Kiev 1240: The Mongol Invasion
Posted on 06/25/02 @ 12:00 AM
Kiev - 1240 - The Mongol Invasion
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Type of map : Invasion
Size : Large
Difficulty : Very hard. For true masters only.
Duration : 6 hours if you win the first time (unlikely)
The Mongol Invasions. From 1200 to 1400 the Mongols established the greatest empire mankind has ever known. From Russia to Syria on the western side, to China on the estern side, the heirs of Gengis Khan ruled most of the Eurasian continent.
As a young governor, you have to build Kiev in a wild, grim country full of raiders and wolves, like eastern europe in this era. You have a long time spawn to establish a flourishing town and pay back russian princes of their support. However you will have to face the Black Death and Troubled Times will come. In this first part of the game, lasting 70 years, you have to build a strong town. After resisting to three small invasions, and next to a 25-years long terrible plague among other problems, you will have to harvest 2000 bread.
Finally, in the second part of the game you have to resist to a super invasion lasting 13 years, including 1500 crossbowmen, 2000 swordmen and pikemen as well as warmachines. You can trust me, you never saw an invasion like this before. Truly an heroic battle.
Warning : very complex scenario, using a special scripting enabling TIME VARYING WINNING CONDITIONS. Definition of the logical operator LOWER THAN. Reading of the help file compulsory.
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Well I’m quite annoyed about how to rate this map, especially because the score have less importance than the general feeling.
Posted on 02/18/03 @ 12:00 AM
This is a very unusual map, excessive by most aspects. It suffer from these excess and at the same time gain an unique flavour.
Just a few numbers : 90 years length map, requiring a population of 481 peasants. Map has been build more as a quest than otherwise. Probably most players downloading this map never finished it, or even never try to finish it and simply surrender for a reason or an other. I don’t feel despite the author’s claims that this maps his for expert players only. I just feel it’s needed sometime to play with a slightly different view and way of play. Just a kind of adaptation to unusual situations.
Argh, first rating section first difficulty. At the same time, I was sometime bored more than I can describe, and in an other hand I played it all the night and go at work the day after without had sleep. That enough to give this example for something I cant really explain.
More easy here, it could even deserve a lower rating. It’s clear the map suffer here from his excess. It simply try to fight what it can defeat : the game engine’s limit. Even the author offers new way of scripting, even he give sometime good reasons to the player to restrict himself, nothing to do, limits are limits.
In an completly opposite view, some players will probably find this map is too hard. Really, it's perhaps not exactly but. Simply bad era of the game, are very unpleasant, boring, frustrating and more ... so long... but not automatically lethal (except for the player's morale)
An example : Mocow’s Prince ask you to build a huge city and give you generous amount of gold at the beginning to achieve this goal. So you must achieve a population of 481 peasants and pay back him later. Here nothing extraordinary, it’s a classical ecovasion, except goals are rather high… But time to achieve it too. Once you reach this goal, the news of the huge Mongol’s invasion come. To simulate your peasants flee this terrible threat and/or you try to save your population, managing them a way to escape the battle in order to face the dreaded Mongols only with your army, you must yourself shutdown your population from 481+ to 150- in 5 years. It’s clear the authors planed a huge invasion, but knowing the game engine can’t manage more than 1500 peoples at the same time, he found here a convincing explanation for you reduce yourself your peasants in order to let enough “space” for his invasions. Las, it’s IMO not enough, or to be more exact, he let too much time to the player to build a strong and high quality army. You even didn’t need to use pitch, I didn’t. When I look back my game, pitch was only a worry filling uselessly my stockpile at detriment of far more important goods.
Less convincing and always in the same way, you are advice in the readme that in 1230 you can’t have more than 850 peoples : civilians + soldiers in order to achieve victory. Always to let enough space for his invasions. Here, not only it’s not convincing, because of course no explanations according the story is given, but more it’s unfair to pay the player efforts on his military side like this.
I had to kill a significant part of my army, grouping my soldiers in a area trapped with pitch and burn them to death myself :(
Nota : a victory condition is : you must kill 1000 men of a particular lord. They are soldiers of the very first invasions : they are 1000 so you must kill them all. If you have more than 850 (really 800 IMO, not 850) peasants + soldiers, the game will hang, all of the 1000 enemies soldiers will not appear, so you cant kill them all and you loose because of the victory condition. (a bit easy/lazy)
The invasions are really impressives. It worked perfectly, that is rare for so massive armies.
But so massive could it be they were wiped out quite easily even I restricted myself to “only”, SIC, 700 soldiers.
After military balance problems : civilian problems : at a time you will probably face to the terrible black death. This terrible disaster is here well show… “too very well too much” lol.
You could simply only watch the disaster, do you best to slow down the catastrophic consequences and save what you can. You play a man even he is a prince, not God.
Plague strike, it lead to starvation, even wolves become hungry, peoples turn in brigands and seek to loots what they can to survive. All of this more or less at once and at that time your popularity sink in a hole of hells. Where it affect the game, perhaps far more playability than balance, is it's long, Toooooooooo long … endless to the players point of view I think. I feel players downloading this map to play it, most would have stopped to play here bored and frustrated, because all you have builded 40 years during sink in hells behind your eyes … and you could do possibly nothing or a few. I think it could be the feeling of most players.
My feeling here is that there is "excess of abuse" :)
Probably a few player(...s) would think : “oh what a marvellous reconstitution of one of the worst calamity ever stroke humankind !!!”
Last to strike balance, this large map, allowing you a game life time to achieve your goals, lead to the common problem when this two factors are grouped : you're at great risk to hang the game.
Here, also, I don’t encourage players owning slow computer to try this map.
Map design : 4
It could be appear a little sad, but in this way it achieve his purpose : describe the boring grand steppe like you can imagine it. Nota : it could surprise you : there is no tree. Not a single lone one. Events are well used, even more if we consider new scripting, but also sometime in excess (too repeat ting) but I already talk about this.
Creativity/originality : 5
Well difficult to rate it in an other way. This map offers what you can’t find anywhere else, new script, which allows you to reach successive and linked goals, first one must be reached to allows you a new one and continue the game, or stop it in defeat if you fail.
You start in 1155
In 1225 you must show your result to your overlord (white hairs meeting) : a great city with 481 peasants, and pay back him for what he gave you to build this city : he ask you 2000 Breads. ( ... Emprunt russes ? :( )
If you fail: you loose. If you succeed : you are allowed to continue the game, face to the Mongol’s hordes defeat them and save the city. If you achieve this, final victory is yours.
Story/instruction : 5
You have a book of story/instruction lol, even a kind making of (explanation of new script).
A good scenario based on an historical and original subject. Unusual location and unusual foes at stronghold : The Mongols in the grand Russian (Ukrainian) steppe.
Something else. I want warning Players : don’t read ALL the readme before playing the map, at least make one try successful or not. More exactly, skip the section about the governor life. After you could read all. The author made the mistake, Imo, to tell us the story of the scenario. You will not know when a fire can strike for example, nor when the first bandit attack will occurs, but you will know which year the majors invasions will occurs and when the black death will fall upon you.
I think you will know enough with this (because you are not informed by the “I” info of the game of your goal)
January 1225 you must have 481 PEASANTS + 2000 breads.
December 1229 you’de better to have less than 150 peasants if you don’t want see your city devastated by huge fires. Anyway you must have a maximum of 800 peoples peasants + soldiers, even perhaps 750, if you hope to see the victory msg.
February 1244 you must have 20 peasants or more and 25.000 Po. No way to say it’s not between 1229 and 1244 that you could gain this amount of gold.
Great movie, but with some long to yawn scene. A very ambitious scenario but production lack of founds :)
This map is very ambitious. In my opinion it’s too ambitious and cant achieve completely his goals. Dark side of this ambitious quest is a very long game, without doubt too long, unnecessary too long, that sometime lead to boring feeling. Finally despite commendable efforts to avoid this, game engine catch up the scenario and back stab it… happily not to the death. Here the map pay the bill in playability and balance.
A very original map, with quality as high than bad sides, but overall, what it let me after playing it, is it’s close to be an unique kind of map. So it must be tried. After you like, you don’t like, it’s an other matter.
All of this would give a rating of 4.2, but it don’t have real signification.
Is it an exceptional map ? I will say perhaps, even I think it is. It’s the bill to pay for an excessive ambition which was close to sink the boat. I would like to say this map is an exception and I would, retrospectively, have been worried to miss it.
Let’s go boys and girls, test your skills and your perseverance. ;)