Playability: 3. This was a quite engrossing, likable scenario with well chosen and balanced forces which was at the same time made more intriguing and also more disappointing by the fragile cease-fire which appeared as some kind of fluke. We have landed all our invasion forces and secured the beach head. Our transports have departed but our warships line the beach providing extra protection. The designer put more thought into this than most people do. We actually have medic priests and combat engineer villies. And --
even though we are Greek, somehow we have my favorite unit, the Horse Archer. Must be contractors. Now things get real squirrelly. For some reason the enemy has declared a cease-fire. I can ride up next to his units and they don't attack. OK, I'll play it as it lays. I strengthened my beach head position to the point where I was surrounded by a wall of towers and fairly secure. At any time I wanted to, I could break the cease-fire by either attacking the enemy or by resetting my Diplomacy to Neutral. After about 30 minutes the enemy decided to attack. But I had strengthened my position so much that now he could not push me back into the sea. This continued for several hours as the enemy kept switching from attacking to cease-fire seemingly at random. At first it was fascinating but later it became disappointing as I would blast away at one of his units without taking return fire, if he was in one of his pacifist moods. I noticed one other thing--the priests did not automatically go on to the next wounded warrior after healing the first one, I had to micromanage all the healing. I didn't find anything strange in the victory conditions or diplomacy or strat and per that would explain this behavior.
Balance: 2.5. At first the enemy had superior forces and fortifications and might have done some serious damage, if he had only decided to. Later after I teched up to ballista towers it was too late.
Creativity: 2.5. A random map improved by a rather convoluted fortified city. If the designer had invented the cease-fire effect, wow, an automatic 5.
Map: 2.5. Random map but nice fortified city. However, as one of the hints implies, you don't necessarily have to go in the front door since eventually he lumberjacks the entire forest off the rear of the city and opens up the back door.
History etc.: 1.5 Not much here, one pertinent hint.
Comments: For some reason he took a perfectly plausible scenario with a very sensible selection of invasion forces, and added cheat units. I had one medusa which I deleted and then decided to keep the resulting horse archer to add to my existing HAs. I was doing a cav arch sweep and bumped a Flying Dutchman. This was so jarring and out of character I got upset, created my own Photon Man, and took out the Flying Dutchman and then deleted my Photon Man. Two can play the cheat game. Later I ran into invisible priests who tried to convert my platoon of horse archers. Thwack! Instant pin-cushion.
Recommended for download just to investigate the cease-fire phenomenon.