Having stood in the rain and cold for half an hour you begin to wonder if he will show up. The dark alley you're standing in makes you feel uncomfotable, this isn't exactly the safest part of town you know. "Hey, over ere", a hooded shade whispers from behind some barrels at the other end of the alley. You walk over to the figure while nervously clasping the hilt of your sword beneath your cloak. "Have ye got tha money with ye?", the man asks. "Here you are, now tell me what you know", is your reply...
This map fousses on fighting, once you get your economy going it will be a minor thing. The map is loosely based on mission 17 of the official military campaign, the one in which you have to rebuild and defend the monks' ruined castle. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect.
-Be carefull with your wood supply, it will eventually run out.
-Experiment with different strategies and castle layouts if you don't succeed at first. For example, you get some starting iron which you can use to build an oil smelter, pikemen or macemen.
-This map might be discouraging for novice and mediocre players, I'm an expert and have tested the map at hard difficulty setting.
Also read the Tips&Story file, which is included in the zip file, for more hints and a more elaborate ending of the story. The maps' textbox has a shorter version due to lack of space.
Good luck and have fun,
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Playability: This is without doubt one of the best invasion maps I have had the pleasure of playing. It has kept me amused, interested and frustrated for days now, but victory is sweet when it comes. There are plenty of things to bear in mind, i.e. events, bandits, invasions, the damn plague... all adding up to a very well put together map. Events are timed nearly to perfection, there are sufficient times of what I refer to as 'quiet' to allow you to concentrate on those castle matters, like food shortages, rabbits destroying crops, etc. My only grumble with this is that it is so bloody hard! I appreciate that the author has stipulated (rather arrogantly) that he is an expert and this map may not appeal to novices or mediocre players. Don't let this put you off, have a go and if all else fails you can take ideas from the map for your own terrain/scenario design. If it were just a little more appealing to the average downloader, this would certainly be a 5 score. As it is, this is my only grumble, and the good points far outweigh this.
Balance: Tough map, very tough map. Getting the economy going is a trial in itself. There are scatterings of wolves and bears that makes it tricky to get stone from the quarry to the castle, wheat from the farms to the stockpile and wood from the cutters to the stockpile. You need to address this as soon as possible, otherwise you will either starve and suffer the dreaded nil popularity, or not have sufficient stores to produce the weapons to fend off the invasions, which are pretty hefty, although gradually increasing throughout the life of the map. There is a lot to do here. However, as tough as it is, it's an all-out challenge. You really need to make use of pitch and killing pits to defend the castle as it is unlikely you will have enough troops to hold them off. You WILL enjoy playing this, but it takes some work.
Creativity: Despite the fact that this is, as the author stipulates, is a similar story to that of one of the 'pre-built' chapters, the whole map, from design to scenario layout to story is excellently put together. There is atmosphere and mood in this map. This sounds silly, but the castle is in a ruinous state, and looks genuinely bedraggled. The terrain, which I will touch on later, adds to the morose mood and you really do feel (given the chance to take in the map) like there is a great deal to be done. Great idea here done very well.
Map Design: Spot on. What I particularly like about this map is the minimal use of eye candy (none, really) but a map designed with care and attention, with thought and planning, and concentrating on producing a workable, playable map. As above, the castle is ruined to perfection and LOOKS realistic. The terrain is somewhat unique in some areas (the higher ground where castle and crops can be grown) and there are subtleties in landscape that are often neglected by some designers. This is a classic example of good design. It looks great, as do most of the author's works, and I can't praise this enough.
Story/Instructions: Another perfect score for another well addressed area. The story is splendidly put together and I enjoyed reading through the conversation. It's a nice touch and again a little different from what is rapidly becoming the norm. Very good accompanying notes, a few little tips (don't neglect them!) and well presented. A lesson to all who need inspiration in this part of map design.
In summary: This is a great map that must be downloaded. Not to everyone's tastes and not designed for the novice, who may become frustrated by the difficulty, but for those that want either a challenge, something to get their teeth into, or for those that need ideas on how to make a good map, this is essential downloading material.