Mighty massive structure to rampart of the power of the Papacy, Castel Sant'Angelo rises on the shore of the river Tevere, to the center in Rome. The structure had developed on the preexisting Mausoleum of Adriano, erect by that Roman emperor in 133 a.C. Already the ostrogotic Teodorico, proclaimed king of Italy to the time of the barbaric invasions, used the sepulchre readapting it to jail and fortitude and, for the following centuries, he had maintained his double employment, passing from an ownership to the other according to the alternate tied up political circumstances to the election to pontifical throne.
The plant taken to model on this map is that reported to the sad episode of the Sack of Rome, happened in 1527, famous for the ferocities completed by the soldiery recruited from Charles V° and for the epic sacrifice of 200 Guardie Svizzere (the most famous élite military corps all over the Renaissance) that it allowed the Pope to shelter in Castel Sant'Angelo temporarily while the Lanzichenecchi were being abandoned to awful atrocities and destructions.
A small anachronism that can be considered stylistic liberty: the 10 angels of the school of Bernini had put on the bridge in 1688, but here they serve to make more realistic the ambient chosen for the map...
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This map has been played as both an attacker and a defender as the dwonload description does not provide an explanation as to which method is preferred. As a defender, even on very hard setting, there is no real challenge as the huge numbers of crossbowmen will eradicate any attack that the Ai throws at you. Presuming that this scenario is, therefore, designed to be played as an attacker, I tried on normal and hard settings. It is a similar story though; the overuse of pitch which cover large areas of the castle both inside and out ruins the gameplay and the crossbowmen are too many in number to constitute a fair challenge. The map is just about beatable on easy setting, yet I can't help but feel that this scenario is to clinical and too much of a visual impression of a castle or fortification than a genuinely playable and, more importantly, and enjoyable siege map.
Linking on from above, the map has far too many defending troops and you're under almost constant fire from the moment you cross the bridge structure. Swordsmen are too slow, even in huge numbers, and are easily picked off by the crossbowmen. Pikemen fare a bit better but they get held up by other defending units and are similarly picked off by those pesky crossbowmen. Trebuchets pounding the castle walls offers some respite but your only chance here is try to and reduce the numbers of the crossbowmen which is more of an unnecessary sacrifice. The map is beatable, as I said, but at the expense of genuine enjoyment and the whole scenario is spoilt.
A fair attempt at recreating a real life castle, but if I were honest, there isn't that 'spark' one usually assumes should be prevalent throughout a scenario to justify anything considerable as creative. It's all just a bit too formulaic for my liking and there's no atmosphere to the map at all.
Map Design: 2.5
Structured, planned and regulated design of a fortification that bares some resemblance to the real thing. The landscape is almost exclusively based on high plain terrain and is devoid of life and featureless. Whilst this creates a potentially perfect battlefield and ensures the AI has few obstacles to covercome, the map design is lifeless.
Not bad. A potted history of the castle is provided via the download description page but refers only briefly to the castle and more to political rantings and ravings than a useful, engaging and absorbing document. The briefing screen just before you open the scenario to play is in Italian and I assume this is a copy of the data provided on the download description page.
This scenario pretends to be big, bold and brash but ultimately fails to deliver anything other than a frustrating scenario. If you like almost impossible challenges, however, this may be for you.