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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Fastolf and Joana

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Fastolf and Joana

Author File Description
File Details
Version: The Conquerors
Style: Build and Destroy
Number of scenarios: 3
This is like a extended campaign. It is my very very very very very first campaign, so you can blame it and say where i need to improve more.
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Official Reviewer
Map Design2.0
"Fastolf and Joana" is a 3-scenario campaign, that draws inspiration for its theme from the Joan of Arc Ensemble Studios campaign, and also from the recent "Joan of Arc extended campaign" by Doctor462410. The innovation is that this time the player controls the British. The fact that this is the author's first campaign is very obvious, and there are many issues that need to be addressed before this game can be truly enjoyable.

The three scenarios are pretty different in terms of gameplay. The first one starts as fixed force and then turns into build and destroy once you find a gaia base. The high amount of resources that you have and the lack of response from the enemy makes it very unbalanced. The second scenario is a defend-the-spot (kinda), which requires you to defend for 15 minutes against constant waves of enemies, yet again with no real challenge, and the third one simply requires you to find an enemy base and kill one particular unit inside it, the only challenge being finding the actual base and the fact that you need to breach through the walls (it doesn't even have a gate, which kind of blows my mind if I try to think about it seriously).
On the plus side, I did like the fact that the author has tried to add as much variation to the game as possible, by having different objectives and triggering different events around the maps (especially in the first scenario).
To sum it up, I would've forgiven a lot of the stuff that simply does not make sense (some of the cutscenes and dialogues), I would've also forgiven the map design that is not up to par, but the lack of challenge is the main reason why this score is low. Which brings me to...

This is the worst part of the game. There is virtually no challenge to it. The author doesn't need to be too upset, because this is a problem that most new designers face in their first works, and it can easily be improved. The tendency to give player 1 a vast amount of resources and state-of-the art troops, while giving the enemies a few archers, is pretty typical of newbies. In the second scenario, the enemies are so overpowered by your arbalest troops that they can't even get close to your base. The player doesn't even have to micromanage at all. The second task (destroying the barracks) is easy too, since the enemy troops don't bother to attack you as long as you don't attack them directly. In the third scenario, the enemy villagers don't seem to build up at all. It might be because you used immobile units AI or something else that makes them freeze. In any case, the enemy just doesn't really count in any of the scenarios.

There are some obvious tries by the author to make the scenarios interesting, but most of them don't hit the spot. The birds in the second scenario for instance are a lot more annoying than creative, they get in the way visually and their constant sounds are annoying. There are a few shots at creating cutscenes, but for the most part they don't make sense. For instance, I don't understand the scene before Joan's execution... was that an escape attempt? It was cut short and left hanging.
One thing you might want to do in the future is change the ownership of the human player to an ally during cutscenes, to prevent the player from moving units around when you don't want that to happen. In the first scenario there was a problem with this, involving some overlapping dialogue.

Some of it looks like modified random map, but the parts that are designed is really not even of that standard. It's mostly oak trees and grass and roads, with no variation nor terrain mixing at all. The cities are really basic, and elevation, where it is used, seems to be very random or square-ish. I highly recommend you to download high rated designs from the blacksmith (especially the more recent ones), to see what you can achieve with the scenario editor, by simply mixing terrains and using gaia objects in the right places.

We all know Fastolf and Joan of Arc from the ES Campaign, but this particular storyline involving them is not developed at all. The way that the ideas are expressed is pretty hard to understand, and grammar doesn't help either. While I can understand that english is not your first language, when it hinders my understanding of what is going on in the game, then there is a problem that I need to signal. In summary, it is hard to really take this game, and its story seriously at this point. It just takes characters from the ES campaign and puts them in random "battle" situations, with no real backstory, except a very basic one. Instructions (and also hints, where they exist), are ok and to the point.

To the downloaders: this is not a recommended download.
To the author: I hope this review doesn't discourage you, even though the rating is not that good. It's your first campaign, and the only way you can go from now on is up. Work on the balance, try to make the story more plausible and more interesting, and experiment with the map design. Also, play other games and learn from other designers! One more thing: always playtest your map, that way you will see if it's unbalanced, or better yet ask other people to playtest it for you. Good luck.
File Author
In fact, I'm not discouraged. I'm just surprised. Your review helped me A LOT, and i know now where i need to get better (especially in balance, where did you gived me a 1)
Where Can I read more articles about scenario designing?

Ah, and..

"For instance, I don't understand the scene before Joan's execution... was that an escape attempt? It was cut short and left hanging."

Yes, it was an escape attempt.

To the Others: Remember what I said. It's my very first campaign.

[Edited on 01/29/12 @ 04:42 PM]

Official Reviewer
I'm glad my review was helpful. That's why I'm here.

To get more info about scenario design, please come to the scenario design and modding forums. You will find it here:

One of the threads that are stickied to the upper part of the page is called "Scenario design FAQ". YOu will find a lot of very interesting things there, and it answers almost all of the questions that a beginner might have. If you need other questions answered or just help, you can always ask the forummers there.

[Edited on 01/29/12 @ 07:29 PM]

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