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Siege Of Arce (Acre)

Author File Description
TwoDie
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
Made with version: 1.2
Minimap:

Barbarians is Upon Us





(upper picture)My maps created minimaps

In .ZIP includes:
Siege Of Arce v.2
Siege Of Arce v.3.1
Siege Of Arce v.3.2

Story: You joined to crusade where you going to capture town called Arce (i dont know or town or castle it was but still). You allies are Lionheart, Frederick (in ver. 2) and Philip (in ver. 3.X ). Wolf have renegade the crusaders (lol sounds stupid and i dont know or its corect to write that but what ever) and helping for Arabian forces. Saladin Brings his troops and generals to defend Arce. No-one going to leave the batlle field (maybe only Saladin :D) ..... Luck good.

Authors Comments : D
I have did in this map pack mistake, big mistke... The AI's (bots or computer lords) dont build most of building like farms, stone quarry's, iron mine's, pitch rig's... so if you destroy their buildings that i have listed, you going to stop their economy and other action...
Have build them castle and everything. You destroy them buildings and the game is almost ended...
I havent tested the SOA ver. 3.2 (food edit) If there is some big bugs or something write here...
Never let enemy to kill your allies with out them you going to lose or game is gonig to be longer then to fight togetter, in SOA ver.3.1 they have killed almost all the time Philip and the Lionheart is almost useless but when you will be to rich or too much stone you will be just no other way only to send to allie stone or other unsellable goods.
In ver. 3.X when the Saladins economy Falls (money ends) then he destroys all the towers gates and the game almost ended...

And i thing i have said what i want... Let the Crusades never end :D

P.S. I love my english too,., :D

Updates:
1) Have remember a story that i was created before Cristmas :D edited... and minimap i have uploaded new one of first version, Idea of this map. But i had the problem one, and this map was not releast.
2) Added map "including".
3) Added Authors Comment's....
4) Added a picture of real port of Acre and some words :)



Here is how it really looks a port city :D You still can imagine i think from this pic how its really looks.
As you can see this maps havent been made from history... Only name was used.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
peter2008
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Siege of Arce (Acre) 3.1 and 3.2 – truly epic and bloody skirmish-invasions

TwoDie has created some unconventional, tricky and really hard maps like the invasion "Desert Wing" and the skirmish "Arabians Land (Updated)". The SoA skirmish-invasion scenarios top them. They combine the side of economic power of Crusader and intense collaboration with allies with terrific skirmishes and most bloody assaults. Playing "Siege of Arce v3.1 and 3.2" requires courage and determination which promises deepest satisfaction.

"Arce" is just a misspelling, for the map refers to the long siege (1189-1191) of the important coastal city of Acre during the Third Crusade.

Playability: 5***

The two versions differ in the kind of economy pre-set for the AI Lords keeping Arce. In v3.2, they rely on farming. In 3.1, they run many quarries and iron mines. This makes the AIs stronger and the version harder.
The large map is dominated by the strong and straight walls of Arce. Inside, there's a complex megacity. In the foreland, there are the economic buildings and a first line of walls with choke points and outpost towers on hills. The Crusaders' castles look pretty small compared to their objective.
The scenarios play like a campaign. They request the player's skills in all the sections of the game.

Arrival.
You begin with a rudimentary castle in the bottom right corner. Nice that the keep is enclosed. How to use the space? You will best rebuild almost everything. What shall you subsist on and raise taxes by? Investing the starting gold in the right way is crucial. You have to come to a decision corresponding to the sharp trading restrictions. As swords can be sold, the "sword chain" will be the major economic lifeline. You should expand it on and on, buidling up the "rest" of the economy step by step.
Popularity is boosted by people being blessed. I usually consider this measure unpractical. Here, with most workers crowded together, blessing works fine.
A shock it will be to recognize which troop types are available only: slow swordsmen and knights, (spearmen and) pikemen, archers and engineers. But no crossbows, shields and trebuchets (and no mercenaries). I felt naked and knew I would have to pay high prices for slow advance.
Then, there are your two allies, Philip of France and Richard of England, late protagonists in the siege of Acre. They inhabit modified castles. Richard's chapels are spread in the hills, he lacks some workshops and the engineers' guild at first (which he will site in the distant valley if things proceed well). He's given many archers on his front towers which help you fight two initial attacks by the Wazir.
For Philip's sake his custom installment differs completely from his original installation (with moat as only protection on three sides. He holds a mountain fortress now.
Quarries and iron mines are prebuilt and thus won't be replaced. More comments in "Mapaking" below.

Setting out.
The player has to be busy all along the coast, the Crusaders' line of defence. You should help your allies in many ways.
Richard places some woodcutter's huts behind his castle. Let me reveal that I used my two initial knights to smash them. Found it better to ensure a constant wood supply for myself over the long period of building up and to feed the allies with stone, goods and gold in return.
Also, the player must come to aid the allies fighting strong assaults by the Emir, the Wolf and Saladin. The big units of Arabian swordsmen sent by the Emir will raid away the industrial buildings of Richard and Philip. Better this than killing the Lords. I sent many swordsmen and pikes to protect those buildings but in the long run they were all lost.
Well, then a growing population of the player can take over the spaces.
Another measure very uncommon is that you should repair, complement, or rebuild the allies' castles. Site additional gatehouses. I even smashed the square towers of Richard and replaced them with my towers to be able to have ballistas there.
Knights will do a good job as rapid deployment force. The distances are yet a problem.

Land of the Arabians.
The no-man's-land with a huge green spot and growing forests cannot be used for a long time. You will direct your attention to the outposts protecting it and the entrances to the forelands of Arce.
Around the time to start the assaults the player may have employed a fairly high population and will have reached the limit of troops allowed in the skirmish. At the latest now, it is time for good things. You will lose many soldiers anyway. I remember a charge of hundred archers to clear two lookout towers. They succeeded but it cost all of them their lifes.
I took over gatehouses, archers climbed the towers to fight the next lines of defenders while on the ground, swordsmen had close combat with countering melees.
The whole area of Arce is also custom built. 5 AIs are worked together into a huge and complicated sytem of yards and walls, sharing the valleys for their economic buildings. Stunning to look at the fortifications and the swarming all around. Saladin and the Wold are given the high amount of 40.000 starting gold.
A first aim must be to destroy the enemy economy. Swordsmen and knights can work themselves to death. As the mercenaries' post is fittingly not available you probably cannot set fire, can't you? In the 3.2 version, it is a great pleasure to take over the farmland behind the hills and to get wheat and hops from there. In 3.1, it means a relief to watch the opponents slowly run out of gold. For long, they will turn the workers of a destroyed building into soldiers and keep on sending their units against your lines.

A Date with History.
Just when you are about to conquer the middle defence sections, some core gatehouses and towers collapse. The city lays open but only for a next bloody part of fighting. I saw a long row of Richard's soldiers entering a lane protected by ranged troops and fire throwers. There were enough traps left over for my men. The keeps of the enemy AIs are crowded with archers. It still takes some assaults and terrible casualties to fight them down. But where are the Lords? TwoDie has assembled them on the main stronghold of Saladin (compare the picture in the description). Great idea to meet them all – and kill them in the breathtaking end of this exceptional game.

Balance: 5

The map is made exquisitely tough. The Crusader faction is outnumbered 3v5. As you lack crossbows and shields, defence becomes a difficult and bloody matter. The more the later assaults. Two opponents, Saladin and the Wolf are equipped with 40.000 gold and can spam units nonstop.
Running a powerful economy is a great problem, too. The quarries and iron mines of your allies will most probably fall to the raids of the enemies. Great that the opposite AIs attack each other. Richard and Philip will soon come into bad situations. If you keep them alive, they distract many attacks. And if you supply them they will recover and can join the siege. Losing them would lead more attacking forces to your castle.
Conquering Arce is a hard untertaking. Step by step you must prepare your way by ranged and close-combat fighting. You are confronted with many layers of deadly fire. Mobile units of archers and melees counter you and throw you out of gained positions.
When the defenders are driven back into the centre of the city, their resistance is complemented by many traps.
TwoDie wanted this siege to be bloddy and winnable only by patience and determination. He has achieved full success.

Creativity: 5***

The scenario is breathtaking on every level. The human player's setting is significantly restricted and limited, and thus forces you to develop unfamiliar ways. This could make up a mission of its own.
Interplay with AI allies is still an uncommon feature. It opens a new dimension of gameplay.
Every AI has got a custom installation which is both very different from his original one and works properly. Combining 5 AIs in a megacity must have required great overview and care. The more, Arce is created as a tricky and powerful fortress.
There are two realizations of the scenario, SoA 3.1 with minerals and 3.2 with farms for the Arce AIs.

I liked the view at the start when long rows of workers leave the camp fires and go to work.

Map Design: 5

Everything in Arce fits together well. This is a superb town. The complex segmentation looks convincing and natural. There is a city centre with the keeps and Saladin's stronghold. Then outer layers of walls and the forelands, either fertile for farms or full of iron and stones to mine them. All AIs there work well – at least four of them, not the Wazir who attacks you in the beginning, which so seems to have been a deliberate choice.
The town, its foreland and outposts encompass half of a large size map.

The defence structures consist in impregnable outposts and impressive walls and tower systems. They are modelled varied and tasty.

On the Crusaders' side, the impression of the castles also convinced me. The camp of the player looks vulnerable, as if just moved into – as it is.

Landscape is well done and naturally looking, too. The greenery of no-man's-land and of Arce fit into sheltered areas. The rocky and slope sections have wild shapes.

In a skirmish-invasion type of map, invasions and events are blocked from being triggered.
Luckily, the decisive restrictions and starting goods aren't.

In the description, TwoDie speaks of a "big mistake". If the custom buildings, especially the farms and industrial ones get destroyed, they are not replaced by the AIs. The same applies for tower engines and garrisons. (Saladin places new woodcutter huts until the end which brings archers into danger of being killed by workers.) I do not consider it as a mistake but just as a limitation by the deep structure of the game. Only recently, we have learned that we are not able to influence the core of the AIs' economical behaviour or military character. In these missions, the "mistake" turns into a compelling game feature because there is high alert that the allies may run out sustenance soon. Which is one of the parallels to the historical, painstaking siege of Acre.

Story/Instructions: 4

A pity there's not much of a story.
Acre was the most important harbour town at the levante coast. Shipment could be discharged at any weather. The second Christian siege of Acre (1189-1191) has all ingredients of a drama. Land and sea warfare. Assaults and long siege periods. A major battle against Saladin's army on October 4, 1189 in which the Crusaders acted quite undisciplined and thus many of them were slaughtered. Plagues in the camp. Intrigues and diplomacy.
Reading about it, I found compelling parallels of the history and the scenarios. At first, the siege contingent is outnumbered by the garrison of Acre. The city "was guarded on the mainland side by double barrier reinforced with towers" (Wikipedia). Numerous assaults are repelled bloodily, siege engines destroyed. Collaboration of the Crusader factions is disturbed and they tend to act uncoordinated. Supply of food and other goods raises a desperate problem.
(Only, Acre is sited on a peninsula with a huge harbour. But the maps weren't intended to be accurate.)

The description text conveys some details of the special type of map. While I welcome the individual tone of TwoDie, spelling and grammar should often have been improved. Here belongs the annoying spelling error of "Arce".
Assembling all the minimaps in one picture is of great help.

These maps are so outstanding, I wanted them to have a rating as high as possible, actually. I hope, other mapmakers do not feel offended when this one time I take the extra stars given above to cover some of the gaps and objections in the story/instructions section with them.

Additional Comments:

"Siege of Arce 3.1 and 3.2" I class among the most rewarding Crusader maps. It plays so rich in detail that I'm afraid to have missed some aspects in the review.
Many thanks for the admirable creations, TwoDie!

The other maps in the download are very worth being played, too. Unfortunately, they are all made with the 1.2 version of Crusader which will exclude many potential players.

Two other "must-play" maps I'd like to mention.
Many skills in the dealings with AI allies I could adopt playing the versions of "Co-Operation" by Qtlilkeg. There you both heavily rely on your allies and the more you must protect them and help them effecively run their economy.
Historically related to SoA is "Battle of Arsuf" by Lord_of_Hell.
Under the strict leadership of Richard the Lionheart, the army of the Crusaders fought better in this battle taking place after the conquest of Acre.

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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Statistics
Downloads:1,044
Favorites: [Who?]2
Size:2.95 MB
Added:01/02/09