|Number of scenarios:
Brought to you by Woad Creations
- Team Project
- Good plot, you feel for the characters.
- Lots of action
- You walk through a realistic world.
- Different styles of play: RPG and FF
- A big team project, combining the best points of the designers to a great work
- Thoroughly tested
- Partly interactive
- Lots of differing objectives, ranging from Accumulating a relic to er... Zigzaging into an enemy fortress :-)
It's about a Saxon boy, Denacen, whose father leads the rebellion against Karl the Great (aka Charlemagne). The village Denacen lives in, Drengaderb, gets attacked and razed by the Franks of Karl, everyone killed, except for Denacen, who was only about 5 at the time. He then gets raised by the Franks (he doesn't know it were the Franks who killed his family and friends) and he becomes a loyal soldier of Charlemagne, until some events happen that make him realize he's a Saxon.
He joins the rebellion, but gets stuck in a web of deceit, treason and lies.
Throughout the campaign, you'll meet more and more people, who will remember you as well.
The 3-scenario campaign ends in a devastating city siege, leading through the streets of Aachen to Karl's castle.
For us, the creators, this campaign was meant to be fun, yet challenging (I think almost all types of players can find a good challenge in this) and a good way of getting to know each other's skills and talents.
We worked together very well on this project, and it's definately something we should do again.
Perhaps for Empire Earth, or Age of Mythology.
For now, we'll keep working on our own private projects, which are very different, and still explore the posibilities of scenario design.
Play this scenario on normal or slow speed.
This campaign is fully fictional.
The only non-fiction, are the following facts:
- Karl's capital was Aachen
- Guillaume was his most trusted advisor, friend and commander
- Karl fought a crusade against the Saxons, and annihilated a big deal of them.
The following people worked on this campaign:
Triggering, Story writing, Bitmaps: Derfel Cadarn.
Detail triggering: CyT DaBeast.
Map Design: Ballard (scn 1), Antichrist (scn 2), Sparkey3 (scn3), some brushing up by Derfel Cadarn.
Playtesting (whom we recieved feedback from): Shiva, Matei, Ex-T, Ballard, Antichrist, Talon Karrde, millen, Xavill.
A big thanks to Shakespeare for helping with the storyline and some of the chat texts.
Thanks to the rest of the members of Woad Creations for giving support and loads of ideas.
If I have forgotten someone or you want to ask a question or tell us what you think about it, email me (Derfel Cadarn) here.
Thank you for downloading
Brought to you by Woad Creations
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Denacen Saga is a great- great- great campaign! This is one of the most brilliant campaigns I have ever played. But... it isn´t a 5.0... (for the moment!)
This fictional campaign is about Denacen, whose father leads the rebellion against Karl the Great. But he (the father) dies and Denacen becomes a loyal soldier of Karl, until some events happen that make him
realize he's a Saxon.
First at all, the playability is really good, but no perfect. The battles are very well done, and they have the perfect difficulty. But the problem is connected with the instructions. The system of dialogues is "time-dialogue". The dialogues appear at the screen all at the same time. After a while, they change. Normally this system can be a little confusing. In this campaign, the dialogues appear with a correct velocity, but sometimes the conversation end with a "0" instructions, but at the screen continue the "1" and "2" instructions... so it is a little bit confusing. But the main problem is that with this system you can avoid battles...
For example: at the first scenario, before arrive to the final village, there´s an army who block the path. They say that the path is blocked, Denacen answer that he must go to the village, that it´s necessary they´ll fight, bla bla. And when the conversation ends, you have crossed the barrier... The same at the second scenario. At the beggining you speak to Luderclum. You speak, and at the end of the conversation he attacks you with teutonic knights. You have to run away and save some troops. But you can perfectly continue to the path and when the conversation ends, you are far of the camp, with all your troops... I think this bug can be solved with the "Click talk Trick", for example. So in playability it deserves a 4.
In Story/Instructions I would put a 5...but no. The instructions are clear (and well done!), the objectives are clear, there are initial bmp (very well done), etc. But sometimes the dialogues, how I said, are a little confusing, and they contribute to the "avoid battles" bug. Then the loss message (and the history!) could improve a little, so it has a 4.
The Balance is NEARLY perfect. I had to restart one or two times each scenario, and at the end of the final battles I had only four/five soldiers. But the problem is the 3rd scenario. There is a initial battle (very easy), and then you have to attack and siege Aachen. You can go to Aachen by ship or walking. You decide. If you click the relic, you go by ship, and if you click the forage bush, you go walking. The problem is that when you decide your way, the view changes and you start with ANOTHER ARMY!! So if at the initial battle you did it perfectly, you didn´t lose any soldier (exageration :) ), or you lose all the soldiers except one or two... It´s the same!! Totally, then you have another army!! I think there are many ways to fix this detail. For example, you could start with a bigger army, and after the battle, if you click the relic, some rocks that block a path disappear and you can continue by this way, or if you click the shrub another path appears... and you would continue with the same troops. If you did it perfectly, you would have advantage, but if you lost lots of troops, you would have more problems in the siege. So the balance has another 4.
The Creativity. WOV!! Perfect! It has lots of details, like the traveller, the depressed man, etc. The objectives are really creatives, the storyline is one of the most creative storyline I have ever seen (the first is "The King Best Men"), and at the 3rd scenario you can play two times because you can arrive to the city by two ways. Simple perfect. I will put a 6 if exists... but how the maximum is a 5, here you are!!
The design is perfect too. It is really well done, much better than a simply random map. Perhaps the third scenario, the first battle it could improve a little bit (the zone where are the frankish is only grass) but this is a little detail. It deserves a solid 5.
+ Balance in battles
+ Map design
- You have to change your army at the 3rd scenario
- Dialogues sometimes confusing
- You can avoid battles
Really, the bugs I said are only details. The global campaign is one of the most wonderful I have played (the first is King Best Men ;) ). Really, it´s a sin don´t download it! I am sure you will enjoy it!!!!Congratulations to all the designers of Woad Creations, the result is really-really-really GOOD!
Denacen Saga, by Woad Creations was one very different scenario. Having been a fan of some great stuff from Woad including The World Cartograph and Cortez Unification of Yucutan, I was looking forward to playing this new offering which, to the best of my recollection is the first real campaign done as a complete joint project. Unfortunately though, I was dissapointed with some things.
I though I'd start off on the best aspect of Denacen Saga, the balance. After playing through this campaign it's obvious to me that a lot of effort and testing has gone into making this scenario ultra-balanced. There are some parts that are almost too well balance, but they generally fit under the playability section and I'll adress them later. For now, Denacen Saga has a well earned 5 for balance.
Continuing in descending order, creativity ranks as the second best part of this campaign. Denacen Saga has a great story, I have decided that the score for creativity will be affected by the story as it's obvious this was the main creative input into these three levels. Twists and turns are evident and there are a few good side quests involved. There are, of course, some major drawbacks. Along your travels through the game many little, well, semi-easter eggs can be found. Some are nicely done, like the fingernail of Saint Peter. Others, however, instead of making the game more enjoyable are far too blatant and detract from the experience. The Airport, for example, was a great eye-sore, thrust a upon the player whilst not being amusing. Finding some members of Woad Creations was also a mediocre event, it seems to me that these hidden things were so important that the lost much subtlety, making the scenario a tad tacky. All in all, a 3 for the creativity of Woad Creation, boosted by the tried-but-still-interesting decision teqnique in the third level.
By far the greater points for story/instructions got to the stroy. The story was at most times interesting though at times a bit predictavle and managed to keep the player interested which was good. The instructions though, were quite a let down. A great many times, especially in the first level, the objectives would cross out but not dissapear. This is normally no reason to impact the mark, except there were so many objectives cluttering up the onjectives screen that it became increasingly difficult to read and find what you are supposed to be up to. Many other times throughout the scenarios I found myself without a clear goal and even worse, sometimes without knowing a direction to head. So many inconsistencies left me no real choice other than to put the mark at a high 3. A final point is the dialouges which were hard to understand at many times because the writing kept popping up with old writing jumbling up the text.
Another negative part of the Denacen Saga was the map design. Three different map makers constructed the levels, each was very different and each all contained some major flaws.
The first level was by far the better of the three. Mainly forest, sparse forests, it looked good in some places. In other places though, so many dead trees and large spatches of leaves made sections look quite ugly. Being a very sparse forest, it was very easy to just avoid the laid ambushes in my journey. If I was rating this level independently for map design, i would have given it a three.
The second level was another interesting one. Using great streaks of cliffs and trails of forests this level had a very squarish theme happening. In some places big stretches of cliffs, striaght as an arrow, led to some other chunky terrain. As above, if I were to review it independtly, I would have given it a 3.
The third level was, to be blunt, quite shocking. The designer, when he gets his heart set on something, really goes at it hammer and tongs. In one place, there would be plants, everywhere. In another, rocks, filling up almost the whole 1024x768 screen. Sometimes it was stumps, placed sparadictly 1 on every three tiles. It really made for an unrealistic setting. In this level, the first time, I chose the river. This was basically a long strech of water laid with cliffs on either side. As any scenario designer would know, water shores can be very tricky to negotiate and will sometimes end up with the shore on the top of the cliff, making for unprettyness. In quite a few cases the water stretched its way quite deep over the cliffs. The layout of the terrain though, was good. Using cliffs mainly, the designer managed to force the terrain to guide you along the right places while still making it seem natural. But, all the negative reasons mentioned above and the almost complete lack of terrain mixing would accredit the single scenarios design at a high 1.
This was not the end of the map design woes though. The sigle theme shared throughout the levels was plenty of boring, geometrically shaped and in most cases unimaginitive. Throughout easch of the scenarios, for some reason, sea rocks can be found placed on the ground, on grass and
dirt. A puzzling trend. So, the total for the map design is a decent-effort 2. Granted in the first two levels they are the equivelant of a random map, but other factors serve to hurt the score greatly. It was pointet out to me though, that these levels all take place on Giant Maps. I came to the decision that it is a very difficult task to completly drape a giant map with great looking terrain and even though I dounbt it was neccessary to use giant maps, for the effort I make it a 3.
It's what it all comes down too, playability. despite all the criticisms, this can by quite an enjoyable scenario. Though many other things, unmentioned things ruined it. Bugs were few, but important. In the first level, if you're hero horse archer dies, the objective crosses out but nothing happens. This happened to me and i still finished it and I was happy to see him alive and well in the second level. Losing some of the smaller heroes in some parts i would come to another and find they had been raised to life once more. One part in the second level, I managed to eliminate a 40 man strong ambush using only my horse archer and two monks that had been following after my wounded scent from the allied city up the road. The final negative was the heroes. I mentioned that this scenario had perfect balance, well, almost. At some points you will have up to 9 self regenerating heroes with large amounts of attack and HP and it becomes far too easy to just fight with the heroes then withdraw and heal them. So, the good parts weighed with the bad, this campaign rates an even three on the playability scale.
- Nice Story
- Impeccable Balance
- Mediocre Map design and instructions
Summary: This scenario is worth the download, but if you're looking for a masterpeice, look somewhere else.
Actually, when I downloaded this campaign I thought it would be like "Chronicles of the Warlord", which was the first Woad campaign I downloaded and I didn't like it. And, now I was pretty impressed by Woad.
The Playability was pretty good actually, but at some points in the 2nd scenario you could get around 50 units and 5 strong heroes, however I almost lost the all in the rockslide. I noticed that you could go around large forces and not be forced to do battle. At some places/moments you should get less units to make it some harder.
This gets the highest score. Why? Because 1) much of the woad members worked on this scenario and 2) funny sideeffects, like the rockslide and the presence of some woad members in the campaign. I love to destroy Derfel Cadarn's school. But, after I finished the 2nd scenario, I used "Marco Polo" and looked after what I missed (always do that you see) and I found the mapdesigner of the scenario, the Antichrist guy standing outside his "Antichrist Inn" with Napoleon (Paladin), then I discovered a Teutonic Knight out in the woods renamed to Hitler but as soon you tries to click him he says "I only deserves to die". Now, what's that? Lack of anything to do?
The balance was perfect through the whole campaign. A clear 5 for that. All battles was very balanced, especially the sieges of the place called Drengaderb, they were all very balanced. A clear 5 for this, end of story.
In general the mapdesign was a 4, not more or less. Some scenarios was better then the others. Since all scenario was created by different designers and all fixed up by Derfel Cadarn, I will jugde them one by one.
1st Scenario: Good mapdesign here, however the forest was a little to deep, I had difficulties to move larger formations. The forest and the drypart area was too clearly seperated. There was almost nothing in between, it was like this: Tree, Tree, Tree, DRY! I don't know but maybe the area is like that in Saxony. Some eyecandy, but the 1st scenario gets a 4.
2nd Scenario: This one was slighty better than the first scenario, however this one was looking dry all the time. No specific eye-candy, only some swamps (they were pretty good), The mountain part could be improved, some more GAIA-mountains and more realistic cliffs, and how high was the mountain? I found some snow in the mountains and I don't think it should be there. I don't know what time of year the campaign is from but I place in the end of the summer and fall so the snow should be gone. The 2nd scenario gets a 4 too, although a weak one.
3rd scenario: This scenario was the worst of all in the campaign, some gaia objects there and some trees there. Some places didn't look realistic. Anyway, a 3 to this one.
Now, the story is really good. I like these kind of stories, a young man get's kidnapped by his enemies and then he discoveres that and so on. However, I don't like the end, but I guess that's just a Woad thing, compare to "Chronicles of the Warlord" However, I didn't managed to place Julia in the story, what is she doing there? Since the story has almost no historic background except for some names and persons, I can't give Denacen Saga a 5 for story.
The instructions was clear, not the best but you always knew what to do and not have to figure that out by yourself.
But, I have to give a 4 for story/instructions.
The campaign is worth the download time, but not for the best aok-player. I, however recommend you to download it.
Denacen's Saga (Or is it The Denacen Saga? The title is "Dencaen Saga"......), the latest offering from Woad Creations, is definitely worth playing, apart from a few bugs. I enjoyed this campaign not because of of any fancy trigger tricks or eye-candies, but because it was an interesting and fun scenario, and one on which the designers have obviously worked very hard.
There were two major bugs in this campaign which really took a lot of the fun away. The first one was in the first scenario: The objective was to destroy the Orange player, and my scouts found his base in the east of the map. However, when I tried to move my units in that direction, a message appeared saying that I was going the wrong way, and that my units would revolt if I didn't turn around! I was completely lost after that, because there was nowhere else I could go!
The second problem arose in the second scenario. There was a 'avalanche' trick at one point on the map. When this happened to me the first time, almost all of my units were trapped, so I restarted from a saved game. This time, I took the units across in groups of two. After I had got about a dozen across, the avalanche was set of again.
I tried this part at leat half-a-dozen times. I tried taking units across one at a time, I tried taking them across in different orders, I tried rushing them all through at once. Nothing worked! I would always end up with less than a dozen units. It was impossible for me to continue because there was a large enemy force ahead of me. As you can imagine, this was very frustrating. Although this might also depend on my abilities, I am not such a terrible player that I would fail so many times, and in so many different ways.
A few other factors also contributed to the low score: the huge amount of time between replies in the conversations (10 to 15 seconds even on Fast Speed!!!), and the long distances between events. To be brief, you could say that the scenario was a little slow.
This scenario was not very well balanced. First of all, the battles were quite difficult. Once again, you may question my ability, but I still feel that there were far too many enemy units in almost all of the major battles. Secondly, as I mentioned before, there were large gaps between events. You would have a lot of action and story, and then a long journey down a road, and a meaningless conversation, and then more action, and so on.
Here's where I was really impressed: Not only were there quite a few tricks, big and small, in the campaign, but also, the whole thing had a interesting feel to it. The various characters, the small tricks and eye-candies, and of course the twists in the plot, all added to this. Kudos to Woad for that. The 'avalanche' was pretty good, apart from the above-mentioned problem. The random characters scattered around the map (members of Woad, garrulous travellers, etc.) were also a nice touch.
The design is this campaign was mixed (each of the three scenarios was done by a different designer), so it isn't easy to score it, but on the whole, I feel a 3 is right. The first scenario might have got a four, but the second and third should be happy with a 3: empty spaces, unconvincing terrain, and nothing standing out, nothing special which would merit a higher score.
This is one area on which Woad needs to put in more work. Terrain wasn't the only problem - the cities were rather unconvincing as well. Most of them looked far too symmetrical, with their layers of walls and rows of buildings.
Here I think that credit must go not to Woad Creations, but to their leader, Derfel Cadarn, who apparently wrote the story. An excellent plot, real characters - people with personalities, not just units - and a nice style of writing, if you look past the spelling/grammar mistakes, which were numerous. I considered dropping the score to a 4 for those, but considering that English is not Derfel's native language, and looking at the characters and plot, I thought it deserved a 5. It was nice to see somebody putting in an effort beyond just a plot.
Good job, Derfel! This was one of the best written stories I have seen as a reviewer. I wish that more people would see the value of style and characters.
So on the whole, this was definitely a good campaign. I would recommend giving it a try, in spite of the bugs. Woad Creations have certainly proved themselves to be great designers........but I still think that they should work on their map design.