|Al_Kharn the Great
Posted on 04/09/16 @ 05:44 PM (updated 05/01/16
From the Kampuchean jungles, the Khmer will rise!
||Age of Empires II (2013): The Forgotten
||Build and Destroy
From the designer of the African Kingdoms Portuguese campaign, The Last Neanderthal, and Tristan & Iseult comes the epic story of the rise of an empire.
Only for The Forgotten and African Kingdoms DLC!
Designed for use with Indian Architecture Mod by Tzontlimixtli! (included with download)
Khmer stands on the verge of greatness! From the temple complex of Angkor Wat, her elephants and war ships will dominate Kampuchea and the South Seas! But enemies abound...
Features (by the numbers)
78 voiced lines of dialogue!
6 gods to favor!
3 difficulty settings!
40 minutes of epic custom music from Derek and Brandon Fiechter! (included with download)
Age of Empires with freedom and choice! Choose which of 5 castes to favor by achieving up to 18 objectives in any order, complete them all or pick and choose! The choices you make decide the epilogue and the course of the scenario.
Choose which gods to favor! Gods provide significant bonuses throughout the scenario. Play again with a different combination of gods!
Dynamic diplomacy! Choose your friends and your enemies. Bribe factions to war against your rivals then betray them!
Subscribe to Steam Workshop version
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Its Really good. its a little bit hard but it makes the game better.
Game is really good balanced starting locations, choosing gods etc... but in starting, its a little bit hard because you'll get rushed a lot.
really good at creativity, i did not saw many scenarios about south-east asia hinduism gods etc...
Map Design: 5
map design is really cool at rivers waterfalls and elevations, and terrains rarity level of resources and stuff like that
its the best among all those, your missions ability to choose between 3 of 5 missions, diplomatic offers, optional objectives...
after all its one of the best maps i've ever played! good job.
Rise of the Khmer is Al_Kharn the Great's adaptation of the ascent of the Khmer from a minor faction to a superpower in Southeast Asia. Through varied objectives, shrewd diplomacy, and military force, the player must strive for one of numerous paths to victory.
The scenario, while at its core a fairly standard B&D, is substantially enhanced through the presence of numerous victory options, sidequests, diplomatic offers, and unexpected events. While initially fighting foes in close proximity to your borders, expansion gradually leads to contact with other powers and various entities that, recognizing your growing power, will sue for your help. With a choice from three major gods, three minor gods, and any three of five sets of victory options, the player is assured nearly endless replayability that is augmented by the ability of the player to, having completed the required number of objectives, choose when they want to declare victory and end the scenario. The playability value is bolstered by excellent efforts in balance, map design, creative, and narrative elements as well.
The scenario makes a generally solid effort at balance, and throughout the playing experience the player feels challenged but not overwhelmed, and constantly forced to adapt to changing conditions, external developments, and various objectives. Enemy players are aggressive and put up staunch but reasonably surmountable defenses of their domains while making use of varied and interesting army compositions, though some of the unit choices (particularly Korean knights and cavalry archers, Ethiopian hussars) could have played better to the strengths of the civs involved. My only real quibbles here were a) that the enemy players were extremely inept at dealing with fortifications, allowing the player to entirely deny enemy aggression by walling chokepoints, and b) that while the minor god choices were all diverse and equally viable, the major god choices, while still varied, were not equally viable. In a map where the population limit is 50, 15 extra population room is exponentially more powerful than the other options. Aside from those issues, the balance of this scenario was remarkably well done.
Always a strength of the author, the creativity sphere of this scenario was nothing short of exemplary. From novel elements in the map design to varied sidequests, a unique objective style, and numerous ingame mechanics and elements that continuously shift the playing field, this scenario pushes the bundaries of scenario design again and again. Particular praise is merited by the fact that the author seamlessly incorporated cultural, social, and religious elements of Khmer civilization into a gripping scenario experience.
Map Design: 5
The map design was incredibly pleasing to the eye and was diverse and varied throughout the scenario, from the muddy regions of the Champa to the mountains of the Thai and the floodplains near Pagan. Numerous tricks, apt usage of Tzontlimixtli's Indian building set, and a layout that contributed particularly well to the style of gameplay involved, the map was quite conducive to both land and sea warfare. One issue that the designer should note, however, resides in the design of the Chola base, which due to a fundamental flaw in the AI functionality of AoE2 causes the AI great difficulty in launching transport attacks. Essentially, it has trouble boarding the ships if it has troops split between more than one island, so connecting the two with shallows should remedy this issue.
No exception to the author's penchant for excellence in this category, the author graces us with a benign blend of narrative and gameplay elements that in many ways is a paragon of solid balance between the two. Various objectives, sidequests, and external developments drive the story and in turn receive proper explanation, and are complemented to boot by a nice soundtrack. One especially impressive aspect to note is the presence of over 70 lines of voice acted dialogue, quite an exceptional undertaking to say the least!
A brilliantly fun and nigh-infinitely replayable scenario, Rise of the Khmer is an imperative download for any custom scenario player who owns the HD Edition and its expansions. Congratulations to Al_Kharn the Great on another fantastic release!
A scenario by Al_Kharn The Great is a very well designed work about the Khmer and their empire in southeast Asia.
A really strong aspect of this work. With only the must-achieve objectives count going up to 25 and the amount of optional objectives surely rising above 15 the game offers great replayability. Now include dozens of options to make and selective decisions that had great impact on the course of the game and this scores 5/5 definitely. Another great factor that boosted the gameplay were gods included at the beginning of the game. They provided useful bonuses to the player and make him think about the style he is going to play and choose bonuses accordingly. A very nice campaign to play. As mentioned, 5/5.
The game was very enjoyable on every difficulty selected, with the difference in the challenges of the gameplay growing nicely from lower to higher difficulties, rather than turning out too easy or too hard. With the player hanging on verge of extinction trough most of the campaign, even after securing your position the danger was far from over. I have objections regarding Srivijaya and his inactivity. After repulsing several minor attacks on my borders with walls and towers and destroying his closer base, he has gone inactive. His navy was sitting duck at port and only occasionally his army of few hussars or a small band of shotel warriors shoved up, but was outnumbered by far and slaughtered quickly. I encountered many of his villagers sitting around and doing nothing even with majority of his power intact. I like the mongol invasion but it though it will be harder to defeat it, as many objectives and narrations warned me to prepare defenses. I haven't helped Pagan and most of mongol army has afterwards moved over Thai lands towards my southern river crossing, where they were stopped by walls and a castle and dropped like flies. The rest were easily wiped out with massed pikeman. I am suggesting to make the horde stronger and give them a hero leader, though maybe fictional. The balance when attacking Thai was ruined by making an army, move it inside Thai walls and change diplomacy afterwards. That made their walls useless and they were defenseless and died in matter of minutes. The overall inactivity of most AI in late game, though intact, haven't launched but one serious offensive. Overall this makes for a 4/5.
The creativity is insane, let aside the amount of work to vary 25 objectives and various sidemisions, with the rewards were worth every extra mission done. I really loved the mahout training system that allowed the player to lure wild elephants to his first town center an turn them into war elephants, but it felt a little too much to give it to the player for free. A challenging mission here would make the elephant training even more satisfying to achieve. The diversity of quests and objectives speaks for itself in a 5/5 rating.
A top notch indeed, with beautifully designed shoreline jungle, featuring very nice mix of grass patches and paths slowly fading into denser jungle with well done tree mixing and then over the southern link of Himalaya into flooded area of what I assume is Bangladesh today. The ocean that took nearly half of the map was far from a boring mass of water, with nicely done islands, and water mixing done into perfection. A very nice was part was island of Borneo and it's inhabitants and well done jungle of jungle, baobab and acacia trees. Resources were placed strategically and the player had a non stop fight to preserve his control over them. Some very nice waterfalls and river deltas were made too. Map was laid out very well and represented the area respectively well. I think it is no need to point out that elevation and terrain mixing were both done great with very organic feel. I would gladly give this map more than 5/5 which it receives, but the rating system doesn't let me. So 5+/5
The history and opening instructions section had very well written intros, one featuring a more historic approach to the Khmer and their rise, while other presenting it to us a bit more poetically. The objectives screen was very well organized into, what I really liked, the 5 castes of Khmer society; Religious leaders, warriors, rich merchants, normal citizens and the slaves and dishonored. Hint section offered a small overview of the player's restrictions and some general hints of the gameplay. I was a bit disappointed with scout as I expected at least a brief explanation of my surroundings, even in the most basic of it's form. Instead the short text featured in the Steam workshop description was provided. Anyway this flaw wasn't enough to bring this score down, making it 5/5 anyway.
In closing: It is clear that the author has studied the historical/geographical setting of the area in the time given. This is another masterpiece from a well proven author and more than worthy the clicking of the download button.
[Edited on 05/25/17 @ 09:29 AM]