How to Play: Khalifate

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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Computer_Player » May 12th, 2017, 3:10 pm

Re: Undead vs Khalif match up

Wow, I went through my replays and yes, there isn't much example of mass ghoul (the type of strat I endorsed). Indeed instead, there was a majority of the adept+skel rush strat which I was researching in the latter days of my research. I can't believe I didn't put that in there in a more indepth manner and instead merely glanced over the "generic undead play". Further, I thought I had put more mass ghoul replays in my list (apprently not..)

I will edit in what you have said with your permission EoZ, as for mass ghoul I will endevour to try and get more replays of it. I played some of those, but it was not included for some reason... one problem with the replays is that multi-part games only had the first part recorded (e.g. the Undead vs Khalif game with Horus.. in the latter portion Horus switched to a ghoulish game, but too late).

Indeed adept+skel is problematic a trouble for the lawful factions (not merely loyalist, but also drake), and Khalifate being the "weakestly lawful" of the four (gaining the least "bonus" for day), it would seem that Khalifate will have trouble dealing with it (as you can see in the replays). However the key here would be to leverage Jundi to target enemy adepts at liminal times, especially dawn (one must also not discount the power of Rami in liminal.. remember it is not as vulnerable to pierce as other units). Ultimately, I think this is an easier match up compared to a drake vs undead one (as straightforward as that one is).

Re: Scorpion

There are many versions of Scorpion, but I'm assuming bassed on your comment it is the PYRa Giant Scorpion
Setting aside the issue of how Giant Scoprions would ally / be trained by Khalifate (the lore so far has no indications that they are trainable / intelligent), let us tackle the two match ups it is supposed to target, and briefly two others it affects.

1) Northerner - The trouble here is the ridiculous -100% fire malus for Scorpions. Orc archers would easily dismantle them and, for ~19 g that's heavy. Furthermore, 4-4 isn't really much damage vs a troll (especially on hills), and the poison is too unreliable. They also don't have much blade resist and thus fall easily to the cheap Grunt. Finally, if Khaiyal should be buffed and made cheaper, it would be a better unit than Scorpion.

2) Loyalists - Khalif has better units to kill Spearmen than 4-4 Impact. It also falls easily to Cav (at day) or mage.

3) Rebels - Conceivably a strong unit vs Rebels, however it doesn't have strong pierce resist, and thus is vulnerable to archers, and vs mages ofcourse. Besides, Khalif already has better units to take down Rebel units.

4. Undead - Good unit, however at its cost you're better off getting a Naffat. Its negative resist to cold and lack of range retal is also a detriment.

In conclusion, I don't think putting Giant Scorpion is going to be good (nor do I think we should mess with its stats as it is used in a lot of campaigns as it is). Finally, looking at the lore, and it being in the Monsters category, I think it would be hard to justify why Khalif have control over Giant Scorpions (at least the ones we currently have).

Re: Suicide Unit

We will put aside the problems of the obvious politically charged concept of suicide bombers employed by a desert dwelling, turban wearing nation (which IMO is enough to just not do it for the problems it will cause.. we had enough drama with the name as it is!); nor the implication that it is thematically ok (I disagree, again for cultural / political reasons which I will not go into).

15 g is ridiculous cost, even with marksman especially since its a suicide unit it is far too risky to use with that cost as even with it you are not guaranteed a hit (and then you lose out on 15 g... ).

There is a suicide unit in Era of Magic named Goblin Kamikaze which does something similar to what you have proposed. Level 0 which costs 12 g, neutral, and it does 20-1 fire dmg. However instead of marksman it has the kamikaze trait (which means its hit is 100% hit but it dies). Importing the mechanic to Khalifate is problematic though. Consider, why would they have such a unit (remember, lore wise explosive are either magical or dwarven in nature~ what alchemy the Khalif possess falls under the healing arts for the most part), and why impact damage? Why does it have 100% chance to hit (the Era of magic unit could be explained by magical propoerties or perhaps merely the wide radius power of the explosive).

Balance wise, I think it is an interesting suggestion (given reasonable cost) and would need testing ofcourse, but as I have shown, there are significant problems with the concept.

Indeed, some sort of poison mechanism is easier to reconcile for them than a straight up suicide squad (ranged ofcourse.. perhaps a cross-level tree with the Hakim unit line), although the fact that the Hakim line pointedly do not use them despite proficiency perhaps means that it is frowned upon at least in those under their order (in fact, I view the Hakim line as Doctors vs the other race's Spiritual Healers).

Perhaps they are the shadow order of the Hakim, using their medical skills to do harm instead of heal. I'm thinking chaotic/liminal poison range impact (no marksman to further distinguish him from the orc assassin) with the impact weapon being sling loaded with poisoned bullets / hollow pellets? IMO though poison isn't an effective counter vs trolls, especially if malus with chaotic.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby ElderofZion » May 12th, 2017, 7:19 pm

@Computer_player sure, you can edit my post

Following the idea suggested by my friend there is also a possibility of adding explosive boats as a water unit. Such boats existed in real life and were called fire ships, such a unit also exists in the polish era Eastern Europe at War in the Ottomans faction as far as I remember, but such units were also used way before the 17th century.
It would be possible for Khalifate to create explosives, lets look at naffat, he has a mele "naphtha attack" attack, what exactly is this supposed to represent? I have met with an opinion that it is supposed to represent an early, flamethrower-like weapon, and I cannot think of any better explanation. If Khalifate can create such weapons then creating explosive ships or even suicide units definitely would be possible for them.

My friend also proposed a "fanatic priest" unit, I think such a unit may work, you could either give it poison attacks or even berserk.
@Elder but we have asked for the disclosure of all the cheese and we treat it seriously. Everyone on this site can get banned, everyone.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Computer_Player » May 14th, 2017, 1:58 am

Like I said, adding suicide units is problematic balance wise, thematically and politically XD

You will need to put the unit very cheap or add the kamikaze trait to even make it useful / reliable enough. Further naptha is supposed to parallel Greek Fire, and is thus more of an incendiary weapon and not an explosive one. Gunpowder / explosives is supposed to be a closely guarded dwarf monopoly. Finally, putting suicide units in Khalifate will be a head ache.. because of the implication. We don't want to suggest that Khalifate are muslim or even arab though they might get inspiration from them, hence how much less associating them with negative stereotypes. It would be best, I think, to avoid the head-ache of doing it and instead balance Khalifate in a more conservative way.

With that said, I have finished a couple of mass ghoul replays. It confirms the hypothesis that it isn't a very efficient or even a suitable way to go about things in the undead vs khalif match up. I have edited the guide accordingly.

I have also added a section about balance changes regarding the falcon unit.

Thanks for the feedback, please keep the ideas coming. If you guys could also gather the most relevant Khalifate threads in the forum, it would be neat (i.e. Khalif Campaign threads, Lore / Writing threads, Development thread etc.)

P.S. Berserk is a dwarf specialty, we can't give it Khalifate, especially in default era.
P.P.S. Why is Naffat level 2 not leader? Seems a shame IMO.
Last edited by Computer_Player on May 14th, 2017, 3:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Computer_Player » May 14th, 2017, 2:02 am

Khalifate vs Undead replay Part 3 (Mass Ghoul vs Khalifate replays)
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The_Freelands_replay_Khaiyal_(Oook)_vs_Mass_Ghoul_(Me).gz
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby CalculusKing » May 14th, 2017, 10:33 pm

First I would like to thank Computer_Player for posting these high quality replays for the Wesnoth community. I think I am far from the only person with a use for them.

As to the idea of adding a new unit, I think a bomber unit is right out. The political/cultural/internal-consistency problems, while real and sufficient to kill such an idea, are not necessary to demonstrate its inadvisability. Balance is very problematic too. I myself have long been a fan of the Age of Wonders series, which has very similar hex-based combat with probabilities of hitting. There is a goblin suicide bomber unit in this game series, and it has never been balanced. In any situation it is either woefully inadequate (dying without doing serious damage to the other side) or very OP (killing off an entire group of units) depending on the patch and the faction it is up against. The problem arises from a unit with a completely certain outcome (high area damage in return for its death) in a largely non-deterministic game.

In Wesnoth, suicide-mission units should be and are handled differently: the Ulfserker and Horseman are high end suicide units. They can unleash enormous damage on a pinpoint target, but are vulnerable to bad luck and as such cannot be the linchpin of a strategy so much as attackers of opportunity. Low level suiciders also exist: the WC and the goblin. They are chaff whose purpose is to bog down the enemy with targets who are scarcely cost-efficient to remove. In both cases, suicide units exist for positional games primarily, forcing the foe to take serious risks and make sacrifices to avoid a problem.

The Khalifate lacks two things as a faction: a cost-efficient line-holder (the Jundi and Rami are both slightly cost-inefficient for this purpose) and a reliable high damage dealer. I already suggested in a previous post that we buff the Khaiyal to have the same resistances as the Faris and increase the damage of his mace by 1 (to 7-3).

Buffing either the Rami or the Jundi (or both) slightly could alleviate the balance problems. I myself am considering whether a 14 gold light cavalry could work as well - but I am having trouble balancing it. The idea would be an evasive but low HP unit modeled statswise somewhat on the footpad and themed after Berber light cavalry.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby ElderofZion » May 14th, 2017, 11:53 pm

Just for your pleasure, CP, what happens when picked orc meets picked UD on Sablestone delta?

http://wesnoth.gamingladder.info/download-replay.php?reported_on=2017-05-14+23%3A45%3A44
@Elder but we have asked for the disclosure of all the cheese and we treat it seriously. Everyone on this site can get banned, everyone.
@Elder ale prosiliśmy o wyjawianie wszystkich serów i traktujemy to poważnie. Każdy na tej stronie może zostać zbanowany, każdy.

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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby CalculusKing » May 15th, 2017, 6:53 am

Okay, so I've been thinking about your proposals, Computer_Player, and I have an idea for a rebalance without adding new units besides a water-controller:
1. Give the Khaiyal +1 to impact attack (from 6-3 to 7-3), make his lance attack marksman but reduce it to 18-1, reduce his price to 19g, and give him the resistances of the Faris/Mufariq upgrade line.
2. Give the Arif 11-2 (instead of 9-2), raise pierce resistance to 30%, and reduce his HP by 4.
3. Make the Falcon a useful suicide unit - reduce gold to 10g, give both its attacks slow and poison, and give its charge attack marksman. This is to represent a falcon charging a target and attacking it's eyes and head - disorienting the target and leaving it with nasty bleeding wounds. You'll likely lose the falcon, but you can cripple an enemy unit for a turn or more.
4. For water control, I'd recommend just giving the Khalifate a tamed (but not necessarily ridden) Roc - with stats and cost similar to the gryphon rider. Failing that, just giving them a modified version of the gryphon would work too. As a stopgap measure, just giving them a naga or merman unit would also be fine.
5. The Hakim line gets slow+poison darts: 3-2 ranged marksman and gets price raised to 19g. Now he can cripple one unit a turn but remains fragile and a delicious target. Note that he lacks the 70% evasion achievable by shamans and assassins despite his low HP and high cost, which balances out his strong new ability. For lore purposes, say that his darts contain a caustic agent that eats flesh and bone (thus removing questions about undead getting slowed).
6. The drake matchup remains a problem. The Jundi and Arif are great vs Saurians and the Rami is excellent vs Drakes. I think that boosting the Rami's price to 17g is reasonable. The Arif problem is improved by the lowered HP - which should help Burner bombing runs.

I am worried that I am going too far with this revision, but I feel that I might as well offer it given the severe imbalance of this faction - hopeless against loyalists (and sometimes northerners) and OP against drakes.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Airatgaljamov » May 15th, 2017, 7:10 am

CalculusKing wrote:3. Make the Falcon a useful suicide unit - reduce gold to 10g, give both its attacks slow and poison, and give its charge attack marksman. This is to represent a falcon charging a target and attacking it's eyes and head - disorienting the target and leaving it with nasty bleeding wounds. You'll likely lose the falcon, but you can cripple an enemy unit for a turn or more.


Wow :lol: I guess that will be to much. 4 specials on an attack is just extreme. And I don't think you explanation justifies it, we have far more dangerous attacks in game, swords also make bleeding wounds, and in some sence lightning attack should kill instantly. Wesnoth has different scale of a model.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby CalculusKing » May 15th, 2017, 6:47 pm

Airatgaljamov wrote:
CalculusKing wrote:3. Make the Falcon a useful suicide unit - reduce gold to 10g, give both its attacks slow and poison, and give its charge attack marksman. This is to represent a falcon charging a target and attacking it's eyes and head - disorienting the target and leaving it with nasty bleeding wounds. You'll likely lose the falcon, but you can cripple an enemy unit for a turn or more.


Wow :lol: I guess that will be to much. 4 specials on an attack is just extreme. And I don't think you explanation justifies it, we have far more dangerous attacks in game, swords also make bleeding wounds, and in some sence lightning attack should kill instantly. Wesnoth has different scale of a model.


Yeah, I was going too far on the falcon. We should probably only put the poison/slow on the talons - rather than the beak - but maybe make the talons 2-4 and the beak 6-1 or 7-1. But yeah its hard to make the falcon useful for anything besides scouting, taking unguarded villages, and dying hopelessly - without resorting to extreme measures. Imagine that its talons are envenomed by its handlers. I view the modified falcon as a guided missile to cripple trolls and spearmen in critical positions - helping that concentrated liminal push.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Gyra_Solune » June 4th, 2017, 5:18 am

Slow + poison should almost never be on the same faction, let alone unit, let alone attack. Either one on their own is a massive change to how you use the faction. Poison is a fundamental utility that shapes how you use the Undead (as a defensive deterrent) and Northerners (as an offensive support), as Slow is for the Rebels, both on units whose sole purpose is really to do that very thing. The Hakim's purpose is to be the most effective level 1 healer in the game, the Falcon's purpose is to be a cheap, fast village grabber. Giving a slow+poison attack to the Hakim means it becomes the only unit you'd really recruit - after all, the slowing would mean it couldn't do much damage to the Hakim (who would just regenerate it from an adjacent one), and the poison would make it so it's incredibly effective offensively too. Same with the Falcon - it wouldn't be as resilient, but to make up for it, since they're cheap and have no upkeep, you can just utterly swarm a foe with them and they literally wouldn't be able to kill them fast enough to contend with all the poison (remember: if the charge attack hits but also slows, it basically isn't a charge attack anymore, the enemy is doing totally normal damage now)

If we are going to evaluate what the Khalifate's shortcomings are, first we need to establish what in particular it is doing exceptionally well. The prospect of making the Jundi more like a resilient battlefront unit might be ignoring how the faction isn't supposed to have one of those - it's a very divide and conquer, hit and run, skirmishing sort of faction, so making it capable of holding the line in a big surge of units might dramatically change how it operates.

What it needs, it seems, is a way for Drakes to deal with them, and a way for them to handle Trolls and Spearmen en masse a little better. I personally somewhat like the idea of giving the Khaiyal marksman on the lance for a start, and maybe buffing those resistances as well so it's actually somewhat resilient. Alternately, perhaps the Arif ought to be cheaper, at 17, or perhaps it ought to get the rest of the faction's 60% defense on hills. Small changes like that can go a very long way and it's those that ought to be evaluated, not massive changes to the faction's capabilities.

As for a water unit...you do have a point, it really struggles to do much in water. Maybe they should get the Mermaid Initiate? It's somewhat pricey and frail, and the 8-2 attack is somewhat weak, but it's magic of a solid offensive type, so maybe that will work.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Cold Steel » June 7th, 2017, 6:23 pm

Computer_Player wrote:We will put aside the problems of the obvious politically charged concept of suicide bombers employed by a desert dwelling, turban wearing nation (which IMO is enough to just not do it for the problems it will cause.. we had enough drama with the name as it is!); nor the implication that it is thematically ok (I disagree, again for cultural / political reasons which I will not go into).
...
Finally, putting suicide units in Khalifate will be a head ache.. because of the implication. We don't want to suggest that Khalifate are muslim or even arab though they might get inspiration from them, hence how much less associating them with negative stereotypes. It would be best, I think, to avoid the head-ache of doing it and instead balance Khalifate in a more conservative way.


It is a sorry thing, if political correctness is becoming valued well above balance for mainline multiplayer.

And avoiding "negative stereotypes" would also require removing all sword/machete/knife type weapons from this faction, by the same logic.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Computer_Player » June 9th, 2017, 1:04 pm

Cold Steel wrote:
Computer_Player wrote:We will put aside the problems of the obvious politically charged concept of suicide bombers employed by a desert dwelling, turban wearing nation (which IMO is enough to just not do it for the problems it will cause.. we had enough drama with the name as it is!); nor the implication that it is thematically ok (I disagree, again for cultural / political reasons which I will not go into).
...
Finally, putting suicide units in Khalifate will be a head ache.. because of the implication. We don't want to suggest that Khalifate are muslim or even arab though they might get inspiration from them, hence how much less associating them with negative stereotypes. It would be best, I think, to avoid the head-ache of doing it and instead balance Khalifate in a more conservative way.


It is a sorry thing, if political correctness is becoming valued well above balance for mainline multiplayer.

And avoiding "negative stereotypes" would also require removing all sword/machete/knife type weapons from this faction, by the same logic.


I mentioned these things to acknowledge it as an issue (and a troublesome one at that) and to specifically try and ask people that we not be side tracked with rehashing old arguments (at least in this particular thread). Indeed I put forward criticisms that touch on other aspects such as gameplay / lore which are of relevance above mere political correctness.

Gyra_Solune wrote:
If we are going to evaluate what the Khalifate's shortcomings are, first we need to establish what in particular it is doing exceptionally well. The prospect of making the Jundi more like a resilient battlefront unit might be ignoring how the faction isn't supposed to have one of those - it's a very divide and conquer, hit and run, skirmishing sort of faction, so making it capable of holding the line in a big surge of units might dramatically change how it operates.


I agree with this in that we should not try and go to far from what the Khalifate are supposed to be. Keep in mind though that there isn't any official in-game description of the faction (like the other manline units), though we can glean some outline based on the particular unit descriptions / staff announcements / previous development threads. But to be fair and clear, it just so happens that me and Gyra's vision of what Khalifate should be happens to mostly align but it need not be necessarily the final say in this (this is not, however, to endorse popular acclaim- our primary guidance would be existing material).

It would be nice to have a clear vision statement on this as soon as possible as it would inform further development directions. I'll try to first gather the various threads we can use for reference in khalifate development to aid not only in this task, but further down the road.

What it needs, it seems, is a way for Drakes to deal with them, and a way for them to handle Trolls and Spearmen en masse a little better. I personally somewhat like the idea of giving the Khaiyal marksman on the lance for a start, and maybe buffing those resistances as well so it's actually somewhat resilient. Alternately, perhaps the Arif ought to be cheaper, at 17, or perhaps it ought to get the rest of the faction's 60% defense on hills. Small changes like that can go a very long way and it's those that ought to be evaluated, not massive changes to the faction's capabilities.

Perhaps drakes need buffing? I'm not up to date on general drake balance (though I hear talk that it is disadvantaged vs undeald / elf)

I'm not sure about putting marksman on the lance.. since it would, well quite remarkable indeed to have a super-accurate lance. Further it would tend to increase the Khaiyal cost as it would be even more effective weapon compared to the thunderer's thunderstick in terms of accuracy.

As for a water unit...you do have a point, it really struggles to do much in water. Maybe they should get the Mermaid Initiate? It's somewhat pricey and frail, and the 8-2 attack is somewhat weak, but it's magic of a solid offensive type, so maybe that will work.


For mermaid, the trouble with it is that it wields magic which is anathema lorewise / thematically with khalifate.
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Re: How to Play: Khalifate

Postby Computer_Player » July 12th, 2017, 5:45 pm

In order to keep this a focused guide / strategy thread, please move all discussion aimed at khalifate balance to this thread instead:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=46564&p=615330#p615330

It also has the aforementioned Khalifate Index of Links and other resources.

Thank you :)
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