"…Do you accept the lordship over the Watermarches?" asked the king. Hrothgar bowed in acquiescence, and the king invested him with the signs of his new lordship. Then the new Duke of the Watermarches rose and gathered his men to go and claim his far and distant land…
Accompany Hrothgar and his men on their dangerous journey to his new land, and help him to bring his mission to a successful end! But be careful, many enemies roam the land, false friends are scheming, and the path to success is not always clear…
In the beginning you'll be playing a fixed force game, after the completion of the first objective you'll have to build up and destroy. At certain moments you will be called to announce Hrothgar’s decision about a situation. Consider your answer carefully; it can heavily affect the outcome!
Installing the files
Unzip the campaign file and all sound files into your Age of Empires II folder. They should go into the right directories. If you prefer to do it by hand, then place the scx-file into your Age of Empires II / scenario folder, and the mp3-files into the Age of Empires II / sounds / scenario folder.
Playing the scenario
Turn off your music volume in the options menu of the game.
The scenario should be played at normal speed, otherwise the sound files may come out wrong.
To start the game, go to the standard game settings, chose game/scenario/watermarches. The first part will be the same for all difficulty settings, therefore chose the one you feel most comfortable with in a standard game. I recommend at least medium.
IMPORTANT: lock team must be deactivated!
If you are dissatisfied with anything in the scenario, you can relieve your anger by mailing me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions and comments are also most welcome!
September 2005/Michael Ochsner (registered as zefiro)
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In this entertaining scenario you must lead Hrothgar through hostile territory so that he can assume his new role as Duke of the Watermarches, before entrenching him in that role by searching for lost treasures. It’s been somewhat neglected, undeservedly in my opinion as it’s a well thought-out, well-designed and creative piece of work.
The first phase of the scenario is fixed-force style but once you’ve reached your castle and claimed your title and lands, it turns into a build-and-destroy game with a little twist in terms of its objective – you don’t have to annihilate your enemies, even though you may prefer to (as I did). I did not experience any bugs to speak of, a couple of minor ones being that there appeared to be an AI glitch with grey, and red was blocked-in by trees for part of the game.
I played on hard. The first part is reasonably challenging, particularly in taking the castle which requires some tactics The build and destroy section is also fun because your enemies will attack you, and, at least in the early stages, I had to be on my toes. At various points in the game you are presented with a choice about what to do and your decision has some effect on how the game will subsequently play out.
It is a creative map, in terms of the objectives and gameplay (covered above), use of sounds, map design (covered below) and the story.
The map design is very good indeed, with excellent use of terrain and elevation. The low-lying watermarches are particularly fine. There is a lot of detail in the map, but the eyecandy has not been overdone and overall it appears as though the designer has thought about every square of the map.
Instructions are admirably comprehensive. There is a story, instructions, clear objectives throughout, hints, scouts and a bitmap.
[Edited on 01/17/09 @ 10:31 AM]