Warcraft 2 Strategies
Last updated 12/5/02
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In this guide, I will attempt to help people that are new to Warcraft 2 to get better. If I forget any key points, please e-mail me at email@example.com and I will see if it's worth adding to this guide. I am an orc player, so when I mention Orc units you can probably convert the term to Humans (i.e. grunt = footman).
My friends and I just discovered an interesting bug in Warcraft 2. We were able to get several buildings and sea units into a transport. See here. After unloading the transport, this was the result. The sea units could not be unloaded. We also found a way to get sheep to appear in a transport. See here. (Note: none of these pictures were edited in any way.) To do the above trick, put skeletons on a transport. After they have a sliver of life left (this means they're dead), any buildings or units you build/train will appear on the transport. You can then unload them where ever you like. To get sheep to appear on a transport, you need a human partner. After the skeletons die, polymorph a unit and you'll see a sheep on the transport.
Defensive Units--First off, ALWAYS pay close attention to your peons. Peons can chop out of your wallin allowing enemy units to get into your base when you least expect it. Also, early on, peons can chop on the same wood which can put you far behind. As I just said, you also need to make sure your peons are not chopping on the same wood early in the game, when lumber is crucial. Losing that 100 lumber can make you wait for a farm or barracks which obviously puts you behind. Seconds can make or break you in the beginning.
A good peon order for people new to Warcraft 2 is peon 1 gold, peon 2 gold, peon 3 wood, peon 4 wood, and peon 5 wood. Have peon 4 build your 2nd farm after he brings in the wood for the farm. More complicated orders have multiple peon switches. That is for you to figure out.
Offensive Units--Almost always be on the offensive. Defensive players can generally be killed pretty easily via the starving out technique or Death and Decay. If you make tons of towers, don't think those will protect you for long because Death and Decay will eat them for lunch. Also, it's a pretty good idea to wallin your city with farms. Make sure you hide a peon or 2 someplace on the map so you can expand! A pud this can easily be done on is Plains of Snow (POS). You can view a picture of a good wallin here. Take note that the 2 barracks are placed a farm distance apart from each other and the wallin. That should be done to prevent sappers from taking out multiple buildings at once.
Try not to group your men into clumps. The reason for this is that death and decay or sappers can take out that clump of units, especially if the person put them on stand ground. When attacking, use the Patrol command rather than selecting all your units and having them attack 1 unit. If you attack 1 unit, chances are a few of your units will run around the other person's units. This is BAD because the enemy's units will take a few pop shots on your units. Using Patrol totally eliminates that because your units will spread out and attack more than 1 unit. If you see a sapper coming at a group of units, spread them out so that the sapper can only take out 1 unit. That is a very good exchange, and a waste of time for the other player.
The most powerful spell in Warcraft 2 is Lust.
If you're going to Death and Decay, you can use another Death Knight to cast Haste on the Death Knight that's going to cast Death and Decay. Haste will speed up the Death and Decay and make it the MUCH stronger.
A good build order for newbies is th/f/f/f/barr/f/f/smith/f/barr2. If you can't figure out what that means, please e-mail me. Immediately scout with your first or second grunt.
Try to guard your expansions with 6+ men so that you will have enough men to beat a transport full of the enemy's men. You should be able to beat 6 men with 6 of your own if you see his transport coming and have him out leveled or have lust.
It's a bad idea to put cannon towers or guard towers on the coast. An upgraded juggernaut can kill them in 1 hit. Watch out for subs at your yard and foundry. If you have a cat, you can use an unupgraded/upgraded tower on your coast to see the subs so you can hit them. If you have a stronghold and an alchemist, park a zepplin near your yard/foundry. Note: I like putting my yard and foundry close to each other so I can protect them easily.
If you're in a 1x1 fight with a juggernaut, and you're sure your juggernaut gets the first hit. You can do this by moving your jugg toward the enemies jugg until his jugg fires. Chances are his shot will graze or miss your jugg entirely. Immediately stop your jugg and fire at the enemy's jugg. If you are both even in ship upgrades, you will win that particular jugg fight because the first to make full contact will win.
Right when your foundry is done, and you have enough oil for a transport, make one immediately and hide it, then make another and put it wherever you want. Expand as soon as you feel you can afford to (early on). Transports can be repaired.
Runes and Death and Decay work on water, so they can kill ships.
A good build order for newbies is th/f/f/f/m/shipyard/oilplatform/foundry. When your platform is in progress, make a 2nd tanker and use it to scout for the other player. If you find him and see that he hasn't started his oil platform, you may want to steal his oil patch that is nearest to his shipyard. Note: most puds have more than one oiil patch per starting point, so check the patches around his island. If you can steal his oil, it will hurt him badly. The only thing he can do is to build another yard at the other oil patch, or take out the platform with cats (if they can hit it) or death knights (chances are it will be in range of them). If he uses cats, try to kill them with juggs. If he uses DK's, you have a lot of time to get expansions. If you can keep him off of the sea for the near future, expand like crazy and overwhelm him.
A good peon order for newbies is peon 1 gold, peon 2 gold, peon 3 wood, peon 4 wood, and peon 5 wood. Have peon 4 build your 2nd farm after he brings in the needed amount of wood for the farm. More complicated orders have multiple peon switches. That is for you to figure out.
Useful Tactics and Tips
Rather than pressing A to attack a building, just command-click on the building (hold down command and click on the building). It's much faster and simpler than using A.
Don't put your buildings right next to each other, especially really important ones. Try to put them a farm's distance apart from each other. The reason for this is sappers! If you put 2 barracks 1 space from each other, 2 sappers can take out the 2 barracks. This would be devastating for you. A sapper can take out up to 4 farms. Also, a clump of farms is just begging for D&D.
Keep in mind that if you lose your smith 3 times in a land game, no more ogres for you. So, try to protect your smith.
Death and Decay peon lines, don't rune them unless you have to. D&D is much more effective. Put a zepplin over potential expansion mines for your opponent. If you can afford it, put a zepplin over every mine. You can squash an expansion attempt before it gets established.
If you see a sapper coming at you, and you have a Death Knight relatively close, Unholy Armor the sapper! The sapper will explode because they cannot be Unholy Armored. This is a very nasty tactic and very frustrating for your opponent.
Learn the keyboard equivalents to all the commands in Warcraft 2. They are much faster. Also, learn the maps and the starting positions. Do this or lose.
I suggest you use the Nate formation on water puds or puds you can't wallin on. You can view a picture of a Nate formation here. Take notice that the tower will protect your peon line.
Don't do Barracks first. See my Warcraft 2 Etiquette page.
Axers generally don't serve a useful purpose except as a method for killing dragons or attacking zepplins. If a zepplin is over my city and I don't want my enemy to see what I'm doing, I will sometimes train an axer to try to get the zepplin out of my city. Generally, don't upgrade them past level 3. If you decide to upgrade them past that, DON'T get regeneration. The regen is WAY too slow and not worth the large sum of money.
Don't upgrade your catapults to level 3. It is just way too much money. If you think cats are going to be useful in the game, by all means upgrade them to level 2. However, a level 3 catapult is the most powerful unit in Warcraft 2.
When you D&D a tower, watch your mana bar. All it takes is approximately 3 jumps in the bar, then you can stop the D&D. The tower should die, especially if the DK was hasted.
If someone spots you with the early oil tanker scout trick, and you see the tanker, grab one of your tankers, press M (move), and select his tanker. Your tanker will follow his tanker, thus hopefully leading you to his base. Try not to be so close to his tanker that he sees you and leads you away. This is a very nasty tactic. The enemy's own trick works against him =).
Destroyers basically suck. They are good for killing dragons and chasing down transports. Instead of making your first ship a destroyer, make it a juggernaut.
If you want to go water (juggernauts) against a player, make an early 2nd shipyard. Try not to put it too close to your first. The reason for this is if your 1st yard is destroyed, hopefully they won't notice the 2nd one for a bit.
If a submarine is attacking your juggernaut, and you don't have a zepplin or tower nearby to see it, use the Attack Ground command and point to where the sub is. The jugg will attack that spot. However, a good player will constantly move his sub making it very hard to hit.
If you're humans, cast Invisible on a transport. You can get to an enemy's island without him seeing you.
Sometimes you can use Fireball to draw a jugg in to a Blizzard. Fireball has the longest attack range in Warcraft 2.
Raise the Dead and Whirlwind are useless spells. The skeletons Raise the Dead makes are way too weak, even in great number. Whirlwind is way too unpredictable, and it does not do enough damage. Use your gold on something more productive.