Rohan is under attack from the Uruk-Hai Orcs of Isengard, under the rule of Saruman the White.
King Theoden of Rohan plans to make a last stand at the stronghold of Helm's Deep, the last line of defence for Rohan, which has never before been breached. He has ordered all men able to bear arms to prepare for battle, and has sent all women and children deep underground for their protection.
The Eleven Archers have arrived in a hope to save Middle Earth from darkness.
Gandalf the White has told Aragorn to look to the East on the first light of the third day, when he hopes to return from important business.
Destroy the armies of Isengard.
You must protect the Wonder at the centre of Helm's Deep.
Without Aragorn, Theoden and Gandalf, Middle Earth will fall.
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First off, I have to say that this is the best Helm's Deep (HD), and most likely the best Middle Earth scenario I've ever played. With that note, the review...
This is a fixed force scenario. You are in control of the defending army of the Rohirrim, including King Theoden, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. Also in your control are the Elven bowmen. Gandalf and the reinforcements he mustered eventually come into play, and you likewise control them. If Theoden, Aragorn, Gandalf die or if the Hornburg (wonder) falls, you are defeated. Victory conditions are set to simple conquest.
Playability (5): This scenario gets a five for playability. I have played Helm's Deep over and over, trying out new strategies each time. There is a ridiculous number of units on each side, but it wouldn't be a good HD scenario without them.
Balance (2): With the army of Rohan behind the walls of the fortress, the odds are highly in your favor. That is, if you use the walls. The heroes have crazy attack and hp, making it very easy to take out a large number of foes with your few heroes. For this the scenario gets a 2.
Creativity (3): Nothing too terribly clever here, but the fortress is laid out wonderfully, and makes up for the "Heroes die/Conquest" victory conditions. This designer also did a great job with the Orcs' attack triggers. Thanks to the fortress, which will be described in Map Design, this scenario earns three points in Creativity.
Map Design (5): Sadly, most of the land is simply desert. With this designer's skill, I think he could've done a better job. The increased elevation and snow behind the keep does a good job of showing the mines where the women and children took refuge. The fortress is beautiful, if I ever built a fortress, I'd build it like this one. The many gates and passages throughout the fortress keep it real, and the wall with the water underneath is also true to the movie portrayal. One thing I absolutely loved was the causeway. I could see the scene from The Two Towers film in my head while defending the causeway with Aragorn and Gimli. Brilliantly done! This map gets a well earned 5.
Story/Instructions (5): The scenario instructions give you the background of the situation at hand, and the text throughout the game is perfect. The objectives are clear and to the point, defend the keep and await Gandalf's return. When you win the scenario, the concluding text makes us wonder... Will we get another M.E. scenario from this designer? Five for Story/Instructions
I didn't find that much playability in the scenario, then again no Helm's Deep scenario can have a lot of playability because it's the same thing, and it's easy enough to beat without strategy at all. I found out how powerful my heroes were like halfway throught he match, you also HAVE to go get Gandalf and his reenforcements. They don't come to you.
One word, heroes. If you use your heroes you are invinsible since they give you so many freaking units. It's around 900 units for isengard, 700 for you. Kind of a step down from the actual battle between hundreds of rohan vs 10, 000 from isengard. Your heroes can take down any unit with one hit basically so it makes it easier. The walls also come down pretty fast.
Of course creativity is limited when you reenact something from a movie, not original yet it was fun.
Map Design: 5
Mostly all desert. I really love the actual fortress though. It looks pretty awesome. The wonder substitutes helm's deep keep very well. The water next to were they blow up the wall is also EXTREMELY realistic. It looks very much like the movie. 5 for map design :D
It list the story up to that point very well, it explains lots of background information and the text is well written, no apparent grammatical/spelling errors.
I liked it but when it comes down to it it's not something I would play more than a couple of times, and the fact that it's based of a movie makes it fun but unoriginal.
Great job, looking forward to more work from this designer.