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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » General and Strategy Discussion » Is it humanly possible to beat Joan of Arc #5 on Hard?
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Topic Subject:Is it humanly possible to beat Joan of Arc #5 on Hard?
MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 12-01-18 03:07 AM CT (US)         
The scenario just seems broken. You have 58 units: the British have 102 units, and they're a tech level ahead of you. Wherever you go, enemy longbowmen kite you with 12 range and CPU-enhanced micro. Chasing them means dying to a barrage of castle and tower fire. Crossing the river means handling four towers, two monks, three galleons, one cannon galleon, plus whatever other units you couldn't kill. If you lose your siege weapons, you're done. The gaia units in the city die so quickly they're not even useful as cannon fodder.

I never beat this in AoK, and it was easier then (no Yeomen and Bloodlines). Is there a method? Other than setting the speed to slow, and spending 3 days painstakingly dodging longbowman shots with pauseplay, I mean?
AuthorReplies:
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 12-01-18 05:43 AM CT (US)     1 / 12       
It is a very grindy type of scenario, definitely one of my least favorites from the original game. It has that AoE1 feel of an imbalanced, learn by trial-and-error FF that is designed like one of those unforgiving quarter-eating 80s arcade games.

I do believe that the best way to win is to sneak outside the city to the far west and then break in there, near the villagers. Then it's a straight shot to the bridge and the extra gaia units. Most of them are useless, but the scorpions are actually very helpful when that flood of enemy pikemen comes in. When you break out of the city, just split your army in half and have each group distract a wing of the Burgundian force outside of Compiègne while Joan and the villagers run into the city.

Really, the main key is to not go chasing enemy longbowmen all over the map. Ironically for the Franks, the best strategy is not to use your cavalry against them, but instead to keep your force compact and let your crossbowmen and cannons shoot them. The process reminds one of the way the Romans and the Crusader armies (often unsuccessfully) fought roving bands of horse archers in the Levant. You'll want the cavalry to focus down enemy onagers before they hit your army, however.

The towers are really annoying, though. The ES designers weren't kidding when they wrote that line about them into the hints. As you say, the mission got even harder in AoC since the English player is post-imp and benefits from all of the new techs, particularly halberdier and yeomen. I've won the mission several times, but it takes a lot of patience and gamey, exploitative, and unconventional play.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-02-18 11:18 AM CT (US)     2 / 12       
I just tried the mission on hard to refresh my memory, basically as HS18 says you need to use some hit and run. Fire on the main gate with jean de lorraine then cut the longbowmen\onagers to ribbons with your heavy cavalry. Ignore the other units at the camp until you need them. Advance methodically and try to rely on heroes healing. Jean de Lorraine is nearly immune to archer fire in small quantities so while he exchanges fire with enemies come up on them with joan to melee them. Run back and wait to heal with x8 speed when needed.
It is a very grindy type of scenario, definitely one of my least favorites from the original game. It has that AoE1 feel of an imbalanced, learn by trial-and-error FF that is designed like one of those unforgiving quarter-eating 80s arcade games.
Im not sure I can agree to most of these sentiments, but maybe its some nostalgia creeping in for an ES mission and I would hate it on the blacksmith. As one of the rare missions that actually has a hint of difficulty to it I found it much more engaging back then and more memorable as a result. Most of the scenarios are simply designed for beginners and offer no challenge whatsoever.

Certainly playing it in a straightforward method is impossible, but I dont think I ever approached it liked that to begin with. Lassoing your men into a formation and marching on the city will get you shot to bits without a prayer, but my first strategy in FF missions has always been to use heroes and\or priests to overcome the enemies via jibaiting tactics. Using just joan and jean de lorraine and maybe the cavalry to lure and kill every enemy on the map can surely be described as "gamey and exploitative" but on the other hand it seems like the primary gameplay loop of a lot of these FF scenarios, especially in AoE1 and those I really liked if your talking about ES missions. Converting every unit on the map in that babylonian FF mission was a particular hobby of mine lol.

If I was designing it I would certainly bring the longbowmen range down and also make them not hit and run, but it would still be highly difficult and the defenders would retrain some units so the player would need to force his way in and shut them down. A much different kind of difficulty would be present, but I wouldnt make it any easier, only harder.

I feel like a lot of players out there feel entitled to just winning scenarios in a straightforward way without much tactical thought or needing to re-evaluate their own play styles. For example when viper played this one and got to the end with the breakthrough, he was wanting to attack the enemy head on and could barely restrain himself from doing so by the self evident fact he couldnt win. After several minutes he finally settled on using a tactic instead of brute force, and I found this highly irritating because its so obviously the correct way to play such scenarios.

TLDR A bit torn between defending a mission for being hard which is great yet the mission is pretty much rubbish like all ES missions in AoK which would all get a 2.0 from me on the smithy. Lesson of the story;do make hard missions but not because the AI uses jibaiting tactics.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Kataphraktoi (edited 12-02-2018 @ 11:27 AM).]

Dave3377
Squire
posted 12-02-18 03:23 PM CT (US)     3 / 12       
I remember attacking every house along the outskirts of the city to draw the enemy out in small numbers and then lure them into an ambush. It was very "grindy" but that was the only way I could beat it.

Oddly, I did it so well that I ended up killing all of the units on the map and taking the city. Of course the scenario gave me no credit for having done so and still urged me to flee.
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 12-03-18 03:49 AM CT (US)     4 / 12       
Jean de Lorraine is nearly immune to archer fire in small quantities so while he exchanges fire with enemies come up on them with joan to melee them.
One thing that was more difficult about the original AoK version was that heroes neither regenerated nor were immune to conversion. I remember a few occasions in my youth when I lost Joan to a monk and was bewildered by the fact that La Pucelle herself had succumbed to the chanting of a cleric in a language she would have had no prayer of understanding.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1
Dave3377
Squire
posted 12-03-18 10:02 AM CT (US)     5 / 12       
And if Joan got converted you actually did not lose! I had to avoid killing her until I could convert her back (which I did).

The trigger must say that you lose if that specific unit dies rather than if you have less than one "Joan of Arc."

Also, I beat that campaign in the original version, but I don't recall which difficulty I played on. The strategies I used were still similar those listed above, I just couldn't reply as heavily on the heroes. It was definitely still difficult.
Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-03-18 10:05 AM CT (US)     6 / 12       
One thing that was more difficult about the original AoK version was that heroes neither regenerated nor were immune to conversion.
I did beat all four campaigns back in 99 but the memories are quite vague by now and I don't think it was on hard, probably moderate. For Joan5 I would circle around to the far left and make an entrance there, taking great care to only lure 1 or 2 unit out and jump it. I wouldn't have been able to be nearly so aggressive as I was now, and considered the longbowmen+onagers at the front of the city far too much to handle, I think.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel
TriRem
Huskarl
posted 12-03-18 11:19 AM CT (US)     7 / 12       
Relevant gameplay from a scrub.

Fluctuat nec mergitur.
MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 12-03-18 11:21 PM CT (US)     8 / 12       
Relevant gameplay from a scrub.
Now THAT's micro. If he hadn't made bad decisions he would have broken out of the city with most of his starting units intact, which is pretty unbelievable.

It looks like the first wave of longbowmen is the hardest. After that, it's just about microing carefully and avoiding a death by a thousand cuts.
which would all get a 2.0 from me on the smithy
I dunno, they seem more in the 3.4-4.2 range? The maps are random map quality or higher, they're triggered well with few bugs, they have well written stories, etc.

They seem easy and repetitive now, but I don't think they can be faulted for that. Yeah, there's a few too many random maps with weird victory conditions, but at their best they hold up well even today. It was a long time before anything in the Blacksmith was as good as Joan of Arc #1, for example.
Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-04-18 06:52 AM CT (US)     9 / 12       
I dunno, they seem more in the 3.4-4.2 range? The maps are random map quality or higher, they're triggered well with few bugs, they have well written stories, etc.

They seem easy and repetitive now, but I don't think they can be faulted for that. Yeah, there's a few too many random maps with weird victory conditions, but at their best they hold up well even today. It was a long time before anything in the Blacksmith was as good as Joan of Arc #1, for example.
Say what? Ingos The Quest was two months in, and I didnt like it that much but Rage of the Drunk Monk was the same time with far more advanced technicals than ES scenarios. There are many great scenarios in the first 6 to 12 months. The ES scenarios are a complete joke in comparison and also to starcraft\warcraft campaigns.

Random maps are 2\5 quality at best. They look really bad and there is virtually no visual appeal or nice aesthetics in these maps. They looked a bit bland even back then compared to community maps included on the conquerors disc such as aMa's saxon revolt.

I will give you one point, the cinematics between missions with their artwork and voice acting are excellent. Thats the one and only thing the community didn't replicate over the years and it wasn't pulled off so nicely in HD either. Besides that though there is little story content within the missions, unless joan1 walking down a corridor with a few dialogue lines counts.

The missions are all fairly easy even on hard if you know how to play, the gameplay within them isn't especially well developed with raw concepts that didn't get much refinement, and the maps look very bland and plain. They are low effort quickies made by a dev team that just did the job on the side without bringing in dedicated level designers. The best missions are the openers of each campaign and saladin2, but I wouldnt consider even those particularly enjoyable.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Kataphraktoi (edited 12-04-2018 @ 12:27 PM).]

MawBTS
I ONCE PUT AN ENTIRE ORANGE INTO MY MOUTH
(id: Bart Pimpson)
posted 12-04-18 06:09 PM CT (US)     10 / 12       
Yes, I forgot The Quest.

I dunno, when I play the ES campaigns I see random maps with added stuff like flowers and ruins. That's at least a 3/5, according to the current rules. The only exception is Genghis Khan #5, which honestly looks godawful.

You keep using descriptors like "bad" and "bland", but bad and bland next to what? When AoK came out, the campaigns were incomparable to anything except themselves. And in AoK:TC they were kind of limited by the style set by AoK - the two games had to feel like one piece.
HockeySam18
Dúnadan
posted 12-05-18 03:47 AM CT (US)     11 / 12       
In the defense of the ES designers, my own work in game development has indicated how daunting of a task it surely was for a design team to produce batches of 31 and 26 campaign scenarios, respectively. The comparison of such mass-produced retail campaigns with AoKH Blacksmith masterpieces that the author often has the luxury of spending months or even years on in a stable, unchanging, and complete game version is, in retrospect, probably at least somewhat unfair.

Also consider that during AoK development the ES designers were unfamiliar with the AoK editor, which was new at the time (yes, there are some fundamental similarities with the AoE editor, but the AoK editor was monumentally more extensive in terms of options that represented a considerable learning curve), and were no doubt constantly dealing with the droves of bugs, crashing issues, bottlenecking of new assets, design changes, etc that are intrinsic to the process of game development. Campaign mode development for an RTS is uniquely difficult in that the ability to proceed is reliant on a greater number (by far) of other sectors of the development team (and, occasionally, outside of it). In practice, that means that said work is the most influenced by factors completely outside of one's personal control, which is an entirely separate dimension of challenge.

Storm on the Steppe | Galderton Hill RP | Proud member of Stormwind Studios

"Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal:
But the good name never dies of one who has done well." - Hávamál

"Hockey is the only sport left for true men." - ax_man1

[This message has been edited by HockeySam18 (edited 12-05-2018 @ 03:47 AM).]

Kataphraktoi
Squire
posted 12-05-18 09:39 AM CT (US)     12 / 12       
When AoK came out, the campaigns were incomparable to anything except themselves.
Huh? You never saw starcraft1 campaigns or the red alert campaigns or the many other RTS campaigns in the nineties..?

They were entertaining enough for a year after the game came out but grew boring, and after rediscovering AoKH and its blacksmith content I was quite happy to upgrade to much more interesting and challenging scenarios. I didn't think they were ugly back then but also didn't think they were beautiful by any means..its mostly passable until you find and play better things.

Those are all good points hockeysam, though I believe having the actual game designers tasked with creating the campaigns was a bit much. Thats why you offload the work on some level designers you bring in for it after AoE1s success since you should be flush by then. That is surely the main reason the missions feel a bit phoned in...no time available. And I certainly cannot tolerate having any kind of deadline placed on my projects

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Kataphraktoi (edited 12-05-2018 @ 09:57 AM).]

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