The Siege of Masada, 70 AD
|P L Guderian
You are the commander of the Roman 10th legion, pursuing the Jewish Zealots out in the desert. As you come forward, the Zealots fall back to the fortress town of Masada. You the Romans, begin a siege... Have fun!
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This is an above average scenario, but it flops in balance. Play as the Romans and lay waste to the Jewish Zealots. Good for a quick thrill, but not if you crave a challenge.
There just isn’t much here in terms of playability and balance. Perhaps it is historical, which is good, but a battle where you easily defeat the enemy isn’t any fun, there needs to be more to it. In this case the thing that spoiled playability for me was that I could finish so quickly.
There is virtually nothing to challenge the player. Anyone can beat this, since the enemy really has nothing to offer. The only obstruction to defeating them is the towers, which are dead meat to a few heavy catapults. A time limit, shortage of resources, more complexity and a more powerful enemy would make it better.
The scenario is unique enough is its outline, but it needs something special to make it challenging, like a neat puzzle to find your units, or a shortage of units. Perhaps you are just one small army that has been cut off from the Legion, and you must defend on a hill until your main army breaks through and rescues you, then you join in and attack the main fortress. You can always make up events, or be only part of an army. The alligators guarding the gold were a nice touch though.
Map Design: 3
The map is okay, with a fortification protected on most sides, and a little oasis here and there, but the technique in desert making isn’t there, which is very important in a map of this nature. First thing I notice are there are no elevations. A quick lesson: In any RTS scenario editor it is essential that there are natural looking elevations all around. Just splashing the brush around a bit is more than enough to make it look much better. Next – Although the desert terrain ambient is generated naturally, which is much better than a blank desert, they are too random and unnatural. Also, since they are standard terrain this is easily recognizable, and the eye is used to it.
Use desert theme Gaia units and desert terrain, as well as occasional jungles of both type, and a few shallows and water oases. Even use grass, in small and splashed patches. Break the areas up by having a varied density of eye candy detail, and give each small area a theme. One patch will have a huge amount of cacti, especially Cactus 3 say. Another will have a lot of terrain cracks on grass, while the next area will have a dried up river made of terrain cracks on a lower elevation, with desert patches and shallows tiles. As a base use palm trees on small hills with desert patches, and of course leave some areas almost blank.
Play some scenarios by Andrea, Fire Legion, Imhotep and Bismarck to get a good feel for designing deserts.
A story and instructions is all I can ask, but a bitmap and a unique angle is much better. Every scenario should be told from a perspective, not just from the ambiguous role you seem to play in every mission. Try to get away from this, and tell the story from the role of a person, even if they are just an observer that plays no part in the mission. Some more historical background would be good too.
Quite good for a start, but there’s plenty to improve on, and some of that will come instantly. I’d make another scenario with a historical theme and work on making it a 4 star.
It was very easy to beat.
The balance was overwhelmingly balanced in my favor, even on Hardest difficulty.
This was quite Creative, with an idea of playing the Masada scenario in history. But the map could have used more things where there is a ton of empty desert.
Map Design: 4
Pretty good map but it could use alot more in the empty desert areas.
Clear and simple, but I didn't care for instructing the player to smash Masada like the Nazis smashed the Warsaw Ghetto. The situations aren't so very similar, although there is a little similarity. In ancient Judea, the Judeans rebelled against the Romans to achieve independence and Masada was a holdout fortress. The Holocaust wasn't like that, and I didn't really care for the idea of playing as someone compared to a Nazi soldier destroying the Nazi-created Warsaw Ghetto and its uprising. So I give a 3.8 instead of a 5.
I beat it on Moderate and Hardest, but for some reason it was way too easy - the enemy just had a few soldiers and villagers. The locals did start quickly making a yellow base with barracks and pumping out soldiers and villagers, but they were on the nomad level with clubmen, so it was pretty easy to take them out with my soldiers. The red base hardly built itself up, and I probably could have ignored attacking the yellow base anyway.
[Edited on 04/03/19 @ 01:05 PM]