This single-scenario campaign covers the events leading up to, and the Battle of Edington itself, which took place in south-west England in spring AD878 between Alfred the Great and the Vikings/Danes. It is a relatively little-known, but significant battle. The broad sweep of events depicted here is historically accurate but obviously most of the details are not. For a start, I don't know any Old English.
This is my first campaign, I hope you enjoy it and don't find any bugs etc. Constructive criticism is welcome, but other kinds will have serious repercussions (yes I do know where you live). Please read the instructions and hints.
The zip file contains one .cpx campaign file, which should be unzipped into the Campaign subfolder of your Age of Empires II folder, and a number of .mp3 sound files which should be placed in the Scenario/Sounds subfolder. All mp3 files start with 'Ed - ' so it is simple to remove them aterwards.
There is also one file containing introductory music which can be downloaded from the website below. It is 1MB but I recommend it as I think it adds to the atmosphere: www.geocities.com/stjori2000
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It would be a lie to say I didn't enjoy it. Every single aspect from it was
entertaining. But still, it had some flaws.
True to the word. No bugs in it. I found 0 bugs in the whole scenario wich
is something that you rarely see. I enjoyed the scenario very much. I had
alot of fun playing it since your always looking for a challenge. But, I
thought the battle would be much difficult and it wasn't.
First of all, when you were on the road towards Edbergh's stone, Elite
vikings popped out while you only had a few halbardiers and pikemen aswell
as 3 militias if you found the stable secret.
Second, the battle was easy. Perhaps adding some more hp and attack to the
Danes would have changed that.
(I don't know if it is me that I'm getting better or the scenario :P).
Third, when you raid the Danes food source and other supply buildings, the
towers simply have 5 attack against 1000 hp soldiers.
He had alot of creativity doing this map. I liked supply gathering at the
beginning of the scenario and the battle he chose to use for making the
scenario. Another good creativity point was that he used a rather good strategy that has been used for many battles in history. That's the cutting of the food supply. The terrain aswell had alot of creativity into it's designing. But there was just a road block in one of the towns made of stone wich wasn't very visual appealing. He could have used the invisible cliff trick or just put some palisades there and when the raid came to the town, the palisade would just be destroyed.
Very good map design indeed. He had used alot of effort in it but still
there are some flaws in it. For example, in the battlefield it's just plain
grass and not anything in it like trees or flowers. I would suggest the
author to work in it a little bit more. He could add like trees or combine a little bit more the terrain.
Story / Instructions:
Clear, no orthographic mistakes, and goes straight to the point. He chose a
good battle event in the history of England. I enjoyed the Winning text he
putted in. A perfect 5 for it. No more words.
It's a good scenario for new comers in FF. I suggest it for anyone who wants
a rather easy challenge to play it.
-Very clear instructions and story.
-Very enjoyable and challenging for those new in FF battles.
-Poor eye candy in the battlefield.
-Fix the balance for the battle and the after-battle.
-Add some more elevation for the road to the stone of Edbergh.
This campaign is a single scenario FF campaign which revolves around the Battle of Edington fought between the forces of Alfred the great and Guthrum.
This campaign unlike the other FF battle campaigns does not highlight the main battle only,instead the author has tried to showcase the events which led to the battle and the aftermath of the battle while keeping the battle as the central point.
After the opening cutscene the player is given the obective of accumulating supplies of food and wood by razing enemy Mills and Lumbercamps within a deadline of 20 minutes,This part was the most exciting aspect of the whole campaign ,The soldiers have wierd superstitions about the Danes and the cruelty and sick humour of the Danes is cleverly shown, this part of the campaign was pretty enoyable and challenging .Unfortunately the rest of the campaign failed to create any real intrest.The battle sequence was unexciting and the A.I was rather dumb(I easily lured half the Danish army away form the battlefield by making them chase my scout,they followed him all the way up to the manor) The tasks following the battle were more like mere formalities before the end,This heavliy weighs down the campaign,some more work with the end sequnce will go a long way in making the campaign more intresting.
Overall this campaign was fairly enjoyable but there is large scope for improving the playability aspects of the campaign(some more detail and drama will make it worth it).3
This campaign supports the three diffiulty levels and offers quit a challenge in the hard difficulty level.Careful use of your starting units is requiered to finish the first objective which as I have mentioned earlier is the most exciting aspect of the campaign.The battle sequence also requires smart management of the units.
Overall a well balanced campaign which offers a good challenge to mediocre level players.4
I found this campaign to be creative in the presentation of the story.Apart from this there is some creativety in the map design and the conversations between the charachters the ending of the campaign was a good one.The atmosphere for the camapign has been well set by the author
Overall author shows crativety but there is scope for improvement.3
This campaign is set in the grassy English countryside.The author has finely recreated the english countryside in a time of chaos and confusion.Eyecandy like shoreless water has been used to enhance the map design.The Battlefield however is dissapointing ,absolute lack of elevation and eyecandy(even trees) gives a blunt appearance to the terrain
Overall the map was well made but it can do with some more eyecandy and enhancements.4
This campaign is set in 876 England at the times when the Viking invasions over the country had left it in utter ruin and confusion.Alfred the king of Wessex was hiding in the marshlands with a few loyal followers,thinking out a way to defeat the Danish forces.The campaign begins from this point and the story revolves around how Alfred eventually defeated the forces of Guthrum and convinced him to take up christianity.The Battle of Edington is the central attraction of the story.
The instructions are clearly written and do not cause any kind of confusion.
Overall a good storyline but the presentation could have been improved.5
A good campaign which you will not regret downloading.
Hey this is an excellent scenario, it's a pity there isn't more in the campaign.
I also know the Alfred story, and it would be excellent to see more on him.
The Battle of Edington is arguably the most important battle in England's history, because just prior to the events, English rule had been literally reduced to just a few square miles of marshland. It is there in the marshes of Somerset where players pick up King Alfred's quest to regain his kingdom from Danish (Viking) invaders. In the game like the history, the seemingly superior army of the Danes control Alfred's land under the leadership of the Viking Guthrum. Play along and learn the historic events surrounding The Battle of Edington 876 AD through the role of King Alfred in this great AoK campaign.
The Battle of Edington is a single scenario historic campaign, with a good mix of RPS and FF game-play. The History is well portrayed by the game plot, but I think the portrayal could be improved. Imagination will hold up much of the historical portrayal, but some aspects seemed unimaginative for me, like ending up with only a small battalion of units to lay siege to Chippenham. For that aspect of the history I suggest a turning point in the FF battle where the Danes retreat leaving Alfred with a larger army. Also there was an overall deflating effect to the objective challenges that must be mentioned. As I advanced in the game plot the challenges became less balanced, and/or less fun to play. The first objective challenge in the scenario is excellent, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had playing AoK. I believe one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much over and above the other areas of play is there was more details given. That is more dialogue, more audio extras, more challenges, and more meaningful choices to be made. The second objective challenge was slightly above average and not without it's share of fun playing Age of Kings. However, the third objective was dull and un-challenging, just a utilitarian portrayal of the history. In spite of my criticisms, this game was fun to play and to learn history from. 4
In the first objective the balance is perfect, that is the learning curve is matched with the reward of the fun and challenging game play. It was very exciting to learn the needed strategy and tactics and then have to apply them in a race against time. There was no frustration in the several restarts I made and there was a great sense of accomplishment when the objective was completed. The balance diminished in the final two objectives that might be considered combined or connected as far as balance goes. Anyway, the enhanced fixed force battle was a bit unexciting and not because it was easy but because it lacked interesting choices. Yes, there was the directions to follow, such as protecting the Halberdiers to keep the player bonus, and splitting the army that were meaningful to the objective. Also, the FF battle was set on an open map and one can attempt different tactics (this was good). Still, when I played the FF battle I really didn't have to figure anything out or have much to do but follow the directions. This left me with a slightly diminished sense of accomplishment, and so the reward didn't quite match the difficulty there. The last objective although it's tied to the FF battle it is open ended, and with a hero unit one would be hard pressed to lose there. No matter how I did in the FF battle, if I won I would be left with our hero, and the healing aspect of Alfred makes it virtually impossible to not achieve the final objective. So, the last objective is poorly balanced, but it is somewhat redeemed by the portrayal of the history (the history alone being rewarding). I suggest that the last two objectives be made more challenging and both might be more challenging if they had a similar timed aspect like in the first objective. Also the FF needed a couple more interesting choices, or a couple more aspects that would effect the outcome of the battle, like enemy targets to gain upgrades, and more specific goals to be met for the player attack (like capturing the high ground or something to that effect). I should note that Alfred was well balanced throughout the first and second objectives. All in all The Battle of Edington has average to excellent balance that adds up to an above average balance overall. 4
The Battle of Edington was a great creative effort but falls short of the highest score. The game plot itself was creative with an excellent challenge for the first objective. I liked very much the exploratory aspect and the gathering of resources in a unique way while confronting the enemy in a race against time (requiring only skill). All the game play supported the historical account but as I advanced, the sensory experience became less exciting along with the game play. Still, there was the new experience of playing other objectives before and after the enhanced FF battle modeled after recent FF designs by Marko. The sound effects were good, but some sounded like a two way radio -- cutting on and off as if was transmitting a signal. I suggest editing the files for volume and fade (in and out) to enhance them. I also suggest that the water sounds be looped to play the entire time the player units are crossing the waters (in certain areas of course). Other than that the sounds were as they should be, larger than life, and added to my enjoyment. I also thought the many unit choices to be creative, save the all Berserk enemy in the FF. I wasn't totally put off by the single unit enemy, but I think if I had a couple of unique enemy targets it would have improved the FF battle. The cut scenes were well made but the final cut scene made for a dull ending. The map design and story (history) were also very creative and I give a more detailed view in the respective categories. 4
The marshlands and villages near Altheney is superb map design, and Altheney was well designed too. These locations lead to another fantastic map design portrayal that is Egbert's Stone, and they all captured my imagination as I played. I still recall them almost as places I've actually visited rather than just locations on an AoK map. From there the map design suffers and the camp, although decorated with the eye-catching campfire feature, was otherwise only slightly above a random map in my experience. At first I experienced the Edington battle field as a very diminishing aspect because it is a rather dull visual experience. Even the forward messages that describes Edington as being with 'little to distinguish it' did not prepare me for the battle field that was almost completely void of any map design features. However, I was inspired by the design to research the history further and found photographs of the actual historic battle field. The images caused me to reconsider if not my experience while playing, then Stephen's fairly accurate portrayal of the actual landscape. I still think that some more terrain blending and some detailed designing around the battle field would have improved the landscape. Also, I still imagine that for many players it will appear too stark and empty. However I think this might be improved with other design elements such as reinforcing the historical accuracy with an displayed message and maybe revealing more of the battle field before the FF battle. Moving on to Chippenham the map design picked up again, but not enough to erase the memory of Edington. Chippenham was a good AoK fortress but it didn't let me escape the fact that I was viewing AoK as the locations I mentioned first did. I'm not deducting for Chippenham as our experiences with map designs are often affected by other elements like story, game play, etc., and like I stated many of the design elements seemed to loose steam (for the lack of a better phrase) as I advanced. Technically the map was OK, although I did notice that I could hack through a palisade or two and reach locations that were not intended to be reached. This was not a great concern because doing so was not a loop hole in the game play...On the contrary players will lose if they attempt this. So there is room for improvement, but the tutorial is clear in regard to a map design that overall is better than a random map. After reconsideration of the map design my overall impression changed positively but not enough to meet my precedents for the highest rating. 4
Story and Instructions:
The history is the story and it is splendidly told through the in-game devices such as the history section, the displayed dialogue messages, and the aftermath screens. I now know the historic account of The Battle of Edington that prior to playing I had no knowledge of. The scenario also sparked my interest and led me to read more about the battle. The story unfolded throughout the game and there was also a bit of humor that gave me some laughs. In a nut shell, the story is outstanding, and the instructions are excellent. 5
The Battle of Edington is a great historic campaign and is a lot of fun to play...I recommend it for all Agers.
A note to Stephen:
The Battle of Edington design gave me the impression that for much of it you played it safe as far as designing goes. I imagined that you were conservative in much of your approach --making things to work and not much else. I suggest you take a more creative approach in the future and to design boldly in the middle of the map. I also had this sense that you became either slightly rushed or blocked creatively with the last half of the scenario, and the design suffered because of it. I suggest you revisit the FF battle and the final Chippenham objective and cut scene as they could easily be made more entertaining given your talent for scenario design displayed in the first half of the scenario.
[Edited on 03/31/05 @ 01:34 AM]
The Battle of Edington is a fixed force (FF) scenario which follows the struggle of King Alfred against the much larger Danish army led by Guthrum. The player begins in the boggy lowlands of Somerset with a small English contingent, and builds up funds before confronting the Danes at the Battle of Edington.
Great. I found no bugs at all. The first part of the scenario was fantastic; I had to make some very strategic choices at certain points and it felt very detailed. There was a sound effect for nearly everything and it really added to the sense of atmosphere. The race against time was also very well timed - I finished with 10 seconds to spare. Although the second part of the scenario and the final section were more mundane objectives I still enjoyed this scenario immensely. 4.
Again, the first half of the scenario seemed more balanced than the latter stages. Everything was extremely well organized and tested well for the first objective, and the balance achieved was perfect. As said before, I passed with 10 seconds to spare and felt very satisfied having completed the objective. However, the second part of the scenario was a bit too easy; during the battle very little micro-management was required. The final objective was rather easy - I had some units with their increased FF hitpoints left over from the battle against regular hit points. For this I award a 4.
This campaign was, on the whole, very creative. The ingenuity of the section leading up to the battle was great and the idea, although not completely original, was very well executed. The map design also was creative. Again, the later stages were less creative; the battle was somewhat of an anti-climax, but I was left wanting more. The renaming of all the units was a nice touch and added to the atmosphere well. The feeling of the English countryside was very well recreated, and I enjoyed the wit and humour, which never felt anachronistic. The losing text made me laugh out loud - I recommend that every player should lose on purpose once they have completed the scenario to see it. 4.
Map Design: 4
Generally the map design was of a very high standard. The marsh area was extremely well done, with good use of shoreless water, shallows and flowers to bring the area to life. As I live near to Somerset (the county next door), I can see that the reproduction of the geographical surroundings was extremely well crafted! The ruined mansion was also well done, and the town of Chippenham fitted the atmosphere well; it portrayed the feeling of a town well, something which can be hard to achieve in th AoK editor. There were a couple of features that could have been improved though. The battlefield, as mentioned in other reviews, was barren and featureless when compared with the rest of the map - use of more gaia objects such as trees and some more elevation would have been nice. The area around Egbert's stone was also pretty barren, although the mix of elevation for the hill was aesthetically pleasing. Still, this is a very solid effort. 4.
As I would expect from Stephen, this section was perfect. The opening BMP was impressive and suited the historical background exactly. The author included a well constructed and informative history section that set out all the preceeding story and events and I began the scenario with a clear knowledge of what was going on. The objectives given in-game were always clear and I had no trouble understanding what I was meant to do. The hints section was also very useful and I often referred to it for help whilst playing. The story was extremely well recreated within the constraints of the Age of Kings editor and I enjoyed the experience tremendously, and I attained a good historical understanding of the event from the story. My only gripe would be with the rather anti-climatic ending, which of course was constrained by the events of history, but I feel this section of the campaign could have been improved slightly. Overall, this section is an emphatic 5.
I recommend this campaign for download for everyone and rate it highly. Good work Stephen!
Battle of Edington is a fixed force scenario borrowing the core concepts of the MCrnigoj battle system which does a fairly good job at depicting the historical event its name evokes.
The gameplay can be divided into three sections;foraging for supplies, the actual battle of edington itself, and the final siege. The battle itself is fairly entertaining, using the MCrnigoj system though lacking any morale or leadership properties. As typical of MCrnigoj battles it was a little tricky to understand why the player wins or looses, and I found myself reloading multiple times to try out different strategies. This was sufficiently interesting to hold my attention despite the relative simplicity of the battle itself.
The foraging and siege segments were fairly boring on the other hand, and did little to contribute to the overall experience, rather dragging it down instead. The opening segment sees the player in a FF scramble for supplies, but neither the resources collected nor men preserved will carry on to the battle. The player is even given villagers with which to harvest resources which is hardly an exciting prospect while looking forward to a great battle. During this time some effort is spent establishing the vikings as villains although the dialogue lacks authenticity which undermines this attempt. The siege is quite boring, included mostly for the sake of the story with no gameplay value, and woe to the player who wins the battle with only a few units, for you must hammer down some buildings which can be tedious.
The difficulty of the battle was on point, while its challenge was a bit simple without morale and leadership. First I tried leaving my men on autopilot, as the enemy seemed to be insufficient strong to pose a serious threat;I found this resulted in a narrow defeat, however. The enemy units were surprisingly not much stronger than those of the player, lacking as many HP and having similar attack;their greater numbers posed a problem, it seems. As typical of mrinoj battles its somewhat mysterious as to how and why the player wins one time and not another, though getting your formations of men stacked on top of or inside of the enemy troops seems to be key. The AoKTC unit pathing for melee units tends to be fairly idiotic, and the player is primarily combating this game mechanic rather than the enemy troops. Dynamic difficulty is present which helps boost the score, though I found winning on Hard to be the same as winning on Moderate.
The challenge offered by the foraging and siege was of considerably less interest than the battle, and not particularly difficult either. Both had little to comment on except to point out the seemingly obvious pacing problems they bring, what with waiting for villagers to harvest resources or for the infamously tough Age of Buildings structures to wilt under your onslaught with the defenders offering little resistance.
A good effort was given to creating a multifaceted scenario with a beginning, middle and ending in an effort to keep things fresh. Usage of sounds was fairly widespread along with music, but being in the dialup modem era undermined the audio quality considerably, and the implementation with triggers was somewhat flawed resulting in choppy sounds. A substantial amount of dialogue showed a good level of effort from the author, though I would think the overall scenario would have benefited greatly from a larger focus being placed on the battle itself. The lack of any cohesive link between the three gameplay sections was a bit odd;your success in one has little to no effect on the next. There were trigger errors too, such as a battle erupting in a night-time cutscene between the players own units;I didn't attempt to provoke this by any means. Ultimately with the simplicity of the battle itself with the enemy field only one unit type the scenario feels a bit simple for a higher rating.
Map Design 2
The map had a decent amount of detailing with many areas sufficient for a 3\5, but the overall effect brought down the score for me;I couldn't in easy conscience give the 3 for an acceptable map design job. The opening swamp area is reasonable for the time, with a flowers and shallows combo with bamboo and the odd tree. Some snowfall is present which is a little odd I thought. The terrain in the villages shows a recurrent problem which is a lack of terrain mixing proficiency;rather than melding two terrains to create a greater whole, at many times there is tiny placements of terrain in clear lines which stands out sharply. At one point a ruined manor is presented in reasonable detail, but the scene is undermined by the many deer which create white outlines and through which the player must stumble to move. The battlefield itself was the greatest deficiency, being a stark field with again some poor terrain mixing so that the mapping would have been better served with small\medium brush usage instead.
The utilization of the map with the story is the greatest weakness;perhaps a lack of planning was involved. At one point the author felt compelled to cut off a main road with a forest wall to prevent it from looping into the starting area;this was quite jarring to behold. I was also slightly uncertain where the battle even was with some nondescript terrain presented at the critical scene. A lack of polish undermined some good efforts too;the fireball trick was used to create a campfire, yet in its cutscene the map wasn't revealed properly and the player saw the trick cut in half until he received control of the units.
Depicting King Alfred's last stand against the viking onslaught plaguing Old England, the scenario delivers a fairly good story which leads the player through the historical events and ties them to the gameplay. There was a good deal of dialogue to setup various events though it was often not particularly authentic. This dialogue was not fully serious either with some Stoker-esque humor creeping in which was somewhat unfortunate. Its the educational value in learning of the battle and recreating its events that holds up the score here.
Final Thoughts: A reasonable scenario overall though lacking in punch with the battle itself.