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Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat Tips & Tricks

Tags: Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat Game Guides, Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat Hints, Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat Walkthrough

Warhammer - Shadow of the Horned Rat

submitted by jeansy (jrl@yebo.co.za)

This guide to Warhammer: Shadow Of The Horned Rat is split into two
sections.
First there's a short list of general hints and tips for playing the game
and then there's a brief discussion of the different opponents you'll face.

The art of war 
Although the different missions you must complete vary widely, there are
some things that you should always bear in mind throughout the game...

Managing your forces
The first and most important rule is to save your game after every
successful mission. It's easy to win 'Pyrrhic victories' in Shadow Of 
The Horned Rat, where you may complete a mission but lose so many troops 
that it becomes very hard to succeed in the next. It's also vital that you 
manage your forces efficiently and spend as little money as possible, so even 
if you win a battle hands down, it might be worth going back and trying it with 
fewer regiments.

Likewise, remember to check your troops roster after every battle and hire
any replacement troops that may be available. It's vital to keep your regiments
as near to maximum capacity as possible if you're going to succeed.

Remember that you can take only 13 regiments into a battle, but those that
you don't use still have to be paid. Although the amounts are small, they
quickly add up. If you find that you're just not using a regiment, fire it. 
The savings will be worth it.

Don't underestimate the importance of experience. A fully experienced (6,000
points or more) regiment is a killing machine in comparison to its starting
statistics, and units like this are vital later in the game. For this
reason, try to use the same regiments as much as possible, and don't 'rotate 
duty' unless you have to. It's better to have a few experienced units than an 
army full of ones with a few hundred points each.

Battles
Although time is frozen during the deployment phase at the beginning of a
battle, the Winds of Magic are still active. If you're going to be starting 
in a position where you can use spells within the first minute of the battle, 
it's worth waiting for a lot of magic points to appear before starting the 
mission.

Learn to judge the range of the different spells and missile weapons that
you have available. Each is different, and it's worth taking the time to 
get a feel for how far you can fire. In particular, there's nothing more 
annoying than trying to cast a spell and finding that you're out of range - 
the magic points used are wasted.

Don't end a mission just because the 'mission complete' message appears.
Often there will still be routing troops on the map, and they still count 
as kills for experience. Likewise, many missions have magic items hidden on 
the battlefield, and now's the time to search for them.
What you're looking for is a sparkling point of white on the ground, which
appears about once every 30 seconds or so. Remember to look behind things
using the rotate buttons, and search the battlefield carefully.

Tactics
In order to succeed in Warhammer: Shadow Of The Horned Rat, you have to be
able to win battles at minimal cost to your forces. The first thing to
remember here is that the enemy will nearly always attack you - even when in a
defensible position, the computer will send its forces to attack yours. 
Don't be in too much of a hurry to send yours out to meet them.
Instead, take the opportunity to riddle the enemy with arrows and spells. By
keeping your melee troops in place, you can often significantly weaken the
enemy at no cost to yourself.
There are battles where this tendency of the computer to keep coming at you
can be even more helpful, such as in the dragon's lair under Zufbar (see the
Escort Engrol Goldentongue mission, below).

Likewise, close combat is dangerous because your troops can be killed. Your
aim should always be to finish fights as quickly as possible, and the best way
to do this is to force the enemy unit to rout. A routing unit is virtually
defenceless, and can be hacked to pieces easily by your pursuing regiment.
To force a rout, you need to do as much damage as possible as quickly as you
can, and this is where charging is important. A charging unit hits first and gets
a strength bonus, meaning that their hits will be more likely to cause wounds.
Always do everything you can to ensure that your regiments charge the enemy,
and not the other way around.

A good way to use this to your advantage is to charge the enemy with an
infantry unit while manoeuvring a cavalry unit to the enemy's side or rear, and
charging it again. The combined bonuses will almost certainly ensure that you do 
more damage than your opponent, and even a tenacious regiment can be forced to
rout in this manner.

Don't underestimate the usefulness of magic. Always try to use every
available magic point in every magic cycle, and experiment with different tactics.
Likewise, don't forget to use your sword's fireball attack once per cycle - you 
can even do this while in melee combat.

Know thine enemy
In Shadow Of The Horned Rat your army will face a variety of foes, some more
dangerous than others. The three most common races that you'll have to deal
with, though, are Goblins, Orcs, and Skaven. In the discussions below, the
races are compared to an average human soldier, such as a member of the
Grudgebringer Infantry. 

Goblins
These are the weakest of the enemy races, and shouldn't present much of a
threat. Their low weapon skill makes them easy to hit in hand-to-hand combat, 
and their low initiative means your troops will get their strikes in first. 
Combined with their lack of armour, this makes it a simple job to hack them to 
pieces. Best of all, Goblins have universally low leadership scores, making them 
easy to rout. Even Goblin Wolf riders aren't too much of a threat, and rank as the 
weakest cavalry unit in the game. Watch out for Goblin Archers, though, which can 
present something of a nuisance - charge them down as soon as possible.

Fanatics
These are the only really nasty Goblins. Fanatics 'hide' inside regiments of
Night Goblins, only revealing themselves when one of your regiments comes close.
Then they leap forward, swinging huge ball-and-chain weapons that scythe
through any unit in their path. Under no circumstances should you try to
engage a Fanatic in close combat - they'll just rip your regiment apart.
Instead, draw them out by moving a mounted regiment past them. Fanatics move
randomly once they've revealed themselves, and most of the time they'll
either spin themselves off the map (maybe even killing a few enemies in the
process), or be killed by their own weapon. Pick off any persistent ones with missile
fire or magic.

Orcs
The traditional bad guys for any fantasy world, Orcs are bred for warfare,
and pose a lot more threat than their Goblin cousins. Your only real advantage
is their low initiative, which means that your troops will at least get their hits 
in first. The average Orc is tougher than a human, though, making them harder to kill, 
and their fair leadership scores make them difficult to rout. Finally, they tend
to have better armour than Goblins. Combined with their sheer numbers this can make
even normal Orc regiments dangerous.
The real threat, though, comes from Black Orcs and Big 'Uns. Black Orcs have
better weapon skills, ar stronger, and have better leadership scores than
humans.
So they're more likely to hit, more likely to inflict damage, and are more
likely to rout your forces than to run away themselves. Except for their average
leadership, Big 'Uns share these advantages - but they have higher initiative than
normal Orcs, so you lose the advantage of striking first. If at all possible, avoid 
getting your infantry units into melee with either of these types of Orc, and use
your stronger Cavalry units instead. If you can't avoid it, try to ‘double team', 
by attacking with two units at once and out-numbering
them.

Skaven
These chaos worshipping ratmen are your true foe in Shadow Of The Horned
Rat, and before you finish the game you'll have killed literally hundreds of
them. The average Skaven has two advantages over human troops - they move faster, 
and they have higher initiative, so they hit first in close combat. Balanced
against this, though, is their low leadership - like real rats, Skaven are cowardly, 
and this makes them easy to rout. Considering the number that you normally face, 
this is just as well.
The trick to defeating Skaven is to use this weakness. By concentrating your
missile fire on the nearest unit, you can normally force them to rout.
Immediately switch targets to the next unit, and do the same. With a little luck 
you'll be able to rout one or two more regiments before the first rallies, at which 
point you simply start shooting it again. In this manner you can hold off a much 
larger force of Skaven for some time, whittling their numbers down so that when you 
are finally forced into close combat, you stand a much better chance of winning.
The Skaven to watch for are the elite Stormvermin. These guys are stronger
and have better weapon skills than a human, making them nasty opponents.
However, they still suffer from low leadership scores, so the above tactic works 
just fine.

Rat Ogres
These hulking brutes pop up quite often, and if left unchecked can wipe out
whole regiments. What's more, they cause 'fear', and so can force your troops to
rout just be charging at them. Luckily, there's a simple answer to Rat Ogres -
the Amber Wizard, Allor. His hunting spear spell drops them in their (rather
large) tracks almost every time.

Warpfire Throwers
A bizarre blend of technology and magic, this Skaven invention can fire arcs
of deadly green energy across the battlefield, and explodes when destroyed. For
this reason you shouldn't get into close combat with one - use magic or missile
fire to blow it up from a distance, and make them priority targets, as a direct 
hit from one of their beams can kill a lot of soldiers with frightening ease.


The (shortish) Road to Victory
This is a step-by-step guide to one of the shortest practical routes to
winning Shadow Of The Horned Rat. Because of this, though, it's not necessarily 
the easiest. By skipping many of the optional missions available you miss out on
many new regiments, reinforcements, magic items and, of course, experience
points. It is, theoretically, possible to finish the game in even less time,
but the more optional missions you skip, the tougher it gets.
For each battle there's a map showing the locations of any magical items, as
well as an example army and initial deployment. Remember that these are only
suggestions, and there are often several different strategies that will work
for a given battle, so feel free to experiment. The note 'reinforcements available
'indicates that you can hire replacement troops before the mission begins.

Protect Schnappleburg
Take both of your units, and deploy them as shown. When the mission starts,
attack the Goblins with the Grudgebringer Infantry. Move the Cavalry to the
north-west, then turn them towards the north-east and they'll spot a unit
of Goblin Wolfriders. Attack them with the Cavalry, remembering to use the
sword's fireball. That's all there is to it. Once the mission is complete,
get the Sword of Might - its location is marked with an 'X'.

The Sword of Might
This magical weapon increases the strength of its wielder, making his blows
more likely to inflict wounds in combat. It's probably best to give this to
Lieutenant Schepke, so use the Grudgebringer Infantry to pick it up.

Escort to Holst (Reinforcements available)
There are two ambushes in this mission, one on the way to Holst, the other
on the return journey. Take both regiments, and when the first ambush starts,
attack the visible Goblins with your Cavalry, then move the Infantry to the 
north-east. As soon as the next enemy regiment becomes visible, attack with the 
Infantry. 
When the Cavalry defeat the Goblins, move them east across the map, crossing
ahead of the first caravan. By the time the third and final enemy regiment
appears, the Infantry should have finished off their opponents, so use them to 
charge the last unit, and then bring the Cavalry in behind and charge
from the rear.
Once at Holst, you can once again hire reinforcements, and a unit of
Mercenary Crossbowmen is available for hire.
When the second ambush begins, your newly hired Crossbowmen are on the
wrong side of the caravan. Immediately move the Cavalry into the wagons'
path, blocking their movement, and then attack the bottom-right enemy regiment
with the Infantry.
Move the Crossbowmen north, past the Cavalry and caravans, and fire on the
enemy regiments as they appear in the north-east of the map - don't forget
to use the Cavalry's fireball attack as well. With a little luck you should be 
able to rout all the enemy with missile fire. Use the Cavalry and Infantry (once 
they've finished off their opponents) to mop up any survivors.

Sven Carlsson (Reinforcements available)
Take all three regiments, and deploy as shown. The important things to
remember here are that you can't prevent the Skaven assassin from killing Hiln, 
and neither can you kill the assassin, so forget about them.
As soon as the battle starts, attack Hiln's bodyguard with the Cavalry. By
the time they finish them off, the assassin should have fled, and three regiments 
of Skaven warriors will arrive in the south-east corner of the map. Use your
Crossbowmen to shoot the Skaven, while moving the Cavalry down to help. Mop up the
surviving Skaven with the Infantry and Cavalry, once again trying to pin them with 
the Infantry, then charge them in the back with the Cavalry.
Finally, get the Dragon Blade from the snowman behind the tower in the
north- east corner.

The Dragon Blade
The Dragon Blade is a magical sword that causes any hits made by its wielder
to count as two. It's probably best to give it to your Cavalry, so pick it up
with them.

Patrol
Take all three units, and reverse the standard marching order, so that the
Crossbowmen lead and the Cavalry bring up the rear. Two ambushes will occur,
both involving three regiments of Skaven warriors. Use the Crossbowmen to
pepper the enemy units with arrows as described in the 'Skaven' section
above, while moving the Cavalry off to one side (don't forget the fireball!). 
Use the Cavalry and Infantry together to deal with the surviving Skaven.
There's quite a bit of luck involved in these missions, as to whether or not
theSkavenr out and how quickly they rally, so be prepared to try it a few
times.

Rescue Illmarin (Reinforcements available)
Take all three regiments. On the way to the battle you'll encounter Allor,
an Amber Wizard who'll work for you for free. Once there, deploy as shown. In
this mission it doesn't really matter what happens to the Dwarves - even if the
regiment gets killed, you still speak to them afterwards, so don't worry too
much about 'saving' them.
Be sure to wait for a lot of magic points, then begin the battle. Set the
Crossbowmen firing at the lower left group of Skaven warriors, and when the
Rat Ogre gets closer let him have it with a Hunting Spear from Allor.
Immediately move him north a bit, and try to cast a Curse of Anrahier on the
Stormvermin. If the Skaven warriors haven't routed yet, attack them with the 
Infantry, and use the Cavalry to charge the rear of the Skaven fighting the 
Dwarves. Once the Infantry are finished, send them north and attack any surviving 
Skaven. Finally, get the Shield of Ptolos from behind the trees at the far west 
of the map.

The Shield of Ptolos
This magical shield protects its bearer from missile weapons of all kinds.
As such, you can happily give it to any of your regiments. Generally, though, the
Cavalry are a good bet, as they're more likely to be used to charge missile units 
in later battles.

Orc Pursuit (Reinforcements available)
This is the first really tough battle. There are a lot of Orcs to deal with,
and several ways to go about it. The following is a risky plan, but if it works,
it lets you win with minimal losses. Again, don't worry too much about the Dwarves.
Before the mission begins, hire the Black Avengers, then take all your
regiments with you, and deploy as shown. As the battle begins, move the Cavalry and
Infantry down the eastern side of the map, stopping to the east of the small
clump of trees. While they're moving, cast the Curse of Anrahier on the Orc Big
'Uns that appear on the western side of the map, then shoot them with the
Crossbowmen and Hunting Spear spells.
Meanwhile, to the east, the Black Orcs should have continued to move west
while the Orc Boys turn towards your Infantry. Charge them with the Infantry, then
charge them in the rear with the Cavalry. Back on the western side, when the
Orc Boys overtake the 'cursed' Big 'Uns, attack them with Illmarin and the Black
Avengers.
Once the fight on the eastern edge is over (which shouldn't take long) send
the Cavalry into the centre of the map to help the Dwarves, and attack the
Archers by the bridge with the Infantry. When Illmarin and the Avengers finish of 
the Orc Boys, send them into the centre to help out the Cavalry. Phew.

March to Zufbar
Time to help the Dwarves. Take only the Cavalry, Allor and the Crossbowmen
with you. At Finn's Rest, hire reinforcements and the jolly hard Vannheim's
75th.
When you reach the entrance to the Underway, you'll have to fight a small
band of Goblins. The only danger here is from the Fanatics hidden in the two
Night Goblin regiments. Move your Cavalry and the 75th north, then cut across the
path of the Night Goblin units. Judge the timing right, and the Fanatics will
surge forward, while your two units move off to the side. Pick off any persistent
Fanatics with the Crossbowmen and Allor, then order the Cavalry and the 75th
to charge the Night Goblins. Attack the Goblin Spearmen with the Dwarves,
target the Archers with your Crossbowmen, and send Allor north to give the Goblin
Shamen a nice shiny Hunting Spear. Simple.
In the Underpass you'll be attacked by Squig Riders - imagine a Goblin on
the back of a very large living Space Hopper, and you'll get the picture. These
guys are a real pain, and there's little point in trying to engage them in melee
combat - they just jump up and splat you. Instead, pick them off with Hunting Spear
spells and arrows, while moving the rest of your units to the south-east corner of
the map, out of harm's way. A lot here depends on the luck of the Winds of
Magic - get enough and Allor can mop up the Squig Riders easily - so be prepared to
reload a couple of times.
Finally, ignore the honour mission and continue to Zufbar itself.

Slave Assault
This looks tough, but because the Skavenslaves are so wimpy, it's actually
not a very hard mission. Take your Cavalry, the 75th, Allor and your Crossbowmen.
You'll also be given a regiment of Dwarven Crossbowmen and a regiment of
Iron Breakers. Deploy as shown, and gleefully pepper the Skavenslaves with
arrows.
You should be able to kill most of them like this, but use the Cavalry and
75th to mop up. Once the first batch is killed, move your Cavalry north until the
gate in the top west opens, then bring them back down again. Use Allor to take care
of the Rat Ogres, and decimate the last two Skavenslave regiments in whatever
fashion takes your fancy. Finally, get the Banner of Might from the rocks at
the northern end of the map.

The Banner of Might
This magical standard increases the strength of every soldier in its unit,
and as such is a very powerful item. Either your Cavalry or the 75th should be the
bearer, making them great ‘shock troops' for dealing with tough opponents.

Escort Engrol Goldentongue
Take only your Cavalry on this mission - you'll be given Ceridan, the envoy,
a unit of Hammerers and Gotrek Gurnisson as well. When the mission starts,
Gotrek, a confirmed psychopath, will charge the dragon - there's nothing you
can do to stop him. Run Ceridan past the fight, using the manual Charge button
if necessary to avoid the flames, and continue moving him north until he spots
the Orcs. Then simply run him south, back past the dragon, and wait. The Orcs
will trudge south, straight into the dragon's flames, and rout, running north.
Then they'll rally, and like good little Orcs, come back for more.
Eventually some will probably get through, so just hack the survivors to
pieces with your Cavalry, and when all the Orcs are dead or have left the map, run
Ceridan north once more to finish the battle.
After a bit more travel, you'll stop in Averheim. Reinforcements are available
here, as are Keeler's Longbows, so hire them as well.
Between Averheim and Nuln you'll encounter a wolf attack on a Bright Wizard.
Use your Cavalry to deal with the single 'roving' pack (which starts just to
the east of the magician), and then pick off the rest with the Longbows. The
wizard, Luther Flamestrike, will join you.

March to Loren
(Reinforcements available)
Finally you'll reach Nuln and see the Emperor himself, as well as getting the
chance to hire some new units. Both cannon crews are something of a must for
later missions, so be sure to hire them. Upon choosing the ‘March to Loren'
mission you'll also receive a regiment of Reiksguard Knights. Take the
Knights, your Cavalry, the 75th, Crossbowmen, Longbows and both Wizards with you.
You'll also meet a Celestial Wizard on the way, who will join you, then you'
ll be ambushed by a lot of Skaven.
Charge the regiments that attack from the north with all three mounted
regiments, while moving the Crossbowmen, Longbows and both Wizards to the east. 
Use these units to deal with the Skaven reinforcements that arrive from the
south-east corner of the map.

Extermination
It's vital that you complete this mission, or you'll be ambushed twice more
on the way to Loren. Take your Cavalry, the 75th, Crossbowmen, Longbows, Allor and
Luther, and the Hammerers. You'll be given three dwarf Gyrocopters and a
unit of Dwarven warriors.
Deploy as shown, and use the 'copters as much as possible. Their steam
cannons seem to have no rate of fire limit, and so you can fire as quickly as you
can click the mouse. The bombs, while inaccurate, can wipe out a whole unit of
Skavenslaves in a single direct hit. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for
the 'copters to get involved in hand-to-hand combat, so be careful.
If any Skaven make it to the mouth of the passageway with the rest of your
army, let 'em have it with missiles and magic. As soon as the coast is clear, run
Allor forward to use his Hunting Spear against the two Grey Seers. Finally,
destroy all nine Skaven 'bolt-holes' by attacking them, and get the Dread Banner 
from the south-east corner of the cave.

The Dread Banner
This standard gives the unit that carries it the ability to instill fear in
opponents, and thus gives them a chance to force any enemy regiment to rout simply 
by charging them. Perhaps even more handily, though, it makes the unit that
carries it immune to fear. As such, either the 75th or your Cavalry are a good choice
to carry it, as they will then become a useful 'monster killing' unit.

To Loren
Provided you completed Extermination, there is little chance of an ambush on
the way, so take as few units as possible.

Poisoned Wind
Take both cannons, the Crossbowmen, Longbows, Allor and whichever unit you
gave the Dread Banner to. You'll also be given some Wood Elf Archers and a
Treeman.
The objective here is to avoid melee combat, as the Plague Monks almost
continually emit black vapours similar to the Skaven Pestilent Breath spell.
So, blow them to bits with the cannon, pepper them with arrows and force routs
with the Treeman and Dread Banner if any of them get too close. There are a lot a
Plague Monks, but a direct hit with a cannon will kill nearly a whole
regiment, and the Wood Elf Archers are accurate and have an incredible rate of fire...

Rescue High Elder
Nearly there - the end is in sight. Take your Cavalry, the 75th, the
Knights,
Hammerers, Allor and Marius (the Celestial Wizard), as well as both cannons.
Deploy as shown, and once again let 'em have it with the cannon and arrows.
Move the Knights and Treeman to the east and then attack any Stormvermin that
get too close with them, doing the same on the western flank with the 75th
and your Cavalry. Be sure to kill the pesky Grey Seer as soon as possible,
either with a Hunting Spear from Allor, or in close combat with Ceridan.

The Final Battle
Well, not quite. Take everything you can with you. On the way north you'll
meet up with the Dwarves again, and get any of their units that survived
Extermination. Eventually you'll decide to make for Nuln, but to get there you'll 
have to deal with that Orc Warlord that you've been hearing so much about.
This is a big, tough fight, and can be very tricky to win. Deploy on the
hill as shown, and try to do as much damage as possible from a distance. Use any
Gyrocopters to draw out the Goblin Fanatics as early as possible, then if
you've got time, try to use them to deal with the numerous War Machines.
The real danger here comes from the Orc Shaman on his Wyvern. You can try
peppering it with arrows, but you'll be lucky to do much damage. Likewise,
Allor's Hunting Spears are a good bet, but you have to wait until it's
landed for them to hit - by which time you're normally in trouble. If you have enough
time to see it coming, your best bet is the unit with the Dread Banner, as they'll
be immune to the fear caused by the Wyvern. Even then, though, they'll take
very heavy losses...
If you defeat the Orcs, you'll make your way to Nuln - the last stop before
the grand finale. Here you'll have a chance to reinforce, and get some new
units.
Which is just as well, because you'll need them.
We're not going to show you the last map - it would only spoil the fun.
However, there are some things to bear in mind. First of all, this battle is unlike
any other in the game, because the sole objective is to win - you don't have to worry
about the losses. If only one man remains standing, you'll still win the game.
That said, don't go charging in willy-nilly. Your cannons are once more your
best friends here, as none of your other units has quite the same potential for
large scale carnage. Blow as many Skaven to bits as you can, then charge
everything you've got into the fray. Try to 'double team' enemy regiments with Infantry
from the fray and Cavalry from the side or rear where you can. Remember, the fate
of the world hangs on your decisions...

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