An unofficial add-on cd from Denmark. Features some plain looking scenario's and campaigns, most of them without instructions, nothing spectacular. There is an intro video however, which looks quite awesome!
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It has a file with a pack of scenarios each titled MMA-Crazy, such as "MMA-Crazy-FirstChristians.scn"
Their "Historical Scenarios" run from Troy in the 12th century BC to the Battle of Rafia ( in Gaza in Palestine ) in 217 BC.
[Edited on 09/16/21 @ 05:44 PM]
The "First Christians" Scenario sets you as the Assyrians vs. the Greeks and your two goals are to find the Promised land and find two discoveries.
This is a little confusing because it sounds like it is talking about the Israelites going into Canaan/"Zion" in Joshua's and Moses' time. But the title about the first Christians would mean that it applies to the 1st century AD.
The only way to make sense out of this is to either consider the "First Christians" to be the Israelites entering the Promised land in the Bronze Age or early Iron Age, or to consider this a surreal version of the 1st century Christians transposed into Bronze Age Zion. In Christian theology, the ancient Israelites are considered "Christians" in some spiritual sense, one reason being the identification of Christ with God guiding the Israelites in the desert. But the opening has you in a giant pen with lions, which implies the Roman persecution of Christians.
[Edited on 09/04/21 @ 12:30 PM]
In general, this is a pack of 3 campaigns, many scenarios that are mostly 1 Player, and some Real World maps.
I played 9 of the scenarios and they were all beatable.
The balance was generally good. I beat them on Hard or the Hardest settings. I am probably Noob level compared to most active Multiplayer gamers, but better on Single Player maps. Actually they tended to be easy scenarios in terms of their balance, but I would rather have scenarios be too easy than so hard that they are practically unwinnable. The downside for balance in other words was that they were alittle too easy, often. So I would bring it down to 4.0 for balance.
The Creativity was very good. The designer certainly put in a lot of effort, considering the large number of scenarios. However, the maps in the Egyptian campaign seemed to tend to repeat themselves in their layout, and I would thus give them a 4.0 for creativity.
MAP DESIGN: 4.0
I would consider this to have a lot of overlap with the CREATIVITY category, although there were some extra places for improvement, like how in the Intro scenario you can see the edge of the DISCOVERY objective when the mission begins because your wall tiles start close enough to it.
This was the main weakness. The Story sections and instruction sections were very short or non-existent. However, on the upside, the Story was typically rather obvious in the scenarios, to the point where the scenarios did not need much more story. For example, the historical battles were typically known from history, so that with the names and dates of the battles given in the titles, you can just check their write-ups online on places like Wikipedia. Further, the objectives were generally straightforward, to the point where longer instructions were not really necessary.
The README file just had very basic info about the full collection, and no explanation about the individual files.
The producer is MMA, located in Skaffervej 8, Copenhagen. There is no more information about the company who made it that I can find.
I found a company online called "MMA" that is named after Malik Mohammed Ayoub and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark at Frederikssundsvej 68E, st. tv. I suppose that this could be the same company, since the designer's native language does not seem to be English or Danish based on the nature of his rare grammar mistakes.
The title Conquest of the Empire in the Intro video is shown on a map of the Mediterranean with Italy in the middle and little of the Near East shown. This makes it sound like the game is about Barbarians conquering the Roman empire. However, the pack included almost no scenarios involving the Roman empire.
The collection uses an Installer, which felt alittle annoying at first because I would just rather copy and paste the relevant scenario and campaign files. The installer turned out to work fine though because it lets you decide which campaigns and scenarios to install. One reason why I felt a need to use the installer is because the Campaign folder in the Conquest of the Empires pack has CPD files and I don't know what to do with them otherwise.
REAL WORLD MAPS
The "Real Maps" folder has a total of 39 maps in the form of scenario files, covering Africa, Australia, Egypt, Europe, and Sphacteria. Wikipedia says that "Sphacteria also known as Sphagia is a small island at the entrance to the bay of Pylos in the Peloponnese, Greece."
Wikipedia also says that "The Battle of Sphacteria was a land battle of the Peloponnesian War, fought in 425 BC between Athens and Sparta."
The Campaign folder has 3 Campaigns, Babylon, New Kingdom, and Sphacteria, made of the scenarios listed for those campaigns in the Historical scenarios folder.
In the BABYLONIAN campaign, the Scenarios are Hammurabi, Mari, Larsa, and End. Based on the names of the scenarios, this campaign is about Hammurabi's rule. Wikipedia says, "After the defeat of Rim-Sin I by Hammurabi of Babylon, Larsa became a minor site". This information helps give background on the Lara scenario. The Instructions for the End scenario are:
"You shall not leave such a flourishing civilization. Develop it further at your own discretion."
The scenario's Instructions also say that the Objective is the Standard Victory Conditions.
The Babylon campaign's scenarios in the .cpn campaign file have no instructions, but the campaign's files do have instructions in the Historical Scenarios folder's set of .scn files that correspond to those in this campaign.
NEW KINGDOM CAMPAIGN:
For background reference: The Hyksos reigned Egypt in 1630-1523 BC. Egypt's New Kingdom was in 1550-1069 BC. Moses lived sometime in 1600-1200 BC.
The campaign's scenarios have short History, Instruction, and Hint sections. The geography in these five scenarios is remarkably similar, although there are some differences between them, like the width of the Nile. The campaign could use more creativity in the form of additional differences between the scenarios' geography and the layout of the starting units and buildings. Below are my notes on the campaign's 5 scenarios:
#1. (Egypt, 1570-1545 BC)(I beat it on HARD) In the History section, the Egyptians have overthrown the Pharaohs. The Story is that you are Amasis I, the pharaoh, who in 1570-1545 BC is conquering Nubia.
Your starting dock can't make warships because there isn't enough room - the Nile is a narrow shallows creek.
On the HARDEST mode, the Yellow Player destroyed my TC. They use their navy. There is not much fish or maybe even any. They attacked hard with their navy. You are stuck defending your TC because you lose if it's destroyed.
#2. (Date: 1505-1480 BC)(I beat it in HARD) The story is that you are Queen Hatsheput of Egypt. Your southern barracks' spawning point is trapped between a stone pile and storage pile, so that your new recruits are stuck there. I take it that this is a design flaw, but the Designer could have meant it as an added challenge.
On HARDEST, the Yellow Player is very aggressive against you, building a pit right on the edge of your TC and then building a dock and watch tower in your base too early in the scenario. My Punt ally built himself up strong enough that he was able to ward off the enemies attacking my base, and he reached the bronze age before the other enemies. But at this point I got stuck because the Red Player used up the wood on the east side of my base, and the Yellow and Brown players blocked my path to getting my wood on the west and south using their towers.
#3. (1491-1436 BC)(I beat it on HARDEST) You are Thutmosis III and have a base in Egypt while fighting enemies at Megiddo and Kadesh in Palestine.
#4. "Attempt to introduce reform of religion in Egypt" (1377-1358 BC) The scenario is about the rule of Amenophis IV Akhenaten.
The History section says that "iron appeared" in Egypt in 670 BC. But Study.com says "The Iron Age in Egypt began in the period called the Early Iron Age between 1200 and 1000 BC". To be more exact, the Egyptians began smelting iron in the 7th-6th centuries BC, but the Iron Age began earlier there because Egyptians made iron tools from meteorites.
#5. (1050-30 BC)(I beat it on HARDEST) The History section lists Iron Age events that would follow the first four scenarios and run from 1050-30 BC. The History section also says that the scenario does not have to do with these events. The Instructions say that I start in the iron age, and that it would be a pity to just end the campaign with the fourth scenario, so that in the fifth scenario, I am to just run my empire at my discretion "despite the history." The implication is that the scenario is a fictional story of building your empire in Iron Age Egypt.
The Historical Scenarios folder contains the follwing scenarios:
X MMA Intro.scn (I beat it on HARDEST)
MMA-Campaign-Babylon-Hammurabi.scn (Hammurabi reigned in 1792 – 1750 BC)
MMA-Campaign-Babylon-Mari.scn (Hammurabi destroyed Mari in 1759 BC)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Arginussae 406BC.scn (Athenian naval victory over Sparta)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Chiangling 280 BC.scn (You are commander Bo Tsi, defending from the province Zhou)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Gaugamela 331BC.scn (Alexander the Great's battle in Assyria)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Lechaeum 390 BC.scn (This was in Greece)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Leuctra 371 BC.scn (This was in Greece)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Marathon 490 BC.scn
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Plataea 479 BC.scn (This was in Greece)
X MMA-HistoricalBattle-Rafia 217 BC.scn (This was in Gaza, Palestine)(I beat it on HARDEST)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Salamis 480 BC.scn (This was in Greece.)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Thermopylae 480 BC.scn (This was in Greece.)
MMA-HistoricalBattle-Troy XIIc BC.scn
X MMA-HistoricalBattle-TyreSiege 332 BC.scn (I beat it on HARDEST)
The INTRO Scenario instructions include: "This is Intro scenario for nice beginning." The author's native language must not belong to a language family like Danish and English that use articles like "the."
The INTRO scenario's goal is to "Find Discovery." The Player begins with blue walls and the walls in the northeast are near the Discovery, so you can see the tail end of the Discovery. It seems like a Design flaw. Further, just revealing the Discovery with your villager is not enough: In my playtesting I had to have my villager stand directly on the Discovery to win.
TyreSiege 332 BC:
It has no History section, although the Instructions say that Alexander took Tyre in 7 months. Your army, including your heroes Tiberius and Alexander, begin exposed to strong enemy naval fire so it's best to immediately move your army eastward when the mission starts. The Designer might have made it this way to add a challenge. In general, it can be an easy mission if you use your navy to carefully fight the enemy towers, build towers on the east shore by the ford shallows, and then break through the enemy walls. It also helps if you make your navy dodge the enemy naval missiles while fighting the enemy navy.
HistoricalBattle-Rafia 217 BC:
It has no History section, and practically all that the Instructions say are that it was a battle between the Egyptians and Syrians, and that Standard VCs apply. One neat map feature was that you can send a scout to the northern corner and get a Town Center there, but it makes the battle lopsided in your favor. In my playthrough, the battle's starting forces were already a bit lopsided in my favor. The Human Player is the Egyptians, Player 1, and he fights against the Phoenician Civ who is Player 2.
As with the real historical battle, two east-west lines of armies face off against each other. You are the victorious Blue Egyptian player, Ptolemy IV, with the northern line. But in real history, Antiochus III, whose main base was in Syria, occupied the northern line and Ptolemy IV of Egypt occupied the southern line. So the Map Designer got the two sides' north-south directions wrong.
Wikipedia says, "The Battle of Raphia, also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 BC near modern Rafah between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king and pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire during the Syrian Wars."
The Crazy Scr folder has 44 scenarios:
X MMA-Crazy-FirstChristians.scn (I beat it on HARDEST)
MMA-Crazy-LandSiege1-BronzeAge.scn (In this series, you are the Choson vs. the Greeks.)
MMA-Crazy-WatchTower.scn (You defend against the Greeks.)
Almost all of the "Crazy" scenarios have no real story.
I would date it to 64-153 AD. Your Civ is the Assyrians, and your opponents are the Romans with the Greek Civ. You begin with a mass of Christian villagers and 2 priests in a giant pen with lions and your goal is to reach the Promised Land and find 2 Discoveries. The period is thus obviously the period of Roman persecution, which began under Nero and sometimes involved feeding Christians to lions. Plus, you are guiding the Christians in their escape. The first generation of Christians must have died out in 153 AD at the latest, because 33 AD was Jesus' crucifixion and a generation lasts at most 120 years. You can't build siege workshops, but you can still make Academy units, which are strong against towers.
Playing the "First Christians" on HARDEST, typically I could get out of the opening lion pen with 1 villager. Sometimes I got out with 2 or they got all eaten. First, I needed to delete the northern wall gate. One time I got out with 9 villagers. It seems partly based on luck.
So I played and won this scenario on HARDEST from a savegame with my 9-villager escapees. On my first try, I started by building pits and a granary, but my nine villagers were not effective enough for the big base starting on the southwest side of the river. So on my next try, my strategy was to begin by building a town center and churning out another 21 villagers to outstrip the Red Player in technology and then launch an invasion.
In the scenario "FIND," you are the Greeks and must get 1 Discovery.
In "Island of Treasures," you are the Choson and must find and defend the island with gold and stone.
In the "JOANNA" series, there is no History or explanation of who Joanna is. The first Joanna scenario is just to win by Conquest or moving onto a Discovery. In the third JOANNA scenario, your task is to free your hero man from the Babylonians.
In the "Land Siege" series, you are the Choson Civ playing against the Greeks. The Land siege and Sea Siege series have no Story.
In the "NO SHIPS" series, you are on an island with your enemy on the other side of the island and there is a narrow causeway between your two halves of the island.
"Polo" is a version of a game of Polo.
In "SPREAD," you play as the Choson Civ, and you and your Greek enemy are spread across the map in a disorderly way among each other.
In the "STRANGE" map, the story must be fictional. It's a little surreal. There is a Wonder in the middle owned by Red and Blue has a ruins in the left hand side and a countdown for victory is running for both players against each other. The map is all jungle except for the bases and roads and some pockets that you could chop for a passage.
In "STADION," the History is just that 4 meteorites hit earth. You fight the Greeks in a stadium-shaped island.
Wow great job rakovsky. Where do you find the time and energy to write up such an extensive review for something that is not that interesting?
Phatfish, I like the "First Christians" scenario in this pack. I find Single Player scenarios to be easier than Scenario Design and Multiplayer. I get worn out with them and it makes me want to take breaks and play Single Player.