King Arthur-not to be confused with the many other King Arthur's on the blacksmith-is an entry for a ES contest. This is a RPG, not a B&D history scenario or fixed force mission.
Its a straightforward RPG affair, you traverse the map, do quests, overcome evil doers, etc. There are three playable routes to choose from at the start, which is interesting. You grind down enemies for gold(like 1-2 each) so you can purchase stuff;its not particularly compelling in what it offers here. I found myself fairly bored here as lots of other RPGs have done this and better. Theres not much beyond killing enemies while your monk heals you, then waiting to get back to full HP and repeating. I quickly realized this, and reloaded the scenario playing as byzantines so atleast i didnt have sit and wait for the HP to refill so long. There is a clear problem with playability when cheating makes the game feel more fun and fast paced.
I played on hard and promptly jumped into the route the author indicated was the hardest. Here is the problem; King Arthur is a strong hero unit, and the player has healers to boot, an armored monk. As long as enemies come in bite sized portions, this force can handle thousands of troops. The other problem with this approach is the author realized this and made it extra hard;that means there is no way to succeed but to slowly grind down all enemies with fight, heal, repeat. Its so difficult it forces you to employ the cheesiest tactic possible to win, and that sort of makes its too straightforward when you use the best approach, and impossible using any other approach. The battles are balanced so that you can barely overcome all obstacles with low HP left, but that just leaves you sitting waiting for HP regen to kick in before moving forward.
The author mixes it up at all stages, and has incorporated many of the usual RPG tropes you would expect. It never seemed to be lacking as a result of the ideas used, but rather their execution. The map seems filled with content but i didnt feel like it was used in a way that gave you a fresh feeling.
Map Design 3
This map is above average. A great effort seems to be given here by the author as most areas on the map are so detailed the clicking and object manipulation alone must surely take time. Unfortunately it doesnt look very good, and i think its a combination of consistency and focus;the author has not focused on the basics. Roads are the lifeblood of most any scenario and you spend much of the time traveling down them, so your going to be seeing them alot;these roads are extremely simple.(the road at the start is the very best and drops in quality after) The forests are terribly simple. The countryside itself has many of the "walkable trees" environment, but anytime solid forests are seen its just a block of terrain with no real detail. The cities are poor affairs with alot of monotone cobble in straight lines.
There is also a point to be made a about biomes. Normally jungle, pine, oak and bamboo are not found haphazardly occupying the same environment. This mix looks bizare, and its not even the type where the terrain is intermingled together;its one chunk of jungle, then a chunk of oak, etc etc.
There is a massive overuse of gaia objects as if the use of these alone creates a nice terrain. These infact require careful utilization and its probably better to avoid using them; when used in great amounts you almost entirely give up on the concept of elegant simplicity so you need to use the superior detail work of the various objects to good effect to compensate. In this case, the gaia objects are just lingering around, and wherever one was placed, the author decided 4 or 5 more of the same object would enhance the effect.
The story delivers its view of Arthurs life decently. Historical fact is provided when possible and the rest is a creative reimagining to fill in the gaps.Its an RPG so there is questing and the usual stuff you would expect. Many units in the world have dialogue lines. I just didnt find myself having any particular attachment to the characters;they just felt like warriors in a RPG. Their personality was defined by their combat power.
Final thoughts: A mediocre RPG scenario. I would not particularly recommend downloading unless you want a RPG badly. This one is brutally hard, but its more on the tedious side of hard rather than the interesting side IMHO.