The Let's Play Archive

Warcraft II

by Azzur

Part 19: Mission 5: How to Save a Base

Act 2: Khaz Modan

Episode 5: Tol Barad or How to Save a Base

: Alright, get those men aboard the transports. Tol Barad is just across this channel.

: I can see the tower spires from the shore. Good lord, how big is this place?

: It is technically a Stromgarde keep...

: Ah, compensating again, are we, Lord Trollbane?

: Yer hunch may have been wrong, Varin. I see hide nor hair o' the orcs.

: Let's patrol the base, at least. I won't be satisfied until I see that Tol Barad is safe.

: Remember, we're on official business. We don't want to startle the citizens here.

: A Stromgarde citizen has probably killed more trolls than a Lordaeron soldier... I don't think we'll be startling them any time soon.

: I'm likin' these Stromgarde fella's.

: Everything seems fine here, Varin. I think you may have been presuming a bit too much when you heard those orcs yammering on.

: Gaz, tell me...

: ...are buildings supposed to be on fire?

: Now we're talkin'! Let's do this!

Once you reach Tol Barad, you take over control of the town which limits you in terms of expansion. The island, despite all later lore, is really small. As you can see in this shot, we also have a new unit, which I'll get into more later.

: Kill them all! Don't let them so much as try and swim away!

The initial orc attack really isn't much to fear. It also brings me to what makes Tol Barad a very great base, in actuality. Island bases in Warcraft II are notoriously hard to land a decent force on, and Tol Barad is no different. An enemy will bring worth four to six units aboard a transport, which can easily be repelled. Tol Barad's legacy stands, it can never, ever, ever be conquered. Ever.

: Ye ever notice that tangy smell when ye kill a troll? I love tha' smell.

: Alright, who's in charge here? Is there a Trollbane in command? Where's Thoras?

: It doesn't look like there is a commander. I don't think Stromgarde expected an attack so close to Dun Modr.

: Aye, if the soldiers at Dun Modr so much as spotted an orc they'd... they'd...

: Ruku? Ruku, did you just sober up or something?

: Dun Modr must've fallen.

: I'm sure there's a reason. Perhaps the dwarves have-

: Varin. Let's do this.

: There's no harm in checking in with the dwarves. Until then, I'm taking control of Tol Barad. We'll need to marshal an army in it's defense at least. We'll assume for now that the orcs are at least within the vicinity of Dun Modr.

: Now let's see what Tol Barad has to offer...

We're given the Blacksmith in this mission, which is an essential part of any attack. As you probably have guessed, it provides upgrades for your units in the form of damage and armor. It also allows us to build cannon towers which we're going to wait a long time to see (I love them, but there are few situations in which a cannon won't wreck your own shit more than the enemy shit). It is also a component for another major structure, but that too is a long ways off.

: Uh, Commander...?

: ...what th' Nether is that?

: So the goblins have begun to work for the orcs as well. Damnable spys... Well we have a surprise of our own. Something that the gnomes had shipped over.

The gnomish flying machine. I hated these units as a child, "They do nothing, but I need them sometimes, this is dumb!" However, they have now won a place in my heart, forever and always. Flying machines, as well as having the best quotes in Warcraft II, are quick fliers that are useful for scouting (d'uh), distracting enemy units, and uncovering invisible units. The goblin zepplin is the Horde equivalent, of course.

: Oh, gods no.

: Ruku?

: We have a saying back in Ironforge: "Where the gnomes go, disaster follows."

: Perfect. We'll act as the disaster this time around. Those orcs don't stand a chance.

: Now that that's out of the way, let's get to work on our shipyard, or else we're never be able to reach Dun Modr.

: I've got designs fer me ship! Take a look, Cap'n!

: ...

: Go throw that out! What are you designing orcish ships now?

: I thought I went a lil' light on th' cannons...

: Alright you two, we've got word from the gnomes.

: ...It seems that Dun Modr has been taken.

: I... understand. You're in command here, Cap'n Wells.

: Well, there's some unusual control from a dwarf.

: And ye have ta command me ta kill them all.

: We will, Ruku. We're going to have to establish a few things first. We're doing this by the book.

: This refinery should keep our destroyers afloat. Meanwhile, I think that we should consider expanding our control here.

: Varin, that's a little reckless given that the orcs doubtlessly know of our presence in the area.

: Like I'm afraid of a few uncivilized beasts. Send out some workers; I want a new line of revenue established immediately.

: Well, if you think that's wise, Commander.

A huge improvement from Warcraft: O&H to Warcraft II is the ability to build away from your main base. I haven't had much of a reason to really do this yet, but from here on out, nearly every game will have a subsidiary base.

: Perhaps we should begin training some troops, Varin. I mean, even with the men that Proudmoore entrusted us, we're not ready to take Dun Modr from the orcs.

: 'Oi! What's that out there?

: I thought we covered this. In order to construct boats, Ruku, we need oil, and to get oil we need to-

: Ye donkey's arse! Not that! That!

: Ah, well, that makes more sense I suppose. How did I miss that?

Fog of war in this game is a little annoying with slower firing units. Later on, it can actually prove to be a serious strength of theirs. After the attack, the fog comes in to once more hide them.

: I'll get me ship.

Another thing about slow firing units, such as the destroyers here, you can actually dodge their shots. A common strategy of mine is to have one ship get their attention and then start moving it out of harms way before any more shots can land. It's the micromanager in me.

: Pathetic.

: Hm? Hey, Gaz!

: That's Lord Raviga-... Ugh... What is it, Varin?

: Look at these plans. Room for a treasury, defensive parapets, increased space...

: Well, let's get right to work then. Imagine the look on Thoras's faces when he sees what we've done to Tol Barad.

Another new mechanic to Warcraft II: upgrading buildings. Building a keep increases the amount of gold you receive with each peasant much in the same way as the lumber mill and refinery. However, this only provides a 10 gold increase for every 100 gold brought back. Nothing to scoff at however. It also opens up a new branch of structures for us to build.

: Let's call it Ravigaz Castle.

: I kinda enjoy the Firefist Estate.

: We can't name buildings that we don't own! Remember we're only temporarily watching Tol Barad for Lord Trollbane.

: Aye...

: Yeah, alright.

: Heh heh heh...

: Looks like Thoras had some siege weaponry ready to put out. Interesting.

: Interestin'? Tha's downright amazin'! Those orcs dun stand a chance with this on our side!

: And it only gets better...

Please note: +15 damage. To put things into perspective, a footman has 60 hit points and deals 2 - 9 damage. With the upgrade alone, the footman doesn't stand a chance numbers-wise. Of course, much like Warcraft: O&H, the siege weapons have drawbacks. More to say about them later, however.

: Varin!

: 'Oi! These orcs think they can play with th' big boys, eh?


: Ruku... I think cleaving off their limbs is more than enough to end the battle...

: 'Ey, these trolls can grow 'em back, lad.

: Not their heads. I think you can stop hitting them now.

: Ye sure? ...Better give 'im another good whack jus' to be safe...

: I have our ballista ready for deployment. I'm also readying the men to affix a little more... "oomph" to the shafts.

: Oh, they're ready are they? Cap'n! I need ta borrow one real fast! ...Make sure this troll is dead...

: Wait, wait, wait!

There's the ballista attack animation. If you're quick about it, you can avoid the shots, but it's easier said than done. I actually just used this to create an easier passage over the my transports. Moving ballista all around my base is a tedious process.

: That's the dwarven way. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing and nearly killing everyone else around you.

: I think I missed.

: Oh, wait. That's the dwarven way. If it's worth overdoing, it's worth miserably failing at.

: Ruku, if you're done destroying the walls of Tol Barad, I'd like you to know that we're busy looking for a way to assault Dun Modr.

: Wat about by sea? How's their port look?

: I would recommend against it.

: Nonsense! Jus' need more armor s'wat we need.

: Aye, now this should take care o' them orcs.

: Well, it looks like you have the chance to test our your fleet, "Captain" Ruku. Orc transport inbound on your position.

: This is gonna be good.


: What happened to "Kaboom"?

: It's th' sea, lad. It's diff'rent.

: Alright, we'll take our victories where we can get them, because we're in dire straights here. We've... sort of logged the entirety of the surrounding forests here.

: I believe the elves are revolting, Varin.

: Me too. Dirty long-ears.

: Didn't that gnome mention something about a forested island to the north?

: Can we really despoil yet another beautiful landscape for our personal gain?

: We get to build more boats and ballista while we piss off those arrogant elves. What's not to like?

: Despite the racist dwarf, I agree that we require that lumber.

: Aaaaand despite the pot calling the kettle black, I've started logging operations up north.

: Alright, alright. That's taken care of, ya? Then let's do this!

: Do what?

: Chaaaaaarge!

: Where did he get all those destroyers?

: I don't know, but I'm damned glad we're the ones paying him and not the orcs.


: Well, I guess that since Ruku is distracting the orcs...

: I have the men loaded up and ready for a landing. The orcs will get tired of the dwarf soon, so we have to act fast.

: This shouldn't take long...

: Varin, how many of them did you order constructed?

: About an entire forest's worth.

: Alright, men! Dun Modr is ours to take! We fight for Lordaeron!

: And for Azeroth!

: Hey, Varin! What are those things?

: They're dead if I have anything to do with it! Keep moving, Gaz!

: Lord Ravigaz!

: 'Oi! You havin' fun without me? Lemme ride one o' them beasts!

: Bwahaha... This is dwarven vengeance ye underbitten bastards!

: You have... unique insults, don't you?

: That was surprisingly easy.

: Come on, Varin, we have to get back to Stromgarde and tell Thoras the news.

: But the orc with my father's hat-

: -is not here. Now come on, we have work to do.

: Aren't ye gonna stay and defend Tol Barad?

: It'll be fine. Those orcs won't be recovering anytime soon. Now, come on. There's a feast to be held in our honor for sure.

: I wonder wat the Bronzebeard's will say about this.