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Eye of Mephistopheles
unbalanced - Stronghold Crusader skirmish map.
Map Designed by Merle Hofmann
aka: "Merle_the_Conqueror" at Stronghold-Knights.com
aka: "Lord Hofmann" at stronghold.heavengames.com
It's said that the 3 kings atop the eye shaped mountain are the sons of Satan himself. True or not, if these 3 kings work together and create a megacastle you will certainly have the Devil to pay. With the amount of pitch available in this land do expect some serious Hellfire. The western mountain keep has an abundance of iron and stone at their fingertips, however maintaining control of these resources will be difficult.
Map Designer Notes:
This map was designed for 3 human players at odds with each other and against 5 allied AI's at "Deathmatch" setting and 40,000 gold to AI's. The 2 strongest human players should play the eastern most lowland keeps. The weaker human opponent in the western most mountain keep. AI's get the remains. Make them AI's strong ones now :) !
Other play options are quite open ended.
The AI's handed our 3 human butts to us in the 2nd playtest of this map, against 2 extremely experienced humans players and 1 average human player! Game setup was all 3 humans vs. each other and vs. 5 AI's allied against the humans at "Deathmatch" setting, 40,000 gold to AI's, 3000 gold to humans. Option settings were "Strong Walls" on, 30 minute "No Rush", 20 "Game Speed", and 20 minute "Autosave".
Humans were myself (remember I created it and I'm extremely experienced), My son-in-law Ben (also extremely experienced), and our friend Scott (who had just recently graduated from "scrub" level to an "avarage" player level). The western mountain keep was designed for a weaker player someone other than Ben or myself to play in, because it has plenty of resources made available in a deliberate fashion. However, Scott had complained that it was too hard for him in the 1st playtest game, so in this game I was playing the western mountain keep to prove to him it was easy (man was I wrong!). So that had Ben in the northeastern lowland keep and Scott in the southeastern lowland keep.
The AI's were Frederick in the southern "eye" keep, Wolf was the northeast "eye" keep, Wazir was the northwest "eye" keep, Richard in the southwestern lowland keep, and Nizar in the northwestern lowland keep. The computer does cheat in the fact that all of the farmland is covered in trees and during the start whole sections of forest just disappear and an AI's farm will be placed, no big deal because the game has always done those types of things in almost every map I play. Remember also that you can't build in the vicinity of an enemy military or civilian, which makes it hard to place walls sometimes.
Needless to say my walls weren't completed by the end of the "No Rush" and I immediately had Richard, Nizar, and the Wazir in my keep in no time flat. Too make matters worse both the Wazir and Nizar were able to get some fire ballistas in place and managed to set my keep on fire. I fell first, then Ben, and lastly Scott. This all took place in less than 20 minutes of play! Ben and I were both shocked. We hadn't had the AI's fight us that well in a very long time.
Later that night I was re-editing the map to make it easier and when I went to save it, I thought to myself. "Why am making the map easier?" "We want to be engaged in tough games!" "One of the reasons we love playing other humans is that element of surprise". That particular selection and placement of AI's was definately a surprise!
Well I did save the re-edited version, so if you can't tough it out and want to wimp out with an easier version there is an "Eye of Mephistopheles 2". Just e-mail me "firstname.lastname@example.org" and tell me that you are a wimp :) and I'll send it to you. You should try to tough it out though because I did win the 1st test, but that was a 4 human player game that had a weak human player united with 2 AI's in the "eye" and 2 AI's in the western lowland keeps united as another team. I also won the 3rd game quite decisively using the same scenerio set up as in the 2nd game in which we all got beat by the AI's. At the time of this submission to the Stronghold-Knights.com site, we currently are in a 4th game using the same AI setup as the 2nd game but I'm in the southeastern lowland keep and Scott is back in the western mountain keep (which was created for someone of his level of play).
This is the fourth map that I have created and I think I'm getting better at it. I hope you do enjoy this one and have a Devil of a time :) !
Our local group of players in Quincy, Illinois have played many of the custom maps from this site. Many are very good and I need to make more of an effort to rate and comment on them. By the same token, if you would like to rate/comment on my maps please do.
This map has been available for download on the Stronghold-Knights.com website for quite sometime now. This map has been downloaded and played by many members of that site. I do hope that it becomes just as appreciated here on the Stronghold Heaven website.