What's this game about:
This is a rather complex game with four distinct sections: Move your army through a natural 'maze', capture an enemy castle, build a strong fortification, and finally defend your castle against large enemy armies. It will test your offensive military strategy, your castle building skills, and your defensive techniques. There is plenty of action and you will be very busy for a couple of hours of game play. The sometimes slow and boring economic build-up is not part of this game.
I have tried hard to make sure there is no 'cheating' solution to this game. Let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you find a solution that is much too easy to be fun, and I
will try to update the map. Also let me know if you think the invasion and the defence has very different difficulty. I tried to make them equally hard.
Ever since you were cut off from the European armies at the battle of Cumra, near Konya, your team of 30 Brave Men has been tracked down by unfriendly Arabian forces. You know they are after you and you desperately need protection. You just arrived
to a high plateau with plenty of promising farmland and water supply, even plenty of wild turkeys and rabbits to hunt. Unfortunately, there is no time to build a fortification. What you really need is some old deserted castle or even ruins would do if you could fix it quickly.
A short rest, refilling your water supply and some quick hunting to restock your food, and then you need to move on. A few of your men appear excited and points to the distant horizon in the northwest as they discuss something. You approach them, and they show you a man-made tower far away! Now, at least you have a goal. You need to get there and
investigate it. Will it be deserted? Unlikely, with so much food supply nearby. Will they be friendly? Not a chance. Europeans have not been welcome in this area for many years. Will you be able to capture the castle? It seems to be your only chance to survive.
You know that you really, REALLY need some strong wall defences against the enemies that are following you. You know that you are outnumbered by at least ten to one. You know your men are very good fighters, but what can 30 Brave Men do with such odds?
Note: Even though the armies following you are described as Arabian, they do have European-style units as well. It is a more fun game with several different units attacking.
Some useful tricks:
There is a cute little trick in this map that you should know:
If you break through the first main gate and kill the troops here, your troops will feel victory in the air and get increased morale.
To achieve this, you need to delete two 'Bad Things' that sit in the deep pit just a few steps northeast of the main gate (just outside the wall). These can only be deleted once all
enemies (including the water boy and other civilians) near the gate are killed or gone. Use the 'delete tool' to get rid of the 'Bad Things', your troops cannot get there to smash them. When you delete them, you will see the strength of your troops increase.
A warning about enemy archers and slingers:
A missile troops standing behind a wall on top of a hill can see through the wall and shoot at you. Be careful with these situations when capturing the castle. But also remember that this is a great method of defending the castle later on.
PLEASE: READ THE ATTACHED FILE 30README.txt
BEFORE TRYING THE GAME.
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To everyone else: DON'T download this unless you have many weekend and late night to spend. This is major tricky game! But also very challange and interesting.
Wow! So much playing in one map. So many choices, so many strategy to choose. So many things to do. It took me many test to beat this. The many choices make this game great replay value. The 'build-castle' part of the game, I must play more than twenty times before I got it right. I learn lots of good technique here.
You grade this as very hard and I agree. Many attempt where I failed, but in the end I could make it. I admit, I use the help in the text
file. But I almost never have so much fun when being desperate. So desperate to see huge enemy army coming toward me. Then things get
worse when enemy attack many different places at the same time! Very desperate and challenge. Troop selection at beginning when I capture castle is also well thought of. I use all different type of troops and no troops is useless.
All from interesting landscape to challenging game play, you thought of every little detail. Even the trick with 'increase troop morale'
as you describe. This is great. I also like the different parts of the game. First attack, then build, then defend. Even without slow ecenomy build-up, you put lots of different gaming in this one game.
Map Design: 5
All looks natural. A very good use of height as I almost never see any other designers use much.
Sooo many details! I admire your care of all details. You even think of the sign post with four direction signs and you add four paths to it. First time I see anyone use signpost for its real purpuse: to show where to go.
All the ruins in the middle tells the story of someone else also choose a good location to defend. This location also has farm area,
water and stone supply to build walls. I like the little stairs that goes to the top of hills. If I live there, I would also build those stairs. Very natural.
I see you borrow the acueduct design from some other game on this site. It fits very well in this castle too.
I relly like the bridge too! Very cute and functional. And the steam bath as you describe in text. But I prefer ice bath if I live in desert...
The story is short, but well connected to map. What I give grade 5 for is not only the story itself, but all other describing text and the
help files. These are the best hints I ever see in any Crusader game!
And, yes, I relly needed some of the helps! This game would be impossible for me without the hints. I learn a lot of new strategy
from this game.
Compare to many other maps that got 5.0 grade, I wish I could give 6.0 here in both Playability and Map Design section!
I have one small complaint: When I capture castle, my Lord become Arabian. But story says I was from Europe and arabs are attacking me?