Impossible - Nature magic. Game won by casting the Spell of Mastery.
ABOUT THE LONGPLAY: Decided to play with nature magic. I doubt many play MOM focusing only on nature magic, myself included. I always thought it as the weakest school because it lacks on combat spells and most of the other spells are not that useful either. Best spells such as call lightning and earth gate, not to mention best summons can be found near the end of research path. So you don't get to use those much if the game doesn't drag on for a very long time, unless luckily finding one in ruins or power node. Nature however has more global summons available than any other school and it would be a foolish choice not to use those to full advantage on impossible difficulty.
Using all picks for nature magic books gives the player two uncommon and one rare spell at the beginning of the game. It's a good idea to get gorgons asap and not waste time on colonizing and random skirmishes using only normal units. This slow approach would give other wizards ample time to get a huge head start. Then when you think you're ready to attack you'll notice they start casting spells such as volcano, spell blast, death wish and armageddon. This is because difficulty level mostly determines how much handicap you'll get and doesn't improve AI decisions. I got lucky finding the great wyrm spell at the beginning of the game. It's the most powerful nature magic summon and one of the most powerful creatures in the whole game. Using the wyrm made the game a little bit too easy. I could finish it easily in less than one hour just by raiding all enemy towns before they had time to build any decent garrisons.
I wanted to win the game by casting the Spell of Mastery so I played the game until I got to the end of spell research book and started researching the spell. Then I clicked 'next turn' offscreen until I had it researched and had almost finished casting it. Before this however I killed the last wizard to compare score to winning by the Spell of Mastery. My score might been better with the Spell of Mastery ending if I had actually continued to play the game instead of just clicking turns. I tried to use all summons even though some are not at all useful compared to cost. However, summoning of behemoth is not included. It got cancelled by Jafar's spell blast. It looks the same as basilisk, but is more powerful without stoning gaze. I kind of neglected the heroes and didn't even have time to summon a champion. Often they just distract me if I haven't had the time to pump them up. I'm just worried they'll be taken out by some instant kill method.
ABOUT THE GAME: Easily one of the best and most innovative turn-based strategy games. It could be seen as a hybrid between Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic. MOM is much more diverse by itself compared to either of those two games. There's no terraforming if you don't count road engineering and spells such as change terrain. City management is also little bit less varied compared to CIV. However, the variety of spells, races and units vastly surpass the selections in HOMM games. HOMM actually borrowed lots of ideas from this game. The underworld / surface realms, combat in itself is similar and also the use of hero units. In MOM however you can have several heroes at the same time on battlefield and they are active participants in the battle.
One of the biggest problems is that it's hard to make a balanced game. Hard is almost always too easy unless trying some unlikely combination of traits + magic books. Impossible can either be too easy or too hard depending what kind of wizard you play and how you play it. Another thing to improve would be to automate construction orders in cities so that all new cities could be left to build certain buildings / units automatically and would also buy things automatically if for example the cost of the building would be some percentage of total money. This would reduce micro a lot considering you want to spend your time on other things later in the game instead of clicking same buildings for every new city.
This game if any deserves a proper remake with improved graphics, better AI and balancing. There's really no need to change anything much. I know of Age of Wonders, but that one just isn't very good. It's unfortunate that only TBS games getting annual remakes are CIV and HOMM.
Publisher: MicroProse 1994