The Egyptians built great monuments called Pyramids. These massive monuments to Pharaohs long dead required masssive amounts of stone to build. The present Pharaoh is dying of a deadly illness brought by the Europeans which they call "Black Death". With the rest of the lands under seige by the four lords of Europe; Duc de Puce, Duc de Truffle, Duc Beauregard, and Duc Volpe, it is your job to secure enough stone to build another Great Pyramid. But with bandits, very limited supplies, trade routes destroyed, and a strange disease only the Europeans can bring upon you, your task will not be an easy one.
Author's Notes: I spent many days balacing out this invasion map until it was hard to win, but not impossible. Gaurd your quarry well, since it will be everyone's first target. Also please leave a review if you wish. Thank you and enjoy!
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Playability/Balance: 4.5/4.5 (I’ll round up)
Captain Diablo created an exceptional map that represents an interesting interplay:
On the one hand, you have to secure a smooth stone supply (the main objective), on the other hand, you are forced permanently to search for wood, i. e. you just have no choice but tearing down existing buildings and workshops to regain this valuable raw material: wood.
Of course, trees are rare in deserts and you’ll need wood badly in this scenario to guarantee a continuous bow production; consequently this point is very important with regard to a strong military defensive force against the repeatedly occurring hostile attacks or against hordes of annoying bandits. I always felt that these raids of bandits kept me on the jump more intensively than those “usual invasions”, which I managed in a relatively easy way. It’s been a special challenge to compensate this labile popularity partially thrown off balance by bandits or several waves of plague. Occasionally, the raising of food consumption would help in this case.
Food production has been a subject of its own:
First, you start with three wheat farms, and it’s advisable to keep them working as long as possible before pulling them down again successively one after another.
These activities (lack of wood!) will bring back valuable wood planks for your fletchers. You can even demolish the mill in an advanced stage that should make wood available at least for a while.
Later on, I gave up one of the three initial bakeries, when I registered a reassuring amount of bread in my granary. I tried to get my apothecary through the entire game, so I avoided pulling it down again. That seemed to be too risky to me.
During the first invasion, my keep was the focus of attention, when the enemy (swordsmen and pikemen) tried to go for the Lord. After that, I transferred all my troops to that distant and isolated rock on the other side of the river, where I had to protect this pre-built small stone industry at all costs. Suppose you should lose one of these workers, actually it might be better to restart the game, because you would need too much wood to reactivate the stone production, surely at the expense of a well-running food production.
I have to praise for this extraordinary concept; a combination of strategic, methodical, and destructive thinking is required to be victorious.
Map Design: 3
If I take into consideration that the author tried to design a relatively authentic desert landscape by using those limited typical desert tools in the editor of SH1, the result deserves special credit. Everybody knows that a similar Crusader map would look much more naturalistic, but that’s not relevant here, in my opinion.
A few critical suggestions: I would like to see rocks that are a little bit more decorative and stones spread over the entire desert. Besides, how about that idea to blend sandy and green soil elements? Applying this technique (a kind of a patchwork), you could achieve a more realistic softened shape of a transition zone between fertile and dry areas. Maybe a few additional elevations decorated with rocks would improve the outfit of the map, too.
The story hits the nail squarely on the head, and it serves its purpose in a simple style.
I played through all four difficulty levels and I never used the pole turner’s workshop (to recruit spearmen).You can win without that, just as well.
27% casualties on normal, 37% on hard, 49% on very hard.
Oh, and I always had pity on the lonesome pikeman who returned resignedly to the signpost.
To sum it up it can be said that this map is an excellent “training partner” for all types of players to train your skill and your capabilities.
Download this interesting map, absolutely! If you’re looking for more challenge you should test yourself on “hard” and “very hard”.
[Edited on 08/30/05 @ 03:24 PM]