The sea maze of Melnibone
Posted on 01/26/07 @ 01:02 AM (updated 04/08/07
The Sea Maze of Melnibone
||Build and Destroy
Elric of Melnibone has been ousted from his throne by his cousin prince Yrkoon. For revenge, he has sought the help of the Sea Lords of the Purple Towns, promising them the riches of Imrryr, the capital and great city of Melnibone.
You play as the fleet of the purple towns and you have to destroy Imrryr, the greatest and most advanced city in the world.
This is a great sea maze through which you have to manipulate your huge navy facing various dangers such as towers, castles, siege onagers, rocks and maelstorms. You get paid gold on destroying castles, docks, storehouses etc.
The game is a B & D style, but you only have to train units, resource gathering isn't important. I originally designed the map about a month ago as an exercise in map design but in the last few days I have put the triggers and it turns out to be a good game.
The story is taken from the book 'The Weird of the White Wolf' by Michael Moorcock.
Installation: put the scx file in your scenario folder, ai files in AI folder, music(mp3) files in sound/scenario folder.
Oliver - Ocean waves utility
Sceletar - music from Crusade-the beginning
Zanzard Lothar - immobile ai gold
Julius999 - playtesting
Updated! Better map, easier game with fewer towers, less damage by rocks and maelstorms, slower spawn attack.
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The Sea Maze of Melnibone is a scenario that mixes naval and land fighting. I cannot say I enjoyed it as much as others here seemed to do, and I would appretiate if someone that liked it more than I reviewed it too, to give a more broad picture of the scenario.
Anyway, here is my review.
At first I thought this was a great idea. "A sea maze? Why didnt I think of that before?" When I started playing, my fleet was harassed by the turtle ships and I had to restart. The second time I managed to minimize the losses by preparing myself and I even converted some turtle ships with the ABGALs (aka Boarding Galleys).
When I first attacked the maze-guards I thought I would stand a chanse of razing some towers with my ships. I did not. the towers had enourmous bonuses against ships and I had to take the far eastern way to at all manage to get through. This frustrated me. I could hardly manage to get through at the easiest way because my ships crashed at rocks, even if they wheren't even by them! Then there was all towers that made it almost impossible to transport my trebuchets to new lands.
After I had played a while I learned how to handle the situations, but the ships crashing against the rocks where very irritating. If it only had effect when ships actually where ON the rocks it would be better, not it they where 1 unit-line away fom them.
When I managed to get through my forces where slaughtered by the coastal defenses. It took much time to take the coast and the defenses where almost too strong. But same here, I learned. At last I managed to get through and raid the city for gold. It took a lot of time and many transports crashed on rocks when I didnt take them square by square manually forward.
Summarily, I did enjoy this game, but it was very frustrating. I dont think it was mediocre, it was original and hard (too hard for me :P), but not very good either. And so it gets a weak 4, neither mediocre nor great.
As I proclaimed throughout the Playability cathegory, I found this game very frustrating since it was so hard to win. And now, remember that I played on the Standard difficulty. I can only imagine the higher levels...
Anyhow, the game wasn't catastrophic. Everything was possible to accomplish, it just took some time... very much time. Then there was the rocks that my ships crashed into when they where 1 square away. And lastly the towers that sunk any ship that came in the way. Not even the cannon galleons had any chanse against them, they where sunk at the third tower!
So balance is not the strongest part in the scenario, only if you want a real challenge and a frustrating hour or two in fron of the computer. I have nothing against challenges, I like them, but not frustratingly hard challenges. So a 3
The theme for this scenario is brand new to my knowledge. Naval scenarios aren't common, mazes neither. Both mixed together must be all new. That alone would give a high score. And if there where several other creative things, it might even have got a 5 here. But apart from the theme, there wasn't much. There was a builder and his workers that could build a castle and a monk that needed a junk and a few small things, but not much more.
Therefore a 4.
MAP DESIGN: 3+
Propably what I was most disappointed with. The map was bland and the forests and bamboo's where squarey. The road ground where the castle was to be built was plain Road Broken and the city was mostly made of road and dirt. the forest around was squarey and not mixed.
There where however eye-candy and some placed with mixed terrain, but not very much.
Too bad, but this I say is just slightly better than a random map. This is also the part you can evolve the most.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4-
This scenario had a story, though it was pretty unclear in the beginning. Your objective is to raid a big city for 10 000 gold and your hero Elric must survive. There's no background story for Elric or the other heroes, neither is there for the city or your country/tribe.
The history is present, but not very well developed. This could've been much better and it would be rather easy to evolve it.
The instructions were better. They tell how to avoid the hardest parts of the scenario and many other usefull things.
It gives a 4, though a weak one thanks to the weak story.
Summary, 3.6. Thats a low rating for a creative scenario. I think you should update it and make more differenses for the different levels, remake the story and design in most places. Then I would surely give a higher score.
IN CLOSING: A good scenario for hardcore players. Needs some serious polishing but the basic idea is a goodie.