the 6 spells you can't be without!

you're going into the game blind...
under default conditions...
against unknown foes...

with which 6 spells
are you going to risk your reputation in the arena?

Our current 'experts' display their [spell] cases...

Paul Whipp (executive producer) recommends...
" It very much depends on the particular opponent and the terrain. On an open map I use haste to get around fast, harpies to scout and collect and minotaurs as my staunch defenders of PoPs. The minotaur is particularly cool because he is smarter than most creatures and gets bloodlust when his health goes low. Putting a totem of life and a totem of resurrection next to two of three minotaurs guarding a PoP can be very entertaining because you can build armies of the other player's creatures. "



Jon Brooke (UK product manager) recommends...
"Okay - my favourite is to begin with a faerie - send the little fella wizzing round the map to uncover the map and places of power they can also hold a few very cheaply. Minotaurs are the beast of choice for battering other creatures with - for no other reason than 'hell I like the way they look'. I must admit though that I'm a big fan of the totem of healing, totem of guarding and totem of resurrection surrounding my PoPs - they heal my creatures and resurrect anyone killed in a melee near by, whilst the huge rock golem simply slams anyone who's stupid to approach. A word of advice if you come across someone using this strategy - destroy the totems before attacking the creatures. Finally elves are cheap quick and effective against airbourne enemies - such as dragons! "

Rocco Loscalzo (SW engineer) recommends...
" skeletons - cheap troops but have a real lick of pace. Useful for unleashing a horde of these things and getting them there quickly. lightning - A good-for-all zapper. Can take out several, closely-packed assailants. Give yourself excalibur , that's what I say. Then marvel as you stop to pick up goodies whilst slashing your enemies. harpy - A flying creature is a must. Something that's got hands for pickups is great even though you wouldn't want to take her home to meet mother. mountain giant - What can one say. You just don't mess with these guys... disenchant - rewind those nasty enchantments with this general fixer-upper! "



Larry Binks (software engineer) recommends...
"I can't resist a storm giant - they may be slow but their heavy hitting boulders work wonders on enemy troops. Combined with gorgon stare (itself a practically essential anti-flying defence) a creature turned to stone can shatter with a good boulder hit. To offset slow/expensive giants, eagles high-speed flying and long range vision rapidly reveal FoW, and quickly take over unoccupied PoPs. For taking over occupied PoPs - subversion - why mess around trying to defeat an enemy creature when you can just claim it for yourself? Now to dealing with wizards. meteor shower may be a bit hit-or-miss, but when it hits an enemy wizard usually knows about it. Speaking of which, the final essential spell is teleport - because sometimes walking's just too slow... "

Hal Angseesing (software lead) recommends...
"An inexpensive selection. dragon's breath is a 'generic killer' - it's great against the undead (fire damage), and is hard enough to kill even big creatures. gorgon stare is very reliable against aerial targets, and can ruin an enemy wizard's day. Although they can't collect, faeries are cheap(ish), very fast, a hoverer and missile weapon. And a large group will take down anything. In addition, a wizard morphed into a faerie gets your fire power where its needed ridiculously quickly. wind elemental - what a fantastic spell! Great for throwing at an enemy POP. Some of the creatures will die, and effective against upgraded "super" creatures. It can also be used as a last resort when your wizard is in trouble. Finally, lightning cause a large amount of damage and is very cheap to cast. "



Paul Twynholm (designer) recommends...
"Hmm - going into the game blind. Firstly I choose a big hitter - the knight is strong, not slow, and his iron skin upgrade is fantastic. To complete the law bank I take in scythian bow to sway battles. Although harpies are not great in battle, they are the only flying collector; collectors are strategically important - items returned can win tough fights. To move my wizard around quickly, haste. gets me out of trouble (or into action quicker). Now I'm mobile, have collectors, and strong troops to defend POPs, I want to do some wizard killin'. Filling my neutral talisman with Psillosibin gives me the eagle; who's speed and sight range best finds enemy wizards, who I like to torch at close range with dragon's breath. However every 'unbeatable strategy' varies after someone kicks your ass...

Mark Steele (graphic artist) recommends...
"Cheap flying units, eagles are useful on entering the game to scout the landscape quickly. Knights are not only strong, but also shield themselves and your wizard with iron skin once upgraded. Arming them with a scythian bow makes them tougher enabling them to upgrade quicker. Dragons are incredibly strong and are therefore good to protect POPs, chase wizards and battle opposition dragons. In an awkward situation, haste allows my wizard to escape rapidly, while scythian bow is again useful, should you find the enemy on your tail. Finally, the excellent dragon's breath can be cast multiple times with instant damage - cheap, but powerful against an enemy wziard. With this combination I have a good chance of winning .......unless Steve is cheating of course! "



Steve Norris (assistant producer) recommends...
I always like to have an avenue to get my wizard out of trouble, and teleport is it (invisibility feels too temperamental). I back this defence up with a heal spell in the form of totem of life (which requires less housekeeping, and more free shots). OK - so that's my wizard safe, and global domination is now the goal - while mana is low I use minotaurs to get the job done and possess POPs, and when the mana starts to flow I need a big creature to use it up, and that's where the demon steps in. Offensively I have lightning because it sooo quick and take out a wizard before he knows anything about it, while gorgon stare is pretty much in the bag just in case I get dragon trouble... Of course, despite this thought process, I still lose, so I haven't got it figured out just yet..."

developers/publishers/reviewers - what's your 'hot hex'? let us know!