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A Call To Arms

Author File Description
Julius999
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.


Features

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.


Screenshots
All comments are welcome, and a review would especially be appreciated.
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AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Crallion I wasn't able to win the fishermen section. I played a game like that with a friend, but the person who went first always lost. I have to go first in this...
Julius999
Official Reviewer
File Author
I assure you it's possible.
sissi @Crallion yes it's perfectly possible. It's a very classical math puzzle.

@Prince_Lothar : I'm the novice who playtested that wonderful campaign. With great pleasure, I had to cudgel my brains for hours to win, and I like and enjoy such challenges.
And no, it cant be mere luck when you playtest you have to re-do it several times. Only, naturally, being a novice I've chosen the standart level. Don't be too ambitious, that's all !

@Julius: thank you for submitting that unusual and great campaign. Yes, one has to think to complete it, all the better !

[Edited on 02/09/10 @ 06:53 PM]

HockeySam18
Staff
Official Reviewer
Rating
4.8
Breakdown
Playability4.0
Balance5.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions5.0
A Call To Arms is, as the author himself states, "one for the connoisseurs of challenging fixed force scenarios". Initially meant to be a larger project involving a long fixed force section capped with an epic risk-style B&D, the file focuses entirely on the FF and cinematic/narrative aspects. Returning to his homeland of Cariona, Lord Davrel finds his country occupied by the nefarious Crevatskans, and is unsatisfied with living under foreign occupation, prompting a significant resistance effort.

Playability: 4
The only serious weakness of the scenario in this category is the presence of a bug during the defense of Sabraskin, which prevents the player from progressing to the end. Most of the other bugs are due to the sheer magnitude in scale of the scenario, and occur very inconsistently - for example there is also a bug that, after Rostov is killed and the ownership of the player's units changed, sometimes causes the units previously owned by the player to destroy the trebuchets they will subsequently receive (and need) for the next mission. These issues, however, are utterly overshadowed by the sheer amount of fun involved in the varied and challenging FF missions with which the player is presented, as well as spectacular map design, creative elements, and clear instructions coupled with an effective storyline that drives the scenario forward. A Call To Arms is just as fun and challenging, if not more so, than any other scenario on the Blacksmith.

Balance: 5-
Some of the previous reviews have complained about the balance of the scenario. While it is certainly a difficult scenario (especially for newcomers to FF gameplay) and probably a bit frustrating the first time around, I felt the balance to be spot-on. Standard difficulty should be perfectly winnable, even for those who play FF less commonly, but the higher difficulties really ratchet up the level of challenge. Julius does an excellent job in each stage balancing the ability to succeed with the ever-present possibility of losing (a concept in which I am a huge believer). Proceeding nonchalantly around the map, particularly in the early stages, will almost certainly see the player blundering into dangerous enemy patrols, and in general it is advised (and possible) to proceed with caution, as one might in such a situation as the one in which the player is placed. Each individual mission presents a different set of challenges for the player to conquer and demands aptitude across the board. I will say, however, that some missions have a significant learning curve, and may be difficult to grasp at first , but function rather logically and are perfectly possible to complete.

Creativity: 5+
The creativity shines in both the gameplay and map design spheres (more on that later). Every portion of the gameplay is different, from rescuing comrades to liberating villages, besieging a fortress, picking out an assassin, fighting a field battle, defending and lifting a siege, and small-scale battles. Julius does an excellent job here in balancing creative tricks that simulate realism with fun gameplay and accessibility. Aside from the main objectives, numerous sidequests such as blowing up a bridge, finding turkeys, a dogfighting game, and defending farmers add an extra dimension to the scenario. I think it's fair to say that, even seven years later, this scenario is in many ways a benchmark in the creativity sphere for FF scenarios.

Map Design: 5+
The highlight of the scenario for me, the map design is literally so gorgeous that the player is hard-pressed to do anything but admire it at first. Featuring verdant fields and forests, realistic and well-laid out towns, villages and castles, and detailed waterways, the map serves as a comprehensive testament to the virtues of Julius's characteristic minimalistic style. The design contributes in a positive manner to the gameplay, is diverse and varied throughout the map, and incorporates several design tricks, many of which were quite novel for their time and even now are relatively unused. Perhaps most impressive is the idyllic yet organic and realistic sense of the landscape, which is never unnecessarily cramped but always looks pleasing to the eye. In general it's a masterful work, and likely one of the prettiest maps to ever grace the halls of the Blacksmith.

Story/Instructions: 5+
True to form, Julius again succeeds in designing a scenario based around a storyline that is actually feasible to pull off in AoK. Not overly detailed or elaborate, but nevertheless gripping, the player is presented with a situation where it is easy to identify with the main character and his exploits. The dialogue in particular is instrumental to the success of this category, and it is apparent that the author is a skilled writer very adept at expressing himself clearly and poignantly. Brief cinematic portions are a boon to the story experience, and the player is always supplied with useful instructions for each portion of the gameplay (along with general hints), which are clear and effective but not overly detailed or verbose to the point of confusion or blatant spoilers. Another admirable feature is the writeup present in the scouts section regarding each settlement, which contributes to the immersive nature of the scenario, as does a soundtrack (and sound effects) that fits harmoniously with the atmosphere and the gameplay.

Additional Comments:
Nothing short of a masterpiece, A Call To Arms is an imperative download for fixed force enthusiasts and/or anyone who enjoys feasting their eyes on an utterly gorgeous map. I wholeheartedly recommend this scenario as one of the best the Blacksmith has to offer.
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Rating
4.5
Breakdown
Playability3.7
Balance4.0
Creativity5.0
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.7
Statistics
Downloads:1,981
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:8.38 MB
Added:10/03/09
Updated:01/11/10