Managing gold in campaigns

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Posts: 7
Joined: August 1st, 2012, 9:17 am

Managing gold in campaigns

Post by TeeWee »

What strategies do you employ to manage your gold levels? Do you see the earlier scenarios as a way to save gold for the future, or is the gold available there to be spent?

Personally, I've undervalued loyalty at the start of my first long campaign (HttT; The South Guard is too short to have real money issues) so by now (Princess of Wesnoth) I'm starting to feel how much high level units block my ability to recruit forces. At campaign start, I did not value loyalty, as other traits are more directly useful. And well, 1 gold upkeep per turn is not so impressive. A scenario can be over in 15 turns, so 1 loyal unit might save you 1 unit in costs over an entire scenario. Nothing impressive. I forgot that upkeep increases with level as well. A Level 3 unit eats up 3 gold per turn; and now, all of a sudden, it costs you a unit every five / six turns, which is significant. Three level 3 units with or without loyalty can suddenly make a huge difference.

Anyway, the way I deal with money at the moment is to recruit a lot of level 1 units to save money in upkeep as well as allowing me to have a line of cannon fodder to sacrifice if needed. Behind that front line, I will have what loyal units I've managed to save (Main characters, some merfolk and a Ranger) as well as some key units (a Marshall, a few spellcasters, some Heroes / Champions). I usually try to restrain myself to two rounds of recruitment, form a defensive line and weather the storm like that. I use Konrad a lot as well. This way, I usually have enough money for recruiting a reserve force as well as preventing me to overrecruit.

On an operational level, I always try to have a 'pillager' or two, whose duties are to capture / recapture villages and otherwise create diversions. Usually, they are scouts, but horsemen or merfolk do this job very well too (as well as offering something more than just racing for villages).

It was the Crossroads-scenario that really hit home this lesson, as running through that scenario, I noticed that my upkeep / village ratio went through the roof, bankrupting me in that scenario. Fortunately, two rounds of recruit / recall was enough to see me through that scenario. But it made me think much harder about the reasons money went out so quickly.

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Joined: September 11th, 2009, 5:06 pm

Re: Managing gold in campaigns

Post by MRDNRA »

My normal strategy on "non difficult" scenarios (such as Crossroads, yes I do consider that slightly more challenging than some, but still on the easier side), is to only recruit/recall enough such that I'm breaking even in money at worst, even with very few villages captured, so that as I progress through the scenario and capture more villages I end up with a good surplus per turn. To do this though, and still have a good army, you need to make high use of your loyals when you have them. I even try to complete Siege of Elensefar using this strategy on normal difficulty, theoretically possible, but I keep losing my loyals which I absolute hate doing so I keep restarting it!

The hard scenarios I go all out recruit/recall until I've used all my starting funds even if it bankrupts me for the rest of the scenario. In such instances it is useful to have played through the whole campaign at least once because then you can identify the levels you need to do this on and which ones to save money on.

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Re: Managing gold in campaigns

Post by taptap »

Delayed recruit when playing defensively, avoiding income penalties for too much upkeep, early finish / assassination strategy, recalling about to level instead of levelled units (so don't try to level at the end of the scenario but try to almost level), keeping loyals alive (esp. loyal support units you can almost always use = i.e. loyal mages in HttT), emphasis on recruits instead of recalls, saving gold when you don't need it, keeping loyals alive, better village grabbing (I myself am sloppy here in campaigns), map control during the scenario (really makes a difference in scenarios like Princess of Wesnoth) but requires a more dynamic play, occasionally even sacrificing units to reduce upkeep and keeping loyals alive, but that doesn't mean you have to feel obliged to always use them even where the loyals aren't suitable to the terrain.
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.

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Joined: September 7th, 2012, 10:41 pm

Re: Managing gold in campaigns

Post by roidanton »

Well, I just had to learn it the hard way when trying to play "Rise of Wesnoth" on Hard difficulty (on the iPad, don't know which PC version that is).

The campaign starts with two really easy scenarios, then the third one is complicated. I read the walkthrough before playing, which says that you should have over 200 gold and some decent units. I had a lot of problems finishing getting even 150 gold for that scenario, then I finally figured it out.

There are three enemies (two orc leaders and an outlaw) in that scenario, but the objective is to defeat only one of them (the outlaw). The purple orcs (which you don't have to kill according to the scenario objective) move down towards your keep, but it takes them 8+ turns before they get there (you have 17 turns on hard), but your army will be far away from there by then, so they aren't any threat at all.

One of my mistakes in my first attempts was to massively over-recruit. I had so much carry-over gold from the first scenario that I recruited over 20 units simply to have some reserve to hold off these purple orcs. But then, I won it with recruiting just 15 units (and lost several of them in combat).

However, this strategy allowed me to finish with 6 about-to-level units and plenty of gold for the next scenario: due to the smaller army, I could distribute XP much better and also never went below +8 in income, so I finished with a combination of carry over gold and early finish bonus. I finished on turn 11 (you have 17 on hard) and had 220 gold at the start of the next scenario. In a previous attempt, I already finished on turn 9, but only got 100 gold (impossible to win) for the next scenario.

Prior to replaying from the beginning of the campaign, I loaded several of my auto-saves, then looked at my units at different turns and asked myself whether or not I actually used that particular unit. This helped me find and fix several leaks in my recruiting strategy.

I also found a leak in my village grabbing strategy:

In the second scenario of "The Rise of Wesnoth", there are several villages scattered over a larger area of the map, so it might make sense to recruit three horsemen to quickly get them all. However, there's one chaotic army coming from the south and another one coming from the north (you only need to defeat the southern one). Your keep is easy of some river and there are two villages east of the battlefield and two more south-east. You could actually safely reach all of them before the enemy gets there if you recruit three horsemen.

However, unless you want your horsemen get sandwiched between two chaotic armies at night, you can't really do anything with them except keep them on these villages they captured and wait until the battlefield cleared a bit. If you only send one single horseman on that village grabbing trip, he'll finish just right in time when he can dare coming onto the battlefield to do some serious fighting there. So instead of getting 4 villages super quick, but then paying upkeep for three horsemen which are essentially useless for a couple of turns, it's much better to only send a single one on that trip, then recruit the others a few turns later when they can actually engage in battle.

My plan for the next couple of scenarios is to look at each unit which got little or not XP and check whether that unit actually fulfilled any purpose.

And I realized that the same principle also applies in different scenarios: instead of simply recruiting/recalling everything I need as quickly as possible, it often pays off to check how soon I actually need the units and how long it will take to deploy them.

The 3rd scenario of "The Rise of Wesnoth" is a good example for that: it takes several turns until the enemy actually gets to you, so only doing some village grabbing plus recalling your loyal units, then waiting for the last possible moment actually saves you quite a bit of gold.

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