|Duke of York
The Hundred Acre Wood
You have been tasked with harvesting the resources of this land for your lord, Baron von Leeson. He has ordered you to establish a small fortification and send the bounty to him in Mauldin. His rival, Duke Philippe du Francois of Normandy also has ambitions for this pristine wilderness. You must be prepared for his efforts to thwart you. You have twenty game years to complete your task. Legend has it that an evil witch cast a spell on the stones of the wood and anyone who digs them from the ground will feel her curse. The more simple-minded folk say she can still be seen from time to time, flying on her broom cackling wildly, but who believes such nonsense.
20 Metal Armor
Complete the Castle
***Player Notes***Very Important***
This scenario allows you the freedom to place your starting keep in one of six locations, each location with its particular advantages. Please note that this map will be labeled EASY. It is designed more for entry to intermediate level players of Stronghold. This is a break from my traditional “epic” invasions that can be quite challenging and take several hours to play. This map can be won in 60 – 90 minutes. For the more experienced players, I would suggest playing the map on hard or very hard setting.
As always, I hope you have as much fun playing this scenario as I have had creating it. I look forward to your comments.
James, Duke of York
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Excellent work by DOY! This map was very enjoyable to play, although I have to say that I must not be as good a player as I thought, because I think this map should have been rated at "normal". As the author noted, each of the multiple choices for placement of your keep comes with advantages and drawbacks, setting up multiple replays of the episode to see how each placement pans out. A great little map that offers hours of enjoyement. The four is a result of the map beginning oriented to the south. A revision of this minor problem would rate a five.
Excellent balance between defense and economic goals, with resources strategically placed to offer just the right challenge for the eco goals. Well scripted wolf attacks and invasions keep the player wary and alert, along with excellent scripting of the detracting events (wheat blight, etc.) Great job!
Excellent work here. Wonderful ruins, and the landscape shows the skill of DOY for using modest technique creatively, as opposed to the usual "bigger and better eye-candy" approach too often found in recent designer's work. (Mine included!)
Map Design: 5
Well thought out and excellently created, this is a simplistic, yet beautiful map. Subtle changes in terrain and precise strokes of the designer's brush enhance the overall structure of the map, giving it a wholly realistic look and feel. The resources and wildlife are well placed and believable.
Minimap, good description page and in-map story.
I haven't reviewed a map for a while now, mainly because I haven't played Stronghold as much as before but also because I haven't found most of the maps I have played interesting enough for a review. But Duke of York's The Hundred Acre Wood is such an enjoyable map to play that I've decided to review it now.
Playability - Playability is where this map excels. The map meets every requirement of a perfect 5.0 score for playability. It's simple enough to just sit down and play, mostly because it's one of the few maps that actually lets you place the keep yourself. You don't start with an enormous pre-built city, which I thought was refreshing and suitable for this type of map. The gameplay is a mix of resource gathering, castle building, combat and surviving bad events. There's very little time to just sit down and watch the city try to manage on its own as you're constantly busy with something, whether it's building the required wall around your city, defending against bandits, wolves and invaders or clearing the iron and stone mines of bears. The scenario is never boring and a lot of fun to play. The map's replayability value is also increased by the different locations for the keep.
Balance - The map is very well balanced. You're never too weak or too strong, even though the good bandit archers do make it a bit easier for the player. It is, however, not so huge a challenge to achieve all the required goals. But all the invasions and bandit attacks and bad events always keep you under pressure and don't let you win the map too easily.
Creativity - The map was fresh in a way and had a lot of the best parts of Stronghold, but the map is fundamentally just a really traditional old-skool Stronghold invasion map. It's not a bad thing, though, because that's basically what makes the map so much fun. But I can't give a much higher score for this category if the gameplay isn't more original. I did like the "curse" effect.
Map Design - Map Design is perfect apart from the rivers. The forest looks really natural with all its trees and shrubs and big stones and everything. The use of elevation is also excellent. Different terrain types have also been used well and there really isn't any major flaws that hurt your eyes on the map. I just didn't like the rivers, but they're not bad enough to keep the map's Map Design score from perfect 5.0.
Story/Instructions - The story is okay with an interesting twist but nothing too spectacular for a score better than 3.0. The description page with its minimap is good.
Final comments: This is a really enjoyable map, though a bit unoriginal, but nevertheless an excellent map recommended for pretty much everyone.
One of the best "training-maps", I've ever played, and an absolute duty for all newbies and veterans, too. A classic mixture of an economic, invasion and freebuild-map, proportionally all of it. And a high factor of replayability because of the multiple possibilities to choose your starting position. Optimally suitable to train your abilities, to improve your skill and to learn moreover. The 20 years "time of play" never are boring, cause there's always something happening. You're permanently under pressure to proceed and to react. According to your starting position (6 different ways), the game goes to different directions, each of them with different advantages or handicaps. Therefore you have to straighten your strategy to be successful. The sundry events are clever-timed, each one with specific effects that always require convenient reactions by the player. In this case the author has fixed nearly all economic obstacles that you can imagine: Periodically you will be attacked by wolves, bears, rabbits and the unpleasent bandits. Once the pest is worrying the population, next time crop failures and dying of forests will cause some problems. The invasions permanently become stronger and finally the last assault supported by catapults and a great number of swordsmen compels you "to give your best". For that you are well-advised to concentrate your military side on mustering lots of crossbowmen for a massive resistance. But there was one bad event which almost completely knocked me down: the big fire towards the end of the mission. Nearly most of all lines of production were devastated, even the granary itself, although I prophylacticly had placed a dozen of wells. It took me a long time to equalize those resulting losings of food. Nevertheless I finally won right 2 months before the time limit's end (played at "normal"). My subjective start position was located nearby the the northern iron ore resources to guarantee a "smooth" production of the demanded weapons. The dragging stone supplies on the other hand bothered me for a time, when wolves or bears attacked my quarrymen as long as I delegated some archers to clear that critical situation. The goal of 150 fruits I solved by using a maximum of orchards and by locking apple consumption in the granary for a while. Popularity often was staggering depending on the changing tax receipts, really thrilly.
A very nice map, Duke of York, a perfect naturalistic design, especially the ruins. It represents an optimal "training camp" to find out your personal economic and military limits. But there has been one thing that bothered me a little bit: All quarrymen were transparently figured at their work, maybe a specific program's bug in relation to the light blue coloured units, I think.
I recommend this map for DL.
A great work, D.O.Y.