News Archives: 2009

“Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow…”

Another vintage snow map for you!

If anyone has not played it or needs reminded of it, Lord Ako’s map, The Ice Age, is a groundbreaking SH1 map. Lord Ako draws you in with an intriguing story and then mystifies you by offering you such meagre resources and units with which to win. Maybe some of you have not realised the offensive potential of hunters before? Win or lose, his wonderful modelling of a landscape, released from a retreating glacier, is a delicious treat for any player.

Download it here.

Merry Christmas

The staff sincerely wish every single forummer on SHH a very Happy Christmas and that they have the most joyous Winter Solstice Celebrations! Spend time with you loved ones and give the little ones hugs because they won’t be so little for long. Enjoy peace and love, values shared across all faiths, creeds, and philosophies. Celebrate the earthly redemption of sunlight as we tilt back towards the Sun, and may next year be most pleasant and prosperous.

PS: Check out the Christmas thread!

“In the bleak midwinter…”

Over the holiday period we aim to remind you of some of the best SH maps featuring snowy landscapes or themes. So here is one:

Ithélâ’s Challenge by Younghappy is pure SH1 quality wrapped up in a chilly, snowy package. It is a fabulously entertaining and beautiful “challenge”. And don’t just take my word for it. Sulis’ review of this map begins “Unbelievable. Incredible…”. Read more on the download page.

Design your own T-Shirt for Firefly Contest

Darren of Firefly Studios, has announced they are offering one lucky fan the chance to have their own design put onto a t-shirt and sold in their new Zazzle store! Not only will the winning entrant be revered by Firefly Fans worldwide but they will also win their t-shirt design.

The closing date for the competition is 4th January 2010, so you have plenty of time over Christmas to perfect your designs. The winning design will be announced the following day.

To submit your entry visit Firefly Studios and post a description of your chosen design.
More info here; Design your own T-Shirt for Firefly Contest.

Stronghold Collection Released!

Just in time for the Winter Solstice Holidays, the Stronghold Collection has been available in the US for five days on This bundle consists of all the Stronghold games and includes all the AIs and campaign trails in existence. The Stronghold Collection appears quite a bargain, considering that each of Firefly Studio’s last three releases were priced above $30 each.

Stronghold Collection

Hear ye, Hear ye! Firefly Studios has announced that an anthology of the Stronghold games is being shipped to stores to be put on shelves on October 27 in the US this year and released everywhere else next year. This “DRM-free” package will include all of the Stronghold games. While many of us already possess the series in its current form, the degree of convenience for a complete collection, especially if it becomes available through online content distributors, is alluring. Moreover the lack of DRM opens the possibility that all of the games could be run inside virtualized desktops on other operating systems, including Mac, Linux, and BSD.

Economics of Disbanding

The following guide will try to explain a method to generate an enormous amount of gold without having to manage or control much at all. However, not every map allows for this technique, though there is a method that can be employed on all maps but it is far less effective. This is intended for Crusader Stronghold Extreme and to a lesser degree in Stronghold Crusader. Read more on this method here.

Stronghold Heaven’s Newest Cherub

We would like to welcome to our staff,Lord Michael I.

He is the author of the Crusader Second Skirmish Trail Walkthroughs, an active poster and a long time helpful member of our site.

Please give him a fantastic Stronghold Heaven welcome! Here.


Cherub WLD_Arthus has resigned from his moderation at the Stronghold Heavens. He has been a long time community member who would say it like it is. You can wish him well here.

Today in History

At the beginning of the Medieval Era, Korea was divided into three kingdoms. In the north was the large Goguryeo kingdom, but it was not as rich as the smaller, southern kingdoms, Silla and Baekje. Goguryeo often had to defend its northern borders from the Tang and Sui Chinese dynasties, while fending off Baekje and Silla in the south when they would occasionally form alliances. Eventually Silla or Baekje would betray one another and ally with another power to expand their domains at the expense of their former ally. This cycle continued until Silla allied itself with the Tang Chinese dynasty which invaded Baekje by sea. The vastly outnumbered Baekje army was quickly exterminated in one battle with the Tang-Silla forces in 660 A.D. The Baekje kingdom dissolved after the capital city Sabi was looted and members of the royal family captured or killed.

In 662 A.D., large revolts in northern Baekje threw off the Tang-Silla government and a former Baekje general, Boskin, who declared the Baekje prince in exile, Buyeo Pung, the rightful ruler. He attempted to recapture the 40 counties and sent 100 Tang Chinese prisoners to the Japanese court (who were also intermarried with the Baekje royal family) to request military aid. Boskin and the Revolt were in dire straits being besieged at their capital in Churyu, when the Japanese sent over 40,000 troops along with their navy to relieve them.

As the Japanese forces sailed up river to the rebel capital, they were opposed by a smaller Tang force that they outnumbered more than 4:1. The forerunners of the Japanese fleet engaged the Tang, but were repelled. When reinforcements arrive the next day, the Japanese attacked the Tang with brute force, hoping that they tire and then be overrun, but instead were repelled several times by the 170 Tang ships, which maintained their battle lines in the Geum River. Meanwhile the Silla cavalry attacked rebel forces that went to the river banks to assist the Japanese fleet. Eventually the Japanese fleet lost cohesions and the Tang reserve ships attacked the Japanese fleet, nearly destroying it.

Somewhere between 7,000-10,000 Japanese troops were killed, Several Japanese admirals and generals fell, and the defeat was the greatest that Japan had ever felt up to that time, so they returned home. Without the aid of Japan, Churyu surrendered and many important rebels fled north to Goguryeo as the Silla government punished the region. Japan lost its last important mainland ally, and began building fortifications along its coast to defend itself from anticipated Silla or Tang invasions. They would not send troops to Korea again until the 1500s. The Tang would later launch a two-pronged attack on Goguryeo, resulting in its fall in 668.

If you would like to learn more about this battle, check out Wikipedia and this forum thread.

Today in History

Today in 778, the Franks were clearing their dead and wounded and looting the bodies at Roncevaux Pass high in the Pyrenees. Among the dead was Charlemagne’s chief paladin, Roland, several other paladins and several French aristocrats. The Battle of Roncevaux Pass was Charlemagnes last battle of his first campaign to capture Spain from the Saracens.

Charlemagne had captured Barcelona nad Pamplona, but he had been stopped at Zaragoza, the capital of the Upper March of Al Andalus. Charlemagne’s momentum was spent while he was held up at this city and a Saxon rebellion in Germany required him to withdrawal. He negotiated with his enemies and received a large tribute of gold and hostages, including General Thalaba and Governor Sulayman al-Arabi. On his retreat, he pulled down the walls of the Chrisitian Basque city Pamplona. In the mountains, the rear of the retreating army was attacked by lightly armed, Basque guerrilla forces that pillaged the baggage train, took the gold, and released Sulayman. Roland and the rear guard were annihilated and the guerillas escaped under the cover of darkness with their loot before a punitive, recovery force arrived.

The battle had little impact on the Spanish, but the Franks romanticized in the oral tradition during the 11th century, morphing it into a battle between Christians and Muslims. The Song of Roland spread through France, becoming the first epic poem of France. The Franks were badly wounded from this campaign and would return to Spain, but only to retake Barcelona. The city of Zaragoza remained an important Muslim city and became an independent emirate (Taifa) that survived into the 11th Century.

A translation of the Song of Roland can be read here at Medieval Sourcebook.
More about the Battle of Roncevaux Pass can be found here at Wikipedia.

Castle Attack Legends

Firefly has announced, Castle Attack Legends, a previously unreleased Castle Attack game. The developer’s state:

“Castle Attack Legends is a game that was developed to advertise and promote the release of Stronghold Legends. Programmed by Dustin Russell, the game was never released as it was considered too similar to Castle Attack 2 to warrant a proper release. The game is now being made available, purely for completeness sake.”

To read more on the Castle Attack games check here.

A Cherub Descends

Lord Tanthos has handed in his wings, his pale glow returning to a normal hue. His helpfulness in the Stronghold 2 and Legends sections in the past will be missed. Let us wish him well in this thread.

Downloads Update

Zen has announced on his tech blog a new feature in the Downloads, the Favorite Icon on files’ pages.

Clicking this icon will add the file to a collection-list in their Downloads Profile as being a favorite. This helps us keep track of our favorite maps, making them easily referenced by others who look at our download’s profiles or when we refresh our minds to recommend them. Reiterating Zen, special thanks to “Elpea for coding the feature; Jay for writing the functional specifications; Pecunia for guidance and the deployment of the update; and our small team of testers who provided valuable feedback during testing – LukeG, Shelper, and Kester.”

Thanks Zen and Co!

New Cherub for Stronghold Legends and Stronghold 2

We are pleased to announce that we are painting another community member in green and little cherub wings are appearing.

Doomsword, has become a new moderator for the Stronghold Legends and Stronghold 2 game subforums. In addition to his moderating duties, he will also contribute content to the main site. He has great working knowledge of both games and a willing and helpful posting style. He hates unanswered threads.

Please allow our newest member time to settle in, adjust to his new role and take on board exactly what is required in the interim.

Please join us in in congratulating Doomsword here.

Ready for Lift Off!

I’m pleased to announce that Peter2008 has become a staff member of the Stronghold Heavens. He will moderate the Scenario Design forums as well as the 2D Game forums. Please welcome him in this thread.

We’re Surrounded!

Yes. It’s the new Crusader Walkthrough by Lord Michael I
68 – We’re Surrounded!
The 18th mission of the Warchest Skirmish Trail.

In this mission you’ll be paired up with a rather useful Emir, battling on the top of a plateau against four enemies: The Nizar, The Wazir and two Sheriffs. The Arab enemies are placed on the top part of the map (Nizar Northeast, Wazir Northwest), while both sheriffs are south of your position. This means that you’ll be in charge of keeping the Sheriffs and the Nizar under control, while the Emir will have to try to do the same with the Wazir…
Read more here.

As usual LMI‘s clearly explained and illustrated tactics should see you through to victory on another mission. (…And there is a game save file to help you out too.)

Castle of the Week 129 – Castel Sant’Angelo

It is our pleasure to announce the 129th Castle of Week, Castel Sant’Angelo. Castel Sant’Angelo was originally a mausoleum, whose construction was begun by the Roman Emperor Hadrian on the right bank of the Tiber River in 123 A.D. on the outskirts of Rome in Domitia’s gardens. The mausoleum was completed by Hadrian’s successor, Antonius Pius, between 135 and 139. Castel Sant’Angelo is the second largest construction in Rome after the Coliseum and looms over the Tiber, guarding the eternal city. Much more can be discovered about this castle in the article.

Stronghold Kingdoms Announced!

Firefly Studios has announced Stronghold Kingdoms with a target released date in 2010. It is an MMO, massive multiplayer online game. You build your kingdom online while battling other players and joining teams. There are factions and elections, liege lords and vassals, and a ranking system. Other features include exploration, research, and trade. An overview of available screenshots reveals the classic 2-D architecture and some new structures. More about the game is expected to become available in the upcoming months.

Official Page

A Fond Farewell

Cherub Surajsubba has hung up his wings. He resigns from his moderation position caring for the Crusader sections, which he has done diligently. You can wish him well here.

New Downloads Section

With the release of Crusader mod tools by FireFly Studios, a small tsunami of custom AI files and related modifications have deluged the downloads. Stronghold Heaven now has a subsection in the downloads for them. Several previous submissions have been translocated there.

Special thanks to Pecunia for the help.

Ah, the Smell of Greek Fire in the Morning

Lord Michael I has submitted another walkthrough to help players prevail from a starting position, surrounded by enemies, the Wazir, the Marshall, the Emir, and the Abbot. You start of equally economically and with the help of your reluctant ally, The Sheriff. The full writeup and savegame can be found here. Enjoy the conquest.

Stronghold and Crusader Game Bundle

Firefly Studios announced that is offering this great package deal:

“Until Monday, April 20 at 11:59 p.m. EDT,
you can get Stronghold and Stronghold: Crusader in a bundle for only $11.98.”

What a great way to intoduce the games to your family and friends who have not had the chance to play these great games.

A Crusader Easter AI challenge from Firefly Studios

Darren has announced an Easter AI challenge from Firefly.

“With the release of the Stronghold Crusader modding tools last week and with the Easter holidays coming up, we at Firefly would like to set you a challenge and find out who is the ultimate castle builder.

If you manage to create a fantastic Crusader AI castle, email the AIV of it to us at Firefly and we will play against them and pick the best one. The winner of this mini competition will get his/her name in lights on our website.”

A thread has been started in the forums here for discussion.

Brand new Firefly website

Firefly have launched a brand new website! There is loads to see including a link to download modding tools for Crusader. Yes! I did say modding tools for Crusader!! Darren has posted a thread in the Sword and Buckler Inn to let us know about it here.

Forumer Awards Complete

The second ever Stronghold Heaven Forum Awards are now complete with Venomrider’s Presentation Thread in which the winners were announced. Our previous awards have been resuscitated by ericgolf and summarized here. Felicitations to the victors and well done to those nominated. Now, let’s continue the good work this year! 🙂

2009 Stronghold Heaven Forumer Awards

The 2009 SHH forumer awards have now started. Members are invited to vote for their favorite members and suggest award ideas. Please take time to stop in and vote here. Let’s let everyone know who we respect and what maps we love to play!

HeavenGames Server Maintenance

HeavenGames will be undergoing server maintenance today, Wednesday, February 4th. All HG websites will be offline from 9pm to 12am EST (Thursday, February 5th, between 2am and 5am GMT). Don’t panic!

Extreme Patch!

Darren has announced a patch for Stronghold Crusader Extreme. The 1.2.1 patch fixes the 10,000 people crash, the 2000 people tile crash, an obscure multiplayer connection issue, and Italian language bug. So far the patch is available for the box editions in several languages, and patches for the downloadable versions are expected to be found on the content-providers’ sites soon. Links to download the patches and more info can can be found in this thread.

Stronghold Heaven Multiplayer ’Happy Hour’

Dumptrailer2 has proposed a Stronghold Heaven Multiplayer ’Happy Hour’, an SHH multiplayer meet on GameRanger on Saturdays around 2:00pm (GMT -6). This equates to 8pm GMT for example. Visit Dumptrailer2’s thread here for more details and discussion.

The Stronghold Heaven “Top 300”

Many of you will have heard that FireFly intend to include 300 of Stronghold Heaven’s best SH1 scenarios in the next release of Stronghold 1. The Stronghold Heaven Staff have been busy selecting the maps from the Downloads and seeking permission from the authors. Now that job is complete you might find yourself asking: “Hmm. I wonder… Which maps were nominated? Which maps made it into the final 300?” Well, now you can find out. A summary page, can be found here.

Stronghold at GOG!

Good Old Games is now hosting Stronghold 1 DRM-free, making it available for purchase and downloadable from the internet in several languages for the first time. Stronghold Crusader is expected to be available soon. This new development can be discussed in the thread that Darren has created.

Bigger Wings!

A Cherub has been promoted to an Angel for his efforts in the downloads, dedication, and helpfulness. He keeps the downloads running steadily and helps out on the forums. Congratulations can be made to ericgolf here.