WAR: Tier One Scenario Tips
MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent Andrew Bobb writes this look at the tier one scenarios in Mythic's Warhamme Online, providing a few different strategy approaches to the games.
The Realm versus Realm scenarios in Warhammer are one of the highlights of the game. These short player versus player contests run for fifteen minutes or first side to five hundred points accumulated. In Tier One, these points are gained primarily via claiming and holding objectives; though you will still gain points for player kills. In addition, you are personally rewarded with experience and renown points.
The Scenario maps and strategy descriptions detailed here are presented from the Destruction side. However, they easily translate to the Order side as well. The maps have been marked with black lines to show the standard warpath from the Destruction camp through the map. A second red line is used to show the less common path, which is used for the various flanking strategies.
At the Gates of Ekrund scenario you will spawn on a hill in the lower left hand corner of the map. From here you will run across an open field to one of two siege towers on the left or right side of the map. Running up the siege tower ramps will take you to the battlements of the gate fortification. The path straight inside will take you to the first floor of the battlements, which will lead out to the central control point for the map. The side path, left for left tower and right for right tower, will take you up two the second floor where the other control points are.
As you start much closer to the second floor control point on the left, this is essentially the Destruction side control point; just as the one on the right is the Order side control point. The closer path is the most commonly traveled, whereas the path to the right siege tower is used for flanking maneuvers.
The Khaine's Embrace scenario spawns you in the southeast corner of the map, with just a short run north to a control point. In the middle of the map is the Altar of Khaine, and the second control point in the northwest. There is a path directly across, through the mountain to the north, and around the south of the Altar. Both the direct path and mountain cave path are short and function as direct paths. The southern path around the bottom of the Altar is seldom used, which makes it a good path for flanking or covert objective claiming.
You will begin in the northeast corner of the map in the Nordenwatch Scenario. A short run southwest will take you to the closest control point. Continuing southwest will lead to the middle point. Heading directly south through an open plain will take you to the Order side control point. This map seems to be the most popular for both sides to make use of flanking strategies.
There are essentially four strategies that are seen in the Tier 1 scenarios.
Kill stuff and break things. This is the most commonly seen strategy. This involves the entirety of both sides running toward their control point, then fighting over the middle one. For Khaine's Embrace, the stalemate tends to occur near one of the two points, rather than the middle point present in the other two scenarios. A match involving only this strategy will usually run the full fifteen minutes, with victory based solely on the points accrued for kills on the opposing team.
This battle is like an orc bashing two rocks together to see which will crumble first. Victory is dependent on team members falling into their class roles, as well as the skill of each player. The basic PvP tactic of taking out the healers and/or tanks first, then mopping up the rest, is what this is all about. Another method that works here is to determine which player on the other team is the most skilled, then kill him/her first. If you break the other team's line, you will have the chance to claim the other objectives.
A pincer attack is splitting your force in half and sending them down two paths to surround the enemy and hit them from two sides. It must be well coordinated to work though. If one group is too late, the other will be easily mopped up. As a result this strategy is based on defeating the enemy force, then claiming the objective while they respawn. A pincer attack could give you good access to the enemy's soft targets, but it could also result in absolutely nothing if they react fast. This is probably the rarest of the four tactics seen in Tier One, but will make a much stronger showing with the scenarios you will advance to in Tier Two.
This strategy is very similar to the pincer, but based more on objective claiming than combat tactics. The idea here is for a solo player or small group to take the flanking path to the opponent side objective, then claim that objective after the opposing group has left to claim the next one. Anybody can pull this off, but Witch Elves have the advantage due to their stealth ability (at level 10). Both the Chaos Magus and Squig Herder have the advantage of being able to summon an additional distraction. However, this tactic is very risky, as you will most likely die if caught by a player you are at a disadvantage against.
It is disgusting how often this works under the right conditions though. It is best to use a small group for Nordenwatch and Gates of Ekrund, as the additional players will help to speed up the claiming progress. However, a total stalemate at the middle objective will give you enough time to do this solo. If Order is playing aggressively on Khaine's Embrace, this is an easy claim. It only takes five seconds, and, if you get caught after the claim, it is easy to stall for the additional five seconds needed to pass the point of no return to unleash Khaine's Wrath.
The opposite of the passive flank, the aggressive flank is where the majority of your forces head directly for the Order side objective, leaving a few players to pick up the objective on your side. This is especially useful on Nordenwatch and Gates of Ekrund, as success with this tactic will give your small group time to take the middle point while you lock Order down in combat for their objective. Best case with the aggressive flank is early game domination of the battlefield.
Like the others, there are significant disadvantages as well. The most significant is that you will end up with a backwards WAAAAAGGGGHHH!!! if your opponent does the same thing. Should their full force defeat your large force without taking huge losses, they can follow up by easily defeating your small force and accomplishing the goal you had hoped to achieve.
Given the speed at which scenario battles are paced, frequent adaptation of tactics to meet the opposition provides for the richest and most entertaining battles. If something stops working, move on. A drawn out stalemate going nowhere is not fun. Take the initiative, reach out, and seize victory.