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>So how does it play?
All that said, the good news is that if you enjoy Heroes of Might and Magic, that’s still the game you’re playing. You still travel around an exciting adventurous world collecting resources and trinkets while trying to build your armies up as strong as possible before clashing with your opponents. If you just want a new experience, then this is a perfectly reasonable game to turn to. If, however, you’re looking for the best Heroes of Might and Magic experience, this game is seriously lacking.
Since the core of the gameplay is the combat and trying to clear battles as efficiently as possible, the screen should be easy to use and understand so you can make proper strategic decisions. Unfortunately, the new grid makes that nearly impossible. While you are able to see a grid of where your enemies can currently move, it is very difficult to tell how terrain interacts with line of sight, or how you might maneuver your troops to control the battlefield. This can quickly become frustrating, especially when a misplaced or misjudged causes your archers to get stuck in melee combat with some terrifying beast that kills several dozen of them per swing, or simply stands in the way when you have other things you could be shooting at.
And on the topic of archers, the retaliation issue becomes most apparent. Because retaliation damage is calculated immediately, things that avoid retaliation take a massive preference over things that do not. This places almost every single melee creature in the realm of unusable, since entering combat at all is liable to lose you half your soldiers or more. Creatures with the First Strike or No Retaliation abilities, or creatures that simply don’t enter melee, become prized. One of the best strategies I’ve found is to have early melee units simply stand in front of your ranged units to take hits for them while they deal with the entire battlefield singlehandedly.
One place combat actually recovers somewhat is from heroes. A lot of emphasis was placed on making them cool and useful (even if their art and animations still leaves a lot to be desired). Slapping the Combat ability