After your first battle is when you get the chance to set up your army. You must do this because the game has a horrible "default" setup of units. Follow my advice if you want a disgustingly powerful army. But also keep in mind that this game has multiple endings. It's kind of hard to explain but the more powerful your army is, the worse of an ending you'll get. The walkthroughs at GameFAQs explain in better detail how to get a good ending. But if you want a powerful army and the bad ending then keep on reading. The best unit to have is 2 attackers in the front and 3 magic-users in the back; two of those magic-users being wizards or doll mages and 1 being a healer. The image to the right shows how I set up my army after the first battle. You shouldn't have more than 7 units. Alignment of a character is something you should pay attention to. If a character has high alignment then they will easily be able to be promoted to a higher class. As you progress into the game, you'll beable to promote those amazons into very useful healers and your soldiers into knights. You should also get rid of those low alignment characters so you can bring down your unit count to 4 or 5 units. The less units you have, the more experience they gain so the more powerful they grow. It would also be a good idea to be aware of what characters can be promoted to what. Golems are great for defending weak characters. Demons are good if you want to make a unit move faster. It's good for at least one unit to have an octopus or a mermaid. Undead monsters are too risky to have. Dragons take too long to get stronger so don't bother with them. Those are the only monsters/creatures you should pay attention to for most of the game. There are some pretty interesting ones that you might want to recruit towards the end of the game.

In the first half of the game, you will highly depend on towns and temples--especially temples! When one or more units stay in a town or temple, their HP slowly recovers. Temples do the same thing plus they can revive fallen characters (for a price of course). Some towns and temples are hidden. Some tips on finding them is to search around roads that look like they go around a town/temple, search small islands that look like could easily fit a town/temple, and fragments of forest or mountains that are conveniently shaped so that a town/temple could fit next to them.

Liberating is how you get money and learn about the story of a map battle. When you liberate a town or temple you are given the option to accept a tarot card; then someone tells you a fragment of the story behind the leader of the map battle, something about the area they live in, or a secret. The more towns/temples you liberate, the more annual income you get. Tarot cards can make you or break you. They can either bring up or lower your reputation, intelligence, strength, or alignment once one is given to you. The purpose of the tarot cards is to help you out in battle when you're in trouble. They can either raise your status, attack the enemy, or give the enemy a disadvantage. It's a good idea to liberate towns/temples with a "good/holy" unit. What I mean by that is a unit without demons and monsters; a unit with heroic or heavenly characters like knights, priests, and angels.

It's not a good idea to liberate every town immediately when you enter a new area. Liberate the closest or second-closest town and use it as your main base.
Strategy #1: Send all your units over to that town. As shown in the Strategy #1 animation, spread out your unit's but keep them within the boundaries of the town. Doing so will allow those units to still gain the HP-restoring benefit of the town. Occasionally rotate your units so that they each equally gain enough experience. This is a good strategy for early on in the game.
Strategy #2: Send all your unit over to that town, but leave only one or two units actually on the town. Place your other units around the town so they can easily take the bombardment of enemy units (like the Strategy #2 animation). When a unit is low on HP then just replace it with a unit in the town. Make sure your units are close together so that you can easily replace units. This is a good strategy when your units are somewhat strong.
┬╗Strategy #1

┬╗Strategy #2

The only way to get weapons and armor is to find them on the map or when a defeated enemy unit drops them. The coolest thing about weapons and armor is that any character can equip them--but each character can only equip 1 weapon or 1 armor. You can use items anytime you want while moving around your units on the map. You will heavily rely on items like Cure, Heal, and Revive. Some towns have a shop and there you can buy items (but not weapons or armor). You'll get tons of items that you'll have no idea what they are and it will drive you crazy wondering what the heck their purpose is. I suggest you browse through the walkthroughs at GameFAQs and note down which unknown items are actually to your advantage. Many need to be carried out through a sequence so that you can uncover a secret.

Ah yes, the enemy. Most of the time the enemy likes to come at you in a straight line. If you want a map battle to be quick, make sure you entirely defeat an enemy unit. If you just kill a couple characters in it then they will try to escape to a town and return with fully restored HP. And sometimes when you least expect it, one or two enemy units sneak by your units going right to your base--so make sure you always have someone there! Observing the types of characters and types of attacks the enemy army has is a good way of learning other possibilities with your army. That's another thing that's so great about Ogre Battle, whatever the enemy has--you can have too!

Ogre Battle has such a disgusting amount of secrets--I love it! Each map battle has a background story that slowly unfolds as you liberate all the towns/temples. Secret parts of the story are revealed when you liberate secret towns/temples. Some secrets in a map battle can only be revealed if you liberated a secret town/temple from another map battle. Some secrets are revealed if you liberate certain towns/temples before others. Some secrets are cool secret characters that can join your army. Like I said before, this game has a disgusting amount of secrets. There are so many ways for them to be revealed. The walkthroughs at GameFAQs spoils them for you so go there if you don't feel like figuring out all of them.

Heh. ^_^;; Well, if you want to have a killer army and still benefit from a high reputation at the same time, then download this ZSNES CHT file. It also gives you infinite gold. Just extract this baby from its zip file and toss it into the same folder where you have your Ogre Battle R0M, then rename it to the same name as your Ogre Battle R0M (leave its "cht" file extension). Like, if it's called "ogrebattle.smc" then rename the cheat file to "ogrebattle.cht".