This mission was done for the Halloween Horror Contest organized by Scibadi.
Thus, this mission is supposed to be frightening. If your heart is too
sensitive, you might not play this mission. But I'm sure you will!
This mission can be played only if you have The Conquerors Expansion and the C-patch installed.
Don't forget that this one is already installed if you have the Gold Edition.
More information into the Readme. carrefully read it!
The mission is modded. So there is a .akx inside. If you cannot run it, it may be because you must have AOK Mod Pack Studio installed on your computer. It can be downloaded here at the Blacksmith (as a Utility).
Three difficulty settings exist: Standard, Moderate and Hard.
You may use some of my graphics or sounds ONLY if you ask me before, via AOK Heaven or by
mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Vosgian Travel is a fixed force game, made for the Halloween Horror Contest. Your mission is to bring reinforcements to a besieged city, but the commander and his army get stuck in the legendary Vosge Forest, and will soon find themselfes surrounded by spooky creatures and forest ghosts.
Playing this scenario was quite fun. I think that there is a bit lack of triggers, it could go a bit smoother sometimes, and also some paths of the forest were barely visible, and so a bit hard to find. In overall it is playable, and i did not encounter any bugs. But still, there could be added some more triggers to give it an improved look, and atmosphere. 3
The balance was quite bad. The scenario was absoloutly easy, with the huge army you had to control. On standard, it was almost impossible to loose, even if you run straight into the enemies and without avoiding anything. On hard, its a bit more difficult, especially in the last parts. Most of the enemies were spread around, and weak and so easy to kill. When i played, i had only three horsemen left when i escaped, but almost everyone survived until the very final challenge. Also, the dialoges always mention the captain saying something, but there is no special unit that has to survive, and so makes the game even more easy. 2
Probaly the strongest part. There was a good use of sound effects in these scenario, and it is quite scary. Also, the darkened graphics give the entire forest a frightening look, altogether with the enemies that encounter you, their black colour, and the sudden events and sound effects. I also really liked the effect that damages your soldiers, because of the cold. Only, like i already mentioned in the "Playability" section, there are low triggers for an atmosphere (beside sound effects). Some flashing change view triggers, and a bit of cutscene would be good. 4
This was the part were i was quite disappointed. Almost the entire map was made of pine forest, and pure leave ways went through it. There were some places were the pines were rotated to dead pines, and sometimes you encounter a cliff, water or snow. There were barely any GAIA objects or eyecandy, so it was boring to look at. 3-
I quite liked the way the story and the events of the scenario went. There is a nice background story, to explain how you even got into that forest, and good dialoges (although some typos and bad grammar). I liked the epiloge story, but i think there could be some improval here too. Perhaps a boss or something that returns during the game would look good. 3
Additional Comments: I really liked playing this entry, but im not really convinced if it will score a good place in the Halloween Competition. With some improval and a few more small details, this would be a perfect scenario.
In Conclusion - For those who want to have a good, frightening horror scneario, i recommend to download this!
Vosgian Travel is a scenario based upon the adventures of a small French army in the haunted Vosges forest in Alsace. It was submitted to Scibadi's Halloween horror contest, and therefore, the primary purpose of the author was to create a fun but spooky scenario. I feel he accomplished both of these goals.
I found this to be a fun scenario to play. Although it does not have so much replayability, due to it being a linear "from point A to point B" scenario, I was enthralled (and scared!) throughout my play of it. I give this a solid 3 because it was a fun play and although it lacks replayability, it did a beautiful job of meeting the expectations of the contest.
Not much to say here, a fixed force scenario that gives you superior numbers and units but is balanced by the fact that the thin paths nullify that advantage. Those pesky longboats were annoying but sinkable, however the true challenge was the escape at the end, which I, being an experienced player, lost a few times before realizing that I had to abandon the infantry. As I said earlier, the scenario's purpose was to scare, not to fiendishly challenge, so with that in mind, this earns a 4.
There were some things that really shone. I loved the trigger trick that injures your units in the cold, and the relic of Vosges was a great idea. Once again, many of the guidelines for most scenarios do not apply here, and the author did a good job fulfilling the ones that did apply. The mod and sounds really contributed to my enjoyment of the scenario.
Map Design: 3
While the map design was not all that creative, being limited to a thick forest, a mountain, and a few small lakes, it served the scenario well, as this scenario is about a journey through a spooky forest. I loved the huge bundles of bare trees- they really contributed to the spooky feeling.
This was the real bright spot of the scenario. The story was great and interesting, and I never had a problem with the instructions, in fact, some of them really helped you play the game and win, especially at the end (hint, hint). This is the focus of the scenario, and in my opinion, you absolutely nailed it.
A fun scenario and great story, this one is definitely worth the download. Based off the story and spookiness alone, not to mention the mod, this should be a strong contender for the top prize in the contest.
Vosgian Travel is an entry in the Halloween Horror Contest, and is definitely made to suit. This scenario, while not scoring the highest marks, kept me paranoid and nervous the entire time and I believe did the best job possible in using AoK to convey a horror story.
I enjoyed playing this scenario for the most part. THere were a few places where it was mildly infuriating, mainly due to the cramped paths. For example, in the "Maze" section, a few times, it looked like I was supposed to go a certain way, but the real path looked blocked because of the overabundance of trees, while some paths looked open when they weren't. There were no major bugs that I could find, although sometimes, a path wouldn't open up immediately and I would have to march my troops around a bit before it would open up. The entire scenario was also quite linear. Essentially, you go from point A to point B while fighting off attacks. There were no side quests, optinal sections, or anything that would make the scenario a little more interesting. Overall, however, still a good scenario.
This scenario is moderately balanced, but I feel like it was a little on the easy side. Part of this is due to the fact there is not a certain number of soldiers that need to survive to the end. During one of my play-throughs, I left my infantry at the starting location and ran my cavalry all the way through. Only one paladin survived to the end, and that's because I didn't stop to fight anything, and tried to run past them. Had I stopped to fight the spearmen (and thus let the nearby monk heal me), I feel like more would have survived. A recommendation for making it a bit more of a challenge would be to have a certain unit (the captain?) or a certain number of soldiers survive. Otherwise, I feel like it's a little too easy.
This is where this scenario shines. The modpack was undenaibly one of the best parts of this scenario. I loved seeing all the new units and the subtle changes that allowed for the spooky nature of this scenario to really shine. Unfortunately, the story itself is lacking in creativity and does a get a little repetitive. While the constant attacks do very well at keeping you on the edge of your seat, it would be beneficial to branch out and explore other possibilities for obstacles.
I especially loved the sunken town and living statues. Both were well done and I kept coming back to them (at the cost of a few of my soldiers lives once, unfortunately). Also, the abrupt revelation of the fate of the first group of horsemen was also quite unexpected and something I had never seen before. THe changing paths in the forest also was good here, and the gradual damage from the cold on the mountain, while not unseen before, was very well executed.
Map Design: 3
This is probably the place where I was most disappointed. The forest was quite bland. The paths were almost exclusively leaves terrain and there was very little eye candy. Terrain mixing was needed, at the very least in the clearings and open areas, eye candy like rocks, forage bushes, flowers, and deer could have improved this greatly. There were also large areas of dead pine trees. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but it looked quite out of place. What also could have helped with the tight paths is to have the "path" proper, then instead of having 100% tree fill, have a few tiles on either side of the path with about 50% trees, so it's less cramped and gives you space for eye candy while keeping that thick forest feel.
I understand that the Vosges are real, and so the author desires acertain historiacl realism, but, like the makers of AoK found, sometimes realism needed to be sacrificed for playability. I feel like the map design here, while attempting to remain realistic, needed to be improved for practicality's sake.
This was also a bit of a let-down. The history and instructions at the beginning were quite good and I came in with high standards, but from that point, there was very little story. It essentially boiled down to "We need to get out of this forest and escape the evil creatures chasing us!" The instructions were also vague. The exact objectives were ambiguous, which changed how I played once I completed it the first time. After that, I was much more willing to sacrifice my infantry immediately to allow my faster cavalry to escape. I mentioned this earlier, but the survival of a hero or a set number of soldiers would help give a more concrete objective. Also, it was evident that English was not the designer's first language, and as such, there were a number of dialogue segments that read awkwardly or were hard to understand. I'd be willing to assist with this for an updated version if the author desires.
Overall: this is a good scenario. The idea is there, and it could be a great scenario if it was fleshed out more, both in terms of a story and actual designing. Still, I enjoyed it, and it definitely kept me paranoid the entire time, especially after the werewolves. I was always expecting to be jumped at every turn. The scare factor was the strongest part, but possibly at the cost of a higher score.
"Vosgian Travel" is a scenario submitted by Fr_Steve as an entry to the Halloween Horror Competition. It finished second, out of three good entries. The game depicts the passage of a French army through the gloomy Vosgian forest, which is known for the terrible things that happen to travelers that happen to go there, and it includes a mod that increases the "horror" feel of the game.
The game offered me a fair share of entertainment, and the process of installing the mod, backing up and changing data and sound files was well worth it in the end. The fun of the game consisted mainly in its graphics' originality. I've seldom seen modding being used so creatively in order to enhance the game experience. The gameplay itself was not groundbreaking, it conists mostly of guiding your army through a simplistically designed forest, defending against enemies and sometimes even running from them. The main attraction was the form that these enemies took, which was very unique, diverse and creative. I particularly liked the "living" statues.
The game was moderately balanced, though I feel it could have used some more difficulty. As it is now, it could be completed without saving even once. As long as you micromanace your units well, you will get most of your army through to the final section, but you can win the scenario even with only one man standing, as a previous reviewer already pointed out. Implementing a condition of having a certain number of troops alive in the end, at least for the moderate and hard difficulty, could make it more balanced.
This is by far the most attractive feature of the game. Many people should take this as an example as to how a mod should be incorporated in order to really add up to the atmosphere of the scenario. All the modifications have the aim of making the scenario scarier, and they serve this purpose really well. The atmospheric sounds and the new graphics really push the boundaries of the editor as far as a horror scenario is concerned. The maze-like forest slowly uncovers its horrors as you cross it, and the ending is really spine chilling. It makes you really run for your life, which is apparently exactly what you need to do.
MAP DESIGN: 3-
THe major letdown of an otherwise above-standard scenario, this is one aspect which I feel could use substantial improvement. I don't mind minimalistic design, and the overall look of the map does fit in with the horror genre, with the darkened graphics and all, but some parts of the map really looked uncared for, such as the large patches of identical dead pine trees which looked more dull than scary. It seems to me that the author has focused on graphics editing and didn't really take the time to make a more detailed map design, which could've brought the atmosphere of the game even further.
The game has a good premise and the history section helps the player assume the role of the soldiers forced to pass through the infamous forest. There is consantly dialogue going on between them and their commander (by the way , he could've used being identified by a unit), which helps drive the story forward. It is a decent story and well-told, but it would have been nice to have more plot twists, maybe a less predictable and more horror-oriented ending, and maybe give the villains more personality, and more of a backstory - they are pretty standard "evil creatures", and the horror comes only from their appearance. The thing I liked the most is the way that the scenario built up for the climax of the game, which was indeed scary and fit in very well with the horror competition.
The new graphics are the absolute highlight of the game, and they are used very well. Too bad the map design wasn't of the same high standard. However, this is still a very entertaining scenario, and a recommended download.
I finally found time to come back to reviewing and the promise I made to have a look at the Vosgian Travel has left me with a nice, highly atmospheric experience. In fact, if atmosphere was a separate rating category, this would be the scenario's strongest achievement! There were also things that I liked far less about the Vosgian travel, but we will cover the goodies and badies in more detail below. Let's start at the beginning - playability...
As the game evolves and you progress through the dark forests, the surprises and challenges you encounter add up to create a sinister and frightening feel. Considering the scenario was designed for Halloween purposes, the gameplay completely succeeds in achieving the necessary atmosphere. Your soldiers even have hallucinations, which on top of the eerie sounds and supernatural enemies, just puts the cherry on the horror-cake.
The reason playability stays below 5 is the actual gameplay. I noticed some unnecessary difficulties and burdens. You cannot ignore the wrong path in the beginning, which forces you to take this 'shortcut', even if you are playing the second time and already know what follows. The advantage of leaving force-choice out of your scenario-design is that the scenario remains interesting after a first play and there is always something new to discover. Furthermore some malfunctioning triggers forced me to viciously kill the people who had just saved me from flame-soldiers, as otherwise I could not have proceeded with my travel (to be fair I should subtract a point from my own morality-rating here).
If it was a cutscene only, no problem, but a playable scenario does not live on atmosphere alone and the actual playability should have been pre-tested more carefully. Some of these flaws, as minor as they are, are completely unnecessary...
Having no ranged units just doesn't feel right. This restriction dramatically reduces the strategies you can use on the battle-field. Also noone joins you on the way, meaning the more units you loose the more it becomes advisable to just restart. I think I understand the purpose of these choices, but there is a middleway between creating an atmosphere of helplessness and doubt and reducing the fun of self-control. In my opinion the balance between the two has failed, with the accent being a bit too strongly put on forcing the player towards a certain faith.
Here the scenario wins oscars! Mapdesign and modding skills have been put together to produce high-quality in the domains of atmosphere, surprises and story-development. Especially the modding and its implementation are on a very high level (and who is surprised? fr_steve is a shining example of a modder). I particularly liked the flooded village, although the sea-monsters were the only modded-units I didn't like. Their pixel-resolution was a bit too low and this was a pitty, for otherwise the scenario would have been flawless in terms of appearance. (And having said this, all other modded-units were on a higher level than what I mostly fabricate and hence I feel slightly uncomfortable pointing out details).
Map Design: 5
Again the modding has been nicely implemented to boost the quality of the mapdesign. Eye-candy is not overused, which I actually find a plus point. Sometimes designers tend to oversugar their maps, as I use to call it, but here eyecandy is only used, where it was indeed needed for the atmosphere...
Not sure how much of the story is traditional French mythology and how much has grown out of fr_steve's own dark fantasies, but I definitely liked the storyline overall. A pitty though, that the English is really bad. I am so sorry. I hate to come over as a Grammar-Nazi (especially since, mind the irony, I am a citizen of Germany addressing a citizen of freedom loving France), but English is not a minor issue in a international community, where it is the only lingua franca we have to understand each other.
Though I was eager to be critical I really loved playing the Vosgian Travel. None of the flaws I pointed out justify you staying at home! Take your shield and horse and to the Vosgian forests with you, for we really need to find a safe path out of there!!!