Saturday, May 1, 2010

Human Campaign: Map 4

As I've been playing, I've noticed that the humans have a huge economic advantage over the orcs. It's true that all the units cost the same in gold and lumber for both races. However, the human cleric has a healing spell that's so powerful that it almost breaks the game. The spell allows ordinarily weak units to survive long stretches of battle at relatively low mana cost. And as I said in the last section, the cleric is the only unit in the entire game with the ability to restore HP.

A knight may cost the same as a raider. But when paired with a cleric, the knight can fight three raiders and still emerge victorious. This means raiders are essentially three times more expensive than a knight.

The game designers must have realized how effective the healing spell was because they promptly nerfed it in Warcraft II. Not only was the mana cost increased and healing power reduced, they also removed the slow-moving cleric and replaced him with the tough-to-micromanage paladin.

In all of the upcoming missions, the cleric will be the most important unit in your army. And in the end game, combining a cleric with a water elemental will let you destroy an entire orc town in seconds.

The Dead Mines...

Oh no! Sir Lothar sent troops into the Dead Mines to find the Tome of Divinity and got captured by ogres. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the knight?

Your goal in this mission is to find the wounded Sir Lothar, heal him with clerics, and bring him back to the exit. Luckily, you won't have to face anything stronger than an ogre. The fire elementals and daemons show up in a later mission.

If you've already played the orc version of the Dead Mines, you may recall how effective the raiders were at slicing through the ogres. Unfortunately, the human army doesn't have that luxury. Your starting army consists of archers, footmen, and three clerics. It's important you keep the clerics alive for as long as possible because their healing spell will be the determining factor in how successful your rescue will be.

Maintain this formation.

In the beginning, you won't face more than one ogre at a time. Navigate the narrow tunnels and keep the units in the formation depicted above. Keep the footmen in the front as meat shields and use the archers to shoot down attackers. Use the clerics to heal the footmen.

When you get to the very bottom of the map, take a left at the fork. But keep an eye on the clerics because some ogres may try to sneak up from behind.

Use your archers to soften the ogres.

Once you start seeing cobblestone, set up an archer trap. Line up your remaining archers and guard them with your footmen. Then, move footmen up into the shroud and back down to the archers. Doing this will lure the ogres guarding the area to attack you one by one. After 2-3 ogres have been killed, move farther north and set another trap.

Lothar and his wounded men lay on the floor.

The final room has a lot of ogres, and they'll all attack at once. So have your clerics selected and do some on-the-fly healing. Once they're destroyed, move north and you'll see a lot of wounded troops huddling under blankets. Use your clerics to heal them and they'll turn into archers. The wounded man in the upper left is Sir Lothar.

Sir Lothar has his own unique sprite and character portrait. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do with him because all the ogres should be dead. In every Warcraft game, Lothar ends up getting shafted. In the sequel, his character exists solely to be murdered in the penultimate human mission.

Breathe the free air!

Take Lothar and some troops back to the entrance.