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Downloads Home » The Mongolian Campaign Contest Entries » Ghengis Khan - The Way of a Ruler

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Ghengis Khan - The Way of a Ruler

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The Rasher Once a man almost conquered the entire earth. No man in history has been so respected - or feared. Loved by his people, hated by his enemies, he was truly a great example of what a leader should be. His name was Genghis Khan. He was kind and gentle, yet merciless and cruel when the need be. He bowed to no one, looked up to no one. This campaign is his story - Who he was, why he lived, and what he did. We will take a look at the life of one of the most famous men in history. Let us go far away to the land of the Mongols, where the caravan tracks lead out to the dry and foreboding deserts, where the morning's first light is just beginning to stir over this harsh and dangerous land... This will probably be my last campaign for Aoe/RoR, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
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This is an excellent campaign. The author does a good job on all aspects of design. From the great looking introductory map to the well written and engaging story, the player is treated to quality work right from the very start. The story begins with Temujin, the Mongol prince, in captivity and sentenced to die in the morning. Needless to say, Temujin escapes his guards. The first scenario, "The Invincible Prince", Temujin's goal is to unite the Mongol tribes under his rule. One thing that really shines in this campaign is the authors skill in drawing outstanding looking terrain. The author uses objects from the editor in creative ways, Things like trails made up of bones and terrain cracks used to bring texure to the landscape abound through the entire campaign. The second scenario, "Destiny", has the player as Genghis Khan, with the goal of taking the city of Pekin. The Great wall of China lies between his army and Pekin. The player has a set time limit to surmount this obstacle and destroy the government center on the other side. You will need to work fast as well as use your head if you are to get past this point in the campaign. There are several ways to reach your goal and some work better than others. The final scenario, "Hide and Seek", begins with a Mongol caravan ambushed by the forces of Shah Muhammed. Your orders are to find and kill the shah for his betrayal. This scenario takes place in the middle east. The author places the player in many situations that require you to use your head. The creativity is high all through this work. Everything works as it should. The work was clearly play tested well. I can recommend this work without hesitation. Another fine campaign from one of the best AoE designers.
Angel Grex
Superb piece of work. Anyone would enjoy playing it. Clever puzzles, tough battles, fine story, great maps. IMHO, The Rasher is in the running for a top Mongol Campaign Design Contest prize. My comments by review category are: Playability: Excellent. I actually replayed both the second and third scenarios just for fun; and to try alternative strategies, both of which worked (and that's the way it usually should be). Pathing very good. One or two irritating bottlenecks, one of which I think was by design, the other an oversight. Terrain map objects used extremely well to add to the fun factor. Always some useful goodies to find - sometimes you can't win without 'em. Creativity: Marvelous. Fuses, triggers, clever traps. Nice use of individual victory condition variants and combinations. The conversion goal in the 3rd scenario is one of the very best I've seen - you must achieve the conversion, or you lose, and a successful conversion also triggers a fuse that helps toward your ultimate objective. Getting started in the 1st scenario is also very creatively done. Some very neat Gaia terrain effects in each scenario to add points of interest. Balance: Terrific. Sometimes a hero wandering a forbidding land alone, and sometimes a mixed force with a tough objective. If you don't think, and don't select the right units for the right task, you'll lose. If you're clever, persistent, and alternatively bold and prudent, you'll win - barely. Map Design: Excellent. Always one of The Rasher's strengths. Realistic rivers and forests, nifty towns, spooky and beautiful places to see as you scout and journey. Check out the waterfalls West of Nishapur in the 3rd scenario. With few exceptions, the terrain influences but doesn't overly restrict the play. It contains both traps and opportunities, with the traps avoidable if you're careful - and the opportunities missable if you're not. Story/Instructions: Very, very good. Instructions and hints quite clear (except for a slight ambiguity in the mission statements for the third scenario), and part of the overall story. Useful and attractive bitmaps. Victory conditions very clever, and they work. Fine victory and loss messages. Historical Content: Follows the sequence of Ghenghis uniting the clans, knocking over Northern China, then chasing the treacherous Shah Muhammed thru Merv, Nishapur and Rai. Excellent job of telling a compelling story using historical fiction techniques. Rather than just use the history to set the scene, The Rasher told a story that gets you involved, and is not inconsistent with history. You believe in and feel for the characters. OVERALL, this is a MUST PLAY. A superb contest entry with lots of technical merit, it's also a heckuva lotta fun!!
Rich Parker
The Rasher is an excellent game designer and this campaign ranks among his best. Attention to detail is apparent throughout this entry - obviously a great deal of time and care was taken in crafting this fine campaign. The bitmaps are absolutely outstanding! Yes, they're photographs (to which some purists object), but much more work went into making the bitmaps a joy to look at. The correlation between the bitmaps and terrain maps also is excellent. The instructions in all scenarios read like a historical novel. In fact, scenario 1 has no separate history text - it doesn't need it. The history is conveyed very nicely in the story line. Additional historical information also is found in the victory messages. Scenario 1 - The Invincible Prince: Should this scenario be rated "R"? After all, there is a topless heroine (you'll see what I mean). This senario taught me not to try rushing through any part of the campaign. I died bloody here several times before learning my lesson. The Rasher stocks this (and the other two) scenario with some nice gimmicks (both action and visual), varied VCs, and one challenge after another. Genghis must build his forces, watch out for traitors, teach some folks harsh lessons, and rescue his bride from the bad guys. Very entertaining. Scenario 2 - Destiny: The Great Wall of China must be breached and those who live behind its protective walls subjugated. There is a clever timing trick used at the beginning to force you to breach the Wall quickly. This is how it works . . . naw, figure it out for yourself 8-) You want three cats to reduce Peking (or Pekin, or Beijing, or . . . never mind). I never could get the third one free, but managed to take the city with two. Guerilla tactics were important for this one, as in the first scenario. Scenario 3 - Hide And Seek - The bitmap/terrain map correlation on this one is outstanding. I didn't find it necessary to fight all the battles the instructions hinted that I might have to fight, but all the VCs were there. The instructions say that you lose if Hero Scipio dies, which is incorrect. I didn't see the point of the raft in the northwest, but it didn't make any difference to the outcome. Also, the hint about bribing someone is vague, with no indication during gameplay about whom to target for a bribe or how much. This is a key part of the action and the gameplay suffers a bit because of it. I figured it out eventually, but the first time it was too late and no amount of gold worked. The terrain maps are perhaps a bit surreal at times, but so much effort obviously goes into them that I can't fault them for it. Besides, they're fun to look at. Overall this is campaign is far above average. A fine effort from a talented designer.
The author obviously likes map making for the sheer pleasure of map making, and would not settle for anything less than the most beautiful. His maps are full with exquisite details, which however does not make the whole picture fall apart, rather give a well composed impression. His meticulous "gardening" adds to gameplay pleasure a lot and does not distract attention from the tasks ahead at all. His story is well written, although not instructive, so the objectives are learned from a separate list. As well written as the story is, the game itself however does not convey a feeling of being a piece of Mongol history, rather it is a challenge - a good one - with figures of Mongol history in it, but could be anything else as well. The player gets involved in the task, but not in history. The campaign itself is immersing and enjoyable however. The victory conditions are modeled after historic accuracy and work flawlessly, so the campaign is consistent with the Contest Rules. Triggering events with Gaia discoveries and/or conversion are applied with an expert hand as the game unfolds. In addition to map making, triggering seems to be the favorite trick of the Author and he applies it with good measure. Thanks to this "ersatz" triggering, the game does not cease to deliver a "there is an exciting challenge ahead" feeling again and again, so one never gets tired of completing tasks. Each of these tasks give the possibility of continuing or losing the game in a well balanced way, as the player is given access to, or deprived of resources, cleared the way or blocked of any advancement, depending on the whether he took the right or the wrong decision at the particular moment. The game never turns into a monotonous gauntlet. The "conflict igniting" Scout, and the ally-turned-enemy on scythe damage, which wipes out the player's home base, preventing the creation of additional military units, both in the first scenario, as well the pathway clearing Priest-Swordsman-Catapult chain in the third scenario are noteworthy examples. I also liked the timer of the Great Wall made tick away as a Slinger depletes the hit points of some bogged units.
A vast and well-written story opens up this campaign, but part of the idea of having seperate Instructions, History and Hints sections is that you only have to read the parts that interest you. Why I don't mind a long story, I know from experience that there are those who do. These scenarios have highly-detailed, almost fantasy-like maps, and some clever puzzle elements. ; There are lots of Gaia catapults for opening paths, and tricks such as deleting a wall to...well, you'll see. The maps are gorgeous, but one gets the feeling they could have been melded into any plot and were not as tied into Mongolia as are some other campaigns. All three scenarios tended towards puzzle conditions, particularly the first and last, which is great if you like puzzles, but not so fun if you want to use some villagers once in awhile. There were enough Objectives in each scenario for an entire campaign. Part of being a good artist is providing the minimum needed to convey your message. However, I point out these shortcomings just because I spent a lot of good time with this campaign. It is a lot of fun, keeps you guessing, and has so many artistic elements that I occasionally forgot I was playing AOE. This one I will keep around on my hard drive for a long time.
Steve Ryan
From the start I figured this would be very good. Nice map and intro and Story all set the scene nicely. In the first scenario however I could not get out of the first trap. Finely realised that I had to set it on hard and the lions were of some use. The map layout was very nice and the use of all the design tricks evident. I again had trouble with the second scenario.. losing unexpectedy but the author explained it pretty clearly I just had trouble completing the destruction of the guards !. Some special points to mention. The walk down the water fall and the trees on the storaeg pit.. very nice touches. Overall this played very well and deserves a very high mark.

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