(Updated on 08/09/05
SIEGE OF VIENNA
**/THIS IS NOT HISTORICAL\**
Vienna, a peaceful land, with many resources, and good people, all is going well.
But the Ottomans allied with the Turks are trying to conquer new lands but the eastern part of Europe is already conquered by the Roman Empire and they don't have the enough men to defeat them, for that they are searching for new lands in western part, where Vienna is. Now is a war time and is time to show how strong the Vienna army is.
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I am about halfway through playing this but I had to stop and catch my breath, and let my blood pressure go back down to normal. It's a rather nicely set up map with lots of troops in place. You must be in the mood for a lot of troop management as there is a lot going on all over the map. The forces seem to be well balanced; you will not walk over the enemy but you will not be overrun yourself either. You will need to manage your villes, build more troops, uptech, repair and heal, and move troops around the map simultaneously. It can be quite a rush.
In this fictional scenario you play as the city of Vienna who, with your ally the Germans, must defeat the Ottoman Empire and North Turks. It is B&D-style.
This is a moderately enjoyable scenario, although there is little to mark it out from other standard B&D-style scenarios. However, it is quite ambitious with lots of units and quite a large map. I did not encounter any bugs, the only minor glitch being that the Nomads can move from their starting position to attack any passing enemies which affects a later change ownership trigger - this could be remedied by setting them as allied to all other teams. The objectives are clear and there is an excellent bitmap. There is a continuous soundtrack, which at first I enjoyed but after a while became very grating to the extent that I had to reduce the volume. I suggest giving an option to turn the music off.
I seem to write this in almost all my reviews but it could do with being harder. I played on standard and hard levels and there is definitely a difference, presumably due to the game's built-in levels, which is fine.. However, on hard I won without too much difficulty. This is effectively a 2v2 game, everyone starts with a decent economy and military, but to overcome the stupidity of the AI the human player should be at a handicap. There are a few attacks on your base but nothing momentous and I managed to play for some time just using the troops with which I started the game. You are told to ignore the opening three battles but they leave you with a reasonable army. I suggest either making it 1v2, or giving player 1 fewer resources and/or troops, or limiting the amount of gold on the map.
There is not much creativity on show. As mentioned, there are few embellishments – the use of music and the Nomads for hire. Even a few renamed characters would help a little.
MAP DESIGN (3)
The map is probably slightly better than a random map but not, in my view, sufficiently so to warrant a higher score. Various features have been placed but overall there is little to please the eye. For example, a mountain is placed near your base but it is just placed on grass and it jars; mountains look awkward and the junction between them and the land is best camouflaged by trees etc.
As well as the bitmap, there is a brief-ish history, objectives are clear and some hints are given. There are some spelling/grammatical mistakes (most notably, Viena instead of Vienna!), I'm guessing because the author's first language is not English. I suggest using a spellchecker, if nothing else.