I usually play quick tech games on small map size with some friends in MP. The games are quite fast any are usually decided between round 150 and 200. For this game style, late game strategies are usually out of discussion, although there still exist some cool teching strategies to get some impressive things done. Hyborem/Basium rushes, treant invasions and horsemen spam are usually quite powerfull strategies with this settings. However, lately I'm trying to come up with some efficient adept/mage strategies and unfortunately I seem to constantly fail with them, since it simply takes to long. Adepts seem to be one of the most useless units in FFH2 even with some semi decent spells like skeleton summoning. Unfortunatly, it's necessary to build them very early and babysit them for ages so you can actually upgrade them to mages sometime in a distant future. Until this time, the adepts are more or less parasites, constantly draining your economy down, to weak to anything usefull in this time. Further, IF you get mages, they are only powerfull IF you have certain mana types in a certain amount and combination which also limits your race and leader choices. This weekend I played a Sheaim game with a friend where I tried to get mages with a specter/fireball combination. Well, it would have been cool if I actually would have gotten them sometime. As a comparisson my friend actually tried a real power combination and made a chained Hyborem => Ritualists => Malevolent designs rush with Kuriotates. He changed to Hyborem in round 73, combined his infernals with ritualists to beat the crap out of the patch I stacks of doom. He wiped out two AI's when I was still desperately trying to get my mages. Since the AI's usually have nothing better to do than taking over religions, he also got enough manes to develop his cities to huge citadels of hell in no time. He got malevolent designs sometime between round 115 and 120 with the infernal grimoire (Thanks to Bill Biscos idea...). A few turns later I was comparing our forces: On my side, I had the real ghostbusters (8 adepts) supported by some Ewoks (Pyro zombies) waiting for an enlightenment to be able to turn to X-Men (Mages) sometime. On his side he had Super Mario (Mardero), Batman & Robin (Hyborem & Rosier), the Fantastic Four (Beasts of Agares) and some Hell Boys (4 Eidolons) wreaking havoc on the enemies. It was almost impossible not to get a minority complex. Well, even if I consider having a better start, playing more efficiently, etc. I can't really think of a mage strategy that comes even remotely in this power region. It would be better if I could directly build mages when they are available, but preparing adepts before, somehow seems to stun my other options. I also don't understand why I need lots of specific mana types and experienced adepts when the Ashen Veil faction just get a combat master bundled with one of the most powerfull spells (fire ring) pretty much for an apple and an egg. I can handle other power strategies like Treant rush with march of the trees, Basium rush, horsemen spam and ritualist / diseased corpses combis, but somehow I can only see the mage strategies at the lower end of the scale, at least with our fast game settings. I can think of efficient strategies with special mages like vampires but not with the basic adept / mage dudes. Except I'm doing something wrong. Anyone any ideas?!?