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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » The First Crusade 1097-1099

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The First Crusade 1097-1099

Author File Description
Danish Viking
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Style: Build and Destroy
No Description Available
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Red Monk
Map Design3.0
Playability: This was a good B&D because it didn't go on for too long, which can get awfully tedious. There was a little story thrown in during the fighting which was nice too and helped to keep things going.

Balance: Your enemies are not terribly powerful and don't rebuild much, if at all. There were a couple of waves of horse archers, which can be easily defeated by garrisoning your villagers. The attack on Nicaea was pretty easy with an army of Petards quickly laying waste to the castle and towers. I didn't feel at any time like I was in any danger of losing the battle.

Creativity: Nothing much creative in the story since it is historically based and not much on the map either.

Map Design: Nicaea as well as the Frankish and Norman villages were very nicely designed, but the rest of the map fell short on detail.

Story/Instructions: The introduction was quite interesting and laid a good foundation for what I hope will be a great campaign. However there were a number of spelling mistakes in both the intro and the in-game instructions, but nothing too serious.

Final Comments: The First Crusade 1097-1099 is not going to blow you away with beautiful design or masterful storytelling, but it is a fun little romp through Turkish backyards. If you love the era download now, otherwise it might be worth it to wait for the rest of the campaign.
New Legion This is a good scenario up to the point where the Fleet is suppose to arrive, then the game crashes. Unless this is fixed you can only play 1/3? of the scenario.
Red Monk That's strange, it didn't crash when I played it.
The Emperor It didn't crash for me. As for the rating, I don't agree with it. Sure it needs some work doing to it, but for the most part map was creative, objectives quite cleverly done and was actually quite enjoyable.

This is what I'd rate it:

Overall Score - 3.8

Playability - 4
Balance - 3
Creativity - 3.3
Map Design - 4
Story/Instructions - 4
ENOTH The First Crusade, 1097-1099 campaign contains one scenario: The Siege of Nicaea (why not call the campaign The Siege of Nicaea, if there is nothing else?). A very good advice is given in the instructions: read history. So let’s start with history.

There are three allied forces besieging Nicaea in the scenario: the British, the French and the Norman. Actually, there were very few people from Britain taking part in the First Crusade (some Englishmen joined the Crusade later, during the siege of Antioch) and there was no English army under its own commander under the walls of Nicaea. Most of the Crusaders came from different parts of France. There were Normans, some Italians and Germans. The names of the French and Norman commanders are well known (in the scenario we have only a nameless British Commander and a Norman Commander). The Byzantines, who played the decisive part in the Nicaea campaign and to whom the city surrendered, are missing. A pity, because they had all the ships, siege engines, by their efforts supplies were delivered to the Crusaders’ camp. It was their fleet that blockaded Nicaea from the side of the Ascanian lake, not the Norman one, as in the scenario.
The Crusaders at that time had no ships or siege implements of their own. And they were not able to recruit or train extra warriors under the walls of Nicaea. It was, in terms of AoK, a Fixed Force campaign. It is strange to see in what comfort do they live in the scenario: with a town center, barracks, houses, even a castle, with farms, much food and gold. In fact, all they could afford were simple camps with tents and a wooden palisade (if any). The only resource available was wood (in limited quantities), there were no piles of gold or gold mines around, and all the food was supplied by the Byzantines.

Now, the actual sequence of events:
Godfrey of Lorraine's army left Pelecanum on about 30 April, and marched to Nicomedia, where it waited for three days and was joined by Bohemond's army (Norman), under the command of Tancred, and by Peter the Hermit and the remains of his rabble. A small Byzantine detachment of engineers with siege engines accompanied the troops, under the leadership of Manuel Butumites.
Godfrey encamped outside the northern wall and Tancred outside the eastern wall. The southern wall was left for Raymond's army (South French). Raymond arrived on 16 May.
The Turkish garrison was large but needed reinforcements. The 1st Turkish relieving force reached Nicaea immediately after Raymond. After a brief skirmish with Raymond's troops it withdrew.
It was on about 21 May that the Sultan and his army came up from the south and at once attacked the Crusaders in an attempt to force an entrance into the city. Raymond bore the brunt of the attack; for neither Godfrey nor Bohemond could venture to leave his section of the walls unguarded. The Turks could make no headway. When night fell the Sultan decided to retreat.
The Crusaders' losses had been heavy. But now, with no more danger to fear from outside, they could concentrate on the siege. The blockade was incomplete; for supplies still reached the city from across the lake. The Crusaders were obliged to ask the Byzantines to come to their help and to provide boats to intercept this water route. When the garrison saw the Byzantine ships on the lake it desided upon surrender. The Turks still hesitated, hoping, perhaps, that the Sultan would return. It was only on the news that the Crusaders were planning a general assault that at last they gave in.
The assault was ordered for 19 June. But when morning broke the Crusaders saw the Emperor's standard waving over the city towers. The Turks had surrendered during the night, and Byzantine troops had entered the city. It is unlikely that the Crusading leaders had not been informed of the negotiations; nor did they disapprove. But the rank and file Crusaders had hoped to pillage the riches of Nicaea. Instead, they were only allowed in small groups into the city, closely surveyed by the Emperor's police.

What goes on in the scenario is quite different from this brief description of what actually took place by Nicaea. There is no fault in it, it means only, that this scenario has little to do with history.
The map is quite satisfactory, at least the Ascanian lake is on the right side of the city (recently I came across The Siege of Antioch scenario where the Genoese fleet, not English, as it actually was, brings supplies to the Crusading army from the north-east, from the side of the Lake of Antioch, instead of the Mediterranean).
The rest needs some revision.
Best wishes,
laz123 Very good game. Thanks.
Official Reviewer
Map Design3.0
"The First Crusade 1097-1099" is a dated Build&Destroy scenario from the olden days of the blacksmith. Despite its age and simplicity the map manages to set forward a reasonably playable game with no major weaknesses.

Playability 3

The gameplay consists of building up your town as usual, sieging a city, then driving off the remaining enemies. During your build up raids on your town were made by Turkish horse archers;these raids broke up the normal monotony of slowly building up in peace and quiet. Your allies brought in a navy and army of knights, who rather rashly engaged the city before being ready, leaving the player to handle the rest. The AI defenders though not particularly clever with a custom AI were able to put up a decent fight and i found myself pulling back for reinforcements before killing off their army. The defenders would have benefited here from being provided a larger supply of stores in order to create more troops, as once depleted they could no longer continue fighting. I found the scenario to be enjoyable and a pleasant play, though it lacked replayability to sustain any further playthroughs.

Balance 3

The AI put up a decent resistance, though for me on Hard the raids could have been harder hitting along with the AI needing more long term replenishment of troops in the field. Their standing armies pushed me back and required a decent force composition of longbows and knights to tackle, but after being broken they could rally no more resistance. There was a bit too much gold on the field, but only enough stone for one castle which was reasonable. A less experienced player might even find the scenario mildly difficult, but i would have to say its a bit on the easy side. No difficulty adjustment was provided that I could see, which would be a nice way to provide more experienced players a better challenge when selecting the Hard mode.

Creativity 3

The author did a good job of mixing up a routine B&D mission although it remained more on the merely adequate side of competence. Sending in raids with trigger support on the players base was a good idea instead of just relying on a normal AI to attack. Having allies on the field and trying to give them some life by taking their own actions independently was a good idea. The usage of historical elements was nice but could have been utilized more heavily for a more atmospheric gameplay as unfolding events were handled in a bland way. The final boss fight was a bit disappointing as it was both easy and poorly thought out;he charged out of the camp and got easily killed in a single volley, and the game ended with no victory messages or exit scene.

A custom AI, more and tougher enemies, a higher population limit, more energetic(and stupidly chivalrous) allies, a bit more writing in the story and a quick touch up on the map design and it would already be a good scenario.

Map Design 3-

The mapping was a reasonable affair, with a base terrain on par with a random map lifted up up some detailing sufficient to warrant a 3 rating. The two towns of the allies seemed designed with an eye to aesthetic appeal, though as most cities from the first year of AoC they lack a fine level of detail along with being a bit symmetrical in their layout. The roads of the map were fairly low level, just some cobblestones with a little mix of broken and clean in an attempt to break up the monotony, but their edges faded sharply into plain grass. Terrain mixing was not a particular strength of the map, with grass and desert zones going entirely unmixed, covering large areas with the same terrain and transitioning into each other completely abruptly. There was an attempt at detailing the coasts but the flowers were largely relied on for this. The overall map looked like a good template from a satellite view;the overall effect is sufficient for a shaky passing grade.

Story\Objectives 3

The scenario presented the Siege of Nicea with a basic story that was riddled with errors, but managed to deliver the basic idea. The objectives were perfectly clear and easy to follow while the hints provided some insight into the game and what to expect. There was a bit of dialogue from time to time in-game with your allies launching their own attacks and such. Fairly basic stuff but enough for a 3 rating according to the Guidelines.

Final thoughts:In truth there isn't much reason to consider downloading this map. Other B&D exist in droves and many superior campaigns and scenarios are there for the consideration. On the other hand, it wouldn't be all that hard to upgrade this map into a quite reasonable and even more enjoyable map with a bit of work in all areas, as the map commits no particular design sins that would need to be overcome.

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Map Design3.0
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