Dry River Valley is the endless desert with no water and sufficient space for planting and cultivation. Predators and other circumstances will disturb you and your hard-working people, so one may lose heart and leave this enterprise... But if you are a brave lord willing to face the difficulties and turn the goddamned desert into prosperous land, the Dry River Valley is for you.
Wow, creativity never ends! I absolutely was captured by this extraordinary and imaginative eco-map. It’s always amazing how creative some map designers such as “alvarez 23” can be. Right in the beginning, this scenario is very hard and you have to deal with hordes of lions disturbing your economic development. If you are careless you’ll definitely lose all your initial military units, none will survive. So think twice before you start to establish your economy too optimistically, and avoid acting in panic if you should be under attack by those beasts of prey. In this case, I have to point out that you should not underestimate the strength of woodcutters defending themselves against lions…
Besides, did anybody else notice that there isn’t any lord on the map? Have a look into the editor and you can watch him walking around the campfire, but when you start the game the lord is absent like being vanished into thin air – weird! I also missed a kind of losing event, for example “lost all your men” or something like that. If those roaming lions eat up all your initial troops, it will be too late to play on. Thus, it’s advisable to restart, because the lions would occupy your campfire and devour each peasant leaving your keep. That would make it impossible to continue the game in a reasonable way.
In deed, this scenario is very tough right from scratch as I mentioned above, but in the course of the game, it becomes more and more easy and you’ll learn how to handle the decreasing threats which will stop some time (like lions and fires). Then it’ll be just a question of time to acquire the expected goods, particularly since nothing else happens that could impede your development. How about adding a signpost? Just an idea to fit in a few raids of bandits or more lion attacks. Therefore, you could justify the existence of barracks, an armory and your weapon production (i.e. fletchers).
You will seldom see such a realistic or naturalistic map design like this one. Arid and poorly grassy areas are perfectly blended together with a sensitively good use of sandy and rocky elements. In one word: fantastic!
Perhaps the story might need a little bit more efforts and imagination. It’s just basic and I suggest to explain what the demanded goods are for and why settling on that abandoned dry desert land. Now, I stop complaining about those minor things. To sum it up, “Dry River Valley” is highly recommendable, very challenging in the beginning, however turning out slightly boring towards the end.