Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Feedback for the mainline campaign Under the Burning Suns.

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shadow12
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by shadow12 » December 17th, 2015, 9:44 am

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on? Please do not submit feedback from pre 1.4.
Challenging, 1.0.4. (iOS)

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.
It was just right.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?
Restarted a couple times when a key unit got killed. I underestimated the trolls.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?
It is well constructed.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.

It was fun. I like being able to make a choice that affects the rest of the scenario. I picked the dwarves simply because I am more familiar with playing them. I thought they would have an advantage in this terrain and they have a vast knowledge of the underground tunnels. I think most people will chose a side based on who they beleive will help them win.

4/5 dwarves were alive at the end. Hopefully I can recall them later, dwarves are my favorite unit.
Spoiler:
It is important to get through the spider den as fast as you can, get to the dwarf castle and start recalling/recruiting. After the big wave of trolls subsided, I split into 2 groups and went south. The Shydes gave most of the killing blows, so I now have 3 bright Desert Stars.

I started with about 616 gold. Ended with negative gold because I needed to recruit sacrificial lambs to protect my important units. I finished only 4 turns early. Trolls are a tough enemy and it was a long game. Hope the next scenario is a little easier on the wallet.

*Edit: The price to buy new recruits went up for me in the next scenario, I am guessing because I ended with negative gold. This should be added somewhere in the objectives so people know. I would have changed my strategy. Recalling units remained the same at 20 gold. In the next scenario, I did ok with the minimum starting gold and recalling. Not sure what the reasoning is for increasing the price of new recruits.
Sometimes life unexpectedly throws a Troll or a nasty Queen Naga in your path.

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Inky
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by Inky » February 26th, 2016, 4:42 am

1) Level, version, gold? 1.12.5 nightmare, 603 starting gold
2) Adequately difficult? 8/10 - becomes much easier if you manage to block up the two bridge bottlenecks north of the keep (In order to do this, you must not scout ahead with units besides Kaleh, or you'll trigger the dwarves/trolls too early). If you don't make it in time to do this, it would be a 10/10.
3) Reloads? One from start. I scouted ahead with Zhul, which triggered the dwarves/trolls...while Kaleh was in the middle of nowhere (several turns away from the keep). The castle was surrounded by dwarves by the time I got there and it went downhill from there.
4) Dialog? I feel like the trolls in this campaign speak too intelligently for trolls.
5) Fun? It was fun the second time through, when I learned NOT to scout ahead with Zhul. I think this should be changed as scouting ahead is the logical thing to do but doing so here puts you in a very bad position.
One possible solution: Changing some of the cave hexes at the beginning to flat hexes would help Kaleh catch up to Zhul and reach the keep faster.

I sided with the trolls, because Grog is a much more awesome unit than some lame dwarf.
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minemax
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by minemax » November 14th, 2016, 7:29 am

1) v. 1.12.6. Normal difficulty.
2) *Not* adequate. The level seems insanely hard/impossible. The enemy is too strong, easily destroying even my level 3 units.
3) The dialogue (choose the side) triggered too early. As a result, even getting to the base is not that easy.
4) It's ok.
5) Not fun at all. I'm quite disappointed with the campaign (which I had thought to be of a very high quality) because of this level.

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UnwiseOwl
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by UnwiseOwl » April 6th, 2017, 11:36 am

1) Version? 1.13.7, Challenging (new elves)

2) Adequately difficult? Yeah, this one is pretty hard, actually, I even lost a unit! The difficulty here is good, particularly once you ally gets wiped off the map in the West.

3) Reloads? No, surprisingly. I put Nym in some dicey spots but she's a lucky girl.

4) Dialog? It would be nice to have the 'wounded dwarf' having low HP. Show don't tell, you know?
When I triggered the Dwarves and Trolls I'd already walked all the way to the keep, so having Kaleh tell me that it was 'right in front' of me when he was standing on it was a bit odd. Maybe this event should interrupt movement when it fires so that the player can't already be on the keep, or maybe it should be adjusted to just say 'let's use this keep' etc
I took the Troll branch, of course, so I can only comment on that.
When the dwarves turn up to throw the grenades, if there's already units where the fake unit walks to it does this strange little teleport thing. Looks weird. Can't think of an easy way around that.
My allied trolls are named after the Marx brothers, but don't do anything hilarious. That's an opportunity missed, I think ;)

5) Fun? Yes, this is probably as fun as a dungeon crawl with elves can be. I hate dungeon crawls with elves, but thankfully this one doesn't drag on.
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Maintainer of the Imperial Era and the campaigns Dreams of Urduk, Epic of Vaniyera, Up from Slavery, Fall of Silvium, Alfhelm the Wise and Gali's Contract.
But perhaps 'maintainer' is too strong a word.

Thrash
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by Thrash » March 18th, 2018, 2:23 am

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on? Please do not submit feedback from pre 1.4.

1.12.6, Challenging (medium), siding with Trolls.

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.

Yes, challenging but not impossible.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?

I underestimated the combination of a dwarf leader hitting all three times and a lucky cannoneer and lost some key unit so I save reloaded.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?

Yes, very good.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.

Yes, another good scenario. Challenging but not ridiculous. I like the sudden choice of allies and some of the previous discussion which sets it up.

Like someone else on this thread, when the troll allies showed up it took me a couple of turns to realize I controlled them ("hmmm, why are they just standing there?")

I spend some time needlessly exploring my troll ally space, maybe just make the ally space visible once you pick?
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LordWolfDan
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by LordWolfDan » January 10th, 2019, 7:21 pm

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on? Please do not submit feedback from pre 1.4.

- 1.14.5, Normal

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.

- It is kinda difficult to deal with the trolls now that elves are lawful units in the chaotic-favored place. Thankfully, dwarves came to assistance. Yes, I allied myself with dwarves. Next time I play this campaign, I'll ally myself with trolls

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly loose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?

- No

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?

- I like it. The never ending war of dwarves and trolls just goes on and on... it was kinda dark when the first dwarf rushes in, beaten into pulp o.O

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.

- I'd say it is, as everything seems well balanced here

Konrad2
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by Konrad2 » April 22nd, 2019, 8:04 am

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on?

1.14.7, Champion (Nightmare)

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level?

Yes, you have almost no income and you are fighting underground vs dwarves... I know why I made no enemies out of the Trolls though.

3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly lose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?

No. (But I played it before, so...)

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues?

I like them.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun?

Yes.
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octalot
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Re: Scenario Review: (UTBS) 5. A Subterranean Struggle

Post by octalot » September 12th, 2019, 12:38 am

1) What version and difficulty level did you play the scenario on?

1.15.1+dev, including the new mushrooms #4299 (will be needed to watch the replay) and #4336 (updating this map to use the new mushrooms, is automatically included in the replay).
Warrior (Challenging)

2) Do you think the difficulty is adequate to the level? If not describe the issue that made the scenario to easy/hard.

Edit: seems good, but the difficulty seems to hinge on how many moves Kaleh has when the main cavern event triggers. See the "trolls after NR" and "trolls and bad start" replays - I no longer think it's unbalanced based on which side you choose.

It seemed a lot easier with dwarves than with trolls. I may need to replay it again, seeing if allying with the trolls now feels any easier. The mushroom changes in #4336 may have affected the difficulty, but I tried to keep all of the battlefield mushrooms to be the same stats-wise by replacing them with Tb^Tf.

Allying with the trolls, I found it very hard, even with the northern shortcuts blocked my elves were dying far too easily. This caused multiple restarts and a few reloads to correct mistakes. Part of the problem was a group of thunderguards, where if they hit another unit could finish off my elf.

Allying with the dwarves, I found it very easy, straight through first time. Part of that was that I had two sun sylphs, with their illumination; part of it was that there seemed to be less trolls than dwarves. I also knew exactly which hex triggered the main cavern, which meant that I got to the keep quicker.

Another major difference between the two playthroughs - with the trolls I finished the campaign, played the first few scenarios of Northern Rebirth, had to refer to the NR walkthroughs and watch Konrad2's replays to see how to avoid getting stuck in chokepoints in NR's Infested Caves and Clearing the Mines but cleared both of those scenarios, and then came back to play the allying-with-dwarves option. I think the dwarves was a lot easier, but NR may have changed my perception of difficulty.

Edit: replayed it, and the difficulty seems to hinge on how many moves Kaleh has when the main cavern event triggers. Added two more replays:
  • "trolls after NR" is played from the same start point as my playthrough with dwarves, and the difficulty was comparable to the dwarven playthrough.
  • "trolls and bad start" is played from the same point, but ending turn immediately after choosing to ally with the trolls, as if the event was triggered with my last move of the turn. That was costly, but not campaign-endingly costly, and not as hard as the original playthrough.
3) Was there any event that caused you to almost instantly lose, or made the scenario unplayable without reload?

Getting Zhul poisoned by the first spider.

Allying with the trolls, I needed many restarts (well, reloads on the entering-the-cavern turn) because I was getting overwhelmed in the main cavern.

Allying with the dwarves, straight through first time. An early mistake almost lost one of the sun slyphs, and a late one risked Elyssa, losing either of which would have made me restart.

4) Do you like the storyline and the dialogues? If not what part/character lags behind or what would you like changed?

I like that there's a clear good/evil split between the trolls and dwarves, with it being the opposite of the stereotype. Knowing what happens at the start of Out of the Frying Pan balances the obvious evil of the dwarves.

Why are the units in this skirmish called "Dwarf Skirmisher" and "Troll Skirmisher"? That's just asking for the translators to mix it up with the "skirmish" ability.

5) Do you think the scenario was fun? Please write down some thoughts about gameplay, mood etc.

Fun, but with too much decided by whether you get to the keep one turn earlier. Maybe this should do the trick that Out of the Frying Pan does, of having Kaleh move up when the event triggers (and give him enough MP to get to the keep that turn).
Attachments
UtBS-trolls-after-NR-Streit im Untergrund replay.gz
third success, trolls again
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UtBS-trolls-and-bad-start-Streit im Untergrund replay.gz
deliberate bad start, allied with the trolls
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UtBS-troll-allies-Streit im Untergrund Aufzeichnung abspielen.gz
first successful attempt, troll allies
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UtBS-dwarf-allies-Streit im Untergrund Aufzeichnung abspielen.gz
second success, dwarf allies
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Last edited by octalot on September 13th, 2019, 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: played it twice more to compare difficulty

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