Posted on 05/20/09 @ 01:19 PM (updated 06/05/09
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An AI castle with 36 defensive siege engines and more than 400 bowmen in the towers. Can you capture it?
This is the continuation game of the economy mission "4BrothersDefense". In this game you will try to invade a heavily defended enemy castle where four brothers live.
The opening scene is a little busy, so you might want to let the game run for a minute and see what's going on. Then exit and start the game again (don't use 'Restart' though, Crusader might crash).
Admiral Saladin on the right flank: I am in grave danger, my friend! I have great need of your help! Heavily armored enemies are approaching! We cannot hold out much longer! -- Sgt Phillip on the left flank: Our defenzez are in tatterz! I am zurrounded! Zend your armiez to my aid! -- Your orders: Reatreat! Retreat! Mount as many traps as you can before you leave. We are short on food, so bring anything
you have and all the weapons too. Any other valuable goods is appreciated, but leave it if it slows down your retreat. -- This surprise attack was not part of your plans. You need
to regroup and recover. Your two advanced camps are just about gone, so you desperately need to improve the defenses of your planning headquarters. At the same time, you would really like to save the large towers at the front in the hope that you can repel the enemy and then rebuild stronger forward defenses.
-- Save the large towers in your allies' castles and then kick some enemy butt!
Don't 'Restart' this game. Crusader will either crash or it will be a completely different game. You can still 'Save' and
'Load' a saved game.
Don't produce crossbows. You can't use them anyway. I cannot disable this production in the game.
The large towers in the allies' castles actually belongs to you, so you can place engines in them. At the same time, your allies can place engines here too. So if you can keep your allies alive and save the towers, you can have double engines in the towers.
If any of the towers fall, you cannot rebuild them. However, if you can keep your ally alive, he will rebuild the towers and place a ballista here. In this case, you cannot place an engine in them.
If you can save the towers, but not your allies, you can repair your towers and place engines in them.
Knights, xbows, slingers, cats, and trebs are disabled.
It is beneficial (but not necessary) to play the economic mission "4BrothersDefense" before trying this one.
You most likely need the 'bonus AIs' installed (Sheriff, Frederick, and Phillip). They can be found on the heavengames website under the 'miscellaneous' download section (or maybe under 'utility files').
There is space for two mines, one quarry, and two small farms southwest of your keep. But you cannot place all of these at the same time. You can collect pitch up in the northwest corner of
Have fun and good luck in your desperate struggle!
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Playability and Balance: 5
This is probably the first map ever which truly humiliated me. The player's forces and
allies are ridiculously less than the four brothers, each having his own castle but
amazingly linked to the others. If you download this, don't expect to win it. The first map version was really close to impossible without playing it for at least 100 game years. And despite the author has done updates with crucial issues like more trading availabilities, (making it more playable and the gameplay more enjoyable) the scenario is still a top challenge for ANYONE.
Even since the start the player is overwhelmed by a very precise attack, threating both of the allies and two very important square towers (for the reason they can't be rebuilt). But the brute beginning is just that - the beginning. Many catapults and smaller invasions are likely to bother and annoy the player by the time a steady defence is built up. I said smaller invasions, and we all know pretty much about each of the four strenghts, but what happens when they all unite in a larger invasion? The job to defend the structures is not only four times harder, but the allies and the two important towers must also be defended, and the question is: using what? In the first part of the map, the player is facing a great crisis, every piece of resource must be used in warfare, every troop mustn't be wasted, every second must be used wisely.
However, even after the defence and economy is set up, the player can't chill. As the author said in the description "A castle with more than 400 bowmen in the towers. Can you capture it?", the scenario is barely half done. So how can you take out a castle with towers full of crossbowmen? Many horse archers... and shields. And of course... time. When you eventually see the victory screen, the feeling of that can't be described. On such a challenging map, it's an honor to win it. As for the overall playability, the player is always busy and every second counts, a mistake can ruin everything. Unless you save alot, a win can't be certain unless you play the map 10-15 even 20 or more times. Untill the player builds the defence is the "critical" map period, where most of the losses and restarts happen. In that period I had to restart the map for 9 times. The save option doesn't help at all in those moments as everything is happening fast, there were moments when I was playing with speed 20 and I kept pressing "-" (minus) as I thought the speed was somewhere between 40 and 50.
Also this breathtaking scenario has a lot of gameplay feelings. Classic skirmish game, due to AI allies; Crazy warfare, when everything looks messed up and you have no idea what to do to defend the allies and yourself; Economy, resources and market micromanaging; Battleground, in the moments when the only thing between enemy invasions and your king are a couple of archers and melee troops; And finally the "General" feeling, when you are about to attack the enemy but you're uncertain about success.
So the map holds an awesome and unique gameplay. A well-deserved 5 on Playability and another 5 on the Balance.
Creativity and Map Design: 5
There is no map like this, and it's unlikely to appear another one at least coming close to it - no way. Every aspect of it is highly original. Looking at the map design, there is one obvious "WOW!", and that would be the whole enemy structure consisting in four distinct modified AIs castles linked to each other. It's a monumental achievement, just think about it, four AIs working as one! And what's more, the castle is actually looking very good. The rest of the map looks like a classic skirmish desert - trees and grass here and there - but natural-looking in the same time.
It really hurts to give a 4 after series of 5 and so many good words about every aspect of the map, but the truth is, there is place for a better story.