The scenario begins with Faramir taking Frodo, Samwise and his men to the city of Osgiliath, and then you must defend it for 35 minutes against a strong invasion of Sauron’s forces. The walk to the city at the start was a bit dull, perhaps some more fighting here would have made it a bit better. The gameplay is interesting with a naval gap between the two sides, and bridges crossing the water. You have a large number of forces which is worn down over the course of the battle, and you can train new troops once your population is low enough. The enemies have long ranged trebuchets and towers, so it is a gamble to send your troops too far forward, but also dangerous to stay too far back, as the trebuchets will quickly crush your buildings and leave the citadel open for attack. At the end one bridge section on the left was removed but not replaced with a broken section, so it looked strange and forces could still move over it.
I failed this mission the first time, and passed the second. I was playing on moderate and the difficulty level was quite appropriate. After a good, tough defence, I managed to win.
The story and subject are a little cliché by now, though defending Osgiliath instead of Minas Tirith was interesting. The main area of creativity was the gameplay, where we see an interesting defend situation with a multiple bridge chokepoint and further narrow chokepoints throughout the closely packed city. This made for an interesting gameplay, as described above. I liked the use of God’s own sling as a trebuchet for the enemy, as they had that extra range that made them very dangerous, and you had to take them out quickly while not being too aggressive.
Map Design: 4
The map was a subtle mix of terrains, with a little eye candy, while the cities were quite impressive, with a unique crowded design, with a large amount of walls. At the start there was a creative path made with the paths units which allowed you to walk across some cliffs, though there is a wonky cliff section there that has been messed up by the elevations. The terrain could use a little more effort to make it look less ‘terrain brush’ like, but overall the map design is above average.
Thorough instructions, hints and history. The objectives are clear throughout the story, with some small dialogues in yellow text to let you know what’s happening at crucial points. The story seemed a little like that of the movie, where Frodo and Sam come with Faramir into the city of Osgiliath, an event that wasn’t part of the book. The story of this scenario was fairly simple, with nothing character driven or emotional.
A good, fun level, strong in all areas without standing out anywhere, Defense of Osgiliath is a recommended download and something for the author to be proud of.