Scenario 6: The Siege of Elensefar

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Pramalot
Posts: 1
Joined: November 30th, 2008, 5:53 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Pramalot »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Medium, 1.4.6
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Crystal. Kill 'em all.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
8. It was fun to have the theives make contact, though the stuff at the end about the Scepter of Fire was a bit... heavy handed? No real complaints, though: it's fantasy!
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
a: Finding a way to break the orcish bottleneck over the bridges. I found that having the theives create a distraction on the left side, aided by a few of my guys, turned out to be by far the superior choice, because it diverted the orcs just enough for me to gain a proper beachhead.
b: drawing the Necromancer out of the cave. I actually wasn't able to do this, but I managed to get an opening in the entrance for a moment, and then my Elvish Marshall and Lancer charged him and killed him while there were still skeletons about. The Enemy's Gate is Down, and all that.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
9. Like a previous poster mentioned, the walk to the necromancer is a bit tedious, but still tense as you need to move with speed and not all your units are as healed as you like. I found that this scenario was a great educational tool. I had to learn to use expendable units, I had to vary the pace of my offense with regard to time of day and the general condition of my army, finding those few valuable pieces of defensible real estate became of critical importance.... I thought this was a genuine challenge, and got a real sense of satisfaction out of beating it.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I might suggest relieving a bit of the time pressure. Not much! But maybe three more turns in which to Conduct an Offensive (caps intentional) in order to reach the Necromancer -- rather than a bum-rush -- might be more satisfying. That said, I was still able to use the forest to my advantage, and cause him to split his forces to the west gate, just like in the city... Ah, hell, I'm not a game designer, and I love this scenario as it is.

Voqar
Posts: 2
Joined: February 27th, 2009, 9:40 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Voqar »

First time I hit this scenario and saw the orc recruits, and all the undead, I was like, um...this isn't looking too promising! Stay on the boat, never get off the boat!

Somewhat agree with ClimbingEast from back in Feb 08 a few pages back, but I'll add my own comments. I wouldn't say the scenario is impossible, as obviously many have done it, but the difficulty level for it is so suddenly off the charts compared to the previous scenarios that it doesn't flow well, IMO.

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

1.4.7 - medium.

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

9 - gave up trying but could probably do it if I restart the entire campaign, which to me isn't much fun.

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

Crystal.

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

Clear, interesting, enjoyed the rogues popping up even if their ultimate demise is a given and Konrads comments about orc blood are comical compared to reality. With this scenario I'm surpised more rogues don't spawn tof fight against you after you lie to the first set (getting them massacred after they ask you not to lead them to their destruction).

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

Everything? Dealing with the orcs is brutal, dealing with the quick TOD shift, dealing with being forced to rush. Biggest problem for me is having no hope due to not preparing for this scenario (if it's possible) during all previous scenarios, since this seems to be how others handle it.

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

3 at this point due to trying, reading, retrying, and failing for hours on end until giving up. It was marginally fun to attempt the first few times but grew tiresome eventually. I think it could be fun if toned down slightly - the idea of forcing the player outside of the comfort zone of perfectly setting everything up is a good one, but the chances of avoiding sickening losses are too low without planning for this scenario thru the entire campaign, which is unrealistic, unnatural and not that much fun. I try to play without save/reload cheesery. This scenario almost demands it, or complete campaign restarts.

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

I like challenges but the change in challenge level compared to previous scenarios seems rather abrupt, especially for a lengthy "beginner" type of campaign. I also dislike when there isn't much tactical flexibility. Due to TOD, onrushing undead, and being severely outclassed you pretty much have to rush and take heavy losses, which I'd think goes against how most people want to play (setting up ideal situations, as per common sense and every piece of advice at this site, minimizing losses, etc). Again, kinda cool to be forced out of the usual comfort zone but not cool to lose so many of your best units, that you've painstakingly "crafted" thru several scenarios.

Even less cool to discover that after hours and several scenarios that you have no hope of finishing this scenario and need to restart the entire thing to have any chance.

So overall I'd tone down the scenario as a whole to make it better flow with the challenge level of previous scenarios.

Other comments.

I'm new to Wesnoth, but I've read everything I can find, and I'm hardly new to gaming or strategy gaming. I read the manual, getting started, both tactics pages, and browsed the forums before I even downloaded the game. Overall I think this game is amazing. This is the third campaign I've tried and so far every one of the more "beginner" campaigns have had a scenario like this where difficulty goes thru the roof compared to everything before it - but this one is the most extreme so far (other ex is the cave/troll/necro thing).

Surely I can get better as a player, but I do try to strike a balance between racking up gold and milking xp for units, getting xp for healers/casters, use balanced forces, use healers/slowers/casters, and avoiding losses of better troops. I don't have the units memorized but I understand combat mechanics, ZoC, ToD, and I'm learning resistances and such - so not missing anything obvious. I would expect "beginner" types of campaigns on easy/medium to be somewhat forgiving for newer players. And I think those campaigns mostly are til you hit a scenario like this, or the cave/undead/troll thing, where difficulty seems to spike majorly, or where there's some out of nowhere trick (like the trolls in the cave) you'd never expect or know about first time thru.

I restarted this scenario many times trying a variety of approaches and just couldn't get close and tried stuff from this thread that worked for others. I went back to the previous scenario (I'd gone the Muff Malal's Peninsula) route, and redid it with no fighting, just dashed to exit, so I could start with a bunch of gold (xp was so pitiful on that scenario due to lvl zero units that I didn't really gain much via fighting anyways). That helped me with troop count and I had my closest run, but still got nowhere close to finishing (I was in the keep fighting off waves of undead and had finally got enough mages recruited to semi-deal and it was turn 30/32). I had to retreat so much to heal and/or avoid devastating losses that it was hard to gain any ground, especially with undead on the scene almost immediately. I also had a lot of luck on this attempt as the orcs split up and that was the only way I could reasonably deal with them without major losses, and still had plenty of losses. I always had at least one "fish" running around grabbing villages and distracting a bit.

Meh, just thought I never did try going with a few more "fish" to attack orcs from the water but I kinda doubt it'd help that much.

So basically, I probably have to restart the entire campaign and tailor all efforts thru this scenario to hoping to gear up for this scenario, and to me, that's bad design and not fun, because there's no way you could ever know this in advance. I've been leveling a balanced group of units, knowing you need to build up a force in general, but still missed by quite a bit. Previous scenarios simply give no hint at what's to come and are nowhere near as difficult. I had a druid, white mage, and Konrad at lvl 2 going in, and some other lvl 2 units (hero, ranger, knight at the least).

So anyways - I can and will get better at this game but I think this scenario's difficulty doesn't match the flow of the rest of the campaign before it, and I think it's unreasonable to expect players to either cheat/spoiler and know to be prepared for this or dial Ms Cleo to figure out what they're going to need to be prepared for scenario #x, because even if you play a solid game up til this scenario, it's unlikely you'll really be ready for it without luck or spoiler-type research (or already being an expert player). Maybe it's just me, but restarting an entire campaign over something like this isn't much fun.

Keep in mind that not everyone has been playing this game for 2+ years and goes back to beat up the easier campaigns! :mrgreen:

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Turuk
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Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Turuk »

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

1.4.7 - medium.
While all feedback is appreciated, and especially from players who go into such detail, you may want to try playing it on the most current version in order to incorporate changes that have been made, which may affect this scenario and others leading up to it, which may alter what you experienced.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

AThousandYoung
Posts: 87
Joined: February 3rd, 2007, 2:54 am

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by AThousandYoung »

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

Challenging (the hardest one). 1.4.7.


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

10. I can't beat it. I always pick the Rogues to help fight because I want them on my Recall list later.

(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?

Medium. Triggered events and choices are always nice.

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

Beating it on time without losing units I consider non-expendable. Unfortunately for me that means anything with the Loyal trait, level 2 or higher, or even level 1's with a white experience bar.

(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?

More time maybe.

Another good question to ask would be "how much gold and what levelled units did you have at the start?"

I have 204 Gold and these units:
Konrad (2, starting unit)
Captain (2, starting unit)
Sorceress (2)
Ranger (2)
Hero (2)
Merman Warrior (2 with Storm Trident)
2 Knights (2)
White Mage (2)
and many level 1's

Most of my units are experienced. Some are close to level 2 or 3 already.

Looking at other replies leads me to think I need to allow more of my "nonexpendable" units to die...or go back two scenarios and take the sea route... :(

Jozrael
Posts: 1034
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Jozrael »

Level 2s/experienced units are expendable but you should go to some lengths to protect them. Fodder ftw. I'd consider loyals nonexpendable, but that's just me.

mcv
Posts: 52
Joined: March 25th, 2009, 12:47 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by mcv »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Medium, 1.6

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10. Had to replay this one a lot. Appropriate, because it's clearly a pivotal battle in the story.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. Kill the bad guys.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
I'm never terribly impressed by the somewhat cheesy dialogue, but it was clear enough, except for one thing:
How are the thieves going to help me sneak into the city? By the time they offered this, I already had a foothold in the city, so I'd rather have them reinforce from the north, but one time I did ask them to sneak me into the city, and I got some cryptic instructions and had no idea what to do with them. The reinforcement option is much clearer (and also seems more useful).

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Although the Orcs don't actually guard the gate of the city (you can enter before they get there), the battle inside the city is very tough. I can only get my fastest units there in time, so he has numerical superiority at the start. Interestingly, the city fight was quite easy on my first try (when I got crushed by the undead afterward), but gave me lots of trouble on retries.

The real challenge, though, are the undead. The Revenant + Undead leader combo can kill even the toughest of my units in a single turn. It is vital to take that Ravenant in the first turn, and that's hard. I couldn't do it without a Paladin, so I had to start over and upgrade one of my knights to paladin. Once I got a paladin to take out the Revenant, it becomes quite easy.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8. It's a great climactic battle. Tough, two interesting (and very different) sieges, and an introduction to the hardships of cave fighting.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I wonder if the Orcs shouldn't be guarding the city gates at the start of the scenario. I guess that's one of my minor annoyances with all these scenarios: all players are recruiting their army in the middle of a battle, instead of starting with a well thought out defensive position.

GrouchyDan
Posts: 7
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 6:35 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by GrouchyDan »

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

Many versions (starting at about 1.2); Easy and Medium difficulty.

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

7.

(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 clear and interesting.

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

Acquiring a real understanding of strategies and tactics in the Wesnoth world. This scenario can be very difficult the first time it's played. I've found, though, that it gets easier but not any less enjoyable after repeats. First-time players, even if they're initially adverse to the idea, will very likely reap lots of benefits from restarting the campaign after getting a dozen or so turns into this scenario. I see nothing wrong with that.

I don't sympathise with recent postings I've read about this scenario that complain about its vastly increased difficulty compared to earlier scenarios; those earlier scenarios are more difficult when you understand that not only must you satisfy their victory requirements, but that you must (a) aggresively try to advance appropriate units ("spoiler": I fervently recommend obsessive preoccupation with advancing archers to Elvish Marksmen prior to this scenario) while (b) not neglecting your finances.

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

None.

silent
Posts: 244
Joined: February 20th, 2009, 5:53 am

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by silent »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Medium 1.6
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7. The addition and spamming of orcish assassins really annoyed me for several reasons
-Very difficult to hit
-Less LV2 orcs to gain experience from
-Marksman ability of poison knives makes merman defense useless, which is very irritating
(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?
Sufficient. The city has been taken, go and kick the current occupants out. Also the suprise at the end got me to restart due to loss of about to level bandit
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Only the assassins really, unless you care about losing loyal merman (not the iniate or hunter though). I came into this level with 3 healers and a shaman 1 XP point away from leveling (I only used 3 healers, which nullified the poison enough). I was lucky that my horseman/knights were very accurate, which contributed to a lesser difficulty
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8. Really good siege. Healers and mages are integral. I think the assassins, despite being a pain for mages, do emphasize that you need mages not just for undead, but to help in assassin removal
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Perhaps not so many assassins spammed. One good charge and it makes the scenario a bit too easy.

Gwilendiel
Posts: 13
Joined: April 17th, 2009, 12:12 am

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Gwilendiel »

(1) Easy or Normal... just got 1.6 (had 1.4 previously)
(2) Difficulty... 5 or 6 I think
(3) Objectives sufficiently clear
(4) Sufficient dialogue
(5) When I first played... I basically got bowled over by the orcs. Then I had trouble shifting to fighting undead... but in 1.6 it seems easier, or maybe I just got better, I started a new campaign on easy since I wasn't sure what the update would bring, and got to Elensefar and plowed through the city with relative ease and then did the same to the undead... I was preparing to kill the undead leader around turn 18 >.>
(6) Fun factor... 8 maybe?
(7) I don't think I'd change very much about this map, if anything at all... maybe have the player's fort just slightly more water accessible (like merfolk can get to water on only turn 3 instead of turn 4 or 5) but even that isnt really necessary.

sabalzen
Posts: 25
Joined: April 1st, 2009, 12:50 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by sabalzen »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Challenging 1.6
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
9 (Much harder than the previous scenarios, and much harder than on Easy or Normal settings)
(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?
The undead don't make much sense to me, more orcs would be more logical.
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
It took me several goes. First I tried rushing the city as I have successfully done on easier settings, with my leveled units, but I couldn't manage it. Then I tried to get in from the west, but it takes too long and the undead are already pouring in from the north, and I couldn't get through the city in time. Finally, the thing that worked was to recruit two keeps of fresh horsemen (all my gold), then gallop to the city and take the orc leader down without care for the casualties... Konrad could then recall leveled units, one per turn (mages mostly), to deal with the undead.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
At this level, say 6. I prefer it at easier levels where you have more of a choice of strategies. The way I won felt like an exploit, I don't like having to spam one type of troops without a good storyline reason to do so. All the difficulty in this scenario (to me at least) is managing to take the city fast enough - everything after that is an anti-climax.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Make it a real siege (i.e. the orcs defend instead of rushing out to attack), and get rid of the undead.

Grisogonus
Posts: 10
Joined: April 22nd, 2009, 1:27 pm
Location: Croatia

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Grisogonus »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
(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?
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?



(1) Medium difficulty, version 1.6.1.
(2) 8 - a hard scenario. I gave it more than a few tries. Mermen defense seem to work best, as those orcs keep charging through the water, got more Tritons and just enough time to kill orc leader, but what is worst is when all those skeletons come pouring into the city and your troops are well bruised and battered. It took me many turns of diversion and sacrificing lvl1 units, before I could gain an upper hand. I must say Moremirmu helps a lot here, and if you can get any of the knights into paladins, do it asap, also outlaws with impact damage are more than welcome.
(3) Very clear.
(4) Very good.
(5) Surviving onslought of skeletons just after you manage to defet orcs.
(6) 8 - it's fun all right, with all the hordes marching at you lol...
(7) It's great the way it is, I wouldn't change anything.

dELFador
Posts: 32
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 4:40 am

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by dELFador »

(1) What difficulty level and Wesnoth version have you played the scenario on?
medium. 1.7
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10
9. after occupying by the time I took over ellensefar, the undead were already upon me.
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
kill all enemy bosses. nothing clearer.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
very clear, though I didn't find out why ellensefar was so important until later.
(5) What were your major challenges in completing the scenario?
keeping Haldiel alive.
(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?
none.

I sent merfolk to attack the city on the left, some horsemen on the right. and my main host of elves and level 2 or 3 Konrad, (can't remember). The undead were hard to beat, since most of my units were pierce attacks, If i didn't have my fire mage and recalled thugs, I'm quite sure I would've lost.

Nova5555
Posts: 2
Joined: June 1st, 2009, 2:37 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Nova5555 »

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
first on medium then had to do it on easy 1.7 (I am a Wesnoth rookie)
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
medium - 9 (without preparing) 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?
I think it could use some improvement
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
On medium I found it very difficult to take the city before the undead arrived. Not losing core units was nearly impossible. I had trouble baiting units in a timely fashion
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
4 - it became frustrating
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I would have the undead take longer to arrive or make the orcs more aggressive.

Jozrael
Posts: 1034
Joined: June 2nd, 2006, 1:39 pm
Location: NJ, USA.

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by Jozrael »

As this is your only post, I guess you feel quite strongly about this scenario. Hopefully you'll return to read the response.

In terms of balancing wesnoth scenarios, especially ones as long-established as the HttT ones, the best course of action if you are encountering serious difficulty in a campaign (especially this early on: this is the -first- of the 'challenge' scenarios) is to drop down a difficulty level. The difficulty levels exist to address the broadest possible spectrum of players. So to challenge truly veteran players (who may have played this scenario on 20 previous playthroughs or more), the hardest difficulty level must be sufficiently hard. However, the newest player to wesnoth (since this is a novice campaign) should theoretically be able to beat this on easy, so easy must be sufficiently easy. This leaves a BROAD skill spectrum that medium must cover, a daunting task for any campaign balancer.

There is no shame in dropping down a difficulty level, but I usually return to campaigns I have done that on after I have completed them and find it far easier to complete a difficulty level higher, because of three reasons. One: I now know the campaign intimately. I know what unit types to focus on, any easter eggs or surprises that might change the flow of the scenario, and gold management. Two: I've improved as a wesnoth player since my last playthrough, so my raw skill is higher. And three: At higher difficulty levels, there is more enemy XP flowing into your army, so I personally find harder difficulty levels 'easier' in some ways :) (But they certainly have compensating challenges :P).

I abuse parenthetical expressions.

dragontamer
Posts: 24
Joined: March 28th, 2009, 11:56 pm

Re: Scenario Review: The Siege of Elensefar

Post by dragontamer »

Jozrael wrote:As this is your only post, I guess you feel quite strongly about this scenario. Hopefully you'll return to read the response.

In terms of balancing wesnoth scenarios, especially ones as long-established as the HttT ones, the best course of action if you are encountering serious difficulty in a campaign (especially this early on: this is the -first- of the 'challenge' scenarios) is to drop down a difficulty level. The difficulty levels exist to address the broadest possible spectrum of players. So to challenge truly veteran players (who may have played this scenario on 20 previous playthroughs or more), the hardest difficulty level must be sufficiently hard. However, the newest player to wesnoth (since this is a novice campaign) should theoretically be able to beat this on easy, so easy must be sufficiently easy. This leaves a BROAD skill spectrum that medium must cover, a daunting task for any campaign balancer.

There is no shame in dropping down a difficulty level, but I usually return to campaigns I have done that on after I have completed them and find it far easier to complete a difficulty level higher, because of three reasons. One: I now know the campaign intimately. I know what unit types to focus on, any easter eggs or surprises that might change the flow of the scenario, and gold management. Two: I've improved as a wesnoth player since my last playthrough, so my raw skill is higher. And three: At higher difficulty levels, there is more enemy XP flowing into your army, so I personally find harder difficulty levels 'easier' in some ways :) (But they certainly have compensating challenges :P).

I abuse parenthetical expressions.
There is a clear problem however. between 1.4 and 1.6, Orcish Assassins have been given Marksmen. This makes Mermen significantly less effective against the Orcs. First, their water defense has been negated, and second, Shamans can't heal them anymore, and even Druids lose at least one turn of healing. Mermen also can't retreat nearly as quickly to the villages.

IE: between 1.4 and 1.6, one of the hardest scenarios in the set has been made harder. I think more water tiles, water villages, or villages closer to the water (so that a merman can reach them in one turn or something) would re-balance the +Marksmen advantage Assassins have gained between 1.4 and 1.6.

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