Completing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 – Barbarian Breakout

This took too long. Way too long. But it’s finally here; Barbarian Breakout.

Map Details:
-Map: Barbarian Breakout
-Size: Small
-Two Layer Map
-Objective: Destroy all enemies
-Loss Condition: Lose all towns and heroes
-Difficulty: Normal
-Number of Players: Four (Red, Blue, Tan, Green)

Player Details:
-Red (Me): Castle Town, Sorsha starting hero (Swordsmen Specialty), gold starting bonus
-Blue (CPU): Stronghold town, Gurnisson starting hero (Ballista Specialty), gold starting bonus
-Tan (CPU): Rampart town, Malcom starting hero (Eagle Eye Specialty), resource starting bonus
-Green (CPU): Stronghold town, Yog starting hero (Ballistics Specialty), gold starting bonus

Team Alignment
-Team 1: Red
-Team 2: Blue, Green
-Team 3: Tan

I lost this map so many times that I had to knock down the difficulty to normal. Sad part is that didn’t even help, since starting money and resources (the things difficulty changes) were not my problem; my problem was that the map is so random that one time I didn’t see hide or tail of any other player for a 3 weeks, and the next time I played I got defeated on day 3 when Blue blitzed my spawn. This was a problem because Blue and Green both spawn with a week’s worth of creatures in this scenario, while Red and Tan do not. So, on top of the randomness of the AI’s behaviour, you also have to settle into a very defensive playstyle and make sure you can always return to your town within 1-2 turns in case of a surprise crusade from the enemy.

But there were still things I could do to make it easier. For example, I played as Castle because two castle dwellings spawn next to me, and it made little sense to play as any other town once I figured that out. I chose Sorsha because one of those dwellings produces swordsmen, which is her specialty. Tan would also routinely die within the first week, leading to the allied barbarians to focus on me alone. So I checked out his spawn and noticed he had a lot of Rampart dwellings in it. From then on, rather than have Tan spawn as a random town, I made his spawn as Rampart so he could use the dwellings to his advantage. This offset his death by about another week in most games and gave me more breathing room during the early game.

My winning game consisted of me getting besieged by Green pretty early and cheesing the battle using my Castle’s arrow towers to get a victory. I was then able to explore the area south of me relatively worry-free of invasion and flag a gold mine so I could produce a bunch of units and get upgrades in my town. I won a few more fights against Green in the snow in an on-going war for the gold mine, and drained him of enough units that I was able to capture his town and eliminate him. A single turn after, I had to evacuate his town as Blue rolled in with a huge fighting force (fresh from eliminating Tan) of behemoths and thunderbirds – Stronghold’s most beefy and scary creatures. I sent Sorsha home, got her restocked with a large stack of swordsmen and archers, with a few lighter units to act as distractions and buffers, before heading back to fight Blue. I once again took Green’s former storm area and faced Blue’s large army guarding a portal. Thanks to my artefacts, I was able to cast a crap-ton of spells that made what should have been Blue’s landslide victory a decisive loss for him. After that it as simply a matter of capturing his town and Tan’s former spawn.

Despite an extremely tedious start, the map did become easier once I defeated Blue and Green’s large starting armies and I was able to play more traditionally.

Find my score below and refer to the top image for Sorsha’s final stats.

-Red (Cameron): Castle town, Orrin starting hero (Archery Specialty), gold starting bonus
-Blue (CPU): Stronghold town, Gurnisson starting hero (Ballista Specialty), gold starting bonus
-Tan (Me): Rampart town, Mephala starting hero (Armorer Specialty), gold starting bonus
-Green (CPU): Stronghold town, Yog starting hero (Ballistics Specialty), gold starting bonus

Team Alignments:
-Team 1: Red and Tan
-Team 2: Blue and Green

I played this with Cameron from Cameron’s Considerations. It eluded us for a while even when, in this version of the map, me and he were on the same team working together against the Stronghold duo. I called him in after my CPU ally would die repeatedly in week 1…

Thereafter I got to watch him die repeatedly in week 1, and then myself die in week 1, before deciding to lower the difficulty from hard to normal again.

We won the first game we played on normal – the extra cash and resources really went a long way. That said, it wasn’t easy. Cameron still nearly died in week one but, through the power of spamming swordsmen from his barracks, survived his encounter with the enemy with three men to his name. Using those three men, he was able to capture Blue’s only town because Blue never bothered to buy any units or economy buildings for some reason.

Then Green came to take his unguarded Castle, but took so long bumbling around that Cameron was able to buy a full garrison before he arrived and (surprisingly easily) pushed him off.

During this time I had been camping outside of the three dwarf cottages in my spawn and had amassed an 81 unit stack of the little fellas who, after upgrading to Battle dwarves, I marched on into Green’s area. I walked right into his unguarded Stronghold, prompting Green to get the “you will lose in 7 days” message. Green attempted to take it back with the relatively powerful army he had remaining, but the dwarves, coupled with the towers on the castle, held him back. Green died and the game was (FINALLY) won.

Below is the final score, as well as Cameron and I’s final stats for our starting heroes:

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