Posted on 05/06/12 @ 01:27 PM (updated 05/13/12
Richard Warwick, 16th Earl of Salsbury and current Captain of Calais, had fell out of favor from the King. He was popular though, and both peasants and Parliament view him as a hero, following his extraordinary leadership during the 1457 invasion of the French. In fact, it was Somerset of Glamorgan, his old time rival, that poisoned his image in the eyes of the King, who experienced occasional bouts of insanity. On one of these occasions, Somerset has managed to banish Warwick out of England.
||Build and Destroy
However, under very mysterious circumstances, the King choked on his meal, and him being less fond of the Queen, died without any heir. Somerset was fast in accusing the Queen of regicide, and even hinted on him knowing the truth that the Queen and Richard were lovers.
Distraught, the Queen sent an envoy imploring Richard to come to her aid. This is where our story begins.
//This scenario is inspired by Richard Neville's life, but it is not to be construed as a historical scenario. Rather, think of it as an "alternate" take on the War of the Roses, that, according to the theory of parallel worlds, may have taken in a different timeline and reality :)
Special thanks to Popeychops, Den cekke and Greo, all made valuable contributions to improve this scenario.
The Sounds came from Lords of the Realm III (go and buy it, before Total War, there is Lords of the Realm!), and I've unashamedly used it's witty dialogues (piecing them together here and there) to develop a credible plot. My sincerest thanks to it.
This scenario is best played on Normal:Moderate. The sounds you've downloaded together with this campaign file is necessary for the proper timing of the dialogues. The background music which you could get here is optional, but it can definitely enhance the atmosphere of the game.
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Frustrating. That about sums up Kingmaker in one word. This was mostly due to the incredibly common and irritating 'random events', in particular, the event where the enemy pays off your troops to disband, which seemed to activate every time I had more then six or seven longbowmen. Some of the other events were just as irritating although they only fired once (during my game anyway, can't say the same for yours) and actually added to my immersion in the map. The lack of custom AI's led to my opponents resigning very quickly and allowed me to mop them up without a hassle.
When I said frustrating earlier, I meant frustratingly hard. You start with very little resources while all seven of your initial opponents have maximum resources (or very close to), thankfully it was standard AI so it had no idea in hell on how to use them. Resource gathering in very hard, with no gold on the map (forcing you to trade or receive money from your allies) and very limited resources on the players starting island and even then, limited resources everywhere else.
While this was in essence a very typical build and destroy map, it did force a player to find unorthodox solutions to situations. The lack of gold on the map must be met with trade or waiting for your allies to pay up. The random events were a nice touch (apart from the bribing the troops to disband, that was just plain irritating).
MAP DEGISN: 3
Map design was pretty average, slightly above random map level, but the way the key resources (stone and gold) were limited was quite nice. Too many trees, not enough food/wildlife. Map also felt to cramped, but that is more of an issue with the size limit in the editor then the map itself.
STORY / INSTRUCTIONS: 5-
The story is ripped straight out of the History books with a little creative license and alternative history, so I won't take marks here. All the instructions were well worded, a good length and very to the point and nice to read.
A nice map if you're into B&D (which I ammost certainly not. I got tricked into downloading by that Style: Mix tag. Bah!) and a pretty good early mess around with the editor (definitely better then when I started :P). Well done.
Kingmaker is a solid build and destroy scenario with quite a few creative touches, that set it apart from other files of the sort.
Without being too much of a build and destroy fan myself, I found myself enjoying this for the most part. Lots of triggered events (including randomly-generated ones) kept the game from getting boring. Also, the fact that you needed to travel from the French shores and set your new base of operations in England was a good variation too. However, the gameplay got repetitive at some point, as you need to follow the exact same approach until every enemy is defeated (destroy their castle and build one in its place). Some more diversity in the objectives would have been welcome.
Seeing as the game uses standard AI, the computer doesn't really pose too much of a threat, however the limited resources and the way that they are scattered make sure that you don't have the easiest of times. Some units and buildings are also unavailable. While I understand the author's intention with some of them, others I simply didn't get. Why not be able to build a mill for instance? I don't see how that could possibly hurt the balance. In the meantime, it annoys me.
The game had good creativity for a build and destroy. It starts off with very nice voiced acting (taken by another game, but who cares as long as it fits?). Other spoken dialogues in-game didn't fit that well with the situations, but still their presence wasn't a negative one.
The random events are the other creative aspect of the game, and they worked pretty well, adding up to the challenge of the game. The only annoying thing about it is that for some reason, almost all of the random events happened for me in the beginning, when I was trying to settle and build up, and then they almost completely vanished. I don't know whether it was just bad luck for me or if there is a real issue there.
Map Design: 4
The map was generally nice to look at, especially the natural landscapes. One area that could use improvement is the way in which buildings are placed.. they seem to be thrown on the map in an almost randomly fashion, and are sometimes too close to each other, resulting in a chaotic look. I don't think that is a very inviting map for a build and destroy. More room to breathe for the buildings would be good.
Related to the way the designer depicted the sea, it is not necessarily a bad thing, but perhaps a bit odd to have deep water closer to the shore. It is ultimately a design decision.
The presentation (with a custom map and the custom dialogues), along with an accurate depiction of a real historical setting (though altered by the author's imagination), deserve a high mark. However, for the future you should make sure the bitmap shows the right colors (it is a palette issue, I believe you can find a solution for that in the scenario FAQ on the forums). The in-game story is also good, and instructions are unflawed. However, as others have said, the ending is a bit predictable, sudden and not excessively interesting. Still, the general impression was a very good one.
Good job, and I hope to see your AOK designing skills develop even more in the months (years) to come.
For Build and destroy fans, this is a scenario that will suit your needs and a recommended download. Others might still enjoy it, but not as much.