Cities of the Frontier - now for BfW 1.11

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fiblo
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by fiblo » April 29th, 2012, 5:48 pm

esci, I finally beat the campaign on normal difficulty. :)

The campaign is very fun to play, even though I must say it is very hard at times. There is a lot of potential here. Considering this is only version 0.5, I can't wait to see the finished product!

It took me until Summer of year 3 to achieve the victory condition of 1000 gold. I finished with 19 farms. esci, I saved all the replays and I can post them, if you're interested.

Edit: On turn 9 in the 1st Spring, my calvaryman picked up the arcane bow. That was very lucky for me and my calvaryman - the weapon is very useful against almost all enemies. In watching the replay from the 1st year, I noticed the turning point of battles would be when my calvaryman showed up and starting wrecking havoc with the bow. He got 24 kills during the first year and I think he was vital to surviving those early battles.
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xbriannova
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by xbriannova » April 30th, 2012, 2:47 am

Hmm... Since fiblo kind of wrote a post about victory, I might as well do the same. Basically... I won the campaign in normal difficulty as well, but it didn't even take a full year for me to win. Basically, I won on the first turn of winter in the first year :P. Basically, what I did is that:

1) I started with hiring 3 worker units

2) Instead of the blacksmith, I built the Bowyer first then the Armourer, so my starting units have superior range and firepower with the bowmen, followed by staying power associated with the Heavy Infantrymen. As they leveled up, well, my bonuses could only improve. Also, those buildings are cheaper, so the cost deducted from building the expensive blacksmith was used to either hire more peasants or getting my first real military units :)

3) As I built my keep in the middle of a plain (with some trees and hills aroudn), I built my farms around it. This has the advantage of reducing time taken for troop mobilisation to a minimum.

4) Also, to keep my unit-producing buildings safe, I built them next to my keep. It's only the later ones that I had to build on the outskirts of the colony due to the lack of space.

5) Due to my army configuration as well as plenty of troop tactics and manuevering, my casualty was kept to a minimum and I had plenty of level 2s and 3s covering half the settlement with plenty of reserve level 1s to substitute them and level up and succeed them if they die. Basically, I kept the best troops on the outermost villages and if there's an attack, I'd mobilise them and defend just outside the farms- other troops further away would move closer by going from village to village, covering them from take-overs and raids. Badly injured troops would retreat and be replaced by fresh ones. Basically, the same tactic used by the roman legions or the persian immortals.

6) By Autumn (that season just before Winter), I've had more than enough troops, though I began hiring spearmen, mages and cavalrymen to add variety and adaptability to my growing army- but despite this, my income was swelling at 20+ to 30+ and my gold just kept accumulating with abandon.

7) I ended Autumn with 966 gold. I thought I couldn't win by Autumn, but for some reason, I gained 40 gold (that's my income by the last turn of Autumn) rather than lose 10 (which is my winter 'income') at the start of winter, hence I won at the very start of winter, how about that? :D

Anyway, basically, what do I like about the campaign?

1) I like the mood of the campaign, set in the frontier where anyone could die at any turn and chances are, your settle could be half-razed in one fell swoop. It really brings the survivalist in me. Basically, this is like the Daniel Defoe version of Battle for Wesnoth, the Campaign's like Robinson Crusoe except in Wesnoth, except it involves a colony, not a single man.

2) I like how the campaign forces me to strategize and think both in and out of combat- how to protect the settlement and how to win the battles with minimum casualties and losses. This really brings about a gritty aspect to the combat- more real than what I've seen in the other campaigns in that death is very real and tragic. My heart literally stopped when one of my level 2 or 3s got destroyed- They've kinda grown on me, and of course, they're hard to replace.

3) The map being randomly generated gives the game replayability, only limited by the few styles you could play the game with. Basically, it keeps the game interesting with all kinds of unknown terror in the horizon. Links to point 1).
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fiblo
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by fiblo » April 30th, 2012, 3:50 am

xbriannova, how many farms did you have by the end of Spring? How many by the end of Summer? I am very interested in your rapid expansion strategy! I have only been using defensive strategies where I fortify my village in the first few seasons. I also only used the blacksmith and the library (spearman and mages). We used very different tactics and we both succeeded - wonderful! I think I will try your strategy next. :)

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xbriannova
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by xbriannova » April 30th, 2012, 4:30 am

I didn't count my farms actually... Basically, I just built as many as I could. It's going to be tough though, and I did have a few failures before hand that I couldn't account for- could likely due to be the terrain. I noticed that I fail more often in maps where I built my colony on one side of the lake. And speaking of Robinson Crusoe, the campaign pulled one on me just after I posted my first victory. It's just a shame that this colony didn't make it, likely due to the lack of land to build, resulting in me having to ration my gold, in consequence reducing my worker units down to two rather than three, and the number of my units down to just a bunch of rabble peasants, starting units and one or two new units. Didn't end well when two groups of bandits, followed by elves (because I had to level all the forest to allow more land for farming) attacked me despite my defensibility.

EDIT: Anyway, I tried looking up my replays and it seems that they were still working. I counted 25 farms by the end of Autumn (and the campaign). Also, my keep was a huge block of fortress right smack in the middle of the settlement, overshadowing all but 2 of the recruitment buildings. I had a secondary fortress at one corner of my settlement that is garrisoned that overshadows those two remaining recruitment buildings :D.

EDIT2: Also, since I've beaten the campaign, I've decided to try to grow my settlement as large as possible. Using my old tactic again... Just look at my second screenshot. 'Tis my pride and joy, it is. It's not done yet though as it's ongoing- I'm now in winter. 30 Villages so far.
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0.5.1 Big Colony.png
Robinson Crusoe! In Wesnoth!.png
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Evander
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by Evander » April 30th, 2012, 4:22 pm

I have finished this campaign recently.

So, feedback on my part. Rating right now would be like 6,5/10, because many features appear to be missing.

What I liked:
+ idea. it may be awesome campaign one day.
+ building and map

What I disliked:
- artifacts that cannot be removed and have negative effects
- swarms of enemies that just keep coming
- lack of dialogues and side missions
- no amla for leaders and loyalists
- lack of impassable terrain improvement (wall?)

Let me elaborate now.

I love the idea of village simulator in BfW setting. I think it is awesome!
I like the maps generated, ruins with artifacts, buildings required to upgrade units. Peasant workers are nice as well.

The goal is to get 1000 gold. I got this in autumn. I killed an orc leader with my best units and got 300gold. I had nearly 300 gold before that. And right when I started to move my units back to my town, another orc leader appeared exactly in the same fortress as the previous one.
I killed him and won the game.

I was possible to do this, because my leader had a ring which spawned the undead. The undead decided to go after easiest targets first, rather than to attack my 4lvl general and wiped out half of the orcs.

In my opinion, there are just to many enemies too often.

What I would like to suggest:

1.)Items - Make inventory like in Legends of Invincibles. Let us fight for our items (monster guardians, special maps with ruins, caves). let us drop the items and give it to the other units. Even if the item is cursed, players still may want to keep it around (ring with undead spawn = easy xp for units). What about item stash at the centre of a keep? What about wandering runemasters who would offer their services? A merchants with extra swords (like in Bad Moon Rising), travellers with stories about some lost treasures?

2.) Enemies - Rather than spawning so many leaders, have, for example for orcs, a party of wolf riders enter the map in search for pillage. They attack, and after some turns they run away. And where are saurians? What about Total Invasion Scenario - after killing few orc leaders you have a major invasion of few orcish groups at the same time

3.)Units and loyal units - Give us a chance to rescue some prisoners/princess so they join us as loyals. Make sure we can recruit knights, not just dragoons. What about the elves and dwarves who would came in search of *something*? :)

4.) Buildings and resources - we could use an upgrade for a wooden camp - a stone/wooden wall that would block/slow units but would be expensive to make. We could use some resources management (Wood, stone, iron?). We could also use building upgrades, so that we could produce other weapons. What about basic blacksmith giving just spear-men, where further upgrades would let us to go to royal guards/halebardiers?
Perhaps we could use some random events to obtain special items/people like dwarven smith (an buy a steel weapon for our units) or an elvish marksmen (can train bowmen to give them marksman ability), ranger (ambush ability?) and so on.

5.) AMLA - if above is not possible what about the amla? :)

I will wait to see what will happen with this campaign - and I think it will be very good thing to play some time in the future.
Last edited by Evander on April 30th, 2012, 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fiblo
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by fiblo » April 30th, 2012, 4:52 pm

Wow, xbriannova, that second screenshot you posted of your village is impressive. But you may be in trouble once winter starts since you have so many units! Let me know how the winter goes for you.

Evander, there is impassible terrain in the Spring when the rivers flood, but that is only for a season. The peasant workers can build encampments which work well as walls for the village. What kind of impassible terrain did you have in mind?

I don't think esci will add other resources like stone or wood. He wrote in his original post "CotF is less focused on decisions about resource collection (there is only gold) and more on decisions about spending resources". But perhaps building upgrades will be added. He did recently add the ability to upgrade wood encampments to stone.

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Evander
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by Evander » April 30th, 2012, 7:22 pm

fiblo wrote: Evander, there is impassible terrain in the Spring when the rivers flood, but that is only for a season. The peasant workers can build encampments which work well as walls for the village. What kind of impassible terrain did you have in mind?
a _wall_
come to think of it, maybe it could be immobile 0 lvl unit like a wooden barricade with say 100hp and 50% damage resistance (except fire/arcane) and it's stone upgrade/version would have also these two covered.
I don't think esci will add other resources like stone or wood. He wrote in his original post "CotF is less focused on decisions about resource collection (there is only gold) and more on decisions about spending resources". But perhaps building upgrades will be added. He did recently add the ability to upgrade wood encampments to stone.
if that is a design choice, I will not argue about it. Still it would be nice to have more of everything :whistle: in general.
and, maybe, some resources could be used as a bonus.

example:
you find a cave in the mountains. as you investigate you have trolls coming out of it - if you defeat them and keep the cave flagged as yours, your blacksmith can sell better stuff -again, like steel arrowheads in Bad Moon Rising.

fiblo
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by fiblo » April 30th, 2012, 8:43 pm

Evander wrote:a _wall_
come to think of it, maybe it could be immobile 0 lvl unit like a wooden barricade with say 100hp and 50% damage resistance (except fire/arcane) and it's stone upgrade/version would have also these two covered.
I think this is a cool idea and I can see myself using it to slow down the orc hordes.

AfterDawn
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by AfterDawn » April 30th, 2012, 11:03 pm

I just beat the game on normal by the end of the first autumn after losing twice, which surprised me b/c i was so busy gearing up for winter.
this is the first time i've played since the last two updates and i'm really liking the additions. the regen ring i think is absolutely not worth it though, having undead pop up while i'm busy fighting orcs is not fun.

my strategy so far has been to get about 14 villages, spears and mages. without mages killing undead would be ridiculous if not impossible. I normally try to set my town alongside some (hopefully large) body of water to create a natural barrier (and for future barriers).

I feel the need to explore the map more in order to find items but I happen to like evander's idea
example:
you find a cave in the mountains. as you investigate you have trolls coming out of it - if you defeat them and keep the cave flagged as yours, your blacksmith can sell better stuff -again, like steel arrowheads in Bad Moon Rising.
something like that would get me outside even more often.

so far I'm really enjoying it, I'm not certain if it's luck or skill that let me win so early, I'll be sure to let you know.
Last edited by AfterDawn on May 1st, 2012, 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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xbriannova
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by xbriannova » May 1st, 2012, 3:31 am

The idea of having the wall... Doesn't seem to fit seeing that we already have walls that can be garrisoned by units. Plus, the idea of a wall that cannot be scaled by units seems farfetched seeing that mountains and water alike could be traversed. Also, it feels like a gamebreaker, and the AI may not react well to it- they normally avoid impassable terrain I think.

I do have the idea of building watchtowers though- basically those units from the official mainline campaign featuring orcs? Yeah. We could have the worker unit build it on an adjacent hex. Basically, they are mechanical in nature, quite tough and fires huge, damaging javelins, though hitting a unit is another manner.

Also, regarding my latest game, fiblo, winter is no problem as I just need to stand down a worker unit so that my treasury would not be depleted. It remains to be seen though if I could handle the units that will attack me in winter. I think I'll go find out now.
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AfterDawn
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by AfterDawn » May 1st, 2012, 5:44 am

how about gates? they are only passable by the player's units and can only be placed between two stone walls (motivation to upgrade to stone).

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xbriannova
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by xbriannova » May 1st, 2012, 6:01 am

Hmm... Seems funny that while walls, even stone walls, can be traversed with ease by enemy units, gates could not be... I'd like to imagine that a castle hex is representative of a complete fortification, complete with towers, gates and barracks with multiple adjoining hexes forming a bigger complex. Units in the meantime aren't single soldiers, but I'd say they're company sized depending on the scale of the campaign.

Anyway, as I'm playing my best 0.5.1 game so far, I realised one thing that is rather interesting, in that the colony is no country for old man, in other words, it's actually disadvantageous to have level 3 units. What happened was that my colony was just getting bigger and bigger, and my units kept leveling up. In winter, those level 2 and 3 units were too expensive to keep, so I had to retire two dragoons to keep my ship afloat (in addition to 2 worker units and a few level 1 units who happened to be close).

Then, upon bring back all those units I realised that I've acquired many veteran level 3s, and the result is that my defence force, although highly competent and neigh-undefeatable, has trouble manuevering and protecting the ever-growing colony, which has become too large for them to fully cover. So I concocted a plan- realising that if each level 3 unit is retired, I could raise several units in its stead with the same upkeep, increasing the size of my force. Eventually, I retired every level 3 units in order to afford a large, mobile force. Although far less competent with casualty commonplace, they could keep the farms from getting razed, and backed by level 2 units, they could easily hold their own once the routine settles in- it's only in hotzones that are under development and simultaneously under assault where the casualties are, as there are no villages nor encampments to garrison, and units requiring healing would have to travel far back to the villages to get healing. This method is costly considering that it still costs a lump sum to raise fresh units, but I'd like to think that it's not possible to circumvent, unless you want alot of holes in your defence. Cool stuff! Go emergent gameplay!

EDIT: Also, winter has a very interestingly different play style heh, I like it :) It's basically slower, but whenever there's combat, it's more brutal, just a matter of who's receiving it more :) It's hard to get in reinforcement, so the frontiersman aspect was accentuated. Cool stuff.
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Evander
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by Evander » May 1st, 2012, 8:14 am

the problem with lack of any real walls is that enemy units often do not bother fighting with player units, but just go around them and burn the buildings.
a unit like watchtower - even though it can really be just a wall to slow enemies down - would be very, very useful.

also, we have no idea of size of units here - might as well be single entities, not a companies.

the existing encampment is somewhat poor to use, as you need to keep it garrisoned and as a result you have to choose whether to do any expeditions or just to defend your settlement.
I am suggesting using immobile 0 lvl units to allow AI to break them down and continue their attack.

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xbriannova
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by xbriannova » May 2nd, 2012, 3:46 am

You know, come to think of it, having walls that are units would be an interesting idea, if unorthodoxed- but then again, every new idea that became mainstream starts out unorthodoxed. But I'm thinking we shouldn't exclude encampments. Maybe we could have both, you know, to suit players who prefer them. I, for one, liked having encampments to garrison my units in. When I want to attack, I'd simply send my excess units off to fight, which I've never really done so far. Encampments would be for real units to garrison in, while 'ramparts' as we may call them I suppose, could be used to block off units, and can be used to represent fortification that are purpose-built for impassability.

A good technique would be to build ramparts in villages I suppose, representing a fortified village- which is more than realistic. In my old campaign, I even gave such a unit attacks, though they were less than practical, representing the villagers defending themselves, and as such, a rampart has numerous attack types- they were just not very strong.

EDIT: In the meantime, the colony I've been expanding for the sake of seeing how far I can go is doing too well that I really have no idea how I can expand anymore, and I have more income than I know what to do with... I have 50 villages, and my huge, mobile level 1-dominated with level 2 support force is only taking an upkeep of -25 gold, leaving 75 gold per turn for me to play with in Summer and Autumn... I've added the colony in its first year for comparison's sake.
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Before
0.5.1 50 Village Colony.png
After
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Evander
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Re: Cities of the Frontier (aka sim-Wesnoth)

Post by Evander » May 2nd, 2012, 7:48 am

xbriannova wrote: Encampments would be for real units to garrison in, while 'ramparts' as we may call them I suppose, could be used to block off units, and can be used to represent fortification that are purpose-built for impassability.
Wooden Ramparts & Stone Ramparts.

Sounds good to me :)
A good technique would be to build ramparts in villages I suppose, representing a fortified village- which is more than realistic. In my old campaign, I even gave such a unit attacks, though they were less than practical, representing the villagers defending themselves, and as such, a rampart has numerous attack types- they were just not very strong.
What I am more concerned are units that have flying/skirmish ability and just go around my defenders and burn buildings. I see a lot of use for ramparts there.

As for village ballistas... doesn't sound bad either, but perhaps this should be another unit - slightly weaker, to keep things balanced.

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