Strictly speaking, this is not a "proper" AoK scenario. For one thing, it takes place in 1942, not in Middle Ages. I have
||Role Playing Strategy
somehow grown tired of the endless Charlemagne, El Cid and Agincourt campaigns, not to mention the Riders of Rohan ones.
Don't get me wrong, they are OK, but let's try something else.
This little scenario is all about fighting: you have to think quick, stay alive and wisely fight your way through the enemy
You're surrounded and vastly outnumbered, you have no base, no castles and no walls, limited supplies, you fight to live,
otherwise starve or get killed. The only way is to use guerilla tactics, strike when and where not expected, regroup and
quickly withdraw, avoiding frontal fight and getting cornered.
Stay well. Have fun. And let me know of the bugs, if they occur.
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Playability & Balance: 2
This is a scenario that I think I downloaded when it was new, or fairly new. It's one of those scenarios that try to represent WW2 using AoK units, and it does it pretty well.
You play as a group of Partisans fighting against the Germans and their allies in Yugoslavia during 1941. These units are janissaries, and they have increased HP and attack, such that they can take on a far superior enemy.
The enemy has bases around the map, the key one being well defended. You have a hospital to 'defend', although the hospital or villagers being killed does not result in loss, only a message about avenging them, so it is either a bug or shouldn't be stated as an objective.
The gameplay was unique, playing as a mass of super powered janissaries was a first, and I enjoyed it at first, but it became quite repetitive. There were interesting objectives in the level, and elements like food supply which meant you had to kill and keep on killing.
The idea of the level is a 'hit and run' and 'create ambushes/diversions' theme, but that's not really how I played it. Splitting my force never seemed like a good idea, and the idea of tactically playing hit and run seemed contradictory to the ideas of fast kills and a time limit.
One of the main objectives was to kill the Nazi commander, who had an 'instant kill' attack, and very high HP - he was also surrounded by a squad of attack dogs, which were also an important part of the enemy makeup.
I found the units stat changes (prominent in both your and enemy units) quite balanced and well thought out. One thing that annoyed me though is that on losing (and starting the scenario, I think) you see the short Microsoft cinematic - this was irritating and seemed irrelevant.
The unit that really ruined the gameplay for me was the siege onager ('artillery'). Janissaries simply aren't meant to take on these beasts, and even on standard the masses of them that kept on killing me were a nuisance, and took the fun and the balance out of the level. I think few of them, perhaps with a higher attack and lower HP would be okay.
In the end after several hours of playing this level I gave up. I tried it on moderate initially, then standard (which I thought would be easier). I'm an experienced player and I usually find levels too easy on moderate. If playing on standard any level should be pretty easy, this one was still very challenging.
Perhaps if I used better tactics I could win, but I just wasn't enjoying the level enough to keep trying, and the onagers and time limit made the frustration too much. It seems as if the author has made the level hard to beat on standard himself - if he made it hard on hard it would be better balanced.
The gameplay was very unique. This was the first time I got to play as powered up janissaries and I got intimately acquainted with the subtleties of the unit - the splash damage they seemed to do to surrounding units was amplified by their attack such that one volley on a unit could take down 4 or 5. The subject was one uncommon for AoK but tackled well given the difficulty. I think it was bad for the gameplay and story to some extent, but for creativity the WW2 setting was a bonus. The scenario was in Yugoslavia and not something mainstream like D-Day. The map had some interesting eye candies, while there were many creative objectives (e.g. killing all towers to stop units spawning), systems (collecting food for kills and some other things) and there was also the timing factor which is seldom seen - you only have about 30 minutes until German reinforcements arrive and overwhelm you.
Map Design: 4
The map is large and designed in a realistic way, with a lot of terrain brush, but also some subtle eye candies, one which I thought quite classy, a shallows/snow grass river flowing down a hill. The bases were designed to make for strategic attacks, and the WW2 feel was there, without use of sounds or a mod pack.
This area was handled well with a nice bitmap, thorough history, instructions and hints. On the brief occasions I did get to the final defend part I wasn't sure what I had to do to win though. I couldn't really feel immersed in the scenario as I just don't find AoK convincing for WW2 scenarios. Perhaps with some sound effects it would take me closer, but still I don't find it quite believable.
This scenario would have done a lot better if it wasn’t for the balance. I went from enjoying the scenario to detesting the small things that I found frustrating, and I felt let down that I couldn’t beat it. Not recommended for download.