The Frankish Throne - Tsunami Studios
Posted on 07/07/02 @ 12:00 AM (updated 03/10/05
France, 1309. Seven years have elapsed since the day Thierry I was crowned. The new King’s policy has been entirely based on constantly waging war against England, Aragon and the German Empire, in a fanatic attempt to gain remembrance as France’s greatest ruler. That same ambition lies under the King’s most magnificent effort, the construction of Thierripolis, a large city that has become the kingdom’s new capital. And the gem of Thierripolis is St Thierry Cathedral, a vast monument to Thierry’s own glory (now a saint) built by hordes of workers, basically slaves. For in his arrogant madness, Thierry has canonized himself, a move for which a religious schism was required: thus the King created the new Frankish Church, led by the Frankpope in Thierripolis. In his delirium, Thierry I allows no dissidence. Nothing can stand between him and his sublime goal, and those who have tried have been executed or forced into exile. No means are rejected, even if it means that many French towns must be ransacked by the King’s armies.
||The Conquerors 1.0c
||Build and Destroy
|Number of scenarios:
The people hate him. The clergy, seeing their power greatly increased under the new theocentric State, support him with all their might. But the nobility can change the situation, as discontent rises among them day by day.
Now you, one of the most powerful noblemen in France, have decided something must be done. But, will the King listen to you? Or will you provoke a bloody conflict, a civil war? And will England and our other enemies remain neutral?
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
The Frankish Throne, by Sukkit
Campaign ID = 1047
Date Submitted = 2002-07-07
Map Design: 5
Review by KrAzY_KaRl - posted on
Ratings: Playability:4.5 Balance:4 Creativity:5 Map Design:5 Story/Instructions:5
The Frankish throne is an accurate historical account of the endings of the Hundred Years War between England and France. You lead the life of a Noble in that war.
And the result is very interesting....
PLAYABILITY: The Frankish Throne is an awesome scenario, It is mainly a B&D but has elements of a FF and the very basic ideals of an RPG in some areas. The game was very fun to play, in my opinion the best scenarios were the first and the last. The gameplay really made you feel like you were actually this man, and you were controlling his life and watching the events unfold around him. I liked the little things such as when villagers talk to each other and the soldiers patrolling in towns, its all very realistic and definately enjoyable. 5
BALANCE: The Frankish Throne was a fairly well balanced campaign, yet on several scenarios the difficulty was a bit overbearing. 4
CREATIVITY: There are several reasons why I found The Frankish Throne very creative.
firstly, I had seen things in the campaign I had never seen before. The whole concept of leading the Noble in the first scenario is almost magical. It feels like I had been connected with him, and that you care about his wellbeing. That all sounds a bit weird. But thats the kind of creative vibe you get from the game. 5
MAP DESIGN: By far the map design in The Frankish Throne is the best I've ever seen. Every inch of the map has been given great detail. The cities and towns look so realistic, and the use of GAIA objects is outstanding. The roads were excellently made, even tiny tiny details were added in. Eye candy was a-plenty. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The whole campaign was very historically accurate. The characters were also accurate and the story was easy to keep track of. Instructionwise the hints, scouts and objectives section were very helpful, and the player was never lost or uncertain. 5
OVERALL: I'd say this is definately the best custom campaign I've ever played, and i recommend everyone to try it.
[Edited on 02/22/06 @ 06:46 PM]
You get your money’s worth with this campaign. There are five playable scenarios, set in 14th century France in which you play on the side of an anonymous French noble as he struggles to wrest power from the incumbent king, through various rivalries, before finally ridding France of foreign intruders. The convincing and comprehensive history probably led the previous reviewer to comment that this is historical but in fact it is a fictional campaign. The first and last scenarios are basically FF style, with the middle three being B&D.
This is an enjoyable campaign with a variety of game styles, objectives, good map design and plenty of good ideas. In the B&D scenarios, although there is inherently a degree of similarity, the objectives are never to completely destroy your enemies so you do not have to tediously wade through endless troops, civilians and buildings. Although there is a fair amount of fighting to be done, the variety of objectives – such as destroy a particular building or person – make the game more interesting. There were one or two bugs or areas for slight improvement. In the first scenario approach at the eastern gate of Saumar did not trigger a diplomacy change (note: this is a known bug which is apparently random and incurable). Also, the relic must be placed in the monastery at the right time, too early and you lose control of the monk, so wait until you are told to do it. In the second scenario, it might be slightly better if enemies became allies after they resigned as they can be a minor irritation. In the third scenario, there is some rather annoyingly repetitive bird sounds and I experienced a little lag at the end. However, none of these seriously detracted from my enjoyment.
I played all five on hard. It’s difficult to give a meaningful overall score because there is considerable variation (on several of these categories I dithered over scoring 4 or 5). I found the first (strong, self-healing heroes combined with patience is unbeatable, although you have to be careful and the final scene in the square does require planning), second (enemies do not attack early much and there is plenty of gold) and final scenarios (providing you take the attack-immediately option) relatively easy. In the third, you face a slightly more aggressive enemy, there is less (easily accessible) gold and you have to fight your way through fairly heavy defences to find your target. The fourth was harder as red attacks fairly insistently, only abating when I took to the offensive, and cyan provided a very stout defence which had me casting worried looks at the size of my diminishing goldpile. (In general in B&D scenarios, I find that even if it is difficult to win, it is much more difficult to lose.) I found the final scenario unbeatable on hard, if the second option is taken, as, after venturing out on the offensive, I was attacked simultaneously by all three enemies. Overall, the balance works out quite well but individual scenarios could do with being made harder.
There are a number of creative touches. There is good use of sound effects, e.g patrolling soldiers, and music throughout. There are numerous conversations to be had with people you pass. The execution scene in the first scenario is a nice touch, as is, elsewhere, the priest in the woods, the starting option to attack or build-up, and the weapon of mass destruction (so they were hiding in 14th century France all the time).
MAP DESIGN (5)
Map design is very good, although I believe there is some scope for improvement. In the first scenario, the forest air is conjured up nicely, although elsewhere a minor niggle is that forests are a little too regular, with neat edges. There is good mixing of terrains and use of elevation. The design in all five scenarios is similar, but this is fair enough since they are set in the same geographical area. With the exception of Thierripolis, the town designs were not particularly interesting, a bit more variety and irregularity might have been in order.
Everything here is excellent. As I remarked in the forums, to convince someone that your fictional campaign actually happened is akin to Orson Welles’s feat with his radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. ‘History’ is comprehensive, objectives are clear, and ‘Scouts’ tells you what you need to know. Also, the story builds well. I spotted one or two spelling/grammar mistakes but by no means enough to dock a point.
All in all, a recommended download. Lots of fun, both in terms of quality and quantity.
[Edited on 03/14/05 @ 07:20 AM]
The Frankish throne is one of the best, if not the best, B&D campaigns I’ve ever played. You play as a nameless nobleman, starting a rebellion against the wicked king of France Thierry I, who is a scourge of the people and has been most unnice by moving the capitol from Paris to his new, slave-built Thierripolis. The campaign starts as an RPS/Fixed Force, then continues as Build & destroy through scenarios 2 to 4, to become FF again in the last one.
This campaign made my summer. I downloaded it when scouting the Blacksmith for something entertaining to waste my time on and I accidentally struck gold. Although the campaign can be a bit imbalanced at times, sometimes almost impossible, the humour and missions brings a give-me-more-feeling. I had problems pausing the game and go to sleep, which I don't usually have with neither AoK-campaigns, nor other games. Without giving away too much of the story, I can say that this alternate history lesson of the history of France is a great campaign, as well as a humorous, if not all that deep, story. The sound effects and music gave a great atmosphere to the game, although some of the music kept overlapping even on slow speed. What gives the minus to this awesome enjoyment is the last scenario, which seemed rushed. A battle with supposedly humongous armies ended up being a battle between 60 of my men and 25 of each enemy. Supposedly 7000 Frenchmen died during the fight, according to the aftermath, but the scenario itself didn't do justice to them, ending the fantastic campaign with a mediocre scenario. Also, in the fourth scenario, when the entire map had been cleaned from enemies, I had all relics, but I still didn't win. I even tried garrisoning them in different monasteries to get another effect, but nothing worked. In the end I just typed 'i r winner' to get through, as there was nothing left to do on the map. A note is also that the humour seemed to fade the more the campaign progress. For instance weren't the last two scenario very humorous whilst the first three had plenty of good jokes in them.
Despite this, giving a lower score here than a five would be unfair, for I thoroughly enjoyed this campaign, despite it's weak ending and few bugs. I could compare this to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I believe is the best book in the heptalogy, despite it's weak ending.
This is the weaker part of the campaign. While the scenarios 2 and 3 were more or less perfectly balanced for my taste, the others either lacked in challenge or were close to impossible. The first scenario had several places were winning was nearly impossible, for instance the fight against Thierry's last bguards at his castle, and the fight against the Frankpope and the Royal Army. In the fourth scenario, after taking control of Tours, holding off the Royal Army was hard. I eventually restarted the scenario, switching difficulty down to Standard and moving rapidly forward to Tours. Things went much better, but it still took ages before I had any chanse at all of stopping the flow of soldiers from the Royal base. Once the king was dead and the army defeated, taking Poitiers and Bourges was easy. Although it took long time and several huge armies to capture their relics, they never came out to face me or drive me off. They defended well, but had no offensive whatsoever. In the last scenario, I won at first try. Using some basic micromanagement and height advantages against the enemy armies, one at a time, I won easily. This scenario was much too easy, although I doubt I'd win if I just rushed in. Using the correct strategy, it was easy, but otherwise hard.
Overall, not perfectly balanced, but not that bad either. Some parts were imbalanced, some perfect, bringing it up to an above average score.
For this campaign, creativity is hard for me to rate. Looking at a grand scale, it's a very basic B&D campaign, with some elements or Fixed Force and RPS. I noticed some map copied houses, waterfalls and ruined fortresses scattered here and there throughout the campaign. The sense of realism with walkable forests and 'small boats only' in the rivers brings the score up, but it's still hard to miss that there are few creative things that stand out. One has to take into account that work on the campaign was started in 2002, when Age of Kings and its expansion were relatively uncharted games compared to the loads of tricks and knowledge we have of the game's structure today, but it was not finished and uploaded until in 2005. Despite this, the early scenario hold more creativity than the newer ones, such as smartly designed walkable woods, ruin fortresses and click-that-guy-to-continue-style dialogue. The first three scenarios also held most of the humour, such as nobles seeing it as a joke to finance the rebellion with their own money (they rather raid some villages instead) and the rushed marriage between the unnamed nobleman and the Lady Claudia d'Angers.
Overall, I would say that the creativity lowers in the last two scenarios, but still keeps up an overall high level. Therefore, a four would be a valid score.
MAP DESIGN: 5
In all honesty, this campaign didn't have any really superb areas of design, no awesome details, sometimes too little terrain mixing etc. But while playing the campaign, everything in it seemed just perfect, so fitting for the story and, especially, the B&D gameplay aspects. There were good amounts of recourses scattered out, with a need for conquest if you were to get larger sources of gold or stone. Some map copy tricks were used for good effect, there was a good amount of eye candy and elevation. The maps were all strategically wonderful, with castles situated in good defensive position, the need for using height advantages was often present. There was also a great sense of realism with the walkable woods and shallow rivers where only small boats could sail.
Although it doesn't have any simply awesome areas, the entire map design is perfectly suited for both the story and the gameplay of the campaign. Realism and great use of eye candy, elevation, cliffs etc. all bring the score up to a five.
STORY & INSTRUCTIONS: 5
As I've said, the story was well made, humorous with several great jokes. The alternate history of France, with King Thierry I and the wars after his downfall, worked marvellous for portraying and developing the campaign as it progressed. The characters weren't overly deep, so to say, but they were all comical figures who fitted to the story in a perfect way. Despite being quite shallow, this story was very broad, and it mattered a lot to the enjoyment of the campaign.
The instructions and hints were all very clear, I never got stuck or had to restart because the instructions were confusing (when I did restart it was my own fault). There were also good bitmaps for all scenarios, which boost the score even more. This definitely deserves the highest score here.
OVERALL: A great B&D adventure
IN CLOSING: A shallow yet broad story with lots of comical characters, challenging gameplay and wonderful design. A must download for anyone who likes B&Ds, and surely everyone else with the time to play.
RECOMMENDED DOWNLOAD: Yes.
[Edited on 07/20/08 @ 06:19 PM]