Oh my goodness! What a hard slog! There is nothing else than a barren desert of sand and stone as far as the eye can see. There’s a scanty oasis just suitable for setting up two wheat farms in order to start up with the production of bread loaves. You are permanently short on food; however, due to an oversupply of stone around your starting position, you’ve got an adequate trade ware to stock up your provisions with different food stuffs.
It’s also advisable to handle these few initial trees wisely, not to chop them completely down. From time to time you should let your woodcutters pause, useful to let the trees grow again through these recovery periods. Better, buy in wood whenever needed.
The only drop of bitterness: Because of those hard economic conditions, it might take a very long time to accomplish all goals. The total time line ought to be shortened to avoid any kind of upcoming boredom toward the end. As for myself, I counted 70 game years! That’s too much, by all means! Apart from this there are no glitches at all!
This section is perfectly tuned, in my opinion. There are four signposts evenly spread out in all four directions, which kept me guessing where the enemy may approach. It is your concern to organize taxation, food supply, stone exploitation, military armament (especially crossbowmen!), and a steady positive popularity. You don’t have a moment’s peace … fires, thefts and repeatedly occurring assaults put you through your paces. The market place plays a major role in those early stages of consolidation. As money allows, you should continuously purchase crossbows and leather amours until a well-running crossbow production will be up. As soon as you’re in a strong position to protect your quarries, you will be over the worst. Then you can concentrate on mining and forging iron for the required weapons (swords, maces, armors), but 20 weapons each might be enough.
If only I could describe creativity here with words … As you are playing this spellbinding and captivating map, you’ll never get bored or disappointed. Though a bit lengthy, it’s an overall convincing concept. All economic and military requirements fit together, and are well synchronized.
The keep is being placed on a hilly and furrowed terrain giving the impression of a rough desert. In real life, nobody would settle in a landscape of sand, rocks, stones, and sparse vegetation under living conditions like these. Congrats to the designer’s sensitivity and good nose for creating a realistic looking landscape, which entails an ominous atmosphere. The poor green patch (oasis) is beautifully embedded as well.
The author is no man of big words; though he convinces in his individual clear style, and wakes up the player’s curiosity. Maybe he should explain the objectives.
Once again, another recommendable eco-map out of an interesting series by DoC.