Economic map with several goals to achieve within a timelimit. Building restrictions apply !!! How the player places buildings, and prioritizes what to build will be the key to victory!
Lots of time has been put into balancing the map. I find it a challenge to meet the goals. Since Im not the best of players Im sure that some will find them easier than me and maight have a go at a tougher level :)
I hope you will like it. Please review the map.
As described above. This map HAS building limitations. They ARE deliberate !!! This map is balanced to be a challange!. You will not be able to place new woodcutters, but the once an the map IS enough (they are placed so you should not lose all)!!! The player will have to defend himself. The key to victory is as said to build the most important buildings first !! Fire and plague exists yes, but the game has responses to this - use them. No player (unleas of course VERY good ones :) ) can expect a victory the first try. But if one learnes from mistakes made, this map is "beatable".
I dont think any player enjoys maps won on the first try, but when beaten a real challenge - thats what is fun!
Oh.. I do appreciate reviews of my maps, since they make it possible to learn and improve future maps. But please follow the review guidelines. The only thing I leaned by the comments below(16/2) was that the map was found difficult - I have no idea why creativity/story/map is graded as low as it is.
I have now changed the "difficulty" rating from normal to hard ! I am not sure this was neccesary but fair warning is given :) Good luck
End Edit 20/2
Your Country has had years of bad harvests and war with neigbouring nations further south. Starvation is threatening the land. Your King Gustaf realizes that you are getting weaker every month. Since he must both defend the country towards the south and at the same time has problem feeding his people. The soil of the lands will not feed enough people. Towards the North, up the coast, lies the legendary Northlands. They are known to have much resources but its a wild land. Not many of the adventurers that have ventured into this land has returned. The few who have, has told tales of wild animals, aggressive natives but also of rich soil, minerals and more.
The Kings father, who ruled some 40 years earlier, sent ships up the coasts to establish a settlement. Only two men, out of 200 ever returned! They were both quit mad, and rambled on about beasts, curses and blood.
King Gustaf has now realized that another attempt must be made. For him to be able to repell the southern invaders, he must have the resource problem solved first. Besides food, he desperately needs iron and gold to support the defence of the North.
King Gustaf has asked you to command the mission and you have already sent a scouting force upcoast, to prepare and see what, if anything that can be used from the first settlement. Your King has given you a time limit to complete the mission. If you fail, the land will starve and the defences will fall towards the south.
As you disembark in the Norhland, you wonder if all the talk of beasts and curses has any truth in them. You realize that you must be ready for anything....
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Wonderful! Exploring North is a economic challenge that kept me on my toes from start to finish. Sten has delivered another cracking map, this one reflects thought and planning, diverting from the normal run-of-the-mill scenario through a carefully limited building allowance quota. Even on easy dificulty I found this to be taxing yet you have ample time to steadily build up the goods required as well as arm yourself to fend off the bandit attacks and mini skirmishes with wolves. What makes this a perfect score for me is the excellent use of events, which I presume are scripted in rather than randomly date-placed. There seems to be something happening all the time and this really sets a frantic pace, yet the messages/events never seems overwhelming (probably due to that timer bar... you know you can't sit back and build pretty castles when there's a time limit working against you). The bandit attacks were heavy at times, yet they seemed to be ideally sized. Wolf attacks could be stemmed through use of archers and crossbowmen. This is a top quality economic map that reeks of gameplay and fun.
Following on from some of the points above, Sten has very nearly produced an excellently balanced map. I say nearly, as it was tricky from start to finish. You need to be quite a developed player to complete this at normal or hard difficulty and it took me several attempts as my skills here aren't particularly strong. However, it will appeal to many players. I'd prefer to see it set just a little easier, but this is the only (minor) flaw in what is a quality map (call it nit-picking!)
Whilst there is nothing here that strikes you as something new, it's the overall quality of the scenario that deserves the healthy score of 4 here. I like the option of pre-placed woodcutters that must be protected, likewise the dairy farms. I initially thought that a marketplace with limited scope to sell something would have been nice, yet having played it through in various settings, I found it wasn't needed. The distance from the keep to the stockpile... indeed, the nature of a widespread village, allowed the map to be utilised to the full. Good work.
Map Design: 3/5
The only section of this map that I found to be average. The terrain is well done, with a lovely feel of a forest/woodland to it, and although there is minimal building work, it still looks interesting. Make no mistake, this is a good looking map with no obvious flaws, and nothing is intrinsically wrong with the design. It ensures that building placement is important with fires sprouting up when you really don't want them to (Sten, you are twisted!) and you need to utilise large areas of the map to combat this.
With a minimap to entice you to download 'Exploring North', a well written and flowing story to whet the appetite, some thoughts on how best to play and clear instructions on what the map offers overall, it's hard not to acknowledge the work that has been done here. It finishes off the scenario well. Another area that has been done well.
Whilst every player has individual thoughts about maps submitted here, i'd ask you to download this and play it for yourself, because it's a bit of a gem IMO. Exploring North is addictive and superbly designed, reflecting the author's talents at map making. It's high calible work that deserves a recommendation. Nice one, Sten :)
A very challenging mission. Wood income is confined, depending on pre-built huts (a concept the author has already used in his "Restoring Hope"). Funny idea to give the bandits a perimeter tower to labour at!
However, the core problem consists in the limited stockpile: 2 parts, 8 quarters, not more. This feature is almost unique ("New Aephysio", "Ufo II" and "Cliffside" use it, too). You have many goals and thus quite a variety of goods that need to be handled or even stored at the stockpile. Two quarters too little for the harder levels, to be precise. The processings of wheat and hops must work in a perfect flow path. Although you may have to supply some 150 bakeries, you must not need more than two quarters of the stockpile as long as you need stone for religious buildings. Disbanding farmers in between is an emergency solution.
Whoever dares to try the puzzling map on very hard, needs to develop a minute strategy of the sequence of buildings and the popularity effects they provide. On the second attempt, I got just an idea of how to win the mission. Inns, for example, devour lots of wood, but their bonus is required for taxes. You can occupy ever more people in mills and wells.
The time limit is long enough to reach the targets.
[Edited on 04/01/09 @ 03:19 PM]