The battle of HASTINGS, 1066 AD
(Submited at 14th of October - the battle\'s anniversary)
This campaign consists of one scenario. It includes one .cpx campaign file and many sound files in .mp3 format. Unzip the campaign file and all soundfiles into your Age of Empires II folder. They should go into the right directories. All MP3 files start by string \'1066-\'; so it is not hard to remove files, if you wish to get rid of them.
- Another approach to fixed force scenario (Increased HP extend the life of the unit and postpone the end of the battle, Extra attack value represents the morale of the troops, different events during the battle may change yours or your opponent\'s morale hardly.) Your tactical decisions are even more important than your skill of fighting!
- Comprehensive scenario instructions, hints and objectives
- More than 150 triggers for a single battle
- Plenty of new sounds and music
- 3 different levels of playing (NORMAL, MODERATE, HARD)
- All characters are based on true historical persons
The scenario is based mostly on historical facts, although some events are not 100% historically accutare.
If you like history, check this very interesting site:
William was ready to encourage his soldiers by his voice and by his presence, and to be the first to rush forward to attack the thickest of the foe. He was everywhere fierce and furious; he lost three choice horses, which were that day killed under him. The dauntless spirit and vigor of the intrepid general, however, still held out. Though often called back by the kind remonstrance of his bodyguard, he still persisted until approaching night crowned him with complete victory. And no doubt the hand of God so protected him that the enemy should draw no blood from his person, though they aimed so many javelins at him...
Turn off your Music Volume in the Options menu of the game.
Scenario should be played on Normal speed.
Pentium III, IV 1 Ghz
256 MB RAM
Play testers: Historiae Populorum (http://digilander.libero.it/historiaepopulorum) team
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Playability-5. Very fun, very realistic, very consuming. I felt like I was fighting on the front line with all of the great sound effects. The fight is very fun to watch, and commanding your soldiers against the enemy in a battle this large scale is very entertaining. Scores very high in this field.
Balance-4. It seems possible to beat, but after several tries, I have failed every time. However, most of the time I was fighting the Saxon's last soldiers, and was close to victory, so it's obviously quite possible.
Creativity-5. The morale system in this was something I have never seen. Attack being stronger with your commander around, soldiers fleeing if they feel they are against impossible odds, it was all something amazing that I have never seen before.
Map Design-3. While the map looked good, it seemed a bit boring. Could use some improvement here.
Story/Instructions-5. Very easy to follow, and a good story with some nice quotes as well.
Nice job with this campaign, a pleasure to play!
Very fun, it was like a real battle, with you waging war, I felt like I was really in the fray, what with all those sound effects and music. ^_^
It is possible to beat, but I sure had a tough time, and believe me, it was hard like a real war.
The morale system was very original, I never saw anything like it before, and the way it worked was realistic, it's understandable that your men will flee when the commander is sitting in the rear drinking tea. =P
Nothing out of the ordinary, but it did serve the purpose, and the simplicity was good here, lol.
Story / Instructions:
Very clear and straight forward, nice quotes too. (Though it's from "Hastings 1066" in the expansion pack's campaign.) =P
Hastings 1066 AD is a magnificent historically based scenario campaign with amazing features. Relive the history!
MCrnigoj's Hastings 1066 AD is a masterpiece, and the game play is addictive and entertaining. The scenario is very difficult to achieve victory in, and the battle forced me to restart countless times. I achieved victory in both Standard and Moderate difficulty. I didn't find any bugs, and with only one diminishing aspect, this scenario is excellent for Playability. 5
- The diminishing aspect is the difficulty of achieving victory, and this is related to balance, but also is a separate playability issue. The circumstances of the battle become extremely tedious when players reach a point where they are near victory. Once Harold and his brothers are killed, players are left with only a few key units. Having only a few units causes players to labor using bait and lure tactics to clear the enemy a few units at a time. It upsets the sense of accomplishment, to have the conditions for victory be the lackluster clearing of a map. It also upsets the subsequent scenes that lack congruency because of the circumstances. I suggest making changes in the conditions for victory. Maybe to give Player some more reinforcements for killing Harold. Perhaps, when Harold's reinforcements stop, William could begin to receive them. Another suggestion would be to just give William a moderate amount of reinforcements as soon as Harold is Killed, or all the Saxon heroes.
The balance is in some ways quite good, but the intended balance fails to provide three levels of difficulty that have meaningful effect on the game play. The overall balance of the scenario is too difficult at all levels to master, and to a point where it comes down to just luck. 4
- I played on Moderate and reached what I thought was a point close to achieving victory. I changed to Standard for help in achieving victory, and really didn't find it different or easier. I did achieve victory on standard and then moderate using similar tactics and achieving similar results. The many restarts required to find a winning strategy without clues is one issue effecting balance. After five restarts this game becomes increasingly frustrating. Maybe if there were some more in game clues for what tactics to use on the lesser levels of difficulty? Time also plays a role, but even the quickest deployment of tactics yield little changes in the final outcome of the battle. The positions statistically do not support an overwhelming defeat of the Saxons, even with the morale system that is fantastic. The morale system if used efficaciously will provide the player with a possibility to achieve a slim victory. However, there are other factors throughout the game and after the morale system's effects have been exhausted. These effects are related to the statistic balance and real time circumstances of the battle. I suggest that the morale system be made to effect the Saxon position slightly more negatively than it does...at least on the Standard difficulty. Moreover, I suggest a point where there is more of a turning of the tide (if you will). I commend you on the fantastic features of this scenario that help achieve it's balance, only it is too difficult, and luck plays too big a role.
The scenario is an outstanding creative effort, and it achieves excellence in many aspects of design. The cut scenes are stunning, and the arrival of William at the beach of Pevensey was superb. The scenario offers a phenomenal approach to fixed force game play with it's morale system, and requires players to rely more on tactical decisions, than fighting skill to achieve victory. The morale of the troops is not only statistic records, it is a real-time experience too, and it's effects are spectacular! The audio aspect is awesome. 5
The map design is excellent. The map design is a very realistic and historically accurate representation of the Hastings peninsula. William's arrival at Pevensey with waves lapping at the shore, is stirring. At Hastings, every detail of Caldbec Hill, and the Sentlache Ridge was given...The deep ravines, streams, and marshy ground on either side held great visual impact. The map design also had a great impact on the portrayal of the historic battle in and through game play. 5
Story and Instructions:
An excellent portrayal of a historical subject from the description page to the aftermath messages. A history supplement in the instruction screen was provided and also a fine image to forward the player into the game. The history is portrayed in detail through the game play. The Hints and Scouts were accurate. Instructions everywhere were clear and concise, and the audio messages were exceptional. 5
To say this game has replay value is an understatement, because I suspect most players will play many times just to achieve victory. I was frustrated by the overall balance, and yet I still will want to play again to experience the other aspects of the design. I hope this will be updated, and the three levels of difficulty are made more meaningful.
[Edited on 07/06/08 @ 12:17 AM]
Hi again, Marco. It has been while from your last contribution.... but i think, that if you could work on it so long and produce this great battle.... i'll stand for anothetr for 4 years...
Playability> Great. Amazing battle, one of my favorites. Willy da Conqueror was a great general. Interesting, unboring, great.
Balance> Moderate easy for me and hard is -- impossible for me. But i am liking it. Whole battle ends at cca 20th minute.
Creativity> New and new battles, ewerywhere something new...
Map design> Waves were great. But i haven't understand, why these units had 2000 and 3000 HP's. Wouldn't it be better, if they have only half of that? Yes, it'll be too short then.
Instructions + historical background> Good. All had been there.
I really liked this campaign.
Playability (5): This was very fun to play. I like FF, and this one gives you a challenge. The battle is quite big, yet it caused (for me) no lag at all. The music added to this campaign and the medieval feeling makes the playability extremely high. If i could i would give it more than a 5.
Balance (5): I thought this was very well balanced. I thought it was quite difficult, yet i managed to beat the saxons before i had played so many times that it begins to feel boring. Simply Perfect!
Story/Instructions (5): This is good. You get detailed historic information. Your objectivs are clear and the hints section is also very good. I see no reason to not give this a 5.
Creativity (5): I think this is very creative. It isn`t just to attack the enemy with everything you have and then wait for the outcome. Allies flee, the morale of your troops can change many times during the battle, the list of creative things is long. Excellent!
Map design (4): Although quite good, i think the map design of this camp. can be improved. Add some eye-candy perhaps. And whatabout battle-standards? The map looks good with those cliffs and the forest, but it isn`t enough for a 5.
My suggestions to improve this campaign:
1. I think the map can be slightly improved.
'Hastings 1066' is Marko Crnigoj's third historical scenario released way back in 2003, and depicts the famous decisive battle that changed England forever. The scenario is a fixed force affair and was submitted on the 14th of October, the date of the battle's anniversary.
PLAYABILITY: 'Hastings 1066' is the second instalment to the author's hugely popular historical battle series and like its predecessor and successors, is an engaging and challenging affair. You feel like you are stepping into the shoes of Duke William of Normandy (later named 'the Conqueror'), with the ocean at your back and a well-trained and battle hardened enemy at your front. That enemy is of course King Harold and his huscarl retinue, supported ably by the English fyrd who are high in confidence after their victory at Stamford Bridge just days earlier. With only limited troops at your disposal, your every move on the battlefield, perceived or tactical, will lead to glorious victory or ignominious defeat. There is not a dull moment, with the relatively fast-paced nature of the scenario, coupled with the intense and challenging game play, resulting in a demanding yet addictive experience that can be played over and over again. Perhaps the major talking point of 'Hastings' is the use of extended hit points and attack points of units, which not only prolongs the length of what would otherwise be a short battle, but reflects the morale of your men as well. This morale can be influenced by a number of ways throughout the battle, but most prominently through the deaths of important leaders. This adds a surprising level of tactical depth and involvement not otherwise seen in a normal experience, and is a unique creation of the author as seen throughout his other scenarios. Admittedly, there is a double-edged sword to this approach, and the longer battles can be frustrating for those who prefer faster and more straightforward action where units die in seconds not minutes. All things considered, there are certain game play restrictions that comes from playing a scenario in the style that the author has become famous for, but 'Hastings' is for one well-designed, impeccably researched and never fails to deliver what is ultimately a hugely enjoyable experience. 5
BALANCE: 'Hastings' is one of the more challenging scenarios of its peers, where the limited unit count and restricted battlefield leaves you with a harder than average game play experience. Often you will find yourself in a favourable period of fighting only for events to quickly turn sour and end in crushing defeat. The difficult nature of the terrain plays a part here where the well-protected English flanks means the Normans must attack straight up the middle and into the Anglo-Saxon shield wall. Your strategy cannot as such rely solely on brute force, but some tactics and close micromanagement of your units is required. Duke William's leadership on the battlefield, and of course how the player uses him throughout the scenario, is thus pivotal to the success or failure of the battle. One interesting mechanic, and one the player had best master quickly, is the need to keep William physically involved in the battle, and not cowering safely behind the lines where you can better protect him, in order to keep his men spirited and from fleeing the battle. The extended HP and AP of all units means you will also need to adapt to an unfamiliar strategy, and play to tactical decisions over simply swarming the enemy with your units. Killing enemy commanders will lead to enormous morale penalties for the English forces, while territorial control also means your forces become more heartened as you progress into the enemy's position on Caldbec Hill. When I first played this scenario many years ago I struggled to find a winning strategy outside simply throwing my units into the fray and hoping for a win, but the trick here is to read history and see how the Normans won the battle. Although the author states that difficulty dynamics feature, I could not spot any changes when playing on all three difficulty levels. 4
CREATIVITY: Every facet of 'Hastings' compliments the experience of the scenario, from the opening cinematic to the multitude of well-chosen sound effects and music, which allows for an immersive atmosphere and gives full context to the upcoming battle. The game play itself is built around a Total War-like morale system, where a unit's attack points can change dramatically during battlefield events and how the extended hit points of each unit extends the time of the battle allowing for important manoeuvres and strategy. This trigger intensive system has the uncanny ability of influencing not only the battle but the player's decision making, and often playing directly into history and the events that led to victory or defeat. 5
MAP DESIGN: The design of Caldbec Hill where the battle presumably took place is depicted realistically, while the lay of the surrounding terrain is also telling in how it influences the game play, with its steep ravines and marshy lowlands protecting the English flanks, and the difficult and hilly terrain to the front that hinders the Norman advance. It is well-crafted, but even for its age is relatively simple in its execution. Forest is placed with purpose but little refinement, while flowers often replace terrain mixing in what is overall a sparsely-detailed effort, even when compared to the older 'Tannenberg' released a month earlier. 3+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The author sets the stage for the historic battle with a good introductory bitmap, a detailed history section and plenty of hints and instructions. There can be no complaints on this front. The dialogue is also well-written and period specific, as well as offering many memorable scripted moments throughout the battle. If there is anything to pick from it is because some of this is riddled with typos and grammatical errors, but the overall standard here is very good when considering English is not the author's mother language. 5
FINAL OBSERVATIONS: Senlac Ridge or Caldbec Hill? Historians have argued for many years as to the location of the actual battle, casting doubt over the traditional view that the battle had taken place at Senlac Ridge where Battle Abbey was built and currently stands (according to legend on the very place where King Harold fell). Even though some ten thousand men died at the battle, archaeologists have never managed to locate any battlefield relics or skeletons relating to the battle on Senlac Ridge or its surrounding countryside. One historian points to Caldbec Hill a full mile away as being the point of the actual battle, while others have been led to believe that the place where King Harold really died was at the most unlikely of places, a roundabout in a nearby local village.
CONCLUSION: 'Hastings 1066' is possibly the less popular of the series outside 'Tannenberg 1410' and 'Hattin 1187', but it has always held a warm place in my heart as one of the very first fixed-force scenarios I ever played. It is a well-designed and suitably chosen historical affair and one that will provide as good as a challenge as it does in entertainment. If you enjoy epic historic battles with a creative game play twist then this really should not be passed over.
In a sentence - This is Total War meets Age of Kings.
In closing - A must download!
[Edited on 12/10/18 @ 05:57 AM]