YMMV / Battle for Wesnoth

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: When Asheviere told her son (who was complicit in her grab for power) to go fight Delfador himself, was she hoping he'd win and end the war quickly? Or lose, and get rid of the last barrier to taking absolute power for herself?
  • Awesome Music: Good lord, Over the Northern Mountains, one of the rarest and criminally underused songs in the game.
  • Best Level Ever: A Subterranean Struggle from Under the Burning Suns. For once, a battlefield actually feels like The War Sequence.
  • Cliché Storm: Most of the campaigns, being set in a traditional Tolkienesque setting. There are a few exceptions however.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Many of the Level 3 and above units, but the literal Giant Spider takes the cake, having many hit points, a slowing distance attack and a really powerful bite which inflicts poison to boot. The Giant Spider is so strong, it can kill Delfador within two turns if the player is unlucky.
    • Many Prestige Class enemy units can be this as well, and in that category special mention must go to the Horseman prestige class, the lancer. While largely useless for the player due to how in order to get them you have to hire, train, and then stunt the growth of an expensive and high-potential horseman, in the hands of an enemy who can recruit them directly they're absolute nightmares that almost no unit, no matter how high their level, is guaranteed to survive so much as a single round of combat with. Heir To The Throne's Test of the Clans scenario turns into a living hell thanks to these things.
  • Ear Worm: A huge portion of the game's soundtrack. This can be expected with compositions with a highly emphatic rhythm like The Dangerous Symphony, but even things like the calmer portions of The King Is Dead or Breaking the Chains can worm their way into your head and come back at unexpected moments (when you haven't played the game for days).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The elf lord Kalenz probably qualifies. Initially, he appeared as a supporting (albeit important) character in Heir to the Throne. Later, he became the protagonist of his own campaign, The Legend of Wesmere, which is so far the only mainline campaign to have a multiplayer version. And he also gets a significant role in Delfador's Memoirs. This makes him probably the only character to appear in three (four if you count the multiplayer one individually) mainline campaigns.
    • Version 1.9.5 of The Tale Of Two Brothers has him mentioned. The player character becomes his pay-for escort during the epilogue. That makes four if this version of the mainline campaign is committed into the release builds.
    • Grogg the troll is a (theoretically) completely optional party member in Under the Burning Suns. Unlike the other optional party member, he is beloved enough by the fanbase that he even got his own spin-off campaign.
    • Under the Burning Suns among the mainline campaigns, despite the fact that it is arguably the most difficult of the campaigns and completely out of context. Reasons for this include an intricate plot with interesting and well-written characters, fantastic scenarios that really demand tactical measures from the players and actually feel like a proper story instead of a string of skirmishes and a great setting that actually feels threatening. Yechnagoth is also frequently considered the best-written of all BigBads.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Asheviere. The add-on Ooze Campaign even has a custom unit with Asheviere's sprite whose description is simply "[Character's name] is a pretty young woman with an unsettling fascination for death", pretty enough for a paladin to fall in love with her despite how evil she is.
  • Game Breaker: Dwarves, arguably. They have lots of hit points, at least 10% resistance against any type of damage, hit hard with their weapons and the fact that they move slowly is balanced out by the fact that they have no moving penalties on most tiles and have the fastest moving unit in the game anyway (the Gryphon Rider). The basic Dwarven Fighter in particular, who possesses both a powerful slashing and a good blunt attack (and thus fares weakly against almost no other unit), is arguably one of the best units in the game, requiring only very little tactical skill to play effectively. However, this is arguably balanced out by the fact that Dwarves appear only very rarely as enemies in campaigns.
  • Goddamned Bats: Any highly evasive unit has elements of this, but the actual bats (high movement, high evasion, and draining attacks) fall solidly under this trope as fast, obnoxious, and deceptively hard to kill.
    • Saurian skirmishers/ambushers in any appreciable quantity are certainly this. Saurians are highly evasive in difficult terrain like forests and swamps, fast, ignore zones of control, have ranged and melee attacks that do more than tickle, and are cheap enough to recruit mobs of, at least for their faction. Fighting them, especially in some campaign scenarios where the AI can buy leveled versions of them directly, can be compared to juggling fetuses: slippery, unpleasant, and more likely to get blood everywhere than accomplish anything worthwhile.
    • Orcish Assassins also come to mind. The combination of high evasion in almost every terrain, multiple low-damage but poisoned ranged strikes in a single volley, and marksmanship on the attack so they can hit even other evasive units quite reliably makes them highly annoying and distracting, and even trying to deal with them via magical or marksman attacks in turn is a pain...because even if they finally do die to one of those they'll probably still have poisoned their vanquisher one last time first.
    • Ghosts have low health and damage, but also are fast in almost every terrain, highly resistant to physical damage, and heal themselves when they hit in melee. Without a good source of fire or arcane damage, killing them is infuriatingly slow. Their advancements are worse; Wraiths are similar except that they hit much harder, whereas Shadows lose their draining attack in exchange for the ability to become invisible at night and ignore Zones of Control, meaning there's no way to stop them slipping behind your lines and harassing your more vulnerable units.
  • Idiot Plot: In Heir To The Throne, after Konrad defeats Li'sar the first time, he not only lets her go, he even asks her for directions. Of course, she leads him directly into an undead-polluted area.
  • Jump Scare: Any unit that can turn invisible in certain circumstances can cause this and massive amounts of groaning as they ruin your strategies. While the most common scenarios are being ambushed by Woses in the forest or Shadows/Nightgaunts at night, or even worse, trying to take over an enemy town only to remember that a Fugitive had just stationed up in it far too late, some scenarios (such as "Crossroads" in Heir to the Throne, "The Drowned Plains" in The Eastern Invasion, and at least one optional quest in the add-on campaign Elvish Dynasty) involve enemies with none of the abilities that grant invisibility being coded to ambush you as well. An army of skeletons could also invade an unsuspecting castle on an island from deep water (where they are invisible, but move very slowly). Thankfully, the AI (and most players) seem to deem the undead tactic too Crazy Awesome and impractical to use.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: Most campaigns have a fairly linear difficulty curve, but not all:
    • Most notably Northern Rebirth: The first four or so chapters are absurdly hard even on the easiest difficulty level, while the latter half of the campaign is pretty easy, just extremely annoying, because every single chapter throws a seemingly endless wave of orcs and trolls at you that take virtually forever to kill off. The very generic plot and characters make it just even more trying to play through.
    • Delfador's Memoirs is similarly bad, if for slightly different reasons: Unlike virtually every other campaign, it is completely impossible to plan ahead in this campaign, because you have no way of knowing what units you play with on the next map, since the chaotic plot of the game arbitrarily gives and takes units that you have to assume you only get to play with for a single chapter before they might be removed from your unit list again, only to show up in your recall list a couple dozen chapters later.
  • That One Level:
    • 'Evacuation' from Eastern Invasion. You start out surrounded, and have to choose between getting your heroes to safety at the cost of most of your army or fighting three large groups of max-level trolls.
    • The final scenario of the Dead Waters campaign. Mainly because the three enemy bases never seem to run out of cash while you can barely hire two waves of troops to your aid.
    • The Eastern Invasion has "Lake Vrug" as well, where the map is designed to screw you over. If you take the obvious approach and look for the enemy keep by following the road, all you'll find is a decoy. The actual enemy base is located on the other side of a thick mountain range, meaning your foot units are slowed to a crawl and your mounted units have to be left behind. You're stuck dragging your army one or two hexes at a time across the mountains and hoping you can kill the enemy leader before you run out of turns.
  • The Scrappy: The heroine of the fan-made, downloadable campaign "Love to Death". She even murders some lizardmen in cold blood only because they were worshiping a Death Goddess (but lacked the power of creating undead.)
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: In the first scenario of The South Guard, the game drops clear hints that you're supposed to meet Sir Gerrick before defeating the enemy leader. If you do manage to win the battle without finding him, later scenarios that depend on him become impossible.
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