This happens to every Warcraft player in his first games. You attack a building, then the enemy
defends his town and kills all your guys. And your silly troops keep on hacking on the building instead
of defending themselves. Every newbie experiences this and asks why. It's because attack is not the
only command you should use to attack a building. There are other ways to do so.
These tips apply mainly to land troops. With ships, it's a little bit different.
That command means: "Attack unit xy until it is dead or out of sight." And that's what your guys will do until their bitter end. This is not very useful unless in some particular situations:
Stop doesn't just mean "stand still and have a nice time". As soon as your units are attacked, they will strike back. The will also go for the first enemy in sight. "Stop" is really a good alternative to take out buildings. There are two ways to do this:
Given that command, your units will not move at all, even under a blizzard! Thus this is quite dangerous but sometimes useful.
If you want to take out a barracks with three guys (look at "The Opening" for the picture),
you will not want them to chase peons. This is also the best way to defend your coast with catapults against ships.
Never move your cat to the shore even if the enemy ships try to lure you there! Just wait, and they won't be able to come
close to the shore. Of course you should get ships or mages then ASAP.
Stand ground is also a nice option to block a mine with a few guys. They will still beat the peons who try to get past them, but they will not open a gap. Use this command also for defense if you have a partial wall-in and use some guys to fill the hole.
By far the most powerful command! Many players ignore its versatile uses. Patrol is not only good for scouting (use flying machines for that),
it does not only mean "walk around between this point and point A"! Whenever a patrolling unit spots a guy or a building, it will chase it down.
These guys have tasted blood and want more :-)
If you're in an enemy town and have beaten the first wave of defenders, type "p" and click anywhere on the screen. Your units will then become ferocious berzerkers who kill everything until nothing is left. They will go for enemy troops first, then for peons, then towers and then other buildings (townhall first, then the less important ones). This command shouldn't be used with cats because they will overshoot anyway. But knights will often attack the same guy in groups of two or three because they have spotted him simultaneously, and you won't even have to make groups. This command has so many uses, explore it!
Patrolling is usually better than standing around. Your units will check the area around them and will be less vulnerable to surprise attacks from sappers or mages.
has few uses. Use it to prevent juggs and catapults from overfiring. Instead fire where you think your enemy will be one second later.
You can defend yourself against an enemy navy with attack ground, but don't forget to change the target or the enemy will soon outmaneuver you :-)
This is not actually a command, but if you right-click on one of your own units, the selected group will follow this one. This is particularly useful when you want to command a larger group than nine units. Just select the second group and right click on one unit of the first one, then select the next group and so on. You can also tell a group of ogres to protect a catapult by right-clicking on it. However, once the catapult is surrounded, you can't move it away anymore. So this command has its limitations.
Try to attack in large groups, with three or four guys chasing the same enemy. After he's killed, move on to the next on so on.
Never let your guys get separated or your enemy will kill your people one by one.
Use all your guys to attack an enemy (at least in the early game stage)! A small group of defenders will be useless anyway, and your buildings will last longer than your troops. Your peons will be killed soon, though. The way to prevent such a raid while having the troops outside the town is good scouting.
Inside your town, spread your guys across the border of your realm. You will be able to chase a catapult as soon as it has fired.
And your troops won't be a prey for sappers and mages. Tell the ogres in your town to patrol - this makes them a hard target for sappers and magebombs, and they will charge any intruders immediately!
Mages and sappers themselves are especially vulnerable to attacks. Many
players have their mages or sappers standing around until they have enough of them. While charging mana, the mages can easily be hit by a
demo squad. Better seperate them next time :-)
Don't separate them too much, either; you should have a sizeable group at hand pretty soon to defend your peons against an assault. Anyway, it's much easier to attack if you have enough guys instead of waiting.
This is so important. Using the mouse to click at all those icons is just a waste of time. You will have no chance using the mouse only. Use the mouse to select your guys and the keyboard to command them. Exploit the functions of the right button, too.