Chapter 1 of 6. This is the legendary story of General Maximus Decimus, Respected for winning many battles and especially against the barbarians, one of the fiercest battles in roman history three years ago. After serving the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome, you ask for the permission to give up your duties as general of the Roman army, before you can return to your family, the Emperor has one final task for you. To return to the battle ground where you fought the barbarians. The land is now a beautiful town and an important settlement of trade due to its rich iron ores. There are rumors that not all barbarians died in the battle and in three years have been recruiting men for revenge. Many residents have been reported missing. You are required to stay a few days and order your men to search the forest. If such a rumor is true then you have to eliminate all barbarians in the interest of the Roman Empire and ensure the safety of the people, finally return to Rome and give up your duties and return to your wife and son.
(Continued in chap 2)
Chapter 1 is easy, have fun in town, let your men chill in the Inn. When you feel you have enough men send them into the forest and surprise attack the barbarians.
Playability: This first chapter in a series of six shows promise for the remainder of the set. The author did say that this is easy, and indeed it was. I played on the very hard setting (i'm unsure if it makes any difference when it comes to combat, but thought it may add something to the level). You have plenty of troops at your disposal, as well as an abundance of peasants that can be recruited as troops quickly. Lots of cash and plenty of raw materials to sell allows your army to appear from nowhere. Whilst this map is a decent introduction to the story, it would have been a little better and more playable if it were a bit more taxing. Still, it works fine.
Balance: I really can't rate this any more than 3. There is an imbalance between the barbarian troops and your metal armour clad masses. It's quite fun to send in all these troops and slay everything in sight, but again would really benefit from being a little harder.
Creativity: It's clear where this is lifted from but this series has the potential to do well. Using the Roman battles in a medieval (late Saxon to post-Norman Conquest) game has always sat a little funny with me, but then the sheer scale of the troop battles that the Romans witnessed can be reproduced well using the game.
Map Design: Quite good, nice town layout and the overall plan for a settlement seems to work. The terrain looked fine to me, with real atmosphere coming through around and in the barbarian 'area'. Good effort.
Story/Instructions: Possibly the strongest part of this map and reflected in the score. Whilst i'm not sure how accurate this will be historically, effort has been made to provide something readable, easy to understand and effective. I hate to see the story side neglected: this is a fine effort and as a result will keep me interested throughout the remainder of this series.
Overall, not a bad attempt and will develop well if the author continues to put in hard work. The score of 3.6 (if my mental arithmetic is up to speed) is about the average mark for maps reviewed. Have a go at this, it may well appeal. Good promise, and I really do look forward to the remaining chapters!!