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Knalgan Alliance


The Loyalists are a faction of humans who are loyal to the throne of Wesnoth. The faction as a whole has the lawful alignment, which means they are stronger during the day and weaker during the night. Having more available unit types to recruit (8) than any other faction, the Loyalists are arguably considered to be the most versatile faction in the game.

The Loyalists are a mostly melee-oriented faction with costs ranging from 14 to 23 gold. As humans, most of the Loyalists’ units share a +20% resistance to the arcane damage type. In general, the Loyalists’ units have relatively high hitpoints and deal decent damage. Even the scout units have higher hitpoints and deal more damage compared to most of the scouts of the other factions. However, with a few notable exceptions, most of the Loyalists’ units have average damage resistances and average to lower defenses compared to most other factions.

Perhaps the greatest downside of the Loyalists’ unit roster is a general lack of mobility. Compared to other factions, Loyalist units are slowed by most rough terrain (half of its unit roster cannot even cross mountains!), and this may allow the enemy to outmaneuver even the Loyalists’ scouts.

Here is a quick breakdown of the recruitable units:

  • Bowman — 14 gold. Cheap and reliable, the Bowman can deal both melee and ranged damage, making it a useful defensive unit. However, it is outclassed by the Mage when dealing ranged damage and has lower-than-average hitpoints. Ultimately, this gives the unit a rather lackluster role when playing the faction as a whole. Its leveled up varieties (Longbowman, Master Bowman) do not strive to innovate, but rather reinforce its jack-of-all-trades personality.
  • Cavalryman — 17 gold. With 8 movement points and 34 hitpoints, the Cavalryman is easily one of the most powerful units at the Loyalists’ disposal. The ability to deal respectable blade damage almost anywhere on the map is a huge advantage (a strong Cavalryman deals an incredible 9-3 during the day!), with good additional resistances against blade and impact to boot. However, this unit has lower than average defenses and a limiting movetype. It also has a -20% resistance against pierce, making it vulnerable to units with spears and bows. Its leveled up varieties (Dragoon, Cavalier) gain movement points and a ranged attack.
  • Fencer — 16 gold. Perhaps the most special of the Loyalists’ units, the Fencer has very low physical resistances and low hitpoints, but it makes up for these weaknesses with generally high defenses (for example 70% on key terrains like villages, forests, hills, mountains etc.) and the skirmisher trait, which allows units to be unaffected by enemy Zones of Control. It has four weapon strikes, and synergizing with skirmisher the unit excels at finishing off weak units and sneaking around enemy formations. Its leveled up varieties (Duelist, Master at Arms) gain a ranged attack and even more weapon strikes.
  • Heavy Infantryman — 19 gold. Along with the Horseman, the Heavy Infantryman has the highest hitpoints of any level one Loyalist unit. With excellent physical resistances and a very strong melee attack, the Heavy Infantryman is easily one of the best defensive units the Loyalists can field. However, a very limiting movetype, low defenses, weak magical resistances and only 4 movement points makes maneuvering this expensive unit difficult. Its leveled up varieties (Shock Trooper, Iron Mauler) feature increased damage and hitpoints.
  • Horseman — 23 gold. The most expensive Loyalist unit, the Horseman is a specialty unit. It has good physical resistances, 8 movement points and a devastating melee attack. The Horseman utilizes the charge weapon special in its attack, dealing double damage but also receiving double damage. This incredible capacity allows the Horseman to easily break enemy lines, but usually at the cost of receiving large amounts of damage. One of its leveled up branches (Knight, Grand Knight/Paladin) is a versatile scout fighter with a sword and charge attack, while the other branch (Lancer) hones its charge attack, turning the unit into a terrifyingly powerful, albeit fragile unit.
  • Mage — 20 gold. The Mage and the Bowman are the only two ranged units the Loyalists can field. While the Mage has a powerful magical ranged attack, which means its attacks always hit the enemy units 70% of the time, it is severely lacking in hitpoints. Still, its weapon type (fire) is immensely useful in most cases, so its usefulness often outweigh its fragility and hefty price tag. It can level in a lawful healer (White Mage, Mage of Light) or a neutral spellcaster (Red Mage, Silver Mage/Arch Mage, Great Mage), both extremely powerful.
  • Merman Fighter — 14 gold. A respectable fighter, the Merman Fighter fights primarily in the waters, giving the Loyalists some much needed mobility in that terrain. Although nothing particularly special, the Merman Fighter is sometimes needed where control of the waters is important. Its leveled up varieties (Merman Warrior, Merman Triton/Merman Hoplite) just reinforce the unit.
  • Spearman — 14 gold. Cheap, dependable and powerful, the Spearman is the backbone of the Loyalists’ units. With the firststrike weapon special allowing it to strike first even while retaliating, it is a frighteningly effective defender, as any attacking unit is almost guaranteed to take damage. Its leveled up varieties include firststrike units (Pikeman, Halberdier), swift men-at-arms (Swordsman, Royal Guard), or versatile spear units with both melee and ranged attacks (Javelineer).

In addition, there is one additional leader unobtainable from leveling the recruitable Loyalist units:

  • Lieutenant — A possible leader normally unobtainable from the recruitable units of the Default Loyalist faction. Exchanging pure staying power for speed and leadership, the Lieutenant can be a powerful influence for the Loyalists’ units on the battlefield, but it is also relatively fragile.

In general, when playing as Loyalists, one should strive to maximize the possibilities of each unit. The Cavalryman, the Heavy Infantryman, and especially the Spearman are optimal defenders, while the Horseman and Mage are excellent offensive units. The Cavalryman doubles as the primary scout unit for the faction, although sometimes the Fencer and Horseman can substitute effectively. During the day, an effective tactic is aggressively pushing forward with Horsemen and Mages while covering up important holes with Cavalrymen and Spearmen. Fencers can sneak around fortifications and wreak havoc behind enemy lines or go on a village-stealing adventure. During the night, Heavy Infantrymen and Spearmen form excellent defensive lines as the more fragile units retreat to prepare for the next morning.

When facing Loyalists as another faction, it is important to take advantage of the Loyalists’ units general lack of flexible mobility. For example, Elvish Scouts and Drake Gliders will easily outrun and outfly the Loyalists’ cavalry units, but beware as both Cavalrymen and Horsemen will make short work of these units. As the Loyalist units will have difficulty spreading attacking power throughout the battle front, often making a coordinated offensive, preferably at night, will cause the Loyalists’ line to falter. The expensive nature of the Loyalists’ recruitment list is also easy to exploit: killing Heavy Infantrymen, Horsemen and Mages first will cause the Loyalists’ economy to fail. More detailed strategies and tactics will be outlined in the specific matchups.

When facing an unknown faction as Loyalists, it is good to recruit a mixture of units, depending on the map. For example: Cavalryman, 2 Spearmen, Fencer, maybe a Bowman. Perhaps another Cavalryman or Horseman if the map is large, or a Merman Fighter if the map contains much water. The scout units should quickly run in all directions, and when the nature of the enemy faction is discovered, then more effective counter-units can be recruited. Because the Loyalists are lawful, first contact with the enemy units will most likely occur at night. Thus, it would be wise to save recruiting offensive units like the Mage until then, to prepare for the coming daytime offensive. Good luck, Officer of Wesnoth!

Loyalists vs. Drakes

Drakes and Saurians, both with powerful spear units against the trained spears of the Wesnothian Loyalists. They say to fight fire with fire: literally, in this case. The lawful Drakes and chaotic Saurians give the Drakes faction a very flexible flow between Times of Day. In this matchup however, the Saurians will present the greatest challenge to the Loyalists’ units.

Drakes have low resistances against cold, pierce and arcane damage and high resistances against blade, fire and impact damage, while Saurians have high resistances to pierce and arcane and low resistances against blade, cold, fire and impact. This flexible unit composition can make recruiting against them difficult, but the Loyalists have a particularly distinct advantage: while the cheap Bowman and Spearman are very effective in this matchup, Drakes tend to be rather expensive. Therefore, trading one unit for another is ultimately better for Loyalists. A good Drakes player will recruit more Saurians when fighting against Loyalists in an attempt to neutralize this. All of these aspects together give an extremely fluid and interesting flow to this matchup.

  • Bowman — 14 gold. This is a solid unit, both defensively and offensively. Solid pierce ranged damage will discourage the powerful fire ranged attacks from the Drakes, and even discourage Saurian Augurs to attack during the day. However, the Bowman has lower-than-average hitpoints, so be wary of mobbing tactics from Drake Clashers, Drake Fighters and especially Saurian Skirmishers.
  • Cavalryman — 17 gold. This is still a decent scout in this matchup, as its blade melee attack can rip apart Saurians during the day, but ultimately it is less useful due to the presence of many piercing attacks from the enemy units. Depending on the composition of the enemy units, the Cavalryman may or may not be terribly useful.
  • Fencer — 16 gold. Suffering from low physical resistances, Fencers are only marginally useful. Their high defenses are rendered useless by the marksman ranged attack from the Drake Glider and the magical ranged attack from the Saurian Augur. Other units, like the Drake Burner and Saurian Skirmisher, have four weapon strikes, increasing the chance of hitting a Fencer that is even on 70% defense.
  • Heavy Infantryman — 19 gold. Although this unit is tempting with its high hitpoints and impact attack, ultimately this unit is not worth its price tag. Furthermore, its low resistances to fire and cold make this unit one of the weakest defenders in this matchup. However, if the enemy has over-recruited Saurian Skirmishers, its use is marginally increased.
  • Horseman — 23 gold. This is a deadly scout, taking into account the Drakes’ general low resistance to pierce and low defenses. Its charge attack, which doubles attack damage as well as retaliation damage, will easily tear most Drake units (with the notable exception of the Drake Clasher) apart. However, this unit is vulnerable to the Drake Clasher and Saurian Skirmisher, and there will be plenty of these units on the battlefield. Do not over-recruit these units, and if recruited, protect them since they are very expensive.
  • Mage — 20 gold. Because of the Drakes’ universal high resistance to fire, the Mage is not very useful in this matchup. However, because a Drakes player will tend to recruit more Saurians when playing against Loyalists, the Mage can be useful in dislodging hard-to-hit Saurians on defensive terrain. Unfortunately, the Mage’s low hitpoints and high cost ultimately reduce its effectiveness.
  • Merman Fighter — 14 gold. The Merman Fighter’s pierce attack is useful in this matchup in general, but one should only recruit this unit if there is much water on the map. If so, the Merman Fighter will dominate the seas, as the Drakes cannot match its 60% defense on watery terrains.
  • Spearman — 14 gold. The Spearman will be the backbone of your unit composition. Its firststrike pierce melee attack, which allows it to strike first even while retaliating, makes this unit an excellent defensive unit. Even though Saurians have a +20% resistance against pierce, a strong Spearman during day will still deal 8-3 damage, which is no joke. When leveled up, its Swordsman branch is probably the most effective unit at killing Saurians, while both the Pikeman branch and Javelineer are terribly effective against Drakes.

Additionally, here are some of the Drakes’ most effective units against the Loyalists. For more detailed information, please read the Drakes vs. Loyalists article.

  • Drake Clasher — 19 gold. This is the greatest obstacle to a Loyalists’ daytime offensive. In addition to having firststrike on its pierce melee attack, it also has a flexible blade melee attack. The Drake Clasher also boasts increased physical resistances, compared to the other Drakes. Bowmen should target this unit first, before mopping up with Spearmen.
  • Saurian Augur — 16 gold. Relatively cheap, quick and hosting a respectable magical ranged attack, this small wizards can literally ruin a Loyalists’ line at night. These units should be targeted first during the night, in order to avoid potentially devastating attacks.
  • Saurian Skirmisher — 15 gold. As its name bears, the Saurian Skirmisher has the skirmisher trait, which allows it to sneak through the Loyalists’ formations and kill that weakened Mage. When groups of Saurian Skirmishers attack at night, it is very difficult to protect wounded units.

A good first round of recruiting would be: Horseman, 2 Spearmen, Bowman, and perhaps a Cavalryman if the map is large, and a Merman Fighter if the map contains much water. Ultimately, recruiting depends largely on the Drakes’ recruiting style as well. If the Drakes player goes heavy on Drakes, one should recruit more Spearmen and Bowmen. If the Drakes player goes heavy on Saurians, one should recruit more Cavalrymen, Mages and Spearmen. If the recruiting is balanced, however, one should recruit accordingly and balance anti-Drake and anti-Saurian units.

Ultimately, the Drakes’ units have more mobility than the Loyalists, with a better movetype and flying units. Therefore, the Loyalists should not leave hanging units (especially not wounded ones) and always have a consolidated position. If the Loyalists can survive a Saurian nighttime assault, there is a good chance they can advance forward during the following day. Good luck, Officer of Wesnoth!

Loyalists vs. Knalgan Alliance

Historically two of the greatest human-based civilizations on the Great Continent, the forces of the Wesnothian Loyalists and Knalgan Alliance are surprisingly contrasting. The Knalgan Alliance relies on slow but sturdy neutral Dwarves supported by chaotic Outlaws, as opposed to the Loyalists’ steady lawful units. Since there are many ways of playing Knalgan Alliance in this matchup, the playstyle of the Knalgan Alliance player will largely affect the Loyalists’ unit composition.

Dwarves boast high hitpoints, high physical resistances and high defenses on terrains like Mountains, Hills and Caves in exchange for fewer movement points and low defenses on most other terrains, while outlaws happen to occupy the inverse. In other words, Outlaws tend to have more movements points and high defenses on most terrains in exchange for lower hitpoints and average to low physical resistances. This presents the Knalgan Alliance with more variation in playstyle, which can be difficult to counter if done properly. However, this playstyle can also fall short to the well-coordinated Loyalist units.

  • Bowman — 14 gold. The Bowman can fare decently in dealing ranged damage to dwarves without retaliation, but ultimately its role is rather limited in this matchup. Its lower-than-average hitpoints reduce its defensive abilities. Thus, the Bowman should primarily whittle down enemy units before another unit comes and cleans up.
  • Cavalryman — 17 gold. This is a very good scout unit in his matchup. Its excellent blade melee attack will deal with Outlaws very nicely, and its excellent blade and impact resistances will fare very well defending against units like Dwarvish Fighters, Dwarvish Ulfserkers, Footpads and Gryphon Riders. However, if the Knalgan Alliance fields more Dwarvish Guardsmen and Dwarvish Thunderers, its usefulness is decreased.
  • Fencer — 16 gold. Since the Knalgan Alliance’s units do not have access to weapon specials like magical and marksman, which increase a weapon’s chance to hit, the Fencer’s universally high defenses will prove difficult for the Knalgan Alliance’s units to tackle. Its skirmisher abilities, which allows it to evade enemy Zones of Control, enables it to dispatch of wounded units behind lines. The Fencer should however be wary of Dwarvish Ulfserkers, as can they be easily killed that way (unless the Dwarvish Ulfserker in question is wounded).
  • Heavy Infantryman — 19 gold. The Heavy Infantryman is an incredibly important defensive unit in this matchup. The Knalgan Alliance’s units will have trouble taking it down, especially during the day. Its powerful impact melee attack will give the Dwarves some trouble and outright kill wounded Outlaws, given a lucky strike. Be careful not to over-recruit this unit however, as it is rather expensive.
  • Horseman — 23 gold. The Horseman is very useful for charging wounded Dwarves on bad terrain and Outlaws in general, but recruitment of this unit should be taken with some caution. Its high cost can easily be felt if Dwarvish Guardsmen, Dwarvish Thunderers and Poachers get the chance to pierce this unit apart.
  • Mage — 20 gold. Thanks to its ranged magical attack, which guarantees a 70% chance to hit, the Mage is extremely useful in this matchup for dislodging enemy units on highly defensive terrain. However, its low hitpoints and pitiful melee attack are susceptible to Dwarvish Ulfserkers, which can dispatch of it without worry.
  • Merman FighterMerman Fighter — 14 gold. If control of the water hexes is important, then the Merman Fighter is worth recruiting. However, it is vulnerable to Gryphon Riders, which can make short work of it.
  • Spearman — 14 gold. This basic and cheap unit is imperative, in order to maintain defensive lines and hold villages. However, their offensive capabilities are slightly hindered by the Dwarves’ excellent physical resistances, although it excels exceedingly well against Outlaws.

Additionally, here are some of the Knalgan Alliance’s most effective units against the Loyalists. For more detailed information, please read the Knalgan Alliance vs. Loyalists article.

This section depends largely on the Knalgan Alliance player’s style, but one can expect two primary unit composition types:

Defensive Dwarves with Outlaw Support: This means the Knalgan Alliance will try to pronounce the excellent defensive abilities of the Dwarves while filling in the holes with Outlaws. In this case, the usefulness of the Bowman, Fencer and Heavy Infantryman increase.

  • Dwarvish Guardsman — 19 gold. The Dwarvish Guardsman is the closest thing to a wall. Its steadfast ability, which increased physical resistances while defending, will trouble the Loyalists’ units. A Mage can break the balance, however.
  • Dwarvish Fighter — 16 gold. This unit is the staple of the Knalgan Alliance’s units. High physical resistances and respectable melee attacks make this unit a juggernaut that is difficult to dislodge.
  • Dwarvish Ulfserker — 19 gold. The Dwarvish Ulfserker’s unusual berserker melee attack, which repeats the combat period until one unit lies dead or 30 rounds of fighting have occurred, renders the Bowman, Fencer, Mage, and wounded units very vulnerable. Loyalists should counter with good melee units, like the Heavy Infantryman or the Spearman.
  • Gryphon Rider — 24 gold. The Gryphon Rider is an excellent shock trooper: it can burst out of the fog and quickly dispatch a wounded unit behind lines. However, this can be its own downfall: surrounding and killing a Gryphon Rider will deprive the Knalgan Alliance of the most expensive level 1 unit in the Default era.

Aggressive Chaotic Outlaws: This means the Knalgan Alliance will utilize the chaotic nature of the Outlaws and assault the Loyalists at night. In this case, the usefulness of the Cavalryman, Mage and Spearman increase.

  • Footpad — 14 gold. Perhaps notorious for its ability to harass units and dodge enemy retaliation, the cheap Footpad can easily hold the Loyalists’ forces in check, thanks to its universally high defenses, while the rest of the enemy units can systematically eliminate the present forces. However, combined pressure, especially from a Cavalryman or Mage, will ultimately strike it down.
  • Thief — 13 gold. A strong Thief at night can deal 12-3 blade melee damage, thanks to its backstab weapon special, which allows it to deal double damage while on the opposite side of a friendly unit facing the enemy unit. This devastating power can easily tear the Loyalists’ line apart at night. However, it is also vulnerable to Cavalrymen and Mages, which will make short work of it if given the chance.
  • Dwarvish Guardsman — 19 gold. The Dwarvish Guardsman is the closest thing to a wall. Its steadfast ability, which increased physical resistances while defending, will trouble the Loyalists’ units. A Mage can break the balance, however.
  • Dwarvish Ulfserker — 19 gold. The Dwarvish Ulfserker’s unusual berserker melee attack, which repeats the combat period until one unit lies dead or 30 rounds of fighting have occurred, renders the Bowman, Fencer, Mage, and wounded units very vulnerable. Loyalists should counter with good melee units, like the Heavy Infantryman or the Spearman.

A good first round of recruiting would be: Cavalryman, Horseman, Spearman, Bowman, Heavy Infantryman, and maybe Merman Fighter if there is much water. After deciphering the Knalgan Alliance’s unit composition, recruit accordingly.

Avoid spreading out and have a wide front—Dwarvish Fighters, Dwarvish Ulfserkers and Thieves will pierce through the Loyalists’ line easily while Dwarvish Guardsmen protect their rear. A concentrated push at a weak spot would be most effective against defensive Dwarves, while a united defensive front would be most effective against attacking Outlaws. As always, wait until dawn to begin pushing forward, in order to maximize the Loyalists' lawful damage output. Good luck, Officer of Wesnoth!

Loyalists vs. Loyalists

Loyalists vs. Northerners

Loyalists vs. Rebels

Loyalists vs. Undead




This page was last edited on 12 January 2014, at 01:24.