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Strategy Guide by tomrace

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/24/2004

GOBLIN COMMANDER - UNLEASH THE HORDE
BATTLE TACTICS
Version 1.0
Copyright 2004, Thomas J. Race

NOTICE:  This guide is for personal use only and may not be reproduced,
re-posted or republished without the express consent of the author.

WARNING:  SPOILER ALERT!
This document contains tips and tactics that some players would rather discover
on their own.  Read at your own risk!

CONTENTS:
1.  "DIRECT" CONTROL
2.  SELECTION & DISTRIBUTION OF TROOPS
3.  GATHERING GOLD & SOUL POINTS
4.  SKIRMISH FIGHTING
5.  BATTLES WITH CLANS ONLY (NO TITANS)
6.  BATTLES WITH CLANS AND TITANS


NOIE:  These tips are applicable to both Multiplayer and the Campaign:

1. "DIRECT" CONTROL:  real-time strategy games of the past have trained us to
give waypoints and move on to something else.  Goblin Commander has the option
of directly controlling units, which is essential to success in the game.

Direct Control allows you to:

- Pull units out of combat situations; otherwise, they fight to the death,
ignoring any waypoints you set.

- Push through enemy resistance to attack high value targets such as turrets
and clan shrines.  This is especially important in the Campaign, when enemy
troops respawn at a prodigious rate.

2.  SELECTION & DISTRIBUTION OF TROOPS:
It's tempting to combine ranged and melee fighters in the same clan, but don't
do it.  You're better off using 9 or 10 of the clan's "superstar(s)" with the
support unit, if you can afford it.

Think of your superstars as units that have already been significantly upgraded
beyond the capabilities of the "grunts."  Most of the superstars are in the
fourth slot in the clan shrine.  Add Hunters and Cannibals to the list.

Select your clans so that at least one covers ranged combat, and another covers
melee combat.  For example, Ranged=Hellfire; Melee=Stonekrusher.  Then use the
clans together in all major battles.  The melee clan(s) will close with the
enemy, shielding your ranged clan(s).

- Send your ranged clan on it's own to gather gold, soul fountains and
"skirmish."

- Leave the melee combat clan at home to guard your base until it's time for
the decisive battle(s).

You can build a Stormkrusher "Drummer" and/or a Stormbringer "Wind Mage" and
have them to "follow" a Hellfire Clan to support it.  It's amazing how much
damage ten Hunters or Bombardiers can do when they roam the countryside with
shields and healing.

3.  GATHERING GOLD & SOUL POINTS:

- At first, the game appears to be about battles.  Upon further investigation,
you'll find that it's a game about finding gold and soul points.  You can lose
all your troops and all your clan shrines and still be in great shape, if you
have the money and soul points necessary to rebuild your base (100 gold) and
army (500 soul points).

- Use a ranged clan to search, with or without a melee clan.  Hellfire Hunters
are the absolute best, especially early in the game.  Hellfire Bombardiers are
better after two or three upgrades.

- Use "waypoint mode" to move your clan to gather gold rather than "direct
mode."  This allows you to keep one or more clans on the move as they destroy
buildings, logs, debris, etc.  It also allows you to see in all directions and
make sure they don't get blind-sided and cut off from their base.  In
split-screen multiplayer, keep an eye on the enemy's map, if he's silly enough
to display it.  (The map can be turned off.)

4.  SKIRMISH FIGHTING:
A "skirmish" usually occurs when you're out looking for gold or soul fountains,
perhaps with just your ranged clan, and some baddies come along:

- Fire any runes or moonstones you have on hand - this will minimize your
losses.

- Take "direct control" of the ranged clan and have your other clans "follow." 
This is the only way you can control your troops; otherwise, they fight
automatically, and to the death.  (They'll ignore any waypoints you give them.)

- Fall back until you can evaluate the situation.

- As you fall back, stop to fire a volley every 2-4 seconds with your ranged
clan(s).  This will heavily damage and kill individual enemies that are in hot
pursuit, and provide more space between you and the enemy clan, which is now
short a few members.

- "Rapid-Fire" Shooting Tip:  even Hunters can fire very rapidly while moving
in this way, because you get a shot every time you stop.  So, you can tap the
thumbwheel and get a bunch of shots in less than a second.  Note:  I'm not sure
if the program gives you total credit for this higher rate of fire, but it
seems to work very well!

- Keep falling back until you can see the pursuit falling off, or so many
baddies coming that it's time to head for base camp.

- If you're being overtaken and the situation looks grim - call for help! 
Simply set a waypoint wherever you are for your other clan(s).  You can do this
by hitting their clan button even though you have direct control of the clan
you're trying to save/retreat.  If you're heading toward the clan for which you
set the waypoint, they'll come running to your rescue.

5.  BATTLES WITH CLANS ONLY (NO TITANS):
A "Battle" is a decisive action involving two or more or your clans and
possibly a Titan.  The battle may be over a base, a soul fountain or a gold
stash.  You usually take all of your troops with you, and leave one or two
turrets at your base to provide its only defense.

Here are the recommended tactics when no Titans are involved:

- Use "waypoint control" to move your clans on the map and seek out the enemy. 
In waypoint mode, you can see in all directions and prevent ambush.  Keep your
clans in a tight group, don't let stragglers make a wrong turn or engage the
enemy all by themselves.

- If you're attacking a fixed location, set all three waypoints just outside of
sighting range, and let your troops "assemble" before launching the attack.
_____________________________________________________________
In a battle without Titans, the basic idea is to support your troops while they
fight automatically:

- When you engage the enemy, immediately fire any moonstones and defensive
runes you may have to strengthen your troops before they get shot at.

- Set waypoints on the enemy to make sure all of your troops start fighting
automatically.

- After setting the waypoints, target enemy clans with offensive runes and fire
them off.  Be sure to target enemy turrets.

- While your troops are fighting automatically, zip back to base and buy a
turret.  Place the turret just behind your front line so that it doesn't
attract as much enemy fire while it's "warming up."  (It takes a turret about
10 seconds to start firing after it's placed).  Note:  you can only set turrets
within the sighting range of your troops, your buildings and your soul
fountains.

- The turret will have an immediate effect.  Even before it starts firing, the
enemy may shift fire to it, relieving your clan troops.  When it starts firing,
it can become a "game-breaker."  It can turn the tide of battle decisively in
your favor; or it can save you if you're being pounded, e.g., by covering your
retreat.

The next moves depend on your offensive/defensive posture...

If you are defending your base:

- Build reinforcements as quickly as you can.  If you find yourself watching
the battle, you're doing the wrong thing.  Your survival probably depends on
your successful defense, so just watch the number of troops going down and fill
in the gaps as well as you can.

- In multiplayer, if you win the battle, directly control your troops to keep
them from pursuing enemy survivors back to their base, where turrets are
probably waiting for you.

- If you run out of soul points for reinforcements, you may have to abandon
your base and "head for the hills" with your surviving troops.  This is called
"lumberjack mode" because your goal is to gather enough gold and soul fountains
to rebuild your clan shrines and army.


If you are attacking the enemy's base:

- Building reinforcements is probably a waste of time.  By the time they get to
the enemy's base, the battle will be won or lost.  If lost, your new troops
will be slaughtered.  (Exception:  some multiplayer maps have no intervening
obstacles between the bases, which allows for rapid reinforcement by the
invader).

- With runes and moonstones fired, and turrets placed, take "direct control" of
your longest-ranged clan and order the other clans to "follow."  By now, the
battle should be turning one way or the other and you want to be in control if
you have to pursue the fleeing enemy, or retreat.

Winning the Battle:
- Pursuit after battle:  in multiplayer, your human opponent may be smart
enough to make a run for it.  Be careful not to let your troops follow the
enemy into a trap.  You can still pull defeat out of the jaws of victory by
running into an enemy turret.  If attacking the enemy's base is the next item
on the agenda, you may want to stop pursuit and determine the best route to
achieve surprise, and avoid turrets that are sure to be waiting there.  Note: 
a very effective tactic in the campaign or against an inexperienced human is to
"bait" the enemy troops to chase you back to your turret(s).  If works every
time on the campaign.  The human has to learn to take direct control to prevent
his troops from running away.

- Taking the enemy base:  destroy all the buildings and take any soul fountains
found nearby.  In the Campaign, your problems are over for this location.  In
Multiplayer, you now have to secure the base so it can't be rebuilt easily. 
Human opponents may have large amounts of cash and soul points that allow them
to continue the battle.  Build a turret or two in the enemy's base before
ordering your troops to look for survivors.  Leave one or two clans at the
enemy's base to destroy repaired buildings and freshly created troops.  When
hunting for survivors watch the enemy's map if he turns/leaves it on.

Losing the Battle:
- Fighting Retreat:  as in the "Skirmish" tactics, described above, if you lose
the battle, you can make a "fighting retreat."  The difference after a battle
is that you're likely to have melee fighters closely engaged with the enemy who
won't survive if they keep running and stopping.  So, weigh the option of
fighting while retreating carefully.  You can make it work with melee fighters,
but you will probably lose more than if you simply keep running.

- "Bug-out" Retreat:  in an overwhelming situation where you're about to lose
everybody, sacrifice your melee fighters by canceling the "follow" order.  Then
run away under "direct control" with your ranged fighters.  They start farther
away from the enemy, who will focus on killing your melee fighters before
pursuing you.  Perform the "fighting retreat" drill if necessary.

- Healing Runes:  these are inexpensive and very helpful before, during, and
after a battle.  They are frequently available during the Campaign and on the
"Ring" map in Multiplayer.

6.  BATTLES WITH CLANS AND TITANS:
Titans are very useful in the Campaign, and early in Multiplayer battles when
clans are not upgraded beyond Level 1.  When clans are upgraded to Level 2 and
3 in Multiplayer, Titans become "cannon fodder" and are blown away in seconds.

Many of the same battle tactics described in the previous section apply to
battles with Titans.  The big difference is that you must control your Titan
"directly," which doesn't allow you to move around in "waypoint mode," building
turrets and sending reinforcements.

- Search for the enemy:  move your Titan with "direct control" and have your
clan(s) "follow."

- Watch your map display carefully to make sure you don't have a near miss,
engaging part of your force, but not all.

- When you find the enemy, let your clans move into the attack first.  Keep
your Titan stationary so that he doesn't attract more fire than necessary.

- Fire any moonstones and runes as the two sides collide.

- With the mayhem underway, seek out targets in the following order:  enemy
Titans, turrets, melee clan fighters, ranged clan fighters.

- Fighting enemy Titans:  don't rush in and get pounded by enemy clans before
taking your first swing at the enemy Titan.  Wait for the Titan to come to you,
then use the hardest hitting capability available, e.g., Ogre "Bash."

- Fighting enemy Turrets:  you must rush the turret, but try to approach it
without getting pounded by enemy clans.  Use the hardest hitting capability
available.

- Fighting enemy Clans:  use capabilities that disrupt the most enemy troops,
e.g., Ogre "Swing" and Elemental "Tornado."  While the enemy clan members are
bouncing around and screaming - your own troops keep firing at them without
taking losses to themselves.

- The Ogre's "Swing" is unique because it recharges fast enough to knock the
same enemy clan members down repeatedly, without giving them a chance to
recover.  Plus, you can turn the Ogre's body at the same time as you swing to
increase the arc he covers to near 360 degrees.

- Always wait to "Eat" with the Ogre until you have 1-3 surviving enemy.  Don't
try to eat a larger group - it results in more damage than is repaired by
eating.

- If the Titan dies, take direct control of the longest ranged-fighting clan,
as described above.

- If you hold an Ogre in place long enough, he eventually farts and laughs.

END
Copyright 2004, Thomas J. Race


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