The Jarls of Jelling
||Age of Empires II: DE
|Number of scenarios:
Relive the rise of the House of Jelling, one of the most powerful dynasties in Viking history! Board your longboat and become a legend of the sagas!
* 3 scenarios
* Slideshows and sound effects bring the Norsemen to life
* More than 75 custom ambient sound files, fully narrated slideshows
* Classic Age of Kings Build & Destroy gameplay
* Hand-crafted maps by an award-winning designer
* Three difficulty settings for all player levels
* Longboats and Berserks!
Additional credits for "The Jarls of Jelling":
* Proofreading: FE_HockeySam18, Filthydelphia
* Voiceover (slides): Jacqueline Sailer
* Additional Artwork (campaign background): Expeditions: Viking (c) Logic Artists / THQ Nordic
How to install and play:
* Extract the folder ("The Jarls of Jelling") that is included in the .zip file to C:\Users\[Your Username]\Games\Age of Empires 2 DE\[Your Usertag]\mods\local
* Start the campaign from the campaign menu (Custom Campaigns)
|Author||Comments & Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Jarls of Jelling is a B&D campaign depicting the emergence of the Kingdom of Denmark as the major power in the Baltic-Scandinavian region. The scenarios follow 3 successive Danish kings as they unite Denmark, and then attempt to expand their rule to Norway and Sweden. It was played on Moderate difficulty.
The campaign is a pretty straightforward B&D where it like pulling you have a base, a number of enemies to take down, and some bonus objectives you can find while exploring. Overall, it's a pretty smooth process and verything happens naturally as you are expanding from your starting location; I do have a bone to pick with Scenario 3, though, which has you doing a "prologue" mission in a small corner of the map first, where you need to take over an enemy castle, and to do this you need to build up an initial economy with 3 Villagers. You do get access to more once you take over an outlying resource camp, but the initial hump felt a bit like pulling teeth. In addition, in the "main" portion of the game, you can stumle onto a timed side-quest in the Western portion of denmark that requires you to sink a funeral longboat. However, access to the North sea is story-gated until you complete additional objectives against Sweden, and you can't build docks on the Western coast of Denmark to get around this. Since the reward for completing this is research of Conscription, it's a pretty important quest; and it's far too easy to stumble onto it early and have an automatic fail.
Played on Moderate, the balance is Fair. Enemy AI sends troop waves at you, and early on it requires positioning and smart tactics to avoid being overrun. Enemy can't ever do much against your starting Castles (the Danes can't build new castles or walls, but this is rarely an issue). I did find the Swedish Longboat spam in scenario 3 to be a bit much, and it's possible to run out of Gold with no trade, relying on a single Relic for income; but while besieging enemy bases might be difficult, I rarely felt in danger of being overrun myself, so I'd say the balance was fair, more on the easy side, because obviously once the full might of the Vikings is unleashed, it's nearly impossible to stop.
The scenarios used a number of clever tricks to avoid the player from simply spamming castles and trebs. The Danes are limited to Castle Age, but achieving certain main & side objectives unlocks Imperial Age technologies and upgrades. In addition, capped rams are available in Castle Age to make sieges more bearable. The variety of side objectives and some of the tricks used to gate story progression across the map are quite clever.
Map Design: 5
The maps were fairly varied, despite being ultimately the same snowy Scandinavian and Baltic terrain. multiple Fjords in Norway and Sweden giving access to enemy bases and docks via longships helped to emphasize the Viking tactics and added to that all-important feeling of truly raiding.
The story was told largely through voiced slides, which were excellent, as well as some in-game messages and objectives. There weren't any major surprises, but overall, the complex and bloody politics of Viking chiefs-turned-kings was pretty well displayed
"Jarls of Jelling" is an enjoyable B&D campaigns that aims to convey the meteoric rise of Denmark as the great Viking power, and largely succeeds in this, barring a few gameplay niggles in the last scenario. Easy recommendation to any B&D fan.