Battle Realms Tips&Tricks Introduction My name is Hoplyte and I wanted to make a strategy guide for this game ever since I played it the first time. It is a very good RTS that, in my opinion, may be better than the AOE series. I’m a romanian gamer and I consider myself a medium RTS player, because I never played anything else than AOE, RA, Starcraft or Battle Realms in multiplayer, although I played a lot of strategies (RT or TB) in single-player. This will not be a mission walktrough since this game’s missions may be solved by a lot of different ways but I will include mission tips although this is a multiplayer guide. This game is really cool and interesting and innovative and… phew. It doesn’t have so many bugs and has lots of original ideas, like the Yin/Yang points, which are really an experience counter. The game is inspired by the history of medieval Japan, but if you want a more historycal approach, play Shogun: Total War. One weird thing: you use rice and water to build the buildings. What’s that all about? The probleme in this game is that you don’t have stats like in AOE so you can’t compare two units by their health or damage. Plus, some units are better against a type of enemy but they really take a beating from others. Contents Part I: Clans and their units Part II: Clans and their Heroes Part III: Mission tips Part IV: Multiplayer tips and strategies Part I: Clans and their units The clans in the game are well balanced, except for the Lotus, which are too powerful. The Serpent and the Dragon are pretty much alike, except for the units, which are totally different. The Wolf and the Lotus are pretty weird, but once you get the hang of them you’ll be victorious. NOTE: don’t get pissed off if I give too many examples from personal experience. DRAGON The dragon clan is a good clan to play with but not if you’re a beginner. Its Samurai can be deadly to both enemy units and yours if you don’t know how to handle’em. On the other side it has the best archers and beside the spearman, all units can fire projectiles. This is quite good because while 5 of your Dragon Warriors are in there fighting for you, the others can stay behind and fire magical bolts instead of joining the massacre in hand-to-hand. And the samurai are good to keep in a tower because their arrows can seriously damage the attackers and when the tower is destroyed they can hold their own against lots of enemy units. But I will describe more tactics along with each unit type. The last thing about this clan is that you can sacrifice 4 samurai at the dragon’s shrine and then enlist the dragon’s help. You can now call a ,,rain of fire” upon your unsuspecting victims. VERY POWERFUL. USE WITH CARE Spearman: A good level 1 unit. It’s quite better if you upgrade it, but can’t do much against more advanced units. Quite good for a rush but not unless you have lots of them. Then again, by the time you have 6 of these the enemy will probably have a good defense. Plus, the peasants can do some damage to the spearmen. Well, I guess that instead of attacking with this one you may as well wait to train at least some Dragon Warriors. The whirling spear battle gear is good, though. Archer: I think it’s the best level 1 ranged unit in the game, but unlike the wolf’s hurler, he really stinks in close combat. He’s good because he has a very good range and can seriously damage the enemy before he even gets close. Plus, the arrows fly faster than the stones from the Hurler’s slingshot, for example, so they miss rarely. They aren’t that good against fast targets or buildings, so the fire arrow battle gear is a must. Chemist: If upgraded, this guy is a pain in the index finger. He can fire area- effect missiles (again, if upgraded) which makes him pretty good, but don’t expect wonders. The serpent’s musketeer is better because he has a longer range, and he can also fire explosive area-effect shells. But the chemist has an interesting battle gear: cascade rockets. Select a chemist, press B (use battle gear) and cascade away. Dragon warrior: A very good level 2 unit. It can fire magical bolts at the enemy before engaging in hand-to-hand, where they excel. You can build up your attack force starting from this guy. His only problem is that if you are up to level 3 units, they will take a beating if they don’t have supporting units. He really gets better with the shield battle gear, which transforms him into a big, round, attack attractor (isn’t that a mouthfull). Seriously, using that battle gear you can save the dragon warrior until reinforcements arrive. Kabuki warrior: I don’t know what this guy is supposed to do, but he does one thing right: ,,jump around like he don’t care”. He is better than the serpent’s raider, WAY better, but he isn’t that good. The dragon warrior is better than this guy, but he can blind enemies with the right battle gear, so he becomes very handy if the enemy relies on hand-to-hand units. Powder keg cannoneer: Good for wrecking buildings or occupying a tower. Period. Samurai: At last, the level 3 unit! This guy is pretty tough to beat if you upgrade him. He can fire arrows at the enemy until he gets near enough to hack at them with his katana. He would probably be the best level 3 unit in the game, but one thing sets him back: when he dies, the spirit of the dragon attacks all of the nearby units, including allies, so attacking with more than 3 samurai is pure idiocy. One tactic is to send them in kamikaze attacks, weakening the defenses until you are ready to send in more of them without losing a SINGLE ONE. Otherwise, you will trigger a chain reaction and see all your samurai dead and all your archers exposed to enemy blades. A single samurai defeated 3 spearmen which were attacking at the same time, the last being killed by the samurai’s dragon spirit, and once I lost 12 ronins to 3 samurai and a few archers (all of the samurai died, taking my ronin with them). Be careful while attacking samurai, and when you see one fall to his knees, get all your units (if possible) to RUN THE HELL OUTTA THERE, because when the dragon appears above his head you won’t have anyone to command anymore. The bottom line is that the samurai are quite good if you know how to use them, and they rank no.3 in the level 3 unit top, very close behind the ronin. BTW, don’t forget to use the Dragon skin battle gear if the enemy relies on ranged units. Geisha: She heals all allied units with low health automatically, but you should do research quickly so that she uses less stamina for healing. Otherwise you will need lots of them to keep your army alive. What can I say: keep her out of trouble and she can be a real lifesaver. A must in any attack. SERPENT The dragon and serpent clans are pretty much the same, but you will need different strategies for each clan. If a dragon attack will need a lot of different units to support or complement one another, the serpent’s ronin can be sent in alone to wreak havoc. And the musketeer is a good ranged attacker, although he reloads kinda slowly. The music for this clan is cool, though. One last thing: by sacrifycing 4 ronin at the necromancer’s throne you will enlist the help of the necromancer, a very powerful hero. I will tell you more on the Hero section. Swordsman: pretty much like the spearman, maybe a bit better. The glass sword battle gear is good but in fact it’s a kamikaze attack since a swordsman with full health will remain on red after using it, making him very vulnerable to archers (especially) or hand-to-hand units. Crossbowman: A not so good ranged unit, the crossbowman fires twice, so he hardly misses. But he doesn’t do that much damage, and he has a small attack range, so don’t bother to use them. Better train them to Bandits. Musketeer: A good ranged attacker. With the sniper Scope he really deals damage from VERY far away and with the blast shot he can damage close grouped units. Go for this one instead of the crossbowman, it’s a sure bet. Besides, he can damage a building without any upgrades, but he is not that good at it as the cannoneer. If upgraded, he can become extremely powerful, dealing lots of damage. You should really use his battle gear and try using 50% Sniper Scope - 50% Blast Shot musketeers. Bandit: Good in the early stages of a game. He can loot corpses and give you the resources paid for the respective unit. He can shoot from afar, pretty much like the dragon warrior, but his range is shorter. If you upgrade the poison tips he becomes even better. He is good in hand-to-hand combat, but if you have enough resources go for the ronin. Raider: Weak. He can do some damage in hand-to-hand, but not something to worry about. His main purpose is to set buildings on fire, but he only does this after he hits the building 5-6 times. And waiting for the building to burn instead of hitting it with cannoneers isn’t that fun. If you have one lurking about, turn him into a ronin. Cannoneer: Pretty much like the Powder Keg Cannoneer, only that he is a bit better thanx to his battle gear. The mines are good, and setting up a minefield around your base is a good ideea (too bad you have the 20-mines limit). He can destroy buildings pretty easily and his cannonballs go through the victim, so you can hit closely grouped buildings or units in column formation. It’s a good idea to upgrade his damage and range. Ronin: Whoohoo! The level 3 unit is here! And he has two huge poisonous blades. Not the one I’d piss off, but the one I’d take to the enemy’s camp. He can hack his way through enemies and pile up Yin points with his Yin Blade Battle Gear. Usually, 12 or more of these followed by some musketeers/cannoneers and some geisha will seriously cripple the enemy’s base, but their attacks aren’t quite unparaleled or unbrakeable. Like the samurai, when they die, all enemy units surrounding him will loose something, but not life. They will loose their will to fight and their attacks won’t do much damage, while your units will suddenly fight better. From this angle, he is way better than the samurai is because he doesn’t affect allied units in a bad way, so you can still use weaker units to finnish them off. But the ronin can’t attack from a distance, so they will loose some health in a battle with some samurai (they will loose it all if you don’t get them away from the samurai in time). I prefer the ronin to the samurai so this is the No.2 best level 3 unit in the game, after the Lotus Warlock. NOTE: If the Yin Blade Battle Gear is active the Ronin will produce more Yin points but the damage he does is very little compared to a Ronin with Yin Blade deactivated. Fan Geisha: Same as the dragon geisha, maybe she can kick harder. Wolf The wolf clan are some kind of nature lovers who were occupied by the serpent and sent to work in the mines. This is why they are all so muscular. This clan is pretty good once you get the hang of it and you will surely have some surprises while hunting down a Wolf player. For instance, the wolf units are the only units that will recover full health over time and if you do the upgrades at the Vitality Garden they will regenerate ridiculously quick. And another weird thing about them is that, in order to get battle gear, you will have to train a druidess in the Vitality Garden and Cairn and then bless units on your way. Each unit type will be blessed with a different skill and you’ll soon realise that it’s like having a Fireworks Facility on wheels (well, legs). Of course, you still have to drop by the Cairn now and then to stock up on blessings. The last thing that I want to mention about the wolf is that you have a special building called Shalery. This is where your units are equipped with leather armour that kinda saves their butts sometimes, because they are harder to kill. Use this wisely. NOTE: I haven’t played so much with this clan so I didn’t exactly take my time in analizing all of the units, but I still have some descriptions. The problem is that this clan’s hand-to-hand units are quite weird. For example, a Mauler can beat the crap out of a swordsman but he will get creamed by an Infested One. The idea is that you should only use level-to-level units( sledger to bandit, berserk to Warlock), but you will still have some surprises. Brawler: Don’t bother. He may hold his own against some spearmen, but he’ll get a spear up his throat in the end. Hurler: A ranged attacker that hurls rocks from a slingshot towards the enemy. Just like the serpent’s cannoneer, the rock will bounce off the ground and hit more units in a column. Mauler (weird names): With his big rock-on-a-chain he can beat up some units, but he’ll get kicked in the face by others. Again, don’t bother to remember which units to attack. Just jump to the… Sledger : Now that’s what I’m talkin’bout. He is quite good with the huge hammer and can face multiple enemies (especially if you blessed him with the druidess so that he can blind them). Of course, you should never use only sledgers. Use them in combination with some ranged attackers or some Pack Masters. NOTE: I don’t know if you realised this, but their voice sounds dangerously close to a Wolf Schwarzennegger: ,,Look at my masses!”. Ballista man: ranged attacker with good range and damage. He can damage buildings too, but he is quite slow, even when he’s running, and his stamina drops quickly. But he is nonetheless a good unit, and if you bless him he will be able to fire totems that have the same effect as Shinja’s Intimidation and Otomo’s Battle Cry alltogether (they cannot attack as long as the totem is activated). Pitch Slinger: I think this guy is the best range attacker in the game (maybe the Warlock beats him… and he does it very easily) and he can destroy buildings very quickly and efficiently. He isn’t that bad at hand-to-hand, although you don’t want to lose him by throwing him in the chaos. Instead keep him behind your berserks and he will damage enemy units very bad. And of course, he has a special function: if there are enemy units or buildings on a column just attack the one who’s furthest away and you should damage them all with hot coals. His only downside is that he has a pretty short range, but not something to really worry about. Berserker: Every time when I hear this word I think about the berserker in AOE2, but here the legend of the Viking berserkers is better illustrated. This unit is pretty cool, but not that good for a level 3 unit. I think it’s the weakest level 3 unit in the game, but it has a special skill, like almost all wolf units: if you bless him, wait for his health to drop to red and press B (use battle gear), he will transform into a werewolf with full health, and lemme tell you: it’s like having two lives! Anyway, you should use these guys as they are your best hand-to-hand units, and backing them up with Sledgers is a good ideea. Of course, any attack force should have at least some Ballistamen/Pitch Slingers or even Hurlers in the first stages of the game. Pack Master: He is the special unit of the Wolf clan. Train this guy at the Wolves’ Den, pick up some wolves and go Lotus hunting. They are quite effective if in groups of 5-6, and they are easy to ,,equip” with wolves as they can only have 3 under their control, while a horse will feed 2 of them. So, for 6 Pack Masters you will need 9 horses, which isn’t that much on a map with more horses. NOTE: yes, you read correctly, while playing with the wolf, the horses won’t serve as free rides, but as free burgers for wolves. Druidess: A quite interesting and helpful unit, the druidess will serve you well if you use her well. She can fire magical bolts from her staff and immediately vine the victim to the ground (yeah, just like in Heroes3). Of course, she will still bless your units as you probably heard a few hundred times ‘till now. Lotus The lotus clan is the most powerful in the game, but not exactly invincible. If the other clans were well balanced, this one weighs more than a dragon and a half if used properly. Firstly, you have the crypt of brothers, where you have 3 new heroes beside the ones in the keep that you can acces very early in the game. Secondly, you have the warlocks and Master warlocks which are quite tough and, if used in large quantities (), they can really make your day. Lastly you have the same battle gear aquiring as the wolf, only you get the gear from the Brothers and they don’t need blessing points: they get them in combat, so they’re practically infinite. The music is nice here too, which really sets the balance in their favour (). Blade accolyte: Reminds me of the Accolyte from Homeworld Cataclysm: light, quick, he will take some damage before being shot down. He’s quite good even against level 2 units, and he’s very fast, so a rush with these guys may scare your enemy a bit. I prefer to use these instead of infested or diseased ones, because they are much more faster and if upgraded they can deal a lot of damage. Leaf disciple: Medium ranged unit. If you shoot in a pack of enemies the leafes will hit the one who is the closest to your unit, but still the damage done isn’t too high so just upgrade them to unclean ones. Staff adept: pretty good, but not something you should use too often. If you are in the early stages of the game you can use these, but you’d better just train diseased ones. Infested one: Good level 2 unit which has high health and which does pretty good damage. But, like all Lotus level 2 units, they are very slow and they run for a very short while. Keep some around just in case. Diseased one: A very good level 2 unit, it’s a miniature samurai, only that it doesn’t have a bow. When it dies it will disease all nearby targets and they will loose health pretty quickly unless they run the hell outta there. Use them in conjunction with Blade Accolytes or Infested ones. Unclean one: Very good ranged unit, it hurls BBBs (big black blobs) on your enemy’s head with a big damage radius, so it’s perfect against closely grouped enemies. It’s good against buildings and if you have a peasant to sacrifice, you can eat it with the Unclean one. After this the Unclean one will be able to call a flaming skull on a location to attack enemies that are close by. Warlock: Da very best level 3 unit. To get this one you will have to train one of the level 2 units above in the art of Rites Ascension. After this you will be able to use a battle gear that will turn the unit into a Warlock. But keep some Channelers close, because the warlocks will only appear with half- health, so you will need to heal them. Keep them behind some diseased ones or blade accolytes and they really come to life. They are very powerful even in hand-to-hand, and if you have the soul chill, they really start damaging close enemies. They are very good against buildings (a single warlock can destroy a building immediately with the dark arson) and have a fast rate of fire, and if doubled by unclean ones, you will become invincible. AND, if you have a warlock’s tower, you can train two Warlocks and turn them into a MASTER Warlock, which is REALLY tough to beat. But you should only use them if the enemy has very powerful defenses. Generally, an attack led by Blade Accolytes supported by Warlocks and Unclean Ones is very tough to repel. And if you throw in some Brothers or Heroes, that base is extinct. Of course, we’re not talking about 10 units, but 20 to 30. Master Warlock: when you send 2 warlocks in the Warlock Tower they will start dueling and after some time one of them emerges victorous as a master warlock. Don’t use just master warlocks, but keep their number at 20% of your total units if you relly want to use them. They have interesting skills if they learn them, each of the Brothers giving them a different power. Probably the most interesting is the teleportation which can take them very quickly to quite distant locations on the map, so you can use them to surprise the enemy by arriving behind his impenetrable defense. Like the Warlocks, they destroy buildings very easily and kill enemies quickly, but they have a slightly slower rate of fire. Part II: Clans and their Heroes Heroes are a good adition in this game as they bring new tactics and strategies to the standard RTS type of play. They should lead any attack as they are very good fighters and they each have a special ability that helps your units in battle, so don’t overlook these advantages. Plus, if your enemy uses heroes, he will have an important advantage over you if you don’t. Compared to the regular units, heroes are summoned in the keep using Yin/Yang points and rice/water. But you don’t need to train a peasant in order to summon them, as their souls are immortal and once a hero is dead, you will just have to wait a while for his soul to return to the keep and then you may summon him/her again. Dragon Heroes Dragon heroes are good fighters and their special abilities are very useful. I always use Otomo to lead an attack, as his Battle Cry is very good at turning your Dragon Warriors into killing machines. You should use the other heroes too, especially Arah and Kazan, which will level buildings quickly or Tao accompanied by 6 monks to wreak havoc amongst the enemies. Otomo: Your most important hero. His battle cry will inspire your men in battle so they will fight better. He is also a very good fighter, and you should use him whenever posibile. Arah: A very good hero, Arah is an archer with huge range and damage. She can damage buildings and kill enemy units. Her special talent is focusing on her arrow, which helps her see further into the fog of war. Just press b (use battle gear), select a location outside of Arah’s view (but not too far) and fire the arrow. Your view will now be extended for a short period of time. Garrin: A pretty good fighter, Garrin can use all his stamina to call a horse to his location. You can now mount it with Garrin and hack through the enemy ranks. Kazan: He’s fat and ugly and they say he’s a monk! Whatever. He is good against buildings because by using his special skill he sets a building on flames from the first hit. He is a ranged attacker, although he can punch them, so be careful how you use him Tao: He is practically a more powerful monk, which can mirror enemy attacks onto themselves. While he is alive, your monk limit will be set to 6 so always have the monks guard him and you will be getting Yang in no time. Monk: They can be summoned by the dragon and wolf. A maximum of four can be used at the same time. They are very good fighters and you should mix them in your ranks or keep them around your archers to protect them. They have a special ability that makes them regenerate very quickly but this will hold them still and vulnerable. Only use this when they are out of danger. Serpent Heroes Serpent heroes are dark outlaws skilled in fighting dirty. Shinja and Necromancer should be your best choices, but Vetkin comes in handy too sometimes. Shinja: Probably the best Serpent Hero, he is a very good fighter with lots of health and his Intimidation skill will be very efficient in lowering the enemy units’ combat power so that your Ronin can move in for the kill. Utara: A powerful Geisha. She can’t heal but she can use a magic harp to hit all nearby enemies (I know it’s weird hittin’ people with harps, but that’s the way the game is). She’s way more powerful than a normal geisha and using her in conjunction with Shinja would be a very good ideea, as Shinja Intimidates them and Utara hits them all with the magic harp. Vetkin: A good fighter, Vetkin can run very fast without loosing stamina so you can take him to the enemy base and back in no time. He has a special skill that drains all the nearby enemies’ stamina, so if he relied on blinding you with Spearmen he’s got another thing coming. Necromancer: He is the best serpent hero. You can get him by sacrificing 4 Ronins at the Necromancer’s Throne. He can use half of his stamina to summon a Spirit warrior, with 3 Spirits as a limit. But the real advantage comes when you walk by a corpse, as it will turn into a zombie that will fight for you. The necromancer uses about 1/6 of his stamina for a ressurection, but if you keep him still he will regain stamina quickly so you will be able to have a whole army of zombies. The catch is that the zombies loose life at regular intervals so you will need to go all the way to the enemy’s camp in order to summon them AND use them. Of course, you can still keep the Necromancer in your camp and ressurect the corpses of those killed by the Spirit Warriors, but, as I said, the zombies will die eventually. The Necromancer isn’t quite defenceless, as his hits are very powerful, dealing lots of damage. Budo: He can fight very well, but he is very slow even when running. Use his whip on your peasants if you are out of rice, they will gather it quicker. Ninja: They can be summoned by Serpent and Lotus. A maximum of 4 may be used in the same time. They are very quick and prefer throwing poisoned metal stars at the enemy. They are good in hand-to-hand combat too, but keep them behind your ronin and let them do the dirty work. They can become invisible for unlimited periods of time, but an attack made by the ninja will break the invisibility spell. If you have 4 Yin points, you should summon Shinja, Utara and Vetkin. But these guys are very cheap (50 water, 50 rice) compared to the ,,real” heroes, so you can use them too. Of course, if you summoned everyone, you should summon these guys too and join the party. Wolf Wolf heroes are different than other heroes as they are huge men with huge weapons (well, except the Nymph and Monk) and hugely useful talents. Grayback: A very good fighter, he has the same ability as Otomo: making his soldiers fight better. He deals lots of damage and has a high health rating. He destroyes buildings quite easily, but this is not something out of the ordinary for a wolf unit, which are meant to level buildings rapidly. Shale Lord: Probably the best wolf hero. A very good fighter, he destroys buildings very easily. He can armour an ally by giving up on some health points, but he regenerates quick, so you should use him to armour your berserks instead of paying those resources at the Shalery. Besides, the armour comes instantly so you won’t have to wait for the unit to finish ,,training” like in the Shalery. Gaihla: A forest nymph who can heal allies. Don’t use her in combat, instead use her as you would a geisha. Her special ability is healing allies, and she will heal all nearby allies, which means that you can put her in the centre of a compact formation and when your units start taking damage you simply have to select her and press B (use battle gear). I advise to assign a selection to her (ctrl+number). Longtooth: If you’re out of range units, this one’s for you. He has a long range and can do a lot of damage to an attacker. Not too good, but then again not too bad. Use him if you like… I don’t. Lotus Lotus heroes should be feared, as they are very powerful. Use Zymeth and Issyl to lead an attack or Koril to get quickly in their camp and surprise them by killing their peasants. Zymeth: A very powerful Warlock, Zymeth will blend in the ranks of your ,,original” warlocks and start frying enemies. His special ability is to call in bolts of lightning that will hit multiple targets at the same time. He is very powerful and I saw once how Zymeth single-handedly killed 2 Bandits and 2 Crossbowmen while being under attack by them and some musketeers (the musketeers got him in the end). He has lots of health and he will kill lots of enemies with his lightning strikes (he automatically uses them). Issyl: Issyl is a good fighter which deals plenty of damage, and her Haste spell should be used to reach the enemy camp faster. Use her in conjunction with Zymeth and the 3 Brothers. Koril: Pretty good fighter. His only good use would be to surprise the enemy by teleporting him on the enemy’s rice fields while his army is away fighting your warlocks. But then again, if you repel his attack the peasants you kill with Koril will be substituted very quickly and he will be sending Berserks on Koril’s head in no time. But, if you move your army quickly, Koril could be a very useful decoy, keeping the other player busy until you reach his camp... Soban: Don’t take him in battle, instead build 3 golems and substitute 3 peasants with them. The enemy will now have 3 potential warlocks to worry about . The 3 Brothers: You will be able to summon them from the Crypt of Brothers. They are each an upgraded version of a level1 Lotus unit and they are your floating Fireworks Facility, as they float around the map killing enemies and bestowing new powers upon your units. Be careful when using them for your warlocks: they each give the warlocks or master warlocks different abilities, so experience with the different abilities. You should use them in any attack as they only cost 1 Yin point and they are way better than the normal units (Sekh is a Leaf Disciple, Lythis is a Blade Accolyte, Tausil is a Staff Adept). Part III: Mission tips *In the first mission you will need to choose between killing the bandits that are attacking the city or killing the peasants to show them who’s boos. If you attack the bandits you will begin the Dragon (good) campaign; if you kill the peasants you will begin the Serpent (evil) campaign. The campaigns have different missions and you will be able to solve the common missions (the first few) differently depending on your clan. *In the missions in which you have to build a base be careful where you build it. On the maps with rice fields scattered throughout the region there will be more enemy camps (as they are usually situated near rice fields), but they start with a small army compared to yours (you have Kenji and/or other heroes) so it’s a good idea to destroy a base at the beginning of the game and build yours on that spot. This will save you lots of resources because you will now have one less attacker to worry about, since each enemy base attacks with it’s own army. *In the missions in which you have a small army, no peasants and a goal to reach, keep your geishas alive at all costs. Because you have a limited army you will need them to keep your soldiers alive and fighting for you. In some missions, just try to get one of your units to the goal spot as quickly as possible (if the goal is not an enemy base). *Always concentrate your attacks on a certain enemy camp until it’s destroyed. *Keep some soldiers in defense if you are battling more enemies at a time. *Always attack after the enemy attacks. This means that after you repel his attack force, he won’t have too many soldiers in his base, so counter- attack him with ¾ or more of your army. *ALWAYS keep your heroes alive. In some missions you won’t have a Keep to retrain heroes, and sometimes loosing them will mean losing the mission. Only attack with heroes if you are sure you have a superior army. *Don’t let them rebuild their base after they barely killed your last Samurai while sacrificing 10 peasants. If you have some units in your base, send them quickly before he builds up a defense force. Don’t worry, if another enemy attacks you, just do what they do: quickly train a few soldiers and defend your base. While they get killed, your other soldiers can return to the base. *Don’t panic if the enemy attacks you from different directions. Send some units scouting and discover their base. After another attack from that respective direction, go and kill’em all. *Be aggressive. *Try and build your entire base in one spot and try not to have more than one base, if it’s possible. This will mean a lighter defence and a heavyer offense. *This game has a major AI bug: the fog of war doesn’t apply to the computer opponents. This is the only way I can explain ,,coincidences” like the enemy attacking exactly when my army is halfway across the map; always finding my attack force even if it isn’t in their line of sight; always knowing where I built another base and ,,scouting ahead” with ,,a few” warlocks and diseased ones. This is why I told you to build your base in one spot and keep units in defence. You can observe this in skirmishes by assigning you an ally and observing his attack pattern. See how their armies always meet outside both of their bases? Part IV: Multiplayer tips and startegies I think the multiplayer mode is where this game really shines. Even skirmishes with the computer can be more intresting than the campaign (although the campaign’s story is noce) as you can set the rules of the game if a mission pissed you off. You have four multiplayer modes, but basically they all have the same objective: wipe out the enemy’s base. I will first explain them and then proceed to the tips and strategies. Survival: You will start with a few peasants (depends on the map or on the options you made at the start of the game) and maybe a Peasant hut and you will have to destroy the enemy’s base and all of his units. If you destroyed all of his units but he still has his base, all you have to do is kill all of his peasants and Peasant Huts and the victory will be yours (it doesn’t matter what other buildings he had standing- they will all be destroyed along with his last peasant/Peasant Hut). Razing: You just have to destroy all of his peasant huts and he will loose regardless of his building potential. Kill the Keep:Every player starts with a Keep, and loosing it will mean loosing the game. Just make your way to his keep and level it with cannoneers/pitch slingers/warlocks. You should place your buildings so that an attack will suffer a slowdown while reaching your keep. If the other player is REALLY stupid, he will attack those buildings, giving you time to rebuild an army. Famine: A cool mode. You start off with huge amounts of rice and water and with the maximum amount of peasants. You cannot harvest rice, but you can collect water. All you have to do is build an efficient army with the provided resources. Now for the tips and strategies: *When attacking, always do it after an enemy attacks you (and remember which one). After you repel his attack, just take all your units to his base immediatly, so that he won't have time to rebuild an army. This way you can quickly annihilate him. *USE THE HEROES. This will help you a lot in combat, as your heroes are the best fighters and their special abilities can turn the tide of war. *If you have allies, always help them when they are under attack. Loosing an ally will always loose the game. After the enemy attack has been repeled, if your ally is too weak you can still keep some troops around until he gets back on his feet. If you see that an ally is preparing to attack, ake some troops to his base for defense or make them guard his attacking army. This way you have more chances of winning. *Don't spread your troops too much. Keep some in your base and some in attacking the enemy/helping the ally. *Always concentrate on one enemy at a time. Let's say you have a team with ally1 and play against enemy1 and enemy2. If you attack enemy1 and nearly destroy his base, but he kills your cannoneers with some peasants and some luck, don't attack enemy2, because you will just give time to enemy 1 to rebuild his army/base. Tell ally1 to attack him or take your remaining troops from your base and attack again. But be careful: if you want to take all your army to the enemy's base, ask your ally to cover your base for you. *Use the buildings' rally point efficiently: if you want a certain type of unit to be created automatically, let's say a ronin, take these steps: 1. Select the peasant hut and double right-click the tavern. This will automatically send the new made peasants to train as swordsmen. 2. Select the tavern and double right-click the sharpsooter guild. This will automatically train swordsmen as bandits. 3. Select the sharpsooter guild and double right-click the alchemist hut. This will automatically train the new bandits as ronin. Using this tehnique you won't have to worry about your attack and defense at the same time. While you are busy destroying the enemy, if you get a ,,you are under attack" signal, just go to your base, select your ronin and attack the intruders. *Use selections. In the heat of battle, you won't be able to select your ronin and give them a new target while also selecting the cannoneers and ordering them to attack the buildings. So, before attacking, double click a ronin to selsect all the ronins in the screen and then hold ctrl and press a number (let's say 1). Now the selection ,,1" has been attribuited to all your attacking ronin. Do this with the other units and prefferably put the melee to 1 and ranged to 2, while assigning the healing units/heroes to 3. This way it will be a lot easier to use different battle gear (just press 1 to select your ronin and then b to activate Yin sword) or attack different targets. *USE GEISHA. They can save your butt sometimes. Keep them out of trouble and with high stamina. *Don't attack with only one unit type. Use both ranged and melee units. AND heroes. *Only use level-to-level or level-to-lower-level attacks as I said in the unit guide. *Don't bother using level1 units, except the specialised ones (like the archer, musketeer or blade accolyte) *If you have a unit on low health, either back it up with other units or, prefferably, heal it. Don't think that loosing a unit won't bother you, as only one unit can make a real difference in this game. *Defend all the entrances to your base with towers and, in case of an attack, use the towers' special ability. Now for the strategies: This game can be played with a single strategy: build as many forces as possible and then attack with all of them. But if the enemy attacks your base while you are away, he can seriously damage your production. And if your attack doesn't succed, you are as good as dead. So you should use different strategies or variatins on this strategies. For one, you can attack with some ronin to draw his attention and then attack with your heroes and ranged units from another direction, killing his peasants and damaging/destroying his buildings. Usually this will make the other player think again about placing all his towers in one spot. Then you can attack with all your army from one direction, because he will most likely have his troops scattered throughout the base now. The defensive strategy: keep all your troops in the base and repel all his attacks. And when you repel a big one, attack with all your units. Usually he won't have any units in the base that could whitstand the attack. The downside is that you will gain Yin/Yang very slowly this way and you won't be able to summon too many heroes or use many upgrades. The offensive strategy: Just harass him. Send in 10 or so troops to attack his base and always attack from a different directin. This will bring you Yin/Yang points to spend on upgrades or heroes until you are ready for some serious attackin'. The rabbit strategy: Just hop from a rice field to another (this only works on bigger maps after you destroyed some enemies). This will drain some resources because you will have to build training buildings in every base, but it will make the enemy send troops in recon, which will weaken his defenses. And when he believes he just destroyed your base without too much trouble, all your army will ,,teleport" in his base (of course he destroyed one of your decoy bases).NOTE: this doesn't work with the computer, as I explained a big bug above. For the ending This is my first walkthrough, so please be gentle. And please excuse my poor english. Thanx go to Liquid Entertainment for this great game and to my computer for not hanging up so frequently.