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Stronghold: Invasions » 950-Bastion of the North

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950-Bastion of the North

Author File Description
Alan Spencer
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal

Title: 950-Bastion of the North
Version: 1.01
Map Type: Invasion
Install to: stronghold/maps

Scenario Length: 50-120 yrs.

The year is 950 AD. For the past 160 years the Norse and
Danish vikings have been ravaging the coast of Anglo-Saxon
Britain. A 'Great Army' of Danes sacked York and wreaked
havoc among the Saxon Kingdoms, utterly destroying Northumbia.
Now some of the raiders are here to stay. As a Jarl of the
Danes you have been sent by the King of Denmark to rebuild
and colonise the ruined city of York, for centuries the most
important city in the north of England. To do so you will
need to contend with Picts from Scotland (The Rat) and the
nearby Saxon kingdom of Mercia (The Snake), as well as a rival
Viking Jarl (The Wolf) jealous of the opportunity you have
been given. Finally, the Normans (The Pig) will arrive in 1066.

Historical Notes: See 'A Brief History of York' at the bottom.

This has been purposely designed as a long scenario and is
a mixture of invasion and economic types. Your goal is to
build a large and thriving fortified city while keeping it
secure from raiders and invaders. You will face many problems,
but you will also enjoy relatively calm and quiet periods in
which to plan and develop your city (and improve its defences!).
The victory conditions are economic in nature, though as these
will take some time to achieve the scenario provides more than
100 years of raids and invasions, from 950 AD up to and
including the Norman conquest of 1066.

Note that this scenario does *not* feature the usual, constant
stream of small invasions to beat off while you build up, and
then culminating in a huge invasion. Instead it is a little more
realistic in that you will face mainly raiding forces (bandits)
of varying sizes, and now and then you will face a really large
invasion intending to conquer or simply destroy your city. For
long periods of time there will be no raiders at all, only large
armies. Sometimes two or more of your enemies will join together
to attack, or one will take advantage of another's invasion
hopefully weakening you, to launch his own invasion. Remember
that your goal is not to survive to 1066, but to achieve the
economic conditions for victory as soon as possible, whether
before or after the Norman conquest. Alternatively, you may
purposely *not* meet all of the victory conditions just to test
your final city against the Norman invasion! (Erm, save it first!).

Picts - The Rat (Uses raiders, but mainly large, weak armies)
Vikings - The Wolf (Uses raiders in advance of his invasions)
Mercians - The Snake (Uses the others to weaken you first!)
Normans - The Pig (Heavily armoured army, including knights)
Viking & Pictish Raiders - Bandits, in groups of 10-50.

Skip this section if you want to try it without help. If you
fail in your first effort, be sure to read this and try again!

Tip 1: The old Roman fortifications are ruined but might be
used either to salvage stone from or to incorporate
into your own outer defences. Especially as...

Tip 2: The nearest stone quarry is miles away and very small.
It will take a long time to accumulate stone for the
size of defences you will need, so use wooden defences
in the meanwhile and rebuild in stone gradually.

Tip 3: The old Roman outer ditch has long since been filled in
by natural erosion over the past five centuries, but
York's location in the V of two rivers would make a
moat very handy. Consider using outer Gatehouses, too,
especially at the fords where you are especially weak.

Tip 4: The rocky hills to the north-east are wild and dangerous.
Scout first, and in considerable force, before attempting
to mine iron or quarry stone. Beware the howling pack.

Tip 5: Most Pictish & Viking raiders (bandits) will swiftly look
elsewhere for softer targets once you kill just a few of
them, so raise many archers early to get rid of raiders
as soon as possible. They might be relatively weak but
they terrify your people... Raiders will be your biggest
problem in the early days, but they will slacken off as
your defences grow and your city becomes known as a tough
nut to crack. Check on & tweak your popularity often. Try
to intercept raiding parties before they do much damage!

Tip 6: There are three pitch sites scattered about the map. Locate
them early and make good use of these. Check often to see
if raiders have destroyed them without you noticing!

Tip 7: Be sure to place wells near your armoury and granary, in
particular: these two buildings are vital in this scenario.
Deleting buildings to create a fire-break is also useful.

Tip 8: You will find the need to redevelop your growing city from
time to time, moving fields further away from the center
to squeeze in yet more manufacturing, etc. Crowds get in
the way as the center becomes hectic, so it's handy to use
wooden palisade to temporarily block off main routes and
areas in which you wish to place new buildings.

Tip 9: Survive until the Danish King Canute becomes King of all
England (1016) and you will enter an era of peace in which
it should be possible to meet the economic victory
conditions if you have not already done so. If you fail
to do so by 1066 you will face the massive Norman invasion.

This is a fairly accurate representation of the site of York and
the rivers Ouse and Foss, though some of the surrounding terrain
has been modified to suit gameplay rather than realism. The site
of your starting Keep is roughly where Clifford's Tower stands
today, though the motte was in fact built in later years and not
the viking era. In addition, the ruined Roman defences marked on
the map are located roughly where the largely-intact city wall
may still be seen today, including the huge mound on which it
stands so imposingly and from which you can see for miles.

Note that it may take more than one evening to complete this
scenario as it is neither easy nor quick, but even though the
victory conditions are economic in nature you will face many
military challenges and your defences will be tested to the full
as they grow. That said, in general I have tried to remain true
to the technology of this era wherever possible, so you will not
see many heavily armoured troops or the most advanced siege
engines until much later. Nor will you be able to use them...

Yes, this is a city so there is the risk of fire, like it or not.
Build wells, even if you leave them unmanned until needed. In
tests I've discovered (for what it's worth) that the blazing
graphics make it all seem much worse than it actually is! Many
'hopeless' situations can be saved by throwing up more wells as
needed. Besides, one of the victory conditions is a population of
250 people and to employ so many, wells become really handy. :p

1.00-1.01 : Minor changes have been made to improve game balance.

Have Fun!

Alan Spencer

PS. If you enjoy discussing strategy games check out the above url!

It was the Romans who first built York, or Eboracum, into a
thriving northern garrison town and home of the 9th Legion,
and later as a supply base for the troops manning Hadrian's
Wall to the north. Savage Pictish raiders from Caledonia
(Scotland) sacked the city several times despite its impressive
defences. The Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the city was
once again sacked by the Picts soon after, this time to be
left largely in ruins.

Saxons, Angles and Jutes from northern Germany had been raiding
Britain throughout the later Roman period and with the Romans
gone, they came to stay. By 600 AD the Anglo-Saxons had conquered
the whole of the island with the exception of Wales and Scotland.
The country became known as England - the Land of the Angles - even
though Saxons were by far in the majority. The pagan Anglo-Saxons
were not a unified nation but instead comprised many small (and
often warring) 'kingdoms', the most important of which were Wessex,
Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria. York became the most important
town of Northumbria, which in the early Saxon years was the most
powerful Saxon kingdom in the land.

Norse and Danish vikings began raiding Britain around 787 AD. The
Saxons were by now Christians but the vikings were still pagans,
and they came at first for the gold from Saxon monasteries, abbeys
and churches. Eventually they, too, came to settle, and eventually
they also became Christians. A huge army landed in the early 860s
and conquered large parts of the north and east, utterly destroying
the Kingdom of Northumbria. York was sacked yet again. So thoroughly
was the north ravaged that the vikings had no trouble colonising
the land themselves, though they faced many outside threats. York
was called Jorvik and it became a major city and trade center under
viking rule. It would however face many troubled times until 1016 AD,
when the Danish King Canute became the first king to unite the whole
of England. Thereafter York enjoyed renewed peace & prosperity.

In 1066 William the Conqueror, of Normandy, (itself settled by the
Norsemen during the age of viking raiders, hence the name) invaded
England. All of the old Saxon and Viking lands and 'kingdoms' were
conquered. York became the seat of power for the Duchy of York
and remained the most powerful city in the north of England.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design4.0
Playability: one of the most intriguing maps I have played. The longer spells of invasion-free time really allow you to concentrate on the economic side of things, whilst it is all hands to the deck when armies spring up. I played this on easy, largely due to my lack of skill all-round. But I still found it a challenge. And I feel it will be a challenge on harder levels. It is damn tricky to get all the materials required to meet the goals, but it is possible, and thought is required.

Balance: Has to be 4, rather than 5, because achieving and maintaining such a high population is difficult. This is not necessarily a negative aspect of the map. Initially, balance leans towards the invading hordes, but it evens out as the game progresses. Some may find the challenge easier than I did, but this is still a tough challenge. I floated around the food goal, without having a great deal of bread to spare. Thefts from the granary cause problems, but again this adds to the balance. You have to really WORK this map. One slight concern is the lack of stone availability, bearing in mind the distance needed to travel to bring it back to the stockpile. Two stone rigs would have made a little more sense, as the city needs to be built, places of worship are required in abundance (I had eleven in total: bad planning on my part?) and stone sales form additional income.

Creativity: Very well put together map, and having visited York a number of times and growing up not too far away from the place, the accuracy is exceptional. Be prepared for a long game, you don't achieve these goals without time and planning. Not really much else to say, just a solid effort.

Map Design: Covered somewhat is points above. The map itself is fine, nothing too clever, but then when a scenario is based on historical fact, deviating away from this upsets the game.

Story/Instructions: Second to none. The write up is a history lesson in itself. Very clear what is required.

I would strongly recommend anybody downloading this map. I have learnt a lot through playing it, and this will assist me in building my scenarios. Well done!
Map Design4.0
This is a massive map with massive victory requirements. It requires a population of 250 people among other things. That is such a large population that I eventually found myself bored but placing -a lot- of wells and fields to reach the population requirement. I would suggest that you download this map if you have plenty of time and patience to reach the large victory requirements.

Playability (4/5): This map starts out GREAT! Excellent challenge of dealing with the bears, wolfs, and terrain. It is an outstanding balance to get the game going and keeps you on your toes. I ended up restarting the map probably 4 times to get it right. After that I found huge lulls in the game and I created an army that was big enough to scare God himself with -plenty- of time to spare.

Balance (3/5): As I already mentioned, I felt the population requirement was way too high. Also, once I had established my defenses the map was a breeze. Once you find the winning combination of economic and defensive strategies then it's only a matter of time until victory. Perhaps the mid-game section events could be spiced up a bit?

Creativity (4/5): It is a massive map with at least 6 entry points! The entire map is well developed and nice looking. I was especially impressed with the winding trail leading up to the stone & iron. Very nice!

Map Design (4/5): I already mentioned the unique (to my knowledge) trails leading up to the iron and stone mines. It is really nice watching the oxen and men have to trudge through the mountains in that fashion. The only reason that I don't give this a perfect 5 is because defense it pretty easy to establish.

Story (5/5): Very nice storyline! I believe that it is based on the history books with a map design that matches York, England. All of the comments from the Rat/Snake/Wolf/Peasants play into the story very well.

Nice map, but I did wish it was a little smaller and the victory requirements were less.
Map Design5.0
This map and story are extremely creative but sadly, the requirements for the final victory are just to overwhelming.

Playability suffers a great deal from the onset of the game. Having very little starting goods and not much chance of obtaining anything for a long period of time, it makes it very tough just to get started.

Once you have got yourself the one woodcutter you would be able to start with, you have to consider the massive final goals.

Balance also suffers due to the above mentioned problems, and the location of the signposts can be devastating to you at the beginning of the game. Also, the bandits tend to head to the ruined stone castle sections, rather than your wooden structure.

The idea and layout of the map is very creative. With some tweeking and certainly a little editing of the events in store, I think this map could be a winner.

I loved the efforts put out by the designer and his close attention to detail. A beautiful looking map with an obvious desire to create realism. Very well done.

The story itself was very well written and again, attention to details and history was apparent. Nice job by the author.

All I would suggest to the author is that a little tweeking to the scenario events be looked at. Having 100 percent of your pop drinking Ale, and having to gather 1500 bread may be a little extreme. I found that once you finally do get up and running, the first invasions may be slightly intense for the average player.

Map Design5.0
an excellent map, very close to a pure economical scenarios.

won it at the hard level.

the final invasion did not appear because i got a very large twon with a very large army, and overshoot the limit of 1500 people on the map.

still a good map.
Map Design4.0
Quite a good loking map, could improve in some areas of the map but it was fairly good. the story was quite good i liked it you deserve 5. Creativity 3 because i have seen a few of these types of castles. and 3 for playability i could on play until i finished after it was little boring overall good job.
Map Design5.0
Playability: 5
Loved the map, I've only played the game one time so far and the norman invasion came, I nearly held them off But while I was rebuilding the outter walls, I left a single wall space open and all 4 armys got through there and busted through my main diffence. This map has some good replay value

Balance: 4
The stone was a bit too far from the base, not til mid game did I finnaly put up a woodenwall/gate blocking off the stone quarry, which of course finnaly protected it... wish there were space for 2 quarrys. Also I didn't find the market that great :/ I liked how the crossbows could only be bought instead of made.. But disliked the fact I was unable to to buy the other supplies, but I guess that ties into the story

Creativity: 4
Very well thought out map, I enjoyed it

Map Design: 5
Enjoyed the spall enampment, only disliked how far the stones were.

Story/Instructions: 5
Very good story totally enjoyed it

Additional Comments:
Good replay value, I highly recommend it

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