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Greetings! It's been a while since my last map and I decided to get back on the track with a scenario unlike my others - an economical map. The map is based on a real Romanian castle but the actions and events are fictional. Shortly, the player has to conquer the castle (quite easy) and within 10 game years to solve the following tasks:
- Population 300
- Gold 25,000
- 500 wood
- 50 metal armor
- 50 swords
- 300 bread
- 25% blessed
- 50% drinking ale.
There are no invasions, the events are scripted by conditions and the market trade is very limited. I suggest saving often, Have fun.
In 1388 Petru Musat I (1375-1391) moved the capital of Moldova Province from Siret to Suceava. He was married with Vladislav Iagello (1386-1434)â��s sister, the king of Poland. The Suceava Stronghold (u gorodea Soceavea') is mentioned for the first time in an official document dated from 10 February 1388, when Petru I is asked for 3,000 silver coins by the King of Poland, who gives the Pocutia domain as guaranty. The stronghold is also mentioned in other documents from 1393 and 1395.
Stefan cel Mare (1457-1504) was the one who understood the necessity of building more strongholds to defend the lands against the Turks, Hungarians or Polish men. Also he was the one who improved Suceava by building an extra wall outside the castle, as a ring. In summer 1476 the stronghold was attacked by the Turkish forces led by Sultan Mahomed II, Suceava was damaged but the ottomans were forced to retreat
The castle has never fallen during any siege, holding off even the strongest forces. In 1538 however, the ottoman army (having around 150,000-200,000 troops) led by Soliman The Magnificent himself invades Moldova with thoughts of conquering everything. In the same time, tribes from Crimeea attacks from east and the Romanian troops together with Hungarians from west. As they arrived to Suceava, the ottomans get the help of local barons, unhappy by the political authority of Petru Rares. The ruler is forced to retreat in Transylvania and on 14 september 1538 Soliman The Magnificent gets Suceava at his hands with no resistance at all. Macarie writes â��The army of barbarians are having a terrible war with Moldovlahia, robbing the houses and enjoying themselves. Then the beautiful Suceava Stronghold fell at Turkish knees and they humiliated it, getting their hands over endless treasuries.â�� In the end, the Turkish forces have retreated to their lands, naming a man Stefan Lacusta as ruler, who was assassinated in 1340 for his betrayal.
In 1563 The stronghold withstands another siege, this time from Stefan Tamsa, a siege which takes 3 months and ends up with severe damages upon Suceava.
You are leading the Turkish army in a campaign to bring Europe to its knees. Horse spies are reporting that the nearby stronghold, Suceava is not fortified enough to withstand a brute assault. Take a bunch of men and kill the ruler, the men alive will join your army, but your main task is to gather resources and supplies for the main Turkish army which is now preparing to invade over the Polish kingdoms as well.
MAP UPDATED - v1,1
- More tree types.
- Fixed the "rushed" side of hills by totally redesigning them.
- Fixed the iron placement by adding stones nearby.
- Erased the tree fungus event as it would make the whole forest map look bad.
- Fixed the disappearing troops at the beginning.
- Added more marsh.
Enjoy the map and good luck, Lord_of_Hell.
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|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Nice work with your new map! The green grass is a pretty nice change from plain Crusader sand ;)
I also liked the varying height levels you set. Adds a new feeling to the early siege.
Just tried the beginning of the map. Will give some more comment after, because of my school final exams :P
[Edited on 06/15/11 @ 03:49 AM]
Hey palat! I'm very glad to see you around:)
Also thanks for trying the map, hope you have fun.
Hi again :)
I'm about halfway through the map and really having fun.
I got a few comments about my progress so far:
Well, I'm pretty weak at sieging castles, but you were right about it being easy at the start. The inner gatehouses are a bit strange though, they don't work properly. I don't know why.
--> Managed to win the siege with about 3/4 of my slingers, swordsmen and knights.
The economic part of this mission is tougher, around easy-normal difficulty, in my opinion. But it gets harder as the mission goes on.
--> The hardest part for me was just after I took control of the castle, when food supplies were low and popularity falling.
Somewhere a fire event just demolished most of my bakeries and workshops AND the population dropped to around 100. So I had to reload from a save. It's just too hard to put out that fire and still have the workshops' productivity at their best, because I can't afford to space them out.
Overall, very good playability, balance, and DEFINITELY creative ;) Nice scenery, as always. I loved the effort you put into this map, especially in the download page and download file.
[EDIT] - I can write a review if you want in a few days.
[Edited on 06/16/11 @ 12:28 AM]
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
About the gates, I think they are working as they should: Open-able only from inside and conquerable by digging the moat and using assassins (or just by walking on the walls road if you take the way through hills)
The siege is easy to point out the economical side of the map rather than it's fighting side. There are a couple of tricks to get over the 'traps' I have set and boost the economy a bit. As I said in the description, the events are scripted by conditions and not by date. For example, you can avoid tree fungus if you don't get over 700 woods in your stockpile, but you can't avoid the big fire because the condition on which it's set to occur is needed to win the map (see the scripting).
Also, I'd be glad about receiving a review:)
Finishing up my savegame right now & writing a review.
I'd also like to say thank you, LoH, for this new map, first eco type one of yours.
Again a great recreation of a fortress. Your skills can best be seen when ... one starts to remove some wall tiles and spots the different height levels of the ground.
It can often be read in the history of castles that their stones got used up for new buildings in the nearby town. The ruins sometimes turn into sightseeing places with gastronomy there.
This castle, under the manifold eco requests, turns into a lively, busy settlement. I guess, the mission can only be won with certain relocations and with rebuilding the walls (including adding stairs - which you made deliberately possible at the edges?).
You involved all the segments of economy and applied almost all kind of events good and bad. The high population and gold request within the frame of a timer call for power play.
Only pity aspect was that some outer areas of the map did not get in touch with the gameplay. So the creative lines of rocks which deserve to be watched joyfully.
So I had a dense time and big fun. Got familiar with Suceava Stronghold. Hopefully, you let us see another eco map in a while.
[Edited on 06/16/11 @ 06:22 PM]
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Peter:)
The map was originally an Invasion but the AI seemed to behave weird due to the inability to get in the castle (gates would not provide inside access if destroyed, but only if conquered by assassins or a tower) so I decided to finish it as an economical map.
Due to that , some unintended gameplay issues occurred when I turned the map into eco. The possibility to add stairs from outside the castle was also not intended. I guess the player can do that (lowered walls not turning to stones) because of the technique I used when I designed the castle.
I'm glad you had fun ^^
Just a few days or so, finished finals today and review should soon be up.
Overall, this is an extremely captivating mission that Lord_of_Hell has created. Without a doubt, I'd definitely recommend it to any Stronghold player.
IMPORTANT: what I'd say is best about this mission is that it doesn't fail to disinterest the player. Requires constant thinking and planning.
Thank you for this creation.
In terms of gameplay, this seems like the best of it. The moment I started the mission, it caught my interest. The siege was a nice addition to the gameplay (and it was well balanced + fun!), but of course the goals are economic. What makes this map so playable is that there is about the right number of events, with the right conditions, to make for a slow-paced but enjoyabable game.
Although, there are a few errors that I would like to point out.
--> First let's start with the siege.
The siege is extremely easy, true, but is completely different from traditional sieges in that the player must make a sneak attack, rather than a typical brute-force style siege with trebuchets and whatnot. That's a new thing that really grabs the player's attention to keep them thinking and concentrating.
-However, this unorthodox style of sieging makes things a lot harder if the player doesn't know how to use the troops' abilities and stats, plus the surrounding area, to their advantage.
--> Ok, now onto the main economic part of the game. I've grouped 4 things I want to critique about, that affect the playability.
1) The Design of the Castle.
Now this has an extremely high affect on the gameplay. In this scenario, despite the somewhat high objectives, the design allows the peasants to work productively, while also maintaining a certain amount of difficulty and reasonable amount of time for the goods to be produced. But there was too little space within the castle itself. As I mentioned before in the comments, this simply doesn't work well with some of the events and their conditions, i.e. the fire event. The player simply can't recover from those events without looking at the script or playing a few more times. So that's a bit of a good/bad point, the good being a more balanced map, the bad being a heightened difficulty.
2) The Surrounding Landscape.
This is my favourite, and ties in with the castle design. There are a lot of trees, true, but the objectives of 500 wood and the constant need for new buildings really keeps the game flowing. The rocks and high ground proves to be a little bit of a border so that no one wanders too far.
3) The Military after the Siege (and the Bandit Event)
I was a bit disappointed the bandit event doesn't work properly. It seems there are just a few too many bows and xbows capable of bringing these guys down. Still, there's that pesky negative on the popularity, so this doesn't affect the playability much.
4) The Minor Details.
- Just after the cede event, there could be a possible food and labour shortage. There are tricks to handle this, it's really easy to manage.
- A few unnecessary building availabilities won't dampen the gameplay, but could be left out.
FINAL: Great playability, with a few exceptions.
Regarding the balance, it's nearing perfect but not quite. It's a bit tilted to the hard side of normal and I feel strong Crusader players
will find it peaceful and a little challenging, but those newer to Crusader may find the job quite unrelenting.
With any military action, it's as easy as it gets.
Economic-wise, everything is evenly balanced between the chances of winning or losing. The events are there to worry about in addition to the ever-so-slowly inching forward time limit. It is very good how nothing is scripted based on time - yet to complete the objectives, the player must experience many of those events (mostly negative events). Absolutely it could be said that the events actually keep things in check, like a checkpoint in a way, that the player cannot pass forward without experiencing some form of drawback.
Now onto the design of the castle, once again. This is also heavily related to the playability of the map and 1 word: Awesome!
All of that aside, the design puts the player in a situation, where he or she must make wise choices, in finding the right spot to build. For example, if woodcutters' huts are built in the forest, this takes up farmland. If bakeries are built near the granary, this may deplete flour or wheat supplies, because of the distance the wheat farmers are away from the stockpile from. Questions like those, "Should I build this here or there?" or "should I not build that", really add a new dimension.
FINAL: Other than maybe a tweak here and there, the balance of this map deserves the near-perfect score it gets. Well done.
All that those elaborate castle walls... you've put a lot of effort into minute details and it really shows. Just seems you have put a twist on literally every aspect. Some of your other maps look quite close to this one (in terms of the minimap), but as they say, don't judge a book by its cover (or a map by its... uh, minimap?). They all play differently and have their own unique ideas.
FINAL: What can I say? 5 all the way! And those admirable castle walls...
Map Design: (3.5/5.0)
For being a Crusader map, the level of skill it takes to create a non-desert climate is beyond imagining. And you clearly have what it takes. The rock formations are among the best scenery highlights in here. And they have a profound affect on the playability of this map,
as stated before.
Elevation. that puts a sense that the castle is built on flat ground, and that ground rises higher than one end of the stronghold, as seen in the real life photos of Suceava Stronghold.
Some things that could be improved on:
--> Water. Why is there no water to be found? Where there is a lot of green scenery and a thriving settlement, I feel maybe a little blue could add some colour.
--> Trees. It simply doesn't feel natural to have only one kind of tree sprouting up everywhere on the map. Instead of an all-palm tree forest, an occassional mismatch would work better in this case.
--> The rocky hills to the northeast. In comparison with the rest of the map, these felt relatively rushed. Also the grass effect didn't blend well here.
--> Grass. As stated above, but very natural with the uses of different grass thickness, well done.
--> The unnatural placement of iron ore. It wasn't close to any rocks at all. Contrasted the lush green when placed against each other.
FINAL: Not the most natural atmosphere, still, nice work with the elevation tool.
Story and Instructions: (4.5/5.0)
I'll evaluate these in different groups like before:
1) Introduction - As listed. Everything that is read here can be expected in the game, except the date and condition of the events.
2) Castle History - Some spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammar errors. Otherwise, an informative piece.
3) Fictional Story - Similar to those intros of the Historical Scenarios.
FINAL: Corrections and perhaps a bit more length would make this perfect.
- - -
FINAL SCORE: 4.4/5.0
- - -
Changes after the updated map:
Map Design - 4.5/5.0
Well, now the scenery and landscape feels much more natural. One kind of tree type felt dull and now it's just about right. The map design isn't quite a 5/5 because the rock formations to the south now look extremely rushed with all those rough edges.
[Edited on 07/27/11 @ 02:53 AM]
First, thanks for taking the time to write this review. I appreciate you mentioned quite many details, thinking that fewer and fewer people are even bothering to write a short review.
I expected a score around yours so I feel it's overall a fair thinking.
You points were good, though I feel necessary to detail some aspects.
"the bad (point) being a heightened difficulty." -> For me that's rather a good point. You also mentioned that some newer players would think it's a bit hard. Personally, when I review a map I do it strictly from my perspective and as the mapmaker I think it ended up with a normal difficuly, not too easy but not too hard.
The bandit event was never scripted to work "normally". It looks like the bandits really wish to destroy everything due to their maximum size, and later the player notices they can easily be dispatched. Truth is, It was never meant to work in a destructive way, and rather for the negative popularity addition and to draw players attention away of economy.
Moving to the design zone:
If everything is green it doesn't mean there should be a river nearby. I did not recreate only the Stronghold but also the real surroundings of the castle. There is no river, and I rather not add one to keep the map accurately recreated.
I remember I had a problem with trees: I reached the sprite limit and the trees density was an important matter. Adding single different trees here and there would make the map look even more unnatural.
I agree with the iron issue.
As for the story, I'm not a big writer. I feel satisfied with this score :)
Thanks again for review.
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