Camargue of Rohan (ver 3)
Behold Camargue of Rohan. Not wealthy like the settlements of the lowlands. Not so noble, not so famed. But prosperity is measured by more than gold, and life by more than fancy houses and honored titles.
Always your people have been content, happy and free. The Great King has blessed you richly with the beautiful mountains you call home, blessed you with thick forests for timber and abundant game for food. He has created this place for your families to live and grow in peace. He has given you the wonderful horses you call your friends - the faithful steeds that carry you across the mountains and protect your borders. And He has placed in your stewardship the Blue Lake, the symbol of Rohan.
You are Lord Ariègeois of Camargue, least of the clans of Rohan. You stand in the doorway of your lodge and watch the children play happily at your feet. You smile at them but inside you worry and agonize. Is this good and blessed life now passing away? What will become of Camargue? For things in the outer world are changing.
Reports from the lowlands speak of great conflicts, villages destroyed, wild tribes of "rat-men" invading the realm of Rohan. Trade has been disrupted. Even the mountains themselves now seem to be set against you – recent rock falls have all but blocked the main pathways to valleys.
Before, the lowlanders came often, bartered for your wood and meat and in return provided the tools and weapons you needed. Now the few traders that still get through are seeking swords and armor. “Help us!” they plead, “For our homes are under attack. We need weapons to arm our horsemen.”
You must help. Somehow you will come to the aid of your brethren. But can you also preserve all that you love in Camargue?
Camargue of Rohan is primarily an economic scenario. Winning requires that your settlement remain intact (the keep enclosed and target population levels reached). Also, to come to the aid of the lowland clans, you must develop an industry to produce both swords and metal armor. The invasions and events in this map are not designed to destroy Camargue but they will make it difficult for you to meet the economic objectives.
The scenario is designed to provide a moderate challenge on the NORMAL setting and will give you a relaxed and enjoyable game. For those wanting a greater challenge (and for reviewers wishing to rate the BALANCE of this map) please play on the HARD setting. It is quite difficult to meet all the conditions for victory when playing on HARD.
You have 12 game-years to complete the objectives.
My previous map, Haut-Koenigsburg, was full of soldiers and war and blood and destruction. This map is about a settlement seeking peace but knowing that peace must be defended.
Included in the download is a document titled “The making of Camargue” explaining how I created this map with the image of the prancing horse.
Please see the "readme" file and, if you need them, the "hints" files in the download.
Camargue is dedicated to my daughter who loves horses. She watched me develop this game and I modeled the shape of the lake on a horse image from her wall calendar.
As always, your comments and reviews are most appreciated.
Ver 2 Notes: modified the game slighly and also included the "How I made this image map" file. (first 9 people who downloaded the map got the old version)
Ver 3 Notes: Based on detailed feedback from Jalis I have further modified this map - setting additional structures to "off" so they can not be created during the game.
Thank you Octavius Maximus and NeKoeNMa. Your reviews are a great encouragement to me. Thank you also Stratego - glad your own daughters enjoyed the "horse lake."
Indeed it is purposely a fairly easy map. I have changed the DIFFICULTY attribute to EASY to reflect this.
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Every once in a while a rare event occurs and a designer creates a truly brilliant and epic map. I have had the fortune of playing several of those maps, and now I have played another. In Camargue of Rohan, Bismuth has created a grand and enthralling map, and it is my absolute pleasure to give it the due it so richly deserves in my review:
Absolutely flawless gameplay here, not a glitch to be found, and this map just draws you in and makes you mad that after twelve years it will be over.
Balance: I wanted to give this a 5, I really did, because the balance of goals to achieve and the defense of the keep is almost flawless. I have to give the highest four simply because I thought the production goals were just a bit too easy.
Creativity is not all about flashy eye-candy and monumental new designs to me. Bismuth shows great creativity in this map, albeit in a subtle and intriguing manner.
Map Design: 5
This is just a gorgeous map. The use of terrain, rivers and the lake, the subtle shifts in terrain levels, the beautifully crafted formations of rocks and foliage, i could go on and on. A work of art.
What can I say? Form the extra large minimap and the fully crafted storyline on the description page, the thoughtfully simplistic in-map story, and the wonderful collection of background material and help, along with a charming photo of the author and daughter.
Absolutely wonderful job, Bismuth, and a pleasure to play and review. Should be one of the top ten maps on anybody's list.
A good work by the author. Altought I'm not a fan of economic scenarios, ecoinvasions are certainly my favourite!
Review of version 2
This map is just very fun to play. Very chalenging and for less experient players they have the choice of playing at easy, but still is a chalenge (for them, of course).
This map is very well balanced, but I really missed a gatehouse. I think this was the intent to the author but I barely managed to win when the enemy destroyed my gatehouse middlegame. And I think it's a miracle I winned, because the last sword arrived at very last moment. Lucky me!
A minimap art, I must say. I wouldn't be able to draw a horse on the main map. The lake is quite original enought. Another thing is that we could build wooden fortifications on this level. And they aren't many over here.
Map Design: 5
Again, the rivers, small valleys where they run and of course, the smal crater lake just above the main lake, they're all well made. And of course, the main lake itself. Great job!
Noone wanting to conquest the world (besides the enemy) when a peacefull valley is attacked by bad guys whose intention is to destroy it's inhabitants. They must fight to protect themselves, and the others. Nice story after all!
A great map, fun to play and chalenging, for any kind of player, newbie or veteran, with a great map design and a criative lake. One of the best. Great work, Bismuth!!!
wow, I love that impressive and unique outfit of your map. The invasions are well-timed and especially the landscape represents an art work with an uncommon charme. But somehow it's strange to say, I subjectively thought to be in North America and not in the French Camargue,(cannot explain, why).
You've dedicated your map to your daughter, as you wrote, who loves horses over all. I personally can feel with you for a sensitive creation that must attract. My two daughters both were so excited, when they looked at the phenomenal "horse lake".
Playability simply is flawless, all things and events perfectly work together.
Balance in my opinion could be a little bit harder. I've played the actual version 3 at "normal" and "hard", in each case one attempt needed. Although I have to test the military and economical side at very hard, I'll give you 4 points for that.
Creativity, MapDesign and Story - all three categories deserve a 5 -, because it is an exceptional, exemplary work, that must be an instructive presentation for all newbies and veterans, how to create a perfect map. I felt enthusiastic about this attached pdf-file, where you describe by several steps the making of the fantastic "Horse Lake".
Finally some suggestions:
1. I would consider if it's necessary that you can buy maces and spears at the market, cause I didn't need that option at all. The pole turner (building option) could be canceled, too.
2. To complete your castle it might be better to start the game with partially uncomplete walls around the settlement, because later on you'll have enough opportunities to reach this goal.
By the way a few statistical personal facts concerning my score at "hard": At the end I've had 26 crossbowmen, 13 archers and 7 knights, 4% lost troops and finished 35 months earlier, 25 swords and 24 armours.
In one word: "Smashing!",Bismuth.
You know, i feel really stupid right now. I reviewed before the others, and just checked in after seeing Strategos review, and just realized about the "Horse Lake"! Is that crazy? I hadn't even noticed it! Must be getting old. :p
Anyway, I was just going to say that after finally seeing it for what it was, I'd have give you a ten for map design if i could have. That is absolutely astounding! :)
Playability measures how fun the map is in a general way. I had some hesitation giving this a 5 because of how the troops move around the horse lake, so it gets a high 4. Some distances are too far to move the men in one click. This doesnt seem too bad, except when pikemen are wandering around below your keep and you want your spearmen to attack them, and then get a red X (can't move there) when trying. Moving around is important to protect the iron resources.
Again good enough for a 4 because I completed the two economic goals early. This map got many raving reviews (see above). I dont see this as a five, because the attacks are light and infrequent and the two iron goals are stretched a little too long. Market really limited.
Playing Level: 5000
22 months early = 2200
Troops Lost 51% = 4900
Score = 12100
Previous Best Score = 0
I looked at the other files included in the zip. The author detailed the steps to make the map and the amazing lake design. AWESOME!
Map Design: 4
I had trouble with moving troops around, and also the first iron mine is extremely far away and gets attacked early. So I went with the two iron mines north of the keep (directly above). I did see unusual building design by the starting iron mine, a wooden structure that I couldnt identify. If this map worked as well as it looks, it would be up there in the top 5 Of All Time. The horse is perfectly done.
The details page is full of pictures. I now have the capability to put these on my own maps. You need to get some freeweb space and follow the directions on the boards for placing pictures.
Giving this a official Lollard's "Thumbs Up". Its fun to play and has "the best use of a terrain type" ever. Download this beautiful map, if just to check out the brilliant work on the horse.
[Edited on 11/15/05 @ 01:27 AM]
I played this map for the first time today. As the author writes in his notes, it is easy. I won first time on Hard.
I did have a very enjoyable game. The unusual structure of the map leads to interesting game play and the getting the economy right was quite tricky.
And it is beautifully presented.