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Strategies
The Farm Defense
Many people tend to overlook the most basic defensive unit in the
game: the lowly farm. With 400 hit points and 20 armor, a farm
can take a lot more damage than any unit, wall, or tower. They
cost 500 gold and 250 lumber to build, which is about the same as a
scout tower. More importantly, they're a necessary part of any
town- you can't stage an offense without them. Since you're going
to build farms anyway, don't hide them away in the corner- use
them to block off possible attack points around your town. Back up
the farms with towers and/or ranged units to pick off anyone who
tries to break through.
To defend against magical attacks and catapults/ballistae, keep a small strike force of knights or ogres off to
one side, outside the blockade. Only use them when you're attacked by units your towers or archers can't take
out. Once your strike force has been upgraded to ogre-magi or paladins, they can be used to support your
archers/axe throwers by healing or bloodlusting them. After each attack, pull a peon or peasant away from his
normal duties and have him repair any damaged buildings.
†††††††† A group of ogres, normally kept away from the blockade, moves into action against a ballista.
† Invisibility
Invisibility is perhaps the most versatile spell in Warcraft II. While blizzard is an invaluable spell for
siege-breaking, invisibility lends itself to so many creative uses that it helps to break up the ďbuild up, move outĒ
method of playing. From scouting to assassination, offense or defense, invisibility can give you a great strategic
advantage.
Examining the Spell
Invisibility has a nice long duration, and it can be cast on any unit in the game (except buildings, of course.) An
invisible unit cannot be detected or attacked by enemy (or allied) units. The exception is that
computer-controlled spell casters can target invisible units with spells. Also, note that the unstable explosives
carried by sappers and demolition teams will detonate if invisibility is cast on them. The biggest drawback of
the spell is the high casting cost. At 200 mana, you need one mage for every unit that you want to turn
invisible.
Scouting
The simplest use of invisibility is scouting. An invisible flying machine is simply the best scout that you can get.
With the spellís long duration, you can explore a large section of even a 128x128 map before the effects wear
off. By learning where your opponentsí resources are located, you can better plan tactical strikes designed to
cripple their production.
Commando Raids
Once youíve determined the best place to conduct a raid- preferably a nice unguarded gold mine or a
blacksmith thatís been left alone- load your strike team on a transport and turn the transport invisible. Youíll be
able to slip right past any naval blockades and land your troops where they can do the most damage.
Conducting several raids in different spots can force your opponent to spread out his or her defenses, making
them more vulnerable to a large attack. If at all possible, load the troops back onto the transport and bring them
back to a safe spot where they can be healed.
Assassination
††††††††††††† Using an entire team of invisible units is generally impractical, but sending a single unit, such
††††††††††††† as a mage or catapult, can be very effective for wiping out a specific target or building. One
††††††††††††† favored tactic is to send a single invisible mage into the center of a town and have that mage
††††††††††††† cast blizzard around himself. Since the mage wonít be hurt by his own spell, you can damage
††††††††††††† several units before the opposing player can pull them back.
Stupid Peasant Tricks
For sheer annoyance value, try turning a few peons invisible and start building towers in enemy towns. Building
walls to block off access to gold mines can also be effective; hopefully, your opponent wonít notice until the
gold stops coming in. You might also try using invisible peasants as blockades if your opponent has a crowded
town or narrow route of attack.
Fire Storms
A tactic that can really drive your opponents crazy is casting flame shield on invisible units. Although the flame
shield doesnít last long, the invisible unit cannot be attacked until it turns visible. As long as you are careful to
give the unit movement orders only (use those hotkeys) it wonít turn visible until the spell wears off. This is
especially effective with destroyers, which can use their speed to circle around larger ships.
Defending Against Invisibility
The basic defense against invisibility is simple: donít let your opponents build mages! If you can keep your
opponent busy building non-magical troops and repairing damage to his/her town, you may be able to keep this
spell out of reach. Use quick raids and tactical strikes to destroy mage towers and individual mages. To protect
yourself against incursion, limit the points of attack on your town by using farms and/or walls as barriers. Use
scouts, towers, and holy vision to keep track of what your enemies are doing.
How Combat Works In WarCraft II
How does armor protect units? What is piercing damage? How effective are unit upgrades? This week weíll
take a look at how combat works in the Warcraft universe and answer some of these questions. Warning:
There is a bit of number crunching involved!
Unit Statistics
†A unit has four ratings that determine how effective it is in combat. Hit
Points indicate how much damage the unit can take before dying; an ogre
with 90 Hit Points can take quite a bit more damage than a Grunt with 60 Hit
Points. Armor reflects not only armor worn by the unit, but its innate
resistance to damage. All buildings have an automatic armor rating of 20.
Basic Damage is how much normal damage the unit can inflict every time it
attacks. This is lowered by the targetís Armor rating. Piercing Damage
reflects how effective the unit is at bypassing armor. Magical attacks, like
dragonís breath and lightning, ignore armor.
The Equation
††††††††††† When one unit attacks another, the formula used to determine damage is:
†††††††† (Basic Damage - Targetís Armor) + Piercing Damage = Maximum damage inflicted
There is a 50/50 chance that the attacker will do half or full damage with each attack. Note: if the defenderís
Armor value exceeds the attackerís Basic Damage, only Piercing damage will have any effect.
An Example of Combat in Warcraft II
††††††††† An ogre and a footman are engaged in combat. The ogre has a Basic Damage rating of 8, and a
††††††††† Piercing Damage rating of 4. The footman has an Armor value of 2. Every time the ogre
††††††††† attacks the footman, it has the potential to inflict up to (8-2)+4=10 points of damage. Each attack
††††††††† the ogre has a 50% chance of only inflicting half damge, or 5 points. On average, the ogre will kill
the footman in about 8 swings.
The poor footman, on the other hand, with a Basic Damage of 6 and a Piercing Damage of 3, will only inflict
3 or 5 points of damage each time he attacks the ogre, which has an Armor value of 4 (thatís (6-4)+3=5).
Even if the footman is extremely lucky and does the maximum amount of damage with every attack, it will take
18 swings to kill that 90 Hit Point ogre. By that time, the ogre will have pounded him into mincemeat and
moved on.
†††††† Upgrades
The most important thing to remember with upgrades is that weapon upgrades
affect Piercing Damage. If the same footman from the above example waited
until he had a double weapon upgrade, he would be able to inflict up to
(6-4)+3+4=9 points of damage with each attack, which is almost twice what he
was doing before. You can see now why Elven Rangers are devastating in
numbers; fully upgraded, they will always do at least 6 points of damage with
each attack against any target.
†††† Summary
This tip may not change the way you play Warcraft, but hopefully it will give
you a little more insight into the inner workings of the game. Try playing around
with the unit combat values in the Unit Editor to see how you can change the
balance. Lowering a unitís Hit Points and raising its Armor, for instance, makes
it more vulnerable to magical attacks but increases its effectiveness against normal troops. You may also find
that against some players, youíre better off upgrading your basic troops than researching new ones, expecially
if they like to attack early. Itís Warcraftís flexibility that gives it longevity. Above all, have fun!