The Royalty could call it anything they liked, the reality of the situation? One third of the nation ceding from the Crown was a Civil War. I suppose it is hard for the King to admit that it was his coarse of action that had brought the nation to this crisis. Would he have ordered the assault upon Wynn Avegen if he could have foreseen the current situation? Would you have led that assault if you had known the outcome of your now hollow victory?
The fall of Wynn Avegen was greeted with outrage. Within days all of the Western provinces declared their independence from the Crown. A battle line was drawn, The Western Line. Towards it, your loyal 7th Division has marched for over a fortnight. An assault has been planned across this entire Western Line. The King means to crush the insurrection with one massive blow. The 7th has been ordered to the southern flank of this assault. It's objective, the important cattle town of Southern Cross.
The town supplies most of the beef and dairy to the Western provinces. Striking a blow here would cripple the enemy. Unfortunately, Southern Cross is very well defended. The garrison has raised extensive outer defenses such as trenches, ditches, and foxholes to impede the Division's advance. The traitorous 23rd Division, which chose to support the rebellion, has positioned elements of its cavalry and armor to counter the 7th's attack. There is also the Castle. Due to the importance of Southern Cross the King had begun the construction of a fortress to defend the town. The fortifications were nearing completion when the current crisis arose and it is now in the hands of the enemy. Construction has continued and should the castle be completed we may never dislodge the rebels from Southern Cross.
The town that has been ever present in your thoughts can now be seen in the distance just as the sun is setting behind it. Perhaps it is better to lay camp and assault at first light. No sooner have you given that order than the alarm is sounded. "My Lord, my Lord, an army approacheth, it is the 23rd sire!" Your loyal 7th roars its battle cry as the distance between the two divisions rapidly dwindles. The cross bolts begin to claim their first victims. Men who are no longer your countrymen, brothers who are now your enemy.
Author's Notes: Southern Cross is designed as an attacking siege only. The intended level of difficulty is Normal or higher. The map will play as a defensive siege and though not overly challenging, it is quite entertaining when played on a difficulty level of Very Hard. Keep in mind however, that it was not designed as a defensive siege. Access to the town is restricted to gatehouses, you are given other options. It is best to think of Southern Cross as an assault against entrenched and fortified territory rather than a standard castle siege. A massive charge like the tactics used at Gallipoli will bring similar results, Good Luck!
Southern Cross is Chapter 2 in the Saga Of the Seventh.
The Story thus Far...
Ambush At Manathma
The Cumberland Downs
The Battle At Andolin
The Vierville Draws - (coming soon)
Also Related - 'The Interlude' Battle Of the Solomon Sea
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Oh my where do I begin…..? I have just finished playing Southern Cross for the first time since downloading it some days ago. If stronghold is an addicting game for you…Get yourself ready for an incredible amount of fun, Strategic thinking, and a feeling of accomplishment if you succeed in a win… Took me some 3 hours not including 2 restarts…
The game begins with you being faced with having to make quick decision’s… Take guard… Don’t stop to reposition your troops..!! Knights to mace men are your first challenges… The challenges flow throughout the campaign to the end... I don’t want to give up too much information… UnikUnok has created in my opinion a great siege map…One of the best I have played yet... What you have is a Siege that while playing as an attacker as the author has stated you should, you are faced with three (3) fronts you have to overcome before getting to the Keep… From elevated plateaus, gulleys with pitch…, A huge Moat…. and Crossbowmen and Archers that keep you busy thinking how you’re going to eliminate them to allow you to push forward…
The Balance of the game play, I believe solely depends on your troop selection... Not enough Archers and Crossbowmen you’re doomed … too many …? Your doomed…The slow pace of Swords and Pikemen charging … DOOMED… “LOL”…. The allocated amount of money for siege equipment is perfect…But be careful not to create anything too soon; you may need some equipment further on, In your push forward…
The only negative game play concerning the Balance I found, is regardless of what troop selection you’ve made …? In the beginning you have to overcome Crossbowmen and Archers that are sitting on Wooden towers which are placed on Elevated plateaus … In my opinion it’s a little to hard….Your army cant push forward…I had to take a lot of time having my archers from a safe distance attacking their location to kill them off….
Creativity: 5 & Map Design: 5
I Feel I must include these two Scores comments together… If you have ever downloaded any of UnikUnok’s work..? Then you know of how creative his/her maps can be. Not only is there great detail to the landscape but the combination of having three (3) guarded fronts you must overcome is an Idea in itself. I.e. Crossbowmen standing guard in individual lowered pits in the ground…Strategically placed… The City sectioned off and fortified separate from the Castle... The Castle being protected by being built on an Island...…The Ocean to the South and a large Moat to the North… etc. Now is that not an Extremely “Creative” way to make a “Maps Design”…….. And the great Eye candy that’s included... Lockbox gate houses throughout. Wooden stairs towering up Stone towers… And my favorite… The visual of an Actual Stone tower being constructed…complete with scaffolding with the building engineer giving orders…. Simply a great Map… A must for anyone who enjoys taking in the scenery while playing a great siege...
Story / Instruction: 5
If you have taken the time to read the Storyline completely then you know it is at its best….Come on… here is an excerpt from the end, and my favorite part : “Perhaps it is better to lay camp and assault at first light. No sooner have you given that order than the alarm is sounded. “My Lord, my Lord, an army approacheth, it is the 23rd sire!” Your loyal 7th roars its battle cry as the distance between the two divisions rapidly dwindles. The cross bolts begin to claim their first victims. Men who are no longer your countrymen, brothers who are now your enemy”. Who can improve on that…?
A great all round map - although designd for attackig which is what I will base the review on it gives a good defensive siege as well. A perfectly playable map - but noting too special. Attacking maps are always difficult and this one no anomaly so a deserved 5. difficult and close - nedded some thinking to attack the keep which was good. The castle on the whole is stunning - especially the outer parts of the Castle - The keep itself was rather ordinary apart the wonderful half made tower. This was something I had never seen before and it amazed me. The castle really did look half built - a real piece of fine map design. Other cretive ideas include the crosbowmen sunk into the ground and loads of palistone,wooden walkways plus much more - surperb. Most of the surrounding map design was of a high standard but in places it was quite ordinary. eg the ditch bfore the town - a great idea but it was so bare and simple - could be more interesting and in other parts like around the keep a moat going into the lake could have been livened up. One thing that slighly irritated me is the way you can go round the town area. However these faults are very minor compared with the rest of the map. A fantastic story - well written which is nice to see. Overall a good map, mixture of sieging and fighting and in my opinion deserves 4.6.
Playability and Balance: 9/10
It was amazing, making me think every step of the way. In the end, I was rewarded a very joyful win. However, it was slightly annoying to have all the x-bows to worry about and pick off nearly one-by-one with my archers. I don't consider myself very good, so I often play on easy. It was easy in the sense that I beat it my first play-through with lots of troops left, even though I let several troops wander off to their death. Neither fault was large enough to take a full point off in each respective section, so I combined the two to give a 9/10.
UnikUnok is one of the most creative designer out there, finding new tricks and putting use to them. This map was uploaded 7/13/03 and it took me 2 years to find out how to recreate the trick of the tower-in-creation.
Map Design: 5
The map awes the player at first sight then disgusts him or her when they realize they have to conquer the castle on this landscape. The landscape looks natural surrounding the castle and then sculpted by man to provide even better defense near the keep area. The castle and town look amazing. UnikUnok is one of my main sources for inspiration, as he pushed the map editor to its limit, or at least darned near it.
The storyline immerses you immediately. It gives purpose to what you're doing and clearly defines your goals. UnikUnok crafts his world perfectly.