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Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/22/2015 21:59:40

M. Poireau
Level 53
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If you've been playing Warlight for a long time and would like to experience a new kind of challenge, check out this scenario:

This has been my favourite single-player experience on Warlight thus far, and will tax your creativity, tactics, and resourcefulness in ways you likely haven't experienced before.

I created this challenge for Hallowe'en, but it took me a while to iron out the kinks. Now it is finally ready for the public.

The experience is more like playing a thematic boardgame than a regular game of Warlight. If you're looking for an unusual and really exciting single-player game, give this a try:


***

HELL MARCH

One mad, incomprehensible day, everything you have ever known is turned upside down, screaming and kicking. Civilization as we know it appears to have collapsed - you no longer have internet access, phone service, transportation... nothing.

You wake up staring at a blood-streaked ceiling at the hospital. The city is eerily quiet, except for a few gunshots and screams in the distance. It seems likely that your small group might be the only people who survived the Disaster.

Around you, the bodies of the dead, crashed cars, and pools of rotting blood and flesh litter the entire city.

To survive, you will need to explore the city to find resources, and start researching an antivirus to the mutagen which has turned the dead in the streets into shambling, flesh-eating monsters.

Much of the city is now being overrun by the slow, hungry, walking dead. They are numerous but you can easily outsmart and outrun them. (Zombies move slowly through the city, but you can run - by using multi-attacks - to escape when they approach.) However, the virus is mutating rapidly, so time is not on your side.

This is nothing like your typical Warlight game... be prepared to explore the city, be surprised, and give some thought to figuring out how to prosper in this map. Good luck!

Regular Warlight tactics might not serve you here: you will have to figure out how the map works, and what resources you need - food, water, electricity, weapons... - so you can increase your production. (Hint: You must research an antivirus from the hospital as you explore the city, and find resources in the order they appear in the DNA helix.)

Can you find a way to rebuild civilization before the hordes of the dead overrun the city?

You'll probably need to clear the research wing of the hospital first...

https://www.warlight.net/SinglePlayer?TemplateID=751078

Notes:

1. Multi-attack is enabled, as are a number of cards. This represents your human speed and ingenuity - use them to outsmart the zombies.
2. Abandon and Blockade cards are particularly powerful, to help you build barricades against the encroaching walking dead.
3. The city is in terrible shape - many streets and buildings are broken down or covered in debris, so be careful as you explore (there are small wastelands strewn all over the map, and, in particular, they hold back the progress of research).

4: *** To enjoy the scenario, do NOT look at it before you play. There are many surprises, and not knowing what's going is part of the fun. ***

5. I think using a "deployment limit" (see my next post, below) is absolutely key to playing the scenario, as well. (Without it, it is too easy.)

If you get a chance to play, please comment here!

Be prepared to run for your life for the first 10 turns or so... the walking dead are everywhere.

Edited 12/16/2015 22:22:55
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/22/2015 22:09:36

M. Poireau
Level 53
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The scenario is not particularly difficult - the main challenge is in figuring out how the map works and how to use the tools at your disposal to outsmart the zombies.

If you wish to make it harder for yourself, here are two things you can do:

1. Use a deployment limit (https://www.warlight.net/Forum/82395-deployment-limits-easy-new-rule-implement):

You are not allowed to deploy more than 10 armies to any given territory on any given turn. (You may deploy 10 on one turn, and then 10 more on the next turn, and so forth, if you wish to create a larger army.)

I use this rule all the time when I play this scenario, and used it in playtesting it, so I recommend it. Being able to deploy huge stacks against AI makes the scenario much less sporting, in my opinion.

2. Here is an alternate scenario, with Sanctions cards enabled:

https://www.warlight.net/SinglePlayer?TemplateID=763881

You will begin play with 4 of these. Each can be used on an AI to double their income *for the entire duration of the game*. Try using one or two to increase the challenge of the scenario:

Play 1, 2, 3, or all 4 Sanctions cards (each on a different AI of your choice) to make the game more challenging.

Edited 12/10/2015 18:00:35
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/23/2015 17:53:09


LoaTBaC
Level 50
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Hmmmm. I've tried to use this map before, but it was quite confusing to figure out the way the game works. Glad to see someone made a neat scenario for it! :D
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/23/2015 21:25:21


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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I love the idea of single player scenarios! I'll try this out, it looks fun :)

The map looks interesting too, the anti-virus thing doesn't seem to make any sense though... Won't the AI just move along it and kill itself? Maybe I'm just understanding something about it...

Would love to see more of these, maybe I'll even design some too :)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/24/2015 03:51:06

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Try the scenario and see! It works. And figuring out how to survive is definitely part of the fun!

You, the humans, are trying to make progress developing an antivirus to the zombie pathogen while the virus mutates and becomes stronger and stronger...

The AI doesn't understand this map at all, so it does a lot of stupid things. I had to experiment for a long time to find starting positions which give the AI a chance to be effective, and have built them into this scenario. Now it works as a fun single-player adventure!

(Don't look it up in advance, though - knowing where the enemies start will make it far too easy. Figuring out which areas are safe and which aren't is what makes the scenario challenging.)

Edited 11/24/2015 03:55:19
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/24/2015 10:27:35


Tiny Koala
Level 56
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I played until I had about 60 a/t... it was pretty fun figuring out how the map works, and I definitely had a hard time at the beginning after sending my troops in the wrong direction.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/24/2015 21:42:31

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Thanks for playing!

How strong was the main AI by the end of the game? (They tend to reach similar numbers, sometimes up to 100-150 or so.)

Did you use any of the "handicaps"? (I always played and playtested with the deployment limit in effect, so it might be too easy without that.)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/25/2015 00:07:37


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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I tried it out and after a while I got the hang of it. It's actually really good fun, you really have to use all your skills to make any gains at the start. I found that once I figured out good tactics and made better use of the multi-attack, it got a lot easier, and there's a tipping point there you control a lot of the map. The AIs stack up and you can easily control them, which actually adds to the flavour to be fair, it's a really really nicely made scenario, the only think I would say is it doesn't maybe have much replayability?
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/25/2015 00:36:28

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Yes, replayability it limited, unless you want to increase the difficulty for yourself.

I think, like most single-player scenarios, you play it a few times until you win; beyond that it's not all that interesting, unless you want to apply various handicaps to yourself.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/25/2015 22:48:44


Latnox 
Level 60
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really nice scenario. I've made it on 3rd try and it took me 39 turns to beat it. What I don't like is, that a lot depends on 1st turn and what AI will do with his stack in DNA chain.

Edited 11/25/2015 22:49:01
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/26/2015 08:17:28


BraaK
Level 61
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Nice scenario M. Poireau. I really enjoyed not knowing what to expect in the beginning, had to restart a few times. The income system on this map is very interesting and really adds a role-play feeling.

The only downside is that there is very little challenge once you get decent income and late game becomes to tedious. Maybe putting more wastelands of increasing size in the DNA chain would slow down the player? That would force more dynamic play on the map itself.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 11/26/2015 18:01:11

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Excellent ideas. I'm going to adjust the scenario to make the start more challenging (give up on the "surprise" of the zombie attack and just allow him to attack the player on the first turn) and also make it more difficult for either party to traverse the DNA chain. Feel free to play again if you're interested!

Edited 11/26/2015 22:53:41
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/7/2015 11:09:17

gi-jones 
Level 57
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Great scenario. Just wasted a few happy hours on it :) Hope to see more of this sort of thing.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/10/2015 17:58:00

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Thanks for playing!

I've updated the scenario once more, to make it more balanced/smooth.

Ideally, for replay value, I would make several versions with the "wastelands" in different places, but I don't have time to do that right now.

I DO wish Warlight had an option to assign wastelands *after* territory selection, so you could have preset starting positions for players (or manual distribution) AND randomized wastelands. It would have been handy for this scenario!
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/10/2015 18:01:28

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Further update: I've put up a new version of the map with the Sanctions cards enabled, for extra difficulty.

Here it is:

https://www.warlight.net/SinglePlayer?TemplateID=763881

(I've edited it into the original post above, as well.)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/10/2015 22:04:03

snife
Level 53
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I really enjoyed your template but haven't finished it yet.
IMO this would be a template which would be really nice to add to singleplayer. (There is a discussion about that in a diffrent thread.)

Edited 12/10/2015 22:04:17
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 12:09:46


CITC
Level 56
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Very difficult challenge, but I am thoroughly enjoying my third attempt. The wastelands always seem to show up in the worst possible spots and the zombies seem to always be around you, but my favourite thing about this challenge is that I have no idea if I'm doing well or not. It's a completely foreign map with unexplored problems and challenges and it keeps me on my toes.

Exceptionally well done. I hope you come up with a new single-player challenge for us soon.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 17:42:44

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Thank you! I think it's an interesting one. Unfortunately, the creator of the map seems absent from Warlight (unfortunate, because there are a few missing connections on the map).

I'm updating the scenario one more time; unfortunately, I can't find any way to make the AI in the hospital attack in the desired direction consistently.

Thank you for playing!
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 18:01:43


Castle Bravo
Level 55
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The Walking Dead? Who gives a shit. It's a terrible map and a shitty show that was relevant to normies 3 years ago.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 19:36:49

M. Poireau
Level 53
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I'm not a fan of "Walking Dead".

I like Warlight, however.

If you don't want to try the scenario, no one's twisting your arm!
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 20:33:42


Castle Bravo
Level 55
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Oh, alright, that's cool. I thought the scenario was about the Walking dead because it's named that and it's a zombie map. Just make sure it isn't about that because I fucking hate that.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 20:51:15


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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I love these, I think it would be cool to develop more, games with missions, there's so much available in the game in maps I think there might be some cool things possible :)

Thanks again M. Poireau :)

As you're clanless, could I invite you to join our clan? One of the things we want to work on is a database to store and rate templates, including single player ones :)

We already have another member collecting up single player templates and training missions, if interested that would be great, but I understand if you're not :)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/12/2015 23:59:48

snife
Level 53
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ah fleecemaster... I asked him too... now we have to fight! ;)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/13/2015 00:10:15


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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Sorry to disappoint you, but we have candy ;)

EDIT: Poireau can always join with an alt if he wants anyway, we allow for that :)

Edited 12/13/2015 00:11:14
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/13/2015 17:44:03

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Ha! You guys are hilarious.

Thanks all the same!
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/13/2015 17:46:12

M. Poireau
Level 53
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For those curious about the scenario:

When I play it, I use the deployment limit as a handicap (which I definitely encourage; I think it's far too easy without it in play).

Given that, I typically finish the scenario in 40 turns (that was my last run-through). Of course, however, I have an advantage due to knowing a lot more about the scenario than you might on a first attempt, but, nevertheless, there you have it.

As a general rule for the "early game", you want your production count to match the turn number (very roughly), so that by turn 15 you're producing 15/turn or so. That means you're likely "doing well".
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/14/2015 00:17:22


Fleecemaster 
Level 59
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Join our clan, seriously, we have like 3 other players making these sort of maps :)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/14/2015 16:17:35

M. Poireau
Level 53
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Fleecemaster, send me a private message with more info - that sounds interesting! Cheers.
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/15/2015 00:33:38

wct
Level 56
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Multi-attack is enabled

Holy shit, what?!? *RTFM*

Hah, neat so far. Played it once and lost. Now that I know it's multi-attack I should do better! lol

I didn't understand the whole DNA bonus activation scheme until several turns in, also. Again, I guess I should RTFM first, eh? :-) (Actually, it looks like you don't have an explanation of that system in your scenario description? If not, might be a good thing to add.)
Creativity and Tactics: Single-player Challenge: 12/15/2015 01:49:59

wct
Level 56
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Here's one suggestion that will probably help you when balancing this further:

*spoilers*

Currently, it's a coin flip whether the big stack goes toward the player or away from the player on the Human side of the DNA strand. That's because the AI stack is neighbouring two neutrals. When neighbouring multiple enemy territories (incl. neutrals), there is always some random component to where the AI will attack, and with how much of its stack. If you want to ensure it goes *only* in one direction, you have to make sure there is only one neighbouring enemy (incl. neutrals). Therefore, if you want the big stack to immediately start going towards the player every time, you need to make sure the Creatif DNA territory is *not* an enemy (or neutral). Therefore, if you simply make that territory owned by the AI at the beginning of the game, rather than neutral, then the big stack will have no possible alternatives to attack, it will always attack Primal DNA with its entire stack. You don't even need to make it 0 neutrals, which is kind of a give-away clue that something fishy is down that way.

In general, if the AI is not going the way you want it to, you need to reduce its choices by giving the other territories either to that AI or one of its team mates.

Another thing you might have noticed is that the neutrals, especially the big wastelands are kind of 'sticky' to passing AI troops. They tend to congregate around them uselessly. This occurs when the AI doesn't have enough income to take the neutrals in one attack. It's basically trying to build up a stack until it's twice as big as the neutral stack. So if there's a wasteland of 12, and the AI's income is too small, it will slowly try to build up until it has 24 armies so it can attack.

This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want the AI to do, but usually it's an annoying bad thing. There's no easy solution, but ensuring that the AIs have some decent income, enough to make big enough stacks that can attack neutral stacks, will help. Making the wastelands smaller will help, too. But sometimes you don't want to give the AI a lot of income or make the wastelands small. In that case, you're pretty much stuck with the stupid AI loitering around big neutrals. Sucks, but that's why it happens.
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