The Bretwalda Chronicles Chapter 2: Anglia
This is the second chapter in The Bretwalda series of maps. The scenario is an 'eco-vasion' with the focus on establishing your settlement, meeting various win criteria and a much larger combat element to contend with than Chapter 1, which builds throughout the life of the scenario.
Included within the zip file are:
-Historical Article Part 2: The Influence of Religion during Saxon times, an in-depth study into the Bretwalda Kings, Kingdom of Anglia history
-Author's Notes, including hints and tips.
Please note that there is no story to accompany this scenario, the reasons for which are explained within the notes in the zip file. Please take time to read the notes carefully, they will help you and will provide background information on how the Bretwalda series is developed. The historical article is written to appeal to all ages and all levels of interest.
Constructive reviews are welcome.
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This map is ... erm ... very playable. I like the fact that you don't have to manage a castle the size of two minas-tiriths. It's actually harder to micro-manage this map than any other big-castle-lots-of-enemies-map. I actually had to delete all wooden palisades just to be able to build a wheat-farm. Me like it. This map is not for pussies, this map is for die-hards.
It's hard to find the right emphazis but after a few restarts I was able to get past the first attack :p. This map is hard but has the right balance in my opinion ... only the wood ... I would like to see more trees (not much but a few)
forget the Vista Experience. This is the real WOW. Amazing terraining, especially the lakes that you have to ***SPOILER*** in order to ***SPOILER***
Map Design: 5
I praise the lord (if any) for your designing skills. It's great to see a truly refreshing map amongst the many minute-maps. I'm looking forward to playing your campaign in the future.
being 28, I had my last history class a decade ago ... I guess reading all the accompaning info makes up for that. Did you know Bretwalda is old-celtish for "I like to wear panties"? Me neither.
Me like rhubarb
[Edited on 03/11/07 @ 05:43 AM]
Sulis’s next map in the Bretwalda series, Anglia is a masterpiece. A beautifully rendered marshland full of eye candy and challenges. Some incredible terrain ideas are presented here along with masterfully designed game scripting. Bretwalda-Anglia will provide the down loader with days, if not weeks, of incredible Stronghold entertainment.
Playability : 5
Played at the Normal level of difficulty as pursuant to the author’s instructions. Truly a marvel in the level of realistic game play created. As was the case with Northumbria, perfect AI performance must also be mentioned. Either the AI really likes the maps design or Sulis has painstakingly designed perfect AI performance. Either way, Well done. Lesser experienced players will find Anglia very difficult to beat. However, being patient and accomplishing victory will undoubtedly make you a better Stronghold player. A difficult map is a good thing sometimes and even a novice player who needs several attempts to beat this map will come away with an extremely awarding experience. I found myself inspired by the authors wonderful ability to make the terrain such a fundamental aspect of game play. What this adds to playability overshadows any minor quibbles one may have with the difficulty presented in the map. What is offered is a scenario that can be played over and over and each time game play will be exciting and challenging to all levels of players.
Balance : 5
Although, nowhere near as tough in regards to scripting as Northumbria, this map is extremely challenging in this regard. Building placement is actually more difficult in this chapter. Every tile has been sculpted to make where and how you choose to place your various structures vitally important. One inch of wasted space, one less farm than possible and you will severely cripple your chances of success. Naturally, even experienced players may have to restart a few times....like myself. This may have been a little too limiting. I also felt the wolf attacks ran a little late in the day. At that late point in the scenario, especially with all those armies running willy nilly through the land. I felt the wolves would have learned to stay clear of the area. When one considers this is the second chapter in this unique series, I feel the difficulties stated here were warranted. Overall, in respect to what the author was attempting to create I feel the balance is spot on for the map and the concept it presents. Life in a marsh couldn’t have been easy.
Creativity : 5
There is nothing like this map series. The concept the author had is perfectly executed here. Once you play you will understand what I am saying. Who does this, I ask? Anglia’s more ‘conventional’ areas are also beautifully rendered. As in the first map the author produces a rich landscape simply loaded with detail. A real ancient and historic feel is given of an area long inhabited by people. Not a new idea some would argue but so well executed here. Overall, a completely different landscape has been offered from what was presented in the first chapter. Sulis never ceases to amaze in this category. Considering the author has created two entirely different maps with the same post Roman feel as he intended. Full marks must be given, sensational work. I especially loved the main settlement which is Saxon to the core. A realistic sense of action is expertly woven with the map scripting. Productivity loss leads to hunger, hunger leads to granary thieves is one good example of what I mean. Sulis has wonderfully created early medieval life, in my opinion. Even in a far more hospitable land such as Anglia, life in those times was extremely difficult. From concept, to design, to map incredibly well done.
Map Design : 5
Such as it was with Northumbria, conquering the land is your main priority. Nobody has ever made this such a fundamental and engaging part of a Stronghold scenario in my opinion. In some places one could almost see where a building should be placed. Most notably a 4 x 4 tile structure on the left side of the campfire. Maybe, this was my imagination, maybe it was unintentional but if it was a tip, it was greatly appreciated. Proper building placement is crucial to your survival. Scripting of natural events was not as brutal as in the previous map and the successive increase in difficulty of the enemy attacks was classically timed to perfection. I felt the foundations of the ruined church would have been more complete and would have given the viewer a more discernible and interesting view of the structures outline. Some walls survived well over head height, Well, higher than my spearman’s head anyway. Stone pilferers would have brought down these sections before digging out the foundation stone. Of coarse, that is merely my opinion. Sulis’s attention to detail and his perfect execution of said detail, prohibits me from giving anything but full marks for this category.
Story/Instructions : 5
Perfect, Sulis continues his well written 'Overview and History' file. Anglia’s chapter focuses on religion. More specifically the effect the coming of Christianity had on post Roman pagan Briton. Included are pictures and other visual fare pertaining to the subject matter. Later on, Sulis also provides a well written summary of the history of Anglia from the departure of the Romans until the 9th century. 'Author’s Notes' include another in depth summary on the purpose of the series, as well as this particular map’s function and place in the total scheme of that series and what the map is designed to represent. Sulis clearly explains that the setting of the map is a Fenland marsh during the early 9th century. A study into why the author chose the units he did and what they are supposed to interpret is also included. A lengthy list of hints and tips is also found in this file, plus the maps tenuous connections to chapter 1. Finishing it off are, again, some nice screen saves of the map itself. Text file 3 is labeled ‘Instructions’. This is a quick summary of mission objectives and a brief overview of the situation and what type of action is to be expected. Surprisingly, the author provides a brief note on the next map in the series, Mercia. I highly recommend one reads all thoroughly. Reading these accompanying files is essential for you to fully understand the maps purpose, and how to play the scenario as it was designed to be played. This will greatly increase your enjoyment of this exceptional map.
Bretwalda - Anglia is a much more hospitable land than Northumbria. Likewise, competition for this wonderfully designed marshland is much more intense. Not for the inexperienced, this map will take some skill and effort to defeat. A thoroughly good investment of ones Stronghold playing time. Absolutely eye opening in the terrain features you will be inspired to make. Congratulations on creating a masterpiece Sulis. I look forward to Mercia immensely.
[Edited on 04/14/07 @ 02:14 AM]