Posted on 04/07/08 @ 08:24 PM (updated 04/11/08
Hi everyone! I'm back, after a while. It's been a long time since I visited this site.
Okay. Back to reality. Let's face it, my fixed force scenarios are my best ones. So I made another.
Basically, you have an army, and you use it to defeat other armies. It sort of has a story, but it doesn't really affect anything. You do have some objectives, but they are quite simple. And you need the AI.
-Fight using 16 square soldiers on a big map.
-Hunt down bandits in the Royal Forest, one of the hardest terrains ever.
-Battle the Eastern Arc, the strongest Asian military formation you'll face.
-Deafeat Muslim War Elephants and destroy their Mosque
-Go for a boat ride on the Lost Lake and discover secrets.
Also, don't open the file in the scenario editor. You can, but don't look at the triggers. I would submit this as a campaign, but it doesn't have a story, and you may want to edit it.....
So, enjoy. And tell me what you think of it.
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In this game, you take command of a large army and must defeat 3 allied enemy armies - the Bandits, the Eastern Arc, and the Muslims. There is no resource gathering, and the game is simply a matter of tactics - how to use your 250 men to beat 1116 enemy soldiers. This is made difficult by a wall of scattered trees (the Royal Forest) down the centre of the map. To the north is a corner of sea, which may be explored later in the game.
Some idea of the nature of the game may be obtained if I say that I never had cause to use my 50-odd champions; and that I slew all 1116 enemies to the loss of only 61 of my own soldiers, 49 of whom were killed by the Eastern Arc, whose combination of samurai, chu ko nu, and war wagons proved a little tough when their numbers were substantially superior. Looking back, a mixture of carelessness and fear of enemy numbers early on led to my losing more troops than I really should have done.
The game was a bit long and, latterly, predictable. There wasn't really enough to engage one whilst manouvering across the field. Also, I spent a considerable amount of time looking for one last, lost soldier in the forest at the end of the game - this is frustrating, although I don't know how you avoid that.
I was soundly defeated on my first attempt, and only made my steady advance once I knew what lay ahead of me on my second attempt. You could hardly make the enemy armies larger - I think that the scenario is inherently one that lends itself to overwhelming victories obtained with patience and care, rather than that the forces are ill-matched, as such. Perhaps towers, troops appearing behind lines (a better idea), or fewer troops one one's own side might have made it more challenging?
The scenario was not especially creative. The idea of making a wood out of dotted trees, the construction of the mosque, an aspect of the sea to the north - these are moderately creative touches, but the scenario lacks excitement and spark, and is essentially a march of a lot of good troops over a map to shoot up a lot of other good troops.
Map Design: 4
Although the map is flat and green, a substantial amount of effort has been made to enliven it, with sand, leaves, plants, flowers, a few small mounds. The wood down the centre is very well designed for the scenario, and I enjoyed turning this obstacle to my advantage! It isn't anything like realistic enough to get a 5, but it's a decent map and is designed appropriately for the scenario.
Hints, History, and Scenario Instructions are all filled in, along with the win and lose messages, fairly thoroughly. The story is not intended to be critical to the scenario and just makes it a bit more entertaining. Spelling and grammar pass muster, ths hints are the right ones for the scenario.
I don't regret downloading the scenario, and hope the above review does not come across too harshly - but it is quite easy to suggest improvements to this scenario, from a more realistic map, to more "interest" (eg troops emerging from bushes to the rear, puzzling difficulties to solve rather than merely carrying out a fairly simply plan, etc), to more story involvement in the game, to making your army smaller, if only by dropping the champions to make one feel rather more tension and nervousness. But if you just want to be given some troops and to go off and beat some enemy troops, on a decent map, with some initial challenge to work out how to win, and a lot of dead bodies lying around on the field, this isn't a bad game at all.
[Edited on 06/06/08 @ 06:38 AM]