Map Designed by Merle Hofmann aka: Lord Hofmann @ Stronghold Heaven,
aka: Merle the Conqueror. Map Tester and Administrator of the former Stronghold-Knights fan website.
Imagine the violent birth of these almost seemingly impassable "Himalayan" mountains. 3 extinct volcanos formed the mountains that over a millennium ago were most likely islands in what was a great sea. The flow of both lava and water over the centuries formed numerous "caves" and a riverbed contained by mountains. Such scientific thoughts may be considered "heresy", it's better to just behold God's beautiful creation and give praise.
The monks at the "Monastery of Saint Christoph" have been here for over a 100 years doing just that. These monks were the first Christians to settle this area and carved into the mountains in order to hide and protect their granaries.
The last 15 years have seen many European leaders who, under orders of the Church, established many new defensive capabilities and an efficient military industrial complex. Other area leaders are highly suspicious of the new towers and preparing for war. This is a "Monastery of Secrets" and those secrets will be well protected.
Map terrain features include:
1.) "Caves"/"secret passageways" (which in reality are merely openings between the rock walls).
2.) "Himalyan heights" (some which will accommodate troop placement).
3.) "Narrow paths" along the edges of the higher plains/mountains accessing the "Keeps" upon them.
4.) "Land Bridge" connecting the "Monastery" to the "Keep" controlling it's area.
I believe this is the first SHC Multiplayer Skirmish Map to become available for download at Stronghold-Knights.com to include all of these features. If I am wrong, I'm sure that somebody will let me know.
Map Designer Notes:
Play options for up to 7 players, human or "AI", are fairly open ended.
Originally designed as a 1 human vs. 1 human vs. 5 united AI's game map. Recommended game setup is "Deathmatch", 40,000 gold to AI's, Strong Walls "On", 30 minute "No Rush", Game Speed "20", and Autosave every "20 minutes".
Other play options could include 3 humans all against each other and against 4 united AI's. Weaker human opponents may be given allies, human or AI, also. Players could additionally try team play with 3 teams consisting of any combination of human and AI's.
AI Castle Building Problems:
It does appear that this 3rd and final revision has solved the AI castle building problems encountered during the play testing phase. AI characters used during play testing were the "Wolf", "Frederick" and the "Sheriff".
It is not known, at this time, if there will be any other problems related to "AI" castle building techniques/programming. If anybody does encounter such problems, I would ask that they let me know via e-mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org naming both the "AI" character and which area their "Keep" was placed in when the AI encountered the difficulty. I thank you in advance, it may not change the map but at the very least this "read me" can be updated with a list of the problem "AI's" and the locations that may be troublesome.
Additional game play modes of this map for single player "Siege" and multiplayer Stronghold Crusader Extreme (with the Extreme options enabled) are being explored or in the works. I had created this map and saved a template with several concepts in mind, so keep your eyes open.
Our local group of players in Quincy, Illinois have played many of the custom maps from this site. Many are very good and I need to make more of an effort to rate and comment on them. By the same token, if you would like to rate/comment on my maps please do.
Merle Hofmann, aka: Merle the Conqueror, aka: Lord Hofmann @ Stronghold Heaven