“Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes” Hints and Tips – Part 1

by on Feb.24, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips, PC Retro Gaming

Part I: Extracts from the Chronicles of Orinocho the Mad.

“Welcome esteemed reader to the wondrous chronicles of Orinocho, greatest of the Warrior Knights of Etheria, holder of the sacred chalice of the Sirian Order, bearer of the holy cod piece of Jurath the Insignificant and possessor of numerous other titles that I am too modest to expound upon here (but see Appendices A-D, pages 1134-1201). As your magical skills are strong enough to break the enchanted seal upon this volume, so too must your intellect be of subtle cunning and intense deviousness to acquire the knowledge within this tome. Herein can be found poems of perilous quests for ancient treasure, tales of racial conflicts that sundered entire peoples from this plane of existence, the epic saga of the Bane Wars during the Sirian Knights’ “Age of Dreams”…and the occasional salacious tavern romp at the “Wanton Wench” in Kival. It has been over 20 years since the end of the Bane Wars and the Sirian Knights are a mere shadow of their former glory. I scribe these words in the hope that they will aid you, my successor, in your charged duty of re-establishing our order in all the greatness and majesty of its recent past. Take careful heed of all that is within these pages, for it is o­nly in such a manner that you may gain the throne of WarlordTM and return our people to the prominence and power that is rightly ours. May the gods look favorably upon your fate.” – Orinocho, Grand Master of the Sirian Order.

Ice Orc Caves, Skull Lands (21 ShimmerMoon, 1237 SE.)
“This was o­ne of my first expeditions into the northern wastelands. Our mission was to vanquish a tribe of orcs that had established an underground complex in this cave system, and halt the depredations they were visiting upon the local villagers. Sir Jungenrol’s bowels were playing merry havoc with him since he had consumed a rather moldy cheese when we broke fast this morning. While he and his squire went off to perform an urgent ‘evacuation,’ I consulted with our warrior maiden, Captain Granitethize, upon our armies’ conduct so far. I found her a most willing narrator….”

“As an army commander you’ll often be given a wide choice of combat units ranging from diseased peasants to fire-breathing dragons. Assuming that the default combat dice are chosen, there is no benefit gained from recruiting the former, despite their low cost; they won’t stand up to any intensive combat and even their ‘speed bump’ abilities will rarely delay a determined opponent. The disadvantage of the more powerful armies is their increased training time and cost; however, in all but the most random situations, you should have enough time to capture sufficient cities to build up a credible force before encountering your neighbors. During the Bane Wars, we concentrated o­n increasing the abilities of our more powerful armies between campaigns (primarily the Pegasi and Lord Knights); as it turned out, it was these very units that prevented us from suffering a crushing defeat at Lord Bane’s Citadel.

Unlike the battles of the distant past, stacks with heroes are no longer the o­nly pivotal force in combat. Many powerful creatures imbue their fighting comrades with significant stack bonuses (Siege, Fear, and Flatulence to name a few), and it is stacks of your more common armies together with the rarer, powerful allies that will support the operations of your vaunted heroes. Of course, allies are hard to find at the best of times and I always encourage my lordship to have some of his more troublesome lieutenants seek out allies in the odd ruin or cave when convenient.

Archery and Assassination add another interesting aspect to combat, but in most cases the units that possess these abilities have lower self-esteem than a UPS worker. The best place for these units is for them to cower en-masse within a city; you’ll undoubtedly lose a goodly proportion of them, but they may knock the stuffing out of the first enemy assault to cross the walls. The more balanced Gnoll Cavalry are o­ne of the few exceptions; these equine beasts can hold their own against most mid-range opponents.”

“It was at this point that Squire Lockie sprinted back into camp, his face streaked with tears and screaming at the top of his lungs that his lordship had been ambushed by orcs….”

Testimony of Squire Lockie (21 ShimmerMoon, 1237 SE.)
“I found some easy diggin’s near the underground stream up the north-east passage. While his lordship was divulging himself of his greaves and leggin’s I set to diggin’ a hole he’d be proud of. Anyway’s, we eventually had him firmly seated upon the throne and while he ‘did his business’ he prattled o­n at me ’bout ‘the basics of maneuvering armies,’ whatever that means….”

“Always move your units in large stacks and if moving along a road, stack your units even if some don’t move their full allowance; there’s nothing more pitiful than watching a long trail of powerful units getting overrun by an enemy stack. This is especially important in games with ‘shroud’ (you know, that strange, black fog that covers the lands o­nce every lunar eclipse). If you’re going to move units as ‘strays,’ make sure they’re away from the front. Always end your stack moves in mutually supporting positions; it might be cold comfort for an ally being overrun, but a spirited and spiteful counterattack will usually ensure that your opponent suffers in equal fashion. Mix and match unit powers to enhance the movement of your stacks; despite their high pitched voices, a force of prancing pixies can make your journey through a dense forest much less tiresome (you can put them to the ‘ZeroTM’ weeding wand afterwards.)

Flying units were always a personal favorite (although they usually raised a stink when I insisted o­n wearing my armor). A force of Eagles with a hero o­n board acts as a powerful reaction force; the Eagles provide movement bonuses over rough terrain and the hero enhances the stack’s combat abilities. In scenarios where your boats are termite infested barges, flying stacks retain their inherent combat strength despite having their movement capability halved; use them wisely to screen your vulnerable navy. Oh yeah, always be careful when clicking o­n flying stacks with heroes; splitting the stack up carelessly is a sure fire way to have Sir Pectoral or Lady Posterior ‘swimming with the fishes.’

Vectoring units via cities is an important maneuver that allows rapid advances. Unlike past battles in Etheria, vectoring can be performed by existing units as well as new recruits; make good use of this ability to concentrate your forces at the ‘point of decision.’ If the city you vectored to is captured while you are in transit, don’t worry; you still have a turn to recapture it and have the camp followers ready for when your reinforcing armies arrive.”

“It was then that we were set upon by orcs. As per my lords wishes, I hid nearby behind some stalagmites and bore witness upon the battle. Unfortunately my lordship was unable to move due to the heavy breast-plate and helm he still wore; he put up a gallant fight, squatting there over the pit, broadsword in o­ne hand and soiled parchment scraps in the other…but it was a hopeless cause. They eventually disarmed him and with gleeful cries of ‘zug-zug’ carried him off through the south passage. I followed them for some distance, but they lost me near a warren of tunnels eventually, so I returned here to summon aid!”

Quest for Sir Jungenrol (22 ShimmerMoon, 1237 SE.)
“At dawn, we ventured forth, in column, to locate Sir Jungenrol’s captors and effect a rescue if possible. At the tunnel maze where Squire Lockie lost the trail, Granitethize split our force up into four squads to scout within; I was left in charge of the rearguard detachment. Thinking that our route to the surface was safe, she left the more inexperienced and wounded warriors with my group but, as an afterthought, also left behind her bodyguard, Greavus Bodliarm, as a second in command. While we awaited events in the tunnels, Greavus, a towering, dark skinned barbarian recently indoctrinated into the order, regaled me with some of his combat and siege experiences o­n the Northern Marches….”

“Reconnaissance is where your crack peasant battalions will truly come into their own. Have a single weak army challenge an enemy stack to examine it’s composition and stack bonuses. With this information in hand, you can then consider if a more determined follow up assault is warranted or if you should don your dark brown leggings and high-tail it to the nearest castle.

Always consider your fight order before entering a battle; while tossing a pack of crazed dwarf sappers into the front lines is a good way to boost the morale of your elves, you might have second thoughts when you encounter the triple, curtain-walled ramparts of ‘Hollyshite Citadel’ later in the turn. Against a more powerful foe, throw your weaker units into the fray first; they’ll jump the queue to the Halls of Valhalla, but they’ll take the odd enemy unit with them, Thor willing.

A ‘Raze and Run’ operation is undoubtedly the most effective strategy you can perform against your sworn enemies. Move your stacks through an area capturing then razing cities therein (if your units are capable of razing o­n their own, sack the city first to fill your coffers and have your units raze it during their next turn). By keeping o­ne city in working order, you can ‘scorch the earth’ to prevent enemy use of the area, then return to the remaining city and vector back to your main enclave. Razing does incur a diplomatic penalty, so temper your razing operations to limited sectors of the battlefield. Remember to issue your rearguard unit with a flint and steel, and plenty of combustibles in order to finish the job.

The Hero stack still remains the most potent offensive force available in Etheria; when assisted by several powerful allies and your ‘high-end’ regulars, the morale and leadership bonuses of most heroes can turn the combined force into a virtually unbeatable combination. I normally try to specialize my hero stacks at purely offensive duties leaving other lesser stacks to perform rapid movement and reaction tasks. While Bugwalloper the Bulbous (+4 Siege) is a definite ‘must have’ for your hero stack, Wendolin the Flexible (+6 Kinetic Manipulation) should be left in the red-light district where she belongs.

Siege operations should o­nly be considered when the defender is relatively weak; if your prospective target city contains two dozen slayer knights and assorted heroes, the o­nly way you’ll be marching in is if your hero has the Ghetto-blaster of Fury and the ‘Mmmbop’ artifact. Normally, you’ll be better off waiting outside for him to sally forth (and trust me, he eventually will), then hit him in the open. Against a city containing a dozen or so defenders, a hero stack including six regular armies and an optional siege tower should safely see you within with minimal losses.”

“The clattering of armor in o­ne of the tunnels alerted us to the return of our other comrades. Oh joy of joys, Sir Jungenrol is safe! ‘Falcon’ squad apparently found him dumped in a tunnel branch several marches south of the stream. According to his highly amused lordship, the orcs were getting tired of carrying his armor-encased 289 pound body around, not to mention breathing the malodorous vapors wafting from his soiled person. Highly relieved at his return, and after dunking his lordship unceremoniously in the stream for our own benefit, we elected to return to Kival to collect more reinforcements and visit the local ‘establishments.”

©1997 Strategy Plus, Inc. (reprinted with permission)

Be Sociable, Share!
:, , , ,

Leave a Reply