Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Feedback for the mainline campaign Son of the Black Eye.

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PorkSol
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by PorkSol » April 5th, 2013, 4:53 pm

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

1.10.6 - Warlord - (Nightmare) - No save/load -240 starting gold

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

5 when the AI randomly became passive (see below), 8 otherwise

(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?

No complaints.

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

Quickly killing purple and defending against blue - I wasn't able to fight on two fronts without taking veteran losses. I wasn't able to go for a fodder heavy strategy because of my limited gold reserves and the lack of villages. I so I opted to go south with my entire force, kill the purple leader, retreat as far south as I could, defend during the day and then wipe out the blue and green forces and advance North.

After several tries this worked, with only a minor losses. However I stupidly lost a key unit on the final turn, so I had to replay again.

In my final run the blue AI became passive and guarded its leader rather than advancing on me. This made the scenario much easier. I decided to keep this run because I was sick of the scenario and the final result wasn't much different than my prior run.

I am not sure what made the blue AI become passive. It might have something to do with the commands I used to the friendly AI fodder units. I issued two commands to them, in order to manipulate the friendly AI units and keep them from standing on a village that I wanted to take or on a recruitment slot in my castle. On turn one I told the AI ally to attack purple aggressively and then on turn three I told the AI ally to attack blue aggressively. No idea why this would effect the AI enemy, but I figured I'd mention it.

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

6 - I'm not sure I'm going to enjoy playing orcs in scenarios where you need to recall a lot of veterans, there is a lot of randomness involved in keeping their units alive, compared to elves. It seems like playing orcs is more fun when you can recruit lots of fodder.

Plus the AI issue cheapened my final run.

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

It's fine as is, assuming that the AI becoming passive is a total fluke that won't happen often.

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

Never reloaded, many restarts. I underestimated the AI, especially before I memorized the boat landing patterns. I tried several times to hold my castle, but I tended to lose units doing it. I had better success moving my whole force far south but I still needed several runs to execute it properly.
Attachments
SotBE-Black_Flag_replay.gz
1.10.6 - Nightmare - No save/load - AI behaved oddly
(38.46 KiB) Downloaded 227 times

SBak
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by SBak » September 19th, 2013, 3:20 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Challenging (easiest) 1.8.5 and 1.10.5

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8 - gold is getting short at a time when I'd really like to expand my army.

(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?
In my relief that the Orcish Shamen were going off somewhere I didn't pay much attention. However I didn't fail to miss the irony behind calling an enemy leader Slowhand.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The ships - this is a major headache as you don't know where they're going to land or what is going to come out of them.
This is also the point where the walkthrough stops being helpful. It says that I need a Direwolf Rider or two for the ships. Having not recruited/recalled any wolf units last scenario and starting to get Goblin Pillagers I can only wonder how anyone at this point can have Direwolf Riders on their recall list.

The map - You race south but because of the bay have to send your units halfway back and even then they're only halfway to where the fighting is. This usually results in a game of musical chairs over the castle tiles between mine and Slowhand's units.

My units - I've tried recalling levelled units here and it never seems to work in my favour. I'm finding that while it's pretty easy to level up Northerners you never get the consistency that you do with other factions. I normally play Elves but also play other factions too and once I've started levelling up Elves and start getting Captains, Druids, Rangers, Riders and Sorceresses I know that generally I have a force which is consistent and coordinated. You also get inconsistent Elf units but they tend to stand out.

But even with the weaker chaotic units - the outlaws and bandits - you get a better level of consistency even if they don't deal as much damage as Northerners. I know that Orcs and Trolls can hit as hard as Thugs/Bandits but with Thugs and Bandits you get four attacks. If I were playing Bandits/Outlaws this would be an easy scenario with lvl2 recalls but I'd get slaughtered with lvl1s.

However I'm finding that it's much easier to play with lvl1 Northerners backed up by Assassins even though I'm facing lvl2 Loyalists. This is down to my inexperience with playing Northerners more than anything else.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8 - despite the above, and the fact that generally chaos and pandemonium usually breaks out early on I tend to have a lot of fun. My style perhaps resembles more a riot or a free for all than your average battle. It's also my first chance to properly use Assassins - a unit I hate with a vengeance - and I get a lot out of poisoning as many units as I can.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
It's fun as it is.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
A ship landing right by my keep with my units miles away and no gold to recruit/recall resulting in a Loyalist assassination.

Velensk
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by Velensk » December 5th, 2013, 3:47 pm

I'm just going to post this replay as it was obvious that the scenario was bugged. I played rather carelessly in the second half but since I suspect I'll end up having to play the scenario over again it doesn't matter.
Attachments
SotBE-Black_Flag_replay.gz
(44.12 KiB) Downloaded 165 times
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

mattsc
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by mattsc » December 5th, 2013, 4:56 pm

Velensk: Argh! I didn't realize that that bug had made it into the 1.11.7 release. It is fixed in trunk already and things should work again in 1.11.8 -- and hopefully even (very slightly) better than in previous versions; the galleons now stay in deep water until the make landfall and unload units on land hexes only (unless there is no other choice).

In any case, thanks for play testing and posting all the replays. Unless you want to replay all of these scenarios again, you might want to wait now though. You are well into the scenarios that we haven't done much about yet and they are clearly quite out of balance compared to the first three (or two, if you skip "The Human Army"). Well, I shouldn't tell you what you should do, but you know what I mean (I hope). :)

Thanks again!
SP campaigns: Galuldur's First Journey (1.12 & 1.14) & Grnk the Mighty (1.10 & 1.12)
AI experiments: Micro AIs (wiki, forum thread, known/fixed bugs), Fred, AI-demos add-on

#wesnoth-dev.2018-??-??.log:< c?????> mattsc, I think you broke Vultraz.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by Maiklas3000 » April 17th, 2014, 5:37 pm

(1) Level and version? Nightmare, 1.11.12, 243 starting gold.
(2) Difficult? (1-10) 8.
(3) Clear? Clear.
(4) Dialog? Good.
(5) Challenges? At first I thought it would be impossible. I lost my Direwolf Rider in the previous scenario, so I had no chance to take out any ships. The odds seemed overwhelming, and it seemed deadly that ships were landing behind my lines and their troops immediately attacking. Then I focussed on the objectives. There's only two guys I have to kill. During my losses, I noticed that General Slowhand up north sometimes comes awfully far out of his keep. So, Gruu could potentially kill him. My leader is L3, so if I can just get him down South to General Harmon, then I can probably take him out. Everything went pretty much to plan. However, General Slowhand didn't come so far out, and Gruu got awfully lucky to survive. Although already L3, Gruu was ready to relevel, or he never would have survived. After Gruu releveled, Swordsman Rhaeddy said to his fellow loyalists, "Hey, you go take out the healthy Great Troll. I gotta take a bathroom break." Bowman Lemyr was like, "No, you go take out the healthy Great Troll. I see some Grunts off on the horizon." General Slowhand, with 3 HP, was like, "Hey, no problem guys, you go see if General Harmon needs help, while I run out in the open and kill the Great Troll with one bolt from my crossbow." His last words.

I wound up only recruiting L1's, which I didn't intend, but I didn't notice until my gold was all gone. So, this scenario can be beat on Nightmare with only raw recruits.

My Loyal Assassin died up north, and that might have been necessary to keep Gruu alive by diverting some of the enemy. I like to accept such losses and try to continue the campaign with the handicap rather than replaying the current scenario.
(6) Fun? (1-10) 8. This is down from my score of 9 before, because assassination is not as fun as a hard-won decisive military victory. However, there is good amount of combat here even when trying to assassinate, so it's still good.
(7) Changes? I think there is a bug in the "Instruct Ally" right-click option. First, it doesn't seem to have any effect. In the attached replay, I instructed my ally to be defensive and protective, but I don't think it made any difference in his behavior. Second, it says:
(side ) is carrying out the following instructions:

Objective: focusing on protecting .
Behavior: defensive.
Note the spaces there, after "side" and "protecting". There is supposed to be a number or word there.

(8) Restarts? Normal losses, restarted from start. No save-reloads.
Attachments
SotBE-Black_Flag_replay.gz
Later replay. Better style, not relying on Gruu to kill the northern leader.
(46.94 KiB) Downloaded 159 times
SotBE-Black_Flag_replay.gz
(41.9 KiB) Downloaded 173 times
Last edited by Maiklas3000 on July 11th, 2014, 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mattsc
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by mattsc » April 19th, 2014, 2:26 am

Interesting way you found there to complete this scenario! As for this:
Maiklas3000 wrote:(7) Changes? I think there is a bug in the "Instruct Ally" right-click option. First, it doesn't seem to have any effect. In the attached replay, I instructed my ally to be defensive and protective, but I don't think it made any difference in his behavior.
[...]
Yeah, indeed. The allied side AI controller does not work with sides without a leader, so I removed it from the scenario. Thanks.
SP campaigns: Galuldur's First Journey (1.12 & 1.14) & Grnk the Mighty (1.10 & 1.12)
AI experiments: Micro AIs (wiki, forum thread, known/fixed bugs), Fred, AI-demos add-on

#wesnoth-dev.2018-??-??.log:< c?????> mattsc, I think you broke Vultraz.

Theron
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by Theron » May 10th, 2014, 8:14 am

Nightmare; 1.11.13

Stats:
Scenario, starting gold (default+carryover),turns/max turns,recruits-recalls-advancements-losses-kills
6 150+87 17/20 2-11-8-3-32

Comments:
Scenario 6:
Nice replay value. You have to play differently depending on the landing zones of the ships.
Attachments
SotBE-Black_Flag_replay.gz
(47.91 KiB) Downloaded 150 times

podbelski
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by podbelski » July 5th, 2014, 11:46 am

1.11.15
campaign difficulty is one level less than the top
scenario difficulty is like 8

don't see what can I add to previous commenters, the scenario is great. I just don't get how can I destroy a ship before it's unloaded :roll:

The campaign goes great so far

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D-Wade
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by D-Wade » November 23rd, 2014, 11:36 am

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

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
10 the first time, 4 the second

(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?
Interesting as usual in this campaign.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Basically it was the randomness of the boats. If you're lucky, they'll only drop mages and bowmen, if you're unlucky, they'll drop one swordsman and two pikemen directly near your troops during the day.
I had to replay it several times because the randomness wrecked me.
In the end I decided to recall my strongest units, especially the two Slurbows that dealt with the leveled up units pretty well.
On the try I beat it, the boats just loaded off one time and disappeared never to be seen again. I don't know if it's a bug or not but that was pretty relieving.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
Ranging from 4-7, depending on my luck with the boats.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Adjust the AI of your ally. He suicides his units during the day - that's pretty stupid. Also take a look at the boats: Are they supposed to disappear after just one load (or do they return after turn 18)? Perhaps tweak them a little, the combo with a swordsman and two pikemen that can directly move is just too strong and thus the difficulty jumps from rather easy to nearly impossible.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
I replayed several times. The random dropping of random enemies lost me the game quite some times.

mattsc
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by mattsc » November 28th, 2014, 8:39 pm

D-Wade: Thanks for the suggestions. We have changed the transport galleon code in both 1.12 and master so that they now always unload one level 2 and two level 1 units. That should make the difficulty of the scenario much more consistent.

Concerning your other suggestions: yes, each boat is supposed to unload only one landing party. As for the allied AI, I think the original author meant the ally to be mostly useless and, at best, provide a minor distraction, so we left it that way when we rebalanced the campaign.

Thanks.
SP campaigns: Galuldur's First Journey (1.12 & 1.14) & Grnk the Mighty (1.10 & 1.12)
AI experiments: Micro AIs (wiki, forum thread, known/fixed bugs), Fred, AI-demos add-on

#wesnoth-dev.2018-??-??.log:< c?????> mattsc, I think you broke Vultraz.

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D-Wade
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by D-Wade » November 30th, 2014, 10:24 am

Are there just three boats overall? I could have sworn that there were more than three the first time I played this scenario. The time I succeeded only three boats dropped units and no others followed.

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zookeeper
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by zookeeper » November 30th, 2014, 10:35 am

Yes, there should be only three boats on the easiest difficulty, four otherwise. Of course those can be changed if it's too easy (especially now when the landing party strength is more consistent).

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D-Wade
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by D-Wade » November 30th, 2014, 7:18 pm

Strange. I could have sworn that the boats kept coming several times when I first played it. Maybe that was a bug or I am mistaken.
But back to the topic:
I think that the three/four boats are enough, even with the balanced amount of troops. It still won't be to easy to beat the level, as before the level ranged from ultra-easy (with really lucky boat drops) to damn hard (2 swordsmen, 1 pikeman) and now it's kind of balanced out.
But I guess that this requires some more testing.

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zookeeper
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by zookeeper » November 30th, 2014, 9:28 pm

It used to be so that all four boats appeared immediately at scenario start, whereas now they appear one per turn. And before that (<2008) I think there was just one boat which unloaded a bigger party.

Maybe you're thinking of Clash of Armies, where the boats do keep going back and forth until killed.

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shadow12
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 6 - Black Flag

Post by shadow12 » January 22nd, 2016, 6:49 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on? Challenging (the easiest level), Wesnoth 1.10.5, iOS app 1.0.4
Ended on turn 18/39
Starting gold 348, Finishing gold -115, carry over 31
(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10) 10
(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?
The dialog is well done.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Getting Kap to his castle quickly so he could start recruiting. Seeing strange ships on the horizon. Not knowing where the ships would land, how many ships would follow nor what units would come off the ships. Defeating the enemy leaders as quickly as possible.

I am using the older SotBE on Wesnoth 1.10.5 (for iOS), so I had more L2 enemies and more ships than the newer SotBE ver. I thought it was fun, though! This is where the ships docked for me:
Spoiler:
Used all of my gold recalling a mix of L3, L2 and whelps. I had negative gold at the end but fortunately didn't need as much gold in the next scenario. I lost 6 whelps defending the keep.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
9, It was tricky - but fast-paced and fun!

I was surprised to see an actual ship attacking me and another ship that flipped around to face me when I attacked it. I didn't read the walkthrough beforehand, so I didn't know about the attacking ships until after the first trio of ships arrived. It is a cool idea to be able to kill (sink) a ship before it lands, preventing the enemies from undocking, although I was not able to that.

I am curious how it is possible for an empty ship to attack on its own accord, it must have a small crew still aboard, a skeleton crew? Haha :D

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

Just and idea... what if we rescued a Mermaid that was so grateful that she offerred to join our side and attack the ships in the bay?
Or...if we had our own ship, like an orc pirate ship that could shot poison harpoons? :hmm:

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Losing a couple of times to the shiploads of enemies. (Would be fixed in the newer version).
Last edited by shadow12 on March 10th, 2017, 3:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
Sometimes life unexpectedly throws a Troll or a nasty Queen Naga in your path.

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