(updated 10/21/05) Stronghold Heaven :: The Final Stand
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The Final Stand

Author File Description
NAT
File Details
Map Size: 300x300 (Medium)
Difficulty: Hard
Minimap:
Welcome to NAT's first map in ages and our 3rd map. It is a quick and classic seige map which delivers action!

The storyline is simple with you, a leader of a rebellion forced back to the countryside. There you find an ancient iron age hill fort. Your men do well to strengthen and fortify the old fort in preparation for the Snake's pursuing force.

Although this map is a medium size, do not be fooled! It is one of our best with some landscaping we would urge you to take the time to look at. It is quite a tricky map to conquer. There is a lot of tactics and fire involved, so be on your guard. I feel the AI is good on this map, something we are very grateful for. Id reccomend the average player to start on normal and adjust accordingly.

A lot of time went in to this and we hope you enjoy playing.

If you have anything you would like to say about this map, simply e-mail me at

Stronghold_NAT@hotmail.com

- NAT
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Sulis Playability: 4/5

This is a very good siege map, well designed throughout and a tough one to beat on hard setting, per the downloads section rating. Shame it's over so soon, as it's an addictive little number. The AI does work well here, as the authors rightly point out. There's little time to muster any sort of defensive position, but this added to the gameplay, as the map plays frantically from start to finish. It's good fun and very, very addictive. I played some ten times in the short time that this was available for download to the time of this review. Not quite deserving of a 5 score, but not far off either.

Balance: 5/5

Excellent. I played on normal setting initially, per the author's comments in the downloads description page, and then a few times on hard setting, whch is the level the map was uploaded at. Normal should suit the lesser experienced player, but even on hard, and with some suicidal tactics, it's still a great fight. I opted to burn the interior buildings with the hot oil engineers and still only just managed to beat it. I also tried to muster as many of the archers and crossbowmen into the inner sanctum of the castle as a last resort. You may not need this approach on normal. Designed really as a defending siege only, per the story thread, it's deserving of the full score here for a genuinely hard map but that plays well on other settings too. The balance between attacking troops and those you have to defend with is perfect.

Creativity: 4/5

A decent score here goes for a well rounded design across all areas. It's another classic example of a simple design and premise but executed very well. The AI seems to work due to having only one gatehouse to get through and having a 'missing' gatehouse on the outer edges of the defences, defended by ground units and protected by towers is a great little design idea (must use that in my work too!!)

Map Design: 5/5

'The Final Stand' is a stunning map. The authors have done remarkably well in creating an old hill fort appearance, the terrain looks very good and adds to the atmosphere of the map (atmosphere is something I babble on about a lot in reviews; it's certainly achievable using the editor to carefully design the landscape to meet the story, as is the case here). The fort itself is great, simple enough but that's all you need really. It looks excellent. Combining these elements with the fact that the design lends itself to the mannerism that the AI works, a 5 score is more than deserved.

Story/Instructions: 4/5

There's enough content and substance here to warrant another good score IMO. The story reads well and the author has taken the trouble of pointing out a few design ideas and thoughts in the downloads description page. Only missing out on a 5 score due to personal preferences... i'd love to see a full-blown story develop with these maps by the NAT team, they would suit the excellent standard of work and developing storyline in their submissions to date. Certainly it deserves an over-the-top story!

IN SUMMARY

Another great map with some lovely design features. Plays very well, is quite tricky to beat (though possible) and has bags of replayability. Recommended.
talos_911 I've seen, with more than a passing interest, that NAT has been churning out quality maps recently. But Real life has not allowed me to really play Stronghold, so as I sat down recently for a little all night SH Marathon, I found myself playing NAT's map over and over...

Playability : 5
This is a very cool little map. The AI functions well with the map, sieging the castle very realistically. I was impressed to little face-offs all over the map...mainly Archers vs. Macemen...moving your forces around is necessary here but not much time is given at the begining so frantic troop redeployment is guarateed (albiet a lot of fun :) ). What disappointed me was the short duration of the map...although it is perfectly allright to create short sieges...I invariably found myself adding more troops to the map with the editor and getting the satisfaction I wanted (I hope they don't mind)...Still full marks for a fun map to play.

Balance : 4
The map is no walk in the park...as I said, troop deployment is crucial...on my forst try, I was moved down on easy !! so I had to really take off from the start in my second attempt...although it is fun, I think the average player might find it kinda tough.

Creativity : 5
The map is offbeat and unique which I liked. The Ford-Moat is a cool idea and the wooden/stone hybrid walls are well done. Use of elevations is impressive as the low moat slows troops and allows archers to pick them off easily.

Map Design : 5
As I said, the map is very well done. Good use of terrain tool makes for a realistic and rugged landscape. The stream supplying water to the Ford-moat is well done,as is the road leading to the castle's outer bailey. Its little touches like these that make the map stand out as a whole.

Story/Instructions : 3
The pre-mission story could have been a little more detailed...it would allow total immersion into the map. I hope NAT keep this in mind the next time around and bring this up to the level of excellence in the other fields.
A look into the Scenario Design Forum in the thread about tips for writing good stories would be very helpful IMHO.
The map description is well done with the minimap image...if only the story was top notch like it...

Overall : The only gripes I have with this map are if it were a little longer and more fleshed out...aside from that, its a great little map and a must-download to enjoy and take a few tips on sceario design.

Keep up the good work guys ;)

-Talos_911
Jalis Once is not an habit, It's probably one of the few map I beat easilly at very hard, without it stroke badly the playability. Quickness of the scenario, good looking of the landscape and original design of the game is probably responsible for this. That prove that efforts in any compartment help to make inconveniences to be forget.

Balance : I launch the map at very hard for my first try. I have to admit it was half a mindless moment and a penchant for joke at the same time. Surprinsly it was a quite easy victory. My gate was broke at the first serious attack (pikemen squad) even my two pitched engineers send a "special gift" to the assaillant.
what irony, It was this early gate break who allow me an easy victory. As The gate was out, the way to the keep was free, and all ennemies rush the keep at once... All travelled by the narrow way of the former gate... and this long columns was burn to death of course.
First try at very hard 7% loose . I loosed early the engineer responsible for the oil smelter because of loosed arrows. That lead I had only one pitched engineers to burn the crazy column. Second try 3% always at very hard.
Well Nat, that means, and it's not new, that narrows way the ennemy is bound to cross (the gate is the only option to storm the keep) could be under certains circonstances a deadly trap. I rate 4 anyway, perhaps to break my bad habit to be too severe for balance, and because I pull out one or two trick from my backpack to defend my keep.

Creativity/originality : well, historical context is original, as well as the castle design. It's also not very curennt to have short siege. Overall an original siege map.

Map design : Bah it's a Nat map ;-)

Story, on the average, not very detailled, not very original, and a bit short.

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Added:07/05/03
Updated:10/21/05
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