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As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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'Heroes of Might and Magic V' Creature Special Abilities - 6 New Screens

by Judy on Dec. 1, 2005 @ 12:29 p.m. PST

Gamers will delve into a more mature, consistent fantasy universe that will appeal to fans of all fantasy genres. Heroes of Might & Magic V will benefit from the features and characteristics that established the success of the initial saga while offering a wealth of innovations such as a highly immersive scenario, a variety of appealing factions, modern 3D graphics, a revolutionary tactical combat system, and a story-based campaign mode.

In Heroes of Might & Magic V, most creatures have one or several special abilities. Most of these abilities are special combat skills reflecting the specific power and nature of the creature. The most common abilities are Flyer, Shooter, and Immunity to a specific element or spell (fire, lightning, slow…), or the ability to cast one or several spells. However there are plenty of other abilities, many of them being specific to one creature. Today we will take a first look at six special abilities, covering creatures from each faction in the game.

Archangels: Resurrect
Archangels can resurrect friendly units from a stack that have been decimated or partially destroyed. This ability needs to be "activated" by the player. In other words, Archangels can either move/attack in the regular way, or the player can select the Resurrect special ability and use it on a stack of friendly units. Archangels can use Resurrect only once during a combat. The number of creatures resurrected by Archangels depends on the number of Archangels in the stack and the health point (HP) value of resurrected creatures.

Familiars: Mana Stealer
Every time a Familiar takes the turn, a certain amount of mana is taken away from the reserve available to the enemy hero. This ability is automatic (it does not need to be activated by the player) and has no cost to the creature: it will be able to move or use another ability in the same turn. The amount of stolen mana is calculated based on the number of Familiars in the stack, and their basic weekly increase. As a result, a stack made of one weekly brood of Familiars "steal" approximately three points of the enemy hero's mana every time it takes the turn. The stolen mana is then transferred to the hero who controls the Familiars, and added to the hero's current reserve; note that the total mana value cannot exceed the maximum set for the hero). Having a huge stack of familiar in your army can be a very effective way to reduce the enemy hero's magic power.

War Dancer: War Dance Combo
Using their two swords and their superior training in fencing, War Dancers are capable of attacking not one but all the tiles that surrounds them with a single attack. The War Dancer must position himself carefully when attacking to strike a maximum of enemy creatures. The best strategy is then to target the weakest enemy stack, as only this one will be able to retaliate on the attack, while creatures suffering "indirect" damages won't.

Vampire: Life Drain
Vampires can restore their HP and even resurrect some of the killed units in their stack by using the HP that they extract from enemy creatures.
They will extract vital energy from the enemies thanks to successful attacks. For every wound they inflict they will get some HP. They will restore their energy immediately after the attack, even before the enemy retaliates. As a result a big stack of vampires is all the more difficult to eliminate because it will constantly regenerate itself in combat.

Mage: Magic Attack
Like War Dancers and Hydras, Mages have a pattern attack, meaning they can damage several creatures with a single attack. However their attack is special in that the pattern is a "tile by tile" vector originating in the tile where the Mage stands, going through the tile where the specified target is positioned and continuing beyond the game field. All units in the line of attack—both friendly and hostile—suffer damage from the Mage's shot (damages are calculated individually for each target). Combat machines positioned outside of the game field but in the line of attack also suffer appropriate damage.

Deep Hydra: Six-Headed Attack
Deep Hydras are huge creatures occupying a 2x2 tiles surface on the battlefield. Thanks to their six heads, they can attack a whole sphere simultaneously—the 12 adjacent tiles around them. However, Hydras always target an actual creature, not an area. Damage inflicted is calculated for each creature positioned on the affected tiles individually.

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