The barbarian kingdoms of the North are invading the beautiful and prosperous Kingdom of Esrionet. The evil kings known as the 'snake' and the 'wolf' respectively, are terrorising the land. You must garrison the old castle and village at the Sprellsife Vale.
You will be surely set upon by the bloodthirsty snake. You must build up our forces in this village in preparation of the wolfs arrivel. All craftsmen have been conscripted into the army so you will find building anything difficult.
Thoroughly engaging, the Invasion of Esrionet is an action packed invasion that includes a lot of fun.... and a fatal flaw. Overall, this is an entertaining map bound to give any player a days worth of fun.
PLAYABILITY : 4 Again, very fun and very playable. I opted for the hard level of difficulty and succeeded at said level on my second attempt. This map is very hectic at the start with the wolves inside your camp and the bunnies from hell... also starting inside your settlement. As you proceed the map does become easier. Although, this may have been due to the fatal flaw, (See map design). Overall, flaw or not, this is an engaging and challenging invasion!
BALANCE : 4 An extremely solid attempt at balance.... but not quite. I found the facet of irreplaceable buildings quite a clever counter to the fact that the player can very quickly amass a sufficient force to defend Esrionet. This makes the players initial efforts in regards to food, supplies, weapons, etc. far more critical. Essentially, this is a very well balanced map that tends to wane and become slightly anti-climatic at the end.
CREATIVITY : 3.5 A very decent attempt here at a well versed idea. Castle + terrain singularly protects + defends the only access to the ever important village + people. Not sure if this tidbit was on purpose but one can use all those wolves to cull the bunny hordes! :) I also felt that as well rendered and put together as this map is, there is no new or even basic pieces of eye candy anywhere on the map to enrich it. Otherwise, pretty much all aspects are well rendered.
MAP DESIGN : 3 One must always be careful when making a map, especially an invasion in this style as fortifications may become redundant. In The Invasion of Esrionet this is unfortunately the case. Think of Dunstanburgh Castle, walls and towers were not necessary in abundance on the seaward side. Here, the side protected from attack does not need a stone curtain and defending towers. In the end, this material is essentially masses of stone for the player to cannibalize. I opted for $$$. Remember, desperate people will do desperate things and in the authors scenario every plank of wood counts ;)
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS : 4.5 A nice story even if it is a bit short. One can see that a lot of time was put in to the accompanying text to give the player a storyline as well as good instructions on how to play the invasion at hand. Should a novice player become stuck, a hints/tips page has also been included in the download folder. Well done here as a lot of work is evident.
In Short, Invasion of Esrionet is a fun action packed afternoon. Alas, due to a couple of errors the map tends to be on the easy side of difficulty but still well worth the effort.