The tale of Scarlet Leap is a tale of tragedy and despair. For once there stood a beautiful castle high on the plains, guarding a county of breathtaking scenery and overlooking the flatlands to the south. The county was ruled by a kindly lord and all was well. On a warm summers' evening though, word reached the lord that he must fight for King and Country once more, as he had done so many times in the past. The lord duly took up arms and with his garrison of soldiers set forth. Her ladyship was concerned for her lovers' wellbeing and waited patiently for his return. She spent many a night near the waterfall waiting for news of her kindred spirit, praying that he would return soon.
One day a message arrived at the castle, declaring that the lord and his men, themselves with their own families, had been feared killed in battle. It was said that when her ladyship heard the news she was so distraught that she threw herself off the cliffs near the waterfall onto the rocks below. The river ran red with her blood in the valley.
However, the lord was not dead. Seriously wonded, but still very much alive. He made a recovery and once he was well enough to travel he headed back to his castle, keen to be reunited with his love. On hearing the news though, it is said that he broke down and cried, sitting by the waterfall for days.
His grief was overwhelming. Nobody knows what happened to him; some say he left the county as the memories of happier times were too vivid. Others say he joined his love in the valley below the waterfall. The county fell on dark times and the castle into disrepair.
-You have the position of overseer of these lands and the King has requested that a new castle is founded here, in the shadow of the ruins of the former stronghold. Some years have passed since the fall of the first castle and the small river valley in the plains is now permenantly in flood. There is plenty of fertile land at the foot of the waterfall. Build a new castle at Scarlet Leap and build it in memory of those that lived here before.
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Playability:4 This map is truly awesome, it is quite challenging while not overly hard. It's very replayable and it's fun to summon hordes of enemy troops to have a go at your castle.
Balance: 5 Well it's a freebuild so there isn't much to say about balance; like I said before its not too hard while it's not easy: You must place all the farms and mines carefullly if you want to have an efficient economy. I ended up placing 19 dairy farms to support my population (because you can place them on high plain which the majority of the map consists of), at one point I had 6 tanners!
Creativity:4 Quite creative idea, I liked that the old ruined caslte was all flooded etc. It isn't one of those maps where you have huges resource deposits, there are a rare few and you must place your mines carefully.
Map Design:5 WONDERFULL MAPS, STUNNINGS MAPS: I belive I have assosiated these words to anything made by Sulis. Incredible design, the author has obviously worked on this map fastidiously to perfect every individual detail, I especially liked the ruins of the old castle. Over all a beautiful map, I think this could be one of Sulis's best maps.
Story/Instructions:5 Great story, Easy to read and understand and adds greatly to the feel of the gameplay.
Overview: Great map, fun to play and quite challenging (moslty because of the sparse resources) while not imposible. Another quality work by Sulis, download this if you love incredibly realistic freebuilds!
This map is wonderfully balanced all around - it's one of the rare ones where everything works as you well as you could hope! Not too easy, not too hard. And it wasn't hard in the sense of placing farms or keeping the people fed, but at one point I let my attention wander to another aspect of the game and had to hurriedly lower taxes when the people started leaving (unusual for me in a free build). The challenge came more from keeping the economy growing and in balance while building up arms against the many wolves and bears.
The map design is beautiful - especially the flooded castle ruins and the streams (which have to be the best I've seen yet)! The score for creativity is really tied up with the one for the story in this map, as they are really interwoven.
I couldn't think of anything I didn't like in this map - it just all came together so nicely, and was a pleasure to play!