Map control in Heroes VII 10/29/2014 | 377 comments

Map control is a concept supported by many features in Heroes 7. 

The goal of this mechanic is to provide options and means for the players to plan and execute a high level strategy to take over a map.

These means are often double-edged: they have a price and therefore, imply a risk. By spotting your opponents efforts to use map control features, you can decide to counter them, but that also has a cost.

Bridge

CHOKE POINTS

They are strategic locations of a map, which means that they are very useful roads or passages linking towns and high value areas like resource sites and outposts. Choke points are destructible structures like bridges or teleporters. Destroying is easy and fast. Rebuilding is costly.

By destroying a choke point, you force the opponents to spend resources to rebuild, which is a painful cost. At the same time, you are closing those passages for yourself, too, so it better be part of a greater plan, otherwise you may need to spend those resources yourself to reopen the ways you have closed.

Destroying and rebuilding will also stall you for the rest of the turn, which makes destroyed choke points interesting in defense of your towns.

Area

AREA OF CONTROL

Areas of controls are a bit different than in the previous game. The principle is the same. Towns and forts have an area of control around them. The player who owns the main building of an area of controls gains the benefit of resource sites inside this area.

Also, any wandering hero passing through an enemy area of control and not strong enough to attack its controlling building (town or fort) can raid a mine and steal a few days’ worth of resources.

Forts

FORTS

They are critical in the high level strategy. Forts in Heroes VII create areas of control like in the previous game, but they can be upgraded to provide permanent defensive troops and structures, making them harder to overcome.

Again, Players might want to invest or not in the upgrade of a fort. A stronger fort has its own troops and can have defense towers, which will forbid any secondary hero with a weak army to simply snatch a whole area of control and its mines.

In the other hand, a strong army will burn the fort to the ground and all investment will be lost. In Heroes VII, forts cannot be captured and converted; they are destroyed, and can then be rebuilt.

While a fort is in ruins, all mines in its area of control are free to be captured by any wandering hero.

OUTPOSTS

They are places remote from your towns, that are in strategic positions and that you might want to control, like areas containing resource sites. Generally, they are areas controlled by forts. Forts are very useful on a frontline, because you can send troops from your towns and dwellings there using caravans, to support a hero who has to reinforce fast and cannot afford to travel back to a town.

For this reasons, forts are not only useful to control local mines but also as a key location in reinforcement strategies.

Caravans

CARAVANS AND REINFORCEMENT LINES

In Heroes VII, you cannot recruit troops from all your kingdom in any town and fort: you need to move them where you want them. This is critical in the high level strategy of a game.
Caravans are simple to use, just select where you want troops when you are buying them, and they will be automatically sent there in a caravan.

Creatures bought in the same area of control are assembled in the controlling building before starting they travel. Once on the road, they are autonomous, but can be interacted with. Their owner can pick-up or exchange troops with them, before they reach their destination (another town or fort) and enemies can attack them. They are then considered as enemy armies without a hero.

This is why other map control features are important: you need to secure your reinforcement lines to avoid enemies to raid your caravans and deprive you of fresh troops on the frontline.

HE WHO CONTROLS THE MAP CONTROLS THE WORLD

To conclude, in Heroes VII, having a clearly established map control strategy will be key to victory. Counter-strategies are also available to disrupt enemies. Unprotected forts and supply lines can be raided to punish heroes who don’t invest in securing their grip on conquered territories.
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