' key before a battle, to make sure it's off. Otherwise, it's a great cheat to avoid hero traps. The 2nd way to cheat is to wait for the non-host to click on 'Ready To Play' and then go and change the starting army points for himself. In this case player 1 is locked at the value when he hit 'Ready To Play' while the host gets the new value. This is not important when it's 3K starts, but can be used in non-3K starts to give the host extra points. A few extra Goblins or Peasants won't be noticed but can make a HUGE difference early.
DidJaNo? ? that sometimes when the enemy steals your quest (searches that ruin you were quested on, razes that site/city, ect?), you can get the game to quit the quest that turn, without having to wait till the next turn. All you need to do it attack anything, whether it's an enemy unit/city or a neutral city. This somehow forces the game to check if a quest is completed, and it notes that your quest is impossible, hence you can get a new one the same turn. If it happens to be a site that was razed, you can actually rebuild it, then go raze it and complete the quest.
DidJaNo? ? that in 800x600 and better resolutions (not available in 640x480), there is an Events Report in the lower right corner of the screen. If you click on the event, it jumps the main strategic map to the place that the event took place. This lets you track the location of enemy heroes and where they complete their quests. Learning how to use this events report is crucial to locating enemy heroes in the game, especially early on. This can be handy late in the game, too, if someone is trying to raze your sites for cheap quests.
DidJaNo? ? that there is a bug in online play for the number of Summoned units for the Summoner spells of Greater Demon, Lesser Demon, Summon Hound, and Summon Imp. The host will receive 3 units (Demons, Hounds or Imps) per summoning while the non-host will receive only 1. For this reason it's important to switch hosts regularly, if you (or, especially, your opponent) plan to use any of these spells.