Thursday, November 26, 2009

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.