(updated 04/24/04) Stronghold Heaven :: Volcano Castle_upd_1
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Volcano Castle_upd_1

Author File Description
Stratego
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
Volcano Castle (updated)

Hi guys,
well, this my first update of this map because of some critical notes by Lord Ako and I hope that it’ll be improved after having changed a few details concerning the story and playability.

This actual map, representing a colourful mixture of historical and geographical facts and especially of the author’s fantasy, will be a kind of hard, if you fail proceeding step by step.

Historical and geographical background:

Inspired by the “wild poverty” and the mysterious ancient landscapes of Wales I put the story back into the old times between 1147 and 1192, when King Richard of Lionheart, escorted by a large army of loyal men, was far away from home crusading in the Holy Land. Ever since England wasn’t under King’s control anymore and the argueing aristocracy was split up and involved into several intrigues.
Now, you, the honoured Lord of Rhondda, are commissioned by King Richard to take care of immediate weapon supplies of 25 maces. Besides the King also would like to equip his personal lifeguards with further new 12 armours. You are ordered as well to put together a cargo of 20 barrels of beer, increasing morale for fight as they always say. King Richard will show you his gratitude by supporting your defense with many archers that you urgently need against your two unfriendly neighbours, the Earl of the Dee (the Wolf) and the Lord of the Glance (the Snake). These two unfaithful”fellows” only are obsessed by gold and just interested in destroying your economic development. The main intention however is to control the resource of iron ore and pitch, because economy control means “power” over all.

Your castle, built up on the ruins of an ancient monastery, is placed in the centre of an almost extinct volcano, a type of flat volcanos, that usually are filled with water forming a lake. But this example is still alive…
On the crater’s bottom there is a plenty of mineral pitch, boiling and steaming waterholes. As you surely know volcanic soil normaly is very fertile, but not in this case: Concerning the volcanic activities you’ll only be able to build hops and wheat farms on a few suitable areas around your castle. On the other hand the surrounding hinterland is rather poor, so that no agriculture is possible. Nevertheless hunters can find a handsome number of wild animals grazing on the wide grasslands, where trees are rare. The County of the Glance, your direct neighbour, isn’t far away and the enemy has built up a small sentry,camouflaged as a village and sent out his spies, disguised as hunters. This inconvenient opponent must be eliminated as fast as you can…


Some Hints:

First slow down game speed to check out your “status quo”.
The basic problem is to avoid a rapid decreasing popularity depending on upcoming lack of food. Use existing iron ore and pitch in a skilful and solid way. Of course religion and ale consumption will make increase your popularity again. Change your blacksmith’s weapon production by the right time to train several knights for an effective defense. As well the hostile hunters are unpleasant, too. Kill them all. Release the wild animals, fenced in by the Snake to get more preys for your own hunters. And don’t forget to press the “Zzz”-Button if necessary, helpful to reach different goals earlier.
Another accidental events will occure, but don’t worry…

The second problem in this story:
You can’t train archers by yourself, also missing fletchers and tanners. Your starting military force isn’t yet strong enough for a durable resistance against your opponents. But sometimes several outlaws will come to your aid as soon as you fulfil different objectives:

 Killing the enemies’Lord
 Including production of 25 Maces
 Producing 25 Ale
 Producing 12 Armours

Be prepared of the upcoming invasions, especially the Wolf will approach with some siege equipment (catapults or trebuchets).






If you enjoyed it or had any problems with this map, please review.

Thanks and happy gaming!

Stratego


(The single conditions for victory are fixed in the map itself)

AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Lord Ako [EDIT] After the changes this is a real good map.
The author has adressed many of the maps previous issues I had with it so thats why the scores are higher now. I recommend you to DL this and have fun. ;) [EDIT]

Let me start by saying this is a good map overall, with just a little more effort it could be great.
I played on Hard and won on my first try, but I've been playing for a very long time. Gamespeed was 40 most of the time.

Playability 3
I was never bored with this map but there were some things I din't like while I was playing it. First of all I had to wait for all the peasants to come to my keep, that was a bit annoying and can easily be solved by the .sav to .map trick. And then threre are fires, a lot of them and even though that could be expected in a volcano map, I still felt there were too much. I would have liked it better if threre was just one big fire, a sort of eruption. Perhaps placing enemy pitch inside the castle would help.
The way it is now I had to replace half of my economy multiple times because of attacks and fires.
Then at the end I had to wait for the Ale to pile up because the goal is too high. Especially because there is also a drinking ale requirement and the farms are destroyed and plagued a lot.
I did like having to fight outside my walls with monks and swordsmen and the reinforcements were nice as well.
And overall I had a fine time while playing it.

BALANCE 4
The balance was pretty good, enough invasions, economic goals and events to keep me on my toes nearly all the time. There were good restrictions in the market and the inability to build archers was also something that I liked. My major concern is the Ale requirement, as I feel it's almost two times too high. I feel it would be better balanced if some of the other goals were raised and the ale was lowered. Perhaps the map could have been a little bit harder as well. (Not sure though)

Creativity 4
The designer presents us with an interesting mix of history, geology and fiction. I liked the idea of living inside a volcano and ruined monastry idea.
Well done as well were most of the ruins and some parts of the castle. Unfortunately the story is very short and badly implemented, this is why I feel a 5 is not deserved here.

Map Design 5
Very well done! The minimap looks incredible and I really advice you to add it to the description page!
The landscaping is well done, the volcano looks believable and the smaller craters with pitch inside look great. The surrounding landscape is rather barren, but that is what you would expect near a volcano and it gives a sort of "desolate" feel, real nice.
The players castle/monastry is nice, but I had some issues with how parts of it look and I didn't really look like a monastry to me? As I said before, the ruins are good, especially the two smaller ones near the edge of the map.
Perhaps its not a true 5 all in all but IMO it's closer to a 5 then a 4.

Story/Instructions 3
Instructions: 4 The author does a good job explaining what the map looks like and what you can expect both economy and military wise. He also gives some hints on how to best tackle the map. Lacking is a minimap and a good story (on the desc page)
Story: 2 The story does very little for me, it "paints" a general setting but not more. No characters, no explanation of the economic goals and no explanation for the outlaws. The enemies are also very thin personality wise, why do they attack and why do they sent the messages they sent? And other random things: why am I a monastry that allows bad things but not good things? It was also confusing to receive the "The shipment of weapons is due in... years" because nothing special happened when it was due? Also I got an "the troops promised by the Snake have arrived" message when there was an invasion by the Wolf, and furthermore while I had just killed the Snake.
And this message indicates reinforcements, not an attack.
I would advice the author to try to make a good story (Read some of Lord_Yoshi's posts for instance on the subject if you need inspiration) and supporting it with in-game messages and by picking logical economic goals to go with the story.

Overall a nice map but could be even better with a bit more work on the playability and especially story.
Stratego
File Author
Hi Lord Ako,

thanks for your critical notes concerning this map (playability, story). But why did you have any problems with ale consumption and the rate of drinking beer that I had set first? When I played it, I even reached about 60 Ale and 96% of drinking beer! So the goals of 30 Ale and 60% drinkers isn't too high!?

Nevertheless I will improve and update this map, that will appear soon.


Greetings

Stratego
Lord Ako I'm happy you updated the map, I will check it out in the next couple of days and probably update my rating. Best wishes, LA.
Stratego
File Author
Hi Lord Ako,

please wait playing the updated version!
After having submitted this update, I found out that something was still going wrong with the armory: Some weapons were just multiplied in a strange way, although I didn't have done it.

I'll correct this "little mistake" and will submitt a new version today.


Thanks and cheers

Stratego
Lord Ako Do you want me to replay the map and update my review yet?
Stratego
File Author
Hi Lord Ako,

now it's done, you can replay it again, go on...



Cheers

Stratego

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Added:04/06/04
Updated:04/24/04
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