News Archives: 2002
In this part of the world it’s Christmas Eve. Tomorrow will be Christmas, a day that means different things for different people.
However, I think there’s a few things we can all share on Christmas Eve.
We can share a friendship with people we have, often, never seen, but whom we know quite well after all the time we spent together. Time spent talking about the games we play, but also talking about other things that matter to us.
Time that was, in my opinion well spent.
So on behalf of the Stronghold heaven staff, I’d like to propose a toast.
“To Christmas and to Friendship!”
The Fifth Crusade
In his series on the Crusades, Sulis, with some help from Reckless Rodent, has arrived at The Fifth Crusade.
In the second decade of the 13th century, crusade enthusiasm was running high, but Jerusalem itself was still in Muslim hands. European commitment made possible the most ambitious crusades of the period and their aim was simple: ensure the survival of the crusader states by conquering Egypt itself, their notion being that this was the seat of Muslim power in the East.
It was the great ambition of Pope Innocent III to recapture the Holy City and in April 1213 he called for a new crusade to the East. He died in July 1216 before he could see his plans come to fruition. Three days after Innocent’s death a new pope was elected, Honorius III. He immediately took up where Innocent had left off, writing letters to the monarchs of Europe. Few answered the call, and those who did sent only very small armies. Response was better among the French and German barons, and the Frisians agreed to provide a fleet.
I have an added bit of interest in this particular crusade, as the town I live in participated in the siege of Damietta and earned it’s coat of arms here.
Castle of the Week – Goodrich Castle
Despite not being a ‘well man’ Sulis did some hard work on providing us with a write-up and a playable castle for Goodrich Castle, in Herefordshire.
Goodrich castle in Herefordshire is sited on a high rocky spur over the right bank of the River Wye, commanding a crossing of the river. The area was known as the Welsh Marches, an area on the border of Wales. It is protected partly by a natural steep slope and valley, and partly by a dry moat cut out of the rock.
Goodrich was originally an early motte and bailey construction but, as was the case with most of this type of castle, it was relatively small and was used primarily as a military fortification. The development of Goodrich from a fortified site into a home and administrative centre can be approximately dated between 1160 and 1270 and reflects the phases of castle building and improvement that can be seen here.
Enjoy, and join me in saying “Get well soon!” to Sulis.
Game Spy Game of the Year voting
Game Spy’s Game of the Year 2002 – Gamers’ Choice Awards are now open for voting here. Stronghold Crusader is among those nominated both in the PC Strategy Game of the Year and PC Overall Game of the Year categories. So its time to get voting.
Saladin’s Conquest Walkthroughs
Walkthroughs for the Saladin’s Conquest historical campaign are now available on the site at http://stronghold.heavengames.com/sc/strategy/walkthru/
This one is a joint effort of Sulis and Wraith and it means all the historical campaigns have a walkthrough available to help those who find they need a little guidance on possible ways to play the missions or just so you can see how others played it once you have finished it yourself.
Castle of the Week – Kerak
We proudly offer you the first issue of the second year of Castle of the Week. GillB provides us with a wonderful write up of Kerak, a Crusader castle.
Kerak in Jordan is situated about 3,500 feet above sea-level on the King’s Highway, the ancient route for caravans travelling from Egypt to Syria. It towers over the surrounding plains on an isolated hilltop with magnificent views all around, particularly towards the Dead Sea 10 miles away.
Results of The Smithy contest announced
The results of the I-ChallengeU Stronghold contest for November, The Smithy, have been announced.
Congratulations to the winners, Seer at Hard difficulty and Kenet at Easy difficulty, and all who participated. You can see all the results here
The Fourth Crusade
In his series of article on the various crusades, Sulis has braved illness and bad weather to deliver the write up for The Fourth Crusade.
We do hope you appreciate it.
Castle of the Week – A Year’s Worth of Statistics
After a year of Castles we decided to do a little counting and came up with the following statistics.
Countries covered by the Castles:
England – 22
Germany – 10
France – 3
Netherlands, Spain, Syria, Wales – 2
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Northern Ireland,
Romania, Scotland – 1
GillB – 35
Granite Q & Hanarky – 5 each
Sulis – 3
Jayhawk – 2
Forcemaster & Targan Khan – 1 each
All the first ones and a couple later were from the game plus:
Wraith – 21
Sulis – 3
bobT & Jayhawk – 1 each.
Provided by many websites plus Alexander I, GillB (& her dad), Granite Q, Ice, Jayhawk (& his dad), Sulis
So let’s see where we are a year from now?
Castle of the Week – Mont St Michel
Today is a memorable day, as today sees the 52nd issue of our Castle of the Week feature. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who made this possible, especially Wraith for his wonderful castle maps and GillB who did the absolutely smashing job of doing most of the write-ups, research and publishing of all these wonderful castles.
We hope you have enjoyed them.
This week features one of France’s most interesting fortifications Mont St Michel.
While Mont St Michel is not, strictly speaking, a castle, it is surrounded by fortifications and is a great monument to medieval building. It is built on a small (1km diameter) rocky island in a vast sandy bay between Brittany and is connected to the mainland by a 1km causeway which is covered at high tide. The traffic-free road winds its way up past small houses and shops to the 13th century monastic buildings and the Benedictine abbey at the summit, 80m above sea level.
After 52 issues we’ve decided to slow down a little and offer you a new castle every other week, rather than every week. Don’t be disappointed, as it may be less quantity, but it will be more quality.
New Crusader Articles
Our cherubs have been busy (like they are supposed to be) and created us two nice new articles.
First there’s Ztolk who wrote a little article on how to get your own personalised Multiplay shield, which you can find here.
Secondly there’s the latest instalment of Sulis‘ series on the actual crusades. This time it’s the Third Crusade.
Happy First Birthday to Stronghold Heaven
|Its Stronghold Heaven’s first birthday today and we hope you have all enjoyed our efforts and the past year as much as we have. Thanks to all the forumers who have helped to make the site special and thanks to Ztolk who has prepared a special birthday cake map.|
Castle of the Week – The Aleppo Citadel
GillB provided us with another of er wonderful write-ups”:
Aleppo Citadel stands on a 50 metre high hill and habitation on its top is thought to date back to the 16th century BC although the earliest remains found so far are Roman and Byzantine from the 9th century BC when there was known to be a temple on the site. There is a legend that Abraham camped on the hill and milked his cow there.
Pictures courtesy of your’s truly.
The History of Greek Fire
One of our forum regulars: littlegloomy wrote a great little article on one of the new weapons of mass destruction that are featured in Crusader: Greek Fire
In a world where new warfare technology is adopted so quickly by so many nations, it’s hard to imagine that the method of creating a weapon as devastating as Greek Fire would be lost to the passage of time. But the recipe for this weapon was so closely guarded that within only 50 years of its invention, the knowledge was lost even to the original owners. While incendiary weapons had been in use for centuries (petroleum and sulfur had both been in use since the early days of the Christians) Greek fire was much, much more potent. Very similar to our modern napalm, it would adhere to surfaces, ignite upon contact, and water alone would not extinguish its flames.
Castle of the Week: Burghausen Castle
Thanks to the joint efforts of Hanarky, Gill and Wraith we present you this weeks Castle of the Week
Castle Burghausen is located in Bavaria in southern Germany about 110 kilometers (66 miles) east of Munich. It lies on the west bank of the Salzach River which is the border between Germany and Austria. It is the longest existing castle in Europe. The castle is build atop a ridge and its length is stretched out over a full kilometer (1034 m). Parts of the defensive structure reached down to the village and are integrated into its town walls. The complex is divided into six courtyards.
It is thought that there was a Celtic settlement on the Burghausen ridge in 100 BC. In 600 AD the first building on the castle site was a wooden fortified house built by Bavarian Dukes and used the court of the Palatinate. It served for general administration as well as for the protection of the salt trade, shipped on the Salzach River.
ICU Contest: The Smithy
I Challenge U has a new contest for (the original) Stronghold up:
This is a critical time, my Liege. Rumours are abound in the villages of a particularly disturbing event. Word has it that the barbarian tribes from the Northern shores are forging alliance, amassing their numbers at frightening speed and are preparing to move South to overthrow the King. They are dangerous peoples, my Liege. The King is duly worrried and has asked that you set up a new castle in this land.
Want to know more?
Castle of the Week – Caesarea
“Is this a castle I see before me?”
Well, actually it isn’t, listen what Sulis has to say about it
Not so much a Castle of the Week as a City of the Week. Caesarea has a long and fascinating history and was a settler town, captured by the Frankish army under King Baldwin I in May 1101, its walls only enclosing one tenth of the old town’s 6th century area. Under the crusaders it became the seat of a secular Lord and of an archbishop. The new occupants drove out the Muslim population but did little to alter the existing streets, fortifications, water supply and houses. The mosques were hastily turned into churches and it wasn’t until the middle of the 12th century that the Great Mosque was demolished and replaced with a new Latin cathedral.
Not only did he write the article, he also created and uploaded a wonderful map to go with it.
Note: Sorry, Crusader only…
Seems like we’re getting a reputation for being late…but here it is: The Stronghold:Crusader Heavenly extension.
For this opening we feature a fairly extensive interview with FireFly’s Darren Thompson which should tell you some things you didn’t know.
I’d like to thank Darren and the Stronghold staff, of which I’d like to thank our latest members, Sulis and Ztolk in particular, for the help and effort made in getting this information up.
You can expect a few more extensions in the coming days (weeks?) but we hope you enjoy whats here by now.
The layout, for the time being, is as follows. On the main page, you will see a bar on the right side of the game showing you the content that is Crusader specific. Once you click on any of the links it will bring you to a Crusader page, with a sandy center, a Crusader navigation bar on the left, and Richard grinning at you in the upper left hand corner.
The original crusader pages are either cross-linked where relevant, or can be reached through the main page (click the title graphic) They are recognisable by their dark center and the Wolf looking down on you.
Castle of the Week – Festung Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Castle)
GillB once again gives us this weeks CoTW.
Salzburg Castle (Festung Hohensalzburg) stands on the Mönchsberg, a 400 foot hill overlooking the beautiful and musical Austrian city. It is Europe’s largest fully-preserved castle but, despite its great age (over 900 years), it has little history as it was never attacked and only occupied once when it was surrendered to Napoleon without a fight.
An eventful article
Ztolk has been working his little wings off and created a nice little article on the use of Events within the Stronghold Editor.
So here it is for all you people new to either the Stronghold or the Stronghold: Crusader editor.
If you have ever tried to make an Invasion or Economic map in Stronghold or Crusader, you have realized that you must have scripted events to make your scenario enjoyable. The purpose of this article is to educate new scenario designers in the use of these events.
The events work in a Cause-Effect format, the causes being called Conditions, and the effects being called Events. That means there are two parts to every event, the condition that makes it happen, and the event that the condition creates.
Castle of the Week – Krak des Chevaliers
To celebrate the Age of Crusader we’re bringing you the first in a series of castles from the Levant, and what better place to start than with Krak des Chevaliers:
It was described by TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) as ‘the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world’ and by Paul Theroux as ‘the perfect storybook castle that you have always known existed somewhere.’ It is the furthest east of a chain of five castles built to defend the Homs Gap, which was the route between the Mediterranean & inland cities. It stands on a hill of about 2300 feet with a sheer drop on three sides. It was never taken by siege or storm and is considered to be the strongest and greatest castle built by the Crusaders.
It’s a co-production of all our staff colours, so we hope you enjoy it.
IGN Review of Crusader
Yet another positive review for Crusader from IGN this time.
“If you enjoyed the mighty Stronghold, but want a game with even more substance, then sire, your software is ready. Stronghold is one of those rare games that comes along without any fanfare and ends up being really special even though nobody really expected much from it. However Crusader had a few of us salivating before its release, as the original game was such a promising appetizer”
Gamespot Review of Crusader
Reviews for Stronghold – Crusader, the stand alone sequel to Stronghold are starting to appear. You can read a review from Gamespot here
“Stronghold: Crusader is a marked improvement over the previous game. Considering its new campaign options, more-satisfying single-player missions, and tweaked gameplay, it’s a safe bet that fans of the original game will have even more fun storming the castle.”
Castle of the Week – Raby Castle
GillB‘s back with another castle for you to read about. This week it’s Raby Castle, in County Durhum.
Raby Castle is another from the north-east of England. It was built by the Nevills (the most powerful family in the north) in the 14th century on land that held been held by their ancestor, King Canute, in the early 11th century
It’s a wonderfully impressive castle, which I sadly only saw from a distance.
Castle of the Week – Burg Trifels
In the Middle Ages the castle had two functions. From 1125 to 1298 it was the temporary depository of the Imperial crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1125 Emperor Heinrich V had determined that the empire insignia should go to Trifels after his death. The treasury consisted of the Emperors crown, Imperial orb, two empire swords, emperors coat and other items, together with a piece of the holy cross and a nail with which Jesus was nailed to the cross.
Burg Trifels is another CoTW kindly written by Hanarky.
Interview with the Crew
Or at least part of them…
Darren was kind enough to mail me a link to an interview with him and Phil (Triblade) on Crusader Planet. Here’s a titbit…
Are there any easter eggs or silly cheats you can hint toward or give us?
We would recommend trying to finish the skirmish trail
Not one, but two new cherubs!
When I woke up this morning, I heard a giggle and then another giggle. As I looked up I noticed this small bit of Heaven had experienced a significant population increase.
Please welcome to our hallowed ranks:
Sulis, who will be helping out GillB with the History section and will generally be active in doing reviews and helping out on the Crusader Game Help.
Ztolk, who will be helping out on Game Help, Scenario Design, and the odd-bit of Number Crunching.
Both are already working hard on getting content together for Stronghold: Crusader.
I planned on promoting these two stalwarts when the site went life, but with Wraith being entangled in nappies and most of the rest of the staff working overtime to get Emperor Heaven up and running, I didn’t want you, our visitors, to feel lonely in the forums, so please be nice to our youngest cherubs.
Here‘s the thread on the Community forum to celebrate their promotion.
Castle of the Week – Aydon Castle
GillB was kind enough to take the pictures my Dad took on his last trip to Northumberland and look up the history belonging to the castle.
Aydon Castle stands amongst woods on the edge of a ravine down to the Cor Burn near Corbridge, Northumberland and is one of the finest examples of an English 13th century manor house.
A wooden house was built on the site by Hugh de Reymes, a Suffolk merchant who had bought some land in Northumberland, in the mid 13th Century. His son, Robert, converted it into an undefended stone manor house in 1296. There had been a long period of peace but unfortunately almost as soon as the house was completed, the peace was broken in 1305 and the border raids and Scots invasions started again. He applied for permission from Edward I to fortify his house which was readily given.
Castle of the Week – Reichenstein
Castle Reichenstein is situated high up in the wine producing village of Trechtlinghausen in the Rhine Valley between Bingen and Koblenz. The oldest buildings indicate foundations from the early 11th century. At that time the region belonged to the abbey “Kornelimuenster” near Aachen and was a gift from Ludwig the Pious. The abbey appointed castellans for the administration and safeguarding of its rights.
Reichenstein is another CoTW kindly written by Hanarky.
Castle of the Week – Nuremberg
Nuremberg was founded in the year 1040, primarily as a castle by Emperor Heinrich III and used to secure and expand the surrounding imperial estates. As it was the custom for Teutonic (Germanic) people in medieval Europe to set up a castle around which a town would develop, so a city quickly followed. “Nouremberc” was first mentioned in documents in 1050 and, after 1070, the grave of the miracle-working Sebaldus led a stream of visitors to Nuremberg, which then became an important trade center.
Nuremberg‘s another castle presented to us by Hanarky.
Of course the only reason this announcement is late, is me, being too busy digging a moat in my backyard
Here’s a message brought to you by Wraith
With the coming of crusader, it has been decided to bring this round of the stronghold heaven ladder to a finish. That being said, its time to announce a king, who has lead the entire list: First Knight, Well done! Honorable mentions to derusett who came in second and Ztolk and Panthrjd who tied for third. Great thanks to all those who participated and we hope to see you for the Stronghold Heaven Crusader Ladder, which should begin around october. For up to date details, please visit the Multiplayer ForumCongratulations guys and good luck in part two.
Castle of the Week – Burg Hohenzollern
This week’s castle, Burg Hohenzollern, is the first in a series of German castles researched by Hanarky. Of course we all know her as an avid gamer and a good designer of maps.
The Hohenzollern dynasty, from which German kings and emperors arose, originated as a family of counts in Swabia in the 11th or 12th century. They ruled Prussia and eventually united and ruled Germany until the end of World War I. Their strong, rigidly disciplined armies gave Prussia a reputation for military excellence. The Hohenzollerns were named for their ancestral castle, Zollern (later Hohenzollern). The castle Hohenzollern is situated near the city of Hechingen at an altitude of 855m on a high, conical hill (called the “Zollern”) in the Swabian Alb region of Baden-Wurttemberg, a state in Germany.
Wraith was kind enough to supply us with a playable version.
We’re looking forward to the rest of Hanarky’s research.
Eric Ouellette fesses up about Firefly’s next castle siege title
Draco was kind enough to mail me this little link.
One of the bigger surprises of the year last year for us was Firefly Studios’ real-time strategy game based around the assault and defense of European castles called Stronghold. It managed to blend a lot of history together with enough creative license to stir up a hell of a good game that was some serious fun. Well they’re coming back with a new Stronghold, but this time they’re taking it to a new forum and taking fans’ wish lists and bringing them to life. Stronghold: Crusaders moves the battles to the Middle East in order to showcase one of the bloodiest struggles in medieval history, The Crusades.
And of course this is the answer we’ve all been waiting for
The game will ship towards the end of September.
What’s a man without a woman?
Or more accurately what’s a medieval man without a medieval woman?
GillB has delved the depths of the internet and her library and found out all you wanted to know about the lot of women during medieval times. Beware, it’s not a pretty picture.
A woman’s life was above all one of obedience to men. She was expected to obey her male relatives until she married and then obey her husband for the rest of her life. If a wife disobeyed her husband, he was allowed to beat her, but not if he was drunk or in a temper.
You want to read more?
To get yourself in the mood for Stronghold: Crusader, you can test your skills with Desert Warrior: The Stronghold Crusader Online-Minigame.
You can find it here.
Castle of the Week – Schloß Weitenburg
The mists of the Black Forest are covering the valleys, wolves are howling, and lumber jacks chop the wood for the long winter. Still in the 21st century, you can feel this medieval atmosphere over here in the southwest corner of Germany. Between the mountains of the Black Forest and the heights of the Swabian Alps, the river Neckar created a wonderful, mystic valley. The richness of fish within the river let ancient humans settle along its banks. Celtics, Alemans and Romans enjoyed the spirits of the forests and the beauties of the valley. Full of fairy tales and legends, this area is one of the oldest civilized regions in Germany.
Thus starts the description of this week’s castle: Schloß Weitenburg. It’s tale is told to you by someone we haven’t seen a lot on this side of Heaven, but is well known to those frequenting the HG Community forums, it’s that lover of life’s pleasures: Targan Khan.
Castle of the Week – Bolton Castle
It’s Friday once again, which means it’s time for the Castle of the Week once more. This week’s castle is another colaboration effort by the staff
Bolton Castle is in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park which is one of the most beautiful parts of England (although maybe I’m just slightly biased as my family comes from nearby and I spent my honeymoon there). Today’s rolling hills covered with heather and low scrub were, when the castle was built, hidden by an ancient forest. The castle has never been sold and remains the property of Lord Bolton, a direct descendant of the Scrope family who initially built it in the 14th century. Although partly in ruins now, the castle’s original grandeur is still plain. Another castle much in demand for filming purposes, it has been seen in Ivanhoe, Elizabeth (the film), Heartbeat and All Creatures Great and Small amongst others.
As you can see the place has a special place in GillB‘s heart.
Oh, one more thing. Not only are Uploads possible again, but you should also be able to submit reviews once more.
What’s keeping you?
The good news is, the uploads are back up and running, however the forums will be down until at least 6PM EST.
We apologise for the inconvenience.
Uploads still down
We’re still experiencing problems with the upload of scenarios.
Please have patience a little longer.
One a happier note, the results for the latest ICU Stronghold Contest are in. First place goes to Hanarky, who built the castle you see in the mini map. Honourable mentions go to J Reed, Sulis, and Duke of York
As usual the works of all four winners can be downloaded from I-ChallengeU.com.
Crusader demo now available
A 79 mb demo for Stronghold Crusader has been released and can be downloaded from here
Have fun fighting off the infidels
Castle of the Week – Fotheringhay Castle
This week we have another guest-writer, but one we’ve seen (and enjoyed) before: Sulis. He presents us a castle that should be better known than it is: Fotheringhay
Fotheringhay is a little known, yet somewhat famous castle in Northamptonshire, England. It has substantial royal connections extending from the time of the Norman Conquest to the 1930’s and the visit of Queen Mary. In between, there has been the ownership by the King of Scotland, who was also Earl of Huntingdon, to the birth of a future king.
Sulis also created a castle to go with the story, which will be uploaded as soon as we get our upload facility restored.
Age of Wonders II Heaven
Draco and his crew have finally revealed what they’ve been working on for all these months: Age of Wonders II Heaven.
The original Age of Wonders is probably one of my all time favourite games and I’m looking forward to giving my attention to it’s sequel.
Hmmm…I have a gut feeling that the next Heaven to be opened will involve your’s truly.
Castle of the Week – Pevensey Castle
This week’s Castle of the Week features another of our guest authors, GraniteQ, who produced us a wonderfully detailed read.
As well as having one of the most complete Roman Walls in England there is an enormous amount of history associated with the site of Pevensey Castle, now in East Sussex. The ruins of the medieval castle at Pevensey stand in one corner of a Roman fort, on what was once a peninsula surrounded by the sea and salt marshes.
It was built by the Romans between 250 and 300AD to defend the coast against the Franks and Alemanni who were attacking the Roman Empire in northern Europe. It was built on a small island, and was known as Anderida.
When the Roman Legions withdrew from Britain in 408AD, the castle was occupied by the Anglo-Saxons until it was seized in 491AD by Aella the Saxon.
If you’d like to write us a Castle of the Week, please contact GillB.
We do have a playable version of Pevensey ready, but as the move left the download section in some form of disarray , it’s currently impossible to upload any information to the downloads database. This means no new castles, no reviews, no comments.
We are busy trying to fix this, but it may take till next week before we can actually do so.
Note: You can still download castles.
Godgames Crusader site updated
The official Godgames Crusader site has been updated and now includes new screenshots and some information about the story and characters in Crusader. Enjoy it at http://stronghold.godgames.com/crusader/
You will (or should) have seen yesterday’s message about the Downloads Section being temporarily off line. I promised to tell you when it got better.
Well, the news is, it may get worse.
We are busy moving servers, and have run in some problems of varying severity. The Downloads Sections may be working intermittently. Uploading files is almost certain to fail, so it’s best to wait with uploading until we get everything working perfectly once more.
Worse, even the sites themselves may be down intermittently. We are aware of this and doing out utmost to get everything working as soon and as smoothly as possible.
We apologize to everyone for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
Here’s a small newsflash to remind you that the Downloads Section will be out of service for at least part of today for maintenance reasons.
We hope to get it back up shortly.
Castle of the Week – Alnwick Castle
This week’s is a rather famous castle, which stars in various movies.
The pictures of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland may look very familiar to you as it has frequently been used as a film set, most recently as the external view of Hogwarts in Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone. It also featured prominently in Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves, Blackadder I and The Fast Show. However, as well as being a film set, it is also the family home of the Percy family who have been important throughout English history and it is the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor.
The Chancellor’s FAQ
FireFly’s Darren Thompson dropped a little something in my mailbox the other day. A hefty tome gathering together some of the wisdom he’s distributed over the months since Stronghold was released.
We’ve uploaded these useful titbits and labeled themThe Chancellor’s FAQ.
Oh Happy Day
Castle of the Week – Bodiam Castle
Nope the Castle of the Week wasn’t late again, this time it’s just me that was late. GillB and Wraith deliver another castle for you to read about and play with, this time it’s Bodiam Castle in Sussex.
Bodiam Castle stands on the borders of Kent and Sussex in south-east England. It was originally built as an extremely fortified manor house and is a symmetrical square stone castle surrounded by an artificial lake fed by underground springs.
There was a Saxon hall on the site, but the castle of today was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrygge. He was a veteran of Edward III’s wars with France and one of the most powerful men in Sussex who, in 1385, was given permission to fortify his house against a possible French invasion. He chose to build the castle rather than make alterations to his house.
Some of the images, like the above, have been provided by my Dad, who was also kind enough to take a lot more pictures when he was in the UK a few weeks ago, some of which have been added to Bamburgh Castle. You’ll see the others in some of the upcoming Castles of the Week.
We’ve got one more bit of news…a rather…smelly subject. Our angel cum historian GillB has been delving into medieval loos.
So click the link and smell the…well, you know what I mean.
Castle of the Week – Edinburgh Castle
A Castle of the Week against all odds, as GillB suffered a major hardware meltdown late last week.
Edinburgh Castle, a motley collection of buildings from various periods of history, is spreadeagled on Castle Rock, an extinct volcano, 300 feet above the city. The site has been fought over for nearly 3000 years although most of the present castle dates from the 16th century and later. During its life, it has been a palace, a treasury, a refuge for Scottish kings and a prison. Now it provides a magnificent panorama of the city and surroundings.
Gill, you’re a marvel.
Castle of the Week – Ludlow Castle
This week features another joint project by GillB and Wraith: Ludlow Castle in Shropshire.
Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, on the borders of England and Wales, occupies a good defensive position. It stands on level high ground guarded by two rivers and has its own supply of water from a deep well in the inner bailey. It was mostly built of limestone quarried from its own site and is one of the few castles to be built of stone from the outset.
I’m real proud of them as it was a very short notice project, as Sulis, who had volunteered to do a write up this week, suffered from an acute case of hardware failure. We hope he’ll be back into business soon.
The Stronghold Dream Castle
ICU (I-ChallengeU.COM) is having a new contest. This one is actually more suited for those that like the map editor as it involves creatng your own basic landscape as well. As you can see from the title it’s all about beauty.Here’s a bit of the rules:
Create a detailed map within the editor. All maps must be Large or Huge in selection.
Complete all landscaping and eyecandy additions.
Develop and build a completely enclosed castle situated on the newly created land.
All Castles must have a fully functioning population and military. Population must be in excess of 140 people.
Military units must include a full array of choices and provide a substantial and realistic defence of the castle.
The population must be rated at 100 percent happy when we view the map.
The map must function for a period of one year on its own, without judges interference. The function includes full services to the castle community without loss of population.
Want to know more?
Just follow the link.
You may want to hurry, as this contest closes on the 31st of July 2002, and all submissions must be submitted by 11.30 pm EST.
Castle of the Week – Carrickfergus Castle
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we offer you Fridays Castle of the Week on…Monday.
Carrickfergus Castle stands in a strategic position on a rocky spur above the harbour on the northern shore of Lough Belfast and is a perfectly preserved Norman castle, probably the earliest stone castle in all Ireland. It is in the small Northern Irish town of Carrickfergus, Co Antrim and the name means ‘rock of Fergus’, Fergus being a king who was shipwrecked and drowned there in the 6th century. Originally it was almost completely surrounded by sea.
Our thanks go to GillB once more.
I vaguely remember a traditional folk song titled Carrcikfergus on oneof Loreena McKennit’s albums. Lovely song…
We seem to be experiencing some trouble with the server and hope to resume transmission as usual soon.
Currently, most problems seem Downloads related.
Castle of the Week – Bamburgh Castle
Today we have a guest speaker: Sulis. Most of you will know him as an avid reviewer and forum regular, but he can also tell a story
“A more impregnable stronghold could not be imagined, for rugged strength and barbaric grandeur it is the king of Northumbrian castles. From nearly every point of the compass its majestic outlines are visible. To the mariner plying between the Tyne and the Elbe, it is the most conspicuous landmark on the North East Coast of England.”
To read more on Bamburgh Castle, you just have to follow the link, which will also get you link to a Siege scenario set around Bamburgh, designed by Sulis.
The Ztolk was kind enough to point me to some new screenshots of Crusader, hosted at the Stronghold Kompendium.
Castle of the Week – Château Bouillon
GillB brings us another wonderful castle:
Bouillon Castle in the Luxembourg province of Belgium guards the natural route of all north-south invasions through the Ardennes. It is about 10km north of the French border and 200km south of Brussels and is the earliest and best preserved medieval fortress in Belgium.
The castle is built in three main parts linked together by bridges on a steep bluff overlooking the town and the Semois valley. The Duke’s house was in the main courtyard where the only trace now of the original keep is a scrap of wall.
Wraith was kind enough to make us a Multiplayer map based on the castle
GillB also recently finished another project: The Medieval People Glossary
Castle of the Week – Prague Castle
GillB presents us with another continental castle, this time the one located in one of Europe’s most medieval cities: Prague
Prague Castle can be found in the middle of the capital of the Czech Republic on a sprawling site on top of a rocky ridge above the Vltava River. It gives the impression of being a small walled town rather than a castle and at 570 meters long and 128 meters wide it is the largest ancient castle in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Sadly enough there won’t be a download to go with it, but…who knows what might happen? If any of you out there want’s to make me one, drop me a line.
Castle of the Week – Richmond Castle
GillB did the write up again for this weeks CoTW, Richmond Castle
Richmond Castle in North Yorkshire is a striking sight. The keep stands 100 feet high and one side of the castle is perched on the edge of a 100 foot escarpment down to the River Swale. It is the oldest surviving stone built castle in England
Wraith has once again made a scenario of the castle which you can download from here
Heavengames visits E3
Angels Draco, Farmgirl, Spineman, and Thunder recently returned from an extended visit to the E3.
Well, another E3 has come and gone and HeavenGames was there in force to see it all. The best description of E3 that I’ve heard is “total sensory overload”. E3 is a feast for the eyes and ears and is a wonderland for anyone who loves games. While the sights and sounds certainly are fantastic, what we really valued most was the chance to meet and talk to some of the best game designers, artists, programmers and producers in the industry. Angel Thunder, Draco, Farmgirl and SpineMan were able to attend E3 this year and we got a chance to meet a lot of great people. The great part about the show this year is that most everyone we talked with knew about HeavenGames and were happy to finally meet us. That was a big change for me since the last time I was at E3 in 1999, we only had two sites and hardly anyone knew who we were. I really enjoyed meeting so many people in the gaming industry. Just a few of the people we met and talked to were Bruce Shelley, Tony Goodman, Sandy Petersen, Mike McCart, Kevin “The Sheriff” Holme, Greg Street, Ian Fischer and more from Ensemble Studios, Brian Reynolds, Tim Train, Danan Davis, Paul Stephanouk, Kristine Ishii and more from Big Huge Games, Rick Mehler and Steve Cherrier from Microsoft, Eric Ouellette and Simon Bradbury from Firefly Studios, Alex Rodberg from Sierra Studios, Oleg Yavorsky from GSC and Franz Felsl from PopTop Software. Universally, everyone was really great to us and I can’t thank everyone enough for spending time with us at the show.
You can find the complete article here.
Another Stronghold: Crusader Preview
TheShadowDawn found us another preview
Simon Bradbury is at it again. The mastermind behind city building staples, Caesar and Pharoah, announced in conjunction with Take-Two Interactive that 2001’s critically acclaimed medieval warfare game, Stronghold, will soon have a baby brother. Stronghold: Crusaders is Bradbury’s latest brainchild, and he’s encouraging it to come out of his creative womb like a placenta covered bat out of hell (not only was that corny, but it was also disgusting – I’ll stop now). Here at E3, Bradbury declared that the series’ second installment would be based primarily around skirmishing and straight-up, good old-fashioned combat.
I’m not sure if I need to be worried about this little bit though:
the single player campaign mode will take a back seat to the single time skirmishes
To read the rest
Draco’s look at Crusader at E3
Draco has returned from E3 and while there Spineman and him managed to get a short interview with Crusader’s Director Simon Bradbury and Executive Producer Eric Ouellette. You can read about it in this thread in our Stronghold: Crusader – General Discussion forum.
Castle of the Week – Rochester Castle
For this weeks issue, we have Granite Q to thank for write up of Rochester Castle in Kent.
Here’s little follow-up on the previous news item. There’s some interesting titbits about a new unit called an Assassin, who can sneak into a castle and open it’s gates. It also seems our favourite enemies, the Rat and the Pig are back in business. We are also promised four campaigns to play.
I’m sorry to say there are no new screenshots.
Gamespy Previews SH:C
Skirmish mode should sound familiar to real-time strategy (RTS) enthusiasts. Up to seven opponents can be faced in a single-player or multiplayer skirmish. Unlike most other RTS games, there is no fog of war, so you can watch see how many resources they’ve accumulated, the units they’ve built, and the status of their castle. Hot keys allow you to bring up the other castles quickly. Each castle is built by an oasis, the source of resources like wood and food. The maps are varied with “some deliberately fair, some deliberately unfair,” according to Director Simon Bradbury.
Game looks to be pretty sweet… can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it when it is released.
A Slice of Vulture, my Lord?
GillB, who I know loves her food, has delved into the mysteries of Medieval Meals.
In Stronghold, food and drink are very important things for your people. No food in your granary and you lose 8 popularity points; no beer in your inn and your people are extremely unhappy. You can supply them with meat, cheese, bread, apples, beer and, one can only assume, water from the wells. In medieval times things weren’t that much different, if slightly more varied.
The church had rules about what could and couldn’t be eaten. Until the beginning of the 13th century, people were forbidden to eat ‘four-footed flesh’ and only fish was allowed on a Friday. People cheated however and were known to eat meat such as beaver, claiming that as they used their tails for swimming so could be counted as fish. Beavers quickly became extinct.
On a different subject, ICU after experiencing some problems with the multiplayer bit of their challenge, have changed the rules and now offer three new single play maps to decide who’s the winner of the coveted Single Player Crown. There is still going to be a multi player event, though.
You can read more about this here…
Castle of the Week – Bran Castle
This time GillB has found us a castle with a difference. Situated deep within the Karpathian Mountians lies Bran Castle, the stronghold of none other than Vlad Tepes, also known as Dracula.
Bran Castle is deep in the Carpathian Mountains in the area of Romania called Transylvania, about 20 miles from Brasov the second largest city in Romania. It is a good example of a gothic fairy-tale castle and today is better known as Dracula’s Castle. In fact, his castle was a few miles away and is now in ruins but for some reason the name has stuck.
As an historical extra, she added a little extra on this infamous person. Beware though, it’s not good for those with a weak stomach.
Wraith was kind enough to supply us once more with a scenario.
Have you ever wondered what the medieval equivalent of television was? Just how people kept themselves amused in a time of low technology? GillB has been living up to her new feathers and wrote us a little something about medieval entertainment.
Lord ako has provided some of the illustrations.
I’ve added a list of all the Keyboard Shortcuts for Stronghold to our Game Info section. Hopefully many of you will find this useful, you can find it here
Bells are ringing all over Heaven
Some of you may have expected this as I’ve been dropping hints like a serial killer drops bodies. 😉
With pride and joy I’d like to announce that two of Stronghold Heaven’s hard-working cherubs have been raised to the exalted ranks of the Heavengames Angels.
Please give big round of applause to GillB and Merepatra.
On a less happy note, I’ve been forced to accept the resignation of Inquizative. It turned out that Real Life™ suddenly needed him more than he’d hoped for.
I hope he’ll be getting his feet back under him soon and that he may even come back to visit us.
However, I did manage to find a very good replacement for him, a cherub who’s already been giving you a lot of his time and help and who is far from a stranger in the Scenario Design forum and the Recovery Rooms.
Please welcome thurdl!
You can congratulate them in the Community Forum
Castle of the Week – Skipton Castle
This week we offer you a co-production between GillB and Wraith:
The original Skipton Castle was built in 1090 to stop the rampaging Scots in their frequent incursions into northern England .. mostly unsuccessfully. It has been the centre of several battles during its history and still stands in the middle of the town, one of the most complete and well preserved medieval castles in England.
You can find the download here.
Attention to all using @home.com
Notice to forum users:
If your forum account still lists an email address @home.com by 5/19/2002, it will be banned.
Our forum rules require a valid email address; this is especially important since if we need to contact you via email on matters relating to your account, and it bounces, your forum account is auto-banned until it gets straightened out.
As you know, @home.com no longer exists, the @home.com mailservers are gone, and no longer forwarding emails to their forumer customers’ new addresses. Thus, all forum accounts which have email addresses registered to @home.com will be suspended on Sunday, 5/19/2002.
If you have not already done so, please update your profile with your current email address. A new random password will be sent to the address you provide, so please be very careful that you enter a valid, working, non-bouncing email address. If the address you enter is invalid, you will effectively lock yourself out of your account until it’s fixed. Our forum requests backlog is quite backed up, so getting around to fixing your problem will take a long time.
To check if the email you will be using is valid, make sure:
1.) That it hasn’t expired (hotmail.com is infamous for this)
2.) That it is not full
3.) That it is set to accept emails from heavengames.com (especially users from AOL & Hotmail)
4.) And that there are no typos anywhere in your email address!!
and lastly, send an email to that address, or have a friend send it, to make sure it isn’t bouncing.
Castle of the Week – Durham Castle
This week’s castle is that of Durham in the North of England. GillB wrote the description and bobT aka Bob Taylor created a scenario to go with it.
Durham Castle was begun in 1072 and has been continuously occupied ever since. It began its life as a border defence against Scotland, later became the palace for the Prince Bishops of Durham and, since Victorian times, has been part of University College at Durham University.
Firefly’s Darren was kind enough to point out this little news flash to me.
Within a resilient castle beats the heart of a thriving society full of Fletchers, Brewers, and Armorers, while outside stalk enemy Assassins, mighty War Engines, and the constant threat of fire. In “Stronghold: Crusader,” players will journey to Arabian lands renowned for brave warriors and fearsome weaponry, while reliving heroic battles of the historic Crusades. The player’s challenge is to build and defend medieval desert fortresses and lay siege to fearless enemies. As European nobles or Arabian warriors, players must conquer the harsh terrain in the legendary Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries.
There’s even some screenshots available here.
Castle of the Week – Schloß Neuschwanstein
GillB has provided us with another wonderful write up. This time it’s about that well known fairytale castle in Southern Germany.
Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps in Germany really has no place in the histories here as it a fantastical imitation of a medieval castle built in the 19th century. However it is probably one of the most famous castles in the world, and the one used by Walt Disney as the prototype for his Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.
A plague upon you!
Our local historian, GillB has done some research into the historical reality behind the healer and the plague event in Stronghold. This turns out to be a rather…ripe subject:
In 1347 the Bubonic Plague (also known as the Black Death) hit Europe. In 1348 it came across the English Channel. It struck quickly, starting with slight swellings in the armpit and groin, followed by coughing up blood, the swellings oozing, large purple/black blotches on the skin and the victim would smell revolting. Within three days he was dead. The bodies were piled up or thrown in rivers so, of course, it spread rapidly. Within two years, two thirds of England’s population was dead and the plague returned another six times that century.
Are you sure you wnt to read more?
Castel of the Week: Tintagel
We are proud to present another guest-writer for our Castle of the Week department. This time it’s Forcemaster who wrote us a wonderful essay on Tintagel in Cornwall.
Without a doubt there were Iron Age hillforts and cliff castles built in Cornwall. Whether there was a fortress at such an early date as Tintagel is doubtful but no work about this castle would be complete without at least a mention of the clouded and legend swathed beginnings of this, the most romantic ruin in the British Isles.
May you enjoy it as much as I did.
Note that the Excalibur pack from FireFly includes this Arthurian stronghold.
Well, with the bulbs full in flower, we decided to do a bit of spring cleaning in the forums too. As a result the three different Game Help forums have been merged into one:
Are moats more effective than pitch ditches? Is the Rat’s sniveling getting to you? Is the Wolf dancing on your dead body? How many woodcutters do you need? Are your crops destroyed by rabbits and do witches curse your apple trees?
This forum is there for all you lords and ladies to discuss strategy and tactics, or ask for help.
Don’t worry though, all your brilliant posts have been moved, not deleted.
The Revised Stronghold FAQ
Merepatra took a fine comb and went over all the threads in Game Help and several other nooks and crannies of the site to revise our Frequently Asked Questions sections. The result is four pages bursting with information.
The downloads statistics tell me we now have over 400 maps submitted to our site, for a grand total of 225Mbytes. The total number of downloads is well over 100,000.
To help you keep track of all the changes, I added a little page which will tell you if any of the existing files have been updated by their respective authors. You can find it here.
Castle of the Week – Framlingham Castle
GillB treats us to the 21st Castle of the Week. This time it’s Framlingham Castle, in Suffolk
Framlingham Castle is in Suffolk in East Anglia. Its thirteen massive towers dominate the flat country round it.
I got a little email this morning:
The 11th is approaching, and at midnigth the 11th becomes the 12th. So, could you kindly post this tomorrow for the news.
Let the battles begin!
As of Today, you may start to play the games for the MP. The ladder will be opened at midnight to report your entires. Good luck to all, and may you all have glorious victories!
You can still sign up for the ladder here.
Castle of the Week: Dunster Castle
Another wonderful write-up by GillB this time it’s all about Dunster, Somerset
Dunster Castle overlooks the small village of Dunster on the edge of Exmoor in south-west England. It is unusual in that it has only changed hands twice since the Norman conquest of 1066 – the Mohuns until 1376 and the Luttrells from then until 1976 when it was taken over by the National Trust and opened to the public.
And don’t forget to sign up for the Stronghold Champion’s League: Struggle for the Crown.
For more information visit I-Challenge-U.com
Stronghold Version 1.2: The Second Patch
It’s here Lords and Ladies, the v1.2 patch for Stronghold.
Stronghold Version 1.2 readme
I. New Features
Free Build Mode:
- You can add your own events and invasions within the free build maps. Press F1 at any time while playing a free build map and select the event or invasion you wish to start.
- Multiplayer mode now has the option, ‘Strong walls on’. ‘Strong walls on’ means troops cannot attack walls & towers. Only siege equipment is able to destroy the walls & towers.
- Multiplayer mode now has the option to stop in game alliances.
- Your troops can now capture the Gatehouse from an enemy player. You can capture a gatehouse by getting one of your troops onto the top of a gatehouse. Once one of your troops is on the gatehouse, the gatehouse will automatically open.
- Pressing ALT and within the map editor now includes the option to resize the map. WARNING: When making your maps smaller, you will lose the edges of the play area. Be careful when using this feature, as it is irreversible.
- When troops are set on aggressive within multiplayer they will automatically target enemy buildings as long as there are no enemy troops in the immediate vicinity to attack.
- The Lord can be sent back to the keep at any time, you can do this by clicking on the keep when you have the Lord selected.
- The keys: Q, W, E, set the stances for your troops: ‘Stand Ground’, ‘Defensive Stance’ & ‘Aggressive Stance’ respectively.
- Selecting troops and double clicking on their destination will cause them to walk at their own pace and not the same pace as the other troops in the selection.
- In the multiplayer set-up screen, the last four IP address entered are remember and can be cycled through by clicking on the button next to the IP entry box.
II. Version 1.2 – Problems Fixed
- Grouping troops using the CTRL and number key now works correctly.
- When pouring boiling oil onto buildings and siege equipment they will be set on fire.
- Apple trees will no longer spawn extra trees.
- When attacking an enemy castle (during a single player game) you can no longer use ‘attack here’ to kill the enemy archers on towers at a distance without taking any damage.
- A newer version of the copy protection system is used on this patch. This should solve some problems, such as: Clicking on the Play button, the CD Spins and Icon or Logo appears and then Stronghold returns to the desktop.
- When disease starts to disperse, it is now less dangerous.
- When your own troops are standing next to a Ballista when it fires, they will no longer be killed by it.
- When task switching in windows, the in game speech will no longer play.
- Ordering multiple siege towers to the same spot on an enemy wall will now only dock the first one to arrive.
- An issue has been fixed where the deer would become stuck in certain situations.
- Archers & crossbowmen now automatically target dogs of war once they have been released from their cages.
- To build dogs of war now costs double the amount of gold & requires 10 wood.
- A crash has been fixed which occurred when dragging out large amounts of pitch.
- Clicking on pitch titles using the ‘don’t dig’ command no longer effects the pitch tile.
- Placing a moat template no longer removes the dirt on the ground.
- Archers no longer target unmanned catapults, allowing you to commandeer them.
- The repair button becomes faded when the enemy is nearby.
- The ghost that appears occasionally no longer counts towards your current population count.
- When you have enough weapons to create troops in the barracks, you will no longer receive the ‘weapons needed’ message.
- Various good and bad things can be burnt and have health bars.
- Switching the sound off in the tutorial paragraphs no longer automatically skips messages that have a skip button.
- Fixed a Siege weapon ammo cheat.
- Gatehouses can now be built on the ‘defending the homeland’ map.
- Quarry grunts will stay nearby to quarries.
- The enemy will shoot at tunnellers.
- The ‘cancel game’ error message (in multiplayer), which appears when a resync occurs, is now less easy to accidentally click on.
- Fixed a range issue when firing cows.
- The stockpile now correctly states the amount of pitch you have available.
- You can find it here
Stronghold Champion’s League: Struggle for the Crown
This will postpone the normal events of today.
I-Challenge-U.com with the collaboration and invaluable help from
Stronghold.heavengames.com are proud to announce:
Stronghold Champion’s League: Struggle for the Crown
This is not just another contest for Stronghold players. This is a massive order of contest events with one and only one main purpose. To proclaim King through the search of the best Stronghold player around. This is not only to Support and promote Stronghold as a game, but to cover the need of the players to battle each other on a huge scale, and to earn their place in history by struggling for the crown.
The King is deeply ill and the physicians give him only a few more days to live. Alas, there is no heir to the throne and the times ahead are difficult, as our enemies get stronger and will soon march against us. One of the King’s last wishes is to find the most noble, strong, and intellectual Knights, to give him the crown in the name of our country our people and our Lord. We have been appointed with this task, and so we present the public with Stronghold Champion’s League: The Struggle for the Crown.
A special section of I-Challenge-U.com will be available for the players so that the score tracking will be available to the public. People can bet and talk about it showing their support or dislike of any of the teams or the individual lords that take place in the fights.
For more information visit I-Challenge-U.com
The penultimate walkthrough
As promised, I’ve uploaded a walkthrough for Mission 20 – Much wailing and gnashing of teeth. A pesky little missions, but with a few tricks you can easily survive the Wolf’s onslaught.
With a little luck I can get the last one up before this weekend.
Cherubs in action
It seems having a hippopotamus leather whip can be useful…
My cherubs have been zipping round the place and created a series of articles.
First of all Merepatra wrote a nice article on the numbers that make your economy work better. You can read it all in Living by numbers.
Secondly Wraith compiled a little article with some Multiplayer tactics and strategies to defend against them, which you can find here.
Last but not least GillB wrote an article on the life of peasants. Yes, those same low life that’s hangout around your Lord’s campfire.
Or are they low life?
Click here to get a second opinion.
Your seraph has added the 19th military walkthrough and has been working on number 20, which should be up later this week.
Castle of the Week: Carisbrooke
GillB presents us with another castle in the United Kingdom. This time it’s Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight.
Carisbrooke Castle is on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England and is probably best known as the castle where Charles I ws imprisoned prior to his execution.
Wraith has uploaded a siege scenario featuring this same castle. You can find it here
Giggles in Heaven?
We’d like to welcome Wraith to the lofty heights of the Stronghold Heaven Staff.
Most of you will know him, so it won’t be much of a surprise as to what he will be doing. You guessed it.
Wraith will be in charge of the soon to be running Stronghold Lists (our ladder competiton) and will keep a guardian eye on those visiting the Multiplayer Discussion forum.
We wish him good luck and good cheer
The Official Stronghold Heaven Ladder
Everything is set, and ready to go. We would still love for more participants in the ladder that will be starting on April 13. The registry is in the Multiplayer forum. This will be an on going ladder, so at anytime new players may sign up.
It looks to be interesting and full of all levels of competition. We hope to see you there.
Here’s an image by Sir Deacon. He did not attach much information with it, but it appears to be pastels and possibly depicts an imaginative castle.
I know I did.
Castle of the Week: Conwy Castle
Another late Castle of the Week, this time I have the sad excuse that I spent most otf the past two days celebrating my birthday.
Indeed it was fun.
However, GillB made us another write up of one of the many castles in her kingdom.
Conwy Castle, Wales is one of the castles built by Edward I in the 13th century to keep peace in the newly conquered territory of Wales. It was built on the site of a monastery and was one of a ring of large castles around Mount Snowdon.
So said, the lighthousekeeper
Then again, not many of you will remember a band named Klaatu.
Lord_ako, known for some very creative eyecandy, mailed me an image of a painting he has made to promote his Lighthouse series. I must say, I’m really impressed.
Castle of the Week: Fort la Latte
Here’s another castle for you to read about, once more courtesy of GillB .
Fort la Latte, Brittany
Fort la Latte is in a stunning position jutting into the sea on the 70m high cliffs of Cap Fréhel, a rocky peninsula on the northern coast of Brittany, France. It is connected to the mainland by two drawbridges over rifts in the cliffs.
Merepatra must have a pretty good search engine, or lots of time on her hands, as she unearthed this interesting link at Electronics Boutique.
It seems we will be heading to the Levant all set to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the upcoming expansion for Stronghold. I must say this pleases me a lot, as for me this has been the most logical extension to this wonderful game, set in a time filled with strife, treachery and chivalry, culminating in the taking of that most Holiest of Cities: Jerusalem.
According to the blurb it’s scheduled for release on the 9th of September.
The Good, the Bad and the Mechanics
Everything you always wanted to know about Fear Factor, but were afraid to ask.
Fear Factor is controlled by placing Good and Bad things that can be found under the Town Buildings tab. There are two types, Fear Factor Pleasant, which requires placement of Good Things, and Fear Factor Cruel, which requires placement of Bad Things.
Yes, we started work on our Strategy section. Merepatra has been scourgung the forums for bits of information and is busy compiling them in several easy to digest articles.
This should put an end to all your troubles.
Stronghold for the Mac
Its been confirmed that a Mac version of Stronghold is being developed. A release date of May is being touted in this article
Stronghold Artist Interview
Lord Tigger from Sword and Pistol has interviewed Rob Thornely, one of the Stronghold art team members. Its a very interesting read and you can see it here
ICU Contest Results
After long deliberation the jury has decided upon the winners. (I should know it was long as I was one of the jurors.)
Let’s see if I can pick the minimaps to go with the winners.
First place goes to Hanarky (download):
Second place goes to Rocky (download):
Third place goes to Imhotep II (download):
Congratulations to all.
For more details, visit the official page, here, which contains a lot more screen shots of the winning entries.
Congratulations to the ICU Challenge winners
The results have been announced for the ICU Stronghold Challenge, you can find them here
On behalf of the Stronghold Heaven Staff I would like to congratulate Hanarky, Rocky, ImhotepII and everyone who competed on their wonderful castles.
ICU Stronghold Challenge
Just to let you know that the field of possible winners has been reduced to eight people.
Here are the minimaps of those eight finalists.
In a few more days the three winners will be announced at
And before I forget, GillB was the one kind enough to do the write up of Mont Orgueil.
Last but not least, tomorrow’s news will bring you an update on our Strategy section.
Castle of the Week – Mont Orgueil
This weeks Castle of the Week is Mont Orgueil in Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of France. It has steep slopes and high cliffs on three sides giving it an almost impregnable position.
Castle of the Week – Mont Orgueil
Just a quick note to say this one will be uploaded tomorrow, due to lack of time caused by the issues concerning the Downloads Review issues.
Those of you that have been visiting the various forums, will know there’s been quite some controversy over the fact that stone walls can be brought down by puny spearmen. I just picked up this response from Lord Wibble.
In the patch (coming soon I hope), stone walls won’t be any stronger in single player games, it would change the balance of the whole campaign and would need far too much testing time.
But, in Multiplayer, there is now an option for ‘Strong Walls’ which means that only siege equipment can damage walls.
Now isn’t this a solution that is bound to bring you the best of both worlds?
ICU Stronghold Challenge Status
I picked up this bit over at IChallengeU.COM concerning the status of the Stronghold Challenge.
I-ChallengeU and all of its members would like to thank each of you who submitted entries into our February castle challenge. We had a fantastic reception to our first ever Stronghold contest with over 180 downloads of the map. We received 23 submissions that are now in the process of being judged. Bravo to all of you who are helping make I-ChallengeU a success.
We are now in the final stages of judging this contest and maps that have made it on to the second round of evaluation will be turned over to Angel Jayhawk of HeavenGames and Gordon Farrell of SSSI. We would like to thank them now for the efforts that will be required by them.
Yes, that’s my name in there and I spent most of yesterday evening looking at some fine examples of building castles.
I also agreed with ICU’s Dark Lord (Bob Taylor) that, given their quality, the top three designs will be hosted here on Stronghold Heaven as well.
Stronghold Review Guide
Here’s the Stronghold Review Guide.
This section contains information, guidelines and rules on reviews and rating submitted to the Stronghold Heaven Downloads section. When you submit a rating or review it will be assumed you have read and agreed with these guidelines. Whenever a rating or review, submitted after the guidelines were established is deemed to fall short of what it should be, the rater/reviewer will be contacted by our Reeve of the Reviews, GillB. She will ask you to update/explain your rating or you will run the risk of having it removed. You will have about a week to comply.
You can put up your questions, comments, and suggestions here.
Gill will be active as Reeve of the Reviews and Ratings effectively as of now.
Castle of the Week: Brederode
It’s late, but it’s here, this weeks Castle of the week.
The castle of Brederode is built on a bit of dune that is surrounded by marsh on three sides. So while being built on solid ground itself, three of it’s sides were guarded with boggy terrain.
There’s also a new section added to the Download pages. It contains the ten most recent reviews. You can find it here.
A bit of sad news
One of the earliest Stronghold sites, Stronghold Central, is no longer with us. After what looked to be a short period to regroup, Lord Matt has decided to call it quits. Here’s what he has to say on the subject over at Sword and Pistol:
Yep, it’s gone. The short story…As many of you know, I was in the process of moving it to my personal server. I had 2 accounts at a hosting company, I submitted a request to cancel an account I had already moved and they nuked the SHC account.
I did get the nightly back-up, but it wasn’t an enitre site back-up, in fact, it only contained about 30 files, about 20MB in total, on a site that was around 375MB.
Needless-to-say, I won’t be rebuilding it from stratch.
We’re sorry to see a good site go.
Castle of the Week – The Muiderslot
Well, I’m on time for this weeks castle of the week, by…oh, it’s one of mine.
This week it’s time for one of The Netherlands most famous castles The Muiderslot
The Muiderslot is located at the mouth of the river Vecht, some 15 kilomters southeast of Amsterdam, where it flows into what used to be the Zuiderzee. It’s one of the better known castles in Holland and featured in many a television show set in the Middle Ages. The most famous of which must be Floris, tales about a Dutch knight and his saracen friend Sindela.
Nope, there’s no map involving this castle as yet, but who knows what time will bring. I do hope to upload Gwernach tonight, though, a medieval beach resort.
As I opened the front page this morning I saw we have now reached the exalted heights of 50,000 hits on the front page. A quick look elsewhere showed me we’ve also passed the 200 mark on the download section and that over 40,000 maps (and utilities) have been downloaded so far.
On a different note, for those of you playing in I Challenge U’s competition. You only have a week left to submit your entry.
If you aren’t playing, you still have a week to get the map, play it and submit it.
We now have more than 200 maps in our downloads section, which I find frankly amazing. However, less than half of these hav been rated so far. To give the reviewers a little extra stimulus, we’ve added a little Top 10 Reviewers to the statistics. Here’s a sample of the current Top 10.
So…what are you waiting for?
Castle of the Week – Corfe Castle, Dorset
Granite Q delivered another great castle description in my inbox
Corfe Castle, Dorset
Corfe Castle stands on top of a natural steep hill, and for many centuries it guarded the principal route through the central gap in the Purbeck Hills in Dorset, England. Nothing could pass through the area without going past the castle. This dramatic location provided the perfect setting for King John’s favourite castle.
On an associated note, Wraith created a map for one of the previous castles, Portchester, I’ve added the minimap and a link to the actual file.
Enter the Dragon
From my inbox into the news.
Impression’s Jon Payne, dropped a very short email in my mailbox.It said:
Naturally I followed the link and like Alice down the rabbit hole, I found some wonderful news about the new China based City Builder they are working on together with BreakAway Games, with whom they worked on Cleopatra, the Pharaoh expansion.
What I’ve seen sofar looks stunning and will provide endless hours of guesswork as to what does what and how. The most intriguing bit of news, however, is that it will support multiplayer games.
Here’s some more news about it, brought to my attention by Sir William of Pork.
Into the blackness!
Yes, this is not a tunneler, but an intrepid spearcarrier (wellknown from his cameo-appearance in many plays) getting ready to visit the nether world.
Kolja Silvani told me how to make secret passages and caves and asked if I could translate his articles on strongholdmania.de so our regulars could enjoy a bit of spelunking too.
A glossary, my Lord?
Ever wondered what a buttery is?
Or a parapet?
What the difference is between an oriel and an oubliette?
No longer do you have to wonder. I sent off GillB on a quest into the outer reaches of the Internet to compile for us a Glossary. For weeks she travelled, met friendly and not so friendly people and wheedled permissions out of people to help us make what is undoubtably the most comprehensive, illustrated glossary on the web.
You can find it here.
I know, I know, I’m late with this news bit, but there’s this thing call Real Life™ that tries to convince me I actually need to make a living.
With the uploading of the Epilogue, Gordon Farrell’s campaign “The Usurper” is complete! Be prepared to learn some shocking secrets in the Epilogue. But first enjoy this wonderful flash movie created by Brave Sir Robin to celebrate “The Usurper’s” success! A special treat found only at Stronghold Heaven!
You can find this movie here (1.17MB) for the next week.
While I’m discussing the downloads, I just wanted to mention I’ve uploaded part four: Rebirth in the Saint Brigid’s falls series and Bob Taylor has uploaded his Rising Kings.
Do have a look at this last one, because I spent literally days testing it…
One more thing. We have now had more than 32,000 downloads, however, we have at most a few score rated scenarios.
Come one, you lot, if you play it, please rate it?
Even if you only rate 1 out of 10 downloaded files, we should be having a lot more rated files.
Castle of the Week – Portchester Castle
I made it! I actually made it…
It’s Friday again, which means it’s time for the latest instalment of our Castle of the Week series. Once more has Granite Q jumped into the fray and delivered a wonderful write up of one of the older castles in the British Isles.
Portchester Castle is in Hampshire, England. The site has been one of military occupation since the third century when the Romans established a fort there, as one of a series of forts protecting the south eastern shores of England.
Once I get home and find my email, I have a little surprise for you concerning the final episode of the Usurper campaign.
Some good news and some sad news.
Well, good news is maybe too much of a claim for this bit, but I thought it was amusing enough to make the news. This came into my mailbox yesterday
Me Lord Sedric has just finished his review and if you post it I shall not be whipped
On a more serious note, some sad news was posted over on Caesar 3 Heaven. The first is a message from Ironrod/Kraken in which he tells us Impressions (Sierra), well known from producing Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus, has decided to lay off part of their staff. Sadly he was one of the ones that had to go.
Bob Taylor followed up that post by informing us of some of the other known staff that were asked to leave as well, they include Reed, Eugrabades, Balthasar and Nixon. You can find his post here.
A sad day in the history of gaming.
We, the staff of Stronghold Heaven, wish them all the best.
There’s two new articles in our Mapmaking 101 section that I’d like to bring to your attention.
Before I go, just one more titbit.
I just received the Stronghold Newsletter, which tells us about the contest over at IChallengeU.COM. I’m sure our friend Bob Taylor will get many more registrations this way.
What, you aren’t playing?
News on the ICU contest
I found this bit of news on the IChallengeU site where it gave us a little extra information on their latest challenge
As an added bonus for our first Stronghold challenge, we have been given the honour of adding two highly recognized map designers to our judging panel. I personally would like to welcome Angel Jayhawk and Gordon Farrell into this challenge as honoured judges. They will be presented with a very key role in the final judging of our entries.
Sounds awefully familiar…
Oh, if you are wondering what this is all about, you can still register for The Kings Quest. Don’t be afraid it’s too late to start, as you have until the end of February to complete it.
FireFly’s Darren Thompson just pointed this little extra out to me
Want to keep up-to-date with Stronghold? Simply subscribe your e-mail and you will automatically receive the latest information on the game.
You’ll be sent news of demos, and further enticing items, directly to your email when they become available.
I’ve signed on, so we’ll see what it brings.
Of course you can get it directly in to your mailbox as well.
Just follow the link and click Newsletter.
Castle of the Week – Castle Acre
Today’s Castle of the Week is a first in several ways. It’s our first castle not featured in the Stronghold game. It is also the first castle not submitted by a member of the staff.
Granite Q, a forum regular was kind enough to share his knowledge and photos of Castle Acre. No, not the famous crusader castle, but the one in Norfolk.
The village of Castle Acre in Norfolk, England, adjacent to the River Nar, contains the remains of a priory (said to be the best-preserved Clunaic monastery in England) and a castle, both of which were founded shortly after the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066, by William de Warenne.
He’s promised us two more castles he’s visited, so I hope you appreciate his work.
Tonight should also see part 3 of the Saint Brigid’s Falls series uploaded. In this aptly named episode, Revenge, you will face the two sons of the Rat of the Glens.
Strongholdhold Contest on Godgames
Thurdl brought this little item on the GoD Stronghold website to my attention.
Build the ultimate castle and you could win the ultimate sound system from Creative Labs! Creative Labs, FireFly Studios and Gathering of Developers are giving away a great prize to the Lord or Lady who creates the BEST castle! Design, sketch, paint, render, construct, or build your ideal stronghold in whichever manner you wish and we’ll judge it! All entries will be considered, so don’t be afraid to be creative. Here’s what you could win!
You can read more about it on their site.
However, there’s some controversy about whether this is actually going to be based on merit, or just blind luck. There’s more on our forum.
Ursurper 10: The Siege of Riverlake
There is no escape.
Gordon Farrell uploaded the final instalment (or is it?) of his immensly popular Usurper campaign.
You find yourself outside a massive castle, and you need to get in. Preferably before the enemy shows up outside those very walls as well and destroys any hope of bringing peace to the kingdom.
It’s sneaky, it’s viscious and you can find it here.
Oh, in case you were wondering who’s responsible for these wonderful introdution images, it’s none other than Brave Sir Robin
Care to build a bridge?
We’ve had people clamour for the option to build bridges in a future expansion of Stronghold, or even a Stronghold 2. However, thurdl had this lovely brainwave and just went ahead and built one. He was even kind enough to supply us with an article for our Mapmaking 101 section.
Upcoming contest at IChallengeU.COM
I’m quoting their main page:
January 26, 2002
Stronghold players get ready. I-ChallengeU.com is pleased to announce the first challenge for that section of our site. Take a sneak preview of what is instore at the beginning of the month of Febuary. The map will become available to all of you Feb.1, 2002, but we have provided a screen shot of the terrain now to allow some pre-contest planning.
You can find the exact information right about…here.
Meanwhile we passed the 30k visitor mark and are still counting!
Castle of the Week: Windsor Castle
There’s no excuse for me putting this up so late again, so I won’t even try. GillB managed to collect a wonderful amount of information on the British Royal castle.
Windsor Castle, Berkshire in Berkshire, England, has been an official residence of the Royal Family for the last 900 years and is the only royal castle that has been in continuous occupation since the middle ages.
I hope I’m a bit sooner uploading the second part of Saint Brigid’s tomorrow…
One hundred downloads!
This is an memorable moment, as the Stronghold Heaven Downloads section now holds one hundred maps and utilities. Quoting our Download Statistics here’s the details
We currently offer 100 downloads. 35 of which are Invasion scenarios, 11 are Economic scenarios, 17 are siege missions, and 5 are freebuild missions. Then there are 10 Siege That! maps and 19 mulitiplayer maps.
Rumour has it our more technically oriented staff is working on an expansion of the statistics. The plan is to change the list on this page into one that shows the top ten downloaded files for the past seven days.
This angel is very curious to see that come true.
Your Cheating Heart
Well, it’s time to put up this little message, as we’ve had our first request for a ‘trainer’ on the forum.
We, at Heavengames, take a firm stand against trainers, as they will, especially in a multi-player or tournament environment, do more harm than good.
For single play, they lead to people to be bad players as they come to depend on the cheats.
So, if you want to mess up your gaming skills, by all means go ahead, but don’t expect help from us.
We will not host trainers on our site and we will actually ban people that use trainers to cheat in multiplayer games.
Please note that this stand is taken Sword & Pistol, Stronghold Central, I-ChallengeU and Stronghold Heaven.
So, do us and yourself a favour and “Just say no” to trainers.
Saint Brigid’s Falls – The Chapel
After getting a positive reaction to this mini-campaign idea when I posted it in the Recovery Room, I decided to go ahead and try it.
Saint Brigid’s Falls: The Chapel is the first of a series of five linked scenarios following the history and growth of the hamlet of Saint Brigid’s Falls. In this first chapter, you will be asked to build a chapel next to the well created when Saint Brigid prayed here for water.
NOTE: Even though these games are labelled as Invasion maps, they concentrate at least as much, if not more on the Economic challenges.
You can find it here.
And you know what to do when you finished it?
Write a review.
In case you are wondering about the litte map, no, it’s not done with a screenshot. Our code-wiz Dirus has managed to decode the map data and wrote a little program on which you can drop a mapfile and have a PNG file automatically generated.
You can find this little gizmo here
A sword…a stone? Excalibur!
GameSpy is proud to present the Excalibur Pack, which brings you to the Age of King Arthur, offering you three new Arthurian castles.
Camelot represents all that is good and just, during a time of ruthless evil. King Arthur himself sits upon the throne, turning aside the feeble attempts to siege his castle. Successfully laying siege to this famed fortress would surely secure a place of distinction and power for those daring enough to try!
Legend warns that Mordred’s Fortress is impenetrable whilst the evil mistress sits within the dark towers of this swampy stronghold. Here is your chance to challenge this ancient claim and bring those towers crashing to the ground!
With Merlin by his side, Uther Pendragon sacked the castle of Tintagel with an impressive display of his strength. How might you fair against such odds, yet without the help of a powerful wizard?
Also includes are the FIVE historical castles of Edinburgh, The Tower of London, Harlech, Haut-Koenigsbourg, and Koblenz Stolzanfels!
They also offer an upgraded version of the Castle Attack mini-game.
Want to know more?
Just click the link,
Castle of the Week: Schoß Wartberg
Even though she’s definitely feeling under the weather, GillB managed to get this delivered to me by carrier pigeon
The 50 foot high walls of Wartburg Castle sit on a forested 1230 foot outcrop of rock overlooking Eisenach in Thuringia, eastern Germany. The castle is best known as the refuge where Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Greek into German in 10 weeks.
Usurper: Round Three
Not one week, but two.
The next batch of Usurper scenarios has been uploaded.
Gordon Farrell is going to wreak havoc again with your sleeptime, you’ll be visiting familiar places, be driven to despair, but it will be worth it.
What are you waiting for?
The positive comments on Carrochcrag have gone to my head, so I’ve decided to upload another economic scenario.
This is a single scenario set in Holland during the crusades. While your father is off fighting in the Holy Land you are ruling the castle. The Count of Holland has requested food and weapons from you to aid in his war efforts.
My testers told me it’s nasty…but (grudgingly) nice.
You can find it here: Brederode
Castle of the Week – Monterrigione
Monteriggione, Sienna is this weeks featured castle. We’ve been having some trouble finding free images, so if anyone has got some shots lying around?
Monteriggioni is slightly different from the previous Castles of the Week as it is a medieval walled town. It is in Tuscany, Italy, about 10km north of the city of Siena and its ‘round enclosure’ is referred to in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Curiosity killed the cat
For a change we’re having a newsflash that is not ‘sponsered by Gordon Farrell’ 😉
Dirus was kind enough to uplaod a little utility that wil be of help for at least some of the scenario designers. It allows you to lock a map so that it’s impossible for people to open it in the editor and look at your scripted events.
This will be especially useful for any upcoming contests as the surprise factor will be a lot higher.
You can find it here.
Rumour has it, Dirus is working on another utility for Stronghold.
Have you had trouble downloading the Usurper files?
If so this message is meant for you
“Oops!” says Gordon Farrell, “I zipped up files the wrong way!! But
have no fear, I fixed it now… Just download the new version of each
mission and unzip it to Program Files/Firefly Studios/Stronghold and
everything will fall right into place. Sorry for the confusion!”
We hope this little mix up is not going to keep you from trying any of the existing and following episodes of the Ursurper.
Usurper: The Third Coming?
Well, not really.
Gordon Farrell wants to make sure you get your hands full with the next three instalments so they are postponed till next week.
He did send us an intriguing screen shot of what he affectionately calls Farrell’s Landing
The real fans will have recognised it from the agonising hours spend looking for a way to capture that bit of real estate, and I can promise you that it won’t be the last time you see that pier.
Still not playing Stronghold?
If so here’s a way to get around that.
GameSpy’s Sean Flinn sent me an interesting email, which I think I’ll share as it involves free copies of the game.
Christmas is long over, but GameSpy Arcade is still giving away gifts! You can snag a little piece of the post holiday swag today by competing in the Strategy Wizards’ Stronghold demo tournament. The top 5 players will receive a free copy of the full game, courtesy of Arcade and the fine folks at Take 2 / Firefly Studios.
To compete, simply download the Stronghold demo now from FilePlanet, get it all installed. Then, meet in the Stronghold demo lobby in the Arcade software at Noon PST, 3:00 p.m. EST, 8:00 p.m. GMT to join the tournament.
Download the Stronghold Demo
Launch into Arcade’s Stronghold Lobby
Well, this is your chance to see if angels can make decent scenarios, or more precisely, if this angel can make a decent scenario.
Carrochcrag is the name of a (fictituous) castle in the North. Your king has commanded you to finish the local castle and prepare enough weapons to safely investigate the threat of a local dragon.
The area is rich in resources, wolves and…bandits.
You can find it here.
On a lighter note, it seems GillB is keeping such a close eye on our counter that she ended up being our 20,000th visitor to the News Page as well as 10,000th.
Can she make it three in a row?
To edit or not to edit…
That’s a question Inquizative will help you answer with his first of a two part article on How to use the editor. The article includes information on the general layout of the editor and shows you quickly which tool can be found where.
So grab out a piece of note paper, scribble up a scenario outline and head to the Stronghold Editor. We eagerly await your efforts.
What are you waiting for?
Oh, the article.
You can find it here.
I may have another surprise for you tonight…a certain angel has been playing with the designer as well.
Castle of the Week – Leeds Castle
A bit late, but still, I managed to make this appear on Friday, which is really silly as GillB had already sent me the latest castle last week. Anyroad, please follow me to Leeds Castle, Kent.
Leeds Castle has been described as “the loveliest castle in the world” and “the most romantic castle in Britain” and, while a debatable point, it is certainly a beautiful building on two islands surrounded by a large lake. Despite its name, Leeds Castle is nowhere near Leeds.
The Usurper (ctnd.)
Yes, today is the day Gordon Farrell should be uploading the next couple of episodes of the Usurper campaign.
In these episodes the plot thickens and you should have some very intriguing puzzles to look forward to.
You can find them in the Download Section, but maybe not just yet…
Looking for a Challenge?
Cherub bobT aka Bob Taylor of our sister site Zeus Heaven has been treating Zeus and Pharaoh players on some fine scenarios in the past. Recently he’s also started designing tricky missions for Stronghold.
It seems he’s got more time on his hands than he knows what to do with, because he also recently opened up shop on I-ChallengeU.COM. On this site, he’ll be having regular contests in the games named above, and in two other, yet to be decided games.
If everything goes as planned, we’ll even have a few joined contests.
You can put up your comments either on Bob’s site, or in this little thread.
Happy New Year!
Once more on behalf of the Stronghold Heaven staff, I’d like to wish you a wonderful:
May you never run out of games to play or time to play them!