Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
Bamburgh is a majestic, imposing site and is built on an outcrop of the Great Whin Sill. A naturally defensive site, the castle took shape after the Norman invasion, however there has been a settlement or fortification here many years previously. Bede, a monk from Jarrow, wrote of the importance of Bamburgh and it was a royal capital of the kingdom of Bernicia in AD 547.
This siege map plays well on normal difficulty as an attacker. There are two entrances to the castle, both with their own advantages and disadvantages, though the main entrance is to the south. As a defender, you may find it more of a challenge playing with maximum attacking troops, although it has been designed to be played predominantly as an attacker.
The map reflects the early beginnings of a medieval settlement outside the castle walls.
Bamburgh will be featured as a Castle of the Week: please refer to the write-up provided here for a more in-depth story.
Special thanks to GillB for all her efforts, time and patience on this.
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This siege was great fun, although painstainkingly grueling as I made my way through the courtyards. There were fortunately a few unpleasant surprises along the way. The objectives were elimination of all enemy troops and of the Enemy Lord. However, upon killing the Lord I received an unexpected Victory message. I thought I would need another 4 hours to eliminate the lot. If you like a methodical game – the kind where you go hunting or visit your mistress while your vassals degrade the enemy forces – you will enjoy this siege. Only wanton and dogged determination will take you to the end. Sweet relief does come when the monarch finally chokes his last breath. The landscaping and architecture are beautiful and realistic, the historical notes enjoyable. I found many of my troops unnecessary.
Playability: 5. I had a lot of fun playing it. Balance: 4. It was feasible though a bit repetitive. Creativity: 4. The path of attack was interesting, the landscape well done. Map: 5. Esthetically and logistically satisfying. Story: 4. Interesting info.
Playability : 5
update 24/08/03, well know I'm more familiar with siege, and like it, I had to say I replayed this map today with great pleasure. Of course Siege maps offer less options than more versatile invasion... and must be rated in consequence and not be compared to invasion. Great fun, where everybody make is work : infantery, cavalery, missile troops and siege engines. Even the fun weak spearmen you have are useful. It's not so usual. I let my first comment below for memory.
My first opinion was to rate it less,(because fight vs mostly static units which is the rule in siege maps). I realize that for me playability and balance are closely linked. Despite I feel boring to be patient, progressing little step by little step, planning all action like in chess player ect ... I had to say that the map is attractive . Even for me dont liking competition, I couldn't let this tricky castle beat me. My first attempt (at hard) was a failure, I had to retreat.
It's really a tricky castle, perhasp too. First I feel to have very narrow realistic choice to attack this castle, and feel like prisoner and bound to find my way only where the author wanted I found it. The castle is really very hermetically partitioned.
You have a (very) little more options, most are close impossible to achieve, some could be but are bloody, and some are quite good. Negative point : when you find your good tactic, replayability could be weak, except if you need challenge to live and bound yourself to take this castle 10, each times by a different side.
I'm not very familiar with siege map, especially as attacker. I first tend to rate playability on or bellow the average because of narrow choice I feeled I had, but above the average for the challenge to beat this castle. I was sometime bored because action was planned and long to achieve, and excited because I wanted to push this tricky castle in the ropes.
Overall 4, because attacking siege mapmaker cant let players do what they want, if they want to balance their map... IA will not help them. An attractive map even for me not fond of siege as attacker.
Balance : 4
Update 24/08/03. With a bit more experience I can see first comment was a bit unfair. Rating a map based on a game where you change troops by advanced option is a good work. Balance when you use original troop is good no doubt. There is some weakness however, but not dramatic. I dont think for example that the small town was planed to be use by attacker, especially with result to weakened so greatly outside defense. However impressive number of defender in the keep counterbalance this. I would perhaps even put a 5 if I wasn't so scary to show THE perfect map with an overall 5. Once more I let old comment below for memory.
difficult to say. If you use of your right to change your army, playing at very hard is not more difficult than play at normal. It’s why I down my rating here. Otherwise balance is good. Once more a good and a bad thing.
Creativity : Difficult to be original in a siege map, especially if you have to made a historical castle reconstitution, in historical context. Sulis had to made this castle as impregnable as it was really, and he dont choose the easy way to guard a poor defendable castle with a formidable garrison to make it impregnable. The castle is really, Imo, a masterpiece. Probably it look like the real one, but is not truly an exact copy. I feel a great and hard work and great attention to details behind this castle design. I think the originality of this map is the means Sulis use to make is castle close impregnable because real difficulty is without doubt the castle itself, not his garrison. A superb work, I will rate 5. Some could said this map and his castle dont deserve a 5 in creativity and originality. On my own, I rate it in his context : with the narrow choice Sulis had because I must made an faithful historical castle, he was creative in the way he choose to support this castle reputation in the game without sacrificed historical reconstitution.
Rate : 5
Map Design :
Well a few to say, it's a Sulis map. Castle is great, landscape greatest. Of Course you will not find new ostentatious peace of eyes candie. The map itself is a great eyes candie. Very fine and beautiful land, very realistic, even so than you could dont notice it. After all, it's like outside my window's room. Yes it is, and it's why it is so great. A few mapmakers are able to deliver so natural, close to real, landscape at stronghold. It seems Sulis trascend himself in very typical landscape...especially east anglia... weird ;-)
My only regret is not to see people at work in the game, wandering childrens and all that make a land really living. In an other hand could I blame people and peasants to runaway and hide when an ennemie army walk toward them ?
Story/instructions : Story in the map is just a prologue. Complete story is in "Bamburg castle of the week". Read it and say me if I could rate it less than 5.
Rate : 5
Playability : 5
Balance : 4
Creativity : 5
Map design : 5
story instruction : 5
Overall : 4.8
A top map, a real jewel, Dont miss it. It’s a must.
I played this map 3 time with stronghold V1.2. First at hard : failure. Second at normal : victory. Third at very hard : victory.
What attracted me to this map was the fact that I am going to visit this very castle at Easter so I was interested how Sulis's expert map design skills had been put to use. It does not disappoint...
It has been designed as an attacking siege scenario but beacuse of the long thin castle design this actually makes it a hassle to siege. Long thing castles always are - you have to trail through them which can get a bit tiring. This is the same with Chepstow castle by Duke of York. Anyway it is still a big project to siege and great fun using a variety of siege weapons. The map is hard especially as you ahve to kill everyone in the castle. Also there is no base to work from in attack - your men are clustered at the bottom of the map. Anyway I am being too critical here for this map is a stunning attacking siege. Onto map design and creativty and there is no hesitation in my score. The mpa is fabulous! Lovely river especially - rough grassland and rocky hills. It really makes me looking forward to going to this map over Easter! Surperb work here. Again for storyline and instructions - a well written storyline and enough for a 5 - it would be an injustice anyway to give this map anything less than 4.6. Overall this map is great to play especially at first but does become a little tiresome. However it is so great to siege such a well designed castle in such stunning map design. Good work!
|Wheel of Time
overall it was a very good map. the only problem i see is that the AI script for the attacker is not very good and i like defending. but overall i really enjoyed the map and i am keeping it!!
God...this map is so much fun to play. Finding the weaker parts of the castle (or just admiring the landscape...), learning the best ways to attack, avoiding that damned pith...
Great balanced, made it my first attempt at normal, although with 95% troop-losses :P
This map simply deserves a straight-through 5...
Map Design: 5
This is probably the best looking map design that I've ever seen...
Good, works all fine. Leaves nothing to complain about.