A Spanish Italy (English version)
A Spanish Italy
A scenario by Zampi
The post ishere
I recommend that you play this scenario after playing "The Foundations of the Empire", since this is the continuation of it. Just like what happened in "The Foundations", this is based on real history (or almost), so you should act thinking how the history actually took place.
You should control Fernando the Catholic. Starting off with only this important unit you will found cities and descover mutiple territories little by little until all of Italy is under the Spanish dominion.
Very soon 4 Swiss Guards will accompany you, which will be the inseparable bodyguards of the Catholic King.
King Fernando should not die nor be converted. The Swiss Guards of Fernando which came to fight in the reconquest of Grenada shouldn't die
either. It if is at the beginning, you will not be able to finish the game and if it is at the last, it could be that you´ll not be able to finish it since they will be very necessary to you.
You will also have to control Gonzalo of Cordoba (The Great Captain), one of the most famous heros of his time. A soldier that left his tracks in all of the Mediterranean, keeping the Turks from penetrating to the North side of the Mediterranean.
You will get a taste of an epoc in which great risks were taken:
Spain offers a diplomatic alliance with England in 1489, "The Treaty of Medina of the Field."
The French will be from here on the main enemy of Spain in the West, where the main disagreement will take place in Italy.
Old-time combatants of the peninsula wars of reconquest were transported to the control of King Fernando in Sicily, among them, the Swiss Guards , true mercanaries of that epoc.
The French king, Luis XII, invades and takes control of the dukedom of Milan in 1499.
Spain helps the Venetians in the fight for the Cefalonian peninsula. In this battle we were already counting among us Gonzalo of Cordoba,The Great Captain, the notable hero of Spain of the epoc in about 1500. The biggest part of the Turkish troops died quickly, but the Christian forces surrounded those that remained in the fort of San Jorge, which had very little defense.
The French invade Naples under the command of D'Aubigny; The Great Captain takes part from the South.
A combat of 11 French Calvary and 11 Spanish Calvary infront of the walls of Trani between 1502-1503 really existed. Millions of people contemplated this match. At the front of the French was Chevalier Bayard and at the front of the Spanish was Diego Garcia of Paredes. At the end of the combat the adversaries hugged and there was a moment of peace between the 2 nations.
In 1503 The Great Captain destroys and conquers Naples. The French retreated back to the boarder of Gaeta and sent from Milan to the military "La tremoille".
In this same year, King Fernando returns to Barcelona to recrute soldiers, a majority of them Catalonians and others from Castille, to fight the fort of Salses under the French power.
In 1507 an enconounter takes place in Savona, near Genova, to sign a peace treaty with the French. Luis XII, King Fernando and the Great Captain were all present.
Diverse battles took place in the Mediterranean in that epoc:
In 1510 the city of Bugia is captured by Pedro Navarro, then also Tripoli.
The battle of Ravena really happened in 1512 and was one of the worst defeats of the Spanish army.
Possibilities of the game:
Among other things, in "A Spanish Italy" you will have the following possibilites:
- More than 30 general objectives that you will have to complete if you wish to beat the game.
- Many optional objectives such as tests that will give you a chance to become stronger.
- You can do business with the Venetians and you will recieve help from them in crucial moments.
- Some 12 historic notes that will inform you of how the real battle or how the real discovery was in history.
- Active triggers of hints that will inform you in the moment and make it easy for you to complete the objectives that you have in that moment ( this only will happen if you play in easy or standard).
- Visual effects of first class, like rain in the sea, temporary explosions, archers training in the ranges, multiply battles and much more.
- Spread throught-out the scenario is a multitude of places where you could get a chance to destroy castles, open doors, convert a villager into a Golem or simply that a gold mine is unexhaustable. How to activate them is your problem, that is, if you manage to finish the scenario you will see an explanation of where they are and how to active them.
- The Golem-
The Golem, according to the ancient Jewish traditions, was a doll that recieved life and possessed an amazing strength.
You villager has changed into one and is one of the dangers.
Like you will see, it does not control its strength and although you do not know the effect, I recommend that you take advantage of its strength when it is transformed into Golem.That is, if you hear the music again and it transforms into a villager, you will need it to be recuperated, since in each tranformation it can die if it's not at 100 % of life. If some priest converts it you can go and free the Golem, but be careful because sometimes it doesn't know and will keep being your enemy.
- The strength of your heros will increase if you are destroying your enemies.
At last, I assure you are going to have fun..."
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Spanish Italy is a historically themed campaign which depicts the struggle between the French and the Spanish for the control of Italy.
The general game play of the campaign is fairly enjoyable and interesting; the missions are diverse and vary from waging sea battles to guiding a single unit to a part of the map. However the game play is plagued by bugs and shortcomings. The author has used player 1 units in cut scenes which makes it possible for the player sometimes unknowingly to spoil them ,over that there are numerous bugs in the campaign(Eg-The gunpowder units don't become available even after I destroy the North tower).The most annoying part about the campaign was that some objectives kept repeating themselves, like for some reason, that French Paladin would pop up every now and then near my base and start killing a villager following which I needed to use a hero to engage that paladin in a duel to make peace with me, this worked fine the first time but it happened again(The paladin suddenly appeared and again and the objective changed as well).Also the objective of guiding the king to safety with the help of the villager appeared again even after I had finished it. The author seems to have forgotten to deactivate these looping objectives after their purpose was served. All these problems downplay the game play of the campaign in more than one way and need to be rectified if the author wants to present the campaign as truly enjoyable for the players. Till then the playability gets a unfortunate 3.
The campaign offers three difficulty levels for the players. The standard difficulty is easy enough and hints are provided and this level is easy enough. The moderate and hard levels offer a better challenge to the player when it comes to fulfilling the objectives. The disappointing aspect of the balance is that after the initial part of the campaign, there is no point where the player is pushed to the edge because of the challenge. After building my base, there was no point at which I felt even the slightest threat of losing the scenario regardless of the difficulty level. The author has made the objectives much challenging to achieve by increasing the hit point of siege weapons, trebuchets and castles but these only come as a annoyance because there is no fun in the challenge when it only consists of breaking down a 10000+ hp castle guarded by 5000 hp onagers which turns out to be a long and annoyingly difficult process. Needless to say the balance is not perfect despite of the three difficulty levels here.4
The author has shown creativity in story presentation and in map design. I liked the way there were historical updates with some objectives and some objectives were a bit different from the usual. The map was well designed and the town centers of the various settlements represented true cities with names. Music was pleasant except for the 'rock' music used during fights.4
This stands out as the best part of the campaign. The map was wonderfully designed and attention was put to small details. The topography of Italy has been as accurately recreated as possible in this game. Terrain mixing is perfect ad eye candy is never overused. The design of the cities of Venis and Milan was particularly impressive. Well done with the map design.5
Story is a piece of History which is well depicted. The instructions and objectives are laid out in good order. Hints have been provided with the objectives on Standard difficulty (a smart idea but I think is better to deny the hints for hard level only).There are some points in the campaign where it does seem difficult as to what I am supposed to do! So providing hints is going to be helpful (reduce the number of hints with the difficulty).Overall instructions are fairly provided and the story is interesting.5
Regardless of the ratings, this is a good campaign and it does provide good game play but the problems with the playability need to be addressed for it to be truly enjoyable. The author has gone a bit overboard with the balance as well by trying to make the cpx difficult but has only messed it up(There is no need for a 10000+ hp castle if it is well defended).Try to improve the departments in which I have mentioned the problems and update the campaign. When done I am certain that this campaign will get a better rating.
[Edited on 01/27/06 @ 09:01 AM]
Well,I was supposed to review this about two weeks ago but Life has caught up with me.
This wasn't the most fun game which I have encountered mostly due to the bugs on which occour quite frequently, Though it was still good though the instructions did seem at times to be a bit like riddles. Also when you are given the small fleet to destroy the strength of St jorge I 'discovered' the two Scillian towns before I was supposed to and created a large colony before I destroyed it. This I supposed was something i wasn't supposed to do.
Balance overall was Okay, though the start it a bit confusing especially as some serbians start to attack you fromt the other side of the forest. Which made me take more time over it. Although as Scelatar brought up the very High Hp of the onagers and the castles took me ages to break down the French.
The creativity is quite good though it is not as good as your scenario about the Turkey. There is loads of things to do in this scenario and it took me a few hours to complete.
Map Design: 5-
The map design was very good from the Balkands to Tunisa the map design varied on what climate there is. Though in The Balkands there were tigers and Jungle which I did feel was a bit out of place but as you can see I still gave it a 5.
The story was good being based on real History, though what let you down here is the instructions which confused me in some cirumstances. When a new objective comes up where you have to go perhaps put a map revelar there.
Additional Comments: This is a good scenario but you can make improvements. To begin with make how you can get out of the Serbian encampment clearer as it took me a while to work out. Put up Barriers to stop the player from ruining the story line such as me having the townns on Scilly before I was supposed to. Give more troops for the inital attack on St Jorge and doing that the score would improve.
Still it is a good scenario and i do recomend it to be downloaded.
Also Scelatar, there is nothing wrong with rock music.
[Edited on 02/13/06 @ 09:54 AM]