The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:00 am

Gray Riders wrote:My own efforts once the editor comes out will probably be more modest than for ROTK XI, partially because I feel there are way fewer trash-tier officers in this game than ROTK usually has. I've seen very few officers that can't do something worth at least their 20 bucks season bottom rank wages.
I don't think I'll do any officer modding before the editor, but I figured I'd share once I figured out how it's done.


Thanks for sharing your modding tips, I might give that a try. I agree with you about even the low end officers can contribute.

Gray Riders wrote:Xiahou Dun doesn't hit 80 in any unit stats, for instance, and Huang Zhong's worse than you'd expect with "only" 81 archer--and a few unexpected people are amazing like Han Sui, Li Jue, and Guo Si, or Qu Yi.

Wu has a lot of 70s guys and a good number of low 80s so they're not a weak faction by any means, but an army can only have six units (you can have two armies in battle together though) so a Wu "best of the best" is weaker than one from Shu, Wei, or even Yuan Shao and Dong Zhuo, which is kind of funny.


I was actually just going to bring up Xiahou Dun as good example of the weirdness in this game. He's more of a mid tier officer of Cao Cao's similar to Cao Hong in XI. He pales in comparison to Xiahou Yuan and even Cao Chun :?
I'm sure you already know all this but looking at Sun Jian in 190~ No one is above mid 60's for intelligence, Governance or Diplomacy. Sun Jian himself is sporting a 67 Cavalry attribute, which is full 20 points lower than guys like Li Jue and Guo Si. Even his navy isn't much better.
I'd be really curious to hear the reasoning behind some of these numbers.

Zyzyfer wrote:That's interesting. Although, to be blunt, I'm not thrilled by the prospect of revising all of the officers all over again. Plus since the game mechanics are different, it may turn out to not be necessary. I just don't understand the logic behind taking a big fat dump all over Wu, it's like going back and playing the old ROTKs where Wu was terrible all over again. But if unlocking better units really alters damage taken that much, who knows, it may not even be necessary.

I'm still on the fence with this for now, but enjoying both of your reports. They implement some interesting ideas and I would pick this up in a heartbeat on mobile, but as a PC title, still not sure yet.


I don't think it's a great game by any means, but I think you could have some fun with it. It's not that expensive really, I spent more going to see Star Wars. Plus, you have the refund option as well.

I think the best thing it has going for it is the dev team seems to be trying to put out a good product. It's apparently around 80% complete with more features on the way. They're adding patches and fixing bugs, improving UI, etc.
They respond to questions as well as critiques but not in a defensive way.
It's a small 10 man operation and they seem to be making an effort even if there are some oddities.
All in all, I can understand a wait and see approach.
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:54 am

Gray Riders wrote:My own efforts once the editor comes out will probably be more modest than for ROTK XI, partially because I feel there are way fewer trash-tier officers in this game than ROTK usually has. I've seen very few officers that can't do something worth at least their 20 bucks season bottom rank wages.


Yeah I kind of realized while typing that there would potentially be a lot less editing to do, since officers seem more well-rounded in a general sense. So it's basically a matter of touching up the high-end guys that the developers decided to drop a hot and steamy deuce on. Which hopefully is just a matter of bumping up a few unit scores here and there, since the "major" stats are all weird anyway.

They also have less of a naval advantage than usual; Cao Cao has lots of 70s and 60s naval guys...


That is just wrong, if naval battles aren't going to be an integral part of the war for China, then Wu should always have ridiculously higher naval stats. Plus the whole thing with Chibi is how Cao Cao was crap on the water and out of his element.

...but an army can only have six units (you can have two armies in battle together though)...


Wait, so no epic slobber-knockers? You can eventually command more troops per officer, I hope.

One major criticism I have is incompatible officers are way too difficult to hire so you have people remaining free officers for years, wandering China as vagabonds because nobody is compatible so they won't join anybody, ever. Even with Rapport getting to 80 or above characters with good recruitment stats have "very low" chance with officers who are very incompatible. I always thought the system Koei went with was rather artificial--would Xu Huang really be perpertually annoyed working with Liu Bei? Why would Lu Bu like Sun Ce so much more than Cao Cao? I prefer how Nobunaga's Ambition: SOA handled it, being based off personality traits instead.

One minor complaint is it's not consistent with officers joining family when they come of age. In my Sun Ce game game Zhang Cheng joined us automatically did, but Zhu Ran and Sun Yi didn't.


I kind of don't mind the compatibility stuff, but it's true that its impact can vary wildly from game to game, depending on various factors. Like if you can't even recruit people way off on the other end of the wheel, it defeats the purpose.

It sounds like they still need to tweak the family stuff a bit, I can imagine Sun Yi didn't join because Sun Jian is dead or something. Zhu Ran makes no sense.

Sakae Wu wrote:I'd be really curious to hear the reasoning behind some of these numbers.


For Xiahou Dun, I'm pretty sure it's because of his losses, which were really really bad. In past discussions, one defense for him was that he was a valuable early commander for Cao Cao, but if they beefed up other early Wei generals, he can get dinged some. (But they better have given him 80s agriculture.)

Sun Jian, I'm willing to bet it's because he died in an ambush by Liu Biao's men. He's always too good in Koei games. He did have a few impressive victories, but I can understand the dying in battle = reduced stats philosophy. He should definitely still be competent, though.

I don't think it's a great game by any means, but I think you could have some fun with it. It's not that expensive really, I spent more going to see Star Wars. Plus, you have the refund option as well.


It's not really about the money (I mentioned earlier in this thread being fine with paying more). I just don't want to start investing time and energy into the game - specifically something like officer/force revisions - just to find out I strongly dislike some key aspect of it. In particular, I'm waiting for more posts about big battles to see if they're fun or not :)
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Gray Riders » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:27 pm

Zyzyfer wrote:That is just wrong, if naval battles aren't going to be an integral part of the war for China, then Wu should always have ridiculously higher naval stats. Plus the whole thing with Chibi is how Cao Cao was crap on the water and out of his element.

Cao Cao himself is pretty terrible at navy (59) but yeah he has a lot of okay naval guys. It's pretty similar to how Wu is with cavalry in the game--they have some competant guys but nobody exceptional.

Wait, so no epic slobber-knockers? You can eventually command more troops per officer, I hope.

You can march two armies out of a city--they'll move together and one will show up as reinforcements a few turns in for 12 on 12 battles. Not a perfect solution. There is a topic on the steam forums asking for the units per army to be increased but the devs just mentioned that you can have two armies involved so I'm not sure it's going to happen. Possibly it can be modded and I think there will be workshop functionality so only one person has to figure it out for everyone to be able to use it.

Troops per unit raise significantly. Rankless officers get 5,000, top rank ones can get to 20,000 and the top rank rulers can control 30,000.

For Xiahou Dun, I'm pretty sure it's because of his losses, which were really really bad. In past discussions, one defense for him was that he was a valuable early commander for Cao Cao, but if they beefed up other early Wei generals, he can get dinged some. (But they better have given him 80s agriculture.)

Xiahou Dun's agriculture is 72 and he has 76 in flood control. He's good in duels but they're pretty rare. He's overall not super memorable.
Early Wei Generals--Xiahou Yuan and Cao Chun are both great in this game. Yu Jin is really good, too. Cao Ren and some others are worse than expected but still good with some low to mid 80s.

Sun Jian, I'm willing to bet it's because he died in an ambush by Liu Biao's men. He's always too good in Koei games. He did have a few impressive victories, but I can understand the dying in battle = reduced stats philosophy. He should definitely still be competent, though.

The weird thing about Sun Jian in The Last Warlord is despite scaring Dong Zhuo out of Luo Yang he's way, way worse than Dong Zhuo himself (83 vs 93) and many of Dong's main officers; Lu Bu, Li Jue, Guo Si, Hua Xiong and Xu Rong (he atually beat Sun Jian so that's fine) all have higher unit values. Sun Jian has a huge Siege stat, though.
I can understand some people not being super impressed by Sun Jian, but Dong Zhuo and Yuan Shao being way better than Lu Meng feels really off.

Edit:
Lu Su finally appeared at Lu Jiang in my Sun Ce game. It's possible 198 is his "activation" year. Also hired Lu Dai, who is actually one of Wu's best commanders in this game.

Edit 2:
Lu Su joined easily, as expected. Jian Ye hit the requirements for the "Elite Ranger" special unit, which gave me two "seals" to allow my officers to deploy the unit type. Other special unts may gave more or fewer seals, I can't say for sure.
I'm not sure Elite Rangers are worth using, though. They're quite a bit more expensive than Heavy Infantry and have much worse defenses for only a little more attack.

Edit 3: Game was updated; you can now set the tax rate for your non-capital cities.
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:28 am

Zyzyfer wrote:Sun Jian, I'm willing to bet it's because he died in an ambush by Liu Biao's men. He's always too good in Koei games. He did have a few impressive victories, but I can understand the dying in battle = reduced stats philosophy. He should definitely still be competent, though.


Hmm, I was kind of being rhetorical but I didn't make that very obvious. And I really don't want to go down the Sun JIan debate rabbit hole. But I can't really see the logic in that philosophy, especially considering the battle had been won and he was alone when attacked. Though he had his share of faults, militarily he's a sight better than competent.

Gray Riders wrote:Edit:
Lu Su finally appeared at Lu Jiang in my Sun Ce game. It's possible 198 is his "activation" year. Also hired Lu Dai, who is actually one of Wu's best commanders in this game.

Edit 2:
Lu Su joined easily, as expected. Jian Ye hit the requirements for the "Elite Ranger" special unit, which gave me two "seals" to allow my officers to deploy the unit type. Other special unts may gave more or fewer seals, I can't say for sure.
I'm not sure Elite Rangers are worth using, though. They're quite a bit more expensive than Heavy Infantry and have much worse defenses for only a little more attack.

Edit 3: Game was updated; you can now set the tax rate for your non-capital cities.


Sounds like things are going pretty well, I'm glad you got Lu Su. Are Yuan Shao and Kong Rong still fighting it out?
I was getting tips that Ling Tong was in Shou Chun, but I have no idea where he ended up.

On my easy game, the AI isn't doing much of anything after 2 years in. I'm going to switch to normal and try someone out west. I think I'm getting a decent feel for it, but I think I need to pick my research a little more carefully.

I like the tax rate option idea~
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Gray Riders » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:48 am

Sakae Wu wrote:Sounds like things are going pretty well, I'm glad you got Lu Su. Are Yuan Shao and Kong Rong still fighting it out?

They actually allied some time back. Kong Rong's allied with Liu Bei, too. No idea if Kong Rong has enough officers to support his now-three cities; he doesn't seem to have managed to hire any of Lu Bu's former officers.

Yuan Shao's had some setbacks and has been pushed back to He Bei, but along with Liu Zhang and Liu Biao he's still one of the big powers right now, at least in terms of city size. However, once I have Yu Zhang I should be able to knock Wang Lang out quickly and unify Jiang Dong quite rapidly, giving me the manpower and resources--especially with some safe cities away from the front--to roll out a big enough war machine to knock out Liu Biao.
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:17 am

Sakae Wu wrote:
Zyzyfer wrote:Sun Jian, I'm willing to bet it's because he died in an ambush by Liu Biao's men. He's always too good in Koei games. He did have a few impressive victories, but I can understand the dying in battle = reduced stats philosophy. He should definitely still be competent, though.


Hmm, I was kind of being rhetorical but I didn't make that very obvious. And I really don't want to go down the Sun JIan debate rabbit hole. But I can't really see the logic in that philosophy, especially considering the battle had been won and he was alone when attacked. Though he had his share of faults, militarily he's a sight better than competent.


Well just to avoid misunderstandings, I wasn't giving my personal assessment of Sun Jian, just ruminating on why the developers might have chosen to kick him in the stats ding dong. I think it's pretty clear the developers have some anti-Wu bias, not lil' ol' me. :pika:
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:08 am

Zyzyfer wrote:Well just to avoid misunderstandings, I wasn't giving my personal assessment of Sun Jian, just ruminating on why the developers might have chosen to kick him in the stats ding dong. I think it's pretty clear the developers have some anti-Wu bias, not lil' ol' me. :pika:


Good :lol:. I was getting ready to type up a defense of why Sun Jian is in the top 5 generals of the era!
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Gray Riders » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:59 pm

I finished Liu Yao.
Heavy Infantry may well be more important to taking cities than actual siege weapons. They seem to take about 1/4th or 1/5th as much damage from the defensive weapons as light infantry. I'm not sure what the more advanced siege defense will do to them, though.
Edit:
There seems to be a glitch where trying to employ prisoners doesn't raise rapport but the log claims it does.
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Sakae Wu » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:42 pm

Gray Riders wrote:I finished Liu Yao.
Heavy Infantry may well be more important to taking cities than actual siege weapons. They seem to take about 1/4th or 1/5th as much damage from the defensive weapons as light infantry. I'm not sure what the more advanced siege defense will do to them, though.
Edit:
There seems to be a glitch where trying to employ prisoners doesn't raise rapport but the log claims it does.


That's interesting, I wouldn't have thought it would be quite that much difference. I'm wondering how crossbow troops perform also, and if they are worth trying to get early.
I'm guessing you're going to gear up for Liu Biao next? He's definitely no pushover in TLW.

I'm trying Ma Teng 195, but it's slow going with his group of meatheads. I was a little surprised he wasn't friendly with Han Sui, so I have both him and Li Jue to worry about.

I thought it's kind of interesting also that they use the same flag colors as Koei for the forces.

Do happen to know anything about that Nanhai trading? I see it announced during the game, but I'm not sure how it works.


Zyzyfer wrote:Well just to avoid misunderstandings, I wasn't giving my personal assessment of Sun Jian, just ruminating on why the developers might have chosen to kick him in the stats ding dong. I think it's pretty clear the developers have some anti-Wu bias, not lil' ol' me. :pika:


Ah, thanks. I respect your opinions here and there is still plenty I'd like to learn about that era.
The devs are pretty up front about saying it's based on the novel, but I was still hoping it wouldn't be all: 2K (and that other one in the corner) :(
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Re: The Last Warlord--an indie ROTK strategy game

Unread postby Gray Riders » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:51 pm

Sakae Wu wrote:That's interesting, I wouldn't have thought it would be quite that much difference. I'm wondering how crossbow troops perform also, and if they are worth trying to get early.

They have only slightly more power--+5, but also an extra range of firing distance, which is pretty good, especially with the Volley tactic.

I'm guessing you're going to gear up for Liu Biao next? He's definitely no pushover in TLW.

That was the plan, but we have a volunteer! Update in this post. :)
I like guys like Liu Biao being good in TLW--they lasted quite a while in history so it's off for them to be rolled so easily in ROTK.

I'm trying Ma Teng 195, but it's slow going with his group of meatheads. I was a little surprised he wasn't friendly with Han Sui, so I have both him and Li Jue to worry about.

The two didn't get along so well historically, and TLW seems to take somewhat more historical influence than Koei's games usually do--Taishi Ci is dead at Chi Bi and Qu Yi is alive in 195, for instance.

Do happen to know anything about that Nanhai trading? I see it announced during the game, but I'm not sure how it works.

It's a city feature for Nan Hai that gives extra gold every year if you own all the cities of Jiao province. Since Shi Xie starts with Jiao province is basically immediately unlocks.
*
Xu Sheng appears in Jian Ye at the start of 198. He's a very decent commander so we'll recruit him.
As part of 198 I am going to test the AI; I am putting Lu Jiang and Wu under AI control with specific orders. I'll keep an eye on their progress and see how they do at carrying orders at in reasonable time. I send Wu some more officers.
Lu Jiang is to expand its defensive force to 10,000 each light infantry and light archers and continue building its domestic stats.
Wu is to get its security stable and improve its lagging commerce.

In May we locate Lu Su and Sun Ben’s AI hires Lu Dai for our forces. Lu Dai is actually one of the southlands’ best commanders in this game:
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... BF101808C/
We will leave him in Wu for now

In June Lu Su joins us and Jian Ye gains the ability to recruit Elite Rangers. They seem a bit more expensive than they are worth however. We have two seals to grant to officers of our choice. I’ll consider the matter.

In August I decide to retake direct control of Wu. They’re not doing badly, but I want to guarantee the city is going all-out in development. I also drop its taxes to 0% so it could go all-in on economic development for a bit.

In September it is time to finish Liu Yao. We march out from Jian Ye. It will be a long trip.

Order of Battle:
Sun Ce, 5,000 heavy infantry, Battering Ram, Destroyer
Zhou Yu, 5,000 light archers, Battering Ram, Destroyer
Huang Gai, 5,000 light archers
Xu Sheng, 5,000 heavy infantry
Han Dang, 6,000 light cavalry

Liu Yao meets us at sea. Before the clash the battle pauses for city affairs.

We trick the enemy into chaining their ships and light them up, but fire ultimately seems bad at sea, inevitable spreading to your own ships. During the battle Huang Gai comes ashore to Intrude Xue Li, forcing a duel!
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... FFE95EA41/
Huang Gai wins, of course.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 27367E08E/
Liu Yao is routed, as expected.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 1AA51D653/


In November Wu is struck by an earthquake.

Xu Gong, Qiao Ying, Jiang Qin, and Cheng Pu are assigned to assist with the aftermath.

Sun Ce arrives at the walls of Yuzhang.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 20AA1EC10/

Huh. Defensive Ballista and Catapults do very little damage to heavy infantry. I guess those shields are effective at blocking boulders. I lose troops trying to make my archers useful but I have a much better idea of how to fight sieges; I think "have heavy infantry" is a good starting point.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 68AAC448F/

I order Sun Ce's army to standby and protect Yuzhang until defensive troops arrive from Jian Ye. The city will go with a skeleton officer staff for a bit since I have to hire all of Liu Yai's officers.

In June Jian Ye is hit with a Typhoon.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... B8962F5FC/

Also, Liu Bei invades Wu!
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 7FD8A4DF6/

The battle continues into July...
Liu Bei I am going to hurt you for this. Lu Dai takes the lead with a small, undertrained unit of Heavy Infantry. However, our defensive siege weapons and rockfall strategems are too much for Liu Bei's lightly armored troops--the enemy archers target our ballistas, a ranged fight they can't win, his other units keep trying to find an unopposed climbing spot (which I don't give them) while they're pelted by arrows and dropped rockslides. It's a horrendous one-sided slaughter.
https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ ... A1137BCBD/
This does, however, answer my question of "who do I attack first after unifying Jiang Dong?" so thanks for that, Liu Bei!

Kong Rong now has five cities.
Also I don't kno why, but Lu Bu vanished from my officer list. Some of his old officers are still sitting in Kong Rong's prison, so my guess is Kong Rong managed to hire him.
There is a good chance Lu Bu is working for Kong Rong, who is now one of the major powers.
Last edited by Gray Riders on Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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