ESCC Finalist - Der Sachsenkrieg
||Age of Kings 1.0
1. Defeat the "Rhein-Sachsen" and send Roland and the two relics, who convert his sword "Durendal" into a magic sword, for the castle-church of the "Hessen".
For conquering the relics you must destroy the monasteries of the heathens
- one in the west on river "Mosel"
- and the other in the east at river "Rhein"
When the castle are destroyed, the "Rhein-Sachsen" will submit!
2. Roland and his followers must move to "Köln". There you drawing up a great army to go to the field against the "Sachsen (Saxons)". Roland (the "Black Prince") must survive.
Look for the two Irish missionaries in the land of the saxons.
3. Destroy the sanctuary of the saxons, the "Irminsul".
4. Convert "Widukind", the leader of the saxons", to Christiandom. Saxony will be yours.
More conditions at the game are:
Roland and the archbishop must survive, until the relics are in the castle-church.
Your towncenter must not destroyed.
Widukind must survive!
The bridges over the rhine are destroyed: go into the ferry, she will pass over. Back: the unit is in the ferry, then click on the outpost.
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Der Sachsenkrieg is one of those overlooked scenarios from the old contests that hasnt recieved any comments or feedback yet. Its quite an interesting scenario infact and may certainly merit a playthrough, however the player must be willing to make some accommadation for a different-language scenario.
The game jumps right into it, with a dual assault on two castles from your allies and your own units, along with giving you a B&D base. Good luck managing all that without pausing! The map design unfortunatly conflicts with the gameplay, as a customized, detailed map also produces a busy and chaotic gameplay enviroment. There was also noticable lag at times, probably from the AI having pathfinding issues on the complex terrain. Infact the lag only increased as the game went on.
The B&D section was quite annoying as the map was entirely designed for aesthetics with no concern for conventional RTS base building. Its quite vexxing to place farms and resource drop points, or create a base with any kind of organic flow.
Ultimately i wasnt able to properly play the scenario through to the end without being able to read the instructions clearly. It was said to place the relics in the temple\castle, which i thought was the monastary-on-a-cathedral in the highlighted base, but doing so resulted in my teammate getting a solo-win relic countdown. I could place the relics in my own monastary and win by a timer but that seemed a bit lengthy to wait on. The instructions said to convert the enemy leader, which may have been a heavy swordsman unit i spotted scouting around, but it got killed somewhere and cant be converted so easily. Im not really sure, and as unfair as it is to knock down the scenario for it the fact remains its not so easy to play here. Defeating all enemies also didnt trigger a win. Victory is certainly possible with the relic method, but i dont feel its the intended way to play. However it seems certainly possible to win via the intended methods(if only i could figure them out completely) and i didnt see any evidence the triggers wouldnt work.
The scenario throws in some good early warfare and you need to carefull assist your allies, protecting their siege equipment as they take down the castles. The enemy has a bit more brute strength then you do, which is good. However as the scenario went on the enemy resistance faded and with the players B&D eco ramping up, it became easy to run roughshod over the saxons.
The gameplay was well varied with a mix of gameplay and varied objectives. Its certainly clear the author put in a good amount of effort to attempt make this a good scenario. Unfortunately the language barrier prevented me from fully experiencing all it had to offer.
Map Design 4
The map is quite fine and well detailed, with enough eyecandy, waterfalls, and some surprisingly nice looking cities. There are some issues weighing it down, chief among which is that old sin of cliffs on hills making those diagonal cuts. Argh! Also some of the base areas, despite the pretty looking towns as mentioned, are somewhat aestheticly wrong. I understand this is partialy subjective and the author was going for a certain look with the sachsen castle placement, but it just doesnt look right no matter how i squint at them. This may be partly due to the limitations of the AoK engine but they also lack some intuitive operational logic;in real life men would have to slog through very difficult ground everytime they wanted to get in or out of those castles. They are deathtraps, not safe places. You couldnt leave in safety nor enter for safety when hard pressed. Also the author left in a land connection so the entire river can be bypassed at its northern most point at the edge of the map.
Unfortunately everything is in german with no translation. This cant be held against the author but it does make it hard to judge this. Based on my experience from the volume of content and quality of voice acting work presented, this may well merit a 4\5 but i really cant tell. Luckily the author provided english enstructions on the blacksmith file page so i could have a basic idea how to play.
Final Thoughts: Although this map is certainly interesting and has some merit, the fact its in a different language,a bit laggy, and too easy makes it a tough proposition for prospective downloads. I could only recommend a download in one of the following conditions;you are a german speaker, you are a been-there-done-it-all vet who is looking for a new scenario to try and can tolerate some issues, or you are just curious to check out an old submission for the ESCC contest. I do hope a german player ends up seeing this and gives it a go, and can correct and improve my review if it turns out i wasnt giving it a fair shake due to that pesky language barrier.