Sir Robin of York - Norwich Castle
|Duke of York
My Dearest Robin,
I am overjoyed to hear of your safe return home. I am saddened to say that much has changed for the worse in the years since you were away fighting in the Holy Land. Rebellion has struck the land in the king's absence. Our home is now plagued with turmoil and oppression. In fact, I write to you from the confines of Neils Tower, deep in the heart of Norwich Castle. Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland (the Wolf) has imprisoned me, laid claim to your lands and plotted treason against the crown. It is much too dangerous for you to try to meet Neville. He has assassins with orders to kill you.
I am afraid to say that George, Duke of Clarence (The Rat), Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond (That Snake) and John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (The Pig) are all in league with Neville. It has fallen to you, Robin, to organize resistance and depose the Wolf from Norwich Castle and free me. Your small band of loyal subjects are no match for this heavily defended fortress. You must gather what troops you can and lay siege to the castle, methodically taking it tower by tower if you have to. I have secretly dispatched pleas of assistance to our allies in Suffolk, Essex and Lincolnshire. I pray they will be able to aid you in time. Once you have secured the Outer Bailey, peasants and craftsmen from the village will collect resources and produce arms to equip more troops for your final push to take the castle. You must eliminate ALL of the Wolf's evil men.
My spies have gotten word to me that the king will return from the Holy Crusade in January 1265. When he returns, you must hold Norwich Castle in his name, or your claims to these lands will be forfeited to the Crown. If Neville controls Norwich, he controls the fleet, and the kings return home will surely be perilous.
If you succeed, his Majesty will richly reward you and has promised to restore your lands and confer on you the Office of Warden of the Cinque Ports and command of the two ships La Rose and La Margaret which are docked at Norwich. The ships are in a bad state of decay. It will take much timber, pitch and gold to make the necessary repairs. You must also help restore Norwich Cathedral to the Glory of God.
Be prepared my child, for Neville and his cohorts will surely mount a fearsome counter attack. They must NOT hold the castle by January 1265, or all is lost. The future of the kingdom rests in your hands. May God go before you my Brave Sir Robin, Duke of York.
Yours ever in Christ,
Jon Breckon, Bishop of Norwich
Eliminate ALL Enemy Units By 1265
66% Ale Coverage
The objective of the game is for you to take the castle section by section, manage your economy, defend against counter attack and build your army enough to make the final push to capture the castle and eliminate ALL enemy units. Unless you are an extremely skilled player, you will not have enough troops to take the castle all at one time - try if you must - but it wont happen (unless you are Jalis). The scenario is actually two games wrapped into one. For the first half of the game, YOU MUST capture the castle by January 1265 or you will loose. Once you succeed in capturing the castle, the second half of the game begins and you have huge economic objectives to achieve while defending your newly acquired castle.
This scenario has been a joint effort between Brave Sir Robin and Duke of York which started in October 2005. It has been almost two years in the making and we are pleased it has finally reached completion! We hope you have as much fun playing this scenario as we have had designing it. Castle Design and terrain modeling was primarily done by Duke of York while scripting and technical elements were done by Brave Sir Robin.
The castle's design was inspired by Penrhyn Castle in Wales. You can see four distinct sections of the castle in the image below. I took the liberty of adding a walled village and a port to support our story line. The story is fiction based on real places, people, titles and offices in medieval England.
First of all, we would like to thank Witch Hazel for her support and creating the superb image of the map. Special thanks goes to Lord Ako, the best ship builder in SHH, who was subcontracted to create our ships. We would also like to thank The Red Baron and Jasper Tudor for playtesting the scenario at various stages of development. Last but not least, we would like to thank YOU, the Stronghold Community for encouraging us and inspiring us to complete this map. Without people who are interested and willing to download maps, it would have been a complete waste of our time.
Again, we hope you have as much fun playing this scenario as we have had making it!
Brave Sir Robin & Duke of York
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Sir Robin of York - Norwich Castle, a map I’ve been wanting to play for quite some time and the sort of map I must review, its not every day I spend so much time playing a map these days. 2 Designers I have a huge amount of respect for and their latest creation while not proving too challenging for me, was a lot of fun.
I’m going to tackle this review a little differently – instead of making remarks on each category I think its easer for me to just explain the process I went through and my thoughts, it is essentially 2 maps/games in the one scenario. Although the map is fantastic, like everyone expects, I think its more important to tell you what I think needed to be tweaked for the scenario to be a challenge and get perfect marks from me.
The map starts like any normal siege, your faced with the daunting job of sieging a castle that for the most part shows only 1 weakness and that is the cleverly designed route the 2 authors want you to take (capturing the castle 1 segment at a time). Again BSR and DoY illustrate their vast experience in sieges by giving the player what I believe is a good balance of troops to easily deal with the first 2 sections while having enough to also defend these sections from invasions (I ended up using these units to go all the way). I was surprised to see engineers abundant however, quickly raising taxes allowed me to create trebuchets to take down the first 2 gates. Seemed a little easy actually seeing as I had more than enough macemen and pikemen to both destroy the gatehouses and clear the sections of enemies. At this stage the stone is placed in such a fashion as it was safe for me to start mining, this plays a huge role in producing money needed to fund troops and such.
I can’t help but feel for such a mighty structure more defenders were needed, the author’s notes state it’s almost impossible to take the castle in 1 go however I disagree you just need to think logically. I would have liked to see more crossbowmen and an all round bulkier defence in the fist 2 sections – I emphasise the first 2 as they need to be cleared of enemies in order to start your economy. With my army taking only macemen hits to this point I was in a strong position to setup my own defence by placing my missile units into the towers. Balance is hurt here, you are given a healthy flow of bandit archers which coupled with the existing units gives the player a force big enough to move anywhere, attacking enemy archers and clearing all towers causing you issues is made easy with your new found friends. I managed to take the mighty fortress with only the units given at the start I think. This isn’t the result of a poorly designed castle mind you, far from it infact. It truly is a beautiful castle; it just needed more defenders to make the siege as enjoyable as the designers were aiming for.
You are given a lot of time till you lose which is good for those less experienced players but in my case it just gave me time to build an army capable of not only beating my opponent but only using 1 arm in the process. The availability of iron is in my eyes a little too much. Having 8 iron mines meant a huge stock built up, pikemen were being produced at a rapid rate in little time and I didn’t have a means to sell the iron either. I also noted you could buy or sell bows but not make them nor recruit archers – something your play testers didn’t pickup on. All up the entire siege was a lot of fun while not being overly tricky.
The second half of the scenario is just perfect, a lot of fun and I cant stress enough how well the economic targets bind with your ability to defend the newly acquired castle. They are large but its part of the fun, racing away to get your followers to have faith while at the same time drunk. I don’t want to go into details here, it would spoil it for those reading before playing the map but be prepared to have some fun, you will not stress with meeting the requirements but you wont be able to sit back and relax either I can assure you. DoY and BSR, well done. If the siege was more troublesome perfect marks would have been awarded, I would have liked to give 4.5s in the two sections.
Some other things….
I always like the idea of having multiple signposts however in this case the AI lets the map down a little. While the signpost furthest from you works a treat, placed perfectly to allow the AI to march around the castle – the second and closer signpost isn’t so kind. I often saw knights and crossbowmen walking aimlessly around the outside farms, unsure whether to go into the sieged castle to attack my archers or move on to attack my pikemen who were still in their starting positions. I guess overall they acted in a good fashion but it did harm the map and make it easy – as I just picked them off without any issues or loss of men.
I feel the terrain could have done with a little more spark, although I cant suggest much it just seemed bland – like the castle and scripting had taken a much higher priority. Its still very well modelled but your castle shines and is what my eyes were drawn to, and rightfully so.
You guys have created another gem. I’m sure in the eyes of people less experienced in sieging, they would give a perfect score, it does deserve it as well, I had a lot of fun. In my eyes 4.7, one of the most enjoyable maps either of you have created and one of the recent best downloads here at SHH. A big congats, I’m glad you finally got this map out for everyone to play and I am sure there are lots of happy members right now.
Thanks for the game guys keep at it! You both have great ability,