Can anyone consistently beat HttT scenarios on hard?

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zookeeper
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Can anyone consistently beat HttT scenarios on hard?

Post by zookeeper »

I tried searching for a bit, but didn't find any replays of HttT on hard with no save-reloading, on 1.2 (or some other semi-recent version; I only found one thread with 1.0.2 replays, which I don't want to have to touch). I didn't even touch those no-losses things, since I have no doubt in my mind that those are only accomplished by abusing saveload, even if not mid-scenario saveloading.

Now, I started HttT on hard, and aimed for no mid-scenario loading. Doing this seems ridiculously hard and based mostly on getting lucky. I've gotten to BoP, which is horrible. The mermen have no hope of being able to beat the nagas and bats, unless they generally do at least EV damage. There are over a dozen trolls swarming my land troops, and with only two castle spaces I can't field enough units quickly enough to be able to stop them early enough to be actually able to defeat the leader as well (I think; I haven't played past the first clash with the trolls, and specific strategies aren't the point of this thread). BoP has never been especially hard for me on the easier levels IIRC, so I don't really want to think how hard the hard levels of HttT are on hard.

So, my question could probably be summed up as follows: are there any Wesnoth players good enough to win any HttT scenario on hard somewhat consistently (>~70% or so of attempts), or is the campaign-beating strategy of even the top players to restart the scenario until they beat it, even if it takes multiple tries?

My idea of balance would probably be that the very top players would be able to somewhat consistently beat a scenario on the hardest level without retries, but I really don't know if this is the case? Is it?

Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

zookeeper:
I've been posting my very hard campaign here.
http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 98&start=0

No saveloading. In fact, I'm currently on mission 14. I just haven't been posting the saves because I want to finish the whole campaign first before I post the rest.

Imo, there are several key points to success in the campaign:
1. Position troops to take the hit in good terrain, as opposed to actually attacking.
You attack, your units take too much damage and are easily killed.
But you position, you can easily move units back to heal up and so on.

2. Use cheap suicidal yet effective units. Generally, this is the elvish fighter. However, the elvish druid can be useful forest.

3. The main units you want in your army, ultimately:
a) fast units capable of seizing territory, and retreating out of dangerous situations. The elvish scout branch does this well.
b) leveled mages (who minimize luck with their 70% to hit). They're brilliant in the campaign because most units do not have ranged attacks!
c) 1-3 healers to back up your army and keep it in fighting form.
d) A few knights to counter the ranged attack units of the enemy (orcish crossbows being the main enemy).

Elvish heroes and rangers are actually poor unit choices, although useful in a few early missions where you won't have enough XP to get the high level mages (e.g. The Siege of Elensefar).

Velensk
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Post by Velensk »

I did beat HTTT on hard when I was on a drive to stop save loading and I can proudly say I suceeded. After the first 4 lvls there were few that gave me major problems though the ones that did were nightmares. I can't say that I did not get lucky sometimes however I can say that It was not the olny reason I won. However there are few senarios that I can say I beat on my first try. The ones that I can say this for are muff mals peninsula, The griffon mountain, the first cave lvl, the one where you cross the big feild inbetween the two armys, and the last one.

I find playing a senario twice helps alot because the first time I make some mistakes and that killed me but the second time I keep those mistakes In mind. I think my average for the campain was 3-4 retrys per lvl but I don't claim to be an expert.

I lost over the corse of the campain little more than a dozen low lvl units about 4 lvl 2s and elvish sharpshooter (I did not want to redo the entire lvl just to get this unit back espeiclay when I had lvled my red mage)

My problem lvls and why were
Elves Besiged: I wanted to finish with 2 lvled up units without slowing down konrad
Blackwater Port: Did not get to it with enough gold to have a large enough force to kill the leader before time ran out, eventualy I gave up trying
The Isle of (I forget now): Lack of gold.
Bay of Pearls: the water battle, I did win this eventualy through luck.
Vally of Death: Figuring out that my best plan was too head to the forest on the left side of the map, then surviving.
The septer of fire. I spent 6 times going through this and every time ran out of time.
Test of the clans: bit of a surprise I have never had problems on this map before and I don't think that the conditons get that much worse before but I kept having to retry this because I was losing so many high lvl units to lancers

EDIT: Up my unit casualties I forgot to include last lvl I lost several (7-10) units on it.
Last edited by Velensk on February 17th, 2007, 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Imp
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Post by Imp »

I knew that thread would come in handy! :-D Check out Kalis's replays - they are excellent.

Now if only EOE will create his Newbie Replays for Training thread.

Clonkinator
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Post by Clonkinator »

I usually beat about 97% of the HttT-scenarios on hard at the first time without save-reloading, though sometimes with major losses. If you ask me, you should level up as many units as you can instead of always recalling max-lvl-units when you don't REALLY need them. Also, imo having lots of lvl2s is A LOT better then having, say, half as much lvl3s. Hard is overwhelming you with numbers of units, so you should also have a good amount of at least equally strong units. And, for those killer-scenarios like valley of death, just don't recall that much units and recruit lvl1-cannon fodder to hold back your enemy. Hard means that you will have to spend more time on defending than on attacking.

Good luck. :wink:

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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper »

Clonkinator wrote:I usually beat about 97% of the HttT-scenarios on hard at the first time without save-reloading, though sometimes with major losses.
Huh? Can you also beat them in a way that would also allow you to beat the rest of the campaign about equally easily (I think I could beat most scenarios on the first try by recruiting with all my gold and not caring about losing valuable units, but that's useless)? Sounds pretty impressive. Anyone else can do that?

Gus
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Post by Gus »

Indeed, it is impressive. I would love to see replays from you =)

@Kalis
Could you please, if you have time, provide a replay of the second scenario of HttT where the Orcish leader doesn't suicide into your troops? I really have no clue as to how to beat this one to get the Loyal Knight. I can survive easily, but kill the leader is too tough yet.
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.

Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Gus: already have one done. :D
This one is part of my "no units lost" campaign which I'm working on (currently finished mission 4 - bay of pearls).
I finished it on turn 9/9.
Basically, outmanuever the enemy army.

You'll note that on the last turn, I actually had delfador, 2 horsemen, and a elvish scout capable of reaching the king for the hit.
Even if Delfador only hit 3/4 bolts, 4 horsemen charges should of 100% killed him.
Hope it helps :)
Units Used: 4 Elvish Scouts, 5 Horsemen (including Haldiel).
Damage Inflicted: 195/226.1
Damage Taken: 97/96

Note: I should of killed the troll at (9, 24), and orcish warrior at (10,24) with Gedoc (IR knight) and Thramioldor (ID elvish scout), but it's only 8 XP. Not a huge deal.

Zoo:
Honestly, HttT is hardest in the first 6-7 missions. After that, you should have really useful leveled units up (elvish slyphs and shydes, and silver mages), at which point the game becomes a breeze.

You know how I was on mission 14 yesterday? Well I'm on mission 22 now. 2 more and I'll post up the replays :)
Attachments
HttT2_Blackwater_Port_replay.zip
(10.42 KiB) Downloaded 180 times
Last edited by Kalis on February 18th, 2007, 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

baruk
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Re: Can anyone consistently beat HttT scenarios on hard?

Post by baruk »

zookeeper wrote: So, my question could probably be summed up as follows: are there any Wesnoth players good enough to win any HttT scenario on hard somewhat consistently (>~70% or so of attempts), or is the campaign-beating strategy of even the top players to restart the scenario until they beat it, even if it takes multiple tries?
I can only speak for myself, but yes, I restart each scenario until I beat it to my satisfaction (good gold, exp and sometimes with the bonus objectives and no losses to boot). I think this is simply how the campaigns as they stand are designed to be played.
I am familiar with the common campaign frustration of reaching an apparently unbeatable level, where you don't have the gold or the units to have a fair stab at it. And even if you somehow beat it, the chances are you will be left with the same problem for the rest of the campaign. The no losses game is a strategy as much as a challenge. By adopting this doctrine, "campaign health" is significantly improved, even if you only use it for the first half-dozen scenarios or so.

I don't save/load mid-scenario. Some can be beaten on hard with no losses fairly easily, others are a real struggle, and may take dozens of attempts. But rather than just repeating the same approach until you get lucky enough to win, you need to keep trying different strategies. Sometimes you discover a really great one that is repeatable enough that you can win with it perhaps 70% of the time. Understanding and predicting the movements and attacks of the AI becomes as important as your own unit placement.

My current game is a hard/no losses/no saveload attempt at HttT, version 1.21. I'm also trying to finish all of the bonus objectives (my previous successful attempt, at v1.0.2, was achieved without this additional challenge). Beating the 1st, 3rd and 4th scenarios each took a couple of attempts (I had some luck to help me). Scenario 2's bonus objective was tricky, and took perhaps 10 or more attempts, until I settled for focusing on an assassination strategy, which worked after a couple of tries.
The roadblock at the moment is scenario 5, Isle of the Damned. Killing both liches in 21 turns with 100 gold, no recalls and no losses is proving to be troublesome. My best efforts include a 2 losses lich-killing victory, and a no losses survival victory (I had killed one lich, and got the 2nd one down to 20 hp when the ship arrived). But it has taken me a week of playing with 3 or 4 attempts a day to even manage this. But I'm convinced victory can be achieved if only I can find the right strategy.

So, anyway, my cast-iron strategy for Bay of Pearls: the main idea is for your freed mermen to avoid all contact with bats or the recruited nagas. Only open the nearest 3 cages then send all the freed mermen up the western edge of the map to kill the 2 naga guards. If you keep out of the movement range of the bats and other nagas, you can collect the trident and open the north-west cage without much trouble. The bats and nagas will go south, where your land units can deal with them. From there, killing the 2 leaders is a formality. Let me know how you get on, I've attached my replay.

For the benefit of Gus, I've included my replay of HttT scenario 2. I basically avoided the enemy by sitting my army in the south-west corner of the map, before assaulting the enemy castle in the daytime. Pretty cheap, but it worked, and I hope it is repeatable, though it helps if Delfador gets a clear run to the enemy leader. Taking the orcs head-on seems to have a much lower success rate for me, but if your forces are strong enough to manage this after the first scenario, it's going to give a much better return in terms of exp.
zookeeper wrote: I tried searching for a bit, but didn't find any replays of HttT on hard with no save-reloading, on 1.2 (or some other semi-recent version; I only found one thread with 1.0.2 replays, which I don't want to have to touch).
Boo to version number fascism!
Attachments
The_Bay_of_Pearls_replay.zip
(20.04 KiB) Downloaded 180 times
Blackwater_Port_replay.zip
(10.14 KiB) Downloaded 169 times

Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

hahaha Baruk!
I didn't watch your films, but from your comments, you did the exact same strategy I did for both!

omg... I just took a look my replay, and it corrupted at turn 17 )$*@!($!@
I played this out like 6 days ago, so I don't remember, but I might have saved it on that turn. Sigh...

I haven't posted it up because I didn't plan on posting any until after I finish the campaign, but just a compare and contrast to Baruk's :)
It's all over but for mopping up on turn 17 anyways.
Attachments
HttT4_The_Bay_of_Pearls_replay_(good).zip
(22.01 KiB) Downloaded 141 times

Imp
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Post by Imp »

This is one of those cases where annotations in replays can be so handy. Kalis could be saying things like, "I plan to hold a solid line leading to his keep with a few key soldiers ZoC'ing the orcs out while my main force sneaks underneath to assassinate his leader. This should win with 2 turns to spare." Then, when the orc leader comes out, "Looks like I get an early Christmas!" Or perhaps, "This sacrificial unit should lure his leader out."

Kalis
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Location: Toronto

Post by Kalis »

Definitely Imp.
Honestly though, I think the random replay corruptions are even more annoying.

I had 5 corrupted replays so far. Now to be fair, 2 were because I saved because I wanted to test a few things on the side :: Laughs ::.
In those cases, i saved only after I had "beat" the map except for the mopup.

But 2 others were corruptions for no reason at all. :(
And one (the bay of pearls above) I'm just not sure what happened :D

Gus
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Post by Gus »

Thanks for the replays guys, i'll be watching them =)

EDIT: i see you posted the rest of HttT on hard. Yummy.
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.

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santi
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Post by santi »

I'm playing now HttT on hard and after TROW, it seems like a breeze.
I am currently at BoP, massacred all the land-based enemies and have
3 mermen(one levelled)left to take on the 2 nagas in the last cage plus anything else the naval leader recruits.
The lucky part was the second scenario, where I don't think I could
have managed to kill the enemyleader had he stayed at home instead of venturing to the front line. Anduin was much tougher when the enemy had Saurians....

Clonkinator
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Post by Clonkinator »

zookeeper wrote:
Clonkinator wrote:I usually beat about 97% of the HttT-scenarios on hard at the first time without save-reloading, though sometimes with major losses.
Huh? Can you also beat them in a way that would also allow you to beat the rest of the campaign about equally easily (I think I could beat most scenarios on the first try by recruiting with all my gold and not caring about losing valuable units, but that's useless)? Sounds pretty impressive. Anyone else can do that?
As I said, I try to level as many units as possible, so I often don't have much gold left, but it usually is enough to beat the following scenarios, yes. I also often try to finish a scenario as quick as possible instead of XP-Milking my enemies all the time.

@Gus: Well, I'm currently not running HttT, but I can restart it if you want and then post the replays. Does that sound okay for you?

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