Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

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vodot
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by vodot » October 19th, 2011, 5:35 pm

Faello wrote:on 1.9 Siege of Elsenefar minimal gold amount was changed to 100 and here minimal gold amount is still 200, thus even with kind of weak troops you've brought to this senario, you're able to win it without much of a fuss if you'll adapt a correct strategy.
Minimal gold for SoE in 1.8.6 is 180 / 180 / 120 on hard. I came in +100g.

Regardless, I agree, my strategy was poor. Our force composition was almost identical (and of course, our recall lists WERE identical :) ) yet I rushed unnecessarily, thinking that I had to rush in order to cross the plain and defeat the Undead leader in the time allotted. You were much more patient, even withdrawing back across the river to the trees to absorb the Undead onset, something I thought was suicidal, time-wise.

Watching how patiently you were able to deal with the Orcs and Undead, and still have time to cross the plain and kill the Necromancer, I now think that almost all of my restarts were probably unnecessary. I was restarting if I wasn't in the City Center by Turn 10, which I now realize is just silly; you waited until turn 16-18, and still had plenty of time to cross the plain due to the [now] largely eliminated undead unit stream. My sense of how many turns it takes to effectively move a force over a large distance is still developing.

Well, that was some thoroughly trick-less play. Hardly your first time, but you didn't even use the Ford, backstab Bigbad Orc with the theives, or use a giant recall list. Alright... I'll abandon most of my frustration. :hmm: I remain committed, however, to assisting with reworking the dialog in this and other scenarios.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Faello » October 19th, 2011, 11:19 pm

I wouldn't worry too much. Considering it's your first campaign & you're still a fresh player, by looking at the replay, I can already tell that you will evolve into a good player someday, just stick around for a while and never ever use "load" option. I was save/loading myself when I started playing BfW (probably most of the players do at least at the beginning) but it slows your skill progress a lot & takes you most of the fun from it.

Considering the SoE - yeah, I prefer going for gold with thieves (to balance the upkeep & cut UD income + give him something to worry about) and roll over the Orcish Warlord after I'll take care of the most of enemy units.
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Wookiechew » November 11th, 2011, 12:44 pm

I found the best tactic for this scenario was to recall all my experienced troops first (loyal grand knight, loyal red mage, 3 rangers, 2 sorceresses, marksman, rider, 2 hero as well as the level 2 merman with the trident).

With my remaining gold, I recruited 2 shamans and 3 mages (I had plenty of gold from muff malal's peninsula). Always recruit mages instead of archers for this scenario; in the day, they do more damage, and as I retreated at night, they were spared the orcish wrath. The magical attack also gets rid of assassins, and if in a village, poison has no effect.

I kept my soldiers in the forest, and the merman in the water, and I kept falling back until the orcs came. Then I killed all the orcs in two turns. I then withdrew, so that I could hit the skeletons first, and using Konrad's leadership, the mages and sorcerresses tore them apart, as did the merman. The thieves were pulled back, and they only retruned to the fight when I went to kill the orcish leader. Two lucky strikes by the grand knight finished him off, and then the rest of my troops finished off the undead leader.

I managed to level up two mages, and the red mage in a silver mage. I also leveled up two shaman into druids.

Hope this helped.
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by kwerle » November 27th, 2011, 2:33 am

I have just started playing Wesnoth. That makes this the 6th map I've played (after the tutorial).

This map is too hard.

It seems that the key is to have some leveled characters. I start the map with a 3rd level archer, 2nd level archer, and 2nd level mage. I've replayed the map (on medium) at least half a dozen times and I've never gotten close to completing it. I've just hit the 32 turn limit and barely taken the middle island.

As a beginning player, I had no idea that having leveled characters was so important. I didn't even realize how to recall characters until the 2nd or 3rd map.

The problem with this map is that there is now nothing I can do to beat it, short of going back 2-3 maps and replaying them "the right way". That's a situation a new player of any game should never be in. I find this so frustrating I'm on the verge of ditching this game.

This map does not belong in the recommended campaign for new players.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Crendgrim » November 27th, 2011, 10:41 am

I think you are trapped in the assumption of a lot of new players who are seeing the difficulties ("easy", "medium" and "hard") as in other modern games: "easy" for a quick play-through, "medium" to play it without having to think too much, and "hard" for a challenge. However, this is not the Wesnoth way.
In Wesnoth, it's even hard to beat a campaign on "easy". It is not meant to be just played, but to be carefully planned. Especially if you're a new player, I'd recommend to first play the easy campaigns on easiest difficulty, and then increase the challenge. :)
Even if I never completed Heir to the Throne myself (and I don't regard myself as a good player either), I don't think that one level 3 and two level 2's are enough to beat this scenario / to advance much further. Normally, you want to have some more level 2's, and preferably some loyal (so you don't have to pay upkeep for them) level 3's as fast as possible.
Regarding the importance of this, it is described in the tutorial where you are told to recall your experienced fighters.
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by zookeeper » November 27th, 2011, 11:53 am

kwerle wrote:I have just started playing Wesnoth. That makes this the 6th map I've played (after the tutorial).

This map is too hard.

It seems that the key is to have some leveled characters. I start the map with a 3rd level archer, 2nd level archer, and 2nd level mage. I've replayed the map (on medium) at least half a dozen times and I've never gotten close to completing it. I've just hit the 32 turn limit and barely taken the middle island.

As a beginning player, I had no idea that having leveled characters was so important. I didn't even realize how to recall characters until the 2nd or 3rd map.

The problem with this map is that there is now nothing I can do to beat it, short of going back 2-3 maps and replaying them "the right way". That's a situation a new player of any game should never be in. I find this so frustrating I'm on the verge of ditching this game.

This map does not belong in the recommended campaign for new players.
I'm not saying it's not a problem regardless, but if you read especially the previous page of this thread, you might find that the scenario isn't insurmountably hard as such, but merely requires a different approach than the previous scenarios. If you post your beginning-of-scenario savefile, someone can likely provide you with a replay showing how to beat it.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by HenryPlainview » November 28th, 2011, 3:12 am

kwerle wrote: This map is too hard.
It is true that because of Wesnoth's design there is a point that no skill can overcome the mathematics, but it doesn't sound to me like you are at that point. I recommend that you look at some of the replays of successful plays posted here: I can tell you that I personally have gained many tactical insights from replays that I hadn't considered. However, if you post your save file I would be happy to give a shot. I know how frustrating it can be to be stuck on a level in the beginning of your playing because you're missing something. When I started playing Wesnoth again this summer after being away from it since 1.6, I jumped right in with Dead Water because I thought I remembered enough. I was stuck on the fourth level for a while before I realized why all my units having pierce wasn't working...

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by kwerle » November 28th, 2011, 8:43 pm

I'm giving up on Wesnoth after losing to this map a few more times. I even restarted the campaign so that I could get the right mix of experienced characters by the time I get to this map. But a few maps in, I couldn't face it any more. I could not face redoing the remaining levels to have a chance at winning on this map - or losing constantly because they still were not good enough.

Constructive feedback:
* If I complete a level and advance to the next level - in any game - I expect it to be possible to defeat the next level.
* If I can't defeat the next level, I expect to have a way to gain experience/loot/whatever is needed without repeating previous levels - or maybe just repeating the previous level repeatedly (building on each repitition) until I've got what I need.
* I expect to be told (in an introductory campaign) that it is not likely I will be able to complete a level.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by cyningstan » December 3rd, 2011, 11:17 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version...?
Medium, 1.8.6.
(2) How difficult...?
10/10. Impossible: I simply cannot complete this. I've returned to previous scenarios to try and level up more characters. Not only is this the height of tedium, but I can't level up any more characters than I already managed the first time round.
(3) How clear...objectives?
Reasonably clear. Had they added "...but with the forces you have, there's no chance, ha ha ha", it would have been crystal clear.
(4) How clear and interesting...storyline?
Very.
(5) What were your major challenges...?
I didn't get far enough to identify challenges other than surviving. The challenge is to enter this scenario with anything like the forces I need.
(6) How fun...?
1/10. Not fun at all. I've been finding excuses to do things other than play Wesnoth over the past week; this scenario is work, not play. I've stopped playing Heir to the Throne and will probably give up on Wesnoth if I find similar brick walls in the other campaigns.
(7) What...changes...?
Something needs to be done to this scenario to make sure that it can be completed by anyone who's managed to get this far. Either make this scenario easier, or modify the victory conditions of previous scenarios so you simply won't get here if you don't have sufficient levelled units to recall. I'll grant that it must be possible to get those units, but making players go backwards and play scenarios you told them they'd already won is boring, frustrating and simply bad game design.

Another change I'd make is to stop recommending this as an introductory campaign for newbies. Had I not played South Guard first and found that not all campaigns were like this, I would have deleted the game at this point.
Last edited by cyningstan on December 4th, 2011, 9:13 am, edited 4 times in total.
Damian Walker - fell in battle at Elensefar...

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by severian » December 4th, 2011, 1:07 am

I just started playing Wesnoth again. I played it a little bit a few years ago. I remember I got to Elensefar in HttT and couldn't get by it. This time I played up to Elensefar (on Normal difficulty,) but wound up with a bad result on the Peninsula- I had a pretty good recall list, actually, if a bit heavy on Elvish Heros, but only about 10 gold over the minimum. I tried a few things, and got cut to pieces. Then I watched the HOWTO Faello posted, and tried to use a similar strategy. That worked better, but I just had too little gold to make it work (I know a lot of people can win this even on Hard with the minimum, but I'm still a beginner.)

I probably could have just gone back and redone the Peninsula, but I restarted from Blackwater Port, and managed to come out of the Peninsula with enough gold that I started with 261 (I think,) though I did lose my Merman Warrior with the Trident. On my first try I recalled mainly leveled units and had a hard time with gold. I still almost beat it- I was a bit slow in advancing into the city, and wound up losing on time- I think I would have won if I'd had one more turn.

I tried again, and this time I recruited more level 1s, and held back some of my leveled units. It went pretty well the second time, and I'm attaching the replay. I got lucky in places- the AI could have punished me for some mistakes that it didn't. And it was really lucky that the undead boss came forward so early, and that Haldiel hit him both times. I had made some mistakes in how I had arranged my entrance to the cave, I think, so it might have been a bit painful to finish. But I had seven turns left, so I would have won even so.

It's not exemplary play- Faello's HOWTO is much better for that- but that's sort of the point. Elensefar _is_ hard. It has stymied me a couple of times. But I didn't play all that well here, and I was still able to win without a lot of losses (and the significant losses I had were due to my own stupidity- I did get really unlucky in not managing to slow that last Orc even with three tries, but I could have saved the Druid even so. I just didn't notice she was in danger. And while the first Elvish fighter I lost was a worthwhile sacrifice, and not too painful as he had no experience, I didn't have to lose the next two, who did.) In fact, I made a lot of stupid mistakes, including completely forgetting to move important units... sigh. But I still won, so it is possible to win it on Normal without playing perfectly (to say the least.)

I learned a lot from watching Faello's replay. The main thing is the strategy- defend against both waves of enemies at the woods outside the city, on successive nights, and wipe each out in the dawn-to-dusk cycle that follows their arrival. Then charge North. It makes a lot of sense- defending is better, and there is no better spot on the map to defend than the woods between you and the river.

The problem is that each enemy arrives at night, so you have to blunt their night attacks, while leaving yourself in a good position to rout them starting at dawn. You also need leave yourself in a position to blunt the skeleton wave after you destroy the bulk of the Orcs. To really rout each wave during the dawn-dusk period you need to either roll up their flank, or break through in the center- you don't have time to just hold a line. Putting some sacrificial units in the right places helps a lot with not taking significant losses, while holding a line at night. And slow is a crucial thing here- you can make gullies in your line that only allow attack from one hex and use those for your slowing units.

It's not that unusual for campaign-style games to let you wind up in situations that are very difficult to win. Wesnoth reminds me a lot of Fantasy General, which was actually a lot less forgiving in this respect.

Anyway, any critiques of my play are welcome. I know I made a lot of dumb mistakes...

EDIT:

And just to keep this on topic i will respond to the questionnaire:

(1) Normal
(2) 10 the first few times I played it. 7 now.
(3) Pretty clear.
(4) I guess I don't care enough about this to have a strong opinion, but they were interesting. It might be better if the thieves made the choices a bit clearer.
(5) Balancing fighting where I had the advantage against finishing before time ran out. This scenario would be easy without a turn limit, but you have to cover a lot of ground to win it. Choosing when to cover that ground seems to be the key to winning.
(6) When I first played it I thought it was about a 2- just too hard. Now I think it is about an 8 or 9. The challenge is a lot of fun if you can handle it.
(7) I guess it depends on what you want this scenario to do. It would be a lot more fun for players first hitting it if it were a little less hard. The cave at the end is particularly annoying. On the other hand you have to learn a lot about tactics to win it, so it's a good teaching vehicle. I do think that the jump in difficulty from previous scenarios is a bit too steep though. Combining the challenge of dealing with the Orcs in their fortified position and dealing with the Necromancer in his cave might be a bit much this early in the flagship campaign.
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by BritNavFan » December 24th, 2011, 12:22 pm

(1) 1.8.6 at EASY/"Fighter (Beginner)" once, 1.9.12 at NORMAL/"Hero (Normal)" several times
(2) Difficulty (1-10): 1 at EASY, 10 at NORMAL
(3) Clarity of scenario objectives: Clear
(4) Dialog and storyline: I've played this so many times I've forgotten them
(5) Major challenges: At EASY, none: I won in 19 turns. (It's not like you have to pick your time of day to fight the orcs when you have 2:1 numeric superiority over the AI.) At NORMAL, I played once and realized I had to replay the previous two scenarios so I started with enough gold to stand a chance. After that, I had trouble winning in the turn limit with acceptable losses. (I lost 6 of 8 loyal units the one time I "won" the scenario.)
(6) Fun (1-10): 4 (It's interesting, but it got old a while ago, and I can't see the rest of the campaign without beating it.)
(7) Changes I'd make:
  • Either EASY should be harder (including the previous scenarios), or NORMAL should be easier, or you should add a new difficulty level between the present "Beginner" and "Normal"
  • It's kind of odd that the scenario designers devised such an elaborate defence for the undead boss, but the AI is so stupid that the boss will jump over his guards to move to the edge of the cave to attack the player's units, letting the player kill him while fighting few or none of his guards. I'd make the AI for Muff Jaanal "passive" until a side 1 unit enters the rectangle x=15-19, y=2-3. In other words, the player would actually have to fight Muff Jaanal's guards, and Muff Jaanal would only leave his throne after player units had come within a couple of hexes of him.
(8) Lost game due to: First game: resigned after defeating the first wave of orcs without loss. (I only had 20 gold bonus from the previous scenario.) I replayed the previous two scenarios and tried again, several times, with a 140 gold bonus, which should be more than adequate. I ran out of time on most of these occasions. The one time I won it was a Pyrrhic victory and I have no interest in continuing the campaign with an army of level 1's.

EDIT: The difficulty settings for this campaign and An Orcish Incursion are described the same way: "Beginner", "Normal", and "Challenging". Yet I only had trouble with two scenarios of AoI on "Challenging", while I found Siege of Elensefar very difficult on "Normal", and judging by this thread I don't think that's unusual. In comparison, The South Guard's difficulty settings are described as "Beginner", "Easy", and "Normal" and again I found it pretty easy on "Normal". I think you designers might want to have a look at the difficulty settings of these campaigns and either change the descriptions or tweak the difficulties.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Albert_Blatherbury » March 2nd, 2012, 4:12 am

This map is not doable.
Playing on medium, the maps before this one were a complete walkover, but this one is impossible, even following all the recommended strategies and restoring whenever something goes wrong. This creates a boring and frustrating experience.
Since things just don't work out on a numerical level to an extent that no amount of skill could compensate, I suppose I'd now have to restart the campaign. But on easy the first maps will pose so little challenge that it'd just be a boring tedious chore, and on medium I'd probably find myself in the same situation I'm in now, not to mention that redoing those easy maps will be boring. In other words, I'm stuck.
A game should never let the player end up in this situation. Now, I don't know why I ended up in this situation; maybe I don't have enough levelled units, or maybe they're of the wrong kind, or maybe I don't have enough gold, or whatever. But when you design a map you have a certain minimal starting position in mind and the game should tell you if you don't meet it, or change opponent armies to compensate or something. But you can't drop the player into a situation where something, who-knows-what went wrong who-knows-how-many maps ago.
I have played other TBS and RTS games before, but this is the first time I had a game change so suddenly from too easy to impossible. This is definitely not a good experience. A game is supposed to be fun, and playing the same map over and over again for hours and hours only to have to come to the conclusion that you're stuck is not fun.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by taptap » March 2nd, 2012, 4:13 pm

Albert_Blatherbury wrote:This map is not doable.
It definitely is doable, but this is the map on which most of us realized that Battle for Wesnoth isn't a game you simply walk over without any challenge. If you want a more constructive feedback a replay and / or start of scenario save would be tremendously helpful.
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Albert_Blatherbury » March 3rd, 2012, 1:57 am

Taptap, thank you for utterly missing the point.

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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by CeltiK » March 4th, 2012, 3:19 pm

BritNavFan wrote:EDIT: The difficulty settings for this campaign and An Orcish Incursion are described the same way: "Beginner", "Normal", and "Challenging". Yet I only had trouble with two scenarios of AoI on "Challenging", while I found Siege of Elensefar very difficult on "Normal", and judging by this thread I don't think that's unusual. In comparison, The South Guard's difficulty settings are described as "Beginner", "Easy", and "Normal" and again I found it pretty easy on "Normal". I think you designers might want to have a look at the difficulty settings of these campaigns and either change the descriptions or tweak the difficulties.
Albert_Blatherbury wrote:This map is not doable.
Playing on medium, the maps before this one were a complete walkover, but this one is impossible, even following all the recommended strategies and restoring whenever something goes wrong. This creates a boring and frustrating experience.
That is why I made this suggestion and why I said:
CeltiK wrote: I think it would be easier this way especially for first time players who play HttT on normal first and rage quit after the Siege of Elensefar :lol2:
But it's not something that can be easily done since there are so many campaigns made by so many different people.

Back to the topic, I'd say that you got frustrated and you thought that this scenario was impossible because you just don't have a lot of experience with the game and so you didn't play well. It's not an insult, it's normal I've been there. However, I agree with you: there is a huge gap in difficulty between this one and the previous scenarios of the campaign. But FYI know that Siege of Elensefar is NOT, by all means, very hard. And you don't need an awesome recall list either. I usually play this scenario with 2 White Mages, 2-3 Knights (and I expect to lose 1 or 2), 1 Merman Priestess and 1 with the Storm Trident and 1 or 2 Elvish Captains. That's all, you don't need anything else to recall. Just use your lv1 with leadership.

Please provide 1 or more replays and/or a savegame. I guarantee you that people here will show you some tactics. Take it as a training session.

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