Sorry for releasing them out of order, Chapter's 3 and 6 should be up soon.
Trapped in a swamp and surrounded by the Snake's army you have no choice but to stand and fight! Your soldiers have built a small and rickety shelter out of what supplies they have, some have taken refuge in the nearby ruins of what appears to have been an outpost at one time, but has been dessicated by the muck and foul gasses of the swamp.
This map can get quite difficult at the end, especially when you start running out of wood. The keep being close to the walls definitely doesn't help in the defense of the castle. THIS MAP IS SUICIDE ON HARD AND VERY HARD, 3 to 5 invasions will be enough to tear through the thin walls of your "castle" and crush your tiny army, or at least kill your lord. I recommend that you play on easy and normal...unless of course you want to die.
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I played this map many times in order to get to victory. I was thoroughly interested the whole time. Its a big close quarters battle, with just wood walls, gatehouses, and wooden raised platforms to worry about. The granaries are not even needed, its a red herring and it doesnt need to be protected (population is always at 8 peasants here, with no food having no actual effect on the battle). I know Im telling some of the maps secrets here, but believe me - at the current settings of invaders, you will need all the advice you can get. You need to be active in your own defense. I constructed a narrow access with crossbow and bow fire concentrated in one "kill zone". It cut down all the troops that walked up. At the end there are horse knights that attack, but they can be repelled in short order by the given infantry. I moved up the crossbowmen who were hanging out on the stone ruined area, and tightly concentrated a defense around the keep.
Since this is just a fight to the finish, with no real economics or building strategy - you really only have the level of difficulty of the fights to rate on balance. I found playing on anything over easy was suicidal and therefore I'm giving this a three. Make it a little easier next time, and give noobs a chance because this map will be downloaded by all ability levels.
Basic seige map set up, I like the granary mis-direction and wood based castle design. Its a excellent map (rules say give excellent maps 4's).
Map Design: 3
The secret to the map is making fields of fire with your missle troops. Like real battles (I play paintball) if you have a "dug-in" solid line of shooters, its pretty hard to attack it. Combine that with a bunch of armored infantry sitting with you, and you are almost unbeatable. Thats what happens on this map, and once you get the shooting lanes set up, its sit back and watch (I set the speed on 100). The attacking pikemen get up farther than the armored knights - due to the crossbows. The only way you can have enough shooters here is to move up the ones on the stone area. But sadly, I went to the store and came back and the game was still running with only a few swordsmen set on defensive killed. Also the castle looks like a boat, that was scrapped and then made into a castle and then shore battery(stone tower) was left (but was made to look shot up).
Keep on writing quality stuff. I almost had to read it again, to see if I was really on a ship though! LOL
Ever want to just play a "kill mass dudes" map? If so, this is the map for you. Take a good look at the swamp detail too, I like that landscape format.
[Edited on 10/28/05 @ 09:54 PM]
The title, "Stuck in the Muck" made me curious about this map so I thought I would give it a go. It turned out to be a good descriptive name. The layout is simple, one big swamp with only two bits of solid ground on which to build. One piece contains stone ruins built in an enemy color and the other contains simple wooden fortifications. You start with a good assortment of units and lots of wood and this is all you have to work with because almost all other development is turned off. There is no economy and no way to make more military units.
Against you come repeated and increasingly large enemy attacks as well as plague which slowly weakens your units.
The only options you have are related to unit deployment and how you build wooden defenses on your little piece of turf. It makes for an interesting challenge but also got a bit frustrating because of the limited options.
I played repeatedly on NORMAL and failed to achieve victory. On EASY I was able to survive all but the last attack. It was close. The map is rated HARD and it certainly is that.
"Stuck in the Muck" creatively presents the challenge of making the most of the limited supplies and military units provided at the beginning of the game. Nothing special about the structures on the map but the overall idea is good.
Map Design: 3
The map is quite functional and simple, mostly swamp
Good basic story. Included a very appropriate warning that this game would not be easy!
[Edited on 11/22/05 @ 04:31 PM]