My initial impression was mixed. When you first start up the scenario, there is a lot of movement. The land is littered with deer, and with wolves. Trees are scattered across the map and you could watch the deer run and wolves chasing them for the kill. I didn't know what to think about all the wolves. I watched for a while, and then sent my archers to kill them. I liked the start because the wolves urged you to get involved quickly, but it wasn't too disasterous if you didn't.
Playability - 4
I started over only once. Although since it is a short scenario, if you are off to a bad start you won't hesitate to start over and continue. I never got bored with this scenario, although since the only objective was to eliminate the opponents. Once I had a good flow of food and gold, I spent my time building a large defensive force. It was fun to have an overwhelming force to squash the invasion. I did not find any bugs.
Balance - 2
This is a very easy map. The invasion is limited to a narrow passage leading directly to your settlement. If well defended this passage becomes a killing field. The passage is needed for no other purpose but to kill your opponent. So I built a wall about 12 wood thick, and lined it with as many archers as I could muster. Easy, but fun to watch.
Creativity - 3
The scenario works well as the first episode in a longer story. The design limits the buildings and resources that you can use, but is still open enough to let you find your own way to keep your settlement happy. The placement of units and buildings at the beginning is well thought out and makes for an easy start. But be careful, there are some decisions on food you will have to make fairly early to keep your people happy. Trees are abundant and the market will let you sell excess lumber.
Map Design - 4
I started to give map design a lower score, but then decided to rate it a 4. The map is easy, but that should not lower the map design score. The map was created with a specific purpose in development of the story line. The placement of trees keep you from growing much food, and the small settlement fits the storyline well. There was no problems with the map, and the design keeps you focused on the objectives of the scenario.
Story - 3
The story line is basic, but makes good use of the messages provided in Stronghold. This is the first chapter in a longer story. I am looking forward to the next.