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Stronghold 2 » Forums » Stronghold: Game Help & Strategy Discussions » Sparrow's Extreme Challenges -#4 -- Scottish Cattle Raid (1300)
Topic Subject:Sparrow's Extreme Challenges -#4 -- Scottish Cattle Raid (1300)
posted 12-03-05 17:42 EST (US)         
main thread | main page | all challenges and solutions | rules | honour roll 

Sparrow's Extreme Challenges 
My personal picks of the most difficult maps to play on "very hard" setting. 

This is the map thread for:

Challenge #4   posted December 3, 2005 
Scottish Cattle Raid (1300) 
by Tasluk 
challenge info | download | solution | main thread 

Solution will be published with the next challenge in two weeks.

Please make all posts for this map in this thread.

Please feel free to post your progress, comments, discussions, compare notes, announce victories, or ask for help on this map, but ONLY POST FOR THIS MAP, please. And please DO NOT START ANY NEW THREADS for these challenges. Any new threads started for Sparrow's Extreme Challenges will be locked or deleted.

To post for other maps or for general challenge comments go to the main thread where you'll find links to all other challenge map threads.

Visit the main page for Sparrow's Extreme Challenges to see a complete write up with links, information, and solutions for every map.

Complete this challenge map and be included in the Honour Roll of Extreme Challenge Masters. To be listed for this map make a post in this thread to announce your victory. You MUST state what difficulty you played on so we know which honour roll to put you on.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader

[This message has been edited by Sparrow (edited 12-03-2005 @ 09:40 PM).]

brave sir robyn
posted 12-04-05 08:31 EST (US)     1 / 15       
I look forward to this one Sparrow, it's the first of your challenge maps that I've never seen before.
posted 12-07-05 15:05 EST (US)     2 / 15       
I hadn't heard of it either although it is a good map

I finished playing it on Normal quite comfortably, the invasions keep you busy but it wasn't too much of a struggle. Tomorrow I will play on hard and very hard and see how it goes, I hoping to complete this one on hard at least

posted 12-07-05 22:17 EST (US)     3 / 15       
yeah like NAT i didn't find this one extreame on normal. hard is a challenge and so is very hard.

I went right around at the beginning of the map and attacked the wooden fort from the far left were there are not many troops. Once it was clear my knights cleared the wardogs and the catapault, allowing my main force to walk in just before 1304.

The mass of trees gave me enough wood to sell for gold and the ability to buy iron meant no large trips to mine the recource. It was just a case of watching my armory untill the goals were achieved. The starting force in my opinion is too strong, and i thought being able to buy iron in the market ruined what would have been a rather challenging (extreame) map.

Towards the final invasions what ever challenge i had was burnt- having a rather rich treasury allowed me to buy this rather than collect the pitch and the river/ moat confused the AI a tad. It is a massive advantage taking the fort very early because of the above reason and because it is the furthest point away from the sign posts.

For me one of the easier in the extreame series


posted 12-08-05 07:30 EST (US)     4 / 15       
I always played it from the initial keep, not taking the wooden fort until near the end. I guess it's a much better fight that way. The AI never seems confused when you're in the starting keep. They march straight on in.

It always looked tricky to take the fort that early. Maybe it was easier than I thought. What size force did you use to capture the fort that early on? I assume you began your attack after the June 1303 invasion, or was it before?

I'll have to make sure the next one is harder.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Duc de Noisiel
posted 12-08-05 15:24 EST (US)     5 / 15       
You can count me in on that one Sparrow.

I tried this map on very hard right away and died once, twice, third(?)...
So I figured I should play it on normal to see what was going on.

It was not so har to handle the invasions and develop a strong economy to the side. I happened to win after making all the required weapons (Just after I reached the required amount), from what I remember before the last invasion, and without taking the other castle...

Knowing what was going to happen, I then started it again on very hard.

I had experimented a type of defenses that worked pretty well with the normal setting and figured it would suit perfectly to survive on very hard settings.

I started right away with a -2 cruelty to hurry the production, destroyed the dairy farms already built to organise the economy in a way that would fit in the small area between my walls as I did build my defenses in a way that would avoid the enemy to break in... I built two pitch rigs right away as this is what makes the difference on this map. I built eight woodcutters; and two fletchers as soon as possible. When I had more wood I built eight farms so I would not run out of food as well as an inn to keep a decent popularity and five wells to prevent the fires. (I HATE THOSE UNREALISTIC FIRES!)
By the way, I did not collect any stone (Lol) and bought all the iron.
After a few invasions, and with the increase of population, the fear factor came down to 1 and then to zero, so I got rid of them.

When playing on normal, I had included the dairy farms inside the walls, which allowed the enemy to stand on the little hill facing the castle location with its catapults and breach in several times during the second half invasions.
On very hard, I left the farms out so the catapults would need to stand on the hill where the farms where. I must say it was clever as the enemy forces only built one during the all gameplay, north of the swamp to the right of the castle.

The idea was to build defense walls so the enemy would have no choice but to go first to a gate near the dairy farms who would close so they would have to go left around the little defenses you start with, to find themselves in a "eel pot" surrounded by archers and filled with pitch to burn them down.
This configuration happened to work fine but needed a bit of handling: I placed lines of pitch like stripes inside the "eel pot", not too close one another so when liting one, not all of them would burn together but one by one allowing to the progression of the enemy forces.
A little bit further in the game, the archers would shoot the archers, spearmen and crossbowmens; and I used the same tactic to burn the many swordsmen that would happen to make it inevitably to the keep otherway.

In order to understand the above better, have a look:

From the other side:

I went like this up to 1330, when the last invasion occured... By then, I had around 290 archers, two swordsmen left and two monks.
I then figured I had only 7 metal armours to make as I already had 53 of them and 61 swords, but the objective had changed... It was now to eliminate all enemies. I sent some archers to kill the enemy engineers spread out over the map. It did not change anything, I had to take the other keep. So I took time to build my economy back again, I had only a population of 32 by then and was running out of everything.

I was glad to see the well deserved victory message. It was lasting a bit longer than usual, and I noticed there was still some engineers (Wolf/Black) that I had missed as they were hidden in the forest to the bottom of the map, and they tranquilly walked out to the signpost...

I had focused on producing the weapons, which I almost did before the last invasion occured, but after the change of objective, I did not even use these weapons to take the other keep, I was a bit disapointed. It's a fine invasion map, I made it on very hard, but I don't think I will play it again, I just hate fires.

The field

Reading below that you can take the other keep right away, I think it might be possible on normal, but on very hard, I think it will be difficult to deal with the time to send your troops over there, take the keep and come back while you start an economy to face the coming invasions....

[This message has been edited by Duc de Noisiel (edited 12-08-2005 @ 04:03 PM).]

Duc de Noisiel
posted 12-08-05 16:27 EST (US)     6 / 15       
Around what day will the new challenge be posted?
posted 12-08-05 17:39 EST (US)     7 / 15       
Glad to see your success, Duc de Noisiel. You had more of the type of experience I enjoyed. I left the original dairy farms and claimed the entire hill, using it to expand my economy. This meant that invasions made straight for the main gate. I used a lot of killing pits, but pitch may be a better idea.

I realize the scripting was a little weak in this map but I always liked it for the challenge it presented.

I've put your name up on the honour roll.

I hope Arthus will get back to us on taking the fort early on. After he mentioned that I fooled around with it a bit. It looks possible, but seems like timing is critical as you have to leave your original settlement basically undefended.

Regarding the next challenge -- Chomping at the bit, eh? The plan has been to publish one every two weeks, hopefully on Saturday morning. So the next one would go up on December 17th. I will be doing some more Crusader ones, which would go up in the week in between. Not sure yet about this week, though.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
brave sir robyn
posted 12-20-05 16:21 EST (US)     8 / 15       
I finally got round to beating this one at Very Hard the other night.

My first attempt was a total shambles, (as is usually the way with me ). Out of interest, on my second attempt I tried to cede the other fort straight away. Overall I didn't see that I would gain a great deal by doing this and I felt I was proven correct when I lost pretty soon afterwards. With my starting troops weakened from the attack and spread across the map I simply couldn't hold out against the first invasion. However it was worth the exercise as I discovered what the other fort held in it's armoury ...

So, on my third attempt I stayed put and just tried to make the best use possible of what I already had. I used an 'open pathway' defence similar to Duc de Noisiel, with the entrance covered by as many missile troops as I could manage.This entrance area and the approach was also full of small individual pitch ditches and very many killing pits, which proved to be very effective. I built only a two layer thick wooden wall in most places, with the walls most often targeted by invading catapults up to five thick. I didn't bother with stone walls.

I ran about 90 peasants and and defended myself pretty well in my home castle. The fires were annoying but they didn't cause too much trouble as I had a good amount of wells. Instead of having idle peasants around the campfire I made them wellmen, sleeping the wells when I needed recruits. It's a dangerous tactic I know but I got away with it on this map.
Knowing what was in the other fort's armoury I set about reaching 40 of each weapon and once I had I launched my attack, around mid 1322. I sent a large group of archers to pick off the defenders and a small gang of spearmen to break down the gates. I managed to kill off all defenders only to realize I must have missed something, (either that or the Cede Event was particulary slow for some reason). Two invasions turned up in Nov 1323 and I had to defend these before the Cede triggered.

However my final scores were;

Playing Level = 15000
Troops Lost 42% = 5800
Score = 20800

So I must have only won after the Win Condition had changed in the script.

Anyway, it was a win and I did enjoy playing this map, some of the invasions had me panicking and the general gameplay and landscaping were of a good standard.

The scripting was a bit unusual, but to be honest I found it quite innovative. I'd rather think that the author was allowing a player to either go for the eco-goals and possibly win before time, or if the player failed the eco-goals, they would still be rewarded with a victory for holding out against the invasions.
The choice of capturing the other castle and it's bonuses or going it alone was a nice option too - it's something I tried in one of my maps a while back.
Overall I think it gives the player a few different ways to play and win the scenario, which is fairly unusual.

Enough, on to the next challenge ...

posted 12-20-05 16:59 EST (US)     9 / 15       
Congrats to both of you, I was so close on hard!
posted 01-07-06 17:26 EST (US)     10 / 15       
So sorry about missing your post, Brave Sir Robyn. I have you checked you off on the honour roll for this mission now. Nice observations on your experience with the map, by the way.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Duke of The Glen
posted 01-07-06 18:12 EST (US)     11 / 15       
I completed this one on very hard.

Whereas others on this challenge gave me fits, this map actually went quickly for me. I failed the first 2 times but succeeded on the third.

I waited until the end to take over the fort to the left. I felt staying at the beginning position was defensible. I left the keep open and lined the approach with lots of pitch. I put walls and a gatehouse NE of the keep area around farms and iron mines. This definitely helped during the invasions.

The part of this map that really fooled me was when I tried to approach the other fort at the end from the side. I destroyed the walls only to find I couldn't enter there.

Fun map

posted 01-07-06 20:04 EST (US)     12 / 15       
Fantastic, Duke of The Glen. Interesting to hear how well things went for you once you got the feel of it. I've put your name up on the honour roll for this one.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Lord Blok
posted 02-04-06 06:10 EST (US)     13 / 15       
Hi Sparrow,

This mission was very frustrating. After about 30 attempts (and not getting very far) I had to take a break. I recently came back and tried again. Another 20 or so attempts and still not close.

I think its time to put this one on hold and move on to the next challenge. I suppose I could try to beat it on hard and move up, but I'm too stubborn.

I have not read the solutions yet. I prefer to wait until I beat the map before I see how others approached it. So I will put this on hold and come back to it at a later date.

Thanks for the great challenge. It has been a long time since I came acroos a map I couldn't beat.

Regards, Lord Blok

posted 02-04-06 10:16 EST (US)     14 / 15       
I feel your pain, Lord Blok, but admire your tenacity. When you really encounter a block I think you're wise to move on to others and then revisit the map at a later time. When you come back try to give it a complete rethink. Re-examine the terrain, troop situation, resources and defense options. See if there are things that either you can do in a different way or haven't tried.

I'll be hoping to hear a better report on the next map you try.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
posted 04-25-06 04:25 EST (US)     15 / 15       
OK, I finished this one on VH today. It was the toughest starter for me so far trying to get the strategies and locations that would work for me. I tried to extend out to the ridges, but with wood structures I couldn't find a cohesive design. And the enemy archers seemed to get the angles on me even when I held the high ground. So I tried to contract to the starting build area and build a pitch gauntlet and run it like that. My first couple of attempts seemed like I could have got something working, but my archers were too layered and my forward archers took too much damage. So I finally settled on something that fit into a couple of things I like to do. Extend out my defense and meet the enemy with as many of my archers as possible when they come in range.

I used an open castle design. I made a line of gatehouses going out from the ridge which is the left ridge of the raised keep area. So my left was protected and I was using the extension of gatehouses to forces the enemy a continually longer access around my right. I eventually extended these out to just short of the right edge of the map. I blocked the northern ridge openings around the iron and from the ridge above the iron to the edge of the map to encourage the enemy to come in through the middle green pathway. I used backward facing gatehouses to block off the rear of my gatehouses to provide my archers security from any infantry and provide extra platforms for archers. Creating a double raised line. Also the rear archers can hit on those units that make it into my rear farm area. I closed off the areas in front of my keep to force the enemy to come down the rear of my 'Maginot line'. This is where I put my infantry. They were vital for early attacks were many macemen got in my rear, but I only used knights and macemen later for forays to hit and run siege units that attacked.

Economy wise...early on I went heavy on woodcutters. 10 to start. Around 15 at end and still wood to cut for me. Important for building and extra wall security and vital for pits to get macemen, knights, or swordsmen who were able to reach my flank and turn the corner. Putting a generous amount of pits on my flank was vital in keeping all later attack from my rear.

I went pitch fairly early seeing that I would still need to use it in my defense. I noticed that the enemy archers were getting to many hits on my archers for my liking. So my main pitch defense was used at about the area were the enemy archers would begin firing. This would decimate them and severly limit their ability to damage me and allow for a steady troop increase.

Well back on track. I started food wise with the cheese I was given and expanded as early as possible to try to get a extra rations bonus. As early as I could after that I got my wheat going to allow for double rations to really get my taxes going. This was my financial breakthrough. About this time I had the population and tax to spend somewhat liberally and was really able to buy up iron and wood and increase the sword and armor production. Ending up with eight each. I had three hops farms and eventually dropped to 1 to make room for wheat having 15 behind my front wall at the end.

I used a couple of hunters again which is new for me. They don't provide much, but sometimes I like their distraction factor. I even saw them take out a couple of archers in the enemy stronghold.

I had 5 iron mines on the space available, but bought about 75% of iron was purchased.

I had 5 fletchers early and 8 at the end. This plus the reinforcements gave me 215 at the end in 1314.

I was able to use the stone to begin with to build a tower later on. I built it to the west of the ore on the ridge and used a gatehouse as an entry point. When the enemy started siege equipment I had nothing up in that area and threw it up there. It turned out to be good as its location allowed it to support my front line archers to fire on the focal point area in my front. However, it came under heavy fire and after the gate was destroyed an annoying tree grew up right at opening of the replacement. So the archers were whittled from 15 to 5 at the end. It was still very helpful in that it gave fire power to an undefended area and also rested in my elbow being able to fire on the enemies complete approach along my line.

Well that's about it. The early battles grew desperate and I thought my strategy would fail agian. However, I seemed to turn a corner after the initial break and only the siege equipment provided a real threat. I barely survived the first major siege build due to surprise, but I kept knights and maces for in later attacks to knock them down.

I finished with 60 armor and 61 swords at Oct of 1314, but nothing happened right off. However when 1315 rolled around the victory was given.

[This message has been edited by Ironfist88 (edited 04-28-2006 @ 11:23 PM).]

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