In addition to the Single Player Campaign, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans supports head-to-head play against a human opponent over a modem, serial link, and IPX networks, and works cross-platform with both the IBM-PC and Macintosh versions. It is also possible to play one-off games against a computer-controlled opponent using the Custom Game option from the game menu.
Multiplayer games are played on a special set of maps, with the players' starting positions randomly selected from a total of four possible locations (three on Dungeon maps).
There are 21 maps in total: seven maps for each of the three available tilesets: Forest, Swamp, and Dungeon. Of these, 14 are maps from the Single-Player campaign except with different Gold Mine locations, while the remaining 7 are exclusive to multiplayer and Custom Games. The hosting player can select which map they wish to play, or use one of the following Random options:
- Random Forest - selects one of the 7 Forest maps at random
- Random Swamp - selects one of the 7 Swamp maps at random
- Random Dungeon - selects one of the 7 Dungeon maps at random
- Random Town - selects one of the 14 Forest OR Swamp maps at random
- Random Map - selects one of all 21 maps at random
Note: In Dungeon maps, players cannot build buildings or harvest resources. In addition, both players start with all spells already researched.
Forest 3. Map reused from Regent.
Forest 4. Map reused from Grand Hamlet.
Forest 5. Map reused from Grand Hamlet.
Forest 6. Map reused from The Forest of Elwynn.
Forest 7. Map reused from Sunnyglade.
Swamp 1. Map reused from Kyross.
Swamp 2. Map reused from The Black Morass.
Swamp 3. Map reused from The Swamps of Sorrow.
Swamp 4. Map reused from The Borderlands.
Swamp 5. Map reused from The Red Ridge Mountains.
(Footmen indicate possible player starting positions)
Dungeon 1. Map reused from The Dead Mines.
Dungeon 2. Map reused from Medivh.
Dungeon 3. Map reused from The Dead Mines.
Dungeon 4. Map reused from Northshire Abbey.
Each player can choose their starting army by selecting from 0 to 6 of each of the trainable units for his or her faction.
There is also an option to switch a unit off. Doing this will prevent the player from training the unit in question.
Note that a player can only build those buildings necessary for training the units that are available to him or her. Therefore, switching certain units off may also make some buildings unavailable. For example, Blacksmiths and their related unit upgrades will not be available if Knights/Raiders, Catapults, and Conjurers/Warlocks are all switched off.
|Archer||Barracks, Lumber Mill|
|Knight||Barracks, Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, Stables|
|Catapult||Barracks, Lumber Mill, Blacksmith|
|Cleric||Lumber Mill, Church|
|Conjurer||Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, Tower|
|Spearman||Barracks, Lumber Mill|
|Raider||Barracks, Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, Kennel|
|Catapult||Barracks, Lumber Mill, Blacksmith|
|Necrolyte||Lumber Mill, Temple|
|Warlock||Lumber Mill, Blacksmith, Tower|
Starting Buildings and Resources
- In Forest and Swamp maps, human players always start the game with one Town Hall, one Farm, a small stretch of Road, 1000 gold and 400 lumber.
- In Dungeon maps, resources are irrelevant because nobody can build anything.
Custom Games are played on the same maps as Multiplayer games, but against a computer opponent. There are some differences compared to Multiplayer:
- In Forest and Swamp maps, the computer player will start with a fully-built town and units to guard it. You must kill all enemy units and buildings to win.
- The enemy's starting forces are shown in the table below. All towns have one of each type of building, except Farms and Barracks, whose number varies and is shown in the table. Maps marked with an asterisk (*) have two possible town layouts for the computer player; these may have a different number of Footmen/Grunts and Farms, as noted in the table.
|Map||Peasant / Peon||Footman / Grunt||Archer / Spearman||Knight / Raider||Cleric / Necrolyte||Conjurer / Warlock||Farm / Farm||Barracks / Barracks||Walls|
|Forest 1*1||3||3 or 4||3||2||1||1||5 or 4||1||no|
|Forest 2*||3||3 or 4||3||2||1||1||5||1||no|
|Forest 4*||3||4||3||2||1||1||5 or 4||1||no|
|Swamp 1*||3||3||3||2||1||1||3 or 5||1||no|
- 1 One of the town layouts on this map uniquely lacks a Blacksmith.
- Dungeon maps will be filled with Neutral (non-buildable) units, as shown in the table below. Your units will start the game clumped together in a fixed starting location. You will win if you either kill all enemy units, or move one of your units to the exit zone (indicated by flashing golden arrows).
- The starting locations of players and Gold Mines are slightly different: each map has two possible start locations for the human player, and one or two for the computer. Dungeon maps have only one possible starting location.
- As in the single-player campaign, the computer player plays by a different set of rules:
- It does not use gold, lumber, or food, and will produce troops endlessly. It still needs the prerequisite buildings to build certain units; for example, it will not build Archers if it has no Lumber Mill.
- It will not build any new buildings, but will repair damaged and rebuild lost ones.
- Each Town Hall will produce exactly four Peasants/Peons, replacing any that are killed.
- It never researches any unit upgrades.
- Unlike in the campaign, the computer will not group units into squads before attacking; Barracks units will simply head straight towards your town as soon as they are built. Clerics/Necrolytes and Conjurers/Warlocks will stand around and only react if you attack them directly, or attack a building.
- It does not start with any spells and will not research any; its spell-casting units will only use their basic attack, making them rather useless.