Battle at Thermopylae
Here’s the first Stronghold Crusader version of the great battle at Thermopylae (Others know it as 300 Spartans, etc.) I thought I will have a try…
At first glance, this mission seemed to be easy and short, without many intricacies. Soon, I realized that I was wrong. I played this mission 4 times, I think, and only then I achieved victory with 20 slingers and few bows left.
Firstly, it may seem that fighting in the Hot
Gates (The narrow rock path) can be very hard. Actually it is, but, in my opinion, this is the only way to win, although I had to keep my troops in the end of the path: they can do more damage from there. Earlier I tried leaving the Hot Gates and fighting nears the path. In the beginning this strategy seemed perfect: I didn’t lose any troops, but the last invasion with many Arabian bows ended my plan very fast. So I tried holding the Hot Gates and finally I won using the woodcutter’s: slaves burnt it and the flames damaged enemy troops. The four archers were important too, I had to save them in the beginning. I found the playability interesting and thrilling: thumbs up!
UPDATE - The mission is harder and i won it with a few troops left.
I was disappointed a little as I thought the playing time will be much longer. You could have added more Spartans and Xerxes’ troops. Maybe a few melee troops were needed. The Hot gates could be a little wider. A few horse archers in Xerxes’ army were needed, too. The first attack of slaves was a bit too early: the player can’t even select the troops when the slaves start to damage your troops with torches. Still, I found the other invasions really good and creative (I will analyze them in the creativity section).
UPDATE: You've added more invasions, spartans. The woodcutters were disabled, so now the whole mission depends from player's skills. Great!
You managed to represent the real battle quite well, but a few things were missing: you could have added Ephialtes (A monk or a spearman would do) and the Thespians. I am not sure, maybe they were the archers. But still I am not sure… As I mentioned, maybe the map itself should be a little a larger and the number of troops would be bigger. On the other hand, the invasions were very creative: lots of enemies were weak units, my troops killed them fast and it seemed that they are more powerful. The Assassins, fire throwers, swordsmen were the elite of the Xerxes’ army. I don’t know whether you watched the old movie “The 300 Spartans” or not, but the invasions spoof the new 300 movie well. Good work.
UPDATE - You've added ships, enlarged the invasions. Good job.
Map Design: 5
The foreshore looked very nice, just like in the movies. I was amused that you created the mid plain (I thought of making it, but the mountains would be lower then, still I didn’t make up my mind). The hills were mixed with random rocks, which also covered the edge of the shore. You also filled the map with shrub, boulders. It made the terrain look more realistic. The Hot Gates could be a little wider, though. The only thing which I didn’t like was the sea. It looked too empty: you could have added a few rocks, little islands, but the most important – ships. Still, the map itself looked nice and cozy. Bravo!
Update - A nice, cozy island was added and also i saw little fortifications and other updated features.
You’ve added a nice, historic story in the map. Dates, real characters and events were told in a simple reading style. For a person, who has never heard about this battle, this quite short story would explain everything. It blends with your version of 300 Spartans really well.
Everyone should try this version of 300 Spartans, as it is really amusing and thrilling. Although a short winning time may seem like a shortage, others may find it good. All in all, it’s an interesting version of battle at Thermopylae.
[Edited on 05/28/07 @ 04:24 PM]