"MEN OF HARLECH", my submission to Stronghold Heaven's second historical castle competition, features a scenario best described as a historic siege (The Welsh siege of Harlech castle in 1294) with a several year long eco-invasion aftermath. The present map is balanced and feasible on the hard setting.
You have just replaced James of St. Georges as constable of Harlech castle and recieved a letter from his majesty:
"Edward I, by the grace of Our Lord, King of England, Lord of Irland and Duke of Aquitaine to the constable of Harlech castle and all those that this present letter shall hear or see, greetings.
The crown commends You and are very pleased to hear that Harlech has been transformed into a triving community in a matter of months. However, it has come to Our attention that the infamous ap Baeddan brothers have strenghten their position and now openly defy English autority. - Are We to understand that You seem to have resigned in Your effort to bring the lawless elements of Merionethshire to justice? Our patience is wearing thin. Their scornful presence will no longer be tolerated. We expect news of their incarceration or preferably violent deaths shortly. The outlaws could not possibly pose any real treat to Our superiour troops - not even under the worst of cirqumstances. Hence, Your request for reinforcements is denied.
In fact Our present campain have depleted the crowns resources, so We see no other alternative than to revoke a fair part of the annual supplies and funds for Harlech. You are to make good use of the abundant iron ore in Merionethshire to manufacture the spesified number of swords as well as to recruit some able fletchers to make the requested crossbows. The weapons are to be delivered as soon as possible.
Witness my hand in England, on the fifth day of January in the year of Our Lord twelvehundred and nintyfour".
You had but two conserns as the new constable of Harlech. The availability of food could obviously become a major problem now that his majesty had found better use for the supplies and funds that You and Your men had come to rely on. Not to mention the inevetable confrontation with the ap Baeddans. It had been rumored for some time that the notorious bandit brothers commanded more than 100 men - everything from petty thieves to murderes.
It would be grave to fail Longshank, still far worse to let down the "MEN OF HARLECH".
Playing Level: 5000
39 Months Early: 3900
Troops Lost 45%: 5500
11 swords extra: 550
The score above is the result of a few tries. It took a few attempts just to learn the actual points of attack on the castle. I eventually won! You have two solid invasions right at the start, and you have to decide on what siege equipment you want to use during the siege. The town is almost a quaranteed loss, so you should sleep or delete it unless you want to watch it be destroyed.
On normal, I had a good game. The defense of the castle in the other corner of the map seemed a little weak, but that wont keep this from being a 5. The economic goals are reachable and perfectly balanced.
The map has a wooden dock. This is a short dock but looks realistic. As a recreation of Harlech its a five for accuracy.
Map Design: 4
The castle is designed well, and the attacks can be to the waterside gates or the front gates. This enveloping attack of the castle is difficult to defend. The lowered wall around the castle gets in the way more than anything else. But this map still gets a 4 for all the great extras and detail.
Good use of historical example and story. This is the kind of map I really enjoy making.
"Thumbs Up" for this great map. I would have voted for this map if I was a judge on the competition.