Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

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donkey_noob_trash1
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Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 » June 17th, 2009, 3:53 am

If you are a player like myself, you enjoy fast-paced games that depend more on skill of maneuver than on the RNG's blessings in the huge drunken brawls that typically occur after both players or teams have decided to go into buildup mode, but realize eventually they must confront one-another.

I am talking here about the "blitzkrieg" style of play. You may have seen a lot of good players use this syle of play to good effect. It certainly takes a lot of practice to develop, but it is quite potent in the hands of a reasonably experienced player. I have included two replays that demonstrate this tactical approach. None of the games were ladder games, in case anyone wonders (it should be rather evident that they weren't).

The keys to blitzkrieg are:
1) Speed is almost always essential in this approach.
2)Threatening multiple villages at once.
3) Paying little attention to your own backfield, and instead focusing on taking and holding the enemy villages or other valuable territory.
4) Moving from village to village. This creates a problem for the enemy... especially if your unit that you are moving is wounded. If you've taken one of their villages and are leaving it to go to another free village close by, the enemy must now choose between taking back the now vacant village or killing your wounded unit. Either decision is painful.
5) A lot of times the blitzkrieg approach uses an overload to one side. The thinking behind this is to initially overwhelm the defenses on one side of the map, which gives you multiple advantages: being able to swarm and kill enemy units or slip extra troops around behind the enemy and grab villages while the rest engage the enemy in the main attack.
6) Drawing out and killing the leader. I've done this a number of times in ladder matches, using HODOR tactics. Often times the leader who valiently runs to the defense of the area under siege will himself get surrounded and killed.

If anyone else wants to add replays or give additional input into this way of playing, PLEASE do so. I consider myself to be a student of this approach and am always looking for other players to instruct me. Thx
~donkey
crazy_orcs.gz
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Weldyn_orc_blitz.gz
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:eng:
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donkey_noob_trash1
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 » June 17th, 2009, 7:45 am

Another blitz, Knalgan style. This was against a good player (tiboloid).
Knalgans_blitz.gz
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Edit:

I tried to watch the replay, and it said "corrupt file" so you probably don't want to download it. Also, I had forgotten that tib had disconnected and we had to reload the game... so it started at turn 4 anyways.

Damn... it was a great game...
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Eskon
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Eskon » June 17th, 2009, 7:55 am

I've watched the crazy orcs game. "Blitzkrieg" strategy did work out well here since it happened to exploit a not so optimal initial recruit that didn't have any scout units and resulted in a horrible village grab - four of eight villages in the second turn just isn't any good. The front village on the right side is vulnerable to rushing and should be taken by a scout immediately after recruiting in any game. Turn 3 blue just shows the necessity of a scout yet again - he'd know about the extra wolves and not try that shaman thing, whatever that was supposed to do anyway - he needed to stay in the villages he already had there. Then he tries that strange assault thing in the middle? You don't get to assault anyone before you have secured your villages unless you're rushing people, which a wose and a fighter are certifiedly unable to do. Hard to justify the initial recruit of a wose on Freelands anyway I guess.

So yeah. Blitzkrieg strategy worked here because your opponent played very badly. Give him two scouts on each side and let him take seven of his eight villages or even all of them on the second turn, and give him an elvish hero instead of a sorceress, and things look mighty different.

EDIT: And the Weldyn match just makes my skin crawl. He misses an opportunity to attack your naga with his leader. He could have attacked your NOT-village wolf on turn three instead and kept his hunter on the swamp village, and ZoC would have led to you being out of villages to take. After getting his scout poisoned on the other side, priority one was to sound the retreat and fight another day, instead he continues (the assault was dodgy in the first place - he could have used the scout against the wolves)?

In short, in both of your replays your opponents lost due to bad play, not any superiority your mad scout rushes would give you. You basically sacrifice almost 100 gold worth of units (five wolves and one naga), and he wouldn't have lost shaman, archer or elvish scout if he hadn't tried that very stupid and doomed attack. You won this one not on the left side, where you bled units for miniscule gain, but on the right, where he committed suicide. What also helps is that instead of just killing the two wolves one by one he likes to evenly divide his damage among them... At night his hunter should have taken a village rather than attack another wolf on land. Let him kill the wolves and nagas more effective than he did and your scout strategy goes up in flames. It already kind of did here - even with suboptimal play your rush units are pinned down and sure kills. You're lucky he threw away the game.

Important against Blitzkrieg is not to lose your cool. Had he just held his units at home in defensive position and owned your wolves and nagas, the extra village time would not nearly have been worth losing all those units.

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Skrim
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Skrim » June 17th, 2009, 8:17 am

I think Drakes ought to be the best blitz-oriented faction. High mobility, high hitting power, terrain independence, tough units, and slippery Saurians. They can avoid engaging terrain-entrenched units when it's inconvenient for them and strike wherever they want.
Though, technically, it can be done with any faction.

BTW, pardon my ignorance, but what is "HODOR"? :|

Eskon
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Eskon » June 17th, 2009, 8:21 am

HODOR is a reference to A Song of Ice and Fire (something like that?) by George R. R. Martin, it refers to a style of play that only uses Knalgan outlaw units. I'm at a loss at how this is used in connection with wolves.

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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by HomerJ » June 17th, 2009, 11:11 am

Eskon wrote: I'm at a loss at how this is used in connection with wolves.
Maybe because HODOR sounds like odor.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Pentarctagon » June 17th, 2009, 1:06 pm

blitzkrieg tactics can be really effective when using drakes, since their units have high movement as well as lots of hp and high damage. however, as long as your units are on good terrain when they attack, the drakes really dont stand a chance since they are attacking from 30%/40% dodge. meanwhile your opponent could be getting 50%/60%/70% dodge.
TOD is also an issue with any non-nuetral faction. What happens if your northerners and the match starts on second watch? by the time you recruit and start the 'blitzkrieg' its day already.
the only time that i have ever seen a blitzkrieg attack be effective was on isars cross (admittedly not the most balanced map) with drakes since they all just flew over on turn 2 and 3.
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Velensk » June 17th, 2009, 1:11 pm

Default 1vs1s always start at dawn for that reason.
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donkey_noob_trash1
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 » June 17th, 2009, 5:39 pm

Eskon wrote: So yeah. Blitzkrieg strategy worked here because your opponent played very badly. Give him two scouts on each side and let him take seven of his eight villages or even all of them on the second turn, and give him an elvish hero instead of a sorceress, and things look mighty different.
So... give him a totally different initial recruit, a different hero, and make him play better and the game might have turned out different? Whaaa??? :wink:
Obviously this isn't the greatest example in the world, because the opponent made some glaring mistakes. I am going to get some better replays to post on here, so don't ye worry. The game with tiboloid would have been a great case study, except the damn file is corrupted... even the one you can download from the archives. :augh:



Eskon wrote: In short, in both of your replays your opponents lost due to bad play, not any superiority your mad scout rushes would give you. You basically sacrifice almost 100 gold worth of units (five wolves and one naga), and he wouldn't have lost shaman, archer or elvish scout if he hadn't tried that very stupid and doomed attack. You won this one not on the left side, where you bled units for miniscule gain, but on the right, where he committed suicide. What also helps is that instead of just killing the two wolves one by one he likes to evenly divide his damage among them... At night his hunter should have taken a village rather than attack another wolf on land. Let him kill the wolves and nagas more effective than he did and your scout strategy goes up in flames. It already kind of did here - even with suboptimal play your rush units are pinned down and sure kills. You're lucky he threw away the game.

Important against Blitzkrieg is not to lose your cool. Had he just held his units at home in defensive position and owned your wolves and nagas, the extra village time would not nearly have been worth losing all those units.
I don't think you really understand math well... and I don't think you have played against the blitz much. For each turn that I control 1 of his villages, there is a 6 point advantage that goes to me. If you've never watched HODOR's replays, I suggest that you do so. HODOR is well known for village stealing and slowly bleeding the enemy to death. Sure, you may take a lot of casualties in the process.

After having blitzed as both orcs and Knalgans, I think I can say that Knalgans are the better faction to do it with. The gryphon/ thief combo gives you plenty of mobility and will badly punish people who do as you suggest and just sit on their villages. Add the guardsman in for village occupation and you've got a devastating combo.

Anyways... more replays to come...

~donkey
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jmegner
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by jmegner » June 17th, 2009, 10:56 pm

donkey_noob_trash1 wrote:Anyways... more replays to come...~donkey
I would love to see a replay of donkey_noob_trash1 playing against Eskon. I hope you two have compatible schedules and a desire to play each other.

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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by The Great Rings » June 17th, 2009, 11:35 pm

I find that Wesnoth tends to favor defense, and that rushing is a good way to die.

However, I will try it as Rebels against Undead on small map if I have a Mage of Light as leader and the time of day is in my favor.
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Eskon » June 18th, 2009, 12:07 am

I'll readily admit that Blitzkrieg tactics reduce the tolerance for mistakes by a huge amount - if you play badly against it, and choose a bad initial recruit to begin with, then it will be over quickly.

If you want to put it that way, yes, every village taken with a wolf and held is 6 gold lost. Well, every wolf killed is 17 gold lost plus about maybe ten XP for the enemy, correct? To come out somewhat on top you'd have to hold three villages one round, or one village for three rounds, per wolf. Am I that wrong in concluding this is not easy to do?

Sure, I can play against donkey. I fully admit that I haven't seen players use wolf rush strategy much, and I can only learn from the experience of being exposed to one, even if it means losing and proving I'm talking out of my ass here ;)

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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 » June 18th, 2009, 1:30 am

The Great Rings wrote:I find that Wesnoth tends to favor defense, and that rushing is a good way to die.
I thought that too before I started playing against good opponents.
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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by Caphriel » June 18th, 2009, 1:32 am

This seems like a generalization of the BURS idea. While many of those aren't viable, those that are generally work because they recruit well against most initial recruits, and then they move fast to take advantage before that player can muster enough gold to adapt their army. That's been my experience, at least.

An all-horseman and cavalry loyalist recruit, for instance, can often strike during the first afternoon or evening and pick off or badly wound one or two units that are exposed and/or insufficiently supported because the other player was not expecting an attack that fast and chose to optimize their village grabbing pattern for efficiency instead of security. Played carefully, given some luck, I can pick off a unit, steal a village for a turn, then retreat to heal faster than their reinforcements can catch my units. Depending on what they respond with, I may even be able to skirmish efficiently at night, but usually not. By this point, even if I failed to kill anything, I'm ready to attack at dawn, I did some damage already and prevented or outran their night-time counter-attack, and am in position to pick up a dominating advantage during the next day. I've never played it against loyalists, but I suspect it'd work horribly, and I'd probably have some trouble against drakes, too, but that's a price I'm willing to pay. :D

Disclaimer: I do not espouse trying self-limiting tactics if your objective is to win, or if you haven't at least tried playing normally.

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Re: Blitzkrieg! (the value of speed in Wesnoth)

Post by donkey_noob_trash1 » June 18th, 2009, 1:34 am

Eskon wrote:I'll readily admit that Blitzkrieg tactics reduce the tolerance for mistakes by a huge amount - if you play badly against it, and choose a bad initial recruit to begin with, then it will be over quickly.

If you want to put it that way, yes, every village taken with a wolf and held is 6 gold lost. Well, every wolf killed is 17 gold lost plus about maybe ten XP for the enemy, correct? To come out somewhat on top you'd have to hold three villages one round, or one village for three rounds, per wolf. Am I that wrong in concluding this is not easy to do?

Sure, I can play against donkey. I fully admit that I haven't seen players use wolf rush strategy much, and I can only learn from the experience of being exposed to one, even if it means losing and proving I'm talking out of my ass here ;)
You're not talking out your ass, and I am sure no one with any reasonable amount of experience would argue with any of the points you've made thus far. Nevertheless... I still think that blitzkrieg (which is different than rushing... rushing may be 1 element of blitzkrieg, but it is not all of it) can be effective vs a good opponent. I really, really wish that damn replay of me vs tiboloid wasn't corrupt :( It would help make my point. Knalgans can do a great rush too. Probably better than orcs.
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