'Epic battle' is a scenario about the great war of Kurukshetra in the Mahabharat, a very important great epic in Hindu mythology. I came across this scenario while randomly browsing through the blacksmith, and since the theme seemed interesting I downloaded it. Here is my review of it.
Well this game simply consists of two huge armies fighting each other. You get to control an army of about 250 units and so does your enemy. You have 7 or 8 heroes on either side and anyone who does not know the story will not understand why 'Arjuna and Krishna' or 'Nakul and Sahadeva' are on the same horse (they are represented as cavalry archers) In the actual battle they were on chariots. Every time a hero dies you get a message saying so and so hero has died, and the killing of certain heroes meant that you lose. It is rather boring and difficult to manage so many units. Because it was difficult to win it held my interest for some time and therefore gets a 2.
Ok, the battle is 250 units (you) vs another 250 units (enemy) with strong heroes on both sides, both Persians. Easy? Well no. The standard AI is used, which manages large armies pretty well on hardest (I played on hardest) and they have halberdiers too which can take down your elephants. I lost the first time because Yudhistir (a king unit) got killed in the middle. In the actual battle, both sides were fairly balanced, the Pandavas had 7 Akshauhinis (divisions) and the Kauravas had 11, with each divison having 200,000 men along with elephants, chariots and horses. A lot of 'formations' and 'tactics' were used too, but sadly nothing is mentioned in the scenario.
I took a long time to win, and the game was hard, so it gets 4 here.
No creativity at all. The representation of the 'epic battle' simply boiled down to two huge armies battling each other on a plain map. The representation of chariots used by the commanders on each side would have been much better accomplished using war wagons than cavalry archers. The theme is that of the 18 day war of the Mahabharat, a very important event in Indian mythology, however it is hardly mentioned at all and is thus a poor implementation of it. The story and background is not mentioned. To put it simply, two enormous armies fighting each other on a grass1 map without any clear reason is not a very creative idea and hence a 1.
Map Design: 1
A pathetic map with mostly grass1, and a few attempts to put cliffs, elevations , forests and water in random places. A battlefield does not need much eye-candy but the map is not appealing at all.
The only instructions mentioned were that you must not let your army be destroyed and you must kill the enemy commanders Bhishma, Karna and Duryodhan. However you are not told losing which commanders would cause you to lose thereby causing confusion, I give a 2 here.
There is no story mentioned, or any efforts at giving one. No one without prior knowledge of the Kurukshetra war would understand the scenario at all. The backgorund of the war and WHY it was fought is not given, neither are the history of the characters (heroes). In addition, the religious and other motifs associated with the great war are not shown at all. It does not look 'epic' in any sense. In fact from the scenario it looks as if the designer had no knowledge of the Kurukshetra war whatsoever except for the names of a dozen commanders.
It's a rare thing to find a scenario based in India in AoC, and this one is rather poor. If the author is still around, I would advise him to look at a few great FF battles like Tannberg and learn from them. On the other hand I have played many poor scenarios lately and this is not the worst, especially for a beginner. It made some sense to me.
To the downloader: Do not download unless you want to fight a big battle for no apparent reason. It is not too easy to win.