ESHotAC - The Siege of Belgrade
This scenario was an entry in Ensemble Studios' "Heroes of the Ages Contest".
The fall of Constantinople to the Turkish Ottomans in 1453 sent shock waves throughout Europe. With the Byzantine Empire destroyed, only the Kingdom of Hungary stands between the Ottomans and the rest of Christian Europe. For Hungary to fall, the Ottomans will first have to take the city of Belgrade. Once Belgrade is under Turkish control, they will have no difficulty capturing the Hungarian capital of Buda. If that were to happen, the Ottomans would be free to overrun the rest of Europe.
You are John Hunyadi, a dominant General in the Hungarian army. After hearing of the Turkish plans to seize Belgrade, King Ladislas Posthumus of Hungary fled Buda for the safety of Vienna, leaving you in command of the army. Your orders are to defend Belgrade from the Ottomans at all costs.
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The Siege of Belgrade attracteddme to it simply by the name of the author. I thought this should be good right from the start.
So far I've played this scenario 8 times i think this is pretty addictive I'm a ok player so i played on moderate.The game story is addictive and wants you to keep playing it all the way to the end.It deserves a solid 5 here.
In this game the first few times I played it my heros I tended to play agressively with and as a effect I lost them several times. The balance in this scenario for me was spot on you have to watch you're heros health from time to time but not so much as it's a constant distraction.I found if you looked after you're units the easier the scenario would be later on.
Most of the game creativity wise was the same as before they're weren't many new tricks here but it was solid all round and the ideas kept you interested.
The map was well made and looked great like all Mark stoker map's these days. I enjoyed playing through the landscape and it looked realistic enough. They're wasn't eye candies anywere but I found this actually made it better and made it look more realistic as opposed to constant eye candy. I feel a scenario can get a 5 without use of eyecandy and in this case I think it deserves a 5. As you play through the map you use almost the entire map by the end of the game,which was impressive considering the size of the map.
The story was well layed out from the beginning and the Instructions and History sections were well documented and explained. In game however some instructions just flew by. When i was faced with defeating the enemy camps Suddenly i just noticed i had new units from the top west, but I can't remember receiving any instructions about it. This scenario has good overall instructions but on the odd occasion when the battlefield's hectic you can lose track of things.
Overall, I thought this scenario was a good one and enjoyable. I think the bad things in this scenario which can often be overlooked are too many trade carts after having 3 at the start and then a relic cart seeing 3 more towards the end of the scenario didn't make me want to do the optional object particuarly but I had to as i had ran out of gold.
This scenario's AI files are very cleverly made I personally found when i attacked one enemy camp i just realised the enemy was attacking me and i was unprepared! And suddenly the village i wasnt meant to protect got destroyed. The ai files were good here.
On a final note I would like to say this scenario is a worthy download and a nice one to add to the collection , as well as the fact it is in .scx format as well so you can study Mark's Map in detail.
The Siege of Belgrade was designed with much thought and time by the author. I enjoyed playing the scenario due to the fact that there were no lags, bugs, or trigger problems preventing me from going from one challenge to the other.
There weren’t any areas which I could find (not that I was looking for any to begin with as from experience I usually stumble on them). This was another bonus. I could have my units moving along and suddenly finding themselves in hot water with enemy units. There were no long stretches of map where I thought: “When is something going to happen?”
I had to restart the game as the first time I played the hero, (who was supposed to survive) was killed suddenly when I had him taking on some enemy units single-handedly. I overlooked the fact that he had a low HP and a moderate Attack, but the enemy was too overwhelming. So I ended up in hot water. This is a good strategy set out by the player to catch the player unawares.
A few times I sent my Scout Cavalry out to roam the land and ended up narrowly escaping large numbers of Ottoman Turks, encamped down the road. The map has roads that break off into different directions, and the wrong turn could cost you severely. This is where the SAVE button comes in handy.
I didn’t take the time to research whether the game was based on fact or fiction. But I am sure that I will suffer a flaming from this little oversight (I shall not mention any names as to who would do such a thing). However, I do apologise to the author.
Regardless, the scenario is well presented and has set example for trigger design, map design, and other elements which make a scenario playable.
MAP DESIGN: 5
Good use of different grades of grass, dirt and road patches. Eye candy and broken carts on the road, along with burning houses at a later stage, make for authentic wartime fanfare. And it is also ideal setting and geographically correct consistent with a scenario set in the Balkans.
I had no problems at all following the instructions. I have previously explained how I do not know of the precise source of the story but the instructions are easy to follow. Not once did I find that the instructions were vague or easy to get lost with.
The Siege of Belgrade was Mark Stoker's Entry to the Ensemble Studios: Hero of the Age Contest. Also known as ESHotAC for short.
I really enjoyed playing the Siege of Belgrade. It is a well thought out and well design scenario with many creative aspects and a beautiful map design. It is full of battle scenes and death, just what I like. I couldn't get off this scenario until it was completed. It is highly enjoyable.
The Balance was great. I took a few restarts and constant saving but it didn't bother me due to the high playability of the scenario. The scenario is very, very hard but it is not impossible. The Standard game is easy enough but when you go up to moderate the game becomes almost impossible.
The game suits all difficulty levels. If you are an amateur at the game playing on easy is the best, if you a intermediate then you should choose Standard, If you think you are an expert then you should choose Moderate but if you think you are too cool for school and want to try and step up another level then you should try Hard and see what happens.
The Scenario used many wonderful tricks which have been known for a long time, but were new when the scenario was made back in 2001. The scenario has a nice creative map design and uses a lot of multiple choices.
Map Design: 5
The Map is very pretty. It has a very nice use of cliffs and elevation, there is also some great terrain mixing. The different types of grass and dirt look awesome. The Burning buildings in the destroyed towns made great eye-candy and were made better by the GAIA objects that were used like Broken Carts. The GAIA units were not only placed in the destroyed towns but all over the map. They were placed nicely and made the map more detailed.
The Story of John Hunyadi is told very well. Whether it is true or not I am not sure but I don't really care. It is fun and enjoyable and full of battles. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. I knew what to do at all points. The detailed hints page helped me get me through the scenario too.
[Edited on 02/24/10 @ 06:52 PM]