Posted on 08/26/06 @ 11:54 AM (updated 07/30/07
DEFEND THE ISLAND
~ The Full Series ~
Because of limitations in the Blacksmith and the server, Tanneur has asked/ordered me to gather the DTI maps in one same file. I would have preferred to have them split up, but with these circumstances my personal arguments aren't much to use, so I better do the best of the situation.
The full series edition of Defend the Island brings you
• All three scenarios in the series
• 10 Mb of music and sound effects for all scenarios
• History about the making of the DTI maps
• Three maps of actionpacked naval and land warfare
• Gameplay alongside and against the British, and against the gathered naval forces of the world
the Defense of Greenside
Find yourself in the 18th century's Caribbean. The island Greenside, owned by the british counsuler Washington, is since a hundred years threatened by the growing Spanish empire. Now it's getting worse. The Spaniards are invading Greenside, and they want to totally erase it from the earth!
the Battle of Diamonda
35 years has passed since Greenside was ravaged by the Spanish fleet and saved in the last second by the British. The city never got over the war and Greenside collapsed slowly from within. In the end, it turned into a pirate-port and its called, folkspeech, Tortuga.
Many seamiles away, another islands rises from the sea. This one is called Diamonda, because it's founder was very fond of the diamonds he found on the island. The founder, Captain Argus, was 89 years when he found the island and its much likely he took glass for diamonds since he was senile and overall empty-headed. When he was young he had been a superb captain at the sea. In his older days, he had gone mad.
Five years after Argus' death, more people settled on the island, mostly because it was a peaceful island under no one's rule. That changed when the British empire claimed it. The people didnt oppose them and could live in peace and build up a mighty city that supported the British and actually built most of the ships that came to save greenside in the end.
Peace had ruled for a hundred years since Argus died, until today, when the latest Counsuler claimed himself Emperor of Diamonda and broke the allianse with both the Spaniards and Britons. It was a foolish decision. The British Empire had just ended the wars and had gained more control in India. More and and more men came from all over the world to support the British navy and it was stronger than ever. The "Emperor", Counsuler Fatasius, didnt know this, since he's only interested in food and women.
And if this wasn't enough, Spain has sent a force to take control of the island, to avenge the loss at Greenside, 35 years ago. And as always in the Caribbean, there's loads of pirates lurking everywhere...
The Last Stand
It's the dawn of the 19th century, and the British Empire is at the peak of it's power. All nations that once dared to challenge Britain has been defeated or conquered. Spain has given up fighting the British fleet and the Chinese has opened their borders for foreign traders. Japan is moving towards China's ideas, and the north of the New World is under British and French control. The new so called United States of America, have demolished an army of one million british soldiers, but they are catching up. With America lost, the British now concentrate on their naval warfare, just as in the old days.
The later British naval warfare has been coloured by two giant battles. The fight for Greenside in 1751, and the loss at DSiamonda in 1786. Both battles ended as failures for the Empire. Greenside fell into the hands of the Pirates, renaming it Tortuga. Diamonda and it's excellent war vessels managed to hold off the massive Broitish fleet and declare independense. Also here, Pirates later on ravaged the remains of the city, and diamonda is now an abandoned pile of rubble, floating in the sea.
The British now concentrate on getting rid of the pirates on the seas, to secure their oceanic traderoutes, and their plans are working.
Almost all pirates have been defeated, all but three clans. The first clan defeated the British at Shipwreck Cove, only a few years ago. The last two is the Pirate Queen, the legendary pink-haired woman that ravages the Pacific, and the Norse Pirates, the Pirates led by the last decendants of the Vikings - Balin and Klaas.
Balin and Klaas have their stronghold in an islandcity called Nya Birka, an exotic island in the Caribbean. The Pirate Queen hasn't been sighted for five years, when her entire fleet was sighted in a snowstorm in southern Argentina, the colonies of Spain.
You'll know take command over the Norse Pirates, and you have to hold off the British, one last time...
All three scenarios can be played on any difficulty. The enemies become stronger and smarter on the higher levels, and Standard is only recommended to newer players. Moderate is the average level, which I recommend to all players, apart for those who live to reload games after losing
You can either play the scenarios one by one from the editor, or play them in the campaign format. It's only in the campaign that you get to see the bitmaps for all scenarios, as well as to read the instructions before starting to play.
Where to install the files is told in the ReadMe file. Credits are included in a separate file.
The fourth DTI map was an entry for, and also winner of, the Defend the Spot Contest, hosted by Jatayu (Blacksmith name; Sword_of_STORM) in the end of 2007. Therefor it was hosted as a separate scenario, which you can download here.
The fifth Defend the Island map is a separate, on-going project which brings te DTI series into the Multiplayer world. It is planned to be released somtime in late 2008.
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Defend the Island is a fun, action-packed scenario which sees you (the British) try to resist a massive assault by the Spanish fleet, with heavy influence from Pirates of the Carribean.
This review has been edited to apply to the new version.
For me this scenario was great fun, however it still had problems (a downside to this type of scenario). The good parts are that you get a well fortified island and plentiful resources, and you have to fight off a much superior force and survive for 30 minutes. The chaotic management of your island and resources is fun as you try everything you can to preserve Greenside Castle in a rearguard action. However on standard the AI resigns very quickly, which is annoying. There is the problem that if you run out of docks it is very difficult to win, but in his last edit the author made more docks and also by changing some of the attacks made it easier to protect them. There is just not that edge for a straight 5 unfortunately.
There is also still no castle capture dialogue, I'm not sure if you intended to add it, and if you did whether you got the trigger wrong.
The scenario is extremely balanced with difficulty dynamics and forcing the player (who has a finite supply of resources, so can run out) to build the correct units and try not to let Greenside Castle be over-whelmed. It was good to see Washington's hp reduced to a "mere" 1000, now he is more in need of protection, but I have to say I have not lost one of his hp at any time in any version.
This scenario was fairly creative, but this is far from a new concept. The pirates I enjoyed with their little song and several nice pieces of dialogue. Also I have never before seen a scenario mostly based on sea. I couldn't give it a great score though as many "survive until X" victory conditions have been done before.
Map Design: 4
Although the author does not place emphasis on it, the map design is not bad at all, and suits the purpose very well. It might be nice to make the island a little bigger and more spaced out, but on the whole this was good.
Reasonable story, although for something like this it was obviously not the main element. All instructions were clear and there was a nice picture on the scenario instructions.
Additional Comments: Overall, I recommend this, especially as the author has done a number of updates to improve this hugely.
+Music (not mentioned, but good)
-Not able to build new docks
[Edited on 09/02/06 @ 02:38 PM]
The turn of the eighteenth century, the British naval dominance reaching its height. No longer safe havens for pirates, the carribean seas are turning into deadly battlegrounds between the rising British empire and the decadent Spanish. Follow through their bloody history in Lord Basse's 'Defend the island' series of Build and Destory scenarios, inspired by the popular Pirates of the Carribean movies. Action packed and exciting made even better with several music tracks, you will definitely not regret downloading this.
This 3 scenario campaign has all the elements you would expect in good 'defend the spot' scenarios. With enormous masses of ships attacking on every side and huge landing parties invading the island, there is rarely a moment to pause for breath. Each scenario you have to hold off massive invading forces for some time (usually 30 min) and then clean out the remaining armies.
There weren't really any bugs in any of the scenarios. The third scenario had a lot of lag for a minute when the British invaded, I had to keep using the pause key and shifting views. Also, in all the scenarios you had to go through the tedious procedure of destroying all the ships that were left which would more often than not be a colossal number, and take another half an hour to destroy, which isn't particularly interesting. For these reasons I can't give you 5 here, but I enjoyed it a lot.
The first two scenarios are not particularly well balanced, primarily because immobile AI is used which just clogs up masses of ships in certain areas and isn't very hard to destroy later. The third has aggressive AI which is a lot smarter and thus that scenario is much harder. Massed longbowmen are the key to winning the first two, whereas in the third you have to think more strategically and use knights, swordsmen, hand cannoneers etc. As for the naval part, demolition ships helped a lot in clearing huge masses of ships.
I played all scenarios on hard, and found it overall easy. However I had played the scenarios on moderate before and knew what to expect. The third scenario however was a real challenge, I could not retain any part of the sea until after the spawning stopped and had to reload sometimes when the two heroes died. Nevertheless I could finish the third without my palace or lighthouse getting destroyed.
Firstly, defend the spot scenarios being so common, the gameplay wasn't very new or had special tricks. However a pretty good representation of naval battles, with every ship available from Aok:TC , humorous dialogues and good use of Pirates of the Carribean music tracks make these scenarios stand apart. The idea of holding off spawning attacks is taken to the best degree possible in these scenarios and frankly I can't imagine that it could be done any better. The third scenario especially is a great tribute to Pirates of the Carribean.
Map design: 4
Map design has to be judged separately for each scenario. The first scenario was unattractive without much eyecandy or terrain mixing. The second was better than a random map, having improved terrain and including ocean waves. The third, undoubtedly the best scenario has superb map design, with clear coastlines, beaches, fortifications, docks, farm areas, etc. The terrain of the third is also strategic in the sense that the paths through which the enemies come and attack can be held off by bombard towers and castles and cavalry can outflank and destroy the bombard cannons. Also it has eyecandy like lighthouses, reefs etc. I would rate map design 3 for the first, 4 for the second , and 5 for the third scenario, thus giving an average of 4.
The instructions are quite adequate, being simply to hold out for some time and not let certain heroes die. There are also good hints (though I didn't need them) and bitmaps accompanying each map.
There is a story involved with each scenario. It isn't very deep or emotional, but it suits the game very well and has occasional humorous dialogues. The author also took great pains to write a history and aftermath for every scenario. Also the author has put up elaborate credits sections and installation instructions. A definite 5 here.
Additional comments: This series of maps is highly recommended for download. Although it started out very simply, it improved over the course of three scenarios and the third is the crowning jewel of the lot. If I had reviewed every scenario independantly, I would have given 4.0 to first 2 and 4.6 to the third, however I think a 4.4 is a correct score overall. This adds a new dimension to defend the spot genre and naval warfare.
[Edited on 08/05/07 @ 12:33 PM]