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Downloads Home » Campaigns » Krum the Horrible

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Krum the Horrible

Author File Description
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Number of scenarios: 5

This campaign will tell you about the feats
of one of the greatest rulers of Bulgaria - khan Krum the Horrible.

Please comment if there is something what you don't like in the campaign, so i will try to fix it. :)
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Map Design1.0
Playability: 2-
The playability is scarce, the only goal is to destroy the enemy base, create some extra units and ready, also in some scenarios not even need to create additional units as you can with the existing and win the game

Balance: 3-
The balance is bad, the enemy can never build more units than you already have, so it is very easy to win, you get negative because the enemy can not even create new units in addition to those initially has

Creativity: 3+
This part is a bit hard to say, no one has cast a campaign of this Bulgarian king, but does not have enough talent on stage to be considered creative, so I put a barn, because it's creative, but not enough for a 4

Map Design: 1-
The set design is way too poor, just combinations of earth and grass, and does not care what the creator put simply immersed in a sea of ��trees

Story/Instructions: 2-
Almost no information on stage, does not tell you who was Krum the Horrible but focuses more on his fights, and also do not explain enough, so some poor instructions, just says "Defeat the Byzantines" not gives you information about the enemy base, or its soldiers, so I put negative

Additional Comments:

The campaign theme is interesting, but the scenario is not well worked, seems cast in a couple of days you should spend a little more and upload an updated vercion, if that happened, would have to reconsider my review, but then I consider hazta entirely fair. I expect a little better because I would like to know more about the ruthless Krum.

[Edited on 10/07/12 @ 08:20 AM]

Official Reviewer
Map Design3.0
"Krum the Horrible" is a campaign set in the Balkans around 800 AD, depicting the rise to power of one of the great Bulgar leaders of the time and his battles against the Bizantines. The game plays in similar fashion to the William Wallace campaign by ES studios, as I will explain further in the playability category.

Playability: 3
The game is only moderately enjoyable, first of all because of the lack of balance between the player and the enemies. Just like the William Wallace campaign, the enemies don't build up or spawn new troops. Since you have villagers and important resources to begin with, the odds are clearly in your favor and there's no question about the victor. Also, For the most part enemies stay in their fixed spots and don't come to attack. With this in mind, the game is still good enough to play through, the maps and situations show some variation in all five scenarios.

Balance: 2
Basically way too easy. Even if the enemy were given just a standard ai and a couple villagers, it would still be an improvement over this. Right now your enemy is fixed force, and you're building and destroying. No way this could be called balanced. This is why ES used the formula only for their tutorial campaign.

Creativity: 2
Trigger work is there but it's kept to a bare minimum, and not many things happen during the game that warrant a higher mark here. The author took a shot at an "unexpected attack"by the Byzantines in the ambush scenario (the third one I believe), but you're not even in control of the Bulgar soldiers who fight that battle, and the Byzantines only have a few men-at-arms which are easily overpowered by the allied player. in the same scenario, the death of the Byzantine emperor doesn't even trigger any event, which I found to be disappointing. At least a dialogue would have been nice! My advice is, don't be afraid of using more triggers. It's really not that hard, you don't need to make any complex trigger system when starting out, but every event that breaks the monotony of the game is welcome and will earn you creativity points, as long as it's well implemented.

Map Design: 3
I strongly disagree with the previous reviewer, who gave this category a 1-. Actually the map design is pretty clean and nice to look at, in an Ensemble Studios -minimalistic - kind of way. However, it could be made to look much better. I do agree that the oak "forest-digging" way of designing is not good, and it will not help improve your map design, there are few instances in which this kind of approach is warranted. Try to start from a grass1 map, mix terrain, add trees manually (preferably). Look at high rated maps to get inspiration.

There is some terrain mixing, but sometimes not the best. For instance, try avoiding to put desert and grass together, try blending them with dirt or something of the sort. Also, in cities try to avoid placing houses in such a symmetrical manner to make things look more realistic. I liked the Byzantine fort in the fourth scenario btw. That's symmetry put to good use. For the cities - not so much.

Story/Instructions: 3
The instructions are basic but helpful. The history section could use some more detailing since it's a historical campaign. Also, as I said in a comment, try to present more history within the game itself, it beats trying to make the player read an extended history section any day, or better yet it can add up to that section. The bitmap with the location of each scenario was a nice touch.

Additional Comments:
It's a promising first try for an AOK designer. If you learn from the feedback you got, I'm sure you will get much better. This is a download that I would recommend only for very inexperienced players, who have just bought the game and are looking for an experience that won't overwhelm them, combined with a bit of East European history.
Khan Ivayl
Map Design3.0
Krum the Horrible by Vaskots is a historical campaign dealing with the deeds of Khan Krum, a Bulgarian ruler from the 8th century AD. I was very intrigued about this campaign as Krum's reign is one of my favorite episodes in Bulgarian history. Unfortunately, the campaign does not live up to the potential that history itself offers to the designer and overall I have mixed feelings about this project. Here is why:

Playability: 3

Vaskots manages a reasonable balance between too easy and too difficult, but the lack of variation in the tasks and the repetitive structure of the campaign invite boredom. This game is slightly more interesting than a random map, but this is not enough for a score of 4.

Balance: 4

The balance is ok. As mentioned above the game is neither too easy, nor too difficult regarding most scenarios. However this is relative to the skill-level of the player. An extremely good strategicus will still not be sufficiently challenged.

Creativity: 2

There is a limit on how creative you can be when reconstructing a historical episode. However, translating historical reality to gameplay offers some room for imagination that in my opinion has not been used. The history around Khan Krum offers alot of potential for interesting triggers and tasks. Already the first scenario could have been more than a simple destroy-one-enemy-and-win game. Imagine building in the political dynamics. Before the Avar Khaganat was brought down, the Franks and Bulgars were allied and after the joint win they started a brief war to decide on the common borders. A simple change-diplomacy trigger in a game including the Franks could mimic this political events. It would also be nice to use a change-ownership trigger, since Krum recruited the survivors of the Avar Empire in his armies. Instead every single scenario in this campaing is a one-versus-one battle with no change of tasks within the scenario and only a limited amount of triggers. The author does get an extra point here for using the intro-screen picture to mimic the scenario-map of the Ensemble Studio campaigns. This tells me that the potential for creative ideas is there, but it is heavily underused.

Map Design: 3

The mapdesign is ok. It is approximately on the level of what Ensemble Studios have set as an example. Unfortunately for Vaskots this community has seen impressive attempts to go far beyond that example. The standards for map-design have become pretty high these days and I cannot give a 4 here, without insulting the more elaborate designs in the blacksmith.

Story/Instructions: 1

This is the part that needs most improvement. Let stay that the English could be better, but what bothers me most is that the texts do not really fulfill the purpose of giving the player an insight in Bulgarian history. What I see are brief exclamations, patriotically glorifying the Bulgarians, which if your aim is to get people interested in Bulgarian history reaches the exactly opposite effect. Be less emotional and more detailled. Ofcourse one should not bore people foreign to Bulgarian history with too much details, as I would sometimes risk doing in conversations, but give them some background, don't just say: There is a battle between A and B.

Final Comments:

This is a decent first draft of a historical campaign, but in its current state only slightly more interesting than a random map. Lack of patience is above all reflected in the accompanying texts. I am confident that the author can make more out of this, but for players familiar with what the blacksmith can offer a download wouldn't really pay off.

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