Join Gorman and his band of villagers as you strike out at a merchant-ruled hierarchy while defending your headquarters. Use strategy, speed, and limited resources to overthrow the enemy and create a utopia.
To win, you must be strong, brave, and think outside the box. Use towers skillfully and get the most out of your villagers. Good luck, and may the best general triumph!
This entry got third place the Microscopic Map Contest. Only contest reviews will be allowed and any other reviews made will be changed to comments by the Granary moderators. This will be moved to a permanent section when it is created.
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Review of Villagers
An interesting scenario to say the least. You take on the role of Gorman, leader of a band of oppressed rebel peasants in a large city. You must defeat the tyrannical merchants who despise the peasants. It's pretty tough, since you start out with only a few villager heros. They aren't much good at fighting, and as soon as they start to fight they turn into villagers. It's a good thing you only fight clubman.
Very hard(For me at least), fighting clubman with villagers isn't as easy as it sounds, especially since the enemy continuously pumps them out. You defeat the merchants by taking over GAIA buildings, gathering resources with them, and gradually building up your strength. You have to be fast though, you have a time limit of 40 minutes.
The "Rebels in big city" thing has been done before, but not quite like this. The VC's aren't outstandingly creative(You kill one player, and also must never let them capture some ruins), but they're pretty good. And the way you accomplish them is pretty different from other scenarios like this.
Map Design: 4.5
The whole map is a big city, and it's done very well. Good trees, paths, buildings, and good use of the EE building overlap abilities. It would be nicer if there was a little more grass, though.
Nice story, captivating and always clear. The hints are good, and if you get stuck(Like I did)there's a handy walkthrough you can use. Language is a bit colorful in parts though.
Official Review and Scoring
First Thoughts: The scenario title seemed too simple. Villagers. Like - roggan? But, then again, the simple, one-word title hides a far more complex, somewhat challenging microscopic puzzle. You are to take four villagers into combat against opposing forces - the city guards, and the merchants. The scenario instruction bitmap failed to portray the map itself, but it was more like a painting of the story.
1: Playability (4.5)
Despite some movement issues caused by pathfinding, which is a common problem on microscopic maps, there is little wrong with the scenario's playability. I found, though, that I should set my first few villagers into "construction mode" to earn some advantage - which is obviously not exactly what the author wanted. I found the Palmyran villagers to have a distinct advantage over the Hero Hersifons, primarily because of their movement speed advantage.
Other issues include villagers getting stuck - once you capture the western granary you can no longer gather food efficiently, because your food gatherer will always get stuck. He always wants to go for the western granary, because that is closer to the berries, but the route there is blocked.
2: Balance (4.4)
Balance is good, not perfect, but doable. If you fail to take out the yellow barracks near your starting position, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by hostiles, so that should be of key importance. You have a couple of villagers, the strength of a clubman each, to fight off a horde of hostile clubmen, and outrun hoplites and cataphracts. Not an easy task, but with frequent saving and careful planning, it can be executed.
Nearing the end of the game, however, the tides are turned. After researching Jihad, your task will become all too easy. Even though the enemy has a great might of clubmen at hand, your villagers will just dash among them, leaving nothing but heavy hostile losses in their path. Even by the end of the scenario, it would be nice to see something puzzling event - after all, this is meant to be a puzzle map.
3: Creativity (4.2)
If someone has played puzzle maps then he will know that this one is quite similar to them. Try to gain access to all the gaia units, but first make up your mind and start thinking - which blockade do you want to break? So this scenario is similar to many other puzzle maps that I have come across over so far.
On the other hand, I can't say the scenario feeds on previous maps for its puzzles, because there are some nice twists and turns in your way. In the first place, you are limited to villagers, and later on, priests. You can only train a limited number of priests, so use them with utmost care, but when done so, they give you a distinct advantage. The fact that you can't let the ruins be captured is another nice twist, not seen in many other maps, which always makes you think twice before you start out on doing anything serious.
Too bad you are never given a chance to explore. You see everything right from the start, allowing you to overthink your strategy and set up plans - nothing can catch you by surprise. The element of surprise, which is an important detail even of puzzle maps, is unfortunately left out of this scenario.
4: Map Design (4.6)
An interesting attempt at making a puzzle scenario inside a city resulted in a map that wants to portray a 100% urban environment. The map design is not bad - if you look at individual parts of the city, each and every one of them is fine on its own. The narrow passages between two walls, the city guards stationed in crenellation spaces, it is all here for you. The map is decorated with nice use of eye candy and design elements, which makes for a nice composition in certain areas.
On the other hand, as you do not get the chance to explore, you do gain the opportunity to have a look at the whole map from above, and - well, it is not exactly like a city. Merely just buildings thrown on top of each other, with blockades looking somewhat out of place in some places. Unfortunately, when viewed from above, the scenery does not give the impression of a city, which should look - a tad bit different. When designing your maps, do not only take the small details into account, but the whole map itself, as well. I missed that here.
5: Story/Instructions (4.0)
Unfortunately I had to check back on the instructions a couple of times. Instructions need to be connected to the story, and if they are not, you will have a hard time remembering exactly what they are - especially when the map design doesn't help them, either. For example, for a long time I had the feeling that my victory objective is to kill the opposing hero - turned out, I was wrong.
The story was good, I found it interesting - it made the otherwise simple scenario title look more worthy as well. The story is nicely told, with small hints on what parts of the map to look out for, which I found a clever touch. Too bad it did not tell me what my ultimate goal is (besides gaining freedom).
-- Overall (4.34)
Ever wanted to lead a rebellion? Ever wanted to test your skills when it comes to hit-and-run tactics, guerilla warfare and other juicy stuff like that? This scenario will definately give you the opportunity. If you are a fan of puzzles set into a scenario when every force you encounter is most likely your enemy, do not miss out on this one.
A fun scenario to play, from a very promising designer who is good at arranging objects on the micro level. Next time, just make sure you also think globally and plan the layout of your maps more carefully - for a more realistic bird's eye view. Keep it up.
Playability: 4.4 Very nice, the only buildable units are palmy villagers (although the only buildable enemy units are clubmen) Most things are based upon finding certain buildings, A granary for gathering food, a storage pit for gathering stone and a market to research Seigecraft. Gravel pits mark possible tower foundations, sometimes, needed to progress. Having some buildings in another part of town causes villagers to walk the wrong way, but mostly it works fine… You might also build the first tower in a different spot to indirectly defeat that axeman. The red player sometimes makes units of his own, filling no function and using my space!
Balance: 4.6 The scenario is a fine puzzle, with the clubmen acting as a potential threat. The time limit is no big threat, but makes you feel pressured. If you can figure it out the scenario is still a little bit challenging… Towers will become your main offensive unit, which means that, if you can get a tower the area is safe!
Creativity: 4.7 The scenario is based completely around villagers and towers and the way you use them, Using Gravel pits as hints and making towers the players main offensive units are good ideas, the victory is based only around killing the merchants, but the loss conditions were more interesting… You must always guard you HQ!
Map design: 4.8 A nice city here, the EE is very close to being abused, with other words; at it’s best! Some buildings could have been skipped but aren’t really noticed among the others, for example a tool age house behind many buildings. The small wall rubble between paths doesn’t make it look much better, but not worse either, ponds look a little bit weird but it’s a very nice city.
Story/instructions: 5 a good story, and clear instructions, just kill the merchants. But wait, does Gorman want a moustache or something? Or does he like to point it out all the time? :P There are hints in the hints section and a Walkthrough in history. (If you’re too stupid to understand the hints)