Back to HeavenGames Welcome to Stronghold Heaven
Welcome
Downloads Home
Review Guidelines
Main site
Forums
Code of Conduct
Search

Advanced Search
Stronghold: Invasions
Home
New Releases
New Reviews
New Comments
Top-Rated

Submit File
Browse Categories
New Files

Downloads Home » Stronghold: Invasions » The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 5

Download File Post Review Post Comment

The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 5

Author File Description
Sulis
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
The Secrets of Sylvandell Chapter 5

The Final Battle for Sylvandell



And so the journey nears its end. The reluctant King arrives at the mighty city of Sylvandell, exhausted and weak, cold and hungry. He is met by a small party of knights and quickly taken to safety. But there is little time left, for the Darkness of Neroli are preparing their final assault. Evril is briefed of the plans to defend the city and unexpectedly learns another secret Sylvandell has been hiding all these years. For all the grandeur, pomposity and elegance she reflects on the outside, Sylvandell is weak; a failing defence system that would crumble... a fortified city rotten to the core.

Evril is guided to the most secure part of the city. He will play no part in the battle that will follow, for his presence has been too long awaited and the royal bloodline is too precious be broken. The armies of Sylvandell will take up the fight, every one of those men prepared to die for the cause.

Looking across the battlements, out over the marshes, the fringes of Wilder Wood can clearly be seen. And there, just in front of the ancient forest, in a line stretching as far as the eye can see, tens of thousands of Neroli barbarians are awaiting their final orders before the siege begins. They prepare for war by beating their chests rhythmically and baying for blood. This battlecry carries over the marsh to the city, to Evril, to every man who now stands ready to face the Final Battle for Sylvandell.



AUTHORS NOTES

This is the final chapter in the Sylvandell series of maps. The idea here is really quite a simple one... to survive. Whilst the closing chapter may be somewhat formulaic (final big battle, lots of fighting, winner takes all), the key to this map is the city itself. If you have read the story as it unfolded, you will hopefully have a picture of Sylvandell in your mind. It is the principal city, a city built as a beacon, a city hated by the Neroli for everything it stands for.

The map is dripping with eye candy, and tries to resurrect some of the great things about the editor. There includes my own versions of a throne room, a jousting arena, pleasure gardens, streets and an arena, to name but a few (keep an eye open for the pub garden!) and the map is, admittedly, an exercise in eye candy creation too.

In terms of the battle, you will face a multitude of units, hopefully all hell-bent on getting into the castle. Use your troops carefully. The armoury is full, the tresury has a healthy sum there and the marketplace will allow you to buy more weapons. You will need them.

DESIGNERS' POINTS

-Due to the design of the keep area, when you recruit a knight, you will have to manually select it from the campfire and move it to your chosen location. I suspect that with the design as it is, the knight unit is unable to move freely to the barracks. Please bear this in mind. Leaving the knight at the campfire wil slow the game down slightly until it is manually moved.
-There are many, many buildings that the attacking AI will attempt to destroy. As a result, the full force of the invasion may not hit you until you are cowering on a corner deciding how to fight your way out of this. Whilst a map that doesn't have these distractions for the AI would leave a better battle, the map is purposely designed to be destroyed, and will be followed up in the epilogue to this story.
-I have suggested that you play the map on normal difficulty. There will be a lot of units on the map, as well as a highly developed city. Users of lower spec computers may experience a little lag when playing the map. Please be aware.
-The full story chapter is included in the zip file, and is also available to read in The Inn.


Final thoughts

As with any map I submit to Stronghold Heaven, I truly hope that you enjoy playing it. The campaign has taken months of hard work to finalise, hours and hours of playtesting and plenty of time back at the drawing board when things didn't go quite to plan! But therein lies the fun of designing for Stronghold.

And constructive reviews would be welcomed.

Finally, a special thank you goes to Jalis, for the map is built using his wonderful green player template. A wonderful creation that opens up new elements of map design.

Best wishes,

Sulis
Pages: « First « 1 [2]
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
MasterofPhate
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
This map is so amazing with the sheer number of troops that have to be
fought off. Having knights and other close combat units allow diversity of play,
either keeping them inside to block a breach or sendingthem outside to stop
one from happening at all.

Balance: 5
Balance was good, there was just enough troops to defend the castle.
The thing that makes it great is that they attack all over the length of the walls so
it is not easy to just mass troops to defend one area without weakening another
vital place in the castle.

Creativity: 5
Where do I start? With the cool throne room? Or the story? Or the
design of the castle itself? This map is very very creative in every
aspect, great job sulis, unique and impressive.

Map Design: 5
Wow. Best map of the Sylvandell series. The castle is amazing, and the
eyecandy is epic with things like a jousting area, fountains, pub and more!
This map maintains the very real look of the marshes with great use of the editor
to make some awsome eyecandy.

Story/Instructions: 5
The story was great and a good way to end the series. Characters were
developed well, especially Rennish. The storyline gave this map a larger
than life epic feel of the ultimate final showdown of good and evil that is
hard to get without a great and outstanding story.

Additional Comments:
I love this series good job.

[Edited on 02/19/09 @ 03:13 PM]

palat
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
This map is absolutely stunning!!! I'm playing it over and over again while doing nothing but staring at my pc in awe! All the macemen give a chilly feeling and give my archers a hard time... and in the end when I played it on very hard most of all the buildings were reduced to rubble (one of the famous "pillage, rob, steal, murder" stories). With enemies coming from both sides of the map it is truly hard to keep track where to maneuver troops.

Balance: 5
Absolutely perfect! There are loads of archers on the walls and when I first played it it gave me a feeling like I was invincible & undefeatable, but once all the enemies arrive it instantly is an equally pitched battle with each sides having advantages & disadvantages.

Creativity: 5
All the gardens, fountains, houses, the market area, the hall, jousting ground, arena, etc, it's got everything in one map! The custom made towers looked like the large towers... cool.

Map Design: 5
The landscape is beautiful. The marsh slows down enemies (advantage).

Story/Instructions: 5
Fascinating story! No mistakes, and it matches with gameplay! Woohoo!!!

Additional Comments:
There is nothing to dislike! everything is very fun to play. Go Sulis!!!
danielmoore
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.5
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 4.5
It was a wonderful map, I'm a seasoned SH player and I was actually blown away at the game play. It was epic having such a massive castle with such intricate design features. I felt like I was actually there on the walls shooting a bow myself! haha it was great.

Balance: 4.5
The balance was pretty good as well. Although my only comment was that once the hundreds of macemen broke through the walls, I pulled back all my archers to the keep for a sort of "last-stand" kind of thing. However, (this has been stated before I believe) the macemen spent pretty much the entire time just running around destroying the city, and only a few attempted to attack the gatehouse. Thus having my 200 archers just picking off the little macemen scurrying around below. A little boring towards the end. :p

Creativity: 5
Wonderful story line. It is always great to see what others have to write about and I felt as if I were on the run, and finally arrived at the awe-inspiring castle myself. Great stuff.

Map Design: 5
Amazing scenery as well as the castle itself. I loved the swampy, marshy theme about it. The trees were very well placed as well as the different levels of the castle too. I loved the idea of having the keep on a mesa sort of thing. Great work.
Story/Instructions: 5
Very straightforward instructions and again, the story line was brilliant.

Additional Comments:
I look forward to playing additional maps! Thanks for the fun time. :)

- Daniel
Adam the First
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
I have to say that this is probably the best invasion map on SHH I have ever played. A lot have tried to make city invasion maps, but no one could ever achieve such spectacular and impressive siege. It was awesome to see as the enemy troops ran through the city in enormous numbers and destroy everything. The troops management was also comfortable for me, I had no problems with that. The atmosphere, the feeling of the map is simply WOW!

Balance: 5
Top marks here too. The author did a great job with the balance, the enemy forces are large and maybe the player is outnumbered from 100 to 1, but: the city has many advantages, which the player can use. The outer tower near the main gate is very effective, many archers can be placed there and they can eliminate a lot of enemy units, also don't forget about the other gate, it is defendable in the same way too. It is also very good that the player has a little time before the invasions to prepare the castle (positioning the troops, setting traps, etc.). I won for the 7th time on this map, it was a very great challenge for me, and it is impossible to win here by luck, I would rate the balance a 10, but sadly the max score is only 5. ;)

Creativity: 5
This is the most original map on SHH ever made!
The scripting, the story, the map itself, the usage of the editor shows how creative and original the author is.

Map Design: 5
WOW! - again. Many have tried with making marshy areas, but I think only this one has achieved the feeling a swampy land. And with a giantic city within it it looks amazing, stunning, epic! I can't tell all my impressions about the design, every little piece of the map is planned out and filled with eyecandies. the throne-room is my favourite part, but the keep, the fountain and the joust grounds look fantastic too. I just love the design of this map!

Story/Instructions: 5
I have to say here WOW! too lol. The story is very very very very well written, building the instructions into it is a very original and good idea. And the story itself is amazing, this is the best (and longest :D) story I have ever read from SHH.

Additional Comments:
I have to Congratulate Sulis for the best map on SHH ever! I recommend this map for everyone to play, I had my greatest time palying this fantastic, stunningly awesome, epic feeling scenario!

[Edited on 01/12/11 @ 11:07 AM]

Timballisto
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance3.5
Creativity4.5
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
The fun in this map is watching the destruction. The enemies run everywhere, swarming your outer walls, laying waste to the city of Sylvandell, slaughtering some isolated sections of archers and other soldiers while some are lucky enough to be cut off so they can continue fighting until they are unlucky enough to incur the wrath of the enemy crossbowmen. You will also have some work to do in managing your soldiers and your fortifications, but simply watching comprises a large portion of the enjoyment. The AI performed admirably in such a huge siege - they did not simply give up and stick by the sign post as they often do when the player faces such large enemy forces.

Balance: 3.5
I beat this level on my first attempt on very hard. I felt like I did have to do at least some work though to make sure that this happened. Mostly though I was stuck thinking that the enemy never stood a chance. Sylvandell is stocked with such a huge number of archers and spearmen, and training several more is no difficult thing to accomplish. What's more, the enemy is severely distracted by the vast number of things to kill in the main city. Another problem is that the walls lining the bridge approaching the palace are a lure for enemies to waste their time. This could potentially be fixed by blocking access to the base of the bridge with rocks or shrubs. The enemy never seemed to muster the necessary courage to assault the keep, they barely scratched the gate. Even if they had broken in, they would have been very hard-pressed to overcome the garrison kept there, especially if I had chosen to use my initial stock of swords and armor to place fifty swordsmen in the keep! The balance could be reworked by giving the player access to fewer resources, fewer archers in particular, and by prolonging the siege. Despite these things, I am going to increase the score some, as I do not feel this is intended to be a very difficult map, but more like a movie to be viewed.

Creativity: 4.5
The creativity in this map is all in the atmosphere. Sylvandell is a special city. The player hardly knows it, and yet it feels like it has a deep, rich history which is already somewhat familiar. the Neroli are a powerful, virulent, motivated force which threaten to crush all who oppose them. They both take on a life of their own in this map, supported by a well-woven story line. It is essentially a prolonged siege with large amounts of resources available to the player, but it is a special one owing to the atmosphere which envelopes it.

Map Design: 5
The map is lovingly well-crafted, a display of talent in the art of designing attractive and pleasant cityscapes, and the surrounding landscape does a great job of framing the city it supports as well and is in itself well-made. Perhaps more importantly, it is clear that Sulis had a very specific feeling he wished for the city to evoke in his mind, and the manifestation of that feeling is something he worked very carefully and thoroughly on achieving. Owing to this Sylvandell is a unique statement in Stronghold cities which cannot be replicated simply by building other large, impressive cities. It is highly likely that there exist other cityscapes more impressive in their beauty or intricacy, but I doubt that there are any which match the unity of the map design with the desired player experience found in this one.

Story/Instructions: 5
The story is good, and sets the stage for a long, difficult battle. I only wish there were some variety of epilogue to the story, and certainly a follow-up campaign against the Neroli would have been a logical thing to create :)

Additional Comments:
This is a special map. I understand why it is built the way it is, it is in itself almost an epilogue to the previous four maps, meant to be mostly watched rather than played, but it would be nice to see a "hard mode" in which the repeating invasions were not turned off until later, or in which the player had fewer resources in terms of supplies and soldiers at their disposal.

But I digress. Stop reading this and download the map. I feel certain you will enjoy it.
Pages: « First « 1 [2]

Post Review Post Comment

HGDL v0.8.0

Login
Forum Username:


Password:




Create a new account
Forgot password?
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.9
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:18,246
Favorites: [Who?]2
Size:891.03 KB
Added:01/12/04