Posted on 12/02/11 @ 01:57 AM (updated 12/07/11
The horde of Barbarians draws near. They are vast and have overwhelmed every other stronghold they have faced - even those that were otherwise impregnable to even the most well equipped of siege forces.
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You must make your final stand with the men you have remaining in your army. No more recruits are available as your refuge is hidden in the mountains North of Ankara. The fortress is situated on the highest plateau in the area and easily defended. However, without reinforcements, you shall surely be overwhelmed. Your only chance of survival is to hope that the King's elite cavalry regiment can make it through the winding mountain passes undetected by the horde so as to sally forth and defeat the enemy.
You must maintain your powerful economy and keep yourself alive in these darkest of times. You must rely on your skills, your wits, and above all, the almighty himself in order to weather the seemingly infinite troops available to the mysterious leader of the barbaric hordes.
Sharpen your steel and ready the horns of battle; for the final hour draws near!
-Defend the Lord. If your Lord dies, so does your people's only hope of survival.
-Do NOT kill the orange pikeman destroying the walls near your knights. He will finish off the wall around 1199 in August. You will then be able to sally out with your cavalry!
There are none! Good luck!
*UPDATE: While listening to NOFX, I changed win conditions to make this an economic/invasion scenario. Pitch can no longer be purchased, you only have a set amount at the beginning of the game. The win conditions are now to be just spectacular by maintaining your metropolis as well as acquiring a lot of resources. You can also no longer build cathedrals, meaning no more monks! With that said, even more luck, my Lord!
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Pretty good overall.
The enemy's invasion route is only too predictable but that's what's so fun! Being the horde they are determined to batter down the outer gatehouses and so the player has to defend them at all costs. Pitch, pikemen, killing pits, etc, given many choices to achieve a purpose. Very enjoyable trying to move between both entrances, because it's hard to defend both gatehouses well at the same time.
I do have a few major concerns, however. One of the biggest letdowns for me was that the reinforcements never arrive, every time I play the map. The orange pikeman, for some reason, stops "doing his job" around 2/3 through the map. It may be something to do with the terrain; I'm sure this can be easily fixed. The economic aspect of this scenario was also a little disappointing. There weren't any events, which are a big part of any Stronghold economic design. I mean, with a all-out war kind of invasion, there'd probably be at least a fire or two, or maybe even a plague. But the economy was surprisingly easy to handle, the peasants were always happy, there was always a massive surplus of food. What I did was replace all farms with wheat farms, build woodcutters' huts everywhere. (also served as a good defense against those fire-happy people with torches) Fun to manage, just not challenging economically.
Out of many, this map was perhaps the most difficult one I've played in a while. The invasions are properly timed, well done. It's listed as "impossible" - personally, I believe that level of difficulty rating is a little bit of a misconception. Players might think that an map set at "impossible" is one that never ends, a map that contains endless invasions. That's not the case though, unless stated otherwise. Impossible difficulty is a map that takes extreme skill and definitely some luck; that's exactly what I feel here. Certainly not a map that can be beaten on a first try; maybe, not in two tries, or even three.
The story is not original but the gameplay makes a difference. Not extraordinary but it's a beautiful map.
Map Design: [4.5/5.0]
The detail put into this category is commendable. The design almost always determines what a map plays like. It's definitely a good thing you created a wide open area for the invasions to spread out along. Impassable mountainous areas take up a great portion of the map, yet don't detract from the experience.
Commenting on the aesthetic part of the map design, also nice detail with various terrain types, but the mountain sides could have used more work. It was a little odd that grass is only found in a little corner on the map. The fortress walls act as a boundary for the grass, something I found unnatural. Similarly, the stone boulder areas didn't seem convincing at all, but looked like they were crudely carved out of the mountainside.
A simple story and simple instructions, nicely written but short. Looking for a little more content here, I sure would like some hints/tips ;)
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My apologies for the long delay.