Battles in King's Bounty: Legions can proceed in two ways:

  • Non-Ambush Battles: In non-ambush battles, both parties start with their units at the edge of their sides, at max distance. The usual tactic is to use 1 stack of Defenders and 4 ranged (Archer, Healer, Mage).
  • Ambush Battles: In ambush battles, the player starts with their units in the middle of the battlefield, surrounded by the enemy. In these battles it is usually most useful to lead 5 stacks of Defenders into battle (4, when using Inquisitors to reduce the casualties)

There are only a few Ambush Battles in the game and they appear only on certain Main or Side Quests (though not indicated as such before entering combat).  Even in these Ambush Battles there is usually some form of protection (rocks etc.) on at least one side of the player's units thus limiting the 'exposed' nature somewhat, however expect to take losses as at least 50% of the attacking units will reach the player's units in the first round.

Battles take place on a hexed battle fields with random objects placed (cursed cross, wooden barrier, rocks, holy statue, wasp nest, circle of lightning etc.) and two opposing armies arrayed.

The randomly placed objects can be either a boon (tactical or straight out beneficial such as the fount) or a major negative (cursed cross, circle of lightning or wasp nest) so plans of attack should be carefully considered before moving.  The key thing to remember is that (excepting the wasp nest and circle of lightning, which should both be destroyed or avoided) the objects cannot actually 'harm' your units (as in take away hit-points), but can punish in other ways (cast weakness/slow or just simply offer protection for an enemy unit) so don't waste a lot of time trying to destroy them (some have many thousands of Health) and instead navigate your units with them in mind.

In single player games, the computer controlled units often take a pot-shot at the above mentioned objects, but it is too random to really be relied on (as a tactic), but is of course a welcome diversion when it does happen!