World of Orn 2: Attack on Crescent Cove
Posted on 02/11/02 @ 12:00 AM (updated 02/13/02
World of Orn 2: Attack on Crescent Cove.
(NOTE: WOO1 is a Siege That! map. If you don't play it, you should at least read the write-up for it, as it sets up the WOO series.)
Having captured the Helm with your band of raiders, Zarnath rewards your leadership ability by giving you command of his elite Army of the Granite Fist. As you review the Granite Fist during training maneuvers, you wonder how long it will be before you are tasked to lead your army into combat.
For two months, Zarnath travels the outer reaches of his fiefdom, enlisting the aid of minor land barons. Though the powers of the Helm are still much weakened by the Suns, they are enough to help Zarnath secure his northern flank. To the East lies an unorganized collection of small to medium sized farm townes from Zarnath's land all the way to the great mercantile city of Kallandria. It is these lesser cities Zarnath covets.
You fully expect your first orders to be a sweep to the East, annexing into Zarnath's empire all the lands you conquer.
You are soon summoned to see Zarnath at his headquarters in Serramont Castle. Visions of your triumphant victory parade as you return laden with spoils of conquest from an easy campaign conquering the East play through your head as you enter Serramont and stride confidently across the Great Hall into Zarnath's chambers.
"Greetings," Zarnath proclaims loudly, clasping your arm in a firm embrace, "The troops are ready, are they not?"
"More than ready, my liege - and anxious for your orders!" you respond, barely able to contain your excitement at your anticipated goal.
"Gooood," Zarnath purrs, "Eager for blood are they? Gooooooooood!"
There is a sinister tone to his voice that takes you by surprise. Exactly what does Zarnath have in mind?
"For a long time, the fields to the East have been ripe for picking. And pick them, we will. But first, we have a small matter to attend to. With Kallandria, we will always have access to an Eastern port, but to the West we are landlocked."
Zarnath stares intently at you as he speaks, searching for signs that you are agreeing or disagreeing with his statements.
"I have secured the help of many of the Barons on our North. Those who would not give aid have agreed to Pacts of Non-Aggression in return for continued access to the Great Northern Road through our fiefdom."
The Great Northern Road is the only road in the World of Orn which runs unbroken from the Southernmost edge of Land to the Northernmost. As such, it is the prime north-south trade route. Access to the Great North Road is imperative for any Lord who wishes to trade on anything but a local or regional scale.
"Thus," continued Zarnath, "Our Northern Flank is secure. With Ramar worried about securing the borders you breached in your attack on The Keep, we have a perfect opportunity to pick up a port to the West. Ramar is already mad at us, so another attack can not hurt us more, yet we stand to gain access to the Lost Islands Sea and trading capability up and down the Western Coast. Your objective is the port city of..."
You look quickly at the map on the wall, trying to ascertain which city Zarnath has in mind. Ramar only has one city north of the Wandering Mountains. It is due west.
"May the God's have mercy," you think to yourself, "Not..."
"...Crescent Cove," finished Zarnath.
A cold pall of doubt spreads throughout your body as Zarnath confirms your fears. Crescent Cove is more than just a port city. It just happens to also harbor the Northern portion of Ramar's Naval Academy.
Built two centuries ago, the stronghold at Crescent Cove is structurally behind the times, but it's great design maximizes use of terrain as a defense. It had been sieged three times since it was completed. It soundly rejected all three. On a tiny island behind the Castle, a monument stands bearing three skulls - one for each invader which fell before its defensive strength. Your could feel the lump in your throat and hoped it was not visible.
"Have your Army ready to move within one month," Zarnath commands. "The Pirates which proliferate in the Lost Islands have agreed to harass Ramar's shipping in exchange for plundering the city of Crescent Cove once you have taken the Castle. With the increased pirate activity south of the WM, Ramar's navy should not be a factor. Beat the garrison and the Cove is ours!"
Zarnath smiles broadly at the brilliance of his plan. His dreams of a large Empire were coming to fruition.
You briefly entertain the idea that his quest for power had made him go mad, but you are forced to admit, from a purely tactical point of view, he has set you up as well as possible for victory.
After discussing some general logistic issues and requesting and receiving the promotion of one of your most trusted lieutenants, you are dismissed to begin your quest.
As you ride from Serramont to your training camp, you can not help but dwell on the long term impact of assaulting Crescent Cove. Stealing the Helm was one thing - Zarnath could always barter his way out of that after using it to meet his greedy needs, but Crescent Cove? How does one apologize for taking a City? And one of prime military import to boot!
You had made a name for yourself in battle by listening to your intuition. Right now, your intuition was saying Zarnath would someday regret ordering your upcoming campaign...
1. You are highly encouraged to play at the EASY setting.
2. Modify the selection of troops you get in the setup screen. As Commander of the Army of the Granite Fist, your force composition is YOUR concern - not mine = )
3. This scenario is meant for play as the ATTACKER. It will offer no challenge whatsoever played as the DEFENDER.
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Very good map.
Playability: 5. A very fun map to play an interesting landscape requires careful strategy when attacking and sit-back-relaxiness while defending. Includes every combination of unit and defense. No major bugs.
Balance: 3. As is the problem with most seiges, the attackers and defenders were not balanced. While attacking, the central gates were so strong and well defended I could not get close to it (slight exageration). While defending, I could have won without touching my mouse.
Creativity: 5. Totally unique map. Also a good storyline. This is not just your average seige castle.
Map Design: 5. Amazing creation of the island, city, and castle. It looked great. Also good castle layout.
Story Instructions: 4. It had a great storyline. The reason I took off the point is because there was no readme, and the name of the city in the game did not match the one in the full story on the download page.
To potential downloaders: Get this map. Its great for both people who like lots of strategy and planning, and for people who like an easy victory.
To Lord Malibar: Keep up the good work. Remember to include a readme.
edit: added a point because of change in criteria
OOPS! - I changed the in game description and added the text file!
I agree, playing as Defense is no challenge whatsoever. It isn't suppose to be. The computer AI is not sophisticated enough to resolve a winning solution to the puzzle of the Castle.
As for approaching the gate - I can breach it everytime I play. However, that is not the path to victory. There is a very subtle trick to winning this scenario consistently.
Thanks for the feedback!
WOO3 will involve defending Crescent Cove - although not from the enemy you expect ;)
All those siege engines are there to defend against naval attacks, but their inclusion forced me to continuously reduce the number of troops in the garrison while playtesting until I found a number which made for a spirited yet, winnable, defense. Unless someone finds an attack route I have yet to discover, you don't get much room for error on this one - which is just what I wanted when I created it = )
Thanks for the feedback!