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Downloads Home » Stronghold: Invasions » The Kingdom of Shodenburg-The Battle of Spielberg

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The Kingdom of Shodenburg-The Battle of Spielberg

Author File Description
king nick
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
The Kingdom of Shodenburg -
The Battle of Spielburg

By King Matthew and King Nick the Nut

It was a cool day when you and your men were scheduled to do a routine check up on island owned by your king. There was a cool breeze blowing in from the South and the seagulls perched on the dock flew away as you approached your ship. Just as you were about to disembark a shire ran to you and handed you a parchment. It read;

Please report to Shodenburg Castle where you will be debriefed on the current situation in the county of Spielburg.

King Richard

You tell your men to wait at the dock, jump onto your horse and ride to the castle. There you learn that Spielburg, a normally peaceful county has been taken over by The Wolf, a merciless war lord who has caused problems to the Kingdom of Shodenburg for sometime. Every attempt to this point has failed to eliminate him and you thought for the time being the King would turn his attention to more important matters. But now that The Wolf has started to conquer counties you have to act. The King’s scouts have reported that The Wolf is currently away in the South helping his brother defend his castle. The King’s troops stationed near the area have taken the opportunity to take control of the castle. However, they have few supplies and recent raids from some of The Wolf’s nearby men have destroyed most of the farms. The King needs you to oversee the fortifying of the castle before The Wolf returns.

AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design3.0
This is a nice classical invasion and good for a player who likes a challenge. It is very easy to build up an incredibly successful economy very fast on the map and so I was expecting big invasions. I was not disappointed and I just completed the map on Normal, second attempt! I think the gameplay is a little monotonous though with no extra events added like fire, plague and archers, only invasions and messages. Would have kept my attention on the map better and made things a little more interesting. The map was well balanced, the invasions were good and tough and almost scored a 5 as it was clear that the map had been playtested well.

The design of the map was relatively simple and not too creative. The one bit of the map design I didn't like was the large stone bridge which looked very out of place in the middle of the map. Another ford would have looked much better. On the whole though the woodlands and rivers gave the map a good feel and easily enough for 6/10 for map design and creativity. Not bad at all but there is quite a bit of improvment to be done here to get the scores up to 4s.

The map's storyline is above average with text document's inside the zip file and a fine piece on the site description. The addition of a minimap would be nice on the site description. If you don't know hwo to do this there is a tutorial in the forums. Overall though this was a solid classical invasion map. Allways fun to play and it was well balanced. Good work!
Map Design1.0
The castle, besides being very IN-imaginative (a basic rectangle) is also very indefensible. If you are going to include a pre-built castle, it should either be one with good defensive features to build on, or a completely ill-designed one like the Rat's Castle in the original missions, that is part of the gameplay you have to try to improve on. I assume that is not what you were going for here. If you are going to throw massive amounts of troops (300-500 in most of your invasion events) you have got to give the defender something to work with other than just fortifying the walls you set up to 10 thicknesses.

When you design a castle, straight, unbroken lines is a negative. The walls should go in and out, with the only 'salients', that is, exposed, jutting out from the structure being towers that are linked with walks, not part of the actual 'keep' wall. There should be a wall facing almost every other wall. Think of a checkerboard, with your wall following the line of say only the black squares through the middle. The way you have built your castle, the only defense is filling the walls with masses of archers and hope you kill all tha attackers before they reach the walls, because once they do there is no way to kill them off. Walls that face each other make it possible to defend each other. Necessarily there must be a few walls that are exposed, but make these walls that do no lead directly to the keep.

Another criticism (I don't mean to sound negative but I assume you want an honest critique that might improve your map) if you are going to allow 25%, or even more maybe on your map, be simple, unaltered flat grassland, consider using a smaller map. The purpose of a larger map is to impede the progress of the invading army or direct them to a defense position with rivers, mountains, etc. I guess you included all the flatland so that farming would be easier, but wouldn't it be more interesting if you made areas where a few farms could be built, scattering them throughout the large map, forcing the defender to spread his forces to defend the farms by building towers or small forts. The way it is, almost all of them can simply be defended from the castle itself. This just seems uninteresting.

Lastly, consider smaller, closer spaced attacks rather than 500 men every 4 or 5 years. The game engine only sends a few dozen attackers out at once anyway, and sometimes huge attacks will become stalled and the attackers will get stuck at the signpost. Instead, why not space out different types of attackers every couple months of the year you have chosen for attack, giving the player different challenges one after another. Say, siege engines with Knights to defend them first, then Macemen, Crossbowmen, Archers and Spearmen to clear out defending Archers and fill in any moat, then Swordsmen to break down the walls. Its bad Scenario design to send in Swordsmen your first attack, when if the defender has built a moat they will simply stand there and die, since Swordsmen can't fill in a moat, and your rectangular, flatland pre-built castle begs the player to build a moat first thing. This is not entertaining, interesting or challenging gameplay.

Your story ideas are good. I suggest sitting on a map for a couple weeks at least before you submit it. Every time you open it you will see improvements, eye candy you can add, dressing, strategy points, etc. Someone once said "A painting is never finished, it is only abandoned." Maps are like that, you can always find more to do. Of course you don't want it too busy, but look very objectively at your map here, what is it about it that really makes it special and worthy to submit? What about your actual scenario is unique or a different take on even the original missions? If the answer is nothing, you have to do more work. You have to assume a highly detailed description and game synopsis is not enough to carry an underdesigned map.

Sorry if all this seems negative. I've designed literally hundreds of maps myself and submitted very few of them because I've taken the time to check out the very best mapmakers here and if I have nothing original or unique to add, I don't submit, I go back to work and refine.

If you want to see some of the concepts I'm talking about in designing your walls for better defense, I've bastardized your castle a bit here:

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