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From Wesnoth

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Battle for Wesnoth UMC campaign / reviews

Reviews for Campaigns available in the 1.10.x stable and 1.11.x development versions.


After the Storm

Review by vultraz

Tags: fall, dungeon, elves

Description: After the Emperor of Chaos was defeated, the free civilizations of the Great Continent hoped that his followers would abandon the ongoing war. Meanwhile, Galas and his unlikely band of heroes head back to the northern lands to request aid for their next journey.

Summary: This campaign is, in my opinion, one of the very best UMC campaigns. It follows the story of Elynia and her band and their adventures following the events of Invasion from the Unknown. Since the campaign is divided into three episodes, I'll talk about each one separately.

Episode 1: This one starts out slow, but speeds up pretty soon. The first few scenarios capture your attention and want to make you keep playing. It features an appearance of Zocthanol Isle from Under the Burning Suns, which I find quite nice. The late scenarios feature, as in all the episodes, AtS's signature dungeon crawling scenarios, of which I am very fond. My only complaint about this episode would be the third scenario, which is quite tedious after you build up a strong force. Other than that, a good episode.

Episode 2: This episode jumps in right after the cliffhanger end of episode 1, and finds Elynia 1 year into the future as a result of the explosion in Wesmere. We quickly jump right into the action, and discover a very important character in scenario 2. There are a bunch of nice plot points here, including the deal made with the demon lord, and Elynia's journey to the valley from the beginning of IftU. As before, the last few scenarios feature AtS's dungeon crawling, including a very large scenario 10 map. The episode ends on what I consider a beautiful cutscene, one which finishes with a perfect flair.

Episode 3: Shadowmaster truly saved the best for last, here. Several amazing plot points come into play in this scenario, as well as an introducing of many new characters and custom units. This episode brings together almost all the plot threads that had been laid throughout the previous two episodes and IftU and wraps them up in an elegant bow, while at the same time exploring in new directions. Gameplay wise, he managed to keep the scenarios interesting and fun after all this time. More dungeon crawling, and a gigantic final scenario followed by several cutscenes wrap up this amazing campaign. One little complaint might be about scenario 4, which I found quite hard to beat.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this campaign and its story. The maps, characters, and gameplay had me hooked, and I recommend this campaign to anyone.

Surroundings: 10

Design: 10

Story: 10

Fun: 10

Replay value: 9

Player Note: 10

Review by bumbadadabum (0.9.2+svn)

Review: Although it starts out quite slow, and has some lesser parts in there, I have to say that this is one of the best wesnoth campaigns I've played, and in my opinion even beats its prequel, Invasion from the Unknown. It's very well coded with great attention to detail, has a very good story, and very good maps, especially in Episode 3. The gameplay consists of a variety of battle scenarios, which feel very epic without the scale being too big, and a lot of dungeon-crawling scenarios, broken up with the occasional cutscene. It's not very easy, and it forces you to have a plan for the scenario, which is something I like. Because of the design of the campaign (the episodes all feel like separate campaigns) I'm going to talk about them separately.

Episode 1: This one starts off slow, with the first few scenarios having little interesting things happening, both gameplay- and storywise, although they weren't bad either. Once things start happening though, the story gets much better and the gameplay more interesting (I especially liked scenario 4 and 5), up until the last few scenarios, when some very abrupt (and almost unnecessary in my opinion) events take place, which actually left me speechless the first time I witnessed them. Another thing that left me speechless was the final cutscene, which was masterfully done and was one of the best in this campaign. In short, it starts off slow, but keeps accelerating once you progress further into the story. It's very well done overall, but it has some things I don't like.

Episode 2: Episode 2 starts off a bit slow once again, but quickly introduces the player to some important characters and gets us back into the main storyline. It features quite a lot of plot twist, and was especially fun to play through the first time. The gameplay is little different from E1's in that it features a lot of "Defeat enemy leaders" scenarios, but the variety in maps and enemies made it so it wasn't boring. It does however, feature my least favorite scenario in this campaign, scenario 6, but the last 5 scenarios more than make up for this by being some of the best scenarios in this campaign. The final boss and ending cutscene were again very fun, and served as a nice ending of the episode.

Episode 3: I can't express how much I liked this episode. I was hooked from beginning to end, and played it all in one session. It immediately starts with, in my opinion, the best opening to a campaign I've ever seen, and got me into the story immediately. The scenarios in this episode are much more story-driven than the others, and the gameplay didn't disappoint either. The next few scenarios, although the were hard at times and frustrated me a bit) were still a lot of fun, but after scenario 6 is when things really start. The story divides into 2 branches. One of them is filled with epic battles, and is considerably less story-driven than the other one. The other one almost plays like a cutscene, and features the best atmosphere I've ever encountered in a campaign. The story keeps accelerating and expanding, and climaxes in very well made final boss. It has an open ending, and leaves much room for speculation. I'm not going to spoil much more, since I'd recommend everyone to play it.

I'd rate this campaign as nearly flawless, if it'd only be based on the last episode; the other 2 are sometimes lacking a bit of pacing, and some scenarios were a bit frustrating. Overall, I think this is a great campaign, and was worth playing every minute.

Surroundings: 9

Design: 9

Story: 10

Fun: 9

Replay value: 8

Player note: 9

Review by lipk

If I had to describe After the Storm in one word, that would be "monumental". It's mostly like IftU on steroids, although there's a lot of quality improvement as well in some aspects that weren't strong points of its prequel.

Let's see the visuals first. Shadowmaster is certainly not the best artist out there, but his stuff is good enough not to block you from immersing yourself in the story, and the sheer amount of custom art is amazing. That, along with the very creative use of various effects in cutscenes makes After the Storm the most visually pleasing and filmlike campaign I ever played. I also liked careful choice of music.

Speaking of writing, AtS fixes IftU's two major flaws: predictability and unoriginality. The plot is full of turns and surprises, and remains interesting through the whole campaign. Sometimes it feels more like a series random events rather than a coherent flow, but Wesnoth is a strategy game after all; AtS is more than okay in this aspect. The backstory, on the other hand, is overly convoluted, confusing and boring, especially in Episode 3. You simply lose interest in even more ancient-powerful-mystic creatures, artifacts and such after a while, especially when they're materialized only on the level of endless dialogs.

Good news is AtS has fewer dungeon crawls, bad news is that pickuppables are gone, so they are even more boring. Yeah, I think it can't be helped: I simply hate that kind of game play. Battles are well-balanced and enjoyable, only problem is that Wesnoth's AI still can't handle large-scale fights well. Big battles are usually about picking the best spot to defend against enemy waves, which makes these scenarios kinda static (still challenging, though).

Surroundings: 10

Design: 7

Story: 8

Fun: 8

Replay value: 4

Player note: 8


A New Order

Review by Pyrophorus

Tags: Akladians,skirmish,story

Description: A new Order is a rather long campaign, telling the story of the Akladians reign over Wesnoth. In short, Akladians are a barbarian people, coming from east, flying from slavery, who took control over the decadent Wesnoth kingdom. The story begins later, when Gawen, son of the Akladian king and a Wesnoth noblewoman, have to fight his way to the throne, reconciliate Wesnothians and Akladians to face the threat of a powerful necromancer.

The campaign is a classical skirmish with some large battles, and some riddles to solve. You'll play here Akladian and Khalifate factions.

Summary: It is one of the more old and mature projects in UMC (eight years old !), polished and enhanced for years, and still actively updated.

At first glance, the story can look classical and boring, but it is one of the best campaign story one can find: interesting and various characters, many plot twists, a real world description make the story really interesting and original. Not for children, as the note says, should be understood as being not the kind of childish fancy most campaigns are built on. Maps and battles have been thoroughly designed and balanced, and everything could be said perfect here, with a slight reservation about graphics (but they're progressing for now).

A classic which many different people can enjoy.

Surroundings: 8

Design: 8

Story: 10

Fun: 8

Replay value: 6

Player note: 10


Antar, Son of Rheor

Review by Dugi

Tags: loyalists, skirmish, dungeon

Description: A noble's property is attacked by undead, and he has to retaliate in order to stop the undead peril. In his journey, he passes through many other settlements, some of them are attacked by the undead too, some are just naturally hostile, some are corrupted by the promise of immortality the undeath brings and send undead legions to fight him. All of them seem to be just minions of a stronger force, but before he is reached, the end of completed part is here. 9 out of intended 17 scenarios complete.

Summary: The scenarios are designed very well, assuring that you will not get bored. Many events take place in the middles of scenarios, making scenarios less usual and different from others. Although this is a nice feature, you are frequently surprised by many elements you cannot expect and it breaks planning. There are a few special units, who have special AMLA or some special abilities, that have an unusual and very practical use on the battlefield. It is balanced quite well despite its incompleteness. The story didn't impress me, though. It is very usual, a group of loyalists going to stop a rise of a lich lord whose dreams of conquest are a endangering anyone is classic. Do not expect anything from minor events neither, the encounters in scenarios are pretty mainstream story-wise as well. Unexpected end in the middle of campaign is a really unpleasant surprise too. There is a little need to replay it, because you will know what will happen, and many of these encounters are easy with proper recruits, but maybe a few years will provide a decent amnesia for that. For short, it is a campaign strongly focusing on interesting gameplay, but if you seek heavy challenges or a deeper plot, this is not what you want.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 10

Story: 6

Fun: 7

Replay value: 7

Player Note: 8 (if I forget the missing end, and assume that these scenarios are like the existing ones)

Review by tribes55, dean

"Tags:" Adventurous,Intriguing

"Description:" You play as a limited Loyalist faction, and are mainly fighting Undead, Orcish units and goblins. You have alliances with Dwarves and Elves.

"Summary:" I liked how the campaign required thinking outside of the box, but I didn't like how on the first scenario there was VERY limited strategies you could use to win. Most scenarios are not like this in this campaign, though.

"Surroundings:" Your surroundings are constantly changing, but the maps are always interesting and in some scenarios rewarding for exploring them. 8/10

"Design:" The scenarios aren't repetitive and leave you wanting to play the next campaign. 8/10 Story: Seeing as the story is what makes me want to play the campaign, and this one kept me to the very end of the currently limited scenarios I'd give it story a 8/10.

"Fun:" * Very rarely was I bored. 7/10 Replay value: * Some scenarios challenge you to do the Scenario in a more efficient way which would make me want to replay the campaign and see what I could do better this time. 7/10

Player note: * Overall rating would be 8/10.

A Rough Life

Review by bumbadadabum

Review: A Rough Life is a very interesting campaign to say the least. It has some very unique elements that make it into a very unique, and overall fun experience. The campaign is pretty much seperated into 3 parts, each with a different theme. Although the plot gets weaker in my opinion when you get to the final scenarios, it still remains fairly fun.

Perhaps the coolest feature of the campaign is the way the protagonist 'evolves' as you progress, changing unit types, name, and personality; it makes the protagonist feel more 'real'. The storytelling is also fairly interesting, as it focuses a lot on the emotion progression of the protagonist. The other characters are also interesting, and I think that overall, the story is one of its strong points.

The maps are nothing too special, but they get the job done.

The campaign features portraits for pretty much all major characters, which is always a nice thing. The art is not the best around, but I like the style, and it's good enough to benefit the campaign.

The gameplay is pretty good. It features a lot of interesting scenarios and objectives, and almost no 'standard' skirmishes, and I like that a lot. It also features some choices and hidden things, greatly improving the replayability of this campaign. It's coded well in general, and bug-free as far as my own experience goes.

In short, I liked this campaign. I suggest it if you like smaller battles, and a unique story.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 8

Story: 7.5

Fun: 8

Replay value: 8

Player note: 8

Birth of a Lich

Review by Kanzil

tags Malifor, descent into darkness, orcs, undead

Review This is one of those wonderful campaigns that fill in the gaps, that tell of the side-events of Wesnoth. It is laden with storyline and likeable characters, and, despite being scattered with grammatical mistakes, is nevertheless a very engaging read about a character many will know from DiD. It tells of the journey of Malifor from an young, outcast from his village, to dread Lich. Throughout, the story tells of the great tumults of the north lands, and even features the legendary Dwarf-Lord Thunedain. It fits seamlessly into the period described - the council of the magi includes Sagus and Leollyn - and the story is written with a well-researched adherence to canon; everywhere the campaign author seeks to add authenticity and historical validity. The scenarios can grow a little tiresome(and the AI in the first two scenarios is incredibly annoying), but the story drives the campaign along, and it has a wonderful flow. There are some quite epic battles, and it really is, overall, a gem of a campaign. Don't expect innovative WML, as it is a very conventional campaign, but it is certainly worth a look if you like campaigns that are relatively straightforward and have good storylines and interesting characters. Ultimately, though not particularly avant-garde, it is very well done.

Surroundings 8.5

Design: 9

Story: 9.5

Fun: 8

Replay value: 7.5

Player note: 8.5


Brave Wings

Review by Arawn

Tags: drakes, adventure, rpg

Review: You take control of a band of drakes as they look for a potion to restore their island from undead. Just like in Fate of a Princess, you have a bunch of cool new units and items to make the experience unique. I loved this campaign for its happy storyline and units. I will admit it has a cliche, deux ex machina ending, but that's the only problem I can recall. Balancing is well-done, especially in areas where you have allies (I played on easy difficulty). There is some replay value since you can play around with who gets what item, but really, it's more of a one-time campaign. Loved the drake blademaster.

Surroundings 10

Design: 10

Story: 9

Fun: 10

Replay value: 6

Player note: 10


Count Kromire

Review by Dugi

Tags: custom era, vampires, skirmish

Description: A vampire campaign. In our culture, there are two kinds of vampires, first the evil bloodthirsty creatures that are usually counts and dukes and rule over small realms in dark mountains, and second, the eternal high school kids who fall in love with teens. Of course, this is about the first, cool kind of vampires. A bloodsucker has lost his land to celestials, and fights to get it back. He forges an alliance with other vampires and a strange order of humans (Windsong), and together they defeat the celestials and get his land back.

Summary: It starts in a really cool way, you have two vampires and have to bite peasants to get more vampires from them. However, you will quickly get the ability to recruit them (because getting all units from plague making level 0 units would be a pain). Most of the campaign is rather classical, with well-designed and well-balanced scenarios. You play with vampires, a really interesting faction (with mages, archers, melee fighters, poison, drain on most units). The maps looks somewhat glum, but that is what you'd expect from a land controlled by vamps. They aren't very realistic either, but that actually makes the gameplay better. The way the end happens depends on some previous actions. Dialogues are not bad, quite funny because of a vampire who can't speak properly because of his huge teeth.

Using a custom era has its downsides, though. Almost all units lack animations, so all combat is like headbutting with blade damage. The lore behind the factions is not as deep as in mainline, so you just don't know the motivations of most enemies to attack you. As a result, the story isn't anything special. It also has quite a strange element, if you let a guy live, he will attack you later for the arrogance of fighting him (he also quite unpleasantly surprises you by turning against you when you defeat the enemies together, for your arrogance, and it might get you defeated very easily if you aren't ready for it). I was really displeased by seeing in a description that vampires are immune to drain and plague, but shouldn't be immune to poison, but the engine does not allow it, that was total bullshit, but that is rather a part of the era.

If you are bored with default era and can ignore the lack of animations, you will like it. If you seek gameplay-wise interesting factions, you'll like it too. Also if you are a fan of Twilight and need to learn what are the vampire stories about. But if you are okay with default era and classical factions and seek unusual scenarios and stories, you might not like it.

Surroundings: 5

Design: 9

Story: 7

Fun: 9

Replay value: 7

Player Note: 7


Fate of a Princess

Review by Paulomat4

Tags: elves, rogues, riders, skirmish, dungeon, RPG

Part I: Baldres, a notorious robber baron, flees Wesnoth with his followers and sets off into the northlands to evade the kings justice. The barons deeds and misdeeds are to change the balance of power between orcs and non-orcs throughout the northlands, and will carry consequences long after his eventual death. Part II: The Greenwood elves face a crisis which demands the return of the queen's estranged half-elven half-sister, Baldreds daughter. Two brave young elves must make a perilous journey to find her and bring her back to her former home. If they fail, the whole northlands will be engulfed in war with the resurgent orcs...

Summary: Nice story, which is composed of two parts. In the first part you mainly fight with bandit knights, and often have to rush from one point to another. In the second part, gameplay consists of elves, and various other races like drakes or saurians or dwarves. You will fight various races in the first part, and mostly orcs in the second. The campaign feature many custom units, and some your heroes will even have AMLA advancements. Also you will be able to collect many items through the campaign, which may cause some units to be overpowered but this is also bound to storyline reasons. The story reveals a lot about the northlands and their different factions.

Surroundings: 8

Design: 9

Story: 7

Fun: 9

Replay value: 8

Player Note: 8

Review by Arawn (0.9.24)

Tags: elves, rogues, riders, skirmish, dungeon, RPG, adventure, rescue, quest

Review: Greatly enjoyed this campaign. It's a bit long but worth it. You're given control of a small squad of units to bring aid to your people (the elves). From the start, you get to use unique, very well-designed units alongside standard ones. The story is entertaining but never makes the mistake of turning into a comedy or taking itself too seriously. There are also new AMLA advancements and weapons. Both made the campaign a lot of fun for me. Best of all, the story is referenced by other campaigns (Brave Wings, I think), adding a sense of realism.

Surroundings 9

Design: * 10

Story: 10

Fun: 9

Replay value: 5

Player note: 9


Invasion from the Unknown

Review by Dugi

Tags: elves, undead, skirmish, dungeon, puzzle

Description: Starting with usual elves in forests and deserts, quickly adding the undead faction in a battle against several custom factions, evil human army, mysterious Verlissh, sinister demons, robotic automatons and dreadful, biomechanic Shaxtrals, that progresses through caves and steppes into the mysterious Dark Hive, where the Shadow Master dwells. 30 scenarios. Complete.

Summary: This campaign has a good and interesting story, enough long to develop an army of recalls an use it well. You will encounter many new kinds of enemies, assuring that you will never get bored, even if you aren't a fan of the default era. Its gameplay is unique in many ways, frequently, the enemies are just coming, and you have to pass through the area instead of defeating some leader. Another speciality are boss fights, when you can defeat a boss only using some special technique. The campaign is also balanced pretty well, easy difficulty is to enjoy the story, hard difficulty is really challenging. However, almost all new units lack animations of any kind, that harms the visual part of this add-on. Also, some elements of the storyline are too exaggerated. But these little problems will not spoil anything.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 10

Story: 9

Fun: 10

Replay value: 7

Player Note: 10

Review by Dugi

Review by lipk

Invasion from the Unknown was the first add-on I played (not completely unrelated to the fact that it was first entry in the campaign list back in the 1.8 days) and is still among my favorites. IftU has exceptionally well-designed maps, loads of custom terrain and units, and even some portrait art. The world is rich and detailed, it makes you want to press on to explore it deeper. The plot isn't a strong point of the campaign, though, it's awfully linear (that wouldn't be a problem on it's own right if it was shorter, but in 20+ scenarios, it would be nice to see some twists), and anyone who's familiar with UtBS should notice that it pretty much lacks originality, too. I didn't like the game play either; the campaign turns into a sequence of dungeon crawls and megalomaniac battles very early on, both of which I find slow and boring. That might be just my taste, though.

All in all, Invasion from the Unknown is a well put-together product. It has major flaws regarding scenario and plot design, which might severely reduce the replay value of this campaign, but it's certainly worth playing at least once.

Surroundings: 9

Design: 6

Story: 7

Fun: 8

Replay value: 4

Player note: 7

Review by taptap

I resisted playing Invasion from the Unknown for a long time as I shied away from the thought of combining necromancy and elves, when I finally did I was pleasantly surprised. It is for me the most iconic campaign in UMC, redefines elvish history, sketches a cosmology for the ages after the fall. It is a campaign everyone should play at least once. With the Chaos empire and its various allies and enemies it introduces an era worth of factions to single-player play. At the same time it features some of the most beautiful maps in Wesnoth and art, which is often on par with mainline campaigns.

There are flaws, however. The hero is generic, the plot is full of holes and deus-ex-machina moments and sudden reversals for no good reason whatsoever. There are some serious gameplay issues in the second part as well. The individual scenarios / gameplay change between very good (e.g. introduction, moon valley, the final of part 1), interesting (e.g. some of the puzzles = boss fights) and broken (e.g. desert travel, the heart), and it is overall slightly heavy on not-that-challenging dungeon crawling. I do hate the sheer amount of triggered events, which discourage scouting and that is a bad thing in a wargame.

The campaign would benefit tremendously from wiping out the recall list in the second part as it is done in the sequel After the Storm. Players are advised to do so voluntarily as this makes the second part much more entertaining and quite a bit more balanced.

Legend of the Invincibles

Review by Raijer

Description: A huge campaign that is 10 chapters long, and has more than 200 scenarios. This campaign follows 2 heroes that find a way to eternal life, going through times, before and after the Fall, and witnessing some of the most important events in Wesnoth's history, like the raise of the second sun.

The player will be able to use humans, elves, but also undead and some special units, and will fight against basically anything you can imagine, going from orcs to demons and passing by some robots. It includes an item system, with enemy drops, crafting and gears, giving additions to units' normal attacks. The history permits to get a huge recall list, with level 4 units in the main races used and new AMLAs possibilities.

Summary: This campaign has a really long story, which explains some of Wesnoth's history that wasn't talked much about in other campaigns. Despite its length, it actually never gets boring because the story is well-done, stays really coherent, but also because of the scenarios' diversity, having huge battles but also some dungeons, and special objectives. I really like how this campaign makes a mix of Wesnoth's turn-based system and the basic RPG's system, like spells, items, crafting and more… But also because it creates new strategies that can't be found in normal campaigns, thanks to the item system and AMLAs that weren't really used in other campaigns, while keeping Wesnoth's basic way of playing. The difficulty is pretty much standard, as easy being easy for everyone, and hard being really hard and most likely a huge tactical challenge. Though some scenarios in normal can be seen as really easy or really hard.

I'm really happy about this campaign because it permits to personalize your units depending on what you want them to be able to do with the AMLAs, but also with the huge item bank. I also liked the story, because i don't like how some part in Wesnoth's history are left unexplained, and this campaign goes through Irdya's history, filling some blanks. Finally, i would like to say that this campaign can be played again and again, as there are some secret scenarios, but also infinite possibilities with the items and AMLAs, which make each time completely different.

The bad sides: the item inventory is slow (seems like it will be fixed), can be really annoying in the later parts. The leaders can seem overpowered to unacquainted players though it changes as you advance. The balance isn't complete yet, but it most likely will be done as soon as the story itself is finished. There still are some bugs around, but none that stops from playing as far as i know.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 7

Story: 10

Fun: 10

Replay value: 9

Player note: 10

Review by bumbadadabum

Description: (quoting Raijer) A huge campaign that is 10 chapters long, and has more than 200 scenarios. This campaign follows 2 heroes that find a way to eternal life, going through times, before and after the Fall, and witnessing some of the most important events in Wesnoth's history, like the raise of the second sun.

The player will be able to use humans, elves, but also undead and some special units, and will fight against basically anything you can imagine, going from orcs to demons and passing by some robots. It includes an item system, with enemy drops, crafting and gears, giving additions to units' normal attacks. The history permits to get a huge recall list, with level 4 units in the main races used and new AMLAs possibilities.

Summary: I didn't like this campaign a single bit. The scenarios feel like they've been designed 'in a hurry' without paying any attention to detail. The lack of variety or events in scenarios make them very boring to play, and often made me want to just :n and be done with them. The scale of the scenarios is completely blown out of scale, and this makes it extremely tedious to play, as everytime you press the end turn button you have to wait for the literally hundreds of enemies to move. The maps are not horrible, but far from mainline level. The story (which is one of the most important things in a campaign for me) is perhaps one of the worst things about this campaign. The dialog is badly written (in places where it is present. There isn't much dialog outside of starting dialog) and feels completely emotionless. The characters are paper-thin and not very well developed, and that only contributes to my thinking that the entire story is only there to tie the 185 scenarios together. It feels ridiculous and sometimes made me wonder what I was doing with my life, after I read another dialog. The art of the campaign consists mostly of bad frankensteins or horribly drawn units, with the exceptions of the portraits for Efraim and Lethalia, which actually look pretty decent. Overall, I feel like the pretty good idea behind the RPG engine, which in my opinion is also poorly executed, has gone to waste by it being in this campaign. I think this campaign is bad and doesn't deserve any of the praise it often receives on the forums. I would not recommend this campaign to anyone.

Surroundings: 4

Design: 2

Story: 3

Fun: 3

Replay value: 4

Player note: 2

Review by t3st3r

Description: Really large and custom campaign about two heroes who are about to become legendary half-gods. During campaings there are also several "lesser" heroes with remarkable powers and abilities as well, which makes game more interesting for sure. Right now there are 9 chapters, about 200 scenarios (10 planned as far as I know). Largest and most diverse campaign I've seen so far for BfW. And the only campaign I've replayed THREE times. Because I like overall gameplay so much that I has been willing to play it even when there was 3 or 4 chapters ready, so it has been quite incomplete. To my taste it's the most epic campaign for BfW to the date.

In this campaign player could find nearly all you could expect from decent game scripting engine and seriously customized scenarios. And nearly all you've missed in original BfW campaigns and maps. Great AMLAs, much better than original BfW AMLAs are. Isn't it boring to kill 20 enemies just to get some dumb +3 hp bonus? This campaign corrects this problem: most advancements are actually useful and you can control units development path (to some degree). There are some extra LVLs for many units, this is really adding up. Sure, there could be factions balance issues if you use such settings for PvP, but it's not a problem of campaign itself and it really adds up to gameplay. There will be a number of really strong enemies of truly epic scale. Real dragons, real monsters, real freaks, real arch-enemies. All kings of dangerous things you can imagine and even more than that. Some of them require very custom approach so reading in-game messages/hints is a must. There is decent items system as well. Sure, geared warriors could handle much more than those with bare hands or simple weapons. Some items could even allow "simple" (non-hero) units to challenge some tough monsters on their own. Though many arch-enemies would be hard to kill even for main heroes without proper handling and using their weak points. To my taste, I really like this campaign. In fact it's my favorite campaign, thanks to custome AMLAs, 10 chapters, items system, strong enemies and various twists to add more fun to gameplay. Sometimes you can also use units from previous chapters, which allows you to have strong army of relatively few powerful units, which is just convenient to play. This is taken into account and those who continues from old chapters are facing much stronger resistance than those who starts chapter from scratch with "dummy" heroes and lack of geared and leveled army. There are some secrets and treasures hidden, custom events and so on. There is even some basic form of item crafting, some multi-part artefacts and so on. So players who are careful to details could have some extra/optional fun in game. This is what always distinguishes well thought maps from serious map makers and scripters. So if someone tired of standard boring BfW game mechanics, it's really worth to try this campaign out to see something new, beyond standard BFW mechanics and take some completely new look on familiar storylines.

Summary: This is a very long campaign, telling the story of two heroes who would follow a long path from mere mortals up to strong half-gods, capable of challenging almost any kinds of things. This is somewhat mixed into classic BfW storyline and shows it from different point of view, which isn't as simple as it looks like. First chapters show us how heroes would become some immortal and powerful beings, then they will gain more power and finally manage to become half-gods. While it's really long story, there are so many types of enemies, their abilities, new storyline twists, unexpected things and so on, that it's still remains fun to play. Even after you played many chapters already. Sure, some scenarios are lengthy and/or take too much efforts to control units or wait for AI moves. However, if campaign haves ~200 scenarios, it's hard to iron out all issues in just one shot. Yet it still impressive already, especially granted that it's still work in progress and is not yet complete.

Difficulty of this campaign varies. Depending on paths you've taken, units equipent and how all this affects certain enemies, some enemies could be easier/harder than others. On normal difficulty level it should be manageable for seasoned BfW player. I would not recommend this campaign to newbies as it would teach you many funny things which will be (unfortunately!) missing in most of other BfW campaigns. Players have to understand it uses enhanced game mechanics. Maps vary wildly, ranging from standard "kill them all" scenarios to RPG and quest style maps. You can develop some really new and uncommon tactics. For example, you can use meteor spell to blow up a host of powerful enemies and then teleport away if situation permits. New abilities for new strategies are nearly countless, thanks to improved AMLAs, items system and new spells and their AMLA improvements.

In this campaign you can often have "convenient" army composed of relatively few relatively powerful units with some special abilities, complementing each other. As for me, it's annoying to deal with 100 lvl 1 weaklings. I'm as human is inefficient and slow in doing so. This campaign will be far more convenient most of time. It's usually enough to have 10-20 strong units + some heroes to win scenario.

Though it's noteworthy to mention that advanced items system and AMLAs are making it hard keep it perfectly balanced in all corner cases in all possible combinations, so sometimes you can face some too simple or quite hard maps, unexpectedly. However, unless there is some bug, seasoned BfW players should not have real troubles in most places. And it will feel unique each time you play it, as you will take different paths here and there. That what makes it funny to replay, trying different paths in advancements.

The most daunting issue to my taste is that BfW core neither really supports items system on it's own, nor it provides any decent UI to deal with items. I think BfW authors should consider adding support for items and items management to the BfW core to make mapmakers life easier. It's not only campaign where this problem exists, there are dozen and half of campaigns sharing same issue. But as this campaign makes extensive use of items, it's where problem is getting really obvious. AI is really dumb and clueless at handling items/extended features, etc. And sometimes in-game computations could take a while, so powerful CPU could be a good idea. I can also admit that authors of various campaigns have minor mismatches in explaining the very same events from BfW world. Ideally, they mismatches have to be corrected but it requires cooperation of large number of independent people and I can understand it's somewhat troublesome to achieve. And of course there are some things to iron out as it's still work in progress. This probably applies to complaints that AI takes a long time to complete turns, etc - on some maps it's really good idea to go to preferences and set "skip AI moves" option on.

Surroundings: 8

Design: 8

Story: 9

Fun: 10

Replay value: 9

Player note: 10

Review by Kpearce

Campaign Legend of the Invincibles 3.0.1

Review by Kpearce

Review: I have so far played all of part 1. This is a very complicated campaign. From a coding perspective, it is quite impressive. The item system is extremely sophisticated. However, I found things buggy from time to time (playing on Wesnoth 1.11; admittedly a development release). Also, some of the controls are annoying. For instance, in the later part if you right-click a unit to change the items it is using, there is a menu item that says 'Devour.' I don't know what it's for, but if you click it accidentally your unit dies and it is not possible to undo.

It takes quite a while to get the hang of the item system, but once you do it makes things much more complicated and interesting. On the whole, I like it. One complaint, though, is that it's hard to tell how formidable enemies are. It seems that some of them use items as well, and there are non-standard unit types that borrow standard graphics. Also, there are many more traits and abilities than in standard campaigns. The overall effect is that you can't tell what you're up against by looking. In some cases, certain abilities and things cause you to take damage whenever you hit the opposing unit, and I haven't figured out a way to see this in the interface.

I really like the whirlwind attack, and other similar things, and the extra advances and the AMLA system.

The story is interesting in places but nonsensical in others. Basically, I would say it's unpolished. The story, like the campaign as a whole, is pretty complicated. The dialogue needs copy editing.

This campaign was an extremely ambitious undertaking by its author and it is probably as a result of that that the whole thing just feels not quite polished. With some cleaning up, this could be a really excellent campaign.

Surroundings: 8

Design: 8

Story: 6

Fun: 8

Replay value: 2 (too big a time sink to do more than once)

Player note: 8

Review by Ashes

(played LotI 3.1.13 with BfW 1.12.2)

Description: As mentioned by other reviewers, this is a very huge campaign that changes a lot the gameplay. If you ever wanted to play as a munchkin at BfW, then this campaign is for you: you can equip your army with piles of powerful items, and the AMLA system that appeared in UtBS is expanded a lot; it is not unusual to have a unit with more than 10000 XP and having advanced more than 30 times! I have created a wiki page to collect examples of deadly unit that can be created by the player

The story is nice, too. The two heroes are becoming powerful immortals trying to save the world and, mostly, failing at doing so. They are in love, but their immortality has some impact on their love...

Summary: We start with a rather standard nobleman, Efraim, who (together with a friend named Delenia) fights against a bad ruler. They meet an Elf, Lethalia, and Efraim falls in love. After a few additional adventures Efraim and Lethalia get trapped, imprisoned, and forgotten. To survive, they walk down the path of necromancy, but their goodness and mutual love prevents them to truly become villains. Collecting piles of magical items, and learning all the aspects of magic, they continue together until they rule Wesnoth and decide to stop ruling Wesnoth... After a few additional adventures, they (almost) die a second time, saving the world from the doom of the third sun. When they rise again, it takes some time and efforts to have them together again, mainly because even good people have a dark side. This new world being plagued by demons, they start to save the world, and end-up by only saving the inhabitants of the world, and dooming themselves in the process.

Surroundings: 5

Design: 7 (the graphical design is good, but not outstanding; however, the WML tricks are outstanding)

Story: 9 (the story is a nice way to revisit of most of what happened in the world of Wesnoth; there are still a few inconsistencies)

Fun: 10

Replay value: 2 & 10 (the campaign is so long that it cannot be replayed a lot; however, the millions of advancement possibilities can make each replay very unique)

Player note: 10

Only Death Behind

Review by Adamant14

Tags: undead, skirmish, short, nice maps, good story, few units

Description: (Only Death Behind, version 1.0.0) Three ghosts have made their escape from the lands of death back into the world of the living. Without material bodies, and without memories, indeed they can not even remember their own names.

You play those three ghosts, your mission is to give them back human bodies and - their memories.

Summary: I enjoined this campaign, because I love short campaigns with small maps and just a few units to handle. This campaign has also a brilliant story, it has beautiful maps, great ideas, and some unforeseen story changes. It is playable in just a few hours, and it is fun to play.

I definitely recommend this campaign.

Surroundings: 9

Design: 9

Story: 8

Fun: 9

Replay value: 9

Player note: 9


Panther Lord

Review by taptap (1.0.1)

Panther Lord is one of my favourite campaigns and on higher difficulties one of the most challenging. Unlike many campaigns with an anticlimactic end (Northern Rebirth, Heir to the Throne etc.) it is unrelenting from start until the end (I suffered more than 140 casualties during its 14 scenarios). Velensk is a good player and it shows.

This is the showcase campaign for the Era of Four Moons, while Salt Wars is a short and much easier introduction. The Era itself is well balanced, with many novel ideas and no elves. Admittedly, at first I shuddered at the idea of playing "half-naked wild with dark-coloured sprites" - I was quite troubled that it might be a collection of racist stereotypes, but playing with it, it certainly didn't feel so. There aren't only tribal Darklanders and Highlanders, but Sea States and Imperialists as well. Each of them plays very differently, none of them is depicted as timeless or "always chaotic evil", even the Imperialists, the enemies in the campaign, get the opportunity to declare themselves. It certainly benefits from the background world (IALFA developed by the maintainer of the campaign) even if you only see a glimpse of it.

The hero of the campaign is a mercenary outcast of his own Darklander civilization. When learning about plans to raze and colonize the jungles of his people by the imperialists he starts the quest to rescue his people. His friend the Panther spirit, to whom the campaign owes its name, always at his side, he is rallying troops and mercenaries around him, but soon he has to realize that change is inevitable. Changing their ways they may have hope to withstand or else they will be changed by force and subjugation. But how to convince his own people when he is an upstart at best, a traitor and spirit-friend at worst?

While the campaign is centered around Darklanders, the player has the choice of hiring (and recalling) a limited amount of highly useful mercenaries of the other factions of the Era. The campaign features small scale to a few large scale battles and puts different territory to good use encouraging the use of mercenaries and different unit types. I omit the numbers, but this campaign is certainly recommended.

Return to Noelren

Review by Adamant14

Tags: skirmish, RPG, unusual style, brilliant ideas, fun, nice maps, good story, adventure

Description: (Return to Noelren, version 0.7.7) The author shows here what can be done with WML (and LUA). He shows brilliant new ideas, fantastic stuff I've never seen before in Wesnoth campaigns. The player can build bridges and boats to cross waters. There's a map with ebb and flow. Magic castles which rise suddenly from empty ground. A magic wand that transforms a strong enemy into a week creature. And many more fantastic surprises. It induces a right-click help menu that can be called every time the player stuck somewhere.


Summary: This is not a usual "Kill all enemies" campaign, and if you are searching for such a campaign or for epic battles, then you better choose a different campaign. I would recommend this campaign rather to the player who wants to play a different campaign, with different ideas, and different objectives. The difficulty is easy, many scenarios here are not terminated by a turn limit, but I wouldn't call this a campaign for beginners. The objectives are clear, (and if not then you have the help menu). The campaign is fun to play, not a hard "battle after battle", it's rather like a journey.

It is the unusual style, and the surprising ideas that makes this campaign so worth to play.

Surroundings: 9

Design: 9

Story: 8

Fun: 9

Replay value: 9

Player note: 9


Swamplings

Review by Dunno

Description: Swamplings is the name of goblin tribe living in swamps, banished by orcs. In an unfortunate turn of events, those goblins get tangled up in human affairs and must fight for their very survival. The player also learns how goblins started riding wolves.

Summary: It's a decent, finished and stable campaign with interesting plot. There are many humorous scenes and some serious ones, there are standard battle scenarios and various original missions. There are also some high quality custom sprites, and maps are very good as well. It won't make your jaw drop, however, it's just a modest, enjoyable campaign.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 8

Story: 8

Fun: 9

Review by Pyrophorus

Tags: goblins,skirmish,story

Description: see previous review.

Summary: This campaign is very original and imaginative. First of all, it features not chivalrous heroes like most Wesnoth campaigns, but humble and rather stubborn people instead. More of it, the story is much more picaresque than epic, written in a delicious humorous tone, very unusual in Wesnoth world. IMO, it's one of the few really good writing one can find here. It's impossible to abstract this complex story, where everything goes in an unexpected way, to list every strange encounter, funny event and so on. If you like good writing, humor, as well as hardcore fighting, you'll really love this campaign. If not, just as Dunno says, it's honest, no more.

Surroundings: 7

Design: 8

Story: 10

Fun: 10

Replay value: 7

Review by pauline

Version: Swamplings v1.1.7n – Wesnoth v1.10.06 – Single Player – Level Medium

Tags: A turbulent time of wonderful BfW-inventions: wolfriding, humor and elaborate speech

Review: see previous reviews: A modest, enjoyable campaign ? Honest, no more ?

Swamplings = A clever plot full of twists, the thrill of exciting adventures, a mix of amazingly creative events, difficult battles that rely on real good strategy, many new characters, impressing maps with great attention to detail, entertaining ideas of a "Goblin of Chaos" ...

I truly enjoyed this unpredictable story that remains interesting and fun through the whole campaign, full of original surprises that left me speechless. I am very fond of its engaging heroes, always on the verge of an unwanted battle, cracking unique jokes while smartly dealing with the big folks by providing an advancement of quite epic importance to BfW. Straight to the point:

What else does it need for a campaign to be more gratifying ?

OK, it isn't suited for players who prefer fierce wiping the floor-fights and instant victory without the "tedious" task of planing non-conventional tactics. And definitely not for those who consider the unexpected rather a so called "tomato surprise" than a dynamic situation. I can´t see how one can have more fun if all becomes as expected and everything goes according known circumstances.

I recommend "Swamplings" to anyone interested in appealing, unusual aspects among the great variety of BfW-campaigns.

Surroundings: 9 - e.g.: I find the cutscenes and board images very nice.

Design: 9 - The quality of each scenario increases with new, masterfully done units and object designs.

Story: 10 - Imo, justly considered one of the campaign's greatest strengths.

Fun: 10 - due to hilarious dialogs and a great number of very comic events

Replay value: 9 - Mastering the sheer feasibility of the first "only Goblin-"-battles and the possibility of a different approach to most scenarios challenged me already to play through it several times.

Player note: 8 - My only real complaint: I'd love to see a couple more scenarios !

Link to review I´ld like to point out: I´m not a very experienced player, neither do I think this campaign flawless.

While playing I posted personal thoughts in the feedback thread, hoping my amateurish perspective might help to even improve the already high quality (and satisfy some selfish wishes, too). http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=29784&start=285#p557218

The Swamp Witch's Curse

Talentless Mage

Review by Dunno

Description: A humorous story about a mage who managed to learn only one spell in his life and who takes command of N.O.O.B.S. (Noticeably - Optimal - Outstanding - Brilliant - Soldiers) squad. N.O.O.B.S. advance through amla with basic options like melee attack, melee damage etc.

Summary: this here is Wesnoth parody at its best. The campaign mocks the common cliches in Wesnoth campaigns and overused events, like loyal units coming out of villages, random magical items scattered around the map and low quality frankensprites. Very absurd and pythonesque at times, you will keep smiling and laughing through the whole story.

Surroundings: 6

Design: 8

Story: 9

Fun: 10


The Founding of Borstep

Review by Adamant14

Tags: Orcs, expert level, skirmish, unusual style, brilliant ideas, fun, story

Description: (The Founding of Borstep, version 1.1.1c) This is one of the few campaigns available were the author has chosen an orc as protagonist. The enemies are other orcs, humans and mostly elves. In the first scenario you have to defeat your rivals to become leader of your tribe. In the following scenarios you fight your way through saurians, elves, humans, orcs, more elves, trolls, different monsters to fight the final Battle of Borstep against drakes.


Summary: First, this campaigns difficulty is HARD and I would only recommend it for very good player, it is very difficult to play even on difficulty EASY. You play on mostly nice maps, and there are some scenarios where you have to reach unusual goals. The author shows some brilliant, unusual ideas.

Surroundings: 8

Design: 8

Story: 7

Fun: 8

Replay value: 7

Player note: 8


The Library of Kratemaqht

Review by Wesbane

The campaign is about genesis, course and outcome of civil war in empire of Anaktoron. Surroundings: The way campaign looks. How it feels and uses game engine is simply amazing and unseen before. Maps are nicely done although many parts of a map serve for story (decorative) purpose only what is not always good. You will travel through wealthy and populous kingdom which is torn apart by war. To create this impression in most of maps there is a lot of villages and they are placed in large groups, but map look doesn't suffer from it. More over you can feel destruction in game world as never before. Campaign features custom burning houses which are not only mere visual effect but have impact on battle course. It is one of most cinematic campaigns if not the most. Cutscenes are packed with action and take place in several locations. Also game transition fluently into cutscene and cutscene into game. What makes it even more interesting since you will never know is it just a cutscene? In terms of visual effects it also features the best epilogue ever. As it was not enough you can experience a true wesnoth dragon. It is so unusual that it need separate mention. Dragon is fully animated and have some nice custom sounds. Some of it animations are purely character play. Like roar and feasting. And last, but not least it preserves original wesnoth dragon concepts. It attacks with fangs and tail. Although it primary weapon is ranged magical fire breath which works as AoE attack when used offensively. There is one little bug with its animation, but it can't be noticed during playing it anyway. In short this campaign surely establish new standards for wesnoth in department of visuals. Design: Scenarios design is good. All levels are playable. Objectives are clearly formed, so it is known most of the time what to do. There are several minor bugs and one bigger that affects game to some degree. However they do not make impossible to play and enjoy campaign. Campaign is using default units although sometimes with unusual traits and abilities. Custom units are also present, but only as much as they are needed. Which is a great thing since it proves designer skill at using available resources. Beside that I really can't stand campaigns introducing many user made units. I liked much idea of premagic era and weakened magic users. Unfortunately any extra mages aren't useful since you have already better characters of this class. In fact after my recall list was cleaned up after Jevyans Return I never bothered to recruit them again. Gold carryover system is custom which is not a good choice for classic style adventure. Twenty percent instead of forty. Most probably this is caused by slightly overpopulated maps. Campaign is very easy, except two scenarios: Refugees and Loyalty's Cruel Reward. There is no moderately difficult scenarios. The huge difference between average level difficulty and hardest level is just to big. Most difficult scenarios are Refugees and Loyaltys Cruel Reward. Story: Amount of delivered information is enough. Writing style is good. Beginning is terrific. Switching between protagonists is cool, and quite innovative idea. Overall concept is nicely executed and creator skillfully merged a lot of facts from mainline into own story. To fully appreciate this playing The Rise of Wesnoth is recommended. However ending I found disappointing. It seemed rushed and unconvincing. Also few details don't match to reality of Irdya. Fun: Campaign is definitely entertaining. Well done battles. Good dialog. And full of fresh ideas. You can play as good and bad in a single campaign! Although I have nothing against being awesome most of the time enemies fell way to easily to my taste. Replay value: Campaign is nicely done and straight forward. Although there is nothing that would reject you from playing it again, there is nothing that would encourage you to do that either. No hidden secrets, no tactical challenges, no extra levels. No satisfying ending.

Summary: Overall it is well made, really great, easy campaign suitable for beginners with story explaining some events from The Rise of Wesnoth. Bringing new standards in design, especially visual ones. It story is shown from several angles what is unique feature, but unfortunately potential of this solution wasn't used at all. If you are looking for deep plot, and tactical challenge you won't find it here.

Surroundings: 10

Design: 6

Story: 7

Fun: 7

Replay value: 5

Campaign score: 7

Player note: 8

Link to review: [1]


To Lands Unknown

Review by Dunno

Description: This campaign tells about Mehir, a Summoner, who's working on a great quest of making the biggest magical circle ever made. If he and other summoners succeed, activating the circle will bring them to the Abyss, the lands unknown.

Summary: The main idea behind this campaign and the Era of Magic (used by To Lands Unknown) is to take Wesnoth graphics to an entirely new level. Maps are no longer simple, repetitive hexes, instead many maps are absolutely mindblowing landscapes. In addition, all units are well made and animated. The story and gameplay, however, could have been done better. The campaign is quite long, and at times battles get boring.

Surroundings: 10

Design: 7

Story: 5

Fun: 6

Feedback Thread

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This page was last modified on 11 August 2015, at 10:41.