Silver_Dragon’s Level 1 Units Guide

The Lvl1 Unit guide: “The Lvl1 Infantrykillers”; Berserker, Orc Swordsman, Halfling Pony

My comments and notes are displayed in italic

Note: This isn’t written to the experts, but to the newbies

Short Unit guide: The Halfling Pony

The pony is one of the best rushing units in the game, rushing is simple, but defending against tons of rushing ponies isn’t.

The pony is one of the most cost effective units in AOW, $27 to install $27 to produce. It can compete with some of the lvl 2 cavalry, both in strength and movepoints, and thats nice. But its real strength comes that its level 1, low upkeep, you can have tons of them without losing too much gold!!

The ponies charge and high attack gives a nice 5 attack 5 damage on the first strike ( 5 X 3 on 2nd), and that kills most of the level 1 units as they usually have 5 HP, (if the pony hits).

Using regular swordsmen has proven to be quite useless, as they lose a lot of HP on the first strike pony makes, and will probably die on 2nd(if the pony hits).

How to prevent being killed by ponies:

Note: This is how to prevent being killed by ponies with level 1 units, at mostly the same number of units .

The ponies main attribute is charge, as long it doesn’t get the first strike, it wont do so much damage. Use units with first strike,then the pony will lose the upper-hand and you’ll be able to kill it more easily(but the pony will still have 5 attack,3 dmg, and 7 HP, so it would still be quite hard). Without its charge the pony isn’t nearly as effective. Using archers is quite effective, but undefended archers die quick as hell(as pony moves further than the archers arrows), try to defend them with FS units.

The best FS unit to kill a pony with is the human pikeman, as it has 1 more dmg than the goblin spearman, and is aviable to all races, due to their neutrality(and human towns exist on almost every map).

The best ways to kill a ponie, is to:

1. Use first strike units
2. If you don’t have FS units, you should still try to get the first strike on the pony.
3. Poison makes ponies suck, use poison strike units (Azrac scorpion is nice, as all races can use it)
4. If you are playing one of the evil races, you can use hell hounds, burning ponies die quickly

Note: You can use elephants, but they wont hit the pony half as often as the pony hits the elephant

The elephant costs $37 the pony $27, so the pony is more effective due to cost

Don’t use these to kill ponies/Ponies are good against:

1. Swordsmen
2. Single archers
3. Low def units
4. Short ranged units(giant slug etc)

The halfling pony is with no doubt the best level 1 unit, in both fighting and cost effectiveness. They tend to kill almost any level 1 unit with ease, as most level 1 units, are infantry units. Their movement rate is the best for any level 1 unit, which makes you able to expand more quickly than the other races.

Short Unit Guide: Orc Swordsman

My comments and notes are displayed in italic
Note: This isn’t written to the experts, but to the newbies

The Orc swordsman is also a good rushing unit(it has the best reputation among level swordsmen), 4 damage packs a punch hard as hell for a level 1 unit.

Using the orc swordsman right:

Though it packs a punch, the Orc swordsman is seem to be weak against some level 1 unit’s:

1. Pony rider (orc loses a lot of HP on the first strike pony makes)
2. Berserker (Round attack)
3. Most ranged units (But especially goblin darters, a poisoned orc sucks)
4. Human pikeman (First strike)
5. As with all level 1 units, they’re really weak when they get posioned

Its fun, the 2 dmg halfling swordsman proved to stand a bit longer when i did my testing, parry lowers orcs attack to 2, so it will only hit 50% of the first strikes it makes. And takes away average 2 dmg of orcs total dmg(Max total dmg = 8, average dmg vs halfling = 3.3). When i tested dwarf swordsman, human swordsman etc(Average dmg vs those was 3.8), they got totally killed, while the halfling lasted 1 more turn because of parry, but didn’t do half as much dmg .

When i only had the demo(a few years ago, scenario was First conflict), i used to kill groups of 8 orc swordsmen with just 4 or 5 halfling ponies, so don’t try to kill ponies(or other cavalry) with ANY
swordsmen. You’ll get killed in an instant.

The orc swordsmen seem to be best in mixed groups with one or two Kobolds(DUH i hate kobolds!!),and some orc archers.
In that mix they can kill almost anything.

Using orc swordsmen in a group with a leadership hero, is also nice, 5 attack 4 dmg.


1. Kills regular swordsmen FAST
2. Extremely deadly in groups
3. Quickly made(no installation required)
4. Their high dmg of 4 kills most troops
5. When mixed with some archers, they completely rock the battlefield(adding one or two kobolds make the group even nicer)

Another thing i’ve noticed when i tested, was that the Orc swordsman is totally junk against some troops, or rock their enemy completely(Almost never something in between), the level 1 units either kills the Orc swordsman, or gets killed by it

Its important to have all these things in mind, if u use them right, they totally rock. But if you use them wrong, Your swordsmen will die like flies

The Orc swordsman is one of the best level 1 infantry units in the game, its nice in groups, and if you add two of the orcs other lvl 1 units,(Orc Archer and Kobold) you’ll get a group that can kill archers and swordsmen fast(and if you add a battering ram, you’ll have an excellent siege group). In siege, the Orc swordsman is hell nice. As it kills any units that exits the town gates fast.

Short Unit Guide: The Berserker

My comments and notes are displayed in italic
Note: This isn’t written to the experts, but to the newbies

The Dwarf berserker is the 2nd best level 1 infantry killer(after the halfling pony).

Using the berserker right:

The dwarf berserker is very weak against some level 1 unit’s:

1. Pony rider (Berserker loses a lot of HP on the first strike pony makes)
2. Any ranged unit,(except the goblin darter, because of the berserkers high resistance) 1 defense sucks against arrows

How to prevent being killed by berserkers:
NOTE: I used the berserker rush tactic for a long time, i know how to kill them fast, and prevent them from being killed

The berserkers main weakness is the low defense, which make almost every strike/shot a hit. By using archers, a berserker is totally dead, you deal a lot of dmg as their defense is far too low. If you use swordsmen(The berserker totally OWNS all the swordsmen in aow, even the orc) the berserker will gain silver medal after 2 of them. If you attack with swordsmen, it kills them in a blink of an eye, and giving itself 1 more hp, 1 more attack AND 1 MORE DEFENSE . Which makes it a unit that really hurts, because when it gets 2 defense its main weakness, the archers, loses a lot of their upper hand.

When i played the dwarves against the dark elves(cant remember scenario :S), i had quite a hell trying to win with my old berserker rush tactic. The dark elf archers totally slashed me!.Every arrow was a hit, killing me 2 – 4 dmg per archer and turn, that did hurt a lot. After that, i haven’t used berserkers so much

1. Kills any level 1 swordsman EXTREMELY fast
2. Kills most “Extra units” easily(with extra units i mean level 1 units you have to install)
3. Its high dmg of 4 kills most troops
4. Berserker is the FS unit killer NR 1
5. As the orc swordsman, they’re extremely deadly in groups
6. Most poison units will lose a lot of dmg because of poison protection and high resistance

NOTE: Most people think that round attack is ONLY to attack several units. But that’s not the way to use round attack. The reason you should use round attack, is that youll get in a strike that your opponent can’t retaliate(which in the end gives you 3 strikes every turn, while the enemy only gets in 2).

The berserker kills normal swordsmen like flies, even the FS units doesn’t have a chance, as FS doesn’t work against round attack

When i was a newbie, playing “earthquake at deepmir” in the campaign, i used the berserker to kill stray orcs. Berserkers are fast in caves,their cave crawling gives them remarkable fast movement there; no orc could escape their wrath; they moved a lot more faster than the orcs, and gave the first strike in combat(in the form of a round attack).

I also use them as “goblinkillers”, a goblins hp is 4, a berserkers dmg is 4, so there is a chance the goblin dies in the first blow(spearmans first strike is erased as you use round attack against them). Another thing is that the goblin darter, the ranged unit isn’t effective(ranged units would normally kill the berserker). because the darter “lives” on the fact that if the enemy is poisoned, he is weakened a lot. But if you have nice resistance,you will not get poisoned. And that is what the berserker has, nice resistance.

As with orc swordsman, using a leadership hero is nice. 5 attack 4 dmg with
round attack kills the most units

Using poison based attacks against them is junk, they have nice resistance and poison protection. The only unit that gives you real trouble except the ranged units, is the ordinary cavalry. As the berserker doesn’t have more than 1 defense, the first strike will almost always hit, and deal lots of damage. As with all swordsmen, don’t attack cavalry.

The berserker is one of the nicest infantry units in the game , it kills any other level 1 swordsman, from the elf to the orc. But sadly they’re too weak against archers. But dont be afraid to use them because of that, when attacking enemy armies, always have a few berserkers with you(when playing dwarves), they’re the best melee defense against infantry after the pony!!

This article was written by Silver_Dragon, with the help of the gamers at the AoWHeaven forum.