Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

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CalculusKing
Posts: 55
Joined: April 5th, 2016, 9:20 am

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by CalculusKing »

(1)
I've played it on easy, medium, and hard back in the 1.10 days. I've played it on hard/challenging every main release (and some development releases) since then, up to 1.14.

(2)
(on hardest difficulty)
1 if I've done great on the previous scenarios and can afford to brute force it
10 otherwise
This mission, ever since I first played it on hard, has always struck me as a horrible example of "fake" difficulty. If you restart scenario 1 until you get the perfect unit traits for your first recruits and keep restarting the campaign until you have a strong force custom-tailored to this mission (an extreme chore to do, but very effective) then you can beat this level without any save-scumming. Otherwise, it's savescum or die. There is too little time for a 'defend the forest' strat to work effectively and too little money to either force your way in before the undead arrive or defeat successive waves of attackers on the river.

(3)
Crystal clear.

(4)
It's servicable. This isn't really a scenario where dialogue is important.

(5)
Time. The time constraint prevents careful destruction of the orc army and forces some mix of cheesy AI exploits and campaign start-scumming extravaganza.

(6)
0/10
Having finally played through all the campaigns on the hardest difficulty, this remains my least favorite level of them all. It violates best campaign design practice on challenging by balancing with time constraints rather than with gold (whether we are talking gold left after the scenario, or player vs enemy gold during scenario). HttT after this scenario is my favorite campaign. But this scenario takes HttT close to the bottom in my personal rating of the mainline campaigns. It looms over the entire lead-up to it and bars the way to the other missions. It's a 'nightmare' scenario hidden like a landmine in a 'challenging' campaign.

(7)
Give the orc player negative base income to cancel out the village recruitment, increase the time limit, and give both the orcs and the undead some more unit variety, so that the player doesn't have to overspecialize for this scenario. Maybe give the undead some more gold at the expense of the orcs (who have presumably just sustained heavy losses assaulting a fortified city). This scenario should not vary much in difficulty between the three difficulty levels. It should be a nasty battle on any difficulty and the player's ability to beat it should be conditioned on whether they have brought a good army to meet it, not on bringing just the right mix of specific units or on extreme luck in the previous scenarios (traditionally gained by restarting the campaign or some scenario about 10-20 times after scenario 1 and possibly by restarting scenario 1 a few dozen times just by itself).

Let me be clear: I had an easier time playing UtBS for the first time ever in 1.14 (I didn't like the theme or the dune elves in earlier versions, so that was the first time I decided to continue past the first scenario) on nightmare than I have ever had (absent one of the abusive 'strats' mentioned earlier) on HttT on challenging, and this scenario is why.

EDIT: I suggest looking at the attached replay by oaq from 1.12. He is an excellent player with a dream team recall list and he only wins on the last turn.
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LordWolfDan
Posts: 216
Joined: September 30th, 2018, 7:31 am

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by LordWolfDan »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

- 1.14.5, Beginner

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

- 5

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

- Easy, kill the enemy leaders while retaking a vital Wesnoth city

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

- Pretty interesting. I like how you can rely on thieves if you choose to let them join you. Plus the arrival of elf lord Kalenz and revelation of mysterious "Sceptre of Fire" really spices things up

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

- Skeletons, but thankfully with four of my level 2 magi and elvish sorceress, it wasn't too hard

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

- 7

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

- I got none to think about

perfectlyGoodInk
Posts: 5
Joined: May 28th, 2018, 7:29 pm

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by perfectlyGoodInk »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
I tried it on Medium 4 times or so and then fell back to Easy.

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10 on Medium, 7 on Easy.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Very clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
It was okay. The first time I played it, I picked the sneaking in option but wasn't sure where I was supposed to go. It would've been a lot more helpful if something on the maps identified the docks he was talking about. But even in subsequent attempts, knowing where I was supposed to meet didn't really seem that helpful anyway, and one time they never showed up to give me the option until it was two turns too late.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
On medium, there's just too many tough enemies. I had Konrad, an Elven Marksman, and an Elven Hero at level 2 (plus I think that loyal guy you meet on the island). Everyone else at level 1, I think. 183 Gold on Medium was only enough to recruit about 2 groups. I tried a few strategies, mostly gathering near the bridge to try and get the enemy to engage me from the water and distract from the group sneaking in from the west with the thieves, but the attackers from the water would still often kill some of my tougher units, leaving me too few to mount the sneak attack.

In one of my attempts, the thieves showed up to present their choice way too late to be helpful. In another one, I tried asking them to ambush while I tried to fjord the west side anyway, and that of course didn't work. Then I tried having the thieves attack them from the rear and triggering this with a sacrificial scout taking a village from across the east, but the thieves didn't last more than a turn and I couldn't get my forces across in time to help them. A great deal of my frustration was that I didn't at first realize that my Level 1 shamans would be unable to cure poison attacks until my 3rd failure. I also made the mistake of starting out a couple of times with a couple of mages and a couple of shaman, but they were completely useless against the orcs. I also didn't think mermen would be useful enough to be worth recruiting because I was doubtful I could get them up to the crossing fast enough.

Maybe someone with a lot more free time could figure this out, but with two kids, trying more than 3 times for a game isn't really worth my time, so I restarted at Easy, this time starting with no mages and one shaman. It was still challenging, as I still lost all the thieves (which saddened me, as one of them looked pretty cute in the dialogs). I also lost quite a few units while attacking and killing the first leader, as the skeletons had just arrived as I surrounded him and were able to finish off the units weakened by the leader's counterattacks. But after taking the keep and recruiting/recalling a bunch of units (particularly 3 mages), it was pretty easy after that. I only lost a few more expendables.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
On Medium, 2. If I wasn't able to change difficulty, I probably would have abandoned this game, as there are just too many other things I could be doing (I took a loooong break after my first two attempts on the Island). On Easy, it was a 7. I ended up risking Konrad, getting him into the enemy village to the west of the 2nd leader's castle because I figured the Elves were pretty useless against skeletons, Mages were fragile on defense, and I didn't have enough footpads/thugs left. As I feared, they attacked him with 2 of the 3 remaining skeletons (the 3rd was out of range), and he barely survived and leveled up to 3. The leader I had whittled down to 5 HP by that time, so he surprisingly didn't try to attack. I then finished off the leader with a mage instead of Konrad, and although there was a small chance he'd do, he succeeded and leveled up to White Mage.

My 7 yo son couldn't bear to watch that ending, but he got really excited when I leveled up Konrad and particularly the Mage, as he was there when I read that they could cure. That was really most of the enjoyment.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
It needs to be easier. The Island one took me 3 attempts on Medium, and I was looking forward to more of a breather after that in having all my units back, not one that was even harder and more frustrating.

Also, the sneak attack option should be more effective. Given that these are thieves and not warriors, sneaking is where they should be a lot more useful at. But even though the choice made a lot more sense, I eventually gave up on that option because flanking really isn't that useful in a game where units just don't take any time to turn to face an attacker and defend just as easily from any direction.

And there should be an easier way to keep the thieves alive. They gave me the opening I needed, but after promising them they wouldn't be slaughtered, I felt so bad that that was exactly what happened. I can't believe that's what the storyline intended given that Konrad doesn't even so much as blink after the last one dies.

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josteph
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by josteph »

perfectlyGoodInk wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 4:38 am
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
It was okay. The first time I played it, I picked the sneaking in option but wasn't sure where I was supposed to go. It would've been a lot more helpful if something on the maps identified the docks he was talking about. But even in subsequent attempts, knowing where I was supposed to meet didn't really seem that helpful anyway, and one time they never showed up to give me the option until it was two turns too late.
Thanks for the feedback. I just submitted a pull request that adds a "go here" marker (like in the first turn of the first scenario) to (6,32), the northernmost hex on the south bank: https://github.com/wesnoth/wesnoth/pull/3677

(Shamans can't cure poison, but if a poisoned unit starts a turn next to a shaman, poison doesn't take effect that turn. But you should really have some healers by the time you get here)

Andromenus
Posts: 7
Joined: November 28th, 2018, 10:24 am

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Andromenus »

helo, I'm new in this game - I did nailed that sceanrio with a strong Konrad (its very important too make Konrad early strong too, until Scenario 6)
Konrad - Level 3, 1x Elvish Legyn, 1x Red Mage, 1x White Mage* / 1x Elvish Sorceress*, 1x Pre-Paladin - with Level Up => Paladin Unit, 1x Grand Knight ... and with some weaker units in a very good way. I also wrong with myself too, because I did create in level up also a 1x Lancer** unit!!!!!!

With an Elvish-Outrider and with a Merman-Warrior I did took the 3-4 Villages in the north-west territory - and for some attacks behind the front, with some little help from the three extra-thieves too.



I'm sorry for bad english, I from germany :D




(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
normal/medium

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
as a beginner like me - 10, but now maybe 7-8 - its important to have a strong Konrad - Level 3 is very important in my eyes, so you have to use the scenerios 1-5 to make him strong

Minimum two heavy Knights are important "Heavy Knight" & "Paladin" e.g.
2x White Magican and/or Elvish Sorceress important too - for healing and for Arkan-Power against Skeletons

some other good units a plus too

Gold - ca. 250 or bit more is good too

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
clear

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
It was the very hardest scenario after playing 1-5, if you are did won 1-5 only bad - not enough gold, weak Konrad, not enough good units - go back to scenario 4, 3 or even 1 and make it better!!!!

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
hard, but very funny - 9

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

nothing its good ... but I dislike in this campaign to create a Lancer Unit, in my opinion you will miss in later scenarios an extra paladin / heavy knight very much!!! Scenario #8 will be hard again!!! A Lancer will be a Lancer (no upgrade with exp-points) - but a Knight can be a Paladin/Heavy Knight - thats much better!


But now I have very great problems in the Sceanrio 8!!! In the Scenario 6 I did lost my thieves - they are good, but weak at the beginning - only one thieve is now at Level 3, an Reglok. But Scenario 8 is now harder in my eyes, because you can't use now the strategic day/night shifts - and I'm not able to win Scenario 8 :(

Edit:
nailed 8 too - its not too hard, after some new restarts. But Scenario 9 will be very hard I think :( so so much of undeads

mxb2001
Posts: 32
Joined: January 26th, 2019, 7:03 pm

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by mxb2001 »

[quote="Content Feedback" post_id=43993 time=1095992484 user_id=123454]
(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Normal, no reloading 1.12

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
clear

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Thieves were a nice touch

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Have not met them yet. First try got anihilated at waters edge even though I anticipated trouble and recruited only masses of cheap elven fighters plus one sout (error, I assumed it would need more speed to quickly get all villages - perhaps otoh misused, could have had it slowly mop up villages while fighters instead of taking villes should have rushed for rivers edge.) Another error was to assume orcs would only cross at bridge although redeployment was easy enough. Another "error" was not knowing would face assassins and needed shamans. Choosing the thief option was also difficult as it's very vaguely worded... Choice to have them infiltrate ended with the 3 loyal thieves being nuked in 2 turns by masses of warriors.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
5

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I would add a hint that shamans were required, also not to recall as one can't afford it. Which I anticipated although maybe I'll try it with recalling my few L2's.

[/quote]
01/01/01

Konrad2
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Posts: 2471
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Konrad2 »

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?

1.15.0, Champion (Challenging)

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Clear.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

None.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

6

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

No.
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Poison
Posts: 158
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Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Poison »

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?

1.14.7, Champion (Challenging), 193 starting gold.

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

11, a nightmare scenario.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Very interesting. I liked the option with the thieves, even though the inside city option is either no help or a suicide depending on how it's being played. The ford option is infinitely better.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Finding the proper recruits to win. The elvish fighter is amazing here (and let us not forget the shamans).

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

6.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

Add more rounds for sure at hard now you have to use the exploit when Muff Jaanal gets out of his keep to zap a unit that has no ranged retal (at least thats' what I did.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Yes, as said I was searching for the proper recruitment here.
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Zrevnur
Posts: 68
Joined: January 11th, 2020, 12:04 pm

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Zrevnur »

Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.14.9 Challenging (in Ironman mode), played many times
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8. Depends on preparation though. If coming unprepared it is one of the few very hard scenarios. I dont think I could beat it without preparation.
In the replay (starting gold 204) I screwed up after beating the orc assault. With better mid/late strategy its easier than the replay suggests.
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear except that it fails to mention that the undead will get unit and gold bonus after entering the cave. Which can be a critical problem for anybody not knowing it. This is supposed to be a strategy game and not a know-it-or-you-will-fail-because-the-scripter-likes-to-screw-over-players kind of game.
So in a 1-10 scheme this gets a 1 (worst possible) from me. No other scenario in the campaign comes close to this level of bad.
I also dont like the way the thieves are handled. It should be made more clear. And (see replay) it can be hard to make them survive simply due to placing and timing. It would be better to just give the player the thieves when they appear first. All this 'fluff' talk in the scenario is inconsistent with actual gameplay. This starts with the name of the scenario - the 'Siege' part. Its just like any other scenario in that the AI madly rushes at the player.
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Not sure. I dont understand why there are undead allied with orc etc. But I didnt pay much attention to it either.
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
In the replay I screwed up and barely made it. I made two bad mistakes. One very simple: I triggered the undead reinforcements too late. And the other was that my flanking didnt work out properly. I shouldnt have done that in this form in the first place. So timing was the problem. But with better play (I have other replays) there is enough time and its just about beating the orc assault (without losing much) fast enough to deal with the later undead.
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8. One of the most fun scenarios as its actually challenging. Only 'chore' parts are positioning turns.
Content Feedback wrote:
September 24th, 2004, 2:21 am
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
See above remarks about undead popups and thieves.

Replay: Also note the loss of the southern villages due to my bad flanking maneuver. In addition I 'had to' reinforce with the northern rider. If instead I would have lured the undead to the south and only flanked (far up, not into the middle) with some fast units it would have been much better.
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Crixomix
Posts: 18
Joined: April 7th, 2020, 3:39 am

Re: Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Crixomix »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

Medium. 1.14.11

2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

9 (so far, the hardest scenario. I am fairly inexperienced, I am playing through the campaigns in order, and this is my first time playing this game ever. I am a bit of a veteran in games like XCOM, Divinity, Advance Wars, and other turn based games though)

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Very. Go beat the bad guys :)

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Didn't feel like the rogues were super interesting, and the north approach is by far superior. As they immediately capture 3 (or was it 2?) villages for you!

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Phew. A couple. First of all, the orcs have a LOT of firepower to begin with. Quite a few level 2 units, and just a lot of units in general. It took me multiple attempts to win this one. The first time I tried just holding at the riverbank and letting the orcs stand in shallow water, but they killed lots of my guys (as my guys were still on flat ground). I eventually settled for just holding near the forest to defeat the initial orc horde. The issue here is that when the orcs finally start attacking you, it's night time! So those level 2 orc swordsman really hurt. Then, the undead come at you right afterwards!

I only won this last round I think because I snuck in with a couple elvish scouts from the side to defeat the orcish general before the skeletons completely invaded elensefar. Having the 4 rogues along with my scout was just barely enough to defeat the general. This meant the orcs couldn't make new units and I was able to finally mop them up.

One other issue was that there just wasn't enough income on the friendly side of the river. So I snuck a merfolk into the river and a couple scouts up the left side to run around in safe areas in the northern parts to constantly avoid skeletons but maintain a good 3-5 extra bases. This made a massive difference in my cash flow and I don't think the scenario would have been winnable for me if I didn't do this.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

6. I didn't find it quite as fun cause I had to retry so many times. But at the same time, difficulty can be rewarding. I just think the skeletons need to be delayed a smidge for it to feel more inline with the fact that it's supposed to be a "rookie" campaign.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

As mentioned above, delay the skeleton horde for another 2-3 turns to give you some more time to deal with the orcs first. And maybe add a couple forests by the riverbank on the friendly side, and then add another 2 or 3 villages on the friendly side to give a bit more cashflow.

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