Jacob's Ford / Vadum Iacob
Posted on 04/24/12 @ 05:17 PM (updated 04/30/12
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Jacob's Ford / Vadum Iacob - Updated 30th april 2012
A "semi-accurate" reenactment of the historical event of "Jacob's Ford", or "Vadum Iacob" as the crusaders called it, in 1179 A.D.
A grand scale invasion/battle where Salah ad-Din and his mighty army crushed the castle under construction, Le Chastelet, and killed many of the 1500 defenders, including almost all of the approx. 800 Knights Templar (one survivor, the grand master, who was taken prisoner and died in captivity the following year).
This battle is considered by many to be the beginning of the end for both the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the Knights Templar.
A fascinating story, and I can highly recommend the following resources.
A BBC programme from 2006 - "The Crusaders' Lost Fort" - has recently been removed from the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/timewatch/past-series.shtml), but luckily you can watch it on YouTube:
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3f86rS62SQ
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8X6nbuTt5A
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlJF5kRVG88
Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e50kyGRARdw
Part 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9VwXDwAtLU
Each part lasting approx. 10 minutes.
National Geographic Channel (UK) programme about Jacob's Ford:
A picture gallery from the site (Vadum Iacob Research Project):
About the scenario
The map is build upon an earlier map submitted to Stronhold Heaven, where everything has been erased, except for the AUTOBINKS script. Unfortunately, there are a few "artifacts" ("ghosts" of caged wardogs and the odd "the enemy is inside the castle" although they are not. Fortunately, the "artifacts" will not influence gameplay (unless you let them).
You have 20 game years to build your castle and man it with crusaders. You also have to manufacture all their equipment. It sounds like a long time, but you will need to spend it wisely! If you are successful (get to see the victory screen), you have probably gained a new perspective on Stronghold Crusader economy!
There are some restrictions in the scenario, e.g. you cannot:
- relocate the stockpile
- trade weapons
- use good/bad things
Also, you should not let your population rise above 116! You can go there, but it will come at a price!
You will have to make one restriction yourself: Do NOT place any walls, towers or gates outside the top of the mount! Not that I think it will help you win the scenario, but because it is against the "spirit" of the reenactment of the battle of Vadum Iacob. You will understand if you explore the references mentioned above.
If you abide to the "rules", you will not encounter any hardships* - except for a few enemy scouts - before august 1179.
*beside micromanagement :-)
After august 1179 your production will plummet! Do NOT expect to "catch up" during the battle. If you are not prepared when Salah ad-Din attacks, you will have to face the consequences, and in a very unforgiving manner! Besides, at this point there is probably not much time for attending matters of economy, as you are probably busy repositioning your men on the castle walls in a desperate attempt to fill the rapidly increasing holes in your defense! In short: Expect very limited troop production after august 1179.
Salah ad-Din and his MIGHTY army will attack in august 1179 (as you might have guessed). Good advise:
- do NOT underestimate his army
- do NOT expect to win this scenario in your first attempt, no matter how good you are*
*The scenario is rated as "Impossible", even though it is possible, but it is very, very hard. Until you find a solution, that is, but that is true for all scenarios. :-)
Will you do better than the Knights Templar garrison? Only time will tell! If you fail, and the enemy troops starts pouring into your castle, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the inevitable. It's a grand spectacle! I've tried it a "few" times. :-)
Thanks to Lord_of_Hell for valuable input!
Now included is an "easy" version with the ability to use good/bad things, and without the weapons trade restrictions.
A small hint file (applies to both versions) has also been included.
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The map is actually pretty fun before the invasion, it puts the player into a sense of defense. Get your walls up fast and make them thick. Add some towers and man them to the maximum. Once 1179 arrives it's just complete hell. There's not much to do except sit back and watch what you've created perish.
The first few waves of Arab mercenaries are repelled with ease. But once that yellow army starts to grow balance is thrown out the window.
Not much to say on creativity since the map is based on reality. But I'll give a 4 just for choosing Jacob's Ford. ;)
Map Design: 3.5
I'm a huge fan of the Crusader period so I like perfection when it comes to maps based on true events. The only thing I like about the terrain of this particular map is the hill on which the castle is placed. You did a great job on it's height, shape, and slopes. The surrounding environment wasn't really of my likings. Would be neat to have it similar to the actual thing.
Loved the story and information you provided. It definitely deserves maximum points.
Once again, most appreciated for choosing to create Jacob's Ford. Keep up the good work. :)
[Edited on 04/28/12 @ 02:59 PM]
It is a very playable and fun map. No bugs, glitches or anything in the like happens. The scripting of random *cough* events is good and as expected.
As said earlier, the balance is quite, well, unbalanced. But I see this in the perspective that it is a recreation of an event that really happened in history. To call this unbalanced would be equal to giving a sprinter athlete at the olympics a speeding ticket.
Yes, some people call it unbalanced, but that is because it was meant to be exactly this unbalanced.
There never is much creativity to be added when you are recreating an historical event, but within the boundaries that were possible, you have succeeded.
Map Design: 4
The map is overall very well designed. I believe it is not historically accurate, so you are scoring your creativity points here more or less also. I loved the feel of the hill, and of the iron patches surrounding it. That was one of my major fun-factors.
I have learned much about this event and am very grateful I had the opportunity. The instructions and historical background make it for me a source of great information and enrichment. The story is good and I have nothing more to say about it.
I have one remark: perhaps the force of Saladin must be put into perspective with what he really could have mounted. Because over one thousand horse archer seems a out of proportion.
So, been absent from this site for some time, but this one was the first to catch my eye. I tend to lean toward the "impossible". Could be I like self-infliction, or maybe I just enjoy a good challenge. Either way, I tried this one out:
Well, it certainly lived up to its "impossibility" title. Almost. I mean, I did win it, but boy was it difficult...loved it though.
This was a category of some contention. As previous reviewers pointed out, it's either a case of "balance thrown out the window" or "giving an olympic sprinter a speeding ticket". I chose the middle ground. While based a historical event, the odds are FIRMLY in the A.I.s favor once Saladin marches on it.
For me, creativity of historical maps comes down to how well the creator does justice to the actual events. My interpretation: Fair enough. Decent implementation.
Map Design: 3
Again, decent enough. The hill was good, but the surrounding land left a little to be desired. Overall, average.
A more than adequate amount of information contained within this map, and you did well, I thought. Also good instructional content...really laid out well what was expected of the player. Excellently done.
Overall, a good map. I thoroughly enjoyed at look forward to future work from you. Keep designing!