The Warlord Voren was angry. Very angry.
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He had trekked through forests, savannas, deserts, bogs, and hills for a month. His army of two thousand had been tired and weak from marching, when he reached the Northern Lands. There, he had heard, was a rich, fertile land, with everything a powerful, mighty king would need. He had reached it in the end, and there he had planned to rest for a few months, before starting to build his new empire. After three years of being a mercenary leader, fighting others' battles for a living, he could create his own kingdom, and he would pay mercenaries to fight his wars.
But of course, nothing that valuable is easy to get.
Three tribes of warriors had already claimed the North Lands as their home, and did not like the idea of having an army going through their lands, taking their fields, rivers, iron and stone as their own. So the tribes attacked, taking Voren's army by surprise, and killing most of them.
That was why Voren was angry.
Three days later, Voren was raising an army, getting ready to attack his sworn enemies. He rode about the lands with about a score of his men, taking any farmers off their lands, training them to become soldiers, and then making their wives work in his growing town. He had decided to attack as soon and as hard as possible, to take the clans by surprise and kill them before they could react. His army was already twice as large, and still growing. Soon his enemies would pay for what they did. He would make their chieftains die nice and slowly, if his soldiers didn't slaughter them first. Then, when the clans were out of his way, he could build his empire, and become known all around the world.
Notes and Hints:
Player color: blue
This map has lots of grass, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. There should be enough stone for everybody, although one player is fairly far away from stone and iron deposits. The southern player has lots of iron, and can use the fords to get to stone. The middle player has a lack of iron, but isn't too far from the stone deposits. The best spot is probably the Northern one on the left.
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I could tell from the minimap the AIs should have no problems building their castles. I thought for a while, which lords should be the best to play in this map, and decided that I will try Arabian enemies: Wazir, Caliph and Saladin with a computer advantage. It was obvious that the South position is created for a human player and I chose it. The first interesting thing that I noticed was the resources exposition: I had a lot of iron and no boulders, as for AIs, they had to divide the big mountain with resources. Soon I built a strong defensive wall with a lot of towers and a moat. Fire ballistae on walls were a major help, too. Metal was the most important resource in the game, my people were provided with all types of food, ale, chapels, churches and a few good things. The repayment was in gold (Taxes were set on maximum). The weapon production was at its best: the 8 armories were often full. The AIs had a little problem with the resources: it was hard to divide the mountain and Wazir (he was closer to my castle then the other two) ran out of money soon. Saladin didn’t produce weapons as he needed iron which was impossible to get. Still the lords attacked me a lot and they often joined their armies to take me down (Of course, they didn’t have a chance). Wazir was soon defeated by 10 catapults and 100 swordsmen. (Only 15 of them fell in battle). In the beginning The Caliph used the narrow fords in the lake to set my castle on fire with slaves. That strategy didn’t work: the only thing he burnt was an iron mine. Soon the slaves were kept near his castle. After the Wazir’s death I used the same fords and attacked The Caliph from two directions using catapults, crossbowmen, archers and horse archers. When the path was clear, macemen and assassins did the rest. Now Saladin was the only one left from the triple alliance. The sultan of Egypt had almost 400 troops and tried to attack me; 10 catapults did the job: using poor Bessies and deadly stones all of Saladin’s troops were dead. They didn’t even reach the army gathering position. Soon I organized three massive strokes using my cavalry. 150 knights were divided into three platoons. The first party destroyed the economic objects: farms, bakeries, engineers’ guild, mercenary post etc. The second wave destroyed the towers. And the last platoon stormed the gates, destroyed the last buildings and killed the melee troops. 20 pikemen finished the job. All in all I liked the playbility a lot, but this map isn’t easy for a beginner. Good job!
Great work balancing! The resources are spread cleverly, the building space is huge (I like that). It seems that the hardest position in this map is the east. The resources are very far, the oasis grass and the iron ore must be fought for with the human player. The position near the mountain seems to be the best but actually the foxy fords can be a shortfall. In my opinion, the starting place in the North East is premier of those three. I should explain: the building space is very wide, plenty of oasis grass and little iron ore can help running a strong economy. The most important thing is the Ally cover. Saladin was edged with his allies from both directions and that helped him a lot. The human position has its disadvantages too: in the beginning I didn’t notice the fiords, later it was obvious that my castle can be attacked sneakily using the narrow paths in the great lake. I also missed stone extraction, but the idea was interesting. The map offered everyone wide pathways to siege the enemy’s castle; a good defense was required and I had one. It wasn’t easy though.
A lot of creativity was shown in this map. I will start by saying that skirmish maps aren’t very “friendly” to interesting and creative ideas. Example – bridges. The AIs are destroying them etc. In my opinion, a creative map design is the main thing here. I noticed some interesting details: the little lake near my stone keep seems to be very deep, as you used the sea editor tool. The narrow paths in the lake are creative and sneaky, too. The coast is created by mixing little islets and fords. I like that. The resourceful mountain is composed cleverly and the idea is good, too. I was also pleased by the oases lay. The blue color in the maps I the most popular now (The only template map, where your people are blue in the game and in the map plan), I like that you used it, too.
Map Design: 5
The design is, perhaps, the strongest side of this map. You have truly made progress in map making. Congratulations! The map itself looks realistic and attractive, a great use of the map editor tools. The oases are created nobly, using all sorts of scrub, shrubs, rocks and trees. The narrow river splits the landscape nicely; maybe the delta should be a little wider. The river was also enclosed with grass. As I mentioned earlier the coast is originated interestingly, too. It looks very gritty. The little deep lake is circled with all sorts of rocks. Rocks are also mixed with iron and boulders, making the design more realistic. You have added seagulls, crows and deer, the map looks cozy. The oases lay made the playability more thrilling. All these details blend with an interesting idea and a good playability, making a great 1 VS 3 skirmish map. Bravo!
The story was interesting and thrilling. It had a realistic idea and a connection with the map. You also added notes, hints. King Voren had a cruel revenge :)
A great skirmish map with a realistic design and interesting idea. Your work is perfect for experienced players to consolidate their skills. Keep up the good work!