Many moons had passed since the end of the war, all had until tonight been a blur. The destruction of the last rebel hope at Vierville had ironically coincided with the demise of your beloved 7th Division. As with all of the landing forces involved in that first wave, casualties in your units companies varied from three fourths to nine out of every ten souls. The many nights since had allowed you to a rune your fate. Drowned in drink, hidden away in some dark den, you had surmised that it had been this loss on that dreadful day that had caused you to proverbially “lose it.” Refusing a direct order to burn the town of Vierville had accomplished nothing. “That Glorious assignment” as it was now called by town criers had simply fallen upon another division. Had you stopped at that you might have been allowed to retire quietly to your lordship and lands back home. Instead, You and the last of your Loyal 7th Division had allowed many of the inhabitants to escape their burning homes. To achieve your final order, you and your men had fought off several Royal companies for hours. That was when it happened, on the streets of a burning city, far from home, The Saga of the Seventh ended. In the space of one afternoon the King had destroyed a city of people, a comradery of men and your military career.
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Your court-martial had been surprisingly quick. You marveled how a man who hadn’t been able to achieve a single military victory could procure such a decisive legal one. You and the last of your men were stripped of your titles, your lands and naturally your lives. In a magnanimous show of his Majesties mercy, you, and you alone were returned the latter. This political move had been due more to the overwhelming outcry of his subjects rather than any love for you. In a way, the King knew that allowing you to live, banished to the island were your beloved comrades swung by their necks was a far worse punishment than death. Indeed, it had been your guilt and grief that had left you a shadow of your former self. Your staple diet of liquid bread hadn’t helped matters either. Pennyless and abandoned in the Rebel’s former capital of Saint Lo, you had subsisted on the alms you received daily. Those tokens did not come from the city’s massive church but from citizens, everyday people. Word of your deeds at Vierville had spread and perhaps, because of them the men who had shadowed you for the last three days had sought you out in the first place.
There were two of them, the smaller of the two seemed to be the leader. In your mind both carried themselves as soldiers. They had also been careful to always seat themselves in the blind spot of your left side. A wise veteran’s trick as most swordsmen were right-handed. Although you were sure that they harbored you no ill will, you felt no need to disclose the fact that you were ambidextrous. On the third day of their following, they had approached you. “M’lord,” the smaller, younger of the two men said. “Sorry Lad no Lord here” you replied. “Aye, I have even been excommunicated by your most magnificent church. A shame as I had hope to tour it during my permanent vacation here on your lovely island.” He flushed a bit at that as if it was the last reply he had expected. Did he not know drunks tended to be cynical? In truth you knew he was only trying to affirm your identity. Locking his gaze, you said. “If you seek the man who led the 7th than yes, we are one and the same.” The second and taller of the men spoke. “M’lord, our intention was only to make your acquaintance not to offend you.” He paused for a moment. “It’s just, you no longer appear as you did sir.” “Ah, and now a sir,” you sighed. “See. I have already fallen even in your eyes. From Lord to Sir in the bat of a lash. Alas, I jest, sit and I shall buy you a tankard with these lovely coppers provided by the citizens of your fare city.” Both seated themselves at your table.
“Many thanks, my Lord, for your hospitality yet we are strangers here as well,” The younger of the two said. “My name is Stephan. My comrade is Geoffrey. Former McKinnon’s Raiders.” He said this unwaveringly knowing that you would immediately recognize their unit. “I see,” you replied. “Sorry about your Boss, yet, orders are orders. Old Ian did try to kill me. I might add.” “Nay sir,” Stephan quickly countered. “It was your brilliance that won the day and Henn Dommen for your KING.” His emphasis on this last word was unmistakable. He sought an affirmation of your loyalty. “He’s not my King son.” You were too tired and beaten to care if this was the response they wanted. “Nor is he ours,” Geoffrey added “that makes us men of a common bond does it not?” “It does,” you replied. Your serving wench brought fresh tankards. “And in spirit of such an honorable bond, how may I be of service to you men.” “That brilliance I mentioned M’lord” Stephan said. “That is why we have sought you.” “Oh” you replied “In what manner?”
Their plan was concise and well thought out. They had amassed a small band of Rebel survivors into a company-sized unit of poorly armed veterans. This group was now hidden to the west of the city in a lightly wooded area. Their hope was to use this brute fighting force to free their imprisoned comrades from the palatial fortress at Saint Lo, the castle just happened to be the place where the last survivors of your loyal 7th Division were awaiting their execution on the ‘morrow. Apparently all their rag tag force needed was an experienced leader. Stephan had been a lieutenant and Geoffrey, a sergeant but neither had experience in leading more than 50 men at one time, that was where you came in. Their only problem was escape. Even if they succeeded in freeing the prisoners, to remain on the island of Saint Lo would lead to eventual capture and death.
“The Harbor” you interrupted with. “The Percival has nearly finished her refit yes?” you smiled and added “I’m drunk gentlemen not dead.” “Yes,” Stephan said already following your lead. “She leaves tomorrow with the Crown Prince after the executions.” Now this you did not know “The Crown Prince, he is still here?” you said. For a second they were silent, it was Stephan who spoke next. “He wished to preside over the execution’s in person.” ‘Just as vengeful as his father’ you mused to yourself. “He must be killed then,” you said. “To the kill the King’s son would strike a harder blow than any single battle could ever hope.” Such a loss would weaken the royalty’s grip over our countrymen and draw more to our cause.
Blessed hope the likes of which you had not felt in years welled inside you. Then, just as it had begun that hope was extinguished by a single thought. Your smile faded, “Tis’ a dream we have my friends.” “Nay sir, we could make that dream reality.” Stephan’s tone was more strident now he could tell he was losing you. “We only need . . . ” “Stephan my brother,” you interrupted “What would fifty men with one warship do? Become pirates, brigands feeding off his Majesties commerce like parasites?” “As you said,” Stephan proffered, “We could rally more to our cause, we might . . . ” Again you cut him off, “How? On what dry land could we set our feet to amass this imagined following of yours? Or have you planned to call for them from our ship like some damned Siren? How well do you think that would . . . ? ” “Ra Mel” and this time it was you who were interrupted by Geoffrey. ‘Ra Mel’, you thought. ‘Ra Mel was a large harbor city on the Southwest coast of the mainland as good as a dozen other locations.’ Your mind and mouth collided, “What would be found at Ra Mel?”
For the next hour they told you. A division sized force of some of the most experienced soldiers in the land, weapons, armor and enough food to provision a force twice that size. Mangonel, catapults, ballista, and even more valuable, the Altheus. The Altheus was the class sake and the only Rebel frigate not present at The Battle of the Solomon Sea. Likewise, she was the only Rebel frigate unaccounted for by Royal forces. Apparently, she was also the only one still afloat. Two warships, an army barely larger than a division, and a major city capable of being supplied from the sea, such a force had little chance of success. Just getting to Ra Mel would be difficult in its own right. Yet, if you could make it there, free your last men and kill the Crown Prince . . . Your eyes welled with tears and there was no way to stop them. You had a second chance, small and fragile but very much a chance. You turned to Stephan and Geoffrey “Well than my new brothers, tomorrow in the woods to the southwest of the city, at sunrise shall we say?” The three of you left your unfinished tankards and walked out of the tavern, As you exited into the cool night air, two little words kept repeating in your thoughts. I hope, I hope.
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.
This map is believed to be the first Blue vs. Blue Template. Before playing, make sure you understand the added difficulty this will present to you. Other interesting design oddities:
- Rabbits on a siege map, (usually all rabbits are exterminated when you begin playing a siege map.)
-100 shot catapults
- Southern Cross maps’ Construction worker x three.
As with all of my later maps, your objectives 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.
This map can only be played as a Defending Siege but keep in mind that it is most definitely an attacking siege. The troop numbers are set and cannot be changed so the Difficulty Setting does not matter
Special Notes, Hints -
- You will need to destroy all enemy units including engineers and the enemy Lord to obtain the victory page.
- You are represented as the Blue Lord outside the fortress. Consider yourself the King in a game of Chess. If you die, the game will end no matter how much of your force survives. Like the King in Chess, your movement is also limited. The Lord will go wherever you wish on the map due to its design. Just order him to attack the closet object to your desired location. Keep a close eye on him. He will take every chance he gets to head for the final destination. I would also suggest you do not order him to attack streets as these are the only objects that will not guarantee he heads to your desired location.
-The survivors of the former 7th Division can be found imprisoned in the Fortress of Saint Lo. The Seventh is represented by the engineers. The Rebel Leaders are to be executed in full dress and are represented by the two swordsmen. Use them wisely.
-The Kings Son, The Crown Prince, (the enemy Lord), will order the prisoner executions the minute your ragtag force attempts to assault his fortress. As it would take some time, to hang them all on the gallows. The Crown Prince will have no problem ordering the archers on watch to begin executing the prisoners. The survivors of the 7th have been made aware of the possibility of this event happening, as well as the plot to free them. Accordingly, they have devised a plan of their own to defend themselves. You must find this plan and make it your first move in this scenario. Without engineers to man the frigates Percival’s cannons/catapults succeeding at Saint Lo will become extremely difficult.
-The recent Royal victory and capture of the Rebel capital have given the small but well equipped occupation force a tremendous troop combat bonus of +25% These hostile squads and platoons, although not numerically superior, can easily defeat you if you simply order your troops en masse to attack a single enemy unit at a time.
-When using the Percival’s cannons/catapults, make sure to use only the ones on the side of the ship your attackers are currently approaching from. You can use them all if you like but this may cause casualties to your own troops. Each cannon/catapult has 100 rounds so FIRE AWAY!
Saint Lo Is Chapter 8 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.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Playability- 4 – I decided to give playability a good 4, though the idea behind the game play was well though out, in my opinion it is slightly hindered as a result of having to constantly divert the players lord from enemy units. While concentration is held with you main force the lord needs constant looking after, which can become quite the annoyance. Sending him to attack a building every so often. I decided to pull my forces back at the beginning and simply picked off the archers, after that I was free to attack at will, picking off the last few troops around the map, then going for the fortress itself. I found it to be a slightly broken game play. It also was rather tedious as the enemy troop strength was an issue when using archers to finish off the last few swordsmen. I still award the four, though not my forte, still a high standard and a lot to do. Good work.
Balance- 4 – Balance in my opinion has a great deal to do with the playability in this map, and as my strategy reveals the balance was hindered by the amount of time it took to defeat the remaining troops, after they complete their orders they simply clump together and are sitting ducks, one they are somewhat depleted you can rush in your troops to finish things off, or pick them off with the remaining archers depending on the way you go about tackling this map.
Creativity- 4 – Yet another classic UnikUnok map, great amounts of eye-candy in this one. Ships, custom roofing and in particular the chapel being built are great creative additions to this map. I’m not the biggest fan of lowered paths though; I always feel that they look quite out of place because they break the natural look of the map in some respects, like the town is cut off. But overall the port and city look good, as does the fortress. Overall though a strong creative influence is shown, yet nothing new and spectacular to push it up, still very good though.
Map Design- 4 – Like the previous map in the series, St. Lo features a small map size trying to fit a town into it. I would love to see some of your map on a larger scale, though it takes more work I feel it would most definitely be worth it. Sculpting paths leading to the port town would look marvelous. Like the previous map, I feel that it looks somewhat bunched and leaves little room for distinctive terrain. Only a few trees and shrubs can bee seen and there is very little of the costal areas of the map.
Story/Instructions-5 – Quite a lengthy story here, but I do enjoy a good read. The story sets the mood and scene well , though I can understand that some might be turned off by the length. It is a very good write up in my opinion, and if given a chance does a lot for the overall campaign. Notes along with it are a clear 5 give away, and the length is obviously not an issue when it comes to scoring. Great stuff.
Overall, a good map, with a lot of though put into it. However I feel that it is lacking in some areas that could see it really be a fun map to play. I think that if a few of these areas of mention are tackled, future maps can only get better.
This map is great fun. I have been playing this mpa for like 1 hour strait tryen to beet it. Still no luck =( but i will keep tryen =P
Its not like its hard and all but my king keeps running off and getting himself killed. Havnt beaten it yet =/
Probably the most creative maps onthis site. I like the idea of an uprising in a city. Also the engineers in the casle get killed by archers so you really cant use the ships catapults.
Map Design: 5
I dont know why you were given a 4 in the last review because ive seen some horrible map design given a 5 on this site, but this map is unbelievable. The streets the drained out portion of the port, the ships, everything! GREAT JOB!
Well what can I say. Its alot better than what i can do >.<
This could be one of the best maps of stronghold. If you give some quick hints or make it a bit easyier balence would go up. Great job also this must have taken decades to make.
[Edited on 04/09/07 @ 06:39 PM]