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Downloads Home » Stronghold: Invasions » The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 4

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The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 4

Author File Description
Sulis
File Details
Map Size: 300x300 (Medium)
Difficulty: Hard
The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 4

Castle Darkwater



Evril's heart sank. Was he really destined to spend his last days in the shadow of Castle Darkwater, watching the Neroli prepare to lay siege to the mighty walls of Sylvandell? He has no words of comfort to the few remaining villagers of Gibbets Marshes, who were captured amid the fierce battles along the way. They are already weak and the Neroli have left token food supplies for them all. The outlook is pretty grim, and yet Evril has come so far already. A glimpse of Sylvandell is all he has to show for the long expedition.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Some of the spearmen who excaped being captured by the Neroli have returned, and are trying to work out the best way to tackle the insurmountable odds stacked against them. What was it Rennish said, about the pitch wells?


AUTHORS NOTES

I have tried to produce a slightly different map with the fourth chapter in this series. There's no economic goals, no castle to defend... and no way to stop the Neroli from attacking. I've borrowed this idea from a great map from the NAT team (thanks for the inspiration!). Initially, I wanted to avoid placing any sort of keep, but in order to make the AI work they way I intended, I have had to incorporate one into both the design and the story.

Within the zip file is the full story to accompany this map. As always, the chapter has also been posted in the Recovery Room for all to read. Please bear this in mind, should you wish to review this map and are looking for the story.

Chapter 4 is a relatively short scenario, and must be played on normal difficulty. Without giving away too many clues, normal difficulty will give you the right amount of starting units.

As always, happy gaming!

Sulis
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Bismuth
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
I don’t feel quite qualified, as a relative newcomer to Stronghold, to give a review for one of Sulis’s creations. However this beautiful scenario has been on the website for weeks without anyone making a comment. So here I go…

With currently 1248 scenarios available on SHH for download, one of the biggest challenges must be finding something new and unique to create (well, I haven't really looked at all 1248). But Sulis has definitely done something unique with Sylvandale 4. The map has a strange and mysterious atmosphere, full of destruction and uncertainty. Playing this, I felt like I was attempting to solve a complex puzzle where every move must be precise to reach the correct solution.

He has masterfully created a ruined city and destroyed landscape. When I create maps sometimes I tend to sprinkle rocks and vegetation like salt and pepper – but you get the impression with this terrain that each item has been carefully placed one-by-one. He also displays a good understanding of “critical distance” (i.e. How close can you get to an aggressive enemy unit before triggering an attack?) Enemy troops are located all around the map and you must walk a very narrow path to avoid destruction.

The description on the download page is enough to strike one’s curiosity and the download file contains an entire chapter of the story (nearly 4,000 words). Sulis is writing a book!

Balance? Well, I haven’t won yet, not even quite sure how I will do it. But I am enjoying the challenge. Just a few more tries and maybe. . .
Lord Ephraim This map really rocks! It plays well in my laptop. This is a must-download map! Thanks for making such a prette map. May you map making skills be more creative as the days pass by.


Happy gaming to you and good luck
on making more maps.

REQUEST- Can you PLEASE make more Secrets of Sylvandell maps? Please, I really like and love them!!!

MasterofPhate
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4
This game was fun to play, and the initial task made it stand out as unique. Not that tacticly involved but still needed a little thinking.

Balance: 4
Balace was good with the number of macemen attack and the number of engineers and archers available to fight them off. Did not cause too much trouble but still could be a strugle the first time around.

Creativity: 5
Very creative scenario, ruined castle and lake looked great, and the way the macemen were killed was interesting to say the least.

Map Design: 5
Great map, I like especially how you used moat for the lake, it gave it a much more creepy feel and let it live upto the name Darkwater.

Story/Instructions: 5
Story was great addition to the next chapter in the sylvandell series. It was good to build the instructions in with the story, made it that much better to read.

Additional Comments:
Adam the First
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
The gameplay of this mission is stunning. It is on a very high level, which is beyond the word "entertaining". The fun this scenario guarantees is.. can't find the correct word... I just loved the way of putting together the puzzle elements and finding the way to win. First I was a bit scared seeing those large numbers of macemen before the lord, and I didn't know how would I reach and protect him, as after a few years, invasions started to appear and went straight to kill the lord, and I hadn't even cleared the way! "How? How can I kill those large mess of aggressive macemen?" I thought, but soon after I found that I had a lot of oil boilers, I quickly realised what should I do with them, but perfecting that strategy took me many times, as I had to be very careful, cause of the macemen and had to clear the way in time, as the invasions were still on their way. But finally, I successfully managed to get to the king and with a wise use of pitch and the remaining oil boilers (and with the help of the reinforcements), I could defeat the Neroli and win the map!

Balance: 5
Perfect balance, I have to say! The mission was hard and challenging. The map has many strategically important places, and the scirpting is brilliant. The player has to be very fast, as very good timing is needed to win. I have to congratulate the author for his achievement in difficulty!

Creativity: 5
This is, probably, one of the most original and most creative scenarios ever made. All aspects of the scenario show that a lot of effort and thought was put into the making, and the outcome is simply stunning. The feeling achieved in this map by Sulis is amazing. The scripting is a masterpiece in itself: I just love the way I had to figure out everything(see palyability above), the puzzle elements were great, so as the increasing number of invasions and the reinforcements. This map truly shows how talented the author is.

Map Design: 5
Absolutely stunning map design. I liked the way the author created such great looking ruins and terrain with quite a simple use of the tools. The rocks and cliffs were placed precisely and the usage of dirt on the land borders is also something which is special about the author's style. Also, the dead trees and the lake built up from moat have a prominent role in the dark, marshy and somewhat dead atmoshphere of the map. The design is very clever and thought out, it really does what it is intended for.

Story/Instructions: 5
A very long, detailed and pleasent story supports the map with clear instructions and some hints built into it, which makes it a must read. It is very well written and reads very well. It is like a chapter from a real book. I have to congratualte the author for such an effort! :)

Additional Comments:
This outstanding scenraio by Sulis is one my favourite maps, as I've said it has a great replay value. I encourage everyone to download this gem! :)

[Edited on 04/24/11 @ 04:46 PM]

Timballisto
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
There are not a lot of options per se in broad approaches to this map, but execution is everything here, and making sure you get it right will fully command your attention. You must make sure you spend your limited resources carefully. Oh, and, there is something highly satisfying about lighting up the mobs of macemen who until recently were giving you quite a bit of grief, what with their leather armor being such an effective deterrent to your archers' arrows. Burning a path through those who would keep Evril imprisoned is delightful. The flow of the level is also highly satisfying, as it is clearly divided into three distinct stages, each with its own rewards.

Balance: 5
Played on very hard, this level was beaten through extensive use of save files, particularly one before the very last couple of attacks in order to find the best use of the three engineers with oil I still had left. The difficulty was on the upper-end of what felt like the sweet-spot for the playability.

Creativity: 5
This is a wonderfully creative map, it is unlike anything that I have previously witnessed. The focus on fire as your primary means of defense as well as attack is fantastic. However, it is more complicated even than that, as you are given some resources other than fire, but what to do with them is not obvious, and these resources are received in stages, so it is as if you are playing three different games together in one. You cannot build a castle. There is nowhere to hide. However there are sets of paths the enemy must take, as well as vantage points from which to fire upon them. You are forced to think about the best way to use what you have.

Map Design: 5
The map design is great. The feeling given by the terrain in the map matches almost perfectly with that given in the story, and very much sets the mood for the scenario and does an excellent job of grabbing the player's attention. The castle is exceptionally well-done, it is a great example of a ruined fortification that has almost merged itself back into the dirty, rocky landscape from which it once rose above. Also, putting in all that moat seems like it must have been an absolute pain.

Story/Instructions: 5
The story did a good job of keeping my attention.

Additional Comments:
This is a particularly wonderful map. If you play no other maps in the series I would recommend you at least play this one.

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Rating
4.9
Breakdown
Playability4.8
Balance4.8
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:2,758
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:698.08 KB
Added:10/22/03
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