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The Battle For Wesnoth (BFW) is a turn based, third person, fantasy war game. Use your strategic and tactical skills to beat computer opponents. Engage in campaigns that take you from scenario to scenario on to final victory. Each campaign is a story told through scenarios. Each scenario has an objective you must achieve before facing the next. The game is played on a map divided into hexagons, called hexes.

Save and Load

At the start of each scenario, you have the option to save it. If you are defeated, you may load it and try again. Once you have succeeded, you will again be asked to save the next scenario and play that. If you have to stop playing during a scenario, you can save your turn and load it again later. Just remember, a good BFW player never needs to save during a scenario.

Recruit and Recall

At the start of each scenario, your commander is placed in a castle on a special hex called a keep. From here, you can recruit or recall your troops. 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 able to recruit troops. Select an empty castle hex first, and the recruit will appear there. You must wait until your next turn to move recruits off your castle.

At the end of each successful scenario, all your remaining troops are automatically saved for you. 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.

You may only recruit and recall when your commander is on the castle's keep hex. Since most castles have a keep, you can move your commander to any castle's keep to recruit and recall.

Factions and Races

The world of Wesnoth contains several races that have joined forces into different factions. Here, Elf and Dwarf fight side by side against Orc and Human. In campaigns, you will belong to one faction and battle with the others. This allows you to recruit different races and recall them later.

Sometimes factions make alliances with others, so you may face more than one faction in a scenario.

Life and Death - Experience

As your troops gain battle experience, they will learn more skills and become stronger. They will also die in battle too, 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.

Army Units

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.

Method of Game Play

You can play The Battle For Wesnoth as a campaign, a single scenario, multiplayer, or hotseat.

A sequence of scenarios that allow you to develop your army by recalling surviving units from previous scenarios.
A single Life and Death battle where you pit your forces against one or more computer players.
A scenario played over a network with human and computer players.
A scenario played by several people using one computer. When a player takes their turn at the computer, they're in the hotseat.

You can also combine hotseat and remote play. The person setting up the game can have multiple players on their machine using 'local players'. To set up hotseat on remote machines, initially have 'computer players' own a position and then use :control when the game starts to give control to the appropiate player.

Finding Your Way Around Wesnoth

You can use both the keyboard and mouse to navigate around Wesnoth. Some controls respond to mouse only and others to keyboard. Wesnoth supports several languages, so please select your preferred language before playing. You may change the language at any time.

Some buttons contain features beyond getting started, such as Hotkeys and Multiplay, which are explained in WesnothManual, not here.

For the impatient, we recommend you first set your language, run the tutorial, and then play a campaign.

When Wesnoth starts it displays an initial background and a list of buttons called the Main Menu. The buttons only work with a mouse. The following sections describe the Main Menu.


Click this button to close Wesnoth.


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.


The tutorial is a real, but basic, game (called a scenario) where Delfador teaches Konrad how to play. Winning or losing is not important, here, but learning what to do is. Click the Tutorial button to play as Konrad and remember what Delfador tells him.


Wesnoth was designed to play campaigns only. Click this button for a list of campaigns. Select your campaign and 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 interesting, 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.

To learn more on Campaigns, see 'Playing a Campaign' and 'Load'.


Click here to change default settings. You will be shown a dialouge with the following options:

1- Music Volume (slider)

Drag the slider to the left, to make the music softer, and to the right to
make it louder.

2- sfx volume (slider)

Drag the slider to the left, to make the sound effects softer, and to the
right to make them louder.

3- Scroll speed (slider)

Drag the slider to the left, to make the map scroll slower, and to the right
to make it scroll faster.

4- Full Screen (check box)

Check this box to expand Wesnoth to fill the whole screen, or uncheck it, to
return to a window.

5- Turn Dialog (check box)

Check this box to show you a prompt dialogue whenever its your turn to move,
or uncheck it, to disable the turn dialogue.

6- Accelerated Speed (check box)

Check this box to double move speed, or uncheck it, for normal move speed.

7- Turn Bell (check box)

Check this box to sound a Bell on your turn, or uncheck it, to turn it off.

8- Show Grid (check box)

Check this box to outline each map hex, or uncheck it, to turn it off.

9- Show Team Colours (check box)

Check this box, to show each unit's team colour, or uncheck it, to turn it

10- Video Mode (button)

Click this button to change the screen size. Choose from a list of available
sizes. Caution: Wesnoth may display badly, or not at all, if you make a
poor choice.

11- Hotkeys (button)

Click this button to change hotkeys. Caution: You may lose keyboard control
over one or more functions, if you disable hotkeys. To learn more, see
'Keyboard Control'.

12- Close Window (button)

Click this button to return to the Main Menu. All changes will be kept.


Click this button for a list of major Wesnoth contributors. You may find most of them at on #wesnoth. Or visit for news, forums, and Wiki updates. The project is hosted on , where you can download the latest production or developer release, review and report problems (bugs).


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 to play network games. A dialogue will appear for you to create or connect to a game server. To learn more, see 'Network Games'.

Game Navigation

After loading a game or campaign, Wesnoth divides its screen into several sections, listed here and described below (items marked with a * are undocumented).

1- Menu (button)
2- Your total Gold (display)
3- Your total villages (display)
4- Your total units (display)
5- Your total upkeep (display)
6- Your total Income (display)
7- Current hex type (info)
8- Current hex position (info)
9- Full map, scaled (select) *
10- Day cycle (graphic)
11- Last selected Unit profile (info) *
12- Turn counter (info) *
13- End Turn (button) *
14- Map (active) *

The map covers most of the window and is the most complex, so we discribe it last. The other areas are useful when using the map, so we explain them now.

Menu button: Displays a popup, lists the following options:

1- Scenario Objectives: Lists the victory and defeat conditions.
2- Unit List: Lists your active units, including their map position.
3- Recruit: Lists units your commander can recruit from a keep.
4- Recall (Campaign only): Lists units your commander can recall from a keep.
5- Status Table: Summary list of visible player units, villages, income etc.
6- End Turn: On your turn, select it to end your turn.
7- Save Game: Write the current game position to disk.
8- Preferences: see Main Menu:preferences, for details.
9- Quit Game: Close the game, without saving, and return to the Main menu.

Your Total Gold, villages, units, upkeep, and income (info)

Quick way to check how your army is doing. A negative income means you'll
lose Gold, a positive means you gain Gold. Upkeep is the Gold you pay
your units. Villages shows how many you own, each viilage will give you

Current hex

Shows the terrain type and position of the hex pointed to by the mouse. If
a unit is on the hex, its terrain Resistence is shown after the position.
The position is in column, row order.

Day Cycle

This is the picture underneath the mini-map to the right.  Putting your mouse
over it will bring up a helpful tooltip.  Note that Wesnoth has a 6-turn day
and that differnt alignments have bonuses depending on the time of day.

Time to Play


Campaigns take a very long time to complete, ranging from weeks to months. Typical campaigns have about 20 to 30 scenarios. The main advantage with campaigns is developing your army. As you complete each scenario, the remaing units at the end are saved for you to use in the next scenario. If you choose not to use a unit at all during a scenario it is carried over to the next, so you don't lose units you don't use.

The campaign is the primary form in which Wesnoth is intended to be played, and is probably the most enjoyable.


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. Depending on the scenario, you may play with an artificial player or against several.


Multiplayer games can take anything from 1 hour to 10 hours, depending on how many players there are. The average time is between 3 to 7 hours. Games can be saved and loaded as many times as you like. So, it's possible for some games to last 1 or 2 weeks, even though the play time is only a few hours. Currently, you cannot carry over units in multiplayer from one scenario to the next, so building up your army's strength is possible only within the scenario.


Hotseat games will take about the same time to play as games played remotely. The time will be greatly affected by the size of the map.

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 themost 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 to 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
  • 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

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 them finish them with lowerlevel 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 attakcs. 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.


  • Villages heal units from normal damage and poison
  • A village heals by a fixed amount regardless of unit level.
  • A unit can only be healed up to 8HP per turn.
  • A unit may take several turns to be fully healed.
  • A village takes the first turn to cure a poisoned unit, no healing is done.
  • Healers can heal other units the same way villages do.
  • Each healer can heal up to six units each turn.
  • Healers (Elvish Shaman, Elvish Druid, Elvish Shyde, White Mage, Mage of Light, Paladin) heal all wounded units around them, so you can keep units close to the battle without losing them.
  • Some healers can cure poisoned units in the same way villages do.
  • Healers will first heal their own units and then all friendly ones.
  • Healers do not heal enemy units.
  • Healers cannot heal themselves, but see next point.
  • Use your healers in pairs, so they can heal each other if needed.
  • Healers can heal the same unit and speed up healing.
  • Trolls and Woses regenerate themselves when injured.
  • Trolls and Woses cannot regenerate other units.
  • Trolls and Woses cure themselves from poison as a village does.
  • Trolls and Woses can be healed by healers and a village.

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 your ass gets seriously kicked) 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.

See Also