Made for the Protect-the Spot Competition. Submitted full of bugs and just short of the deadline. A real challenge to beat; personally, I think it fits well with the built-in difficulties. I didn't have time to refine it at all, but so it goes.
||The Conquerors 1.0c
Extract into your AoK folder.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
"Archerama" is a defend the spot scenario for the 2007 DtS, which while simple in nature and presentation managed to be a playable game, and a solid effort by the rookie known as "ringer"
The gameplay consisted of defending a burning tower from a horde of bandits and raiders, who are displeased at having their amusements disrupted by this fortification. I found this to be an enjoyable play, although the low difficulty puts a limit on how entertaining it can be for me. The player has a choice of squads at the start, which added some good replay value, but regardless of which setup you choose the AI forces are outmatched and easily cut down. I did enjoy the high HP values on the units, but providing monks with teutonic knights and onagers is a combination that is just asking for trouble. The lack of proper story elements was diminishing my enjoyment also, as the action lacks atmosphere;the player is given little reason to care about his men, nor will the battles here be particularly memorable. One annoyance was the oversized map;the action could have fit within a 25x25 size, and there was a goodly amount of walking with each replay to get to the tower.
A lack of any difficulty adjustment system made itself felt, as the game was simply too easy. Several runs to try out different selections of squads always resulted in a one sided annihiliation of the attacking force. I even made a run with simply leaving my men on defensive near the tower, and taking no action except sniping mangonels with the reinforcement knights;even without controlling my men, they still won through. Elite Tuetonic Knights with 200 HP and monk support going up against un-boosted feudal age units, throwing axemen and tarkans should set off alarm bells when balancing. Even the worst possible combination I could come up with, one relying on skirmishers for melee meat shields, was an easy win with my men left on stand ground except for the knights to snipe enemy siege.
The challenge issued by the scenario is a basic but good one for a DtS, holding a burning tower against a swarm of enemies. Unfortunately the complexity of the attack waves is quite low, with their force lacking the ability to handle the players strong units with the exception of their mangonels and petards, including a surprise mangonel spawn in behind the players tower. Including some units in the attack waves that could handle ETK or challenge other certain units could have been nice;Samurai or Jaguar Warriors, or some Mangudai that can potentially snipe the players Onagers, if selected.
While simple in nature the game had some nice touches to differentiate it from other DtS, and is a reasonable attempt at making a good game. The squad system with the player selecting his troops he wishes to deploy is the main interesting point;the gameplay itself while solid is fairly simple. Providing the player with Herbal Medicine is a small but nice touch;its pretty annoying how many scenarios fail to provide this essential tech, which reduces frustration from how slow building heal rates.
Map Design 2
Right off the bat, the player must endure a large expanse of unbroken white cobblestone terrain for the base of a city. There is some broken up cobble later on, and the city transitions into more acceptable terrain, but the visual impact this leaves is a very poor one. The buildings in this city are very symmetrical in placement. The terrain elsewhere is reasonable, but considering the visible playable area could easily fit on a 25x25 map or several screenshots, its rather underwhelming;the smaller the area, the better the detailing tends to be on these maps. The leaf terrain along the road is quite splotchy, being poorly mixed into the grass with some simple oak tree placement. The area around the tower is decent, but the placement of gaia objects leaves much to be desired with forage bushes leaving white outlines visible. Both oak and pine forests were placed with the terrain tool, and completely separate from one another. Seemingly the author is unaware of the ubiquitous bushes which might have helped make the scene look better. Its enough for a 3 normally but not on a map of this size.
The is a basic storyline of some king building a tower and hastily ordering a knight to defend it before fleeing the town, but that's about it. Hints, scouts report, history tab and the objectives have about a sentence each, and not an interesting one at that. The atmosphere suffered as a result of this, and there was little to cause the player to become invested into the action.
Final Thoughts:Its a playable DtS that is worth a go. A lack of technical excellence in mapping and story has dragged down the scoring substantially, but its a good try for a first scenario.