Playability: Something a little different for a siege. You start with your troops off enjoying themselves (great use of tents Wraith) and it's a mad dash to the castle from there. You won't have much time to place your troops, so be quick. This little change and attention to detail is great, refershing and adds loads of humour to the map. Perfectly playable, fun and even if I wanted to look for faults, there aren't any! Brillaint map!
Balance: Hmm. Here I am a little divided. It could have easily been a 5 score, but I found it just a little too easy on normal setting, with 60% troops loss. Playing on hard adds to the map and I would recommend the potential downloader to try both difficulties. That aside, balance is extremely good. You will be frantically moving troops around for the best possible placement and the combination of troops is perfect, with sufficient crossbowmen to pick off enough of your foot soldiers to cause a concern. Again, the balance is geared towards fun and credit is definitely given for that. This is a very well balanced map overall, make no mistake.
Creativity: A great choice for Castle of the Week, Alnwick transfers to Stronghold very well. Little areas such as the start, the tents placed outside the castle walls and the interesting write-up means you have a siege scenario as CoTW with a bit of a difference.
Map Design: I haven't played a map design by Wraith that I disliked. Functionality is more important than masses of modelling with terrain and for a large scale siege this works very well. The landscape is fine, the castle is a very good representation of the real thing and the whole scenario is splendidly done.
Story/Instructions: You may think that just because it's a Castle of the Week it deserves to get a 5? Not so, but with an intro by Wraith as refreshingly funny as this (short & sharp) combined with a truly absorbing write-up by Gill, you are offered not only historical facts but an accessible, easy-to-read and thorough background. Check out the link to Gill's write-up.
In summary: As a player, this is a stunningly good map concentrating on tactics with a bit of humour thrown in. As a fan of medieval history, you are spoilt with detail. All in all, a truly great map that I can't praise highly enough. Definitely a recommended download!
Posted on 11/20/02 @ 12:00 AM
I have to believe that the most creative part of the game was the start... that was KOOL-n-a-Half! From there the game played without surprises and for me that means a good game, too. Not everything can be a homerun, (like the run to the castle that starts this map moving. A solid get-it-on of evenly matched sides is a pleasure. (I can't complain about this one at all.)
It's a good map and a straight forward playable game... Ya gotta love the castle, too... big and beautiful.