What to do, what to do, what we have here in WILD FORTRESS 2 is a fine little attacking siege map that unfortunately suffers from a few serious design flaws. I debated (while playing of coarse ;) ) if I should post this review as a comment or a rating. In the end, I felt the author would appreciate being rated regardless and this map is quite a bit of fun.
Playability: 3 Better known for his eyecandy maps, who can forget the hilarious 'Take care about a burn', PikemanG has put together a nice attacking siege here. What you have is an extremely well defended large wooden castle. Ground mounted ballistae and crossbows abound and all together the castle design lends itself to the Stronghold configuration. Indeed the AI seems to really like the design of the fortress defending it to a fault... This however is due to a flaw in the fortress itself.
Balance: 3.5 and just that, WAY to many kill pits and although pitch is sensibly placed it is ranged very badly. Unfortunately, both of these defensive devices can be bypassed rather easily. As far as the troop configuration goes the map is crossbow and pikeman heavy but this is actually ok due to the attackers large quantity of mace men, which always makes an interesting opponent to a small armored defensive force. A lack of funds and siege equipment is actually what is needed to ensure a somewhat balanced attacker/defender ratio simply due to the castles design.
Creativity:4 A very nice attempt at a wooden enclosure castle. Lowered wooden walls and a very good rendition of such a fortress makes movement and much of anything else difficult when attacking. However, against all historical knowledge the author chose to make the castles outer ward higher than the inner ward. This has caused the castles own defenses to become an Achilles heel. Without giving all away, I will simply let the author know that I have beaten this map on the Very Hard level of difficulty with 0% troop losses. (.sav file available upon request.)
Map Design:3 Unfortunately, there are a lot of faults in this category that greatly effect the map. Rock placement is horrendous and actually works against the castle by providing cover for the attacker. Attention to small detail is incredible in the Fortress proper but severely lacking in the surrounding terrain. As PikemanG is so good with his artistic maps, I cannot excuse this. A lower inner ward is the death knell of this map. Again, I don't want to spoil all as this map is fun and the castle is very well designed. Alas, here is the last and greatest flaw. You do not need to engage the WILD FORTRESS in its entirety. Due to an objectives scripting error, No Enemy and Invasions left should have been No Enemy on map, You need only kill the Lord to achieve victory.
Storyline/Instructions:3 Here, one must give deference. 1 point because there is an attempt at instructions. 1 point because a storyline has been given in the sense that more than one map deals with the evolution of WILD FORTRESS if not an actual story. 1 point for the fact that all this was given even though English is not PikemanG’s first language. Still, instructions on how to play the map and a little more story detail could have been provided.
Overall, a good attacking Siege with a very well designed wooden Fortress that despite some serious design flaws offers a lot of fun!