A guide written after spending an insane number of hours on this game, unlocking all cards, fully completing 2 out 3 maps and upgrading the townhall to max.
Guide to Gameplay
First of all, this guide is only meant to reflect my personal experiences and opinions. The game offers a huge selection of cards with endless different combinations available. You are MEANT to experiment, and depending on your personal gameplay style, some combinations and strategies may work well for others, but suit you badly. If you find this to be the case, try to pinpoint WHY it’s not working for you, then check the available cards and find candidates that may solve the problem. This is part of the challenge, part of the fun of playing Warlords Under Siege.
I personally prefer to play a fully ranged game, using archers and relying heavily on towers, so if you prefer to melee, you’ll probably not find this guide very useful.
The reason I prefer ranged combat is mainly, that the units are really hard to control and need to be constantly micromanaged unless they are ranged. You can do that with a few units, but with a full army of 20-30 units walking all over the place and getting into hopeless situations, it becomes a nightmare.
The downside to playing full ranged is, of course, that once enemies manage to enter your base, you’re more or less done for, since the ranged units are really weak in melee combat.
With this in mind, the goal is not just to keep the enemies from entering your base, but to keep them from even reaching it. For this, you’ll need towers… and you’ll need them quick!
When playing the game, you’ll get exactly 30 card draws, and you start with 6 cards, so a total of 36 cards will be played. Depending on how the gameplay session develops, you’ll always find there are certain cards you’ll need more than others, so if you make a deck consisting of exactly 38 cards, you’ll be sure to get every one of them offered at least once, and you’ll end up not using 2 of the 38, depending on your needs. So 38 is the “golden number” to pick for deck size.
Sound tempting, since you’re trying to earn gold for upgrades, but in reality the income they generate is very limited, and in order to get just a reasonable sum of gold, you’d need to start building gold mines almost right from the start and keep all 3 in your deck. This will severely detract from the main goal of building a defendable base. Not only would you have to drop 3 other cards in order to to include the gold mines, you’d also have to prioritize building the gold mines over other vital items. What this means is, that you’ll often find yourself forced to play on a lower nightmare level than you could otherwise handle… and lower nightmare level means less gold earned per minute – so you lose gold to get gold! In my personal opinion, the gold mines are simply not worth it.
My deck looks like this:
Starting hand (6)
- Lumber mill I
- Lumber mill II
- Quarry I
- Archery Range I (or Quarry II)*
- Siege workshop I
- Iron Mine I
Deck cards (32)
- Lumber mill III
- Quarry II (or Archery Range I)*
- Quarry III
- Archery range II
- Archery Range III
- Wall I
- Wall II
- Wall III
- Quartermaster III
- Farm I
- Farm II
- Farm III
- Trained crew III
- Reinforced walls III
- Blacksmith I
- Blacksmith II
- Blacksmith III
- Iron mine II
- Iron mine III
- Town hall bombard III
- Siege workshop II
- Siege workshop III
- Influential command III
- Lumberjack tools III
- Mining tools III
- Reinforced towers III
- Reinforced walls III
- Veteran archers III
- Archers regiments III (increases the squad sizes from 6 to 10 per unit)
- Wind blessing III (useful for picking up gold sacks and for luring the bosses)
- Gate I**
- Gate II
- Gate III
*Picking the archery range for the starting deck, at least gives you the chance to build 2 archery units right away to help with initial defense… but it will also slightly delay the construction of your towers. On the other hand, it is vital that you secure a good supply of stone early on, so you may want to choose having Quarry II in your starting hand instead. On a couple of occasions I’ve had the Quarry II card not turn up until 10 minutes in, and this can really cripple the game since you’ll be desperately short on stone. Ironically, once you get the stone production rolling (Rolling Stones haha), especially if you do it early on, you’re going to have so much, that you don’t even need the Quarry tools III card in your deck.
I’d say as a rule of thumb: if you tend to get overrun before you can even get the first towers up, go for the archery range in your starting deck, but if you’re more finding yourself struggling to build more towers due to lack of stone, choose Quarry II for your starting deck instead – and adjust as needed when increasing nightmare levels.
** I used to play without gates at all, simply defending the opening with units, but Gate II has a nice bonus in the shape of inspirational statues that will create a buffed up zone around the gate, giving a bonus to your units, both defensively and offensively. This can be VERY helpful in tight situations – lure the enemies into these zones to get a big advantage boost.
Gameplay (Western Valley)
The very first thing I do is to pause the game, then build Lumber Mill I followed by Quarry I. Send the starting units to a position right outside the gate.
Unpause, then wait for the first tick of wood, now build Lumber Mill II.
Check the gate area for incoming enemies, making sure that your starting units are positioned so that they’ll be able to intercept. For the time being, allow them to move freely, since the early enemies are not too tough… but always keep an eye on them and don’t let them wander off into the distance.
If you have Archery Range I in your starting hand, build it now and produce 2 archery units as soon as possible, then send them to just behind the wall, positioned so that one will be able to protect the iron mine, the other protects the quarry.
If you have Quarry II in your starting hand instead of Archery Range I, build it now.
Now it’s time to get the towers going. Build the Siege Workshop I at the back of the lot near the town hall, then unlock the Onager Tower as soon as possible and start building them as supplies allow.
You will probably have had the first card draw by now. If you don’t have Quarry II in your starting hand, it should be your #1 priority, no matter what else is offered. Get the Quarry II or you may well regret it very soon!
Since the entire gameplay is based upon strong towers, you need to secure a good flow of resources early on, so if your first card draw doesn’t offer Quarry II you may consider Iron Mine II, Lumber Mill III, Lumberjack Tools III or Mining Tools III instead. If none of these are available you could settle for Trained Crew III (gives your towers more dmg) or Archers Regiments III (increases your squad sizes from 6 to 10… playing this card early on saves you the hassle of sending units back for upgrades later) – if none of all the cards mentioned above are available, the last acceptable (imo) alternative is the Archery Range I (or II if you already have I in the starting deck)
Now build the Iron Mine I – you’ll be needing lots of iron later on, but not right from the start. Getting production up and running now enables you to start building a good supply of reserves.
Priority at this stage should be to buil all 4 Onager Towers as soon as possible, then look for Siege Workshop II in the next card draw.