Helms Deep –Control the Monuments is a multiplayer scenario by BIHSting, and is quite entertaining in retrospect. Fight for the homeland with the Rohirram Warriors, or devastate it with the forces of Isengard. The aim of this game is for the defender, being the Rohirram, to defend the two monuments, being Meduseld, the Golden Hall and Helms Deep, but also to take the fight to Isengard and carve the way for a chance to capture Orthanc. The attacker, being the Uruk Hai is to capture the two monuments of Rohan, thus winning the game, but also to make sure the Rohirram does not capture Orthanc in return.
Primarily this category is about the enjoyment a scenario gives you and ‘Helm’s Deep –Control the Monuments’ is entertaining and good to play in less than twenty minutes time. I enjoyed playing as Rohan and marching your forces toward Helms Deep, sure to leave men behind to defend Edoras should the fight be drawn over there, and there defend from the onslaught of the Uruk Hai invaders. I also enjoyed playing as the Uruk Hai against my opponent. The player playing under Rohan, with quite powerful forces, must make his stand at Edoras, but also at the mountain fortress that is Helms Deep. The player hailing under the white hand banner that is Saruman’s Isengard, with the large forces supplied, must assault the walls of Helms Deep, pour through the streets of Edoras, and capture the designated towers that are Rohan’s monuments to win the game. Both teams had strategic strengths, and both had weaknesses thus giving both forces even chances of winning, but also of losing. The Rohirram had a small and fairly weak army in comparison to the fighting effective, bloodthirsty force that is Saruman’s, but was able to win by holding the enemy off on narrow fronts. But the player must take into hand of the enemy’s special units, and thus must use such strategic advantages effectively because things can go downhill very quickly if you allow saboteurs to mutilate your lines. The Uruk Hai however must micromanage their large force effectively, taking things one at a time if they wish to successfully take Helms Deep and the opposing capital, Edoras. The scenario overall gives the player the opportunity to test his or her strengths and battlefield strategies against one another and is also a major contributor to the playability. More detail could benefit this multiplayer well, but it is a job well done nonetheless.
Balance in a multiplayer review is primarily about the ‘starting positions’ of the player’s forces, and the starting positions in this scenario are interestingly done. On one hand we have the Rohirram forces in complete strength in Edoras, and must empty to go to Helms Deep where additional forces await. On the other hand we have the Uruk Hai in all their multitudes assembled by Isengard, awaiting their lord’s signal to attack Rohan. The Rohirram have plenty of time to get to Helms Deep, and when they do, obtaining full control of her walls and defenders, he must take a horseman to scout the lands. When the horseman reaches a certain area down the valley, the barrier stopping the Uruk Hai force from getting anywhere is removed and the host free to besiege Helms Deep. This alone is a good idea, and I have not seen it before. However, I would think it would be better, more dangerous for the Rohirram, if the barrier was removed on a timer, say, perhaps four minutes. This would inevitably force the Rohirram to rush their journey to Helms Deep, and to quickly assemble all troops in suitable manner, making quick decisions on how to counter the enemy.
Creativity was reasonably good. There were renamed units and buildings alike, objectives whereby both players must capture key monuments to win and a creative map design being that it had many winding paths along the cliffsides that seem endless. The idea of capturing and holding all monuments to win the game is a fantastic idea, and the game itself was based on the story that is an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers offering the player an opportunity to play one of the two main players of the Battle for Helms Deep. The ability to defend narrow paths, or from fortresses is also creative and the idea of scouting the land to activate the removal of the barrier to allow for the Uruk Hai’s approach was creative too. All in all, nothing much, but a good job.
Map Design: (4.0)
The map design of this scenario was excellent. There were some very nice terrain mixing, use of Gaia objects, and the way the countryside was set up, although, according to The Lord of the Rings, not accurately correct, was great. I liked how Edoras, Helms Deep and Orthanc were connected, and the long, windy and narrow paths that formed in the mountains and on their sides. Helms Deep was certainly, although maybe a little bit too small, nicely made and conveyed really well the impenetrable invulnerability the Hornburg is well known for. However, the quality of the map design overall seemed to fluctuate in detail. Both Edoras and Isengard looked a bit poor in detail, with buildings looking randomly placed, and with not too many well designed areas. In some areas across the map it lacked in terrain mixing, with some of it remaining bare with grass one. There needs to be a wider mix of grass 3 and either of the dirts. Some areas of forest needed more variations of trees too. There are an overuse of needless flowers and other Gaia objects, and needs to be cleaned up to more improve its look. Although it looks good, and enhances the ‘excitement’ of the map, it still looks a tab unprofessional.
Story/ Instructions: (4.0) -
Complete with objectives and dialogue and a History section detailing the confrontation between Rohan and Isengard, this multiplayer scenario scores reasonably well in this category. However it lacked in detail and could possibly do with some hints for those players of inexperience.
In a word – Entertaining.
In closing – A must download!
[Edited on 11/04/06 @ 08:07 AM]