Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

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Zaroth
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Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Zaroth » February 2nd, 2011, 7:35 pm

Hello there! Here I will post replays from my games, hoping that somebody will want to take a time and discuss my mistakes with me. Let's start with my recent Northeners vs Undeads demise:
Zaroth_No_Ondrew_Un_-_Hamlets.gz
No vs Un on Hamlets
(39.92 KiB) Downloaded 230 times
This is game of me being petrified at the thought of being attacked by adepts and dodging their attack zones a lot. It also shows a battle of attrition, me unable to launch proper attack on the undead after getting an advantage (I guess my opponent attacked too recklessly), foolishly losing two about-to-level wolf riders and losing all his forces after deciding that maybe it's finally time to act.
Zaroth_No_Arachnid_Un_-_Sablestone_Delta.gz
No vs Un on Sablestone Delta
(19.48 KiB) Downloaded 190 times
This time I changed my strategy. Instead of trying to avoid dark adepts I decided to just kill them all, even at price of heavy losses. It quite worked, but eventually one bat going through my lines managed to destroy my whole economy... and I lost again.

Comments on both games are greatly appreciated, because I surely want to know how to deal with this horrible match-up. It seems to like mocking me and appears quite often when both me and my opponent choose Random for the faction... Darn, RNG ;-)

Edit: RNG tried me again when choosing factions for today's ladder match... Guess what? Northeners vs Undead ;-)
Zaroth_No_vs_JangGun_Un_-_Fallenstar_Lake.gz
No vs Un on Fallenstar Lake
(25.77 KiB) Downloaded 198 times
Yet another economy loss... I just don't know how to deny these damn bats entry to my kingdom. Recruiting too much scouts to catch them after that seems like wasting money (which could be spent on more useful units)... And these bats also know well how to waste my money. I miss gryphons, which excel at catching these pesky rodents.

If anybody wants to help me with my Northeners problem, please do - comments on any of these games are appreciated.
Last edited by Zaroth on March 1st, 2011, 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by MRDNRA » February 3rd, 2011, 2:23 pm

I'm not particularly experienced when it comes to giving advice, but because of bat's low defense ratings on villages (40%), surely you just need to keep a couple of units within striking range of each frontier village, thereby making it very risky for opponent to use a bat to capture it, and if they do, then try to ZoC trap it if you're initially unable to kill it.

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Velensk » February 3rd, 2011, 4:35 pm

For that first one

Turn 1: No Comment

Turn 2: Generally I find it is best to grab all the rearmost villages first unless you are either planning a rush where one of the units will not be needed or are worried about a potential enemy rush.

Turn 3: No comment

Turn 4: Simply put, you have far too few units on the right side to defend it adequately. The best way to stop a village stealing unit (that is not a skirmisher) is to stick two units on either side of it and keep it pinned until you can kill it. On any flank that has two or more villages you will need to keep at least two units (including preferably one that is reasonably fast for scouting purposes) if you intend to hold it against a single village stealer (though swift units recruited at your keep can fill this role as orcs you might not be wanting to get too many wolves against undead).

Turn 5: The archer you move to 22,10 could have been more effectively used to pin the bat. If you look at the way the bat can move it cannot go anywhere really but forward. It can however outrun the troll sufficently to get away. If you place the archer closer to the only area it the bat can flee you will be able to more effectively prevent village stealing.

Turn 6: On your reaction on the left flank; You really need two archers if you want to discourage a ghost. The other thing I would suggest is that you might want the wolf to have adbandoned its current station and run to garrison 5,6. No matter what you do, the ghost will get a chance to steal a village, however it is most advantageous to prevent stealing villages deep behind your lines and far away from your castle because trying to force stealers off those villages takes lots of time and puts your troops in placecs distant from where they are needed in the main fight which can cost the battle.

Turn 7: It likely would have been better to get another archer than attacking with your leader. Even if you had hit the ghost would likely have drained a decent portion of the damage back.

Turn 8: Still on the left, I think it likely would have been better to put the archer on the other village than attack the ghost. You don’t need to pen the ghost in at this point because he isn’t going to leave the village (he has nowhere else to send it that would be as profitable), even if your archer hits twice that’s only 10 damage, 8 of which would be regenerated immediately. The other way you’d recover some income and your archer would not take retaliation but heal instead. On the right flank I’m not sure that it was a good idea to continue to fight under current conditions. The only target you could have killed (and you’d have needed a decent bit of luck) would have been the skeleton archer who would return roughly the same in retaliation meanwhile your foe has enough dark adepts to kill your men and poison for those he cannot kill. An alternative that might have been better would be to fall back and form a line so that he can only attack any unit from two hexes. It still will be negative attrician but it would be a negative attrician that would buy you more time and possibly help even out the terrain.

Turn 9: No comment

Turn 10: On the left, again, keep in mind that after you finish dealing damage your enemy will regenerate 8 damage so make sure you can do signifiicantly more than that before attacking else you are just mongering retaliation.

Turn 11: No Comment

Turn 12: I’m not sure attacking with your leader was worth it. At the moment you really need to get more units onto the field. Killing the adept faster would be useful but compared to getting that 3-4 extra units a turn earlier I think you might find less important.

Turn 13: Again, I doubt that attacking the spectre would have been more important than immediate reinforcement (especially considering drain)

Turn 14: No Comment

Turn 15: No Comment

Turn 16: At this point you needed to send a another or two the other way. After you finished the adept the only troop on that side of the map close enough to be an issue immediately is a walking corpse and you still moved the two extra trolls to the right. Meanwhile on the other side of the map there is a skeleton a bat and a ghost who need to be routedfrom your villages ASAP. Trolls arn’t great for ghosts but they can smash the other two. I am not sure that the wolf move was worthwhile as it let the ghost onto a village you could have held in exchange for a chance to do a little bit of damage and recieve a potentially crippleing counter attack.

Turn 17: No Comment

Turn 18: No Comment

Turn 19: Not sure what happened here but in either case advancing with trolls without scouting is risky especailly with so little in the way of backup (as the results clearly demonstrate)

Turn 20: If you can keep a scout on both flanks it really helps in the information department. Running them both around together does let you apply more threat but it concentrates your vision and makes it harder plan, the painful encounter last turn for example could have been avoided if you had had a wolf to see that the adepts would make it a poor idea to move the troll there.

Turn 21: Although goblins have their place, I wouldn’t be recruting too many of them against undead. Not only do skeletons destroy them easilly but they provide fodder for walking corpses.

Turn 22: I’d have picked up a grunt rather than an archer but it’s a style choice.

Turn 23: No Comment

Turn 24: More tactical judo, lots of shifting little fighting. Although there is no obviously good way to attack at this point I will point out that you do not want to stretch this game out too much. If it becomes an level 0 war you do not want to be playing goblins against corpses and critical mass in this match-up favors undead generally.

Turn 25: You really need to start taking a better look at what your enemy has. Try sending your wolves forward 3-4 hexes (depending on their traits and what terrain they are standing on) seeing what the enemy has and then just moving back when your forces are distant. Use the information gleamed this way to determine how to distribute your forces.

Turn 26: This is a critical turn here, you focus an attack on one flank at the expensive of another in hopes of securing an advantage. I feel that although a move of this nature was needed your execution here is rather sloppy and will likely cost you the game. A few notes
-You allow him to steal villages first which generally means that time is on his side.
-On the right side when advancing, you advance to give threat to his units and not to give threat to his villages. This means that if he chooses to retreat your offense will be a turn behind and as I mentioned time is not on your side. Instead of heading to about 23,12 you could have headed to around 19,15 which would make it considerably harder for him to hold the village with a single walking corpse as well as make it harder for him to just run. This could have forced an earlly engagement which I judge would be weighted in your favor at least until reinforcements start arriving.
-The time of day/unit composition on the left will make it hard for you to push him off quickly.

Turn 27: No Comment

Turn 28: Your actual attacks this turn seemed poorly thought out though part of that might have been the time limit. I am dubious about the advantage you would have even if you had attacked all out on the left but in any case using a goblin like that was practically giving him another zombie. In the south you didn’t even grab the village and you put two wolves into a position where they couldn’t survive even if they levleled up.

Turn 29: Blood bath turns are fun but hard to comment on as there are so many little tactical considerations to take into account and it’s ultimately hard to say without seeing how the dice turn out. I feel that you were relatively lucky throughout this conflict.

Turn 30: No Comment

Turn 31: Game ends

EDIT: I don't have many overall comments for this game other than that it is generally not cost efficent to use goblins to guard villages against stealers the way you did. That many goblins could be 2 more line class units for the main battle and will likely sit around doing nothing for you the way you were using them. The best way to stop village stealers is to achieve map control or keep enough of an army to pin and squish them in every tempting location.

EDIT2: Second game. I don't have time to do the third one right after this but I'll get it at some time.

Turn 1: No Comment

Turn 2: No Comment

Turn 3: No comment

Turn 4: Little bit risky with the leader there, if he’d gotten himself killed by the retaliatory strike he might have been able to finish you off there. It still might well have been worth the risk.

Turn 5: No Comment

Turn 6: No Comment

Turn 7: No Comment

Turn 8: I feel like this game is already over. You may of forced him to retreat but he actually came out ahead in that engagement both in terms of kills/loses (though that will no longer be true once you nab the ghost) and in village control and now he is taking your villages in a way that will make it oftly hard for you to take them back and make a come back.

Turn 9: No Comment

Turn 10: Always measure your odds very carefully when trying to kill ghosts with melee attacks especially when the units attacking the ghost are vulnerable in some way (like trolls to arcane or naga in the open).

Turn 11: In future versions that bat would not be quite so annoying as it will have 40% defense. Until then, you are doing about the best you can do though it would be better if you grab the other villages it has stolen first then pin it as you will be leaking less throughout the duration of the pin.

Turn 12: No Comment

Turn 13: No Comment

Turn 14: Game is practically over.

Overall: Playing undead on this map is a bit rough for northerners. For you it is ideal to fight in the open as much as possible as fighting on terrain even if both sides have it gives an advantage to dark adepts (of course it's fine to be in terrain as long as they don't get it). Most of this game was spent skirmishing in a small but topographically dense area and your inital recruit didn't have the right units to really help even it out. I don't have a lot to say about your tactics or stratagy in this case as so much of it comes down to styleistic choices and my choices would have been so divergent it's hard to measure how much better my alternatives would be without playing it out.

EDIT: Will get to that next one later. To expand on something, pulling grunts out of a rush for healing does weaken your momentum but it provides the unalienable advantage of an additional grunt in the next attack vs the chance based advantage of a highly wounded grunt in the current attack.
Last edited by Velensk on February 5th, 2011, 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Zaroth » February 3rd, 2011, 5:57 pm

Thanks again for your great reviews! To just point out the most important things I learned from your commentary and from the game (maybe they'll also be useful for others later):
  • don't keep the scouts together, but separated as far as possible (I really don't know what I was thinking moving them like that)
  • villages in the rear are the most precious ones
  • if enemy is putting up a good fight on one side, he likely has nothing or almost nothing on another (at one point I could do really nice counter-pillaging rampage with my scout on the left)
  • recruiting units to just stand passively in the villages when nothing serious is happening there is a bad, bad idea ;-)
  • having pre-ordered unit movements is again a very bad idea - and it's likely to be at least partially solved with 1.9 "planning phase", but again, making sure you don't have any of these will save you shame of asking for a reload... (that's what happened around turn ~17, when one troll died on surprise adept attack - the second troll had missclicked pre-ordered movement which led him directly to ZoC of the ghoul... I asked for a reload)
Velensk wrote: Turn 13: Again, I doubt that attacking the spectre would have been more important than immediate reinforcement (especially considering drain)
You seem to be missing on a very important point here - I think moving my leader to this point was critical to keep the spectre from taking my keep. That would be a game-ender... (this map still has one keep per castle) And since I had regen and was already standing next to the spectre - why not give it a few hits?
Velensk wrote: Turn 28: (...) I am dubious about the advantage you would have even if you had attacked all out on the left but in any case using a goblin like that was practically giving him another zombie
Yeah, that was a foolish try to get the undead out in the open, so I could have terrain advantage. I forgot that a) goblin has almost no hp, so he would likely finish him with one adept b) his walking corpses can multiply. ;-)

Edit: My first grunt rush!
Zaroth_No_vs_Naovy_Lo_-_The_Freelands.gz
Failed grunt rush vs Loyalists on The Freelands
(23.06 KiB) Downloaded 205 times
Although it failed, I really enjoyed playing this style - sadly, it probably won't work against Undead. Warning, though - Random Number God didn't favour me in this battle, in fact, he punished me rather heavily. It was much fun nevertheless.

Edit2: My second grunt rush, and one that actually worked! And guess against whom...? You got it, Undead! I'm so happy :D
Zaroth_No_vs_Gimlich_Un_-_The_Freelands.gz
Successful grunt rush vs Undead on The Freelands
(14.26 KiB) Downloaded 188 times
I didn't actually think that grunt rush could work against undead. You can imagine then that I was quite angry when I saw that RNG laughed at me again and gave me this match-up... I get Northeners from Random waay too often. But, well... I guess it's more because of Gimlich's mistakes (the biggest one engaging his leader in the battle too much and not recruiting, probably) than my own prowess, but a victory is a victory :-)
I guess I also gambled a little too much in this game, trying to exchange keeps on the freelands... too much was at stake, I should have just stayed and sent reinforcements. But Gimlich didn't scout too much and probably didn't notice what was going on until it was too late. I think also I have to stop doing these rushes all the time, or I'll be too predictable (but it's addicting!).

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Velensk » February 5th, 2011, 2:02 pm

Last game first post:

Turn 1: The grunt was probably unnecessary first turn.


Turn 2: As goblins cannot get the quick trait, neither of your recruits could potentially get to 26,8 or 28,12. Getting to a village a turn earlier is more than worth the upkeep it costs to do so though it is a bit of a gamble on getting the quick trait unless you want to get an assassin.

Turn 3:No Comment

Turn 4: No Comment

Turn 5: Strategically, I do not think you are going to need to have your leader in this fray to discourage him from attacking. Even against undead around this point I would be heading south to get a naga into the lake as a single bat in the lake can pin two units to the southern villages just by staying still out of reach.

Turn 6: I’ve seen the submerge skeleton trick work on this map a couple times. The situation down south however is a bit of a problem. You scouted with the wolf that was further back for some reason and as a result he couldn’t get back to his village leaving it open for the bat, meanwhile you don’t have enough units to guard both villages and ensure the keep stays open for your leader which appears to be heading that way.

Turn 7: It is fortunate that he didn’t choose to block your recruit and instead opted to kill the wolf because otherwise you would have a lot of trouble controling the situation down there.

Turn 8: Blood bats are one of the few things that can make it worthwhile to recruit assassins against undead(though getting a naga or a wolf might still be better)

Turn 9: No Comment

Turn 10: No Comment:

Turn 11: No Comment

Turn 12: Around this point you wanted to conserve troops until you had enough to mount a serious counter attack. That attack you made might have killed the ghoul but it also opened your troops up to a ton of retalation and gives him a chance to level some units.

Turn 13: No Comment

Turn 14: No Comment:

Turn 15: No Comment

Turn 16: No Comment

Turn 17: Again, no comment.

Turn 18: He could recruit 4 units a turn if he’s change his recruitment scheme.

Turn 19: Replay ends.

Overall: I think the big thing here is that note on turn 5. If you’d headed south you could have stopped that situation before it became a problem then reinforced the north more swiftly. You were actaully doing decently on that flank except that he was constantly reinfoceing while you were forced to keep your leader away from where he was needed.

First replay on the next post.

Turn 1: Pure grunt rushes are risky and can be a very slow economic start, though sadly it can still work. Strategically I find that it’s better to do them as p1and pick a more flexable option as p2. Your opponent picked a poor stratagy to defend against a grunt rush though so that end at least is good.

Turn 2: Strategically, I find it better to rush the other flank on this map. The target is that critical turn closer to you (also in this case is guarded only by a merman and a fencer)

Turn 3: No Comment

Turn 4: On the left you leave yourself wide open to a village steal if he has a scout lurking in the fog (which is not all that unprobable on turn 4) and trying to deal with it could slow your momentum dangerously.

Turn 5: A note about grunt rushes, there is much to be said about the expendability of grunts however it is still better to preserve them when you can. The final attack puts one of your flimsier grunts in the open while it is already wounded and in a place where it will take a solid retaliation from the spearman and be in position for counter attack from the heavy infantry.. The spearman is unwounded so you would need to have hit twice to do any kind of really significant damage. It would have been better to use the wounded one in a less vulnerable location and a different one there, or failing that maybe to not attack.

Turn 6: No Comment

Turn 7: No Comment

Turn 8:
-On the topic of luck here: I was watching this replay very closely and reguardless of what the stastics say (they only track the math not the logic/flow) you had about standard luck in that raid maybe slightly below par. The statistics given do not really accurately say ‘this person was lucky/unlucky’ though they do a good job of saying the effects of the dice. To give an example, if you had two grunts and they both attacked an enemy on on a village at night one of them hits once and misses the other misses twice (both common results). Now if you look at that that would be say 12/48 damage dealt, which is substancially below the about 20/48 that the game would expect or in other words -40% inflicted for that engagement despite being a very typical result given the setup. Now another common result (say both grunts hit once and miss once), would be 24/48 or +20% for the engagement (again despite being a very typical result). Now, given more rolls/time it will seem to even out but reguardless, grunt rushes will invariably look either lucky or unlucky to the game even when the dice have been turning out typical results which should be a part of any contingincy plan involving them. There are also situations of bad luck that the stastics simply cannot catch at all. Take for example a situation where in order to kill a unit you need to land 3 grunt strikes, you have two hexides to attack from. If you attack with one grunt and hit twice you would naturally attack with the second one and then if you miss twice, you got what was most likely the most statistically probable result (2/4 is the most common for 40%, 50%, and 60%) however you were at the same time rather unlucky because if you had gotten the two misses on the first grunt then you would have known to use the second grunt elsewhere and now the opponents unit is still alive and can run for healing, maintain a ZoC, attack, or whatever else. Here is another situation that fools the statistics: consider a grunt all by itself at day with no support and 6 loyalist bowmen in range. The loyalist player is advancing in the direction the grunt is. The first three bowmen miss entirely, the other ones between them manage to peice the grunt to death. The statistics would show the orc player as being fantastically lucky that turn when infact the result is about par: The bowmen are all in the direction the grunt was and the grunt is dead with no retaliation, now the loyalist player may be inconvieienced by the ring his bowmen needed to form but if so it is not something that the statistics can calculate. On the flip side, lets say that the first two bowmen hit 6/6 times and then the stastics say that the loyalist player was fantastically lucky when in fact the grunt was going down either way so the luck was again about par though the loyalist player may benifit from being able to postion four bowmen as he will.


-The way you have been playing has not been ideal for minimalising risks and the fact is that in reality this situation was more a case of you failing to get lucky rather than being especially unlucky. Now part of that time you were definately running into the -40% end of it more than the 20% end of it when it’s more likely to be the other way around but at the same time he was doing a decent job of making it so that it is likely to be like that and his own counter attacks which had a very good chance of killing you missed. His attacks having failed to kill you you could have capitalised on that bit of luck and pulled them back for healing but you insisted on maintaining presure (note that this is not nessisarilly a mistake but it does mean that failing to get lucky hurts more)

For the record your grunt attacks displayed by defender % as hit:miss(frequency) were

On your turn 5:
60%: 1:1(3) 0:2(2)

On his turn 6:
60%: 1:1(1) #grunt had a very good chance to die and didn’t.
30%: 2:0(1) 1:1(1)

On your turn 6:
60%: 1:1(2)
50%: 0:2 (1)
30%: 2:0 (2) 1:1(3) #a grunt had a very good chance to die from retaliation and didn’t.

On his turn 7:

50% 1:1 (1) 1:0(1) #grunt died
40% 2:0 (1)
30% 1:0 (1) #grunt died

On your turn 7:

50%: 0:2 (1) #failed to kill spearman
40%: 2:0 (1)
30%: 1:1(1) 1:0 (1) #heavy infantry died.

Sum:
60%: 1:1(6) 0:2(2)
50%: 1:1 (1) 0:2 (2) 1:0 (1)
40%: 2:0 (2)
30%: 2:0 (3) 1:1 (5) 1:0 (2)

As you can see, the dice did not stiff you as badly as the stastics make it look (though this particular representation is also misleading in its own way). Now I don’t have your opponents rolls up here but as noted, he did miss on a couple of rolls which could have made his life a lot easier and I think you will find that until turn 8 they wern’t all that better than average (though they were).

Turn 9: No Comment

Turn 10: If a pure grunt rush does not work against loyalists, switch tactics. Once they get enough cavalry (and/or heavy infantry) it loses its shine.

Turn 11: No Comment

Turn 12: No Comment

Turn 13: No Comment

Turn 14: Mass goblins might seem like the ideal answer to cavalry, but I think you’ll find that in practice it dosn’t work out all that well unless you can fight them at night, and cavalry are much more mobile than goblins.

Turn 15: No Comment

Turn 16: Would have been better to just keep stealing villages there, or at the very least give the grunt a position further away from the cavalry.

Turn 17: Replay ends.

Overall: I think that if you’d played the first rush a bit more cautiously and included an archer or two in the second one you would have preformed much better, though your luck on the second night was brutal (much more brutal than whatever you were complaining about on the first night).
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Zaroth » February 10th, 2011, 10:32 am

@Velensk
Well, well, I get the point of this analysis - I'll stop whining about RNG, ok ;-) And thank you for another two excellent reviews! Here is another replay of mine:
Zaroth_Lo_vs_Death_Re_-_Weldyn_Channel.gz
Rebels over Loyalists on Weldyn Channel
(26.09 KiB) Downloaded 426 times
Although I lost (because I got impatient and went for the leaderkill), I was clearly in the winning position most of the game and I'm really interested how Rebels could've prevented that. Because... If I was playing Rebels in this matchup, I'd feel pretty helpless probably... But well, Death had more patience than me (although time was working for me) and prevailed. So this time some tips for both sides would be appreciated (if somebody's willing to take the time).

BTW I'll never play Wesnoth 1v1 again assuming that it'll take "oh, 1-2 hours, not more" ;-)
Last edited by Zaroth on March 1st, 2011, 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Velensk » February 11th, 2011, 3:18 pm

On that last one:

Turn 1: Except in a few match-ups getting that many cavalry is a mistake against an opponent who knows what they are doing. Rebels can counter them if they know how.

Your opponent has opted for a ‘wait and see’ stratagy which will probably not serve him well against this though but we’ll see.

On a side note, lack of a single water unit could subject you to a rather annoying harrass that will come quite cheap to your opponent.

Turn 2: No Comment

Turn 3: If you opponent had been playing cautiously you wouldn’t have been able to get to that village before he could garrison it.

Turn 4: No Comment

Turn 5: No Comment

Turn 6: No Comment

Turn 7: I don’t know if you saw his leader before attacking but in any case you were unlikely to break the village and he had the wherewithal to counter attack effectively if you moved to prevent the fighter from being able to run. If you wanted to take a risk with it then it would have been better to not bother to trap the fighter in so that no matter what he did you would at the very least have two unslowed cavalry to counter attack whatever he counter attacks you with and or to make your retreat secure.

Turn 8: What do you think you’re doing with your leader? You don’t want to attack with him on that flank especially not at the cost of not being able to continue to mount pressure on the east flank, you don’t need him for defense.

Turn 9: No Comment

Turn 10: No Comment

Turn 11: No Comment

Turn 12: I think he should have tried to hold the village on the left flank though I think I know what he has in mind.

Turn 13: The problem here is that I feel much more like commenting on your enemies movement than your own (which is fairly formula).

Turn 14: There has been plenty of attricaian. He’s killed a horse and you’ve syphoned gold from a village for several turns. Defeating cavalry isn’t about getting them to where you can attack them from forests with archers (though that certainly helps), it’s about making them need to either attack or run when attacking is a bad option.

Turn 15: A bit late but it occurs to me that if he’d kept the archer one hex over he would have had a much better chance to take out the spearman.

Turn 16: No Comment

Turn 17: No Comment

Turn 18: No Comment

Turn 19: I think your ally is underestimating the potential of a strong resiliant sperman to hold off loaylists at day on a village with only three attacking hexes to work from when none of those units are mages.

Turn 20: No Comment

Turn 21: No Comment

Turn 22: There was really no insentive to attack there because as mentioned status quo is good for you and an engagement at dusk could change that. On the other hand he did just give you a wonderful shot at his leader so...

Turn 23: No Comment

Turn 24: You resign.

Overall: Your play was fine given the situation. I don’t have a lot to say about it.

On your opponents side: The problem with doing a wait and see recruit (especailly a wait/see recruit that lets a swift scout steal your village) is that it surrenders initative and once loyalist cavalry gain initative they are incredibly hard to stop (one of the reasons that ToD is set up so that chaotic/neutral factions get first strike is to prevent cavalry from gainint initative easilly). Your advantage over him was actually in large part due to the fact that you were purchasing units with his gold for a decent part of the time and if he’d been able to garrison the village earlly and force you back on that night I imagine that you would not have seemed quite as strong after. After that point, there are are a few things I’d note:

Cavalry/Spearman is a setup with highly limited ranged power that encourages the recruit of many archers. This melee vs ranged dynamic causes the first strike advantage to be explosive and moreover it favors the loyalists who happen to be tougher, harder hitting (at day) and more mobile.In order to counter this effect, I would suggest the use of woses. Cavalrymen are a very good counter to the wose however, despite that two of them still cannot reliably kill a wose in the open even if they are both strong, therefore you can use them to fill in the space between forest hexes that can be garrisoned by fighters to form formations which your opponent cannot reliably dismantle without mages or fencers.
-The ideal time to expand your control with this formation as p2 is morning. In this way you push him back as earlly as is relatively safe, maximise the counter attack of your woses while making it so that if he chooses to become embroiled in a conflict, his next attack will be at dusk, and after that he will be engaged at night. When counter attacking this attack you will not need to worry about the fact that it will still be day much because you will be counter attacking mostly with ranged attacks or with woses against trees.
-If he chooses to attack this formation then he will take retaliation (even with 40% resistance to impact, woses hurt at day) you can easilly pull woses back to regenerate (or just have the smack spearmen) as long as they survive and unleash an archer counter attack on the wounded cavalry. This tactic is risky as if even one cavalry falls the other surely will as well but at this point you’re already in a bad situation and so you might as well be the one making him to decide to take risks.
-If he chooses not to attack the formation then he will probably need to retreat as staying put will allow you to smash him with woses and peg him with archers just before day breaks if you have a shaman you can also prevent a units from escaping more easilly.
-If you can merely force him to recruit fencers and mages it is in a way a small victory as those are units which are less effective in a slug out.

Fighting cavalry is annoying for most factions but rebels can deal with it better than some because they have a unit who can present a decent threat to them at any time of day but they do need to ensure that the archers get first strike and criple the cavalry force before it can counter attack (or if they can arrange for the ToD to cripple the cavalry for them). An unwounded cavalry will generally die to about 3 archers worth of attacks A cavalry wounded from a fighter or woses counter attack may go down to two depending on the traits of the units involved.

If you had a force purely of cavalrymen and you had a force purely of elvish scouts the scouts would actually be able to give the cavalry a decent run for their money. However cavalrymen will almost certainly be supported by spearmen, bowmen, horsemen, or any combination of the above and after that point the idea no longer really applies. Scouts are still quite useful in this match provided you can keep them alive. Still if he had gotten one on the first turn he would have been able to prevent you from stealing his village.

Incidentally: One of the reasons I no longer play ladder is because I would have to consider games like that one to be a loss if playing from your perspective. He put is leader where he had a 80ish % chance or better to die but happened to live and the cost of attempting to exploit that was simply too great for you.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Zaroth
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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Zaroth » February 19th, 2011, 12:34 pm

@up
Well, thanks for excellent reviews again!
A few remarks:
Velensk wrote:once loyalist cavalry gain initative they are incredibly hard to stop (one of the reasons that ToD is set up so that chaotic/neutral factions get first strike is to prevent cavalry from gainint initative easilly)
:shock: Isn't that then a proof that cavalry is overpowered, if you need a fixed ToD schedule to stop them? In my opinion a truly balanced factions should be able to start a game at random starting time and still get even results...
Velensk wrote:Except in a few match-ups getting that many cavalry is a mistake against an opponent who knows what they are doing.
Well, that's obviously true, but I'm in my experimentation phase right now and the experiment subject is "Rushes" - and what's better for rushing than lots of cavalry? I guess my play will stabilize after some time :-)
Velensk wrote:One of the reasons I no longer play ladder is because I would have to consider games like that one to be a loss if playing from your perspective. He put is leader where he had a 80ish % chance or better to die but happened to live and the cost of attempting to exploit that was simply too great for you.
Well, I don't treat my elo ranking as a matter of life and death... I just play casual games which happen to help me know an estimate of my skill thanks to the ladder system. And I also tell myself that if I play 10 games with this situation, I may lose 2 times, but I'll also win 8 times so it's not that bad ;-)

And now, some happy roar: WOOOHOOO! Today RNG tried me again with my "favorite" match-up and I won! BTW: I'm sure that if there were some kind of replay parsing on ladder to determine factions played and get some statistics about match-ups, No-Un deviation from average would be astronomical in my case...
And it wasn't a lame counting-on-luck grunt rush, it was a real, full-fleshed Northeners game with a good opponent! Ladies and gentlemen - a brrutal victory of an orc horde over undead legions:
Zaroth_No_vs_Aca_Un_-_Serpent_Ford.gz
Northeners over Undead on Serpent Ford
(21.17 KiB) Downloaded 186 times
I did have a bit of luck overall (especially with this bat at the beginning), but nevertheless it was the first game with this match-up where I was satisfied with my play (but I did some bad positioning at times, because if I placed unit in adjacent hex sometimes, it would threaten a village without losing its defense potential). Some remarks about this game:
  • I find that trapping scouts on this map seems incredibly easy (as can be seen in this game with the bat and a ghost later), which probably was intended - because if a flying scout got on the water behind you, you're kind of screwed... That's also the reason why I think a water unit is an absolute must on this map if opponent has flying scouts. Without my worthy naga, a bat could get through my left flank soooo easily... Also, the bottlenecks (deep water) in the center favor defender on this map. But it's just the center.
  • Maps from the Prototype pack in RMP really add some fresh air to the game, so I'll probably keep hosting games with them (and maybe even out my chances a bit with ladder veterans of conservative maps ) - I'm rather not the kind of expert player the map authors want to use for balancing the maps, but maybe my replays will be useful nonetheless...
  • I noticed, watching good players' replays, that banking can be quite useful if you want to get attacked and fend off the attack easily afterwards - so Zaroth learned how to bank in this game!
  • I think that Aca didn't have that bad chances of making a comeback when he resigned - but the timer got the worst of him. I'm happy now that thanks to playing chess, scrabbles and go always with the timer, I'm quite capable of managing my time even with many units available in Wesnoth :-)
  • Am I right that blue should get one less ghoul and one more adept to add to his damage potential, or are adepts not so useful on this map (it's spacious and maybe covering them would be difficult, I don't know...)
If anybody wants to comment on this replay, I'll be happy to hear it - I know that I made some mistakes (rather with positioning, not recruiting or overall strategy - but I may be wrong again), but it's definitely the first serious Zaroth's up in this topic :D
Last edited by Zaroth on March 1st, 2011, 8:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

Velensk
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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Velensk » February 19th, 2011, 7:03 pm

Zaroth wrote:Isn't that then a proof that cavalry is overpowered, if you need a fixed ToD schedule to stop them? In my opinion a truly balanced factions should be able to start a game at random starting time and still get even results...
Depends on how you view it.

It is actually generally agreed among top ladder players that cavalry are overpowered for 1vs1s. Wesnoths MP Balance Developers are however primarily interested in 2vs2 games where cavalry dynamics are considerably less of a problem and you will note that default for 2vs2s is random time of day whereas for 1vs1s the default is fixed. 2vs2s have a number of dynamics that reduce the effects of scenario initiative and limit the cavalries ability to harass without answer (as well as maps which due to 2vs2 mechanics can afford more cavalry choking terrain and still be balanced).

As for 1vs1s, attempting to force a balance where all sides can abuse initiative to the same extent is more difficult and more limiting to faction design than having a set up where you know what alignments will have the initiative. If you play with a random starting time of day you are likely doing a coin flip for which alignment will be able to push first which could define who wins the game without a second consideration, whereas if you fix the ToD you can counteract the effects of this initiative to a certain extent with factional balance. You could consider it to be a more fine balance the first way, or you can be content that the second way generally works well and creates a more stable early game for each match-up making them easier to balance/predict.
Zaroth wrote:Well, I don't treat my elo ranking as a matter of life and death... I just play casual games which happen to help me know an estimate of my skill thanks to the ladder system. And I also tell myself that if I play 10 games with this situation, I may lose 2 times, but I'll also win 8 times so it's not that bad
I don't care about elo at all, however it bothers me to have my wins and losses recorded instead of fading into memory. It is irrelevant that in 9/10 or in a couple cases 3/100 times I would have won, I still have to record it as a loss. Somewhere on the ladder site you will find a replay of me losing to an opponent who recruited only elvish scouts for the first 9 turns, they weren't even well played elvish scouts just incredibly lucky. There was also a game where I won only because he decided that he wanted to kill my leader with his own and missed, I got 6/6 with my retaliation and my attack combined and won when two strikes from any of the units he was attacking me with (or one from the leader) could have finished me, and yet if it had been a ladder game I would still have had to record that on the ladder site as a win. It is dishonest or at least feels like it, and justice so I can’t really complain about it, but in any case it is something I do not care to participate in.

As for this latest game, though I will note that almost universally you will get more advice out of losses than wins,

Turn 1: This is an interesting map though I still think it could use to have a few more villages in exposed locations.

Turn 2: No Comment

Turn 3: No Comment

Turn 4: Might have been a good idea to get archer rather than troll so you have something to kill the ghost with. I find your opponents choice of recruits/movement this turn to be questionable.

Turn 5: No Comment

Turn 6: No Comment

Turn 7: Banking is a good choice for the moment but only because his troops are not in a position to attack for real gains. If he was presenting a threat to your lands then banking denies you the troops you need to fight him back before that causes harm.

Turn 8: No Comment

Turn 9: Your opponent needs more adepts if he wants to fight trolls

Turn 10: Your leader is not going to contribute much to the fray other than force the enemy to hold a hex that you cannot attack particularly well, it may have been better to jump to the center keep so that you can get killing force onto the field quicker, then again, they will still arrive to late for a night assault so forcing him to stay where you can engage him might still be preferable.

Turn 11: Not entirely sure why you pulled back in the way you did, you could have shifted so as to better present a threat to his villages without moving to far away from reinforcements or allowing the adept to get into the attack. This would force him back further (or to commit to an unfavorable attack) which would generally be what you prefer though in this case he continued to advance and left his rear pretty open to village stealing threat so I guess it didn’t turn out all that bad for you.

Turn 12: On the left flank, you might have wanted to attack the enemy force positioned around the 14,19 area. The engagement would be at a slight disadvantage and you would likely lose about as many as you kill, however doing so would give your wolves freedom to run around behind his lines stealing villages. As he is pushing on the right he will not be able to swiftly reinforce to trap your wolves except with whatever his leader recruits but even just keeping them out of the fray would be to your advantage.

Turn 13: Not sure that you can make that wolf worth its cost stealing at this point, of course day is coming and he will be needing his troops at the front so maybe.

Turn 14: No Comment

Turn 15: Game ends

Overall: This was well played on your side. There are a few strategic decisions I would have made differently but as I’ve mentioned before it is hard to predict exactly how they would have changed the game in your favor or disfavor without playing it out with them and your solution was adequate.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: Zaroth's ups and downs (replay topic)

Post by Rigor » February 28th, 2011, 12:26 am

im enjoying this :)

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