Barbarians

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki

I (ESR) have thought for some time that there is a gap in Wesnoth's unit inventory between the Outlaws and the Loyalists. Recently I discovered that Jetryl has been having similar thoughts. The following proposal combines some idea from Jetryl and myself that we've kicked around on IRC a bit.

What I propose is three unit lines, a sort of barbarian light infantry light cavalry, and light archers that would be to the Loyalists as Huns or Vikings were to the high-medieval plate-armored fighters the Wesnothians are modeled on. (I've also added a healer line.)

An immediate use for these units would be to represent the human troops of the Northern Alliance.

The forum thread on this proposal is here.

Overview

We can start by defining what they'd be like relative to existing units:

  • In the absence of a day/night bonus favoring either side, Loyalists should be unit-for-unit superior to barbarians in set-piece battles on level ground, but the barbarians should have an edge in rough country (think Vikings or Scots Highlanders).
  • In the absence of a day/night bonus favoring either side, barbarians should be unit-for-unit superior to outlaws at equivalent level.
  • Where Wesnothian cavalry uses sword + shield + full armor, the barbarian cavalry would use saber plus bow and be unarmored or half-armored (more on a Central Asian pattern).
  • Barbarian cavalry should be able to enter mountains, and preserve more mobility in rough terrain than their Wesnothian counterparts.
  • To differentiate them from dwarves, barbarians should not use axes or warhammers and should probably be less heavily armored than their historical models.
  • To distinguish them from outlaws, they should not use clubs or hunting weapons but rather military-grade arms nearly as good as the Wesnothians can make. And they should be day fighters (lawful).
  • We'll need L0s for the infantry to advance from, analogous to Peasant and Woodsman for the Loyalists. Actually, since Woodsman can advance to either Poacher or Bowman it's no great stretch to have them advance to barbarian archers as well.

First, the important matter of names. Here are my proposals:

      Infantry    Cavalry     Archers    Healers
      ---------   -------     -------    -------
L0    Landsman
L1    Fighter     Rider       Archer     Herbalist
L2    Warrior     Raider      Marksman   Healer
L3    Champion    Conqueror   Avenger    Druid

Statistics

Next, mobility. I think we'd get half the effect we want by giving the infantry and archers the class 'mountainfoot'. For the other half, we'd define a new class 'mountainhorse', perhaps with stats like this:

deep_water        99
shallow_water      3  (mounted is 4)
swamp_water        3  (mounted is 4)
grassland          1
sand               1
forest             3
hills              1  (mounted is 2)
mountains          3  (mounted is 99)
village            1
castle             1
cave               4
tundra             2
canyon            99
cavewall          99
fungus             4

Next, weapon types. To distinguish these properly from other human units I propose these weapons mixes:

     Infantry                Cavalry                   Archers           Healers
     -----------------       -----------------         -----------       -------------------
L0   sickle, dart
L1   dagger, spear, javelin  saber                     dagger, bow       sickle, dart
L2   spear, sword, javelin   saber, bow, torch         dagger, bow       sickle, dart
L3   greatsword, spear       saber, bow, torch         dagger, bow       sickle, dart, staff

Now to the really tricky part: attack stats and hitpoints. The archers will be the easiest, as all we have to do is interpolate between the outlaw and loyalist bowmen (elven archers are better than either). I think they should look like this:

    Outlaws                   Barbarians                Loyalist
    ------------------------  ------------------------  ----------------------------
L1  dagger 3-2, bow 4-4 (32)  dagger 5-2, bow 4-4 (33)  shortsword 4-2, bow 7-3 (33)
L2  dagger 4-4, bow 6-4 (45)  dagger 5-3, bow 7-4 (48)  sword 8-2, bow 10-3 (51)
L3  dagger 5-4, bow 9-4 (57)  dagger 5-4, bow 10-4 (62) sword 8-3, bow 11-4 (67)

Next up: cavalry. Here what we want to do is interpolate between elven cavalry (lighter) and loyalist cavalry (heavier). Here's what I think they should look like:

    Elves                    Barbarians                          Loyalist Cavalrymen
    ----------------------   ---------------------------------   -----------------------
L1  sword 4-3, bow 6-2 (32)  saber 5-3, torch 5-3 (35)           sword 6-3 (38)
L2  sword 7-3, bow 9-2 (46)  saber 7-3, bow 5-2, torch 7-3 (50)  sword 6-4, crossbow 12-1 (53)
L3  sword 7-4, bow 8-3 (57)  saber 8-4, bow 6-2, torch 9-3 (63)  sword 10-4, crossbow 20-1 (68)

The torch was an interesting idea from zookeeper. We might want to invent a special that makes the torch especially effective against villages.

Infantry. Again, we want these to be intermediate in combat capability between the heaviest outlaw fighters (the Thug/Bandit/Highwayman line) and the loyalist Spearman/Swordsman/Royal Guard line. I make a deliberate exception for the barbarian infantry L0s, which should be tougher than effete Wesnothian peasants and closer to L1s in capability. Like this:

    Outlaws         Barbarians                                    Loyalist Infantry
    -------------   --------------------------                    --------------------------
L0  club 5-2 (16)   sickle 5-3, dart 5-1 (20)                     pitchfork 5-2, pitchfork 5-1 (18)
L1  club 5-4 (32)   dagger 5-3, spear 5-4, javelin 6-1 (32)       spear 7-3, javelin 6-1 (36)
L2  mace 7-4 (50)   spear 6-4, sword 7-4, javelin 6-2 (55)        sword 8-4 (55)
L3  mace 9-4 (70)   greatsword 10-4, spear 7-4, javelin 6-3 (72)  sword 11-4 (74) 

(Note: Present melee attacks for the L2 and L3 Outlaws are 8-4 and 11-4; Soliton thinks powering them down as indicated above would be reasonable.)

Finally the healers. Ideally, we'd make them more melee-capable than elven healers or human white mages, but not quite as good as healing.

    Elves                                    Barbarians                Loyalists
   ----------------------------             -------------------------  -----------------------
L1  staff 3-2, entangle 3-2 (26)             sickle 5-3, dart 5-1 (30)
L2  staff 4-2, ensnare 8-2, thorns 6-3 (36)  sickle 5-4, dart 6-2 (40)  staff 6-2, lightbeam 9-3 (35)
L3  staff 6-2, ensnare 6-3, thorns 8-3 (46)  sickle 5-5, dart 6-3 (50)  staff 7-3, lightbeam 15-3 (37)
   Elves                 Barbarians           Loyalists
   ----------------      ----------------     ----------
L1  heals + 4             cures                
L2  heals + 8, cures      heals + 4, cures     heals + 8, cures
L3  heals + 8, cures      heals + 8, cures     heals + 8, cures

Next, costs. Here are proposed cost tables showing what units I'm interpolating between:

    Outlaws           Barbarians     Loyalist Infantry
    ---------------  -------------  ------------------
L0  Ruffian = 6      Landsman = 9    Peasant = 8
L1  Thug = 13        Fighter = 13    Spearman = 14 
L2  Bandit = 23      Warrior = 24    Swordsman = 25
L3  Highwayman = 46  Champion = 40   Royal Guard = 43

(I think this comparison shows that the cost of the Highwayman is set too high, especially if we're going to power them down some as seems indicated.)

     Elves                    Barbarians               Loyalist Cavalrymen
     ----------------------   -------------------      -----------------------
L1   Scout = 18               Rider = 15               Cavalryman = 17
L2   Rider = 31               Raider = 31              Dragoon = 34
L3   Outrider = 43            Conqueror = 48           Cavalier = 52

(The Barbarian Rider is cheaper than an Elven Scout because he has no ranged attack.)

     Outlaws                   Barbarians                Loyalist
     ------------------------  ------------------------  ----------------------------
L1   Poacher = 14              Archer = 14               Bowman = 15
L2   Trapper = 27              Marksman = 26             Longbowman = 26
L3   Huntsman = 54             Avenger = 46              Master Bowman = 46

(This comparison makes me think that either the Outlaw archers are overpriced or the Loyalist archers are underpriced.)

Finally, healers. This schedule reflects a theory that healing is cheap for elves becauae they have a racial talent for it.

     Elves                     Barbarians                Loyalist
     ------------------------  ------------------------  ----------------------------
L1   Shaman = 15               Herbalist = 16        
L2   Druid = 34                Healer = 40                White Mage = 40
L3   Shyde = 46                Druid = 50                 Mage of Light = 64

Visual models

For the infantry and archers: Think Braveheart.

For the cavalry: Think Alans or Scythians.

This page was last edited on 27 April 2014, at 22:02.