Grnk the Mighty: Parts 1 & 2 now on 1.12 and 1.14 server

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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap: Thanks much for the comments!
taptap wrote:Interlude:
If you level in the city (possible by provoking weak counterattacks through pickpocketing and rat killing) you lose your double movement points.
Oops! I'll fix that.
taptap wrote:2nd scenario:
How are 5 movement point units supposed to survive in the 2nd scenario circuit? (I lost the loyal bandit and could draw out the trapper with mere 6 hp. 10 losses, 5 kills ... Initially footpad only recruit.)
If I understand correctly what you are saying, I think the answer is that they are not supposed to survive. I meant this scenario to be set up so that you can barely survive it with the minimum number of units (especially on hard). You don't need more than the required 4 units for the following scenarios (you get new ones there). So if you only lost one of the loyal units, you came out ahead of the game. (I hope that answered your question and not something else.)
taptap wrote:Nice puzzle - but next time I may send 5 movement guys home immediately and not through the valley.
Thanks. :) I meant it to be a puzzle. However, I don't know if you read any of the earlier posts in this thread, I am planning to rework this scenario anyway, so that it is not as "scripted". Actually, I'm thinking about making it two separate scenarios and giving the player an option of playing a more "conventional" scenario or a "puzzle-solving" scenario.
taptap wrote:3rd scenario:
In the 3rd scenario, I didn't really understand why the ghosts are suddenly controlled by me.
Spoiler:
Thanks again! If you have more comments, please keep them coming.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

Ok, so I am happy with my results in the 2nd scenario. I needed 2 restarts, one to understand the dialog matters, one more to understand not fighting against those wood people means no fighting at all, because everyone pausing for one move too long will be cut down (2 days don't last long on hard :)). I even AMLA'ed Grnk the first time. "More variety" often just leads to people trying to "solve" the scenario by brute force.

Yes, in the 3rd scenario I was wondering how Grnk got this voice... but if it is explained later, I am fine. (Didn't beat it yet.)

I found the 3rd scenario very hard. The orcs are powerful enough to require you to play very careful - you have not the forces to meet them head on, but you have only 20 turns - to kill them all (even the last pesky assassin on 70%). I needed to luck out (save-scum) the last turn to kill the remaining three high def. units.
Last edited by taptap on November 17th, 2011, 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap wrote:one more to understand not fighting against those wood people means no fighting at all, because everyone pausing for one move too long will be cut down
Well, there might be an advantage to maybe slowing them down a little with 1 or 2 units, but yes, you will likely lose those.
taptap wrote:(2 days don't last long on hard :))
No, they don't. :) Btw, what is hard now used to be medium, but then I had trouble beating the scenario myself when I came back to it after some time, so I figured I better do something about it! In any case, if you have suggestions how to make it more enjoyable, let me know.
taptap wrote:Yes, in the 3rd scenario I was wondering how Grnk got this voice... but if it is explained later, I am fine. (Didn't beat it yet.)
Good. But just to be clear, I meant the 2nd part of the campaign, not of this scenario. So you'll have to wait a bit for your explanation. :P
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

Continuation:

I found the 3rd scenario pretty hard. The orcs are powerful enough to require you to play very careful - you have not the forces to meet them head on, but you have only 20 turns (30 in easy, 24 in medium) - to kill them all (even the last pesky assassin on 70%). I needed to luck out (save-scum) the last turn to kill the remaining three high def. units.

4th scenario

The beacon has a very annoying bug. I used the 4-turn beacon to control damage in the first night assault. However when the beacon vanishes the area were it was is night - including invisible enemies and high damage - while the rest of the map has morning.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

Hi taptap: Thanks for continuing to send feedback.
taptap wrote:I found the 3rd scenario pretty hard. The orcs are powerful enough to require you to play very careful - you have not the forces to meet them head on, but you have only 20 turns (30 in easy, 24 in medium) - to kill them all (even the last pesky assassin on 70%). I needed to luck out (save-scum) the last turn to kill the remaining three high def. units.
Ok, I will look into this. I have to admit that I did most of the balancing on medium, with only minor attention to the two other levels. I will see how this is on hard. Having said that, the fact that you cannot meet the orcs head-on is by design and simply a personal preference of mine (you will encounter this in a few more scenarios). I prefer small-ish battles in which you have to work carefully using the terrain and ToD, rather than huge brute-force battles. However, I agree that you need to have enough turns to finish that kind of battle. I'll check this out.
taptap wrote:The beacon has a very annoying bug. I used the 4-turn beacon to control damage in the first night assault. However when the beacon vanishes the area were it was is night - including invisible enemies and high damage - while the rest of the map has morning.
Interesting. I've played this many times in different variations and never encountered that. Do you still have your replay file so that I could have a look at it? Also, which versions of BfW and Grnk are you using?
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

1.9.9 and the current Grnk, downloaded some days ago. A save file is attached. I did reload some turns back and simply hit end turn and it reproduced the error, the save file is from this reproduction. It is the area near the mage.

I know, one shouldn't hit a bigger army on their ToD head on on bad terrain... otherwise I wouldn't play on hard difficulty. However that is why I had problems with the time limit in the 3rd scenario, it is surely not impossible, and I may even manage in a replay, but it is rather tight. In fact I didn't engage with the main army before turn 12, then I had a mere 9 turns left to dispatch a 500 gold army completely.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

Thanks for the savefile. I can see what is wrong with it and can fix it trivially in the file (although the same might or might not happen later when you use the second beacon). As for the root cause of the problem, that's a different story and will take quite a bit more testing. In any case, let me know if you want me to fix this savefile, or a later one.
taptap wrote:In fact I didn't engage with the main army before turn 12, then I had a mere 9 turns left to dispatch a 500 gold army completely.
That's quite amazing that you managed to get it done at all then! This might be one of those cases where reducing the turn limit and increasing the enemy gold when going from medium to hard puts the difficulty over the top. I have a couple scenarios like that in my other campaign also. Most likely I'll increase the turn limit on hard to either 22 or 23. Thanks for pointing this out.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

4th scenario:
Having no turn limit likely means I won't see this army again... Otherwise you could level up here eternally. Some heavy (loyal) losses in the beginning and the beacon bug really messed things up. By the time I broke the big assault wave I was down to half a dozen units. But later on, the veterans + some new recruits proceeded slowly and without big problems (though very careful because of nightblindness) towards the necromancer. The skeletons inside the cave are unnecessary - a fugitive or outlaw dispatches them easily. As they are no challenge, they are not really needed.

5th scenario:
Nice, not a big challenge though. I sided with the saurians, they are too cute to resist.

6th scenario:
Grnk went from 48 HP (full AMLA advancements + 2 more AMLA) to a mere 30 HP rider, from a 9-3 attack to 5-3 - in short he was equivalent to a L2 and is a weak L1 now. Does this sound right? I mean catching the wolf was meant as improvement.

I don't understand the "great plan" despite the dialog. I fight now with the orcs against the loyalists but as a double agent of sorts? This plan looks dubious to me...

The loyalist army under control can defend itself. But I have trouble to advance with the orc army. I have neither space nor mobility to retreat (only in the mountains I am faster than the loyalists) during daytime, not a single village for healing my forces, a small castle and an opponent that outnumbers me. (1:1.5 doesn't sound so bad, but with 4 L2 units and uniform bad terrain, where outperforming him isn't easy, it can be tough.) In the last attempt his counterrecruits broke me. (12 bowmen from a total of 17 recruits)

I will try again with manipulating the AI recruits (towards HI, spearmen types) and a daytime retreat over the mountains to the river.

General:

Many scenario objectives talk about gold carryover, that actually never occurs, because I don't see the armies again, right?

I don't like fighting against goblins with Grnk (4th scenario has AI recruit some).

I don't buy into the storyline of "getting a better person" (since joining the army), when getting a better person = killing orcs, being a bad person = killing humans. Why should Grnk? Also, Grnk might be superior to other orcs intellectually etc. but they are simply portrayed as too dumb for my taste.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap wrote:4th scenario:
Having no turn limit likely means I won't see this army again...
You'll just have to wait and see. :)
taptap wrote:Otherwise you could level up here eternally.
That's a good point though, I'll have to think about that.
taptap wrote:Some heavy (loyal) losses in the beginning and the beacon bug really messed things up. By the time I broke the big assault wave I was down to half a dozen units. But later on, the veterans + some new recruits proceeded slowly and without big problems (though very careful because of nightblindness) towards the necromancer. The skeletons inside the cave are unnecessary - a fugitive or outlaw dispatches them easily. As they are no challenge, they are not really needed.
As I said previously, I'll try to take care of the bug. The heavy losses are avoidable though (by using both beacons simultaneously). I usually come out of this scenario having lost almost no units. Interesting point about the skeletons, I'll think about that too.
taptap wrote:6th scenario:
Grnk went from 48 HP (full AMLA advancements + 2 more AMLA) to a mere 30 HP rider, from a 9-3 attack to 5-3 - in short he was equivalent to a L2 and is a weak L1 now. Does this sound right? I mean catching the wolf was meant as improvement.
Not quite. Catching the wolf is meant as a means to an end. Grnk cannot join the human army without being a wolf rider, so he accepts a step down in effectiveness for that. This is even addressed in the 'Grnk the Rider' unit description: "As Grnk has no experience riding a wolf, he has to start just like any other new wolf rider, as a Level 1 unit with no experience."
taptap wrote:I don't understand the "great plan" despite the dialog.
I am afraid that this is another thing where you need to wait for the second part of the campaign for an explanation. It will be mentioned several times throughout the first part and you're supposed to wonder what it is all about. Sorry. :D
taptap wrote:I fight now with the orcs against the loyalists but as a double agent of sorts?
Yep... I find it particularly ironic that in this scenario you play two sides, one is humans fighting against orcs, and the other is orcs fighting against humans simultaneously. Grnk's not happy about that at all! I agree that playing the orc side is harder in this scenario and, again, I should have a look at it to see if it is too difficult on 'hard'; but I think that here, too, what is now hard used to be medium, so I am pretty sure that it can be done. Let me know if you want me to tell you how I do it.
taptap wrote:Many scenario objectives talk about gold carryover, that actually never occurs, because I don't see the armies again, right?
No, it does ouccur. You see most of those armies again, just sometimes it is several scenarios down the road.
taptap wrote:I don't like fighting against goblins with Grnk (4th scenario has AI recruit some).
Ok. Noted. However, in Grnk's opinion, goblins are just as bad as orcs (they are just the runts of the orc litter, after all).
taptap wrote:I don't buy into the storyline of "getting a better person" (since joining the army), when getting a better person = killing orcs, being a bad person = killing humans. Why should Grnk?
Well, the whole point of the story is that Grnk believes that orcs and goblins (including himself) are bad, and humans are good (based on his previous experiences which will slowly be revealed in the scenario stories), and that he slowly finds out throughout this campaign that this isn't so. Thus, killing orcs is (initially) ok as it rids the world of the bad guys. As he goes on, he becomes more and more disillusioned and changes his mind.

That's how I set the story up and I have no issues with you being of different opinion (also about the orcs being too dumb). After all, things would be boring if everybody agreed on everything. :)

Thanks for the comments, please keep them coming as you proceed!
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

6th scenario:

The side switching is a little too crazy for my taste. You play an orc army against a human outpost, than switch sides to defeat the very orc army you raised just before (the more units you levelled or get close to levelling the harder it becomes), just to play the orcs again (who somehow don't notice that all their comrades from some hours ago are lying dead on the battlefield and the castle they just conquered is again filled with human soldiers).

7th scenario:

You take out the sorcerer and then... all the orcs somehow disappear... and you have once more to defeat an army you raised yourself. I like the different experiences this campaign offers, but I really don't like to slaughter armies I raised myself. *sigh*
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap wrote:(who somehow don't notice that all their comrades from some hours ago are lying dead on the battlefield and the castle they just conquered is again filled with human soldiers).
They see the bodies and the human soldiers, just that they didn't see what happened and being dumb orcs, they believe Grnk ("Little goblin smart!") and can't put 2 and 2 together. :P Yes, yes, I know ... :roll:
taptap wrote:You take out the sorcerer and then... all the orcs somehow disappear...
Hmm, don't I have some dialog in there why they disappear? I guess I always had all the orcs defeated by the time I get to the sorcerer, so maybe I don't. I'll add thisat to the list!
taptap wrote:and you have once more to defeat an army you raised yourself. I like the different experiences this campaign offers, but I really don't like to slaughter armies I raised myself. *sigh*
The funny thing is that, in a twisted way (twisted by my design, not your interpretation), you're exactly getting the point I am trying to bring across here. There are things going on in and around Shmaltupp that really aren't very nice. People constantly double-cross and turn on each other. Grnk himself is getting more and more dismayed by it and is very close to snapping.

And yes, I know you were talking about it from a playing the game perspective, having to fight armies that you previously put effort into. I am sure that there are ways to tell a story like that without having the player do that, this is just how I chose to tell this one. (My other campaign is much more straight forward in this respect, and I decided that I wanted to do something different in Grnk.) I am sorry that this takes (some of?) the enjoyment out of it for you, I truly am, but I wanted to tell a story that is not at all a nice journey for Grnk and have the player share some of that pain...
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

Trap: Quite easy. Played with the outlaws, it is the brother of the guy who saved my life, isn't it + better movement. (Break through in the west and then retreat during the day and hit during the night. I went all the way into the mountains.)

Chaos: Uh oh. (Nice effects.)

Captured: Finally! Inability to recruit was a surprise, how about recruiting peasants? I managed with maneuvering to make saurians fight the loyalists. Together with them I managed to kill the initial loyalist army completely, while one saurian was killed by the other one. (I had several losses in peasants, and 3 more units <10 hp in between). There were only 4 saurian units left on the map. Still I was captured. :(

Escape: Very good scenario. Finally I saw the "grand plan" I was instrumental to. Even the disarmed prisoners are quite effective against undead. And with a little luck and two level-ups the last three of them managed to beat the undead on the island, which was a surprise. Especially village sitting highwaymen/bandits and loyalist box champions (fencer / duelist) proved valuable. The saurians had much more problems. In between I was squeezed between loyalists and the first skeleton. I could break through just in time and with heavy losses. But in the end I even got the bonus objective - thanks to a lucky oracle. As they aren't very effective against undead anyway give the option to rescue the remaining saurians (instead of assuming them all dead) by moving them too to the signpost - it is not a big help in the next scenario anyway but it feels good (after slaughtering through all those armies you have raised) to have one token living saurian with you (maybe only if the leader survived) in the autorecalls of the next scenario.

Prunes: Hilarious! (I wanted to stop to fight with all the orcish archers, but I have no chance against the counterattack... so kept running despite 200 gold worth of recruits. The prunes what a great idea.)

Storyline: Ok, I now see the grand plan, but is the eternal infighting by Rutburt and K... who are both in the plan, necessary after all? And didn't I fight against the dark sorcerer in Disillusion with those guys who are part of the "grand plan"? Confusing.
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap: Somehow I seem to have misled you about the Grand Plan. Since I don't know where that happened, here's just a very brief summary of the overall story. There are really several storylines going on at the same time:
Spoiler:
Does that make sense? If you can point me to the exact point in the dialog where I threw you off course, I'll try to make it clearer.

Thanks much for your positive comments. I'll take your suggestions into consideration, will probably implement some of them in the next update. A few more specific things:
taptap wrote:Chaos: Uh oh. (Nice effects.)
Thanks. It was a lot of work for something that is essentially a fancy story-only scenario. :) I'm particularly happy with the two guys hitting each other simultaneously (instead of the usual attack-defense attack-defense thing). You're not supposed to be able to do that, so it took a bit of trickery...
taptap wrote:but is the eternal infighting by Rutburt and K... who are both in the plan, necessary after all?
It is certainly not necessary, but it is how I chose to tell the story. I didn't want this to be a "here are the good guys, and here are the bad ones" type of campaign. It's supposed to be a somewhat dark story, where everybody is a shade of gray rather than black or white (and most of them on the darker side). And hopefully I made it clear above that R & K (& G & G & ...; and even the orcs) are not actually part of the Plan, Grand or whatever it may be, but only the undead.

Besides that, sounds like you're playing this really well. You, as some others, are coming up with ways of playing these scenarios that I had not quite expected (like actually beating the pursuers in 'Captured' - I usually just run).

Thanks. :D
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by taptap »

Koorzhar refers to a fancy plan (by the HQ though) in Disillusion - as this involves sacrificing the river outpost it was dubious. Maybe I mixed this with the "Grand Plan" of the undead.

In Escape the loyalist guards attack the undead, but after that the Lieutenant leader of them receives some advice from a dark sorcerer, or so it looked, and practically they are colluding and not attacking each other and on the same team "undead". As Koorzhar brought me to this place, I reckoned he is part of this as well.

In Captured I basically run (north), leaving one unit behind (in the east) to "recruit" some more peasants. Most crucial fighting was done loyalist - saurian. I didn't dare to run anywhere else but north (most villages, best terrain). It was a close call, and only possible with the sacrifice of a peasant who lured saurians and loyalists into each others range. How did you play this? I tried running north, but I slowed myself down by staying out of range of the saurians first (mountains)... so was too slow to reach the single hex water passage north in time (at least not with all relevant units). The loyalists catched up...
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Re: Grnk the Mighty (BfW 1.9)

Post by mattsc »

taptap wrote:Koorzhar refers to a fancy plan (by the HQ though) in Disillusion - as this involves sacrificing the river outpost it was dubious. Maybe I mixed this with the "Grand Plan" of the undead.
Right... That's true. That's just supposed to mean the plan for the battle (and deceit) at hand. Maybe I'll try to avoid the word 'plan' and call it 'strategy' or something whenever folks are not talking about the Grand Plan.
taptap wrote:In Escape the loyalist guards attack the undead, but after that the Lieutenant leader of them receives some advice from a dark sorcerer, or so it looked, and practically they are colluding and not attacking each other and on the same team "undead". As Koorzhar brought me to this place, I reckoned he is part of this as well.
At that point, the outpost leader is indeed participating in the GP, but he's doing that against his will, being influenced (rather than advised) by the dark sorcerer. (The same happens later with a couple other folks in "Wizards.) I'll have a look at that and see if I can make that clearer.

taptap wrote:In Captured I basically run (north), leaving one unit behind (in the east) to "recruit" some more peasants. Most crucial fighting was done loyalist - saurian. I didn't dare to run anywhere else but north (most villages, best terrain). It was a close call, and only possible with the sacrifice of a peasant who lured saurians and loyalists into each others range. How did you play this? I tried running north, but I slowed myself down by staying out of range of the saurians first (mountains)... so was too slow to reach the single hex water passage north in time (at least not with all relevant units). The loyalists catched up...
Spoiler:
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