Son of the Black Eye (Hard)

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ott
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Son of the Black Eye (Hard)

Post by ott »

SotBE is notorious as the hardest mainline campaign. Benj hasn't updated it for a long time, so while the AI has been getting smarter with each release, SotBE has stayed with a very restricted recruit list (just the three basic Orcs) and the difficulty has kept increasing.

However, with the switch to RATE damage calculations in 0.8.10, the game has become just a little less random for aligned units. Hoping to capitalise on this, I've been playing SotBE on Hard every day, tweaking strategy and hoping to finally get past the first scenario. This has seemed hopeless, a bit like Elvish Pillager playing HttT without losing units (though that seems to have gone better than anyone expected).

Finally, here is a replay for End of Peace on Hard.

One glitch in my play is that I don't adequately protect the archer which is about to level up, allowing the final enemy cavalryman to finish it off. Otherwise I like the general method: try to control most villages, while luring the bulk of the enemy force to overextend itself, then recruit enough units to repulse the attack. During this phase, the AI has no gold to recruit for several turns, allowing a counterattack. As it turned out, my scouting party was sufficient to sneak in and finish Albert off, but the counterattack should have been sufficient in any case.

(By the way, this was with no save-loading.)
Attachments
eop.zip
(11.8 KiB) Downloaded 379 times
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Elvish_Pillager
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

I got to Black Flag in SotBE Hard many versions ago. Don't worry, the difficulty drops off somewhat after the first scenario.
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Re: Son of the Black Eye (Hard)

Post by Invisible Philosopher »

ott wrote:I like the general method: try to control most villages, while luring the bulk of the enemy force to overextend itself, then recruit enough units to repulse the attack.
Yeah, I like that too; it's fun. A while ago I got to "Shan Taum the Smug" without too much saveloading, I think, but the preceding scenarios, Silent Forest and before that Desert of Death, weren't very fun. I never did get past "Shan Taum the Smug", even with huge amounts of saveloading. And the Watch Tower that the orcs use sometimes, particularly in Black Flag, had a multi-hex ranged attack, but it doesn't anymore because that feature has been removed from Wesnoth. That would make Black Flag even harder than it already was.
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ott
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Post by ott »

OK, I can now reliably beat the first scenario. The second is an easy run-for-it turn 8 win. The third is relatively straightforward, see the example replay which was done with no save-loading.

I finally managed to get through the fourth (barely) after benj toned down the income of the AI leaders a few days ago (in 0.9.0+cvs). (EDIT: actually, benj did no such thing -- I must have just improved my strategy, or something.) Replay attached, although some saveloading was needed here: my first attempt I ran out of time to kill the southern leader so I went back a few turns and tried a slightly riskier melee strategy and won on the last turn.
Attachments
barag.zip
The Siege of Barag Gor 0.9.0+cvs replay
(12.67 KiB) Downloaded 230 times
tirigaz.zip
To the harbour of Tirigaz 0.9.0+cvs replay
(16.81 KiB) Downloaded 236 times
Last edited by ott on April 19th, 2005, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Elvish Leader »

Ott, do you see a date of last message?
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Post by Elvish_Pillager »

Elvish Leader wrote:Ott, do you see a date of last message?
This is not an inappropriate ressurection.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a lawsuit. Oh, and by the way, sending me private messages won't work. :/ If you must contact me, there's an e-mail address listed on the website in my profile.
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Post by DemonSax »

I was terrified at how poorly I did playing though this campaign. I found the first map rather easy and had little trouble with it, but by map three I was having serious problems. I finally managed to 'finish' the entire campaign, but only with an excessive amount of save-loading and giving myself a gold boost for the last map. I personally found trying to protect the orc shamans a major problem since they have so few hit points. I lost count of the number of times a single unit (pesky bats!) snuck in and killed one in a single round.

I would personally find it an amazing accomplishment to hear someone making it though on Medium let alone Hard. My hat is off to you, Sir.
ott
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Post by ott »

Here are saves for the first three scenarios on Hard, played with 0.9.3+cvs.

The first scenario is a fairly typical win, in this one the enemy cavalry is more successful than usual in the west, so I pushed south a bit earlier than usual. Slightly more cautious play may have worked a bit better.

The second scenario is just run-for-it, to maximize gold. It is reasonable to do it more slowly, seizing villages and getting some experience.

At Barag Gór, this replay is a little reckless. I triggered both ambushes, but the results are probably not worth it; more was lost than gained in this case (Jetto and several level 2 units, for instance). Better grouping and healing wounded troops before triggering the castle ambush would have helped. Note the reshuffling of the shamans initially, which seems to reduce the probability that the AI will seek to attack them during the first round.
Attachments
eop.zip
End of Peace
(10.76 KiB) Downloaded 208 times
tmh.zip
Towards the Mountains of Haag
(6.21 KiB) Downloaded 218 times
sbg.zip
Siege of Barag Gór
(19.29 KiB) Downloaded 232 times
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ott
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Post by ott »

At To the Harbour of Tirigaz the play may also appear fairly reckless. However, since the income of the lichs can become dangerous, it seems necessary to keep sacrificing units to draw the enemy away from seizing remote villages and leading to the AI dominating the game economically. I have been unable to win this scenario as convincingly as I would like, and am still hoping to improve my play.

In Black Flag, knowing about the landing party helps in planning what units to recruit. This is actually a nice opportunity to level some units. The use of Grüü to dominate the north also seems an important part of the overall plan. After some tweaking to add some turns, this scenario now seems winnable reasonably often, although it is difficult to preserve enough gold to start the next scenario with more than 100 gold. I will attempt to try to win with fewer recalls and possibly will add a village or two to the map or further increase the number of turns.

I redid the DoD map just before 0.9.4 was released with more villages and more interesting terrain, so that should help alleviate the boring gameplay. Unfortunately this means my save for Desert of Death is corrupt. Further, I have not yet been able to beat Silent Forest with the resulting unit list and only 159 gold. Will continue trying to refine tactics in these two scenarios.
Attachments
thot.zip
To the Harbour of Tirigaz
(15.65 KiB) Downloaded 210 times
bf.zip
Black Flag
(14.76 KiB) Downloaded 241 times
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Marc Vaughan
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Post by Marc Vaughan »

Elvish Pillager wrote:I got to Black Flag in SotBE Hard many versions ago. Don't worry, the difficulty drops off somewhat after the first scenario.
I find that on all campaigns to a greater or lesser extent - the problem being that 'hard' level scenarios generally leave you with more 'powered up' units than easy ... this means that sometimes it actually seems easier on 'hard' for me ... (if that makes sense? ;) ).
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Ankka
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Post by Ankka »

I remember playing the campaign on easy... but then, at some scenario which tells you to chase all the elves from the west bank of the river it didn't trigger victory if I did just that.
ott
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Post by ott »

Silent Forest was revised in 0.8.6, it apparently had a bad victory condition. Do you know which version you played it on?
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kava
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To the harbour of Tabriz

Post by kava »

I am playing Harbour of Tabriz on version 9.5 and am finding that the time never changes from 'second watch'. Has anyone else noticed this?
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Post by blackjack »

That is deliberate - almost the entire scenario is intended to play out at night.
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Post by TheTauren13 »

I was able to beat up through "Shan Taum The Smug" on medium difficulty with no save-loading without much trouble. However, I cannot for the life of me beat the stupid "Saving Inarix" mission, even with massive save-loading and replaying "Shan Taum The Smug" a couple times to try and get a better start... I eventually just gave up.
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