Hostile Waters, The First Punic War
Posted on 04/27/05 @ 03:23 AM
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Playability - This campaign is enjoyable from start to finish - the first scenario is based on water, the second is on land and the third is a mixture of land and water. The first scenario is a little slow, with it being tedious to pick off ships parked on the other side of the map, but the pace speeds up in scenarios two and three with lots of battles, skirmishes and the like. The first scenario has it's flaws, but the second two are extremely enjoyable. 4.2
Posted on 05/01/05 @ 11:06 AM
Creativity - The ideas in this campaign are mixes of standard objectives, but Firelegion has put them together in such a way where they seem fresh and new - for example, having to capture a boat in the first scenario. The third scenario also has a very nice timer feature. The scenarios are mainly FF with elements of Build and Destroy, but it's all done very well and is highly enjoyable. 4.5
Balance - The scenarios are perhaps a little easy, but not to a point where this scenario is a walkthrough. It's just that careful management and keeping your troops together will usually overwhelm the enemy. Still, there are some difficult segments, but perhaps the balance of the campaign would have benefited from less use of gaia. 3.8
Map Design - Maps here are wonderful - nothing overboard, yet beautiful use of eye-candy and excellent placement of different depths of water, trees, buildings and units. Also, there are lots of little details that really make the campaign - a messy horse pen, little paths of cacti, rugged forests, island villages - yet none of these are overdone to the extent where they would look out of place or artificial. Excellent, flawless maps 5
Story/Instructions - The history section is used to full extent here with well researched and highly informative, and the actual story is interesting without being too distracting, and the end result shows a segment of story and a historical outcome.. The hints are helpful, also, not giving too much away and using a narrative structure (ie. "there is an old shipwreck that may come" in use, rather than "a boat is on the side of the map"). The bitmaps are absoloutley fantastic (although the same is reused), showing Firelegion has put a lot of work into them. The only problem with the story and instructions is some sections of bad grammar and spelling, but this dosen't detract from an otherwise excellent story section. 4.5
Overall - I've watched Firelegion's designs ever since he came to AoEH, and his works have just got better and better. Hostile Waters, his latest scenario, is a huge leap from his previous work (which was also good) and it's obvious Firelegion has worked hard on this one. Overall, an excellent campaign from an excellent designer. 4.4
Posted on 05/01/05 @ 11:24 AM
The replayability of this campaign is a lot. You've got a nicely done map, an agressive roman army as well as navy who's always(and I mean always) trying to knock you off of your feet, what more could you possibly ask for?
The creativity can be seen in FL's map design, it is at least as good as some of his past campaigns(Exile, Crystal Blue River, etc) if not better. He has put some of the tricks he invented in the campaign, such as the cacti swamp.
I had to admit that during the first scenario, I thought that, "This is too easy to be FL." Which is absolutely right, the enemies in the second and third scenario(espeically the third) just came and kicked my butt, I had to reload and not overlook the opponent,nicely done.
The things I see in this scenario just immediately reminded me of what a good map designer FL is. When you are playing the Carthaginians, I will guarantee that at some point in this campaign, you will stop your troops and admire how much work he has put in the three scenarios. With quiet, peaceful little towns, realistic swamps with rocks alongside them, and much, much more. I would have given this part a 6 if I could.
The campaign includes a quite nice story about how the Carthaginians go head to head with the great Roman Army. The bitmap is very nice and gives the player the correct historical information. However, I had to take some points off for spelling and grammatical errors.(The one that struck me was the first sentence of the instructions in the second scenario)
I knew that it was not mainly fiction based since I actually did a little research myself on the Punic Wars when I planned to do a campaign on it.
Oooh! This campaign just comes a hair away from a 5. However, I would not be surprised if that was the case from the reviews of Andrea and Dr. Lorenzo.
These are hard times for scenario makers, since we've come to expect top-quality from them. And FireLegion delivers it with this marvelous campaign based on the Punic Wars.
Posted on 05/01/05 @ 11:25 AM
Pure fun. It's the only way I can describe this campaign concerning its playability. There are lot of things to do and find, hidden bonuses everywhere, and more. I sometimes desired more rooms to move my units, but that's all. The difficulty ranges from mild to hard, featuring some very tough struggles followed by some breaks which allow you to take a breath. The third mission was my favourite, since you have to stop a timer by managing a small fleet and an invasion force loaded onto transports.
The first scenario can be solved quickly, leading you to the false illusion to have an easy life for the rest of the campaign. The second mission is still a little too easy (provided you are good at micromanaging), while in the third scenario you must be prepared for some heavy slaps on your face. The difficulty grows following a steady curve, which is the best way to make a campaign enjoyable. An expert will find it fun, and a newcomer won't give up easily. As I said before, it's pure fun, and the whole campaign doesn't take an eternity to be finished.
Don't be fooled by the common set, this is not the usual Rome vs Carthage match. First you play as the Carthaginians, at the time when the sorts of the war were still opened to any solution. Then the author made a big effort in order to bring back those battles to life. There's a good mix of objectives as well as enemy units to fight. Certain things like the design of the stables are very enjoyable and enhance the general idea. Also the wise placement of your reinforcements and their facing direction add depth to the whole thing, instead of just finding a bounch of scattered Gaia units. Things like the Elephant Tamer showing the path to his stable are those details that make us remember one campaign forever.
Map Design: 5
Well, we aren't discovering FireLegion's skills in map design today, but this time he really tops himself: every map is filled with details, but not in a so crazy manner that they seemed artificial. Awesome use of cacti, grass patches and water tricks, as well as realistic cities. Two notes of merit for the river and the paths in the second scenario. Every terrain is very enjoyable in each level and really bring you in the described places, while the wise choice of the units dramatically increases playability.
Very clear and beautiful bitmaps, as in FireLegion's standards. A nice story introduce you to each scenario. Unfortunately there are some mispellings and typos (sort of another trademark for FireLegion) and some modern ways of speaking which are a bit out of place. In the last scenario the instructions are very long and seem to be truncated (after "you lose if"). But these are marginal flaws, and the detailed History box fills the small gap.
Historical Rating: 5
The research done is remarkable, and the historically accurate development is spiced up by nice fiction elements. FireLegion's best campaign at present, under every aspect.