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Gwyndlegard

Author File Description
Lord Basse
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Mix


Gwyndlegard was a peaceful country until two and a half years ago when it's jealous neighbour to the north-west, Xioché, invaded it with a force of thirty thousand led by the military geniuses Count Tengil and the witch Queen Xaphira. After the peace treaty two years ago, Xioché holds most of Gwyndlegard under occupation, save for the last free city to the east, Pumpkindon, where the country's leader Lord Mezenghi now lives.

In the country's southernmost province, Gwynhill, tension is now growing. A sergeant called Immanuel has long wanted to ambush the local Xiochan governor and start a rebellion, and when said governor takes slaves from Gwynhill village, a clear violation of the peace treaty, he gets his chance. Unfortunately his girlfriend is among the ones taken as slaves so the quest becomes quite personal.

You will take the role as Immanuel and his close friends to criss-cross the country, save your girlfriend Emily and free Gwyndlegard from the evil witch's claws in this humorous epic!


FEATURES:

• A giant map with great variety, from green green forests to open plains and snow-covered mountain tops,
• A mix of playing styles including AI-driven Build & Destroy, stealth mission in RPS and criss-crossing Fixed Force,
• A rather epic scenario that doesn't end after an hour or two,
• 965 triggers, for those who want to know
• Partially spoken dialogue (not self-made though, be thankful for that!),
• Focus on story and gameplay; no mods, data changes or overly complicated trigger tricks,
• An overdose of weird Basse humour!




Brought to you by StormWind Studios.




The story continues in The Rockspring Revolution.

Want to see what happened to Marvin and Rob after they left you in this scenario? Check out The Epic Adventures of Marvin and Rob!

The final act of the story can be found in The Relics of Athalën
Pages: [1] 2 » Last »
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Julius999
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5-
The game is a mix of styles, role playing strategy, fixed force and build and destroy. It's a very entertaining style with lots of action-packed gameplay, funny asides and a good soundtrack. There are a number of small glitches but nothing major, such as being able to catch sight of a building called "Basse's Cottage" and being able to kill Xaphira without taking out the unholy relics first. There are also problems with allowing the player to change diplomacy, and at times play things out of sequence. A bigger weakness is that there is quite a bit of repetition, as several of the battles are basically repeats of each other in the latter parts, and there are a number of back-and-forth quests that can be a bit tedious. On the whole though, Gwyndlegard is good fun and despite the flaws deserves a high rating here.

Balance: 4
The gameplay is generally very well balanced, at least in the early parts. Often, reloads are required and the player will need to rethink their strategy or tactics. It suffers though in the build and destroy section, as is often the weakness of that style the player can build a powerhouse economy and never be in serious danger of losing. The author does a decent job of keeping the player on their toes with some early attacks, but after that it fades somewhat. By the time of the attack on Aienborg there is no longer any real threat of being defeated as the enemy rarely takes the initiative and there are practically infinite resources. It's possible at this point to simply build forward bases at each objective and spam your way to victory with no strategy or tactics. This also allows your to circumvent the intended narrative as things such as the Dire Spire of Fire aren't actually necessary.

Creativity: 4+
Gwyndlegard does not present anything new, sticking instead to a solid style. All the gameplay has been seen before and the objectives are all pretty standard. There is the odd touch though which is rarely seen if not entirely original, such as the Dire Spire of Fire and destroying the unholy relics, which elevates this above the average. However in general Gwyndlegard's strength is that it provides very standard gameplay to a good standard, rather than attempting anything creative.

Map Design: 5
The map design is not too fancy, but is still nice to look at. It also suits the scenario very well, with wide open plains for the build and destroy section, little nooks to explore and clear roads in most areas that allow for easy mobility. One or two areas such as the town of Pumpkindon and the cramped approach to the capital leave a little to be desired, but generally this is of a very good standard.

Story/Instructions: 5-
The story is nothing new, and most of the names don't seem to fit very well together, but despite this the story is well told and the characters are given more attention than is often the case. The instructions are generally clear although there are a few typos. All in all it succeeds in what it tries to do, as a non too serious tale that frames the gameplay.

[Edited on 07/06/10 @ 12:45 PM]

Popeychops
Staff
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Gwyndlegard is a mixed scenario by Lord Basse concerning the fate of the titular nation. It contains elements of RPG, Fixed Force and Defend the Spot, all of which are hugely popular in custom scenarios. Lord Basse has won the annual Defend the spot contest once and the Minigame contest twice: his pedigree shows through in Gwyndlegard.

Playability: 5
There is a long introductory cutscene to Gwyndlegard, and such cutscenes are frequent throughout the plot; they do drag on at times, particularly at the start when one wishes to set off as soon as they can, but overall provide enjoyable viewing. The interactive portions are often very linear: with your objectives being set in stone beforehand. Following the instructions is a must, as occasionally you are tasked to do something you haven't yet been told about in dialogue. By mixing the combat styles, Basse has appealed to all tastes. There is something for everyone, even if the majority of the play seems to be just an RPG with an army.
Your foray into the unknown is accompanied by always-fitting music, and some of the dialogue has been crafted to suit the speech that has been sparingly added into the game. Gywndlegard is, as a result, an involving and enjoyable romp through the countryside, where you incite a rebellion. What more could you possibly want?

Balance: 5
Being one of the playtesters, I have seen first-hand the development of the challenge Gwyndlegard possesses. Lord Basse has taken a great deal of care in ensuring the map is of a consistent difficulty, the only major difference in challenge is based on the player's predisposition towards the different styles. Some of the larger battles end with a showdown between heroes: if you haven't been careful with that hero so far, you might not be able to overcome your rival. Most of the game's challenge is about knowing when to attack, when to stand your ground, and when to retreat (although most of the time you won't have a choice). The map behaves as one would expect a large country to. Perhaps you've been following a main road, and run into an enemy patrol. You take a vicious beating and need to heal your troops. For all you know you could be surrounded. By running into a marsh, for example, you escape the gaze of the cavalry circling the area. In Gwyndlegard, knowing is slightly more than half the battle. By being careful, it is often possible to escape unscathed when things could so very easily ended in disaster. Your monk extends your army's lifetime greatly.

Creativity: 5
Lord Basse has drawn on every area of his substantial experience in designing to create a modern masterpiece. Gwyndlegard happily marries some very different game styles, in a way that feels quite natural, as opposed to simply jumping between large-scale battles. The player's tactics have been engineered by the game's mechanics, which is no mean feat for such a free-roam map. The style appears quite minimalist on the surface, with nothing obviously fancy, however there has been a methodical approach in crafting the entire map towards its end product.

Map Design: 4
The quality of the map ranges from the sublime to the slightly crude, in areas a little eyecandy could go a long way, in others a little too much has been used. Roads are the worst sinner: often straight at narrow, all of one type and with a border that is distinctly green when compared to the brown or grey of the road itself. This is to be expected when the map was so long in the making, however perhaps an hour of looking over the map might have brought the score up to a perfect 5.0.
This is not to say that the map is in any way bad, its just that some edges are a little rough, even if care has been taken in others. It appears that the author's skill level has improved as the map goes on. A lot of the countryside is perfect: the minority of it drags it down a long way. The beginning, particularly, could use some terrain mixing to break up some large blocks of single terrain types. Also, flower objects are often seen in cutscenes, where they overlay the fog of war in an unsightly manner, as if any of it is visible, the whole object is illuminated, even if the land underneath is not.

Story/Instructions: 5
A deep and involving story is the central point of Gwyndlegard. The game is played from the point of view of one character in particular, even if it is spoken in third person. It flows very well, this being mostly due to the many cutscenes the player must watch, but seems to work even if you view areas before the story introduces them. As such, it is one of the best stories told in AoK format. It becomes more than a game, it is electronic storytelling. This quality allows it to make the jump into greatness, the hallmark of great scenarios.
The instructions are a masterclass in guidance: concise, to the point, and detailed enough to ensure the possibility of success. The hints are genuinely helpful, and the scouts give both insight into the nature of the map, as well as provide more backstory.


Additional Comments:
Gwyndlegard is a project that has taken a long time to come to fruition, English is not Lord Basse's first language (not that you'd believe that after seeing this), and the quality of the language has improved greatly over the past year and a half. It is this sense of improvement that prevents it from attaining a perfect score, as to improve you must have been worse when you started. It is, all things considered, a high-quality scenario worthy of downloading.
As official reviewer, I recommend that you play this, all seven or so hours of it.
Possidon
Official Reviewer
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
The long awaited Gwyndlegard by Lord Basse has amazed everyone with its fantastic and fun gameplay. Gwyndlegard is very enjoyable and creative scenario which is a fictional tale about the fate of a small country called Gwyndlegard. The main hero in this story is Immanuel whose girlfriend, Emily is taken by the Xioché, the enemy in this scenario, to work as a slave. The main objective of the scenario, with the help of your friends, is to save Emily and free Gywndlegard from the Xioché.

Gywndlegard is an extremely creative and highly enjoyable scenario which involves a great story, an outstanding Map Design anda well balanced and creative gameplay. Another great factor of the scenario is its very high replay count. Gwyndlegard is a scenario that can be played over and over and over again.


Balance: 5
Being mostly a mix of RPG and Fixed Force, Gywndlegard is a very balanced scenario. You start off with quite a few heroes and a small number of other soldiers too, but they are a mix of fighting styles like pikemen, cavalry, archers and infantry. The heroes aren’t all very powerful and none of them can die which makes an even bigger challenge for the player. The whole scenario is very challenging but can be completed if done properly. While the Game is challenging it is certainly not impossible. All you need is the correct strategy and you can have it done in a few hours.


Creativity: 5
Gyndlegard is a very creative scenario. It has a sort of free roam feel to it, but it still guides you in all the right directions to completing the game. The scenario uses many great and amazing trigger tricks as well as having a fun and enjoyable storyline and a beautiful and outstanding map design. There is also a wide range of characters in the scenario, so many I can barely remember them all. The scenario also comes with a huge folder full of sounds and some custom AI files too.


Map Design: 5
Gywndlegard is set on a Giant map. The map is the whole of Gywndlegard itself and is very beautiful. The map has a beautiful countryside, Mountains, rivers, forests, and small provinces like your home Gwynhill. The map is outstanding and one of the best I have ever seen. The cities are well spaced out and look fantastic. There is the Capital in the left, Pumpkindon in the right, Selenir near the bottom, Sarachrion at the top and Aienborg right in the centre of the map. Along with the bigger cities are the small villages and towns like Gwynhill and Winsburough. The map of Gwyndlegard is outstanding and one of the best designed maps I have ever sem.


Story/Instructions: 5
The story is very interesting and fun. It makes you want to play until the end, never leaving your seats, never turning away from the screen, even if you are really struggling you just want to know what happens. The story makes the whole scenario playable and enjoyable. The dialog is great, it is funny and clever. It helps you get through the scenario. The characters are great and the vast number of heroes give it much more of an atmosphere and improve the story greatly. The Instructions are clear and easy to understand. They help you get through the scenario even if you are an inch from loosing. There is also a good Hints page and it helps you if you do get stuck.


Additional Comments:
Overall Gwyndlegard by Lord Basse does not disappoint. It’s been in the making a long time and has amazed everyone with its creative gameplay and highly enjoyable story.

Overall I say that this scenario is a must download and the best scenario of 2010 I have played so far.

Thanks for such a brilliant of earth shaking scenario lord Basse


Possidon
Prince_Lothar
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
A glamorous scenario. Full of challenging, fun, and entertaining parts, this mission will keep even the most unopened minded person entertained. A very good job well done!

Balance: 5
Balanced very well. The beginning is a little harder what with all the heroes you have to keep an eye on. After you gain control of your village, the games gets easier, (I had no problem defending myself since stone was so abundant) but the battles are still epic.

Creativity: 5
Very creative and original amongst the other Age of Kings scenarios. I story was very interesting, and it also reminded me of the inheritance series, which I really love.

Map Design: 5
Like Julius999 said, you'll have a hard time cutting down the trees. The map is wonderful, and I am ashamed I ruined it by cutting down nearly every tree in the forest below your village. Oh, and there is a way to make a bridge walkable without saving and loading the game. Not sure about land bridges, but regular ones for sure. I look to see if there is a utility about it already. If not I'll make one.

Story/Instructions: 5
Very clear and organized objectives. They were even separated into three parts!

Additional Comments:
Truly a master piece. I'd call it my favorite real time strategy, but it's also got a lot of other things in it, too!
Tarsiz
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
The scenario is divided in a fixed-forces part, and a longer build & destroy part, separated with some good cutscenes. Both of them are exciting and entertaining, and I had great fun playing the whole scenario. Sometimes a bit of lag in big battles, but I must be my computer.

Balance: 4
I played Gwyndlegard in the medium level of difficulty. Fixed-forces battles must be carefully thought and you have to build up quite fast to prevent Tengil's cavalry patrols from destroying you early. The only repproch I could make would be that it is sometimes a little too tough.

Creativity: 5
The missions Immanuel is asked to complete are various and interesting, so I never get bored during the game. The story might no be very original, it is yet quite decent and pleasant to play.

Map Design: 5
Great Map Design, many magnificient places, such as Pumpkindon and the whole fixed-forces part. Aienborg gives an impression of strength and majesty, and the map is globallly well detailed and designed.

Story/Instructions: 5
The instructions and objectives are very clear and well detailed. The story is interesting and immersive, the characters' personalities are rich and we are given much information about Gwyndlegard history.

Additional Comments:
Last comment : I loved the drinking-tea knights !
Dtrungle
Official Reviewer
Rating
3.8
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance3.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Playability: 3+
To start with, Gwyndlegard has a lot of enjoyment value jammed inside. The story is adequate and does a good job leading the player through. Gwyndlegard is a mixed of Fixed Force and Build and Destroy, the latter being more dominate as it takes up more than 70% of your game time. The first portion of the scenario was quite a challenge for me as I'm not a good micromanager when that skill is essential. I had a few reloads because of the "A Hero has fallen." sound which occurred often and quick. The weaker heros gets killed so quickly sometimes that I didn't even see their HP lowering to the half mark. After getting into the second genre portion, I had my heros garrisoned in a castle and the gameplay was like a normal random map game. I never had to reload from that point on except for the required reload in order to cross the bridges.
During my play, there were a couple of things that really hindered my experience. I broke it down and organized it into paragraphs to make it easier to look at. But before that, I want to mention that there was so much recommended text to read that I was lulling away before the game even started. After getting through that, I then forced myself to read Scouts as I wanted to fully experience the scenario. After getting through that pile of text, I then had to go through the introduction cutscene. Once all of that was over, I finally got to play but what I played was me roaming around reading more text until finally, I reached Maruvian's camp where I finally get a chance to fight someone. It took forever to get into a fight, and I barely remember half of the stuff that I read.
Throughout the gameplay up until you get your town center. I was really, really peeved off each time one of my heros died, usually it's Marvin, Felic, or Urdana. Those three can be killed so quickly sometimes that it was as if an effect killed them off. Having control of a couple of must-live heros among a small pile of soldiers brutally annoyed me when I had to hastily click in order to not get a game over message. At Maruvian's camp, I find it very stupid how the main hero must fight alone with the boss. It's stupid because it's impossible to win unless your hero wasn't badly harmed during the previous melee. The hero should have been healed or something because he was tasked into the melee to start with and suffers a lot of damage. Unless, you want players to retreat him the moment the battle begins, which would be the oddest thing to see.
To further my previous annoyance, I had to restart my aok game each time I wanted to load the scenario for the second time. It was brutal. To add to the time waster, the were times when my aok game froze up or took a lot longer than normal to load another session which is really odd. Apparently, this occurs for players with Vista as their operating system but I still have to take this into consideration.
During the siege of the central fort, my game had minimal lag while I was on Standard difficulty. On Hard difficulty, the game lag immensely as I started to attack the castle at right small fort. From this point on, as I invaded the factory and so on, the lag was very horrible. The lag finally diminished to a neglectable rate after I destroyed the central fort and Tengil's charging forces.
Another severe hinder in Gwyndlegard was all of the walking. There were plenty of tasks that required you to go here and there, bringing your heros along as well. Marching towards a new task wasn't as bad because there were generally some resistance along the path. But when backtracking was the case, it was really dull. In addition, there were a lot of exploring required and it was dull most of the time.
The crampness of the small land right before Xaphire's base is something that should have been fixed or modified. I had to create my military buildings in the area east of that cramp land. This in turn causes delay as I now have to march my men through the narrow path leading into the cramp land and then into Xaphire's base. To further the annoyance, lugging rams along was no fun.
After getting into the second genre of the game, the difficulty drastically fell flat. Aside from the first few raids as you just start to build up, it was a walk in the park. I say that as in there was no challenge battling with the computers. It was time consuming yes but not particularly thrilling. If you get a castle or two up, the enemies get slaughtered. I had castles up at all of the event areas and it made it very easy. The enemies have no siege (apart from the ones at Xaphire's base, but they don't leave the island) so building castles practically wins the game. Another little nitpick I noticed during this time was that the enemies raiding me and my allies at the east side were allies to each other. I had lumberjacks over there and they were all killed in front of my allies base. Do they share land of sight at all?
On Hard difficulty, I noticed that the raiding army soon after getting your town center was quite large. Later on into the game, that was truly the case because the computer had order most of their men from other areas such as the different camps and the ones patrolling. I can say this because the camps did not have as much units as my play on Standard and most of the patrols weren't there.
I encountered two areas that had units for hire/purchase. These were the gunmen and the trebs. I found that the gunmen were over the top expensive while the trebs were pathetically inexpensive. Looking at the gunmen's stats, they wouldn't last long and the gold would be better off used on paladins. As for the trebs, 2k food is really easy to gather and the trebs make mincemeat of the 4 castles in the central fort.
The dialogue throughout the game was written well and developed the story excellently. However, there were times where it dragged on and the extra details was just a bother for me to read. For me, when I replayed it the second time on Hard mode, I went to get some water and sometimes food each time there was a long dialogue scene. It was really vexing how I had to waste time in order to continue on with the game.
Furthermore into this area, the little pieces of sound files that read a few lines every now and then was annoying to me. I'm trying to read and look at what the cutscenes show (I usually miss it all though because my eyes can't read and watch at the same time) and do not need another background message to jumble in. If all of the dialogue were voiced then it would be fine, it would be great actually, but it wasn't the case here.
Lastly, during the finale where you had to raid Xaphire's western base, I wrecked that place like crazy. I had castles built up around her and the general. I had blocked all of the spawn points for the swordsmen and archers. The light spell that I casted was useless, just another waste of time. Then, when the event with the fire bridge occurred, there was a horde of her units coming through but they didn't get far due to the castles. What's bizarre is that during that moment, Xaphire was running through, trying to get to the island while bumping into my men and hers. That just seems out of place and so wrong to see. There were a couple of scenes like this where the "boss" and my units were talking. It's unbelievable how I can't just kill them right there and hasten/end the war.


Balance: 3+
I brushed on this category a bit in my comments above. The game was challenging during the first fixed force portion however, it should have been harder when you had to free the miners and liberate Selenir. All I did was lure them out in small groups and slaughtered them with my men. After getting into the later genre portion, the game falls and falls in the difficulty category. Build and Destroy is not easy to balance but there could have and should have been more things added in to help the score. What could help is if the enemies had more reoccurring resources so that he can continuously produce units. You can also limit the player's castle count, or stone, and even restrict the overpowered paladin. Most of the time, the enemies I faced were trigger spawned units and I clearly saw them spawning in the most unsightly areas, from thin air. Lastly, on Standard, you could bring your villagers all over the map without being attacked. You can build castles, walls, and outposts to give you a tremendous advantage. This along with potentially unlimited resources, makes the game really easy. Players can also build trade carts and trade with the wine village.


Creativity: 4+
What can I say here. Nothing throughout the game stood out to me but creativity is all over the scenario. Basse did a very awesome job designing the story, gameplay, map, and objectives. A little beef I have are the names. The jumble of different names and sometimes difficult to read and remember makes it annoying.
Most of the gameplay was pretty flat, it was like a normal random game. I don't recall doing much of the optional side objectives aside from returning the lost monk, which I think I got nothing for doing. Some more thought could have been implemented to make the game after getting your town centre more enjoyable. Most, if not all of the battles from there on consisted of me amassing skirms, halbs, and pallies, and charging in demolishing everything, with the help of offensive castles of course.


Map Design: 5-
One of the best designed part of this scenario. The whole map was designed superbly and every screen view was appealing to look at. Nothing was irregular and/or hideously unnatural. Nothing was really outstanding or worth mentioning but as a map, it was crafted very well and deserves a high rating. With the praises, there were a couple of things that was off however, the rest of the map was done so well that the rating should be the best it can be.
Plenty of times throughout my gaming, I saw glitched, straight edge cliffs. I'm not sure if those were intentional, forgotten, or glitched from playing but they were hideous and in abundance. Another issue was the cramp land before Xaphire which was mentioned previously. A reason for my game crashes could be from all the glitched gates. A lot of the gates had very dark shadows and the gate opening graphics didn't occur when a unit crossed it. Another thing I noticed were the hold off units. I had chopped all the trees and can clearly see them there. The wolf there even attacked my lumberjacks for a bit before it ran off to attack my buildings that I had in the small right camp. Lastly, the central fort seems unnatural as it's a perfect square with a perfect central hill along with perfect cliffs to fit the buildings perfectly in.


Story/Instructions: 4+
The story was crafted well but there weren't a lot of twists to hold my attention. It was a simple story and the main point was to kill Xaphire. A lot of the plot is basic storytelling and nothing was wow enough to mention. Though the story was basic and all, it's still worthy and well produced. There were times where there could have been giant holes in the plot such as during the chat sessions with the bosses infront of you, and how Xaphire allowed you all the time in the world to build up. I mean, are her patrols drunk? How come none of them reported anything to her. Also, I mentioned the scene where Xaphire runs through my men and her own before, I mean, how come I couldn't kill her? Lastly for this section, there were a good amount of typos that I saw throughout the game but none was worth degrading the score. Specifically, there was this sentence after Felicity got the keys from the guard that was mind boggling to me because reading it made me wacko.
Hints and Instructions were plentiful and accurate. Some more precise instructions could help a lot for players who are lost. None of the challenges are difficult enough to require a walkthrough though. Just certain parts such as bringing the light spell to the flag that's on the road at the entrance of Xaphire's base. On my first play, I couldn't find the flag because my castle was blocking it. I ended up wasting time moving the relic all over her base.


Additional Comments:
Great work with the scenario. My experience with the game gave it the rating that it is but the game is still of top quality. Although I expected some RPG and defend the spot portions, Gwyndlegard was created well enough for me to continue through to the end. I think my review is the longest one I've ever seen, though it looks more like a playtesting feedback report.

[Edited on 08/11/10 @ 03:46 PM]

krmyth9
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5
I was able to make it through the game with very little errors or glitches. The only issue really was having to reload the game to make it through certain part (we were warned so no deduction, still a 5)
Balance: 5
I played it on Difficulty Hard. It had its easy parts, then it had its hard parts. The first part of the game was RPG style, arguably the easier part (I'm a strong RPG player so I sailed through the beginning part.) The hardest peart for me was when you first recieve a base. Xaphira's early and frequent attacks provide difficulty in getting yourself going, but, after your defenses are up, I considered the rest to be smooth sailing. Being defeated was very difficult to do unless you lose a hero. If anything, I'll say that it was a bit more on the easy side, but not easy enough to lose a 5.
Creativity: 5
I was very easily able to relate this map and its style to the Sabato series. You had plenty of other things to do in addition to the main storyline. I never got bored with it (all 7-8 game hours it took to beat it.)
Map Design: 5
What impressed me was how every little bit of the map was used in this game. I had 99% map explored in the end of the game. Its easy to notice how nothing was really rushed or lazily put in. I was able to notice the time and effort that went in to this map.
Story/Instructions: 5
I never got lost on what to do (reading the history information helps.) When I first downloaded the map, the description was deceiving: "Xapira took away your girlfriend... go get her" It gave me lower expectations, so I was suprised. We were provided with more than enough storyline to understand what was going on.
Additional Comments:
I definitely recommend a download. It takes a long time but that wasn't a problem for me. Great job Lord Basse!
Elliott_Thomas
Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity4.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Lord Basse has been around the community for a while and I have watched him improve and develop over several years with a great deal of interest. Gwyndlegard is definitely his largest and most polished product and while it was very enjoyable, it had a number of rooms for improvement. Before I begin the review, I just want to thank Basse for continuing to design in our ever-shrinking community and for his Windows 7 colours batch-file which allowed me to play this campaign with the correct colour scheme.
Playability: 4
The playability was pretty good; there were not any major bugs and for a map of this size, that is a great accomplishment. While I did not find any major bugs, there were a number of minor bugs and things that weakened playability. From the start, there were too many heroes. They served no purpose outside of dying at inconvenient places. As these characters did not have any developed story, we did not care at all about them and all they were was an irritant as they would die in ambushes. Ever later in the game, we still had to look after 5 heroes who served no purpose. I just had to group them all together and use them to complete the sub-quests. Another thing I disliked was how the two allied armies for the storming of the castle threw themselves directly upon the castle and were destroyed almost instantly. I had been looking forward to fighting alongside them; perhaps you should have boosted their HP? My other major gripe with playability was at the end. Storming the final island was incredibly frustrating. I blew up the fire bridge and immediately regretted it. It served no purpose as the witch continued to resupply her army with unlimited re-spawning elite units, and all it really did was prevent me from attacking from the back. This forced my army into a narrow bottleneck where the enemy longbows were clear to slaughter countless waves of my soldiers. When I managed to bring them down, they would just respawn in greater numbers! I have no idea if I had a bug or you thought people would enjoy this mechanic, but I did not enjoy watching hundreds of my expensive soldiers bottlenecked and slaughtered. I was only able to win by killing only enough soldiers so as not to trigger a respawn, then running Paladins back and forth to distract the other soldiers while monks walked across the landbridge. I still don't understand what the point of blowing the fire bridge was. The landbridge was one of the most frustrating things I have experienced in any campaign. Perhaps you could stop the infinite respawn of elite soldiers?
Also, there were some bugs you might want to check. When I recieved my heroes on horseback, one was stuck behind a rock and I had to send villagers to chop the forest down to get him out. Also, the Elite Guard eventually allied with me, and I was unable to clear them off the field as a result of that. However, near the end of the game they went back to enemy and slaughtered a huge amount of my civilian population. They should never have gone allied.

Balance: 4
Balance is a very hard area to do well in and Basse did a good job, although not without problems. The fixed force part was quite easy. With the inclusion of a missionary, it was a simple game of fight, then heal, then fight again. The B&D was pretty good though. At the start the enemy throws large and well equipped armies against you who really can be difficult. However, they refuse to use siege so as soon as you put castles up, your base is completely impenetrable. Despite this, Basse still created some difficult parts, mostly through bottlenecks. The attack on the capital was a tough battle and was quite enjoyable.

Creativity: 4
Gwyndlegard was a very well done campaign, with a nice story and good gameplay mechanics. It did not really introduce anything 'new' (although that is very hard to do today, with the incredible past games to compare against) but was still very enjoyable. Half-way through the game, Basse introduced a bit of 'magic' although I only found that to be a detriment. The magic in this campaign was mostly just explosions while things moved; I feel that one should probably not include magic into a campaign like this unless they will being so in a spectacular way (such as in Sabato's Holy Grail).

Map Design: 5
This was Basse's strongest suit. It is obvious that he spent years working on this map, as it is giant but still filled with beautiful areas. I hold Ama's Chrombasia as the finest example of a B&D map ever, but this one was getting there. In Chrombasia, I made a very strong effort never to chop down the trees unless they were in the far corners of the map (as they looked so good!) and I almost felt that way on this one. There was one particular forest on the plain near the main castle that one could walk through I remember being so impressed watching my villies hunting deer in it, and then there being a spectacular battle between my soldiers and an enemy patrol. The use of wonders was also well done, especially for things like the observatory. Overall, fantastic map.

Story/Instructions: 4
Basse clearly put a lot of work into his story and this is evidenced by extravagant names for all of his towns and characters, as well as many small touches (such as his burnt out laboratories which provide a humorous back-story to why gunpowder is not available in the scenario). However, there were a number of things I thought could benefit from improvement. I know many have already commented on this but the names were mismatched and harmed one's ability to immerse oneself into the game. I know you argue that the land is one of immigrants but that does not explain why the Japanese named freedom fighter has his son named Fabian. Also, a lot of the talk between the characters seemed rather unnecessary (all the banter in the prison was irritating). As I mentioned earlier, there were way too many heroes who served no purpose, and as a result we did not care about them or what they were talking about. It felt as though you were going for a TKBM kind of feel, with the 2 male leads and their girlfriends, supported by a cast of other named heroes but unlike TKBM, the story was not developed in a way that created any attachment to the characters (especially the minor ones such as Rob). Perhaps just one or two heroes could have made us more attached to them and more interested in what happened. The side-quests trying to reunite lost lovers were nice but required far too much walking back and forth for no real reward. Even earning a hunting wolf or something would have made it more worthwhile for us. Also, Basse's late-game inclusion of magic was, in my opinion, entirely unnecessary and cheapened the experience by further harming the immersion of it without providing an interesting gameplay mechanics. Finally, the objectives were very well done but at times they were unclear. When I received the quest to find that flame relic as an optional, I spent a long time not advancing my main objectives forward trying to find that relic (I could see it with outposts I built, but I could not reach it). Don't give out a quest if you aren't able to solve it until a later point. Another problem with the objectives was on the storming of the capital. I ended up fighting a very tough battle and clearing the island before I was told I could have just used the holy relic. I still had to use the relic and it didn't help at all. You need to explain in the objectives not to bother attacking the Capital without the relic.

Additional Comments:
I realize that this review is almost all negatives. Basse, don't think that I didn't think was a great campaign. I think it was fantastic and I appreciate all the work you put into it. I was trying to sum up areas for improvement. Keep up the great work! In conclusion: a Must Download.
Lord Sipia
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
I've played Gwyndlegard twice now; The first time, I couldn't help cheating (and it only made me lose), but the second time, I completed it without cheats (on standard though, i'm not really good with B&D). Quite impressive work.

Playability: 5
Gwyndlegard will keep you on the edge of your seat for quite a while, with exciting battles and neat dialogue. I didn't encounter any bugs annoying enough for me to remember, and I've really liked playing it to the end. There's only one small thing that bugged me. Once you take over Sarachrion and Pumpkindon, units will still say their object selects when you want to use them- It's a bit irritating, using soldiers that constantly say "welcome to Pumpkindon, the last free city in Gwyndlegard" while you're fighting off Xaphira in the capitol city.


Balance: 5
For the many hours it takes to complete it, the scenario has really kept me on the edge of my seat. The B&D part's difficulty is neatly streamlined out, increasing with troop numbers and their strength as well as the buildings as you improve your town. Once you've erased Aienborg, the scenario isn't really difficult anymore, as your resources should've raised to top level by that time. Sarachrion was a bit easy to defeat when Count Tengil takes over, but that'll most likely be because I played the map on standard.

Creativity: 5
As far as I'm concerned, this scenario uses a lot of new ideas I've thought of, but never really managed to think out in an AOE II scenario (like the prison- really neat placed out, especially the thickness of hallways and cell size). The siege of Aienborg is also a quite creative idea- Most sieges use fixed force and mainly consist of killing the garrison commander or the like. The final battle at Xaphira's island is also like I've never seen- It's quite a challenge, having to bring a monk to those relics with a ton of archers and Xaphira blasting your troops away.

Map design: 4
At first, the scenario looks great- But really, the mines should be a bit more strewn out across the map- The middle section, between Ainenborg and your first base, doesn't have much stone and gold, while the Selenir mine and the one northwest of Pumpkindon are bursting with minerals. There are also a bit too much flowers to my taste- Once you've cut away the forest around your first base, It's a strange sight- a city in a half-jungle design.

Story/instructions: 5
Another of the many good sides of the game, the instructions are clear and quite encouraging to get going with (altough the objective-message saying you should watch out for Tengil's patrols circling Aienborg should disappear once Aienborg has fallen). The storyline is also quite well depthed- It keeps you wondering, and yet you've got a good idea of what is going on. There's but one detail that's a bit odd- If Xaphira isn't that noble and chivalrous, why does she keep Immanuel alive after the "negotiation" in Winsburough? She's got the strength to destroy the entire town by herself, and he's all alone there... Should be easy. That detail is by far not enough to lower the rating, though.

In short, a must-download for those who like a good mixed scenario! I just wonder how Lord Basse thought up all those weird names...

[Edited on 12/28/10 @ 04:11 AM]

RladalFatih
Rating
5.0
Breakdown
Playability5.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Playability: 5+
It took me eight hours to finish this scenario, and I never get bored. Gwyndlegard is highly enjoyable, and we easily notice that the author did everything to improve the gameplay of his work. One of the interesting aspects of Gwyndlegard is that the game is divided in three parts: the first is a mix between role playing strategy and fixed forces, and the two seconds are pure build and destroy. This radical change is not only a good way to let the story evolve from a simple rebellion to a large scale military campaign, but also a wonderful idea to keep the interest of players, independently that if they prefer FF or B&D. The concept is good, but a good concept is nothing if it is not exploited decently. Fortunately, Lord Basse excels to do this.

The first part is really entertaining. I am personally a fan of micro-managing, so leading a small troop of various soldiers, from the militia to the horse archer, always ready to fight against an enemy heavily-armed patrol is exactly what I like to do in a FF. Also, I found interesting to be the “baby-sitter” of a horde of heroes who die almost at the first hit (Marvin and Urdana needed a lot of attention from me: they had the bad habit to been slain by Xaphira’s soldiers). But my favourite mission was to free the prince Fabian from a prison that certainly inspired Alcatraz. It is always fun to sneak into a fortress to free poor prisoners. The second part was also highly enjoyable, and it is certainly one of the best build and destroy I ever played. Enhanced with a lot of side quest, challenging missions and the delicious speeches devised by the (maybe a bit crazy) brain of the author, destroying fortresses and killing evil queens never was so fun.

Balance: 5-
Because it is level-dynamic, Gwyndlegard provide challenge to all the players who try it. Beginners like skilled players can, if they want, test their micro-management capabilities, and fully enjoy of the scenario. There are only few details that affect a little bit the balance, but not enough to prevent me to give a five.

Creativity: 5
There is lot of original stuff, from the secret mission in the prison (with disguised heroes) to the sawfish that attack ships when it passes on them. In addition to all the magic objects to find and some great ideas like to place stone in the ruins of an ancient city. All of these small elements greatly improve the final product, and, when we add the typical humour of Lord Basse, it is impossible to say that his creation is not creative.

Map Design: 5
Awesome, wonderful, excellent, I don’t know which word is the most appropriate to describe this map. Because it is more than a map: it is not far of an entire world, with its regional peculiarities. We just need to explore a bit the country to see the landscape changing. Deep oak forests, devastated fields, rich grasslands, high mountains, snow pine forests… All designed with a lot of eye candies and a great deal of effort, with the result that the map is near of a piece of art.

Story/Instructions: 5
As if there are many designers that choose the subject of a rebellion against the evil and powerful empire, Gwyndlegard has an excellent story. Characters are well described, and the author takes care to give to the events a deep background with a fictive history and some geographical descriptions. I wrote in the map design section that the map was almost a world in itself. But with the descriptions, the story around the scenario that he imagined, Lord Basse created a world. And it would be a pity to don’t explore it.
A must to download.

Additional Comments:
If Lord Basse decides to make a third update for his file, there are few details that I noticed and that can be easily fixed:

-There is too much stone on the map. It is hard to be defeated when your base is defended by eight castles and a double wall… But it is not a so big problem, because when the player reached this level of defence, the challenge is not to resist against enemy attacks, but more to destroy his nearly impregnable fortresses.
-Trebuchets are too effective during the first siege. I tried to destroy the four castles of the citadel only with siege rams. This is a true challenge…
-The Capitol of Xaphira was not enough fortified at my taste.
-It is possible to kill Queen Xaphira before she flees on the second island with onagers. The easiest way to solve this is to unable onager production, in my opinion.

I know, it is a long review, but the time that I take to write it nothing beside all the fun that I had to play this scenario. I hope that it will be useful.
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HGDL v0.8.0

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Rating
4.7
Breakdown
Playability4.6
Balance4.5
Creativity4.6
Map Design4.8
Story/Instructions4.8
Statistics
Downloads:12,052
Favorites: [Who?]37
Size:14.71 MB
Added:06/26/10
Updated:01/13/19