number of units/power of units

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deoxy
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number of units/power of units

Post by deoxy »

OK, I have an idea, but I suspect it violates the Philosophy of Wesnoth, so instead of just saying "hey, this is a good idea, we should do it" and get the thread locked, I am instead going to ask for insight on certain decisions.

Here's the "problem" as I see it (which is probably not considered a problem at all): having more units than your opponent, even if those units suck, essentially guarantees victory.

Now, that's not ENTIRELY true, of course, but the classic example is the WC horde. It doesn't matter than WCs suck - 6 WCs (with someone nearby replacing one every turn or so) can completely and permanently immobilize Godzilla (or any other ridiculously powerful unit you wish to name), and the amount of damage it can do is severely limited (that is, you can kill one WC a turn, and if they don't attack you, well, that's it).

I completely expect that the developers will answer this with, "Yes, exactly. That is the desired state. Your job as a player is to keep your opponent from doing this to you."

SO, I had two thoughts on how to deal with this:

1. Ability to move one hex AFTER attacking, but only if you didn't move at all before attacking.
2. If you kill a unit with attacks left (say you had a melee 5-5 blade, and you killed your opponent with the first hit), you could use them against another adjacent opponent (no moving in between, no changing which attack type, etc). To continue the example from above, you could make a melee 5-4 blade attack against another adjacent foe. The penalty would be that they would get their full attack back at you (so you could, in theory, suffer more than on full attack on your own turn).

Now, as I said, I'm fairly certain neither of these will remotely pass muster; I am not trying to change anyone's mind on it. Actually, I guess I am trying to get you to change mine... I want to understand why it's done this way.

I think this goes along with the comments about limiting advancement, that Wesnoth is not about super-units, etc. But, in response, I would point out some of the areas of growth in Wesnoth (the RPG developments, for a particularly good example) which are being, to a certain extent, handicapped by these constraints.

So, help me out here.
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Post by CIB »

It's not hard to do something like that with WML. In SurvivalXtreme for example it already has been done(when you kill something you get back some movement). But actually, in all the good RPGs I played it wasn't even neccessary, because if you don't want the player to be trapped by hundreds of weak units you just put some stronger ones..
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TL
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by TL »

deoxy wrote:Here's the "problem" as I see it (which is probably not considered a problem at all): having more units than your opponent, even if those units suck, essentially guarantees victory.

Now, that's not ENTIRELY true, of course, but the classic example is the WC horde. It doesn't matter than WCs suck - 6 WCs (with someone nearby replacing one every turn or so) can completely and permanently immobilize Godzilla (or any other ridiculously powerful unit you wish to name), and the amount of damage it can do is severely limited (that is, you can kill one WC a turn, and if they don't attack you, well, that's it).

I completely expect that the developers will answer this with, "Yes, exactly. That is the desired state. Your job as a player is to keep your opponent from doing this to you."
It's not considered a problem because it's not even remotely true in anything resembling standard play. You can buy enough WCs, goblins, whatever to outnumber your opponent 2:1, 3:1, even 4:1 and you will lose very very horribly. Your income advantage won't matter much because you will be losing at least 2 or 3 WCs a turn (even if you're not attacking) and paying more to replace them than your opponent pays in upkeep. You need something like 10:1 (if not 20:1) to get anywhere with this sort of strategy and that just doesn't happen. The number of WCs you would need to pin down a single level 3 or 4 unit for more than a turn or two would cost more than any level 3-4 unit would, and that's assuming that the side with the level 3 unit doesn't have any other units to break up the WCs with.

Since this "problem" doesn't happen in default era multiplayer games and generally speaking not in most campaigns either, I don't see why any change needs to be made to the engine that would effect default era. You only run into the problem if you heavily mod the game to extremes. If you're going to write a scenario with Godzilla vs. hundreds of zombies then it's entirely possible to fix the problem with scenario scripting, and if you're not writing a scenario with 20:1 or greater odds then there isn't a problem at all.
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Soliton »

deoxy wrote: 2. If you kill a unit with attacks left (say you had a melee 5-5 blade, and you killed your opponent with the first hit), you could use them against another adjacent opponent (no moving in between, no changing which attack type, etc). To continue the example from above, you could make a melee 5-4 blade attack against another adjacent foe. The penalty would be that they would get their full attack back at you (so you could, in theory, suffer more than on full attack on your own turn).
That's actually not such a bad idea. You'd need special rules for berserk attacks at least though. Think Ulfserker running into a crowd of Adepts...
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deoxy
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by deoxy »

Soliton wrote:
deoxy wrote: 2. If you kill a unit with attacks left (say you had a melee 5-5 blade, and you killed your opponent with the first hit), you could use them against another adjacent opponent (no moving in between, no changing which attack type, etc). To continue the example from above, you could make a melee 5-4 blade attack against another adjacent foe. The penalty would be that they would get their full attack back at you (so you could, in theory, suffer more than on full attack on your own turn).
That's actually not such a bad idea. You'd need special rules for berserk attacks at least though. Think Ulfserker running into a crowd of Adepts...
yes, berserk attacks would probably need to not be affected...

And yes, I have run into this problem (though not QUITE that extreme) in normal MP play... when I set up multiple AIs against me. I level my troops big time killing them off, but they sometimes end up swarming me with weenies, as described above.

No, I haven't made a Godzilla unit - it was just an extreme example.

Where would I find SurvivalXtreme?

And thanks for the responses - I appreciate it.
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TL
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by TL »

SurvivalXtreme is on 1.2.4 addon server if I'm not mistaken. It IS an example of 1 unit (per player anyhow) vs. hordes and hordes of enemies, so letting your uberunits take multiple attacks per turn makes sense there.
deoxy wrote:And yes, I have run into this problem (though not QUITE that extreme) in normal MP play... when I set up multiple AIs against me. I level my troops big time killing them off, but they sometimes end up swarming me with weenies, as described above.
So, wait, are you saying that you're setting up games where you're facing a larger number of opponents with a combined gold total more than yours, and then saying there's a problem because they have an advantage? Or is this really happening when you're doing e.g. 400 gold for you vs. 4 AIs with 100 gold each?

And I mean, what IS the problem exactly anyhow? If 6 spearmen or a dozen goblins gang up on a grand knight and the grand knight dies, is there actually anything wrong with that? And if they surround the grand knight without attacking just to pin it down, well, first off that should be something very difficult and rare to pull off, and then after it happens you have other units to break the knight out of the enemy circle. And secondly they're not really buying themselves any advantage by not attacking, since 1) if you have enough L0 or L1 units to effectively pin down an L3 unit, that's enough to kill most L3 units, and 2) they're wasting more resources pinning your grand knight down than you are by having your grand knight pinned down.
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Haibane
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Haibane »

Soliton wrote:
deoxy wrote: 2. If you kill a unit with attacks left (say you had a melee 5-5 blade, and you killed your opponent with the first hit), you could use them against another adjacent opponent (no moving in between, no changing which attack type, etc). To continue the example from above, you could make a melee 5-4 blade attack against another adjacent foe. The penalty would be that they would get their full attack back at you (so you could, in theory, suffer more than on full attack on your own turn).
That's actually not such a bad idea. You'd need special rules for berserk attacks at least though. Think Ulfserker running into a crowd of Adepts...
Actually it is bad idea, at least for mainline. Choosing right target is part of strategy, you can kill some weak or almost dead unit with high probability to kill it and in most cases waste most of your damage, or leave it alive and attack some more difficult target to use full damage without (real) chance to kill it.
If would be possible to kill first unit and harm second one, gameplay would be very different and this often important decison would be gone. It would have great impact to strategy, it would make your decisions simpler by removing possibilities and reducing random effect. Well, reduced random effect would be nice imho, but this is wrong way how to do it.

So no, I don't like it. May possible as special ability for some units (like fencers, but it would be too powerful with skrimish, mb for lvl2 option without lvl3 or without skrimish or so). You could call it "fencer" fe :P
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irrevenant
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Post by irrevenant »

My personal opinion: This would be bad as the default for the reasons people stated but it would make a nifty special ability for a unit (Berserker seems appropriate).
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Haibane
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Post by Haibane »

irrevenant wrote:... (Berserker seems appropriate).
I agree with Soliton here, ulfseker/berseker would be very inappropriate :roll:

Btw may I found another problem (or advantage ?), it would be possible to attack some almost dead unit with some lvl0 (weak) unit, kill it and than attack some strong unit to harm it, suicide your lvl0 and make free space for another unit/attack.
Well, just a thought, probably too complicated, risky and not so great for massive use/abuse. It could be interesting tactic for special cases, it would make lvl0 units more useful for a extra price (so let's give such ability to a goblin ? :P ). But it doesn't make real sense except gameplay.
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Soliton »

Haibane wrote:
Soliton wrote: That's actually not such a bad idea. You'd need special rules for berserk attacks at least though. Think Ulfserker running into a crowd of Adepts...
If would be possible to kill first unit and harm second one, gameplay would be very different and this often important decison would be gone. It would have great impact to strategy, it would make your decisions simpler by removing possibilities and reducing random effect.
Are you really saying that sometimes killing a unit with some strikes left and standing next to another attackable unit and attacking it thus receiving full retaliation would have a great impact on strategy (tactics rather?) or even balance?

Btw another complication is what to do when the unit levels after the attack. Which is even quite likely after a kill.
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deoxy
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by deoxy »

Soliton wrote:Are you really saying that sometimes killing a unit with some strikes left and standing next to another attackable unit and attacking it thus receiving full retaliation would have a great impact on strategy (tactics rather?) or even balance?

Btw another complication is what to do when the unit levels after the attack. Which is even quite likely after a kill.
Yes, that's what he was saying, and he gave a good example of how it would affect gameplay fairly seriously in some cases.

And the problem you put forward is actually quite a bit simpler: you may continue the attack you started, regardless of leveling in the middle. On a 4-4 attack, you kill the first unit with 2 attacks and level... now you've got a 5-5 attack instead. You may take a 4-2 attack against an adjacent enemy for free, because that's what you've got left from the first one.

This has generated more discussion than I expected, and it has helped me see both sides of my suggestion - both how it would have farther-reaching effects on the game, and how it might not be acceptable in some cases. Thanks everyone.

(Not that I mean to imply we should STOP discussing, of course.)
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Soliton »

deoxy wrote:
Soliton wrote:Are you really saying that sometimes killing a unit with some strikes left and standing next to another attackable unit and attacking it thus receiving full retaliation would have a great impact on strategy (tactics rather?) or even balance?

Btw another complication is what to do when the unit levels after the attack. Which is even quite likely after a kill.
Yes, that's what he was saying, and he gave a good example of how it would affect gameplay fairly seriously in some cases.
Some cases being the keywords here. The effects might be considered serious in some rare cases but they are rare. I'm talking about standard multiplayer games btw, not some special scenarios/settings where you constantly kill hords of units.
deoxy wrote: And the problem you put forward is actually quite a bit simpler: you may continue the attack you started, regardless of leveling in the middle. On a 4-4 attack, you kill the first unit with 2 attacks and level... now you've got a 5-5 attack instead. You may take a 4-2 attack against an adjacent enemy for free, because that's what you've got left from the first one.
I wouldn't call that simple. Not from an interface, gameplay or programming perspective. The KISS solution IMO would be to just stay with the current behaviour and let the strikes go to waste in this case.
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TL
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by TL »

Soliton wrote:Are you really saying that sometimes killing a unit with some strikes left and standing next to another attackable unit and attacking it thus receiving full retaliation would have a great impact on strategy (tactics rather?) or even balance?
I don't see how it wouldn't have a great impact on tactics. Balance, maybe not since it would effect all factions. But then maybe it might hurt balance too, because it could have a different impact on certain factions. The balancing factor behind this change that gets brought up is the fact that you take full retaliation, but generally you attack with units that will take very little (or no) retaliation anyhow. Any ranged unit that finishes off an enemy on their first shot can open up on any adjacent melee unit with the rest of their strikes for no penalty. That seems pretty huge. Rebels for example probably won't care that much since most of their units have both melee and ranged, but undead would be hit hard due to lack of mixed units. The only UD units which even have both melee and ranged are skeleton archer and ghost, and neither of those has much of a terrifying counterattack.
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Haibane »

Soliton wrote:
deoxy wrote: Yes, that's what he was saying, and he gave a good example of how it would affect gameplay fairly seriously in some cases.
Some cases being the keywords here. The effects might be considered serious in some rare cases but they are rare. I'm talking about standard multiplayer games btw, not some special scenarios/settings where you constantly kill hords of units.
Some cases are true for my second thought, I don't really consider goblins as big problem, it may be even interesting for them. Anyway, it's probably rare and special case (but I haven't tried so far :P ) and I wanted just to say it.

On the other side, my first thought about killing wounded units and attacking new target is serious. That's not special or rare case, that's quite common in standart multiplayer games.
I don't know about balance (it's possible), but I'm sure about great impact to tactic/strategy. Well, you can say big, if great sounds as exaggeration to you, I'm not sure about exact size :wink:

Seems like you overestimate counterattack to me. You should know, counterattack is not really always important. As TL said, you can attack with ranget unit to melee targets, and even if it's not that case, for attacker is usually much better to make more damage even for price of more recieved damage. Attacker always determines conditions, he can decide when he needs more damage to destroy enemy defense and he can cover his extra wounded units. He can also attack in his favorable TOD, for undead attacking loyalists at first watch, retaliation doesn't really matter, does it ?
Sometimes more retaliation could be even desirable, as I tried to demonstrate with my goblin example - you can do it with any seriously damaged unit. But that could be rare case, to repeat it again.
It's now clear why retaliation doesn't really matter ?

Btw try to imagine situation when you have one mage, two wounded targets with high defense and lack of free space ... another (not so) special case ...
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Re: number of units/power of units

Post by Soliton »

Haibane wrote: Some cases are true for my second thought, I don't really consider goblins as big problem, it may be even interesting for them.
It's certainly a smaller problem than what you can already do with suiciding Goblins since in your example you'd also waste the XP of the just killed unit (which has a high chance to level a Goblin btw, making the whole point moot).
Haibane wrote: On the other side, my first thought about killing wounded units and attacking new target is serious. That's not special or rare case, that's quite common in standart multiplayer games.
We seem to have a different opinion on standard mp games I guess.
Haibane wrote: I don't know about balance (it's possible), but I'm sure about great impact to tactic/strategy. Well, you can say big, if great sounds as exaggeration to you, I'm not sure about exact size :wink:
It sounds like an exaggeration indeed, that's all I'm saying really. Obviously it has some impact on the tactics.
Haibane wrote: Seems like you overestimate counterattack to me. You should know, counterattack is not really always important. As TL said, you can attack with ranget unit to melee targets, and even if it's not that case, for attacker is usually much better to make more damage even for price of more recieved damage. Attacker always determines conditions, he can decide when he needs more damage to destroy enemy defense and he can cover his extra wounded units. He can also attack in his favorable TOD, for undead attacking loyalists at first watch, retaliation doesn't really matter, does it ?
Hard to say anything against your all powerful attacker. Seems he is unstoppable with or without the change. :P
Haibane wrote: Btw try to imagine situation when you have one mage, two wounded targets with high defense and lack of free space ... another (not so) special case ...
Your enemy is wounded and swarms you so you have trouble finding free hexes to attack from (probably also at your best ToD)? That's not a special case?

Anyway, I don't like these hypothetical discussions. Let's just agree to having different opinions on the impact of that change and be happy that no one is actually considering to implement it. :)
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