A FFA Is the longest type of gaming on BNet ladder. FFA can last anywhere from an hour to two and even then they can go longer or even shorter. Not everyone has the time and effort to put forth to make valuable games. The FFA is also the most complex game type, and requires the most strategy. Anyone looking to play some FFA should read through this. Changes: V1.0: Written guide. v1.1: -Expanded and reworked all sections. -Fixed spelling, punctuation and Grammar errors. -Added improved strategies for each race. v1.2 -few grammatical fixes -added new sections: Neutral heros, Items and Map strategies. A FFA is the longest type of gaming on BNet ladder. FFA can last anywhere from an hour to two and even then they can go longer or even shorter. Not everyone has the time and effort to put forth to make valuable games. The FFA is also the most complex game type, and requires the most strategy. Anyone looking to play some FFA should read through this. Contents: 1. Basics 2. Human players 3. Your Strategy a) Human b) Undead c) Orc d) Night Elf 4. Choosing heroes 5. Early Game 6. Mid Game 6.5. Alliances 7. Late game 8. Wrap up 9. Neutral Heros 10.Items 1. Basics: FFA games revolve around a few key elements. Unlike solo, there are nearly no minor skirmishes. You will need a few things to win: *Strong Defense *Several Expansions *Always tech *Strong heroes *Always get 3 heroes *Scouting *Watch your food supply This may sound like a generic list, but these things are REQUIRED to win. A FFA is a drastically different game type than any other. Most solo games you win by controlling the map, rushing and frequently aggressive maneuvers. The FFA will have you changing your play style to be good. A strong defense is needed for your main, and all your expansions. It is very likely that during mid to late game you will be attacked. It is a lot easier to defend a heavily fortified base. Especially if your attacked at two places, defending one, while the other one holds out with itâ€™s defensive towers. You should always defend your expansions, but be wary not to get yourself trapped, seeing how If you lose your army it will be very expensive to rebuild. On the subject of expansions, youâ€™re going to need them. Forget solo, where you can end a game before you need to expand. A FFA will always have several expansion mines. Take this as an advantage. Always secure a quick expansion. The sooner your expansion, the more money you will make off of it. A game can see you clear out maybe 2 or 3 mines completely and still leave you with little cash. An expansion early will have you with two mines on low upkeep. The further into the game you go, the less cash you receive if youâ€™re in high upkeep. The more expansions mean two things. You will receive more money to combat the loss in income due to high population, and several food slots. An expansion requires 5 workers, meaning each one will have 5 foods per expansion. With main and two expansion that is 15 food not counting cost of wood choppers in food. Be careful, don't over expand. At best, along with main you should only expand twice. The biggest strategy in FFA is to ALWAYS TECH. I'll tell you why. FFA games are fought at tier 3. No one does anything at tier 1 to 2 past creeping. You should be surprised to see footmen or ghouls in any large quantity. Everyone techs in a FFA, which gives you an opening to tech along side them. I have yet to see a person attack early and win. It happens though. If you are unlucky enough to be sandwiched between two people, your biggest priority is to take one out and defend against the second. With an expansion, your biggest priority is to set up your base army. Remember youâ€™re in a game with four other people. Strategies can and will change. Be flexible. There is never a set strategy in a FFA, past a balanced army. When you are building your base, build at least two of every type of building you foresee as valuable. The basic strategy behind this will be explained later. FFA maps are big, and positioning comes into play. Your best positioning is away from everyone else. Your worst position is in between two other players. Starting position is merely chance. Heroes make a FFA game. It is the only game type where you can expect to get one or more level 10 heroes. Instead of choosing heroes on the early game spells, or harassing ability, you choose heroes based on the late game. Summonses are next to useless in a FFA past scouting and creeping. A heroes ultimate, and spells at level 3 are what you look for. You want to choose based on the level 3 coils, level 3 aura and Animate dead combo, you get a Dread lord to get level 3 aura and the Infernal. You get an Arch mage for that level 3 auras and mass Teleport. That is why you donâ€™t get a KOTG in a FFA, because the KOTG ultimate sucks. Always get three heroes. Theoretically you can push a hero to level 10 almost instantly. The only problem with this is it will be harder to level up a second or third hero later while everyone else has three level 6 heroes. You would prefer three level 7â€™s to one level 10, so you get three quick, and level them evenly. This lets you get three level 10s almost at the same time. But donâ€™t expect to get three level 10s, likely the game will end before that. Scouting is probably one of the largest elements of game play. If you don't know what is going on, youâ€™re going to lose. Scouting is the most important thing out of everything in a FFA. Know who your strongest opponent is, and know who is the weakest. Know who is fighting who, and who to hit when. Attacking right after someone else will be a lot more effective than attacking someone random. Use logic. Also with scouting, you can change your strategy. Your base army should not lean too heavily on anything, allowing adjustments. If you notice a lot of air units, you get anti-air, while not compromising your other units. It all comes down to knowing your opponents. IF you can see an attack before it happens, prevent it by attacking first. Finally, watch the amount of units you have. More units mean less income. That is why it is smart to scout and expand. If you have the income, with low food you can amass a huge sum of money to build just about anything. This comes in handy if u has to switch a strategy suddenly to take on someone you hadn't expected to face immediately. Upkeep can be a bitch, but everyone suffers from it, so don't be a fool. 2. Human Players: You should always remember the game is structured for 5 players to go at it. You are playing with humans, with emotions and a desire to win. You can feed on that. Through out the game it is smart to not get anybody in the game mad at you. This means never do the following: * Trust anyone * Publicly tell everyone what one player is doing. * Make fun of anyone, calling anyone a nub or other insults. * Attack anyone without a valid reason. * Make alliances then turn on someone. * Pretty much most talking publicly. Doing any of the following may piss someone off. This can easily result in hostilities toward you or teaming against you. It is likely your safest bet to keep quiet in most of your game. Never show yourself as a strong player, or a dominant force. Keep people in the dark to your playing style as much as possible. If you keep people out of â€œthe knowâ€ they have a harder time countering you. In any given FFA there is usually dominant force. This is your opening to turn people against one person. People may be bastards and do something like the above to you. Never let it get to you. If two people hit you, remind everyone else in the game there is a team. Everyone else can take on those two. Do not invite hostilities toward you in any part of the game. A strong part of the game is not to be fazed by any sort of distraction and playing people off each other. It is very common for players that have been beaten to cry out in shame and tell everyone your strategy. Be not afraid, if you followed the above, you will know that it doesnâ€™t matter if people know what you have as long as you have scouted youâ€™ll be fine. Besides, a balanced army isnâ€™t much to give away. 3. Your Strategy: FFA games have too many strategies and variations and variables to post one or any strategy specifically for FFA. IT would be just useless. Instead you should know what race youâ€™re playing as, and who you are against. There is however some basics for ground work. a) Human: Humans have the most well balanced army in the game. With FFA games, you can exploit your entire tech tree. This means throwing a huge combonation together. Likely it is smart to get the following as base work Knights, Breakers, Sorceress, Priests, and tanks with an AM, MK, and Paladin. A 100/100 army of the following will level most players. Knights will ruin ground with caster support, tanks will be anti-air support along with some great base destroyers, breakers should deal with most casters and that hero combo will make a very tough fight easier. When you have that, you substitute units for variables. To counter more casters throw in some extra Breakers, and tone down tanks. To counter mass air, tone down on Knights and more tanks plus maybe some Dragon hawks. Heavy Melee means more gryphons and casters to support your knights. A lot of anti-casters means you should get good amount of knights. It is all about your units and countering. For scouting, I have trouble with humans. The average scouting techniques suck. The way I prefer to do it is to make a Knight invisible and send him around to see what is what. It is almost never detectable and invisibility lasts along time, giving a knight the ability to scout a map and return home. b) Undead: Undead is tricky in FFA. Like everything else, reliance on Heroes is huge. Ghouls are useless as a ground force, because of a lot of tier 3 melee and heavy air being used. Abominations arenâ€™t much better, but gargoyles and frostys make a formidable force. Your base army for undead should be Fiends, Abominations, Statues, Destroyers, Gargoyles and frosties with a Dread lord, Lich, Death Knight. You may substitute any of the following with the Crypt lord, being they are all good heroes. One strategy I like is the necro-wagon, especially since you have low food, for a large army. And with a FFA necro-wagon will have large financial backing allowing for major shifts in strategy to change to a better counter. However, very late the Necro-wagon becomes hard to utilize, so you will need to be able to counter other units. USE THE SHADE. The Shade is a 1 food unit that only cost 75 gold is nearly priceless. No FFA game should ever be played with out scouting, and the shade is the number one scouting unit. It doesnâ€™t put a strain on your food, and doesnâ€™t dent your gold. c) Orc: Orc has some great units for FFA. Pretty much a nice base force of Taurens, Shamans, Docs, Bats and Wyverns can take on most forces. Bats will destroy light air and damage heavy air so wyverns can pick them off. Taurens are the best melee unit, and with shaman lust, and docs wards things should be fine. I donâ€™t usually include Spirit walkers, but heavy casters, including necro-Wagon will see this unit as essential. Hero choice should be Farseer, Tauren Chieften and Shadow Hunter. Farseer is priceless in the FFA, with farsight you remove need for most other forms of scouting, Tauren Chieftenprovides a much needed Aura increasing attack speed and movement speed along with such boost through lust. The SH is great for healing, and hex is great for an annoying hero, or units. The Blade master I do not advise, he is more of a solo hero but it is all preference. Alternative is to go heavily on pure wyverns and bats, to rely on Shaman and heroes to keep ground AA from hurting wyverns and keeping bats for AA. This works often, especially with strong level 10 heroes as back up. Farseer removes the need for docs scouting. d) Night Elf: Night elf has two good FFA strategies. Dryads and bears for all purpose strategy and Chippo, which is chimera and Hippogrphys. The second one is rather effective; however immune ground units will have a fun time taking out the chims, especially a fleet of Dryads. This is why you need to use your head. The most expensive unit always has its drawbacks. Hero choice should always be the three agility heroes. Demon Hunter, Warden and POTM are a good suggestion. Either the Demon hunter or warden is good to creep early and get high levels. Their skills are good hero killers, and their speed and agility make them hard to kill. Basically POTM is a NEEDED hero. Mana burn is great for crippling strength heros, and hurting intelligence heroes. Shadow strike is good for taking that hero you just want dead, and their respective ultimate are always good. The POTM should Always be added however. The owl scout is beyond useful, it removes the need for Huntress scouting. Star fall has lost itâ€™s uberness, but is still by all means a good base and units killer. 4. Choosing heroes: You should tailor your heroes to your army, based on compatibility, usefulness and the ultimate. For the Undead, you want to base your heroes on your units you plan on getting. For the Necro wagon you want a Death knight or a Dark Ranger. The base strat I provided works well with the Dread lord, but if you go heavily on gargoyles, frosties and fiends, a Dread lordâ€™s aura becomes a waste. The DK is a smart choice for most UD needs, but his ultimate sucks relying heavily on the Coil. Lich is good for only one thing, and that is nova, remember that when choosing heros. A TC will speed up your units and almost never die but a BM can do insane damage on heroes and units with wind walk and his selective spells. While humans have great 4 heroes, usually best starting with AM to get a nice level 3 brilliance making dominate force in casters. You can add a blood mage if you plan to go with more grphons and casters for flame strike and Banish. 5. Early Game: Early game is where you pick your hero and strategy. Know what youâ€™re going for, have a plan. FFA allows flexibility in you can change in mid game with minimal loss. You should know what races your opponents are by the loading screen. Analyze the map, and the likely hood someone is on either side, or on both. Find a suitable expansion and grab it quick. Also, build up. Build two of each production building to build up quickly. Don't ever: *Tower anybody *Hero Harass *Rush Doing any of these will screw you in the mid to late game. Towering not only leaves you main base exposed, there is a chance of failure, and not only can someone else rape you, but the person you are towering can and might beat you down. Tower rushes also take forever to finish off anyone that is good, and that is precious time you don't have to waste. Hero harassing does one thing. If youâ€™re random it exposes your race early, it also tells what the person has to look out for, and who is likely going to be attacked first. Hero harassing someone leads to one thing, retaliation. I have said to always stay low key, so no one knows who you are. The less anyone knows of you, the better you are. Let them finish each other off then go in for the kill. Rushing is the same reason as above, except you will likely cripple yourself along with the above.