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Battle for Middle Earth II Heaven » Forums » The Innsider (Strategies) » Guide: Fords of Isen II
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Topic Subject:Guide: Fords of Isen II
algis1992
Dúnadan
posted 11-27-09 10:43 AM EDT (US)         

Fords of Isen II



Fords of Isen II is probably the most popular 1v1 map on bfme2.
Originally, in the unpatched version of the game, it was not even a map in bfme2. But people loved the map on Bfme1 so much that a Bfme2 version was created.

It is on Fords of Isen II that clan wars are played, for this map is the most balanced of all the bfme2 maps.
In this guide I provide very basic information for newer players. Players who only just have decided to stop playing with a 4000 resources start and who now are looking for a good 1v1 map to gain practice on, instead of going for QM immediately and trying to learn all maps at once. In my opinion, Fords of Isen II is by far the best map for this. So let's take a look at this map:



Description:

Fords of Isen II is not a big map. You can see that the players are diagonally across from each other; between them you see the river Isen. Lack of obstructions and the small size of the map makes for quick rush distances through the middle ford.
There are 3 fords: one on the lower-left, one in the middle, and one top-right. The 2 different banks are almost completely identical (unlike Lorien, to make a comparison)
which provides a level playing field for both players. There are a few differences however: the biggest ones are the 3 hills/mountains/unsurpassable terrain. The one at the bottom players side is located west of him, the one at the upper players side lies north-west of him, near the edge of the map. There is also one other hill for the top half, this one is a mirror to the bottom one: it is located to the east of him, however it's a bit smaller and it lies closer to the river.
Other differences are different placed rocks here and there and trees, although both sides have a good amount of them. They are located mostly to the sides and near the river, and around the players bases there is an open field.
Fortunately these small differences make very little difference in play-style and don't give either player a huge edge. The only noticeable difference is that the upper player can get his units to the lower player more quickly because of his initial builder spawning point, also the unsurpassable stuff to the north-west of the upper player makes his farms slightly less productive in a certain effective, much-used 4 farm BO. De different placed rocks, hills and trees may also play an aspect in tactics, more about this will be put in the guide at a later stage. But enough with these: we have not yet described the whole map.

On Fords of Isen II you have 2 inns, one is located in the bottom left beneath the left ford, the other is located at the top right above the right ford. Both of these inns are "guarded" by a troll creep. There are in total 2 troll creeps and 4 warg creeps. The first 2 are located around the middle ford; these are the closest to the players. One is located below the ford at the right, and the other is above to the left. The last 2 warg creeps are located between the players and the troll creeps. So to the left for the bottom player half the way to the troll creep, and to the right for the top player half the way to the other troll creep.

Let's now discuss how these are important in the game:


The Fords:

As previously mentioned, there are three fords across the river Isen. One is located on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle of the river.
When you send your units to harass the enemy player you need to send them over one of the fords. Many new players send their soldiers right over the middle ford: after all this is the fastest and most obvious way to reach the enemy. However, it's advisable to send your soldiers around the sides to attack the enemy, as if you send all of your soldiers through the middle you make it easy for your opponent to defend his base. Besides that, you will probably miss the enemy's buildings to the sides.
It's important to have some control over the fords, to limit harassing from the enemy, and to improve your ability to harass him.
A good way to harass your opponent in early and mid-game is to capture the 2 inns next to the right and left ford. I will describe this in greater detail later. In late-game, if you have enough resources, you can consider building towers at the fords or if you are men or dwarves you can build lvl 3 raxxes (barracks), to control the fords.


The Inns:

There are 2 inns on this map. One at the bottom-left, to the south of the river Isen but close to the upper player, and one at the top-right, north of the river but close to the bottom player. Inns are very important to control: not only can you build units from them, but they also give LOS (line of sight) of the fords they are located near to giving you more control over them. You will know when the enemy units pass there, and if you spam units from your inn you can take care of invading battalions. Because of this it is also a good idea to place part of your rb's around the inns you have captured. Also, you can apply pressure to the opponent from the sides by pumping units out of the inns. Now we?ll discuss the inn-units of each faction:

Men:

They have Elven Warriors. Elven Warriors are very good units, and are considered by many to be OP (over-powered). They cost 400 resources, and their build time is quite slow, however they are worth it.
First, they can toggle between using a bow and a sword. This is handy for harassing, as arrows do almost no damage to buildings but good damage to units.
Furthermore, they have a long range, making them good against tier 1 archers like Lorien archers.
Also they are extremely trample resistant to cavalry, a rare trait for an archer. If the opponent wants to counter Elven Warriors with cavalry he needs to melee them. Most players just try to trample them; which does almost no damage to Elven Warriors.
Anyway, it's a good unit well worth getting, especially playing against elves to counter their Lorien Archers.

Dwarves:

These have hobbits. Hobbits are pretty weak and useless, so they are not worth the investment. It is still a good idea to capture or destroy inns to stop your opponent from using them, however.

Elves:

The Peasant. What I miss on any other map playing as elves is this unit.
They are dirt cheap, costing only 100 resources. They also do excellent damage to resource structures. Giving elves the unit they miss: a cheap harasser. Elven armies, being made of a mix of pikes and archers and some Lorien Warriors, are not very efficient at harassing. The peasants however change this.
Out of all of the factions, I only really depend on the Elven inn units when I play. Also, peasants are great against an orc/goblin-spamming opponent, as they can destroy orcs/goblins 1v1. A dual inn strategy works well against a orc-spammer, however in my experience, most Mordor players will choose for Corsairs over orcs.

Mordor:

Haradrim Lancers. It's an interesting unit; ranged but a counter to cavalry. However they don?t have many uses and you won?t really need them.

Goblins:

Wildmen of Dunland. With fire upgrade they are almost unstoppable: they destroy cavalry, infantry and heroes in a atter of seconds. Their only counter is archers. If possible: get these Wildmen! They certainly fall in my top 10 list of OP units! The only problem is that they are hard to purchase early game, goblins are the only faction that cannot creep early because they do not have pikes until the fissure has been upgraded to level 2. No early pikes means no early creeping. And no early creeping means no early inn because they are guarded by troll creeps.

Isengard:

Corsairs. They are fast and strong and have an excellent firebomb attack. Sadly however, unlike the Mordor ones, they cannot be upgraded with forged blades, and we all know how strong those corsairs are with them! Still a very good investment, though. Don't hesitate to get them! They are especially good against Elven opponents, as they can easily destroy Mallorn trees with their firebombs.


The Creeps:

There are a total of 4 warg and 2 troll creeps. All these creeps can only be creeped efficiently by pikes, archers or a hero. (+something to distract the troll or wargs. Powers and hit and totally based on killing these creeps early and using the extra resources efficiently. Also, killing the trolls gives access to the inns. I?ll discuss everything from the bottom players perspective, as the upper player does the same thing, only mirrored. The 2 warg creeps at the middle ford are closest to the player, and are also on the way to your opponent. After creeping, your pikes can immediately put charge your enemy. The other warg creep is to the left of the bottom player. After creeping this one you can continue on and creep the troll on the far left of the map and take the inn on your side of the ford. The other troll creep is closer to you, it's just over the right ford to the north of you. After creeping it and taking the inn you can continue toward the creep to the left of it on the way to your opponent.

Lets now discuss creeping for each different faction.

Men

Deleted due too false content. Will be edited later.

Dwarves

Dwarves, together with elves, are the best creeping race. They are splendid at it. I rarely face a dwarf who does not creep on this map. The reason they are so good at it are tunnels.
Place your tunnels at creeps and creep the whole map with your phalanxes. The dwarven creep BO is almost always the same (I don?t know of any other variations):

Mine
Rax (Hall of Warriors)
Phalanx
Forward Mine
Guardian

As soon as the Phalanx finishes put it in the mine, and as soon as the forward mine finishes, exit the phalanx and creep. Dwarves almost always go for the left creep. Then they continue to creep the troll and build tunnels near the opponent and near the other creeps. Note: if you start with a troll you?ll need to use rally call to help the phalanx kill the troll.

The new tunnels are financed by the creep money. You can also use the resources to get:

a. A forge > upgrade > Battle Wagons
b. Another (forward) rax
c. A fast gloin

I would go for a forge 100% of the time against any opponent, except for in a dwarf mirror. Battle Wagons are easy to use, fast, they 1-hit trample all swordsmen and archers, after they get upgrade with Men of Dale they turn into hero killers and anti-cavalry as well, and they are excellent harassers due to their speed and their ability to throw barrels (which are especially effective against elves). They certainly make it to the top 10 OP units list!

Elves

Elves, together with dwarves is the best creeping race. Elves generally don?t creep with pikes; it is possible but not as effective as using archers. You can start creeping whatever creep you want that is close to you.

One rb > rax is the rule for elves on fords of isen II, even if they don't go for creeping immediately (Lorien Warrior rush).

You start with:

Mallorn Tree
Rax
Lorien Archer > creep
LA > creep
LA > creep/defend

Possible variation include getting another Mallorn Tree before the 2nd or 3rd archer horde. Alternatively, you can get a Lorien Warrior battalion after the first Lorien Archer horde for a variation on the Lorien Warrior rush.
You can also get a Mithlond Sentry battalion early, in case the enemy cavalry rushes you. There are several different ways to creep with Lorien Warriors:

a. With builder

Can be done to creep both wargs and trolls. Run the builder around so the wargs/troll follow it instead of attacking the archers, while doing this shoot the wargs/troll with your archers. If creeping a troll, make sure that you keep your builder safe and don?t lose it!

b. Hit and run

Can be done to creep both wargs and trolls. The name says it all... shoot, then once they wargs/troll run towards you, pull back until just out of range and shoot again, etc. This can take a while unless used in combination with option c.

c: Rally Call

Can be done to creep both wargs and trolls. Can be used in combination with option a or b for faster creeping. Rally Call significantly increases the speed at which you can kill the creeps.

d: With Far sight

Can be done to creep both wargs and trolls. This is very easy; far sight gives archers extra range, allowing them to creep without danger of being attacked by the wargs or trolls.

Once you get a Mithlond Sentry battalion you can creep wargs very quickly and easily with that combo. It can also be used against trolls. Distract the troll like you do with a builder, and shoot it with your archers. Or you can just melee the troll with your Mithlond Sentries while your archers shoot at it. The disadvantage of using this option is that you will likely lose a lot of your Mithlond Sentries.

As elves you will get creep money very fast, and there is no way for the enemy to steal your first creep.

You can use the creep money to:

a. Build a 2nd rax
b. Build a Green Pasture
c. Get a fast Hero

I mostly go for option c, followed by option a. If you choose option a, you can get faster Mirkwoods by upgrading your rax to lvl2. Fast Mirkwoods are absolutely essential in mirrors since they are a counter to Lorien Archers ( and to Mithlond Sentries and Lorien Warriors). A green pasture is not really a good idea against elves unless you have very good micro skills, since cavalry is obliterated when faced with mass archers. You should use them vs. goblins to counter spam, but not against Mordor because of Nazguls and Easterlings. If you go for lancers you should also go for upgrades. Lancers are very strong with heavy armour.

If you go for a hero go for Haldir, or save up for OP Glorfindel.

Mordor

As Mordor you can creep with Easterlings. You don't need to build them forward like men because Easterlings are fast unlike tower guards.
BO:

SH
Haradrim Palace
SH

or

SH
SH
HP
Orc Pit

then you get orcs quickly as well.
After you have creeped you have many options. Mordor is after all the most versatile race (at least in my opinion). Most people go for a fast Nazgul or for a tavern and corsairs, since they are so strong on this patch. Both options are good in all Match-Ups, except for against dwarves where you don't want an early Nazgul.

Goblins

Goblins unfortunately have no option for early creeping unless they troll rush, since then they can creep the wargs with the troll. Mostly however, you will go for a cave build, so you won?t have the chance to creep early. As goblins you must try to creep steal. Check all the middle and side creeps with your first GW bats for a possible chance!

Isengard

As Isengard you can creep with you Uruk pikemen. They are the strongest pikemen in the game. They are also fast so just as with Mordor, there is no need for a forward rax. Possible early creeping BO's are:

Furnace
Rax
Furnace
Uruk Pikemen
Uruk Warriors

or

Furnace
Furnace
Rax
Furnace
Uruk Pikemen
Uruk Warriors

Most Isengard players go for the side creep and then for the troll, which the pikes can handle after they level up from the wargs. Use the money for Lurtz or for a warg pit. I myself don't creep early with Isengard, but instead go for an Uruk Warrior rush or for the 4 furnace build. I generally only creep later on in the game.


OTHER BO's and Strategies.

Just because there are creeps on this map doesn?t mean that you must go for a creep BO. I will quickly go over the other build orders used.

Men:

The most popular BO for men is the dual rax. Fords of Isen II is not a big map, and so makes this build order especially useful. You?ll need a to get an economy however, and so you still need to creep at some point. I prefer variations, including building an extra farm.

Farm
Farm
Rax
(Farm)
Rax
Soldiers of Gondor Spam

Dwarves:

There are 2 popular build orders. One is the guardian rush:

Mine
Mine
Hall of Warriors
Forward Mine
Guardians

or the forward hall rush

Mine
Forward Hall
Mine

The Guardian rush is very popular in QM on other maps but not much used on Fords of Isen II.

Elves

Almost always creep, another option is to Lorien Warrior rush

Mallorn Tree
Rax
Lorien Warrior
Lorien Archer > creep

Mordor

On this patch the creep strategy I mentioned is most popular for Mordor, but there are a lot of build orders for this versatile race:

Slaughter House
SH
Orc Pit
OP

the Orc spam...

or

SH
SH
OP
SH
OP

SH
Tavern
SH

for fast corsairs, also 2 SH > Tavern possible

also possible OP + Tavern

SH
SH
Nazgul

A Nazgul rush, I'm no fan of this build. Economy sucks.

Goblins

Since they don't creep their BO is basically this:

Tunnel
Tunnel
Cave
Tunnel
Cave

and later they go for a fissure or a spider pit.

Spiderling rush

Tunnel
Tunnel
(Tunnel)
Spider pit
Spiderling

Cave troll rush:

Tunnel
Tunnel
(Tunnel)
Cave troll (>creep?)

Isengard

First there is the Uruk Warrior (UW) rush:

Furnace
Pit
Furnace
UW

or

Furnace
Furnace
Pit
UW

There is also the Warg rush

Furnace
Warg Pit
Warg

(As this requires an extremely strong economy, I?m not a huge fan of this build order.)

or

Furnace
Furnace
Warg pit
Warg

(Doesn?t provide a good economy either)

or

Furnace
Furnace
Furnace
Warg pit
Warg
Furnace
Pit

(I prefer this).



Resource Building Placement

First we will talk about the placement of your first farms, this should be the same for all maps. If you are going for a 2 rb > pb build, you should place your first 2 farms at 97% as close to the fort as possible, making sure to rotate them in such a way that the sticking-out-parts are turned towards the fort. This way your first 2 farms will be protected from attack by your fortress. If you go for a rb + pb build you place your pb and rb on place where your Builders spawn, but build the rb first because otherwise it will have lower %. Place the 2nd within your fortress?s range as well. If you are dwarves you should rotate your rax and mines so that the entrances face each other, so your freshly trained troops can access the mines easier and more quickly.
Now on to the other rb's:

There are three philosophies on how to place your rb's:

a. Production

Always place them at 100%, or as close to it as possible: this makes it harder to defend but the extra resources you produce will make up for that.
On fords of Isen II this is quite easily done, as there is plenty room for expansion, unlike some other maps who are all mountains and such with no room for rb?s .


b. Defense/safety

Place your resource buildings close to your fort, in such a way that it is as easy to defend them as possible, and do research on the best defense placement! Place them at lower % rates closer to each other and closer to the fort; you can build not 2 but 3 rb's within fort fire range. However, your last rb will only have a 60% production rate. By losing less rb's you make up for the % loss. This is most effective when done with factions such as elves who are very good at defending their rb's. On Fords of Isen II you may consider building rb's close to the Inn(s) you have captured, especially if you are spamming units from them/it.

c. Hidden/safety

Make sure to hide your resource buildings. Place them in corners and near the edge of the map. But don't place them under 75%. Just make sure not to place them where enemy troops are common: placing them in the middle of one of the fords is a HUGE mistake! Turn the sticking-out-parts toward the corner/edge of the map, to hide them even better. The rb's relative safety makes up for the lower %. This should definitely be done with factions who are bad at defending their rb's or who have very weak rb's, such as Isengard. A good place to hide your rb's on Fords of Isen II is at one of the warg creeps after it has already been creeped.


A combination of b and c is quite common also



Endnote:

This was the guide, I hope you learned from it, it's only very basic stuff but it can definitely help!
Thank you


Guide written by algis1992
Edited by Blatant7





Replays of games and builds:

Deleted because of false content. Will be edited later

[This message has been edited by algis1992 (edited 04-04-2010 @ 07:54 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Blatant
DoFH Seraph & Director of Seraphs
(id: blatant7)
posted 11-27-09 03:18 PM EDT (US)     1 / 5       
Thanks algis, this is a great guide. Hope you'll consider writing more in the future.

Yes, I began my journey alone, and I ended it alone.
But that does not mean that I walked alone. ~ Brandon Sanderson
rammstein2129
Dúnadan
posted 11-27-09 05:49 PM EDT (US)     2 / 5       
yes , it's a realy cool guide.Tanks. What do you concil for the mirkwood map? It's because now most of my internet battles are there. Do you have any sudgestion??

Rammstein2129, the LORDofWAR R, from the tribe LORDS OF WAR.
from Portugal.
algis1992
Dúnadan
posted 11-28-09 04:37 AM EDT (US)     3 / 5       
I'm terribly sorry but I have played only once on the map and that was not even online. Mirkwood is I believe a 3v3 map (?) and I have not played a lot of 3v3. I am mostly a 1v1 player where I play mostly on Fords of Isen II, though I know how to play on certain other 1v1 maps as well usnign suitable strategy's I have used on fords of isen II, for example on Forlindon I would go for a more farm start because it's big, and also consider doing a fwd rax near the middle warg creep as any faction to creep it first and quickly take down the enemy's outpost.
Now and than I play 2v2 on buckland or on udun.
I'll look at the map and in 3v3 a bit to try answer your question but atm I don't have the knowledge.
Bendak
Dúnadan
posted 03-11-10 07:16 PM EDT (US)     4 / 5       
Wow, nice guide!

Staff, stick this! I demand it!

B e n d e r s . . . 2004

ex SWGBH scn designer
ex BFME2H cherub
EnemyofJupitor
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 03-12-10 01:52 AM EDT (US)     5 / 5       
It's one of the candidates for uploading onto the main site, if it makes you feel any better

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
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