When playing Heroes of Might and Magic III, you should bee aware that every town is unique, offering its own advantages and disadvantages. And in this game, it is more important to be aware of that fact than in many other strategies. So, I’ll share a few basic tips for playing with Rampart intended for HoMM neophytes.
At first glance, Rampart should be ranked somewhere in the middle, among the 9 towns (or 10 now, including Cove, if you play Horn of the Abyss). Its units have obviously lower stats than, say, Castle’s, Dungeon’s, or Conflux’s, but stronger than Fortress’ or Stronghold’s. But there so much more to this game, than sheer unit statistics. It’s how you use those units that will determine the outcome of the game.
When playing with Rampart, be aware that elves are the only ranged unit, and grand elves shoot twice. Which means they are precious. In other words your opponents will want to get rid of them quickly. Which means you might end up without ranged units quickly. To preserve them and their practical use in battle, keep them in a corner. At the same time, put dendroids or dwarves in front of them, and centaurs or pegasuses just to their side. This way no unit can come at them directly or flank them, and thus block them.
If they must die, you can try and replace them with other ranged units you find on the map. But let’s suppose you don’t find many. Something similar will probably happen to your (silver) pegasi. They die easily, and the computer on all levels likes to kill them off early in the battle. I would advise you not to make big plans for elves and pegasi in the long run. You will seldom have a large amount of either.
Now, the completely opposite is true of Dwarves and Dendroids who have very low battle speed. They are usually the last units that your enemies will hit, making them most likely to survive battles. So, you might end up with hundreds of battle dwarves and dozens of dendroid soldiers within 2 to 3 months. Embrace this scenario. Prepare to use them in large numbers. They will get stronger with your hero, and you can carry them around and use them with other units. Alternatively, then can be precious when defending your town.
Unicorns are a very solid 6 level unit, having a 20% probability of blinding the unit it strikes. They also cast an aura of magic resistance to nearby friendly units. Now the dragons. They are somewhat weaker than the ones in Dungeon, but this is not to say they are not great to have. The difference between green dragons and gold dragons is huge. So, it would be a shame to waste your gold dragons because they were easily killed while lacking resources to upgrade your Dragon Cliffs. Get my point? Don’t buy green dragons and carry them around and use them if you don’t really feel you have to. Wait to upgrade them instead. Then with a few of gold dragons, you will have a much stronger army.
Beginners might decide on developing defense instead of attack with Rampart. Some units get their turn in battles later than units of most other towns. This means the enemy will likely strike first, and consequently it is crucial not to lose too many units before you can strike back. When you encounter an arena or a school of war on the map, select defense. Oh, yeah, and Marletto towers are a must to visit. A general rule that a hero with a very high defense is very hard to kill is made stronger with dwarves, dendroids, unicrons, and dragons. Remember the dwarves and dendroids? If your hero has a strong defense, and you cast Haste on them they will be very useful in battles.
Many of Rampart’s heroes are able to develop logistics, and sometimes pathfinding early in the game. This will enable you to cover more ground faster than your opponents. You may find them before they find you. Kyrre even specializes in logistics. Unless it’s a hero you just want to keep for defending of your town, don’t avoid logistics and pathfinding. It’s only 2 out 8 skills your hero can have, but the movement advantage is a huge.
Rampart’s heroes also tend to learn Earth Magic. I am positive that expert Earth Magic is the most useful out of the 4 magic schools, giving you a tremendous advantage over enemy heroes. Just casting a simple 1 level spell, like slow, on all enemy units, or stone skin and shield on all of yours will have a dramatic impact on the battle.
By the way, the combination of a high defense, decent spell power and expert Earth Magic is powerful. Just casting stone skin and shield and your units will make them very hard to kill indeed. I like to play Rampart with Clancy as my first hero. In every single game I’ve played with him, he’s had Earth Magic, and he’s had other useful skills, such as logistics, wisdom etc. If you pick him, chances are that by the 15 level you will have expert Earth Magic. But you can also develop it with many other Rampart heroes.
So, what’s my point here? An army consisting of a lot of battle dwarves, dendroid soldiers, war unicorns, and some Gold Dragons, and maybe some arrow fodder units is strong. When led by a hero who has an Expert Earth Magic, enough spell points to last through the battle, and a high defense level, is very hard to defeat. Your enemy would have to be very strong to get you.
Finally, Rampart is not a very expensive town, giving you the opportunity to develop it well and rather fast. And playing with Rampart has a financial advantage – the Treasury. It is a building that provides an additional 10% on all the gold you have at the end of a week. If you happen to have two Rampart towns, and you can build two Treasuries and have an additional 20% and etc.
This alone can make an enormous difference on the course of the game. You will be able to afford all the units you want to purchase. So, when you are playing with Rampart, around week 3 or 4 at the latest, invest into a Treasury. Then whenever it is not urgent to buy units (due to a threat of attack), don’t.
Simply wait for the first day of the week to collect your interest before you spend your precious money to acquire new units. If your enemies allow you, and your heroes do not necessarily need more units to move and discover the map further, procrastinate for 2, 3, or even 4 weeks. When you are a beginner and playing with Rampart, this will ease things financially. You will not be in a situation to struggle for gold, and in a situation where you can’t buy all the units you want later in the game.
Playing with Rampart – Conclusion
I hope my way of playing with Rampart will give you as much pleasure it gives me. It is, after all, one of the nicest towns to play with, once you get used to it.
And, of course, we still have quite a few tips on playing with Rampart in store for more experienced players, as well.