UNFAIR RUSH STRATEGIES
Master Gremlin Rush:
Start a game and choose Tower as your starting town. Tower heroes start with around 60 Gremlins, around 4 Stone Gargoyles and sometimes around 2 Stone Golems. Leave all troops but 1 Gremlin in your town. Attack the nearest wandering creature stack with your 1 Gremlin hero and retreat. Go to your Tavern straight away and recruit the same hero you just retreated with. He will have a whole fresh and juicy army. Leave all troops but 1 Gremlin in your town. And again attack the nearest wandering creature stack with your 1 Gremlin hero and retreat. Recruit him again... etc... Repeat this for as long as you have gold to do so. On Easy difficulty you can re-recruit your hero 12 times, 8 on Normal, 6 on Hard and 4 times on Expert difficulty using just your starting gold. It costs only 1000 gold to upgrade Workshop, original Workshop is the only requirement. Then it costs only 10 gold to upgrade each Gremlin to Master Gremlin. Don't attack shooters or creatures with high speed because they will kill you before you can retreat! When you re-recruit your hero, he will have as much movement left as he had when he retreated, this will slow down the process. One of two heroes available for recruitment will be Alchemist or Wizard, so recruit him/her too to speed up the process. Piquedram starts with around 8 Stone Gargoyles only, so don't start with him nor recruit him. There is no Tower hero which has Gremlins as his specialty.
Ok, let's put it to the test! You have chosen Normal difficulty and nearest slow wandering monster stack is half a day's movement away. All creature quantities are average.
(Day1) 20.000 Gold. With your starting hero1 you get 60 Gremlins and 4 Stone Gargoyles, you move him to garrison. You recruit another Tower hero2 and he has 60 Gremlins, 4 Stone Gargoyles and 2 Stone Golems. Leaving hero1 in town with 120 Grem, 8 SGar and 2 SGol, you waste hero2 and re-recruit him. Hero1 in garrison now has 180 Grem, 12 Sgar and 2 SGol, you waste hero2 again and re-recruit him. Hero2 has no more movement, so you move him to garrison with all the army of 240 Grem, 16 SGar and 4 SGol. Waste and re-recruit hero1 two times. You now have 360 Grem, 24 SGar, 6 SGol, 7.500 Gold and 2 heroes with no movement. Upgrade Workshop = 1000 Gold. Upgrade 360 Gremlins = 3600 Gold. 2.900 Gold left. End your turn.
(Day2) 3.400 Gold. Build Town Hall = 2500 Gold. Recruit 16 master gremlins = 640 Gold. Give your preffered hero 376 Master Gremlins and 13 Stone Gargoyles. He/she will be the warrior hero. I suggest that you leave Stone Golems because they will slow down your hero and castle will be defended against quick explorer heroes. Give 3 Stone Gargoyles to another hero, put each one in different army slot, so that he/she will have time to retreat for sure if attacked. Second hero will be the explorer hero. You now have 260 Gold left, but what an unstoppable army! You are simply undefeatable!
(Note) Numbers of Monsters, Gold, Distance, Time to Complete this 2-Day plan depend on Chance, Difficulty and Map.
Well, the most terrible thing is that you haven't cheated! If you calculate the price of creatures that Tower heroes start with, it will be about 2500 Gold which is the price of the hero! So you are basically getting the hero for free while buying army which has endless population - with no price penalty whatsoever! Isn't this the biggest bug HOMM3 has? Allright, the computer isn't using it, but it's so tempting for human players... I suggest that you never ever use this, fight with honour!
Skeleton Transformer Gremlin Rush:
Skeleton Transformer costs only 1000 Gold, requires only Cursed Temple - Skeleton dwelling - and converts any creature to skeleton for free instantly. What you do is recruit some tower heroes and convert their Gremlins to Skeletons. There is 1/8 chance of having tower hero to recruit in your tavern once the game starts. If there isn't a tower hero to recruit, recruit other hero with most troops and he might make space for a tower hero. So, this is pretty much a Master Gremlin rush except that you conver them to Skeletons. It costs 400 Gold, 5 Wood and 5 Ore to Upgrade Cursed Temple. Pay 10 gold to upgrade each skeleton and you've got an unstopable army! And if you strted the game using Thant (speciality: Animate Dead), you're undefeatable, Skeletons will rise when killed. If you are lucky to get some Stone Golems, don't transform them, they are perfect for Necropolis army in the beginning: they have same speed as Walking Dead (they won't slow down a hero who has Walking Dead), they are quite tough and they are always a neutral morale just like undead! If you have a faster army, Stone Golems are still excellent to defend your castle from fast scout attacks. If you want your necropolis hero to resurrect Skeleton Warriors instead of Skeletons after the battle, make sure your army has no non-upgraded Skeletons and that all 7 stacks are occupied throughout all the battle (you can split creatures by holding shift in hero or town screens). Note: necromancy skill will resurrect 2/3 of normal number of Skeletons as Skeleton Warriors. That's about as evil as evil necro can get!
Bron's Basilisk Rush:
When you start a game a fortress, choose Bron as your starting hero. He comes with about 5-7 Basilisks usually. Basilisks are solid level 4 creatures with 35 hit points. By re-recruiting Bron you can accumulate quite a number of Basilisks which are pretty unstopable remembering that it's a first week. Even if player doesn't choose Bron as his starting hero, player still has 6.25% (1 out of 16) chance of having Bron available for recruitment in the tavern at the start of the game. When you're about to rush, buy a first aid tent and a spellbook, they will really help. If we assume that Brok comes with 7 Basilisks, they would cost 325 X 7 = 2275 gold, this way again you are paying virtually nothing for Bron himself. Bron's Basilisk Rush is easy to put up with compared to Master Gremlin Rush or Skeleton Transformer Gremlin Rush... Best prevention is not to allow players to start with Bron.
NO MORE RUSHES!
Patch 1.1 fixes: Heroes no longer receive full movement points when rehired in the same day they die, retreat or surrender.
Patch 1.2 fixes: Eliminated "Gremlin Rush" strategy. Only the first two heroes hired each week receive a full set of troops. All subsequent heroes receive a single troop. Also applies to single player games.