The year is 1403 AD, and you, sir Owain Glyndwr, leader and true prince of all Wales, approach Kidwelly Castle. The castle is owned by John of Gaunt (the Snake), Duke of Lancaster, one of your most hated enemies among the oppressing Englishmen. From this castle his men has raided and overtaxed the surrounding towns and villages for decades, and he holds the castle, as well as his entire fief, in an iron grip.
Although the castle is well manned, the Duke himself however has abandoned his men holding the castle, not daring to risk his own life, and has fled back into England, from where he still has a great amount of men at his disposal, meaning that even if we capture the castle, we are by all means not safe.
However, it is of great importance that we capture the castle, in order to not lose the strength and impact of the rebellion. A defeat here would lead to a great loss of troop moral, and would allow the English to possibly refortify their positions in Wales. Also, commanding the passage of River Gwendraeth has a great strategic value.
It is time to retake yet another part of Wales, and prevent it from ever again falling into the hands of the English. For a free Wales!
About Kidwelly Castle
Kidwelly is a mighty Norman castle that lay upon a great hill next to the river Gwendraeth. It was Roger, the bishop of Salisbury, the justiciar of England who first built a castle atop the mighty hill in 1106. This first castle was a ringwork castle made out of wood, with wooden buildings inside the bailey. This early castle was at several times captured by the welsh in the 12th and late 13th century, from 1201 and on however, the castle remained in English hands.
It was the Chaworth family, who gained possession of Kidwelly Castle in the mid-13th century who built the impressive stone castle that we see today.
The earliest part of this castle was the inner ward, built out of stone, with simple gates to the north and south, and with a great round tower at each corner. Thus, Kidwelly became a somewhat concentric castle, providing an outer wall of wood at three sides.
In 1298, the castle passed on to Henry, earl of Lancaster, who constructed a great hall within the inner bailey to provide a more comfortable accommodation. He also constructed the great chapel-tower, overlooking the river.
In the early 13th century, the outer wall was constructed, either replacing the older wooden-wall, or just being an improvement of an already existing stonewall. To gatehouses were incorporated into this wall, a smaller one to the north, and the mighty main gate to the south. The four inner towers were also heightened, in order to maintain an effective field of fire.
The great southern gatehouse took more than a century to complete, and was still unfinished by the time of the Welsh uprising under Owain Glyndwr, during which the castle was besieged in 1403. The castle held out for three weeks until an English army arrived, breaking the siege. In 1422, the great gatehouse was finally completed.
In the late 15th century, a few stone buildings were added to the castle, including the great hall in the outer ward.
The castle played a minor part in the Civil War, laying as it did far from the central area of the struggle. But it’s use a fortification was at this time long since over.
Today Kidwelly is surprisingly well preserved, since it didn’t suffer from Oliver Cromwell’s slighting during the Civil war.
The Author’s Notes
First, I’d like to thank NAT and StreTcH23 who both helped me to playtest this map.
This is map is based upon the real siege of Kidwelly Castle in 1403. In reality, Kidwelly was held by a few dozen archers and men-at-arms, withstood the Welsh for three weeks until English reinforcements arrived and drove the Welsh away. In this map, you will play as the Welsh, conquering the castle, and then hold off against English counter-attacks, in other words: a true cede-scenario invasion. The map may be played at any difficulty.
As for the castle, I never tried to make it perfectly semi-circular, I instead stuck with the ground plan.
I can’t really claim that I worked from the real landscape around Kidwelly while creating this map, instead I used my imagination. But I did go for a rather fertile style, not sure if I’ve achieved this though…
Well, err…I don’t really know what else to write here, so: I hope that you’ll enjoy the map.
PS. Updates from original version: Stone is no longer available to trade, a few more Bad events added, a few Good events “slighted”, final invasions made a bit harder, more detail added to the landscape, stone quarry altered (still carries the same amount of quarries).
PPS. Great honour to anyone who can complete the opening siege by going for the southern (great) gatehouse.
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The map was extremely fun to play with so many good aspects. The map has a little bit of everything. A seige, castle defense, and an economy to manage.
The opening seige was somewhat hard and made the map challenging. Managing your economy seems easy with the protected build space but to fully protect the castle you have to go outside the walls. I tried just using cow farms and it failed. This forces you to rely on different stratgies to win
This was one of the best cede maps I have ever played and it also has a historical castle nicely done. It also has some custom towers.
Map Design: 4
The map look very natural. Everything looked realistic. The roads leading to the castle had a nice feel to them so did the walkways leading into the castle.
The story set up a idea of what was happenning before the seige. Also, historical information was included.
The map was a pleasure to play. It was fun to the end and has somthing every stronghold fan would enjoy. I like your historical maps so keep on designing them. I'm sorry i did not rate your map sooner.
Kidwelly castle by Jasper Tudor
Map Design 4
Wow what can I say? This is by far Jasper’s best map to date and I’m really pleased to say Kidwelly castle stands tall and proud amongst similar maps of its genre. For this map not only delivers entertainment and an uncompromising challenge it also takes you back to the roots of Stronghold which for me is a mark of distinction. Kidwelly castle is a real gem and after playing Jasper’s Aberystwyth Castle I’m so happy to see in Kidwelly castle many significant improvements. Every category feels and looks so much better, from a more creative script to an excellent balance, from a really well designed castle to playability that surpasses as much as it surprises. I feel Jasper has given Stronghold Heaven his best creation yet.
Well done. Andy