Posted on 10/26/04 @ 12:00 AM
After “crusading” for a while, I’m back on the Stronghold site presenting you my new creation “Rat Troubles”. This “ecovasion” of 30 game years is a type of those maps, where you have to find out both defensive and offensive concepts how to beat superior adversaries. Simultaneously it’s your task to fulfil different economic, religious and military objectives. For beginners it is advisable in any case, to play on normal level. I promise you a challenge at hard or very hard, even for Stronghold veterans it might be impossible to win on the highest difficulty level. (Please inform me, if you are successful).
Story and objectives:
We are in the March of Billunger in the year 1003. In 936, the Teutonic King Otto I. conquered this territory, located between the two rivers Elbe and Peene, for his kingdom, established as a margrave’s county against the neighbouring barbarous Slavs. The Land of Billunger is an ancient Teutonic region since the migration of nations in the 3rd century. Its impenetrable, dark forests, wide marshes, an ample abundance of wild animals and mineral resources, and little brooks oozing away in the swamps characterize this geographic area. Nevertheless, there was a rough climate, so that agriculture was nearly impossible or restrictive at those times. King Otto I. had begun to expand towards the unknown eastern territories and to christianize the former resident Slavonic tribes like the Obodrites and the Lutizens. However, these adventurous missions turned out to be rather complicated, because of many Slavonic hordes invading the Teutonic kingdom several times and spreading anxiety and fright.
You are Margrave Baldwin of Billunger, returned from a consumptive mission in Polish Wagria, where you had to subjugate a few rebellious Lutizens struggling against Christianizing. During your long absence, something horrible had happened in your native county: Barbarous Slavonic soldiers, under the command of the insidious “Duke of the Rat” devastated your properties and closed all the churches and chapels around, chasing away all the priests and monks, and enslaving the population. Your father’s home partially has been destroyed. There are just a handful of loyal servants left behind waiting for you. In addition, the bad news: the barbarians decapitated your father who had to die for his Christian persuasion. You paid your last honour to him by burying his corpse behind his house of birth.
Everywhere, the myrmidons of the rat did their foul work and assisted by some shady rascals of the “Pig” (the leader of the Obodrites), they erected several execution camps all over the land tormenting the people of good faith. Many Teutonic families took refuge into the dark forests to save one’s bacon from the plundering and murdering Slavonic gangs of the Rat and the Pig. You have sent a dispatch to the King requisitioning reinforcements, but the King is far away and it will be questionable, if new troops will arrive just in time.
Your father’s death must be revenged and all Barbarians must be punished or expelled from the March of Billunger to bring back a peaceful civilian life and a constantly growing Christian confession of faith. The March of Billunger is running the risk of getting lost. Of course, there are just a few loyal men left over, but they are brave soldiers and your King can trust on them, because they will defend the kingdom and your home by every possible means.
Use your favourable strategic position wisely to your advantage. The huge swamps and woods are offering many necessary resources to stick up to the enemy, and don’t forget your best trump card: You’ve got some of the best fletchers of the land, specialized to produce the deadly crossbows. This fact should equalize the enemy’s outnumbered superiority. Possibly, the roaming wolves will support you eliminating the Barbarians, but don’t speculate on that circumstance! Don’t wait too long attacking the rascals, the time is running out…
Objectives (on normal):
> Eliminate all enemies
> Kill the enemy’s Lord
> 77 pitch
> 22 iron
> 33 leather armours
> 55 population
> 55% blessed
I wish you luck and hope you’ll enjoy it. As always, comments are welcome!
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Posted on 11/09/04 @ 12:00 AM
I had a really good time playing this scenario. I played on normal and restarted after realising what the first invasions were like. After that things were not too hard but I was kept on my toes. The economic goals meant I had to weather almost all of the invasions. I don't always want to get slaughtered many times first before mastering a scenario. Sometimes I like things to go as planned without too much disaster. This scenario fits that bill.
Although I was given a defendable settlement I did have freedom to build my stronghold my way. And that's how I like it.
On normal I wasn't pressed too hard but I did fail early at first. Perhaps 3 is a bit mean here but I feel I have been slightly generous on Playability and Story, so it evens out.
Map Design: 4
The map was a really good one: Unusual terrain; Enemy encampments; wolves to deal with. It meant that I had to figure out the stages to achieve along the way to victory.
I found nothing on the map to be mediocre. It was all excellent.
The Ratty shape of the marsh was a bonus and an entertaining idea.
Story/ Instructions: 4
Although I found the first paragraph a bit heavy and almost off-putting (I just skimmed it at first reading), for me the essential elements are excellent: A mini-map was what initially attracted me to read on; and the well-balanced, but not too revealing, hints at the end of the story are what decided me to download it. I read the story again later and decided it was good.
Well done the author! And thanks for such an enjoyable map!