The Battle for Wesnoth is a turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme.
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. User-maintained content is available from an add-on server, and the very best of it is incorporated into Battle for Wesnoth’s official releases.
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. Some other factions reflect divisions within human society — loyalists vs. outlaws, for example. 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.
Finding Your Way.
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.
- The tutorial is a real, but basic, game which teaches you some of the basic controls needed to play the game. Winning or losing is not important here, but learning what to do is. Click the Tutorial button to play. In the Tutorial you are in the role of the prince Konrad or the princess Li’sar, learning from the Elder Mage Delfador — pay attention or he might turn you into a newt.
- Wesnoth was primarily designed to play campaigns. Campaigns are a series of connected scenarios. Click this button to start a new campaign. You will be presented with a list of campaigns available on your computer (more can be downloaded if you wish). Select your campaign and click 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 challenging, but not difficult. You may not change the difficulty during the campaign. In case you have serious problems fighting your way through easy difficulty, the guide about Basic Strategy will surely help you. Once you have selected the difficulty, you will start with the first scenario of the campaign.
- Click this button to play single scenarios against one or more opponents. You can play the games over the internet or at your computer, against computer or human opponents. When you select this button a dialogue will appear and allow you to choose how you want to play the scenario. To learn more, see scenarios.
- 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 enter the content server where a whole lot of content created by normal users is hosted. Among the things available there are many campaigns, multiplayer eras (defining factions for multiplayer games) and multiplayer maps. With the "Remove Add-ons" button you can remove them again once you do not want them anymore.
- Map Editor.
- Click this button to start the Map Editor where you can create custom maps for multiplayer games or for building your own campaign upon.
- Click this button to read the previous little tip from the "Tome of Wesnoth".
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