Multiplayer observation

General feedback and discussion of the game.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Glowing Fish
Posts: 855
Joined: October 3rd, 2004, 4:52 am
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Multiplayer observation

Post by Glowing Fish »

I've noticed a lot of discussion on various places in these forums, about the relative merits of the Knalgans versus other factions. I won't weigh in on the debate, besides by making an observation.

I've had the computer play a number of multiplayer games, AI against AI, on a number of maps, from 2 player to 7 player. I've probably done this a few dozen times. And I have not once seen the Knalgans win a multiplayer match. In fact, they are almost always the very first team to be eliminated. YMMV, but you can check on this and compare your results to mine.

Of course, this is the AI, which isn't always the sharpest player. However, all of the factions have bad AI to contend with, and it should actually handicap the Rebels as much as it does the Knalgan.

So, I would say seeing AI on AI MP is at least some objective evidence that the Knalgan faction is less strong than the other factions.
silene
Posts: 1109
Joined: August 28th, 2004, 10:02 pm

Re: Multiplayer observation

Post by silene »

Glowing Fish wrote:However, all of the factions have bad AI to contend with, and it should actually handicap the Rebels as much as it does the Knalgan.
That's where you are wrong. The AI handicaps Rebels a lot less than Knalgans. Rebels do not have any special features, all their units are quite standard. Except for the elvish leaders, the AI knows how to play the units.
For Knalgans, it is a lot worse: they have units with berserker, backstab, and a costly "scout" (wrt to the AI interpretation of units). Consequently the AI does not know how to play Knalgan units.
So please avoid comparing Rebels and Knalgans by using AI multiplayer games. The only objective evidence your tests show is that the AI is bad at handling Knalgans.
User avatar
Elvish_Pillager
Posts: 8129
Joined: May 28th, 2004, 10:21 am
Location: Everywhere you think, nowhere you can possibly imagine.
Contact:

Re: Multiplayer observation

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Glowing Fish wrote:So, I would say seeing AI on AI MP is at least some objective evidence that the Knalgan faction is less strong than the other factions.
Add that to my statement that in human vs. human MP that the Knalgans are weaker than the other factions, and you have a near[1] complete statement of the weakness of Knalgans. I think I'm a quite skilled MP player, and I haven't won any battles with Knalgans either.[2]


[1] I don't know whether human Knalgans would win or lose against other factions' AI.
[2] I haven't played with the new Gryphon Riders either, but they haven't become cheap enough that I'd think they'd turn the tide.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

Knalgans have some problems, water maps and lack of any fire or ice attacks particularly. But basically all round I think they're pretty good. They have no problem with rebels or loyalists (heavy infantry and heavy forests excepted) or drakes. Undead and northerners are more difficult, knalgans are in trouble once they get outnumbered by level 0 units and poisoned but so is everyone else and its not totally unwinnable, at least on small maps.

Most people who I see play them make the same mistake as the AI and initially recruit mass footpads which is really just mass suicide as they suck horribly.
User avatar
Elvish_Pillager
Posts: 8129
Joined: May 28th, 2004, 10:21 am
Location: Everywhere you think, nowhere you can possibly imagine.
Contact:

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

telly wrote:Knalgans have some problems, water maps and lack of any fire or ice attacks particularly. But basically all round I think they're pretty good. They have no problem with rebels or loyalists (heavy infantry and heavy forests excepted) or drakes. Undead and northerners are more difficult, knalgans are in trouble once they get outnumbered by level 0 units and poisoned but so is everyone else and its not totally unwinnable, at least on small maps.

Most people who I see play them make the same mistake as the AI and initially recruit mass footpads which is really just mass suicide as they suck horribly.
I've tried every strategy I can think of and nothing works. What's yours?
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
cobretti
Posts: 466
Joined: February 19th, 2004, 4:38 pm

Post by cobretti »

My strategy (decent results, probably not the best around):

- Use mainly dwarvish fighters and a lot of thieves to fight. If your enemy is very vulnerable to impact, use thugs as well to round your efectiveness.
- Very few guardsmans to defend key spots. They are too slow to be effective in open ground, unless you are a very good student of Sun Tzu and can force your enemy to come to your selected battleground.
- Scouting with mostly thieves and only a few footpads against impact vulnerable factions.
- A small force of griffon riders to make hit'n'run attacks, finish fast wounded units and sometimes bring havoc to my enemies taking their unguarded villages and gold supply.
- If I can afford them, some thunderers to add ranged power to my army, but only if my enemies are vulnerable to pierce. If not, the money is better used in thieves.
- I never use poachers. They are too wimpy for their cost, and lack more mobility to be a good option against thunderers or thieves. Their damage is also quite discrete, especially at day.
- Did I say it? Use thieves. The combination of backstab and elusivefoot is your best weapon. Use it. (And, for 12 gold pieces, they are quite expendable)
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

I've tried every strategy I can think of and nothing works. What's yours?
I guess vs rebels or loyalists ulfserkers to discourage the opponent from using any specialist units and forcing them to rely on melee units which hopefully dwarvish fighters and guardsmen are going to eat up. Loyalist's and rebel's basic melee units are too weak, and woses and heavy infantry lack dwarvish fighter's mobility and defence.
- Did I say it? Use thieves. The combination of backstab and elusivefoot is your best weapon. Use it. (And, for 12 gold pieces, they are quite expendable)
Thieves are rather rubbish. High defence is kind of useless when your hp is so low that you die in two hits anyway. Backstab is pretty dreadful too as it doesn't do that much damage and using it normally means the thief being surrounded if you miss. No unit in wesnoth is expendable either because of the experience points your opponent gets for killing them.
- I never use poachers. They are too wimpy for their cost, and lack more mobility to be a good option against thunderers or thieves. Their damage is also quite discrete, especially at day.
Poachers are quite ok. Nicer combination of defence and hitpoints and its really really easy to level them up.
If I can afford them, some thunderers to add ranged power to my army, but only if my enemies are vulnerable to pierce. If not, the money is better used in thieves.
I never get thunderers, they're worse than dwarvish fighters in every category more or less, 2gp more expensive, less potential damage, less versatile (fighter has two different strong attacks), less hp, more xp to level. Even against drakes you might be better off with poachers.
cobretti
Posts: 466
Joined: February 19th, 2004, 4:38 pm

Post by cobretti »

telly wrote:I guess vs rebels or loyalists ulfserkers to discourage the opponent from using any specialist units and forcing them to rely on melee units which hopefully dwarvish fighters and guardsmen are going to eat up. Loyalist's and rebel's basic melee units are too weak, and woses and heavy infantry lack dwarvish fighter's mobility and defence.
Ulfserkers can't stand against too many units to be so effective in this task, IMHO.
telly wrote:Thieves are rather rubbish. High defence is kind of useless when your hp is so low that you die in two hits anyway. Backstab is pretty dreadful too as it doesn't do that much damage and using it normally means the thief being surrounded if you miss. No unit in wesnoth is expendable either because of the experience points your opponent gets for killing them.
They are expendable because you can buy many of them, so a loss is not so dramatic. With fighters, ulfserkers, guardsmans and thunderers, loosing one of them is much more difficult to overcome because of their price, and lack of speed to be quickly replaced by new recruits.

Also, as Miyo pointed out some time ago: "Units are expected to die". If you loose a thief (12 gp) to kill a heavy infantryman (19 gp) for example, you get advantage, even if your thief is later killed.
telly wrote:Poachers are quite ok. Nicer combination of defence and hitpoints and its really really easy to level them up.
Not really, at least in my experience, but as I pointed out, my strategy is probably not the best around.
telly wrote:I never get thunderers, they're worse than dwarvish fighters in every category more or less, 2gp more expensive, less potential damage, less versatile (fighter has two different strong attacks), less hp, more xp to level. Even against drakes you might be better off with poachers.
Except against tank units, which are usually quite impervious to pierce, thunderers are valuable units to quickly weaken enemies and allow the fighters to get the killing experience before being severly damaged in the process, specially against strong melee-only units.
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

Ulfserkers can't stand against too many units to be so effective in this task, IMHO.
They can kill a ton of ranged or skirmisher type units with low hp. The big advantage is that one of either the ulfserker or their opponent always dies so they always leave an empty hex so you can easily defend them after a fight or equally always follow up with another attack if they lose.
They are expendable because you can buy many of them, so a loss is not so dramatic. With fighters, ulfserkers, guardsmans and thunderers, loosing one of them is much more difficult to overcome because of their price, and lack of speed to be quickly replaced by new recruits.
The difference between a 12 gp unit and a 17gp unit is not that dramatic because of upkeep. In fact you can make an argument that dwarvish fighters are significantly 'cheaper' than thieves because of their much stronger defense and attacks one dwarvish fighter is as strong on the battlefield as at least 2 thieves maybe more but you only pay upkeep for one unit. Also if the thieves keep dying and being replaced constantly thats not very economical either.
Also, as Miyo pointed out some time ago: "Units are expected to die". If you loose a thief (12 gp) to kill a heavy infantryman (19 gp) for example, you get advantage, even if your thief is later killed.
Not really, if you kill a heavy infantry with a thief and then another loyalist unit follows up and kills the thief, then the loyalist player got the better deal as the 8 experience points are probably more valuable.
Except against tank units, which are usually quite impervious to pierce, thunderers are valuable units to quickly weaken enemies and allow the fighters to get the killing experience before being severly damaged in the process, specially against strong melee-only units.
A lot of people make this mistake. Theres no difference between melee and ranged attacks beyond the cosmetic, so theres no real advantage you can gain from having a mix of melee and ranged rather than just only recruiting the strongest units you can. Just like you can attack a melee unit with a ranged unit to weaken it, an enemy can attack your ranged unit with a melee unit. In your example, what if the thunderer misses its attack? Then you're in big trouble the next turn when the enemy can hit back using their strong melee attack with impunity.
User avatar
Elvish_Pillager
Posts: 8129
Joined: May 28th, 2004, 10:21 am
Location: Everywhere you think, nowhere you can possibly imagine.
Contact:

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

telly wrote:A lot of people make this mistake. Theres no difference between melee and ranged attacks beyond the cosmetic, so theres no real advantage you can gain from having a mix of melee and ranged rather than just only recruiting the strongest units you can.
Yes, there is. That difference is that very few units have no melee attack but about half of the units have no ranged attack. A Bowman can attack an Orcish Grunt with impunity, but the Grunt has to worry about its HP before attacking the Bowman.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
telly wrote:A lot of people make this mistake. Theres no difference between melee and ranged attacks beyond the cosmetic, so theres no real advantage you can gain from having a mix of melee and ranged rather than just only recruiting the strongest units you can.
Yes, there is. That difference is that very few units have no melee attack but about half of the units have no ranged attack. A Bowman can attack an Orcish Grunt with impunity, but the Grunt has to worry about its HP before attacking the Bowman.
Still, theres no difference between ranged or melee attacks. Sure most ranged units have a weak melee attack too but they also normally cost more to recruit, take more experience to level and have less hp. There isn't any distinct advantage to be had from having both melee and ranged attacks in one unit. Even when they're both strong like with rangers it would be just as good, perhaps better, to have one attack that combined the damage of both.
cobretti
Posts: 466
Joined: February 19th, 2004, 4:38 pm

Post by cobretti »

telly wrote:
Ulfserkers can't stand against too many units to be so effective in this task, IMHO.
They can kill a ton of ranged or skirmisher type units with low hp. The big advantage is that one of either the ulfserker or their opponent always dies so they always leave an empty hex so you can easily defend them after a fight or equally always follow up with another attack if they lose.
But then, you are also expending them!. And, with 3 thieves equal to 2 ulfserkers in price, you get more upkeep, but also better ZoC, defending bonuses in most terrains and one of the most important things when you haven't got healers: You can rotate your front units better.
telly wrote:
They are expendable because you can buy many of them, so a loss is not so dramatic. With fighters, ulfserkers, guardsmans and thunderers, loosing one of them is much more difficult to overcome because of their price, and lack of speed to be quickly replaced by new recruits.
The difference between a 12 gp unit and a 17gp unit is not that dramatic because of upkeep. In fact you can make an argument that dwarvish fighters are significantly 'cheaper' than thieves because of their much stronger defense and attacks one dwarvish fighter is as strong on the battlefield as at least 2 thieves maybe more but you only pay upkeep for one unit. Also if the thieves keep dying and being replaced constantly thats not very economical either.
Upkeep is only dramatic when playing very long games, or with very few villages. In other cases, the flow of units to the battlefiled is more determinant. Left alone, even the strongest units die soon.
telly wrote:
Also, as Miyo pointed out some time ago: "Units are expected to die". If you loose a thief (12 gp) to kill a heavy infantryman (19 gp) for example, you get advantage, even if your thief is later killed.
Not really, if you kill a heavy infantry with a thief and then another loyalist unit follows up and kills the thief, then the loyalist player got the better deal as the 8 experience points are probably more valuable.
But it's obvious that if you constantly get the killing with a low HP, surrounded by enemies unit, you are not playing very intelligently. If you must put your thieves in danger, you put them to soften the enemy units, and then get the killing blow with other units better protected or harder to kill. And taking some risks with them is not the same as "sistematically put your units surrounded by enemies to kill a unit, even when it's obvious they'll get killed".
telly wrote:
Except against tank units, which are usually quite impervious to pierce, thunderers are valuable units to quickly weaken enemies and allow the fighters to get the killing experience before being severly damaged in the process, specially against strong melee-only units.
A lot of people make this mistake. Theres no difference between melee and ranged attacks beyond the cosmetic, so theres no real advantage you can gain from having a mix of melee and ranged rather than just only recruiting the strongest units you can. Just like you can attack a melee unit with a ranged unit to weaken it, an enemy can attack your ranged unit with a melee unit. In your example, what if the thunderer misses its attack? Then you're in big trouble the next turn when the enemy can hit back using their strong melee attack with impunity.
Do you really think there's no difference? Face a bunch of horsemen in plains during day with your fighters, then do the same softening them first with some thunderers, and you will find the difference.

If the ranged unit misses he may be in danger, but doesn't get retaliated until your oponent's turn: You can bring other units to continue the job or protect him. If your melee unit has a bad day, he'll be quite damaged when your oponent starts his turn and decide who to attack. The difference is clear, IMHO.
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

But then, you are also expending them!. And, with 3 thieves equal to 2 ulfserkers in price, you get more upkeep, but also better ZoC, defending bonuses in most terrains and one of the most important things when you haven't got healers: You can rotate your front units better.
Thieves die so easily often you won't get the opportunity to rotate them out of fights.
Upkeep is only dramatic when playing very long games, or with very few villages. In other cases, the flow of units to the battlefiled is more determinant. Left alone, even the strongest units die soon.
Yeah er isn't it better to have rather than a constant flow of units to the battle field, a constant number of units at the battlefield that are really tough and don't die so don't need to be constantly replaced.
But it's obvious that if you constantly get the killing with a low HP, surrounded by enemies unit, you are not playing very intelligently. If you must put your thieves in danger, you put them to soften the enemy units, and then get the killing blow with other units better protected or harder to kill. And taking some risks with them is not the same as "sistematically put your units surrounded by enemies to kill a unit, even when it's obvious they'll get killed".
Not sure I understand what you're saying here. Even uninjured, due to their low hp and negative resistances thieves are almost always in danger when they confront an enemy. As well to be able to do decent damage they need to use backstab which often means putting themselves even further in harm's way.
Do you really think there's no difference? Face a bunch of horsemen in plains during day with your fighters, then do the same softening them first with some thunderers, and you will find the difference.

If the ranged unit misses he may be in danger, but doesn't get retaliated until your oponent's turn: You can bring other units to continue the job or protect him. If your melee unit has a bad day, he'll be quite damaged when your oponent starts his turn and decide who to attack. The difference is clear, IMHO.
There really is no difference. I can just take your statements and change them around and they say more or less the same thing, like so:
Do you really think there's no difference? Face a bunch of bowman in plains during day with your thunderers, then do the same softening them first with some fighters, and you will find the difference.

If the melee unit misses he may be in danger, but doesn't get retaliated until your oponent's turn: You can bring other units to continue the job or protect him. If your ranged unit has a bad day, he'll be quite damaged when your oponent starts his turn and decide who to attack. The difference is clear, IMHO.
..
Circon
Posts: 1200
Joined: November 17th, 2003, 4:26 am
Location: Right behind Gwiti, coding

Post by Circon »

Wrong.
If the melee unit misses he may be in danger, but doesn't get retaliated until your oponent's turn:
You can't switch the quote around like that. Like it or not, there is a ranged-melee imbalance.
telly
Posts: 260
Joined: January 12th, 2004, 5:07 am

Post by telly »

Why can't I?

There is a ranged - melee imbalance. Most of the melee units are stronger and cost less, so why ever recruit ranged units? As theres no real difference between ranged and melee attacks so (as far as I can see) theres no value at all in recruiting a weaker ranged unit over a stronger melee one.

If a ranged unit is stronger than I'll recruit it of course. For instance burners are generally the best drake unit or archers if your playing with rebels against drakes.
Post Reply