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Downloads Home » Single Player Scenarios » Ironside - Definitive Edition

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Ironside - Definitive Edition

Author File Description
Al_Kharn the Great
File Details
Version: Age of Empires II: DE
Style: Build and Destroy
You raided England with Ragnar, now storm the Mediterranean with Bjorn!

As legendary Viking raider Bjorn Ironside, raid the wealthy islands and shores of the Mediterranean 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. Lead a warband, recruit Viking heroes, and devastate the rich lands of the Mediterranean. Bjorn, your warbands await your command! Updated for the Definitive Edition!

  • Rebalanced and updated for the Definitive Edition with voice acting and new quests!
  • Raid and pillage the cities of the Mediterranean on a Giant-sized map!
  • Collect heroes to raise special warbands!

    About the Author:
    Filthydelphia (xbox: PhillySouljah) is the award-winning designer of historical custom campaigns and official content for the Age of Empires franchise. Formerly part of the Forgotten Empires campaign team, his works include the Portuguese, Burmese, Bulgarian, Italian, Indian, and Sicilian 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 )
    Official Reviewer
    Map Design4.0
    This is a very good scenario that follows up on the creator's fantastic earlier raiding and adventuring scenario, Ragnar's Raids. The basic game mechanics are largely the same as that one though they have been refined slightly and simplified.

    Playability: 4
    The gameplay focuses almost exclusively on combat activities, with the economic side being very limited. The core of the gameplay is fun, with the option to raise large and powerful armies quickly at a base not far from the middle of the map before venturing out in all directions. I found though that I could reach the imperial age and research all relevant upgrades fairly early on, having only tackled a handful of enemy settlements. After that, the gameplay plateaued and although there is lots of fighting and burning down to be done across the map it all feels much the same. There are a few heroes to find by exploration, which I thought was a nice feature, but apart from that exploration did not feel very rewarding. I also felt the economic side of the gameplay could benefit from some more work, as irreplaceable fishing ships and villagers can wander into tower fire or deadly wolves and if you lose your food and wood economy you will stall terminally. I'm also unclear why the player is given the opportunity to mine some stone, as there was no obvious reason to use any of it.

    Balance: 4
    I tried this on Moderate difficulty, and found that there was very little chance I could ever lose the scenario and that victory was mainly a question of time. The only way I felt I could realistically lose would be if I negligently lost my villagers and fishing ships, because there is no way to replace them. I do not think my experience in these respects would be significantly different on Hard difficulty, as the issue is fundamental. The enemies are very passive, units not even wandering around their territory but instead stacking up in odd-looking clumps at their production buildings while they wait to be attacked. Nevertheless, throughout the entire scenario the enemies are capable of putting up a meaningful fight.

    Creativity: 5-
    Having a minimal economy and with the only means of obtaining gold being by going on the offensive provides an interesting style of gameplay. It is now something of a trademark for the creator. I thought the development from Ragnar's Raids that which units you can raise as the core of your military depends on which hero you use was a good idea and worked well. It is mainly that core concept which stands out for creativity, as the objectives in this scenario are straightforward in nature and limited in variety.

    Map Design: 4
    The map depicts the western Mediterranean. It is functional and not unattractive but it is rather on the plain side. I felt that was a bit unfortunate as it contributed towards exploration feeling uneventful. Having said that, the two notable exceptions were the pass through the Alps and the Straits of Gibraltar which were particular highlights. I would have liked to see more memorable locations like those.

    Story/Instructions: 5-
    The instructions are all crystal clear, which is important given the non-standard gameplay. All the text is well written and atmospheric, and I liked how the enemy players are each given (what I assume to be) authentic Norse names. The slideshows before and after the scenario are well done. There is even voice-acting for the narration of the slides and for some in-game text, which is of good technical quality and comes in an unapologetic American accent. The story does not really develop during the scenario itself, and this scenario is inferior to Ragnar's Raids in that respect.

    Additional Comments: While enjoyable, I found this sequel lacked the magic of Ragnar's Raids and swaps the sluggish early pacing of that scenario for hitting a plateau early on. Nearly all options that will ever be open to the player become available early and then the process of overwhelming all the enemy bases feels somewhat repetitive after that. However, I would recommend this scenario to those who have played and enjoyed Ragnar's Raids and would like some more of the same.

    [Edited on 07/19/21 @ 04:08 PM]

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    Map Design4.0
    Favorites: [Who?]3
    Size:47.32 MB