Mondraen is a well thought out siege map that concentrates more on using natural defences to keep the enemy at bay. Whilst the map design is such that the AI suffers a little bit (erratic attacking of walls in redundant areas of the map), this is still a decent siege that I found played well as both attacker and defender. The troops protecting the castle weren't overly aggressive, meaning that you had to work to defeat the masses of invading troops and likewise, if playing as an attacker, the choice of troops you choose is important. Good quality gameplay here.
The balance of this map when playing on hard-defending, as well as hard-attacking, was very well done. As above, you aren't blessed with an impossibly strong army and this adds to much to the map in terms of gameplay. Pitch ditches and killing pits are used to great effect, with minimal placement of both defences. I personally prefer this option, as they can overwhelm the map and spoil the fun. Not the case here, this should be a good test for most skill levels.
Whilst there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the map's creative side, it does come across as a standard siege. That said, it's done very well, with two areas of buildings that looked good and added something extra to the map design.
Map Design: 3/5
Some use of terrain modelling outside of the castle walls, but the credit here goes to an interesting looking castle construction. It looks different from the norm, albeit small, and I like the distinct areas of the castle the author has achieved (inner & outer bailey, barbican, etc). Good effort.
A nice little story accompanies this map and has been written quite well. It's a good little introduction to the map being offered. Would benefit from being extended and elaborated upon.
IN SUMMARY: A pleasing siege map that has the main elements of a good fight, both attacking and defending. Balance is very good and in terms of gameplay, it's well above average. Nice work!