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The Crusader Editor: Getting There

Crusader has introduced a whole new way of playing Stronghold: The Skirmish. This is a combination of Multiplayer and Seige map, rolled into one, and presented with a nice bow on top. What it has done, though, is replaced both of the previous options that were available when building a map. (Another, Seige This!, is more or less just gone).

In essence, a Skirmish is a Multiplayer map masquerading under a new name. You can still play it with your friends online, but now you can also play it offline against computer opponenets (that's where the seige aspect comes in). Because of this new gameplay option, there have been some changes in how you get to your blank map to start designing.

First step finds you at the main menu, and looking for the link to the Map Editor. The button has been renamed in Crusader to read "Custom Scenarios."

From there you will see the following choices:

1) Play a Map -- This option allows you to play a custom scenario. Custom skirmish and castle builder maps are available from their appropriate links on the main menu.

2) Load a Map -- Open a map into the map editor to make changes.

3) New Map -- Create a new map. For the sake of argument, let us follow the choices from this button, as the other two are self explanitory.

When you click on New Map, you will be presented with three more choices:

1) New Castle Builder Map -- This will allow you to create a castle builder map, which is intended to be a one player game with no real objectives other than to build, and no events (as the user can create their own by hitting the F1 key). When you click this, you will be given your choice of map size, and from there you can start designing your terrain.

2) New Custom Scenario Map -- This will allow you to create either an invasion or economic scenario similar to Stronghold. In fact, almost identical to Stronghold. What this means is that you may put down an enemy castle in this map, but it will not be controlled by an AI. When you click on this button, you will first be prompted for the size of the map, and then taken to the map editor page. There are two new buttons at the bottom of this page that look like the following:

The button on the left signifies an Invasion Scenario, and the one on the right an Economic Scenario. This is only intended as an identifier in Crusader, whereas in Stronghold the two types were available from different menus.

3) New Crusader Map -- This allows you to build a new Skirmish/Multiplayer map. These are maps that can be played online and/or against the new computer AI that are bundled with the software. When you click this button, you will be presented with an option of map sizes, and then will be taken to the map editor screen. Where the Scenario Map had indicators for Economic and Invasion, the Skirmish editor has these two buttons:

These allow the designer to indicate whether he or she feels the map to be balanced or unbalanced. This is just an indication to the player as to whether teams or individuals are on equal footing on the map, or there is either a size or a numbers advantage intended.

You are now able to get into the editor, and select which type of map you want to make. From here, let's proceed to what has changed or moved in this editor.

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* denotes a former staff member.