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Hands of War Tower Defense Strategy Guide

Hands of War Tower Defense Walkthrough

Table of Contents

I. Game Basics - for the beginner.
II. Champion Abilities - when should I use them?
III. Placing Units - where should I build what?
IV. Target Priorities - when should I change them?
V. Build Order - what should I build?
VI. Upgrading Units - how leveling up works.
VII. Enemy Abilities - how do I stop them?
VIII. Keybinds / Hotkeys - you'll need them.


I. Game Basics - for the beginner.

In Hands of War Tower Defense, you'll need to win battles in every camp to advance and be successful in uniting the land of Tempor. Each camp will present it's own challenge and the level of difficulty can be dicated by you before each battle. Increasing the difficulty will give you bonus experience and reputation which can also unlock some extra experience modifiers called Badges.

Energy (blue bar above your towers and defenders menu) allows your champion to perform abilities and is gained while attackers are flooding the pathways. So if you kill them too quickly, you’ll not be able to do as much with these unique abilities.

All champions have the Teleport ability and it’s game changing. It requires only 15 energy and can be preformed once during each wave of attackers (upgradable with talent points). After each wave you can teleport as often as you like, or until your energy is depleted. Go ahead and note it’s keybound to #3. Become familiar with all your champions abilities.

In the top right of the screen during a battle you can see the wave list, which shows what attackers are coming next and which abilities they can do to disrupt your defenses. Don’t get too comfortable or you’ll wind up watching an attacker escape your defenses without getting hit once only to find out in a later wave, that the attacker was “stealthed.”

After each battle at the bottom of the battle summary you’ll notice badges you gained from performing specific functions like killing a number of enemies in a particular battle or doing overkill damage!

Be mindful of special tiles. If your champion is a wizard, the mana spring (+25% base damage) will apply to you as well, same for the rally point (warrior) and the steady ground (ranger). Some tiles will provide range bonuses or even give extra gold BACK to you for building something on a particular tile.


II. Champion Abilities - when should I use them?

Each class (Warrior, Ranger, Wizard) has four abilities to use during combat, and each should be used in different situations. While the abilities themselves vary between the three classes, they are all categorically similar.

Ability 1 – Bloodlust (War) / Eagle Sight (Rng) / Frenzy (Wiz) – Increases the damage (War), range (Rng) or attack speed (Wiz) of all units for a period of time.
Use this ability:

  • On boss waves or waves with enemies that have a lot of special abilities. Keep an eye on your upcoming waves shown on the top right section of your screen and use this ability on those waves.

Ability 2 - Storm of Swords(War)/Arrowstorm(Rng)/Fire Nova(Wiz) – Deals direct damage to a selected area.
Use this ability:

  • On enemies that are about to escape
  • On stealthed enemies – it removes their stealth!
  • On enemies that are clustered or grouped up

Ability 3 – Teleport – Moves your champion to any unoccupied area.
Use this ability:

  • All the time! Your champion is your best unit, so a good strategy is to move him around the map as much as you can.
  • On enemies that are about to escape

Ability 4 - Cleave(War)/Fire Arrow(Rng)/Frost Strike(Wiz) – Adds a splash (War), piercing (Rng), or slowing (Wiz) affect to your champion’s attacks.
Use this ability:

  • As often as you can. After you get the talent that reduces the energy cost of this ability, you generate more energy than it costs to keep it toggled - so leave it on! An advanced strategy is to turn off this ability for the first few waves of a map (which are typically easy) in order to build up a larger energy pool for the later, more difficulty waves.

III. Placing Units - where should I build what?

This is probably where the most strategy comes into play, and there are a lot of different options you have. Here are a few of the best:

  • Build your units at bottlenecks or crossroads in the enemies’ pathway. Since there are often multiple paths on a map, placing units where multiple paths intersect or collide gives you the most chance to hit enemies.
  • Put a unit at the start of every entry. Since most of the enemy abilities that are activated (sprint, resolute, etc.) are done so as soon as they are hit, getting an enemy to use their ability right away allows you to kill them easily when they reach the main body of your defenses. Also, since you’re not focused on damage, it’s better to use units with fast attack speeds (Wizards) or units with larger ranges (Rangers, Guard Towers) and set their target priority to “Most Health” so that they shoot as many different enemies as possible. To change target priority, click on a tower, then click on the target icon to cycle through available options.
  • Utilize special tiles. There are special tiles that grant bonuses or gold when certain units are built on that tile. Most of the time it is beneficial to place units on these tiles, but don’t build on them for the sake of gaining a boost in stats if the placement leaves a gap in your defenses.

IV. Target Priorities - when should I change them?

Each unit can be told to set their target priorities to a variety of different variables. Listed below are the available options as well as when you should use each. To change a unit's target priority, click on the unit to open the menu, then click on the target icon to cycle through the available options.

  • Closest – Targets the closest enemy within range. This is the default setting.
  • Least HP – Targets the enemy with the least health within range. This setting should be used on units that you want to level up since they will most likely be dealing the killing blow to enemies. Be mindful of using this setting on units with very high damage as a lot of the damage could be wasted on low health enemies.
  • Most HP – Targets the enemy with the most health within range. This setting should be used on units placed at entry points to force enemies to use their special abilities. This setting is also useful on high damage units to ensure all of the damage is used. A good strategy is to combine a unit set to “Most HP” at entry points followed by a unit with “Least HP” to clean up enemies with around half health. Finally, this setting is also good for units with a slowing effect to ensure that a wide number of enemies are affected.
  • Fastest – Targets the enemy with the fastest movement speed within range. This setting should be used when sprinting enemies are escaping or on units with a slowing effect to force enemies to group up.
  • Armored –Targets the enemy with the highest armor within range. This setting should be used on units with the sunder effect (removes armor) to get the most benefit from them.
  • Stealthed – Targets stealthed units within range. If no stealthed units are in range, the unit will target the closest enemy. This setting is only available to units with perception (able to see stealthed enemies), and should be used when stealthed enemies are escaping.

V. Build Order - what should I build?

The cost to build a unit increases exponentially with each additional unit built of that kind. Therefore, building a wide variety of units is beneficial. You are forced to place a spot for your champion first, and are able to use the Teleport ability at no cost before the first wave starts.

After you’ve placed your champion, if you have unlocked the Barracks (reduces the build cost of all units), that should be the first unit built – especially if there is a Meeting Ground special tile available (refunds 50 gold). This will more than pay for itself in the build cost reduction it provides. Following a Barracks, I typically build a Trading Outpost on a Gemstone Mine special tile, if available. Since the Trading Outpost provides gold at the end of each wave, you want to build one of these ASAP, and they become less useful if built later in the battle. After the Barracks and Trading Outpost, I try to build one of as many different units as possible starting with the ones that have accompanying special tiles on the map. For example, if I can only afford to build two units, I’ll look to see if there are any special tiles that are in good positions and use them to decide which two units to build.

Not only does it become increasingly expensive to build additional units of the same type, but the more units that you build increase the amount of experience that is spread among your troops – making it more difficult for your units to level up.


VI. Upgrading Units - how leveling up works.

All units start at level one and can be upgrades whenever they reach a new level. Units level up by gaining experience, and experience is gained in two ways. First, whenever a unit deals damage (shoots or swings a sword) they gain a small amount of experience. Second, whenever a unit deals a killing blow to an enemy, they gain a larger amount of experience (more than double the amount earned from dealing damage).

There are two types of upgrades. A Basic Upgrade increases the damage, range and fire rate of a unit for an increasing price (50 * number of Basic Upgrades). Basic upgrades are always available when a unit levels up. A Subclass Upgrade grants a special ability to the unit (slow, splash, sunder, perception, etc.) for a larger price (400 * (number of Subclass Upgrades ^ 2)). Subclass Upgrades are only available every three levels. It is possible for a unit to have two Subclass Upgrades at once, and the effects stack. For example, if a unit has one subclass that grants splash damage and another subclass that grants a slowing effect, the unit’s attacks will deal 30% damage to surrounding enemies AND slow them all. As you notice a unit approaching level four, you’ll want to save up your gold to make sure you can afford the Subclass Upgrade as soon as it’s available. The subclasses available depend on your reputation standing with the various factions.


VII. Enemy Abilities - how do I stop them?

Some enemies in the game have special abilities that make them difficult to detect or kill. Below is a list of all of the enemy abilities as well as how to best counter each.

  • Sprint – Increases move speed for (3 + (.15 * enemy level)) seconds. Activated when they are first hit. To counter this ability, place units set to “Most HP” at the entry points so that the enemy sprints right away and not near the end of your defenses. Also selecting subclasses with slow effects and setting their target priority to “Fastest” helps stop sprinters in their tracks!
  • Stealth – Permanently invisible and undetectable by normal units. There are two ways to counter stealthers. First, make sure you’ve selected the talent that grants the Perception ability to your champion, and make sure you have enough energy to Teleport your champion around the map to pop the stealthers out. Your second option is to use your AoE ability (Hotkey 2) to pop enemies out of stealth. Once a stealth unit has been hit once, they are no longer undetectable.
  • Resolute – Immune to all damage for (1 + (.15 * enemy level)) seconds. Activated when they are first hit. To counter this ability, place units set to “Most HP” at the entry points so that the enemy sprints right away and not near the end of your defenses. Also, be careful not to place all of your units in one area when facing these enemies so that they aren’t immune as they pass through the main body of your defenses.
  • Resilient – Permanently takes (15 + (1.5 * enemy level))% less damage. The best way to counter this ability is to slow these enemies down.
  • Stoneform – Permanently immune to all puncture (arrows continue through) and sunder (removes armor) effects. The best thing to do against these enemies is to select subclasses that don’t grant sunder or puncture effects.
  • Sure Foot – Permanently immune to all slowing effects. To counter these enemies, you may need to teleport your champion to them or select subclasses that grant effects other than slowing.
  • Acrobat – All attacks have a (25 + enemy level)% chance to miss. These enemies can be a pain, especially if you get an unlucky string of numbers. To counter these guys, be ready to use your AoE ability (Hotkey 2) or teleport your champion to them.
  • Regrowth – Regains (5 + (2 * enemy level))% of their max health every second. To counter these enemies, you’ll need to deal a lot of damage at one time. Build your units in a centralized area and avoid spreading them out to give time for these enemies to regain their health.

VIII. Keybinds / Hotkeys - you'll need them.

Speed and quick reaction times can be the difference between success and failure. Almost everything in Hands of War Tower Defense is bound to a key, and it's much faster to use them!

  • SPACEBAR – Start Wave
  • 1 – Use Champion Ability 1
  • 2 – Use Champion Ability 2
  • 3 – Use Champion Ability 3
  • 4 – Use Champion Ability 4
  • Q – Build Guard Tower
  • W – Build Ranger
  • E – Build Warrior
  • R – Build WIzard
  • A – Build Ward Spire
  • S – Build Scouting Post
  • D – Build Battle Standard
  • F – Build Power Totem
  • X – Build Trading Outpost
  • C – Build Barracks
  • ESC – Cancel current action (build, teleport, AoE spell, etc.)

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