South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Feedback for the mainline campaign The South Guard.

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jaimeastorga2000
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by jaimeastorga2000 » July 26th, 2009, 1:11 am

Please note, this was my first campaign.

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions 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. Soldier (Normal) on Windows XP (game version 1.6.4)

2. Ten; this was the hardest scenario in the campaign. The concept of NOT attacking but merely maneuvering your troops as bodyguards is rather counterintuitive, and rather original. Took me many tries to finally do it (not the least because my Ethiliel was level 1). However, every player will lose the first time because they will start killing elves until they get the real mission objective, by which time it will be too late.

3. The first one is a bit vague (do you lose if they enter the hexagon Deoran starts out with? The adjacent hexagons where he deploys troops? Somewhere else? I never found out), but tolerable. You get the basic idea that you are supposed to defend your territory and slay incoming elves. The next goal is crystal clear; just move the chick to the great tree hexagon. But the elves you kill fulfilling the first objective make the second one night impossible! To quote Daedal, "The real objective is 'Lose one unit so Ethiliel will decide to have peace talks with the elves.'" I was finally able to win the scenario when I ignored the stated first objective completely and prepared from the beginning to accomplish the second one.

4. The idea has potential; a bunch of elves think that you are responsible for the death of their great leader and are pissed. However, it isn't well handled. Things are very vague. Deoran mentions war with the elves, so is the elf guy the president/king/leader of all the elves? So what position does Ethiliel hold, exactly, and by what authority does she command troops to aid the South Guard? Why is the elf commander willing to listen to her in a dubious parley but not when she tries to explain herself at the beginning of the battle? Where do their endless reinforcements come from, and why do they only appear when one of the enemy elves is killed (a fact acknowledged in-game by them)?

It also disrupts the flow of the grander story. This campaign branch is supposed to be about the undead, and humans and elves joining forces to stop them. Yet the final battle turns out to be holding off elves! Here is what I recommend. Make a similar mission, but put it earlier in the campaign (make it the mission after they find the elder is missing). Have the enemy elves be a xenophobic/racist/speciest faction. They visited the elder for some reason (advice? Trying to rally him to their cause?), but they found the house empty and assumed the worst. Shortly thereafter, they see Deoran's army marching away from their direction and think them responsible. Dorian and company camp in an elven village/hall on their way south towards the river, and it is during this stop that the enemy elves attack them in retaliation for their perceived crimes, targeting nearby elves and villages as well in response to the aid they give the humans (the opening scene with the human farmer could play out similarly with an innocent elf getting killed instead).

Before the attack, have Ethiliel leave for some reason (leading some scouts in the opposite direction, perhaps?) so that the elven leader doesn't see her during the pre-battle talk. She comes back in a turn or two with a couple of elves, gets told about the situation, and decides to try and parley with the enemy commander. The mission plays out, and she manages to convince the enemy army that the humans were not responsible for the disappearance of their leader and that, as soon as the undead have all been killed the humans will return to their own land. Knowing her to be an apprentice of the elder, they agree and march away.

5. As I said before, the counterintuitiveness of not attacking made the idea very hard to use. There is also the fact that there isn't a real point going after villages; another counterintuitive idea. The main challenge apart from that lies in maneuver; I lured the enemy away during the first stage, then arranged my units in a wall to defend Ethiliel while making sure they couldn't block her path as she continued to approach the tree. I wouldn't have been able to do it at all if a single elf had been killed before the final turn, because they would have immediately blocked Ethiliel's way (and the only way to clear it would be killing them, bringing in MORE reinforcements), so keeping my units from killing elves was part luck and part careful positioning.

6. Five. The idea is very original, but it took too many tries to beat it. Not very interesting plot wise or dialogue wise.

7. I have already suggested the changes plot-wise. Gameplay wise, Ease up a bit on the reinforcements (maybe don't have them appear until the real objective is revealed), and put the hexagon a little closer to the player's starting position.
Last edited by jaimeastorga2000 on May 12th, 2010, 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

shadowblack
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by shadowblack » April 25th, 2010, 6:00 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
Hard, version 1.8.0 (and Hard on version 1.6.5, but impressions from that time are exactly the same as for the latest version)

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10 on the initial attempt and 1 on subsequent attempts.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
The initial objective was rather unclear. The second one is perfectly clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
The dialog was fine, although I didn't really understand why the elves did not listen to Ethiliel initially but listened to her later.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Not killing too many elves so that Ethiliel can reach the tree uninterrupted. Kill too many and the mission becomes unwinnable.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1 - having to start from turn one was not fun at all.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I HATE this scenario. Not because it is particularly hard (even on Hard difficulty it can be completed in 3 turns) but because there's absolutely no hint your objective will suddenly change. With some luck, careful planning, and several level 3 units a good player could kill several elves without suffering any loses. Then, when 3-4-5 turns have passed, a unit finally dies and suddenly you have a completely different objective. Unfortunately you also have a dozen or more elven units blocking the way, and to reach the tree you must kill them, which in turn brings in more enemy units... It's practically impossible, so you just load the turn 1 Autosave and move Ethiliel so that she can reach the tree in just one move (which is really easy if she's level 3). At the same time you avoid killing any elves (so that there would be no reinforcements) and intentionally allow one of your units to get killed so that the objective will change. This is completely different from the way you would play the scenario if you think you just have to repel the elves. In fact, this seems to be what the "Campaign Design How-To" calls "Tomato Surprises:
Another thing not to do is the "tomato surprise" -- an unavoidable event that, once you know about it after the first playthrough, completely changes the way you will play the scenario (even how you will play it before the event fires) on the second and later plays.
Changes to be made:
1) Maybe completely remove the first objective and make reaching the tree the objective from the start
OR
2) Give some clear hints that there will be a change in objective and that killing the elves is a VERY bad idea
OR
3) What jaimeastorga2000 suggested - completely rewrite the scenario and place it earlier in the campaign

EDIT: OR
4) Make it so that the defenders must hold off the elves until help arrives - in the form of Deoran and co. Then Ethiliel explains everything to the attackers and the fighting ends. But then the previous mission will have to be changed to be more challenging and to not carry over any gold to this one
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Dressy
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Dressy » June 17th, 2010, 1:00 am

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
normal and the latest version.

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

10, when I was not realizing that it would be a never ending procession of elves for each one I killed. After reading the forum difficulty level 0.

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

Not clear at all.

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

Not clear. Been fighting alongside elves then one decides humans are rubbish and declares war even though one of their number is saying humans are good ;-(

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

Not understanding the flood of elves and why I was forced to fight them in the first place.

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

2 if do it quickly. 10 if you try and see how long you can last against the elf horde.

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

Anti-climax for the final scenario. When it finished I was like, what? The rest of the campaign was good though. Spent some late nights doing the campaign over the last few nights after just discovering this great little game. Thank you.

podbelski
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by podbelski » July 9th, 2011, 1:56 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
1.9.6, top difficulty

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
1, just don't kill anyone. I tried to fight a month ago on easy, and was amazed how quickly it becomes impossible to win.

finished in turn 3

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
probably 5, it's a fine way to finish off the campaign.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
fine as is... I don't see the point in giving another challenging scenario - our task is accomplished, we are back home, so it looks like a nice replacement for a standard dialogue-only epilogue.


Final impressions: a very good campaign for beginners, worth replaying on harder difficulty once you grow more experienced with Wesnoth.

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Pewskeepski
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Pewskeepski » October 11th, 2011, 6:07 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
Version 1.9.9, Normal difficulty.

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

(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 elvish marshal needs to be animated when he kills the peasant.

The story and dialog in this campaign was great! Thumbs up!

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
There weren't really any.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
4. It would be a 3 if I didn't enjoy chopping down the elves at the end :twisted:

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Maybe make the player hold off the elves for a certain amount of time after Ethiliel reaches the tree?

(8) How well done did you find the map for the scenario?
It doesn't match the Westin map used in another scenario, but I guess it's OK. Time has passed, and they've built the place up better over the months.

Now that I've beaten the campaign while allied with elves, I will go back to A choice in the Fog and play the bandit branch :)
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taptap
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by taptap » October 28th, 2011, 9:00 pm

There must have been a change to this scenario. The dramatic dialog didn't suit the smooth way forward to the tree (although sadly 1 spearman and two elves who were standing in the way died) - we barely started fighting, but still the elves withdraw the ambassador, sort of overreaction :). Finishing on turn 3 with no additional elves spawning, I couldn't really appreciate it.
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.

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HenryPlainview
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by HenryPlainview » November 28th, 2011, 4:50 am

1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
Hard, 1.9.8
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
1
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Fine, I guess, but the whole premise is kind of strange. The epilogue is difficult to take seriously since it talks about all the carnage when the player probably finished it by turn 4 with little or no casualties on either side.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
This scenario is really stupid. The enemies spawning with kills comes out of left field because I don't recall it happening on any other mainline scenario, and it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Sure, the player will probably notice it eventually and think to try not killing, but with some leveled units it very easy to snag a few kills and quickly make the scenario unwinnable. This is extremely anti-climactic and by far the worst ending of the mainline campaigns I've played. At least at the end of Delfador's Memoirs and the duel ending of Eastern Invasion I got to kill something...

I think the concept in itself is a bit anti-climactic, and I'd rather see the scenario be overhauled or eliminated entirely, but a simple change to make it actually fun would be to make the enemies spawn by turn instead of kills. It would still probably be over by turn 4 unless the troop levels were front-loaded and rebalanced, but at least the player would not be penalized for actually playing the game.

Gerion
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Gerion » December 21st, 2011, 7:12 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
Hardest, 1.8.6

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
Depends... 10 in the first try, 1 in the second (then it takes 3 rounds with no casualties on either side)

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
The new version is much clearer

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
combined with the epilogue there are a few inconsitencies.
1: the talk about the carnage. In the 2nd try most likely no unit dies so it is no carnage at all. It is obvious that the intended solution is to form a breach in the enemy frontlines so that Elithiel can reach the tree. But no one would do that because it is so much harder than just not killing anyone and take a walk through the forest.
2: The enemy leader does not want to argue and even calls Elithiel a traitor because she works with the humans and every killed Elf rallies 2 or 3 Elves to join the vendetta (you killed one of us? Then we kill 5 of you!) and suddenly all of them stop just because Elithiel said nearly the same thing as before, just at a different spot on the map? Why? ("We dont need a carnage" "we attack anyway!" 5minutes later: "stop the carnage" "okay!")

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
At first i tried to form a breach to reach the tree because i remembered the scenario from my first playthrough a long time ago and thought: maybe the big flaws are removed. Unfortunately, they weren't. The scenario is still a form of tomato surprise. Incredibly hard on the first try, incredibly easy on the second. That goes against the rule that a scenario should be winnable in the first try considered you are experienced enough. Unfortunately this is not the case considered that the campaign is intended for beginners. Nearly no beginner would be able to form a stable breach to the tree, especially because the enemy elves spawn almost on top of it!

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
1. I dont like Tomato Surprises. The scenario is frustrating when not knowing what to do because it is unfairly hard and it is frustrating when knowing what to do because it feels like cheating

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Completely rewrite the scenario. The idea itself getting Elithiel as an ambassador to the tree is a good idea, but i would change the way of doing it. Maybe something like this:
Telling the player that there is a battle at Westin and the humans are on the loosing side. Elithiel decides to play ambassador and needs to reach the commander's hill/tree whatever of the enemies. The Objective is to be her bodyguard against constant ambushes on the way (something like "Tidings good and ill" but with actually related ambushes). There could be even two scenarios. Gerrick defends Westin and the more rounds he survives, the more time Elithiel has to reach the goal or something like that

monokli
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by monokli » January 6th, 2012, 7:04 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
Civvie version on 1.8.6, civvie version on 1.6.5, civvie version on 1.6.3, custom recruit difficulty in 1.6.5

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10 on the initial attempt and 1 on subsequent attempts.

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

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Unclear, uninteresting. The idea of the elves taking revenge is interesting, but the fact that you have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE that you are not supposed to kill the elves.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Being misled by the supposed objective.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
I don't think giving it a one would do it justice. It is as unfun as it can get from my point of view, Tomato surprise and anticlimax ending.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
shadowblack wrote:I HATE this scenario. Not because it is particularly hard, but because there's absolutely no hint that your objective will suddenly change. Then, when 3-4-5 turns have passed, a unit finally dies and suddenly you have a completely different objective. Unfortunately you also have a dozen or more elven units blocking the way, and to reach the tree you must kill them, which in turn brings in more enemy units... It's practically impossible, so you just load the turn 1 Autosave and move Ethiliel so that she can reach the tree in just one move (which is really easy if she's level 3). At the same time you avoid killing any elves (so that there would be no reinforcements) and intentionally allow one of your units to get killed so that the objective will change. This is completely different from the way you would play the scenario if you think you just have to repel the elves. In fact, this seems to be what the "Campaign Design How-To" calls "Tomato Surprises"
campaign design howto wrote: Another thing not to do is the "tomato surprise" -- an unavoidable event that, once you know about it after the first playthrough, completely changes the way you will play the scenario (even how you will play it before the event fires) on the second and later plays.
Quoted for truth. Now instead of [censored] about it, I tried something different, using my trusty gedit, so I made Vengeance into a "what if..." scenario as a part of my revision of this campaign (in short: better loyal units in s1, one loyal mage instead of a westin peasant, one loyal Heavy Infantryman instead of a westin peasant, and more or better undead and better bandits)

What if not all of the undead found eternal peace when the trolls smashed them apart?
What if the sage Mebrin transformed not because he wanted the power, but because he needed the power to contain the creature(s?) the bandits summoned.

So came forth the idea of Mordred a skeletal dragon in command of most of the undead, and Terrorblade, his trusted lieutenant. Mordred was originally summoned by the bandits, and went out of control, so Mebrin transformed himself to a lich in order to restrain the ancient beast. Unfortunately he became senile and crazy, cue the south guard killing him, and unknowingly setting Mordred free, who was away nomming some human souls or something.

After Deoran and Ethiliel returns, and Ithelden does his raging righteous thing, they are simply interrupted by the dragon and Terrorblade, and quite conveniently they troll the elf general quite a lot about the late sage. Ithelden then agrees to join forces with Deoran, and together they vanquish the undead once more in a climatic battle. The dragon dies and Minister Hylas is left wondering whether they have seen the last of them this time. Ethiliel returns to her kind and in a council they decide a decade of no interaction, Sir Gerrick becomes the new leader of the South Guard when Deoran is recalled by the King to do something about some problems.

The End with a sequel hook of Mordred the ancient skeletal dragon.

It's mostly done but needs some polishing on the coding side (I'm not yet happy with the music, there are still bits of pacing issues and I think I need to adjust the trolls a bit not to hog all the glory in 7a: "into the depths")

Into the Depths and Vengeance maps are changed: a better entrance in the former and more forests in the latter to be more like the one in scenario 2. I'm not totally sure how much effect it would have in affecting the mainline lore.

I haven't touched the bandit arc.

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perseo
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by perseo » January 21st, 2012, 12:41 pm

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions 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-Hard in wesnoth 1.8.5 (whatever)
2-Impossible since I discovered the true objetives at turn 14 when there were more than 32 elven units surrounding the city...
3-I think that waiting for one of my units to be killed for showing the objetives is not a good idea.
4-Well... nice
5-As I comented before I had to replay coz I didn't new the real objetives till it was too late.
6-Well, it can be from a 2 to a 4 I didn't enjoyed it at all.
7-Add some dialog and show the objetives early if you don't get none of your units killed.
¡Salud!
"I was pulling a barrow, when I saw a stalking horse
what a beautiful day!- he said- for visiting a red herring
and getting hoarse."
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Ninjuri
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Ninjuri » May 29th, 2012, 2:09 am

Easy 1.10.2
Difficulty:7
Objectives: 100% clear
Dialogue: Good
Challenges: It seemed whenever i killed a unit, more enemies would spawn in the forest. I think the idea was to emphasise the importance of diplomacy over violence, but they were directly blocking the objective so i had no other choice to kill them.
Fun: 6, it kinda seemed like a mini game, not that much of a real scenario.
Changes: Not sure, it just felt like dejavu, since it was a re-used map.
Fate is against me.

Cabrillo
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Cabrillo » September 13th, 2012, 12:07 am

(1) What difficulty levels and game versions have you played the scenario on?
1.10, hardest
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
hmm... hard to answer. Maybe a 4, overall? Then again it's the first one I've outright failed.
Spoiler:
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Maybe not clear enough.
Spoiler:
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
I didn't find it too interesting, sorry.
Spoiler:
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Spoiler:
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
A solid 5.
Spoiler:
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Spoiler:
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Tiks
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Tiks » February 21st, 2013, 6:01 pm

(1) Difficulty chosen: hard // Version: 1.10.5
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? 6/10
(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives? Quite clear until the last one; a bit surprised then.
(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario? Quite clear and interesting enough
(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
--> First major challenge was the number of turns in the caves. If you don't take the right path straightaway, it gets difficult to finish in time. I must confess I have difficulty getting quickly through the entrance of the cave without losing tons of troops.
--> Second was to get how to win the last scenario.
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10) I'd say 7/10 overall, but 10/10 for the episode where all the mounted knights attack you and you only have a few archers, and also 10/10 for the latest, since I guess everyone failed a few times (me included) before getting the point. I actually replayed the campaign lately, failed again, and finally remembered how to win in a few turns, and THAT was really fun.
(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun? I guess that like most, I don't get why the elves are so aggressive in the end. The pretext of the dead Malbrin seems a bit far-fetched. Otherwise great campaign. Thanks to the guys who created it!

Kaiserdrache
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Kaiserdrache » March 8th, 2013, 12:11 pm

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

Normal, 1.10.

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

10/1 (impossible for victory condition 1, a childs game once you know about victory condition 2 and how to do it)

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

Crystal clear.

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

Best dialogies of the whole campaign and crystal clear as ever.

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

Learning about victory condition 2 - fly Ethiliel to the great tree.

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

2, see above. "Fly your shyde to the great tree" isn't much fun.

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

Make it winnable by beating the [censored] out of the elves ;)

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Elfarion
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Re: South Guard 9a - Vengeance

Post by Elfarion » March 19th, 2013, 1:03 pm

1) 1. 10, hard.

2) Impossible for beginners who try to fight the Elves (which I did when I played TSG as the first campaign after the tutorial about a year ago.) Ridiculously easy for those who know that they must avoid fight if possible. I managed to beat this scenario on the hardest difficulty after 3 turns without recruiting.

3) Objectives are clear, it would be nice to have a hint in the dialogue that the player should'nt kill the Elves.

4) Dialogue is fine. Excepttion: See above.

5) For the first time: Figuring out how to keep Ethiliel alive against hordes of Level 2 Elves. As a beginner I googled for a walkthrough and found the wiki with the hint that more Elves appaer only when Mebrin's apprentices are killed. Afterwards there was no challenge at all.

6) 2. I'm sorry, but I don't think thats a suitable end for a Mainline Campaign. This scenario is the reason why I use to choose the bandits' branch when I play TSG.

7) I really like the original idea of settling a dispute and fighting a battle, you actually do not want to fight. I would change the gameplay though. Maybe Ethiliel could leave to find other Elves who can convince your opponent to drop weapons or mediate the negotiation? Meanwhile the Loyalists would have to defend themselves against the Elves until Ethiliel returns? (Just brainstorming).
"Each of mankind's steps towards tomorrow is a breaking of today's laws."
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