Three meters over that hilltop and there it was, The valley. A couple of stream that were hidden by a lush forest and all of this squashed between rocks. Finnaly you had arrived after 2 weeks of travel. Although your orders were simple you felt like something wasn't right. Like why did your Lord didn't send any of his troops with you. Even while he is fighting the bandit lord Snake he coud easily spare one? Well just forget about that there is a weighty task ahead of you. and you must not fail it, this a your biggest change to prove your usefullness outside the battlefield. Although the pass that leads into the mountain maybe a source for concerns, you don't think the bandits will be much of a problem, after all with the period of Darkness coming in a year everybody must prepare for it.
screenies: just paste them in the adressthingy
Summary- Overall score 3.4
A good scenario. Most enjoyable. The author has put fair bit of thought and work into it. It has a beautifully made little castle. Players will enjoy a nice short game and will not regret downloading this one.
Playability: 3.5 – Good:
I set to cutting down the forest and setting out my hunters and soon I was enjoying the game. The challenges of the events that cropped up during play kept me on my toes. However I felt disappointed that I could not add to the stone castle other than simple wooden walls and I wanted to be able to extend the moat. I do understand that maybe some of the limitations are there as this is supposed to be episode 1 in a campaign.
Balance: 3.5 - Good:
Won on first time Hard setting (but I had previous experience of the map in play-testing). I was relieved to get the victory banner just as the enemy began to flood over the threshold of my little fort. Just in the nick of time!
Creativity: 3.5 - Good:
I really liked the little fort with its special gate-less drawbridges. Really, it is this neat little castle which lifts this map above the ordinary. It is beautifully made.
Map Design: 3.5 - Good:
Good terraining. Positives: A nice variety of landscaping. Plenty of vegetation and game to give a nice natural feel. Some ruins are placed, adding atmosphere. Water and waterfalls have been used, in part, to good effect. Negatives: More time could have been spent sculpting the watercourses to give them a yet more natural appearance (but I am sure the author’s skill here will develop over time).
Story/Instructions 3.0 – Overall average:
Positives: The story, in total, across in-map, and on the site DL page is quite good. Also URLs to a couple of nice screenshots are included.
Negatives: The site story, the in-map story, and the map itself don’t quite hang together and have some contradictions (e.g. there is mention of a ruined castle, and there are ruins, but the story does not mention about the building of a new castle). There is a lack of capital letters. This detracts from readability.
Author, there is plenty of scope for improvement here without much work needed. Integrate the in-map story with the site story and use that for the site DL page. Modify the in-map story to be consistent with any such changes. Use capital letters in both. You can include your screenshots as HTML. Ask in the Scenario Design forum about how to do this. If improvements are made in the story/instructions aspect of this map let me know and I will updated my score.
If this is, in fact, the first in a campaign then I look forward to the next episode. I really do want the chance to extend that fort in stone and add to the moat.
[Readers of this review please note. This review contains *my* opinions. If you have different opinions then write your own review. Please don’t expect me to hold the same opinions as you. I detail here the URL to the review guidelines should you harbour any thought that this review does not conform to them: