Posted on 03/08/08 @ 09:00 PM (updated 03/10/08
You are a European lord that owns land in Palestine (modern Israel)and you are angered to hear one day that the Arab forces have gone on the warpath! "How DARE they defy their betters!" you say, and quickly begin building up a garrison. You choose a spot that has a mountainous vein of iron nearby, but discover that an arabian scouting party has built a camp there. You quickly destroy this camp, cross the mountain range, and set up your fortress.
You cannot build macemen or knights, you're not THAT rich in the story.
The dates of the attack waves are 1253, 1255, and 1258.
The first two waves are Arabian, but the last Is a European force that will help you (causing victory).
P.S.- If anyone feels that my "mountains" could be made better, please tell how, I did the best I could on them.
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Basically there are two types of economic-invasion maps - if the mission is concentrated on a single aspect (for example achieving stone), usually there are some disabled features to make the map more challenging, invasions usually aren't that important, however when the win conditions are "no enemy and invasions left", the economic part, conversely, isn't that essential - the invasions are what really matters. Sadly, but this mission didn't offer much of a challenge. I had a huge sworn of spearmen and swordsmen as ground defence, and full towers of archers and crossbowmen when the third and last attack started. The economic part was a bit more interesting - I had to use the mountains and a small, single oasis to maintain my economy. Although adding all kind of resources is sometimes too confusing - you can't choose which resources are the best to collect. I chose pitch just to make the mission more harder. Anyway the mission is fairly easy and cosy, I was satisfied with the victory. Although the script needs some work - if you want the "no enemy and invasions left" win condition, just add it once with the same date as the starting time. The victory will only be achieved when the condition is fulfilled. After reading your story I understood that you don't have to fight against the third invasion (that was a surprise!). To achieve you desired result simply make the invasion on 1258, month, and the win event with condition auto-stop on 1258, month +1. That's it!The same goes to the lose condition, it isn't logic to add a lose timer with the "no enemy and invasions left" win condition; a "lord killed" with the same date as the starting time would do better - whenever the player dies the mission is over. This was the flaw of this mission, a small update is required, that's all.
As I already mentioned some restrictions would do great in this kind of mission - for example selling and buying food, iron. This would enforce the player to maintain food, rather than to buy. The Arabian invasions were too easy in my opinion, a few fire ballistae, more horse archers and assassins would do the trick, mate! In my opinion, if you don't have to fight with the Europeans, a third Arabian attack was needed, a huge one!
The building space was wide and free for all kind of castles and defensive strategies, thus making the mission very "open", every player has his own style of playing such missions. Adding some events would surely make the mission more thrilling - thefts from granary, fires, plagues usually make the player forget about invasions, and it's the best time to assign a huge sworn of troops - when the player's castle is vulnerable. All in all, it's a simple economic invasion - which I fairly liked.
Well the mission is supposed to be real enough. There were some good parts in your map design of Palestine, I liked this interpretation. The idea of adding a destroyed camp and adding that to the story is always a bonus (Personally, I like such things very much), so, yeah, nice touch. The confusing part was with this European invasion - only after reading your story I understood that I don't have to fight against them, still I did. This idea is interesting, but a slight change in the script is needed, mate. I described, how you can fix this. Disabled macemen and knights was a historical aspect too - you explained that player isn't that rich, yet, disabling swordsmen would be logical, too. The towers set up in the mountains were interesting, too - usually the player has to randomly search for a place to build defensive structures, which are farther from his castle, however you have already built towers, all you need is add stairs. To sum up, the idea of the map is different and amusing! Nice work here.
Map Design: 3
As I mentioned the style of your map blends well with the geographical object (Palestine), still there is much that could be done better. I'll start with the river - in the desert kind of map water features are very important, the most fertile oases are always near H2O. My advice - add little grass near the coasts, and make the river's form more natural, don't leave the river straight with small but wide curves - it doesn't look well. Create curves very gently, and adjust them to the form of river. What is more, curves are usually created by the landscape features - big rocks, mountains, highlands, etc.
The shrub (cactuses) look great with a few small touches of infertile grass. Rocks look very great mixed with boulders, and shrub, adding some small grass features. This won't spoil your desert type of map, it will make it more lively. Small hills would fill your land great - add a few rocks, and possibly others small details above. As peter2008 told, the trees were set well, although a bit of that infertile, desert type of scrub was needed near them. Also try mixing beach(raised), land and stones, a few rocks. This makes a wonderful impression of dry land. Driven sand should be used too! The rabbits wasn't a good idea: they would simply die in Palestine's desert. All in all the design was nice, I hope you won't get pained for the advices and a bit of criticism.
Somehow I wasn't ready for a long story today (don't know why), so I guess your story - or should I say explanation - was enough to understand the whole idea of the map. The instructions was a good touch, it's always nice to see that the author really cares about his maps and the player at the same time. The historical and logical references were pretty good too (Jewish and Arabian conflict) . Although I'd advice to make a story longer next time - for example You could have told how the king fought against Arabians (the destroyed camp), etc.
A simple mission to try you economical and invasion skill - great for new players.
Thanks for the map, mate!
[Edited on 03/23/08 @ 03:27 PM]