Bats: Flying Wonders?

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manored
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Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by manored » June 21st, 2009, 5:50 pm

This thread is for the discussion of the bat's awesomeness and maybe OPness... Alright, lets give it a look :)

The awesome aspects:
*Only 13 gold for...
*Eight movement points plus 1 movement cost everwhere except mushroom groves (Wonder why)
*60% defense everwhere (except citties, not quite sure though because citties are not on its chart for some reason)
*Drain ability

The bad side: Ridiculous health and attack power for a unit that costs nearly as much as a spearmen.

Now, the part that makes me love it: the uses :)
*Scout
*Battlefield overwatcher
*Eluding spy
*Infiltrating village stealer
*Nearly dead unit pursuer and finisher-off
*Temporary villager holder (against just one unit though)

Basically, the bat is awesome at everthing that doesnt involves... fighting :) As long as you keep in away from anyone's attack reach, you can keep spying and pestering the enemy with it forever winhout him ever being able to catch the bat.

So, anyone else things its ultra-awesome, or someone disagrees with me? :)

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krotop
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by krotop » June 21st, 2009, 6:05 pm

No upkeep is nice too. And they get 60% on a decent amount of villages. Used far from and during your main assault it may become a very useful village threat or decoy to outnumber locally.

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Eskon
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Eskon » June 21st, 2009, 6:15 pm

There is the matter of his battle-worthy troops dismembering the undead army weakened by 13 gold per bat. :)

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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Tonepoet » June 21st, 2009, 7:29 pm

I think a 5-6 bat recruit with one optional ghost is a very interesting way to quickly colonize in your average 1v1 game. You have to be able to micromanage your forces so that the bats wouldn't become targets too early on, having them only take action where there are only 0-1 units in the vicinity to attack on the next turn. You can use the lack of upkeep to build a real undead force in the meantime and it virtually makes your villages count for 1 extra gold in income while upkeep is still under.

The flaw with this strategy is that you have to be able to stabilize using that extra upkeep. If you're rushed with everything the opponent has, it will likely leave you disadvantaged. It also leaves you unable to aid a teammate forcefully so it's also a greater liability in a team game. However, as the typical Wesnoth strategy is to build your forces before an initial attack, I do believe that if your opponent is caught by surprise that this strategy can be quite effective, at the very least leaving you with a few bats over what you normally would have to harass the player.

This theory has its basis in the fact that bats cost 1 gold less than even the cheapest level 1 scout (the footpad), has no upkeep allowing its initial cost to be recouped and is the most efficiently moving unit in the game, with 8 MP and 1 cost over every terrain. Well, every terrain except Mushroom Grove, which has a virtually universal minimum of 2 to cross over for most flight capable units. It hasn't had its metal put to the metal yet, as I've typically only used it against random players when I feel like an easy victory. I'm too scared to recruit such an excessive number of anything against a better player. XD
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Eskon
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Eskon » June 21st, 2009, 9:49 pm

That number of bats should result in a very hefty and unrelenting assault by the enemy, and not even filling your upkeep threshold with level 1s sounds rather like a waste of perfectly good upkeep if you ask me.

silent
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by silent » June 22nd, 2009, 12:21 am

I found them to be at their most useful in the campaign DiD

They are the reason why you can get darken volk to engage sir cadaeus, rather than you, since the AI goes after the weaker targets first, and therefore have darken and the paladin square off rather than fight through 2 teams to get at the book.

Also great in a peaceful valley, due to 60% def everywhere but plain villages.

In multiplayer, I would say they are fairly decent at grabbing villages, and a far better scout cost-wise, except against drakes, since the glider is pretty much anti-bat with marksman and impact melee. (and I nearly forgot about the rest of the drakes and their mobility)

But for a finisher unit, the walking corspe is much better unless it can't reach the target in time.

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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Caphriel » June 22nd, 2009, 1:44 am

The bat's power depends on the map. On maps like Hornshark, where they can flit around the edges out of sight of most factions and steal villages, they feel terribly overpowered, but I haven't seen the undead winning an extraordinary amount of games on that map. In any situation where they have the space to keep running around, bats can be crippling to an opponent that has to send one or even two more expensive units that cost upkeep to chase it down. For pure scouting duties, they're the best in the game because they're the cheapest and free, but they're the least combat-capable scout in the game. For combat duties, they're one of the worst, maybe the absolute worst, as far as cost effectiveness goes. So, I think it is ultra-awesome, as you put it, in a couple roles, but so specialized as to be useless in others. Overall, balanced.

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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Tonepoet » June 22nd, 2009, 10:54 am

Here on Wesnoth, I already know that the playing does the talking, so I tried a couple games with 5dPZ. A player I believe to have equal if not better skills than myself. I lost both of them, one on but interestingly enough I was able to build and retain my bats for a good period of time.

In addition to losing the games, I seem to be missing the first of these replays and I had observers off, so unless 5dPZ has a copy or objection you'll have to settle for this summation: Early in the game, I lost all five bats in one fell swoop trying to kill a grass treading mage on turn six, during night deep into loyalist territory. Despite the 65 gold investment loss that wasn't quite recouped by the upkeep, I was able to push forward on the opposite flank and take a handful of villages. In trying to hold these villages my units while making an honorable effort to maintain their footholds are utterly slaughtered. The whole game I had the village advantage and 5dPZ had the kill advantage. Things start to look dire for me, my east is collapsing and I make one final push forward on the west with my adepts. Things on the west look managable, with three of my units on villages and three of 5dPZ's off until those adepts are ambushed by a fog shrouded double hitting horseman during the day. <smashbrosannouncer>FAILURE!</smashbrosannouncer> This happened on The Freelands, with me as player 2. I lost about 15 units, he lost about 5.

The second game was actually a lot closer, as after losing the first, I'd decided to pick much more favorable conditions. We fought in Wendlyn Channel, a relatively water heavy map, with me as player 1 that you'll get to see for yourself. I feel it was a much closer match hinging on just a couple additional strikes on the southeastern offense but perhaps I should just go eat my humble pie somewhere else in peace, especially considering the evaluated was pretty dead even by the match's end. This second game should be attached to this post.

Edit: Found the first one under a different name, stupid me, I made some narration errors it seems. =\
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Bats_2.gz
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Htonsew Rof Elttab Eht is just too cool for school. I've got no words to describe it. Have any of you guys tried it? ;-)

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Araja
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Araja » June 22nd, 2009, 12:20 pm

For me, bats are are something of a side dish.
At their price, getting alot of them leaves your army to weak to do anything, but if you just buy one than you get this wonderful little bat which threatens a load of villages at once and isn't slowed by anything, unlike the slower,more expensive and water-weak Ghost, which will probably be taking part in the real war anyway.

Certainly, keep it out of combat, but the idea is all your other units handle the combat front, the bat just grabs all the villages your opponent can't reach, hovers around near them and says "the second your unit moves off the village it's mine", and if necessary, goes kamikaze and ruins someones assault.

They can actually ruin an assault, just being able to hover over a hex, especially a hex your opponent would be better off in, for example flying over flat ground, forcing units to go over terrain they don't like or can't reach with their remaining moves, or attack the bat, almost certainly failing to kill it and ending the units turn.
If you can get them a few killing blows then they develop a ZoC, so they can really annoy your opponent

manored
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by manored » June 22nd, 2009, 4:22 pm

Eskon wrote:There is the matter of his battle-worthy troops dismembering the undead army weakened by 13 gold per bat. :)
they compensate that by increasing your tactical efficient with the privileged information they provide :) I oftenly leave a bat behind the frontline all the time just to peek at the enemy.
Tonepoet wrote:I think a 5-6 bat recruit with one optional ghost is a very interesting way to quickly colonize in your average 1v1 game. You have to be able to micromanage your forces so that the bats wouldn't become targets too early on, having them only take action where there are only 0-1 units in the vicinity to attack on the next turn. You can use the lack of upkeep to build a real undead force in the meantime and it virtually makes your villages count for 1 extra gold in income while upkeep is still under.
Sounds like a wild gamble, not my kind of game :)

But yeah, I think it can work, but its a surprise tactic so it will mostly only work once and if the enemy doesnt knows how to deal with it.
silent wrote: But for a finisher unit, the walking corspe is much better unless it can't reach the target in time.
Indeed, but bats are over twice as fast as corpses, if you account for the good movements on terrain and the fact they may have the quick atribute. The idea is that bats are so fast they can "improvisate a kill" by quickly coming back from their scout role and dealing the blow in one turn.

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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Pentarctagon » June 22nd, 2009, 11:15 pm

funny story, one of my friends was playing a campaign, i forget which one. but anyway, there was this bat, lvl 0, and he goes and attacks it with his lvl 3 royal guard. the bat needed 23 xp to lvl up. the bat finally dies after taking away almost half of the royal guard's hp and with 5 xp till it would level up :lol2: .
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by The Great Rings » June 23rd, 2009, 6:19 am

Pentarctagon wrote:funny story, one of my friends was playing a campaign, i forget which one. but anyway, there was this bat, lvl 0, and he goes and attacks it with his lvl 3 royal guard. the bat needed 23 xp to lvl up. the bat finally dies after taking away almost half of the royal guard's hp and with 5 xp till it would level up :lol2: .
See, I hate that. Drain units are so bloody frusterating.

Oh well, nothing a mage can't handle. :)
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Araja
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Araja » June 23rd, 2009, 1:21 pm

The bat dies instantly like the weak little noob it is, giving your enemy free exp and costing you 13 gold.

OR
The bat annoys your enemy whilst having no real effect besides a novelty, but at least it's doing it's job.

OR
The bat will luck out and completely ruin your opponents plans thanks to a godlike mixture of high defense luck-outs and slow draining, winning you the game.
A bit of a risky unit really, I must admit that for all my hypothesis in previous posts I've only ever used them to give me LOS and grab unguarded villages :oops:

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Skrim
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by Skrim » June 23rd, 2009, 3:43 pm

The bat will luck out and completely ruin your opponents plans thanks to a godlike mixture of high defense luck-outs and slow draining, winning you the game.
That would really be one heck of a Goddamned Bat.

This has actually happened to me quite a few times in the campaigns. In the third mission of TRoW, while you're moving your main force south to engage the Undead over there, Bats fly out of nowhere and begin hitting at your melee-weak units(Magi) and hold you up for a while. They also provide only a pathetic 4 XP for killing them. And then, in the Sewers of Southbay, you get swarmed by ridiculous numbers of irritating Bats and poisonous Scorpions while trying to cross the inconvenient swamp terrain. Needless to say, I completely and totally hated that mission. They also bug you throughout the entire Eastern Invasion, usually flanking you, stealing villages and attacking injured or melee-weak units.

manored
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Re: Bats: Flying Wonders?

Post by manored » June 23rd, 2009, 7:58 pm

Skrim wrote:
That would really be one heck of a Goddamned Bat.
Great link :)

I just happaned to close a game with bat-shaped goddamned bats :) (You can only shot forward, yet they come from above and latch to you. LATCH TO YOU!)

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