Posted on 02/21/05 @ 12:00 AM (updated 02/27/05
January 8th, 1066. Dahm I hate the cold. Growing up in the old town makes you appreciate the weather, mild temperatures and the sounds of birds in the morning, just heaven compared to what we have to deal with. They are only memories now.
I’ve lost track of time so I am unable to tell you how long we’ve been running but it’s starting to take its toll. The lack of water and food has turned even the noble knights into blood-thirsty creeps and on several occasions a piece of bread has led to bloodshed and death within our own ranks.
We were pushed out of our homes by the French. Our long time allies had grown Pig-headed and were overwhelmed with the strength they possessed. No one stood in their way; they were at the peak of their power and had been given the name of “the ghost army” for no matter how many of the traitors were killed, they always achieved victory in war.
We are proud of how this map has turned out and would love to hear any comments you have on our map but what we really want are reviews. After you have played our map it would be great of you to leave a review or even a comment so that we can see what you think.
Sorry about the virus, fixed and ready to go.
Thanks GillB, I'll tell Arthus when I can.
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Ever since I posted my first map on this site I have checked it every day to see if someone has posted a review. I couldn't help but notice that your map hadn't been reviewed, so I desided to give a fellow designer a favor and download your map just so that I could review it and let you know what someone thinks of it.
Playability 4/5 There is a lot that needs done in this map right from the start, since all you get to begin with is some runis. A unique thing that I haven't seen in other maps is that archers keep arriving to help you out at the same time that the invasions attack, so you have to devide your attention between placing the reinforcements, and defending against the invasions. At the begining you must balance your attention between geting the economy running and getting the archers safely to your base since there are alot of wolves and bears on the map.
Balance 4/5 Whenever I play an invasion map with an economic win condition, I allways focus on creating military units first and wait untill I have an inpenatrable defence before I even bother with getting the economic goals achieved. That is the way I played this map. The first couple times I lost within the first three invasions, because I just dindn't know what I was doing yet. I either lost my archers to bears and wolves or I left gaps in my walls because the terrain is filled with can't build spots. Then when I finally figured out what I was doing it was easy. After a certain point the invasions never get any harder, so after you build up you defences so that they can take out the same invasion over and over, you won't need to worry about defence. I would recomend either having an invasion that is super super strong come after a while or have a time limit on the level so that you have to focus on the economic goal from the beginning.
Creativity 4/5 The main thing that set this map apart from others I have played is the large amount or wolves or bears on the map. They are always pestering you so that things don't get to borring. The ruins are cool, but nothing too spectacular. It would have been cool if you used a keep that was part of the ruins.
Map design 5/5 This is one B-E-A-Utiful map. The landscape is just so natural looking. I wish I could do landscaping half as good as you can. The only downside to this is that there are a lot of can't build points.
Story 4/5 Interesting tie in of the snake to the French. I enjoyed reading the text file. The one thing I thought needed a little more explaining was exactly why this mission has economic goals in it.
Good job Warlord Designs on another very good map.
Hunters Valley is a good solid map that offers eco goals with repeated invasions. WarLord Designs chose to set no time limit on this map and in some ways it works. The pressure of completing the eco goals never stood in the way of enjoying the slaughter of the often timed in invasions (Snake). On Normal setting the invasions never amounted to much though, as each round of invasions began I was given a generous amount of help. The green archers were a nice touch and most welcome in the scheme of the game but I felt they detracted me from creating my own army. Although on Normal setting the invasions are not too intense I can imagine myself in some real difficulty defending on a higher level, this can also be said for the eco goals as well, as I found raising the required amount of stone, iron and bread a little too easy, this could have been changed if there was a time limit but the whole package never fails to deliver.
I liked the landscape very much, it adds suspense to the invasions as they move their way down through the harsh, rock abundant land. The derelict castle looks great too, but and I think and this is a big ‘but’ the castle is made out of stone that can be deleted and plonked onto my stockpile. This was I think a bad thing as it gave me the backbone of a castle without working for it. I don’t feel I deserved such a gift - but considering the Snake betrayed England’s people….Why not 
The balance was fine and overall it gave me an enjoyable experience, selective shopping at the market contributed to that. The various locations where I could mine for resources were always in good reach, this is pretty important as at the start you get the chance to place your keep wherever you want it. I appreciated the idea a lot and because of the flexibility Hunters Valley can be played many more times. In fact I will probably try on ‘Hard’ and place my keep somewhere else....Chances are the game play will change accordingly offering me a slightly twisted take on the first try.
The story was great and I enjoyed reading it very much – I saw the strategy enclosed but I diverted my eyes  All in all a good map. Nice 1 guys.
I played on Very Hard difficulty setting, needed two tries.
To me, a very important aspect of a maps playability is its 'feel'. When I open up the map I want to be sucked in emotionally. This map does that, and then some. One really gets the impression no one has been in this desolated valley for ages, except for the Lord that had his castle here long ago, now in ruins.
At the start of this map you'll be allowed to place your keep where you want, I like that, mainly because it enhances the replayability of the map. There are several good locations to place it, the patch of farming ground or one of the various recources for instance. The start of the scenario is intensive, keeping you busy. Later on I had fun expanding my castle and economy even though after a while the snakes men were no longer a threat.
Ah, the maps achilles' heel so to speak. At the start of the map there is a ton of work to be done and the wolves and bears are still very problematic. This is good. I like to be kept busy. However, after a while I had enough troops to fend off the snake and wolf attacks. As said before, the invasions are repeating and at some point never increase in size. Why?
I also have serious doubts about so much archer reinforcements, at the start they're needed and fun but after a while they become redundant. The scenario feels unfinished, I recommend putting some larger invasions in at later stages. All those build and troop options make the map easier as well. Pitch ditches and swordsmen come to mind.
Still, the first half of the map is supurbly balanced so thats why I rate balance 3.
Although the map features no inventive eyecandy like ships or things like that, the landscaping is quite creatively done, as is the ruin. I also liked that my troops start on the other end of the map and I have to get them to the castle. This gives the player the interesting choise to either kill all the animals right away(while moving to the keep), or to run for the keep and protect the castle from attacking wolves.
Map Design: 5
Superb! This must be one of the best landscapes I've seen so far. There are distinct moods to this map, the valley feels safe and good to be, the rest gives a feeling of desolation. Resources have been placed nicely and in a realistic way. The valley has been well layed-out so that several locatioms are interesting for keep placement.
The story is good, it's an enjoyable read and not too short. It also compliments the landscape and mood of the map. I liked that you gave a background for the ruined castle.
The readme file looks good, it has a minimap and nice layout and as well as the story provides players with a sort of walktrough. Nice if you get stuck with the map.
Conclusion: All in all a good map and I recommend downloading it. If as much time and effort had been spent on the scenario as the landscape, this would be a truly great map.
[Edited on 12/15/05 @ 10:52 AM]