The best way to attack is...

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appleide
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Post by appleide »

Yogi Bear wrote:If you got the same TOD than your enemy, it's more difficult. You will still have the "attack first" advantage, but he can strike back much harder. And you will still be on bad terrain. These matchups are much more difficult to play IMO.
If you got the same TOD, I'd get some large damage units (eg. Gryphons, Horseman, Wose, Mage, HI). If you use these units you would easily score more than 1 kill.

The attacker usually have to only survive 1 turn attacking before he would negate all advantages the defender have.
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Caeb
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Post by Caeb »

heh, I'm afraid I have a hand in this thread's creation by mentioning erekso's defensive play to Beholder, among other things, but that was just a single example, not to be taken as a rule of thumb...

I agree that there is both something to be gained and something to be lost as either the attacker and defender, but more or less each determinant situation should take into account several factors, such as terrain, unit match-ups, and ToD... specifically regarding the conduct of "neutral" factions, the complement of Outlaws to Knalgans and Mages/Woses/Hunters to Rebels already adds significant variation to facilitate both offense and defense, as the situation warrants...

regarding the interaction between specific factions, it can generally be said that each faction has a certain ToD and units against another that would promote one to be the aggressor and another to be the defender... this may hold true whether or not a player decided to use a single-minded overall strategy (attack/defend), although they may manipulate their units to adapt...

for example, even though both UD and Northerners are chaotic, at night UD are more or less better suited to be aggressive, and even if the Northerner player wanted to hold his/her at night, he/she would generally be taking a greater risk than the attacking UD player by doing so (depending on units present, of course)... (in fact, the force of UD at night is such that a part of me feels sad whenever I see an UD player hold back in the evening against even odds at worst... :( )

I remember Sombra's thread on the possibilities of stalemate, and agree with much of what the Devs have said on the matter, particularly pointing out that it is a little... brash(?) to make sweeping statements based on conversational comments from (only moderately experienced) players, to express them with periods as if they are facts, and to expect changes to be made by the Devs...

I'm not one to scream or even suggest that you absolutely have to post a dozen replays against good players to make your point, but to have a friendly observational discussion, maybe pose your opinions as a theory or with question marks if all you want is to know what others think... using declarative sentences without extensive proof in the "Multiplayer Development" is kinda asking to be chewed through by Noy and other Devs, who as we all know hear the same complaints on a weekly basis...

if I weren't so busy over these couple of weeks, I'd be happy to engage in a discussion about general and specific strategies on the server, where you have the casual freedom to make your points and defend or contemplate them immediately, instead of having everything you say be interpreted so literally...

there is still much knowledge to be gained and analyzed from the rich gameplay that Wesnoth has established, and it would be nice to be able to continue these conversations with some level of decorum...

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Haibane
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Post by Haibane »

Well, attacker has iniciative and decides result, that's his advantage. Defender made his job by placing his units and there is nothing more what he can do. Defender can't win, if attacker will make good attack, defender will lose, if not, attacker will defeat himself.
Of course there is still luck, but defender could be as lucky/unlucky as attacker, thought bad luck is usually more painful for attacker.

It may be just me, but when I'm defending, I feel like I'm just hoping for opponent's mistake instead of a try to be better than him. Sure, everyone makes mistakes so it often works, but still.

Well, just a notice, it may not seems like that, but I'm still speaking about Wesnoth, even if it's quite general and you may use it in many other cases. Sure, match of two defensive players could be boring and long, or even endless, but that's their mistake, not Wesnoth's fault. Attacking is always harder and if one has no skill or courage to attack, he should better start to negotiate peace treaty.
I don't think that attacking in Wesnoth is so hard, thought I admit I usually (well, more likely there were some exceptions) play team games and it may be easier there than in duel.
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Sombra
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Post by Sombra »

Well Germany proved in the 2nd world war that moving fast and taking the initiative the is the way to win a war. THe french played defensive :wink:

I think Beholder has a point here as I share his point of view. Regarding the right to have first attack. You can limit quite nicely usally the number of attack fields on strategic important villages. As you will place your units on good defense terrain the attack takes a higher risk to get slaughtered by the counterattack. Speaking here if both sides have the same faction and reasonbale defense units: Loyals, Knalgans, Rebels for example.

Wesnoth allows succesful attacks mostly due the higher moblity of some factions over bad terrain, the day and night cycle and the ablitly to spawn low cost units and the inbuild defending weaknesses aka drakes.
Last edited by Sombra on October 5th, 2007, 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sombra
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Post by Sombra »

Haibane sometimes Wesnoth comes down to some kind of "chicken race" who loses his nerve first and commits his units to the attack loses most of the time if the first attack is not succesful or he simply has below average damage. the counterattack kills anow afe w attacker units.. Now it depends if player one is able to press its advantage. . Wesnoth can be very dynamic if one player attacks early before both sides have the possibility to fortify there positions much. Alas, playing on a small map with 1 vs 1 is for me personally a kind of a nightmare.

Nebiros
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Post by Nebiros »

It's not necessarily a good idea to start your attack by attacking villages. Sometimes it's better to attack units that aren't in villages first, and once you have killed a few of those, then go after the villages. This allows you to avoid village heal early on, and have more units to concentrate on the few remaining defenders when you are going after villages.

They can't have perfect defense everywhere, unless the map is poorly designed (or starting gold amounts were way too high for that map). The attacker also has the advantage of controlling the strategic tempo - they can focus most of their troops on one side of the map, gaining a numerical advantage locally, while the defensive player won't take much advantage of the fact that there are few units on the other side of the map. (If their recruitment is heavy on units like guardsmen they *can't* really take much advantage.)

Knalgans don't have a good guardsman killer, but even that can be worked around (I think - I'm not that good with knalgans myself.) Anyone else has mages, augurs, adepts, burners, or orcish archers, which all do damage types the guardsman doesn't resist, and at range so he does very little retaliation. Also, none of those units are neutral, so you can choose a favorable ToD and do even more damage. Ghouls and orcish assassins also do poison damage that isn't resistible - and once you apply it, it won't be reduced by defense.

As I said, I'm not that good at knalgans myself: would someone who is care to answer the question of how a *knalgan* should counter guardsman spam?

Velensk
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Post by Velensk »

Nebiros wrote:It's not necessarily a good idea to start your attack by attacking villages. Sometimes it's better to attack units that aren't in villages first, and once you have killed a few of those, then go after the villages. This allows you to avoid village heal early on, and have more units to concentrate on the few remaining defenders when you are going after villages.

They can't have perfect defense everywhere, unless the map is poorly designed (or starting gold amounts were way too high for that map). The attacker also has the advantage of controlling the strategic tempo - they can focus most of their troops on one side of the map, gaining a numerical advantage locally, while the defensive player won't take much advantage of the fact that there are few units on the other side of the map. (If their recruitment is heavy on units like guardsmen they *can't* really take much advantage.)

Knalgans don't have a good guardsman killer, but even that can be worked around (I think - I'm not that good with knalgans myself.) Anyone else has mages, augurs, adepts, burners, or orcish archers, which all do damage types the guardsman doesn't resist, and at range so he does very little retaliation. Also, none of those units are neutral, so you can choose a favorable ToD and do even more damage. Ghouls and orcish assassins also do poison damage that isn't resistible - and once you apply it, it won't be reduced by defense.

As I said, I'm not that good at knalgans myself: would someone who is care to answer the question of how a *knalgan* should counter guardsman spam?
Comments gaurdsmen resist all damage types just magic not as much.

As for countering gaurdsmen as knalgans, not realy nessisary. The reason being what would your enemy do with spammed gaurdsmen? He could not mount an attack with them and unless you let him he can't even gaurd his whole border (gaurdsmen are expencive) you could easily steal villages or if by some chance he does manage to get one gaurdsmen to a village or block of an entire front, then you can focus force with theives griffons, thunderers and others and he won't be able to do hardly anything back to you because gaurdsmen have so little attack compared to the realative toughness of the race.

If you are refering to countering gaurdsmen as a support unit, then all I have to say is that for a defensive unit to cost 19 and be easily counterable would be kind of pointless.
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Lorbi
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Post by Lorbi »

usually there is at least 1 or 2 points in the defence line where a guardsman is on bad terrain. and there one can get him with thunderes since it is no problemn if you place you own thunderes on bad terrain cause the guardsman cant hurt you that much.

Tonepoet
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Post by Tonepoet »

The best way to attack is...

...to draw first blood with minimal retaliation.

If you can do this, it becomes infinitely easier to defend your original attacker so he doesn't die. Just put several strong healthy units up front to soap up damage for an attacker, then fall back the following turn. Preferably rotating whatever's left of your reserve to make a new front.

I think the reason why people tend to feel defending is too strong a strategy is not because defense is too powerful but rather, the attacks they launch aren't well prepared enough. So instead of obtaining the first kill, their units are killed first instead. I cannot stress how the first kill is usually an important turning point in Wesnoth, as whomever lost the unit is instantly less able to both attack and defend. Fewer units to attack with, possibly a loss in unit diversification, less ZoC to block with and not as much HP resources to heal or soap up are just a few of the problems that occur when your first unit is lost. It isn't an insurmountable loss to say the least but it is perhaps one of the most essential, potentially setting a trend for a good portion of the game.

This is why the defensive strategy is more inclined to succeed in games involving opponents of an equal but not optimal skill level. A player on the attack will probably launch a poor attack, leaving their units largely unprotected on poorer terrain, possibly next to a village they were unlikely to capture anyway or at least next to very high defense area. This allows the defensive player to get the initial kill with minimal damage and risk to themselves. The attacker is left virtually helpless to protect their units

When attacking a strong defense and yes, you will sometimes have to attack a strong defense since going around isn't always feasible, it is always better to follow a few rules of thumb. Rules of thumb that I am quite guilty of often not following myself but I must say a lack of the prerequisite thinking on the battlefield is probably why I lose more games then I win... :?

Regardless, I feel the following advice might be useful to those who may have trouble performing a successful attack against a defensive posture.

1. Perform a simple risk/reward analysis by asking yourself a simple questionaire. (Are their units killable this turn? How much need is there for me to kill the units in question this turn? If I attack now, who's going to be more vulnerable afterwards? What would the gold count be if we had an exchange of units? ect. ect.) It really doesn't have to be too involved a process. The key point is to just get a feel if it's wise to attack the position this turn, something a player can more easily decide with experience. Simply rushing into an attack without thought is "a very bad ideaâ„¢".

2. Keep a reserve! Fairly common advice on many topics for good reason. In this case, if your attack so happens to fail, you want units who're able to make repairations and perform damage control services.

3. Ensure a path of retreat just in case the attack is an utter failure.

4. If the attack yields a successful kill, check to see if any more potential kills have opened up. Repeat step 1 to see if it is wise to continue attacking.

5. When you are done attacking, cover your attackers with bodies and ZoC to protect them as much as you can.

6. If your attack doesn't yield a kill, repeat step 1, to see if you should continue with the initiative. If not, use your reserve to screen out your opponent's units from your path of retreat and try to get your injured to a healing station ASAP.

If you attack in this fashion, it should usually be possible to get out of a failed attack with minimal damage or casualty. With minimal damage or casualty, attacking becomes a feasible option. As noted earlier in the topic, a defensive player can't win by just playing defense since the objective of the game requires killing a unit on the other side of a map. As a purely defensive player doesn't have initiative, you have virtually all the time in the world against one to set up a good attack. Repeating the process again and again is a good idea to increase the chances of you performing a successful one. When you do, you may just crack them.

In closing, the extremely defensive player depends mostly upon you making a mistake in your attack that they can take advantage of. If you don't make one, then, assuming the E.V.s fall into place, you should be fine attacking them.

Oh, one more thing. For practice or at least illustrative purposes, I recommend that newer players who may not have before, play the sides of fairly old versions of Hexcake against others. A version where there's a single village making a ZoC choke hold inbetween impassible terrain. It will, more often then not, produce an idly strong defense to practice attacking against with few (but still existent so don't be lazy) flanking worries. ZoC should also be easier to manage here as well, due to the impassible terrain so it shouldn't be so demanding a challenge. Shouldn't be anyway. :-P

UngeheuerLich
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Post by UngeheuerLich »

1. both UD and northeners have fearless units, and poisoning units which are better suited to fight at day if enemies are also chaotic.

2. you always have to consider that player one has to expect a retaliation strike at the same time of day, so he should usually attack at the beginning of the night (dusk), where player 2 should attack a the end, where the retaliation strike is at dawn...


so my conclusion: if you defend against a player who doesn´t know when to attack, you win. if he has the right timing, and the right unit mix, every defensive position can be broken.

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JW
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Post by JW »

Noy wrote:Defence always looks easier. There is a line in Sun Tzu's Art of War that I always like.
Sun Tzu, Griffith ed. wrote:Invincibility lies in the defence: The possibility of victory in the attack. One defends when his strength is inadequate; he attacks where it is abundant
Clausewitz also states that defence is the stronger form of war.
Clausewitz Pg 358 Paret edition wrote:If defence is the stronger form of war yet has a negative object, it follows that it should be used only so long as weakness compesls, and be abandoned as soon as we are strong enough to pursue a positive object. When one has used defensive measures successfully, a more favourable balance of strenght is usually created; thus the natural course in war is to begin defsnively and end by attacking. It would therefore contradict the very idea of war to regard defense as its final purpose.

My point of posting all of this is that even in classical war theory, defence is easier to conduct than attack. You're just falling into a trap in thinking that its better just to play defence. Taking good terrain does not mean that you win. you can never take all the good terrain, and no defence is ever perfect. Good players know that, and see how they can exploit another's weakness and defend against their own.
Holy crap, that was actually very educational!!! :shock:

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