Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

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wesnothpoet
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Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

I just finished a rather ambitious project in which I completed all novice and intermediate campaigns on the hardest difficulty in permadeath mode (no reloads). It's taken me the better part of a year since I don't have time to play all the time and since you need to restart a lot in some campaigns. I'm not going to attempt the expert campaigns (at least not on the hardest difficulty :))

These were the conditions and rules:

- I somewhat randomly played version 1.12.6 since that's what came with my Debian distribution. This of course affects some campaigns: I didn't play "Secrets of the Ancients" since it wasn't added until later, and I believe some campaigns like "The Hammer of Thursagan" and "Descent into Darkness" have been significantly changed in later versions.

- No reloads, so whenever I died or otherwise were not happy with the current position (i.e. lost a crucial loyal unit) I had to restart from the first scenario.

- I did allow myself to press "u" for undo whenever available (i.e. after moving a unit but not attacking). Often this is useful for finding the optimal positioning of troops.

- Unlimited number of restarts, which I sometimes exploited to get unit traits that I wanted (quick being the most common).

- My only goal was to complete the campaign, and many times I unnecessarily lost lots of loyal units. It would certainly be possible to play a lot more perfect than I did, and I screwed up countless times even during the successful runs. However, after completing a campaign for the first time I had no desire to start over again :))

- In "Descent into Darkness" I contented myself with playing the last scenario once (even though it is easy the first time around, it was hard enough to get there).

Though very frustrating at times, I also learned a lot of new strategies, and I've saved all replays in case anyone is interested, even though there is no way to prove that I did not reload. For HttT I borrowed strategies from other users for several scenarios, but for most intermediate campaigns I had to come up with my own strategies.
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patience_reloaded
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by patience_reloaded »

Impressive. I could never do a campaign without reloading, but I'm not a very good player.

Did you know that for this "permadeath mode" there is actually a modification? It's called "Unforgiving Hardcore Mod". If you plan to do the campaigns you didn't do yet and want to have a better way to prove you didn't reload when a unit died, I suggest you try it.
wesnothpoet
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

No, I had no idea that mode existed, how do I activate it? (can't find it in preferences)

I don't know that I was a very good player when I started the novice campaigns in permadeath mode but by necessity I've certainly learned a lot along the way.
Zrevnur
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by Zrevnur »

wesnothpoet wrote: March 26th, 2020, 3:57 pm - I did allow myself to press "u" for undo whenever available (i.e. after moving a unit but not attacking). Often this is useful for finding the optimal positioning of troops.
In current versions of Wesnoth there is a 'planning mode' which is probably much better than using 'undo' function. (And you cant inadvertently "cheat" by detecting a hidden unit - or finding out there is none there.)
wesnothpoet
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

Zrevnur wrote: March 27th, 2020, 11:54 amIn current versions of Wesnoth there is a 'planning mode' which is probably much better than using 'undo' function. (And you cant inadvertently "cheat" by detecting a hidden unit - or finding out there is none there.)
Yes, I've tried planning mode, but I find it relatively messy to use. However, discovering a hidden unit or uncovering part of the map in a scenario with fog of war makes it impossible to press undo right?

Whenever I misclicked in such situations I still did not allow myself to reload. I believe this happened once in the scenario "Home of the North Elves" in HttT: I misclicked to move Konrad away from the starting position, and since that cleared some fog of war, I could not undo (and therefore had no chance to recruit any troops since going back next turn was not an option).
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patience_reloaded
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by patience_reloaded »

wesnothpoet wrote: March 27th, 2020, 8:18 am No, I had no idea that mode existed, how do I activate it? (can't find it in preferences)
Sorry, I wasn't clear in my choice of words. It is an add-on that you have to download and install via the add-on manager, found in the main menu. In the add-on-manager there is a search field where you can query the add-on's name.
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Ravana
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by Ravana »

That is only with 1.14.
Zrevnur
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by Zrevnur »

wesnothpoet wrote: March 27th, 2020, 1:43 pm Yes, I've tried planning mode, but I find it relatively messy to use. However, discovering a hidden unit or uncovering part of the map in a scenario with fog of war makes it impossible to press undo right?
I think so - not 100% sure though as I dont use 'undo' myself (unless I inadvertently trigger it when I right-click to deselect - this is a GUI issue which could be done better IMO).
Anyway my 'inadvertently' point was that moving a unit and finding out there is no hidden unit along the path gives you an information advantage if you can undo that move. For example: You want to hunt down those last orcs hiding in 'Crossroads' scenario in HttT - most efficient in-scenario way to do that is to repeatedly use 'undo' to cover the whole movement range of the respective units.
And in the same manner if you move a unit to a location that you dont actually want to move to just to figure out positioning and you run into a hidden unit - this can give you an information advantage. (Often however this variant is more a disadvantage though. Planning mode protects against it.)
wesnothpoet
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

Ravana wrote: March 27th, 2020, 5:31 pm That is only with 1.14.
Actually it does also appear in the list of add-ons for version 1.12.6. Is this mode somehow reflected in replays though? (else you can still not prove that you used it)
wesnothpoet
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

Zrevnur wrote: March 27th, 2020, 5:55 pm I think so - not 100% sure though as I dont use 'undo' myself (unless I inadvertently trigger it when I right-click to deselect - this is a GUI issue which could be done better IMO).
Anyway my 'inadvertently' point was that moving a unit and finding out there is no hidden unit along the path gives you an information advantage if you can undo that move. For example: You want to hunt down those last orcs hiding in 'Crossroads' scenario in HttT - most efficient in-scenario way to do that is to repeatedly use 'undo' to cover the whole movement range of the respective units.
And in the same manner if you move a unit to a location that you dont actually want to move to just to figure out positioning and you run into a hidden unit - this can give you an information advantage. (Often however this variant is more a disadvantage though. Planning mode protects against it.)
I see, you are right that you could use undo to fish for hidden units, though I must admit that I never even thought of using it this way, and I think it would have a very small impact overall. I mainly use it to make sure I have properly protected key troops, especially when moving away from the enemy. I guess the purist way would be to disallow undo as well :).
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patience_reloaded
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by patience_reloaded »

wesnothpoet wrote: March 28th, 2020, 1:20 pm Actually it does also appear in the list of add-ons for version 1.12.6. Is this mode somehow reflected in replays though? (else you can still not prove that you used it)
If modifications/add-ons are active in a savegame (or recording), they are mentioned in the loading screen. In my version the screen to load savegames has some quick game info on the left hand side when a savegame is selected. On the top there is the map, below some text data like Datetime, scenario, difficulty, and on the bottom there is the window with the players. The active modifications for the savegame are showed at the bottom of the text data, right above the players window.
Like this, anyone wanting to watch one of your replays would notice that you had that mod activated for the campaign.

You can try it by downloading the add-on, launching a multiplayer game on the local machine, enabling the mod when launching it and have a look at the autosave generated on the first turn.
wesnothpoet
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Re: Novice+intermediate campaigns on permadeath

Post by wesnothpoet »

patience_reloaded wrote: March 31st, 2020, 8:58 am If modifications/add-ons are active in a savegame (or recording), they are mentioned in the loading screen. In my version the screen to load savegames has some quick game info on the left hand side when a savegame is selected. On the top there is the map, below some text data like Datetime, scenario, difficulty, and on the bottom there is the window with the players. The active modifications for the savegame are showed at the bottom of the text data, right above the players window.
Like this, anyone wanting to watch one of your replays would notice that you had that mod activated for the campaign.

You can try it by downloading the add-on, launching a multiplayer game on the local machine, enabling the mod when launching it and have a look at the autosave generated on the first turn.
Thanks for the explanation! I've installed the add-on and it seems to work (dead troops don't reappear when reloading). I can still use undo however :) When loading there is no mention of the add-on being activated in the file information.

I think being able to reload is still more permissive than not being able to reload at all. For example, I might fail to finish the scenario on the last turn without any troops dying, in which case I would immediately restart the campaign, but I guess the add-on allows you to reload the last turn and try again.
fire-emblem
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what's your ranking of the best to worst of all campaigns you've played?

Post by fire-emblem »

what's your ranking of the best to worst of all campaigns you've played?
wesnothpoet
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Re: what's your ranking of the best to worst of all campaigns you've played?

Post by wesnothpoet »

fire-emblem wrote: April 16th, 2020, 5:49 pm what's your ranking of the best to worst of all campaigns you've played?
If you mean hardest to easiest, I would estimate that all intermediate campaigns took me roughly as long to complete, with the exception of Hammer of Thursagan which was faster (but has an incredibly long last scenario in 1.12.6). I would also bunch in HttT with these campaigns since it has so many scenarios where something can go wrong.

If by "best to worst" you mean my own performance, looking back at some of my replays I'm most proud of my strategy in Eastern Invasion, followed by Legend of Wesmere. Dead Water is also very hard on challenging, but I lost loyal units left and right and for sure it's possible to play a lot tighter. The most lucky completion was probably Delfador's Memoirs: in one scenario I was down to 3-4 units and only survived because of a timely level up on Delfador himself.

Since I wrote last time I completed Scepter of Fire on the hardest difficulty in permadeath mode. Even though it's listed as expert it's much easier than several intermediate campaigns, mainly because it has fewer scenarios. I'm playing through Son of the Black Eye now, that one looks really challenging even on medium difficulty...
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