Posted on 08/05/06 @ 12:30 PM (updated 02/28/07
|Number of players:
Map Made by: z63
Take the battle into your hands, and decide the fate of Helm’s Deep!
Helm's Deep, Fortress of Rohan. It was believed that Helm's Deep would never fall while men defended it. No enemy had ever breached the Deeping Wall, or set foot inside the Hornburg. But the approaching enemy is the Uruk-hai of the White Hand, built for one purpose - the annihilation of the Human race. Tens of thousands of Uruk-hai march threateningly upon Helm's Deep and its outnumbered defenders. The Lothlórien Elves also take part in this siege with Rohan as a final contribution to their old Alliance. Meanwhile, Gandalf promises to bring aid in five days, if they can just hold out that long.
There are heroes defending the fortress now. Among them are Aragorn, heir of Isildur and of the original fellowship; Haldir, Elf-captain of the Lothlórien elves; Legolas the Elf of the original Fellowship; Gimli the Dwarf of the original Fellowship; Théoden, King of Rohan; Háma, his servant; Gamling the Old, servant of the king; and Éowyn, niece of the king.
Map Made by: z63
Full credit for the characters and plot of the Lord of the Rings goes to J.R.R. Tolkien.
This scenario is based on the "Helm's Deep" scenario for multiplayer StarCraft ... which is based on the book by J.R.R Tolkien. "Helm's Deep" was a very good (in my opinion) siege game. It was very aggressive. It required careful handling of key units and control over certain choke points. I was inspired by the game and thought it would be nice to be able to play it with Age of Empires II. Now here is the version for Age of Empires II: The Conquerors.
Attackers to win - Kill Théoden King (Elite Cataphract)
Defenders to win - Defend the King. Kill the Goblin Commander (Elite Woad Raider), the Orc Commander (Elite Huskarl), and the Uruk-hai Commander (Elite Jaguar Warrior).
Gandalf's reinforcements arrive in 120 hours (when you accumulate 120 gold).
This scenario is not perfectly accurate for the sake of fun. I have taken out the trees so as not to deter the onagers, and I have added in some new characters like goblins and dwarves.
-Put the scx file in your Age of Empires II Scenario folder.
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This scenario is about as fun as it gets. It is very addicting. The Rohanians having to survive, and keep pulling back is tons of fun and suspense. And the attackers having to kill King Theoden before Gandalf comes adds a sense of urgency for them. There is much strategy in it too. The defenders have to use their archers and siege weapons wisely, or they will have no chance. The attackers have to protect their siege weapons, also, and attack from the right spot.
The balance in this is as near to perfect as it gets. Almost every game I have played has been close. In most games, the defenders are on their last fortified spot, and then Gandalf comes with the Riders of Rohan. The defenders then have to find and kill the attacker's commanders. The unit spawns are balanced just about right, too, and the heroes for players are balanced well.
I have never seen a siege scenario in multiplayer before, therefore this gets a 5. The author executed the element of suspense into the siege well, too, adding the time when Gandalf comes. There is nothing rehashed that I have seen in this scenario.
Map Design: 5
The map design is an almost perfectly accurate depiction of Helm's Deep. It includes the culvert where the Uruk-hai make a breach in the wall in the LoTR books. It also contains the Gate to the keep, with a big path of cliffs in front of it. It includes the Horn of Hell Hammerhand also, and everything else there should be. The plains outside of Helm's Deep are a bit plain, but this is definitely not enough to lower it to a 4 in map design, since the main theme of the scenario is the city, and the plains are nothing but filler, for the enemies of Rohan.
The story in this is great, considering it is the story of one of the most successful book series of all time (Lord of the Rings). Also, the instructions are completely adequate, they are detailed, and if you read them you should have no problem understanding the game. Most of the game is common sense, though.
This is a great scenario, I recommend it for all to play. If you do not play this, you are missing out on a very fun experience.
[Edited on 10/10/06 @ 08:13 AM]
LotR Helm's Deep is a fixed-force battle with RPG elements. The two sides are set as teams, one of whom is attacking and the other is defending. Victory is achieved by either lasting for a set duration, or by killing the heroes of the LotR storyline. For the attacking players, and two of the five defending players, control is granted to a large army and the battle is an entertaining logistical challenge. However, three of the defending players have a hero unit and a small squadron of allied soldiers. This means that the game experience is very different for each player. While the array of units provided makes for an interesting mix, the map can become a repetitive grind as the combat is not varied.
The two sides are relatively fair, but the defending side can escape defeat by hiding their main hero away from the combat. This means that winning is much more difficult for the attacking force. Additionally, the previously mentioned disparity between players on the defending team means that some of the players are much less involved than others. A simple correction which would provide a more balanced and enjoyable scenario would be to give each defending player a short section of wall and soldiers to play with.
While a good deal of planning has been used to introduce a variety of mechanics to keep the battle fresh, it quickly becomes the same-old same-old. There isn't a great deal of variety to the gameplay. The reinforcements for all players are a little lacking, as they are essentially shut off into a corner. Units have been chosen seemingly for aesthetic rather than for for functionality, and there doesn't seem to have been much consideration given towards any tactical element.
Map Design: 3
While being broadly functional, the map is aesthetically lacking and lacks any degree of complexity. There is little use of elevation or variation of terrain. Although much of the map is extraneous space for storing the attacking and defending forces, more attention could have been paid to the combat zones.
Sufficent information and backstory is provided to immerse the players in the game. All the mechanics are described in detail.
[Edited on 08/04/15 @ 01:55 PM]
LoTR Helm's Deep is a map, based on a map, based on the movie. Whilst this may of been seen as an enjoyable map in the past, I feel it has some really difficult competition by today's standards of quality.
The map is playable, but it feels only viable for players 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Players 2, 3 and 8 do not gain any units during the course of play and have no means to keep their main unit alive. These units are regular soldiers with stat buffs, and with no monks to heal you - these players are easily defeat in the early game. The game also suffered from occasional lag bursts when playing only with myself and Popeychops (with the rest being standard AI).
The map has very little balance. For the players that do not begin with an army and spawning units, they only have a handful of units followed by one "main" unit which has a not-very-thought-out stat buff to put its health into the thousands with a rough attack buff of around 125. With no monks to heal this main unit, players 2, 3 and 8 are very easily defeated in the early game.
Players 1 and 7 have a limited pool of soldiers to defend Helms Deep. This is true enough to the movie/books, but in game-play proved highly unbalanced as they have little reinforcements compared to the overwhelming number of units the attackers (Players 4, 5 and 6) get. The goal of the defenders is to both prevent an Elite Cataphract (representing King Theodin) from dying as well as killing the three Orc chieftains. The attackers goal is to simply kill the Elite Cataphract - A goal which, when happens, results in an instant and unexplained defeat for the defenders.
These overwhelming odds hurt the balance immensely. In situations where you don't have all 8 players, with very skillful tactics from Players 1 and 7, the map is unwinnable for the defenders.
There has been many maps akin to this format; A lot of pre-placed units, or spawns, just mindlessly being sent in to attack against a similar set up. Although this is obviously an older scenario from a time where there wasn't quite the amount of scenarios just like this, I feel that creativity is still quite lacking. It's an interesting and ambitious idea but not one that stands up above other maps of its kind.
Map Design: 2
Very bland and unimaginative with a large use of flat grass-1 terrain, but roughly follows the over-all layout of the Helms Deep we see in the movie. Over-all I think the map could use some serious licks of paint.
There's a nicely detailed guide on how to play in the Hints, with overall objectives displayed in the Objectives. This score would be a pretty solid 5 if it weren't for the lack of description as to how the defenders would of lost, or attackers would of won. There was no grace period where it was explained that a specific character had been killed, meaning in the mass of units, the possibility of losing King Theodin and not actually realizing only to be greeted by sudden defeat was high.
[Edited on 08/05/15 @ 11:12 AM]