[mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

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[mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by KingBigMac » June 6th, 2018, 12:36 am

So I posted this in the Multiplayer Development forum, but I wanted to see what sort of a reaction it would get here.

So in short, I think it is unfortunate that the Knalgan Alliance has no promotion paths (no tier II branching, I now know poacher later on). Yes, I understand ideally I would propose a unit with the art and everything done; alas, I am not an artist. So at risk of this being worked on either way, as part of ever improving this wonderful game, here is one polished proposal for a promotion:

Dwarven Shieldbearer

Advances from: Dwarvish Guardsman
Advances to: Dwarven Phalangite (or whatever cool tier III unit to be made and named)
Traits (2): (same)

Abilities: shieldwall

HP: 52 Moves: 4 Cost: 34 Alignment: Neutral Required XP: 90

Many guardsmen come to discover the power of a shield utilized offensively, and ultimately part with their spears completely. Their tower shield is made two handed, and the boss reinforced. Deceptively enough for their foes, their mighty shield thrusts are still highly dangerous at close quarters. Such troops are much beloved by their brothers in arms as their improved shields are easily large enough to accommodate more than one, and the Shieldbearers frequently go out of their way to protect their companions.

Special Notes: The size of this unit's shield as well as it's training increases the defense of nearby owned units to a point.


shield impact 9x2 melee


arcane 20%
blade 30%
cold 20%
fire 20%
impact 30%
pierce 30%

Terrain Modifiers


This unit increases adjacent owned unit's defenses by 10%, up to a maximum of 70%.

Obviously the numbers are all debatable, but the rationale for an alternate promotion path for the Guardsman is a unit that is still highly tanky by nature, but which the opponent also has reason to prioritize. The 70% cap is because I understand that BfW devs don't like the idea of higher defense than that, and I basically agree, it would not be fun attacking a dwarf in a mountain with 80% chance to miss. The resistance 10% increase across the board rationale is that this is a level 2 unit with the damage of an Orcish Grunt, but a massive shield which it is essentially impossible to bypass. This is also better than giving it the 10% defense increase in flat that Stalwarts have, as that would be too powerful, plus it creates an interesting situation where it shields all other units in this way but not itself (woe be unto those that face two Shieldbearers side by side). It loses the steadfast trait because even while attacking the shield will be held in the same defensive posture, but more importantly because in terms of gameplay this unit is not meant to be as hard to kill as the Stalwart.

I believe that these numbers are representative of the intention, and the idea of introducing a unit for the Knalgan Alliance that aids other units without having a straight up heal is cool. Tactically, it is also I believe an interesting ability which follows the much revered KISS principle. Heal doesn't do much if a unit is being specifically focused, as it will only ever restore 4/8 HP, and on the next turn, whereas this is always in effect.

P.S. Why are all the units Dwarvish this, Dwarvish that? Isn't it grammatically correct for it to be Dwarven? It would sound better too, imo.

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Re: [mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by Ravana » June 6th, 2018, 12:39 am

It will be denied as the FPI thread says.

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Re: [mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by KingBigMac » June 6th, 2018, 12:47 am

Originally that thread was made to address Dwarven mobility, and another suggestion I made, but far less fleshed out, was Thunderer -> Pistolier, a unit with 5 move points, two gunpowder themed piercing attacks, and the ability to move back one hex after attacking. I'm sure movement after attacking has been discussed in some way before, but I haven't specifically found it being shot down so here I am making the suggestion. I think it's a perfect ability for a game like Wesnoth, doesn't needlessly complicate the tactical element, while being highly interesting and unique. Either way, the Dwarves could use any and all increase in promotion branching. Another potential unit would be a Fighter promotion that gives an extra movement point and a solid ranged attack, or something else that is interesting, quite like the Scout line in campaigns, only as a promotion.

Otherwise, I am curious of what people think of the Stalwart. I think it is underwhelming, to say the least. Currently, the unit can be entirely ignored in multiplayer, and the AI would do the same if it was smart. I suggest a 10% Defense increase in villages, to justify the XP requirement. I believe all units are supposed to be "viable', that is to say, any unit should be balanced against other units, and potentially used in multiplayer by good players. I don't think that's the case currently. I've never seen anyone aim to promote a Guardsman, and see no point trying to do so myself.

Finally, what are current Developer (and otherwise) thoughts on removing resilient as a trait from the Dwarven pool? I'll copy my post from earlier:
Aside from this I am an advocate of removing the resilient trait from Dwarven units. Lore wise, the assumption is that all Dwarven units are resilient, some of them are simply so tough, that they actually partially recover from their wounds immediately after battle (healthy). Far more importantly, of course, healthy is simply a better trait than resilient in essentially all circumstances, as it is only 3 less HP, which is really 1 less because it is incredibly rare to see a Dwarven unit die in one turn, even in MP. Every turn after that and the trait is better. The only unit this does not apply to is the Ulfserker. Other than that, removing resilient from the pool will allow Dwarven units to far more frequently get more important traits, such as intelligent, quick, and strong (well really all the other traits are more important, aren't they?).

Thoughts on all this?

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Re: [mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by KingBigMac » June 6th, 2018, 12:53 am

Ravana wrote:
June 6th, 2018, 12:39 am
It will be denied as the FPI thread says.
I'm new, I don't know what FPI is, but I did read the [Must Read]. I make balance suggestions as well, but mainly I am curious of what people think about separate promotion paths in mainline. This does not affect balance much, and as someone who is new to the game I do not understand why the Knalgan Alliance is the only faction without promotion branching immediately.
It definitely feels like a long time ago someone was interested in the Loyalists, or whatever, and made loads of units for them, and so we have three Spearman promotions. This is perfectly fair, since the game is worked on by volunteers, but what is the stance on promotion paths for Dwarves? It seems to me that it could only improve the game, without affecting balance much, although I have seen people say that Knalga is not competitive on larger maps, and promotion paths would indirectly address that.

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Re: [mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by Vyncyn » June 6th, 2018, 5:32 am

I suppose Ravana was refering to this from the [Must-Read] thread
More units
Background: Some people think the game should have more units (and often more advancement paths).
Result: Units are being worked on, although the developers do try to somewhat carefully vet units that are added to the game. The game has well over one hundred types of units, so it cannot be considered to only have a few units. People are welcome to submit ideas for specific types of new units. Ideas that have graphics are more likely to succeed. Adding units to balanced factions is no small matter, and so all such proposals must be well reasoned.
You'll have a better chance of it being added to mainline if you make an addon to test this unit.
I don't play the Knalgan Alliance very often, so I can't really say how strong they are.
KingBigMac wrote:
June 6th, 2018, 12:47 am
I believe all units are supposed to be "viable', that is to say, any unit should be balanced against other units, and potentially used in multiplayer by good players.
This isn't necessarily true. Factions should be balanced, not Units. So even if the Stalward is an underachiever, as long as it fulfills a purpose in the faction it is a viable unit to recruit.

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Re: [mainline] Knalgan Alliance Promotions

Post by Eagle_11 » June 6th, 2018, 9:28 am

Something like your described unit exists,
charger.png (2.25 KiB) Viewed 172 times
linebreaker.png (2.37 KiB) Viewed 172 times
however will not be adding it for Knalgans for multiple reasons:
1. this faction already have impact damage o'plenty.
2. dwarf units already have high enough resists.
Remember having tried an 20% physical resistance boosting aura like that in the past, on the Runemaster and Arcanister, it was hilariously OP. Completely acceptable on a faction like Northerners however as orcs lack any kind of resist, so it got recycled into 'banner of horde' ability for Sovereign.
3. the guardsman is supposed to be an defensive unit in a sea of offensive units. Examine rest of the line-up, with the exception of the hit and miss thunderer all are built to excel at the offensive.

I have an Gunslinger branch-off for the Thunderer unit line in 'Extra Advancements for Default Era units' mod. It does not have move after attacking but firststrike on its ranged attack and lacks melee at all, their background being that they are so obsessed with their firearms creations they constantly practice in duels to ensure pulling faster than their opponent and completely forego every tactic else.

If it were up to me it would be Elf , Dwarf instead Elvish,Elven,Dwarvish,Dwarven. Probably done to avoid narrowly possible copyright complaints, same issue why Zombie gets called a Walking Corpse.

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