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Build up a great army, gradually training 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. Wesnoth has many different sagas waiting to be played out.
You can battle orcs, undead, and bandits on the marches of the Kingdom of Wesnoth; fight alongside dragons in the lofty peaks, elves in the green reaches of the Aethenwood, dwarves in the great halls of Knalga, or even merfolk in the Bay of Pearls.
You can fight to regain the throne of Wesnoth, 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. You will be able to select from among over two hundred unit types infantry, cavalry, archers, and mages are just the beginning and fight actions ranging from small-unit ambushes to clashes of vast armies.
You can also challenge your friends — or strangers — and fight in epic multi-player fantasy battles. Battle for Wesnoth is open-source software, and a thriving community of volunteers cooperates to improve the game.
You can create your own custom units, write your own scenarios, and even script full-blown campaigns. The known portion of the Great Continent, on which Wesnoth abides, is generally divided into three areas: the Northlands, which are generally lawless; the kingdom of Wesnoth and its occasional principality, Elensefar; and the domain of the Southwest Elves in the Aethenwood and beyond. The Kingdom of Wesnoth lies in the center of this land.
Its borders are the Great River to the north, the Dulatus Hills in the east and south, the edge of the Aethenwood to the southwest, and the Ocean to the west. Elensefar, a once-province of Wesnoth, is bordered by the Great River to the north, a loosely defined line with Wesnoth to the east, the Bay of Pearls to the south, and the ocean to the west.
The Northlands is the wild country north of the Great River. Various groups of orcs, dwarves, barbarians and elves populate the region. To the north and east lies the forest of Lintanir, where the great kingdom of the North-Elves keeps to its own mysterious affairs.
Over the land are scattered villages where you can heal your troops and gather the income required to support your army. You will also have to cross mountains and rivers, push through forests, hills and tundra, and cross open grassland.
In each of these areas different creatures have adapted to live there and can travel more easily and fight better when they are in familiar terrain. In the world of Wesnoth there dwell humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, drakes, saurians, mermen, nagas, and many other races yet more obscure and wondrous.
In accursed lands walk undead and ghosts and specters; monsters lurk in its ruins and dungeons. Each has adapted to particular terrains. Humans inhabit primarily the temperate grasslands. In the hills, mountains and underground caves orcs and dwarves are most at home. In the forests the elves reign supreme. In the oceans and rivers mermen and nagas dominate. For game purposes, the races group into factions; for example, orcs often cooperate with trolls, and elves or dwarves with humans.
In most campaigns, you will control units drawn a single faction. But sometimes factions make alliances with others, so you may face more than one faction in a scenario.
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, "A Tale of Two Brothers" by clicking the "Campaign" button and selecting it from the list provided.
Campaigns are sequences of battles with a connecting storyline. Typical campaigns have about 10—20 scenarios. The main advantage with campaigns is that they allow you to develop your army. As you complete each scenario, the remaining units at the end are saved for you to use in the next scenario.
The campaign is the primary form in which Wesnoth is intended to be played, is probably the most enjoyable, and is the recommended way for new players to learn the game. 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.
In general multiplayer games are played against other players via the Internet you can also run them on your LAN if you have one. All these games are co-ordinated through the Wesnoth multiplayer server.
Multiplayer games can take anywhere from 1 hour to 10 hours, depending on how many players there are and the size of the map. The average time is between 3 to 7 hours. Games can be saved and loaded as many times as you like. There are several possible options you are provided with when clicking on the "Multiplayer" button:. This will be your name on the multiplayer server. If you have an account on the Wesnoth forums , you may use the same username and password for joining the official server.
A password box will pop up if a password is required for the current username. You cannot use a registered name without the password. This option directly connects you to the official server. You will end in the lobby where you can create your games as you wish and where many games are already open and maybe some players already waiting to join in a new match.
This option opens a dialog box allowing you to enter the address of the machine to join. In this dialog there also is the button "View List" that does show a list of official servers that can be used as backup if the main server is currently not available. A complete list of official and user setup servers is listed at this website: Multiplayer servers.
You can also reach servers hosted by any other player with this menu option. So if you got a server running in your local network, just enter the address and port number default: If you for example want to connect to a server running on the machine with the address To be able to start a multiplayer game without using an external multiplayer server, you have to start the server, which is usually named wesnothd , yourself.
This program is automatically started in the background when selecting this option. It will be stopped, once all players left the server. Other players need to be able to connect to your port using TCP to play with you on your server. If you are behind a firewall, you will probably need to change your firewall settings to allow incoming connections to port , and tell your firewall to forward such traffic to the machine hosting the game.
You should not need to make firewall changes to join games hosted on a public server or by someone else. This creates a game just running on your computer. You can either use it as hotseat game where everyone plays at the same computers by taking turns in the hotseat.
Hotseat games will take about the same time to play as games played over the Internet. Or you can just play a scenario against AI opponents rather than human players. This can be a good way to become familiar with the various maps that are used for multiplayer games before playing against real opponents.
It can also be used as a simple way to explore the capabilities of units from the different factions by choosing which faction you will play and which faction your opponents are in these games. Of course, you can also mix both in one game. That is, play together in a game with a friend against an AI opponent. Regardless of whether you are playing a scenario or a campaign, the basic layout of the game screen is the same.
The majority of the screen is filled with a map which shows all of the action that takes place in the game. Around the map are various elements which provide useful information about the game and are described in more detail below. When you first start a scenario or campaign you will only have a few units on the map.
One of these will be your commander identified by a little golden crown icon. Your commander is usually placed in a castle on a special hex called a keep.
Whenever your commander is on a keep not only your own, but also the keep of any enemy castles you capture and you have enough gold, you can recruit units for your army. In later scenarios you can recall experienced units that survived earlier scenarios. From here, you can start to build your army to conquer the enemy. The first thing you will probably want to do is recruit your first unit. Each recruit is placed on an empty castle hex.
Once you have filled the castle, you cannot recruit any more until units move off. 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 Resistances, current Terrain, and Level. Full details are in the in game help.
As your troops gain battle experience, they will learn more skills and become stronger. But choose wisely, for each has strengths and weaknesses a cunning opponent will quickly exploit. Pay careful attention to the Objectives pop-up box at the beginning of each scenario. Usually you will achieve victory by killing all enemy leaders, and only be defeated by having your leader killed. But scenarios may have other victory objectives — getting your leader to a designated point, say, or rescuing someone, or solving a puzzle, or holding out against a siege until a certain number of turns have elapsed.
When you win a scenario, the map will gray over and the End Turn button will change to End Scenario.
This page assumes that the reader has read GettingStarted and is familiar with the WesnothManual. It assumes you have played enough games to be familiar with the system, and know how to push units around, and are now looking for insight in how to outthink the AI or a human opponent. Some tactics are only useful in specific circumstances and would be foolish at other times. Pick and choose those that fit your particular style. Do you overwhelm your opponent with sheer numbers, or a few well-chosen high-level units?
Build up a great army, gradually training 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. Wesnoth has many different sagas waiting to be played out. You can battle orcs, undead, and bandits on the marches of the Kingdom of Wesnoth; fight alongside dragons in the lofty peaks, elves in the green reaches of the Aethenwood, dwarves in the great halls of Knalga, or even merfolk in the Bay of Pearls. You can fight to regain the throne of Wesnoth, 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.
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