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On the battlefield, you can often observe that creatures have better stats if they are accompanied by a hero. While it is perfectly clear for attack and defense ratings (the appropriate stats of the hero add up to the creature stats), as well as luck, morale, etc, I've been so far unable to understand how and why creature speed is modified. Any help?

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Creature speed isn't modified by hero stats...with one exception. If you have the Armageddon's Blade expansion, you can hire Sir Mullich, a Castle hero, who gives +2 to all creatures under his command. See here: Armageddon's Blade features

Creature speed is modified by the terrain type where the battle takes place. Creatures get a +1 bonus to speed if they're on native terrain. If I remember rightly, for the Fortress creatures, that's swamp; for the Tower, that's snow; and so forth.

Creature speed can also be modified by spells such as Haste and Slow, of course.

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Great, thanks! Although I'd like to add that AFAIK if a hero has a specialty corresponding to the creature type, these creatures also get a +1 bonus to speed. Please correct me if I'm wrong. –  dpq Dec 23 '10 at 15:20
    
@David -- it really depends on which specialty hero is involved; the bonuses to specialized creatures varies from hero to hero. Sometimes they increase attack / defense, sometimes HP, sometimes speed. –  Raven Dreamer Dec 23 '10 at 15:55
    
David is quite right; I'd forgotten about that. Some heroes, which I think were added in one of the expansions, give a +2 to speed to either creatures of their type or all creatures in their army, I'm not sure which. I remember that one of the Castle heroes does this, and there may be others. –  Kyralessa Dec 23 '10 at 23:14
    
Neither the Heroes 3 manual nor the Armageddon's Blade manual mentions anything about a bonus for creatures on native terrain on combat; the base manual does say they get no movement penalty on the map (if all creatures are native to that terrain). No heroes in the base game grant a direct speed bonus, but Terek (Battle Mage) and Cyra (Wizard) get a bonus to Haste, as does Brissa (Elementalist) in AB. Sir Mullich is the only AB hero who boosts speed. –  Dave DuPlantis Oct 26 '11 at 3:14
    
This page says creatures get +1 to speed (and attack and defense) on native terrain. True, it's not in the manual. If anyone feels like firing up the game to verify this point one way or the other... –  Kyralessa Oct 26 '11 at 4:36
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Your hero also may carry artifacts which increase creatures' speed:

  • The Necklace of Swiftness increases combat speed of all creatures by 1
  • The Ring of the Wayfarer increases combat speed of all creatures by 1
  • The Cape of Velocity increases combat speed of all creatures by 2

This is in addition to the bonus granted by Sir Mullich that Kyralessa mentions.

Source

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A reference to the items is available here, although I had also made note of them myself when I played this 10 years ago. (Ironically, two of my notes were wrong, so it's a good thing I found better answers online.) –  Dave DuPlantis Oct 26 '11 at 3:20
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