Fun with 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 "build up, move out" 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
The simplest use of invisibility is scouting. An invisible flying machine is
simply the best scout that you can get. With the spell's long duration, you can
explore a large section of even a 128x128 map before the effects wear off. By
learning where your opponents' resources are located, you can better plan
tactical strikes designed to cripple their production.
Once you've determined the best place to conduct a raid -preferably a nice
unguarded gold mine or a blacksmith that's been left alone- load your strike
team on a transport and turn the transport invisible. You'll 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.
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 won't 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 won't 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.
A tactic that can really drive your opponents crazy is casting flame shield on
invisible units. Although the flame shield doesn't 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 won't 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: don't 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.
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.
How Combat Works in Warcraft and Warcraft II
How does armor protect units? What is piercing damage? How effective are unit
upgrades? This week we'll take a look at how combat works in the Warcraft
universe and answer some of these questions. Warning: There is a bit of number
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 target's Armor rating. Piercing Damage reflects
how effective the unit is at bypassing armor. Magical attacks, like dragon's
breath and lightning, ignore armor.
When one unit attacks another, the formula used to determine damage is:
(BASIC DAMAGE - TARGET'S ARMOR) + PIERCING DAMAGE = MAXIMUM DAMAGE INFLICTED
The attacker does a random amount of damage from 50%-100% of this total each
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, or it could inflict as little as 50% damage, 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 (that's (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.
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.
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 unit's 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, you're
better off upgrading your basic troops than researching new ones, expecially if
they like to attack early. It's Warcraft's flexibility that gives it longevity.
Above all, have fun!
Calculating Your Score in Warcraft I & II
Have you been wondering how to get the highest score possible in a given
scenario? Hopefully this rundown on the scoring systems in Warcraft and
Warcraft II will prove useful to you.
Scoring in Warcraft
Warcraft uses a fairly complex system to determine your final score, based on
both the damage you cause and the number of units/buildings that you create.
I'll leave the individual calculations to you, but here's the breakdown:
- Construction of a building adds half of the building's cost in gold to your
- You lose half of the building's cost if it is destroyed
- You gain 1/4 of an enemy building's value when you destroy it
- Training new units is worth 1/4 of their gold cost
- Losing a unit costs 1/4 of its gold cost
- You score 1/8 the cost of an enemy unit for destroying it
- Each scenario is worth a bonus of 50-500 points for completion, based on the
This total is then compared to the Ranking Table to determine your final rank.
Scoring in Warcraft II
Warcraft II uses a scoring system that is much more streamlined than Warcraft,
and reduces the chances of one player padding their score in a large
multiplayer game. The key to achieving a high score is simply to cause as much
damage as possible. Your total point score is based on the number and type of
enemy units that you kill, as follows:
Winning Scenario 500
Wall 1 Tower 95
Critter 1 Farm 100
Peasant/Peon 30 Lumbermill 150
Flying Machine/Zeppelin 40 Runestone 150
Tanker 40 Barracks 160
Footman/Grunt 50 Oil Rig 160
Transport 50 Blacksmith 170
Archer/Axe Thrower 60 Shipyard 170
Ranger/Berserker 70 Foundry 200
Dwarves/Sappers 100 Guard Tower 200
Knight/Ogre 100 Refinery 200
Ballista/Catapult 100 Town Hall 200
Mage/Death Knight 100 Stables/Ogre Mound 210
Demon 100 Inventor/Alchemist 230
Paladin/Ogre Mage 110 Church/Altar 240
Legendary Hero 120 Wizard's Tower/Temple 240
Submarine/Turtle 120 Cannon Tower 250
Destroyer 150 Aviary/Roost 280
Gryphon/Dragon 150 Keep/Stronghold 600
Battleship/Juggernaut 300 Castle/Fortress 1500
Your score carries over in campaign missions, but in custom scenarios and
multiplayer games only that one battle is counted. Your total score is then
compared to the Ranking Table to determine your achieved rank.
Ranking Table for Warcraft
Human Rank -- Orc Rank Score Required
Slave -- Slave 0 - 200
Peasant -- Peon 201 - 300
Squire -- Rogue 301 - 400
Footman -- Grunt 401 - 800
Corporal -- Slasher 801 - 1,600
Sergeant -- Marauder 1,601 - 2,400
Lieutenant -- Commander 2,401 - 3,200
Captain -- Captain 3,201 - 4,000
Major -- Major 4,001 - 4,800
Knight -- Raider 4,801 - 5,200
General -- General 5,201 - 5,600
Brigadier -- Master 5,601 - 6,000
Marshall -- Marshall 6,001 - 6,400
Lord -- Slayer 6,401 - 6,800
Duke -- Dictator 6,801 - 7,200
Warleader -- War Chief 7,201 - 9,600
??? -- ??? 9,601 or higher
(von der Blizzard-Homepage)
Michel Messerschmidt // 30.8.1996