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When playing a single player, or multi-player game of Warcraft 2, building structures (or buildings) is a necessary part of the game.
All buildings except for 1, are built by peons. The building that is not constructed by a peon is an oil platform, which must be created by an oil tanker.
A building is constructed by highlighting a peon, and clicking on the images found in the bottom left corner of your playing screen. Each building requires resources to be built. If you do not have enough resources to pay for what you want constructed, you will not be able to start construction. If you do have enough resources, then you can start construction of the building immediately (build room permitting).
Once you have selected the building you want to construct, you will get a grey-colored building icon, that is used to help you place your building on the map. The color green will appear under this icon if the building can be placed on that type of terrain, or the color red, if you cannot build on that type of terrain. You can build land-based buildings on grass, chopped trees, or demolished rocks. Buildings that produce water units must be built on shores. Oil platforms are built on Oil Patches.
Once a building starts construction, the peon building it, disappears from the map (it is now 'in' the building). During this time the peon cannot be killed, unless the building is destroyed while he is in the construction process. A building also takes up a certain amount of space on the map. Anywhere from a 1x1 area for a wall, to a 4x4 area for a town hall. Once it is placed on the map, any ground walking units can no longer walk on that area (it's occupied by the building now). This is an important part of the game, and the reason why 'walling in' is possible.
You can cancel a building before it is completed by hitting the escape button or by clicking the red cancel button in the bottom left corner of the playing screen. When you cancel a building, you lose 1/4 of the resources that it cost to start the building. A town hall costs 1200 gold, 800 lumber, and 0 oil. Cancelling it will return 900 gold, and 600 wood to your resources, but you will lose 300 gold, and 200 wood (for start-up costs). It might seem like a rip-off, but if a building is destroyed before it is completed, then you will lose all the resources that it cost to build it.
Everything you build in the game (yes, every building) has a hot key. Hot keys are simply a letter on the keyboard that represents an action. If you currently have a peon selected, then you can press 'b' on the keyboard instead of having to click on 'build basic structure'. If you then press 'f' for 'farm', you have told the peon to get ready to build a farm. As you can probably tell, this is a much more efficient method for anything you do in Warcraft 2. Everything you do has a hot key. Learn the hot keys for each building in the game and you will be a much better player.
A Peon's Icons
These 2 pictures show you how you can build structures. Once you have selected a peon, you will see the same thing on your playing screen, that you see in the left picture here. The bottom-left icons (the brown hammer, and silver hammer) are your building icons. Selecing the wooden hammer will bring you to the picture you see on the right. All the icons seen in that picture, are the different buildings that you can build (resources permitting).
Not all buildings are always available to be built. Some buildings require another building to be finished before you can start construction on the one in question. For example, a shipyard first requires a completed lumber mill, before it can be constructed.
The 4 Stages of Building - Land Buildings
A building being constructed, shows different pictures depending on the percent completed. A building that is less than 25%, displays the same little picture (for all land-based buildings!). A building that is 25%-50% done, also has the same image used for any building. A building that is half done, to the instant before it finishes building, actually does have a unique image. It will almost look like the finished building, but with a few 'boards' missing.
Here are the 4 stages that a farm goes through while being built.
The first and second pictures in this sequence are the same images used for all buildings in Warcraft 2. Only once a buliding is more than 50% complete,
will you be able to tell what type of building it is from the graphics alone.
For example: a town hall has 1200 hit points. Until the building reaches 300 hit points of completion (25%), you will see the first picture in the above sequence. From 300-600 hit points or 25-50% of the total hit points, you will see the second picture in the above sequence. Once a building is half done however, it will display a unique image. Above you can see that the third stage does almost look like a completed farm. A town hall (or anything else built on land), will also look close to its' completed version, AFTER it is more than half done.
A water-based structure, such as a shipyard, foundry and refinery have their own unique images for the different building stages.
Is there any purpose to knowing this?
As you play this game in a multi-player enviroment, you will see that knowledge of this is helpful for when you are scouting out your enemies. The buildings your enemy has complete, or half done, or just being started usually gives away his entire strategy for the game. You will learn to recognize this with experience.
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