Drakes against thunderers?

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Ultimatum479
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Post by Ultimatum479 »

Heh, looks like this post was based on your weaknesses in the battle we (I'm Cyarus) just did. But you didn't mention your strengths.
Thrawn wrote::Don't think of terrain as something to help you: think of it as something to disadvantage your enemies.
--Although grabbing mountains doesn't really help you, it does prevent the dwarves from using them. And saurians DO get an advantage on them.
Agreed, as there are so few mountains on most maps, and almost never are there multiple adjacent mountains. The problem is that Knalgans don't care about the time of day while Drakes do. It might be a good idea to bring troops in pairs to hold terrain: have a Drake hold the mountain during the day, with a Saurian nearby, and the moment it turns to night, make 'em switch places. If you just try to hit and run, the Knalgans will still get and keep the good terrain in the end, because they don't have to run away when the sun changes.
Thrawn wrote::Use speed
Dwarves are slow. Drakes can be fast and fly. Saurians are fast too. Use speed to disadvantage your opponent. Seize more villages, fortify key points, and make sure you keep the pressure on them. Don't tlet them settle down and get comfy: once dwarves get entrenched, it is hard to get them out.
True, again, especially for Guardsmen on that last post. But don't underestimate Dwarven speed. Gryphons and Footpads help to balance out an otherwise slow team. Send a Sky Drake or other such high-move unit to scout out the enemy if there's a Fog of War, so you can keep an eye out for Footpads or Gryphons trying to go the long way around your troops to steal your villages or assassinate your leader.
Thrawn wrote::You choose the Battles Per capita drakes are the strongest race. If you get to attack when you want against enemies that are where you want, you should be able to wreck havoc easily. By stealing the good terrain and using your mobility, there is no reason why you should let them decide when to fight.
That idea of taking advantage of your mobility makes Zones of Control your enemy. A good Knalgan player will likely send Guardsmen (tanks) or maybe Footpads/Thieves (dodgers) as shields for their more powerful troops like Ulfs, which will attack at the perfect time to finish off weakened troops. I don't play Drakes much (I play Knalgans more), so I'm not too sure what works best against Guardsmen, but to get the high dodgers out of the way, you'll probably want your Saurian casters and their lovely 70% CTH. That means you'll be using your Saurians more for offense than healing, which brings us to the next point...
Thrawn wrote::Augers heal ZOMG, a fast unit with relatively good defense % and a magical attack and healing. That means that they can be used to back up your battle lines, healing units as well as picking off wounded enemies. And if attacked by one enemy, has a good chance of surviving. Even if they have low hp, get a few. They resist pierce too (granted, this is more useful against elves, but). Don't be afraid to have one or two.
As they're, if I'm not mistaken (again, not a Drake player), your only units with magical attacks, you'll probably have to send 'em against units with high dodge like Footpads and Thieves (and Poachers, somewhat). Thus, I wouldn't get too reliant on their healing, as they might die after you send 'em in to attack, or they might simply be too far away from your other troops after you use them to fight. Really, with Drake movement points, you shouldn't find it difficult to reach a village when wounded, so using these units to hug your Drakes and heal them instead of to counter good dodgers is probably a waste of the money you spent on 'em.
Thrawn wrote::Drakes are not Orcs! despite their good attack, you can not just throw them at enemy lines and try to power your way through. Your units are too costly to be equally trading hits: attack when you have the advantage.
Actually, I'd have to say I disagree that Drakes can't power their way through in most cases, from what I've seen of skilled Drake players against my Rebel, Northern, Loyalist or Undead armies. Against Knalgans, though, yes, that's true. Nothing powers its way through a Dwarven army.

Anyway, Thrawn, you didn't mention your strengths in that battle. Here are a couple things you did right that I noticed.

A: Knalgans, as I've mentioned earlier, make a really good team. Shields in front (tanks or dodgers), Fighters and Thunderers waging a war of attrition, Ulfserkers picking off whatever's wounded enough that they have an 80%+ chance of killing it, Gryphons and Footpads as scouts and pursuers...Really, the Knalgan Alliance has everything, and its only weakness to make up for that is the fact that its troops are seriously expensive. But the Knalgan Alliance works well as a team; one-on-one, Drakes win. That means you want to split up the Knalgan army in every way you can. Attack an opponent from as many sides as possible with the great mobility your movement and flying gives you. If you can't grab all the mountains in an area, grab the ones in the middle. A lone Knalgan is a dead Knalgan. Your attacks from both sides were what made me nearly screwed in the beginning, and if you'd launched an assault from the sea as well with your uber flying ability, I'd probably have been dead by round 7.
B: Use your offensive capabilities! Your army should never be retreating. That's not to say that an injured troop shouldn't retreat, of course, but the entire army should always be on the attack. That means that whenever a troop retreats to a village, you should be sending another one up to take its place. Never take the pressure off of your opponent. If the Dwarf manages to get a safe spot up in the mountains, chances are he's actually not that safe; there are almost never villages in the mountains, so he's got a finite amount of health while he's up there. Of course, the idea of always having another troop ready to make up for a retreating unit requires money, so...
C: ...Get money, and fast. Use the mobility Drakes love to flaunt in order to steal every village you can. Dwarves hold villages by placing units, such as Guardsmen, on them, but Drakes are a purely offensive team. The way YOU hold villages is simply by killing everything which would ever try to reach them. Don't let enemy units slip past you and snatch away your hard-earned income; create an impenetrable wall using Zones of Control, and focus your awesome offensive power on any skirmishers to dispatch them quickly. Money is a necessity for Drakes almost as much as for Knalgans.
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Kollle
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Post by Kollle »

Ultimatum479 wrote:
A: Knalgans, as I've mentioned earlier, make a really good team. Shields in front (tanks or dodgers), Fighters and Thunderers waging a war of attrition, Ulfserkers picking off whatever's wounded enough that they have an 80%+ chance of killing it, Gryphons and Footpads as scouts and pursuers...Really, the Knalgan Alliance has everything, and its only weakness to make up for that is the fact that its troops are seriously expensive. But the Knalgan Alliance works well as a team; one-on-one, Drakes win. That means you want to split up the Knalgan army in every way you can. Attack an opponent from as many sides as possible with the great mobility your movement and flying gives you. If you can't grab all the mountains in an area, grab the ones in the middle. A lone Knalgan is a dead Knalgan. Your attacks from both sides were what made me nearly screwed in the beginning, and if you'd launched an assault from the sea as well with your uber flying ability, I'd probably have been dead by round 7.
This applies to all factions. Splitting up the opposition is good no matter what armies are in play.
Ultimatum479 wrote: B: Use your offensive capabilities! Your army should never be retreating. That's not to say that an injured troop shouldn't retreat, of course, but the entire army should always be on the attack. That means that whenever a troop retreats to a village, you should be sending another one up to take its place. Never take the pressure off of your opponent. If the Dwarf manages to get a safe spot up in the mountains, chances are he's actually not that safe; there are almost never villages in the mountains, so he's got a finite amount of health while he's up there. Of course, the idea of always having another troop ready to make up for a retreating unit requires money, so...

This is wrong on so many levels...Retreating is essential for any army, to say nothing of drakes. As you pointed out, drakes really on their speed and hitting power, but once you get dragged into a battle of attrition, you are going to lose. To make things worse, Knalgans specialize in battles of attrition.

If you feel that you are being drawn into a battle of attrition, then get the heck out. If the a dwarf takes up station on a mountain, then bypass him.

EDIT: You are right when you say to keep the pressure on, but that can be done without actual combat.
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Post by Ultimatum479 »

My point about splitting up the opposition is that it splits you up too, so I was saying that Drakes survive better when split up than most factions. Splitting up your opponents isn't a good idea, for example, when you're Undead if it involves splitting your forces up too. Undead are good as one massive army plowing a giant hole through a single area, but split 'em up and they die (again) in a matter of turns.

The best Drake players I've seen are the ones who constantly replace injured troops with rested ones in a never-ending cycle of pain, and Drakes have enough movement that the retreating injured troops can reach a village and come back healed by the next turn. I stand by my earlier suggestion unless you've got a convincing replay which shows otherwise.
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Kollle
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Post by Kollle »

Ultimatum479 wrote:My point about splitting up the opposition is that it splits you up too, so I was saying that Drakes survive better when split up than most factions. Splitting up your opponents isn't a good idea, for example, when you're Undead if it involves splitting your forces up too. Undead are good as one massive army plowing a giant hole through a single area, but split 'em up and they die (again) in a matter of turns.
Not really. 1 on 1, a drake fighter or even clasher can well lose a basic spearman. Splitting up the opposition is good, but not if comes down to that; much better to single out and gang up on 1 unit if possible.
Ultimatum479 wrote:The best Drake players I've seen are the ones who constantly replace injured troops with rested ones in a never-ending cycle of pain, and Drakes have enough movement that the retreating injured troops can reach a village and come back healed by the next turn. I stand by my earlier suggestion unless you've got a convincing replay which shows otherwise.
I doubt I have a replay showing a good drake match, but even if I did, I doubt I would be able to post it. Of course you haven't posted a replay backing up your statement...If you want a game, look for me on the MP server in (hopefully) an hour.
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Post by Noy »

This sorta tacks on to Kollle's points and Doc's earlier comments.

Between Kollle and I we've probably played the Drake Knalgan match-up over a dozen times over the past several months. Some experts are up to thousands of matches played or observed. When we say its balanced, its probably because we've seen it played out numerous times, under different circumstances, and know the responses off by heart. Its balanced, we've seen it numerous time. When someone with a a hundreth of the experience questions it, you can imagine the feeling we get. Much of the talk here is utter theory without any serious basis in fact. It makes for a really frustrating experience.

So when someone like Kolle, soliton, Doc, or others point something out, do take the time and consider who you are discussing it with, and what they might know. It may well help you avoid future embarrassment.
eyu100
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Post by eyu100 »

Noy wrote:This sorta tacks on to Kollle's points and Doc's earlier comments.

Between Kollle and I we've probably played the Drake Knalgan match-up over a dozen times over the past several months. Some experts are up to thousands of matches played or observed. When we say its balanced, its probably because we've seen it played out numerous times, under different circumstances, and know the responses off by heart. Its balanced, we've seen it numerous time. When someone with a a hundreth of the experience questions it, you can imagine the feeling we get. Much of the talk here is utter theory without any serious basis in fact. It makes for a really frustrating experience.

So when someone like Kolle, soliton, Doc, or others point something out, do take the time and consider who you are discussing it with, and what they might know. It may well help you avoid future embarrassment.
Still, if you are making a beginners' tournament, you might want to ban either Drakes or Knalgans to prevent beginners from using the trick agaist other players who probably don't know how to counter it.
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Post by Lunar2 »

Noy wrote:This sorta tacks on to Kollle's points and Doc's earlier comments.

Between Kollle and I we've probably played the Drake Knalgan match-up over a dozen times over the past several months. Some experts are up to thousands of matches played or observed. When we say its balanced, its probably because we've seen it played out numerous times, under different circumstances, and know the responses off by heart. Its balanced, we've seen it numerous time. When someone with a a hundreth of the experience questions it, you can imagine the feeling we get. Much of the talk here is utter theory without any serious basis in fact. It makes for a really frustrating experience.

So when someone like Kolle, soliton, Doc, or others point something out, do take the time and consider who you are discussing it with, and what they might know. It may well help you avoid future embarrassment.
I have to seriously question that there is even one person who can claim "thousands" (2000+) of observed and/or played Dwarf v Drake 1v1 matches, especially within a timeframe that would make this relevant to the question (ie Drakes have changed a ton since their introduction, and so have Dwarves). Few people can even claim to have played/observed "thousands" of Wesnoth games period, let alone a specific 1v1 matchup.

To put this to an analogy, you're asking us to have faith in your religion that all faction matchups are balanced, and we're taking the atheist or agnostic stance. This doesn't make you inherently right - only that you're not proven wrong (nor easily proven wrong, but neither is the contrarian stance. It's easy to tear an argument apart when presented, but I don't see anyone offering one on the other side of the arguments). And having faith should not be the status quo - if it is, then balancing will come to a halt.
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Post by Imp »

eyu100 wrote:
Noy wrote:This sorta tacks on to Kollle's points and Doc's earlier comments.

Between Kollle and I we've probably played the Drake Knalgan match-up over a dozen times over the past several months. Some experts are up to thousands of matches played or observed. When we say its balanced, its probably because we've seen it played out numerous times, under different circumstances, and know the responses off by heart. Its balanced, we've seen it numerous time. When someone with a a hundreth of the experience questions it, you can imagine the feeling we get. Much of the talk here is utter theory without any serious basis in fact. It makes for a really frustrating experience.

So when someone like Kolle, soliton, Doc, or others point something out, do take the time and consider who you are discussing it with, and what they might know. It may well help you avoid future embarrassment.
Still, if you are making a beginners' tournament, you might want to ban either Drakes or Knalgans to prevent beginners from using the trick agaist other players who probably don't know how to counter it.
That's not really feasible. Random factions can result in this match-up, so what results is a complicated set of rules more difficult than the problem you're trying to solve.

Beginners participating in tournaments should just get over it and learn how to play the match-up. Practice. You don't say, "Ban all music that use minor scales on the piano," just because you can't play them. Practise. Sheltering beginners from this match-up will make them stay as beginners. That, and beginners' tournaments are unlikely to happen.
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Post by Radament »

Doc Paterson wrote: Is it really, after all is said and done rude for me to tell you that these things are not simple, that they cannot be broken down into a nice little paragraph, and to have some faith in the beliefs of more established players? Is it really rude or self-righteous to ask someone to not assume to understand an aspect of multiplayer better than players who have proven their strong understanding of the game time and time again?
It is self-righteous. Actually I come to find that many of the established players have quite an arrogant attitude going on, which probably stems from years having to deal with the more ignorant people who don't seem to have any respect for the work and time invested in this game. I can understand that it's annoying when a 10-year-old with a knack for dwarves comes here and behaves, well, like a 10-year old, and wants healers for knalgans or whatever, disregarding all the subtlety inherent to wesnoth.

Still, it seems to be a holy mantra to mention exactly this for the x'th time and choke any meaningful discussion with people who are not in the inner circle. It is, like Lunar2 said, a religion, and it's impossible to point anything out if you're not in the priest caste. Usually any small "blasphemy" (different point of view) will brand you a heretic.

As much as people should respect the experience of some of us, those experienced players should step down their pedestals and realize that there are in fact some few, good, fresh impulses coming from the not-so-experienced.
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Post by Cackfiend »

IMO has a drake exclusive player...

key to beating dwarves with drakes is to not fight a thunderer when theyre in hills or mountains

pretty simple really
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Post by Noy »

Lunar2 wrote:
Noy wrote:This sorta tacks on to Kollle's points and Doc's earlier comments.

Between Kollle and I we've probably played the Drake Knalgan match-up over a dozen times over the past several months. Some experts are up to thousands of matches played or observed. When we say its balanced, its probably because we've seen it played out numerous times, under different circumstances, and know the responses off by heart. Its balanced, we've seen it numerous time. When someone with a a hundreth of the experience questions it, you can imagine the feeling we get. Much of the talk here is utter theory without any serious basis in fact. It makes for a really frustrating experience.

So when someone like Kolle, soliton, Doc, or others point something out, do take the time and consider who you are discussing it with, and what they might know. It may well help you avoid future embarrassment.
I have to seriously question that there is even one person who can claim "thousands" (2000+) of observed and/or played Dwarf v Drake 1v1 matches, especially within a timeframe that would make this relevant to the question (ie Drakes have changed a ton since their introduction, and so have Dwarves). Few people can even claim to have played/observed "thousands" of Wesnoth games period, let alone a specific 1v1 matchup.

Ugh of course I meant thousands of general games. There are three of us who have been here since 0.7.X, playing multiplayer almost every day. If we averaged about two games a day (a conservative estimate)over the space of three years its easy to accumulate several thousand games. Moreover I personally only play 2v2s so I've watched and played double the number of match ups. I couldn't place how many drake vs knalgan games I've played or watch. Maybe a 100 or so Drakes vs Knalgans matchups.
Lunar2 wrote:To put this to an analogy, you're asking us to have faith in your religion that all faction matchups are balanced, and we're taking the atheist or agnostic stance. This doesn't make you inherently right - only that you're not proven wrong (nor easily proven wrong, but neither is the contrarian stance. It's easy to tear an argument apart when presented, but I don't see anyone offering one on the other side of the arguments). And having faith should not be the status quo - if it is, then balancing will come to a halt.
See this is what I'm talking about. You don't know, you're just throwing around statements to attempt to understand, shrilly stating that we're victims of groupthink or the magic koolaid of balacning. For anybody actually involved in the MP debates or watch us on IRC, its laughable to think we agree everything is balanced. This game is about competition. Do you honestly think we'd keep the game UNBALANCED just for the kicks of it? Do you understand how much work people like DK, Soliton, and myself have put into balancing the factions, how much work Becephelaus and Doc have done on maps? Do you have a conception of how contentious our debates on balancing are? Seriously?

I work on this on a day to day basis. I actually just watch games just to understand balance, and new strategies. This game isn't designed for new players, its designed to be for the top end of players. And those people, (who are on every night) bring examples to me all the time about specific balancing problems.However those comments are far more nuanced and show a better understanding of the game than what is on display here. I'm going to be absolutely blunt here, the comments in this thread is like watching kids play in a sandbox.

Here I'll give you a specific example of a balancing concern that was brought forward by jb and mythological a couple of days ago (two very experienced players). The changes to holy in 1.3.1 on the ghost made it less than effective against countering the Ulfzerker. Specifically, instead of draining for 2 damage, it drained for one. Now the counterargument that I put forward was that even if the ghost was nolonger a viable response, you still had skeletons. However their inferior movetype made them less than effective. Since Ulfs could kill DAs easily, losing the ghost as an effective counter diminished the factions effectiveness. Its not much, but its perceptable. Now we had two options here. First we could remove quick as an option from the ulf, something that has been discussed before, but wasn't implemented at the time due to a lack of traits. Now that healthy is a trait this reopened this debate. Alternatively we could dial down the new holy resistances on the dwarves and bring them back to 10%, exactly it is for cold before. We decided on the latter after much discussion. You'll see it in 1.3.2

Now thats a typical balancing concern. Its thought of on many levels, and shows a nuanced understanding of the game. Its not that we think aspects of the game are balanced, we don't. People disagree with each other all the time. In this case the loss of 1 point of drain prompted a balancing debate. Now compare this to the level of discussion in this thread.


You know, I could do what happened back in the day prior to when DK and I became the MP developers. Changes just happened and nobody was consulted. You can look at the history of the ulfzerker. I remember those days, and I'd like to I'd like to help people understand why certain things are the way they are. But when I come into threads like this, and watch myself and other developers get disrespected by people who think they know better than someone that has actually put serious effort into making the game better, I get slightly ticked off. It seems like some people never question their own culpability and limitations, instead blaming the people who actually took the time to do something about it.

Think about that for a second Lunar before your reply.
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Post by Ultimatum479 »

Noy wrote:See this is what I'm talking about. You don't know, you're just throwing around statements to attempt to understand, shrilly stating that we're victims of groupthink or the magic koolaid of balacning...

I work on this on a day to day basis. I actually just watch games just to understand balance, and new strategies. This game isn't designed for new players, its designed to be for the top end of players...

I'd like to help people understand why certain things are the way they are. But when I come into threads like this, and watch myself and other developers get disrespected by people who think they know better than someone that has actually put serious effort into making the game better, I get slightly ticked off...
-->
Noy wrote:It seems like some people never question their own culpability and limitations...
The irony here is sickening. Apparently you completely missed what Lunar2 and Radament were saying, though partially it's because they tried to put it nicely. Allow me to translate: the "experienced" players here have merely been declaring that "We're experienced and you're not!" and leaving it at that rather than offering any detailed comments and suggestions on how a Drake would play such a match. That makes your talk about how our comments aren't detailed enough even more laughable. If you'd care to join the conversation with your "experience" and actually make intelligent comments about why this match is balanced instead of arrogantly maintaining that "It's balanced because we 'experienced players' say it is!" then perhaps the Drake players (I'm a Knalgan) would be more inclined to agree with you. 'Kay?
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Post by Velensk »

What else is he supposed to say, I think most points on how to it is done have been made. After that all he can realy claim is knowing how the game works. I think it is more likely that he knows what he is talking about. I generaly play Knagans myself however I enjoy playing drakes (I just tend to lose with them) and I have seen both sides win when they fight each other. I am sure that you can convince some good player to prove this to you. Make yourself avaliable for a best of 5 match and see what happens.
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Ultimatum479 wrote:If you'd care to join the conversation with your "experience" and actually make intelligent comments about why this match is balanced instead of arrogantly maintaining that "It's balanced because we 'experienced players' say it is!" then perhaps the Drake players (I'm a Knalgan) would be more inclined to agree with you. 'Kay?
Consider if you would that we've explained these things to people hundreds of times on the server, while playing or observing games and countless times on the forums. Would you want to write out a 6-7 paragraph explanation of a particular matchup (which would still be quite simplified) for a new player, just because they questioned whether or not you were actually an expert? (Yes or No answer, please.)

By the way, I hope you show up for the tournament. ;)
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Post by eyu100 »

Doc Paterson wrote:
Ultimatum479 wrote:If you'd care to join the conversation with your "experience" and actually make intelligent comments about why this match is balanced instead of arrogantly maintaining that "It's balanced because we 'experienced players' say it is!" then perhaps the Drake players (I'm a Knalgan) would be more inclined to agree with you. 'Kay?
Consider if you would that we've explained these things to people hundreds of times on the server, while playing or observing games and countless times on the forums. Would you want to write out a 6-7 paragraph explanation of a particular matchup (which would still be quite simplified) for a new player, just because they questioned whether or not you were actually an expert? (Yes or No answer, please.)

By the way, I hope you show up for the tournament. ;)
No. But you could show them a sticky with the explanation on it to explain it in a short amount of time.
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