Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat

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FAQ

Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat
Informal FAQ 1.1a by Bill Tindall
bkt@wwa.com
September 11, 1996

Contents
--------
I. Introduction
II. Strategy tips
III. Notes about managing your troops
IV. Mission help (under construction)
V. Wish list
VI. Magic Items list (borrowed from Stephen Di Ciano)

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Introduction:

Question:  What is Warhammer SOTHR?

Warhammer SOTHR is a real-time fantasy battlefield strategy game which
is very challenging.  While there are a few shortcomings to the
interface, on the whole the game is rewarding and definitely worth
playing for anyone who enjoys this type of experience.


Question:  How do I win at SOTHR?

Since I haven't seen any kind of FAQ or strategy guide for this game
(and I certainly could have used one when I started the game), I
thought I'd throw something together which may offer some help.  I
have no intention of being comprehensive, just helpful (hopefully).
Of course, what I'm suggesting here works for me, but you may have
your own strategies which may work just as well or better.  The game
is quite winnable once you learn how to strategize and perform the
necessary tactical maneuvers as the battle progresses.  It is a
difficult game to learn how to win, but of course that's what you have
the save and restore game options for ;).  Once you've mastered it
using the principles described below (and practiced a bit with the
somewhat awkward interface), you may decide the game is too easy.  If
anyone wants to contribute more information to this FAQ, please email
me and I'll include it (bkt@wwa.com).

Actually, it took me a long time to learn the principles I'm sharing
here, and a lot of frustration.  It's only because I enjoy this game
so much that I took the time to learn this stuff.  I even cheated by
using my hex-editor the first time through just so that I wouldn't get
completely discouraged.  But by the time I got to the end I found I'd
learned the game well enough to win without cheating, so that's
exactly what I did the second time through.  Hopefully, with the help
of this guide you'll be able to tackle the game without the initial
frustrations that I suffered.  I'm assuming you learned the mechanics
of the game from the manual, so I won't rehash information that you
already have.


Question:  What are the most important principles of the game that the
manual doesn't tell you about?

Answer:  It's all detailed below, but the two most important
principles the book doesn't tell you about are:

1. Gather all the available magic items.
2. Fight your battles defensively.

Personally, I'd love to see a lot of people start enjoying this game,
so maybe there will be a sequel!  It really is a wonderful game, even
with a few flaws.

Good luck, and may the Winds of Magic always blow your way!
Bill Tindall
------------------------------------------- 

Strategy Tips:
------------------------------------------- 
1.	Embark on the campaigns in this order:  

-First, the human missions around Wissenheim.  They allow you to
acquire some much needed troops and gain much needed experience
points.  I recommend you perform all of these missions, though you can
skip them if you want to as soon as you meet the dwarves and Ceridan.
Or wait until you get the mortars and then skip the rest.  But don't
get discouraged!  Some of the hardest missions of the game are in this
section.
-Second, the Dwarf defense of Zhufbar.  You are going to need dwarf
help to pass through the mountains and complete the Elf missions
later.
-Third, the Elf missions in Loren.  You need to perform these before
you can get to the final battle.

Along the way, don't let anyone bully you into hurrying.  You have
plenty of time to take on extra missions.  Remember, YOU are the
Commander.  Take on anything that's profitable.


2.	Avoid going on the offensive whenever possible.

As in real battlefield warfare, it's easier to defend than attack.  In
fact, this is doubly true in SOTHR.  There are only a few missions
where you have to take an offensive approach, and these should be
handled very carefully, one step at a time.  Except in such cases, and
in the very earliest missions when the forces at your disposal are
limited, the most important rule for every battle is to line up your
forces in defensible and reinforceable positions, bringing maximum
fire power to bear on the approaching enemy.  

Keep these principles in mind:

-Arranging your defensive line prior to the battle (or at the start of
the battle, if you're under ambush) is usually the key to winning.
About the only time when this is not true is when you're required to
protect someone or something, but even then you must have a good
strategy for coordinated attack.
-Place your reserves in a position to reinforce the most likely points
of attack.
-Place your wizard(s) in position to get a clear shot at the enemy.
If any of your troops get in the way of your wizard's attacks, you can
kiss them goodbye.
-I like putting the Wizards on the right and left flanks of my
defensive line.  From there they get a good shot at the approaching
enemy troops while they're less likely to become targets themselves.
If an enemy regiment approaches him, make the wizard move back and
move a fighting unit to protect him.  Although you can have three
wizards later in the game, you'll never want to use more than two (if
that) in a single battle.  There just aren't enough magic points
available.
-Place missile units at or slightly behind your line of defense so
that they can maintain continual fire on the approaching enemy. Later
in the game, the Imperial Cannon and the Wood Elf Archers are
especially good at tearing the enemy apart as they advance.  Some
units need a clear line of fire and some don't, so arrange them
accordingly.
-The heart of your defensive line should be infantry.  These units are
cheap (generally) and thus more expendable.  Let them take the hits
from enemy missile units if necessary and the brunt of the enemy's
charges.  Once the infantry is engaged in hand-to-hand combat, it's
time to send in your reserves to crush the unfortunate attackers.
There are other reasons why this strategy works best.  Infantry,
especially dwarves, are slower to move and respond to orders than any
other units, so they perform much better when all they have to do is
hold a position.  Also, if they go into retreat, they are less likely
to completely run off the battlefield before they rally, since they're
moving slowly.  Then you can bring them back into the fight.
-Use your cavalry and other quick moving units (such as Ceridan) as
reserves.  Place them in position to reinforce the expected point of
attack.  When the infantry starts hand-to-hand, cavalry can enter the
fight quickly, attack the enemy's flank, and turn the tide of battle.
Alternatively, cavalry or other fast moving units can be used as
decoys to draw the enemy off from key points on the battlefield, or to
draw the enemy into an arranged fight with your infantry.
(I've found the book's suggestion on page 100 that you "Use your
cavalry regiments to hold back the enemy while your slower infantry
regiments come into play" to be a recipe for disaster.  Nine times out
of ten the fight will already be decided by the time you can get that
slow infantry involved, if ever.  Instead, let the enemy come to you.
Also, it's all well and good to hide units somewhere on the
battlefield and then bring them out in surprise, as the book suggests,
but remember that once they are revealed they can come under enemy
missile attack.  Your cavalry is safer if you place in on your own
flanks or behind your lines so it will be ready when you need it and
can attack without suffering hits.)
-Use the Amber Wizard to slow down the enemy (with the Curse of
Anraheir or the Tangling Thorn).  While he slows or holds them, your
missile units can pulverize them.
-Turn off the AI for your defensive units, so they don't engage too
soon.  Once a formation is broken it's difficult to put back together
in the heat of battle.  After they're engaged you can usually turn the
AI back on.  Remember that the enemy's charges, although they sound
terrifying, have no special effect if your defenders are facing the
charge (except with monsters such as Rat Ogres).
-Don't attack or defend uphill when you can help it.  Your units will
have a disadvantage fighting, and your missile units will have a hard
time hitting the enemy (they may just fire into the side of the
hill!).


3.	Focus your efforts on doing as much damage as possible prior
to engaging in hand-to-hand combat. 

One of the best ways to lose your troops is to engage them in close
fighting.  While this is inevitable much of the time, you want to
avoid it as long as possible so that your missile units can do maximum
damage first.  If you nail the enemy vanguard units with the Curse of
Anraheir, for example, the units behind them must also slow down or go
around.  Blast them all with missile fire.  The mortars are
particularly useful in this type of situation since they're not very
accurate.  But if the enemy is bunched up they're easier to score hits
on.  Try to force the enemy to bunch up and pass through a narrow
portion of the battlefield so you can direct all of your missile and
magic fire on that sector, creating an effective "killing zone", and
sending the enemy units into confusion.


4.	You can't micromanage everything on the battlefield, so once
you get things setup, spend most of your time with your most important
units.

The most important unit of the game is the Amber Wizard, thanks to the
value of his spells and the fact that he is with you from early on and
long enough to build up maximum experience points.  And, he's cheap!
Make sure he is not killed in any battle, because he is impossible to
replace until after Zhufbar.  If you lose him, you may want to quit
and restore the previous battle.  He can do more damage than anyone
else, especially if he has the Flock of Doom spell, so make sure you
pick out his targets and use the most appropriate spells.  Even more
important, he is also indispensable at taking on the enemy Shamans,
Seers, Trolls, Ogres, and Giants with the Hunting Spear spell.  You
can keep him out of the way of nasty enemy charges with the Flying
Bower spell, if you get it.  The only problem with the Flying Bower is
that just when you need it you may find there are no magic power
points available-OOPS!

After your wizards, keep close tabs on your missile units.  They have
a tendency to target a regiment, and then stop firing when that
regiment comes into hand-to-hand combat, thus doing nothing for
precious minutes.  When that happens, you need to redirect their
target to something they can shoot at clearly.  Also, make sure their
missiles are hitting their targets.  They may just be shooting into
the side of a hill ineffectually and you'd better do something about
it.

The Dwarf Gyrocopters are worthless without constant personal
attention, and you can really only use one at a time.  Keep the others
back out of harm's way until you need them.

Also, pay attention to your strategic map to determine what areas of
the battle you need to intervene in.  When an enemy charge approaches
your defensive line, you need to intervene to concentrate your forces
appropriately.  Protect your missile units, and hold back your
reserves until the enemy is committed.  Then send in the reserves
quickly, preferably upon the enemy's flank or rear, to turn the tide
of battle.


5.	The Enemy troops are different and each type of unit requires
a different strategy for destroying it.  

Goblins, for example, are fast but tend to gather in large groups.
Best to attack them with mortar fire and especially arrows since they
go down easily, or at least the smaller Goblins do.  If they're riding
on wolves then zap them with the Curse of Anraheir.  They almost
always break and run.  The same with Orcs on boars.

The Orc Big'uns are particularly nasty in close fighting, so avoid
hand-to-hand with them.  They are good candidates for the Tangling
Thorn if you have it, but be especially careful not to let any units
engage them while they are tangled.  Since they can't retreat under
such circumstances, they'll fight to the last Big'un, taking as many
of your guys with them as possible.  Instead, hit them with missiles
and spells.  In any case, try not to let a regiment of Big'uns get
close to any of your forces unless under ideal conditions (i.e., you
charge them from the rear and/or you've already decimated them with
missile fire).

Monsters will strike fear in any regiment, so don't send any regiments
against them.  Instead, let your Amber Wizard take them out with
Hunting Spears.

The same goes for enemy wizards of various types, seers and shamans.
Infantry and cavalry will probably not fare well against them.  Kill
them as soon as possible with Hunting Spears.  The only missile unit
which I've found to be at all effective against them are the Wood Elf
Archers.  Even direct hits by artillery don't seem to kill them.  Grey
Seers are especially dangerous when they use the Madness spell, which
can turn your own forces against you.  Make killing them your number
one priority going into the battle.

Skaven are somewhat of a mixed bag.  The Skaven Slaves are sent at you
basically to wear you out.  Knowing that, you want to avoid letting
them do it.  Use mortars and arrows on them when possible.  If you
have to fight hand-to-hand, try to rout them quickly in preparation
for the units that follow.  Don't let your units waste time tracking
them down when they're fleeing, if you can help it.

Stormvermin, on the other hand, are very nasty to get entangled with.
So avoid getting entangled whenever possible.  Don't even send in a
unit to finish off a battered Stormvermin regiment that has Warpfire
Throwers, unless you want to lose your unit.  Such Stormvermin are
really missile firing units with Warpfire that tends to blow up when
they are defeated, killing any of your guys that are close.  The best
weapon against Stormvermin with Warpfire is the Dwarf Gyrocopter which
can sneak in behind them and blast them with steam continuously until
the Stormvermin blow themselves up.  Once you attack a Stormvermin
regiment with Gyrocopter steam, keep after it relentlessly even after
it starts to flee, until it blows up in green flame.  Your Gyrocopter
should be safe from the explosion since it's elevated.  If you don't
have a Gyrocopter, send your wizards after the Stormvermin, but only
after you've first dealt with enemy wizards, the greater threat.  In
general, arrows are not very effective against the tough-skinned
Stormvermin, so expect a difficult time if you have to go after them
with bowmen.

Enemy artillery units, such as Doom Divers and Rock Lobbers, should be
dealt with last, after you've defeated all other enemy units.  In
other words, stay out of range of enemy artillery as much as possible
in the first part of the battle.  All the rest of the regiments coming
at you are enough to keep you busy.  You've got to get those enemy
wizards and roving missile units taken care of first.  Then when
you've defeated the onslaught in detail, and only then, send
appropriate units to kill the artillery.  The Dwarf Gyrocopter is
great at this since they won't able to hit it as it swoops in to
pulverize them with steam.  If you don't have one of those, send in
your fastest units to charge the enemy.  Spread out your forces and
send them all in at once to rush the enemy and engage in hand-to-hand
combat as soon as possible.  You can even pick an expendable unit to
send first (all enemy artillery will target it) and after they open
fire, slip in some other units to finish the job.

Dragons:  don't even think about trying to fight one.  You can use the
Curse of Anraheir on one, however, to slow down the Dragon's attacks.


6.	The dwarves are your best friends and won't steer you wrong.  

Best of all, they pay well, so they are naturally good allies for
mercenary armies to have.  You can't ignore the Elves in order to
finish the game, but the dwarves will help you with that as well.


7.	Base the amount of resources you devote to a mission on how
much you are getting paid for it, under the following conditions.

Always save the game before starting a mission.  On some missions you
won't need to fight any battles, so you'll want to save money by not
assigning any more regiments to fight than you have to.  Do a restore
and try it again.

Early in the game when you are fighting around Wissenheim, you will
need practically all the troops you can muster for every fight, with a
couple of exceptions.  After you get the mortars you won't need them
for every battle, nor every other unit all the time afterwards.  Use
the wizard effectively, and you'll be OK.  Let the offer of payment be
your guide.  If you are offered 800 crowns to do a job, make sure your
expenses come in less than, but not too much less than 800 crowns.
The money you are offered around Wissenheim is fair and should enable
you to make at least a small profit with nearly every mission.  More
important are the experience points you earn by completing these
missions and the troops you hire along the way.

When fighting for the Dwarves, remember that they always pay more than
what you need to make a profit.  Expect to make a great deal of money
on the defense of Zhufbar, and you won't need to use all your troops
on the missions.  The exception is the one time they pay you for each
man you're able to field.  Send everybody on that one and make a real
financial killing!

When fighting for the Elves, remember that they always pay less than
what you need to make a profit.  This is not so much because the Elves
are cheap but because you've amassed a large army (hopefully) by this
time that you have to support with retainers.  In fact, it's when
fighting for the dwarves that you make more than enough money to cover
your costs in fighting for the Elves.  When you get a mission from the
Elves in which they offer 500 gold crowns, expect to spend 600 or 700
crowns just to get the job done.  Even so, all of the Elf missions are
worthwhile and most of them are required.  Don't worry though.  If you
performed well for the dwarves you should have been able to amass over
10,000 crowns after you arrive in Loren and get paid there, more than
enough to complete the game successfully.

Remember that you can't assign more than 13 regiments to any one
mission, so don't get too concerned if you lose one or two regiments.
Actually, it may serve you well to have lost a couple in the game so
you don't have to keep paying them a retainer (or you can always fire
them).  The Grudgebringer Cavalry is required and the Amber Wizard is
practically essential until you can acquire other wizards later in the
game.  Most of the other units are not essential (though I'd hate to
go into the final battle without at least two canon and the Elf
Archers, and either good cavalry or a Gyrocopter).


8.	One of the best refinements in this game is the way the
missiles are fired on the battlefield.  The missiles behave as they
would on a real battlefield.  They go up in the air and go down in an
arc or else they hit something on the way, realistically.  Each type
of unit fires differently.  Plan appropriately.

With this in mind, prepare your missile attacks.  It does no good, for
example, to hide a canon behind a cliff, because all it will do is
fire into the cliff.  Instead, hide the mortar behind the cliff
because it fires up into the air and over the cliff.  

Archers also shoot into the air, especially longbows.  Your longbows
may be able to fire over an obstacle that your crossbows would fire
directly into.

So mount your straight-firing canon on the tops of hills.  Put your
mortars behind the hill so they can fire over it from protection.
Crossbows should go with the canon, and longbows with the mortars.
Elf Archers are effective from just about anywhere, unless the target
really is shielded from them completely.  But of course, you have to
watch the Elves closely since they like to advance on their target,
exposing themselves to counter attack. (Stupid Elves!  They really
need a baby-sitter!)  

Wizards are really the most stupid of all the missile units, however.
You have to give them plenty of room to work and don't let any
friendly units get in front of them.  If you place an infantry unit in
front of your Amber Wizard, for example, and let him attack an enemy
regiment continuously with Hunting Spears, he'll happily launch spear
after spear into your infantry until they've been wiped out and he can
proceed to wipe out the next unit that gets in his way.  The other
wizards are no better.  That's one of the big reasons why you have to
manage wizards carefully.  Also, the idiots are going to keep firing
their least effective spells at approaching enemy regiments, unless
you manage them closely and make them use an appropriate spell.  For
example, the Amber Wizard should use the Hunting Spear against single
person regiments like wizards and trolls, while the Flock of Doom is
much more effective against masses of infantry like Goblin Stickers
and Skaven Slaves.  


9.	Make sure you don't miss the magic items in the game; they are
very important.  There is a complete list below, if you don't want to
search every single battlefield.  Even if you don't make money, a
mission can be worthwhile if you acquire a magic item.  Make sure your
most important units acquire the items and can use them appropriately.
For example, it does little good to give the Dread Banner to a Wizard,
because wizards never charge at anyone.


10.	Often you can't control whether your units chase after a
routed enemy regiment to finish it off, but sometimes you should try
to stop them and sometimes you shouldn't.  

Don't chase after Warpfire-toting Stormvermin, which blow up, or
Plague Monks, which keep firing filth even when running away.  Your
pursuers will pay a heavy price.

When your units are needed elsewhere, naturally you'll want to rally
them as soon as possible to send them where they're needed.

Otherwise, when you've got an enemy regiment on the run, that's the
best time to finish them off.  Rarely will they score any hits on your
forces while they're running away and they're easy targets.  Killing
them increases the experience levels of your units and prevents the
enemy from rallying later and coming back at an inopportune time.  I
hate it when an enemy unit flees and then suddenly finds it in itself
to rally just when it's passing by my vulnerable missile units!

When enemy units are fleeing across the battlefield, even after you've
won the battle, track them down and finish them off.  You get the
extra experience points which allow your forces to improve their
skills.  Missile units will target fleeing regiments if you order it.
Otherwise, direct a fast unit to move across the path of a fleeing
enemy and run them down.

Dwarves are so slow they won't catch any enemy units that are fleeing,
so always try to rally the dwarves ASAP and put an end to their futile
pursuit.


11.	Be sure to space your artillery units far enough apart so that
they don't blow up!  This includes mortars, canons, and hellblasters.
You should be able to easily fit about two good sized infantry units
in between each artillery unit, or else the artillery units stand a
good chance of blowing themselves up when the battle commences.

At the same time, if you space your artillery units too far apart they
are harder to defend and one of them will invariably be out of
position to fire at the most crucial moments.  So space them and place
them carefully.


12.	Pay close attention to terrain so you can use it to your
advantage.  Spy out the land before the battle starts, if possible.

I once used the Celestial Wizard's Wind Blast spell to hold off an
entire army for 10 minutes and as the enemy units went the long way
around they were easily picked off one by one by my missile units.
Two Orc Archer units remained and it looked like it would be an easy
and glorious victory, but the archers wouldn't die no matter how many
arrows and cannon shot I threw at them, after the Wind Blast was
removed.  Only after I took a number of casualties, including my
Celestial Wizard killed by those archers, did I look closely at the
terrain and discover that the enemy archers were standing in a low
place behind a hill.  My missile units kept hitting the front of the
hill without doing much damage, while the enemy archers were firing
freely from behind their protection.  I ended up sending a unit of
cavalry to trounce them.  But if only I'd looked at the terrain I
could have placed some of my own archers down along the enemy archers'
flank where they could have had a clear shot.  Or I could have nailed
them with appropriate magic spells which are not limited by terrain.
Instead I lost a wizard and some other valuable men.

Of course, if the enemy can do something like this, why not do the
same to him back?  Hide your units so they can't be hit by missile
fire until they are needed.  Let your mortars fire from completely out
of site so they remain safe.  If your wizard casts his spells while
hidden behind trees, no one will ever touch him.  This game is very
good at making realistic use of the terrain and it should be easy for
you to take advantage of this better than the computer opponent does.


13.	Read the books in Dietrich's wagon.  Only there can you get
current information about races, spells, magic items, and the
abilities of your own troops.  You especially need to know how to use
the magic items if you want to be effective.  Read about every new
item you get.


14.	Hire everybody you can (unless you're really short of money).

The best units are the ones you don't have to pay.  I usually assign
those to nearly every mission, unless their numbers are decimated and
you need to give their wounded time to recover.

I have completed the game twice while hiring every possible unit I
could.  You may be running a bit short of money at the time you reach
Nuln for the first time, however.  In that case, you don't need to
hire everyone there.  Some of the units are expensive.  If you've got
enough healthy infantry, you can skip the Greatswords or the
Halberders.  They are both good but expensive units.  Make sure you do
hire the artillery units, however.

Remember that if you've lost a lot of troops, the good part is that
you don't have to keep paying them.  The only unit you can't lose is
the Grudgebringer Cavalry, of course.  Everybody else can be replaced.


Notes about managing your troops
------------------------------------------ 

Just as there are different types of enemies you have to know how to
deal with, the forces you command are equally diverse.  Success often
depends on whether you use your forces wisely, so here are some tips
on how to do so.

1.	Wizards

These are the most important units of the game, so manage them
carefully all the time.  You really only need one wizard on the
battlefield at any given moment, and more than one in action means
thinly spread availability of magic power points.  I won't repeat all
that I said above about wizards, but here are a few other things to
remember.

Make sure you save your magic points for the most crucial spells.  If
you tell your Amber Wizard to continuously attack a regiment, he will
use the Curse of Anraheir and Hunting Spears.  But the Hunting Spears'
effectiveness against masses of infantry is not always satisfactory.
Let him use the Flock of Doom in such situations if you have it.  And
don't ignore the Tangling Thorn which can stop a powerful unit.  The
enemy's front unit, if halted, will block the ones behind it from
proceeding.  And don't let the Celestial Wizard waste all of his power
points on ineffectual lightning.  The Storm of Shemrek can turn the
tide of battle, while the Wind Blast can halt an advancing army, and
I've seen it happen.

Make sure an enemy is in range before trying to cast a spell on him.
Otherwise, you've wasted the magic power points.  You'll have to learn
from experience what the wizard's maximum distance for spell casting
is.  Only if you tell him to continuously attack a regiment will he
actually move himself into position (but then at least you'll know
when he's in range!).

Most important of all about wizards, make sure your other units
already have their marching orders from the start so you can spend as
much of your time as possible managing the wizard closely.  Work with
him carefully and he can win many of your battles for you almost
single-handedly. 

2.	Cavalry

For some reason, although the book says that cavalry will have a
movement rate of 8, in actuality it's only 4.  But the cavalry are
faster than the infantry anyway over most terrain.  Hopefully there
will be a bug fix for this.

I find it much easier to maneuver cavalry around the battlefield than
infantry.  They respond more quickly and seem faster at moving into
position.  Use them to charge the enemy's flanks. Some cavalry units
will give you a bonus when charging.

Use the magic power of the Grudgebringer sword to send fireballs prior
to hand-to-hand.

3.	Infantry

The heart of your army.  Use them to setup a defensive line as
described above.  There are several excellent infantry units available
in the game, both human and dwarf.  The Grudgebringer infantry only
becomes really good if you build up enough experience points for them
(which is hard to do-it's cheaper to field dwarf infantry instead).
Dwarf infantry is good but really slow moving.

Larger formations of infantry are especially difficult to manage on
the battlefield.  They don't maneuver very well, and you can spend
half the battle just trying to get them into position.  So don't waste
time with that.  Let the enemy come to you while you pulverize them
with missile units, then meet them with your infantry.  Let the
infantry hold them while your cavalry rushes in to finish them off.
Piece of cake, right?

4.	Archers (Crossbows, Longbows, Archers)

It's a good idea to watch the flights of arrows to make sure they are
hitting their targets.

Crossbows have a good strength skill, so they should be able to bring
down some of the tougher enemy troops.  I had a hard time trying to
get the Mercenary Crossbows (available early in the game) to advance
in experience, but it's worth it if you can do it.  They can hit the
enemy without getting hit back, which is what bowmen do best.  The key
is to make sure they are well within range when they fire.  Otherwise
their arrows will fall short and do no damage.

The Longbows are more effective in some ways, mostly, I think, because
they fire higher into the air and over obstacles.  However, their bows
are less effective strength-wise.  

It's not until you get the Wood Elf Archers that you find out what
archers can really do.  As long as they don't have an obstacle in
their way, they can tear enemy formations apart with their accurate,
rapid fire.  

Set your archers in position to bring maximum fire power on the enemy
while not exposing themselves to the same thing. From on top of a hill
their effectiveness is increased while the enemy's is significantly
diminished.  If they are just behind a hill, they are extremely
difficult for the enemy to hit but their own effectiveness is not much
diminished.  

Archers are best used against infantry regiments which have limited
armor and move relatively slowly.

5.	Artillery

This includes mortars, canons, and the Hell Blaster.

You can't get enough of these.  Mortars are inaccurate but great at
eliminating large formations of advancing infantry.  Try to get the
enemy infantry to bunch up in one place and the mortars will be three
times as effective.

The two canon pieces you can get in the game are excellent, especially
the Imperial Great Canon Crew.  They love to chew up advancing
infantry with deadly accuracy.  The Hell Blaster is not as good, but
still useful when the final battle rolls around.

Remember to space your artillery weapons out as described above to
avoid having them blow up.  There is still a chance they will blow up
anyway, though.  As long as the unit is still in existence, it will be
repaired.  So if the weapon is destroyed, get the surviving members
out of harm's way to save them for the next battle.

Protect your artillery from enemy attack as well as you can, but put
the artillery in strategic positions from which to fire.  Canons fire
in a relatively straight line, mortars fire up into the air.

6.	Ceridan

Don't be afraid to use him whenever you can.  Ceridan seems to be
about the only indestructible unit in the game (dragons excepted).  He
may get defeated on the field, but the worst that happens to him is
that he's only wounded (he's too crucial to the plot to let die).  If
you let him take the Dread Banner, he can run around panicking enemy
regiments.  However, Ceridan will often be unavailable to you until
the latter part of the game, so don't give him too many magic items,
at least not until you get to Loren.

7.	Dwarf Gyrocopters

These can be very useful against relatively immobile and/or missile
firing enemy troops.  The key to the Gyrocopters is to send them
against regiments that won't charge them and lock them into
hand-to-hand combat.  They are best used against enemy missile units
of all types, especially artillery and Stormvermin with Warpfire.    

The catch is that you have to manage them all the time.  Using their
steam gun effectively means a lot of clicking the mouse.  If any enemy
manages to engage a Gyrocopter in hand-to-hand combat, order the
Gyrocopter to retreat immediately (no enemy regiment can catch it).
Keep the Gyrocopters completely out of harm's way when you are not
using them.

Use a Gyrocopter at those times when the action is less intense, and
you have extra time to manage them.  When things heat up elsewhere on
the battlefield, send the Gyrocopter to some safe corner of the map
out of harm's way until you have time to use it.

Mission help (under construction)
------------------------------------------- 
Here are a few words of advice regarding many of the specific missions
from the earlier part of the game.  Of course, you don't need to
perform all these missions to complete the game (but where's the
fun?).  The more missions you attempt, the easier it will be to win
the game later.

1. 	Protect Schnappleburg

Do what the book tells you, it's straightforward, except don't forget
to retrieve your first magic item before finishing the mission (see
below).

2. 	Escort to Holst

First ambush is easy.   Second ambush, engage as quickly as possible,
make sure crossbowmen fire at clear targets, not hitting your troops
accidentally.  Biggest challenge is fending off enemy on your right
flank in time to engage units coming from the north.  

3.	Sven Carlsson

Your first real chance to implement the strategy principles outlined
above.  Don't bother to try to save Hiln (you can't).  Might as well
attack Hiln's guard first, then line up in a defensive position to
face the Clanrat warriors.  Don't forget magic item.

4.	Patrol	

Setup defensive line as battle commences.  Good time to practice
maneuvers.  Apparently, if you let some from the first battle escape
you get to fight a second one with the possibility of making more
money.  I'm not sure what the exact conditions are for fighting the
second battle, though.

5.	Rescue Ilmarin

Don't get too caught up in rescuing the dwarves, you don't have to.
Probably the best thing you can do for them is use your own units
effectively.  You now have 2 missile units including Allor.  Place
your crossbows as far to the northeast as possible to give them a
clear shot at enemy regiments.  Use Allor's Hunting Spear spell to
take out the Rat Ogre.  If you decide to attack rather than just
defend, don't do it piecemeal.  Coordinate your Infantry and Cavalry.

I suggest that you give the Shield of Ptolos to Allor-it offers
protection against missile fire.

6.	Orc Pursuit

Most difficult mission yet, but should not be hard for you if you
follow the above tactics.  Be sure to concentrate your forces when you
engage.

7.	Revenge

You will not be ambushed so take Grudgebringer Cavalry only, to save
money.  A decision for revenge means working for Carlsson for a while.
You can skip this and go straight to Zhufbar, but you won't be nearly
as well prepared for Zhufbar.  You don't have enough of an army yet to
go straight to Loren, so if you're reckless enough to try it you're on
your own.  I've heard that some players have gone directly to Loren
successfully, but if you do that you miss half the game!

8. 	Vanberg

Carlsson Guard troops are not especially good but they can fortify
your defensive line.  You lose them before going to Zhufbar, so don't
work on building up their experience points.  Put the Guards in harm's
way but send in your regulars to do the killing.  Or to put it another
way, lead them to water but don't let them drink.

9.	Against the grain

This one is tougher thanks to the fact that you have to go on offense.
Still, you should be able to draw the enemy to you, one or two
regiments at a time.  The rest should be easy.

The good part is that enemy units will be attacking buildings and
therefore not be available all at once to turn on you when your units
surprise them.  I suggest taking the southern route and falling on the
enemy rear, then advancing in an orderly fashion (as always) until
you've methodically wiped out every unit.  Don't worry if a couple of
buildings are lost:  your pay is only diminished slightly.  It's more
important to keep your regiments in tact.  Also, you might have to
take a slight financial loss on this one.
	
10.	Bridge over River Weiss

I'm unsure what effect actually stopping them from crossing the bridge
has on the outcome of the game.  I would say it's best to let some
enemy units get away rather than lose some of your own troops
unnecessarily.  If you insist on trying to stop them all, the Curse of
Anraheir can slow down the lead unit enough to catch it with your
cavalry.  

In any case, use the mortars to target large infantry regiments and
the wizard to slow down or stop units.  The greatest threats to your
own troops are the rear units in the enemy column.  Send cavalry and
infantry against them and let your missile units and wizard try to
pick off as many from the front of the column as possible.

11.	Slave Train

This mission is worthwhile because of the magic item.  Also, you will
get some payment if you do it and every participating unit will get 2x
experience points.

Mortars are worthless in this mission (they'd just hit the slaves).
You shouldn't need too many troops to complete it successfully.  

Special hint:  if you use the Tangling Thorn spell on the Goblin
Stickers they will just disappear-use the spell on all three groups:
then you only have to fight the wolf units.  But the wizard doesn't
get any experience points for it.

12. Shattered Pass

Final battle around Wissenheim:  let the killing begin!  You probably
need every unit for this except for infantry.  The Carlsson units
should be enough (if your Carlsson units are still in reasonably good
shape).

Setup your defensive line in the narrow pass to the southeast and you
should have ample opportunity to shell the attackers with mortar fire.
Might at well place everyone at the bottom of the hill since otherwise
you'll be fighting on the hill at a disadvantage.  Let Hunting Spears
take out the troll.  The rest is easy.  Rush the three units that stay
in the northwest after all the others are killed.  Don't forget the
magic item before you move on.

13.	March to Zhufbar

No battles on the first leg.  Assign cavalry only.

Go to Zhufbar to get the most out of the game, though of course you
can go straight to Loren, which is a significantly more difficult but
faster route.

14.	March to Zhufbar

Second leg of journey will prove more challenging.  Mortars will be
useless so leave them behind.  When ambushed, form into defensive line
out of range of enemy artillery.  Fight off the onslaught (kill the
enemy wizard with Hunting Spears) and then charge the Rock Lobber when
it's safe.  What?  Still too hard?  Well I can't do everything for ya.
Restore and try it again.

All right, try this:  Send your cavalry way out in front while you
organize your defensive line so that all enemy regiments target it and
chase it.  Then call the cavalry back around behind your line (before
they can be engaged, of course).  The Orc regiments will keep going
after your cavalry, so your defenders need only lie in wait.  Setup
your units lying in wait to attack the enemy flanks when the time
comes.  That leaves only the enemy wizard to defeat (easier said than
done, I know).  Hopefully your wizard can finish him off before he
gets too close.

From this point you're on your own.  

Good Luck!
------------------------------------------- 
Wish list
------------------------------------------- 

I've become fond of SOTHR, but there are some problems and room for
improvement.  Here are a few thoughts.

The interface still definitely needs some tweaking.  It's a problem
when you click a button only to find that the button changed its
function suddenly, basically giving the opposite order of the one you
wanted to give.  When you try to click on Attack, there is a chance
the button will suddenly change to Retreat and your forces will become
easy prey for the enemy.

Another problem is that units are difficult to select.  I would like
to see some kind of window that opens up and lets you select a
specific unit.  If several units are close together it's very
difficult to get the one you want by clicking on the map, and when you
thought you selected one, you actually got another.  Also, when you
give marching orders, you may have thought you were done giving the
order and so you click on another unit, not realizing that by clicking
on the other unit you countermanded the order you just gave.  That
makes the interface very hard to get used to, especially for a
beginner.

The learning curve in the game is very steep.  You win the first few
battles without much difficulty, but then suddenly you are thrown into
some very difficult ones and after repeated failures, you want to just
give up and return the game to the store from which it came.  That's
too bad, because the game really is worth learning.  There's a whole
lot of substance in it.

The manual could be better for finding information in.  How hard could
it be to just put an index in the back of it?  Most word processors
will do that for you automatically.  Well, I know that problem isn't
going to get fixed-nobody ever changes the manual.  But I'd like to
see it done right for the next game.  Otherwise the manual is pretty
good, except for the hints on strategy which are not only not helpful
but can actually make the game much more difficult if you try to
follow them.

I like the way formations are handled in the game-nothing complicated,
but it's flexible enough to give you some control.  But I wouldn't
mind seeing some more advanced options for giving troops orders.  For
example, I'd like to see the ability to give a unit an order to defend
a certain area on the map and attack anything that enters it.  Better
yet, I would like to be able to order one unit to guard another unit.
Of course, this may be a problem like when I want a regiment to guard
a wizard and they get in the way of his spells.  Perhaps if they took
up position behind him until needed…

The AI for the wizards is too limited.  He will keep casting the same
spell over and over, even though he could use other, more effectual
ones.  At least I would like to be able to order him to continuously
attack using a PARTICULAR spell of my choosing, if nothing else.
Also, the wizard should realize when there are friendly units in the
path of his spell and refrain from casting it, as the archers are able
to refrain when the enemy is locked in hand-to-hand combat with
friendly troops.

I hate having to switch my display to 256 colors to run the game
(though I wouldn't mind if my video card could do it on the fly).
Also, the game keeps setting my MIDI music to maximum (very annoying).

MOST OF ALL, I would like to see a scenario editor for this game which
allows you to create your own battles.  Or at least I'd like to see a
sequel to the current game.  In conjunction with this, there could be
a two player option via modem or network.

Warhammer: SOTHR is so close to being a breakthrough game, with the
potential of being very popular if it just wasn't so frustrating at
times.  All the essentials are in place, and it offers so much more
strategic depth and challenge than the other real-time games out
there, easily beating Command and Conquer and Warcraft, in my book.
The AI in those games just does not compare, nor does the storyline,
nor does the realism.  Granted, you can get scenario editors and/or
two player modes with other such games, and SOTHR lacks these.  But
really, all this game needs to become a major hit is a little
interface tweaking and an easier learning curve.  That would eliminate
the majority of the frustration.  Probably if it included a strategy
guide with the game, one that actually helped, that would improve the
learning curve.  Adjustable difficulty levels might serve even better
to make all of us happy.


--------------------------------------- 
STEPHEN 'DURIN' DI CIANO's Magic Items list follows in his posting to
the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic newsgroup.  Since he posted it
publicly, I trust he doesn't mind my reposting it here with proper
credit given.  It's very helpful, and with this list you don't have to
waste your time scanning every map for a magic item.  

Magic Item locations for Warhammer:
----------------------------------

Hi, so Warhammer's a bit ard' for ya eh? Eres some help...

*BTW there are 18 magic Items in the game.

*It is not possible (unless cheating) to obtain all the items.

*Each mission is of the form BF0XX in the \SCRIPT. Objective K in a 
 mission indicates a magic item can be found. The second number indicates
 what item. Note - missions can be edited.

These are in the approximate order that you may find them-


10- SwordOfMight (BF003)
------------------------
    This item is in the very first mission. Found to the right of the
    clump trees in the centre of the map. Should probably give to
    infantry, as cav have a sword. But remember bonuses are cumulative.        

11- DragonBlade (BF001)
-----------------------     
    Found in the sleaquit assassin mission, behind the house, near the

    snowman. Give to cavalry.

6- ShieldOfPtolos
-----------------
   Found in the rescue of Illmarin mission, near the rock to the west.

   
8- SwordOfHeroes (BF004-4)
--------------------------
   In one of the Carson missions where you rescue slaves at night.
   The item is behind the building.        

7- PotionOfStrength (BF004-5)
-----------------------------  
   This item is in the NE corner of the map in the last Carlson mission.

3- BannerOfWrath or PotionOfStrength (BF018) 
-------------------------------------------- 
   The mission is the suicidal troll mission to Loren. 
   This excellent Banner is supposed to be in this mission, but in my game it 
   isn't. It is due to 'objective: X' in the file making the potion appear instead,
   but I don't know why this was done (maybe its buggy). The Banner seemed to 
   work fine for me.  
   The item is near the 2nd stream of lava on the east wall.
   This mission is a waste of money unless the item can be obtained.
   
4- BannerOfArcaneProtection or PotionOfStrength (BF019)
------------------------------------------------------- 
   This mission is the skaven suicidal mission to Loren.
   Problems same as troll mission.
   Item is near the two rocks.

0- BannerOfArcaneWarding or PotionOfStrength (BF012)
---------------------------------------------------- 
   This mission is the orc suicidal mission to Loren.
   Problems same as troll mission.
   Item is near rock to NE of the map.

5- TalismanOfObsidian (BF028)
----------------------------- 
   This is the 'save sheep in farm from goblins' mission. This item
   is probably the best in the game, it cancels all magic. The only
   way to get to this mission is to get to Zhufbar through the mountain
   pass, not underground. 
   The item is in the far east behind the house. Give to cavalry.  

1- BannerOfMight (BF037)
------------------------
   This is also a excellent item (adds to combat bonuses)
   The mission is called Slave Assault. It is one of the missions given
   to you in Zhufbar. The item is behind a pile of rocks near the north
   wall.  

12- ArmourOfMeteoricIron (BF025)
--------------------------------
   This item is in the Bandit hideout camp mission after the Decoy mission.
   You do these missions at Nuln. But if you do any of the bandit mission
   rather then going to Loren right after talking to the Emporer, you don't
   get the Reiksgard Knight cavalry unit (your choice). The item is in the
   far west behind the tents.

2- Dreadbanner (BF033)
----------------------
   It is in the Exterminate skaven mission in Karak Norn. 
   An excellent item that makes you cause fear (now you can be the big scary
   monster). But this mission may well take its toll on ya. Make sure you 
   attack the caves.
   The item is in the eastern corner, near a cave.

9- ParryingBlade (BF022)
------------------------
   This mission(i think) is where you fight heaps of skaven on your way to Loren.
   I don't think it appears all the time (maybe only if you get the Knights).
   The item is behind the 3rd rock to the east.

7- PotionOfStrength (BF034)
---------------------------
   This potion is in the 'Final Battle?' mission against Urgat.
   It is near some trees? to the NE, close to your setup area.


These items are found on various characters.
--------------------------------------------
13- ArmourOfTheBeard
14- GrudgeBringer
15- SwordOfElior
16- RockSplitter

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