Heroes are like other units in the game, only completely different. Having said that, it isn't rocket science to get your head around heroes and what they can and can't do. They all have some serious advantages, so getting them is a huge plus in your game, no matter what kind of game you intend to play.
Getting a Hero
The first hero Andromeda (actually that should be heroine, but for some reason no one ever uses it) is a gift from Grepolis to get you started. All other heroes have to be recruited.
Unlike all other units, heroes aren't recruited through the barracks or harbors, but through the special hero's window. The window can be opened by clicking on the hero icon below the god icon on the right hand side of the screen. The window offers an overview tab showing all the heroes you have, a recruitment tab where you can recruit new heroes, and a collection tab where you can view all available heroes and what they can do. The collection tab is also the price list.
To recruit a hero, you need to spend coins of war or coins of peace. The coins are acquired by completing island quests. You can change coins from one to the other, but shouldn't do it as you loose half the coins in the exchange.
A Hero is a Different Kind of Unit
- Unlike other units, a hero doesn't use any population in your city and you don't need any resources other than the coins of war or peace.
- A hero is not bound to any city. You can assign him to the city of your choice. To do that, use the hero window.
- A hero can be withdrawn from a city (unassigned). When a hero is withdrawn, he moves out of the city immediately and the city looses any bonus he brought into it. You can't unassign a hero while he is on an attack mission. When you assign a hero, he takes 2 hours (speed 3 worlds) to unpack his bags. His bonus will only be applied after that waiting period is over.
- A hero can travel with an attacking army (but not with a defending army). He doesn't need a ship or space on one when going overseas; when you send him with a flying unit, he flies as well but may slow them down considerably.
- The hero travels at the slowest speed your army sets to get to the targeted city. After the attack, he returns immediately to the city with no travel time at all.
- A hero never dies. He can get wounded and takes 6 hours (sped 3 world) to recover. His city bonus isn't affected by that.
- When you loose a city, the hero stays with you.
Making The Most of Your Heroes
You can move your heroes around at will. In Nysa I call them my traveling circus. A few examples to get your mind in the direction of moving heroes around.
Chiron gives you a huge bonus when building hoplites. Having him in a city where you want to build them is therefore important. The bonus is applied at the moment you place your recruitment order in the barracks. After that you can move him to the next city and repeat the process.
Terylea gives you a huge boost in silver production. Place her where you want to fill the cave.
It is well worth your while to read the descriptions of each hero carefully before deciding which one to recruit next. They are offered to you in pairs of two every day; at midnight they change for a different pair. Instead of wasting your coins in exchange to get a hero you like, be patient. They all come up again for you to get.