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Author File Description
Thrawn and Taion This is a campaign detailing the rise and fall of the Mongol Ascendancy c.1200 AD. It involves Genghis Khan, and his successors.
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The authors obviously dislike congested maps and allow the player large open spaces to operate on, which also takes courage these days, when exquisitely crafted scenes form the mainstream of scenario design. This in itself shall not be considered a drawback, but hardly any sign of retouch attempt can be discovered on the probably computer-delivered map base, so they more often than not deliver a drab impression. The objectives of all three scenarios are clearly defined and are in tune with the provided historical background, sketched in skillful writing, and the accordingly set victory conditions also work properly. The game delivers good playing experience, but the "You are Victorious" message jots down the period at the end of the sentence without mercy, and one does not feel like making a second run at it. As good as the historical initiation of the player is, the spell quickly dissolves and pure-and-simple AoE scenario playing takes over, so the player quickly forgets "the Mongol Cause", and only makes attempts to save his Hero, take it to a certain spot and destroy enemy units in the way. The first two scenarios can be played at almost any pace, while it is only the third one which poses the threat of instant defeat if no appropriate preventive action is taken at the onset. The authors did not draw from the common knowledge base and applied none of the tricks and twists which were invented by the scenario design community. The submitted work in my opinion forms only the skeleton on which a really good campaign could have been build.
I was initially excited about this campaign from the dramatic-style intoductions and photorealistic pregame maps. ; Unfortunately, the scenarios could not keep up this high standard of quality throughout. ; As I have seen in a few campaigns, Hints (in scn 1 and 2) being a continuation of History. More than most, I appreciate history, but I think it is a good idea to condense the text down to something digestible. I missed the hints, but found some upon my first defeat; not a bad idea, but probably unexpected by most players. I realize Mongolia is a fairly barren place, but these maps could have benefited from more interesting terrain (with the exception of the cities, which were quite good--just needed more features like them). ; The first scenario has many interesting victory conditions, almost too many--I kept having to reopen Instructions. ; The second scenario, Peking, is easier to understand. ; Difficulty varied; in the first scenario I was attacked before I was ready, which was fun, but in the second scenario I never saw enemies enter my town (although I did have limited resources). I saw several CP villagers stuck on walls or allied units, which could have been part of the problem. ; The third scenario was an onslaught from the start, which was cool, but it was very different in flavor and story from the other two. I hesistate to accuse co-authorship as the problem, but designers who collaborate need to insure that their work seems like the product of a single vision.

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