The Royal 7th Division had fought many battles to reach this day. Many of them had died to make this day possible. Yet, all of that meant nothing now. Today, and those who fell during its passage would be the ones to receive the glory. Today would be the day that was celebrated and remembered. The day your grandchildren would ask about, this battle, not the others. For this was not just any battle, this was no ordinary day. Today would bring Finality; today, there would be a decision.
'Did that negate the ultimate sacrifice made by my brothers who have already fallen?' You thought not, 'but who won this day had a lot of bearing on the answer'. The right corner of your mouth turned upwards ever so slightly at this. Nice to know you could still amuse yourself, especially considering the position your 7th Division was now being put in. Upon hearing it, you had summarily tuned Lord Reynolds out. Anything was better than listening to the man's worthless blathering and you already understood the crux of his strategy. You and your Royal 7th Division were to spearhead the assault and break the enemies ranks so his divisions could follow.
Lord Reynolds, He was a fat little man with red hair and freckles. A large full red mustache hid a weak upper lip. Brash to the point of arrogance, he had graduated at the top of his class and immediately been awarded command of the Home Guard of his Majesties Capitol. A post he had now held for the past ten years and throughout the entire Civil War. Although he had never actually seen combat, he was always quick to remind you about the constant trouble on the streets of his fair city. He could go on for hours about the political and social unrest being caused by various factions of the Royal Court. Today however, he was far more content to go on endlessly of his brilliant stratagem for a complete and utter victory. Reynolds paced up and down in front of you and his own two Division Commanders. He flashed another snappy about face and began a fresh leg in his studious coarse. With his shoulders hunched over and his hands clasped behind his back, he looked like an absent-minded schoolteacher.
While Lords Reynolds continued, you casually glanced at his two underlings. The one closest on your right was a one Sir Elias Winslow. He was a sallow looking and somewhat timid lad who had undoubtedly only recently attained the wizened age of 18. A recent Academy graduate, he had scored high marks and indeed you thought there might be some hope for him. On his right was Sir Malachi Holden. As stupid as he was ugly, even the simpleton strategy of Lord Reynolds was beyond him. Sir Malachi's forte was brute force and striking power. Useful, if kept on a short leash. Malachi winked while the Winslow boy nodded at you knowingly, apparently Lord Reynolds plan was some golden egg fresh from a ducks ass and it must be handled with the utmost care. With the war effort now seemingly unstoppable, the King had returned home in triumph. While Reynolds rode off with delusions of grandeur, it would be you and these two division commanders, the only three that still had division's that could even be called as such, who would lead the troops into battle.
You shuddered as your mind ran the details of his plan over again, as if the very tissue matter itself could not believe the absolute lunacy of the man's strategy. The Rebellion had amassed the majority of what remained of its army, six elite divisions, in the town of Andolin, now just below and a mile to the North of your current position. Reynolds had wisely made camp atop Signpost Hill, the highest land around for miles. The only obstacle between him and the town was a small shallow stream known as Rhea's Crossing. To you the stream was an advantage. Using the elevated terrain of the hill, you could decimate the enemy while they slogged across the stream to give battle. Reynolds however, seemed to be oblivious to this. He had decided not only to meet the Rebel's at the crossing but also to split his already outnumbered forces into a two pronged attack.
Sir Malachi's 4th Division would charge across the stream to the West and assault the Fortified Manor House at Andolin. Although this opulent structure was in a sense a fortress, it was by no means intended or designed to withstand a full-scale assault. The Manor's low walls and lack of a Keep made this point all to evident. The Rebel's were also aware of this fact and had been busy enhancing the House's defenses. The task was apparently still fervently being completed in the town below. While the 4th stormed the manor, Lord Reynolds would lead the 1st Cavalry Lancers and Sir Elias the 1st Division behind your Royal 7th as it charged blindly into the heart of the advancing Rebel Army. The plan was a disaster waiting to happen, one that would not only tip the war back into the favor of the crumbling Rebellion but would also lead to their certain and eventual victory.
Would the King have so carelessly squandered the 'Fighting 7th' as your Division had come to be known. You hoped not but something inside you wasn't so sure. For the Crown and what it had once stood for you might have sacrificed everything, including your life. For Reynolds's and his insane scheme you would not even think of it. As if sensing your thought, although you knew such a man was incapable of sensing such things, Reynolds stopped pacing. Making a precision turn that must have taken him many hours standing in front of a mirror, he made eye contact with you. Without taking his eyes from yours, Reynolds spoke in his loud, abrasive voice. "Everyone understand what it is that they are to do?" It sounded more like a confirmation than a question. His Division Commanders affirmed this non-question immediately. Reynolds stood fast however, waiting for the only reply that had mattered to him in the first place, yours. "My Lord?" You could see the contempt he had for having to verbally acknowledge your own recently acquired Lordship. Although technically now his equal in rank, it was he who controlled the bulk of the units on the field and thus had been given overall command by the King.
The blazing fury that welled at that moment in your eyes actually made Reynolds take a step back. In the controlled rasp tones of the veteran you spoke, "No sir." Eugene Reynolds was not used to being refused. At first he only stammered and stared blankly. You actually heard Elias's breath catch in his throat. Sir Malachi simply blinked with uncomprehending dullness. Finally Reynolds spoke in a small voice closely akin to a hiss. "Wh-at did you say?" "You heard me maggot" you said "You would give up the high ground and split your forces against an enemy that outnumbers you two to one. You're an Idiot, a fool and I would not waste a single drop of my brother's blood for your insanity" Reynolds was clearly shaken, his hate seethed and swelled in his pupils like blisters. "I have the finest military education money can buy!" he sputtered, "You dare defy me" "Yes", and now you were finally angry "I not only defy you, I could kill you where you stand! Now be gone from me!" And at that Reynolds wavering gaze cast down to his riding boots for he knew you could very well do it. When he raised them to meet your gaze again they spoke one word, 'revenge.' "Stay then" he said, "let your 7th be cut down like lambs" then mounted his horse. He spun his steed towards the advancing Rebel Army. "Tonight while I dine in the Great Hall of Andolin Manor, it will give me great satisfaction to know that you will be dead on this field or rotting in a traitors cell!" he said this with a smirk that could only be described as petulant.
Lord Reynolds spurred his horse forward "To me my Knights, to me!" The Glorious Cavalry of the Home Guard sped down the embankment of Signpost Hill and charged towards the enemy. Reynolds shouted "The Crossbows, we want the Crossbows first!" and then they were gone, doomed to certain annihilation. It is said that Reynolds fell with the first enemy salvo of cross bolts. From the left you heard the battle cry of Sir Malachi's 4th Division "Smash Em!" as they raced towards the Fortified Manor House. Of the 4th Division, none survived. Sir Elias looked at you with eyes that were close to panic. "Elias" you called out "Don't, stand with me upon the hill." "But my Lord, I must support him" he said. "Now Listen to me lad" the tone of your cold, dead, battle-weary voice stopped the boy in his tracks. "Here we have a fighting chance, if you charge down that hill you and your men will be cut to pieces." In his eyes you saw his understanding of this. Perhaps even that he had always been aware of it. That, for all of his potential, his destiny was to be cut down before his life had really even begun. He flashed a childlike smile at you, as if to say 'who was he to question his destiny?' The smile and the bright April sunshine lit up his features. For a moment his sallow ness vanished and you could almost see the man he would have become. Then, in an almost dreamlike state he raised his sword out of its scabbard and with a wavering voice urged his Royal 1st Division forward. Whatever could be said of his decision, the boy fought well that day and when The 1st Division fell at Rhea's Crossing during the Battle Of Andolin, it would be their sacrifice that would receive the glory, their names that would be remembered. As for the Saga of the 7th, their part in the story of The Great Rebellion was not over. Their tale had yet to finish.
Authors Notes- This map is only guaranteed for play with the V1.2 patch for Stronghold installed on your computer, the patch is available at this site.
As with the Cumberland Downs and Henn Dommen the Kings orders appear on the launch page. The text has a bizarre appearance in the editor due to being scripted to appear a certain way on the launch page.
The Battle At Andolin is designed as an Attacking Siege Only. As far as I can tell this is the first true Battlefield Siege Map. This means that it has neither a friendly or an enemy Lord nor a friendly or an enemy Keep. To win The Battle At Andolin and obtain the victory page, you must eliminate all enemy forces on the map including engineers.
The other important new feature of this map is non-controllable allies. When the siege begins, the 7th Division (blue troops) will be surrounded by what appears to be The Snake's forces (yellow troops). Do not panic, the yellow troops are your allies! They represent Lord Reynolds's 1st Cavalry Lancers and his Division Commander's 1st and 4th Divisions. If you watch their movements, they will enact their parts as told in the storyline above. You cannot attack these troops nor will they attack you. Instead, they will help you in your fight against the Rebels (red troops).
The recommended difficulty for this map is as follows:
Your Skill_________________Difficulty Setting
Rookie_____________Easy, but strive to beat it on Normal
The knowledge of how to gain access to the Fortified Manor House and Lord Ted's School of the Pike can be found at the following link.
The Battle At Andolin Is Chapter 6 In The Saga of The Seventh,
The Story thus far...
Ambush At Manathma
The Cumberland Downs
The Battle At Andolin
The Vierville Draws - (coming soon)
Also Related - 'The Interlude' Battle Of The Solomon Sea.
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
This was one of the most enjoyable maps I have ever played, and is my favourite map that you have created.
This map was instantly playable. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and manages to provide a huge battle, yet does not dissolve into a brawl. This map requires skill to beat, perhaps more so than Unik Unoks other maps.
This was the one flaw in the map, though it is a small one. Although the map is defenitly beatable, there are pehaps a few too many enemy units, and i found my self with a lack of men too assault the main castle area. I could, however, complete this map after a few tries. And completing this map is worth it.
(i played on Normal difficulty)
I had to award this map a 5, as it is the first of its kind that I have seen. It delivers both a stunning battle, and a great attacking siege. It is also the first map I have seen use allies.
This is the maps strength. The castle is greatly constructed, made out of stone wals with many palistone and wooden gatehouses. The map is full of eye-candy, and the landscape is one of the best I have seen in a map.
This is an amazing story that has had a lot of time put into it. It makes the map itself seem as though it has a purpose, and urges you to see the map through and complete the objectives.
Overall, this map is ace. I cant wait for your next one.
All Maps Updated. Punctuation glitches repaired and mini-maps added.