Posted on 11/23/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 04/12/05
The Conquest I -
The first part of the ten part series starts off with the arrival on the scraggy shores of the Forrian peninsula by Prince Edward and his men after the great battle for Ithsmir. Prince Edward led his followers across the wild sea of Versek and Eventually arrived on the North-Easter peninsual of Sallium. Your fathers kingdom in ruins, you have landed at a village owned by the foolhardy Lord Malian. You must sieze this oppurtunity and capture and defend the village. 'in vinculis etiam audax' - In chains, yet still free!
The Conquest in general follows the path of prince Edward and many other characters in their conquest for peace in the islands of Hertoin. The first five maps will be set in Sallium and the last five in Dinlathia. As well as the prologue video which can be downloaded here there will be a epilogue video.
The Conquest I is quite a moderately easy map as it is the first in the series. It is designed to be played on normal. The maps will get harder and longer as the series goes along. This map should be played by both experience and newer players as the balance is set to enable a majority of people to play. In the zip file there is a background to the islands of Herton, and the storyline that Edward finds himself in. There are tips on how to play the map and of course - the map.
-Note - The first 15 people to download the map actually downloaded a beta version of The Conquest II due to my immense stupidity and disorganisation :( . The mistake has been rectified so could those 15 people download this again and wait for the final version - sorry!
If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints please e-mail me at
I would greatly appreciate your comments on the site.
Thanks a lot !
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Playability: An immensely enjoyable scenario. There is the seige part, where you rally your weary forces to take over the Rat's village, and then the invasion part, where you fend off wolves and the Rat's troops.
Balance: Though the cede part was fairly easy, there was barely enough time to build up enough archers to fend off the first invasion. The wolves and the occasional fire killed off many villagers, causing my economy and troop production to come to a standstill. Had to restart a few times to get the hang of it, but then I'm just an average player.
Creativity: Fair amount of creativity here - your weary and injured troops scattered over the rocky shore of Sallium, having to take over an village. Other than that, it is just a normal cede-scenario.
Map design: Definitely the best aspect of the scenario. The map design was superb, and rocks and stones were used to good effect to make the terrain unhospitable. There was barely enough space to build any more buildings, but I guess that was intended. The rocky shore looked very authentic, so did the river running through a gorge behind the map. I really envy your map-making skills.
Story/instructions: Full-length story and detailed instructions. Spelling and grammar mistakes were few, but nevertheless present (though that is to be expected, seeing how long the story is). The downside is that there were too many fictional names, making the story rather confusing.
What a wonderful start to what promises to be a great seris of maps by NAT. The scenario was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. The simple cede of a basic wooden fortification works flawlessly and from there you have to work to maintain an economy and to produce a suitably sized army to defend against the attacks, the Rat being the chosen enemy here. Whilst the scenario isn't overly demanding (the author did stress that it was a gentle introduction to the series), there was always plenty to do and I never once had time to sit back and let things happen. This is a good example of quality map making, showing that overly complex scenarios don't necessarily make a better map. A lesson to be learnt here, I think.
Nearly a deserved 5 score, but a high 4 score is still a good mark. Balance is just about right. I particularly liked the cede event at the start, your units suffering ill-health and therefore not at their full strength. This made the cede something different from the norm, and an aspect of the map I really liked. I took the castle using only macemen, grouped together and their combined force attacking individual units was enough to ensure they didn't sustain too much damage themselves. Once the castle cede event kicks in, there was lots to do. Maintaining an economy was not too difficult, but you can't neglect it either. The emphasis here is clearly on defending the settlement, and I decreased food consumption by half and sold excess produce at the market. This enabled me to buy weapons. The author is spot on here, you WILL need to buy rather than concentrate solely on manufacture. Few faults, if any really. Actually, I wouldn't change a thing about the map!
Cede scenarios always appeal to me. The combination of siege and defending against invasions gives you the pleasure of two map styles in one. Done badly, they can infuriate. The Conquest I is about as perfect a cede as you could wish for, and more importantly, it fits in with the storyline.
The creative element extends to the trailer, which is the first time I have seen a map with this level of support. Again, this works well with the developing storyline. Very nice idea, excellently put together.
Without taking away too much from the Map Design section of this review, the landscape adds even more to the creativity element and fully deserves a full 5 score. This is map making at its very best!
Map Design: 5/5
How can you not give this a full 5 score? One thing I have barked on about in other reviews is how the landscape can be modelled to add atmosphere to a scenario. The Conquest I is simply breathtaking in achieving a rugged coastal setting. The ground swirls and bumps along, never ugly, always appealing. Use of shrubs and trees is excellent. I really appreciate the cliff areas around the coast too. Rather than just opt for a pre-determined terrain height, the cliffs are somewhere in between low and mid plain, very angry looking and genuinely look as if the sea has ravaged the coastline. Wonderful!
There are some of NAT's trademark features subtly included in the fortification's defences and the village layout is fun to watch as people go about their business.
To round off the map, or indeed to set the mood for what follows, NAT have gone to some trouble to present both a story and lots of background information. There is history here, not just 'this happened, this is what need to do to respond'. Quantity is good, excellent in fact. I always appreciate it when a map has good supporting material such as this.
My only slight concern regarding the story is the slightly hurried nature. There is a lot to take in. It is only a small concern, and didn't detract from the score. Try to write it in such a way that you follow the characters. Give them feelings, mannerisms, personalities. The story does touch on this in places, so you're nearly there!
Email me if you want some tips :)
A cracking little scenario in its' own right, and it sets you up for the next map. It left me wanting more, looking forward to the next chapter. This is a sign of map making at its very best.
Highly recommended. Well done NAT!
What a great start you made. I have gone back and reviewed your older maps and i have enjoyed playing every one. This map was nearly perfect. It was extreamly addictive and the terrain was of great standard. The balance was also very good. The only thing that saved me was the wall i built around the keep.Very creative start to the map and i like the short battle. There are no ugly points on this stage that i picked up and your story sucked me into playing this map. Overall one of the best maps i've seen in a while keep up the good work guys.
I had fun.
A little bit on the easy side, though, this is explained in the read-me file
Though, there is nothing particularly outstanding in this map, all the elements are brought together in such a way, that it's obviously been well thought through.
Map Design: 4
I thought that the overall map design was good with a little added kick for the starting positions.
The story seems very good, indeed!
This was a fun map and a great start to the series, I look forward to the next installment. Sorry, I have no suggestions to improve this map, but this is my first review.
[Edited on 04/09/06 @ 09:40 AM]