Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

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Boulis
Posts: 12
Joined: November 11th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Boulis »

Hi guys,

I am a beginner in multiplayer that always plays random. Yesterday I came across the above strategy as I was playing undead and it confused me more than anything I have seen before. I found this thread searching the forums, http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=30676 -- but I was wondering if other experienced or veteran players might want to volunteer any more advice as to recruitment or general strategy. We were playing 4p Path of Daggers and my ally was (justifiably I think) complaining that I was moving too slowly to help him out (he was NE and I was SE). I wish I could provide a replay but dunno how. I chose to strike due west with basically Skeletons and Dark Adepts (think I also had one Sk. Archer and a Ghoul) when I saw at least 5-7 footpads blocking my path further west (and making striking north to help my ally difficult as well because some of them were sitting on the mountains).

I did not know what to do. It did not help that the opponent also had a Gryphon that flanked me and was playing musical chairs with my villages. The Skels seem to have a hard time hitting footpads even at night and are vulnerable to their ranged impact damage. Other options seem even worse. DA's are good but basically fall quickly to melee (one ulf pounded them into fine powder yesterday) if not carefully protected -- and that means moving ever so slowly. The footpad opponent, on the other hand, had no problem frustrating my advance while also sending forces north to help out his ally. He seemed to be able to spawn endless waves of footpads as my lines were getting ever more stretched. Thanks ahead of time for any response.

Boulis

Velensk
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Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Velensk »

The answer is dark adepts (and to a certain extent ghosts). You do have to be careful about ulfserkers and other melee however you have plenty of tools to kill ulfserkers (predominately ghosts and skeletons) if you can achieve tactical control (which isn't that hard at night). Use your melee units and ghosts to protect your adepts when you push. If you can use your adepts to clear a path to the ulfserkers then a skeleton can kill one even at day and at night a ghost can practically heal itself by attacking one. Do not be afraid to trade adepts for ulfserkers as they are cheaper. In addition to being ulfserker bane at any time other than day, ghosts are a more mobile wall than most of your undead and knalgans have no units that are really good at killing them (with the possible exception of lucky thunderers). Don't be afraid to have several despite their low damage. If you can protect your adepts, they'll do enough damage to make up for it. Avoid fighting at day if at all possible as your end of the dynamics are rather dependent on the ability of two adepts to kill (with relative reliability) any footpad (thus leaving a hole open for other units to attack the ulfserkers behind them) if they stick around at night. At day footpads simply don't have the offensive power to push you off villages and if you block with a skeleton ulfskerers can't do it efficiently, they will need dwarves to back them up and if they were forced to retreat then hopefully they cannot get their dwarves to your village in time.

As for the griffon getting behind you. Thats just something you have to work with in any game. You should have about as easy a time getting a bat behind his lines to his villages and it is considerably less risky for you because bats are cheap (though admittedly much easier to kill).
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

Boulis
Posts: 12
Joined: November 11th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Boulis »

Thanks Velensk, I will certainly make an effort to heed your advice. It's interesting that the solution(s) you propose is somewhat unorthodox for the standard Undead player. I haven't used Ghosts regularly since playing single-player. They're just so expensive. But I can see where they would (in combination with DA's and a few Skeletons) make a real difference against a Knalgan player despite the financial risk. Still, it is bothersome that the Knalgan player in such a match-up invests far less thought in his line-up: he/she just spams footpads and hopes for the best. Ah well, I do like tactical challenges so no complaints.

5dPZ
Posts: 201
Joined: July 11th, 2006, 7:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by 5dPZ »

Hi Boulis,
I was your ally in this game. You played fine, but not as good as our opponents. Currently, due to overpowered foodpads, UD has hard time beating dwarves. It is not your fault that you can't beat your opponent in the south.

However, what fails the game is that while you can't beat your opponent, you keep sending your force to south, wasted, despite my repeated advice. I asked you to move your force to center several times, which you ignored, resulting me double teamed by both opponents.

While UD 1 vs 1 is almost impossible to beat equal-skilled-opponent with foodpads, 2 vs 2 is fine, you just need to defend while I am winning in north. All you need to do is hold your ground while I chew up the player in north.

That game you talked about was easily winnable if you hold your ground, sealing off dwarf force from rescuing middle and steal villages in the middle by ZOCCING.

After all, 2 vs 2 is all about team work, you don't need to beat your oppornent on your own. If your opponent is too strong, just hold your ground and help out your ally. This is what exactly the other team did and you failed to do - resulting their victory.

Cheers.
Last edited by 5dPZ on November 25th, 2010, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Reepurr
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Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Reepurr »

Did you try fighting mass footpads with mass ghouls or ghosts, both of which have impact resistance?
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Boulis
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Joined: November 11th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Boulis »

Hi 5dPZ,

Thought it might have been you when I saw (ironically) your name in that first conversation about this topic I linked to in my first post. Yes, as I stated above, I was too slow swinging north. However, I was not trying to ignore you or disregard your advice. I had just committed way too far south assuming (in error) that come night I would be able to tear through his footpads, not knowing how powerful they were. But the map was tough for me as well. If you notice how it is designed, the SW player (in this case my opponent) has a natural outlet north but if the SE player (me) goes too far west, in order to go north later in the game you have to waste turns trying to get through a huge mountain range -- way too difficult for me as it turned out.

Basically after I crossed that bridge I should have just stopped there and concentrated on the center. As it was, there was no way I could help you and he had the freedom to send units to help his ally out too. So yes, poor strategy on my part also added to the problem. (It was my second game overall on that map though.)

But what bothered me was that tactically I had a good mix of units on paper but the footpads' defense was so effortlessly spectacular. And Reepurr to answer your question: I switched to Ghouls late when I saw my Skeletons were just providing comic relief, even at night. But my biggest tactical mistake as Velensk pointed out was underestimating Ghosts (I only used one). I just always am afraid to spend that much money, but lesson learned in this case.

Again though the arithmetic is bothersome. He pays 13 gold per Footpad while I have to shell out 16 for Ghouls and 20 for Ghosts. By definition, I cannot "mass" them like he can his footpads.

Velensk
Multiplayer Contributor
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Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Velensk »

Minor note, footpads cost 14.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

Boulis
Posts: 12
Joined: November 11th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Boulis »

Ha, Velensk you beat me to it. Yes 14 gold for a Footpad.

Yoyobuae
Posts: 408
Joined: July 24th, 2009, 8:38 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Yoyobuae »

Boulis wrote:Again though the arithmetic is bothersome. He pays 13 gold per Footpad while I have to shell out 16 for Ghouls and 20 for Ghosts. By definition, I cannot "mass" them like he can his footpads.
Good, you have to pay less upkeep than him. :D

5dPZ
Posts: 201
Joined: July 11th, 2006, 7:20 pm
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by 5dPZ »

Boulis wrote:Hi 5dPZ,

Thought it might have been you when I saw (ironically) your name in that first conversation about this topic I linked to in my first post. Yes, as I stated above, I was too slow swinging north. However, I was not trying to ignore you or disregard your advice. I had just committed way too far south assuming (in error) that come night I would be able to tear through his footpads, not knowing how powerful they were. But the map was tough for me as well. If you notice how it is designed, the SW player (in this case my opponent) has a natural outlet north but if the SE player (me) goes too far west, in order to go north later in the game you have to waste turns trying to get through a huge mountain range -- way too difficult for me as it turned out.

Basically after I crossed that bridge I should have just stopped there and concentrated on the center. As it was, there was no way I could help you and he had the freedom to send units to help his ally out too. So yes, poor strategy on my part also added to the problem. (It was my second game overall on that map though.)

But what bothered me was that tactically I had a good mix of units on paper but the footpads' defense was so effortlessly spectacular. And Reepurr to answer your question: I switched to Ghouls late when I saw my Skeletons were just providing comic relief, even at night. But my biggest tactical mistake as Velensk pointed out was underestimating Ghosts (I only used one). I just always am afraid to spend that much money, but lesson learned in this case.

Again though the arithmetic is bothersome. He pays 13 gold per Footpad while I have to shell out 16 for Ghouls and 20 for Ghosts. By definition, I cannot "mass" them like he can his footpads.
The "foodpads vs undead" topic has been discussed over and over and currently, there is no way for UD to overcome footpads when both players are at same skill level.

Just wait until next stable patch which footies will get nerfed. The balance will be tested again.

My comments above only address the strategy part, not unit balance part.

ayearhasgone
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Joined: October 28th, 2010, 5:36 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by ayearhasgone »

I haven't had too much trouble with footpads as UD, as long as I avoid putting myself in a situation where I can be swarmed. The two major problems I have with footpads as UD (and frankly, with footpads in general) are: having a unit getting swarmed and killed, and having to break through a screen of footpad fodder set up by my opponent, only to get slaughtered in a counter-attack by stronger units.

ayearhasgone
Posts: 56
Joined: October 28th, 2010, 5:36 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by ayearhasgone »

5dPZ wrote: Just wait until next stable patch which footies will get nerfed. The balance will be tested again.
I do not particularly feel that footpads are overpowered against UD. When they take a hit from a stronger unit, they are basically done for-- the trick is landing the blow, and avoiding a swarm.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Maiklas3000 »

5dPZ wrote: Just wait until next stable patch which footies will get nerfed. The balance will be tested again.
Right, from the changelog for 1.9.1:

"Decreased the melee and ranged attack of the Footpad from 5-2 to 4-2."

Nabo0o
Posts: 9
Joined: December 12th, 2009, 3:32 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Nabo0o »

Maiklas3000 wrote:
5dPZ wrote: Just wait until next stable patch which footies will get nerfed. The balance will be tested again.
Right, from the changelog for 1.9.1:

"Decreased the melee and ranged attack of the Footpad from 5-2 to 4-2."
:(
I do not want to discredit a good attempt of balancing something that's seems to be unbalanced, but I think the footpad lost a lot of its magic now, compared to its usefulness against other factions. I'm thinking, why not try to make the undead more endurable against these types of attacks? Not like against impact, but against those kind of strategies....
Surely, their biggest weakness is their slowness. What about grabbing an idea from the goblins? Some are slow, some are stronger, or maybe even faster (that's more like the conventional system though). Sorry if it isn't up for debate, I just liked the weak yet impressive footpads ;D

Boulis
Posts: 12
Joined: November 11th, 2010, 5:17 pm

Re: Fighting Mass Footpads as Undead

Post by Boulis »

To be honest, my biggest problem with the footpads was not the damage they did but their incredibly high defense which, combined with their cheap cost, means the Knalgan player gets a bunch of fast-moving meat shields that he/she can swarm to any location with reasonable confidence they can hold a certain position indefinitely at night against undead. So the fix seems a bit strange but I am far from an expert on units and I am not even close to understanding how the various aspects of a unit (move, damage, defense, etc.) interact with each other. In any case, the truth will win out when the really skilled players playtest them in the new expansion.

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