Unofficial Strategy FAQ 1.0
Select a stack of units
Hotkey them to your favorite number for easy access (Hotkey commands can be
found in TA:K's README file)
Put the stack on OFFENSIVE mode
Find a point on the map you want them to move to
Select the PATROL feature and click on that spot
This will cause your units to move from where they are to where you told them
to patrol, and they will generally attack anything that gets in their way.
Unfortunately, if you add new units to this stack, they have a tendency to
switch to DEFENSIVE mode, (which is horrible) so make sure to double check
often that they are on OFFENSIVE . Also, if they get to the point where you
told them to PATROL to, they will move back to their start point, so keep
feeding them PATROL commands. Offensive patrolling is the way to go.
Automatically Add New Units to a Hotkeyed Stack
Select a hotkeyed stack of units you want add new incoming units to Hold down
SHIFT. While holding down SHIFT, click on whatever buildings you want to
constantly add new units to that stack Reassign the Hotkey to the group
(Hotkey commands in README file)
Very very very very very useful for building up large stacks without
constantly reassigning hotkeys. If I have 5 archers hotkeyed to 1, I just
select my archer stack, hold shift, select the barracks that is constantly
producing them, then reassign the hotkey. I can constantly add to my archer
stack without nonstop clicking.
Deities?! YES! They do appear... but somewhat randomly...
Gods will appear in combat sometimes, as long as a few conditions are met.
They only appear while a top-tier builder is present, (ie Shaman, Acolyte,
etc.) and between 30 and 60 minutes into the game. Further, even when all
conditions are met, they only appear a small percentage of the time. Be
careful with your Deities! They can hurt you too! I would recommend keeping
them far from your base... I've seen the Veruna Angel 3 times; she has a few
more hit points of a Monarch, is a ground unit, and when she attacks (usually
at melee range) a Tornado (like the Weather Witch's spell) looses and does
immense damage to everything it touches, INCLUDING FRIENDLY BUILDINGS. My
Veruna nemesis had his angel destroy his entire base on accident when my
archer horde suddenly ran into his angel. The Vernua Deity CANNOT hit flying
units with the whirlwind, and does not build structures. The other Deities
share similar abilities.
Unit Experience - Powering Up Units through Kills
Units get experience for killing enemy units. All that matters is that they
get the fatal shot. As a unit gains experience, it gets MUCH more powerful.
Most of the time, this occurs with artillery units and spell units, units that
get a lot of kills and don't face much direct combat. The higher tier a unit
is, the more it has to kill to get "leveled up". Units can advance from their
newbie stage all the way up to the 10th level. On the fourth, seventh, and
tenth levels, their picture on the status bar gets a bronze, silver, and gold
shield, respectively. On the fifth and tenth levels, they gain visible
changes. The power change can be significant; it appears more profound in more
expensive units. For instance, a Fire Mage of mine with 67 kills (don't ask,
that was a lot of Berserkers) was a high level and he could get off 2 full
blasts of his third level spell Fire Storm with the 3rd shot only a few
seconds or so behind. A standard level 1 Fire Mage can only do 1 Fire Storm
before it is totally drained of personal mana. One of the biggest complaints
that I've noticed is that the Dragons aren't powerful enough. To begin with,
they're certainly not. They're too easy to build; that would make the game too
easy. You need to get several dozen kills while taking care of them. Once they
start leveling up, watch out; they're definitely powerful enough...
Ranged Units and Artillery: It's all about Spotting
For ranged units (i.e. Archers) and artillery units (i.e. Catapults and
Trebuchets), there is almost nothing more important than spotting. (Spotting
involves using a unit, any unit, to visually see the enemy unit or structure)
Pretty much every ranged and artillery unit shoots farther than it can see.
This means that if a unit is sitting right outside the visual range of a horde
of archers, your units won't attack it, even if it shows up on "radar". Flying
units usually have good sight range, plus they are fast. Use a few flying
units to "spot" for your ranged and artillery units. Spyhawks and kin are
cheap and effective for this purpose. If ya need to, move a few units outside
of the "horde" of archers to serve as spotters for the rest. Usually, once a
unit has been spotted and an attack order issued, artillery and ranged units
WILL CONTINUE TO ATTACK THEIR TARGET UNTIL IT IS DEAD OR MOVES OUTSIDE OF
THEIR ATTACK RANGE, EVEN IF NONE OF YOUR UNITS CAN SPOT THE UNIT. Most ranged
units will also attempt to follow the fleeing unit if it tries to run away.
Take Amazon Knights for example; once an enemy unit has been "spotted" and an
attack order issued, they will chase down and attack the enemy unit, even if
you lose visual sight of that unit, until the enemy is dead, so long as that
unit doesn't run outside its attack range.
Monarchs; for Immortal Rulers, They're Idiots.
Never trust your Monarch to do anything right itself. If you put a Monarch on
passive to conserve its mana for a big attack, it'll sit there and die if it
gets attacked. If you put them on aggressive, they will chase down the first
unit they see and waste their mana on it. If you put them on defensive, they
will wait until they are attacked to chase down the first unit they see and
waste their mana. In any event, keep tabs on your monarch, it's WAY too easy
to do stupid things with them. You can lose your monarch to units you can't
even see; artillery and flying ranged units are great for sniping an
unsuspecting Monarch. In other words, Monarchs suck on automated self-defense.
I prefer to put mine on an aggressive patrol with its lowest spell selected to
conserve mana when I'm not using him. WHEN A MONARCH STARTS BUILDING
SOMETHING, WATCH OUT. They become totally oblivious to the 15 crossbowmen
shooting at them once they start building something, until they finish the job
or construction is terminated. All the aforementioned tactics are also great
ways to catch your opponents monarch off guard, like wasting mana with 1 or 2
units if you know he's got the ring spell or 2nd attack spell selected, or
smashing him while he builds something, or picking him off with trebuchets if
he's standing still.
Veruna Gets Ships - Watch Out!
In most games, if there is water on the map, and there is a Veruna player,
that water becomes VERY important. Ships are a little cheesy, and very very
painful. Veruna's fleet is centered around one unit: Trebuchet ships. They are
evil, horrific monsters; they are mobile artillery pieces of death. Put them
on Offensive, use parrots to spot nodes, buildings, and hordes of units, and
commence the destruction. If Vernua gets a few skiffs/harpoon ships/mans of
war to back up 3-4 trebuchet ships, it becomes all but impossible to kill
their ships. (Harpoon ships especially tear up units and are fairly cheap)
Either match them for range with trebuchets, or do surgical strikes to kill
their trebuchet ships/sea fort; it's unlikely unless you started building an
airforce from the start you can beat them in a straight out air-to-sea fight,
unless they skipped the air defense for more trebuchet ships. As far as
matching their sea power, unless they are idiots and don't catch you building
Krakens/war galleys and smash your efforts or simply outproduce you, you will
lose the sea war. If you're Veruna, even a small lake becomes a useful siege
point. A few harpoon ships, skiffs, and just 3 trebuchet ships can tip the
tide of a game immensely. If you're not Veruna but are facing one, PATROL AS
MUCH SEA AREA AS YOU CAN AND BUILD UP AN ANTI-SHIP FORCE, whether it be Iron
Beaks, Stone Giants, Drakes, or Man O Wars, hit them before they get their
fleet out, or it will hurt. On maps with water, Kingdoms can require radically
different tactics than a ground map; either adapt or lose. This is somewhat
annoying considering no other race really has it's own set of tactics that
requires such radically specific defenses. Be prepared to defend against it,
or be prepared to use it to crush your enemies.
Guarding your Guard Towers
The base-defending units in Kingdoms, for the most part, are pretty weak.
Guard and Watch Towers won't stand up to much of a beating as it is. One way
to extend their lives and make them more effective is to build a wall around
each one, and put a tier one builder inside. (i.e. Priestess, Dark Mason, Mage
Builder...) Set the builder to guard the tower, and it will take one heck of a
lot more to take it out. I've found that a Guard Tower can take around twice
as many attackers out if it's being healed. A field of guarded Mage Towers
behind walls is enough to strike terror into attackers' hearts...
Combine your Fighting Units!!!!!
I can't stress this enough. Sending in tons of one unit, no matter what unit,
will never work against an experienced player. Every unit has its own
strengths and weaknesses; the goal of an RTS game is to find the best
combination to maximize your strengths while at the same time minimizing your
weaknesses. A decent strategy is sending a lot of low-powered ground units,
with ranged ground units behind, all covered by air-to-ground units. Verunan
Warriors, Amazon Knights, and Dirigibles work nicely, for instance.
Groups and Formations
- Use groups AND formations, not just one or the other. Formations (ALT+#) are
excellent to move a huge group in a cohesive way in open territory, generally
to face another huge force. BUT, if you want to invade a castle or base,
better use the old group style (CTRL+#), so that the faster units will get
there quickly and also give visual range for the artillery units.
Baby sit your Baby Dragons
Dragons, Dragons, DragonsЕ Known throughout fantasy literature for their
ability to destroy everything in their path without as much as blinking. So
why, in Kingdoms, do they die so easily, you ask? Because a freshly summoned
Dragon is much like a baby. It needs love and care, and is much weaker than
most famous Dragons. 50 or so kills will catapult it towards puberty, whence a
Dragon can use its most powerful spell twice in a row, with a third one close
behind, leveling everything in its path. 50 more kills, and it can use its
spells almost at will, and is all but indestructible. Moral of the story: a
little love goes a long way...
Rushing? You must be Mad, Man!
One of the most frequent complaints I've run into on the TA:K board is how
useless level 1 units are. Well, actually, the most frequent complaint is how
their PIII slows to a crawl playing TA:K, even though they've also got 64 MB
of RAM! Ok, so this is the second most frequent complaint.
Never underestimate the value of level one melee units. In an early game, they
can overwhelm an undefended monarch. (the first 3 or 4 use up the monarch's
3rd level spell, the rest finish him off) By the time they've got that Citadel
up, you should be churning out the CTRL-clicked goblins, harassing mana sites,
and acting as spotters or distracters for the level 2 big guns.
We Don't Need No Stinking Area-Attack, Part Deus
If you want your troops to attack whatever they come across en route, set them
to guard a couple of cheap level 1 melees, and set THOSE troops to attack your
distant target. This works as well as setting a patrol route, or area attack.
I personally like the fact that soldiers can't be distracted from their goal
by a couple of archers drawing them off course with long distance arrow shots.
I like my troops listening to me.
It's all about the Mana, Man!
Of course, you did send a builder off roaming the map first thing, right? A
mana site is a few hundred mana. It pays for itself in around 30 game clicks.
Explore early and reap the harvest!
Automagically Create Attack Groups
Take a unit. Select him, move him to an empty area near your base, and assign
him, and a factory/builder or two to that same group. Select the factories,
and tell them to move near that first unit. Start building other units, and
voila! An automatically made, assembled, and assigned attack group will be
waiting for your first command.
Odd Things I've NoticedЕ
-Although Aramon is supposedly the dominant land race, Veruna has the best
defensive structure (Bastion, with a 1220.18 Offensive Power mark).
-Everyone keeps saying how great Stone Giants are. You can build 8 Trolls for
the price of just 1 Stone Giant... Yes, Stone Giants have their uses, but
don't forget the Troll! It's one of the most under-rated units in the game.
-Taros is more powerful than people seem to think. They have the Mage Tower, a
very powerful defensive unit, Fire Mages and Weather Witches, who can wreak
havoc in large numbers, the most powerful Deity, and the most powerful Dragon
(Also very close to the cheapest Dragon, that of Aramon).
-Aramonian Mage Archers can be devastating if used right. Set them to use
their paralyzing arrows, and back them up with Cannoneers. If you do it right,
you can destroy almost any ground unit (Fire Mages wholly excluded) with ease.
Sacred Fire Artillery Defense??!?
This tactic is hard to pull off, but it can do wonders, especially against the
stupid AI. If you're playing Zhon, build a few Stone Giants, and put them near
the edge of your base, on the side facing your enemy. Now build a wall in
front of them, and Sacred Fires behind them. If an enemy artillery unit, such
as a Trebuchet or Mortar starts attacking them, the Sacred Fires will heal
them, (hopefully) allowing them to withstand the assault.
Walls: An Effective Defensive Fortification
Walls have been much maligned in past RTS games. From inability of the AI to
recognize their existence and from prohibitive high costs, Walls do not have a
good track record. Kingdoms may very well change the entire view of walls;
they are indeed a useful and practical tool. Walls are extremely hard to
destroy in TA:K. I have yet to have my Stone Giants actually smash down a
wall, but I have seen Executioners do it. Taking down a wall is a significant
challenge; the melee units must sit and whack at the wall for some time before
it will go down For example, a Knight must take six swings at a wall to bring
just one section down. Walls can cut off access to areas that you can't afford
to defend naturally, and they can restrict your opponents' ability to get
units into your base. There's no penalty against building multiple lines of
walls, so even if your opponent takes down one area he'll still have more to
go through. Areas that are natural bottlenecks like bridges and valleys can be
turned into utterly impassable sections by just a few well placed walls and a
handful of defenders. The two banes of walls are indirect fire artillery and
air units. Be prepared to defend against these countermeasures with your own
artillery, air units, and anti-air units. Unfortunately, walls cannot quite
reach the deep parts of water, so most ground units will be able to walk
around the edge of a wall ending in water. In cases like these, simply put
more walls down the coastline and line them with defenses. The more area you
want to control with walls, the harder and longer it's going to be to build
them, so be wary about becoming to expansive with walls too soon. Walls are
dirt cheap, so if your builders are just sitting around, find some areas for
them to throw down a few walls. Remember to "paint" the walls by holding down
shift. Try using walls; you may be pleasantly surprised. Defensive structures
become much more practical when you block melee access to them with walls and
back them up with builder units on patrol.
Elsin: Raiser of the Dead
Another feature that many players miss is Elsin's ability to raise units from
the dead. Getting him to any unit before it sinks into the ground and clicking
on the remains cause him to re-animate the being. This can be especially
useful if you use it correctly. For instance, resurrecting a Dark Mason, a
Priestess, and a Beast Lord will allow you to build all four Dragons at once.
4 Dragons! Obviously, it's usually not a good idea to build 4 Dragons even if
one has the means to do so, but I'm rambling; you get the point. It's an
ability that can be very helpful in a battle; use it well.