Part 20: Mission 6: Taking a Ballista up the RearEpisode 6: Dun Algaz or Taking a Ballista up the Rear
: Let's press our advantage, everyone. With Dun Modr taken, we should push further into dwarven lands!
: Aye, it'd be good ta see me kin ag'in, too.
: Uhh... Varin? Weren't we going to talk to Thoras about our victory at Tol Barad?
: Why tell him about one victory when we can take back this whole region for him?
: ...you're kidding.
: Our scouts have reported that an orcish army is massing across the Thandol Valley.
: Dun Algaz! Me nephew lives there!
: Don't worry, Ruku. It's not like I came unprepared...
: Ho, ho! Ye stole one o' the ballista?
: Stealing during a war is called liberating, Ruku. We liberated a ballista.
: Well, yes. That and a number of horses for our men. It should prove helpful for making our way across the valley ahead.
Ah, knights. They hit harder than footmen, move faster, and get access to some amazing abilities later on. I'm also going to take a moment to talk about the area here: Thandol Valley. We know about the Thandol Span that bridges the gap between the Arathi region and Khaz Modan. However, you'll note that the span places Dun Modr on the southern, dwarven side. In Warcraft II, on the other hand, Dun Modr is on the northern side of the Thandol Valley. Why all the fuss about this? Well, when you see the map, it may be made more clear.
: Alright, Captain, I'll get to work on setting up the base, and you can-
: Right, right. Patrol duty.
: ...So wat should I be doin'?
: Well, your kind is used to toiling in the mines...
: Aye, and...?
: Damn spell hurling, curse chanting, petal pinching pansy! Sendin' me ta work in th' mines!
: He coulda at least have me workin' in tha' new blacksmith 'e's makin'!
Meanwhile in the Thandol Valley...
: What is that, men? Our fifth troll out here? I think they orcs know we're here at this point. But with Gaz in control, I'm sure he has the place well defended.
Back at base camp...
: Wizard! Come on, throw a spell! Summon an elemental! Do somethin'!
: My magic doesn't work like that!
: Ugh! It's up to me ta solve things! ...Ag'in.
: Who am I kiddin'? I wanted ta do this!
: Ruku! Gaz! We saw a troll heading this way and... Halt! About face, men!
: By the Light! Someone could have gotten hurt!
: Nah, I only aimed at th' guy I wanted ta hurt. It's basic math, Cap'n.
: Of course. Gaz?
: Ravigaz. And what is it, Varin?
: I'm taking the men on patrol again. Manage this place and keep Ruku away from the ballista.
: It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt...
: You're kidding...
: Lemme take care o' this!
: Captain Wells' orders, Ruku...
: I get to drive the ballista. Prepare to taste human ingenuity!
: We dwarves helped too, y'know.
: Uh... how do I fire this thing? Uh-oh. Varin! Vaaaaaarin!
: These orcs are relentless. Could we please get some form of defense set up?
: We have the ballista, Varin. We'll be fiiiiine.
: I don't even think it's rolling properly.
: 'Ere. Lemme look at tha'.
: No, no, Ruku. No more ballista time for you.
: We'll be fine, Varin. The elves have been training non-stop, and I have to say they're getting pretty good.
: Oooh, big shock th' prissy mage likes th' elves shootin' targets betta'.
Once we get a keep, it allows us to research Elven Ranger Training. I'll show off all of the interest effects of this in a bit, but for now, it's good to note that this turns our archers into the powerhouses of the game (after a significant investment of gold).
: Now this is more like it! Ya need intel, lads. Know where ye're goin' 'afore ya go marchin' to ye're deaths.
: Ruku does have a point. Right now we need to gather all the information we can before we run into an ambush.
: ...Ya agree with me 'afore ye agree with the elf lover? I... I'm touched, Cap'n.
: I never said that, I was just pointing out that-
: I'm th' best! Suck it, mage-boy!
: If anyone can hear me over all this dwarven shouting, I'd to demonstrate a few of the things the elves have been working on.
Researching Ranger Training opens up three more upgrades for the ranger. A +4 sight upgrade, a +1 range upgrade, and a huge +3 damage upgrade. To put that in perspective, upgrading the archers' attacks at the lumber mill only increases the damage by +1 each time. With the training combined with the two damage upgrades they can already get at the lumber mill, this goes up to a whopping +5 damage. Very helpful when your opponent only has about 60 hp.
: All well and good, but the trolls are closing in! Prepare the defenses!
: I got this 'un! Lemme see that ballista there!
: No, Ruku! Stand down! Don't touch that lever!
: Huff... huff... Grrr...
: Watch out! You two are going to-
: Harold! Get out of there!
You have to love ballista friendly fire. The leading killer in most Warcraft II games.
: By the Light, what have we done?
: Cap'n Wells... I'm sorry, I-
: We both have erred. Gaz, have a tombstone prepared for Harold. Ruku and I must march. Are our horses ready?
: Very nearly, Varin.
Stables are another of the advanced structures we get from the keep upgrade. I doesn't do anything except allow you to produce knights. However, when you can do that, do you really need to do anything else?
: Then we march.
: This is for Harold you dirty heathens! Taste vengeance in my steel!
: A wee bit o' overkill, eh, Varin?
: I take more for every life that they cost this world.
: ...aye, aye.
: I do have ta' admire these rangers, s'not so bad. Could use a lil' work, o' course.
: Alright, we've secured this mine. Gaz should be pleased.
Back at camp...
: This should prevent any more tragedies.
: And it seems that the Thandol Valley has a series of land bridges that Varin is going to have to navigate. Could be trouble if they get bottlenecked against the orcish army.
This is what I mentioned earlier that there is some issue between Thandol Valley/Thandol Span. The Thandol Valley, as you can see, is made of a series of land bridges that connect Dun Modr to Dun Algaz. There is no equivalent in the Warcraft world at the moment, but the Thandol Span seems to suggest the same sort of formation, but instead connects Dun Modr to Stromgarde. If anyone know s more about this, I'm always happy to learn.
: We press the attack. I have a feeling that we'll find what we're looking for at the end of these bridges.
: What did I tell you?
An interesting map. Each "bridge" has a barracks at the end of it that produces units to send at your base, which leads to a fairly consistent amount of pressure. Destroying the barracks eases up the tension by a great deal.
: Varin, don'tcha think this is a little reckless?
: Are you scared, Ruku?
: Cap'n... I just thought... we could be using ballista for this.
: Didn't you learn anything? Those things are dangerous!
: Aye! Fer them! Let's be honest, here, Varin. They're very useful. ...and Harold was kind of a dick.
: Well, you do have a point there. Harold was quite the dick.
: So we can use 'em, aye?
: Good, looks like we'll need 'em.
: I think you underestimate the might of my knights. Men, charge!
: Eh, some losses on our side, lad.
: Fine, fine. Let's get back to base and get those ballista ready to ship out.
Back at base...
: You're sure you want to do this, Varin? I mean, you saw what that thing did to Harold.
: Harold was a dick.
: True enough. Would you like to see those scouting reports, now?
: Should be worth a look.
: The orcs have constructed a stronghold in Dun Algaz. It is modestly defended from the front. However...
: ...the rear entrance is only watched by a few trolls. With proper timing, we could eliminate the sentries and break our way through.
: Perfect, get my ballista ready. We march at sunset.
: I've got a lil' somethin' extra fer th' ballista, Cap'n.
: Alright, let's take care of this silently before they can set up an alar-
GOOONG... GOOOONG.... GOOOONG
: I'm sorry, th' alarm interrupted ye. Wat were ye sayin'?
: Alarm, Ruku. I was saying 'alarm.'
: To arms, men!
: Ferget the arms! Aim fer the legs! They need those ta run!
: Fall back! Catapult! Catapult!
: How's retreatin' supposed ta help?
: Well, Ruku, you'll have to understand that elves do have their uses.
: 'Oi! They did tha' with only a few arrows!?
: They're very good arrows.
: Anyway, the path is laid bare to us now.
: Ye don't have ta be a pervert about it, Cap'n.
: ...I don't follow the meaning, but continue to press on, Ruku!
: Y'know ye dun need ta motivate me every second o' the day.
: Stupid orcs didn't see it coming.
: I dunno, it seems... cowardly.
: I suppose we should just head home and let the orcs get a nice big army for us to plow into while they destroy your homeland, right?
: ...maybe not the whole homeland destruction part...
: In either case, this battle is over. Where's Gaz? He usually travels with us... at least to claim some part of the victory.
: I'm sorry, Varin, I was busy preparing Harold's grave.
: Well, it's understandable. Alright, gather the men; there's still much to do.
: I'd still like ta wrestle an orc or somethin'...