Posted on 02/03/07 @ 03:26 AM (updated 07/23/07
The last salvos from the King’s Frigates had whined overhead moments earlier. The heavy morning fog had lifted slightly since LST 1, (landing ship troop), had started for the shore. For the first time in this long and terrible conflict you could see the Rebel Home Island, Saint Lo. The landscape, still some distance away, was quite breathtaking, made all the more so by the brilliant accents of bronze and gold. Bestowed upon all by the rising Sun. A sandy beach with lush hills behind it, still shrouded in the early morning mist was what greeted your gaze. This is some beautiful country you thought to yourself. Just beyond the hills, you could make out the skyline of a town, Vierville to be exact. Your final inland objective for the first day of the assault. It was then that you realized everything was wrong. There should be no town of Vierville! The town and all of its innocent inhabitants were to have been incinerated by the naval bombardment.
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“3 MINUTES!”, Cried Popeye. As Captain Poppell was affectionately called by his crew. ‘3 minutes’ you thought ‘3 minutes to figure your way out of the King’s latest tactical blunder’. The LST crested another large wave. Water sprayed over the sides of the ship, soaking you and your brothers, the members of your loyal 7th Division. More than one member of your unit lost his morning rations, joining the ranks of dozens of others in your poor beleaguered craft who had already done so. Designed especially for the assault, comfort of the occupants had not been an overall priority. You thought back to the Kings briefing room the day before “Do not rely on the town as a landmark. By the time you hit the beach, everything will have been flattened by my Fathers navy.” Those were the Crown Prince’s words. Although he had blistered at your inquiry of whether he had a contingent plan should the bombardment fail, the Prince had emphatically insisted that such a plan was not necessary. You had taken this in stride at the time. Long ago having learned to choose your battles. However, you were beginning to loathe the fact that you were always right about such matters.
The first thing you had to do was alert the other landing craft. You looked to port for LST 2, the craft was nowhere to be seen. Instead you saw LSC 3, (landing ship catapult), which should have been several craft to starboard of its current position. “Popeye”, you snapped, “What’s happened, why are we off coarse!” “Were not Boss!” as Popeye had taken to calling you. “Everyone else is!” Within seconds you surmised that he was indeed correct. Directly in front of your LST you could see the Westernmost Mangonel Bunker of the Rebels. You were exactly where you should be. The current was stronger than the King’s strategists had anticipated. Other than your own craft, every ship of the landing force had drifted starboard and were now going to hit the beach directly underneath the fortified Rebel positions defending the Draws. Instead of being able to easily Flank these defenses, you were now in the worst possible position to begin the assault. Only one thing could be done now to avoid disaster.
“TWO MINUTES!” Popeye barked. “Signal Boy” you yelled. A lad of thirteen clutching his signal lantern like a baby wriggled through the ranks of troops to your position in the landing craft “Yes, M’Lord?” the boy asked. “Send this message to his Majesties Flagship, The Jalis.” you said. “The Bombardment has failed, Repeat. The Rebel Bunkers are still intact, Current has made landing assignments impossible. Mission as planned is no longer viable. Request permission to abort.” The young lad scurried off to relay the message.
You scanned the horizon to starboard. Directly to the right of your landing craft, you saw LST 4. Beyond that, LSC 1. Not only were all the craft off coarse but they were now not even in their correct landing order. The King’s “foolproof” plan was falling apart. Beyond LSC 1, you recognized LST 2, the object of your search and even more so, the very man you were looking for. Your trusted Lieutenant, The Young Sir Edward. He had perched himself upon the crafts bows so as to make himself immediately visible to you. It was almost as if he had anticipated your glance. You signaled towards your eyes and then to the enemy bunkers now clearly visible. Sir Edward nodded knowingly that he understood. You had to trust that he would get his men off that craft and up the beach as quickly as possible.
“ONE MINUTE!” Popeye yelled, and from the strain in his voice and his pained expression, you could tell that even a sea dog such as he understood what your landing troops were about to face. “Signal Boy!” you yelled. The young lad again appeared but his presence was no relief to you. In fact, his horrified expression caused your stomach to drop so sharply, that for a split second you thought that you too might lose your breakfast upon the landing crafts deck. As white as a ghost and in a voice that was barely even considerable as a whimper, the boy said “Flagship Jalis sends signal: proceed as directed, upon establishment of beach head, destroy town of Vierville.”
“30 SECONDS!” Popeye reported and this time he was looking directly at you as he said it. Perhaps you would have responded with something more encouraging had you the time but that old man was no longer on your side. ‘That last signal had to be a mistake,’ you thought. ‘The bombardment was one thing but to intentionally slaughter an entire town?’. “Signal Boy,” you snapped. Remembering the lad’s fear, you said your orders in the most soothing and comforting voice you could muster at that moment. “Send signal, Please repeat, Destroy town? Under who’s authority? Again, repeat, request permission to abort.” The lad looked at you empathetically with the glimmer of hope that only youth can provide. As if the words of a young Lord such as yourself could not fail to dissuade the King from the impending suicide that was about to befall his legions, you of coarse knew better. The signal boy bolted to the stern like lightning. Before he even reached it, The Jalis, almost obscured now by the morning mist flashed a second signal to all of the landing craft. “Continue assault, destroy everything under orders of the King and penalty of Death.”
After all you and your Loyal 7th had been through. After all of the suffering and death you had caused, now you realized the devastating truth. YOU were the enemy! The noble Kingdom you had fought so hard to preserve was dead and had been for some time. The anger and betrayal that welled in you at that moment was of no value and you quickly suppressed it. All that mattered now was survival. The survival of you and your Loyal 7th. You turned to your troops. “Listen up,” You scowled. “ The Second this ramp drops were going to catch hell. Get out of the LST as quickly as you can and spread out. One man is a waste of ammunition, 5 men is a golden opportunity, remember that and I will see you on the beach.”
Authors Notes - this map is only guaranteed for play with Stronghold Warchest. You must at least have the V1.2 patch installed on your computer. The patch is free and available at this site.
As with all of my later maps, the King’s orders appear on the launch page. They have been scripted to appear a certain way and have a bizarre appearance in the editor because of it.
Naturally, the secondary objectives in the King’s orders are optional and merely presented as added challenges involving some nice bits of eye candy. However, in order to make them more alluring, I have added a couple of rewards if you undertake them.
1. Burning the town of Vierville will kill a good number of its defenders including the enemy Lord. This will make the task of taking the town easier later on.
UPDATE 7/23/07 :
2.The defending troops have a -5% deducted from their combat ability. This is to simulate the low moral of having their home island assaulted. However, while you are destroying the towns well* and smelter, you can also destroy the towns two good things. Remember, unlike Crusader, good things do not burn in Stronghold. If you succeed in destroying both, the Rebel Troops Combat bonus will drop from -5% to -20%! (was only 10% before update.) Imagine the Rebels position at this point. Their town burning behind them, the enemy assaulting the beach in front! This will also make your overall fight easier. Be aware, one of the good things is “hidden” but both are indeed inside the town.
This map has been listed as a Siege but will play in Stronghold as an Invasion. My reasons for doing this are first, the map truly is a siege and was designed as one. You will find it has no scripting or eco-goals and that the action is most definitely designed in the same manner as many of my other maps which are all sieges. Secondly, a weird uncontrollable and untraceable victory glitch occurred. I was able to eliminate the glitch by playing the map as an Invasion.
Troop numbers are set and cannot be changed so the Difficulty Setting does not matter although I advise you keep it at Normal as this seems more agreeable with the AI.
The knowledge of how to gain access to the Town's Hall can be found at the following link.
You can also just batter it to pieces as the terrain underneath has been modified to allow permanent access.
Special Notes, Hints:
-Use your armored units for the “First Wave”
-Catapults**, ladder men, mace men and all ballistic units should comprise your second and third waves if needed.
- You will need to destroy all enemy units including engineers and the Lord to obtain the victory page.
*In Henn Dommen setting fire to the weapons facility was quite easy. In The Vierville Draws it will not be so simple. In order for the burning of the town of Vierville to be completely successful, you will need to kill the towns well man and destroy the well. Apparently, the AI really likes Vierville. If you only kill the well man another towns person will become the well man almost as soon as their former occupation collapses from fire damage. I have personally never seen a Siege map do this, Go figure.
**Because of their extremely complex design, using catapults on the Mangonel Bunkers may cause some Rebel troops to become inaccessible. This will result in costly and time consuming measures to eliminate them. Yes, it is on purpose. It is to simulate bunkers that were far too fortified for your Sherman’s puny 76mm, OOPS!! I mean catapults to be effective on. Use of catapults on the other bunkers and the town is acceptable and encouraged.
The Vierville Draws Is Chapter 7 In The Saga of The Seventh,
The Story thus far….
Ambush At Manathma
The Cumberland Downs
The Battle At Andolin
The Vierville Draws
The Heligoland Bight - coming soon
...Also related ‘The Interlude’ Battle of the Solomon Sea.
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|Author||Comments ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
UnikUnok, I understand your concern. I remember back in the days when I first saw this place. It was the sophisticated community that made me interested in the first place, and all the wonderful maps too. It was back then when all the 'legendary' maps were made, secrets of Sylvandell ch 5, and Helms Deep for example.
Yes, this community is not as it once was. I hope that you and Sulis who both are well known map designers who recently came back, can help us bring this site back to its former state. As WD said there is a thread about it in the forums.
It just really pains me to see this. The contrast to how it was, and how it is, is shown clearly here, as a more recently made account reviews a map made by such an old member. But I think it's because Stronghold is such an old game now... and seemingly for some unknown reason, alot more younger people are making accounts, showing both bad map designing skills as well as... well, slightly vandalizing the site.
Its understandable that you don't know how I am... but I've seen you before. I just hope you won't leave this site because of that review, and instead will help us.
[Edited on 02/06/07 @ 10:52 AM]
Deleted by UU
[Edited on 04/22/07 @ 05:23 PM]
Hope this has calmed down abit. I don't think anyone meant any harm.
[edited by Sparrow]
This place could fall apart if all the experienced designers started arguing.
Just trying to keep the peace.
[Edited on 02/07/07 @ 02:58 PM]
[edited by Sparrow]
I feel duty bound to say that I see three considered reviews. All three are rating the map at over 4. Meaning all three reviewers consider this a *more than* excellent map. And I would have to say I agree with that.
Unik Unok, Please look again at what wallaberto wrote. I, honestly, do not see any attack in his review. He has genuinely given his opinion as a player. Everyone who uses this site is allowed their opinion. People who make maps and post them here are exposing themselves to players' reviews not just to reviews by a closed group of designers all of one mind. That is just the way it is. You are a great maker of SH maps. I would urge you to take on board Lord Ako's suggestion of reasoning with any reviewer you disagree with.
[Edited on 02/07/07 @ 02:56 PM]
The return of UnikUnok sees a well-designed map ‘The Vierville Draws’ in the spotlight. [edited by Sparrow]
Here’s my review, Followed by one by Arthus.
Playability-4- this being one of the strong points of the map, the player is thrown into an exciting world war II story played out in a unique map by UnikUnok. Strategy is defiantly the key, empty the boats and perfect a strategy to get through the enemy lines. Time is of the essence so after taking a long look and getting a basic idea you must make the hellish assault on the bunkers. I used several strategies, splitting the troops, a joint assault from one side and others to perfect a win.The player has no time to waste, a terrific recreation of the landing ‘feel’ so to speak. The downfall is that is quick and click, click, click. Not the greatest amount of things to do.
Balance-4- this was also a strong point in this maps design, however it is a slightly shorter than expected finish. Once one finds the strategy that is best employed he or she can easily wipe out the enemy and though at first the task looks overwhelming it is indeed achievable, well perhaps not for newer players, that’s why the hints are there. Overall a good balance is achieved and though depending on your strategy you may have quite a force left, I take into consideration that you must develop several strategies to get it right. Great work.
Creativity-5- this is without a doubt the strongest part of the maps design, where to start. First of all let me say that the theme is one that is highly original, who would have though of a D-Day landing in stronghold, very creative. More than that the design of the bunkers are a real treat, not to mention they are effective killing stations too. The layout and concepts in this map are terrific and you have provided a great interpretation of this historic event.
Map Design-4- another strong point (you don’t have many weak ones) in the map is the map design, though I couldn’t bring it up to a 5 for reasons I will explain. I felt that had you made the map on the largest template you could have put a lot more detail into this criterion. The inner area seems a bit squashed and there simply isn’t much room for one to exercise training. The floor is pretty bland, shrubs dirt and stones could have been utilized a bit better I feel, considering the bunkers are built into cliff. Also the cliffs into which the bunkers are built are far too neat, stones and other effects would have made a more natural looking cliff system. Sorry but it’s a bit bland in my opinion.
Storyline/Instructins-5- a great story immerses the player into the map and set the mood perfectly. Though long it is easy reading and enjoyable, well in my opinion anyway, I do like reading. The hints are always handy for times when you get stuck or need to reassure your strategy is a god one. Good work.
The Vierville Draws, a map which sees UnikUnok back in action on the SH front. Ahain like previous maps new ideas have been expressed and this, although a great map leaves me questioning in some areas. In spite of A previous review i felt it was important to give the author several opinions this one coming from an 'experienced' member. so here we go...
You open the map and you can already see this map poses several challenges, a good solid score is valid here as you must use your brain before attacking the heavily defended coast. I had to lower playability due to the fact it is a very short battle once you discover how to breach the first line of defense. I was in a position where i had got the engineers to poor their oil and most spikes were wasted by using a few archers and laddermen. Now onto balance...
As i already said this map feels lke it has 1 purpose - to make you wonder how you are going to breach the heavily defended opening. Once you have that sorted it tends to turn into a rushed effort whereby you send every single unit in and quickly butcher the defenders. Im not at all saying this is bad, in fact i enjoyed the challenge but this map fails just slightly to get full marks here.
Defenantly one of the authors strongest points, has always been. From the bunkers to the boats, a medieval template just isnt meant to be stretched to modern times but somehow its been done and again its been done in spectacular fashion. By looking at the details is quite easy to see UnikUnok has knowlege of the subject and attention to detail makes giving a 5 just too easy.
Map Design: 4.5 (BUMPED UP TO 5)
I pondered on this one for quite some time but i guess people need to be reminded that a score of 4 is still very high but so the score isnt hurt ive decided to change this to a 5. This map is beautifly layered and balanced accordingly. You first set eyes on the beach, a somewhat wet beach its got to be said. next is the hill on which bunkers watch over the sea then there is the great looking fort behind them. All in all its a fantastic display of using the SH editor to the max, The lowered score here mainly due to some areas i felt needed some finer touchups and detail. Having said that the structures are all top class stuff and this makes sure a high score is given.
Not much to say here, absolutly fantastic! never disapoint in this category and again players have a great amount of reading and help. I always love a long, detailed story and UnikUnok has certainly acheived this. Unfortunantly 5 is the max score here but i'd easily go higher - well done mate :D
To finish up, a great map and probably the best recent seige here. If your looking for a map that poses a challenge and also looks fantastic download this map it will not disapoint.
I'd also like to say welcome back UnikUnok, keep the maps coming and dont be discouraged there are still alot of experienced and old members here to give indepth opinions. SHH is a fantastic place and i'd hate for 1 reveiw to scare you away from this community.
Additional Comments by Alexus:
[edited by Sparrow]
[Edited on 02/07/07 @ 02:55 PM]
Conflicting thoughts here but your review did turn mine into a comment there Alexus so perhaps you will need to reverse that :)
Your review follows on from mine, I'd say that 4.4 would be the average score.
[edited by Sparrow]
[Edited on 02/07/07 @ 02:37 PM]
This is intolerable that such a fuss should be raised over a single review. Its merits can be argued, but beginning with the first response so many of these posts go far beyond that, getting increasingly personal, and eventually degenerating into insensitive attacks and wild accusations on fellow members.
Concerns have been raised from some of you older members about the state of comments here in the downloads section made by some of the younger, less experienced members. Is this the example you wish to set for these new map makers and players that use these forums? You should be apologizing to them, as well as each other.
We expect you to conduct yourself in a respectful and courteous manner. Criticisms and arguments are acceptable as long as they stick to the point and remain friendly. There are three main offenders here, all similarly guilty as I see it. I don't think I need to mention any names. Shame on all three of you. We need civility, we need order, we need tolerance and courtesy. Specific grievances should be handled by emailing me so they can be handled without polluting the downloads section.
I do hope you can reflect on this, gain perspective, then move past it and start supporting each other again.
For the record it was decided a long time ago that a shared account was permitted, but it does carry with it some built-in restrictions. Among these are possible confusion over who's making a particular post or review, only one review is permitted per account per map, and shared email.
I think way more than enough has been said so it's time to try to clean this mess up. I am editing many of these comments so that they deal with the map and do not stray into the personal.
In future if you have a problem with a review that cannot be resolved in a friendly manner here please email me.
Thanks Sparrow for sorting this out. It was getting rather bad. I hope this doesn't create any grudges or anything and I hope that you (UnikUnok) will still create many more maps as this was something special IMO.
You are also very lucky. Not very many maps get ratings these days, especially not 3 ratings. And the download rate is rarely as high, as this map's downlaod rate is 91 after only a few days.
Chill out, enjoy designing and enjoy playing. That's what it's about.
[Edited on 02/07/07 @ 04:07 PM]
As you wish my liege, Apologies to all.
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