|Duke of York
While away fighting the evil Lancastrians and achieving a mighty victory at the Battle of Northampton for the Yorks, you William Herbert were deceived. Your friend and once trusted ally John Mobray, Duke of Norfolk seized Raglan Castle and changed sides in this bloody conflict. In doing so, he killed your aged father and imprisoned your loyal subjects.
After learning of this treachery, you immediately petitioned His Grace, the Duke of York to send you troops in order to reclaim Raglan and your family’s honor. He has agreed on condition that payment in the form of Gold, Food and war supplies be made to further the cause. This will be no easy task as Mobray (the Wolf) has heavily fortified the castle and is anticipating your arrival. You may have to settle in for along siege and take the castle piece by piece. All the while, that Snake John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury will be attempting to reinforce Mobray and push you out of Raglan all together. The Duke of York will send reinforcements as they are available. In the end, you must prevail as your honor and very life is at stake!
No Enemy On The Map
This is a cede-castle scenario in which you have all elements of game play present. You must siege the castle, build an economy and defend against counter attack by a determined enemy. You will only have 20 game years to achieve your objectives. This is a difficult scenario and will be very challenging to novice players. It may take several tries before you solve the puzzle. This scenario requires a series of events to happen in chronological order for you to be successful. I will give this one hint: You must clear the Wolf’s defenders off the back side of the castle in order to build your quarry as you need stone to build a barracks. This will allow you access to your armory, which has many additional weapons in it to aid you in taking the rest of the castle. I also advise that you take the castle in pieces and not attempt taking the entire castle on the same impulse, the results would be disasterous! I will be happy to provide further hints on game play for those who ask. (email@example.com)
Raglan Castle has been a joint effort between Brave Sir Robin and myself and taken approximately six months to complete. I would also like to thank Jalis and The Red Baron for playtesting and providing curtail feedback that affected the finished product. Please also visit the COTW article about the real Raglan Castle. As always, I hope that you have had as much fun playing this scenario as I have had creating it.
(This is a fictitious scenario based upon Raglan Castle’s design and the War of the Roses.)
James, Duke of York
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This is again another fabulus map from DoY and bsr! I have thought for quite a while how DoY has by far the best ability to make a historical castle than anyone else and my point has been proven once more. I started playing the map on normal and was no near getting in and so changed to easy and after copius amounts of tips and advice (thanks to the author and Jalis), I finally captured the castle. Once in control of the castle I did rather well and held off the attacks to obtain victory (can't remember the date!). I found the attacks more of a hinderence than a real threat, this was beacuse I had to play on easy for the attacking part. It was still a great fun map to play, you had to e careful to balance your economy and to keep food production up.
For map design and creativity the map really shines! I went to Raglan a few years ago and have allways deemed the map iompossible to make due to the huge structures involved and the circular main keep on the island but the authors have produced a faboulous design. I love all the wooden walkways worked into the castle as well, very effective. Soemthing else I thought would be hard to reproduce are all the buildings inside the catsle like the great hall but the authors used amazing comninations of walls, stairs and towers to achieve this goal. Brillinat! The surrounding map design is also to a high standard, the classic DoY forest surroundings!
For storyline and instructions the map also shines, really good story, well laid out site desciption with pictures and minimap and generally eases through for a 5. Great work! Overall this is another fantastic map, my favourite in design terms, especailly nice having seen it in real life. Superb work!
To date this is by far my favorite Stronghold map. For the very reason it oozes class!
Stronghold is a tremendous game, we all know that! Addictive and compelling, it offers so much fun on so many different levels, it’s arguably head and shoulders above most games and in many senses years ahead of it’s competitors! A truly brilliant offering that has personally served me well for a few years now. The game is very cool indeed, but i’ve come to realise in time that Stronghold for everything great about it would be half the game it is, if it wasn’t for the creative and innovative maps people have spent time and energy developing.
If you talk about a game thriving on the people who play it, you can’t have a better example than Stronghold! Without maps like Raglan Castle i’d have to say the appeal and thrill of Stronghold wouldn’t be the same for me. Maps are of course an integral part of the game, good maps are for what they are worth akin to gold dust. This is why i’ve decided to review Duke of York and Sir Brave Robin’s successful and jaw dropping attempt at recreating Raglan Castle.
Map Design. 5
I’ve broken this area down into 2 parts. The landscape looks great and feels very natural. Land height effortlessly blends in with nature and there is a noticeable smoothness that is well seen. The trees, shrubs and wild life realistically take their place within the whole aesthetics of the environment. Intelligently, resource placement plays a major role in the game play and with most locales of interest there’s always a reason for their position. This is all testament to the design that is clever and intuitive.
Castle design is also amazing, unlike NAT i didn’t have the chance to go there myself but have seen photos of the layout and i’m just gob smacked at how well the recreation is! Considering the tools available.
The way the castle has been constructed in Stronghold is nothing less than a huge achievement. There are many lovely touches that are worthy of a mention, i particularly liked the way the weapon buildings were positioned in a upward slant. From the mini map the castle has an air of invincibility. The buildings within walls add to the realism and a sense that outsiders won’t be getting in - I’m sure in them days castle life must have been a particularly comfortable experience for those living at Raglan Castle, medieval Fort Knox maybe?
Generally speaking, the design is faultless! The use of flattened wooden walls is cool, the detached keep with moat is very well recreated and the detained prisoners give the map even more depth. I’m truly really just so impressed with the design. Nice one guys.
Creative + thoughtful thinking generally speaking are the qualities needed of an author(s) that propel a map into greatness, and i’m pleased to say this map has oodles of both. Raglan Castle boasts many nice touches in creative design and as mentioned before all stem from creative thinking – but this is not the area of excellence i’m marking the score from.
After playing to completion on normal which incidentally took some time i’ve concluded that the scenario is by a long stretch the most creative and unique contribution to this map.
Basically from the get go you start with a number of troops needed to invade the castle, this objective is essential if there is any hope of victory, once inside a little demolition is required to create more room – This is vital to allow building space as once inside room is at a premium. With the campaign underway the economic goals and invasions keep you more than occupied in the time allocated. You may think it’s another standard cede mission, with eco goals and invasions?!? But the sheer size of the job is unprecedented, and the style in which the scenario is played out is nothing less than remarkable. The economic goals are not massive within the game and the invasions (Snake) not huge, moreover implemented at timely intervals; this more than anything to keep you alert and sharp. Please note though, the invasions if ill prepared can be very overwhelming.
The idea Raglan Castle is easy would BE the biggest understatement this century, in fact make it last century as well. It’s huge, and after finally obtaining victory i’m pleased to say that it was an Olympic sized pleasure palace to play. If not the most (at times) frustrating map ever played :o)
Getting into Raglan castle is basically a pretty easy affair, a couple of well positioned trebuchets is all that is needed but being housed there with next to no troops, is (well) next to stupid and pointless. So as much as it’s funny to see most of your main army slaughtered from deadly arrows raining down, it’s interesting to point and eye opening in the sense that Raglan Castle is not as easy as it may initially look. What i’m saying is, this map makes you think!
Throughout you have to make decisions and make them fast, but as i found out whilst playing there is the ‘right’ decision and the one that seems right. The difference is subtle and ultimately you could find yourself cursing at your own stupidity because of something you did 8 game years ago. Or alternately amidst playing you realise to yourself if you did ‘that’ differently you could save 40 macemen. This is all testament to the clever and creative way the scenario and map is design is constructed. And it must said that in this review i will never fully convey the true class and little intricacies this map has to offer, it’s a true diamond among stones.
For me the defining moment of Raglan Castle was when i actually defeated all of John Mobray’s (Wolf) army inside the castle :O). It was a long time coming and after plenty of different methods the castle was finally solely mine. This was a massive turning point of the game and one that is needed sooner rather than later if victory is your final goal. Raglan Castle is designed in such a way a complete invasion is done piece by piece, (East + west wings and the keep) This concept in it’s own nature gives the player a time scale to work with. Of course in reality the Wolf’s army wouldn’t sit idly by as you make yourself comfortable in the east wing, but after all Stronghold isn’t quite that perfect yet.
The second half of the map is very much as good as the first, and with a surprisingly cool unexpected twist dropped into the mix, the second half throws up more critical decision making. this pretty much epitomizes the style of Raglan Castle – a creative and intelligent map.
The balance element of this map is excellent – after playing for many hours it seems to have been designed with everything considered. Although i’d never recommend it to beginners, it’s got plenty to offer as an introduction map. With most buildings available and the only real income being tax it’s not too one sided in terms natural progression. The fact you cannot move or expand the stock pile also initiates the game play the way the authors intended. This said, you are so preoccupied maintaining the economics and natural growth required for victory you never can really get the chance to neglect one area and concentrate in building (let’s say) the ultimate army.
Invasions have a knack of appearing when everything starts to become ‘good’ in the economic sense, this makes the map seem frantic at times, but they’re an excellent test to see what shape you’re in. Come out of an invasion battered – you’ve got no chance of completing the map.
At the beginning you’re given more than enough troops to get into the castle and start the campaign, good tactical nous is required throughout and with a definite time limit you are always forced to move fast. All in all, Raglan Castle never displays an untrusting equilibrium.
If i could give this map a higher score for playability than a 5 i would – in fact i will :o) I’ll give it a 6, there you go.
Raglan castle is so absorbing and addictive i couldn’t let go until i finally played out to victory. There is so much to do when playing (and to do it right) i found playing on speed 10 was a little too fast :o). Every minor task completed was a triumph to celebrate and it inevitably paved the road for the next stage. At times whilst playing, i often felt i was playing not 1 map but a series of smaller maps, this strangely creates a good feeling and a understanding of where your tactics are leading.
I totally enjoyed playing Raglan Castle for everything good about it. I don’t deny it took a long time to succeed (in fact too long) but now complete i feel i’ve played and kicked ass on one of the best maps in Stronghold, the playability is out of this world and i strongly recommend Raglan Castle to any of those who want a decent challenge.
Brief and to the point it gives you a history of how things have panned out so far. It is well written and informative. In short, you play a character called William Herbert who unfortunately is deceived by a very close friend John Mobray (Wolf) He takes over Raglan Castle, kills your father and enlists the help of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury (Snake) to inflict more misery. You as William Herbert petition the Duke of York (who else? :O) for troops; who delivers in return for supplies. It’s no novel but who needs one when you’ve got the map of the year to get on with :o).
Raglan Castle is a brilliant map, well designed and innovative – well done Duke of York and Sir Brave Robin. Excellent stuff.
Great map, worthy of every 5.
This is one of my favorite maps that i've played recently. After downloading it yeserday i quickly realized i should have downloaded it earlier.
The map is very playable and gets you involved right at the start, this is one of the reasons your maps are so popular.
I couldn't decide whether to give you a 4 or 5 for balance and if i could i'd give you 4.5 purely for the fact that once you looked at the invasions it's pretty hard to lose, in saying this i was able to complete it with my first attempt.
Anyone who marks you down on creativity must have problems as you have once again created a very well planned out peice of work. With the inclusion of wooden walls you make this castle look as close to the original as possible. Map design was tricky for me to write about though. It far surpasses many lower known designers but seeing as i spend all my hard work on the terrain of my maps i was a little dissapointed with the blandness but that doesn't mean it's bad at all, and i can't deduct any marks from you a full 5!
And what can i say about the story?
You are a great writer and tell us exactly what we need to know without blabbering and once again i don't think anyone in their right mind would deduct points in this section.
In conclusion it's my first review in a long time way back when i was Lord Arthus but i can happily say i'm glad this was the map i reviewed. Great work and keep em' coming,