Harald Hardrada's ferocity is legendary; his blood lust knows no bounds.
Not only his behavior, but his size - some say he stands eight feet tall - strikes fear into the hearts of every man.
Now he claims to be the rightful successor to the late King Edward of England. The newly crowned King Harold, who was not directly related to Edward, fears an invasion; Not only from Hardrada, but also from Duke William of Normandy, in France. The first attack has come. Hardrada, now King of Norway, has landed on the North-east English coast. If Harold wants to uphold his kingship (and life) Hardrada and his vikings need to be smashed.
For the first of two times in the fateful year of 1066, the future of England is about to be decided.
- Historically accurate map and troops (no saxon knights!)
- Better and more clear historical info and introduction.
- Better gameplay, better everything, really.
This is not an update of the first one, this is all new, and IMO it's much much better.
Stamford Bridge 1066 - The Remake is a single scenario FF campaign that is based on the Battle of Stamford Bridge in the year 1066 in which Harold Godwinson, the king of England defeated the forces of Harald Hardrada of the Vikings ending the Viking threat on England. The campaign is a remake of the early Stamford Bridge Campaign by the same author and is more historically accurate to the true facts related to the battle.
The campaign has a typical FF campaign like feel to it that adds to the enjoyment of the campaign. The opening intro is short and well made and it gives important information on the key events that led to battle. The gameplay part of the campaign requires the player to lead the forces of Harold Godwinson to victory over the Vikings. The author has put in minor historical details like the lone Viking who defended the bridge, and the Vikings taking some time to get ready for battle that gives a chance of replaying history to the player. The battle is well presented with the use of the moral system made famous by Marco Crnigoj to make the campaign all the more attractive for FF fans. The sound and music files add to the atmosphere of the battle. However the playability of the campaign suffers because of the short gameplay span of the campaign, which has given it little replay value. I didn't find any gameplay bugs in the campaign but the player can win the scenario easily by luring the Vikings into an ambush at the mouth of the bridge. The Viking forces are ill organized in battle and can be easily defeated by using the hit and run style. This gives the player a chance of winning the campaign in a way that was not meant to be (You can get away with victory without doing open battle). For me this is a serious gameplay bug and is a major setback for the campaign.
Other than this the campaign is enjoyable and fun to play and is certainly one of the better FF campaigns I have played.4
The campaign can be played on Standard, Moderate or Hard difficulty level according to the skill of the player. As usual I played the campaign on hard first try and found the level to be pretty challenging. I required restarting once before I could defeat this level. The key to victory in this campaign is to take out the enemy leaders as quickly as possible which is rather easy as they can be easily lured into an ambush by tempting them with a few skirmishers. The moderate and standard level were virtually challenge less for me but the moderate level is good for average AoK players and standard level can be finished even by newbies. The campaign can be easily won by the methods I have mentioned in the playability part which is supposed to be a major setback for the balance but I consider it as a gameplay shortcoming which has no relation to Balance.
The campaign offers a fair challenge to players of all levels if it is played as it was supposed to be (By fighting the Vikings man to man in the battlefield no hit and run). Victory on hard level requires careful micromanagement of the units and every moral boost is required if you are to win this one. There is a good learning curve in this campaign for new players as they can try on one difficulty after another to improve their skills. For me this is perfect balance.5
It is difficult to be creative in these kinds of campaigns because of their historical nature, however the author shows some creativity in the presentation of the battle. All the units in the game have been renamed according to their historic names and the design of the Stamford Bridge was good. The capturing of the Viking flag and holding it was a good addition. The disappointing aspect of the creativity is that victory required the same old 'Kill every enemy unit' condition. Frankly speaking I am getting a bit tired of seeing it like this, even historically some Vikings survived the battle so the author has been unable to maintain historical accuracy here.4
The map is well made and is very historically accurate to the original setting of the battle. The gameplay requires revealing of a very small section of the map but the author has paid good attention to detail in the map. Eyecandy is not used in excess and terrain mixing is done well. The Viking camp is nicely done as well. The battlefield in my opinion could have been a bit more detailed.
The river and the bridge were finely made.
Overall a good detailed map that is a pleasant setting for the campaign.4
This was the best part of the whole campaign. The story is a piece of history and the author has tried to stick to the historical facts as much as possible. The instructions and hints provided never leave the player in the dark on what he/she is supposed to do. The historical background is very well written which provides brief but detailed information on the background of the battle. The opening bmp is a nice touch to the instruction screen. A small error is there in the instructions though. It is said in the intro of the campaign that the Vikings landed with nearly 500 ships but in the victory message it says that the Vikings needed only 24 of the 300 ships to go home. This is confusing for the player and needs rectification.5
This campaign is remake of the Stamford bridge campaign by the same author, which raises a question of which one is the better one? Normally I like to avoid comparison between campaigns but in this case I need to clear some doubts. This version of Stamford Bridge is a complete remake of the original and is much more historically accurate in nature. The earlier campaign is one of the best FF campaigns out there and is very enjoyable but its glaring historical inaccuracies raise many questions. The newer version is more true to history but it is very limited in gameplay and cannot sustain the interest of the player for long (little replay value). In the end the two campaigns turn out to be as different as two sides of a coin so it is best to avoid comparison. I highly recommend the players to download the previous Stamford Bridge from the blacksmith. On a personal note I must give credit to the author for making the new Stamford Bridge even after the success of the old one and I hope he sees to the shortcomings of this campaign
Overall this is a well made campaign which is must download for all FF fans but I request players to restrain from comparing the two Stamford Bridge campaigns.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS(To author)
This is a well-made campaign but I think you need to work on the shortcomings of the campaign relating to the points I mentioned in playability. Try to restrict the player from using the bridge unfairly in battle and the Vikings need to be more agressive. In addition, the heroes need to play a more important role in battle (Harold gave moral boost to troops in the old Stamford bridge, nothing like this here). The lone Viking on the bridge should be more challenging to take out and I suggest that you modify the ending a bit so that we see a few Vikings surviving the battle atleast. I also think that there must be a condition in the game such that the player needs to defeat the lone Viking at the bridge as quickly as possible and attack the Viking army (a timely moral boost which can be be modified according to the difficulty setting). I hope you welcome my suggestions and take time out to update this campaign. I hope to see an update soon.