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Rufus Castle

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 300x300 (Medium)
Difficulty: Hard
Already fighting a losing battle against nature, Rufus Castle faces its greatest threat yet, that from The Wolf. Will you be the saviour in this dark hour, or will you consign this ruined fortress to the history books?

This is my first submission, so please comment and give your opinions! Enjoy.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
benokovacs Not so bad, but don't make so much sea, and make more place for enemy troops ;)!!!!!!!

[Edited on 04/11/08 @ 01:58 PM]

Sir Ravenclaw
Map Design3.0
I enjoyed playing your map, on both Defending and Attacking - although, with the troops provided I couldn't win with the attacking mode. I put this down to the fact that I could've used my troops better.

Playability: 3

I enjoyed the map although I gave Playability a 3 because I felt like whilst defending I didn't have to do much except place a few oil engineers and set off a few pitch traps - whereas with attacking with the suggested troops (this may just be me) I didn't think I had many options of attack other than to storm the gatehouse with Knights and set off the traps.

Then I lost morale as I got into the inner sanctum around the keep as I lost many of troops. I tried this 3 different ways but I always lost the rest of my army.

Balance: 3.5

Defending - too easy, I'm afraid. Most I had to do was move a few archers from the keep onto the towers at the front and the inner gatehouse and place a few oil engineers (argueably not needed) and set off a few pitch ditches. The design of the castle interior was what saved me I guess as many of the enemies troops died inside that area.

I would recommend not placing the buildings in there as that made the map too easy.

Attacking - Rather well balanced I suppose. The knights came in very handy during the assault. I didn't really use the archers and crossbowmen for anything other than distracting enemy fire away from my trebuchets.

The spearmen were merely used to detect any pitch traps after the enemy had killed my knights.

Otherwise, the meleé troops (macemen, pikemen and swordsmen) were my main leverage in assaulting the castle.. I only used them when attacking the inner sanctum but I died every time they reached the oil smelter.

Creativity: 2

Nothing too original here. I can say, honestly, that I liked the castle design, and the way the enemy had to go up the mountain to reach the only entrance into the castle. It wasn't merely enough to demolish the front towers and storm in.

Map Design: 3

Rather plain map to be fair. A vast amount of sea surrounding the castle, without much in it. I noticed a few small islands, but they didn't look very natural to me. The mountain itself was fairly well made, and the back of it hid a few ruins, which I enjoyed finding :)

However, I really liked the castle design, therefore, I gave this section a 3.

Story/Instructions: 3

Not a big story. Well, not really a story. But the paragraph outlined a little bit of history in parallel to the map and gave a brief instruction of what the map was about.

Additional Comments:
A well made map. Keep up the good work, I look forward to seeing more maps from you :)
File Author
Thanks benokovacs for commenting. I probably should have done a bit less sea, but I wanted to make it quite difficult for the attacking player and also give the impression that the castle was under attack from the sea as well as the enemy.
Hope you enjoyed it though. =]

Sir Ravenclaw, you don't actually have to attack the gatehouse and loose troops that way. If you attack the southern most tower with trebuchets you can then storm the castle with macemen, as troops can actually climb the slope! Very grateful for the rating by the way and for the additional comment; I look forward to making them! =]

[Edited on 04/13/08 @ 12:27 PM]

Sir Ravenclaw My pleasure :)

Ahh.. I didn't think about that strategy! I didn't think the troops could climb the slope. I might try that strategy out soon :)
Map Design2.0
Playability: 3
As a first submission (first map?) this is a relatively basic but perfectly acceptable scenario. The brief story indicates that this is a defending siege, supported by the taunt of the wolf as you begin. With the landscape dictating where the attacking units can and can not access (the front wall of the castle is largely cut off), the AI struggles a little bit when it comes to deciding where it wants to go. That said, the engineers successfully manage to build five trebuchets and pummel the two large towers to the point where you almost lose them. Their fragility as a result was a real concern and I did wonder if they would eventually fall, allowing the AI to march straight towards the keep. Using your tower-mounted mangonels proves useful in taking out a number of the enemy. The map plays pretty much as it is supposed to, but the AI never really attacks with sufficient force and your archers and crossbowmen, if placed right at the front wall of the castle (the western side), should see off any advances. I also decided to play as an attacker, but I found that this was much easier to beat, even at very hard setting. All in all, this is a short but fairly enjoyable map.


-Make sure you indicate clearly if this is a defending or attacking siege, or both. It helps the player to form a fair opinion and will dictate to a lesser extent the score you could be awarded.
-Don't try to overload the castle with archers or crossbowmen as ultimately the player will group them together to produce an almost impenetrable defence that the attacking AI will struggle against. Too powerful a defence and victory will be far too easy, reducing your score. Look to other forms of defending options.
-With a small castle design, you have to think carefully about the layout. Taking down one tower allows easy access to the keep. Use the terrain to limit how the AI can attack (you have done this to some extent), but this only really works if you design the map to be played as an attacker.

Balance: 3
The download description page states that the difficulty level is hard, and the initial attempt at this scenario used the designers' preferences. However, despite a few concerns after the initial few minutes which saw the two large square towers very heavily damaged and almost ready to fall, regrouping of my archers and crossbowmen saw off all further attacks and I didn't suffer one single loss of my men. The knights were a bit of a pain, skirting around the wall to the gatehouse towards the rear of the castle and trying to get in that way, but the tower mounted ballista easily took them down. As I stated above, the attacking army struggled to form any sort of significant siege and this may largely be a result of the castle layout. You would think that a small castle would be easy to attack and the AI would move in force, but I think that the limited points the AI could go for hindered their progress. Exposing more 'easily accessible' wall to them might trigger a heavier attack and therefore give the player much more to do. Despite the concerns, and for a first submission to the site, I think there was enough to do and enough of a challenge to justify an average score.


-Make sure you playtest your map as much as possible, noting where the AI attacks, how heavy the attacks are and consider adapting the castle design slightly to encourage the sometimes erratic AI.
-Never underestimate the usefulness of laddermen. They aren't often employed by designers in sieges anymore as they are weak and easily killed by archers. They do, however, offer a real tactical advantage, especially if you are playing as an attacker.
-Castles were designed to form a number of functions. Later castles were almost self-defending in that they could withstand a siege with a handful of troops inside. Explore how you can use the minimum amount of troops (particularly archers and crossbowmen) to defend against a siege by making access to the castle difficult.

Creativity: 2.5
The map is basic in terms of content and creativity, with a design that is simple and straightforward. Siege maps can sometimes be difficult to rate in terms of creativity because of the limited content (i.e. lack of events, straightforward approach to the map). The score reflects what I believe to be a fair attempt by the designer to produce a working map.

Map Design: 2
Again, fairly basic and even with a small canvas to work on, the effort is centred solely around the castle structure. My own preference for castles in siege maps always lie with realistic and 'occupied' layouts, rather than an empty and lifeless design. The terrain coontains minimal modelling and as a result the landscape does not take on a realistic appearance (again, another of my preferences). The design of the landscape and the castle does what it is supposed to do, but for a defending siege I would recommend that more attention is paid to the landscaping around the castle to ensure the AI isn't affected by your modelling.


-Always consider modelling the landscape in siege maps, even though they serve no real purpose. Many a reviewer will see the flat, almost untouched green swathe as a sign of a designer that doesn't care. Small maps such as yours can easily be spruced up with a little bit of time - a few rocks, a few shrubs and maybe some gentle undulations in the landscape.

Story/Instructions: 2
Only a few lines of story to accompany this scenario, with no real instructions to advise the player how the map should be approached. The score reflects the content provided, although it is a little generous even for a new designer


-You do not have to provide a story with your scenarios. It isn't compulsory, despite what you may have read elsewhere by others. What you absolutely have to do, in order to gain a decent score by other reviewers, is to provide 'content'. A story is sometimes preferred, others see it as unnecessary, which is all well and good but limited content has to be scored accordingly. You could expand on the instructions, maybe offering your thoughts on how you designed the map, why you designed it like it is and even a commentary on how the map plays when you play it.
-The Download Description page is your chance to really promote your map. You've included a minimap, which is always good (although I will still continue to download a map without one if I can gather from the Download Description page that the map has promise and sounds interesting). In fact, the recent outbursts of people demanding a minimap and then saying 'ooh, looks good' means absolutely nothing when compared to an interesting description of what your scenario is all about.
-Always, and I mean always, let the quality of your designs speak for themselves. Take care, take your time and think about what you are doing. Before long, you'll produce scenarios of a high quality. Never, ever rush a scenario.

Additional Comments:
I really do hope to see more scenarios from you, so please keep designing.

[Edited on 04/14/08 @ 01:59 AM]

File Author
Thanks Sulis for a nice review and for giving me plenty of tips to consider for my next map. This is my first map and real attempt at designing a siege for Stronghold, so I'm glad you were being a bit generous in your scoring!

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