How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

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How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by Imoartel » September 29th, 2017, 11:52 pm

Hello there, new player here.

I started playing Battle for Wesnoth a couple of times, and every time I kind of enjoy it, but sooner rather than later the game starts to frustrate me. Now I thought maybe some experienced players can help me have a better time with it.

My struggle with it is, everytime I face a problem I can't solve in a campaign, I don't know what the reason for my struggle is. Have I been unlucky? Was my strategy bad? Did I play badly in previous scenarios and therefor lack gold and/or veteran units? Often times I see a strategy I'd like to try, but I didn't evolve the correct units in previous scenarios and therefor I can't execute that strategy.

I usually enjoy playing games on the hard difficulties and I enjoy having a hard time, because it makes me really happy when I finally manage to get on, but in this game what ends up happening is, I repeat turns or maps or entire campaigns over and over, until luck ends up in my favor (or I eventually find a working strategy) and everything goes almost perfect.
The more I play the less I use strategy and the more I end up just trying things until something at random ends up working.

I think my biggest problem is, I tend to fear making future missions impossible if I don't play the current one almost perfect. So often I don't try to find a winning strategy, I need an almost perfect run and whenever I lose an important piece (or at the start of a campaign when I fail to get experience on important units) I'd rather start over/roll again than realizing 3 missions later I can't handle whatever the game is throwing at me anymore.

Obviously playing this game without losing any units doesn't really work... whenever an oponent who's supposed to hit you ~1 time on average hits you 3-4 times you're pretty likely to lose something and that's not an uncommon scenario. On the other hand I can't imagine you're supposed to be able to beat every single scenario in the hardest difficulties with the minimum starting gold and without having anything to recall, right?
So if I only focus on beating the current mission I imagine halfway through a campaign I'm suddenly facing a challenge that's impossible to beat on a regular basis.

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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by Tad_Carlucci » September 30th, 2017, 12:32 am

I remember the feeling well. What helped was asking myself, "What am I missing, here?" Obviously, the game was winnable, else people would be complaining and it would be changed. So, when I get stuck, I try to recognize that my experiences, assumptions and various predilections are preventing me from seeing the solution. Perhaps I'm too aggressive, or my timing is wrong, or I rely too heavily on a tank and don't see that a fast-moving scout, sent to the proper place at the proper time, can change everything .. if I'm willing to accept that it's likely a suicide mission.

It can be instructive to read a walk-through or two, or scan through the feedback threads. Some like replays and screenshots; but I find they're too much hassle with all the incompatible changes over the years, and the unreliable image hosts.

Remember two things:

1) No plan survives first contact with the enemy, and
2) Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.
I forked real life and now I'm getting merge conflicts.

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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by The_Gnat » September 30th, 2017, 6:29 am

Hello, welcome to the forums! :D

Wesnoth is largely a game of luck so: yes you will have times when bad luck will destroy a perfect plan or good luck will allow you to win despite mistakes. However, wesnoth has a lot of strategy which is why it is a good game. You may know about some (or all) of the things i am going to mention but i will try to make a list of the most important factors to consider when playing a scenario, and i will give some links to other peoples guides on how to play the game better. Also if you are playing a particular campaign you can ask about a certain scenario and people can give strategic advice.

I assume you understand the basics of the game but if you are interested here is a helpful manual. Once you understand the basics it is important to consider the following key factors in every battle:

Important Things to Consider

(edit ^_^ ) 0. Healing
1. Time of Day
2. Terrain Defense
3. Resistances

That is a simple summary of the key things to consider, for further information i would suggest the Advanced Tactics guide. And for further research you can have a look at these links that might be helpful: Forum topics that may help, Strategies and Tips that may help

By the time you have finished reading all of that i am confident you will be able to beat all the campaigns! :D (also some campaigns are a good deal harder than other campaigns even if you always play the "hard" difficulty level. I recommend you start with the easier campaigns and then after some practice you will be better able to play the harder campaigns.

Hopefully this has helped you! :D Please send any feedback or questions you have!!
Last edited by The_Gnat on September 30th, 2017, 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by Inky » September 30th, 2017, 12:53 pm

The_Gnat gave some great advice! :eng:
Another very important thing especially on Hard difficulty is gold management- generally you need to finish fast and also keep your income as high as possible. It seems counterintuitive but usually the way to finish quickly is to be extremely defensive (form lines, retreat wounded units, retreat at bad times of day) until your army has a clear advantage. For keeping income high, this means grabbing villages whenever possible, using loyals and not using too many veterans, especially the max. level ones (usually I use about half level 1s, half level 2s and a few level 3s).

For learning strategy I think it's much more effective to play on a lower difficulty but without reloading turns (at least not too much) - this will still be a challenge and will teach you much more about good strategy than trying to get through Hard using trial and error.

Oh, and for not losing veterans this could be considered an exploit but the most effective (ahem) "strategy" is to get some expendable level 0/1 units and put them on the front lines, so the enemies will gang up on the weak units instead of your veterans. :whistle:

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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by The_Gnat » September 30th, 2017, 8:53 pm

Inky wrote:Another very important thing especially on Hard difficulty is gold management
Yes, i forgot about that :whistle: . Inky gives some really good advice! Gold is very important. :D The more villages you have the more units you can buy, and the same applies to the enemy. If you can shutdown your enemies income by taking their villages it can make a huge difference. Also as Inky mentioned the quicker you finish scenarios the more money you will get as a gold bonus. (Also for many units it is actually cheaper to recall them than to recruit them. To recall any unit it costs 20 gold. Similarly some units are not worth recalling because you will pay much more than they are worth. For example spearmen cost 13 gold, and unless they are about to advance it is not worth paying an extra 7 gold)

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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by Dixie » October 6th, 2017, 3:23 am

My main issue with Wesnoth when first playing is I was approaching it too much as an RPG. I wanted to level up an army, recall my experienced units and not lose them. But Wesnoth is a strategy wargame, you will lose units. Hence recruiting mostly Lv1 meatshields is a must. Also, I didn't realize it at first but those 20 gold veterans who sound like a steal are really not: the added upkeep really does pile up if you get more then a few and even though they might have more HP or hit harder, a level 2 is never as durable or as powerful as two level 1s unless it has a special ability that fills a niche somehow. Also a single unit obviously covers less ground than two weaker ones.
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Re: How are the Campaigns meant to be played?

Post by Akopian » October 9th, 2017, 6:01 am

My answer is that the campaigns are made to be played over and over again. I have lovingly played many of the campaigns with vastly different strategies. Often there are many ways to success. I even like to go a little hardcore and start all over if I am defeated or face certain defeat in a campaign--back to scenario 1.

Many of the campaigns tend to require different strategies.

In a really long campaign, one thing you should consider is that everytime a maxed out unit (in terms of level) kills something represents a lost opportunity for a lower level unit to gain experience. If you are using your strongest units too much, you will find that you may be terribly outclasses in later maps as you fail to develop a larger, stronger army. This applies even to loyal units. Yeah, they do no cost upkeep, but if you let max level exp units take kills from weaker units, the that is a problem.

On the other hand, loyal units are also very important in the big campaigns, inevitably at the final battle. So you will want to preserve them or you will find youself with a much smaller active army than you could have.

Another big deal is recalling too often units that do not have much exp. I try to make a rule about just deleting units that do not have a certain exp on the recall list, like have to have more exp than 2x(20-cost of basic unit). So a 16 cost unit would not be recalled unless it had more than 8 exp. Sometimes I would just keep it simole and say 8 exp or 10 exp or whatever. Of course, if a unit has over 20 in cost, in a sense, buying the unit now makes it cheaper to buy in future scenarios, so consider that too. And if a unit is just too important to delete, like a potential healer when you do not have many, a loyal unit, higher than initial level,etc. It is important you know when to break whatever rules you make-up is the point.

Because of the little rule about exp, I guess I started to notice little things about how I used units. I realized that if I am going to delete a unit if it did not get exp, then it might as well take some chances in the current scenario. If it is dead anyway if it does not get to 8 exp or whatever, the it has no reason not to risk its life, especially at the end of a scenario when there are few if any strategic or tactical uses for the unit. So I would let them attack very strong units and I discovered the usefulness of gaining exp for a weak unit just attacking a strong unit. They get decent exp just by trying even without the kill, and in a turn or two, if they survive, will level up.

With that in mind, if you can weaken a strong enemy unit or otherwise enhance the survival of your weak unit, you can ensure their survival with a little more exp than you would have had.

For the same reason of just getting experience you might allow lots of spearmen attack a higher level skeleton unit and back off when any unit is injured. Some may die, but if you have no recall criteria, they were not going to be around for the next campaign anyway.

Still, if you have a lot of units with very little exp after a scenario, then you probably bought too many units to get the job done anyway. That can kill you in later levels as you run low on carry over gold.

Of course, you cannot throw away units completely haphazardly. I generally am always trying to save and heal my units if possible. The best way is to have a constant rotation of units into battle and out. I have units running back and forth to towns, unless I have a healer, and then that healer unit is like a mobile base. I sort of think of it as trench fighting in WW1. I bring my guys to the front, they get banged up, then I ship them back, and a new batch takes their place. The old batch comes back a little more experienced.

You definately want to have enough units to maintain a good battle line and rotation like this in most scenarios. Usually there is a big rush at the beginning of a scenario where you just have to survive for a bit. In that case, maintaining a line to protect your key and softer units is vey important, even as you advance on an objective. Numbers of units are often more important than overall power of the units in those early rushes of enemy units.

The rotation is also very important when tackling the toughest enemies. You do not want to expose any important unit to an enemy unit that can kill it in one turn. Still, this is also an opportunity to get great exp for the deathblow for that unit younrealky want to level. If an important unit fails to get a deathblow, then it is especially important to have other units nearby for two reasons, Weaker nearby units are often selected as targets unless your important unit is super damaged. Also, you need those other units to block the strong enemy unit when you withdraw your important unit, or he might chase it down and kill it.

None of this is very important if you are the type that just backs up a couple of turns and replays until he gets that result he wanted. I always restart the scenario, if not the campaign, if I think I am beat, and so I have to develop strategies like those above, as I presume most players do.

There is no reason not to experiment with lots of strategies though. By starting over often, you can feel free to try lots of things. I have. The above is just the easiest and most common way I do things, but I have used other strategies too. Like always recalling my best units. If you are going to do that, then often it is better to not establish lines but to do everything to quickly interrupt the opponent from recruiting the full force he can employ, for instance.

Heck, aside from lines to protect important units, gaining towns quickly is very important. Even if you do not have lines, having lots of scout troops all over the place can break the cohesion of the enemy as it starts trying to claim or reclaim towns you have claimed. This can slow down the enemy, create opportunities, and meanwhile provide important gold.

Anyway, for me, part of the fun of the game is figuring out what works. So do not worry overly much about getting advice or finding the right way of doing things. The game itself will teach you all that if you have the patience.

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