Pestilentia (or the „Black Death“)
In the midst of the 14th century, misery and death overtook the medieval cities and settlements of the European countries. Beginning in different Mediterranean seaports, a sinister disease was spreading all over Europe: The pestilence or plague. In 1347, a few sailors to Messina in Sicily imported the so-called “Black Death”. In the same year over 530 000 people died of plague on that island. In 1347, pestilence raged in Italy, too. In 1348, this disease spread to France and Spain and in 1349 over Germany to the other northern European countries. At last no land, no city, no village, no hamlet, no farm, no castle were exempted from the “Black Death”, even reaching the Russian steppe. Still today, various plague chapels or plague columns are reminiscent of those tragic occurrences. In Germany, for example over a million people died during the first year of plague. Commerce and trade came to a standstill and agriculture was neglected for a long time. So we surely can understand the horrible consequences of upcoming famines and universal despair of a hardly imaginable dimension. These famines always were caused by crop failures, by vermin, by wrong storage of food and of course by rats and mice. In all European countries people of every kind and status, both peasants and townsmen had to suffer from it. Moreover, hunger always means illness as everybody knows. To become ill was supposed to be as a “punishment of God”. People tried to reconcile with God by initiating processions and pilgrimages. Groups of “castigators” were passing through the land and warning the population of the constant presence of death by lashing their own bodies. The lashes that they used were fit out with iron spikes. Besides hordes of bandits took advantage of the chaotic situation leaving behind tracks of destruction and plundering.
The number of population rapidly lowered and the sales of agricultural goods became more and more difficult. For that reason, many peasants decided to leave their farms. Another occupation in a near city or an employment under the protection of another Landlord often promised economic safety that was more effective. That is why many villages and hamlets were abandoned and laid fallow as so-called “wastelands” often used as pasture grounds by adjacent farmers.
“Pestilentia” is a small and fine ecomap, that is just suitable to play during the holidays’ season. It’s ideal to play on “normal” or “hard”, but I guess playing on “very hard” should be impossible because of the limited population (only 8 peasants are available!) In this special case, I don’t intend to give you any hints. Try to find out how to use your peasants the best to fulfil all objectives before the time limit’s end.
Enjoy and good luck!
P.S. Please let me know how you like it, thanks!
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I thoroughly enjoyed Stratego's "Pestilentia."
First of all, the accompanying story seems to be an historically accurate description of life in Europe during the years of the Black Plague. It is not only informative but it does a great job of setting the stage for the map and many of the conditions described in the story are issues you must deal with during game play (e.g. bandits, plague. meager food resources, little trade, etc.). Only I would have liked a few details to go with this particular settlement. Story - 4
I knew, as soon as I began to play, that this would be no easy victory. You start with very few resources and only eight souls with which to develop your economy. Meanwhile, death, destruction and danger are all around you. It took several restarts from the beginning and many, many, restarts from saved games before I finally finished victorious with 4 years remaining. (Played on NORMAL)
It was most enjoyable to play Pestilentia as it offers a number of different options for how to play the game but victory requires fine tuning and careful allocation of resources. Balance - 4.5, Playability - 5.
The map portrays an exhausted and desolate landscape. Good use has been made of terrain shaping, water features and use of rocks, and plants. Iron and wood resources are placed to maximize the challenge of meeting economic goals. The map is nicely filled - not too cramped but also no bare or wasted space. Only thing that seemed out-of-place were all the rabbits. I would have expected those all to have been turned into stew and hats.
The structures Stragego has created are fitted naturally into the map. I especially liked the ruined church, the ominous graveyard, and the bridge. The settlement itself has a nice touch - simple and austere. Map Design - 4.5, Creativity - 4.
Everyone ought to have a go at this map. Thanks Stratego for another excellent creation.