Heroes I combat phase.

The combat phase is a gameplay feature in the Heroes of Might and Magic series. While moving around the adventure map, whenever a hero attacks a hostile hero or a neutral creature stack, the combat phase begins. When attacking a neutral or enemy city, siege combat begins.

The attackers will begin the combat on the left side of the screen, with a field seperating them from the defenders on the right side. In Heroes III, creature banks are an exception, as the attackers begin in the center of the field, with the defenders around them.

The combat phase is turn-based, with every creature performing one action per turn, and the creatures with the highest initiative or speed acting first. In Heroes V, this has been replaced by a ATB (Active Time Bar) that reveals which creatures will act next, and allows fast creatures to perform more actions than slow ones.

In most games, only the creatures appear on the field in the combat phase, with the hero being able to cast one spell every turrn, when one of their creatures are able to act. In Heroes IV, heroes appear on the field with their creatures, and are treated like creatures for gameplay purposes. In Heroes V, heroes can choose to attack rather than cast a spell, making them useful in combat even when they run out of spell point.

War machines appear on the field like creatures, and can be destroyed by the enemy forces.

From Heroes III onwards, the combat phase can be skipped by selecting "Quick combat" from the options, and the computer automatically calculates what the results of the combat are likely to have been. From Heroes V onwards, some scenarios have unskippable combats - even if Quick combat is selected, the combat phase will start. Auto-combat can still be enabled.

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