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Anglo Saxon Chronicle

Author File Description
Thompsoncs
File Details
Number of Scenarios: 5
Difficulty: Hardest
The Anglo Saxon Chronicle achieved 3rd place in the contest, after Gumble and Fruktfisk.

It tells the story of the Anglo Saxon period of England until the invasion of Duke William of Normandy (william the Conqueror).

Though all scenario's have a fixed force element, I tried to give each scenario something unique.

Scenario 1: Several Saxon armies arrive in England, where you will lead them. They will have to defeat the inhabitants and build there own kingdoms.

Scenario 2: The Anglo-Saxons are in a winning mood, but they go to far in enemy territory. Their army is slaughtered and you must lead the survivors back to friendly territory before night falls (so before a timer runs 0).

Scenario 3: The biggest and according to some best scenario of the campaign with good ai performance. The Anglo-Saxons are divided and fight each other for power. You will lead Mercia, a rising power.

Scenario 4: The vikings have arrived. You will take command of Alfred the great's army and hold off the invaders and baptise one of their leaders.

Scenario 5: After some Viking kings lead england the throne finally came back to a Saxon, Harold Godwinson. He's challenged by his brother who has viking support and by duke william of normandy. After having defeated his brother in the north, Harold's battered army moves south to engage william who has crossed the channel. In a heroic stand at Hastings the saxons and normans decide the fate of early medieval England.

A intro movie is made as well, not for ingame view, but to view in a media player. because it's to big I will upload it in a separate file. I will post the link here.

I might do some updates if I happen to have more time available.
AuthorReviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Gumble
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.5
Balance4.5
Creativity4.6
Map Design4.2
Story/Instructions4.2
‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles’

Recommend RoR Version: Either Rise of Rome 1.0a or Rise of Rome 1.0

Playability - 4.5
When one thinks of an AoE Deathmatch, one thinks narrowly of a pile of resources that quickly turn into elephants and Hittite catapults. Not so with Thompsoncs. With expertise Thompsoncs has created a wonderful campaign on the dark age of England between the fall of the Roman Empire and the establishment of England as a nation. Celts, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and everything in between are shown here in scenarios with deathmatch styled Do-or-Die mentality. Only the strong and organised player stands a chance in Thompsoncs campaign. There is definitely a strong cinematic feel to these scenarios that make more like an interactive movie than anything else. The weakness is a lack of proper detail and attention to all aspects of the campaign. It’s a good run, but it lacks a certain substance to see it through. Also the 1st and 3rd scenarios are buggy and crash often. This is probably due to the vast amount of units and the AI that goes with it.

Balance – 4.5
The best aspect is defiantly the difficulty. One expects an easier time when one has nearly unlimited resources, but no, those resources run dry if one is not smart about using them. Most of the scenarios run with an initial fixed force turned B@D slog. What Thompsoncs need to understand is that to focus too much on a single style or game play type is not enough to give it the best ratings. For example, the 1st and 3rd scenarios play much the same way, as does the 2nd and 4th scenarios. The best campaigns have each scenario contribute something totally different to the campaign and stand unique among each other. Design with this in mind and you won’t go too far wrong.

Creativity – 4.6
Creativity affects everything in a campaign. The best have to be completely different to every other campaign AoE has to offer. This is a difficult challenge and one Thompsoncs handled well. The movie especially really boosted this score. It was a great glimpse at what the world of medieval England was like. Of Course one can’t make a campaign on the Saxons without watching a movie like Arthur. The objectives for the first part of the 4th scenario were an obvious nod to the movie. But the game play needs to be different; the unit strategy has to be different. Once you play the first scenario, all the other ones pretty much follow the same suit, both in terms of style, design, and feel. The Vikings bringing back their booty to the island was a brilliant touch. More ideas like that would be wonderful.

Map Design – 4.2
This could have been a lot better. Thomponcs campaign suffers from what Gumble calls Carpel Tower Syndrome. Simply speaking there are towers and a lot of them. The way Thompsoncs designed the campaign is as if every town and village in England was a virtual fortress in the early Middle Ages. This ruins gameplay, especially as many of the towers were hard to get to and there were no siege units to get them. Also the range of the things meant that siege had a greatly reduced effectiveness. On top of this the Computer AI likes to SPAM towers freaking everywhere. That’s a real fun killer. A disappointment was a lack of good town design; they all looked the same – walls and roads in a grid-like pattern. General map design was pretty good but again there were no memorable design pieces or fantastic layouts. In a way, this campaign may be a lot better if it was designed in AoE2 rather than AoE1.

Story/instructions – 4.2
The bitmaps were good and gave a unique feel to the campaign. Images and pictures instead of the usual maps. Grammar and Spelling does needs work as well as general clarification; Thompsoncs wrote the Story/Instructions in such a way as to assume that the audience knew much of the history of England already and its people. Gumble would have liked to have seen a more informative version, which told of the people and culture. Also a map with the modern names of the places mentioned in the campaign, Gumble got very confused with some of the old styled names.

Total – 4.4 = Great Campaign
This is a fun and challenging campaign, there is no doubt about that. Out of all the designers AoEH has seen, Thompsoncs has repeatedly come out on top as the overall best death match styled scenario designer and this campaign carries that ‘battles of a grand scale’ with skill and innovation. Unfortunately for Thompsoncs, the price of this is a lack of finesse and detail that would otherwise put him as a serious contender for the title of top designer. For his campaigns to be the best he needs to put more thought into making unique campaigns that have more refinement, balance, and form. Basically every aspect needs to be made with absolute care and showcase creativity and originality. Thompsoncs is well down this path and there are only a few design and writing obstacles that still stand in his way.
Fruktfisk
Staff
Rating
4.0
Breakdown
Playability4.1
Balance4.7
Creativity3.1
Map Design3.5
Story/Instructions4.5

The Thompsoncs Campaign:
Anglo-Saxon ...Something... something.

Playability: 3.6
The Thompsoncs campaign consists mostly of fixed force scenarios, and contains some of the greatest fixed force scenarios I've seen in a while. The scenarios still manage to remain fun and challenging, maybe because they're pretty short. What drags the playability score down is that the high number of units can cause a few of the scenarios to crash my game, there were also a few minor bugs as well, such as in the final battle where the green army will go to help during a lion attack or something, meaning that setting the battle with the BLPs will not work, or the failed starting trigger in scenario 2.

Playability: 4.1
I'm too lazy to rewrite this short part of the review, let's just say the minor bugs I complained about were fixed, and you have been granted an extra 0.5 to your playability score.


Balanze: 4.7
The balance in these scenarios is excellent, every battle is a challenge, and involves a lot of tasking your units and building up an effective formation, but at some points my units just seem to weak to serve as anything else than meat shields for the archers. At some points I felt like some battles were just too easy, others were too hard, but most of them were completable.


Creativity: 3.1
The campaign loses a bit of it's score here, the scenarios are virtually the same, fixed force scenarios with some nice objectives. Though the scenarios are employed very nicely it lacks variation. The exception is the scenario "Mercian Supremacy" which was probably my favourite. The map design lacks creativity too, as it is often very linear or at some points lacking completely. This is probably the first time I've actually felt that the Creativity area has had any use when reviewing.


Map Design: 3.5
This isn't one of the stronger elements of the campaign either, the maps generally only have spots of rendered terrain, these spots look nice and I wish that Thompson would have taken his time to work on the terrain. Paths mostly just consist of desert painted on grass. The map design is really simple by todays standards, and even without the new editors a lot more could've been done to the map design. I saw some nice hand placed forests though, which was really nice.


Story/Instructionz: 4.5
The Storyline is generally just historical information about the battles you fight, which is nice and all, but I wish it would tell me more about the life and culture in Post-Roman Britannia.
The campaigns bitmaps look pretty strange but they at least get their purpose done. What improved this score was the nice cinematic that was shipped with the campaign. Though it is a very simple video consisting of a few images it is the first time I've seen anything like that with a campaign.

Final Score: 3.8 3.9
The campaign is nice overall, but really lacks variation and map design. I feel like the creativity score gives you an undeserved drop in the score, as there technically isn't anything wrong with the scenarios themselves. Once again, a campaign with nice challenging gameplay, but lacking in map design and variety. There are a few bugs in the campaign which are quite annoying, fixing the bugs and working a bit more on the map design would've made this a 4+ campaign.

I think about nominating Mercian Supremacy for the AI/Per Award, though I'm not sure if the scenario actually had custom AI, but at least it was challenging.

[Edited on 02/03/11 @ 04:42 PM]

Suppiluliuma
Staff
Rating
4.6
Breakdown
Playability4.3
Balance4.5
Creativity4.5
Map Design5.0
Story/Instructions4.5
Playability: 4.3
(I've got to say that this campaign has some of the most confussing scenarios i've ever played (I'm referring to the Mercian supremacy scenario specifically). After days and days of trying I finally finished it. Still it was entertaining enough even tho restarting the scenarios over and over again was the rule. So one needs to be quite patient. The different objectives make it hardly boring, but as I pointed out earlier: it made it frustrating for me. In any case thescenarios test the flexibility and ability of the player and that is a good thing.)

Balance: 4.5
(A campaign not designed for newbies in this game but for medium or advanced level players. All the scenarios require high skill. But if one’s conscious it won’t be a ride at the park one could have some exciting times completing the scenarios.)

Creativity: 4.5
(for some scenarios there are instructions regarding what kind of units are "allowed" and which ones you aren't supposed to train. That's a nice detail, and in moments like that i feel disappointed that you can't edit which units you may train for a scenario or a campaign. The victory conditions however are somewhat confusing, but even so I can’t deny they are original. )

Map Design: 5
(The scenarios are well done and make us remember when there were forests in Britain. Some scenarios are even "geographically" accurate (at least as accurately as the scenario editor and the game allows), even tho others are clearly product of the imagination of the creator of the campaign (most notably the Viking invasion scenario). The towns/cities are nice and good looking, and roomy compared to the other campaigns i've played for this contest.)

Story/Instructions: 4.5
(There are many interesting historical facts extending from the anglo saxon migration to the Hastings battle. And is interesting that this period of history was overlooked by AoK. However regarding objectives and victory conditions, I think it would be friendlier if the objectives of such scenario as the "Mercian Supremacy" one were simpler and more straightforward. )

Additional Comments: I liked the intro movie and the detail in the precampaign (objectives, history, hints) report. That's a nice and enjoyable detail. I know the Viking invasion scenario has a huge (or gigantic) map however i was disappinted when i realized that beyond the wall of forest there were only empty green spaces. If you don't want to fill a map with cool stuff then make a smaller one.

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Rating
4.3
Breakdown
Playability4.3
Balance4.6
Creativity4.1
Map Design4.2
Story/Instructions4.4
Statistics
Downloads:1,034
Favorites: [Who?]1
Size:1.03 MB
Added:11/19/10