The Draaa'qil: Prelude to Chaos
Like grass polluted by toxic withers in agony, so wither the subjugated minds of those corrupted by foul and dark entities...
They create darkness...
They kill light...
They cut souls into pieces...
They corrupt purity...
They are the ones who serve the Dark Court of Draaa'qil. The ones who serve the Mind Conqueror.
For what purpose do they conquer the minds of innocent people struggling to survive in everyday life as those who they serve do not give them the luxury received by the other Humerii? Do they do this just for fun? For what fun is deteriorating the minds of humble desert folk of nomads and oasis fishers?
But even the "evil" ones have a reason for what they are doing. They have a Mission. And this Mission is to kill, slaughter, massacre, every sign of life on the darkest island of the Top, the disgraceful and arrogant island of Humeria, whose people have abandoned their Creator a long time ago, for why their very existance can not be tolerated...
- defend a large fortified castle against the enemy
- custom towers: unique "wall towers" which get damaged realistically and don't always collapse
- detailed castle with many wall tricks
- beautiful landscape with forests, streams, rocks and other natural eye-candy
- read the story, play the map and then read the aftermath of the scenario in the readme file
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If ever you need to find something to inspire you from the downloads section on how to make a quality siege map, this is it. Yoshi has never made a siege map IIRC, this being his first attempt (correct me if i'm wrong, Yoshi!) You'd never guess from this though. Stunning gameplay from start to finish, a wonderful castle and landscape to draw you into the game and a really tactical set-up. Playing on normal difficulty only, per the instructions, you're faced with an interesting scenario. Armed only with a very small selection of troops (namely archers, crossbowmen and hot oil engineers, nicely pre-programmed to work the oil smelter), you'll face a pretty daunting force of spearmen, pikemen and swordsmen. Initially the odds are very much stacked against you in terms of numbers and the key here is obviously to make use of the hot oil engineers as well as the strategically placed braziers for your archers. Pitch is used to great effect and if you set the ditches alight at the right time, they are deadly.
Really can't fault this map at all, a gem of a siege map with many, many quality elements.
This is a tough map. As mentioned above, you really do need to use your nous and where you place your units will largely dictate whether you win or not. I immediately placed a few archers near the braziers, placed the hot oil engineers in areas where I could pour hot oil down onto the attacking hordes and all crossbowmen on top of the keep. This seemed to work okay. I initially tried to usher a few crossbowmen onto some of the wonderful stone-wall towers Yoshi has designed, in an attempt to knock out the catapults that literally pummel their way into the castle. Not too successful here, but not an issue either.
Balance is generally spot-on. 'Prelude to Chaos' is a damn tricky map to beat when you look at it objectively. Only one small concern, a concern that just keeps the score here from being a perfect 5, is that the catapults managed to break clean through the outer wall, thus rendering the gatehouse and one area of pitch redundant. With such a massive onslaught of siege equipment I couldn't get any of my units to the walls to defend against the spearmen, who largely fill in the moats here, or to atack the catapults. Maybe this is my own opinion and preference of what i'd like to see, but it would be interesting to hear what others feel about this aspect of the map design.
Anyone who has downloaded anything (and I mean... anything!) by Yoshi will appreciate the tremendous amount of work that goes into his scenarios. Whilst this may look a standard siege map, there are aspects of genuis here working within the constraints of the editor. Map design and story are simply perfect (see comments below), but what always appeals to me with Yoshi's works is the continuity and fluidity that is evident, with each new submission linking in to a general theme; a world created and managed by Yoshi where anything can happen. You can't help but respect the talent on show!
Map Design: 5/5
Okay, first things first. The landscape is excellent as always; the castle surrounded by moat takes on a resemblence of a huge fortification on the edge of a lake. The terrain is modelled extremely well. As you would expect! However, the real gem here is the castle itself.
I'm more than happy to go so far as to say that this is without doubt the best castle I have ever seen modelled in Stronghold. Whilst it would look even better in an invasion/economic scenario, with the 'life' of the castle carried by people working away, building, manufacturing, praying, baking, brewing, etc etc, the structure here is alarmingly good. There are no standard towers here. Yoshi has cleverly modelled walls and used different terrain levels, as well as wall-lowering tricks, to create something quite remarkable. The huge areas of walls in some areas, split into different levels, actually look better than the existing towers available in the editor. Some subtle and perfectly suited eye candy effects are evident too. It's a castle... but it isn't... it's a ficticious fortification that is just perfect for the world Yoshi creates when designing maps.
Yep, it really is that good.
Included in the zip file is an introduction to the map, a story to link in to what is about to unfold, plus a prelude that really does deserve to be read after you have played the map through. The download description page gives a link to Yoshi's own site, with screenshots and a minimap. Content is certainly here.
The story itself is quite stunning in detail. I've read previous read-me notes through several times from Yoshi's maps, and they have inspired me directly in my submissions to the site. Once again, if anyone needs any reference point on how to develop and maintain a story for the maps they produce, look no further.
4.8, very, very nearly a perfect 5.0 score. A true gem of a map, every element of the design screams quality and above all else, it's a beautifully modelled, perfectly-playable map. An essential download. You MUST play this!
Very well thought out design and use of the terrain. Loved the way the castle ramped up to the center. Nice work there! Very smooth must have taken a lot of time. The one thing I felt was not quite right was the way the gatehouse seems to get bypassed by the enemy I felt cheated by not being able to use the whole of this fabulous design, but it made the game no less exciting. Thus the four here.I will however play it some more to see if I can effect a change in this by my troop placement (and still win hopefully).
Although I'm not an expert all around player I've played all of the seige maps in the game. To me this is a pretty tough map especially for normal difficulty.Being outnumbered at least two to one if not more but still pulling out a victory, tells me you did a lot of testing on this game to make sure it was well balanced and able to be beaten by most players.Probably not a good first choice for a newbie that's for sure!
Hmm let me see.... Spectacular!! Yeah that pretty much says it I think. Storycould be a fantasy novel with a few more pages,(exaggerating a little) but have you ever thought about writing for a profession? seriously! Map-very unique many interesting tricks and eye candy all put together in a very pleasing landscape. I can tell you took GREAT care in making everything blend together, a fine piece of work!
Map Design: 5/5
I'm not real familiar with all of your work, but this is a very good looking map.The only thing I might have done differently are the trees. I would make them change with the elevations as in nature ie. birch/lower with a few oaks and chestnut mixed in graduating to full oak and chestnut/middle, and finally blend to pines in the upper elevations. Otherwise a beautiful map! Again easy to tell you put a lot of time into it!
Story / Instructions: 5/5
I've read quite a few fantasy series and let me say, you could do this judging by this story. I could easily picture characters and settings in my mind. I'm going to have to check out more of your work if they are as good as this one. Also the instructions were very complete and easy to understand. Definitely inspiration for all who are having trouble putting together a story for their own maps.
Crikey, this is difficult to review. What I can say is that this is superb all round siege map. The style tht the castle was built in is quite incredible. The map starts with all of your men around the keep. This gives you such excellent flexibility. Although time is not on yur side. The key to this map is speed and positoning. It is a real test of yur tactical ability in defence. Great work. Balance was where the map dropped a point and for these reasons - I seemed to perfect theefence of this map, using the combination of boiling oil at just the right places therefore on normal I now win every time. However I tried on hard andvery hardand the map does not function properly. The enemy attack well but without the catapult barrage too many men die before breaking through. I do not know if this happens wth other people - works fine on normal. The last pint i something Sullis mentioned. The catuputls detroy the wall completely thus lettig the enemy in without them starting at the very beginning of the course. What Creativity, some of the best I have seen. The wall towers are magnificent an cleverly done with the staircases. Other innovative ideas make the map truly remarkable. With map design I was a slightly in doubt. On one hand there is the incredible, well designed castle and then the slightly dull surrounding countryside. Of course it had some nice features, river, woods and bridge. But in the end I decided it wa wort the five to bring the total score up to 4.8. To be honest I would rather like to reward more points for playability, creativity and storyline and therefore take other points off in balnce and maybe map design. The storyline to accompany this map is brilliant, unusual yes but wonderfuly written and compellig. Great stuff. Overall a very enteraining map that will continue to amuse. Easily worth the 4.8!
cool map, this is realy good
lol you have all those real long reviews then you have horse and riders.