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So when are we going to have a game then? :-D Sunday the 11th of March? --RobHu
Did this game happen?  Was it any good?  --Vitenka
Not as far as I'm aware. (That's to the happening, consequently an I don't know to the any good).

StuartFraser downloaded this out of curiosity (and boredom). It's a very basic TBS, playing more like a BoardGame than a ComputerGame in most respects. There is something of a plot that goes along with the strategy. The  game in the marketplace it is most similar to is probably HeroesOfMightAndMagic.

The basic idea is that you have a commander unit, which can recruit other units. In the campaign mode you occasionally acquire other hero units. The hero is better in combat than most units but can only recruit if he's standing on a keep.

Units cost gold to recruit and maintain. You get gold from villages. You capture villages by moving units onto them as per usual. Villages also heal damaged units. The game is on a hex grid, with each hex having a defensive value, which is the % chance to hit a unit on it. Units have melee or ranged attacks or both, which are the same except that you only get to retaliate against a ranged attack with a ranged attack. Units gain experience points and levels in an RPG-style manner, but pretty much never more than one level per map (you get to keep units with you over maps in the campaigns).

There's not much here that isn't in HeroesOfMightAndMagic (though Heroes doesn't care about terrain quite as much or indeed in the same manner) or, heck, even PanzerGeneral?, and much in those more complex games that isn't here. But hey, it's free, and playable. So I'll probably carry on for a while. --SF
After playing it for a while, I'll revise this opinion slightly, because the terrain and day/night effects are such a huge part of the game. In addition, BattleForWesnoth is really quite hard even on the easy and medium difficulty settings, which is something of a departure from most games. --SF again.

RobHu likes the way units gain XP, and level up. What is nice about levelling up in Wesnoth is that often there is a level up tree, so you can customise your army.
CivilizationIV? does this much better. Strangely both games heal the unit when it gets a promotion (CivIV partially, Wesnoth completely). The other problem is that Wesnoth is far too dependent on levelling units leading to otherwise silly strategic decisions becoming optimal. --SF
Yes, arranging to completely heal a nearly-dead unit by getting it to level up in a situation in which most other TBSs would have it die does often seem a bit munchkinish... - MoonShadow
Of course, trying to do that, does often lead to your nearly dead unit becoming a completely dead unit.  --Vitenka (who royally sucks at this game)
Well, most of the time when I do it this involves ranged units attacking something without a (or much of a) ranged attack. This may have something to do with me playing through the Heir to the Throne campaign. Elves FTW. --SF
CivilizationIV? does not have a promotion tree as I remember. --RobHu
Then your memory is distinctly faulty. I count 43 promotions in seven separate trees. --SF
Sorry, I should have been clearer. CivilizationIV? has a promotion system where you get bonuses for your units, so for example "+25% vs. Armored units" or "Heal Units in Same Tile Extra 10% Damage/Turn?". In Wesnoth the promotion tree generally means turning your unit into a specialised type of unit - sometimes one which you simply can't get by any other means. --RobHu
Ah, you've been fooled by the unit graphic changing. The effects you get on your unit turning into a "specialised type of unit" are generally along the lines of "+25% vs. Armored units" (that would be "does impact damage") or "Heal units in adjacent tiles 4 Damage/turn". The overall effect of a promotion is more major, because there are more effects per promotion, but I complained about that above ("far too dependent on levelling units"). --SF

A new version is out in the WikiNow. This is very nearly true again (release candidates for 1.8 being out WikiNow March 2010) and in celebration of the fact SF has finished all the currently-existing campaigns, time to update this page again:

This version is now up to thirteen campaigns. The game tries to specify the difficulty level but, frankly, gets it totally wrong much of the time, so I'll (SF writing these paragraphs) make my own comments about them here. I am trying to write in ascending degree of difficulty (ie, easiest first).

A Tale Of Two Brothers - Short, three scenarios, actually as easy as it claims to be. Doesn't really teach you that much either, but playable.

An Orcish Incursion - This is another learning campaign. I played this after I'd played through quite a lot of stuff, but it's quite balanced and doable by Wesnoth standards. It's a reasonable introduction to Elves if you're not used to them yet.

The South Guard - This is a superb learning campaign which was my introduction to Wesnoth. Recommended as the first campaign people should try; gets vaguely hard on occasions, but nothing too spectacular and teaches you how to play more-or-less properly. Oh, choose the elves. The other path is much harder.

Heir to the Throne - This is an extremely long campaign. Around here we start getting into the campaigns wherein it's essential to level up units in the early scenarios and keep them alive (or replace them) in the later ones, or otherwise you're never going to beat the harder scenarios. In HttT? you can get through about the first nine missions and then get to mission ten and discover that the campaign is suddenly impossible. This is why. Go back and keep more units alive next time. The walkthrough on the Wesnoth Wiki is quite good for this campaign.

Liberty - This one is *fun*. It's quite easy to keep the level two and three units alive, and the last mission is a real challenge without actually feeling impossible. Probably my favourite mid-level campaign, and not unreasonably long like some of the 20-mission monsters around.

The Rise of Wesnoth - Another long campaign with the usual "keep your units alive" issues that these have. Slightly harder than Heir to the Throne without actually being impossible. Plot seems more hackneyed than most of the other campaigns.

The Eastern Invasion - I used to think this was really freaking hard, even in the early scenarios. Playing properly and making a serious attempt to level up units, it's fairly similar in difficulty to The Rise of Wesnoth. On "easy" it's a pretty serious challenge, though I managed to finish it without having to completely restart levels too often. I'm still not a very good Wesnoth player, lacking both patience and sufficiently cautious instincts to play the game the way it's supposed to be played. The walkthrough is almost useful here.

Under the Burning Suns - This campaign introduces a bunch of new units and changes the day/night cycle, but despite what the game says the fundamental mechanics are essentially unchanged, you just have to remember that the bonuses/penalties as a result of time of day are different. The missions are well designed, the plot is good and it's not impossible; another of the better campaigns.

The Sceptre of Fire - My first attempt at this campaign failed due to incompetence, but it's not that hard if you play with the appropriate levels of caution. This is probably the easiest dwarf campaign (that or the next one) and does quite well to teach you how fantastically fun playing with dwarves is (they're probably my favourite race). There's a lot of running away and defending is about my only grip about this campaign. The plot probably doesn't make much sense unless you've played The Rise of Wesnoth and Heir to the Throne first, and they're both easier than this, so do.

Northern Rebirth - Yeah, this one's enormous fun. Especially the first few scenarios, which I love. None of them are exactly straightforward, but none of them are impossible either. This is a bit of a departure from normal Wesnoth as you have lots of resources and lots of powerful enemies, as opposed to relatively few resources and lots of slightly weaker enemies. There's also a glorious scenario towards the end where you're required to throw caution to the wind, and the finish is suitably epic. You get to use a huge variety of units in order to deal with an enormous horde of orcs. The only downside is that on older computers the last mission has so many units (~300) the AI turn takes ages.

Descent into Darkness - Wheee, we get to play with undead units. This campaign would probably be easier if I was vaguely competent at playing with undead units. As it is I ran into the "argh, I need lots of high level units for this mission and don't have any in my recall buffer" problem around mission nine. Even with high level units, that mission is a bit of a crapshoot it seems, so this is not the best campaign ever. In addition, the undead trees are a bit unbalanced and there's no real reason to recruit anything other than ghosts. So I don't really recommend this campaign.

The Hammer of Thursagan - The early missions are quite straightforward; then mission five seems totally impossible but actually isn't if you just persist at it. This is quite a good challenge, and the plot is interesting as well. This is supposedly a sequel to Northern Rebirth, though it's a fairly loose one - nothing is really lost if you've not played Northern Rebirth yet (but it's easier and more fun than this, so why wouldn't you?). This was my introduction to Dwarves; they're fun units to play with, lots of hitpoints, limited mobility, very little ranged firepower.

Son of the Black Eye - Orcs! There had to be an Orcish campaign in here somewhere and it does turn out to be amongst the hardest of the lot. Orcs lack healing units (you get some Saurians about halfway through which are tremendously useful when they finally arrive) which provides an interesting challenge, and there's lots of clever usage of terrain in this - defending shorelines, rivers, fortresses etc - to get you through against usually superior forces (even on easy). The final couple of missions when you just bury the opponent in orcs and trolls due to reduced upkeep and having a ton of money are also fun and feel appropriately Orcish. It feels a little similar to Northern Rebirth but with Orcs and Trolls instead of Dwarves and Humans, so less fun but still great.

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Last edited March 18, 2010 1:00 pm (viewing revision 20, which is the newest) (diff)