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An_Iron_Job, Jack O

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 200x200 (Small)
Difficulty: Hard
An Iron Job Jack O' -- 1208-1214

Once upon a time on a small map there were 6 archers and 4 fire throwers, and 5 spearmen that keep trying to tell me they will not let me down, my Lord told me to come here and get him 56 ingots of iron, 56 ingots of iron that's to easy I said why not send someone else, but my Lord assured me that I would be challenged.

So I took the Iron Job and to this day I would say challenge was an understatement! First thing I had to do when we arrived was get some wood and clear the trees on the hill for the wheat farms, while those chores were being done I sent the archers and firethrowers out to clear the Arabian Crossbows so we could start collecting some iron, when I started to put in the buildings I soon realized the space was much smaller than I thought, so I crammed some bakers in front of the stock pile and a few more with the mill on the hill, I also put the armory and pole turners up on the hill so I could make some money for food, the houses went along the right of the keep, enough for 66 peasants, it was all I could do to feed my people. In the end it was the swing of taxes that kept the economy going.

When I was done with the crossbows guarding the iron, the mines went in as we gathered more wood, and on the hill the trees were cleared so the wheat could go in. The cost of putting in the two poleturners left me with just enough gold for some fire pots, overall balance was the key, and when the Arabian swordsmen came in it was a good thing some of the archers and firethrowers were back on the keep, the spearmen let me down again. In the end my 6 years of hard work payed off I managed 71 ingots of iron.

By Sir_Vet

A Challenge-- I am issuing a Challenge, I will post 2 maps, 1 map is the hard version where you need to acquire 56 iron ingots in 6 years, the other is the challenge map, I have removed the win condition, your goal is to gather as much iron by Oct. 1214, 6 years, I have a save from Sept 1214 and I gathered 71 ingots of iron before the defeat. If you would like to try and beat my score, send me your saved game from Sept 1214 and I will post your high score here. I know I could have got more but I wanted to leave you some room to get a higher score. There is no time limit, I will post high scores as long as I am still playing.

High score- Sir_Vet- 71 ingots.
High score- Peter2008- 100 ingots.
High score- Peter2008- 115 ingots.
High score- Qtlilkeg - 125 ingots.
High score- Peter2008- 140 ingots.

Email-- sirvetka-at-gmail-dot-com

AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
peter2008 Thanks so much, Sir Vet, for this new challenge. You might have labelled it an eco mission.
Met the requests in July 1214. Seems I have to train to beat the mapmaker's 71 ingots.
File Author
Hi Peter thank you for playing, I could have called it an economic map, but you have some fighting to do and I like Invasion scenarios.

Getting 100 ingots is a great score, lets see if someone else can crack that score, I'm sure there is more to be squeezed out yet.

When you players save your game you don't have to wait till the end of Sept. you can save at the beginning of Sept. I will run your saved game and give you the score just as the defeat banners shows.

Congratulations Peter!

lord dredde Hello Sir_Vet- great map,great challenge!

Lord Dredde
Map Design4.0
This mission is even stronger than the author might have imagined it to be. Within 6 game years or 24 real life minutes (at game speed 40) a whole drama of Crusader economy takes place. All aspects reveal Sir Vet's dedication to the Stronghold series and – once again – his profound skills in mapmaking. To proclaim a challenge is a welcome idea.

Playability: 5
Found the map highly attractive. At first it seems hard to overcome the manifold difficulties and limitations that are linked together from the start (low popularity, no space for farms, enemies on the map, certain crucial trading restrictions). To tackle that you are offered enough possibilties to choose from. With some buildings and certain trading goods available you can try different strategies and change them in the next attempts.
In this way you will face the minute details of Crusader economy, some of which may be often taken for granted. Then you will discover yourself as the player, the one who does what you can to find out the solutions, set the course, and deal with events. Most exciting is to experience how increasingly better things may work as you replay and implement improvements.
There are 5 "dice" in the game.
1) The initial downfighting of the hostile crossbowmen: How many own units will survive?
2) The behaviour of the woodcutters: Where will they chop before trees can regrow?
3) The fire events, above all the last one: Will they spare the iron mines, or how much of them? This event fits well to medieval wood settlements and keeps the game scary while all the other events can be foreseen after some attempts. If the fire starts on one side of the iron deposits you can raze and replace one or two mines within a second. If it starts inside the area any high score is lost.
4) The invasion: Will the Arabians slay a miner bearing a bar just in front of the stockpile? (Even an innkeeper on his way with a keg is not that valuable here).
5) The "rest" is set by the player.

Balance: 5
I guess the setting of this player-centred map provides a busy challenge for everyone's level. Beginners will be happy to meet the request in time (without letting the economy go down the tubes). Intermediate and better players may feel themselves forced to rethink their strategies. So all are offered a possibilty to closely consider the interrelations of good production / distribution and popularity, to train skills or even to overcome habits.
"Dice" 5) is the structure of interrelations a player sets by answering a lot of questions: What do I spend the initial gold for? Where do I place the first woodcutter's huts, and where around the trees on the oasis? Which is more important, taxes or popularity? When can I be "cruel" the most efficient way? When shall I send out the first miners? How many mines can I arrange to place?.Am I prepared to take best profit out of good events (or do they only help to cover bad running economics?) Am I allowed to disband the soldiers who survived fighting the xbows? Do I place wells and where? How far must I let the population grow, up to 74, 82?
To get more than 125 bars, almost every second must be played right. The tension grows if you need 20 boards of wood for a new mine and just have 19, or 40 gold for the last fear inducer to reach a higher level of productivity and have to wait for next month's income. That's not micro-managing, that's miniature-managing.

Creativity: 4.5
Several things are worked out uniquely on this map.The dense combination of obstacles (and possibilites) at the start. The idea to let fire throwers attack xbows, a most likely suicidal undertaking even in combined charge. Playing time is limited very strictly.
Not least the coherent shaping of the landscape adds to the atmosphere. Every corner of the map is touched while playing. Once again Sir Vet has created a whole peculiar world!

Map Design: 4
The map is well planned and skillfully modelled. The impression is wild and bizarre. Dominating are sharp lines of rocks and a play on elevations. Canyons cut through plateaus of different heights. The wind has worked on some slopes in the south. Some aspects that may reveal themselves only in a second look I find very successful. There is sand blown to the left side of the western canyon. The lines of rocks are often shaped fine and varied. Also the plants are distributed carefully. Have a look at all the different cactuses along the western canyon. Choosing thin coconut palms fits to the wild area (with some olive trees in between for variance and a single fat cherry palm next to a pond). The interplay of trees and rocks upon the plateaus creates a convincing homogenous mood. Tricky are the path to the huge plain with iron and the distribution of iron tiles all around (found space for 30 mines).
Only the edges of the canyons on the very left and right feel a bit forced. The signpost exclusion zone required the southeastern part of the map appear over-proportioned. Last I cannot fully understand why the plain in front of the fertile greenery is wide and sandy (apart from the character of the mission).
A grinding Jack-o pumpkin face hides inside the area greeting all the fans of that harvest celebration. It looks funny (and devinitively unnatural :) – who cares?)

Story/Instructions: 4
The story is fun. In fact providing little background for the mission but telling it's probable course. This however is done in a seducing way. The I-report is double talk and hides many hints (the one to use poleturner's workshops I'd like to advise players against).
Instructions and explanations of the Challenge are clear, concise and well thought through.

Additional Comments:
Sir Vet, your idea with the map worked very well. Perhaps you can check the naturality of some overall map characteristics next time to make it more "perfect". Also, perhaps a longer history next time.

My thanks also go to those who programmed such abilities into Crusader.

While some units can dig moats - alas, why aren't they able to dig through rocks and earth to overcome obstacles such as the frontier between the big field of iron deposits and the smaller eastern spot?

This map – like other maps with close scripting and time limit such as Castaways, Lost World (both SH1) or Sir Vet's Iron Hill – could serve as an "advanced introduction" into Stronghold economics for people who love the game and really want to know the wheel going round.

Personal remark: After some eager tries I managed to find the most efficient sequence of multiple activities to luckily bring in 140 bars of iron. :) Tried different sequences and had fire catastrophes in between. Sorry if I would spoil the contest this way. Whoever struggles hard and gets, say, 100 bars can be truly proud of him- / herself.
File Author
Thank You Peter2008, I will take the time to write this properly over the week end.

Thank You Lord Dredde will you be sending in a high score or is this not your cup of tea.

It's just a simple challenge for some fun, All are welcome to send me a high score, staff included. As Peter said in his review any score over 100 is something to be proud of, so send them in.

Trying to have some fun!


Hi Peter2008, Thank You for a very well done and detailed informative rating, from past experience this kind of map should be short with varied restrictions, but still give players a number of choices for completing the task, I think you found that most players that like this kind of map have a chance of enjoying it at all skill levels, and if players try new strategies, you only become a better player.

Balance and creativity, I tried to give players a number of challenges and enough variety of ways to deal with the challenges, plus I threw in the fire throwers just because they have more uses than just starting fires, and so you could not take your troops for granted I added the small invasion at the end. That's it, I have created a peculiar World, we all sit down and build little Worlds full of life and character, script in some challenges and post them for other people to enjoy, so far with Crusader I think I have managed to create some interesting and fun Worlds.

This map wasn't necessarily made for a natural feel, but more for a bit of a challenge, the high ground you have to go around, the nook for the Crossbows and making it so you can't get in there and they can't get out, you have to remove them before you can mine the iron, and the back path that allows you to send your troops in behind was created for the challenge, but I still tried to give it a natural look anyway, I give credit to Lord Dredde for the extra work on the ponds, I saw him doing it on his fine maps. Jack O was thrown in just because of the time of year, thought it would be fun, plus the signpost was a mistake that turned out for the better.

A basic short story giving you some idea of what you will be looking at when you play the map, because players have asked I will put more effort into giving up more of a story when I make new maps, but I will not ever try and make a perfect map only the best I can! ( the pursuit of perfection only leads to disappointment and frustration).

I would also like to commend FireFly for creating the stronghold series of games, the games do have some issues but being as complex of a game you will always have some issues, Thank You FireFly!

Wouldn't that be something to be able to dig new roads or more land to build on, many games I have wanted to do that, but then it would be a different game wouldn't it? Not much of a challenge to dig a road into the goods.

Congratulations Peter2008, 140 ingots of Iron is an impressive score, My score of 70 was 30 to 50 less than what I thought would be a high score, but you pushed it to an amazing 140, Way to go!

Thank You Peter


[Edited on 11/03/08 @ 03:53 PM]

Stratego Sir Vet,

generally, I like your maps, but this one makes me deeply frustrated; innumerable restarts by trying different tactics,especially in the beginning, don't work here - any constructive hints for an average player as I am?

I advice you to reconsider the difficulty level; please think of the less skilled players...I'd rate it "very hard" tending to "impossible"!

[Edited on 11/02/08 @ 12:54 PM]

File Author
Hi Stratego, Thank you, I like a lot of your maps as well, we are both average players and some times we come up with an above average map, Robinson Crusoe comes to mind, I finally had to put that one away, I never won it, I could never figure out the challenge on that one.

SPOILER, For this one, you need to put enough wood cutters on the hill, I put in about 8 or 10 on the south edge so you can get the wheat going, and I put 4 or 5 right in front of the Keep so I can get more wood and even more after that and delete them as the wood is cleared.

While wood is being cleared I will grab my archers and fire throwers and send them around the back way, while they are moving around I will get in the mill and a fire pot, I let the popularity go up a bit then start low taxes, I put in the armory and some weapons shops for more money, and I will put in a few houses, when the troops get to the enemy, I move the archers in and out until the enemy is down to 3 then I move the fire throwers in and finish them off, while doing that the sooner your start placing mines the more you will get.

I put a fire pot in the entrance to the iron almost touching the left eye, you have to balance housing and food and taxes so you always have workers, the woodcutters should be close to clearing the trees so you can place 2 farms and a well, I use most of the income to buy flour, and I keep deleting woodcutters as I get more wood, you can't sell it no point having extra people working.

Well that's the way us average players might do it, the pros with the high scores used bad things mostly up on the high ground, like dungeons gibbets or cesspits for extra production and high taxes, but I can only go by what I have seen in the game saves.

If you or anybody else wants to email me I could send you some of the saves so you can see some different strategies, I hope that's OK with the other players.

If it's any consolation, I made a new small puzzle map for SH2 on Sunday and will probably post it this week, then you can be frustrated by that one.:-)

I hope that helps.

lord dredde
Map Design4.5
Playability: 4
(Right-a very good map,intriguing concept with the micro management that is required by the player in order to achieve the objective.Getting rid of the x-bow troops was fun,using my firethrowers as bait while the few archers shot them,as for the attack-his lordship got his hands dirty!The fires were easy to deal with, onlythree waterpots needed.Iplaced most of my buildings in a line to the left of the keep,built a chapel spent more gold on 'good things and raised taxes.)

Balance: 4
(This required only one restart so i could decide on the best strategy,not much room for agriculture-with this i placed a wheat farm and bought ale,when i had sufficient stocks i raised taxes for more'good things.However my score for iron ingots was a measly 57,just as the victory message played.I shall try again soon and email the saved game.)

Creativity: 4
(I agree with peter2008 in some ways,but i like twisting canyons-my last few maps have a few in them ;).I enjoyed the idea of having very little farmland and opted for the 'soft' option.The reason is i enjoy a challenge.Scratching my head wondering 'where do i place the woodcutters'?and getting the balance right.I agree with stratego it is reminiscent of 'robinson crusoe,the best approach is patience and play it a few times to get the 'feel'. )

Map Design: 4.5
As before,you have a good ability to make interesting looking maps,many times i almost lose the mission as i (the mouse/camera wander the map going for a virtual stroll!The design is easy on the eye and yet i was strangely drawn to to grinning smile of 'jack o' lantern'-like those paintings that follow you*.)

Story/Instructions: 3.5
(I agree with peter2008,the story is fun and provides the necessary background for the scenario,there a few 'dead ends' but a good player... well i'm not going to spoil the fun)
I liked the way the jack o lantern was placed*
Additional Comments:Over all another great map
and a worthy challenge.Finally regardging my cup of tea-i'll have earl grey(without milk)two sugars and a slice of lemon thankyou.:)

Lord Dredde
File Author
Hi Lord Dredde, Earl Grey it is then, Thank you for another fine rating, You don't need the highest score to send in, I will post any score you send if you want your name on the list of challengers.

One of the things I found with doing a contest or challenge is the different strategies players come up with, quite interesting really, I have a new map for SH2, I think I might make it a challenge as well, this one will be for time.


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