You can skip the storyline at your own risk. At the very least , please read the Author’s Notes that follow below.
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The battered city of the ancients loomed menacingly overhead. The night gave any part of Ramel an unsettling air but the long abandoned and dead Northern half felt downright wrong. Evil lurked here. Unclean things lived in the eternal dark of its forgotten underground caverns and tunnels. Most would call such horrors trolls, orks, goblins and the like. Locals claimed that such mystical beings existed here. You, a studied man, knew better. If such nightmares still existed down below, then they were holdouts from the end of that ancient time and its destruction and would themselves be slowly dying away. As a boy in the castle of your father, some of the old friends of his adventurous youth would spend nights at your home. Old Knights telling tales to certain gullible boys in the Great Hall, by the roaring fire. Such monsters were “Created not by magic,” they always said, “but by the Abomination that caused Desolation. Remember that boy.” They told of how the rare one to be found in their youth was usually an emaciated, sickly thing, eking out an existence in the crumbling places of the Ancients. Sunlight seemed to kill them, the sword was even faster. They were not fantasy beings at all, they possessed no magic, they were real life horrors created from ourselves and when found they must be killed, put out of their misery for their sake and your own. “For sometimes they grew strong on the unfinished dinners of children and carried certain misbehaved ones off in the night.” In the ancient tongue your father had forced you to study as a child they would have been called ‘Meuw-Tents'.
Shadows from the twisted walls danced to and fro at a nightmarish pace. Racing clouds permitted occasional bursts of dazzling moonlight that played tricks on the eyes. You had not been one to believe the fairytales of youth. Nor the legends you were made to learn by your early school teachers about the Ancients. As you now walked down the main road of one of their few surviving relics, you recited under your breath the nursery rhymes of your childhood and thought to yourself how terribly wrong you may have been. You noticed out of the corner of your eye Stephan, your trusted subordinate, staring at you uneasily. Who could blame him? Yet, you continued on “. . . they rose on the power of lightning and sun, by the splitting of Adam were forever undone.” ‘Adam’ or ‘The Adam and the Abomination that caused Desolation.’ Who Adam was and what his awful abomination did your teachers could never say as they did not know, no one was quite sure. For the ancients had lived in the time before history and most of whom they were was lost with them. Scanning every dark crevice and hole for ‘ghouls’ like a lost child, you smiled ever so slightly. You couldn’t help yourself. Even after the millennia that had past, something definitely was still wrong here and it set one on guard, raised the small hairs on the back of ones neck and sent shivers down your spine.
Ancient Ramel was a ruined, diseased testament to the forgotten old ones. Legends told the tale of the rise of their brilliant, advanced civilization and how it was that brilliance that would lead to their eventual downfall. For in the end, they used it to destroy themselves and all they had created. There was no doubt Ramel was built by them. Like Henn Dommen’s dam, it’s impossible towers could never be duplicated today. Indeed, the living, Southern half of the city was so because most of the buildings on that side had been completely leveled generations ago and replaced by the cruder structures of our age. Yet, our lowly hovels did not carry the ancient sickness. That old abomination that still caused the occasional calf or piglet to be born as a bawling nightmare. An inside-out horror better drowned in a rain barrel by its owner.
You marveled at some of the ancient goliaths in this ’ME-trop-Pole-iss as was the old ones’ word for it. One of only a handful not wiped away by that mythical, long forgotten war that had practically destroyed all life. On the walls of some buildings more protected from the rain and the elements than others, you could discern faded messages left by those advanced but ultimately doomed people. You wondered if any of them might help you and your troops with the task now at hand. You sounded out the words on one. “Lux-sure-E Con-Does A-vale-able, Kawl (212)-555-9100.” Who ‘Lux-sure E.’ was meant nothing to you and you had no interest in a number’s Con he ran. Completing the task at hand and getting back to the still living southern half of the city was foremost in your mind at the moment for obvious reasons. You pointed out another building to your accompanying officers. “That church’s surviving bell tower, Let’s get a ballista up there with some support,” you said. “Yes M’lord” came a lieutenant’s reply and off she went. Surveying the positions you had set up, you hoped your guerilla style tactics would bog down the Kings advance into the southern half of Ramel. Urban combat, tricky at best, was to be the order on the morn. Holding any part of this worm eaten rag hole of a city was an unfortunate necessity.
A desperate gambit was needed. The King, enraged by the death of his son at Saint Lo, had committed a massive two pronged attack to annihilate you. One spearhead of this assault focused on you at Ramel, the other on the reborn rebellion currently amassing to the south at Harlow’s Wood. A victory here would undoubtedly help you on that future battlefield later on. Yet, you had to win here and in time to reach your comrades further South. Naval bombardment had been the King’s initial tactic and other than sinking the Frigate Altheus at her moorings had been largely ineffective. His Majesty was simply going to have to dislodge you from the ruins with an armed force. When that attack would come had always been obvious to you, when the cannons of his ships stopped as they had an hour ago. With first daylight, a massive army twice the size of your own would march into Ramel’s Northern half and quickly overwhelm it. Giving up ground to gain an overall advantage was your plan. When to stop the King’s advance into the city was the big question you had to decide upon. ‘Let it overextend itself than strike you thought would be best.’ “Provided it did overextend itself.” You had wryly told your officers. As you and your men crossed the massive ancient “Queensbridge” that had connected the two halves of the city for centuries, the first light of morning could be seen in the West. This day, which would bring another battle to these ancient streets, was signaling its sunrise. “Everyone knows his position,” you said to your officers, “try and get a little sleep and listen for the lookouts.”
Your party reached the other side of the bridge. An old woman of the city approached you. Gently touching your right arm and falling in step with you, she spoke. “M’lord, did the evils see you?” she implored, “You must never cross the Queensbridge after sundown M’lord.” “Nay fair maiden,” you replied with a twinkle in your eyes, “Your Meuw-Tents did not present themselves. If you should see your friends, might you acquire their support for us?” She let go of your arm and dropped out of step with you looking reproachfully, almost comic like at your use of the ancient tongue as she went away speechless. Stephan spoke in an almost embarrassed tone “You should not joke about such things M’lord. You might draw the evil eye.” “Her with “ghouls and now you with ghosts,” you said, “You are aware it is the King’s army we are fighting, yes?” He looked down sheepishly and you cuffed him on the shoulder. “Come Stephan” you said. “Let us retire to my cabin aboard the Percival and muse over our plan once more.” As you headed toward that trusted ship whose tale had seemingly been intertwined with yours since The Cumberland Downs, you gazed North across the river. The buildings in the lifting pall of the dark night seemed very old, wraithlike shadows of their former selves. No, there were no ghouls in them. Just ghosts perhaps. Spirits so long dead and forgotten that they could no longer speak or be understood. Who could only stare out upon the world of the living with an unyielding hatred and jealousy.
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 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, as with The Vierville Draws that weird uncontrollable and untraceable victory glitch returned. This time, I was able to eliminate the glitch by playing the map as an Invasion. Likewise, an updated version of Vierville using this maps format is in the works.
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.
Ramel is intended to be played on the Easy difficulty setting. When the map is played on the Normal or Very Hard difficulty settings, the Lord will vanish. Ramel can be successfully won and lost on any difficulty setting.
* In order to reach Harlow’s Wood in time, you have been given a 5 year time limit to achieve victory at Ramel.
* You will need to destroy all enemy units including engineers to obtain the victory page.
* You will find Ramel has no traditional Keep, the Frigate Percival is the Keep and is where you will find the Lord.
* Ship cannons/catapults have 200 shots each. Beware of what you destroy.
* Some new building designs near the Frigate Percival have secret passages that provide excellent cover.
* You will have partial control of the city. Namely the Granary and the Marketplace.
* There are ways to man the bridge mangonels.
* Funds can be gained to build shields.
* Find the double ballista mount.
Ramel Is Chapter 9 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 )|
I have no idea why I haven't reviewed this before now. Odd. Well, anyway, better late than never. Here goes.
Playability scores top marks. An incredibly delightful city battle, Ramel is going to throw traditionalists a shock. This map is very different from an average seige, as it forces a player to adapt their playing style to a completey out of the ordinary battlefield. Ramel forces the player to use every nook and crany in their defense, else they will soon be overrun. I took the author's advice, and gathered my troops on the bridge, near the magonels. I barely won.
Balance is a four. I almost gave it a five, but here's why I didn't: difficulty. It was hard for me, which is fine, but this map would be nearly impossible for a player with average to low skills. It's in the upper quadrant of difficulty, and a map should be perfectly balanced for a player of any skill. This is my opinion, don't let it freak you out too much.
As usual, Unik's creativity, both in map and story, shine forth briliantly once again. A gem of a map. As I said in playability, the wuthor redefines the city seige, forcing new options and defensive strategems.
Map design takes top honors. Any one who would put lower has either not played the map or is just plain stupid. I lost the first time just staring at the city, loosing track of the battle.
The story was good in length and draws the reader in from the start. I loved the hints the author gave, like the splitting of "adam" causing the destruction of the world. Nuclear war. Judgement day. Quite an interesting twist. Loved it.
Unik has impressed again with another spectacular map in his series. while rather difficult, it should still be an enjoyable challenge for experienced players, and a good way for beginners to gain more experience. However, beginners beware; you will go home crying to your mommies. Cheers UU.
Very playable much, it get's addicting i tried to figure out the strategys very much different styles, like pulling back at the start, destroy the bridge from certain place, i tried almost anything but i found the map too hard, no offense i get almost to the end but the archers in the high towers were too much.. it is extremely playable but too hard, for me.
i didn't give 5 becouse i think it is well balanced on the otherhand but this map is for the veterans, i couldn't win it but i have had stronghold for about 2years soon.. so that's why it wasn't perfect, but this is my opinion i cant give five when i can't even finish the map, sorry
This map is unique, i never seen anything like this the map is amazing, everything on it.
Map Design: 5
The Ruins, the houses, the bridge, the ships especially the destroyd one (sinking) it was too cool!!
The Story was too long for me to read to the end but as long as i read it, it could'nt be better like all your maps the stories are long and good, i think you could be a writer^^
I Like all of your map, so creative and uniques, mostly sieges that's what i like most in stronghold, have a great fights on cool landscape. man i RESPECT you as mapmaker