lighting bolt

Wesband is a modification of The Battle for Wesnoth that I’ve been making. It is a dungeon-crawler, loosely based on ZAngband, but with features unique to the genre.

Wesnoth is a mutli-platform, open source, turn-based strategy (TBS), fantasy game. Originally made as a single player game, Wesnoth has expanded its mod-ability to the point of allowing multiple players to play co-op in a continuous series of scenarios. Wesband makes use of the newest modding functionality that Wesnoth has to offer.

hulk smash

The result is a strategy-intense, dungeon crawling game that can be played just as well by a single player as it can by up to 3 players. Multiplayer dungeon-crawlers, though rare, aren’t unheard-of (and none that I know of do it very well). But, I would say Wesband’s biggest boon to the genre is the complete transparency of gameplay. How many times in Nethack have characters died because they couldn’t hit the damn grid bug? Many aspects of dungeon-crawler gameplay are left to intuition (or imagination), which can be horribly wrong. Instead, in Wesband, if you select a unit to attack another unit, you know the odds of hitting, being hit and how much damage can possibly be done by both sides.

stable stable

I’m wondering how well someone who hasn’t played Wesnoth before will handle Wesband. The gameplay is fundamentally different in some parts, but many of the same paradigms remain. Here are a few things to note:

  • ranged attacks don’t reach any further than melee attacks. In Wesnoth, hexes are possibly miles across.

  • the terrain you stand on dictates your chance to be hit, unless a unit has a special ability that raises its chance to hit.

  • resistance (or lack thereof) to one of the six damage types determines how much damage is done on a successful hit. hitting “d” while hovering over a unit will bring that up for non-player characters.

  • Zone of Control (ZoC) is what every non-level 0 unit has on any adjacent hex. This means units will end their movement if they reach one of those hexes. Units with the Skirmisher ability ignore ZoC.

  • attacking puts your remaining moves to 0, barring some special abilities.

  • Wesnoth employs a time of day system that isn’t really present in Wesband, as it takes place underground. Therefore, the lawful, neutral and chaotic notes on a unit don’t mean much (for now).

do you have any magic items to aid us on our quest?

Beyond that, to work with Wesband, all you have to do is remember to right-click around the place to see what other actions are available. Also, it’s safest to only have the first player use the stairs. That’s a bug I’m working out at the moment.

I’m posting this on Protozoic because we just reached version 0.2.0. This means the combat system is pretty much completed. Next on the list are magic spells, items, weapons and armor. However, the game is fully playable right now.

Wesnoth can be downloaded at wesnoth.org (be sure to get the stable version). Wesband can then be downloaded from the add-ons menu. Open up Wesnoth, click the “add-ons” button, and then download “Wesband.” To start playing Wesband, hit the “Multiplayer” button (even if single player), and (if going solo) choose “local game”, select Wesband under “map to play”, then hit “OK.” Choose the number of players (set “Local Player” to “Empty” for unused slots), hit “I’m Ready” and then you’re good to go.

mob deep

16 thoughts on “Wesband

  1. Cool. I’m not sure if I ever played Angband. I think I might have, but nethack is still the best.

  2. If there is no hex and counter map and is not designed by Jim Dunnigan, then phooey on capitalist waste of time!

  3. Angband is pretty close to Nethack in a lot of ways. They have an option on the program for either a txt based view or a more graphic view. It’s pretty fun and I didn’t seem to die as quickly as I used to when I played Nethack.

  4. Well, currently the only real similarities between Wesband and Angband (as apposed to Nethack) are the beginning town that you can revisit and that it is heavily combat and tactics oriented. Angband also generates a new level every time you go down -and- up. While Wesband used to generate new levels upon going up, it now just sends you to the overworld, as a consideration for time. Otherwise, it might as well be based off of Nethack.

  5. Loki,

    Weren’t you the one complaining about complicated rules in paper hex-and-counter games?

  6. I’d like to thank everyone for checking this out with me this weekend. I’ve worked since to streamline things, especially the start-up process. The apparent bugs causing out-of-sync errors are frustrating, but they’re good to know (although, I’ve only seen this happen once from others games online…so maybe this was something we were doing wrong). Anyway, expect another post on this in the next few months.

  7. elias – yeah – paper war game mechanics are a little complex and i realize figuring them out is part of the fun.

    that said, computer games, even hex based ones are different in the sense they do all the math for you.

    dick – yes it is a cool game. hopefully you can get the sync issue worked out. it would be cool to play online.

    elias – you ought to have dick make a timetripper mod on the game he programs for.

  8. Edited some of the instructions for playing. All of the issues that we found over the weekend should be fixed, but the process to start the game has been streamlined considerably. Expect another post in a couple months.

  9. Hey I’m having trouble when entering the dungeon….I get errors for certain characters, and then my game will shut down….like for the woodsman, tentacle of the deep, and a few others i’ve gotten. it gives me an error saying unknown unit. when are you gonna fix this bug?

  10. It should actually be pretty stable for Wesnoth 1.6.5, but only for that. Are you mixing and matching versions of Wesnoth with the version of Wesband?

  11. I’m getting the same error as That Guy. Using Wesnoth 1.6.5.

    I had a BUNCH of addons installed, but have since dropped everything but Wesband and still get the error. It is always the same units (Woodsman and Tentacle of the Deep being among those).

    Wesband is REALLY neat. Hope that we can figure this out.

  12. Thank you Dick. Please note, it doesn’t occur EVERY time. When the bug fails to crop up, I can typically run through several levels and be just fine (14 being the record without the bug). It may not ever actually crop up unless it does when first entering the dungeon. The units it happens with are always level 0 units, but that may just be because it is the first level of the dungeon.

    Shoot me an email if I can help in any way.

  13. Hi. I tried to play wesband on multiplayer with Wesnoth 1.8. When we enter the dungeon there are WML error messages and then oos errors. I really like wesband and hope u can fix that some day. I also remember playing it online multiplayer without oos long time ago.


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