Reconquest is Where44's first published scenario. The player takes command over two byzantine cities and tries to conquer back lost byzantine glory.
Playability stands slightly above old ES scenarios (Joan of Arc or Barbarossa) with B&D vs 7 opponents scattered around Anatolia and Greece. The game is fun and entertaining, but doesn't really have a replayability factor and I wouldn't play it more than once or twice. 3
With no special AI, the game is as challenging as the HD AI is: Struggling for the less B&D players and a piece of cake for experienced. With a few custom AIs this category would receive more than 3.
A crushed empire seeking vengeance over his many enemies and reclaiming glory. Not particularly creative...With the lack of any other objective than "destroy all opponents" I cannot give a high rating here. 2
At first map look nice with a good depiction of a real life map, namely modern day Greece and Anatolia. Geographically looking (and including the limitations of the editor) the map seems in correct relations in size of landmasses. Looking closer, it looks similar to the popular diplomacy maps: Plenty of all resources, seas crumbling with fish, blocks of forests of oaks and pines and most important factor of the given score: terrain mixing and elevation are missing almost entirely. The endless grass 2 is occasionally disturbed by a mountain or a randomly placed flower patch. 3
Looking a lot like ES instructions, objective screen consists of a single sentence saying destroy all opponents, BUT is joined by, in custom scenarios usually annoying, map details list. Get rid of this by (in editor) selecting global victory/custom and leave all squares empty. And save your file as a campaign to give fixed map details such as pop cap. Hints offered a few short sentences that would help less experienced players more than B&D pros. Scout explained a bit about every opponent, thier position on map, etc... Though short, instructions offered more than enough information for the player, while story isn't well developed and is barely present. 3
In closing: Entertaining B&D for a single afternoon, but to simplistic to mind replaying it.
Notes for the author:
Triggers greatly increase playability of a custom scenario, by offering more ways of defeating your opponents. Why destroying the enemy completely when you can make a challenging mission to steal their war banner to make them surrender, buying peace with gold or kidnapping their leader's son. Possibilities are endless.
For the AI, seek help at the AI&RM forum, where useful advice and tools can be found. A specialized AI for each enemy makes it way harder to win.
Multiple design tricks are shared and written in the SD forum. Ask questions, share your screenshots for opinion, ask for playtesters,... I'm sure people will be willing to help you out in any kind of trouble you might encounter.
A nice first published work, but it should be reworked to really shine.