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The Stand

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 300x300 (Medium)
Difficulty: Hard
It is 1181 anno domini. Six months ago, you have been asked to join the war for a greater cause, to command the troops your father has provided for the crown. Gladly you have followed your king into a holy war, far into the lands of the east. You were eager to earn some honour and glory in huge battles, commanding your father s army, and to be sung by the bards back home. But whilst your comrades have already been sent to countless battles and sieges, you, as the only son of the Earl of Devonshire, have been used more or less as an errand boy, being responsible for the troops in the papers, not on the battlefields.
Somehow you can t help the feeling that this has to do something with your father having a word with his dear friend, the king...
So you are not pleased to be sent as a messenger to a small outpost, back in the lands already taken by the crown, far away from the battlefield.
A report from this small outpost in the middle of nowhere is past due, no messenger has been seen. You have been given command over a small bunch of soldiers to restore order and remind the keeper of his duties. Something at last.
After a boring four days travel, you reach the castle. But as the walls come in sight you feel a cold shiver running down your spine - something is wrong here, definitively wrong.

As you come closer, you see the outpost in ruins, taken down by some mighty force but no one seems to be around. No corpses or wounded are found, only bloodstained walls and somehow it looks like the keep has been taken by a ghost army. Your men grow anxious and whish to leave, but you have a certain suspicion.
Finally, among the debris you find proof for what you assumed: An Arabian arrow.
This is most alarmingly. It seems like an Arabian army has gathered in the crusaders back to ambush them from behind! This has to be reported immediately.
Just as you prepare to march out, one of the scouts raises alarm.
It seems your arrival has not remained unnoticed. You realise that you are the one to hold the keep this time as a last line and to throw back the ambush for the king s sake.
Whatever may come,
this is your stand.


this is my first Invasion map.
It took me a few hours to playtest and balance it but still it is very hard to play.
Comments are welcome.


AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design4.5
Playability: 4.5
This map is very fun to play and should be downloaded just because of that fact alone. You have a smallish castle to defend and its pretty beat up. Stone and iron are available but not mercenaries. Since most of the attacking bands have slaves as part of the force, you lose your out buildings if you dont protect them well.

Balance: 3
Sadly this map takes 49 years to see the end of the invasions to win. At 20 years I was seeing more and more swordsmen and assassins, backed up by larger numbers of catapults and slaves. The strength of the attackers is not a problem. The map is too small to keep a player interested for 50 years. Its just too long IMHO.

Creativity: 4
Some of the best natural looking ruins I have seen in quite a while on here. Nice work on detail oriented accuracy and narration.

Map Design: 4.5
The map plays fine (see above) and doesnt really seem to have any "bad" looking features or eye-sores. The natural looking landscape is well done.

Story/Instructions: 3.5
Nice, but needs more creative writing and script along with the 49 years of playing!

Additional Comments:
"Thumbs Up" from me for this map because it has plenty of fighting and strategy, but not overdone. Nor does it have one tower packed with crossbowmen like other recent maps! :) Also some difficult economic challenges to overcome just to keep your popularity. Resources are in constant long term check.

[Edited on 06/05/06 @ 04:31 AM]

Map Design4.0

I didn’t find any glitches or anything else that was going wrong here. You’ve got plenty of possibilities to keep your economy going or to take some essential steps for an efficient defense. There’s an abundance of natural resources (iron, stone) evenly spread out over the entire map that you should exploit to your advantage. No problems at all to keep up a good balance between higher taxation and resulting negative popularity effects in the long term. Popularity bonus caused by ale and religion will equalize this disadvantage very well.

Once a smoothly running food supply and a steady recruitment of archers/crossbowmen are managed, it’s not too difficult to withstand those repeatedly increasing invasions. In the course of time, these onslaughts are getting larger, not predictable from which direction they would come, and with a nice balance of Arabian units. However, to improve the challenge I suggest filling up those peaceful periods between the invasions with varying bad events such as plagues, fires or crop failures. Furthermore, I would lock the trading of either bows or crossbows. I also would not allow buying/selling stones. By the way, there’s no need of mustering any spearmen, mace men, pike men or ladder men. Strong forces consisting of archers, crossbowmen, assisted by swordsmen, mounted knights and engineers should get the enemy under control.

The location of the ruined castle, and the meager grassy areas, and the iron or stone deposits are thoroughly planned and placed as well. Unfortunately, you just have to direct your main attention to the military side. The author didn’t exhaust the editor’s full spectrum for an eventful scripting.

Map Design:
A mostly flat and barren desert terrain where you can cultivate a few minor oasis areas partially wooded and more or less far away from the nicely designed destroyed fortifications in the centre of the map. You can’t use a few smaller elevations to your strategic advantage or stage a defense there.

A convincing story / introduction sets up the scenario beautifully leading you straightaway to the initial starting position. What else do you want?

Well done, Runetek. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your future creations.

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Map Design4.3
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