This map is based on a real castle of the Motte and Bailey design. When attacking this fort I suggest using the recommened troops as it can easily be conquered using armoured troops. Defending can be played on any difficulty but i was almost defeated on normal so if your looking for a challenge then try defending on hard or very hard, the map should also be played on these difficulties when attacking.
Old Sarum is a well known Motte and Bailey type castle. The author has put in a good effort at making a siege map. Unfortunately RabidFighter did not really follow the real design of Old Sarum that closely. This is disappointing IMO as I am a stickler for accurate historical reconstructions.
Playability 4/5 the map plays fine. The defenders and the attackers are entirely made up of bow and spearmen. The proportions are also well done as the attackers heavily outnumber the defenders. The AI does well attacking and defending. I was able to beat this map defending on a difficulty level of hard with a staggering 79% troop loss. Playing as an attacker I was able to achieve victory on hard with only 32% losses this is due to some balance issues.
Balance 3/5 there are way to many kill pits IMO. However without them you would not be able to win as a defender. As the attacker you can avoid most of the kill pits and achieve victory quite easily. This means that the whole map basically comes down to the use or avoidance of kill pits depending on if you are attacking or defending. Old Sarum is a far better map defending and as a defensive siege it is good fun. As the attacker you are given some ladder men who are absolutely useless. Old Sarum has been designed as an entirely wooden affair. I assume they are for decoration only? On hard difficulty as an attacker you are only given 15 Bowmen! I do not know how realistic this is for an attacking army, however the map is still easily beaten as stated above.
Creativity 3/5 average work, nothing special and no eye candy but a decent effort all around.
Map Design 2/5 Since this is a historical castle I have to score this low. Although the author followed the basic shape of old Sarum the extensive surrounding earthworks have been completely left out. Earthworks are a fundamental part of any motte and bailey castle. Without them all you have is a weak wooden fortification that can easily be overrun. Had you added the earthworks you would not have had to use the massive amount of kill pits or had to use rocks to make the motte top inaccessible other than through the main gate. The end result is a castle that is nothing like the real Old Sarum. The surrounding terrain also cries out for a more concerted effort not just a few scattered trees and rocks.
Story/Instructions 4/5 some playing notes and a nice little historical summary are included on the download description and launch pages. Nicely done but a bit more effort is required for a 5 score IMO.
In Short- a good effort here but some practice is needed. Also if one is going to design a historical recreation a lot more effort has to be put in to really make it work. Keep at it RabidFighter!