Oakbridge is a semi-historical scenario, set during the life and times of King Edward Longshanks and his campaign against Wales. It also contains my first bridge.
The village of Oakbridge sprung up around a toll bridge and grew from the trade it made in iron and weapons. It also guards one of the northern approaches into Wales.
Edward's desire for conquest however, needs stone for his castles and gold and swords for his troops. You are the one he's depending on to provide all three.
NOTE: Even though these games are labelled as Invasion maps, they concentrate at least as much, if not more on the Economic challenges. They were playtested and balanced for simultaneous development of the miltary and economic goals.
- the green invasion marker may not be completely trustworthy
- keep the enemy on their side of the bridge and you should be safe, however you may need the resources on the other side
- beware of the local wildlife
- trees are not as plentiful as they seem
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Once again a very nice map by Jayhawk, as we've all come to expect ;).
I played this map at hard difficulty setting right away, I needed to load 3 times.
You should know that I'm an expert at single player, so keep that in mind while reading this review.
Playability : I had good fun while playing this map, I liked the continues challenge it provides very much.
I started working on the economic goals right away. I was glad for this because of the repeating invasion at the end.
I also liked having to replace and find the ideal location for some of my buildings. Another nice thing are the longterm repercussions a lot of early choises or steps have.
Example: I used my horses to kill a seemingly small pack of wolves, they were infact much more and all my horses died. Because of this I later wasn't able to patrol my farmland against maces and such in an efficient way. I had to use the slow knights. Also if you build too much wood choppers you end up 'killing' ALL the trees.
The only thing that spoiled my fun a bit was that it played very much like other maps by Jay, particularly "Gwernach".
More on this under 'creativity'
Balance : A perfectly balanced map, both the economic and the military part, although the economy was the most challenging.This map will trick you, multiple times, and you have to stay alert at all times.
Creativity : I realise giving Jayhawk a 2 for creativity may seem VERY weird, but I'll try to explain.
This map is way too much alike his earlier ones. Especially because it's not a follow up, like a campaign.
One word : "Gwernach", play that map and then play this one and you'll see what I mean.
Some examples : You have a small unexpandable castle, with a hard to defend 'open' village next to it. The most efficient way to defend it is to have a small patrol party in it. Both have you fullfill economic goals while being under (repeating) invasions. They have limited and remote farmland and the rest is mid plain on average. If you want more similarities play them both.
Concluding : if this would have been his first scenario I would have given it a perfect 5, now it's time to think of something new and different in my opinion.
Map design : A very beatifull map, with nice eye-candy, for instance the bridge. A realistic and beautifull lanscape which is very well thought out. Very well strategic placement of the castle, signpost and resources.
As good as they get!
Story/instructions : A very nice story, loosely historical.
Clear and helpfull instructions.
The reason I don't rate it a 5 is because the story is basically similar to some of Jayhawks earlier scenario's and because I like non-historical stories better. This is because they tend to be very fun to read, you can often be 'sucked' in to them, and they often have a bit more humour, which I like.
This is ofcourse very subjective though.
Concluding : a very good an fun map to play, I would recommend it to everyone, just don't expect to get something new, it's basically a rework of some of his earlier maps.
Another outstanding map from Jayhawk! I found this map to be a pleasure to relax and play. I believe that it finds a nice balance of challenging goals and spead-out design.
Playability (5/5): I had numerous options as to how I wanted to approach the map. I was also limited from going over the top on defense or economic goals.
Balance (4/5): I found that the balance of food, defense, and iron mines were very nice. I had to be mindfull of wood resources - but that was sort of a spoiler due to the silly bickering about this map.
Creativity (4/5): Nice bridge! I found myself having to really search the map for the resources I needed while being careful not to exhaust them. Also, those of you who enjoy Jayhawk's map will find this to be as beautiful - if not more - then any of the others.
Map Design (4/5): Solid. My only comments (and the only reasons I don't give it a 5) is because I would have like to have been able to use oil for more then the single purpose of pitch ditches. Also, there is a very simple way to cause the attacks to be useless (no spoilers!), but that has more to do with AI predictability then anything else.
Story (5/5): It was nice to visualize the story line that used the bridge. It was also a nice surprise to find that the attacks didn't destroy the bridge because of the alternative route(s) to the castle.
Nice job Jayhawk!