‘Saxon Invasion of Britain’ is a single scenario campaign depicting a war between raiding tribes of Saxons, Jutes and others, trying to invade Britain with all their might. The scenario takes place during the 6th century and you play as a small Saxon force, at first defending Britain from Celt raiders, but later decide to switch sides and take Britain for your own. This is a scenario I recommend to anyone who reads this.
I had great fun playing this scenario. I played on the Hard difficulty and the beginning battle against the Celt raiders took three tries to complete. Although I never lost after this, the British defenders were able to bring some good damage to my troops and fend off many attacks on the castle. But before this, when I was supposed to land in Britain and build a forward base, I had great problems finishing the task. The British had far greater armies than me and it took two hours (fast speed) just to set up the base and fend off the British. One hour later, I had finished the game.
The gameplay was simple laid out, switching from Fixed Force to Build & Destroy, with only a few objectives throughout the game, that each took some good time to accomplish. The beginning, when you're to fight the Celt raiders, was hard, until you found the proper strategy. I had to take advantage both of heights and the immobility of enemy units in narrow areas to win. Despite this, I only had a fourth of my beginning soldiers left once I had defeated the Celts.
The farther I came, the harder it became. Setting up the camp took great time, and in the end it was very irritating. Once the base was set up, the major part of the British army fent off, I could build up my army without being interrupted all too often. The attack on the British castle took some time to win, although it didn't become tedious as the landing part. My armies of around 100 men suffered severe damage until the defenses were weakened enough for a last army to finish the job. Almost three hours of gameplay, in all very enjoyable, although some parts became tedious after a while (2 hours). The scenario also reminded me of the old ES campaigns, which of course was a good feeling as it brought back a lot of nostalgia.
There were no bugs or lag or anything of the kind, however, a few gameplay enhancing features, like more and/or more varied missions, would've been nice, removing the slight repetativity that one could see at times.
It might not have been the most enjoyable scenario ever made, but it's definately worth the download and a way above average score.
I played this scenario twice, first on Moderate and later on Hard. On moderate, winning everything was a piece of cake. On hard, it was close to impossible until the last part. It varies a great deal between the levels, Moderate feeling like an Easy setting and Hard much more fitting for its name. On moderate, I never felt threatened. Even though the battles became harder and harder as I progressed, the British never attacked me. They defended well, at least at the castle and the center town, what now is London, but they never came to face me.
On Hard though, landing an attack force with success took several tries before I was successful, and because of my very restricted gold recourse, a lot of trading of wood had to be done. It took two hours before I had made a successful landing and set up a forward base, which was very tedious in the last half of the time.
Overall, the scenario was unbalanced on Moderate, giving the impression of playing on Standard or lower level. But on hard it was very good, apart for some missions being so hard to accomplish that they became tedious.
The scenario was definately not sparkling with creativity, tricks and awesome details, but the style the scenario shows is creative in itself since it's quite rare these days. It's a simple B&D scenario, much like the traditional ES-campaigns, with great stretgic layout and a good deal of realism rather than cluttered eye candy. But other than this there is little to brag about. I give a medium score here, but with a plus because of the unique theme.
MAP DESIGN: 4
Although the map could need a good deal more of terrain mixing, it was an overall well executed map. As said before it had lots of strategic layout with hills and battlefields ready for usage, as well as a balanced ammount of eye candy and a good deal of realism. The green fields and rocky shores looked amazing, while other spots could have needed more mixing and creative thinking. One lesser good part is the ocean, which is purely made up of deep water, with medium and shallow water near land.
Overall nothing outstanding, but wonderfully suiting for the story and gameplay.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 4
The story was, although quite shallow, a historically based one, depicting a real event in history. As it was the story of an army, not specific persons, it didn't matter much if it was deep or not. It could've been made better if there were some leading figures, like a real name for the Saxon leader, but of course I only reccomend changing this if it stays true to history.
The instructions were easy to follow and, although few, they presented the scenario quite well, giving a brief image of what was going on, enough to get the player into the situation. The hints were good as well, not too much given away of the gameplay.
In all, nothing deep or outstanding, but quite good, enough to get an image of what you're doing and dealing with and to bring clarity to who you are and what you're fighting for.
IN CLOSING: A quite enjoyable scenario with some wonderful parts, mixed with more regular stuff. A great scenario to play if you have a few hours left to kill.
RECOMMENDED DOWNLOAD: Yes.
[Edited on 07/01/08 @ 03:00 PM]