The campaign is about King Arthur. He fights the Saxons and his fellow Englishmen. Some parts of this campaign may not be included in the original history.
||The Conquerors 1.0c
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The campaign consists of seven scenarios; it is a Mix of B&D, FF and RPG. The story follows the legend of King Arthur with many fictional events, told by his knight of the round table Sir Gawain.
PLAYABILITY: King Arthur is a good campaign about the legend, I enjoyed playing it but it had its vicissitudes. Without bugs the category deserves a four, unfortunately there are too many playability issues. 1-'The Savior', a B&D was repetitive, too easy, apart from one village, the enemy is helpless behind palisade walls. Issue, the destruction of one specific town centre triggers the last objective or instant victory. 2-'An Assassin King' is a challenging, fun RPG. Issues, the villager who sells 120 HP walks the map, the blacksmith near 'Morgan's Fortress' does not give promised upgrades, nothing happens when you step on the flag. 3-'Frozen Battle' a FF was tedious, a bold play impossible with 15 heroes that are not supposed to die. There was no pace, caused by a missing AP upgrade for all player 1 paladins and heroes. 4-'Liberation' a B&D had a fun game play on the starting side of the river, later there were too many towers to bring down. Issues, hints for the red player, 'make them pay tribute by destroying their fortress', but first you have to click the castle for tributes, the game crashes when you destroyed their second blacksmith from the wall, the same for the second blacksmith from the seaside of the purple player. In addition, you will not receive a victory signal. 5-'Badon Hill' a short FF was too easy, the game play reduced to direct your reserve troops to the right areas. 6-'A Disloyal Knight' is the masterpiece of the campaign, a challenging, great fun, creative B&D scenario, which starts as a RPS, takes place on a good map and has an interesting plot. That was it, 7-The Battle of Camlan crashes at the games start. 2+
BALANCE: I played the scenarios on the hard level, if not noted different. The first was too easy, no reload and the enemy never attacks your base. The second was great, challenging and fun. The third, on moderate, did not play as intended, a bug fix provided a short, fun and balanced scenario on the hard level, but rated the original, unfixed version. The fourth on moderate, the challenging first attack also on hard, for the rest I refer to playability. The player has too many or too strong units in the fifth. The sixth scenario had the perfect balance for me on moderate, challenging, very demanding, requiring good tactics and micromanagement. 4
CREATIVITY: Every aspect factors into creativity and the campaign had many. The story, five creative out of six playable maps, not all, but some balance aspects, for game play especially the second and sixth scenario were I liked the plot for the second, use of trade cart and a sleeping potion for guards, and the sixth the way to get villagers for a build up. 4
MAP DESIGN: I really liked the many elevations, a pleasure to reveal the landscape. The fortress and villages were in the first too square, a good design of landscape and fortress in the second, an appealing winter map, good landscape, but unappealing forts in the fourth, an under average map for Badon Hill, and an excellent, my favorite here, map for the sixth scenario. 4
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The campaign has good instructions; some scenarios have hints or a scout section, all come with clear objectives. The sixth scenario had no hint and it took some reloads and time to find out what to do, that it is a B&D, where and how to find villagers. I recommend the informative read me, but a sentence like "Remember: All heroes must survive in ALL scenarios" suits the first scenario's hint section better. I missed a historical approach about the Arthurian legend and some historical information about Cerdic and Cynric. The story connects the scenarios, well told by Sir Gawain. Without bmp, history section and only hints for some scenarios, the story does not qualify on its own behalf for a perfect rating. 4
OVERALL: This is a very good Arthur campaign lacking in play testing.
SUGGESTIONS: Edit your scenario, it's worth it. In 'The Savior', trigger 'Conquer Town 5', delete effect 2, you placed the same effect also in trigger 'Objective Villages' effect 0, where it will work correct. Have an opening in the palisade walls for every Saxon village or remove a palisade fence in each village, condition, 'object in area' player 1. In 'An Assassin King', freeze the villager at the blacksmith, you find him by clicking 'go to object' in trigger 'Villager1'. Place two more effects in trigger 'Blacksmith3-1' for AP and HP upgrade of King Arthur, as promised in trigger 'Blacksmith3' for 300 gold. Stepping on the flag, trigger 'infiltrate' effect 0, should be source player 5, target player 1 and trigger 'PalisadeWall' effect 0, should be source player 1, target player 5 and set the area to the inside of the castle, where the player confronts Morgan instead of the area of the games start. In 'Frozen Battle', trigger 'Stats' effect 16, you set an object, tree and an area for the AP increase of player 1, a set object always overrides a set area and the AP increase of 4 is not executed here. Delete effect 16, save, exit, reload scenario and create the effect again. In 'Liberation', trigger 'Objective Build and Destroy 1' condition 0, change object selected to object destroyed. Trigger ‘Blacksmith 5’, effect 3, object for HP increase not set, trigger ‘Blacksmith 8’ effect 2, object for AP increase not set and trigger 'VICTORY' add effect 1, declare victory player 1. 'Badon Hill' needs more effort in map design and balance. 'A Disloyal Knight' was perfect but could need a hint. In 'The Battle of Camlan', trigger 'stats' effect 0 raises the AP of all player 2 units by 3, which are too many. Split your change attack into more effects and set areas.
OBSERVATIONS: Interesting is the mix of the Arthurian legend with the first Kings of Wessex, Cerdic 519-534 and his son Cynric 534-560 of this campaign, inspired by Jerry Bruckheimer's King Arthur. Some of the battles attributed to Arthur took actually place; among them are the battles of Badon Hill and Camlan, Badon Hill the 12th battle in one of the following years, 496 to 500. Nennius, a monk and Welsh 8th century historian, mentions Arthur, starts the legend, writing that Arthur alone slew more than 900 enemies at Badon Hill. He edited earlier writings to make believe that the Britons never lost a fight against the Saxons under Arthur. A similar approach by 'The Anglo Saxon Chronicles', a story of the Anglo Saxon conquest of Britain with no room for a Britannic Hero like Arthur or the devastating defeat at Badon Hill, according to the Chronicles Cerdic and Cynric, who landed in England 495 AD, never lost a battle. The truth of battle-luck seems in the middle, as Gildas describes the events of the 5th and 6th century. The date of the battle of Camlan was either 534 the year of Cerdic's death, 537 or 539, followed by the plague that originated in Constantinople 542 AD. Sources explain Arthur's long absence from the battle field with a peace period, but doubts remain that the King of Wessex and the war-leader of the Britons never met during the 39 years they shared on British soil.
IN CLOSING: For more about the history I recommend Gildas 'De Excidio Britanniae', The 'Gallic Chronicles of 452 and 511', Bede 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People', Nennius 'Historia Brittonum', The Annales Cambriae, William of Malmesbury 'Gesta Regum Anglorum' and Geoffrey of Monmouth 'Historia Regum Britanniae'.
This campaign features seven scenarios of King Arthur fighting the Saxons (mainly). Four of them are B&D-style, the rest fixed force. Although there are a number of problems, I thought it showed some promise at the beginning. Unfortunately, however, there are signs that the author lost interest or ran out of ideas towards the end, and it also appears that the author did not thoroughly test the campaign. Because there was so much variability between scenarios, a reviewer's average score is less satisfactory, and in many cases I would have liked to score half-points but as I can't, I didn't. A reviewer's life is a tough one...
As mentioned, I thought the first scenario had some good points, with an interesting, albeit rather plain, map. The starting view should be changed as it is slightly off-kilter. Also, I reached the final objective without having to destroy all the town centres, and the original objective was not deleted. It was also too easy. I could not complete the second scenario because of a trigger failure when I tried to enter the cyan castle, and because stepping on the flag does nothing. The objectives were not always clear, for example once you have the trade cart it is not clear how you get past the castle guard - I found out by chance by wandering across the map. Also, if a hero's death causes defeat this should be specified in the objectives, even if you think it is obvious (this point applies to most of these scenarios). The third consists of running around the map for an hour killing 500+ differently-coloured Saxons. It is not particularly difficult, although it does take careful micro skills to avoid losing any of your heros. The fourth is also difficult to lose, as the enemies do not attack you except for an initial onslaught which is challenging on hard. After that it is not too difficult (I think all but one enemy are FF) but it is very wearing to win as you must destroy endless towers and enemy troops to reach the four castles. Also, it might be better if each enemy changed to ally once their castle was destroyed. In the fifth the author states that, "tactics are needed in this battle" but I managed to win first time without deploying any tactics other than just piling all my troops into the action. There is a certain appeal to these large-scale battles (578 units) but less when you have paladins and your enemy knights. The sixth I found very difficult. It requires a lot of microing, and the lack of instructions or hints doesn't help - the breakthrough for me came more through chance than design - but there's something to be said for a stiff challenge. The final scenario crashed due to a 'change object attack' trigger not having any objects or area set. I set an area in the editor and played it that way and managed to win, but it was very similar to the third scenario. To me eyes there appeared to be a tailing-off in creativity here, the author appearing to have decided in the final three scenarios that big is best, i.e. place as many units as possible. I found no bugs aside from those already mentioned in the first scenario (relatively minor) and in the second scenario, which is critical and should be addressed. A casual downloader should not have to delve into the editor to try to work out what they have to do. This score could easily be improved if the bugs and objectives were tidied up, and the sixth scenario made easier.
I played and completed all of these on hard. The first was a bit too easy as you can build up your forces at leisure, resources are plentiful and there is no challenge in destroying the town centres, although the final enemy poses a slightly stiffer challenge. The third and fifth were fairly easy. The fourth has its moments but is more time-consuming than difficult. The sixth is the most difficult and challenging (there does not appear to be any difficulty variation). The enemy greatly outnumber you and you need a lot of micromanagement, tactics, and, unfortunately, due to the lack of hints, luck in discovering the key to winning this scenario.
The author demonstrates some knowledge of triggers, as well as map design, more of which below. There are also signs of creativity in some of the objectives, such as finding and escorting a trade cart. The sixth scenario also contains some good ideas in relation to destroying buildings (hint hint).
MAP DESIGN (4)
I rather liked some of these maps. Thought had been given to them, although I think less so in the latter stages. They are quite plain but with excellent use of elevation, an aspect of map design I find rather troublesome. There are problems however, which suggest a rather slapdash approach to testing - there are numerous examples of different elevations under cliffs which looks bad. This can be remedied easily, and the author should have spotted it. There are other oddities like paths ending at cliffs but I have not marked down for this.
All scenarios had fairly high-quality instructions, and some had brief (but not very helpful) hints. Generally speaking, the objectives were clear, but as stated I found problems in the second and sixth scenarios. In the latter the lack of instructions are a big problem as I'm sure many might give up through not knowing how to advance. It was only because I became unhealthily obsessed with winning it that I found the way. I'll send out a small message of hope - there is a way to get some villagers!
This campaign is rather like the curate's egg - good in parts. I think the author shows a degree of promise, with some appreciation of triggers and map design. However, he or she has let themselves down by not testing properly which is a shame after putting in so much work. It might have been better to concentrate the effort into three or four scenarios rather than a very ambitious, and variable, seven. Standard note: if the author wishes to develop other aspects of scenario design, he or she should look around AoKH's Scenario Design forum where there is lots of SD information, helpful people, links to other websites with design tips, and download some of the 'Best' campaigns to be inspired.