Game Review & Tips: Battle For WesnothBy Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I always wondered what made people get addicted to a game. Now I know. Battle for Wesnoth is an amazing, free, cross-platform (Windows, Mac & Linux), turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme that will surely get you hooked for days, weeks or even months, even if you are a non-gamer. Fight a desperate battle to reclaim the throne of Wesnoth, or take hand in any number of other exciting adventures.
Battle for Wesnoth - Review
Battle of Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy game where each unit occupies a hexagonal area. As a commander you can recruit units when you are located at a camp. In each turn any unit can move a certain distance (depending on the type of unit) and attack one opponent only. Sometimes the opponents also fight each other or you gain allies who fight along with you, controlled independently by their AI.
There is a wide variety of soldiers to choose from and you add more as you progress with alliances and conquest. The AI is pretty good even at easy levels. You can preserve veterans to gain an advantage in subsequent levels. Veterans progress in their strike capability as well as move up the order. Sometime you are given a choice of alternative advanced level for a veteran.
Every unit has its pros and cons. You need to recruit or recall units carefully at each level considering the terrain and opponents.
It has networked multi-player mode. You have to open for TCP traffic on port 14999 to play multiplayer games over the internet. It is pretty active and entertaining.
You have several campaigns to choose from and you can download more from the net. You can create your own campaigns too. The game shines with user generated content.
Battle for Wesnoth comes with helpful tutorials to get you acclimatized to the world of Wesnoth and the rules. You should try it to get an understanding of the game.
The source code is available too for those interested in understanding how such games are made or even develop one.
The conversations, while pre-canned, are informative and often witty.
Tips for Battle for Wesnoth
Battle for Wesnoth comes with its own tips from Tome of Wesnoth. Here are few tips which I realized while playing the game.
1. When your enemies are fighting each other, let them fight to death; don’t interfere by ganging up against one enemy.
2. Sometime it is better to let the enemy come to you so you can effectively gang up on it and kill one at a time. It doesn’t work so well when the enemy has lots of villages captured and regenerating units as fast as you are killing them.
3. The AI will mostly attack a nearby enemy and can effectively gang up. It also preferentially attacks higher powered units and leaders, so protect them by filling up their adjacent squares. Also you can leave few expendable units behind to stall a pursuing enemy. I used Dwarvish guardsmen effectively to stall enemies.
4. You should always bypass enemy barricades and head straight for the leader. Once the kill the leader the battle is won in some cases. In other cases at least the regenerating abilities are stopped.
5. The best way to kill enemy leaders by by ganging up against them with units inflicting maximum damage per turn like knights, horsemen, level 5 mage (like Delfador) etc.
6. Flying units like Gryphon can quickly capture villages and give you more gold to recruit soldiers. You may want to have one to move around and capture villages around even in enemy territory. Otherwise use a lower-powered expendable unit like farmers with high resilience against counter-attack.
7. Use your leader units like Delfador or Lisar. They can turn the battle in your favor with their high damage potential. However you must have sufficient spare units to surround them after they have attacked to prevent them getting killed in counter-attack.
8. I kept the leader (Conrad, Deoran etc.) in their camp (unless they have a destination to go to) to continue to generate new units. The downside of this approach is that the leader remains weak and can be easily killed in a counter-attack.
9. Let your allies fight for you. Help them but don’t go overboard.
10. Use a shaman to heal your units during a battle. Keep her surrounded by units requiring healing. She also has a slowing down spell which helps in making subsequent attacks in the same turn.
11. Try to preserve your higher level units. They can be recalled in the next turn.
12. Use high experience units to deliver the killing blow so they can advance to higher level quickly.
Overall Battle for Wesnoth is pure fun without any obvious shortcomings despite spending quite some time with the game. It is dangerously addictive, even for a non-gamer like me; you have been warned. It is highly recommended for any gamers, even those who normally don’t like role-playing games.