It is 1401 as the hobbits in the Shire reckon their years and daft old Bilbo Baggins is celebrating his on-hundred and eleventh birthday with fireworks by Gandalf himself! And the food and drink have been prepared for a feast beyond the memory of any now living.
But storm clouds are brooding on the horizon. Frodo, Bilbo’s adopted heir, has a feeling that Bilbo’s planning something rash, and Gandalf has been even more secretive than normal. Perhaps it has something to do with his uncle’s ring?
Even the rangers, those mysterious wanderers have doubled their guard on the Shire. Wolves have been spotted in the North Farthing, and maybe even as close as Binbale wood. Bandits and highwaymen are becoming restive and desperate, as if tey were being goaded into ever more daring deeds by some dark energy.
* * *
Your mission is to prepare Hobbiton for the coming dark times. Rember that Lotho “Pimple” Sackville-Baggins is regularly raiding supplies and sending them away to Isengard. Wolves are only a presentiment of Warg attacks. There is mischief about with the likes of Bill Ferny and Ted Sandyman. Eventually black riders will appear, and finally saruman, Wormtongue and the evil blackguards of Isengard.
An entertaining map, though a bit mediocre.
Played at hard, needed two tries.
I had a nice time playing this map and it was very challenging at times. Especially is economy is hard to keep going because of all the food thefts, bandits and fires. I don't like fire being used this heavily so perhaps it could be reduced a bit. After my initial try I found I had to be real quick in stetting up the economy and start producing x-bows.
The economy was well balanced overall, although there were a few things I didn't like, for instance the fires and the ability to buy ale in the market. Also, I could mine stone, pitch and ore but couldn't really do anything with it, why? I also think the population objective is too high, especially with all the constant food troubles.
And at a certain point the military aspect didn't matter anymore because the bandits dn't show up anymore and te final invasion wasn't threatening at all. I would've liked it to have siege equipment and more armored troops.
The author has picked an interesting theme (LotR) but has executed it quite poorly. I have always imagined the shire as a very beautiful place with burrow houses and lots of hills and roads and perhaps even small walls, like in Ireland for instance. I would have liked it better if the map was larger and also showed Bree and the the river Bree and tried to be a realistic representation of Tolkiens maps. The way it is the map itself has very little to do with LotR.
Map design 2
Poorly done, as I said before because it has little to do with the story but even more because it is just clear not a lot of effort has been made overall. Most of it was clearly done with big brushes and I missed things like rocks and dirt and interesting patches of marsh or rivers.
Too much "empty spaces" as well.
The story is well done in the map itself as well.
I liked how you used the bandits, wolves and food thefts to represent the raids. Also nice to have the biggest part of the map economic and then have an invasion to fit the story. What I missed were some more information on what to expect and/or tips on the description page. And perhaps even a minimap?
So although the map deliveres on the story and playability, the uncreative map design drags it down to an avarage map. To the designer I would say: try to download some maps by "famous" designers and look at their way to implement an interesting idea into a good looking map.
Also helpfull would be reading the SD compendium here or the SD bible over at SHK. Succes!