Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

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Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Content Feedback » March 12th, 2008, 10:49 pm

(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?
(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
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Turuk
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Turuk » January 20th, 2009, 3:28 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Warlord (Nightmare) 1.5.7

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8. The limit on movement due to the snow and the closeness of the first enemy keep means I was kept on the defense for the first 8 turns or so, especially given the elves reinforcing them. After you survive this initial wave, wiping out the enemy leaders is just a matter of time.

(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?
Fairly consistent with the rest of the campaign.

(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)
8. It's slow and frustrating, but being put on the defensive for a change is fun. The movement of the allied forces into position is a nice touch, especially given that they are staggered over turns.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
With all the bits of road on the map, perhaps put a bit by the trolls. They are only really useful for taking out the northernmost leader, by the time they move south my orcs are at the middle leaders. Any attempt to move them south first means they take forever to reach the elves.

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

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
Looks good to me.
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Egosnemesis
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Egosnemesis » April 23rd, 2009, 12:10 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
The easiest, "Challenging". Played on Wesnoth 1.6.1

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
4. I think on this difficulty level my allies get too much gold. I had over 600 gold at this time and each of them individually had 200-250? gold, which put them on par with our enemies. They ended up doing a lot of the heavy lifting, and the 100 gold you get with the 2nd group you control doesn't slow you down when you can get 5 level 2-3 trolls :wink:

(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?
Solid as the rest of the campaign.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Snow, oh god I hate moving in snow.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
7. I enjoyed the flavor of having allies and it just gave the feel of a huge battle.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
None. I liked the opening castle near you and we have some blessed roads.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
None

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
N/A

Benefuchs
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Benefuchs » September 7th, 2009, 11:49 pm

(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)
5. The first wave is not easy and not knowing when my allies are gonna arrive makes it seem harder.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Standard: kill all enemies

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
good as the rest of the campaign, especially the part about giving Grüü gold in the beginning. Anyway it would be nice if I could decide how much to give him, as his 100 are rather few.
The first turn when I switched to Grüü, I was a bit confused, because I didn't expect that.

(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)
7. Nice, big battle. Only minus: the snow makes it really slow in the end.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
See above: A bit more gold for Grüü and some more snow-free roads.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
loosing Grüü by underrating swordsmen :oops:

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
N/A

shadowblack
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by shadowblack » August 17th, 2010, 5:59 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.8.4, Warrior (Difficult), i.e. (what I consider) Normal difficulty

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7 at first, goes down to 4 after crushing the initial waves of enemies

(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?
Fine, though I wish there had been some dialog after finishing the mission too, not just after killing the elf.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Avoiding any major losses.

(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?
It’s fine as it is, except for what I said about the dialog.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Bad luck, especially my allies’. Apart from that – nothing.
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by santosis » October 21st, 2010, 2:02 am

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Difficult, 1.8.5

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8 - One timer, but I took some pretty heavy losses (2 lvl 2 assassins, 2 lvl 3 archers, a lvl 3 troll) surviving that opening wave.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. Kill em all.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Again, no dialogue after the final kill.

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

Surviving that initial assault. I probably could have done better if I replayed, but I'll see if I have to first. Knowing how long the scenario is, I would recruit two rounds of meatshields, not one.

I finished in round 15/35 with 128 gold and will start next scenario with 456 bonus gold.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8 - I liked not losing troops, the slow movement got annoying (though it made it easier to pick off enemies).

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Good as is. I really liked playing two different turns.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Last round, I lost my troll hero. Repositioned him and all was fine.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Maiklas3000 » December 6th, 2010, 2:57 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Nightmare; 1.9.2; starting gold 480+100 (minimum is 300+100)

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7. See #5.

(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?
Good.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
My allied leader in the southeast died twice. The first time I had ignored him. The second time he was critically injured but totally safe behind an elite squad of my troops - and he dashed out to commit suicide. The third time his troops killed the leader to the north without any help. Go figure. (FWIW: first two times I instructed allies to be defensive and protect northeast leader, while the third time I instructed allies to be defensive with no objective.)

The initial assault wave is rough, and so is the transition to the enemy keep, especially if you do it by day.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
6, suffers from southeast leader's suicidal tendancies and from the variance of the battle in the East. Also, at the end you have a zillion troops with no mobility and almost nothing to kill, so you push a lot of units around for nothing.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Why can't I instruct allies to protect the southeast leader? Please add this option, as it's what I would have done.

Reduce gold on both sides (to reduce unit pushing) but not for southeastern leader (to reduce variance) and bring in a Gryphon leader+stronghold late, maybe turn 9. He could maybe fake-fly into a spare keep in the champion's stronghold. After all, the orcs get two reinforcement leaders, so it's only fair. It would make the endgame a scramble to protect the wounded, while also killing two tough leaders in proximity. And you could warn the player by having one Gryphon fake-fly off the board at start, after some dialog about going for reinforcements.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
Lost twice due to death of ally, restarting from start both times. No save-reloads in whole campaign.

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
Hurray, there is a comment!

* * *

In the replay below, I lose a Warlord, but gain some too, plus I gain some Direwolf Riders. I finished way early, turn 15 of 30, for a big early finish bonus.
Attachments
SotBE-Back_Home_replay.gz
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Faello
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Faello » May 2nd, 2011, 9:55 pm

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

Nightmare (Warlord), 1.8.5, no saves/reloads, 503+100 starting gold

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

6.

It's a 1400gp Thelarion & allied loyalist generals armies vs. 1000gp Great Horde battle with orcish reinforcements entering the battlefield from (in order of appearance) SE (Al'Brock), NE (Flar'Tar) and finally NW (Gruu & his kinsmen as independent army under player control). It's more a bagarre than a typical line vs. line battle, it's a bit chaotic, so I'll spread the review on the frontlines:

a)Kapou'e forces (SW) - Kapou'e has to deal with the nearby black loyalist general (Telthys) army that is of considerable size and well protected in the fortress with villages and some fortress hexes protecting the bridge on the frozen river leading to it. The best way to deal with them is to lure them out & make a defensive "live wall" from the resilient grunts on the 40% defence nearby road - it's better than it sounds because if succesful, loyalists will stay on 20% terrain. Once the first watch will come, player can launch a full power attack at somewhat weak at this time loyalist army and use first-attacks efficiently to kill as many units as it is possible and receive limited amount of retaliation damage. At this point, Thelarion (elvish champion, brown) army will reinforce Telthys, but elves are incredibly frail on the snow and don't have the blade resistance some of the loyalist lvl2 units have thus they're minor problem. The trick is to defeat both armies quick enough to enter the Telthys keep and recruit some additional units if necessary (player can do it earlier but it might be a unnecessary loss of gold). Once Kapou'e army will be reinforced, spearhead will go vs. almost defenceless Thelarion and soon find the grim truth that will lead to the slaughter...

b)Al'Brock forces (SE) - Al'Brock enter the field iirc at turn 4 and may recruit tons of wolves vs. mostly orange (Fredrick, general) loyalist troops that are well prepared for such an army (cavalry, swordsmen, mages) thus Al'Brock is in fact more of a burden than help since his forces tend to melt fast and player needs to reinforce him ASAP. That's probably why the safest way of dealing with Telthys army on the Kapou'e frontline might not be the best one - I was close to lose this scenario because of Al'Brocks inefficient army type and his suicidal :shock: behaviour (just watch the replay :mrgreen: ).

c)Flar'Tar forces (NE) - Flar'Tar is doing well in this scenario, his units divert attention of Georgy (general, white) army and some of Fredrick troops, and together with Gruu, later will help in slaying both loyalist detachments. What's interesting is that both orcish allies tend to recall some veterans from previous scenarios :)

d)Gruu detachment (NW) - Gruu takes some "pocket money" from Kapou'e and enter the battlefield later than it was planned (yeah, I've never seen that coming... :P ) and takes all the experienced trolls with him, which is a good thing because 100gp he takes is enough to recall a powerful detachment of 2nd and 3rd level units that can easily deal with Georgy and some loyalist units brave//foolish enough to face them 8)

All in all, the difficulty in this scenario comes from the necessity of supporting the Al'Brock flank. If he'll do well, it's much easier. If player needs to save him, then it's much harder and it's easy to lose because of that.

12 losses, 46 kills in this one, all enemies eliminated 13 turns before the turn limit.

(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?

It's very good, as I already stated in previous feedback reports, I like all that tactical chat and interaction between the characters. It's also important to note that giving portraits and dialogue lines to Al'Brock and Flar'Tar was a very good idea :) Storyline in this one gets darker and the massacre of humans and elves seems to be inevitable and... just :twisted:

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


Al'Brock checking if he can mimic Chuck Norris and take several opponents all by himself.

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


9.

Storyline and a lot of units and combat everywhere makes it one of my favourite scenarios in this campaign.

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

Kick out the mass-wolf preference Al'Brock (SE allied orc) shows in his recruit pattern, his performance is incredibly poor in this scenario ^_^

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

No, but it was close (check replay, turns 9-12).

Replay attached:
Attachments
SotBE-Back_Home_replay.gz
Back home replay, Nightmare (Warlord) difficulty level, 1.8.5, no saves/reloads
(72.87 KiB) Downloaded 273 times
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cph
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by cph » June 12th, 2011, 10:49 am

(1) Warrior, 1.8.5
(2) 6. Finished on turn 12, with some veteran losses.
(3) Clear.
(4) Clear and very good.
(5) I lost several L3 and L2 units — with lots of L2 enemies and low-defence terrrain, that seems inevitable. And I didn't do so well at levelling up units here; I'm burning through quick veterans faster than I'm replacing them.

The first day is tough, and I overstretched a bit by trying to hold the bridge near the start. No problems once the first day is done.

(6) 8. This is more like it; having the allies spread around means that you aren't jostling with them for space, and having the allies show up late makes for a good story and makes the gameplay more interesting.
(7) -
(8) No forced restarts.

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taptap
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by taptap » November 3rd, 2011, 10:34 pm

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

Warlord (Nightmare), 1.9.9

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

7 - My allies went mostly crossbows (and reinforced with wolves later), they were quite effective against cavalry heavy opponents.

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

As clear as only kill everyone can be.

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

Well, ok. Not very bright these orcs, but what can you do. More dialog e.g. among the human leaders when my reinforcements arrive.

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

Reinforcing SE ally (while performing not bad and recruiting crossbowmen in the beginning, I suddenly needed to rescue him as his own units were too far away, and a swordsman and two mages came along). Losses (although most were L1 and L2, some high xp though).

Maybe economy, Kapou'e played with limited recalls and mostly L1 recruits levelling quite a few of them (most of those who survived), to have some L2, especially more wolves and warriors on my recall list. So the level lasted longer and while I had good income towards the end, I will have considerably less than 700 gold in the next level, finished turn 22.

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

7 - It lasted too long after being decided, because of bad terrain / movement.

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

Add ice-free swamps. :) (Really, why did I level all those saurians in Give some back?)

Give enemies less initial gold but higher income. Facing more constant pressure would make it more interesting towards the end.

Make initial enemy a little more defensive at least during the night.

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

No. I did restart once without any other reason but my bad first turn recruits and reloaded once after forgetting to move a unit (that later died anyway).
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line
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by line » August 30th, 2012, 8:45 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Warlord (Nightmare) 1.10.3
653 (including 100 for Grüü) starting gold (allies: 226?/226?, enemies:350 each) - allies' gold should have been 250.
Finished turn 17/30

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
8. Defending against the human neighbour is the key to winning it. It’s all about to prevail here. Units about to level are useful, as the AI doesn’t attack them, if they will survive the attack and upgrade/AMLA afterwards.

(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?
As said above there should be some reaction by the enemies, when the allies manage to bottle them up.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
The only challenge was to hold my lines against the neighboured enemy. An about-to-level warlord was quite helpful but still I was lucky not to lose another warlord who survived 5 attacks. My allies did surprisingly well.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
7. The humans are in disadvantage because of their worse mobility on ice (orcs need 2 mp, humans consume 3 mp on frozen). After holding the defense the difficulty decreases heavily. But I like to play more than just one army and the several frontlines.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Some reaction of the humans when they get encircled. Like: “No way out here. Fight brave, as they will show no mercy when they realize what we did here.”
And/or maybe some human units getting the ability “berserk”, when Grüü arrives.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
None.
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SBak
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by SBak » September 28th, 2013, 1:55 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)
Interestingly this is largely dependent on the AI more than anything else (I'm making the assumption that better more experienced Wesnoth players would have selected a Difficult or Nightmare campaign). I've found that this scenario is a 9 when you get an enemy AI playing Elves and Loyalists (or Humans) on a par with how it usually plays chaotic units, or weak allies. However more likely is you get the usual campaign scenario experience which with the initial onslaught tailing off which averages this out as a 5.

But then again if you're coming into this scenario with not much gold and a thin list of recalls you might find it much harder.


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

Given the scenario objectives of 'Defeat all enemy leaders' and the initial discussion led by Kapou'e it could not be made any more clearer.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Again this is good but could have been much better developed to draw the player into the scenario and developing on it still further. But it was mature, credible and cohesive, and I guess that's the main idea.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Globally, dealing with the AI...

But in terms of game play deciding on an effective strategy for the scenario, planning tactical moves, and getting the right mix with recruitment and recalls (well actually it's generally just recalls in my case). The map is larger than the last scenario to the point that it looks wide open but you've got to do a lot at the start and this is what I find determines how well you will do in the scenario.

It's a frozen map, so your forces are only going to get 20% (apart from the Assassins/Slayers) terrain defence (Saurians get 30%, not much difference, but don't move much on frozen terrain) and immediately on leaving your keep your first task is to lay siege to a rather large Loyalist keep churning out level2's along the Spearman/Bowman lines and Mages. Here more than in most other scenarios I was nitpicking not just over what units to place where and for what purpose, but also the specific traits of the units. I decided to settle for quick with either strong or resilient and only level2 and level3. (I quickly learned in initial attempts that unlike in Civil War you can't get away with level1's, at least not here).

Dealing with the AI was however the bigger issue. The allies were good, particularly Al Brock, and again he recruited units relative to what I was recruiting/recalling. If I stuck with Crossbowmen/Slurbows and Warriors/Warlords he would recruit Wolves, which would then race up to meet the Loyalist units - Longbowmen, Swordsmen, Pikemen and Cavalrymen - without any support which didn't go too well. However when I sent Pillagers/Knights/Direwolves round the south and then north he recruited Warriors and Crossbowmen which also didn't go too well, but this time for the Loyalists.

When the enemy AI was on good form I decided not to change my strategy, even though I saw the Elvish leader churning out Druids, Heroes and Rangers backed up by the usual Elvish Scout spam heading south just as quickly as orange Longbowmen and Swordsmen. The nearest Loyalist leader quickly left his keep, and Kapou'e replaced him eventually recruiting round him. Even though this involved a turn or two fighting from frozen I managed to scrape control of the Loyalist keep and break the siege..

..only to realize that I was now under siege from the Elves in the north backed up by a few Loyalists from the orange keep. Worse was the knowledge from playing Elves (mainly against Orcs/Trolls) was that Elves generally have enough consistency and ranged attacking options to maintain a siege situation and wear down my units. This was the hardest part of the entire campaign for me, and if it wasn't for Flar Tar and Al Brock sending units in support and a consistent Warlord I wouldn't have got out of it.

Usually however I've found that the enemy AI is more generous and helpful. The first Loyalist leader recruits a castle full of units which often focus a random combined attack on one unit placed on a village, particularly if it's an Orcish Warrior or Crossbowman and recently levelled up. If you have an Assassin or Slayer within range it will probably be subject to a ranged attack (or more) from a Longbowman and/or Mage willing to be poisoned and the leader is more than willing to leap out and attack your strongest units.

Better still the Elvish leader (a feisty Elvish Captain) sends out the odd Marksman and Hero backed up by Shaman and Scout spam which tend to ignore the patch of forest south of their keep and make a beeline for your units.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
6 - Oh it's definitely fun in the beginning and it's often my first opportunity to deal with multiple enemies using a bunch of level2 and level3 units and despite the fact that it's on unfavourable frozen terrain I've learnt how using poison and the slowing ability of Goblin Pillagers can support medium melee-orientated chaotic units to turn things round and win scenarios. However this is offset by the size of the map and the chore of having to move quite a number of units slowly through snow and the feeling I tend to have at the end that I recalled/recruited too many units.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I have two suggestions - one concerning the storyline and the other concerning the enemy AI. This is a good campaign generally, the storyline is generally also good and you get a sense coming into this scenario that while this is a major conflict it's also leading up to something bigger. The plot twists and tells us of treachery which is generally very good, but I felt that the effect was somewhat diminished by revealing that the traitor was Shan Taum the Smug prior to the scenario.

I feel it would be better to keep this a mystery prior to the scenario but have Kapou'e convinced that he knows who the traitor is but wants to make sure. Nothing would be said differently in the opening discussion on strategy but after dispersing his allies and Gruu you could have Kapou'e telling the recalled Warrior/Warlord to keep an eye out on the battlefield and report anything suspicious. This could lead the player to suspect that the traitor could be one of the allies or even Gruu and consider that in addition to the Loyalist and Elvish enemies they might actually also be facing their levelled Troll units as well.

I also found it interesting that the Orcs would interrogate the Elves but not the Loyalists (something consistent throughout the campaign) which seems strange given that the main enemy is Loyalists. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the developing feud between Kalenz and Landar in Legend of Wesmere and the scenario where the Elves return to the Saurian Treasury and Landar insists on killing every Saurian. You could divide the information into three closing interrogation dialogues with not just the Elvish leader but the first two Loyalist leaders for example:

First Loyalist leader: "You can kill me, but it won't lead to the return of your Shamen."
Elvish leader: "Fine, go ahead and kill me. Our work with the Shamen is done as they have been killed by the humans. But know that you have a powerful Orcish enemy who will surely crush you and your army."
Second Loyalist leader: "The Elves captured the Shamen again and killed them on the instructions of Earl Lanbech. You will find their bodies in the lake near the Elvish keep. We have been given reliable information from Shan Taum the Smug who is working with Earl Lanbech against your forces and the Great Horde."

At this point the scenario objectives could change to defeat all enemy units which would provide further opportunities to use Gruu and the Trolls who arrive too late to be of any use.

My second suggestion relates to what I feel is the major downfall of the campaign as a whole - how the enemy AI plays Elves. I'm assuming that many players coming into this campaign will have some experience of playing Elves against the Orcs and Trolls in any of the three mainline campaigns which feature them. I'm aware that the enemy AI tends to play chaotic units better than lawful and neutral ones, but in this campaign you never really get the opportunity to fight against a decent Elvish enemy.

It's widely believed that Elves are strongest in forests but let's face it, simply putting forest hexes around or near Elvish keeps isn't going to make them necessarily a decent enemy. I'm of the opinion that Gruu is the best supporting unit in any campaign because he is the most useful and has the best developed character. This is despite the fact that Delfador in HttT is perhaps the most powerful supporting unit (a level5 Elder Mage) but unlike Gruu Delfador's usefulness diminishes as you get through the HttT as your Shamen level up into Druids and Sorceresses with arguably the most consistent ranged attack against any enemy - faerie fire.

The enemy AI seems to be at its weakest when playing Elves. In MP scenarios the enemy AI tends to consistently favour Marksmen over Rangers backed up with Mages (in the Rebels faction) but here there are no Mages so Marksmen appear to be the enemy AI's primary ranged unit backed up by Evlish Scout and Shamen spam. Unlike when the enemy AI plays the other terrain dependent units Dwarves you never get to deal with a basic Elvish army based on the Archer, Fighter and Shaman lines apart from in the Siege of Barag Gor (where Shamen are noticably absent). My opinion is based on playing Elves more than most other units. The Elvish Marksman for me is a specialist unit, Elves for me are the most consistent and coordinated faction and the Elvish Scout - hardly the strongest among scouting units - also has its specific uses.

I feel here that the enemy AI needs to recruit a basic Elvish army along Archer, Fighter and Shamen lines which would make this scenario more challenging and give the player a more accurate experience of dealing with Elves. The major advantage of a primary unit - the Elvish Ranger - enjoying 40% terrain defence on frozen - is offset by the capacity of Orcs to level quicker and encourage the player to have to use numbers against the enemy, which like the Drakes is the strength of the Orcs. A stronger Elvish army would be the focus of the entire scenario better supporting the Loyalists and allowing the player to make use of their units throughout the entire scenario.

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

Yes. I found that by and large using level 1 units is a great way of spending gold in a way which provides my enemies with XP.
I've managed to capture the first Loyalist keep by brute force only to lose to an Elvish force largely resistant to brute force who killed Kapou'e with a Druid, two Rangers and a few Scouts. I had other units nearby held in check by Mages and Cavalrymen.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Maiklas3000 » May 5th, 2014, 2:58 pm

(1) Level, version, gold? Nightmare, 1.11.12, 249 starting gold (plus 100ish for Gruu)
(2) Difficult? (1-10) 9 (the starting gold has been reduced since the above reviews.)
(3) Clear? Clear.
(4) Dialog? It was the best of dialogs, it was the worst of dialogs.
* Flar'Tar: "Dumb trolls, you can never rely on them." Then in the next moment, he recruits them. I raised an eyebrow, both due to his troll prejudice and the fact that Gruu has all of Kapou'e's trolls (but I guess not the other leaders' trolls.)
* After the Elf leader is captured, the dialog is childish and inappropriate for the situation:
"No really, it's true. He is jealous of some young upstart called Kapou'e. He says all the shamans 'suck up' to him just because his father had a black eye or something like that."
* Given the above, the Elf leader doesn't know whom he is fighting? Do orcs carry no banners?
* "Uh... we have intelligence." should be "Uh... we had intelligence." Not very good intelligence if you don't know whom you're fighting.
* "Throw him in the lake. If he freezes to death, all the better." This sounds too merciful, compared to the Silent Forest decapitation. Maybe, "Behead him." "Ahhhhh!" "No, I have reconsidered." "Oh thank the gods." "Toss him in the lake and we will watch him freeze to death." "Ahhhhh!"
(5) Challenges?
* Surviving the initial onslaught is definitely the biggest challenge, but it's also difficult to protect the southeast leader and to finish the scenario in time. It's darn near impossible to protect the northeast ally, but he usually doesn't need help (but almost died in my replay.)
* Securing the two critical fortress hexes just outside the castle is a bit tough. I used the "Jetto and Direwolf gambit." I sent my starting Warlord to one of the fortress hexes and Jetto (the loyal Slayer) to the other, hoping he would survive one round, and when he did I sent my Direwolf Rider to take his place, hoping he would survive one round. After that, my leader and a recalled Warlord were in position to move into those hexes. If Jetto had died, I would have restarted from start.
(6) Fun? (1-10) 9, kudos to mattsc or whomever tweaked it... the scenario is much more balanced now.
(7) Changes? I don't like that the northeast leader almost died in the attached replay, because it's so hard for the player to do anything about it. However, it may have been my fault for being timid with the trolls. You could get rid of the northeast leader's troll recruiting ability (to fit my dialog criticism) and place another village near his keep, which would give him more income and another refuge if he gets wounded.
(8) Restarts? Many losses due to loss of critical unit, loss of southeast leader, or running out of time. No save-reloads.
(9) WML? Good.

In the attached replay, you can watch my gamble with Jetto and the Direwolf Rider at the start. I was able to assassinate the southwest leader fairly early when he popped out; if you don't get him early, you might not finish in time. When my southeast ally got into trouble, I sent the Direwolf Rider and two other L3 units to help. My trolls got bogged down in the mountains versus loyalists in the hills. I wonder if it is better to fight snow-on-snow with trolls versus loyalists? The final push to the last leader wasn't really anticlimatic, even though my forces were overwhelming by that point. Time was running out, and I had to decide whether to try to do it by day or whether to wait. I took the cowardly way out. I finished one turn early, but with no gold carryover. I sure hope I don't need carryover for the next scenario. As I recall, "Civil War" is tough.
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mattsc
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by mattsc » May 8th, 2014, 2:03 am

The extra village was added close to the northeast ally leader's keep as you suggested.

Also, the fact that the AI allies could still recruit (and recall) trolls was an oversight. We'd gotten rid of it for Kapou'e since Grüü is supposed to be taking off with all the trolls, but had forgotten to do the same for the allies as well. It's fixed now.

Thanks for testing and all the comments and suggestions!

Theron
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 14 - Back Home

Post by Theron » May 13th, 2014, 6:31 pm

Nightmare; 1.11.13

Stats:
Scenario, starting gold (default+carryover),turns/max turns,recruits-recalls-advancements-losses-kills
14 200+64 10-6-7-8-56
allies starting gold: 187 + 136 + 100

Comments:
Scenario 14:
In the past my strategy was to occupy both fortress hexes with the initial Warlord and a recalled quick one.
Then I brought on more forces to the forward line while preparing an assault from the south with wolves (moving into the castle thus sandwiching the remaining enemies on the snow). This does't work anymore.
Now I let them come to me wasting their favorite time of day.
Then I hit hard and fast using a mix of high level units and fresh recruits.
In the end I lost some veterans but got enough advancements to be not weakened.
Despite giving my allies more carryover gold their survival can be a close one. Green fared well this time. But I had to sacrifice units to save Blue.
Setting allies behavior: I told Blue to be more defensive. I wonder if one can rely on this:
On turn 16 he left the castle to shoot arrows at one of the Swordsmen. They could have killed him on their turn!
Then on turn 17 instead of shooting arrows he tried (and succeeded) in killing the remaining swordsman. But if he had missed one of his hits and the Swordsman hit all on retaliation then the Swordsman would have had a chance to kill him.
Carryover gold is possible: I got 82.
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