The Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme.
Build up a great army, gradually turning raw recruits into hardened veterans. In later games, recall your toughest warriors and form a deadly host against whom none can stand! Choose units from a large pool of specialists, and hand-pick a force with the right strengths to fight well on different terrains against all manner of opposition.
Fight to regain the throne of Wesnoth, of which you are the legitimate heir, or use your dread power over the Undead to dominate the land of mortals, or lead your glorious Orcish tribe to victory against the humans who dared despoil your lands … Wesnoth has many different sagas waiting to be played out. You can create your own custom units, and write your own scenarios – or even full-blown campaigns. You can also challenge your friends – or strangers – and fight in epic multi-player fantasy battles.
can travel more easily and fight better when they are in familiar terrain. In the hills, mountains and underground caves orcs and dwarves are most at home. In the forests the elves reign supreme while in the oceans and rivers mermen and nagas control the waves.
Finding Your Way Around Battle For Wesnoth
When Wesnoth first starts it displays an initial background and a column of buttons called the Main Menu. The buttons only work with a mouse. For the impatient, we recommend you: click the 'Language' button to set your language; then click the 'Tutorial' button to run the tutorial; and then play the campaign, 'The Two Brothers' by clicking the 'Campaign' button and selecting it from the list provided.
The Main Menu buttons are:
- The tutorial is a real, but basic, game which teaches you some of the basic controls needed to play the game. Winning or losing is not important here, but learning what to do is. Click the Tutorial button to play. In the Tutorial you are in the role of the young prince Konrad, learning from the Elder Mage Delfador - pay attention or he might turn you into a newt.
- Wesnoth was primarily designed to play campaigns. Campaigns are a series of connected scenarios. Click this button to start a new campaign. You will be presented with a list of campaigns available on your computer (more can be downloaded if you wish). Select your campaign and click OK to start or Cancel to quit.
- Each campaign has a difficulty level: easy, medium (normal), and hard. We recommend medium as this level is challenging, but not difficult. You may not change the difficulty during the campaign. Once you have selected the difficulty, you will start with the first scenario of the campaign. You can find walkthroughs or descriptions of the available campaigns at:
- Click this button to play single scenarios against one or more opponents. You can play the games over the internet or at your computer, against computer or human opponents. When you select this button a dialogue will appear and allow you to choose how you want to play the scenario. To learn more, see Multiplayer.
- Click this button to load a previously saved game. You will be shown a dialogue listing saved games. Select the game and click Ok to load and continue, or Cancel to return to the Main Menu.
- If you select a replay game, you can check the Replay check box. The loaded game will make all the moves from the beginning while you watch.
- Click this button, select your language, and click OK to use it, or Cancel to continue with the current language. The first time Wesnoth starts, it defaults to English, but once you change it, it will start in that language.
- Click here to change default settings. These are explained in more detail in the Manual.
- Click this button for a list of major Wesnoth contributors. You may find most of them at irc.freenode.org:6667 on #wesnoth. Or visit http://www.wesnoth.org for news, forums, and Wiki updates. The project is hosted on https://gna.org/projects/wesnoth, where you can download the latest production or developer release, review and report problems (bugs).
- Click this button to close Wesnoth.
This getting started guide provides a basic introduction to Battle for Wesnoth. You can find more details about playing the game in the Manual.
A single scenario takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete. This is the fastest way to play, but your units are not saved and you cannot use campaign units. You can play scenarios against the computer or against other players either over the internet or at your computer. Scenarios are accessed through the 'Multiplayer' button on the main menu.
Multiplayer games are played against other players via the Internet (you can also run them on your LAN first unit. Press 'ctrl-r' (or right click on an empty castle hex and select 'recruit') and you will be able to recruit a unit from a list of all the units available to you. Each recruit is placed on an empty castle square. Once you have filled the castle, you cannot recruit any more until units move off. Your opponent's commander is similarly placed on its castle keep and will begin by recruiting its troops -- so don't dilly-dally looking at the scenery, there's a battle to be won.
At the end of each successful scenario, all your remaining troops are automatically saved. At the start of the next scenario you may recall them in a similar way to recruiting. Recalled troops are often more experienced than recruits and usually a better choice.
All game types use the same soldiers, called units. Each unit is identified by Race, Level, and Class. Each unit has strengths and weaknesses, based on their Resistance, current Terrain, and Level. Full details are in the UnitTables and MoveTypeTables.
Life and Death - Experience
As your troops gain battle experience, they will learn more skills and become stronger. They will also die in battle, so you'll need to recruit and recall more when that happens. But choose wisely, for each has strengths and weaknesses a cunning opponent will quickly exploit.
Getting the Most Fun Out of the Game
Remember, the idea of a game is to have fun! Here are some recommendations from the development team on how to get the most fun out of the game:
- Consider playing the campaign on 'Medium' difficulty level, especially if you have prior experience with strategy games. We feel you'll find it much more rewarding.
- Don't sweat it too much when you lose some units. The campaign was designed to accomodate the player losing some units along the way.
- Don't abuse saved games. Long ago, Wesnoth only allowed saving the game at the end of a scenario. Mid-scenario saving was added as a convenience to use if you had to continue the game another day, or to protect against crashes. We do not recommend loading mid-scenario saved games over and over because your White Mage keeps getting killed. Learn to protect your White Mage instead, and balance risks! That is part of the strategy.
- If you must load a saved game, we recommend going back to the start of the scenario, so that you choose a new strategy that works, rather than simply finding random numbers that favor you.
- But remember, the aim is to have fun! You may have different tastes than the developers, so do what you enjoy most! If you enjoy loading the saved game every time you make a mistake, looking for the 'perfect' game where you never lose a unit, by all means, go right ahead!
At the start of a scenario
- First, read the scenario objectives. Sometimes you do not have to kill enemy leaders instead it is enough that you survive number of turns, or pick up a particular object
- Look at the map: the terrain, the position of your leader and the other leader.
- Then, begin to recruit units. Cheap units are useful to soak up the first wave of an enemy's attack; advanced units can then be brought in as support. Fast units can be used as scouts, for exploring the map and to quickly conquer villages.
During the scenario
- Try to capture and keep control of as many villages as possible to keep the gold coming in
- Keep units in packs so the enemy cannot attack from as many sides, and so you can outnumber each enemy unit. Put your units in a line so that the enemy cannot attack any one of your unit from more than two sides.
- Different units have different strengths and weaknesses depending on terrain and who they are attacking; right click on units and select "Describe unit" to learn more
- You can use lower level units as cannon fodder, to slow down enemy. e.g. you can use them to block enemy reaching your important units
- You can cause damage to enemies with advanced units and then finish them with lower level units - to give them more experience (and finally make them advance to next level)
- When you have a White Mage (advances from Mage) or Druid (advances from Shaman), put it in the middle of a circle of units to heal them as they move across the map
- Losing units is expected, even advanced units
- Time of day really matters:
- lawful units do more damage at day and less damage at night
- chaotic units do more damage at night and less damage at day
- remember to always check the time of day on the right side of the screen. Plan ahead - think about what it's going to be next turn as well as this turn.
- Some units are resistant or vulnerable to different kind of attacks. Mounted units are weak vs pierce attacks. Fire and holy destroy undeads. To see how much a unit resists an attack type, right click on the unit, select 'Unit Description', then select 'Resistance'. It will show you how resistant a unit is to different types of attacks.
An important part of succeeding at Battle for Wesnoth is keeping your units healthy. When your units take damage you can heal them by moving them onto villages or next to special healing units (e.g. the Elvish Shaman and White Mage). Some other units you will encounter, such as Trolls, have the ability to heal themselves naturally. You can find more detailed information about healing in Chapter 2.
Winning a scenario
- Advanced units are needed to quickly kill enemy commanders, and to avoid losing lots of units.
- The quicker you win a scenario, the more gold you get; you will get more gold from winning early than from all of the map's villages for the rest of the turns.
- Killing all enemy leaders usually gives instant victory.
More general tips
- After slaughtering scenarios (where you take lots of punishment) there are usually "breathing room" scenarios where you can rather easily gain some gold and experience (advanced units)
- Advanced units have higher upkeep than lower level units (1 gp per level), loyal units are an exception.