Posted on 12/20/10 @ 12:49 PM (updated 12/28/10
I used the books as a guide, not a script, in creating this game. You play as House Trakand, eventually gaining control over Caemlyn, the Two Rivers, and Cairhien to become a power equal (hopefully) to both the Seanchan and the Trollocs.
||Build and Destroy
To fulfill the story in the books (where Andor gains access to Cannon thanks to Mat) I recommend playing House Trakand as Spanish. Being the only player with access to gunpowder units may be your key to victory.
AI Land Defensive by Cherub MDE
Alliance Thunda Empire AI by Pheonix_Mabuse
Extract to your Age of Kings folder.
In Scenario Set-Up, leave Teams all blank.
Set player 7 to Land Defense AI
Set player 8 to AllianceThundaEmpire
Set player 2 to AllianceThundaEmpire
Leave the other players as standard AI, or set them according to your own preference.
Hard difficulty will be hard indeed.
Be sure to start building your economy as soon as you get your base.
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Tarmon Gaidon is a scenario based on Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time book series. I myself have never read these books but still found the scenario quite enjoyable. The Tarmon Gaidon was the final battle, feared in the world set in the scenario. The scenario was quite an enjoyable Build & Destroy scenario and felt like a Build & Destroy/Command & Conquer should feel, build up an army quickly, storm the enemy, etc. I found it very enjoyable following the story and trying to conquer West Andor.
However the scenario did get a bit tedious at points. For example only the standard default AI was used for all players and it started to feel only like a Random map with a short story in it. I also found some parts boring like the tedious job of having to repair all of your walls at the beginning.
The scenario is quite mixed in balance. I mainly found the scenario too easy. Only default AI was used which made the game quite easy to beat. The default AI is not very difficult to beat perhaps you could look in the AI section of the Blacksmith for a more challenging AI to use in your future scenarios. The default AI did not do much apart from gather loads of resources, build a small easy army, mainly consisting of Unique Units not counter units, and expand their base by building markets, monasteries and houses outside their walls spreading for miles.
I also found some parts of the challenging, mainly due to the Instructions and because I have not read the books myself. The main concern is the fact that because I have not read the books I do not know the world set in the scenario so I didn’t know where the towns and provinces were. For example when the instructions told me to conqueror West Andor I didn’t have a clue where West Andor was. I only won the scenario by chance, conquering all of my enemies.
The scenario was quite creative. It was a good try at making a scenario based on a Fantasy Book. It has a decent map design and uses some clever trigger tricks. It has a good storyline based on the series, Wheel of Time, and the fantasy side of the story has been implemented quite well into AOK. As I have said before if the author had made his own custom AI or used one from the blacksmith it would have added to the creativity score for using a custom AI. Another thing that lowers this score is that there are no sound files coming with the scenario, sound is important because it gives the scenario a bigger feel, making it feel as though you are actually there. Maybe if you find some good sound files, either find some on the internet or record some yourself, you can create a better feel for your scenario.
Map Design: 3
Tarmon Gaidon has a splendid map design. It is design to be like the world in the books, mainly representing the country of Andor. It includes some of the towns from the books like Caemlyn and also some important landmarks like The Two Rivers. The map design looks very good but unfortunately has little, almost no terrain mixing in it. The map looks bland and boring without terrain mixing. The roads are straight and unrealistic. The map does use lots of GAIA object though and also uses triggers like Damage Object to make the ruins forts look more realistic. The cities look good, if not on the small side and the forests look rather good even if there is no terrain mixing in them. Try to mix your terrain more and possibly make some of the cities a bit larger in order for you to expand your base a little more. I really like the use of Damage Object triggers to make the runs look better.
The story is loosely based on the Wheel of time series by Robert Jordan. It uses characters from the series and also uses all of the towns and countries. Tarmon Gaidon, is the last battle which is the particular event in the series the author has focused on in the scenario. The story is fun and enjoyable even if you haven’t read the books but I do recommend reading the books before playing this scenario because, like me you will not understand everything that goes on.
The Instructions are clear most of the way through but when it has an objective, for example “Conqueror Western Andor”, you do not know exactly what to do. If you haven’t read the book you don’t know what or where west Andor is. I advise adding something into the Scouts page to explain where each city is and some background information about them. You could also make the Hints page more helpful. Although what is on there is helpful there isn’t much to help you with. It is almost empty.
Overall I think Tarmon Gaidon is a decent scenario but would become much, much better if you update it a bit to help players who haven’t read the book understand the story and what’s going on. With a bit of editing this scenario can become great. I believe you can do it I really enjoyed it.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, approaches. This scenario by Ingtar is a refreshing take on a very complex and epic series, the 'Wheel of Time' by Robert Jordan. It is a Build & Destroy scenario, using the setting of the world of the Wheel of Time rather than the intricacies of the story.
In this scenario, you have to make allies and perform some tasks in order to defeat your enemies and destroy Shayol Ghul. While playing it has somewhat of a random-map feel , these additions make it rather enjoyable. Unlocking archers and blacksmith require the support of the Two Rivers, gaining control over Cairhien unlocks cavalry. The actual use of either is debatable, since you get only one of each structure, thus making them hard to mass. Besides, I had no trouble using the powerful Spanish tech tree to make champions, halberds, conquistadors and bombard cannons as my army units. I would suggest giving more archery ranges and stables, thus making it more viable to use their units. By completing most of the tasks, you will get the objective to destroy Shayol Ghul and thus win.
The fact that AllianceThunda AI was used, made the initial attacks rather challenging, but it is not really the most suitable AI for this map. A really good B&D scenario always has it's custom AI. I found the unit and civ choices questionable ( more later ). The player is given 150 pop, which IMO is the perfect amount- less and it doesn't feel like B&D scenario, more and it is too much like a random map.
The game is pretty well balanced. I played on the hardest difficulty and it was challenging but not frustrating, as long as you know how to play macro based random map games it's not that hard. The initial attack of swordsmen and knights was fairly late into the game but hit really hard. And the borderlanders were no help at all. However I slowly swept back the trollocs, but the cliffs, narrow spaces and their annoying usage of cavalry archers and towers made it difficult to push forward to win, even if you had large armies. The enemies had practically unlimited resources, meaning that starving them was not an option. This meant tactfully inching forward, which to me was the most interesting part of the game. This can be made even better by the use of custom AI which focuses more on right unit compositions and not trying to expand that much since there isn't really a fight for resources.
On the other hand, I never once fought the Ever Victorious Army. My castle age allies seemed to handle them pretty well - Tairens, Aiel and Dragonsworn,( which I understand from the map to be Altara, Arad Doman, Tar Valon and a few other nations ) ganged up on them. That was disappointing, but just as well really, as the immensely annoying use of terrain ( rivers and narrow spaces restricting the movement of a land army ) would have made it very difficult to fight a war on two fronts.
I found the scenario's premise to be rather creative. The setting and the tasks to unlock things made this a very interesting scenario for me. However, it would be a real improvement to have a soundtrack, to add to the feel of the Last Battle. Also, the civs and units do not match at all. Grey has a large army of swordsmen and knights, while Yellow alliancethunda for its own reasons, due to an abundance of gold made an army of cavalry archers, scorpions, monks and some woad raiders, only the last unit even remotely resembles a trolloc. And the Aiel being aztecs just felt silly. In my opinion, you could have given the meso civs to the trollocs and made the Aiel as Celts or Goths with disabled stables ( this is where custom AI would have come in handy as you could control exactly what units to make ).
Map Design: 3-
The map design is the weakest part of the scenarion and the one that needs the most improvement. Firstly, the map is strategically bad, because all the rivers make movement in the western part of the map impossible, and the northern part has cliffs with one choke point that seems unnatural. While the main places in the map are about where they ought to be, scant attention is paid to details. Snow pines and bamboos next to each other, the north instead of being a dry, toxic wasteland is instead a lush rainforest. There is no terrain mixing and little use of gaia objects, except for ruins that are ok. Cities are just buildings on road terrain. Blocky, square forests.
Skilled map design takes time. You cannot put pine trees next to dirt and sand in the Aiel waste and expect it to look good. Despite that, the map is not that bad. It represents the major places well, and is better than a random map, but only just.
The instructions and story in game leave a lot to be desired. Anyone who doesn't know anything about the story would be left perplexed by the references to 'Rand' and instructions like 'Send Bayle Domon to Illian'. I know it's hard to describe a twelve novel story in the space of a B&D scenario, but a better effort can be made.
To his credit, the author has included some hints and scouts, which should make it a lot easier.
The bitmap in the beginning is screwed up.
Frankly, this scenario has great potential. I would advise the author, that if he were to stick around and get more experienced, to make a complete remake of this scenario, with proper map design, better story, custom AI, sounds and maybe even a modpack. Even as it is though, it is quite an enjoyable B&D scenario, and recommended for download.