The Wesnoth.org website and forums will be taken down for maintenance this September 28 at 8 am UTC for 1-8 hours.

You can find more information about affected services in the News post. ― Iris

Focused Force

Share and discuss strategies for playing the game, and get help and tips from other players.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Focused Force

Post by Velensk »

Before I beguin I should mention that I am not an expert and that anyone who knows what they are talking about should feel free to build on or knock down what I say. I will defend against anyone who dose not know what they are talking about.

I am going to define about what I am talking about applyed force is when you apply several units to one or one small group of units, the formula for this goes for one target but can extend to multiple if you still have units left that can attack.

The first bit is common sence the second bit is not as common (at least on the mp server)

The amount of damage you can expect to do to a unit is for each unit that can move next to the target calculate about how much damage you can expect to deal for each unit that can move next to him, and add up all the units damage estimates, this means for attacking being fast is good because it allowes you to engage from further away and/or from more diffrent angles allowing units with less move to engage on the closer sides and doing lots of damage is good because then it takes less units to kill it. Time of day, terrain, and resistances are factored into damage. The final thing that helps is if your main attack type (i.e. ranged vs melle) is diffrent from the targets main attack type that way you take less retaliation. It is best to leave room for misses if at all possible. The idea is if you are applying force to either kill the target or surrond him so that he can't run away so that you can kill him next turn. If you are playing a lawful or chaotic faction you will find that your ability to do this depends heavily on the time of day.

Most people grasp that first part at least in some small way. This second part allthough not rare is not as common. When calculating applied force be sure to measure the counter attack. If you applyed force then most likely some of your units will be on bad terrain, and chances are that many of your units will be weakened. Unless you so severly crippled your enemy forces that they can't affect you much, which is the desired effect you can probably expect to take high loses. If you are faster than you enemy you can retreat which minimises the number of units the enemy can focus on you.

To give another point about this I am going to give an (unrealist) senario assume each player has a 5 hex castle and the first player has around 400 gold and the second 225 gold. The first player builds a full castle and sends his guys marching towards his enemy, the second builds a full castle and keeps them near his castle. The first player keeps building and sending each group closer, while the second keeps all the units he trains in close formation. By the time the first players first group of 5 reaches the second player the second player has 15 units, thus although the first player manages to kill one of the second players units all off his units are killed immediatly after. The next group of 5 comes and again is defeated easily by the army of 14. and so on untill the 1st player dispite recruiting 25 or so units was easily defeated by a player olny recruiting 15. If he had bunched his troops together he would have been less vunerable. The closer the formation of troops the harder it is to focus force because in a line of units except at the corners each unit can olny be attacked by two units. The other advantage of a formation is that if the enemy attacks you then all of your units are close enough to the enemy to attack him (barring terrain)

Bottlenecks minimize this effect by making it so that olny one unit or fewer can attack the defender.
User avatar
TheChosenOne
Posts: 245
Joined: April 7th, 2006, 8:26 am
Location: Royal Palace, Weldyn St. 01, Wesnoth 123 456

Post by TheChosenOne »

I agree with you. However, a solid wall of troops can easily counter this strategy. A hedgehog formation works well against it too, in my opinion.

Focusing your troops into one single army is good in small maps, but it does not work in big ones, where there are a lot of villages. Solid wall of troops is also not effective if your enemy is highly mobile e.g. drakes as they can simply win by taking your villages, giving you a minus income.

Remember that a line formation is much harder to break if the two ends consist of guardsmen.
Numbers do not win a battle
---Konrad III
(A loyal member of the pro-loyalists)

Would you like to translate the Battle of Wesnoth into Indonesian? Then come and join us at http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/IndonesianTranslation
Kalis
Posts: 199
Joined: February 3rd, 2007, 1:51 am
Location: Toronto

Post by Kalis »

agreed.

On a side note, I'll mention that powerful cavalry like the Knalgan gryphon riders can be incredibly useful for logistic purposes. Not to start, but to reinforce.

The downside is that they are incredibly expensive.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Post by Velensk »

I never said that this was the best technique I was just putting something up for new players to look at as an explanation, I naturaly tend to defencive stratagies it is taking me awhile to come up with methods of attack I am just puting one of the ones I know for those who might find it useful.

Since this is a way to attack a point it does not work well against mobile enemies unless your "focused force" is even more mobile because they can just shift away from you. A solid wall of troops does counter this stratagy, the best I can say for if they have a solid wall is attack the sides, this is still not nessisaraly a good idea especialy if they have a gaurdsman on the ends.

I would point out that in a map with multiple flanks this becomes downscaled but still as effective. per example 4 units on good terrain can probably hold off 5 units for awhile, however 1 unit would have probelms with two units (though it depends on what units you are talking about) and 2 units can surround that one and cut off his ability to retreat.
Yogibear
Retired Developer
Posts: 1086
Joined: September 16th, 2005, 5:44 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Post by Yogibear »

Well, what you say is not wrong, but it won't work well against a good player. Here is why:

1.
A good player scouts and so he knows what is coming for him. In defense, he will try to manouever so that he won't be outnumbered by enemies. He will also try to put his units into formations and on good terrain in order to minimize the amount of damage you can do to them.

2.
Good players won't let you surround their units. They will use ZOC to prevent that.

3.
If there are no mirror matches and your preferred time of day differs from that of your opponent, a good player will give you at most two turns in a day cycle to attack him (i can further elaborate on that if you wish). That is not much time for killing units on good terrain and in formations, maybe even rotating.

4.
A good player will make you pay badly for attacking him, even if it is your preferred time of day. He will use terrain to his advantage and prevent being outnumbered. As you said yourself, you are likely to have to attack good terrain from bad terrain. Doing that you need to outnumber your enemy and a good player will make that hard if not impossible for you.
There is an alternative: If you send in some heavy hitters and are lucky, you might be able to kill one or two enemies, which immediately makes you outnumbering your opponent. But be assured, chances are almost always against you.

Summing that up: Outnumbering is a good strategy in itself, but difficult to achieve. Some situations require it to have a good chance to be successful during your attack. Surrounding an enemy unit won't work unless your opponent makes a real mistake.
Smart persons learn out of their mistakes, wise persons learn out of others mistakes!
Tmoiy
Posts: 72
Joined: February 28th, 2005, 6:10 am
Location: yonder

Post by Tmoiy »

Yogi Bear wrote:If there are no mirror matches and your preferred time of day differs from that of your opponent, a good player will give you at most two turns in a day cycle to attack him (i can further elaborate on that if you wish). That is not much time for killing units on good terrain and in formations, maybe even rotating.
Could you elaborate? I think I understand the idea of not letting the enemy attack you when you are weak, but I'd love some explanation as to how exactly one achieves that goal reliably.
Sombra
Posts: 273
Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:38 pm

Post by Sombra »

Yogi Bear wrote:Well, what you say is not wrong, but it won't work well against a good player. Here is why:

1.
A good player scouts and so he knows what is coming for him. In defense, he will try to manouever so that he won't be outnumbered by enemies. He will also try to put his units into formations and on good terrain in order to minimize the amount of damage you can do to them.

.
I think this is the major strategic flaw in Wesnoth. You cannot surprise your opponent with the current FOW rules. As you said a good player will simply put together a nequal force. Focus your forces and surprise two main tools in warfare are kind of flawed in Wesnoth IMHO.
Last edited by Sombra on February 27th, 2007, 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Konrad II
Posts: 296
Joined: December 21st, 2004, 1:03 am

Post by Konrad II »

Sombra wrote:
Yogi Bear wrote:Well, what you say is not wrong, but it won't work well against a good player. Here is why:

1.
A good player scouts and so he knows what is coming for him. In defense, he will try to manouever so that he won't be outnumbered by enemies. He will also try to put his units into formations and on good terrain in order to minimize the amount of damage you can do to them.

.
I think this is the major strategic flaw in Wesnoth. You cannot surprise your opponent with the current FOW rules. As you said a good player will simply put together a equal force. Focus your forces and surprise two main tolls in warfare are kind of flawed in Wesnoth IMHO.
Indeed, it is impossible to make surprise-attacks or even use ambush / whatever-the-ability-skeletons-have-is-called in Wesnoth atm, and the player who's being attacked knows exactly what types of units he's going to fight etc, and positionates his units in order to make an effective counterattack.
http://giantitp.com

"I have 8 forums, soon to be 7!" - Troy
User avatar
Thrawn
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2047
Joined: June 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
Location: bridge of SSD Chimera

Post by Thrawn »

Konrad II wrote:
Sombra wrote: I think this is the major strategic flaw in Wesnoth. You cannot surprise your opponent with the current FOW rules. As you said a good player will simply put together a equal force. Focus your forces and surprise two main tolls in warfare are kind of flawed in Wesnoth IMHO.
Indeed, it is impossible to make surprise-attacks or even use ambush / whatever-the-ability-skeletons-have-is-called in Wesnoth atm, and the player who's being attacked knows exactly what types of units he's going to fight etc, and positions his units in order to make an effective counterattack.
I have seen both used effectively. Just because it is harder to set up a surprise attack/ used shock forces doesn't mean they are any less useful:

In MP, unless you are playing hotseat or without Fog, you generally have a turn or two to set up surprises. More if you are playing against an opponent who doesn't use scouts to pierce fog. I've done wonders with woses by recruiting one and hiding it before the enemy reaches me.

This reminds me of people saying Heal is too weak and the counter-argument posed by Dave against the claim: too many strategy games make healing over powered, so that people can just spam healers and have a huge defense. Likewise, the HAX of ambush and task forces are made less in wesnoth because the point isn't to make ambush an overarching strategy, rather to add a small tactical flavor to the game.
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

this goes for they're/their/there as well
User avatar
F8 Binds...
Saurian Cartographer
Posts: 622
Joined: November 26th, 2006, 3:13 pm
Location: Mid-Western United States

Post by F8 Binds... »

This may be a little off topic, but...

Actually, people can ambush quite well in wesnoth, but usually when there's forest spread out across a defensive front. You put a wose in front, to catch units on bad terrain, unprepared. The opponent either has to back up the unit with other units, in which he will defeated due to not being able to do a sufficient attack. Or he can leave the unit to its death. :twisted:
Proud creator of 4p- Underworld. Fascinated by Multiplayer design and balance.
I am the lone revenant of the n3t clan.
User avatar
TheChosenOne
Posts: 245
Joined: April 7th, 2006, 8:26 am
Location: Royal Palace, Weldyn St. 01, Wesnoth 123 456

Post by TheChosenOne »

F8 Binds... wrote:This may be a little off topic, but...

Actually, people can ambush quite well in wesnoth, but usually when there's forest spread out across a defensive front. You put a wose in front, to catch units on bad terrain, unprepared. The opponent either has to back up the unit with other units, in which he will defeated due to not being able to do a sufficient attack. Or he can leave the unit to its death. :twisted:
Ambushing can also be done by elvish rangers and elvish avengers (and they are really specialists in ambushing, I should say).
Numbers do not win a battle
---Konrad III
(A loyal member of the pro-loyalists)

Would you like to translate the Battle of Wesnoth into Indonesian? Then come and join us at http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/IndonesianTranslation
Sombra
Posts: 273
Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:38 pm

Post by Sombra »

Thrawn wrote:

I have seen both used effectively. Just because it is harder to set up a surprise attack/ used shock forces doesn't mean they are any less useful:

In MP, unless you are playing hotseat or without Fog, you generally have a turn or two to set up surprises. More if you are playing against an opponent who doesn't use scouts to pierce fog. I've done wonders with woses by recruiting one and hiding it before the enemy reaches me.

This reminds me of people saying Heal is too weak and the counter-argument posed by Dave against the claim: too many strategy games make healing over powered, so that people can just spam healers and have a huge defense. Likewise, the HAX of ambush and task forces are made less in wesnoth because the point isn't to make ambush an overarching strategy, rather to add a small tactical flavor to the game.
Thrawn looking at the replays from the last tournament I think ilustrates quite well that Wesnoth is played in a very defensive manner. As Konrad put it : Putting your man on the hills in line and waiting for the enemy to attack.

Yes you have the ability for 1-2 moves to set up surprises and players use the option because it adds spice to the game.

Still as you can see quite well where a unit moves into position ans woses are not really fast moving units. How many times there is a real surprise for your opponent? Its kind of a flavor ability but I dont think it has a real strategic impact up to now. Well you can keep your wose neaby your castle and waiting until the enemy knocks on your door...
User avatar
Thrawn
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2047
Joined: June 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
Location: bridge of SSD Chimera

Post by Thrawn »

Sombra wrote:
Thrawn wrote:

I have seen both used effectively. Just because it is harder to set up a surprise attack/ used shock forces doesn't mean they are any less useful:

In MP, unless you are playing hotseat or without Fog, you generally have a turn or two to set up surprises. More if you are playing against an opponent who doesn't use scouts to pierce fog. I've done wonders with woses by recruiting one and hiding it before the enemy reaches me.

This reminds me of people saying Heal is too weak and the counter-argument posed by Dave against the claim: too many strategy games make healing over powered, so that people can just spam healers and have a huge defense. Likewise, the HAX of ambush and task forces are made less in wesnoth because the point isn't to make ambush an overarching strategy, rather to add a small tactical flavor to the game.
Thrawn looking at the replays from the last tournament I think ilustrates quite well that Wesnoth is played in a very defensive manner. As Konrad put it : Putting your man on the hills in line and waiting for the enemy to attack.

Yes you have the ability for 1-2 moves to set up surprises and players use the option because it adds spice to the game.

Still as you can see quite well where a unit moves into position ans woses are not really fast moving units. How many times there is a real surprise for your opponent? Its kind of a flavor ability but I dont think it has a real strategic impact up to now. Well you can keep your wose neaby your castle and waiting until the enemy knocks on your door...
Although very defensive, eventually you have to attack. But this is unrelated to anything I said...

And with FOW, they can't see where you are putting units until they reach you. From experience people can get fooled by you recruiting woses...most people think that in the first recruit people only get archers, fighters, and maybe a healer/mage/merman... of course I've never been lucky enough to get rebel when playing really good people, but I think my point still stands.
...please remember that "IT'S" ALWAYS MEANS "IT IS" and "ITS" IS WHAT YOU USE TO INDICATE POSSESSION BY "IT".--scott

this goes for they're/their/there as well
Sombra
Posts: 273
Joined: August 11th, 2006, 6:38 pm

Post by Sombra »

Thrawn, yes sometimes it works.

Especially if you buy it in the first turn.

IMHO trying to stand still with my wose wainting for the enemy to come is a waste of money. Problem with all the stealth abilities right now is that they are kind of flavor abilities : submerge, nightstalk and blending into woods works not very well if the enemy can see you move and takes note.

Regarding the defensive argument. you feared that a change in the FOW will lead to an even more passive game.
As you already said at one point you have to attack or if you allow the enemy to "focus it forces" and attack you you will problably lose.

Coming back to the orginal post. Velensk wanted to push the concept of the focused force. IMO a concept used in many wargames and with an application even in the "real" world".

Yogi bear pointed out the limitations of this concept in Wesnoth and the reasons. I totally agree with Yogi bear here.

Still I think that Wesnoth would profit from the succesful implementation of a wider range of useful strategic concepts and therefore my push for a different FOW rule.
Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
Posts: 3991
Joined: January 24th, 2007, 12:56 am

Post by Velensk »

My orginal point in posting was to make a note for anyone who would find it useful. When I was new I had (and still have to a certain extent) trouble attacking.

I do agree that wesnoth does give strong favor to one who defends. Which is not nessisaraly a bad thing, most games that favor the attacker I don't like.
However it would be nice if it wesnoth was less passive in a cetain way. I find that if the game becomes stacic to the point of effectivly trenchwarfare, the person who loses patiance first is the person who loses first. If there was some method of attack that would work late in the game when both sides have bunkered up, My general hope is that the game dose not degrade to that because I would rather lose than sit around for an hour waiting for my opponent to budge.
Post Reply