(Updated on 11/26/09
||Build and Destroy
Euton is a conventiently peaceful village that happens to have been built on a wonderful plain where the two greatest empires of the world want to have a battle. Thus, Euton is to be erased from the surface of the Earth before the battle can commence. Tough luck!
You take the role as Lord Favelos, ruler of Euton, and your mission is simply to survive the onslaught of the two empires and make sure Euton lives on. Sounds simple? It is. Easy? Now, that's another matter.
Survive the onslaught for 25 minutes on standard, 30 on moderate and 40 on hard. And while doing so, enjoy the music played by Sonic Mayhem! Not the most historically accurate songs for a medieval-type scenario, but whatever.
Julius999 - for testing and commenting the scenario,
Sonic Mayhem - for making the music for the scenario
Whoever made the Aggressive Ai - for making the aggressive ai!
StormWind Studios Site
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'Caught in the Crossfire' by Lord Basse is a single scenario design, featuring intense game play, plenty of hacking and slashing, and a few fun ideas besides. The story is fictional, a balance between Fixed Force and Build and Destroy game play, and employs defend-the-spot style action whereby the player must defend his town from two opposing enemy armies, seeking to devour one another on the only plain suited for their endeavour.
PLAYABILITY: The file is very entertaining to play. I liked the idea, the little background story and the fighting, which kept me occupied for a little more than thirty minutes. The scenario plays as a brief glimpse into a particular event of a town's history, to convey an idea, rather than as a story-fledged game, and as such players can expect a fairly simple and reasonably fast game play. The fighting begins quickly, and however the player must gather his forces together and defend for a particular time limit, which depends upon the selected difficulty. While game play is bound to last anywhere from twenty-five to forty minutes, the player is never bored as there is rarely a moment where he is not striving to keep the enemy from breaching the town's walls. The fighting is very intense at more than one point during the game, and there are always numerous breaches among the town's walls to cause the player to think on his feet. The player is truly caught in the crossfire as two whole enemy armies besiege the town walls and gates, whilst also fighting one another on the field of battle. In conclusion, the file more than suits its purpose as a hack and slash, DTS-style scenario - but there is very little else to the game, which nevertheless suits the author's intention. I encountered only a single bug, whereby on hard difficulty the player reaches victory at forty minutes, rather than at forty-five minutes as the text declares. 4.0
BALANCE: I played on moderate at first, and despite winning on my first try, it was not without a heavy cost. Inflicting upon either enemy army some seven hundred deaths, I lost at least half that number throughout the duration of the scenario. The battle is for the most part intense and relentless, with a few intervals in between each wave to give the player some breathing space, and to allow some time to build up and patch any gaps in the defences. There were a few moments where I was almost overwhelmed by the enemy's numbers, and only by quick thinking was I able to come through. The player is more than once besieged on all sides of the town, and must split up his forces respectively in order to check every threat. As such, good micromanagement and the manipulation of terrain to your forces advantage, such as using the confines of the town streets, are needed to overcome a greater enemy. There were many times I had to make sorties outside the walls with my cavalry in order to break enemy siege weapons before they reached the gates, and often I lost towers and walls and was forced to rebuild them on the spot. With each difficulty requiring the player to survive the onslaught a particular time limit, there are enough options for players to have fun with. On moderate and hard, the player will undoubtedly have to adapt quickly or face defeat later in the game, where hordes of units will only be stopped by impenetrable fortifications and strategically-placed castles. In saying that, this might be a little too much for the average gamer. Still, if the author wants to make for an even more challenging game on hard difficulty, I would probably suggest disabling a few technologies and limiting what can be built here, as well as throwing in a few more trebuchets, just to see how things go from there. 5.0-
CREATIVITY: The scenario is moderately creative, with just enough elements of interest to involve the player. The short story sets the scenario up nicely, and the music track by Sonic Mayhem really suits game play and adds a nice touch of originality to the file. In saying that, all aspects of a design factor into creativity; the map design was certainly nicely technical, particularly the centring town, and there was some decent trigger use, including the nice little feature of receiving resources from off-map farms to help aid with the defence. 3.0+
MAP DESIGN: The map design is above average, and is technically well-designed, if only containing a few flaws invariably traced across the map. Parts of the design look odd with a mix of pine, oak forest and jungle, all included within the same countryside and there were a few issues with enemy soldiers walking right through the wooden gates on all sides of the town. The town was nicely put together though, with many places ideal for defence as well as the countryside being refreshingly open, containing elevation and some terrain mixing. 4.0-
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The story is nothing to sit on the edge of your seat for: it is fun, simple and not detracting from the more important aspect of the design, which is to defend your town from waves of enemy soldiers and hope to see another day. Having said that, instructions were few yet adequate, and the small detail in history was well-appreciated so that the design had some background to support it. 3.0+
CONCLUDING: This is a simple yet fairly well-designed game, where the focus on quick game play, plenty of action and little text is bound to be a joy for the casual gamer. It is also one way to test your micromanagement skills!
In a sentence - Fun, simple and intense.
In closing - A recommended download.
[Edited on 09/29/16 @ 04:43 AM]
It's strange but I really enjoyed this scenario even though it's a FF/DTS style of game. My game consisted of me walling up and fending off the stupid AI. There were plenty of resources in stock and I just kept pumping units out. The rush from a breached wall along with the game horn and background music really got me into it.
There are a couple of ways that you can play and win this and some are easier than others. I believe I chose the easiest way and it wasn't much of a challenge. I played it on hard and it took me only 1 try. Unless you restrict some methods of playing or have playstyle detection, it is quite impossible to balance the game properly. I gave a 4 here because I know it can get very challenging if you don't wall up.
Creativity, free points whenever I review. Decent story, dialogue, history, and hints, blend them together and you get a 4. A little more for the game in terms of gameplay or something and this will get a 5.
Map Design: 4-
I found the map very simple. There were some areas that look too simple to me but it was not too shabby to look at. Some areas needed terrain blending though, mainly the pure grass areas. Lastly, the jungle tree bits and desert seems off.
There is a nice chunk of history for players to read and a short story during the game. The instructions and hints are all there and are straight forward. There were some typos in the history tab and a sentence that seemed too long somewhere in one of the tabs.
The first FF/DTS style scenario that I enjoyed, nicely done.
EDIT: This map inspired me to create a MP scenario with similar elements. If it's successful, I'll post it. I'm in the process of creating it now and it's mostly for fun.
[Edited on 05/21/10 @ 10:18 PM]