Let's Play "Liberty"

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Beleth
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Joined: October 11th, 2005, 6:22 am

Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Beleth » December 9th, 2013, 2:50 pm

Greetings all,

I've been playing The Battle For Wesnoth on and off over the years and have just recently come back to it again this past month. In all my years of playing Wesnoth I haven't played through all of the campaigns, learned all of the strategies, etc., so I thought that playing through the game with you guys would be a fun way to do that. Hopefully you'll agree! :)

I've decided to start with the "Libtery" campaign because it's an intermediate campaign, meaning that many people may not have played through it, and it's on the shorter side with 9 scenarios, allowing us to test out how this Let's Play goes and see if there's much interest in it.

Just to be clear about some of the details:

Game version: 1.10.7, the current stable version of the game.

Campaign: Liberty

Save-loading Policy: I will not save-load in the middle of a scenario to get different combat results, unit traits, etc. I may load from the start of a turn if I make a bonafide misclick (as my fingers aren't perfect, unfortunately). If a scenario goes completely awry then I'll restart from the beginning of the scenario and be transparent about it in this thread, including all attempts at the scenarios in the hopes of unpacking my mistakes and seeing what I did wrong.

Difficulty Level:

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Because we like hard mode. (At least until we lose... ;) )

Image size: For large images (like map screenshots) I'm going to use thumbnails in the thread so they don't take up a huge amount of screen space. For smaller screenshots (like the difficulty level above) I'll use full size images as they don't take up too much space. All of the thumbnails are clickable so you can see the full size of the images.

I think that covers everything. If you have any questions, suggestions, etc. please let me know and I'll edit this opening post. On that note, onward!

Beleth
Posts: 240
Joined: October 11th, 2005, 6:22 am

Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Beleth » December 9th, 2013, 2:58 pm

Scenario 1: The Raid

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Gah! The evil Fal Khag is upon us! What should we do?

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Hold them back, finish them off. Got it. Thanks, Baldras!

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Kill goblins, keep the Special People™ alive. Got it.



Getting my bearings

I always start a scenario by taking a look at the map:

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This looks pretty straightforward, right? I'll just hole up by the village and the pond, let them come to me, and I'll fight from cover while they're in the road. Fantastic idea! Except...

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The enemy won't be able to reach me if I just hole up by the village and the pond. This means that the enemy is going to make a straight beeline north for the town I'm supposed to protect, and there's no way that I'm going to be able to catch all of them if they all make a break for it. This means I have to throw people into the trees on the eastern side of the road in order to attract their attention. Sigh, guess this is going to get rough.

Something else to consider is that the scenario starts at dusk, which means night is coming, and in this scenario we're neutral and our enemy is chaotic.

To make things even extra fun, the enemy is all level 2 units and we have lots of level 1 units. This is going to get bloody.

Now that I have a lay of the land and some idea of what's coming up, here's my game plan:
  • Run a decoy squad into the woods to grab their attention.
  • Given that not all of the Goblin Pillagers will be able to get frontage on my decoy squad, run some people north to intercept anyone who runs across the river.
  • If I have the choice of whom to level up, I want to get my two Peasant Hunters some levels. Thugs make great level 1 melee units, yet Peasant Hunters can be rather fragile ranged units. Hopefully I can keep them alive and get them some kills.


Turn 1

Most of my turn 1 planning was detailed above, and here's what the moves look like:

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Two Footpads are going to be my interceptors and two are going to be my decoy squad. Everyone else is as far east as possible while being safely behind the decoy squad. My main concern here is that I do not want any of the pillagers to slow my other units, especially my Bandits, whom I'm going to need to put a bit dent into their hit points.

I had two reasons for splitting up the Footpads as I did. First, I want Harper on the interception team as I need to keep him alive, so if I expect my decoys to die (which I do) then I can't put him on that line. Second, the other Footpad going north to intercept is quick and resilient, which is exactly what I love to see in my Footpads. The other two are strong and intelligent, which I'm less fond of. If I'm going to keep any of these three guys alive I want it to be the quick and resilient one.

Okay, let's see what happens!


Turn 2

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Three Goblin Pillagers took the bait and are making mince meat out of one of my decoys. A fourth Pillager is going north along the river. I'm going to guess that the AI wants him to go across the river when it's only one hex wide for movement point reasons. Whatever the reason, I'm happy to see him still on this side of the river as that's less running for me to do.

Fal Khag is going to be annoying, though. He ran right across the river, and he's going to be difficult to intercept. Take a look at his movement range here:

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If I try to take my interception team directly for him then he's going to run right past me along the eastern edge of the map and I'll have no chance to cut him off. I can't even really set myself up as bait given how far I can move this turn (shown in the picture). The only way for me to be in range of him would be to go into the woods on the northern bank of the river, and if he doesn't take the bait then I'm going to be in serious trouble as I won't be able to catch up to him.

My interception squad is going to have to run north along the road and hope that Fal Khag makes a bad navigation decision at some point.

Going back to woods south of the river, my first concern as I mentioned previously is to have my northern decoy Footpad cover the Pillager by the river. Once that's taken care of I then look back at the Pillagers I can attack down there. I notice that Baldras and another Bandit can both attack the southernmost Pillager, putting Baldras against the southern edge of the map to limit his exposure to being attacked. Each has four 8 damage attacks against a Pillager with 48 hit points, so I don't expect the Pillager to die, but...

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I'm not exactly going to complain about that. :) I previous mentioned wanting to get kills on my Peasant Hunters, so I'm a bit disappointed to have "wasted" a kill on a Bandit. However, after Baldras's attack the Pillager was at 24 hit points, which would be impossible for a Hunter to kill. I didn't expect the second Bandit to take the kill, but he did, and I'm overall happy to have one fewer level two enemy to worry about.

I then move my other Bandit and decoy Footpad around to start "tenderizing" another Pillager, keeping my two Peasant Hunters safe behind the lines. At the end of the turn my formation looks like this:

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I'm expecting Fal Khag to continue to run north and for the other Pillagers to eat my Footpads, which I'm perfectly okay with. The Bandits are more important to me. Let's see what happens.


Turn 3

In the north, Fal Khag pretty much ran straight north. This means that it's going to be hard to catch him as Pillagers move pretty darn quickly. However, the terrain has changed to be in our favor.

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The woods the Pillager is next to spreads out to the northeast. This means that the Pillager is going to have to either go through the woods, cutting northwest toward the road, or go around the woods, which is going to be a longer route. Either of these is good for us as my interception team should be able to catch up to him.

Delurin, my non-Special Person Footpad, will go northeast as far as he can in to either bait Fal Khag or be far enough along to intercept on the next turn. Harper will end up in the trees in the middle of the screenshot as I don't want him being hit in the open by Fal Khag at night. I'm hoping that Delurin being out in the open will be a tastier target.

Now let's take a look at the south:

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Two things happened. First, one of my decoy Footpads got eaten. His service is appreciated. Second, Ordo (my Bandit that scored a kill on turn 2) was killed. That's rather unfortunate and painful, but that's the breaks sometime.

Let's take a look at the situation. My first priority is middle Pillager as he is rather exposed. I can move four units to attack him this turn (as the southern edge is taken up by another pillager and the southeastern edge is unreachable).

Now, the northern Pillager is more exposed and weaker, so why not go after that one instead?I want to ensure that Baldras (Special Person Bandit) is well-protected. I just saw two Pillagers take out a Bandit at night in one turn and I don't want this campaign to be over before it begins.

Going back to some overall scenario objectives, I want to level up my Peasant Hunters if I can. So one Bandit and two Peasant Hunter attacks later...

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Hooray! Treagh may be covered in netting, but he got a kill, which makes me rather happy.

At this point I want to pin down the northern Pillager with my Thug and Footpad, and I decide to take swing at the southern Pillager with Baldras in the hopes of setting up for an easy kill next turn. However...

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It looks like Baldras doesn't know his own strength. Oops. Oh well, it never hurts to have your Special People level up and become more durable. Onto Turn 4!


Turn 4

Let's take a look at our good friend Fal Khag:

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Hooray! He decided to cut across the woods for the road. We can pounce on him now.

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That's the kind of movement range I like to see. Note two things. First, Harper is in the woods while the Delurin is in the open. Hopefully this means that Fal Khag will attack Delurin before attacking Harper. Second, I did not attack Fal Khag. I need both units to survive long enough for other forces of mine to catch up, and if one of then dies then I will be unable to pin Fal Khag down effectively.

In the south, it looks like our Thug got eaten.

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Again, we appreciate his service.

Fortunately, the offending Pillager is incredibly weak, making him a prime pincushion target for our Peasant Hunters. If Treagh can get another kill then he'll level up. C'mon, Daddy needs a new Peasant Trapper...

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Hooray! Treagh leveled up. :)


Conclusion

At this point in the scenario it's just clean up. I'm going to fast forward to the start of Turn 8, which looks like this:

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If you look at the replay you'll see that I could have killed Fal Khag a bit earlier. However, I wanted to wait for Kembe, our second Peasant Hunter, to catch up on the hopes of getting him a kill.

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Kembe can't miss, right? Right?

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Sigh. Well, you hit some, you miss some. At this point I want to plan out who should get the kill. I don't want to put another kill on Treagh at this point as I'd rather start working toward multiple level 2's before working on a level 3. No one else is close to leveling up, so I want to put the kill on Harper. He's a Special Person who is rather fragile, so I'd like for him to be a little more durable if possible.

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I'd say he can't miss, but the last time I said that it didn't work out so well, so I don't want to jinx it.

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Hooray! The town is saved.


Now, before we move on let's take a look at two things. First, statistics (taken from the start of turn 8 as I can't seem to get it from the replay after killing Fal Khag):

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Looks like I got fairly lucky in this scenario overall with significant extra damage being dealt and less damage being taken.

And now the unit list:

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My five kills went to Baldras (who started the scenario with some XP), Harper (who is halfway to level 2 now), Treagh (who got two kills and leveled up to a Peasant Trapper), and Ordo (our late Bandit).

Overall we lost a Footpad, Thug, and Bandit, which I'm okay with. It would have been nice to keep the Bandit around, but life goes on.

In terms of where next steps, I'd obviously like to get Harper up to level 2 in the next scenario if possible. I like having my missile units being strong and resilient for the extra hit points, so I'm likely going to want to recall Kembe instead of getting completely fresh Peasant Hunters in the next scenario. I'm not sure if I want to recall any other of the level 1's or not; I'll have to see how things go.


And on that note...

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Onward!
Attachments
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Chief_Chasso
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Chief_Chasso » December 10th, 2013, 3:46 am

Hi Beleth, very nice walk through you put together here. Your writing style is very entertaining. :D I've always have had trouble with this scenario (even on easy), but I'm a horrible player. Watching/reading this strategy guide is most helpful. The thing I've learned most is to pay attention... which I'm not great at when it comes to Wesnoth. Point being is this:
Beleth wrote:and in this scenario we're neutral and our enemy is chaotic.
I'm not even joking- to this day, this is the first I knew about this (about the neutral part). You are playing as footpads and thugs and why are you neutral? It's counter-intuitive. I'm sure it's always been like this, but why? This was one of the first campaigns I've played, and I was expecting to play as chaotic units. I wasn't expecting anything else, so I didn't think to check. I'm just saying, you'd think there would be a warning for first time players- you're lead to believe that lawful units are lawful, chaotic units are chaotic, neutral are neutral. It's an intermediate campaign so you think, well this will be more challenging, not "any rule that you've learned up to this point can be disregarded without warning". This mentality is dangerous. You can't hood-wink players like that. That's bad game design and I'm surprised this kind of mentality crept into mainline campaigns. Good game design, in part, is about setting players' expectations. A simple warning at start of the first scenario (or better yet, in the campaign description) would be most beneficial. You know what you're getting into from the get go.

Sorry for the rant Beleth. Nice job on this walk through. I'm looking forward to your replay on scenario 2.
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shadowm
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by shadowm » December 10th, 2013, 8:40 am

Chief_Chasso wrote:...
You might want to note that a quick inspection of the sidebar reveals that those units are not what they seem, and you will want to do that anyway in order to learn their traits (pretty important when trying to decide who to sacrifice move or attack with next).

Since it’s all for story reasons, the only alternative would be to use completely different graphics for those units — the whole set of outlaw units. I think the problem with that alternative is pretty obvious.
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sedmi_patuljak
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by sedmi_patuljak » December 10th, 2013, 11:13 am

Very good AAR of very good scenario. Keep it up.

Beleth
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Beleth » December 10th, 2013, 2:24 pm

Chief_Chasso wrote:Hi Beleth, very nice walk through you put together here. Your writing style is very entertaining. :D
sedmi_patuljak wrote:Very good AAR of very good scenario. Keep it up.
Thanks! :D Glad to hear you both enjoyed it.
Chief_Chasso wrote:I've always have had trouble with this scenario (even on easy), but I'm a horrible player.
The old saying of "practice makes perfect" is quite true when it comes to Wesnoth (or any other game).
Chief_Chasso wrote:Watching/reading this strategy guide is most helpful. The thing I've learned most is to pay attention... which I'm not great at when it comes to Wesnoth.
Paying attention to alignment is one of the easiest things to overlook and most important things to take into account whenever you're playing through one of the campaigns. If you look at some of the walkthroughs that other people have posted for other campaign scenarios, you'll see that many high-level players will push out in favorable times of day, fall back in unfavorable times of day, back and forth, etc. It can be frustrating at times, but learning this discipline will be very helpful to you.

Sometimes you can't use the day-night cycle to help you (such as in this scenario because of the pressure to engage as soon as possible), but in other scenarios it's the key to victory.
Chief_Chasso wrote:I'm not even joking- to this day, this is the first I knew about this (about the neutral part). You are playing as footpads and thugs and why are you neutral? It's counter-intuitive. I'm sure it's always been like this, but why?
I think the idea thematically is that the villagers haven't "gone rogue" yet, but that's my best guess. As Shadowm said, something you should do at the start of every scenario is to look everything over because there are some surprises in campaigns from time to time.

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wolkenwand
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by wolkenwand » December 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm

I like your playthrough! also the way you explain your overall strategy and the battlefield before you start is very entertaining and informative.

HomerJ
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by HomerJ » December 10th, 2013, 4:54 pm

The amount of work you put into that is incredible!

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SkyOne
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by SkyOne » December 10th, 2013, 5:45 pm

Yes. This thread will probably increase the number of people who play Liberty campaign.:)

P.S.:
Spoiler:
Fate of a Princess/feedback thread: "What is in own heart that is the most important, not who you are."
Drake Campaign: Brave Wings/feedback thread, Naga Campaign: Return of the Monster, Saurian Campaign: Across the Ocean
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Beleth
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Beleth » December 12th, 2013, 12:26 am

Hi all,

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I should have the next installment up shortly after a few formatting details are taken care of. :)

Beleth
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Beleth » December 12th, 2013, 12:38 am

Scenario 2: Civil Disobedience

Last we left our fearless heroes, Baldras and Harper, we had just defeated the evil Fal Khag and his four Goblin Pillagers, thereby saving the innocent town of Dallben. Huzzah! I'm certain that the Crown will applaud our grassroots militia, lavishing great praise upon our town and rewarding us with the weapons, armor, and training we need to protect our little hamlet.

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See? I told you that the Crown would be sending us weapons, armor, and training! Though it's kinda of hard to put training in a box...? We'll worry about that later.

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"Vetting"? Baldras just ran for office last year and it's a four-year term, so we shouldn't need to vet any potential political candidates for at least another two years or so. After all, Dallben is a small town and we all know each other, so the vetting is really more of a formality anyway. (Sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity for political humor. ;) )

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Hey there! I didn't see you defeat Fal Khag and his four... I mean, twenty Goblin Pillagers yesterday. We are the manly men of Dallban and we don't want to "bandy words" with pompous Cavaliers who would literally strike down the farmers who feed him.

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Uh, these four Cavalrymen, three Horsemen, and two Spearmen just came into our town for hugs and merrymaking, right? Right?

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Gosh darn it, me and my big mouth. I guess I shouldn't have told off Sir Fancy Pants on his High Horse. Oh well, here goes nothing!


Getting my bearings

So let's take a look at the map again:

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I unfortunately counted correctly. The enemy has four Cavalrymen, three Horsemen, and two Spearmen to use against us. How much space does this safely leave us?

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Not much at all. Phooey. This means that whatever units we recruit are potentially going to be directly under fire. We do have five brave Peasants with pointy sticks who are already acting as decoys, but those guys are going to fall quickly. One charging hit from a Horseman in the afternoon will kill 'em. Poor guys.


Let's take a look at our economic situation:

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Before we go any further, there are two important things to note. First, even though the green team is on our side, it is leaderless (evidenced by the lack of a leader in the status scree). This means that the 100 gold it starts out with isn't going to be worth anything.

Second, if I remember correctly, Tarwen doesn't actually recruit any more troops in this scenario. That's good to know, especially since we're already eight units behind in terms of troop strength.

When comparing the economic situation, the enemy has (not including the leader):
  • Four Cavalrymen @ 17 gold each = 68 gold
  • Three Horsemen @ 23 gold each = 69 gold
  • Two Spearmen @ 14 gold each = 28 gold
  • Total troop cost = 165 gold
We have 205 gold in our coffers, so on a gold-for-gold basis we should be able to win. Now, the game hardly ever boils down to gold-for-gold exchanges in practice, so you have to take this with a grain of salt, but it's still an important comparison to make.


Okay, we've looked at the map, we've looked at our money, so now we'll look at the time of day. As you can see from the map, we're currently in the afternoon. The enemy is lawful and we're neutral, so we would love to do a lot of fighting at night if possible.

Given this information, we would ideally be able to structure the first few turns of the game like so:
  • Turn 1, Afternoon, My Turn: recruit decoys.
  • Turn 1, Afternoon, Enemy Turn: enemy kills the Peasants.
  • Turn 2, Dusk, My Turn: move decoys into position, recruit damage dealers.
  • Turn 2, Dusk, Enemy Turn: enemy attacks the decoys.
  • Turn 3, First Watch, My Turn: attack with damage dealers, recruit more damage dealers
  • Turn 3, First Watch, Enemy Turn: enemy finishes off decoys.
  • Turn 4, Second Watch, My Turn: attack with damage dealers again.
Given the number of opposing units I am definitely going to need a decoy squad, and I need to recruit damage dealers on turn 2 in order to get the most attacks out of them as possible while it's night out.


The big picture view of the first few turns is now in place. Now all I have to do is pick which units to use. Let's start by looking at our opponent's units (Cavalryman, Horseman, Spearman):

Image Image Image

Well, that somewhat stinks. Two of our units, Footpads and Thugs, do impact damage, which all of the armored horse units are protected against. Our Peasant Hunters do piercing damage, which is good, especially since the horse units can't return fire. This means that our first decision is pretty easy to make: we're going to use Peasant Hunters for our damage dealers.

For decoys, I'm going to go with Thugs. I want a melee unit for my decoys because that way they will fight back harder when they are attacked, which rules out Peasant Hunters. I prefer Thugs to Footpads because Thugs have more melee attack power (both damage and strikes), more hit points, and cost less. Footpads have the advantage of a ranged attack for harassment purposes and are harder to hit, but I'd rather have more return damage when attacked so my Peasant Hunters can take our their units as quickly as possible.



Turn 1

As with the first scenario, all of my planning for Turn 1 has already been taken care of. (In fact, I'd go as far as to say that if you don't know what your Turn 1 strategy should be then you haven't spent enough time getting your bearings and need to look at the map more.)

Based on the above I'm going to recruit four Thugs and get Harper (our Special Footpad) to safety. It would be incredibly disappointing for the scenario to end before it begins by having a Horseman charge Harper and kill him on turn 1. After recruiting the four Thugs it looks like having Harper hide in Baldras's shadow is going to keep him safe.

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Not many choices to make on turn 1, so that's all there is to do. Go brave Peasants! Skewer those Horsemen on your pitchforks!


Turn 2

Well, that was lousy.

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All of the Peasants died without putting up much of a fight. While I certainly didn't expect them to live very long, I was hoping that they would tenderize the enemy units a bit more than they did.

Okay, let's revisit the general game plan. Turn 1 we were going to recruit decoys and then on Turn 2 we were going to move them "into position." What does that mean exactly? We want to spread out our decoys in such a way that we protect our damage dealers (i.e.: Peasant Hunters). We do not want any of these highly mobile horse units attacking our damage dealers on this turn. They should be forced to attack our melee units, hopefully damaging themselves significantly in the process.

Now, there's a Cavalryman at 15 hit points sitting on a small tree in the center of the map. Should I try to take him out? I'm going to say that the answer to this question is no. First, it's a very small chance that I'll be able to take him out with one unit. Assuming that I don't want to expose my leader (which I don't), the best I can do is throw a strong Thug at him, which doesn't look good.

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I'd need all four hits to land, which is a 13% chance of success if you click on the Damage Calculations button. That's not good odds. This means that I'd have to expose multiple units to have a chance of killing him, and right now I'm behind on units (4 friendly units not counting leaders vs. 9 enemy units not counting leaders). I need to make every unit count right now.

Related to the above, the second reason I don't want to attack the Cavalryman is because if I hurt the unit but don't kill it (which is rather likely) then he'll retreat that unit and have it heal. I don't want that to happen. I would rather leave the unit halfway health in the hopes that he'll have it attack one of my thugs, get hurt even more, and then be a prime target for me at the start of turn 3.

So back to the plan: position decoys to protect my new recruits, and have my recruits be units who units that will be prime damage dealers.

After doing this, the map looks like this (with enemy moves displayed):

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Let's talk about this layout for a bit. The southern flank is nicely taken care of: two thugs in villages and a newly recruited thug in the castle protect the Level 2 Peasant Trapper perfectly. (Well, as perfectly as you can get in this situation.)

The northern flank is significantly more exposed. The villages are too far away for me to position units in them and have the northern part of my castle be protected by my units' ZOC. Because of this, I have to put some of my units into open land to prevent multiple enemy units from attacking my Peasant Hunter. That's the purpose of the northern Thug and Harper sitting in the village in the back (where he is exposed to a Horseman charge, but hopefully the Horseman will attack the Thugs in open land first). The damaged Thug in open land is to give the enemy units something to attack that I don't care about, and if they go for it then they will be readily in range of my ranged units on Turn 3 when night falls. It's also another target to distract the Horseman from attacking Harper.

Hopefully everything will go according to plan with the enemy attacking my melee units, getting damaged in the process, and setting me up for a strong turn 3 for a counterattack.


Turn 3

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We got kinda lucky with this one. The two decoy Thugs out in the open in the north were completely overrun, exposing Harper to not just the Horseman but also a Cavalryman. Fortunately for us he escaped unscathed, but that could have been game over for us right then and there.

If I had to do something differently, I may have left one of the southern decoy Thugs out in the open to bait the enemy. This means that we would have one fewer unit to counterattack with on this turn, but it may have distracted the enemy from Harper. No worries, though, as we're around to fight another day.


It's Turn 3, and our overall plan for this scenario was to counterattack hard on Turn 3 while it's night and the enemy has a harder time of fighting back. This is important because our tactical decisions in this turn have to match the overall game plan for the scenario. For example, our strategy in Turn 2 was to distract, which means we want to weaken the enemy, not kill them. Our strategy this turn is to kill, which means we want to kill units that have been already weakened.

Let's look at the map and talk about priorities.

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Our first priority is killing Horsemen. These guys are brutal on the attack. We've seen them take out Peasants in one hit and one made very quick work of a decoy thug. We want to hit them hard right now when (a) they can't use charge against us and (b) nighttime will reduce the damage they deal to us.

The first Horseman to kill is going to be the southernmost Horseman: 23 hit points left, completely exposed sides, and we have lots of units around him. If he doesn't die this turn then either I'm doing something horribly wrong.

The second Horseman to kill is the one that went after Harper. Now, this guy's going to be tough to get because only two faces are open: the south face (that completely exposes my unit) and the village space that Harper is currently standing in. Because of this very limited exposure, I need to have two of my strongest units attack this Horseman to have any reasonable chance of dealing 29 hit points of damage. I need to keep this in mind so I don't accidentally use a strong unit killing the first Horseman.

The last Horseman is unfortunately out of reach. None of my units can currently reach him. Moreover, it's not going to be very each to kill a unit to get to him either. The only way to do this would be to kill the Cavalryman who attacked my Peasant Hunter, and I don't think that's a good use of resources. Instead, there are two weakened Cavalrymen who would be much better targets given how weak they are.

So that's our game plan: attack the southern Horseman and kill him, then make a play for the exposed northern Horseman, and then hopefully take out the weakened Cavalrymen to the west of us. Got it.

Now, who do we want to give the kills to? The Thugs are still going to be our decoys and provide ZOC cover for our ranged units, so they aren't my favorite units to give kills to. I would really like my ranged units to get the kills, and if Harper and Baldras got some kills I would be happy as they're going to stick around through this campaign. Finally, because of the limited exposure of the northern Horseman, I want my Level 2 Peasant Trapper to attack the northern Horseman because he'll deal more damage, meaning I want to use my Level 1 Peasant Hunter on the southern Horseman.


Okay, enough talk: time for action!

I send two Thugs after the southern Horseman and after both attack the Horseman is sitting at 11 hit points. That's more than I wanted because now it takes three hits from the Peasant Hunter to kill him, which aren't the odds I was looking for.

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I would really like to have more than a 47.5% shot at a kill here. However, the good news is that there's a 82.1% chance that the Peasant Hunter will either kill the Horseman or leave the Horseman with only 1 hit point, which means that Harper should be able to stroll along and finish this guy off. Given that it's probably not all that easy to get Harper kills, this wouldn't be a bad result.

Okay, we're going for it with the Peasant Hunter. And the Horseman is left with 1 hit point. Oh well, we'll turn lemons into lemonade. Harper, attack!

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Well done, boy! Maybe it was best for Harper to get the kill in the end. Yeah, that was my real plan all along... ;)

Now, let's take a look at Harper before we move onto the next Horseman. Harper is sitting at 32/36 XP. This means that we do not want to give him another kill. We would rather him harass and weaken other units and level up that way. Remember that you get 1 XP per level of any unit you go into combat with. This means that Harper can be pretty much guaranteed to level up by attacking the Level 3 enemy leader and attacking any one other unit. In fact, we probably want him to attack another unit first, allowing him to attack the enemy leader later on without worrying about whether or not he gets hit in the combat. As long as he lives he'll level up and heal up to full.


Okay, let's look at the northern Horseman now. He only has two exposed faces, so we want to hit him with our strongest units: a Bandit and a Peasant Trapper. How much damage will they each deal?

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It looks like the Bandit should deal an average of 14.424 damage if you run the expected value calculation, and the Peasant Trapper should deal 16.828 damage. This is a total of ~31 damage points, which should barely be enough to kill the Horseman.

While risking two of our strongest units is rather risky, I'm going to go for it. Killing this unit would be a huge win. I'm going to attack with the Bandit first and see how he does. If he misses entirely then I'm going to abort the attack. If he gets at least two hits then we're going to press ahead.

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Hot damn! Give that Bandit a pay raise, hitting all four times. This was an amazingly good turn for us.


Okay, we've got one Thug and Baldras left. What to do? Ideally we'd kill one of those Cavalrymen to the west of us. However, I don't want to leave Baldras that exposed. I also want to lock down enemy movement by using ZOC blocks.

I think what I'm going to do is have the southern Thug stay put to prevent the western Cavarlymen from running around to the south, have Baldras recruit three new units, and then move Baldras to the eastern village to ZOC block movement on that flank. For recruits, I'm going to get two more Thugs in the north and then another Peasant Hunter in the south as that Hunter will be ZOC protected.

Our final layout looks like this:

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Our southern Peasant Hunters are ZOC protected from harm, which is the best I think we can do right now. We get another turn of attacking the enemy while it's night out, and hopefully we can take down more than two of their units next turn.


Turn 4

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Hot damn. Our Level 2 Peasant Trapper took a bit of fire but healed, which is fine. The formerly protected Horseman is now really exposed, which is fantastic. Our Bandit hit seven out of eight retaliatory strikes, which is amazing.

This tactics for this round are very straightforward: kill the Horseman and as many of the three Cavalrymen as possible. We can clean up the Spearman after.


Again, we want to get kills on our ranged units, want Harper to get in at least one harassment attack, and we also want to keep our Bandit safe because he's more than earned some rest. The unit count is now in our favor (9 non-leader friendly units vs. 7 non-leader enemy units), so we shouldn't need to recruit anybody else, meaning that Baldras can now bash in a few heads.

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All of that tenderizing from previous turns paid off (and those lucky retaliation hits from our Bandit). Three ranged units and one decoy Thug were enough to take out three Cavalrymen. Notice that every ranged attack only needed two out of four hits to kill the unit (in one case thanks to the Thug softening the unit first). Two out of four hits at 60% hit chance gives you a kill rate of 82%. That's the kind of hit chance that you're looking for when you want to get a kill.

Also, take a look at something else I did here. See how that Bandit I want to keep safe only moved one space? I wanted to free up the space to put my Peasant Hunter there, but I don't yet know where I want the Bandit to go to heal up and stay safe. There is no reason to use all of his movement at once, so I moved him just one space so I can see how the rest of the turn plays out before I put him somewhere. Don't feel the need to commit all of your units' movement points all at once if you don't have to.


Harper softens up the Horseman from the safety of the castle while thug gets really lucky and kills the Horseman with four-for-four hits. Unfortunately, fighting the Spearman doesn't go as well with many of our attacks missing. Oh well, can't complain given the other luck we've had in this scenario.

The final layout for the turn looks like so:

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The Bandit is going to heal up safely in the rear village, a thug that's pretty much guaranteed to die anyway is going to hopefully distract the spearman, and we're ready to swarm over all of the remaining enemies.


Conclusion

The rest of the scenario at this stage is just cleaning things up. One of the important points about Wesnoth is that the first few turns of engagement are hugely crucial, and if you can play these out well then you can roll over the rest.


Now, something very important happens at the end of this scenario:

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So, you know how we've been neutral up to this point and have been using abnormal unit types (such as "Peasant Hunter" instead of "Poacher")?

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We are officially on the run now. All of our units are now chaotic and have the units types that we're used to. Down with the Queen! Down with the Queen! Down with the Queen!

Looking over the unit list, we're doing pretty darn well if I do say so myself. Baldras is close to Level 3, we have two Level 2 Trappers, one Level 2 Bandit, Harper got to Level 2 by harassing the enemy leader as planned, and we have a Poacher that will almost certainly level up on the next scenario. Very nice, indeed.

Let's peek at our stats while we're at it:

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Something to remember about these statistics is that they are cumulative throughout the entire campaign; they are not just limited to this scenario. Well, most of them at least. Recruits, Recalls, and Advancements are all for the scenario while Losses, Kills, Damage Inflicted, and Damage Taken are all for the entire campaign.

At the end of Scenario 1 we were significantly ahead of the game in terms of Damage Inflicted and Damage Taken and that seems to have corrected itself in this past scenario, which is a good thing. It means that we actually did worse than average and still came out with a strong result. Hopefully we'll be able to keep up the good strategy and tactics moving forward.


And on that note...

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Onward!
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Sapient
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Sapient » December 12th, 2013, 2:09 am

I found this analysis to be very fun and informative, and I look forward to reading the rest of it.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."

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Crow_T
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Crow_T » December 12th, 2013, 2:14 am

Great read, great job putting this together- you have one more subscriber :geek:

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Chief_Chasso
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by Chief_Chasso » December 14th, 2013, 4:36 pm

Well, I've following your walk through (for the most part). It's very helpful. However, I've noticed something. I'm playing on 1.11.7. In the first scenario, first turn, all the wolves go directly north every time. I could not get them to take the bait. I've tried this about a few times on a all three difficultly levels- each time all the wolves go directly north towards the river. Even if I put Harper directly in the forest by himself, they still don't attack. I still managed to complete the scenario on Easy, but it was more difficult, since it's hard to catch up to them.

I quickly looked at the cfg file and notice this was added in 1.11.7, which isn't present in 1.10.7. I wonder if this is the culprit?

Code: Select all

[event]
        name=prestart

        [micro_ai]
            side=2
            ai_type=messenger_escort
            action=add

            id=Fal Khag
            waypoint_x,waypoint_y=9,1
        [/micro_ai]
I haven't had much chance to use these new ai settings in 1.11.7. I'm not sure if this is causing this? Or is having the wolves go directly north intentional?
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mattsc
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Re: Let's Play "Liberty"

Post by mattsc » December 14th, 2013, 9:15 pm

Chief_Chasso wrote:I'm playing on 1.11.7. In the first scenario, first turn, all the wolves go directly north every time. I could not get them to take the bait.
...
I haven't had much chance to use these new ai settings in 1.11.7. I'm not sure if this is causing this? Or is having the wolves go directly north intentional?
From the 1.11.7 changelog:

Code: Select all

   * Liberty:
     * New AI for wolf riders in "The Raid"
So, the answer is 'yes' to both of your questions. That is what's causing this and the new behavior is intentional. In fact, as I understand it, it has always been the intention to have them behave like that, just that until recently it was not possible to do so using the existing AI parameters (or at least not easily).

And just to explain what the wolves are actually doing, they are following the Messenger Micro AI behavior, which sends Fal Khag north (to hex 9,1, as you can see from the code snippet you found) with all other units either trying to position themselves in between Fal Khag and enemy units or trying to clear the way for him - they now only attack units that are in his way. So no, baiting them won't work any more.

By the way, changing the AI also involved rebalancing the scenario a little (mostly changing the starting positions of the units), so that it remains at roughly the same difficulty level (but requiring a different strategy from before).

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