Let’s Play Dead Water!

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Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » November 30th, 2015, 7:59 am

It's finally finished! Replays are attached at the end of the scenario posts.

EDIT 7/27/2016: I finally fixed the images (changed to imgur instead of postimg.org) and put them inline so the whole thing should be much less annoying to read now. Let me know if you notice any missing/incorrect images.

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Original post:

Hey, I recently read a really fascinating (but very old) thread in the Strategies and Tips forum where someone played through Liberty with screenshots and very insightful discussion of the turns. I loved reading it and was kind of sad it ended after 3 scenarios, so I thought I’d try to do something similar.

Campaign: I’ll be playing my favorite mainline campaign, Dead Water. Widely regarded as one of the best (perhaps the best) campaign in mainline, it’s fun, challenging without being frustrating, has great maps, is the perfect length (10 scenarios) and most importantly, you get an awesome pet cuttlefish!!

Wesnoth version: 1.12.5

Saveloading: Wesnoth may seem at first to be a luck based game, but it’s really a game about manipulating luck so that the odds are always in your favor. I’ll try to play the campaign straight through (i.e. no loading of saves of any kind, even scenario ones), but I do make mistakes (sometimes really dumb ones) so no guarantees! If something goes wrong I’ll replay the scenario from the beginning and make it clear I have done so.

Difficulty:
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The Triton (Difficult) level definitely has the coolest looking picture, so we’re going to go with that and probably regret it later.

General: I’ve never done one of these before so any kind of criticism is very welcome!
(Note: I frequently use the abbreviations MP = movement points, CTK = chance to kill, and ZOC = zone of control.)

So…on to the first scenario!
Last edited by Inky on July 27th, 2016, 6:24 am, edited 6 times in total.
Commented playthroughs with screenshots:
Let's Play Dead Water, Let's Play Invasion from the Unknown and Let's Play After the Storm (in progress)
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Inky
 
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » November 30th, 2015, 8:01 am

Scenario 1 - Invasion!
The previous merman king has died in an orcish raid, leaving his young son Krellis as king. Recently things in the merfolk city of Jotha have been peaceful…
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Uh oh, looks like we’re being attacked by a necromancer and our friend Gwabbo is in the process of getting mauled by a skeleton.

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Looks like we’ll have to get rid of him! Let’s take a look at our fearsome leader of the merfolk:

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Huh, 22 HP and 4-3 melee damage…looks like we’re going to be babysitting for a while. Our main priority in this scenario is to get Krellis to level 1, meaning we’ll want to have him kill at least 3 level 1 units at 8 XP each.

We also start with Cylanna, a level 2 priestess with +8 healing and arcane damage, and Gwabbo, a level 2 netcaster with the very useful slowing ability. He has the unique fearless trait, meaning he doesn’t suffer from the nasty -25% damage penalty at night like the rest of our lawful units.

We’re required to keep Cylanna alive, but we are allowed to get Gwabbo killed, though doing so would be extremely unwise. Not only is he loyal, saving us 2 (and later 3) gold per turn in upkeep, but he is also automatically recalled at the beginning of scenarios, saving us a further 20 gold per scenario.

Here’s the gold situation (alt + s brings this up):
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Mal-Kevek’s got almost twice as much gold as we do, but we have a big terrain advantage, and we’re smarter than him (right??) so we should be totally fine.

Now let’s look at our recruits:
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(Very basic discussion of mermen; skip if you’re familiar with Wesnoth)
Spoiler:


Turn 1, Dawn

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This map is absolutely full of villages (31 total, with the six around our starting keep already flagged for us) so the six citizens we start with are going to go off grabbing villages immediately.

Our recruitment decisions in this scenario are pretty much made for us: because the mermen don’t respect Krellis yet (who would?) we can only recruit 3 of each level 1 unit, so we’ll want to get 3 of each plus some citizens.

We recruit two of each level 1 unit type, the citizens happily swim off looking for villages, and Cylanna starts to heal Gwabbo.

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Here are Mal-Kevek’s turn 1 recruits. Ugh, bats! Possibly the most annoying unit in Wesnoth with their 60% defense in all non-village terrain, they’re even more of a pest in this scenario as we will soon see. Bats are resistant to arcane and weak to impact, making initiates with their impact magical attacks the perfect anti-bat units.

Turn 2, Morning

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The citizens continue to village grab; we recruit a fighter, initiate and citizen and move everyone southeast.

We make sure to repeatedly press n (next unit; cycles through units with moves left) before ending each turn (always a good idea, but in this scenario especially) as we will have citizens all over the map grabbing villages for several turns and it’s very easy to forget one or two.

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Let’s see what our necromancer is up to… hey, wait a minute! Where’d all those corpses come from?!

Here we see what makes the bats especially annoying - every village flagged by the undead causes about two soulless to spawn, and the bats are going to fly around the map flagging them. The water villages produce the swimming variety of soulless, which have 60% defense in water just like us and are going to be a real pain. Being undead they are very weak to arcane, so Cylanna’s going to be our main soulless killer.

Turn 3, Afternoon

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Still not much going on; here’s our formation at the end of turn 3.

As we can see from pressing ctrl+v (shows enemy moves taking into account our units; it’s best to do this before ending every single turn to avoid nasty surprises), Kullu here can be attacked from 3 hexes. He can be reached by two soulless (7-3 damage) and a blood bat (4-3) but at 41 HP (he has extra HP from the resilient trait, making him ideal for holding the weak points of our line) on 60% defense he should be fine. Theoretically he can be killed, but the chance is extremely small and it’s worth the risk in order to do some retaliation damage to the soulless.

Turn 4, Dusk

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The two soulless and the bat attack Kullu, who is left with 24 HP but gets some decent retaliation in, leaving one of the soulless and the bat at 14 HP each. Since they’re wounded and we have a lot of hexes to attack them from we’ll focus on them first.

We first try the 14 HP soulless with an initiate (8-2 magical):
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We can usually expect to hit at least once.

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We hit the soulless once so we try to finish it with another initiate, who unfortunately misses twice.

The third initiate hits the 14 HP blood bat once (she does 10-2 damage due to the bat’s impact weakness) leaving it at 4 HP, so we’ll use the hunter to finish with his 5-3 ranged attack. With 3 strikes at 40% chance to hit each, he has a 78.4% CTK on the bat.

We’ve tried to have our fragile initiates attack from the innermost hexes (the ones closest to the center of our formation) so that we can cover them with more durable units later.

Also whenever possible, we first try the hexes which aren’t adjacent to another enemy unit, to keep our options open. For example if we had used the hex northwest of the blood bat to kill it we’d have one less hex available to use on the two soulless.

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The hunter successfully kills the blood bat, and now we bring in a fighter (6-3 pierce) to finish the 6 HP soulless – this also has a 78.4% CTK, but is a bit riskier since it’s a melee attack.

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But still, looks pretty good to me.

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It works – the fighter kills the soulless without taking retaliation, shielding our initiates in the process.

Now we bring in Cylanna (who does 8-4 arcane damage to soulless) to soften up this soulless. She hits twice, leaving the soulless at 12 HP, so we try our luck with a hunter from the hex northwest of the soulless, intending to finish with the fighter from the northeast hex if the hunter wounds it enough.

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But the hunter hits 3 out of 3! Turns out he is a magic hunter.

We use a fighter and a citizen to close the line, with our wounded fighter and our three initiates safely in the back. We didn’t have the fighter attack the nearby soulless – there’s no point, since he has no chance to kill them and will only get damaged by the attack, making him more likely to die next turn.
(The citizen in the southwest is trying to lure a vampire bat in the south away from village grabbing, but it doesn’t work).

Turn 5, First watch

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Well, things aren’t looking so good now. Night has begun and the undead are everywhere! (Ctrl+b shown here - another essential Wesnoth function- shows the enemy’s movement ranges regardless of our own units’ placement.) Right now it’s time to make a hasty retreat and try to survive the night.

Now that our hunter has gained 10XP, he is a valuable unit that we should try especially hard to protect. It’s important to form our line so that he cannot be reached.

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Here is our final formation (arrived at after much experimentation), with our wounded units all gathered around Cylanna to be healed.

The two weak points of our line are the two units in the southeast who can be attacked from 3 hexes: the 31 HP hunter and the 37 HP fighter. Both are at full health and on the 70% defense coastal reef, so given average luck they should live.

However (as anyone who has played Wesnoth long enough knows) the RNG has its whims and even 70% defense is not to be relied on. While we cannot prevent bad luck, we can anticipate it and try to minimize how it affects us. Therefore, we have deliberately chosen the inexperienced units for this job, so that even if they die we will not have lost any valuable experience.

The northeast citizen can only be attacked by the soulless and the blood bat, so although it appears that 3 hexes are exposed, in fact it is only exposed to two enemies (still, it is not expected to live long). The soulless could theoretically hit 3 for 3 and kill it, giving the bat access to our hunter who did not have enough movement points to move to a safer spot, but it’s very unlikely.

Turn 6, Second watch

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A very good turn for us – our 70% defense held up in the south, and both the bat and the soulless were needed to kill the citizen, with the bat getting the kill meaning our citizen can die in peace instead of being resurrected as a walking corpse. A 9 gold citizen is a very small price to pay for getting through a turn of night.

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Here’s our stats so far. Our luck has been pretty even, and hopefully it holds up for the rest of the night.

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And here’s the gold situation. Our necromancer friend has been overzealous in making corpses from the villages and is heading into negative gold (corpses don’t work for free, you know), so if we can survive the rest of the night intact we’ll be in great shape. Although Mal-Kevek has a lot of units, many are soulless of the land variety who are busy sightseeing in the northeastern desert and will not do much in this scenario besides walk around demanding 1 gold per turn.

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Our most dangerous enemies are the soulless, as they can convert our units into walking corpses, and we have two wounded ones so our goal this turn is to get rid of them.
We start by using an initiate on the leftmost one, who gets 2/2 hits in – finally!- so we’ll bring in our experienced hunter to finish it off (78.4% CTK) putting him at 16/28 XP now, over halfway there on his journey to become a level 2 netcaster.

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Another initiate attacks the next soulless, getting 1 / 2 hits in, Cylanna comes in to finish it, and a healthy low XP fighter (who of course does not attack; we need him at full health) closes the line.

Gwabbo slows the skeleton standing on 30% defense: if possible it’s best not to waste his two slowing strikes on 60% defense enemies like bats and swimming corpses because it’s likely they’ll both miss and waste a valuable slowing opportunity. (On a similar note, magical units such as Cylanna and the initiates should try not to waste their magical attacks on low defense enemies which can be just as easily hit with regular ones).

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The third initiate attacks the northern soulless and we try to close the line with citizens (who are not doing a great job of it, as they are level 0 and therefore exert no ZOC). For the first time in the scenario, Kai Krellis comes out of his keep, in case an easy kill presents itself next turn at dawn. Our most valuable units (Cylanna, Gwabbo, the experienced hunter) are on the 70% defense reef terrain.

The glaring weak point in our line is Kullu, the fighter in the south with 40 HP on 60% defense, exposed from four hexes. Poor Kullu is unlikely to survive the night (again, he was chosen for this unpleasant job because of his low XP) but it can be hoped that in killing Kullu the enemy must use the hex southwest of him, denying them a hex on our fragile initiate. If Kullu is turned into a corpse, even better for our initiate as the enemy will not be able to enter that hex to attack her.

This is the final turn of night! If we can survive this, things will only get better for us.

Turn 7, Dawn

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Yikes! Our healthy fighter Kullu, perhaps deeply engaged in conversation with the neighboring initiate, completely forgets how to dodge, getting killed from only two hexes. The initiate, no doubt distraught over Kullu’s grisly demise, dodges just as badly and is quickly turned into a level 0 swimming corpse.

A look at our stats tells us we have indeed been a bit unlucky:
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Despite that, we’re still in good shape. While Kullu and the initiate especially will be missed, we have not lost any experienced units and the time of day has turned in our favor. It’s time to begin our comeback!

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With so many targets and only 2 initiates now we’ll need to choose which to prioritize. We ignore the bats for now and go for the higher damage enemies like soulless and skeletons, starting with this wounded 11 HP one.

We move our experienced fighter north of the skeleton, and use an initiate (10-2 damage to skeletons) from the hex where the fighter used to be. We intend to finish with the experienced fighter if the initiate hits 1 / 2, but she hits both times.

(Generally it’s not a good idea to move next to an enemy unit without attacking it because it will end the unit’s move and potentially waste its turn, but here we have done just that because if we had pulled the fighter back and the initiate hit 1 / 2, the fighter would not be able to access the northern hex anymore due to ZOC. But as we will see later, pulling the fighter out of the formation was a bad idea.)

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We tried the other initiate on the 14 HP soulless north of the fighter to try and get the fighter to kill this one, but she missed both times and the hunter we brought in hit 1/3, leaving the soulless with 9 HP which is too risky for the fighter to try to kill, so he does nothing.

Meanwhile in the south, a fighter and the experienced hunter have teamed up to kill our dead initiate’s level 0 corpse, with the hunter getting the 4 XP, putting him at 20/28 XP – one kill to go!

Some citizens from the 70% defense coastal reef will now try to kill the 20HP skeleton.
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Citizens are great against skeleton types with their impact damage - that’s some nice damage for a level 0, given that it’s only dawn! (Though it helps that this citizen is strong.)

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A second citizen finishes the skeleton (if the skeleton wasn’t already dead he would have died of embarrassment from getting punched to death by a level 0), Cylanna kills the wounded soulless, and a whole mob of citizens is needed to kill one level 0 vampire bat.

It’s not yet safe enough for Kai Krellis to try to get a kill now, so he will hide in the center of the citizen mob and wait for the day.

This is our line at the end of the turn – and here I have made a clear mistake, exposing the experienced 10 XP fighter on the right to 4 hexes. In retrospect I should have tried placing a citizen to the hex south of the fighter - if the undead got unlucky and needed 3 hexes to kill the citizen, or if the citizen turned into a corpse, then they would only get 3 hexes on the fighter who would then have a much better chance of surviving.
Of course the bigger mistake was moving the fighter out in the first place without the units to cover him, and I will pay for my carelessness next turn.

Turn 8, Morning

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Yep, where our poor fighter used to be is only open ocean now. He even got another kill on retaliation making the loss even more painful. On the bright side he managed to distract 5 enemy units, so he died a good death. Now that it’s day, it’s payback time!

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As the stats show, we were a bit unlucky to lose the fighter, but ultimately it was bad positioning and not bad luck which killed him.

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We’ll start by cleaning out those pesky bats. Initiates do a nice 12-2 magical damage to bats during the day.
Both of our initiates get full hits on their respective bat targets, and Cylanna demolishes the nearby wounded soulless. Ahh, sweet, sweet revenge.

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Now that it’s day and we’re pretty safe, it’s the perfect time to try to set up a kill for Krellis. Two citizens gang up on a poor skeleton archer on 40%, beating him to within an inch of his unlife.

Krellis has a 93.6% CTK here with no risk, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

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Look at him, taking credit for the hard work of his citizens. No one has the heart to tell Krellis that the archer would have died if someone so much as sneezed on it.

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We get our fighter to soften up another soulless, giving Oceanus a 78.4% chance to kill it and level up.

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Yes! This is one of the best advancements. Now instead of useless pierce damage, he does impact damage and gets a slowing ranged attack. The merman spearman is a pierce ranged unit, really not ideal for this campaign, so all of our hunters will become netcasters.

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Another hunter kills the wounded blood bat in the northeast, Gwabbo destroys a skeleton, and the third hunter kills the vampire bat in the southwest.
Here’s our formation at the end of our turn. We should be able to clean up the rest of the units here in the afternoon.

Turn 9, Afternoon

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Looks like we have a bunch of potential victims coming at us from the southwest.

First we try to set up another kill for Krellis. We send a citizen (6-3 damage vs. skeletons) to try and soften up the 13 HP archer on 30%. (We deliberately use a non-strong one, as the strong ones do 7-3 and would probably kill it – always pay attention to units’ traits!).

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Here’s what we can expect to happen. Leaving the archer at 1 HP is ideal, but 7 HP (2 attacks from Krellis) is also good, and there’s a pretty good chance of either happening.
The citizen hits twice, and Krellis finishes the 1 HP archer. 2 kills down, 1 to go!

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Cylanna moves next to Krellis to try and weaken the soulless but only gets one hit out of four in.
Next we have some citizens soften up the skeleton to 6 HP, allowing the experienced hunter to finish.

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This has a 78.4% chance of succeeding, and it does! We’re on our way to another netcaster. Which is great news, as you can see above how much of a huge penalty pierce damage has against undead.

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We do have a slight problem here though. The netcaster has failed to slow the soulless next to Kai Krellis, who is on 60% defense but only has 22 HP and can be reached by 3 soulless doing 7-3 damage each. 4 hits out of 9 and he’s dead! That’s an unacceptable risk. Fortunately there is a solution.

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We move a 23 HP citizen onto the beach next to Krellis, who is now exposed to only one soulless attack now, which he is guaranteed to survive. To kill the citizen would require two soulless, leaving only one to attack Krellis, so his safety has been completely guaranteed. (Note that the soulless on the left is the walking variety, so he can only move one hex in water and cannot reach us).

Of course the citizen, having only 30% defense on sand, has a frighteningly short life expectancy now, but sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good.
Next we focus on the southern skeleton archer on 20%, bringing in Gwabbo from the northern forces to help – if he gets full hits (9-3), the fighter nearby will be able to finish it off.

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First let’s take a look at how our units in the northeast are doing. It’s pretty much the zombie apocalypse in the northeastern desert, but things are actually extremely safe for us here. The walking corpses have a movement cost of 3 in shallow water, meaning 1 hex per turn of movement there- they’ll never reach us. So it makes more sense for Gwabbo to go south where the main fighting will be.

A couple citizens make quick work of the skeleton here on 20% defense, giving us our first leveled citizen:
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Brawlers can’t be recruited, so any citizens we level will become brawlers. Their impact damage is great against skeletons and their tail attack can disrupt an enemy’s ZOC, potentially allowing us to attack from more hexes, but as their maximum level is 1 they are only useful at the beginning of the campaign.

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The experienced hunter misses his 78.4% CTK on the blood bat so the initiate finishes it off instead.

Turn 10, Dusk

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That citizen we used to shield Krellis has (predictably) died and been turned into a corpse, so we have a little extra cleanup to do. Fortunately for us, the citizen has not learned from his past life’s fatal mistake and continues to park himself on the beach at 30% defense and will be killed again just as easily.

We bring the initiate from the north to soften up our former citizen’s corpse, letting the hunter take the easy kill, giving us our third netcaster! (including Gwabbo) Hopefully our poor citizen has now gone to merman heaven, where there is no sand and there are 70% defense reefs everywhere.

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Gwabbo got lucky and double hit the 13 HP soulless on 60%, and with Cylanna’s help the fighter kills the soulless on the beach and is now close to leveling! He’s pretty wounded but is in no danger of dying as he has 16 HP and the soulless who can reach him is slowed.

Krellis is content to go back to his usual routine of sitting in the water doing nothing while the grownups do all the work for him.

Turn 11, First watch

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It’s night, but with most of the undead forces gone we are pretty safe. Our goal will be to clean up these units quickly so we can start heading for the undead keep.
The initiate softens the northern soulless, and we need to decide whether to send the 24 HP fighter against the 4 HP soulless. We’d really like to level him, especially since the surrounding units besides Krellis are all level 2 and the XP is much less useful for them, but there is a small chance of him dying.

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Is the 1.4% chance of dying worth the 78.4% chance to level? Before beginning an attack with any chance at all of our own unit being killed, it is important to ask ourselves whether losing the unit would be an acceptable result, and only proceed if the answer is yes - 1.4% is small but will happen sooner or later.
Here, I think the answer is yes – even if the fighter died our army is still in great shape for the rest of the campaign.

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Fortunately for us he not only survives but levels. Cylanna moves onto the beach and hits the 23HP soulless four out of four times – looks like the luck is in our favor now.
The netcaster then moves next to Cylanna to attack the 10 HP soulless.

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The game automatically selects the melee attack because it has a higher chance to kill (89% vs. 64%), but here and in many cases it’s not the best choice. By selecting the ranged slowing attack instead, we not only avoid potentially painful retaliation damage but also get a small chance (32%) of hitting exactly once, leaving the soulless slowed with 3 HP and perfect pickings for Krellis.

This is indeed what happens, so Krellis gets his third kill (with a 99.2% CTK), putting him at 24/25 XP. Mission accomplished!

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The other two netcasters then take out the soulless on the left, leaving our main force in great shape.

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Meanwhile in the north our last hunter gets an easy kill, putting him at 23/28 XP. We make sure to use the southeast hex, so that we may later shield the hunter from the walking soulless on the beach.

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The experienced hunter and the brawler on the village have 24 and 25 HP respectively, so they could be killed by the soulless if it’s very lucky (3 out of 3 hits vs. 60% for 27 possible damage). So we use the 31 HP initiate and an inexperienced citizen to block the soulless from even getting a chance at the lucky kill- never leave to chance what can be guaranteed!

Turn 12, Second watch

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In the north, our third and last hunter gets his final kill, meaning we now have a small netcaster army! We’ll want to focus on leveling initiates next, especially since we lost one this scenario.

We made sure to go around and attack from a hex to the left rather than use the closer southeastern hex, where a second soulless could reach and potentially kill the 24 HP hunter if it failed to level. (Plus, it could be just me, but that hunter really looks like it could use the exercise.)

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Speaking of leveling initiates, the southern one gets another kill, putting her at 36/50 XP.
Krellis reached level 1 by attacking the slowed soulless for his remaining 1 XP, meaning babysitting time is over and undead smashing time has begun!

It’s now time to begin the strike on the southeast leader. We move everyone southeast so they will arrive at the necromancer’s keep at the beginning of the next day. Dawn is coming, and it’s not going to be pleasant for the undead!

Turn 13, Dawn

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The northeast soulless is a tempting and easy kill, but we ignore it so we can keep moving southeast in order to reach the necromancer at day. There is a skeleton conveniently on our way though, so Gwabbo and Krellis team up to kill it.

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Everyone else moves southeast. The coming day is going to be brutal! We make sure to stay at least one hex away from the keep – we don’t want to give the enemy the luxury of attacking us from their keep on 60% defense. If they want to attack us they’ll have to come out onto bad terrain.

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Meanwhile in the north, the brawler softens a soulless for the citizen to kill, and the initiate kills another soulless with help from the netcaster.

Turn 14, Morning

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Now it’s full day and the undead are soon going wish they had stayed dead!
The entire undead army – including their leader – has wasted their turn ganging up on a lowly citizen which would have been dismissed from the recall list anyway had he survived this scenario.

First things first, Cylanna blasts the skeleton on the left into oblivion, allowing us to access those water hexes to the left of the necromancer.

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This netcaster is the only one who can use the southwest hex, so to maximize our potential hexes on the necromancer we make sure he uses that hex instead of taking up a hex another unit could use.

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The initiate finishes the blood bat, putting her at 44/50 XP. One more kill to go!

Above is a demonstration of Krellis’ level 1 leadership (+25% damage per level difference for adjacent units of lower level), which only works on the level 0 citizens at the moment. We move the citizen next to Krellis to attack the archer:
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Wow! That’s the kind of damage I like to see. The importance of halos like leadership (and later, illuminates) cannot be overestimated. We’ll want to level Krellis quick so he can start leading our level 1 and level 2 troops.

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We could have killed the necromancer this turn, but it’s worth it to wait another turn since it’s full daylight and we can get some easy kills for valuable experience.

Of course, we are losing some of our early finish bonus by doing so- the early finish is 33 gold/turn and we are making 16, so we lose 17 gold by waiting, and with the 40% carryover this means 7 less gold on the next scenario. Staying one more turn here is well worth it, but it’s a bad idea to wait too long. On the harder difficulties with less starting gold, it’s especially important to finish fast.

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Meanwhile in the north the citizen fails to kill a soulless, but will kill it next turn, putting it at 21/22 XP.

Turn 15, Afternoon

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Two soulless wander in from the north – free experience! Time to level the initiate.

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Cylanna helps the initiate kill one of the soulless, so now we have a second healer / undead killer!

The alternate advancement, the enchantress, does impact damage which is also great against undead, and has more HP and damage than the Priestess, but the priestess’ arcane damage, healing and especially illumination at level 3 make them generally more useful in this campaign. There are certain enemies (like the bats we saw here, and later saurians) which are resistant to arcane and weak to impact though, so one or two enchantresses will be useful.

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Krellis deals the killing blow to Mal-Kevek, and victory is ours! At least, for now….

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Here’s our scenario stats- we had some rough luck at the beginning but it evened out at the end. (The 11 losses were 2 fighters, an initiate, and 8 citizens).

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And here’s our unit list. You can see our army of netcasters- they’re all intelligent, which allowed them to level so fast. (Intelligent units are great at the beginning of campaigns, since we fight lower level enemies so less experience is available.)

Thanks for reading! (Again, criticism / comments welcome!)

Next time, we’ll be fleeing Jotha from a massive army of undead.
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Commented playthroughs with screenshots:
Let's Play Dead Water, Let's Play Invasion from the Unknown and Let's Play After the Storm (in progress)
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Paulomat4 » November 30th, 2015, 12:53 pm

Thanks for writing this! Very enjoyable to read! I was sad as well to see the other let's play die after 3 scenarios.
Good work and keep it up! :)
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby max_torch » November 30th, 2015, 2:26 pm

I hope you are the first to complete a guide of this style! goodluck!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 1st, 2015, 9:59 pm

Thanks for the encouraging comments! Here's the next part.

Scenario 2: Flight
Last time, we won a decisive victory against the evil necromancer Mal-Kevek and his zombie army and it’s peaceful again in Jotha. But we haven't seen the last of him…

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Argh, he won’t leave us alone! Not only has he turned himself into a level 3 lich, he’s also brought two of his undead friends.

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Well, I only see three so far, but I can see how that’s enough to make Krellis run away in terror.

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The northwest corner of the map is completely devoid of enemies, and Krellis is already level 1, so he’s ready to go! Easiest Wesnoth scenario ever.

The main bonus for defeating each leader is a loyal bat (a different kind for each leader). Bats are great for village grabbing, and even better, the bat is automatically recalled for you at the beginning of each subsequent scenario, so we definitely want one.
Killing even one leader is not going to be easy though.

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We have 325 gold (120 + 205 carryover) and the undead have 1140 combined, so defeating all leaders isn’t very realistic and we’ll want to focus on one.

Daveth’s the natural choice since he doesn’t have much gold and he’s in the southwest, so we should be able to kill him and get Krellis to the northwest before the eastern enemies catch us.

Turn 1, Dawn

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We recruit a couple citizens for grabbing villages (one grabs the two northwest villages, the other grabs the northern village), and recruit/recall several initiates. Leveled initiates are essential in this campaign and you can’t have too many.

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Here are Daveth’s recruits. He only recruits bats and swimming soulless/corpses, making initiates an especially good choice here.

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The northeast death knight’s recruits. Since they’re slow they won’t reach us until a couple days later (about 12 turns) but when they do reach us it means we have to get out, fast.

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Kevek’s recruits in the southeast. His flying recruits are especially dangerous, although this turn he hasn’t recruited the worst of them, the shadow. We’ll see it soon enough though.

Turn 2, Morning

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We recruit a fighter, hunter, initiate and 3 citizens. We'll recall some veterans next turn and then move southwest with everyone. We save the higher level recalls for last to save a few gold on upkeep, although a few gold really doesn’t matter here.

Turn 3, Afternoon

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Recalled two netcasters, the warrior and the priestess. We recall the 6 MP warrior into a closer hex and the other three 7 MP recalls in the further hexes. It’s good practice to recall quicker units either on later turns or in the furthest hexes so they reach the battle around the same time as the slower ones, though It doesn’t make much difference here.

Cylanna and an initiate dispose of a blood bat in the southwest.

Turn 4, Dusk

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Here we go, the dreaded shadow. Their backstab special doubles its damage if an ally is on the opposite side of the unit it’s attacking. That’s 20-3 damage at night if you let yourself get backstabbed! To make matters worse, their skirmisher ability ignores ZOC (so they have no problem getting into backstabbing position) and due to nightstalk they are invisible during the night.

Fortunately for us, they are rather slow on water and probably won’t reach us during the night due to being recruited on turn 2 instead of turn 1. (In the event they are recruited on turn 1, a simple solution is to place a citizen somewhere in the southeast during the night – the shadows will probably go for it.)

While I usually play Wesnoth using the Skip AI Moves option in preferences (so I don’t die of boredom watching every enemy unit move), against an enemy with shadows it can be useful to turn it off during dusk of our turn so we can see where the shadows moved to before they disappear.

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Meanwhile, we’re being mobbed by bats in the southwest and more are on the way. First things first, we’ll try and get rid of the three near us.

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The fighter and the hunter have gotten rid of the vampire bat, an initiate hitting 2 for 2 softened up the blood bat on the right for Cylanna to kill, and another initiate hitting 2 for 2 has softened the one on the left for the experienced initiate to come in and finish. Pretty good!

It’s not always possible to manage, but we tried to give the kills to the two units in the center hexes, who are well protected, while the two initiates on the outside used for the softening are expendable.

A couple citizens then fill in the front of the line, and the veteran reinforcements are on their way.

Turn 5, First watch

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By watching closely the enemy’s turn during dusk, we know there’s a shadow on the southwestern village, and another in the hills at the highlighted hex. In other words they’re pretty far from us so we shouldn’t have to worry about them until dawn, when we can see them again.

If we ever lose track of how many shadows the enemy has, we can check the status screen which displays the number of units (on maps with no fog / shroud):
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Here we see Mal Kevek has 17 units, and if we count all his visible units on the map there are 15, so we know he only has two shadows.

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Night has begun, meaning we want to focus on defense mostly. Our plan is to clear out the two level 0s on the left, and bring in the netcasters to slow the bats and hold the line.

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On the left, the experienced initiate cleared a vampire bat and Gwabbo fails to slow the leftmost blood bat. On the right, the netcaster got a lucky 2/2 hits on the rightmost blood bat leaving it with 12 HP, so we tried our luck with the priestess (4-4 magical attack, 65% CTK) but she doesn’t manage to kill it.

The hex surrounded by three bats is pretty vulnerable so we need to put a strong unit there. Time for the immortal citizen to level up! He has a 63.4% CTK on the wounded blood bat, but even if he doesn’t kill it he will gain 1 XP from the combat and level into a beefy brawler.

Annoyingly the bat lives and will fly off to heal next turn. Cylanna moves onto the village to kill the soulless and we close the line with a fighter and the other netcaster.

Turn 6, Second watch

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We’re surrounded by bats and soulless. We could hold the line here and wait for dawn, but decide instead to retreat to the coastal reefs in the north. (The reasoning was that if we held the line here, we'd have only two hexes on most enemies at dawn and making kills would be difficult, but staying probably would have worked fine too.)

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Here’s our formation for the end of second watch – we hope to lure the enemy into open water where we can destroy them at our leisure when dawn comes.

Turn 7, Dawn

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Dawn is here, and it’s time to clean up all these units surrounding us.
Two citizens were killed last turn: one on the village on the left and one next to Krellis who was turned into a corpse, our only losses so far.

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Cylanna clears the level 0 corpse, and Krellis gets the kill on the wounded soulless on the right, putting him close to level 2.

Our warrior in the southwest kills the wounded soulless next to him, clearing space for two initiates to kill the blood bat. So far, so good.

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In the northwest, we bring in our second priestess to soften the soulless for the experienced initiate to kill, and our hunter finishes the level 0 corpse.

Turn 8, Morning

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It’s now day and the undead from the east are catching up fast. We’ll need to kill the enemies here quickly and move southwest. Unfortunately this means our attack on the necromancer will be during the night - far from ideal, but with the undead pressing us we do not have time to wait until the next day.

Two initiates in the northwest make quick work of a blood bat, and we try our luck to see if our experienced initiate can hit the other blood bat 2 out of 2 and level. She only hits 1 out of 2, but this means we can bring Krellis up for the kill. It is essential to begin moving him northwest.

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Yeah! At level 2, Krellis not only looks ten times more awesome, but his leadership now works on level 1 units as well, and he’s gained some nice resistance to blade and pierce.

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Cylanna destroys a soulless, our other priestess makes quick work of the shadow, and our initiate here finishes the vampire bat. We make sure to use the southwest hex instead of one of the reef hexes, as the ghoul on the right is able to reach the reef hexes and we do not want to be poisoned.

The remaining units begin moving southwest, taking the village and killing the vampire bat in the process.

Turn 9, Afternoon

Krellis starts moving northwest now – he can make it to the sign in 2 more turns, on turn 11. This is around the time the flying undead will start to reach the northwest, so it’s going to be close.

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Meanwhile it’s time to begin our push southwest.

One the right, our experienced initiate kills a wounded blood bat and levels into our third priestess.
On the left, an initiate moves to the village to clear a level 0 corpse, and our merman warrior here decimates the 30% defense soulless next to him on the beach.

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The rest of our units desperately rush southwest. It’s going to be tight a race to see if we can kill the southwest leader before getting overrun.

On the right, the fighter should have been moved one hex forward to prevent the backstab on the citizen; I was afraid of the fighter being poisoned by the ghoul, but the ghoul most likely would have gone after the citizen instead of the fighter. It was a small mistake, only costing me a 9 gold fodder citizen, but even cannon fodder should not be thrown away so carelessly.

Turn 10, Dusk

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On the left, we need to clear out the corpse and the soulless in order to advance.
On the right, we use a priestess to kill that shadow as we really do not want to be backstabbed for 16-3 damage.

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A netcaster clears the corpse, allowing Cylanna and another netcaster to come in and finish the soulless:

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And here is an example where we do want to use the recommended attack for its higher CTK despite the risk of retaliation – we are in a tremendous hurry and it is vital that this soulless blocking our progress southwest is killed.

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The citizen we placed in front of us is not just for bait: it plays the important role of blocking the soulless from entering the narrow section of swamp in front of our units and potentially blocking us off next turn.

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In the east we try to protect the priestess with the fighter and warrior. If worst comes to worst, all three units besides her are expendable.

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In the northwest we place a citizen as bait to lure the wraiths south away from Krellis, and bring the experienced hunter too to help shield Krellis if necessary. If worst comes to worst he is expendable too.

Turn 11, First watch

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Our necromancer friend has come out to play. Things are getting pretty dire for us on all fronts though, so we absolutely must finish him next turn on second watch. This means we have to kill a 73 HP necromancer during the night – it’s not going to be easy!

Priority #1 is clearing that wounded soulless which is blocking us. We bring in our wounded priestess for the job.

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Priority #2 is to slow the necromancer. 18-2 magical is painful to even contemplate, but it is absolutely vital that he is slowed, so we grit our teeth and try it.
We’ve got a 75% change to slow him, which is fairly good.

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YEEOWWW! That was painful to watch. This netcaster must be blind! Not only does he fail to slow the necromancer, but he receives full retaliation, leaving him at 10 HP and pretty much guaranteed to die during the undead turn.

We’re forced to try our luck with our wounded netcaster. (Gwabbo of course is far too valuable to risk here.) The 30% terrain defense is irrelevant as the necromancer’s attack is magical.

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Our netcaster has a 12.2% chance of dying, but there’s not much we can do besides hope he doesn’t. If this turn is a complete disaster we can always just move Krellis to the signpost for an immediate victory.

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YES! Someone get this netcaster a medal! He must have tried extra hard after seeing what happened to the other guy. Not only does he slow the necromancer, but he doesn’t take any retaliation.

Next up, note that none of our units have access to the hex west of the necromancer due to his ZOC. Well, we conveniently have a unit here who specializes is disrupting ZOC. Let’s try using his stunning tail attack (a 75% chance to hit).

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Success! Notice how Gwabbo can now skirmish right past the necromancer to use the western hex. This is great, as we need every single damage point we can get.

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Cylanna attacks Daveth from the northeastern hex – we need her to heal the northern netcaster so he can try slowing the necromancer again next turn - and an initiate also attacks from the remaining hex.

Meanwhile in the northeast, the priestess and initiate run away. Our level 2 warrior is ZOCed but the fighter is nobly sacrificing his life in the hopes of distracting the enemies from the warrior.

We’ve a learned a painful lesson in what it means to engage the undead at night – in this scenario we didn’t have much of a choice, but we clearly want to avoid doing so in the future if we can!

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Here’s our stats so far – generally even luck, apart from the initial disastrous netcaster attack.

At this point we could win the scenario immediately and save our netcaster by moving Krellis to the sign. However, we have a good chance of killing Daveth next turn – he’s been whittled down now to under half his health - so it's a choice between the netcaster and the chance to get the loyal bat. We have an additional netcaster waiting on our recall list, and we have a 13/28 XP hunter hiding in the north who will hopefully also become a netcaster soon. In other words, the netcaster is replaceable and the loyal bat isn’t, so we’ll go for the bat.

Turn 12, Second watch

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Our heroic netcaster didn’t go down easy – it took the soulless, the vampire bat and finally the necromancer to kill him.

Things are dire for our ZOCed warrior in the east and for Krellis, so we are going to have to leave this turn whether or not we manage to kill Daveth. He’s only got 29 HP though – we can do this!

First, our newly healed netcaster tries to slow Daveth. Even if he takes full retaliation, he’s still survive with 1 HP left.

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Yes! Now that Daveth is slowed, it’s all downhill for him now.

Next our wounded priestess softens him up – she’s also guaranteed to survive with at least 1 HP. We’re definitely getting out of here this turn, so we don’t need to worry about the undead’s turn.
The priestess hits 3 times, getting Daveth down to 10 HP - get him, Gwabbo! (I want Cylanna to have to ring Daveth drops so I try not to use her to attack him.)

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Gwabbo finishes Daveth, and here’s our first reward for killing him, our very own bat!

The second reward is a ring that gives +3 HP and +1 to all attacks, which Cylanna takes, so now she does 7-4 arcane. She's unstoppable now!

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And Krellis makes a run for it, ending the scenario. That was close!

Before moving Krellis, we got ourselves a little extra XP for our remaining units by attacking the undead – for example our 13 XP hunter attacked the level 3 banebow, getting a free 3 XP for the combat.

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Here’s our scenario stats – very even luck overall.

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And here’s our unit list – we also have another netcaster sitting on our recall list.

Next time: A bunch of hungry wolves try to have us for dinner!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 3rd, 2015, 8:59 pm

Scenario 3: Wolf Coast
Last time, we were forced to flee Jotha from a horde of undead. But it looks like we’ve run into a pack of hungry wolves!

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Gashnok’s in the mood for seafood tonight. He’s going to be in for a nasty surprise when his food starts fighting back.

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This scenario is meant to be an easy experience gathering one to help prepare for the next, which is a difficult one.

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We have 80 + 193 carryover gold, which is almost as much as Gashnok’s, so we should pretty much be able to wipe the floor with him.
The wild wolves team just refers to the two puny wolves to our southeast.

However, the next scenario is a difficult one where we do want at least some carryover, so we’re going to want to save some of our gold and be careful not to let our income get too negative. Due to the low number of villages and low number of turns we have to finish, we can’t rely on the early finish bonus.

(A very common mistake among beginning Wesnoth players is to overrecruit – most of the time, it’s not necessary to spend all your starting gold - and / or recall too many veterans - not every veteran has to be recalled in every scenario; level 3 veterans especially should be recalled sparingly as they cost 3 gold per turn in upkeep! On the hardest difficulties where gold is scarce, it is especially essential to spend only what we need and keep an eye on our income.)

Turn 1, Dawn

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Our goal for this scenario is to try and get some XP for the 3 experienced initiates from last scenario. In addition to the 3 initiates, we recall our experienced hunter and a priestess, and recruit a fighter.

To the southeast are two wolves who are easy pickings, and to the northeast in the lake is a storm trident (14-2 ranged magical fire damage) – we’ll want Krellis to pick it up since he has no ranged attack.

Turn 2, Morning

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Here are the enemy’s recruits: the level 2 goblin pillagers can slow but are relatively weak, but the level 2 goblin knights are powerful in melee and extremely dangerous at night. He also recruits level 1 wolf riders, which aren’t much of a threat. Wolves have no weaknesses or resistances, so all our units are good here.

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Netcasters are essential for slowing goblin knights at night; we recall our remaining two and also recruit 2 more hunters – at best they’ll get some experience towards becoming netcasters and at worst they’ll act as fodder and distract the wolves from the other units.

Turn 3, Afternoon

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The southeast wolves, somewhat lacking in intelligence, get into the water at 20% defense. The northern one is easily killed by a fighter and an initiate, while the priestess moves in to attack the southern wolf and heal the wounded fighter.

The two hunter recruits easily finish the job. We use the southern hex for our last hunter attack in order to ZOC the wolf and keep it in place; if we had used the southwest hex the wolf likely would have run off to heal had we failed to kill it.

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Our northern line at the end of turn 3; the initiate next to Krellis can be killed by lucky wolf hits but exposing her is intentional – we want to lure the wolves into the water and they may otherwise be unwilling to come.

Turn 4, Dusk

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Strangely, the wolves ignore our initiate bait but are willing to come in order to slow Krellis. We don’t have much firepower here especially with Krellis slowed, so we’re just going to slow these pillagers and hold the line.

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Here’s our line – no unit may be attacked from more than 2 hexes.

Our 31 HP experienced hunter in the southeast is preventing the wolves from entering the highlighted hex next to our netcaster.
Of course, the hunter can be fairly easily killed if both goblin knights (there are only two in range) gang up on him (7-4 damage each; they’d need to hit 5 out of 8 against 60% defense), but attacking the hunter means leaving the netcaster alone and we’d much rather risk an experienced level 1 unit than a level 2 unit.
(Cylanna is slightly exposed as well, but the knights will almost certainly go for the easier hunter kill instead.)

Although our hunter had a very good chance of leveling by killing the 6 HP pillager on 30% using the southeast hex, to do so would have been foolish as the unit would then be surrounded and most likely killed next turn, which would completely waste the 16 experience.

Turn 5, First watch

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Both goblin knights got 2 out of 4 strikes on our hunter, leaving him at 3 HP and close to leveling.
The 6 HP pillager, perhaps tired of his life of crime, suicided himself into Cylanna on his turn.

Since it’s first watch we should retreat and wait for a better time to fight. As ctrl + b tells us, it’s very easy for us to hide in the water on the left, so that’s what we’ll be doing.

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Our line at the end of first watch. We beat a hasty retreat into the water.

Turn 6, Second watch

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It’s second watch, and we need to start advancing now in preparation for our attack at dawn.
Normally, it’s ideal to advance at dawn and attack at day, but notice the 16 turn limit – the clock is ticking, so we need to be a little more aggressive than usual here.

Fortunately for us, the wolves have wandered into our favorite terrain, the 70% defense coastal reef. If we slow those two goblin knights we’ll be pretty safe, as they are the most fearsome damage dealers.

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Gwabbo somehow missed twice with his slowing attempt on the northern goblin knight so we had to have another netcaster do the job.

With the two knights slowed, it was safe to bring in our priestess to soften up the northern one to 5 HP, allowing our experienced hunter to finish. Note that Krellis is next to him, increasing his spear damage from 4-3 to 5-3, significantly raising the CTK.

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Thanks to the leadership bonus, it’s a pretty sure kill. We've got ourselves another netcaster!

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We fill in the rest of our line, with the fragile units hiding in the back.
Oceanus is our weak point, being exposed to 3 hexes, but he is at full health on 70% and has the resilient trait, so he’s in good shape.

In the north, we use both the level 1 fighter and the level 1 hunter to shield Cylanna so that even if one dies, the other will still shield her.

Turn 7, Dawn

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Excellent! It’s dawn and all these wolves are in the water.

We’re going to focus first on the damage dealers, the two goblin knights at the bottom of the line.
We have 2 hexes on the northern wounded one and 3 hexes on the southern one, though one of these hexes overlaps.

The first thing we’ll try is to see if we can kill the wounded wolf rider in the south from the two southeastern hexes, freeing an extra hex on the southern goblin knight.

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Unfortunately we needed 3 units to kill the wolf rider - the hunter needed to hit 2 / 3 vs. 30%, but only hit 1 / 3, so we had to bring in an initiate to finish the job.

Next we have our netcasters slow the knights. Oceanus is pretty beefy so we use him to slow the knight from an outside hex in order to shield our other units.

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Cylanna finishes one of the wounded goblin knights, and in the north a netcaster and Krellis kill a goblin pillager. The enemy’s basically stuck with level 1 wolves now.

Turn 8, Morning

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Now that it’s day it’s a very safe time to try and gather some experience for our little bat, who needs 18 XP to advance.
There’s a 4 HP goblin knight in the south which our bat could kill with Krellis’ leadership (being chaotic, it only does 3-2 damage at day), but at 16 HP it’s not completely safe to attack the knight which does 5-4 damage.

Let’s see if we can soften the 42 HP pillager in the north instead.
First Krellis leads the fighter which now does 10-3 damage, who gets full hits leaving the pillager at 12 HP.

Next we try softening with an initiate which does 10-2 damage, hoping to hit once. For this purpose we deliberately move Krellis away from her, as his leadership would cause her to do 12-2, killing the pillager instead of softening.

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Just what we wanted, 1 out of 2 hits. Now our bat can finish, getting him most of the way to level 1.

In the south, Cylanna finishes the wolf rider next to her and an initiate takes the 4 HP goblin knight kill, getting her to 49/50 XP.

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The rest of our units come in and start demolishing the level 1 wolves.
Here’s our line at the end. The poor wolves never had a chance. (The injured hunter here is trying to help lure the wolves into the water.)

Turn 9, Afternoon

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At this point it’s just choosing who gets the XP.

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Gwabbo and Cylanna soften the pillager for the initiate to kill, and Gwabbo levels up during the combat to a level 3 entangler, giving him an extra slowing strike.

The 49 XP initiate and another netcaster set up another kill for our bat, and we level the initiate into our first enchantress. With her impact magical damage she should come in handy next scenario.

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Our line at the afternoon’s end. A hunter gets the kill of the remaining wolf rider, and Krellis starts heading for the storm trident.

The fighter in the north is trying to lure out the direwolf leader, which doesn’t work unfortunately.

Turn 10, Dusk

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The pillager gets in the water to slow the fighter, and here, because I am so clearly winning and not thinking carefully anymore, I make the very clumsy error of using Cylanna from an exposed outside hex. Now the leader and another goblin knight can reach her and I’m forced to use my fragile bat to help cover her.

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Our formation is far from ideal- the fragile loyal bat is exposed to both wolves and Cylanna with 36 HP can potentially be killed by the direwolf leader doing 9-4 damage.

Turn 11, First watch

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Fortunately we get away with our sloppiness here, since the goblin knight decides to attack the netcaster and the direwolf leader doesn’t attack at all, but we will have to be more careful in the future.

Krellis reaches the storm trident in the southeast this turn, giving him an awesome ranged magical fire attack! Enemies will generally try to avoid attacking him now.

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The direwolf leader does 11-4 damage at night so we want to slow him.

We’d like to use Gwabbo because he has more slowing chances and he’s our only unit guaranteed to survive full hits from the direwolf, but he can’t reach yet because the ZOC of the goblin knight forces him to use a sand hex (2 movement cost) instead of the water hex.

Looks like we’ll have to kill the knight so that Gwabbo can reach a castle hex.

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We soften up the goblin knight, and our bat finishes for another kill. We use the northeast hex so that in case the bat misses all three times we can finish using a merman from the south hex.

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Gwabbo’s three slowing attempts all missed but fortunately the other netcaster was successful.

Turn 12, Second watch

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The direwolf leader recruits a pillager and runs to the village. We whittle them down but it’s night so we aren’t doing much damage.

Turn 13, Dawn

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We try to feed the two kills to units who need experience the most: our friendly bat gets the kill on the pillager, and the priestess here softens the direwolf leader for the netcaster to finish.

A short and sweet victory!

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46 gold carryover looks pretty pathetic, but that’s two extra recalls, which can make a big difference.

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Here’s our stats. We’ve inflicted a little bit more damage than expected, but it’s pretty even.

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And here’s our unit list. Wow, look at all those leveling units!
We also have another priestess and a warrior which we didn’t recall this scenario.

Next time: We start a slave rebellion and gain some new allies in one of the campaign’s most difficult scenarios!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 5th, 2015, 6:04 am

Scenario 4: Slavers
Last time, we easily wiped out a pack of wolves. But you didn’t think it would stay this easy, did you?

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We approach the shore… and a loyal brawler comes running to us for help! Getting a free loyal unit is always a nice way to start a scenario.

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Saurians! One of the most difficult enemies to face in Wesnoth scenarios, these pesky lizards have 60% defense in the swamps and sand which cover this map. They also have powerful melee units which ignore ZOC (making it difficult to protect our units) and are deadly at night.

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This is probably the most difficult scenario in the entire campaign.
24 turns to defeat 3 leaders isn’t that much, especially since we’ll be spending most of our gold and will have to rely on the early finish bonus for carryover. We’re going to have to be pretty aggressive here.

A helpful mindset to have in this scenario is that losses of (non loyal) veterans are acceptable: due to the huge amount of enemies, we’re going to be leveling enough new ones to make up for it.

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We have 150 + 46 carryover gold, and the saurians have… a lot.
Fortunately, there’s a shipwreck way in the northwest corner of the map containing 100 gold. Our loyal bat can reach it on Turn 4 (Dawn), making this a scenario where it’s really, really nice to have gotten a bat back in Scenario 2.

Note the Former Slaves side: at any time we can right-click anywhere to call out for the slaves to rebel, providing a distraction and possibly allowing them to help finish off wounded saurians, since their turn comes right after ours.

The general plan:
Note that this scenario is unusual in that it starts at Dusk instead of Dawn. We’re going to plan our recruits for an assault at dawn / day.
  • Turn 1 (Dusk) and Turn 2 (First Watch): Recruit lightly, keeping our income at maximum. These units aren’t going to be doing anything during the night, so no point in paying upkeep for them.
  • Turn 3 (Second Watch): Start recalling veterans, which will be able to attack at dawn/day.
  • Turn 4 (Dawn): Get the 100 gold from the shipwreck and use it to recall the remaining veterans.
  • Turns 5, 6 (Morning, Afternoon): Begin an all out attack.
  • Turn 7 (Dusk): Have the cannon fodder slaves rebel to cover our retreat and distract the saurians during the night.
If we can then survive until the next day without many losses we will have basically won.

Turn 1, Dusk

We begin with 2 villages and grab 2 more, so we can recall four level 1 units (2 experienced initiates, a brawler, and a leveling hunter) without paying upkeep.

Turn 2, Second Watch

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The southeast enemy’s turn 1 recruits. We’ll mainly be facing level 2 ambushers (6-4 pierce melee, skirmisher) and level 2 oracles (8-3 ranged cold magical) with a few level 1 skirmishers and augurs mixed in.
Saurians are weak to impact, meaning brawlers, initiates and enchantresses, and netcasters are especially good here.

We grab 2 more villages, recruit an initiate and recall a brawler.

Turn 3, Second watch

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We recall as many veterans as we can currently afford in order to prepare for our dawn / daytime attack: a priestess, warrior, netcaster and enchantress, plus a citizen with the remaining gold.

Turn 4, Dawn

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With the help of the newly acquired 100 gold, we recall two netcasters and a priestess. We kill an augur in the water.

Here’s our unit list for this scenario – all our veterans, plus a bunch of initiates.
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In retrospect I believe I got too scared of this scenario and overrecruited. A general rule of thumb is to never recall more levels worth of units than the number of villages on the map – there are 20 villages here and I’ve recalled 20 levels worth of units but many are about to level and I will have income problems for the entire scenario.

Turn 5, Morning

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Since it’s day we want to make as many kills as possible, starting with the saurians in the water with 40% defense.
First we’ll clear out the two soothsayers and the augur in the south.

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In the south, a netcaster and the citizen got the kills on the two soothsayers, and an initiate killed the augur, leveling into an enchantress.

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In the north, a brawler and our experienced hunter have destroyed the ambusher who was on the water village with 40% defense, with the hunter leveling into a netcaster.

Krellis demolished an oracle in the water, and the enchantress here will soften up the ambusher in the water for the priestess to finish. Due to the saurians’ impact weakness, she does 19 – 2 magical impact damage during the day!

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We soften up the oracle on the beach for our initiate to kill, leveling her into our fourth priestess. [In retrospect, enchantress would have been a much better choice, as she is quick and not resilient and really needs the extra HP.]

Due to all the leveling our income is getting dangerously negative (-8). We’ll just have to try and finish fast to make up for it.

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Our line at the end of the morning. We grab the village with Cylanna and unsuccessfully try to kill the augur on the beach with Gwabbo and the other initiate.

Turn 6, Afternoon

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It’s our last precious turn of daylight and we need to attack like there’s no tomorrow – every saurian we kill now is one less saurian to attack us during the night, and if we let the saurians pile up by being too passive at daytime, we might not make it through the night to see the next day.

Things like positioning, exposing fragile units and even veterans do not matter much here – nothing matters except to click on every green lizard in sight and hit while the sun is still in the sky.

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In the south, the priestess finishes the oracle in the water.
The netcaster and citizen then make short work of the augur in the water, with the citizen leveling into another brawler, allowing the enchantress to zap the ambusher on the beach out of existence.

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Our southern force is in good shape now, as the majority of the saurians are in the north.

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In the north, we’re making some good progress too. The brawler on the village and nearby netcaster killed an oracle in the water, and the nearby enchantress has hit 2 for 2 and zapped another ambusher on the sand into oblivion.
In the northeast, our experienced netcaster whacks an augur to death and levels into an entangler and our priestesses come in and start destroying the wounded units on the beach.
Finally, Krellis and a brawler team up to kill the skirmisher on flat land in the north.

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Here’s our northern line at the end of the afternoon. Normally it’s suicidal to charge so deep into enemy territory and let ourselves get surrounded right before the coming night, but we may do so here because next turn, we have a secret weapon….

Turn 7, Dusk

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Stats so far. We’ve been quite lucky so far, especially regarding damage taken. (We had 2 losses last turn- a brawler and initiate, both unimportant.)

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First let’s check on our southern units.
The brawler and netcaster team up to kill the wounded oracle near the village, and the warrior puts the dying augur on the beach out of its misery (after the other netcaster missed it 3 times).

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Our southern forces at the end. Because we got a bit unlucky, we don’t manage to make any more kills.

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Now let’s check on our northern units… Um. This isn’t good. Night’s coming and we’re surrounded by saurians! Gwabbo is ZOCed so we can’t just retreat.
We’ll just have to hold the line as best as we can and try to slow the ambushers (the main damage dealers).

On the left, the enchantress moves onto the village and zaps the skirmisher. On the right Gwabbo moves a hex back to slow the ambusher to his south, and gets lucky and kills it. The other netcaster slows the ambusher in the water.

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A netcaster and Krellis attack kill an augur and the three priestesses try to hide in the back.
Moving that netcaster onto the 30% defense beach where he’s exposed to 4 hexes was a bad idea (even though it’s mostly only augurs who can reach him); he definitely should have been moved into the water hex south of him.

Our line here isn’t going to hold for long; we need a distraction, quick!

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“Being free” is actually a euphemism for dying, though Krellis wisely does not mention this.

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Triggering the revolt causes 27 allied units, mostly level 0, to appear scattered around the map.
Most of the former slaves will appear in the southeast, where the saurian leader is pretty much by himself – they might even manage to kill him for us.

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And some tasty level 0 bait appears in the north near our units as well. They should distract the saurians enough to let us retreat.

Turn 8, First watch

Our former slave allies had a great turn during dusk, getting 6 kills and even wounding the southeast leader.

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First let’s check on our southern force.
The three southeastern saurians are pretty much the only ones around so if we get rid of them, the units here can then go north to reinforce or go east to finish off the saurians which are being distracted by the former slaves now.

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Two brawlers and a priestess finish the oracle, the enchantress and the warrior finish the northern augur, and the netcaster on the village comes down to finish the southern augur. Southern cleanup done!
We weren’t afraid to use our wounded warrior because the two allied units in the south should have been able to kill the augurs on their turn if we hadn’t managed it.

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And here’s how our northern units are doing. Our netcaster on the beach has been mobbed by 3 augurs and a skirmisher and will need saving, but the saurians have mostly gone after the allied units.
We’ll need to kill that augur on the beach and then retreat everyone.

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Annoyingly, it takes four veterans to kill that augur on the beach - we were forced to bring the enchantress onto the beach to finish. [Here’s where I really wished I had leveled Cylanna to 3 by now for the illumination.]
The wounded units hide in the back to heal.
We move the priestess onto the beach on order to fill in the hole in our line so the saurian's don't get 4 hexes on Krellis or the enchantress.
Unfortunately we'll lose the priestess during the saurian turn, but it wasn't a big loss and she achieved her purpose of shielding Krellis and the enchantress.

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Our allies' turn: in a lucky break for us, the thug in the southeast kills the saurian leader who had gone to the village to heal. We could have done it ourselves easily, of course, but it would have slowed us down a bit.

Turn 9, Second watch

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In the south, our warrior gets a kill on the wounded augur, putting him at 62/64 XP, and everyone else moves north.
Things are pretty much under control here.

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Unfortunately, things in the north aren’t going so well. We tried using an entangler to slow the ambusher in the swamp (78.4% chance to slow) but it didn’t come off. With two ambushers around we decide it’s too dangerous to continue the attack and retreat with the other units.

[In retrospect I should have placed the wounded brawler on the village as a distraction – it would have died but better to lose a level 1 brawler than a level 3 entangler. As for moving the entangler out in the first place, I see it more as a calculated risk than a clear mistake; if the slow had worked as expected, I would have been able to advance with the other units and make some kills.]

Turn 10, Dawn

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Unfortunately we lost our level 3 entangler last turn to this mob of augurs, with one of the augurs leveling up in the process. Our northern force will soon get revenge for him though.

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We kill the 3 nearby saurians and Gwabbo slows the ambusher.
Cylanna levels into a diviner, giving her the invaluable illuminates halo which causes adjacent units to fight as if it were day during dawn / dusk, and as if it were dawn / dusk during the night. That's potentially +25% damage for four times of day, it works for level 3 units as well unlike leadership, it can be used to "blind" chaotic enemies, and it can stack with leadership! As with Krellis' leadership halo, we'll want to be careful of how we use Cylanna's moves, so that we can give the illumination bonus to multiple units per turn.

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Our southern force makes a push eastward and will have no problem getting rid of most of these saurians during the day.

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Here's the status at the end of our turn at dawn: the battle is pretty much over by now.
Because this is a very long scenario and the rest is just easy cleanup, we'll skip most of the other turns, though there is always the attached replay for those who are interested.

Turn 13, Dusk

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We move to the cage that was next to the southeast leader’s keep, which contains some kind of…dragon?!
Oh yeah!! We’re ready to set some saurians on fire!

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We immediately start setting up kills for Keshan – he didn’t kill the ambusher this turn, so we left it alive for Keshan to fry next turn.

Turn 15, Second watch

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The middle saurian leader comes out to attack us and makes a generous donation of 24 XP to Keshan, who levels into a drake flare and gains the leadership ability.
After this it’s an easy and uneventful walk to the last saurian leader in the north.

Turn 17, Day

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Everyone begins converging on the last leader, who’s basically on his own now.
Krellis (who reached level 3 back on turn 11, giving him nice bonuses to damage and allowing him to lead level 2 units now) moves to the nearby cage, freeing Siddry the poacher. Siddry won’t come with us but will help us out in a much later scenario.

No one has the heart to tell Siddry that the saurians let him keep his bow because he's so useless with it - with his pathetic bow damage he couldn't even kill an augur.

Turn 18, Afternoon

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The final leader comes out and we set up another easy kill for Keshan, who thanks to Krellis’ leadership does 11-4 fire damage, easily frying the 10 HP leader.

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Phew, we made it! We managed to finish early enough for a nice carryover too.

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Our scenario stats – we’ve gotten some good luck with the damage taken.
RIP: initiate (level 1), priestess (level 2), brawler (level 1), entangler (level 3)

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And here’s our units – we’ve had 14 advancements this scenario!

Thanks for reading! As always, comments are welcome, e.g. did I skip over too much here? Include too many boring details? Feel free to critique my playing too and point out where I could have played better, as I am always looking to improve!

Next time: We murder an orc and steal his gold. Who said mermen were lawful?
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby ekeron » December 6th, 2015, 2:50 pm

This is pretty cool.

I'm learning a lot from watching your let's play. :eng:
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Sire » December 6th, 2015, 3:27 pm

Just a simple suggestion for formatting purposes, I believe it is best to use spoiler tags, but just one for each scenario instead of each image. In the long run, this will help readers skip past scenarios they have already read without having to scroll through all of the text, as well as help in locating other comments in this topic.

I've seen several types of these rare, text-based Let's Plays before (some may call them "After Action Reports"), but the ones I've encountered tend to tell the story from a more roleplay perspective instead of a strategic one. Either way, I look forward to seeing your progress, best of luck to your Let's Play!
Current Projects: Red Winter || Sire's Scenarios
- Looking for single player scenarios? Check out Tactician's Challenge - UMC Scenario Pack!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 8th, 2015, 9:57 pm

Thanks for the comments! Reply to the above comment:
Spoiler:

Here's Part 5 - it's a very short scenario this time.

Scenario 5: Tirigaz
Last time, we made it through a tough battle with saurians.

The good news: We now have a new loyal brawler and an awesome drake as allies.
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The bad news: Night’s coming, we’re being chased by undead, and we’re surrounded by orcs too!

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Fortunately, their leader Marg-Tonz is a pretty reasonable guy and will leave us alone for now.

His dialogue above, in addition to being quite amusing, contains the important information that the orcs will turn hostile to us if we move onto land, the ships or the piers.
Of course, he neglected to say anything about entering the water between the piers…

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This is an extremely easy scenario.
It’s probably meant to help players catch up in case they lost a lot of veterans in the previous scenario, but since we’ve got tons of veterans and all our loyals, it’s just going to be a brutal and one-sided slaughter.

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Here’s the group of undead chasing us – these 16 units are the entirety of the undead force. They may look scary now, especially the nightgaunts, but during the day they are going to disappear so fast they’ll barely be able to even scratch us.

Turn 1, Dusk

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We’re only allowed to use the keep for one turn before the orcs kick us out, so we’ll recall our two priestesses for undead cleanup, a leveling netcaster and an entangler for defense, and two sirens for zapping the orc leader in his castle later.
(In retrospect this was overkill and we could have used some lower level units here.)

Turn 2, First watch

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No reason to fight during the night when we can wait for dawn / day. We just hang back, though we make sure to get everyone into the water as we don't want to anger the orcs yet.

Turn 3, Second watch

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Without any targets to attack, the undead units just wander about aimlessly (perhaps this explains why there are only 16 of them - the others must have gotten lost along the way.)

We advance cautiously, keeping in mind that the invisible nightgaunts and shadows are lurking somewhere.

Turn 4, Dawn

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After milling about uselessly during the night, the undead form the brilliant plan of attacking us during dawn/daytime. (Undead are not known for their intellect.)

If we kill the two nightgaunts and the shadow next to us (the main damage dealers) we’ll be completely safe.
First a priestess goes for the 25 HP nightgaunt. She normally does 7-4 arcane but thanks to Krellis’ leadership and Cylanna’s illumination she does 10-4 and kills the nightgaunt, leveling into our second diviner!

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The other priestess and Cylanna make quick work of the remaining shadow and nightgaunt, and a netcaster slows the nearby wraith.

Sadly for the undead, their attack is pretty much over at this point. A shame, after they came all this way.

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Krellis fries a ghost with his storm trident and the other units don’t bother doing anything, as their impact damage isn’t great against undead, who have 50% resistance.

Turn 5, Morning

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The massacre of the undead continues, beginning with this priestess killing the spectre here.

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Everyone else just attacks / slows everything in sight, leaving the undead with just 6 units.

Turn 6, Afternoon

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Well, this is about as one-sided as it gets. Keshan gets the kill on the shadow, our leveling priestess gets the kill on the level 3 spectre, and the rest of the undead are easily disposed of.

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…And then there were none.
We now have the choice to leave immediately, or kill the orc leader Marg-Tonz for a significant gold bonus (100 gold + early finish bonus).

Marg-Tonz was pretty nice to us (for an orc), but we’re desperately short on cash, so we’ll be relieving him of his gold (over his dead body, of course). Nothing personal.

Turn 7, Dusk

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Our units…uh, go on a leisurely swim…northeast, in order to, um, admire the ships? (Put that club away, Gwabbo!)

Turn 8, First watch

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Nothing to see here :whistle:

These orcish crossbowman guards must be sleeping on the job. Overworked and underpaid, no doubt.

Turn 9, Second watch

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Surprise! Marg-Tonz is in for a rude awakening.
The first thing we want to do is slow him in case we don’t manage to kill him this turn. Our diviner lights the way for our entangler to come slow him.

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Slowing successful! Next our siren softens him up, also using the diviner’s illumination bonus.
She hits 2 / 3 leaving Marg-Tonz at 37 HP. At this rate he'll be dead before he knows what hit him.

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We then move the diviner to illuminate our second siren, who hits 3 for 3, abruptly ending our short acquaintance with Marg-Tonz while the crossbowmen look on in stunned disbelief.
(If she hadn’t finished him, we could have killed the northern crossbowman and then used the hex northeast of Marg-Tonz.)

Poor guy, who can blame him? We feel a little guilty for sneaking up on him, but it doesn’t stop us from gleefully looting his 100 gold.

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Thanks to Marg-Tonz’s generous gold donation, we get a nice 65 gold carryover which will really help in the next scenario (another difficult one).

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We got very good luck on this scenario, but I think it’s clear that we didn’t need it.

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And here’s our unit list. We're on our way to a third diviner, which will be most welcome.

Next time: we meet my favorite Wesnoth character! (No it’s not Growloff.)
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Benignity » December 10th, 2015, 6:15 pm

Like all the others here I wanted to say thank you for this extremely well-made playthrough. Not only do you provide strategic advice, but you also manage to be be funny while doing it. Great job!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby max_torch » December 11th, 2015, 1:36 am

Maybe this can be turned into an official walkthrough when you go to Play/Official Campaigns? (the link below the wesnoth logo)
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 11th, 2015, 8:12 am

Thanks for the comments- they're really very encouraging!
(Reply to above) I think this is probably way too long to be practical as a walkthrough, though if people find this topic helpful they can edit the current walkthrough to add a link here.

Here's part 6 - a tough scenario but the reward at the end makes it all worth it!

Scenario 6 – Uncharted Islands
Last time, we wiped out an army of undead and robbed an orc leader at Tirigaz.

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It seems like we’ve stumbled across someone about to feed their pet…cuttlefish?

Though it’s unclear what exactly the treat is…

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Why are we not surprised. Like our encounter with wolves back in Scenario 3, we are once again being attacked by hungry creatures trying to eat us! None of the other races in Wesnoth ever had this problem…

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But unlike the wolves, these creatures are very good at fighting in water.

This is a rather hard scenario: we’ll be fighting huge sea monsters with high damage and extremely good mobility in water, so losses are expected.
Also, due to the low number of villages (11) on the map, it’s very hard to get decent gold carryover here.

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We start with 160 + 65 gold - this is a scenario where it’s very important to have gotten a good carryover from the previous one.
“Growloff and His Pets” have a ton of gold and a huge income, so he’s going to be recruiting for a very long time.

Krellis was just thinking that our merman forces also need a cool team name to boost morale. Something fierce, like “The Terror of the Seas.”

Turn 1, Dawn

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We start by recruiting/recalling low level units: we recall a leveling priestess and a half-leveled hunter and fighter.

We currently have two diviners including Cylanna and one more is on the way, but ideally we’d like a fourth, so we recruit two initiates hoping to level at least one.

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Uh, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something a little strange about Growloff’s “pets.”

Both of these recruits are bad news: the blue sea serpent has 85 HP and an 18-2 fangs melee attack, while the green water serpent has 50 HP and a 12-2 poison melee attack. Both are chaotic.
Growloff will also recruit cuttlefish, but the main threat in this scenario is the sea serpents.

Turn 2, Morning

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We splurge on level 3 veterans: a triton, diviner, siren and 2 entanglers. Diviners (illuminates) and entanglers (for slowing sea serpents) are key here.

Turn 3, Afternoon

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Everyone advances northwest, and Growloff recruits another set of serpents. He must be breeding them or something, because he has a disturbing number of these “pets” at his disposal.

Turn 4, Dusk

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We have three sea monsters close to us, so our goal is to see if we can kill them, starting with the two closest to us.

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Cylanna softens the water serpent for the fighter to finish (putting him at 28/29 XP) and it takes a huge amount of units to kill the sea serpent. The experienced hunter finishes it and levels into a netcaster.

Those sea serpents are incredibly beefy, no doubt the result of eating a healthy diet of unwary travelers.

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We try to move our own beefy units out front to shield the more fragile ones.
Night’s coming, and Growloff continues to pump out sea monsters- things are going to turn nasty really soon.

Turn 5, First watch

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It’s first watch, the place is infested with sea monsters, and Growloff’s supply of pets is showing no sign of depletion.

It’s time to turn to Krellis’ favorite tactic, which he has mastered throughout the campaign:

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Run!! Everyone moves as far back as they can. With the sea serpents doing 22-2 damage and the water serpents doing 15-2, there’s no such thing as a completely safe formation, and the best we can do is put our beefiest nonloyal (i.e. expendable) units at the corners and hope for the best.

Turn 6, Second watch

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And just like that, there goes our 47 HP triton who was ganged up on by the sea serpent, then the water serpent (which he killed on retaliation) and was finally devoured by the cuttlefish.
This was actually a relatively good outcome for us, as the triton was less valuable than the entanglers and we have another leveling fighter on the way.

The only real threat here is the sea serpent, so we’ll focus on it this turn.

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We used about a zillion units to kill the sea serpent, and tried to damage / slow the 3 nearby cuttlefish, which wasn’t very successful unfortunately.

Turn 7, Dawn

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We’ve survived the night and it’s time to start killing things! We’ll start with the cuttlefish that ate our triton.

We definitely don’t have enough hexes on the sea serpent to kill it, so we’re going to try to get rid of the 3 cuttlefish and just slow the sea serpent.

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We manage to have an initiate kill the rightmost cuttlefish and the warrior here finishes the leftmost one. Our siren then makes short work of the remaining cuttlefish.

We’re going to have fried cuttlefish tonight! (What DO mermen eat anyway?)

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There’s another pair of serpents offscreen in the northeast, and in the northwest Growloff’s recruited yet another pair.

One wonders how he keeps them all fed, though perhaps this is one of those questions which is better left unanswered, like the mystery of what those tentacles of the deep are really connected to.

Turn 8, Morning

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Our morning is off to a great start, with our siren getting full hits and blasting this water serpent straight out the water. The three wounded sea monsters next to us aren’t long for this world either.

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We do a pretty good job clearing out sea monsters, but will Growloff EVER stop recruiting?!

Turn 9, Afternoon

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Nope, as sure as sun rises and sets in the sky, Growloff’s recruited yet another pair of serpents.
We’re slowly making progress toward his keep, though. We spend this turn clearing out the two serpents and three tentacles near us.

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Unfortunately I got very careless here and simply didn’t notice that the loyal bat was so exposed.
He can fly though, so he shouldn’t have a problem dodging sea creatures… right?

Turn 10, Dusk

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Noooooo! There goes our best scout / village grabber. He’ll be sorely missed, though we’ll be able to get by just fine without him, as he was a bonus unit anyway.

The good news is, Growloff has (finally!) run low on cash and is forced to recruit a cheap bat instead of another serpent. We’ll unleash our vengeance on the 3 sea monsters near us and start heading for Growloff’s keep.

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One of our initiates got the kill on one of the cuttlefish, giving us another priestess!
Our warrior killed the water serpent and is halfway to leveling now. A good thing, since our only other triton got eaten by a cuttlefish earlier.

Turn 11, First watch

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We’ll focus on killing the 3 enemies outside the keep and continue to advance. Almost there!

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Growloff’s not doing well – he’s low on gold and was forced to recruit a pathetic tentacle. (What kind of pet is a single tentacle, anyway?)

Turn 12, Second watch

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In the northeast, our warrior finishes the sea serpent, putting him very close to leveling.

The rest of our units quickly go to occupy Growloff’s keep to stem the flow of sea monsters.

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Keep secured, and that’s the end of those annoying sea serpents!

To minimize the damage we take from Growloff, we first move the diviner next to him to take away his +25 chaotic bonus, then slow him with the entangler, then attack with the diviner after he’s slowed.

The rest of our units soften up the cuttlefish in the southeast.

Turn 13, Dawn

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Our second initiate got the kill on the southeast cuttlefish and leveled into an enchantress. “Growloff and His Pets” has now officially become “Growloff all by himself.”

Meanwhile, we’ve softened up Growloff for our priestess to come finish. He proceeds to beg for his life and try to tell us his sob story.

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No one wants your cuttlefish!! It’s probably going to try and eat us!

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Oh, well if he’s tame, then I guess he can come along…
First, let’s try out the command for “don’t eat us.”

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It's extremely difficult to get much carryover from this scenario, so 44 gold is actually a pretty good result.

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Luck’s about even; both sides took less damage than expected.
RIP: the level 3 triton, the loyal dread bat

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We leveled a bunch of new units and managed to replace our triton, but sadly there’s no replacement for our poor bat.

On the bright side we’ve got our very own cuttlefish! With all the strange creatures we’ve been picking up, maybe our team name can become “Krellis and His Pets.”

Next time: We finally get to spend a relaxing day at the beach we get into a bloody battle with drakes!
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 14th, 2015, 7:06 am

Scenario 7 – Bilheld
Last time, we got ourselves a new pet cuttlefish! We continue on our quest to find the diviner Tyegëa and ask for her help.

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Great, looks like Tyegëa’s already angered the drakes and now they’re going to take it out on us.
Hey Keshan, you’re a drake too. Can’t you talk some sense into him?

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Guess not. Settling disputes by talking has probably never worked once in the history of Wesnoth.

This scenario can range from very easy to quite hard depending on the drake recruits.

The flying drakes (fighter and burner lines) can easily be lured into the water, where they have 20% defense and can be wrecked with pierce weapons.
The clasher types on the other hand have no pierce weakness (some even have resistance) and will usually just stay on the shore and force us to come to them, making things much more difficult.

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We have 140 + 44 carryover gold.
Vlagnor has a lot of gold and income but heavily recruits level 2 and 3 units, which we can make quick work of if they enter the water.

Turn 1, Dawn

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Most drakes are weak to pierce (-10%) so we recruit a bunch of piercing units (3 fighters and a hunter).

The citizen was intended for village grabbing in the west since we lost the loyal bat, but this doesn’t work out as a bunch of sky drakes will get there first. (This could have been prevented by using the loyal brawler as bait to lure the sky drakes east on turn 2.)

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Vlagnor’s turn 1 recruits – the 4 western recruits are scout types which are pretty useless in combat but annoyingly will fly all over the map grabbing villages.

The real threat is the other units like this inferno drake – 10-6 fire damage at day! Since drakes are lawful too it’s generally a better idea for us to fight at night.
(Drakes also have really weird names- “Gran” isn’t really the name I’d choose for a massive fire spitting dragon.)

Turn 2, Morning

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We recall the four level 2 units we made last scenario, plus an entangler. In retrospect, we really could have used our two other diviners instead, as arcane is excellent against drakes.

As Vlagnor so eloquently stated earlier, “blasting and stabbing” (arcane and pierce) is the way to go against drakes.

Turn 3, Afternoon

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We move south cautiously, staying out of the inferno drake’s range as we have no desire to be burnt to a crisp.

So far these drakes have expressed no interest in eating us, but even they may begin to feel hungry at the prospect of fried fish.

Turn 4, Dusk

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Most drakes are so fat that it takes all their concentration to keep themselves afloat, so they only have 20% defense over water. Easy pickings!

Our hunter easily gets the kill on the drake warrior, with Cylanna’s illumination raising his spear damage from 5-3 to 7-3.

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Our next victim’s the inferno drake. Krellis leads the leveling warrior (after Cylanna moves up to illuminate him) who attacks and levels into a triton, and Krellis then moves onto the 70% reef terrain to attack. On 20% defense, the inferno drake’s 83 HP melts away like snow in the summertime, and our priestess finishes for the kill.

In general it’s best to keep our diviners away from the drakes so the drake doesn’t get the +25% illumination bonus (unless we’re using the diviner to soften up the drake for another unit to kill).
After all, we’re the ones who did all the hard work leveling the diviner so it’s only fair that only we benefit from the bonus.

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The rest of our units form a line on the reefs.

Unfortunately for us Vlagnor’s gone crazy with the clasher line recruits which are deadly in melee with no pierce weakness, so our fighters are pretty useless. The only good way to kill them is diviners, which we unfortunately didn’t recall. [When I played this scenario previously on Wesnoth 1.10, Vlagnor didn’t recruit the clasher types.]
Though the main reason they’re a pain here is that they’re extremely unwilling to get into the water.

Turn 5, First watch

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…as a matter of fact, they’re too cowardly to even leave the keep at all. For some strange reason all the clasher types have decided to sit tight in Vlagnor’s keep; maybe Vlagnor was lonely and wanted someone to talk to. Some of them have been sitting there since turn 2, so Vlagnor must be an especially fascinating conversationalist.
[I later tested this scenario a few times to see if this was normal but it never happened again…strange.]

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Inky gets his first kill on the fire drake (good cuttlefish!), Teeloa kills the drake warrior and we slow the drake flare on the beach.

Everyone else runs to Cylanna for emergency medical attention.

Turn 6, Second watch

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Vlagnor’s decided he’s had enough of the clasher types relaxing in his keep while other drakes are out there dying, and sends them out to earn their pay.

They’re incredibly beefy (those two level 3 enforcers carrying the big tridents have 86 and 92 HP!) so we’re just going to settle for slowing them.

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We kill the burner on the beach (who doesn't go down without a fight) with our priestess in the north and Gwabbo slows the drake flare.

We then have Teeloa stun the flare which will allow our netcaster and entangler in the north to reach the two southern enforcers to slow them.

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In the north, the enchantress zaps the glider on the beach and Keshan moves to protect her. In the south the hunter got a kill on the drake warrior and is close to leveling.

Unfortunately this was a pretty unlucky turn for us – we failed to slow the enforcer on the beach and on the right that glider should have been long dead.

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Our stats confirm our sneaking suspicion that the RNG seems to have it in for us this turn.

Turn 7, Dawn

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Yikes, look at all those clasher units on the beach. They have 40% defense there while we have 30% and day is coming, so we’re going to retreat into the water and heal.

We do want to get rid of that wounded drake flare on the beach though, or it may fly off to heal and bother us later. Whichever unit makes the kill is dead meat next turn though, so Krellis nominates one of the level 1 fighters for the honor. (Being the army’s leader has its perks.)

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We leave the poor fighter to fend for himself and everyone else runs off to heal.

I wasn't paying attention and made the careless mistake of leaving Keshan exposed on 30% defense to the drake warrior who can kill him by hitting 3 / 3. At this point I was pretty sure I’d have to restart the scenario using better recruits.

Turn 8, Morning

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But an unexpected stroke of fortune saves the day! Not only does Keshan survive but Vlagnor, crazed with bloodlust, comes charging out of his keep to kill the wounded fighter.

With our current recruits we won’t win against all these clasher units in a fair fight, and we can’t afford to wait because those pesky sky drakes are stealing all our villages.
It’s time to turn to the time honored cheapest Wesnoth trick in the book, the leaderkill. We have 2 hexes on Vlagnor but should be able to kill the northern wounded arbiter to gain a third hex.

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Our enchantress and priestess should have been able to kill the arbiter from those two northern hexes (we made sure to have Krellis lead both of them) but, as if taunting us, it survives with 2 HP. We’ll just have to see if we can kill Vlagnor from 2 hexes.

We’ll use our two most damaging units, the triton and Cylanna. The triton hits 2 / 3 at 21 damage each leaving Vlagnor at 30 HP. That’s only 2 out of 4 hits from Cylanna – with the +1 damage ring she does a massive 15-4 magical damage to drakes!

She has a 91.6% CTK and if it doesn’t work our whole army’s basically done for. No pressure.

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Zap! In a brilliant flash of light, Cylanna once again proves that she's the real hero of this campaign.

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Vlagnor’s foolishness wins the day!
[Note- if we had made the proper recruits (lose the fighters, recall the diviners) this somewhat risky leaderkill wouldn’t have been necessary.]

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RIP: our brave level 1 fighter who died luring out Vlagnor, and the citizen who died softening a drake warrior so Inky could finish it. Both very worthy causes!

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The other two fighter recruits ended up being beyond useless but at least our hunter is close to leveling.

Cutscene: Scenario 8 - Talking to Tyegëa

We’ve finally reached Tyegëa! Now with her help we can head back to Jotha and retake our home.

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Except it looks like Tyegëa’s only got her own interests in mind. She does have a point there…

We talk a bit, and Cylanna then reveals to Krellis the surprising truth that Tyegëa is actually his grandmother.
That’s great news- I mean, she’ll definitely help her own grandson, right?

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Ouch. She really called poor Krellis out there.

Who else here thinks it’s a strange coincidence that “proving our courageousness” happens to involve doing her a huge favor?

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Summary: Tyegëa wants a flaming sword but is too lazy to get it herself.
(Don’t you hate when NPCs send you on their personal fetch quests?)

She does give us a holy water though, which we give to our triton who now does arcane melee damage!

Next time: We go off looking for Caladon, but first we have to fight our way through the local wildlife.
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Commented playthroughs with screenshots:
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Re: Let’s Play Dead Water!

Postby Inky » December 15th, 2015, 5:21 am

Scenario 9 – The Mage
Last time, we were sent out on a fetch quest test of courage by Tyegea to find Caladon the mage and the flaming sword.

We approach the edge of a spooky forest…
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Stop trying to scare us, Teeloa! There’s nothing out there.

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This is a small and relatively straightforward map. Caladon’s hiding in a temple in the north and we just need to move a unit there. There are some nasty things hiding in the shadows though…

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We start with 90 + 60 carryover gold.
Hungry creatures AGAIN? We’ve had enough – this time we’re going to prove once and for all that mermen are not food!

Turn 1, Dusk

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We recall an enchantress and a priestess and everyone stays together. You never know what’s out there, after all.

Turn 2, First watch

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And out of nowhere, we’re attacked by bats! Every dusk, first watch and second watch a group of four bats will fly out of the center chasm and attack us on the same turn.

There are also a couple bugs heading for us… wait a minute, those bugs are as big as us! Something is very wrong with this forest.
Giant scorpions are annoying with their poison but unlikely to actually kill anything. The true threats in this scenario are the instantly spawning bats.

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We clear out the bats and keep a close formation since more bats will be coming out of the cave this turn.
Giant scorpions are practically immune to impact but have a glaring weakness to arcane and fire, so we’ll call in the two diviners for bug extermination services.

It seems we don’t really have to worry about the scorpions though - I mean, there are only two of them here. We’ll be rid of them in no time! Won’t we?

Turn 3, Second watch

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AAAAAGH! Someone get the bugspray or better yet, call pest control! This place is crawling with scorpions!

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Fortunately for us, our diviners with their illumination provide 24 / 7 scorpion elimination services.

We clear out the 3 bats next to us, continuing to stay in line formation as (you guessed it) more bats are coming.

Turn 4, Dawn

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Great, even the spiders here are massive. We’d better get out quick; this forest must be radioactive or something.

Giant spiders are chaotic with a powerful 18-2 poison melee attack, and it’s essential to slow them.

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Gwabbo slows the spider and the diviners get to work on the scorpions.

The bats will fly back into their cave on their turn, so we don’t need to kill them unless they’re in the way.

Turn 5, Morning

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The critter cleanup continues. The enchantress’ impact attack is useless against scorpions so we have her kill the spider.

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We kill a few more scorpions, getting a fourth diviner in the process, and Keshan protects Inky from being attacked from 3 hexes.
Only in this campaign do you see a cuttlefish becoming friends with a dragon!

Turn 6, Afternoon

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How can a huge and fierce drake get so beaten up by BUGS? Keshan’s going to have nightmares about this incident for weeks.

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Our scorpion removal squad continues to provide excellent service – we just may be seeing the end of them.

Turn 7, Dusk

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On the left, the two diviners got rid of another scorpion and our enchantress softens up the spider to 7 HP so Inky can kill it with the help of Krellis’ leadership.

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And Inky grows into a tremendous Kraken! Bet Growloff didn’t know he could do that!

At this point we’ve cleaned up all the enemies on the map, but I make a terrible mistake here. The bats will appear (and attack!) again this turn, and Gwabbo should have been placed north of the chasm to block them from going north and getting at our wounded units.

Turn 8, First watch

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Our enchantress on the grass got absolutely demolished by the blood bat, and another attacks Keshan.

We kill the three bats next to us but can’t reach the blood bat next to Keshan (who has 21 HP and can be killed if the blood bat hits 3 for 3). At this point I admit I just got greedy; I probably could have pulled Keshan back and protected him but I didn’t want to waste the time and just decided to take the chance.

We just fly Keshan north to a village and hope the blood bat doesn’t get full hits (21.6% chance).

Turn 9, Second watch

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Of course, this is Wesnoth, so if you give the RNG a chance to mess with you it will. It was definitely my mistake to leave the hole in the line on turn 7 and to advance with Keshan on turn 8 instead of pulling him back, but I still feel the need to say… I hate bats!!!!

Keshan will be very badly missed, but we’ve only got 2 scenarios to go and we’ll just have to make do without him.

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Meanwhile, things are looking dire for Teeloa in the southeast, who also got pretty unlucky last turn and nearly died.

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The rest of our units were too far away so the best we can do is move Teeloa to the 60% swamp and block up the chasm so the next set of bats can’t reach him. We hope Teeloa’s learned to dodge better since last turn…

Turn 10, Dawn

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And he does! All the bats will disappear on their turn so we just need to move a unit to Caladon’s place now.

Turn 11, Morning

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Fish and forests don’t mix - mermen have 5 movement cost in the forest so it’s slow going. I’m missing Keshan already.

Turn 12, Afternoon

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Um, this guy kind of creeps me out. Maybe his brain’s been affected by eating too many giant scorpions.

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This isn’t suspicious at all…

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Well, 30 gold is better than nothing I guess.

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About even stats.
RIP: the level 2 enchantress and Keshan (sniff), both killed by blood bats.

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We pause for a brief moment of silence for one of the campaign’s most awesome units:

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Goodbye, Keshan- you will be terribly missed.

Next time: we go to take down a lich, but not all goes as planned…
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Commented playthroughs with screenshots:
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