Harpy and Harpy Hag
|• Strike and return
|• Strike and return
• No enemy retaliation
"Harpies - half-women/half-vulture in appearance - have a swooping attack that returns them to the hex they started from. Harpy hags attack with such violence their attacks cannot be countered." RoE manual
Special Ability: Strike and Return
Both harpies and harpy hags have a special ability to strike and return, which means that they fly next to their target, attack and return to their original hex. Harpies also receive retaliation before returning to the original hex, but Harpy Hags receive no enemy retaliation from their attack.
Dendroids have a special ability of binding, which works in an exceptional way to harpies when dendroids retaliate. After the retaliation, harpies return to their original hex as usual, and are bound after the return. This enables the dendroid stack to move or die without lapsing the entanglement causing the harpies to be bound down forever if not attacked or dispelled.
Heroes with a specialty
- Lorelei the Overlord has harpies as a specialty, which increases the attack and defense skills of any harpies or harpy hags for each level attained after 2nd level and gives them a speed bonus of 1.
Horn of the Abyss
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Harpies' raw stats are among average of the non-upgraded level 2 units apart from speed, in which they are second only to Air Elementals and in par with Stone Gargoyles and Wolf Riders. As their attacks can be retaliated, try to concentrate attacks on units, which have already used their retaliation. This can be a difficult task with Dungeon troops, as Minotaurs and Manticores are the following faster in-faction units. In Horn of the Abyss, avoid using strike and stay, as they are rather fragile (and somewhat expensive) units, unless you aim to distract weaker ranged units or ranged units with melee penalty, such as Master Gremlins.
Harpy Hags gain only +1 defence, but also a very good boost of +3 in their speed and no enemy retaliation on upgrade, making them the only unretaliatable level 2 unit. They would also become the fastest level 2 units together with Obsidian Gargoyles. Harpy Hags' attack and defence stats remain below average when considering all level 2 units, but on the other hand their speed combined with strike and return and no enemy retaliation can make them very useful and devastating unit. With proper usage, Harpy Hags can be interpreted as an additional ranged unit for Dungeon. They remain fragile even after the upgrade, so consider carefully on using strike and stay, when playing Horn of the Abyss.
Tactics can be an useful secondary skill to position Harpies better prior combat to gain more opportunities to strike. Haste and combat speed-increasing artifacts can also bring useful mobility for Harpy Hags. As both units have a wide damage range between 1-4, Bless would also be a very useful spell to cast on them (fortunately, Dungeon is the only evil town to have Bless). On the contrary, Slow can cripple Harpies and make them more easier to approach, while Curse reduces their damage to very low. Fire Shield would also punish Harpy Hags through their no enemy retaliation ability.
AI tends to prioritize them as top targets when attacking other towns. To cut losses, avoid bringing Harpies in attacking sieges, if your hero can't cast Advanced Resurrection, does not have strong enough Tactics or does not possess strong enough Haste or combat speed boosts.