Might / Stronghold Tactics


The creatures of the Haven town are not powerful in brute strength, with only the Crusaders able to match your melee abilities, and Angels able to block Cyclopes as well as challenge Behemoths. The main threat Life has is being able to nullify the physical attacks of your own creatures. Spells like heal and sanctuary can cause problems, especially when Crusaders are able to march up to your Cyclopes unpunished. Song of Peace can also prevent your Cyclopes from doing damage. A tight formation should be used to alleviate the threat of song of peace while making it difficult for Angels to access your Cyclopes. Haven are a defensive army, so they need to be broken down quickly with the Harpy/Thunderbird combination. Harpies need not strike and return since they are better used to keep ballistae from firing at berserkers before they inevitably reach the other side. Thunderbirds should target any creature in front of the Priest hero, preferable Angels or Champions, so that the Barbarian hero can destroy the Priest. Centaurs are effective Squire blockers, and if they have monks they can easily be contained by Harpies. Cyclopes, if not song of peaced or blocked by angels, (in that case the combat Barbarian hero should be able to diffuse the block) should attempt to attack as many opposing shooters in a tight position with the area attack.

Creatures to Use: Harpies, Cyclopes, Thunderbirds.


Academy are possibly the most difficult town for Stronghold to overcome due to their mastery of magic. Both Barbarian heroes should try to manage at least expert magic resistance when fighting against an Academy town, though master is preferred. The most problematic Order spells for a Stronghold town are mind control spells like berserk or hypnotise, but other, debilitating spells like slow and forgetfulness with hurt the chances of your Cyclopes and Barbarian hero. Additionally, the Pain Mirror spell is particularly damaging against an aggressive might town, as is create illusion/phantom image, which means they'll have spellcasting abilities as well as some of your creatures. It is advisable to bring your main tactics Barbarian hero into the battle so that you will at least be granted the first attack. Thunderbirds are vital for this combat and penetrating their defences and killing the opposing Mage, which should always be the first target. Even more effective is if Harpies can attack before the enemy mage hero, and then in this case Thunderbirds can be used against Magi. A tight formation should be used to guard the Cyclopes from enemy spells and ranged attacks from Titans. Dragon Golems can be engaged by the combat Barbarian hero, as well as Berserkers, who will usually meet them in the middle due to both creatures need to cross the battlefield. Centaurs may also aid in this task. Cyclopes should also aim for the enemy hero (this job is made easier in a siege where he/she is likely to be on a tower), but if the hero has been disposed of, the Magi should be the next target, but these two are likely to have been depleted, and then the Genies should be the next target. Yes, the Titans and Halflings should be left until last.

Creatures to Use: Harpies, Cyclopes, Thunderbirds.


Asylum is probably the town that is most similar to the Stronghold due to its attacking, direct magic spells that are have the same effect as an extra ranged attack. Their creatures are even more powerful than that of the Stronghold, but are less numerous, especially when dealing with Black Dragons. If fighting Black Dragons, then Behemoths are preferred because they are capable of dealing damage, whereas the Thunderbird's lightning ability does not come into play. However, against Hydras, the Thunderbirds should be chosen, as they have an extra growth rate, and, in the ratio of 3:2, they are more powerful. Additionally, they can exploit their speed disadvantage. Harpies are worthy adversaries for Medusae, but, if Behemoths need to be chosen, Nomads can reach them in 2 turns at most, which suffices, since they have first strike. Cyclopes should target Medusae in the first turn, and usually the magic hero will be nearby, so attempt to kill that with the area attack too. Nightmares are not a threat after they have cast terror, and can be easily destroyed by the Barbarian hero in melee combat. Black Dragons should be engaged by the combat Barbarian and Behemoths. If Chaos has Efreeti, a ranged attack from the Centaur should be enough in the beginning, but the secondary Barbarian hero can also attack it with its ranged attack to disengage it from Cyclopes (if the first is occupied by the Black Dragons). The Sorcerer isn't crucial to defeat early, but again, if it is within range of the area attack, defeat it within the first two turns.

Creatures to Use: Harpies (Hy)/ Nomads (BD), Cyclopes, Thunderbirds (Hy)/ Behemoth (BD).


The two Preserve variations require contrasting tactics, as one would expect. The physical Preserve line-up does not need speed, but power to combat it, while the magical side proves to be a higher threat due to the army's inability to repel it (except for the hero).

Variant 1: Elf, Unicorn, Faerie Dragon, Water Elemental
A more defensive and spellcasting line-up for the Preserve necessitates an attacking approach from our side. Harpies and Thunderbirds must be used to stop Water Elementals and Faerie Dragons respectively. The problem is, though, Faerie Dragons will magic mirror the lightning ability of the Thunderbird, essentially making it a liability against them. Therefore, Cyclopes should try to attack Faerie Dragons before Thunderbirds to lower their numbers. The opposing Preserve hero is not a big threat to the army, as its spells are summoning spells, which can be destroyed by Berserkers or Centaur, usually (unless the caster is a very high level). Cyclopes should be protected from spells like Wasp Swarm and Sprites, who will more than likely attempt to block the path. They should be cleared by Berserkers early on. Unicorns can be easily dealt with by the Barbarian hero/es, while Elves can be attacked by both Cyclopes and Harpies (or blocked) so they are stalled from doing their double attack until the magical threat is dealt with.

Creatures to Use: Harpies, Cyclopes, Thunderbirds.

Variant 2: White Tiger, Griffin, Phoenix, Mantis.
A largely easier combat, mostly due to the fact the Preserve army cannot match the might of the Stronghold. Cyclopes are taken out of the combat by rampaging Phoenixes and Mantises. Therefore, try to keep them in the very back corner protected by two Barbarian heroes so that these larger creatures cannot reach them. Behemoths are better in this situation due to their sturdier hit points and greater damage infliction upon either Phoenixes or Mantises. Nomads, even though they should ideally be chosen with Behemoths anyway, are better for this combat due to their first strike and higher hit points and damage. They are easily stronger than White Tigers, as well as being able to dispose of large numbers of Sprites quickly. Centaurs are effective in bringing down Wolves, as are Berserkers, whose strength is wasted against the level 4s. Cyclopes, if they can stay free in combat, should target the Griffins, who can cause your Barbarians trouble.

Creatures to Use: Nomad, Cyclopes, Behemoth.


It is vital that you invest in a master or grandmaster tactics hero, as well as giving your other barbarian good tactics aswell. In a mirror battle, speed is of the essence, and tactics will give you this edge in combat. The safer option, considering your heroes have a good knowledge of tactics, is the Nomad/Behemoth combination. The first reason being, the Nomad's speed is much higher than that of the Harpy, it deals much more damage, and has almost double the hit points, while only having a quarter less growth. They are also very mobile, and should reach the army in 1 turn if tactics is learnt well. The Behemoth should be chosen due to its strength and excellent hit points advantage over the Thundebird. Secondly, if Thunderbirds were to engage in a hero duel, it is more than likely their lightning attack will not have any effect on most occasions, causing it to do very little damage, while a Behemoth's strength ability means it will be a worthy match. One element you need not worry about is spellcasting, so your Cyclopes should be safe. Again, tactics becomes important here, for you must attack the enemy Cyclops first. If they have a tight formation, your Nomads should clear the defending creature (if it is a Thunderbird, you need not worry - they will move anyway).

Creatures to Use: Nomads, Cyclopes, Behemoths.


Venom Spawn are nearly as troubling as Vampires in this conflict, as they can poison a good deal of your enemies if you choose the Behemoth/Nomad combination, and there is no way of you preventing or curing this, unless you have learnt magic, which is difficult to accomplish. The Necropolis is a fast army, but they are not good at protecting themselves. Thunderbirds are probably the better choice in this scenario, as they have the ability of lightning, and are able to keep up with the Devil and Bone Dragons. The undead qualities of the Necropolis have no effect in this battle apart from resisting spells such as plague if they decide to cast it. Indeed, if the Necromancer hero does cast it, it is better to have faster creatures like the Thunderbirds and Harpies, as they can push for a quick finish to the combat. Cyclopes are likely to get bombarded by Ghosts, Vampires, and Devils or Bone Dragons, so they must be protected by the two Barbarians in the corner. This can be difficult against Bone Dragons due to their fear ability. However, together, they can defeat one of the level 4s. Centaurs and Berserkers have no problems against skeletons and imps, though it is favourable if Centaur save their shots for Vampires. Cyclopes, if able to get some combat time, should target the Necromancer hero along with anyone who is next to him. Ghosts are difficult to kill because they are insubstantial, so a few berserkers/centaurs (whichever is left) and some Harpies should be able to overpower them once the Devils or Bone Dragons have left the field.

Creatures to Use: Harpies, Cyclopes, Thunderbirds.

Thanks to The_Hydra (Heroes 5 Content Admin, Heroes Community Moderator) for writing the tactics.