Headscratchers / Battle for Wesnoth

  • Battle for Wesnoth is one of the best open-source turn based wargames out there, and I appreciate the number of developers who worked hard for essentially no pay making this excellent video game. However, there's no sense of scale. One hex is one thing, so there's no consistent sense of how big a single hex is. Since a hex doesn't allow stacking, this means a hex is about one meter in size (since that's about how much space a single person would take up in a war). But this results in villages so tiny they can only fit one person, castles so small they can't fit more than a dozen people and a single turn taking four hours long (six turns per day). This means, for example, the mage can only move six meters in four hours. Since an average person can easily walk six miles in four hours, even if they aren't fit, we could also say a hex is a mile in size; this makes sense for some things (unit movement, the villages) but not for other things (the size of castles, roads and bridges). So, depending on which aspect of gameplay we look at, a single hex is either a meter or a mile in size. Also, the game has day and night cycles, but how come none of troops ever need to sleep?
    • Read this thread. Basically, hexes are purposefully abstract representations of space. Each hex represents one "thing" (object); a village, a unit, etc... scale be damned. That means that, for specific instances, you will see different scales using the same hexagons. For example, a unit can be a single soldier with each "village" being just a house, or each unit can be a platoon/squad with each "village" being a small town (in this case, the unit's name is the name of the platoon/squad commander). In the latter example, units sleep in shifts. In the former... I have no idea. Anyways, all this tomfoolery is best summed up by the acronym HAPMA - Hexagons Are Possibly Miles Across.
    • Excellent thread. Word of God (Dave in the above thread) agrees this is true, and even brought up the issue with troops never sleeping. I can suspend my disbelief while playing the game if I make a hex about a mile across, have a single unit be a battalion (solving the sleep problem for non-undead troops; only some of the group sleeps at a given time and the rest are carried around while sleeping via some form of magic; lawful units like to sleep at night and chaotic units during the day, which explains the day/night penalties/bonuses), have the castlesť actually be large towns, and have things like paths and bridges be a lot smaller compared to the scale seen on the map (To answer Word of God's point about collecting taxes in the middle of the night, maybe that's a case of taking people's valuables from the town). This view of the reality works quite nicely for multiplayer games; campaigns are a different kettle, but I prefer multiplayer on random maps against the computer.
      • Though that also creates some problems such as narrow cavern passages being a mile wide and the strange inability to combine two half-strength regiments to create one full-strength regiment. Also, most units only have one name.
      • Clearly the general standard size of ambiguously sized tiles (square, hexagon, or otherwise) is 1000 Dragons, granted 999 of them are laying down.
  • In Heir to The Throne, after freeing Elensefar, Konrad has to go north to fetch the scepter of fire. Now, for some reason, he can't use the ships to sail to the ford of Abez, and instead crosses right through enemy territory. Even if the river weren't navigable (which it should be, as it looks very wide when you have to cross it on foot), why can't Konrad & Co. cross the river by boat at its mouth and go east through allied territory (Wesmere). That makes FAR more sense than having to plow through legions of orcs, undead, and the entire Wesnoth army before crossing the ford of Abez. Guess Delfador's a mighty Archmage, but he can't read a map.
    • ... because then the campaign wouldn't be any fun to play. Seriously though, it's a good question, we'll look into finding an appropriate handwave.
      • So an anonymous rant on a wiki makes plot holes go away? AWESOME. Thanks for looking into it.
      • It can when the devs are tropers, yeah. We haven't managed to figure anything out for this yet, though.
    • Because everyone are actually Blood Knights. See how they respect and soldier only during battle? They need more soldiers, so they go through the enemy army, kill, loot and pillage and conscript everyone in their path. Granted, that's not very heroic but at least it's one explanation...
    • Two reasons I can think of: the army still had a lot of inexperienced soldiers, and Delfador decided to take that route to prepare them for the more grueling battles along the way; most of what they were expecting to fight were orcs, undead, and the Wesnoth army, so plowing through orcs, undead, and the Wesnoth army would steel the newer recruits. The other potential argument would be that the Wesnoth military would expect Konrad to go by boat after he escaped that same way, and they sent their navy to block any entry into the North by ship. Either of those make sense in the twisted recesses of this troper's mind.
    • I thought of the blockade angle as well. Simply add a line in the campaign to this effect: "With Ashevier's navy blockading Elensefar, Konrad's army had no choice but to march overland."
  • Why do the game files have a full set of female drake names that are never used? Not only are all mainline drake units male, but the lore seems intent on keeping it that way (by turning the females into unintelligent breeding stock, disturbingly enough). It seems like a terrible waste of potential there.
  • On the subject of drakes, how can they be raised as Walking Corpses? Since their remains burn to ashes when they die, they shouldn't leave any corpses to reanimate.