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Stronghold: Invasions » Conwy Castle by WarLord Designs

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Conwy Castle by WarLord Designs

Author File Description
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
It lies on the west bank of the River Conwy's estuary, on the North Wales coast and has done so to the present day.
Conwy was founded by the English king Edward 1 in 1283 as one of a chain of fortified towns in the then newly invaded North Wales. A Cistercian monastery already occupied this site; but Edward removed the monastery to make way for the castle that would cement his position in the newly conquered district.
The most formidable stronghold in Wales only to be challenged by Harleck was designed by Edward I's master castle builder James of St. George.
Construction of Conwy castle began in the year 1283. The castle was an important part of Edwards’s plan of surrounding Wales scare and rid the surrounds of the rebellious population. Thick, strong walls were constructed to protect the English colony placed at Conwy but problems arose when the rebel welsh apposed the invasion of their homeland.
It was during his second campaign in Wales that King Edward gained control of the Conwy valley in March 1283. He began work on the new stronghold almost immediately, with the natural advantages of the site being far superior to any other castles in the area he was able to capitalize on the terrain and hold his ground with ease against the welsh. Moreover, plans were laid for an accompanying garrison town, defended by a complete circuit of walls and towers.

This was our second entry in the competition, there are hints included in the zip along with the complete history.

Congratulations to Andy Baz for winning with his entry, cant wait to play it.

WL_D. Alexus and Arthus.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Andy Baz
Map Design5.0
Conwy by WL_D

Playability 3
Map Design 4
Balance 4
Creativity 4
Story/instruction 5

WarLord Designs’ Conwy castle is their second historical entry for the competition, and is by a long stretch a quality map that captures the imagination of the town and castle. I chose Conwy myself for the competition and I guess in a good position to comment on their interpretation which I regard as very good. After reading through the notes that accompanied the map there was 1 picture that caught my eye, which they took no doubt from a history book, but what’s interesting is the fact the terrain is decidedly different to present day. WarLord’s have taken what they believe is to be the correct landscape and modeled it beautifully. Whether they open a debate remains to be seen. :)
The castle itself is very well designed too, but in my opinion slightly smaller than it should be. Unlike me WarLord Designs chose to include historical information on Conwy and wanted to be as accurate as possible, this is reflected in both the additional documents and map design. For example the church in this map is accurately positioned in relation to the castle and although I’m not 100% convinced it was cathedral in its day it shows just a glimpse of the thought that was piled into this map :) Incidentally I really liked the town which is probably more historically correct than my own interpretation and shows good design skills and a passion for history. Good work.
If I had to be slightly negative it would be on game play, it never lived up to what I expected and was a little disappointed. The invasions were quiet and came at me in single packs. There never seemed to be any drama and once I’d repositioned my troops to the castle to see out all the invasions it turned into a straight forward 1v1. I truly think if it wasn’t for the fact they (invasions) targeted just one entrance game play would have been hugely improved. Attacking just the one entrance made it more predictable than maybe it should have been and limited my imagination when fighting. This said AI is a strange thing as we know and WarLord designs can’t be laid wholly to blame for this. In fact if wasn’t for poor AI game play would be significantly better and thus rated higher.
Overall, Conwy castle by WarLord Designs is an excellent historical castle which was made with a lot of passion and enthusiasm which was exactly what this competition was all about. Decent map and creativity flourished but ultimately let down by dodgy AI.
Nice 1. Andy

[Edited on 01/25/06 @ 08:07 AM]

File Author
I can't say its what i wanted to see in creativity and map design Andy, however playability and balance were an issue which given our timeframe were unable to fix. I pride myself in knowing my terrain style is liked in the community and as a result our maps have had successive 5s in this area. After i had done this map i looked back and liked what i saw and although a 4 is a decent score it isnt a number i like seeing.

I had a chuckle when you commented on our scale being too small because in actual fact we think yours is too large - however this isn't important. You brang to attention debate on the accuracy of my landscaping which was created with the painting. The way i see it an old painting says more than day to day photos - the man made inlet has changed the river mouth and the ocean has also been affected due to the over population and use of the area. I'd wager that the terrain is indeed quite accurate although i'm not trying to change your mind.

Is it easy for me to take constructive critism? no, but none is given so i dont feel the score has been rightfully backed up apart from your mention of AI problems but life goes on. Our priority map Carreg has been praised and so that is all we care about - this was a last ditch attempt to get 2 maps in when we really could only get 1.

Anger, no....dissapointment, well maybe a little in the 2 areas of terrain but ultimatly you wrote wat you felt and i accept that

Andy Baz Hello there,
I can understand why you took my comments in a negative manner, but the truth is I never wrote them to cause any offense. As people you’re both really sound, you come across as friendly, intelligent, passionate people, and what I’ve seen in the forums always ready to lend a hand to others. I like you a lot as both people and map makers, and sincerely speaking Stronghold Heaven would be a lot worse off without you. As designers you’re out there with an elite band of map makers, consistently turning out good maps, but like all designers you’re not immune to scores under 5.

When I review a map I’ll always try and reflect how I felt whilst playing with my comments, I’ll never patronise anyone, or write a review based on anything else but the map. Often the reputation of a designer can go before them bumping up their score but this should never happen. A review should always be honest and impartial – I’d like to think mine are always this way.

Your Conwy castle is a good map, and scoring 4’s for map design and creativity is all right. Ok it isn’t a top mark but it doesn’t say “stay clear”. Creativity can be a little ambiguous when designing an historical castle. After all you are effectively just copying a design – so would it be fair to then judge creativity not only on design flair but also on scripting? If you agree like me then a score of 4 is the right mark. Don’t get me wrong, creativity can also be how well the design tools are used. Or how well a vision is transferred onto the Stronghold map. Or it could be a nice piece of eye candy that lights up the map. This decision should always be the reviewers.
For me this Conwy castle is a good map, the castle and the town is nicely created and it’s all set in a realistic environment which makes this map stand out. Whether the landscape in your map is correct here isn’t the point, but rather to say how well it’s been excellently modeled. Considering you took the image from a single picture is an achievement in itself, you seem to have captured the feel of Conwy which is an impressive thing to do.
You’re seasoned designers who understand that creativity and map design go hand in hand. Maybe I was a little harsh on map design when rating, scoring just a 4 doesn’t quite reflect the work done, and compared to other works past and present carries a solid case to be made higher. So in light of this and a change of heart I’ll change the map design score to 5. :)

As for debate, I have done some research myself. I’ve taken your picture and compared it to aerial picture that we both used and it’s thrown out some interesting results. Check out the 45 degree town wall that joins to the castle on both your shot and 3 others. On your artist portrait you’ll see that the RED straight line that’s drawn through the castle from the 45 degree wall doesn’t cross anyway near the point on the castle the actual line should be.(The actual point taken from the aerial photograph). Even when you take the average point from 3 different sources and still compare it to your picture there is still a big difference. The conclusion for me then is your picture is highly inaccurate, cannot be deemed as actual and a better indication that the terrain in medieval times is similar to what it is today.
So is it artistic error? Or something else! One of the pictures shows land where you have water – can it be so that some kind of reverse erosion has happened. I’m no geologist but can water recede so much in several hundred years to leave land mass?
I don’t know the truth but for sure you cannot pin down what the terrain was actually like by a single artist’s picture. Whether you think what I’ve said is true is down to you but without more evidence from either of us we’d never really know the truth. Hey, maybe open this up as some kind of historical challenge? :) Well hope my comments have cleared some stuff up.

As for my Conwy, I thought the scale was ok :) Maybe if you review it you can tell me what you really thought ;)

Best regards. Andy

PS. Damn can’t upload the pix :( Will do soon.
Jasper Tudor Well, I know I shouldn't stick my nose where it is not needed, but I think this debate of Conwy Castle, town and surroundings is a bit unnecessary, since I find WL_Ds Conwy being a little too small, while I beleive that Andy's Conwy is somewhat too big. I think both of you have recreated the town of Conwy very well, and I don't see why your argue about the city walls, since they look pretty similar in both maps, and in all of the pictures.
Besides, both castles have their faults (don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I could do any better, probably not even half as good) but it seems you've missed that the bailey on the sea-side was actually inaccessable, and the castle actually had ANOTHER bailey even closer to the sea (check this link to see what I mean: ).
Anyway, regarding this map: the map is undoubtely beatifully designed, and no matter if the landscape is correct or not, it sure looks good. But I think that the town-wall running along the ocean-side looks a bit weird (high ground running up to it). I won't be giving this map a review though, since I have somewhat mixed feelings about it, and I think that Andy's review sums it up pretty nice anyway. And I haven't given a review on your map, Andy, simple because I can't beat it =P Sorry.

Well, finally; to the POINT: Both maps are AWESOME, and although one of them won, I think it's unecessary to discuss correctness and realism of the maps, since they both totally rock. You're all great map designers (I think you were mentioned several times in the Top 3 Designers thread) and your maps clearly stands out among the "mob" of maps =P
If you think I'm just irritating, messing around in other peoples affairs, I apologise, but I felt that I wanted to give my opinion.
File Author
No arguments here i can assure you! Andy is a good friend, we are just swapping info between each other hehehe...

This map could have been better if we had more time but hey who cares our main map has a 5 rating and thats all i care about.

Thanks to you both and happy gaming,

Andy Baz Hey, i agree with you, there's no bad feeling here and like you say just swapping info :) Hopefully soon i'll get the chance to play your 1st entry as it looks very good. As for Jasper, i think he sees himself as a peace maker :o) Good stuff. Anyway speak soon Andy
kodakeasyshare Man i wish i could make these kind of maps
Battle Mage corp
Map Design5.0
Conwy castle by WarLord_Designs.As I mentioned this is my favourite map in the entire SHH and SCH and I couldn't resist the temptation on writing a review.This map is very special to me for two reasons.First although it was rushed for a competition and some details might have been overlooked the map is still a wonderful display of master-mapmaking and terrasin knowledge.And the second is that long ago relatives of mine went to Britain and had the chanse to see this magnificent reality the castle (inner) is really bigger but there have been some expansions troughout the ages but I don't think that this has to affect the score in any way.Im not a 100% sure of what the castle has looked but I do know that the terrain is really accurate and I want to congartualte Arthus for such a detailed recreation of the land.The cliffs were really steap and I admire that you covered that.And about the castle...I don't have any words to describe how much I loved the design and when I saw the floor plan trully amazing good job Alexus.BTW Im sorry if i have mistaken the names with the jobs.Ok now to the review I covered everything before even starting.

Playability: 5
There was a small problem with the playability.The enemy didn't seem to attack the outside walls I don't know why they were confused in the editor I demolished 3 or 4 titles and found that you can pass it.But the enemy only attacked the gate and that made the game a bit easier I put all the troops there.However it was an extremely fun and cool game and I don't think a problem such as this should reduce the score.

Balance: 4
Yes,the balance was the only problem.I tryed on normal har and very hard.There was of course the increased difficulty but I knew where the enemy would attack and that made the map a bit easier.

Creativity: 5
The creativity was outstanding it was as if I was back in time where the battle occured.Such a detailed and observative recreation of this great castle is something indescribable.

Map Design: 5
I don't know what else to say about the map design exept that this is a unique and very challanging terrain and it was handled with incredible precision.

Story/Instructions: 5
The story and instructions told me new facts that I didn't know about the castle and were very interesting to read.I used the hints document and it really helped me.

Additional Comments:
A job well done guys even if my review was a bit late :)

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