Framlingham is a well thought out little siege map. Wraith did quite a few of these small garrison defensive sieges. I personally felt that this was not the best of them.
Playability 5/5 I have never played a map by this author that did not have perfect game play. Framlingham is no exception. The map is designed as a defensive siege only and at this it excels. Game play is smooth and the AI attacks in a concentrated effort to keep this quick paced siege entertaining throughout. The short duration of the siege gives this map tons of re-playability. The map is a bit easy to beat. I played on a difficulty level of hard on my first attempt and then on very hard. Both defenses were successful. Losses were heavy at 57% and 95%! Respectively.
Balance 4/5 the reason this map is a little easy to beat is due to a balance issue. The defending forces just have a few too many knights or the attacking forces just have a too few. Otherwise the attacking and defending forces are very well balanced indeed and complement each other well. The author has noted that the defensive troop combination is actually historic and based on the garrison that defended the castle during the siege of 1216. This defending garrison actually lost that siege but to the authors credit; due to the lack of evidence of any major siege damage at Framlingham, It has been suggested that Bigod’s defenders gave up without much of a fight*.
Creativity 4/5 this is a good castle to think of and basing the siege historically always garners high points IMO. Having to place your own defending units is a good idea. The castle rendered certainly looks somewhat like Framlingham in general shape. But several important details have been left out. The real Framlingham has far more elaborate gatehouse defenses. There has been very little effort made at the man made earthworks that surround the site although the naturally styled terrain does follow the correct lines of these defenses. The Stronghold configuration is definitely capable of rendering a far more accurate rendition of this castle. Overall Wraith has provided a decent effort.
Map Design 3/5 Above average, but could definitely use some more time and creativity. The terrain is well modeled but a little bland. Some great elevation work but even here it is a bit rough in spots. The upper left corner of the map appears to have been overlooked when the author was raising this area of the maps elevation.
Story/Instructions 3/5 Some good playing notes are included on the download description page. Otherwise there is only a small paragraph of a story provided to set the siege. Considering this is based on a historical event. A heck of a lot more could have been done in this department. Tis’ a shame…
In Short-If you are looking for a good, solid defensive siege this is a decent one. Wraith does not disappoint. However, other maps of this style by the same author are undoubtedly better.
*Castles of Britain and Ireland, Plantagenet Somerset Fry (author), page 148, Abbeville Press, 1997.