King Alvan died in November of 1180 A.D. His reign came to an end at the edge of a sword to an unknown assassin sent from an unknown master. Alvan's empire once stretched across the fertile crescent and encompasses as vast swath of Israel and Syria. However, Alvan's death left little legitimate claim to his lands. His half-brother long exiled to Scandinavia in Europe, King Alvan's only chance for succession lies in his loyal Noble landowners. The most loyal of his Lords, is none other than the courageous and humble Count of Irgaard.
The death of the king has brought pressure from outside forces who seek to gain the land once taken from them back. A worldwide Jihad has been declared on Alvan's entire holdings and the nobles who once rode so proudly into battle alongside their King now face complete annihilation at the hands of cowardice and disarray.
The defense of the Kingdom rests with Lord of Irgaard. He summons what is left of the common forces still loyal to the King and takes over the Manor Ildilee located strategically across the river from the approaching marauders. His forces are out numbered, his resources few, and assistance from the countryside almost impossible to procure, the Lord of Irgaard faces his own ability to gather enough harvest and forge enough iron to bring with him back to Alvan's capital, Citadel des Herrs and claim the vacant throne. The ability to raise and supply an army rests upon the Lord of Irgaard's able shoulders and the strong will of his men.
I really enjoyed playing this map. It took a few tries to beat it and requires multiple strategies to do so. Attacking and defending from different points on the map as well as castle re-arranging must be done at a quick pace to succeed. I enjoyed the concept that you had to set up and defend a quarry far from your keep in order to gather enough stone to make a barracks so you could produce enough troops to survive.
The map was identified as moderate difficulty, but I beg to differ (or maybe I'm not that good at invasion maps? lol). There's definitely more than enough trees and food to keep an economy and tax rate thriving, but it took a couple tries to realize you have to set up a stone quarry in the top left hand corner of the map first thing, otherwise enemies get your oxen and no stone = no troop production.
Creative layout. Instead of just packing into a defensive area like your garden variety invasion, you have to move around the map a lot and I like that.
Map Design: 4.5
As always, you make an attractive, natural looking map with a lot of attention to detail and a thoughtful approach to how the layout affects gameplay.
Good story. Short, but to the point and goes along well with the feel of the map, a faithful lord whose outnumbered troops protect the remnants of a land fallen into disarray.