If you’re anything like me, then you have spent a good part of your teen years at the end of the last century playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It was a regular pastime, we had teams, names and favourite heroes; it was personal. So when I heard that my friend and our regular Network Contributor, Kirill Ilukhin, has embarked on a mission to turn all of Westeros and the rest of The Known World into actual playable HOMM maps, it was the best news since Portal got a sequel and sent weeks of my life down the Excursion Funnel.
If you’re not familiar with the HOMM map maker, it effectively allows you to create any landscape, with any scenarios, locations, monsters, loot – anything that’s usually in the game. This was a standard feature of the game back in 1999, and now I wonder how come there hasn’t been a proliferation of awesome map from fandoms.
In Kirill’s own words:
Westeros – a continent where a realistic Middle Age gets on with overtly fantasy elements. Some places have more magic, some less. It is clear that to show the world of G.R.R. Martin properly we need a completely different game, Heroes of Might and Magic 3 – is not what Westeros really needs. However, why not mix pleasure with even more pleasure? So we get these maps.
They don’t have a plot; there are only the game rules and familiar places from the books. The fact that there are dwarves and elves is not a disadvantage in this case. It is solely your story that you create with your own hands, in a world in that you yourself come up with, but which will be similar to the universe of Ice and Fire.
The pain-staking detail of these maps is astounding. So far, Kirill has released 3 maps of a planned 10: The North, the South and The Wall. All maps are playable on any version of HOMM 3, and can be played by a single player or in a friendly cut-throat multiplayer session.
«Westeros South» talks about the confrontation of Lords of The Eyrie, Sunspear, Highgarden, Casterly Rock, King’s Landing, Storm’s End and Riverrun. Take any castle and conquer all others, becoming the sole ruler of the South.
«Westeros North» – a map that’s a little bit more geared towards exploring the world. Here you get the great adventure in the Valley of Arryn, the search for Robb Stark, and the fight with the Wildlings trying to get over The Wall. Of course, the power struggle between castles is still there, and there are eight of them in the North.
«The Wall» is very different from the first two. Firstly, it’s the battle between two “teams” (the Wights vs. the Wildlings), each of which will have three players. Secondly, it is possible to win not only by defeating all enemies, but also by dragging the Horn of Winter (the Grail) to the nearest castle wall. Thirdly, it is much more like a large labyrinth than ever before.
There are 2 difficulty levels for every map. “You Win” – for a more relaxed experience and exploring, there are plenty of resources and monsters don’t multiply. “You Die” is the hardcore version – artefacts and resources are hard to come by and monsters are multiplying faster than you can say “Valar morghulis”.
Links to download:
The important bit. How to install the maps.
- Follow the links and download the map(s) you want.
- Open the game folder on your PC. Go to ‘data’, then to ‘maps’.
- Copy the map files into the ‘maps’ folder.
- Start the game. Select ‘New Game’, then ‘Single Scenario’, and find your new maps under their respective names in the list.
- Pick a castle.
- Conquer Westeros.