It has been a while since I have had time for a guide. But I decided to bring one key feature of Fords of Isen II and many other maps closer to you: The almighty Inn
What you need to do
Inns are usually protected by a strong creep such as a Cave Troll, a Barrow Wight or even a Fire Drake. These need to be removed of course before taking the Inn. Sending pikemen there at some point early in the game is worth it, because you don't only get the money from the creep but also the valuable ability to train additional units. Both of these make a massive difference in early game. In case of a drake you will need archers, so it’s almost impossible to rely on an early Inn when these beasts are around.
What you receive in return
Different factions can purchase different units from the Inn. There are two types of Inn units: unique units, such as Hobbits, and cheap units, such a Dark Rangers. For Isengard it’s just a regular production building.
Men, Dwarves, Mordor, Angmar
All four of these factions can train their elite archers from the Inn for a price of only 300 resources. In most cases that’s nearly half the usual cost, which is a huge advantage, obviously. It does however take a longer time for these units to be recruited. Make sure your Inn is safe while they are being trained.
Dwarves, by getting early pikes and relying on their tunnel system, can even execute a strategy that’s completely focused on the Inn by getting early Men of Dale for 300 resources. In 2.01, when they cost 150 resources and trained at the normal rate, that strategy was insanely overpowered. In 2.02 this strategy is not as effective, but it is still powerful. The basic build order for this strategy is:
Mine + Mine > Hall of Warriors > Mine > Phalanx > Mine next to Inn > Guardian > Kill Troll
You need to take the Inn and destroy the Lair. In addition, make sure to get more Mine Shafts near the Inn and also send your second builder to other areas of the map so you can attack from multiple sides. Protect your Mines with your Guardians and Phalanx for as long as possible. Once the first battalion of Men of Dale is out, this should become easier.
These two factions can purchase units that they can't get anywhere else but an Inn. Elves get Hobbits, which are strong, very cheap fighters. They deal extremely high damage with their rocks. Their damage type is Hero Ranged, so switch to their melee mode when attacking buildings. Hobbits are trained very quickly as well.
Goblins can train Corsairs of Umbar, a unit that is normally only available for the Mordor faction, for only 200 resources. They are very useful because they fit with a Goblin spam extremely well and act like cheaper and stronger archers as well as magnificent harassers.
Isengard, as I said, just uses the Inn as another production building. The price of Inn Wildmen is the same as Wildmen purchased from a Clan Steading. But looking at how much a Clan Steading costs, it's nice to have a second one for free. Wildmen from the Inn train 10 seconds slower than those from a Steading, though. Unlike 2.01 Inn Wildmen, they can also be equipped with torches now.
Capture the Flag
Inns also have some disadvantages that you should be aware of. The first one is the time which is needed to take over an Inn. It does not take a long time as you know, a fact that some opponents try to exploit. When the building is captured by another player, all your units in production will be cancelled, and you won’t get the money back. Therefore, always
make sure to cancel unit production when the Inn is nearly captured if you know you can’t kill the enemy forces capturing it in time. Especially if you're attempting the Inn Strategy as Dwarves.
Inns, unlike your other production buildings, are not protected by a nearby fortress and therefore are an easy target for Wildmen with torches or other threats. This problem can be solved with a well-placed tower later on.
Inns are now much more interesting than they used to be. They are key features on any maps they are present on and it's always a wise idea to capture an Inn if you get the chance.Discuss this tip in our forums!