Posted on 04/26/03 @ 12:00 AM
Finally I have a chance to upload my 5th siege map!
When you were born your father, the king, began construction of a grand castle where you would eventually reign. After 14 years it was complete, the following winter your father died of a mysterious illness and you gained the throne . Your cousin Morbad wants the throne and has tried several assasination attempts on you life, the most recent was in a seemingly peaceful shipment of the magical substance called gunpowder. You went out on the bridge in front of your keep to inspect it when someone shot a fire arrow in it and it exploded, destroying the bridge. You barely escaped with your life.
Morbad has now begun invading your counties and is coming down from the north to personally slit your throat, he won't use siege engines as he doesn't want to harm the castle that he could one day reign from. You have recently discovered the secret of boiling oil, you had best use it to your advantage. Sound the horn, the massive army of Morbad aproaches! This map is best played on hard or very hard defending. Enjoy!
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Posted on 06/24/03 @ 12:00 AM
A strange but endearing map this one. A twenty-minute siege to defend against and a real feeling that you've been in a battle once it's over! Riocliff Castle is a victim and success of the unfortunately erratic AI. With relatively few units at your disposal, your main weapons are pitch ditches, hot oil and the route the attacking AI units take to reach the gatehouses of your castle. They fall under fire and can be weakened by the time they reach the entrances. The AI never really rushes your castle in vast numbers, preferring to attack using cumbersome swordsmen initially. Whilst this appeared at first to be a problem, in retrospect it works, because I doubt whether the castle would stand and the game be balanced if the AI attacked in mass waves. The result is a siege that had me running around trying to establish the best way to defend myself. A bit of a grind in places, but I like it. A more controlled map to play.
Linking on from above, really. Balance is generally good, certainly in favour of the attacking units. Each time I played I felt as if the castle could fall and the AI did hack away at gatehouses, eventually coming close to the keep area, though never really threatening in hindsight. Your units are composed of a good mixture of troops, but in relatively low numbers. This gave the impression of a realistic siege IMO. Not quite perfect, but not at all far from it.
The design of the map throughout is of exceptional quality. It's a standard siege map. So why the high score? Well, whether it's the author's intended result or a case of the AI dragging it's feet, to me this map works a treat, the long, drawn-out battle never a messy mixture of troops scrapping away and more a tactical offering. I like it. Combined with a wonderful map and story, I think this deserves top marks.
Map Design: 5/5
The terrain is modelled very well here, giving a realistic landscape and a beautiful setting for the castle. On it's own the landscape would score well. What really rocks my boat is the castle design though. Not the most impressive in terms of size, it's simply stunning to look at. The irregular shape on top of the cliff looks great, and irregular castles always win points with me, as it seems to add a little bit of realism. There are splashes of eye candy here and there, nothing too overwhelming, but they are noticeable... the ruined bridge, the dungeons within the inner bailey, the layout of the buildings within the castle walls, the small pond near the chapel... altogether they add up to a quality design that really appeals to me. The use of the terrain tools and layout of the castle is excellent.
Completing the map is a well written story that really does accompany the map. It hints at aspects of the design too. Concise and interesting, a good example of what a story should comprise. Good effort once again.
It's difficult to describe how this map plays out, and admittedly it may not be to everyone's taste. I rate it highly, very highly in fact. An escape from all-out war is maybe one way of tagging it, but i'd strongly recommend this is downloaded and played through for yourself. All in all, Riocliff Castle is excellent, Lord Kyle's best work to date!