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Stronghold and Crusader: The Map Room
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Topic Subject: Stronghold Roulette
posted 08-05-18 14:02 EST (US)   

Welcome to Stronghold Roulette

wherein I retrieve a random number between 1 and the number of Stronghold Invasion files in the downloads section and play whatever I happen to land on, after which I relate my experiences here!

I will attempt to do this every two weeks, although I'm not making any promises (I'm an adult with stuff to do, like, um, a job! Or something)

Today's number was 198, and starting from the first map ever uploaded, that got me Hibernia by Starcrystal.

#198 - Hibernia

So I'd heard the name "Hibernia" before in other contexts, although I couldn't remember which, and if you look up the Wikipedia article for it it was apparently the Latin name for Ireland. Frankly I'm not sure what this map has to do with Ireland, I don't think there were any Elven Guards there, but that said, here goes.

So you open this map and read the map description, and look at the mini map, and it doesn't really do a good job of setting up your expectations for just what will be happening during the scenario. Or, maybe it does, but I didn't hang around the scenario selection screen long enough to properly process what was about to happen.

When play began my senses were pretty well assaulted by all sorts of sights and sounds.

What is wait, what? Wait. What?

Someone is attacking or going to attack, basically now, and...My entire castle is filled with pitch, I have no idea what its layout is actually like, and I apparently get approximately a gazillion starting supplies. Right, so, I'm left reeling from this a bit, there is a lot to take in all at once. I don't really even know where to start, so I instinctively start pulling all of my melee forces into the keep because I don't really know why you would keep them anywhere else. After that I start looking around and see that there are a lot of wolves. Not knowing what else to do I tell my archers to target some of them. Then I realize this is a dumb idea because they will eat several of my enemies alive.

After that I spent some time telling my trebuchets to launch cows and rocks at the enemy, and wondering what on earth I should even be doing. Kill the enemy lords which are sitting out in a field, right. Okay, so, but you see, there are enemies everywhere, they all just kinda showed up. Ummmm. What to do, what to do. I have a lot of pitch here but it's all connected. I don't know when I would want to use that since I only get to use all of it once.

Also this one particular wolf decided to be a real pain. Come on man, just leave the guy alone, he just wants to go to the keep alright?

Must you?

More shenanigans ensue, the enemy is running around the map all over the place, I've probably killed six rams at this point, and they're beating down my front door. I light one of the huge blobs of pitch out front. All this time I'm training more macemen and pikemen until I've got a group of 35 and 55 respectively. If I had read the instructions more carefully I would have seen that you have to last 17 years through the invasions, but my prospects for that looked grim, so I decided to strike. So, these melee troops I brought over to the side door, after clearing it with pitch and boiling oil...

Gee, sure glad nobody's looking over here

Meanwhile my main gate is in no good way. I guess it's not really a gate anymore.

Hey guys, welcome! Come on in!

That's not really that concerning though - I still don't even know how the maze behind all that works, but if I notice huge piles of enemies filing in there, hey, I can light up my entire castle with fire.

Meanwhile I try to move what I have apparently made into my version of the Elven Guard mentioned in the story toward the enemy lords. All the errant knights seems to take notice at this point, and they are very happy that they finally have something that they can run toward and wipe off the field. But, that doesn't work out too well for them, and I come out of it with my forces largely intact. My sincere and heartfelt thanks to the pikemen. Despite that, more is on the way, so I decide to see if the macemen alone can't hurry up and finish the job

This works better than I had hoped and - oh. What? Okay, I apparently won.

Well, that was easy, I guess. I was thinking that might cancel some of the repeating invasions from the "smaller powers" at best, but, I'll take it! And apparently there was no real need to rush anything, my pikemen were coming in on time and in no real danger. Good job guys.

Wow! So, that was definitely a very fast-paced, action-packed map. I am sad that I didn't have more time to actually look at the castle and the landscape. Since everything starts right away there is hardly any time for pondering. I'm also not sure how it was that I was intended to hold out against these invasions for 17 years. Maybe once I was more familiar with the castle setup I would be able to do that, but, sneaking around the enemies on the field of battle and assassinating the lords seems like by far the easiest path to victory.

Thus ends my first foray into randomly-chosen maps.

Thanks for reading!

"DOOMBRINGER, make a parking space IMMEDIATELY!"
"DOOMBRINGER declares it to be SO!"
"DOOMBRINGER, I command you to lay siege to THE ISS!"

[This message has been edited by Timballisto (edited 12-23-2021 @ 12:34 PM).]

posted 08-13-18 00:00 EST (US)     1 / 3  

Stronghold Roulette #2

Welcome back!

This time the number is 1261, which gives us Shipwrecked! by Lord Karpathea.

#1261 - Shipwrecked!

The story for this one reminded me of the maps I used to make about 15 years ago. I wanted to make levels where you built someplace "new" and so they typically involved moving to some new place. Only in this case, you didn't really mean to land here since you were shipwrecked.

The choice of objectives was interesting. I had the option of gathering 200 stone, 300 wood, or killing the bandit camp. I could have just gone for the wood objective and probably beaten the map with relative ease, but I decided I didn't like bandits sitting around killing people so I decided to take that route instead. The scenario instructions warned that you needed to complete your task "before winter," but seeing as there was no loss timer I didn't think much of it.

I received a cozy little starting village, replete with a poleturner placed far from the stockpile.

The Bad Guys!

And... Someone who is really lost. They built a whole tower just for him, so he could stand there and not know why.

So the little village looked real nice, but it needed some work. Step one: make that space by the river actually usable.

There we go, some nice real estate for weapons production

After that I built something around five hundred wood cutters huts and looked around the map. It was full of wildlife - wolves, more wolves, bears, deer, bears and wolves eating deer, and so on. Also I didn't have a lot of good farming space near me, and I needed to build a barracks, so I decided to do something stupid. I put the barracks in the middle of nowhere and sent my spearmen out to dig a moat around it since I was still short on wood.

Herein is told their tale of woe. The enemy appeared as they were on their way to dig, and then a bear caught sight of them...

Hello Mister Bear

Please don't we already just had to fight a bear and we didn't even kill it

Okay okay, we give up

So that was a great way to lose my initial group of spearmen. Fearing the worst for my barracks, I scrapped it to salvage some of the wood and rebuilt it where I would later put my farms instead.

Meanwhile the attackers made their way to my walls, where they were made into pincushions. One poor soul was trapped outside though thanks to where I'd placed the barracks.

I'm not sure why you thought this was a good plan

After the enemy had been repelled and I had recruited some new spearmen, I tried once again to bring my external barracks pipe dream to fruition, because I didn't learn anything the first time apparently.

Surely this will work better this time

Meanwhile, a Big Problem was occurring.


I had kind of forgotten to put any real food production in place. I had scant wood available, as the weapons buildings kept eating it and the enemies and bandits kept destroying my wood huts, so I put in two hunter's posts to try to at least get something going, and I rearranged my walls to open up some space for farms. And at that point, a few loads of wood had come in.

But it was a bit late. Especially for wheat farms.

Let them eat...Um...Actually don't let them eat, there's nothing left

At this point I needed something, anything, to save my town from going down the tubes. The famine tubes. Since I'm so used to standing up power economies built on wheat, I sometimes forget that you can in fact use other farms to produce food, especially when they're close to the granary. Amazing stuff. So, I put in two apple farms.

In the meantime, much to my amazement, the spearmen completed the moat, and they weren't even dead! I brought them back home and gave them all several pats on the back. Now the only thing lacking for New Barracks 5000 was the wood.

Additionally, the apple farms and hunters' posts had solved my food problem!

NOW LET THEM EAT um...Still not cake. Apples and deer hams I guess

However the struggle for wood continued. More enemies had appeared outside, and much as I might have wanted them to, they still did not choose to ignore my wood huts.

You don't see those there. Stop looking at them like that.

Need more wood to complete palisade to protect source of wood. What a marvelous catch-22

After the enemies had been repelled, these trolling siege engineers decided to set up shop and create an exclusion zone so I couldn't rebuild my woodcutters. No siege equipment even came with that attack so I'm convinced that the designer actually included them for that purpose and nothing else. They knew that you would want to build wood huts in that exact location, and they knew that the siege engineers would sit right there and prevent it until you went and murdered them.

After they were taken care of though, Wood Box Inc. was open for business!

Welcome to the wood factory!

I used my newfound wood wealth to purchase some nice beachfront property complete with a walled community condo.

And so life went on. Another not particularly impressive invasion appeared later on the map. I wasn't concerned until I saw this.

Oh no! That could be a catapult, or maybe worse, a battering ram! It could eat my wood walls in seconds! Quickly, lone maceman, go take it out before it is built, for surely it will-

....Oh. Well, nevermind. Come on back inside. Sheesh. Talk about a false alarm.

Afterwards I slaughtered the enemies at the feet of my walls. Great success! And now is about the time when I'm pondering taking my soldiers over to-

Wait, what? Okay, I guess "winter" in the scenario instructions meant ten years after the level began. I don't know, I still look pretty well intact if you ask me. At least send 500 macemen to finish me off or some other unmanageable problem to kill me for real.

I was not content to let the matter rest at that though - no, I would kill these bandits if it killed me. And as I would find out it pretty much was guaranteed to do just that.

I reloaded a save file I had shortly before the last invasion, then I gathered all my forces and directed them toward The Bad Guys™. After building a gatehouse outside theirs to fire from, I directed my archers to rain arrows on the heads of their enemies.

After clearing their gatehouse I went up to knock on their door and ask for admittance.

They didn't answer, so I told my soldiers to force the door, thinking the occupants might have fallen down and been in need of medical assistance.

Don't worry, we're here to help!

They weren't very happy to see us though, see we just decided to kill all of them instead.

Meanwhile they had decided to do likewise. There wasn't a lot of time left.

But there was enough.

Everyone in! We're gonna have the biggest party of the year!


The victory message is for some reason the same as the loss message. I'm not sure why.

Success! Meanwhile at my village we celebrate- oh...Um...

No matter, I somehow win anyway! Victory! This was not a bad little level, you get to deal with some small-time economy building, it doesn't take too long, there is a neat little enemy fort to crush, and it's just a fun little level all taken together. My one gripe is if there's something the game is unable to make clear through how it lists the objectives, it'd be nice to mention something in the scenario description, such as that you will definitely be losing by this date.

Thus ends Stronghold Roulette #2

Hope you enjoyed reading!

"DOOMBRINGER, make a parking space IMMEDIATELY!"
"DOOMBRINGER declares it to be SO!"
"DOOMBRINGER, I command you to lay siege to THE ISS!"

[This message has been edited by Timballisto (edited 12-23-2021 @ 12:35 PM).]

posted 08-19-18 17:42 EST (US)     2 / 3  

Stronghold Roulette #3

Welcome back!

Welcome back to Stronghold Roulette where anything can happen.

This week's number is 1601, which is King's Orders Ch-9 by Lord nonack.

#1601 - King's Orders Ch-9

Well, I was wondering how long it would take for one like this to crop up, and it turns out the answer is three rolls of the die.

The map looks like a ten-minute affair at best. I had some idea of what I was in for just looking at the mini map.

Hey, looks kind of like some of my first maps, minus the cannibals

Cannibals? But, did we really need to go this way? Surely there are better routes to whatever town we're going to than some caves - how did we leave the town in the first place again?

So this didn't look like a high-quality map, but on the plus side at least it looked like it would be short. Who knows though? Sometimes even if a lot of effort hasn't been put into making a nice-looking map, it can still play well. So let's give it a try.

Huzzah, I'm rich!

So pretty much immediately there's an invasion. It sits there for the entire scenario on the other side of the map since I have no keep. I also never get any of the 50,000 gold I was supposed to get because I have no keep. What I do have is a boat of knights, and some siege engineers which apparently the designer couldn't be bothered to assign to the catapults. And why do I have the catapults? Come on guys, we gotta drag these catapults through this cave. Anyway, let's go kill some hapless cannibals.

I'm convinced that the cannibals built these walls to protect themselves rather than to trap me or something. Are they really cannibals? Or have I just been ordered to murder the poor inhabitants of some caves for reasons I don't understand, and the cannibal part is a lie? There's no way they actually have ill intent. There are so few of them and they're so poorly armed - clearly I'm the bad guy here.

Poor devils.

We're not cannibals we swear!!!

Sooooo now it's time to mess around some. Maybe they're not cannibals, so I try to feed them rocks instead.

Turns out they don't like rocks.


Since they didn't seem to like the rocks I try feeding them swords instead.

Turns out they don't want swords either

So things are going along smoothly, and I'm slaughtering these people who are just standing around minding their own business. I'm thinking that this level is just about over, then I spot this guy.

Aha, Chameleon Man! I've found you at last!

There's no way to get up onto the max height. I don't know, maybe I can knock down the remaining walls connected to the cliffs and improvise myself a stairway.

Or I could use these catapults.

I take one catapult and start firing, crossing my fingers that I'll get lucky and hit the guy.


Success! On the third shot no less! Someone give those engineers a promotion.

So the last bit of the map was killing the big blob of knights sitting around the signpost. First I bring up the catapults to try to thin them out a bit.

Maybe these people will like rocks?

I kill a few, but ultimately it just ends in a big blob of knights fighting each other.


The cannibals (?) are defeated. Huzzah!

Well, I don't really know what else to say about this one. I think Chameleon Man was actually an accident. I'm really lucky I had those catapults. Also since these are caves, is Chameleon Man actually stuck in the ceiling? Is he really, Mole Man??? I think this deserves some follow up, if nonack hasn't made a spin-off about the adventures of Mole Man I'm going to be disappointed.

Anyway, that's the end of Stronghold Roulette #3

Return next week for more randomness!

"DOOMBRINGER, make a parking space IMMEDIATELY!"
"DOOMBRINGER declares it to be SO!"
"DOOMBRINGER, I command you to lay siege to THE ISS!"

[This message has been edited by Timballisto (edited 12-23-2021 @ 12:36 PM).]

posted 08-29-18 06:27 EST (US)     3 / 3  

[This message has been edited by Civis Romanus (edited 09-02-2018 @ 10:14 AM).]

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