Heroes of Might and Magic II — Arrax The Jerk
Arrax The Jerk. This mission of Heroes of Might And Magic II is unique in its kind. There is only one enemy hero. He has very, very strong barbarian troops and he never leaves his castle.
Very often, on the first day or second day of each week (or both) Arrax will steal gold and *huge* amounts of ore, wood, crystal and/or gem. Now you know why he is considered a jerk.
I really hope that you have already tried everything you could do before read this walk-through. I don’t want to spoil the challenge for you.
There are many ways to accomplish this mission. I will not go into every single detail. Instead, I will show essential things, some secrets and two very clever tactics, and also warn you about Arrax dirty playing. So, there will be room for your own strategy and tactics.
Avoiding Being Stolen
Never pick up gold, ore, wood, crystal and/or gem that is not going to be used till the end of the week. *Sulfur and chemical* are safe from being stolen. Don’t wait next week to start buying or constructing something.
Reaching The Castle
In order to reach Arrax castle, you must get the password for the red barrier at the red tent in a small island to the north. Or use Dimension Door spell (if you have it).
No Need To Rush
Don’t try an early assault to Arrax castle because he is stupidly strong since day one. Also, don’t attack Arrax with close combat troops like goblins, ogres or cyclopes, because they will be eliminated by Arrax shooters (orc chiefs and war trolls) before they reach the enemy.
Save Room For Magic, Leadership, Luck And Archery Skills
Avoid filling secondary skill slots with skills that are not important as Magic skill:
- Eagle Eye is absolutely useless here.
- Ballistics helps Arrax troops leave the castle sooner — bad idea.
- Scouting does not help in this small map with static enemy.
- Estates helps but not as much as Magic.
- Mysticism helps but not as much as Magic.
- Diplomacy: often, when you finally reach expert level there are no army camps to recruit. And before expert level they are expensive. Anyway, many times you end the game without any mercenary offer to join. Better is attack always with an empty slot and let creatures join for glory. Anyway perhaps the recruited troops are not suitable for the final battle.
Leadership and Luck are very important, but sometimes you find artifacts that do the job.
Some Things Never Change
The buried artifact is always on same spot. And so happens to the white pearl, black pearl, arm of the martyr (northeast corner, hidden), staff of wizardry, superior scroll (northwest corner, hidden), defender helm, stealth shield, endless cart of ore, endless vial of mercury, endless pouch of crystal, tax lien (buried), true compass (there are two; one is hidden on sea), seeing-eye pendant, fire cloak, telescope, spade of necromancy, golden bow and heart of fire.
How Access The Sulfur Mine
You will need sulfur to construct high mage guilds. The problem is the phoenix camp blocking the way. If fighting them is too hard or expensive for you, see a clever tactic in the video below.
Don’t Waste Your Shooters
Before facing Arrax, against enemy shooters, use magic, flying troops (djinns and dragons are the best) and wolves (they are fast).
Arrax The Cheater
No matter if your hero has Ballistics skill or not. Always at the start of the battle against Arrax the north wall falls and a 200+ wolf stack is free to attack your shooters!
Arrax The Genocidal King
Each time you play this mission you get a different Arrax. Basically he is a very strong barbarian. Not very strong in magic. Very often he has very good Leadership and Luck… ouch! But some times he can cast Berserk spell (run to your mommy).
The Hit And Run Strategy
Approach the castle, cast Armageddon (you need a dragon to survive) and surrender.
Or cast Elemental Storm (you need a dragon or phoenix to survive) and surrender.
Or attack with very fast shooters (grand elves, greater druids and hastened war trolls) and a wolf (so you can surrender being attacked) and surrender. You will need a lot of gold.
Or go with a single wolf, cast Chain Lightning and flee or surrender.
This hit and run tactics are supposed to be repeated. And better if repeated in the same day making Arrax waste mana.
The Hit And Die Strategy
Send a level 1 hero with 1 djinn per stack plus a wolf (for you have chance to surrender in case any djinn survive). Each time any djinn attacks there is a reasonable chance to halve the enemy stack.
Also casting Berserk spell on the cyclops stack with a low level hero is fine. You may plan that the hero survives or you may let him die. Any wizard comes ready to learn that spell.
The Dirtiest Trick Strategy
But if you are really angry with the trouble and insults you have been receiving from Arrax The Jerk, this is THE tactic for you. See the video below and next time you meet Arrax you might say “I laugh at your face!”.
Note: If Arrax starts shooting with magic, you will have to use a stronger gargoyle stack, or replace the gargoyle by a phoenix.
Finishing The Battle
Now that Arrax only has 2 stacks (ogre lords and cyclopes) you can easily win using shooters and casting Blind, Slow or Paralysis. That is, if you haven’t been casting Armageddon, for example.
Bonus: Custom Mission
If you like HOMM2, I strongly recommend you to play Monopoly. It is a customized mission, ideal for impossible mode.
I LAUGH AT HIS FACE!