Improving my play

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Peter the Great
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Improving my play

Post by Peter the Great »

So to start off, some backstory: I have been playing Starcraft 2 as my main game for a year now. I recently made it into high diamond league (top 20% of players) and from there decided to take a look back at some of the games I didn't take seriously. One of my fondest memories was playing wesnoth a few years back, even picking up an interest in programming in order to some day give back to such a great game that I haven't payed a cent for.

So today I started up wesnoth and I tried to apply my Starcraft learning logic (i.e. Well it's Terran vs Zerg on map that has blahblahblah so that means I want to get these units and buildings in this order) and quickly realized I have no idea what I'm doing.

So I'm going to ask a few questions which I hope aren't too much trouble
1) Is the build order mentality even applicable for wesnoth?
2) a. If it is, is there a place I could find these instructions?
b. If it isn't, what is the best way to go about learning the strategies for each race?

Thanks in advance.
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Often
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Often »

1) Is the build order mentality even applicable for wesnoth?
Sort of, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. There is a paper-rock-scissors aspect to the game, but also enough situational variables that against a solid opponent you should be assessing as you go.
2) a. If it is, is there a place I could find these instructions?
Well there is the 'Play' section with some good advice. Keep in mind though that I have had success doing things that aren't supposed to work, so while there is some room for formulaic gaming, insight, intuition and inspiration always have a role.
b. If it isn't, what is the best way to go about learning the strategies for each race?
Play the game.

:eng:

p.s. I am very new to the game, but that's my perspective from what I know so far.
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tekelili
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Re: Improving my play

Post by tekelili »

Peter the Great wrote: So I'm going to ask a few questions which I hope aren't too much trouble
1) Is the build order mentality even applicable for wesnoth?
2) a. If it is, is there a place I could find these instructions?
b. If it isn't, what is the best way to go about learning the strategies for each race?
1) In some way I think yes. Most basic escheme would be: 1st scouts, 2nd infantry 3rd range and a counter-recruits units.
Of course this escheme varies depending of what faction are you playing, kind of terrain and size of map and number of villages you will own.
2) This is very complex and I dont think you will find a complete guide about this, but I think neki gives usefull advises to build your wesnoth thinking about order and kind of recruits in his videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/brutalwesnoth
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Velensk
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Velensk »

There is not a build order mentality. In Starcraft, you have to invest in everything to have access to it and these capabilities can be removed from you by enemy play. Thus you have to plot when, how, and what you're going to invest in to give you the optimum set of capabilities at optimum moments. In wesnoth you have all your recruits right off the bat and what's more it is much easier to secure max income at which point you will have to force the enemy back to secure more (as opposed to starcraft where you merely need to be 'able' to force your enemy back to 'safely' secure more income. In Wesnoth when recruiting you are merely deciding, what unit do I need most right now, can I afford it, if not is it worth waiting to get it over one I can get this turn, as opposed to Starcrafts additional considerations on what things you will be able to get next (for example in PvT I might feel collosus is the optimum counter to marines/maruaders but I might still choose to go templar tech because chargelots/archons also work well and going this route will let me get my lvl2 upgrades faster and I can still gain access to an anti-mass infantry unit [HT] and I know that using chrono-boost and two forges I can get to 2/2 chargelots with some GS for a brutal timeing push which he will need to adapt to to survive (because the 1/0 infantry with some siege tanks that many terran will have by that point doesn't cut it]).

To rephrase in Starcraft your strategy is more about how you organize your economy to give you how many of which units when, and your tactics is how well you micro manage those units your strategy has given you on the battlefield. In Wesnoth, your strategy is about how you choose to compose your forces how you maneuver them on the map and your tactics are the nitty gritty decisions you can make because you're playing a turn based game. Now obviously in both games one fuels the other and a superior strategy will help you land a better tactical situation but the way you talk about both stratagy and tactics is very different for both games.

I'd say that improving play on the two games is rather different as well.

In Starcraft you can look up builds online you can memorize your counters and then still have your work cut out practicing executions as a large part of the skill is in how fast/precise you can click and multitasking.

In Wesnoth a massive amount of the skill involved is evaluating situations which means that the stratagy guides can never be overly complete. You have to figure out precisely what the situation is and whether or not you want to take certain risks with a very non-deterministic combat system. This again is something your practice to get better but it is more of a mental conditioning and less of a reflex conditioning. As it is a turn based game you have more opportunity to optimize your decisions but you will need to because your enemy can as well. I feel wesnoths contingency planning is a bit stronger than Starcrafts (assuming that you're decent at scouting).

EDIT: As for learning each race, there's the How To Play guides which will give you a decent start for most of them but in general it tends to be rather a common sense/experience thing and there are differences in style. Many drake players I know advocate going clasher/burner heavy against orcs for example while I prefer a fighter base. So read what there is but in general the guides cannot teach you much beyond the most basics and the rest has to be learned through experience.

If you like feel free to post replays of 1vs1 games up here for me to pick apart 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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tekelili
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Re: Improving my play

Post by tekelili »

Velensk wrote: In Wesnoth when recruiting you are merely deciding, what unit do I need most right now, can I afford it
Not than than want argue, just to give a different point of view: I am not agree. Depending of distance of battle front and your plans based on next turns ToD, when you recruit in Wesnoth you are mostly deciding wich unit you will need in 2,3 or even 4 turns. As most of games are decided in less than 20 or 30 turns, this means a big need of panification, imo.
As sidenote based in my experience: When I started to play vs top 10 guys of ladder, I noticed I found myself almost lost in early game because I was not recruiting on turn 1 what I would need on turns 3, 4 and 5. I was too used to react after scout my enemy, and they showed me you must plan ahead from start.

Edit: Oter way of say this can be found in a very basic advise for beginner drake players: "Recruit drakes at night, recruit saurians at day"
Be aware English is not my first language and I could have explained bad myself using wrong or just invented words.
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Velensk
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Velensk »

Merely a difference in how we define it. I factor in the reinforce distance into the 'now' calculation.

EDIT: Btw PtG, If you play on the NA server in starcraft I might be interested in adding you as a friend. I'm currently a high level plat and it would be nice to have a training partner who is just a bit better.
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Huumy
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Huumy »

The build order in wesnoth is not nearly how it is in starcraft2. Wesnoth instead focus more on positioning, army composition and moving (controlling) units, and timings.

Actually you can mostly forget the macro aspect of starcraft 2. The thing that reminds of starcraft 2 macro is when you have more villages, this means you have more income and this of course means you don't have to be as cost effective when fighting as your opponent. So basically having 2-3 or village lead is like having 1 base more than your opponent in starcraft 2 so don't take losing villages lightly. But the experience makes the macro advantage smaller if you lose more units than your opponent this usually means your opponent will have more level 2 units. The level 2 units really powerful, I think you can compare the levels of units as the tech tier of units in starcraft 2. Example for the protoss tier 1 would be zealots, stalkers, and sentrys. Then tier 2 would be like phoenix, voidray, immortal and tier 3 Carrier, Colossus.

Like starcraft 2 wesnoth has timings in the game, the time of the day. This is much more simple mechanic than the timings that come from build orders in starcraft 2 and you don't need scouting to know when is a good time to attack. The time of the day is important part of the game if you understand to attack/retreat in the right times you are already a decent player.

Wesnoth being turn based game removes most of the micro starcraft 2 has. Instead there is terrain, I think there's nothing like this in starcraft 2 (the high ground advantage is not quite the same). The terrain you fight on gives % boost to your units endurance so difference between 40% and 60% is a huge one.

After terrain (positioning) comes the army composition, this is like starcraft 2 every faction has atleast one good army composition for every matchup, and like in starcraft 2 you also want to react what your opponent is making to slightly alter your composition. I would say the undead and is the closest to protoss, it needs enough meat to take the damage to keep the high damage dealers alive. The loyalist are most like terran they have unit for every situation, some units you always want only one or two, some meaty units, some high damage units, very slow units and very fast units but they suffer the most from wrong army composition. Drakes are most like zerg they are fast, do lot of damage but are fragile. Northeners are cheap and try to overrun you (it's kinda like zerg too). The knalgans are slow and good at defending but they also have fast fragile units (it's kinda like terran too). Elves are kinda just bunch of elves with 2 basic units good at everything and then a support unit, damage dealer, scout, fish, and a direct counter unit to the undead.

Controlling units. By this I mean movement in a actual fight. I guess this is the closest thing to something like stalker micro in starcraft 2. This is all about which order do you move your units so you can:
a)have the best chance to kill the unit(s) you want this turn.
b)have the best chance to protect unit(s) till next turn.
c)make series of movements to avoid ZoC or switch places of your units in right order surrounded by enemy.

Then there's a element to wesnoth some call luck.
I would say luck is not part of wesnoth but minizing the luck is.
It's hard to explain but basically this is nothing like in starcraft 2, it doesn't matter how well you scout, your opponent might still get lucky. I can only say this for myself but the more I played the more luck become just chance of something happening and something to be prepared for. I would say that the luck factor is not even relevant if you simply focus playing good, in wesnoth you never have absolute 100% chance to win. I would say the better player the higher chance to win.

What's the best way to learn? Start playing in ladder, regardless of the popular belief ladder do not require any skill level or experience to start. After games try to think what you could have done better, this is sometimes hard because even if you did good/not so good choices with really good or bad short term luck it may seem the opposite.

Don't do things just because someone says it's the right way to play. Always if you feel like it, try things yourself.

gl hf!
Last edited by Huumy on August 16th, 2011, 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Velensk
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Velensk »

Huumy wrote:The build order in wesnoth is nearly how it is in starcraft2. Wesnoth instead focus more on positioning, army composition and moving (controlling) units, and timings.
I really don't really see how you come up with this at all. Any strategy game will by necessity have an 'opening gambit' of some kind but when it the way you design starcraft and wesnoth openings is not really all that similar. In Wesnoth it will always be a case of grab villages efficently, have a army comp that will work against any enemy (assuming opponent is random) and/or get X forces to threaten enemies most vulnerable village by turn 5ish. In Starcraft there is much more choosing how you will be building through the various stages of the game that needs to be set in motion near the very start.
Actually you can mostly forget the macro aspect of starcraft 2. The thing that reminds of starcraft 2 macro is when you have more villages, this means you have more income and this of course means you don't have to be as cost effective when fighting as your opponent. So basically having 2-3 or village lead is like having 1 base more than your opponent in starcraft 2 so don't take losing villages lightly. But the experience makes the macro advantage smaller if you lose more units than your opponent this usually means your opponent will have more level 2 units. The level 2 units really powerful, I think you can compare the levels of units as the tech tier of units in starcraft 2. Example for the protoss tier 1 would be zealots, stalkers, and sentrys. Then tier 2 would be like phoenix, voidray, immortal and tier 3 Carrier, Colossus.
You can draw that connection but it doesn't really translate into how you play very directly. In starcraft you set yourself up so that you will naturally acquire the capacity to build your tier two units if your enemy cannot kill you immediately but in wesnoth you will have to earn each level 2 unit individually through direct conflict with the enemy
Like starcraft 2 wesnoth has timings in the game, the time of the day. This is much more simple mechanic than the timings that come from build orders in starcraft 2 and you don't need scouting to know when is a good time to attack. The time of the day is important part of the game if you understand to attack/retreat in the right times you are already a decent player.

Wesnoth being turn based game removes most of the micro starcraft 2 has. Instead there is terrain, I think there's nothing like this in starcraft 2 (the high ground advantage is not quite the same). The terrain you fight on gives % boost to your units endurance so difference between 40% and 60% is a huge one.
Keep in mind that the OP has played wesnoth before he is just not certain on how to translate his competitive mindset from one game to the other. It's not a misunderstanding of wesnoths mechanics (I don't think) it's more about learning how to improve until you can compete on a decent level.
After terrain (positioning) comes the army composition, this is like starcraft 2 every faction has atleast one good army composition for every matchup, and like in starcraft 2 you also want to react what your opponent is making to slightly alter your composition. I would say the undead and is the closest to protoss, it needs enough meat to take the damage to keep the high damage dealers alive. The loyalist are most like terran they have unit for every situation, some units you always want only one or two, some meaty units, some high damage units, very slow units and very fast units but they suffer the most from wrong army composition. Drakes are most like zerg they are fast, do lot of damage but are fragile. Northeners are cheap and try to overrun you (it's kinda like zerg too). The knalgans are slow and good at defending but they also have fast fragile units (it's kinda like terran too). Elves are kinda just bunch of elves with 2 basic units good at everything and then a support unit, damage dealer, scout, fish, and a direct counter unit to the undead.
I'd disagree on your first few statements for both Starcraft and Wesnoth. You always comprise your armies differently based on your enemies strengths and weaknesses in both games and different enemies call for different compositions.
Then there's a element to wesnoth some call luck.
I would say luck is not part of wesnoth but minizing the luck is.
It's hard to explain but basically this is nothing like in starcraft 2, it doesn't matter how well you scout, your opponent might still get lucky. I can only say this for myself but the more I played the more luck become just chance of something happening and something to be prepared for. I would say that the luck factor is not even relevant if you simply focus playing good, in wesnoth you never have absolute 100% chance to win. I would say the better player the higher chance to win.
The way I tend to define it is that the better player is the one who gives himself a higher chance to win. If you're sufficiently better than your opponent that chance can be close to 100% though it won't ever quite reach it. You will lose occasionally despite having better odds but that's the way odds work. Some of the ways you can give yourself a better chance to win aside from solid playing is to devise situations where more possible results can be salvaged if things don't go ideal [contingency planning].
What's the best way to learn? Start playing in ladder, regardless of the popular belief ladder do not require any skill level or experience to start. After games try to think what you could have done better, this is sometimes hard because even if you did good/not so good choices with really good or bad short term luck it may seem the opposite.
You don't really need the ladder to get decent games. That said, many people find it helpful. I'd love to have more competitive players who didn't feel the need to have every game be rated.
"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."
soul_steven
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Re: Improving my play

Post by soul_steven »

Not to stray away from the current discussion but Peter if you want to send replays we can easier pick apart what you should have done differently and try to help you out (at least to me this is easiest way to tell you what your doing right/wrong)
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Peter the Great
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Peter the Great »

Thanks for the help guys so far what I've picked up is:
1) There is a good opening for each match up similar to Starcraft.
2) You should always put high priority of getting and retaining villages.
3) Always think of what you will need 3-4 turns in the future when recruiting
4) When engaging consider ToD, ZoC, positioning, and ability to retreat.
5) You need to be cautious with units because with the luck system you can never be sure that you will win an enguagement.
6) The best way to improve is to play against other people.

I would upload some replays but I am currently away from my computer until Tuesday and have been playing on my iPhone, but I'll upload when I can.

And my Starcraft username is Nurkas and friend code is 713.

Thanks again everyone :D
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Kolbur
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Kolbur »

Peter the Great wrote: ...
2) You should always put high priority of getting and retaining villages.
...
I wouldn't put a too high priority on that though. A lot of games are lost because of greed, that is players grabbing villages from the opponent without actually having the units around to hold them. You gain a small economic advantage but you have to consider that losing the village grabber is also costly. Especially when the experience starts piling up on the enemy units. Often it is even worth it to sacrify some own villages and go for kills instead and take back the villages at a later point. Offering free villages but preparing a deadly counter attack in case the offer is accepted can win games. Also there can be situations where villages don't matter at all because there is the possibility to assassinate the leader.
Of course judging all this correctly is the hard part and only experience helps here. I found that apart from playing games yourself you can learn a lot from observing skilled players. Look out for ladder games with a lot of observers and feel free to ask questions in the obs chat. :)
Deukalion
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Deukalion »

Welcome to the game, Peter. Nice to see people taking Wesnoth seriously as a competitive game.
I myself started playing this game shortly after quitting the SC2 scene, opting to play games with a little less build order and hard counters and a little more fluidity. I don't know about you, but after spending a while in the diamond leagues it just got really boring. This game is a different beast, but its fun!

See you online!
Huumy
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Re: Improving my play

Post by Huumy »

Valensk wrote:I really don't really see how you come up with this at all. Any strategy game will by necessity have an 'opening gambit' of some kind but when it the way you design starcraft and wesnoth openings is not really all that similar.
Yep I tried to say they are not so similiar, I had typo there.
Valensk wrote:You can draw that connection but it doesn't really translate into how you play very directly. In starcraft you set yourself up so that you will naturally acquire the capacity to build your tier two units if your enemy cannot kill you immediately but in wesnoth you will have to earn each level 2 unit individually through direct conflict with the enemy
When I think of starcraft 2 macro, I think of expanding, using your buildgins efficiently, building enough workers and using all your resources. If you ment the connection in units, I just tried to make connection of how powerful they are.
Valensk wrote:Keep in mind that the OP has played wesnoth before he is just not certain on how to translate his competitive mindset from one game to the other. It's not a misunderstanding of wesnoths mechanics (I don't think) it's more about learning how to improve until you can compete on a decent level.
I was making connections between starcraft 2 and wesnoth because the OP kinda mentioned it. He also said
PetertheGrreat wrote:I tried to apply my Starcraft learning logic (i.e. Well it's Terran vs Zerg on map that has blahblahblah so that means I want to get these units and buildings in this order) and quickly realized I have no idea what I'm doing.
This has to do with timings in starcraft 2 timings come from in which order you build what, in wesnoth it's the time of the day and what you recruit. I'm not saying he misunderstood the mechanics I'm just trying to help him connect the dots to make it easier to understand the logic behind the time of the day and how it actually plays out in the game. This mechanic is something that many new players have known but not have understood how big of an effect it actually has in the game. Understanding the game I think makes one better player, of course the more experience you have as player the more you can use the game mechanics, though sometimes gaining valuable information in the beginning can speed up the learning process.
Valensk wrote:You don't really need the ladder to get decent games. That said, many people find it helpful. I'd love to have more competitive players who didn't feel the need to have every game be rated.
Ladder is good place to play unknown players whom don't leave in the first 5 turns. Once you know players you actually don't need ladder anymore.
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CheeseLord
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Re: Improving my play

Post by CheeseLord »

Bit late to the party, but I just wanted to point out that wesnoth doesn't seem to have the same concept of 'scouting' ie sacrificing units to gain information. You units are PRECIOUS, that footpad could have been bashing undead on the head :D

Just mentioning in case you make the same mistake, because as a SCII player trying to get back into wesnoth myself that's exactly what I just found out yesterday.
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