The Conquest IV -
The fourth part of the Conquest series is a cede set in the Black Rock Gorge. It is a fortified town that you must capture and then hold against attacks from the Rat in the South and North. Two groups of mercenaries have joined you and are willing to fight for you against the Rat. You must use the combined force of your mercenaries and recruits to attack and defend this important stronghold of the Rat
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 attacking part of the map is relatively easy and is the same on any difficulty level. We recommend you play on NORMAL but experienced players or anyone that finds that the invasions are too easy feel free to play on HARD and VERY HARD.
Please note - In this cede scenario you only have to kill the enemy Lord to capture the castle - all of their remaining men will then become yours. Hence do not kill many of their men at all as you will need them to fend off the invasions.
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Playability and balance: By far the most enjoyable map in the series so far. The cede was very tough for me, and I only got it right after 5 tries or so. The subsequent invasions were balanced perfectly, I lost the first time because I forget to use pitch, but won on the second. The map is very replayable due to its short length, as I usually play maps only once if they are longer than 8 years.
Creativity and map design: The map has a unique rocky terrain which I seldom see, only real experts can make it so realistic. The castle design is also very creative, with a few gatehouses between the valley behind the keep.
Storyline and instructions: The story is not bad, but is getting rather routine. Maybe some plot twists would help. The instructions are as helpful as ever.
Whilst Krakindale has given a very honest and fair review already, echoing many of my sentiments, I do feel that this map, the fourth in the series, deserves a bit more recognition. It's a wonderful cede and defending invasion scenario. You start off with a good supply of units with which to take the castle. The cede event here is triggered by the killing of the lord and as NAT have clearly stated, you want to avoid taking out any of the defending troops as they will default to your colour. This gives the map an interesting aspect and resulted in my attempt to take the castle floundering on on occasion. Second time around and things went much better. From this point you have a suitably long period of time to build up your defences and work out how to defend against the forthcoming attacks.
From start to finish, this was an excellent map, which I really enjoyed playing (I still come back to it, and have played it through seven or eight times now) and is fully deserving of a 5.0 score.
Wonderful! The cede event at the start isn't too difficult in retrospect (my initial assault was pathetic!) but to see the huge invasions at the end, which attack both flanks of the castle, is a real joy to see. Maintaining a decent economy is crucial in between the combat and the production on weapons is very much priority. Numbers are about right, and I did find that the best way to kill all the attacking units at the end was to torch the castle, retreat my units to the keep area and pick off any that avoided the burning buildings. I'm not 100% sure if hand-to-hand combat would have resulted in the protection of my lord.
In its' own right, the fourth chapter of The Conquest is a great map, which is also the same of the previous three scenarios. But again, this fits in very well with a developing storyline and there are aspects of the map design and story that do come together to form an excellent map brimming with small, subtle creative points. Having to kill the lord at the start and avoid killing the defending units at the same time was tricky and well thought out. Landscape and castle design are highly developed, with some terrain effects i'd not seen before. Overall, another quality map.
Map Design: 5/5
Functionally, the map design is such that everything works to perfection. The castle and terrain more than cover the 5.0 score here, with a wonderful, atmospheric fortification that LOOKS like a castle. The terrain is very appealing and i've come to expect nothing less than this from NAT. Beautifully modelled. Again there are small touches here that are trademark NAT and all in all it's impossible to find fault with the visual appeal of the scenario.
The only part of the map that falls a little short of perfection for me. The story is good, very good, but as I said in the review of chapter 3, it needs a bit more spice and twist to make it really stand out. What there is, though, is very good and it's clear that thought and attention have been paid to this area. The story is great and instructions are provided.
Definitely my favourite of the series so far. A great scenario that deserves an overall high score. My appetite for future instalments of The Conquest is waiting to be fed!!
Thanks for the great reviews - really appreciated
Conquest V will not be long now....
Outstanding, here's the meat and potatoes of this series!
Superb, I thought I'd never be able to handle it.
This is excellent.
Map Design: 4
Aside from one or more differences in acceptable design of landscaping, this is a great map.
This map rocks. I'll play this again and again!
Edited to say: I didn't realize and played this on normal. WHOA!
[Edited on 04/14/06 @ 04:41 PM]