The map handles more like an endless invasion of troops rather than a seige, its pretty fustrating when you beat off a stream of troops, and theres another, and yet another and yet another, until you wonder when its going to end. If you are going to do something like that, I believe it might as well be an invasion, or you should at least give some clue as to when the battle will end in the description itself.
Playability- Kind of dull and boring, you start out with a big army in a island, and theres a ton of troops heading towards you. Basically those troops stay with you till the end. You cant control much in the game, except line up archers and build a couple of platforms.
Balance- You have a wooden wall, and a wooden gate. your defending this with about 5 platforms of archers. Getting rushed by hundreds of macemen and spearmen, its a small wonder that I managed to keep the "castle" intact until the fourth rush.
Creativity- Not much to be found here, its simply Heres a wooden wall and a keep behind it, here are some troops, heres a stream of enemy. The castle has no creativity whatsoever, the storyline is somewhat commendable, but still pretty unclear. Since creativity sums up from every aspect of the map, I cannot rate it highly, as most parts are sorely lacking.
Map design- The castle is nothing special, a square compound castle would look like master design compared to this. Perhaps the intent of the map maker was to focus more on the battle, but since Stronghold does not shine in melee strategy, and focuses more and defending fortifications, and this a SEIGE map after all, the design is not aquedate. The rest of the map isnt bad however, with delta like territory, and trees prettying the landscape. But more detal could be called for here.
Story- Well, it seems like lord of the rings, good enough I guess. I couldnt make much sense of the story, but I'm sure there are soem Tolkein fans who would grasp the hidden meanings quite easily.Instructions are not there at all, just a story. Part of my annoyance with the seige is the fact that the instructions to win arent there at all.Oh well.
In all, this seems like potential for a better map, gone wrong somewhere along the line and hastily put together.