Playability: 3/5. This map when played on the normal setting per the author's recommendation sees you having to acquire 300 stone, a large amount but given the relatively small map is a perfectly achievable requirement. Combined with a few good invasions to defend against, interspersed with one or two events, the map plays fine. There is only one fire event that I can recall and the last two invasions never happened. The troops stood by the signpost and I had to move my troops to attack them. Possible cause may be the signpost being choked by trees spawning. This is a shame as the invasions seemed heavy enough to break through the defences that are present and add a bit more spice to the game.
Balance: 3/5. Bearing in mind the above re invasions, it is difficult to see how the castle would have stood up against the introduction of macemen and crossbowmen in the last two events. I had amassed 40 archers and 70 spearmen in the time it took to get to the end of the map which would have seen off these more difficult troops. Economically the stone was met before the last invasion but credit here is given for the limited marketplace and that you only had archers and spearmen to defend your castle walls. Good effort though.
Creativity: 3/5. Nice idea, an economic goal and a few invasions. I particularly liked the idea of having a few walls strategically placed rather than a completed castle building. Good story adds to the overall feel of the map.
Map Design: 3/5. It's a good effort here. The map looks fine and has an interesting layout. Fording across the rivers means that there isn't a direct route to the castle and adds to the scale of the map. Would have benefitted from a bit more modelling of the terrain.
Story/Instructions: 4/5. A good story accompanies this map. It's interesting, well laid out and sets up the series very well. Good work here.
IN SUMMARY: Not a bad map at all, I did enjoy playing it and will start off the series of Lord Gray Rider well.