You travel on the road to Jomm and planed to halt on the christian trade post of Jaom.
Here you had to resupply and take weapons stocked here for Jomm fortress. Unfortunatly your mission change a little.
There a little trouble at Jaom. Local lord is dead, garrison slaughtered, weapons plumpered and trade post is hmmm... see by yourself.
Joam's trade post is no longer a safe place, and it's to you to save this important relay.
Jaom too much trust on trade, but trade road is no longer safe. Trade is now limited to immediat available goods in the area, iron, meat and fruits.
Your new mission : make of Jaom a self suffisant community. In order to secure this area you had to build a small fortress, create and give support
for a local militia, take care about church presence in this christian area, and achieve your former mission as soon as possible.
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PLAYABILITY (3). This is a very difficult scenario. It’s hard to review, it’s hard to score and it’s certainly very hard to play. It also happens to be one of the most frustratingly addictive missions that I’ve ever encountered. This is an invasion scenario with some extremely tough economic conditions to meet. There’s a deadline of just over 14 game years and the ‘time until defeat’ bar fills up far too fast for comfort. I’ve played this scenario six times in total and haven’t come anywhere near beating it. I now accept that my gaming skills are just not up to the challenge, but I doubt that I’ll be the only one found wanting.
BALANCE (2). I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the economic requirements are just too hard. I don’t mind a fair fight but this is an unequal contest, compelling though it might be. It’s a struggle for survival from the start, and that’s just to maintain your popularity rating above the critical 50%. Then you add on a lack of food and finance, stir in fire, plague, lions and pestilence, mince with some violent military manoeuvres and finally season with a market that lacks basic essentials. It’s a tough nut. The designer’s hints on the mission include advice on placing more iron mines and farms than I managed to achieve. The method seemed a bit underhand and I wasn’t intelligent enough to work out the procedure involved. I therefore played the mission at a distinct disadvantage to that intended. I also had to cope with the disconcerting habit of quarry workers walking the five miles between two quarries, as opposed to waiting for stone that was being cut just yards away.
On the first five occasions I played the game, my Lord was killed during the final military assault. The demise came about even after frequent saves and reloads to escape rapidly plunging popularity ratings. On the sixth attempt, I acknowledged that I would never achieve the economic requirements and concentrated my resources on merely surviving beyond the last battle. That was satisfyingly achieved and I also managed to attain the population requirement, complete the castle, eliminate all enemy units (that appears twice in the list) and produce the requisite number of spears. However, I failed dismally at bread making, accountancy, fletching and religious instruction. I did have 900 pieces of wood on the stockpile but, as I couldn’t sell it or lay killing pits, it was a rather useless resource.
CREATIVITY (3). I enjoyed the starting routine and the clever mix of farm land and tree plantation. The military attacks were a challenge in themselves and rather unpredictable. I did find the time scale of 14 game years much too short and the economic requirements much too long.
MAP DESIGN (3). The map isn’t pretty but it’s very functional and does the job. The siting of two signposts gives a high degree of apprehension about the direction of the military attacks. The use of elevation provides an opportunity to develop different defence strategies. However, if the designer felt that this mission warranted 4 iron mines in production, I would have preferred the opportunity to place them openly.
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS (3) There’s an interesting story to lead you into the scenario very nicely. The story and grammar need tidying up but it’s hard to be too critical of someone whose mother tongue isn’t English. A separate file contains some useful game hints although, as commented on earlier, some are not entirely clear.
CONCLUSION. The designer puts this scenario down as normal difficulty and I think he’s having a quiet laugh. No matter how many times I play this mission, in its current set-up, I will not be able to achieve a victory. But if the gaming period was to be extended to 18 years (and if the number of bows required was to be halved - and if I was able to place four iron mines and nine farms - and if I could trade stone at the market – and if I could lay killing pits) then it might be a different story. Jalis has another invasion scenario available and I can’t wait to download it. If it provides half as much fun and frustration as this one, then it will be worth the effort. I have assessed this map, after much thought, at 2.8 but with a little better balance it would have been deserving of a much higher rating.