Life / Haven Tactics
When playing against an army with similar characteristics to your own, strategy and speed become more vital than raw power since there is little or no advantage. If your magic hero is a Crusader class, you will almost always be able to attack first, while Angels ensure this benefit aswell. Angels are more versatile creatures than champions, and fare will in sieges and open combat. They can be used to attack ballistae or monks if the enemy has champions. If your Priest attacks first due to good morale, cast song of peace on the enemy priest, effectively cancelling him out of combat for the turn. The hero can then be killed by either crossbowmen or ballistae. If the enemy has angels, resist the temptation to cast song of peace on them, since the opposing magic hero will reciprocate the favour. Ranged heroes are particularly useful against a slow, Haven army, in conjunction with the precision spell from the Order alignment. Squires are a match for oncoming pikemen due to their stun ability, while your crusaders should target enemy crusaders and champions, while angels concentrate on ballistae and enemy heroes. Your archer or knight hero should aid the Crusader through ranged attacks and casting bless on it, which is doubly effective due to their two attacks.
Creatures to Use: Ballistae, Crusaders, Angels.
Spells: Song of Peace, Bless.
An essential key to victory against almost all alignments Life faces apart from itself is being lucky and knowing the appropriate ward. Without Order Ward, Order's powerful spellcasting army of Mages, Genies, and a spellcasting hero are able to destroy Life's ranged army, especially in a siege situation. The best defence in this instance is to choose Ballistae, as they are mechanical and are able to attack immediately, Monks, who are effective with precision, and Angels who can resurrect any fallen allies. While Order has powerful spells, they are weak physically, so the sooner they are attacked, the less their spells do. Again, the hero should be the first target, even using the Angel if need be. Mages and Genies need to be targeted by ranged attackers, and, later on, Angels, as the damage potential of poison is massive, and cause your spellcaster to get sidetracked if your Knight does not have exorcism/heal (which he should). Even with Order Ward (if your hero has it, it should be undoubtedly cast in the first turn), Titans and halflings prove to be a threat to Haven's ranged supremacy, but the spellcasters do not have to be held in such high regard. Spells like Prayer and Mass Bless may be used after Mass Order Ward, coupled with spells like blur to reduce the ranged effectiveness of titans and halflings, especially on the Angels, your most mobile unit.
Creatures to Use: Ballistae, Monks, Angels.
Spells: Mass Order Ward, Precision, Exorcism/Heal, Prayer, Mass Bless.
Asylum is an easier town to overcome due to their narrow spellcasting problems, and also because Haven's spells focus on blessing rather than damaging the opponent, making Black Dragons' ability impotent. The hit point disadvantage life suffer can be alleviated through the use of Prayer. Once again, if the Priest has Chaos Ward, it should be cast in preference of any other spell. The Terror ability of the Nightmare is troublesome against Angels or magic heroes, but, the Nightmare has the capacity for 1 Terror, and even if they were split up into 2 or 3 stacks, Crossbowmen and your Nature Archer hero should be able to eliminate at least one stack quickly. Chaos spells are primarily direct damage, which plays into Life's hands since Life magic is centred around healing - nullifying the effects of these spells. Thus, Chaos will be forced to rely on its strained repertoire of spells like Cat Reflexes, which cannot be used on creatures like Black Dragons. This is a problem for Chaos, as, without a flyer, they cannot stop Life's rangers. Precision and Bless should be cast, especially on Crusaders, as they will be doing the brunt of the attacking work in the centre of the field against Nightmares/Efreeti and Bandits. An Angel with Prayer should be able to defeat half as much Black Dragons, while Ballistae are the perfect adversary against Medusae, as their best ability cannot be used.
Creatures to Use: Ballistae, Crusaders, Angels.
Spells: Mass Chaos Ward, Prayer, Precision, Bless.
The battle against the town of two halves can really swing either way for Haven. Surprisingly, Haven fares better against the faster, more aggressive combination than against a spellcasting variation. The main factor in this is astute defensive spells and strategies like regeneration, martyr, and heal.
Variant 1: White Tiger, Griffin, Phoenix, Mantis.
Mass Nature Ward is again an obvious first action for the Priest hero against such an army, also considering that this is a weak spellcasting army, they will have powerful archers like yourself. However, in this situation, it is almost always better to pick Pikeman as they are faster, and the type of combat you will be engaging in will be melee combat, where the Pikeman has the advantage of a long weapon, reducing the effectiveness of abilities like the Phoenix's breath attack, the White Tiger's First Strike, and the Unlimited Retaliation of the Griffin. Pikeman also have more hit points, and are better defenders than the Ballista, and they will therefore last longer in melee-intensive combat. Crusaders are also an obvious choice against this army - two attacks and, of course, not suffering a melee penalty, as the Monks would do - shooters aren't effective against a fast, aggressive army. Champions are actually more likely to succeed due to their high numbers - it also provides Haven with a quicker start on the adventure map (in addition to the absence of ballistae) and spells like Prayer are effective on it. In this combat, Crossbowmen are rather weak, and so the Priest should cast martyr on them in order to keep your Champions or Crusaders in combat - they have the highest damage potential - while casting regeneration on them. The consistent casting of bind wounds or heal from your knight is useful, while he and the archer may also be called on for their melee abilities (a reason for leaving the archer out of this one).
Creatures to Use: Pikemen, Crusaders, Champions.
Spells: Martyr, Regeneration, Prayer, Bind Wounds/Heal.
Variant 2: Elf, Unicorn, Faerie Dragon, Water Elemental.
A much more difficult combination for Life to overcome. Elves or Water Elementals should have song of peace cast on them (not before mass nature ward, of course), while the weaker archer should engage elves while ballistae or crossbowmen attack them. It is vital for Angels to cross the battlefield and prevent Faerie Dragons from casting too many spells, as they have a low defense : high damage potential. Monks should focus on the Water Elementals after they have awoken from their lullaby. Mass Precision is an invaluable spell in this scenario, as success in this combat depends heavily on the effectiveness of Haven's shooters. For this reason, mass bless can be cast by the knight hero, while the Archer should be able to hold of the more offensive threat of wolves. In siege, this battle becomes increasingly difficult, where you must rely on spells like displacement to knock Faerie Dragons, Water Elementals and Elves off their towers, and martyr squires or a hero to keep the Angels alive - as they are the only creature that can contest all three creatures at once.
Creatures to Use: Ballistae, Monks, Angels.
Spells: Mass Nature Ward, Song of Peace, Martyr, Mass Bless, Mass Precision.
A very difficult battle, involving you to use a tactics hero that can perhaps ensure the mobility of your creatures. It is likely the Stronghold will have a very powerful hero, as well as a bevy of Thunderbirds - who can more than match your Champions, especially with their lightning ability. There is little in Life's spell school that can properly stop Barbarians. Sacrifices need to be made. Firstly, use Squires to stun them, then attack them with your own trio of heroes and Crusaders. Hopefully, he should almost be killed, but, if not, Crossbowmen can finish it. Pikemen should be used to keep Centaurs and Berserkers in check, while Crusaders need to be constantly protected when fighting against the Barbarian hero, as well as Thunderbirds, with the help of Angels. Cyclopes should be put to sleep as soon as possible, and kept that way for the duration of combat. This frees up the Angel to weaken first the Thunderbirds, and then the Harpies or Nomads. Retribution is a useful spell to cast on your Crusaders or Angels in this instance.
Creatures to Use: Pikemen, Crusaders, Angels.
Spells: Song of Peace, Retribution.
Another Town of halves, the Necropolis is difficult to cast offensive spells against, but Life magic is well suited against Death magic spells like Plague, Poison, Curse, and Fatigue. This makes Death a slightly easier alignment for Life to deal with, and strategies are similar either way. The Death Ward that is inbuilt in Crusaders and Monks makes them all the more effective against them (Casting Mass Death Ward is a given). Ballistae are probably slightly more suited to the situation, primarily because they are mechanical and are able to resist most of Death's spells. However, the Necropolis is fast, and, if Vampires are chosen especially, will be able to block Haven's ranged attacks like the Ballista, disabling them. Luckily, the Ballista is immune to both Life Drain and Poison, so they are quite resilient against these two usually destructive abilities. Crusaders are a given in this combat - they will be able to combat against Vampires, especially if Prayer and Bless is cast on them. Angels are more than a match for Devils, and are effective against Bone Dragons with additional spells like Bless. Holy Shout is important for preventing Ghosts from becoming too disruptive, and this spell is the most effective way to attack them due to their insubstantial body. Mass Healing will be required through the course of combat, and it helps if the Knight hero knows at least Heal to prevent damage to proactive creatures or heroes.
Creatures to Use: Ballista, Crusader, Angel.
Spells: Mass Healing, Mass Death Ward, Prayer, Mass Bless, Holy Shout.