Dragon was sparked off by a comment on Carrochcrag, where Vargard wondered when he would actually encounter that dragon the scenario had him prepare for.
So you've equiped half a score of knights and leads them North to the hamlet of Caith, where you find out the Dragon is a hoax pulled of by a gang of bandits, who use the many caves in the area to appear out of nowhere. You will have to defend the village and train the peasants to defeat the bandits.
NOTE: Even though these games are labelled as Invasion maps, they concentrate at least as much, if not more on the Economic challenges.
- should the trees block your way to the cavern, you can find a way around them.
- pitch can be found on the map itself
- be careful, for some resources are *really* limited.
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Jayhawk has struck again, this time presenting a map filled with evil twists and turns, caves filled with macemen, and a little Saxon Hall that can only churn out Pikemen for your assault on the final city.
After falling apart the first time, my score at Easy the second time through ended up a whopping 3100, due to throwing an insane amount of cannon fodder at the enemy castle. What hurt the score is that he just stood there and took it, with just occasional incursions from the coast near my city, to the point where I had the opportunity to throw a grand total of maybe 200 pikemen at the enemy castle, and just nickle and dime the enemy to death.
For balance, it was, at times, rather like fighting a bazooka with a peashooter, however again, it's possible to amass an army until you can overrun a well defended castle with a huge number of rather piddly little pikemen.
The map was everything that I've expected out of Jayhawk, with the caves adding an interesting challenge. I got fooled into spending a lot of money for one plan of how to clear the caves out, just to find it backfired on me. Caves can be poorly used, overused, or just not fit, but in this case, Jayhawk integrated them quite well into the play of the map.
The story fits the map quite well, though I was disappointed to find the mighty dragon was all just a hoax being played out. Grrr, that makes me want to smash something, like a castle.
Fun map, but HARD! It took me two tries just at Easy (first time I didn't trickle my troops, so the enemy took advantage of my weakened city), so be ready for some heavy losses and some fierce fighting.
Nice work Jayhawk
5 trys extrahard.
the playability is 3 because there is nothing extravagent it leaves little option so no bonus points above avrage.
Balance, fairly well ballenced enough wood to start off a solid defence and economy as well as a few knights for battle. could have used a few other economic scripts to equalize the balance more.
Creativity very nice looking map fits to the story well placed units and cave design.
map design kinda falls in with creativity
Story is very well done. could use a few game play instructions like build defencive walls imedatly or you will be raped by macemen.
but all in all a great map
I don't think I will be replaying this map. It doesn't provide much to hold the player's interest. There are a few events which require minimal reaction from the player. There are two invasions. The first comes at a point in the game where an unwary player may be caught off guard. The second attack appeared to have the same strength as the first, which provided no challenge by the time it appeared. Clearing the enemies in the caves is mostly a chore, the hardest part of it is getting your knights to them. On the economic side, while a limited population initially appears interesting, there is only so much you can accomplish with a population of 16. Once you've decided how to allocate your labor force, there isn't much to do. For the better part of the time I spent playing this scenario I increased the speed to 90. There is an option to utilize boiling oil, but since you need to clear a path to the oil and it's far away, and since building masses of spearmen accomplishes the same goal, oil as a cost-effective defensive option is far outweighed by simply massing spearmen. The most interesting parts of the scenario were completing the palisade and destroying the enemy castle.
I beat this on very hard on my second try. On my first attempt, I promptly forgot how to play Stronghold and quit after the first attack bulldozed my meager forces. The reason the map scores a three is because it made me restart once. The second time around, I made the most efficient spearman factory I could create given the limited labor force available. At its largest my army had about 150 soldiers. I easily warded off my attackers, then flooded the enemy castle with spearmen. On the whole I didn't feel like I was challenged.
Factors that added to the creativity score were the limited stockpile space, limited population, use of caves to harbor enemies which prevented placement of structures, limited weapons options, invasion-castle siege combination, and the date of the map's release. This map seems in several ways a predecessor of The Ice Age. It was a nice combination of ideas and for all I know would be considered creative in comparison to contemporary maps, therefore this map gets a creativity score of four.
Map Design: 3.5
There is some obvious effort put into the map design. The enemy castle is nicely made, and the landscape is appealing to the eyes, although there is some room for improvement. There are some areas which didn't make sense, such as the section of checker-board shrubs and water tiles, and there are some unsmoothed/unadorned ridges which are the same height throughout.
I liked the story. It was simple, but it did a good job of setting the scene. Also I like the tall tales of dragons and giants which actually turn out to be more mundane things. The mention of the bridge was cool.
You should play this map.