Posted on 12/20/07 @ 01:18 PM (updated 12/22/07
Mountains of Irohn
The invaders poured over the walls. An anonymous person screamed. Barbarian hordes piled onto single persons, killing them. The outer courtyard was flooded with enemies. Archers on the walls poured volleys into the mass of bodies, but the wave continued coming. They were digging in the inner moat now, the bodies of the dead in high piles. In a few minutes the moat filled in. The wall against it had already been knocked down by catapults, and the barbarians poured in, screaming and yelling. Suddenly the first lines fell down under the ground, and died immediately on the spikes hidden below. But the screaming wave couldn't be stopped, and soon about a hundred barbarians were transfixed on the spikes. A few seconds later and the ditch was filled to the brim with bodies. The barbarians rushed over, running to the keep. But by now their rows had thinned. There were still about a thousand around the castle, but only a few hundred were left in the assault of the keep now. Archers kept pouring arrows into the bloody mass. At the keep, about a hundred veteran swordsmen and pikesmen stood stock still, ready to fight the barbarians to the death. At their head was the Lord of the Castle, Lord Harold III of Irohn. He stood, clad in plate mail, with his large battleaxe at his side. He swung his weapon high, then charged into the barbarians, with his troops behind. The screamed barbarian hordes was no match for the well-trained, staunch warriors at Harold III's side. In a few hours the fates of the barbarians were sealed, along with many brave soldiers of Irohn that fought that day.
A young soldier, covered in blood, sweat, and mud came up to one of the veterans. “Did... We... win...” he gasped, leaning on his sword.
“Yes, we won,” said the veteran. “But... who are you?”
“Harold... Harold IV,” the boy said with a slight smile, before collapsing on the ground.
Two decades later:
Harold IV rode into the king's city. He looked around, amazed. Having lived in The Mountains of Irohn for the first half of his life, and in a poor castle constantly invaded in a desert for the rest, the riches of the city amazed him.
After he looked around for a few minutes, he remembered why he had come. He rode quicky over to the keep of the city where the king was.
“You called me?” asked Harold IV, kneeling before the king.
“Yes,” said the king. “I want the settlement at Irohn rebuilt, because it was one of our kingdom's leading iron and stone producers. I need that place rebuilt, and to have a certain amount of raw materials sent from there to my city here. But the barbarian hordes of Karlari are starting to threaten the settlement. I remember when, twenty years ago, your father Harold III defended the Mountains of Irohn from those very same hordes. So I want you, Harold's son, to rebuild the settlement, since you must know both the lay of the land and how to deal with the barbarians. When you get the materials I need, you may leave, and I shall send another to take your place. But you must finish the job in ten months*. Can you do this?”
“But my king, Irohn's walls have fallen, and it's gatehouse has collapsed. The drawbridge is barely standing, and the people are tired and scared,” said Harold.
“You don't want to do it?” said the king, frowning. “You do not have to. If you want, you may leave.”
“No, king. I shall do it,” said Harold.
The king's frown turned into a smile. “Good,” he said. “I knew you would accept.”
Soon Harold was on his way to his childhood home of Irohn, with some of the king's troops at his back.
*Here months=game years
You play as Lord Harold IV, at the settlement at Irohn that your father Harold III defended long age. The walls are down and the moat has holes in it, although you do have a few traps around your castle if any of your enemies come. The oasis is fairly far away, and doesn't have much room for farms. You can build pikes, armour, spears, bows, and swords.
I have a Story&Notes file in the .zip with the story, and notes, triggers, win conditions, and glitches.
And thanks to Surajsubba for playtesting.
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This looks like an interesting map - the castle is in ruins, and the moat needs filling in before you can effectively defend yourself, adding another objective in. From the images, it looks like a well made map, with good terraining and hills dotted with iron. Good map!
Is that a partially erased drawbridge I see? Very nice if it is...
Thank you for your comment Anithesis. And yes, I did use the drawbridge trick Timballisto.
To all who downloaded the map, you might of noticed that the story had some problems with the bullets. That's now been fixed.
Mounts of Irohn
It’s obvious that economic missions are one of the least submitted to Stronghold Heavengames owing to the hard work when scripting and playtesting. Mounts of Irohn didn’t contain very complex scenario features, but I had a great time playing it and discovering interesting themes.
The various objectives were a nice idea but somehow I kept forgetting what my goal is during those 10 years. Of course, it’s easy to take a look at the objective list, but in my opinion, the player has to always know what he has to do, think about his every next step when completing the tasks. However, the random objectives always kept me nervous that I still hadn’t finished one or more of them; the playing style had to be all-round, too.
The drawbridge, I guess, was the main object of this map due to its disorientation (I will tell more in the balance section). After failing the mission in my first try (I was using the drawbridge to stop the enemies), I realized that I have to build a second section of the castle. I’ve constructed a strong fortification near the main fiord, recruited enough archers and managed to win in my third try. I’ve found 75 wheat the hardest to collect, as You added some interesting events, to slower the wheat production. The random events, invasions, which got bigger during the mission, weren’t a big headache.
Later I tried some different strategies to view the full result of Your work with the script.
The mission is actually not that hard when you understand the concept. Creating random and dependent events made the playability livelier and more complicated, as the constant stealing made it harder to collect enough food, for keeping bigger taxes. The annoying wheat diseases can really give the player lot of problems to solve. I was quite surprised with the variety of troops and defensive strategies the player can use; I thought about catapults, shields and fire ballistae only in my third try. The drawbridge was a nice touch, but it had the glitch: when enemies get close to it, you simply raise the drawbridge, and the foes just freeze near it. It seems this is a very easy to win, however, this action only takes a lot of precious time, and there’s no way the player win, as the farmers, quarry workers won’t be able to reach their workplaces. The invasions were big enough to make me a bit nervous; I liked the idea of a fortified signpost, and if I wanted to use the other half of the river (oases) I had to destroy the enemy’s defensive structures. Nice touch! The idea of setting the small village with restricted building space in the mountain appeared interesting, too…
The whole mission was quite original, as I already mentioned the biggest surprise to me was the fortified signpost, it looked like the enemy’s war camp of some kind. There aren’t many missions were you are stuck in the narrow mountains paths, the restricted building space made this feeling even stronger, during time my village expanded, though. The map has an interesting design, but the river’s fork is used quite often. I ran through the whole scenario very attentively, and the events, which depend on player’s playability, were creative and logic enough. In my opinion, the idea about the Christian surplus, which will lead to Muslims’ rage, is amusing. But this is one of the many features Your work offered. In one of my first maps, I’ve used many scenario events, which depend on the player, that’s why I liked your idea, and took time to discover all the aspects.
Map Design: 4
The design relates to the story accurately, the narrow burrow, where I had to start rebuilding the destroyed city of Irohn. The hills made an impression of the old fortifications, which were used by Harold III, and now the player (Harold IV) can use them too. What is more, those hills surrounded the river and that was nice touch from a geographical point of view. Apologizes, if I’m being too scrupulous, but, in my opinion, those hills needed various shrub, possibly a few boulders, rocks, a couple of trees, this would be a logical touch as twenty years had gone after the Harold’s III battle, and during this time the nature left its signs. The river looked quite nice, but a few rocks, a very small island, possibly signs of fiords (only signs, to keep the idea of the single path), would make it more beautiful. The mountains, looked more like caves, but I know it’s almost impossible to achieve a realistic view of the mountain using the crusader editor, but a few small hills, which would gradually sink would seem nice. The oases and land looked well; the destroyed city of Irohn, fortified stockpile looked great though! Thumbs up!
An interesting and thrilling story, which supplements Your map finely. I really enjoyed reading about Harold’s III vicious battle, which was portrayed very picturesquely, and I was able to imagine this view, the bravery and strength of the city defenders. It had a few grammatical and language mistakes (who’s perfect?), but this part was very splendid… The second chapter, which told us about Harold IV, was more like and introduction to the mission, the hidden description of the tasks, the player will have to do. The epic part of the story revealed and upheld the mission really well, the hints, descriptions of the map an known glitches are always useful, and it’s a big plus to any story, due my opinion, that a good map depiction has to have a narrative part, a map descriptive part, personal opinions and additional information.
A good example of an eco-vasion, the author truly worked hard with this map, and I think players have to give this map ago, and play until victory is achieved! A lot of features will rise to the surface…
THank you for your great review AZ. Myself, I find economic missions harder to create becoz you cant just throw in a few invasions with a castle and call it a map :). you need a lot more stuff built into it.
Yeah i understand :) Anyway thanks for this interesting work
This proved to be quite a good challenge, with the map focused around defending against some very heavy invasions whilst you meet your economic goals. The scenario is centred around the premise that you cannot hope to win if you do not defend your settlement, and certainly the early years are much harder than towards the end as the defensive moats and walls/gatehouses should be in place. There's lots to do to keep you occupied, right from the very start in fact, as your rather pitiful settlement is barely able to defend against itself. A good opening scene helps to set the mood. A very playable scenario indeed!
Just about perfect; I falied miserably the first time I attempted this map, taking at least two more goes before I understood the concept behind the scenario. Your defensive moats are absolutely critical in order to win and you must take advantage of the AI's weaknesses. The invasions you will face are considerably larger than your own army, no matter how busy you set your peasants manufacturing weapons. Holding up the enemy and peppering them with arrows can work wonders, and do not forget those killing pits to weaken and kill off large numbers of attacking swordsmen and pikemen. I dodn't find it too tricky to mee the economic goals and these certainly added to the activity throughout the map. A very good effort.
A well made map with economic goals and devilishly hard invasions to defend against is usually a winner; take in to consideration the triggers and events via the scripting and the desperate need to establish your defences in a manner other than huge walls and hundreds of defending units and you have a much better than average scenario that clearly reflects design skills and a genuine attempt to provide something a little different. The whole package for me appeals here, and there isn't one particular element that overshadows what is generally a fine map. Supported by an excellent story and instructions too (see below).
Map Design: 3.5
The settlement area looks well done and a good semi-ruined castle effect has been achieved. The landscape doesn't need to be overly complex for this scenario and again the use of the editor tools shows Von Schmidt's credentials. Overall, the design is simple and unfussy ensuring that you aren't unnecessarily distracted from the game in hand. It felt a little too basic for me in places though, and I felt that the landscaping could have had a little bit more atmosphere and mood, yet there is nothing about this design that is weak or substandard.
Excellent, with a very well written story setting the scene perfectly. The length is good too, not overdone and quite sharp and to the point. Some useful hints are included in the notes. Von Schmidt has covered this element of the scenario perfectly for me and proves that it is quality rather than quantity that deserves a good score. The glitches within the design are noted in the documentation and it's better to point these out than ignore them. Excellent use of the Download Description page too, inviting people to play the map. Impressive stuff!
Definitely one of the best scenarios available to play for Crusader. Highly recommended!
First of all, sorry for a late review. I download this long time, but forgot to play it for some time.
Really hard but doable. All scripting work nice. Lots of action, both
military and other events. Maybe jester arriving in middle of battle is
strange, but only small detail. Lots of variation and choice,
which I like. One small detail at end of game: the last invasion does
not reach my castle before I get the 'Defeat' message. Give a little
longer time, or put last invasion few months earlier.
I think this is the game that is the most balanced I ever play!
After one restart, I finished in Dec 1007 and had maybe 2-3 iron,
a couple wheat, and maybe 10 stone 'too much' (I achieve population=60 last).
I did have lots of extra troops, so defence was never a trouble for me.
Almost everything is there. One small detail missing. In the game, I can build
smelter, but there is no oil on map and I can't buy at market. Maybe add
a marsh or allow buying oil, which adds one more complexity for user to decide.
I'm allowed to use apple farm, but is there any place on map for this?
Also, why not place a keep and Orange Lord too next to sign post?
Then you could add just a little food production to show that these guys
also have something to eat. If no Lord, maybe a market and perhaps few
engineers patrolling to edge of map to bring food from somewhere?
What I like most in map is the possibility to use natural feature for my
defence advantage. Very few design like this and player need to think where
to place troops right. At the same time, it can be much enhanced by just
little castle building too.
Very well tied into both map design and feeling of so many enemy coming all
Excellent way to protecting signpost! Now you can't attack enemy waiting to
attack (which I think is dirty cheating trick should not be used).
One of few games where economy and military is both really hard to
handle. I thought myself something similar, but placing maybe Rat or Snake
at sign post, but I never could understand how to do it. You achieve it
in much easier and still good way. I hope many others copy this idea in
None of the enemy engineer equipment did anything unless I tear down the
enemy gate. Maybe two different reason: maybe they can't get through gate
or maybe because the gate belongs to 'orange' but attack troop is yellow?
If you want to make map slightly more balance (and little harder), delete
the iron inside the 'castle'. I never looked for iron here, so I placed
all my mines outside! Smaller polishing: disable making crossbows. You can't
use them or sell them. Disable tower ballista, since you can't build big
tower anyway. I probably played this map 'wrong' the first time. I never
bother attacking the orange troops. I was so busy collecting wheat and
defending myself. If you put in 'No enemy on map' as win condition,
the player must clear out the orange troops. The game is quite different
with this and actually even more fun! You will need to run good economy,
you need good defensive planning, and you need to attack.
A very great eco-invasion.
It allows many different economic and military strategies. But therefore, it demands the player to think, decide and manage. Iron mines first for an oil smelter? Quarries first for stronger walls? Where to concentrate wood cutters?
In the editor, I almost never saw so many flexibly triggered events in so few years.
And the win timer rocks. A great feeling getting everything done in time. Thanks a lot for this mission.