Yellow River Burning Bright
This is my entry for the Historical Design Contest 2017.
This scenario looks at the conquest of the Sung over the Southern T'ang in the period following the Five Dynasties & Ten Kingdoms. A newly proclaimed Emperor quickly sets about adding the Southern kingdoms into his Empire as his new Dynasty takes seed.
NOTE: This was designed with Userpatch, but it should be compatible with 1.0c (However I think the AI needs editing for it to work in 1.0c) and AoK:HD.
Fixes have been made to address issues brought up by the judges.
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"Yellow River Burning Bright" is a historical scenario dealing with one of the many reunifications of China. The player takes control of the Sung dynasty in order to defeat the enemy fleet and capture the city of Nanjing.
The scenario was played on Moderate difficulty, using the HD version.
Scenario was a mix of FF (the naval engagement) followed by a B&D siege section. The author's intent was to allow the player to lead a 2-pronged assault using 2 pontoon bridges across the river. Destruction of both pontoons would result in defeat.
I found no problems with the scenario, except for a possible mistake concerning the type of units that needs to be brought to the enemy city in order to claim victory (instructions said Elite Chu KO Nus, but nothing happened until I brought in Arbalests. However, since I didn't wait too long, it may have been a delayed trigger. In any case, the player receives both units periodically as reinforcements, so the difference isn't significant)
I had 2 issues with the difficulty. For starters, one of the objectives is to NOT kill the enemy King. However, he tends to garrison in a Castle you absolutely need to take down in order to gain access to Nanjing's central square, and it's VERY easy to have him killed when he ungarrisons, especially in the Chinese, archer-heavy armies.
Second issue concerns the placement of the pontoons. One of them is located next to the player's base and is relatively easy to defend. The other is located some distance away, and that's the one the AI rushes at the onset before the player had a chance to establish a defensive position. The same pontoon is also in range of enemy towers, which makes it difficult to use the player's remaining ships to bolster the defenses.
I found that yielding the far pontoon makes the game significantly easier, as the player is able to set up an easy, strong choke on the remaining pontoon bridge, keeping most enemy troops at bay, with navy providing additional support. The AI offers strong resistance in a siege, but overall, once the game is reduced to a single choke, the difficulty drops significantly.
The author put some neat touches on a fairly standard siege battle scenario. Ability to convert ships into extra troops offered some defensive flexibility in early game; the use of pontoon bridges that could be removed and were an objective in themselves was a good way to add variety to a traditional bridge choke point theme. Nice trigger work around the river rocks added a little extra spice and tactics to the naval engagement, as drawing enemy ships to the rocks where they'd take additional damage became part of the strategy. Limiting techs in a siege wasn't ideal, but I can see why it was done (trebuchets for either side could make the game far too unbalanced).
Map Design: 4
The city, the river and the player's camp were fairly well done and detailed. The rest of the map was adequate, but not exceptional.
The story was fairly easy to follow and straightforward. Instructions and hints outlining the specific mechanics were clearly explained. With the exception of the possible issue mentioned in the Playability section, all instructions were clear.
History and the aftermath section provided a little background for the conflict, but nothing really in-depth. The name of the scenario and the aftermath alluded to a fire from the defending ships contributing to the fall of Nanjing, but the scenario itself did not really reflect that.
Additional Comments: an above-average historical scenario worth checking out for some creative variations on the traditional siege mechanics.
[Edited on 07/09/19 @ 09:04 PM]