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Topic: need some (beginner) help

Denethor
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Joined: 2020-05-28, 08:10
Posts: 10
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-05-28, 09:19

Hi guys, first of all - great game so far.

I discovered having "some" problems / issues on dealing with the AI on the map "Magical Mountain" from this forum which I downloaded just a few days ago.

Before we start - just some information on my level as a player for you to know what we are talking about. I have installed Widelands for a while now (currently still playing on build 20), not playing much for most of the time. I did play the tutorials sometime though and some maps against AI, but mostly without enemies for just "exploring" and "settling" like you did in some tournament on the "Nile" map some while ago.
I don't know neither any "correct" build order for a good start nor any of the most efficient ways for the ratio of producer- and consumer-buildings. Nothing great indeed, but I thought I'd be able to deal with some of the weaker AI (middle tear) though without major issues.

I really liked the looking of the map Magical Mountain with that huge size and a lot of space for building. I started with fog active against 8 weak AIs. I didn't look it up too much in the editor to keep my knowledge of the map relative low. What I did know is that there is some iron relatively uncontested far to my east and some gold to the south-west with an enemy nearby.

I played with Atlanteans since they were recommended somewhere to be somewhat "beginner-friendly" for not having to deal with experience of the miners and inn-keepers etc and I have played them a bit in the past on the map "Nile". I quite like them so far. For the start (blue starting position) I built about 5 lumberjacks and 5 foresters and expanded with some basic military buildings for expansion. I built the sawmil just when the amount of boards in stock dropped to about 25. Next I had one farm with a spiderfarm and a weaving nearby, so production of basic building materials should be ensured.

In the time following I expanded and built up some basic economy trying to use all tools in stock in the best way. So i had some more farms, a mill and a bakery as well as using all the trees on my way. I demolished most of my military buildings, trying to keep vision with some roads on my boarders since I ran out of soldiers pretty quick. I went east for the iron first and tried not to use the ressources in stock for some time until I nearly reached the mountains since I didn't know how far I needed to go and if I would need the ressources for some military purpose. It took me some time to reach the mountains and even more to build some economy capable of supplying at least a few mines. Accordingly when having access to iron I tried to push my economy first before investing more into military though.

In the meantime I reached the gold to the east just before the grey / black player as the romans could. He wasn't a major issue since he was very weak in military. I already had some slightly upgraded soldiers by then, but I don't know why most early attacks were lead by weak soldiers instead most of the time (I aimed for having strong soldiers in first place as instructed somewhere, but then weak soldiers from a tower farer away were sent etc - but I might look up this point somewhere in the forum)

By the time I was dealing with the romans suddenly some pink barbarians came from the north. My north was mainly undefended by then, so I built 2 fortresses to block them away for now. My bad that they already had lots of promoted soldiers and my micromanagement of my own (poorly) promoted soldiers sucked, so I lost one fortress and could demolish another just in time.

So here I am... losing against a weak AI. According to stats I should probably have a stronger eco than the barbarian in long term, but hey - it's only a weak AI and I already struggled a lot.

From the reading alone - can you tell me some major mistakes I made. Don't know if I want to try the savegame and fight the pink barbs back or start again from scratch though using my better knowledge of the map. I would probably rush a bit more and using all the iron in stock for more tools, already preparing a better food eco before reaching the mountains. Still abusing the map knowledge feels a bit like cheating :) I will try to upload a replay if you wish.

The text got a bit longer than expected so sorry for that. Thanks for effort - I really appreciate your help. If you mind writing in english, but you have some helpful tipps for me - I'm from germany, so geman answers are also appreciated of course.

See you.


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Tribal-Chief
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Joined: 2018-12-09, 17:16
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Posted at: 2020-05-28, 09:57

Perhaps the first mistake was in thinking there was much difference between AI levels. The AI is at best very weak, many of the difference between the levels is just allowing less or more of some buildings, otherwise they are all rubbish.

With your weaker soldiers going out to fight instead of those you want then later builds allow selecting which soldiers go out, so updating is recommended, as is some more basic training in building economies and soldiers.


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Nordfriese
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Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
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Posted at: 2020-05-28, 11:48

Hi Denethor and welcome to the forums face-smile.png

As Tribal-Chief said I really recommend upgrading to the latest development version. In b20 you can only specify the number of soldiers to attack with, but in the current dev version you can hand-pick which ones you want to send to ensure that only the heroes attack. (But the AI is also much stronger in the latest versions than in b20 face-wink.png )

Here are some tips I would recommend for playing:

Ensure that you always have enough building materials (and also enough of everything else) in store. I usually keep the stock window at the third tab (wares in stock) open in the screen corner, and when I see that I'm low on some ware I build more buildings to produce this ware. If you start far away from iron deposits you should maker expanding there a priority. I'm not quite that familiar with Atlanteans but I'd also recommend that you should start food-only soldier training (evade in the Labyrinth) early so that you already have an advantage if you meet the enemies before the metal-based training has started. Atlantean mines are costly to run so ensure you build up a strong food economy with lots of farms, blackroot farms, mills, bakeries, fishers, fishbreeders and smokeries early. Also make sure you produce masses of wood and enough spidercloth, atl need this urgently for construction.

Hope this helps you face-smile.png


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Denethor
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Joined: 2020-05-28, 08:10
Posts: 10
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-05-28, 12:11

Thanks for your replies. Just downloaded the current official build again only to recognize that this was the same build I had installed already. I'll download some dev-version probably later this day. I've read somewhere about it.

Regarding your eco-tipps @Nordfriese that's probably the summary of what I tried to do or at least tried to focus after some time. Since there wasn't any water close nearby I lacked fish for some time and therefore the "food-only" promotion came pretty late not long before I got Iron anyways and my "rush" for iron was probably nothing but poor executed and therefore not focused enough. At least a bit owed to rather minimal map knowledge which was on purpose. Didn't play out well though.

So for the positive aspects I can mention that at least I used all tools to build up basic food (bread-) production early on and I had minimal issues with my building materials, since the spidercloth production was one of the first things I had build.

So maybe it wasn't everything that bad really. With the experience of the first try and the gained map information it should work out much better next time. As well Atlanteans - although I like them so far - might be not the best choice if you're lacking water for some time.... Barbarians should maybe have some better / faster start I suppose.


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2020-05-29, 05:06

you made one single major mistake that you specified: you made 5 woodcutters.

that's a pittance on a large map. even on a small map you want a couple more than that. on a large map you can afford to devote some space to forest, and you want to grow quickly to fill the space. I recomment starting with at least 10 woodcutters and foresters (you'll need the toolsmith too, but you have enough starting iron) and possibly up that to 15 eventually. And 3 sawmills.

with more wood you would have expanded both your land and your economy much faster. among other things, you'd have found fish earlier, and you'd have started military training also earlier and faster.

in general, on a large map you want to go big with all your economy. I strongly suspect the amount of farms and everything else you made was also too small.

Edited: 2020-05-29, 05:06

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Denethor
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Joined: 2020-05-28, 08:10
Posts: 10
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-05-29, 10:56

As I mentioned somewhere I did use all tools which I had in stock at some point. The 5 woodcutters were just for the very beginning, but you're right - I didn't focus to get them right from the start too much. And this snowballs into the rest of the game I suppose. As well I did "save" my starting iron for a long time - I think I spend it for a couple of tools and weapons for slightly promoted soldiers at some time... while this seems a proper strategy for small maps, it was absolute nonsence in this case I think.

As well I didn't focus my economy (especially the meltings and forges) in some places which I could have supported probperly with warehouses. I recognized at some point that I had at least some hundred bread in stock, but only one or two meltings and in consequence my mines didn't produce anything because it wasn't requested requested by my economy. Adding long replenishment routes from the mines to some of the scattered processing buildings and restricting production of wares to "just as requested" for no over-production during the start results in a terribly slow economy I noticed.

I did download some dev-build yesterday and start the game again though. Doing much like you suggested (and knowing where to focus expansion right from the start) I find myself in a way better situation. I did spend all of my iron for tools - especially saws - early on though. Reached water and fish relatively early then and starting with "food-only" promotions almost right away gives some head start as well.

After some hours (~6h) of gameplay I pretty much steamroll my enemies crushing the two most "powerful" behind myself regarding statistics (not sure though at which difficulty level I have them) and a third one at the same time just conquering the main building of the weak one. The only downside is that "chasing" the enemy is somewhat exhausting having to build military building over and over again to get more vision and expand into enemy territory. At tis point managing my "building economy" at the frontline really sucks - not sure how to fix this. Probably some warehouses near the frontline would help to keep replenishment routes short. I'm also aware of the fact, that I do probably over-extend into enemy territory without expanding my economy to some "equivalent" degree - only pausing to crush and rush the enemy to build new military buildings at the front and to get my troops to the front.

Having about 40 woodcutters and foresters and 3k of wood in stock I don't even bother with wood even though coal seems a bit short on the map, so I will need to use coal burners at some point not too far away. Since there is huge space available I could add more foresters as well if necesarry so I don't worry too much. But stone is getting rather rare I'm afraid. Still have 200 in stock, but in all that conquered land all of the stone near was already mined by my enemies. I don't know how I may fix this - I do have found some places where I can get them with mines, but is this a legit strategy for late games? I'm not very used to get stone from mines at all - I usually find enough on the surface of the maps.

Playing like this feels rather intense to me right from the start. I'm sure this becomes easier the more you play and the more experienced you get, but I needed to concentrate a lot more than before making it rather exhausting to some degree (it got pretty late last night as well).

So thanks again.

P.S.: also the feature to assign specific soldiers to attack enemy buidlings is huge!!!

Edited: 2020-05-29, 11:03

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Nordfriese
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Joined: 2017-01-17, 18:07
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Posted at: 2020-05-29, 16:43

The only downside is that "chasing" the enemy is somewhat exhausting having to build military building over and over again to get more vision and expand into enemy territory. At tis point managing my "building economy" at the frontline really sucks - not sure how to fix this. Probably some warehouses near the frontline would help to keep replenishment routes short

Yep – building more warehouses and using their preference buttons to prefer building materials close to where you need them is always good

I'm also aware of the fact, that I do probably over-extend into enemy territory without expanding my economy to some "equivalent" degree - only pausing to crush and rush the enemy to build new military buildings at the front and to get my troops to the front.

This "over-extending" is a perfectly reasonable way to play once you have an edge over the enemy. Unfortunately, in my opinion…

Having about 40 woodcutters and foresters and 3k of wood in stock I don't even bother with wood even though coal seems a bit short on the map, so I will need to use coal burners at some point not too far away. Since there is huge space available I could add more foresters as well if necesarry so I don't worry too much. But stone is getting rather rare I'm afraid. Still have 200 in stock, but in all that conquered land all of the stone near was already mined by my enemies. I don't know how I may fix this - I do have found some places where I can get them with mines, but is this a legit strategy for late games? I'm not very used to get stone from mines at all - I usually find enough on the surface of the maps.

If you have thousands of logs but know you are running out of coal, then you should already start building ten or twenty charcoal kilns. That way they will be able to start working as soon as they are needed, and you evidently don't need to worry about construction costs. More generally speaking, it is usually a good idea to build buildings already when you know that you will need them, and not only when you do need them.

For atlanteans and empire, crystal/marble mines are important. Especially atlanteans need quartz and diamonds which are produced only in crystal mines so you can't do without them! For barbarians and frisians it is true that granite/rock mines are not very important on most maps, though they also need them sometimes.


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Denethor
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Joined: 2020-05-28, 08:10
Posts: 10
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2020-05-30, 11:15

Hey.

I'm still into the game, currently struggling with managing my heroes. I have observed lots of soldiers heading to the front directly from baracks totaly untrained. I've solved this to some degree by building a second barracks. But even now I have lots of soldiers promoted to level 4 or 5 (either fully trained in attack or defense, evade and health) directly heading for the front. This wasn't an issue for most of the time, but with stretching my frontline against 3 enemies in three different directions and just facing some "better" level 6-7 soldiers makes it difficult without some real good soldiers or at least some amount of at least decent ones which brings me to a second issue - the management of my heroes at several frontlines. I do often struggle or at least have to wait a long time because there are often only one or two better soldiers garrisoned at one point near enough to attack the enemy. Often there are still soldiers missing (e.g. 3 + 2). If I then try to have some promoted reinforcements moving there by demolishing some close buildings too far from the front to attack the enemy the soldiers seem to refuse to move to the buildings I want them to go... At one point for example I started to demolish some minor military buildings I had conquered to have the promoted soldiers move somewhere closer to the frontline. But instead they leave the building, walk through my entire empire to some minor building at a far distant building sometimes not even at the frontline, but expanding somewhere else.

Do I have to play around this by deleting roads? Or is this "just" an issue of expanding too fast for my barracks to train enough soldiers to fill the conquered buildings at 3 frontlines at the same time? So I'd have to pay attention where and when to build and conquer military buildings at least to match with the amount of "new" soldiers with the amount of required soldiers to fill these buildings. Is this correct? This would mean that I could have some guardhalls near my training facilities which I could fill and then release the soldier the training facilities in waves and therefore get full promoted soldiers even before I send them to the front. Is this manageable or does "auto-train" work well enough if I have enough soldiers whithout having them to first go to the front and then at some point head back to get trained?

How do I fix those two things - getting full trained soldiers instead of those half-trained and managing those soldiers at the frontline? I felt somewhat at least decent at managing a few heroes at a small front on a small map, but managing three fronts seems somewhat impossible to me for now. Thanks.


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king_of_nowhere
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Joined: 2014-09-15, 18:35
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Posted at: 2020-05-30, 12:19

there is an easy way to micromanage fully trained heroes on a big map, which is to set a relatively high count on weapons (say, 3 to 5) and stop the training camps until you have it full. this way you ensure that all soldiers entering a dungeon come out with full promotion level, and you only have to click once every few minutes. (so long as you have excess food). set a labyrinth to not accept shields or tabards so that it will only give evade promotions, and it will ensure each one of your soldiers have evade promotions.

so, each soldier coming out of the dungeon will be full evade and full attack, which is already close enough to top tier efficiency (around 30% win chance against a full hero) that you won't mind sending it to front.

this setup is slightly less efficient than the alternative, but it's easier to manage.

in general, playing a large map can be overwhelming if you want to manage everything to top efficiency. especially when fighting on multiple fronts.


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WorldSavior
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Joined: 2016-10-15, 04:10
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Posted at: 2020-05-30, 12:24

@Denethor:

Yes, cutting roads can be a useful trick for soldier management. We see here that military buildings shouldn't always prefer rookies or heroes - often they should stop auto-exchanging of soldiers... So we need a third button between the two other buttons


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