Warcraft II Units are composed of three main types: land, naval and air units. They are all trained at different structures and are fairly similar on either the Human or Orc faction.
The units are essentially quite balanced, the only real differences can be found in the spells used by Paladins / Ogre-Magi and Mages / Death Knights. It is often argued that the Ogre-Magi have better spells than Paladins (the Bloodlust spell used on a large number of Ogre-Magi is very devastating, and makes people easily favor orcs, especially if they favor rush tactics) while Mages are better than Death Knights (the Polymorph spell is extremely effective if used correctly), though some disagree on one count or both. The other non-cosmetic difference is that Elven Rangers can learn the Marksmanship ability (so that they deal more damage) whereas their counterparts, Troll Berserkers, can acquire Regeneration (which slowly heals their wounds).
These tables show the internal Basic and Piercing Damage values used in the Warcraft II Map Editor. When an attack is made, the game randomly decides whether it will deal half or full damage. The target's Armor is then subtracted from the (half or full) Basic value, with a minimum result of zero; the (half or full) Piercing value is then added to the result to get the target's HP loss from the attack. The Low and High attack values shown in a unit's infobox within the game are calculated using the above formula, with the Low value assuming a half damage attack against a target Armor of 15, and the High value a full damage attack against no Armor.
Peasants are trained from the hard-working and stout-hearted citizens that live in the numerous kingdoms of the Continent of Lordaeron. By mining Gold and harvesting Lumber to meet the ever-increasing needs of the fighting force which must push back the unrelenting Horde, they are, quite frankly, the backbone of the Alliance. Trained not only in the construction and maintenance of the myriad buildings found in every community, but also those necessary to wage war, they take great pride in the invaluable service they provide. Roused by the tales of the Orcish atrocities in Azeroth, these Peasants have learned to use both pick and axe for their own defenses if threatened.
The label of Peon denotes the lowest station amongst those in the Orcish Horde. Inferior in all skills of import, these dogs are relegated to menial tasks such as harvesting lumber and mining Gold. Their labor is also required for the construction and maintenance of buildings necessary to support the vast undertakings of the Horde. Downtrodden, the Orc Peons slave thanklessly to please their masters.
Footmen are the initial line of defenses against the Horde. Arrayed in hardened steel armor, they courageously wield broadsword and shield in hand-to-hand combat against their vile Orcish foes. The valorous Footmen are ever prepared to heed the call to arms.
Those Orcs who distinguish themselves enough in the arts of war to be trained as Grunts epitomize the merciless spirit of the Horde. Equipped with mighty axes and battle-worn armor, they are prepared to fight to the death. Devoted to the Horde and their clans, the Grunt lusts for battle - wanting nothing more than to wade into the field of carnage and die a bloody death surrounded by the bodies of his fallen enemies.
Out of the mysterious forests of Quel'thalas come the Elven Archers to aid the Alliance in its darkest hour. Descendants of the elder race of Lordaeron, these sylvan woodsmen are unmatched in their use of the bow. Unencumbered by helm or heavy armor, Archers are keen of eye and fleet of foot. These Elves have long been embroiled in a bloody conflict with the hated Trolls of Lordaeron and are swift to let loose a rain of arrows upon any foe, including those that attack from the skies above.
Troll Axe Thrower
The Trolls of Lordaeron have suffered ages of attrition at the hands of the Humans, Dwarves, and Elves. The appearance of the Orcish Horde has given them the opportunity to ally themselves with kindred spirits with whom they can seek revenge upon their many enemies. More agile than the brutish Orcs, Trolls employ throwing axes - along with the cunning attack and retreat stratagem - to assail their foes. This combination of speed, range and ability to bring down threats from above makes them a valuable addition to the Orcish Horde.
The Knights of Lordaeron represent the fiercest fighting force in the armies of the Alliance. Protected by suits of heavy armor, they carry mighty warhammers with which to crush all who would threaten the freedom of their lands. Astride great warhorses, these honorable and just warriors serve as a symbol of order to the peoples of Lordaeron in these dark and chaotic times. Having learned of the fate the Knights of Azeroth suffered after the First War, they have sworn to both avenge their fallen brethren and free their homelands from the grip of the Orcish Hordes.
The Ogres are the monstrous two-headed allies of the Orcs that were brought through the Portal by the Warlock Gul'dan after the First War to act as enforcers in an effort to quell needless infighting between the Orc clans. Due to the constant bickering between their two heads, Ogres exhibit less intelligence than even the lowly Peons. Their incredible strength and unnatural toughness, however, make them some of the fiercest warriors in the Horde.
Ballista launch steel-tipped bolts to impale all in their path. As they require an awesome amount of force to be placed upon their tremendous bowstrings, these machines of war are reinforced with lumber from precious Ironwood trees. The Ballista, a product of Human design and Elven craftsmanship, is a symbol of unity between all those who have allied themselves against the Horde. The Dwarves prove to be another valuable ally, in that they may be employed to design improved missiles which make the Ballista the most devastating weapon of the Alliance.
Sharpened horns, crimson with blood of those unfortunate enough to be caught in their path, herald the advance of the Orcish Catapult. Approaching on the battlefield, its grim visage is enough to make the weak Human troops flee in stark terror. These cumbersome, wheeled machines launch deadly incendiary shot which explodes upon impact. the sheer destructive force of these great engines of war make them feared and respected throughout the land.
From the deep, subterranean halls of Khaz Modan, the Dwarven Demolition Squads come to aid the Alliance in their crusade for the liberation of Khaz Modan. As masters in the handling and arming of explosives, these squads are renowned for their ability to demolish any obstacle - from a mightily wall to a bulwark of solid stone. Reckless and bold, these Dwarves are zealous in their loyalty to the Alliance and would not hesitate to detonate their explosive payload should the situation turn grim.
The mischievous Goblin Sappers are known throughout the Horde for their incredible aptitude for destruction. These diabolical Goblins are invariably armed with extremely volatile explosives; which enable them to level enemy structures and weapon emplacements. Although the Goblin Sappers are highly unpredictable and insubordinate, they have become necessary to the plans of conquest maintained by the Horde.
Once students of the Conjurers of Azeroth, this new order of Mages have been forced to discover untapped magical forces to command in their war against the ruthless Orcs. Although masters of their arts, the Conjurers who fell during the First War were unprepared for the rigors of warfare. Determined to avoid a similar fate, the Mages have undertaken a regimen equally demanding on body and soul, thus dedicating themselves to the command of more aggressive and destructive magiks. Whether in their sanctum at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran or on the many battlefields of Lordaeron, the Mages are resolute in their efforts to defend the people.
Mages are arguably the most powerful units in Warcraft II. They can be unstoppable when properly controlled. One thing you do not want the enemy to do is get a lot of Mages. Mages can be tricky to control. In newbie hands they are almost useless but when they are controlled by advanced players, they are deadly. If you play Humans, Mages should always be your goal besides killing the enemy. Here is the main Human plan: More More More Mages.
These soldiers of darkness were created by Gul'dan to replace the slaughtered Warlock clans. Assembled from the corpses of the Knights of Azeroth slain in the last battles of the First War, these abominations were then instilled with the ethereal essence of the Shadow Council. Further empowered with magical energies culled from the slain Necrolytes, the Death Knights wield an arsenal of necromantic and elemental spells that mete out all but certain death to the enemies of the Horde.
The Gnomes of Khaz Modan have long offset their lack of physical strength with ingenuity and daring. As members of the Alliance, they have continued to display their talents by inventing and piloting the unbelievable Flying Machine. Although having no armaments, these awkward contraptions can be used to survey vast areas of terrain, and detecting the otherwise hidden movements of underwater units (as all flying units can), making them invaluable for discovering the movements of the Horde.
Zeppelins are ingenious inventions that allow small teams of Goblins to soar above the countryside and spy on enemy positions. The Zeppelins are cumbersome, awkward and maintain no armament. Their airborne capabilities, extensive line of sight, and ability to spot underwater units (as with all flying units), however, make them an integral part of the Horde's spy network.
From the ominous and foreboding peaks of Northeron come the Dwarven Gryphon Riders. Mounted upon their legendary beasts and wielding the mystic Stormhammers forged deep within the secret chambers of their Aviaries, these feral Dwarves fear no enemy and rely upon no friend. They have allied themselves only with the Elves of Quel'thalas, distrusting both their Dwarven cousins and the Humans alike. When the call to battle is sounded, however, they can be counted upon to fight alongside any who oppose the Horde.
Dragons are native to the untamed northlands of Azeroth. Reclusive by nature, Dragons have had little contact with their earthbound neighbors over the centuries. Rend and Maim, the Chieftans of the Black Tooth Grin clan, masterminded the capture of the Dragon Queen Alexstraza by the Dragonmaw clan. With their Queen held captive, these majestic creatures have been forced into subservience by the Horde - her progeny being raised by the Dragonmaw clan to slaughter the enemies of the Horde.
By combining their incredible destructive powers with a keen intellect, the Dragons represent the single most powerful force within the Horde. The devastating flame that issues forth from the mouths of the older serpents can level any number of enemy troops, while their powerful wings allow them to tirelessly soar through the skies.
As the only ships which do not require Oil to be built, Oil Tankers make possible the construction of the Alliance fleet. They are manned by hard working, dependable mariners who search for the rich Oil deposits which lie beneath the waves. The crew of every Tanker is skilled in building Oil Platforms and ferrying the Oil back to a Shipyard or Oil Refinery where it may be processed and put to use.
Orc Oil Tanker
The Orc Oil Tanker is crudely constructed, as its purpose is for bearing cargo - not weapons or troops. The Tanker being little more than a collection of wood, bone and storage space, is crewed by a mob of Orcs scarcely more capable than the lowly Peons. Other than being able to pilot the craft, the crew of the Tanker performs tasks equivalent to those of a Peon - building Oil Platforms and returning their cargo so that it may be processed and used as the overseer chooses.
Transports are a vital part of the Alliance war effort, for it is these sturdy vessels which allow troops to traverse various waterways to engage in battle. Designed to carry and deliver several ground units directly onto the shore, Transports are slow and unarmed, and thus rely upon protection from Destroyers and Battleships.
Transports are huge, skeletal ships charged with ferrying Horde troops across large bodies of water. Being slow and bulky, Transports rely upon magical armor to reply enemy fire. Although the Horde is known to defend their Transports with Destroyers and Juggernaughts, some reckless crews will sail straight into a naval engagement to deliver their troops to land.
Elven Destroyers are powerful warships from the fleets of Quel'thalas. Crewed with highly-skilled Elven seafarers, these swift-sailing vessels are prepared to engage the enemy wherever they may be found. Elven Destroyers constitute a critical part of the Alliance navel defense force as they can unleash their firepower upon the dreaded aerial forces of the Horde.
The Troll Destroyers are swift, ill-visaged longboats designed to cut through the enemy armadas and deal damage to enemy vessels and their flying support. The savage Troll crewmen are eager to enter into combat against Alliance ships of war and hungrily await any chance to stand mast to mast against the Elven Destroyers.
The Alliance relies upon its great Battleships to control the seas. These hulking behemoths possess armor and weaponry far greater than that of any other Alliance vessel. The combination of devastating weaponry and substantial armor that they can brandish more than outweigh their somewhat slow speeds in waterborne combat.
These gargantuan ships of war are the main armament in the dark armada of the Horde. Heavily armed and armored, the Juggernaughts are veritable floating fortresses that constitute the greatest implement of destruction within the Horde's navel forces. While not as swift as the Troll warships, these ruinous craft have quickly come to be feared across the seas of Azeroth for the unrelenting onslaught they render against the Alliance.
The resourceful Gnomish Inventors have designed an amazing craft known as the Submarine. This watertight vessel can submerge beneath the waves and surreptitiously keep watch on enemy forces above the surface. The Gnomish Submarine is visible only to Towers, aerial forces, and other vessels that move beneath the waves. Using cunning and craft to carry out surprise attacks on more powerful enemies makes the Submarine an invaluable part of the Lordaeron armada.
These Giant sea Turtles are native to the southern seas and were captured by the Stormreaver clan. Pacified by potent spells of control, these lumbering monstrosities are fitted with watertight canopies strapped onto the backs of their shells and are used as submersible Orcish craft. By submerging under the waves, the Giant Turtles can steal upon unsuspecting enemy craft and report their position to the Horde fleet as they are visible solely to Towers, creatures of the air, and other submersible vessels. The daring Goblins who control them are dedicated to destroying enemy ships by launching hazardous, steam-driven canisters containing highly volatile liquids that can shred even the strongest armor.
The Eye of Kilrogg and Skeleton are units summoned by Orc spellcasters. The Daemon and Attack Peon/Peasants are not trainable or able to be summoned, but only appear as NPC enemies. The Critters exist mostly to add flavor, but can have spells cast on them or get in someone's way.