I actually built this castle some time ago, but have just got around to submitting it. The castle is symmetrical and even in its design and should challenge the player a bit in the attacking mode. The map work is a bit better than on my last map and I have also added a storyline to go along. good luck.
Fortress21 is a hard castle to beat. You have a number of options in how you wish to take it, as it is surrounded by moat on 3 sides. These can be filled in once you carve a weak spot in the defences. The map is highly addictive and due to the compact nature of the castle, you come under fire from just about all angles once you reach the foot of the walls or the gatehouse. With some careful tactics, you can take the fortress but patience is required. A good siege map in terms of playability.
On the hard setting per the author's recommendations, it can so easily go wrong. The castle is well defended with crossbowmen, in sufficient numbers as to cause havoc with anything less than pikemen and their armour. I opted to destroy the 'good things' near to the signpost you enter the map, in an effort to weaken their resolve. With an enormous amount of gold (too much to be fair, 10K is a little excessive and 3-4K sufficient to hammer away at walls and towers), I picked at the gatehouse and large towers, throwing numerous diseased cows to kill virtually one side of the castle defenders. Pikemen filled in the moat and from there on it was a slow but fruitful march around the wall walks with pikemen, taking out all crossbowmen. My own archers supported the advance.
A good map with lots to do and a tactical approach... very good work!
Having to kill all the enemy units rather than just rush the lord makes for an interesting and IMO a much better siege scenario. Your approach alters and this really added something extra to gameplay for me. A standard siege map which is very well protected, not only from within, but by lots of pitch diches which could easily ruin the chances of a foolhardy approach.
Map Design: 4/5
To look at, Fortress21 is similar in some ways to Bodiam castle in Kent, England. It's beautifully modelled in near-perfect symmetry and the compact nature of the design means it's easier to defend than other castles. The terrain looks okay too, maybe a little rough in places, but suitable nonetheless. Credit here goes to the castle design though, which is very well made.
A great little story accompanies the map which is found in the screen prior to game launch. What I liked about this was the genuine effort made to present a believable background to the siege that lay ahead. It's extremely well written and clear, easy to understand. Great work.
I liked this map a lot. I tried reckless attacks and was cut to ribbons within a short time. Plan ahead, and this will be a rewarding and satisfying siege map to beat. Reviewed only as an attacker, per the notes indictated by the author. Good stuff all-round!