I do not want to sound mean to the author. My intention is merely to rate this scenario based on facts. "Defending Valdoria" is clearly a rush scenario; those scens that can be done in 10 minutes.
"Defending Valdoria" was not fun at all. You begin in the city of Valdoria and you are given control of a general. Then you are told to go to the castle, which is next to your starting position, and then there is a rushed cutscene and you are given control of an army. After that, the rebels attack and you can easily beat them. I barely moved my army and won in less than 10 minutes. Keep in mind that I played on HARDEST.
There are big issues with playability. First and foremost, the game is extremely easy. You can leave your army alone, WITHOUT touching the mouse and you will win! Valdoria is greatly overpowered, they have almost unlimited resources and the city also has an army which does great part of the job.
There are also problems with the enemy army. There aren't any spawning points nor military buildings for your enemy, which means that their (relatively) little starting army does not regenerate. Also, to arrive at Valdoria they must cross very narrow paths surrounded by water and/or forest, where the Valdorian army can take them out easily. The enemy AI is quite dumb.
I'm going to be brief here. The game simply poses NO CHALLENGE at all! At hardest difficult, I won without taking control of any of my troops with the exception of taking the general to the castle.
This is not a creative game. The story was very poor and I didn't see any map-design or trigger trick at all, with the exception of a moat around the castle. There was an attempt to create a cutscene, but it was very poorly executed.
Map Design: 2
The terrain, visually, was worse than a random map. There was no terrain mixing at all and the forests were big sqares of oak forest. However, I would have given this scen a Map Design rating of 3 because of the city, which was poorly designed but still showed some effort from the player.
The reason I'm giving it a 2 instead of a 3 is that the design of the map has a negative effect on gameplay. As I stated before, the fact that the enemy has to pass through narrow paths makes their army vulnerable to attacks by Valdoria (and probably by your army, but keep in mind that I won without moving it).
There was a story, although a very poor one. You are only told that there are rebels and they are coming to attack you. There is no explanation regarding to what caused the rebellion, and the characters have no background. The hints were very poor too but the instructions were quite clear.
I'm telling you this not to offend you but to make you see which are your mistakes. This scenario had only 10 triggers and was clearly done in, at most, a couple of hours. A good scenario takes weeks, months or even years to get done. Put more effort in your works, and you will see results. If you compare this scen with any of the scenarios that were submitted before the deadline to the DtS contest, you will see the difference. Play some of the high-rated campaigns of AoKH to see how a good scen is done, read the tutorials and please take this review as advice, not as an agression.
[Edited on 01/26/09 @ 06:17 PM]