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Downloads Home » Campaigns » MLH Contest : The Travels of Marco Polo

MLH Contest : The Travels of Marco Polo

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Author File Description
Charging_Knight
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Mix
Number of scenarios: 1
Here is my submission. This includes the prologue version. More to come in time :)

For more details, please follow the official thread at http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aokcgi/display.cgi?action=ct&f=4,40475,50,60

Feedback and comments are much appreciated!
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Sarn
Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
"The Travels of Marco Polo (prologue) by Charging_Knight is a scenario submitted for the AoKH Myth, Legend, and History competition. It follows Marco Polo and his father and uncle (Maffeo and Niccolo Polo) in their preparation for their trek to the East. This scenario was very enjoyable, but unfortunately suffered from a few significant bugs.

Playability: 3

I enjoyed this scenario. It was entertaining and kept my attention. Overall, the entire scenario was enjoyable and the design of the map also contributed to this. The problem here was when the bugs started appearing. The first was when Ancona attacked. After the short siege and Ancona retreated, the Venetian soldiers were so numerous that I could not get through the gate to get back to the Doge. I had to quit because I couldn't get around them. The next time, they at least were outside the city, but they still blocked the path and I had to take a roundabout path to get back into the city. The next major bug was when I had defeated Ancona. What was supposed to happen was that the Doge would send a messenger to the Castle in Ancona and give the Polos their next task. Unfortunately, a few triggers were turned off or missing and even after I adjusted a number of triggers, I could not get this part of the scenario to start, so I missed everything after the Ancona siege. I did, however, sail the horses to Zara and sell them, skipping the Dalmatians, but even after I talked to governor of Zara and he told me to go to the ship, the scenario didn't end. This could be due to the fact that I didn't defeat the Dalmatians, but it would be good if the "We should get a ship to go to Acre" line didn't occur until all the tasks had been completed. (ie, conditions for the trigger should be 1)defeat Ancona, 2) defeat Dalmatians, 3) restore Polo estate, 4) sell horses). As is, I was able to skip the Dalmatians, but at the cost of not finishing the scenario and some dialogue being out of order.

There was also the issue of being unable to load saved games. I'm unsure of the reason behind this, but having to start over every time got old quite quickly.

Balance: 4-

I think that the balance here was a little off. The scenario was quite easy for the most part, once you know what to do. Marco tended to wade into battle and get killed too often, but if you leave him out of the battle, most of the fighting can be won without losing your entire army. This evaluation, however, is incomplete, due to the bug preventing the Dalmatian battle; however, with the resources and buildings of Ancona at our disposal, I doubt it would have been overwhelmingly difficult. Gathering such a large amount of resources was also not a difficult task after defeating Ancona. Overall, a little too easy.

Creativity: 5

This scenario was quite creative. I enjoyed seeing the story of Marco Polo, and enjoyed that the author decided to create a prologue instead of starting the story in the East. I believe that this will set up the campaign very well and it serves as a perfect teaser for the full campaign. The map design, tasks, and structure of the scenario were all fresh and new. I especially enjoyed the commercial aspect of the scenario, with the buying, selling, and transporting of goods. It fit perfectly with the Polo's background as merchants.

Map Design: 5-

The map was designed beautifully. Venice was a bustling trade city with busy merchants and beautiful streets. The countryside around Venice was also very well done, and I especially loved the abandoned Polo estate. It almost hurt to cut down the trees and gather the food at the estate and disrupt the great environment. Zara and Ancona were also well-designed, and Dalmatia was a perfect base for raiding pirates. The one minor flaw I saw was that the bay was empty. I feel like a few roaming pirates, traveling merchant ships, or small islands could have really helped fill this large open sea. This isn't enough to lower an entire point, so this gets a 5.

Story/Instructions: 4

A detailed history and background was very good, as well as the narration at the beginning. Every task was clearly laid out in dialogue in the scenario and was easy to follow. The problem in this category was that many of the quests had broken triggers. For example, when given the task to defeat Ancona, when I open my objectives window, the two tasks (defeat Ancona military, defeat Duke Leovigild) were already crossed off. Also, the objective "Restore the Polo estate to productivity" is a little ambiguous. The pregame instructions specified 7000 wood and 5000 food, but it would have been good to have this amount listed in the objective ingame so the play can check to see their progress. These minor bugs only detract 1 point, however, and the rest of the story and instructions were clear, engaging, and well done.

Overall: This was a fun scenario to play; I'm only disappointed at the bugs preventing me from playing the Dalmatian section. I would recommend that the author fix these triggers and then re-upload it, as I very much enjoyed the portions that I was able to play. I would recommend this for downloading, but be forewarned that with the current bugs, you may be a little disappointed.

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Rating
4.2
Breakdown
Playability3.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.0
Statistics
Downloads:1,859
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:10.60 MB
Added:08/17/11