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AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies
Moderated by Enginerd, Ziggurat Mason

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Topic Subject: Lets talk about ORCS!
posted 08-16-01 11:43 PM EDT (US)   
Roger wants to discuss Orc strategies so lets go! I play the Orcs a lot so this is a great subject for me. The Orcs were made to smash and destroy.

I know that archers rule and swordsmen generally suck in AoW, but lets not write off the Orc swordsman just yet. As the AoW Strategy Guide says, "the Orc swordsman is the best level 1 melee unit in the game...arguably the best level 1 unit in the game."

I couldn't agree more! It has 4s in both attack and damage categories. Hang some medals on him and he kicks some serious butt. Now I know that you're thinking "but what about the Azrac swordsman, with a 5 attack?" Well, that is high, but the Azracian only has a 3 damage and a pathetic 1 defense, meaning he dies quick.

Orc cavalry is impressive as well. I believe they're the only Level 2 cavalry with a 4 damage rating. Not the best cav, but with their charge ability they're doing an impressive 6 attack and damage (before medals), killing many archers in one hit. Give them a medal and that's a 7 damage rating!

The doom bat is probably the worse flyer in the game. Underground concealment has its uses, but it's not that great. Plus, its movement rate is horrible! Only 26! The irony is that in my "Dwarf Quest" PBEM game, I've got a bat at gold medal. Damn, that's the luckiest bat in the world. It's captured about 5 towns by itself. It does have poison stike and cause fear with a hit, with makes up for some of it's faults, but only barely.

We've debated the merits of the Orc Assassin in the other thread. I didn't use them much when I first started playing, but I've really come to enjoy harrassing and pissing off my opponents with them. It's great fun, isn't that why we're playing games in the first place?

Of course, everyone recognizes the strength of the Warlord. Can you say, "HULK SMASH!!"? We're comparing them to the Highman Titan in the Most Over Powered Unit thread. If you see these bad-boys coming you had better run for your life!

Unless, of course, you're like Frogman and have an army of Titans at your disposal....or a dragon, those work too. Speaking of dragons...

The red dragon is one of the most kick ass units in the game! Great stats, tons of hitpoints and fire breath! A single dragon can wipe out entire armies by itself if that army doesn't have at least 6-7 archers in it.

I like to have a combination of orc archers and swordsmen. As noted, swordsmen can really dish out the hurt, and if I have the gold and there's a training stadium nearby, I'll ussually give them a silver medal right away. Sometimes I'll even cast stoneskin and enchant weapon if mana is plentiful. Talk about a bad ass swordsman!

The big question: which comes first? The Assassin or the Warlord? Like all great answers from lawyers, "it depends."

If I've got a 4 hex nearby where i can make dragons, plus my hero is a very high level, I'll make some assassins because I already have some muscle.

If I happen to capture a 3 hex that is far from my main empire, I may go with Assassins first as well, to get the lay of the land, capture undefended level 1 and 2 towns and steal enemy resources.

It also depends on what races I'm friendly with at the time. If I have no dragons, but can make Undead Bone Horrors? I'll go with the bone horrors (in a PBEM against RAyB (the Forgotten Evil map), I had a gold medal bone horror with enchant weapon, stone skin, bless and dark gift cast upon it. That bad boy was a tank and it pillaged Frogman's empire racking up almost 90 XP before falling. He even killed a 5th level hero; can't beat their high HP, death strike and regeneration...but I digress).

Since the bone horrors are providing the muscle, I'll make assassins as support troops and to engage in espionage/harrassment tactics. I also like to use Dark Elf Executioners as my muscle troops combined with Assassins.

The spelling here is probably atrocious, but hey, it's 1 AM

[This message has been edited by Angel Draco (edited 08-17-2001 @ 12:37 PM).]

posted 08-17-01 02:40 AM EDT (US)     1 / 12  
Aaah, my favorite subject, Orcs!

Orcs are great. They can beat the crap out of the opponents without all that magic stuff, just brute force...

And when it comes to the Warlord, it IS the best unit in the game.
For the price of 105 gold, you get a killing-machine with Att:7, Def:6, Dam:6. Compare that with the titans (105 gold) Att:6, Def:5, Dam:6. Even a Gold medal titan only gets Att:7, Def:6, Dam:7.
Ok, the titan has First strike and some other stuff, but it doesn't matter if he meets a Warlord with a gold medal (Att:8, Def:7, Dam:7). That titan will be history!

(I won't even compare it with the bone horror.... No Warlord wants to be compared with a pile of stinking bones)

Strategy when playing the Orcs:
Build 2 or 3 Warlords.
Have them kill some low level creatures, and get their gold medals.
Put them in the same stack as your best hero, and you are unstoppable....

[This message has been edited by Magog (edited 08-17-2001 @ 02:41 AM).]

posted 08-17-01 02:57 AM EDT (US)     2 / 12  
What about the little Kobold?

I've never even considered installing one (come on, it's so weak compared to the Swordman), but if I'm fighting against an Orc force with Kobolds in it, those are usually the ones I target first. I'm afraid of poison...

posted 08-17-01 04:10 AM EDT (US)     3 / 12  
Orcs are ok but I personally think they are strongly overrated and not half as powerful as people think they are. They might have the best level three unit in the game and like most people I used to fear warlords. I don’t do that anymore, against a reasonably large force with ranged attackers they are not as tough as they look. If the warlords are not leading a large group of swordsmen and cavalry they won’t have much to put up against a group of archers. I think a lot of players sees the warlords as unbeatable and let their entire strategy evolve around them.

So which are the best orcish units then? Well considering building time, upgrade cost and what you get for your money I would have to say that the swordsman and the orcish cavalry unit is definitely their best units.

Having to face an orc (somehow I never seem to think of the orcs as myself, only as someone I have to destroy…. ) that depends mainly on swordsmen, archers and just reinforce his groups with an occasional warlord, cavalry unit or dragon would be a very tough challenge indeed. The good side is that this mix is hard to achieve, if he builds too much low-level units or spends too much money on upgrading he will either lack numbers or lack his favourite pets. If he can get the mix just right he will be a tough challenge indeed.

Magog, on the comparison between the warlord and the titan. Yes, I agree that a number of warlords will probably defeat an equal number of titans. Does that make them better? Not necessarily, against a large group of low level units like pony riders the titans will do much better with their first strike. Fire immunity isn’t an ability to be sneezed at either.

Nojd, I have never installed them either, I have never actually seen one that wasn't already on the map when the game started. They are not that much weaker then a swordsman though (2 lower damage and 1 hit point). Mixing kobolds, swordsmen and archers might be a good idea (1/3 of each?), has anyone tried?

posted 08-17-01 08:52 AM EDT (US)     4 / 12  
Draco, you must be dreaming of kicking my butt because I did not play Forgotten Evil with you. I am sure you beat someone but it wasn't me.

I am playing Arena of Death and have an enchanted gold medal bone horror and I must agree they are pretty wicked. But that is the undead not the orcs. To me, the undead have the best level 3 assortment in the game right behind the highmen. When it comes to orcs I think of only one thing, Red Dragons, though I must admit level one or 2 cities cranking out those nasty swordsmen isn't too bad.

posted 08-17-01 10:02 AM EDT (US)     5 / 12  
I think orcs are thuggish brutes.

Or I did til I played Jason's "Mountains" map where the orcs are underpowered good guys in the face of an enormous dwarven invasion. I hope all the orc fans have played that one. Your beloved warlords cannot save you.

posted 08-17-01 11:16 AM EDT (US)     6 / 12  
I have to play that one.
Will be back with a full report of the outcome...
posted 08-17-01 12:47 PM EDT (US)     7 / 12  
Frogman: Doh! You're right! It was RayB who I destroyed! Sorry about that. Good idea about best topic for discussion: level 3 assortiment. We'll save that for later.

Nojd: You're right, Kobolds suck. If I happen to capture a level 1 city with a bat underground, I might consider making them just as scouts. Key word is "might."

frankj: Good suggestion! I've never played Jason's "Mountains" map. I'll have to give it a try.

Warlords are slow, but if cast "Freemovement" on a dragon boat, you can pile 5 of them plus a catapult or ram into the boat, and now you have a zippy little squadron of destructions.

I didn't talk about Orc Priests. They're your garden variety priests with no extra abilities besides their magic bolts. It should be pointed out that priests are the ONLY Orc unit with a magic strike, so if you have a Wraith coming at you, even a dragon won't save you unless you have something with a magic strike. That's why I like to cast enchant weapon on my dragons.

If you're friendly with other evil races, I would migrate 2 hex cities to Dark Elves and build storm prists. Their lightening bolts kick ass (and they have the best sound effect in the game! Turn up those speakers!).

posted 08-17-01 03:51 PM EDT (US)     8 / 12  
I feel that reasons that the Kobold sucks so much are (1) overshadowed by Orc swordman and (2) Poison strike is underpowered.

The Warlord is cool because he is tough and has round attack which he will always use in FC.

Red Dragons are awesome is used properly but can be easily dispatched by five or six archers.

Shredder bolts are the most fearsome lvl 2 unit for the orcs due to the sheer desruction capability (ballista with curse).I do not like attacking stacks with shredder bolts if my stack has a hero.

Assassins like rogues are effective if used properly (which is to hide/strike/hide/strike while your opponent is pulling his hair out looking for you.

I think a stack containing a Red Dragon, 3 warlords,2 Shredder bolts and 2 priests would be a very good atack combination which should be able to beat almost all other stacks which contain 1 lvl 4,3 lvl 3 & 4 lvl 2 units.

Or am I talking out of my a$$ again ?


posted 08-17-01 04:48 PM EDT (US)     9 / 12  
Crashalot asks a good question. Off the top of my head, I think I might beat that stack with a yaka avatar, two djinns, plus the ballistas and priests. I would get a dominate in on one of the warlords before taking an attack from them. If it worked, I'm golden. I've got lots of ranged attack to take down your dragon and an additional warlord on my side. If you just try to round attack the avatar, he'll have enough chances to dominate all your warlords. Especially since my priests will heal him.
posted 08-17-01 07:59 PM EDT (US)     10 / 12  
Sounds like a good test. Create a small space of land using the editor and plunk those troops down and see who wins.
posted 08-18-01 00:33 AM EDT (US)     11 / 12  
I think it takes more than 5 or 6 archers to take out a Red. With 7 it is pretty close, 6 will usually lose.

I would never attack a node defended by a dragon with less than 8 and figure I would lose 2 or 3. Attack with 7 and you will lose 4 or 5. Attack with 6 and you will likely lose all 6. You can get away with one less archer if they have elven blood, take one more if your going with slingers or darters. (assuming no medals)

I look at orcs this way, if I am the evil guys I would almost never migrate a good city to orcs unless it was a level 4 city in which case I would do it every time. In fact I would migrate any evil 4 hex city to orcs as soon as it was upgraded to level 4. Level one cities go to the drow for the best archers, level 2 cities go to either the drow for the storm priest and fast archer production, or the undead for the doom priest. Level 3 goes to the undead hands down but occasionally I go for goblins if I need a good cavern unit like the beetle.

So perhaps I miss the joy of the warlord but if I am good guys I get titans which is about the same only better.

posted 08-18-01 01:16 AM EDT (US)     12 / 12  
Ok, I like doing the little tests. Yes it turns out that the combo of Red Dragon, 3 Warlords, 2 ballistae and 2 priests beat any similar combination.

I ran 11 stacks as described above attacking 11 stacks of the other races and then reversed it with the orcs as defenders and the other races attacking. The humans won as attackers but lost defending. The highmen won as defenders but lost as attackers. All the other races lost exept for two draws with the orcs attacking and unable to finish off the incarnate or wraith (but the orcs had many units left to only one for the drow and undead)

Then I did another test with just the humans and highmen against the orcs. With 8 battles, 4 attacking and 4 defending, the humans stack of Air Galley and 3 cavalier priests and ballistae lost against the orcs 6 to 2.

The highmen lost with the Astra and 3 titans with the other units 6 to 1 with 1 draw.

Highmen beat the humans 4 to 0 in the consolation round.

[This message has been edited by Frogman (edited 08-18-2001 @ 01:19 AM).]

Age of Wonders 2 Heaven » Forums » AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies » Lets talk about ORCS!
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