Multiplayer Replay Analysis

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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Gyra_Solune » August 5th, 2016, 5:03 am

Hahah, that is a fair point - it's just that I usually play 4p and above and in every single instance of two people ganging up on another, the fourth person moves in while they're occupied and wins the game and so the people I play with have come to an understanding that those 'alliances' never work in their favor.

I'd suppose both FFA and teams have their own ups and downs and you could say the same problem applies to teams - you could be the best player in the world and you'll still lose if your partner doesn't know what they're doing. Arguably it's only ideal 1v1, perhaps!

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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » August 5th, 2016, 8:53 am

It is most ideal in 1vs1s -however- a we'll played 2vs2 acts a lot like a 1vs1 with more match-up flexibility.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Restless » January 14th, 2017, 12:53 am

I lost this game pretty fast. Seemed well settled by the end of turn 8 (if not turn 1 :P )

First, how could I have opened better on the map? I'm sure my village opening was messed up. It was my first time playing this map, and my first Ladder match.

Then, what Rebel units should I have recruited against Drakes?

Finally, imagining some better recruits and development, how might I have responded to the assault on the right side? Should I have withdraw from that far right village and tried a counter attack on the left side? Or perhaps better recruitment could have prepared me to defend adequately?

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » January 14th, 2017, 8:55 pm

Turn 1: The first thing I notice is that your opening recruit is not optimized to grab villages quickly. The other key thing is if you look at the map layout the forward keep for your side is up on the left, your leader moved to grab a village instead of that way which means that you're going to have to scramble to grab all your villages on that side and get power to that side if your opponent goes for an aggressive move. Either way, you're already going to be delayed and this map is setup to offset the first player advantage which you aren't going to be able to exploit.
-Keep in mind, that in the opening village grab, each village amounts to 3 gold per turn you can get there sooner. Or in other word, if you can grab a village a turn earlier with one unit than another, that unit is effectively 3 gold cheaper at least (this not including positioning advantages). A merman and/or some other recruitment choices could help you be ready to fight sooner.

Turn 2: When your opponent says 'ping' he's checking to make sure you're still connected. Occasionally a player will be dropped without the server registering it for a bit.

Turn 3: With your scout, you should have grabbed the village further from the front (the one at 6,4). Because your leader is at the front you don't need the scout to help you defend but if you don't grab that village right off the bat, you're going to have to take the scout off the front later and overall it's more efficent.
-You've skipped the water village.

Turn 4: You're still missing that last village. By this point I'd estimate you're about 1.5 units down in terms of lost income from if you'd optimized your village grabbing. It's hard to be that far behind before the first blow is even struck.

Turn 5: Mage is a very dubious choice against drakes, even drakes with lots of saurians. They're completely ineffective against the drakes and generally you only fight saurians at night when generally they can jump on you and kill you first.
-Your formation is actually pretty good here but your opponent has a higher value army and the coming day is going to be rough.

Turn 6: No Comment:

Turn 7: To be honest, by this point there's probably already no good answer but you may wish to have pulled back and let him have your villages for the next couple turns. You simply won't be able to fight him at day.

Turn 8: Your objective here probably should have been to cut your loses but it probably wouldn't have mattered. The counter attack on the left side was actually a pretty good idea however he had already anticipated it and it'd have been a long shot anyway. I'll stop the turn by turn here as this game is pretty much almost over.

Overall: Your opening set you up very poorly and your opponent played pretty well. This really killed you more than how you handled the match-up. With a stronger opening you could have had more units in a better position.

Drakes vs Rebels: You basically want a good mix of elves (fighters/archers/shamans) and on this map you want merman support. Neither mages nor wose are useful here but everything else has it's place. Mermen actually do a pretty good job of suppressing drakes water mobility as long as you don't expose them to too much melee. This is a fairly tricky match-up especially on the rebel end. Like any match-up it's about trying to force fights where you come out ahead but it's made tricky by the dual nature of drakes.
-Drakes can be beaten by rebels at night anywhere so long as it's not a force purely of fighters At any other time drakes will win any fight in the open. At day Drakes will not lose anywhere (though they may not win). Shamans can help you survive against drake assaults at day by slowing clashers but the ideal case is simply to arrange to not be fighting at day.
-Saurians on the other hand are things you want to fight in the open. A force of pure fighters can trade fairly evenly against saurians even at night if they're in the open. At any time of day if you can keep the saurians out of cover you can kill them but at night they have a strong first strike even if you are in cover. When fighting saurians your priority should generally be to not give them good targets to pick off and force them to stand in the open to attack you.
-It's your job to judge the composition of the drake force and figure out which priorities are dominant.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Restless » January 15th, 2017, 4:27 pm

Thanks, Velensk! That's quite helpful.

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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Aumpa » January 19th, 2017, 2:02 am

I lost as Rebels versus Loyalists. Got off to an unlucky start losing a unit to a horseman, but maybe I deserved it.

I was hoping to make up on kills by surrounding the clump of Loyalists when they advanced on the left, but it didn't work out.

Please advise! Thank you in advance.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » January 20th, 2017, 3:52 am

Turn 1: No a major concern but if you're going for two scouts, it's frequently better to split them up so that they can provide vision on both sides. I also find that this also lets me get into an aggressive position quicker.

Turn 2/3: No Comment

Turn 4: This may sound odd but I probably would have tried to slow the bowman with the shaman. This is a bad attack by itself and it leave the shaman vulnerable however, if your opponent counter engages you at this time and from that angle, you could probably come out on top. The slowed bowman wouldn't be able to run and this would give you a chance to put loyalists on the back foot which is pretty important in this match-up. If you do engage in this fashion and follow through, then you are going to give him an excellent position come day.

Turn 5: You are behaving very timidly. If you don't take advantage of night while it lasts you are giving your opponent free reign to attack you effectively later. Remember your opponent only has so many resources to spend. He may be able to chase you off one village, or another village, or reinforce a front where he's engaged by a stronger force but can he do all three at once efficiently? If you position it right, I'd say he couldn't unless he gets very lucky on the combat rolls. On another note, I don't understand why you placed the archer in the open, it's not that unlikely for the horseman to 2/2 it and you don't have enough pressure in that area to make it a bad idea for him to try it.

Turn 6: Honestly, probably not worth it to try to hold village with scout. Villages don't protect scouts so he has a very high CtK. Now it will keep on the village for a turn so you can counter attack from the village if he doesn't go for the encirclement but it's still not a great position. Probably better to put the scout further back prepare to counter attack on that side and see how much he's willing to commit to it while your more mobile forces can switch fronts more readily.

Turn 7: Going back to what I said earlier about limited resources, I believe you're making a mistake leaving that center village. Certainly, you can easily recapture it if he tries to steal it but that's going to leave you spread thin elsewhere while there're loyalist forces in position to attack you at day. A single unit there could save you quite a bit of trouble and your other defense could be rearranged to still make his attack a touch awkward.

Turn 8: I actually feel that this instance of leaving one of your villages wide open is a much better choice than the last one. It is still a risk especially as you committed heavily to the center and have left the right flank rather wide open. That said, it would probably be a mistake for him to make a full commitment at this moment and any single unit left on the village would be a wasteful sacrifice. A good trap, though one that could break -hard- if he gets very lucky going for it.

Turn 9: Yeah, he got lucky there. That said, because you've abandoned the right completely, he could have gotten much less lucky and it'd still be completely worth it for him. By the time you can swing back around to retake the villages on the right he'll have earned enough gold to make up for a very inefficient trade. A little bit of luck at that opportune moment will almost certainly seal the game. As a note, he should have put the resilient archer on the village instead of the mage which would have made your chance to kill lower.

Turn 10: Probably would have been safer to head back to your castle. Pretty soon those units on the right are going to swing around from behind and cut off your path to it and you'll want the reinforcements sooner.

Turn 11: Game's pretty much over.

Overall: In general, I feel that you weren't assertive enough to take all the advantages you could have. You overall mindset seemed to be to try and lure your opponent into a bad attack and then ambush, however generally a smart opponent won't attack until they can make a good one and if you don't actively try to put the fight onto your terms you'll have to settle for your opponents.
--The other thing I'll comment on is risk management. When you posted this you commented on the horseman killing the archer being unlucky and it was slightly, however the important thing to note about that particle of bad luck was that it was A: Not -that- unlikely, B: Not a risk you had to take, and C: Not a risk that you could punish him for taking should it have failed. Even had the horseman missed twice and you killed him with the archer and the scout, that would just be putting both the archer and the scout in open for the oncoming day at the mercy of a spear and cavalryman that could cut off their escape. It wouldn't be a good trade. On turn 8 when you left your village open, you were correct in your assumption that you could probably swing that engagement in your favor but even assuming it went well, it wouldn't be a total crushing victory so long as you would have to commit all your units to it as it would leave your flank wide open for plundering.
>There are a few other minor things I could nitpick but for right now, focus on considering how you can force your opponent to fight you on your terms and on how you can make the risks you take worthwhile.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Restless » January 24th, 2017, 12:57 am

Ladder Match
2p Drakes lost versus Knalgans on Caves of the Basilisk.

Opponent pushed on the right flank and I forgot about a thief coming in for a backstab. Ulfserker following closed the game pretty tidy. Was failing to see the backstab my biggest mistake? or how could I have prepared to defend on the right? should I have grabbed villages with my central saurians? any other tips? I want to get better!
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » January 25th, 2017, 2:01 pm

Turn 1/2: No Comment

Turn 3: So I’m guessing that this is the turn where you say you didn’t see the thieve chance to backstab. This is a pretty big mistake and could have been prevented by placing the clasher one space further away which would have been the stronger position even if he didn’t have a gryphon there. Even then, there’d have been a small but appreciable risk that your opponent could overrun the glider with just the gryphon, the poacher and the thief. If holding the village is your highest priority then the fighter should have taken position on the village as well. There are some downsides to this approach as well but either way, making a mistake like that in Wesnoth will frequently cost you the game. You do have a strong position with the skirmishers in the middle but that’s a more transitory advantage.

Turn 4: I’m surprised he didn’t go for the backstab. If he had, he’d have captured the village given the same set of attack rolls and his position would be much better. I would actually have said that grabbing the center village with saurians would be a good play if that was anything other than a strong resilient ulfserker. Just a quick calculation without math but I think even given 60% defense, if he got one hit in from the leader he'd be looking at a very high chance to kill the saurian with the ulfserker without even taking that heavy a scratch in return. If you could have forced him to either keep the second their back or make the ulfserker take so much damage that he'd have to stay back and heal, it might very well have been worth the sacrifice but I think that he'd have come out of it with an ulfserker that is still usable and the their would move on.

Turn 5: Do not allow guardsmen to get on your village so easily. Once that guardsman is on your village unless you have a ton of augers/burners, it will take far more than a reasonable amount of resources to get it off. Sure you stop the footpad from stealing that village in back but you lose the same number of villages and you probably lose your villages for much longer (particularly since presumably your leader will be coming back). On the other side, if you were going to send out your leader, you may have wanted to do that sooner so that you could distribute your other resources better. As it is, you’re going to be spread super thin chasing people off villas on the right with a suffering economy.

Turn 6: No Comment.

Turn 7: Lucky Saurian.

Turn 8: Yeah.

Overall: When you are facing knalgans, you really need to watch out for opportunities for them to exploit their edges. To a greater extent than any other faction, knalgan units are either amazing or useless. A thief that is backstabbing is amazing, a thief that isn’t is not very good. An ulfserker attacking a ranged unit is amazing, an ulfserker fighting a melee unit is an expensive waste (under most circumstances). Dwarves in hills/mountains/castle are amazing, dwarves in the open or a forest are underwhelming. A common knalgan win condition is to find some way to exploit one of these edges to allow them to gain access to a single opponent village, and then just stand there and let attrition win for them.
—The mistake that lost you the game was not noticing that the thief could backstab (and by extent, that he had for hexes to attack from given that the gryphon could fly around back) however I would say that the biggest mistake in terms of how you are perceiving the enemy was when you abandoned your forward villages to the guardsman to go chasing the footpad. The guardsman is another unit that is amazing in some circumstances but very poor in others, to wit: the entire point of the guardsman is that unless your opponent is running with heavy magic damage, it takes far more power to chase a guardsman off a village than it’s worth. This will take one of three forms. Either the enemy commits to killing the guardsman and the knalgan concentrates his forces there to counterattack at which point the knalgans will frequently have a decent engagement, or their opponent commits to killing the guardsman and the knalgans fight elsewhere with an advantage, or the opponent ignores the guardsman at which point the knalgans will profit from the increased income until their opponent commits 3-4 units for a couple turns to get rid of it (or maybe 6 to get rid of it in one turn).
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Aumpa » February 1st, 2017, 4:00 am

Gave Strong AI +25 starting gold and +4g base income. I seemed to have made up the initial disadvantage, staying ahead in kills, leveled up some units... and then. I'm not sure. Everything crumbled. I probably got overconfident after leveling units and should have been more cautious. I had not recovered economically.

I don't think the mage worked.

Probably shouldn't have grabbed the last village on the top flank with the cavalryman, or waited until night to do so.

Maybe HI sooner in the center would have been good.

On the last turn, I could have put my spearman one hex lower to protect my leader for a chance to keep hanging on.

Tactical and strategic tips appreciated.

Is the Experimental AI stronger than the Strong AI?
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by mattsc » February 1st, 2017, 4:41 am

I'm not even going to try to analyze your replay as I am no expert at all, but I can answer this:
Aumpa wrote:Is the Experimental AI stronger than the Strong AI?
Yes, absolutely. See here (and links therein) for some information on the available AIs.
SP campaigns: Galuldur's First Journey (1.12 & 1.14) & Grnk the Mighty (1.10 & 1.12)
AI experiments: Micro AIs (wiki, forum thread, known/fixed bugs), Fred, AI-demos add-on

#wesnoth-dev.2018-??-??.log:< c?????> mattsc, I think you broke Vultraz.

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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » February 2nd, 2017, 4:24 am

In general, I don’t recommend playing against the AI as a way to improve. Playing against an AI is a different challenge than playing against a player. Even if you give the AI extra gold to make up for it, that’s still just moving the challenge even further away from being relevant. It’s theoretically possible that you could find a gold amount that is (roughly) equivalent in difficulty to a human player but it would still take different techniques and knowledge to beat.

That said, as you’ve asked for help, here are some comments.

Turn 1: In general, I don’t recommend horsemen on turn one. Horsemen are a risky unit to use and in some match ups aren’t that useful. Cavalrymen give you the same ability to grab villages. If you do want to use horsemen, it’s often good to check what your opponents race is first. As it happens, the loyalist mirror is one of the worst match-ups for horsemen in the game.

Turn 2/3/4: No comment.

Turn 5: Inefficient use of villages there, not to mention your leaders healing. Both the spearman and the fencer could be healing this turn and no enemy would be able to reach them. A swing of 16 hit points is half a unit lost. As the conflict is focusing around a water area, getting a merman would give you a strong edge. Even failing that, you probably don’t want as many bowmen. Bowmen can attack enemy melee without retaliation but overall spearmen are still greater power and durability for the same cost and they absolutely massacre the horsemen that your opponent seems so fond of. The power and durability are particularly important against the AI, who will throw itself at your wall even if it’s a bad idea.

Turn 6: This round you made several poor plays that happened to work out for you. In general it would not be worth risking a horseman for that bowman nor keeping the wounded archer fighting the spearman. However the dice were merciful. Again, with more efficient use of villages/leader healing your forces would be in much better shape.

Turn 7: There were several questionable decisions tactical decisions made this turn. Any individual one would be a nitpick, collectively they’d just be a list. I’ll give you these points as principles to consider:
—What are the most important goals to accomplish here?
—What opportunities am I giving my opponent?
For instance, if you look at the situation in the middle, your main goal is simply to hold the line as if you do that and he keeps attacking it, you’re getting serious positive attrition. All that you really need to do to hold that position is kill his units that can wriggle around the sides and keep a full health spearman at the edge of the castle. If you do that, your opponent simply won’t be able to make any good trades. This would also free up resources to go north and help you kill that bowman that is threatening your villages. Instead you push out into the middle going for more kills which gives him the ability to counter attack. In a situation where your opponent outnumbers you, you have to go for efficiency and a couple extra kills aren’t worth losing units. Especially when you have such strong capability to heal your units.

As another note, there’s absolutely no reason to be recruiting a mage there. You don’t need more ranged damage, you don’t need to push enemies out of high defense terrain, you just need muscle to hold the line and smash enemies while they feed themselves to you. Mages are effective, but incredibly inefficient and that isn’t the place for them.

Turn 8: Pretty risky play with the horsesman. In the center, there’s no need to go after the spearman in the mountains. Either he comes out of them or you can ignore him. You’d be much better off committing resources to stop the bowman that’s plundering your villages and to reinforce the north which is collapsing.

Turn 9: You really don’t want more cavalry. Cavalry are weak to most weapons your enemy can throw at you and don’t fight well anywhere, let alone the castle/water dense area you are fighting in. At this point, as you’ve let your north flank collapse you are facing a severe income deficitit. Each village is worth approximately a swing of 6 gold per turn (-2 income, -1 upkeep for you, +2 income +1 upkeep for your opponent). As soon as your opponent reclaims his southern village he’ll be four villages up on you or a swing of 24 gold advantage over you (about 1.5 units per turn). If you cannot reclaim your land quickly, or kill an extra 2 units per turn more than he is, you’ll eventually be overwhelmed.

Turn 10: No comment.

Turn 11: Don’t move your mage off a castle so that you can place a cavalryman on it. The mage is slightly less squishy on a castle while the cavalry gets no benefit at all.

Turn 12: Both you and your opponent are really lacking mermen. In that central area, mermen win over anything a loyalist can muster except possibly heavy infantry and mages (and mages only if the mermen don’t get first attack).

Turn 13: Your horsemen got unlucky but I think that shows why you don’t really want horseman in that situation anyway. If you’d gotten unlucky with any other unit on your roster (sans mages) you wouldn’t have lost it and it’d have survived to be healed up.
—As a side note. Although you now have a few leveled units, that income disadvantage is just crippling you.

Turn 14: You make a major tactical blunder putting the horseman on the front of your castle. That hex is kind of a focal point for your defense and a horseman simply can’t hold it. Not only is horseman weak to all weapons your opponent is using but it gains no defense from the castle and is exposed on 3 hex sides. If you’d put the merman there instead, you’d be able to keep your opponent back. As a note although you’ve reclaimed all your northern villages, you’re losing the south. Of course, this wouldn’t matter if you just break the center but you aren’t looking at a great shot of doing that fast enough.

Turn 15: Killing that spearman was important enough that it might have been worth using your leader for the slightly better odds of getting 2/3 at 70% over 60%.

Turn 16: A lot of bad luck this turn.

Turn 17: A better use of that cavalry would have been to run around deep in his territory and force him to either send faster units back to chase you down or suffer the loss of all his villages.

I’m going to end my commentary here, the game continues to it’s inevitable conclusion but the play that put it on it’s path is already done.

Overall: Honestly, this just looked pretty inexperienced to me. There was room for improvement everywhere and picking on any one thing would miss the larger picture while listing everything would be overwhelming. Instead I’ll point out some key areas to consider.
Army composition: Which units are correct for this situation/what capabilities do I need here.
Village control: How can I get enough forces to each area to maintain all my villages and threaten enemy villages.
Terrain analysis: Where is the best place for me to hold the line and engage my enemy. How many units do I actually need to optimally fight in each area (this one is massively important when playing against the AI as the AI will frequently fight you on your terms even when it has no reason to do so.
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Aumpa » February 5th, 2017, 12:01 am

Thank you, Velensk. I played the same scenario and won without much trouble. I think it was helpful as a tactical exercise, but I agree that playing against people will be better for improving.

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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by FourStars » June 25th, 2017, 12:33 am

I won, and thought I played okay in this, but opponent (inexperienced?) did some unconventional tactics I haven't seen before. What are some good tips for the loyals + northies matchup? Is recruiting fencers a bad idea?

I'm playing as InCelestiasName, by the way. (Felt I should specify since it's different from my forum username.)

Thanks for any tips!
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Re: Multiplayer Replay Analysis

Post by Velensk » June 26th, 2017, 1:10 pm

To directly answer your questions: I don’t think it’s a bad idea to recruit fencers generally, though this is one of the matches they’re least useful in. As for general tips for the matchup, I’ll comment afterward.

Turn 1: Unless you know that you are facing Northerners (or possibly knalgans) you’re a bit heavy on cavalry. Against many enemies they’ll end up being somewhat dead weight after the initial skirmishing phase. In general, it’s good on this map to pick up at least one merman to give you some control of the lake or at least vision so that you can detect ploys your opponent may try.
—Your opponent is indeed going for something a bit unconventional. It’s going to slow his economy down quite a bit. So long as you can avoid taking too much damage on raids you should be fine.

Turn 2/3: No comment

Turn 4: Stealing the village on the left was a mistake (the one on the right was fine). He easily has enough had enough forces there to punish it and it wouldn’t have even tied down too much of his resources. You are quite correct to pull forces back to prevent naga assaults but honestly after seeing the archer you probably should have kept the cavalry back too. Remember, you need be in no rush to attack him. Time is on your side and it’s starting to be night anyway.
—Those are actually some pretty good plays on his part but the best part about them would have not been a viable option if your cavalry were in a defensive posture.

Turn 5: No reason to put the fencer right next to the village. From that position your enemy can wallop him, defend the village, and enjoy it’s cozy defense and healing all at the same time. If you’re going for this aggressive raiding style it’s better to position your thieves at least a hex away (especially with skirmishers) so they have to choose between attacking you and defending their village.
—All that said, I suspect that you’re playing to your enemies advantage to press forward further with the cavalry and fencer at night. It does provide a very slight gold advantage but as the enemy can simply sweep up the village you abandoned it’s not much. The move you choose brings both of your units into the defensive range of his leader and any forces he can recruit from the keep and makes it so that the cavalry will almost certainly be lost eventually. As I said last turn, there’s no need to rush, time is on your side.

Turn 6: Again, placing units next to villages your opponent can reach is generally bad. It’s generally not even worth a slight increase in defense. Make your enemy choose between attacking you and claiming the village.
—You actually had a chance to get the other raiding cavalry out of there and you didn’t take it.

Turn 7: Since I’ve been raging on it, I’ll specifically mention that that moment was a case where it wasn’t a bad moment to stand next to a village your enemy can reach. But only because of the mage that you had just recruited. In general, it’d frequently be worth it to the northerners to throw a grunt onto a village to tie up loyalist resources as day is starting and loot a little cash but with mages around it wouldn’t tie you up long enough.

Turn 8: Those were some extremely aggressive moves with your cavalry. Wolves in villages are tougher than other scouts would be and once your first cavalry missed your odds of actually taking the wolf out this round were near nill. Considering the water control of your opponent, you take a significant risk of being cut off by pressing deep. This is further amplified by the fact that you have no support/reinforcements on that flank at all. It could well have been good once the first cavalry missed to adapt a more defensive posture as it could have allowed you to have a very reliable retreat. This way although your attack did not go well and gained nothing, it also would not lose anything other than time.
-I find it interesting that your foe played so defensively, not even covering his own village on the right. Rather odd.

Turn 9: On this turn, you make your first major strategic level mistake. You stick around to kill the wolf. By doing this, you do secure a kill on the wolf and grab the village but you also condemn all those units to death. Cavalry are very good in this matchup but once night starts falling, you need them to be away from enemy archers. You also can’t afford to have enemies close enough to creep around and encircle you as night is falling. Skirmishing with the naga was also very risky as your opponent has three water units in range of your merman and will likely be able to level one of them if he assaults with all of them (though his better choice would probably be to encircle with 2 of them waiting for night and use the other to trap your land forces)
—For a player with such an aggressive opening gambit, your opponent sure has a very defensive followup. He left a way out for your bowman and didn’t even want to risk the other naga to finish off the merman despite massive odds in his favor.

Turn 10: Now that’s an extremely aggressive play on your part. It’s very difficult to fight the orcs at night even in a defensive posture. That said, I can see the appeal considering the state of the enemy leader. You did have have the option to pull out in a way that would conserve your resources and keep your losses minimal. Both approaches do favor you (assuming you play well), however, of the two this one is definitely the one that gives your opponent the far stronger fighting chance and if he plays well and the dice favor him gives him the potential to crush you on the spot.

Turn 11: Yeah, there’s absolutely no reason to go that all in. Even granting that your win condition is to pin and kill the leader before he gets into the keep. Proximity isn’t everything, it’s also about limiting your opponents options and you should have at least tried to cut down on the number of archers. At this point the game as swung from strongly in your favor to strongly against you.

Turn 12: Minor nitpick, should have run the cavalry in the top right away. You didn’t have much to gain attacking with him but the naga can’t chase him over land.

Turn 13: At this point, your opponent is playing as stupid aggressive as you were and now you might have a chance. It’s painful to contest a 24 gold per turn income by rushing the enemy keep with your leader. All because of a mage at his castle, eh?

Turn 14: No Comment.

Turn 15: Eh.

Overall: Your opponent’s play was quite odd and led to some interesting situations. In general, your play felt very impatient to me. If you were willing to play more slowly you could have snowballed all the advantages he was giving you for free and reliably ground him into dust.
—Two things I’d advise you to keep in mind when figuring out whether or not you should be attacking at any given moment are who has the advantage (both unit and income advantage), and what will the ToD be for the next few turns. As by and large your forces are faster, particularly if you’re cavalry heavy, you generally don’t have no reason to fight at night unless he has a significant number of forces, usually including many grunts and assassins that can reach your villages at night (against most other things a couple spearmen are enough to hold a defensive line). At day you have the privilege of making moves that have a chance to gain ground without much real risk to your forces.
—A final note from this match is that it’s important to conserve your forces. Your troops being the much more expensive of the two, you generally don’t want to just trade unit for unit or even unit for a village for a couple turns. That’s a game that the northerners will win at every day of the week.

Northerners vs Loyalists: Honestly, this match wasn’t all that representative of this matchup. The advise I gave before about watching who has the income and ToD advantage/who will have these advantages in the next couple turns is still very valid but I’d emphasis a few points.
—The impetus to attack is generally on the northerners side. Northerners do not want to face a loyalist army that has had time to collect all their tools and a critical mass of cavalry.
—Northerners have strong siege tools in trolls, assassins, and goblins but to get the breaking force they need to end the game earlier they will generally be relying on grunts and archers. Generally, the more archers they have the more you want to use spearmen and the more grunts they have, the more you want to use cavalry. A northerner rush that catches loyalists unprepared can do quite a bit of damage.
—Cavalry are your best tool for forcing engagements at favorable times of day. You can built walls of them/their ZoC and have a way to reliably retreat them which allows you to be very aggressive and punish overextending orcs. However, they generally don’t have what it takes to assault orcs in a defensive position. For this you want mages, probably with spearmen backing them up.
—Bowmen, horsemen, and heavy infantry all find themselves in a secondary but potentially very potent role. It’s rarely a bad idea to have a single bowmen on each front as if you don’t expose it it’ll get you some free damage without being a particularly appealing target. Horsemen can make it so that orcs running away have more to worry about than being bloodied by cavalry and punish archers/assassins in the open, and heavy infantry trade amazingly well against grunts and wolves (although, against most other orcs they actually fare very poorly so use with discretion).
—I would say that this is one of the fencers least useful matchup. It’s still never completely useless but I generally wouldn’t recruit them except in the very late game. They’re decent against orc archers but grunts and assigns give them a rough time and you’ll almost certainly see lots of those.
—Be very careful at being in the position where the orcs can constantly just walk grunts onto villages while aggressively pushing. You’ll frequently find yourself in the position where it feels like (or sometimes literally is the case) you’re killing two orcs for every loss and it still somehow isn’t enough.
"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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