Abaqua Mines 1
Capture a region with three castles by a quick simple surprise attack. Choose one castle to settle in. Improve the castle defenses and defend it from an angry enemy crowd.
This is the first in a series of tightly connected missions.
If you are annoyed by the tricky puzzle solving in my previous submissions, go ahead and try out this one. It is not nearly as hard as my previous games.
There are a few really needed pieces of instructions below the story. Please read the “Task” section after the story line.
You nervously entered the big hall in the palace. You were going to meet king Richard for the first time. As a sergeant in the Royal Army with less than one year of experience, you felt very misplaced among these Majors and Admirals with many shiny medals on their chests. When they saw you, their eyes were first filled with surprise and then they looked at you as you were a little rat stealing their leftover food scraps. You just wanted to sink through the floor and disappear. You let everyone else choose their seats at the big table, and you decided to pick a chair next to the wall away from the table so not to make anyone feel insulted by your presence.
After several minutes of hushed mumblings and whisperings among the high-ranking militaries, the King entered and everyone went silent and stood up. The charismatic king let everyone be seated and the meeting started. The most urgent needs were discussed first. Major Winterbottom mentioned a supply line interruption near Konya where caravans of food and clothing were continuously being attacked by bandits. A high-ranking Colonel brought up the complaints from the soldiers that the new metal armors didn’t fit very well. Most people in the room seemed only interested in discussing their own topic and during other discussions their attention drifted away, but you listened very carefully to each and every word. You noticed that the meeting had shifted into discussions of future strategic plans. Admiral Windsor presented a long-range type of trebuchet that could be mounted on a ship. After some discussion, he got the king’s blessings to continue the project and see if he could get this new machine to work. The meeting was just about finished and king Richard asked if there were any other topics to discuss. Everyone agreed that it was time for some ale at the pub, but then you stood up and hesitantly said:
- Ehh … Your Honest Magistry? There is one more thing … I mean … uhhm …
The words just didn’t come out as you intended. Everyone went silent and turned to you. King Richard’s kind eyes on you were surprisingly calming compared to the hostile glares you got from the other militaries. You took a deep breath and continued in a more stable and more confident voice:
- Do you remember the mining fields of Abaqua, where our enemies extract most of their iron?
- Ahh, yes. The rich and pure ore from the Abaqua fields is well known to make excellent weapons. I actually got a sword of Abaqua origin as a gift and it is the sharpest sword I ever had. During one of my early visits to the area, I actually saw an Abaqua sword pierce through a metal armor from Emperor Frederick’s army. Of course, their armors are not as strong as ours, but it was still very impressive to see.
- I suggest that we raid these mining operations and destroy the mines to interrupt the enemy weapons production.
Some of the others bursted into a loud laughter, but were quickly silenced by a quick glance from king Richard. You continued:
- Yes, I know of our earlier plans to get to these mines crossing the mountains from the northeast. It was concluded that the logistics transporting troops and their supply many days through hostile country would be very risky. We also got information of heavily guarded mountain villages. However, I suggest that we approach across the sea from the southwest. With a small and fast ship, we can follow close to the coastline and surprise the enemy with a quick attack.
Silence. Five seconds. Fifteen seconds. No one said anything. It was so silent, you would have heard a pin drop on the floor. King Richard was scratching his beard and you could see in his eyes he was going through the plan in his head. The silence was unbearable. Then suddenly he said:
Your heart took five extra beats in a second. The others in the meeting were shocked. How could a proposal from a beginner sergeant be approved by the King? The meeting continued and more of the details were planned. A few more planning meetings were held the following days.
Two weeks later, a ship had been assigned to you and all the cargo loaded. You had been promoted to colonel and you had personally been selecting the men you wanted for this mission. You left the port in high spirits.
(It is useful to look at the map when reading this part of the story. Start the game in Crusader and press ‘P’ for pause. Then press ‘Alt’ and ‘Tab’ key at the same time to minimize the Crusader screen and read the story).
Finally! Firm ground under your feet. Traveling by an old squeaky and leaky ship full of heavy stones is not good for your nerves. The final approach and the need for anchoring quickly before the sunset was also quite challenging. You can sense the slight improvement in your crew’s mood, but they are still quite unhappy. And the immense heat of the nearby desert is devastating! You would prefer to ration the water supply, but you also need your men to be fit for fight early tomorrow morning. You still hope they are up to the task: cut off the iron and weapon supply from the mining fields near Abaqua, so the enemy cannot build any more swords and armors. Once the iron mines are destroyed, put up a strong settlement and defend it vigorously to prevent the enemy from rebuilding the mines.
You quickly set up some temporary guard positions and dispatch a few scouts to check out the enemy locations nearby. They confirm the information you previously got from reliable sources: the iron fields are poorly defended from seaside attacks. The tactics to mount a small surprise attack from the southern sea seems to have caught the enemy off guard. As calculated, they expect attacks from the north where it would be easier to attack with a larger amount of troops. You let most of the troops rest for tomorrows attack and order the scouts to get some fresh water from the tiny creek up north that Richard told you about.
It is very critical to set up the settlement quickly, since you would expect the northern enemy troops to come rushing south and attack you as soon as they got the news of the surprise attack. You climb the hill that had covered your ship’s approach and survey the scene in the dim light of the sunset and the full moon to make some preliminary planning. You see the famed snow-covered peaks of the Black Hills up in the northeast and start dreaming of a cold breeze. You can distinguish the three mining operations that you need to eliminate. With the few troops you have, you conclude that it is impossible to set up and defend more than one settlement. So which settlement has the best defense? Your scouts had told you about the thick walls of the location up north, but what immediately caught your attention was the big hill a bit northeast of here. The very few archers you brought could really use the height advantage of that hill. It was disappointing to see that the enemy had not built any towers on that hill. The only towers you could see were at the eastern location. It was a tough choice: thick walls, height advantage of a hill, or large and solid towers. Whichever place you choose, you could improve the castle defenses by building a few more stone structures. This was the very reason why king Richard suggested using stones as ballast for the ship. You should also be able to recover some stones by dismounting the towers, gates, and walls of the other locations.
For the longer term stay, you were disappointed to see the very barren landscape exactly as it had been described by Richard, who once visited this place. The extreme heat of the desert limits vegetation to cacti and some bushes. The small creek that floods every spring from the snowmelt in the hills still had some life in it, but it will soon dry out and remain as dead as the rest of the area until next spring. The complete lack of food and wood resources indicate that the enemy must supply the mineworkers from other places. You hope dearly that you had brought enough food supply for the long term. You knew that it would be impossible to trade with the hostile enemy to get any food from them in this foreign country. The lack of wood was also concerning, since you need some for building a mill and a bakery to process the wheat you had brought. Your plan was to dismount the enemy mines and buildings to recover some wood once you have captured their operations. It was a shame to get rid of perfectly good mines and weapons shops, but in this isolated place you actually had no need for them. Even if you could bribe some nearby enemies, you wouldn’t trust them enough to put a sword in their hands. Also, the civilian workers on the ship would take too long to train as hand combat troops. You are simply stuck with the troops you have. You would still welcome some enemies to join you if they brought their own weapons and you wouldn’t need to bribe them. You prefer to have troops that join you because of their beliefs (even converted enemies) instead of money affecting their minds. However, you did bring a few skillful engineers and your plan is to let them train the civilian ship workers to become engineers.
Future (task, instructions, and game rules):
PLEASE READ THE ATTACHED .doc FILE FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION.
I'm very sorry for the boring-looking minimap. Please, don't judge the game based on this. Open the real map and you will see a slightly better map (but not by much ...).
Keep your eyes open for subsequent follow-up games. They will be harder ;)
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I just finished your map, and I passed a good moment.
There're two times in this map. Firstly, we have to choose what keep we want to attack, and, after that, defend it. So, we have to choose a castle. I choose the middle, and I strike. Once the Enemy Lord killed, all the troops on the map become owns. After that, we have to defend. Here, in fact, I find we have too many time before the siege. Indeed, we have nothing to do, because we can't add any soldier. All I find was produced barrage shield, but it's not very interesting. So, after that, we're attacked by a very strong army. I was obliged to send all my men in the keep, making a intensive fight against all the enemies, killing them all. The problem is that,at the end, there're a lot of assassins who don't attack the castle, or one by one, so the end might be quite boring. Anyway, the game was thrilling, and quite original.
In fact, the key of this game comes from the siege, at the beginning. If we kill too many enemies, we don't have a lot of troops to defend the castle. So, in order to win against the assaults, it's necesary to try to just kill the Enemy Lord, for having after that as much troops as possible. So, the final assaults are quite thrilling. We can use pitch ditch, but we must put them at the good place, and launch them at the good time. It was really funny. I've to use what I have (stone, or pitch ditch) in order to fortify the defense, and kill the lot of enemies who come.
Quite original. First of all, we have to create a castle by killing a Enemy Lord. After that, we can't really crate a city, and we have to use what we already have to make a good defense. There's something of very original here. I mean, we can easily make a game like that, where we have a lot of attacks, and where we might use carefully the resources given to rebuild the city. Here, it's not really the case, because the assaults come at the end, so we have to build before a strong defense. We can't really rebuild the defense, but the game is still very original. Thanks.
Map Design: 4.5
I really liked here the mountains in the North. They are quite beautiful. Otherwise, the design of the three "castles" isn't very beautiful. But, globally, the map is beautiful, quite realistic.
A long and detailed story, quite interesting, based on the crusaders, with some instructions which are very useful.
A good work, very original. Congratulations !