Informal FAQ 1.1 by Bill Tindall
August 13, 1996
II. Strategy tips
III. Notes about managing your troops
IV. Mission help (under construction)
V. Wish list
VI. Magic Items list (borrowed from Stephen Di Ciano)
Question: What is Warhammer SOTHR?
Warhammer SOTHR is a real-time fantasy battlefield strategy game which
is very challenging. While there are a few shortcomings to the interface,
on the whole the game is rewarding and definitely worth playing for
anyone who enjoys this type of experience.
Question: How do I win at SOTHR?
Since I haven't seen any kind of FAQ or strategy guide for this game (and
I certainly could have used one when I started the game), I thought I'd
throw something together which may offer some help. I have no intention
of being comprehensive, just helpful (hopefully). Of course, what I'm
suggesting here works for me, but you may have your own strategies
which may work just as well or better. The game is quite winnable once
you learn how to strategize and perform the necessary tactical maneuvers
as the battle progresses. It is a difficult game to learn how to win, but of
course that's what you have the save and restore game options for ;).
Once you've mastered it using the principles described below (and
practiced a bit with the somewhat awkward interface), you'll may decide
the game is too easy. If anyone wants to contribute more information to
this FAQ, please email me and I'll include it (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Actually, it took me a long time to learn the principles I'm sharing here,
and a lot of frustration. It's only because I enjoy this game so much that I
took the time to learn this stuff. I even cheated by using my hex-editor the
first time through just so that I wouldn't get completely discouraged. But
by the time I got to the end I found I'd learned the game well enough to
win without cheating, so that's exactly what I did the second time through.
Hopefully, with the help of this guide you'll be able to tackle the game
without the initial frustrations that I suffered. I'm assuming you learned
the mechanics of the game from the manual, so I won't rehash
information that you already have.
Personally, I'd love to see a lot of people start enjoying this game, so
maybe there will be a sequel! It really is a wonderful game, even with a
Good luck, and may the Winds of Magic always blow your way!
1. Embark on the campaigns in this order:
-First, the human missions around Wissenheim. They allow
you to acquire some much needed troops and gain much
needed experience points. I recommend you perform all of
these missions, though you can skip them if you want to as
soon as you meet the dwarves and Ceridan. Or wait until you
get the mortars and then skip the rest. But don't get
discouraged! Some of the hardest missions of the game are in
-Second, the Dwarf defense of Zhufbar. You are going to need
dwarf help to pass through the mountains and complete the
Elf missions later.
-Third, the Elf missions in Loren. You need to perform these
before you can get to the final battle.
Along the way, don't let anyone bully you into hurrying. You have
plenty of time to take on extra missions along the way. Remember,
YOU are the Commander. Take on anything that's profitable.
2. Avoid going on the offensive whenever possible.
As in real battlefield warfare, it's easier to defend than attack. In
fact, this is doubly true in SOTHR. There are only a few missions
where you have to take an offensive approach, and these should be
handled very carefully, one step at a time. Except in such cases, and
in the very earliest missions when the forces at your disposal are
limited, the most important rule for every battle is to line up your
forces in defensible and reinforceable positions, bringing maximum
fire power to bear on the approaching enemy.
Keep these principles in mind:
-Arranging your defensive line prior to the battle (or at the start
of the battle, if you're under ambush) is usually the key to
winning. About the only time when this is not true is when
you're required to protect someone or something, but even
then you must have a good strategy for coordinated attack.
-Place your reserves in a position to reinforce the most likely
points of attack.
-Place your wizard(s) in position to get a clear shot at the
enemy. If any of your troops get in the way of your wizard's
attacks, you can kiss them goodbye.
-I like putting the Wizards on the right and left flanks of my
defensive line. From there they get a good shot at the
approaching enemy troops while they're less likely to become
targets themselves. If an enemy regiment approaches him,
make the wizard move back and move a fighting unit to
protect him. Although you can have three wizards later in the
game, you'll never want to use more than two (if that) in a
single battle. There just aren't enough magic points available.
-Place missile units at or slightly behind your line of defense so
that they can maintain continual fire on the approaching
enemy. Later in the game, the Imperial Cannon and the Wood
Elf Archers are especially good at tearing the enemy apart as
they advance. Some units need a clear line of fire and some
don't, so arrange them accordingly.
-The heart of your defensive line should be infantry. These
units are cheap (generally) and thus more expendable. Let
them take the hits from enemy missile units if necessary and
the brunt of the enemy's charges. Once the infantry is
engaged in hand-to-hand combat, it's time to send in your
reserves to crush the unfortunate attackers. There are other
reasons why this strategy works best. Infantry, especially
dwarves, are slower to move and respond to orders than any
other units, so they perform much better when all they have to
do is hold a position. Also, if they go into retreat, they are
less likely to completely run off the battlefield before they
rally, since they're moving slowly. Then you can bring them
back into the fight.
-Use your cavalry and other quick moving units (such as
Ceridan) as reserves. Place them in position to reinforce the
expected point of attack. When the infantry starts hand-to-
hand, cavalry can enter the fight quickly, attack the enemy's
flank, and turn the tide of battle. Alternatively, cavalry or
other fast moving units can be used as decoys to draw the
enemy off from key points on the battlefield, or to draw the
enemy into an arranged fight with your infantry.
(I've found the book's suggestion on page 100 that you "Use
your cavalry regiments to hold back the enemy while your
slower infantry regiments come into play" to be a recipe for
disaster. Nine times out of ten the fight will already be
decided by the time you can get that slow infantry involved, if
ever. Instead, let the enemy come to you.
Also, it's all well and good to hide units somewhere on the
battlefield and then bring them out in surprise, as the book
suggests, but remember that once they are revealed they can
come under enemy missile attack. Your cavalry is safer if you
place in on your own flanks or behind your lines so it will be
ready when you need it and can attack without suffering hits.)
-Use the Amber Wizard to slow down the enemy (with the
Curse of Anraheir or the Tangling Thorn). While he slows or
holds them, your missile units can pulverize them.
-Turn off the AI for your defensive units, so they don't engage
too soon. Once a formation is broken it's difficult to put back
together in the heat of battle. After they're engaged you can
usually turn the AI back on. Remember that the enemy's
charges, although they sound terrifying, have no special effect
if your defenders are facing the charge (except with monsters
such as Rat Ogres).
-Don't attack or defend uphill when you can help it. Your
units will have a disadvantage fighting, and your missile units
will have a hard time hitting the enemy (they may just fire
into the side of the hill!).
3.. Focus your efforts on doing as much damage as possible prior to
engaging in hand-to-hand combat.
One of the best ways to lose your troops is to engage them in close
fighting. While this is inevitable much of the time, you want to
avoid it as long as possible so that your missile units can do
maximum damage first. If you nail the enemy vanguard units with
the Curse of Anraheir, for example, the units behind them must also
slow down or go around. Blast them all with missile fire. The
mortars are particularly useful in this type of situation since they're
not very accurate. But if the enemy is bunched up they're easier to
score hits on. Try to force the enemy to bunch up and pass through a
narrow portion of the battlefield so you can direct all of your missile
and magic fire on that sector, creating an effective "killing zone",
and sending the enemy units into confusion.
4.. You can't micromanage everything on the battlefield, so once you
get things setup, spend most of your time with your most important
The most important unit of the game is the Amber Wizard, thanks to
the value of his spells and the fact that he is with you from early on
and long enough to build up maximum experience points. And, he's
cheap! Make sure he is not killed in any battle, because he is
impossible to replace until after Zhufbar. If you lose him, you may
want to quit and restore the previous battle. He can do more damage
than anyone else, especially if he has the Flock of Doom spell, so
make sure you pick out his targets and use the most appropriate
spells. Even more important, he is also indispensable at taking on
the enemy Shamans, Seers, Trolls, Ogres, and Giants with the
Hunting Spear spell. You can keep him out of the way of nasty
enemy charges with the Flying Bower spell, if you get it. The only
problem with the Flying Bower is that just when you need it you may
find there are no magic power points available_OOPS!
After your wizards, keep close tabs on your missile units. They have
a tendency to target a regiment, and then stop firing when that
regiment comes into hand-to-hand combat, thus doing nothing for
precious minutes. When that happens, you need to redirect their
target to something they can shoot at clearly. Also, make sure their
missiles are hitting their targets. They may just be shooting into the
side of a hill ineffectually and you'd better do something about it.
The Dwarf Gyrocopters are worthless without constant personal
attention, and you can really only use one at a time. Keep the others
back out of harm's way until you need them.
Also, pay attention to your strategic map to determine what areas of
the battle you need to intervene in. When an enemy charge
approaches your defensive line, you need to intervene to concentrate
your forces appropriately. Protect your missile units, and hold back
your reserves until the enemy is committed. Then send in the
reserves quickly, preferably upon the enemy's flank or rear, to turn
the tide of battle.
5. The Enemy troops are different and each type of unit requires a
different strategy for destroying it.
Goblins, for example, are fast but tend to gather in large groups.
Best to attack them with mortar fire and especially arrows since they
go down easily, or at least the smaller Goblins do. If they're riding
on wolves then zap them with the Curse of Anraheir. They almost
always break and run. The same with Orcs on boars.
The Orc Big'uns are particularly nasty in close fighting, so avoid
hand-to-hand with them. They are good candidates for the Tangling
Thorn if you have it, but be especially careful not to let any units
engage them while they are tangled. Since they can't retreat under
such circumstances, they'll fight to the last Big'un, taking as many
of your guys with them as possible. Instead, hit them with missiles
and spells. In any case, try not to let a regiment of Big'uns get close
to any of your forces unless under ideal conditions (i.e., you charge
them from the rear and/or you've already decimated them with
Monsters will strike fear in any regiment, so don't send any
regiments against them. Instead, let your Amber Wizard take them
out with Hunting Spears.
The same goes for enemy wizards of various types, seers and
shamans. Infantry and cavalry will probably not fare well against
them. Kill them as soon as possible with Hunting Spears. The only
missile unit which I've found to be at all effective against them are
the Wood Elf Archers. Even direct hits by artillery don't seem to
kill them. Grey Seers are especially dangerous when they use the
Madness spell, which can turn your own forces against you. Make
killing them your number one priority going into the battle.
Skaven are somewhat of a mixed bag. The Skaven Slaves are sent at
you basically to wear you out. Knowing that, you want to avoid
letting them do it. Use mortars and arrows on them when possible.
If you have to fight hand-to-hand, try to rout them quickly in
preparation for the units that follow. Don't let your units waste time
tracking them down when they're fleeing, if you can help it.
Stormvermin, on the other hand, are very nasty to get entangled
with. So avoid getting entangled whenever possible. Don't even
send in a unit to finish off a battered Stormvermin regiment that has
Warpfire Throwers, unless you want to lose your unit. Such
Stormvermin are really missile firing units with Warpfire Throwers
that tend to blow up when defeated, killing any of your guys that are
close. The best weapon against Stormvermin with Warpfire is the
Dwarf Gyrocopter which can sneak in behind them and blast them
with steam continuously until the Stormvermin blow themselves up.
Once you attack a Stormvermin regiment with Gyrocopter steam,
keep after it relentlessly even after it starts to flee, until it blows up
in green flame. Your Gyrocopter should be safe from the explosion
since it's elevated. If you don't have a Gyrocopter, send your
wizards after the Stormvermin, but only after you've first dealt with
enemy wizards, the greater threat. In general, arrows are not very
effective against the tough-skinned Stormvermin, so expect a
difficult time if you have to go after them with bowmen.
Enemy artillery units, such as Doom Divers and Rock Lobbers,
should be dealt with last, after you've defeated all other enemy units.
In other words, stay out of range of enemy artillery as much as
possible in the first part of the battle. All the rest of the regiments
coming at you are enough to keep you busy. You've got to get those
enemy wizards and roving missile units taken care of first. Then
when you've defeated the onslaught in detail, and only then, send
appropriate units to kill the artillery. The Dwarf Gyrocopter is great
at this since they won't able to hit it as it swoops in to pulverize
them with steam. If you don't have one of those, send in your fastest
units to charge the enemy. Spread out your forces and send them all
in at once to rush the enemy and engage in hand-to-hand combat as
soon as possible. You can even pick an expendable unit to send first
(all enemy artillery will target it) and after they open fire, slip in
some other units to finish the job.
Dragons: don't even think about trying to fight one. You can use
the Curse of Anraheir on one, however, to slow down the Dragon's
6. The dwarves are your best friends and won't steer you wrong.
Best of all, they pay well, so they are naturally good allies for
mercenary armies to have. You can't ignore the Elves in order to
finish the game, but the dwarves will help you with that as well.
7. Base the amount of resources you devote to a mission on how much
you are getting paid for it, under the following conditions.
Always save the game before starting a mission. On some missions
you won't need to fight any battles, so you'll want to save money by
not assigning any more regiments to fight than you have to. Do a
restore and try it again.
Early in the game when you are fighting around Wissenheim, you
will need practically all the troops you can muster for every fight,
with a couple of exceptions. After you get the mortars you won't
need them for every battle, nor every other unit all the time
afterwards. Use the wizard effectively, and you'll be OK. Let the
offer of payment be your guide. If you are offered 800 crowns to do
a job, make sure your expenses come in less than, but not too much
less than 800 crowns. The money you are offered around
Wissenheim is fair and should enable you to make at least a small
profit with each mission. More important are the experience points
you earn by completing these missions and the troops you hire along
When fighting for the Dwarves, remember that they always pay more
than what you need to make a profit. Expect to make a great deal of
money on the defense of Zhufbar, and you won't need to use all your
troops on the missions. The exception is the one time they pay you
for each man you're able to field. Send everybody on that one and
make a real financial killing!
When fighting for the Elves, remember that they always pay less
than what you need to make a profit. This is not so much because
the Elves are cheap but because you've amassed a large army
(hopefully) by this time that you have to support with retainers. In
fact, it's when fighting for the dwarves that you make more than
enough money to cover your costs in fighting for the Elves. When
you get a mission from the Elves in which they offer 500 gold
crowns, expect to spend 600 or 700 crowns just to get the job done.
Even so, all of the Elf missions are worthwhile and most of them are
required. Don't worry though. If you performed well for the
dwarves you should have been able to amass over 10,000 crowns
after you arrive in Loren and get paid there, more than enough to
complete the game successfully.
Remember that you can't assign more than 13 regiments to any one
mission, so don't get too concerned if you lose one or two regiments.
Actually, it may serve you well to have lost a couple in the game so
you don't have to keep paying them a retainer (or you can always
fire them). The Grudgebringer Cavalry is required and the Amber
Wizard is practically essential until you can acquire other wizards
later in the game. Most of the other units are not essential (though
I'd hate to go into the final battle without at least two canon and the
Elf Archers, and either good cavalry or a Gyrocopter).
8. One of the best refinements in this game is the way the missiles are
fired on the battlefield. The missiles behave as they would on a real
battlefield. They go up in the air and go down in an arc or else they
hit something on the way, realistically. Each type of unit fires
differently. Plan appropriately.
With this in mind, prepare your missile attacks. It does no good, for
example, to hide a canon behind a cliff, because all it will do is fire
into the cliff. Instead, hide the mortar behind the cliff because it
fires up into the air and over the cliff.
Archers also shoot into the air, especially longbows. Your longbows
may be able to fire over an obstacle that your crossbows would fire
So mount your straight-firing canon on the tops of hills. Put your
mortars behind the hill so they can fire over it from protection.
Crossbows should go with the canon, and longbows with the
mortars. Elf Archers are effective from just about anywhere, unless
the target really is shielded from them completely. But of course,
you have to watch the Elves closely since they like to advance on
their target, exposing themselves to counter attack. (Stupid Elves!
They really need a baby-sitter!)
Wizards are really the most stupid of all the missile units, however.
You have to give them plenty of room to work and don't let any
friendly units get in front of them. If you place an infantry unit in
front of your Amber Wizard, for example, and let him attack an
enemy regiment continuously with Hunting Spears, he'll happily
launch spear after spear into your infantry until they've been wiped
out and he can proceed to wipe out the next unit that gets in his way.
The other wizards are no better. That's one of the big reasons why
you have to manage wizards carefully. Also, the idiots are going to
keep firing their least effective spells at approaching enemy
regiments, unless you manage them closely and make them use an
appropriate spell. For example, the Amber Wizard should use the
Hunting Spear against single person regiments like wizards and
trolls, while the Flock of Doom is much more effective against
masses of infantry like Goblin Stickers and Skaven Slaves.
9. Make sure you don't miss the magic items in the game; they are very
important. There is a complete list below, if you don't want to
search every single battlefield. Even if you don't make money, a
mission can be worthwhile if you acquire a magic item. Make sure
your most important units acquire the items and can use them
appropriately. For example, it does little good to give the Dread
Banner to a Wizard, because wizards never charge anyone.
10. Often you can't control whether your units chase after a routed
enemy regiment to finish it off, but sometimes you should try to stop
them and sometimes you shouldn't.
Don't chase after Warpfire-toting Stormvermin, which blow up, or
Plague Monks, which keep firing filth even when running away.
Your pursuers will pay a heavy price.
When your units are needed elsewhere, naturally you'll want to rally
them as soon as possible to send them where they're needed.
Otherwise, when you've got an enemy regiment on the run, that's the
best time to finish them off. Rarely will they score any hits on your
forces while they're running away and they're easy targets. Killing
them increases the experience levels of your units and prevents the
enemy from rallying later and coming back at an inopportune time. I
hate it when an enemy unit flees and then suddenly finds it in itself
to rally just when it's passing by my vulnerable missile units!
When enemy units are fleeing across the battlefield, even after
you've won the battle, track them down and finish them off. You
get the extra experience points which allow your forces to improve
their skills. Missile units will target fleeing regiments if you order it.
Otherwise, direct a fast unit to move across the path of a fleeing
enemy and run them down.
Dwarves are so slow they won't catch any enemy units that are
fleeing, so always try to rally the dwarves ASAP and put an end to
their futile pursuit.
11. Be sure to space your artillery units far enough apart so that they
don't blow up! This includes mortars, canons, and hellblasters. You
should be able to easily fit about two good sized infantry units in
between each artillery unit, or else the artillery units stand a good
chance of blowing themselves up when the battle commences.
At the same time, if you space your artillery units too far apart they
are harder to defend and one of them will invariably be out of
position to fire at the most crucial moments. So space them and
place them carefully.
12. Pay close attention to terrain so you can use it to your advantage.
Spy out the land before the battle starts, if possible.
I once used the Celestial Wizard's Wind Blast spell to hold off an
entire army for 10 minutes and as the enemy units went the long way
around they were easily picked off one by one by my missile units.
Two Orc Archer units remained and it looked like it would be an
easy and glorious victory, but the archers wouldn't die no matter
how many arrows and cannon shot I threw at them, after the Wind
Blast was removed. Only after I took a number of casualties,
including my Celestial Wizard killed by those archers, did I look
closely at the terrain and discover that the enemy archers were
standing in a low place behind a hill. My missile units kept hitting
the front of the hill without doing much damage, while the enemy
archers were firing freely from behind their protection. I ended up
sending a unit of cavalry to trounce them. But if only I'd looked at
the terrain I could have placed some of my own archers down along
the enemy archers' flank where they could have had a clear shot. Or
I could have nailed them with appropriate magic spells which are not
limited by terrain. Instead I lost a wizard and some other valuable
Of course, if the enemy can do something like this, why not do the
same to him back? Hide your units so they can't be hit by missile
fire until they are needed. Let your mortars fire from completely out
of site so they remain safe. If your wizard casts his spells while
hidden behind trees, no one will ever touch him. This game is very
good at making realistic use of the terrain and it should be easy for
you to take advantage of this better than the computer opponent
13. Read the books in Dietrich's wagon. Only there can you get current
information about races, spells, magic items, and the abilities of your
own troops. You especially need to know how to use the magic
items if you want to be effective. Read about every new item you
14. Hire everybody you can (unless you're really short of money).
The best units are the ones you don't have to pay. I usually assign
those to nearly every mission, unless their numbers are decimated
and you need to give their wounded time to recover.
I have completed the game twice while hiring every possible unit I
could. You may be running a bit short of money at the time you
reach Nuln for the first time, however. In that case, you don't need
to hire everyone there. Some of the units are expensive. If you've
got enough healthy infantry, you can skip the Greatswords or the
Halberders. They are both good but expensive units. Make sure you
do hire the artillery units, however.
Remember that if you've lost a lot of troops, the good part is that
you don't have to keep paying them. The only unit you can't lose is
the Grudgebringer Cavalry, of course. Everybody else can be
Notes about managing your troops
Just as there are different types of enemies you have to know how to deal
with, the forces you command are equally diverse. Success often depends
on whether you use your forces wisely, so here are some tips on how to do
These are the most important units of the game, so manage them
carefully all the time. You really only need one wizard on the
battlefield at any given moment, and more than one in action means
thinly spread availability of magic power points. I won't repeat all
that I said above about wizards, but here are a few other things to
Make sure you save your magic points for the most crucial spells. If
you tell your Amber Wizard to continuously attack a regiment, he
will use the Curse of Anraheir and Hunting Spears. But the Hunting
Spears' effectiveness against masses of infantry is not always
satisfactory. Let him use the Flock of Doom in such situations if you
have it. And don't ignore the Tangling Thorn which can stop a
powerful unit. The enemy's front unit, if halted, will block the ones
behind it from proceeding. And don't let the Celestial Wizard waste
all of his power points on ineffectual lightning. The Storm of
Shemrek can turn the tide of battle, while the Wind Blast can halt an
advancing army, and I've seen it happen.
Make sure an enemy is in range before trying to cast a spell on him.
Otherwise, you've wasted the magic power points. You'll have to
learn from experience what the wizard's maximum distance for spell
casting is. Only if you tell him to continuously attack a regiment
will he actually move himself into position (but then at least you'll
know when he's in range!).
Most important of all about wizards, make sure your other units
already have their marching orders from the start so you can spend
as much of your time as possible managing the wizard closely.
Work with him carefully and he can win many of your battles for
you almost single-handedly.
For some reason, although the book says that cavalry will have a
movement rate of 8, in actuality it's only 4. But the cavalry are
faster than the infantry anyway over most terrain. Hopefully there
will be a bug fix for this.
I find it much easier to maneuver cavalry around the battlefield than
infantry. They respond more quickly and seem faster at moving into
position. Use them to charge the enemy's flanks. Some cavalry units
will give you a bonus when charging.
Use the magic power of the Grudgebringer sword to send fireballs
prior to hand-to-hand.
The heart of your army. Use them to setup a defensive line as
described above. There are several excellent infantry units available
in the game, both human and dwarf. The Grudgebringer infantry
only becomes really good if you build up enough experience points
for them (which is hard to do_it's cheaper to field dwarf infantry
instead). Dwarf infantry is good but really slow moving.
Larger formations of infantry are especially difficult to manage on
the battlefield. They don't maneuver very well, and you can spend
half the battle just trying to get them into position. So don't waste
time with that. Let the enemy come to you while you pulverize them
with missile units, then meet them with your infantry. Let the
infantry hold them while your cavalry rushes in to finish them off.
Piece of cake, right?
4. Archers (Crossbows, Longbows, Archers)
Crossbows have a good strength skill, so they should be able to bring
down some of the tougher enemy troops. I had a hard time trying to
get the Mercenary Crossbows (available early in the game) to
advance in experience, but it's worth it if you can do it. They can hit
the enemy without getting hit back, which is what bowmen do best.
The key is to make sure they are well within range when they fire.
Otherwise their arrows will fall short and do no damage.
The Longbows are more effective in some ways, mostly, I think,
because they fire higher into the air and over obstacles. However,
their bows are less effective strength-wise.
It's not until you get the Wood Elf Archers that you find out what
archers can really do. As long as they don't have an obstacle in their
way, they can tear enemy formations apart with their accurate, rapid
Set your archers in position to bring maximum fire power on the
enemy while not exposing themselves to the same thing. From on
top of a hill their effectiveness is increased while the enemy's is
significantly diminished. If they are just behind a hill, they are
extremely difficult for the enemy to hit but their own effectiveness is
not much diminished.
Archers are best used against infantry regiments which have limited
armor and move relatively slowly.
This includes mortars, canons, and the Hell Blaster.
You can't get enough of these. Mortars are inaccurate but great at
eliminating large formations of advancing infantry. Try to get the
enemy infantry to bunch up in one place and the mortars will be
three times as effective.
The two canon pieces you can get in the game are excellent,
especially the Imperial Great Canon Crew. They love to chew up
advancing infantry with deadly accuracy. The Hell Blaster is not as
good, but still useful when the final battle rolls around.
Remember to space your artillery weapons out as described above to
avoid having them blow up. There is still a chance they will blow up
anyway, though. As long as the unit is still in existence, it will be
repaired. So if the weapon is destroyed, get the surviving members
out of harms way.
Protect your artillery from enemy attack as well as you can, but put
the artillery in strategic positions from which to fire. Canons fire in
a relatively straight line, mortars fire up into the air.
Don't be afraid to use him whenever you can. Ceridan seems to be
about the only indestructible unit in the game (dragons excepted).
He may get defeated on the field, but the worst that happens to him
is that he's only wounded (he's too crucial to the plot to let die). If
you let him take the Dread Banner, he can run around panicking
enemy regiments. However, Ceridan will often be unavailable to
you until the latter part of the game, so don't give him too many
magic items, at least not until you get to Loren.
7. Dwarf Gyrocopters
These can be very useful against relatively immobile and/or missile
firing enemy troops. The key to the Gyrocopters is to send them
against regiments that won't charge them and lock them into hand-
to-hand combat. They are best used against enemy missile units of
all types, especially artillery and Stormvermin with Warpfire.
The catch is that you have to manage them all the time. Using their
steam gun effectively means a lot of clicking the mouse. If any
enemy manages to engage a Gyrocopter in hand-to-hand combat,
order the Gyrocopter to retreat immediately (no enemy regiment can
catch it). Keep the Gyrocopters completely out of harms way when
you are not using them.
Use a Gyrocopter at those times when the action is less intense, and
you have extra time to manage them. When things heat up
elsewhere on the battlefield, send the Gyrocopter to some safe
corner of the map out of harms way until you have time to use it.
Mission help (under construction)
Here are a few words of advice regarding many of the specific missions
from the earlier part of the game. Of course, you don't need to perform all
these missions to complete the game (but where's the fun?). The more
missions you attempt, the easier it will be to win the game later.
1. Protect Schnappleburg
Do what the book tells you, it's straightforward, except don't forget
to retrieve your first magic item before finishing the mission (see
2. Escort to Holst
First ambush is easy. Second ambush, engage as quickly as
possible, make sure crossbowmen fire at clear targets, not hitting
your troops accidentally. Biggest challenge is fending off enemy on
your right flank in time to engage units coming from the north.
3. Sven Carlsson
Your first real chance to implement the strategy principles outlined
above. Don't bother to try to save Hiln (you can't). Might as well
attack Hiln's guard first, then line up in a defensive position to face
the Clanrat warriors. Don't forget magic item.
Setup defensive line as battle commences. Good time to practice
maneuvers. Apparently, if you let some from the first battle escape
you get to fight a second one with the possibility of making more
money. I'm not sure what the conditions are for fighting the second
5. Rescue Ilmarin
Don't get too caught up in rescuing the dwarves, you don't have to.
Probably the best thing you can do for them is use your units
effectively. You now have 2 missile units including Allor. Place
your crossbows as far to the northeast as possible to give them a
clear shot at enemy regiments. Use Allor's Hunting Spear spell to
take out the Rat Ogre. If you decide to attack rather than just
defend, don't do it piecemeal. Coordinate your Infantry and
Give the Shield of Ptolos to Allor.
6. Orc Pursuit
Most difficult mission yet, but should not be hard for you if you
follow the above tactics. Be sure to concentrate your forces when
You will not be ambushed so take Grudgebringer Cavalry only, to
save money. A decision for revenge means working for Carlsson for
a while. You can skip this and go straight to Zhufbar, but you won't
be nearly as well prepared for Zhufbar. You don't have enough of
an army yet to go straight to Loren, so if you're reckless enough to
try it you're on your own.
Carlsson Guard troops are not especially good but they can fortify
your defensive line. You lose them before going to Zhufbar, so
don't work on building up their experience points. Put the Guards in
harm's way but send in your regulars to do the killing. Or to put it
another way, lead them to water but don't let them drink.
9. Against the grain
This one is tougher thanks to the fact that you have to go on offense.
Still, you should be able to draw the enemy to you, one or two
regiments at a time. The rest should be easy.
The good part is that enemy units will be attacking buildings and
therefore not be available all at once to turn on you when your units
surprise them. I suggest taking the southern route and falling on the
enemy rear, then advancing in an orderly fashion (as always) until
you've methodically wiped out every unit. Don't worry if a couple
of buildings are lost: your pay is only diminished slightly. It's more
important to keep your regiments in tact. Also, You might have to
take a slight financial loss on this one.
10. Bridge over River Weiss
I'm unsure what effect actually stopping them from crossing the
bridge has on the outcome of the game. I would say it's best to let
some enemy units get away rather than lose some of your own troops
unnecessarily. If you insist on trying to stop them all, the Curse of
Anraheir can slow down the lead unit enough to catch it with your
In any case, use the mortars to target large infantry regiments and the
wizard to slow down or stop units. The greatest threats to your own
troops are the rear units in the enemy column. Send cavalry and
infantry against them and let your missile units and wizard try to
pick off as many from the front of the column as possible.
11. Slave Train
This mission is worthwhile because of the magic item. Also, you
will get some payment if you do it and every participating unit will
get 2x experience points.
Mortars are worthless in this mission (they'd just hit the slaves).
You shouldn't need too many other troops to complete it
Special hint: if you use the Tangling Thorn spell on the Goblin
Stickers they will just disappear_use the spell on all three groups,
then you only have to fight the wolf units. But the wizard doesn't
get any experience points for it.
12. Shattered Pass
Final battle around Wissenheim: let the killing begin! You probably
need every unit for this except for infantry. The Carlsson units
should be enough (if your Carlsson units are still in reasonably good
Setup your defensive line in the narrow pass to the southeast and you
should have ample opportunity to shell the attackers with mortar
fire. Might at well place everyone at the bottom of the hill since
otherwise you'll be fighting on the hill at a disadvantage. Let
Hunting Spears take out the troll. The rest is easy. Rush the three
units that stay in the northwest after all the others are killed. Don't
forget the magic item before you move on.
I've become fond of SOTHR, but there are some problems and room for
improvement. Here are a few thoughts.
The interface still definitely needs some tweaking. It's a problem
when you click a button only to find that the button changed its
function suddenly, basically giving the opposite order of the one you
wanted to give. When you try to click on Attack, there is a chance
the button will suddenly change to Retreat and your forces will
become easy prey for the enemy.
Another problem is that units are difficult to select. I would like to
see some kind of window that opens up and lets you select a specific
unit. If several units are close together it's very difficult to get the
one you want by clicking on the map, and when you thought you
selected one, you actually got another. Also, when you give
marching orders, you may have thought you were done giving the
order and so you click on another unit, not realizing that by clicking
on the other unit you countermanded the order you just gave. That
makes the interface very hard to get used to, especially for a
The learning curve in the game is very steep. You win the first few
battles without much difficulty, but then suddenly you are thrown
into some very difficult ones and after repeated failures, you want to
just give up and return the game to the store from which it came.
That's too bad, because the game really is worth learning. There's a
whole lot of substance in it.
The manual could be better for finding information in. How hard
could it be to just put an index in the back of it? Most word
processors will do that for you automatically. Well, I know that
problem isn't going to get fixed_nobody ever changes the manual.
But I'd like to see it done right for the next game. Otherwise the
manual is pretty good.
I like the way formations are handled in the game_nothing
complicated, but it's flexible enough to give you some control. But I
wouldn't mind seeing some more advanced options for giving troops
orders. For example, I'd like to see the ability to give a unit an order
to defend a certain area on the map and attack anything that enters it.
Better yet, I would like to be able to order one unit to guard another
unit. Of course, this may be a problem like when I want a regiment
to guard a wizard and they get in the way of his spells. Perhaps if
they took up position behind him until needed_
The AI for the wizards is too limited. He will keep casting the same
spell over and over, even though he could use other, more effectual
ones. At least I would like to be able to order him to continuously
attack using a PARTICULAR spell of my choosing, if nothing else.
Also, the wizard should realize when there are friendly units in the
path of his spell and refrain from casting it, as the archers are able to
refrain when the enemy is locked in hand-to-hand combat with
I hate having to switch my display to 256 colors to run the game
(though I wouldn't mind if my video card could do it on the fly).
Also, the game keeps setting my MIDI music to maximum (very
Most of all, I would like to see a scenario editor for this game which
allows you to create your own battles. Or at least I'd like to see a
sequel to the current game. In conjunction with this, there could be
a two player option via modem or network.
Warhammer: SOTHR is so close to being a breakthrough game, with
the potential of being very popular if it just wasn't so frustrating at
times. All the essentials are in place, and it offers so much more
strategic depth and challenge than the other real-time games out
there, easily beating Command and Conquer and Warcraft, in my
book. The AI in those games just does not compare, nor does the
storyline, nor does the realism. Granted, you can get scenario editors
and/or two player modes with other such games, and SOTHR lacks
these. But really, all this game needs to become a major hit is a little
interface tweaking and an easier learning curve. That would
eliminate the majority of the frustration. Probably if it included a
strategy guide with the game, that would help with the learning
curve. Adjustable difficulty levels might serve even better to make
all of us happy.
STEPHEN 'DURIN' DI CIANO's Magic Items list follows in his posting
to the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic newsgroup. Since he posted it
publicly, I trust he doesn't mind my reposting it here with proper credit
given. It's very helpful, and with this list you don't have to waste your
time scanning every map for a magic item.
Magic Item locations for Warhammer:
Hi, so Warhammer's a bit ard' for ya eh? Eres some help...
*BTW there are 18 magic Items in the game.
*It is not possible (unless cheating) to obtain all the items.
*Each mission is of the form BF0XX in the \SCRIPT. Objective K in a
mission indicates a magic item can be found. The second number
what item. Note - missions can be edited.
These are in the approximate order that you may find them-
10- SwordOfMight (BF003)
This item is in the very first mission. Found to the right of the
clump trees in the centre of the map. Should probably give to
infantry, as cav have a sword. But remember bonuses are cumulative.
11- DragonBlade (BF001)
Found in the sleaquit assassin mission, behind the house, near the
snowman. Give to cavalry.
Found in the rescue of Illmarin mission, near the rock to the west.
8- SwordOfHeroes (BF004-4)
In one of the Carson missions where you rescue slaves at night.
The item is behind the building.
7- PotionOfStrength (BF004-5)
This item is in the NE corner of the map in the last Carlson mission.
3- BannerOfWrath or PotionOfStrength (BF018)
The mission is the suicidal troll mission to Loren.
This excellent Banner is supposed to be in this mission, but in my game
isn't. It is due to 'objective: X' in the file making the potion appear
but I don't know why this was done (maybe its buggy). The Banner
work fine for me.
The item is near the 2nd stream of lava on the east wall.
This mission is a waste of money unless the item can be obtained.
4- BannerOfArcaneProtection or PotionOfStrength (BF019)
This mission is the skaven suicidal mission to Loren.
Problems same as troll mission.
Item is near the two rocks.
0- BannerOfArcaneWarding or PotionOfStrength (BF012)
This mission is the orc suicidal mission to Loren.
Problems same as troll mission.
Item is near rock to NE of the map.
5- TalismanOfObsidian (BF028)
This is the 'save sheep in farm from goblins' mission. This item
is probably the best in the game, it cancels all magic. The only
way to get to this mission is to get to Zhufbar through the mountain
pass, not underground.
The item is in the far east behind the house. Give to cavalry.
1- BannerOfMight (BF037)
This is also a excellent item (adds to combat bonuses)
The mission is called Slave Assault. It is one of the missions given
to you in Zhufbar. The item is behind a pile of rocks near the north
12- ArmourOfMeteoricIron (BF025)
This item is in the Bandit hideout camp mission after the Decoy
You do these missions at Nuln. But if you do any of the bandit mission
rather then going to Loren right after talking to the Emporer, you don't
get the Reiksgard Knight cavalry unit (your choice). The item is in the
far west behind the tents.
2- Dreadbanner (BF033)
It is in the Exterminate skaven mission in Karak Norn.
An excellent item that makes you cause fear (now you can be the big
monster). But this mission may well take its toll on ya. Make sure you
attack the caves.
The item is in the eastern corner, near a cave.
9- ParryingBlade (BF022)
This mission(i think) is where you fight heaps of skaven on your way to
I don't think it appears all the time (maybe only if you get the Knights).
The item is behind the 3rd rock to the east.
7- PotionOfStrength (BF034)
This potion is in the 'Final Battle?' mission against Urgat.
It is near some trees? to the NE, close to your setup area.
These items are found on various characters.
Well thats about it from me. Email if you're having other probs, if you find
bizarre, or whatever...
STEPHEN 'DURIN' DI CIANO.
Email me with comments, questions, etc.