Age of Kings Heaven 139
Welcome
Downloads Home
Best Files
Review Guidelines
Main site
Forums
Code of Conduct
Search

Advanced Search
Single Player Scenarios
Home
New Releases
New Reviews
New Comments
Top-Rated

Submit File
Browse Categories
New Files
Recent Updates


Download File Post Review Post Comment

Of Cows & Kings

Author File Description
Al_Kharn the Great
File Details
Version: Age of Kings HD: The Forgotten
Style: Build and Destroy
Screenshot:
Cows & Kings
The Battle for Ireland


Setting

8th century Ireland
In a land of monks and bandit kings, he who rules the Hill of Tara rules all Ireland.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gameplay

*Conquer Ireland through unique build & destroy gameplay in a beautiful Irish landscape
*Grazing cattle produce milk and leather (food and gold) to fuel your expansion
*Raid your rivals' pastures and seize their cattle
*Grasslands can become over-grazed. Herd your cattle to greener pastures and compete for choice grazing land

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Features


Pasture Mechanic

There are three pastures on the map. Owning cows grazing in the pastures will provide food and gold (10 food, 5 gold per cow every 30 seconds) based on the capacity of the pasture until the field becomes overgrazed. You will then have to wait to gather new resources. As a result, it is good practice to migrate your cattle to different pastures as they become overgrazed. On Easy, fields take 5 minutes to grow back; Medium: 7.5 minutes; Hard: 10 minutes.

*Ardan's Glade (old tree, near Mag Sered Hillfort): Named for Ardan's Tree, an old and weathered husk, and not for Ardan, the small glade provides grazing for up to five cows. (Overgrazed after 2000 food)

*Fergal's Field (stone cross, near River Boyne ford): The remnants of an ancient abbey rumored to have been built by St. Finnian. Only a solitary stone cross betrays the site's heritage. Capable of providing grazing for up to eight cows. (Overgrazed after 3000 food)

*R���¡th Chairn Pasture (statue, near R���¡th Chairn): Rich grazing land protected by the hillfort at R���¡th Chairn, this pasture provides grazing for up to twenty cows. (Overgrazed after 5000 food)

Factions

You can select one of four factions to support Domnall at game start. Each faction provides different starting units, different technologies researched, and a stream of units every 5 minutes after establishing a town:

*Hill Raiders of the Sperrins: Woad Raiders, infantry armor, tracking
*Horsemen of the Chill Dara: Tarkans, cavalry armor, husbandry
*Bowmen of the T���­r Eoghain: Longbowmen, archer armor/attack, ballistics
*Axemen of Killeglan: Throwing Axemen, infantry armor, economic techs
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Story Excerpt


As the chilled fingers of an Irish Sea breeze swept across his weathered face, Domnall Mac Murchada, king of Mide, stood upon the bloodied hill he conquered before a silent host of petty kings and retainers; men who were little more than bandits and raiders with prestigious titles of nobility earned through the blood and sweat of many wild and triumphant cattle raids. The wind carried the sound of trumpet blasts as an army of the warlike High King ���ed All���¡n marched against this newly bloodied hillfort at Mag Sered. The High King's host had already seized the village of Ceannanas, mighty as it was, for in its ranks included the kings of the Airg���­alla, a federation of tribes whose origins dated back centuries.

The perilous sisters of pride and righteous retribution had brought Domnall here to this patchy hillock. The treacherous High King's rule had rift the island into conflict and his strangulation of Conaing, king of Brega, had brought personal retribution to the mind of Domnall. A pious man who could list the litany of deeds and miracles of the Twelves Apostles of Ireland and who held Saint Columba as his personal patron, Domnall knew his cause was just and therefore ordained. He would slay ���ed All���¡n and seize the Hill of Tara, seat of the High Kings of Ireland. There, he would stand before the Lia F���¡il, the Stone of Destiny, and receive his divine reward: the crown of the High King.

Grasping his axe, Domnall whispered a prayer as the wind and trumpets bellowed the arrival of bloodshed.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
firesidecake Looks promising.
The Furry Loved it. But All I did was use the throwing axemen to make my way to the end.
mullikine Hey. Not that it matters but after extracting the scenario from the campaign file, it can't be seen in AoF's (aohd the forgotten) scenario list because of the ampersand in the filename.

[Edited on 09/11/14 @ 05:12 AM]

Possidon
Official Reviewer
The beginning is way too hard. Outnumber by the enemy and they have units that are ten times better than mine, no way of killing them.
Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
Possidon: Lower the difficulty. There are three difficulty levels. You are also not doing what Domnall says or using the hints if you are trying to kill all of the enemy units.
Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
Did that help?
Mazzarin I passed through the rough start, Possidon. Using uphill, choosing archers reinforcement and being somewhat lucky was enough to be victorious after a few tries. Done on hard difficulty.

I do agree with you, it is an incredible challenging task, but I like that way :P maybe if it is very difficulty for most of people, the author can consider the possibility to lower the difficulty (maybe giving a couple more of units on the hardest settings for the human player).

I've done some crazy movements in order to achieve that: Try to delete some palisades in the back in order to hit and run, going down hill and up hill with your ranged units. Let the enemy destroy some buildings from you and pick easy fights first while they are tearing down houses. Queue some militia from your dark age barrack. And always target the 3 leaders from green forces.

I've survived the first onslaught performed by green waves choosing archers in the start, but I can't tell if they are the best choice among other options...



Good campaign, I've spotted a nice-eye candy around the map and very interesting the whole "take care of your cattle and profit" concept.

I was enjoying the game, however, I simply cannot receive the Red Town and start the B&D part of the game. I tried again, and again... And somehow, I received the Red Town after some random approaches. It probably has a bug in this part of the game related to the trigger detaching the red buildings to the human player. I'm looking forward to you fix that please, because I'm really interested in completing the game. I love B&D scenarios with something different to offer... Fix that please, so I can finish it and review! I played on the hardest settings available also.
Al_Kharn the Great
File Author
Thanks, Mazzarin for the positive words and pointing out the bug. I believe I fixed it and posted the updated version. Tell me if there are any other issues.

I really am a little perplexed by the difficulty you and Possidon had with the beginning. If you target ONLY the 3 leaders, it should be a piece of cake. Now keep in mind your units will engage others unless you keep forcing them to concentrate their attacks on the leaders but as each leader falls, his soldiers flee. Now it is a good idea, though, to play to the strengths of counters (make sure your spearmen get to the Boyar, for example).

Try it and see if it works for you.

Thanks again for noting the bug.


*I just tried it on hardest difficulty with the Throwing Axemen (which is the militarily weakest option) and by targeting the leaders only, I forced the enemy to retreat with 15 of my units alive and with plenty of health (only 4 of these survivors were not at perfect health). I know I'm the designer but it's definitely doable.

[Edited on 06/03/15 @ 06:07 PM]

HockeySam18
Staff
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Of Cows and Kings is Al_Kharn the Great's rendition of Domnall Mac Murchada's quest to rule all of Ireland. Throughout the scenario, the player will gradually expand their dominion from a small hill fort to virtual hegemony through conquest of neighboring kingdoms and eventually a bloody siege of the High King's fortress on the Hill of Tara.

Playability: 4
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the playability is the sheer number of choices available to the player throughout the scenario. From choosing which faction of troops to recruit at the start (and, thus for the rest of the scenario) to alliances and economic investments (resources are fairly limited, at least early on), the scenario offers a high degree of replayability. Played it once having picked the bowmen and allied with Muinderg? Have another go and pick the woad raiders and ally with Frossach. An aesthetically pleasing map, unique narrative elements, and challenging opponents contributed to the entertainment value. However, there were a few downsides. The most problematic by far were the copious pathfinding issues derived from a combination of HD's inherent performance flaws and abundant use of off-grid placement. This became particularly frustrating when pushing into enemy lands, as the path of conquest became quite literally difficult for your men to negotiate.

Balance: 4-
Throughout most of the scenario, the balance was generally strong. Playing on hard difficulty, I found myself locked in a close struggle with enemy attackers during the early and middle stages, and battles required effective army composition and strategy in order to succeed. An additional welcome challenge was present in the defense of your herds of cows from enemy raiders seeking to steal them and hamstring your economic output. Nevertheless, some aspects of the balance could go to see a bit of improvement. One notable issue is that all choices are not created equal - for example, some of the army faction choices are far stronger than others. None of the other three hold a candle to the bowmen, which are far and away the strongest choice, not only for sniping down enemy leaders at the opening battle, but also because they allow the player to simply spam archers and essentially put their defenses on autopilot at that point. A squad of 20 archery units can run around the map killing everything with little opposition. Similarly, the ease with which Frossach and Muinderg can both be defeated makes killing them both off a fairly obvious choice in order to obtain the associated benefits. Another issue pertained to the attack on the Airgialla - due to a mistake in the data their tall walls take only one point of damage per hit from everything, requiring the player to attempt to force rams through a two-tile gap once the gate is destroyed to attack a castle while that gap is flooded with enemy units who are both trained at military buildings and spawned en masse by triggers. In general the balance was good for much of the scenario, but once the player hit critical mass of troops they had little more to do than throw scores of men into the meatgrinder to wear down the enemy defenses, something that didn't require much strategy.

Creativity: 5
The author showcased an ample amount of creativity through an effective mixture of invented and borrowed map design tricks, numerous and creative objectives, and particularly the backbone mechanic of the scenario: guarding herds of grazing cows to earn food and gold income. The manner in which the narrative is told was rather novel, especially the means by which the player "writes" their own history piece through the choices that they make. Overall this category was a boon to the scenario and a continuation of the author's excellence in this sphere of design.

Map Design: 4
The map was varied and aesthetically pleasing, in many ways pushing the editor to its full potential. Particularly effective were the numerous means by which the author portrayed farmland, something that was done with a striking level of variance that I haven't seen since playing Julius999's PTC13 entry. The layout of each individual settlement was diverse and engaging, with particular highlights being the fortresses of Tara and Rath Chairn. The achilles heel of the map design, however, was the extensive usage of off-grid placement, which hampered building placement and as aforementioned damaged the pathfinding to a significant degree.

Story/Instructions: 5
For what was quite an intricate scenario, the gameplay was remarkably clear due to a useful set of clear instructions both within the objectives/hints/scouts menu and also appearing throughout the scenario. As mentioned above, the narrative style was pulled off in excellent fashion through a combination of dialogue, an engaging soundtrack, and short writeups (especially the aforementioned historical account feature). A credit to the scenario and to the designer's record of excellent storytelling through custom scenarios, this sphere does not disappoint.

Additional Comments:
Despite the issues mentioned above during the review, this scenario was an excellent way to spend my Tuesday afternoon and I thoroughly recommend the download!

Post Review Post Comment

HGDL v0.8.0

Login
Forum Username:


Password:




Create a new account
Forgot password?
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design4.0
Story/Instructions5.0
Statistics
Downloads:542
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:15.64 MB
Added:08/10/14
Updated:10/21/15