Mini Scenario - The Spanish Invasion
This is based on the concept of minimalism, except it uses more triggers and a very detailed map.
The Spanish have landed in Central America. You, the Aztecs, must drive out the Spanish and keep them from overtaking you. You are in an arena. At one end is your base, with a castle, siege workshop, and barracks. At the other end is the Spanish base, with plenty of soldiers, a tower, and a flag. The object is to bring 4 units to the flag. If your gate gets destroyed, you lose. Seems easy, right?
Wrong. The twist I have added is that you can only have about 4-6 units at a time. Your enemy has an army of 132. Your units, however, can gain an +50 attack bonus for 150 food per unit. You start with 10,000 food, wood, and gold. The food will get replenished for however many kills you make. The gold, however, is limited.
The Spanish have certain superpowered units, such as champions, hand cannoneers, bombard cannons, conquistadors, and cavalry. They have a more numerous army of halberdiers, which are relatively weak, but can do damage in large numbers. Overall, the Aztecs have an uphill climb.
They are limited to the amount of soldiers they can make, but they can produce different combinations of Eagle and Jaguar Warriors, siege weapons, and infantry. Pick the combination that works best for you.
Scattered in the arena are a number of crates. Some may help you, while others harm you. One has food, another has a horse which you can train a rider with. Another has a cart of gunpowder, which you can create a cannon with. Another is a trap, which is explosives that damage your men around it.
There is a pool of drinking water outside the Spanish base. If you bring a wounded soldier to it, you can heal him for 1000 food per 5 HP. Just be careful how much you spend!
There are some hand cannoneers on high ledges waiting to snipe you down. If you sneak up behind them, they won't know you are there, and you can kill them in secret.
Battle for control of your homeland!
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Lots of fun as long as you don't take advantage of the lack of balance. It entertains you for a while when you try to figure out every possible way of getting to the end successfuly...
Way to easy...Might take you a while to figure out why but once you learn that you can deliver total ownage with massed up scorpions then you are pretty much done with it.
Never seen anything like it before, very inovative at least in my point of view. It is certaintly not what your used to doing in Age of Empires at least.
Map Design: 5
Well I can't really bring the rating down for no reaosn, so I give it a 5 because theres nothing bad to bring the score down. Not saying it's perfect, however, the map it self is very small but yet it looks good so I guess I dont have much to rate to begin with.
Instructions are clear enough, there is no story since it's a "mini game" so I can't bring it down since the author him self said it was a mini-game. What's the story of Pacman?
This is an interesting little scenario, a variation on a theme with a simple premise and with enough thought from the author to make it quite diverting. In essence, you have starting resources which you must choose how to spend at your few military buildings in order to battle through the enemy to reach the target area. There are one or two bugs/issues which, if addressed would I think make it more interesting and challenging.
I did enjoy this, partly because I lost twice before winning and that’s quite unusual and I always like to be challenged. Once you work out the ins and outs there is a fairly simple strategy which will ensure victory. In fact, once you’ve worked the game out it becomes far too easy and there is no pressure, something which would be remedied by, for example, stipulating a time limit. But the requirement to protect your gate is a nice addition and means you must not only pay attention to attacking – I lost twice this way. The objectives and hints are basically fine. There is an issue which is quite significant, I’m not sure if it’s a bug as I find it hard to believe that the author, otherwise so careful, could have missed it. Although you are limited to four infantry units at any one time, this limit does not apply to siege units. This has a drastic effect, which even if intentional, should be reconsidered. Admittedly, it might merely slow down one’s inevitable victory, but it seems to run counter to the author’s intentions. Another thing which upsets the balance is the attack bonus which in my view is too big and/or too cheap. Reduce the amout and/or make it much more expensive. A procession of beefed-up units (one type in particular) will make mincemeat of the enemy (and I was nowhere near running out of resources by the end). The narrowness of the path from the base to the gate became very frustrating as every siege unit got stuck. I assume the author deliberately wanted bottlenecks but I found it really irritating and I can’t see that it adds anything. Now a few less significant things. The bonus (wrongly described in the hints as a health bonus) only seems to work if more than one unit is on the flags which may be a trigger error. I didn’t get my cavalry unit when I brought it to the castle because I assume a unit was standing where it should have been created. I could have anticipated this but it might be an idea to mention in the hints to keep an area free. Finally, to add a little polish, hide the player one villager in the top corner (is it even needed?)!
I played on Hard and Standard and I could not discern any difference other than AoK’s built-in difficulty features (which are partially negated by the changes made to units’ stats). In my view this is a shortcoming as a scenario should try to cater for as wide a range of playing abilities as possible. This could be done by, for example, varying player one’s resources, the size of the enemy, player one bonuses etc. There is a good chance that you won’t win this at the first attempt, which is an advance on most other designs I’ve played (and according to the guidelines an indicator of good balance), but even so, as I mentioned above, a few changes here and there could significantly improve the balance and make this much more challenging.
It’s a creative idea, the author has clearly thought about all the details, the bonuses, the healing section, the strength and composition of the enemy army and the choices available to the player. Although I don’t think he’s got it quite right in all departments, the design is a good attempt to keep AoK, a seven year-old game, fresh, and makes a pleasant change from straightforward fixed-force or build and destroy.
MAP DESIGN (4)
The map on show covers a small area but is well done, and again clearly has been thought about. My only complaint is referred to above – the bottlenecks seem to be an artificial way of making the game more difficult, but the player cannot overcome this using skill so it merely becomes a frustration rather than an interesting challenge.
There is a one-line story, but the objectives and hints are fine and there are victory and defeat messages.