Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Feedback for the mainline campaign Son of the Black Eye.

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Benefuchs
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Benefuchs » September 2nd, 2009, 12:32 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
medium, 1.6

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
crystal.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
nice.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Well, lets say, 4 lucky gryphons could kill anyone. (lost one or two veterans)
And I kind of paniked and spent all of my gold :(

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
As soon as the mermen stop coming and the dwarf has not enough money left for gryphons, its just boring.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
End it some turns earlyer or maybe add a passage in the east.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
no.

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
N/A

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Majki-Fajki
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Majki-Fajki » September 18th, 2009, 7:04 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.6.5, medium

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
6

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. Chop heads of frakking elves.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
There is any? :)

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Micromanagment on the bridge and recalling right veterans (Trolls lvl3 are essential).

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
9. I love decapitating hundreds of Elves in all 24 turns :) Very balanced mission.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
I would add some kind of betreyers (i.e. in 16 turn suddenly deploy Goblin with few Elves IN THE CITY), add more good one-liners, and when horde arrives - Orks breakthrough! Waaagh! From this moment give another 24 turns to KILL all leaders!

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
At the begining I recalled too few units, later gryphs had too much luck...

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?
N/A

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Eros
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Eros » September 22nd, 2009, 9:02 am

(1) medium 1.6.4

(2) 3

(3) 100%

(4) OK

(5) Killing the first wave of gryphons and mermen I could deal with any of the rest

(6) Amazing (If you want an enormous troll army)

(7) Greater "surface area" to defend

(8) No though I lost a level 3 troll

(9) Yes
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shadowblack
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by shadowblack » August 14th, 2010, 4:50 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
1.8.4, Warrior (Difficult), i.e. (what I consider) Normal difficulty

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
Starts as a 4 and quickly goes down to 1

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Fine

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Not falling asleep. Not losing any units.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
2. Initally it’s fun. After the first 10-12 turns it gets very boring.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Add some enemies attacking the right side (the east beach).

Also, give a hint that mermen and griffons might appear. I knew about both because I read the wiki. If I had not my initial recall may have been different and the scenario – more challenging.

After the first few turns there were no more mermen and griffons, so my only concern was rotating my units in the center. The last few turns I got really bored. Maybe the enemies could get some extra gold in the second half, or perhaps the mermen could keep arriving at least until turn 20?

And last, I was disappointed by the “Great Horde” that arrived. A bunch of level 1s and… that’s it? Not a single level 2 or 3? And the enemies were scared by THAT? Is this a joke? Either:
- make the Horde consist of units that are level 2 and 3
- change the text to indicate this is only the vanguard and more – stronger – orcs are coming
On short, make it worthy of the name “Great Horde”.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
A couple of times I restarted due to bad luck (though only the first one was game-ending).
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santosis
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by santosis » October 20th, 2010, 8:53 pm

(1) What difficulty levels have you played the scenario on?
Difficult, 1.8.5

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7 - Took me two tries and a bit of luck. First try, I sent most of my army toward the bridge. Silly. The griffons flanked me and destroyed me. Second time, I sent only about 6 units to the bridge and leveled a healer. The griffons didn't try to flank this time, I got lucky on a few rolls, lost a lvl 3 troll, and wiped them out. Once the griffons were dispatched (turn 12 or so), it was smooth sailing.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. Don't die.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Here's the problem--the Great Horde is all level ones. Not very intimidating compared to the 35 20 or so lvl 3s I have stomping face.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Those darn griffins. I shuddered every time one spawned.

I finished in round 24/24 with -8 gold and will start next scenario with the minimum. Woo hoo.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
7 - Too long, it got very boring after turn 14 or so. I was in no danger of losing a unit.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
Hmm... maybe the humans could try to build a bridge or something?

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
See above.

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Maiklas3000
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Maiklas3000 » December 3rd, 2010, 8:43 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Nightmare; 1.9.2; 222 starting gold

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
6 or maybe much less, but embarrassingly I lost once.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Good.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Troops on the bridge can get banged up to the point that none are at full strength, which can allow enemy to get onto the bridge. Mermen getting onto the bridge in the rear can be a disaster if it happens. I had no Slurbows or Warlords coming into the scenario, though I finished with 2 of each.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
5. It can be boring. If it gets exciting, you lose.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
This scenario reminds me of Plants Versus Zombies. But it needs a grand finale, like each "scenario" in that game. The end could have two simultaneous boat launches, two simultaneous Merman assaults, and on difficult and nightmare a whole flock (gaggle?) of Griffons, which could target the bridge troops and/or the leader. The Griffons could come in like the Mermen, instead of being bought. The idea is for the Griffons to ZOC-lock the bridge troops, so they can't assist in defending against the landings. Also, Mermen assault squads of 3 Fighters are not effective against pierce resistant Trolls and the occasional Saurian. I suggest Fighters and Initiates on challenging, Netcasters and Initiates on difficult, and Priestesses/Enchantresses/Netcasters on Nightmare. For the grand finale, bump it up one level, so on easy they'll get Initiates and so on, and for Nightmare add 1 Triton to supplement the three level 2's. Oh yeah, and turn 24 should be day or dusk.

It's not clear to me why the mechanics of the boat landings are different here and in the earlier scenario, where I had a chance to destroy ships before they unloaded. Could it be made consistent?

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
On my first attempt, I stupidly lost Saurian recruiting ability by having Inarix expose himself to needless risk. On my second attempt from start, I lost legitimately, when I sent too many units to the West, thus allowing Mermen to get onto the rear of the bridge, cutting my lines.
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Faello
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Faello » May 1st, 2011, 1:06 am

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

Nightmare (Warlord), 1.8.5, no saves/reloads, 268 starting gold

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

It's 5 w/o Saurian Soothsayer, 4 if you can recall it.

This scenario has 2 phases - the difficult one (until 10 - 12 turn) and the easy one (12 - 24). First several turns are difficult, mostly because player has to maintain the ford and it requires a level 2 and 3 units and good kills-management, especially that AI tries to suicide with gryphon riders on player units to force a kill (even if it's unlikely). Without Saurian Soothsayer and killing enemy units freely, player units will soon get exhausted and AI will successfully capture the ford which will probably be the beginning of the end, since Earl Lanbec'h (purple, general), Darstang (green, steelclad) and Thelarion (blue, elvish champion) forces together with mermen units make a powerful +/- 2000gp worth army.

Once the mermen reinforcements will get depleted (22 mermen units) and player will handle first 2 waves of gryphon riders, this scenario is mostly about healing the ford defenders and exchanging wounded units with fresh ones.

Directing the AI attacks is quite easy. Perfect attackers for the day phases are human bowmen - "putting" (allowing them to attack) set of 3 of them against player lvl2 - lvl3 trolls makes it certain that ford won't be captured - it's even better if damage can be spread via putting level 3 unit on 18,11 or 20,11 ford defece hexes (AI will almost always pick a higher level unit to attack w/o retaliation damage if it's possible = it's even easier for a player to manage the damage between his troops.

During the night, player can kill some units, it's good to kill red mages during this phase - it's easier since loyalist units are weaker and it's less dangerous for a player.

Worst set of attackers player can face are probably 3 red mages - if all 3 can reach your units, you've done something wrong. It's also important to notice the possible force-kills AI can pull against your units and check fencer/gryphon riders/elvish scouts movement range. They use to lurk behind the slower units and AI uses them to try a force-kill often.

If you will do well enough, you should get similar stats:

60 units (worth 1199gp :!: ) destroyed, 3units (worth 40gp) lost, 2 of them on purpose to get 0gp treasury balance at the end of the scenario (I've noticed there's a bug that screws next scenario replay if previous one was finished with negative treasury balance - it's easy to repair but didn't really want to do it :P )

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear, altough information about the towers importance in this scenario should be put to the objectives.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?


It was good, especially the final dialog and assembling the Great Horde under the Sovereign (Kapou'e) banner.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Most difficult part was the gryphon riders attacks, after that mermen reinforcements and in the end defending the ford from the Lanbec'h's army.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

I'd say it's 7.

It's a fun to play, semi-survival scenario, very good for defence training, but it gets boring when the most dangerous opponents (gryphon riders, mermen) are gone.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

There should be more mermen waves, it gets a bit too easy without them.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Yes, missing the information about the importance of the towers - I lost one of them on purpose in my first trial and was amazed when I received a defeat announcement. Later, I found out that this information is in the initial scenario dialog BUT, honestly speaking, it should be in the objectives list too. Aside from that, no problems :)

Replay attached:
Attachments
SotBE-Clash_of_Armies_replay.gz
Clash of Armies - Nightmare (Warlord) difficulty level, 1.8.5, no saves/reloads
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cph
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by cph » June 11th, 2011, 10:20 am

(1) Warrior, 1.8.5
(2) 4
(3) Clear.
(4) Fairly good.
(5) The first wave of mermen is tricky, but with the large force that I had recruited it was easy from then on. Even the enemy mages attacking in daylight could make no headway against the team of ~6 L3 warlords & slurbows defending the bridge.
(6) 7; it's a good defensive scenario, and scenarios combining land and sea enemies where you have to think about terrain a lot are always fun.

The only downside is that the AI is so bad that the full potential for a really tricky defensive battle is not realised; not much that the level designer can do about that of course. It is obvious to the player that if the dwarf enemy spams gryphons then this would get very hard. As it was he recruited a pile of units so slow that they couldn't even get into the water because the humans and elves got ahead of them to the ford. If he had even used the few gryphons that he had to circle around and attack the towers, or to attack my units moving between the two battles or healing, it would have been a much harder fight.

(7) The dialogue makes a lot of noise about the towers, but they didn't figure in the battle at all for me; the enemy were never anywhere close to attacking them.

Perhaps the dwarf enemy aggression factor should be turned down so he doesn't throw his gryphons away so wastefully against my orc warlords on castle tiles. Since the rest of his troops never got a single attack, it wouldn't reduce the effectiveness of the rest of his useless army.

It has to be said that there is a fix for the AI's stupidity in this case: the level designer could choose for it and allow it to recruit only gryphons, or play with the various settings that give some control over recruiting balance to lean it more towards gryphons. Of course this would totally change and perhaps completely unbalance the scenario, so it would need careful testing; I think if it was recruiting only gryphons then the dwarf player's gold would probably need reducing so the scenario didn't become one big gryphon fight; keeping a mix but making it contain more gryphons is probably saner.

Or you could have some dialogue between the enemy leaders where they say "I wish we had more of those gryphon riders", suggesting that they have a limited number of them.

I wonder if the mermen could have their AI tuned to make them head for the bridge more. I soon has a meat grinder set up on land where I would draw each wave of 3 onto land and then Kapoe and some crossbowmen would kill them all. If they had gone for the bridge more then it would have disrupted the back-and-forth of units on the bridge falling back to heal.

(8) No.

podbelski
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by podbelski » June 18th, 2011, 1:15 pm

Faello wrote:
(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

I'd say it's 7.

It's a fun to play, semi-survival scenario, very good for defence training, but it gets boring when the most dangerous opponents (gryphon riders, mermen) are gone.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

There should be more mermen waves, it gets a bit too easy without them.
that's very true. The fact is that eastern tower was not attacked at all, so I guess a good addition might be a few more mermen waves from the east in the second half of the battle. Also I like a few small boats (or rafts?) disembarking to assist eastern mermen, like griffins did on the west side. East of the map is forested, so you can easily make a dialogue about enemies chopping trees to build naves... will be near perfect scenario IMO :)

Giraffemonster
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by Giraffemonster » June 21st, 2011, 11:07 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

Grunt (Challenging), played on 1.9.6

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

3, a bit harder for the first huge wave. I'm assuming that it would also be much harder if I hadn't had troll warriors and trolls to start out with.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear, hold out until the end of turns.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

Dialogue was clear, but not that interesting. Maybe a bit more emotion could be added. Also, I found that sometimes, a mage can end up boarding and deliver the "Charge!" message. I don't really think that's fitting for a mage, but I can see why it happens.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

Making sure I don't take too much losses, Holding the coasts from gryphons, mermen, and units from the transport galleons.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

Pretty fun, I would give it an 8 for the first few turns. It gets repetitive after a while though.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?

Other than adding in some dialogue, I think that the scenario is pretty fun as it is.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

At one point I tried to see if I could give Inarix some experience by letting him defend the left-most hex on the sea-castle for a turn. He got mauled by a gryphon, so I decided not to do that.

(9) If you know a bit of the Wesnoth Markup Language - do you think that the WML of this scenario is clear and well commented? If not which part would you like to be documented better?

Everything is pretty much well documented, the rest is quite self-explanatory. Perhaps a comment or two could be added to explain the pattern the spawning mermen.

podbelski
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by podbelski » June 22nd, 2011, 8:39 am

Giraffemonster wrote:...Holding the coasts from gryphons, mermen, and units from the transport galleons
sorry, what galleons do you mean? haven't seen any

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zookeeper
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by zookeeper » June 22nd, 2011, 8:59 am

podbelski wrote:
Giraffemonster wrote:...Holding the coasts from gryphons, mermen, and units from the transport galleons
sorry, what galleons do you mean? haven't seen any
The scenario has been changed quite a bit in 1.9; the towers are gone, and the enemies use ships to transport units from the south side of the river to the north.

On that note, I think it's reasonable to say that the 1.9 version of the scenario is different enough that detailed feedback on the balance, objectives and scenario mechanics of the 1.8.x versions of the scenario probably isn't going to be useful anymore. The story is still the same and dialogue mostly the same as well, so commenting on those based on a 1.8.x version is fine, and of course grades on the difficulty and fun-ness are welcome because that helps in gauging whether the changes have made the scenario easier, more difficult, more fun or less fun.

podbelski
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by podbelski » June 22nd, 2011, 9:10 am

Ok, great that galleons were implemented :)

line
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by line » August 16th, 2012, 8:46 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?
Warlord (Nightmare) 1.10.3
265 starting gold (enemies: 250/300/600)
Finished turn 24/24

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)
7. Not that easy. But still the AI allows you to be successful. It takes a while before the mermen act more clever and assist in attacking the bridge. Like said before, if they would do so earlier, stopping the rotation to hold the bridge, things would get way harder. Also the mermen stepping out of the water onto land is simply stupid. They should stay in the water, assisting those disembarked of a boat or as said before support the attack on the bridge. In the end it even happened, that a boat disembarked it's load at the bridge. Such actions right from the beginning would increase the difficulty.

As mentioned before, to hold the bridge it might be necessary to avoid situations of three attackers on one unit. Also it might occur to be wise to not kill a weak unit in front of the bridge, as it blocks the spot and maybe prevents a stronger unit behind it to attack from that hex.
Faello wrote:During the night, player can kill some units, it's good to kill red mages during this phase - it's easier since loyalist units are weaker and it's less dangerous for a player.
Sorry, but I have to disagree. RM are neutral, therefore not influenced by day/night cycle.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?
Clear. Survive and don’t let them flag one of Prestim’s villages in the end.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?
Kapou’e presumed the humans to be smarter than to simply waste themselves on the walls of Prestim. With the boats and continuous mermen it definitely got harder compared to earlier versions before 1.9. But still humans strategy is too poor.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?
Little money. Providing each flank and the centre with enough and suitable troops.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)
8. Defending and slaughtering enemies that wait in the water is still fun. Due to the changes made the scenario got harder and is not trivial to beat.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?
None.

(8) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?
None.

Replay seems to be corrupt, but just click "Ignore all" and don't save.
Attachments
SotBE-Clash_of_Armies_replay.gz
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PorkSol
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Re: Scenario Review: SotBE 11 - Clash of Armies

Post by PorkSol » April 12th, 2013, 5:19 pm

(1) What difficulty level and version of Wesnoth have you played the scenario on?

1.10.6 - Warlord - (Nightmare) - No save/load - 252 starting gold

(2) How difficult did you find the scenario? (1-10)

5. Less if you don't worry about losses. It is hard to lose once you know how the mechanics of the ships and the merman spawns work, but you could take a Pyrrhic victory.

(3) How clear did you find the scenario objectives?

Clear.

(4) How clear and interesting did you find the dialog and storyline of the scenario?

I liked it.

(5) What were your major challenges in meeting the objectives of the scenario?

The merman spawns are difficult on a first run, but they are easily lured onto bad terrain by placing a strong unit at the edge of their attack range.

Otherwise, red mages in the water are the major difficulty. Trolls can hold back the other units relatively easily. I think it is best to leave some weak units (bowmen for example) alive so that they block the red mages from approaching. Once night comes you can slaughter some mages, then let another weak unit fill in as a blocker during the day. Red mages are neutral, but your units do more damage at night and failing to kill a mage could be risky.

(6) How fun do you think the scenario is? (1-10)

6.5 - The first half is great and the ships are a very interesting feature. But eventually the mermen stop coming and a few ships aren't enough to keep the forces on your flanks busy. The dwarf didn't recruit many Griffons, so it eventually became pretty easy and boring. I left some ships alive to bring some enemies to my flanking units.

(7) What, if any, are changes you would have made to the scenario to make it more fun?


Suggestions above are good. Stronger mermen on the hardest difficulty. More merman waves. Mermen more reluctant to go on land. A final wave of boats or assault rafts near the end.

I never had to fight any of the Dwarf's units except for three griffons. The rest just stood in the water and never made it to me. Make him recruit more Griffons maybe.

8 ) Was there any event that caused you to lose the game and forced you to reload or restart the scenario?

Never reloaded, a few restarts when I underestimated the threat posed by the units pushing through the ford and lost a veteran. Once I took it seriously I didn't need a restart. I could have restarted to optimize my experience gain, but I decided not to because the scenario was dragging and my first run was alright.

No replay as my replay was corrupt or out of synch. It said one of my units did the wrong amount of damage, then the replay started showing the wrong moves.


EDIT: The error in the replay is caused by the boats. In my game the boat unloaded a mage onto a fort and a pikeman into water. In my replay the boat unloads the pikeman into the fort and the mage into the water. This causes the replay to go out of synch and start generating nonsense, as units who previously attacked the mage start attacking the Pikeman instead.

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