More Offensive On the Ground
The Orc Ogre-Mage spells Bloodlust and Runes make the Orcs
much more offensive on the ground war than the Humans whose
Paladins have to rely on Healing and Exorcism. Healing does
not make them offensive in most situations and Exorcism is
only useful if the enemy has Death Knights.
Bloodlust can turn one Ogre into the attack power of three.
Bloodlust also triples the damage of Dragons. Bloodlust can
allow Death Knights and Troll Axe throwers to take on Dragons
by themselves. Bloodlust is almost always freely available
once researched as there are often plenty of Ogre-Mages around
to cast it and at full mana an Ogre-Mage can cast 5 Bloodlusts.
Bloodlust is an offensive spell and is much more effective in
increasing the attack power of the Orcs, than Healing, a more
defensive spell does for the Humans. Bloodlust can often turn
the tide of the game if the Human player is slow to Castle or
does not build a lot more Paladins to compensate. Bloodlust is
also instantly effective as the Orc player usually already has
plenty of Ogres as the Bloodlust spell is researched. Healing
in comparison only helps the Paladins out if they survive the
Orcs Are More Intimidating
A group of Bloodlusted Ogres and the Bloodlust sound makes it
a much scarier experience then facing a group of Healing
Paladins. Although some might argue Human Invisibility and
Invisible Blizzard attacks are much scarier.
Orcs have the unique ability to use their Ogre-Mages to lay
down Runes. Runes can be placed in the paths of oncoming
enemies to damage them and reduce their numbers before the
two sides actually connect. Runes can also be placed in the
middle of a Peon Mining stream to quickly take out a number
of them. Runes can be placed around Mages to keep them from
retreating. Combined with Bloodlust, Ogre mages are very
Runes can also be cast on strategic locations to prevent
invasions and attacks. This is one of the few spells that
can actually cause an enemy to retreat at the sight of.
The Blacksmith offensive upgrade prices for the Orcs are
less Gold intensive. Gold is needed very early for Peons
and Grunts, so it's often easier to have a mix of Gold and
Lumber, even tho Lumber takes longer to harvest then a large
collection of Gold.
For the last offensive Orc weapon upgrade, the price is 900
Gold, 300 Lumber. Humans in comparison is 2400 Gold, no
Lumber. Since Ogres and Grunts are heavily Gold priced (800,
600 Gold respectively), there is rarely a large collection
of Gold built up. While it's faster to mine Gold than Lumber,
quite often you have a collection of Lumber built up by this
point in the game making the upgrade feel cheaper than paying
Hasted Death and Decay
Death Knights can cast Haste on each other to speed up the
damage of Death and Decay. A Hasted Death Knight can quickly
cast Death and Decay making it easier to attack collections
of grouped units before they respond, and also increasing the
chance the Death Knight will have, to fully cast the spell
before being killed. The Death Knight can also more effectively
pull off the "Mage Bomb" by casting a Death and Decay on the
enemy then quickly casting Death and Decay on itself severely
damaging and killing units that respond to the Death and Decay
Although largely useless, Hasted Peons can repair buildings
faster as well as mine Gold and chop Lumber at a faster rate.
Ready for Battle Much Quicker
As the Orc player gets to the Fortress/Castle Stage, they only
need to build one building: Altar of Storms and upgrade their
Ogres. A group of Peons repair-build the Altar of Storms to
quicken it's construction which gives the Orc player an even
bigger jump. Then after two short upgrades: Ogre-Mages,
Bloodlust, the power of the Orcs are virtually tripled. At
the Castle stage the Human player is more vulnerable to attack
as they must alter the makeup of their forces. Resources are a
big hindrance here as the Human needs much more before their
superior magic can come into play. They need more Peasants and
Gold to have as many Knights and Mages as needed to oppose
Bloodlusted Ogres. Orc players do not suffer from this problem
except when facing other Orc players with Bloodlust.
Humans sometimes require a lot more to effectively counter
Orcs. They either have to build a lot more Paladins to counter
the Bloodlusted Ogres, and/or build Mage Towers and a Church,
Mages and must research Blizzard which require a lot of
resources. Then they need to research Invisibility or somehow
sneak Mages in to Blizzard Orc Peons. The Orc player often only
needs an Altar of Storms to research Bloodlust.
The Majority of games against lesser skilled Human players can
be handled using Bloodlusted Ogres. Prevent the Humans from
building Mage Towers and Churches.
Mages are very expensive, the best way to attack Mages is to
limit the enemy's ability to mine Gold. If that is not possible,
attempt to attack them directly using Bloodlusted Ogres. Cast
Runes around the Mages and in front of them in the hope that
they will walk over the Runes and be destroyed.
Invisible Mage attacks
There are only a few possible defenses against Invisible Mage
Blizzards on the Peons. You can place Runes around the area,
but the player will most likely walk around them or wait until
they disappear. You can place Towers or Cannon Towers around
the Mine so that once the Mage starts casting Blizzard he will
be killed before his spell causes serious damage. But quite
often Mages can find a perfect place to cast that is out of
range of the Towers. Another option is to place a few Catapults
around the Gold mine that will instantly kill the Mage when it
appears. This also is usually quite impractical. The best
solution is to wall in the town completely using buildings and
walls. Invisible Mages cannot walk through buildings so buildings
are the best bet at protecting against such a strategy.
Mage/Paladin Healing combo
Orc players often head straight for the Mages. Humans may
Slow incoming Bloodlusted Ogres and cast a Blizzard on them
then run their Mages toward your Guard and Cannon Towers.
At the same time the Paladins beat on the Ogres backs, and
also Heal the Mages as they are being attacked until the Ogres
die to the Paladins and possibly Towers. For the Orc player it
is best to attack the Paladins first as they are the ones
Healing the Mages. After the Paladins are gone, the Mages will
be without protection and more easily killed.
Try a surprise attack. If possible, use Demolition Squads to
blast your way or Transports to land your way into the fight
from an unexpected direction. This can catch the enemy off-guard
and unprepared to defend against your assault.
Exorcism on Death Knights
Try if possible to get rid of that Church before they get
Exorcism. But if they do get it and use it correctly, you
might avoid making any further Death Knights. Unholy Armor
can prevent Exorcism if you need to make a quick hit on the
enemy town. This will require more than two Death Knights.
Fighting Invisible Transports
Invisible Transports usually can't be Invisible all of the
time. Often people with Invisible Transports bring them right
back to their island when they are done attacking so watch
their shores. Wait for the Transport to appear off shore or
land back on the enemy shore then sink it using Destroyers.
When you see units unloading onto the shore quickly cast
Death and Decay where you see them unloading, use Ogres to
place Runes around the the Transport. Build Towers out of
range of ships yet still within range to attack units landing
on the shore. Often the enemy will not have time to unload
before you can destroy them using a combination of Towers,
Runes and Death and Decay.
Easier to Learn, Hard to Master
The Humans are more intuitive than the Orcs. Their buildings
and building names make sense right from the start while the
Orc Buildings require a little more time to learn. However,
once the Humans reach the Castle Stage, the player must be
very good to defeat enemy Bloodlusted Ogres. Quite often,
less skilled Human players are very strong until the Castle
Stage when playing Humans well requires more control and
Some argue the Humans require much more strategy than the
Orc player. The Orc player often needs and builds only
Bloodlusted Ogres, while the Human player has and needs all
sort of spell combinations, units and strategies to counter
the Orc threat. A Human victory over Orcs that reached the
Fortress/Bloodlust stage is often something to brag about
because of the skill level and strategy required.
More Damaging Attacks
Humans can clear out any Death Knights with Exorcism, and
can use Mages and Invisibility to destroy all of the Orcs
mining operations. The Human player can then slow enemy
Bloodlusted Ogres, and catch them without Bloodlust to
finish them off. Mages can instantly kill any Death Knight
or Dragon with Polymorph. The Orcs really have just one
severely damaging attack, attacking with Bloodlusted Ogres,
and Human players playing Orcs always know that is coming.
The Orc player in contrast doesn't often have any idea what
the Human player is going to do. This Orc player overconfidence
and predictability can sometimes be their downfall.
On maps with less Lumber such as Oil is the Key and Nowhere
to Run, the Blacksmith upgrades which require less Lumber than
the Orc counterparts can be a slight advantage.
Humans can use Healing to keep expensive units such as Mages
and Gryphons alive battle after battle. If units survive an
attack, Healing can make them brand new again.
Humans can use the Paladin spell Holy Vision to spy on the
enemy while the enemy can do nothing to stop it.
While the Orcs do not have a very good counter against Mages
other than directly attacking them, Humans have several good
counters against Death Knights. A Human player often has
plenty of Paladins and once the Exorcism spell is researched,
there is plenty of mana and Exorcism to go around. A Paladin
needs only to get within 10 of a Death Knights to cast the
spell. Orc players often stop building Death Knights once
Exorcism comes out because of the fear of Exorcism.
Mages Have More Effective Spells Than Death Knights
All Human spells are useful for specific purpose. Mages have
more spells that are effective in everyday playing. Death
Knights have more "trick" spells such as Whirlwind, Raise the
Dead, and Unholy Armor which really don't come into play as
often. The only real advantages that Death Knights have over
Mages is their one extra attack range and Unholy Armor, Hasted
Death Knight "Mage Bomb" trick. While Death Knights can use
Death Coil to heal themselves, Human players can just use
Paladins to Heal their Mages which is much easier than trying
to find an enemy to Death Coil to heal the Death Knight.
Invisibility is an exclusive Human spell that Orcs can do
little to counter. One way to fight an Invisible unit is to
use attack ground with Catapults and Juggernaughts and hope
you hit them but this really isn't an effective counter and is
something that is usually pulled off once in a life time. Runes
can be thought of as the best counter to invisible Mages.
Humans can use Invisibility with all sorts of spells and units
to make nearly uncounterable attacks. One of the most effective
Spell combos for the Humans is the Invisible Mage that casts
Blizzard on the enemy Peons mining Gold. The Orc player can
attempt a Hasted Death Knight Death and Decay attack but this
is nowhere as effective as the Invisible Mage attack.
Humans can instantly cut in half the attack power and speed
of any unit. One Mage has enough mana at full to to cast five
The Orcs have no instant kill spells other than Runes.
Humans Mages can instantly kill nearly any unit with Polymorph,
especially Death Knights and Dragons. Orc players sometimes get
in situations where the enemy has Death Knights or Mages and
they have no real way of getting in to kill them other than
direct attacks with Bloodlusted Ogres or a complicated spell
combo of Unholy Armor and Haste on a Death Knight using Death
and Decay. Often the Mages just survive and Heal using Paladins.
But Human Mages can usually clear out any group of enemy Mages
and Death Knights with Polymorph. Using an Invisible Transport
the Human player can land a Mage, pop out, Polymorph, then get
back in the Invisible Transport and run. For longer distances,
another Mage in the Transport can pop out, make the Mage
Invisible, then the Invisible Mage sneaks in, casts Polymorph,
then runs back to the Invisible Transport. This is very hard
for an Orc player to counter. Walls and Runes are really the
only defense against this and not an effective one at that.
Invade By Surprise
One thing you have to watch out for is alerting the enemy to your
coming attack. This will give them time to Bloodlust. What you
must try to do is get in there beating on the Ogres before the
enemy knows what is going on.
Upgrade Knights to Paladins and research Exorcism. Using Exorcism
you can easily clear the map of Death Knights in hit and run
Warcraft II is a Game of Production
Quite often the more you resources you mine and harvest and the
more units you produce, the better you do. If you find yourself
falling behind in unit battles, try building more Barracks and
Shipyards. Also build more Peasants to mine Gold and harvest
Lumber. Take over multiple Gold mines so that you can mine more
Remember to place your Town Hall properly so that can fit enough
Peasants on mining and also will allow them harvest correctly
Peasants Are the Key
Peons and Peasants are responsible for all production. They are
the most important units in the game and the key to winning. Quite
often Peon management is just as important as controlling
attacking units properly. Build a lot of Peons, enough to generate
more than enough resources and keep them protected. Take and
defend expansion positions to further your security.
The More Peasants the Better
Unless Gold is limited (small mines of 25k and below), the more
Peasants you have the better. Just how many should you build? Many
players build about 14 Peasants then stop. That will usually not
cut it. You should have about 25 Peasants minimum. Keep training
Peasants until you are into the Castle/Fortress Stage. Some say 30
peons will get you enough Lumber and Gold to do the job. Another
way to find the ideal number of Peasants is to keep building them
until you more Gold and Lumber than I know what to do with. How do
you count Peasants? Count up your other units spread around the
map, look at the food used and subtract the other units from the
food used. You can also just estimate.
Continually Training Peasants, Especially In the Beginning
Train Peasants in a steady succession from the beginning. If at
any time you have to wait for a Farm to train another Peasants,
you are getting behind. Stay ahead in your building of Farms.
Don't be afraid of making too many Peasants. If you find you have
too many Peasants mining Gold, send them to another Gold mine to
build a Town Hall or move them onto Lumber.
The second a Peasant gets done training, you should immediately
train another. You must try to keep this up through the Stronghold
level and into the Fortress level. Now you can't always build
Peasants, because you fall behind in food supply due to lack of
Farms. You must try to minimize the lag between building Peasants.
So keep building those farms and stay ahead. Sometimes, however,
you must make a choice as to whether to build an offensive unit or
a Peasant. You need to have enough offensive units to defend
Keep a Balance Between Gold and Lumber
You should have enough of both resources. If you find you have a
lot of Gold, put more Peasants on Lumber. If you have lots of
Lumber, get more on Gold. What often happens is you put too many
peons on Gold and do not have enough wood but have lots of Gold.
The same can happen with Lumber, lots of Lumber and no Gold. You
must avoid both. Why? Because it slows or stops you production.
You could have 30,000 Gold and 0 Lumber and you wouldn't be able
to build much besides Gryphons, Mages and Footmen (all Gold only).
Keep in mind that Lumber takes much longer to get than Gold so you
may have a lot more Peasants on Lumber than on Gold.
Out Produce the Enemy
In land battles of equally powered units, control plays a big key,
but generally the person with the most units and similar or
greater upgrades, wins the battles.
Each Barracks can only train one unit at a time. To train more
units at once to form large offensive and defensive forces you
need to have multiple Barracks. It's not uncommon to see high
skilled players to build 7-10+ Barracks. Be careful, however, to
only build Barracks that you can support. If you have five
Barracks but are only training out of two, those 3 Barracks are
wasted. Build extra Barracks when resources start to build up. To
support multiple Barracks build several expansions.
The same is somewhat the case on water maps. Generally two
Shipyards are needed to quickly build up an attack fleet. Often
players with only one Shipyard are not able to keep up in
production against players with two.
Keep Your Money Spent
There is no reason at all to save up Gold and Lumber. Warcraft II
is not won by accumulating wealth but rather instead by crushing
your enemy. If you find you have too much Gold and Lumber, spend
it on more Barracks, Shipyards, upgrades, Mage Towers, and
offensive units. You can't always keep your money spent and you
don't always need to, but keeping money spent is a good overall
plan. It is often very embarrassing to lose a game when you have
plenty of resources but just didn't bother to use them.
To create a new unit you must have one Food grown. The Food limit
of 1 is the same for every unit regardless of type or perceived
size. A Town Hall provides 1 Food support, while Farms provide 4.
Be sure to build enough Farms so that you will be able to create
units when you need them. At the top right portion of the screen
to right of the resource counters is a listing of Food Used/Food
Grown. The indicator turns red when you have used more Food then
you have Grown Keep a watch on that indicator and build more Farms
as necessary so that you will have enough. There is no penalty for
using more Food then you have Grown, but you will not be able to
create any more units until more Food is grown or less Food is
used which usually means some units die.
Multiple Units on Only 1 Food
There is a trick to allow you to get the most units out of one
remaining food. When you have only one extra Food Grown left,
train units from all of the unit producing buildings such as
Barracks, Shipyards, Temple of the Damned, Gnomish Inventors. Once
the units are started they will be created regardless of the Food
used once they are finished. Using this method you can get quite a
jump in units over the Food limit. For example if you have 1 Food
left, then instruct all 8 Barracks to make a unit at the same time
you can jump 7 over the limit.
Freeing Up Food Space
Sometimes you run into a situation where you need to quickly build
specific combat units but you do not have Farm space, the time
necessary to create a Farm or possibly the resources to build it
such as you have run out of Lumber. In desperate situations, kill
some Peasants or the most useless unit you can find to free up
Food space for units that would better address the situation at
hand. While this may seem an extreme solution to lack of Food it
can help out in dire situations.
Learn How to Control Your Units
This is very important. For more info, look at Unit Commands and
Controls as well as Hot Keys and Special Commands
Upgrades are key in Warcraft II. When using land units, quickly
build a Blacksmith and begin upgrading as soon as possible. Make
sure you Always stay a level ahead of your enemies in both ships
and units. If you see they have level 3 ships build level 4 or 5.
The same with land units, upgrade them in the Blacksmith. Every
level you up upgrade ships and Barracks units Footmen and Knights
will pay off if you have enough units.
Something you should never have is level 1 Knights. Get at least
one or two upgrades before making Knights.
You can check the upgrades of your units without having to click
on the Lumber Mill, Blacksmith or Foundry. Select a unit then take
note of the Stop and Attack icons which will indicate the level a
unit has been upgraded. Enemy units however will not be able to
tell which upgrades you have researched. Level 4 for example could
mean 2 armor upgrades and 1 weapon upgrade or it could mean 2
weapon upgrades and 1 armor upgrade.
Don't Be Afraid to Lose Units
While it's good to save any units you can for a later battle, do
not become so protective of them that you are afraid to use them.
Know How to Counter Each of Your Opponent's Moves
What I mean is no matter what your enemy does, you should know
what to do. Examples: If they keep Blizzarding your town, go find
and kill those Mages. If people are Dragon making you, get out the
Axe Throwers and Bloodlust. For every move, you should know the
Recon Is Key: Know What Your Enemy Is Doing At All Times
If you want to know what to do against the enemy, you should know
what the enemy is doing. This means recon. Recon is one of the
most important things in the game. Poor recon is the usual cause
of lost games. Perhaps you didn't notice the enemy had an
expansion with no defenses, or that the enemy was building up a
certain kind of unit, or that they were wide open to certain kinds
of attacks in certain locations.
Good Recon does not have to be delayed until you get Flying
Machines. On land maps, send out a Peasant or Footmen to all the
Gold Mines and make sure no one is building 2 Town Halls early.
Recon is so important because you can often attack the enemy when
they have no defenses early in the game.
Place Flying Machines on patrol over Gold mines that you expect
the enemy to expand to. Be warned that the enemy might not build
there if they see the Flying Machine. Try if possible to keep it
within view of the Gold mine without giving away it's location.
Do a fly by the enemy mines and compare their Gold Mine to
yours. Take note if the enemy is mining more Gold than you
then build more Peons and place them on Gold. Keep up in the
On Low and Medium Resources, Do Not Upgrade to
Stronghold/Keep Too Soon
The normal upgrade time for a Town Hall is usually when you
have more than 18 or so Peasants. You can get into great
problems if you upgrade too early. What sometimes happens
is that people get greedy and want the Ogres/Knights just a
little too soon. So they make a few or no Footmen and then
upgrade directly to Keep. During this period, the enemy runs
in with a bunch of Footmen and catches the enemy before they
can build enough Knights to defend themselves. At this point
you don't have enough forces to repel all those Footmen. Even
if you do start making Knights, the enemy can position their
Grunts around the Barracks so they can Kill any Ogres that pop
out. This is a situation you do not want to be in.
Skipping the Footmen Stage
Some people decide to skip building Footmen and go straight
to Knights. This really risky. Here are the trade offs. If
the enemy comes in with Grunts you are dead. If they don't,
you will get a lot of Knights and will most likely be able
to overpower them. This might be something you might want to
try on maps where the enemy has difficulty in reaching you
such as Nowhere out of this Maze. Combine this strategy with a
few walled in towers, or by walling yourself in, it might be
possible to pull this off. The enemy may just bring in a
catapult, break open your defenses and send in the Grunts.
Be Very Careful In the Early Part of the Game
The first 10 or so minutes of the game are extremely important.
Any mistake or delay in building Peasants, Farms, or getting
resources can cost you the game. You have to carefully watch
each and every unit and make sure they are all doing exactly
what you are telling them to. After your town starts to roll,
this becomes less necessary and you can devote time to attacking
the enemy. Lower resources starts require more precise movements
early on in the game as they can easily determine the outcome
of the game.
You must learn exactly what to do for each plan and resource.
If you see yourself in a battle that you just can't win,
run away. The happens when someone has a walled in Cannon,
Guard Tower, or when the enemy has more troops. . Know when
it's a good time to fight and when it's time to run. You want
to run away if you are Human and see the Bloodlusted Ogres.
If possible run with the Ogres following until the Bloodlust
wears off, then turn and attack. If someone casts Unholy Armor
or has a Flame Shield on run until this spell wears off.
Don't Repair Buildings If You Can't Stop People From Attacking
Them This is the most common Newbie mistake. If you have units
coming out of a unit producing building, or have reinforcements
on the way to save the building repair it. Repair buildings
that are key to a wallin. Otherwise do not waste resources on
a losing battle.
Don't Repair a Building Unless You Have to
Repair key buildings such as Black Smiths, Stables, Town
Halls, but do not repair buildings without a good reason.
Buildings are not destroyed by fire no matter how many hit
points they have left so the only reason to repair a building
is because it's important, or to require more Goblin Sappers
to destroy it.
Know Why You Lost
Warcraft 2 is a game of learning. When you lose you should
know why. By knowing why you lost, you know what you can
improve on in future games. If you don't have a clue, ask
the players who defeated you after the game how they won.
Be sure to not accuse them of cheating but be sincere in your
request. If they are nice, they will give you their input.
Have your friends watch you play. Often they can give you good
advice about how to play from another point of view and to
correct your mistakes as you go.
Offense vs Defense
The best defense is a good offense. Don't spend too much time
building defenses for your town. Be sure to wallin your town
if possible. A huge defense may protect you from attacks but
to advance in the game you need to attack the enemy town and
prevent them from expanding. Instead of building too many Towers
and Catapults you will have much more success building more
offensive units, expand to more resource spots, upgrade, and
Quite often, people spend plenty of time building lots of
Towers in their town which does not leave enough resources
to build any units to protect all these Towers. Towers can
easily be killed by Goblin Sappers, Catapults and Blizzards.
You might want to build one or two Towers by your mine, or at
most 3-4 Guard Towers but don't over do it.
Building Orders can allow you to build to specific units and
buildings as quickly as possible. Building orders are very
important on low resource games, and less so but still important
and helpful as more resources are available. While building
orders will not be listed here, many people are willing to share
their favorite building orders on the fan sites.
Placing your Town Hall
When you start the game, find the mine first. Next decide how
close to the Gold Mine you want to place your Town Hall. If you
want to put a lot of Peasants on Gold, you should move it back
a space from the closest possible building distance. Be warned,
the further the Town Hall is away from the Gold Mine, the longer
it will take the Peasants to mine Gold and return to the Hall.
You will have to train more Peons just to keep up with the enemy
who has their Town Hall closer to their mine. Do not place your
Town Hall against the left side of the screen or up against
Trees on the left side so that the left side is covered. If the
left side of the Town Hall is blocked, the Peons/Peasants might
pop out on the wrong side of the Town Hall or Gold Mine which
will mean they will have to walk longer to walk to and from the
Gold Mine. This may put you behind the enemy in resource
The computer "remembers" where the Peasant Mined or Harvested,
and will generally place the Peasant out to the left or right
of the Town Hall, up or down depending on where the mine is
located (occasionally, if the mine is directly above or below
the town hall, they'll pop out above or below the Town Hall).
Here is the reason Peasants sometimes will come out of the town
hall the wrong way: