In antiquity slavery resulted from the use of prisoners of war. Slavery also formed another important economic foundation and therefore it created the condition for the stage of civilization and the cultural high standard of living in many ancient countries, e.g. Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire or Babylon. Under Roman law, every master had the right to rule on the release, life and death of his slaves.
While slavery has been remaining until our modern times (partially still existing in Arabia as a “hidden” kind of slavery), there was just a more moderate form of slavery in the medieval Europe: the use of serfs.
We write the year 1171 (anno domini), anywhere in Egypt, south of the miserable ruins of El Uqsor, a former ancient rich city. The new sovereign, Sultan Saladin, successfully drove the Libyan Fatimides out of the land; they had been conquering and taken hold of Egypt since 969.
Many wars and bloodsheds caused the loss of strength and the depopulation of wide regions. Once on fertile plains along the Nile, numerous peasants cultivated the arable land. Some of them specialized in stockbreeding; others practiced the cultivation of various cereals. By the way, the Nile is one of the longest rivers on earth (a total length of 6671 km = approx. 4170 miles). Going back to the times of the Pharaohs, agriculture has been depending on the periodically changing water levels. Annual flooding coming along with tons of muddy sediments are favoring the fertility of this unique Egyptian “flowing” oasis, still in our days.
In former times, everybody registered busy trading along those old trade routes. Many foreign caravans coming from all directions met there with the intention of multiple transactions or different barters. Many traders from North or South used the Nile as a shipping route before merciless slave traders and raiders invaded this district in frightening the population to death. The most frightening scoundrel among them called himself “El Shuk”, and he was the leader of a wild and avaricious gang of Libyan slave traders. They had reached an agreement with the Libyan caliphs, so that they were in a safe position to manage a well-running and lucrative slave business.
One of those famous slaves was a well-known aristocrat, Jean de Lorraine; he was a French nobleman and a former confidant of the French King Louis VI. Unfortunately, he was taken prisoner during the second Crusade in 1149. Since then, more than 20 years of torture and slavery had formed this man of honour. After several vain attempts to escape, he finally succeeded in fleeing into the inaccessible mountains of the Libyan Desert, where some friendly Beduines put him up. In the course of time, many followers had joined him knowing that they would never return to their families on penalty of death. The slave revolt was in full swing and Jean de Lorraine gathered all his followers in an abandoned quarry to discuss the matter with them.
The brave men listened to his words:
“We have to put an end to these cruel slave traders at all costs; all slaves have to be released for a new life in peace and freedom! Although we all know, that this opponent will be far above us, we must resort to a ruse to overwhelm the tormentors, even if it should turn into a life-and death-struggle. Sultan Saladin has promised to assist us by sending reinforcement, namely “longbow archers”, but we have to re-cultivate the green belt lying fallow along the Nile, and produce wheat and bread for the Egyptian granaries. Reactivate trading and make good use of all given resources that you’ll find in the mountains, especially stone and iron ore. Found a new settlement and take care for the return of faith and happiness. Don’t be afraid!
You have 25 years to carry out our plans, if we should fail we will fall out of favour with Sultan Saladin, and none would help us anymore against the Libyan invaders”.
P.S: The zip-file includes a separate hint document.
Have fun and happy gaming!
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This map is a blast to play and deserves to be on the top 10 maps of all time. Seriously. The first fight requires massive strategy to win back your castle. Don't underestimate the power of tunnelers! A successful early strategy that I used in the beginning was to use the one horse knight as a lure for the swordsmen to follow him. Then I would ambush the swordsmen (usually 3 of them fell for the horse knight bait). I would use all my forces in the ambush, the knight would run back behind the tunnelers and then with slinger support the tunnelers would attack 'en masse'. I ended up having to burn the king out of his castle, and luckily I had some slaves left after the battle. The resulting fire was enough to threaten my king after I took over (it was still on fire). Since I destroyed the only well with my 3 assassins (in a daring sneak attack), I had to destroy most of the starting buildings.
I took off here, but only a half point. Reason for deduction: The stockpiles are spread out in three locations. This may seem like it works, but it causes delivery problems. Example: My woodcutters had to walk their wood all the way back to the quarry stockpile across the map. This slowed down the early gathering. I destroyed all the stockpile except for whats by the farmland. It fills with 227 wheat (enough to meet the goal) with enough flour generated with one mill. This can keep a population of 34 with ease.
This is perfect. The time balance seems a little long, I was waiting at the end with all the goals met. But still a five, with a challenge to win it. Professional grade map.
Complex economics with spread out resources. The landscape looks real. The battles are even, and the availablity is perfectly balanced. I like maps that force you to keep an eye on every detail and keep the castle running perfectly to win.
Map Design: 4.5
Map designed well. Good all around job, and this map is a piece of work. Took off for the stockpile placement.
Long background that sets a good theme for the game. Keep on writing!
This map is fun, and I suggest you save after you take over the starting castle. But other than that, you can expect a spectacular game with all kinds of events and battles. It would be nice if someone rated "Island Warriors" by me (Lollard). Thanks!