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A Call To Arms

Author File Description
File Details
Version: The Conquerors 1.0c
Style: Mix
-+ A Call To Arms +-

We start with Jace Davrel, a worried man answering a summons back to his native land, fearing the worst. The armies of Cariona have been devastated by the empire of Crevatska. With the scent of victory in the air, the powerful King of Crevatska hands over the crown of Cariona to his idle art-loving son, Prince Stovold, to prepare him to one day inherit the entire Kingdom. Many Lords in Cariona were killed during the struggle, as well as countless civilians; the invaders show no mercy to those who resist their control.

Under his newely-inherited title Lord Davrel, our hero rallies the handful of keen patriots who were brave enough to hold their ground at the manor. With them, he defies enemy patrols, eventually meeting up with the only other pocket of resistance, Lord Jannoth. On the verge of defeat, the pair narrowly escape the powerful Crevatskan soldiers. From there, they must muster support from the common people, and ultimately try to defeat the invader.


This scenario emphasises playability and challenge, with no long cutscenes or boring walks. I also attempted to come up with some fresh concepts; including preventing an assassination and a new way of doing large battles.

All comments are welcome, and a review would especially be appreciated.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Official Reviewer
File Author
Haroth: That glitch is unfortunate. When I get round to an eventual update I'll find a way of eradicating it.

Stephen Richards: Thanks very much, your comments are always appreciated. You're in for a tough time on hard, but there are a couple of things that might help you fare better on that section. The most important thing is to destroy the bridge straight away, and don't forget to send a few troops to the farming village. Apart from that you just need to stick rigidly to a defensive setup and you should be okay. The key is to be quick enough to blow up the bridge that the enemy runs out of reinforcements before you are overwhelmed.
Haroth Strategy spoilers for those who want to figure out the gameplay aspects for themselves.

Stephen: I'm playing on Moderate, but I'll try and offer a few tips for you. The big question is whether or not you took the high ground. There's a elevated terrain at the manor house on the North side of the village. The bottleneck there is a lot nicer than it is at the entrance of the town and you don't have to worry about the reinforcements nabbing you in the back. When I played, I never noticed this and got severely punished because of such. I had to reload several times and rely almost entirely on my destroying the bridge at the very beginning of the battle. For whatever reason, I didn't catch that until at the very end of the battle. Also, when I tested to see whether or not you lost when blue entered the town, my petard kept dying without my knowing, so I assumed I couldn't let the enemy past the gates. Silly me, right?

The problem with using that strategy is that your reinforcements are going to be pretty useless considering the fact that they'll get slaughtered the moment they spawn, so you won't get much use out of them. I can't imagine this being too much of an issue if you're not worrying about the village to the West, which, even when I hadn't taken the high ground, I never had to bother defending on Moderate. After blue stopped attacking, I had about ten melee units left. I just lured whatever was at the enemy camp back toward the village, shot them down, then proceeded to kite the general and his guards until they ran back.

If anything, I'd probably send your horsemen out to watch over the town. You may or may not have to keep the enemy at bay to be successful on Hard. For the bridge, I snuck out my huskarl and the petard over toward the bridge to sate the enemy reinforcements. I had to reload a few times, but when I was successful in just rushing the bridge, my petard was able to get through without being touched. Again, Hard mode might require a bit more strategy.

Hope that helped. I'll try running the horsemen out toward the Western village and taking the high ground in my next playthrough to see if it worked.

[Edited on 11/01/09 @ 10:58 PM]

Stephen Richards
Official Reviewer
Thanks chaps. That's useful stuff. In particular, Haroth, I like your idea of using the area near the manor. Should have thought of that myself.
Official Reviewer
I don't know how I missed this :P Downloading now.
Official Reviewer
The defend the town part is really impossible 9 just like Stephen Richards had described ).. because there are just too many troops.. even Haroth's method doesn't work though I can rush the bridge.. I'm doing on moderate, not even hard, should I restart on standard?
Official Reviewer
Map Design5.0
'A call to arms' is an RPG/FF scenario where you play in the role of Davrel, trying to defend his country from an invasion. It is set in the medieval ages, even though it is fiction.

Playability: 3

The scenario takes place on a giant sprawling map with a billion towns and villages, you have to wander about from place to place, besieging, defending, fighting, rescuing people, preventing assassinations and so on. You always have enough on your plate to make the scenario interesting. There also a couple of sidequests, such as the fisherman puzzle and turkey hunting. A lot of times you have multiple quests to keep your eyes on, such as defending and simultaneously attacking and destroying a bridge.

The flip side? Well the scenario is rather bug-ridden and glitchy, as well as certain things don't work well or are unexplained ( more about this in the additional comments ). Most important glitches were: the fisherman part, units can get stuck on the other side or inside blue's town. I get ownership of a battering ram and Lord Davrel on a horse before I get to Jannoth's manor. You can do things like spawn point blocking and going to the island with the assassination scene in the boat. The battle of Sabraskin is incredibly bugged and crashes sometimes, I just found a way to win by accident: Just retreat everyone immediately inside, and then the enemy had 1 longswordsman, who comes and dies, then the trebuchets destroying the gate scene comes. The last part is also bugged with Davrel just continuously gaining hp, you can go up to 1000s of hp and then kill everyone.

Also another thing, the battles themselves are somewhat boring because it is the same tactic every time, put melee units in front and archers behind and slaughter the respawning long swordsmen and pikemen. At times the respawning was such that it just caused the masses of units to get stuck outside and cause lag.

Balance: 4-

First of all, this scenario is only playable on standard difficulty. Do not attempt to play on any other, unless you want to reload 500 times and still fail, because the enemy just has waaay to many soldiers. Of course on standard difficulty it is not hard at all and you can beat it using proper tactics. A lot of parts are hard even then though, such as blowing up the bridge and the siege of Sabraskin (sp? ). The assassination scene is either bugged or incredibly hard, I won it with cheats and even then only with a direct hint. Overall I'd say it is well balanced ( on standard difficulty that is.. )

Creativity: 5

The scenario is fairly creative. In a historically themed scenario like this you wouldn't expect tons of 'new tricks' or such, rather the gameplay is very interesting such as having to cut off reinforcements by destroying wagons/ bridge, the battle with the elite troops having some sort of exhaustion/morale system, if it was working as it was intended to.. same with the assassination scene, it was very original. That's mostly the problem with this scenario, good ideas, fail implementation..

Nevertheless some parts are very good and work perfectly, such as the fisherman part when you have to outwit him. That was some marvellous trigger work. Also some good background music and atmosphere. So, definite 5 here.

Map Design: 5

Map design was very good, it was a huge map with varied terrains, mostly rural countryside with dirt tracks and towns and villages. There was good terrain mixing and eye candy and the map suited the strategic elements of the scenario such as choke points. I thought the towns looked great especially with the new ways of creating manor houses and such.

My only problem here is, as I have mentioned before, is that there are a billion little towns and villages ( and some villages are just a few houses ), and sometimes the player can get confused, even though there are map revealers, better instructions or more signposts would have helped. For example you are instructed to go 'north' to Jannoth's manor, even though the map revealer clearly shows it is to the EAST. Still it's a very good map as such.

Story/Instructions: 4

The story is all right.. usual defend your kingdom from the invader thingy, battles and assassinations etc. very well told for this kind of story. It is the instructions that I must fault really, although there are lots of instructions and hints in every part they are sometimes unhelpful. Eg. instead of 'capture the bridge' you could have said 'Kill most of the long swordsmen on the bridge and get some troops and your heroes on it'. I'm not sure this was the victory condition, just saying this kind of instructions would have helped, especially when the scenario is so buggy at times and you don't know what to do.

Additional Comments:

It is my personal opinion that in the making of this scenario the author probably bit off more than he could chew. The scenario is so large and not enough effort has been made to make it glitch free and working perfectly.

In fact a casual look at the map on marco polo shows that it was intended to be even longer and bigger, as there are a lot of towns and camps with enemy soldiers and generals and such who don't play a role in the scenario, and a lot of mini games or such that I never discovered, such as some guys with a relic in a corner. Also as observed in a comment before, the fact the author went out of his way to give the player's civilization, the Franks, 200 population without houses implies that build and destroy scenes were originally intended to be included.

Also there are a number of other things that make the scenario far from perfect. The chat system for instance, whenever I go back to read past chats, there are vast gaps of empty space. I was a bit disturbed by the fact that the villains in the game had Russian names. I mean it's supposed to be fictional countries and not historical, so why make it obviously biased?

There are a lot of small things in the map that serve no purpose. The turkey hunt for example, the turkeys are scattered all over the map , do you seriously expect me to search for turkeys while fighting a battle or siege or rescuing the king? You find gold on a boat, why? The monk island had no entertainment value nor any gameplay value ( what would have been good is that someone joined your party from there that way you would get another healer ). You go through the trouble of doing the fisherman minigame but why? Assuming it went through in a bug free manner, all it does is put you on the other side of the town you have to capture anyway.. so how does it matter whether your on outside the town in one place or the other? There are many such things that it seems the author probably wanted to make something out of, but then just forgot.

In closing:

In spite of all these flaws, 'A call to arms' is rather a fun game to play, it's refreshing and it has a good story and always enough gameplay to keep you busy. It's very far from perfect, but I would recommend downloading it anyway.
Stephen Richards
Official Reviewer
Sword of Storm's review confirms what I had concluded. That even if you destroy the bridge quickly and use the chokepoint it still seems impossible to hold the town. I think I will replay on standard level, if even moderate is still too difficult. Has anyone managed to hold the tow non moderate?
Official Reviewer
File Author
Thanks very much for the comprehensive review, Jatayu.

I think you are right that the main problem is bugs and glitches, which are presumably the result of insufficient testing. All the points you've raised have defintiely made me want to release a fixed, fuller version later. For now I'll just answer a handful of things.

"I was a bit disturbed by the fact that the villains in the game had Russian names. I mean it's supposed to be fictional countries and not historical, so why make it obviously biased?"

This amused me! What I was trying to do was keep names consistent within a single culture, and also I like Russian names. If it helps, quite a few of the place names on the hero's side are Russian in style too.

"The monk island had no entertainment value nor any gameplay value."

Intended to be part of a side quest for the final part.

"Assuming it went through in a bug free manner, all it does is put you on the other side of the town you have to capture anyway.. so how does it matter whether your on outside the town in one place or the other?"

You don't actually need to capture that town at all. The fisherman objective makes it easier to pursue that route.

"You find gold on a boat, why?"

Did you find the dog-fighting mini game? It allowed the player a few goes on that.
Official Reviewer
Julius yes, I do hope you'll update the scenario.. it definitely has great potential, just not that good as it stands. Most important thing is to fix all the bugs and balance issues. And I didn't find the dog fighting game. Maybe I'll go back and do that.
Courtjester1 Quoted from The Fury of Rästulf Description:

"Note: Please do not use any of the music in this campaign for your own scenarios; it ruins the originality of this campaign, but more importantly violates copyright laws."

And yet, you used three of my songs in your scenario. Any explanation?
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Map Design5.0
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