Part 25: Mission 11: A Very Hostile Take OverEpisode 11: Betrayal and the Destruction of Alterac or A Very Hostile Take Over
: Woo! Lord Trollbane's quite th' man ta ask us along fer this job.
: Ruku, this is a diplomatic mission. We have confessions from their own men of Perenolde's treachery. We are to establish martial law and stop any more treasonous acts.
: Yeah, which would be great if we were actually doing that.
Mages! Mages are fun little micro-machines, and this is the first mission that we get to use them! They come with the handy-dandy fireball spell, which we've seen already. I'll talk more about them later.
: Gaz, explain yourself.
: Dalaran agreed to send assistance for our take over-
: It's not a take over.
: ...for our consolidation of Alterac's forces. The point is, they're not here.
: Oh, no. Our limp-wrist'd wizards won't join us. Wat will we e'er do?
: There's a distress signal coming from the north, and a powerful one at that. I think that Alterac isn't going to stand for this take over.
: It's not a take over.
: Our... declaration of martial law.
: S'what? We jus' march our army north ta save th' mages?
: Exactly. Time to get this camp running. We're moving into a siege, troops.
: Okay, small problem.
I love this mission. Here's the fun little twist: you start off without any peasants and without any gold. So of course, you have nowhere to go, but forth to free the mages!
: ...Gaz. Where are our funds?
: 'Oi! Where 're th' miners and haulers?
: Well, remember all those... unwise financial decisions I made?
: Oh, you're kidding me. You have to be kidding me.
: Gary? GARY!? THA' BASTARD OWES ME MONEY!
: Looks like he's gone AWOL with our coffers. I suppose we'll have to wait for Trollbane's reinforcements before we can make a move against Alterac.
: I have a small debt to pay, myself. I've hired on some additional mercenaries for this excursion.
Yup, the dwarves get to be the crazy kamikaze masters for the Alliance. In the modern iteration of Warcraft lore, it seems a little strange for the dwarves to go this far. However, I believe there may be some way to reconcile this.
: Me clan! Ye hired th' Firefist clan to help out! Ye're such a pal, Cap'n!
: They're not well known for their patience, Gaz. I think we should move with the forces we have and sort it out from there.
: Aye, last time cousin Krilik didn't get paid, th' bastard woke in a bed filled wit' gunpowder and a gnome ta hold th' torch. They're suckers fer explosions.
: I don't know whether to just go with it and hope they die or kill them in preemptive self-defense.
: Lord Trollbane has lent us enough troops to at least scout out the north. Hopefully the mages are okay and able to lend their aid.
: Not likely.
: You're filled with comforting words, dwarf.
: Really? I meant them ta demean ye.
: Yes, I know- I... ARRGH!
: Seems that Alterac has chosen to fight, as we assumed.
: Aye, all th' better fer me.
: Quiet your yapping craw, dwarf. The signal is getting stronger.
: That... doesn't look good.
: Men! Charge!
This is the worst thing to do in this situation. I don't even have words for how dumb this is.
: This isn't working! Fall back!
: Aye, Cap'n, me clan could break through tha' without-
: Varin, the ballista!
: ...but... Clan Firefist.
: The gate is breached. To arms, soldiers!
: Time to mix things up a little.
: Calm yourself, Gaz!
I love fireballs.
: Dammit, Gaz! Stay on the backlines! You could get hurt.
: What? I'm taking down these traitorous scum!
: 'Oi, lads?
: Why choose now to start slinging spells?
: Members of the Dalaran order are in trouble and it's up to us and -to a lesser degree- me to save them.
: Well you're my second-in-command, and you would do well to respect my orders. Now get back behind the lines!
: Would that I could lead this army...
: I think they forgot us, lads.
: And another thing-!
: You know nothing of a mage's talent and-!
: Yep. They did. Might as well find th' mages and bust 'em outta here, eh boyos?
: Tha's the ol' Firefist spirit! Uncle Seamus will be missed dearly.
: What in the Nether was that?
: Come on, lads! We're th' heroes!
: What is it, Gaz?
: Did Ruku just free the captured mages?
: It seems that he has.
: This never would have happened if you had let me lead this attack!
: B-but... I'm th' hero.
: That was my moment, dwarf!
: Gaz, we're in this together!
: How am I supposed to endear myself to the Kirin Tor now!?
So when you rescue the Dalaran unit, you able to start mining and building your base. This is a really great change of pace from the typical mission layout and you can see why this sort of thing made Warcraft II so popular back in the day.
: I don't know, maybe by helping to win this war?
: You're absolutely right. I'm breaking off from you two. I'll lead the take over of Alterac myself.
: What? Gaz! You stupid-
: Aye, 'e's gone, Cap'n.
: Ugh. Ruku, couldn't you try to get along with him more? We wouldn't be in this mess if you didn't antagonize him.
: Whut? Me!? Now, I-
: Enough. I have defenses to see to.
: Now then...
The base has two modes of entry (technically three, if you count the path we originally took to the mages). They're actually very fantastic chokes, which means you can get away with focusing a lot less on defense and more on the sweet cathartic release of beating in the faces of Alterac soldiers.
: Why would Varin set up camp here? There's no safe place to truly start harvesting lumber! Time for a little improvisation.
So this looks like a bad idea, I know, but it's actually quite safe. Alterac rarely leaves their base to attack, and when they do, they never come from the top. You see, Alterac is a fortress with only one way in, and that's through the front. It also makes all of their attacks focused on our eastern side.
I, however, didn't know any of this and just got really lucky.
: I'm a genius.
Back at base...
: Elves! You fight for the Alliance today! Fire!
: Hold the line! Protect those mages! By the Light, we need some soldiers in armor already!
: Much better. Good to have some footmen holding the line at last.
: Oh, ho! Do I hear some racial tension from you, Captain Wells?
: Gaz? Oh, no, I was just saying that-
: That elves can't fight as well as a human. No, I understand. Now then, I'm just going to need to borrow some of your men here...
: You're drafting more elves? But we have more than enough.
: There's the classic racism for you again. Glad I'm not working under you anymore.
: Get out of my sight, wizard! I've men to train for this take over!
: AH-HA! You said it!
: Oy. Them boys'll fight 'til we win this one, lads. Looks like it's up ta us ta do the legwork.
: Alright, ye wee bugger! Ruku's in charge now an' tha' means ye fly 'til ye die! Now git goin'!
: Feh. Some o' th' elves joined th' traitors. Why am I no' surprised?
: Eh? What the blue blazes...
Talk about a surprise enemy. I mean, this is the human mission versus another human opponent. It's just a Warcraft staple. Here, they stick with the story continuity that the Horde has a vested interest in seeing Alterac succeed. So, they're lending some pretty massive assistance.
: Ooooh... this is bad. Th' Horde is supportin' them Alteracs somethin' fierce. An' they got some mages too?
: Well fortified. But as me da used ta say, "E'ery skull's got a soft spot."
: ...An' I think I jus' found the soft spot.
: The men are ready. Time for us to strike out at Alterac's borders to establish our presence.
: That's strange, my men were just on their way to do that themselves.
: Gaz, would you let this rest, okay? I said I was sorry. We need someone to guard our headquarters.
: This isn't about you, Captain Wells. I'm in charge of this military action, and I plan to lead my men to victory.
: Gaz, this is a small excursion, nothing my men can't han- WHAT THE NETHER!?
: Oh, you don't need me? Guess I'll be heading back to base, then.
: Dammit, Gaz! This isn't funny!
: Say it and I might help.
: It? What's it? How am I supposed to... Oooohh...
: ...Please help me, Lord Ravigaz, ruler of magic and the arcane mysteries of the beyond.
: Well, if you put it that way...
: Men, retreat! Gaz-
: Er... Lord Ravigaz can handle this from here on out.
: You're damn straight I can.
: As well, I think that I'll take this land after I've won this war for us.
: Here it goes.
: Go on, Captain Wells. I'm sure you have very important duties to handle back at your little "headquarters."
: By the Light, I hate you sometimes.
Back at base...
: Alright, troops! I want that tower up quickly. We haven't much time before Perenolde recovers.
: Cap'n Varin! Me scouts reported a massive beastie! A dragon! Alterac has a drag-
: Yes, I took care of it.
: Ye took care of it? Well, tha's great! I ne'er thought-
: Without your help, might I add. Why are we paying you, anyway? Go do something productive.
: 'Oi! I have! Operation Soft Spot is already under-
: I don't have time for your antics, mercenary. Just step in line and follow orders. You're dismissed.
: Dismissed!? But I- I... Aye.
Outside the walls of Alterac...
: Oh, that durn Cap'n. Best ta jus' continue as planned, lads. We'll ne'er be gettin' th' help o' those two.
If you recall, I said that Alterac has only one entrance. It's also very well defended. Personally, I'm not a big fan of well defended. It seems that a little creative thinking is required.
: Good use o' th' explo-swords, boyos!
Back at base...
: Gaz! The gate!
: You're telling me what to do? Oh, that's rich. I have this well under control.
: Now that that's taken care of, let's take a look at this tower you had constructed. Not exactly up to code, I see...
The two new spells that mages can learn. I'm not a huge fan, mostly because of the level of micro involved for very little return. Slow is actually a great spell, but this level doesn't have enough real resistance to warrant it's use. It slows enemy movement and attack speed, which can stop a bloodlust assault quite handily.
Flame Shield is... gimmicky. It doesn't provide a bunch of armor like my child-self thought playing this game (I killed so many of my own units that way), but rather provides a damaging aura around the unit you cast it on. It has a few points in it's favor, like the fact that the aura will actually damage air units, even when cast on a ground unit. This can give you the chance to take down a dragon with a paladin if you're clever. Of course, highly situational and gimmicky.
: Adequate, for someone without any knowledge of the higher arts.
: Enough, Lord Ravigaz. My men are ready to move out. Are you coming?
: Of course, my men have been ready. Where's the dwarf?
: Who knows? He's been shirking his duties as of late.
: Jus' a lil' further, lads!
: Buahahaha! Ye're skull's been cracked, ye dirty turncoats!
On the battlefields, one hour later...
: Y'know, with our combined forces, we could easily take control of Alterac.
: Or I could do this myself, like I planned. I'll be leading the charge. You can be... the cavalry, I suppose.
: Uh, Gaz, this may be a good time to note that-
: Enough, Wells. I'm taking command here.
: By the Light! Hurry, men! Provide Lord Ravigaz with support! Ballista, train on those towers!
: Fall back! Fall back!
: Gaz, are you okay?
: Huuh... huff... what the Nether. How are we supposed to break through that?
: I see that it's suddenly become "we."
: Look, just get Ruku and we'll finish this off properly. With him on the front lines.
: Where did that mercenary go, anyhow?
: Buahahaha! Y'know fer humans, ye ain't so bad.
: Foolish humans, ye're never safe from a dwarf!
: Oh, good. He's somehow found a way onto the front lines anyway.
: Come on, then! Let's lend him a hand. For Stormwind!
: Fer Khaz Modan!
: For a day that I can forget I ever knew you idiots!
: Tha' seemed unnecessarily harsh.
: There isn't enough magic in the Nether to make me forget the sound of your voice.
: Come on, Alterac has nearly fallen.
: Aye, then ale and commendations!
: Oh, joy. A commendation from Lord Trollbane. Probably a feast with a severed head as the centerpiece.
: I can't wait!
: One more push. Paladins, charge!
The computer has this tendency to rapid fire out all of its available fireballs at once. This is amazingly terrifying, and quite deadly if you aren't fast enough. There's four pictured here.
: ...well, whatcha waitin' for? Charge!
: He has a point. The mages are probably drained at this point.
: See? Too weak to even run away. Cut 'em down!
: Gaz, this is not the first time that I've started to wonder about your psychological stability.
: Me? Look at him!
: BUAHAHAHA! I'll floss with yer beards, I will! Run, ya lily-skinned sacks o' magic an' pus!
: I look like a priest next to this guy.
: Well, at least we learned a valuable lesson, lads.
: Haha, that's true, Ruku. We really need to be a unit to get a job done.
: Oh, please don't let this be another hugging moment.
: What? Tha's not th' lesson.
: This'll be good...
: Th' lesson is tha' you two couldn't wipe yer own asses without me! Buahahahaha!
: I'm gonna kill him.
: I think I'll allow that.