Friday, November 27, 2009

Orc Campaign: Map 12

The odds are definitely stacked against you in the final mission. The enemy has three heavily guarded cities, separated from you by two bridges. The conjurers will constantly send water elementals at you and shred your defenses. Also, you'll have to contend with invisible archers who show up suddenly in the middle of your town and attack your peons. Keeping them on track will be crucial.

If it's any consolation, you do start the mission with a lumber mill and barracks already built. Also, your necrolyte and warlock start with every spell already unlocked. That means you'll get to use dark vision to scan the map immediately. The warlock will be the most crucial unit in the first 15 minutes of the mission because he can summon a daemon to defend your town.

Good luck, War Chief. Go get the pink skins!

The beginning of the end.

Immediately send your peons north and start mining. Start training a fifth peon to harvest lumber.

Within the first 2-3 minutes, the computer player will attack with knights from the north. Immediately summon a daemon and send it to the northern bridge to intercept the attackers. You'll also face a host of archers and clerics. Once the bridge is secured, have the daemon wander east and uncover as much of the human town as possible. This distracts one of the three towns and gives you some breathing room to build up your town.

Try to build warlocks as soon as possible.

The humans love to send invisible archers to attack your town. It will take time to properly guard the bridges. So in the meantime, train spearmen and leave them in the intersections to protect your town. This way, any humans that suddenly become visible will be shot down. The miners and woodcutters will still be able to move freely through the town.

Hold the bridge and let no invisible enemies slip through.

Secure the northern bridge with a line of spearmen and position your starting catapults along the bank. The catapults will kill any water elementals that try to attack you. Be warned that invisible human units will be able to slip through the bridge corners. The screenshot above shows an incorrect placement that still allows humans to sneak into your town. Move the two spearmen on the edges in so there's five in a row.

Keep the warlock around with a full tank of magic so he can summon a daemon to defend your town if there's an emergency.

Continue using the necrolyte's dark vision to scout the human towns. The northern town is probably still a little bare from the daemon attack at the very start of the mission.

The towns are revealed.

Outside the southern town, you'll find a wall of archers and knights.

Block both bridges with spearmen.

Set up your spearmen as shown in the screenshot above to block the invisible attackers from the south. The catapult can be positioned along the bank to destroy the town defenders to the south. You should also place a catapult to the right of the bridge to counter any archers the computer player may try to station across the river to the right. These archers will be able to shoot your spearmen and open up holes for invisible units to walk through. But due to the difference in attack range, but the spearmen won't be able to fight back. Having a catapult on the right will keep this from happening.

Your spearmen move out of the way for the daemons.

Hold the bridges until you can train four warlocks for each bridge. You'll have eight warlocks total. With the southern group, summon four daemons and send them south into the human town.

The daemons slaughter the first human town.

The four demons should be able to kill any defenders in town that weren't destroyed by your catapult.

However, there are still two more to go!

After the town is destroyed, you should have four daemons low on magic. Get the most mileage out of them by sending them east into the third and largest human town. They'll be able to kill a lot of archers, clerics, and catapults before running out of juice.

More slaughter.

The four warlocks you've stationed at the northern bridge should be ready to summon four daemons. Send them to raze the northeast human town.

The humans are destroyed.

The daemons will be able to kill all the defenders and destroy the town. Then, send any surviving daemons south into the last human town. Your four warlocks at the southern bridge will have recharged their magic and can summon four more daemons. Do this.

Stormwind Keep is ripe for plunder.

Using dark vision, you'll notice that Stormwind Keep is guarded by a lot of knights, clerics, and conjurers.

Send more daemons to crush the resistance. Sense a trend?

The four daemons from the south should have arrived by now. Kill defenders.

More daemons come from the north.

Once those daemons do their damage, summon four more daemons with your northern warlocks and attack from the north. I think you get the picture now. Keep summoning daemons and wear down the human bases. The narrow roads and walls make it difficult for the computer player to maneuver back and forth because archers will block knights and prevent them from attacking your daemons.

As you push through the town, your main target should be human catapults and barracks. The towers aren't very dangerous because newly hired conjurers will not be able to summon water elementals right away.

Take your time to destroy the human structures.

Keep up the pressure and you'll destroy all of the buildings.

The humans have no place to go.

Congregate around Stormwind Keep and destroy it.

Stormwind is defenseless.
Boom goes the dynamite!
You win!

Clean up the rest of the map. If there are human peasants left, they'll try to rebuild. You can prevent this by stationing units over the charred ruins. Otherwise, wait for the peasant to enter the building's construction site and destroy it. When the last human is slain, you will be victorious.


Well, it wasn't that simple.

Congratulations on a battle hard fought. The orcs celebrate their victory with a big bonfire and marshmallows. But we all know the daemons did all the dirty work.

Yeah, a failed invasion to Lordaeron.
Orgrim Doomhammer, minus the hammer!

The end!

Orc Campaign: Map 11

Daemons are the strongest unit in the game. Four daemons can destroy a fully-guarded town in minutes. So it's no surprise that the core strategy of the final orc maps involve holding on for dear life until you can train a warlock and summon these creatures.

Warcraft III introduced the Burning Legion, a faction of demonic creatures that invade Azeroth. It turns out that the Legion was behind the corruption of the orcs and much of the chaos surrounding the various nations since the beginning of recorded history. However, there has not been any explanation regarding the Legion's relationship with the summoned daemons.

One theory is that the summoned daemons are the Doom Guards that serve the Burning Legion. Going by appearances alone, both have horns, swords, and wings. However, Doom Guards are fairly weak compared to the killing machines that are daemons. Also, it doesn't make sense for Doom Guards to be subservient to the orcs since the latter are actually servants of the former.

Another theory is that the daemons are another race unrelated to the Burning Legion. However, in Warcraft II, they appear at the Tomb of Sargeras. This suggests they're affiliated with the Burning Legion after all.

Just another unsolved mystery.

Move quickly, young peons!

It's the beginning of the end! Your goal in this mission is to train four warlocks and research the summon daemon spell. If you can hold on long enough for that to happen, the rest will be easy.

You start with a lumber mill and barracks already built. Immediately send your units east and position them at the opening between the trees. Use a raider to scout the entire lower half of the map.

You'll need a lot of gold to survive the enemy attacks!

Send your peons to the gold mine directly southeast of town. You'll eventually want to get 6-7 peons going. When this mine is depleted, move everyone to the mine on the bottom right corner of the map. Your peons will be safe from harm. Ignore the mine directly north of town because attempting to access it will expose your town to danger.

Guard the chokepoint with your life; leave no cracks!

The trees in this level act as a natural barrier for your town and force all enemy units to enter through the chokepoint in the screenshot above. Make sure you keep an eye on your woodcutters so they don't open a hole. The computer will send invisible troops against you but blocking the chokepoint prevents them from showing up in your town and wreaking havoc on your peons.

Use catapults to attack any conjurers or clerics that cluster in this area. They'll also come in handy against the water elementals. Yes, the computer player will send these dangerous creatures at you relentlessly. They will make short work of your spearmen. You'll generally lose 3-4 of them every time. Thankfully, you won't have to face more than one elemental at a time. However, the computer may try to coordinate with knights or catapults to make your life miserable.

That's a lot of armor!

Build a temple and train necrolytes as quickly as possible. Once you learn the unholy armor spell, you can use it to make a raider invulnerable. Use the raider as a tank to occupy the elementals while your catapults destroy them.

Also, use your dark vision to scan the human town to the east. You'll want to uncover the southern-most buildings. Then, train a new catapult.

Your catapult can bombard the city from across the forest.

Your catapult can actually shoot at the town from the other side of the trees. You can destroy the farm, church, and lumber mill without fear. The computer player will hopefully send peasants to repair the buildings, giving you additional targets to demolish.

Demolish the key human structures from afar.

By the time you're done, most of the town's defenders will be dead from splash damage. Luckily, the two towns don't reinforce each other. So if you destroy all the peasants here, the peasants from the other town won't be able to rebuild it.

Unfortunately, that trick won't work on the other town.

Scanning the other town with your necrolytes, you'll see that it's more heavily fortified. You won't be able to use your catapults without a swarm of knights breathing down your neck.

Train warlocks!

So what to do? You'll need to research the summon daemon spell for 3,000 gold. Then, train four warlocks. If you can do this, you'll be able to destroy both towns with ease. As you're training your second, third, and fourth warlock, use your existing one(s) to summon daemons to help guard the checkpoint.

Summon an army of unholy daemons!

Once the warlocks are fully charged, summon four daemons and send them to the eastern town. Open the gap to let the daemons through and then close it back up to defend against invisible units.

Daemons are near-invincible; their only enemy is time.

The daemons will be able to cut through the remaining defenders like a hot knife through butter. You should be able to destroy the entire town and still have some juice left over.

Send the daemons to mop up the remaining town.

Send the daemons to the northern town and kill as many of the defenders as possible before they run out of juice. You should be able to kill about half the defenders. Go back to your town and summon four more daemons.

The human towns are destroyed!

Send in your remaining troops and finish the job. Mission complete.

Next Time: The first war comes to an end. Azeroth falls.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Orc Campaign: Map 10

Welcome to a short and easy mission. 

A massive invasion.

You start with a massive army. Your goal is to destroy a heavily fortified human town to the north. If you simply grab all your troops and send them north, 75-80% of the time, you'll win. But you can raise the chances to 99% by utilizing the warlocks. Immediately summon spiders with all of your warlocks and send them north. The spiders will scout the entire map for you.

The spiders soften the human defenses.

Once they reach the town, they'll throw the human defenders into a chaotic frenzy. Conjurers will waste their rain of fire on the spiders and have none left to summon scorpions. Catapults will accidentally shoot friendly units. Clerics will use up their magic.

Some of the knights may try to attack you at your starting location. But as long as you don't change your starting formation, the catapults and spearmen will kill them. Have the warlocks summon another set of spiders and keep applying the pressure.

The orcs catch the humans unprepared.

Now grab your grunts and have them follow the spiders. Don't worry about selecting a specific target in the north. Just grab a group of four and click on the red mass using the minimap. Repeat this for the spearmen, catapults, and raiders. Send the warlocks and necrolytes last. This sends your army north in a neat line. You can give more specific orders to the grunts and spearmen once you get closer to the bridge.

Kill, kill!

Most of your grunts and raiders will be killed in the battle. But at the end of it all, you should end up with a small group of injured but deadly troops. Your warlocks and necrolytes should still be alive since they were at the end of the line. Continue summoning spiders and raising skeletons to keep the humans busy.

The human town is reduced to rubble.

The catapults will take care of the rest.

Next Time: Goldshire and Moonbrook stand in your way. Not for long.

Orc Campaign: Map 9

From here on out, the missions become significantly more difficult as the computer will swarm your town with diverse units from multiple directions. You'll constantly loathe the cowardice of your peons. Every time the bastards get attacked, they'll scatter and stand idle until given new orders. Sometimes, you'll be busy attacking a town and then suddenly realize your peons back home have been idle the entire time. The computer loves to send scorpions to attack your peons and throw your entire gameplan off-balance, so it's important to keep spearmen everywhere.

Most of the strategies so far have involved setting up walls of spearmen and shooting down attackers. In fact, there's really no advantage to using grunts at all once you have a lumber mill set up. Clearly, the game's developers realized how broken these units are and sought to tone them down in subsequent games. The Warcraft II equivalent, the troll axethrower, has shorter range, a slower firing rate, and must face faster opponents.

Warcraft is a game that emphasizes power. The bigger army wins. In later games, they made it more like a rock-paper-scissors game where flying units beat melee units, melee units beat shooters, and shooters beat flying units. So in Warcraft II, the axethrower is more of a defense against flying units than a reliable base defense against melee attackers.

Anyway, let's press on shall we?

Your mission begins!

This is your first mission tackling two human towns. The good news is that there are two gold mines close to your town and most of the attacks will come from summoned scorpions. The bad news is the computer player will be scattering a lot of conjurers around the map and hunting them down will be a pain.

You start with three peons. Immediately train a fourth and then send them to work on the mine down south.

Locating the gold mine.

The peons should clear out the trees surrounding the gold mine so there's a faster turnaround time for the miners. Once those trees are cleared, move them north and clear out the trees directly east of town.

Immediately west of town is the second mine. Guard this area with spearmen because the computer will be sending waves of scorpions.

Secure the second gold mine early.

You are divided from the human towns by two bridges. The west bridge is unguarded but the computer likes to cluster conjurers and summon scorpions. The southern bridge is guarded by four archers and should be left alone for now.

Beware the clusters of scorpion-summoning conjurers.

The necrolytes start with raise dead and dark vision. You are given the option to learn unholy armor, which makes a unit invulnerable for a period of time at the cost of half its health. The spell isn't very useful on this map, so I recommend saving your gold. You also have the option to train warlocks and learning the poison cloud attack. However, it's both expensive and unnecessary.

Attack the town to the west first.

Immediately scan the left side of the map to find the human town. You'll notice that the town is guarded by archers. The northern part of the town is also pretty open.

The southern town is more heavily defended.

The southern town, on the other hand, is guarded by footmen and knights. The two towns operate independently and don't reinforce one another.

The key to victory is to destroy the west town quickly. If you sit around, the computer will eventually wear you down with scorpions and catapults and you'll lose when you run out of resources.

Instead, invest in catapults and send them north of the west town, guarded by four raiders. The catapults can attack the northern-most farm without triggering the archers stationed at the intersections. However, once the first building is demolished, all of the archers will attack. You can either let the catapults kill them or use the raiders. In either case, the town is yours for the taking.

Unleash fire!
Burn the entire town to ashes!

While you're destroying the town, start building up additional raiders and spearmen in preparation for the assault on the second town. Eight raiders and four spearmen should be sufficient. If you have enough gold, you can build more.

Move the catapults and remaining raiders immediately west of the southern town, but not close enough to trigger an attack. Send your larger army across the bridge in the north to draw out the defenders from the town.

Move across the bridge and pincer-attack the other town.

While your raiders are engaged with the knights north of the town, send in your raiders and catapults from the west into the town. There should be no resistance. Take out the barracks and tower to stop the computer player from reinforcing the town.

The enemy is spread too thin.
The orcs overwhelm the humans.

To the north, your troops should be injured but still plentiful. If you have necrolytes sitting around, raise some skeletons and mop up the rest of the town. Victory is yours.