Battle at Waterbury Bridge v2
Posted on 11/10/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 12/02/03
The King's wisest counselors agree that the Wolf will invade our lands in 1076, which is 10 years from now. In defense of the Kingdom, you are commanded to establish a strong point on the west bank of the Waterbury River and make preparations to fend off the invasion.
Unfortunately, His Majesty's counselors slipped a decimal point or two in their calculations and you find, to your dismay, that the invasion begins just a few months after you arrive at Waterbury.
Your initial fortifications are only half completed, you have no provisions laid in for a siege and your troop strength is low. On top of this the terrain provides only one natural barrier to the enemy's advance, the Waterbury River, and this is bridged at two spots giving the Wolf easy access to your position.
Failure is not an option. Keep your head and use your resources wisely. You must somehow destroy the invaders.
This scenario moves along fairly quickly but still gives you a number of options for how to work out your defense. I suggest you play on NORMAL or HARD. The map provides options for the attackers as well. As I tested it the AI kept surprising me with something new.
I have included some hints in the download but I encourage you not to use them unless you need to.
Based on the very detailed Review by Sulis, I have modified this map and, hopefully, improved the play and appearance.
Enjoy the battle. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed!
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Battle at Waterbury Bridge is a near perfect invasion with a tricky terrain to overcome. There are one or two possible flaws in the game which detracted from the overall playability element, but nothing too major, or that can't be remedied.
The start of the map is one of the best I have played in a long time. This is what Stronghold is best for, a mixture of invasions and trying to establish a decent economy (by this I mean food chain and resource extraction). You have weapons at your disposal, but an incomplete castle too. Starting gold is about perfect too. The invasions are relatively small but frequent and caused me some real headaches as I desperately tried to feed my peasants. And therein lies one of the best parts of this map. The terrain is largely mid or high plain and suggests dairy farms are the main food source here. But it's not all flat and suitable for building on. The dairy farmers often had a fair distance to walk to the granary. I really liked this element of the map and added some real playability.
The problems, if they can be described as such, lie with the second half of the map. The designer has utilised drawbridges in an enemy colour, but the knights are unable to get over these and therefore I had to deploy my own troops to finish them off, thus winning the game. Knights are a real pain in small scale invasion scenarios like this. Tough to kill and always looking for buildings to demolish! I'd recommend a land bridge here rather than gatehouses to allow the AI units to move more freely. Coupled with this, the invasions seem to die out and this allowed me to build up the economy that is required. Some more events, maybe based on resource gathering (e.g. 20 stone = invasion) would solve this problem. With these two small but (unfortunately) significant issues addressed, i'd happily give this a full 5.0 score. The map still deserves a 4.0 score here though for the frst half of the map.
Maybe a bit generous given the issues that need addressing above, but I still feel this is deserved. The author has clearly demonstrated a skill in setting up invasions and providing a tricky map to build on. If only it continued to the end! I faced a variety of troops here, from archers to macemen and pikemen, not to mention some catapults and a battering ram. The castle took a beating and left huge holes in the defences that allowed units to get right inside and attack my lord. Good stuff, just what a map needs... a win by the skin of your teeth!
So, we have a landscape that looks like it will hold plenty of dairy farms... but doesn't. Getting enough food was always a problem and the layout of the terrain is cleverly designed. I spotted one place for either a wheat farm or a hops farm. Again, this I liked. What do you go for? Hops, brew ale and raise taxes? Or wheat and secure the food chain? Your choice really, and this allowed the player to choose options in how best to tackle the map. For me, this was a major plus point. Maps like this have ben done before, granted, but few are as good as this.
Map Design: 3/5
To look at, 'Waterbury Bridge' is more functional than pretty. It's got a rugged appearance to it but suits the style of gameplay perfectly. I did like the river that has cut through the parent rock. It looked natural and something I do like to see in map design... a terrain that looks realistic. To gain a better score, i'd recommend a bit more terrain modelling, and some small features that catch the eye such as rocky outcrops. Still, it's good and nothing to be ashamed of.
A good story is presented well. The key here is the way it ties in with the map. You know what to expect and it's a good marriage between the two. The author has also given us some thoughts on the design and has also provided some tips within the zip file. Again, maybe a bit generous givng a 4 score, as content is lacking a little. I like it, I can see what the author is trying to achieve.
I really enjoyed this map. It's got some fine elements to it and is a cunning and tricky map to beat. A shame that some small points need addressing, but a score that reflects some fine design touches. Good, very good in fact, and has the potential to be a belter! Nice work :)