Dihya custom campaign for Berbers

My new custom campaign for Berbers is online! And it’s no Tariq, this is set in Africa lol.

It may not be the easiest out there but it took me a lot of work and I would be glad to know your opinion or if you find a bug.

It’s my second full campaign after “Constantinople - the end of the ancient world” and the standalone scenario “Adrianople - great battles of late antiquity” continuing the series of a too often forgotten season between antiquity and middle ages.

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Thank you

I will try it as soon as I get a break.

Thank you for all the hard work

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I have a suggestion: Change the random images in the mod to images of the maps from the campaign, I think that draws attention way more, check the Filthydelphia campaigns, those show parts of scenarios, or at least do like Bassi and add some text to the images

I know this doesn’t affect the quality of the scenarios themselves, but it will help draw more people to your campaigns

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I always forget to capture images when testing or fail to find the right moment to do so but it would definitely be a good thing to do! If I can make nice screenshots I’m gonna add them instead of Google images.

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This is a great campaign, and thank you for your hard work, but I think the campaign is very difficult even on the easiest difficulty, and some of the mechanics need some adjustment.

I’m only up to scenario 3, but I found resource balancing to be a problem, for example in the first scenario there is only a handful of gold and complete lack of stone (besides two piles) before you need to be aggressive which is already difficult in a campaign where there are three fights on all fronts.

Although scenario 3’s town switching mechanic is unique, it can be very micro-intensive as often the AI will completely change the resources it gathers, which often means you tend to have to rebuild your economy when you switch. Villagers going idle often requires a moment to re-task them, which makes it not possible to switch seamlessly.

Looking forward to finishing the rest of the scenarios, it is difficult and i’ve had to restart several times. But i do think there is room to make adjustments and change in the difficulty scale especially at the lower level.

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Thank you for playing and giving me feedback, I didn’t get much of it so I made very little changes from when I published the campaign.
It’s surely an hard campaign and some mechanics are a bit rough so I’m really sorry if you experienced some frustration, I hope it’s still funny overall.

I’m aware of the issue in scenario 3, unfortunately I couldn’t think of anything better, usually I switch only a couple of times and when I’m already well settled and I can defend the other towns so towards the end of the scenario. Maybe I should write this in the hints?
I also think it’s easier to play as Aksil since AI using Dihya can defend well enough blue against grey, at least in my experience, while Aksil is harassed by red through water and could have an hard time in the hands of AI.
But in my experience it was competent enough despite collecting resources a bit randomly, you should switch just to build him houses and farms or other things.
And yeah the fact you need to retask the villagers everytime is annoying but I don’t know if there’s a viable solution with triggers… :thinking:
But like I said if you wait to switch when you’re in a better place economically it should be easier since you’re less pressed by time, even if in some tests I did I switched once shortly after going castle age to use the supplies carts in the other village.
I don’t know if you usually do it but pausing the game is very useful when you need to do a lot of multitasking like in this case, choosing actions while taking your time and then unpause.

As for the first scenario do you think that adding a bit of stone could be enough? As for gold you have some both in your base and on an island in front of you so I thought it would be ok but it’s not a problem to add some of it as well!

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No worries! I was expecting some youtubers to have already made a playthrough so I could watch, but realised that they probably haven’t gotten around to it since its quite a new campaign.

Yea I would agree with your starting point with scenario 3, Aksil having castles means you can turtle and defend a bit better before pushing out. Purple seems to deal with grey well enough for me. I haven’t finished, I got halfway in scenario 3 before grey started building the wonder, so will restart. I do think that both Dihya and Aksil should get castles, because there doesn’t seem to be a strong enough balance mechanic for Dihya to not have castles. The unique infantry for Dihya are pretty weak, and there’s no suitable use for the stone either. I noticed some issues with the hotkeys for the tent units, so you might want to double-check the hotkeys. For example, “A” was for Gbetos, but was creating the archers instead.

With scenario 1, adding stone would help with turtling and defending, and I think gold is more the issue here, because you don’t have a decent way to trade given the lack of space, and much of your time is spent dealing with defending blue, so I found that I could really only push teal with either trash or really late when I could get control. In addition, increasing the pop limit to 150 could help, because otherwise the player has to determine a trade-off between gold-intensive unit(on a map with little gold), or a larger army (at the expense of eco), and its essentially a 2v3 situation where green and red don’t need eco to generate units. I acknowledge that there’s further gold on the shoreline, but its under constant attack from ships and requires a transport ship which adds further barriers, so I think if you could link it to the main terrain it might help with making the gold more accessible. I also found the defending the chokepoint objective unclear, i wasn’t sure if I was meant to build fortifications in the chokepoint, or rescue the engineers to achieve bonuses and technology. It would be great for the players if you could clarify that in the instructions.

Hope that helps, i might add in some further comments and suggestions when i play through the other ones. A lot of fun and thanks again for making it!

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I’m a turtle player myself and not too good at being aggressive but Dihya has her strong points (she has a more aggressive play however), you can research zealotry with her so she has better camels than Aksil, also gbetos with blast furnace! And in imperial age she’s got a tech that makes jerawa infantry and archers trash units so I think there is a trade off. Dihya doesn’t have access to knights, monks and can’t build castles though so no camel archers nor maghrebi camels. I think it’s a balanced choice, Aksil is in a worse position on the map though.
As for the wonder in scenario 3 you should try to prevent green carts from reaching Kairouan or they’ll eventually get better upgrades and if you let them all reach the city yes they will start a wonder. Even if it’s against your nature (and believe me, I know this very well ahah) you should try to be aggressive enough to conquer some trade outpost (by building caravanserai) and block their carts (you can even convert them if you’re sneaky with monks and send them to an allied city to steal their resources!) when Dihya tells you they’re leaving from green base.

As for hotkeys I don’t use them myself (I’m not a good player, weird as it may sound given the difficulty of my scenarios) so I still have to add them to all my campaigns.

Ok in these days I’m gonna fix the things you said about scenario 1, at least on standard difficulty, I still wanna retain the campaign on hard difficulty actually hard lol.
Thank you for the feedback, let me know how it goes.

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Just finished scenario 3, so much fun! This time however i stuck with Aksil and never switched once to Dihya. I think the ability to build castles is a huge advantage because it takes a long time for your allies to research imperial, and Dihya is at a huge disadvantage without castles while waiting for the imperial buff to come in. Having castles meant I could also gain map control very quickly, because the south-eastern part of the map is the most aggressive, hence if you stick with Aksil, there’s no reason to switch to Dihya, and Aksil snowballs very well. If you start with Dihya, you eventually need to switch quickly back to Aksil as you said who is pressed the most early on, and you lose momentum very quickly, putting you back. So i don’t think the trade off is worthwhile given the early aggression. While i think the team switching mechanic is unique, given the ability to build castles, one suggestion could be to switch dihya’s and aksil’s position, and have the player control Dihya only in the south eastern portion of the map.

What I also found confusing was the trade mechanics. It’s not intuitive, and there’s too much explanation in the hints to try and make sense of it. I didn’t understand where the trade units were meant to go, and how the merchants were meant to be used. I understood that merchants were meant to control trade workshops, but once i got map control, there was heaps of gold around the map which meant trade never became an issue.

Definitely- i think at standard level it could be made easier, but retain the difficulty for the harder levels! Looking forward to scenario 4.

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Just played scenario 4, and i feel like its a little impossible? its super hard to ambush uqba (he nevers dies and always keeps getting healed) and your troops just get smashed against the roman forts. Don’t actually know if its possible to beat this scenario. Any suggestions?

Another thing i thought of for scenario 3, is that I research Fursan at the stables but never got the Fursan units. Is this a bug?

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Didn’t expect scenario 4 to be that hard, but I think you just need to figure it out. You need to find a balance between enraging Berbers and not betray uqba’s trust before he gets tired. Because as the hints state his regeneration rate and max HP will decrease with every town he raids.
The Roman forts may look scary but remember you just need to damage one building (the main one). For example, for the first fort I suggest to take down the wall in front of one of the kreposts with the rams accumulated, just ignore the cyan units and let Muslims do the fight.
I think it’s important however that you reach the first city with Berbers still allied to you or they’ll attack you (lower than 25 points). From there the situation can degenerate pretty easily. A trick to not let Berbers’ rage raise is to not attack their units unless green needs your help (control their distrust parameter, it goes up by 1 with every unit they lose but goes down by 5 when he accomplished a raid). You basically have to play the devil’s advocate with cyan and green, not letting green be killed too much but also while not killing cyan too much! In general I’d say don’t just throw units against cyan, observe and intervene when green is having troubles, and use rams when dealing with a krepost.
For the second big fort try to sneak the rams in when some cyan unit open the gates, maybe this time put some infantry in the rams so they can defend them because usually at this point it’s pretty much impossible to not have alerted cyan.
The best moment to betray and ambush uqba in my experience is after you take the second city, the regeneration rate should be way lower and he should have lost almost all his army against cyan castle: snipe him when he proceeds to attack the next coastal town, while he’s alone fighting cyan, and before more units come to him. I think trash units like genitours, pikes and skirms are the best to surround him so he can’t move.
My playtester was able to snipe him as early as after the first town but I’m suspecting he’s too good to be a playtester ahah.

For scenario 3 you should get access to fursan after Abu converts Aksil but only if you’re playing as him. When I tested they were trainable at the stable without researching any tech, maybe you mean the elite one is bugged? I shall check and see.
And yeah it’s a bummer the fact that it’s basically better to play as Aksil in that scenario, maybe the switch mechanic is too ambitious… Switching position with Dihya might be even worse since she can’t build castles and you’re more in danger in Aksil’s place.
And about the trade mechanic well I tried my best to explain it in the hints but maybe my English is not very good lol… You’ve actually been lucky that some of your ally was able to go to imperial age before being defeated if you never sent to them carts to help. Usually blue needs resources to survive from green and reach imp while it’s very hard to save cyan. And you can’t go to imp before one of your allies has so the point was to force you to establish supply routes while trying to defend from green. A real pity I did wrong even on that aspect since it had to be the heart of the scenario :confused: you can research a lot of cart related techs to make them faster, resistant, more carry capacity etc. But maybe it’s a good thing that you could just play it as a normal build and destroy.
The merchants’ only purpose is that by sending one of them to an allied trade workshop you get control of it so you can create carts from a position where it’s easier to supply your allies. If you build a caravanserai near a green outpost you gain control of it which it’s very useful to travel safely with carts and to stop green ones.

I admit that there are so many mechanics that I guess a player might feel overwhelmed but I really try to push what a fairly simple game like this could offer, I don’t like to make mindless build and destroys even if it would probably be way easier for me and for the player. So some scenarios can be hard to get at first (wait to see the last two, you’ll probably insult me :sweat_smile:) but they’re all doable. With more feedback however I can adjust them, unfortunately it takes time and I didn’t receive much of it yet.

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Hi there,

thanks for your detailed feedback! i guess I need to try scenario 4 again hahaha. the mechanic is awesome, just as you said find that balance.

I didn’t get aksil converted by abu, so maybe thats why i couldn’t get fursan. There was a technology to upgrade to elite fursan, so maybe that was the issue, that I hadn’t been converted by abu yet so didn’t get Fursan even though the tech was there.

Yea not sure about the trade mechanic, i might try one day and work the trade mechanic, but once you get map control with castles, wasn’t any real need. Purple defended well alone, and Blue can hold out until you get map control in that region.

I love what you are doing and the mechanics are very unique! i think some of them just needed to be fixed or balanced a little bit. I agree- build and destroys are pretty boring in campaigns, it is nice to have some variety.

I am sorry if I am giving you too many comments, happy to give a bit more further feedback if you like!

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No problem, I enjoy receiving feedback so I know how to smooth certain edges for future campaigns. I wish I actually received more of them but it’s still early I guess, just two months since I published it. I keep updating my previous stuff, it took months to fix all bugs and to refine the gameplay, even if in the case of Dihya I think I’ve been more careful, I had less experience before.
So let me know if you need help or catch some bug, thank you again for playing!

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Finally got through with scenario 4! A great scenario that’s got two different styles, which i really enjoyed. Some thoughts on making it better:

1.) The first part of the scenario, if you don’t get the balance right it becomes really easy to “soft-lock” yourself into defeat. I feel like scenarios should be able to be completed regardless of whether certain objectives are met unless they are hard-required win conditions (like don’t let X die), but I feel like once teal becomes neutral or enemy, it becomes hard to kill uqba at a certain point if you haven’t defeated the 2nd city. Teal has too many troops, and has higher pop space than you, and since you don’t collect resources and green seems to struggle to get a sufficient army size, it becomes a hopeless endeavour. I restarted 3 or 4 times before I got the balance right, so I suggest that there should be an alternative mechanic to continue to finish the scenario if the berbers turn against you before you kill Uqba, or provide in the hints at what discontent level they will switch, and how long the cool-off period is. Alternatively, it should be an instant defeat if the balance is too skewed, so the player isn’t trying to fight a losing battle. I don’t know if your play-tester got to this point, but perhaps try play-testing it at enemy level and see if it is possible to continue the scenario. If not, a way forward is required.

2.) For me, teal ended up killing uqba at the point at which you said, but when i first approached the scenario, it makes it seem like that you could kill Uqba at any point in time so long as you could isolate him. Therefore to the player, it is not intuitive as to how the mechanic is meant to work, given realistically you can only kill Uqba after you’ve taken out 9 bases. For example when I made teal go neutral at 8 bases captured, it wasn’t enough for me to deal with teal, and teal can’t do enough damage to Uqba, so the player becomes stuck (similar with the soft-locking issue above). This needs a bit of a rework, whether you make it more clearer in the text, or make it possible to kill him earlier in the scenario.

3.) The second part of the scenario in contrast to everything I have been saying, feels too easy. its a 4 vs. 2, and very easy to snowball, chuck a few castles up and send rams. Not sure if it was related to the difficulty, I imagine that the green bases were meant to produce units, but I feel that the allies were too powerful to a degree.

4.) Also hotkeys again. not everyone uses hotkeys, but found it annoying that I couldn’t use hotkeys to build tents which had replaced the houses. I love the aesthetic of the tents by the way! Nice touch.

Looking forward to scenario 5!

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Ok I have an idea to make the teal rage mechanic less snowbally. You’re right that it becomes pretty nasty and pretty fast, pressing you too much, even if the idea is still that you can’t go back from it (it would be unrealistic that teal decide to suddenly trust you again so in a way it’s meant to be snowbally, just not that much maybe).

As for suggestions it’s all written in the hints, how to kill uqba, why he regens, the trust level etc. I’m usually very meticulous about explaining the mechanics so I don’t know what could be wrong, maybe it’s too much to remember? Usually in my scenarii it’s better to consult the hints when you need clarifications rather than reading everything at the start and try to remember later because there’s much to unwrap. I always use all the space the game gives me (not very much) to write hints so maybe it’s just bad wording, I don’t really know…

For the second part yes it’s way easier, you already are capped at 100 pop so the solution is either to make red have post imp upgrades or make the others produce less units. As for hotkeys yes I never implemented them but I’m going to sooner or later.

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It’s not really wording issues, it’s that there’s too much for the players to read. I understand that you want to push the mechanics as far as possible, but I personally don’t want to spend 5 minutes each scenario reading how the mechanics work, only to realise that the game is probably lost because I mis-read something. With scenario 4, I was thinking that you need to let the players know when teal changes stance, because it’s not written that teal changes stance at discontent level 20 or something (from experience). This would help the player avoid snowballing issues but maintain your mechanics so they can have that balance.

I’ve started scenario 5, but again found it too difficult in the second stage, and I think you have the same problem where the difficulty snowballs too fast if you can’t accomplish the side-quests quickly enough. there’s also some bugs that I found, for example orange and blue tend to send units to protect the mosque, but they end up clogging the middle so you can’t send units or villages north. Also do you lose control of the mosque when the castles are destroyed? I think the trade carts need to send some stone too, because its so hard to defend when the castles are not at full HP. Stone is quite far and the largest pile is under direct pressure from teal’s base. There is also a stuck relic behind some stone near blue’s eastern base.

I think I will probably stop at scenario 5, it’s just getting too hard and I am a bit time-poor so am reluctant to keep restarting. Overall I like the concepts you’ve introduced and the maps are beautiful. Each scenario offers something different so well done on putting this all together. Some further suggestions and overall comments:

1.) Adjust the difficulty scale. I understand you want to make a hard campaign, but even at standard it is too difficult, and there are casual players who want to just get immersed in the history and do something a bit different other than build and destroys. The mechanics are wonderful, but please make it easier for us casuals at the lower difficulties. For sure, keep it as hard as you want at the higher levels.

2.) Reduce the complexity of the scenarios and instructions. There’s too much time spent reading about mechanics which increases significantly the workload of the player, so many of them become a chore rather than a significant feature. You want the unique mechanics to stand out. As I have said, there’s too much reading and you should avoid addressing feedback with “did you read the instructions?”. Players probably did, but it was too much to remember and keep going back.

Some of the scenarios result in soft-locking defeats, where it is not possible to win. Scenario 4 and Scenario 5 had these issues, where in Scenario 5 I found in the first run, defeating teal’s bases whilst getting simultaneously raided because I hadn’t kept any leftover nobles or ox carts or monks was super hard. Also without siege, you’re basically not going to be able to destroy the castles, so if you miss the only blue base with siege, you’re basically not going further with the scenario if you run out of time before the saracens attack. Personally, some of the objectives should be listed as secondary objectives, not primary objectives, where they give you an advantage. Often if the secondary objectives are not completed, the disadvantage is too much, so it’s basically a defeat if you don’t accomplish them.

4.) The biggest problem I have is that generally, the enemies tend not to have an economy, and they auto-gen so many units. Fine, keep this at the hardest level, but for mere mortals make it an even playing field and give the enemies an economy to raid otherwise the game becomes grindy. Again, it’s the mechanics you want to let shine, not the disadvantages put on the player.

These are all suggestions, and my experience may not be the same as others so take these suggestions as you wish.

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Totally reasonable, indeed without any of the Roman town support in scenario 5 it’s hard to resist green but I would still call it a secondary objective since you’re not forced to ally with them all.
As for the lack of siege you could train a treb or two while in Carthage and this would make your life easier later, I think it’s mentioned in the hints but I know that it’s a lot to read so it’s easy to miss.
I really thought some carts delivered stone, maybe not for all cities however?
It’s true that it’s hard to be prepared for the second part the first time you play and it’s hard to warn the player enough about maybe saving one or two monks with relics and nobles or supply carts to have an advantage later instead of putting them on the boat at the beginning. Even there the intention is to have to choose an advantage before or later but you can have both if you’re really good in the first part.

But definitely difficulty seems to be a problem for many players so I’m gonna reduce it overall by different means for every scenario.
And for AI the problem is I don’t like using it in general but I’m slowly getting into it and I’m gonna update all my scenarii sooner or later. The ones you’re fighting now are all units moved by triggers only and no AI.

Well I’m sorry it was a bit rough and frustrating and you feel like not continuing, I still need to improve on that department for sure.
I have other older custom campaigns that should be smoother because of months of feedback and patching: they are the Constantinople campaign and a one big scenario campaign called Adrianople. If you ever feel like trying them, let me know!

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