Playability: 4/5. The thid chapter in the Lord Gray Rider series, and another combination of economic requirements and invasions. This time you have an enormous amount of iron to achieve, well over 200 ingots. The invasions are heavy enough to cause you problems and you will need to consider walling in the keep initially before thinking about the iron mines ou will need. This was a good map, probably one of the better ones in the series, with some real defensive work to be done. Enjoyable and well designed.
Balance: 4/5. As above, you start with a blank map in effect and have to place the keep yourself. Build barracks and an armoury as quickly as you can then look to recruit troops. The invasions come over a period of about 8 years. The economic requirement is heavy and you won't meet this before the invasions have ended. You'll also find yourself building a large economy to allow as many mines to be placed as possible. This map played out well initially, but with the huge iron requirement I found myself a little bored towards the end. Still, it's a relatively tough map to start with and I liked this aspect.
Creativity: 3/5. Starting from the beginning in placing the keep and granary was a nice change to the previous two maps in the series. Added to this was the invasions at the start of the map, over the first eight years. They keep you on your toes and you'll probably suffer some buildings damage. Not a bad effort.
Map Design: 2/5. Unfortunately this isn't as good as the previous maps (chapters 1 and 2) and looked a little bare. Would have really benefitted from more terrain modelling to make it interesting. That said, it's perfectly functional and all the more better for being smaller in size.
Story/Instructions: 4/5. Another good story write-up. Brief it may be, it's another good progression from the 2nd chapter and reads perfectly well.
IN SUMMARY: Tricky, this one. But generally better and a good effort again. Leans more on you to form a large economy - you need lots of peasants in order to meet the iron requirement in a comfortable time.