Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

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The Black Sword
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by The Black Sword »

I finished the rest of the campaign a while ago;

Establishing a Claim was fairly difficult but reasonably so I felt.

A new Era was a bit too easy for me, given the amount of gold I had at start. I think it led to me over recruiting and leaving me with min gold for the next scenario I think.

This possibly made Raid harder than it should have been but I quite enjoyed summoning my Lost Legion. I did have to restart and change my strategy a bit after losing to the hillmen the first time but I don't think I lost anybody with the new plan.

Finally, I would say Breaking the Spear was too easy for the final scenario in the campaign. The only time I really broke sweat was when I unnecessarily exposed Daklo. By the time the Legion runs out of money I had some cats in the big group of vills behind them and was beginning to produce more units again in addition to only losing a couple of units in all the fighting. Making the sorcerer better defended might be a good way to increase the scenarios difficulty level. I managed to assassinate him and get out without much losses which then makes defensive play so much easier, using either the river of the forests as barriers.

I think you asked earlier whether another scenario would be good in between all the forest ones. I think I was getting a bit bored of the forest scenarios around Establishing a Claim and A New Era so a different type of scenario there would be a nice idea I think but not really necessary.
Lavender
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Lavender »

Thanks for your feedback, Black Sword. Velensk will be offline for a considerable length of time, but he asked me to keep an eye on things, so your comments are still being read and appreciated--I hope everyone will continue to share their reactions.

It may take a while for any changes other than bug fixes to show up though. I've a bit of experience at coding, but I'm not a good enough Wesnoth player to be able to fine-tune an expert level campaign. :oops:
Eugen
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Eugen »

I love this campaign! Thank you for your hard work!
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

I already said several times that I really like the era and this campaign in particular.

In Vanguard Siskite keeps talking about an alter (should be: altar). In Ferry the objectives are not to my liking, I would give a signpost to end the scenario after which all units south of the river are killed. Still not optimal, but I don't really understand why it should be a complete loss if a single non-essential unit still lurks around south of the river. Or you can make an "exit" like in some scenarios in Antar son of Rheor or Grnk the Mighty, all units going to the exit before the hero are saved, the rest is abandoned.
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

Ok, I played the whole campaign again until and incl. the Ferry. I ended up chosing similar mercenaries to Velensk in his spoiler. The problem with having only the 3 witch doctors as healers is that you really have to take care of them (it is different if you choose the alchemist guild). This is especially the case in mercenary terrain scenarios as in the Ferry (7.5) where I end with an army mainly of loyals or unique mercenaries (the river dragon, some units of the legion, the stone spirits, rehdoc, siskite, a shaman) most of which I can't afford or really don't want to lose which requires a more careful play than I usually manage to do. Also the potential of the fight shifting from land to water if you approach by sea can leave you ill prepared (I had to withdraw on the river but the whole operation left the enemy ships on the western isle where i couldn't approach them by land.

Now I am facing the Deepwood with a good roster of warrior types 2 L3, 4 L2 of both types, several 1-2-3 xp-to-level 1. But I didn't do well with the other darklanders only 2 L2 cats, only 1 stalker. My pretty strong lawful mercenaries (legion has now 2 L3, 3 L2 units + 3-4 experienced sea state archers) + a number of turtles are likely not very useful here.

Edit: What I wanted to say, the Ferry scenario is pretty important to finish in shape, because otherwise the next one can be really annoying. The lack of experienced cats pretty much excludes a rapid assassination of the nearest leader I fear, and to cope with 260 gold I had against on hard: 85 base income per turn + 925 initial gold + plenty of guardians looks unlikely. Likely I end replaying the previous scenario to start with a little more gold and maybe another levelled cat.
Last edited by taptap on May 9th, 2012, 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lavender
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Lavender »

Thanks for your continued feedback taptap! I wish I could offer helpful advice, but you're waaayyy over my head here. So all I can really say is: good luck! And I hope you find the rest of the campaign a fun challenge.

(And that I'll get to those copy edits and bug fixes as soon as I finish the unit artwork I've been working on for the pygmy faction from the extended version of the era. Checking campaigns for the new Wesnoth release kind of caught me in the middle of that, and having the faction left half done has been driving me nuts.)
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

Finally, after replaying the whole campaign (I deleted all save games in a fit) again - this time I arrived in yet better shape at "The Ferry". I decided to just finish the ships as soon as possible and just defended the north with minimal forces. With plenty of boatsmen (some levelled) and the river dragon (both are mercenary choices which look pretty much necessary to finish quickly here) I finished early (turn 15). I wouldn't know how to play "Into the Deepwood" without the serious amount of bonus gold gained this way.

So this time I came "Into the Deepwood" with my best recall list ever. 12 levelled tribesmen (7 militia, 5 guerilla) + 6 levelled cats (2 of each) + levelled mercenaries and a massive bonus for 331 starting gold. Despite asssassinating the purple leader with 4 cats + rehdoc on turn 5, I finished on the final turn / turn 30 with 22 losses (3 L2, 2 about to level L1), mainly because the cats really lack the power to press forward against all the trees and the 80 gold invested in them and the high upkeep in the beginning really hurt your economy. But after the assassination at least it was clear early on that I will win in the end. I had another run earlier where I was just fighting plain and simple with plenty of tribesmen and some malices, while this looks winnable as well (when starting with this amount of gold), I didn't manage to finish in time.

Ambushing, slowing, berserker trees are really annoying (this is no complaint). They force you to go forward really slow paced as Rehdoc and Guards are the only units that reliable kill them even if they get attacked by them first. Hardest scenario so far, but having played the first 7 scenarios several times over I have some routine there. The dialog of "Into the Deepwood" needs some finishing touches too: In the end "Their games is ended." either game or are looks correct. It would help if it is more clear right away that your "ally" won't help in this scenario. Some comment that he seems bewitched or sth. similar would help to understand that he won't intervene.

I found "Establishing a Claim" very hard (272 starting gold on hard, but this isn't that big a difference at least from enemy gold), though I am not as good a player as the Black Sword. So, I ended up playing it with reloading several moves (for minimizing exposure) still lost a guard, a wrath, some militias and tons of other units but barely managed to keep crucial units alive. AI poison is very tedious here, as your ally almost always prefers to attack vipers. Even if you have healers you can't really heal them because your ally almost always moves poisoned units away from your healers - when your ally leader gets poisoned early (as happened to me) this can get really unnerving but even without this I had an AI viper that almost levelled without killing anything = it really weakened my ally. My strategy was to send a force incl. Rehdoc, Siskite, 3 more priests, a cat, a healer and many tribesmen + militia east while Daklo defended the keep with granite spirits backed up with imperialist standard ability, another healer and some tribesmen. I don't know whether there is a better strategy I surely didn't find one and I tried this scenario many times.
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

New Era is a nice scenario with some strange AI behaviour. If you go with fewer units you might end up better.

Refugees isn't exactly hard, but with a breakthrough in the center and some uncontained units in the north I ended with only 11 villages. Played mainly with tribesmen, several levelled malice-line units, few L2 veterans, some initial cats for village grabbing. Defending the southernmost 1 hex wide river crossing with (mainly) Siskite was the key to the scenario. At this point I recognized a certain tiredness with jungle scenarios, but likely this is because I had to try Establishing a Claim for over a dozen times before I beat it. Still the pacing in the first half of the campaign was more convincing.

Raid suffers from a major problem - triggering new enemies by killing of the first one - if it is possible the event should be independent, but implemented in a way that penalizes defensive play. Sitting in the imperialist castle with my initial units I had a rough time. Especially lion masters / mavericks can end the scenario quickly if they by chance take aim at a crucial unit, pretty much inevitable to lose some high levels / mercenaries and/or loyals (granite spirits are in particular danger when suddenly you face warlocks) here but this is ok, as it is the second to last scenario.

Breaking the Spear: (has to wait for a calm weekend)
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

The final scenario suffers from the defensive "battle-line-management" kind of play which is so common in other campaigns but was pretty rare throughout this one. Anything more dynamic is thwarted by the amount of ants running around that would eat my forest away if I retreat and the unintended (?) 50% imperialist defence in forests - as the 50% flat overrides the 30% forest defence other than what Velensk wrote in his strategy guides. So basically they have 50% both on forest,hills and on forest,flat. There are units in the game (Gargantaur) that can kill a L5 granite spirit in one round - or any other unit for that matter - but they are recruiting low damage L1 standards / ants etc. as well. So what I do is only killing where I want open spots to be attacked by the more dangerous units - if one plays this carefully with enough slow and enough alive L1 units this is possible with very few losses. But it is a very tedious way of playing, it makes you play almost as much focussed on attrition as the imperialists (well, I field half a dozen imperialist mercenaries). It is the first scenario where the number of healers really matters, it would be pretty much impossible with only 2 I reckon, so relying on the covenant only can easily turn out badly.

Overall a great campaign, though I tired myself in Establishing a Claim a little too much. Compared to that the final is relatively easy, but drawn out. A special mention goes to the first scenario, which I found very challenging first and which really teached me something, the mercenaries are a great idea although I found myself recruiting exactly as Velensk (I didn't feel there is much choice after playing the first half of the campaign three times. I would have loved to try out the shape shifters, the highlanders or the sea states cavalry. Hopefully it will be possible one day in another campaign.)
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Lavender
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Lavender »

Congrats on finishing, taptap! And thanks for the commentary!
the unintended (?) 50% imperialist defence in forests - as the 50% flat overrides the 30% forest defence
I will ask Velensk about this. It sounds like it might need to go on my bug fix list.
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taptap
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by taptap »

Another idea for the final: suddenly disappearing units are a shortcut, it would be much nicer storywise if they were retreating visibly. Afaik The Sojournings of Grog has such a manual retreat of AI forces now in the beginning of the second part.

Finished with 145 losses in a 14 scenario campaign (= Congratulations, this is one of the deadliest campaigns). Oddly the final was the scenario with the fewest losses for me. I will have a hard time adapting to elves, dwarves etc. again.
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Jon_dArc
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Jon_dArc »

One way to address the discovery problem in Scenario 4 might be to start the scenario with all of the hirable units on the map where they would appear, possibly with labels indicating costs, then use some kind of trigger to bring up the hire dialog (along the lines of the shop maps in the Bad Moon Rising campaigns) and remove all unhired units afterwards. If this is difficult to do in the same scenario, you could add a stub pre-scenario that has everything in the same locations to handle the hiring, then move into the scenario proper.

This wouldn't completely help people for whom the advancement options are unrevealed, but that's the same kind of risk you take when recruiting unfamiliar units (and has assorted ways around it). I guess if you wanted to not reveal unit attributes when hiring this could be problematic, but since most (all?) are fixed IMO it should be available information.

~J
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max_torch
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by max_torch »

I won the first scenario with only one recruit (jaguar rider) by the first night. So would you say this is the maximum gold one could possibly squeeze from this scenario? Played on hard btw
PL-Earning_the_Title_replay.gz
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The outlaw was supposed to get ambushed while he was on a swamp terrain but he got caught on the flat but still I got good RNG.
Velensk
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Velensk »

Yeah, you aren't going to get more gold than a turn 6 assassination.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
Velensk
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Re: Panther Lord (EoFM campaign)

Post by Velensk »

Panther Lord is now up on 1.12

I intend to rebalance and incorperate the fixes suggested soon but I havn't had the time. Expect another update sometime in the next couple months.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."
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