I think Stronghold is a pretty decent game, but it's ridiculously easy to exploit. The best strategy in nearly every map is to boom your population at an extreme rate and then either sell excess goods or use double rations to tax your people. Then all you need to do is spam as many fletchers as you have room for and make archers and crossbowmen aplenty.
There are ways to prevent this. The best way is to disable trading wood in the market (or just ban the market entirely but that removes a nice element to the game). I played a nice Invasion a while back where hovels were disabled so you couldn't make more than 18 people, but I would prefer it to be more *challenging* to boom, not impossible all-together.
You can also use events to slow down popularity (and thus population) growth.
Well I recently found an old Invasion I made using some of these ideas to make a map that doesn't let you boom so quickly. It has two clearly different "phases." The first is trying to expand your population while eradicating the dangerous wildlife. The amount of bears and wolves on the map makes it quite tricky to get your economy rolling. After a lot of deaths, your hunters and woodcutters will have killed off enough animals to allow you to train your first few archers. After you start training them, the wild life will cease to be a problem, but the Rat will start attacking you, starting phase 2. The latter part of the mission tends to be much easier (like most missions); which is a problem that I haven't sorted out yet.
Well, this is a great map to play and struggle through. To prevent things from going too easy, the creator worked on four levels.
- Landscape: lots of stones and ground waves makes you puzzle when you try to place buildings, especially large farms. The natural curves of the river make the water flow slowly so that there are lots of fords which you have to take in account in respect of castle layout.
- Restrictions, not alone, as hinted, of trading possibilities but also of some buildings (e.g. no Good things) and ... troops.
- Script. Many different bad event will haunt, plague and trouble your village. I was quite busy re-adjusting food rations and taxes/bribes to keep popularity fine.
- The quarries cannot be walled in and also the precious trees often grow far away so that the woodcutters travel a dangerous way home with their load of planks.
- The Rat. Yes, don't lay back saying, it's only the weak units of the looser AI. They will come heavily upon you.
I was well served this scenario on Normal level, at first. A round on Very hard requires some training with the circumstances.
Many thanks for this map. It's a pleasure as for landscape, script, economics and fighting.
PS: "The latter part of the mission tends to be much easier (like most missions); which is a problem that I haven't sorted out yet." I think you have well managed to keep tension high and the outcome uncertain because of the severe shortage of wood. It was almost not possible for me to replace the losses of troops from the invasions, after a certain tree event had taken place - kinda phase 3.
[Edited on 12/20/15 @ 02:49 PM]
Posted on 01/04/16 @ 08:31 AM
This is a really good map. I enjoyed playing it a lot.
5/5 for me. Would love to play any more maps you have made assuming it has the same quality.
Posted on 01/06/16 @ 10:54 AM
I'm sorry, but after several restarts I resigned ... it's impossible to me to manage this map!
Any hints how to start the best?
[Edited on 01/06/16 @ 10:55 AM]
Posted on 01/24/16 @ 11:54 AM
I apologize to inform the author of the map, that I personally did some minor modifications in the map editor to adjust the difficulty to my skill level: I deleted all the plague events, so that I could manage to master this hard scenario played on "normal level". I think the mass of those bad events should be reduced with regard to the majority of average players.
Ben Reubenson File Author
Posted on 02/13/17 @ 07:47 PM
Goodness, I forgot that I uploaded this. Here I am looking through the downloads and I see my map...I'm glad that some people were able to get some enjoyment out of it. I thought this game had completely died off!