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Strategy Guide by mnttlrg
Version: 1 | Updated: 09/17/2012
"neh, n-nerrrrrrrr!" It's Warlords! Everyone's favorite 16-color EGA game... because they didn't know of any others and had to choose one. The Teams - worst team: Sirians - tough neighbors everywhere! no infrastructure.... tough to build a castle base, usually one of the first four teams out, only consolation is the ruins nearby weaker teams: Elvallie - too many neighbors, lack of ruins! often expands quickly then collapses quickly, often the first computer team to lose Lord Bane - always seems to have money problems, isolates itself, too slow, lack of early ruins, limited room to expand, orcs and dwarves are very tough! Selentines - one neighbor to fight, can be very strong if stabilized w/ mountains protecting... however, the dwarves are very tough! Best Teams: Horse Lords - the bullies! road and plains bonuses plus temples are great, production is incredibly powerful despite being slow, three or even four fronts of tough neighbors sucks but strength 7 or 8 horses can take them out quickly, first or second team out for computer but are very fun / strong to use yourself Storm Giants - only one fight to win, good opening units, lots of castles, roads, and ruins.... computer usually does well with them Grey Dwarves - best early production, can usually take the northwest, then spread methodically.... easy to use! Orcs of Kor - very powerful units, isolated with weak neighbors, ruins nearby, usually the best computer team, just be careful expanding in the late game Who is the Best? If you play a few games of all-computer mode, you will see that the Orcs of Kor are the best team. The Storm Giants usually come in second or third, and whoever wins the northwest will come in at second or third. Lord Bane will always be in fourth but never any higher. They protect themselves from losing but limit their ability to win. My favorite team to use on the PC version is the Horse Lords. Old Warlords vs. New Warlords: There have been some noticeable changes between the old PC version and the new phone version. For one thing, in the old PC version, razing a castle meant you could no long produce units there, gain the income from it, or have a hero join you there. There seems to be a glitch in the phone app that allows you to abuse this. Also, the battles seem to run closer together on the phone app, meaning weaker units seem to hold up better against stronger units than in the PC version. Sometimes a light infantry can kill a bonus level hero on the phone app, but the computer game results are fairly predictable. Also, a lot of the "reports" functions in the PC warlords have been removed on the phone app, along with temples to bless armies, items, and enemy levels of hatred. Perhaps the biggest change other than the new glitch is the lack of the "loc" function, which ships a castle's production to any castle you own on the map. I was sad to see that one go. Overall, the PC version is much more satisfying to play. Warlords players guide: The purpose of the game - Simple! To take over the map one castle at a time. You accomplish this through mounting attacks on castles, using castles to produce units, managing your supply of gold (which is used to produce units, build towers / castle defenses, and hire new heroes / allies), and by using heroes to find allies and goodies inside of ruins. move points - as you will learn early on, different terrains have different move costs for different units. Roads and castles are by far the best way to move, with plains in a distant second. Mountains and hills are the worst for everyone except dwarves. These lands also affect attack strengths. Heroes - Heroes are the main units in this game. Everyone starts with one. The main purpose of a hero is to explore unexplored ruins and command units into battle. You can use them to take castles as you would any other unit, but it's risky! You absolutely never ever want to waste a hero! Battle basics - Units are given a number between 2 and 9 for their strength. This number can be altered by three factors.... one, whether or not they are with a hero who has a command bonus. Two, depending on what terrain they are on (ex. elves get a bonus in the woods), and three, whether or not they are in a castle or by a tower. From there, there is some additional slant in favor of the unit who is defending a stronger castle, has an undead in their unit, or has a flying creature in their unit. How it plays out: Beginners will often learn the hard way that certain units do not have the capacity to battle against other certain units. For example, light infantry are great for taking empty castles early in the game, but often one strong horse unit can take out a strong castle with three or four light infantry guarding it. Heavy infantry will often make stands against horses and whatnot, but when a hero and dragon come to town, that hero and dragon unit can knock off four full rows of heavy infantry like they were nothing. The key to launching a defense is to be within two or three strength units of whatever they are attacking with and then build up your castle defense. If you are lucky enough to have a super-powerful unit, don't be afraid to ravage castles with light infantry or other weak trash guarding it. Just for the record, your attack can't get any higher than 9. Each hit is determined by "dice rolls" of up to 10.... each unit gets 2 hits in battle before they die. Early Game: - Light infantry are fast, cheap, and weak. They are good at the start of the game for rapid expansion, and then later become useless. - If you don't want your units to die while taking an empty castle, use two at a time. They rarely die in groups of two or more. - Don't waste too much time grabbing castles with your hero when you could be exploring more dungeons. Dungeons will net you gold, items, and special units like dragons and wizards. Castles are very limited in what they can produce and can be taken by light infantry. - If you get something special from the dungeon like a big command bonus or devils, you should consider taking out your neighbors ASAP. Command bonuses mean you can even use light infantry, elves, etc, to make very strong attacks early. There's nothing more satisfying than having +3 light infantry attacking at 7 strength! - If you don't want the computer taking a castle back from you, just raze it after you take it! The same goes with failed defenses you don't feel like making. - Don't bog down your unit stacks with different races until you are next to a castle ready to attack somebody. For example, your elves will be better off with other elves when you are trying to expand through the forest. Light or heavy infantry have fewer moves and don't get forest movement bonuses. The same goes for dwarves and giants when they are in the hills. - Wizards are by far the best creatures to get early in the game. They can move 50 spaces per turn, taking castle after castle. Use them in the mid game to get castles that are out of reach or randomly fortify armies anywhere on the map within a turn or two. More than anything... in the early game they can quickly and vastly expand your empire. If you are using wizards to expand early in the game but fear the castles you take are not in a good place for defense, you can raze the castles after you take them and keep moving. Keep in mind though that if there is nobody around, you have no reason to raze the castle yet when you can just produce an army to deal with it later. ----------------------------------- Mid to late game: - There are two ways to win at this game.... one is to amass so many castles that you can "Loc" (or walk) large amounts of production to distant castles near the action to win a massive war of attrition. The other, easier way is to go on a murdering rampage with super-strong units and usually just raze the castles along the way. - Murdering rampages are a better strategy for groups like the Sirians who are not equipped to expand normally, based on the many threats around them. For example, if you are using the Sirians, you may find yourself fighting a battle on three or even four fronts (usually the storm giants, Orcs, and whoever is spreading southward from the north section). It may be exceptionally hard to keep the castles you win, but you may have an army capable of winning lots of castles. If you have searched a few dungeons and find yourself with a Hero or two with a few command bonuses and a few extra devils on hand, you can likely storm castles while bringing a few random pawns that you can "pawn off" so to speak. For example, you have a full ring of 8 elves or wolf riders next to a hero with a command bonus of +2, along an undead like a wizard or demons. You can use these two large units to take out one castle after another, adding wolves or elves to fill up your hero party each time you need to. These two units together could potentially take out every castle on the board until they run into some dragons or devils. When you take out a castle, if you are in a moderately safe area, you can also produce one light infantry and then wait for enemy threats to be one turn away from you before you raze the castle (hence earning some extra GP), or if you are not in a safe area, you can simply raze the castle with your hero party now. Once you have taken a few castles, you will likely have made room for the first option. The advantage to this strategy should be obvious by now, but I will explain anyway. Often you will run into large empires that have spread across the map quickly using regular army units, maybe even cavalry. You don't want to constantly lose castles after you win them when you can just neutralize the situation by razing. Random bits of information: As castles change hands, they will lower in defense each time. Castle defense rating is incredibly important to your defense efforts. If you are being attacked by a hero with dragons and you choose to stand your ground, you usually have to raise the castle defense to at least 7 and have at least 6 or 7 strength units to defend it! Build up any important castles before the computer attacks you! It may cost 100 gold but it will keep you from losing 30 per turn, in addition to what their armies cost them and your armies cost you ("The dead cost nothing."). A castle with 6 or more defense can greatly increase your chances of beating heroes when you only have heavy infantry or warriors. One note for the PC version.... Groups who "hate" or "loathe" or "just plain don't like" you are more likely to attack you than groups who "really don't have a problem" with you. The bigger your empire gets, the more everyone will start to hate you. It's often in your best interest to keep an eye on these reports so you don't waste resources attacking people who aren't going to attack you. Who flyers can carry, according to the game manual: dragons / heroes griffins / dwarves pegasi / elves ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------- Team Specific Strategies: Grey Dwarves Plan A = Dominate the Northwest! From the onset, use your stronger unit base to take out the Selentines. The castle straight to your left makes powerful dwarf units EVERY turn, so use this castle as your launch point. Explore the ruins to the left of it and hope to find something useful to ravage the selentines' collection of weak infantry units. Don't worry too much about defending these castles... your goal is to kill what you can before they can grow. Plan B = Get your foothold in the Southwest and LOC a few castles worth of production there! Begin your long and epic battle for the southern region by sending some dwarf units through the mountains below. Remember that dwarf units alone use 3 points at a time to move through the mountains, speeding up the process tremendously. Plan C = beat up the wimpy kid Take out the weak horse lords in one swoop, eventually moving upward into their northern castles before clashing with Lord Bane, who is often slowed by their own mountains. Plan D = Cross the bridge! If you want to have some real fun, cross the bridge into the far eastern lands and see if you can steal a castle from Orcs of Kor. Use this castle as a launch point for your battle with them (on computer, use the LOC function to send production there). If you don't bother with Plan D, you will often find the Orcs battling Lord Bane on their own... assuming they don't decide to move into Horse Lord territory.... so plan D is certainly optional Plan A hero, phase two = find more ruins! Once you original hero has claimed the two ruins to the west, either go south through the mountains to the ruins on the north end of storm giantville, or go northeast to where the horselords haven't searched yet, or go along the very northwest corner where the Selentines didn't live long enough to search. There are always one or two extra ruins to grab up that can sway the game even more in your favor. -------------------------------------- Orcs of Kor Orcs of Kor are a powerful group because unlike the western teams, they have no immediate rivals near the start of the game. The Sirians are the closest thing to a threat, but they are slow, weak, and somewhat isolated from you. The Horse Lords are too slow and weak, and Lord Bane is tough but slow, being the most isolated group in the game. You have to decide early on whether you want to be annoyed by the Sirians or Lord Bane. Plan A = Kill the Sirians! I generally go with the wolf riders..... heavy infantry are too slow. I like to take one or two castles to my left, then move south, taking Balad Norran (first castle to the south) and making 2-turn wolf riders who are strength 6! You can produce light infantry early on and quickly move across the bridge and across the mountain barrier. If you have any trouble defending these castles you can simply raze them and use your southern troop advantage to win the game. Eventually, you want to move your hero south / west and try to beat the Sirian hero to the collection of ruins. He is the only thing between you and SIX (count em... six!) unexplored ruins! If you pick up a battle bonus item, you can just kill the Sirian hero outright, more or less ending the game for them. It's not for certain that he even bothers to go over to your side anyway, though. From my experience, beating the Sirians early will sway the entire game in your favor. Elvallie and Storm Giants will usually bicker over the southwest and weaken each other, and you can systematically destroy everything with your stronger castle production of wolves, cavalry, and giant warriors. Plan B = Kill Lord Bane! Lord Bane gets to be a major annoyance as you move along in this game, so sometimes I like to go after them early. Plan B involves taking your hero north to explore ruins and win swamp castles in the early game. If you can lock down the north and limit Lord Bane to their five starting castles, you will limit them from ever posing a real threat. You will also isolate yourself and have to hope the southwest turns into a long, drawn out decision bout. If you use this strategy, you also have to hope the Sirians won't find things in the southeastern ruins that will insta-kill you. They are a useless team anyway, so it's not all that likely but will sometimes happen. Plan C = Cross the Horse Lord bridge At some point, you can move into horse lord territory. If you find an early wizard or just like having fun with this game, you can cross the bridge and see what havoc you can wreak. Plan D = Own the hills! The same goes for the central mountain territories underneath the Grey Dwarves and Horse Lords. Other teams will try to dabble in these territories, but you can dominate them early on if you want. - - - - - - - - Elvallie - Elvallie is an interesting team to use because they are a mixed bag of awesomeness and frustration. Their best weapon is rapid expansion. They often look startling in the early game when they quickly grab up ten to fifteen castles. These castles are accompanied by fast production of archers and woods to slow down attackers. Their biggest weakness is a lack of firepower. They have little to no access to producing stronger units, and they have to do some distant traveling to see the benefit of ruins. Right from the beginning of the game, you have to deal with the Storm Giants, who are one of the toughest computer-controlled team to play against. Plan A = Kill Giants, own the southwest! If you take your hero west, there are ruins for you to explore. This task may be made more difficult by the Storm Giant hero, who may or may not beat you there. Either way, you are going to have to deal with these bastards at some point, so it might as well be now! If you find a command bonus or strong allies, use them to take out the giants ASAP! Otherwise, plan on duking it out for a while. Plan B = try to get ALL the ruins! Another way to approach an Elvallie game is to explore the ruin above you and see what happens next. If the Storm Giant hero dies early on, you can put off killing them and go the rapid expansion east route. I love the idea of trekking my hero far east early on in order to go after the six Sirian / Orc ruins. The sooner you handcuff your successful neighbors, the sooner you can own the southwest region! You basically have to see what the other heroes are doing and plan accordingly. Plan C = Just plain rapid expansion. The last option you have is to take your hero northeast early on. There are a series of ruins throughout the mountain areas that you can grab up while you grow your empire with fast, effective production. If you avoid or hold off the storm giants early, you can easily get ahold of fifteen castles in the region before the other groups have any chance at getting them. It's not easy to hold these castles, but who cares when you can pick up so many at a time? Once you get a powerful unit in the northern ruins, you can use it to confront the Storm Giant empire, who may take a while to bust through your forest defenses. Often what makes this strategy fun is using mass production of units to raze and them storm various areas. - - - - - - - - - Storm Giants - Plan A - take out Elvallie! First turn, search the dungeon. If you get a command item or allies, send units for an attack. Take out elvallie as fast as possible. They are the only threat to you getting the ruins to the south, so take advantage of that. If you can take out Elvallie early, you can copy their expansion strategy while building an empire back home. Plan B - There is no Plan B! There aren't a whole lot of other options for this team. You can focus on taking castles early, but you also have to be weary of Elvallie searching your lower ruins. You can isolate yourself by moving north into the mountains, but they, along with the Dwarves, will eventually come after you. The Storm Giants also have unique access to fast navies in the lower area, so you can always go live on the northwest island if you can build a navy, or try to take out the northern castles with a band of giants and whatnot. It's all just extra fun once you take out the elves. - - - - - - - - - - - Selentines - Plan A = Die Dwarves, die! You can start out going either north or southeast, but I prefer southeast. I would rather get into the shit and take out the grey dwarves early than to get lost in the distant north and lose the battle for early castles. You can always get back to those northern ruins later (in particular after you've had a second hero join you). If you muddle around in the northern swamp and forest, the dwarves will become a beast and you will have no way to combat them as far as production goes. As the Selentines, your castles are a mix between light and heavy infantry, and that's fine. At some point, you may need the heavies to defend against dwarves. Once your hero sees the first two ruins below, you have to decide the best course of action. If he gets a command bonus item, you can take him into battle with as many armies as you can put together. Be sure to take out the Dwarf castle to the left of their home castle that makes a dwarf each turn. If your hero gets strong allies from the ruins, you can also use them to take out dwarves. If you don't get either of these things, you may want to hold fort and try to expand with regular armies into the unclaimed castles..... life is going to be tough for you! Either way, the next phase for your hero after all this should be to either move way northeast along the path, or east and then south so you can take whatever unclaimed ruins belong to the horse lords. You can also just copy the battle plans of the Dwarf team. One last note about the Selentines is that you can create an 8 turn navy at the home castle, which can be used to jump ship and head to the island. If you do this, you can wait for a hero to join you with some strong company on hand, and get the armies blessed / command bonused so they can go on a rampage and raze every castle in the land. At least that's a reasonable backup strategy if you are losing the game.... or makes for a fun challenge quest. - - - - - - - - - - - Lord Bane - You have two options to start the game... either take your hero northeast or southwest. Plan A = expand southwest I strongly prefer the southwest approach. I will take the one castle I run into along the way and make my way out of my mountainy comfort zone into the marshlands. By the time you get to your first ruin, you will have two choices.... One choice is to continue southeast and take the two other ruins near Orcs of Kor. Often the better option is to head northwest and take the ruins the Horse Lords haven't made it to yet (up to 4 of them). If you choose this option, you can eventually follow around to the last ruin in the upper right.... that is if you haven't had a second hero join you by then. During this process you definitely want to make an attempt to either win a castle you can keep outside the 5 main castles, or to beat the Orcs to them and raze them. As long as they can't set up shop near your mainland area you are happy. Often you can grab up a castle you won't be able to defend, in which case you should certainly do so and raze it. As soon as I take my first defense-worthy castle outside the 5 main ones, I begin relocating my production outside of the mainlands. I prefer to have reinforcements for either one of the 3 marsh castles or across the bridge in the section where I will likely be battling the horse lords or Grey Dwarves. Due to the likelihood of ruins being available, I am usually more concerned about this section than I am about the Orcs' marshland section. If you can build a strong foundation of armies and castles outside the mountains, you will give yourself a good chance of expanding while your neighbors weaken each other. Plan B = expand northeast If you aren't a fan of conflict, you can go northeast early on and grab up your ruins. The next step is to head west and grab up the four horselord ruins. This approach to the game is very slow but keeps you mostly out of trouble. The biggest threat is the Orcs of Kor sending random things into your homeland while you are stuck where you can't help them. It takes longer to win the game this way, but at least it's not as complicated. - - - - - - - - - - Sirians - Your goal as a Sirian is to catch a lucky break early on and take advantage of it. This can happen in a few possible ways. #1 Elvallie and/or the Storm Giants will have a hero die or wander off, in which case their empire will be stunted and you will have some freedom to expand early into their territory. #2 Orcs of Kor could have a similar meltdown early on, leaving you with six ruins to explore to your immediate right, and a decent supply of castles to inhabit while you're at it. They may even send their hero northward or westward, leaving you to take those ruins while they go about their business. #3 You may explore a ruin early on that will give you strong allies, such as devils or dragons. You can use these armies to destroy sad little elves in their sad little castles, razing them at will or keeping the castles if it's convenient to do so. You could also use them to take over Orcs of Kor castles, but this will leave you vulnerable to the rapid expansion of the green or yellow people. #3a In the PC version, ruins can also net you items, like hero weapons or command bonuses (which are the best items in the game). If I have a command bonus early, I will take light infantry and ravage the southwest. #4 Any team can get lucky and find wizards. Wizards can win you the game early on by taking crazy amounts of castles and either keeping them or razing them. You can literally win half the map with just a few turns of wizards at the start of the game. As you can see, every Sirians game I play is different. The best strategy is a combination of utilizing the stuff to the east while not handing over the castles to the west. I often try to take the closest castles north of me that are not surrounded by woods. If I can hold off elves with multiples of light infantry, great. If I can't I will raze them rather than letting the Elves multiply with them. I raze castles I can't defend while attempting to gain a foothold somewhere. I've had times where dragons chase me out of my homeland, and I end up establishing myself along the mountains or even in horse lord or grey dwarf territory. Most of my games end up with me taking over the Orcs of Kor, and a lot of the time I destroy the castles near the Elves before they can produce anything in them... in particular if I know I can't hold them. Sometimes I will see early on that the Orcs are going north or had their hero die, and therefore will not pose any immediate threat. In these games I will often focus early attention on Elvallie, in particular utilizing the bonus points of heros and castles to hold off elves with my light infantry. Elves are easy to kill if you know when you have them over-matched. The storm giants can be your best friend in the early game if they attract any amount of attention. So, to reiterate for the umpteenth time.... Plan A = Hold those four castles (the triangle ones and the non-woodsy one), and don't let the Elves take them! Raze them if need be. Plan B = Grab the ruins on the right before the Orcs get to them! Plan C = Eventually make your way north to the mountains, especially if you are too weak to hold the mainland. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Horse Lords - Besides the Sirians, this is the other most challenging group to play with, but they are awesome once you get them established. You are located in a miserable spot between actual, literal rocks and a hard place (Grey Dwarf territory). The thing that makes this group so good is their road and plains attack bonus for every unit, and their access to high strength production units and two temples. Turn one, Hero - you could search the ruins to the left of you, but I usually skip them until later on when I get another hero. You have to pay attention to what the dwarves are doing early on to determine if you should search your ruins on the right or go up to the first castle north of you and be able to defend. Surviving the early game is the hardest thing to do with this group. There are two ways to effectively play this group. One is to spend a few turns early on making light infantry to grab up the castles before you start making horses............. the other is to just go straight for the horses. If you go straight for the horses, you should search the ruins in the woods to the right, then take the castle to the north as a group of TWO with the hero / first cavalry (and get both units blessed if possible). If you are being attacked by dwarf stuff, this is a good spot to hold fort. Otherwise, you should immediately go over to the Dwarves and either take some empty castles or handcuff them! A handcuff is what I call it when you park near a castle and not allow units to move around. If you take a strength 6 cavalry, get him blessed to strength 7, combine him with a hero to make strength 8, then attack on the grass or a road (strength 9), your horse becomes close to death-proof! This combined with their high move totals allows them to prevent any units from leaving their safe haven inside of castles. If you successfully handcuff the dwarves, it will buy you time to crank out 8 horses every 7 turns from your 4-castle home base! The motivation for the Dwarves to not go after you early should be obvious... if they do so, they will lose to the Selentines. If the Dwarf hero gets frisky and comes after you, all you have to do is defend a castle with a hero and horse or light infantry and you will usually kill them off. early game infantry - You can use your first two light infantry early on to go up to the north castle. I like holding fort there early to prevent the dwarves from taking it. Production-wise, the best castle to take is the one on your immediate right, which makes horses every 3 turns for only 6 GP! Within a few turns you can send a couple light infantry and/or your hero across the bridge to the northern area. In the early game, I like to take my hero way up there and search the ruins that Lord Bane will be slow to get to. This area can give you an eventual foundation of seven or eight castles that you can hang on to, in addition to your first four castles. Some of these northern castles only produce light infantry, but a few can make heavies and other handy stuff. Keep in mind that they all get a road and plains bonus! Once I get to the northern area, I don't mind razing castles in an emergency. They are worthless to me compared to the value of making those insanely strong horse units. Not to make an annoying pun, but I will literally ride those horses to victory all game and not care much about the rest of the map. My last and perhaps favorite trick with the Horse Lords is to sometimes build unit walls on roads for defense. For example, at the very top of the map, you will see a bridge to the right of two castles that crosses into Bane territory. I will sometimes build a tower next to the road and park myself on that bridge one diagonal space away from the tower. The tower will give you a +2 defense bonus, which along with the road bonus, which makes my light infantry into a strength 6! I may even add an undead to make it strength 7! If you can use two towered bridge spaces to essentially defend your entire homeland with light infantry, it will allow you to safely relocate your production where it is needed. As I said before, this is my favorite group to play with. Well, that's the end of version 1 of the Warlords walkthrough. If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com. This is one of my favorite games of all-time, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years.