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Overview

The Heroes III Main Menu (prior to expansions)

Released in 1999 for the PC and Macintosh by the 3DO Company, Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia is the third iteration in designer Jon Van Caneghem's Heroes of Might and Magic series. Developed by New World Computing (and ported to Linux by Loki Entertainment), Heroes III is, like its predecessors, a game of turn-based conquest in a medieval fantasy world, where players direct one or more heroes with the intent of gathering resources and martial strength with which to defeat other players, either human or A.I. The overarching gameplay is very much in line with previous Heroes games, though a number of noticeable changes have been made. The maximum army size has been increased to seven, as opposed to five in Heroes and Heroes II, and the scale of the game's battlefields has likewise been increased. The number of factions has been increased from six to eight, and all faction units have the ability to be upgraded to more powerful versions. Further attempts are made to individualize heroes through special skills and statistics that each possesses, and equipping artifacts is handled through a new paper doll inventory system. Heroes III also introduces subterranean overworld areas that can effectively double the size of a map, while faction towns are differentiated from one another more noticeably with a larger number of unique buildings. In addition to gameplay alterations, pre-rendered graphics take the place of the hand-drawn visuals used previously.

Heroes III was augmented later on by 1999's Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade and 2000's Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death, with the latter being a stand-alone release that also included the main game. Unlike The Price of Loyalty, the expansion to Heroes II, both of these add-on packs were created by New World Computing itself. Each of them includes a number of new single-player campaigns, and Armageddon's Blade is also notable for introducing a ninth faction, the Conflux, which incorporates units that had previously been considered neutral. Heroes III and its expansions have also appeared in numerous game compilations, including Heroes of Might and Magic Millennium, Heroes of Might and Magic Trilogy, Heroes of Might and Magic Platinum Edition, and Heroes of Might and Magic Complete Edition. A console port of Heroes III was also in development for the Sega Dreamcast, though this version was ultimately cancelled.

Plot

Queen Catherine takes center stage in Heroes III.

Heroes III and its seven campaigns depict a series of events from a number of different perspectives, be they good, evil, or neutral. The main protagonist of the tale is Queen Catherine Ironfist, the wife of King Roland Ironfist, who vanished suddenly prior to the events of the game. After being compelled to return to her homeland by the death of her father, Nicolas Gryphonheart, and the subsequent invasion of his kingdom, Catherine sets out to retake Erathia from the hostile Nighon and Eeofol armies. By forging alliances with the wizards and elves of Antagarich, Queen Catherine is able to push into Erathia and retake its capital of Steadwick, securing much of Erathia in the process. Unfortunately, she soon receives news from Lucifer Kreegan that her lost husband King Roland is in fact being held captive within Eeofol. The elves of AvLee besiege Eeofol but are unable to rescue the King; in the meantime, Catherine wages war against the Nighon, forcing them back to their holdings in the east.

As these events transpire, the assassins of King Gryphonheart, the necromancers of Deyja, prepare to resurrect the fallen monarch as a lich, figuring that such a powerful personage in life would be equally mighty in death. The necromancers make a crucial miscalculation, however, as Gryphonheart proves to be so powerful upon his revivification that he cannot be properly controlled, forcing his creators into an alliance of convenience with Queen Catherine in order to destroy the lich before it becomes unstoppable. In addition to these chapters, which depict the conflict from either side, Heroes III also contains campaigns featuring parties with no true allegiance to either side, including a mercenary under the employ of Tatalia and Krewlod, and the people of the Contested Lands, who seek to gain independence from their neighbors, Erathia and AvLee.

Gameplay

Subterranean areas are a significant new addition in Heroes III, increasing the potential size of maps.

Gameplay in Heroes of Might and Magic III consists primarily of turn-based exploration within a two-dimensional overworld map and turn-based combat between opposing armies on a hexagonal grid. Exploration requires the use of heroes, who are the player's agents within the game world. These heroes are able to move about and interact with various objects within the game; this includes claiming treasures and artifacts that may benefit the player or boost their heroes' power, taking control of production sites that grant resources with each turn, confronting and attacking monsters or enemy heroes, and laying siege to neutral or hostile towns in order to take control of them. Being military leaders, heroes can command armies of up to seven different units types at one time, and while these units can be marshaled in a number of ways, the primary means of doing so is by purchasing them through allied towns, which can generate additional creatures at the beginning of each week. During each turn, which represents a single day of game time, heroes have a finite number of movement points to spend in order to move and interact with the environment, and once these points have been expended, heroes cannot act again until all other players have acted and a new turn has begun.

As with previous titles, heroes are a passive presence in combat, contributing mostly by casting spells and offering statistical enhancements to their troops. They can gain experience and levels by defeating monsters or interacting with objects in some cases, and with each new level a hero advances one of their primary skills and either advances an existing secondary skill or learns a new one. Primary skills determine the attack and defense bonuses that a hero's troops receive as well as the power of said hero's spells and the number of spell points they have to cast them. Secondary skills are more specialized in nature, typically offering bonuses in more narrowly-defined areas, such as increased power in a certain school of magic. Unlike Heroes II, where first-level heroes within the same faction were essentially carbon copies of one another, champions in Heroes III are differentiated in terms of their starting stats, and each one possesses a special ability as well. In addition, all factions possess both "might" and "magic" hero classes, meaning that they are either predisposed toward physical combat or spellcasting. Changes have also been made to the inventory system; heroes can now carry an unlimited number of artifacts, though they can only equip a finite number of them.

Campaign briefings allow players to choose a single starting bonus while also detailing general difficulty.

Apart from heroes and their armies, players must also cultivate towns in order to increase their income as well as the breadth and strength of the units they can produce and, thus, recruit. In addition to creature dwellings and Town Halls, which generate units and gold, players can construct Mage Guilds within towns, which are vital structures that allow heroes to learn spells. Various other building types can be constructed that grant bonuses in certain areas, such as town defense, hero skills, and production rates. Some structures are universal between factions, such as Taverns, which allows additional heroes to be recruited, and Marketplaces, where resources can be traded. Others are specific to a certain faction, such as the Castle Stables, which grants a temporary movement bonus to visiting heroes. Spending resources on defense makes towns much more difficult to siege, and unlike previous games, heroes can also be garrisoned within a town in order to protect it. Being able to claim neutral or hostile towns is highly beneficial regardless of the victory conditions for a given scenario, as it allows access to more spells, more creatures, and more income. A player that loses all of their holdings is at risk of being eliminated if they do not secure a town within the week.

A siege scenario between opposing Castle players. Shaded hexes indicate the movement range of units.

When the player is not traversing the overworld map or managing their towns, they will most likely be engaging in combat with another hero or group of monsters, and when this occurs the game shifts its focus to a hexagonal arena where the two armies are arrayed on either side of the screen, with the attacker on the left and defender on the right. Each party can bring up to seven unit groups into battle at once, and the number of units in each "stack" is represented by a number beside that unit. Players take turns moving their units, with move order being determined by the speed stats of individual creatures, and each combat turn heroes are also allowed to cast a single spell, provided they have sufficient spell points with which to do so. The objective of combat is simply to defeat the opposing player by killing all of their units, though if a player feels they are on the losing end of an encounter, it is also possible to flee or surrender, the latter of which allows a hero to retain their army for a price. Heroes may improve their odds by purchasing additional items, such as a First Aid Tent, an Ammo Cart, or a Ballista. Heroes III also adds the option to wait, which postpones a unit's turn, and defend, which sacrifices any movement or attack options for one turn in exchange for a temporary boost to the unit's defensive stats.

To fund the construction of armies and towns, Heroes III requires players to amass gold, iron, wood, sulfur, mercury, gems, and crystals in varying amounts in most scenarios, and apart from towns, resource-producing structures are the most valuable holdings a player can have within the game. Unlike towns, though, these resource points have no natural defenses, so it is not uncommon for them to change hands multiple times over the course of a match. Towns generate gold automatically, and the amount they produce can be increased significantly by investing in Town Hall upgrades. In addition, all towns can construct a Resource Silo, though what resources it produces depends on the faction. Gold is considered the game's primary resource, required for the construction or purchase of almost everything, while iron and wood are secondary resources used most often for buildings. The remaining four types are tertiary in importance, though they are often required in significant amounts when constructing advanced structures, making them more important to control later in the game. Any resource-producing property owned by a player provides income on a daily basis, which stands in contrast to unit-producing structures, which increase creature population at the beginning of each week.

Factions

The eight factions of Heroes III have seven units each, as opposed to the six units offered in Heroes and Heroes II. Due to the increased army size, however, heroes are now able to recruit and use all unit types within a faction simultaneously, which was not possible in the previous games with their five-unit limit. The unit upgrade mechanic of Heroes II is carried over into Heroes III, with all faction units having an upgraded form this time around, though Heroes III also allows basic units to be purchased even after their stronger equivalents become available. Towns are also somewhat more distinct from one another than in past games due to a larger number of unique faction buildings and other distinguishing factors such as unique grail bonuses, differing resource gains from the Resource Silo, and limitations on Mage Guild construction (in some cases). In a typical scenario, players will start with a single town and hero of the same alignment, though aside from possible morale penalties for mixing unit types, there is no disincentive for using heroes or units from other factions.

Castle

Castle Town

The Castle faction, whose heroes are Knights and Clerics, is most akin to the Knight faction of Heroes and Heroes II, and many of its units are similar in nature. It features a well-rounded composition, with two ranged units and two flying units, allowing it to tackle most other factions comfortably. Castle towns can commission Ballistas from that Blacksmith and receive one unit each of iron and wood from the Resource Silo. They are also one of only three factions in the game that can build a shipyard, and the exclusive Lighthouse structure improves their ship movement as well. A Tavern upgrade called Brotherhood of the Sword is available in Castle towns that grants a two-point morale boost to garrisoned units, and their Stables allow heroes that visit the town to increase their movement points until the end of the week. Being that it is considered a primarily martial faction, Castle towns are restricted to Mage Guilds of level four or less. On top of normal bonuses, the Castle Grail structure grants plus two to morale for all heroes.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Pikeman
Halbardier

Pikeman & Halbardier

  • Cost: 60 gold (75 gold)
  • Hit Points: 10
  • Attack: 4 (6)
  • Defense: 5
  • Damage: 1-3 (2-3)
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
Pikemen and Halbardiers are fairly survivable for level one units, with good hit points and defense ratings. They are also very capable units offensively speaking, though to some extent their foot speed hampers their ability to engage enemies on their own terms. For this reason, they are often used as purely defensive units that protect ranged units such as Archers and Marksmen, and this is a task for which they are particularly well-suited.
Archer
Marksman

Archer & Marksman

  • Cost: 100 gold (150 gold)
  • Hit Points: 10
  • Attack: 6
  • Defense: 3
  • Damage: 2-3
  • Speed: 4 (6) / Extra Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
Archers and Marksmen are the basic ranged units of the Castle faction, and as such they are a crucial support troop, especially early on when Monks and Zealots are not available. The transition to Marksman increases the unit's price by fifty percent, and none of its base stats save speed are improved by the upgrade, however the Marksman is able to fire at a single foe twice with each turn, making it much deadlier than the basic Archer.
Griffin
Royal Griffin

Griffin & Royal Griffin

  • Cost: 200 gold (240 gold)
  • Hit Points: 25
  • Attack: 8 (9)
  • Defense: 8 (9)
  • Damage: 3-6
  • Speed: 6 (9) / Very Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
With good stats in all areas, Griffins are solid melee units that form the core of most Castle armies. Their population growth is fairly high (especially with the Griffin Bastion upgrade), and as fast flying units their mobility is better than that of most creatures. Standard Griffins also have the ability to counterattack twice in one turn, while the Royal Griffins can retaliate against as many melee foes as they are attacked by within a single turn.
Swordsman
Crusader

Swordsman & Crusader

  • Cost: 300 gold (400 gold)
  • Hit Points: 35
  • Attack: 10 (12)
  • Defense: 12
  • Damage: 6-9 (7-10)
  • Speed: 5 (6) / Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: None
Much like the Castle faction's level one units, the Swordsman and Crusader are tough creatures that soak up a fair amount of damage and dish out a great deal of it as well. This durability is just as well, however, as their speed makes it slightly difficult for them to get the first hit in on their enemies. The Crusader upgrade not only boosts the unit's damage per hit, but also allows it to strike an enemy unit two times when proactively attacking.
Monk
Zealot

Monk & Zealot

  • Cost: 400 gold (450 gold)
  • Hit Points: 30
  • Attack: 12
  • Defense: 7 (10)
  • Damage: 10-12
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
Monks and Zealots are high-end ranged units for Castle heroes, having much higher damage potential than Marksmen even when taking their two shots into consideration. As is commonly the case with ranged units, Monks suffer a fifty percent damage penalty when attacking foes adjacent to themselves, however the Zealot, in addition to having twice as many shots, does not incur any such penalty when attacking nearby opponents.
Cavalier
Champion

Cavalier & Champion

  • Cost: 1,000 gold (1,200 gold)
  • Hit Points: 100
  • Attack: 15 (16)
  • Defense: 15 (16)
  • Damage: 15-25 (20-25)
  • Speed: 7 (9) / Extra Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
As the fastest ground-based Castle units, Cavaliers and Champions are better equipped than Pikemen, Swordsmen, and their associated upgrades to attack enemies on their own terms, and they do not sacrifice damage or durability in order to do so. As an added bonus, both versions of the unit deal five percent additional damage for each hex traveled prior to their attack, making it advantageous to travel as far as possible before striking.
Angel
Archangel

Angel & Archangel

  • Cost: 3,000 gold, 1 gem (5,000 gold, 3 gem)
  • Hit Points: 200 (250)
  • Attack: 20 (30)
  • Defense: 20 (30)
  • Damage: 50
  • Speed: 12 (18) / Extra Quick (Very Fast)
  • Shots: None
As divine beings, Angels do fifty percent additional damage to Devils, and they're no joke when fighting other enemies either. In fact, when upgraded to Archangels, they have the best attack, defense, and speed ratings in the entire game, and gain the ability to resurrect dead allied troops once per battle. They were considered so strong that their purchase price was increased in later updates, adding gem requirements to the existing gold cost.

Dungeon

Dungeon Town

The Dungeon faction attracts Warlock and Overlord heroes, and while it is thematically similar to the Warlock faction of past games, its unit composition is quite different. Dungeon units can often fight enemies very effectively over long distances, and many of them have special properties that can be taxing for opposing players to deal with. Blacksmiths built in Dungeon towns produce Ballistas, while their Resource Silos generate one unit of sulfur per day, which is useful later on for purchasing dragons. In addition to Marketplaces, Dungeon players can build Artifact Merchants to trade resources for artifacts, and a Portal of Summoning in order to remotely recruit creatures from dwellings across the map. The Dungeon town can also augment visiting heroes through the Mana Vortex, which doubles the spell points available to a hero, and the Academy of Battle Scholars, which gives heroes a one-time reward of 1,000 experience points. A Dungeon with a Grail structure bestows an extra twelve points of spell power to defending heroes.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Troglodyte
Infernal Troglodyte

Troglodyte & Infernal Troglodyte

  • Cost: 50 gold (65 gold)
  • Hit Points: 5 (6)
  • Attack: 4 (5)
  • Defense: 3 (4)
  • Damage: 1-3
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
Being the lowly cave dwellers that they are, Troglodytes are not the most powerful level one units in the game, though they are also not the worst. Their stats are decidedly average across the board, though they are one of the few creatures of their level to have a special ability. Seeing as they have no eyes, and thus do not sense their enemies through the visible spectrum, both versions of the Troglodyte are immune to magical blindness.
Harpy
Harpy Hag

Harpy & Harpy Hag

  • Cost: 130 gold (170 gold)
  • Hit Points: 14
  • Attack: 6
  • Defense: 5 (6)
  • Damage: 1-4
  • Speed: 6 (9) / Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Harpies and Harpy Hags are primarily intended as harassment units, as they have the unique ability to return to their starting hex after flying to and attacking an enemy. Harpy Hags are particularly good at frustrating opponents, as they can stay up to nine hexes away from their opponents while still being able to attack them, and they cannot be counterattacked when they take the initiative. For slower melee units, they are hard to pin down.
Beholder
Evil Eye

Beholder & Evil Eye

  • Cost: 250 gold (280 gold)
  • Hit Points: 22
  • Attack: 9 (10)
  • Defense: 7 (8)
  • Damage: 3-5
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
Beholders and Evil Eyes are surprisingly strong third-level ranged units that suffer no damage penalties when attacked at close range. Both the base unit and its upgrade have a fair amount of hit points and defense, especially when considering the generally poor survivability that most ranged units have. They do not have any special abilities to speak of, however they offer respectable sustained damage at a distance with no glaring weaknesses.
Medusa
Medusa Queen

Medusa & Medusa Queen

  • Cost: 300 gold (330 gold)
  • Hit Points: 25 (30)
  • Attack: 9 (10)
  • Defense: 9 (10)
  • Damage: 6-8
  • Speed: 5 (6) / Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: 4 (8)
The Medusa is the second ranged unit available to the Dungeon faction, and for a modest increase in price they are even better than Beholders and Evil Eyes. Their main drawback is their limited ammo supply, with only four shots available to Medusae and eight available to Medusa Queens. Ammo Carts can alleviate this problem nicely, and even if ammo does run out, both versions have a twenty percent chance to petrify nearby foes.
Minotaur
Minotaur King

Minotaur & Minotaur King

  • Cost: 500 gold (575 gold)
  • Hit Points: 50
  • Attack: 14 (15)
  • Defense: 12 (15)
  • Damage: 12-20
  • Speed: 6 (8) / Swift (Very Swift)
  • Shots: None
Being very assured of their own prowess in battle, Minotaurs can never drop below one in morale regardless of any morale modifiers that may be in effect. This confidence in their own abilities is well-founded, as both varieties are tough, reasonably mobile, and, more importantly, incredibly handy with an ax. It could rightfully be said that Minotaurs are the backbone of the Dungeon armies, as a group of them can be very difficult to take down.
Manticore
Scorpicore

Manticore & Scorpicore

  • Cost: 850 gold (1,050 gold)
  • Hit Points: 80
  • Attack: 15 (16)
  • Defense: 13 (14)
  • Damage: 14-20
  • Speed: 7 (11) / Extra Swift (Quick)
  • Shots: None
While Manticores and Scorpicores are an undeniable statistical improvement over the Minotaur units, they are somewhat underwhelming when compared to other sixth-level faction units. They are very mobile as flying units, and the Scorpicore also possesses a twenty percent chance to paralyze units when attacking, however they also cost much more than Minotaurs even though their damage potential is roughly the same.
Red Dragon
Black Dragon

Red Dragon & Black Dragon

  • Cost: 2,500 gold, 1 sulfur (4,000 gold, 2 sulfur)
  • Hit Points: 180 (300)
  • Attack: 19 (25)
  • Defense: 19 (25)
  • Damage: 40-50
  • Speed: 11 (15) / Quick (Super Quick)
  • Shots: None
With the initial unit having immunity to spells of level three or lower and the upgraded version possessing total spell immunity, Red and Black Dragons are an absolute nightmare for heavily-invested spellcasters. Black Dragons also do fifty percent additional damage to the level seven creatures of the Tower faction, though even without this bonus damage, Dragons have little to fear from the rest of Heroes III's menagerie.

Fortress

Fortress Town

The Fortress town is home to the Beastmaster and the Witch, and most of its units are denizens of the marshlands. Only one unit within the faction is ranged in nature, however many of their units incorporate special abilities that enemy players must take into account when fighting them. A Fortress Blacksmith produces First Aid Tents for allied heroes to use, while the Resource Silo generates one unit of wood and ore per day. Fortress towns may construct Shipyards provided the town in question is situated near the water, and the Cage of Warlords bestows a permanent one-point skill increase to defense for passing heroes. The Blood Obelisk gives defending heroes a two-point boost to attack, while the Glyphs of Fear inspires a two-point increase in defense. The Fortress is less magically inclined than other town types, and thus it cannot house Mage Guilds higher than level four. When the Grail is installed within a Fortress town, heroes gain an additional ten points of defense when protecting it.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Gnoll
Gnoll Marauder

Gnoll & Gnoll Marauder

  • Cost: 50 gold (70 gold)
  • Hit Points: 6
  • Attack: 3 (4)
  • Defense: 5 (6)
  • Damage: 2-3
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
While unspectacular to be sure, the Gnoll is a better-than-average level one unit that is also reasonably priced at fifty gold. Its upgrade, on the other hand, is somewhat less defensible, as it improves three of the Gnoll's stats only slightly while increasing the price of the unit itself considerably. In any event, whether upgraded or not, the Gnoll is a decent unit for its level, if somewhat slow, and can be a mildly useful creature for Fortress heroes.
Lizardman
Lizard Warrior

Lizardman & Lizard Warrior

  • Cost: 110 gold (140 gold)
  • Hit Points: 14 (15)
  • Attack: 5 (6)
  • Defense: 6 (8)
  • Damage: 2-3 (2-5)
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
As the only ranged units for the Fortress faction, Lizardmen and Lizard Warriors have a heavy burden to carry, and they carry it reasonably well. Lizardmen do a fair amount of damage (especially when upgraded), have fair hit points for their level, and enjoy very good weekly population growth. Their utility is primarily due to a post-release patch, but, all the same, Fortress players will want to invest in them as a supplement to melee units.
Serpent Fly
Dragon Fly

Serpent Fly & Dragon Fly

  • Cost: 220 gold (240 gold)
  • Hit Points: 20
  • Attack: 7 (8)
  • Defense: 9 (10)
  • Damage: 2-5
  • Speed: 9 (13) / Ultra Swift (Very Quick)
  • Shots: None
The Serpent Fly and Dragon Fly are incredibly fast third-level units with a special ability that debuffs targets, thus causing frustration to spellcasters. Both versions can dispel all beneficial spell effects on a target simply by attacking it, while the Dragon Fly can also cast weakness on its victim at the same time. With their movement speed, they are also quite adept at quickly crossing the battlefield in order to block enemy ranged units.
Basilisk
Greater Basilisk

Basilisk & Greater Basilisk

  • Cost: 325 gold (400 gold)
  • Hit Points: 35 (40)
  • Attack: 11 (12)
  • Defense: 11 (12)
  • Damage: 6-10
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Basilisks and Greater Basilisks are well-rounded level four units with good attack, defense, damage, and hit points. They also possess the petrify special ability, which grants them a twenty percent chance to turn creatures to stone for three turns. Creatures that have been petrified will take only half damage when attacked, and if they sustain damage before three turns have passed, they will automatically return to their normal state.
Gorgon
Mighty Gorgon

Gorgon & Mighty Gorgon

  • Cost: 525 gold (600 gold)
  • Hit Points: 70
  • Attack: 10 (11)
  • Defense: 14 (16)
  • Damage: 12-16
  • Speed: 5 (6) / Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: None
While the Gorgons are certainly good units purely on a statistical level, it is the special ability of the Mighty Gorgon that truly sets them apart. For every ten Mighty Gorgons in a unit stack, the creature has a ten percent chance to kill the top creature in a stack outright. This skill becomes more powerful with greater numbers of Mighty Gorgons, and even units that far outclass the Gorgon statistically must respect the lethality of Death Stare.
Wyvern
Wyvern Monarch

Wyvern & Wyvern Monarch

  • Cost: 800 gold (1,100 gold)
  • Hit Points: 70
  • Attack: 14
  • Defense: 14
  • Damage: 14-18 (18-22)
  • Speed: 7 (11) / Extra Swift (Quick)
  • Shots: None
Wyverns are strong units overall, but less so in comparison to other faction units at level six. Perhaps the Wyvern's biggest issue is its hit points, which are dangerously low for a creature of its stature. The upgrade to Monarch brings with it the special ability to poison a unit stack, which causes the top creature in it to lose half their health each turn. This is perhaps most useful against level seven units with their typically large pools of health.
Hydra
Chaos Hydra

Hydra & Chaos Hydra

  • Cost: 2,200 gold (3,500 gold, 1 sulfur)
  • Hit Points: 175 (250)
  • Attack: 16 (18)
  • Defense: 18 (20)
  • Damage: 25-45
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Hydras and Chaos Hydras have two of the better special abilities in the game, however they are also the slowest level seven units in Heroes III, making spells like Haste and Teleportation very useful when using them. Both Hydras affect all adjecent squares when attacking, and furthermore their enemies are unable to retaliate against them. If a Hydra can get in position to attack two or more units at once, the results can be devastating.

Inferno

Inferno Town

Frequented by Demoniac and Heretic heroes, the Inferno faction is home to all manner of vile, hell-spawned creatures. Their ranks are filled with powerful melee combatants, though there are no flying units and only one ranged fighter; however, their ultimate unit, the Devil, can move about via teleportation. Infernal Blacksmiths produce Ammo Carts for their masters, while Resource Silos within Inferno towns generate one unit of sulfur per day, which helps in purchasing Devils later in the game. The Castle Gate allows heroes to travel instantaneously between Inferno towns, though only in the event that both towns have constructed the Gate. Inferno players can also build the Order of Fire, which grants a permanent skill point to a visiting hero's spell power; Brimstone Stormclouds can also be cultivated in order to grant an additional two points of spell power to town defenders. With the Grail installed in an Inferno town, every week is considered Imp week in terms of population growth, though this affects all Inferno towns, allied or not.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Imp
Familiar

Imp & Familiar

  • Cost: 50 gold (60 gold)
  • Hit Points: 4
  • Attack: 2 (4)
  • Defense: 3 (4)
  • Damage: 1-2
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Imps and Familiars are some of the weakest units in Heroes III, though what they lack in raw strength they make up for in numbers. The upgraded version of the Imp is probably more crucial than other level one upgrades, as it not only improves stats but also offers a useful special ability. That is to say, Familiars have a unique ability to leech away twenty percent of the mana used by enemy heroes, returning them as spell points for their hero.
Gog
Magog

Gog & Magog

  • Cost: 125 gold (175 gold)
  • Hit Points: 13
  • Attack: 6 (7)
  • Defense: 4
  • Damage: 2-4
  • Speed: 4 (6) / Extra Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
The Gogs are the only ranged units Inferno towns can produce, and though their initiative is somewhat lacking, they are otherwise perfectly serviceable long-range attackers. Upgrading them to Magogs helps alleviate their speed problem, and allows their attacks to affect adjacent hexes as well. This is something of a double-edged sword, though, as this area of affect attack can injure allied creatures just as easily as hostile ones.
Hell Hound
Cerberus

Hell Hound & Cerberus

  • Cost: 200 gold (250 gold)
  • Hit Points: 25
  • Attack: 10
  • Defense: 6 (8)
  • Damage: 2-7 (2-5)
  • Speed: 7 (8) / Extra Swift (Very Swift)
  • Shots: None
Both fast and ferocious, Hell Hounds and Cerberi are able to cover ground quickly and cause a fair amount of harm to their opponents. Curiously, Cerberi are the only instance in Heroes III in which an upgraded unit actually causes less base damage than its normal counterpart. In exchange, it is able to attack all three hexes in front of itself. The Cerberus also prevents enemies from retaliating, and has higher defense than the Hell Hound.
Demon
Horned Demon

Demon & Horned Demon

  • Cost: 250 gold (270 gold)
  • Hit Points: 35 (40)
  • Attack: 10
  • Defense: 10
  • Damage: 7-9
  • Speed: 5 (6) / Slow (Swift)
  • Shots: None
Demons and Horned Demons are fairly unremarkable as level four creatures go, with average statistics in all areas and no exceptional features or special abilities. This is compensated for by their price, which is inexpensive when compared to other similar units. This affordability is not without its own drawbacks, though, as the upgrade from Demon to Horned Demon is incremental to say the least, with only a few hit points and more speed.
Pit Fiend
Pit Lord

Pit Fiend & Pit Lord

  • Cost: 500 gold (700 gold)
  • Hit Points: 45
  • Attack: 13
  • Defense: 13
  • Damage: 13-17
  • Speed: 6 (7) / Swift (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
While the Pit Fiend is certainly an acceptable level five unit, it is not until the Pit Lord upgrade is available that it truly comes into its own. Statistically, the only difference between the two is a single point in the speed stat, however the Pit Lord can also, once per battle, cast a resurrect spell that converts a dead stack into Demons. The number of Demons created depends on the number of Pit Lords and the hit points of the stack.
Efreeti
Efreet Sultan

Efreeti & Efreet Sultan

  • Cost: 900 gold (1,100 gold)
  • Hit Points: 90
  • Attack: 16
  • Defense: 12 (14)
  • Damage: 16-24
  • Speed: 9 (13) / Ultra Swift (Very Quick)
  • Shots: None
As the evil counterparts of the Genies, Efreet and Efreet Sultans have an innate fifty percent damage bonus when attacking them. They are also immune to fire, allowing them to shrug off certain spells and disregard the splash damage of Magogs. Once upgraded, Efreet are not only extremely fast, but are also protected by a permanent Fire Shield effect, which forces foes to think twice before attacking, lest they face two counterattacks.
Devil
Arch Devil

Devil & Arch Devil

  • Cost: 2,700 gold, 1 mercury (4,500 gold, 2 mercury)
  • Hit Points: 160 (200)
  • Attack: 19 (26)
  • Defense: 21 (28)
  • Damage: 30-40
  • Speed: 11 (17) / Quick (Extra Fast)
  • Shots: None
The Devil and Arch Devil are naturally at odds with the Castle faction's level seven units, and concordantly they gain a fifty percent damage bonus when targeting Angels. Their mere presence on the battlefield is enough to cause enemies to automatically experience negative one luck, and to make matters worse, they cannot be counterattacked. Both iterations move about via teleportation, though they have slightly less range than Angels.

Necropolis

Necropolis Town

The Necropolis faction is typified by its affinity for undead creatures of all sorts, and its heroes are Necromancers and Death Knights. Necropolis minions often focus on afflicting their victims rather than simply killing them, as several have special abilities that cause undesirable effects in addition to damage. All undead units are furthermore immune to mind alteration spells as well as Curse, Bless, and Blind, and are always at neutral morale. Necropolis Blacksmiths produce First Aid Tents, while their Resource Silos generate one unit of wood and ore each day. Necropolis towns are able to build Shipyards under the right circumstances, and Cover of Darkness creates a shroud that hides the town from its enemies. With a Necromancy Amplifier, all Necropolis heroes receive a ten percent boost to their Necromancy skill, and the Skeleton Transformer allows any creature stack to be converted into Skeletons. With a Grail structure constructed, Necropolis heroes gain an additional twenty percent to their Necromancy skill.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Skeleton
Skeleton Warrior

Skeleton & Skeleton Warrior

  • Cost: 60 gold (70 gold)
  • Hit Points: 6
  • Attack: 5 (6)
  • Defense: 4 (6)
  • Damage: 1-3
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
Skeletons are fairly good low-level units, and much like the Necromancer faction of Heroes II, the Necropolis faction can generate them in extremely large numbers thanks to the Necromancy skill. Their town also has a couple of structures that can boost Necromancy yields even further, and other units can be converted to Skeletons through a Tranformer. While the Warrior upgrade is significant, larger numbers of Skeletons are often preferable.
Walking Dead
Zombie

Walking Dead & Zombie

  • Cost: 100 gold (125 gold)
  • Hit Points: 15 (20)
  • Attack: 5
  • Defense: 5
  • Damage: 2-3
  • Speed: 3 (4) / Very Slow (Extra Slow)
  • Shots: None
Much like the Zombies and Mutant Zombies of Heroes II, the Necropolis faction's level two units are fair attack units that are somewhat limited by their slow speed. It is worth noting that, while they have higher hit points, both versions of the unit have lower attack, defense, and speed ratings than the Skeleton Warrior. The Zombie has a twenty percent chance to inflict disease, which lowers attack and defense ratings by two for three turns.
Wight
Wraith

Wight & Wraith

  • Cost: 200 gold (230 gold)
  • Hit Points: 18
  • Attack: 7
  • Defense: 7
  • Damage: 3-5
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Wights and Wraiths have decent stats, though they do not truly excel in any one area. They do, however, have a couple of extremely useful special abilities. Either version has the automatic ability to regenerate at the beginning of a turn, meaning that the top unit in the stack regains any lost health. In addition, the Wraith has a constant passive attribute that drains two spell points away from enemy heroes with each passing turn.
Vampire
Vampire Lord

Vampire & Vampire Lord

  • Cost: 360 gold (500 gold)
  • Hit Points: 30 (40)
  • Attack: 10
  • Defense: 9 (10)
  • Damage: 5-8
  • Speed: 6 (9) / Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Both versions of the Vampire are strong flying units that attack at close range, and both have the supremely handy "no retaliation" special ability. The Vampire Lord easily outclasses its predecessor, though, due to its knack for resurrecting units within its own stack. These fallen lords can raise expired members of their stack in direct proportional to the amount of damage dealt when attacking. This perk only applies when targeting the living.
Lich
Power Lich

Lich & Power Lich

  • Cost: 550 gold (600 gold)
  • Hit Points: 30 (40)
  • Attack: 13
  • Defense: 10
  • Damage: 11-13 (11-15)
  • Speed: 6 (7) / Swift (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
The Lich and Power Lich are the only ranged units for the Necropolis faction, and they are powerful ones at that. Both the standard and upgraded variants have a Death Cloud projectile that causes damage to adjacent hexes as well as the targeted one. The splash damage of this attack can only harm living creatures, though, so Liches are less useful against undead. On the positive side, unlike the Magog, they cannot harm their own allies.
Black Knight
Dread Knight

Black Knight & Dread Knight

  • Cost: 1,200 gold (1,500 gold)
  • Hit Points: 120
  • Attack: 16 (18)
  • Defense: 16 (18)
  • Damage: 15-30
  • Speed: 7 (9) / Extra Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
The Black Knights and Dread Knights are similar to the mounted units of the Castle faction, however they enjoy better statistics in most areas as well as the natural benefits of being undead, such as immunity to mind control. They each have a twenty percent chance to inflict curse on their enemies, and once upgraded, their attacks also carry with them a twenty percent chance of causing double damage, making them even more fierce.
Bone Dragon
Ghost Dragon

Bone Dragon & Ghost Dragon

  • Cost: 1,800 gold (3,000 gold, 1 mercury)
  • Hit Points: 150 (200)
  • Attack: 17 (19)
  • Defense: 15 (17)
  • Damage: 25-50
  • Speed: 9 (14) / Ultra Swift (Ultra Quick)
  • Shots: None
While not quite as potent as true flesh-and-blood dragons, the Bone and Ghost Dragons are nevertheless powerful, durable, and quick. Their enormous ghastly frames are also enough in and of themselves to inspire a negative one morale penalty in their enemies. The Ghost Dragon even has a terrifying twenty percent chance to age a target when attacking them, which slashes hit point totals in half for every single unit in the stack.

Rampart

Rampart Town

The Rampart faction is home to the Ranger and Druid heroes, and their allies are composed primarily of creatures that wish to protect the wilderness. Some of the Rampart's units have issues with speed, however a number of them have attributes designed to frustrate spellcasters, making them stronger than most against magic-based heroes. Rampart Blacksmiths provide First Aid Tents for their faction's war efforts, and their Resource Silos generate one crystal each day, which facilitates the purchase of dragons, among other things. The Fountain of Fortune provides a two-point bonus to Luck for defending heroes. The Rampart town is not as predisposed toward magic as others, and may only build Mage Guilds up to level four; it is, however, very economically-minded, with a Treasury that accrues ten percent interest on gold stores once every seven days and a Mystic Pond that creates random resources each week. If a player chooses to install a Grail structure in a Rampart town, all allied heroes will receive a two-point Luck bonus.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Centaur
Centaur Captain

Centaur & Centaur Captain

  • Cost: 70 gold (90 gold)
  • Hit Points: 8 (10)
  • Attack: 5 (6)
  • Defense: 3
  • Damage: 2-3
  • Speed: 6 (8) / Swift (Very Swift)
  • Shots: None
Centaurs and Centaur Captains are incredibly strong for their level, though they lose the ranged attack option of their previous counterparts. They are arguably the best level one in the entire game, and indisputably the most expensive. Their primary assets are their high attack rating, base damage, and speed, and while they don't hold up as well under pressure as the Halbardiers, they have a much better ability to take the initiative in battle.
Dwarf
Battle Dwarf

Dwarf & Battle Dwarf

  • Cost: 120 gold (150 gold)
  • Hit Points: 20
  • Attack: 6 (7)
  • Defense: 7
  • Damage: 2-4
  • Speed: 3 (5) / Very Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
Dwarves in Heroes III suffer from the same drawback that hampered them in Heroes and Heroes II, that being their slow speed. The sluggishness of the base unit in particular is hard to overlook. If one can look past this flaw, which is alleviated significantly upon upgrading, players will find that the Dwarf is an incredibly resilient creature that can shrug off magical attacks with a twenty and forty percent success rate depending on the variant.
Wood Elf
Grand Elf

Wood Elf & Grand Elf

  • Cost: 200 gold (225 gold)
  • Hit Points: 15
  • Attack: 9
  • Defense: 5
  • Damage: 3-5
  • Speed: 6 (7) / Swift (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: 24
Wood Elves and Grand Elves fulfill the ranged combat requirement for the Rampart faction, and have decent initiative as well. Though the unit upgrade only increases one of its base stats, it also allows the Elves to fire twice in one turn, making it a critical investment. As is to be expected of ranged units, Elves require a modicum of protection to do their tasks effectively; fortunately, Rampart players have several units well-suited to this task.
Pegasus
Silver Pegasus

Pegasus & Silver Pegasus

  • Cost: 250 gold (275 gold)
  • Hit Points: 30
  • Attack: 9
  • Defense: 8 (10)
  • Damage: 5-9
  • Speed: 8 (12) / Very Swift (Extra Quick)
  • Shots: None
Pegasi and Silver Pegasi are pretty average statistically for a level four, however they are very fast flying units, making them much better at inhibiting enemy ranged attackers than any previous Rampart unit. They also have a passive trait that makes them very annoying for enemy spellcasters. Merely by being present in battle, either Pegasus forces opposing heroes to use two additional spell points with each spell they choose to cast.
Dendroid Guard
Dendroid Soldier

Dendroid Guard & Dendroid Soldier

  • Cost: 350 gold (425 gold)
  • Hit Points: 55 (65)
  • Attack: 9
  • Defense: 12
  • Damage: 10-14
  • Speed: 3 (4) / Very Slow (Extra Slow)
  • Shots: None
The Dendroid Guards and Dendroid Soldiers are the quintessential garrison units: too slow to track enemies down of their own volition, but incredibly hard for attackers to uproot. Their meager movement speed makes them a tough sell for adventurers, but they will infuriate opponents that encounter them in a siege. Units attacked by a Dendroid Guard or Dendroid Soldier will be rooted in place until the Dendroid moves or either of them is killed.
Unicorn
War Unicorn

Unicorn & War Unicorn

  • Cost: 850 gold (950 gold)
  • Hit Points: 90 (110)
  • Attack: 15
  • Defense: 14
  • Damage: 18-22
  • Speed: 7 (9) / Extra Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Neither Unicorns nor War Unicorns lack for strength in any particular area, being fast, durable, and deadly attackers. Every attack carries with it a twenty percent chance of blinding its target, though for obvious reasons this ability is nullified when fighting undead. Unicorns also passively grant a twenty percent resistance to magic to any allied creatures standing next to them, and this effect can be multiplied with additional Unicorn stacks.
Green Dragon
Gold Dragon

Green Dragon & Gold Dragon

  • Cost: 2,400 gold, 1 crystal (4,000 gold, 2 crystal)
  • Hit Points: 180 (250)
  • Attack: 18 (27)
  • Defense: 18 (27)
  • Damage: 40-50
  • Speed: 10 (16) / Super Swift (Fast)
  • Shots: None
Green and Gold Dragons are roughly equivalent in strength to the Dungeon faction's Red and Black Dragons, with similar though not identical statistics. The standard and upgraded forms can resist spells up to and including third and fourth level, respectively, and their attacks also affect two hexes at once. While Green Dragons are slightly weaker than Red, Gold Dragons have better attack and defense than Black Dragons, with fewer HP.

Stronghold

Stronghold Town

The Barbarian and Battle Mage heroes are native to the Stronghold faction, and their units are, by and large, rugged, battle-hardened creatures. They have a good variety of melee attackers and ranged creatures to choose from, although they are easily the most handicapped faction in Heroes III in terms of magic, being restricted to constructing Mage Guilds no higher than level three. Blacksmiths within Stronghold towns produce Ammo Carts for the war effort, and can be further enhanced with a Ballista Yard in order churn out Ballistas; their Resource Silos generate a single unit of wood and ore per day. Stronghold heroes can also sell creatures for resources at the Freelancer's Guild, and the Escape Tunnel allows siege defenders to either flee or surrender if they are losing the fight. The Hall of Valhalla increases a hero's attack rating by one point permanently, and Strongholds with a Grail structure intact give defenders twenty additional attack points.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Goblin
Hobgoblin

Goblin & Hobgoblin

  • Cost: 40 gold (50 gold)
  • Hit Points: 5
  • Attack: 4 (5)
  • Defense: 2 (3)
  • Damage: 1-2
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Goblins and Hobgoblins are hardly the most impressive level one creatures in Heroes III, but they are cheap, reasonably quick, and reproduce at a very rapid pace. A starting hero could certainly do worse, and with even the upgraded version costing only fifty gold to purchase, they are hard to complain about. They are held back primarily by their low maximum damage, which prevents them from causing as much pain as other similar units.
Wolf Rider
Wolf Raider

Wolf Rider & Wolf Raider

  • Cost: 100 gold (140 gold)
  • Hit Points: 10
  • Attack: 7 (8)
  • Defense: 5
  • Damage: 2-4 (3-4)
  • Speed: 6 (8) / Swift (Very Swift)
  • Shots: None
Essentially Goblins and Hobgoblins mounted on wolves, the Wolf Riders (and Raiders) are faster, sturdier, and more deadly than their unmounted brethren. The Raider upgrade is, simply put, exceptional, as it not only increases the base attack rating and damage of the unit, but also allows it to attack twice in one turn, meaning that it does well over twice the damage with each attack. For forty extra gold, it is well worth the expenditure.
Orc
Orc Chieftain

Orc & Orc Chieftain

  • Cost: 150 gold (165 gold)
  • Hit Points: 15 (20)
  • Attack: 8
  • Defense: 4
  • Damage: 2-5
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: 12 (24)
The Orcs and Orc Chieftains are the first ranged units available to the Stronghold faction, and while not as statistically strong as other third-level ranged units (i.e., Beholders and Wood Elves), they aren't terrible either. They certainly lack for speed, which hinders their initiative in battle as well as their hero's movement speed, and they suffer from a poor defensive rating as well. Still, they are considerably cheaper than their contemporaries.
Ogre
Ogre Magi

Ogre & Ogre Magi

  • Cost: 300 gold (400 gold)
  • Hit Points: 40 (60)
  • Attack: 13
  • Defense: 7
  • Damage: 6-12
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
The Ogre is the Stronghold faction's first real bruiser unit, being able to dish out a great deal of damage and soak some up as well. Like the Orcs, though, they have severe ambulatory problems, putting them at serious risk of being benched as garrison units. The Magi upgrade does not improve the unit's speed overmuch, but it does allow the Ogre to cast Bloodlust once every combat turn, giving it more utility when not in range to attack.
Roc
Thunderbird

Roc & Thunderbird

  • Cost: 600 gold (700 gold)
  • Hit Points: 60
  • Attack: 13
  • Defense: 11
  • Damage: 11-15
  • Speed: 7 (11) / Extra Swift (Quick)
  • Shots: None
Perhaps the first Stronghold unit with no obvious deficiencies, the Roc and its successor, the Thunderbird, are the fastest units within their faction, and the only ones that can fly. Their attack, defense, hit points, and damage are all good as well, though being faster than other allied units can sometimes get them in trouble. Thunderbirds have a twenty percent chance to cast Thunderbolt when attacking, which causes ten damage per bird.
Cyclops
Cyclops King

Cyclops & Cyclops King

  • Cost: 750 gold (1,100 gold)
  • Hit Points: 70
  • Attack: 15 (17)
  • Defense: 12 (13)
  • Damage: 16-20
  • Speed: 6 (8) / Swift (Very Swift)
  • Shots: 16 (24)
Cyclopes and Cyclops Kings are among the best ranged units in Heroes III, causing far more damage and being much more survivable than the average long-range creature. The gigantic boulders they hurl can also be used in siege situations to damage castle walls. When attacking a wall, the Cyclops is equal in strength to a Catapult with Basic Ballistics, while the Cyclops King's strength is equal to a Catapult with Advanced Ballistics.
Behemoth
Ancient Behemoth

Behemoth & Ancient Behemoth

  • Cost: 1,500 gold (3,000 gold, 1 crystal)
  • Hit Points: 160 (300)
  • Attack: 17 (19)
  • Defense: 17 (19)
  • Damage: 30-50
  • Speed: 6 (9) / Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Behemoths and Ancient Behemoths are fearsome melee units with the ability to make their opponents more vulnerable than they would otherwise be. While they may not measure up to the best level seven units on a statistical level, the Behemoth evens the scales by reducing the target's defense by forty percent when it attacks, while the Ancient Behemoth shaves away an incredible eighty percent of their victims defense rating in one blow.

Tower

Tower Town

Haven to Alchemists and Wizards, the Tower faction is mostly comprised of creatures that have been made, summoned, or otherwise bound to the wills of powerful persons. Like the Wizard faction of Heroes II, the Tower faction has exceptional ranged units, and many of their creatures are complemented by useful special abilities. Tower Blacksmiths allow heroes to purchase Ammo Carts, while their Resource Silos generate a single gem per day, which make the purchase of Giants and Titans easier. The Wall of Knowledge permanently increases the knowledge stat of visiting heroes by one, while the Lookout Tower reveals the overworld map within a twenty-tile radius of the town itself. Artifact Merchants can be purchased in order to swap resources for artifacts, and the Library structure allows for a single additional spell to be learned for each level of the Mage Guild. When a Tower player houses a Grail within one of their towns, the entirety of the overworld map is revealed to them.

Basic UnitUpgraded UnitStats & Description (Upgrade Stats in Parentheses)
Gremlin
Master Gremlin

Gremlin & Master Gremlin

  • Cost: 30 gold (40 gold)
  • Hit Points: 4
  • Attack: 3 (4)
  • Defense: 3 (4)
  • Damage: 1-2
  • Speed: 4 (5) / Extra Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None (8)
While the basic Gremlin stands alongside the Imp as one of the worst non-upgraded level one creatures in the game, the Master Gremlin bears the distinction of being the only level one to have a ranged attack. Being that they are cheap and extremely numerous, Master Gremlins can be a very noticeable boon early in the game when opposition is lighter, however their poor damage and survivability makes them far less desirable over time.
Stone Gargoyle
Obsidian Gargoyle

Stone Gargoyle & Obsidian Gargoyle

  • Cost: 130 gold (160 gold)
  • Hit Points: 16
  • Attack: 6 (7)
  • Defense: 6 (7)
  • Damage: 2-3
  • Speed: 6 (9) / Swift (Ultra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Stone Gargoyles and Obsidian Gargoyles are the only flying units native to the Tower faction, but apart from this advantage, they are fairly average units. They are not considered living creatures, which protects them against certain types of attacks, and they can also fly over castle walls and stymie ranged units during a siege situation. They are more expensive than many level two creatures despite not really standing out against them.
Stone Golem
Iron Golem

Stone Golem & Iron Golem

  • Cost: 150 gold (200 gold)
  • Hit Points: 30 (35)
  • Attack: 7 (9)
  • Defense: 10
  • Damage: 4-5
  • Speed: 3 (5) / Very Slow (Slow)
  • Shots: None
The Stone Golem is probably too slow to be of practical use to most heroes, however the speed boost that comes along with the Iron Golem upgrade is enough to make them more palatable. Both are tough and do respectable damage, and as non-living constructs they are immune to certain attacks as well. Stone Golems receive only fifty percent damage from enemy spells, while Iron Golems only feel a quarter of the normal effects of a spell.
Mage
Arch Mage

Mage & Arch Mage

  • Cost: 350 gold (450 gold)
  • Hit Points: 25 (30)
  • Attack: 11 (12)
  • Defense: 8 (9)
  • Damage: 7-9
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: 24
Magi and Arch Magi are good fourth-level ranged units that offer a potent bonus to all spellcasting heroes. In addition to their attack, Magi have a passive benefit that reduces the cost of their hero's spells by two spell points each. They also have no penalty when attacking adjacent units, and Arch Magi can ignore the normal penalty associated with attacking units through castle walls. Like most ranged units, they are best when protected.
Genie
Master Genie

Genie & Master Genie

  • Cost: 550 gold (600 gold)
  • Hit Points: 40
  • Attack: 12
  • Defense: 12
  • Damage: 13-16
  • Speed: 7 (11) / Extra Swift (Quick)
  • Shots: None
Both Genies and Master Genies are solid melee units, and they do an extra fifty percent damage when attacking Efreet and Efreet Sultans. When upgraded to Master Genies, it is possible for them to cast one randomly-selected beneficial spell on a single allied unit stack once every turn. With this ability, Master Genies can avoid combat entirely while casting buffs on allied creatures, which is just as well, since their hit points are fairly low.
Naga
Naga Queen

Naga & Naga Queen

  • Cost: 1,100 gold (1,600 gold)
  • Hit Points: 110
  • Attack: 16
  • Defense: 13
  • Damage: 20 (30)
  • Speed: 5 (7) / Slow (Extra Swift)
  • Shots: None
Nagas and Naga Queens are among the best level six units in the game, and, unlike most creatures, they have no variance in their attack damage, allowing them to do consistent damage with every attack. They also cannot be counterattacked, making it even harder to deal with them. They are commonly compared to Black Knights and Dread Knights, who have better attack and defense stats, but less consistent overall damage output.
Giant
Titan

Giant & Titan

  • Cost: 2,000 gold, 1 gem (5,000 gold, 2 gem)
  • Hit Points: 150 (300)
  • Attack: 19 (24)
  • Defense: 16 (24)
  • Damage: 40-60
  • Speed: 7 (11) / Extra Swift (Ultra Quick)
  • Shots: None (24)
Giants and Titans have the highest maximum attack damage in the game, and they're no slouch in other areas either. While the Giant is a great unit, just like its counterpart in Heroes II, the Titan is vastly improved in almost all areas, gaining a ranged attack, stat bonuses, and double the hit points. Both versions of the unit have immunity to mind-altering spells, and the Titan also gains a fifty percent damage boost when fighting Black Dragons.

Neutral

Neutral units are any creatures that do not have a specific faction affiliation. In Heroes III, neutral creatures are either constructs or elemental spirits that may be fought while adventuring or recruited at external dwellings situated around the overworld map. Being unusual creatures, all neutrals are immune to poison and remain at neutral morale regardless of modifiers, while elementals are also immune to mind-altering magic spells. Many of Heroes III's neutral beings (specifically the elementals) would be later incorporated into the Conflux town of Armageddon's Blade, which, appropriately enough, is considered a neutral town alignment.

UnitStats & Description
Air Elemental

Air Elemental

  • Cost: 250 gold
  • Hit Points: 25
  • Attack: 9
  • Defense: 9
  • Damage: 2-8
  • Speed: 7 / Extra Swift
  • Shots: None
The Air Elemental is the fastest of the four types, and has solid damage, defense, and attack rating as well. In addition to the normal elemental bonuses, Air Elementals are immune to Blind spells as well as Meteor Shower. As a gaseous entity, however, it takes an additional fifty percentage points of damage when attacked by Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning.
Earth Elemental

Earth Elemental

  • Cost: 400 gold
  • Hit Points: 40
  • Attack: 10
  • Defense: 10
  • Damage: 4-8
  • Speed: 4 / Extra Slow
  • Shots: None
The stalwart Earth Elemental is the most solid elemental in terms of attack and defense values, and its average damage is the best as well. It is also the slowest of the four, however. Being attuned with the earth, it takes no damage whatsoever from Lightning or Chain Lightning spells, but it is very susceptible to Meteor Shower, which does fifty percent more.
Fire Elemental

Fire Elemental

  • Cost: 350 gold
  • Hit Points: 35
  • Attack: 10
  • Defense: 8
  • Damage: 4-6
  • Speed: 6 / Swift
  • Shots: None
The Fire Elemental is not the best elemental in any single area, but it also does not have any statistical drawbacks. Being made of flame, it is able to weather the effects of all fire spells without taking damage from them. When subjected to cold-based magic like Ice Ray and Frost Ring, however, the Fire Elemental takes normal damage plus fifty percent.
Water Elemental

Water Elemental

  • Cost: 300 gold
  • Hit Points: 30
  • Attack: 8
  • Defense: 10
  • Damage: 3-7
  • Speed: 5 / Slow
  • Shots: None
Like Fire Elementals, the Water Elemental is statistically middle-of-the-road, being neither the best nor the worst of its kind in any area. As a creature of the deep, spells that utilize freezing cold have no effect on the Water Elemental, though fire-based magics like Fire Wall, Fireball, Fire Shield, and Inferno do an additional fifty percentage points of damage.
Gold Golem

Gold Golem

  • Cost: 500 gold
  • Hit Points: 50
  • Attack: 11
  • Defense: 12
  • Damage: 8-10
  • Speed: 5 / Slow
  • Shots: None
The Gold Golem (as well as the more advanced Diamond Golem) is very similar to the Stone and Iron Golems produced by the Tower faction, and much like said units they are not very quick on their feet. Thankfully, they are very durable constructs, and they are troublesome for casters, as the damage they take from spells is reduced by fully eighty-five percent.
Diamond Golem

Diamond Golem

  • Cost: 750 gold
  • Hit Points: 60
  • Attack: 13
  • Defense: 12
  • Damage: 10-14
  • Speed: 5 / Slow
  • Shots: None
As the most advanced Golem in Heroes III, the Diamond Golem is the best-equipped in terms of hit points, damage, attack, and defense. Unfortunately, it is tied with the Iron Golem and Gold Golem in terms of speed, so it does not break any trends in that regard. Diamond Golems take a minuscule five percent damage when attacked by enemy spells.

Reception

Heroes of Might and Magic III was well-received critically upon its release in 1999, with reviewers responding positively to the game's revised visual presentation as well as the additional content and mechanics it provided. Criticisms leveled against the game, which were generally few and qualified, often revolved around Heroes III's extreme similarity to previous titles in the Heroes series. It was seen by some as an incremental enhancement over Heroes II, though a welcome one, and it is revered by many fans as the best game in the series.

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