This is another of those hidden gems in the AoEH Granary.
Lilybaion plays a lot like a Iron High RM game, but against AI players that know what they're doing. This is precisely the reason why it's such a fun scenario, with some decent replay value. You never get bored of locking in against the computers in a RM, and it's pretty much the same thing here. Another interesting thing is that this is a FFA map with only 2 other players. It's beautiful in it's simplicity, and brings to mind a more refined version of classical ES scenario gameplay.
The main drawback of this being a FFA is that it is quite easy for the player to withdraw and let the computers fight it out between themselves. While the player definitely will come under attack, the remote location of their town, together with some good natural defenses from the terrain, make it so that you're quite unlikely to ever lose your base. Still, you're constantly dealing with harassment both at land and sea, and mounting any type of offense is bound to be a challenge.
In terms of gameplay I see little unique about this scenario. It's really just a typical B&D set in the Iron Age. While this is actually part of the charm of the map, it also makes it hard to award a high creativity score. The sheer brilliance of the volcanic crater of mount Etna on the map brings this up to a flat 4.
Map Design: 4.9
Overall very nice, thought there are few particular feats apart from the aforementioned volcanic crater of Etna. The geographical accuracy of the map really impressed me, and this together with the great map rendering meant the map was guaranteed to get a high score here. I like how grass patches are used to align perfectly with the beach edges, something which I often do myself, though some players might scoff at it. One can see that the Enhanced Editor has been put to great use in this scenario. Still some forests further away from the player base are still only drawn with the bland default forest brush. Though making hand placed forests when you know the computer will still start chopping away at them before the player even sees them might feel like unnecessary work, that's really what's keeping me from giving this scenario a full 5.
Not much of a story, the history section covers some details though it is not very extensive. I really like the historical accuracy of the scenario and it shows that research has been done, but it's not communicated to the player in any higher degree. The language is fine and the instructions are clear. A basic bitmap raises this score a slight bit.
I intended to review this map years ago. You can tell Adrianus was one of those designers who learned and improved with every new work. This is the final scenario they submitted to AoEH, and though it's a bit on the simple side, the map is beautifully crafted and probably their greatest single work. I hope my review will help bring some attention to this hidden gem.