Map: Huge (from scratch) co-op: Yes (shared civ) Playtime: 6 to 9 hours (approx) Play tested: Thoroughly The concept is a campaign in one scenario. There are 10 tasks to perform in order to achieve victory. Don't expect a walk in the park on moderate, it's a battle all the way. If you consider yourself an advanced player you'll enjoy this one on hard or hardest but beware of rapidly consumed gold by your opponents at these levels, if you don't move fast enough, there might not be enough left for yourself to complete the quest. There are 8 civs to choose from (4 can't build ballista towers which you must construct somewhere) No initial attack will be made on you, and you will be left alone for as long as you choose to remain in your corner. However the longer you wait the less gold you'll capture. There is a story tied in, with some hints, as to the itemized tasks you have to accomplish. Not wishing to give too much away at this point; Here is the last paragraph of the story and the last 3 objectives pertaining to the paragraph. (these only consume about the last 1/2 hour or so of play) Our spies tell of a market in Goshen where most of the treasonous plans and deals are negotiated with the consent of the Green Priests whom hold the people of that land in great fear and oppression. This I will destroy as my last duty to crown and kingdom. Then I shall return heroic and well traveled to claim what is rightfully mine. VICTORY CONDITIONS: 8).......Destroy the Green Priest's market located between green double flags 9).......Explore 98% of the map 10).....Bring Herisfon to the blue double flags within the walls that he may go home to claim his crown. P.S. I put a lot of time and effort into my scenarios. This one took approximately 35 to 40 hours to perfect!
Picking a scenario at random for a play, I had the luck of finding a very good one.
This scenario has more play time than your average campaign. As indicated, the mission will take around 6-9 hours for a rookie to average player. You might want to save your game a lot and play it over a few days. The objectives are enjoyable and challenging, and you feel good when you finally beat it.
The mission is pure B&D, and lots of it. It's difficult, but in a "hard to win" not "easy to lose" way. I will however advise that you remember that you are Hero Herisfon, who becomes a villager when tasked. NUMBER HIM, and DON'T DELETE HIM. Also, save a lot.
The most creative part of this mission is that it entails so much gameplay within a mission. I can't really remember the last mission I played that lasted me so many hours, let alone a good one. The map design has some nice eye candies, and a unique arrangement of terrains to form a challenging and complicated map. Creative story too. Just lacking a little in variations, most of your goals and very B&D centered, despite the objectives all being fairly original. Exploring 98% of the map was a good one, and I don't recall seeing that used before in an AoE scenario.
Map Design: 5
This was made in '98, when map design was more about playability than beauty. Even by todays standards this is close to a 5. It makes such a strong impression when I start the game and see a golden forest and grass patch terrain. I knew it was going to be a great mission right then.
The story, like all other areas, has plenty of thought. It wasn't the best story ever, but it was a good read, and made you feel like the mission was actually about something. A good bitmap would have probably got it up to a 5.
I know few people will download this simply because it is not "new", but it's certainly more worthy than most submissions. Hopefully some more people will discover this as it heads off to the "Top Rated" section.