I_Rule submitted this in late June; he would have been better off to have used some of the remaining ten weeks of the contest period to do some play testing, map design, research and spell-checking. By review category, my reactions are: Playability--Below Average. There is only one way to win each scenario, map forces you along right path, and you have little choice as far as force mix. Little interest inherent in terrain map which might offset tediousness of some of the fighting you must do. Creativity--Below Average. Only real spark is design of second scenario which requires you to keep the CP enemies guessing where your next attack is coming from. Balance--Average. First scenario is easy win by buildup to overwhelming force. Second and third require smart tactics with your fixed, unhealable forces to avoid loss. Map Design--Average. Some nice use of cliffs/forests and elevations to portray Caucasus Mountains; otherwise nothing special. Towns didn't look realistic; no decorative touches. Maps tend to force you onto one correct path; little opportunity to explore, try alternative strategies or make mistakes. Story/Instructions--Below Average. One bitmap, which was neither nice-looking or helpful. Uncommonly bad spelling made instructions, hints and story difficult to understand. Victory condition for second scenario didn't work, nor were flags to which you were supposed to bring your booty placed on the map. In third scenario, Stone Throwers hints tell you to use are not available, and enemy Queen (Hero Tiberius, destruction of whom was a Victory Condition) was not present on the map. Victory and loss messages bland. Historical Content--Below Average. Basic setting is well-grounded in history, but little depth provided. No description of key characters. History and story are paraphrases of one another. Overall--Just barely worth a play because of tactical dilemma in second scenario from which a valuable lesson can be learned.
Posted on 10/11/99 @ 12:00 AM
Scenario 1 - The First Invasion: A good play overall. There really are only three directions you can go on the map, so pathfinding is certainly easy. The bad guys don't wait politely to be attacked, so you need to stay alert. Challenging without being actually difficult. The instructions are barely there, although accurate, and the bitmap is very plain. Scenario 2 - The Third Devastation: Gameplay and balance were okay, but the scenario lacked in other areas. Basically a giant battle with you having fixed forces that can't be healed, trying like mad to retrieve some artifacts from a heavily defended town. Scenario 3 - The Fourth Invasion: What stonethrowers? Attack towns without gates while the bad guys take pot shots at your forces. This one had some potential, if the author could have done more with it.