Posted on 03/05/00 @ 12:00 AM (updated 03/23/05
The Greek city-state of Sparta was famous for its extraordinary warriors and military accomplishments even in its own time. Greek historians like Thucydides attempted to learn the true origin of the city and separate it from their myths, but the Spartans were as secretive as they were courageous. In modern times, archaeology has helped form some factual basis of Sparta's past, but even now little is known about their true history. This campaign covers the mythic beginnings of the Laconian race, starting with their descent from Heracles' son, Hylus; their battle for Peloponnesia with Agamemnon's descendants; and the rise of the twin monarchs who ruled until Roman times. Enjoy -- and feel free to send me comments!
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This campaign is brilliant. It follows the descendants of Heracles right through from hunting and foraging in the hills to dominating the nearby cities. The story and creativity stand out the most in this part historical, part legend campaign.
The creative scenarios are always a huge amount of fun. I found it difficult to play at first, because you need the right strategy for each mission. But I soon got the hang of it, and I enjoyed it so much I couldn't stop playing. I've played mission 3-7 non stop this morning. You always keep coming back for more. There are many approaches to winning so it is worth playing again as well. For example in one mission there are two paths to your new homeland, both offering their own challenge.
A story told like no other designer, original looking bitmaps, a new approach to map design and 7 scenarios unlike any other. Gordon had done himself great credit with this campaign, and it stands out even amongst his own work. I especially like the unique goals, like protecting your ally from having more than one granary or market razed, and building a barracks in each city to take control.
Every scenario is original in its goals. Most of the strategies you use will have to be made up from scratch, as you will never have played a scenario like it before. The balance is always maintained though; it is often very hard, but always possible. Once you have found the right approach the mission will become easier, and less frustrating. I had a lot of difficulty with the second mission, but rather then stick to the hints I tried my own strategy and had much more success.
Map Design: 4.5
The map is quite epic. It covers a huge area around ancient Sparta, and is somehow reused in each scenario, but such that you need an eye for detail to realise. The map is very realistic with original design and eye candy, not to mention geographically accurate and large and diverse enough to support each scenario. It is altered neatly for each scenario as well. It didn't have quite enough eye candy for me to give a 5 though, and a few conventions were broken, like having large areas of forest terrain etc. A better variety of trees would have probably fixed this, like occasional pine patches and patches of Gaia trees, and perhaps a little more decoration of the cities.
Filled with masterful prose, the story flows on relentlessly, describing the life and times of legend and myth. It covers a huge period, and provides both interesting history tidbits and a personal story of many a great warrior. The bitmaps are very suited to this historical campaign, as is the style of writing. Gordon's story telling and great historical knowledge, combined with his style and the epic map really bring ancient Greece into your home, and let you live it.
An almost unbeatable campaign that will have you anchored to your monitor for hours. Don't hesitate to add this campaign to your collection; it is truly one of the greats.
If this campaign is what you like, try the "Persian Wars" series, it's a huge saga that will give you endless hours of enjoyment.
The Legends of Sparta, wow what can I say but fantastic! From start to the last victory I was on the edge of my seat. Sometimes I was even off my seat cursing the man that made this campaign. I was drawn in by a beautiful story and before I knew it I was hooked.
I have yet to be given such a jolt while playing a campaign or scenario thus far. Separate victory conditions throughout keeps you wanting more. Excellent!
All scenarios are beatable. It just depends on how long your stamina is. Sheer perseverance is what kept me going. That and the fact that I’m like an old dog with a new found favourite bone. I found each scenario had its own unique was of winning each mission and once you have tried and failed once or twice you eventually find the right path to take.
Truly a stand out amongst designers. A brilliant storyline, interesting goals from achieving the right amount of conversions which is never an easy task, right up to protecting your allies from destruction. Beautiful maps, bitmaps and layouts.
Map Design: 4.9
Beautiful forests, rolling hills, valleys, rivers and just the right amount of elevation gives you a real feel for what the designer was achieving as ancient Sparta. Just enough eye candy to satisfy most of you, of not all. The map is repeated throughout the campaign, each with subtle differences you really must look to catch. The feel of the maps makes you want to revisit a wonderful country with such history. A unique bitmap that I found fitting for this campaign, not cluttered or lacking as if you were looking at a piece of history.
This is where I was captivated and drawn into the campaign. The Legends of Sparta covers a large period of Greek history, legend, and myth told with true creativity. Very good scenario instructions fully detailed and correct. Hints are very useful for those who need them and at times I was tempted but held fast until the end.
If at the end of the campaign you don’t feel you had somehow walked in the sandals of some of the courageous warriors of Sparta you need to replay it from start to finish. Truly excellent.
[Edited on 07/10/06 @ 08:36 PM]