Cortez' Unification of Yucatan v 1,5
Posted on 05/17/01 @ 12:00 AM (updated 05/22/01
The ships landed on the shore and the first men jumped out.
As many natives came closer, their weapons ready...
After a fierce battle, Cortez managed to capture their fortress, Tabasco.
But the Tabastecs didn't give up that easily, nor were they the only threat...
Before Cortez captured or even entered Tenochtitlan, he had to unify the natives and establish peace.
He could only achieve victory over the Mexicans (or Aztecs) with from the native tribes, like the Tabastecs and Tlaxcalans.
In this campaign you'll experience the first part of Cortez conquests in the New World, from gathering an army to the alliance with the Tlaxcalans, all in one scenario!!
To win, the use of strategy in battles is necessary, since the enemy will always outnumber you...
* Beautiful eyecandy
* Strategic battles
* Several options to choose (for example, which road will you take?)
* A whole new system to gather an army!!!!
* Experience Cortez' journey like you were there.
* And lots more!!
Updated in v 1,5:
* Better terrain & eyecandy
* Better balance
* Better instructions texts
This campaign has been made by Derfel Cadarn, leader of Woad Creations.
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"Cortez' Unification of Yucatan" is Definately (with a capital D) the scenario that made my weekend, if not my month, or my summer. In fact, I think it wouldn't be an exaggeration to call it "two scenarios in one" - the multiple choices you need to make in the middle of the scenario can determine whether you will find yourself waging a guerilla war with few soldiers in the midst of a jungle, or an all-out battle with dozens of soldiers on the open plain. A wonderfully crafted scenario, and one that ES better pay attention to.
The story starts off as you, Hernan Cortez, are appointed as general of the conquistador army to the Yucatan. (Actually, I take that back. You won't see one conquistador in this scenario. Historically, Hernan Cortez used units that are much more similar to Frankish Paladins, and these are what you are going to see in this scenario. Top notch, Derfel!) The story could be pulled off more elegantly, and a couple grammatical mistakes at the historical outcome screen left the ending in a bittersweet flavour. Otherwise, the plot progressed nicely and was mostly non-linear, which earns this category a 4.
In playability terms, this scenario is fun-fun-fun :). As mentioned in the first paragraph, you have many choices to make throughout the scenario. Are you taking cannoneers or just taking a small army? Will you go into the jungle or to the plains? Will you immediately ask for peace or try to bend your future-ally's arm a bit? Will you defeat your foe by converting their leader or by killing their wise men? Et cetera, et cetera. I guarantee, this is one scenario that you will want to play at least twice. An absolute 5.
Balance is a tough category to judge in this case. While reinforcements are given all throughout the game, I felt that Cortez and the Native lady whose name eludes me, who needed to be kept alive, died all to often throughout the scenario. Perhaps this is only my terrible AoK skills, but I think that when you have to reload a scenario half a dozen times, the enemy is a bit too strong. In light of this I grant this field a 4.
Alas, if there was one part of "Cortez' Unification of Yucatan" that I thought was a shame that was neglected, it's Map Design. About one quarter of the map is the Carribean Sea, which you will not see or use, for that matter. Moving the island of Cuba a bit north, or perhaps putting an archipilago that would force Cortez's ships to travel the sea a bit more than 5 seconds, would have solved this. On the bright side, however, once on land again you could see a lot of eye candy and I must commend Derfel for doing some kick-ass army formations and jungles. Way to go, just use more of the map, eh? :)
Creativity-wise, I've seen many never-done-before things in COUY, many of which have been covered earlier in this review. Things that you least expect will happen in this scenario, and in light of that, I won't add anymore in this subject.
I'll finish the review with an excerpt from the readme that comes in the zip. "Of the Cortez campaigns and scenarios out there, this one will probably differ not only because it has ... a completely different game play, but also because I don’t use the ES unit the Conquistador." Damn straight, Derfel, damn straight. :)
First of all, This is my first review, I take it as a great honor to give a review to a scenario as good as CUoY. "Cortez' Unification of Yucutan" is absolutely one of the scenarios which deservers to be in the Best of Blacksmith! No questions asked. From Balance to Creativity, The Author has spent a LOT of time into "feeling" what Cortez' himself must have felt when he did his conquests. Being one of the play-testers of the campaign, I can tell that Derfel Cadarn has improved CUoY a lot from the first time I lay my eyes upon it.
Let's start with Playability - This scenario was FU-UN! There were so many things you could do! You have to make choices throughout the scenario. See, When you start, You have to collect more people to fight against the Mexicans. Now, There are feuds between some General's and others are friends. What you have to do is to hypothesize if one hero is the friend of the other one or if he is the blood enemy. This also helps you in the future, Because if the Hero meets his friends, The friend decides to take his army and fight the Natives. The more the merrier! This is one scenario you want to play again...and again...and again. A perfect
Balance - I've felt that Balance of a scenario is one of the hardest thing a reviewer has to face. Also, Balance and Playability need to be in perfect sync with each other. If one goes up, the other goes down. Although the author must have spent a lot of time maintaining it, He failed to do so in the last and final battle. You see, There is an allied priest who will help you if Cortez' goes near him. The Priest tells Cortez' of a secret path with which you can remore the siege units fast. Now, Since the leader of the the enemy is near them, It was VERY easy for me to convert him with my 4 missionaries. An easy victory. The Author, tipped the balance by showing the secret.
Now, For Creativity - Creativity in a scenario does not really mean new trigger tricks. An author of a scenario can be creative in many areas. Everyone, And by that I mean everyone in the scenario has a name (not that it's necessary: - ) ), But having a name for everyone tells us that the author did his best in making the game more playable, creative and easy to understand for us. There were also some never-before-seen things in the scenario, namely, A Dock on land with the name of Town Center, Ships named as Canoe, Boars attacking a villie...show creativity in a scenario.
Map Design - This is one place the author must have spent hours on! Most of the map needs to be the sea, Because that is how Cortez' came to Mexico, I was instantly thinking of giving it a 4 but when I saw everything else, For example the jungle, the small city, Derfel has portrayed everything like it would have been at the time! I changed my decision to a 5.
Story/Instructions - The most boring part of a historical scenario is to research fully about the subject. But if one does that and does it perfectly, Then he deserves a perfect 5. Historically, Hernan Cortez used units that are much more similar to Frankish Paladins, and these are what you are going to see in this scenario. You won't see 1 conquistador in this scenario...Also, There were not mistakes in the story, I completely understood the situation, Understood the objectives and everything
Conclusion - This is one of the best scenario's I've ever played, The author has a bright talent in Scenario Design. I'm going to look forward to his future campaign's and reviewing them too. ; - )