Fords of Isen II
Edited by Blatant7.
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 extremely balanced. In this guide I have provided very basic information for newer players who have just decided to stop playing with 4000 resources and who are looking for a good 1v1 map to gain practice before going for QM and try 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
Resource Building Placement
Fords of Isen II is not a big map. You can see that the players are on across from each other; between them you see the river Isen. 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 provide 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 player's side is located west of him, for the upper one lies also 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 lies to the east of him, however it's a bit smaller and it lies nearer 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. But enough with these differences: 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:
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.
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:
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.
These have hobbits. Hobbits are fairly 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.
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.
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.
Wildmen of Dunland. With fire upgrade they are almost unstoppable: they destroy cavalry, infantry and heroes in a matter 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.
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.
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 faction:
Men have very slow pikes; because of this men BO's starting with creeping involve getting a forward rax near a creep. Beware to not build your rax to close to the wargs, since than they will attack it. You should probably go for the middle warg creep on your side: as it is closest and it allows for more pressure to the opponent from you soldiers of Gondor harassment, since you build them from that barracks and a more middle situated rax can do more damage than one situated somewhere to the side. The danger however is that your opponent can creep steal you more easily, if you are bad defending versus this and you know your opponent uses such a strategy, then build your barracks next to the side warg. You also may try building the rax near the troll, giving you quick control over an inn and access to those strong Elven Warriors. You will need the Elven wood power or rally call however to creep the troll since your pikes are not strong enough to do that on their own at level 1.The most common creep BO is as follows:
You creep the middle warg. Send your fist soldiers towards the other middle creep to check if the opponent is creeping. If they are, try to creep steal him, and if not, continue to harass. After you have creeped the warg, send your tower guards after the soldiers of Gondor. If your opponent has already creeped the warg (without you being able to steal), continue towards the warg creep to the left of you on the way to the troll creep and then proceed to creep the rest of the map. If not, continue towards the middle creep on your opponent side and creep that, then go on to creep the whole map.
Use the money you get from creeping to:
Against some strategies of certain factions another rax maybe a necessary move because you will lose the forward rax soon or you just want to apply more pressure by spamming soldiers of Gondor. I recommend going for a stables in men mirrors and against elves, and maybe against goblins to trample goblin warriors. Don't use this in any case against Mordor, as Nazguls and easterlings decimate cavalry. And go for dual raxxes against Isengard and Mordor. I usually go for quick rangers if I'm facing Mordor.
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):
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:
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, 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:
Possible variations 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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
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 level 2. 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.
As Mordor you can creep with Easterlings. You don't need to build them forward like men because Easterlings are fast unlike tower guards.
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 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!
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:
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.
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.
Even more popular than the forward rax creep strategy is the dual rax tactic. Fords of Isen II is not a big map, and so makes this build order especially useful. You'll need a very strong economy however, and you still need to creep at some point. I prefer variations, including building an extra farm or placing one of the barracks near a creep.
There are 2 popular build orders. One is the guardian rush:
or the forward hall rush:
The Guardian rush is very popular in QM on other maps but not much used on Fords of Isen II.
Almost always creep, another option is to Lorien Warrior rush
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:
the Orc spam...
for fast corsairs, also 2 SH > Tavern possible
also possible OP + Tavern
A Nazgul rush, I'm no fan of this build. Economy sucks.
Since they don't creep their BO is basically this:
and later they go for a fissure or a spider pit.
Cave troll rush:
First there is the Uruk Warrior (UW) rush:
There is also the Warg rush
(As this requires an extremely strong economy, I'm not a huge fan of this build order.)
(Doesn't provide a good economy either)
(I prefer this).
Then there is the 4 furnace BO which allows a very fast unit max and still allows you to train wargs in time to defend. You also gain a very strong economy. I love this build order, especially against Elves, but it is not very common on this patch.
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:
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 :p.
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.
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 :)
This was the guide, I hope you learned from it, it's only very basic stuff but it can definitely help! Thank you :)