Fighting Orcs: Tips?

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RaustBD
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Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by RaustBD » October 24th, 2013, 5:48 pm

Hey, seeing how northerners make up a massive portion of the enemies in most campaigns, I figured there'd be a guide all about picking the units most effective against the units that these campaign-based orcish armies generally churn out, but I'm having trouble finding it with the search engine if it exists, so I thought I'd ask here:

What are the best units to use against orcs and trolls and such in general, and what are good strategies for taking them down?

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Turuk
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Turuk » October 24th, 2013, 7:43 pm

It depends a great deal on what units you have at your disposal to recruit. Are you looking for more general advice to cover most situations?

Just trying to see if you're currently playing through a particular campaign and having issues. :P If not, then I can certainly dole out some general use stuff, as will others I'm sure.
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Paulomat4 » October 24th, 2013, 8:07 pm

Well, i try to always pick the assassins first, because of their poison. That can be really bad, if you don't have a Healer. After this, slashing orc archers with my meelee units, and grunts with rangers, while having a healer behind the lines doing his job, and not having to worry about poison.
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mattsc
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by mattsc » October 24th, 2013, 8:44 pm

Since you are asking about campaigns, I assume that you are aware of the How_to_play... pages on the wiki, which are for MP and therefore not what you are looking? If not, you might be able to get some general ideas from there. They are meant to cover how to play a certain faction, rather than how to play against it, but there are subsections on playing a faction against Northerners for all of them.

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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by RaustBD » October 24th, 2013, 9:09 pm

mattsc wrote:Since you are asking about campaigns, I assume that you are aware of the How_to_play... pages on the wiki, which are for MP and therefore not what you are looking? If not, you might be able to get some general ideas from there. They are meant to cover how to play a certain faction, rather than how to play against it, but there are subsections on playing a faction against Northerners for all of them.
I'm aware of the how to play stuff, the problem is that I don't see a general guide there, and campaigns tend to have a recruitment list that is mixed between the unit selection of various factions. Thanks for making sure I knew about it though, I appreciate the thought.

Mostly what I'm trying to work out is what units are best suited to fighting northerners in general, what the best units are best suited to surviving a mixed attack from the range of orcish units, which units are ideal for piercing orcish defenses...

Basically, the thing in the loyalist guide that ranks each unit's general usefulness against the opposing faction? I'm looking for a little more of that advice for the other factions' units, not just the loyalist ones.

Edit: Also, I'm playing Heir to the Throne on hard mode.

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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by HomerJ » October 24th, 2013, 10:37 pm

One hint that I keep repeating to inexperienced campaign players: Hurt but don't kill. To elaborate, especially against orcs you face mostly melee opponents. Since every of your units has a melee weapon, it can be very efficient to just weaken enemies to low health, and then let them suicide on their attack phase. This applies mainly to situations where you have the choice to either kill a low HP enemy grunt (or higher) with ranged damage, or distribute the damage to another target, especially if it is high magic/marksman damage (mages/marksmen).

A low health enemy that would be killed with one strike of retaliation is better than dead. It takes upkeep for the enemy and is available to be killed at any time by a unit that needs xp, if it doesn't suicide, which then does not waste one of your valuable attacks.

There are a couple things to consider with this of course, your defensive formation, is a vital unit in range of the low health unit to be killed with a suicide attack and a follow up attack afterwards, is a unit in need of the XP to levelup, etc.

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Crow_T
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Crow_T » October 25th, 2013, 12:20 am

I have to disagree with HomerJ here, because the AI will line up suicide attackers in order to take out an important unit. It has happened to me on many occasions where a unit kills 2-3 units, but they keep filling a hole and doing damage until finally the friendly bites it. I say kill while you can, then protect the experienced/important unit. Defensive kills are great, but there is always a fresh unit waiting to take another stab at it. It's probably the one time in the game where you hope your guys miss.

Anyhow, ranged vs grunts, melee vs archers, power units vs poisoners, get them out of the way as soon as possible. Slow grunts and higher when you can.
Last edited by Crow_T on October 31st, 2013, 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Velensk » October 25th, 2013, 12:42 am

There's nothing particular to orcs other than the fact that they have low damage per hex and high hp, per unit and particularly per cost but that's not an issue in the campaigns.

The implications of such are that you can generally hold the line with weaker units (though naturally that's not ideal) and that if you're looking to finish them off quickly you'll need particularly high damage units. Units that resist blade are particularly valuable though as the majority of enemy forces will be grunts. Other than that, all standard principles apply; having a good balance of melee and range, good support abilities (such as heal or leadership), and using them well is what's most important. There is no combination of units that's magically powerful or useful here.

HttT is sufficiently easy that it really doesn't matter. People have done it recruiting only one unit type for pretty much every possible recruit (or waiting until they get to the point where you get them, dismissing everyone else and going from that point). I find particularly worthy of note the shaman/horseman combination with some leadership thrown in for breaking power and some elvish fighters as expendable terrain savey walls.
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RaustBD
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by RaustBD » October 25th, 2013, 5:02 am

Velensk wrote:There's nothing particular to orcs other than the fact that they have low damage per hex and high hp, per unit and particularly per cost but that's not an issue in the campaigns.
Seriously? Orcs are weaker than other factions? That's so... so... so shocking, I can't even wrap my head around it, I mean, they're ORCS! You know, the race notorious for its inhuman strength? What a surprise...

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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Velensk » October 25th, 2013, 11:50 am

Eh, call that weakness if you want but the orcs really are a strong race. In multiplayer, unless I'm playing loyalists or drakes I'm never really excited to see I'm fighting orcs and even then if your opponent knows what they're doing you're in for no easy fight.

It is definitely true that orcs have a lower damage per hex than any other faction but they generally have good damage per strike showing that they are strong but not particularly skilled but without some kind of disadvantage the fact that their units easily give you the most HP per gold and damage per gold would be difficult to balance. The AI doesn't know how to properly use these advantages however, and in the campaign tends to be pretty suicidally aggressive which puts their weakness against your strength directly.

However, what I was saying is that there's no real trick to fighting them. Just good play. The way they're built affects only very slightly what you can get away with.
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Aelaris
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Aelaris » October 29th, 2013, 4:54 am

In my opinion, the Orcish Grunt is the second best unit in the game. For level 1 units, it is tied for the highest damage per gold ratio (excluding situational abilities like backstab), and easily has the most HP per gold spent. They have no type weaknesses, and reasonable defenses for infantry (and slightly faster than most infantry).

However, their high damage-to-gold ratio of 1.5 is solely based on them only costing 12 gold and having 18 (9x2) attack. It's very efficient, but assuming that it is their time of day, and they hit an unrealistic 75% of the time (50% is kinda low) then attacking from two hexes is only 33 damage (more likely to be 22 damage, really). 33 damage is... survivable for most melee units. Of the bread-and-butter infantry, only the elvish fighter dies.

My opinion is that the main way to work against orcs is to not let more than 2 of them gang up on any particular unit, and be sure to rotate wounded units back to the villages. They will outnumber you in a general sense, but just don't let them outnumber you in a specific situation. Remember to use ZoC and terrain so they can never hit one of your units with three grunts.

Of course, I'm a pure MP player, with a predilection towards attrition, and I suck at campaigns, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Velensk » October 29th, 2013, 12:23 pm

In the campaigns you can frequently put yourself in a position where 3 or more of them can attack a unit, conditional that it's a leveled unit, especially one with blade resistance. This can be very advantageous too as a strong blade resistant unit at a good time of day can soften several of them (so you can kill them with lower level units) before being pulled back for healing. The principle to not let them overpower you in specific situations (however much they overpower you in the general sense) is a very powerful principle though.
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by Doomchicken » October 31st, 2013, 5:07 pm

Whenever I fight Orcs, I try to hit their Grunts with archers, and then move in tougher units to protect the archers, and I just repeat that dusk till dawn, then pull back to somewhere defensive for the night.

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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by HomerJ » November 4th, 2013, 6:52 pm

Crow_T wrote:I have to disagree with HomerJ here, because the AI will line up suicide attackers in order to take out an important unit. It has happened to me on many occasions where a unit kills 2-3 units, but they keep filling a hole and doing damage until finally the friendly bites it.
Of course there are always scenarios you can imagine where it does not work in your favor.
My point was: You have two units left to move on your daylight turn, Delf and an Elvish Ranger, there is a Grunt with 4 HP left and an orcish warrior at full health.
My advice: leave the grunt alone and fire away at the warrior.


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taptap
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Re: Fighting Orcs: Tips?

Post by taptap » November 5th, 2013, 2:59 pm

I completely agree with HomerJ (and most others). Listen to them :) (Btw. I have started playing HttT without recalls, similar to what HomerJ did with Northern Rebirth. Someone has probably done it already, but I never found replays of that. Anyone?)

Something else related to retaliation: Northerners already have a low damage output per hex, a well positioned, humble shaman (you often play rebels in campaigns) can completely blunt an orcish attack, while they are taking full retaliation. Vs. a slowed grunt even a shaman is a match in forest, not to speak of all your other units that do retaliate much stronger. The other point for (rebel) campaigns I certainly didn't get right the first time is: use elvish marksmen (instead of the beginners first choice ranger). If you play loyalists a good way to use retaliation to your favour is first strike, i.e. use spearmen and don't level all spearmen to swordsmen but keep first strike capable units in your roster.
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