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Downloads Home » Best Files » Ragnar's Raids - Definitive Edition

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Ragnar's Raids - Definitive Edition

Author File Description
Al_Kharn the Great
File Details
Version: Age of Empires II: DE
Style: Build and Destroy
Screenshot:
Become a legend of the sagas!


About the scenario:
As legendary Viking king Ragnar Lodbrok, raid England, plunder Francia, and defeat rival jarls to become a legend of the sagas! Play an epic custom scenario based on history, the Norse sagas, and the History Channel's Vikings series. Rise from a petty thegn through raids and plunder to become King of the North and master of the Great Heathen Army. Ragnar, your warbands await your command!

Features:
  • Massive, Giant-sized map for hours of gameplay!
  • Over a dozen side quests bring the Norse sagas to life!

    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.
  • AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
    Julius999
    Official Reviewer
    Rating
    5.0
    Breakdown
    Playability5.0
    Balance5.0
    Creativity5.0
    Map Design5.0
    Story/Instructions5.0
    This is an excellent scenario, that develops from a series of raiding adventures across a broad and varied map into a challenging conquest of Britain and the Frankish coast. While not free of flaws, its scale, variety and imaginativeness more than make up for them.

    Playability: 5
    Once you get into it and past what tends to be a somewhat sluggish start, the scenario is a terrific experience. You can roam all over a massive map, following a variety of objectives that all tie in perfectly with the Viking theme. As you might expect from that, the gameplay is overwhelmingly dominated by combat activities, with the economic side gently shoved to one side where you do not need to worry about it much. One especially pleasing feature is that when most of your heroes die they are not lost forever, so you can use them fearlessly rather than having them cooped up safely but unhappily at home. There are also various little touches which are nice to stumble on such as finding a trio of lost Vikings, and the occasional funeral boats being burned.

    Balance: 5
    I played this scenario on Moderate difficulty and then again on Hard. It poses a fairly stiff challenge, but I think it is not excessively frustrating provided that you do not get too bogged down in the early part of the game raiding Alba as I did on my first try. I found that the difficulty scaled well with the player's increasing strength. In particular, destroying the castle on York on Hard difficulty was a significant challenge even in the endgame, and London and the Frankish city were not pushovers either. There is also one particular event that occurs some way into the game that shakes things up and wards off complacency.

    Creativity: 5
    The scenario is a very imaginative combination of capturing territories (and recapturing them when required), adventures and raids on a small scale, and the building up of armies for conquest on a large scale. The different elements all work together brilliantly.

    Map Design: 5-
    The map is a more or less realistic depiction of Scandinavia, Great Britain, and the coast of Northern Europe. It is a great canvas to explore, and carefully structured to serve the gameplay; one notable feature is that there are a few rivers which you can sail up a good distance with your longboats. In some areas the design tends towards plainness, and in some it is a bit cramped, but overall it is of a very good standard.

    Story/Instructions: 5
    As is characteristic with a number of the creator's scenarios, the story-telling develops primarily through the objectives which are set. That style works especially well here. In addition, there are good quality slides before and after the scenario and some interesting (but easily overlooked) text in the Scouts tab. The instructions clearly explain how to train units from the various Jarl halls and how to gain gold, and all objectives are clearly described too.

    Additional Comments: If there is one gripe of substance to be had with this scenario, I think it is the pacing. This comes up in a few ways. First, at the start, the units you can train are so weak and so few in number that raiding can become a tedious and attritional affair. The instructions suggest you should conduct lightning raids and get away with your gains before enemies arrive in force, but because you need to raze buildings it does not really work that way. Second, it's possible to acquire units for free in one area of the map but use them instead for an unintended purpose far away. That can create some mismatches, as well as being a bit odd from a storytelling perspective. Third, new objectives come thick and fast for a while before petering out, and a number of these would be very difficult to attempt until later in the game so I think it would make more sense to space them out.

    I also noticed a couple of glitches or things working in ways that seem unlikely to have been intended. When the Jomsvikings arrived, I got the message that they'd been defeated straightaway which is either an error or a rather strange design choice. The other notable one is that a Pictish hero wanders around, inviting an ignominious death to longboats.

    However, I do not think any of these flaws justify denying this scenario a top score.
    Possidon
    Official Reviewer
    Rating
    5.0
    Breakdown
    Playability5.0
    Balance5.0
    Creativity5.0
    Map Design5.0
    Story/Instructions5.0
    Ragnar’s Raids is a single player scenario by Al_Kharn the Great in which the player takes on the role of the legendary viking Ragnar Lodbrok and must use his small clan of Viking warriors to raid an pillage the British Isles and European coast in order to become a legend of the Norse Sagas. This version of the scenario is a new and improved edition make especially for the Definitive Edition of the game and includes a bunch of new bugs fixes and improves on the original file.

    Playability: 5
    Ragnar’s Raids offers hours of unique gameplay which focuses on raiding the small villages and towns on the coasts of the North Sea. The scenario is highly entertaining and its unique game mechanics allow for multiple replays. In the scenario you must build up a war band and sail across the North Sea to raid and pillage the villages and towns you come across. Use the gold you have plundered to strengthen your position in Norway and you’ll eventually gain control of the whole country through alliances or conquest of the other Jarldoms. There are multiple side quests to also complete which help you explore the seas even more as well as discovering other soldiers who will join you war party. The Definitive Edition improves upon many of the small bugs found in the original 2017 version of the file. There are still one or two small bugs but nothing to hinder the score here.

    Balance: 5
    The main problem with the original scenario was in the balance. The initial stages of the scenario were far too hard, with rebellions happen all too often and red-awning barracks in Alba requiring a massive raid needed to destroy them all in one go. In this new Definitive Edition the author has addressed these issues and made the game much more evenly balanced. Rebellions are less frequent and the barracks no longer respawn. The final stages of the game are also no longer too easy when you reach Imperial Age with the castles of York and London much harder to raise than in the previous version.

    Creativity: 5
    The scenario implements a highly unique gameplay mechanism to simulate the Viking Raids. There is a mixture of styles in this scenario; RPG elements, B&D and a RISK style system as you control more and more Jarldoms. There are many creative elements to this scenario; the population caps, and increases from conquering Earldoms, the turning of Militias in Woad Raiders for Alba, and the Norse politics and alliances that can be made to increase Ragnar’s strength within his homeland. I also love the red-awning hero element, every time one of heroes dies it respawns in your hometown as though they were injured, rather than killed, adding a historical accuracy to the scenario as the heroes didn’t die win these battles in real life. There are so many creative elements to this scenario and you’ll never play anything like this again.

    Map Design: 5
    Set on a giant sized map that accurately recreates the North Sea, the British Isles, Western Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Every single part of the map is gorgeous to look at with beautiful artistry in the terrain mixing, eye candy and layout of buildings and objects in the towns and settlements. There is a vast diversity in the map with the snowy landscapes of Scandinavia and the woodlands of Germany and the grassy plains Britain. There is plenty of water covering the map and even this is beautifully detailed with water mixing done excellently.

    Story/Instructions: 5
    Taking inspiration from the Norse Sagas and the History Channel TV Series Vikings, the scenario follows the exploits of legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok and his raiding parties. The story is told through the many differing objectives and side quests that the player is presented with. As the player is instructed to raid Britain, take over neighbouring Jarldoms and create alliances with other, you will see Ragnar’s power grow and his legend begin. Plenty of research has been done to ensure the scenario and story is historically accurate, and the author has clearly read parts of the Norse Sagas. There are many objectives and instructions in this scenario and all of clearly written and helpful hints are provided. Not once did I not understand what I was supposed to be doing.

    Additional Comments:
    Overall this new and improved version of Ragnar’s Raids is an incredible scenario and a highlight of the Blacksmith. This is one of the best scenario of recent years, if not ever. A highly recommended download.

    Well Done and Thanks
    Possidon

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    Rating
    5.0
    Breakdown
    Playability5.0
    Balance5.0
    Creativity5.0
    Map Design5.0
    Story/Instructions5.0
    Statistics
    Downloads:473
    Favorites: [Who?]2
    Size:17.31 MB
    Added:11/22/20
    Updated:11/27/20