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Downloads Home » Stronghold: Sieges » Dry Lake Castle (Update)

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Dry Lake Castle (Update)

Author File Description
Andrei The Great
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
Here is a minimap of this map:

Hi again everyone!
This is the update of my previously and also my first map Dry Lake Castle. I can’t really call it the update, because most of the things are different, but the design of the dry lake is slightly the same. I have updated it, because when I created the original one (the first one), I didn’t know how to create a good map, but thanks to Sulis who gave me some hints how to create a good map, I hope that I will get a good rating this time. I have been doing this map for like 15 hours in total, so give me some respect, don’t say that this is the worst map ever, or I might get a heart attack… :)
Well let’s start then:

I recommend you to play on three difficulties: Normal, Hard and Very Hard for best result (depends on how good you play).
Also this map is only to be played as Attacker, because I was creating this map only for this settings, otherwise it could look not fair, if you will play on Easy difficulty and as a Defender, because the map contains stairs and bridges, which can be hard to cross over for the A.I. (computer)… :)
BUT, sometimes the computer is clever and can cross the river by bridge, so try it too. If it will work, then it’s is quite good as well… ;)

Kill all enemy troops.
You don’t need to kill the king, because there’s none… :)

Once upon a time there was a castle named ‘Dry Lake Castle’ which was build by a strong, but not evil king named Andrei The Great. He was 25 when he started building a castle and 57 when he finished building the castle. He was building it for 32 years without stopping and believing that his castle will be build one day. When he was 25 years old and he said to some people that he wants to build a strong and not similar castle to other castles, most people said that he’s too young, some people said that he’s crazy, because Andrei (he was called The great yet) said that he wants to build a castle in the big hole, so there will be only one way in and out. Some time later he found a lake, near to the village where he lived, which was a bit dry, so he said to all people that he can build a damn (he was a genius), so the lake will be totally dry, so he will be able to build a castle on the bottom of the lake. Many people called him ‘Mad Andrei’, ‘Crazy Boy’, and nobody wanted to help him, but he did found some people who didn’t think that he was crazy. He found 28 peasants who had some skills in engineering. And so he started to build a damn first. It took him 1 year to build a small damn, because the river which was going to the lake had a fast flow. But when he finished building a damn, and people saw that it is working, because in one more year lake was totally dry, and people began to join him and helping him building a castle, beginning with the keep and farms. One day other king came to Andrei and said that he likes his idea and gave him some money, food, resources, small army and peasants. With Andrei giving money and food to people who were building his castle, more and more people began to come to his castle. Within 20 years he has completed building buildings on the bottom of the lake, but he still needed building the walls, because some groups of bandits were coming to his castle and stealing money, food and killing peasants. In 12 years he has finished building the defence around the castle. It took him so long, because the damn had to be repaired every year and it was slowing him down. Also his castle was located on the cliffs near the sea, and the walls were collapsing every year, because the sea waves were eroding the cliffs. But he did finished it, and he was proud of himself, especially when the big gang of bandits came to the castle, and he defended the peasants without a lot of casualties. After that he has became the King Andrei The Great and he named the castle as Dry Lake Castle. And he was still building more and more things, like roads, more defence walls and towers. Many people gave him respect, even if he was already old and sick. One day he was feeling worse ever, so his people took him to other town, so that they can try and cure the king’s illness. Andrei The Great was so badly ill, that he couldn’t even leave someone as a leader or give instructions what to do, if someone will attack the castle while the king is away. Even without instructions the king’s army is quite good in tactics, but without commands they can mess the things up. Also the king took his best knights and barons with him, so they can protect him, so the castle is not heavily defended.
It is YOU who is attacking the castle!

If you will play as Attacker, as I recommend, you will be placed in the place near the castle, so the crossbowmen will be attacking you from the very beginning, so I suggest you take some crossbowmen and archers as well.
Also you have some engineers with which you can build trebuchets and catapults to take down some towers and walls.
I also recommend, you take some swordsmen (knights), because they have a good defence and attack as well, so if you will run out of crossbowmen, archers, trebuchets, catapults and engineers, they can take the towers and walls down while enemy crossbowmen and archers attacking you.
As this map has no King on, so you will need to kill all enemy troops to win, so leave some army for that.
Also there’s a place with pitch on, so be careful and GOOD Luck!

I just want to say some things about my design, in case you haven’t found some small details.

- The castle is located in the small hole like with only one way in, so it is difficult for enemy to concur it.
- All the river crossings and roads are protected, so it is like in real castles where kings were always fighting for river crossings.
- I have placed all the industry buildings, like mills, bakeries, churches and market places inside the walls of the castle (on the bottom of the lake), and all the buildings which produce armour, weapons and train army outside the walls (not on the bottom of the castle). So again just like in real castles.
- All the terrain is not flat. It has some low and high land, which again is what it will be in real nature. It took me quite a long time to develop.
- I have put shrubs along the river or lake banks, or next to the boulders. It is again like in real nature: rocks ‘weather’ away due to the action of wind, rain, frost and heat. They crack and break down over a period of time, releasing minerals into the soil. Plants would find these places good to grow. Also with rivers, they deposit fertile soil that plants would naturally prefer to grow in.
- I also have put different trees in different places. For example I have put Oaks and Chestnut trees near the rivers. Or I have put the Pine tree on higher land, so it can flourish there. I have put the Birch tree dotted amongst other trees. It grows quicker than the others, but gives the woodcutter less wood.
- The river on my map flows downhill, which is how it will be in nature. I have put the river on the lower land than the land, so it will look like the river cut its way down through the rock, until it reaches the sea or a lake.
- I have placed some small boulders in the rivers, so it will look like the river has a fast flow. I also put some underneath the waterfall and at the bottom of the cliffs, where they would break away from the main landform.
- I have placed some stacks (geographical meaning) in the sea, so it will look like in real nature, where the waves erode the cliffs.
- I have included some birds and animals as well, just like in the nature.
- I have put some ruins on the edge of the cliffs where the wall is, so that it will look like the cliff has eroded and part of the wall has fall down. And people have built a wooden wall, so that they don’t have to waste the stone, because the wall will erode again and again.
- I haven’t put a big army in the castle, so as it looks like the King and his army has really left. Also a big groups of armies standing near the keep, which suggests that they can’t fight without king’s instructions.
- I have included a small height walls and a road which look just as real. And at the end there are some stones on the road, which looks like people have been building it and had no chance to finish it, because they were attacked.
- I also have included some strange design of towers mixed with the walls…

I think that’s all. If you have found something I haven’t wrote about in here, count that too… :)

Again I want to thank Sulis, who gave me most of these hints, so I couldn’t have built it without him. So the half of the rating you will give me have to go to him… :)

I have got some bugs in my map. For example there’s a wooden tower in the canal which leads from the dry lake to the sea. I can’t delete it. Don’t know why.
Also I think when you attack the castle and loose all your troops, it doesn’t say that you have lost. Also don’t know why.
I have been writing all these to the Microsoft Word first, because it is better to read than in Stronghold Map Editor in Scenario. I thought that I will be able to copy and paste it there after I will finish, but I can’t, so it will be empty. (I don’t want to write this all again. I’ve been writing this for like 3 hours… :))

Well good luck playing this map, and don’t be so evil in real world: Don’t attack someone who has no king… ;)

P.S. I would really like some comments about this map, even if they will be bad…
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Sulis Playability: 4/5

Dry Lake Castle is a first submission from this author, and it is a commendable map. Looking at the notes provided on the download description page, this is an attack-only siege. As a result, the review is based on that method of gameplay.

At first, it appears that the odds are very much stacked against you. The author has indicated that the map is to be played on very hard setting (per the difficulty column in the scenario page). The starting troops provided are pretty weak, as you face swordsmen, knights and, more often than not, pockets of crossbowmen. The map is designed to give you two possible routes for attack, and I opted for the eastern side here, avoiding the better-defended gatehouse structures. The design is such that you will make more or less full use of the size, which is a plus point. The challenge to kill the enemy lord here is there, and I found the map fairly interesting throughout.

Balance: 3/5

As above, I initially saw the map and felt uneasy taking my weaker units into a siege against much more heavily armoured defenders. Yet despite this, I won on first attempt, with 22% losses. Using the starting gold (not excessive, you have to be careful what you build and where... another plus point), I opted to take out the two square towers just on the other side of the river. Because I intended to break through one of the (incredibly) thick walls, I needed to be sure I could move my units to within striking distance without being shot to pieces. A few well placed cows took out the crossbowmen on top of these. I then regrouped my archers and units and faced some pretty heavy attacks from the knights. From here on in, the map was beaten by using the 'attack here' function, and a few spearmen to take out walls and gatehouses. I found it crucial to remove any archers next to braziers, because there is an enormous amount of pitch that will easily wipe your army out in a second.

Balance overall is okay. A few issues need addressing, but this is primarily linked to the layout of the terrain and the buildings that defend Dry Lake Castle.

Creativity: 3/5

There are certain parts of this map that do hint at a creative streak. The idea behind it seems to be a good one, making good use of the map layout (your units will do some walking before they get to their destination) and the decentralised castle itself is different. Once again, a commendable effort here.

Map Design: 3/5

In terms of functionality, the map is quite good. One or two small design areas to be addressed though, as the sunken castle on the lake bed is all too easy to attack with grouped archers. The height advantage of walls and towers is lost. The idea remains sound.

In terms of aesthetics, some areas of the terrain look okay and show signs of modelling.

Story/Instructions: 3/5

A fairly short story/background info summary to introduce you to the map. Needs a bit more content and something to grab the attention before a higher score could justifiably be considered.


As a first submission to Stronghold Heaven, this is a good effort. It could be a problematic siege, and a tactical, slow progression may be best given the huge army you face and the weaker units at your disposal.


-Work on the terrain more. What you need to consider is the functionality of the map just as much as the looks. Try not to give an attacking army too much of a helping hand. I'd blend/equalise some of the cliffs with the flat of the lake bed, giving a more natural appearance but also removing some of the height advantage they will have. My units were able to attack the castle before they castle could attack me.

-Again, in terms of terrain modelling, to achieve a decent score, or at least a justifiably decent score of 4 or even a 5, you need to present a landscape that looks visually stunning. Try using smaller brush sizes when laying down terrain plain levels and consider blending areas to give a more undulating feel. Dry Lake Castle has some fairly rigid areas of plain that look a bit awkward, and 'unfinished'.

-Try, if possible, to expand on the story. Let the imagination flow! Consider some in-depth thoughts and comments on how you feel the map plays, any problems you had whilst testing and the general idea you are trying to get across to the player.

Best wishes,

Angel Sulis
UnikUnok First, thanks to Angel Sulis for the accurate review of this map. The previous reviewers have given this map a very misleading score. This map, although a decent effort is certainly not Best of Stronghold material. With a 4.4 it will post on that list. See the consequences of this: First time downloaders will think this is some of the best we have to offer when clearly it is not. This is not fair to the rest of us. I unfortunately am not as gracious as Angel Sulis. I think somethings up here. Two first time reviewers never seen before at SH review another first timers map and give it 2 perfect 5's? I wonder if these fellows are in cahoots with each other.
Andrei The Great
File Author
Man, you are professionals...
I could not even imagine all the things you said Sulis, but when I will post another map, I will try to do all the things you said. The most difficult part is the Story. I just can't made up a proper story, like this castle really was somewhere... But at least I will try. Thanks for comments Sulis.

And no UnikUnok, they are not my accounts or something. Why would I do that. The only thing I wanted is to hear some professional comments, and now I have them (thanks to Sulis). And if I would have to cheat and create like 20 accounts and rate all 5s then I would still not be number one, because I think this web site has more proffessionals who would understand that and rate my map as 1 for all options... :)

P.S. Soo I will post another one... ;)
UnikUnok No sir, I do not think you would create several accounts to cheat. I thought you might have had friends post them for you. Regardless, it is unimportant and I take your word to be true. By the way do not sell yourself short. This is only your first submit and the fact that you even attempted a story and a decent one at that immediately puts you above most first time submits. I think with practice you will make some phenomonal maps. If you would like I will be more than happy to review the map for you but after the comments posted by Angel Sulis I doubt there is more that I could offer. My rating would be roughly the same as his. Play On good Sir!
Andrei The Great
File Author
Thanks for such nice words UnikUnok... :)
I will need to download some proffesional maps, so I can see how exactly I need to make more details and not impossible castles... :)
The reviews by King Alexander and Maljosh have been removed.

The map has been checked (& reviewed) by a member of staff and, while all reviewing is subjective, the high ratings are evidently wrong in this case.

If either of you wish to review again, please read the Review Guide, try to make valid points about the map and learn punctuation and spelling.
Andrei The Great
File Author
Now I have only one person who rated my map. Oh well doesn't matter (if it is a professional)...

I just want to ask a question:
What if I will change it, I mean like make a better story and all the things that Sulis said and then submit it again, so I will get a better rating. Am I allowed to do that? Just wondering if I will remake it, will my map be good... :)

I am creating more maps at the moment, but I can't think of anything special, than this castle, because this castle is in the place were the lake was, but if I could have been allowed to create a castle on top of the volcanoe, but Stronghold is not allowing me to do that... Well I will think of anything anyway... ;)
Andrei The Great
File Author
wow, I would never think that I will have so many people downloading my map. How can they download it with such a poor story of my and without a picture... :)

I will soon update it (I will make a proper story, insert more details and also will include a picture), so can you not download it, so my updated map will have more people downloading it. :) Just kidding. If you are downloading this map, then please download the updated one (which is not published yet :)), because if you like this one, you will definetly like the updated one. I hope... ;)
Andrei The Great
File Author
At last I have submited an update of Dry Lake Castle. So is it better now? ;)
Andrei The Great
File Author
Strange, no comments at all...
I've been doing this map for such a long time, and nobody can even rate it... :( Very sad...

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