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Stronghold 2 » Forums » Stronghold: Game Help & Strategy Discussions » Sparrow's Extreme Challenges -#7 -- 4 Unexpected Return
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Topic Subject:Sparrow's Extreme Challenges -#7 -- 4 Unexpected Return
Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-14-06 21:14 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 #7   posted January 14, 2006 
4 Unexpected Return 
by Lord Arthus 
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 01-14-2006 @ 10:03 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
WarLord_Designs
Archer
posted 01-15-06 01:13 EST (US)     1 / 21       
hahaha....HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! This map is a shame to my name Sparrow! its a ugly peice of terraining but gameplay is good, digging up this relic lets designers see if i may say it how 'crap' i used to be

Let me say a couple of things if i may - this is scary stuff too.

I am actually releaseing an updated version of this map with improved castle and indeed terrain today for playtesting now i haven't publically announced this so what are the odds of that???? i was a little shocked thats 1 in a million odds don't you think?

Now about this map: i have to compliment it in 2 areas
1. its a hard one on very hard that you can be sure of

2. thinking......... nope just the 1
Now back to the important thing - please don't think less of my terraining skills when you play this map Please PLEASE!

Enjoy guys and look out for the ultimate version coming out later today for playtesting, lets just say over the years ive become a tad better

Happy gaming,
Arthus


Work in progress
The Ourea 3
Fallen Angel


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Author: Thomas Paine

[This message has been edited by WarLord_Designs (edited 01-15-2006 @ 03:18 AM).]

Darkslave Master
Archer
posted 01-15-06 06:15 EST (US)     2 / 21       
yea that's scary...
Duke of The Glen
Archer
posted 01-16-06 03:18 EST (US)     3 / 21       
Sparrow..have you beaten this map on very hard??? Congrats to you!!! Man, I have tried 5 times and not even close! I finally beat the first invasion...not a chance on the second one. Wow!
Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-16-06 03:46 EST (US)     4 / 21       
Yes, I would never present anything that I hadn't done (and had fun with) myself. This is definitely a unique kind of battle, which is one of the reasons I always liked it. You will need lots of crossbows so whip that castle into shape and utilize all the resources and defensive tactics at your disposal.

Good luck!


DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
WarLord_Designs
Archer
posted 01-16-06 13:05 EST (US)     5 / 21       
Sparrow you ust have super stronghold powers!

I fear not even the creator of this beast is able to beat it

I'll keep trying though

Arthus


Work in progress
The Ourea 3
Fallen Angel


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Author: Thomas Paine
Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-16-06 15:13 EST (US)     6 / 21       
All's fair in this one. So look deep into your bag of tricks and use anything you have.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
WarLord_Designs
Archer
posted 01-16-06 15:16 EST (US)     7 / 21       
ahhhh.... deleting stairs and blocking areas with stone walls? seems like you want me to cheat Sparrow, naughty boy!
well thats what i pictured when you said all is fair

Work in progress
The Ourea 3
Fallen Angel


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Author: Thomas Paine
Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-16-06 15:20 EST (US)     8 / 21       
Well, you didn't give us any gates, or much time, so....

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
WarLord_Designs
Archer
posted 01-16-06 15:32 EST (US)     9 / 21       
hehehe yeah lets not forget and be thankful that old Lord Arthus is dead

I'm gonna try again but i admit its still very hard, good job at passing it sparrow! it would have taken something special!


Work in progress
The Ourea 3
Fallen Angel


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Author: Thomas Paine
Duke of The Glen
Archer
posted 01-16-06 19:58 EST (US)     10 / 21       
Wow! Finally beat it on very hard.

score:
15000 very hard
17% lost troops 8300
Total 23300.

Before, I had been using 8 engineers on balistas but realized this didn't work. Too much money for engineers and balistas and a lot of stone for the towers. Had weapons left over and no money to train troops.

This time, I played smart and had LOTS of crossbows BUT most importantly, the AI was stupid this time ! Both attacks came from South East- easier to defend, and on the second attack, half of the pikemen came first. Only after they were almost gone did the rest of the attack come.

What really helped was, this time I used one of my favorite tactics...I had 8 cow farms and two catapults throwing diseased cows! Don't know why I had forgotten to do that earlier.

Didn't use any Good Things...do they help your army fight better? Better morale?? I've never used "good things".

Sparrow, thanks for this challenge series. It has made me a much better player. Much better. Learned quite a few things from the forums. Thanks.

Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-16-06 21:24 EST (US)     11 / 21       
Well, that didn't take too long. Good work, Duke of The Glen. I've put your name and "X" up on the SEC main page.

Diseased cows. That's good. I didn't use those.

Good things do give you a combat bonus, but they severely impact production. Generally you get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 10% reduction in output for each positive fear factor point. That's 50% or even less for a +5. Exact percentage depends on the industry, it's location, and location of the good things.

So glad to hear you're enjoying the series and becoming a better player.


DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Lord Coeur
Archer
posted 01-18-06 14:03 EST (US)     12 / 21       
Well, I eventually managed to win on hard, though it took a number of tries before I got there. Would have given up if the scenario wasn't so short. Don't think I want to try this on very hard...

Like Duke of The Glen, I first tried to build ballistae, but eventually realized it was too expensive (and required too much stone for the towers), so I tried with more archers instead. The first invasion came from the southeast (I don't think I could win this scenario with the first invasion from the northwest), the second from the northwest.

Score:
10000 hard
18% lost troops 8200
Total 18200

Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-18-06 15:39 EST (US)     13 / 21       
Good job, Lord Coeur. We have a place for winners on hard, too, so I've put your name up on the honour roll.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Lord Coeur
Archer
posted 01-18-06 16:38 EST (US)     14 / 21       
Thanks, Sparrow. Guess I should go post about the other two extreme challenges I've completed (again, on hard), now that I've taken the trouble to create an account...
Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-18-06 20:15 EST (US)     15 / 21       
Yes, by all means do!

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
brave sir robyn
Archer
posted 01-31-06 15:51 EST (US)     16 / 21       
What a great fight! I finally achieved a win at Very Hard on my fourth attempt and was very satisfied with my troops performance. I really enjoyed this challenge, being a short game helped the replayability factor and it was no hardship to play through several times to gain that elusive Victory.

The castle is a bit odd, with stairs on the outside and a nice open route in for any invaders, so the first task was to make repairs and turn it into something defendable. I salvaged all the stone I could from the broken wall section to the north-east, this gave enough to patch the holes, make a few improvements and leave a surplus on the stockpile for future use. I made and recruited a fairly even mix of archers and crossbowmen and extra spearmen, I didn't bother with any heavier troops. I taxed the peasants at about -4 and countered this with ale consumption. I opted for a small economy, so I deleted two hovels to reduce the population and save foodstocks, this also allowed my Inn to give +4 popularity.

In a previous game the first attack came from the north-west so I blocked off the ford crossing with some stone wall, forcing the invaders to take a longer route to my castle. However in my winning game both attacks came came from the south-east corner.
The first invasion was comfortably dealt with, I rushed a force of approx 20 archers to meet the invaders and manged to eliminate the engineers before they could reach their siege tents - as you can imagine, this helped my cause a great deal. I'd already positioned spearmen on the walls so any laddermen that didn't get shot were quickly pushed away. With some selective targeting from my missile troops the remainder of the first invasion weren't a huge threat but I did lose the outer gatehouse and it took time to pick them off, the second invasion turned up very soon after the first was wiped out.

When the second invasion did appear at the south-east signpost, I'd guess around a 100 pikeman and a dozen horses decided to make the long journey to the north-west signpost instead. (Too many troops appearing at the signpost with not enough room around it caused this).
Anyway, this was the second invasion's fatal mistake - I took the opportunity to move all my missile troops to the northern walls and shoot at will, severely weakening the pikeman. In the meantime I sent another force of archers to confront the standing invaders at the signpost and using 'attack here' tactics I caused as much damage as possible before the battle horn sounded.
At the horn I ran my archers back to the walls and repositioned all my other missile troops to face the invasion, ignoring the north-west pikeman for the time being. This invasion was tough, my existing pikeman defended the inner gatehouse for a while but both they and the gate fell before too long and the invaders then made their way to the keep. I'd put up a small wall section blocking easy access and forcing the invaders to walk round the back of the keep, buying me valuable shooting time, inevitably though they reached the keep and it was to left to my 30-odd spearmen atop the keep to beat back the near-dead pikemen.
A win was now within touching distance, the enemy pikes that had walked to the other signpost were now making their way back and suffered even more arrows and bolts before they made it to my keep. The majority were so badly wounded they didn't pose any real threat and a well earned victory was finally mine after a huge struggle.

It's not the best map, as Arthus freely admits, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging play - especially at Very Hard level. It's not often a player has to work that hard for a victory but what a satisfying victory it was. Thanks Arthus ...

I seem to have mislaid my scores for this one, if I find them I'll put them up ...

Sparrow
Archer
posted 01-31-06 19:27 EST (US)     17 / 21       
I love to hear you had fun with it and had a great victory, Brave Sir Robyn. One of the things I like about this map is that, despite weaknesses in the AI behavior, the invasions are still strong, and the enemy can be quite unpredictable. Very nice write-up.

I've put you up on the honour roll for this one.


DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Duc de Noisiel
Archer
posted 03-26-06 11:58 EST (US)     18 / 21       
You can count me in, Sparrow.

This map was not easy to beat on very hard. I had to try quite a few times before to win.

As for Brave Sir Robyn, I redesigned the castle so it would feet my taste, if I may say so.

After trying a variation of several types of economies, and loosing averytime on the second invasion, I finaly closed the entire castle except the long path, that I would close when the invasions would come in, in order to collect at least some wood. I built one wheat farm and one hop farm inside the walls, manage to use the apples only for sell, and did not care for hiring any crossbowmen at all, except the ones you can hire at the beginning of the game.

As for the winning map, both invasions came from south left and all the forces walked to the north west location of the map, which allowed me to make some damage to the enemy troops walking by.

The first invasion had gotten inside the walls by damaging the wall near the main gate but they had not broken thru the second gate. I repaired the wall and I had time to eliminate many opponents before they finaly destroyed the main gate, and finaly, the second gate.

As I did not use any spearmen or pikemen for the first invasion, I had enough full-strenght defenses to smash down the few pikemen still alive dragging their carcass to the keep.

I was glad to end up with this mission, I must say I tried it probably over 20 times to finaly make it...

Sparrow
Archer
posted 03-27-06 03:42 EST (US)     19 / 21       
Very good, Duc de Noisiel, and without many crossbows. Interesting. Sounds like it was quite a fight. I've marked you off on the honour roll.

DoY's infamous TREASURE ISLAND - Challenge #13 - Sparrow's Extreme Challenges for SH1 and Crusader
Ironfist88
Archer
posted 04-29-06 14:45 EST (US)     20 / 21       
Just got this one on VH. It went fairly easily once I got the kinks worked out. I initially thought compact. Being that the enemy will possibly be swirling in from multiple sides I thought I should keep a compact defense so that everybody can cover every side. Shifts are short and resources are spared. My 1st attempt was inefficient and went way to heavy on towers. So I quit it after the 1st attack knowing I wouldn't survive. Then I got fancy and tried some kind of gauntlet that failed miserably and I didn't have the patience to work out the kinks. So I went back to the compact defense. After studying the keep area I came up with something that was flawed, but still worked. I deleted almost all existing stone and used the recovered stone to build a tightened defense and to have a repair reserve. I built towers high on the two plateaus next to the keep. I also built two towers and later some walls right around the keep allowing a final fall back area in case of break through. However, there was never a serious threat. The 1st attack got strung out trying to punch a hole in my outer blocking walls at choke points. And the 2nd attack was too staggered to ever seriously threaten. The only problems were archers out of position that had no angle on attacking troops. I basically gave them a lot of wall to chew on and pounded them with as many archers as I could amass.

I started with a lot of woodcutters to help with initial building and to provide for extra walls and pits. I used pits, but I believe my spare wood would have been better used on walls exclusively as the payoff would easily have been higher.

I added some dairy and several tanners and one more fletcher early on. However, something seemed to get hung up and I only managed 9 extra crossbows for a total of 19. I should have had 25 to 30 by the first attack. However, I was able to convert to bows during the first attack and use bow puchases to get enough firepower for the battle. I had 19 cross and 80 or so archers for most of the fighting. I believe crossbows are important, but you shouldn't be afraid of archers on this one. With enough wall for the enemy to chew on the archers made easy work of them. The crossbows are most important, in my opinion, to match up with enemy archers to keep them from reducing you too much. So put them on the hottest corner on high ground and they should provide that benefit.

I also used some ballista which I think was inefficient overall for me. I could have used the extra money for more archers and also the tower stone for extra thickness. They did help a little with some trebuchets and and some hits on the heavy infantry, but they wiped out my crossbow tower that was on higher ground forcing a reload and deactivation of the ballista until the end.

With a tight defense my economy was completely gone early into the 1st attack until the end. So I had to make sure to have a repair reserve and all else needed by then.

I went heavy with apples for early food trying a extra ration tax and selling of extras to provide for bow and ballista purchase money.

Once the battle got going it fell easily into place with isolated units tearing down wall from cover providing the only threat. And it was easy enough to shift archers and throw up 1 or 2 wall pieces to cover it back up.

[This message has been edited by Ironfist88 (edited 04-29-2006 @ 02:51 PM).]

Dark NeRo
Archer
posted 04-29-06 14:58 EST (US)     21 / 21       
congrats iron fiston it looks very interessting what you made with the castle.
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