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Stronghold: Sieges » The Price of Blood

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The Price of Blood

Author File Description
Satanic Cowboy
(id: Octavius Maximus)
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
The King' messenger rides up to you, stirring up a cloud of dust as he skids his mount to a halt.

"A message from the King, my lord!" the rider says as he hands over a sealed scroll, "He bids you read it in all haste!"

"Fall in line with us," you tell the man, turning to your advisor, "Tarric, see that the messenger gets a fresh horse and some provision, then return."

The messenger and your advisor ride back to the supply wagons at the tail of the company of men you have led forth from Farimore, and your thoughts return to the destruction left behind there. You won the battle, but the cost was great. The priests and monks had been wiped out to a man, and the peasant army you had assembled to battle the Snake and the Pig was decimated.

Your own forces were down to less than a hundred men, and all of those brave soldiers now sport some mark or wound from the fierce fighting just days before. You yourself carry an arrow wound in the shoulder as a reminder of the fierce sword charge you led that finally broke the enemy's resolve. But Farimore was left in ruin, and another casualty of this war for control of the throne of England has been claimed in the wreckage of that peaceful city.

Tarric rides back to your side, and you open the parchment with the seal of the King. After reading it thoughtfully, you look around to make sure none of the men of your troop are close enough to hear as you urge your advisor to ride ahead of the vanguard a short ways.

"What is it, my lord?" Tarric asks you in concern, noting the paleness of your countenance, "What is wrong?"

"The enemy has pulled back to Dresden and Beauregard and Truffe are marshalling all thier forces," you respond grimly, "The Kings spies have intercepted a missive to all the commanders of the enemy to converge thier forces there in secret. They are planning a massive attack to wipe us out, Tarric. It seems I am held as the final obstacle to the overthrow of the throne now."

Your advisor blanches, looking back at th bedraggled forces following behind.

"Sir, the men are exhausted, and are numbers are few," he says quietly, "We surely cannot face the combined might of both armies!"

You frown at the parchment before you before returning a stern gaze to your lieutenant. There is more in the missive from the King that you feel no need to share with Tarric or the men at this time, lest thier fragile morale shatter completely. For the King has also sent you word that Jerrod, your formar commander in the Royal Gaurd, has finally marshalled his forces, a strong contingent of knights from the gaurd, and has called for the King's abdication, along with your arrest. Jerrod has declared he shall claim the throne and restore order to England, and his treachery is complete, and as lowly as you have suspicioned.

"There is a bit of good news, Tarric," you smile, "If you wish to see it that way. Apparently th combined forces of the Snake and Pig only number no more than a couple of thousand. It seems we have made inroads against thier strength in the battles we have fought. I know," you raise a mailed hand to cut off the reply of tarric, "We are hopelessly outnumbered yet, but the King has managed to round up a small force of archers to send to our aid, and he has procured the usage of a most defensible outpost to even up the odds a bit. We are going to Thelgaard kep, less than a day's ride to the south."

Your advisor frowns as he assimilates the last of your words.

"Thelgaard is a mighty fortress,lord," he replies thoughtfully, "But can we hold there?"

Thelgaard keep was an ancient bastion located against the Korlis mountain range and adjacent to the river Thay. Across the river lay the Lake of Erindor, accessible only by a long causeway to the mainland to the south. The castle had never fallen to an enemy before, but in the days of old thousands had manned its walls in defense. The Keep was now just a home to a local lord and a few settlers mining ore and stone from the mountains east of the castle.

"We will hold," you tel your advisor firmly, "For there we will have a chance to break the enemy's power, and end this war. A defeat at Thelgaard of thier armies, and they will not recover before the King can muster a force large enough to hold off any usurption to the throne. Go prepare the men. We ride hard to Thelgaar!"

But as your advisor rides away to carry out your orders, your thoughts return to Jerrod.

"This we all be for naught," you murmur softly to yourself, "Even if we survive at Thelgaard, until you are dealt with, Jerrod. Ware my return, you rogue. I will come for you!"

This is part III of the "Return to Glory" series.

Part I: The Plains of Esregoth
Part II: Defenders of the Faith
Part IV: Restoration

NOTE: Due to the multi group invasion armies, this map had to be created as an invasion. Thus, it will show up in your map list in the invasion section. Sorry for any confusion.

Octavius Maximus

AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design5.0
I would just like to note that when I downloaded this, it appeared in the invasions section of the stronghold levels.

Other than that, it was a really great map. The idea of a small force being attacked by a very large force has been tried by many people. Mostly it doesn't work but this map stood out. I have seen most peoples attempt at a defensible castle which involves walls and moats of a silly thickness and manned by crossbowmen and swordsmen. This castle however was not like that.

I found this map didn't have any unusual quirks. It was very fun to play and I had to use a lot more strategy to defeat the enemy than usual. I sent out several raiding parties of knights and archers to waylay the enemy before they could get in position to attack. I also had to send the parties out at strategic moments to clear the enemy from the gatehouses and walls or to eliminate enemy siege troops.
The layout of the castle also aided the playability and strategy elements because there were several gatehouses for the enemy to attack. Or, if they didn't, I could lead a sortie from one.

The map was excellently balanced. With what I had said earlier with regards to people's idea of super defensive castles it was good to find it was possible to make a map that worked when horribly outnumbering foes attacked. The amount of troops coming was well regulated; I had barely finished with one group before another showed up. This was good, because it gave the impression of endless troops pouring in but not so continuous that they overwhelmed me in a few seconds. The pitch and trap filled areas were deadly killing zones that really helped when the walls were breached.

The problem I find with marking creativities these days is that so many stronghold maps have been made it is hard to do something truly original. I gave the five for this because I thought the map was so great it didn’t deserve to be taken down by that.

Map design:
This was very good. The way the landscape was designed with the river worked well and I liked the bridges. The only problem I found was that the colour of the snake’s men was yellow and the colour of the ground was also yellow. It was hard to tell on the mini-map where the enemy were. Other than that it was great.

Story / instructions:
I thought that this was well written, a little longer would be more to my personal likings but other than that it was fine. The only problem with it was the spelling. There are quite a lot of spelling mistakes. It might be better to write the story in something like word first and then copy and paste it into the stronghold page.

All in all, though, I thought it was a truly great map.
Map Design4.0
Playability: This is one of those last stand kind of maps where you have a small army and given the task of defeating a force that greatly outnumbers you. The thing I liked about this siege is that you really had to stay on your feet and move your guys around to prevent the enemy from getting in. Many times on defending sieges you're too much of a spectator and don't have to do much. The castle has an interesting layout with sections that the enemy must secure. You have alot of pitch ditches in the castles inner rings and using them wisely will be crucial to victory. Make sure you have some guys in the center keep when the enemy breaks in or you might not be able to light pitch ditches as that is the only area with braziers. All in all this map is rather fast paced and there is alot of fun to be had. The only complaint I would have is that sometimes knights would charge at the gatehouse and then just suddenly stop and not attack.

Balance: Balance was very good on this map, rather hard but it makes sense for a map where you are so greatly outnumbered. One bad mistake will kill you on this map and even after playing through it several times and winning you'll still have to stay sharp to achieve victory.

Creativity: Well, this kind of "last stand" map has been done many times but I think this map had some good ideas with the narrow bridges where you concentrate your fire and a rather unique castle design. Perhaps more deserving of a 3.5 but I did not want this to mess up the score.

Map Design: Everything looked pretty nice. The castle was good and so was the landscape. But I just felt that there is still room to improve on the landscape. It has no big flaws but I just didn't feel like it was perfect either.

Story/Instructions: The Price of Blood has a sizeable and well written story. This is the first of the maps in Octavius Maximus' campaign I have played so I wouldn't know about the back story to this.

So to sum it up The Price of Blood is a well designed siege where you are pitted against a much larger enemy force. This map is definitely worth downloading and taking a look at. Keep up the good work.
Madd Sir John
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
(Has that ever allusive replay value.)

Balance: 5
(I thought the enemy was going too be stupid but they kept me on my toes)

Creativity: 5
(Hard work alone didnt create this map)

Map Design: 5
(The castle and landscape match nicely, the invasions are well timed)

Story/Instructions: 5
(It doesnt even need a story for it too be a great map)

Comments: If you cant tell, I dont need stories just battle.
Sir Jonesy
Map Design4.0
Playability: 5
Great playability. This one really makes you think through what you need to do with alot of logic and strategy.

Balance: 5
Almost perfectly balanced but a slight advantage to the enemy. However, its still great.

Creativity: 4
Rather creative and wonderous although I've seen a few similar.

Map Design: 4
A very good map design with few flaws.

Story/Instructions: 5
A great, creative, deep story.

Additional Comments:
A distinguishing overall, great map. In my top 30 best map list. =D

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