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 Originally made as a single player game, Wesnoth has expanded its mod-ability to the point of allowing multiple players to play co-op in a continuous series of scenarios.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.
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.
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).
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.