Advanced Tactics - Ground Maneuvers
Edited, and mostly written, by Bob Heeter. Last Revised May 8, 2001.
- Keep in mind that scouts and orcish mobs have both woods and hills
movement bonuses (in the default army set). There's no reason to ever
slog through woods or hills without the bonuses, since scouts are cheap
to install in your cities.
- Corollary: You can station scouts near narrow hilly/wooded regions
and use them to shuttle more powerful units across the hills/woods.
This can be a very useful shortcut.
- If you march some units around, and they have two or more
movement points left when you stop moving them, they will have a bonus
of two movement points on the next turn.
- Corollary: You will often have options over where to park
units. You can use up the last two movement points, or save them.
If you choose to save them, you do not sacrifice range on your
next move (because you get the two movement points as a bonus
next time), but you will be one or two spaces further out of
the enemy's reach.
- If you fight a battle on a road, the battle is fought with the
terrain bonuses of the terrain the road runs through.
- Corollary: Since you often have a choice over where to stop,
it pays to stop where you have defensive bonuses. (If you have
wolfriders, stop on hills; if you have cavalry, stop on plains;
if you have elves, stop in woods, etc.)
- Another Corollary: If you fight in woods or hills, it will cost you
the movement point cost of moving into woods or hills. (Bad News:
terrain movement bonuses don't help when you fight into hills or woods.)
- Corollary: If you station defensive units on roads, and force
the enemy to fight through them, you can force the enemy to consume a lot
of movement points fighting, which will slow them down. This can help
buy time for you to move units into the area.
(Note: In PC Classic, this does not work against computer players:
they pay no extra cost for attacking into bad terrain. They can attack
onto a road at a cost of *one* movement point, even if it's a swamp. - Dirk Pellett)
- Note: Fighting in mountains only costs you two movement points.
- Winning the game often depends on optimizing your mix of units
and your placement of troops. It's good to vector units to where
they will be most effective. Wolfriders and giants are best for
hilly terrain; elves are best used in woods, and so on.
- Remember that ruins and temples provide a +2 (=City) defensive bonus!
- Tower Tactics:
- Units told to "Defend" do not build towers until
the beginning of your NEXT turn. Thus they do not receive a +1
bonus right away, but only if they camp out for a turn.
- Units may be shuttled in and out of towers once they are built,
provided at least one unit remains in the tower at all times.
A scout unit can build a tower in advance of a larger force.
To move a stack of 8 armies along a series of towers, break the stack up
into two groups of four and fill the tower from behind before you move
out of it with the last group of four. No need to tell the tower guard
to defend, after the first time.
- The contents of a tower can not be seen even if the "View Enemies"
game option has been enabled. A tower can be used to conceal
- Thus one can play "shell games" where you shuttle armies around
between towers without allowing your opponents to know which
armies are where!
- Also, if you have a large number of towerized units, an enemy can
not easily run through them - they might discover that they have
suddenly left a large stack behind in their rear area!
- Towers are especially useful in defending bottlenecks like mountain
passes, bridges, or roads between a set of mountains and a body
of water. Computer players in particular tend to be stupid
about trying to avoid them.
- Towers may not be built on mountains, water, cities or shore, but can be built
anywhere else, including bridges (good for blockades).
- If you're assaulting a strong enemy force with a major stack, it
helps to bring along reinforcements. You can either use them as
cannon fodder (shock troops) to try to weaken the enemy, or else hold
them in reserve to reinforce the survivors from your main stack after
the battle is over.
- Reorder the Fight Order: It is very beneficial to use the "Fight Order"
prior to each battle. For example, suppose you have a stack composed of
giants and spiders, and the default order causes giants to fight before
spiders. If you are fighting in a city, you might want to make the spiders
fight first, so they get their +2 city bonus. In general you often want to
have "cannon fodder" and units with special terrain bonuses fight first,
while keeping any units that give stack bonuses in the rear (so they can give
those stack bonuses to other units later!). And unless you expect to need
lots of defense, slow units are less valuable for staging your next attack,
so having them fight first is often a good idea.
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