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The Last Romans

Author File Description
(id: Al_Kharn the Great)
File Details
Version: Age of Empires II: DE
Style: Build and Destroy
Constantinople, 1453 A.D.

Witness the ultimate battle between East and West as you defend the last bastion of the Roman Empire against impossible odds.

  • Defend Constantinople inch by inch to re-write the city's tragic history
  • Fully voice acted scenario brings the siege and fall of Constantinople to life
  • Challenge yourself on three difficulty levels and complete optional challenge objectives

    About the Author:
    Filthydelphia (xbox: PhillySouljah) is the award-winning designer of historical custom campaigns and official content for the Age of Empires franchise. Part of the Forgotten Empires campaign team, his works include the Portuguese, Burmese, Bulgarian, Italian, and Indian campaigns featured in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition as well as several campaigns in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. Outside of Age of Empires, he is a captain in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
  • AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
    ferarfs please, make this for the HD edition or put a video of this scenario
    Mighty Myrmidon
    Map Design5.0

    Playability: 4
    Step into the sandals of Emperor Constantine XII and defend the fabled city of Constantinople from the Turks! This is a wonderful scenario with a strong Historical element and enough varied gameplay elements to make it stand out from the crowd.
    The only downsides for me were that in my game, the unique research opportunities at the Hagia Sophia disappeared mid-game. As far as I could tell, there was no warning that this would happen, so it felt like a bit of an unfair disappointment. I don't feel like this was worth taking a star off, however.

    Balance: 5
    I had to replay a few times until I came out victorious, which is exactly how I like my Defend The Spot scenarios. If things go wrong, they can quickly snowball into disaster, but although the situation felt thematically hopeless, I never felt like it was unfair gameplay-wise. The player will need to balance tight micro-control with an awareness of what is going on at a larger macro scale in order to maintain the defense on multiple fronts.

    Creativity: 5
    There is a lot of creativity evident in this scenario. Instead of simply defending the spot endlessly, there are a number of side objectives to be pursued, and multiple ways to achieve them. The Byzantines now have some unique technologies to aid them in their defense.

    Map Design: 5
    The city is a very faithful representation of Medieval Constantinople, with all of the walls, gates, monuments and harbors in their proper place. The city is aesthetically pleasing and due to its large size, is difficult to adequately defend, even with large numbers of troops.

    In addition to the layout of the city, the battle itself proceeds according to the historical account, while giving the player the opportunity to change the outcome. The scenario features a cast of historical heroes to aid in the defense, and it also delivers fine voice acting. The numerous side-objectives that the player can pursue are clearly delivered and easy to understand (although not always as easy to execute).

    All in all, this was a really great experience!
    Official Reviewer
    Map Design5.0
    Playability: 5

    It is the year 1453 and the fate of Byzantium rests in your hands as legions of Ottoman Turks approach the walls of Constantinople! The Last Romans places the player in command of the massive walled Byzantine capital, with the task of building up its defenses and repelling the besieging forces. After a short period of preparation time during which the player can array the garrison, research technologies, put civilians to work, and strengthen the position, the onslaught begins as droves of Turks come pouring towards the gates of the city. The task: to resist until the summer heat and the threat of relief forces compel the Turks to abandon the siege. Each section of the city has its own unique features that make it strong or vulnerable and give the player various means of defense: expect to constantly (re)allocate troops to hold the gates while cavalry sally out to destroy siege engines and cut down Janissaries. As the scenario text states, there is a natural rhythm to a siege: each assault is followed in turn by a period of respite during which the player can heal, redistribute, and upgrade defenders, repair fortifications, and attempt secondary objectives in order to cripple the enemy or increase the morale of the defenders. Well-paced, appropriately challenging, action-packed, and enjoyable to play, this entry is more than worthy of a perfect score in this category.

    Balance: 5

    In a scenario like this, pacing and balance go hand in hand, and this entry excelled in both. Assaults come from multiple directions in varying forms, requiring the player to adopt a versatile approach: both land and sea must be safeguarded, the latter not just due to its situation as an avenue of attack, but also as it will soon become the city’s only source of food. Side objectives are appropriately challenging and rewarding, but the sense of urgency climbs over time as the strength of the enemy assaults increases. With a quick start, it is possible to complete most side objectives quite rapidly as well as focus on clearing the sea of threats while the land assaults are fairly feeble, and it is refreshing to see a setup that rewards such swift and decisive action. If one critique were to be levied here, it would be that the playing experience becomes somewhat predictable as the experience goes on; threats from the sea are quite feeble and are easily dispatched by a handful of ships or the garrisoned Leander’s tower, and the flow and composition of enemy attacks was fairly consistent, and, while increasingly challenging, capable of being parried through the same sets of tactics.

    Creativity: 5

    Another firm strength of the scenario. As aforementioned, this entry pushed boundaries in its scale, but otherwise was fairly standard and accessible in its structure. The author did an excellent job of incorporating historically accurate and justified aspects of a siege into gameplay in a seamless fashion, and the economic setup combined with the ability to access several unique upgrades at the Hagia Sophia was also something new. To enumerate some other things that added to the experience: the method of quantifying assaults by digital time but the overall siege in days was both realistic and accessible and added to the immersion, furthermore, the side objectives and challenge quests present players with the additional factors of replayability and the ambition of completionism. Overall, the entry is not groundbreaking in this sphere, but it is more than well above average, and worthy of a high score here.

    Map Design: 5

    Aesthetically, the map is utterly brilliant. Players can expect to encounter a vast, diverse city whose detail is matched by that of the surrounding land and sea. The product as a whole was appealing to look at, fun to play, and made with a keen eye for historical detail. In its visual value it was barely surpassed only by one other entry, but what truly sets it apart is its ambition and the high level of quality that is maintained regardless. The city of Constantinople is depicted in worthily massive fashion, and players will delight in regarding the well-represented and detailed variety of the city’s districts and the surrounding regions, which make adept and judicious use of the Definitive Edition features and assets for a believable and enjoyable result. The entry’s ambition might be its sole weakness; Constantinople is so massive that players might feel overwhelmed by the task of defending a city of such sheer size and the practical issue of remembering the location of production buildings (control-group hotkeys are a must), but that is an intended part of the challenge. One minor quip: the sea gates forming the Golden Horn chain had a dreadful effect on the pathfinding of ships, and I was compelled to delete them. Regardless, I daresay that a DtS entry of such scale has never been executed so well, and it goes without saying that in this category it excelled.

    Story/Instructions: 5

    Perhaps the strongest aspect of the scenario behind the gameplay, the narrative seizes the player’s attention from the start, with a well written and voiced introduction complete with music and sound effects that contextualizes the situation with flying colors. Instructions are clear and direct, and in typical fashion the author prefers to let the player take control of the narrative through the gameplay. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is maintained through the shrewd usage of dialogues for the occasional instruction or flavor, each with excellent voice acting of the author’s own recording. One can sense the emotion and passion in each line and feel inspired to continue with vigor. The concluding narrative slides pick up right where the introduction left off, taking a firmly historical but nevertheless impassioned and entertaining tone, complete with the atmospheric qualities of the introduction. There is nothing here to criticize, and everything to praise.

    Additional Comments:

    The Last Romans is the author's finest custom work to date and a worthy winner of the 2020 Defend the Spot Competition. In short, it is a must-download.
    (id: Al_Kharn the Great)
    File Author
    Mighty Myrmidon: "The only downsides for me were that in my game, the unique research opportunities at the Hagia Sophia disappeared mid-game. As far as I could tell, there was no warning that this would happen, so it felt like a bit of an unfair disappointment."

    That is a game bug that has nothing to do with the scenario. Technologies that have their research location moved via triggers now disappear when a saved game is reloaded, regardless of the scenario.
    Mighty Myrmidon @Al_Kharn the Great

    What a shame. That does kind of make things difficult, doesn't it?

    Can you reapply the effect at time intervals so that it comes back, I wonder? Either way, it wasn't a huge deal. Great scenario!
    (id: hammister)
    Thank you for this great map!
    Official Reviewer
    This is an excellent defence scenario, posing a good challenge on Hard difficulty. Alternating between sustained assaults from the enemy forces and relative lulls worked well, giving the player an opportunity to tackle some of the optional objectives to get a boost.

    Even after I had beaten it once and was giving it another go to complete all the extra challenges, although knowing what to do makes it substantially more manageable, the final wave of attacks still made it through one of the outer gates.

    One slight quibble I have is that the enemy land forces tended to hone in on a few spots. The two gates furthest to the south didn't see any attacks at all.
    rakovsky I don't know if this scenario's savegame glitch is caused by saving games or by reloading savegames, but one time I accidentally hit F4 and it automatically saved, and then my Hagia Sophia upgrades were all gone. I also am not sure if the only result of the glitch is that the Hagia Sophia upgrades disappear or if the glitch eliminates even more triggers, like rewards that you possibly are supposed to get for destroying certain enemy objects.

    I'm not skilled enough to fix the scenario- I don't know how. I beat it in the glitched mode, so I guess I could turn on cheats and run through it on MODERATE with unlimited resources. It seems fun to do the side quests. The hardest part is the savegame glitch because it's easy to accidentally save it with F2 or F4.

    Playing on MODERATE, when the mission starts, an announcement says that the Sultan was wounded. This seems to be a glitch, because it's supposed to be one of the messages that we are supposed to get if we wound him as an optional challenge.

    [Edited on 05/14/22 @ 11:46 PM]

    Map Design3.0
    Playability: 2
    There is a glitch, as the Designer, Al Kharm, noted, where when you save the game, or save and reload, the special upgrades at the Hagia Sophia vanish. The glitch is the result of an AOE2 DE update, Al Kharm wrote. I sense that this glitch might not just remove the special upgrades but might nullify the trigger rewards for challenges like killing all Pashas or wounding the Sultan.

    About 15 minutes into the match on MODERATE Difficulty, I used my Trebuchet to cut a hole in the south corner of the Sultan's compound, so that I can send my cavalry through there instead of through the main part of the enemy base. I sent about 11 Elite Cataphracts in, and they wounded the Sultan, meeting one of the tactical goals. However, no reward trumpet sound played for me. I am guessing that this is because of the Savegame glitch. It seems I didn't need to use the Trebuchet and could have sent my horsemen through my West/SW gate and then directly west, then gone up to the SW edge of the enemy base's wall, then followed it tightly around back and gone through the rear entrance.

    I killed the Pasha in the right corner and got no reward. I guess it's because of the Savegame glitch, but it's also not clear if it's an Optional Challenge.

    Balance: 5
    I beat it on MODERATE by using alot of pauses, so I think that it has a good balance. I consider myself average or above average with single player missions. I met the City of Constantine Objective.

    On MODERATE, during the second enemy wave, my port on the east side by the sea tower got destroyed, which is bad because I can't rebuild ports and need to fish from them.

    Creativity: 5
    This was the best part. I like how the siege went in waves and you could repair your city between waves.


    I don't think that the Savegame glitch is the designer's fault because it's the result of an AOE2 DE Update, but it's a big problem and it would be helpful for the owner to provide a scenario file so that players could try to fix it. An alternate, possible solution could be to give Players a list of the possible optional Challenges so that they can see if the triggers are working for them.

    At the end of the 1st enemy assault, on HARD, I sent all of my elite cataphracts, about 20, to attack the Sultan in his camp, but my guys got torn apart just before reaching him by enemy hand cannoners. So I reloaded my mission, only to find that all the upgrades at the Hagia Sophia had been erased. It seems that I would need to play on an easier setting so that I could play it through without any reloads. Maybe if I played it after I got all of the Hagia Sophia techs, this would not be an issue. But I don't know if reloading savegames on this in general would be buggy or if the Hagia Sophia techs are the only bug.

    I met what looked like possible challenges in the middle of the game, but they didn't give me rewards, such as when I killed the Pasha in the east corner or destroyed the ports on the east side. My guess is that these actions might trigger some reward like giving me resources, based on how I got resources by performing similar tasks near the initial stages of the game.

    I played on Moderate and ASAP I killed the Green Turkish commander on the North side of the Yellow base, but I didn't get any invitation to kill him, nor any reward after I did. It seems that maybe I need to have a Scout Cavalry sitting by the Yellow commander for me to get the invitation, and then click on that Yellow commander and the yellow castle by him. Then I accidentally hit F4 and that saved the mission, thus imposing the savegame glitch and eliminating all of my Hagia Sophia tech research abilities. Very Annoying.

    The gratuitous use of gallow objects in Kharm's maps is alittle disturbing. I think that there were kingdoms like Rome, Byzantium and Russia that generally did not use this particular method of killing.

    1 minute after the end of the third wave, the Map has a trigger where all enemies vanish from your base instantly, considering it a pause in fighting. It's a little freaky to see, but not a glitch per se. I killed the Sultan on my third wave of cavalry attacks, but I got no reward. I don't know if I'm supposed to.

    Story/Instructions: 4
    It would be very helpful to have a list of the possible challenges instead of them just showing up when you trigger them, because the map seems glitchy. Unfortunately, I don't know how to extract scenario files from AOE2 DE campaign files in order to check the trigger list.

    I understand that the Designer probably intended these challenges to be a fun surprise, but the Savegame glitch seems likely to eliminate triggers like the Optional Challenge Rewards, so it seems it would be better if you knew what the challenges rewards were so that you could tell if the glitch eliminated them.

    The Intro screens are neat. I think that there is no series of Outro screens.

    Additional Comments:

    HINTS (Spoilers):
    - The sea tower is in the upper right, and there is a enemy general who you will get rewards for attacking in the north side of the Genoese Yellow base. At the mission's start, you can send all your Palladins to get him by making a transport ship and sending them north in it into the Yellow base.
    - You can't convert enemies because they have a tech that kills them instead of letting them get converted.
    - Make a lot of fishing ships, like maybe 2-3 from each dock, and set your fire ships to defending them on the south side. This is because after you butcher your animals, you can't get more food on land. There area couple deer on the west side of the map, but it might not be safe to go there.
    -It's probably a good idea to move all of your monasteries' relics to your main base section, because enemies try to invade through the outer sections and destroy buildings there.
    - The enemy didn't bother much going through the farthest southwest gate, so you don't really have to defend there.
    - The only reason you might need rams or trebuchets is if you want to take down enemy towers. There didn't seem to be any reward for this in my playthrough, but that could be because of the savegame glitch. The towers by the eastern green ports are the only ones that trebuchets are best for, since trebuchets are out of their range.
    - The West corner of the map looks like a good spot for logging, and there are no enemies guarding it, but I don't know if enemies would wander over there to attack any villagers that I had there.
    - Expanding city walls with villagers looks dangerous if there are enemies nearby because you only have limited villagers, and preserving villagers is one of the challenges.
    - If you get to the south of the map with your ships, you get reinforcements.
    - One of your goals is to not lose the St Romanus Gate. It seems to be one of the western gates.
    - If you destroy the Green ports in the north and the Green Admiral ship in the east, you get bonus resources. However, destroying the eastern ports didn't give me any reward, perhaps because of the Savegame Glitch.
    - If you kill all the enemies in one of the Northeast peninsulas, they are a good place for harvesting logs and giving a safe haven to Constantine XI.
    (id: Al_Kharn the Great)
    File Author
    Update 20230531: Fixed bug where Sultan Mehmet would begin wounded.

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