Warcraft II - Tips and Tactics
submitted by jeansy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Warcraft II is very much a unit-based game. It's in the training and use of
units that success or failure lies, and in sometimes coming up with an unusual
combination that'll leave your opponent floored. So here's the complete
run-down on how to get the most from your fantastic army. It's organised unit by
Where both sides have pretty much identical units, they're covered together,
and where individual cases need explaining they are. Explained. Individually.
Yer bog-standard Serfs, their primary use is in collecting gold and lumber
and building things. If a fight occurs near them, move them all away to safety
immediately. Always try to keep your Peons behind other units. One of the
more useful things that Peons do is repair. If one of your buildings is under
attack, instruct a Peon to repair it while the attack is going on. As long as you
keep it on the other side of the building from the attacker, you'll find that it's
perfectly safe and will seriously slow down the rate at which the attacker causes
Indeed, get two Peons repairing a building and you'll have made it
practically indestructible. It's also possible to use this facility to speed up
your building by sending Peons to repair a building under construction. Be warned,
though: this will substantially add to the cost in both gold and lumber.
These characters are your basic foot soldiers, and you'll need a few of
these at the start of each level. As soon as you can though, you should stop producing
them and concentrate on some of the other more useful units.
These are the missile units. In hand-to-hand combat they are quickly
overwhelmed. Always keep them behind Grunts or Ogres (Footmen and Knights
for the Elves) in battle. If you group them with these other units, keep a
fairly even mix. When you move to engage the enemy, the Trolls or Archers will stop
at a distance while the hand-to-hand specialists move in. In the case of the
Trolls, it's worth producing lots of these early on, as later you'll be able to buy
regeneration for them.
Both Trolls and Elves should be upgraded vigorously. On later levels they
become the best defence against the heavy aerial threat posed by Dragons or
Gryphons. A couple of well-trained units can be very effective, especially
if you distract the aerial invader with some cannon fodder. Get a Footman or Grunt
and run him around underneath the flying nasties. He'll probably survive for
quite a while and your missile chuckers will benefit from the easy target practice
More destructive than the Trolls or Archers, these are also missile-only
They're very slow, however, and in defence you should always keep them back
from any front-line areas, only bringing them forward when an enemy appears.
Their greatest use comes when attacking, because of their exceptional range.
With reasonably careful positioning, you'll be able to take out enemy towers
without any danger to the catapult. When attacking with these units, always keep
some foot soldiers nearby. If the catapults come under attack, move this squad in
to deal with the attackers. Then pull them out again and let the catapults do the
Goblin Sappers/Dwarven Demo Squad
Surprisingly effective, these units self-destruct when instructed. You'll
find that two of these will take out most enemy buildings. Like the Peons, though,
they should be kept away from all combat. Keep them in some safe corner until you
need them. They can also be used to carve routes through to gold mines or
forests by blowing up mountains. It can be well worth using a couple of these to
make a journey for your Peons shorter, giving you quite a significant long-term
Ogres are very tough hand-to-hand fighters. As soon as you can, stop
producing Grunts and switch to these. Later on you'll be able to turn them into Ogre
Mages and research spells for them. However, if money is tight this is one thing
that can quite easily be dropped from your schedule. The Death Knights get much more
effective magic and the Ogres don't really get all that much tougher when
you make them into Mages. Keep a careful eye on your Ogre units, which tend to
be rather head strong and are likely to charge off after retreating enemy units
when you don't really want them too.
Knights are great shock troops and, as with Ogres, as soon as they become
available you should concentrate on producing them instead of Footmen.
Unlike the Ogres, though, they get great magic when upgraded to Paladin status, and
it's well worth spending the money on research. Two spells in particular are
hugely useful. First Healing: it can make sense to keep your Knights with healing
safely out of the way and just bring units to them to have them healed. This is
especially useful when combined with Gryphons. The other invaluable power that
Knights get is exorcism. Use that to pick off any Death Knights you come up against.
Like the Death Knight, the Mage should be kept out of close fighting. The
Mage has great destructive capability with its Fireball spell - just be careful
there are no friendly units in the line of fire. The other great spell in the Mage's
armoury is Invisibility. Cast it on a Peasant and get him to walk calmly into your
enemy's lair and build a Guard Tower. Or cast it in on a Peasant in combination with
Shield and get him to wander unnoticed among your enemy's army, wreaking
havoc as he goes. Or cast it on some Dwarves and get them to blow something
You'll have great fun with Invisibility, the only drawback being that it
doesn't fool death Knights, so make sure that your paladins have exorcised them
Goblin Zeppelin/Gnomish Flying Machine
With no combat ability whatsoever, these units are just spotters. They're
very handy for sussing out enemy strengths and weaknesses, but their major use
comes when the enemy produces submarines. Add one of these to any naval group you
create and they'll be able to spot the otherwise invisible subs, allowing
you to attack them without being spotted.
The Death Knight is an awesome creature, but not really suited to
hand-to-hand combat. Try to keep them slightly away from the fighting and particularly
any Paladins. Probably their greatest power is to animate the dead. With the
judicious use of a couple of Death Knights attached to any raiding party you can turn
all the enemies you defeat into skeleton soldiers at no financial cost. As the enemy
gets weaker, you get stronger.
Also very effective is the Whirlwind, but only when cast on very dense areas
of the enemy's defences. Unholy Armour is great if you give it to a Sapper unit
and then send it, now invulnerable, to blow up an enemy building or army. It
certainly gets rid of pesky Mages quickly.
These great aerial beasts are the finest weapons available. No longer do you
need to build ships to transport your men around. Now you can just fly somewhere
and attack it. Their only real disadvantage is that if grouped they tend to
destroy friendly units with over enthusiastic fireballs, and even each other, but
keep them as loners and they won't go far wrong.
The Troll Destroyer and Elven Destroyer are fast, manoeuvrable ships and
still useful when they've been superseded by the bigger and more powerful Ogre
Juggernauts or Battleships. The larger ships are much slower and take longer
to respond, so always keep a blend of different ships in a naval group. That
way you'll be able to react more quickly to any threat. The Destroyers are also
capable of hitting flying opponents, which makes them indispensable at sea.
The Submarines make a great addition to any naval group as well, but can
also be used very effectively as raiders in groups of two or three, especially if
combined with an aerial spotter to watch out for any Towers or flying creatures that
are capable of noticing them. Sending Subs out in advance of a large navy is a
great tactic, as you can pick off enemy ships before they've seen you.
One final piece of advice. Towers are very effective against naval units,
and you'll nearly always lose ships when attacking them. But you can use a
Transport instead. Put three Footmen into the Transport and rush the enemy Tower.
Land the Transport as close as possible to the Tower, then release your Footmen,
who will attack it and remain safe because the Towers can only attack units at a
distance. Move the Transport out of harm's way until the job's done, and
then send it back in to pick up your heroes.
The layout of your buildings can have a crucial effect on the outcome of any
attack, so take some time to think about where you place them. Always make
sure that your Peasants have as short a route as is possible to the Town Hall or
Mill, for instance, and build Barracks as near to the front as possible so
that your troops have less distance to travel into battle.
Towers are an extremely effective form of defence, particularly as they can
be easily repaired when damaged. What's not so obvious is that they can also be
very handy in an attack. Building a string of Towers behind enemy lines will
certainly give them something to think about.
Although you can't build walls yourself, you do have an option to create
very effective barriers by using Farms. Farms are not crucial buildings and are
pretty cheap to produce. If you want to block off an area against repeated attacks,
build a wall out of Farms and then place Towers just behind it. The enemy will
come along and attack the Farms, leaving you in peace to pick them off. Then when
the attack's over, repair your Farms. Using this tactic it's possible to just
sit back and absorb all that the enemy can throw at you until he's exhausted all his
resources. Keep an eye on how much gold is left in his mine by using your aerial
There is a quite splendid array of cheats for Warcraft II. These are just
some of the more useful. To use any of them, press the 'enter' key. Then, when the
'Message:' prompt comes up, type in any of the following. A word of caution
though: some of these cheats (particularly the production ones) give the
enemy the same benefits. This is thankfully not true of the invincibility. Typing in
the same cheat code a second time will turn the cheat off.
IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE: Makes all your units and buildings invincible,
except for a few magical attacks.
GLITTERING PRIZES: Gives you 10,000 gold, 5,000 lumber, 5,000 oil.
VALDEZ: Gives you 5,000 oil.
HATCHET: Speeds up the production of wood so your Peasants or Peons get a
unit in only two chops.
MAKE IT SO: Dramatically speeds up all building.
TITLE: Increases the speed of your units.
NOGLUES: Disables magical traps.
SHOWPATH: Displays entire map.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: Shows the end sequence and
finishes the game.
UCLA: Shows 'Go Bruins!' message. For no obvious reason at all.