During the 8th and 9th centuries, Moorish invaders crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and swept across the Iberian peninsula. Soon all of southern and central Spain had fallen to these invaders. Only the mountainous regions in the north remained under Spanish rule. Under Moorish direction, the southern cities of Spain prospered. Trade and commerce abounded, and great learning under the Muslim philosophers developed in the universities. At the turn of the first millennium, the northern kingdoms flexed their military muscles and started to expand their territory. The riches of southern Spain were ripe for the taking…
“Las Navas de Tolosa” is a campaign by King Barbarossa. It features a historically accurate story on the re-conquest of southern Spain. The Moors of southern Spain had long grown rich off the cities that they conquered, and their new found wealth led to their laziness. The Moorish rulers soon abandoned their exploits against the north and settled down to organize trade routes and to advance learning and technology in their cities. The kingdoms of the north saw this as an opportunity to regain their lost land. The provinces of the north sent their small armies under the leadership of Castile, most powerful of the northern Spanish kingdoms. Spain would be retaken! Meet enemies and allies, great cities and humble villages, while fighting for the freedom of Spain!
I have to say that “Las Navas de Tolosa” is a very solid campaign, and I think that King Barbarossa has done a great job in mixing various styles of gameplay.
The playability was indeed very good. The game starts with a feel of RPG, which was nicely done. Then the game begins to change style into a build and destroy type of game. I didn’t see any bugs, so it was a pleasant ride all the way to the end. This campaign also has a few optional goodies, which gives it a good replay value.
In terms of balance the game was fair. It was neither too easy nor too hard. In fact, if you take your time and build a good force you shouldn’t have any problems annihilating your enemies since you are Spanish.
Now, as far as the creativity in concern, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed there. I feel that the second half of the game once you take control of Cordova the game feels too much like the regular game.
I have to say that the map design was very appropriate to the campaign. The countryside, towns, and cities are all well designed and have a realistic touch to them. As an illustration the city of Cordova is well detailed and seems very realistic.
The storyline was well presented for this type of game. The theme here is to wipe out the Mores and free Spain, which is no easy task by all means. The instructions were just right, and I didn’t notice spelling errors, so it was very readable. Also, the hint section was very good and helpful.
In the end, “Las Navas de Tolosa” is a very good campaign, and it is definitely a wise download.