Desert Dogs is a pretty good siege idea overall. Using beach terrain, a nice feel is given to this map. Playability is okay, with no major problems as such. It's a fairly large attack (if you are defending) and the AI seems to work well here, as they attempt to break through the castle walls. Once through though, access to the keep is fairly easy via liberal stairways within. This holds back playability a little and makes some parts of the design, such as the small gatehouse to the keep rather redundant. Credit given for the start of the map, which sees your troops returning to the castle as the enemy masses just outside the walls. This is a neat touch and fits in with the story very well.
Only one problem here, it's too easy to win if you are defending, which I assume is the only way to play the map given the storyline. You have plenty of archers at your disposal, as well as pikemen and macemen. Reducing the units within the castle walls would make this a little better. The map is uploaded under normal difficulty, but I was able to win playing on very hard setting, and thus facing the maximum number of units. I'd also consider reducing the caged war dogs, as they can do a fair amount of damage and are a little excessive.
The map would lend itself well to Crusader, but the author has done a credible castle within a desert setting here and with the small areas of water placed on the map, it looks quite good. Added to this is the simple yet highly effective start to this siege map. Nice work here and it's refreshing to see something a little different.
Map Design: 3/5
There are some good rocky outcrops within the desert sands that look fetching. The castle is well designed and presents a fairly formidable defence. Nothing wrong with the design at all, and would score higher if there were more detail. Still, a great effort that I found pleasing to the eye.
A strong storyline holds the map together well. It's well presented and absorbing. I'd liked to have seen more here in terms of content and imagination, as the author has clearly an eye for detail.
I liked this siege map and found myself playing it a number of times, testing different tactics and approaches. Ideal for someone new to the game, maybe, as the difficulty unfortunately lets this scenario down a little. What the author has done here is good though and it has some great elements within the design. Good effort, keep up the work! :)