Siege Engine

From Liquipedia Warcraft Wiki
[e][h] Siege Engine
Unit Information
Built From:
Build Time:
195 60 4
2 (8)
1400 / 800
Acquisition Range:
  • Mechanical
Selection Priorty:
Formation Rank:
Turn Rate:
Move Type:
Collision Size:
Cargo Size:
45 - 55 (48 - 88)
15 - 16 (18 - 22)
  • structure
  • debris
  • air

The sturdy Dwarven Siege Engines are a new addition to the Alliance forces. The stalwart Dwarven pilots have even been known to ram enemy structures at high speeds and reduce whole fortifications to dust under the Siege Engines' steel treads.


Siege engines, often simply called "tanks" by many players, are one of the most unique units in Warcraft 3. With Fortified armor type, they are very difficult to kill, whilst dealing massive damage to enemy infrastructure.

Before making tanks, you should scout the enemies to see what units they have and whether their base(s) are protected with towers or not. If the enemies have siege units like Raiders and/or Mortar Teams, or if their base is well fortified with many towers, it may not be a good idea to make siege engines. In a big team game (e.g. 4v4), check each enemy base to see which ones are the least protected, and send your tanks there.

You could send just 1 or 2 siege engines to an enemy base to distract the enemy and force them to teleport home, or to an unprotected enemy expansion to take it out. Or you could mass a group of tanks and dive deep into the enemy base and focus down their "main" building. By doing this, you stop them from mining anymore gold and destroy their tech so they cannot make late-game units.

You could attack the enemy main base with your main army and send a single tank to the enemy expansion to take it out whilst they are busy defending your main attack. Or you could bring your tanks with your army in a single big attack on the enemy base; putting your tanks to work on enemy buildings while your army fights theirs.

There are many creative ways to use tanks and you do not always have to mass a lot of them to get value, just remember that tanks are offensive units, and you should use them aggressively, whether in a frontal attack or a harassing attack, to get value out of them.

Keep in mind that since Siege Engines cost 4-food, they give a lot of experience when they are destroyed. Be wary of feeding enemy heroes if your game plan revolves around massing Siege Engines.

After researching Barrage, siege engines can attack air units. However, even though barrage can hit multiple targets at once, it does fairly low damage. This means it is less effective against high-health units like Chimaeras and Frost Wyrms, and better against low-health units like Gargoyles, Bat Riders and Flying Machines. However, the siege engine's poor movement speed and cumbersome maneuverability means air units can simply fly away from them to avoid taking damage from Barrage. For these reasons, Flying Machines are generally better anti-air units for most situation. It is still a good idea to research barrage if you can as it is very cheap (only 50 gold!) and the enemy will be wary of attacking your tanks with air units if they know you have Barrage researched.

Countering Siege Engines[edit]

Tanks can be difficult to deal with even for experienced players. Generally you want units with Siege and Normal attack types, as units with Magic and Piercing attacks have heavily reduced (35%) damage against Fortified armor. The key to defeating tanks is good scouting. By scouting a tank play early, you can prepare for the incoming tank attack. With good preparation, it should be fairly easy for any race to deal with tanks. If a player is not prepared to defend against tanks, a big attack with ~5 tanks could wipe out half your base and your economy!

Each race has its unique ways of dealing with Siege Engines.

Human: Humans arguably have the most choices when it comes to dealing with siege engines. Mortar Teams deal siege damage and quickly kill stationary Siege Engines. Sorceresses can cast Slow on Siege Engines to make them easy for your units to surround and destroy. Humans are also the only race with the Cannon Tower which will make short work of tanks with its siege damage. When you build Cannon Towers, make sure to have your peasants ready to repair the Cannon Tower if you see enemy tanks approaching.

Orc: Use Raiders with Ensnare to immobilize incoming tanks, then surround and destroy them. Bat Riders are good against tanks if you can mass a good amount of them to quickly destroy a tank before it can fire back with Barrage. Use Shamans with Purge and get Orb of Lightning on your heroes to immobilize tanks. You should consider not getting the Reinforced Defenses upgrade as that will ironically make your Watch Towers take more damage from tanks.

Undead: Undead players may find it difficult to counter tanks, especially if they choose to play the classic Death Knight and Crypt Fiends combo. The best unit to counter tanks as undead is the Meat Wagon. Ghouls (with Ghoul Frenzy upgrade) can easily chase down a tank, surround it, and destroy it. Frost Wyrms can also be effective for its slow effect. If you know enemy tanks are coming, make one or two Meat Wagons and park them in a protected spot in your base.

Night Elf: Night Elves also may find it difficult to deal with tanks. Siege engines have a longer attack range than Ancients and thus the Ancients cannot hit back at tanks. However, night elf players can take advantage of the Uproot option in their Ancients, to take less damage from siege attacks and allow them to eat trees to regenerate health. Uprooting also allows you to walk closer to the tank and attack back. Druid of the Claw (in bear form), Mountain Giants (using War Club) and Glaive Throwers are the best units against tanks. Keep in mind the Poison effect from Dryad's attack has no effect on tanks.

Spells & Abilities[edit]

Cast Type : Passive
Target Type : No Target
Fires powerful Dwarven rockets at nearby enemy air units, dealing 15-16 (18-22) damage per hit for a range of 500. 11 rockets can be fired at once.
Upgrade: Barrage
Cost : 50 150  Research Time:  40
Researched at : Workshop
 Hotkey : G
Requirements : Castle


Black Gunpowder
Increases the ranged attack damage of Riflemen, Mortar Teams, Siege Engines and Flying Machines.
Researched at : Blacksmith
 Hotkey : G
Cost : 100 50  Research Time:  60
Damage Dice Bonus : 1
Refined Gunpowder
Cost : 175 175  Research Time:  75
Requires : Keep
Damage Dice Bonus : 2
Imbued Gunpowder
Cost : 250 300  Research Time:  90
Requires : Castle
Damage Dice Bonus : 3
Iron Plating
Increases the armor of Militia, Footmen, Spell Breakers, Knights, Flying Machines and Siege Engines.
Researched at : Blacksmith
 Hotkey : P
Cost : 125 75  Research Time:  60
Armor Bonus : 2
Steel Plating
Cost : 150 175  Research Time:  75
Requires : Keep
Armor Bonus : 4
Mithril Plating
Cost : 175 275  Research Time:  90
Requires : Castle
Armor Bonus : 6

Version History[edit]

Balance Patch History
Patch Version Balance Changes