This is my submission for the 2016 Historical Scenario Design Contest or HSDC16 for short.
|Required Modpack (if not included with the download):
|Number of scenarios:
It is a campaign about Sweden (Svitjod) during the 13th century.
The first scenario is a DTS (Defend the spot) where you have to defend a hill from the approaching troops of
Knut Långe (Knutd the Tall).
The second scenario is a B&D that pictures the retaking of Sweden from the rebels.
The third part is a FF where you need to corner and kill some of the last supporters of the rebellion, and their support from various mercenaries from across Europa.
The Fourth scenario takes place in several locations in Sweden and is therefore separated into four different parts. First part is a RPG of sorts, second is a FF, Third is also a FF and the last part is a B&D.
Hopefully the campaign is free of bugs but should that not be the case, say something. I will (this is not a promise) fix them eventually.
Have fun ~ Ha det roligt! /Lildbehr
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"Folkungaupproret" was apparently intended as a entry for the 2016 Historical Scenario Contest, but only single scenarios were accepted so the author submitted the finale scenario in its place. The campaign when presented in its entirety is a good, well rounded affair that tells an interesting story about events in Sweden and includes some very nice features like alternative events where the player can use codes from previous missions so that the players fulfillment of optional objectives actually can have an impact on future scenarios. However, i do believe an update or two is necessary to inject some much needed intensity into the game and to fulfill its full potential as a 4.0+ campaign, while rounding off a few rough edges in the process.
Although the campaign does hit on a number of good points being a pleasant game throughout it was in the gameplay of the scenarios that i found to be a little lacking. I found the intensity to be a bit on the low side while the complexity of gameplay somewhat basic;the B&D sections were having mechanical issues, defend the spot situations needed a bit more thought and care in carefully positioning terrain features, while some fixed force journey segments were quite linear. The mechanical issues with the B&D involve several missions having chokepoints available which the player can simply wall and negate the enemy AI almost entirely;the finale mission is particularly egregious in this as the enemy is so strong the player simply cannot hold out and must build walls and a castle to survive;after doing this, the AI then has no answer to the fortification and it becomes boringly easy to win. During one defend the spot situation, the player must prevent the enemy from crossing a river;he receives an instant loss if the enemy does, and its quite unclear where exactly the player is defending in terms of specific tiles. Fortunately another chokepoint comes into play and the player can bottle up the river and even kill the entire enemy army off without losing a single man, as i managed. These extremely lopsided swings in gameplay experience from insanely hard when playing legitimately to brokenly easy when forced into cheesing were immersion breaking and sapped the enjoyment for me.
Difficulty:As mentioned above, i found the difficulty to vary greatly depending on what tactics the player utilized. When trying to play straightforwardly and avoid exploiting walls, castles, or towers the enemies were typically overpoweringly strong. Having thus adapted and coming back in round2 using fortifications, i found the enemies now had no answer to the players fortifications. The invaders in the finale scenarios siege were particularly crazy, there is no way to fight them in the open but they cant do anything to a good wall with a castle behind it either. The fixed force mission was a hit and run affair with the player needing only to place his men in the perfect defensive position while luring batches of enemies out of their camp. I think i managed to kill off the enemy castle in the end without losing a single man in the assault, and i had even been converting up a number of enemies with the players numerous monks along the way. In that scenario i also missed out on gaining a gaia trebuchet by a single LOS tile which was amusing to see after the game ended.
Challenge:The concepts of defending a palisade with the assitance of burning structures or preventing the enemy from crossing a river are interesting, but its the execution in how the player can meet these challenges that was a bit less appealing. As alluded to in the playability section, it is quite immersion breaking when the player must work around triggerwork awkwardly in order to accomplish the goals. The burning palisades for example, were a bit unclear where and how much damage they inflict, and i found the enemies ranged support so strong i needed to hang back too far away to utilize them. Instead, the clear strategy was to spam towers which dealt with the invaders handily. Infact, i had so many defenses built up i nearly managed to kill the enemy heroes who arrived with godlike stats to break the defenders. if they hadn't received additional trigger cheats to force their win. The broken down city to defend looked cool, but when the player can simply place down 3 segments of wall in a narrow passage it defeats the entire point, besides which even on standard the enemy floods upgraded units a little too quickly to hold out without relying on walls\towers\castles, which again reduce the difficulty to null. The finale siege was also disappointing as a single castle behind a wall easily dispatches all attackers while the player safely accumulates resources for a big push;i would prefer instead to be able to fight unit against unit, man on man in order to achieve victory here.
The campaign brought a well rounded creative effort to the table. The missions tackled a wide variety of gameplay types, such a B&D, DTS, fixed force, etc. A good deal of voice acting was on hand, although it was not in english i found it added some character to the game anyway. Music was used to set the tone at times and is a good inclusion. The only real knock i would have here is that the various gameplay modes are rather simplestic and not deeply fleshed. That was especially apparent in the contest mission, as there wasn't much of interest in a second run through. Mission two was especially simple without much of an indepth enemy setup or the intense gameplay needed to prevail over a tough and complex enemy.
Perhaps most praiseworthy while simultaneous rather clunky was the usage of optional mission codes. You could receive these by completing side objectives during missions and input them later, which would change future scenarios based on what you did earlier. While this is a fantastic idea, their implementation was not. Instead of using a random number\letter combination which must be written down, the player should just be given some toggles in the corner or given a list of options to type at the bottom of the hints or something along these lines. This relies on the players honor code but is far easier for the play to use. Me, i unlocked almost every side challenge possible and didn't use a single one. I am sorry, but the effort to write them down and remember where to use them is too high. However the attempt at doing so, is quite noteworthy and if implemented well would surely help the playability score by increasing the subsection of replayability.
Map Design 3+
The maps left a pleasant aesthetic impression although they are rather on the spartan side. Forests tend to utilize a broken up border look with grass patches placed underneath at points, while coastlines and rivers have a sufficient bit of detailing work. The paths are nice with the dirt and cobblestone combo used, though in the winter maps they tended to lack a bit of definition, being hard to follow. The ruined city in scenario2 has a nice appearance though the terrain mixing here in the snow was a bit overdone with a chaotic mix of all snow terrains. Perhaps just snow, snow dirt and dirt would have been fine. In summary its quite sufficient map design to serve the gameplay.
The story is quite interesting, filled with plenty of content, and follows a storyline depicting events in Sweden leading up to the establishment of a new ruling dynasty. The campaign is filled with up and down moments, with missions leading to some unexpected outcomes. The usual pregame history tab gives a little background for each mission, and the objectives, hints and scouts reports are as expected from a decent campaign. I enjoyed the subtitled non-english voice files as it lends some regional character to the game.
The downside here is that its all a bit confusing. There is a bit too much untranslated text around and the events from the campaign are so up, down and all over the place I have to admit that after three full playthroughs I still don't completely understand events depicted here. Expect a bloody struggle for the throne.
Final thoughts:I would recommend "Folkungaupproret" for downloading. Its certainly a campaign worth playing.