Posted on 09/04/08 @ 04:49 AM
Somehow you had succeeded. Arriving at Harlow Manor from Ramel to support the Revolution had required the utmost resolution. Marching down the coast under the watchful eye of the frigate Percival’s cannons, you had achieved that arduous task. You arrived in the “Old Country” with time to prepare for the inevitable attack of the King’s army. Ramel, with its ruined “SK-eye SCRAY-pers” spoke more of the long dead Ancients and the “Abomination that caused Desolation” than this place. Yet, it was in the “Old Country”, as it had been taught by the teachers of thy youth, that what remained of that long ago age still lurked. As the “Free Seventh”, what your army had now come to be called, marched southward all evidence of said ancients had rapidly vanished. Indeed, the untamed land had looked like any other. That was until the day of the “Rale-way-Stay-shun”.
On that day the dense forest, which for weeks had been your constant companion, began to give way. Thick Pine stubbornly yielded to the Oaks and Maples of a more temperate climate. Most of your troops had reveled at the good fortune of an easier trek and pleasant temperatures. You, who remembered well the fairytales of thy youth wondered increasingly if the tales about the ancients were true. As you traveled on towards the sea and reached the fringes of the “Old Country”, strange objects began to appear out of the undergrowth. Most were unrecognizable lumps of rust or stone but here and there, a strange or fascinating object would turn the heads of the entire army as it marched by.
A rusted box had been one you remembered. Although weathered, to the point that its bottom had fallen out, it was surprisingly intact for its age. Short and squat, it sat on four tiny metal legs. Two had long ago crumbled away along with the bottom and now the box listed drunkenly to one side. A bluish hue of its long faded enamel still permeated here and there through the heavy rust that coated it. Although badly battered and dented, its rounded top still possessed a small door with a handle. Many of your men pulled the door down as they walked by. A few made comments like “Nice to meet you” or Anybody home?”. Some got laughs, others didn’t. Despite the millennias the door clapped back after each pull. Amazingly still doing the job it had been designed for long after its designers were dust. Some of your younger officers had been intrigued with an emblem stamped into the metal of the door. Knowing you could read the “Ancient Tongue” they inquired its meaning. Obligingly you sounded it out for them, “YOU. - ESS. - Mayel”.
A short time after the metal box, the trees abruptly cleared. There before you was a site that none of your men had ever seen. Directly in front of you was a large ruined complex. Upon closer inspection you could see it was made of a substance you had seen everywhere at Ramel. The Ancients used it like water, today its secret was lost with time, “CON-creete”. A ruined building on one half of the site said nothing obvious about the complex’s purpose. An old rusted sign was separated from the ruins by one of the strangest sites you had ever seen. Two thin rusted steel beams ran parallel to one another. Every few feet an ancient, rotted piece of wood connected the two steel beams. Looking North-West, the beams ran all the way to the Harlow River where they abruptly stopped. Although the beams ended, small crumbling stone islands picked up where they left off spanning the river to the other bank. Facing South-East, the beams ran to a bizarre and obviously un-natural hillock. Eroded earth had exposed what looked like a concrete cave with its roof caved in. From this cave came not only the beams but also a stream that now ran aside the steel all the way to the Harlow River.
Stephan, your trusted lieutenant came up beside you. “What a strange site M’lord. Have you ever seen such a thing?” You were about to reply no when a memory stopped your tongue cold. After a short pause you answered Stephan’s query with “The little engine that could”. Stephan looked quizzical for a moment and than said “An engine sire?” You told him of the ancient book tucked away in the library of your father’s castle. On its faded, yellowed pages you had seen simplistic drawings of strange steel beasts that ate coal and belched smoke. These beasts had run on magic roads called “TRANE-tracks”. In the book, you remembered those tracks and they now stood in front of you as real as your army. Stephan looked rueful, almost reproachfully at the tracks. You smiled and said. “They matter not old friend. They will be of no use to us in the coming battle”. He smiled back and the tracks were forgotten. “What of the sign sire?” Stephan said. You read the faded text upon it out loud. “TWO BALL - tea - Moore AND aw-al POINTS SOW-th”.
Crossing the small stream that ran from the Concrete cave, you and the Free 7th finally came to Harlow Manor. This magnificent manor house was astounding. Although several families now called it home, it had once been the house of a single family! Around the Harlow “E-stayte” As was the ancient word for a sole families lands, a thriving community had flourished. Fortunately, this community was sympathetic to the revolution and with the sacrifice of their livelihoods had set your trap for the Kings army. One so devastating it would turn the tide of the war back in favor of the Revolution. With days to spare the preparations were set for the Kings attack. You and your men had rested and ate well at the massive house. At night, while you, your officers and some of the community elders sat around the gargantuan fireplace in the Mansion’s main room, a strange sound could be heard from the nearby Harlow’s Wood, a howling of sorts.
You asked the elders about the source of the sound. Apprehensively, they explained of beasts they called “wear-wolves”. How these wolf-men came down from the “Old Country” sometimes and took lone travelers. How they seemed to have a taste for human flesh. When you inquired on how they could know such a detail as their tastes, their patriarch, an old man they called Marcel, snapped “cause we come to were they been a’night before. Find a horse all saddled and untouched like. Meybe’ a little spooked of sorts but sound. ALWAYS they be no rider, just blood and itty bits.” “You’ve seen them?” you asked in reply. Marcel simply looked at you. Finally, he mumbled a bit of some ancient children’s rhyme. One you knew from your youth. “All the King’s Horses and all the Kings Men could not repair the damage within.” Marcel had mumbled more to himself it had appeared so you replied “The Abomination that caused Desolation”. “Aye” Marcel said brightly “trig you are then. So’s them things ya’ hearin. Awful trig they are. They sense a battle to come. Come a battle, come corpses ta’ feast on.”
That battle would come the following afternoon. During the morning, you had wandered about the expansive estate marveling at all the wonderful buildings. As you walked around the manor proper, you came to a cornerstone of the great stone pile. Upon it, you spied the carvings of some ancient, you stooped to read them. ‘This stone laid by Sir William Harlow of Baltimore in the year of our Lord 1794 A.D.’. You stood up momentarily shocked. 1794 A.D., the date was simply not possible. currently, the year was 1297 A.D. - After Desolation! How could this be? It was the crows that garnered your attention. Plumes of the dark scavengers erupted from Harlow’s Wood and into the bright, late, Summer Sun. Voicing there disapproval loudly as the King’s army approached.
This map is only guaranteed for play with Stronghold Warchest. You must at least have the V1.2 patch installed on your computer. The patch is free and available at this site.
This map has been listed as a Siege but will play in Stronghold as an Invasion. My reasons for doing this are first, the map truly is a siege and was designed as one. You will find it has no scripting or eco-goals and that the action is most definitely designed in the same manner as many of my other maps which are all sieges. Secondly, a weird uncontrollable and untraceable victory glitch occurred. I was able to eliminate the glitch by playing the map as an Invasion.
As with most of my maps, your objectives appear on the launch page. They have been scripted to appear a certain way and have a bizarre appearance in the editor because of it.
Your Skill - Setting
Rookie - Easy
Veteran - Normal
Elite - Hard
Legendary - Very Hard (or Hard without burning the Wheatfields)
* You will need to destroy all enemy units including engineers to obtain the victory page.
* Due to the stunning victory your forces achieved at Ramel, all friendly troops have a 10% combat bonus.
* You will find Harlow’s Wood has no traditional Keep, Harlow Manor is the Keep and is where you will find the Lord. Understand, the Manor House is indeed that. Well garrisoned but ultimately an ornate, unfortified structure.
* Ship cannons/catapults have 200 shots each and 6 cows overall. Ship also has 2 ballista. Fire Away!
* You will have partial control over the Harlow Estate. Namely the Granary and the Marketplace. As mentioned above, you will also have the ability to light the wheatfields as a means of defense. Keep in mind, such a large, open fire will be difficult to control! Collateral damage is to be expected if you choose this option and are not careful.
* Funds can be gained to build shields.
*Intelligent Catapults, similar to those in Crusader, will move into position slowly but fire quite accurately!
* ‘Werewolves’ are represented by wolves. Be wary, for these decrepit beings possess some rudimentary intelligence and will mount their own concerted attack on Harlow Manor. At the time I made this map a tutorial explaining how to get wolves, bears, rabbits, and deer on a Siege map was written and posted here :
* Tutorials on how to create the unique buildings found around the estate can be found at the following links :
Harlow’s Wood is Chapter 10 in The Saga of The Seventh, it may be very difficult for players new to Stronghold. Try an earlier chapter!
The Story thus far….
Ambush at Manathma
The Cumberland Downs
The Battle at Andolin
The Vierville Draws
The Heligoland Bight - coming soon!
...Also related ‘The Interlude’ Battle of the Solomon Sea.
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|Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
The map looks so organized!
Posted on 02/22/11 @ 08:09 PM
|Adam the First
Posted on 03/15/11 @ 01:25 PM
The gameplay of this scenario is simply epic. The first time I played I was that amazed by the design and the terribly large attacking forces, I forgot to care about my defences, and yeah, my lord was killed... But I had enough time to examine everything at my hand, so for my second try I managed to win the map, the burning fields an the catapults from the ship were both great help, and without them, I couldn't win. Also, all the troops had to be used carefully, though I've killed all the attacking forces in a ~15 mins and then I cleared the map with my remaining troops, though this scenario was very tough, that'S why I give a 5 here. :)
The balance was excellent, I've already said I won for the second time (and without reading the hints), so the scenario could be a bit harder. However, I think it would be a great challenge for some unwary players.
All aspects, and by this I mean all little squares show how creative the author is, the manor house, the fields, the railway station totally gave back the feeling of the late 18th and early 19th century America. And in addition, the destructed buildings also gave a post-apocalyptic feeling. And for the attacking armies...there are no words...I jsut love how those endless hordes march into the lands to kill the lord. Hands down, awesome job!
Map Design: 5
WOW!... There are no words for the design... The buildings look fantastic, as I've written above, their modelling is perfect, what the author did with the lowered walls and wooden walkways looks stunning. And don't forget about the surrounding areas too, the forest and the fields look simply awesome. I can only tell that a lot of time, patience, effort and thought went into making this map.
To be honest, I haven't fully read the story, but jsut by looking at the description page, this map surely deserves a 5. The story is very long and the detailed description page contains everything connected to the map: Author's, hints and in addition tutorial for the design. A large amount of effort and thought was put into it. Incredible, stunning job!
I have to say congratulations to the author for this awesome map!:)
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