This is my first attempt at creating a scenario. Any constructive comments would be appreciated.
I have tried to create a balanced scenario that requires the player to pay attention to cash, resource, and food management, as well as the military objectives.
I have also endeavored to recreate the historical event as much as possible. I had to use a half map approach, as the full Alesia battlefield could not be reproduced without creating significant issues of playability, particularily relating to the rules against encroaching buildings and fortifications near enemy positions.
Although the start resources appear to be generous, my own play-testing demonstrated that unless those resources are efficently managed, serious and potentially ruinous shortfalls will occur as the battle progresses.
My play-testing seemed to mimic some of the historical events relating to the battle. The Alesia garrison's efforts to assist in breaking the siege were not well coordinated with the relieving force's attacks (this is something that cannot be controlled, to the best of my knowledge, given the randomness of enemy entry points onto the map). Also, the mountainous region in the South East part of the map (Mt. Rea in the historical event) proved to be a weak point to defend, and in fact was overrun by the relieving forces during the course of the historical battle.
I took several measures to increase the effectiveness of the relieving force's attacks. I located the iron and oil resources within the Roman lines; when I located them outside the lines I found that this created a distraction to the attacking forces and broke up what might otherwise have been a sustained attack. Similarily, I took out wooden gates that I had inserted within the Roman lines that were intended to slow breakthroughs to the main Roman camp. With these in the game, I found that attacking units often became preoccupied with reducing the separately contained fortresses that these gates had created. Players can add these as they play the game, but I would suggest that they refrain from doing so if they are interested in a challenge.
One thing I could not recreate was the surrender of Vercingetorix. I elected to end the game by requiring players to see the siege through to the end, and slay the Gallic leader. In the historical event, Vercingetorix surrendered after it became clear that the relieving forces had failed, and that he himself would not be able to break through the Roman lines and escape. The surrender is immortalized in Royer's famous painting which hangs in the Louvre. The Gallic hero was then taken to Rome, and pursuant to Roman custom, was executed after Caesar had celebrated his triumpheral parade through the streets of Rome. Ironically, that did not occur for several years after Caesar had crossed the Rubicon and successfully defeated the Republican forces in the Roman cival wars.
One thing that I think I was successful in recreating is the importance of the Roman's auxilliary cavalry units to the battle. These units in the game can be instrumental in delaying an enemy breakthrough while the Roman player rushes additional units to the threatened sector. I found this interesting and enjoyable, as I have not really encountered many Stronghold scenarios where cavalry units have any value other then as eye candy.
Happy New Year, Count Bohemond.