You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

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CptCharles
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by CptCharles »

The drakes aren't meant for holding ground, but rather simply attacking quickly then retreating. Since they all fly, they can usually avoid a situation instead of just standing and hoping their high defense saves them. Saurians are good counterparts to the drakes; they have high defenses and different resistances, but they arent particularly strong. Low resistances and hp, so neither can they hold ground. I like using drakes across water to attack and then retreat to some villages behind the water. Saurians and gliders can scout around and get villages, but the main drake tactic is to attack, not defend, thus the low terrain defenses balanced against lots of hp and powerful attacks.

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The_Other
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by The_Other »

Yep, hide behind water or mountains and hop over when you see a vulnerable target. The non-flying Drake line (Clasher? I forget as I don't usually play as drakes) is fairly solid and can hold territory as long as you are careful. It seems to me that the key to playing Drakes is that you are almost always outnumbered, but never outmaneuvered. Take advantage of your mobility to strike enemies who are unsupported, then vanish before they organise a counterattack.
Drakes' excellent mobility also means that if you plan carefully you should be able to control where much of the fighting takes place - if you need to concentrate your troops, do it in a region where the terrain is just as bad for your enemy as it is for you.
Nothing is true; everything is permissible.

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Rigor
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Rigor »

Orcs are overpowered when they have the initiative in a game because they are hard to kill in comparison to units from other races and in return deal tremendous damage when they survive. they dont just come in numbers, they often also stay on your villages and in their time of day they can and will inflict with one unit 24 damage which is often half or full hp of a unit. mostly there is not just one grunt, but plenty, and when they move, they move faster than other units because they cross mountains with 1 mp speed. in a usual situation, the defender is still weakened from the first assault and can often do surprisingly little to fend off another night of slaughter.

Image

And whats more, the orcs strength is not decreasing. from the time i started playing, in order to make the gameplay more orcish, the assassin has received marksman for his poison attack, being even stronger than before, and their archer has received one more damage which makes him more dangerous than ever since for instance cavalries hit points were decreased. especially, but not only on very big maps the upkeep factor plays a massive role, which means one grunt on your village can not be removed because you need a lot more units in the attempt. you can level up alright but in the course of events your upkeep goes down in total while orcs just throw out more and more grunts at you until you economy collapses, best analyzed on arcanclave citadel.

hoping to hear some nice pros and cons!

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alexanderthegre
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by alexanderthegre »

A similar thing can be said of UD or knalgans. On a small map, knalgans can easily take over the whole field, creating a 'bubble' wherin no enemy units can pass. I like to use footpads for this. With UD, being able to rush at first night is a massive advantage, especially if your enemy hasn't gone into a good position yet. For those reasons I generally avoid small maps.

When I play arcenclave, I hold the center while my leader sidles down the side to assassinate the enemy leader by sitting in their keep. Deadly effective against knalgans, northeners, and to a lesser extent loyalists.

Against a grunt rush, the best thing to do is to let them do it, sit in your mountains/forests/wherevers, and wait it out. Don't advance. If your enemy refuses to be broken up a grunt rush loses much of its effectiveness, although I agree there isn't much you can do if your opponent cuts off your gold flow. If they do that, I like to use mages, assassins, augurs, etc. to get them out.

Lastly, let's put a big disclaimer on this: I'm only a mediocre player. If what I say doesn't work/is flat-out wrong, don't fret it too much.

Pierceone
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Pierceone »

I'll tell ya what. I've been a player any years off and on. And my win rate is very good when i can choose my faction.

Faction strengths / weakness is all about terrain and the battlefield. Barring that the only other elements are your opponent, the rolls, and then finally and most important knowing what you are doing with that faction.

Ill tell you one faction that is very strong in particular maps, but weak in most and that is drakes. When they can utilize their mobility on larger maps with restrictive terrain, victory is entirely in your hands. That being said I consider them the worst faction for general play on general maps.

Knalgans are also very terrain dependent. these guys are generally the reverse of the Drakes for most situations, their only good mobile unit is way too expensive to seriously consider using in force. They really need hill / mountain and restrictive terrain to succeed. The good units are just too expensive to go for village capping, and their cheap units are weak as a lot of other factions i don't even fear them, they certainly wont lead an assault unless you get caught by surprise. Sure hope there is no water and the map isn't too big, if you are going against undead though you will probably be ok. I rate these guys above drakes definitely, but probably fifth overall.

Undead is next up. Undead has a good mix, of poison magic and resists and terrain. The poison is just probably the most underused feature in the game, it is awesome to drain down knalgans or any unit that has low hitpoints or low movement points. the skeletons are ok, depending on when you use them, and the adepts are very nice budget mages. Ghosts are good fore restrictive terrain and give them more flexibility in movement and along with bats, you can really cause a headache for your opponent village raiding, and with the bat at 0 lvl flying and fast its the perfect caper not costing any upkeep, good thing its village defense got nerfed. Undead do good on most maps, but maybe better on maps with enough room to maneuver between attack and defense and villages to grab. learning when to surrender ground is vital with undead, if you dont pullback at the right time you will burn. The best part about undead though is all their units seem very reasonably priced.. the bad.. they have some very huge weakness like impact and fire.

Loyalists are next. facing loyalists can be dang scary, especially on flat terrain and if they get some lucky lancer rolls. i don't care how skilled you are a single lucky lancer can ruin even the best player very quickly. Shier spearmen are a nightmare for drakes and enemy cav or even enemy fighters, and very nicely priced so you can out produce most. Archers are ok, but used too often. Mage is very nice but a bit too expensive, best to save for when you really need it on undead or rough terrain. HI is just too exp and slow to use in most cases, but it has its moments and useful resits. Their regular cav has nice resists and great maneuverability and damage, and also very fairly priced, good thing it was nerfed. The fencer is amazing, and if the enemy has neglected his flanks an amazing unit to trap leaders, kill off retreats or steal villages. Loyalists do best on open terrain maps where their cav can dominate the battlefield, and force your opponent to battle at dawn, denying him a retreat. They need room to avoid battle at night, during the day they are the strongest faction and will dominate anyone, they have a good unit for every situation.

And at the top of most powerful its mostly a tie between rebels and Northerners. Both factions have excellent units, one favors woods and one favors hills.

They both have good water units that are very useful for certain maps. they both have very good mele units. The northerners' grunt are nice and cheap but giving up ranged attacks they really didn't need at that price anyway. The rebels figher is probably the most balanced unit in the game, attack it ranged or mele you are going to get hurt either way. And the pierce arrows are very useful for cav / drakes ect.

The rebels are overall usually more maneuverable, their cav is superior with its ranged attack and Forrest defense and movement. On a large forest map its hands down got the advantage. the northerns cav is so-so. But works as a stopgap, never rely on it.

the northerners have unique poison which is amazing for defense or attack. The poison is absolute must have vs knalgans / loyalits. it can work against other factions, but using it on these wisely will assure you victory. It works better the more units the enemy has, hence less villages to heal. Poison, and then either run, let them die and move on to next target, or chase your enemy as he runs to heal. Critical mass of 2-3 assassins can wreck havok, your enemy will be forced to target them down to avoid having his whole army poisoned leaving your other units free to attack and take unusual risks. Troll whelp is another amazing unit. It heals too much and should be nerfed. I would still buy it if it was a 4 hp healing unit, it is that good. But at 8 hp healing its a grinding machine, keep rotating them from front to back as you roll over your opponent, just like the assassin these unit work better the more you have and the more congested the field of battle becomes. Sure the attack is weak but the price and the fact you don't have to rotate back and spend 2 t-3 turns healing multiplies their lifetime battlefield power. Using trolls is about a slow grind coupled with assassin draining if possible. If your opponent has healers than you rely on grunts instead of assassins to overwhelm him.

You will be hard pressed against elves, but its a battle mostly decided on terrain and rolls and skill, your greatest fear is you get ambushed on bad terrain at day. Against undead... trolls allll the way. One or two archers to deal with ghosts. Or even better yet, just ignore the ghosts, let them waste their time being annoying while you pound the rest of the army into dust in a unrelenting troll tidal wave, there is no counter adepts are a joke they cost way more and will have to get multiple hits probably take 3 attacks to take you down., in that time you can easily take down an adept making it a one for one trade at worst while your trolls heal and his don't. There is no stopping the troll wave, don't even try, don't even attempt, just pack it up and call gg. The norther's greatest weakness is maneuver of course and on large maps they may suffer or loose the economy.

The rebels have some great units. Shaman is over hyped / used. You should almost never get one of these at start unless you know you are facing poison, save them for later after the battle is underway, they are liability that must be protected and hamper your flexibility, and reduce your damage potential. Archers are also over used, they have a time and place, but that is mostly against specific factions. Wose can be useful but are too slow to use the majority of the time. What you want as rebels is as many fighters as you can muster, plus possibly water unit, / shaman or a few horses for larger maps, maybe an arch or mage depending on your faction opponent, but wait to see who it is first before you buy, fighters are fine stop gap archers. The mage is there if u need him for undead, but usually just ignore it too expensive. Elves can power over their opponents with numbers, and have the right compliment of units to give them the skirmishing edge against any faction. The only real weakness for elves are the northerners in spaces that do not have enough maneuverability or not enough woods.

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Lord_Napis
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Lord_Napis »

Frankly I think that the regenative ability of the troll, combined with it's high mele attack and resistances, is really a bit overkill. On mountains it is Possibly the hardest unit to kill, and that's just for one. Considering that the dwarves when recruiting have no magical attacks, trolls vs dwarves is slightly in favor of the trolls. Either all factions should have one unit with magical and a troll weakspot attack, or troll regenative powers should be cut down to 4, or troll resistances for most mele attacks should not be so high
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KShrike
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by KShrike »

Lord_Napis wrote:Frankly I think that the regenative ability of the troll, combined with it's high mele attack and resistances, is really a bit overkill. On mountains it is Possibly the hardest unit to kill, and that's just for one. Considering that the dwarves when recruiting have no magical attacks, trolls vs dwarves is slightly in favor of the trolls. Either all factions should have one unit with magical and a troll weakspot attack, or troll regenative powers should be cut down to 4, or troll resistances for most mele attacks should not be so high
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Seldam
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Seldam »

How can you know if a fraction is overpowered or not when there is luck between? It must be apparent or impossible.

Bake
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Bake »

That's not true.
First you can check who (and how much) is being luck and second by playing many games luck become irrelevant due to law of large numbers

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Marche
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Marche »

Theoretically yes, but I think it's quite possible for a faction to be overpowered with 'lucky' conditions easily (not that I think this is the case) and still not be noticed, because unless you are playing (and reviewing) so many many matches on your own, then you might not notice the differences.

I'm thinking specifically of the Fencer unit. A unit with only a blade attack (and one ranged shot at level up), but fantastic terrain defenses and skirmisher, at the sacrifice of an hp deficit. In a different universe, it was 12 coins to buy one, and for a time, it blasted through defenses through sheer cheapness. This imbalance isn't exactly due to luck. Not all, hell, I'd say not most of the balancing of units comes about from luck factors. Sure, terrain defense and abilities have a good impact on play, but so do the factors of price, resistences, health, non-accuracy abilities, movement points, et cetera. Basically, balancing a unit has as much to do with 'luck' as it does economic strategic play.

Sure, you can agree that faction X's units have been balanced well enough to not need fixing, but maybe a different player who has done the same amount of play has a slightly different definition of balanced and says 'they aren't fair, their Y unit dodges attacks too much on terrain Z!' See: bat nerf on villages.

And thus, this thread.

But since I'm here, I might as well ask; on what maps are the factions balanced on? I assume the default multiplayer ones? Are games just as balanced in groups of 3 or more, or teams of 2/3? I'm merely curious.
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Silux
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Silux »

To get an idea of how and in what map factions are stronger or weaker there are some ways to settle it;
-let the AI play both factions on a 2player match in a totally random generated map(which generates all kind of terrains) and repeat the process until you don't get big variations on the mean result(20-30 matches should be enough).

-generate a table containing all stats of units, including attacks, moves, terrain defences and resistances of the two factions and then ask a solver to get the best match of the two factions one against another with the same amount of gold, with the objective of killing the opposite best leader on a fortress.Last standing leader is the best.If it's a draw or there is a small edge between the two factions they are balanced.This calculation is very expensive both in time and space.

I prefer the first way since it's a game, but the second would give how much a faction is stronger than the other!


A map which is really impartial towards all factions is a blind chosen totally random map.(however they could end up ugly, as having ponds scattered everywhere or floating mountains:D)
Last edited by Silux on January 30th, 2013, 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UnwiseOwl
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by UnwiseOwl »

Sadly, it doesn't really work like this, for the simple reason that the AI is not the perfect Wesnoth player. The AI cannot understand techniques like poison or healing properly (not better than the programmer, and probably not even that well, the human brain is pretty impressive), can't retreat its units as well as a human, etc.
This means that though the AI could determine which unit is better at brute force, it under-represents the value of tactics and strategy that give some factions an edge that their mere numbers bely.
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But perhaps 'maintainer' is too strong a word.

Silux
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Silux »

I know that a match played by human against human can be really different between a match between AIs.
I tried matches between AIs and then me against another, then rematch with switched positions.
Player vs player lasted less turns but it took 30 min to make the two battles, and the ai took 15 sec to decide the winner.
AI plays near optimally Loyalist, but does really poor choices with the drakes.
It even outright ignore perfect units like unkillable juggernauts, just if they cost 1 gold more than they have and there are cheaper, but ugly weak units to recruit.

Even given that if an AI takes 10 or more than 50 turns to win against another faction on a balanced map, i bet that it would have been a boring match even for humans:D

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Alarantalara
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by Alarantalara »

In my experience (based on more than 10,000 games featuring AIs*) the AI plays the factions from best to worst in roughly the following order: Northerners, everyone else, Loyalists. The exact order of everyone else depends on what plays against the AI.

If you want to see non-optimal Loyalist play from the AI, just watch it recruit Bowmen against the Undead (or Rebels, which is almost as bad considering that the AI likes Woses so much).

*The 10,000 is very real, I've been running mass AI testing for the new AIs described in these threads, all of which beat the current AI at least 60% of the time (there exist 100% win rates for some of the AI/faction/map combinations):
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=36642 (Some AI vs AI statistics based on this are here: http://wiki.wesnoth.org/Machine_Learning_Recruiter This AI only changes the recruiting pattern with everything else remaining the same.)
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=34976 (These AIs change more than just recruiting and have a correspondingly better success rate.)

It is easily possible for a human to beat any of the AIs described in these threads, and while Northerners remain the best, the order of the other factions is different for each AI.
That the order is that easily rearranged shows that using any of these AIs to determine faction balance is a poor idea.

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pauxlo
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Re: You think a faction is overpowered? Come here!

Post by pauxlo »

Silux wrote:A map which is really impartial towards all factions is a blind chosen totally random map.(however they could end up ugly, as having ponds scattered everywhere or floating mountains:D)
Maybe this map is "really impartial towards all factions", but the results wouldn't be representative for balance on the maps which are usually used in Multi-Player (or even in Campaigns).

What you would achieve (if you want perfect balance on all maps) are exactly identical factions ... but even then, there might be player one (or player two) advantages.

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