I played this map three times. The first time through I set the outside troops on aggressive stance to deal with the repeating invasions and turned my attention to looking around the castle and farmland, which I quite liked. Given the huge number of troops that I started with, I thought I was more than prepared for any attack that might come. My lollygagging came to an abrupt end when the smaller invasions stopped and the castle was besieged with the Wolf's main army. Sad to say, the castle was overrun and the lord was killed. Defeat.
The second time through I left a small number of knights outside the gates to deal with the repeating invasions, then turned my attention to adding to my forces. I used the starting gold to buy the weapons already in the armories, then I set taxes to 6 and made more weapons. Soon I had hundreds and hundreds of troops. I also put in a large number of killing pits and pitch ditches. The Wolf didn't stand a chance. Victory! I suffered only 22% troop losses, which made me wonder how it would turn out if I replayed it without adding a bunch of troops...
The third time through I again brought the outside troops inside the gates, and added pitch ditches and killing pits, but otherwise didn't add any troops. The castle was overrun. Defeat.
All of this is to say that in some ways this was an easy mission - weapons, gold, forces, food... everything was already set in place and as long as I used them, success was pretty much guaranteed. It didn't detract from the playability, though, as it was quite fun to have the resources to do what I wanted. You might want to script in some more different kinds of events. And either increase the strength of the opening repeating invasions, or else vary them with attacks of differing numbers of troops. I never had to pay much attention to the first attacks, as a small number of knights outside the gates, along with the archers on the walls, were sufficient to take care of them. I suspect the score for balance will vary a bit among players.
The map design was very well done! Like I mentioned, I spent quite a bit of the first time through just looking around - it's a well-thought-out castle, fitting in nicely with the landscape. With all the farms in the country it had a rustic, comfortable feeling. The only area for improvement here is noticeable mainly from the minimap... the squared-off raised areas could be broken up a bit.
Map Design: 4
The in-game story was fine, and nicely set up the action: 4