Imbalanced matchups

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sergey
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Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » June 26th, 2019, 7:14 pm

Hi everybody :) Post your feedback on the next questions please. Idea of this thread is to formalize knowledge of experienced players.

Post your opinions and arguments even if they are already listed by another players. That way we can see how many people agree that a particular match-up is imbalanced.

1) What faction matchups (and potentially maps) are imbalanced in your opinion? (E.g. drakes are weak against loyalists on small maps)
2) Why they are imbalanced? (E.g. On small maps drakes can't leverage their higher mobility. Spearman is very effective against drakes.)

First step is to gather opinions. Second step is an opportunity to decline opinions about imbalances, players can provide their arguments if they disagree that particular matchup is imbalanced. Third step is to prioritize matchup imbalances depending on how many people agree with that particular imbalance and compile the most problematic cases.
Last edited by sergey on June 28th, 2019, 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ForPeace
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by ForPeace » June 26th, 2019, 7:55 pm

Issue #1: Northerners have advantage over Drakes on Silverhead Crossing
Reasoning: Northerners are a rushing faction - they take villages sacrificing units to get economic and number advantage. Drakes, on the other hand, are good at killing big groups of units provided they can concentrate their forces. Silverhead crossing is a map with a very wide front, therefore drakes spread their units on the whole map and cannot easily regain villages after the initial northerners rush. Then orcs gain economic advantage and easily outnumber drakes on all fronts.

Issue #2: Loyalists are stronger than Knalgans on bigger maps
Reasoning: Loyalists have strong cavalry units and fencers that threaten villages, forcing knalgans to spread their units. Knalga units are slow, so they get easily outmanouevred.

Issue #3: Rebels have advantage over Undead
Reasoning: From undead's viewpoint, it is difficult to attack with adepts because elvish fighters are cheap, neutral and have strong melee damage. Woses are hard to kill in this matchup and deal huge amounts of damage to skeletons.
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sergey
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » June 28th, 2019, 8:23 am

I found a similar topic here viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41568
In the next posts I will copy opinions of Velensk and Krogen. If your opinion has changed, please let me know.

UPD. Krogen said that his opinion has changed since than. Velensk confirmed in PM that his opinion has not changed, also he added "knalgan vs loyalist matchup to favor loyalists".
Last edited by sergey on July 2nd, 2019, 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » June 28th, 2019, 8:28 am

Source: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41568#p580698
Removed balanced matches, leaving only unbalanced.
Krogen wrote:
February 10th, 2015, 10:32 pm
Loyalists - Knalga: Imbalanced
Bad matchup I think, but there is worse. The Loyalists have a big advantage, Knalgans don't have a real answer against HI. 2 HIs with some Spearmen and Cavalry to help them is nearly unbeatable for the Knalgans. Horseman is useful too. Footpad can make trouble at night, but Loyalists can destroy them easily during the day with anything. Knalgans may stand a real chance with HODOR, but still, the matchup is imbalanced in my opinion.

Loyalists - Undead: Slightly Imbalanced
Loyalists have the advantage here, but it's not so bad. (Still the best matchup 4 UD after UD vs Drake XD) Loyalists have 4 really useful units, Spearmen to defend and against Adepts, Cavalryman, which is good, because it has positive resistance against every UD unit expect Skel Archer, and of course HI and Mage. Loys can be devastating here, but UD with good Adept and WC use, Archers and maybe 1-2 Ghosts and Skeletons can match them. Ghoul is not too useful here in my opinion. However, Loys have an advantage here, but it's bearable.

Rebels - Knalga: Slightly Imbalanced
Knalgan advantage here, but it's winnable for the Rebels too. One wose may be useful, but no more because of many slash attacks, and expect wose, the Fighter is the only unit that can kill an Ulfserker. That's why the Knalgans have the advantage. Thunderers, Gripphons and Dwarvish Fighters can break through the Elvish Fighters, and open the way for the Ulfs to kill poor Mages and Shamans. Thieves can be great too. The dwarves have good resistances, and thunderers have a relatively strong melee attack. The Rebels with a good defense still have a chance, but it's nearly impossible to attack with them properly in this matchup.

Rebels - Undead: Imbalanced
What can I say...? In my opinion the WORST matchup, even worse than Knalgans vs Undead. which is another terrible match. 2-3 Woses are simply OP here, they can win the match easily. If Shamans, Fighters and Mages follow them and they attack at day, the Undead can't do anything. But if the Undead strikes at night, Rebels can easily fend off the attack with good unit placement. Magic is useless against woses, and they resist to cold. Skeletons does a good damage against them, but they get back 12-2... at night. A Skeleton have 34 hp. The only way for the Undead to win against a strong Rebel player is first night rush, They need luck with Adepts and Skeletons, use WCs and Ghouls, and stole villages with bats. It's likely that Rebels will still beat them, but I think it's their only chance.

Knalga - Northerners: Imbalanced
Norherner advantage here, because of Whelps and Poison. The Northerners needs only 3 units: Whelps, Assassins and 1-2 Grunts (and maybe a Wolf). The Knalgans still have a chance but not much. With some lucky strikes they can kill the Assassins off, and after that deal with the trolls somehow. However, in my opinion the matchup is imbalanced, but its not even close to Rebel vs UD or Knalgan vs UD.

Knalga - Undead: Imbalanced
Accepted fact that its the most imbalanced matchup, but I think its only second after Rebel-UD. The well-known Footpad-Ulf combo is simply deadly here. I think UD needs Ghosts, Skeletons and Adepts here, and maybe there is a chance to win if ghosts can eat the Ulfs at night. Not much ofc, but its still a chance.

Knalga - Drakes: Slightly imbalanced
Drake advantage here. If the Knalgans use classic dwarf units, they are doomed. They need HODOR, but even if they recruit only outlaws, my money is on the Drakes. There is another alternative strategy for the Knalgans, Gripphon+Thunderer combo. Drake is my first race, but Horus beaten me with this tactic last year several times. All things considered, I think the Knalgan player have 2 options: HODOR or Gripphon+Thunderer.

Northerners - Undead: Slightly imbalanced
Northerner advantage here, smaller than Knalgans against UD, but bigger than Loys against UD. Trolls, Archers and Grunts can own the Undead, and if the orcs can level a wolf, skeletons are doomed. UD have to use WCs and Ghouls properly, and have enough Adepts and Skeletons for high damage. Ghosts are useful here too. Im with the Northerners, but it's not that bad. 60-40 maybe.

Northerners - Drakes: Slightly imbalanced
Drake advantage, but not much. Orcs can win with Grunts, Archers and 1-2 Assassins. However, its still possible for the Drakes to repel a good Northerner attack. But if the Drakes make a focused attack at day with Clashers and Burners, and the orcs don't have extreme luck, the match is over. I think the key for the Northerners is that they can't let the Drakes attack, they have to rush, and do not let the Drakes gather themselves.

Undead - Drakes: Slightly imbalanced
The only matchup where Undeads don't have a disadvantage lol. And in my opinion they possibly have a small advantage, but many players who are better than me thinks the opposite. However, a good night attack with lucky enough Adepts kill the Drakes. But true, they can outmaneuver them with Fighters and catch them during the day. I've seen many Undead vs Drakes matches, and I have to say Undead wins more often. But even if they have advantage (which im not sure), its not big.
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sergey
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » June 28th, 2019, 8:34 am

Removed balanced matches, leaving only unbalanced.

Source: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41568#p580427
Velensk wrote:
January 31st, 2015, 4:06 pm
-Knalgans vs Undead:
where the knalgan player knows how use footpads and ulfserkers, at which point I find that the undead player generally has to make a ton of better calls and not get unlucky to win. Even then, it takes a bit of experience to get the nuances of how to do footpads and ulfserkers in a way that does't have any weaknesses a skilled undead player could exploit.
Source: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=41568#p580808
Velensk wrote:
February 14th, 2015, 3:29 pm
-Drakes vs Undead(slight): Despite everything the undead have gotten I still feel that in any game where the undead can't get traction early they're looking at a long slow defeat unless they take risks.

-Northerner vs Drakes: This match-up is so map dependent that it's scary how hard it can be to play one or the other depending on the map. I think on the typical multiplayer map a northerner player who knows what he's doing can easily put a drake player in a position where none of his options are good, on the other hand if the map gives the drake player enough room for even one good option the match-up becomes very difficult for northerners at critical mass. That said, this isn't really an issue of the faction lineup so much as how wesnoths dynamics interact with their strengths/weaknesses.

-Knalgans vs Drakes: Another map dependent one but unlike the last one, I don't feel that any generally balanced map will give the knalgans a strong grip on the drakes. The best knalgans can hope for in this match is to have enough good places to fight that they might be able to force a fight where they can take it but it'll be tricky for them regardless.

-Knalgans vs Northeners (slight): Though my problem isn't the trolls. Knalgans can actually deal with trolls and assassins if they know how. The problem is that against a more mobile orc army they can't have all the units they need where they need on a larger map.

-Loyalists vs Drakes (slight): It's actually really hard to play the loyalists in this match-up against a drake player who knows what he's doing. Loyalists do have the tools they need and the drakes aren't quite as mobile as they normally would be but on some maps this one is still difficult.
Source: private message (July 2, 2019)
Velensk wrote: -Knalgans vs Loyalists:
Favor loyalists (at least on a typical 1vs1 map). I'd actually say the two are pretty even in terms of power but the loyalists have significantly more control.
Last edited by sergey on July 2nd, 2019, 7:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Krogen
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by Krogen » June 29th, 2019, 1:38 am

I'd like to point out that i wrote that more than 4 years ago. My opinion changed quite a lot since that and looking back at that time, i wouldn't even consider myself an expert at that point.
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sergey
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » June 29th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Krogen wrote:
June 29th, 2019, 1:38 am
I'd like to point out that i wrote that more than 4 years ago. My opinion changed quite a lot since that and looking back at that time, i wouldn't even consider myself an expert at that point.
Do you currently think that there are imbalanced match-ups? Could you provide counter-arguments to your 4 year old opinion?
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by Cackfiend » July 1st, 2019, 3:02 pm

A decent amount of perceived 'imbalanced matchups' are map dependent. There are some that exist regardless of maps though:

high imbalance:
Dwarves > Undead - Footpads, Ulfs, and Fighters are incredibly difficult to deal with as Undead

medium imbalance:
Dwarves < Loyalist - Loyalist out-maneuver Dwarves easily in this matchup
Dwarves < Drakes - Drakes out-maneuver Dwarves easily in this matchup
Dwarves > Elves - Fighters, Ulfs, and Gryphons are incredibly difficult to deal with as Elves

low imbalance:
Elves > UD - Wose is too resilient





I've seen arguments over the years for many others, but these are probably the biggest offenders. Dwarves having such a hard time with Loyalist and Drakes became a much bigger issue with the addition of the healthy trait which meant less quick dwarves.

Dwarves vs Undead is the only largely imbalanced matchup in Wesnoth.


Of course we made an era to combat these imbalances viewtopic.php?f=15&t=49964
Last edited by Cackfiend on July 3rd, 2019, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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radarsu
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by radarsu » July 3rd, 2019, 10:59 am

General:
Loyalists > Drakes

Dwarves > Elves
Orcs > Elves

Dwarves > Undead
Elves > Undead
Orcs > Undead

Medium & big maps:
Drakes > Dwarves

Small maps (Isar's Cross size):
Orcs > Drakes
Undead > Drakes

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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by Cackfiend » July 3rd, 2019, 1:26 pm

radarsu wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 10:59 am
General:
...
Orcs > Undead
...
Im not sure I've ever heard anyone claming Orcs > Undead. I know for a while there people thought Undead was far superior in the Orc matchup. Is there a reason you think this matchup is imbalanced?
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by radarsu » July 3rd, 2019, 2:48 pm

Cackfiend wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 1:26 pm
radarsu wrote:
July 3rd, 2019, 10:59 am
General:
...
Orcs > Undead
...
Im not sure I've ever heard anyone claming Orcs > Undead. I know for a while there people thought Undead was far superior in the Orc matchup. Is there a reason you think this matchup is imbalanced?
Troll is 13g cost. Very hard to deal with for undeads. 2 adepts often can't kill single troll - and even if they do - they still might be left vulnerable to grunts and trolls attacking them in response. If they don't manage to kill it - one of the adepts is surely about to die. Also, losing 1 (13g) troll isn't much pain for orcs - it was fighting-meat anyways and losing 1 adept is very painful for undeads, as it was their main attack power. Simply - 2 adepts attacking any orc unit is high-risk low-reward action, that is unfortunately necessary, as undeads should be ones initiating attack. If undead's dont have a good luck on initial attack (like +20% dmg dealt) they will most likely end up in [censored] situation that might be impossible to turn over.

Also archers are very good vs undeads and lvl up incredibly fast (in comparison undead skeletons lvl up slow af). If you lvl it up - you have the power to counter & smash almost all undead units.

Overall undeads are slow, orcs are a bit faster (1 movement cost on hills).

Undead heroes are pretty trash and die easiely (except for dark mage, he is decent). Orc heroes are all fine.

Orcs are high-hp and pretty high defense - poison isn't too effective. That leaves ghoul a bit weaker, not to mention he has horribly low hp for a tank and dies easiely even to grunts and when he is a little wounded - he can be finished off without a trouble by almost anything. And skeletons... Well, trolls beat them hard, so you don't have any real defender unit.

If the game is luck-balanced, it very often looks like this:
1. Night came, undeads pushing, some units exchange, maybe they take orcs teritorry, but undeads can't hold it against trolls (day coming), so they back.
2a. Orcs pushing, they deal with ghoul defender & take undead's teritorry.
2b. Orcs pushing, they can't deal with ghoul defender, so they just exchange some damage and retreat.
3a. Night came, undeads pushing again to reclaim their territory or capture enemy teritorry again - adepts fail at killing troll and die. GG.
3b. Adepts kill troll, get covered by ghoul, reclaim their territory (or gain enemy territory again), but orcs don't care about loses (low cost units) they kill ghoul and keep on trading their low-cost units for a little more expensive undead units and slowly get advantage.
4a. Orcs are lucky in trades and start winning.
4b. Orcs are unlucky and stall until they manage to level up some archer/troll - then its win.
4c. Orcs are horribly unlucky and lose.

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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by Cackfiend » July 3rd, 2019, 8:52 pm

Thanks for the reply, radarsu. Undead's strength in the matchup vs Northerners is Walking Corpses which assist in countering trolls pretty well. Undead do well defending in that matchup and are better than Northerners during the day.

Have you played competitively on the ladder at all? There was actually a pretty big argument for a while about Walking Corpse spam ruining that matchup and some considered it to be even worse than Undead vs Knalgans as far as balance goes.
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sergey
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » July 4th, 2019, 8:23 am

radarsu and Cackfiend - if you want to continue this discussion do it via PM please. As I said in the initial post, I would like to gather opinions and arguments first. Second step would be dedicated to discussions, accepting or rejecting opinions. I would like to follow this procedure to make the topic more formal and productive.
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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by josteph » July 5th, 2019, 9:27 am

If you prefer I can split radarsu and Cackfiend's posts to a new thread dedicated to the orcs/undead question, so sergey can continue collecting opinions on this thread.

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Re: Imbalanced matchups

Post by sergey » July 5th, 2019, 10:49 am

josteph wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:27 am
If you prefer I can split radarsu and Cackfiend's posts to a new thread dedicated to the orcs/undead question, so sergey can continue collecting opinions on this thread.
josteph thanks for the suggestion. I think we are good at this point. I am not sure that we will move to the next stage (discussing, accepting or declining imbalanced match-ups). Several highly skilled players replied me that they don't want to participate in the discussion, mainly because it is complicated topic and it will take a lot of time. I think we need at least 2-3 more expert players to proceed to the discussion. If it happens, I will create separate threads for each imbalanced match-up and ask moderators to delete off-topic comments (like this one).

P.S. I have an alternative idea. I could create a poll. There won't be any arguments, just votes. Not so descriptive, however it will save a lot of time for participants. Unfortunately the poll can't be anonymous, we need to be sure that respondents are experts. The most effective method to check that is to verify their ladder account. It is delicate moment. Every opinion matters, but we can't risk to get incorrect results due to not very competent opinions. Player may be very skilled and not have ladder account. Ladder account verification will be used just because it is the only feasible method, not because it is the only method to check the level of expertise. I will think more about that.

P.S.S. And here it is viewtopic.php?f=15&t=50056 I will send personal invitation for all players that have more than 1800 Elo points and have recently played online.
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