Hero’s Hour – Beginner’s Guide
- Play The Tutorial
- Choose A Small Map
- Which Faction Should You Pick?
- Prioritise Your Income
- Build A Tavern Turn One
- Don’t Dawdle
- Don’t Neglect Your Military
- Infirmaries Are Outstanding
- Build A Circle Of Magic
- Don’t Be Afraid To Use Magic
Many classic genres are experiencing a resurgence – a renaissance if you want to get fancy with your verbiage. Turn-based strategy games in the vein of Heroes Of Might And Magic, or Age Of Wonders are one such subgenre that is (finally) making a comeback. Hero’s Hour is one such game trying to evoke that classic sense of nostalgia.
It may not look it, but Hero’s Hour brings modern design to the venerable formula and manages to make a game that plays fast, has a surprising amount of depth, and warps the combat system to be something unique. It can be difficult to get your head around it all at first – especially without prior genre knowledge – and that’s where we step in.
Play The Tutorial
This might seem obvious to some, yet there will be players who skip this option. Especially players who are experienced in the genre. It doesn’t matter what camp you are in, just play the darn thing. The tutorial is fairly short, although it does end with you playing a vertical slice of an actual skirmish.
It very effectively covers every mechanic you will need to learn, it shows you the ins and outs of combat, and more importantly, it explains how the passage of time works. All in all, you need to spend a few minutes learning the absolute basics before you jump into the deep end without a float.
Choose A Small Map
There is no Campaign in Hero’s Hour. This game is all about player-made skirmishes against the AI. This might seem unusual nowadays, but back in the day, the Campaign was the side attraction to the Skirmish Mode. The thing is, it can be overwhelming. There are hodds of maps to choose from of various sizes, scales, and complexity, so it’s easy to get lost.
Once you have finished the tutorial, you should jump into a reasonably small map that doesn’t have too many AI opponents. Get to grips with how the game plays in a real match, and then bump it to some of the more outlandish maps once you have gained some degree of familiarity.
Which Faction Should You Pick?
One of the biggest draws to Hero’s Hour is the sheer number of factions on offer. There are 12 to pick from, and each faction has a bunch of heroes, each with their own starting armies, skill trees, and abilities. Like with everything else so far, this can get overwhelming – in a good way of course.
The best way to start is to simply pick a faction that looks or sounds cool. It really is that simple. Demons have all sorts of teleportation shenanigans whereas the undead can reanimate the dead. It’s all about experimentation. The key is to pick a faction and stick with them, however. Get to know the ins and outs of them before you start hopping around and diluting your pool of experience.
Prioritise Your Income
Now you are in a game, what do you do? Well, first things first, you want to prioritise your income. We don’t just mean your finances either, we are talking about resources too. If you are ever in doubt about what to do, look for a way to make the kingdom richer. Is there a lumber mill in the distance? Take it. Should I expand my daily gold generation? Yes.
There are expectations to this rule, especially in the first turn of the game. In general, however, if analysis paralysis kicks in, pick up something that generates resources. Depending on your faction, try and pick up buildings, resources, and sites that provide vital resources, like wood.
Build A Tavern Turn One
This might seem counterintuitive. The Tavern doesn’t generate any income, it doesn’t provide any resources, and it doesn’t expand your military. So why should you build one the moment the game starts? Simple, you want to recruit a second Hero as soon as possible.
A second Hero grants all kinds of tangible benefits to your play. Firstly, you get a second set of starting units that you can transfer to your first Hero. Secondly, this Hero can be used to ferry units from your town to your first Hero without wasting precious turns. Finally, this guy is ideal for picking up resources and exploring the map. You want your main force to be killing things and doing important tasks. Your backup can do all the heavy lifting and location claiming.
Hero’s Hour is a fast-paced game. Enemy factions are out for blood, and they will get aggressive and send armies after you very quickly. You will have a few weeks to prepare, and you’ll need every second if you want to survive the initial strike. Dawdling around and playing ineffectively for too long, will leave you dead on the ground.
You want to plan your turns carefully and make sure you are doing everything you possibly can, every turn. This means run two Heroes, it means build something – anything – every turn. Make sure you are producing units when you can. There should never be a downturn – every turn should be an important part of your overall strategy.
Don’t Neglect Your Military
You may be pushing your economy early, and building a Tavern turn one, but that doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels and not produce a standing army to protect lands. Your Town can produce a lot of units each week, but you need to have the building constructed if you want to make the most of it.
Because your Town only produces new units when a unit-producing building is created, or at the start of a new week, you want to make sure you have as many military buildings constructed as you can before the start of the second week. This will give you a much larger army than if you delayed even one building, and it will give you a big momentum swing.
Infirmaries Are Outstanding
Infirmaries are another building that you should not neglect as they are simply too good to pass up. Now, you don’t want to build one during the first week as you have other priorities, but you do want to build one during your second week.
The Infirmary, and its eventual upgrades, will heal 50-80 percent of all your casualties and send them back to your Town to be picked up at a later time. This turnover is too good to be ignored. You can be dealt a crushing blow in combat, but the long-term loss won’t be that severe. Not only that, but they stack with other sources of revival, such as the Druid’s Healing skill.
Build A Circle Of Magic
One of the key elements to combat is Magic, and the fastest way to gain new spells is to construct the Circle Of Magic. Like with the Infirmary, you don’t want to push this up your priority list until the second week, but you do want this up and running before your third.
Magic in Hero’s Hour can win battles almost on its own, so being able to bring an additional four spells just by investing in a single building is a powerful swing that is difficult to match or even quantify. As you upgrade it, you will gain even more spells to boot.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Magic
Magic is devastating in Hero’s Hour. It’s so powerful it can turn an impossible fight into a cake walk providing you have the right spells and know when to use them. You have a limited pool of Mana to play with, but it regenerates over time, so there isn’t a need to be frugal with your spending here.
As a general rule, buffs, debuffs, summoning, and crowd control are much more important than damage spells. A fireball might kill a few clumped-up enemies, but Berserk will cause huge chunks of the enemy to attack their allies. Haste will allow your units to smash into their army before their ranged units pick you apart. You can summon some Elementals in their backline and distract their archers. The possibilities are endless.
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