Orcs Must Die General Tips Guide by hugh rist
Here’s how I got my scores using boom barrels in Nov. 2011 and some general tips. For information on how I got 14,339,392 on Killing Fields, go here.
About this guide:
- A collection of traps is referred to as a “killbox.”
- The game world is divided into cubes, but I’ll describe things in terms of squares because it’s easier.
Two basic killboxes:
1) Mace Killbox
- 1 mace.
- 2 tar traps centered under mace.
- 2 spikes in front of the tar.
- 1 push trap on the side of the tar.
- 1 arrow wall on the other side.
- If there’s only one wall, use an arrow wall.
- If you don’t have enough slots for a push trap and an arrow wall, use 2 push traps.
- 1 push trap, 1 arrow trap, and 2 more spikes or 2 brimstone behind tar if possible.
- 3-8 archers behind traps.
- Lightning cloud over killbox.
- Boom barrels on back edge of tar traps.
- Spring traps behind tar to flip ogres back if needed.
2) Grinder Killbox
- 1 grinder.
- 1 or 2 tar traps next to grinder or a 1/2 square away from it.
- 1 spike in front of each tar trap.
- 1 push trap across from grinder if there’s a wall, otherwise a barricade if needed to narrow the space down to 2 squares.
- 1 zapper above each tar trap if you have the DLC.
- 1 more grinder, push, tar/spike/brimstone, zapper behind first set if possible.
- 1 spring trap behind tar to flip ogres back if needed.
- 2-4 archers behind traps.
- Lightning cloud over killbox.
- Boom barrels on back edge of tar traps.
- Use this if you can’t use the Mace Killbox.
Basic strategy for playing a level:
1) Choose items
- Put the boom barrel in the third slot. You’ll need to switch back and forth between the weapons and the barrel quickly.
- Put archers and barricades at the end slots so you can get to them quickly during building phase.
- For the Mace Killbox, a typical selection is: Lightning ring, boom barrel, spikes, tar, pusher, arrow wall, mace, (extra item,) archer.
- For the Grinder Killbox, a typical selection is: Lightning ring, boom barrel, spikes, tar, grinder, zapper, pusher/barricade, (extra item,) archer.
- If being attacked in two places, take the Mana Well, if you can, to cast a cloud over each killbox.
2) Steel Weaver upgrades
- Death Augmenter is usually the only one you can afford at first. If you can’t afford it yet, buy it during the first wave.
3) Build Mace or Grinder Killbox
- 2 tar and a mace, or 1 tar and a grinder are enough to start getting combos on wave 1. Leaving a 1/2 square of space around the tar is fine. You can block off a 2 square-width path with one tar pit in the center and a 3 square-width path with 2 tar pits centered.
4) Start killing with combos
- Cast a cloud 4 spaces away from the spikes (or where they will be.) The cloud has a 4×4 range. Stand in the center of your square so the cloud will just overlap the spikes .
- There are usually marks on the floor you can use to judge your distance from the spikes. (For example, the swirls on Great Gorge near the rift are exactly where to stand.)
- Crossbow (1) + tar (1) + mace/grinder (1) + cloud (1) = x4 combo.
- For a Mace Killbox, shoot the orcs under the mace just as the mace starts to fall. This produces a lot of x4’s this way. Fire about 5 shots at medium speed from side-to-side starting on the side the mace is at.
- For a Grinder Killbox, shoot the orcs in the body as they pass the grinder. When the grinder stops, jump over them, on them, or run past them to lead them away from grinder while it resets.
- If dealing with ogres or gnoll hunters, run around them while they’re over the tar and shoot at them. They can’t hit you. If there are orcs in the way, jump over them or run on top of them (they can hit you if you stand on them too long.)
- Don’t kill anything with your crossbow or lighnting ring primary attacks. 10 combat kills can cost you 5-15k in points.
5) Sell items (if needed)
- On the first waves, sell anything you don’t need for the next wave so you can build another killbox elsewhere.
6) Add archers
- After the core of the killbox is built, add archers behind the traps.
- The archers have an 8 square attack range so place them 8 squares behind the spikes so they don’t kill anybody before they get into the killbox.
- Avoid putting them directly behind the traps because they’ll shoot you in the back.
- Stagger the archers. Don’t put archers behind other archers because they’ll shoot each other.
- Try to have only one archer per square so they don’t target the same enemy.
- 4 archers is enough to hold an unattended Mace Killbox if it has an extra arrow trap behind it.
- Remember where you put your archers. Don’t place them down randomly or your scores will be inconsistent. Use the patterns on the floor and the structures to remember where you put them.
7) Add more to killbox (if possible)
- For a Mace Killbox, an extra mace, pusher, arrow, and spikes/tar/brimstone behind mace.
- For a Grinder Killbox, an extra grinder, pusher/barricade, spikes/tar/brimstone, and zapper behind first grinder.
- You can do this after you get the Weaver upgrades if you don’t need it right away.
8) Steel Weaver upgrades
- Guardian Armor
- Burning Pitch
- Oiled Trap Gears
- Overcoiled Springs (Don’t need to buy this until ogres appear.)
9) Start bombing
- When an enemy is hit by one of the traps (other than the tar and cloud,) place a bomb on the back edge of the tar trap behind the spikes.
- Shoot the top of the barrel, not the center. The collision detection system is a bit odd in this game and sometimes shots to the center won’t hit if a nearby enemy’s collision volume envelops the barrel’s.
- Even if the enemy looks like it’s only on the back of the spikes, its collision volume is still over the tar slightly, so the tar will count toward a combo.
- Tar (1) + cloud (1) + flame arrow (2) + bomb (2) = 6x combo.
- + Spike, arrow, pusher, grinder = x7-x9 combo.
- If the mace or grinders kill the orcs before the bomb, you’ll still get some combos.
- Focus on bombing orcs that are poisoned by the spikes, set on fire by the arrows, and have ‘hopped’ about 2 steps over the tar to get a x7 or x8 combo.
- For ogres, bomb them as soon as the archers light them up and they start to stomp and roar. This produces an x8 or x9 if the traps are reset.
- 1 bomb for orcs, kobolds, and fire babies.
- 2 bombs for gnoll hunters.
- 3-4 bombs for hellbats and regular ogres and fire ogres.
- 4-5 bombs for frost ogres and armored ogres.
- The number of bombs for ogres depends on if the other traps are reset.
- It’s not hard to switch between the crossbow, ring, and barrel because you don’t need to move around.
- You’ll rarely run out of money for bombs. If you do, just shoot the the enemies for a little bit. You can still get x6-x8 combos by shooting enemies that are on fire.
- Enemy paths – Enemies follow a pre-determined path, so you don’t need to block off every route with barricades, just the route they’ve been programmed to follow. And, even then, you don’t need to block that route completely. For example, you can block off a side of The Library during wave 1 with one barricade placed kiddy-corner to the right pillar. Another example is on Overpass. Don’t set any barricades on wave 1 and they’ll only take one route.
- Orcs with a stalled grinder – Jump over them, on them, or run behind them to lead them away until the trap resets. You can afford one stun shot with the crossbow too before the lightning cloud wears off.
- Ogres and gnoll hunters with an unfinished killbox – Run around them in circles when they’re over a tar trap and under the cloud shooting them occasionally. They’re too slow to catch you. If there are orcs also, jump over them, on them, or run around them too.
- Sappers – Stand still. Move to your cloud-casting spot before they come out and don’t walk/run after they come out (you can still move your crosshair.) If you move, they’ll attack your barricades. If you stay still, they’ll ignore them and come for you. Sometimes archers will shoot them and damage your barricades, so be careful about where you put your archers.
- Flying enemies – Combo them with the cloud, flame arrows, barrels, autoballistas, arrow walls, push traps, grinders, maces. Fire babies can be stunned so archers can combo them.
- Stunned by ogre or hunter – If you get stunned, you can still place bombs. Turn around when your stunned and place bombs down, then blow them up when the stun wears off.
- Ogres getting through killbox – A spring trap with the Overcoiled Springs upgrade can flip the ogre back into the killbox.
- Kobolds – Stunning kobolds over the tar works well. Don’t kill them with the crossbow if you can avoid it. The archers will hit them for x5 combos.
- Barricades can trap enemies, preventing them from advancing. Details are here.
- Barricades can block off a route even if there’s 1/2 square of space around them. This doesn’t always work, so go into WarMage and watch the blue streaks to see how your barricades change their paths. If a streak stops, that means the orcs will attack your barricade. If it turns away, they won’t.
- Other floor traps can also affect enemies even if there’s 1/2 square of space between them and the wall or trap.
- Place your barricades before the enemies get close to them, or they’ll break them down.
Combo point values:
- x3 – 200
- x4 – 400
- x5 – 800
- x6 – 1600
- x7 – 3200
- x8 – 6400
- x9 – 12800
- x10 – 25600
- x11 – 51200
- x12 – 102400
- x13 – 204800
- x14 – 409600
Orcs Must Die Max Combo Killbox Guide
Orcs Must Die WarMage Mode 5 Skulls Guide
Orcs Must Die Barricade Blocking Guide
Orcs Must Die Ogre and Gnoll Hunter Killing Guide
Orcs Must Die 4X2 High Score Strategy Guide
Orcs Must Die Maps List
Orcs Must Die Gameplay FAQ