Can anyone consistently beat HttT scenarios on hard?

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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

I disagree there Winter.

There are several maps (e.g. The Princess of Wesnoth, The Horse Lords, a few others) where villages can only be taken early if you have 11 movement.

Basically, my style is based on grabbing villages early to support my troops.
In other words, I end up with incredibly low upkeep because of the combination of loyal units + elvish scouts (or riders) running out there to grab villages.
This then lets me troop out 4-6 extra elvish scouts (which I don't try to level) to ZoC block and support the main army :)

That said, there are only 3 "key" loyal units:
Haldiel, Simyr, and Elrian. You generally want Haldiel as a paladin, Simyr as a Grand Knight, and Elrian as a Silver Mage.
Add in Delfador, Kalenz and 2 more silver mages, and you got an army capable of killing anything without taking losses, especially if you have other troops around to support and ZoC (e.g. elvish riders, and outriders, or suicidal cheap units like elvish fighters).

As for survivability. To be honest... I never lost any of my upgraded elvish riders.
Mainly because I put them in situations where only 2 enemy units can attack them tops. Even with only 68 hp, they can't be killed. And 11 movement lets them instantly disengage and run away hehe.

As for Avengers vs Outriders...
a) Even with resilient, they only have 63hit points, which around the elvish outriders.
b) their ranged attack KILLS enemy units. You can't use avengers to weaken a unit with 30-50 hit points so a fresh unit (e.g. mage) can kill it for the experience.

Basically, the use of outriders lets you guarantee which unit will be fed the experience to, whereas an avenger could eat up all the experience himself :)
You can end up with a much better retinue by using outriders as opposed to avengers hehe.

But you're right, different strategy. :) Lots of ways to beat HttT hehe.
Gus
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Post by Gus »

Thank you both for this very interesting talk. I'm serious, it's just great. I still haven't had a look at your replay, Wintermute, but i'll do soon. Kalis, i'd love to see you beating SoE with my recall list. If you don't, i'll sitll love you for your replay goodness, so don't worry =P

EDIT: I've looked at Wintermute's replay... Why doesn't the AI recruit like that against me? Why do i have to fight 4-5 Orcish Warriors while you fought at most 1 ? =( I'll try again, and post a replay if the AI does recruit a lot of Warriors as it did in my various tries.
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.
Kalis
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Location: Toronto

Post by Kalis »

Gus:
give me the save file :)

I'll install 1.2.2 and play it out hehe.
Gus
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Post by Gus »

Okay, here's a save. I've tried 3 times before saving, and 3 times, when i did the exact same recruit (the recruit i did on my failed tries before i came crying for help here), the AI recruited 5-7 Orcish Warriors. I found them MUCH more difficult to kill than Crossbowmen or Assassins, which, i believe, explain why i failed.
In Kalis's replay i've used as a model, i noticed 3 out of the 4 Warriors recruited were distracted by his scouts to the west, and so did not engage in battle right away. In all my attempts, my difficulty has been dislodging the 2 Warriors that had taken the two keeps at the entrance of Elensefar. Maybe i was just unlucky (AND bad, of course).
Kalis wrote:Gus:
give me the save file :)

I'll install 1.2.2 and play it out hehe.
Click here and thanks =)
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Wintermute
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Post by Wintermute »

Gus wrote:EDIT: I've looked at Wintermute's replay... Why doesn't the AI recruit like that against me? Why do i have to fight 4-5 Orcish Warriors while you fought at most 1 ? =( I'll try again, and post a replay if the AI does recruit a lot of Warriors as it did in my various tries.
You are correct that it can be much harder when the AI recruit is different. My frontal assault would not have been as good then. If the AI had recruited more warriors, I would have countered with more mermen and made it a water battle. It is even more important in that case to have more regular troops (leveled fighters and archers) IMO. Also, that is a scenario that is much easier with more gold. If that had been the case, you can recruit a wave of fighters to use as bait. It is still cost effective if you recruit 6 fighters, lose 4 of them, but give xp to the other two. don't be afraid to bait the AI, but you need gold to pull that off!
"I just started playing this game a few days ago, and I already see some balance issues."
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Wintermute
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Post by Wintermute »

Gus wrote:the AI recruited 5-7 Orcish Warriors. I found them MUCH more difficult to kill than Crossbowmen or Assassins, which, i believe, explain why i failed.
Here is the replay, again no real trouble I think. I did suffer more losses this time, real ones, but if I could have changed the recruit I imagine that they would have been throwaway fighters rather than captain/marksman. The problem is that you do not have enough units to cover your attacks! If (almost) every unit you recruit is a unit that you don't want to lose, then you have nothing to block for your valuable units - which is even more important in a blitz attack scenario like that one.

As for not being able to take out the warriors, imagine this:
you do muff mal instead of the damned island, and get the second trident. Use two trident merfolk (resilient ones, don't give a strong merman a trident - who cares what it does in melee you want it to LIVE) and 3ish magi. One level 3 if possible, or 3 level 2 magi which you *should* be able to have by that point, if you make it a priority. Cover them with fighters.

It's not excatly foolproof, but the warriors should seriously not be a problem. Good luck!
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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Oh Wintermute already did it. Alright that works :)

Back to the horse lords mission lol... Finally figured out a strategy to beat it with no loss after 10 attempts :D
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santi
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Post by santi »

Here are replays on hard up until Dwarven Doors. I added Mountain pass, as I ended up with some 800+ gold after Northern winter and besides I
like a challenge. As you can see, I do not realy use scouts. I like elvish avengers and Sharpshooters, as well as elvish sorceress/sylphs, but did not have time for that. Plus, I prefer horsemen to elvish Scouts because they shield better.
As for Test of the Clans, last time I played it(long time ago) there were a number of different strategies suggested after taking the southern keep; one involved slowly advancing on bayar, using dwarvish lords and other high HP units for shields, but the most effective one seemed to be assasination with gryphon riders and silver mages.
With regard to Elensafar, I really did not use the merfolk(never got the
storm trident) and will not need them anyway, since I made it past Abez.
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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

:: shrugs :: Well santi, here's my No units lost campaign so far in 1.2.1 to "Home of the North Elves".

The reason horse lords is giving me nightmares is because of those lancers.
As I said, any unit but dwarves and resilient grand knights die to lancers if all 3 charges hit, and every attempt so far I've had the lancers hit 3x so far.

And when I tried using dwarves, they wouldn't charge them unless they could mass 4-5 people to charge during daytime (which would certainly kill them).

You're right. My current strategy is:
1. Silver Mages
2. Elvish outriders to seize the villages so the silver mages can teleport around. They also have 60% defense in villages (so enemy have a 6.4% chance of hitting all 3 charges as opposed to 21.6% chance when against 40% defense).

In fact, I should of beaten it twice yesterday (Had 18 kills, about to get the last 7, and then I get careless and lose a unit in grass to a lancer or knight). Playing perfect is tough.
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Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Oh Gus, just for the sake of it, here's my version of your Siege of Elensefar. I finally installed 1.2.2, so I gave it a shot :)

Losses (6): 3 Elvish Fighters, 1 Thief, 1 Shaman, Delurin (frankly, he's crap)

Leveled units (7):
Trident Merman Fighter to Warrior
Simyr to Grand Knight
Elvish Outrider
Elrian to Silver Mage
Konrad to Commander
2 Elvish Heroes (1 is your intelligent/strong, the other is an intelligent/resilient).

Also of note is that Haldiel has 117/120XP, and a Mage is at 55/60XP.


Just 1 suggestion: You need to pay more attention to traits for your units.

In my opinion, every unit you choose to feed experience to should have resilient (which makes them more survivable). Your problem in this mission was that you really had no units capable of taking hits. So I had to use lots of elvish fighters to front.

- Elvish fighters should only be leveled if they have quick/resilient.
- Elvish Archers should only be made into Rangers/Avengers. And there you want resilient/strong, resilient/Dex, or resilient/intelligent.
- If you want ranged damage, use red mages which get turned into silver mages. The ideal for them is always quick/resilient. Intelligent/resilient works too, but 6 movement vs 7. Don't use marksman because they only have 60% to hit rather than 70%.
- Even white mages should have quick. At 5 movement they just can't keep up. Ideal is quick/resilient again. They're very easy to kill regardless though because of really low hit points.
- I've found that the ideal for druids and slyphs is quick/resilient as well. 6 speed as a druid, and 7 as a slyph. Although intelligent/resilient or dextrous/resilient is also a decent choice.
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Gus
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Post by Gus »

These are also the traits i prefer. But how do i do if they don't come up? Restart until i get the desired ones?
I'm also very frustrated because i've spent one hour on Blackwater Port, having my Elvish Scouts in Forest get hit 5/6 and thus die...
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.
Kalis
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Post by Kalis »

Well what I did in my no loss campaign was train 1 new unit at the start of every mission: and that unit would have to have my ideal traits :)

And if you mass train units (e.g. 6), you would generally get 1 or 2 with the traits you desire.
So an alternate choice would be to do this: at the end of a mission where you have 400+ gold, splurge part of it and train 6 new units for good traits :)

As for frustration... :: laughs ::
Trust me, you haven't experienced it until you've spend 5 days and 16 attempts (which equates to god knows how many hours) trying to beat a mission without losing a unit and failing. Of those 16 attempts, 4 of them I nearly beat it, but because of careless troop positioning, I would lose something and have to start from scratch (once I got so frustrated I just loaded a save, and yep... I did beat it when I canceled that move sigh...).
Gus
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Post by Gus »

Well, the thing is, i wasn't even careless... The scout would have survived with 4/6 attacks taken (on a 60% terrain), but no, i had to get hit 5/6 a half-dozen times... I did save/load on this one (because, in Blackwater, it's so short, and you do virtually the same moves all the time, so i'm fine with my conscience on this one).
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.
Kalis
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Location: Toronto

Post by Kalis »

well I don't think there's anything wrong with restarting a mission when you get that much bad luck :)

The only thing I would be against is if you loaded autosaves to get perfect luck to keep units alive.
Starting a mission from scratch is different.
Gus
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Post by Gus »

Kalis wrote: The only thing I would be against is if you loaded autosaves to get perfect luck to keep units alive.
Starting a mission from scratch is different.
No, i did load an autosave to not have this scout killed because all attacks landed ^^ I didn't reload when Delfie missed 3/4 against the Orcish Leader... ^^ Fortunately it was on turn 8, so i could kill him on turn 9 and have Simyr join me =)
Hard work may pay off in the long run, but laziness always pays off right away.
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