Order / Academy Tactics
Due to the large numbers of ranged attackers, the Haven army is likely to be able to dispose of your lower-hit point creatures like the Magi. Additionally, spells such as poison and magic fist are not as effective against Life, as they have numerous options available to them to heal the effects, for example, heal, exorcism, as well as martyr which may be frustrating for spellcasters. Gold Golems are more effective due to their high hit points, while casting blur on them enables the Golems to walk up to the enemy in a few turns, remaining relatively unhurt by the ranged potency of the Haven. Additionally, teleport is a spell that can also aid the Gold Golems, especially in this case where Order are compelled to become the aggressor. Genies are still the better choice than Nagas, seeing as it would require too many spells to be cast on behalf of the spellcaster to enable these slower walkers to attack, while the Genie's spell range is more diverse than that of the Magi, where slow greatly compromises the opposing Champions, Angels or Crusaders, Life's only attacking units. Create Illusion is always helpful - cloning Angels is especially painful as it grants you extra speed in breaking down their defences. In a battle of offense, Dragon Golems work better than Titans due to their speed and movement, and they should be reaching the enemy in 1 turn. They can attack any number of creatures, but most likely would be their Priest hero. Your own Mage should then be able to neutralise the Crusaders or Monks with Cowardice (due to low hit points), or the more extravagant option of forgetfulness for Monks and slow/blind for the Crusaders.
Creatures to Use: Gold Golem, Genie, Dragon Golem.
Spells: Blur, Teleport, Slow (G), Create Illusion (G), Cowardice, Forgetfulness, Blind.
When facing the magical might of your own town, engaging in a war of spells can be tiresome and lead to creatures being destroyed on both sides. Again, the battle is very dependent on speed, so it may be worth taking along a Lord with tactics or a Mage with tactics simply to hasten your army. The ever-important first spell can determine the outcome of a battle. Hypnotising the enemy hero is the most effective spell in this case because you are cancelling their capacity to cast magic, while using it for your own benefit. You should concentrate on spells that, when you act first, will prevent the enemy from mounting a counter-attack or using the same spell. Hence, spells like phantom image, pain mirror, mass precision, etc are too passive, and the enemy hero has the chance to use a more impactful spell. If hypnotise is unavailable, blinding the enemy hero suffices, as does mass slow to a lesser extent, giving your troops the opportunity to quickly eliminate the Mage hero (and any creatures that guard it). Since magic plays a large part in this battle, Gold Golems have more stamina than Magi, and the all-important 75% magic resistance, forcing the enemy to take a physical stance when attacking you. Genies are a given in this battle - Nagas are simply too slow and don't have any noteworthy specialties that can help against a spellcasting army. Genies also have the option of create illusion, song of peace, and ice bolt to adapt to any situation that may arise. Titans have the ability to attack quickly, badly damaging enemy Magi on a siege tower, Titans that have had forgetfulness cast on them, or a worthy match for Dragon Golems.
Creatures to Use: Gold Golem, Genie, Titan.
Spells: Hypnotise, Mass Slow, Blind, Song of Peace (G), Ice Bolt (G), Forgetfulness.
The Asylum is the most dangerous town for an Order town, as Black Dragons are immune to all magic, and they are able to attack quickly through the use of Efreeti, Black Dragons, and Medusae. No creature can match the power of the Black Dragon, and there is no way to stop it through magic, though there is one sign of hope - Titans' Chaos Ward. Combined with Mass Precision, (Halflings may be useful in numbers here) Titans are able to fend off Black Dragons (since there should be 2x the amount of Titans) along with the help of Halflings. The ramifications of losing the Mage hero aren't as grave since such spells can't be used on Black Dragons, but it makes Genies all the more important to contain the rest of the Chaos army, such as casting slow then song of peace on Efreeti/Nightmares to keep them at bay for a while so your army does not get bombarded. It is important that forgetfulness is cast on the Medusae on the Mage's first action, as it severely reduces their effectiveness throughout combat. Precision can be cast on Titans by a secondary mage hero if the primary Mage is defeated quickly. Try not to use guarding/blocking tactics, as Black Dragons can avoid this through their breath attack. Gold Golems, with their mechanical nature and magic resistance, are unaffected by Stone Gaze, and can survive longer battles against high-HP creatures like the Nightmare or Black Dragon. The opposite Chaos Sorcerer is not a big threat, though casting cat reflexes on Efreeti can be dangerous (hopefully they have been disabled by slow/song of peace combo already) but otherwise your Genies are most likely to be singled out. Halflings can attempt to eliminate the Sorcerer, so too can Gold Golems in a normal situation.
Creatures to Use: Gold Golem, Genie, Titan.
Spells: Mass/Precision, Mass/Slow (G), Song of Peace, Forgetfulness.
Half of the Preserve creatures can act in a similar fashion to your own, while the other half is more aggressive, relying on high attack and defense skills (and therefore damage) and speed to overcome the opponent quickly. Varying tactics need to be implemented to emerge victorious on both counts.
Variant 1: Elves, Unicorns, Faerie Dragons, Water Elementals.
Such a magical line-up calls for a resistant army, to limit the number of units that can be affected by rival spells. It is difficult to look past Gold Golems here due to there 75% magical immunity and their mechanised state. Once again, its downfall is that it will be unable to reach the enemy for a number of turns, but, on the other hand, the Magi's numbers are likely to be destroyed in the first round by either Water Elementals or Faerie Dragons, and the Magi will never be able to deal damage to Faerie Dragons without doing more damage to themselves. Genies are the superior option due to the bevy of spells they have knowledge of. While they will be unable to hurt Faerie Dragons and Water Elementals due to their cold resistance, they are effective against Unicorns, who are the only creature that need to cross the battlefield. However, Genies should attack Elves first to lower their numbers, and then focus on Unicorns. Indeed, the Magic Hero can cast forgetfulness on enemy Elves if there are too many of them, though it is more effective to cast Teleport on your Dragon Golems and block off the line of sight of both Faerie Dragons and Water Elementals. Your secondary hero casting displacement can aid this cause.
Creature to Use: Gold Golem, Genie, Dragon Golem.
Spells: Ice Bolt (G), Forgetfulness, Teleport, Displacement.
Variant 2: White Tigers, Griffins, Phoenixes, Mantises.
This second variant allows your Mage to exercise his/her spellpower freely. Hypnotise is a most effective spell in this case, where the advancing Phoenix can be tricked to attack its partner in crime the Mantis, deal severe damage to it, and fly back and kill their own hero. Even better is if you can attack 2 creatures in one shot with its breath attack - this would be the time to cast hypnotise. If Hypnotise is unavailable, Phantom Image is an excellent spell, as it clones a number of Phoenix, and, depending on the level of your Mage, this may be a more effective spell: you don't lose control of them after 3 turns! Nagas are more effective in this state of barrage than Genies due to their increased hit points and no retaliation. They are a strong competitor for Griffins because of their high attack and defense values. Dragon Golems possess the first strike ability here, and negate the Mantis' capability of the same action. Dragon Golems are also about 17% stronger in a melee, not including the added first strike ability (attack x defense, x HP x ave. dam.). Gold Golems are an obvious choice here for their 50 HP much increased damage and attack and defense statistics over the Mage, which allows them to overpower the White Tigers.
Creatures to Use: Gold Golem, Naga, Dragon Golem.
Spells: Hypnotise, Phantom Image.
One of the easiest battles for the Academy, brought about by the inability of the Might army to combat spells. The Might hero is usually unable to be touched by spells, but this simply means that the secondary hero can cast low level, beneficial spells like Mass/Precision and Slow. The Titan's Chaos Ward means he takes half damage from the Thunderbird's lightning attack, and this factor alone makes it more viable than a Dragon Golem in this combat. Even against Behemoths, Titans are superior since Behemoths need to slowly trudge across the battlefield to attack. The most important spell for the Mage to cast here is undoubtedly forgetfulness. This single spell turns Stronghold's greatest shooter into a poor level 3 walker. If another creature is blocking it, it can be eliminated or displaced by the secondary tactics Mage (or even Lord if he/she has learnt Basic Order Magic). If not, Genies can destroy it with their Ice Bolt. Magi are effective in this battle since Gold Golems are asking to be dismantled if they walk behind the Stronghold lines. Magi also have the Poison spell, which is an effective way of weakening oncoming Harpies or Nomads, as well as Centaurs. Since Stronghold's only super-quick unit is the doomed Thunderbird, Genies can be used to get the better of Harpies or Nomads (since the Cyclopes have already been immobilised) through Ice Bolt or Song of Peace. The Barbarian is the most difficult unit to deal with, but Titans, protected by Dwarves or another creature, can eliminate it in a few turns. Prior to that, your Magic heroes should be shielded so he/she cannot damage them (and then they can cast Phantom image to destroy the Barbarian instead of Titans).
Creatures to Use: Mage, Genie, Titan.
Spells: Mass/Precision, Slow, Forgetfulness, Poison (M), Ice Bolt (G), Song of Peace (G), Displacement, Phantom Image.
Tactics for either half of the Necropolis are largely similar, seeing as the Necropolis' creatures are all extremely quick apart from the Venom Spawn, which can easily be neutralised by the forgetfulness spell. Due to the speedy nature of the Death army, almost all their creatures will act before yours, making weaker units susceptible to an early attack. Creatures like the Ghost can decimate stacks of Magi early on, and while spells are much more effective than a physical attack against them, there will be too few to use magic fist, and poison has no impact on the Necropolis' other creatures. At least, the Gold Golem is resistant to spells like poison and plague, as well as being immune to the life drain attack of the Vampires, while Magi are magnets for them as they have very low HP. Nagas and Genies both fare well in this combat, Genies because they can use song of peace and ice bolt, while their downfall is their low HP and attack value. While Nagas are strong and can fight Vampires due to their no-retaliation ability, which means attacking them is not a liability. The speed of the Devil and Bone Dragon means that these two creatures will be able to penetrate your defences easily and quickly. To counteract this, Dragon Golems should be used, as they are a more powerful melee unit than the Titan, and are mechanical, meaning they can resist poison, plague, as well as the Bone Dragon's fear, the Vampires' life drain and the Ghost's aging. Despite all efforts to protect your Mage hero, it is unlikely to survive long due to Vampires and Devils. Thus, you may perhaps only have 1 spell available. If your Mage is of a very high level, making a phantom image of Devils or Dragon Golems gives you extra strength in combat, even after the hero has gone. If not, Pain Mirror is an excellent spell to cast on your Dragon Golems to perhaps discourage other creatures from attacking it.
Creatures to Use: Gold Golem, Genie (vs. Venom Spawn)/Naga (vs. Vampire), Dragon Golem.
Spells: Song of Peace (G), Ice Bolt (G), Create Illusion (G), Phantom Image, Pain Mirror.